Monday, August 31, 2015

James Gang Look Back on 'Rides Again' at 45: Exclusive Interview @ Ultimate Classic Rock

On record, the James Gang excelled at wresting rock ‘n’ roll glory from the jaws of seemingly certain chaos — and that’s exactly what they did behind the scenes during the months leading up to the release of their second album, 1970′s James Gang Rides Again...

Read More of Jeff Giles and Matt Wardlaw's interview @ Ultimate Classic Rock : James Gang Look Back on 'Rides Again' at 45: Exclusive Interview 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

On the turntable this Sunday...The White Tape

Phish (also known as The White Tape) is a self-produced album released by the American rock band Phish on cassette in 1986. Often cited as the first Phish "album", The White Tape was originally a collection of original material that the band used as a demo/sample tape for venues, and was sometimes labelled "Phish" or simply "Demo". The album was widely circulated among Phish fans for more than a decade before being officially released in 1998.

The album was created from four-track recordings over a period of three years and includes a number of outside musicians performing on various songs. Only "Alumni Blues", "AC/DC Bag", "Slave To The Traffic Light" and "Dog Gone Dog" (a.k.a. "Dog Log") have the four band members together. The remaining tracks were recorded separately by various members and blended together to create the finished album.

The White Tape includes an early version of the Phish epic "You Enjoy Myself", performed a cappella with the band members singing the opening guitar lines. The album also contains avant-garde experimental pieces, instrumental passages, electronic noises and studio trickery. Some songs were further developed and figure heavily in the band's live performances, while a few have rarely been heard since.

All instruments and vocals on "Fuck Your Face", "NO2", "He Ent to the Bog" and "Minkin" are performed solely by bass guitarist Mike Gordon. All instruments and vocals on "Run Like an Antelope" and "And So to Bed" are recorded solely by Trey Anastasio.

"The Divided Sky", "Ingest" and "Fluff's Travels" are performed by Anastasio, Phish lyricist Tom Marshall, and their friend Marc Daubert on percussion. "Aftermath" has Anastasio and Roger Holloway on guitar. "Slave to the Traffic Light" has Tom Marshall on keyboards and Pete Cottone on drums.

In addition to being released on CD, this album was made available on June 7, 2006, as a download in FLAC and MP3 formats at

A limited edition white vinyl version was released at Superball IX, Phish's 2011 summer festival with the remainder offered up for sale as part of Record Store Day's "Black Friday" promotion on November 25, 2011.

Read more @ Wikipedia

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Boston Red Sox to Host Grateful Dead Night (

The Boston Red Sox will celebrate the Grateful Dead’s 50th anniversary on September 21 at historic Fenway Park as they face off against the Tampa Bay Rays.


Friday, August 28, 2015

20 Insanely Great Van Halen Songs Only Hardcore Fans Know (Rolling Stone)

To celebrate the fact that Van Halen has been packing 'em in all summer on their ongoing 2015 tour, which features Eddie Van Halen's son Wolfgang replacing original bassist Michael Anthony, we've (Rolling Stone) put together a list of the coolest rare and unreleased tracks and deep album cuts in both the official and unofficial Van Halen discography. Crank them up as you head out to the show — hopefully no one gets hurt!

Read more of Tom Beaujour's article @ Rolling Stone:

Thursday, August 27, 2015

John Bell Talks Todd Nance’s Return to Widespread Panic

Widespread Panic frontman John Bell says that founding drummer Todd Nance will return to the band at the beginning of 2016. Bell discussed the drummer’s absence in a new Billboard interview saying, “Todd was just taking care of some personal stuff, and Duane Trucks’ definitely part of the family because he’s Jimmy (Herring)‘s son-in-law. It’s been fun playing with him. But Todd’s on his way back: he’s planning to be back the beginning of next year.”

Read full article @

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

50 Years Ago: Beatles LSD Party Inspires ‘She Said She Said’ (UCR)

At a drug-fueled party on Aug. 24, 1965, during a break in the Beatles‘ North America tour, John Lennon and George Harrison each took their second LSD trip. Ringo Starr tried the psychedelic drug for the first time, but Paul McCartney, wary of its effects, chose to abstain...

Read More of Frank Mastropolo's article @ Ultimate Classic Rock: 50 Years Ago: Beatles LSD Party Inspires 'She Said She Said' 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Jams Reign Supreme at Phish's Utopian Three-Day Magnaball Fest (Rolling Stone)

Even two decades into America's prolonged festival summer, there remains nothing like a Phish camp-out. Over the weekend, some 30,000 fans descended on the Watkins Glen International speedway in central New York to attend Phish's Magnaball, a sold-out three-day festival in which the 31-year-old Vermont quartet was the only musical act, give or take unamplified bluegrass combos and marching bands hired to wander the campgrounds...

Read more of Jesse Jarnow's article @ Rolling Stone:

Monday, August 24, 2015

September 2015 New Music Releases (Ultimate Classic Rock)

September brings with it the promise of something new. Specifically, something new from Iron Maiden, who’ll release their first album in five long years...

Read More of Nick DeRiso's article @ Ultimate Classic Rock: September 2015 New Music Releases

Sunday, August 23, 2015

On the turntable this Sunday...Joy

Joy is the fourteenth studio album by the American rock band Phish, released on September 8, 2009, on the band's own label, JEMP Records. The album marked Phish's return after a four year break, and also re-united the band with producer Steve Lillywhite, who last worked with Phish on their 1996 release, Billy Breathes.

Noting that 2009 marked the band's 25th anniversary together, Rolling Stone described Joy's songs as something akin to "a belated birthday party" characterized by nostalgic, reflective lyrics that appear to be influenced by guitarist Trey Anastasio's struggle with drug abuse during the intervening years. Rolling Stone praised the album as "genuinely great" and "a deeper trip than most Phish LPs".

The first single, "Time Turns Elastic"—originally a multi-movement work for strings, guitar and vocals released as an album earlier in the year by Anastasio—was released for iTunes-only download on May 26, 2009. The album's second single, "Backwards Down The Number Line", was released on iTunes and began radio rotation on August 17, 2009. released an exclusive live version of "Backwards Down the Number Line", recorded at Red Rocks during the band's summer tour, as a download-only bonus track.
All ten songs were performed live during the band's 2009 summer tour, and have been generally well received by fans. However, "Time Turns Elastic" has been criticized as being too overly composed for ready translation to the live stage, and the album's nostalgic ballads are sometimes thought to dampen the energy of Phish's typically acclaimed live shows.

Read more @ Wikipedia

Friday, August 21, 2015

From The Ball Street Journal: Scents and Subtle Sounds (

Phish’s festival sound checks have always offered a rare visit inside their Fortress of Solitude. A far cry from a traditional tech run, these playful, improv-heavy tests have consistently showcased Phish at their loosest and most experimental—a quick peek behind the curtain and into the wild rehearsals the members of The Vermont Quartet have often said are where the true magic happens...

Read full article @

Spin Magazine Ranks all 333 Phish Songs

As Phish kick off their highly anticipated three day festival, Magnaball, tonight at Watkins Glen International, I thought it would be entertaining to post a link to Spin's ranking of all 333 Phish songs that Trey Anastasio referenced last Saturday night during their show at Merriweather Post Pavillion, before playing "Sleeping Monkey."

By nearly any criteria except, perhaps, record sales and radio play, Phish is the Grand Canyon of American bands—so big and bold and forever that we risk taking it for granted. Likewise, anyone who considers Phish merely a delivery system for endless jams is missing the forest for the trees. As Phish glides into its fourth decade together, including a four-year separation, let’s take a backward ramble down the number line containing nearly 350 songs the band—Trey Anastasio (guitar), Jon Fishman (drums), Mike Gordon (bass), and Page McConnell (keyboards)—has released on 12 studio albums and a couple of dozen live packages, from 1989’s Junta to this summer’s Fuego...

Please follow the link to read the rest of Richard Gehr's article and Spin's list of  All 333 Phish Songs, Ranked

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Roger Waters is Planning Tour in 2016 (UCR)

A new solo album isn’t the only project Roger Waters has in the works.

The Pink Floyd co-founder seems fairly far along with his first album of new material in more than 20 years — at least according to Haaretz correspondent Gideon Levy, who spent two days as a guest in Waters’ home while listening to portions of the upcoming LP and discussing a wide range of subjects, from Waters’ outspoken Middle Eastern politics to the prospect of another Floyd reunion...

Read More of Jeff Giles' article @ Ultimate Classic Rock: Roger Waters Is Planning a 2016 Tour, Writing His Memoirs

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Iron Maiden Release "Speed of Light" Video

Iron Maiden have released the first song from their highly anticipated, upcoming double LP, The Book of Souls, which is set to be released on September 4.

You can see the video for “Speed of Light” below.

The animated video for "Speed of Light" stars the band’s mascot, Eddie, in various video game settings and also serves as a trip down memory lane with imagery from some of their classic albums: Killers, Powerslave and Number of the Beast.  

The Book of Souls is Maiden's follow up to 2010's, The Final Frontier  which became one of the band’s biggest successes, debuting at No. 4 in the U.S., their best showing ever. It also reached No. 1 around the world.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Dead Weather to release Dodge and Burn on September 25

The Dead Weather’s third album, Dodge and Burn, will be released on September 25, the band confirmed last week. 

Dodge and Burn will serve as the follow-up to Sea of Cowards (2010) and will feature eight new songs as well as four previously released tracks that were remastered and remixed for the new album.

A limited-edition version of the album will also be released via Third Man Records. Unfortunately, the band will not tour in support of the LP, citing schedule conflicts...

Monday, August 17, 2015

Sunday, August 16, 2015

On the turntable this Sunday...Junta

Junta (/ˌˈʊntəˈ/ juun-tə) is the first official studio release from the American rock band Phish. The album was independently recorded at Euphoria Sound Studio, now known as Sound & Vision Media, in Revere, MA by engineer Gordon Hookailo. Some of the recording was documented on video tape by studio owner Howard Cook. The recording was released on tape in 1988, and did not appear in stores officially until May 8, 1989. The album was re-released by Elektra Records on October 26, 1992. The album is named after Ben "Junta" Hunter, the band's first official manager/agent, whose nickname is pronounced with a "hard" J and a "short" U.

In addition to a few more traditionally structured songs, Junta contains symphonic-like epics and multi-part progressive rock suites.

The album was certified gold by the RIAA on October 9, 1997, and was certified platinum on July 7, 2004.
In February 2009, this album became available as a download in FLAC and MP3 formats from

On February 13, 2012, it was announced that Junta would be released on vinyl for the first time on April 21, 2012 as Limited Edition Deluxe 3-LP vinyl set, as part of Record Store Day. The LE Deluxe 3-LP vinyl set is limited to 5,000 individually numbered copies. The vinyl release was created from the original stereo master reels with lacquers cut by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering, and pressed onto 180g audiophile grade vinyl and includes a free MP3 download of the entire album (transferred from the new vinyl master). Chris Bellman also made two digital transfers from the original stereo master reels, one recorded at 24 bit / 96 kHz, and a second digital transfer recorded at 24 bit / 192 kHz. These digital files were sold at HDTracks. Interestingly, on this new release "Contact" is over a minute longer than in previous releases.

"Union Federal", "Sanity", and "Icculus" did not appear on the original cassette release, but rather only on the Elektra version, which had extra space on the CD format. "Union Federal" was taken from a jam session, while "Sanity" and "Icculus" were recorded live on July 25, 1988. There was a mix up in adding them to the Elektra version post-date, so the May 3, 1988 date inside the album notes is incorrect. The 2009 digital download also contained these three extra tracks, while the 2012 re-releases did not contain the extra tracks, as these were not part of the original album's stereo master reels.

Read more @ Wikipedia

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Alabama Shakes to Webcast Red Rocks Show

Alabama Shakes will webcast their August 16 show (tomorrow night) at Red Rocks Amphitheater via TourGigs. 

The Drive-By Truckers will be sharing the bill and the webcast will be directed by renowned rock photographer Danny Clinch...

Friday, August 14, 2015

Jimmy Page Interview with David Fricke (Rolling Stone)

It is, Jimmy Page declares proudly, "the mother of all Codas – an absolute celebration of Led Zeppelin, all things bright and beautiful, all of the curios." The Led Zeppelin guitarist pauses and grins. "It's cool."

Read David Fricke's interview with Jimmy Page @ Rolling Stone:

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Phish Go Bustout Heavy in Alpine Valley Finale (

After sticking to some of their more reliable live staples on opening night of the Alpine Valley run, it was only right for Phish go lean heavily on their back catalog on night two as the group delivered 12 tour debuts throughout Sunday evening...

Read full article @

Alpine Valley Music Theatre, East Troy, WI

Set I: The Very Long Fuse, Colonel Forbin’s Ascent > Fly Famous Mockingbird, Brian and Robert, Saw it Again, Esther, Weigh, The Sloth, Sanity > Split Open and Melt
Set II: Run Like an Antelope > Carini > Waves->Tweezer > Dirt > Mike’s Song > Blaze On > Weekapaug Groove > Tweezer Reprise
Enc: Contact, Frankenstein 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Three Grateful Dead Members Team Up With John Mayer for New Tour (Ultimate Classic Rock)

Three of the four “core” Grateful Dead members have decided that this summer’s five “Fare Thee Well” shows weren’t the end of their time together after all.

Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann will team up with singer and guitarist John Mayer under the name Dead & Company, and hit the road starting Oct. 31 at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Dead bassist Phil Lesh will not be joining this tour, choosing instead to continue with his own group, Phil and Friends.

Read More of Matthew Wilkening's article @ Ultimate Classic Rock: Three Grateful Dead Stars Team Up With John Mayer for New Tour 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Monday, August 10, 2015

Alan White from Yes Interview (Ultimate Classic Rock)

Alan White’s 2015 itinerary is jam-packed. Yes are gearing up for a major tour with Toto and Cruise to the Edge, their annual floating festival, will set sail in November. But for White, the stage will feel somewhat empty from now on: Bassist Chris Squire, the other half of Yes’ dynamic rhythm section, passed away in June following a bout with leukemia.

Read Ryan Reed's Interview with Alan White @Ultimate Classic Rock: Alan White on Chris Squire, Yes' New Tour and Cruise to the Edge: Exclusive Interview 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

On the turntable this Sunday...Honky Château

Honky Château, released in 1972, is the seventh official album release for Elton John. It was titled after the 18th century French chateau where it was recorded, Château d'Hérouville. The album reached number one in the US, the first of seven consecutive US number one albums for Elton John.

In 2003, the album was ranked number 357 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. It was certified gold in July 1972 and platinum in October 1995 by the RIAA. This was the final Elton John album on the Uni label in the US and Canada before MCA consolidated all of its various labels under the MCA brand. This and John's earlier Uni albums were later reissued on MCA Records.

This album marks the beginning of John's transition from a singer/songwriter in the mould of James Taylor, Leon Russell or Carole King to a more rock 'n' roll style that would become more evident on such albums as Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Caribou and Rock of the Westies.
It was also the first album to feature John's road band of Dee Murray on bass and Nigel Olsson on drums (along with new member Davey Johnstone on electric & acoustic guitars and other fretted instruments, including banjo, mandolin, steel guitar, sitar, dulcimer, lute and countless others) as the sole core group of musicians. Previously, due to his record label's insistence, John had been limited to using his road band for only one track each on Tumbleweed Connection and Madman Across the Water; the rest of the songs on those two albums were performed by various groupings of session players. Johnstone had played acoustic guitar, mandolin and sitar on "Madman Across the Water", but on "Honky Chateau", he would be invited to join permanently as a full-band member and he extended his contributions to electric guitar, banjo, slide guitar and backing vocals.
The opening track "Honky Cat" is a New Orleans funk track reminiscent of Dr. John and Allen Toussaint and features a four-piece horn section arranged by producer Gus Dudgeon. Also of note is the debut on record of the backing vocal combination of Johnstone, Murray and Olsson, who first added what would soon become their "trademark" sound to "Rocket Man". The trio's unique approach to arranging their backing vocal tracks would be a fixture on John's singles and albums for the next several years.

In 1995, Dudgeon remastered the album, adding only an uptempo, rock and roll version of "Slave" that was sidelined in favor of the steamier, more laconic version that made the LP's original line-up.

Read more @ Wikipedia

Saturday, August 8, 2015

A Farewell to Tours? Rush Conclude ‘R40′ Dates (UCR)

The members of Rush have concluded what may well be their final large-scale tour.
The group marked the last date of its R40 trek on Aug. 1, closing out a run of shows billed in advance as “their last major tour of this magnitude.” 

Read More of Jeff Giles' article @Ultimate Classic Rock: A Farewell to Tours? Rush Conclude 'R40' Dates 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Brittany Howard Joins Paul McCartney at Lollapalooza (

Paul McCartney headlined Lollapalooza with what will surely become a historic 31-song setlist, mixing in Beatles cuts with his material in Wings as well as a nod to his collaboration with Chicago rapper Kanye West and Rihanna with a snippet of “FourFiveSeconds.” 

Read more @

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Led Zeppelin, ‘Presence,’ ‘In Through the Out Door’ and ‘Coda’ Deluxe Editions: Album Review (UCR)

Led Zeppelin‘s recent remasters series ends almost as triumphantly as it started.
It began in 2014 with an expanded reissue of the band’s self-titled debut — which included a 1969 concert on a second disc — as part of the initial batch of the first three releases. Coda, the last LP in a new set of reissues that collects the group’s final three albums, adds two more discs of rarities to the 1982 odds-and-ends collection...

Read More of Michael Gallucci's review @ Ultimate Classic Rock: Led Zeppelin, 'Presence,' 'In Through the Out Door' and 'Coda' Deluxe Editions: Album Review 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Joe Walsh Announces Solo Tour Dates (UCR)

Joe Walsh won’t be home for long after the Eagles finish their summer tour.
Walsh has announced a run of solo tour dates that will keep him on the road for at least a month this fall, starting with a Sept. 18 performance in Warren, Ohio, and continuing through Oct. 17 in Boston... 

Read More of Jeff Giles' article @ Ultimate Classic Rock: Joe Walsh Announces Solo Tour Dates

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Phish Go Deep on "Kill Devil Falls," Swap Instruments in Atlanta (

Phish came out the gate strong with an excellent first night of their run at Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood in Atlanta. A rare show-opening “Prince Caspian” got things started before the unfinished number moved into “No Men In No Man’s Land,” a new track that has been getting a lot of love on the band’s current tour...

Read more @

Monday, August 3, 2015

Bob Weir And Mickey Hart Added to Lockn’: Core Four Grateful Dead Members on Festival Bill (

Fresh off their appearance at Fare Thee Well, the Core Four members of the Grateful Dead will all appear at the 2015 Lockn’ Music Festival. Bob Weir and Mickey are the latest additions to the roster of performers, joining Phil and Bill Kreutzmann on the bill. Weir will appear on Saturday, September 12 as the Featured Guest Of The Day, sitting in with some of the other artists who will perform over the course of the day...

Read more @

Sunday, August 2, 2015

On the turntable this Sunday...A Picture of Nectar

A Picture of Nectar is the third official studio album and first on a major-label by the American rock band Phish, released on February 12, 1992, through Elektra Records. The album is dedicated to Nector Rorris, the proprietor of Nectar's in Burlington, Vermont, where Phish played their first bar gig followed by a series of monthly three-night stands, saying that the experience "taught us how to play".

There are two versions of the album's cover. The first printings of the CD were issued in longbox format, and the title of the album was not printed on the CD insert itself. Later printings came in shrink-wrap format and had the band's name and album title printed directly on the insert.

The songs on A Picture of Nectar explore a variety of musical genres, including jazz, country, calypso, rock and roll and neo-psychedelia. Tracks 2, 8, and 9 are instrumentals. The song "Manteca" is a cover of the song by jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie; in Phish's short version, the melody line is sung as a goofy nonsense phrase. "Poor Heart" is written in bluegrass style.
All songs on the album have been performed live by the band, though the instrumental tracks have become relative rarities after the mid-1990s. The short instrumental, "Faht", written by drummer Jon Fishman, has only been performed live twelve times, the last in 1995.

Several live versions of "Catapult" have been performed in the middle of another song, such as "Run Like an Antelope", "David Bowie" and "Simple".

The album was certified gold by the RIAA on November 15, 2001. 

Read more at Wikipedia

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Surviving Original Zombies Lineup Reunites for ‘Odessey and Oracle’ U.S. Tour (UCR)

The original Zombies lineup splintered in late 1967, several months before their classic Odessey and Oracle LP arrived in stores. This fall, the surviving former members of the band will finally get their chance to tour behind the album.

Read More of Jeff Giles' article @ Ultimate Classic Rock: Surviving Original Zombies Lineup Reunites for 'Odessey and Oracle' U.S. Tour