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HEAR THIS HOUR'S UPDATE

Tuesday
Jul292014

Kansas Welcomes New Keyboard Player, David Manion, to Band's Lineup

Current Kansas Lineup (Chipster PR)Kansas has announced another addition to its lineup in the wake of singer/keyboardist Steve Walsh's decision to leave the band.  Earlier this month, the veteran prog rockers revealed that Ronnie Platt, former frontman of the group Shooting Star, will be taking over Walsh's lead-vocal duties soon, and now Kansas has announced via its Facebook page that David Manion "will be handling the main keyboard parts for the band on stage."

Manion is a founding member of longtime Kansas bassist Billy Greer's side project Seventh Key.

He says in a statement, "To say how excited I am for the opportunity to be playing keyboards with Kansas would be the understatement of my life…It truly is a dream come true.  To be a part of a band with a 40-year history, with so many albums out, and one that has proven to have put so much of the 'prog' in progressive music since virtually the beginning of the genre, is the greatest feeling I have had in quite some time."

Kansas drummer Phil Ehart says about Manion joining the group, "It's going to be great having David up on stage.  He's a world class keyboard player and a longtime member of the Kansas family."

Adds Greer, "I've been working with David since the mid eighties…For me, he has always been the 'go to' guy when any keyboard work was needed…David has done a phenomenal job on all the Seventh Key stuff and will bring the same integrity to the music of Kansas!"

Both Manion and Platt will make their live debut with Kansas at a September 12 concert in Oklahoma City.  Walsh revealed his decision to resign from Kansas in late June.  His last performance with the band is scheduled for August 16 in Sioux City, Iowa.

Meanwhile, Greer has sent a statement to MelodicRock.com expressing his feelings about Walsh's departure from Kansas.  "It really saddens me to see Steve leave the band," he writes.  "I have about a 34 year history with Steve, so, it makes it extra hard to see him go.  I owe a lot my success in the music business to Steve and for that I am very grateful.  To me he is still one of the greatest voices in rock 'n roll!"

He adds, "I wish him all the best, love him like a brother and will be there for him if he ever needs me!"


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul292014

Purported Madonna Demos Leak Online

Mert & Marcus/Warner Bros. RecordsA couple of purported Madonna demos from the early 1990s have surfaced online.

Idolator.com notes that the tunes, titled "Shame" and "You Are the One," were produced by Shep Pettibone, who worked on Madonna's 1992 album, Erotica.  Both tracks have been linked in the past to "The Rain Tapes," a collection of demo snippets from the Erotica era.

Madonna is currently focusing on a new album.  Earlier this month, she hinted on Instagram that one of the songs she's working on may be titled "Messiah."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul292014

Courtney Love Glad to Be Out of "Actor Jail," Hedges About Hole Reunion

Image Courtesy Universal Music Group Distribution

Courtney Love is back acting, and couldn't be happier about it. As previously reported, the singer will appear on the FX series Sons of Anarchy in a recurring role as a preschool teacher named Ms. Harrison, a tip of the hat to Love's birth name, Courtney Michelle Harrison. She tells the Philippine Daily Inquirer, "I thank [show creator] Kurt Sutter for taking a chance on me, bailing me out of actor jail, as we call it. It takes a showrunner like Kurt to have the balls to do that. It’s now up to me to make it."

Courtney says that although it's been a long time since she's acted, she didn't miss it "until 2012, when I saw a Sean Penn indie movie. I went to his agent and...I was like, 'How do I get back into this business?'" She says that getting back in the saddle is "about being relentless [though] not to the point of rudeness; you have to have the mojo to just get up, dust yourself off."

Her first take for Sons of Anarchy after such a long absence wasn't quite the success she'd been hoping for. "My first time to act in 11 years, I choked on the first master take. I just choked. I was trembling. I thank God I was across from someone as good as Katey Sagal. She hugged me and I got into her vibe. Every take got better and better. I don’t choke, man! And I choked! And I am not on anything."

Music-wise, Hole fans might be in for a disappointment; while Love doesn't completely rule out a reunion, she says, "I don’t want to get on the oldies circuit. I don’t need to do that for money. I want to put out music that is relevant today."

Earlier this year, Love made headlines by publicly revealing that she and former Hole band mates had been playing together; she later told the U.K.s Telegraph that the band members "may have made out but there is no talk of marriage...It’s very frail, nothing might happen, and now the band are all flipping out with me [for speaking publicly]."

Sons of Anarchy is scheduled to premiere September 9 on FX at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

 


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul292014

John Legend Says Intimate Acoustic Tour Has Been "Beautiful"

ABC/Randy HolmesJohn Legend's been out on his All of Me tour for quite some time, but he's still got plenty of dates to go: he wraps things up in the U.S. at the end of August; then, he'll head to Singapore, followed by dates in the U.K. and in Europe.  While John's career's now at an all-time high, thanks to the success of "All of Me," the tour, billed as "An Evening with John Legend," is the opposite of a big production.

"This is the first time I've done, really kind of like a Storyteller vibe for the whole show," he tells ABC News Radio.  "We stripped down the band to a very core, small group.  I have a string quartet and a guitarist.  I tell more stories to the fans, and it's just a more intimate situation.  And it's been beautiful."

"I've been so happy with it and the fans have been really eating it up," he adds.

Even if you haven't seen John live in concert, you've probably caught him singing on one of the many awards shows he's performed on over the past year or so. According to the singer, being able to play your song on a big awards telecast is a huge deal for an artist's career: so much so that he prefers it to actually winning an award.

"Performing is more impactful, because people don't really remember who won, but they remember performances if they stand out," he notes. "Like, I didn't win any Grammys, but when I performed 'All of Me' at the Grammys this past year, the song went from 49 on the iTunes charts to number three.  And so that performance was so important for the song and for my career....If you nail it, you can really help the song a lot."

John's received a nomination for Best Male on the upcoming MTV Video Music Awards, but it's unlikely that he'll be performing on that particular award show, since he has a concert booked in Las Vegas that same night.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul292014

Courtney Love Recites Poem, Plays Surprise Song at NYC Show

Image Courtesy Universal Music Group Distribution

Angela McCluskey fans got a big surprise last night when Courtney Love hopped onstage at the singer/songwriter's show at Rockwood Music Hall in New York City.

Love -- who's been spotted at McCluskey shows in the past -- sat in the back of the tiny room for most of the performance, at one point calling out, "Amazing!" at the end of a song. Toward the close of McCluskey's set, Love was summoned to the stage, where she recited a Charles Baudelaire poem and ripped into Hole's "Never Go Hungry," accompanying herself on acoustic guitar and receiving a little support from pianist Paul Cantelon, who plays with McCluskey in Wild Colonials

McCluskey's fans were overwhelmingly enthusiastic in their response to Love's performance.  For her part, Courtney told ABC News Radio after the show that Angela McCluskey has "amazing talent."  "I love her!" Love gushed. "She sings like an angel!" The feeling is mutual; McCluskey was obviously thrilled to have Love crash her show and was beaming as she made the introduction.

McCluskey is doing a Monday night residency in the tiny basement room at the Rockwood Music Hall, with three shows scheduled for both August and September.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul292014

Luke Bryan Announces Farm Tour 2014 Dates

ABC/Matt BrownLuke Bryan will launch his sixth annual Farm Tour with an October 1 concert in Knoxville, Tennessee.

This year’s Farm Tour will once again include shows in eight towns, wrapping up October 11 with a concert in Macon, Georgia.

Last year, Luke performed for more than 115,000 fans in eight Farm Tour towns.

A portion of the proceeds from the shows fund local college scholarships for students from a farming family in the communities the tour visits.  Get ticket details at Luke's official website.  Special VIP experiences are also available for purchase. Details at cidentertainment.com.

Here are the dates for Farm Tour 2014:

10/1 -- Knoxville, TN, Maple Lane Farms
10/2 -- Auburn, AL, Ingram Farms
10/3 -- Tallahassee, FL, Cross Creek Place
10/4 -- Gainesville, FL, Whitehurst Cattle Farm
10/8 -- Statesboro, GA, Perry Field
10/9 -- Athens, GA, Meldon Farm
10/10 -- Columbia, SC, Culler Farms
10/11 -- Macon, GA, Midway at Central City Park


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Tuesday
Jul292014

Evanescence Singer Amy Lee Welcomes Baby Boy

Wind Up RecordsEvanescence singer Amy Lee is now a mom. Lee posted an Instagram photo of her snuggling with her newborn son in the hospital, with the caption, "Our little cub, Jack Lion Hartzler, is here."

She added, "I have never known the depths of my heart till now. The world just exploded into technicolor."

Lee's manager tells People.com the singer and her husband, therapist Josh Hartzler, welcomed their new baby on Thursday, July 24th.

Little Jack was born at 7:51 a.m., weighing in at seven pounds and 13 ounces and measuring 21 inches long.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Tuesday
Jul292014

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockBig & Rich's new album, Gravity, comes out September 23 featuring a collaboration with Tim McGraw on the song "Lovin' Lately."

Brad Paisley has released a new version of his single, "River Bank," featuring country rapper Colt Ford.

Hunter Hayes' new video for "Tattoo" is now on CMT. The clip features animated graphics, graffiti art and a beautiful brunette woman playing Hunter's onscreen love interest.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

 

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Tuesday
Jul292014

Eric Clapton Says He Hopes JJ Cale Tribute Album Will Introduce Fans "to the Way He Made Things Sound"

Bushbranch Record/Surfdog RecordsEric Clapton's star-packed JJ Cale tribute album, The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale, hits stores today.  Joining Clapton on the collection of compositions by the late Oklahoma-based singer/songwriter are Tom Petty, Mark Knopfler, Willie Nelson and John Mayer, as well as many other respected musicians.

In a promotional video focusing on the making of the album, Clapton explains that he was more interested in capturing the sound of Cale's own records rather than he and his fellow collaborators putting their spin on the tunes.

"I thought it was the respectful thing to do, rather than just say…'Never mind all that.  I'm gonna do it the way I do everything,'" he notes.  "If you've never heard of JJ Cale, when you hear this record, you will be introduced to the way he made things sound.  And I thought that was as important as anything else."

The music and playing of Cale, who died of heart failure at age 74 in July 2013, were major influences on Clapton's post-1960s recordings.  JJ wrote two of Eric's best-known tunes -- "After Midnight" and "Cocaine" -- while Slowhand's 1977 hit "Lay Down Sally" was clearly inspired by Cale laidback country-blues style.

In the video, Eric reveals that the idea for the tribute album starting taking shape around the time of Cale's funeral.

"After the funeral, we gathered again to McCabe's [guitar shop in Los Angeles,] and I heard myself say that apart from family, the most profound effects of people passing on me were [blues legend] Freddie King and JJ," he declares.  "So those characters, for some reason, have been very, very deep in my musical psyche."

Soon, Clapton teamed up with his longtime co-producer Simon Climie and, along with engineer Alan Douglas, and, as he explains, they "began to create the framework for this album."

Of the various stars who lent their talents to the record, Eric singles out Mayer as someone whose contributions he was particularly impressed with.  The pop-blues virtuoso sings and plays guitar appears on three songs on The Breeze -- "Magnolia," "Lies" and "Don't Wait."

"He cut all those tracks in about an hour, first or second take, and I was gobsmacked," says Clapton.  "Y'know, [I have] a new respect for John, 'cause he's extremely gifted."

Mayer, meanwhile, is mutually complimentary of Clapton, praising him for the respect he shows the musicians who came before him.

"This kind of project continues to speak volumes about Eric and where he sees himself in the lineage of music," Mayer points out in the video.  "He's never denied being a recipient of inspiration.  He's never denied being a student of the blues, and that really inspired me to see myself as somewhere in…the ongoing lineage."

The Breeze is available as a standard CD, vinyl LP and digital download.  In addition, separate deluxe multiple CD and vinyl LP packages can be purchased at Surfdog.com.  The deluxe CD box set offers a bonus disc of original recordings by Cale, including three previously unreleased tracks; a specially designed USB drive featuring digital versions of The Breeze and the Cale tunes as well as a video interview with Clapton; six collectible lithographs; and a 20-page book.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Eric Clapton & Friends The Breeze An Appreciation of JJ Cale - EPK (5 minutes) from Surfdog Records on Vimeo.

 

Tuesday
Jul292014

Joe Nichols Explains How His "Yeah" Video Went from "Cheap and Cheesy" to Comic Book Cool

Image Courtesy Red Bow RecordsJoe Nichols' new video, "Yeah," uses animation to place a young couple on the pages of a comic book as their love story plays out over the course of a night.  It's easily one of country's most compelling videos so far this year, but that comic book effect was actually an afterthought. Joe and his team originally wanted the video to look cheap and cheesy with the couple acting out the song around a fake campfire and fake trees set up in a studio. That idea didn't quite pan out, though.

Joe tells ABC News Radio, "It came off looking incredibly cheap and cheesy. That was the only problem. It was supposed to be funny, and it kind of missed."

He adds with a laugh, "It just looked like we ran out of money or something."

Luckily, Joe's video director had the idea to take that cheesy-looking footage and add animation to create the comic book look.

"He showed me 30 seconds of it, and I was like, 'Yeah. Love that!' It changed everything, "Joe explains. "It was probably a mediocre video at best to I think it's a pretty dang good one right now."

"Yeah" is included on Joe Nichols' latest album, Crickets, now in stores.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul292014

Purported Madonna Demos Leak Online

Mert & Marcus/Warner Bros. RecordsA couple of purported Madonna demos from the early 1990s have surfaced online.

Idolator.com notes that the tunes, titled “Shame” and “You Are the One,” were produced by Shep Pettibone, who worked on Madonna’s 1992 album, Erotica.  Both tracks have been linked in the past to “The Rain Tapes,” a collection of demo snippets from the Erotica era.

Madonna is currently focusing on a new album. Earlier this month, she hinted on Instagram that one of the songs she’s working on may be titled “Messiah.”


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul292014

Trey Songz to Perform on #RevoltLive

Image Courtesy Jimmy Fontaine/Atlantic Records

Trey Songz has been everywhere since the release on his latest album, Trigga. To celebrate the disc's commercial success, the singer is scheduled to perform during Revolt TV's Live Takeover special.

He announced the showcase via his Instagram page. "Tune in Tuesday July 29th for my performance on #RevoltLive at 5pm EST/ 2pm PST" he wrote in the caption.

The singer will likely perform a medley of his singles: "Foreign," "Smart Phones," "Na Na," and "What's Best for You."

Trey’s special airs today, July 29 at 5 p.m. ET.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul292014

Jack White Wants to Record in Space

Image Courtesy Third Man RecordsAs previously reported, Jack White recently made the World's Fastest-Released Record back in April by recording and pressing a 7-inch version of new song "Lazaretto" in an old-fashioned recording booth at his studio in Nashville. Now the former White Stripes frontman has his sights set on a loftier goal -- he'd like to record in outer space.

In an interview with The Tennessean, White reveals, "One of the big projects we've been working on for a while is the first record in space." The singer admits it's "been a long-going project" but says he's "coming close to it."

White doesn't divulge further details -- Would he bring other musicians? Would he take the recording booth with him? -- but calls the idea "a nice long term goal to attach to, because it sort of means everything and means nothing at the same time." He acknowledges, "I've always worked to finding really deep meaning and also at the same time having it covered in sugar, so it can be taken two or three different ways," using as an example his work with White Stripes, in which he and band mate Meg White played serious blues rock while wearing clothes and decorating stages and album covers in only three colors, for no relevant reason.

Jack White wraps up the first leg of his tour this weekend in Toronto. The tour picks up again in two weeks, in Kansas City, Missouri.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul292014

Adam Levine's Wife: There's a "Definite" Plan to Have Kids

Trae Patton/NBCNow that they're married, will Adam Levine and his new wife, Behati Prinsloo, start a family in the near future?  The model wants to have kids, though she suggests that parenthood isn’t necessarily on the immediate horizon for the newlyweds.

In an interview with the fashion magazine Net-a-Porter conducted prior to the couple’s July 19 wedding in Mexico, Prinsloo shares that there is a “definite” plan to have children. However, she adds, “I have no expectations. Not in a bad way, but I’ve learned that you can’t plan ahead. I live day by day and see what happens. It’s vague, but I like it that way.”

Adam and his wife may have to hold off on the baby-making for a while. His band Maroon 5 will release their new album, V, in September, the same month the new season of The Voice premieres, on which he'll return as a judge.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul292014

Colbie Caillat Adds Two Dates to Her Upcoming Tour

Courtesy: Republic RecordsColbie Caillat has added two dates to her upcoming U.S. tour. She will now visit Birmingham, Alabama, on September 12 and Draper City, Utah, on September 18.

Pre-sale tickets for both shows are available now. Tickets go on sale to the general public for the Draper date on Wednesday and for the Birmingham date on Friday. For more info, visit ColbieCaillat.com.

Colbie -- whose latest single, “Try,” is currently #55 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart -- will launch her tour in Denver on August 27.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul282014

Man Who Defrauded Investors with Fake Pearl Jam, R.E.M. Concert Sentenced to Prison

Image Courtesy Cass Bird/Warner Bros. RecordsA man who claimed to be organizing a benefit concert featuring Pearl Jam, R.E.M. and Bruce Springsteen has pleaded guilty of defrauding 30 investors out of a half-million dollars, and has been sentenced to just under four years in prison.

According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Vancouver musician Kasey Anderson pretended to be organizing a concert and album to benefit the West Memphis Three, a trio of men who were convicted as teenagers in 1994 of the 1993 murders of three boys. 

Their convictions were the subject of outrage, and prompted public support for the men from many -- including Eddie Vedder -- who believed they had been wrongly convicted.  Prosecutors in the Kasey Anderson case alleged that Anderson capitalized on that sentiment when approaching potential investors posing as various music industry bigwigs, promising to stage a concert and album to benefit the three men, who were freed after more than 18 years in prison when newly uncovered DNA evidence did not match prosecutors' allegations.

When trying to score additional funds from prospective investors, Anderson made a variety of bogus assertions -- including that he had firm commitments from Pearl Jam, Johnny Depp and Tom Petty; that Springsteen was working on a collaboration with Lady Gaga for the benefit album; and that Springsteen had also collaborated with Arcade Fire on two additional album tracks.

In all, prosecutors say Anderson bilked investors out of more than $525,000.  In a letter to the court following his conviction, Anderson apologized and called himself "a deeply flawed and mentally ill person who made some terrible choices, causing so much emotional and financial damage to others...but I believe I have much to offer my community."  Anderson also said he "want[ed] so badly to make it right."

Of the more than $525,000, only $160,000 has been recovered.  The Post-Intelligencer notes that none of Anderson's investors have been repaid in full, and most have received nothing back at all.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul282014

Billy Corgan Loves Tommy Lee -- and the Feeling Is Mutual

Paul Elledge/MSO PR; 10th Street EntertainmentIf you're a fan of either Smashing Pumpkins or Motley Crue, you would've had to have been hiding under a rock to miss the recent news that Tommy Lee has been the guest drummer on the Pumpkins' new album.  Pumpkins mastermind Billy Corgan has posted numerous reports on the recording sessions, and to say his descriptions of Lee are enthusiastic would be a huge understatement.  Likewise, Lee's a fan of Corgan's.

Tommy tells ABC News Radio, "I've met Billy on several occasions, but...kind of out of the blue I got an email from his manager, who was like, 'Hey, Billy would like to talk to you about playing on the new Smashing Pumpkins record,' and I was like, 'That would be amazing, I would love that!'"

Lee says that after some emails, Corgan hopped on a plane from Chicago and brought the demos to him.  "Wow was I impressed!," says Lee.  "He played me nine songs [and I said], 'You have a hit record on your hands, dude, and yes, I want to be a part of this!'"

Tommy tells ABC News Radio that he and Billy were on the same wavelength from the beginning.  "I remember him jumping up and down in the studio after one of the drum takes [yelling], 'This is exactly what I want!  Oh my God!  Finally!'"  

The drummer says that although he's been jamming with other people for almost 40 years, Corgan's enthusiasm blew him away.  "I was like, 'Wow!'," says Tommy.  "It was just really cool to be appreciated that much.  I just haven't felt something like that.  It was really, really cool."

As much as Corgan sings Lee's praises, Lee returns the favor, telling ABC News Radio, "That guy is so smart and so talented, I've got nothing but massive respect for him and adoration, and when he goes and writes those wonderful things about me, it's like I get goosebumps.  I sometimes don't receive that sort of love or praise from my own band, you know?  It was really wonderful."

The new Smashing Pumpkins album is to be called Monument to an Elegy.  A single will be released later this year.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul282014

Neil Young Lends Support to New Kickstarter Campaign Seeking to Save the Rainforest

Image Courtesy of Danny ClinchEarlier this year, Neil Young successfully used the Kickstarter website to help fund his high-resolution audio player Pono, and now the folk-rock legend is lending his support to a new campaign on the site that seeks to use modern technology to help save the world's endangered rainforests.

The Rainforest Connection initiative involves retrofitting old smartphones with a solar-powered energy source and placing them in forests where illegal logging is taking place.  The devices will be able to pick up the sounds of vehicles, chainsaws, distressed animals and other telltale signs of unlawful activity and thereby notify authorities of the location of the improprieties.  In addition, the phones will provide valuable data to scientists by allowing them to track various endangered animals.

In a video promoting the campaign, Young says, "Climate change is the defining issue of the 21st century.  There are a lot of factors, but forests are one of the big ones.  There is a technology that is a connection between the rainforest and you.  This technology enables the forest to talk to the world.  When the forest is threatened the forest can speak, and you can hear it."

The Rainforest Connection's current Kickstarter initiative, which ends on Tuesday at 9:50 a.m. ET, already has surpassed its initial goal of $100,000 that will allow organizers to deploy devices in Africa.  If the campaign ends up raising $165,000, devices will be able to be installed in Brazil's Amazon region, while $200,000 will allow for the initiative to expand into Indonesia.

Young has penned a letter to his fans who had backed the Pono project asking them to consider contributing $10 or more to the Rainforest Connection campaign.  Those who do will receive a high-resolution download of rainforest sounds.  The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer also has donated 10 limited-edition Pono players to be used as gifts to donors who give generously to the initiative.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul282014

Sale of Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon's Bel Air Home Falls Through

ABC NewsMariah Carey and her hubby, Nick Cannon, have unloaded their property in the ritzy Los Angeles neighborhood of Bel Air -- or so they thought.

TMZ initially reported the couple had sold their home -– which features seven bedrooms, a movie theater, a gym, a basketball court and other amenities -- for more than 10 million dollars. That total was three million less than what Mariah and Nick sought, but around three million more than what they paid in 2009.

However, a TMZ update states the buyer has backed out, so the home is back on the market.

TMZ’s sources say Mariah and Nick want to sell the property so they can focus on living in New York City.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul282014

Destiny's Child's "The Writing's on the Wall" Turns 15

Image Courtesy Columbia RecordsDestiny's Child has crossed a milestone with their sophomore album, The Writing's on the Wall.  Today, July 28, marks its 15-year anniversary.

The project was the last album recorded by the band's original members -- Beyoncé, LaTavia Roberson, LeToya Luckett and Kelly Rowland -- and included many of their number one-hits like "Bills, Bills, Bills" and "Say My Name."

The album would go on to become the band's best-selling set to date, moving 6.4 million units in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio