Saturday, June 9, 2012

Vinyl Record News & Music Notes

this week's best selling vinyl records from our friends at SoundStageDirect

Sound Stage Direct Top Ten Best Selling Vinyl Week Ending 06/08/2012

1. Grateful Dead - Skull & Roses

Numbered Limited Edition 180g 2LP Set

1971 Double Live Album Presents Legendary Bands Expansion Into Country Rock, Traditional Rock and Roll, and Roots Folk

Half-Speed Mastered from the Original Master Tapes: Ultra-Quiet Pressing Features Spacious, Transparent, Illuminating, and Organic Sound

Prototype Document of the Deads Second-Era Sound and Lineup: More Accessible, Concise, and Stripped-Down Performances

Includes Many Longtime Staples of the Bands Live Repertoire: Playing in the Band, The Other One, Me and My Uncle, Bertha, Wharf Rat, and More

Part of Mobile Fidelitys Amazing Grateful Dead Reissue Series: Live/Dead, From the Mars Hotel, Wake of the Flood, and In the Dark Also Available on 180g LP

The Grateful Dead took to the start of the 1970s as a different albeit equally thrilling and eminently broader-reaching band than the ensemble that revolutionized psychedelia in the late 1960s. Made evident in the back-to-back studio releases Workingmans Dead and American Beauty, the group increased its mastery of harmony-driven roots songs distinguished by catchy signatures, more concise arrangements, and impossibly organic textures. Captured live in spring 1971 and featuring not a single repeated song from Live/Dead, the expressive performances on Skull & Roses document this stylistic expansion in unsurpassed fashion. The double-LP constitutes the no-limits sound of an iconic band coming in to its own.

Half-speed mastered from the original master tapes with the utmost care, and part of the labels unprecedented Grateful Dead reissue series, Mobile Fidelitys numbered limited edition 180g 2LP version of Skull and Roses presents the downsized Dead lineups most memorable songs in previously unimaginable fidelity. From the moment Jerry Garcias guitar pick touches a string at the outset of the scampering Bertha, the improvements are palpable: Life-size images, airy vocals, subterranean bass lines, incredibly spacious separation, tube-amp warmth, faithful tones, and balanced dynamics lead a crystal clear path to the music and the Deads extraordinary collective spark.

Originally captured on a 16-track recorder, the songs brim with rarified levels of you-are-there realism and reach-out-and-touch immediacy. Notorious for its exacting sound demands, the Dead achieves the kind of instrumental and frequency-range transparency that many dedicated audiophiles spend their entire lives dreaming about. Skull and Roses is a kernel of sonic truth. Such is the pressings degree of detail and insight that listeners will be able to debate what gauge guitar strings the members are using as they savor every last breath, riff, and snare hit.

Thankfully, the bands perfectionist attitude toward sound doesnt literally transfer over to its music approach. Loose, lively, playful yet earthy, focused, and committed, the Dead crackles with boogie-based moxie, greasy soulfulness, and swaggering bravado, each note seemingly exploding like tiny pieces of magic that hover in the air and cast hypnotic spells. The groups embrace of leaner, tighter, more melodically incisive songs and the swaying rhythms that accompany the approach directly relate to two key lineup changes: the temporary departure of drummer Mickey Hart and permanent leave of keyboardist Tom Constanten. As a result, the Dead toured as a quintet, with Bill Kreutzmann the sole percussionist and Garcia, bassist Phil Lesh, guitarist/singer Bob Weir, and keyboardist/vocalist Ron Pigpen McKernan rounding out the barer-bone cast.

Not only do Garcia, Lesh, and Weir show tremendous growth as singers, the Dead as a whole further invest in folk, country, R&B, rock, and blues traditionsvia Garcias sweeter tones and Bakersfield picking, Weirs cowboy twang and increasingly confident counterpoints, Kreutzmanns hang-fire beats and scurrying grooves, Leshs weighty sway, McKernans foreshadowing spiritual timbres. Inspired covers of tunes by Merle Haggard (a frisky and defiant Mama Tried), Willie Dixon (the comfortably rumbling, boozy honky tonk Big Boss Man), Kris Kristofferson (the dusty, peaceable tale Me and Bobby McGee), Chuck Berry (a supercharged romping Johnny B. Goode), and Buddy Holly (Not Fade Away, segued into Goin Down the Road Feeling Bad) announce the Deads intent to make practically every style of contemporary American music their own, and in the processto paraphrase the great Bill Grahambe the only ones that did what they did.

A similar attitude informed the records genesis. The group originally lobbied to call the album Skullfuck before the record label, at an allegedly chaotic meeting at the infamous Hyatt Hotel, dissuaded the humorous ploy. While technically named Grateful Dead, the album is commonly known as Skull and Roses due to Alton Kelly and Stanley Mouses now-iconic cover art. Trivia buffs might know the latter is based on an illustration for an antique edition of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.

The 1971 effort also has another huge claim to fame: It included the message DEAD FREAKS UNITE. Who are you? Where are you? How are you? Those simple lines, and the invitation to respond, created of the Deadhead subculture and biggest fan list in history, utterly pioneering the industry overnight.
Track Listing: 
Side 1
1. Bertha
2. Mama Tried
3. Big Railroad Blues
4. Playing in the Band

Side 2
 1. The Other One

Side 3
1. Me and My Uncle
2. Big Boss Man
3. Me and Bobby McGee
4. Johnny B. Goode

Side 41. Wharf Rat
2. Not Fade Away/Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad

Get it allthe dazzling graphics, dizzying performances, deft sonicsby ordering your prized collectable edition of Skull and Roses today! 

Buy it at SoundStageDirect

the rest of the top ten:

2. The Band - Music From Big Pink
3. David Bowie - The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust
4. Various Artists - The Big Lebowski
5. Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon
6. MFSL Original Master Record Sleeves (50)
7. Ten Years After - A Space In Time
8. White Zombie - Astro-Creep: 2000 (Pre-Order Shipping Approx. June 25th)
9. Bob Dylan and the Band - The Basement Tapes
10. Beck - I Just Started Hating Some People Today


this from polyvinylrecords

Pre-Order Sonny & The Sunsets Longtime Companion CD/LP

Sonny & The Sunsets' new album Longtime Companion is a country record. It's a break up record. Love and Heartache. Every song was written during and is about his break up with his girlfriend of ten years.

The songs came fast and naturally so Smith let the next record be something different, he embellished his Sunsets with members of his country band The Fuckaroos. Recorded to tape in a musty beer stained basement, what transpired was a classic country record.

Smith grew up listening to old time music, his dad is a banjo player and his parents and friends played old time music. "It was around the house, but I didn't like it!" recalls Sonny. "My dad played banjo and his friends would come over and play fiddle and mandolin. But I would go watch tv or listen to AC/DC."

However, some kind of country strain sank in. Gene Clark, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Townes Van Zandt, a little Johnny Cash, even the countrier side of the Kinks – there are hints of all of these in the new record and yet ultimately it still remains a Sonny & the Sunsets sound through and through.

Pre-orders ship June 15. All orders receive an INSTANT MP3 download at checkout.

  Buy Sonny & The Sunsets Longtime Companion LP


Robert Cray - New studio album hits August 28th!

5x Grammy winner & legendary guitar icon gives fans Nothin But Love

(New York, NY, June 6, 2012) Legendary guitar icon, 5x Grammy winner and 15-time Grammy nominee Robert Cray releases Nothin But Love- his much anticipated sixteenth studio album August 28, 2012 on the Provogue label.

Produced by famed rocker Kevin Shirley (Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin) Nothin But Love captures Cray at his finest with material from all four Robert Cray Band members; Cray (vocals/guitar), Jim Pugh
(keyboards), Richard Cousins (bass) and Tony Braunagel (drums) that blends blues, rock, soul and jazz. 

Recorded at Revolver Studios in LA, the ten song CD features the soaring breakup blues of “Won’t Be Coming Home”, the jazz chops of “I’ll Always Remember You”, the soul-drenched ode to repossession “Great Big Old House” and the frantic ’50s-flavoured rocker “Side Dish.”.

Recently inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame (at 57 years, the youngest living inductee) Cray is considered “one of the greatest guitarists of his generation.”  Rolling Stone Magazine (April 2011) credits Cray’s Strong Persuader with reinventing the blues with his “distinct razor sharp guitar playing” that “introduced a new generation of mainstream rock fans to the language and form of the blues.”

Cray has recorded fifteen Billboard charting studio albums, performed thousands of sold out shows, and has written or played with everyone from Eric Clapton to Stevie Ray Vaughan, from Bonnie Raitt to John Lee Hooker.  

With over 12 million records sold and his own line of Fender guitars, Cray has established himself as a genre defining artist- breaking through the pop ceiling with his gate crashing/blues-edged trademark sound and distinct style that has become a signature blend of r&b, pop, rock, soul and traditional blues.  The New York Times says, “his voice, alternately smooth and craggy, is often richer and more emotive than Mr. Clapton’s, and he knows the best ways to use it,” while Guitar Player Magazine noted, “Robert Cray is not only making great music he’s making history…”

Never one to rest on his laurels, Robert Cray is once again laying down his cards, testing his talent, fusing that dazzling voice to some of his most powerful material in three-decades and offering his fans Nothin But Love.

Pre-Order Nothin But Love today


always love what willie has to say....wisdom, my friends, wisdom.....

Willie Nelson Discusses New Album, Old Friends and Thoughts on a Long Career

He Touches on Plight of Farmers, Need for Drug Reform During Session at Billboard Country Music Summit

Read the article at


Former Fleetwood Mac Guitarist Bob Welch Dead at 65

by: Billy Dukes

Early Fleetwood Mac guitarist Bob Welch was found dead Thursday afternoon (June 7) from what police are describing as a self-inflicted gun shot wound. According to the Associated Press, the 65-year-old Welch shot himself in the chest inside his Nashville-area home.

Read the rest at


album cover art of the day:

Galadriel - Reveal New Album Artwork

Slovak doom metal band Galadriel have jsut released the album cover art for their new LP. Five years after the release of 'Renascence Of Ancient Spirit,' the band is in the recording studio again. The new album is called 'The 7th Queen Enthroned' and it will be released in September via Gothoom Productions. judging by the picture (you can do that, right?) it would seem to me to be a haunting effort.