by Rich and Laura Lynch
First up, hard rockers Whitesnake shares their take on the Deep Purple catalogue with the release of The Purple Album (Frontiers Records) featuring remakes from the Mark III and Mark IV lineups when Whitesnake lead singer David Coverdale was a member of the band. This album also marks the debut of heavy metal hero Joel Hoekstra on guitar and backing vocals. His tenure in the group is off to a colorful and powerful start as proven by the record’s thirteen blistering and faithfully rendered tracks. It has been written that Coverdale had approached the elusive and reclusive Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore about working on this project together but it wasn’t meant to be.
That doesn’t mean Blackmore’s guitar god legacy hasn’t been popping up elsewhere, however. Deep Purple’s Long Beach 1971 (earMUSIC) is part of an on-going re-issuing series. Although the live concert has been re-mastered the sound quality fluctuates but Long Beach 1971 captures the raw power of the Mark II version of Deep Purple (guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, frontman Ian Gillan, vocals; bassist Roger Glover; organ/keyboard player Jon Lord; and, drummer Ian Paice). The CD runs about 70 minutes starting with a fast and furious “Speed King”. The song features classic caterwauls from Ian and frenzied instrumentation from the rest. The song does hit a bump in the road at one point but the band quickly picks the pace back up. “Strange Kind of Woman” blends the blues with a bit of funk. “Child In Time” has riveting axe work from Ritchie. The CD closes with an expansive “Mandrake Root.” Long Beach 1971 is a historical live performance from Deep Purple in one of their many impressive incarnations.
When Blackmore left Deep Purple he created another band in a similar mold and same musical spectrum. Rainbow also had a revolving door of personnel and rare concerts from that group are now set to see the light of day in their own series of vintage recordings from L.A.-based Purple Pyramid Records. Coming August 21 is a super deluxe three CD box set of full-length 1979 concert recordings from Denver, Long Island, and Chicago. These shows feature the commercial breakthrough grouping of singer Graham Bonnet, Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover, keyboardist Don Airey and drummer Cozy Powell, who together with Blackmore, began to reach the radio airwaves on the strength of songs like the band’s first charting single “All Night Long” and the classic rock radio staple “Since You Been Gone.” Of course, all good things must come to an end and the “Down To Earth” era would be short-lived but Rainbow would soon find its pot of gold with the help of a hot-shot New Jersey spotlight kid with pipes.
Joe Lynn Turner received a lot of attention earlier in the year when he took to the Internet to press his case for a long-awaited reunion with Ritchie Blackmore to help celebrate Rainbow’s 40th Anniversary. Apparently, his plea for Blackmore to take a break from his Renaissance folk pursuits and make a return to his hard rock roots didn’t fall on deaf ears.
According to published reports Blackmore has announced plans to revise his hard rock guitar god status. But, “Just for a few days, next June.” In a conversation with the French newspaper Le Parisien he added, “But for now, I’m not decided on the persons I want to work with. I’ve got a good idea about the ideal candidates, but it wouldn’t be fair to say anything now. I will know exactly in one month who I want to have in this band to play Deep Purple and Rainbow songs. We will probably play three or four shows in June (2016); that’s all.”
Continuing the theme of influential six-stringers from the 70’s and 80’s comes a surprising release from a true musical icon. On Guitar Dave Edmunds Rags & Classics is a short but sweet ten-track album from guitar great Dave Edmunds. This instrumental record is perfect for a laid-back Sunday morning. The song selections reflect Dave’s preferences in pop while paying tribute to some of his favorite players such as Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed and Merle Travis. The CD opens with “A Whiter Shade of Pale” (Procol Harum). Edmund’s guitar takes on the role of lead vocalist on this and all of the songs on this CD. He also alters the arrangements just a shade while keeping in the context of the originals. Other highlights include the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” and a soaring version of the Kate Bush classic “Wuthering Heights”. “Black Mountain Rag” and “Cannonball Rag” honor the traditions of earlier musical styles. On Guitar Dave Edmunds Rags & Classics is an easy going guitar centered record reflecting Dave’s influences and tastes.
Someone Like You (Blind Pig Records) is the latest release from Albert Cummings. Albert is an expressive singer with a sizzling yet soulful guitar style. Cummings has surrounded himself with a talented team of musicians “who care about every note they play” with Grammy-winning David Z producing. Albert blends traditional blues into his 12 originals tracks, thus they have a familiar yet fresh sound. Cumming tells tales of heartbreak and love with the best of them. Albert’s tunes are spontaneous exposing real everyday emotions spiked with explosive guitar licks. “No Doubt” opens the set with a bluesy-funky mix of B3, riffs and rhythms to tell the tale of cheating. It’s countered by the more hopeful “I Found You” punctuated with female backing vocals. This pairing sets the high standard for the rest of the record. “Meatlocker” a spirited all instrumental piece flows into the seductive “I’m In Love With You”. Someone Like You is a solid blues/rock based album from someone who is clearly passionate about his art.
Crossing Over is one man’s musical journey penned over the years. It is Joe Newtz’s first full-length CD. Joe shares that “I just write songs about how I feel at the time” thus his 15 originals express a range of images and insights in songs that have solid storytelling and structure. We detected a number of rock influences on Crossing Over, although Newtz states his sound is perhaps similar to one of his favorite bands Toad the Wet Sprocket. We particularly liked the melodic and moody “Falling In” followed by the singular “Superstition”. Over all this is a fine collection of acoustic driven, layered songs about life.
EVEN MORE NOTABLE RELEASES! In a sign of what’s coming in next month’s issue we offer From A Distance the sophomore release from the Italian band Not A Good Sign. This ten-track album blends elements of prog and rock in crafty compositions that are filled with plenty of keys paired with subtle sound effects. Each song has its own mood that can run from stark to expansive and thus this record goes the distance… Last time in S.S.O.N. we told you about our first amazing trip to Music City and we did a special spotlight on Nashville musicians and since that time our inbox has been flooded with amazing talent flowing out of Tennessee. B
renna Swanger hails from New York originally but she moved south to pursue her musical dreams and she appears to be ready to fly with her latest hot track called “Formed From Fire”. Swanger is strong as steel on this ethereal acoustic pop ode to love and we expect to hear more great things from her as she burns up the charts.
Nashville-by-way-of-Atlanta singer-songwriter Joshua Fletcher has released Ready, Aim, a ten-track collection of honest, beautiful pop songs produced by The Damnwells’ Alex Dezen, on Portland, Oregon-based In Music We Trust Records. Fletcher’s songs are predominantly about relationships with musings on the mundane and memorable. Fletcher and Co. have produced a record that they call “a little dark, a little spooky, a little groovy” with a depth and determination as deep as the singer’s delectable delivery … See ya next month!
For more information on the new product releases mentioned here please visit the following links —
Whitesnake (http://www.whitesnake.com) |
Deep Purple (http://www.ear-music.net/en/news/details/deep-purples-long-beach-1971-out-on-february-27th-2015/) |
Rainbow (http://www.amazon.com/Denver-1979-Colored-Vinyl-Rainbow/dp/B00UY80B3O) |
Dave Edmunds (https://www.facebook.com/DaveEdmundsOfficial) |
Albert Cummings (https://www.facebook.com/albertcummingsmusic) |
Joe Newtz (http://www.joenewtz.com/music) |
Not A Good Sign (http://www.notagoodsign.org) |
Brenna Swanger (http://www.brennaswanger.com) |
Joshua Flectcher (http://joshuafletchermusic.co)
Courtesy of SoundPress.net
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