Holiday Gift Guide

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Album Review: American Mafia- Rock N’ Roll Hit Machine

91EYNQUQUcL._SL1500_There’s a New Syndicate in town, having a Good Time is their only Crime!

Review By Joseph Timmons: Xombiewoof Magazine

What happens when you take Hard Rock Mega power hitters Freddy Villano (of Quiet Riot/Widowmaker/Holy Water) , Tom Jude (of Doro Pesch/Holy Water), Bobby Marks (of Dokken) and an all-star lineup of outstanding rock vocalists lending their superb vocal talents in the form of John West (of Badlands/Artension/Royal Hunt), Jimmy Kunes (of Cactus/Flood the Engine), Don Chaffin (of VOX/Red Lamb), Mike DiMeo (of Riot/Masterplan/The Lizards), Ed Terry (of Rondinelli/Rage & Beyond) & David Knight?

 

Get Ready to Do Some “Good” Time….

 

AMERICAN MAFIA

You get an outstanding and Hard Rock awesome debut album by from New York based Rock bosses known as American Mafia!

Rock N' Roll Hit Machine, featuring 12 tracks of Hard Rockin’, Holy Mother of Hell Goodness, American Mafia have what would be a new dynasty in music, and in their own words “Make you a nice round "deal" that you can't refuse”. Rock N' Roll Hit Machine is killer mix of original material and some sweet cover tribute, - classic, supreme, hard rock excellence that is highly recommended to fans of Bad Company, Foreigner & Whitesnake.

Rock N' Roll Hit Machine by American Mafia, on the Grooveyard Label is a call to attention the music scene has been waiting for, no cheery pop pap or gloomy drivel, just get you but to the club, get out to the show, play your Air Guitar and Live the Rock N’ Roll Dream Music that we know and loved, and can love again. Every song hit a straight through the heart hit, song titles like OBSESSION, YOUR GOOD LOVIN’, DEATH & SATISFACTION, RESURRECTION and a cover of my favorite NY Theme Song LIVING FOR THE CITY make this a must have from an act that will be the name takers and the rule breakers to set the new gold standards.

Find American Mafia and other soon to be Guitar Rock Icons at Grooveyard Records and Follow them on Facebook.


Music Review: Henry Mancini’s The Classic Soundtrack Collection

Henry_Mancini_Classic_Soundtrack_Collection_CoverHENRY MANCINI’S TIMELESS FILM MUSIC CELEBRATED IN THE CLASSIC SOUNDTRACK COLLECTION

Legacy Recordings to be released November 18th 2014

Pre-Order Now for the Holiday Season at Amazon.com

Music Review by Joseph Timmons: Xombiewoof Magazine

The 9-CD box set features 18 of Mancini’s most celebrated soundtrack albums with rare bonus tracks. Scores feature jazz and pop standards, including “The Pink Panther Theme,” “Moon River” (from Breakfast At Tiffany’s) and “Baby Elephant Walk” (from Hatari!)

If you have ever seen a movie filmed from 1950 to 1980, odds are it had the brilliant work of Henry Mancini, or was inspired by it. A name synonymous with the brilliance and comedy, mystery and romance, Mancini’s touch gave life to them all. And now, all of his work is available in one unique boxed set that will be the pick for the avid music collector as well as cinema authority.

Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, will release the Henry Mancini’s The Classic Soundtrack Collection on Tuesday, November 18th. In a career that spanned nearly half a century, Henry Mancini became synonymous with catchy, jazzy, romantic music for film and television soundtracks. The Classic Soundtrack Collection, showcases all of Mancini’s soundtrack albums for the RCA, Epic and Columbia labels, including several of his most iconic and beloved scores.

HMancini_product_shotThe Classic Soundtrack Collection features 18 original Mancini soundtrack albums on 9 discs plus rare bonus tracks, including a never-before-heard version of “Nothing To Lose” from writer-director Blake Edwards’ 1968 comedy The Party performed by Julie Andrews. Taken together, the albums in this collection underline the enduring popularity of Henry Mancini and his unique ability to create movie music that pop audiences could also embrace.

From 1952 to 1958, Mancini was contracted to create soundtracks for films for Universal-International Studios, including the Oscar-nominated The Glenn Miller Story and the brassy, suspenseful score to Orson Welles’ Touch Of Evil. From there, Mancini gained widespread acclaim as an independent composer and arranger, winning four Oscars and 20 Grammy Awards during his career.

28ef5a435bed6dd139177099d74aecc0Mancini’s greatest collaboration may have been with Blake Edwards; they first worked together on Edwards’ 1959 television series Peter Gunn. The iconic jazz theme was an international hit and winner of two Grammy Awards and an Emmy Award. The duo would collaborate on such films as Breakfast At Tiffany’s (featuring the immortal pop standard “Moon River,” written by Mancini with lyricist Johnny Mercer) and the Pink Panther series of comedies (the slinky, saxophone-driven instrumental theme remains one of cinema’s most recognizable standards).

Elsewhere in Hollywood, Mancini earned critical and commercial acclaim with scores to films like Hatari! Starring John Wayne and featuring the playful “Baby Elephant Walk”; the Cary Grant/Audrey Hepburn mystery Charade, and the comedy-drama Two for the Road, Mancini’s personal favorite of the many themes he composed.

In most of my reviews when it comes to multi-album collections or greatest hits, I try to pick out the best of the best, with the Henry Mancini’s The Classic Soundtrack Collection it is just not possible, each album is a masterpiece unto itself, worth of attention and praise, but together you have what is the most remarkable music ever created for the cinema but one who understood the connection between imagery and sound and could with a wave of his hand conduct an ensemble to make you laugh, cry or shout in joy. The Henry Mancini’s The Classic Soundtrack Collection is the brightest jewel of the upcoming holiday gift selections.

But don’t tell the Pink Panther that….

pink_panther_11_4038ALBUMS INCLUDED IN THE CLASSIC SOUNDTRACK COLLECTION:

  • High Time (1960)
  • Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961)
  • Experiment In Terror (1962)
  • Hatari! (1962)
  • Charade (1963)
  • The Pink Panther (1964)
  • The Great Race (1965)
  • Arabesque (1966)
  • What Did You Do In The War, Daddy? (1966)
  • Two For The Road (1967)
  • Gunn (1967)
  • The Party (1968)
  • Me, Natalie (1969)
  • Darling Lili (1970)
  • Visions Of Eight (1973)
  • Oklahoma Crude (1973)
  • The Return Of The Pink Panther (1975)
  • Who Is Killing The Great Chefs Of Europe? (1978)

 

Herny-Mancini-600x337

Visit the Official Facebook for Henry Mancini and go to Legacy Recordings for more Info and Great Collections


Passion and Impulse!

Impulserecords 

The Revival of the Impulse! Record Label and a Review of 3 offerings for your Jazz Desires

 

Article and Review by Joseph Timmons: Xombiewoof Magazine

Albums:

  • Self-Titled Album: Charlie Haden & Jim Hall
  • Henry Butler & Steven Bernstein – Viper’s Drag
  • Kenny Barron & Dave Holland – The Art Of Conversation

First, a History…

impulse** Impulse! Records, American jazz record label, originally established in 1960 by producer Creed Taylor as a subsidiary of ABC-Paramount Records, was based in Santa Monica. John Coltrane was among Impulse!'s earliest signings and thanks to the consistent sales and critical kudos generated by his recordings, the label came to be known in retrospect as "the house that Trane built.

Being almost exclusively an album-based label, Impulse! was able to exploit the new format to the fullest and its LPs are noted for their distinctive visual style. During the 1960s, Impulse! covers and disc labels featured variations on this their color scheme (a notable exception to this scheme is the John Coltrane album A Love Supreme, possibly the most iconic release of the label's catalogue, which uses the usual design in black and white only); for most of the 1960s the front cover of Impulse! albums typically featured the Impulse logo, usually (but not always) in orange letters in a white circle, with black-and-orange exclamation marks above it and the album catalog number below it. The classic design of the disc label, used for most of the 1960s, featured alternations of the Impulse name and the "i-and-exclamation-mark" logo in white-and-orange, set in a black ring, which encircled the label details, most of which was printed in bold black lettering on an orange circle, with some details printed in white.

Like its contemporaries Blue Note and Verve, the front covers of Impulse's LPs often featured stylish large-format photographs or paintings, usually in full color, which were typically 'bled out' to the edges of the cover and printed on glossy laminated stock. Many of the best-known Impulse! covers were designed by photographed by a small group of talented artists. The distinctive, sparse black and white back cover designs bore the slogan "The New Wave of Jazz is on IMPULSE!"; most Impulse! LPs were issued in a gatefold sleeve with photographs and liner notes or an essay inside or, in some cases, multi-page insert booklets.

Impulse!, a label rich in musical history was soon to become part of the Universal Music service brand, unfortunately, in my opinion it was not featured enough, and even though it stood tall as a Jazz Music powerhouse in Europe, it’s American following felt somewhat disappointed by the lack of marketing and promotion, until recently (within the past 3 years) when Universal Music, which also controls both Verve and Blue Note, the present major Jazz supporting Labels, as well as a full gambit of title holdings, rebuilding the Impulse! Brand to full glory. **

Now in its “Renaissance” the Impulse! Record Label is once again a major label for artists that have Jazz flowing through their bodies and out into our ears. In a recent New York Times article “Reviving the House Coltrane Built”, writer and critic Nate Chinen was quoted to say “Impulse’s reactivation reflects a larger turnaround for major-label jazz divisions, most of which had struggled or been shuttered within the past decade or so.” - continuing on in this article to tell of Impulse!’s revival and of good things forth coming. It is safe to say that Jazz is Back, and with labels like Impulse!, Verve and Blue Note, we have many great artists to discover.***

We will now discuss the 3 albums we reviewed to coincide with this lesson of longevity and renewal, we contacted Impulse!, about a review and they sent 3 impressive albums for us to enjoy and report to you.

haden_hallThe self-titled Album: Charlie Haden & Jim Hall, much like the black cats on the cover is a whimsical yet seething and mysterious trip through the senses. Well-rehearsed and performed Haden and Hall make a masterful pair, performing with an ease that would make one think the pieces were fully improvisational. My faves on this album is the opening track Bemsha Swing, followed by Down From Antigua, Skylark and In The Moment. Recording this album must have been, as would be said “A Gas”, just great fun to hear. In Jazz, timing Is Everything, and Charlie Haden & Jim Hall is on the cut, well done gentleman, well done.

 

vipers-drag-butler-bernstein1Henry Butler & Steven Bernstein’s album Viper’s Drag is upbeat, high tempo and has an Orleans feel, mix of Dixie swing and the of time tempos that make Jazz so exciting. The piece Henry’s Boogie is piping hot and snappy, just imaging some sweet hot creole gumbo on the tip of the tongue, that crazy need a drink of a tall cool glass of water, yeah, that’s it. While pieces like King Porter Stomp have a Sultry & Smokey speakeasy feel, this takes you down to Bourbon Street.

 

 

ArtOfConversationThe final album is an open audio dialog, an exchange of ideas and communication without words. The Art Of Conversation by Kenny Barron & Dave Holland take the marriage of Piano and Double Bass beyond the equality of strings, taking turns in the lead and pointing out the truth in the notes. If people spoke in notes, this would be the debate of the century. Kenny Barton’s playing is superb, wistful and spritely, while Dave Holland’s Bass carries power in even its softest notes. Though The Art Of Conversation is their first album together, this Duo has the makings of 2 cut from the same sheet of the finest silk known, smooth and intricate, bold and expressive, while having a softness and demure quality that makes you perk up your ears and listen intently to each hammer fall and pluck.

 

With the advent of modern technology you can get the inside scoop on these and all of the Impulse! Artists at the Impulse! Web Site and on their Facebook Page. Visit the Impulse! YouTube Channel and witness the greatness, expand your mind, your horizons and your collection with these and more great Impulse! Artists.

** - Taken from Wikipedia, checked for accuracy via research

***- Quote taken from article present on NY Times web site, printed as stated from public source.


Album Review: The Golden Novak Band – Self Titled Album

golden novak bandTwo Hearts, One Voice, a World of Musical Adventure

Writing this review, I was immediately floored by the dynamic range of this duo. There have been many perfect pairs in the past, but the vocal combination of Jess Novak and Brian Golden can only be described as an ultimate unity of spirit in song.

I had to learn more about this pair of kindred spirits so I brought forth their bio from their Facebook page.

Not lazy, just said so perfectly I had to share…

“Jess Novak and Brian Golden felt an instant connection when they first jammed together in the rock/blues outfit Master Thieves in July 2013. Within weeks of meeting, the two worked together on Novak's solo album, Bad Habit, and have continued their musical connection - one where passion and talent meet. The powerhouse duo brings blues, rock and singer/songwriter choice covers and soulful originals to life through guitar, percussion, violin and voice.”

“Brian Golden has been playing guitar for 24 years and been in bands including Bad Weather Blues, The Pub Crawlers, Fools at Play, Master Thieves, The VooDoo Mystics and Lunar Stew. Jess Novak has been playing violin since the age of seven and performing throughout the Northeast with bands including Master Thieves, Shining Star Band and Jess and The Beards. As a duo and band, Golden and Novak perform their large catalogue of original music as well as covers spanning B.B. King to Bruce Springsteen to Amy Winehouse to TLC.

This pair of “modern minstrels” have played and paid their dues, so I truly believe they were destined to work together on this album that is uplifting, bright and uniquely both seriously mature and playfully bouncy.

The Self-Titled Album The Golden Novak Band is that shiny new dime you find in an old box of memories you had long thought forgotten, filled with dreams, hope, ambition and joy as well as an inner peace only brought in the arms of a tender love, or a mother’s kiss or a father’s hand. Misty and melancholy but not sad or somber, The Golden Novak Band is proof that spirits bond in mysteriously wonderful ways that defy example or explanation.

Visit the website for The Golden Novak Band, of follow them on Facebook, get a little piece of this newfound favorite.


Album Review: Rosa’s Lounge by Howard and the White Boys

howard and the white boysHoward and the White Boys: Chicago’s favorite Sons, a Cool Breeze in the Windy City.

Album Review by Joseph Timmons: Xombiewoof Magazine

Howard & the White Boys, founded by Howard McCullum (Vocals, Bass), Jim Christopulos (Drums), Rocco Calipari(Guitar), Pete Galanis (Guitar), was formed in 1988 and began jamming together just for fun, but their fast-growing popularity soon convinced them they could make a career of it. Their reputation grew in Chicago and after a short period of times, and many great gigs, they got their first big break by opening for B.B. King. Soon after, they began performing with the biggest names in blues: Koko Taylor, Otis Rush, Albert King, Junior Wells, Lonnie Brooks, Luther Allison, Bo Diddley, and Chuck Berry. Howard and the White Boys sing the blues and live a musically charmed life to a loyal fan base that grows with every performance they play.

Rosa's Lounge, the most recent offering, is named after the legendary Chicago club where the band's new CD was recorded. Captured live on one of those magical nights where the crowd and band are both fueled with energy and passionate revel. Howard and the White Boys play one of its best sets ever, proving they are one of the best live Blues bands to grace the nighttime stage.

Rosa's Lounge has been touted as a favorite of many music critics and those in the know, The Chicago Sun-Times recently said "You can't see this high-energy, good time band at a club without leaving with a smile on your face." The band is now focusing on touring to support the new CD and working on material for their next one.

10547871_10152558471825126_6816071247082531312_o

Rosa's Lounge is an expression of human experience, songs of love, loss and all that lay between, Howard and The White Boys hit the nail on the head with this album, precision performance and a creative composition that makes this a great Live album to not only listen to, but you can’t help but want to sing along. This album is captivating and solid, with reverence to the Blues but a thoroughly light hearted approach. Rosa's Lounge speaks volumes in every song, from the powerful opening track Heat Seeing Missile to the 11th track That’s Alright, Rosa's Lounge is pure live excitement, Howard and the White Boys have certainly made their soft feathery bed of impassioned harmonious bliss, the Blues have been good to these fortunate sons of the Chicago music scene, in this “City on the Make”.

Check out their web site http://www.howardandthewhiteboys.net for more info, engagements and where to get their music, you can also find them on Facebook


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble: The Complete Epic Recordings Collection Now Available Today

Epic Records and Legacy Recordings Release to Celebrate Stevie Ray Vaughan's 60th Birthday Year and an Illuminated Career

1293785_orig_thumb7Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble: The Complete Epic Recordings Collection.

Definitive 12 Disc SRV & DT Library Includes 1st Commercial Release of 1983's A Legend In The Making - Live at the El Mocambo Toronto Concert.

Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, and Epic Records celebrate electric blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan has released Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble: The Complete Epic Recordings Collection, this definitive career-encompassing 12 disc library brings together, for the first time, the entirety of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble's official studio and live album canon including the inaugural commercial release of A Legend In The Making, a highly collectible (formerly) promotional only recording of SRV & DT's incendiary performance at Toronto's El Mocambo club in 1983. In addition, The Complete Epic Recordings Collection features two discs compiling rare and hard-to-find archival tracks.

SRV_thumb2On April 26, 2014, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble were among the artists to be inducted into the newly created Austin City Limits Hall of Fame, launched in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the PBS televised concert series. The Austin City Limits Hall of Fame induction ceremony will air on PBS in October 2014. Stephen Ray Vaughan was born in Dallas, Texas on October 3, 1954, the same year the Fender Stratocaster went into production. Stevie Ray picked up his first six-string at the age of 7, dropped out of high school in 1971 and moved to Austin in '72, going on to become one of the most influential and electrifying blues guitarists ever.

I remember seeing Stevie Ray Vaughan perform with Living Color only a few days before he died in a helicopter crash on August 27, 1990, his death devastated the music community, and the world as a whole. Though his mainstream career lasted a mere seven years, Stevie Ray Vaughan's enduring contribution to the blues can be heard in the work of younger players including John Mayer, Derek Trucks and Mike McCready of Pearl Jam.

Stevie Ray Vaughan was the recipient of numerous musical award, during his lifetime and posthumously. In 1983, readers of Guitar Player voted him as Best New Talent and Best Electric Blues Guitar Player. In 1984, the Blues Foundation named him Entertainer of the Year and Blues Instrumentalist of the Year, and in 1987 Performance Magazine honored him with Rhythm and Blues Act of the Year. Earning six Grammy Awards and ten Austin Music Awards, he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2014. Rolling Stone ranked Vaughan as the twelfth greatest guitarist of all time.

SRV2_thumb10

Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble: The Complete Epic Recordings Collection of albums- In The Beginning, Live at Montreux, Texas Flood, A Legend In The Making: Live at The El Mocambo, Couldn’t Stand the Weather, Live at Carnegie Hall, Soul To Soul, Live Alive, In Step and the final album Archives, which is a collection previously unreleased, is a living tribute to a musical master taken too young and too soon.

From first track to last, this collection is magnificent. This will be a complete anthology of an artist that revitalized and revolutionized a genre of music while keeping it complete and in itself, like his playing and live performances, Flawless.

For more information go to http://www.legacyrecordings.com

 


Dave Davies is “Rippin” it up once more

DaveDaviesRippinUpTimeCovermedresLegendary Dave Davies releases his newest and most awaited offering, “Rippin Up Time”.

Hitting Stores Today - on the Legacy Recordings Label.

Album Review by Joseph Timmons: Xombiewoof Magazine

Dave Davies, founding member of The Kinks and the one man attributed with the invention of amp distortion, (for reason of his taking a blade to the cone of an amp speaker, “Ripping” the very fabric of sound ad altering the timeline of all music to come) presents to the Rock & Roll loving community an album that is both provocative and humbling, reflective and a personal examination of one’s life through open eyes, Rippin Up Time, is now available. Dave Davies has been single handedly been noted as the musical genius that inspired Rock Legends from Van Halen to Green Day.

The album Rippin Up Time, produced by Dave Davies and David Nolte, features 10 new and original tracks, reminiscent of the classical and beloved “Kinks” style, yet wholly new and innovative in composition. While being very modern sounding, it still retains Dave’s “Smokey” vocal style. Dave explained in interview his feelings about creating and recording this new ground shaking album “It was wonderful working with my son Russ Davies and old friend David Nolte on this project, I am really excited about this album”, Davies went on to comment “Rippin Up Time is about a man’s reflections of his past, his fears, anxieties and optimism about the present and hopeful expectations of the future”

Rippin Up Time’s release today coincides with Dave Davies plans for his Us Tour starting November 11th, 2014 at the Turner Ballroom in Milwaukee Wisconsin and the prior Legacy recordings release of career spanning collection Anthology titled The Essential Kinks, celebrating 50 Years of The Kinks Music and the upcoming release of the Newly Remastered edition of Muswell Hillbillies, the Kink’s “masterpiece of working class observation”, containing all original the content of the original album and 9 Bonus Tracks, never before released and a DVD of a rare 1972 television performance never released in North America.

In Review, Rippin Up Time is bold, expressive and well worth the wait, Davies compels the listener to examine and self-evaluate, connecting with the listener on every deep rooted level, in plain verse, without misguided questioning or symbolisms, Dave Davies brings home the message of life’s never ending quest for significance. In both a serious nature, with songs like the title track Ripping Up Time, and Semblance of Sanity, the question of a man’s place in the universe comes into play, and when does one reach a breaking point. One track I found most endearing and quite humorous, King of Karaoke is a story well known of dark and smokey bars with would be rock stars never discovered, singing their favorite songs hoping for some acknowledgement of their talent, often fueled by liquid courage while retired prom queens attempt to regain admiration as well.

If you love Rock with meaning, songs with mirth and music with a message, Rippin Up Time is an album you need to own, listen to and share, even if it’s only with your fellow late night bar hounds, reminiscing of the Good Old Days and singing Lola while drinking on a Low Budget,… sorry, a play on the fabulous history of a great performer and talented artist.

Dave Davies, Here’s to you Mate!

More at http://www.legacyrecordings.com and http://www.davedavies.com


Album Review: Holiday by Earth, Wind & Fire

image001Blessed is the Soul of Man in the light of Heaven

Album Review by Joseph Timmons: Xombiewoof Magazine

Earth, Wind & Fire has been and still is on the cutting edge of R&B, time and time again their albums have made the top of the list of every chart possible, so it is no wonder that this iconic group would come out with a holiday celebration album that merges traditional songs of Joy with new creations of inspiration.

Simply named Holiday, the newest and soon to be revered offering by Earth, Wind & Fire, brings the reason for the season home with enchanting stylizing of the traditional favorites, Winter Wonderland, Sleigh Ride, Jingle Bell Rock, Joy to the World, yet also gives us new original compositions titled Every day is Christmas, Happy Seasons and December which are illuminating and uplifting.

Holiday is Earth, Wind & Fire’s 21st studio album, their last album, Now, Then & Forever, also under the Legacy label debuted in the top of the Billboard 200 on its release in 2013, one of the bands highest charting albums.

Holiday is an inspiring testament to the joy of faith and in the belief of brotherhood and unity through love and understanding, and under the guiding light of the eternal spirit, we are one. Start this Holiday season off right and give yourself this gift of music, forged by Earth, Wind & Fire, and May the spirit of peace guide you home.

Visit http://www.earthwindandfire.com and http://www.legacyrecordings.com for more info and to add this title to your soulful collection of great music.

On the Legacy Recordings Label, Available Nationally through Retailers and on Amazon.com

**not all tracks mentioned in Review**


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