Friday, May 28, 2010

faces back on

In a reprise of their brief reunion last year, The Faces have just announced that they are again going to perform some shows, albeit in the UK.  Original member Rod Stewart has decided, for whatever selfish reasons, to not perform vocals.  Instead they've recruited Mick Hucknall, the Red from Simply Red, who has amazing pipes, and is one of the all time great blue-eyed soul singers.  Not sure how he'll fit in with this band but at the very least it'll be interesting.  Hucknall has always played/sang more r&b/dance pop and Faces were definitely a rowdy r&r bar band archetype (with some great ballads).  I'd love to see them play, and there's rumors that they may tour in 2011, that is if they're still alive and speaking to each other.  Here's what was on their website:

The Faces Reunion is on!
On Friday 13th August, the legendary 1970s English supergroup, Faces, will perform at the inaugural Vintage at Goodwood festival at the Goodwood Estate in West Sussex, England. The reformed Faces will feature original members Ronnie Wood, Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan, plus Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols), and vocals from Mick Hucknall (of Simply Red).
Ronnie Wood says: “We got together to receive a PRS Lifetime Achievement award last year and very simply the magic was still there. Playing with the boys again just felt right so we thought well why not? It’s exciting to be on this path again and I hope that the Faces fans are excited as we are – I’m just really looking forward to seeing them this summer  – bring it on!”
Kenney Jones says: “When we realised at the PRS Awards we hadn’t played a live gig since 1975 we just couldn’t believe it! The timing is just right, we can feel the excitement and we cannot wait to be back on stage playing to a live audience again. Expect the classics and also some incredible guests when we get back on the road, it’s going to be lots of fun.” 
Ian ‘Mac’ McLagan says: "Frustrated Faces fans can finally feel the heat as Ronnie Wood, Kenney Jones and me hit the floor with Mick Hucknall and Glen Matlock fanning the flames!"

summer music

Definitely my favorite disc this year (so far), "Antique Soul" from Smoove & Turrell came out of nowhere...I also can't find any info on these guys other than the fact that John Turrell has sung with a number of British soul bands, and Smoove is a DJ.  They're currently on tour in the UK...would love to see these guys live here soon.  Below is another good video I found of them performing "You Don't Know" live....

One EskimO is an act I've written about before...they'll be at Mountain Jam next week.  They're a mellow act that centers on Kristian Leontiou's atmospheric vocals and sparse instrumentation.  The disc is very good, and the single "Kandi" is features a sample of the great 1971 Candi Staton song "He Called Me Baby" (hence the title of the One EskimO song).  Don't ask about the spelling of the band's name, I have no idea why the affectation.  They should be good live, looking forward to seeing them.  

Smoove & Turrell - You don't know - Live from Toni Guth on Vimeo.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Discarded McConnell

As a big Widespread Panic fan I always wondered exactly why they booted George McConnell out of the band as lead guitarist.  (McConnell is a guitar player from Vicksburg, Mississippi, who had a band called Beanland, that played southern rock in a similar vein to bands like Bloodkin and Widespread).  Jimmy Herring is a phenomenal player, don't get me wrong, but I really didn't think McConnell was a bad player at all.  I saw him play with WSP in NYC a number of times and some of the shows were really excellent.  I heard rumors that it was because of his drug use, which surprises me, as he seems like a low-key guy, but whoever said mild mannered people don't abuse drugs....anyway, last year I downloaded what was his latest music from his website ( and it's very uneven, a few good songs but mostly just middling tunes, no stand outs.  It looks like he only plays shows at bars near Vicksburg, so safe to say he ain't coming to the city any time soon.  Must be wild to go from being the lead guitar player in a huge rock band to then return to playing college bars.  I wonder how many "Free Bird" requests he gets.  My favorite songs of his are "Doreatha", which is off of the Beanland disc, and "Nicotina", which he used to perform with WSP (both songs became part of the WSP live repetoire with McConnell).  Anyway, just wondering.....

New Nas/Damian Marley collaboration

I heard the new Nas/Damian Marley collaboration "Distant Relatives", and it's one of the best new records this year.  I've not been a fan of rap since the late 90's, but the songs on this disc incorporate some great music (yes, samples too) and the rapping doesn't overwhelm the music.  Nas delivers some great lines, and Damian Marley's voice is a great complement to Nas' rapping.  Damian Marley sounds so much like his father that (to me) any time he opens his mouth the music carries some imagined seal of Authentic Reggae.   These guys were able to write some good songs (and lift samples of good music) that fit a mid-point between reggae and rap/hip-hop and I was pretty surprised at how good the results turned out.  An uneven record, but some really good tunes from a unique effort.  Best songs: As We Enter, Tribes at War, Count Your Blessings

Thursday, May 13, 2010

back to new music

Some good new music I've found recently while foraging on the internet:

The Duke & The King "Nothing Gold Can Stay" - this is a band centered around Simone Felice (drummer in The Felice Brothers).  The music is nothing like The Felice Brothers' rambling shanty-Americana, this is much more of a singer-songwriter effort circa late 60's/ early 70's.  Very mellow, he's got a good voice and the instrumentation is low-key.  Nice harmonies too.  Best tune is "If You Ever Get Famous".  Reminded me a little of The Tyde too, although not quite as poppy.  

Smoove & Turrell "Antique Soul" - in keeping with the "&" in band names, this is a band from the UK that incorporates soul and electronica.  The disc is great, and John Turrell has a great blue-eyed soul voice.  It's very "English-soul", which is to say it's inspired by American soul and r&b, but this isn't similar to Amy Winehouse or's very original in it's way and highly recommended.  Although they do a version of the Yaz song "Don't Go" which I could do without.  Best track is "Beggarman", video below.

Minus The Bear "Omni" - have heard of these guys for a while, an indie band from Seattle.   They have a few albums out, and their new one (Omni) just came out.  It's good pop music, lots of synthesizers and the lead vocalist has a strong voice.  But after a few listens the simplistic lyrics start to wear a bit, and it's a little too synthesizer-heavy for me to listen to all the way through at once.  But the music has energy, and I can see this becoming a big disc for them. I didn't realize these guys were so pop oriented, sort of like a bit more indie/electronic Maroon 5 .  Pretty slick too, don't know if I mean that in a good way.  Below is a video of them performing "My Time" at South by Southwest...sounds very different from the album version.

The Dead Finally Revealed

Saw this clip on a music blog and thought it was amazing.  Who knew Bob Weir  was such an interesting guy?  

Give an insane person access to video....