Tara MacLean leads girl rockers at Double Door
For those who mourn the omission of a Lilith Fair this year on their summer calendars, there's "The Girls Room," a mini-Lilith Fair happening at the Double Door in Chicago Friday night.
It's a free show, but there's a $5 donation requested at the door that will go to a local charity ... "The Girls Room," a tour of four new Capitol Records artists, features Tara MacLean, a three-time Lilith performer who treads the same musical water as Lilith founder Sarah McLachlan. "The Girls Room" tour (sponsored, amusingly enough, by Stayfree) will help fill the gap of a woman-centric fest this weekend ... Kendall Payne, a catchy new country-rock artist, Shannon McNally, occasionally a vocal deadringer for Bonnie Raitt, and Amy Correia, a more folksy singer-songwriter, round out the bill, which should offer a strong night of estrogen-laden singer-songwriter intimacy.
Great White, who scored a handful of Top 100 hits in the late '80s - early '90s, have a new "best of" set out.
Latest & Greatest, on Portrait, includes their hits "Rock Me," "Call It Rock 'n Roll," "Save Your Love," "House of Broken Love," and a 1999 live version of "The Angel Song," as well as their biggest success, the 1989 Top 5 cover of Ian Hunter's "Once Bitten, Twice Shy." Also included is "Rollin' Stoned," the top track from their 1999 album Can't Get There from Here.
B.B. King is having a busy 75th birthday year. Last month Guitar.com offered an extensive online special on the blues master that included a video guitar lesson and interview. This spring MCA released his solo disc Makin' Love Is Good For You, and this summer Reprise Records offers another new disc finding King cementing a 30-year friendship with Eric Clapton on a collaborative effort called Riding with the King.
This new studio album features the two music legends trading guitar and vocal licks on a dozen old and new blues tunes, a handful of them classics penned in the '50s and '60s by King, and the title track an '80s song written by John Hiatt.
With the help of background singers like Wendy & Lisa's Wendy Melvoin (and her sister Susannah) and ace players like Andy Fairweather Low, Doyle Bramhall II, Joe Sample and more, the album shifts between organic slow blues ("Worried Life Blues") and more contemporary big production rockin' blues ("I Wanna Be," written by Bramhall II and Bob Dylan's guitarist Charlie Sexton).
It's a disc of feel-good blues, and a great testament to the talents of two of the century's most renowned guitarists.
Speaking of collaborative efforts, Wilco has gone back to the font of its critically acclaimed Mermaid Avenue album of a couple years back.
That disc found Wilco and Billy Bragg collaborating on new music to bring to life the unreleased lyrics of Woody Guthrie on newly written songs. Now on Mermaid Avenue Vol. II, Wilco and Bragg return to the scene of the crime and offer 15 more adaptations of Guthrie lyrics, some recordings left over from the original Mermaid sessions and some brand new interpretations.
The disc opens with one of its best adaptations.
The slide guitar Dylan-esque raveup "Airline to Heaven" sounds both vintage and fresh as Wilco's Jeff Tweedy mouths Guthrie's inspired 1939 mix of the sacred and the profane: "Them's got ears let them hear/them's got eyes let them see/turn your eyes to the Lord of the skies/take that airline plane/it will take you home again/yes, to your home beyond the skies."
Bragg handles the call on "My Flying Saucer," a back porch head nodder with words about flying away in a UFO that Guthrie wrote in 1950.
Given the rootsy, folksy bent of the artists and the tenor of Guthrie's lyrics, many of the songs on Mermaid Avenue Vol. II have a decided retro rock-folk bent, and the band recorded them with plenty of reverb and vintage guitars and the occasional Hammond B3.
The result is an album out of time; a brand new disc from the late '60s, from the dawn of electric folk.