A spicy mix of rarities, alternates and previously unissued R&B goodies from South Louisiana and S.E. Texas, where you are never too far from a bayou and some good rockin’ music. This 15th compilation in the “By The Bayou” series takes us back to the R&B sounds you would have heard belting out of a Louisiana juke joint on a steamy night in the 1950s or early 1960s. All of the tracks included were recorded in that party state, although some of the artists were based in Texas, crossing the state line to make music in studios based in Crowley and Lake Charles.
To say that Iron Maiden's Book of Souls was ardently anticipated would be a vast understatement. Though it was (mostly) finished in 2014, vocalist Bruce Dickinson's cancer diagnosis and treatment delayed its release until he was medically cleared. While 2006's A Matter Of Life And Death and 2010's The Final Frontier showcased longer songs, Book of Souls is epic by comparison. Their first double album, it's 92 minutes long, and three of its 11 tracks are over ten minutes. Steve Harris contributed one solo composition, and co-wrote six tracks with various bandmates. Dickinson – for the first time since Powerslave – wrote two solo tunes, the album's bookends, and collaborated on two more. The music is cleanly divided between the two discs. The first is tight; it offers a bit of everything that makes Iron Maiden…well, Iron Maiden.
The irrepressible Dave Douglas delivers another installment in the life of the Tiny Bell Trio, which features his own inimitable trumpet style, but the rhythmic invention of Jim Black on drums, and Brad Shepik's emotionally vulnerable yet volatile guitar playing. Where previous Tiny Bell outings have focused on the possibilities for texture, dynamic, and atmospheric possibilities within a given compositional structure, Songs for Wandering Souls places its eye firmly on group execution this set of compositions – all but two of which are by Douglas, the others arranged by him especially for this of his many groups. The disc opens with "Sam Hill," a beautiful "song," where the lead "call" voice is carried by Douglas, but its "response" is in the lyrical flow of Shepik's string interplay.
This is a fantastic example to the 60's Soul Jazz movement. Cox, an accomplished musician, didn't want to be a basketball coach. When he was growing up in Cincinnati, he wanted to be a great baseball player, another Jackie Robinson. And he wanted to be a great jazz saxophone player, another Charlie Parker. After graduating from Kentucky State, Cox came to Chicago with classmate Joe Henderson, the famed tenor sax player. They were en route to California to become professional musicians. But Cox never left. He found a home – and another occupation – on the South Side.
"Trading Souls" was the sophomore release from Empire, the super-group project from guitarist Rolf Munkes. Alongside the German axe slingers skills we have the formidable vocal talents of Tony Martin (ex Black Sabbath), the keyboard wizardry of Don Airey (Deep Purple / ex Rainbow), whilst bass legend Neil Murray (ex Whitesnake) forms a tight rhythmic unit with drummer Gerald Kloos (Winterlong / Condition Red). There’s even a special guest in drummer Anders Johansson (Hammerfall / ex Yngwie Malmsteen) who plays on two tracks. Originally released in 2003, "Trading Souls" saw Empire return after their 2001 debut "Hypnotica" with an album full of killer songs in a classic melodic hard rock setting. These 10 tracks perfectly showcase the combined decades of experience and talent from this super group. The end result is a hard rock record brimming with catchy anthems and great ensemble playing.
The first 12 of these songs were emailed to Midnight fans who pre-ordered the M2 album to tide them over until it was released. Midnight passed away before the album was finished…