Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Cindy Lee Berryhill Returns, with "The Adventurist"

Ms Berryhill emerged on the music scene in the late 1980s with Who’s Gonna Save The World,
followed by the Lenny Kaye produced Naked Movie Star. 1994’s Garage Orchestra continued the trend, receiving four stars from Rolling Stone. Sadly, her husband, Crawdaddy magazine founder Paul Williams sustained a traumatic brain injury in 1995, and while she continued to write and perform, she focused on caring for him until his passing in 2013.
Determined to retain and honor the beauty and joy of the relationship they shared, Berryhill set out to write and record an album full of visionary songs. With the help of her musical friends including DJ Bonebrake (X, The Knitters), Probyn Gregory and Nelson Bragg (Brian Wilson), Syd Straw, Michael Jerome Moore (The Blind Boys Of Alabama, Richard Thompson, John Cale) and more, they all understood that a grand musical adventure was in store. The result? The Adventurist, out March 10, 2017 via Omnivore recordings.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Miss Hokusai from Director Keiichi Hara, on DVD/BD on March 7

Recipient of the Jury Prize at the 2015 Annecy International Animated Film Festival and nominated for an Annie Award for Best Animated Independent Feature, Miss Hokusai is a visually resplendent and soulful portrait of a female artist in 19th century Japan as the age of the samurai draws to a close.

From award-winning director Keiichi Hara (Colorful) and Japanese powerhouse Production I.G (Ghost in the Shell), comes a remarkable story of the daughter behind one of history's most famous artists. As all of Edo flocks to see the work of the revered painter Hokusai, his daughter O-Ei toils diligently, creating the paintings sold under her father's name. Shy in public, in the studio O-Ei is brash and uninhibited. Seeking to come into her own as an artist, O-Ei sets out into the bustling city of Edo (present-day Tokyo), where she encounters spirits, dragons, courtesans, and rival artists.

With exceptional craftsmanship, story-telling and emotional depth, Miss Hokusai is "Gorgeous! A small poetic wonder!" (Boyd van Hoeij, The Hollywood Reporter).  Certified 94% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and featuring stunning visuals, the film and its beautiful animation is being praised by critics as "Extraordinary! Enchanting and thought-provoking" (Glenn Kenny, The New York Times). Miss Hokusai will be available on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on March 7, 2017 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, in partnership with GKIDS.

David Byrne's Contemporary Color Documentary, in Theatres March 3

The trailer for David Byrne's Contemporary Color documentary - to be released theatrically
on March 3rd by Department of Motion Pictures and Oscilloscope Laboratories, has been released today. In the summer of 2015,  David Byrne staged an event at Brooklyn's Barclays Center to celebrate the creativity of Color Guard: synchronized dance routines involving flags, rifles, and sabers, colloquially known as "the sport of the arts."

Watch the trailer for Contemporary Color, below.

Byrne recruited performers including the likes of St. Vincent, Nelly Furtado, Devonté Hynes, Zola Jesus, Ad-Rock, tUnE-yArDs, and Ira Glass to collaborate on original pieces with 10 color guard teams from across the US and Canada.

The result is CONTEMPORARY COLOR, a bold and irrepressible snapshot of a one-of-a-kind
live performance.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Roll Columbia: Woody Guthrie's 26 Northwest Songs Album Out Now!

Smithsonian Folkways is proud to present their new release, the two-disc Roll Columbia: Woody
Guthrie’s 26 Northwest Songs, which marks the latest chapter in Smithsonian Folkways’ rich history with the iconic songwriter.  Roll Columbia: Woody Guthrie’s 26 Northwest Songs is a trove of new discoveries, and a celebration of Guthrie’s genius and lasting contributions to both the history and musical traditions of the Pacific Northwest. 75 years after Woody’s stint with the Bonneville Power Administration, present-day Pacific Northwest artists influenced by this fruitful time in Guthrie’s career have gathered together to record their own interpretations. Roll Columbia is the first and only complete collection of these 26 songs, including nine that had never before been recorded.  R.E.M. members and the Decemberists included!

Roll Columbia: Woody Guthrie’s 26 Northwest Songs is available now from Baker & Taylor.
The Seattle Times recently spotlighted the “rootsy, sometimes gritty” performances on Roll Columbia.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Paul Weller Completes First Film Project, JAWBONE

For the first time in his long career, Paul Weller (The Jam, Style Council) has recorded his first-ever full film score / soundtrack project, entitled JAWBONE: Music From The Film, which will be released on Warner Bros. Records in the U.S. on March 10th. JAWBONE, the film, will be released in theatres on March 17th in  the U.K. This is the first new music from Weller since his universally praised 2015 album Saturns Pattern. JAWBONE: Music From the Film will be available for pre-order soon

The film's star, writer, and co-producer is the BAFTA-nominated actor Johnny Harris and is a long-time fan of Weller's. He approached the singer a few years ago through  a mutual friend on the off-chance he would be interested. However, all that existed at that point was the script - no cast and no budget - but Weller was keen and a great partnership, and friendship, were forged.

"Paul would constantly send through any new ideas, demos, or recordings, and what was unique and beautiful about this approach was that his new compositions were now inspiring and influencing the story as I was re-writing it," Harris says. "I'd also send Paul new drafts of the script, or any new ideas as they were forming along the way, and a beautifully collaborative process evolved."

Thursday, January 26, 2017

20th Century Women Arrives on DVD/BD on March 28

Golden Globe winner Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right, Being Julia) stars in the 20th Century Women, arriving on Blu-ray and DVD on March 28 from Lionsgate.
transformative and insightful film,

Oscar-nominated for Best Original Screenplay and nominated for two Golden Globes (Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Actress – Musical or Comedy for Bening), 20th Century Women is a cinematic love letter to the people who raise us and the times that shape us. The true-to-life story inspired by acclaimed writer/director Mike Mills’s (Beginners) mother also stars Elle Fanning (Maleficent), Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha), Lucas Jade Zumann (Sinister 2), and Billy Crudup (Almost Famous). Theatrically released by A24 and Rotten Tomatoes Certified Fresh, the “impressive and moving” (The Playlist) celebration of family, womanhood, love, and freedom is a must-see film for all generations.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back on Blu-ray & DVD

"Tom Cruise is better than ever” (Pete Hammond, Deadline) in the "breathlessly exhilarating”(Simon
Thompson, Forbes) action-thriller JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK, which hits the road on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on January 31, 2017 from Paramount Home Media Distribution. Hailed as “a fun action-packed ride” (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone).

Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) returns to enforce his bold brand of justice in the actionpacked sequel based on author Lee Child’s best-selling series. When Army Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders) is framed for treason, Reacher discovers she’s the target of a massive government conspiracy. With help from Turner and a mysterious new ally, Reacher risks everything to take down a powerful organization that will stop at nothing to protect its secrets

Rating -

PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, some bloody images, language and thematic

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Allman Bros' Butch Trucks Dead at 69

The founding member of The Allman Brothers Band, passed away last night at his home in West Palm Beach, FL he was 69.  The drummer, along with Allman Brothers Gregg and Duane, Dickey Betts, Berry Oakley and drummer Jai Johanny Johanson, formed the group in the late ’60s.
An Allman Brothers Band representative released the following announcement:

Butch Trucks, a founding member of The Allman Brothers Band, tragically died the night of January 24 in West Palm Beach, Florida.  His wife, four children, four grandchildren and all of the Allman Brothers Band, their families and Road Crew survive Butch.  The Trucks and Allman Brothers Band families request all of Butch's friends and fans to please respect our privacy at this time of sadness for our loss.  Butch will play on in our hearts forever.

Donations and remembrances in Butch's name can be made to The Big House Museum in Macon, GA. TheBigHousemuseum.com.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Neil Diamond 50th Anniversary Collection Announced

UME and CMG today announced the March 31st worldwide release of Neil Diamond 50 - The 50th Anniversary Collection, a 3 CD Anniversary set whose announcement coincides with the legendary entertainer's birthday. This upcoming celebratory music package marks the 50 th anniversary of the iconic, Grammy Award-winning and Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame member's first hit "Solitary Man," that began his trajectory as a legendary songwriter, prolific musician and celebrated performer with a time span that has now marked five decades and counting. To commemorate this anniversary, Diamond will kick off the celebration with a recently announced 50 date U.S. tour that begins this April and newly announced U.K. and European dates to coincide with the anniversary CD release.

The exclusive tour/collector's edition 3 CD package includes 50 songs that range 50 years in Diamond's career. Under the supervision of Diamond, the forthcoming anniversary set will include his own handpicked songs and a carefully curated booklet with new liner notes.
Throughout an illustrious and wide-ranging musical career, Neil Diamond has sold over 130 million albums worldwide and has dominated the charts for more than five decades with 37 Top 40 singles and 16 Top 10 albums. He has achieved record sales with 40 Gold albums, 21 Platinum albums and 11 multi-platinum albums.

Monday, January 23, 2017

2Cellos "Score" in March

2CELLOS, music's most electric and dynamic instrumental duo, go to the movies for their new Portrait/Sony Music Masterworks album Score, available March 17, 2017. Bringing 2CELLOS' game-changing sound and style to the most popular melodies ever written for classic and contemporary movies and television, Score will be supported by a world tour, kicking off with its U.S. leg this summer. The new video for "Game of Thrones" is out now – watch it below.

Ray Davies Returns with April's "Americana" Album

This April 21st, Ray Davies will release his first new album in over nine years – ‘Americana’ – via
Legacy Recordings (a division of Sony Music Entertainment). The 15-track set of originals serves as a master-crafted return for one of the most acclaimed and iconic songwriters of the past 50 years, and follows Davies’ 2013 memoir of the same name, using the book as both source material and creative catalyst. Davies enlisted The Jayhawks as backing band, and recorded the album in London at Konk, the studio founded by The Kinks in 1973.

Album highlight “Poetry” is streaming now via NPR Music, listen below.

‘Americana’ was written, conceived, and arranged by Davies, and co-produced with Guy Massey and John Jackson. The album is an autobiographical work, chronicling the inextricable role America has played in Davies’ life. From his earliest days touring the U.S. with the Kinks and subsequent blacklisting by the American Musicians Union, to his years playing stadiums and eventually staying in New York and New Orleans for a time, America has served as both muse and tempest to Davies.

Bash & Pop Rock Colbert!

The first project from Bash & Pop in two decades, Anything Could Happen, was released last Friday (1/20). The night before the album's release, the band appeared on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. They performed "On The Rocks", and after the song's performance, Tommy Stinson got into a little (playful?) wrestling match with Stephen Colbert. Check out the powerful Colbert performance below.

Live from Lincoln Center: Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel Set for February Release

PBS Distribution announced today it is releasing “Live From Lincoln Center: Rodgers &
Hammerstein's Carousel” on DVD. Live From Lincoln Center presents the New York Philharmonic’s staged production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s iconic American musical, featuring a star-studded cast including 4 Tony Award winners, Kelli O'Hara, Shuler Hensley, Jessie Mueller, John Cullum as well as Nathan Gunn, Stephanie Blythe, Jason Danieley, Kate Burton, and New York City Ballet principal dancers Robert Fairchild and Tiler Peck.

“Live From Lincoln Center: Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel” will be available on DVD February 28, 2017. The run time of the program is approximately 150 minutes and the SRP is $24.99.

Now a beloved classic, Carousel—with music by Richard Rodgers and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II—was hailed by Time Magazine as “the best musical of the 20th Century.” Based on Hungarian playwright Ferenc Molnár’s 1909 play, Liliom, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel transfers the story from Europe to the Maine coastline and revolves around the tragic romance between carousel barker Billy Bigelow and mill worker Julie Jordan. The musical includes such highlights as “If I Loved You,” “June Is Bustin’ Out All Over,” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

Allison Crutchfield's "Tourist in This Town", on NPR First Listen!

Allison Crutchfield’s debut solo album Tourist in This Town is out this Friday, and you can listen to the album in its entirety right now at NPR Music. Pre-order your copy on CD, now
Of her album, NPR Music wrote: 

Punk living arrangements may mean that Crutchfield has no physical space to call her own, but she carves out her own bold lane on Tourist, far from the scrappy pop-punk of her formative bands. Opener “Broad Daylight” is so startling, you might check to see if you hit play on the right record. Singing a cappella, Crutchfield unleashes a regal trill that evokes Neko Case singing gospel, her voice as pure and strong as sunlight beaming through a stained-glass window. Her songwriting talents have long been assured; here, she establishes herself as a gifted singer.

Listen to and share Tourist in This Town now at NPR Music


Friday, January 20, 2017

Celebrate Harry Belafonte's 90th, with "When Colors Come Together..."

Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, is celebrating the 90th Harry Belafonte (born March 1, 1927) with the release of When Colors Come Together... The Legacy of Harry Belafonte on Friday, February 24, 2017. Preorder via Baker & Taylor.
birthday of the iconic American singer/songwriter/actor/social activist/cultural ambassador

Harry Belafonte broke into both mainstream success and musical immortality in 1956 when his breakout LP--Calypso--became the first album ever, by any artist of any race or gender, to sell more than a million copies while his signature "Day-O" (from "Banana Boat") became one of the most instantly recognized melodic phrases in the world. Belafonte's sound signified an international island dance party, Belafonte was an inspirational and motivating force in the American Civil Rights movement. Throughout his career, Belafonte has brought a high degree of social consciousness to everything he does, merging the activist with the artist in the flow of his music.

An essential single-disc anthology of Belafonte's biggest hits and timeless classics, When Colors Come Together... The Legacy of Harry Belafonte premieres a new recording of "When Colors Come Together (Our Island In The Sun)," performed by a children's choir. The original recording of the song (co-written by Belafonte and Irving Burgie) served as the title music for the highly successful and at-the-time controversial 1957 film, "Island In The Sun," which starred Belafonte, James Mason, Joan Fontaine, Joan Collins and Dorothy Dandridge. One of the great pop standards in the Belafonte catalog, "Island In The Sun" has been covered more than 40 times since becoming a hit in the 1950s and was referenced in the 1992 film "The Muppet Christmas Carol."

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Conor Oberst Announces March "Salutations"

Conor Oberst has announced his new album, Salutations, for March 17 release on Nonesuch Records.  The album includes full band recordings with The Felice Brothers and drummer Jim Keltner; guests include Jim James, Gillian Welch, Blake Mills, Jonathan Wilson and more.

The album is a companion piece to his 2016 lauded Ruminations. When Oberst wrote and recorded the songs on Ruminations, entirely solo - with just voice, piano, guitar and harmonica - he intended to ultimately record them with a full band. In the midst of putting together that band - upstate New York's The Felice Brothers plus the legendary drummer Jim Keltner (Neil Young, Jackson Browne, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, and many more) - the passionate responses Oberst was getting  to those first solo recordings, from friends and colleagues, encouraged him to release the songs as-is, in their original sparse form, as his seventh solo album: Ruminations, which was released in October 2016. Pitchfork called it "a record like none other in Oberst's catalog, stunning for how utterly alone he sounds," and the UK's Sunday Times called it, "The rawest album yet from the forever troubled one-time voice of a generation. Political and very, very personal," saying Oberst is "one  of the best songwriters around."

Meanwhile, Oberst simultaneously moved ahead with his plans to record with the band, heading to the famed Shangri-la Studios in Malibu to record Salutations - co-produced with Keltner and engineered by long-time musical compadre Andy LeMaster. Guest contributions come courtesy of Jim James, Blake Mills, Maria Taylor, M Ward, Gillian Welch, Gus Seyffert, Pearl Charles, Nathaniel Walcott, and Jonathan Wilson.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Two New "Now That's What I Call.." Album Releases Announced

NOW That's What I Call Music!, the world's best-selling multi-artist album series, is pleased to announce the simultaneous release of this year's first two NOW collections; NOW That's What I Call Music! 61 and NOW That's What I Call 90s Pop, on Friday, January
27 on CD.

With the release of NOW 60 in November 2016, US sales of NOW series albums breaks the 100 million copies mark.

NOW That's What I Call Music! 61 features 16 major current hits from today's hottest artists including Bruno Mars, Maroon 5 featuring Kendrick Lamar, Alessia Cara, Ariana Grande featuring Nicki Minaj, DJ Snake featuring Justin Bieber, The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk, Rae Sremmurd featuring Gucci Mane, D.R.A.M featuring Lil Yachty, Zay Hilfigerrr & Zaylon McCall, Fifth Harmony, Jon Bellion, Martin Garrix & Bebe Rexha, Hey Violet, Shawn Mendes, Niall Horan, and gnash featuring Olivia O'Brien.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Spoon Confirms March 'Hot Thoughts' Album Release

Possibly the worst kept secret in recent music history, at least one of the top ten.  On March 17, Matador records will  release the 9th and latest album from Spoon, called 'Hot Thoughts'.

’Hot Thoughts’’ is said to be the bravest, most sonically inventive work of Spoon’s career. With all due respect to earlier efforts that have made the quintet both critically acclaimed and a commercial contender, preconceptions about this band are about to be obliterated. That’s not to say ‘Hot Thoughts’ doesn’t have a requisite supply of infectious earworms but there’s a lyrical bent that’s as carnal as it’s crafty, and a newfound sense of sonic exploration that results in the genre-smasher Spoon have flirted with in the past but not fully consummated.

Co-produced by Spoon and Dave Fridmann and reunited with Matador, with the crackling, incandescent, multi-dimensional backdrop conjured on ‘Hot Thoughts’, the lines between accessible and experimental become non-factors for once and all. It’s pop as high art, delivered with total confidence and focus.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Library of Hattiesburg, Petal and Forrest County MS Rocks in 2017

The Library of Hattiesburg, Petal and Forrest County in Mississippi is rocking in the new year with a set list of events featuring The Beatles. The Legendary Fab Four made a splash heard round the world in the 1960s, and their music has lived on in the decades since.

"You always know about them, but you don't always think about them," said Sean Farrell, director at Library of Hattiesburg, Petal and Forrest County.

The library's programs will offer Pine Belt residents the opportunity to get to know The Beatles better. Their music played a major role in the shaping of popular music in the second half of the 20th century and continues to have an influence on today's music.

The Beatlemania seed was planted last summer when noted Beatles music scholar Aaron Krerowicz contacted Farrell to offer one of his programs because he would be in Louisiana this month.

Farrell took him up on his offer and thought why not create a series of events around The Beatles.

"The Beatles are amazing, interesting and fun, so let's do them up big," he said.

Farrell applied for and received a $2,000 Mississippi Humanities Council grant to help fund the Beatlemania program, and things began to take shape.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Rhiannon Giddens Drops "At the Purchaser's Option" from Freedom Highway - LISTEN

"Rhiannon Giddens, whose new album, Freedom Highway, is releasing February 24, has unveiled a new song from the album called "At the Purchaser's Option," which you can hear in a lyric video below. The song is one of nine original songs Giddens wrote or co-wrote on the album, which also includes a traditional tune and two civil rights–era songs, "Birmingham Sunday" and Staple Singers' "Freedom Highway." That last track and "At the Purchaser's Option" come as instant downloads with pre-orders of the album.

Laura Marling Unveils "Wild Fire" - Listen!

Laura Marling has unveiled "Wild Fire," the second track to be lifted from her forthcoming
sixth studio album, Semper Femina. Semper Femina is releasing on March 10 via More Alarming Records/Kobalt Music  Recordings.Listen to "Wild Fire", below.
And, Laura is a musical guest on esteemed traveling radio show A Prairie Home Companion
on Saturday January 14th - broadcast live on NPR affiliates from 5pm-7pm Central
Time. The show - hosted by Chris Thile - will be broadcast from The Symphony Theater in Chicago. Laura joins Chris, Andrew Bird and Beth Stelling on the bill.

The 26 year old English singer-songwriter Laura Marling's latest track is "Wild Fire."
Taken from her forthcoming album Semper Femina, it follows a loose, lyrical thread
of feminine exploration. It drops a light on an unspecified 'muse' of Laura's, and
sweeps in and out of focus on how the acclaimed musician views femininity as the
years pass. It's not a concept record per se, but that aforementioned thread unravels
and reaffirms throughout the record's duration.

"Wild Fire" follows the first single "Soothing" whose intimate video introduced Laura behind the camera lens in her directorial debut, and sequels to the video will follow throughout the album's unveiling.

Laura was only 20 years old when, in 2011, she was awarded the UK's Grammy equivalent
BRIT Award for Best British Solo Female Artist. Recording since the age of 16, Semper
Femina is her sixth album. A rich and enriching listen, Semper Femina is a typically
mature and raw listen by one of our most talented and prolific young musicians of
a generation. Following the release of Semper Femina, Laura hits the road to support
the release.

of it.

Moana on DVD / BD on March 7

Walt Disney Animation Studios' "Moana," the sweeping story of a spirited teenager who sets sail on a daring adventure to save her people, starring newcomer Auli'i Cravalho as the voice of brave and tenacious Moana and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (HBO's "Ballers," "Central Intelligence") as the larger-than-life demigod Maui, has dazzled both critics and audiences. The film earned a 95% critics' consensus on Rotten Tomatoes and the No. 1 spot at the domestic box office opening weekend. Now, "Moana" sets a new course, arriving to homes on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD on March 7.

Continuing the fun-filled adventure, families can continue their journey filled with hours of extensive and entertaining bonus offerings including: a new, hilarious mini-movie featuring Moana and Maui; an in-depth look at how the people, cultures and heritage of the Pacific Islands shaped the story of "Moana;" revealing Q&A with co-stars Auli'i Cravalho and Dwayne Johnson, and famed animation directors Ron Clements and John Musker; insider access to Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Mancina and Opetaia Foaʻi, the trio behind the film's moving music; four mini-documentaries highlighting the movie's groundbreaking effects; deleted scenes; a deleted song; hidden Easter Eggs; music video; "Inner Workings," the theatrical short film directed by Leo Matsuda that spotlights the internal struggle between a man's Brain and Heart; and much, much more.

Check out a clip from the mini-movie bonus feature featuring Maui and Moana, "Gone Fishing" below-

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Tift Merritt Back with "Stitch of the World"

Grammy Award-nominated artist Tift Merritt’s new album Stitch of the World will be released
January 27 on Yep Roc Records. Listen to “Love Soldiers On,” the second song from the album, below.

Stitch of the World, Merritt’s sixth studio album, was written on a friend’s farm in Marfa, Texas, at Merritt’s California cabin and in New York City in the wake of several major changes in her life. Merritt workshopped the songs on Stitch of the World with longtime friend Sam Beam of Iron & Wine after bumping in to him in an airport. The album was recorded in Los Angeles while Merritt was six months pregnant, after which she relocated to her hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina.“Dusty Old Man,” the album’s first single, recently premiered via Rolling Stone Country, who said, “Powered by guitars from Marc Ribot and pedal-steel wiz Eric Heywood over a bouncy shuffle rhythm from drummer Jay Bellerose and bassist Jennifer Condos, ‘Dusty Old Man’ has more of a bluesy, loose-limbed feel than anything Merritt has ever done.”

The time since the release of Traveling Alone has also found Merritt recording and touring with Andrew Bird in his Hands of Glory, MC Taylor’s Hiss Golden Messenger and classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein.

Ed Sheeran Announces "÷" (divide) for March

Global music superstar ED SHEERAN has unveiled details for his highly anticipated new album named “÷” (pronounced  divide), the multi-GRAMMY award winning singer-songwriter’s third studio album arrives on March 3 via Atlantic Records.

Sheeran commented – “First off, what a week! The reaction to my new singles has been absolutely mind-blowing and I can’t thank you enough. My new album ÷ holds a very special place in my heart and I really believe this is my best work to date. I’ve been eager to get back and I couldn’t be more excited for March 3rd.”

One of the most anticipated global releases of 2017, “÷” sees the 25-year-old in his finest form yet. Drawing inspiration from a wide array of experiences and subjects, Sheeran takes you through a hugely personal journey; be that reflecting on past relationships, family memories, his musical career or his time off travelling the world in 2016. Musically, ÷ is a varied collection of beautifully orchestrated and emotive ballads, impassioned raps laid over hip hop beats, timeless acoustic guitar masterpieces, and innovative, idiosyncratic pop music. Constantly on the move, the album was recorded between LA, London, Suffolk and while crossing the Atlantic aboard the RMS Queen Mary 2. Executive produced by multi-GRAMMY winner Benny Blanco and Sheeran himself with additional production coming from frequent collaborator Johnny McDaid, GRAMMY winner Mike Elizondo, and BRIT-award winner Steve Mac. Sheeran also created the album artwork concept for “÷” , even painting the cover himself.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Hans Zimmer-The Classics Out January 13

Sony Classical is delighted to announce a key new recording event: a brand-new album performed by stellar musicians of the day that showcases some of Hollywood's greatest ever movie themes, written by one of the world's most innovative musical talents and leading film composer of our time – Hans Zimmer. His new album, Hans Zimmer – The Classics is releasing January 13, 2017 on Sony Classical.

This vivid collection of back-to-back blockbuster hits brings together for the first time Zimmer's unmistakable movie themes, re-imagined and in arrangements especially written for some of our top musicians including superstar pianist, Lang Lang; cello wizards, 2CELLOS and Tina Guo; outstanding violinists, Maxim Vengerov and Lindsey Stirling; Classic BRIT Award-winning saxophonist, Amy Dickson; global video superstars, The Piano Guys and with stupendous vocals by Leona Lewis.

Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music Announced for Monmouth University

NJ's Monmouth University announced a new collaborative partnership to establish The Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music. Through the collaboration, Monmouth University becomes the official archival repository for NJ's Springsteen’s written works, photographs, periodicals, and artifacts. The announcement was made during “A Conversation with Bruce Springsteen,” held this evening at the University’s Pollak Theatre.

The new collaboration broadens an existing relationship between Springsteen and Monmouth University, which has served as the home of the Bruce Springsteen Special Collection since 2011. The Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music will preserve and promote the legacy of Bruce Springsteen and his role in American music, while honoring and celebrating icons of American music like Woody Guthrie, Robert Johnson, Hank Williams, Frank Sinatra, and others. The expanded partnership will help to more deeply integrate the history and inspiration of American music into the curriculum and research experience at Monmouth. It will also serve to bolster an already highly successful music industry program at the university, one of only nine university affiliates of the GRAMMY Museum.

“Monmouth University is excited by the opportunity to grow our relationship with Bruce Springsteen,” said Monmouth University President Paul R. Brown. “Our partnership has been a natural one -- just steps from Springsteen’s birthplace and the site where Born to Run was written, Monmouth University’s location brilliantly captures the essence of Springsteen’s music while providing the academic heft of one of only nine university affiliates of the GRAMMY Museum. The establishment of The Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music celebrates and reinforces the Jersey Shore’s legacy in the history of American music, while providing a truly transformative experience for our students.”

Friday, January 6, 2017

Rhiannon Giddens Joins CMT's "Nashville" Cast

Rhiannon Giddens, whose new album, Freedom Highway, is out February 24 on Nonesuch Records, joins the cast of the television show Nashville as it returns for its fifth season on CMT.  Giddens made her own acting debut playing the role of Hanna Lee "Hallie" Jordan, a young social worker with "the voice of an angel," when CMT gave an hour-long sneak peek of the two-hour episode last month, leaving many a fan looking forward all the more to tonight's premiere. Nashville airs Thursday nights on CMT.

Freedom Highway, Giddens' follow-up to her highly praised solo debut album, Tomorrow Is My Turn, includes nine original songs she wrote or co-wrote; a traditional tune; and two civil rights–era songs, "Birmingham Sunday" and Staple Singers' "Freedom Highway." She co-produced the album with multi-instrumentalist Dirk Powell in his Louisiana studio, with the bulk of recording done in wooden rooms built prior to the Civil War, over an intense eight-day period. The result is an album that is rawer and more personal than its predecessor.

Listen to the album's title track, below.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Mavericks return with "Brand New Day"

Celebrated, Grammy Award-winning band The Mavericks, have announced a March 31 release for their new album, Brand New Day, their first independent studio album on their own label Mono Mundo Recordings/Thirty Tigers. After years on major labels, The Mavericks chose to set a new course with the founding of Mono Mundo and the release of their first live album, 2016’s captivating All Night Live, Volume 1. On the spectacular Brand New Day, the beloved band convincingly proves that they may have not even reached their apex yet.
The 10 songs that make up Brand New Day feature The Mavericks genre-defying style. For example, the album opens with the tejano/bluegrass-inspired “Rolling Along”, which sets a tone before the wall-of-sound power of the title track thrusts the listener deep into the musical journey. From the ‘60’s flavored “Easy As It Seems” to the accordion-fueled shuffle of “I Will Be Yours” to the heart-melting beauty of “Goodnight Waltz”, Brand New Day finds the eclectic unit as inspired, passionate and commanding as ever.