Legendary rockers JOURNEY have released a new single,
“You Got The Best Of Me”. The so
Charlie Musselwhite Takes Us Home
“To me it’s just me doing what I do.” Today’s medicine for a world gone mad and his welcome home gift to fans, Charlie’s new album marks his moving back to Clarksdale from California. ‘Mississippi Son’ is out now via Alligator Records!
“Home was almost like something exotic,” says Charlie Musselwhite about his time spent during the pandemic. “Up until then I’d spend 200 to 250 days a year on the road. I really enjoyed being home. I hadn’t enjoyed being home for that length of time since I was a kid. What a luxury having all that time to do stuff that I never had time for. I did a lot of woodshedding and got to tinker around the house fixing things, just had a hell of a good time. I really enjoyed being home.”
Out of that time comes Mississippi Son recorded at Clarksdale Soundstage, a couple of blocks from Charlie’s home in Clarksdale, Mississippi. The album contains 14 songs, seven of them originals. You can palpably feel Charlie’s sense of peace and solitude flowing from his acoustic and electric guitar.
Bruce Iglauer, CEO of Alligator Records, calls the new release Charlie’s “most intimate and nuanced record.” That’s not record exec hyperbole. I’ve been enjoying his recordings since his first, Stand Back, released in 1967. And for me, this new album and Stand Back are bookends encapsulating a career of one of the finest artists ever to emerge from the Mississippi Delta.
“It happened by accident, sort of,” says Charlie about this recording. “I came back to where it started, my home state, and just a few blocks away, a friend of mine had a really good studio. I know it’s good because Morgan Freeman does his voice-overs there. The owner of the studio is also a musician and songwriter, and we would sit around and play guitars. We decided, ‘Hey, why don’t we tape some of these tunes of mine and see what they sound like.’
It was just something to do to pass the time, a couple of years. Anyhow, we just piled up some tunes, and at one point we thought, ‘You know, this is enough for an album. Maybe somebody would like to put it out.’ Alligator heard it, and they loved it. They’re all over it, and it’s coming out. “To me it’s just me doing what I do. A lot of people have sure been moved by what they’ve heard. So, that’s exciting for me that they perceive it that way. I had no idea what people would think of it. I’m not known to be a guitar player. I play guitar on every tune with an overdub harmonica.
“I could have played harmonica on a rack, but I play it so much better when I’m holding it. So, I just overdubbed it. My first album was done in Chicago, but I was fresh out of the south when I did it, and now I’m back in the south. A lot of veterans told me that they really enjoyed Stand Back when they were in the service. Some of them told me “Christo Redemptor” really helped them in a way.” I’m one of those veterans. I heard Charlie play “Christo Redemptor” live shortly before I shipped out to Nam. It was medicine. Mississippi Son is today’s medicine for a world gone mad. It’s his welcome home gift to his fans. As comfortable as a warm blanket in a cold world, it marks his moving back to Clarksdale from California.
“Where we were living, they had the drought, and the fires were coming. Every year it came closer and closer, and we thought it’s just a matter of time before we got burned out. I mean we could see the fires from our bedroom, and we’d be without electricity, and all the food would rot in our freezer. This would happen over and over and over. We just got tired of it. We knew it wasn’t going to go away. It wasn’t going to get better. It was gonna get worse.
“So, we didn’t feel we had a choice. We sold our home, and we already were familiar with Clarksdale. I’d been coming to Clarksdale since the ’50s. When I was a kid, I had three uncles who lived here. So, I had family here and early memories of Clarksdale and the association with blues, so it was just a natural choice to come back to Clarksdale. It just makes sense. Living in the delta just makes sense.”
Warm memories of the south go back to his childhood. He covers his friend Yank Rachel’s “Hobo Blues.” “As a kid I remember hearing John Lee’s version of it on the radio late at night on WLCA in Nashville, and I’ve been liking it, too, since I was a kid.”
Charlie didn’t have the money to order the records advertised on WLAC. “But I did go to junk stores around Memphis and furniture stores looking for 78s. Nobody wanted them anymore, and so a lot of it was junk I didn’t want, but I’d find a lot of blues records, and I still have several hundred of ’em. A lot of ’em were real rare, and at the time I had no clue what was rare, and I didn’t know anybody even wanted those things. I just wanted to hear those old blues records. If I found two of the same one, I’d just keep the best one and throw the other one away. I can remember taking stacks of Memphis Minnie and Tampa Red and just dropping them into the garbage can.”
Charlie was 11 when Elvis’ first records came out on Sun Records in Memphis. “I thought he was the real deal. He kind of validated all us poor boys from Mississippi because we all combed our hair like that. We all shopped for clothes on Beale St. There were layers of society with the cotton people at the very top, and poor whites and blacks were at the bottom, and if you were from Mississippi, you were kind of looked down on. So, when he became famous, it was like he was one of us. He dressed like us. He talked like us. He combed his hair like us. Suddenly we weren’t so bad anymore. “I had his phone number. He would have these parties around town, and I’d call up to find out where the party was. He’d rent a theater, or he’d rent entire fairgrounds, a skating rink or stuff like that, and he’d go from midnight until dawn, and, boy, was I into that, especially because there were so many girls at these parties. So, I never really had any conversation with him. I’d say hi or something, and that was about it. I didn’t push myself on him. I appreciated what he did. I love especially his early records for Sun. I thought that was just cool as hell.”
In the liner notes to another one of his albums, Charlie says, “In my teens I started hanging out on Beale St., the original Beale St., not the tourist trap of today.” He explains, “Well, it was a real neighborhood behind the street.” “In the neighborhood playing in the street were blues singers. At first when I was a kid, I was too shy to introduce myself to anybody, a stranger. I just loved having these guys playing the blues on the street. I don’t know today who all they were. One of ’em I got to know later, a blind guitar player named Abe McNeil, but Furry Lewis, Will Shade, a guitar player Earl Bill, they all lived around there and the other people, Bo Carter lived there, and I knew all of them. I got to know all of them and hang out with them and learned how to play hangin’ out with them. I didn’t know at the time I was preparing myself for a career. I’d have paid a lot more attention.”
The songs on this CD
The first single from Mississippi Son is “Blues Gave Me A Ride,” an original with the lyrics “Blues tells the truth in a world that’s full of lies.” On another original “Blues Up The River,” Charlie sings, “Blues on the river/rolling down to the Gulf/I’m gonna drink muddy water until I’ve had enough.” It almost seems like the Mississippi River is a living entity, and it inspires so many blues singers. I asked Charlie how he views the river, and what its influence has been on him.
“Well, it’s like it has a spirit or something. The Mississippi has a lot of history. When my mom was growing up in a town called Frier’s Point right on the river, she told me stories about the steamboats that would come along. Before they got to town, and you could even see them, they’d blow their whistle, and they could tell which boat was coming by the sound of the whistle. They’d hear it and say, ‘Oh, here comes the Kate Adams’ and everybody would go down to the landing and see who was getting on and off the boat. That’s where the mail came in, too. So, you’d get packages and stuff.”
“Remembering Big Joe” is an original instrumental about Big Joe Williams who played a nine-string guitar. “When we were recording together in Chicago, he would let me play it and, good Lord, that guitar was hard. The strings were like cables, but he would play it like it was butter. He could just play it with such ease. But it was hard. He would just press down the strings to fret ’em. “He was a tough old man, I gotta tell ya. One time he’d gone out to California in a bar. He was wearing a cowboy hat, and some lady wouldn’t leave him alone and started making fun of him. ‘You ain’t no cowboy,’ and all this, and he just said, ‘Lady, you better mind your own business.’ “‘You think you’re a cowboy, and you can come in here. Where are you from? I’ll bet you’re from the south. You’re some hick from the south wearing a cowboy…’ She wouldn’t shut up. So, finally, he just pulled out a knife and stabbed her. He said that was the only way to shut her up. “He went to prison. They called it Greystone, and Chris Roberts went and bailed him out of there. I don’t know the details, but after he got him out, he took him home and recorded him and that’s where that first big album on Arhoolie came from.” Charlie calls his sound secular spiritual music. I asked him what he sees as the relationship between secular music and the spiritual music in gospel. “It’s about real life. Some people say, ‘I don’t want to listen to blues. It’s something sad.’ Well, it’s not really it. I say blues is your comforter when you’re going through rough times. It’s also your buddy in good times. You can dance to it, part to it, or if you’re having a rough time, it’ll help you through that, listening to all-purpose music for whatever life throws at you. It’ll get you through it. It’s like a philosophy or an attitude or something. It’s more than just another kind of music. It’s not a fad, a feeling. It focuses your own life.
“It used to be when I was touring and partying, it was a lot of fun, and I had a lot more energy than I have now. Now, touring doesn’t have the fascination it did when I was a young man. I appreciate it. I like going to different towns and seeing people, different friends, and stuff like that, but the road just doesn’t have the allure to it that a young man would, you know, especially a single young man. “I’m just trying not to overdo (touring.) There’s not really a lot of point to doing it like I used to do where I used to get in the van and go from town to town and play every night in a different town and pack up the next day and drive all day and play again all night. Now, I’m more choosy, and I can afford to do that. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t have to be out there on the road killing myself like I used to.”
Reflecting on the pandemic’s gift of time at home, Charlie says, “In the past, I could never start any kind of project because I’d have to leave before I could finish it, and that’s a huge thing, very satisfying. I’m feeling good. I mean I got vaxxed and I wear a mask to avoid getting sick. I got pretty good with that until a few days ago. I did come down with Covid, and I’m just getting over it now. If I hadn’t been vaxxed, I might have been a lot sicker than I was.”
Credits: American Blues Scene – Don Wilcock
ng is taken from the band’s upcoming
album, “Freedom”, which will arrive on July 8. This past February,
founding JOURNEY guitarist Neal Schon shared the “Freedom” track
listing in an Instagram post. JOURNEY’s current touring lineup features bassist
Todd Jensen, a veteran musician who has played for various artists, including the
bands SEQUEL, HARDLINE and HARLOW, as well as David Lee Roth, Ozzy Osbourne,
Steve Perry, Alice Cooper, and Paul Rodgers.
Also, part of JOURNEY’s current incarnation is
returning drummer Deen Castronovo, who shared the drum duties in the band last
year with Narada Michael Walden. Walden, bassist Randy Jackson and
keyboardist/backing singer Jason Derlatka all joined JOURNEY in 2020 following
the band’s acrimonious split with drummer Steve Smith and bassist Ross Valory.
Jackson who previously played with JOURNEY during the
mid-1980s was forced to miss all the recent gigs because he is reportedly
recovering from back surgery.
Prior to JOURNEY’s recent Las Vegas residency, Jackson
had been replaced at the band’s 2021 shows by Marco Mendoza, who had played
several shows in 2019 with Castronovo and JOURNEY guitarist Neal Schon under
the “Neal Schon’s Journey Through Time” banner.
“Freedom” will include the single “The
Way We Used To Be”, which came out last June. The song was the
multi-platinum band’s first new music since 2011’s album “Eclipse”,
and the first track released by the band’s revamped lineup. “The Way We
Used To Be” marked Walden and Derlatka’s first studio recordings with the
band, and Jackson’s first since 1986’s “Raised On Radio”.
The song was produced by Walden at his Tarpan Studios,
with co-production by Schon and keyboardist Jonathan Cain. Since the group’s
formation in 1973, JOURNEY has earned 19 top 40 singles, 25 gold and platinum
albums, and has sold nearly 100 million albums globally. Their “Greatest
Hits” album is certified 15 times-platinum, making JOURNEY one of the few
bands to ever have been diamond-certified, and their song “Don’t Stop
Believin'” has been streamed over one billion times alone.
JOURNEY was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of
Fame in 2017, and 2018’s co-headlining tour with DEF LEPPARD was the band’s
most successful tour to date, landing them in the Top 10 year-end touring chart
with more than 1 million tickets sold, and earning them the prestigious
Billboard “Legends Of Live” touring award. March 2019 saw the release
of “Escape & Frontiers Live In Japan”, a live DVD/CD set from
their concert at the Budokan in Tokyo featuring the band’s first-ever
performances of the albums “Escape” and “Frontiers” in
JOURNEY has also received a star on the Hollywood Walk
Of Fame and were inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall Of Fame. Additionally,
the band is the subject of the award-winning documentary “Don’t Stop
Believin’: Everyman’s Journey” about the band’s resurgence upon adding
Arnel Pineda as lead singer after founding member Neal Schon discovered the
Philippines native on YouTube.
Last August, Schon gave a college radio simulcast
interview to WMSC and WNUW where he discussed the progress of the songwriting
and recording sessions for the band’s upcoming studio album. He said: “I
learned how to play keyboards better than ever during the pandemic, which I’d
never really done before. And that’s
where our first single [‘The Way We Used To Be’] came from. [I sent it to]
Jonathan, and he did the lyrics on it and put a rough vocal on it. And then we
had Arnel sing it, and we cut it and re-cut it in the studio, and it was just
released. And a lot of people went, ‘Wow, man. I love it.’ 90 percent of people
love it; the other 10 percent went, ‘I don’t think it sounds like JOURNEY.’ I
go, ‘I never wrote it to be a JOURNEY song.'”
According to Schon, he and his bandmates had written
over 30 new songs for the upcoming JOURNEY record. “Some of ’em are
unmistakably JOURNEY without sounding like another song that we have; it just
sounds like a new version of the band,” he said. “It’s ballistic,
man. And there’s no lack of guitar on this record. So, I’m excited about it
getting out there. I think any guitar player out there is gonna love this
record, because I’m just kind of unleashing on this record like I do a lot
live, but sometimes hold back in the studio. I don’t think it’s O.D.ing on the
guitar at all and going overboard, but I like to check out the times and where
I see music going.
I usually have a pretty good gut instinct about it,
and I feel like the late ’60s, the time and era of early Jeff Beck with Rod
Stewart and [LED] ZEPPELIN when they first came out, Jimi Hendrix, the CREAM
with [Eric] Clapton and Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, that whole era, there’s a
lot of younger kids out there, younger generation, that never got to experience
that era. So, I’m feeling like that is the era that I grew up in and that’s
what I truly love doing and the type of music I love playing, so I’m going more
there and I’m writing for that, to be able to do that on stage. And I think
it’s really gonna trip some people out, when we finally do get this album out
there and can combine it with all the hits that we do have.”
He continued: “There’s certain songs that are
being mixed by Bob Clearmountain, that mixed our ‘Raised On Radio’ record, and
he’s made it sound really amazing, really pulled it together. You have mixers
out there sometimes that have this incredible ability to take work that you’ve
done throughout a year, even though they were recorded at separate times, and
different sounds here and there, and they pull it all together and they make it
sound like it’s a tight album that has a focus sound-wise.”
Neal added: “The whole album, there’s not a
filler on the record; that’s what I can tell you. I look at it, and I’m
listening to it now, and many others that have known our music for a long time
that have very good ears have said, ‘Look, this is the modern-day-and-age
‘Escape’. I think this could be the next ‘Escape’ for you guys.’ And I think
that’s a bold statement, but honest to God, I feel like it’s that good.”
Kenny Loggins talks autobiography, addiction, and that unexpectedly iconic ‘Top Gun’ volleyball scene
Kenny Loggins’s new autobiography Still Alright chronicles his entire career, from his days as one-half of Loggins & Messina through that duo’s revival via the stranger-than-non-fiction satire series Yacht Rock. And in between, there’s a whole hefty chapter titled “At the Movies” because in the 1980s, when Loggins went solo, he was basically the soundtrack GOAT of the decade. “Writing for the movies gave me the freedom to write in any style I wanted to, because I didn’t feel that I had to stick with anything I’d previously done,” he says, speaking to Yahoo Entertainment for our Under the Covers series. “I guess I’ve just been naive enough to believe that I could sing in any style, so that allowed me to do it.”
Loggins was the first male solo artist to chart four top 10 singles off four different soundtracks “I’m Alright” from Caddyshack, “Nobody’s Fool” from Caddyshack II, the theme from Footloose, and “Danger Zone” from Top Gun, the latter of which is experiencing a resurgence due to the massive success of the new sequel Top Gun: Maverick. “I love what’s happening, of course, with ‘Danger Zone’ and Top Gun, that all of a sudden, it’s streaming a million streams a day, which is amazing. I didn’t feel that it had the kind of showcase that the original did in the first movie, but apparently it does, because there’s still a real strong reaction to it,” says Loggins.
However, there’s another classic song and scene from the original Top Gun that also elicits strong reactions to this day: Loggins’s cult favorite “Playing With the Boys.” The upbeat, aerobics-worthy bop scored the movie’s (perhaps unintentionally) homoerotic beach volleyball match featuring an oiled-up, shirtless Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer — a scene that was a sexual awakening for both gay boys and straight girls of the ‘80s, and was later parodied on Family Guy, American Dad! and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. But amazingly, Loggins never thought that scene would be a standout moment in Top Gun. In fact, he specifically pitched to write for the volleyball scene because he thought he had no shot at writing for the opening sequence that eventually featured his other soundtrack contribution, “Danger Zone.”
“My co-producer and I, Peter Wolf not the Peter Wolf from J. Geils! we were watching a screening of Top Gun. There were a lot of acts coming to different screenings to write music for the movie, and so I figured the competition would be stiff and plentiful,” Loggins explains. “We got to the volleyball scene, and I turned to Peter and said, ‘We have to write for this one, because we won’t have any competition!’ It seemed to me that nobody would write for the volleyball scene. I saw it as a secondary scene to the movie, just a little fluffy moment. That it took on a life of its own was not anticipated.”
“Playing With the Boys” went on to become an unexpected club hit and a Pride anthem. “Sometimes songs are adopted in ways that you never see coming,” says Loggins. “I think lyrically for me, it was a metaphor for the dangers of being in a relationship: ‘Said it was the wrong thing for me to do/I said it’s just a boys’ game, but girls play too.’ There’s a line in there about how in this kind of game, people get hurt. I’m thinking that was a message that I’m not going to play that game. But apparently that message that I wrote in that lyric has nothing to do with how people hear the song!”
Loggins recently recut “Playing With the Boys” with a queer female perspective for Top Gun: Maverick, teaming with Australian singer-songwriter Butterfly Boucher. “I thought, ‘Oh, this is going to be a great shock to them and could be a really great approach, because she’s a rocker.’ Unfortunately, they didn’t use it in the movie, but you should check it out if you get a chance, it’s still very much in that ethos of… what we’re celebrating this [Pride] month,” he says.
Another fun fact about Loggins and Top Gun was he was far from the first choice to sing “Danger Zone”: Bryan Adams, REO Speedwagon’s Kevin Cronin, and Mickey Thomas of Starship were among the many in the running for the job. It was Loggins’s work on “Playing With the Boys” that brought him to the attention of “Danger Zone” producer/composer Giorgio Moroder at the last-minute giving Loggins another chance to fully rock out and further distance himself from his ‘70s soft-rock persona.
“The lawyers had screwed it up, and suddenly Giorgio found himself with a song he had to dub into the movie in like three days, being ‘Danger Zone’ and no singer for it. And he heard that I was in the studio down the street, working on ‘Playing With the Boys.’ So, he called me and said, ‘Are you interested?’ And I just asked one question, which was: ‘Is it a rocker? Because I need something uptempo for my show.’ And he assured me that it rocked,” Loggins recalls. “Two days later, I’m in Giorgio’s studio, and he and I worked on the tune vocally. My inspiration for my vocal approach was Tina Turner because I wanted to have that edgy thing that she was developing her new rock persona with that classic R&B voice that she had pushed into more of a Rod Stewart direction. So, when I got to do ‘daaaangerrr zonnnne,’ I did definitely my version of Tina.”
Moroder had of course already just experienced Oscar-winning success with the theme from Flashdance, and shortly after that, Loggins penned the theme for a movie that could be considered Flashdance’s male-driven counterpart: Footloose. (Anther fun film fact: Two of Loggins’s reference points for “Footloose” was David Bowie’s “Modern Love” and Mitch Ryder’s “Devil With a Blue Dress On.”) Loggins was actually also supposed to write a song for Flashdance, but like the above-mentioned Butterfly Boucher remake of “Playing With the Boys,” that was another rare, missed opportunity.
“I never actually finished [the proposed Flashdance song]. It was a song that I called ‘No Dancing Allowed’ — before I fully realized that [concept] was exactly Footloose!” Loggins chuckles. Loggins at first turned down film producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s offer to write a song for Flashdance because Bruckheimer’s deadline conflicted with his busy touring schedule; however, when Loggins found himself at home due to a stage injury that derailed his tour, he decided to revisit the idea.
“I took one step too many over to the stage-left and fell off the stage, spun around backwards in mid-air and hit the packing cases that were on the floor behind us and broke three ribs. I went home and they gave me plenty of painkillers,” Loggins recalls. “And while I was on the painkillers, I suddenly believed that I could go in the studio, because I’m not on tour anymore and I feel ‘fine.’ So, why not just finish the song and go in the studio and write it and record a song for Flashdance? I did record a track, and it was coming out good… and then I realized that I cut it in a key that was too high for me because I was too damned stoned to think about what key the damn song was in! So, it was too high. And after about three days in the studio, I realized I really was in pain. I really did have broken ribs. I was just a little too Percodan’d out. And I just said, ‘OK, I’m throwing in the towel. I’m out.’”
Loggins’s Flashdance/Percodan incident just ended up being a funny anecdote in Still Alright. But the autobiography which covers not just his many musical achievements, but also the highs and lows of his personal life more seriously reveals that prescription medication became a real problem for him in 2004, when he was going through a painful second divorce and was prescribed benzodiazepines to calm his nerves. “I think drugs like that are miracle drugs, in that they are too good at what they’re prescribed to do. You know, it just makes everything easy,” he muses.
“My addictions were primarily benzodiazepines, which came from my doctor,” Loggins explains. “He was like, ‘You’re going through a tough time. Take these benzos, but you know, try not to take ’em for too long.’ I had two little kids, so when it was kid time, I wanted to have my s*** together. And it was difficult, you know I don’t know whether you’ve gone through [a divorce], but they can be very, very difficult, and the second one [from Julia Cooper] was especially difficult for me.” After first, Loggins was able to get off benzos on his own, but he relapsed after undergoing back surgery and “had to go to a clinic in, of all places, Florida,” says the yacht-rocker. “This takes about a week for them to go, ‘Yes, you’re, you’re no longer physically addicted. And [then] the emotional part of the addiction to kicks in, and also physical to the point where I went five days without sleeping. When I first got home, my brain couldn’t shut down,” Loggins reveals. “But the emotional aspect of the benzos, what you initially took it for, that was no longer happening in my life by then. So, as far as the trauma from the divorce, I could move into more of a meditative place to deal with that.”
Loggins, now age 74, is in a meditative place in general these days as he looks back his life in Still Alright, which he says felt “therapeutic and cathartic” to write. “You know, we have more than one emotion at any given time. Take, for example, divorce itself, which is probably one of the worst things other than the death of a family member or friend for us humans to go through. On one hand I can say, ‘God, that was just the worst moment of my life,’ and on the other, I can also say it was the most learning experience I’ve had. It taught me a lot about myself and my beliefs. And so, is it a bad moment or a good moment? It’s a difficult moment. But I think when I look back, I’ve learned the most from my most difficult moments.”
Still Alright is out June 14 via Hachette Books. On July 15 and 16, Loggins and Jim Messina will play their first Hollywood Bowl shows together in 50 years, followed by Loggins closing each night with a solo set of greatest hits, including “I’m Alright,” “Danger Zone” and hopefully “Playing With the Boys.”
Credits: – Lyndsey Parker / Yahoo Entertainment
Jeff Beck and Johnny Depp to release “18”
Jeff Beck found a kindred spirit in Johnny Depp when the two met in 2016. They bonded quickly over cars and guitars and spent most of their time together trying to make each other laugh. At the same time, Beck’s appreciation grew for Depp’s serious songwriting skills and his ear for music. That talent and their chemistry convinced Beck they should make an album together.
Depp agreed and they started in 2019. Over the next three years, they recorded a mix of Depp originals along with a wide range of covers that touches on everything from Celtic and Motown, to the Beach Boys and Killing Joke. In 2020, during the pandemic, they previewed their collaboration with their well-timed cover of John Lennon’s “Isolation.”
The duo’s 13-track album, dubbed 18, will arrive on July 15. Beck explains the album title: “When Johnny and I started playing together, it really ignited our youthful spirit and creativity. We would joke about how we felt 18 again, so that just became the album title too.”
18 will be available on CD and digitally, with a 180-gram black vinyl version coming on September 30. The cover features an illustration of Beck and Depp as 18-year-olds that was drawn and designed by Beck’s wife Sandra.
Leading up to the release of 18, Beck has launched a European tour, with Depp as special guest, which will conclude on July 25 at L’Olympia in Paris.
For the last 12 years Depp has recorded and toured with the Hollywood Vampires, a band he started with Alice Cooper and Joe Perry. The supergroup has released two studio albums that include guest appearances by some of rocks biggest names: Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, and Joe Walsh. The list also includes Beck, who played guitar on “Welcome To Bushwackers,” a song on Rise, the Vampires’ second album, which came out in 2019.
Soon after, Depp asked Beck to play lead on a tune he’d written, the album’s first single “This Is A Song For Miss Hedy Lamarr,” an homage to the actress/inventor. Beck says it was the catalyst for the collaboration and is one of his favorite songs on the new album. “I was blown away by it,” he says. “That song is one of the reasons I asked him to make an album with me.” The track is available today digitally, along with an accompanying music video.
Of Beck, Depp adds, “It’s an extraordinary honor to play and write music with Jeff, one of the true greats and someone I am now privileged enough to call my brother.”
In the studio, Beck says he and Depp challenged each other to leave their comfort zones with the songs they chose to cover. “I haven’t had another creative partner like him for ages,” Beck says. “He was a major force on this record. I just hope people will take him seriously as a musician because it’s a hard thing for some people to accept that Johnny Depp can sing rock and roll.”
Depp justifies Beck’s faith on the new album by showing off his incredible emotional range on songs like The Velvet Underground’s “Venus In Furs,” the Everly Brothers’ ballad “Let It Be Me” and Marvin Gaye’s soul classic “What’s Going On.” On the instrumentals, Beck demonstrates why he’s universally revered as a guitar god with stunning versions of Davy Spillane’s “Midnight Walker” and two songs from the Beach Boys’ masterpiece, Pet Sounds – “Caroline, No” and “Don’t Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder).”
JEFF BECK AND JOHNNY DEPP 18 – Track Listing
“Midnight Walker” (Davy Spillane cover)
“Death And Resurrection Show” (Killing Joke cover)
“Time” (Dennis Wilson cover)
“Sad Motherfuckin’ Parade” (Johnny Depp original)
“Don’t Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)” (Beach Boys cover)
“This Is A Song For Miss Hedy Lamarr” (Johnny Depp original)
“Caroline, No” (Beach Boys cover)
“Ooo Baby Baby” (The Miracles cover)
“What’s Going On” (Marvin Gaye cover)
“Venus In Furs” (The Velvet Underground cover)
“Let It Be Me” (The Everly Brothers cover)
“Stars” (Janis Ian cover)
“Isolation” (John Lennon cover) *
(*Available on digital and CD version only)
Credits: Blues Rock Review
“I’ve always had a hard time creating that same feeling in a studio full of people whose talent is in sound quality. These songs have a feel you can only get when you’re by yourself at three o’clock in the morning.”
Today 2x GRAMMY® Award-winning artist Patty Griffin releases TAPE, a collection of rare demos and home recordings on her own PGM Recordings label via Thirty Tigers on CD and at all DSPs and streaming services. TAPE will be available on cassette via Recording The Masters in conjunction with ThinkIndie Distribution as well. TAPE follows 2019’s critically acclaimed, GRAMMY® Award-winning PATTY GRIFFIN. “At some point in the pandemic, I was digging through my own music streaming to relearn some of my own oldies and found something that had been compiled (perhaps by a computer algorithm) that was titled as a ‘rarities’ or ‘deep cuts’ collection,” Griffin says.
Continuing, “I looked of course, and it was a pretty boring list for the most part. I later dug through some recordings I had done on cheap home recording apps, including my favorite one called TapeDeck which I’m not sure exists anymore. I really liked some of the songs. They were better than I had remembered. I dug around some more and found things from some GarageBand recordings, and then also a couple of things from an in-studio demo session in Nashville that were pretty interesting, including a duet I did with Robert Plant when we first met. It all seemed worth listening to. Back then I didn’t think so, but I do now.”
Listening to “Get Lucky” it’s clear that Griffin has performance quality in spades. “My home recordings are almost always my favorite recordings, as far as capturing a fresh, direct feeling. The shy introvert’s dilemma… I’ve always had a hard time creating that same feeling in a studio full of people whose talent is in sound quality. “These songs have a feel you can only get when you’re by yourself at three o’clock in the morning. To listen to the bulk of these recordings, you do have to let go of the idea of good sound quality and just listen to the performance. I feel better getting some true rarities out there for people to listen to…not compiled by a computer algorithm.”
A limited number of TAPE cassettes will be on sale at Griffin’s upcoming North American tour supporting The Chicks, set to start on June 14 at Maryland Heights, MO’s Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre.
Griffin will be among the special guests at Rodney Crowell’s It Starts With A Song, a four-day songwriting camp set for August 25-29 at Nashville, TN’s Scarritt Bennet Center. For complete details and remaining ticket availability, visit www.pattygriffin.com/tour .
PATTY GRIFFIN – NORTH AMERICAN TOUR 2022
14 – St Louis, MO – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre *
15 – Chicago, IL – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre *
18 – Nelsonville, OH – Stuarts Opera House
19 – Noblesville, IN – Ruoff Music Center *
21 – Cincinnati, OH – Riverbend Music Center *
22 – Detroit, MI – Pine Knob Music Theatre *
24 – Toronto, ON – Budweiser Stage *
25 – Toronto, ON – Budweiser Stage *
27 – Cleveland, OH – Blossom Music Center *
29 – Syracuse, NY – St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview *
30 – Hartford, CT – Xfinity Theatre *
2 – Wantagh, NY – Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theatre *
5 – Boston, MA – Xfinity Center *
6 – Holmdel, NJ – P.N.C. Bank Arts Center *
8 – Camden, NJ – Waterfront Music Pavilion *
9 – Bristow, VA – Jiffy Lube Live *
12 – Raleigh, NC – Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek *
14 – Charlotte, NC – PNC Music Pavilion *
16 – Alpharetta, GA – Ameris Bank Amphitheatre *
3-Denver – Red Rocks Amphitheatre *
5 – Salt Lake City, UT – USANA Amphitheatre *
6 – Boise, ID – Ford Idaho Center Amphitheatre *
9 – Bend, OR – Hayden Homes Amphitheater *
13 – George, WA – The Gorge Amphitheatre *
25-28 – Nashville, TN – Rodney Crowell’s It Starts With A Song
By Lauren Leadingham – American Blues Scene