Confessin’ The Blues Compilation – Curated by The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones have long been supporters of the Blues from before the start of their career right through to their latest album, Blue & Lonesome which featured their interpretations of the classics, many of which appear in their original versions here on Confessin’ The Blues.

Mick Jagger was an early fan of the Blues: “The first Muddy Waters album that was really popular was Muddy Waters at Newport, which was the first album I ever bought”.

Confessin’ The Blues collects together the greatest bluesmen ever and provides a perfect education to the genre. The tracklisting on the various formats have been chosen by The Rolling Stones, in collaboration with BMG and Universal and will be released on BMG on November 9.

“If you don’t know the blues… there’s no point in picking up the guitar and playing rock and roll or any other form of popular music.” – Keith Richards

The band has decided that 10% of BMG’s net receipts* from the sale of this album will be donated to Willie Dixon’s Blues Heaven Foundation (A registered  US 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization).

‘Confessin’ the Blues’ cover art by Ronnie Wood

Ronnie Wood says: “That’s how Mick and Keith first got close as well, on the train coming back from college. They noticed each other’s record collection and it was, “Hey, you’ve got Muddy Waters. You must be a good guy, let’s form a band”.

Confessin’ the Blues is available to pre-order in several formats, including a two-CD set, a double LP vinyl set, and a special vinyl book pack meant to mimic the original packaging of 78 rpm records. All versions will come with liner notes from music journalist Colin Larkin, while the book pack will feature removable card prints featuring drawings by blues illustrator Christoph Mueller.

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Jimi Hendrix – The Day I Was There

As a veteran of over 415 concerts in 49 years, one of my regrets is that I never saw Jimi Hendrix live in concert. Alas, that was not meant to happen.

I will soon have an opportunity to read about the personal memories of 400 eyewitness accounts of seeing Jimi live. Richard M. Houghton has a new book coming out on the 48th anniversary of Jimi Hendrix’s death, September 18, 2018, Jimi Hendrix, The Day I Was There.

I love the use of color that illustrates the book cover.

Richard M. Houghton is a music journalist/archivist. He has forged an interesting niche by writing a series of books from a rock music fan’s point of view. His, I Was There theme is a smart and welcome idea. The Jimi Hendrix book is the fifth I Was There title in the series.

He has written I Was There books about The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, and Pink Floyd.

He is working on several more I  Was There books for 2019 and beyond. Upcoming projects are fan memories of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath (2019), the Faces, Cream and Neil Young.  I have some memories to share with Richard for those titles.

If there’s anyone else you’re passionate reading about, he’ d love to hear from you. Drop him a line at iwasatthatgig@gmail.com

I will be corresponding with Richard very soon 🙂

New Rolling Stones blues album due out early December 2016

According to the Rolling Stones European Fan Club, “Its Only Rock and Roll”…

Charlie

The Rolling Stones will be releasing a new studio album with blues songs early December 2016 worldwide. The album is featuring cover songs only. The new album is the second in a series of projects including Havana Moon, and that album with its own songs is probably due for a 2017 release.

More details of songs and guest spots will appear on the fan club site soon.

The Birds of St. Marks – Jackson Browne

There is something hauntingly romantic about the Jackson Browne song, “The Birds of St. Marks”.

“This is a song I always heard as a Byrds song, and that was even part of the writing of the song because Nico loved the Byrds. She even said on a couple of occasions, ‘Oh, you can play something like Jim McGuinn?’”

Read more:http://www.rollingstone.com/music/premieres/jackson-browne-returns-to-an-old-favorite-hear-the-birds-of-st-marks-20140818#ixzz3paY1C2Ym

“The Birds of St. Marks” was originally written in 1967 when Jackson Browne was 18 and returning home to California after a brief stint living in New York where he was recording with Nico. A time of innocence and lost love. A time of youth.

Nico: Chelsea Girl

Three of Jackson Browne’s first songs were recorded on Nico’s solo album. He played electric guitar on her recording as suggested by Andy Warhol to create a modern sound.

  • These Days
  • Fairest of the Seasons
  • Somewhere There’s A Feather

St. Marks Place Landmarks – East Village, New York City

St. Marks Place was a vibrant community in the late sixties and early seventies. It’s still a happening scene today.

#13 – Home to Lenny Bruce in the mid-1960s.[14]

#19-#25 – The Dom, Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey turned The Dom into a nightclub in 1966, which served as a showcase for the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, Warhol’s multimedia stage show for the Velvet Underground.

#19-#25 – Became The Electric Circus. Billy Joel filmed his video, “A Matter of Trust” (1986) inside The Electric Circus.

131 Second Avenue (corner St. Marks Place), Gem Spa – Home of the Egg Cream 😉

#96 & #98 – The Led Zeppelin album Physical Graffiti features a front and back cover design that depicts these two buildings, which feature carved faces. Keith Richards and Mick Jagger are in front of same building in the Rolling Stones music video “Waiting on a Friend“.[14]

http://tune.pk/player/embed_player.php?vid=2553554&folder=2014/03/30/&width=600&height=350&autoplay=no

Neil Young and Jack White Appear on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon

It was reassuring to witness late night television serve as the validation of the Neil Young and Jack White collaboration that I have been very intent upon owning. Jimmy Fallon is devout a fan of music  box sets. He has previously hosted a week long series of shows that highlighted the The Rolling StonesExile on Main Street collector’s box set (which I also own). Last night he honored the Neil Young/Jack White collaboration, A Letter Home a forthcoming limited edition box set (May 27th).

The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon arranged for delivery and setup of Jack White’s 1947 Voice-O-Graph vinyl recording booth on the NBC Tonight Show stage in New York City. This was a magnanimous  gesture that allowed a large viewing and studio audience to witness Neil Young record the hit by Patsy Cline, “Crazy”, a song written by Willie Nelson inside that booth.

Follow this link to the Tonight Show Web Site to see Neil’s performance: http://www.nbc.com/the-tonight-show/segments/5851

 

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Baroque Pop

Cover of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Clu...
Cover via Amazon

Baroque pop is a form of music that conflates rock ‘n roll with classical. Two of the most popular baroque pop albums in recording history are 1966’s Pet Sounds and 1967’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.  Many believe that the sound was pioneered by The Zombies with the release of their first single, “She’s Not There”, in 1964.

I love the baroque sound The Rolling Stones forged on the tracks, “Ruby Tuesday“, “Lady Jane“, “Play With Fire” and “As Tears Go By“.

The Beatles created a wonderful baroque classic in  “Eleanor Rigby“.

Another one of my favorite baroque pop recordings is “Everyone” by Van Morrison from the classic Moondance album.

What is your favorite baroque pop song? Perhaps you could share that with the readership as a comment to this post. 🙂

20 Feet From Stardom

When I think of backup singers the music of our heart turns specifically to Merry Clayton‘s riveting performance on The Rolling Stones, “Gimme Shelter” from the Let It Bleed album from 1969.

The documentary movie, 20 Feet From Stardom opens this Friday June 14th. It traces the history of the pop background singer, starting with the Phil Spector girl groups of the 1960’s, touching upon their roles in the work of artists like Lou Reed and the Talking Heads, and bringing to light their presence in the pop music of today. Most certainly Merry Clayton and other significant divas are included in this warm tribute.

A public screening of the film took place on a NY city rooftop on the lower East Side on Saturday night, June 8. Darlene Love featured in the movie gave a live performance followed by a Q&A with the director Morgan Neville.

 

Edward The Mad Shirt Grinder – The Beautiful Articulation of Nicky Hopkins

Cover of "Beck-Ola"
Cover of Beck-Ola

Jeff Beck Group HandbillNicky Hopkins is without question rock’s greatest session musician. His signature contributions are still felt strongly today, 18 years after his passing. I continue being blown away by the breadth and depth of Nicky Hopkins piano contributions to rock.history

My first encounter with Nicky Hopkins’s musicianship was with The Jeff Beck Group and Beck-Ola. I saw Nicky Hopkins play with The Jeff Beck Group at the Fillmore East on July 3, 1969. He is depicted performing with The Jeff Beck Group on the cover of this definitive book by Julian Dawson.

Nicky Hopkins got his recording start with Del Shannon. You can hear his piano virtuoso as a lad of 17 on the 1961 hit, “Runaway”.  His frail health (he suffered from Crohn’s disease) forced him into the life of a session musician, where he excelled.

Nicky Hopkins was known as the Sixth Stone. His body of work with the Rolling Stones is immeasurable, ranging from “Ruby Tuesday” to “Waiting On A Friend”.

Nicky moved to Mill Valley, California to improve his health and took up with such San Francisco bands as The Jefferson Airplane and Jerry Garcia Band. He was considered a full-partner in Quicksilver Messenger Service and his touch played a fundamental role in Shady Grove and Just For Love.

The musicians he worked with over the decades were very taken with him.

“It was such a thrill to work for him as well as have him work with me. Every time I hear Joe Cocker’s ‘You Are So Beautiful’ I want to cry before Joe’s even come in. People try to emulate that piano piece, but there’s only one person could have played that—Nicky Hopkins.”
Peter Frampton

He worked with all four of the Beatles when they went solo. I am especially fond of his song, “Edward (The Mad Shirt Grinder)” that he recorded with QMS and on his best solo album, The Tin Man Was A Dreamer George HarrisonMick TaylorKlaus Voormann and Hopkins’ fellow Rolling Stones sidemen Bobby Keys and Jim Price.)


 

The Rolling Stones Steamrolling Ahead

The Rolling Stones continue to steam roll ahead with their 50th Anniversary concerts. Last night they played the first of four NY area concerts (this includes the recently announced appearance at the 12.12.12 Superstorm Sandy Benefit) at The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.

Rolling STones

The Stones marketing machine is operating at fever pitch. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards will make their first appearance on the David Letterman Show to announce the Top 10 List.

Tickets have been next to impossible to get so we have decided to watch the Pay Per View show on Saturday December 15th.

I especially like this concert footage from the 2003 tour in Twickenham, England.