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This Day in Rock History

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Music News

Elton John Denies Retirement Rumors

Elton John has refuted a British tabloid report saying that he was going to hang it up when he turns 70 next year.

Continue reading…

Madonna raises $7.5M for Malawi, slams Trump in Miami show

Madonna kissed Ariana Grande, repeatedly criticized President elect Donald Trump and said she was ashamed to be an American in a magnetic performance in Miami on Friday night where she raised more than $7.5 million for the African nation of Malawi.

The Material Girl dug deep into her personal treasures, auctioning off pieces from her own art collection, a costume from her tour modeled by Grande and black and white photos from her 1985 wedding to ex-husband Sean Penn shot by the late photographer Herb Ritts. The trio of wedding photos sold for $230,000.

Penn, who attended the fundraiser and bid on several pricey items when the auction stalled, handcuffed Madonna and crawled through her legs at one point as the two tried to coerce the audience to bid higher.

"For once, he's not the one being arrested," she joked.

The party lasted until early Saturday morning when Madonna took the stage for an hour-long performance before a star studded crowd that included Leonardo DiCaprio, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, James Corden, ex-boyfriend A-Rod and Courtney Love. The fundraiser was just one of the many parties during Art Basel Miami Beach, a contemporary art fair.

Madonna, who performed in a pink sequined clown top and fishnet stockings, seemed to hold nothing back, especially her opinions on the election, joking with the audience that she had promised to perform sexual favors for those who voted for Hillary.

She coyly said she'd been in Donald Trump's bed, but later revealed it was for a magazine photo shoot and that Trump wasn't even there — and she criticized his cheap sheets.

"They won't be Egyptian cotton because we all know how he feels about Muslims don't we," she said as some audience members gasped.

She gyrated to a slowed-down version of Britney Spears' "Toxic" and seductively sang, "You know that you're toxic," as images of Trump appeared on a large screen behind her.

At one point, she walked into the audience, climbing on tables and giving one man a lap dance. She abruptly stood up at another point, grabbed the chair on which she had performed and said she also wanted to auction it, noting $600 could send a girl in Malawi to secondary school and $2,000 would cover her university expenses. The chair sold for $10,000.

Other notable items included a Damien Hirst painting, a private performance by magician David Blaine, who was also at the event, and a weeklong stay at DiCaprio's home in Palm Springs, which fetched $140,000. A print by artist Tracey Emin from Madonna's personal art collection, sold for $550,000.

Madonna adopted her 11-year-old son David from an orphanage in Malawi more than a decade ago. At the time, she said, "I didn't know where Malawi was" on the map. David had pneumonia and malaria. His mother died in childbirth and his siblings were also dead.

He was on hand to introduce his mother, telling audience members who paid at least $5,000 per plate, "I realize I'm one of the lucky ones."

The pop star showed videos of Malawi, asking for help to build a pediatric surgery and intensive care unit at a hospital there. Fifty percent of the population there is under the age of 15, according to her foundation Raising Malawi.

The night was punctuated by her sardonic humor, corny clown jokes, controversial political statements and heartfelt moments about how much the hospital project means to her. She divulged a few personal details, lamenting that she was very single and hadn't had sex in a long time and saying she'd always had a fascination with clowns which she said are "profoundly misunderstood."

She spoke passionately about the plight of Native Americans and asked why their land was being destroyed.

"It just really makes me feel ashamed, ashamed to be an American, ashamed to be a human being really," she said before launching into "American Life."

Review: Massive Kate Bush album a concert series souvenir

Kate Bush gives fans an exquisite souvenir with "Before the Dawn," a massive live album taken from her series of 22 concerts in 2014.

With tantalizingly few chart hits and dominated by two conceptual collections, the triple album conjures its magic spells with Bush's powerfully expressive voice, her captivating songs and the integrity of an artistic vision that nurtures and challenges the imagination.

By all accounts, her residency at London's Hammersmith Odeon two years ago was both a musical and a visual delight. "Before the Dawn" reproduces only the sounds — it seems no video release is planned — but still effectively captures the emotions and the thrill of the performances.

While ignoring her first four albums — which means no "Wuthering Heights" or "Babooshka" — the first disc is a superior opening with highlights like "Hounds of Love," ''Lily" and "Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)."

The second disc is "The Ninth Wave," once side two of the "Hounds of Love" album, about a woman adrift in the ocean waiting to be rescued. The third disc includes "A Sky of Honey," the second half of 2005's "Aerial," a journey through a summer day. "Cloudbusting" is the graceful, triumphant closer.

Bush's son, Albert "Bertie" McIntosh, sings some leads and has a couple of duets with his mother on disc three. Some dialogue and longer musical passages remind listeners that, onstage, there was something more going on.

The album is officially credited to The KT Fellowship and, unsurprisingly, superior musicianship is provided by the likes of Omar Hakim, John Giblin and David Rhodes.

Shunning overdubs or re-recordings, "Before the Dawn" sounds preciously, powerfully alive.

Rock Block

Kaedy's Conversations

Viral News

Events

Kenny Loggins talks with Kaedy about his new 'Footloose' children's book

Photo by Stephen Morales

Kenny Loggins talks with Kaedy about his new 'Footloose' children's book

Kenny Loggins will be autographing his new children’s book Footloose, with new, family-friendly lyrics, and a CD of him performing the new version of the song tucked into the back of the beautifully illustrated book. He’ll be in Atlanta at the 25th Book Festival of the MJCCA November 5th at 8:15pm.

Click here to purchase tickets.

He spoke with Kaedy about his new book, his family, being a first time grandfather, and much more!

Listen to the full interview below.

Kaedy's Conversations: Gregg Allman

Joel Fried/Getty Images

Kaedy's Conversations: Gregg Allman

Gregg Allman’s Laid Back Fest is at Lakewood Amphitheater this Saturday, October 29th.

The music is on 2 stages starting at 4pm, including Mother’s Finest, Blackberry Smoke, Michelle Malone, ZZ Top, and Gregg Allman. The festival also features a great selection of food trucks and local craft brews.

Kaedy and her buddy Melissa Ruggieri, Music Scene writer for The AJC, interviewed Gregg about his health, new music, the festival, and more!

Listen to the full interview below.

Kaedy's Conversations: Ed Roland talks about Rock Chastain 2016

Chris McKay

Kaedy's Conversations: Ed Roland talks about Rock Chastain 2016

Kaedy Kiely and Melissa Ruggieri from ajc.com talked with Ed Roland of Collective Soul about “Rock Chastain 2016” Saturday night at Chastain Park Amphitheater. Ed’s Sweet Tea Project is playing the benefit for The Chastain Park Conservancy with Drivin’ n’ Cryin’, Whiskey Gentry, and Brian Collins.

Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.com.

Listen to the full interview below.

Kaedy's Conversations: Rick Wakeman Interview

Mick Hutson/Redferns

Kaedy's Conversations: Rick Wakeman Interview

Infamous keyboard player, Rick Wakeman, spoke with Kaedy Kiely about his upcoming show with former Yes bandmates Jon Anderson and Trevor Rabin – ARW, The Music of Yes and More at the Fox Theatre October 10th 2016.

Hear Rick talk about new music, his late bandmate Chris Squire, and his friendship with David Bowie.

Listen to the full interview below or click here.

Kaedy's conversations: Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ Interview

Joey Foley/Getty Images

Kaedy's conversations: Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ Interview

Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ are headlining a benefit concert for The Chastain Park Conservancy on October 15, 2016 at Chastain Park Amphitheater. “Rock Chastain 2016” includes Ed Roland & The Sweet Tea Project, The Whiskey Gentry, and Brian Collins, and The River’s Kaedy Kiely will be emceeing the evening’s event. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster, and a percentage of every ticket is tax deductible.

Kaedy recently talked to Kevn Kinney of Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ about his participation in Rock Chastain 2016, and more.

Listen to the full interview below.

Interview with Jack Huston

Kaedy interviewed Jack Huston, the actor who plays Judah Ben Hur in the new version of the movie Ben Hur.  LISTEN HERE.

Interview with Kansas Guitarist Richard Williams

Kaedy recently interviewed Rich Williams, guitarist for Kansas, about their new album coming out in September and their concert at Symphony Hall on October 7, 2016.

LISTEN HERE

Peter Wolf interview with Kaedy Kiely

Kaedy Kiely talked with Peter Wolf of the legendary J. Geils Band, who will be performing solo at The Egyptian Ballroom at The Fox Theatre on June 3rd.  LISTEN HERE 

Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues

Kaedy Kiely talked with Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues who are celebrating their 50th Anniversary this Saturday night at The Fox Theatre. LISTEN HERE.

Al Pitrelli of Transiberian Orchestra

Kaedy talked with Al Pitrelli of Transiberian Orchestra about their show at Infinate Energy Center on Wednesday December 16. Listen HERE.

Ed Clark of Atlanta Motor Speedway

Kaedy interviewed Ed Clark, President and General Manager of Atlanta Motor Speedway, about some great deals just announced for Race Weekend 2/26 – 28 2016. Ed also announced that fans can watch a number of NASCAR teams testing for the big race  at AMS on October 29th from 9-5. The event is FREE to the public! Listen HERE.

Kaedy's Conversations: Sonequa Martin Green

I’m sooooo psyched, The Walking Dead’s season 6 starts this Sunday night at 9 on AMC. I got to talk to one of the show’s stars, Sonequa Martin Green, who plays Sasha, about all things Walking Dead and more! Listen HERE.

Kaedy's Conversations: Kevn Kinney

Paul Bergen/Redferns

Kaedy's Conversations: Kevn Kinney

Kaedy had Kevn Kinney of Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ in the studio with her Tuesday to talk about the band’s induction into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame this Saturday night. The live awards show will be broadcast on GPB starting at 8pm. The 2015 inductees also include Gregg Allman, Monica Pearson, and a posthumous award in honor of comedian Tim Wilson.

 

Off the air, Kaedy talked to Kevn about his favorite band. Listen to this great story about Kevn Kinney and his friend Johnny Ramone! Listen HERE.

 

            Chrisley Knows Best

Tommy Garcia

Chrisley Knows Best

This reality show filmed in Atlanta is one of Kaedy’s guilty pleasures. Todd and Julie Chrisley of Chrisley Knows Best spoke with Kaedy about a Chrisley spin-off, as well as a nighttime talk show with Todd – all while USA has just announced a fourth season for the original show. The third season finale of Chrisley Knows Best wraps up with a two-parter on July 21 at 9p on USA. Listen 6:12

Kansas

Kaedy spoke with Phil Ehart, drummer and original member of Kansas, about their tour with Boston, coming to Verizon Wireless Amphitheater Saturday night! Listen [9:03]

 

Fusing the complexity of British prog rock with an American heartland sound representative of their name, Kansas were among the most popular bands of the late '70s; though typically dismissed by critics, many of the group's hits remain staples of AOR radio play lists to this day. Formed in Topeka in 1970, the founding members of the group -- guitarist Kerry Livgren, bassist Dave Hope, and drummer Phil Ehart -- first played together while in high school; with the 1971 addition of classically trained violinist Robbie Steinhardt, they changed their name to White Clover, reverting back to the Kansas moniker for good upon the 1972 arrivals of vocalist/keyboardist Steve Walsh and guitarist Richard Williams. The group spent the early part of the decade touring relentlessly and struggling for recognition; initially, their mix of boogie and prog rock baffled club patrons, but in due time they established a strong enough following to win a record deal with the Kirshner label.

Kansas' self-titled debut LP appeared in 1974; while only mildly successful, the group toured behind it tirelessly, and their fan base grew to the point that their third effort, 1975's Masque, sold a quarter of a million copies. In 1976, Leftoverture truly catapulted Kansas to stardom. On the strength of the smash hit "Carry On Wayward Son," the album reached the Top Five and sold over three million copies. 1977's Point of Know Return was even more successful, spawning the monster hit "Dust in the Wind." While the 1978 live LP Two for the Show struggled to break the Top 40, its studio follow-up, Monolith, the band's first self-produced effort, reached the Top Ten. That same year, Walsh issued a solo record, Schemer-Dreamer.

In the wake of 1980's Audio-VisionsKansas began to splinter; both Hope and Livgren became born-again Christians, the latter issuing the solo venture Seeds of Change, and their newfound spirituality caused divisions within the band's ranks. Walsh soon quit to form a new band, Streets; the remaining members forged on without him, tapping vocalist John Elefante as his replacement. The first Kansas LP without Walsh, 1982's Vinyl Confessions, launched the hit "Play the Game Tonight," but after only one more album, 1983's Drastic Measures, they disbanded. In 1986, however, Kansas re-formed around EhartWilliams, and Walsh; adding the famed guitarist Steve Morse as well as bassist Billy Greer, the refurbished band debuted with the album Power, scoring a Top 20 hit with "All I Wanted." When the follow-up, 1988's In the Spirit of Things, failed to hit, seven years passed before the release of their next effort, Freaks of NatureAlways Never the Same followed in 1998. Seeing the return of founder singer/songwriter Kerry LivgrenSomewhere to Elsewhere was released in 2000. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi

 

Anderson Cooper & Andy Cohen

Michael Stewart

Anderson Cooper & Andy Cohen

CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Bravo TV’s Andy Cohen are on a talk tour together as AC2, Deep Talk and Shallow Tales! Kaedy’s a BIG fan of both, and got a chance to speak to the 2 ACs recently about their show at Cobb Energy Center Saturday, June 20th.

Listen to the full interview below or click here.

Lou Gramm Interview

Jason Davis/Getty Images for IEBA

Lou Gramm Interview

Kaedy with Lou Gramm, former lead singer of Foreigner, is performing his Foreigner and solo hits with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and his band at Chastain Friday 6/4. Listen to the full interview below or Click here.

   

After rising to prominence as the frontman for the hard rock combo ForeignerLou Gramm mounted a successful solo career during the '80s, cracking the Top 10 in 1987 with the single "Midnight Blue" and repeating the process two years later with "Just Between You and Me." Born in Rochester, NY, on May 2, 1950, Gramm first surfaced as the drummer with the band Black Sheep, assuming lead vocal duties prior to recording the group's self-titled 1975 Capitol debut. Neither the album nor its follow-up, Encouraging Words, earned much mainstream notice, but they did capture the attention of journeyman guitarist Mick Jones, best known for his stint with a latter-day incarnation of Spooky ToothJones soon tappedGramm to front his new group, Foreigner, and together they began writing songs, co-authoring the smash "Cold as Ice" from their best-selling 1977 eponymous debut LP. Gramm's powerfully distinctive vocals were inescapable in the years to follow as Foreigner reeled off an impressive series of pop radio hits, including "Hot Blooded,""Double Vision,""Urgent," and "Waiting for a Girl Like You." The hits culminated in 1984's chart-topping power ballad "I Want to Know What Love Is," which became a number one hit in America, Norway, Sweden, New Zealand, and the U.K.

 

While Foreigner took a brief hiatus, Gramm made his solo debut in 1987 with Ready or Not and scored a major hit with "Midnight Blue."Foreigner reconvened and recorded another platinum-selling album, Inside Information, but Gramm maintained his solo success with 1989's Long Hard Look and soon left group to form his own band, Shadow King, which released its self-titled debut on Virgin Records in 1991. Shadow King proved to be short-lived, however, and in 1994 Gramm and Jones revived Foreigner for the release of Mr. Moonlight.

 

As the decade drew to an end, Gramm was sidelined with several health issues. He was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor on the eve of the band's planned Japanese tour in 1997, and the surgery that followed damaged his pituitary gland. After a year of rehabilitation and radiation treatment, the singer made a full recovery and resumed touring in 1999. He split with Foreigner once again in 2003, however, preferring to tour in support of his solo material instead. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi

 

Tinsley Ellis on BB King's death

Atlanta Blues treasure Tinsley Ellis talks with Kaedy about his memories with B.B. King, who passed away last night at 89. Listen

More on B.B. King

 

Universally hailed as the reigning king of the blues, the legendary B.B. King is without a doubt the single most important electric guitarist of the last half century. His bent notes and staccato picking style have influenced legions of contemporary bluesmen, while his gritty and confident voice -- capable of wringing every nuance from any lyric -- provides a worthy match for his passionate playing. Between 1951 and 1985, King notched an impressive 74 entries on Billboard's R&B charts, and he was one of the few full-fledged blues artists to score a major pop hit when his 1970 smash "The Thrill Is Gone" crossed over to mainstream success (engendering memorable appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and American Bandstand). Since that time, he has partnered with such musicians as Eric Clapton and U2 while managing his own acclaimed solo career, all the while maintaining his immediately recognizable style on the electric guitar.

The seeds of Riley B. King's enduring talent were sown deep in the blues-rich Mississippi Delta, where he was born in 1925 near the town of Itta Bena. He was shuttled between his mother's home and his grandmother's residence as a child, his father having left the family when King was very young. The youth put in long days working as a sharecropper and devoutly sang the Lord's praises at church before moving to Indianola -- another town located in the heart of the Delta -- in 1943.

Country and gospel music left an indelible impression on King's musical mindset as he matured, along with the styles of blues greats (T-Bone Walker and Lonnie Johnson) and jazz geniuses (Charlie Christian and Django Reinhardt). In 1946, he set off for Memphis to look up his cousin, a rough-edged country blues guitarist named Bukka White. For ten invaluable months, White taught his eager young relative the finer points of playing blues guitar. After returning briefly to Indianola and the sharecropper's eternal struggle with his wife Martha, King returned to Memphis in late 1948. This time, he stuck around for a while.

King was soon broadcasting his music live via Memphis radio station WDIA, a frequency that had only recently switched to a pioneering all-black format. Local club owners preferred that their attractions also held down radio gigs so they could plug their nightly appearances on the air. When WDIA DJ Maurice "Hot Rod" Hulbert exited his air shift, King took over his record-spinning duties. At first tagged "The Peptikon Boy" (an alcohol-loaded elixir that rivaled Hadacol) when WDIA put him on the air, King's on-air handle became "The Beale Street Blues Boy," later shortened to Blues Boy and then a far snappier B.B.

King had a four-star breakthrough year in 1949. He cut his first four tracks for Jim Bulleit's Bullet Records (including a number entitled "Miss Martha King" after his wife), then signed a contract with the Bihari Brothers' Los Angeles-based RPM RecordsKing cut a plethora of sides in Memphis over the next couple of years for RPM, many of them produced by a relative newcomer named Sam Phillips (whose Sun Records was still a distant dream at that point in time). Phillips was independently producing sides for both the Biharis and Chess; his stable also included Howlin' WolfRosco Gordon, and fellow WDIA personality Rufus Thomas.

The Biharis also recorded some of King's early output themselves, erecting portable recording equipment wherever they could locate a suitable facility. King's first national R&B chart-topper in 1951, "Three O'Clock Blues" (previously waxed by Lowell Fulson), was cut at a Memphis YMCA. King's Memphis running partners included vocalist Bobby Bland, drummer Earl Forest, and ballad-singing pianist Johnny Ace. When King hit the road to promote "Three O'Clock Blues," he handed the group, known as the Beale Streeters, over to Ace.

It was during this era that King first named his beloved guitar "Lucille." Seems that while he was playing a joint in a little Arkansas town called Twist, fisticuffs broke out between two jealous suitors over a lady. The brawlers knocked over a kerosene-filled garbage pail that was heating the place, setting the room ablaze. In the frantic scramble to escape the flames, King left his guitar inside. He foolishly ran back in to retrieve it, dodging the flames and almost losing his life. When the smoke had cleared, King learned that the lady who had inspired such violent passion was named Lucille. Plenty of Lucilles have passed through his hands since; Gibson has even marketed a B.B.-approved guitar model under the name.

The 1950s saw King establish himself as a perennially formidable hitmaking force in the R&B field. Recording mostly in L.A. (the WDIA air shift became impossible to maintain by 1953 due to King's endless touring) for RPM and its successor KentKing scored 20 chart items during that musically tumultuous decade, including such memorable efforts as "You Know I Love You" (1952); "Woke Up This Morning" and "Please Love Me" (1953); "When My Heart Beats like a Hammer," "Whole Lotta' Love," and "You Upset Me Baby" (1954); "Every Day I Have the Blues" (another Fulson remake), the dreamy blues ballad "Sneakin' Around," and "Ten Long Years" (1955); "Bad Luck," "Sweet Little Angel," and a Platters-like "On My Word of Honor" (1956); and "Please Accept My Love" (first cut by Jimmy Wilson) in 1958. King's guitar attack grew more aggressive and pointed as the decade progressed, influencing a legion of up-and-coming axemen across the nation.

In 1960, King's impassioned two-sided revival of Joe Turner's "Sweet Sixteen" became another mammoth seller, and his "Got a Right to Love My Baby" and "Partin' Time" weren't far behind. But Kent couldn't hang onto a star like King forever (and he may have been tired of watching his new LPs consigned directly into the 99-cent bins on the Biharis' cheapo Crown logo). King moved over to ABC-Paramount Records in 1962, following the lead of Lloyd PriceRay Charles, and before long, Fats Domino.

In November of 1964, the guitarist cut his seminal Live at the Regal album at the fabled Chicago theater and excitement virtually leaped out of the grooves. That same year, he enjoyed a minor hit with "How Blue Can You Get," one of his many signature tunes. "Don't Answer the Door" in 1966 and "Paying the Cost to Be the Boss" two years later were Top Ten R&B entries, and the socially charged and funk-tinged "Why I Sing the Blues" just missed achieving the same status in 1969.

Across-the-board stardom finally arrived in 1969 for the deserving guitarist, when he crashed the mainstream consciousness in a big way with a stately, violin-drenched minor-key treatment of Roy Hawkins' "The Thrill Is Gone" that was quite a departure from the concise horn-powered backing King had customarily employed. At last, pop audiences were convinced that they should get to know King better: not only was the track a number-three R&B smash, it vaulted to the upper reaches of the pop lists as well.

King was one of a precious few bluesmen to score hits consistently during the 1970s, and for good reason: he wasn't afraid to experiment with the idiom. In 1973, he ventured to Philadelphia to record a pair of huge sellers, "To Know You Is to Love You" and "I Like to Live the Love," with the same silky rhythm section that powered the hits of the Spinners and the O'Jays. In 1976, he teamed up with his old cohort Bland to wax some well-received duets. And in 1978, he joined forces with the jazzy Crusaders to make the gloriously funky "Never Make Your Move Too Soon" and an inspiring "When It All Comes Down." Occasionally, the daring deviations veered off-course; Love Me Tender, an album that attempted to harness the Nashville country sound, was an artistic disaster.

Although his concerts were consistently as satisfying as anyone in the field (King asserted himself as a road warrior of remarkable resiliency who gigged an average of 300 nights a year), King tempered his studio activities somewhat. Nevertheless, his 1993 MCA disc Blues Summit was a return to form, as King duetted with his peers (John Lee HookerEtta JamesFulsonKoko Taylor) on a program of standards. Other notable releases from that period include 1999's Let the Good Times Roll: The Music of Louis Jordan and 2000's Riding with the King, a collaboration with Eric ClaptonKing celebrated his 80th birthday in 2005 with the star-studded album 80, which featured guest spots from such varied artists asGloria EstefanJohn Mayer, and Van MorrisonLive was issued in 2008; that same year, King released an engaging return to pure blues, One Kind Favor, which eschewed the slick sounds of his 21st century work for a stripped-back approach. A long overdue career-spanning box set of King's over 60 years of touring, recording, and performing, Ladies and Gentlemen...Mr. B.B. King, appeared in 2012. ~ Bill Dahl, Rovi

 

Steve Winwood

Kaedy recently interviewed the legendary Steve Winwood of the Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, Blind Faith, and who has a remarkable solo career, and will be performing at The Fox Theatre May 1st. Tickets are still available at www.foxtheatre.org.

Listen

 
Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular

David A. Beloff/Getty Images

Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular

Kaedy spoke with Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular producer, Steve Monistere about the April 2nd Variety Playhouse show. Don’t miss this amazing show with the crystal clear music of Pink Floyd accompanied by a laser extravaganza! Listen

 

The Atlanta Rhythm Section

Kaedy with the lead singer for The Atlanta Rhythm Section, Rodney Justo. 

The band is playing this Sunday at 4 in Doraville at the Village Outdoor Market. More info at villageoutdoormarket.com

Listen

 
Kaedy's Conversations - Gilbert Gottfried

www.x1071atlanta.com

Kaedy's Conversations - Gilbert Gottfried

He is performing at The Improv Atlanta Comedy Club tonight at 8 and tomorrow and Saturday night for 2 shows each night at 8 & 10p. More information

 

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Kaedy's Conversations - Tom Green

Tom Green is performing two shows tomorrow night and Saturday night at The Improv Atlanta Comedy Club and Dinner Theater.

Listen here

Atlanta Motor Speedway

I interviewed Ed Clark, President and General Manager of Atlanta Motor Speedway about the big race weekend coming up Feb. 27th at AMS!

Listen here

Tommy Lee and Mick Mars of Motley Crue

Kaedy interviewed Tommy Lee and Mick Mars of Motley Crue - Hear why they’re coming back to Atlanta during this 2-tear FINAL tour with Alice Cooper, and lots more!

Listen here

Paul Reiser

Comedian, movie and TV actor, author, and musician Paul Reiser is bringing his stand-up comedy to The Atlanta Improv this Friday and Saturday night. More info at www.theimprovatlanta.com

Here’s interview with Kaedy

 

Dennis DeYoung of Styx

Kaedy Kiely interviewed Dennis DeYoung of Styx about his new Live LP. Listen here [15:46]

Dennis DeYoung is a founding member of the rock group Styx.  The Chicago-based band originated in 1962 when 14 year old DeYoung and brothers John and Chuck Panozzo joined Dennis in the basement of his childhood home to form one of America's most successful and enduring bands.  Styx has sold over 35 million albums worldwide and DeYoung has written 8 of their 9 Top-10 singles. Styx was the only band to ever record 4 consecutive triple platinum albums.

For more than 4 decades, DeYoung has been a singer, songwriter, keyboardist and record producer. He wrote and sang several classics including: “Lady,” “Come Sail Away,” “Best of Times,” “Mr. Roboto,” “Show Me the Way,” “Desert Moon,” “Don't Let It End” and the 1979 Peoples Choice Award winner, “Babe.”  His singing talents have made his voice one of the most recognizable in the world.  DeYoung has recorded 7 solo albums including Desert Moon, whose title track achieved Top-10 status.  DeYoung continues to tour with his rock band around the world.

In 2007, DeYoung recorded his 7th solo album for DEP Universal Canada.  The title track for this CD, “One Hundred Years From Now” was released as a single and reached #1 on the Pop, Rock and AC charts in Quebec.  The following year the CD was released in the United States on Rounder Records and featured two additional tracks.  In May of 2008 DeYoung's musical The Hunchback of Notre Dame was staged in Chicago at the Bailiwick Repertory Theater.In 2006, DeYoung performed live on CANADIAN IDOL.  DeYoung also performed live on 3 episodes of the Fox Network's CELEBRITY DUETS with celebrity duet partner Hal Sparks.  He was selected as one of 3 artists along with legends Smokey Robinson and Gladys Knight for the finale.  DeYoung was also selected to perform live on VH1's BIG IN 06 Awards show along with THE KILLERS, THE FRAY, FERGIE, and WEIRD AL.

In recent years DeYoung's songs have continued to enjoy remarkable popularity. His compositions have been featured in more than 30 television shows including: The Simpson's, Freeks & Geeks, Dharma and Gregg, E.R., King of Queens, Sex in the City, Will and Grace, Las Vegas, Cold Case, That 70's Show, Saturday Night Live and numerous others. The piece de resistance however was when Cartman sang Come Sail Away on the groundbreaking series South Park.DeYoung's songs have been featured in MANY major motion pictures including; Virgin Suicides, Big Daddy, Detroit Rock City, Disney's Atlantis, and The Wild, The Karate Kid II, the Shrek II DVD, Mr. Woodcock, , Underdog and Fun With Dick and Jane etc. Four songs of DeYoung's were used in The Perfect Man in which he also made a cameo appearance.

Volkswagen turned Mr. Roboto into a hit national commercial, featuring two Wayne's World like guys jamming to the words "Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto."  In 1999, Hippo Records released The Ultimate Collection, a compilation of select songs from DeYoung's solo albums “Desert Moon,” “Back to the Word” and “Boomchild.” In 2005, Universal Music re-released “Desert Moon” on CD and a DVD of DeYoung's videos entitled, “The Best Of Dennis DeYoung, The 20th Century Masters.”DeYoung made his Broadway debut in 1993, starring as Pontius Pilate in Andrew Lloyd Weber's Jesus Christ Superstar's 25th Anniversary Reunion Tour.  His performance earned a Joseph Jefferson Award nomination for best supporting actor in a musical.  While performing in Superstar, DeYoung was approached by Atlantic Records to sing and produce “10 On Broadway” - a compilation of his favorite Broadway songs.

Deyoung's passion for American musical theater and composers like George Gershwin and Lerner and Lowe inspired him to write a musical based on Victor Hugo's classic novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame.  Nashville Tennessee Repertory Theater mounted a full production of Hunchback in the fall of 1997 to glowing reviews.  In 2006 DeYoung received the Just Plain Folks Music Awards for Best Theater Album (“The Hunchback of Notre Dame...A Musical”) and for Best Contemporary Song (“Who Will Love This Child”).DeYoung is a native of Chicago.  He has been married to his high school sweetheart Suzanne for more than 40 years. He and Suzanne have raised two children and continue to live in the Chicago area.

 

            Joe Elliott

Branden Camp/Special to the AJC

Joe Elliott

 Kaedy interviews Joe Elliott of Def Leppard with his side project, The Down n' Outz. Listen [8:31]

Download full album here

In many ways, Def Leppard were the definitive hard rock band of the '80s. There were many bands that rocked harder (and were more dangerous) than the Sheffield-based quintet, but few others captured the spirit of the times quite as well. Emerging in the late '70s as part of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Def Leppard actually owed more to the glam rock and metal of the early '70s, as their sound was equal parts T. Rex, Mott the Hoople, Queen, and Led Zeppelin. By toning down their heavy riffs and emphasizing melody, Def Leppard were poised for crossover success by 1983's Pyromania, and skillfully used the fledgling MTV network to their advantage. The musicians were already blessed with photogenic good looks, but they also crafted a series of innovative, exciting videos that made them into stars. They intended to follow Pyromania quickly but were derailed when their drummer lost an arm in a car accident, the first of many problems that plagued the group's career. They managed to pull through such tragedies, and even expanded their large audience with 1987's blockbuster Hysteria. As the '90s began, mainstream hard rock shifted away from their signature pop-metal and toward edgier, louder bands, yet they maintained a sizable audience into the late '90s and were one of only a handful of '80s metal groups to survive the decade more or less intact.Def Leppard had their origins in a Sheffield-based group that teenagers Rick Savage (bass) and Pete Willis (guitar) formed in 1977. Vocalist Joe Elliott, a fanatic follower of Mott the Hoople and T. Rex, joined the band several months later, bringing the name Deaf Leopard with him. After a spelling change, the trio, augmented by a now-forgotten drummer, began playing local Sheffield pubs, and within a year the band had added guitarist Steve Clark to the lineup, as well as a new drummer. Later in 1978, they recorded their debut EP, Getcha Rocks Off, and released it on their own label, Bludgeon Riffola. The EP became a word-of-mouth success, earning airplay on the BBC. The group members were still in their teens.Following the release of Getcha Rocks Off, Rick Allen was added as the band's permanent drummer, and Def Leppard quickly became the subject of the British music weeklies. They soon signed with AC/DC's manager, Peter Mensch, who helped them secure a contract with Mercury Records. On Through the Night, the band's full-length debut, was released in 1980 and instantly became a hit in the U.K., also earning significant airplay in the U.S., where it reached number 51 on the charts. Over the course of the year, Def Leppard relentlessly toured Britain and America, playing their own shows while also opening concerts for Ozzy Osbourne, Sammy Hagar, and Judas Priest. High 'n' Dry followed in 1981 and became the group's first platinum album in the U.S., thanks to MTV's strong rotation of "Bringin' on the Heartbreak."MTV would be vital to the band's success in the '80s.As the band recorded the follow-up to High 'n' Dry with producer Mutt Lange, Pete Willis was fired from the band for alcoholism, and Phil Collen, a former guitarist for Girl, was hired to replace him. The resulting album, 1983's Pyromania, became an unexpected blockbuster, due not only to Def Leppard's skillful, melodic metal, but also to MTV's relentless airing of "Photograph" and "Rock of Ages."Pyromania went on to sell ten million copies, establishing Def Leppard as one of the most popular bands in the world. Despite their success, they were about to enter a trying time for their career. Following an extensive international tour, the group reentered the studio to record the follow-up, but producer Lange was unavailable, so they began sessions with Jim Steinman, the man responsible for Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell. The pairing turned out to be ill-advised, so the bandmembers turned to their former engineer, Nigel Green. One month into recording, Allen lost his left arm in a New Year's Eve car accident. The arm was reattached, but it had to be amputated once an infection set in.Def Leppard's future looked cloudy without a drummer, but by the spring of 1985 -- just a few months after his accident -- Allen began learning to play a custom-made electronic kit assembled for him by Simmons. The band soon resumed recording, and within a few months Lange was back on board, having judged all the existing tapes inferior and ordered the band to begin work all over again. Recording sessions continued throughout 1986, and that summer, the group returned to the stage for the European Monsters of Rock tour. Def Leppard finally completed their fourth album, now titled Hysteria, early in 1987. The record was released that spring to lukewarm reviews, with many critics claiming that the album compromised Leppard's metal roots for sweet pop flourishes. Accordingly, Hysteria was slow out of the starting gates -- "Women," the first single, failed to really take hold -- but the release of "Animal" helped the album gather steam. The song became Def Leppard's first Top 40 hit in the U.K., but more importantly, it launched a string of six straight Top 20 hits in the U.S., which also included "Hysteria,""Pour Some Sugar on Me,""Love Bites,""Armageddon It," and "Rocket," the latter of which arrived in 1989, a full two years after the release of Hysteria. During those two years, Def Leppard's presence was unavoidable -- they were the kings of high-school metal, ruling the pop charts and MTV, and teenagers and bands alike replicated their teased hair and ripped jeans, even when the grimy hard rock of Guns N' Roses took hold in 1988.Hysteria proved to be the peak of Leppard's popularity, yet their follow-up remained eagerly awaited in the early '90s, as the band took a break from the road and set to work on a new record. During the recording process, however, Steve Clark died from an overdose of alcohol and drugs. Clark had historically battled with alcohol, and following the Hysteria heyday, his bandmates forced him to take a sabbatical. Although he did enter rehab, Clark's habits continued, and his abuse was so crippling that Collen began recording the majority of the band's guitar leads. Following Clark's death, Def Leppard resolved to finish their forthcoming album as a quartet, releasing Adrenalize in the spring of 1992. Adrenalize was greeted with mixed reviews, and even though the album debuted at number one and contained several successful singles, including the Top 20 hits "Let's Get Rocked" and "Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad," the record was a commercial disappointment in the wake of Pyromania and Hysteria. After its release, the group added former Whitesnake guitarist Vivian Campbell to the lineup, thus resuming Def Leppard's two-guitar attack.In 1993, Def Leppard released the rarities collection Retro Active, which yielded another Top 20 hit with the acoustic ballad "Two Steps Behind." Two years later, the group released the greatest-hits collection Vault while preparing for its sixth album. Slang arrived in the spring of 1996, and while it proved more adventurous than its predecessor, it was greeted with indifference, indicating that Leppard's heyday had indeed passed and they were now simply a very popular cult band. Undaunted, Leppard soldiered on, returning to their patented pop-metal sound for Euphoria, which was released in June of 1999. Despite the success of "Promises," the record failed to produce any additional hits, resulting in a return to adult pop balladry on 2002's X. The two-disc Rock of Ages: The Definitive Collection arrived in 2005, followed in 2006 by Yeah!, a strong collection of covers. In 2008, the guys released their ninth studio album, Songs from the Sparkle Lounge, which debuted at number five and was supported by a lucrative summer tour. Material from that tour helped make up the bulk of Mirror Ball: Live & More, a three-disc live album containing a full concert, three new studio recordings, and DVD footage. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

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Tom Arnold

Kaedy's Conversation with Tom Arnold

Tom is at The Improv in Buckhead tonight and tomorrow night for 2 shows each night - More info

Listen here [9:45]

As a writer, producer, and actor, Tom Arnold has established himself to both television and film audiences worldwide, having won such awards as the Peabody Award and a Golden Globe Award.  Additionally, he helped put Fox Sports Network on the map with his hosting duties on “BEST DAMN SPORTS SHOW PERIOD.” Arnold currently hosts CMT’s “MY BIG REDNECK WEDDING” and “MY BIG REDNECK VACATION” which premiered at the highest ratings in CMT history.

Arnold cornered the market on playing the resident comic relief in films like “NINE MONTHS” with Hugh Grant, Julianne Moore, and Robin Williams, “TRUE LIES” with Arnold Schwarzenegger, “HERO” with Dustin Hoffman, and “AUSTIN POWERS:  INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MYSTERY” with Mike Myers. Arnold will next be seen in his 72nd film, Stephen Gyllenhaal’s quirky political comedy “GRASSROOTS”, Tyler Perry’s “MADEA’S WITNESS PROTECTION” and “HIT AND RUN” with Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell and Bradley Cooper.

Arnold has successfully broken out of the comedic stereotype and is becoming a fixture at film festivals by landing more mature and dramatic roles.  He received critical praise for his role in “GARDENS OF THE NIGHT,” opposite John Malkovich, “THE GREAT BUCK HOWARD” starring John Malkovich and Tom Hanks, “GOOD DICK” opposite Jason Ritter, and “THE YEAR OF GETTING TO KNOW US” opposite Sharon Stone, Jimmy Fallon and Lucy Liu.  In 2005, he received critical notice for his role in Don Roos’ “HAPPY ENDINGS” for Lions Gate Films. He was also seen in “PRIDE” opposite Terrance Howard, and “ANIMAL FACTORY,” directed by Steve Buscemi.  Other film credits include “SOUL PLANE,” “CRADLE TO THE GRAVE,” “EXIT WOUNDS” and “THE KID & I.”

Born in Iowa, Tom has established a writing scholarship and runs an acting workshop for students at the Indian Hills Community College in Iowa. Tom is heavily involved in many charities. The Race to Erase MS is one of Tom’s favorite charities. From his position on the entertainment committee, Tom not only helps plan but also emcees and contributes to the auction. For the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Tom mans a booth at the yearly carnival (a major fundraiser), engaging attendees while raising funds. Other charities that are close to his heart and to which he has made significant contributions are Best Buddies, a charity started by Anthony Shriver that pairs mentally challenged people with college kids and jobs, Camp del Corazon, a camp for children with heart disease, The Kayne Eras Center, Promises Foundation, Carousel of Hope, Arnold's Inner City Games, The Hollenbeck Christmas Giveaway, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Arnold currently resides in Los Angeles. 

 

Al Pitrelli of Trans-Siberian Orchestra

TSO tickets go on sale for their Dec. 10th show at the Gwinnett Arena today (Friday) at noon! Kaedy recently talked with guitarist Al Pitrelli about the first performance ever of TSO’s “The Christmas Attic” at The Gwinnett Arena December 10th.

Listen here [11:18]

Derek Trucks

Guitar great Derek Trucks spoke with Kaedy a few days ago about his show with The Tedeschi Trucks Band and John Hiatt at Chastain on Sept. 12. Tickets are still available. Listen [10:28]

Some risks are worth taking. When Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi decided three years ago to dispense with their much-loved individual bands and pool their talents, they had no way of knowing what the public reaction might be to the new hybrid. They found out quickly enough when Revelator, Tedeschi Trucks Band’s 2011 studio debut, excited their sizable, devoted fan bases and the movers and shakers of the music industry alike, landing TTB both a Best Blues Album Grammy and a Blues Music Award from Album of the Year. Their live follow up, Everybody’s Talkin’- documenting what many were already regarding as one of the most superb concert acts around not even two years into their existence- continued that forward momentum and picked up a Blues Music Award for Best Rock Blues Album (Susan, Derek and TTB itself each took home separate Blues Music Awards in 2012 as well.)

Now, with the release of Made Up Mind (Sony Masterworks, August 20, 2013), there isn’t a shred of doubt that Susan Tedeschi, her husband and creative collaborator, Derek Trucks, and their superb bandmates are on to something-something very big.

Kaedy's Conversations - Jimmie Johnson

Kaedy with Jimmie Johnson, who's racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend! Listen here [11:28]

New interview for Kaedy's Conversations

Ed Clark, Vice President and General Manager of Atlanta Motor Speedway talks about racing news, and all the cool stuff coming up for NASCAR’s big race Labor Day Weekend in Hampton next weekend.

Listen here [7:49]

Kaedy's Conversations - Justin Hayward

Moody Blues frontman Justin Hayward recorded his new CD/DVD, “Sprits…Live, Live at The Buckhead Theater, Atlanta” here last year, and it is now available. Kaedy Kiely spoke with him recently, and he says he will be back at the Buckhead Theater this October! listen here [7:42]

Past Interviews:

  • Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues has a sold out concert at the Buckhead Theater on August 17th.  Kaedy interviewed him recently, listen here.

Although they're best known today for their lush, lyrically and musically profound (some would say bombastic) psychedelic-era albums, the Moody Blues started out as one of the better R&B-based combos of the British Invasion. The group's history began in Birmingham, England with Ray Thomas (harmonica, vocals) and Mike Pinder (keyboards, vocals), who had played together in El Riot & the Rebels and the Krew Cats. They began recruiting members of some of the best rival groups working in Birmingham, including Denny Laine (vocals, guitar), Graeme Edge (drums), and Clint Warwick (bass, vocals).The Moody Blues, as they came to be known, made their debut in Birmingham in May of 1964, and quickly earned the notice and later the services of manager Tony Secunda. A major tour was quickly booked, and the band landed an engagement at the Marquee Club, which resulted in a contract with England's Decca Records less than six months after their formation. The group's first single, "Steal Your Heart Away," released in September of 1964, didn't touch the British charts. But their second single, "Go Now," released in November of 1964 -- a cover of a nearly identical American single by R&B singer Bessie Banks, heavily featuring Laine's mournful lead vocal -- fulfilled every expectation and more, reaching number one in England and earning them a berth in some of the nation's top performing venues (including the New Musical Express Poll Winners Concert, appearing with some of the top acts of the period); its number ten chart placement in America also earned them a place as a support act for the Beatles on one tour, and the release of a follow-up LP (Magnificent Moodies in England, Go Now in America) on both sides of the Atlantic.It was coming up with a follow-up hit to "Go Now," however, that proved their undoing. Despite their fledgling songwriting efforts and the access they had to American demos, this version of the Moody Blues never came up with another single success. By the end of the spring of 1965, the frustration was palpable within the band. The group decided to make their fourth single, "From the Bottom of My Heart," an experiment with a different, much more subtly soulful sound, and it was one of the most extraordinary records of the entire British Invasion, with haunting performances all around. Unfortunately, the single only reached number 22 on the British charts following its release in May of 1965, and barely brushed the Top 100 in America. Ultimately, the grind of touring, coupled with the strains facing the group, became too much for Warwick, who exited in the spring of 1966; and by August of 1966 Laine had left as well. The group soldiered on, however, Warwick succeeded by John Lodge, an ex-bandmate of Ray Thomas, and in late 1966 singer/guitarist Justin Hayward joined.For a time, they kept doing the same brand of music that the group had started with, but Hayward and Pinder were also writing different kinds of songs, reflecting somewhat more folk- and pop-oriented elements, that got out as singles, to little avail. At one point in 1966, the band decided to pull up stakes in England and start playing in Europe, where even a "has-been" British act could earn decent fees. And they began building a new act based on new material that was more in keeping with the slightly trippy, light psychedelic sounds that were becoming popular at the time. They were still critically short of money and prospects, however, when fate played a hand, in the form of a project initiated by Decca Records.In contrast to America, where home stereo systems swept the country after 1958, in England, stereo was still not dominant, or even common, in most people's homes -- apart from classical listeners -- in 1966. Decca had come up with "Deramic Stereo," which offered a wide spread of sound, coupled with superbly clean and rich recording, and was trying to market it with an LP that would serve as a showcase, utilizing pop/rock done in a classical style. The Moody Blues, who owed the label unrecouped advances and recording session fees from their various failed post-"Go Now" releases, were picked for the proposed project, which was to be a rock version of Dvor's New World Symphony. Instead, they were somehow able to convince the {@Decca producers involved that the proposed adaptation was wrongheaded, and to deliver something else; the producer, Tony Clarke, was impressed with some of the band's own compositions, and with the approval of executive producer Hugh Mendl, and the cooperation of engineer Derek Varnals, the group effectively hijacked the project -- instead of Dvor's music, they arrived at the idea of an archetypal day's cycle of living represented in rock songs set within an orchestral framework, utilizing conductor/arranger {$Peter Knight's orchestrations to expand and bridge the songs. The result was the album Days of Future Passed.The record's mix of rock and classical sounds was new, and at first puzzled the record company, which didn't know how to market it, but eventually the record was issued, first in England and later in America. It became a hit in England, propelled up the charts by the single "Nights in White Satin" (authored and sung by Hayward), which made the Top 20 in the U.K.; in America, the chosen single was another Hayward song, "Tuesday Afternoon." All of it hooked directly into the aftermath of the Summer of Love, and the LP was -- totally accidentally -- timed perfectly to fall into the hands of listeners who were looking for an orchestral/psychedelic recording to follow works such as the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Better still, the band still had a significant backlog of excellent psychedelic-themed songs to draw on. Their debt wiped out and their music now in demand, they went to work with a follow-up record in short order and delivered In Search of the Lost Chord (1968), which was configured somewhat differently from its predecessor. Though Decca was ecstatic with the sales results of Days of Future Passed and the singles, and assigned Clarke and Varnals to work with them in the future, the label wasn't willing to schedule full-blown orchestral sessions again. And having just come out of a financial hole, the group wasn't about to go into debt again financing such a recording.The solution to the problem of accompaniment came from Mike Pinder, and an organ-like device called a Mellotron. Using tape heads activated by the touch of keys, and tape loops comprised of the sounds of horns, strings, etc., the instrument generated an eerie, orchestra-like sound. Introduced at the start of the '60s as a potential rival to the Hammond organ, the Mellotron had worked its way into rock music slowly, in acts such as the Graham Bond Organisation, and had emerged to some public prominence on Beatles' records such as "Strawberry Fields Forever" and, more recently, "I Am the Walrus"; during that same year, in a similar supporting capacity, it would also turn up on the Rolling Stones' Their Satanic Majesties Request. As it happened, Pinder not only knew how to play the Mellotron, but had also worked in the factory that built them, which enabled him over the years to re-engineer, modify, and customize the instruments to his specifications. (The resulting instruments were nicknamed "Pindertrons.")In Search of the Lost Chord (1968) put the Mellotron in the spotlight, and it quickly became a part of their signature sound. The album, sublimely beautiful and steeped in a strange mix of British whimsy ("Dr. Livingston I Presume") and ornate, languid Eastern-oriented songs ("Visions of Paradise," "Om"), also introduced one psychedelic-era anthem, "Legend of a Mind"; authored by Ray Thomas and utilizing the name of LSD guru Timothy Leary in its lyric and choruses, along with swooping cellos and lilting flute, it helped make the band an instant favorite among the late-'60s counterculture. (The group members have since admitted at various times that they were, as was the norm at the time, indulging in various hallucinogenic substances.) That album and its follow-up, 1969's On the Threshold of a Dream, were magnificent achievements, utilizing their multi-instrumental skills and the full capability of the studio in overdubbing voices, instruments, etc. But in the process of making those two LPs, the group found that they'd painted themselves into a corner as performing musicians -- thanks to overdubbing, those albums were essentially the work of 15 or 20 Moody Blues, not a quintet, and they were unable to re-create their sound properly in concert.From their album To Our Children's Children's Children -- which was also the first release of the group's own newly founded label, Threshold Records -- only one song, the guitar-driven "Gypsy," ever worked on-stage. Beginning with A Question of Balance (1970), the group specifically recorded songs in arrangements that they could play in concert, stripping down their sound a bit by reducing their reliance on overdubbing and, in the process, toughening up their sound. They were able to do most of that album and their next record, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, on-stage, with impressive results. By that time, all five members of the band were composing songs, and each had his own identity, Pinder the impassioned mystic, Lodge the rocker, Edge the poet, Thomas the playful mystic, and Hayward the romantic -- all had contributed significantly to their repertoire, though Hayward tended to have the biggest share of the group's singles, and his songs often occupied the lead-off spot on their LPs.Meanwhile, a significant part of their audience didn't think of the Moody Blues merely as musicians but, rather, as spiritual guides. John Lodge's song "I'm Just a Singer (In a Rock & Roll Band)" was his answer to this phenomenon, renouncing the role that had been thrust upon the band -- it was also an unusually hard-rocking number for the group, and was also a modest hit single. Ironically, in 1972, the group was suddenly competing with itself when "Nights in White Satin" charted again in America and England, selling far more than it had in 1967; that new round of single sales also resulted in Days of Future Passed selling anew by the tens of thousands.In the midst of all of this activity, the members, finally slowing down and enjoying the fruits of their success, had reached an impasse. As they prepared to record their new album, Seventh Sojourn (1972), the strain of touring and recording steadily for five years had taken its toll. Good songs were becoming more difficult to deliver and record, and cutting that album had proved nearly impossible. The public never saw the problems, and its release earned them their best reviews to date and was accompanied by a major international tour, and the sales and attendance were huge. Once the tour was over, however, it was announced that the group was going on hiatus -- they wouldn't work together again for five years. Hayward and Lodge recorded a very successful duet album, Blue Jays (1975), and all five members did solo albums. All were released through Threshold, which was still distributed by English Decca (then called London Records in the United States), and Threshold even maintained a small catalog of other artists, including Trapeze and Providence, though they evidently missed their chance to sign a group that might well have eclipsed the Moody Blues musically, King Crimson. (Ironically, the latter also used the Mellotron as a central part of their sound, but in a totally different way, and were the only group ever to make more distinctive use of the instrument.)The Moodies' old records were strong enough, elicited enough positive memories, and picked up enough new listeners (even amid the punk and disco booms) that a double-LP retrospective (This Is the Moody Blues) sold extremely well, years after they'd stopped working together, as did a live/studio archival double LP (Caught Live + 5). By 1977, the members had decided to reunite -- although all five participated in the resulting album, Octave (1978), there were numerous stresses during its recording, and Pinder was ultimately unhappy enough with the LP to decline to go on tour with the band. The reunion tour came off anyway, with ex-Yes keyboardist Patrick Moraz brought in to fill out the lineup, and the album topped the charts.The group's next record, Long Distance Voyager (1981), was even more popular, though by this time a schism was beginning to develop between the band and the critical community. The reviews from critics (who'd seldom been that enamored of the band even in its heyday) became ever more harsh, and although their hiatus had allowed the band to skip the punk era, they seemed just as out of step amid the MTV era and the ascendancy of acts such as Madonna, the Pretenders, the Police, et al. By 1981, they'd been tagged by most of the rock press with the label "dinosaurs," seemingly awaiting extinction. There were still decent-sized hits, such as "Gemini Dream," but the albums and a lot of the songwriting seemed increasingly to be a matter of their going through the motions of being a group -- psychedelia had given way to what was, apart from the occasional Lodge or Hayward single, rather soulless pop/rock. There were OK records, and the concerts drew well, mostly for the older songs, but there was little urgency or very much memorable about the new material.That all changed a bit when one of them finally delivered a song so good that in its mere existence it begged to be recorded -- the Hayward-authored single "Your Wildest Dreams" (1986), an almost perfect successor to "Nights in White Satin" mixing romance, passion, and feelings of nostalgia with a melody that was gorgeous and instantly memorable (and with a great beat). The single -- along with its accompanying album, which was otherwise a much blander affair -- approached the top of the charts. They were boosted up there by a superb promotional video (featuring the Mood Six as the younger Moody Blues) that suddenly gave the group at least a little contemporary pop/rock credibility. The follow-up, "I Know You're Out There Somewhere," was a lesser but still impressive commercial success, with an even better secondary melodic theme, and the two combined gave them an essential and memorable pair of mid-decade hits, boosting their concert attendance back up and shoring up their contemporary songbag.By the end of the '80s, however, they were again perceived as a nostalgia act, albeit one with a huge audience -- a bit like the Grateful Dead without the critical respect or veneration. By that time, Moraz was gone and the core group was reduced to a quartet, with salaried keyboard players augmenting their work (along with a second drummer to back up Edge). They had also begun attracting fans by the tens of thousands to a new series of concerts, in which -- for the first time -- they performed with orchestras and, thus, could do their most elaborately produced songs on-stage. In 1994, a four-CD set devoted to their work, entitled Time Traveller, was released. By that time, their new albums were barely charting, and seldom attracting any reviews, but their catalog was among the best-selling parts of the Polygram library.A new studio effort, Strange Times, followed in 1999 and the live (at the Royal Albert Hall) Hall of Fame was issued a year later, but it was the 1997 upgrades of their original seven albums, from Days of Future Passed to Seventh Sojourn, that attracted far more attention from the public. In 2003, Ray Thomas retired, and the Moody Blues carried on as a core trio of Hayward, Lodge, and Edge. They were still going strong as a touring band in 2009, the same period in which their live performance from the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival was released as a CD and a DVD. That same year, Hayward's "Tuesday Afternoon" began turning up as an accompaniment to commercials for Visa. In 2013, the Moody Blues were the subject of a four-disc box retrospective from Universal entitled Timeless Flight. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi

 See more here

Kaedy's Conversations - Procol Harum

Listen to Kaedy's interview with Procol Harum. His show is July 20th at Symphony Hall.

Listen here [15:41]

Procol Harum is arguably the most successful "accidental" group creation -- that is, a band originally assembled to take advantage of the success of a record created in the studio -- in the history of progressive rock. With "A Whiter Shade of Pale" a monster hit right out of the box, the band evolved from a studio ensemble into a successful live act, their music built around an eclectic mix of blues-based rock riffs and grand classical themes. With singer/pianist Gary Brooker and lyricist Keith Reid providing the band's entire repertory, their music evolved in decidedly linear fashion, the only major surprises coming from the periodic lineup changes that added a new instrumental voice to the proceedings. At their most accessible, as on "A Whiter Shade of Pale" and "Conquistador," they were one of the most popular of progressive rock bands, their singles outselling all rivals, and their most ambitious album tracks still have a strong following.Procol Harum's roots and origins are as convoluted as its success -- especially between 1967 and 1973 -- was pronounced. Pianist Gary Brooker (b. May 29, 1945, Southend, Essex, England) had formed a group at school called the Paramounts at age 14, with guitarist Robin Trower (b. Mar. 9, 1945, Southend, Essex) and bassist Chris Copping (b. Aug. 29, 1945 Southend, Essex), with singer Bob Scott and drummer Mick Brownlee. After achieving a certain degree of success at local youth clubs and dances, covering established rock & roll hits, Brooker took over the vocalist spot from the departed Scott, and the group continued working after its members graduated -- by 1962, they were doing formidable (by British standards) covers of American R&B, and got a residency at the Shades Club in Southend.Brownlee exited the band in early 1963 and was replaced by Barry J. (B.J.) Wilson (b. Mar. 18, 1947, Southend, Essex), who auditioned after answering an ad in Melody Maker. Nine months later, in September of 1963, bassist Chris Copping opted out of the professional musicians' corps to attend Leicester University, and he was replaced by Diz Derrick. The following month, the Paramounts demo record, consisting of covers of the Coasters' "Poison Ivy" and Bobby Bland's "Farther on up the Road," got them an audition at EMI. This resulted in their being signed to the Parlophone label, with their producer, Ron Richards, the recording manager best-known for his many years of work with the Hollies.The Paramounts' first single, "Poison Ivy," released in January of 1964, reached number 35 on the British charts. The group also got an important endorsement from the Rolling Stones, with whom they'd worked on the television show Thank Your Lucky Stars, who called the Paramounts their favorite British R&B band. Unfortunately, none of the group's subsequent Parlophone singles over the next 18 months found any chart success, and by mid-'66, the Paramounts had been reduced to serving as a backing band for popsters Sandy Shaw and Chris Andrews. In September of 1966, the Paramounts went their separate ways; Derrick out of the business, Trower and Wilson to gigs with other bands, and, most fortuitously, Gary Brooker decided to develop his career as a songwriter.This led Brooker into a partnership with lyricist Keith Reid (b. Oct. 19, 1945), whom he met through a mutual acquaintance, R&B impresario Guy Stevens. By the spring of 1967, they had a considerable body of songs prepared and began looking for a band to play them. An advertisement in Melody Maker led to the formation of a band initially called the Pinewoods, with Brooker as pianist/singer, Matthew Fisher (b. Mar. 7, 1946, Croydon, Surrey) on organ, Ray Royer (b. Oct. 8, 1945) on guitar, Dave Knights (b. June 28, 1945, London) on bass, and Bobby Harrison (b. June 28, 1943, London) on drums. Their first recording, produced by Denny Cordell, was of a piece of surreal Reidpoetry called "A Whiter Shade Of Pale," which Brooker set to music loosely derived from Johann Sebastian Bach's Air on a G String from the Suite No. 3 in D Major.By the time this recording was ready for release, the Pinewoods had been rechristened Procol Harum, a name derived, as alternate stories tell it, either from Stevens' cat's birth certificate, Procol Harun, or the Latin "procul" for "far from these things" (hey, it was the mid-'60s, and either is possible). In early May of 1967, the group performed "A Whiter Shade of Pale" at the Speakeasy Club in London, while Cordell arranged for a release of the single on English Decca (London Records in America), on the companies' Deram label. Ironically, Cordell's one-time clients the Moody Blues were about to break out of a long commercial tail-spin on the very same label with a similar, classically-tinged pair of recordings, "Nights in White Satin" and "Days of Future Passed," and between the two groups and their breakthrough hits, Deram Records would be permanently characterized as a progressive rock imprint.Cordell had also sent a copy of "A Whiter Shade of Pale" to Radio London, one of England's legendary off-shore pirate radio stations (they competed with the staid BBC, which had the official broadcast monopoly, and were infinitely more beloved by the teenagers and most bands), which played the record. Not only was Radio London deluged with listener requests for more plays, but Deram suddenly found itself with orders for a record not scheduled for release for another month -- before May was half over, it was pushed up on the schedule and rushed into shops.Meanwhile, the prototypal Procol Harum made its concert debut in London opening for Jimi Hendrix at the Saville Theater on June 4, 1967. Four days later, "A Whiter Shade of Pale" reached the top of the British charts for the first of a six-week run in the top spot, making Procol Harum only the sixth recording act in the history of British popular music to reach the number one spot on its first release (not even the Beatles did that). The following month, the record reached number five on the American charts, with sales in the United States rising to over a million copies (and six million copies worldwide).All of this seemed to bode well for the band, except for the fact that it had only a single song in its repertory and no real stage act -- literal one-hit wonders. The same month that the record peaked in the United States, Royer and Harrison were sacked and replaced by Brooker's former Paramounts bandmates Robin Trower and B.J. Wilson on guitar and drums, respectively.The "real" Procol Harum band was now in place and a second single, "Homburg," was duly recorded. Reminiscent of "Whiter Shade of Pale" in its tone of dark grandeur, this single, released in October of 1967 on EMI's Regal Zonophone label, got to number six on the British charts. The group's debut album, entitled Procol Harum, managed to reach number 47 in America during October of 1967, based on "A Whiter Shade of Pale" being among its tracks (which included the first version of "Conquistador") -- but a British version of the LP, issued over there without the hit, failed to attract any significant sales. The single "Homburg," however, got no higher than number 34 in America a month later.On March 26, 1968, "A Whiter Shade of Pale" won the International Song of the Year award at the 13th Annual Ivor Novello Awards (sort of the British equivalent of the Grammys). The group's newest single, "Quite Rightly So," however, only reached the number 50 spot in England in April of that year. A new contract for the group was secured with A&M Records in America (they remained on Regal Zonophone in England), and by November, a second album, Shine on Brightly, highlighted by an 18-minute epic entitled "In Held 'Twas I," was finished and in the stores, and rose to number 24 in America but failed to chart in England. The next month, they were playing the Miami Pop Festival in front of 100,000 people, on a bill that included Chuck Berry, Canned Heat, the blues version of Fleetwood Mac, and the Turtles, among others.In March of 1969, David Knights and Matthew Fisher exited the lineup shortly after finishing work on the group's new album, A Salty Dog, preferring management and production to the performing side of the music business. Knights' departure opened the way for bassist Chris Copping to join Procol Harum (thus re-creating the lineup of the Paramounts), playing bass and organ. Another American tour followed the next month, and in June of 1969 A Salty Dog was issued. This record, considered by many to be the original group's best work, combined high-energy blues and classical influences on a grand scale, and returned the band to the U.S. charts at number 32, while the title song ascended the British charts to number 44. The album subsequently reached number 27 in England, the group's first long-player to chart in their own country.Despite the group's moderate sales in England and America, they remained among the more popular progressive rock bands, capable of reaching more middle-brow listeners who didn't have the patience for Emerson, Lake & Palmer or King Crimson. Robin Trower's flashy guitar quickly made him the star of the group, as much as singer/pianist Brooker, and he was considered in the same league with Alvin Lee and any number of late-'60s/early-'70s British blues axemen. Matthew Fisher's stately, cathedral-like organ had been a seminal part of the band's sound, juxtaposed with Trower's blues-based riffing and Reid's unusual, darkly witty lyrics as voiced by Brooker. Following Fisher's departure, the group took on a more straightforward rock sound, but Trower's playing remained a major attraction to the majority of fans."Whaling Stories" was an example of quintessential Procol Harum, a mix of 19th century oratorio that sounds like it came out of a Victorian-era cathedral, with fiery blues riffs blazing at its center. And being soaked in Reid's dark, eerie, regret-filled lyrics didn't stop "A Salty Dog" from becoming one of the group's most popular songs.It was a year before their next album, Home, was released, in June of 1970, ascending to the American number 34 and the British 49 spot. This marked the end of the group's contract with Regal Zonophone/EMI, and on the release of their next LP in July of 1971, they were now on Chrysalis in England. Broken Barricades reached number 32 in America and 41 in England, but it also marked the departure of Robin Trower. The founding guitarist left that month and subsequently organized his own group, with a sound modeled along lines similar to Jimi Hendrix, which had great success in America throughout the 1970s.Trower's replacement, Dave Ball (b. Mar. 30, 1950), joined the same month, and the lineup expanded by one with the addition of Alan Cartwright on bass, which freed Chris Copping to concentrate full-time on the organ. The group returned to something of the sound it had before Fisher's departure, although Trower was a tough act to follow. It was this version of the band that performed on August 6, 1971 in a concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and the DaCamera Singers in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada -- the concert was a bold and expansive, richly orchestrated re-consideration of earlier material (though not"A Whiter Shade of Pale") from the group's repertory, and, released as an official live album in 1972, proved to be the group's most successful LP release, peaking at number five and drawing in thousands of new fans.In England, Procol Harum Live: In Concert With the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra only rose to number 48 in May of 1972, but it was competing with a reissue of the group's debut album (retitled A Whiter Shade of Pale, with the single added) paired with A Salty Dog, which outperformed it considerably, reaching number 26. A single lifted from the live record, "Conquistador," redone in a rich and dramatic version, shot to number 16 in America and 22 in England that summer. Soon after, the U.S. distributor of the debut album, London Records, got further play from that record by re-releasing it with a sticker announcing the presence of "the original version of "Conquistador."Amid all of this success, the group's lineup again was thrown into turmoil in September when Dave Ball left Procol Harum to join Long John Baldry's band. He was replaced by Mick Grabham, formerly of the bands Plastic Penny and Cochise. The band's next album, Grand Hotel, was a delightfully melodic and decadent collection (anticipating Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music in some respects) that featured guest backing vocals by Christianne Legrand of the a cappella singing group the Swingle Singers. That record, their first released on Chrysalis in America as well as England, peaked at number 21. Six months later, A&M released the first compilation of the band's material, Best of Procol Harum, which only made it to number 131 on the charts.The group's next two albums, Exotic Birds and Fruit (May 1974) and Procol's Ninth (September 1975), the latter produced by rock & roll songsmiths Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, performed moderately well, and "Pandora's Box" from Procol's Ninth became one of their bigger hits in England, rising to number 16. July of 1976 saw a departure and a lateral shift in the group's lineup, as Alan Cartwright left the band and Chris Copping took over on bass, while Pete Solley joined as keyboard player.By this time, the band's string had run out, as everyone seemed to know. A new album, Something Magic, barely scraped the U.S. charts in April of 1977, and the band split up following a final tour and a farewell concert at New York's Academy of Music on May 15, 1977. Only five months later, the band was back together for a one-off performance of "A Whiter Shade of Pale," which had taken on a life of its own separate from the group -- the song was named joint winner (along with "Bohemian Rhapsody") of the Best British Pop Single 1952-1977, at the Britannia Awards to mark Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee, and the band performed it live at the awards ceremony.Apart from Trower, Gary Brooker was the most successful and visible of all ex-Procol Harum members, releasing three solo albums between 1979 and 1985. Fear of Flying (1979) on Chrysalis, produced by George Martin, attracted the most attention, but Lead Me to the Water (1982) on Mercury had some notable guest artists, including Eric Clapton and Phil Collins, while Echoes in the Night (1985) was co-produced by Brooker's former bandmate Matthew Fisher. During the late '80s, however, Brooker had turned to writing orchestral music, principally ballet material, but this didn't stop him from turning up as a guest at one of the annual Fairport Convention reunions (Procol Harum and Fairport had played some important early gigs together) at Cropredy, Oxfordshire, in August of 1990 to sing "A Whiter Shade of Pale."Still, Procol Harum had faded from the consciousness of the music world by the end of the 1980s. The death of B.J. Wilson in 1990 went largely unreported, to the chagrin of many fans, and it seemed as though the group was a closed book.Then, in August of 1991, Brooker re-formed Procol Harum with Trower, Fisher, Reid, and drummer Mark Brzezicki. An album, Prodigal Stranger, was recorded and released, and an 11-city tour of North America took place in September of 1991. Although this lineup didn't last -- Trower and company, after all, were pushing 50 at the time -- Brooker has kept a new version of Procol Harum together, in the guise of himself, guitarist Geoffrey Whitehorn, keyboardman Don Snow, and Brzezicki on drums, which toured the United States in 1992. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi- See more at: http://www.971theriver.com/lsp/a12840/#sthash.ZhaALij9.dpuf

 

Kaedy's Conversations - The Straits

This week Keady interviewed The Straits who are former members of Dire Straits performing all Dire Straits music March 19th at The Variety Playhouse.  Event info.

She spoke with Chris White about the band a few days ago. Listen here

Dire Straits emerged during the post-punk era of the late '70s, and while their sound was minimalistic and stripped down, they owed little to punk. If anything, the band was a direct outgrowth of the roots revivalism of pub rock, but where pub rock celebrated good times, Dire Straits were melancholy. Led by guitarist/vocalist Mark Knopfler, the group built their sound upon the laid-back blues-rock of J.J. Cale, but they also had jazz and country inflections, occasionally dipping into the epic song structures of progressive rock. The band's music was offset by Knopfler's lyrics, which approximated the winding, stream-of-conscious narratives of Bob Dylan. As their career progressed, Dire Straits became more refined and their new maturity happened to coincide with the rise of MTV and the compact disc. These two musical revolutions from the mid-'80s helped make Dire Straits' sixth album, Brothers in Arms, an international blockbuster. The band -- along with Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, and Steve Winwood -- become one of the leaders of a group of self-consciously mature veteran rock & rollers in the late '80s that designed their music to appeal to aging baby boomers. Despite the band's international success, they couldn't sustain their stardom, waiting a full six years to deliver a follow-up to Brothers in Arms, by which time their audience had shrunk significantly.Knopfler (born August 12, 1949) was always the main force behind Dire Straits. The son of an architect, Knopfler studied English literature at Leeds University and worked briefly as a rock critic for the Yorkshire Evening Post while at college. He began teaching English after his graduation, leading a pub rock band called Brewer's Droop at night. By 1977, Mark was playing with his brother David (guitar) and his roommate John Illsley (bass). During the summer of 1977, the trio cut a demo with drummer Pick Withers. A London DJ named Charlie Gillett heard the demo and began playing "Sultans of Swing" on his BBC show Honky Tonkin'. Following a tour opening for Talking Heads, the band began recording their debut for Vertigo Records with producer Muff Winwood in early 1978. By the summer, they had signed with Warner in America, releasing their eponymous debut in the fall. Thanks to the Top Ten hit "Sultans of Swing,"Dire Straits was a major success in both Britain and America, with the single and album climbing into the Top Ten on both sides of the Atlantic.Dire Straits established Dire Straits as a major force on album-oriented radio in America, and their second album, Communique (1979), consolidated their audience, selling three million copies worldwide. As the group was recording its third album, Knopfler left the band to pursue a solo career; he was replaced by former Darling member Hal Lindes. Like its predecessor, Making Movies was a sizable hit in America and Britain, even though the band was criticized for musically treading water. Nevertheless, the record went gold on the strength of the radio and MTV hits "Romeo and Juliet" and "Skateaway."Dire Straits followed the album two years later with Love Over Gold, an album filled with long, experimental passages, plus the single "Private Investigations," which became a number two hit in the U.K. The album went gold in America and spent four weeks at number one in Britain. Shortly after the release of Love Over Gold, former Rockpile drummer Terry Williams replaced Withers.During 1982, Knopfler began exploring musical avenues outside of Dire Straits, scoring the Bill Forsyth film Local Hero and playing on Van Morrison's Beautiful Vision. Apart from releasing the Twisting by the Pool EP early in 1983, Dire Straits were quiet for the majority of 1983 and 1984, as Knopfler produced Bob Dylan's Infidels, as well as Aztec Camera and Willy DeVille; he also wrote "Private Dancer for Tina Turner's comeback album. In the spring of 1984, the band released the double album Alchemy: Dire Straits Live and by the end of the year, they had begun recording their fifth studio album with their new keyboardist, Guy Fletcher.Released in the summer of 1985, Brothers in Arms was Dire Straits' breakthrough album, making the band international stars. Supported by the groundbreaking computer-animated video for "Money for Nothing," a song which mocked music videos, the album became a blockbuster, spending nine weeks at the top of the American charts and selling over nine million copies; in England, the album became the biggest-selling album of the '80s. "Walk of Life" and "So Far Away" kept Brothers in Arms in the charts through 1986, and Dire Straits played over 200 dates in support of the album. Once the tour was completed, Dire Straits went on hiatus for several years, as Knopfler produced records by Randy Newman and Joan Armatrading, scored films, toured with Eric Clapton, and recorded a duet album with Chet Atkins (Neck and Neck, 1990). In 1989, he formed the country-rock group Notting Hillbillies, whose sole album, Missing...Presumed Having a Good Time, became a British hit upon its spring 1990 release. During the extended time off, John Illsley recorded his second album; the first appeared in 1984.In 1990, Knopfler reconvened Dire Straits, which now featured Illsley, Clark, Fletcher, and various session musicians. The band released On Every Street in the fall of 1991 to great anticipation. However, the album failed to meet expectations -- it only went platinum in America and it didn't crack the U.K. Top 40 -- and failed to generate a hit single. Similarly, the tour was a disappointment, with many tickets going unsold in both the U.S. and Europe. Once the tour was completed, the live album On the Night was released in the spring of 1993 and the band again went on hiatus. In 1996, Knopfler launched his solo career with Golden Heart. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

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            Kaedy's Conversations - Mick Jones of Foreigner

Mick Hutson

Kaedy's Conversations - Mick Jones of Foreigner

Kaedy talks to Mick Jones of Foreigner about his time with The Beatles - Listen [1:47]

 

 

While quite a few arena rock acts of the '70s found the transformation into the '80s quite difficult, several acts continued to flourish and enjoyed some of their biggest commercial success: Journey, Styx, REO Speedwagon, and especially Foreigner. Foreigner's leader from the beginning has been British guitarist Mick Jones, who first broke into the music biz as a "hired gun" of sorts, appearing on recordings by George Harrison and Peter Frampton, and as part of a later-day version of hard rockers Spooky Tooth. By the mid-'70s, Jones had relocated to New York City, where he was a brief member of the Leslie West Band and served as an A&R man for a record company. But it wasn't long before Jones felt the urge to be part of another rock outfit as he sought to put together a band that would be able to combine elements of rock, progressive, R&B, and pop into a single, cohesive style.Jones soon assembled a group consisting of ex-King Crimson sax player Ian McDonald and ex-Ian Hunter drummer Dennis Elliot (both of whom were British), along with New York musicians Al Greenwood (keyboards), Ed Gagliardi (bass), and Lou Gramm (vocals), the latter of which was previously a member of an obscure '70s outfit called Black Sheep. Jones found immediate songwriting chemistry with Gramm (one of the first songs they wrote together was the eventual hit "Cold As Ice"), resulting in the newly formed band taking the name Foreigner and signing a recording contract with Atlantic Records. Foreigner's self-titled debut was issued in 1977 and became an immediate hit on the strength of the hit singles "Feels Like the First Time,""Long, Long Way From Home," and the aforementioned "Cold As Ice," as the album would eventually go platinum five times over.Foreigner avoided the dreaded sophomore slump with an even stronger follow-up release, 1978's Double Vision, which spawned such further hit singles as "Hot Blooded" and its title track, and the album stayed in the Top Ten for a solid six months. As a result, the album's success established the sextet as an arena headliner and would go on to become Foreigner's best-selling album of their career (selling seven million copies in the U.S. alone by 2001). The group's third release overall, Head Games, followed in 1979 and marked the first of many subsequent lineup changes for the group, as Gagliardi was replaced by ex-Peter Frampton and Roxy Music bassist Rick Wills. While the album was another big seller and turned out to be their most straight-ahead musically, both Gramm and Jones felt that the album failed to break any new ground, something that they sought to correct on their next album.The band's lineup was cut back to just a quartet consisting of Jones, Gramm, Elliot, and Wills as super-producer Mutt Lange (fresh off late-'70s success with AC/DC) was enlisted to oversee the proceedings. The ploy worked and the resulting 1981 release, 4, was another massive seller, spawning such further hit singles as "Urgent" (which featured a blazing sax solo from Motown vet Junior Walker), "Jukebox Hero," and the power ballad"Waiting for a Girl Like You." Although the latter tune was a massive hit, it confused some of the band's following as to whether Foreigner was a hard rock band or balladeers. In 1982, a stopgap best-of set, Records, was released and featured ten of band's biggest hit singles, remaining a steady seller to this day (becoming Foreigner's second album to achieve sales of seven million by 2001).It took Foreigner three years to complete a follow-up to 4 with Agent Provocateur being issued in 1984. The band made the transition to the MTV video age without a hitch with the over-the-top, gospel-inflected ballad"I Want to Know What Love Is" (which featured the New Jersey Mass Choir) becoming one of the biggest MTV and radio hits that year. But despite the single's success, there was a noticeable dip in sales for Agent Provocateur when compared to their earlier albums due to the fact that the album wasn't as focused and strong overall as their previous recordings. After a mammoth nine-month tour wrapped up a year later, both Jones and Gramm focused on non-Foreigner projects during 1986. Jones produced Bad Company's Fame and Fortune and co-produced Van Halen's hit debut recording with Sammy Hagar, 5150, while Gramm worked on a solo debut. The release of both Gramm's solo album, Ready or Not, as well as Foreigner's sixth studio album overall, Inside Information, came in 1987. While both were successful and spawned Top Ten hits (Gramm with "Midnight Blue" and Foreigner with "Say You Will"), tension between Gramm and Jones came to a head regarding the singer's desire to focus on his solo career, which led to Gramm's split from Foreigner in 1989.The same year as his split from Foreigner, Gramm issued his second solo album, Long Hard Look, which proved to be not as successful as its predecessor, while Jones produced Billy Joel's Storm Front and issued a star-studded self-titled solo debut. Jones, Elliot, and Wills tried to keep Foreigner afloat with a new singer, Johnny Edwards, issuing a largely ignored album in 1991, Unusual Heat, while Gramm fared no better with a new outfit, Shadow King, issuing a forgotten self-titled debut the same year. Seeing the error in their split, both Jones and Gramm listened to the advice of Atlantic Records and reunited for the recording of three all-new tracks to be included on a more extensive "hits" collection. Issued in 1992, the 17-track The Very Best...And Beyond was Foreigner's most commercially successful release in several years along with the band's first live release, Classic Hits Live, issued a year later.The Gramm/Jones reunion soon turned permanent and new members Bruce Turgon (bass) and Jeff Jacobs (keyboards) were welcomed on board. The latest version of Foreigner issued an all-new studio recording in 1995, Mr. Moonlight, which failed to return the group to the top of the charts. Foreigner remained a popular concert attraction, but the band's future was thrust into doubt in 1997 when Gramm was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Luckily, the tumor was non-cancerous and was removed shortly thereafter. Gramm's recovery was slow and painful, but by 1999, the singer was well enough for Foreigner to team up with Journey for a summer tour. The early 21st century saw the release of several archival collections courtesy of the Rhino label: a pair of additional collections, Jukebox Heroes: The Foreigner Anthology and Complete Greatest Hits, as well as reissues of the group's self-titled debut and 4, both of which included extra bonus tracks. Can't Slow Down, a three-disc set that included a new studio album, a disc of remixed versions of the band's biggest hits, and a DVD documentary, arrived in 2009. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi

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Kaedy's Conversations - Graeme Edge of the Moody Blues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kaedy with Graeme Edge of the Moody Blues. Listen[16:06]

Moody Blues are at the Fox on 3/21. Tickets on sale now. 

 

Although they're best known today for their lush, lyrically and musically profound (some would say bombastic) psychedelic-era albums, the Moody Blues started out as one of the better R&B-based combos of the British Invasion. The group's history began in Birmingham, England with Ray Thomas (harmonica, vocals) and Mike Pinder (keyboards, vocals), who had played together in El Riot & the Rebels and the Krew Cats. They began recruiting members of some of the best rival groups working in Birmingham, including Denny Laine (vocals, guitar), Graeme Edge (drums), and Clint Warwick (bass, vocals).The Moody Blues, as they came to be known, made their debut in Birmingham in May of 1964, and quickly earned the notice and later the services of manager Tony Secunda. A major tour was quickly booked, and the band landed an engagement at the Marquee Club, which resulted in a contract with England's Decca Records less than six months after their formation. The group's first single, "Steal Your Heart Away," released in September of 1964, didn't touch the British charts. But their second single, "Go Now," released in November of 1964 -- a cover of a nearly identical American single by R&B singer Bessie Banks, heavily featuring Laine's mournful lead vocal -- fulfilled every expectation and more, reaching number one in England and earning them a berth in some of the nation's top performing venues (including the New Musical Express Poll Winners Concert, appearing with some of the top acts of the period); its number ten chart placement in America also earned them a place as a support act for the Beatles on one tour, and the release of a follow-up LP (Magnificent Moodies in England, Go Now in America) on both sides of the Atlantic.It was coming up with a follow-up hit to "Go Now," however, that proved their undoing. Despite their fledgling songwriting efforts and the access they had to American demos, this version of the Moody Blues never came up with another single success. By the end of the spring of 1965, the frustration was palpable within the band. The group decided to make their fourth single, "From the Bottom of My Heart," an experiment with a different, much more subtly soulful sound, and it was one of the most extraordinary records of the entire British Invasion, with haunting performances all around. Unfortunately, the single only reached number 22 on the British charts following its release in May of 1965, and barely brushed the Top 100 in America. Ultimately, the grind of touring, coupled with the strains facing the group, became too much for Warwick, who exited in the spring of 1966; and by August of 1966 Laine had left as well. The group soldiered on, however, Warwick succeeded by John Lodge, an ex-bandmate of Ray Thomas, and in late 1966 singer/guitarist Justin Hayward joined.For a time, they kept doing the same brand of music that the group had started with, but Hayward and Pinder were also writing different kinds of songs, reflecting somewhat more folk- and pop-oriented elements, that got out as singles, to little avail. At one point in 1966, the band decided to pull up stakes in England and start playing in Europe, where even a "has-been" British act could earn decent fees. And they began building a new act based on new material that was more in keeping with the slightly trippy, light psychedelic sounds that were becoming popular at the time. They were still critically short of money and prospects, however, when fate played a hand, in the form of a project initiated by Decca Records.In contrast to America, where home stereo systems swept the country after 1958, in England, stereo was still not dominant, or even common, in most people's homes -- apart from classical listeners -- in 1966. Decca had come up with "Deramic Stereo," which offered a wide spread of sound, coupled with superbly clean and rich recording, and was trying to market it with an LP that would serve as a showcase, utilizing pop/rock done in a classical style. The Moody Blues, who owed the label unrecouped advances and recording session fees from their various failed post-"Go Now" releases, were picked for the proposed project, which was to be a rock version of Dvor's New World Symphony. Instead, they were somehow able to convince the {@Decca producers involved that the proposed adaptation was wrongheaded, and to deliver something else; the producer, Tony Clarke, was impressed with some of the band's own compositions, and with the approval of executive producer Hugh Mendl, and the cooperation of engineer Derek Varnals, the group effectively hijacked the project -- instead of Dvor's music, they arrived at the idea of an archetypal day's cycle of living represented in rock songs set within an orchestral framework, utilizing conductor/arranger {$Peter Knight's orchestrations to expand and bridge the songs. The result was the album Days of Future Passed.The record's mix of rock and classical sounds was new, and at first puzzled the record company, which didn't know how to market it, but eventually the record was issued, first in England and later in America. It became a hit in England, propelled up the charts by the single "Nights in White Satin" (authored and sung by Hayward), which made the Top 20 in the U.K.; in America, the chosen single was another Hayward song, "Tuesday Afternoon." All of it hooked directly into the aftermath of the Summer of Love, and the LP was -- totally accidentally -- timed perfectly to fall into the hands of listeners who were looking for an orchestral/psychedelic recording to follow works such as the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Better still, the band still had a significant backlog of excellent psychedelic-themed songs to draw on. Their debt wiped out and their music now in demand, they went to work with a follow-up record in short order and delivered In Search of the Lost Chord (1968), which was configured somewhat differently from its predecessor. Though Decca was ecstatic with the sales results of Days of Future Passed and the singles, and assigned Clarke and Varnals to work with them in the future, the label wasn't willing to schedule full-blown orchestral sessions again. And having just come out of a financial hole, the group wasn't about to go into debt again financing such a recording.The solution to the problem of accompaniment came from Mike Pinder, and an organ-like device called a Mellotron. Using tape heads activated by the touch of keys, and tape loops comprised of the sounds of horns, strings, etc., the instrument generated an eerie, orchestra-like sound. Introduced at the start of the '60s as a potential rival to the Hammond organ, the Mellotron had worked its way into rock music slowly, in acts such as the Graham Bond Organisation, and had emerged to some public prominence on Beatles' records such as "Strawberry Fields Forever" and, more recently, "I Am the Walrus"; during that same year, in a similar supporting capacity, it would also turn up on the Rolling Stones' Their Satanic Majesties Request. As it happened, Pinder not only knew how to play the Mellotron, but had also worked in the factory that built them, which enabled him over the years to re-engineer, modify, and customize the instruments to his specifications. (The resulting instruments were nicknamed "Pindertrons.")In Search of the Lost Chord (1968) put the Mellotron in the spotlight, and it quickly became a part of their signature sound. The album, sublimely beautiful and steeped in a strange mix of British whimsy ("Dr. Livingston I Presume") and ornate, languid Eastern-oriented songs ("Visions of Paradise," "Om"), also introduced one psychedelic-era anthem, "Legend of a Mind"; authored by Ray Thomas and utilizing the name of LSD guru Timothy Leary in its lyric and choruses, along with swooping cellos and lilting flute, it helped make the band an instant favorite among the late-'60s counterculture. (The group members have since admitted at various times that they were, as was the norm at the time, indulging in various hallucinogenic substances.) That album and its follow-up, 1969's On the Threshold of a Dream, were magnificent achievements, utilizing their multi-instrumental skills and the full capability of the studio in overdubbing voices, instruments, etc. But in the process of making those two LPs, the group found that they'd painted themselves into a corner as performing musicians -- thanks to overdubbing, those albums were essentially the work of 15 or 20 Moody Blues, not a quintet, and they were unable to re-create their sound properly in concert.From their album To Our Children's Children's Children -- which was also the first release of the group's own newly founded label, Threshold Records -- only one song, the guitar-driven "Gypsy," ever worked on-stage. Beginning with A Question of Balance (1970), the group specifically recorded songs in arrangements that they could play in concert, stripping down their sound a bit by reducing their reliance on overdubbing and, in the process, toughening up their sound. They were able to do most of that album and their next record, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, on-stage, with impressive results. By that time, all five members of the band were composing songs, and each had his own identity, Pinder the impassioned mystic, Lodge the rocker, Edge the poet, Thomas the playful mystic, and Hayward the romantic -- all had contributed significantly to their repertoire, though Hayward tended to have the biggest share of the group's singles, and his songs often occupied the lead-off spot on their LPs.Meanwhile, a significant part of their audience didn't think of the Moody Blues merely as musicians but, rather, as spiritual guides. John Lodge's song "I'm Just a Singer (In a Rock & Roll Band)" was his answer to this phenomenon, renouncing the role that had been thrust upon the band -- it was also an unusually hard-rocking number for the group, and was also a modest hit single. Ironically, in 1972, the group was suddenly competing with itself when "Nights in White Satin" charted again in America and England, selling far more than it had in 1967; that new round of single sales also resulted in Days of Future Passed selling anew by the tens of thousands.In the midst of all of this activity, the members, finally slowing down and enjoying the fruits of their success, had reached an impasse. As they prepared to record their new album, Seventh Sojourn (1972), the strain of touring and recording steadily for five years had taken its toll. Good songs were becoming more difficult to deliver and record, and cutting that album had proved nearly impossible. The public never saw the problems, and its release earned them their best reviews to date and was accompanied by a major international tour, and the sales and attendance were huge. Once the tour was over, however, it was announced that the group was going on hiatus -- they wouldn't work together again for five years. Hayward and Lodge recorded a very successful duet album, Blue Jays (1975), and all five members did solo albums. All were released through Threshold, which was still distributed by English Decca (then called London Records in the United States), and Threshold even maintained a small catalog of other artists, including Trapeze and Providence, though they evidently missed their chance to sign a group that might well have eclipsed the Moody Blues musically, King Crimson. (Ironically, the latter also used the Mellotron as a central part of their sound, but in a totally different way, and were the only group ever to make more distinctive use of the instrument.)The Moodies' old records were strong enough, elicited enough positive memories, and picked up enough new listeners (even amid the punk and disco booms) that a double-LP retrospective (This Is the Moody Blues) sold extremely well, years after they'd stopped working together, as did a live/studio archival double LP (Caught Live + 5). By 1977, the members had decided to reunite -- although all five participated in the resulting album, Octave (1978), there were numerous stresses during its recording, and Pinder was ultimately unhappy enough with the LP to decline to go on tour with the band. The reunion tour came off anyway, with ex-Yes keyboardist Patrick Moraz brought in to fill out the lineup, and the album topped the charts.The group's next record, Long Distance Voyager (1981), was even more popular, though by this time a schism was beginning to develop between the band and the critical community. The reviews from critics (who'd seldom been that enamored of the band even in its heyday) became ever more harsh, and although their hiatus had allowed the band to skip the punk era, they seemed just as out of step amid the MTV era and the ascendancy of acts such as Madonna, the Pretenders, the Police, et al. By 1981, they'd been tagged by most of the rock press with the label "dinosaurs," seemingly awaiting extinction. There were still decent-sized hits, such as "Gemini Dream," but the albums and a lot of the songwriting seemed increasingly to be a matter of their going through the motions of being a group -- psychedelia had given way to what was, apart from the occasional Lodge or Hayward single, rather soulless pop/rock. There were OK records, and the concerts drew well, mostly for the older songs, but there was little urgency or very much memorable about the new material.That all changed a bit when one of them finally delivered a song so good that in its mere existence it begged to be recorded -- the Hayward-authored single "Your Wildest Dreams" (1986), an almost perfect successor to "Nights in White Satin" mixing romance, passion, and feelings of nostalgia with a melody that was gorgeous and instantly memorable (and with a great beat). The single -- along with its accompanying album, which was otherwise a much blander affair -- approached the top of the charts. They were boosted up there by a superb promotional video (featuring the Mood Six as the younger Moody Blues) that suddenly gave the group at least a little contemporary pop/rock credibility. The follow-up, "I Know You're Out There Somewhere," was a lesser but still impressive commercial success, with an even better secondary melodic theme, and the two combined gave them an essential and memorable pair of mid-decade hits, boosting their concert attendance back up and shoring up their contemporary songbag.By the end of the '80s, however, they were again perceived as a nostalgia act, albeit one with a huge audience -- a bit like the Grateful Dead without the critical respect or veneration. By that time, Moraz was gone and the core group was reduced to a quartet, with salaried keyboard players augmenting their work (along with a second drummer to back up Edge). They had also begun attracting fans by the tens of thousands to a new series of concerts, in which -- for the first time -- they performed with orchestras and, thus, could do their most elaborately produced songs on-stage. In 1994, a four-CD set devoted to their work, entitled Time Traveller, was released. By that time, their new albums were barely charting, and seldom attracting any reviews, but their catalog was among the best-selling parts of the Polygram library.A new studio effort, Strange Times, followed in 1999 and the live (at the Royal Albert Hall) Hall of Fame was issued a year later, but it was the 1997 upgrades of their original seven albums, from Days of Future Passed to Seventh Sojourn, that attracted far more attention from the public. In 2003, Ray Thomas retired, and the Moody Blues carried on as a core trio of Hayward, Lodge, and Edge. They were still going strong as a touring band in 2009, the same period in which their live performance from the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival was released as a CD and a DVD. That same year, Hayward's "Tuesday Afternoon" began turning up as an accompaniment to commercials for Visa. In 2013, the Moody Blues were the subject of a four-disc box retrospective from Universal entitled Timeless Flight. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi

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Kaedy's Conversations - John Anderson of Yes

 

 

 

Keady interviews John Anderson of Yes. Listen here [1:02]

 

 

Far and away the longest lasting and the most successful of the '70s progressive rock groups, Yes proved to be one of the lingering success stories from that musical genre. The band, founded in 1968, overcame a generational shift in its audience and the departure of its most visible members at key points in its history to reach the end of the century as the definitive progressive rock band. Where rivals such as Emerson, Lake & Palmer withered away commercially after the mid-'70s, and Genesis and King Crimson altered their sounds so radically as to become unrecognizable to their original fans, Yes retained the same sound, and performed much of the same repertoire that they were doing in 1971, and for their trouble, they found themselves being taken seriously a quarter of a century later. Their audience remained huge because they had always attracted younger listeners drawn to their mix of daunting virtuosity, cosmic (often mystical) lyrics, complex musical textures, and powerful yet delicate lead vocals.Lead singer Jon Anderson (b. October 25, 1944, Accrington, Lancashire) started out during the British beat boom as a member of the Warriors, who recorded a single for Decca in 1964; he was later in the band Gun before going solo in 1967 with two singles on the Parlophone label. He was making a meager living cleaning up at a London club called La Chasse during June of 1968, and was thinking of starting up a new band. One day at the bar, he chanced to meet bassist/vocalist Chris Squire, a former member of the band the Syn, who had recorded for Deram, the progressive division of Decca.The two learned that they shared several musical interests, including an appreciation for the harmony singing of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, and within a matter of days were trying to write songs together. They began developing the beginnings of a sound that incorporated harmonies with a solid rock backing, rooted in Squire's very precise approach to the bass. Anderson and Squire saw the groups around them as having either strong vocals and weak instrumental backup, or powerful backup and weak lead vocals, and they sought to combine the best of both. Their initial inspiration, at least as far as the precision of their vocals, according to Squire, was the pop/soul act the Fifth Dimension.They recruited Tony Kaye (b. January 11, 1946), formerly of the Federals, on keyboards; Peter Banks (b. July 7, 1947, d. March 8, 2013), previously a member of the Syn, on guitar; and drummer Bill Bruford (b. May 17, 1948), who had only just joined the blues band Savoy Brown a few weeks earlier. The name Yes was chosen for the band as something short, direct, and memorable.The British music scene at this time was in a state of flux. The pop/psychedelic era, with its pretty melodies and delicate sounds, was drawing to a close, replaced by the heavier sounds of groups like Cream. Progressive rock, with a heavy dose of late 19th century classical music, was also starting to make a noise that was being heard, in the guise of acts such as the Nice, featuring Keith Emerson, and the original Deep Purple.The group's break came in October of 1968 when the band, on the recommendation of the Nice's manager, Tony Stratton-Smith (later the founder of Charisma Records), played a gig at the Speakeasy Club in London, filling in for an absent Sly & the Family Stone. The group was later selected to open for Cream's November 26, 1968, farewell concert at Royal Albert Hall. This concert, in turn, led to a residency at London's Marquee Club and their first radio appearance, on John Peel's Top Gear radio show. They subsequently opened for Janis Joplin at her Royal Albert Hall concert in April 1969, and were signed to Atlantic Records soon after.Their debut single, and Anderson and Squire's first song, entitled "Sweetness," was released soon after. Their first album, Yes, was released in November of 1969. The record displayed the basic sound that would characterize the band's subsequent records, including impeccable high harmonies; clearly defined, emphatic playing; and an approach to music that derived from folk and classical far more than the R&B from which most rock music sprung -- but it was much more in a pop music context, featuring covers of Beatles and Byrds songs. Also present was a hint of the space rock sound (on "Beyond and Before") in which they would later come to specialize.Anderson's falsetto lead vocals gave the music an ethereal quality, while Banks' angular guitar, seemingly all picked and none strummed, drew from folk and skiffle elements. Squire's bass had a huge sound, owing to his playing with a pick, giving him one of the most distinctive sounds on the instrument this side of the Who's John Entwistle, while Bruford's drumming was very complex within the pop song context, and Kaye's playing was rich and melodic.In February of 1970, Yes supported the Nice at their Royal Albert Hall show, while they were preparing their second album, Time and a Word. By the time it was released in June of 1970, Peter Banks had left the lineup, to be replaced by guitarist Steve Howe (b. April 8, 1947), a former member of the Syndicats, the In Crowd, Tomorrow ("My White Bicycle"), and Bodast. Howe is pictured with the group on the jacket of Time and a Word, which was released in August, and played his first show with the group at Queen Elizabeth Hall on March 21, 1970, but Banks actually played on the album. This record was far more sophisticated than its predecessor, and even included an overdubbed orchestra on some songs, the only time that Yes would rely on outside musicians to augment their sound. The cosmic and mystical elements of their songwriting were even more evident on this album.The group's fame in England continued to rise as they became an increasingly popular concert attraction, especially after they were seen by millions as the opening act for Iron Butterfly. It was with the release of The Yes Album in April of 1971 that the public began to glimpse the group's full potential.That record, made up entirely of original compositions, was filled with complex, multi-part harmonies; loud, heavily layered guitar and bass parts; beautiful and melodic drum parts; and surging organ (with piano embellishments) passages bridging them all. Everybody was working on a far more expansive level than on any of their previous recordings: on "Your Move" (which became the group's first U.S. chart entry, at number 40), the harmonies were woven together in layers and patterns that were dazzling in their own right, while "Starship Trooper" (which drew its name from a {%Robert Heinlein} novel, thus reinforcing the group's space rock image) and "All Good People" gave Howe, Squire, and Bruford the opportunity to play extended instrumental passages of tremendous forcefulness. "Starship Trooper,""I've Seen All Good People,""Perpetual Change," and "Yours Is No Disgrace" also became parts of the group's concert sets for years to come.The Yes Album opened a new phase in the group's history and its approach to music. None of it was pop music in the "Top 40" sense of the term. Rather, it was built on compositions that resembled sound paintings rather than songs; the swelling sound of Kaye's Moog synthesizer and organ, Howe's fluid yet stinging guitar passages, Squire's rippling bass, and Anderson's haunting falsetto leads all evoked sonic landscapes that were strangely compelling to the imagination of the listener.The Yes Album reached number seven in England in the spring of 1971; later, it got to number 40 in America. Early in 1971, Yes made their first U.S. tour opening for Jethro Tull, and they were back late in the year sharing billing with Ten Years After and the J. Geils Band. The bandmembers began work on their next album, but were interrupted when keyboard player Tony Kaye quit in August of 1971 to join ex-Yes guitarist Peter Banks in the group Flash. He was replaced by former Strawbs keyboard player Rick Wakeman, who played his first shows with the band in September and October of 1971.Wakeman was a far more flamboyant musician than Kaye, not only in his approach to playing, but in the number of instruments that he used. In place of the three keyboards that Kaye used, Wakeman used an entire bank of upwards of a dozen instruments, including Mellotron, various synthesizers, organ, two or more pianos, and electric harpsichord. This lineup, Anderson, Squire, Howe, Wakeman, and Bruford, which actually only lasted for one year, from August of 1971 until August of 1972, is generally considered the best of all the Yes configurations, and the strongest incarnation of the band.The group completed its next album, Fragile, in less than two months, partly out of a need to get a new album out to help pay for all of Wakeman's equipment. And partly due to this haste, the new album featured only four tracks by the group as a whole, "Roundabout,""The South Side of the Sky,""Heart of the Sunrise," and "Long Distance Runaround" -- although, significantly, all except "Long Distance Runaround" ran between seven and 13 minutes -- and was rounded out by five pieces showcasing each member of the band individually. Anderson's voice was represented in multiple overdubs on "We Have Heaven"; Squire's bass provided the instrumental "The Fish," which later became an important part of the group's concerts; Howe's "Mood for a Day" showed him off as a classical guitarist; Bruford's drums were the focus of "Five Percent for Nothing"; and Wakeman turned in "Cans and Brahms," an electronic keyboard fantasy built on one movement from Brahms' Fourth Symphony.Fragile, released in December of 1971, reached number seven in England and number four in America. The album's success was enhanced by the release of an edited single of "Roundabout," the group's first (and, for over a decade, only) major hit, which reached number 13 on the U.S. charts. For millions of listeners, "Roundabout," with its crisp interwoven acoustic and electric guitar parts and very vivid bass textures, exquisite vocals (especially the harmonies), swirling keyboard passages, and brisk beat, proved an ideal introduction to the group's sound. Neither Emerson, Lake & Palmer nor King Crimson, the group's leading rivals at that time, ever had so successful a pop chart entry. The single's impact among teenage and college-age listeners was far greater than this chart position would indicate; they simply flocked to the band, with the result that not only did Fragile sell in huge numbers, but the group's earlier records (especially The Yes Album) were suddenly in demand again.Even the album's jacket, designed by artist Roger Dean, featured distinctive, surreal landscape graphics, which evoked images seemingly related to the music inside. These paintings would become part and parcel of the audience's impression of Yes' music, and later tours by the group would feature stage sets designed by Dean as an integral part of the shows.Yes' appeal was multi-level. In some ways, they were the successors to psychedelicmetal bands such as Iron Butterfly; "Roundabout" may have been space rock, with a driving beat that carried the listener soaring into the heavens, but lines like "In and around the lake/Mountains come out of the sky/They stand there" evoked a surreal imagery not far removed (in the minds of some listeners) from "In a Gadda Da Vida," and just as effective, amid Wakeman's swirling synthesizer and Mellotron passages, as a musical background for any druggy indulgences that fans might pursue. These would also be among the last lyrics that fans of the band would have to deal with, apart from anomalies such as the ethereal "I get up/I get down" from "Close to the Edge" or the topical "Don't Kill the Whale"; on most of the band's future releases, and for much of this song as well, Anderson's voice was part of the overall mix of sounds generated by Yes. Some of his lyrics in future years were worth a detailed look, however, often possessing complex subtexts drawn from religious and literary sources that made them good for intellectual analysis, and something that college students could listen to with no shame or rationalizing. In that respect, Yes were as much the successors to the Moody Blues, with a beat and balls in place of the pioneering art rock/psychedelic band's stateliness and overt seriousness, as they were to Iron Butterfly.Jon Anderson's falsetto vocals, moreover, compared very well with those of his Atlantic Records stablemate Robert Plant, the lead singer of Led Zeppelin. Their classical music influences offered a level of intellectual stimulation that Led Zeppelin seldom bothered with. And Yes played loud and hard; they were progressive, but they weren't wimps, and they put on a better show than Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Their music seemed to evoke the most appealing elements of heavy metalrock, psychedelic music, the work of composers as different as Igor Stravinsky and film composer Jerome Moross (whose "Main Theme from the Big Country" provided the basis for the group's version of "No Experience Necessary"), and Eastern religion, all wrapped in songs running upwards of 22 minutes -- an entire side of an album."Roundabout" would be the group's biggest single success for the next 12 years, but it was more than enough. Although they would continue to release 45s periodically, including a cover of Paul Simon's "America" during the summer of 1972, Yes' future clearly lay with their albums. On Fragile, "Long Distance Runaround," as a three-minute song, had been the anomaly; the bandmembers were clearly looking at longer forms in which to write and play their music.Close to the Edge, recorded in the late spring of 1972 and released in September of that year, showed just where they were headed, consisting of only three long tracks, essentially three sound paintings, in which the overall sound and musical textures mattered more than the lyrics or any specific melody, harmonization, or solo. "Siberian Khatru" was almost a rock adaptation of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, recalling the composer's most famous work and sounding as though Anderson and company had tapped into a element of ritual and a state of consciousness going back practically to the dawn of time (or stretching to the end of time), while "And You and I" seemed to take "Your Move" to a newly cosmic level. The fans and critics alike loved Close to the Edge, resplendent in its rich harmonies and keyboard passages of astonishing beauty and complexity, brittle but powerful guitar, and drumming that was gorgeous in its own right. The album reached number four in England and number three in the United States without help from a hit single (though an edited version of "And You and I" did reach number 42 in America).By the time of the record's release, however, Bill Bruford had left the band to join King Crimson, and was replaced by Alan White (b. June 14, 1949, Pelton, Durham), a session drummer who was previously best known for having played with John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Plastic Ono Band. With White -- who was a powerful player, but lacked the subtle melodic technique of Bill Bruford -- installed at the drum kit, the group went on tour behind the new album to massive audience response and critical acclaim. As an added bonus for fans, Rick Wakeman had completed his first solo LP, the instrumental concept album The Six Wives of Henry VIII, which was released by A&M Records in February of 1973 (Wakeman had played excerpts from it during his featured solo spot during the previous Yes tour).A large part of the Close to the Edge tour, like the group's prior tour with Bruford on the drums, was recorded, and a three-LP (two-CD) set entitled Yessongs, released in May of 1973, was assembled from the best work on the tour. Yessongs became a model for progressive rock live albums; at over 120 minutes, it included the band's entire stage repertoire (not coincidentally, the best songs from the three preceding albums), all of it uncut and all of it well played. The live album reached number seven in England and number 12 in the United States.The group spent the second half of 1973 trying to come up with a follow-up to four successive hit albums. The resulting record, a double LP entitled Tales from Topographic Oceans, was released in January of 1974 with such high expectations that it earned a gold record from its advanced orders.Tales from Topographic Oceans broke all previous artistic boundaries, consisting of four long tracks each taking up the full side of an LP, with titles like "The Revealing Science of God (Dance of the Dawn)." If the group's prior albums were made up of paintings in sound, then Topographic Oceans was a series of sonic murals, painted across vast spaces on a massive scale that did not make for light listening. If this all seems ridiculously overblown today, perhaps it was, but this work was being done in an era in which groups like Emerson, Lake & Palmer were recording album-length suites and stretching relatively modest works such as "Fanfare for the Common Man" by Aaron Copland into ten-minute epics. The group members believed they had cultivated an audience for such music, and they were right; Topographic Oceans not only topped the British charts but reached number six on the American charts.No album has more divided both fans and critics of Yes alike. At the time of its release, critics called Tales from Topographic Oceans excessive, representing the height of progressive rock's self-indulgent nature. Originally inspired by Jon Anderson's reaction to a set of Shastric scriptures, the album displayed a sublime beauty in many parts, and immense, mesmerizing stretches of high-energy virtuosity for most of its length.The group toured behind Topographic Oceans early in 1974, performing most of the album on-stage. Following this tour, plans were announced for each member of the group to release a solo album of his own. At this point, the group faced another major lineup change as Wakeman -- whose second solo album, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, appeared in May of 1974 -- announced that he was leaving Yes' lineup in June to pursue a solo career. In fact, as he revealed in interviews many years later, he'd been very unhappy with the content of Tales from Topographic Oceans, feeling that its music no longer reflected the direction he wanted to go in and that it was time to part company with the band. Wakeman's decision created a major problem for Yes, for the keyboard player had become a star within their ranks, and was the group's most well-known individual member; people definitely paid to see and hear his keyboards rippling amidst the band's sound.In August of 1974, it was announced that Patrick Moraz (b. June 24, 1948, Morges, Switzerland), formerly of the progressive rock trio Refugee, had replaced Wakeman. Three months later, the group's new album, Relayer, was released, reaching the British number four spot and the American number five position. Moraz proved an adequate replacement for Wakeman, but lacked his predecessor's gift for showmanship and extravagance. The group toured in the wake of Relayer's release in November of 1974, but didn't record together again for two and a half years.Indeed, in order to satisfy the demand for more Yes material in the absence of a new album while the group was on the road, Atlantic in March of 1975 released a collection of their early music entitled Yesterdays, drawn from the first two albums and various singles, which rose to number 27 in England and number 17 in America. A film that the group had made along their 1973 tour, entitled Yessongs, was released to theaters at around the same time. The movie received poor reviews, possibly owing to the fact that most reviewers were unfamiliar with the group's music, but it was profitable and has been popular for years on home video.Meanwhile, in the absence of new albums by Yes, other bands began trying to capitalize on their own versions of the Yes sound: the most notable of these were Starcastle, a progressive rock band signed by Epic Records, who made their recording debut in 1976 with a self-titled album that could have been another incarnation of Yes; and Fireballet, a Passport Records quartet who seemed to bridge the music of Yes and ELP.In November of 1975, Chris Squire's Fish Out of Water and Steve Howe's Beginnings were both released and climbed into the mid-sixties on the American charts. Squire's record was clearly the more accomplished of the two, virtually a lost Yes album, with the bassist exploring new instrumental and orchestral textures, and turning in a credible vocal performance as well. Howe's record was an interesting, low-key effort that might have impressed other guitarists, but was sorely lacking in the songwriting department.These were followed in March of 1976 by Alan White's Ramshackled, which placed at number 41 in England, and Moraz's solo venture Patrick Moraz, which reached number 28 in England and number 132 in America. And in July of 1976, Jon Anderson's Olias of Sunhillow, a dazzling, Tolkien-esque science fiction/fantasy epic (with packaging on the original LP that must have doubled the basic production cost of the jacket) that sounded as much like a Yes album as any record not made by the entire band could, reached number eight in England and number 47 in America.Amid all of these solo projects, the group's lineup changed once again, as Wakeman announced his return to the fold in late 1976, while Moraz exited. Wakeman's original plan was to assist Yes in the studio on their new album, but the sessions proved so productive that he made the decision, fully supported by the band, to return to the lineup permanently.The group's next album, Going for the One, released in August of 1977, represented a much more austere, basic style of rock music, built around shorter songs. The long-player topped the British charts for two weeks and reached number eight on the American charts, while the singles "Wonderous Stories" and "Going for the One" rose to numbers seven and 24, respectively, in the U.K. Yes embarked on a massive tour shortly after the album's release, including their most successful American appearances ever, playing to record audiences on the East Coast.Tormato, released nearly a year later (heralded by the single "Don't Kill the Whale," the group's first song with a topical message), made the Top Ten in both England and America in the fall of 1978. Once again, after finishing the tour behind the album, the group members began working on solo projects. The year 1979 saw the release of The Steve Howe Album, while early in 1980 Jon Anderson hooked up with Greek-born keyboard player Vangelis. The two released an album, Short Stories, and an accompanying single, "I Hear You," early in 1980, both of which reached the British Top Ten. Jon & Vangelis, as the team became known, went on to cut several more records together.In March of 1980, Yes' lineup collapsed, as Wakeman and then Anderson walked out after an unsuccessful attempt to start work on a new album. Two months later, Trevor Horn (vocals, guitar) and Geoffrey Downes (keyboards), formerly of the British band the Buggles, joined the Yes lineup of Steve Howe, Chris Squire, and Alan White. This configuration recorded a new album, Drama, which was released in August of 1980; rather ominously, this record did dramatically better in England, reaching the number two spot, than it did in America, where it got no higher than number 18. This hybrid lineup lasted for a year, but the old Yes incarnation remained much closer to the hearts of fans; in January of 1981 Atlantic Records released Yesshows, a double live album made up of stage performances dating from 1976 through 1978 that reached number 22 in England and number 43 in America.Finally, in April of 1981, the breakup of Yes was announced. Geoff Downes formed Asia with Steve Howe, which went on to some considerable if short-lived success in the early '80s, and the rest of the band scattered to different projects. For a year and a half, the group seemed a dead issue, until Chris Squire and Alan White announced the formation of a new group called Cinema, with original Yes keyboard player Tony Kaye and South African guitarist Trevor Rabin. This band proved unsatisfactory, and Squire invited Jon Anderson to join. It was just about then that everyone realized that they'd virtually re-formed the core of the Yes lineup, and that they should simply revive the name.In late 1983, this Yes lineup, with guitarist/vocalist Trevor Horn serving as producer, released an unexpected chart-topping hit single (number one in the U.S. in January of 1984) in "Owner of a Lonely Heart," displaying a stripped-down modern dance-rock sound unlike anything the group had ever produced before. The remaining group released a successful dance-rock style album, 90125, under Horn's guidance, which sold well but also proved a dead end, with no follow-up, when Horn chose not to remain with the group.Yes was invisible for nearly two years after that, until the late 1987 release of Big Generator, which performed only moderately well. Meanwhile, in 1986, Steve Howe reappeared as a member of the quintet GTR, whose self-titled album reached number 11 in America. The proliferation of ex-Yes members gathering together in various combinations led to an ongoing legal dispute over who owned the group name, which came to a head in 1989. Luckily for four of them, the name Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe was recognizable enough to reach the fans, which sent the resulting album into the U.S. Top 40 and the British Top 20, more or less handing them a victory by acclamation (later supported by the settlement) in their dispute over the name. By touring with An Evening of Yes Music, they presented their classic repertoire to sold-out houses all over the country, including a 1990 gig at Madison Square Garden.The legal squabbles had all been settled by the spring of 1991, at which time a composite "mega Yes" group consisting of Anderson, Howe, Wakeman, Squire, Kaye, White, Rabin, and Bruford (all of the key past members except Peter Banks) embarked on a blow-out world tour called Yesshows in 1991. The accompanying album, Union, which displayed a somewhat tougher sound than they'd been known for, debuted on the British charts at number seven and reached number 15 in America. This tour, which allowed the band to showcase music from all of its previous incarnations and, in the second half of the show, featured each member who wished it in a solo spot, broke more records. These mammoth three-hour shows and the resulting publicity (even news organizations that normally didn't cover rock concerts did features on the reunion) only seemed to heighten interest in the four-CD box set YesYears, which was released by Atlantic in 1991.The rest of the 1990s proved every bit as busy for members of the group as the '80s had been, if not always in a group context. Bill Bruford and Steve Howe, in conjunction with producer Alan Parsons and arranger David Palmer, successfully spun off the group's classic music on a mostly instrumental project called Symphonic Music of Yes, released on RCA, which presented many of the best-known Yes songs in an orchestral setting (with Jon Anderson furnishing vocals in two places). Trevor Rabin reunited with Anderson, White, Kaye, and Squire in 1994 for the Talk album, which sold poorly despite a national tour and the presence of a killer single in "The Calling."Kaye left the music business for more than a decade following that tour, which saw guitarist Billy Sherwood, a longtime friend of Squire's and an ex-member of World Trade, join as a new official member of the band.It was also around this time that the first round of upgraded reissues of the group's catalog appeared on CD from Atlantic Records. In 1995, the classic lineup of Anderson, Howe, Squire, Wakeman, and White reunited for a short series of performances, which yielded several live recordings as well as a pair of new studio albums soon after, Keys to Ascension and Keys to Ascension 2, but the reunion was interrupted by Wakeman's departure, in a dispute over the treatment of the new studio material. Sherwood eventually took over on keyboards, in addition to his guitar duties. He and Squire became key members of the latter-day Yes lineup, their work in their own band Conspiracy serving as the core of what became the Yes album Open Your Eyes.By this time, Yes had taken on two distinct incarnations, on-stage and in the studio. With Trevor Rabin having opted out of the group after 1995 in favor of work as a film composer, Steve Howe returned to the concert stage as a member, his work a highlight of their shows, while in the studio it was Sherwood and Squire, along with Anderson, at the creative center of the group. And another new member was added following the tour for Open Your Eyes (which was mostly devoted to reviving their '70s repertoire), in Igor Khoroshev.The group's lineup went through further changes amid a plethora of live recordings, released as both CDs and DVDs, in the early 21st century. Sherwood was dismissed in 2000, and Khoroshev was gone after the tour that year. Magnification saw the band working with a full orchestra, which proved something of a disappointment to many fans -- Yes had never really worked well with that sort of accompaniment, on those rare occasions when they tried it in the past, and not even state-of-the-art digital technology could help. Wakeman was back for the group's 2002 international tour, and Yes toured again two years later, to commemorate their 35th anniversary.All of these performances and new recordings coincided with a massive amount of activity surrounding the group's catalog. A second, more expansive career-retrospective five-disc box set, In a Word: Yes, was released in 2002, and around this same time Japanese WEA reissued the entire Yes catalog in audiophile-quality remastered editions, packaged in handsome miniature LP sleeves that re-created all of the Roger Dean-designed jackets in perfect detail, inside and out. Not to be outdone, Rhino Records in the U.S. -- by now absorbed into the Warner-Elektra-Atlantic family of labels -- issued their own remastered editions of the same catalog in slipcased editions, with the added virtues of extensive bonus tracks and annotation and, in the case of Tales from Topographic Oceans, a remixed master as well.Yes, by now carrying so many permutations to their lineup and sound, had transcended their progressive rock origins, and also managed to win over even some of their harshest critics -- perhaps in some ways simply by wearing them down with their longevity, but also using that longevity as proof of their worth. Trevor Rabin returned to the fold alongside Howe -- along with Geoff Downes -- for one night, in a performance honoring Trevor Horn at the 2004 Prince's Trust concert (an event that even got Kate Bush, who never concertizes, onto the stage). The group then became officially inactive, though Rhino did release a third box set, entitled The Word Is Live, in 2005, to decidedly lackluster reviews -- mostly the set was made up of secondary material performed by lesser later lineups, though its first disc, part of which showcased the Peter Banks/Tony Kaye period, was worth hearing. Kaye, Sherwood, and White reunited in a new context -- using the group name CIRCA: -- in 2006, with an album released the following year. A 21st studio album from the band, the Trevor Horn-produced Fly from Here, was released in 2011, and included Canadian singer Benoit David on lead vocals -- David had been the lead singer in a Yes tribute band before joining the group in 2008. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi

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Kaedy's Conversations - Don Barnes of .38 Special

 

 

 

 

Kaedy intervies Don Barnes of .38 Special. Listen [11:17:07]

 

BiographyInitially, .38 Special were one of many Southern rock bands in the vein of the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd; in fact, the band was led by Donnie Van Zant, the brother of Skynyrd's leader, Ronnie Van Zant. After releasing a couple of albums of straight-ahead Southern boogie, the band revamped its sound to fall halfway between country-fried blues-rock and driving, arena-ready hard rock. The result was a string of hit albums and singles in the early '80s, highlighted by "Caught Up in You,""If I'd Been the One,""Back Where You Belong," and "Like No Other Night.".38 Special's popularity dipped in the late '80s as MTV-sponsored pop and heavy metal cut into their audience. Though the band had its biggest hit in 1989 with the ballad"Second Chance," it proved to be their last gasp -- they faded away in the early '90s, retiring to the oldies circuit.Donnie Van Zant (vocals) formed the Jacksonville, FL-based .38 Special in 1975 with Jeff Carlisi (guitar), Don Barnes (guitar, vocals), Ken Lyons (bass), Jack Grondin (drums), and Steve Brookins (drums). Two years later, the band signed with A&M Records and released its eponymous debut. Neither 38 Special or its follow-up, Special Delivery, received much attention, but the group began to build up a following through its constant touring. Bassist Lyons left before the recording of 1979's Rockin' Into the Night, the album that demonstrated a more melodic, driving sound; he was replaced by Larry Junstrom. Rockin' Into the Night became a moderate hit, but 1981's Wild-Eyed Southern Boys was a genuine hit, going platinum and generating the Top 40 "Hold On Loosely."Special Forces, released in 1982, was even more popular, spawning the Top Ten single "Caught Up in You" and "If I'd Been the One."Tour de Force (1983) and Strength in Numbers (1986) were both successes, and the band continued to be a popular touring outfit. Barnes and Brookins left in 1987; Barnes was replaced by Danny Chauncey.While Strength in Numbers had been popular, it didn't stay on the charts as long as its predecessors. Flashback, the 1987 greatest-hits album, was moderately successful, but the band took precautions to retain its audience by recording the polished Rock & Roll Strategy. Released in 1989, the album slowly became a hit on the strength of "Second Chance," an adult contemporary-oriented ballad that reached the Top Ten. Rock & Roll Strategy became the band's final big hit. Barnes returned to the band in 1991 and the group added drummer Scott Hoffman and keyboardist Bobby Capps. Even with the extensive retooling and the support of a new label, Charisma, 1991's Bone Against Steel failed to gain much attention. .38 Special didn't release another album for six years. In the summer of 1997, they released a comeback effort titled Resolution on Razor & Tie Records. Live at Sturgis followed on CMC in 1999. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

 

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Kaedy's Conversations - AID Atlanta

Kaedy interviewed Cathy Woolard, Executive Director for AID Atlanta about the 23 Annual AIDs Walk Atlanta & 5K Run this Sunday at 1pm at Piedmont Park.  People can still register to walk or run by visiting AIDS Walk Atlanta, or by showing up at the event starting at 11:30 am.

Listen here [6:19]

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Kaedy's Conversations - Matt Czurchry

 

 

 

 

One of Kaedy’s favorite shows is The Good Wife which starts its 5th season this Sunday night. Kaedy spoke with Matt Czurchry who plays the hot, young  lawyer, Carey, on the show.  Listen here [9:50]

The Good Wife premieres Sunday Sept. 29 9/8c on CBS.

Check out 'The Good Wife' Season 5 Premiere Exclusive Preview

Kaedy's Conversations - Warren Haynes

 

 

 

Kaedy interviewed Warren Haynes and his band Government Mule, Wednesday September 25th. They are playing at the Tabernacle, Thursday, September 26th.

Listen [5:29]

The leaders of Gov't Mule, Warren Haynes and Allen Woody, should be well known to Allman Brothers fans for their stint in Southern rock's most famous native sons. In 1989, Haynes became the second replacement for Duane Allman, providing a good foil for Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts on guitar and vocals; Woody filled out the Allman sound on bass. Five years after their debut, the duo joined drummer Matt Abts in the side project Gov't Mule, a band in which the Allman Brothers' influence is apparent but complicated with the psychedelic, bluesy power trio feel of Cream.Gov't Mule debuted in 1995 with a self-titled album on Capricorn Records, followed by the stellar concert date Live at Roseland Ballroom. The studio follow-up, Dose, appeared in early 1998; another concert set, Live...With a Little Help from Our Friends, followed a year later, with the complete show later appearing as a four-disc limited-edition set. A new studio effort, Life Before Insanity, appeared in early 2000. A vital member of the band was lost, however, on August 26, 2000, when Woody was found dead in a hotel room in New York City. The band had been preparing to record their next album, and after a time, Gov't Mule finally decided to carry on with the project, this time with guest bassists ranging from Flea to Bootsy Collins. The two-volume Deep End series for ATO Records resulted. Phish bassist Mike Gordon also got involved in the project, filming the recording of the albums for a planned documentary. In mid-September 2001, the group hit the road for a six-week tour in support of Deep End, Vol. 1; Oteil Burbridge filled in as bassist for most of the dates.The second volume of Live...With a Little Help from Our Friends appeared in 2002 and the Deepest End: Live in Concert CD and DVD in 2003. One year later saw the release of D Voodoo, Gov't Mule's first studio effort since Woody's death. It featured his official replacement, bassist Andy Hess, as well as new keyboardist Danny Louis. The same lineup released High & Mighty in 2006. The two-volume Benefit Concert series followed in 2007. In 2009, Gov't Mule issued By a Thread, its first studio album in three years. Hess was replaced by bassist Jorgen Carlsson, and the album featured a guest appearance by ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons. In 2010, the Evil Teen imprint issued Mulennium, a three-disc package that commemorated Gov't Mule's complete 1999 New Year's Eve concert at Atlanta's historic Roxy Theatre with the band's original lineup. The concert also included guest appearances by the Black Crowes, Little Milton, and Audley Freed. ~ John Bush, Rovi

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Kaedy's Conversations - Jason Bonham

 

 

Kaedy talks to Jason Bonham, founder of the Bonham band and son of Led Zepplin drummer, John Bonham.

Listen [1:37]

 

 

 

 

Kaedy's Conversations - Paul O'Neill of Trans-Siberian Orchestra

 

 

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra are at the Gwinnett Arena on November 26th. Kaedy interviews Paul O'Neill of TSO , listen here.

Based in New York City, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra united a 60-piece orchestra plus chorus with the talents of Paul O'Neill, a veteran hard rock producer. The group released its debut album, Christmas Eve and Other Stories, just in time for the 1996 holiday season. The Christmas Attic followed in 1998, and two years later the group issued its first non-seasonal recording, Beethoven's Last Night. In 2004, the band returned with the new album Lost Christmas Eve and collected all their Christmas recordings on the three-CD/one-DVD collection Christmas Trilogy. In 2009, after a five-year hiatus, the group returned with the two-disc Night Castle, a non-holiday related concept album. ~ John Bush, Rovi - See more

 

 

 

Kaedy's Conversations - #31 Jeff Burton

 

 

Kaedy interviewed #31 Jeff Burton about this weekend’s racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and about the Coca Cola Family Track Walk on Sunday morning before the BIG race! Listen [8:46]

 

Kaedy's Conversations - Alice Cooper

 

 

Kaedy talks with Alice Cooper

Why is Alice Cooper is Phoenix? Kaedy finds out. Listen [1:12]

Alice Cooper jumping rope with a bunch of kids? Who would have thought. Listen [1:30]

Originally, there was a band called Alice Cooper led by a singer named Vincent Damon Furnier. Under his direction, Alice Cooper pioneered a grandly theatrical and violent brand of heavy metal that was designed to shock. Drawing equally from horror movies, vaudeville, heavy metal, and garage rock, the group created a stage show that featured electric chairs, guillotines, fake blood, and huge boa constrictors, all coordinated by the heavily made-up Furnier. By that time, Furnier had adopted the name for his androgynous on-stage personality. While the visuals were extremely important to the group's impact, the band's music was nearly as distinctive. Driven by raw, simple riffs and melodies that derived from '60s guitar pop as well as show tunes, it was rock & roll at its most basic and catchy, even when the band ventured into psychedelia and art rock. After the original group broke up and Furnier began a solo career as Alice Cooper, his actual music lost most of its theatrical flourishes, becoming straightforward heavy metal, yet his stage show retained all of the trademark props that made him the king of shock rock.Furnier formed his first group, the Earwigs, as an Arizona teenager in the early '60s. Changing the band's name to the Spiders in 1965, the group was eventually called the Nazz (not to be confused with Todd Rundgren's band of the same name). The Spiders and the Nazz both released local singles that were moderately popular. In 1968, after discovering there was another band with the same name, the group changed its name to Alice Cooper. According to band legend, the name came to Furnier during a Ouija board session, where he was told he was the reincarnation of a 17th century witch of the same name. Comprised of vocalist Furnier -- who would soon begin calling himself Alice Cooper -- guitarist Mike Bruce, guitarist Glen Buxton, bassist Dennis Dunaway, and drummer Neal Smith, the group moved to California in 1968. There, the group met Shep Gordon, who became their manager, and Frank Zappa, who signed Alice Cooper to his Straight Records imprint.Alice Cooper released their first album, Pretties for You, in 1969. Easy Action followed early in 1970, yet it failed to chart. The group's reputation in Los Angeles was slowly shrinking, so the band moved to Furnier's hometown of Detroit. For the next year, the group refined their bizarre stage show. Late in 1970, the group's contract was transferred to Straight's distributor Warner Bros., and they began recording their third album with producer Bob Ezrin. With Ezrin's assistance, Alice Cooper developed their classic heavy metal crunch on 1971's Love It to Death, which featured the number 21 hit single "Eighteen"; the album peaked at number 35 and went gold. The success enabled the group to develop a more impressive, elaborate live show, which made them highly popular concert attractions across the U.S. and eventually the U.K. Killer, released late in 1971, was another gold album.Released in the summer of 1972, School's Out was Alice Cooper's breakthrough record, peaking at number two and selling over a million copies. The title song became a Top Ten hit in the U.S. and a number one single in the U.K. Billion Dollar Babies, released the following year, was the group's biggest hit, reaching number one in both America and Britain; the album's first single, "No More Mr. Nice Guy," became a Top Ten hit in Britain, peaking at number 25 in the U.S. Muscle of Love appeared late in 1973, yet it failed to capitalize on the success of Billion Dollar Babies. After Muscle of Love, Furnier and the rest of Alice Cooper parted ways to pursue other projects. Having officially changed his name to Alice Cooper, Furnier embarked on a similarly theatrical solo career; the rest of the band released one unsuccessful album under the name Billion Dollar Babies, while Mike Bruce and Neal Smith both recorded solo albums that were never issued. In the fall of 1974, a compilation of Alice Cooper's five Warner albums, entitled Alice Cooper's Greatest Hits, became a Top Ten hit.For his first solo album, Welcome to My Nightmare, Cooper hired Lou Reed's backing band from Rock 'N' Roll Animal -- guitarists Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter, bassist Prakash John, keyboardist Joseph Chrowski, and drummer Penti Glan -- as his supporting group. Released in the spring of 1975, the record was similar to his previous work and it became a Top Ten hit in America, launching the hit acoustic ballad"Only Women Bleed." Its success put an end to any idea of reconvening Alice Cooper the band. Its follow-up, 1976's Alice Cooper Goes to Hell, was another hit, going gold in the U.S. After Alice Cooper Goes to Hell, Cooper's career began to slip, partially due to changing trends and partially due to his alcoholism. Cooper entered rehabilitation in 1978, writing an album about his treatment called From the Inside (1978) with Bernie Taupin, Elton John's lyricist. During the early '80s, Cooper continued to release albums and tour, yet he was no longer as popular as he was during his early-'70s heyday.Cooper made a successful comeback in the late '80s, sparked by his appearances in horror films and a series of pop-metal bands that paid musical homage to his classic early records and concerts. Constrictor, released in 1986, began his comeback, but it was 1989's Trash that returned Cooper to the spotlight. Produced by the proven hitmaker Desmond Child, Trash featured guest appearances by Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, and most of Aerosmith; the record became a Top Ten hit in Britain and peaked at number 20 in the U.S., going platinum. "Poison," a midtempo rocker featured on the album, became Cooper's first Top Ten single since 1977. After the release of Trash, he continued to star in the occasional film, tour, and record, although he wasn't able to retain the audience recaptured with Trash. Still, 1991's Hey Stoopid and 1994's The Last Temptation were generally solid, professional efforts that helped Cooper settle into a comfortable cult status without damaging the critical goodwill surrounding his '70s output. After a live album, 1997's Fistful of Alice, Cooper returned on the smaller Spitfire label in 2000 with Brutal Planet and Dragontown a year later. The Eyes of Alice Cooper appeared in 2003 and found Alice and company playing a more stripped-down brand of near-garage rock. Dirty Diamonds from 2005 was nearly as raw and hit the streets around the same time Alice premiered his syndicated radio show, Nights with Alice Cooper. Three years later he returned with Along Came a Spider, a concept album that told the story of a spider-obsessed serial killer. In 2010, he released the live album Theatre of Death, along with a download-only EP of redone Cooper classics titled Alice Does Alice. 2011's Welcome 2 My Nightmare, a sequel to his 1975, conceptual classic of the same name (minus the 2), was recorded with longtime co-conspirator Bob Ezrin, and featured 14 brand new cuts that spanned multiple genres and relied on the talents of a host of previous members of the Alice Cooper band (including Steve Hunter), as well as a guest spot from pop superstar Ke$ha. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

 

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Kaedy's Conversations - Adam Savage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keady interviews Adam Savage of "Mythbusters Behind the Myths," which comes to the Fox Theater this Friday, August 30th at 8:00pm and stars the hosts of Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters. Listen here [8:37]

The all-new, live stage show “MythBusters Behind the Myths,” starring Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, co-hosts of the Emmy-nominated Discovery series MythBusters,” promises to be an unexpected evening of on-stage experiments, audience participation, rocking video and behind-the-scenes stories. For the first time ever, fans will join Jamie and Adam on stage and assist in their mind-twisting and not always orthodox approach to science.“MythBusters Behind the Myths” brings you face to face with the curious world of Jamie and Adam as the duo matches wits on stage with each other and members of the audience.

“MythBusters Behind the Myths” is family friendly and appropriate for all ages.  Parents should only bring young children if they can sit through a two hour theatrical show without disrupting other audience members.

 

 
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