Rest In Peace John Prine (1946 - 2020)

Posted by Billyjam, April 7, 2020 11:44pm | Post a Comment

John Prine's 1971 self-titled debut is filled with classics by the artist who died today [04:07:20]

American music legend John Prine died today at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center from complications related to COVID-19. The 73-year-old Grammy-winning artist, who had been in intensive care for the past two weeks, was reportedly diagnosed with COVID-19 last month after returning to the US from a European tour. The influential singer/songwriter, who began his career in the early seventies and is categorized by Amoeba under such genres as Folk, Folk Rock, Singer/Songwriter, Country, Country Rock and Americana, leaves behind a rich legacy from a five-decade-spanning career. 

With his distinct raspy voice Prine possessed a penchant for writing engaging country-folk songs about the lives and struggles of the American everyman/woman. Vividly told with both compassion and wit and often from a first person perspective, these Prine classics include “Sam Stone” about a PTSD suffering, drug-addicted Vietnam vet, “Paradise” about the strip-mined hometown of his parents in Kentucky and  “Angel From Montgomery” about the dreams of a woman trapped in a dead end marriage. Incidentally, all three of these songs appeared on the artist's landmark 1971 self-titled debut album.  John Prine  also included such other timeless songs as "Donald and Lydia,"  “Illegal Smile,” “Spanish Pipedream,” and “Hello in There.” 

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Shelter-In-Place Crate Diggin' Vol 1:'s Hip-Hop Vinyl Top Ten

Posted by Billyjam, April 3, 2020 02:45pm | Post a Comment

Like the majority of retail businesses in California, in respect the safety of public health in this COVID-19 pandemic, all three Amoeba Music stores have been temporarily closed. But the good news is that the Amoeba's online store is running 24/7 with all the latest vinyl and other format releases (and movies) available with free shipping anywhere in the US. 

Focusing on ten of the latest hip-hop vinyl new arrivals of the past week at below is a countdown of this recommended batch of records, both new releases and reissues.


#10 Brother Ali Us [10th Anniversary Edition] LP (Rhymesayers Ent)

#9 Elcamino  Elcamino 2 LP (Air Vinyl) (also avail on CD)


#8  Vanderslice  Trendsetter LP (Coalmine Music)

Remembering Bill Withers (1938 - 2020)

Posted by Billyjam, April 3, 2020 12:49pm | Post a Comment
The Essential Bill Withers is one of many compilations of the late great artist's work
American soul music icon Bill Withers has died at age 81, the result of “heart complications” according to his family in a statement made to the Associated Press today. Although this sad news only broke today, reportedly the artist’s passing occurred four days ago (Monday, March 30th) in Los Angeles. Born in West Virginia in 1938, the three-time Grammy winner known for his distinctively smooth soothing vocal style released eight studio albums and one live album in just a decade-and-a-half recording career. His career didn’t begin until he was in his thirties and was brought to an early close back in the 1980’s when he made the decision to withdraw from recording music altogether. Meanwhile, the artist's back catalog has kept his legacy alive and well, and, now after his passing, will continue to do so for a long long time to come. In addition to his nine albums, there are numerous collections and compilations of his music, including the 2CD 34 track The Essential Bill Withers.

McCoy Tyner Rests in Powerful Memories

Posted by Rick Frystak, April 1, 2020 08:01pm | Post a Comment

McCoy Tyner Enlightenment

By Rick Frystak
McCoy Tyner is a huge influence in my own musical life, and not just his physique (more on that later). Mostly as he was playing WITH John Coltrane and others, not BEHIND them, or supporting them. Whomever he played with, it was a BAND. 'Tranes group, of course as with many quartets, quintets (all of Van Gelder’s wonderful Blue Note work comes to mind), displaying his exceptional chordal prowess, especially when I could hear what he would do with 4ths and 5ths of the root note to set up a mood of mystery, swing or ANY place that he and the band wanted to go with the tune and the intervals. THEY, as a band could use. But those were HIS chords. He owned them. His passing has more depth to me as time passes. And the really raw power that man had in his hands, running down the wood onto the wires! It was clear that he was destined for greatness, and already being great because of his strength of originality.

Even though she came after McCoy in John’s group, Alice Coltrane was the logical extension of McCoy’s sound, but with naturally, a gentler touch, and therefore a direction of the tonal aspect of the band. And Mr. Tyner’s hand size could be compared to first-baseman’s mitts in size. As in, HUGE! And just by the way she stood, one could tell that Alice had a shy sensitivity that magic-carpeted the sound to its NEXT phase, post-Live In Seattle period. In fact, Live at the Village Vanguard Volume 2 is one of this group's finest hours, and if a finer Impulse! master exists someplace, or any outtakes, I would go nuts hearing it. God forbid it was in the UNI vaults and therefore the fires...

I shall never ever forget the singular time I witnessed McCoy in concert, the feeling of sitting there in that seat. It was at a club under the Redondo Beach pier, called Concerts By The Sea. Records have been made there, as it was owned by Howard Rumsey, and it was up on the pier previous to being UNDER the pier. McCoy had a powerhouse of a band then about the time of Focal Point, with Eric Gravatt on drums, Gary Bartz or Sonny Fortune (?) on alto and Charles Fambrough on double bass and Guillaume Franco on percussion. The concert seemed nothing like the LP, as if the mastering was too difficult to capture this power I speak of. Anyway, between McCoy and Eric, the front row of seats were literally blown away-the folks sitting there moved back about 3 rows, and thirsty! Doubly frustrating was the fact than in the U-shape seating there were only ten rows of seats in each section, maybe 75 seats. And add to this the very powerful presence of Mr. Gravatt on drums, fresh off the Live in Tokyo trip by Weather Report, edited down to side 2 of I Sing The Body Electric; another fantastic showcase of over-driven-Rhodes/drums/The Wayne/The Miroslav. And Eric with his 90-degree cymbal position of jazz cat lore complete with Frank Zappa hype sticker you do not see many of those). Gravatt truly has his own co-Alphonse Mouzon-ish style that fits so well with McCoy’s. It’s another match made in the cosmos. It is as if McCoy’s Sahara album is live right here and now.  Frank Zappa sticker

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In Appreciation of John Prine

Posted by Amoebite, March 31, 2020 07:07pm | Post a Comment

By Mark Beaver

By all means of measurement, 1971 was a monster of a year:

Idi Amin took power in Uganda, US-backed South Viet Nam invaded Laos, huge protests against the Viet John PrineNam War were taking place across the world ramped up by the New York Times publishing of the Pentagon Papers. The "troubles" of Northern Ireland were in full burn and earthquakes beat the heck out of Turkey, just to name a few of the struggles that world citizens were facing.

At the same time, great ideas were afoot and some of the most defining music of the decade was being released:

Led Zeppelin IV, Sticky Fingers by The Rolling Stones, All Day Music by WAR, Black Sabbath’s Master of Reality, The Who’s Who's Next, Electric Warrior by T.REX, Pearl by Janis Joplin, Van Morrison’s Tupelo Honey, Tapestry by Carole King, Blue by Joni Mitchell, Pink Floyd’s Meddle, Paul McCartney’s Ram, John Lennon’s Imagine, George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass, and outsider masterpieces bubbling below the charts from the likes of Nick Drake, Judee Sill, and Gil Scott-Heron.

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