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BLACK HISTORY MONTH: FUNK, PART 1
Bow down to the Godfather of Soul. (2/24a)
ROSENBERG TO EXIT DEF JAM; HARLESTON INTERIM CHIEF; MCNAIR COMES ABOARD
A Shady move. (2/24a)
REBA RETURNS TO UMG NASHVILLE
She's back to where she once belonged. (2/21a)
NEAR TRUTHS:
THE FOREVER MARCH
The struggle continues. (2/21a)
PINGING: BABY KEEM
What's that buzz? (2/24a)
DON'T TALK TO THE PRESS
Also, don't leak the memo about not talking to the press to the press. Please.
GRAMMY VOTING
How the sausage is made.
BIEBER'S BIG BOW
Changes changes the conversation.
PRIMARIES
So hard to decide...
Critics' Choice
RE-TELLING THE BAND'S STORY
2/21/20

 

Robbie Robertson is the last man standing from the group of four Canadians and a Southerner who demonstrated in the 1970s how to take decades of American music and distill it into one fragrant broth.

As such, he gets to tell the story of The Band—yes, Garth Hudson is with us as well, but he’s always been the quiet one—in Daniel Roher’s documentary Once Were Brothers, which opens today in Los Angeles and New York.  

Roher and Robertson take us through The Band’s beginnings, their backup roles with Ronnie Hawkins and Bob Dylan, the move to Woodstock and their collective ambitions as musicians and songwriters. Then there’s the stories about drugs and how the hard stuff took down one of the most vital acts in American rock & roll. Robertson avoided the narcotics; the others indulged heavily, we’re told.

The story is told with spectacular clips—one shot of a stadium show gives you an indication of how big they were in the mid-1970s despite a lack of hit singles—and the talking heads recall how Robertson. & Co. were as important as The Beatles. Eric Clapton even says he wanted to be their guitarist.

Robertson’s buddy Martin Scorsese made one of the greatest concert films ever, The Last Waltz, and basically told Robbie’s side of the story in that 1978 masterpiece. Robertson told his story in book from four years ago in Testimony, which is largely the script for Once Were Brothers.

The break-up of The Band here is far more acrimonious and troubling in the Once Were Brothers telling than The Last Waltz’s “gosh we’re tired—let’s do a show and hang it up” fable. Robertson’s bandmate Levon Helm told his side of the story in a book; Rick Danko and Richard Manuel never did.

Fortunately the music speaks for itself: the Capitol package celebrating the 50th anniversary of their self-titled second album—the one we called “the brown one” back in the day—is a glorious reminder of their uniqueness, spirit and harmony. That package, with essays,  their Woodstock performances and photos, is only a chapter of The Band, but it’s a story full of promise and hope, the one many fans of The Band should chose to re-live again and again.

 

KIRK FRANKLIN TAKES HOME TWO MORE GRAMMYS
1/27/20


RCA Inspiration
is celebrating Kirk Franklin's double win at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards. The Gospel legend earned Grammy wins for Best Gospel Performance/Song for his #1 hit "Love Theory" and Best Gospel Album for LONG LIVE LOVE (Fo Yo Soul/RCA). 

The pair of trophies brings his total Grammy count to an astounding 16 throughout his prolific career. Franklin also performed on the Grammy Awards' tribute to Nipsey Hussle, alongside DJ Khaled, John Legend, YG, Meek Mill and Roddy Ricch.

Phil Thornton, SVP and General Manager for RCA Inspiration says, “Congratulations to Kirk for his Grammy wins honoring his outstanding work this past year! It’s always an incredible experience to see Kirk performing live on stage.”

UMe CELEBRATES ALLMANS' 50TH
1/14/20

The first informal jam by the musicians who would become The Allman Brothers Band kicks off the 10 LP/5 CD set Trouble No More: 50th Anniversary Collectionthat  Island Mercury/UMe will release 2/28.

The demo from that jam in 1969, on Muddy Waters “Trouble No More,” is one of seven previously unreleased tracks in the set; a live performance of “Trouble No More” from the Allman Brothers Band’s final show at New York’s Beacon Theatre closes the collection.

Arranged chronologically and thematically and representing all 13 of the band’s lineups, the set is  divided by the group's stints on the Capricorn, Arista and Epic labels, as well as the band's own Peach imprint.

Both editions include a 9,000 word essay on the band by John Lynskey, unreleased band photos and a recap of the 13 incarnations of the band lineup. All recordings have been newly mastered by Jason NeSmith at Chase Park Transduction in Athens.

The surviving members of the Allmans will be performing a 50th anniversary concert at Madison Square Garden on 3/10.