New CD's and DVD's That You Should Know

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, National Music,   From Issue 621   By: Scott Baker

31st August, 2006     0

With Fall in the air, it's time for another installment of music CDs and DVDs that you may not have known existed, or just plain never knew about but need to hear to believe.

Tickling the fancy of many classic rock enthusiasts, Eagle Rock has launched enough music DVD footage to keep fans glued to their set for months to come.

Flying just under the radar on the heels of their reunion last year, Cream's Disraeli Gears tops the list in Eagle Rock's 'Classic Album' series.  If an in-depth look behind-the-scenes of the recording of this stellar trios second long-player doesn't sound enticing, then check out the brand new interviews with Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, and Ginger Baker. New acoustic performances by Clapton and Bruce and archival footage of Cream from 1967 & 1968 also round out this awesome DVD spectacle.

In the same series, Queen's: The Making of A Night At The Opera hails the same brilliance as the other 'Classic Album' DVD's.  From production standpoints to current interview footage with the remaining members of Queen, this is the ultimate back stage pass to what was in their heads back in 1975.

Under the same umbrella come a couple of other highlights: Gary Moore's One Night In Dublin: A Tribute To Phil Lynott and the very first Emerson, Lake & Palmer show: The Birth of A Band: Isle Of Wight Festival, Saturday August 29th, 1970.

Moore's DVD tribute to the Thin Lizzy leader as well as Moore's one time band mate is a true document of love and history. Filmed on what would have been Lynott's 56th birthday, August 20, 2005, Moore invited former Thin Lizzy members Brian Downey, Brian Robertson, Scot Gorham, and Eric Bell along for the ride as they all take part in this history revering their former vocalist/bassist. Every single by Thin Lizzy is covered and Moore rounds out the show with some of his own highlights. The DVD is a must for fans of the Irish rock kings.

ELP's new CD/DVD Dual Disc combines the entire 67-minute set along with new interviews with the band. The shock and sound of the group blew the gates out at the Isle of Wight, leaving everyone to realize this new super group meant business. Tracks such as Pictures At An Exhibition’ Rondo’ and Take A Pebble’ are only the beginning. ELP proved from the first show what it was like to put on an eclectic style of rock, combining elements from every musical genus into the show. The beginning of a legacy captured and released 36 years later.

The Anti- label has a few new nuggets floating under the radar. Neko Case's Fox Confessor Brings The Flood is one of the most anticipated releases of the year. Her unique voice, phrasing, and reverb-drenched tales lock the listener in as only she can. Co-produced by Case and Darryl Neudorf, the artsy feel of her music remains difficult to categorize, and at the same time ultra-familiar.

Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Dylan's so-called 'Long lost father', has issued a statement in the form of CD titled I Stand Alone. Together with Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, David Hidalgo from Los Lobos, and Lucinda Williams, among many others, Elliott proves why music from one of the last representatives of America's underground folk tradition needs to be listened to. Tracks such as Engine 143’ Arthritis Blues’ Rake & Ramblin’ Boy’ and Woody's Last Ride’ unleash a sound that has been silent in the past decade. 16 tracks packed, and you won't be able to go back.

Saxophonist John Ellis has one of the most artful CD's in 2006. By A Thread (Hyena) is an evolving work, one where repeated listens unveil something new each time. The former Charlie Hunter sax man sums it up best when he was quoted as saying: "I wasn't trying to make a jazz record, a funk record, a music world record, but rather to make a record that is an honest attempt to create a personal sound."  By A Thread is a sound like no other and continually worth the listen.

Another interesting platter of various sounds and familiar groove's is one by The Code Talkers (Madison House). For a groove like no other, the Code Talkers (including the one and only Col. Bruce Hampton of Aquarium Rescue Unit fame) have a CD that can go anywhere, anytime and like a fine wine, gets better with age. Already main-stagers on the Jam circuit, The Code Talkers bring together many different aspects of jazz and funky organ sounds that have been culminating over the past 30 years and offer up a fresh, radio-friendly spin on it all.

In the Blues department, the most interesting sound to come along in a while is the new Cephas & Wiggins, Shoulder To Shoulder. The so-called Piedmont Blues, a blend of acoustic/folkie guitar and harmonica, John Cephas and Phil Wiggins have put together a wonderful array of tunes on the Alligator Records CD. They mix their interpretations of some of the finest old songs by the likes of Charley Patton, Skip James, and Blind Boy Fuller.

Six originals help add to the story like an old friend.


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