Chuck Leavell is responsible for a lot of great piano playing heard in Rock thoughout his years as a member of the Allman Brothers Band and the Rolling Stones as well as in his work with other artists, including Eric Clapton. Along the way, the keyboard veteran says, plenty of fans have told him they'd love to be able to play like he does. Now, Leavell is giving them the opportunity to learn from him online. He has launched IROCKU, a web site that will provide aspiring pianists with sheet music, instructional video, music theory and improvisational tips from Chuck. His ultimate objective is to, '...make learning to play rock piano easy and fun.' It's working for students in New York City. The Board of Ed has used the Leavell lessons in city schools and both teachers and students have praised it as life changing. Want to try your hands at it? A free lesson is available here. PRWeb
Apple and U2 have both been stung by criticism over the joint venture that saw the Irish group's recent album released exclusively through the iTunes store. The computer, phone and tablet behemoth also had its sterling image tarnished by bugs in its latest operating system and a big and tall version of its popular phone that is susceptible to bending from the pressure of being in some pockets when owners sit down. The band has been criticized for releasing a second consecutive lackluster album. Songs Of Innocence has been dubbed Songs of Mediocrity by some and while an improvement over No Line On The Horizon, the recent release falls far short of measuring up the the group's powerful releases of the late 70's and the 80's. Whether the end product would have been stronger had the group not been under the gun to get it done in time for the album's simultaneous release with the new Apple phones is something only band members know - and they're not talking. The Edge is saying that an additional album is expected to emerge from the sessions that produced Songs Of Innocence, one the band is calling Songs Of Experience. He also says a 2015 tour is being planned that will be less over-the-top than the last tour that featured the band playing stadiums on an enormous claw-like stage.
Hurricane Odile damage has forced Sammy Hagar to relocate the annual birthday party and concert he stages at his Cabo San Lucas resort to Las Vegas. The four October concerts scheduled for Cabo will be rolled into one bigger show at the Las Vegas Events Center October 18 that features Sammy & The Circle, a lineup that includes the Red Rocker along with Michael Anthony, Jason Bonham and Vic Johnson. They will be joined by Joe Satriani and Chad Smith with Chickenfoot. Sammy says the response to the severe weather caused havoc to Cabo is 'inspiring' and adds it is, '...amazing how much progress has been made.' As for his Cabo facility, Hagar says, 'Hoping to re-open soon along with airport and other businesses. Thank you to all of you that have sent good wishes. All of our staff is safe and we are working hard to assist on thei needs.'
Rock Or Bust, the next album from AC/DC, is confirmed for a December 2 release. The group's first album without Malcolm Young features 11 tracks and was recorded rapidly during sessions in Vancouver this past spring under the production guidance of Brendan O'Brien. The band has also announced that tour plans are being drawn upf for a 2015 world trek that will introduce fans to Steve Young, Malcolm's nephew, as the group's new rhythm guitarist. As in the past, the group declined to offer any specifics about the medical condition that has rendered Malcolm Young unable to play, but shortly after the announcementYoung's family confirmed that the 61 year-old guitarist is suffering from dementia. The Sydney Morning Herald had quoted a source as telling them that, 'If you were in the room with him and walked out, then came back one minute later, he wouldn't remember who you are.'
Joe Perry overshadows Brad Whitford, but the Aerosmith sound wouldn't ring true without Brad's contribution. Gibson has developed a replica model of Whitford's 1959 Les Paul to add to its Custom Collector's Choice™ series of instruments. As with other axes in the series, Gibson has gone to great lengths to get every detail down - even adding a few wear marks and finish fade. The hardware (PAF pickups), neck inlays, the unique neck profile are all identical to Brad's. Owning one of the 300 Les Paul Whitford Bursts Gibson will hand craft will set you back $7,998. SonicState.com
The award naming Bob Dylan the MusiCares Person Of The Year will be presented with a number of other big name artists present and participating. The February 6 event staged by the Recording Academy at the Staples Center in LA will include performances by John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Crosby, Stills & Nash, the Black Keys, Bonnie Raitt, Eddie Vedder, Jack White and Los Lobos. Additional artists are expected to join in tribute to the recipient, who the Academy's Neil Portnow notes has a produced a career of musical works that have '...contributed to America's culture, as well as that of the entire world, in genuinely deep and lasting ways.'
A private jet chartered to transport Aaron Lewis to Oklahoma for a concert skidded off a runway in Texas. Lewis was unharmed in the incident, but the Cessna Citation V sustained damage that prevented it from being safely flyable, resulting in the cancellation of the Tulas concert Monday (9/22). Lewis posted the photo of the disabled plane on his Facebook page along with an apology to fans that read, 'I'm so glad that we are safe; however, I am really sorry that the fans in Tulsa were disappointed and let down with me not making last night's show. I promise I'll be back to Tulsa soon.'
Zeppelin memorabilia collectors with extra freezer space should scoop-up cartons of Ben & Jerry's Hazed & Confused ice cream before they get yanked from shelves. Facing criticism that the variation of a title of a song on Led Zeppelin's debut album could be taken as making light of the dangers associated with fraternity hazing, the Vermont cold sweets company is considering changing the name of the flavor. Only three letters of complaint over the use of the name were apparently received by the company, but one came from he parents of a 19 year-old that lost his life in a hazing incident at a North Carolina college six years ago. Ben & Jerry's has frequently used plays on words and phrases when naming products. The use of the name Cherry Garcia for an ice cream a number of years ago was challenged by estate of Jerry Garcia. An agreement was reached that allowed the company to continue using the name.
The songs on The Endless River, the largely instrumental Pink Floyd album being released this fall, have been described as spacey and eclectic. While we don't have run times for the songs on it, the track count for the double disc suggests several of the tunes are also quite long. The group's official web site has posted what we presume is the album cover art and track list and is taking advance orders. Copies include a version that offers a hard bound book that includes previously unpublished photos from the 1993 recording sessions that produced the majority of the material on the album.
Since its inception shortly after his death from stomach cancer, the Ronnie Jame Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund has donated close to a million dollars to fight the disease. The fund's latest check presented $100,000 to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. The Dio Fund donations to the research facility open the way to additional grants in the $1 million + range from government sources. Dio received treatment at the Houston center that his wife said gave her husband hope and inspired him in fighting the disease. The Dio Fund raised money through the sale of the Dio tribute album This Is Your Life and an annual gala awards event. LoudWire.com
With the future of Little Feat uncertain, keyboard player and Feat co-founder Bill Payne has elected to become a full time member of Leftover Salmon, a jam band fixture he has done dozens of dates with in recent months. Vince Herman made it official as Salmon opened its concert in Nashville's Ryman Auditorium Saturday night (9/13), a show that included guest shots from Taj Mahal, Widespread Panic's John Bell, Col. Bruce Hampton and others. JamBands.com
Sharon Osbourne, never one for subtlety, blasted U2 in a Twitter post that claimed the Irish Rockers are just '...business moguls not musicians anymore' and called the decision to distribute the new album for free via iTunes a desperation move because the music was so mediocre no one would buy it. While we agree the album does nothing to convince us that the band is capable of writing the kind of great songs that made the release of a new U2 album the kind of international slam dunk it once was, the same could be said of Ozzy's recent albums. And when it comes to non-musical side ventures, Ozzy and Sharon are quite the business moguls themselves. Radio.com
It's a reunion of sorts. Lou Gramm and Mick Jones of Foreigner plan to work together on each others next solo projects. It marks the first ime the two members of Foreigner have collaborated musically in more than a decade. Whether it creates an opportunity for Gramm to return as a member of the group remains to be seen, but Jones says they are both '...going into it quite openly'. He indicates the process will include musical ideas the two were developing while members of Foreigner as well as, '...this little trove of goodies that Lou's got that I haven't heard.'
John Hiatt's Detroit Made is a perfect song for Bob Seger to cover on what is likely his last album (story). Fans attending some of Seger's recent concerts got the chance to hear it in advance of the album's release.
If even negative coverage is good to get, Apple and U2 must be pleased with the level of attention their promotional release of the Irish Band's latest album has generated. The free iTunes download of Songs Of Innocence triggered a social and traditional media avalanche of criticism toward the company and the band (story) that has not subsided. If reports about how much Apple forked over for the multi-week exclusive on the new album prove accurate, Bono and the band can laugh it off to the tune of $100 million, but the fact so few people seem to be impressed in the least with the songs on the album probably stings. To our ears, it's better than No Line On The Horizon, but not by much. An indication that many feel the same may account for why sales of the band's albums that were really worth buying has spiked since the release.
Oliver Stone's documentary on the Doors was derided as only a vaguely credible account of the band's brief, turmoil filled career. On November 11, Doors fans will have the opportunity to see the full length account of what life in a band with Jim Morrison was like from footage authorized by the band and filmed in 1968. Scenes from Feast of Friends have been used in various documentaries over the years since Morrison died and Doors collectors have come by bootleg versions of portions of it, but this marks the first official release of the complete movie. The Eagle Rock Entertainment release of the DVD will also include a 1967 performance by the band in Toronto and The Doors Are Open, a UK TV feature on the group.
The marriage of Neil and Pegi Young is ending but the annual benefit the couple stages to raise money for the Bridge School will continue. The October 25 & 26 dates to raise money for the school tailored to meet the educational challenges special needs students face will feature performances by Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Norah Jones, Florence & The Machine, Band of Horses. Neil and Pegi are slated to do solo sets as well during the weekend at the Mountainview, California Amphitheatre. ConsequenceOfSound.com
Joe Sample. one of the contemporary legends of Jazz piano, passed away on Friday (9/12) at the age of 75. During a recording career that spanned more than 50 years, Sample contirbuted to albums by a number of Rock artists, including Eric Clapton (Reptile, Pilgrim, Unplugged), Steely Dan (Gaucho, Aja), Joe Cocker, Boz Scaggs, Ringo Starr, Elvin Bishop and Canned Heat as well as albums by Blues masters like BB King and Albert King. Sample also recorded a number of albums on his own, as a member of the Jazz Crusaders and with several top-shelf Jazz artists.
Here's Sample with Clapton, David Sanbourn, Steve Gadd and Marcus Miller at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1997.
The perpetual feuding between Ray and Dave Davies may scuttle plans for a 50th Anniversay tour(story), but it won't stand in the way of an anniversary compilation that will include more than two dozen previously unreleased songs. The Anthology 1964-1971 packs more than 100 songs onto 5 discs,including alternate takes on a number of songs as well as demos and interviews. The collection drops November 4th. '71 seems an odd point to cut-off to us.
Peter Gabriel's career pushing musical boundries has earned him Prog God status at the Progressive Music awards. Prog Magazine editor Jerry Ewing cited Gabriel's early work with Genesis and his continuing willingness to venture into new musical territory in the decision to honor him this year. Ewing said, 'From a groundbreaking eight years with Genesis to a solo career that has now stretched almost 40 years, few artists have striven to push back the creative boundries, generating a body of work that in its very nature progresses ever onward.' Others receiving awards include Andy Latimer of Camel, and Sonja Kristina, vocalist for Curved Air. Previous winners of the Prog God distinction include Rick Wakeman of Yes and Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson.
Just after news broke that Neil Young had filed for divorce from his wife of 36 years (story), Neil has been spotted arm in arm with actress Daryl Hannah. Tuesday (9/6), the pair was observed walking to a Westlake, California restaurant with arms around one another and smoochin'. Hannah previously dated and famously flattened Jackson Browne during a spat.
The idea of reuniting with Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones apparently has no appeal to Robert Plant. But if a Facebook post is t legitly from him, the former Led Zeppelin front man is keenly interested recording something with Jack White. Calling White someone with,'...a buccaneer spirit' that '...dodges through the musical horizons, I'd be happy to make a single with him.' He even identified the song he'd like to record with White. 'I'd like to do a track called Love Me which was first recorded by the Phantom', and suggested it could happen as soon as Monday (9/15). 'I'm going to Nashville Sunday and can do it Monday morning! I've got lunch with Alison Krauss at 2pm and cocktails with Patty Griffin at 8pm. Great, we'll see everyone at Third Man (White's studio) on Monday then.'
Using Ride Out as the title to his next album serves as a pretty clear indication that it will be Bob Seger's final studio effort. The long anticipated album finally drops October 14. The long delay had us expecting the songs on it would be originals. Most are, but nearly half the songs on it are covers - and there are only 10 titles on the standard CD. An expanded edition offers 3 more songs. Seger released his cover of John Hiatt's Detroit Made several days ago. The other cover songs he includes on the release are Woody Guthrie's California Stars, The Devil's Right Hand from the Steve Earle catalog and a song titled Adam and Eve by Australians Shane Nicholson and Kasey Chambers. Accompanying Seger on the release are Rob McNelley on guitar, Jim Brown on keyboards and guitar, Glenn Worf on bass, Chad Cromwell plays drums and Shaun Murphy,Barb Payon and Laura Creamer contribute background vocals.
U2 appears to have so little confidence in the old model for selling music that the band has decided it is better off giving away its new album than bothering trying to get people to buy it. Apple was more than happy to pay whatever it took for the company to secure exclusive rights to distribute the free download to people with an iTunes account. The irony in this exercise is that Apple profoundly understands the need to meet or exceed expectations much better than U2 does. The band bitched at fans over the luke-warm reception their last album got. The iPhone 5c was Apple's hardware equivelent of No Line On The Horizon. They learned from it and moved on. The 6 and the 6 Plus will have to score big points with devout iPhone users and sap the momentum other smart phone makers built up by exploiting a desire for larger screens while Apple clung to a uniformly small screen for it the 6's to be Apple's next Joshua Tree. The read on how good it is will be rapid and verifiable because nobody will be giving them away. Even subsidized carrier deals will eventually exact more than the full retail value from each subscriber. How good U2's new album actually is will take longer. With the potential for more than a half billion people to get it for nothing, numbers are rather meaningless. The real measure whether the album is as good as Bono wants us to believe it is will be in finding out how many songs people who download the album think deserve to occupy a space on their phone in the long term. Hold the phone for that read.
The dream of pulling together an impressive bunch of artists to record songs in tribute to Paul McCartney came about more than a decade ago while producer Ralph Sall was in the studio with Paul working on an updated version an early solo song by McCartney titled A Love For You. On November 18 the end result of an 11 year quest to bring the album out will be released. The lineup and the range of material makes it easy to understand why it took so long to bring it to fruition. Both 34 and 42 song versions will be released, along with deluxe editions including everything from autographed artwork to a usb drive that is a mini replica of Paul's famous Hofner bass.
The Art of McCartney track list
Mabe I'm Amazed, Live & Let Die -Billy Joel
Things We Said Today - Bob Dylan
Band on The Run, Letting Go - Heart
Junior's Farm, Hey Jude - Steve Miller
The Long & Winding Road - Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens)
My Love - Harry Conick Jr.
Wanderlust - Brian Wilson
Bluebird - Corinne Bailey Rae
Yesterday - Willie Nelson
Junk - Jeff Lynne
When I'm 64 - Barry Gibb
Every Night - Jamie Cullum
Venus & Mars/Rock Show - Kiss
Let Me Roll It - Paul Rodgers
Helter Skelter - Roger Daltry
Helen Wheels - Def Leppard
Hello, Goodbye - The Cure
Let It Be - Chrissie Hynde
Jet - Robin Zander & Rick Nielsen
Hi, Hi, Hi - Joe Joe Elliott
Listen to What The Man Said - Owl
Got To Get You Into My Life - Perry Farrell
Drive My Car - Dion
Lady Madonna - Allen Toussaint
Let Em In - Dr. John
So Bad - Smokey Robinson
No More Lonely Nights - Airbourne Toxic Event
Come & Get It - Toots Hibbert, Sly & Robbie
On The Way - BB King
C Moon - Robert Smith
Can't Buy Me Love - Booker T Jones
PS I Love You - Ronnie Spector
All My Loving - Darlene Love
For No One - Ian McCulloch
The Marshall Tucker Band was riding high in 1977. The Spartenburg, South Carolina group featuring Toy and Tommy Caldwell drew large crowds at all of its summer tour stops in support of its Carolina Dreams album, but none bigger than the throng of fans that packed the group's September 3rd concert in Englishtown, New Jersey. 150,000 Southern Rock fans packed the concert to hear the Caldwell brothers and the band. Singer Doug Gray recalls the show as '...one of the most moving experiences in the history of the Marshall Tucker Band'. The audio quality falls short of perfect, but Gray says the quality of the performance makes it a show fans of the band will appreciate. They can get Live From Englishtown on September 30th.
A limited edition release CSN&Y fans paid $558 for with a promise of delivery within 5 weeks got delayed due to the failure of a printer to deliver their work on time, according to a suit Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young has filed against D'Andrea Graphics. The action charges the firm with '...breach of contract, intentioanl interference with contract and conversioin' according to the City News Service and also seeks punative damages. The suit apparently is seeking reimbusement for refunds the band has paid to some 1,200 fans that pre-ordered the collection.
A George Harrison tribute timed to coincide with the release of a comprehensive Apple recording box set fo the former Beatles' recordings will be staged at the El Ray Theatre in LA September 28. We're not sure who put together the list of performers, but it is wide ranging and pretty bizarre. Participants include Weird Al Yankovic, Beach Boy Brian Wilson, Norah Jones, the Cult's Ian Asterbury, Ann Wislon of Heart, a couple of members of the Flaming Lips, Brandon Flowers and Mark Stoermer of the Killers and a number of other acts with little or no association with Harrison we know of. It does serve to show how braodly appreciated George was, although how enjoyable the evening would be to the average Harrison and Beatle fan is anybody's guess. HenneMusic.com
A Facebook page for something Ozzy Osbourne has cooked up for the Halloween season has sprung up. What's Hell Gate? A tour, an attraction... could be either, neither or, possibly, both. The page accumulated a couple of thousand followers in its first few hours, so it's obvious Ozzy fans are all about finding out. Take your best shot at www.facebook.com/OzzysHellGate.
Hearing Metallica secured a spot in the 2015 Guinness World Records roster, we assumed it had something to do with decibels. Turns out it had to do with where they played during instead of how they played. The group's 2013 world tour included concerts on every continent. The culminating performance of the 7 continent trek came with a 10 song set for 120 scientists and some contest winners in a geodesic dome on Antarctica in December. Out of concern for the penguins and whatever else would have been startled or transformed by a typical volume Metallica show, amps were encased in sound barrier cabinets and band members and audience heard the set through headphones. ClassicRock.TeamRock.com
With Ian Anderson out doing Jethro Tull material without the other members of the band, guitarist Martin Barre decided to do the same. The guitarist mounted a tour he said would allow him to include several songs Anderson was not inclined to do when Tull toured. Several of those tracks are among the 14 Barre an his band recorded in a single day studio session that will be released September 29. Barre says, 'Fans kept asking for a CD, but rather than record a gig we thought we'd record live in a studio, with all the energy of a show but with the best sound qaulity possible.' Accompanying Barre are singer DanCrisp, AlanThomson (bass), George Lindsay (drums) and Richard Beesley (saxophone). Prog,TeamRock.com
A security guard working a 2012 KISS concert at the Klipsch Music Center in Noblesville, Indiana has filed a suit against Gene Simmons over an injury he claims was caused by an unsafe stage due to a combination of confetti and water used during a September 1, 2012 concert. Timothy Funk claims he fell as a reslut of water being sprayed from hoses in what he describes as a '...foolish and reckless manner' that resulted in a '...slippery, waxy and glassy' stage. The venue, Live nation and Simmons are all named in the suit, which seeks compensatory reimbursement for his medical costs, compensation for lost wages and additional damages.
Jimi Jamison was not the lead singer on Survivor's biggest hit, Eye Of The Tiger, but he had the range and chops to mask that fact and was the front man for several other songs that gained mainstream radio traction, including The Moment of Truth fromt he Karate Kid soundtrack, Burning Heart from Rocky IV, Is This Love and The Search Is Over. The 63 year-old singer died of a heart attack on Sunday (8/31), according to a report by TMZ attributed to Jamison's agent. He had just returned to his Memphis home after a Survivor concerrt in California.
Neil Young has a project in the works that apparently includes an orchestra. The expected November 4 release titled Storytone involves the composer-arranger Chris Walden. Conductor Gina Zimmitti's Facebook page included photos of Young in a studio with her. Niko Bolas is evidently producing the sessions. He has worked with Young on a number of prvious albums, including This Note's For You, Fork In The Road and Living With War. Young tipped his hand in a Billboard interview when he discussed his interest in doing a minimalistic session with an orchestra - one that used a single microphone to capture all of the instruments.
A 'U2 project' has been confirmed as the reason a bridge and some roads in Dublin were shut down Sunday (8/24). A confidentiality agreement prevented officials from revealing the basis of the closures, wihich took place despite increased traffic on the roads due to an Irish railways strike. Nonetheless, word did leak and crowds of U2 fans stood in a soaking rain in hopes of seeing the band. Filming was reportedly done by Pull The Trigger, the company that produced the video for Sweetest Thing. The shoot last weekend was apparently being done for a new song titled Summer Nights. No word on whether any band members were on the scene. Independent.ie