April 21, 2010


Joe Boyd is a name kept in high reverence by all the aficionados of progressive and folk rock. Not content to rest on his laurels, the legendary producer is still active when it comes to his former charges. The driving force behind the tribute events to Syd Barrett and Nick Drake, on June 12th, this year, Boyd checks in to the Richard Thompson-curated Meltdown Festival at London’s Royal Festival Hall with a concert dedicated to the memory of Kate McGarrigle who died in January. Being aware of the date as the day when England, where he made most of his classic records, battles his native USA in the World Cup, Joe nevertheless invites everyone to see the great late singer’s family and famous friends, including Emmylou Harris and Linda Thompson, perform her songs. Must be one of the most interesting summer events!


There’s nothing new with Carlos Santana doing other people’s songs: if only on “Abraxas”, his band famously recorded Tito Puente’s “Oye Como Va” and Peter Green’s “Black Magic Woman”, the latter – as well as, say, THE ZOMBIES’ “She’s Not There” – going to show contemporary rock classics are as dear to the guitarist’s heart as Latin rhythms. Fitting for the Latin rock pioneer! But this summer, the veteran’s new album will feature more of those, including (and that’s a real surprise) DEEP PURPLE’s anthem “Smoke On The Water”. In master’s own words, “When you hear this, you’re gonna do ‘Damn!’ because it sounds so powerful, with vitality and vibrancy”.


Back in 2005, when this scribe asked  Jon Anderson  if he’d ever thought about doing something together with Rick Wakeman, an evening of music and spoken word, the singer said, “Yes, we thought about doing something next spring, and I think we will”. A little later than planned, they indeed did play some shows – unfortunately, not caught on tape, a lone bootleg notwithstanding. But now, having jumped the YES ship for different reasons, the two are gearing up for five shows in Autumn to perform their former band classics and, which is much greater news, some fresh music. More so, the keyboard wizard says the next year is going to be “potentially mind-blowing”. Oh yes, now the appetite’s been whetted.

Meanwhile, Rick and Jon’s former bandmate, Steve Howe – whose other ensemble, ASIA, have just released their second post-reunion album, “Omega” – has come up with two new collections. The first, “Homebrew 4”, the latest addition to the guitarist’s out-takes and sketches series, features another YES and ASIA member Geoff Downes on keyboards and includes some interesting pieces, among them “Closer Than Before” which later became a basis for “One Step Closer” from the “Asia” LP, and “Lily’s In The Field” that Howe laid down in the company of Annie Haslam of RENAISSANCE fame. The full tracklisting goes like this:

1. Beginnings
2. The Inner Battle
3. Take It In Hand
4. Mainland
5. Distant Seas
6. Wayward Course II
7. Georgia’s Song
8. Solar Winds II
9. High Flyer
10. Sensitive Chaos
11. Really Know
12. White
13. Upabove Somewhere
14. Closer Than Before
15. Lily’s In The Field
16. Have You Forgotten Love?
17. Go To This
18. What Am I?
19. Nothing To Cry For

The second collection is “Travelling” by STEVE HOWE TRIO, a follow-up to another live album, 2008’s “The Haunted Melody”. Recorded on the British and Canadian stages last year, it’s shorter than bootlegs and doesn’t represent the band’s full show but includes, alongside the interpretations of some YES perennials, a wondrous readings of Roland Kirk’s “The Haunted Melody”, Kenny Burrell’s title track and “Kenny’s Sound” and, funnily, THE HOLLIES’ “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”. And that’s just four months in 2010’s Steve Howe world!

1. Blue Bash
2. Dream River
3. Travelin’
4. The Haunted Melody
5. Tune Up
6. Siberian Khatru
7. Mood For A Day
8. He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother
9. Momenta
10. Kenny’s Sound
11. Laughing With Larry
12. Close To The Edge


While WHITESNAKE are still very much active, their live show sometimes disappoint what with David Coverdale’s cracking voice and occasional overload from his young guns. That’s why, perhaps, there’s a healthy interest to the band’s former stalwarts. And, with M3 CLASSIC WHITESNAKE having run their course and met, it’s been said, legal action from Coverdale, a new ensemble arose. While Bernie Marsden is working on a covers album, his guitar partner Micky Moody and bass compadre Neil Murray  engaged ex-HOME and WISHBONE ASH axe-grinder Laurie Wisefield, who played with Murray in the “We Will Rock You” band at London’s dominion theater, plus HEARTLAND and VIRGINIA WOLF’s vocalist Chris Ousey, MAGNUM and THUNDER drummer Harry James and keyboardist Michael Bramwell, who also was in the “WWRY” behind-the-scene cast and worked with such six-string luminaries as Uli Jon Roth and Mick Clarke to hit the road as MONSTERS OF BRITISH ROCK. Which, with their collective credentials, they, of course, are. It’s too early to talk of a studio recording but here’s hoping.


After a long gestation, Doogie White‘s first ever solo album is ready but there’s no release date as of yet. There’s a title, though, “As Yet Untitled”, showing the former RAINBOW, Yngwie Malmsteen and CORNERSHOP warbler’s sense of humor. The Scot has invited a stellar cast of players to immerse his voice in. These include guitarists Pontus Norgren from HAMMERFALL and Marcus Jidell of ROYAL HUNT fame, bassists Neil Murray who’s played with many a heavy name and Greg Smith, another Ritchie Blackmore’s cohort, plus one more RAINBOW alumuns, Tony Carey and DREAM THEATER’s Derek Sherinian on keyboards, and RISING FORCE and WASP drummer Patrick Johansson. Surely, a classic hard rock endeavor. Some of the new material will possibly be aired during White’s forthcoming charity shows, partially graced by Jon Lord.

2. Time Machine
3. Lonely
4. Dreams
5. Lie Down And Die
6. Land Of The Deceiver
7. Sea Of Emotion
8. Catz Got Yer Tongue
9. Living On The Cheap
10. Times Like These
11. Small Town Saturday Night


Her name is known mainly by serious music lovers, but Lesley Duncan‘s voice has found its way to most homes on Earth. The ones who didn’t hear Elton John – who isn’t prone to doing other people’s material – cover her “Love Song” on his “Tumbleweed Connection”, could have heard the song in one of one hundred plus various versions. Or heard her voice woven into the psyched-out fabric of “The Dark Side Of The Moon”. Before that, Lesley took part in the original recording of “Jesus Christ Superstar”; after that, started a solo career at the same time appearing on the albums by such different artists as jazz rock heavies ZZEBRA and ethereal Donovan and many others, blues giant Long John Baldry and airy Kate Bush as well as delivering a stellar lead vocal on “If I Could Change Your Mind” that closes ALAN PARSONS PROJECT’s “Eve” and helping out Ringo Starr, a friend from the old days when Duncan backed Dusty Springfield.

Lesley Duncan left music business for good in 1986 to spend happy days with her husband, a famous record producer Tony Cox. And it was in his arms that the great unsung singer passed away on March 12th, aged 66.


Many don’t know but it was with THE STRAWBS that the great Sandy Denny started her recording life with. The songs they did together, including the legendary “Who Knows Where The Time Goes?” that the singer definitively re-cut with FAIRPORT CONVENTION, have been available in various forms over the years after the 1973’s release as “All Our Own Work”. But now the same title adorns the sleeve of the collection of the band’s entire output laid down in Copenhagen in July 1967, not 1968 as it was claimed earlier. Here’s the same album, plus out-takes and demos, and expanded booklet that Dave Cousins took an active part in with regard to compiling.

Original album:
1. On My Way
2. Who Knows Where The Times Goes?
3. Tell Me What You See In Me
4. Always On My Mind
5. Stay Awhile With Me
6. Wild Strawberries
7. All I Need Is You
8. How Everyone But Sam Was A Hypocrite
9. Sail Away To The Sea
10. Sweetling
11. Nothing Else Will Do (Cousins – lead vocal)
12. And You Need Me
Out-takes and demos:
13. Two Weeks Last Summer (Denny – lead vocal)
14. Nothing Else Will Do (Denny – lead vocal)
15. Tell Me What You See In Me (with sitar and percussion)
16. Who Knows Where The Time Goes? (with string section)
17. Stay Awhile With Me (with string section)
18. And You Need Me (with string section)
19. I’ve Been My Own Worst Friend
20. Poor Jimmy Wilson
21. Strawberry Picking
Unreleased demos:
22. The Family Duval
23. The Falling leaves
24. Pieces Of 79 And 15 

April 21, 2010

Category(s): News

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