Chris Smither's Another Way to Find You was the live album that chronicled his career up to 1991. Live As I'll Ever Be takes up where that one left off, featuring songs from the four albums he released in the '90s. It was recorded over several years – beginning in 1996 – and captured performances in California, Virginia, Massachusetts, and Ireland. One mike recorded his large, unmistakable voice; the other was placed on the floor to pick up his steadily tapping and stomping feet. Many audience favorites were included, such as "I Am the Ride," "Slow Surprise," "Small Revelations," and "Up on the Lowdown." Two covers, Robert Johnson's "Dust My Broom" and Rolly Sally's "Killin' the Blues," were also recorded. There are entertaining song intros and bits of warm banter with the audience, too. Chris Smither is always at his best when he is performing live. In fact, he often says that he writes songs and records albums just so he can perform live, and not the other way around. Live As I'll Ever Be gives you a great front-row seat, any time you want it.
This captures folk-blues guitarist-singer-songwriter Smither playing live in the studio for a hand-picked audience over the Christmas holidays in 1989. Smither presents 17 songs of his own derivation and others, blasting it all out in a couple of sharp sets in the time-honored folk music club tradition. His guitar work is clean and well played, and his vocals attain a sense of engagement throughout. While his interpretations of tunes by Chuck Berry, Randy Newman, Elizabeth Cotton, Willie McTell, Jimmy Reed and others are fine, the true highlights come with the originals "Lonely Time," "Don't Drag It On," "A Song for Susan," "Lonesome Georgia Brown," "I Feel the Same" and the title track.
Following two releases for Poppy Records in the early '70s, as well as a third recording that never saw the light of day, Chris Smither finally returned in 1984 with It Ain't Easy. Armed simply with guitar and voice, Smither delivers a dozen tunes (14 on the CD reissue) that embody the best tradition of blues and folk. Whether it's his originals, a standard like "Glory of Love," or material by the likes of Randy Newman, Chuck Berry, Mississippi John Hurt, and Howlin' Wolf, Smither infuses every track with the same timeless quality. Though he may, on occasion, choose rather standard folk, blues, and rock & roll fare ("Green Rocky Road," "Sittin' on Top of the World," "Maybelline") Smither never treats the songs as if they were museum pieces. In his hands, they're given a life and vitality they probably haven't seen in years. His masterful guitar work and dark, resonant baritone are ideally suited to the songs on It Ain't Easy. Like Mississippi John Hurt or Reverend Gary Davis, his playing is that perfect combination of simplicity and sophistication, discovering and filling harmonic voids without ever overstating or wasting a single note. There's not a false moment on the entire record. Highly recommended. (AMG)
Best known for his string of late-'80s MOR blues-pop hit singles, Middlesbrough's biggest musical export Chris Rea has spent the best part of the noughties reinventing himself as a Tom Waits-esque troubadour with a series of ambitious and often gargantuan-sized albums focusing on the vintage slide guitar blues sounds that influenced his hugely successful 30-year career. More up to date than 1994's The Best Of and more extensive than 2005's Heartbeats, Still So Far to Go is the husky-voiced guitarist's first hits collection to place as much emphasis on his later more revered and prolific output as his more familiar and commercial airplay staples…
Deluxe box set including two CDs, two DVDs two seven inch singles and a 180gm vinyl LP pressing plus a 36 page book. Digitally remastered and expanded edition of Yes founder Chris Squire's legendary 1975 solo album Fish Out Of Water. Recorded in the late Spring and Summer of 1975 whilst Yes was on hiatus as members recorded their respective solo albums, Fish Out Of Water was a breath-taking work, and equal in standard to any Yes album in terms of sheer invention and creativity…
On 1993's HAPPIER BLUE Smither returned to the full-band recording approach after more than 20 years. While that album's production proved a little too genteel for Smither's earthy blues-folk style, it set the stage for '95's UP ON THE LOWDOWN, arguably the finest recording of Smither's long career. Perfectly produced by guitarist Stephen Bruton, the album wisely focuses on a tougher, leaner small-band sound than its predecessor. The arrangements have just the right combination of bluesiness and delicacy to complement both Smither's Mississippi John Hurt leanings and his more lyrical side. As always, Smither's the master of redefinition, tackling Dylan's "What Was It You Wanted" and Jesse Winchester's "Talk Memphis" successfully. His compositional muse is also at its apex here, as on the introspective "I Am The Ride" and the elegant, bittersweet "'Deed I Do".
Esoteric Recordings are proud to announce the release of an official limited edition deluxe boxed set of Yes founder CHRIS SQUIRE’s legendary 1975 solo album FISH OUT OF WATER. Recorded in the late Spring and Summer of 1975 whilst Yes was on hiatus as members recorded their respective solo albums, FISH OUT OF WATER was a breath-taking work, and equal in standard to any Yes album in terms of sheer invention and creativity. The album was essentially a collaboration between Chris Squire and his friend Andrew Pryce Jackman, a gifted arranger who had been a member of The Syn, Squire’s pre-Yes group. The sessions saw contributions from former Yes drummer BILL BRUFORD, Yes keyboard player PATRICK MORAZ and noted musicians MEL COLLINS and JIMMY HASTINGS. Released in November 1975, FISH OUT OF WATER was a Top 30 chart hit in the UK and made the US Billboard Top 75 album chart, going on to sell nearly 500,000 copies worldwide.
Ex-Smokie frontman offers a solo album featuring a collection of his favourite songs, interpreted in his own distinctive style. With choices like "Wake Me Up When September Ends" by Green Day or "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol, Norman shows off his sense of the contemporary Zeitgeist. But he also offers great new versions of older songs such as "I Can´t Dance" by Genesis and Mike Oldfield's "Moonlight Shadow". Touring Europe and playing festivals throughout August.
Water Sign is the fifth studio album by British singer-songwriter Chris Rea, released in 1983. The album reached #64 position on the UK album charts. "I Can Hear Your Heartbeat" was released as a single, initially peaking on the UK singles chart at #60 in 1983, while the re-recorded new version for his New Light Through Old Windows compilation album, reached #74 in 1988.