by Amy Harris
American music legend's final tour comes to Cincinnati Sunday
Singer/guitarist Glen Campbell is truly Country music’s “Rhinestone Cowboy.” Starting out as a masterful, much-used session musician, in the ’60s and ’70s, Campbell represented the genre as one of its premier stars and was also embraced on the pop charts, scoring huge crossover hits with singles like "Wichita Lineman," "Galveston," "Southern Nights" and "Rhinestone Cowboy." This past year, Campbell's 50 years in the music business was celebrated at the Grammys, where he was given the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and honored with a musical tribute by The Band Perry and Blake Shelton that was capped off by Campbell joining the musicians for a version of "Rhinestone Cowboy."After his Alzheimer’s diagnosis in the summer of 2011, Campbell decided to hit the road one last time while he still could. After releasing the collaborative album Ghost on the Canvas (featuring covers of songs by modern artists like Jakob Dylan, Teddy Thompson, Paul Westerberg and Guided By Voices' Robert Pollard), Campbell kicked off his extensive “Goodbye Tour," which comes to the Taft Theatre in downtown Cincinnati this Sunday. For ticket info, click here. CityBeat was privileged to have the opportunity to speak with Campbell about changes in music from when he started to today and how close he stays with his family on tour. CityBeat: How did you choose songs and artists to collaborate with on Ghost on the Canvas?
Glen Campbell: Julian Raymond is my producer. He found the majority of the material. However, he kept notes of things I said or did and some of this material makes its way into the album. (Closing track) “There’s No Me…Without You” is an example of this. CB: What has it been like to see the changes in music technology from vinyl to 8-track to cassette to CD to IPod? Do you think music sounds better or worse with the new technology, analog vs. digital? GC: It has been wonderful to see all of the technological advances with recorded music. I think the music sounds better with the new technology. CB: You are often highly autobiographical in your own songs. Do you regret ever sharing any of your stories through your music or songs?
GC: I have no regrets about the autobiographical songs I recorded.CB: Are your children still on tour with you? What is the best part of having them on the road with you?
GC: My son plays drums for me. Shannon is on guitar and Ashley plays keyboards and bass. It’s wonderful sharing the stage with them. I love it. They are terrific musicians in their own right. The best part of having them with me is that our whole family and my wife Kim are all together and doing great shows which people have warmly embraced.CB: What is your favorite guitar solo on any recording that you have done?
GC: One of my favorite guitar solos I recorded was for Frank Sinatra on his “Strangers in the Night.” I also like my guitar solo on “Wichita Lineman.” Jimmy Webb never finished the song so I just filled the hole with the guitar solo.CB: What is your favorite guitar to play?
GC: Ovation.CB: What is the longest time you have gone without playing guitar?
GC: I play every day.CB: Would you ever consider playing with a Beach Boys reunion? (Campbell filled in for Brian Wilson on tour in the mid-’60s and recorded on Pet Sounds and other records.)
GC: I would not want to do a Beach Boys reunion at this point. They just celebrated their 50 years together with a big tour. I think that more than covered it.CB: How has music helped you cope or deal with your Alzheimer's diagnosis?GC: The music has brought me much joy and comfort.
Nov. 9 • Taft Theatre
0 Comments · Monday, November 5, 2012
Very few people fit the true definition of prodigy, but
Joe Bonamassa could be the poster child for prodigies. By age 7, after
three short years of playing guitar, Bonamassa was regurgitating
note-perfect renditions of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix.
by Mike Breen
Local trio and Brian Olive feature heavily on forthcoming 'Alive at the Deep Blues Fest'
Area Pscyh/Pop/Rock trio Buffalo Killers and vintage Rock/Soul/Pop master Brian Olive will be featured heavily on a new live album that includes tracks culled from performances at the 2012 Deep Blues Festival in Minnesota. The three-day, sold-out fest featured 26 bands, seven of which (including Olive and Buffalo Killers) record for the Alive NaturalSound imprint, which is releasing the live set. Alive at the Deep Blues Fest is due Nov. 27 on CD, digitally and on "BBQ-sauce red colored vinyl" (the fest was presented by the owner of a BBQ joint near the Twin Cities). Brian Olive has the songs "Traveling" and "Bonelle" on the release; Buffalo Killers open the album with "River Water" and an epic version of "It's a Shame," which is available for free download. Give it a listen below and hit the download button for your very own copy. Buffalo Killers headline the Ballroom at the Taft Theatre on Nov. 16 with Hollis Brown opening. Tickets are just $8 in advance. Click here for tickets and more details.
Fiona Apple guitarist Blake Mills pulls double duty on current tour
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Blake Mills is busy. The 25-year-old
guitar prodigy has worked relentlessly in recent years as an in-demand
session and touring musician, collaborating with a wide range of artists, nearly all of whom use hyperbolic
language to describe his unique talents. And now he’s touring with Fiona Apple,
both as her guitarist and as her opening act.
by Brian Baker
Hiatt and Earle (plus his Dukes) perform together at the Taft Theatre tonight
There isn't a huge stylistic gap between Steve Earle and John Hiatt, so it makes sense that they would make a good tour package (one that hits the Taft Theatre tonight for an 8 p.m. show). They're both moderately successful Americana artists with slavishly loyal fan bases and solid bodies of work over long careers (Hiatt having the earlier ’70s start). To the curious mind, the billing begs the point: What else do Earle and Hiatt have in common?• They both began their careers as staff songwriters and launched performing careers after one of their songs became a hit for someone else (Johnny Lee for Earle, Three Dog Night for Hiatt).• They've both been covered extensively by other artists, Earle by Travis Tritt, Robert Earl Keen and others, and Hiatt by Bonnie Raitt, Rosanne Cash, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan and many more.• They both signed with Epic Records for their first deal; Earle never recorded for them, while Hiatt did two Epic albums which sold poorly and expedited his release.• Their second contracts were both with MCA; Earle had a pretty decent run with the label, including his 1988 hit Copperhead Road, while Hiatt's was a repeat of his Epic experience.• They've both been nominated for Grammys, but Earle has a commanding lead with 14 nods and three wins, while Hiatt has been nominated twice with no mantle bling to show for it yet.• They've both been married multiple times, but again Earle has the lead with seven marriages; Hiatt has only had three.• Both have successfully dealt with substance issues.• Both are balding; Hiatt has the lead here with more hair, but Earle compensates with a ZZ Toppish beard.• Both will kick your ass in the live setting, so bring an extra ass.Here's a clip for Hiatt's "Damn This Down," off his latest LP, Dirty Jeans and Mudslide Hymns. And here is part of a documentary filmed during Earle's sessions for I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive (also the name of his novel and, yes, both are based on the Hank Williams tune, which he covers on the album as a bonus track. The novel is centered around Williams mysterious "doctor" who traveled with the singer until his death, then disappeared).
Aug. 22 • Taft Theatre
0 Comments · Monday, August 20, 2012
From hope to heartache, Ashes and Roses covers a
wide range of emotions and capitalizes on the experiences of a now
by Reyan Ali
Japanese Punk/Pop icons perform tonight at the Ballroom at the Taft
Irony is not a concept usually shared by international cultures. Case in point: cats. The
Western (internet) world shows its adoration for felines by churning
out pointless LOLcat YouTube video after LOLcat YouTube video, gilding
this love with a patina of wink-wink jokeyness, as if to say, "Sure, we
obsess over and anthropomorphize these cute beasts that don't do very
much, but since we're making a gag out of it, it's OK to openly enjoy
it. This is how we've earned our pass."Japan's Shonen Knife, on
the other hand, has willingly dedicated an entire song to the same
animals while keeping a straight face — a move that would definitely
earn mockery if they were an American band.
The 31-year-old Pop-Punk trio's "I Am a Cat" off 1993's Let's Knife
is an autumnal, simple tune where the narrator steps into an astral
"timeless zone" and finds a cat's whiskers and ears. After attaching
them to herself, she observes, "In a moment, I become a sweet little
cat/And I dance on a flying saucer." It's silly and a bit dumb,
of course, but the total absence of irony —especially since this comes
from an underground Rock outfit — is a true gift. Shonen Knife has long
championed frivolous music about frivolous subjects, and the trio’s
childlike earnestness yields great charm.With that being said,
it's somewhat surprising that Kurt Cobain of all folks supported Shonen;
but, hey, even the guy who wrote "Rape Me" needed some relief from pain
and aggression, too (see: heroin addiction). Shonen Knife's tour behind its new album, Pop Tune, comes to the Ballroom space inside the Taft Theatre downtown tonight. Showtime is 8:30 p.m.; doors open at 7:30 p.m. Opening the show is red-headed sibling rockers White Mystery (from Chicago) and Cincinnati greats The Harlequins. Tickets are $13.Here's the video for the title track off of Shonen Knife's new LP.
Aug. 20 • Taft Theatre
0 Comments · Monday, August 13, 2012
Irony is not a concept usually shared by international cultures. Case in point: cats.
Night Beats blaze their own trail by following a few already blazed
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Carving your own upward path in the
perpetually congested music biz is an intimidating enough prospect on
its own. Yet Danny Lee — the driving force behind Seatlle Psych Rock trio Night Beats — has
opted to one-up this great dare: He wants not just to create his band’s
own fanbase but also his own scene. Kinda. Maybe.
July 27 • Taft Theatre
0 Comments · Monday, July 23, 2012
Meth, liquor, hitchhiking, cheating and, of course,
angels are just a few of the topics about which Old Crow Medicine Show
enjoys singing. It sounds like a bad play on the topics of Country
music, but it works for them — especially when you add in the banjo and
that big ol’ bass.