Wednesday, September 23, 2015

WELCOME BACK

DARLENE LOVE


The voice of Darlene Love is one of the most recognizable in the rock & roll era. She can be heard on some of most popular songs ever recorded and this was revealed in the Oscar-winning documentary, "20 Feet From Stardom" which put a long overdue spotlight on the singer. Producer Phil Spector (who Love is most closely associated) recognized her amazing gifts and used them frequently on much of his now classic work throughout the 1960's.

Steven Van Zandt of the E Street Band also recognized her great talent. He had encouraged Love to try New York when she was attempting a comeback in the early '80's after falling in to obscurity during the late '70's. This move lead to her joining the Broadway jukebox musical, "Leader of The Pack" and revitalizing her career. Now, Van Zandt is back lending a helping hand. He has produced Love's first studio album in thirty years and it's appropriately titled "Introducing Darlene Love". This wonderful collection puts the seventy-four year old singer front and center after spending most of her career performing background vocals for other singers. The songs range from pop, rock, gospel and Phil Spector. Love does a cover of "River Deep, Mountain High", a song she provided back-up on the original Spector production performed by Tina Turner.

Take a look at this cute video for the first single, "Forbidden Nights". It features cameos by some of the rock legends that contributed songs for the new album including Joan Jett, Elvis Costello and Bruce Springsteen. Be on the lookout for a few other famous faces here:



KEITH RICHARDS


Keith Richards has spent over fifty years as a member of "the greatest rock & roll band on Earth", The Rolling Stones. Although he would perform the occasional lead vocal on tracks throughout the years on Stones albums, the focus for Richards was songwriting and playing guitar while leaving the rock-star stuff to Mick Jagger.

It wasn't until a tense falling out with Jagger in 1986 over putting his solo career ahead of the Stones that he decided to work on his own music. Richards formed a band, the X-Pensive Winos and released his critically acclaimed solo debut, "Talk Is Cheap" in 1988 which he co-wrote and produced with Steve Jordan. These two long-time friends obviously kissed and made up as the Rolling Stones continue to rock this very day. But now, twenty-three years after his second album, "Main Offender", Richards has just released another solo recording, "Crosseyed Heart" before the Stones hit the road next year. The seventy-one year old, back with his band and co-producer Jordan, isn't worried about commercial appeal. He's covering music that he loves like country, reggae and the blues that you won't hear often on your average Rolling Stones record.

Rumor has it that Richards may try to squeeze in a few concert dates this year to promote the album so be on the lookout. In the meantime, listen to one of the highlights from the album. It's a blues ballad that Richards performs as a scorching duet with another singer we haven't heard from in quite a while; Norah Jones:

"Illusion" - Keith Richards & Norah Jones (2015) mp3

TAKE TWO: TEDDY PENDERGRASS

Back in the '70's, if you wanted to create a sexy mood, all you had to do was turn down the lights, pop open a bottle of wine and...