Wednesday, February 27, 2008

RIP-Buddy MIles

Buddy Miles passed away today.

George Allen “Buddy” Miles passed away late last night in Austin, Texas after a long fight with congestive heart disease.

Born in Omaha in 1947, Buddy was a child prodigy, initially playing drums with his father George,Sr.’s band The Bebops. His nickname – given to him by his aunt - came from his tremendous love for his idol, Buddy Rich (they once played on stage together). He played in a variety of bands as a teenager including the Ink Spots and the Delfonics; at 14 years old, he played with Wilson Pickett. In 1967, together with Mike Bloomfield, he founded the Electric Flag, one of the first, if not the first, mixed race electric blues bands. With Bloomfield’s searing guitar licks and the high wail of a terrific horn section, the Flag was a raving celebration, especially with Buddy’s voice ringing o’er the top. After only two albums, the group broke up and Buddy formed the infamous Buddy Miles Express. Soon thereafter, Buddy began his legendary collaboration with Jimi Hendrix, participating in the famous Electric Ladyland sessions on ”Rainy Day, Dream Away” and “Still Raining, Still Dreaming,” and taking his place with Billy Cox in the all-black, short-lived but extremely influential Band of Gypsys. Their classic Live at the Fillmore East recording from New Years’ Eve 1969/70 – in its initial release – featured a spot where Hendrix broke a guitar string, and during the 5 or so minutes it took Jimi to replace the string, Buddy carried on singing an improvised solo (replete with mouth-made wah-wah sounds) over the bass and drums until Hendrix slyly slipped back in the mix. The moment bears testimony to Buddy’s capacity to carry the band himself with an energy which was all his own. This live session also featured an early version of “Them Changes,” a composition recorded and played by countless artists over time, which has safely entered the pantheon of rock music. Buddy went on famously to work with Carlos Santana, John McLaughlin and many others and he was the voice on the best-selling California Raisins albums (and commercials) including a wondrous version of “I Heard it Through the Grapevine.”

Clapton and Winwood reunion thrills boomers

By Frank Scheck
Wed Feb 27, 9:56 AM ET

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - It took nearly 40 years, but the supergroup Blind Faith returned to Madison Square Garden on Monday night for the first of a three-night stand.

Well, OK, it was really just Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood (drummer Ginger Baker is AWOL and bassist Rich Grech died in 1990), but these shows marking the duo's first full performances together since 1982 are plenty historic enough.

The classic rock stalwarts, who earned raves last year for their short set at Chicago's Crossroads festival, delivered a two-hour, 20-minute show featuring two-thirds of Blind Faith's recorded output -- that translates to all of four songs -- as well as numbers from their respective solo careers and Winwood's stint with Traffic. Beginning with Bline Faith's "Had to Cry Today" and ending with an encore of "Crossroads," it was a blues-heavy set list guaranteed to please the sold-out baby boomer crowd.

Clapton's most recent foray into his past with the Cream reunion shows seemed a distinctly chilly affair, but he clearly was having a terrific time onstage with this former bandmate. Halfway through the show, he commented: "I've been looking forward to this for a long time. . . . I'm enjoying it, so I hope you are. So who knows, maybe we'll do this a bit more, I think."

Performing with a tight three-piece band that included Willie Weeks (bass), Chris Stainton (keyboards) and Ian Thomas (drums), the duo traded vocals and instrumentals with well-practiced ease. Clapton's electrifying solos provided fresh energy to such numbers as Traffic's "Pearly Queen" and "Dear Mr. Fantasy," while Winwood's fluid keyboard work and still-soaring vocals enlivened such songs as Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing" and Clapton's "Tell the Truth." Winwood strapped on a guitar for most of the Blind Faith songs, as well as numbers including the rollicking "Low Down."

Each star also delivered one solo number, with Clapton performing an acoustic version of "Ramblin' on My Mind" and Winwood delivering a nicely moving take on "Georgia on My Mind."

Of course, the Blind Faith classics including "Had to Cry Today," "Presence of the Lord" and "Can't Find My Way Home" garnered the biggest responses, but such Clapton pop hits as "Forever Man" and "After Midnight" came close.


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Have We Heard the Last of Beaker Street with Clyde Clifford?

Last Sunday night from 7 to midnight CST, Beaker Street with Clyde Clifford was on the air. I know, I was in the studio for most of the show. Unknown to Clyde or any of us, when he signed off at midnight on Sunday February 17, 2008 this would be his last show on KMJX "Magic" 105FM.

What happened? Well, Clear Channel owns KMJX and a number of other FM stations in central Arkansas. It seems that KMJX has not been pulling its weight in the latest ratings. In prior years, the station was among the top 5 in the Central Arkansas area. But, it has dropped in rating significantly to its current position of number 16. So, Clear Channel has decided to "do away with" Magic 105 and move a country station to this position on the dial. There will also be a new FM station called "TOM-FM" that will be at 106.7 which was previously the frequency for the country station. Confusing? Basically, Clear Channel is giving the country station a more powerful signal by moving it to the 105.1 frequency. More information can be found here - Arkansas Business Article

So will Beaker Street reappear on another station? Too soon to say. Until then as Clyde says "Keep the faith". For updates, check the Beaker Street website - Beaker Street Website

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Steve Winwood - Highly-Anticipated New Album, "Nine Lives,"

Highly-Anticipated New Album, "Nine Lives,"
Slated For Release On Tuesday, April 8

The legendary singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist Steve Winwood has signed a new deal with Columbia Records who will release the artist's highly-anticipated new major label album, "Nine Lives," on Tuesday, April 8.

The eagerly-awaited "Nine Lives" is Winwood's first full-length studio album since the artist released "About Time" on his own independent label, Wincraft, in 2003 and opens an important new chapter in Steve's extraordinary career.

Each of the nine tracks on the aptly-titled "Nine Lives" paints a musical portrait of spiritual transformation as Winwood continues the exploration of soul, rock, blues and world music which began in 1957, when, at the age of 9, he played guitar in his father's band in Birmingham, England.

Songs on "Nine Lives" include "I'm Not Drowning," "Fly," "Raging Sea," "Dirty City," "We're All Looking," "Hungry Man," "Secrets," "At Times We Do Forget," and "Other Shore." Additionally, fellow musical legend Eric Clapton lends guitar work to "Dirty City."

News of Steve Winwood's "Nine Lives" comes in the wake of a transcendent live collaboration between Winwood and his erstwhile Blind Faith bandmate Eric Clapton at the Chicago Crossroads Guitar Festival in July 2007. The pair's staggering on-stage chemistry in Chicago led to the announcement of three historic Steve Winwood & Eric Clapton concerts at New York's fabled

Madison Square Garden, scheduled for February 25, 26 and 28, 2008. Tickets for all three of Winwood's MSG shows with Clapton sold-out within minutes of their release.

Winwood (who turns 60 this year) was perhaps the youngest member of the original British pop music invasion of the mid-1960s. A prodigious guitarist and keyboard player in the Birmingham R&B scene by his mid-teens, Winwood cut his musical chops as a back-up musician for an impressive array of American rock & roll and blues pioneers -- including Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf, B.B. King, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley -- during their UK tours.

In 1962, Steve and his older brother, Muff Winwood, began playing with Spencer Davis and drummer Pete York in The Rhythm & Blues Quartet, an ensemble which would eventually morph into the Spencer Davis Group. An intensely powerful and emotional vocalist and formidable songwriter, Steve Winwood launched an enormously influential "blue-eyed soul" movement with hits like "Keep On Runnin'," "Somebody Help Me," and, especially, the massively successful pop-soul anthem, "Gimme Some Lovin'." Originally released in 1966, "Gimme Some Lovin'" entered the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1996. Winwood left the Spencer Davis Group in 1967 to form the groundbreaking jazz-rock ensemble Traffic.

In 1966, as "Gimme Some Lovin' transformed the pop landscape, the 18-year-old Steve Winwood entered into his first collaboration with Eric Clapton, recording three songs -- "Steppin' Out," "Crossroads," and "I Want To Know" -- as the Powerhouse (a group which also included future Cream bassist Jack Bruce). Winwood and Clapton would join forces again in 1969 to create Blind Faith, one of pop music's first bona fide supergroups, with drummer Ginger Baker and bassist Rick Grech.

Following the break-up of Traffic in 1974 (they would reform and successfully tour in the 1990s), Steve Winwood launched a successful solo career which reached an apogee in the mid-1980s with the release of four classic albums in a row: "Arc of a Diver" (1981, platinum); "Talking Back To The Night" (1982); "Back In The High Life" (1986, 3x platinum), which featured the 1 smash, "Higher Love," which earned Winwood a trio of Grammys including "Record of the Year"; and the 1 Billboard chart-topping "Roll With It" (1988, 2x platinum).

Through his unparalleled five-plus decades career, Steve Winwood has remained an in-demand session player, contributing his signature sound to an amazing variety of projects for artists including

Jimi Hendrix ("Electric Ladyland"), Joe Cocker ("With A Little Help From My Friends"), Leon Russell ("Leon Russell"), Lou Reed ("Berlin"), George Harrison ("Dark Horse," "George Harrison"), Toots & the Maytals ("Reggae Got Soul"), Marianne Faithfull ("Dangerous Acquaintances"), David Gilmour ("About Face"), Tina Turner ("Break Every Rule"), Billy Joel ("The Bridge"), James Brown ("Gravity"), Rosanne Cash ("King's Record Shop"), Jimmy Buffett ("Hot Water"), Phil Collins ("But Seriously"), Etta James ("Right Time"), Paul Weller ("Stanley Road"), and Christina Aguilera ("Back To Basics"), among many others.

The private Steve Winwood is an outdoorsman who loves hiking and walking, and a dedicated family man who spends his Sundays playing the organ and singing in his church choir.

With "Nine Lives," Steve Winwood opens up his world and gives his fans, old and new, nine new reasons to celebrate the life and music of this ageless, and still prodigious, musical treasure.

Go to Steve's site to listen to the long version of "Dirty City". It is a GREAT track.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008


A live Jefferson Starship album is due out February 26th. Timeless Classics Live was recorded at a sold out concert at Hollywood's House of Blues in 1995. Grace Slick came out of retirement to perform at this show, joining members Jack Casady, Marty Balin, Paul Kantner, Prairie Prince, Mark "Slick" Aguilar, Tim Gorman and Darby Clark.

The set includes hits from Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship's careers, and marks the last recorded appearance of Grace Slick. Tracks include live versions of "White Rabbit," "Somebody To Love" and "Miracles." Other songs on the set are "Count On Me," "Crown of Creation," "Volunteers," "America" and "Sunrise."

Last year saw the release of Sweeping Up The Spotlight: Jefferson Airplane Live At The Fillmore East 1969.

Neil Young touts new tour documentary

By RYAN PEARSON, AP Entertainment Writer
2 hours, 12 minutes ago

PARK CITY, Utah - With his two bandmates and their autocratic leader gathered around a dining table, David Crosby is telling a George Bush joke.

"Don't you think it'd be a good idea," he says, chuckling, "if we had a law that said you can't have control of nuclear weapons unless you can pronounce the word nuclear? I'm just asking."

Neil Young stares intensely at his jovial bandmate and — strangely for a guy who wrote a song called "Let's Impeach the President" — reprimands him.

"That comment is a polarizing comment," Young says harshly. "It doesn't have to do with the grass roots of the country in the Midwest. It takes people and separates them."

Despite assorted health scares and surgeries that come with passing 60 (and decades of rocker excess), things are as they always were with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

In a half-hour conversation, Graham Nash mostly sits quietly and listens. Stephen Stills, just a few weeks after having prostate cancer, laughs loudly and interjects with jokes. As in their music, Crosby and Young guide the discussion, alternating perspectives and sometimes clashing.

The four gathered at the recent Sundance Film Festival to promote a new movie, "CSNY Deja Vu," that tracks their 2006 tour playing songs from Young's "Living With War" album. (It also recently played at the Berlin Film Festival.)

Young directed the documentary under the pseudonym Bernard Shakey. And as he does in jousting with Crosby, he seems to thrive on the rancor that resulted from the tour.

Fans entered arenas around the country apparently expecting "Our House" and "Teach Your Children." Instead, they got protest songs: "Lookin' For a Leader," "Living With War," and the aforementioned tune with a chorus that goes, "Let's impeach the president for lying ... abusing all the power that we gave him."

Fans are shown storming out mid-song, ripping up their tickets and threatening to punch Young's face in. This was post-Dixie Chicks, but before public opinion widely turned against the Iraq war. One of Young's stage props was a human-sized microphone that he leaned out over front rows.

"This movie is about when people started talking again, when people started taking the country back, when people started saying well, it is patriotic to have an opinion," Young said. "That's what the time of that movie is. ... We were riding a wave along with everyone else. It was bigger than anybody."

Young put together the "Living with War" album rapidly, and the result was a raw, ragged sound full of passion and anger. He felt he had to make it because no mainstream artists had spoken out against the war. It's an assertion that his bandmates were quick to correct.

"Imagine if one of these young pop stars had suddenly had an epiphany and started doing this," Young said. "That would've really been good. But that didn't happen."

Nash cut in, saying, "What about that great video (`Mosh') from Eminem?"

Young ignored his bandmate. He continued, "I was hoping something like that would happen. Because it wouldn't just be me, somebody from the '60s."

Crosby cut in, saying, "It does happen. It just doesn't happen enough. That girl Pink. That little pop girl Pink. That song 'Dear Mr. President,' that's a good song."

Young ignored him, too.

"Nobody except the pop mainstream has guaranteed airplay," Young said. "There are people that could've turned it around and forgotten about 'Shake Your Booty' for a few minutes. But nobody was moved to, and the people that were moved to were people that nobody would play."

After recording, Young got Crosby and Nash into a car and played his new album for them. They agreed instantly to tour with him. Stills found out later, and said he went along more reluctantly .

"I would've told them we'd get booed out of the building," Stills said. "We happened to catch the country in the first stages of the argument. And they'd have it on the way out of the building. The kids arguing with the parents."

Nash nodded, adding, "I would like to have taped maybe 1,000 car rides home from our concert."

"That's why we need the reverse radio," Young offered. "The radio that when it's off, it's recording. I got that idea from the Bush administration."

"A ninja team out in the parking lot sticking those in," Crosby said.

Young: "No, they'd just install them at GM."

Crosby and Nash, touring together, continue to open their sets with the Nash's 1971 anti-war song "Military Madness." But Young has moved on. He released a new CD last fall, "Chrome Dreams II," focused on love and relationships and with nary a mention of Iraq.

"The way I like to do it is if you're going to sing about war, sing the whole album about war. Just stay on that and drive it into peoples' heads. And that's what we did. But you can't do that over and over again or it's like television. It just completely bores you and numbs you."

Which brings us back to the band leader's takedown of Crosby's crack about Bush.

"A lot of people have problems pronouncing words and spelling things correctly. It doesn't mean that they're not intelligent," Young tells Crosby. "You've got to give the guy credit. Do I agree with him? No. Do I think he's stupid? No. Do I think he's a leader? Yes. He led. He took this country where he wanted to take it. And he steadfastly stuck with it all the way."

Monday, February 11, 2008


Eric Burdon and War will reunite for one night only on April 21st at London's Royal Albert Hall. The show marks Burdon's first show with the group in over 37 years.

Burdon told Billboard, "My music has always had a message; working with a great multi-racial band was part of my statement at that time. The name War forced people to look at the political environment of that time and obviously it is just as powerful today. I think people need to be challenged with a reality check, and this reunion is just the thing to help wake people up."

Although Burdon and War only scored one major hit together, 1970's Top Three hit "Spill The Wine," they were one of rock's first racially integrated bands of the 1970s.

Without Burdon, War went on to score six additional Top 10 hits, including the ""Low Rider" and "Why Can't We Be Friends?" and the 1973 Top Two hit "Cisco Kid."

The show coincides with next month's reissues of Burdon's two albums with War, Eric Burdon Declares War and Black Man's Burdon as well as a War's subsequent albums following Burdon's departure from the band, including The Best Of Eric Burdon And War and The War Anthology, which will follow in April.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Neil Young: Music can't change world

BERLIN - Neil Young has a pessimistic message: Music has lost its power to change the world.

The 62-year-old singer brought his new movie, "CSNY Deja Vu," to the Berlin film festival Friday. The film was shot during the 2006 Freedom of Speech tour by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

Young, who directed the movie under the pseudonym Bernard Shakey, wasn't making any big claims about its effects.

"I think that the time when music could change the world is past," he told reporters. "I think it would be very naive to think that in this day and age."

Young added: "I think the world today is a different place, and that it's time for science and physics and spirituality to make a difference in this world and to try to save the planet."

"CSNY Deja Vu" intersperses footage from the tour, which featured performances from Young's "Living With War" album, with archive and television news material — and unfavorable reactions from critics.

"If we didn't do that, it would just feel like a bunch of old hippies up there saying what they thought — and who cares?" Young said.

Young said he called his fellow band members before the tour and told them: "This is all I'm going to do, I won't be doing anything else and I don't want to sing any ... pretty songs; we can only sing about war and politics and the human condition."

"The goal was to stimulate debate among people, and I hope that to some degree the film succeeds in doing that," he said.

"CSNY Deja Vu" is showing outside the main competition at the annual Berlin festival, which runs through Feb. 17.

I think Neil is right. Unfortunately, music doesn't influence people the way it did back in the late 60s and early 70s. It seems no one gives a shit anymore.

Terminally Ill Guitarist MEL GALLEY To Fans: 'You Are The Music - I Was Just In A Band'

Terminally Ill Guitarist MEL GALLEY To Fans: 'You Are The Music - I Was Just In A Band' - Feb. 9, 2008

British hard rock guitarist Mel Galley (WHITESNAKE, TRAPEZE, PHENOMENA) — who was recently diagnosed with cancer — has released the following statement:

"Well, as some of you may already have read in the press or seen/heard on other websites, the verdict from the doctors following a full MRI scan is that my condition is terminal. Rather than sit around feeling sorry for myself, I intend to make the most of the time I have left with my family and friends. I am blessed with a fantastic wife and two sons who I am very proud of. For now am just aiming to make my 60th birthday in March.

"I have enjoyed a great life, travelled the world having some amazing experiences, met all sorts of people and played with some of the best musicians there are.

"Back in the late '60s when I first started playing in local bands I never imagined how far I would go and the shows I would play. I seemed to tour non-stop with Glenn and Dave in TRAPEZE in the early 70s. We supported THE KINKS and THE MOODY BLUES while still very young men, had people like John Bonham come on and do encores with us, and the likes of ZZ TOP as our support act. We loved to play live and the fans seemed to love us, especially in the Southern States of the USA — HELLO TEXAS!

"Playing on the same bill as THE EAGLES and THE ROLLING STONES, with MONTROSE opening, in front of 100,000 fans in Dallas in 1975 and headlining the 1983 Monsters of Rock festival while in WHITESNAKE are two shows that I will treasure. There have been so many highlights that it's impossible to name them all.

"Glenn still occasionally throws in a TRAPEZE song during his shows and they sound as fresh as if written yesterday. That tells me how good they are. The fact that he has always had one of the most amazing voices you have ever heard helps too! God bless you, Glenn.

"Due to my arm injury, my time in WHITESNAKE sadly only resulted in one album. Playing with those guys was a buzz and both line-ups I was involved in contained tremendous musicians. I'm sure John Sykes and I could have written some great songs together. It was so nice to meet him again recently over 20 years later and to see him still playing the same Gibson as back then.

"Over the last 12 months, since the launch of my page and the TRAPEZE page, I have regained my love for playing and taken real pleasure from reading the comments and messages you have all left. I have heard from people I had lost touch with years ago. It has been fantastic and I thank you all. I honestly didn't realise the amount of people out there who still remember or have discovered my music. I just wish I could have had the chance to play the shows I had planned for this year.

"Thank you all so much for your love and support over the years.

"You are the music — I was just in a band!"