Tuesday, July 21, 2009


The initial stages of gathering auction items to raise $250,000 towards the rebuilding of the GA Theatre are going very well. With a few very generous donations from private collectors, as well as the UGA football team, we look to have about $50,000 of items already pledged. Finding the next $200,000 will prove more challenging, and we need your help. Most everyone reading this is either a musician, or a music fanatic with lots of connections. If all of you could help me gather at least three items, and all the music fans reading this can consider donating a single item from their personal collection, then our auction will be a smashing success. I figure we need 500 items (100 at $50, 100 at $100, 100 at $250, 100 at $500 and 100 at $1000), along with one more big ticket item (think of a guitar signed by the original members of The Who, a guitar played and signed by Bob Weir, original reels from the Widespread Panic first recording sessions, an original Jerry Garcia painting, etc.).

To the musicians out there, we can use things like used drums heads signed by your band, signed tour posters or flyers, broken guitar strings (some cool art items to be made from those), signed CDs, VIP passes to your shows – anything that you can spare will be put to good use, and most appreciated.

We are also looking for artists willing to participate in a series of private benefit shows. The idea here will be to two musicians with common interests that do not normally perform together, creating a once in a lifetime performance. Plans are to host these shows in a private location, completely catered with drinks included, and to sell just twenty tickets per show, at $250 a ticket. This will keep these events small and intimate, and ensure that everyone involved is given a total 5-star treatment.

Publicists please ask bands you work with to donate, venue owners and employees, can help too by starting to gather these kinds of items from bands that play at your venue. Just getting signed tour flyers from all the bands that you book can go a long way towards helping the cause, and supporting your fallen brethren. Just contact me to let me know what you can offer, and I will make arrangements to have all items picked up at you convenience.

Please pass this along to everyone you know, post on your wall in Facebook and MySpace, anything whatsoever that you can do to help get the word out. Anyone with ideas or items to donate can email FriendNamedFred@gmail.com.

We anticipate launching the first round of auctions on September 1, so we need your help gathering everything possible in the next 45 days. Thanks in advance for your help!

If you would like to go ahead and donate cash now (it’s needed to get construction underway), please visit Help Rebuild The Georgia Theatre and hit DONATE. Check back for updates soon on additional ways you can help the cause. Here’s to drinking from fresh tap by this time next summer!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Pearl Jam Announces U.S. Tour Dates

Pearl Jam will celebrate Halloween early with two concerts at Philadelphia's Wachovia Spectrum to be held Oct. 28 and 30. The shows are part of a brief North American tour which also includes stops in San Diego, Seattle and a four night stand in Los Angeles at the Gibson Amphitheater. With four dates off between the second and third shows in LA, look for the band to add additional dates at the Gibson.

The band will also head to Australia and New Zealand in November, with additional dates expected to be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets to the show in Philadelphia go on sale to the general public on July 17th at 10 a.m. EDT. All other confirmed shows go on sale to the general public on July 18th at 10 a.m. PDT.
Ben Harper and Relentless 7 will open all announced shows except for those in Philadelphia.

The tour dates come in support of Pearl Jam's self-released ninth album, "Backspacer," which will be out Sept. 22. As previously reported, Target will be the exclusive big-box retailer in the United States, while Universal will handle distribution internationally.

The new album's first single, the hard-charging rock track "The Fixer," will hit U.S. radio and digital retailers on July 20. During a June 1 appearance on "The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien," Pearl Jam premiered "Got Some," another new song from "Backspacer," and at recent solo shows, frontman Eddie Vedder has debuted three other tracks -- "Unthought Known," "The End" and "Speed of Sound" -- which are expected to appear on the album as well.

On Aug. 8, Pearl Jam will play its first full live show in more than a year at the Virgin Festival in Calgary, Alberta. After a quick four-show run in Europe, the band then visits Toronto (Aug. 21) and Chicago (Aug. 23-24) before headlining the Outside Lands festival in San Francisco on Aug. 28.

Also on tap is a headlining slot on Oct. 4 at the Austin City Limits festival in Austin, Texas. The day before, Pearl Jam will tape an episode of the long-running TV series "Austin City Limits."

Here are Pearl Jam's new tour dates:

Sept. 21: Seattle (Key Arena)
Sept. 22: Seattle (Key Arena)
Sept. 30: Los Angeles (Gibson Amp.)
Oct. 1: Los Angeles (Gibson Amp.)
Oct. 6: Los Angeles (Gibson Amp.)
Oct. 7: Los Angeles (Gibson Amp.)
Oct. 9: San Diego (Viejas Arena)
Oct. 28: Philadelphia (Spectrum)
Oct. 30: Philadelphia (Spectrum)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

New Soulive CD with Bonus DVD in Stores Today

2009 has been a busy year for Soulive. The New York-based funk-powerhouse trio formed its own record label, Royal Family Records, released it's latest studio endeavor, UP HERE, which has been available as a download and will now be available on CD with a bonus live DVD July 7. The band has toured nationally this past Spring, launched their own festival, the Royal Family Get Down, and will hit the road again this Fall.

The physical release of UP HERE includes a bonus DVD of footage filmed live at the Blue Note in Tokyo in Summer 2008. UP HERE is the debut release on Royal Family Records. The album was recorded in Soulive drummer Alan Evan's Play on Brother Studio in Hatfield, MA in Fall 2008. "This is the Soulive album I've always wanted to record - I've been hearing it in my head for years," says Evans, who also tracked and mixed the record.

The record's opening track "Upright" immediately sets the tone with an undeniable groove featuring Neal Evans on an old upright piano. The band then offers up a few nods to the old-school: "For Granted" is a tip of the hat to Grant Green, featuring guitarist Eric Krasno's licks reminiscent of classic early solos on Get Down and Turn it Out. Guest vocalist Nigel Hall tears it up on the retro-soul number "Too Much," and Krasno makes his guitar sing like D'Angelo on the laid-back grind of "Put On Yo Pajamas." The entire record features tight horn arrangements from long-time Soulive collaborators and friends, Sam Kininger and Ryan Zoidis.

Soulive's fall tour begins on September 12 at their own festival, The Royal Family Get Down. The line up features Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Charlie Hunter Trio, Nigel Hall and Soulive's own headlining set with special guest John Scofield. Soulive then heads west for a run of dates anchored by stops at the Monterey Jazz Festival and four nights at Yoshi's in Oakland and San Francisco. The fall tour will then head back east for a series of Northeast dates including the Bowery Ballroom in NYC and Burlington's Higher Ground.

July 31 - Celebrate Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY
Aug 6 - Sunset Concerts Festival - Washington DC *w/ Derek Trucks Band
Aug 7 - Innsbrook Pavilion - Glen Allen, VA
Aug 8 - The Jewish Mother, Virginia Beach, VA
Sept 12 - Royal Family Get Down - Northampton, MA
Sept 17 - The El Rey Theater - Los Angeles, CA
Sept 18 - The Hopmonk Tavern - Sebastapol, CA
Sept 19 - Monterey Jazz Festival - Monterey, CA
Sept 22 - Yoshi's - Oakland, CA
Sept 23 - Yoshi's - Oakland, CA
Sept 24 - Yoshi's - San Francisco, CA
Sept 25 - Yoshi's - San Francisco, CA
Sept 26 - Puerto Vallarta Jazz Festival, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Oct 14 - The Note - Westchester, PA
Oct 15 - The Bowery Ballroom - New York, NY
Oct 16 - The Westcott Theater - Syracuse, NY
Oct 17 - Higher Ground - Burlington, VT
Oct 22 - Water Street Music Hall - Rochester, NY
Oct 23 - Revolution Hall - Troy, NY
Oct 24 - The Port City Music Hall - Portland, ME

Jim Byrnes: My Walking Stick

My Walking Stick finds Canadian-based Jim Byrnes reunited with the Vancouver gospel trio The Sojourners, as well as acclaimed producer/guitarist Steve Dawson. Brynes and crew delve into to a number of diverse genres, ranging from gospel and 60’s R&B to country blues and Americana. Though his songs touch on a broad spectrum of the musical horizon, Byrnes’ voice rings true throughout, making this a strong follow up to House of Refuge, which won numerous “Album of the Year” awards in 2006.

Most of the material found on My Walking Stick comes in the form of songs previously performed by others, starting with “Walk on Boy,” enhanced by the soul wrenching gospel vocals of The Sojourners, and an intriguing take “Ophelia,” with a slow, churning tempo quite unlike The Band’s original rendition. Byrnes continues to offer unique tempo changes on “Talk in Circles,” the best of the disc’s three originals tracks.

Brynes truly makes “Drown In My Own Tears” seem like his own, despite the fact that the song was made famous by Ray Charles, as he offers one of the finest vocal performances of his career, while Dawson makes his guitar sing with sounds that are amazingly reminiscent of Derek Trucks. But, the true gem on My Walking Stick is “Lonely Blue Boy,” with Brynes’ vocals suggesting a strong influence of early era Elvis Presley.

Colin Linden: From the Water

At lest count, Colin Linden has performed on over 300 albums, including multiple Grammy winners Oh Brother Where Art Thou and Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ Raising Sand. Linden’s latest effort, From the Water, is homage to his dear friend and keyboardist Richard Bell, who passed away in 2007 after the duo performed on more than 100 albums together.

From the Water is far more stylistically diverse than the acoustic blues heard on his last recording, Easin’ Back to Tennessee. Here, Linden can be heard stretching much further, exploring groovy funk and soul on some songs, while other tracks are slow blues ballads. The imagery of water is present throughout, specifically on the title track, written the in the wake of the floods that followed Hurricane Katrina.

Though much of the material on From the Water sounds familiar, this album plays like a series of songs dedicated to old friends, making for an enjoyable way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Black Crowes to Release BEFORE THE FROST on September 1

THE BLACK CROWES will release their new studio CD, Before the Frost... on September 1, 2009.

A second album, titled …Until The Freeze, will be given away for free exclusively through a unique download code which is included in Before The Frost… as a “thank you” to their fans for two decades of continued support.

Before the Frost..., and its corresponding free album …Until The Freeze, were recorded over a series of five nights at Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, NY. Although both are studio albums, all the new material was performed and recorded in front of an intimate audience of the band’s fans, making them a part of The Black Crowes musical history.

The innovative technique of inviting fans into the studio as part of the process during recording is a rare experience.

Before the Frost... features eleven new and previously unreleased Black Crowes songs including Good Morning Captain, I Ain’t Hiding, Been a Long Time (Waiting on Love), and other original songs that will serve to spotlight the bands ability to make emotional connections through their music. The free album …Until The Freeze is a nine-song collection featuring eight new original Black Crowes songs plus a cover version of the Stephen Stills classic So Many Times.

A limited edition vinyl release of Before The Frost…Until The Freeze, featuring all 20 tracks, will also be available on September 1, 2009.

Chris Robinson conceived the concept of Before the Frost...Until The Freeze.
“I think we fulfilled a musical commitment to continue on the golden road of artistic independence. Approaching 20 years into our careers, we still are ambitious enough to push ourselves to create something unique that we have never done before.”

As The Black Crowes approach the upcoming 20th anniversary of their release of one of rock’s most influential records, Shake Your Money Maker, which produced such hits as Jealous Again, She Talks To Angels and Hard to Handle, they are time and again hailed as one of Rock and Roll’s best live acts.

Before The Frost… (CD Track Listing)
Good Morning Captain
Been A Long Time (Waiting On Love)
A Train Still Makes A Lonely Sound
I Ain’t Hiding
Kept My Soul
What Is Home
Houston Don’t Dream About Me
Make Glad
And The Band Played On
Last Place That Love Lives

…Until The Freeze (Free Download Album Track Listing)
Aimless Peacock
Shady Grove
Garden Gate
Shine Along
Roll Old Jeremiah
Lady Of Avenue A
So Many Times
Fork In The River

Before the Frost…Until The Freeze was produced by Paul Stacey and will be released through The Black Crowes label, Silver Arrow Records and Megaforce Records.

The Black Crowes are currently on the road, and will remain on tour through the first week of December, when they close out the year with five shows at San Francisco's Fillmore. For more information, go to www.blackcrowes.com.