New Release Tuesday, March 6, 2012

New Releases for 3/6/2011

  • Eric Chenaux – Guitar and Voice

With this fourth album for the label, simply and aptly titled Guitar & Voice, Eric Chenaux has made what in a literal sense can be called his first solo album, in that the recording features only his playing and singing; no guest or supporting musicians, minimal overdubs, and a rigorous structure that alternates back and forth between longform, mostly vocal-based tunes and shorter, cacophonously harmonious bowed-guitar instrumentals.

  • Jerry Cole – Psychedelic Guitars (import)

Psychedelic Guitars is the third release from Ace Records featuring Jerry Cole’s Crown and Custom label’s recordings from the 1960s. Crown jumped all over the latest fads and wasted no time whatsoever in proffering their $1.98 LPs at grocery stores and other retail outlets. And they often recycled recordings with updated packaging that often didn’t have anything to do with what was actually on the record itself. But unlike so many other drugstore records, Jerry Cole’s LPs contained some really good tracks, mostly penned by Jerry and featured many of LA’s super-session players such as Leon Russell, Don Randi, Steve Douglas and Billy Preston.

  • Willie Dixon – The Willie Dixon Story, box set (import)

When Willie Dixon wrote his autobiography he elected to name it `I Am the Blues’. Any other person claiming such a title would be thrown to the wolves but with Willie Dixon you just can’t argue with his claim. The songs he wrote, artists he nurtured, his session work, as well as his vital role as a the general Mr. Fix-it for both Chess Records and Cobra Records, render him as not just one of the most important figures in the history of Blues but as a key component to the make-up of modern popular music in general. Proper Records presents another of their famous 4 CD sets this time focussing on this legend with individual discs given over to Dixon as a Performer, The Session Man, The Songwriter and The Record Company Man. 100 tracks featuring Dixon along with the likes of Buddy Guy, Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Bo Diddley, Howlin’ Wolf, Otis Rush and many many more. All the hallmarks are here, booklet with story, discographical information, rare photos and remastered recordings.

  • Fender: The Golden Age 1946-1970 various artist (import)

This is the CD companion to the glorious book of the same name that Octopus Publishing printed in 2010, compiled by Martin Kelly, one of the three authors.

It is the first time Ace has devoted a compilation to a musical instrument or a manufacturer of such and we feel we could not begin on a better note than with the story of Fender guitars.

Though the first guitars were made in 1946 it was in the following year that Leon McAuliffe re-recorded his splendid composition Steel Guitar Rag, which he had played the lead instrument on for Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys in 1936. This time the star of the record was the Fender.

We then travel through some Western Swing to the blues of Ike Turner, cut way back in 1954 before women singers raised their pretty heads. By then the distinctive guitar sound had spread across the country and we have offerings from Johnny Cash in Memphis, Otis Rush in Chicago and, by the early 60s across the pond, the mighty Shadows in London town.

The world of soul with Booker T & The MGs, surf from the guitar of Dick Dale, garage from the anarchic Kingsmen and Thames delta blues from one E. Clapton Esq. with his 1964 outfit the Yardbirds all hit the zeitgeist, and frequently the charts, with that distinctive twang.

Records as disparate as King Curtis’ Memphis Soul Stew and the Velvet Underground’s Beginning To See The Light all benefited from the Fender factor.

The CD features many much-loved popular music classics that are seen through the eyes of guitar aficionados who are more interested in the sound than the genres we tend to classify and often limit appreciation of music by. There are also four catchy little Fender radio shot jingles that add to the charm of the presentation as well as copious notes and illustrations of a memorable era.

  • Bill Frisell and Floratone – Floratone II

On Floratone II, Frisell and original members (Matt Chamberlin, Tucker Martine, Lee Townsend) build on the successful concept that NPR proclaimed ‘the most riveting instrumental music to emerge this year. The original Floratone project was released on Blue Note in 2007 and was hailed as one of the best records of the year by jazz and mainstream outlets alike As one jazz’s most prolific and beloved artists, Bill Frisell continues his award-winning streak with yet another stunning body of work on Savoy Jazz.

  • Bob Margolin with the Mike Sponza Band and – Blues Around the World

A longtime Bob Margolin fan, Italian Blues musician Mike Sponza was tearing it up with his own band when he reached out to Bob to join them for a tour of Central Europe. They didten shows in six European countries,and the combination was so magical,the music so strong that by the end of the tour it was clear they neededto go into the studio to make a record together. Blues Around the World captures that magic with original songs by Bob and by Mike as well as a couple audience favorites, and as a bonus track, Bob’s acoustictake on the classic “Love In Vain.”

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