#312 – Chris Barron – Spin Doctors, Losing His Voice, and Angels & One-Armed Jugglers

photo by Jesse Dittmar

Chris Barron is the lead singer of the Spin Doctors, who after much perseverance, enjoyed massive success in the early Nineties with hits like “Two Princes” and “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong” and the accompanying album, Pocket Full of Kryptonite, which went five times Platinum.  Barron took some time out from the band to start work on his second solo record. During the process, he dealt with a paralyzed vocal cord, and the fear that he might never sing again.  Thankfully, Barron’s voice returned, and with the help of a bevy of New York’s finest musicians, he’s put together an eleven track song cycle titled Angels and One-Armed Jugglers.

Barron takes us through the stories behind several songs, including one about his neighbor who inspired the title of the album.  Plus, he talks about the massive success the Spin Doctors enjoyed, as well as the story of “Two Princes.”

#311 – Cheryl Pawelski of Omnivore Recordings – Chris Bell, Big Star, Raspberries, Beach Boys, Buck Owens – Whew!

Cheryl Pawelski worked her way from music fan, to stints with  labels like Capitol, Rhino and Concord, to starting her own label, Omnivore Recordings, in 2010. The company’s goal is “preserving, curating and championing some of music’s greatest legacies.” The label has issued everything from the earliest recordings from the Beach Boys, called Becoming the Beach Boys, to a complete singles collection from Buck Owens, to the soundtrack to the seminal film Athens Ga – Inside/Out, and a recent Raspberries Live Album from their reunion.

A reissue of Big Star’s Third was their very first release, so in a way, things continue to come full circle with the release of Big Star founder Chris Bell’s only solo album, I Am the Cosmos, in its most complete form, containing six previously unreleased tracks. This is whetting everyone’s appetite for a Complete Chris Bell collection, containing every known recording  the enigmatic singer/guitarist put to tapebefore and after Big Star, coming later in the year on vinyl.

We also chat how the label obtains the rights to certain reissues, like the Complete Rockin’ the Fillmore from Humble Pie.

A Great Dance Record From the King of Pop – Disguised in a Halloween Theme

Michael Jackson – Scream (Epic / Legacy Recordings)

Can there be a better Halloween party song than “Thriller”? (it’s certainly NOT “Monster Mash”).

Michael Jackson was definitely a fan of the spooky holiday, even fashioning the groundbreaking video to the song as an homage. So, it makes sense that the Estate of the late singer has assembled a Halloween-themed album, called Scream. But, don’t be fooled – this is actually a fantastic dance record in disguise. Continue reading A Great Dance Record From the King of Pop – Disguised in a Halloween Theme

This is Soul Music With the Rough Edges Still in Tact

Various Artists – Soulsville USA – A Celebration of Stax (Craft Recordings/Concord)

No record label embodied soul quite like Memphis’ Stax Records. The legendary company has been enjoying a year-long salute of its 60th anniversary, helping shed light on the fantastic music it helped create. Although the label has been compiled many times, Soulsville USA – A Celebration of Stax stakes its claim as the best collection ever assembled, touching on many of their greatest triumphs, with some surprises thrown in as well. Continue reading This is Soul Music With the Rough Edges Still in Tact

#310 – Louise Goffin – Johnny Depp, Skylar Gudasz and Why She Isn’t Recording Albums Anymore

Louise Goffin – photo by Amanda Bjorn

Louise Goffin is the daughter of the hit-making songwriting team of Carole King and Gerry Goffin, yet she’s been able to forge her own unique path in music, beginning when she was only 19 years old with the album Kid Blue in 1979. In 1982, she placed a song on the Fast Times at Ridgemont High Soundtrack, then had a VH1 hit with 1988’s “Bridge of Sighs,” before taking a break from releasing music.

More recently, she’s been more active, producing a Grammy-nominated album for her mother, A Holiday Carole in 2011, and sharing the stage with her last year at London’s Hyde Park, doing her own set, as well as helping sing some of Carole’s Tapestry album. Louise has recently placed several songs on TV shows, and she’s working on new material for 2018.

She tells us why she’s not interested in recording full-length albums anymore, and the crazy story of getting Johnny Depp & Alice Cooper to sing backup vocals on a recent song of hers

Flamin’ Groovies – Fantastic Plastic (Sonic Kicks/Severn) review

Grizzled power pop veterans return to remind us what a killer rock record sounds like

Roots rock revivalists? Power pop purists? The Flamin’ Groovies have been both during their long career that stretches back to the late Sixties.

Longtime guitarist/vocalist Cyril Jordan teamed once again with vocalist/guitarist Chris Wilson, reuniting the frontline that produced such great albums as Shake Some Action and Flamin’ Groovies Now, convening  for their first new studio long-player since 1979, called Fantastic Plastic. Continue reading Flamin’ Groovies – Fantastic Plastic (Sonic Kicks/Severn) review

#309 – Jay Aston of Gene Loves Jezebel – New Album – Dance Underwater

UK’s Gene Loves Jezebel formed in the early 80’s and had their biggest success in the US with songs like 1986’s “Desire” and “Jealous,” which hit #1 on the Alternative charts in 1990.

Now, the band is back with their first new record in 14 years, Dance Underwater, which contains a killer single, appropriate for the time, “Summertime.”

We talk with Jay Aston about bringing the original lineup of the band back together for this new record, and working with David Bowie’s producer, Tony Visconti.  Plus, he sheds light on the difficulties of having his brother, Michael, tour with his own version of the band and the confusion that it causes fans of their music.


Various Artists – Now that’s What I Call Tailgate Anthems (Sony/UMG) review

Journey and Usher on the same collection?  This is party music, 2017

As a mobile DJ, I’ve seen a shift in pop music. It used to be that Top 40 fans were satisfied with just that – the music that occupies the Top 40. But, that is no longer the case. Younger music fans are a lot more in tune to music that their parents (and even grandparents) listened to. For proof, check out Now That’s What I Call Tailgate Anthems, one of the most unique collections ever assembled in this series. Continue reading Various Artists – Now that’s What I Call Tailgate Anthems (Sony/UMG) review

Deep Purple – A Fire in the Sky (box set) (Rhino)

New 3-CD box set grabs at least one track from every Purple album

Deep Purple are often lumped in with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath as pioneers of heavy metal. Yet, as a brand-new, 3-disc box set, Fire in the Sky, shows, they’ve not only outlived the two other bands, they’ve also continued to put out amazing music throughout their long career. The band released a great new album, Infinite, earlier in the year and are hitting the road once again. This new set celebrates not only their longevity, but also the high quality throughout their career. Continue reading Deep Purple – A Fire in the Sky (box set) (Rhino)

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