Joe Walsh Hosts Weekly ‘Old-Fashioned Rock n’ Roll Radio Show’

Multi-Grammy Award winning and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Joe Walsh will host a radio show to a public, member-supported 88.5-FM based in Los Angeles. The hour-long Joe Walsh Old-Fashioned Rock n’ Roll Show will make its debut at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 21.

The analog man suggested pulling a weekly DJ shift as a longtime listener and contributor to 88.5. “It’s flattering to have rock legends listening and financially supporting the station,” General Manager Patrick Osburn says. “Being entertainment royalty and one of the many local fixtures of the SoCal/Hollywood community, we anticipate Joe’s rolodex of potential guests runs deep, so we feel great about giving him the keys to the car.”

Not being able to tour with the Eagles currently gives him free time – and free rein – to serve KCSN, the public radio outlet that serves his community. Joe has made the refreshing decision to support the public media platform, whereas most other artists are opting for satellite radio programs.

“This public radio station serves the community I live in and is funded by listeners,” Walsh said in a statement. “I like that men with ties don’t decide what I listen to. My show will be a mixture of music I love, music I think people will want to hear and stories behind some of these songs that I’m pretty sure no one knows about. Hopefully, the show will generate some more listeners and support for the station, and we will have a lot of fun in the process.”

“While we hate seeing all the shows and festivals cancel this summer,” Osburn added. “We are thrilled to have Joe killing time on 885’s airwaves. It will be great for Joe, the station, and listeners!”

88.5’s program director Marc “Mookie” Kaczor agreed. “Joe has been a longtime contributor and friend of the radio station, but now that he has his own show, he’s truly part of the 88.5-FM family,” Kaczor said. “I can’t wait to hear his stories. Joe Walsh is rock royalty.”

The station’s live programming is available on the 88.5 app and also at 88.5.

[embedded content]

John Prine & Bill Murray on Life in “the Land of the Wind-Chill Factor”

Video of 2018 discussion hosted by the Recording Academy Nashville

Like other Chicagoans who left their hometown to become world-famous, both John Prine and Bill Murray remain Chicagoans at heart forever, forever imprinted by the big city where they started their careers in close-proximity to each other. So it made sense to bring these two old friends together to discuss how they went from Chicago boys to legends.

Presented by the Recording Academy Nashville Chapter and moderated by musician/author Peter Cooper, the conversation took place in front of an intimate audience at RCA’s historic Studio A in Nashville.

The old friends reminisced about their early days in “the land of the wind chill factor,” as Prine famously called it in song, where their pathways crossed those of fellow legends Steve Goodman, John Belushi and Kris Kristofferson. They also talked songwriting, improvisational comedy, record deals, friendship, and much more.

On Getting Started

John Prine: Soon as I could play one guitar chord and laid my ear upon that wood, I was gone. My soul was sold. Music was everything from then on. I’d listen to that chord as long as it would linger.

Bill Murray: First time I went to class at Second City, I was so bad that I walked out to the street, and just kept walking. Then I hitchhiked around the country. When I came back, I could do it. I had to go out and live some before I could stand in my own shoes onstage and feel confident.

John: I was 22, working as a mailman, doing the open mike night. I wrote “Souvenirs” in the car on the way.

Peter Cooper: How did you know at your age all about longing and regret?

John: Man, I’ve known about that since my first pair of shoes. You know that first love that leaves you? You never forget that, especially if you’re a songwriter. I must have gotten nine songs out of that girl.

On Steve Goodman

John: [Goodman] was 5 feet 2 of dynamite. He was a ball of energy. Also the hardest person I’ve ever followed onstage. Steve would just drain the audience. They would have no bones on them after. Then he’d walk offstage, hit me on the shoulder, and say, “They’re gonna love you, Johnny.”

Bill: Sometimes I’d be done at Second City and they’d still be going at The Earl, so I’d stumble by to hear Prine or Steve Goodman. By then they’d already manipulated the crowd. There were men that were crying, and women who were just adoring. Musicians! They work their ways.

On Struggling To Survive

Bill: I had to get out the house. We lived in the suburbs and I was not welcome in my own house, because I was a troublemaker. I had a schedule worked out where I’d get in late, sleep past when everyone would leave, wake up, eat all the eggs I could, feed the dogs, and leave before they came back. Then I’d be out all night and come back and go to sleep before they left.

I’d go to Old Town, where my brother took care of me. I watched the shows at Second City a lot. It was Belushi, John Candy, my brother [Brian Doyle Murray]. and his friends. I’d hitchhike back and forth, because I had no money. And hitchhiking in Chicago in the winter is a ridiculous proposition. Somehow I made it home.

John: My goal was getting out of the post-office. I was a mailman walking in the snow six days a week, 12-hour days. Every two weeks I’d get a check for $228. Earl of the Earl of Old Town told me, “If you sing four nights a week, I’ll give you a thousand bucks cash under the table.” I thought, this is heaven!  Once I got out, I was King of the Hill!  I slept late all week and made a thousand dollars a week! I didn’t care if I never did anything else. I was a total 100% success. That was as far as I wanted to go. I didn’t think of getting a record deal.

On Finding Success

Bill: I was onstage at Second City and I did something in a scene, and I could feel it in me; I felt it react and rebound with the audience. It hit me I could support myself by doing this.

John: Kris Kristofferson and Steve Goodman were the two most unselfish people I ever met. Kris loved Steve, and said he needed to go to Nashville to make a record.

Goodman said, “No. You think I’m good? You need to go hear my buddy, John Prine.”

So at one in the morning on a Sunday they came to the Earl and I sang. Then Kris asked me to sing them again and said I was going to New York, too. Goodman and I went to New York, straight to the Bitter End. We see Kris, who told us we were each going to sing three songs a piece. Jerry Wexler came up after and asked me to come over to Atlantic the next morning at 10 am. I did, and he had a record contract on his desk waiting for me. I hadn’t been in New York 24 hours.

Back then in Chicago, you had to leave town to get a deal. Me and Goodman left town for three days and came back with record contracts. We were like returning astronauts! I never knew that wasn’t the way it went. I wondered for years why my peers kept their distance from me. It’s cause I was the Cinderella kid. And I was lucky.

Bill: These guys are ice-breakers. Kristofferson for you. Belushi was mine. He dragged all of us to New York for the National Lampoon radio show. Belushi broke it open for a lot of people and made it possible for find the opportunities. I was lucky. The spotlight would be on them, and I’d be the spare-part, like if they needed an extra bride-groom. I was lucky all the way.

[embedded content]

[embedded content]

Bill Murray on John Prine

Stax Records Kicks Off New Instagram Live Series

Join Stax Records as they kick off a new Instagram Live series, “Gospel Brunch Live Set with DJ Jared ‘Jay B.’ Boyd,” featuring music from The Gospel Truth Records catalog.

Debuting this Sunday (5/24) at 2:00 pm PT/4:00 pm CT on Stax Records on Instagram and continuing on the third Sunday of every month through August (2:00 pm PT on 6/21, 7/19, and 8/16), the new series is part of Stax’s tribute campaign to The Gospel Truth Records and leads up to the release of The Gospel Truth singles compilation in September (Gospel Heritage Month). The compilation will be available on vinyl, CD and digitally.

In addition to being a DJ and penning the liner notes for the upcoming The Gospel Truth compilation, Jared Boyd is a Memphis-based multimedia journalist with The Daily Memphian, co-host/producer of NPR’s roots music program “Beale St. Caravan,” and DJs at events throughout Memphis, including Memphis Tourism’s Music Hub events at Central Station. Jared has also reported for, It’s A Southern Thing, The Daily Mississippian, Jackson Free Press, and Commercial Appeal.

In March, Craft Recordings kicked off their campaign to honor the music of Gospel Truth Records, a subsidiary of Stax Records, with the first-ever digital release of 25 albums from the label’s catalog. Beginning with The Rance Allen Group’s 1972 self-titled debut (digitally reissued on March 13th), one title has been released in chronological order every week and will continue up until September’s Gospel Heritage Month.

From the divine gospel of Rev. T.L. Barrett and Rev. Maceo Woods to the cutting-edge message music of Louise McCord and marquee artist Rance Allen, the Gospel Truth catalog exemplifies the dynamic heritage of Stax’s influence. Reaching beyond the realms of the black American gospel tradition, the ’70s label showcased a diverse collection of talent—including the Indian meditative teachings of Blue Aquarius, the white roots music of the Commanders and Rev. Jesse Jackson’s People’s Choir of Operation PUSH, who chronicle the Civil Rights struggle.

Established in 1972, Gospel Truth was conceived of by Stax executive Al Bell, who enlisted the help of radio promotions pioneer and songwriter Dave Clark and label staffer Mary Peak Patterson to oversee the formation of the imprint. With a focus on moving the good word out of the pulpit and into the hands of the masses, Gospel Truth was intended to “carry the message of today’s gospel to the people on the street,” as promotional material for the label’s launch touted. But what separated Gospel Truth from other labels in the genre was that it made its music accessible to everyone. With his sharp eye for talent, Clark paired down-home, traditional gospel musicians with raw, revolutionary artists that adopted the conventions of rock, funk and soul, creating a sound that resonated with a hip, ’70s audience.

Clark and Peak also gave Gospel Truth’s artists the same high-level promotional considerations that were given to any of the secular stars at Stax: from outfits and photoshoots to bookings. This also included special attention from Stax’s creative director Larry Shaw, who conceived of a cohesive design language for Gospel Truth—making each record have a conversation with the intended audience. That visual dialogue was a signal that the music could be enjoyed in all settings—sacred or secular.

The music, sermons and other recordings included in the Gospel Truth canon, while left for several decades as either a distant memory for many involved or a relic for collectors to behold, holds up today as a collection of enduring importance. In the age of social media, the pursuit of “truth” and the importance of the “gospel” has yet to diminish. In an effort to present both concepts to a new generation of seekers, learners and doers, this collection of releases will serve to provide context for contemporary listeners. As Stax put it in the initial press materials for the imprint, “After all, it doesn’t matter if you listen to gospel quietly…snap your fingers…sing along…or to dance to it, as long as you get the message.”

One of the most popular Soul labels of all time, Stax has become synonymous with its gritty, Southern Rhythm & Blues sounds. Originally known as Satellite Records, the Memphis imprint was founded in 1957 by Jim Stewart. Over the course of two decades, Stax released more than 800 singles and nearly 300 LPs, picking up eight GRAMMYS® and an Academy Award along the way. In all, Stax placed more than 167 hit songs in the Top 100 pop charts, and a staggering 243 hits in the Top 100 R&B charts.

Stax Records

Dr. John’s ‘Ske-Dat-De-Dat The Spirit of Satch’ Re-released on Vinyl

Dr. John‘s final studio release was 2014’s Ske-Dat-De-Dat The Spirit of Satch. Released via Concord Records, the album was co-produced by Dr. John and Sarah Morrow, his long-time bandleader, producer, arranger and conductor. As one can tell from the title, the album honors another New Orleans great, Louis Armstrong, otherwise known as “Satchmo” or “Satch.” Now, it’s set for release on limited edition, vinyl format via the UK based label The Last Music Company on June 5, 2020.

But Ske-Dat-De-Dat The Spirit of Satch is much more than just an album of cover songs. The 13 tracks that make it up are all songs that Armstrong interpreted. In return, Dr. John has reinterpreted them in his own distinct style. According to Dr. John himself, Armstrong came to him in a dream and said, “do my stuff, your way.” It’s a love letter from one Crescent City native to another.

Quintessential numbers drawn from various phases of Armstrong’s five-decade career, as well as an army of supporting musicians make it one of Dr. John’s best. At quick count Dr. John provides vocals, piano, guitar, and horn. There are 25 (yes, you read that correctly) additional horn players, 4 bassists, 2 Hammond B-3 players, 3 drummer/percussionists, 2 guitarists and a bevy of guest vocalists including Bonnie Raitt, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Shemekia Copeland, Anthony Hamilton, Mike Ladd, Ledisi, Telmary, and the McCrary Sisters.

From “What a Wonderful World,” to “When You’re Smiling,” Mr. Rebennack runs the gamut of genres from jazz, through blues, to pop and gospel, managing to update the material while maintaining the music’s timeless emotional appeal. Raitt shares the spotlight on a swinging reading of “I’ve Got the World on a String,” Ledisi and the McCrary Sisters lend gospel authority to “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen,” Hamilton is featured on a mournful “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child,” Copeland trades verses with Dr. John on a playful reworking of “Sweet Hunk O’ Trash,” and the Blind Boys of Alabama lend their powerful voices to “What a Wonderful World” and “Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams.”

Shortly after the original release of this album Mac was awarded both the Louie Award from the Louis Armstrong House Museum, and the Jazz Foundation of America’s Hank Jones Award.

Both Mac Rebennack and Louis Armstrong grew up in New Orleans’ 3rd Ward. Armstrong was one of the first artists that the good Doctor’s father took him to see perform when he was still a child. Armstrong died on July 6th, 1971, and Dr. John left us on June 6th, 2019. The re-release of Ske-Dat-De-Dat The Spirit of Satch will commemorate the first year of his passing.

[embedded content]

Dr. John

Louis Armstrong Foundation

The Last Music Company

Bobby Womack + Patti LaBelle’s “Love Has Finally Come At Last”

Love Has Finally Come At Last” by Bobby Womack and Patti LaBelle, a new lyric video in ABKCO’s ongoing series of E Single Video posts, was released today in celebration of LaBelle’s birthday this coming Sunday.  The evocative video, directed by the Able Media Ltd. London-based team of Nick Barratt, Ned Miles, Michael Anderson and Lee Gregory, was produced by Robin Klein and Dina Kanner with executive producer Julian Klein.

The track was a massive R&B hit, breaking into Billboard’s Top 3 in 1984 as well as having had an impact on the pop charts at that time. Written by Bobby Womack and Patrick Moten, it’s one of the highlights of the trilogy of records released in the 80’s by Womack from The Poet Series . Acknowledged as one of Womack’s mid-career commercial and artistic triumphs, it was originally released on the Beverly Glen label. The album was produced by Andrew Oldham and James Gadsen with “Love Has Finally Come At Last” as one of three duets between the soul music legends.

Womack’s career spanned six decades and saw him perform, record and write songs in a diverse array of genres including gospel, rock ‘n’ roll, r&b, soul, pop, jazz, blues and even country. In 2009 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Ronnie Wood of The Rolling Stones. Womack passed away in 2014.

Patti LaBelle is a multiple Grammy Award winner and recipient of BET’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She continues to tour and just last year was honored by her hometown of Philadelphia with the naming of Patti LaBelle Way.

[embedded content]

ABKCO Music & Records, Inc., is one of the world’s leading independent entertainment companies. It is home to iconic music catalogues that include compositions and recordings by Sam Cooke, The Rolling Stones, Bobby Womack, Eric Burdon, The Animals, Herman’s Hermits, Marianne Faithfull, The Kinks as well as the Cameo Parkway masters by such artists as Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell, Clint Eastwood, The Dovells, ? &The Mysterians, The Orlons, Dee Dee Sharp, Charlie Gracie, and The Tymes. Releases on ABKCO’s SAR Records include albums by L.C. Cooke, The Soul Stirrers, Billy Preston, Johnnie Taylor, The Valentinos and more. ABKCO Records latest release is Marianne Faithful’s Come And Stay With Me on 2xLP. ABKCO is active on many fronts, including the release of critically lauded soundtracks, compilations, reissues from its catalog, film, commercial placement of its master recordings and music publishing properties in all media. One Night in Miami…, ABKCO’s latest theatrical production, received a nomination for the 2017 Olivier Award for Best New Play and is being adapted as a Major Motion Picture. ABKCO Films next release is Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Psychomagic: A Healing Art. ABKCO’s latest TV production is The Durrells in Corfu, based on Gerald Durrell’s book The Corfu Trilogy.

ABKCO Records

Bobby Womack

Patti LaBelle

*Feature image credit: BET’s “Soul Train” ©2020 Viacom-CBS Media Networks. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission

Steve Earle is Mining Understanding on ‘The Ghosts of West Virginia’

“This job of mine is about empathy,” says singer-songwriter Steve Earle. “All art is about empathy.” Since releasing Guitar Town, his now-classic debut album, 34 years ago, Earle has become particularly adept at his job, giving voice to those most in need of being heard: the underdogs, the outcasts, the falsely accused or unjustly sentenced. […]

To view this content, you must be an American Songwriter Member.

Already a Member? Sign In Here.

The Benefits of Membership:

  • Subscription to the American Songwriter Print Magazine
  • Access to all Feature Magazine Content Online
  • Access to Print Edition Archives
  • Premium content in our Songwriter U section
  • Discounts on vinyl, Songwriter services, and other American Songwriter Partners
  • Exclusive access to members-only contests and giveaways

Become a Member Today

Bob Dylan Sings the Praises of Dion

In liner notes for Dion’s upcoming Blues with Friends album, Dylan schools us on why Dion matters

When Dion asks, people say yes. Even if these people are among the most legendary rockers around. Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen, Jeff Beck, Paul Simon, Joe Bonamassa, Billy Gibbons and other luminaries all got the call from The Wanderer himself with an invitation to play on his new album, Blues with Friends. And they all said yes.

Dion, who spoke to us today in an interview to be published next week, said he was surprised by the enthused response from those he invited, and even more by the level of musicianship they brought to his music. “They played things I just never would have expected,” he said. “It was amazing.”

It also surprised him that Bob Dylan agreed to write liner notes, and then sent him these beautifully poignant, lyrical words in his honor, which are reprinted below. “I figured I would ask him,” said Dion. “but I never knew if he would say yes. And then I read what he wrote. Wow.”

But although this surprised Dion, in truth this klnd of reverence from rock & roll royalty is nothing new. Dion and Dylan were, after all, the only two modern artists to be included on the famous cover of Sgt. Pepper, along with the other icons chosen by the lads.

But he’s a humble guy, and is quick to deflect praise when people get too reverential. He’s a musician at heart, and one with genuine gratitude for his place in this world. Still, that esteem in which he’s held by legends, as well as the rest of the world, becomes hard to deny after reading what Dylan’s words about him.

So in advance of our new interview with him, which will come with a premiere of one of the album’s most special songs, we bring you this, Dylan on Dion:

Notes for Blues with Friends
By Bob Dylan

With a Vaudevillian Father and the Doo-wop street corners of the Bronx as teachers, Dion learned early on that the way to be heard and reach hearts was to sing in his own rhythmic voice. And when you have a voice as deep and wide as Dion’s, that voice can take you all the way around the world and then all the way back home to the blues.

You have to be careful with the blues. They’re strong with lust and you can overpay for them, but they quote the law. It’s a shame more people don’t follow that law. Guy Mitchell sang that he never felt more like singing the blues and we know what he meant. It is an honor for honor’s sake.

Dion knows how to sing and he knows just the right way to craft these songs, these blues songs. He’s got some friends here to help him out, some true luminaries. But in the end it’s Dion by himself alone, and that masterful voice of his that will keep you returning to share these blues songs with him.

Bob Dylan

July Talk Announce Drive-In Theatre Concerts iou

Toronto’s July Talk has always straddled the line between cinema and rock and roll, which makes the setting for the band’s first post-lockdown concert – a drive-in movie theatre – just the ticket. The event, the first of its kind announced in Canada, will bring one of the country’s best live bands back to the stage to offer what live music fans have yearned for in recent months: the togetherness of a shared concert experience.

“We’re over the moon to announce that we’ll be performing live on August 12th + 13th at the Drive-In Movie Theatre near Toronto,” writes the band in their announcement. “We’ve been working on this idea for some time now and it feels like it’s going to be a pretty special event. The thought that we will be able to perform and feel the audience’s company again is just too much, we can’t contain our excitement. We’re going to premiere some unreleased music videos and play a full scale 90-minute live set where the audio is broadcast onto your car radio and the drive-in screens play a live multi-camera feed as well! Car horn applause anyone?!” Video content will draw from July Talk’s extensive and impressive body of video work, including new videos from their forthcoming album Pray For It.

As Ontario emerges into the first phase of post-lockdown protocols and spring buds signal the end of a very long winter, July Talk’s announcement brings hope and optimism. Amid festival and tour cancellations, July Talk Live At A Drive-In is an ambitious and encouraging undertaking from a band that always delivers exhilarating, compelling, memorable shows.

Due to the ever-evolving nature of protocols and ongoing state of emergency in the province, no further details about ticket packages and event details will be shared at this time. The event will proceed in compliance with government health and social distancing protocols.

Sign up for ongoing updates on July Talk Live At A Drive-In here

July Talk stormed in with the flinty radio-ready rock of their debut, followed by the volatile siren songs of Touch, an album of sawtoothed pop + convulsing tension. For album three, the band cracks their equilibrium open to find a thrilling new balance in asymmetry. With Pray For It, July Talk commits to the possibility of alternate endings, acknowledging the power of vulnerability as a way to begin again. July Talk’s path has never been through fitting in. Their music, viscerally, blisteringly hot, sliced right through the alternative and rock charts for multiple number one singles. Their churning and fiercely physical performances make spaces hiss and hum, spit and seethe in glorious, artful abandon.

July Talk’s third album, Pray For It, will be released on July 10, 2020.

[embedded content]

July Talk

Louis Armstrong House Museum Announces Jazz Pianist Jason Moran as Guest Curator of Permanent Exhibition

Today, the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Corona, Queens, NY announces jazz pianist and celebrated multimedia artist Jason Moran as guest curator of Here To Stay, a permanent exhibition at the Armstrong Center, a new state-of-the-art building located across the street from Armstrong’s historic house and set to open in 2021.

Moran is gleaning an exhibition that will showcase the musician’s life told through his rich archive, highlighting Armstrong’s relationships, his habits as a groundbreaking artist, and the love he shared for his wife Lucille. Here To Stay is also an exploration of the light and positivity Louis brought to the world. Throughout his life, Louis lived with purpose and set an example: one should aim to live thoroughly, sustain integrity, love openly, and protect the home. For the exhibition, Moran will work alongside Potion, the interactive design firm, and the multi-specialty creative studio, C+G Partners, as well as with LAHM’s Director of Research Collections Ricky Riccardi and Archivist Sarah Rose.

“I’m overjoyed to work with Armstrong’s prized archive and new museum,” says Moran. “This archive is one of the most important artist archives in all of history. The exhibition ‘Here To Stay’ examines Armstrong’s multifaceted cultural legacy as an innovator, archivist, and ambassador. He is the model for how an innovative musician can influence the present and save for the future. Pops is a game changer on and off of his trumpet, and we will all gather around the many ways his curiosity as a creative artist always found a path forward.”

 More on the exhibition here.

 The New York Times lauded Moran as “not only a pianist and composer but also a fluent traveler in the realm of contemporary art.” He’s had shows at the Venice Biennial, Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN), The Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, MA) Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbus, OH) and most recently the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, NY. His work explores the interconnectedness of jazz, history and physical space.

 Read more about Jason’s Whitney Exhibition here.

 “We at Queens College are proud to have upheld the legacy of Louis Armstrong by preserving this monumental musician’s archives for 25 years,” says William Tramontano, Interim President of Queens College and LAHM Board Member. “By inviting the outstanding multi-disciplinary artist Jason Moran to curate the permanent exhibition, we are assuring that such legacy remains current and that it is situated within the broader history of jazz and African American artistry and history. I could not be more excited to see what Mr. Moran creates inspired by Armstrong’s music and love for his community.”

 The Louis Armstrong House Museum will lead a number of new initiatives to promote the legacy of Louis Armstrong as one of the foremost artists in the 20th century. As a leading art and history institution dedicated to an African American musical icon, LAHM is posed to join the ever-growing constellation of Black thinking and making in the United States and the world today. The House and its archives have been visited by numerous luminaries over the years, including Wynton Marsalis, Quincy Jones, Aloe Blacc, Charlie Watts, Lionel Hampton, Albert Murray, Hillary Clinton, Dizzy Gillespie, Hugh Masekela, Steve Jordan, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jon Batiste, Ron Howard, Bette Midler, Van Morrison and more.

 Jazz pianist, composer, and performance artist Jason Moran was born in Houston, TX in 1975 and earned a degree from the Manhattan School of Music. He was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2010, is the Artistic Director for Jazz at The Kennedy Center and teaches at the New England Conservatory. Moran is deeply invested in reassessing and complicating the relationship between music, history and place. His extensive efforts in composition, improvisation, and performance are all geared towards challenging the status quo while respecting the accomplishments of his mentors. Within his 18 year relationship with the iconic Blue Note Records, Moran created 9 critically acclaimed recordings. With his wife, Alicia Hall Moran, they currently own their independent label, Yes Records, and have released 8 titles in the past 4 years. He currently curates performances in the Veterans Room at The Park Avenue Armory.

 C&G Partners is a multi-specialty creative studio, dedicated to design for culture — from cultural organizations to organizational culture. The firm is built to integrate deep expertise in branding, digital, exhibits, print, signage and web. Past clients include the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, Martin Luther King Center, MoMA, Smithsonian, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, NASA and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, to name a few.

 Potion is an interactive design firm based in New York City. They specialize in transforming spaces with digital technology from mobile devices to room scale attractions and galleries. Potion has developed interactive experiences for the Rubin Museum, the American Jewish Historical Society, the National Constitution Center, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Tenement Museum, among others.

 Led by Director of Research Collections, Ricky Riccardi, and Archivist Sarah Rose, the Louis Armstrong House Research Collections constitutes the world’s largest archives for a single jazz musician. An acknowledged expert on Armstrong, Riccardi has published two biographies on the trumpeter, in addition to giving numerous lectures around the world. Archivist Rose has an MLS from Queens College and has helped to spearhead the Museum’s efforts to digitize its collections. The core of the Archive is the Louis Armstrong Collection made up of the artifacts and materials found in the Armstrong House after the passing of Louis and Lucille and donated to Queens College by the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation in 1986. The Armstrong Collection includes 1,600 recordings, 650 home recorded reel-to-reel tapes in hand-decorated boxes, 86 scrapbooks, 5,000 photographs, 270 sets of band parts, 12 linear feet of papers, letters and manuscripts, five trumpets, 14 mouthpieces, 120 awards and plaques, and much more.

 The Research Collections have been open to the public since 1994 and were accessible by appointment only at Queens College, where the Archives are housed. As of 2018, the Collections have been entirely digitized and accessible online from anywhere across the globe thanks to a grant from Robert F. Smith’s Fund II Foundation. The Digital Collections continues to be updated as new acquisitions are arranged, preserved, cataloged and digitized. The site can be viewed at LAHM.

 The Louis Armstrong House Museum sustains and promotes the cultural, historical and humanitarian legacy of artist and innovator Louis Armstrong by preserving Armstrong’s home, providing access to the extensive archives, and developing programs for the public, which educate and inspire community members, curious visitors, artists of all kinds, fans, and future generations of Armstrong’s appreciators. What was once Louis and Lucille Armstrong’s private home—a New York City and National Historic Landmark—is now a museum open year-round. The expansion of the Corona Armstrong campus with a new cultural center is scheduled to be completed in 2021 and the renovation of the next-door home of Armstrong’s lifelong friend Selma Heraldo, will allow the Research Collections to move from Queens College back to Corona. The expanded campus will become a new, international destination celebrating Armstrong’s preeminence in African-Diaspora history and vitality, offering year-round exhibitions, performances, readings, lectures, and screenings through an array of public programs for all ages. The Museum is a cultural center of the Kupferberg Center for the Arts at Queens College.


 Louis Armstrong House Museum

Rock n Soul Band Aloud Releases Muscle Shoals Inspired ‘Sprezzatura’

Some bands you can always recognize–they produce the same sound, even the same song, year after year. But great musicians don’t just keep playing, they constantly evolve. Aloud’s new record, Sprezzatura, out on May 8th via Lemon Merchant Records is a showcase for a band joyfully shedding the old and moving boldly forward, both sonically and lyrically.

Moving forward during a pandemic, of course, means something different from the normal record release process. Touring is off the table. Inscrutable social media algorithms and the sheer volume of livestream notifications popping up in your feed at any given moment can make music feel disposable, but it’s needed now more than ever.

“The Deep Listen” takes you back to the days of losing hours listening to your favorite records and just really *living* in those liner notes. Listeners will receive exclusive video and audio content on all 11 songs direct to their inbox over the course of 6 days starting May 11th.

Sprezzatura marks a maturation for Aloud’s Henry Beguiristain and Jen de la Osa. The pair have been making music since their teenage years in Miami, where a shared passion for rock bands like Oasis and The Who set them apart from many of their peers in the working-class Cuban community both grew up in. Beguiristain and de la Osa would move to Boston after high school, marry and form Aloud.

That identity is powerfully clear on Sprezzatura, whose songs grapple with everything from sexual desire in the energetic neo-soul song “Loving U’s A Beautiful Thing”; to the kind of late-night soul searching that might lead you to uproot everything you’ve ever known in the lyrical, occasionally mournful ballad “Waiting (Scenes From A Lonely Planet)”; to the raw, full-throated need to tell truth to power in the galvanic rock anthem “Hungry Land.” The band’s propulsive, soul-influenced rock sound underpins complex, emotional lyrics, a juxtaposition that makes the singles all the more memorable.

From beginning to end, the album is a raucous, joyful explosion. Heavily influenced by the Muscle Shoals sound, Sprezzatura was recorded at Mad Oak Studios in Boston just before the band moved to Los Angeles. The record was co-produced with Benny Grotto (Magnetic Fields, Ben Folds, Weird Al) and mixed by Grammy award winner Guy Massey (Paul McCartney, The Libertines, Ray Davies). In many ways Sprezzatura is a bittersweet swan song to their old home and the 2015 winter that precipitated the move to sunny Los Angeles. Songs like “Been So Long Since We’ve Seen the Sun,” and “Renters for Life” reveal their experiences living in Boston.

The excitement animating the record is even more palpable in the band’s high energy live shows, which have earned them comparisons to blues rock icons The Alabama Shakes and The Black Keys. Longtime bassist Charles Murphy and drummer Chris Jago build a propulsive scaffolding for the addition of colorful horns, provided by saxophonist Alanah Ntzouras and trumpetist Vanessa Acosta. Upbeat, pop-rock guitars prop up de la Osa’s signature throaty growl and Beguiristain’s lilting melodies (the two alternate between lead vocals and harmonies), filling out the band’s exciting, effervescent wall of sound.

It’s clear from the driving, powerful force of Sprezzatura that Aloud is more than ready to come into their own, and step into the spotlight.

[embedded content]


Experience “The Deep Listen”

*Feature image by Ojo De Loba

Get All The Best Music News