George Harrison live with Eric Clapton

Here’s a great live video of George Harrison and Eric Clapton performing “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

  

Bachman & Turner: Bachman & Turner


RIYL: Bachman Turner Overdrive, The Guess Who, Aerosmith

If you dig classic rock, but are sick of hearing the same Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Steve Miller Band tunes, sometimes it’s nice when one of these acts releases something new after all these years.  Sometimes it’s not nice, but that’s a comment for another review.  In this case, we have Bachman & Turner’s debut album, but it’s not really a debut.  They were the two front guys for ‘70’s rock institution Bachman Turner Overdrive, a band that created some of the greatest, well, classic rock tunes in history – “Takin’ Care of Business” and “Ya Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” being among the biggest.  So after a few decades, Randy Bachman was working on a solo album and asked Fred Turner to sing a few songs, and the rest is history.  But here’s the thing: aside from more strained vocals, this stuff is almost as good as the stuff they released in the ‘70s.  It’s not a band trying to sound current; it’s Bachman and Turner being Bachman & Turner. The album is a complete set of 12 songs, but a few stand out: the rocking “I’ve Seen the Light” and gang-vocal driven “Rock and Roll is the Only Way Out,” as well as “That’s What It Is,” which sounds a bit like Bachman backed by Steely Dan and Todd Rundgren; and “Moonlight Rider,” which has a Clapton-esque feel and could have easily been a hit in 1976.  These songs are timeless, the duo’s playing is timeless, and this just may give classic rock radio a few new songs to add to the format.  (RBE Music/Fontana 2010)

Bachman & Turner website

  

Clapton and Beck to play London next year

Beck Clapton

Wow, I get to mention Jeff Beck again. The old dudes of rock are really making a statement this year, aren’t they? The inventive guitarists — who are popular the world over — both got their start with the Yardbirds in the ’60s. Though they never actually played together in the band, it was Jeff Beck that Eric Clapton recommended as a replacement after he quit the Yardbirds to join Jon Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. The two had such a good time playing together in Japan earlier this year that they’re going to reconvene for a London gig in 2010.

The one-off show at London’s O2 Arena on February 13, 2010 will be the second time the guitar legends have played together in recent times.

Jeff Beck speaking about their live collaboration, says: “Eric and I played together in Japan earlier this year and had a blast. Since then we have been in regular contact and talked about doing a similar show for our fans.”

“I’ve always considered Jeff Beck to be one of the finest guitar players around. He’s a friend, a great guy, and a truly gifted musician. We had such a fun time in Japan that it seemed natural to play together again,” responds Eric Clapton.

Each musician will play a set of their own music before pairing up to finish the show. This is the concert I would have attended if I wasn’t already flying to New York to see Pavement. Wait, never mind. This show is in England. Who can afford to fly there?

  

New supergroup Them Cooked Vultures to tour

Crooked

To my knowledge, the very first legitimate “supergroup” in rock and roll was Blind Faith, a band that included Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, Steve Winwood, and Ric Grech. Then came CSN(Y), the Traveling Wilburys, and a few others that aren’t coming to mind. I’m not going to list the members’ credentials from these groups — that would take hours. Let’s just say if you’ve never heard of anyone from the Traveling Wilburys, I don’t know how you can physically perform the tasks of everyday life.

Anyway, I’ve been largely underwhelmed by the supergroups of this century. Bands like Velvet Revolver, the Transplants, Zwan, and Chickenfoot have, for my taste, never recorded anything interesting enough that confirms their collective talents. Well, a new supergroup has decided to enter the fold, and rather than dish out some lackluster effort, they actually seem intent on creating some solid music. They’re called Them Crooked Vultures and the outfit consists of Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal), Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters), and John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin). As a dedicated listener of the 70s, John Paul Jones makes this band worthwhile. The band has been surprising audiences at European festivals but has yet to play a show in America. Soon, that will all change, as they’ve announced their new tour dates.

The band’s just-announced nine-date U.S. jaunt kicks October 1 with a pair of gigs in Austin, TX, including a set for Austin City Limits. The rockers will hit major Midwest and East Coast cities like Detroit and Boston before touring the UK in December, but, sadly, will skip New York and the entire West Coast. Let’s hope this brief run is just the beginning!

Them Crooked Vultures Tour Dates: 10/1, Austin, TX (Stubb’s)
10/2, Austin, TX (Austin City Limits Festival)
10/5, Nashville, TN (War Memorial)
10/6, Columbus, OH (LC Pavilion)
10/8, Detroit, MI (The Fillmore)
10/9, Toronto, Ontario (The Sound Academy)
10/11, Boston, MA (House of Blues)
10/12, Philadelphia, PA (The Electric Factory)
10/14, Washington, DC (930 Club)
12/10: Plymouth, UK (Pavilions)

12/11: Portsmouth, UK (Guildhall)

12/13: Blackpool, UK (Empress Ballroom)

12/14: Birmingham, UK (O2 Academy)

12/15: Edinburgh, UK (O2 Academy)

12/17: London, UK (HMV Hammersmith Apollo)

I’m not sure why California isn’t getting any love, but I’m sure they’ll get around to it. Their first album, Deserve the Future, is due out sometime next year.

  

Eric Clapton and Bruce Hornsby to perform together on “Jay Leno Show”

Leno

The “Jay Leno Show” is set to premiere on September 14th and he’s already scheduled Jay-Z, Kanye, and Rhianna for opening night. However, in news that I find far more appealing, Eric Clapton and Bruce Hornsby will appear on the September 17th broadcast.

Clapton will team with Hornsby for “Space is the Place” off Hornsby’s upcoming album Levitate; he previously contributed to a few songs off Hornsby’s last LP with the Noisemakers, 2004’s Halcyon Days.

The Jay Leno Show will operate differently than Leno’s previous gig on The Tonight Show when it comes to the music. While most late-night programs book musical guests every night, the Leno show will only broadcast one or two performances a week, the Wall Street Journal reports. The logic is, in this age of YouTube, the impact of the musical guests has been watered down, so Leno will instead focus on the more unique performances like “Run This Town” and the Hornsby/Clapton collaboration. Additionally, the musical guests will be moved to the middle of the hour-long program instead of squeezing them in before the final credits roll.

Now that’s a cool idea. Since Leno is 59 years-old, he grew up during my favorite periods of music, those being the 60s and 70s. After he finishes a taping and needs to relax, you know he doesn’t go home and throw on some Jay-Z or Kanye West. I remember him talking about James Taylor during his last “Tonight Show” and how he was moved by the song “Sweet Baby James.” These are the types of musicians Leno appreciates and it would be great to have them on his new show in special one-off performances. Collaborations like this are rarely witnessed on television as artists naturally like to surprise concert audiences since these are their real fans. I hope Leno has more plans like this up his sleeve. I’m not particularly looking forward to the “Jay Leno Show,” but if he’s going to have guys like Eric Clapton and Bruce Hornsby get together and play, I’m more likely to give it a shot.

Robert Johnson influenced Eric Clapton…

and Bruce Hornsby somehow influenced Tupac…

  

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