Greetings! Three cd’s stand out in an otherwise dull week of releases. Please subscribe to this and the Minneapolis Movies Examiner page. It’s free to have both emailed directly into your life. Thank you!
SPECIAL NOTE: The MSP Music Expo enjoyed a good turnout despite the ugly weather this past Sunday. In last week’s article about the Expo, it was stated that a second show in Rochester, MN, was being planned. That’s even more factual than anticipated. Rochester Music Expo #2 will be held on Sun., April 3, 2011. Stay tuned for more details but local dealers wishing to rent a table and make the drive are encouraged to contact Tim through www.mspmusicexpo.com. Tables are going quickly due to the success of Show #1. Dealers should also note that that is the day after the April VFW show. Full details are available on the website. Dealers should be aware that classic country is a big seller as well as classic rock. Please tell everyone you know in the Rochester area as well as the Cities. By April 3rd, cabin fever will have made a road trip sound like a great idea.
NEW CD’S, TUES., 18 JAN. 2011:
BLACKMORE’S RAINBOW: “AUTUMN SKY” on Spinefarm/Fontana SRP: $16 www.blackmoresnight.com
As everyone living on the surface of Planet Earth knows, Richie Blackmore was the lead guitarist and co-founder of Deep Purple in the late ’60’s. His fiery personality and perfectionism led him away from Purple to his own band-Rainbow. Then back to Purple. Then back to Rainbow. Then to the most radical departure in the history of time. He met Candice Night who sang backup on a couple of Rainbow trax which she co-wrote (sort of) with Richie. To his delight, he discovered she was also into Renaissance music. The two punned their own last names into a band name, added some session musicians and went on the road as a bunch of travelling minstrels-playing Renaissance music for some stunned hardcore Purple/Rainbow fans.
Needless to say, many devout hard rock fans bailed on their hero. Yet, the duo persisted with their mates and are now 11 albums along their journey (counting hits and compilation albums). “Autumn Sky” offers more Renaissance material, a few originals and a couple covers including “Can’t Help Falling in Love”. This is not likely to draw any of those hard rock fans into the fold but the truly loyal will enjoy this material. Ms. Night (or Mrs. Blackmore, if you prefer) still has a smooth strong voice that is ideally suited for this presentation and Blackmore is as versitile on acoustic guitar as he is on electric.
Best Buy carries these titles until they sell out. Cheapo and the Fetus offer them much longer and can specially order them for you if they sell out. It’s not a bad thing that Blackmore chose to explore a passion contrary to hard rock. It’s weird but not bad. If you can expand your mind to accept that, this stuff is really pretty good. If not, it’s still pretty good-you’ll just never know it.
Blackmore’s Night is not currently touring.
GREGG ALLMAN: “LOW COUNTRY BLUES” on Rounder. SRP: $11. Also on vinyl: SRP-$25. www.GreggAllman.com
This is Gregg’s first solo album in 14 years, produced by T. Bone Burnette. True to his first love, Gregg has written one new track but added covers of 11 blues songs by the likes of B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Otis Rush and more. Songs included are “Floating Bridge”, “Checking on my Baby”, “Rolling Stone” and “I Can’t Be Satisfied”. Dr. John plays keys and Doyle Bramhall II plays guitar.
Fans of the Allman Brothers and Gregg’s solo work are well aware that Gregg is aging gracefully and his voice is still in great shape. This album will appeal to his fans but should cross over quite easily to blues fans who recognize the material and appreciate how well he can interpret this genre.
Again, Best Buy carries this title till it sells out. Cheapo and the Fetus will add this to their more complete backlog of this artist.
Allman’s tour is just starting up with 2 East Coast dates in Jan. and 13 dates in March at NYC’s Beacon Theatre from the 10th to the 26th. Check his website for additional dates but wait till late Feb./early March.
STEVE LUKATHER: “ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL” on Mascot Records. SRP: $17. Also on vinyl (import): SRP-$27.
Lukather, a fine guitarist and adequate vocalist, is a songwriter, session man and co-founder of Toto. He’s played behind Stevie Nicks, Warren Zevon and Don Henley among others. He’s written hits for George Benson and the Tubes among others. He’s offering this album as an ironically titled contrast to the chaos that is his life at the moment. He calls it his best work yet and he would know, having heard everything he’s done.
This album will be found more readily at Cheapo or the Fetus. Best Buy and the chains don’t always carry solo albums by artists who are/were with well-known bands. It’s their loss. Solo projects are not a sign of the Apocalypse, contrary to what former fans of Richie Blackmore will tell you.
All tour dates in support of this album are in Europe and the UK. All tour dates with Toto are also in Europe and the UK. The Toto tour begins in June so check his website (or Toto’s) for updates. Either solo or with Toto, Lukather is fun to watch and his playing is superb onstage.
After all is said and done, it’s all about the music…