Honoring a Singular Legacy with Vinyl Release of ‘All My Friends: Celebrating the Songs & Voice of Gregg Allman’

Featuring performances by Gregg Allman, The Allman Brothers Band, Devon Allman, Jackson Browne, Eric Church, Dr. John, Brantley Gilbert, Vince Gill, Warren Haynes, John Hiatt, Jaimoe, Chuck Leavell, Taj Mahal, Martina McBride, Keb’ Mo’, Robert Randolph, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Widespread Panic, and others!


On January 10, 2014, a multi-generational, all-star lineup of musicians from the worlds of rock, blues and country joined together at Atlanta’s historic Fox Theatre for a once-in-a-lifetime concert event to pay tribute to the life and music of the legendary singer, songwriter, and musician Gregg Allman. Tickets to the concert sold out in minutes, and to date, it remains one of the highest-grossing one-night events in the venue’s history.


That evening, Allman was joined by a remarkable array of performers delivering legendary performances of classic material drawn from his four and a half decades as a recording artist, encompassing his landmark work with the legendary Allman Brothers Band as well as his parallel solo career. The concert recording was released later that year on CD and video. Now, for the first time, All My Friends: Celebrating the Songs & Voice of Gregg Allman will be available on vinyl. The four-LP box set will be released on September 30, and a number of limited-edition color variants will be offered for purchase.


The event was the brainchild of Allman’s longtime manager Michael Lehman and Blackbird Presents founder and CEO Keith Wortman. “Not a day goes by where I don’t hear from one of our artists or the fans about how this was the greatest single concert event they ever experienced in their lives,” says Wortman. “I know it was a profound, life-changing experience for me, and so I am humbled to work with Michael and Rounder to make this experience available on vinyl for fans all over the world.”


Devon Allman vividly recalls that evening. “The All My Friends tribute show was such a classy event. I remember Dad saying ‘Son, aren’t they supposed to have shows like this after you die?’ I laughed and said ‘Well…maybe so, but you get to jam at this one with your friends!’ He was so deeply touched that night by the outpouring of love and music in his honor. A highlight of his career, for sure.’


Rounder and Blackbird Presents are teaming up with Mandolin to exclusively stream the concert in its entirety on August 18. Fans who pre-order the vinyl box will receive a complimentary viewing code. Fans who wish to purchase a ticket to the stream can do so at the here. All of the participating musicians gathered for the finale, a rousing performance of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” 


The variety of the artists paying tribute to Allman, and the diversity of their interpretations of his songs, attests to the broad appeal of Allman’s music, which transcended stylistic and generational boundaries. With musical direction by noted producer/musician Don Was, several of the guest performers were drawn from the Allman Brothers Band’s extended musical family, including Devon Allman, Warren Haynes, Jaimoe, Chuck Leavell, Jack Pearson, Susan Tedeschi, and Derek Trucks.


The prestigious slate of performers also included Trace Adkins, Zac Brown, Jackson Browne, Eric Church, Dr. John, Brantley Gilbert, Vince Gill, Jimmy Hall, John Hiatt, Martina McBride, Taj Mahal, Pat Monahan, Keb’ Mo’, Sam Moore, Robert Randolph, and Widespread Panic. 


The house band, led by musical director Don Was on bass, included former Allman Brothers Band members Leavell (keyboards) and Pearson (guitar), guitarist Audley Freed (Sheryl Crow Band), keyboardist Rami Jaffee (Foo Fighters), and renowned drummer Kenny Aronoff. As Allman later remarked, “That show was one of the highlights of my life. It was great to see old friends, and everyone was so gracious and really poured their souls into my songs. It was a very special night.”


During his lifetime, Allman received numerous honors including his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 as a member of the Allman Brothers Band. In 2006, he was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, and in 2012, The Allman Brothers Band received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards.


Gregg Allman, who died in 2017, would have celebrated his 75th birthday this December. A number of events to commemorate the anniversary of his birth will be announced in the coming months.


On May 27, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp observed the fifth anniversary of Allman’s passing with an official commendation and ordered the state flag to be at half-mast over the Georgia State Capitol. The commendation and flag are now part of the permanent display at the Allman Brothers Band Big House Museum in Macon, GA.


Credits: American Blues Scene Staff

Mark Knopfler’s ‘Studio Albums 2009-2018’ Boxset Due In October

Mark Knopfler’s ‘Studio Albums 2009-2018’ Boxset Due In October – The collection will be available as 9 LP vinyl and 6 CD boxsets, and in digital SD/HD.


Mark Knopfler’s esteemed studio catalog of recent years will be anthologized by UMe/EMI with the October 7 release of Mark Knopfler – The Studio Albums 2009-2018. The collection will be available as 9 LP vinyl and 6 CD boxsets, and in digital SD/HD. The set gathers the second half of the hallowed guitarist-songwriter’s solo studio collection, as a complement to last year’s The Studio Albums 1996-2007. The new release will include the albums Get Lucky (2009), Privateering (2012), Tracker (2015), and Knopfler’s most recent release, 2018’s Down The Road Wherever.



It also features a collection of studio B-sides and bonus track, and his vast worldwide audience will be especially attracted by the inclusion of two previously unreleased songs, “Back In The Day” and “Precious Voice From Heaven.” The audio quality of the set has been overseen by the original mastering engineer Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering; the vinyl was cut by Bernie Grundman.


The 9LP boxset edition of The Studio Albums 2009-2018 has the albums pressed on 180 gram black vinyl and housed in a rigid outer slipcase. It includes five embossed art prints of each of the original covers. The 6CD edition comes in a clamshell-style box, with albums in gatefold sleeves with lyric sheets. The bonus disc is in single sleeve wallet with lyrics insert, and the set also features five art cards.


The configuration of the vinyl set is as follows:


LP 1 & 2: Get Lucky

LP 3 & 4: Privateering

LP 5 & 6: Tracker

LP 7 & 8: Down The Road Wherever

LP 9: Back In The Day: The Bonus Tracks 2009-2018


After its inevitable postponement during the pandemic new live musical version of Local Hero, which features new music and lyrics by Knopfler, comes to the stage at the Chichester Festival Theatre from October 8 to November 19. It’s directed by Daniel Evans, whose previous productions at Chichester include South Pacific, Quiz, and Fiddler on the Roof. The new production is from a book by David Greig and is based on the 1983 Bill Forsyth film for which Knopfler wrote his first film soundtrack.


Pre-order Mark Knopfler – The Studio Albums 2009-2018, which is released on October 7. –


Credits: Paul Sexton –

‘Down To Earth’: How Rainbow Launched Into The Stratosphere

Containing the belting ‘Since You Been Gone’, Rainbow’s ‘Down To Earth’ album was a muscular, radio-friendly classic from the Ritchie Blackmore-led band.


While Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow have assembled a back catalog synonymous with high-quality hard rock – among them classic albums such as Rising, Long Live Rock’n’Roll, and Down To Earth – the band’s artistic triumphs have often come at a price, not least where the longevity of Blackmore’s bandmates is concerned.


Rainbow’s history has been heavily punctuated by line-up changes. Their initial nucleus of Blackmore, former Elf vocalist Ronnie James Dio and drummer Cozy Powell was fleshed out by keyboardist Tony Carey and bassist Jimmy Bain for their much-lauded second album, 1976’s Rising, yet the latter pair had already departed prior to ’78’s Long Live Rock’n’Roll, for which Blackmore laid down the majority of the bass parts himself.


Containing evergreen fan favorites such as “Kill The King” and “Gates Of Babylon,” plus minor UK hits courtesy of “LA Connection” and the anthemic titular song, Long Live Rock’n’Roll rewarded Rainbow with UK Top 10 success, yet Blackmore remained unsatisfied with the band’s commercial yield and Dio’s fantasy-themed lyrics. Consequently, after an extensive world tour across 1977 and ’78, Dio departed, along with bassist Bob Daisley.


Blackmore retained Cozy Powell’s services, but when he began to work up new material for what would become Rainbow’s fourth album, Down To Earth, late in 1978, he was still to establish a new working line-up. He had, however, headhunted his former Deep Purple bandmate Roger Glover to produce the new record, and the pair began co-writing songs in earnest prior to recruiting a new keyboardist, respected sessional Don Airey, fresh from contributing to Black Sabbath’s Never Say Die!


Replacing the charismatic Dio, however, proved problematic, with Blackmore initially considering, then rejecting, Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan and Trapeze frontman Peter Goalby. Rainbow’s frontman dilemma remained unresolved by the spring of 1979, by which time the band had brought in ex-Pretty Things bassist Jack Green and decamped to the south of France to record their new album at the Chateau Pelly De Cornfeld.


Green’s tenure was brief, however, and producer Glover eventually handled bass duties for the album. The search for Rainbow’s new frontman, meanwhile, finally ended when Glover tracked down Lincolnshire-born singer Graham Bonnet, formerly of late 60s rock duo The Marbles. With his short hair and sharp, new wave-style dress sense, Bonnet’s imaged contrasted with the era’s quintessential long-maned heavy rock frontmen, but he had a formidable vocal range and was immediately hired after auditioning in France.

With the album in the can after further sessions in the US, Polydor released Down To Earth in July ’79. Indicative of the record’s muscular, yet radio-friendly hard rock sound, its trailer single, “Since You Been Gone,” shot to No.6 on the UK Top 40 in August, providing Rainbow with their first major smash hit.


Propelled by strident Blackmore riffs and a belting Bonnet vocal, “Since You Been Gone” was actually penned by ex-Argent-turned-songwriter-for-hire Russ Ballard. Blackmore and Glover, however, supplied Down To Earth’s second classic single, the raunchy, anthemic “All Night Long,” which cracked the U.K. Top 10 in February 1980. The album could easily have delivered further hits, too, with the urgent “No Time To Lose” and the steely, Free-esque ballad “Love’s No Friend” also reflecting Rainbow’s newfound accessibility.


Elsewhere, fans of the band’s trademark virtuosity were catered for by the moody, shape-shifting “Makin’ Love” (which included an exquisite, double-tracked Blackmore solo) and the epic, six-minute “Eyes Of The World.” The one concession to prog-style complexity found 03on Down To Earth, the latter afforded Bonnet a further opportunity to shine, while an on-form Airey responded to Blackmore’s intricate, phased guitars with a sweeping, classically inclined piano solo.

Down To Earth’s invigorating, hook-friendly rock’n’roll paid dividends for Rainbow. Peaking at No.6 in the UK, it rewarded Ritchie Blackmore’s crew with a gold disc and their highest chart placing to date. A high-profile headlining slot at the inaugural Monsters Of Rock festival, held at Castle Donington in 1980, suggested mainstream acceptance was within their grasp, but a further bout of internal tension led to Graham Bonnet’s departure, and another new frontman, Joe Lynn Turner, helming 1981’s Difficult To Cure.

Credits: Tim Peacock – 



Watch Steve Vai and Nile Rodgers help create the iconic ‘Halo 2’ theme

Watch Steve Vai and Nile Rodgers help create the iconic ‘Halo 2’ theme
After being told to “just vibe”, Steve Vai improvised a solo that would feature on the main theme for ‘Halo 2’. A studio recording of guitarists Steve Vai and Nile Rodgers creating the now-iconic theme for Halo 2 has been shared by the series’ original composer, Marty O’Donnell.

Today (April 19), O’Donnell announced that a dispute regarding royalties for his work creating the Halo soundtrack has been “amicably resolved”. Along with the announcement, O’Donnell shared footage of Vai and Rodgers working together on their contribution to the main theme for Halo 2, which includes instrumentals from the pair.

Within the video’s 27-minute run-time, there are plenty of moments that detail how the pair came up with Halo 2‘s guitar-led theme – including Rodgers explaining that he wants to create something “really true” to the game’s original soundtrack. At 0:53, fans can spot Rodgers listening to the string-led portion of Halo 2‘s theme, before picking up his guitar and improvising a chord progression to play with the piece.


After Rodgers’ rhythm section drew praise from Vai, Rodgers joked that “I was doing something like this with [Eric Clapton], he sat there and went “okay, now what am I gonna play?” he said, “you’re covering all the harmony and all the rhythm, what am I supposed to do?” Around the 8:30 mark, a conversation between Vai and Rodgers shares a glimpse into the pair’s approach to collaborating on the Bungie project.

Rodgers tells Vai he wants it “to sound like you’re there with the orchestra” but doesn’t want to change the theme too much as “the original thing is so well-known”. When Vai tells Rodgers to “produce me, baby”, Rodgers instructs him to “just vibe, just groove on it for a minute” to see what he can come up with.

Remarkably, Vai’s improvisation – which begins at 9 minutes in the video – creates the solo that went on to be largely used in Halo 2‘s main theme, much to the approval of Rodgers. The footage was filmed while recording at Seattle’s Studio X, which has been used by artists ranging from Nirvana to Macklemore and Soundgarden.

Credits: NME – Andy Brow

Eric Clapton Said George Harrison Wouldn’t Have Wanted Concert for George, but Clapton Wouldn’t Have Cared

Eric Clapton and George Harrison were life-long friends. They shared the same love for music, and although they also shared the same love for a woman, nothing came between them. So, when George died of cancer in 2001, Clapton was beside himself. He had to do something to honor his friend, even if that meant doing something George would never have wanted.

Eric Clapton organized Concert for George in 2002.

After George died, Clapton wanted to do something to pay tribute to his life-long friend. So, he came up with Concert for George, a star-studded tribute concert. “It was [Clapton’s] idea,” George’s widow, Olivia, told Rolling Stone.

“He phoned me not long after George died and said, ‘I’d like to do something.’ Eric was a very deep friend of George’s, so I felt confident and relieved that it was Eric coming to me.”

“Olivia had given me this job of being musical director,” Clapton added, “to single out people for certain songs, and I found that really hard.

We were all quite protective of our relationships with George.” Fans and a vast group of George’s closest friends gathered on Nov. 29, 2002, exactly a year after George died, at London’s Royal Albert Hall for Concert for George. They filmed it and released it in theaters and on DVD a year later.

Among the performers were Clapton, Ravi Shankar, Ringo Starr, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Billy Preston, and Paul McCartney. George’s only son, Dhani, played acoustic guitar through most of the performance.

Shankar told the crowd that he believed George’s spirit was with them. However, George would have been uncomfortable with the tribute concert.

Eric Clapton said George Harrison wouldn’t have liked Concert for George

Clapton thought of what his friend would have said about the tribute concert during rehearsals. He realized George wouldn’t have wanted Concert for George. However, Clapton said he didn’t care what George would have thought.

He needed to grieve. “I thought that if he were here, he’d probably say, ‘Thanks very much Eric, but I don’t really want this,’” Clapton told the LA Times.

“I thought, ‘What would I say if he said that?’ “And I then thought, ‘Well I’m doing this for me, actually.’ And that’s more the truth of it; I needed to do it for him, but it was for me most of all because I needed to be able to express my grief in that kind of way.”

The guitarist found it hard to communicate his feelings to the ex-Beatle
After everything George and Clapton went through together, Clapton was never entirely able to show his friend his feelings.

“A lot of times during our relationship, I found it very difficult to communicate my feelings toward George my love for him as a musician and a brother and a friend because we skated around stuff. I was probably dealing with that, too, making amends.”

It was a little late, but Concert for George allowed Clapton to tell George how he felt about him finally. Clapton needed to show George, he loved him by celebrating George’s life.

Hopefully, Concert for George allowed Clapton to mourn George properly and to say all the things he never got to say to him.

Credits: Hannah Wigandt – Showbiz CheatSheet

Tyson Fury Teams Up With Don McLean To Remake Classic Song, ‘American Pie’

Tyson Fury, who will take on fellow Brit Dillian Whyte at Wembley Stadium on 23rd April live on BT Sport Box Office, famously performed American Pie after defeating Deontay Wilder in Fury v Wilder II in 2020. The song has since become synonymous with the boxer who is not afraid to showcase his musical talent.

The latest iteration of the song sees McLean singing the verses to “American Pie”, perfectly articulating Tyson’s comeback story, before he’s joined in the chorus by the Gypsy King himself. The Morecambe-based fighter is no stranger to jumping on the mic, having previously appeared on Robbie Williams’ song “Bad Sharon” in 2019.

Ahead of Fury v Whyte the song will be aired on BT Sport to promote the fight and will be played in the stadium on fight night as 94,000 fans pack into Wembley stadium to witness the first all-British heavyweight world title fight for a generation.

In addition to celebrating Fury’s homecoming, the duet coincides with the 50th anniversary of American Pie – both the album and single – as well as the release of a children’s book, documentary about the pop culture impact of the song, and a world tour which will come to the UK and Europe starting in September 2022.

Fans will be able to watch all the build-up, undercard and the main event of Fury v Whyte exclusively live on BT Sport Box Office.

Don McLean is a Grammy award honoree, a Songwriter Hall of Fame member, a BBC Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, and his smash hit “American Pie” resides in the Library of Congress National Recording Registry and was named a top 5 song of the 20th Century by the Recording Industry of America (RIAA).

Credits: Tim Peacock –