In advance of the May 22 release of Jeff Healey’s Heal My Soul 2CD deluxe edition, Eagle Records is releasing a new lyric video of “Moodswing.” Additionally, those who pre-order the album, which is available now, will be eligible to receive the first “instant gratification” track “Dancing With The Monsters” – out now via digital platforms.

Originally released in 2016, on what would have been Healey’s 50th birthday, Heal My Soul was a “lost” album of 12 unheard songs that the guitarist/blues-rock vocalist recorded from 1996-1998. For the very first time, Heal My Soul will be paired with its companion album Holding On — a collection of five additional studio tracks and a live performance from Rockefeller Music Hall in Oslo, Norway — in this deluxe version.

Known for his unconventional way of playing guitar in a lap-steel fashion, fretting with all five fingers, Jeff Healey (who was blind since childhood due to a rare form of eye cancer) solidified a legacy as a musician’s musician. His style of blues-rock earned the Canadian artist fans worldwide, before his untimely passing in 2008. This deluxe edition of Heal My Soul is a collection of material from one of Healey’s most creative periods, for both veteran and new fans.

Jeff Healey

Pre-Order Heal My Soul Deluxe Edition

The post New Lyric Video From Jeff Healey’s ‘Heal My Soul’ Deluxe Edition “Moodswing” appeared first on American Blues Scene.

In the two years since A Partner to Lean On, Benton’s life has undergone several large changes, namely the dissolution of LVL UP, the indie rock quartet he co-founded in college, and a move to Kingston, a small city in New York’s Hudson Valley.

Composed during-but not directly inspired by-this transition, Trace Mountains‘ second record, Lost in the Country (available today via Lame-O Records) reflects Benton’s need to reconnect with his inner world. Prompted by an urge to access a more authentic voice, Lost in the Country finds Benton digging deeper into candid songwriting. “I wanted to open myself up and write lyrics that are a little bit more direct,” he explains. “I write a lot of songs that are about myself and a lot of songs that aren’t, but on this record, the focus is turned inward either way.” The result is Mountains’ strongest and most assured record yet, 10 songs driven by a desire for introspection and self-discovery.

The backdrop for this insularity is an expanse of wide blue skies, seas of trees, and winding roads, ideal locales for thoughts to blossom into greater reflections of the outer world. The slow-burning “Absurdity,” which Benton modestly says is about “hiking and standing in the country,” uses the sublimity of the wilderness to comment on technology’s inescapable presence. Similarly, the driving opener “Rock & Roll” transforms the premise of a “simple song about being a rocker” into a stream-of-consciousness, apocalyptic poem about delusions, regrets, and getting lost in your own limited perspective. This self-examination culminates with the record’s ambitious and anthemic title track. Channeling the cosmic sprawl of the War on Drugs or Kurt Vile, Benton recalls a moment of deep loneliness and depression outside a concert venue in the Netherlands, and how an unexpected moment of compassion led to a moment of awakening.

Despite its frequently bucolic setting, Lost in the Country‘s underlying current is an urgent commitment to Trace Mountains and “finding a creative process that requires me to be honest with myself.” “I know I sing to forget, I sing to hold my breath, to feel the thumping in my chest,” Benton sings on “Cooper’s Dream.”  This line is “rooted in the importance of music in my life, it’s definitely a reflection on that and how I can keep it in my life, because if I’m not careful and I don’t nurture it, I could lose it.” The self-imposed pressure has been empowering for Benton. “I really like having full control in making a record, deciding what songs are going to be on it, as well as shaping the vibe or narrative of the whole thing,” he says. “It brings a peace of mind knowing that I am responsible for just my voice.”

While Benton is Trace Mountains’ songwriter, he asserts that Lost in the Country is by no means a solo effort. Collaboration is crucial to the project and Benton is quick to credit the contributions of his bandmates, which include Jim Hill (Slight Of), Greg Rutkin (LVL UP, Cende), Sean Henry and Susannah Cutler (Yours Are the Only Ears). “It’s definitely our record,” Benton says. “I couldn’t make this thing without them.” After beginning the recording process at Brooklyn’s Studio G with engineer Matt Labozza, Benton finished Lost in the Country at his home studio in Kingston, where he also added contributions from Carmen Perry (Voice), Stew Cutler (Guitar, Lap Steel), Dan Goldberg (Synthesizer) and ARTHUR (Samples, “AB” by ARTHUR). It was then mixed by Mike Ditrio and mastered by Ryan Schwabe.

Trace Mountains

*Feature image courtesy of the artist

The post Trace Mountains ‘Lost in the Country’ Out Today appeared first on American Blues Scene.

In a career that has already spanned a half-century, guitarist and vocalist, Jorma Kaukonen has been one of the most highly respected interpreters of American roots music, blues, and Americana, and at the forefront of popular rock-and-roll. A member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and a Grammy recipient, he is a founding member of two legendary bands, Jefferson Airplane and the still-touring Hot Tuna. Jorma Kaukonen’s repertoire goes far beyond his involvement creating psychedelic rock; he is a legend and one of the finest singer-songwriters and master instrumentalist in music today. Jorma tours the world bringing his unique styling to old blues and writing new songs with insight and imagination.

Last Saturday over 5,000 friends and fans joined in to watch the first show in the Live From Fur Peace Ranch series! Together we are a family!

Jorma will now perform the second show live from the Fur Peace Ranch spreading the message to Stay in Peace! Join us for his second stream from the Fur Peace Ranch Youtube Channel. On Saturday, April 11 at 8 p.m. EDT, Jorma will perform and answer questions through the chat feature on the Fur Peace Ranch YouTube channel.  There will be giveaways too through the chat feature!

Here’s the link to listen in and participate: 

 While the ranch is closed, the music has not stopped. The Fur Peace Ranch online store offers recordings from the many artists that have played and taught at the Fur Peace Ranch over the years. Many albums are difficult to find! Purchasing an album provides income to the artists who cannot tour during these difficult times, provides support of this independent small business, and provides hours of listening pleasure for you! Check it out!

 Jorma will be teaching online classes and weekend workshops from the Fur Peace Ranch. Stay tuned to hear more!  Sign up here.

The post Jorma Kaukonen to do 2nd Show Live From Fur Peace Ranch appeared first on American Blues Scene.

Joe Bonamassa has released a full-length instrumental album Easy To Buy, Hard To Sell as he debuts his brand new project, The Sleep Eazys.

The album takes a slight departure from Bonamassa’s revered repertoire, with the intent of honoring Danny Gatton, one of his most influential mentors, as well as covering instrumental versions of some of his favorites from Frank Sinatra, Danny Gatton, Tony Joe White, King Curtis and more. Bonamassa shares his excitement on the project, “To be honest I have always wanted to do a record like this. But, to be even more honest I’m not sure I was ready both professionally and musically, until now. The time finally felt right to finally pay tribute to a mentor, a friend and one of the greatest guitarists of all time: the late great Danny Gatton. My time hanging out and jamming with Danny as a child shaped my playing and musical pathway more than just about anyone.”

Largely comprised of Joe’s touring band, the Sleep Eazys includes Late Night with David Letterman’s Anton Fig (percussion), Musician’s Hall of Famer Michael Rhodes (bass), Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Reese Wynans (keyboards), Lee Thornburg (trumpet), Paulie Cerra (saxophone), along with Jade MacRae and Juanita Tippins on background vocals, and of course, Bonamassa on guitar. Accompanying the stellar and tight-knit cast are Jimmy Hall on harmonica and esteemed multi-instrumentalist John Jorgenson. Fans of Bonamassa will enjoy the larger-than-life sound of the star-studded collective that is The Sleep Eazys, providing an array of sounds in everything from jazz to bluegrass, funk, rockabilly and more! With the caliber and expertise of musicians on this album, it is sure to catch fire.

Joe Bonamassa

The post The Sleep Eazys ft. Joe Bonamassa ‘Easy to Buy – Hard to Sell’ Out Today appeared first on American Blues Scene.

Peter Karp is known for many things. An assertive singer, a skilled guitarist and a passionate performer, he’s also an individual who writes songs that frequently reflect tales told as part of life’s journey, spawned by passion and personal experience.

Consequently he’s not easily confined to any singular genre. Blues, Americana and rock ‘n roll reverence all find common ground within his visceral template. He taps tradition and yet also maintains contemporary credence. As his friend and collaborator, Rolling Stones guitarist and John Mayall sideman Mick Taylor once noted, “Guys like Peter Karp, James Taylor and Bob Dylan embody Americana Blues, and us English guys are inspired by it.”

That’s never been more evident than on Karp’s striking new album, Magnificent Heart which will be released May 8th on Rose Cottage Records. A stirring collection of songs and observations, it bends the boundaries from blues to ballads, all conveyed with the insight and authority for which Karp’s come to be known. Whether it’s the gritty defiance inherent in such songs as “Sitting on Top of the World” and “The Letter,” the assured swagger of “This World,” the stoic determination inherent in “The Grave,” or the softer sentiments conveyed through “The World,” “Scared,” “The Last Heartbeat,” and the string-filled coda, “Face the Wind,” Karp conveys a knowing perspective that resonates through common cause.

The dozen songs that make up Magnificent Heart were written over the course of the past few years while Karp was touring both domestically and abroad. They were intended, he insists, for those he describes as either “doomed or redeemed.” They’re stories about people he met and the experiences he encountered along the way. He describes it as a reflection of “the triumphs and tragedies that you leave behind and await you as you move ahead. Only love, faith and a magnificent heart will see you through.”

Written and produced by Karp, Magnificent Heart features Karp on slide guitar, solo guitar, guitar, piano and vocals, along with Kim Wilson (harmonica), Jason Ricci (harmonica), John Ginty (B3 organ), Jim Eingher (piano and keyboard), Paul Carbonara (guitar and solo guitar on “The Letter,” “This World”), James Otis Karp (solo guitar on “Scared”), Niles Terrat (bass), Edward Williams (bass), Michael Catapano (drums/percussion), Cold City Horns (Jacob Wynne, trumpet and David Kasper, tenor sax), and Eyrn O’ree (background vocals).

Born in the tiny hamlet of Leonia, New Jersey, just over the Hudson River from New York City, Karp was introduced to music at an early age by his mother and sister who would take him to shows featuring the stars of the nascent English Invasion, Murray the K’s freewheeling road shows and the soul artists emerging from Motown with the beckoning of Top 40 radio.

That instinctive love of music was accelerated when he went to live with his dad in a trailer park, in rural Enterprise, Alabama. It was there that he became aware of the musicians that laid the seeds for the seminal sounds of the Blues, revered pioneers like Son House, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Elmore James and Howlin’ Wolf. He also began exploring the artists that picked up that gauntlet early on, original American masters like Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and Jerry Lee Lewis.

He formed his first band, They Came From Houses, which quickly became a staple of New York’s nascent underground scene, as represented by such iconic clubs as CBGBs, Folk City and the Mudd Club. The band shared stages with the likes of Marshall Crenshaw, Mink Deville, the Stray Cats, John Hammond Jr., George Thorogood and David Johansen, among the many, but eventually Karp became disillusioned with the music scene and walked away, preferring to spend his time caring for a new family instead of finding himself always out on the road.

Revitalized after his hiatus, Karp eventually returned to performing, writing songs that reflected his accumulated life experiences. That core commitment led to his first independent release, 1998’s Live at the Americana Roadhouse, a poorly recorded but well received collection of original songs captured in concert. It was also the record that brought him to Mick Taylor’s attention after hearing some of its rough recordings. Taylor subsequently flew to the States to play on Karp’s next effort, The Turning Point, and shortly thereafter the two embarked on a tour together.

In 2007, Karp released a follow up, Shadows and Cracks, his first record for the respected blues label Blind Pig. He Said — She Said, which found him partnering with Canadian singer/songwriter Sue Foley, was released in 2010 and quickly made it into Billboard’s Top Five as well. The duo’s follow up, Beyond the Crossroads, came soon after and was subsequently cited by The Alternate Root Magazine as the #1 CD of the Year for 2012. In 2016, Karp released The Arson’s Match, a series of recordings made with Mick Taylor at New York City’s Bottom Line. Funds from the project go towards a charity Karp started in his wife’s memory.

“What turns me on is absolute honesty,” Karp confesses. “You have to take it seriously to stay committed to who you are and where you’re coming from. That’s the way I connect to my audience. You can’t BS people. It’s always about honesty.”

Peter Karp

*Feature image Emma-Lee Photography courtesy of Devious Planet

“Your health and well-being is our concern,” Jorma Kaukonen speaks on the postponement of the Fur Peace Ranch workshops. While the ranch is closed, the music has not stopped.

 

Join us for a special live performance by Jorma Kaukonen from the Fur Peace Ranch!
Jorma will perform a “Live from the Fur Peace Ranch” concert Saturday, April 4, 2020 at 8 p.m. EDT, for the first in a series of performances.

Here is the link:

Jorma also will be teaching online classes and even weekend workshops from the Fur Peace Ranch. Stay tuned to hear more. Join the Hot Tuna Fan Club

Been So Long,’ Jorma’s autographed book, is out in paperback April 7.

MESSAGE FROM RAY BENSON

Wow, I am filled with so much love and gratitude right now. Thank you so much for the calls, texts, emails, notes on social media from concerned family, friends and fans from all over the world. I appreciate it more than you know and I apologize if I haven’t responded, but I am responding as much as I can with what my energy level allows!

To clear up any confusion or questions, I have tested positive for the COVID 19 Virus. I had become bed ridden with headaches and extreme fatigue/dizziness. I made an appointment with my doctor on Saturday, March 21st to see what was up. Got tests for flu, influenzas etc.. All came back negative. I then asked for a COVID 19 test. They said they didn’t have any! So I just went back home and hunkered down to see if it went away. Unfortunately, the same symptoms kept occurring/progressing. Being extremely fatigued, just falling asleep all the time, headaches were getting worse. Went back to doctor on Monday the 30th to do some bloodwork and other tests to try and figure out what was going on.

After not finding anything through those, I was finally given a COVID 19 test and was sent home and said they’d call me with the results. So I got a call Tuesday morning saying I tested positive! Luckily for me nothing has progressed any farther and feel very lucky and optimistic about my current situation. I am still very fatigued/dizzy and in bed for now. Doctor says if nothing further comes up like elevated temperature, respiratory, cough etc., I should be in the clear in the coming weeks.

What I’d like to get out there is I am and was very frustrated with the lack of testing available. It took basically testing for everything else to acquire a COVID 19 test. Luckily, I wasn’t around that many people within this time frame and was practicing the standard things like washing your hands/sanitizer, wearing a mask at the doctors, keeping proper distance etc.. So I’d like everyone to know the  “symptoms” that are out there as ways to know if you have it or don’t have the virus, doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone. They didn’t for me!

So, please take this virus seriously! It’s for real. Please follow the safety guidelines out there.  If you think or subscribe to those folks whose opinion is that this virus isn’t that big of a deal, please consider otherwise. Please use your voice to demand getting testing out to everyone NOW! Please send your thoughts and prayers out there to all the wonderful people putting their health and their families at risk defending ours. We all know someone or somebody who has lost their life to this virus and we have lots of folks currently fighting the virus and their families need your thoughts and prayers as well.

Please love each other and treat everyone with respect in this time of crisis. This is real and needs to be treated as such. Be safe, wash your hands, STAY OUT OF THE PUBLIC, hunker down and I look forward to getting out on the road and playing music with my band and seeing everyone ASAP!

When COVID-19 disrupted Dirty Honey‘s plans to return to Australia to record new music with legendary producer Nick DiDia, frontman Marc LaBelle concocted an idea to make use of the unexpected downtime: Suitcase Sessions.

“I’ve always wanted to shoot videos out in nature, in non-traditional locations, and have a high-quality recording rig that was small enough to fit in a suitcase,” LaBelle explained.

Unafraid to defy the innocuous music trends of today, the seemingly out-of-nowhere Dirty Honey, featuring LaBelle/vocals, John Notto/guitar, Justin Smolian/bass, and Corey Coverstone/drums, has proven in just one year that their reinvention of rock n’ roll is so close to heaven yet so far from God.

 

In November 2018, the Los Angeles-based rock band was completely unknown, recording its self-titled debut EP in Australia. The band launched on the scene by opening for heavy hitting legends Guns N’ Roses, Slash, and The Who and stunning audiences at major outdoor summer festivals including Sonic Temple, Heavy Montreal, Rocklahoma, Louder Than Life, Exit 111, and Welcome to Rockville. The strength of the band’s live show paved the way to dive straight into 2020 with a string of sold-out headline shows around the country.

The band debuted their first session on March 30: a stripped-down version of “Heartbreaker” in front of a stunning stretch of mountains in Lone Pine, CA, a location synonymous as the backdrop for the most celebrated Westerns filmed since the 1920s.

“I’ve taken my motorcycle up to Lone Pine for a couple of years now, so I know the area really well,” LaBelle explained. “‘Heartbreaker’ was written on an acoustic guitar, so there was something special about performing it acoustically with those snow-covered Sierra Nevada peaks in the distance.”

The band also saw their second single, “Rolling 7s,” explode into the Top Five at U.S. Rock Radio. “Rolling 7s” follows the band’s debut single into the upper echelons of the U.S. and Canadian Rock Charts, coming in at #5 this week. “When I’m Gone” made record industry history last Fall when it because the first track by an unsigned artist to go all the way to #1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Chart.

Check out the video for “Heartbreaker,” (directed by “Rolling 7s” Director Scott Fleishman).

Dirty Honey

*Feature image courtesy of Dirty Honey