Facebook

Twitter

iTunes

RSS

HEAR THIS HOUR'S UPDATE

Friday
Sep192014

Gordon Lightfoot Kicks Off New US Tour Tonight; Says His Performances Are "at a New Height" 

Linus RecordsCanadian folk-rock legend Gordon Lightfoot is heading south of the border for a fall U.S. tour that will see him visiting a variety of cities in the Western U.S.  The trek gets under way tonight in West Wendover, Nevada, and runs through an October 4 performance in Portland, Oregon.

The lauded singer/songwriter tells ABC News Radio that, at the age of 75, he's enjoying playing concerts more than he ever has.  "I guess it's the quality that I'm seeing in our performances which we're achieving," he explains.  "You know, I'm at a new height in the way we perform the material."

Lightfoot points out that since he's fulfilled all of his recording obligations, he now puts most of his creative attention toward his live show.  "[My band mates and I] begin to do research into the back end of the catalog and pull out a few gems that have been missed along the way and present those along with the regular material," he says, "and it makes for a pretty interesting show."

Gordon's last album of original tunes, 2004's Harmony, was released more than 10 years ago, but don't expect to see new material soon.  Lightfoot says writing and recording a new studio effort isn't a priority.

"Some of the responsibility that I've accrued in my career with my family obligations really is what slows me down in that regard," he explains.  "At the age that I'm at right now, since we're doing so well with our tour…I sometimes wonder if I really wanna do [a new album]."

He adds, "I mess around with tunes, though.  I can still play with melodies.  I can still compose.  But to throw an album together, you know, it eats up a lot of time and you gotta think about the family."

Lightfoot fans likely remember that the singer nearly died after suffering an aortic aneurysm in his abdomen in 2002, which sidelined him for two-and-a-half years.  He tells ABC News Radio that after going through that experience, "I can appreciate the fact that I'm recovered and I'm back working again.  I'm thankful."  

After wrapping up his U.S. trek, Gordon will mount a major fall tour of his home country that kicks off October 21 in Nanaimo, British Columbia, and comes to a close with a November 26-29 stand at Toronto's famed Massey Hall.  Lightfoot also has lined up a trio of dates in Florida this coming February.

Here's a complete list of Lightfoot's forthcoming tour dates:

9/19 -- West Wendover, NV, Peppermill Casino
9/20 -- Denver, CO, Paramount Theatre
9/21 -- Grand Junction, CO, Two Rivers Convention Center
9/22 -- Colorado Springs, CO, Pikes Peak Center
9/24 -- Las Vegas, NV, Smith Center for the Performing Arts
9/25 -- Santa Cruz, CA, Rio Theatre
9/26 -- San Diego, CA, Humphreys Concerts by the Bay
9/27 -- Beverly Hills, CA, Saban Theatre
9/28 -- Anaheim, CA, City National Grove of Anaheim
9/30 -- San Luis Obispo, CA, Christopher Cohan Hall
10/1 -- Sacramento, CA, Crest Theatre
10/2 -- San Francisco, CA, Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall
10/3 -- Medford, OR, The Craterian Theater
10/4 -- Portland, OR, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
10/21 -- Nanaimo, BC, Canada, The Port Theatre
10/22 -- Victoria, BC, Canada, Royal Theatre
10/23 -- Victoria, BC, Canada, Royal Theatre
10/24 -- Duncan, BC, Canada, Cowichan Theatre
10/25 -- Vancouver, BC, Canada, Queen Elizabeth Theatre
10/26 -- Kamloops, BC, Canada, Sagebrush Theatre
10/28 -- Kelowna, BC, Canada, Kelowna Community Theatre
10/29 -- Kelowna, BC, Canada, Kelowna Community Theatre
10/31 -- Trail, BC, Canada, Charles Bailey Theatre
11/1 -- Lethbridge, AB, Canada, Enmax Centre
11/2 -- Edmonton, AB, Canada, Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
11/3 -- Calgary, AB, Canada, Jack Singer Hall
11/6 -- Saskatoon, SK, Canada, TCU Place
11/7 -- Regina, SK, Canada, Casino Regina Show Lounge
11/8 -- Winnipeg, MB, Canada, MTS Centre
11/20 -- Montreal, QC, Canada, Théâtre Maisonneuve, Place Des Arts
11/21 -- Cornwall, ON, Canada, Aultsville Theatre
11/22 -- Ottawa, ON, Canada, National Arts Centre - Southam Hall
11/26-29 -- Toronto, ON, Canada, Massey Hall
2/12/15 -- Clearwater, FL, Capitol Theatre
2/14/15 -- Melbourne, FL, Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts
2/15/15 -- Fort Lauderdale, FL, Parker Playhouse


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Friday
Sep192014

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is Miranda Lambert's middle name? ANSWER: Leigh.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Friday
Sep192014

Seether Frontman Shaun Morgan Wants to Work With Nirvana, Thinks Lorde Isn't Rock and Roll

Image Courtesy Marin ChavezAll has been quiet on the Nirvana front since the surviving members of the band -- Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear -- got together in March to accept induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and play a few songs with some specially-selected female singers. If the Nirvana guys would be open to playing together again, Seether frontman Shaun Morgan is stepping up to offer his vocal services. 

In an interview on AlternativeNation.net, Morgan says, "It would be something that I would love to do...obviously, just from being a kid, even just to play a show with those guys would be great. It’s not something that I've ever been approached about doing, but obviously as a childhood dream, it would be great to be on stage with those guys."

But when it comes to another big name these days -- Lorde -- Morgan's not a fan. "I’ve become a little disillusioned with popular music," he reveals in the interview. "A perfect example is Lorde winning Best Rock Video at the VMA’s. That just doesn’t make any g**damn sense to me."

You can view Shaun Morgan's interview in its entirety on Alternative Nation's YouTube channel.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep192014

Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation 1814" Turns 25 Today

The Spencer Company/A&M Records/UniversalJanet Jackson's landmark album Rhythm Nation 1814 officially turns 25 years old today, September 19.  To commemorate the anniversary, Jackson's songwriting and production team James "Jimmy Jam" Harris III and Terry Lewis recalls the recording process of the critically-acclaimed project.

In an interview with Billboard, Jimmy Jam reveals how the political elements all throughout the album emerged as they watched CNN while recording in the studio.

"We felt like we had … not a responsibility to say something, but growing up in the '60s, whether it was the Vietnam War or whatever, it seemed like there was always someone commenting on it," Jam says.  "And that was a good thing.  Why not use the powers we have as songwriters to bring some of those messages across?  Rap music was doing it in a very strong way."

The superproducer also revealed that the disc was recorded during the winter in Minneapolis, adding that Janet was in a good place emotionally.  "She was in a very creatively fruitful place.  She had just discovered her writing chops," Jam says before describing her as "hungry" and "excited."

To this day, the album is still the only one in history to spawn seven Top 10 singles, including "Rhythm Nation," "Miss You Much," "Escapade," "Alright," "Come Back to Me," "Black Cat" and "Love Will Never Do (Without You)."  It's sold 14 million copies.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Friday
Sep192014

Classic Rock Christmas Compilation, Featuring Jeff Beck, Neal Schon and Other Guitar Greats, Due in October

Ross HalfinWho says that classic rock and Christmas can't coexist peacefully?  Certainly not the folks at Legacy Recordings, which will unveil eight new seasonal titles on October 7, including The Classic Christmas Hard Rock Album.

This 11-track disc features holiday favorites from a number of world-class guitarists, among them Jeff Beck, Ted Nugent and Journey's Neal Schon.  The album will set you back $10.46.

Here is the full track listing for The Classic Christmas Hard Rock Album:

"Amazing Grace" -- Jeff Beck

"The Little Drummer Boy" -- Alex Lifeson (Rush)

"Silent Night/Holy Night Jam" --  Joe Satriani  

"Christmas Time Is Here" -- Steve Vai

 "The Christmas Song" -- Steve Lukather (Toto)

"O Come, O Come Emmanuel" -- Neal Schon  

"Sleigh Ride" -- Stuart Hamm (session bassist and solo artist)

"O Come All Ye Faithful" -- Trevor Rabin (Yes)

"Deck the Halls" -- Ted Nugent

"O Little Town Of Bethlehem" -- Robin Trower

"We Three Kings" -- Halford


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep192014

Ronnie James Dio Cancer Fund Donates 100 Grand to World-Renowned Treatment Center

Rhino Records/Adrenaline PRThe Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund, founded in memory of the late, beloved metal singer, has presented a check for $100,000 to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

 

Dio -- who in addition to fronting the band that bore his name, sang with Black Sabbath, Rainbow and Heaven & Hell -- died of stomach cancer in May of 2010. During the last six months of his life, the singer was treated at the Anderson Cancer Center.

Though it's existed fewer than four years, the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund has already raised more than 800 thousand dollars for cancer research and education. Wendy Dio, the late singer's widow, said that her husband's treatment at the world-renowned center gave him hope and added, quote, "The most important thing for a cancer patient to have is hope."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Friday
Sep192014

Chris Brown Says He Would "Absolutely" Beat Usher in a Dance-Off

Image Courtesy Eliot Lee Hazel/RCA Records

Chris Brown and Usher not only collaborated on Breezy's latest single, "New Flame," but they also shared the same choreography in the accompanying visual.  However, Brown wants it to be known that he's the real dance king.

When asked who would win in a dance-off, Brown tells MTV News that Usher will have some serious competition.  "See, I don't like to be cocky or arrogant anymore, but when it comes to dancing -- when you say 'Chris Brown' and you say 'dancing,' you're gonna have to bring your A game," he said.

He then compared his dance skills to Usher's by bringing up the widely discussed moment when Allen Iverson showed up Michael Jordan during a 1997 NBA game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Chicago Bulls.  "It's like when Iverson crossed Jordan," Brown said.  "It's a little different -- these moves a little new."

So is there any chance Usher would win?  Brown replied, "Absolutely not."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep192014

Jerrod Niemann and His Fiancée Are Asking for Charitable Donations Instead of Wedding Presents

Image Courtesy CMAJerrod Niemann and his fiancée, Morgan Petek, will be married next month in San Juan, Puerto Rico, but they're not looking for traditional gifts from their friends and family to celebrate the wedding.  Instead, Jerrod and Morgan are asking for donations to his charity, Free the Music USA, to benefit music education programs.

The couple tells People, "We can't think of a better way to honor our upcoming nuptials than to combine the two things that we love the most: music and helping others."

Jerrod and Morgan have been dating since 2005.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep192014

Paul McCartney Supports Meat-Free Mondays In New Environmental Campaign

Courtesy of Concord Music GroupPaul McCartney has teamed up with the folks at Meat Free Monday and U.K. Energy and Climate Adviser Greg Barker to raise awareness of the global footprint that meat production has on the environment, reports Rolling Stone.

A longtime vegetarian, Sir Paul is urging people all over the world to give up meat -- if only for one day a week.  In a video message, he says, "All I want you to do is just log in on pledge.meatfreemondays.com and pledge your support. ... We'll send all these pledges to politicians and then they'll do something about it."

The Meat Free Monday initiative is one of the subjects that will be discussed September 23 at the Climate Summit in New York City.  For more information, go to the official Meat Free Monday website.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Friday
Sep192014

Nicki Minaj Reportedly Wins Wig Lawsuit

ABC/Fred LeeA hairy situation has come to an end for Nicki Minaj.  The rapper just won a lawsuit filed against her by her former hairstylist, Terrence Davidson, reports GossipCop.com.  He alleged that Minaj stole his wig designs, and that it ultimately cost him millions.

Davidson claimed in court papers he provided the wigs that helped get Minaj discovered in 2010 and that they had discussed working together in the future in the wig business.  He alleged that Minaj didn’t follow through on their planned business venture, and he now sells his wig designs online without her assistance.

The judge ruled for Minaj, stating in her decision that everyone has the right to make colored wigs.  In addition, the judge ruled that Minaj and Davidson never had a firm plan in place to go into business together.

Davidson was asking for at least $30 million in damages. 


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Friday
Sep192014

Watch Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea Show Off Their Assets in New "Booty" Video

Capitol RecordsJennifer Lopez has released the music video for her single, "Booty," and the steamy clip might even leave Nicki Minaj blushing.

The video delivers exactly what the title implies, with Lopez, 45, showing off her famous booty. As an added bonus, she's joined by Iggy Azalea, who adds a verse and shakes it alongside J-Lo in some of the sexier scenes.

It's directed by Hype Williams, who has also created videos for Minaj, Beyoncé and Christina Aguilera, among others.

"Booty" is from Lopez's album A.K.A. However, the album version features a verse from Pitbull instead of Azalea.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Friday
Sep192014

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockIt looks like fans of ABC's Nashville will be getting a holiday album from the cast this Christmas season. Rascal Flatts' Jay DeMarcus posted a photo with the show's star, Connie Britton, and vocal coach, Valerie Morehouse, on Instagram with the caption, "Wrapping up the Nashville cast Christmas record…Gonna be a great record!!!" The new season of Nashville premieres Wednesday, September 24.

Dierks Bentley suggests you pick up Tim McGraw's latest album, Sundown Heaven Town. Dierks tweeted, "Love that he is always trying to take the music to new places."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep192014

Tim McGraw Includes Tribute to His Mother's Sacrifice in Sundown Heaven Town Liner Notes

Image Courtesy Big MachineFans who flip through the liner notes of Tim McGraw's brand-new album, Sundown Heaven Town, will notice a seemingly random photo of a teenage girl from the 1960s wearing a mini-skirt and go-go boots is included on the back page. It's a photograph of Tim's mother, Betty, in the mid-'60s, around the time she got pregnant with her now-famous son.

When the photograph was taken, Betty was part of a dance troupe that backed up pop stars who played in her hometown of Jacksonville, FL. Betty was also working on fulfilling her dream of joining the dance team on the ABC music variety show Where the Action Is, when she started up a summer romance with Tim's father, Tug McGraw, who was playing for a minor league team in Jacksonville at the time.

Tim explains, "She ended up getting pregnant. It was her senior year in high school. She found out she was pregnant with me, and she got a callback to audition for Where the Action Is, and she couldn't do it because she found out she was pregnant with me."

Betty had to drop out of school and go to Louisiana while she was pregnant with Tim so no one would know she was an unwed mother.  

"To me, that was sort of the moment in time that my mom's whole life changed," Tim says of that picture of his mother. "To be on my album project and have a picture of her sort of is full circle in a lot of ways that maybe I helped her fulfill, at least vicariously maybe some of her dream."

Appropriately enough, Tim's latest hit is titled "Meanwhile Back at Mama's." That song is included on Sundown Heaven Town along with Tim's new single, "Shotgun Rider."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep192014

Miranda Lambert Will Have Played All 50 States After Her Saturday-Night Show in Hawaii

Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleMiranda Lambert is taking her Platinum tour to Honolulu, Hawaii, this weekend in order to reach a big milestone.

She says, "I’ve never played Hawaii. It’s my 50th state to play. My whole career, I've played in 49 states. I think I finished off the 49th in Rhode Island a couple years ago."

Miranda has never even been to Hawaii before this weekend, and she plans to spend some time on the beach after she's finished entertaining her fans.

"Might as well kill two birds with one stone," Miranda says with a laugh. "We’ll work and go on vacation."

Taking her band and crew to The Aloha State is a way of saying thank you for their loyalty throughout Miranda's career.

She says, "My newest of my core group of crew and band has been there seven years, and I take a lot of pride in that. I really believe if you treat your people well, they treat you well."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep192014

KONGOS Brothers Travel Together but Write Songs Separately

Image Courtesy Jonathan MarlowKONGOS is on tour in support of its debut album, Lunatic.  Though the collection was released late last year in the United States, it had been out for more than a year in the band's native South Africa.

Lunatic contains the band's #1 smash, "Come With Me Now," as well as its follow-up, "I'm Only Joking."  The band is comprised of four Kongos brothers, an arrangement that would appear to lend itself to a lot of collaboration, but bassist Dylan Kongos says that each member writes individually. 

"We always like to say that we have too big of egos to write together, but I don't know if that's totally true," says Dylan.  "I think we could probably come up with some good stuff if we wrote together, but for now it's been working: going and having space and alone time and coming out and having the band be involved when it's production time."

The Kongos family moved to the U.S. from South Africa in 1996; Jesse Kongos tells ABC News Radio "our heart is in both places.  South Africa is where we spent very important years, made our best friends there, and it definitely gets into your blood, but we've been living in Phoenix for the last 16 years, so it does feel like home as well." 

Lunatics is available at digital and brick-and-mortar retail outlets; see tour dates on KONGOS.com.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep192014

Marianne Faithfull to Release New Disc in November

Force Field PRMarianne Faithfull will return November 11 with Give My Love to London.  It's the follow-up to her 2011 album, Horses and High Heels, and this disc also has the distinction of being Faithfull's 20th studio effort.

Artists who either appear on or wrote songs for the album include Roger Waters, Brian Eno, alt-country legend Steve Earle and young singer-songwriter Anna Calvi.  The album's 11 songs include "The Price of Love," "Going Home," "Late Victorian Holocaust" and the title track.

Faithfull will support Give My Love to London with a fall tour, but U.S. dates are not expected until 2015.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep192014

2014 BET Hip-Hop Awards Announces Lineup for Cyphers Segment

Atlantic Records/Darren AnkenmanIn case you needed another reason to watch the 2014 BET Hip-Hop Awards, the lineup of rappers tapped for the infamous cyphers has been revealed.

The network has announced a lengthy list of rappers participating in the popular segment, including Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J, Ty Dolla SignDavid BannerTroy Ave, Kevin Gates and Papoose.  Among the male-dominated lineup, Remy Ma and Lil' Mama serve as the only female rappers, but somehow Nicki Minaj is not mentioned.

This year's BET Hip-Hop Awards will be recorded September 20 at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center in Atlanta.  Viewers can expect the ninth-annual ceremony to air October 14 at 8 p.m. ET.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep192014

Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation 1814" Turns 25

Image Courtesy A&M Records/UniversalJanet Jackson's political album Rhythm Nation 1814 officially turns 25 years old today, September 19.  To commemorate the anniversary, Jackson's songwriting and production team James "Jimmy Jam" Harris III and Terry Lewis recalls the recording process of the critically acclaimed project.

In an interview with Billboard, Jimmy Jam reveals how the political elements all throughout the album emerged as they watched CNN while recording in the studio.

"We felt like we had … not a responsibility to say something, but growing up in the '60s, whether it was the Vietnam War or whatever, it seemed like there was always someone commenting on it," Jam says.  "And that was a good thing.  Why not use the powers we have as songwriters to bring some of those messages across?  Rap music was doing it in a very strong way."

The superproducer also revealed that the disc was recorded during the winter in Minneapolis, adding that Janet was in a good place emotionally.  "She was in a very creatively fruitful place.  She had just discovered her writing chops," Jam says before describing her as "hungry" and "excited."

The album spawned seven Top 10 singles, including "Rhythm Nation," "Miss You Much," "Escapade" and "Love Will Never Do (Without You)."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep192014

Lady Gaga Says She'll Release "One Jazz Album a Year...Forever" 

Streamline/Interscope/Columbia RecordsLady Gaga's album of jazz duets with Tony Bennett, Cheek to Cheek, comes out next Tuesday, and if Gaga has anything to say about it, it won't be the last jazz album of her career.  In fact, she says she'd like to keep releasing them "forever."

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Gaga says her infatuation with jazz isn't a passing phase: She's been a fan of the genre for years, and now that she's started recording it, she's not going to stop.  "I'm planning to release one jazz album a year.  I think I will continue to do that forever," she tells the publication.  "I enjoy it so much.  I want to spread it to all of my fans."

Gaga credits the collaboration with Bennett for pulling her out of a particularly dark place she was in at the time.  Explaining why she was disillusioned, she says, "The pop industry is like a tabloid now.  There's just no integrity, and it's extremely controlled and manufactured. There's a lot of farce and not a lot of authenticity.  So for me, singing [these songs] was freedom."

She adds, "There are a lot of sharks in the pop-music industry.  I was kind of damaged and faced all these challenges behind the scenes with people betraying me, and things like that.  I became dissatisfied with the business.  I'm so much more satisfied with music now.  I said to myself, 'I don't need to be a commercial singer anymore. I can just sing at a bar downtown and I'd be so much happier.'"

Of course, "singing in a bar downtown" isn't going to make Gaga the millions she's been raking in for the past few years, but she says she doesn't really care anymore.

"Paying the bills is overrated," she tells the Wall Street Journal.  "At the end of the day, the bills can't be a metaphor for your heart.  I've made a lot of money doing what I do.  I feel very blessed for all of the wonders.  But there's no wonder, no money, no luxury, no jewel or diamond more sparkling than how I feel when I'm feeling impassioned and in the moment onstage singing with Tony."

Cheek to Cheek is due September 23.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep192014

Maroon 5 Are the "Luckiest Motherf***ers on the Planet," but May Take a Hiatus

Vincent Perini/222 Recordings/Interscope RecordsMaroon 5's fifth album, V, debuted on top of the charts, and the band is readying a world tour for next year.  But lead singer Adam Levine says the time may be coming where the band may drop out of sight for a while.

Speaking to Britain's Official Charts Company, Adam says, "Five albums in, I think it’s important to take stock for a while. To have the success we’ve had, we’re the luckiest motherf**kers on the planet!  We’re flirting with the idea of taking a small amount of time off."

"We’ve always been thinking about the next album and tour for ten years," Adam continues. "We’re not going anywhere and we’re not going to disband, but after this album we’ll have a conversation and think about what the next move is.”

When the interviewer suggests that in the interim, the band -- whose debut album, Songs About Jane, came out 12 years ago -- should release a greatest hits album, Adam says, "It’s in the works actually. Watch this space!”

In the meantime, there'll be no shortage of Maroon 5 anywhere in the upcoming months, nor of Adam, who'll be starring on the new season of The Voice starting Monday.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio