Monday, June 27, 2011

Black Country Communion DVD Blu-Ray

[caption id="attachment_1255" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Photo courtesy of Aubrey Stewart"]img_5083_std[/caption]

Black Country Communion bassist/singer Glenn Hughes seems to have let some news drop this morning on twitter:
In Milano… Joe and I will give a press conference for 2morrows[sic] show: then we will be in Pre-production for Filming Blu-ray concerts…

Another tweet later said:
Did press conf. alone: Joe is already @ Studio

He later announced Black Country Communion is filming on the tour for October release. What concert they are planning to record, or if they have already taped a show, is unknown at this stage. But, as Hughes put it in a later tweet, "we are building a foundation."




Sunday, June 26, 2011

Getting the Led Out

Organizing a trip to New York for Get The Led Out at the Irving Plaza on July 15th with Steve "The Lemon" Sauer.

[caption id="attachment_1301" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Get The Led Out's Jimmy Marchiano "]Get The Led Out's Jimmy Marchiano [/caption]

I googled Get the Led Out, and the urban dicationary definition of getting the led out came up:
Getting the Led out basically means that you are rocking out to some Led Zeppelin which is probably the best band ever to grace our Earth.

I'll say.

Interestingly, Steve and I will be Getting the Led Out at the very time we should be finding out what Jimmy Page is up to. Should make for a good couple of days.



Saturday, June 25, 2011

Robert Plant DVD Coming

See of Sound is releasing a Robert Plant DVD entitled Robert Plant's Blue Note. It is, by reports, a documentary on his solo career.sidvd567
Robert Plant's journey through the territories that have most acutely informed and inspired his music is perhaps one of the most multi-faceted of any artist from his generation. His fantastic voyage has essayed the plantations of Mississippi, the deserts and townships of Africa and the settlements of the Appalachians. Featuring rare footage, performance archive, recorded interviews, contributions from his closest collaborators, expert critique from the finest music writers, plus location film, news reports seldom seen photographs and a host of other features.

Available August 23rd, it can be pre-ordered here.



Thursday, June 23, 2011

Birthplace of Zeppelin For Sale

In the summer of 1968 Jimmy Page was looking to form a band. One day he and manager Peter Grant ran into singer Terry Reid on Oxford Street in London. Reid was Page’s first choice for singer in the band, but had previously signed on with Mickey Most and was unavailable. Reid, however, knew of someone: “The Wild Man of the Blues from the Black Country,” a tall blonde guy named Robert Plant.

Page and Grant went to Birmingham to watch Plant sing with his band, Hobbstweedle. They were impressed, “It unnerved me just to listen,➀” Page later said. Impressed though they were, Page and Grant also had some concerns. Said Page:
When I auditioned him and heard him sing, I immediately thought there must be something wrong with him personality-wise, or that he had to be impossible to work with, because I just could not understand why, after he told me he’s been singing for a few years already, he hadn’t been a big name yet.➀

640_480_backhouse2To answer Jimmy’s concerns, Page invited Plant down to his boathouse on the Thames at Pangbourne. There, the two spent a few days listening to records, going over music, and connecting. By the time they were done, Page‘s concerns had disappeared , and Plant was off in search of his old buddy John Bonham to convince him he needs to join the band. The rest is history.

Page sold the Pangbourne boathouse in 1975 for £28,500. It is now on the market with a selling price of £1,100,000. It is a luxurious property with a large mooring, heated indoor swimming pool and three stories.

Grab a singer, a stack of records and £1.1M and start your own band at Pangbourne. It worked once…

**********************

➀Davis, Stephen. Hammer of the GodsNew York: Penguin Group, 1997. pp 50, 51.




Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Robert Plant and the Montreal Spirit Award

The Montreal Jazz Festival Spirit Award was created in 2006 and "underlines a popular artist’s extraordinary contribution to the musical world."Robert Plant
The Montreal Jazz Festival Spirit Award is in bronze, and was inspired by a self-portrait that Miles Davis presented to the Festival in 1988. With this award, created especially on the occasion of its 27th edition, the Festival wishes to showcase quality and musical innovation, as well as the author-composer-performer's undeniable influence on the international pop music scene.

This years winner is Robert Plant, who will be performing to as sold out crowd at the Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier Place des Arts in downtown Montreal (just off Mordechai Richler old stomping grounds, St. Urbaine St.).

Previous winners of the Spirit Award are:

2006 - Paul Simon
2007 - Bob Dylan
2008 - Leonard Cohen
2009 - Stevie Wonder
2010 - Smokey Robinson


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

JimmyPage.com Update

It's not much, but today Jimmy Page's website, JimmyPage.com, updated from the coming soon that has been showing for quite a while now.

jp3Before it was a black page with an elegant  picture of the guitarist all in black. Other than the words "Coming Soon," it gave an option to sign up for email  updates. Today, it shows an hour-glass with the  letters XXIII.

The game is on to figure out what the XXIII means already, with the early favourite (of mine) being 23 years since his last solo album, as suggested by Steve Thomson at the FBO mailing list. Other possibilities are that it's a count down (23 days until a music release?) or that something is coming on the 23rd.  Of the latter possibilities, we will see soon enough.

For now, Jimmy Page fans have something. Now for some music.
***************
Update, looks like it's a countdown as today the number had changed to XXII. Furthermore, the server has image files on it for numerals al the way down to I.

That indicates something should happen on July 15th.

Stay tuned...


Black Country Communion YouTube Contest

Black Country Communion is running a YouTube contest.

Upload a Black Country Communion video to your YouTube channel. To Enter:
1. Qualified entrants must upload a Black Country Communion video on their YouTube channel. Any video related to Black Country Communion is eligible: live footage, interviews, studio footage, fan covers or song samples; as long as it involves the band as a whole- as opposed to featuring only one member- your video will be eligible. The source of the video will not be judged, whether or not you filmed it, or ripped it.

2. Entrants must put the following announcement on the FIRST LINE of their video description:
FREE Download http://bccommunion.com/outsider/youtube

Additional to this announcement, they must post an annotation on the video at any time, that must display the following words:

FREE Download on Video Description

If you have any questions about how to create a Video Annotation, please visit this link:
http://www.google.com/support/youtube/bin/answer.py?answer=92710

3. Entrants MUST post their video as a “Video Response” to the Contest Video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDqRHSycuHk )

If you have any questions about how to create a Video Response, please visit this link:
http://www.google.com/support/youtube/bin/answer.py?answer=57931

More here.




Monday, June 20, 2011

Howard Mylett 1947-2011

As a young Led Zeppelin fan, once I had absorbed the music and album covers, it came time to absorb the artists who made the music. In the 70's, before the internet and when the media was disinterested in Led Zeppelin, it required books. The order of reading was Michael Gross' Robert Plant bio, published by Circus Magazine, Ritchie York's Led Zeppelin: The Definitive Biography and third, Howard Mylett's LED ZEPPELIN.

Howard Mylett was a massive fan and collector of Led Zeppelin who was known to have a huge collection of Led Zeppelin pictures, and was generous in sharing them. He wrote a number of books on Led Zeppelin, including Jimmy Page: Tangents Within a Framework and Led Zeppelin: In the Light with Richard Bunton.

The last number of years his health was failing, and Saturday he succumbed to a bad heart. He was 64.

Dave Lewis has an incredible tribute to his friend.

Rest in Peace Howard Mylett, who spent a lifetime helping to bring Led Zeppelin to life.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Led Zeppelin Over Europe

31 Years ago today, Led Zeppelin began what would be there last tour, Over Europe 1980.  Some people through the years have referred to it as a warm up tour , before embarking on America later in the year.

[caption id="attachment_1267" align="alignright" width="214" caption="Led Zeppelin Feather in the Wind - Over Europe 1980"]Led Zeppelin Feather in the Wind - Over Europe 1980[/caption]

That's not true, it was more a case of Led Zeppelin testing the waters, seeing what they still had. America in the fall would be decided at the end of the tour, not going in.

Tight But Loose editor/writer/publisher/head cook Dave Lewis has a new book on the 1980 tour, Feather in the Wind - Over Europe 1980. It is a comprehensive examination of the most under reported tour of Led Zeppelin's career. I'm currently enjoying the book, albeit too slowly during a busy patch. I expect to have a full review by next weekend. Meanwhile, click the link above to buy a copy of Feather in the Wind.

Here's what Dave had to say about Dortmund, Germany on June 17, 1980:



A vibrant opening night. The band sounded well rehearsed, delivering a fiery compact performance - the shortest of the tour.... The surprises include  the recall for Train Kept a Rollin'  as set opener (performed live by Zep for the first time since September 2nd, 1970) and Jimmy introducing Black Dog...

Hot Dog features a Page solo very similar to the album version and the premiere live performance of All My Love impresses....




Here's All My Love from Dortmund, Germany June 17, 1980:





Monday, June 13, 2011

Triple-Play Weekend for Members of Zeppelin

It was a big weekend in the world of Led Zeppelin, with three of the four members of the band that performed at the O2 arena in Dec, 2007 playing this weekend.

On Sunday night, Robert Plant and the Band of Joy took the stage in Tennessee at the annual Bonnaroo festival. Reviews are strong, as they have been for The Band of Joy since they began touring together last year.

johnpauljonesiow01pa120611On the other side of the ocean, one of Britain's biggest and oldest festivals, the Isle of Wight, featured Plant's old bandmate, John Paul Jones. Jones stepped on stage with at Isle of Wight with a Gibson bass Saturday Night, backing up itinerant bluesman Seasick Steve.

Jones appeared on Seasick Steve's latest album, You Can't Teach an old Dog New Tricks, and has been stepping out at various gigs with Steve. An interactive video of last months Streets of London concert is currently available on at SeasickSteve.com.

Finally, Jason Bonham began the first tour with his band, Black Country Communion last week.

On Friday Night, Black Country Communion played their second show of the tour in Anaheim. The band kicked through a 16 song set, half of which came from their new album, "2."

Aubrey Stewart, a Led Zeppelin fan from Texas, travelled to Anaheim to catch the show. He later commented that,
BCC rocked.  They are excited about what they are doing and it showed... If you get the chance, go see these guys you wont' be disappointed.

Aubrey also took a number of great pictures, which he has graciously allowed me to post here.

img_5083_std


Black Country Communion's Setlist, for Friday Night in Anaheim:




  1. Black Country

  2. One Last Soul

  3. Crossfire

  4. Save Me

  5. The Battle for Hadrian's Wall

  6. Beggarman

  7. Faithless

  8. Song of Yesterday

  9. Smokestack Woman

  10. Cold

  11. John Henry

  12. (Joe Bonamassa song)
  13. The Great Divide

  14. Sista Jane

  15. Outsider

  16. Encore:
  17. Man In the Middle

  18. Burn
    (Deep Purple cover)




Jimmy Page, it is rumoured, spent the weekend writing HTML code, after showing up at Royal albert Hall with Donovan last weekend.



Monday, June 6, 2011

Man in the Middle

Black Country Communion have just released a new video from their forthcoming album, Black Country Communion 2. Man in the Middle is the second song on the album.

Black Country Communion begin their American tour this week in San Diego Thursday. They will then play Anaheim, Salt Lake City, St. Louis, Indianapolis, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Washington DC, before heading to Europe on June 23rd.




Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunshine Super-Guitar-Man

Jimmy Page performs Sunshine Superman, live at the Royal Albert Hall, Friday night, June 3, 2011:



I love the girls in the orchestra just trying to watch him. Watch the violinist behind the guy playing upright bass for your Sunday morning entertainment.



Review: Black Country Communion 2

The story of Black Country Communion that the band likes to cite is that they are a 70’s style band. By that they mean, they like to cut the basic song track live off the floor. With their second album, Black Country Communion 2, timed in a very 70’s fashion just ten months after the release of their first album, they join the ranks of 70’s style bands in other ways: the naming of the album and progression of the bands music.

bcc2-coverOn their first album influences were obvious and threaded throughout the album. AC/DC, Bad Company, The Who and Iron Maiden where all out front. This time there is much less sounding like other bands, much more development of their own sound. Oh sure, the keyboard and guitar break in The Outsider is pure Yes, and the guitar lick in Faithless is so very close to Alice Cooper’s Devil’s Food. But they are the exception, and BCC2 sounds instead like Black Country Communion. In fact, the Yes style break in the albums first song, The Outsider, announce something is different in this album: keyboard player Derek Sherinian is going to be much more up front.

Glenn Hughes has called this a darker album, and while his songs are definitively edgier and grittier, his singing is more paced. Less an effort to sing hard rock, and more just doing it. Together with Bonham the rhythm section is as tight as the first album. What these two would sound like together if they had spent the last ten months touring together, instead of touring apart, it is frightening to wonder. It is Joe Bonamassa once again, however, that shines. The virtuoso guitar player provides great licks, tasty guitar lines and Paul Rogers-esque vocals. His acoustic showpiece, The Battle for Hadrian’s Wall, is the albums highlight.

But the album is full of highlights: Save Me, rescued from Bonham’s 2008 sessions with Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones; Faithless, dark and mysterious sounding, so hard to not listen to again and again; Man in the Middle, BCC at their hardest; An Ordinary Son, Joe Bonamassa’s brilliant other showcase song; Cold, Glenn Hughes finest moment in his Black Country Communion suit.

With Faithless, Cold, Little Secret and, too a lesser degree, The Battle for Hadrian’s Wall, BCC2 has it’s share of slower or softer songs. Yet it is still by any definition, a very hard album, with a gritty edge they only let drop on Hadrian’s Wall.

Black Country Communion 2 is a solid album from beginning to end, with no unlistenable music or weak songs. Hughes and Bonamassa are in good voice, and the four very talented musicians are solid and tight. It may not quite be 70’s rock, but it’s the closest thing you’ll hear these days by a large margin.

Black Country Communion 2
  1. The Outsider (Hughes, Bonamassa, Sherinian, Shirley): 4:23

  2. Man in the Middle (Hughes, Bonamassa, Shirley): 4:35

  3. The Battle for Hadrian’s Wall (Bonamassa, Hughes, Shirley): 5:11

  4. Save Me (Bonham, Hughes, Bonamassa, Sherinian, Shirley): 7:42

  5. Smokestack Woman (Hughes): 5:10

  6. Faithless (Hughes, Bonamassa, Shirley): 5:10

  7. An Ordinary Son (Hughes, Bonamassa, Shirley): 7:59

  8. I Can See Your Spirit (Hughes, Bonamassa, Shirley): 4:11

  9. Little Secret (Hughes): 6:59

  10. Crossfire (Hughes): 6:03

  11. Cold (Hughes, Bonamassa, Shirley): 6:55



Black Country Communion 2 is set for release on June 14th (June 13th in Britain)

Black Country Communion: Save Me

The song Save Me has been much talked about as having come from the Led Zeppelin sessions of 2008. “I brought that lick to from the 2008 sessions…” Jason Bonham told an interviewer. “You’ll hear it in the lick.”

At 7:42, it is the albums second longest track, featuring a spacey and slow introduction, Glenn Hughes singing over a sustained guitar chord and arpeggiated keyboard. Once the lick comes in you can hear what Bonham the younger is talking about. The Zeppelin is in the song sure enough, and you can hear the son in the drummer, with a steady solid groove backing up the guitar. In the chorus, guitarist Bonamassa, a Jimmy Page devotee himself, slips on the wah-wah pedal in a way Page might have. And the solo is certainly in the vein of Page, channelling Achilles Last Stand.

It is in the bridge, however, that the song really takes on a Zeppelin feel, as the keyboards have the tone and sound of John Paul Jones keyboard bridge in Kashmir.

Save Me, the song that emerged from the 2008 “Led Zeppelin sessions,” truthfully sounds like a Black Country Communion song, that gives a nod to Led Zeppelin, in much the same was Crossfire, later in the album, seems to give a nod to Yes (I didn’t know Glenn Hughes even owned a Rickenbacker). None the less, it provides an interesting historical peek at what might have emerged from those sessions.

Based on the evidence at hand, it’s a pity they never saw the light of day.

Black Country Communion 2 is set for release on June 14th (June 13th in Britain)


Saturday, June 4, 2011

John Paul Jones' New Tricks

During recording of his new album, itinerant bluesman Seasick Steve and his drummer, Dan Magnusson, decided to try something new. Bring in a bass player.

“Why don’t we just get the guy from Led Zeppelin?” said Magnusson.

Steve thought it absurd, but made a call to someone who works with the bassist. The guy from Led Zeppelin, John Paul Jones called back: “I don’t mean to bug ya, but, you know, you want to play?” he asked.

“Yep!”

Jones came in and played on two tracks on Seasick Steve’s new album, You Can’t Teach an Old Dog New Tricks, released on MP3 this week.

The title track and Back in the Doghouse, are rockin’ slide guitar blues, that Jones adds a solid back beat too. Nothing fancy, but a solid groove below good, fun songs. Imagine a light-hearted version of In My Time of Dying, and you would be in the right neighbourhood.

If you are looking for some new music to pick up, consider Seasick Steve’s You Can’t Teach an Old Dog New Tricks for some good rollickin’ fun songs.



If you have a pair of 3D glasses lying around, you might like this version of the video better.



h/t Seasick Steve quotes from Louder Than War

Jimmy Page: Mellow & Yellow

Last night at Royal Albert Hall in London, Jimmy Page stepped out from behind his website, and performed in public for the first time in three years (by my count, June 8, 2008 with the Foo Fighters was the last time).

38151_450489665567_704905567_6476531_4253894_nSixties singer Donovan was recreating his 1967 album Sunshine Superman, which featured young studio guitarist Jimmy Page.  When Donovan  played the title song he was joined onstage by the guitarist, who reprised his solo on the song.

Dave Lewis of Tight but Loose was there, and reports that during the encore, Dr. Page came on and they re-performed Sunshine Superman and Mellow Yellow.

The second half featured the complete performance of his 1966 album Sunshine Superman. Early in this part of the set he explained how he began recording the record in 1965 in Abbey Road Studios with a young session guitarist – ‘and it’s great to have him here tonight-  please welcome Jimmy Page’’

Jimmy entered stage right dressed in black shirt to a rapturous reception. Strapping on a Gibson Black Les Paul Custom with Bigsby arm, he accompanied Donovan on the track Sunshine Superman. Strumming along on the descending chord sequence he then opened up with a neat solo as the chorus came in. Smiling and waving to the crowd he then left the stage. Donovan  went on to perform the entire album accompanied by the orchestra and guests including Shawn Phillips on sitar and his son Donovan jr.

Before performing the uplifting finale of Atlantis, Donovan acknowledged the band and guests and Jimmy briefly came on to take the applause. That appeared to be the end of the evening but as the crowd gave Donovan a standing ovation he remained on stage and announced they were going to reprise the title track and once again Jimmy entered proceedings strapping on the Gibson as they once again ran through the jaunty Sunshine Superman with all and sundry on stage...

After a triumphant Sunshine Superman, they all remained on stage for a rousing reprise of Mellow Yellow – this had Jimmy running through the strutting rhythm of the song smiling at Donovan and leading into a solo. Finally at the close of it all, Donovan and Jimmy embraced and they ambled off stage right as the crowd bayed for yet more.

So far, only a video of Mellow Yellow has surfaced. More will be added as they turn up.





Friday, June 3, 2011

Will Jimmy Page be Onstage Tonight?

Will there be another Led Zeppelin reunion of sorts tonight? Singer songwriter Donovan is performing his 1966 album Sunshine Superman at the Royal Albert Hall. Here's the billing for the show:
On 3 June 2011, poet and folk-psych-pop legend Donovan will be performing his classic 1966 album Sunshine Superman and a selection of his phenomenal hits at the Royal Albert Hall. The special event will see the celebrated singer-songwriter teaming up with The London Contemporary Orchestra and some very special guests.

[caption id="attachment_1213" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Jimmy Page and Donovan at the Royal Albert Hall"]Jimmy Page and Donovan at the Royal Albert Hall[/caption]

Very special guests?

John Paul Jones and Donovan, of course go way back. Jones was the arranger of record for Sunshine Superman's follow up album,  Mellow Yellow.

However, it seems more likely that Jimmy Page is playing tonight. He was one of two guitar players on the Sunshine Superman album. As well, about six hours ago he was been spotted backstage at the Royal Albert Hall (See picture).

And then the following appeared on bassist Danny Thompson's Facebook page (Thompson is the announced bass player at this evenings show):
hey all! I'm with Danny at the Royal Albert Hall today. He'll be treading the boards with Donovan later as well as guitar super hero, Jimmy Page. It's all very lovely and ├╝ber exciting :) Lisa x

It indeed appears very possible that Jimmy Page will be appearing tonight, although that is not set in stone. Will John Paul Jones appear beside him onstage as well?

h/t to my man Nech, and Eddie over at FBO for pointing me to this story



***************
Update: Jimmy Page played: via twitter:

My friend Kate bought me a ticket for Donovan at the Royal Albert Hall (!!?), tamazepammed me, then Jimmy Page came on. Seriously #wtf

wasn't expecting to see JIMMY PAGE tonight!

Donovan you legend. Newton Faulkner in support and guest spot for Jimmy Page! Envy.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Led Zeppelin Live Dreams App

In 1995, Laurance Ratner released the book Led Zeppelin: Live Dreams. The pictorial biography follows Led Zeppelin through twenty-two shows and four American tours, and offers a glimpse of them through the lens of photographer Ratner.




Now, Led Zeppelin: Live Dreams is an iPhone app (and, I presume, other phones), that gives you the information in the book, and a whole lot more.