Tag Archives: music

Grand Canyon Serenade-Video

19 Sep

Public Television recently hosted an hour of Grand Canyon scenery paired with classical music masterpieces, Grand Canyon Serenade. I sat watching for the hour unable to move, just mesmerize by the magnitude of it. In a series for the next month I will be sharing different views of the Grand Canyon experience.

This spectacular program presents a stunning HD visual portrait of the Grand Canyon region set to the world-class music of some of the most beloved classical music composers such as Tchaikovsky, Brahms, and Dvorak. Viewers experience breathtaking panoramas and one of the most dramatic adventures on the planet in a meditative film journey that showcases the beauty and spiritual nature of one of America’s crown jewels.

Below is a preview, enjoy.

The story of our national parks is a long and complicated one, full of competing demands between utterly American impulses – between preservation and exploitation, the sacred and the profitable; between the immediate desires of one generation and its obligation and promise to the next.  

THIS IS AMERICA is a complete 45-minute film that tells the story of the national park idea through the prism of our nation’s diverse population, weaving together stories of extraordinary people from a wide variety of backgrounds who devoted their lives to the national park ideal – to preserve and protect these special places for everyone, for all time – and helped it broaden and evolve over the course of 150 years.


5 Sep

The Who to open Olympics
The Who, who were reported to have been forced into retirement from live shows earlier this year because of guitarist Pete Townshend’s severe case of tinnitus, will perform at the closing ceremonies at the 2012 London Olympics, when the torch it traditionally passed to the next host city, Rio de Janeiro, according to Britain’s Sunday Mirror. 
The appearance is being touted as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the band that will include an extensive U.S. tour that will see the group perform Townshend’s epic 1973 rock opera, “Quadrophenia,” in its entirety.
In truth, The Who didn’t actually form until 1964, but Townshend and The Who’s late bassist John Entwhistle did form a Dixieland jazz band called The Confederates in 1962. In that band, Townshend played banjo while Entwhistle played an unusual instrument for Dixieland, the French horn. Singer Roger Daltrey, then the guitarist for a band he formed in 1959 called The Detours, recruited the two Confederates for his group sometime late in 1962 or early 1963. By 1964, with the late drummer Keith Moon on board, The Detours became The Who.
Tony Bennett will celebrate his 85th birthday in a big way. On Sept. 24 at Staples Center, the American Association of Retired Persons, better known as AARP, is staging, “Tony Bennett Live in Concert: Benefit to End Hunger,” that will help end hunger among older Americans.

Headlining birthday boy Bennett has selected an eclectic group of recording artists from a variety of musical genres to join him. They include Stevie Wonder, jazz singer-pianist Diana Krall (who has been married to Elvis Costello since 2003), Country singer Carrie Underwood and hotshot guitarist-singer John Meyer.

Bennett’s latest CD, “Tony Bennett: Duets II,” featuring the ageless crooner with the late Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga, Aretha Franklin, Michael Buble, Josh Groban, Natalie Cole, Andrea Bocelli, k.d. lang, Sheryl Crow, Faith Hill, Meyer, Underwood and others, will be released Sept. 20.
Heavy metal singer Sebastian Bach, who fronted the hit-making New Jersey outfit, Skid Row from 1987-96 (the band’s first two albums went multi-platinum), lost his New Jersey home to Hurricane Irene, according to E Online. Bach, 43, reported that his ex-wife and children are safe, but he lost countless memorabilia as well as Skid Row master tapes and one-of-a-kind videos.
A nearby reservoir overflowed and sent a bridge like a missile into his garage, knocking the house off its foundation and flooding his basement.

On other Hurricane Irene news, numerous concerts had to be canceled or postponed, including those by Pat Benatar, Styx, Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Dave Matthews Band and Crosby, Stills and Nash.
Welsh singer Tom Jones, still a heartthrob at 71, had a medical scare in Monte Carlo, Monaco, thought to be heart related. However, his website states that he was hospitalized in the capital’s Princess Grace Hospital for “severe dehydration.”

Jones, who first gained international fame in 1964 with the smash, “It’s Not Unusual,” is now resting back home in London. The canceled show was to have been the finale of his three-month long “Praise & Blame” tour.

Country singer-songwriter-guitarist Buck Owens bagged 70 top 40 singles and 20 Country No. 1 singles that he recorded for Capitol Records. However, Owens was making records years before he went with them.

RockBeat Records is releasing a bunch of his pre-Capitol work on “Bound for Bakersfield 1953-1956: The Complete Pre-Capitol Collection,” that comes out Sept. 27. The CD includes 24 songs from his first known session in 1953 in Hollywood, which produced two singles, “Down on the Corner of Love,” backed with “It Don’t Show on Me,” and “The House Down the Block” between “Right After the Dance,” on Pep Records that was based in Pico Rivera. The CD closes with a 1956 Bakersfield session.
The new John Denver best-of package, “The Ultimate Collection,” debuted at No. 7 on the British Album chart. This is the highest spot on the British chart the late folk and pop singer-songwriter who died when his experimental place crashed in the Pacific Ocean off Monterey in October 1997, has attained since his “Live in London” album in May 1976.

Folk and blues singer Maria Muldaur, who hit No. 6 on the Top 40 in 1974 with the light, jazzy, “Midnight at the Oasis,” will release her latest studio album, “Steady Love,” on Sept. 27. The album features songs penned by Elvin Bishop, B.B. King, The Staples Singers, The Band’s Levon Helm and others.

The 67-year-old singer, who began her career in the early `60s singing backups to The Lovin’ Spoonful’s John Sebastian, among others, before joining The Jim Kweskin Jug Band, has kept a low profile over the decades, but has nonetheless released a steady stream of literally dozens of albums since her solo self-titled debut album came out in 1973. She’s also continued to perform through the years with her band, The Red Hot Bluesiana Band. Muldaur and her band are touring the U.S. for the next couple months.
Noted Delta bluesman David “Honeyboy” Edwards died at his Chicago home at 96. He was believed to have been the oldest surviving member of the first generation of Mississippi Delta blues singers that included Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Son House, Elmore James, Charley Patton, Big Joe Williams and Muddy Waters. He claimed to have written several well-known blues songs, including “Long Tall Woman Blues” and “Just Like Jesse James.

His recording career didn’t begin until he was older than most. His first known recordings date to 1942. He was active musically until this past April when he fell ill, with shows still scheduled in Chicago and Europe. His last appearances were April 16 and 17 at the Juke Joint Festival and Cathead Mini-Festival in Clarksdale, Missippi. In fact, Edwards had been scheduled to perform at noon on the day of his passing in Millennium Park in Chicago.
Among the recent album releases are Alzheimer’s sufferer Glen Campbell’s “Ghost On The Canvas” with guests Dick Dale, the “King of the Surf Guitar”; The Smashing Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan; Jakob Dylan; The Dandy Warhols; Chris Isaac; Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen; former Stray Cats guitarist Brian Setzer; former guitarist for Alice Cooper, Steve Hunter; former Prince prot g Wendy Melvoin; former Replacements leader Paul Westerberg and Keith Urban. The deluxe edition includes five songs recorded by Campbell during the run of his hit 1969-72 TV variety show, “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.”
Other releases include “I’m With You,” by The Red Hot Chili Peppers; “Ready For Confetti” from Country singer-guitarist Robert Earl Keen; 38 Special’s “Live From Texas”: noted slide guitarist Ry Cooder’s “Pull Up Some Dust & Sit Down”; and “Complete Live in New York 1974” from English prog rockers Nektar.
Sony Legacy has released a three-CD “Essential 3.0” series set, including set focusing on The Byrds, Carole King and Aerosmith.
Speaking of Aerosmith, the Boston-based rockers were one of the last major holdouts on the digital market, until now. Columbia Records has finally made their Aerosmith catalog available on iTunes. This pertains to albums recorded between 1973-87, when the band scored the vast majority of its hits.
Cyndi Lauper decided that this girl just wants to have fun by opening The True Colors Residence in Harlem. The 58-year-old, who recently changed styles to become a blues singer, opened a 30-bed housing facility for homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered youth this weekend.

Lauper, who will undertake a brief six-show tour of the east coast with Dr. John in October, is writing the music and lyrics for “Kinky Boots – The Musical,” from the book by Harvey Fierstein. The show will hold a reading on Oct. 6, going into rehearsal on Sept. 23.

Rolling Stones co-leader Keith Richards has hit platinum status with his autobiography, “Life,” signifying one million book sales, making the memoir is one of the most successful rock music tell-alls in publishing history.

Catbone Records have taken almost a decade to restore and re-master many very rare and some unreleased recordings of America’s great legendary blues, rock and roots artists, from the heart of the Delta to the tips of the Appalachians, New Orleans, Macon, Chicago, Memphis, and a myriad of other music centers, the record label announced.
The upcoming releases include albums featuring John Lee Hooker, Howlin’ Wolf, James Cotton, Muddy Waters, Mike Bloomfield, Little Richard, Paul Butterfield, Billy Boy Arnold, Elmore James, Jimmy Reed, and Etta James.
Two of the legendary ’60s psychedelic soul and gospel rockers, The Chambers Brothers, singer-guitarists Joe and Willie Chambers, have come out of retirement to provide backup vocals on a new five-song EP from Aussie rock and blues belter Jessie Sparks, according to a press release from her PR people.

Joe and Willie Chambers wrote the all-time Chambers Brothers psychedelic rock classic, “Time Has Come Today” in 1966, but it didn’t become the smash it is until the fall of 1968, when it peaked at No. 11. Known for its sound effects, including echo and heavy reverb and its use of a cowbell, the album version was 11 minutes long.
Jackson Browne and famed session bassist Rob Wasserman chose to celebrate fabled folk singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday by composing a 15-minute ode, “You Know the Night,” that’s based on a 30-page Guthrie notebook entry, according to Spin. A four-minute version has been edited for radio play.

The new song will appear on “Notes of Hope,” a CD collection of other musical interpretations of his writing that’s due in January. Others participating in the project include Lou Reed, Brian Wilson collaborator Van Dyke Parks, Rage Against the Machine guitar gunslinger and social activist Tom Morello, 92-year-old Guthrie contemporary Pete Seeger, and Ani De Franco.

On Sept. 10, Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan will perform at a dedication ceremony at the site of the 9/11 hijacked United Flight 93 crash near Shankesville, PA, that killed 40 passengers and crew, according to the Toronto Sun. The Flight 93 National Memorial dedication will include dignitaries and relatives of those killed. One of the memorial’s features is the “Tower of Voices” which will house 40 wind chimes representing the passengers and crew.
Janet Jackson will not be participating in the tribute concert to her brother, Michael, on Oct. 8 in Cardiff Wales, produced by their parents and some of her siblings. She said in a statement to the Associated Press, “Because of the trial (of Michael Jackson’s personal physician), the timing of this tribute to our brother would be too difficult for me.”
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Mickey Hart, 67, one of the Grateful Dead’s two drummers, said, “as long as we’re above ground, there’s always a possibility” that his immortal San Francisco band will reunite for a tour.
Until then, Dead singer-guitarist Bob Weir and bassist Phil Lesh are busy with their side project, Further, who are going out on the road this fall, while Hart works with his new band, The Rhythm Devils, and the other Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann records with his new band, 7 Walkers.
When Capitol Records finally releases the decades-long aborted “Smile” from The Beach Boys on Nov. 1, it will come in three varieties, the record company announced. Brian Wilson’s “teenage symphony to God” will hit the public as a double-CD containing the original album sequenced as best as the group, session players and recording engineers can remember, along with 22 bonus tracks of sessions, alternate versions and demos, a Smile button, a poster of the cover art and a 36-page booklet. A two-LP vinyl set will also be available. It will also be available digitally.

The six-CD Box set contains a duplicate of the two-CD set’s first disc followed by four additional CDs with 112 rarities from the sessions, the same two-LP set, two vinyl 45s, a 60-page case-bound book, and a poster of the cover art.

Over a year after its release in Europe, Joe Cocker’s 21st album, “Hard Knocks,” will finally hit U.S. store shelves on Nov. 22, notes Vintage Vinyl News. The CD is a collection of nine new songs plus a cover of the Dixie Chicks’ “I Hope.” The album was recorded in Los Angeles and features an appearance by “Ghostbusters” hit-maker, singer-guitarist Ray Parker, Jr.


Former Yes singer Jon Anderson and keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman, titans of the British progressive rock movement that began in the late `60s, will tour America together as a duo for the first time. The 14-date tour kicks off Oct. 19 in Milwaukee, before making stops in New England, Quebec and Montreal exclusively.

By Steve Smith, Correspondent

Posted: 09/01/2011 07:44:15 PM PDT

Steve Smith: The Who to open Olympics – Pasadena Star-News