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Linda Ronstadt’s Tucson visit about sharing her past, reconnecting with friends

Linda Ronstadt was rummaging through memories tucked in a dresser drawer not long ago and came across a cassette tape from another lifetime.

It was recorded at her home in California near the beach in Malibu in the mid-1970s. Jackson Browne and J.D. Souther had dropped by and the three of them were doing what they usually did when they got together at one another’s homes: playing music.

“We’d sit around and someone would pull out a guitar. ‘You writing any songs?’ ‘Oh, this is a new one,’” she recalled earlier this month during a phone call from San Francisco to talk about her Tucson homecoming next weekend.

On that night, Browne pulled out “Poor Poor Pitiful Me,” written by Warren Zevon.

“Jackson was producing his record at the time and he said, ‘You got to learn this song,’” she recalled. “I was always trying to get Jackson’s new song or J.D.’s new song, but they also made their own albums so they would save them for their own records. They were kind of stingy giving them to me, so I would get them after they recorded them.”

But Ronstadt scored a coup: A year after Zevon released his version, she recorded the song in 1977 for her album “Simple Dreams.” The song went on to become her one of her signature hits and the album was certified triple platinum (3 million copies sold).

Read the rest of the article over at Tucson.com, click here.

Blue Oyster Cult at Talking Stick Resort, “I need more Cow Bell”

There was a famous comedy sketch aired on Saturday Night Live with cast members playing Blue Oyster Cult (BOC) and Will Ferrell.  Will played a cow bell on BOC’s hit single, “The Reaper”.  Christopher Walken played Bruce Dickerson (Lead Singer for Iron Maiden) the studio manager/producer and kept demanding “More Cow Bell” during the song.  If you haven’t seen it, check it out here: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x64iyhl.  I bring this up because when BOC played that song tonight, guitarist Eric Bloom mimicked playing a cow bell.  The crowd loved it.

The show started with Danny Zelisko coming out on the stage to announce upcoming shows.  He then asked the crowd how many times they had seen BOC.  One person said 68 times and then another person said over 300 times.  Now those are real diehard fans.  This was my first time to see BOC.  I remember them from back in the 70s and early 80s, but for some strange reason I never got around to seeing them.  I have loved their music and this time around I was lucky enough to see them at Talking Stick Resort Showroom which is a great venue to see concerts.  It is small and intimate and the lighting and sound are very good.  An you can even get drinks, yeah…

Read the rest of the review and see concert photos by clicking here!

See John Prine Sing With Brandi Carlile, Sturgill Simpson on ‘Colbert’

Since the early Seventies, John Prine has delivered songs that are often as fascinatingly cryptic as they are thoroughly penetrating. “Summer’s End” is not only the latest of these, it is among the very best on The Tree of Forgiveness, Prine’s first album of new material in 13 years, officially released Friday.

The singer-songwriter debuted the tune, an oblique but devastating meditation on love, loss and, naturally, forgiveness on CBS’ Late Show With Stephen Colbert Thursday night, joined by Brandi Carlile and Sturgill Simpson. Introduced by the host as “a special performance from three of my favorite artists who are performing together for the first time,” the tune featured a backing band that also included Fats Kaplin on lonesome steel guitar.

Throughout the performance, Prine’s weathered rasp is beautifully coated and soothed by harmonies from Carlile and Simpson, although the sting of the repeated refrain “Come on home” remains just below the surface.

Prine will be joined by Sturgill Simpson Friday night at New York’s legendary Radio City Music Hall. On Saturday, April 14th, the folk-country legend will be in Philadelphia, joined by musician Kurt Vile. He’ll continue to tour throughout the spring and summer.

Interview: Alan Parsons talks about the making of his forthcoming concept album

When the Alan Parsons Project had a big hit with their Eye in the Sky album in the early ’80s, fans had to be content just with playing their copies of the album, as the band did not tour. That’s because there was no band. Parsons, the man who engineered the Beatles’ Abbey Road and Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon, worked strictly in studio with writing partner Eric Woolfson and a cast of session players. That changed in the mid-1990s when Parsons assembled the Alan Parsons Live Project and took the show on the road for the very first time.

Parsons is currently working on a new album, his first in more than a decade, while also playing select dates with the Alan Parsons Live Project, including Apr. 26 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (click here for tickets) and Apr. 29 in Orlando, FL at The Plaza Live (click here for tickets). Those shows will find Parsons performing the I Robot album along with greatest hits.

Later this spring the Alan Parsons Live Project will play shows celebrating the 35th anniversary of Eye in the Sky, something that has also been commemorated with a massive box set from Sony/Legacy Recordings. Fans will love Eye in the Sky 35th Anniversary Edition; it includes a half-speed master double vinyl copy of the album packaged in a deluxe gatefold sleeve, three CDs encompassing the album, unreleased bonus tracks and Eric Woolfson’s songwriting diaries, the album on Blu-ray audio, a 60-page book and goodies such as a poster and a flexi disc.

During a telephone call with Parsons he told us about working on his upcoming album, gave us a remembrance of the late Woolfson, and anticipated playing an Eye in the Sky show in-the-round at Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix. His commentary below is given exclusively to AXS.com.

Read the full interview over at AXS.com, click here.

The Australian Pink Floyd Show returning to America for 30th anniversary tour

Good news, mate! The Australian Pink Floyd Show, long deemed the best Pink Floyd tribute band on the planet, is returning to the US this year for a tour that celebrates the group’s 30th anniversary. The anniversary show is called Time: Thirty Years of Celebrating Pink Floyd 2018, and Aussie Floyd, as the band is familiarly known, will present the program 28 times beginning with a Sept. 6 show in Costa Mesa, CA and wrapping up with an Oct. 16 performance in Madison, WI. Additional tour dates include:

Sept. 8 – Los Angeles, CA – The Theatre at Ace Hotel (Click here for tickets)
Sept. 9 – Las Vegas, NV – The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino  (Click here for tickets)
Oct. 7 – Bensalem, PA – Xcite Center at Parx Casino (Click here for tickets)

Aussie Floyd are known for putting on a show that very closely resembles the work of Pink Floyd themselves, so remarkably like the original group that Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour once booked the band to play at his birthday party. So fans can expect a note-perfect recreation of Pink Floyd music from all eras of the band’s career, including songs from the very early days when the late Syd Barrett was writing psychedelic pop songs like “See Emily Play.” Two songs that the Aussie Floyd usually play at every show are “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” and “Wish You Were Here;” both songs are about Barrett, who got kicked out of the band when his drug use rendered him unable to play. Barrett blew his mind out so badly that he lived as an invalid for decades until he succumbed to cancer in 2006.

The music is not the only part of an Australian Pink Floyd Show that channels Pink Floyd; the band has an incredible light show and also utilizes psychedelic visuals that are projected onto a screen behind the stage. Pink Floyd was also known for having inflatables appear on the stage, most notably a “flying” pink pig that would zoom over the players during the playing of songs from the Animals album. He doesn’t appear at every show, but Aussie Floyd has an inflatable animal too, a giant pink kangaroo that towers over the musicians.

Aussie Floyd currently consists of guitarists and singers Steve Mac and David Domminney Fowler, singers and bass players Colin Wilson and Ricky Howard, singer Chris Barnes, drummer Paul Bonney, keyboards player Jason Sawford, sax man Mike Kidson and backup vocalists Lara Smiles, Lorelei McBroom and Emily Lynn. The ladies always shine throughout an Aussie Floyd show, but they bring the house down with their soaring and wordless singing when the band plays “The Great Gig in the Sky,” a cut from Pink Floyd’s best-selling 1973 release Dark Side of the Moon. Aussie Floyd are currently on tour in Europe and they have been playing about 20 songs per night there, including all of the cuts mentioned above.

To follow The Australian Pink Floyd Show go here.

John Prine Talks Fatherhood, Johnny Cash, Why Happiness Isn’t Good for Songwriting in Rolling Stone

Since breaking through in 1971 with a classic album he wrote as a mailman in Illinois, John Prine has created some of the strangest, funniest, most surreal and most enduring songs of our time. He’s been covered by Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and Bonnie Raitt (who popularized his classic “Angel From Montgomery”). But Prine has not always been prolific; on April 13th, he is releasing The Tree of Forgiveness, his first album in 13 years. It comes as Prine is being embraced as an influence by younger Americana artists like Sturgill Simpson and Margo Price. Here, Prine shares the lessons he’s learned along the way.

Read the amazing Rolling Stone interview by clicking here. Don’t miss John Prine in concert in Vegas, Phoenix, and Tucson this December. Click here to purchase tickets near you.

Linda Ronstadt: From Tucson to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, her lifetime love affair with music

There’s a scene in Linda Ronstadt’s memoir, “Simple Dreams,” where her sister is playing piano in the family’s Tucson home while her brother, the soprano, sings.

As she writes in the book, “I said, ‘I want to try that.’ My sister turned to my brother and said, ‘Think we got a soprano here.’ I was about four. I remember thinking, ‘I’m a singer, that’s what I do.’ It was like I had become validated somehow, my existence affirmed.”

That affirmation would only increase on the path to becoming the most successful female singer of her generation, selling out “stupid” arenas, as she calls them, thanks to hits as huge as “You’re No Good” and “When Will I Be Loved.”

Linda Ronstadt’s music and memoir

She’s won lifetime achievement awards from both the Grammys and the Latin Grammys. Although she prefers singing standards and Mexican folk songs to Elvis Costello, she took her place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.

By the time of that induction, Ronstadt had retired. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in late 2012, she’s unable to sing.

But she’s bringing a tour called “A Conversation with Linda” to Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts on April 26.

 Read the rest of her story over at AZCentral.com, click here.
Joan Baez On ‘Whistle Down The Wind’ And Working Through Pessimism (NPR)

Joan Baez has dedicated her life to music — and the causes for which music can speak. The folk star began using her voice to protest in the 1960s, leading rallies against wars and discrimination alongside the likes of Bob Dylan and Arlo Guthrie. Though gentle, her renditions of “We Shall Overcome” and “What Have They Done to the Rain” served as the heartbeat to peaceful revolutions.

Last year, Baez was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame at age 76. Soon after, she announced she would retire from touring after releasing a new album — her first in a decade. That release, Whistle Down the Wind, arrives this week. The singer says it was made over a period of just three visits with her collaborators, “which is how I like to work — fast.”

Read more at NPR.com, click here. Don’t miss Joan Baez live in Phoenix October 27th at Celebrity Theatre and Tucson October 28th at Fox Tucson Theatre.

Adam Ant: Still black leather pants, pirate garb after all these years?

This time last year, Adam Ant was revisiting “Kings of the Wild Frontier” in all its glory, working the stage with a youthful exuberance most entertainers half his age would be advised to envy in black leather pants and dashing pirate garb.

The Anthems Tour that brings the legend back to Arizona is more focused on the singles, offsetting such obvious A-sides as “Dog Eat Dog,” “Antmusic,” “Stand and Deliver” and “Goody Two Shoes” with B-sides and rarities, some of which he says had never made a setlist prior to this tour.

“‘Can’t Set Rules About Love’ is one that I’d never done before,” he says. “Another one is ‘Gotta Be a Sin.’ But we’ve kind of arranged them in a way so that they fit in with the singles that are better known.”

He’s even playing “Young Parisians,” his first release with Adam & the Ants, which turns 40 this year.

Because the tour is based on giving concertgoers something of an overview of Ant’s career, the star agreed to walk us through his history, sharing memories of important milestones on the road to this year’s tour.

Read Ed Masley’s Interview with Adam Ant via AZCentral.com, click here!

Adam Ant will play Celebrity Theatre on January 28th. Click here for ticket information.

Want to win a Once in-a-lifetime Bonnie Raitt Personally Signed Guitar to You 7 Backstage Pass?

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Once-In-A-Lifetime! Bonnie Raitt will Personally Sign a Seagull Guitar, 2 Tickets, 2 Backstage Meet and Greet Passes and Photo with Bonnie!

Chicks With Picks Foundation, (a 501c3 non-profit charity) is offering a package of 2 tickets to the “SOLD OUT” Bonnie Raitt show (Oct 14th 2016) at Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix.

But wait! Here is the coolest part — Along with the 2 tickets you will also get 2 backstage meet and greet passes for after the show! During the meet and greet Bonnie will personally sign a Seagull Excursion Solid Spruce Top guitar to you and also take a photo with you and your guest! Your winning bid is a tax deductible donation and will be helping the Chicks With Picks Foundation help those in need.

Click here now to place your bid!