Tina Turner has been a crucial piece of pop culture since the late ‘50s when she began working with Ike Turner. Throughout the ‘60s, she was an electrifying performer, touring around the world and recording hit records. Her career calmed down in the ‘70s but by 1984, when she released the album PRIVATE DANCER, she became the worldwide superstar that she was always meant to be. By the dawn of the millennium, she stepped out of the limelight and has not released a full-fledged Pop or Soul album since 1999’s TWENTY FOUR SEVEN.
NIGHT STALKERS, originally released in 1984, was Ingram’s third and final album. And before you jump to conclusions, this band of Ingram siblings was not related to Grammy-winning singer/songwriter James Ingram although there is a member of this act who goes by the named James/Jim! This album features the multi-talented former basketball player Norman AKA Butch Ingram (bass and trumpet) joined by his siblings James (vocals, keyboards, sax, flute), Barbara (vocals), Billy (guitar, bass, trombone), John (lead vocals, drums, tuba), Timmy (drums, percussion, trumpet) and Francis, Edith, and Virginia (vocals). Unlike most other family bands at that time, Ingram was a self-contained unit – writing, arranging and producing their own material.
15 Best Reissues of 2017
Palestine, TX-based hard rock band Blacktop Mojo returns with their sophomore album BURN THE SHIPS. This blistering potpourri of power was recorded at Sound Emporium Studios in Nashville, TN, FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL, and Audioworx Studios in Palestine, TX. Blacktop Mojo’s blend of Metal, Southern Rock, Hard Rock and Grunge ensures that they will appeal to heavy music lovers across the board.
On the surface, it is slightly ironic that “American Woman,” one of Rock’s most memorable hit singles of the ‘70s, was written and recorded by a Canadian band – The Guess Who. Unbeknownst to some, “American Woman” was, according to guitarist Randy Bachman, an anti-Vietnam War protest song! Regardless, The Guess Who’s Blues-based Rock workout became a fist-pumping anthem and remains a staple on terrestrial and satellite Rock radio… and rightly so!
IN THE ROUND is an intimate and personal live album recorded by Keith Harkin, best known as a founding member and lead soloist of Celtic Thunder, the Irish sensations who have sold over a million albums worldwide. Prior to the release of IN THE ROUND, Harkin released two solo studio albums – KEITH HARKIN (2012) and ON MERCY STREET (2016) – plus the Christmas album NOLLAIG (2016), which debuted at #1 on the Billboard World Music Chart. While Celtic Thunder’s theatrical live performances are the stuff of legend, Harkin’s live performance on this release is stripped down to acoustic guitar and vocals. IN THE ROUND lets Harkin’s voice and the songs’ melodies do the talking.
Music genres come and go (and come back again) but Heavy Metal has never left us. For nearly 50 years, the Metal genre has continued to smash its way through the music industry like the Incredible Hulk smashes through a brick wall. Over the years, it has morphed into many different subgenres but straight-ahead Metal remains the most popular form of heavy music. It all started in 1968 with Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. (Led Zeppelin has long been associated with Heavy Metal but, in hindsight, the band was an entity unto itself and shouldn’t be classified as a Metal act.) Now, at the dawn of the genre’s 50th Anniversary, Five Finger Death Punch is one of the most popular Heavy Metal bands in the land. Formed in 2005, the Los Angeles/Las Vegas-based band has certainly made their mark in the music business, building a fan base of dedicated followers that continues to grow a decade after they released their debut album THE WAY OF THE FIST (2007).
When one thinks of Australian music, Rockabilly is not the first musical style that comes to mind. People outside of Oz may initially think of AC/DC’s Hard Rock riffage or Men At Work’s breezy New Wave/Pop but very few know about the Land Down Under’s affection for Country and Roots music. While many Aussie artists are influenced by traditional Australian Roots and Folk alongside ‘foreign’ sounds from the UK and America, there are those that go straight for the jugular and delve into the musical roots of American Country and Rock ‘n’ Roll. Singer/songwriter Scotty Baker is one of those artists.
Somewhere between the time Country & Western Music became a phenomenon in the early 1950s and the birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll at the midpoint of that decade, Rockabilly was born. Essentially a combination of the sounds of Rock and Hillbilly music (hence the name), Rockabilly became the breeding ground for hundreds of artists including Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and other artists signed to Sun Records (and other independent labels across the U.S.). These are the artists that inform the music of Scotty Baker and his fabulous new album LADY KILLER, an emotionally charged slice of Rockabilly that feels authentic, passionate and full of energy. Like his first two albums – JUST LIKE THAT (2010) and I’M CALLING IT (2014) – LADY KILLER is filled with fantastic songs straight from the pen of Baker himself. While most would compare him to early Johnny Cash (and rightly so), his music also possesses the emotional depth of Roy Orbison, which is perhaps the most important aspect of his recordings. Scotty Baker doesn’t just play Rockabilly or Country – he lives within the music he creates. He is an artist that adds his own stamp to the tried and true Rockabilly formula and truly shines in the process. LADY KILLER is a Rockabilly treasure that comes from the heart and that is what makes it special.
I’m either the right guy to be writing a review of a ‘new’ Christmas release… or I’m the wrong guy. You see, I’m a connoisseur of Christmas music and I’m extremely picky about the holiday music that I listen to. I don’t care who performs the song or in what style – I’m looking for the FEELING of the season in the song. And for someone who loves Christmas music, there’s very little that has tickled my fancy since the ‘70s. There are exceptions but my favorites tend to be random singles (XTC, Band Aid, Status Quo, etc.) and very few albums. Sure, I appreciate the attempts to create a new classic Christmas album but it is very obvious to me when it is merely a cash-grab by the artist or the label. Or almost as worse – when an artist is only interested in celebrating their own voice and not the holiday they sing so joyfully about. So, sadly, I now approach every Christmas album with trepidation and fear. And suddenly, Bloodshot Records’ 13 DAYS OF XMAS landed in my lap and I needed to take some anxiety medication before I could even listen to it….
When one listens to contemporary Country Music these days, it bears little resemblance to the traditional sound that helped define the genre decades ago. When Hank Williams, Faron Young, Patsy Cline, George Jones and Johnny Cash sang, you could almost smell the beer-soaked wooden floorboards of the old honky tonks coming through your radio. Nowadays, when you listen to contemporary Country Music, all you can smell is the mall. For better or worse, Country Music has gone through many changes over the years and remains one of the most consistently popular – and profitable – genres of music in the U.S. However, while it has been pushed out of the limelight in the States, the traditional Country sound of the ’50s and ’60s remains hugely popular in Europe. Many iconic Country & Western artists that have long since been forgotten in their homeland are revered in countries they probably never set foot in. Ray Price, Marty Robbins, Don Gibson, Marvin Rainwater, Stonewall Jackson and Hank Snow are just a few of the pioneering artists that are seldom remembered by a generation of Americans who were born after the Urban Cowboy-inspired Country resurgence in the ’80s. We must now look to these European countries if we want deluxe reissues and box sets from these Trad Country acts, who seldom have more than a single disc ’hits’ collection available here in the U.S. of A.