Amos Lee made a triumphant return to Tucson on a sweltering night in the desert with an epic performance at the historic Fox Theatre. The acclaimed singer-songwriter came back to the city where he recorded his Mission Bell album and invited a number of his friends to join the show, including local heroes Calexico. The 19-song concert ranged from solo showcases to arrangements for a dozen musicians, and featured highlights from Lee’s latest album, as well as some of the finest songs from his catalogue and a stunning version of Paul Simon’s “American Tune.”
While attending the University of South Carolina, Philadelphia-born Amos Lee was given an acoustic guitar by his stepfather. After graduating, Lee taught elementary school in his hometown before deciding to dedicate himself to music. A self-produced EP earned him a contract with Blue Note Records in 2003, as well as touring dates with Norah Jones. Following the release of his self-titled debut album, the singer-songwriter performed with such musical legends as Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, and Paul Simon. Lee — who collaborator Willie Nelson has called “an exceptional artist, unique to his generation” — recently saw his fourth album, Mission Bell, enter the Billboard charts at Number One.
The Fox Tucson Theatre opened in 1930 as Tucson’s premier venue for vaudeville and film. After four decades of operation, the theatre fell on tough times, eventually closing in 1974. For the next 26 years, the Fox was left empty, falling slowly into decay through vandalism and neglect. In 1999, the non-profit Fox Tucson Theatre Foundation was able to purchase the building and start the process of restoring the Fox to its former glory. After a six year revitalization project which included recreating original seat fabric, carpet pattern, and light fixtures, as well repairing the Fox’s unique Acoustone acoustic material — the Fox reopened its doors on New Years Eve, 2005. Since then, the theatre has become a go-to location for film and live events in Downtown Tucson, as well as the cornerstone of continuing efforts to rejuvenate the area.
The Kid met The King on a snowy night in Memphis, when Kid Rock delivered an epic performance at Graceland. Following a historic, acoustic jam session with his band, Twisted Brown Trucker, in the Jungle Room at Elvis Presley’s mansion, Rock played a 15-song set in the Elvis Presley Automobile Museum. From breakthrough hits like “Cowboy” and “Bawitdaba” to his recent anthems “Born Free” and “Care” (tossing in a bit of Elvis’s “Burning Love” for good measure), the Detroit rocker gave the invitation-only audience of 300 a definitive look at a remarkable career – from inside the walls of rock and roll’s greatest landmark.
A born and bred son of Detroit, Kid Rock first burst onto the music scene in the early ’90s with a unique sound that fused hip-hop with heavy metal and country. Kid Rock gained a cult following, and in 1998 he released his breakthrough record, Devil Without a Cause, which sold 11 million copies and included the hits “Bawitdaba”, “Only God Knows Why”, and “Cowboy”. Since then, he has released six albums, including the best-selling rock album of 2008, Rock ‘N Roll Jesus, and his latest, Born Free, which he describes as an organic blues-based rock and roll record. It features a wide range of collaborations from the rock, country, and rap communities, with such artists as Zac Brown, Sheryl Crow, and T.I. contributing to several of the tracks.
Graceland, Elvis’ home in Memphis, has become the rock n’ roll pilgrimage every music fan has to take. The most famous home in the world can be found in music, movies, books and on television around the world. In addition to the mansion, the Graceland experience also includes several rotating exhibits, Elvis’ custom jets and Elvis Presley’s Auto Museum. The auto museum features over 30 vehicles owned by the king, including Harley-Davidson motorcycles, a 1956 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible, his famous Pink Cadillac and more.
The Brooklyn Museum, one of the oldest and largest museums in the country, provided a majestic setting for indie rock favorite, Death Cab For Cutie. In the midst of a tour for its latest release,Codes and Keys, the band performed for eight hundred fans gathered in the famous Beaux-Arts Court, surrounded by grand archways and classic European paintings on a rainy summer night.
Adorned, “The Most Important Modern Band in America in 2008″ by American Songwriter, indie rockers Death Cab for Cutie have managed the sizable feat of being adored by hipsters even as they’ve achieved wider and wider popular success since forming in 1997. Lead singer Ben Gibbard (whose electropop side project The Postal Service also achieved indie adoration with the LP Give Up), guitarist Chris Walla, bassist Nick Harmer, and drummer Jason McGerr make up the quartet, whose 2005 major-label debut Plans opened at #4 on the Billboard 200. Their eagerly anticipated new album, Codes and Keys, was released May 31, 2011.
The Brooklyn Museum, housed in a 560,000-square-foot, Beaux-Arts building, is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the country. Its world-renowned permanent collections range from ancient Egyptian masterpieces to contemporary art, and represent a wide range of cultures. The Museum is part of a complex of nineteenth century parks and gardens that also includes Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the Prospect Park Zoo.
On an early Autumn night, the Angel Orensanz Center, a magnificent landmark in the heart of New York City’s Lower East Side, hosted a stunning performance by multi-platinum rockers The Fray. The Denver-based band played 15 songs, a mix of such fan favorites as the Top Ten hits “How to Save a Life,” “Over My Head,” and “You Found Me” alongside new material from the forthcoming album Scars and Stories, including the current hit single, “Heartbeat.” The show marked the first time some of these songs were ever played on stage, and concluded with a powerful version of the brand-new ballad “Be Still,” performed solo at the piano by singer Isaac Slade.
The Fray gained airplay on local Denver radio with the EPs Movement and Reason (2002-2003), attracting the attention of Epic Records. Touring stints with Weezer and Ben Folds preceded the release of the band’s first single, “Over My Head,” which was followed shortly by their debut album’s title track, “How To Save a Life.” The popularity of both singles propelled the band to international success, and in 2006, How To Save a Life broke the record for highest-selling digital album. Their self-titled 2009 release hit Number One on the Billboard charts, and was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album at the 2010 Grammy Awards. Following recent dates opening for U2, the Fray’s upcoming third album, Scars and Stories, is set to be released February 7, 2012.
The Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts was established in 1992 and in a short period of time has affirmed itself as a strong anchor of the visual and performing arts in New York City. The Center itself is a neo-gothic building, which was designed as a synagogue in 1849 by Berlin architect Alexander Seltzer. He drew inspiration for his design from the cathedral of Cologne and the German romantic movement of Heinrich Heine and Beethoven. Sculptor Angel Orensanz bought this venerable structure in 1986, first for use as his own studio, and then to make it again a beacon of education and culture in the city of New York.
Just days after the release of her record-breaking sophomore album, 21, British sensation Adele performed for a small group of lucky fans at the Santa Monica Bay Womans Club in Santa Monica, CA. Her powerful voice filled the elegant ballroom with hits like “Rolling in the Deep” and “Someone Like You” from 21 and “Chasing Pavements” from her Grammy-winning debut album,19, as well as a cover of the soul classic “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.”
British singer-songwriter Adele burst onto the international music scene with her precocious debut,19, released when she was just that age, in 2009. The album won her a pair of Grammy awards including Best New Artist. But it was her sophomore smash, 21, again titled for the age of the young performer, that made her a legend: the first living artist since the Beatles in 1964 to have two titles simultaneously in the top five of both the UK singles and album charts. Dubbed timeless by Entertainment Weekly, the record is currently in its thirteenth week at #1 on the Billboard 200.
The Santa Monica Bay Women’s Club was founded in 1905 by Elmira T. Stephens with an initial group of eighty-eight members. Since its inception, the club been dedicated to .advancement in all lines of culture, welfare, service and civic affairs.. During World Wars I and II, the members were heavily involved in home-front efforts, from selling war bonds to assisting the USO and the Red Cross. Since that time, the club.s activities have included fund-raising for local charities, the sponsorship of grants and scholarships, and the organization of cultural programs for members and the community. The club has been in its current home on Fourth Street since 1914. The building, which was designed by Henry C. Hollwedel, has survived two near-catastrophic fires, and was designated an historic landmark by the City of Santa Monica in 1991. (more…)
Billy Hart, Ethan Iverson, Mark Turner, Ben Street – All Our Reasons (2012) FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 59:36 minutes | 1,07 GB Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Digital Booklet
This astounding release is the epitome of pure jazz featuring an all-star quartet of musicians including drummer Billy Hart, pianist Ethan Iverson, saxophonist Mark Turner and bassist Ben Street. Shading from dark and light, this rhythmically engaging effort is a flawless collaboration between a quartet that has worked together since 2003. Each member contributes pieces to this spectacular album, included is the jaunting memorable track “Duchess.” The album full of improvisations is simply exquisite. (more…)
Beck – Morning Phase (2014) FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 47:07 minutes | 1,08 GB Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Front cover
Beck’s newest album, titled Morning Phase, has been described as a companion piece of sorts to Beck’s 2002 classic Sea Change. Featuring many of the same musicians who played on that record (who are also currently accompanying him live) —Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Joey Waronker, Smokey Hormel, Roger Joseph Manning Jr., and Jason Falkner — Morning Phase harkens back to the stunning harmonies, song craft and staggering emotional impact of that record, while surging forward with infectious optimism. Morning Phase is true to its title: the beginning of yet another amazing chapter in Beck’s peerless career and catalogue. Featuring musicians who have backed him on many of his most acclaimed albums, as well as the current live shows widely hailed as the best of his career (Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Joey Waronker, Smokey Hormel, Roger Joseph Manning Jr., and Jason Falkner), Morning Phase harkens back to the stunning harmonies, song craft and staggering emotional impact of Beck’s most classic ballads, all the while surging forward with undeniable optimism.
Andrew Lamb & Warren Smith – The Dogon Duo (2005/2013) FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 63:09 minutes | 1,26 GB Official Digital Download – Source: Bandcamp.com | Front cover
Tenor saxophonist Andrew Lamb is capable of screaming like a full-blooded free jazzer, but more often than not he prefers to work a high-energy middle ground between bop and the avant-garde, in terms of both tone and harmony. (more…)
Ana Caram – Rio After Dark (1989/2003) FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 58:47 minutes | 1,28 GB Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Digital booklet
Known for her delightful delivery and delicate vibrato-less soprano, the Sao Paulo-born vocalist/composer/guitarist is equally at ease on melodic ballads as she is on tongue-twisting sambas. A Cash Box reviewer once wrote that “hearing Ana Caram was like a sweet, sunny, wake up call”. (more…)
Ana Caram – Hollywood Rio (2004) FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 42:26 minutes | 953 MB Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Digital booklet
Hollywood Rio blends the sounds of this Brazilian chanteuse’s roots with the cinematic music of Los Angeles. The album is Ana Caram’s tribute to the music of Hollywood. Combining her sultry voice and passionate Brazilian flare with L.A.’s cool electric sound, Caram sings such Hollywood classics such as “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head” from the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and “As Time Goes By” from Casablanca. Together with Michel Friedenson’s rich electric orchestral arrangements, Hollywood Rio is a 21st century look at Hollywood’s past. (more…)