School of Rock — Winter Season 2014
by Robin Shaye, PMPNetwork.com Reviewer
I attended the School of Rock Winter Season Performance of Music by the Doors on January 11, 2014. The performance was held at the South Shore Music Hall in Quincy. I expected a traditional performance space, and was surprised when I entered the hall, I was pointed downstairs into a bar type room, complete with small tables, raised platform, and wooden bar carry a traditional selection of barroom beverages. Accompanying me was my 15 year old daughter, who thought she would enjoy seeing a group of young musicians. I have to say it was surreal sitting at a bar with her, listening to music I enjoyed long before she was even a tiny glimmer in my mind.
The School of Rock is a music school that teaches music while incorporating student jam sessions, culminating in live performances. As a former piano teacher, I felt this approach is fantastic, as it offers the opportunity to learn another side of the music industry. As a lifelong musician, I began my own piano lessons at age 8, hoping to learn the popular songs of the time. I was unintentionally swept up by an affinity for classical music, which remained my focus. Although it was satisfying, I did not have the opportunity to share this love with other students, or perform in a public venue. School of Rock provides not only a way for students to express their own preferences, but allows peer support, which is a huge part of performance.
Opening for the group of young musicians performing material by the Doors, was a group called the Showteam. This was a group of the best students in the school, and they were accepted by audition only. The Showteam was nothing less than impressive. Their music was fairly tight, the vocals excellent, and the creativity superb. Their rendition of Frankenstein, by Edgar Winter was phenomenal in it's originality by a group of students so young. Their enthusiasm was evidence, as well as sometimes over-the-top youthful exuberance, which I am sure will be conveyed productively when each musician is ready to go off on his/her own.
Following that, was the featured group of obviously less experienced musicians performing cover songs by The Doors. Although their instrumentation was quite good in general, it lacked in some important area, primarily the signature intros, cadences and riffs. This part of each song should have been much stronger, both instrumentally and vocally.
The vocals were traded off by a few young men and a young girl with red hair who bore an uncanny resemblance to the late Jim Morrison's late girlfriend, Pamela Courson. The only other similarity with Jim Morrison, was one of the young men who shared the deep tone to his voice, as well as the stance, with a strong performances during the ballads, but lacked in the more upbeat selections. With all the young vocalists, some of the timing was off, melodies fell short, harmonic accompaniments were sung instead of the main melody, words were forgotten, and their nervousness was palatable. Yet, this group had to be commended by their willingness to bring it in front of a live audience.
The audience was supportive in providing reassurance, as their role was almost as important to help these students gain the confidence, and build their skills. Although the performance was lacking, these young musicians were certainly outstanding role models for any future aspiring music student.
(My Grade: 3)
The School of Rock is located at 12 Elm Street, Watertown 02472. For additional information please contact at 617-923-3434. The next performance will be in Somerville and Cambridge the weekend of January 18 & 19th with a Funk/Reggae theme.
New England Conservatory Hosts Legendary Songwriter Elvis Costello and is Presented Honorary Doctor of Music Degree from NEC
I was fortunate to attend an appearance by Elvis Costello at the New England Conservatory of Music on October 25, 2013. My knowledge of Mr. Costello was limited to my earlier years listing to him rock out to one of my favorites "Pump It Up". Years later, I was somewhat surprised to hear him singing "But Not for Me", on a compilation of Gershwin covers. I had always thought of him as a rocker. His rendition of Gershwin was lovely, yet there was little else I knew about Mr. Costello, nee Declan Patrick Aloysius MacManus.
Yet, here he was receiving an honorary Doctorate of Music degree. Upon reading the press release, I commented that I was trying to find where he had received his music education. One of his colleagues was seated in front of me, and informed me that he had left school at age 16 and began working in a bank in West London.
Upon introduction, Elvis appeared on stage wearing his signature "Buddy Holly" glasses. Clad in comfortable black jeans, a conservative jean jacket atop a suit vest, and a new signature fashion statement hat, his large smile and infectious repartee made him a very real person. His tremendous wit was displayed upon being hooded as he received his honorary degree. Also given was a very timely Red Sox hat.
His interview session was moderated by Boston Globe pop music critic Sarah Rodman. He sat and drank tea on the stage, as he answered questions about his beginnings, influences and collaborations.
Elvis did not learn to read music until later in life. He felt that the rules of music were a hindrance on creativity. I remembered my college musical training and struggling through counterpoint, wondering why all these rules were needed, and I felt a comradery, at least in musical expression. Elvis shared his musical beginnings by discussing his upbringing and listening to his father who was a jazz trumpeter. Elvis took his pseudonym from a combination of his father's stage name of Day Costello, and Elvis Presley.
Rodman went through several of his songs, playing snippets of each. Each song was the next step in the way that Elvis evolved into the musician of today, with very candid stories as to his thought process and final product. It was interesting to hear how his skills and knowledge as a musician evolved as each song also became a learning experience.
Elvis talked about his confusion with his telecaster guitar as he wrote "Alison". Influenced by rhythm and blues, the song initially failed until Linda Ronstadt recorded it. Elvis expressed heartfelt thanks to Ms. Ronstadt during her medically trying time, revealing he had not done so at the age of 23, when he was unhappy that someone else version of his song surpassed his success.
Elvis revealed that Nick Lowe had actually written "Peace, Love, and Understanding", as a tongue in cheek depiction of the flower child generational songs, yet equating it to a similar style at Bruce Springsteen's' E Street Band. He found it more palatable when performed as a ballad.
"God Give Me Strength" was a powerful and beautiful collaboration with Burt Bacharach, and the first of a total of 12 collaborations. Elvis talked about working with him via mail, each sending their ideas and additions. There is a possible stage production in the works with additional collaborations with Mr. Bacharach.
The lighthearted "Veronica" was collaboration with non other than Sir Paul McCartney. However, Elvis was very humble in retelling the simplicity of their meeting, via a run in with McCartney's young children. They went on to collaborate on 12 songs. Elvis laughingly admitted that some of their duets paralleled the same tonalities as the Lennon/McCartney duets, which he found slightly "spooky".
In general, Elvis felt all his collaborations were unplanned accidents, which made them more real, and less commercially generated. This appeared to be the general theme, as he reminisced and reviewed his musical history. He reiterated this with his own personal advice he shared with the audience of fans, older musicians, and budding music students. He stated that anyone pursuing a music career should be doing so for the love of music and creating, and not in an attempt to seek superstardom. Personally, I found this to be very profound and logical advice. As I followed that path as well, I never dreamed of any kind of stardom, as it was always the love of creating or performing, as well as honing my ability. Any superstar talent will emerge without cognitively chasing the star, as is clearly proven by the musical journey taken by Elvis Costello.
(My Grade: 5)
Ernie & The Automatics
(Open E Records)
Review by Mark Snyder, www.pmpnetwork.com, the Internet's Entertainment Superstation
Low expectations? Not sure what expectation I actually had when I received the new Ernie and the Automatics CD. I'd known Car Czar Ernie Boch, Jr. for years, and thought of him as a sales executive and pitchman. Of course, I was a big fan of Boston, owning copies of their first three albums (yes, records!). So, when I noticed that Boston guitarist Barry Goudreau and drummer Sib Hashian were part of the project, my expectations went up a notch.
But, here's what really grabbed my attention: the first song. Right off the bat, "The Good Times (Never Last)" had me. A good time anthem, mixing the best elements of Boston, J. Geils Band, and a sixties rock sound, this song has "hit" written all over it. With enough airplay, it breaks the Top Ten. "Good Times", written by Goudreau and Brian Maes (who produced the CD), could be an ode to the late Boston singer Brad Delp, with it's lyrics, "I used to have an old friend that I met way back in school. Ya know he was his own man. Well he played by his own set of rules. Now he's no longer with us." The title song, written by Maes, is a smooth low key rock song, with it's hook "I guess the best thing I got goin' for me is low expectations," is a pleasant one. But, "If I'd Let You", which gets back to the band's hard rock roots,and includes a nice sax piece by Joe "Klem" Klimek, is another potential hit. Loved Maes' lyrics, that included, "If I had let you, you would have flipped through me like the songs in an old time jukebox."
For those of us over 50, "Tappin' On An Empty Head" is a familiar refrain. "What am I trying to say? I can't remember yesterday" begin the Brian Maes-penned lyrics. Good old rock and roll! Many of us seem to be unable to remember what we did yesterday, but can still come up with the names of members of an obscure sixties band. It's weird the way our brains work! Switching to a bluesy sound, the band goes next with "Blues Town."
Following that is another of my favorites, "I'm Gonna Haunt You." Co-writer Brian Maes nails the vocals exactly, and the music is just perfect. Maes' tune, "Back Around" has that blues-type sound, reminiscing the New Vaudville Band of decades gone by. Ernie Boch, Jr. and Barry Goudreau's guitar's shine, as does Tim Archibald's bass, and Sib Hashian's drums. Then, it's a trip to the Far East, with the dazzling instrumental, "Hong Kong Shuffle," co-written by Boch.
"Let it Go" has a familiar ring to it. Sounding a bit like classic Huey Lewis, this song features the vocals of Michael Antunes and Maes. It was co-written by the six key players, including Boch. This song is also a commercially viable one---with each play it resonated in my head, and had me muttering, "let it go, go, go."
The next tune probably won't help the depressed. "Dead Man" isn't exactly uplifting, but it is a nice musical adventure. "The Best Is Up Ahead" could be a foreshadowing of the future. It features an amazing guitar solo from Ernie Boch, Jr. The instrumental "Fly In The Milk" closes out this excellent compilation of different types of sounds. If this is the band's debut CD, then good things are certainly in the forecast for Ernie and the Automatics. Special kudos to Brian Maes for his harmonica and keyboard work. We're talking top notch here.
Ernie Boch, Jr. may be known as the face of a billion dollar car business, but he can also play a mean guitar. He told me he took up guitar at 14. Boch is also a big musicologist and fan of the 60's rock, and writes a column in the Herald about the music of long ago, and today. He hooked up with Hashian and Goudreau in 2006, and this album, and the ensuing concerts are a culmination of that initial meeting. "It's amazing playing with them," he told me. A portion of the profits of all shows, Cd's, T Shirts, DVD's "and anything else" goes to the Boch Family's Music Drives Us non-profit foundation. The Music Drives Us Foundation is committed to preserving Music Education, Preservation and Awareness throughout New England. The Foundation supports organizations and individuals who are interested in using music as a tool for all segments of society and for all ages.
From Barry Goudreau to MetroSouthDailyNews.com:
"I wrote The Good Times (Never Last) about a year ago when I felt as though I was being bullied by a former band member. The last verse is a tip of the hat to Brad Delp. Although Sib and I have kept in touch over the years, this is the first time we have worked together since my solo record in 1980. It's like putting on an old pair of shoes, since Sib and I have played music together since I was 15. It's great and very comfortable. Sib introduced me to Ernie, since then Ernie has become a close friend. It's Ernie's drive and enthusiasm that has gotten us to where we are now.
Ernie started Music Drives Us after contacting VH-1 Save the Music and getting a lot of red tape. He decided to start his own charity. MDU gives money to support music in the private and public sector. So far the foundation has awarded over $600,000. Sib and I are on the Board of Advisors and we help decide where the money is awarded. MDU is a very worthwhile charity. Check it out at www.musicdrivesus.org."
Rated *** (3 out of 4) VERY GOOD
Vanilla Fudge, the legendary 60's & 70's rock group, plays live at the Kowloon Restaurant on September 25. Concert is set 8:00pm and tickets are $35 each or $60 for reserved seating/and an exclusive meet & greet. The Kowloon is located on Route 1 North/948 Broadway in Saugus. For tickets call 781-233-0077.
Vanilla Fudge is the iconic American psychedelic band with a score of albums produced from 1967 to 1970. Original band members Mark Stein, bassist / lead guitarist, and Vince Martell perform live at the concert.
The band had a score of hits, including, "You Keep Me Hangin' On," a slowed-down, trippy, hard rock cover song originally recorded by The Supremes, and "Take Me For a Little While," which put them on the charts. Their rendition of "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" was featured in the 2007 film Zodiac.
A portion of all ticket sales will be donated to Ernie Boch Jr.'s Music Drives Us Foundation, which is dedicated to supporting music throughout New England and focuses on music preservation, Education, awareness. For more info-go to www.musicdrivesus.org.
For more information and tickets, call the Kowloon at 781-233-0077.
ANNE MURRAY DUETS
Friends & Legends
Review by Mark Snyder, www.pmpnetwork.com
Canadian songbird Morna Anne Murray came to the attention of Americans late in the summer of 1970. The country-pop star hit the Billboard Top Ten with "Snowbird." Her career has spanned four decades, but the blue-eyed blonde is seemingly getting better as the years pass.
I am a huge fan of the Nova Scotia native. I didn't think I'd hear anything better than Anne Murray belting out tunes like "Danny's Song", "You Needed Me", and "Daydream Believer", but I was wrong. On her new CD, Murray sings these tunes, and others, with some of the biggest names in music. So, "Danny's Song" becomes a masterpiece with Martina McBride. "I Just Fall In Love Again" just gets you falling in love with the song all over again with Dusty Springfield chiming in. "Daydream Believer", a hit for the Monkees as well as Anne, takes on a new life with Nelly Furtado pitching in. I can't tell you which tune I like the best.
This compilation has 17 wonderful songs, with guests artists that include Emmylou Harris, Carole King, Olivia-Newton John, k.d. lang, Shania Twain, Amy Grant, The Indigo Girls,Sarah Brightman, and Celine Dion. If music has ever produced a perfect disc to relax and excite the soul at the same time, this is it!
The Complete Motown Singles
Volume 8: 1968
Review by Mark Snyder, www.pmpnetwork.com
This amazing 6 CD set---packaged like your grandpa's old 78-RPM albums---comes with an actual 45 RPM Record in the front sleeve, a 132 page picture-filled book stuffed with rare photos, memorabilia, and chart information on each of the 144 songs.
For those who own Volume 7 (which finished with "I heard it through the grapevine" by Gladys Knight), the segue is very cool. This package opens with the same song, but by Marvin Gaye. There are too many great tunes in the set to pick out just a few. But, offhand, I'd have to mention some you may not hear so much: "The Impossible Dream" by Diana Ross, The Supremes and Temptations; "Without You" by Martha Reeves & The Vandellas; "My Girl" by Stevie Wonder; "Walk Away Renee" by the Four Tops; "Take Me In Your Arms (And Rock Me A Little While) by the Temptations; and "For Once In My Life" by the Four Tops. There are dozens of tunes that will take you back to the Renaissance of Soul in the late 60's. Buy this--then buy all the other ones you missed. It's less than $1 a song---beats itunes!
Review by Dede Tanzer
I found out something I never knew last night at North Shore Music Theater. Everything old is not new again. Sha-na-na not only had nothing new, their old stuff was as dusty and creaky as Grandma's attic. The first time I saw Sha-na-na was in 1970 at the Boston Tea Party. They were full of life. Their music made it impossible to just sit and watch. My feet were moving before the first chorus. Last night, the only time I got to my feet was when the group had the audience stand so they could get us all moving. What did they have us groove to? The Hokey Pokey. Nuff said?
Don't waste your time or your money going to see grandpa in a purple suit with a silver star sewn on his butt. I wouldn't even hire this group for a Bar Mitzvah because the kids would think they were totally lame. But if you still must see them you'll have to check your local paper because luckily they were only at the NSMT for one night. * (Poor)
THE MONKEES SEASONS 1 & 2
The Monkees and More of the Monkees CD
Review by Mark Snyder, PMPNetwork.com
To anyone over 45, "Hey Hey We're The Monkees" conjures up the TV smash series of the Monkees, which debuted in September of 1966 on NBC. The show, which featured Davy Jones, Mickey Dolenz, Peter Tork and Mike Nesmith, became a smash with youngsters (like me). I used my first allowance money to buy "The Monkees" and "More of the Monkees." The show, which featured free-form music videos with some small plot lines, was inspired by the Beatle's film "A Hard Day's Night." The Complete Directory of Prime Time TV Shows says, "The Monkees was unconventional, utilizing surrealistic film techniques like fast and slow motion, distorted focus, and comic film inserts, and one-liners all delivered in a fast pace."
For those too young to remember The Monkees, Rhino Records has released Season One (six discs) and Season Two (five discs) of the series in beautifully mastered DVD. Each boxed set contains every episode of the season, plus commentaries by the cast and directors. There's also vintage commercials, the pilot (in Season One), and a Monkees TV Special (in Season Two). Each is packaged with the same beauty, quality and "collectability" that is the hallmark of all Rhino products. For those fans of my age, buying them and watching the shows brings you back to your childhood. It's a nice ride. For youngsters who've never seen the show, the simplicity of the comedy hooks their interest.
In a musical vein, those two albums I purchased have been released in Deluxe (Two Disc) Editions by Rhino. The Monkees first album includes the theme song, the tender ballads Saturday's Child, I Wanna Be Free, and I'll Be True to You, the big hit Last Train to Clarksville, and the comical Gonna Buy Me a Dog. The original mono versions are on one disc, and stereo versions on the other. Bonus material includes a Kellogg's jingle, a TV version of "You Just May Be The One", and an interesting interpretation of the Turtles "So Goes Love" from Davy Jones. The "More of the Monkees" 2 CD Deluxe edition includes the hits I'm A Believer and (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone. It also includes some of my favorite Monkees tunes, including When Love Comes Knockin' (At Your Door), Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow), Carole King's Sometime In The Morning, and The Kind of Girl I Could Love. Bonus material includes the first recorded versions of Valleri, Words and Hold On Girl.
Also available is The Best of the Monkees, featuring 25 of their biggest hits, and a bonus CD of Karaoke versions of five of their top tunes.
RATINGS: **** (EXCELLENT) (4 out of 4)
for ALL RHINO MONKEES DVD's and CD's
A MUST Purchase for fans!
LEONARD COHEN---Still Going Strong
by Larry LeBlanc
For 50 years, over 14 albums, 9 volumes
of poetry, and two novels, Leonard Cohen-- poet,
novelist, troubadour, songwriter, spiritual tourist,
social provocateur, and ladies man---has shared
his romantic vision.
It's been good honest work.
A major writer of the English language,
Leonard-- inducted into the Juno Hall of Fame in
1991-- gives importance and dignity to songwriting.
His songs are discussed, analyzed, agonized over
and made love to the world over.
They have been recorded by acts as
diverse as Rufus Wainwright, Jeff Buckley, Sting,
Elton John, Jennifer Warnes, Billy Joel, Willie
Nelson, R.E.M, and The Neville Brothers.
"Songwriting is very compelling,"
Leonard once remarked. "One of the reasons
it's so compelling is that there is a financial
pay-off â€and I have many dependantsâ€and
secondly, it does get you out of the room."
Leonard has written of love: random
love and hate; slaves and masters; saints seduced
by the evil and sordidness of lechery; as well as
war, slaughter and the harsh light of the existential
furnace.Â And a real Suzanneâ€but
not (in this case) a lover-- did take Leonard to
her place by the river (the St. Lawrence) and did
feed him tea and oranges (actually, orange-flavoured
Of course, his language, the clarity,
daring, and passion of his imagery, and the open-hearted
approach to his life has touched and inspired fans,
writers and musicians the world over.
"I would not know how high to
jump or how far I was falling without Leonard Cohen,''
says U2â€s Bono.Â "His
songs are conversations I have been trying to have
all of my life with some of the same peopleâ€¦..
Jesus Christ, Judas Iscariot, Yahweh, all the women
in the world, Buddha."
Canada first met Leonard as a brooding
young poet of the 1960s--"flourishing dark
and magnificent as Othello"-- to quote the
self-penned blurb on the jacket of his 1966 novel
"The Favourite Game." His first book of
poetry "Letâ€s Compare Mythologies"
was published in 1956, while he was still an undergraduate
at McGill University in Montreal. It was followed
by "The Spice Box Of Earth" in 1961 that
catapulted him to international literary fame.
In 1968, with the release of the anthology
"Selected Poems: 1956-1968," Cohen was
awarded the Governor-Generalâ€s
Award, Canadaâ€s highest literary
distinction. He declined the honour, stating "The
poems themselves forbid it, absolutely." In
2003, however, he agreed to accept the Companion
of the Order of Canada, our countryâ€s
highest civil honor for achievement in the arts.
Yet, it is apparent that thereâ€s
no measure in Canadaâ€s culture
to absolutely guage Leonard Cohen. His staggering
command of several genres places him alongside traditional
giants of each while his ability to amalgamate art
and popular culture has made him an icon of popular
Born in Montreal Sept. 21, 1934, Leonard
is the son of an engineer who owned a clothing concern,
and who died when Leonard was nine.Â A great-grandfather
was the first Zionist in Canada; a grandfather was
a Hebrew scholar; and a great uncle was Chief Rabbi
LeonardÂ still calls himself
a Montrealer though he is a man forever on the move.
He has lived in New York, London, Nashville, Los
Angeles, and on the Greek Island of Hydra. From
1994-1999, he lived at the Zen Center on Mount Baldy
in California, and was ordained as a Zen monk and
given the Dharma name of Jikan (Silent One).
"For the writing of books, you
have to be in one place," he said in 1988.
"You tend to gather things around you when
you write a novel. You need a woman in your life.
It's nice to have some kids around, 'cause there's
always food. It's nice to have a place that's clean
and orderly. I had those things, and then I decided
to be a songwriter."
He was raised in Westmount with a
governess and chauffeur, and attended public schools.
He graduated from McGill University with insignificant
standing, He dropped out of a Masterâ€s
program at Columbia University in New York. He also
worked as an elevator operator in New York but was
dismissed because he wanted to run the elevator
attired in civilian clothes.
Leonard was touched as a child by
the music he heard in the synagogue. The first singers
he listened to with genuine pleasure were the American
folksingers Pete Seeger, and Josh White and American
country stars George Jones, and Johnny Cash that
he heard on radio station WWVA in Wheeling, West
Virginia. And he once thought of Elvis Presley as
the first American singer of genius.
Leonard started playing guitar at
summer camp in 1950. He wasnâ€t
attracted to the instrument so much as for a musical
reason. He used it as a courting tool. But he also
thought one day heâ€d become a
singer, however. He used to stand and sing in front
of the mirror to see how he looked.
At McGill University, he began writing
poetry, and formed the country and western trio,
The Buckskin Boys. He also worked in a nightclub
above Dunnâ€s deli called Birdland.
Heâ€d read poems or improvise them
while Maury Kaye and his bebop group played.
After he dropped out of a Masterâ€s
program at Columbia University in New York Leonard
obtained a grant, and was able to travel through
Europe. He eventually settled on Hydra, staying
on and off for seven years. He wrote two more collections
of poetry, "Flowers For Hitler" (1964)
and "Parasites of Heaven" (1966) there;
and the novels, "The Favorite Game" (1963),
and "Beautiful Losers" (1966).
As he finished "Beautiful Losers,"
he realized he was full of music (if only because
heâ€d written the book to the accompaniment
of the American Armed Forces radio service). He
decided to go to Nashville, and become a country
songwriter. On his way there, he met Toronto-born
manager Mary Martin who persuaded him to stay in
Leonard was soon swept into a circle
of folk musicians hanging out at the Chelsea Hotel
including Phil Ochs, Judy Collins, Tim Buckley,
and Buffy Sainte-Marie. When he heard Bob Dylan,
he knew he didnâ€t need to journey
any further. "It wasnâ€t his
originality which first impressed me, but his familiarity,"
Leonard recalls. "He was like a person out
of my books."
In March 1966, Leonard made his public
debut as a singer at a poetry reading at the New
York YMHA. He sang "Suzanne" and "The
Stranger Song." Later that year, he toured
western Canadian colleges, doing readings and singing.
In 1967, Leonard played 15-20 concerts,
including the Newport Folk Festival where he stole
the audience cheers from established stars with
the Mariposa Folk Festival in Toronto; and two concerts
with Judy Collins who recordedÂ "Suzanne"
and "Dress Rehearsal Rag" on her 1966
album, "In My Life."
A few months after Newport, Columbia
Records released his debut album, "The Songs
of Leonard Cohen." It had such signature Cohen
songs as "Suzanne," "Hey, That's
No Way To Say Goodbye," "So Long, Marianne,"
and "Sisters of Mercy."
Since then,Â despite several
sabbaticals from the musical wars, Leonard has continued
to stretch the borders of the pop music landscape
with such songs as "Bird On a Wire, "The
Song of Isaac," "Joan of Arc," "Famous
Blue Raincoat," "Hallelujah," "First
We Take Manhattan," "Tower of Song,"
"Ain't No Cure For Love," "Joan Of
Arc," and "Death of a Ladies Man."
In early 1999, Leonard came down from
Mount Baldy armed with new lyrics and poems. He
settled in Los Angeles where he released three records,
the live album entitled "Field Commander Cohen
- Tour of 1979," the collection, "Ten
New Songs" andÂ "Dear Heather"Â
Today, Leonard Cohen is at work on
songs for his next album for a possible mid-2006
release as well as co-writing with singer Anjani
Thomas for her upcoming album "Blue Alert,"
also to be issued this year.
by Mark Snyder
"A LOT OF LIVIN' TO DO"
Some people just sound natural when they're on the
stage warbling show tunes. Others sound forced and
phony. The music of theatre fits Ingrid Saxon in
a way that the leather gloves didn't fit O.J. Her
melodious voice and fresh personality shine like
a giant smile through the many show tunes on this
CD. She opens with a Jean Lenox tune called "I
Don't Care" and powers it to take the listener
by the ear on a wonderful journey. Her take of Melissa
Manchester's "Come In From The Rain" would
bring a smile to the author, who has quite a set
of pipes on her as well. The title tune, "Feelin'
Too Good Today Blues" (with the cute little
Annie reference tucked secretly at the end), and
Michael Bolton's "How Am I Supposed To Live
Without You" are standouts. However, none of
the tunes is weak. The CD is a strong statement
on music interpretation, and the ability to convey
a unique impression of a tune. The New Yorker is
obviously influenced by her father, David Sorin-Collyer.
He was a famed performer and music teacher (counting
Liza Minnelli among his students.) Saxon is also
a teacher. Listen to this CD and learn about the
proper way to deliver a tune.
*** (Three Stars out of Four)
Wilson Presents SMILE
DVD/Rhino Home Video
Review by Mark Snyder
For Beach Boys fans, the release of the SMILE CD
was a time to rejoice. The CD had dated back decades,
and had featured such amazing songs as "Heroes
and Villains", "Child Is The Father of
the Man" and the legendary "Good Vibrations."
This video release from Rhino goes above and beyond
the CD's auditory experience. It features, in its
entirety, the Showtime documentary Beautiful Dreamer:
Brian Wilson and the Story of Smile. It also includes
a live performance of Smile in its entirety. On
top of this (which is really worth the price of
the two-disc package, you'll find nearly two hours
of bonus footage, including never-before-seen interviews,
performances and recording session footage. Beat
a path to your neighborhood store and pick up a
copy! Grade: Documentary *** Concert **** Extras:
WIN A COPY of the DVD!!! Listen to interviews on
PMPNetwork.com for details. No Purchase Necessary.
Rock 'n' Roll piano legend, Johnnie Johnson, died
of natural causes at his home outside of St. Louis,
MO this morning. He was 80 years old.
Johnson began his career in 1952, when he hired
the then-unknown guitarist, Chuck Berry, to join
his St. Louis-based band. Berry eventually became
the frontman of the group and the two collaborated
on some of Rock 'n' Roll's most seminal recordings,
including "Maybellene," "Roll Over
Beethoven," and "Sweet Little Sixteen."
Johnson stepped into the spotlight later in life,
releasing his first solo album in 1989. His star
continued to rise, especially among his fellow musicians,
who lined up to work with the icon. In the last
decade, Johnson performed and recorded with an amazingly
diverse array of artists, including Eric Clapton,
Aerosmith, Keith Richards, The Kentucky Headhunters,
Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead, Susan Tedeschi, NRBQ,
Buddy Guy and Styx.
In honor of his contributions to the genre, Johnson
was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame
in 2001 by his friend and supporter, Keith Richards.
He continued to perform and headline at concerts
and clubs around the world until earlier this year.
His last performance was with fellow Rock 'n' Roll
originator, Bo Diddley on February 9, 2005. "It
was so much fun to play with Johnnie," Diddley
said upon hearing the news. "The world has
lost a great man and a great musician. He will be
missed but his music will live on."
Johnson is survived by his wife, Frances, 10 children
and many grandkids.
Crosby Stills & Nash
by Mark Snyder
CSN GREATEST HITS PACKAGE IS EXCELLENT
You got to love Rhino. They take the finest music
ever produced and make it better. They improve the
sound quality of the old recordings that many of
us have in our record cabinets. Rhino always has
some of the most well-written liner notes, and scores
of photos in their booklet that accompanies the
2 CD package. Some of the trivia you'll discover
in the liner notes is worth the price of the recording.
You'll look at Cass Elliot in a different light.
The way the group came together is even more intriguing,
as was the late addition of Neil Young to their
Every big hit is in the set. Many are favorites
of mine. Suite: Judy Blue Eyes, the ode to Judy
Collins is the first cut. But you'll never want
to skip a track. Loaded with amazing tunes like
"Long Time Gone", "Our House",
"Teach Your Children", "Wooden Ships",
"Wasted On The Way (my old college themesong!)",
and "In My Dreams," the CD just blows
through your mind like a locomotive memory train.
TOP RATED **** (Four Stars out of Four)
WIN A COPY FOR YOURSELF! SEND AN EMAIL WITH YOUR
TOP FIVE FAVORITE CSN TUNES. Winners will be chosen
at random from all entries. No purchase required.
Limit one entry per person per day. Send your email
Rap Turf War Erupts
with Death Threat on 11 year-old White Pop Rapper
Marty Bronstein has seen death threats in the music
industry before. But when the
music industry consultant discovered a death threat
made to his client, 11 year-old
white pop rapper girl Dahv, he was completely shocked-especially
since the threat
came online on the Dahv.com website forum, and was
able to be traced. "I've seen
this happen before.turf wars between Tupac and Big,
but this is an 11 year old
As with most online discussion forums, people have
to register on the Dahv.com forum
in order to post and reply. The threat came on a
Saturday in December, and
Bronstein's World Class Media which manages the
forum-was able to trace the threat
back to an IP address in Lakeview, Iowa (rap isn't
confined to urban areas anymore).
Bronstein called the Lakeview police, provided all
the registration information and
the Internet assailant was apprehended two days
According to Lakeview law enforcement officials,
the death threat came from an
under-age Caucasian known to local officials (his
name has not been released and
County Attorneys are trying to decide on appropriate
charges, either stalking or
assault). A Lakeview law enforcement agent characterized
the youth as a "future
Dahv, the 11 year-old white female pop rapper,
had no comment on the threat, but a
lot of people are commenting. Since the incident,
traffic to the Dahv websites
rocketed from 300 people a day to 15,000 people
a day and still rising.
Multi-platinum rapper Lil Troy, who performed with
Dahv this past summer at
Crunkfest, called it "a bit scary.but when
people see a new artist that starts to
catch on like wildfire, they act out and do stupid
stuff. Just look at the Vibe
Awards stabbing. Dahv's unique, different, and probably
making a lot of up and
coming rappers nervous.but come on, she's white,
she's 11 years old, and she's
hitting a much younger demo with this new pop rap,
not gangsta rap."
Dahv began performing this summer at rap events
like Crunkfest as well as Radio
Disney concerts, and recorded her first original
six songs with music industry
moguls like Gary Carolla (songwriter for Backstreet
Boys and Nsync) and Chris
Rodriguez (Paulina Rubio producer).
And rap is getting hot and crowded. 6 of the top
ten singles on Billboard this past
week are rap. And urban rappers like Nelly are branching
out into new demographic
channels, like country, as evidenced by his duo
with Tim McGraw. When rappers like
Nelly are reaching out to appeal to country fans-you
know the rap scene is getting
Marshall Mathers (aka Eminem) came into his own
in the late 1990's by hitting a
young white male demo, being the only young white
male rapper on the scene (also
creating a lot of controversy). It may be that Dahv
has cracked the right
demographic code.a younger demo looking for a young
female white rapper with a pop
Bronstein said that appealing to an 8-13 year old
demo with pop rap wasn't by
design. "I've been working with Dahv as a consultant
since she was nine-we tried a
bunch of different things, and Dahv just liked the
rap singing style. She is the
demo. She likes what other girls her age like. Her
friends like pop rap, and she
gets booked at Radio Disney concerts. I think kids
are looking for something new
besides Hilary Duff."
Internet forum threads both made fun of the death
threat, and dissed the newcomer
rapper, Dahv. A forum poster on Underworld93.com
called Dahv,"Like Avril, Only More
Street and Less Punk.she be bustin' rhymes like
tha' LAPD be bustin' heads..atcha
wit' a funky fresh teenbeat style an' jammin' joints
about grade school an' slumber
Another forum poster from Somethingawful.com called
her a pasty white girl with,
"forgettable pop numbers. a handful of hilarious
inappropriate rap gems. Song
("Daddy Don't Trip") secretly about her
"daddy" Jon Voigt. She's just horrible
enough that I think you can expect to see her playing
at next years Nickelodeon
Kid's Choice Awards. It will be further proof that
kids have some f**ing s**tty
But Dereck Morris, publisher of 3rd Coast magazine
said, "she gained the respect of
over 4000 during Crunkfest and at the after party
- all of the performers felt that
she had a better chance of making it then most because
she's hitting a new demo with
a different sound. Take a little Avril, mix it with
some Eminem, and you got
Producer Chris Rodriguez said "She may be
the next female Eminem. The market and
demo is looking for something different than Hilary
Duff. My daughter is 9 and she
loves Dahv's new pop rap style. I like it because
it doesn't have the gangster
element, and it's something that parents will play
in the car."
The 11 year-old Dahv from Boston is a little overwhelmed.
Rumors even circulating
that she is the daughter of Jon Voigt, and both
good and bad posts are swirling
around the message boards. The family has decided
to hire security detail for tour
performances. County prosecutors aren't sure exactly
what to charge the assailant
with, but are at least glad this turf war is unfolding
over the Internet with
kilobytes versus on the streets with bullets for
A Totally New Sensation
Review by Mark Snyder, PMPnetwork.com
I really like this kid's music.
Zuckerman's sound harkens me back to the smooth
the mid-1960's through early 70's. The title track
opens the CD with a bang. Echoing the sentiments
of the Beatles "All You Need Is Love",
but with a heavier beat, the tune clicks on all
cylinders. "Some like to dream, while others
make their dreams reality", just one of the
opening tunes lyrics. I liked the second tune, "Been
Thinking" even more. "I wanna live the
crazy life with you, before I start getting old"
resonates for most of us.
This St. Louis native has received a lot of notice
in the gay press. But he transcends the "gay
artist" label and is a very talented singer-songwriter
in any venue or market. I expect him to garner more
mainstream notice, and--if stations can start to
play his music--he may have a hit or two in him.
Other tunes I dug included Karma, When Love Comes
Back Again and Circle of Friends ( a profound take
on what friends really are and could be.) The only
"miss" on the CD I found to be the only
song Zuckerman didn't write-- a remake of Charlie
Daniels' "The Devil Went Down to Georgia".
Forget about country, Josh. Stick to rock.
On a scale of 5 stars, I give this effort a 4.5
Ray Charles: Live In Brazil
(Rhino Home Video)
REVIEW by MARK SNYDER
O-Genio translates to "the Genius". Ray
Charles has proven to be a genius at providing music
that transended generations of music affectioniados.
This live performance, caught in concert from San
Paulo, Brazil in 1963, provides a glimpse at Ray
at his absolute best.
The DVD, as always when Rhino is involved it's a
gem, inlcudes two rare concerts and an even rarer
studio rehearsal, along with the complete Brazilian
commercials that aired with the original program.
Listen to Ray sing his classic tunes like "Hit
The Road Jack", "What'd I Say", "You
Are My Sunshine", "Take These Chains From
My Heart", and "I Can't Stop Loving You".
This one is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. We give it ****
(out of four)
(WIN A COPY. Listen to the interviews on Live Channel
1 and 2 at pmpnetwork.com for your chance!)
AND BRIGHTEST OF COUNTRY MUSIC HONORED AT "THE
38TH ANNUAL CMA AWARDS"
Kenny Chesney Awarded Entertainer and Album of the
NASHVILLE - The music community spread the honors
around during "The 38th Annual CMA Awards"
to the array of superstars and newcomers that have
contributed to a stellar year in Country Music.
Music's Biggest Nightâ¢" hosts
Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn of Brooks & Dunn
picked up their 12th Vocal Duo of the Year Award.
The pair sang their upcoming single "It's Getting
Better All the Time" from their second Greatest
Chesney picked up his first two CMA Awards with
the coveted Entertainer of the Year and Album of
the Year for When the Sun Goes Down, which was produced
by Chesney and Buddy Cannon.
am so proud to be in Country Music," Chesney
said. "I love it with all my heart. I stay
up at night thinking about how to make my show better.
Thank y'all very much."
off the three-hour broadcast on the CBS Television
Network was Entertainer of the Year nominee Tim
McGraw, who performed the rocking "How Bad
Do You Want It?" complete with pyrotechnics.
McGraw's No. 1 hit "Live Like You Were Dying,"
a tribute to his late father Tug McGraw, won the
CMA Award for Single of the Year."The song
came to me around Thanksgiving," McGraw said
backstage. "That's when we sort of learned
that Tug didn't have a chance. We cut the song three
weeks later and it wasn't sad. It was something
Like You Were Dying" also nabbed the Song of
the Year Award for songwriters Tim Nichols and Craig
Wiseman, which was the first CMA Award for the tunesmiths.
I want to have Tim McGraw's baby," joked Wiseman.
Nichols added, "The day Craig and I wrote this
song, it started like it was any other day, now
its been like no other day."
Even though there were close to 4,000 people in
the Grand Ole Opry House and millions more watching
at home, Shania Twain had a "Party For Two"
with duet partner Billy Currington as they performed
their hit from Twain's Greatest Hits album, released
collaborations during the broadcast included Alan
Jackson with Patty Loveless performing "Monday
Morning Church" and Jimmy Buffett with "parrotheads"
Clint Black, Chesney, Jackson, Keith and George
Strait. Strait also performed his hit "I Hate
Everything," while Chesney waxed nostalgic
with "I Go Back."
Martina McBride added another Female Vocalist of
the Year Award to her collection, tying Reba McEntire's
record of four. McEntire, who was also nominated
in the Female Vocalist category in 2004, still holds
the record for most consecutive wins in the category
with four (1984-87). McBride performed the poignant
"God's Will" from her RCA Records album
Martina."When I was a little girl in Kansas,
I had some big dreams," McBride said. "I
don't think I ever dreamed this big." Backstage
in the pressroom, McBride was presented with a one-of-a-kind
signature necklace from Johnathon Arndt Gallery
of Jewels valued at more than $100,000.
Consummate entertainer Keith Urban had the audience
singing along with his live-for-the-moment anthem
"Days Go By." A few moments later, Urban
picked up his first Male Vocalist of the Year Award.
"I am so dumbfounded, I don't know what to
say," a stunned Urban said. "I am so glad
my mom and dad are here tonight. I thank Nashville
for letting me come and make music because it's
all I ever wanted to do anyway."
Lullaby" picked up two CMA Awards for Brad
Paisley and Alison Krauss, who performed the hit
during the broadcast. The song won the Musical Event
and Music Video of the Year Awards. "I want
to thank Country radio for playing this song,"
said Paisley. "It says a lot about our format
when they'll take a chance on a double-suicide drinking
Rick Schroder shared the Music Video honor with
Paisley and Krauss, making it the first CMA Award
for the former "NYPD Blue" and "Silver
Horizon Award winner Gretchen Wilson toned down
her "redneck woman" persona for the ballad
"When I Think About Cheatin'," which she
sang into an antique 1949 Neumann Telefunken M49
microphone. "I came here last year and sat
way back there in the back and dreamed of standing
up here one day," said an emotional Wilson
said about her Horizon win. "I never dreamed
it would have happened this soon."
Rascal Flatts picked up their second consecutive
Vocal Group of the Year Award after singing their
new single "Bless the Broken Road." "We
just wanted to be a part of Country Music,"
Rascal Flatts bass player Jay DeMarcus said. "This
makes all the hard work worthwhile."
The CMA Awards was a family affair for Toby Keith,
who sang "Mockingbird," the 1974 hit for
James Taylor and Carly Simon, with his 17-year-old
daughter Krystal. The new single is available on
Keith's album Greatest Hits 2 released today.
Unscrupulous duo Big & Rich lived up to their
motto "Country Music Without Prejudice,"
performing "Rollin' (The Ballad of Big &
Rich)" with hillbilly rapper Cowboy Troy and
Two-Foot Fred, who both appeared in the duo's video
"Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy)."
Vocalist of the Year nominee Terri Clark, backed
by an all-female band, performed her No. 1 hit "Girls
Lie Too," while fellow Female Vocalist nominee
Sara Evans offered "Suds In The Bucket."
The Horizon Award nominees made a strong showing,
including Dierks Bentley singing "How Am I
Doin';" Julie Roberts performing "Break
Down Here;" and Josh Turner offering "Long
Vocal Duo of the Year nominee Montgomery Gentry
kept the momentum moving upward with their rocking
Guitarist and producer Dann Huff picked up his second
Musician of the Year trophy.
Country Music Hall of Fame 2004 inductees Kris Kristofferson
and Jim Foglesong were honored during the broadcast.
Willie Nelson and Faith Hill saluted Kristofferson,
performing "For the Good Times" and "Help
Me Make It Through the Night," respectively.
Randy Travis performed "Sunday Morning Coming
Down" before Kristofferson took the stage to
sing his hit "Me & Bobby McGee" with
Nelson, Hill and Travis. Reba McEntire introduced
a taped segment on Foglesong, a former record company
executive, highlighting his many achievements in
Country Music Hall of Fame member Dolly Parton presented
the Entertainer of the Year Award. Earlier in the
night, Parton was honored with the CMA International
Artist Achievement Award, which recognizes outstanding
achievement by an artist who contributes to the
awareness and development of Country Music outside
Presenters at "The 38th Annual CMA Awards"
included Trace Adkins, Lisa Hartman Black, Pat Green,
Lonestar, Joe Nichols, Jamie O'Neal, "CSI:
Miami" star Emily Procter, LeAnn Rimes, SHeDAISY,
Blake Shelton, Phil Vassar and Darryl Worley.
The industry professional members of the Country
Music Association vote to determine CMA Awards winners.
Balloting is officiated by Deloitte & Touche
The CMA Awards was produced by Walter C. Miller,
directed by Paul Miller and scripted by David Wild.
The event was broadcast live on the CBS Television
Network from the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville,
Tenn. MJI Programming, a division of Premiere Radio
Networks, is the official radio packager of the
CMA Awards, which included Red Carpet coverage and
a stereo-radio simulcast of the event. American
Airlines is the Official Airline of the 2004 CMA
The Winners of "The 38th Annual CMA Awards"
ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR
BROOKS & DUNN
VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR
ALBUM OF THE YEAR (Award to artist and producer)
When the Sun Goes Down
Produced by BUDDY CANNON / KENNY CHESNEY
SONG OF THE YEAR (Award to songwriter and primary
"Live Like You Were Dying"
TIM NICHOLS / CRAIG WISEMAN
Warner-Tamerlane/Big Loud Shirt
SINGLE OF THE YEAR (Award to artist and producer)
"Live Like You Were Dying"
Produced by BYRON GALLIMORE / TIM MCGRAW / DARRAN
MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR (Award to artist and director)
BRAD PAISLEY featuring ALISON KRAUSS
Directed by RICK SCHRODER
MUSICAL EVENT OF THE YEAR
BRAD PAISLEY featuring ALISON KRAUSS
MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR
SEVEN MUST-HAVE CD's
by Mark Snyder
The Beegees Number Ones --a compendium of the greatest
hits of the Brothers Gibb, including their "disco"
era, the early years, and the latest salute to their
departed brother, Maurice.
Jusy Collins Sings Leonard Cohen: Democracy --Judy
blue eyes does her best with the great material
of songwriting legend Leonard Cohen. Includes hits
like Suzanne, Sisters of Mercy and Bird On A Wire.
I never liked Cohen's voice, but I loved his songs.
Judy does them justice.
Hey, That's Funny! Comedy's Greatest Hits--This
yuckfest brings together the greatest funnymen of
all time! Unreal compilation actually had me laughing
out loud. EVERYONE is here, from Richard Pryor and
Bill Cosby, to Rodney Dangerfield and Woody Allen.
Includes Robin Williams, Ray Romano, Billy Crystal,
Albert Brooks, Cheech & Chong, Dennis Miller,
Redd Foxx, Sam Kinison, George Carlin, The Jerky
Boys, Flip Wilson and a TON more. Must have for
Ray Original Motion Picture Soundtrack--So, who
doesn't love Ray Charles? His velevety voice, bold
songs, and soul feel stand up to time quite well.
Jamie Foxx does a great job playing him on screen
in this film, but the real star is Charles and his
music. The original soundtrack includes 17 classics
from the film, including What'd I Say, Georgia On
My Mind, Hit The Road Jack, and Unchain My Heart.
Gotta love it!
Fahrenheit 9/11 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack--I'm
not a fan of Michael Moore. This film was a piece
of propoganda, like the kind used by Hitler in World
War II to demonize the Jews. In this film, Moore
takes poetic license to fashion the facts to demonize
Bush. But, the soundtrack is great. It features
such great tunes as Neil Young's "Rockin' In
The Free World", Eric Burdon's "We Gotta
Get Out Of This Place", J.J. Cale's "Cocaine",
"Aqualung" by Jethro Tull, and even the
theme from the lame TV show, "Greatest American
Hero" from Joey Scarbury. Love the CD, hate
Lori McKenna Bittertown---This unassuming housewife
and mother of four from Stoughton, Massachusetts
has garnered a few Boston Music Awards for her songwriting
and vocalizing of songs that have meaning to all.
Her voice is hauntingly beautiful, matching the
lyrics of her tunes. Bittertown was produced by
Lorne Entress, who accompanies her on many of the
tunes. "Mr. Sunshine", "one Man",
"Stealing Kisses" and "My Sweetheart"
are my faves. (can be ordered from lorimckenna.com)
Crystal Gayle Heart & Soul---The beautiful blue-eyed
singer, noted for her ankle length hair and shining
voice, has hit gold with this recording of Hoagy
Carmichael tunes. Her melodious voice is an excellent
match for his signature tunes, including, "Heart
& Soul", "Stardust", "Lazy
River" and "Georgia On My Mind."
WHO--Then and Now (Geffen)
Review by Mark Snyder
Universal Entertainment has given me a dose of great
memories with their newest CD, The Who-Then and Now.
This single disc compilation goes through all the
best songs of the Who, like "My Generation",
"I Can See For Miles", "Magic Bus",
"Pinball Wizard", "Who are You?"
and so many more! Some of their newer material, like
"Real Good Looking Boy" and "Old Red
Wine" make us miss the original band even more.
As Matt Kent writes in the liner notes, "For
40 years, The Who have written music for numerous
generations, continually reflecting their audience."
Whether you're listening to the Beatle-esque "The
Kids Are Alright", or the heavy rock of "Won't
Get Fooled Again", this exploration of the music
of The Who will leave you asking for more!
RATED **** EXCELLENT
WIN A COPY OF THE WHO'S THEN
What was your favorite Who tune? Send it to
Winners will be chosen at random.
NEWS FOR ZZ TOP FANS
by Mark Snyder
From the tips of their beards to the points of their
boots, the legendary ZZ Top are Texas' musical titans.
Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and the appropriately-named
Frank Beard are a rock-blues juggernaut with over
thirty years of hit-making experience. Twelve years
ago, a ZZ Top Greatest Hits collection was released.
It was an excellent CD, and went triple platinum
to a grateful audience.
Now, comes ZZ Top's Rancho Texicana, a delicious
two CD set that trumps the effort of 1992, and covers
everything of note that the band has done. As if
that wasn't enough, Warner Brothers Records is also
releasing Greatest Hits: The Video Collection on
DVD. You can watch the legendary ZZ Top videos,
featuring some of the foxiest women ever on tape!
Remember "Gimme All Your Lovin", "Sharped
Dress Man", and (especially, my favorite) "Legs"?
The CD features ZZ Top takes on The Stones "Brown
Sugar" and the Elvis tune, "Viva Las Vegas".
The two CD set also includes my favorites, like
"Tush", "La Grange", "Beer
Drinkers and Hell Raisers", "Gimme All
Your Lovin'", "Legs", "Sharped
Dress Man", and another of my faves (and haven't
we all been there) "Woke Up With Wood".
The 38 tune CD is well worth the purchase! Buy it
today. And, PMPNetwork.com has a few to give away.
Send us your favorite ZZ Top song, and we'll pick
winners from all entries! Email to firstname.lastname@example.org,
and put ZZ Top in the Subject Line.
Rating: **** (4 stars out of 4 EXCELLENT)
MUDVAYNE CONSIDER SOPRANOS MENTION AN UNEXPECTED
New York, NY
- For recording artists Mudvayne, being name-
dropped on an episode of The Sopranos was an unexpected
plot twist in the band's evolution.
premiered Sunday, March 28â€featured
A.J. Soprano, played by actor Robert Iler, going
to a Mudvayne
concert at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan.
Singer Chad Gray, guitarist Greg Tribbett, bassist
Martinie and drummer Matt McDonough were surprised
when they found out that Mudvayne was mentioned
popular mafia-drama. "We heard that Robert
and is the one responsible for bringing us into
It was really cool of him to do that," says
is a fan of The Sopranos. "I was watching the
couldn't believe it when I saw Robert walking out
Hammerstein Ballroom past a bunch of Mudvayne posters.
was like a pop culture stamp of approval on the
band, " he added.
What is especially
gratifying for Mudvayne, McDonough
says, is that the band was not looking for recognition.
"We've been asked to be on television shows
we've always said no because we don't want to debase
music by making a spectacle of the band," he
much more satisfying to creep into public consciousness
this way â€ on our own terms."
But don't expect
Mudvayne to go Hollywood any time soon,
Gray assures. "The glitz and glamour is the
of what we're about," he says. "We went
to the premiere of
Ghost Ship a couple of years ago because our song
Falling was in the movie. It was a surreal, out-of-body
experience standing on the red carpet talking to
like Paula Abdul and Entertainment Tonight."
to a recent tribute album to the band,
Mudvayne's music was also the subject of In the
with Mudvayne. The album features a string quartet
interpreting the band's catalog including Dig and
Blooms from L.D. 50 (2000); Some Assembly Required
The Beginning of All Things to End (2001) as well
Silenced, Not Falling and Trapped in the Wake of
a Dream from The End Of All Things To Come(2002).
heavy riffing take a classical turn was
flattering Martinie says. The band agrees that 'World
Cold' is the album's best track. "The way the
interpret Chad's vocalizations is pretty interesting,"
says. "When it comes to people covering our
music I'm a
stickler for accuracy, but I thought these musicians
great job. Our music isn't easy to recreate and
tell they did their homework."
rented a ranch in Northern California
where the band is writing and rehearsing songs for
band's third, as-yet-untitled, Epic Records release
out this Fall.
New Music Weekly released it's list
of nominees for the NMW Awards, which will honor
all the nominees and winners alike. This spectacular
event is an exclusive event for music industry personnel,
radio and celebrities. The NMW Awards will be held
on Saturday, June 26th, 2004 at the famous Key Club
Theater in Hollywood, CA. The awards ceremony and
show will begin at 6pm with an industry pre-cocktail
party. Here's the nominees:
Top 40 Single:
"Hey Ya" -Outkast
"Here Without You" -3 Doors
"Bring Me To Life" -Evanescence
"Ms Independent" -Kelly
"Invisible" -Clay Aiken
"Perfect" -Simple Plan
"With You" -Jessica Simpson
TOP4 0 Male Artist
TOP4 0 Female Artist
TOP4 0 Group/Duo
3 Doors Down
Max Meyer Band
TOP4 0 Radio Station
KLDR -Grants Pass, OR
WBNQ -Bloomington, IL
WXXP - Garden City, NY
KVHT - Yankton, SD
KFMI -Eureka, CA
WEZB -New Orleans, LA
Randy Hammer (KVHT)
Dave Brokesh (WXTQ)
GC Kincer (WIFX)
James White (KYEE)
Chad Hannon (WIVQ)
Jeremie Hughes (WKIB)
Bobby Dee (WELT)
Don Watzel (KWYR)
Hellen Bertrand (KBCQ)
Brett Miller (KLBQ)
Beth Valiant (KVTI)
Mark Reid (KQKY)
Bill Jerome (Jerome Promotions &
Lynda Tice (TJ Promotion)
Scott Fink (Hollywood)
Ken Lucek (Maverick)
Jason McFadden (Virgin)?
Steve Bartles (Arista)
Gary Lefkowith (ADD Promotion)
"With This Ring" -Kenny
Loggins (All The Best)
"Unwell" -Matchbox 20 (Lava/Atlantic)
"First Cut Is The Deepest"
-Sheryl Crow (A&M/Interscope)
"Can't Live Without Your Love"
- Kelly Moneymaker (Midnite Sun)
"Fallen" -Sarah Mclachlan
"The Voice Within" -Christina
"Breathe" -Michelle Branch
AC40 Male Artist
John Mayer (Columbia)
Josh Groban (Reprise)
Bruce Sudano (Purple Heart)
BK Diaz (Gem Star)
Seal (Warner Brothers)
AC40 Female Artist
Sarah McLachlan (Arista)
Clear (Raw Naked)
Sheryl Crow (A&M/Interscope)
Holly (Holly & Lilacs)
Debbie Hennessey (Squeaky Cat)
Ellee Ven (Hot Sauce)
Maroon 5 (Octone/J)
Simply Red (Red Ink)
Matchbox 20 (Atlantic)
Fleetwood Mac (Reprise)
AC40 Radio Station
WCMT (Martin, TN)
KRAJ (Ridgecrest, CA)
KGY (Olympia, WA)
KLSY (Seatle, WA)
KHMX (Houston, TX)
WAJI (Fort Wayne, IN)
WJST (New Castle, PA)
Ben Cunningham (WCMT/WTNE)
Billy Coble (KTRN)
Todd Dering (WFDL)
Justin Riley (KQMB)
Stan Barnett (WQXQ)
Mike Blankenship (KWAT/KIXX)
Kevin Peterson (WMEZ)
Eric St. John (WJER)
Carol Murphy (KIXR)
Ray Bartley (KLOG)
BC Corbin (KRAJ)
Nick Parker (WAJI)
Laura Dane (KRWM)
Brian Brawner (WWIS)
Jack Ashton (Ashton Consulting)
Tom Mazetta (Mazetta Promotion Inc.)
Mike Martucci (Tooch & Associates)
Linde Thurman (Curb)
Pete Cosenza (Columbia)
Jerry Lembo (Lembo Entertainment)
"Old Friends" -Anthony Micheal
James (Lofton Creek)
"I Can Only Imagine" -Jeff
"American Soldier" - Toby
"Walking In Memphis" -Lonestar
"Paint Me A Birmingham"
-Ken Mellons (Home)
"Brown Eyed Girl" - Tony
COUNTRY Male Artist
Toby Keith (DreamWorks)
Darren Holden (Doubledee)
Buddy Jewel (Columbia)
Tim McGraw Curb)
Dierks Bentley (Capitol)
Billy Pierson (Oak)
COUNTRY Female Artist
Martina McBride (RCA/RLG)
Reba McEntire (MCA)
Chely Wright (Vivaton)
Sherrie Austin (Broken Bow)
Patty Loveless (Epic/Monument)
Wendy Manley (White Water)
Faith Hill (WB)
Native Mind (Rolling Cloud)
Blue County (Asylum)
Big & Rich (WB)
Emerson Drive (DreamWorks)
Montgomery Gentry (Columbia)
Rushlow (Lyric Street)
COUNTRY Radio Station
KIOD -McCook, NE
KZKS -Grand Junction, CO
KFAV -Warrenton, MO
KTTI -Yuma, AZ
KHKX -Midland, TX
WDMS - Greenville, MS
WHIM - Providence, RI
Mike Reece (WIFE)
Thom Watts (KKOW)
Mike Thomas (KFAV)
Sheila Kirsch (KGRT)
Tex Carter (WTDR)
Ross Carpenter (KGWY)
Sherry Kelly (KYXK)
Jerry Wilson (WTRB/WTBG)
Michael Johnson (KZKS)
Marie Fair (WNRG)
Lynn Thomas (KMCO)
Alan Young (Advantage Promotion)
James Williams (James Williams Promotions)
Bill Wence (Bill Wence Promotion)
Jerry Duncan (Jerry Duncan Promotion)
Lisa Owen (Dreamworks)
Rob Dalton (Curb/Asylum)
Album Mix Category
Album Mix Radio Station
KTBG (Warrensburg, MO)
KARZ (Marshall, MN)
WQAK (Union City, TN)
WQNR (Auburn, AL)
KGRG (Auburn, WA)
Album Mix Promotion/Company
Jon DeLange (Tinderbox)
Bryan Farrish (Bryan Farrish Radio
David Avery (Powderfinger Promotion)
Randy Sadd (Protocal Entertainment)
DK Davis (Route 66)
Shania Twain (Mercury)
Vincent James (DiPop)
Tim McGraw (Curb)
The 45th Grammy
Awards Results courtesy of PMP Network
BOSSTONE DICKY BARRETT NAMED ANNOUNCER ON
ABC LATE NIGHT HIT SHOW JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE
Dicky Barrett frontman for the legendary Boston
band the Mighty Mighty Bosstones may be the alternative
to Ed McMann, Jack Parr or Guy Pardo as he joins
the ranks of ABC's late night hit Jimmy Kimmel Live
as the shows announcer.
Jimmy Kimmel Live is not the only thing that has
kept Dicky busy during this BossTones hiatus - He
has a cameo role in the soon to be released and
just premiered at Sundance independent Film 'Home
Of Phobia,' he and fellow Bosstone Lawrence Katz,
Kay Hanley (Letters To Cleo) and a few members of
American Hi-Fi have joined forces to contribute
tracks to the films soundtrack. Dicky has also recently
contributed his time to help with the charity releases
The Santa Cause and Peter Gammons Hot Stove All-Stars
and if the rumors are true Dicky may soon be starting
work on a solo release.
Once In A Lifetime---Talking Head's amazing four
CD set. This boxed set, produced by Talking Heads
(David Byrne, Jerry Harrison, Tina Weymouth &
Chris Frantz) is amazing. Featuring
incredible artwork and all of their best music ,
it is a MUST HAVE for any Talking Heads fans in
PMPnetwork.com-land! It includes a full-length photo-filled
book as part of the package.
Concerts for George (DVD-Warner Strategic Marketing)--Close
to FIVE HOURS of incredible concert film, honoring
the music of George Harrison. Includes an amazing
concert (filmed in London's
Royal Albert Hall in November of 2002) that features
some very funny stuff from Monty Python (including
my favorite, "The Lumberjack Song"), and
performances by Eric Clapton, Jeff Lynne, Paul
McCartney, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Billy
Preston, Ringo Starr, and many more. The first DVD
is strictly the entire concert. The second is the
theatrical release in its entirety. DON'T
"The Very Best of the Grateful Dead" (Warner
Stewart: Encore: The Very Best of Vol. 2 (WB)*
Rachel Guadry: Leaving Traces (Virt)
Peter Frampton: Now (Bayside)
Beth Boucher: Mess You Up (Virt)
The Doors:Legacy-The Absolute Best (Elektra/Rhino)*
Rachel Farris: Soar (Big3)
Cheap Trick:Special One (CCU/Big3)
Siedah:Self Titled (OM)
Eva Cassidy: American Tune (Blix Street)
*Denotes CD's that you can WIN by listening to PMPNetwork.com!!!
Mark Snyder, PMPNetwork.com
98 North Main Street
Avon, MA 02322
( 508 ) 587-2884
by Mark Snyder
almost hesitant to write about this jewel nestled
on the Randolph-Avon line. An authentic tavern of 1780 (built in 1748),
it is the only operating
tavern of the Colonial period north of Williamsburg,
VA, devoted to drinks,
snacks and entertainment of 1780.
This delightful chunk of history is comfortable,
friendly, and a lot of fun.
The night we visited talented tenor troubadour Larry
Carlson was entertaining
with songs of the sea, bawdy ballads, and a great
voice. This Carver
resident, and history professor at Thayer Academy,
entertaining with his renditions of songs over 220
Blanchard's Tavern is run by the Blanchard Nonprofit
Trust and is ALL
volunteers. From the bartender, who serves English,
Irish and American
Beers, hard and mulled cider, mead, colonial wines,
coffee, and Colonial tea; to the friendly helpers
who offer food like pork
and beef pies, Brunswick Stew, Vermont Bread with
Harvarti Cheese, and
Syllabub, Blanchard's Tavern is a place you will
want to return to again and
Like Cheers in the late 1900s, it's a place everybody
knows your name. We
met some of the most interesting, warm and friendly
people in just a couple
of hours at Blanchard's, and look forward to going
Blanchard's offers different entertainment and specials
on Saturday nights
starting at 8 p.m. For information on specific offerings,
or visit their website at www.blanchardstavern.com.
The facility is available on a limited basis for
rental. But beware: a ghost
(possibly a Revolutionary soldier) named "David"
lives in the house. From
the days of locals ducking Indians, to the Underground
Railroad, the secret
passageways and the quaint elegance of days gone
by still reside at
Rating: 5 (highest)
Best Bets: Try it!
(That's What I call Music) Volume 6
by Mark Snyder
you remember back in the late 1960's, when TV was
saturated with commercials for Ronco and K-Tel's
music collections? They were albums of various artist's
greatest hits, released months after they had topped
the musical charts. I remember one titled "Dynamite"
from K-Tel. The records quality was not very good,
but it was a veritable goldmine of top 40 hits.
K-Tel has re-released the series on CD. They sound
much better, and are now "Golden Oldies".
Flash to 1998 and Epic Record's introduction
of the "NOW, That's What I Call Music" CD series.
I've bought them all for my kids. You can't beat
the combination of the latest hits from Brittany,
Christina, *NSync, and the Backstreet Boys, all
on one CD. But unlike those old K-Tel and Ronco
collections, Epic's effort is different. The quality
is excellent, the music is brand new, and the most
pronounced difference-- the musical mix. These collections
combine the best of rap, hip-hop, rock, pop and
Now Six includes megastars like Jennifer
Lopez, Destiny's Child, Brittany, *NSync (the ubiquitous
BYE BYE BYE), Backstreet Boys and R.Kelly. There's
also some nuggets from the likes of Lenny Kravitz,
Evan & Jarron's huge megahit "Crazy for the Girl",
Samantha Mumba, ATC, and PMPNetwork.com veterans,
The NOW series has sold tens of millions
of copies. The formula is simple- -new music, great
sound quality and hit sounds! With new editions
released about every six months,this series (like
the old NUGGETS series before it) should be long-lasting
and successful. It's guaranteed to keep the music
fresh and the customers buying. Count me in. My
kids wouldn't have it any other way! Highest Rating.
McBEAL (For Once in My Life)
by Mark Snyder
all of our PMPNetwork.com fans know, I'm a huge
Ally McBeal fan. I'm sure you've all checked out
our Ally McBeal page (pmpnetwork.com/ally_mcbeal)
that features interviews with most cast members,
including songstress Vonda Shepard.
This CD, the latest Ally McBeal soundtrack,
includes some of my favorite tunes from the Fox
Monday night TV show. Vonda's opening take on Stevie
Wonder's "For Once in My Life" gives it an unmistakeable
newness. Every time Shepard sings, she makes the
tune her own.
David E. Kelley, the Executive Producer
of "Ally McBeal", should thank his lovely wife Michelle
Pfeiffer over and over again for his introduction
to Shepard's music. She can write, and can she sing!
Her songs are an integral part of the TV show's
plotline. And when she has no compositions for a
scene, Kelley plucks a memory off the musical charts
of yesterday, and she makes it her own.
Vonda shines on this CD with versions
of Carole King's "Home Again", Bob Dylan's "Don't
Think Twice, It's Alright", Tim Hardin's "Reason
To Believe" (yeah, the one Rod Steward made famous),
and the Beegees' hit, "How Can You Mend a Broken
The big surprise on the CD is the
great singing of troubled actor Robert Downey, Jr.
Downey, recently arrested again for a drug rap,
was supposed to actively promote the CD with Shepard.
That's been cancelled. But his contribution to the
CD is unmistakeable. His duet with Sting on the
Police's "Every Breath You Take" (a Sting composition)
shows that Downey can sing with the best of them.
A duet with Shepard on her tune, "Chances Are" (not
the Johnny Mathis hit) hits a perfect blend of solo
and harmony. His own composition, "Snakes" shows
his talent as a performer and writer. Downey also
plays piano and keyboards on the track.
Add to this mix Barry White's "You're
The First, The Last, My Everything", and "Love is
Alive", the Gary Wright tune, sung by Anastacia
& Shepard, and you've got a great CD. As John Cage
would say, "take a moment" and buy this CD. I'd
be "troubled" if you didn't!
by Eva Cassidy (Blix Street)
by Mark Snyder
Eva Cassidy sang like an Angel on Earth. This CD,
a sampler of some of the best tunes from her first
three CD's, is just incredible. Cassidy's version
of "Over The Rainbow", the Judy Garland-Wizard of
Oz tune, is worth the price of the CD. Her voice,
which could do blues like Janis Joplin, or ballads
like Joan Baez, was like an elastic that could stretch
in every direction.
Cassidy, a native of Washington, D.C.,
preferred her day job of landscaper to her night
job performing. A shy, artistic girl, she developed
into an accomplished tunesmith. Chris Biondo, who
produced and recorded all her music, said she would
be shocked buy her sudden popularity. Hearing this
CD, I'm just left speechless that I didn't discover
Cassidy died of melastatic cancer
shortly after the release of her first CD, "Live
at Blues Alley" in November of 1996. Since then,
her parents Hugh and Barbara Cassidy, have stood
behind the release of "Eva By Heart" and "Time After
Time". Both are also offered by Blix Street Records.
Buy them all. You will hear no better sound than
the melodious sounds of Cassidy-- anywhere.
"Songbird" has been the top song
in England and Ireland. It offers wonderful versions
of Stings "Fields of Gold". Stings called it "a
beautiful rendition. I rarely heard a voice with
such purity". It also includes such a mega-tunes
as Johnny Mercer's "Autumn Leaves", Christine McVie
and Fleetwood Mac's "Songbird", Curtis Mayfield's
"People Get Ready", and Pete Seeger's "Oh, Had I
a Golden Thread". England knows why Eva Cassidy
rules the charts. Is the United States far behind?
I think not!
Monkees Music Box (Rhino)
by Mark Snyder
This four CD set is a complete retrospective on
a band that was created for a TV series. Peter Tork,
Davy Jones, Mike Nesmith and Mickey Dolenz owned
the music charts in 1967 and 1968. From their first
single, "Last Train to Clarksville", through the
top song of 1967 "I'm a Believer", through the soundtrack
of the Jack Nicholson film "Head", they're all here.
The extensive liner notes, some excellent photos,
and of course the music, make this a "MUST HAVE"
set for those of us who grew up in the sixties and
Highlights include a fast version
of the ballad "I Wanna Be Free"; and the fun of
hits like "(I'm Not) You're Steppin' Stone", "A
Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You", "Valerie", Listen
to the Band (A Nesmith hit with the First National
Band); "Pleasant Valley Sunday", "Daydream Believer",
and their 80's hit, "That Was Then, This is Now".
Personally, I enjoyed many of the
"non-hits", songs like "I'll Spend My Life with
You", "Forget That Girl", "Look Out, (Here Comes
Tommorrow)", "When Love Comes Knockin' (At Your
Door)", "Sometime In The Morning" and "What Am I
Doing Hangin' Round?".
It's easy to forget the brilliant
group of producers and songwriters who were part
of the Monkees success. This box set reminds us
of the contributions of Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart,
Neil Diamond, Gerry Goffin and Carole King, and
so many more.
And let's give thanks to Bob Rafelson
and Bert Schneider who conceived of The Monkees
and saw them through to great success. Rhino Records,
once again, has let us relive some of our best memories
of childhood. Thanks Rhino!
CARS "Deluxe Edition"
By Joe Viglione
March of 1993 Greg Hawkes, keyboard player for The
Cars, brought his copy of the legendary Cars demo
tapes to Audio One in Arlington. It was a snowy night,
and we were datting them up for airplay on my "Demo
That Got The Deal" show on WCGY April 4, 1999.
Now, Rhino has released wonderful versions of these
classic Car-tunes, the original "Just What
I Needed", the original "Moving In
Stereo", this is a record you need! 13 demos
and one live track ("Good Times Roll",
1978), five of the demos are unissued songs. DJ Maxanne
Sartori writes the first page of the booklet, as well
she should..."includes the demo that "got
them their deal", "Just What I Needed"
was originall heard on WBCN in early "77"...
Classic Boston Rock on Rhino (R275700)
Janis Joplin "Box Of
is it, "Featuring Janis Joplin", "Cheap
Thrills", "I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again
Mama" and "Pearl", all re-mastered
with bonus tracks, and a fifth CD if you buy the box,
"Rare Pearls." Rare Pearls features
two out-takes from the Cheap Thrills Session, produced
by John Simon (and engineered, I believe, by one of
Berklee's deans, Don Puluse). The additional 3 tracks
are live by Kozmic Blues band, an incredible "Maybe"
(a hit for The Three Degrees and The Chantels) and
a mesmerizing "Bo Diddley". You've never
heard Janis or "Bo Diddley" sounding like
this, imagine the chaos of The Velvet Underground
with Joplin wailing away, this is the most terrific
find of the year and should be on modern rock radio
all across the country.
Ray Cyrus at Indian Ranch, Webster,MA 8/8/99
Ray's fans will be sorely disappointed at the news
revealed by his handlers at Indian Ranch. Cyrus' contract
with Mercury Records is over. In this reviewers eyes,
the timing couldn't have been worse.
Full of Love", Billy Ray's latest effort, is
his best to date. At least six songs on this CD could
be major hits, with the proper promotion. "Busy
Man", the first single,was a big radio hit. The
followup, "Give My Heart to You", was released,
and given up for dead. It's a great tune, as are "Time
For Letting GO" and "The American Dream",
as well as the title song. In fact ,the album boasts
a hit in virtually every song.
Indian Ranch, Billy Ray chose to play only three tunes
from his new CD. The new single was not included.
It was a powerful statement from the pumped-up singer,
that he wasn't going to help Mercury make any more
gave "Achy Breaky Heart" a cursery rendition.
Played the great "Some Gave All" and a couple
of tunes from his first CD. Then he went rock, covering
the Stones through the Troggs. He can sing rock with
the best of them, but I think he turned off a lot
of the country crowd. The music was loud and vibrated
through peoples heads.
Ranch is one of the more pleasant places to see a
concert. With its lovely lake, you can swim, go boating
or enjoy a delicious lunch (I like the bar-b-q chicken