Archive for September, 2010

24
Sep
10

“RONNIE WOOD GETS SOULFUL”-CD REVIEW-I FEEL LIKE PLAYING-BY JOHN EMMS

With a rich set of songs and fresh dynamics RONNIE WOOD has made his most soulful solo record to date with I Feel Like Playing.  Considering it comes on his seventh solo recording and 40 years into his career, it’s going to be  a welcome wake up call to industry people and fans. YES FOLKS, IT’S THAT GOOD!

Hell, my wife even likes it and that’s good news from the housewives of the world for Ronnie. On the opening Why You Wanna Go and Do a Thing Like For That For, Wood mines a classic  Music From Big Pink vibe with his own evocative  singing on lyrics like “Kicking me from Heaven Straight to Hell”. That sets up the effortless reggae  of  Sweetness My Weakness, and the soon to be Wood classic Lucky Man written with Canadians Paul Hyde, Bob Rock and Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder.

When Wood sings lines like “It’s hard to get the Devil off your clothes, and “I went looking for a saviour and but there was none to be found” you believe the guy.

Although stars like Slash, Jim Keltner, the great Bernard Fowler, Ian McLagan (The Faces) and Flea sit in the whole feel of this album is Ron Wood.

Wood gets the blues rock in gear on Thing About You a co-write with ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, who also sits in and trades licks with Wood.

Wood then does a funky rave-up of  Willie Dixon’s Spoonful with Slash and a dynamic ripping vocal from Fowler, before delivering the album’s best rock n roll song I Don’t Think So behind Steve Ferrone’s wicked backbeat, Waddy Wachtel’s percussive guitar and chorus help from legendary vocalist Bobby Womack.

At this point your saying “Wow” when Wood and the crew get up in your face with the Howlin’ Wolf vibe of Fancy Pants, and the soulful and sincere “Faces like” Forever again featuring Bobby Womack.

There is a feeling of cohesion between the songs, and the players with Wood sitting on top of the mix that simply lifts this release to lofty heights. THIS CD will be available September 28th worldwide from Eagle Rock Entertainment

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, radio show host http://emms.podbean.com/ and musician

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22
Sep
10

shania twain-to write a new biography..here is PAST fun from APRIL 2009

DOES SHANIA TWAIN NEED A NEW REALITY T.V. SHOW TO REVIVE HER CAREER??-BY JOHN EMMS

REALITY TV I DO NOT LIKE….SHANIA TWAIN I LIKE..Oprah Network/Shania in front of cameras…..I will watch..

Will it be torture, tease, or just plain fantastic????

PROBABLY ALL THREE..AND THAT’S GOOD FOR BUSINESS

BUT FOLKS…LET’S CALL IT WHAT IT IS..

BIG marketing,  equals big ratings, equals revival of SHANIA’S career.

I DON’T  see making a t.v. reality show as “going out on your shield” Or taking risks.

 But it will take work and long hours, because t.v. is not easy. It’s bloody well demanding

I’m sure OZZY sold more cd’s after their hit reality show THE OSBOURNES drew huge numbers after 52 episodes. They even “reloaded it”

IT FLUNKED AFTER ONE EPISODE..

REALITY T.V. IS KING..  And this WILL help SHANIA SELL MORE CD’S..I CAN TELL YOU THAT

Maybe I will make an apperance as the local music journalist/critic who tries to convince SHANIA..TO WRITE SONGS CLOSE TO HER HEART..LET THEM SEE YOUR SOUL..

Here is scene I CAN SEE SHANIA AND MYSELF DOING

SHANIA-(LOOKING TROUBLED) Do you think all this is unecessary John. The people following me around in my daily life. asking me  to do things I cannot possibly have the inner strength  to accomplish?

JOHN-(HOLDING SHANIA’S HAND GENTLY) Shania. People love you for what you are. They want to feel the inner you. Look Shania if you give your heart, you will get it back A MILLION TIMES

SHANIA has already created one of the most enduirng pop recordings of all time with UP

Absolute great cd..SHANIA..YOU CAN DO IT AGAIN..But let’s see some of that inner beauty

LOOK I WILL WATCH THIS  SHOW….BUT WHAT WOULD I REALLYLIKE????

How about Shania picks or writes 12  new songs. How about 12 new songs, that have soul, depth and really connect.

Let’s say about motherhood, life, love, and loss.

What do you Shania fans think?? Let me hear from you

JOHN EMMS is a long time music journalist and musician www.johnemms.com

his new radio show is lots of fun it’s here http://emms.podbean.com/

JOHN is also the lead singer/songwriter with THE SHAFTMEN (see article below)..THE BAND HAVE 2 CD’S OUT AT ITUNES ..check them out http://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/paycheque-blues/id365389443

21
Sep
10

SANTANA-GUITAR HEAVEN-CD REVIEW-“MUSICIANSHIP IS HIGH”-BY JOHN EMMS

Taste is hard to define when it comes to drawing up a list of the greatest guitar songs of all time. Rolling Stone Magazine had their list and I did not agree with about 30 percent of that  list.  In fact it was ridiculous in places.

However, every musician knows when they are creating music that is special. On his new cd Guitar Heaven (The Greatest Guitar Classics of All Time) Carlos Santana proves once again organic muscianship will always win out.

Santana’s guitar chops are intense and  at almost every turn his willingness to not only share the spotlight but to really get down and real with his players is what makes this album special.

What really shakes this set up is THE LEAD VOCALISTS and the Santana CORE BAND.  Scott Weiland is on fire on The Rolling Stones/Mick Taylor classic Can’t You Hear Me Knocking, Rob Thomas breathes new life into Cream’s Sunshine of Your Love,  Indie Arie gently mesmerizes the listener on George Harrison’s While My Gutar Gently Weeps, Scott Stapp rips through the CCR chestnut Fortunate Sun, while Pat Monahan absolutley owns the Van Halen classic Dance The Night Away

Naysayers will comment that Santana has worked with virtually everyone in the past 15 years, and some will agree they have a point.  Michelle Branch, Los Lonely Boys, Chad Kroeger, Steven Tyler, Joss Stone. This  list is huge. 

Fellow businessman/Chief  Creative Officer of Sony Music Entertainment and friend Clive Davis knows what sells. His track record is impressive to say the least. In fact, you can almost bet there will be a Guitar Heaven Part 2. 

But don’t let that stop you from checking out this album. THAT WOULD BE A MISTAKE. Santana’s lead work on Riders on the Storm,  Back In Black with rapper Nas and Harrison’s While My Guitar Gently Weeps is organic and exciting at his best and even when you know what he is going to do (Whole Lotta Love) it is is done with taste.

Stellar work from Santana’s entire band especially drummer Denis Chambers and bassist Benny Reitveld for laying out a wicked groove to every track on the set. Deluxe cd comes with a bonus dvd.

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, radio show host    http://emms.podbean.com/  and musician.

16
Sep
10

john emms reviews/nils lofgren-dvd cry tough-“a treasure”

Nils Lofgren has long been one of my fave guitarists.  However,  his work with  Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band/Neil Young and Crazy Horse  has never really nailed down his “own’ concert personna. For a number of years it’s obvious he is just a small part of the Boss’s killer band and he does his part. Now fans should get excited watching him doing his own material from 3 seperate broadcasts filmed in Germany for the Rockpalast t.v/festival concert series.

My fave convert of the 3 presented here is the 1979 festival show. At this point in his career he had the band and the chops tuned into a tight 5 piece sound that just kills.

Highlights include Beggars Day, Keith Don’t Go, Crry Tough and I Came To Dance. There are a number of parts over the entire dvd where you just say WOW THIS GUY IS SO GOOD

The 3 concerts catch Lofgren and band in 1976, 1979 and 1991 the latter with Rockets drummer Johnny “Bee” Badanjek .  Absolute dynamite shows.

It should be noted, Eagle Rock has become “the” company for it’s treasure trove of  excellent dvd/blu-ray titles such as the live from montreux series/classic albums series, and tons more.

12
Sep
10

JOHN EMMS REVIEWS/RON HAWKINS/THE VIC/INDIE/MAINSTREAM AND A RARE TREAT

I had never met Ron Hawkins previous to a club date here in our city at THE VIC.

But I did  know some of his songs from his former group Lowest of The Low, and had recently checked out his solo work.

When I walked in the club Charlie Angus  member of Parliament, Grievious Angel head honcho and former punk rocker from L’Etranger along with Andrew Cash and Peter Duffin was laying down the story lines of George Chuvalo, Heartbreak Town and a dandy new track called Diamonds in the Snow inspired by the youth in James Bay.

Hawkins arrived at the same time with Wayne Bozzer (former astute booker of all time cool and hip Canuck acts) to the stand up bar where Charlie and myself began talking about what else MUSIC (not politics)  Oh yeah and why most music that sells gazillions is pretty damn bland (I’m being nice) 

I introduce myself to Hawkins, buy his latest cd and Hawkins an intelligent and good guy joins in the conversation.  All three of us are not complaining.  Nope it boils down to the fact that these days even a great song (Hawkins and Angus have a few of those) really has a hard time getting translated to a mainstream audience without globs of production and the marketing genius of Ellen DeGeneres. 

It’s like there is an invisible bridge that if you happen to trip over it and walk across it your going to get a leg up. Then again getting 100 million youtube hits by playing your guitar and looking cute may also help.

Ok here is where it gets tough folks. Why did The Clash,  Bob Marley, Bruce Cockburn,  Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen,, Billy Bragg, Neil Young , Elvis Costello, and others have their views and songs explode to the mainstream. I would say it somehow falls into the structure and TIMING of when a pop song that actually says something catches up with people.

Don’t forget  POLIITCS. Left leaning,  right, or middle can still produce classic songwriting.  CCR’S Fortunate Sun, Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ in the Wind, Neil Young’s Ohio, or anything by JOHN LENNON.  So maybe songwriters have to channel their  focus and talent.

 I think it comes down to that ol’ songwriter magic. You know when you have something really good.

It’s too bad corporate bullshit does not really know this. That’s why they are corporate bullshit leaders. They (for the most part) don’t know anything about music

I love having a RADIO SHOW http://emms.podbean.com/ that you can put out to the world and show people there is real music out there made by real honest players and true talents. BUT UNLIKE conglomerate radio I get caught up in ACTUALLY programming blues, hard rock,  acoustic folk, country, alternative and whatever else that MOVES ME..maybe u will listen and say…wow i have never heard that artist or if you did you never heard them play that track.

Oh yeah the capper is RON HAWKINS then lays out a show full of songs with lyrical sense and TONS OF moments where you actually find out what moves him as a person and songwriter. This is of course a rare treat. Our band has even got lucky with that on occasion. 

RON HAWKINS is making sense in the real world.

All you have to do is go and listen  

check him out at http://www.ronhawkins.com/

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, radio show host, and musician

www.johnemms.com

www.theshaftmen.com

12
Sep
10

JOHN EMMS REVIEWS/STONY PLAIN RECORDS STOKES UP THE FALL/BUSY SUMMER/JOHN NEMETH NAME THE DAY/BLUES & R&B PUTS ME IN A GOOD MOOD

iT’S GOING TO BE A GREAT FALL FOR BLUES..i’m looking at getting you the hip quotient with some new releases from  www.stonyplainrecords.com   which I should be sharing with you over the next few weeks. 

IT’S been a busy summer gigging with THE SHAFTMEN www.theshaftmen.com  recording a new solo cd CLOSE ANOTHER DOOR  www.johnemms.com and doing new radio shows which are now up as podcasts on APPLE ITUNES   http://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/collection-songs-johns-radio/id376049866  

HOWEVER BEFORE we get into that I wanted to go back to a cd I have been playing all summer and that is JOHN NEMETH’S latest titled NAME THE DAY

It would hard to call this a blues album, but it is one hell of a soul revue blast that could have come out of Hi Records/Muscle Shoals

The groove and horn charts to the title track, and Tuff Girl could be  right out of Solomon Burke’s mouth 30 years ago.

 THAT’S A GOOD THING..FOLKS..while Home In Your Heart could be Wilson Pickett without the screams. Either way IT MOVES YOU..and I’m hip to it

DO’NT FORGET..great new cd’s coming from JOE LOUIS WALKER, one of my face guitar guys RONNIE EARL and the ever popular DUKE ROBILLARD

12
Sep
10

JOHN EMMS blu-ray review-TOM PETTY/HEARTBREAKERS-DAMN THE TORPEDOS/”No one cares enough to make a classic these days”

When you watch this it becomes apparent through new interviews and archival studio footage from Petty, producer Jimmy Iovine, and the rest of The Heartbreakers that you have to sweat the details to make a classic album

Now no one gives a shit about making a great classic album these days.

That’s why we have so much crap out there. Everyone including record companies just going  for the fast buck.  It’s piss on the creators/artists.  Hell,  no one lets talent develop anymore. These days Petty would not have had a chance to make this now classic third album. What I like about this blu-ray/dvd is Tom Petty, Mike Campbell and engineer Shelly Yakus go into details of how tracks were recorded and engineered.

Budding musicians wake up. It’s a great learning tool. There is also songwrititng sequences with Petty and Campbell. Plus all kinds of inside information from the Heartbreakers notably keyboard man Benmont Tench. In the end Petty and Heartbreakers stuck by their now vintage sound, they still do on their new cd MOJO. Yes even the losers get lucky sometimes.

Fine docmentary from Eagle Rock




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