August 20, 2014
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Classic Hits News

Cleopatra RecordsAn impressive roster of virtuoso musicians, including Deep Purple's Steve Morse, Guns N' Roses' Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal and ex-Dire Straits guitarist Hal Lindes, have lent their talents to a new album that pays tribute to U.S. military personnel who have risked their lives for their country.  The Guitars for Wounded Warriors CD, which was released on Tuesday, was organized by multiple Emmy Award-winning producer/composer Brian Tarquin.

Tarquin produced and wrote all of the songs on the album, and he also plays guitar alongside the various guest musicians.  Other noted guitarists featured on the record include Reb Beach of Whitesnake and Winger, Chris Poland of Megadeth, Billy Sheehan of Mr. Big and Alex De Rosso of Dokken.

All of the songs on the album were inspired by the combat experiences of U.S. troops.

"It is an honor to be a part of this cause," says Morse.  "I was just turning drafting age at the end of the Vietnam War, and I still remember that the returning military weren't always treated with the greatest respect.  For our modern, volunteer military, we hopefully have learned to show our respect and gratitude."

Adds Bumblefoot, "Had a blast trading solos with Brian Tarquin!!  And best of all, this album supports an important cause, Wounded Warriors.  Love to our Warriors, and to everyone for their support."

Here is the complete track list for Guitars for Wounded Warriors:

"Black Hawk" -- featuring Billy Sheehan
"Taliban Terror" -- featuring Bumblefoot & Reb Beach
"Charlie Surfs" -- featuring Chris Poland
"5 Klicks to Hell" -- featuring Gary Hoey
"Surgical Strike" -- featuring The Flyin' Ryan Brothers
"Hunting" -- featuring Chris Poland
"Baghdad" -- featuring Gary Hoey
"Broken Arrow" -- featuring Alex De Rosso
"Sand & Blood" -- featuring Hal Lindes
"Escape Kabul" -- featuring Chuck Loeb
"Freedom" -- featuring Steve Morse


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

08/20/2014 11:00:48am

Parlophone RecordsA new three-CD compilation celebrating the 50th anniversary of one of the great U.K. pop-rock groups of the 1960s and '70s, The Hollies, will be released on October 21.  50 at Fifty features a career-spanning selection of songs, including the band's many hits, some album gems, a number of concert performances and a brand-new tune recorded by the current Hollies lineup.

Led by singers Allan Clarke and Graham Nash and guitarist Tony Hicks, the original Hollies scored such hits as "Look Through Any Window," "Stop Stop Stop," "Bus Stop," "Carrie Anne" and "On a Carousel" during the band's 1960s heyday.  After Nash left to join Crosby, Stills & Nash in late 1968, he was replaced by singer/guitarist Terry Sylvester, with whom the group released some of its most successful singles, including "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother," "Long Cool Woman (in a Black Dress)" and "The Air That I Breathe."

All of those songs appear on 50 at Fifty, as do a few tunes from 1983's What Goes Around…, which saw Nash reuniting with his old group.  The new track, "Skylarks," was recorded this year and co-written by longtime Hollies drummer Bobby Elliot and the band's current lead singer, Peter Howarth.

"I feel quite privileged to be writing the 50th track on this compilation, which contains some of our best work," says Elliot in a statement.  "I'm in good company with my buddies Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks, and Graham Nash, who, throughout our career, have written some outstanding Hollies material."  He adds, "'Skylarks' takes us in a new direction -- nothing new for The Hollies.  It's back to our inventive roots in many ways."

The current Hollies, which also features founding member Hicks, will mount a European tour commemorating the golden anniversary starting September 16 in Tampere, Finland.

Here is the complete track list of 50 at Fifty:

Disc One
"(Ain't That) Just Like Me"
"Searchin'"
"Stay"
"Just One Look"
"Here I Go Again"
"We're Through"
"Yes I Will"
"I'm Alive"
"Look Through Any Window"
"If I Needed Someone"
"I Can't Let Go"
"Bus Stop"
"Pay You Back with Interest"
"Stop! Stop! Stop!"
"On a Carousel"
"Carrie Anne"
"King Midas in Reverse"
"Jennifer Eccles"
"Listen to Me"
"Sorry Suzanne"

Disc Two
"He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother"
"I Can't Tell the Bottom from the Top"
"Gasoline Alley Bred"
"Hey Willy"
"The Baby"
"Long Cool Woman (in a Black Dress)"
"Magic Woman Touch"
"The Day That Curly Billy Shot Down Crazy Sam McGhee"
"The Air That I Breathe"
"Lonely Hobo Lullaby"
"4th of July Asbury Park (Sandy)"
"I'm Down"
"There's Always Goodbye"
"Boulder to Birmingham"
"Too Young to Be Married" (Live)
"Daddy Don't Mind"

Disc Three
"Hello to Romance"
"Amnesty"
"Soldiers Song"
"Heartbeat"
"If the Lights Go Out" (First Version)
"Take My Love and Run" (First version)
"Stop in the Name of Love"
"Let Her Go Down"
"Too Many Hearts Get Broken"
"Laughter Turns to Tears"
"So Damn Beautiful"
"On a Carousel" (Live)
"Then, Now Always (Dolphin Days)" (Live)
"Skylarks" (New 2014 Recording)


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

08/20/2014 11:00:47am

Image Courtesy of Danny ClinchNeil Young will team up with his friend and fellow Farm Aid founder Willie Nelson to play a September 27 benefit show aimed at fighting a proposed petroleum pipeline that would run from western Canada into the midwestern U.S. through farms and indigenous tribal lands.

The "Harvest the Hope" event will be held on a farm near Neligh, Nebraska, and will raise money for three organizations -- Bold Nebraska, the Indigenous Environmental Network and the Cowboy & Indian Alliance -- that are opposed to the TransCanada Corporation's planned Keystone XL pipeline.  The structure would cross the Ponca Tribe's historic "Trail of Tears" in the northeastern part of the state.

The benefit also will support several local clean-energy initiatives on farms and tribal areas.  The concert will take place during the afternoon on a field in the farm, which is owned by a family that is refusing to sell its land to the TransCanada company.

In addition to Young and Nelson, the event's performers will include Willie's son Lukas, Native American hip-hop artist Frank Waln and a collective of local musicians called the Stopping the Pipeline Rocks All-Stars.

Tickets for the show will go on sale on Wednesday starting at 10 a.m. CT at BoldNebraska.org.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

08/20/2014 06:00:13am

Jim Brown/ShowtimeAs one of the most famous musicians ever to hail from Long Island, New York, Billy Joel was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame back in 2006.  Now, his original backing band will receive the same honor.

The New York Post reports that the surviving members of Joel's group, who haven't played together in 20 years as a result of lineup changes, lawsuits and one member's suicide, will reunite during the induction ceremony in Huntington, New York, on October 23. 

According to the Post, among the members who'll be appearing are drummer Liberty DeVitto and sax and keyboard player Richie Cannata, both of whom played on classic albums like Turnstiles, The Stranger, 52nd Street and Glass Houses. 

It's not clear if Billy himself will be on hand for the ceremony, either as an observer, inductor or performer.  Unlike Bruce Springsteen, who inducted his E Street Band into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year and then performed with them at the ceremony, Joel may not be on the best of terms with his former band mates.  Cannata was replaced by Mark Rivera on sax in 1982, and DeVitto and Billy were involved in a legal dispute that led to the drummer's departure from the band in 2006.  Bass player Doug Stegmeyer, who'd been let go before the 1989 album Storm Front was recorded, took his own life in 1995.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

08/19/2014 07:01:03pm

Image Courtesy of Nels IsraelsonJackson Browne fans can get their first taste of the folk-rocker's upcoming studio album, Standing in the Breach, by visiting RollingStone.com, which is hosting an exclusive stream of the record's lead single, "The Birds of St. Marks."

Browne tells Rolling Stone that the song actually dates back to early in his career, when he was playing guitar for Velvet Underground singer Nico in New York City during the late 1960s.

"I was freeloading off friends on the Lower East Side," Browne recalls of the time.  "I came to New York with no money at all, and I got this job playing for Nico, which sort of saved me because I had nothing going."  Jackson reveals that late singer/songwriter Tim Buckley, with whom he was friendly, suggested him for the gig, while remembering that Velvet Underground band mates Sterling Morrison and Lou Reed also would back up Nico depending on the night.

Browne also points out that "The Birds of St. Marks" was inspired in part by one of the most famous folk-rock bands of that time.

"This is a song I always heard as a Byrds song, and that was even part of the writing of the song because Nico loved The Byrds," he explains.  "She even said on a couple of occasions, 'Oh, you can play something like [frontman] Jim McGuinn?'  Her tastes were really eclectic."

The new version of the song features Browne's longtime lead guitarist Greg Leisz playing 12-string guitar in a style very reminiscent of McGuinn's.

Standing in the Breach will be released on October 7.  Those pre-ordering the album now via Amazon, iTunes and JacksonBrowne.com will receive an instant digital download of "The Birds of St. Marks."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

08/19/2014 03:00:00pm

Image Courtesy of Roger WatersA new concert film featuring performances from three stops on Roger Waters' The Wall Live Tour over the last few years will premiere at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival on September 6 at 9:15 p.m.  Roger Waters: The Wall captures the former Pink Floyd singer/bassist's dramatic multimedia spectacle, which featured a full performance of his old band's classic 1979 concept album, accompanied by video projections, giant puppets, pyrotechnics, various theatrical interludes and, of course, the construction of a wall across the stage.

The movie, which was directed by Waters and the tour's co-creative director, Sean Evans, is described in the festival's synopsis as "a rib-rattling, sonically stupendous piece of filmmaking."  It will include footage of Waters visiting the French cemetery where his grandfather -- who was killed during World War I -- is buried, as well as his journey to Anzio, Italy, near the site where his father was killed during World War II when Roger was a baby.  Waters' struggle to come to terms with his dad's death partly inspired him to write The Wall.

The first leg of The Wall Live Tour launched in September 2010, and the trek finally wound down in September 2013.  The tour featured a total of 219 performances and grossed more than $458 million.

Following its premiere, Roger Waters: The Wall will be screened two more times at the fest: on September 7 at 2:45 p.m. and on September 14 at 8 p.m.  Visit TIFF.net for screening details.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

08/19/2014 03:00:00pm

A.M.P.A.S.(r)/Michael YadaBack in March, a U2 rep told U.K. newspaper The Guardian that the Irish rockers were planning to release their long-awaited new album sometime this year, contrary to a then-recent report from Billboard suggesting that the record wouldn't arrive until 2015.  Now, more evidence has emerged that the band's follow-up to 2009's No Line on the Horizon will indeed be released in 2014, and could even hit stores before the end of October.

A U2 spokesperson tells Rolling Stone, "We've always said an album is expected this year."  In addition, a rep for the band's label confirmed to the usually reliable fan site AtU2.com earlier this month that the record will be released in 2014.

Meanwhile, The Irish Times reported in a recent article that "a music industry source" shared some more specific predictions about the time frame for the album's arrival, as well as about a tour in support of the record.

"[There will be a] single in September, album September-October, tour announced December, first date April next year," the source said.  "The album has been actually been finished for a few months, but a decision was taken not to release during the summer months because of holidays, etc."  The source also claimed that the group was plotting to put out the record "with little of the fanfare usually associated with a new U2 album."

In other news, French newspaper Nice-Matin reported that U2 was in Nice, France, last week shooting a new video.

The band has worked on tracks for the album with a variety of respected producers, including Danger Mouse, Paul Epworth, David Guetta, RedOne, Ryan Tedder and Will.i.am. When the new album is released, it will be the longest they've worked on a single album.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

08/19/2014 11:00:29am

Danny ClinchMidnight Rider executive producer Jay Sedrish pleaded not guilty Monday to criminal trespassing and involuntary manslaughter in the death of 27-year-old camera assistant Sarah Jones, Deadline.com reports.

Jones died on the first day of shooting of the Gregg Allman biopic in Georgia back in February. The crew was filming on live train tracks when an oncoming train barreled through, killing Jones and injuring several others.

Sedrish, director Randall Miller and Miller’s wife and fellow producer, Jody Savin, were all charged in the incident. Miller and Savin pleaded not guilty last month.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor cited the production for one willful and one serious safety violation. Film Allman LLC has until August 29 to pay a proposed $74,900 fine or contest the violations.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

08/19/2014 06:00:10am

Autumn de Wilde/Verve RecordsSmokey Robinson teamed up with a variety of well-known singers on his new duets album, Smokey & Friends, which hits stores today, August 19.  The 11-track collection features new interpretations of songs the Motown legend wrote or co-wrote, either for his old group, The Miracles,  or for The Temptations or his own solo career.

Among the famous friends who put their unique spin on Robinson's tunes was Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, who paired his voice with Smokey's on a version of the Miracles classic "You Really Got a Hold on Me."

Describing Tyler as his "fun brother," Robinson tells ABC News Radio, "We've always had a good time together.  I love Steven.  So, we did 'You Really Got a Hold on Me' rock."  Smokey reveals that Tyler told him he picked the song because he "loved it" and has been singing it for years, sometimes even playing it with Aerosmith.

Two other veteran stars who are featured on Smokey & Friends are Elton John and James Taylor, who sang "The Tracks of My Tears" and "Ain't That Peculiar," respectively.  Robinson says he's known both singers for years and worked with them on numerous occasions.

"[Elton's] just a wonderful...We are really good friends," says Smokey.  "And I performed for his AIDS Foundation many times."  He also recalls fondly singing with John, Taylor and Sting at one of the ex-Police frontman's Rainforest Fund benefit concerts at New York's Carnegie Hall. "It's a great thing to work with your friends like that," Robinson adds.

Robinson explains that the concept behind Smokey & Friends was the brainchild of the album's producer, longtime American Idol judge Randy Jackson, whom he says "was a joy" to work with.

"Randy…called a bunch of artists and asked them to pick their favorite Smokey Robinson song," points out the singer.  "And he recorded that particular song with that artist, and what he did also was to let that artist do like a demo of their take on that song…And I'd just adhere to whatever their interpretation of the song was."

Smokey tells ABC News Radio that one of the guest singers whose contribution most impressed him was Mary J. Blige, who sang with him on a rendition of his 1981 solo hit "Being with You."

"When I first heard her version of it, I told Randy…'Man, I don't want to sing on this…Just let her be on there,'" he recalls with a laugh.  "So, I did the best I could to match her, but it was rough, 'cause she is awesome."

Other guest artists featured on the record include Sheryl Crow, John Mayer, John Legend, Cee Lo Green and Jessie J.

Asked if he has any plans for a special concert that would feature some of his Smokey & Friends collaborators, Robinson says "no," although he doesn't rule out hitting the stage with those artists at some point.

"If sometimes I'm doing a concert and one or more of these artists are available, we would love for them to come," he maintains, "or if they're doing a concert somewhere and I'm available, we would love to do that too."

Robinson has a bunch of upcoming dates on his tour itinerary.  You can check them out at SmokeyRobinson.com/Tour.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

08/19/2014 06:00:09am

Kevin Mazur/WireImagePaul McCartney and Barbra Streisand were just two of the many celebrities in attendance at Ronald Perelman's fifth annual fundraiser for New York City's famed Apollo Theater, held Saturday at the multimillionaire businessman's estate in East Hampton, New York.

Jamie Foxx served as the master of ceremonies for the bash, which, according to The Wall Street Journal, included performances by Gladys Knight, Sting, Jon Bon Jovi and pop/R&B star Pharrell Williams.  The newspaper reports that Knight received a standing ovation for her rendition of her classic hit "Midnight Train to Georgia," while the ex-Police frontman sang some of his old band's hits and Bon Jovi, appropriately, belted out a version of the Barrett Strong classic "Money (That's What I Want)."

During the festivities Foxx called on a number of famous attendees to show off their best dance moves, including McCartney, General Colin Powell, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, U.S. Sen. John McCain and director Spike Lee.

The guest list for the fundraiser also included Pink Floyd's Roger Waters, Robert De Niro, Don Johnson, Lorne Michaels, Penny Marshall, movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and Streisand's husband, James Brolin.  Tables at the benefit were said to have cost between $50,000 and $100,000.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

08/18/2014 07:00:41pm

Republic Records/Universl Music"Troubled Man," the lead track from John Mellencamp's upcoming 22nd studio album, Plain Spoken, got its exclusive premiere on RollingStone.com on Monday.

The tune, which will be available for purchase as a digital download via iTunes starting on Tuesday, is an intimate-sounding introspective song featuring rootsy instrumentation -- acoustic guitars, fiddle and simple percussion.

As previously reported, Plain Spoken will be released on September 23.  Mellencamp is planning to mount a North American tour in support of the record, his follow-up to 2010's No Better Than This, but no dates have been announced yet.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

08/18/2014 07:00:00pm

MPL/Mary McCartney; Universal Music GroupPaul McCartney is a fan of Grammy-winning rapper Kanye West, but is he actually making music with him?  According to a new report, yes.

Source tells the New York Post's Page Six column that the former Beatle and Kim Kardashian's husband have been "quietly collaborating" on several tracks, which could eventually turn into an album.  One of the songs is reportedly called "P*** on My Grave," with Page Six claiming Kim has been overheard telling friends that she's surprised that the two would use such a provocative title.

West attended McCartney's concert at L.A.'s Dodger Stadium last week.

During a Twitter interview last year, McCartney revealed that West's disc Yeezus was one of the albums he'd purchased recently, along with Jay Z's Magna Carta...Holy Grail.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

08/18/2014 03:00:33pm

Sigrid Gatens/Michael McMorrow"Get Back," a Seattle concert celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Beatles' first performance in the Emerald City will be held on August 23.  The show, which will take place at McCaw Hall, will feature a variety of musicians linked to the Pacific Northwest music scene, including current Heart drummer Ben Smith and Foo Fighters bassist Nate Mendel.

Members of the "Get Back" collective will play the entire 12-song set from the Fab Four's August 21, 1964, show at the Seattle Coliseum. After that, the all-star cast will present the classic Beatles album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band from front to back along with a little help from a 50-piece orchestra. Among the other musicians slated to perform at the concert are Tracy Bonham and Barry Curtis, a longtime member of The Kingsmen, who are famous for their early-1960s hit "Louie Louie."

Tickets are on sale now via Ticketmaster.com.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

08/18/2014 03:00:32pm

Image Courtesy of Kristin BurnsStevie Nicks is known for her signature look as much as for her music, and nothing's more part of that look than her famous shawls.  Now, the Fleetwood Mac frontwoman is inviting fans to design one for her -- with a cash prize going to the creator of the winning garment.

Nicks is partnering with the website Talenthouse for the contest, which challenges fans to "design a show-stopping shawl inspired by her mystical visual style and symbolic lyrics."  You can submit either a sketch of your design, or the actual garment, but either must include a written explanation of why you think Stevie will love it. 

The winner, selected by Nicks based on substance, creativity and originality, gets $2,000, which they can use to produce the final version of their design, as well as a professional photo of Stevie wearing it.  The photo, and the winner, will be featured on Nicks' website and social media channels -- and he or she will get the shawl back.  A runner-up will be voted on by the Talenthouse community and will receive $500.

The Talenthouse website features a quote from the singer explaining her love of shawls.  "In 1968, a very handsome boy brought me a poncho from South America.  I knew it was magic and that some day I would copy it in chiffon or leather or beaded material," she says.  "I realized that wearing a poncho or a long shawl gave me something to work with up on the stage.  Big movements, big twirls: you need to be seen from far away.  So I made that a big part of my stage clothes.  It became totally intertwined in my fashion style."

You must submit your designs by September 22, when voting starts.  The competition ends September 29; the winner is announced October 14, which also happens to be the release date of Nicks' new album, 24 Karat Gold -- Songs from the Vault.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

08/18/2014 11:00:10am

Capitol RecordsFollowing the release of his new single, "Detroit Made," Bob Seger will release a brand-new album on October 14.  Titled Ride Out, it's Seger's first collection of new studio material since 2006's Face the Promise.

In a statement, the rock legend, who also produced the record, says, "I feel really good about this record. This album touches on how I think a lot of us feel about finding our place in a more complicated world -- from how we appreciate things as simple and pure as love, to navigating through the corruption and violence that permeates the news.  It sums up a lot of feelings I have about a variety of subjects.”

Seger fans got their first taste of the new material during his 2013 tour, when he teased tracks including "Detroit Made," "All of the Roads," and "California Stars."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

08/18/2014 10:38:29am