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Yes' Chris Squire Says Lead Singer Jon Davison Helped Freshen Band's Whole Approach on New Album


Frontiers RecordsYes' latest studio album, Heaven & Earth, hits stores today.  The record is the first to feature the band's new lead singer, Jon Davison, who officially joined the lineup in early 2012.

Beyond lending his voice to the project, Davison made significant songwriting contributions too, writing or co-writing seven of the album's eight tracks.  Founding Yes bassist Chris Squire tells ABC News Radio that "he encouraged [Jon] as much as possible to" collaborate with the band's other members and he says he's extremely pleased with the results.

"It's turned out to be surprisingly fresh, and Jon's input has definitely freshened up the whole approach," explains Squire.  "So, I'm very happy."

In fact, Heaven & Earth features at least one tune that Davison co-wrote with every other member of the band -- two each with Squire and guitarist Steve Howe, and one apiece with drummer Alan White and keyboardist Geoff Downes.  He also penned one song, "Light of the Ages," entirely by himself.

Regarding the sound of the new album, Squire tells ABC News Radio that he doesn't think it's "exactly comparable to anything else" the band has done in the past, while noting that "there's a thread in Yes of the style that myself and Steve…and Alan White [developed] having all been there most of the last 40 years together."

Fans who want to find out more about Yes' new album can visit YesHeavenAndEarth.com, while excerpts of all of the tunes on the record are streaming at the band's SoundCloud page.

Meanwhile, Yes has been including one or two of the songs from Heaven & Earth in the sets on the group's current North American, which is scheduled through an August 23 concert in Lincoln, California.  Among the new tunes the band has been performing are "Believe Again," "The Ascent" and "The Game."

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James Brown Takes the Stage Again at the Apollo with "Get On Up" Premiere


Polydor/UMeMonday night, James Brown's music lit up the famed Apollo Theater once again, with the star-studded premiere of the biopic Get On Up: The James Brown Story in New York.

Directed by The Help's Nate Taylor, the project stars 42's Chadwick Boseman as the Godfather of Soul. It took years for Oscar-winning producer Brian Grazer to get it off the ground, but it took a Rolling Stone to get it rolling.

Mick Jagger came on as co-producer, and on the red carpet, the rock legend said proudly, "I'm so glad this movie's finally come out and I'm really pleased with the results of it."

Get On Up: The James Brown Story, which also stars The Help's Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, Dan Aykroyd, and The Office alum Craig Robinson, opens August 1.

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New Upstate New York Hotel Celebrates Bob Dylan and the Woodstock Festival


Image Courtesy of Hotel DylanA new hotel named after Bob Dylan opened last month in Woodstock, New York, that pays tribute to the musical history that emerged in and near the small Catskill Mountains town during the late 1960s.  Hotel Dylan features 11 rooms with names that evoke the Flower Power era and the famous Woodstock Festival, including "The Jimi," "The Joplin," "The Cocker," "The Roadies," "The Van" and "The Hippie Chick."

The hotel's largest room is called The Band Suite, named after the influential Americana outfit that served as Dylan's backing group early in its career, and recorded that legendary Basement Tapes with the folk-rock icon in Woodstock.  Daily prices for standard rooms cost $189 on weekdays and $219 on weekends, while the suite will run you $249 during the week and $289 on weekends.

Each room also features a high-quality turntable, and while a selection of vinyl albums can be borrowed from the front desk.  In addition, a variety of famous pics taken by official Woodstock Festival photographer Elliott Landy decorate the hotel's walls.  The hotel also hosts a series of music-related workshops and other events.

A Hotel Dylan representative tells ABC News Radio that owner Paul Covello is planning to open an intimate concert space at the facility, as well as a pub and restaurant that will serve dishes featuring locally grown and produced ingredients.

For more information, visit HotelDylan.com.

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Billy Joel Is the Most Long Island Person Ever


Credit: Myrna SuarezEven people who've never stepped foot in New York State -- or the U.S. -- probably know that Billy Joel is from Long Island, New York.   Maybe that's why the residents of that area have just crowned him the winner of the "That's SO Long Island" contest.

Local paper Newsday has been running the contest for several weeks, asking readers to vote on who or what best exemplifies the area, which is essentially a suburb of New York City.  Thanks to over 520,000 reader votes, Billy beat out 63 other local celebrities, attractions and activities to be declared the most "Long Island" of them all.   Among the fellow Long Island celebrities he beat: Billy Crystal, Lindsay Lohan, Jerry Seinfeld, Alec Baldwin, Idina Menzel, Debbie Gibson, Natalie Portman, Rosie O'Donnell, Ralph Macchio and Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider.

As for why he won the contest, it probably has something to do with the fact that Billy still lives in Long Island, donates plenty of time and money to local causes, and has sung about the place numerous times.  The title of his debut album, Cold Spring Harbor, is a town in Long Island.  He's also name-checked other local locations such as Oyster Bay and the Miracle Mile, while "The Downeaster 'Alexa'" was inspired by the plight of Long Island fishermen.

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ZZ Top's Dusty Hill Needs Kidney Stone Operation, Forcing Band to Cancel Six Upcoming Shows


Image Courtesy of Ross HalfinZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill is scheduled to undergo an operation to remove two kidney stones this week, forcing the veteran rockers to cancel six headlining dates that were to have preceded the launch of their joint U.S. tour with Jeff Beck

The nixed shows were scheduled for this Friday in Morton, Minnesota; this Saturday in West Bend, Wisconsin; this Sunday in Cincinnati; Tuesday, July 29, in Louisville, Kentucky; Wednesday, July 30 in  Asheville, North Carolina; and Monday, August 1, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Doctors discovered the kidney stones during a routine exam, and they advised Dusty that he should have them taken out right away.  Hill will need about two weeks to recover, and he's expected to fully recover from the procedure.  ZZ Top's next confirmed show will be held August 6 in Sturgis, South Dakota, and the Texas trio is then slated to kick off its co-headlining trek with Beck on August 8 in Missoula, Montana.

The joint tour is mapped out through a September 13 show in Thackerville, Oklahoma.  ZZ Top also has a bevy of North American fall headlining dates lined up that run from a September 25 gig in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, through a November 2 concert in San Antonio.

Here are the dates:

8/6 -- Sturgis, SD, Buffalo Chip Campground
*8/8 -- Missoula, MT, Ogren Park
*8/9 -- Woodinville, WA, Chateau Ste. Michelle
*8/10 -- Eugene, OR, Cuthbert Amphitheatre
*8/12 -- Saratoga, CA, The Mountain Winery
*8/13 -- Los Angeles, CA, Greek Amphitheatre
*8/15 -- Murphys, CA, Ironstone Amphitheatre
*8/16 -- Las Vegas, NV, The Joint
*8/17 -- Tucson, AZ, AVA Amphitheatre
*8/19 -- Albuquerque, NM, Sandia Casino
*8/20 -- Englewood, CO, Fiddlers Green Amphitheatre
*8/22 -- Oklahoma City, OK, Zoo Amphitheatre
*8/23 -- Kansas City, MO, Starlight Theater
*8/24 -- Maryland Heights, MO, Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
*8/27 -- Clarkston, MI, DTE Energy Music Theatre
*8/28 -- Highland Park, IL, Ravinia
*8/29 -- Salamanca, NY, Seneca Allegany Casino
*8/30 -- Atlantic City, NJ, Concert Venue at Harrah's
*8/31 -- Mashantucket, CT, MGM Grand Theater @ Foxwoods
*9/2 -- Boston, MA, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
*9/3 -- Columbia, MD, Merriweather Post Pavilion
*9/4 -- Wantagh, NY, Nikon @ Jones Beach Theater
*9/6 -- Alpharetta, GA, Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
*9/7 -- St. Augustine, FL, St. Augustine Amphitheater
*9/9 -- West Palm Beach, FL, Cruzan Amphitheater
*9/10 -- Tampa, FL, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater
*9/12 -- The Woodlands, TX Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
*9/13 -- Thackerville, OK, Winstar Casino
9/25 -- Bloomsburg, PA, Bloomsburg Fairgrounds
9/26 -- Springfield, MA, The Big E Xfinity Arena
9/27 -- Portland, ME, Maine State Pier
9/28 -- Hampton Beach, NH, Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
9/30 -- Montreal, QC, Canada, Bell Centre
10/1 -- Hamilton, ON, Canada, FirstOntario Centre
10/3 -- Rama, ON, Canada, Casino Rama Entertainment Centre
10/4 -- Battle Creek, MI, Firekeepers Casino
10/5 -- La Crosse, WI, La Crosse Center
10/7 -- Milwaukee, WI, Riverside Theatre
10/8 -- Fort Wayne, IN, Foellinger Theatre
10/10 -- Hinckley, MN, Grand Casino Hinckley Amphitheater
10/11 -- Clear Lake, IA, Surf Ballroom
10/12 -- Davenport, IA, Adler Theatre - RiverCenter
10/14 -- Huntington, WV, Big Sandy Superstore Arena
10/15 -- Columbia, SC, South Carolina State Fairgrounds
10/18 -- Red Bank, NJ,Count Basie Theatre
10/19 -- Kingston, NY, Broadway Theater - Ulster Performing Arts Center
10/22 -- Roanoke, VA, Roanoke Performing Arts Center
10/24 -- Danville, KY, Norton Center - Centre College of Kentucky
10/25 -- Bowling Green, KY, Bowling Green Hot Rods Field
10/29 -- Montgomery, AL, Montgomery Performing Arts Centre
10/31 -- Biloxi, MS, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
11/2 -- San Antonio, TX, Majestic Theatre

* = with Jeff Beck.

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Expanded Version of Yes' "Songs from Tsongas" Video, Plus Companion Three-CD Set, Due in September


Eagle Rock EntertainmentAn expanded version of the 2005 Yes concert video Songs from Tsongas: The 35th Anniversary Tour, along with a three-CD companion album, are scheduled to be released on September 23.  The Special Edition of the Song from Tsongas video will be available on Blu-ray, as a two-DVD collection and as a digital download that will contain performances from two separate shows the acclaimed prog-rock band played during its 2004 trek.

The first concert was showcased on the original release, a May 2004 gig at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, Massachusetts.  The bonus performances come from a show that took place in July of that year at Switzerland's Lugano Jazz Festival.

Yes' 35th anniversary tour featured the band's classic 1970s lineup of singer Jon Anderson, bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Alan White and keyboardist Rick Wakeman.  Among the well-known songs the group played at the Massachusetts show was "Your Move/All Good People," "Yours Is No Disgrace," "Long Distance Runaround," "Roundabout," "And You and I" and "Owner of a Lonely Heart," while the group also performed most of those tunes in Lugano too.  In addition, the Tsongas Arena concert was highlighted by an acoustic set that included some gems that Yes rarely played live.

The DVD version of Songs from Tsongas' Special Edition also includes an interview with longtime Yes album artist Roger Dean, as well as a bonus performance of "The Ritual" from the Massachusetts concert.

The three-CD set features audio of the entire original Songs from Tsongas show, including "The Ritual."

Here is the complete track list of the Songs from Tsongas: The 35th Anniversary Concert -- Special Edition DVD:

Disc 1: Songs from Tsongas
"Intro/Firebird Suite"
"Going for the One"
"Sweet Dreams"
"Your Move/All Good People"
"Mind Drive Parts 1 & 2"
"South Side of the Sky"
"Turn of the Century"
"My Eyes"
"Mind Drive Part 3"
"Yours Is No Disgrace"
"The Meeting (Piano Solo)"
"Long Distance Runaround"
"Wonderous Stories"
"Time Is Time"
"Roundabout"
"Show Me"
"Owner of a Lonely Heart"
"Second Initial (Guitar Solo)"
"Rhythm of Love"
"And You and I"
"Every Little Thing"
"Starship Trooper"

Disc 2: Live in Lugano
"Intro/Firebird Suite"
"Going for the One"
"Sweet Dreams"
"Your Move/All Good People"
"Long Distance Runaround"
"The Fish"
"Owner of a Lonely Heart"
"And You and I"
"Starship Trooper"
"Roundabout"

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Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones to Tour Again with Dave Rawlings Machine in the Fall


Image Courtesy of Andy TennilleAfter joining Dave Rawlings Machine for a brief U.S. tour in June, Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones will hit the road with the Americana collective for another outing in the early fall.  The trek, which will visit the West Coast, gets under way September 22 in Missoula, Montana, and is plotted out through an October 5 show in Santa Barbara, California.

Jones plays mandolin in the acoustic folk group, which also features Rawlings longtime musical partner, singer/songwriter Gillian Welch.  The 68-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer also toured with Dave Rawlings Machine in the fall of 2013.

Tickets for all of the upcoming shows went on sale to the general public on Friday, with the exception of a September 28 concert in Arcata, California.  Tickets for that gig will be available starting on August 4.  More dates will be announced soon.

Here's the full list of David Rawlings Machine's tour dates:

9/22 -- Missoula, MT, Wilma Theater
9/23 -- Spokane, WA, Bing Crosby Theater
9/24 -- Seattle, WA, Moore Theatre
9/25 -- Portland, OR, Crystal Ballroom
9/27 -- Eugene, OR, McDonald Theater
9/28 -- Arcata, CA, Van Duzer Theatre
9/29 -- Grants Pass, OR, Rogue Theatre
9/30 -- Redding, CA, Cascade Theatre
10/1 -- Santa Cruz, CA, Cocoanut Grove
10/3 -- Sonoma, CA, Gundlach Bundschu Winery
10/5 -- Santa Barbara, CA, Lobero Theatre

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Full Track List Revealed for Late Blues Guitar Great Johnny Winter's Upcoming Duets Album, "Step Back"


Megaforce RecordsAs the music world mourns the death of blues guitar legend Johnny Winter, full details have been revealed about what will be his final studio album.  Due out on September 2, Step Back features Winter playing covers of classic blues and early rock 'n' roll tunes that inspired him when he was young, with help from a bevy of other renowned musicians.

Among the stars featured on the record are Eric Clapton, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, Aerosmith's Joe Perry, Mountain's Leslie West, Dr. John and ex-Stray Cats frontman Brian Setzer.  The track list includes the Ray Charles classic "Unchain My Heart," Little Richard's "Long Tall Sally," Fats Domino's "Blue Monday," Howlin' Wolf's "Killing Floor," Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love," Bobby Blue Bland's "Don't Want No Woman," Willie Dixon's "Can't Hold Out (Talk to Me Baby)" and Lightnin' Hopkins' "Mojo Hand."

"If there's good people, other good musicians, people enjoy it.  I just love it," said Winter of his new album.  "[Step Back] is just to bring it to the people of today who haven't listened to the old music.  It's better than anything they hear today."

Perry, who's featured on the version of "Mojo Hand," has high praise for Johnny, saying, "If it was not for Johnny Winter, I would have never picked up the guitar."

Step Back is a sequel to Winter's 2011 album Roots, which featured guest appearances by his brother Edgar, Blues Traveler frontman John Popper, country star Vince Gill and Allman Brothers Band guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks.

Step Back is available for pre-order now at Amazon.  Here is the album's complete track list, along with the guest artists who joined Winter on the songs:

"Unchain My Heart" -- with The Blues Brothers Horns
"Can't Hold Out (Talk to Me Baby)" -- with Ben Harper
"Don't Want No Woman" -- with Eric Clapton
"Killing Floor" -- with Paul Nelson
"Who Do You Love"
"Okie Dokie Stomp" -- with Brian Setzer
"Where Can You Be" -- with Billy Gibbons
"Sweet Sixteen" -- with Joe Bonamassa
"Death Letter"
"My Babe" -- with Jason Ricci
"Long Tall Sally" -- with Leslie West
"Mojo Hand" -- with Joe Perry
"Blue Monday" -- with Dr. John

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Blondie, Chrissie Hynde, Beck Among Headliners for UK iTunes Festival


Danielle St. LaurentBlondie, Chrissie Hynde and Beck are just three of the acts who will take part in the 2014 edition of Apple's iTunes Festival in England.

The eighth annual festival, which will be held throughout the month of September at the Roundhouse in London. More details on the free event will be announced on iTunesFestival.com.

As usual, fans will be able to watch the performances through iTunes or an Apple device.

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Eric Clapton Says He Still Intends to Retire from Road, Also Has Plans for New Album


Universal MusicOver the last year or so, Eric Clapton has commented in multiple interviews that he's planning on retiring from touring when he turns 70.  The guitar legend, who will reach that milestone in March, now tells Rolling Stone he's still considering quitting the road in 2015.

"Next year, I might do a couple of shows and say, 'Folks, that's it, I'm off,'" he declares.  "Then I'll see what I make of that, whether I'm content to just go into the studio now and then and play at home for the family."

Slowhand also reveals that he's not planning to put together another Crossroads Guitar Festival, the star-studded benefit for his Crossroads rehab facility that he organized in 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2013.

"I think this could be it," he says.  "I don't want to work that hard, that much, anymore."

Next week, on July 29, Clapton will release a tribute album to his late friend, collaborator and musical inspiration JJ Cale -- The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale.  Also lending their talents to the project, which Eric says was "a joy to do," were such stars as Tom Petty, Mark Knopfler, Willie Nelson, John Mayer and Derek Trucks.

Meanwhile, Clapton tells Rolling Stone that before Cale's death last year inspired him to put together the tribute project, "I was planning to write and record another album for myself…So that's the next thing I would do."

Eric reveals that there's also some extra Cale-written material from The Breeze sessions that he plans to finish later this summer.  "We recorded many more tracks, some of them unpublished," he explains.  "I have some time in August in the studio to complete that and maybe start recording self-penned stuff."

With regard to coming up with new original songs, Clapton says he has been struggling a bit lately, admitting that he's "just lazy."  He explains, "When I get to 'What am I going to do for that bit?' I stop and turn on the TV.  I'm easily distracted."

He adds, "What I've done a lot is written songs, then forgotten them.  I put them down as a voice memo, on my phone, then I lose the memo."  However, Clapton assures Rolling Stone that he does have some new tunes in the works he hasn't forgotten that currently are saved on his iPhone.

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AMC Reality Series About KISS Members' Arena Football Team Premiering August 12


Ben Leuner/AMCKISS' Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley will be featured in a new AMC reality series titled 4th and Loud that will take a behind-the-scenes look at LA KISS, the new Los Angeles-area Arena Football League team the rockers co-own.  The docu-series, which premieres August 12 at 7 p.m. ET, follows Simmons, Stanley and their partners as they try to infuse some rock 'n' roll spirit into the first pro football franchise to play in L.A. in 20 years.

The program also will focus on the team's players, coaches and cheerleaders as they prepare for their inaugural season.

Deadline reports that Simmons and Stanley chatted about LA KISS last week at a Television Critics Association panel in Los Angeles.

"What we've brought to rock 'n' roll we want to bring to sport," explained Stanley.

Simmons added that they wanted the team's cheerleaders to display a bit more sex appeal than the ladies seen on the sidelines of your average NFL game.  "We wanted to have girls who are not the girl next door but the girl you wish was next door," he said.

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Brian Wilson Shares New Details About Upcoming Album


Image Courtesy of James Minchin IIISome new details have been revealed about former Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson's upcoming solo album, which will feature a variety of guest singers, including a number of young female artists.  Wilson tells Rolling Stone that he initially had been writing songs for a new Beach Boys album, but plans changed when Mike Love decided that he didn't want to extend the group's 50th anniversary reunion tour in 2012.

"It was a shock," admits Wilson.  "I was so proud of how the Boys were singing.  Then it just ended."

He says, at first, he was at a loss about what to do with the new music he was creating before settling on the idea to bring in guest vocalists.

Among the singers who have lent their talents to the project so far are up-and-coming country star Kacey Musgraves, and alternative-pop chanteuses Lana Del Rey and Zooey Deschanel.  Wilson also has called on fun. frontman Nate Ruess, whom he says "sounds a little like my brother Carl."

Jeff Beck, who toured with Brian last year, played guitar on a version of the Irish standard "Danny Boy," one of the tunes they performed together during the trek.

Musgraves, who is featured on a tune called "Guess You Had to Be There," apparently took a few takes before her vocals were to Brian's liking.  "When it's good it's good, when it's not -- do it again," says Wilson.  "But after three tries, Kacey nailed it."

Deschanel appears on a song named "On the Island" that Rolling Stone describes as "a space-age bossa nova."

Two versions of a track titled "Last Song" have been recorded, one featuring Del Rey and another with Wilson handling lead vocals.  According to Rolling Stone, the tune, which will be the album's centerpiece, is "a heartbreaking ballad" that Brian wrote about his disappointment over the Beach Boys reunion coming to an end.

"It started out being about lost love," explains the album's co-producer, Joe Thomas.  "But after the tour fell apart it became more about a missed opportunity for Brian and the guys to ride into the sunset together."

No word yet on when Wilson's album will be released.

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Tom Petty Critiques Catholic Church, Greedy Politicians on New Album


Image Courtesy of Sam Jones

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' upcoming album, Hypnotic Eye, finds Petty offering his two cents on a number of topical subjects.  The 63-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer recently shared some details about his latest songs in a Q&A with Billboard.

One new track, titled "Playing Dumb," which only is available as a bonus song on the vinyl edition of Hypnotic Eye, focuses on the sex abuse scandal in which the Catholic Church has been embroiled.  Petty says he has nothing against Catholics, but he apparently takes issue with people who continue to support the church hierarchy in the wake of the way it's handled the many instances of abuse.

"I'm fine with whatever religion you want to have," he maintains, while noting, "If I was in a club, and I found out that there had been generations of people abusing children, and then that club was covering that up, I would quit the club.  And I wouldn't give them any more money."

Petty also tells Billboard that on Hypnotic Eye, he critiques the greed displayed by politicians who support the extremely wealthy to the detriment of the lower classes.  "Very few people know how to handle power and once they just become completely immoral, they're dangerous people," Petty explains.  "That attitude is what, to me, wipes out the middle class."

In addition to songs about contemporary issues, Hypnotic Eye also includes a tune that was inspired by a harrowing personal incident in Tom's life: the second of two fires that destroyed homes in which he lived.  The song "All You Can Carry" specifically is about how he carried a Hofner bass that he owned to safety as the house burned.

"I grabbed that and went, 'Hell, is this going to happen to me twice in my life where everything I own is just wiped out?'" he tells Billboard.  "And then I thought, 'Well, I'm OK with that.'  Because things come back, but people don't."

Hypnotic Eye hits stores on July 29.

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Mick Jagger Says He's "Doing OK" After Girlfriend's Death, Talks New James Brown Biopic


Eagle Rock EntertainmentMick Jagger recently gathered with some of the crew and cast members of the new James Brown biopic, Get On Up, to chat with Matt Lauer, co-host of NBC's Today show, about the new film.  During the roundtable interview at Harlem's Apollo Theatre, The Rolling Stones frontman, who is one of the film's executive producers, also publicly commented about his late girlfriend L'Wren Scott for the first time since her suicide in March.

With regard to how he's been coping since Scott's passing, Jagger said, "I'm doing OK.  It was difficult, [a] very hard year, but I got back into it by working on touring with the Stones in Europe, and doing other things, including this great movie." He added that he's had "a lot of support" from friends, which is something that he's really appreciated.

Turning to Get On Up, the rock star discussed Brown and his depiction in the movie.

"James Brown is a guy who comes from absolutely nothing, from nowhere, he has nothing, and he wants to be someone," Mick explained.  "He wants to be a big star, and he's going to work like crazy to become a big star.  And it's about the effects on his personality.  'When you achieve that goal, what happens to you?'"

The subject then turned to how the Godfather of Soul influenced and inspired Jagger.  Mick maintained that he didn't openly try to copy Brown's specific stage moves or songwriting style, noting rather that "[t]he main thing I copped from him, which I think is a good thing to learn for any performer, is the way he interacted with the audience.  The way he charmed them.  The way he told them what to do.  The way he gave them his emotions.  The way he expected them to give back."

During the discussion, Dan Aykroyd -- who portrays music impresario Ben Bart in the film -- declared that Jagger, like Brown, was someone who was born to be in front of a band.  Aykroyd then noted that Mick likely would "feel pretty bad" if he didn't have his Stones band mates on stage with him, to which Jagger responded, "You need people backing you up, but having said that, your job is not a humility job."

Get On Up opens in theaters on August 1.

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Music Stars Pay Tribute to Late Blues Guitar Legend Johnny Winter


Image Courtesy of Michael WeintrobTributes have begun pouring in from around the music world for blues guitar legend Johnny Winter, who died Wednesday at the age of 70 while on tour in Zurich, Switzerland.  Among the many stars issuing statements or posting messages on their social media sites about Winter are his brother, Edgar, as well as some of the famous musicians who appear on Johnny's upcoming album, Step Back.

Edgar Winter, who frequently collaborated with his brother and was scheduled to hit the road with him next month on the 2014 Rock'n'Blues Fest Tour, penned an homage to Johnny that he posted Thursday on his Facebook page.

"My wife, Monique, and I are shocked at the suddenness of Johnny's passing, especially since I was so looking forward with such joy and anticipation to seeing him again and playing together," he wrote.  "I know his body is departing this physical realm, but his presence, his music, and his spirit are undiminished, and alive as ever in my heart."

Edgar added, "Johnny has always been, is now, and will forever remain my greatest musical hero of all time.  But more than all that, he's my brother -- in family, in music, in life and beyond.  I will do my best to carry on in honor of his memory and the Winter name."

Step Back, which is scheduled to be released on September 2, features Johnny Winter collaborations with Eric Clapton, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, Aerosmith's Joe Perry, and Mountain's Leslie West, among other stars.

Upon learning of Winter's passing, Clapton wrote, "Very sad to hear that Texas blues legend Johnny Winter died at age 70 in Zurich amid European tour."

Gibbons recalled in his tribute to his fellow Texas guitar legend, "When I first saw Johnny perform, I was, maybe 12 or 13, and he was known as 'Johnny Cool Daddy Winter' and we've always thought of him as exactly that: 'One Cool Daddy."  He added, "Johnny became a dear and passionate friend as well as the accomplished bluesman we have come to admire…It's now a moment for celebration of his brilliance frozen for all time…We've lost another of the gifted guitar greats and a truly soulful spirit."

As for Perry, he tweeted on Wednesday, "So sad and shocked Johnny Winter passed on...I just now found out and feel speechless at this moment."

West, meanwhile, sent out a message of his own that read, simply, "RIP my friend! God Speed!"

Here are some posts by some other well-known music artists paying homage to Winter:

Journey's Neal Schon: "Johnny Winter RIP...My sincerest condolences."

The Kinks' Dave Davies: "RIP to a great blues player - Johnny Winter."

B.J. Thomas: "RIP Johnny Winter. Was in my band, '67-'68. One of the greatest blues guitarist of them all."

Whitesnake's David Coverdale: "Johnny Winter...RIP A Great, Great Artist...Much Loved & Greatly Admired...XX"

The E Street Band's Nils Lofgren: "Life long inspirer, friend from the early days, Rest in Peace Johnny Winter. A soulful piece of us all, gone."

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench: "I once saw Johnny Winter play an impromptu set at a New Orleans club, backed by the MC5 (whose show it was) [with guitarist Wayne Kramer] on the drums."

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Donny Osmond to Look Back at 50-Year Career with New Album, "Soundtrack of My Life"


PRNewsFoto/Verve Music GroupThose who remember his days as a teen idol may find it hard to believe that Donny Osmond is gearing up to celebrate his 50th year in show business.  The singer will mark the milestone by releasing his 60th album, Soundtrack of My Life, which is scheduled to hit stores on January 13, 2015.

As its title suggests, the record will include songs that reflect and summarize different eras and aspects of Osmond's life and career.  Soundtrack of My Life includes a rendition of Stevie Wonder's "My Cherie Amour" -- the first record Donny ever bought -- to which the Motown legend contributed a harmonica solo.  Also featured will be a cover of the early Michael Jackson hit "Ben," a tune originally written for Osmond to record.

In addition, the album will boast versions of Elton John's "Your Song" and Peter Gabriel's "Don't Give Up," tunes that both have significance to Donny and his relationship with his wife.  Three original compositions also will be featured on Soundtrack of My Life.

In conjunction with the upcoming album, Osmond has launched a new app that offers stories about each track and shares previews of the songs.

"After 50 years of entertaining, I wanted to do something unique to celebrate a milestone in my career, as well as the launch of my 60th album," he points out.  "This app was designed to share the music that has affected me throughout the years.  These are more than just great songs; each holds personal significance to a long-lasting career. In essence, these songs are the soundtrack of my life...so far."

Visit Donny.com/App to download the application for free for either Apple or Android devices.

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Johnny Depp Performs with Aerosmith in Massachusetts


Columbia RecordsJohnny Depp made a surprise appearance during Aerosmith's concert at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts, this past Wednesday, playing guitar with the band.

A concertgoer tells People magazine, "He played guitar on the encore."

The source tell the magazine the 51-year-old actor, dressed in jeans and a black knit cap, joined the band for their cover of the R&B classic "Train Kept A-Rollin.'"

Depp's fiancée, actress Amber Heard, reportedly was backstage.

Depp is no stranger to the live music scene. He's collaborated with Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Tom Petty, Willie Nelson and other acts onstage in the past.

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Paul McCartney Says He Appreciated Time Off During Recent Illness, Is Amassing Songs for New Album


MJ Kim/MPL CommunicationsFans were worried about Paul McCartney's health when a recent bout with a virus forced him to postpone a series of tour dates in May and June, but the 72-year-old rock legend admits in a new Rolling Stone Q&A that he actually appreciated getting the unplanned break.

"People say to me, 'Aw, that must have been terrible for you.'  Well, no, actually," says Sir Paul.  "No one ever tells me to rest!  It was like summer holidays in school or something.  I thought, 'Yeah, I can get into that.'"

McCartney tells the magazine that he made good use of his time off, revealing that he "took it really easy at home in England," read a film script his son-in-law wrote and worked on some new experimental music at his recording studio.

He reveals to Rolling Stone that he came up with some danceable tracks while working with a program called Cubase, as well as with a sequencer he originally used while recording his 1980 solo album McCartney II.

"They were just funky little experimental things, instrumentals," he says. "The first one I did was kind of African, so I gave it the working title 'Mombasa.'  The next one was faster, and that one I called 'Botswana.'"

The former Beatle reports that he's now amassing material for his next album, some of which are completed and "some that I need to finish."  McCartney likely won't have time to focus on the project until he winds down his 2014 tour, which currently is scheduled through an October 30 show in Greensboro, North Carolina.  He says, "[A]t the back of my mind, I'll be wanting to clear a few months for me to write up the most likely of the songs that I've got on the boil and figure out how I want to record them…But I haven't booked any studio time.  It's all there as fun for the future."

Speaking about touring, Sir Paul tells Rolling Stone that, while he realizes he's not getting any younger, he has no plans to retire from the road yet.

"A lot of people get fed up with life on the road, particularly when you've got a really nice home life. But for me, I want it all," he maintains. "I've got a great home life, and I've got a great life on the road…and the audiences are just so warm, and the feedback is so good."

He adds, "People say to me, 'Don't you get tired?'  It's a three-hour show, and I'm on stage every second.  I keep thinking the laws of logic ought to apply and I ought to be really tired -- but I'm invigorated."

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Filmmakers Plead Not Guilty, Respond to Charges in "Midnight Rider" Case


Danny ClinchThe husband-and-wife director and producer team of the Gregg Allman biopic Midnight Rider have pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges stemming from an on-set accident that killed a crew member.

Earlier this month, Randall Miller and Jody Savin were charged with involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass in the death of 27-year-old camera assistant Sarah Jones, who was struck by a train and killed on the Midnight Rider set.

Executive producer Jay Sedrish was also slapped with the same charges in connection with the accident, in which several crew members were hurt.

Following booking last Sunday, Miller and Savin entered not-guilty pleas on Thursday, Entertainment Weekly reports, citing their attorney Don Samuel, through whom they've also opened up about the accident and the charges against them for the first time.

"We have remained silent out of respect for the family of Sarah Jones, their loved ones and all of the crew who were injured on that very sad day February 20th, 2014," the statement reads. "This devastating loss of Sarah, a young crew member who was just starting out with us, will haunt us forever. Our hearts are broken, our spirits are broken. We have young children and can only imagine with immense sadness the heartbreak of losing a child. We are praying for Sarah's family."

The couple says, "In the weeks and months that follow when the true facts of the events are revealed, people will know that this was not a crime: we never had criminal intent; we would never knowingly or intentionally put anybody's safety at risk. This was a horrible tragedy and a horrific accident."

The filmmakers have been accused of recklessly setting up a shot on train tracks crossing a 110-year-old bridge over the Altamaha River. When a train rolled down the tracks, Miller and other crew members had just seconds to escape. 

Since her death, Jones has been memorialized both on social media and on film sets all over the world: productions of all sizes had "RIP SARAH" written on their clappers in her memory.

Production on Midnight Rider has been suspended.  Additionally, Miller, Savin and Sedrish, along with Gregg Allman and several other parties, are facing a number of lawsuits connected to the accident.

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Historic Early Jimi Hendrix Recordings Acquired by Guitar Legend's Estate and Sony's Legacy Division


Image Courtesy of Dieter HoffmannExperience Hendrix LLC, the company that oversees the rights to Jimi Hendrix's music, and Sony's Legacy Recordings have acquired the full rights to a collection of historic early recordings featuring the late guitar legend.  The material includes 88 live and studio master recordings that Hendrix made from 1965 to 1967 with his pre-fame group, Curtis Knight & the Squires.

The agreement ends years of litigation between the Hendrix family and the recordings' longtime owners, record producer Ed Chalpin and his company PPX Enterprises.  Jimi was a sideman for Curtis Knight & the Squires when he and the Harlem-based R&B group signed a three-year contract with Chalpin in October 1965.

Among the notable tracks included in the collection is a live performance recorded in December 1965 at a club in Hackensack, New Jersey, and a number of studio recordings Hendrix did with Curtis Knight & the Squires in July 1967, after the Jimi Hendrix Experience had already released its debut album.

Experience Hendrix and Legacy Recordings now plan to have the Curtis Knight & the Squires material mixed and remastered under the supervision of longtime Hendrix sound engineer Eddie Kramer, and intend to release the revamped tracks over the course of the next three years.

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The Louisiana Swamp Pop Museum operated by the City of Ville Platte is open to the public every Friday and Saturday from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Come view the amazing artifacts, photos, records, Wall of Fame and hear the music. Admission charge is $3 adults, $2 seniors and $1 for children under 12. The museum is located on Northwest Railroad Avenue.






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