PEARL JAM singer Eddie Vedder has released an exclusive, intimate conversation between Vedder, and Bruce Springsteen presented by Amazon Music. In the special, which was filmed on Bruce’s farm in New Jersey, the two break down Vedder’s new album, “Earthling” — from production and appearances by Stevie Wonder, Ringo Starr, Elton John, and Andrew Watt, to Vedder’s songwriting. Directed by Thom Zimny, the special debuted on Amazon Live last Friday (February 11) and is now available on Vedder’s YouTube page.
“Earthling” is Vedder’s first album since 2011’s “Ukulele Songs” and his first solo tour in over a decade. “Earthling” illuminates every side of Vedder and includes collaborations with some of music’s most iconic legends. In a recent New York Times Magazine interview, Eddie said: “The album is structured kind of like a concert: The special guests come out at the end. Stevie, then Elton, then we’ve got our ‘Mrs. Mills’ song with Ringo. Then the last special guest was my father, whom I really didn’t get to know.”
In order to bring the album to life on stage, Vedder and bandmates THE EARTHLINGS recently hit the road in a series of U.S. concert dates for “The Earthlings” tour 2022. The shows kicked off on February 3 in New York and will wrap up on February 22 in Vedder’s hometown of Seattle. Special guest Glen Hansard is opening the shows.
THE EARTHLINGS are drummer Chad Smith, keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist Josh Klinghoffer, bassist Chris Chaney, guitarist/vocalist Glen Hansard, and guitarist Andrew Watt. The newly formed group gave their live debut at Vedder’s own Ohana Festival last September.
Vedder has served as PEARL JAM’s frontman, in addition to a guitarist and primary lyricist, since 1990. Inducted to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2017 as a member of PEARL JAM, Vedder’s trademark vocal style inspired a generation. His energetic and unvarnished stage presence coupled with his honest conversations with the audience led PEARL JAM as pioneers in live performances and social justice.
Vedder’s signature ethos carries into his solo work. His first project came out in 2007 with the soundtrack album for the film “Into The Wild” and earned him a Golden Globe for the song “Guaranteed”. In 2012, Vedder’s sophomore solo album, “Ukulele Songs”, received a Grammy nomination for “Best Folk Album.” Most recently, he collaborated with Glen Hansard for the “Flag Day Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” and has released tracks off his forthcoming solo album “Earthling”.
Vedder’s lyrics address many of the key issues of our times including gun violence, racism, and climate change. In addition to the activism inherent to the music, Vedder is an outspoken advocate for several progressive, social, and political causes, most notably abortion access and the environment. A longtime supporter of Surfrider Foundation, Vedder has most recently been vocal in banning offshore drilling along the U.S. coast.
“Though some may think there should be a separation between art, music and politics, it should be reinforced that art can be a form of nonviolent protest,” Vedder says.
In addition to his activism, Vedder and his wife Jill McCormick Vedder co-founded the EB Research Partnership, dedicated to finding a cure for epidermolysis bullosa, a family of rare genetic disorders that affects the skin. The Vedder family is active in supporting both the work of the organization and the children who are impacted by the disorder.
Vedder and his wife reside in Seattle with their two daughters.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers played many gigs during their 40-year history as a group. But it’s the band’s 1997 residency at the Fillmore in San Francisco that looms large in the memory of many fans. Now, a box set collecting the best of the many songs performed during the run has recently been completed. “It’s been mixed [and] I hear it is coming out,” guitarist Mike Campbell confirms during a conversation with UCR, though no release date has been scheduled. “I’m really proud of it. It was one of the greatest parts of our career. We were free to not have to play the hits every night. We changed the set list.”
Settling in for a 20-night stand at the San Francisco venue in January and February of that year, it was clear from the start just how much fun Petty and the band were having, playing to an audience of about 1,200 guests per show. Each night of the sold-out residency boasted a set list that was wildly different from the previous evening. A selection of the group’s own hits and deeper cuts mixed seamlessly with a generous selection of covers. Some, like their take on the Grateful Dead’s “Friend of the Devil,” paid tribute to the area itself. Others, such as Booker T and the MG’s “Green Onions,” honored their influences.
The final night of the stand on February 7, was broadcast live nationwide on the radio and found the band stretching out for more than three hours and 40 songs, the longest show of the run. They would return to the Fillmore in 1999 for additional shows, with highlights from that year seeing release on the High Grass Dogs DVD. Similar residencies would follow in other cities, but nothing would ever top the length and excitement of that original San Francisco stint.
Campbell — who is preparing to release External Combustion, the second album with his current band, the Dirty Knobs — admits he’s happy the Fillmore run is finally getting a fresh round of attention with the forthcoming release. “We changed the songs every night and took some liberties with some of the arrangements here and there,” he remembers. “I’m really glad we got that on tape. Of course, we had some guest artists like John Lee Hooker, Roger McGuinn, Bo Diddley.”
While a handful of songs were included on The Live Anthology box set in 2009, this will be the first proper release focused on the Fillmore shows. Campbell has previously expressed hope that a box set covering these performances would be released, describing the Fillmore residency as “almost the pinnacle of the band” in 2018. “It’s a really good illustration of the Heartbreakers just being spontaneous and in the moment without being too rehearsed,” he tells UCR. “I’m really proud of that.”
Credits: UCR – Ultimate Classic Rock / Matt Wardaw – Writer
Keith Richards & the X-Pensive Winos, Mavis Staples, Hozier, Warren Haynes, Melissa Etheridge, Allison Russell and more will headline the sixth annual Love Rocks NYC benefit concert at New York’s Beacon Theatre on March 10.
Larkin Poe, Tyler Bryant, David Shaw, Anders Osborne, Celisse, Ivan Neville, Jimmy Vivino, Maggie Rose, and Connor Kennedy will also appear on the bill, with Will Lee serving as musical director.
The concert is presented by the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation and will benefit God’s Love We Deliver. It is executive produced by fashion designer John Varvatos, NYC real estate broker and prominent concert producer Greg Williamson and concert/events producer Nicole Rechter.
It will be hosted by Mario Cantone, Kiefer Sutherland, Gina Gershon, Steve Schirripa and Michelle Buteau.
God’s Love We Deliver, which was founded during the AIDS pandemic in 1985, has been an essential services provider during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the organization cooked and delivered more than 2.6 million meals to nearly 10,000 New Yorkers living with and affected by severe illness, and its staff and volunteers continue to work tirelessly to meet the ever-growing demand for its services.
Since launching in 2017, the annual Love Rocks NYC concerts have raised $20 million dollars and helped to fund 2 million meals to New Yorkers in need. The benefit concert highlights the charity’s continued mission of providing life-sustaining meals and nutrition counseling for people in the New York Metropolitan area living with severe illness.
Past concerts have featured Jon Bon Jovi, Dave Matthews, Andra Day, Sara Bareilles, Robert Plant, Joe Walsh, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow, Buddy Guy and more.
Credits: Variety Magazine – By Jem Aswad