Hard to believe but, at 85, the great Nick Gravenites still grinds in the field of music – if “grinds” is a correct word for someone doing what they love and what they helped define. And it’s easy to believe that, without Nick, modern music wouldn’t sound the same because the Chicagoan guitarist’s playing and/or writing graced such influential platters as THE PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND’s eponymous debut, THE ELECTRIC FLAG’s “A Long Time Comin'” and “Pearl” by Janis Joplin. Just as prominent is his friend Pete Sears whose bass or keyboards everybody could hear on Rod Stewart’s “Gasoline Alley” and JEFFERSON STARSHIP’s “Red Octopus” to name but a couple records. The two veterans also worked together for years – and they bring forth a joint album on April 5th.
It’s been close to eight years since Bernie Worrell, the most fantastic driver of ivories, left this planet for some other plane of existence, to become a sonic wave still resonating amongst those who loved his work alongside George Clinton, Jack Bruce and Bill Laswell and who lost the cosmic soul he used to be. Given the abundance of pieces the veteran wrote and performed as a solo artist, there was no doubt his archives were bursting with material that didn’t land on plastic, and it was just a matter of time before previously unheard music would see the light of day. And the day is April 20th, a day after The Wizard of Woo’s 80th anniversary.
An underestimated colossus of British rock, Bobby Tench has passed away at the age of 79. He was a unique artist: a lead singer who could effortlessly blend into the background and become a simple guitarist – if the word “simple” is a fitting one for a performer of such grand stature, yet it speaks volumes of Tench always being aware of his place in the entire sonic picture. And the list of records with Bobby on speaks volumes of his immense influence on the worldwide scale.
When it comes to THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT no-one knows which of their classic albums is going to be up next for an anniversary reissue, but there’s a strong suspicion that a platter’s being readied for deluxe treatment is “Pyramid” whose original arrival in 1978 makes it a belated candidate. However, the calendar is not the only indicator: much better significance has the record’s rough cut which will appear on the shelves on Record Store Day.
It’s one of the most deplorable fads, artists recording their classic albums anew to possibly find fresh facets to familiar fodder, unless the latter-day document has on-stage origins. And that’s exactly how “Fu##in’ Up” by Neil Young and CRAZY HORSE appeared to be, when the veterans secretly performed 1990’s “Ragged Glory” almost entirely in November 2023, docking only the platter’s final track. The 36th best grunge album of all time as announced by “Rolling Stone” in 2019 is to come alive on various formats April 26th (and only on vinyl a week earlier, for Record Store Day).