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30. Januar 2019

He wanted to do an album like this for decades: Steady As We Go of and with HANK SHIZZOE !

HANK SHIZZOE is back with his new record Steady As We Go. Released on CD, LP and in all digital formats it is a remarkable achievment: Recorded live on the studio floor with his fabulous band, Steady As We Go presents a singer, songwriter and guitar player in top form. This is Americana roots music at its finest, sung and played by an ensemble of musicians whose skills and talents are second to none. New originals meet old traditionals, songs by Randy Newman, Washboard Sam, Tammy Wynette, Bob Nolan and a moving tribute to the late great Tom Petty. Topping off the finely crafted production is the mastering by Stephen Marcussen who was involved in at least half of your record collection.

Steady As We Go is Hank Shizzoe’s 16th album since 1994. One might be tempted to ask, why make another one? Hank says: „Because it’s time. We’ve never played better as a band. I felt very confident singing these songs, my voice is at an entirely different level now. I’ve wanted to do an album like this for decades. We’ve had a blast making this record and I think it shows.“

„We“ in this case means Hank’s core band for the last five years: Tom Etter on guitars and Simon Baumann on drums. With the addition of Michel Poffet who had played his upright bass with Hank for 15 years and since the first album, Low Budget. „With Tom and Simon there is something very special and rare going on for me“, Hank says. „We just click, it feels like home. So we invited my dear old friend Michel Poffet over and he came in like a long lost relative that everybody just adores. We recorded in the same room playing off of each other, unrehearsed, fresh. Nobody was wearing headphones, I sang live. The way it used to be done, really. You know, four guys doing what they love and do best, expertly captured by the finest audio equipment, no funny stuff, no fixing or tinkering. Just real good, inspired playing and singing – boom, straight to the heart.“
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22. November 2018

AD VANDERVEEN declares on his new Blue Rose album: I Was Hank Williams !

Reminiscent of works like John Steinbeck’s Travels With Charlie or Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska, the new album I Was Hank Williams by songwriter and singer Ad Vanderveen is a personal quest and an adventure. It is a quest for self-knowledge leading to spirituality, and an investigation into the origin of a dream. A dream that is old and has led the writer down a long road of countless songs and many records. It has a strong fascination for the new world, and is anchored in the old one. Remarkable of Vanderveen’s work may be the insights and influences of Eastern philosophy, which he has studied and practised for years, that shine a special light on different subjects, within a musical context of a distinct Western character.

Writing is like breathing for Ad and, although it doesn’t come quite as easy, it is a bare necessity for him, and so is playing. He is undoubtedly one of the most prolific writers in the genre and his work is considered to be of a consistent high level by fans, critics and peers (recently none other than Van Morrison personally invited him to be his opening act). Almost every year a new collection of AV songs in a different sphere and setting presents itself as a CD.

This year there’s even two: Where the previous releases, the diptych of Worlds Within (2017) and Denver Nevada (2018) were characterized by somewhat more extensive production and arrangements than is Vanderveen’s usual MO, for I Was Hank Williams there was a more minimal, direct and diverse approach. Voice and guitar, poem and music, remain center stage and keep the listener close to the content of the songs. Around that, charming and effective embellishments of horn and string arrangements, harmony vocals and old rootsy string instruments are weaved throughout the album, as well as ambient soundscapes enhancing the songs‘ atmospheres.

According to Ad: ‚A song should be able to stand on its own feet and come across without any bells and whistles, otherwise I don’t see the point in what I’m doing. It strikes me as disproportionate how much music seems to revolve around production, arrangement and even marketing these days. It’s like the packaging is more important than the content, while a song in itself is already something magical and miraculous; a poem and a message with a melody, a rhythm and a title – something complete with a distinct own identity, like a world you can live in‘.

It is this world the listener can be drawn into like in a very personal story, as in old folk tradition, without frills or distractions, and is able to visualize his or her own images and spheres, like reading a good book. As do many of his predecessors, old masters like Bob Dylan, Van Morrison or Neil Young, Ad Vanderveen has an instinctive way of working: „The Muse is a very fleeting and evasive thing and you have to catch it while it’s there. This goes for all of these recordings; they were made right after or sometimes even during the writing of the song, in the stage where the images and pictures are fresh and lively and close to their origin. Sometimes this was in a studio and sometimes in special locations like an old auditorium, or even the cave of Pythagoras. That Muse is certainly also present in the ambient spheres and sonic souvenirs of special moments that accompany these songs. A highlight being reuniting my mom and dad musically, on church organ and ragtime piano respectively, in a little piece called ‚Live and Give It All‘.“

09. November 2018

New album on Blue Rose by JESS KLEIN: Back To My Green !

Over a career that spans more than a decade and a half and has won her a devoted worldwide fan base, Jess Klein — who possesses what Mojo magazine calls “one of those voices you want to crawl up close to the speakers to listen to” has pursued a remarkable creative evolution that’s seen her dig ever deeper for resonant emotional insights, while continuing to refine her eloquently melodic, effortlessly accessible songcraft. Jon Pareles of The New York Times calls her “a songwriter with a voice of unblinking tenacity…who finds parables in the everyday and also finds humanity behind the archetypal.”

The Rochester, NY native began writing songs as a college student in Kingston, Jamaica, and is known for staking out brave lyrical and musical territory with such albums as Wishes Well Disguised (1998), Draw Them Near (2000), Strawberry Lover (2005), City Garden (2006), Bound to Love (2009), Behind A Veil (2012) and Learning Faith (2014) which Folk Radio UK calls “Unquestionably the finest album of her impressive career.” Jess spent eight years soaking up the live music culture of Austin, TX. Bootleg (2015) Jess’s live, full band album captures the dynamism of Jess onstage, backed by some of Austin’s top players. Jess was named a 2015 Finalist in the highly regarded Kerrville New Folk Competition.

Following a move from Austin to the tiny but vibrant town of Hillsborough, North Carolina, Jess joined forces with Producer Mark Simonsen (The Old Ceremony, Weems/Gerrard Band, film scores: Elephant Sighs, Radiation Veterans and Rareified) and Engineer Thom Canova (Amy Ray, 4 Non-Blondes, Oranj Symphonette) at Studio M in Durham, North Carolina to record a new album entitled Back to My Green.

On this striking collection of ten new originals, Klein’s incisive lyrics address living in uncertain times and the resilience that carries us through. Songs like “New Thanksgiving Feast”, “Tougher than I Seem”, and “Kid” look through the lens of a world-traveler and granddaughter of Russian Jewish immigrants, to celebrate the human capacity for healing and redemption during dark times. Guest vocalists include Gaelynn Lea and Jonathan Byrd. Simonsen and Canova’s deft production calls on influences including Motown, Classic Rock, Tropicalia and 70’s folk and creates a stirring backdrop to Klein’s passionate mezzo soprano on this timely and powerful album.

11. Oktober 2018

After three years the BOTTLE ROCKETS are back with the new album Bit Logic !

Bit Logic
€ 15,90*

Formed nearly 30 years ago, the Bottle Rockets helped forge a now-popular subgenre-small-town, middle-class, Midwest American roots rock-part right-to-the-gut poetry, part rock ’n‘ roll, all truth. Bit Logic is a different sort of album for the St. Louis natives and shows them at their most self-aware, self-challenging, and socially alert.

Recorded in St. Louis at Sawhorse Studios, engineered by Mario Viele and produced by longtime studio collaborator Eric „Roscoe“ Ambel (The Del-Lords, Steve Earle), the Bottle Rockets‘ 13th album has them looking at their unique stylistic blend through a different lens. While one of the group’s earmarks is constructing blue-collar anthems, Bit Logic has the quartet focusing outside themselves, at how change and adaptation affects the bigger picture.

„We were not planning any kinda ‚theme‘ to this album, but one kinda showed up,“ said lead singer and guitarist Brian Henneman. „If it’s about anything at all, it’s an album about existing in this modern world. Trying to dodge depression and anger. These songs are views from the moments when you’re mostly succeeding at it.“ Yet, to balance those times when success may seem just a breath out of reach, the album includes the infectious pop masterpiece „Maybe Tomorrow“ which offers an optimistic and buoyant outlook on momentary failure.

The band returned to its more democratic songwriting approach this time, which generated four co-written songs, in contrast to their previous and critically acclaimed album, South Broadway Athletic Club, which Henneman primarily wrote. Leading up to their time in the studio, Henneman sent around some bare-bones acoustic iPhone recordings that would serve as the album’s blueprint, and the group fleshed out one song a day by means of three 4-day studio sessions.

The group went into the recording sessions with a fresh outlook-to bring out more of their Americana influences and to write a record that more accurately reflected their collective approach. What they found while doing so surprised them.

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20. September 2018

THE BRANDOS – all the band’s studio albums for the first time on vinyl available!

The Light Of Day
BRANDOS The Light Of Day LP
€ 19,90*
Pass The Hat
€ 19,90*
Nowhere Zone
BRANDOS Nowhere Zone LP
€ 19,90*

For the first time all the five regular studio albums of THE BRANDOS plus a rare compilation are now available on vinyl. All albums are limited to 300 copies and handnumbered. The re-release marathon comes to a perfect end with the fact that the vinyl revival still goes on and on.

14. September 2018

Welcome to Blue Rose: THE BLACK SORROWS!

Citizen John
€ 14,90*

„Do I move you?“ Joe Camilleri asks on The Black Sorrows‚ new album, Citizen John. „Is it thrillin‘?“

More than five decades into his illustrious career, the answer remains a resounding yes!

Citizen John – The Black Sorrows‘ 21st album – sits comfortably alongside the band’s finest work, including multi-platinum classics such as Harley and Rose and Hold On To Me. Albums that achieved considerable chart success both in their home country of Australia and in Europe.

The album showcases The Black Sorrows‘ sophisticated brand of soulful, bluesy roots music and production prowess. Joe wrote the record with his long-time compadre Nick Smith. The 10 original songs are complemented by covers of Bob Dylan’s underrated pop gem ‚Silvio‘ and Nina Simone’s ‚Do I Move You?‘ plus an original arrangement of a traditional number ‚Sitting On Top Of The World‘.

Citizen John comes nearly 35 years after Joe started The Black Sorrows at Melbourne’s Café Neon. Since then, the band has graced concert stages around the world, including building a passionate following in Europe, where Citizen John is released on the German label Blue Rose Records.
Highlights include ‚Lover I Surrender‘ – one of the Sorrows‘ finest love songs – and ‚Brother Moses‘, a life-affirming dose of playful blues, which sees Joe singing, „You can dance in your dreams, and trouble seems to leave your weary head.“

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31. August 2018

Vol. 1 only told half of the story – now comes Life And Soul Vol. 2 (Bargains Galore) telling the second part of JULIAN DAWSON’s adventures in music!

When, five years ago, Julian Dawson decided to bring out a personally chosen ‚Best Of‘ compilation with Blue Rose Records, Life And Soul was the perfect title for a look back at a uniquely varied musical odyssey.

As Geoff Wall noted in his sleeve notes, ‚I can’t think of another artist with a career path that includes collaborations with avant-garde pioneers Can, jazz genius Toots Thielemans, country royalty Charlie Louvin and Vince Gill, soul legends Dan Penn and Lucinda Williams and guitar heroes Duane Eddy, Richard Thompson and Steuart Smith!‘

The lovingly packaged three-CD first box-set was well-received by fans and critics alike, but with more than forty years and twenty albums to choose from, Volume I only told half the story…

Now comes Life And Soul Volume II, ‚Bargains Galore‘ (translates into German as something like ‚Reichlich Schnäppchen‘).

With another eye-catching cover, a lavish forty-page booklet and three CDs packed with more than sixty songs, Volume II brings us up to date. Julian again picked his personal favourites from seven albums recorded between 1997 and 2017. The new package features more rare photographs from Julian’s personal archive as well as recording details, reminiscences and background stories to each and every song.

Where Volume I loosely covered his major label years while fronting a band, the follow-up begins with Move Over Darling, his first acoustic venture, recorded in New York with producer Stewart Lerman and his old friend Steuart Smith (who has spent the last decade onstage with the Eagles).
Julian has always displayed great taste in his choice of musicians and collaborators. The quietly compelling songs on Move Over Darling were graced by additional appearances from guests Richard Thompson, The Roches and soul legend Dan Penn (a constant presence throughout this collection). The Doris Day song of the title sat comfortably alongside audience favourites such as ‚If I Needed Rain‘, ‚All The King’s Horses‘ and ‚Pilgrims‘, all captured here in pristine form.

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11. August 2018

Ex-Silos mastermind WALTER SALAS-HUMARA rocks again on Walterio !

For years, Walter Salas-Humara has split his time between making music and visual art, so it’s not surprising that Walterio, his new release on Blue Rose Records, contains rich imagery — both lyrically and on its cover. But one of the strongest images it evokes actually comes from the music itself, which might be described as the sonic equivalent of a tree — a rock ’n’ roll family tree. Salas-Humara was made in Cuba but born in America (the album’s title is his Hispanic nickname). He spent a good chunk of his Florida childhood studying drums, which, of course, led to teenage rock ’n’ roll bands.

Tracks such as “Here We Go,” “She’s a Caveman” and “Out of the Band” can trace lineage back to The Silos, the still-kicking band Salas-Humara co-founded in New York’s post-punk ’80s scene. Playing alt-country before anyone called it that, they were named „Best New Artist“ in the 1987 Rolling Stone Critics Poll— which temporarily deep-sixed Salas-Humara’s art-career plans.

Walter Salas-Humara joined Blue Rose in 2001 with the Silos album Laser Beam Next Door and has released another eight albums on the label since then. With five records by The Silos and four under his own name Walterio marks the 10th release in seventeen years!

31. Juli 2018

CODY CANADA & THE DEPARTED are back with their 4th album and they call it 3 !?!

Since the demise of Cross Canadian Ragweed in 2010, their mastermind Cody Canada has made some efforts to move on from the band’s glorious past and discover new ground. With The Departed he released three varied albums between 2011 and 2015 – but now he has decided to get back to exactly the type of music that brought him the most fun and success. Between 2002 and 2006 Cross Canadian Ragweed were the red dirt band to take note of. That band’s name will certainly stay in Oklahoma’s music history books. Now, the new album by Cody Canada & The Departed is entitled 3 which is somewhat surprising given that it’s their 4th release. The title indicates that the former quintet and quartet is now down to a trio. This power trio in every sense of the word delivers 14 tracks with great variety and a great, tailor-made sound.

Cross Canadian Ragweed embodied the sound and attitude of the Oklahoma/Texas red dirt scene like no other band. Their (red) dirty mix of guitar-driven country, Southern rock, singer-songwriter sounds, heartland rock & boogie was irresistible and highly successful. Between 1998 and 2009 they released ten albums some of which reached the Billboard top ten! Their concerts from San Francisco to NYC, New Orleans to Chicago were often sold out and the band achieved almost legendary status in their home region of Stillwater, Oklahoma and later anywhere between Austin and New Braunfels, Texas. However, it all became a little too much for bandleader Cody Canada and he pulled the plug on the band in 2010. Only to return from the ashes with a new band shortly thereafter.

The newly-born Departed were signed by Blue Rose without hesitation. Their first sign of life was This Is Indian Land in 2011, a colossal homage to their Oklahoma forebears Leon Russell, J.J. Cale, Bob Childers, Tom Skinner and others. Their second release Adventus (Blue Rose, 2012) was a pretty radical step away from red dirt, Texas rock and Americana – unbending electric rock’n’roll, a kind of Southern hard rock, brilliantly played but perhaps – at least for Ragweed fans – a little short on soul. In spite of an innovative spirit, an experimental mindset and a love for challenges, Canada felt like a stranger in his own band. The next album HippieLovePunk (Blue Rose, 2015) had a warmer, rootsier sound with a hint of a psychedelic “garage” vibe. 2013 saw the release of a Cody Canada live double album Some Old, Some New, Maybe A Cover Or Two, yet another live double album came out in 2015: Chip & Ray – Together Again For The First Time with Mike McClure his former mentor and something of a godfather of the red dirt scene. In 2016 Canada’s longtime friend and bass player took on frontman duties on the country album In Retrospect, released by Jeremy Plato & The Departed.

And now, after a period of self-rediscovery, Cody Canada returns to the spirit of Cross Canadian Ragweed with new material and a trio formation that sees him play all kinds of guitars, as well as piano, organ and harmonica. We also hear his raspy inimitable voice again. Jeremy Plato is still irreplaceable on bass. On drums we find a well-known name from the Okie scene: Eric Hansen who has played with everyone from Jimmy LaFave, Bob Childers, Greg Jacobs to Stoney LaRue as well as in the Mike McClure band in the last twenty years. Speaking of McClure: For the first time in The Departed‘s history Cody Canada is collaborating with his right-hand man for almost all of CCR’s output. McClure’s involvement is deep: He acts as producer, co-writer on a number of songs and contributor of various guitars and backing vocals. Joe Hardy, another familiar collaborator, mixed the album. It’s exactly this feeling of loyalty and friendship that permeates the entire 3 project.

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20. Juli 2018

Today is the release of the last two BRANDOS re-issue albums!

Live At Loreley
Live At Loreley
€ 9,90*
Blue Rose Records will be releasing the entire pre-Blue Rose catalog of the Brandos on CD, vinyl and digitally! The first batch of three CDs will be out on May 25, followed by another three on June 22 plus two more on July 20 . Vinyl copies will be available in September.

THE BRANDOS owe their name to their love of Marlon Brando. Their fans know them as one of the most vital American live rock bands of the 20th century’s final decades. THE BRANDOS, known for timeless classics like “The Solution” and “Gettysburg” and their straight and true rock sound, were founded in 1986 with the line-up of David Kincaid (voc, g, mand, banjo), Ed Rupprecht (g), Larry Mason (dr) and Ernie Mendillo (b, voc) in New York City.

The compilation Contribution – The Best Of 1985-1999, originally released in 1999, covers an almost fifteen year career with fourteen songs from the to that date released five studio albums plus two previously unissued tracks, „Hallowed Ground“ and „My Way To You“.

In the summer of 1999 the Brandos did another European tour with the line-up Dave Kincaid (voc, g, mandolin), Ernie Mendillo (b, voc), Frank Giordano (g, voc) and Tom Engels (dr, voc). One of the anchor dates the four piece played a outdoor festival for German TV show „Rockpalast“ at Loreley on July 9th. The set included nine songs, two more live tracks have been added to the disc: „I Got It“, a Little Richard cover, was recorded at the Stadtfest in Bremen, Germany in 1987, another one in 1998 at the Kongresshalle in Gießen, also in Germany.
Live at Loreley was only available at Dave Kincaid’s label Haunted Field Music and sold out pretty fast. For the first time it’s not only issued on a European label but also as digital edition.

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