The musical landscape of the of early 1980’s was an unique one. Disco had died down, yet MTV hadn’t quite taken hold yet. The charts were ruled by mellow recordings full of lush arrangements. Now, years later, this style of music is being called Yacht Rock.
One such artist having hits back then was Robbie Dupree, who hit #6 on the Billboard charts in 1980 with “Steal Away.” Then, a few months later, found himself back in the Top 20 with “Hot Rod Hearts.” Blixa Sounds is issuing for the first time on CD, the first two albums from Robbie Dupree, remastered, and featuring bonus tracks.
We talk the crazy events that got him signed to Elektra, playing in an early band with Chic’s Nile Rodgers, and earning a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist.
An In-Depth Look at Every show the Beatles played in America
There have been literally thousands of books written about the Beatles over the last 50 years, covering virtually every aspect of their brief career. Yet, Chuck Gunderson has found an unique angle.
In Some Fun Tonight, a two-volume set of coffee-table books from Backbeat books, he goes behind the scenes of the groundbreaking and tumultuous tours the Beatles did in North America in 1964, 1965 & 1966, giving us an account of what happened before, during and after each concert the Beatles played in the US and Canada.
He tells some incredible stories of the planning, and jockeying of promoters and radio stations to pull off bringing the four lads from Liverpool to America. In his research and detective work, Gunderson has also unearthed a treasure trove of never-before-seen photographs and memorabilia from each stop on those tours.
The end result is a must to anyone who attended these legendary performances, or anyone that wants to understand just how crazy these tours of the Beatles really were.
Steve Barton is best known as the leader of the Los Angeles band, Translator, who was signed to Columbia records in the early Eighties, scoring a college radio hit, “Everywhere That I’m Not,” in 1982. Barton issued his first solo record in 1999, and since then has issued six more, his latest being Tall Tales and Alibis.
At a time when many artists have abandoned the album format for the far more economical single, Barton’s new release is a triple album, tour de force, with each disc taking on it’s own unique mood; a staggering 37 new songs to add to his catalog. In addition, his venerable band Translator continues to record and tour.
Barton plays all the instruments on the first two discs, which he recorded at his home studio. The third disc is a full band record, featuring cameos by fellow Translator members as well as Pete Thomas on drums from Elvis Costello’s Attractions.
He also talks about a dream he had where Bob Dylan played him a new song, which is included on one of the new discs.
“You’re as baaad as Eric Clapton, and I know Eric Clapton”
Those words were uttered by legendary bluesman Buddy Guy and he was talking about guitarist Peter Parcek, who’s been creating a name for himself playing shows in the Northeast and releasing several critically acclaimed albums, even being nominated as “Best New Artist” by the Blues Foundation.
Yet, it’s been awhile since we’ve heard from him – seven years in fact. He’s broken his silence with Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven, an album full of his gritty guitar and signature atmospheric blues sound. He’s backed by a stellar lineup of musicians, including Spooner Oldham and Luther Dickinson.
We discuss what took so long between releases, how some potent moonshine entered the recording process, and what he thinks of being referred to as “innovative and old.”
Jethro Tull issued their debut album, This Was, back in 1968 to little fanfare. Few knew that this mix of blues, folk and psychedelia would usher in one of the most successful careers in all of rock. Now, a staggering 50 years later, leader Ian Anderson is celebrating that half-century mark by hitting the road with his venerable band for 50 Years of Jethro Tull, promising to not only cover the high points throughout the years, but also dig back into some of the very early material as well.
We chat the early days of the band, what’s in store for the new tour, and the continued reissue campaign of their catalog (Heavy Horses is the latest in the batch). We also discuss a little-known fact – that Tommy Iommi of Black Sabbath briefly joined Jethro Tull in the early days.
Kinky Friedman is an American original. The cigar-smoking, self-proclaimed “Jewish cowboy” has done it all – he’s toured with Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue and been onstage at the Grand Ole Opry. He’s hobnobbed with John Belushi and Willie Nelson. Then, when his music career waned, he became a novelist, penning numerous mystery novels and non-fiction books.
He also ran for governor of Texas (garnering a whopping 1/2 million votes) and is an advocate for animal rights. Truthfully, there’s so many layers to the man who’s real first name is Richard. Author Mary Lou Sullivan tries to uncover things in Everything’s Bigger in Texas – the Life & Times of Kinky Friedman from Backbeat Books.
Sullivan talks about the similarities and differences between Friedman and her other biography subject, the late Johnny Winter. Plus, she reveals some of the obstacles she had to overcome to complete the book and get the real story of a man shrouded in myth.
John Mayall is one of the finest living ambassadors to the blues. His bands have been proving grounds for countless musicians, many of whom he’s outlived – and yet, he’s showing no sign of slowing down. He’s played a slew of recent live dates, and his latest studio album, 2017’s Talk About That, is one of the finest of his career.
But, never one to stay in one place too long, Mayall threw everyone a curveball when he went out on the road without a guitarist, allowing Mayall, his bassist and drummer, plenty of space to make music, and turning the spotlight on his harmonica and piano playing skills. Three For the Road is a live document of that unique tour, and it’s out from Forty Below Records.
Mayall talks about the challenges and freedoms that come from just playing in a trio, plus he reveals what’s on the horizon for him – a new album with an all-star lineup of guitarists.
Luther Russell may not be a household name, but he’s managed to put together an impressive body of work over the last 30 years. He played in a pre-Wallflowers band with Jakob Dylan called The Bootheels; got signed to a major label in the 1990’s with the roots-rock outfit, The Freewheelers; worked with former Black Crowes’ guitarist Marc Ford in Federale, and is currently in a band with Big Star drummer Jody Stephens called Those Pretty Wrongs. He’s also done several solo albums where he’s played all the instruments himself.
The highlights of his multi-faceted career have been cobbled together in Selective Memories: An Anthology, just out from Hanky Panky Records.
Tommy Keene was a gifted songwriter and guitarist who unexpectedly passed away in November of 2017 at the age of 59. His melodic, hook-filled songs, made him a staple of college radio during the 1980’s, and influenced many musicians that came after.
Keene was a guest on the Icon Fetch podcast on five separate occasions. These interviews reveal a musician who was dedicated to his art, but was also a passionate music fan himself (with a great sense of humor).
We’ve culled the best moments of these interviews, where Keene talks about the many twists and turns of his career, plus he reflects on many of his influences.
We’ve also recorded new tributes to Tommy from R.E.M’s Peter Buck, Guy Picciotto of Fugazi, Ted Niceley (who played in Tommy’s early band), and Dwight Twilley. Plus, we talked with Josh Grier, who signed Tommy to Dolphin Records in the early days, and Stephen Judge, where Tommy put out a string of fantastic albums during the last years of his life.
Nona Hendryx started her musical career as part of the Bluebelles, which also featured Patti Labelle, Sarah Dash & Cindy Birdsong. The quartet hit in 1962 with “I Sold My Heart to the Junkman.” Eventually, trimmed to a trio, the group changed their name to Labelle and hit pay dirt with “Lady Marmalade” in 1974, before breaking up a few years later.
Since then, Hendryx has forged a solo career with many twists and turns. Her latest project sees her teamed with guitarist Gary Lucas for The World of Captain Beefheart, a tribute to one of the most underrated musicians of all time. We chat the origins of this project, what attracted her to Beefheart’s music, and the enduring legacy of “Lady Marmalade.”