Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Miranda Lambert "Revolution" due out 9-29-09

I listened to the new album from Miranda last night, This one is going to be huge. What a recording, this one rocks, its got a Texas red dirt influence all over it. She recorded a version of Canadian singer songwriter Fred Eaglesmith's song "Time to get a Gun" and the best version of his original can be found on Fred's album "The official bootleg series volume two" live at Gruene Hall in 2004. The intro by Fred before the song on his Cd explains it all, always loved that song. Fred is from Southern Ontario Canada but he is country at its best and he is an honorary Texan. Cant wait to see Miranda again at the Chicago country music festival October 3rd and 4Th, and its free! The songs were co written by Miranda except for three of them and her writing companions include Ashley Monroe, Blake Shelton, Travis Howard, Charles Kelly and Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum, Tom Douglas and more. Songs she did not have a hand in include the work of Eaglesmith as well as half the Americana duo of Buddy and Julie Miller, and a song by John Prine "Thats the way the world goes round"
Click on the title here to listen to the album now.

I received my photo pass for Miranda's show at the Chicago Country Music Festival going on October 3 and 4 in Grant park. I will not legally be able to post any of my photos due to contract obligations but if i get permission later then i will. LeeAnn Womack and Jamey Johnson will also be performing so i should be able to post some shots of them on my main site AMP.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Cross Canadian Ragweed @ Joe's bar in Chicago.

I took this photo last time Cross Canadian Ragweed was at Joe's,
November 21st on a Saturday night the boys from Oklahoma will rock Joe's bar in Chicago once again. Go to for more info. See you there.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Happiness and All the Other Things.......

Well Monday August 31st i had a reason to get up out of bed early (yes i call 10 am early) and head down to my local giant electronics and music retailer chain to pick up my copy of the much anticipated new Cross Canadian Ragweed release. Entitled "Happiness and all the other things" and the limited 15Th anniversary edition i bought clocks in at 1:03.33 with 15 songs. 12 of these songs are New and were written over the past two years or so and some were slowly introduced as acoustic versions into their live shows. Another song which is a hidden track is a remake of Warren Zevon's song "Carmelita" off his 1976 self titled album and its a song (also covered by Linda Ronstadt and many more) about a heroin addict who falls for a Mexican girl which is also said to be a metaphor for the city of Los Angeles. The last three songs are Live concert recordings of which one is a heartfelt acoustic version of Willie Nelson's "Angel flying to close to the ground" and is dedicated to Willie Nelson's tour manager of 35 plus years, Randall "Poodie" Locke who passed away May 6Th and a dedication is also present inside the albums digipack artwork. Another of the live tracks is sung by bassist Jeremy Plato and it is "Soul Agent" originally released on the "Mission California" CD. The last live track is the Kevin Welch' penned "Train to Birmingham" a live video version of "Confident" is also included. The album was produced again by musician/songwriter and producer Mike McClure and mixed and mastered by Joe Hardy who is behind the sound of ZZTop and has worked with McClure quite a bit. It was recorded in private out in California.
The album artwork was done by friend and fellow musician Stephanie Briggs who also plays a key part in quite a few songs on this record providing vocals and piano and she also had a hand in writing four of the songs. The limited edition version also contains a poster which is a retrospect of Cd's that have been released by the band and the flip side has a printed transcript of an interview that has the band reminiscing about the last 15 years. One thing in the interview i found interesting was the mention that Joe's bar in Chicago was also considered as one of the locations for the filming of the DVD that ultimately turned out to be "Live and loud at Cains ballroom"
Happiness and All the Other Things starts out with the driving number "51 Pieces" which is about how the band and crew were done with a show at the HOB (House of Blues) in Ohio and were in the tour bus when the Ohio state troopers pulled them all over and searched the bus finding 51 pieces of paraphernalia. they were eventually let go. There is more to that story which can be found on you tube as an introduction to the song. Cody Canada's son Dierks introduces the second song as "This is Bluebonnets, This is my song" Cody has performed this song for a couple years as an acoustic number but never wanted to release it because he did not want the record company profiting from a song about his son. He decided to record it one day after his son asked him as he was heading out the door "Are you going to record my song" and after that Cody thought "How could i say no" The song "Blue Bonnets" is a sweet acoustic ballad about having to spend time away from him on the road. Third is the song "Burn like the Sun" written by Cody, Mike McClure and one of the four by Stephanie Briggs. I do not know the story behind this one but it is one of my favorites on the album. You can see a live video of this song i filmed back in June at the Country Fever music festival in Pryor Oklahoma by clicking on the title to this post. The fourth song was written by the late Stephen Bruton titled "To find My Love" and is sung by Jeremy Plato with Stephanie providing some great harmony that compliments the ever surprising voice of the bands bass player. Song five is "Drag" written by Cody and Brandon jenkins with a nice bass intro by Jeremy it just seems to be about other people and their negative attitudes that drag you down. Song six is the first single released off the album, "Kick in the Head" and i have heard this song done as an acoustic version in their live shows and did not expect the final finished version to be as much of a country song as it is, but it works that way very well and has some nice steel guitar playing on it by none other than Lloyd Maines. The song almost sarcastically deals with how promises are broken and you become jaded and begin to see only one way out and your "Ready and willing to jump off a building".
This release has been said by the band to be their most experimental work yet and one listen to the next three songs "Overtable, Overtable interlude and Pretty Lady" which are recorded as one song (no breaks between them) will reveal that idea. With its prog rock or 90's alternative chord changes and layered vocals with a "Interlude" that slowly speeds up in tempo leading into the song "Pretty Lady" which is about Bettie Page who also passed away this year and how her legacy will live on. The tenth song called "Tomorrow" seems at first to be about a relationship that failed but to me seems to be about the bands relationship with its record label Universal South and the whole controversy surrounding the "Tony Brown incident" which i am not going to get into detail about (and its old news now) also optimistically looks forward. Song Eleven is "Confident" by Cody and Stephanie. This is another one that i do not know the story behind so i wont try to attempt to explain it. The last song "My Chances" is a beautiful song about how when you were younger you thought you knew everything and now that your older, every day seems to bring something new and unexpected to you and you take your chances with the outcome.
I read an interview somewhere and Cody stated he was trying to let go of the negative attitudes and focus on the positive and be happy. Family life is a huge factor in HIS "Happiness and all the other things"