Saturday, May 22, 2010

Bettye LaVette: 'Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook'

Every once in a while you hear some music you weren't really planning to care too much about, and get blown away. Today that happened to me while listening to soul legend Bettye LaVette's new disc; "Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook".

Anticipating her singing songs from Led Zeppelin, Moody Blues, and The Rolling Stones I wasn't expecting much. Cover versions usually leave me cold, but these are something else entirely. She OWNS these songs. Think of Johnny Cash's "American Recordings" series and you get an idea of what an artist can do with other people's material. Bettye takes these 60's and 70's rock and roll tunes and makes them sound like soul classics.

My favorites are her takes on Zeppelin's "All of my Love" and The Stones "Salt of the Earth". And "Nights in White Satin" may be my favorite new cover of all time.

Run don't walk to your local record store to pick this up. You will not be sorry!


1. The Word (John Lennon/Paul McCartney)
2. No Time To Live (James Capaldi/Stephen Winwood)
3. Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (Bennie Benjamin/Gloria Caldwell/Sol Marcus)
4. All My Love (John Baldwin/Robert Plant)
5. Isn’t It A Pity (George Harrison)
6. Wish You Were Here (David Gilmour/Roger Waters)
7. It Don’t Come Easy (Richard Starkey)
8. Maybe I’m Amazed (Paul McCartney)
9. Salt Of The Earth (Michael Jagger/Keith Richards)
10. Nights In White Satin (David Hayward)
11.Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad (Eric Clapton/Bobby Whitlock)
12. Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me (Elton John/Bernard Taupin)
13. Love Reign O’er Me (Peter Townshend) (BONUS TRACK)

Friday, May 14, 2010

New Tom Petty!!

The always reliable Tom Petty is back with a new album with his Heartbreakers called "Mojo". Set for release in June, the band will be hitting the summer tour circuit with opening bands as diverse as CSN, Drive-By Truckers, Buddy Guy, Z.Z. Top, My Morning Jacket, and Joe Cocker.

Based on this fiery first single, I'd say the band hasn't lost a step. And based on the lyrical content, the wounds from Petty's divorce a few years ago haven't quite healed. Rave on Tom!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

30 years with The Church: Live at the Park West, Chicago, IL

This spring, the legendarily underrated band The Church toured tiny venues in the U.S. for their (amazingly) 30'th Anniversary tour titled "An Intimate Space". The tour was a must-see for their small but die-hard fanbase. Each night, the band played one song from each of their 23 studio albums in reverse chronological order, all while humorously telling tales from the long road and their recording history. Oh yeah, they also gave each ticket holder a immaculately put together program and CD with 4 unreleased tracks. Name another band that would do something remotely close to that, let alone one that has lasted 30 years!?

Best known for the now classic "Under the Milky Way", The Church is one of those bands that should be huge, but bad timing and artistic integrity got in their way. While Coldplay, The Killers, and Muse sell millions of discs (files?) and pack stadiums, The Church consistently create studio masterpiece after masterpiece and tour in relative obscurity. That is a shame for the masses who deserve to hear them, and a blessing for the lucky few whose lives have been changed by their music. Let's hope they keep going for decades to come.

I was able to catch them on the tour in Madison, WI (see pic above) but this show is from the next night in Chicago, IL. Enjoy and huge thanks to the taper; Alien Rendel!!

The Church
April 15, 2010
Park West-Chicago, IL

set 1
1) Pangea
2) Space Needle
3) Reptile
4) Ionian Blues
5) The Unguarded Moment
6) Appalatia
7) Invisible
8) Louisiana
9) Comedown
10) My Little Problem

set 2
11) Mistress
12) Metropolis
13) Under the Milky-Way
14) Already Yesterday
15) 10,000 Miles
16) Fly
17) Almost With You
18) Tear It All Away

19) Disarm
20) Space Saviour
21) Grind