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The Welcome Return of Jack Bruce

One of the most famous bass players (and certainly one of the greatest, despite what Ginger Baker thinks bless him), Jack Bruce has just released his first solo studio album in ten years enititled Silver Rails written in partnership with – amongst others - his old Cream lyricist mucker Pete Brown and featuring contributions from six string alchemists Phil Manzanera, Robin Trower and Uli Jon Roth, jazz keyboard legend John Medeski and drummer Cindy Blackman Santana (yup, THAT Santana, she’s his wife). This album is particularly welcome as it marks a decade on from his, almost terminal, brush with liver cancer ensuring that we have yet another classic British rock musician continuing to work into his 70’s. Check out the interview with the man about the new album below (here).

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Fans of Joy Division, The Buzzcocks, The Invisible Girls and the Collossus that is Jilted John who find themselves in the environs of Manchester on April 10th will find much to fascinate and enthral during 'An Evening Dedicated To Martin Hannett' at Gorilla (54-56 Whitworth Street). Featuring performances from musicians who shared the stage or studio with the great man, people who knew Martin including his wife and children, an exhibition of Hannett related artefacts (synths, studio gear, images etc.) and a preview of an upcoming DVD release (an abandoned film project about Martin Hannett started in 1995 by Manchester video and flyposting entrepreneur Tosh Ryan which has subsequently been rescued and expanded by Ozit Records Chris Hewitt). There will also doubtless be news of the upcoming book Pleasures Of The Unknown (more here)

Winter Warmers

Having been spoilt rotten with possibly the best summer we've had in years it's even more depressing to note that not only are the nights drawing in but it's got bloody cold again! But fear not because not only can you still wander around out in the real world listening to music but you can also do it with a snuggled up bonce courtesy of Midland Subzero Music ear warming headphones. Ho yus mate, engineered for winter sports and activities letting you listen to music on the move no matter what it's like outside they are available in various colours and feature two high-quality Hi-Fi stereo speakers, inline Controls (Answer/End Call, Next/Previous Track, Pause/Play), noise isolation, mic and wind noise reduction and can also be used with your mobile phone, these little lovelies retail at a very reasonable £12.95 and can be had by toddling along to Nevada Music

Rory Gallagher Meets John Rebus?

With record companies squeezing every last penny out of their back catalogues by fleshing out sonically buffed up classics which are then loaded up with dubious outtakes and so-so live cuts it’s a genuine delight to see someone actually doing something new and exciting with classic old rock like this ‘immersive album’ project inspired by the crime noir passion for, and music of, Rory Gallagher. Featuring a specially compiled album of Rory Gallagher’s best crime novel influenced music, an exclusive new novella by Ian Rankin fully illustrated by graphic artist Timothy Truman and a special narration of the story by actor Aidan Quinn. Entitled Kickback City this combination of the words of Ian Rankin, the illustrations of Timothy Truman and the music of Rory Gallagher results in a brand new kind of concept album – a must have for fans of Rory Gallagher, Ian Rankin, graphic novels and newcomers alike. Released on Sony Music on 28 October you can find more info here.

Genesis Revisited Live And Boxed

Steve Hackett seems to have hit something of a creative seam of late with numerous album and DVD releases arriving almost weekly but it is this, the winner of Prog Magazine’s ‘event of the year’ that has got most people’s knickers in a proper old twist. A five disc box-set, Genesis Revisited – Live At Hammersmith was originally recorded on May 10th at a sold out London’s Hammersmith Apollo show complete with with an ecstatic audience and guests including Nik Kershaw, John Wetton, Jakko Jakszyk, Steve Rothery and Amanda Lehmann. Due for release on October 21st through Inside Out/Universal Records. The 3CD+2DVD (with 5.1) box set coincides with the return of Hackett’s Genesis Revisited Tour to the UK for a second round due to popular demand...


George Duke R.I.P.

We were very sad to learn of the death of keyboard pioneer, composer, singer and producer George Duke who managed to garner critical acclaim in both jazz and popular mainstream musical genres, working with numerous acclaimed artists including Jean-Luc Ponty, Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley, Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, David Axelrod, Chaka Khan, Flora Purim, Billy Cobham, Stanley Clarke and of course with Frank Zappa as part of the greatest ever Mothers line-up. Working as an arranger, music director, writer and co-writer and record producer Duke remianed in demand throughout his career releasing thirty-odd solo albums (several of the better ones are currently available through Cherry Red/Soul Music see review here) and featuring on some all time classics. He will be greatly missed and what better way to celebrate his passing than with this terrific outing with FZ and the Mothers.

The Return Of The Shining Stars

Delighted to see that Earth Wind & Fire are back in action, and whilst not many of the original line-up are still around (and let’s spare a thought for Maurice White who sadly now has Parkinson’s disease, although he is still very much involved in the business side of the band), with only Verdine White, Philip Bailey and Ralph Johnson surviving from the ‘70s, the sound is still unmistakably their own, and the early signs are this album is going to be a worthy addition to their fine catalogue. Check out the following video piece of them talking about the album...

One Last Fix for Weird Al J

After the bands messy demise in 2008, it seemed those keen on their continent shifting sturm und drang would have to be happy with the back catalogue, however the story picked up again in 2011 when it was announced that they would be playing at the Wacken festival in Germany and, hurrah, they filmed the event and the results, entitled Enjoy The Quiet, are due out in August. Sadly the new impetus in the Ministry camp (including a new album From Beer To Eternity, due out later this year), all came grinding to a halt on December 23, 2012 when guitarist Mike Scaccia died following an on-stage heart attack, while playing with his other band, Rigor Mortis. So this time it really does look like it's all over bar the shouting (on this DVD and the new album that is). Watch out for the upcoming review but in the meantime…

Canvey Islanders

Following the sad news of Wilko Johnson's terminal illness (see below) it's nice to be able to report something positive about the worlds most famous Canvey Islander and his rhythm and blues buddies Dr. Feelgood. Those of you lucky enough to have seen Julian Temple's terrific documentary Oil City Confidential (more here), will already be aware just how important the Essex seaside resort is in the history of the band and that link is expored further at the Dr Feelgood Exhibition, which is set to run from May 10th through to May 26th 2013, at The Canvey Club (162 High Street Canvey Island), and celebrates the band in all its incarnations, with a feast of memorabilia including rare photo shoots, concert posters, album and single sleeve artwork - plus items such as a Lee Brilleaux waistcoat. More info can be had at www.drfeelgoodexhibition.com

Wilco Johnson's Final Live Dates

TM-O is very sad to learn that Wilko Johnson, the guitarist and founding member of Dr. Feelgood, has been diagnosed with terminal cancer of the pancreas and has chosen not to undergo chemotherapy. Fans of Dr. Feelgood (check out our review of the excellent Feelgood biopic Oil City Confidential here), will already be well aware of Johnson’s very stylistic, stuttering style of guitar playing - those of you that aren’t can check out the video below - and whilst he will never be held up as any sort of guitar hero there are many guitarists out there that owe an enormous debt to the staccato rhythms of Wilko Johnson and he will be hugely missed.

Limited Edition Lord Swansong

As regular readers will already be aware (see our recent Class Act feature for the full retrospective on the great man’s remarkable career), the last piece of work that Jon Lord worked on was a studio version of his Concerto for Group and Orchestra featuring Lord himself, Bruce Dickinson, Steve Morse, Joe Bonamassa and Paul Mann and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – an expanded, limited edition BOOK, CD and DVD version of which is out on 3rd December – and to whet your appetite we have a trailer from the DVD…...


Crazy CD Comic Capers

If, like many of the older boys here, you are fond of a taking a comic into the toilet with you then we feel it behoves us to let you know that you can now happily waste time reading them on your computer as well thanks to CD comics - and whilst you may think that the CD is a play on their slightly larger rivals DC it is in fact more to do with the fact that you purchase the comics/graphic novels on CD (oh and the writer/artist, who sets all of his action in his home town of Sheffield is called Craig Daley). Thus far you can get titles like The Attercliffe Prowler (nasty Jack The Ripper type goings on), Meadowhell (nasty shopping mall slasher type goings on), Manhatten 1930 (super heroes for hire meet devil worshipping and Nazi types) and just released Football Crazy, which we haven’t read but we’re guessing is about nasty goings on at the footy. Why are we telling you all of this? Well the Mr Daley in question used to supply a monthly cartoon called the Jerks for much missed Making Music magazine (under the Pseudonym Dan Daley) which we remember very fondly indeed. Check out CD comics at either cddcomics.webs.com or cdgraphicnovels.blogspot.com.

News In brief

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More Good Free Stuff
If, like several folks here in the office, you enjoyed the Three Trapped Tigers Route One Or Die album (released in 2011) – described elsewhere as ‘a garage band bashing their way through Aphex Twin’ then you might like to know that their label Blood And Biscuits are giving away a remixed version of the album entitled Remix Or Die on their website featuring the talents of B&B’s own Teej, Gallops and Evil Ex alongside several others (including TM-O faves Nedry) and it’s a real blast, but it’s limited so you’d best get a wriggle on a (more here).

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R.I.P. Jon Lord
We were very sad to learn of the passing of Jon Lord, the former keyboard player with Deep Purple, Whitesnake and more recently the man behind some very fine classical works (more here). Aged 71 Lord had been receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer since last August but died at the London Clinic on 16th July and, needless to say, the tributes have been rolling in from fans as disparate as Rage Against The Machines Tom Morello to Jazz pianist Jamie Cullum. It has also been announced that a new studio version of the groundbreaking Concerto For Group And Orchestra which was already in pipeline - featuring Steve Morse, Joe Bonamassa, Bruce Dickinson and more - will still be released on Oct 1st, watch out for more news on this very soon.

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Jacko Get's Easy Star Treatment

After a great deal of speculation The Easy Star All Stars have announced that the next album to get the ESAS treatment will be Michael Jackson's Thriller - having run a teaser campaign on their website to guess which album it would be for the past month or so, we guessed Pet Sounds, (doh!). Being big fans of their previous Pink Floyd, Radiohead and Beatles efforts we can't wait to hear the results, and if you're like us you might like to know that you can get a free download of 'Billie Jean' here.

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Leven R.I.P.
We were very sad to learn that Jackie Leven passed away on 14th November having suffered for some time now from cancer. In a career stretching over forty years, Leven carved an impressive reputation as a uniquely gifted singer-songwriter, from his emergence as leader of the underrated Doll By Doll in the seventies, through well documented addiction problems which Leven overcame with remarkable strength of will, culminating in a solo resurgence through the 1980s to his recent passing. Jackie amassed an amazing body of work which we suggest you discover for yourselves, starting with this.

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