Monday, September 26, 2011

"Europe 72" - Volume Two - Review

I have had this set for about a week and I go back and forth on it. I loved "Europe 72" ,it turned me on to the Dead, back in the day. I have the '03 Rhino remastering of it, as I have gone from 2 sets of LPs in the Seventies, to a Cassette version, then to 2 versions on Compact Disc, the original in '91 and also the remaster by Rhino (which is done in HDCD),which I love , both CD versions are very good, but Rhinos' really opens it up and you can just hear everything in the recording,also,it is tonally exquisite.

  This Volume Two was a great idea, but I find the sound quality a bit disappointing at times, especially for Rhino, but most people who are used to mp3s will not notice anything, Digital recording has set new standards for what and how folk listen to stuff. There is some distortion in places, I find listening to it on a regular CD Deck as opposed to a HDCD deck makes it sound better. There are some very good performances on here, a great version of "Greatest Story Ever Told", an inspiring "Sing Me Back Home" (Haggard) with some pretty harmonies on it, even Donna Jean sounds good on this song. I find that Disc Two has a deeper tonal quality to it. Also it ends with a very good rendering of "Not Fade Away- Going Down the Road Feeling Bad". This is a good companion for the original Europe 72, no songs repeated. It is culled from the 73 disc remix/remaster of the whole Spring Grateful Dead Tour, which covers 22 shows, in 73 Discs. I have not heard any of those, so hopefully there are no sound problems with that box set which you can still get from dead.net for $450.  

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Time Life Building Strong Marketing Campaign For Hank Williams: The Legend Begins That Releases Sept. 13, 2011

Coverage Will Include National TV Shows WGN Midday News And Daytime Along With Coverage From Blurt Magazine, Hits Magazine, Billboard.com, Blogcritics.org, Country Weekly And Chicago Tribune

Fairfax, VA (September 12, 2011) -- The highly anticipated Hank Williams: The Legend Begins releases tomorrow, September 13th, through Time Life and the Estate of Hank Williams. Already there is critical acclaim for the project with coverage from such major media outlets as national television programs, WGN Midday News (September 20) and Daytime (September 27); magazines such as Blurt, Vintage Guitar, Goldmine, Hits and Country Weekly; high-profile newspapers like Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, Tennessean and Arkansas Democrat Gazette; and online webzines, Billboard.com and Blogcritics.org.  Williams’ daughter, Jett, is also doing a three day satellite radio tour that includes over forty radio stations and syndicated outlets that service 100+ stations.  In conjunction with the radio interviews, close to eight-hundred radio stations are doing promotional giveaways during street week and over the weekend. In addition, there will be national and focused online marketing initiatives (e.g. contests, social networking, and email blasts to extensive related data bases etc.)
The 3-CD box set offers Williams’ first recordings at fifteen and seventeen years old, which have never been heard before, along with his first radio series, Health & Happiness.  The recordings have been restored with the highly acclaimed technology that was used for the Grammy nominated project last year, The Complete Mother’s Best Recordings….Plus!.   Hank Williams: The Legend Begins will be available online at Amazon.com, along with other digital and retail outlets.
"I am very proud that these recordings have been made available to everyone,” says Hank Williams, Jr.  “It was great to hear of their discovery, and then to share the treasure of daddy's music is wonderful!  It really takes you back to a time when family meant something, where we would all circle around that radio and listen to those legendary shows.  It is a rare find indeed and I'm so glad people will now have the chance to hear that part of history."
 "This might be the most rewarding component of this entire multi-year project," adds Jett Williams."  I am just so pleased that I was able to obtain and preserve these early recordings of my dad.  To think of him at 14 or 15 sitting at a kitchen table, in a garage or wherever, singing songs that would end up being a part of his legacy is truly remarkable."
The music will take you back to 1938 when Williams was a 15-year-old teenager performing his first recordings of Fan It and Alexander’s Ragtime Band.  Then fast forward to 1940, and the rare home recordings show how much Williams’ voice had matured in two years when he rocks out to four classics of American music; Freight Train Blues, New San Antonio Rose, St. Louis Blues, and Greenback Dollar.  In 1949, Williams recorded his first syndicated radio series, The Health And Happiness Show.  Forty-nine songs from the show have been restored on Hank Williams: The Legend Begins which gives superior quality to these historic CDs.
 

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Interview With Dennis McNally, About New Europe 72 Box Set

 This is a short interview I did through an e-mail conversation with Dennis McNally, longtime publicist and historian for the Grateful Dead, some info from his view about the highly anticipated release of the Europe 72 Box Set, which is easily the Group's biggest undertaking, containing 22 full shows performed on the Europe 72 Tour, in a format of 73 HDCD CDs, with the first 7,200 versions in a fancy trunk with extras and personalization's and the rest after that are music only, the 73 CDs in Digipak packaging. Also, there is being released a Europe 72 -Part 2, which contains songs not on the original Album.


1. Dennis,your book about the Grateful Dead is the one I go to when I want to find something out, it's like the
textbook of The Grateful Dead, you were there, as publicist alot and also as Historian, moreover, you were there, from the beginning. How excited are you about this release of the Whole Europe 72 Tour, Twenty Two Shows, Seventy Three CDs?

It's unquestionably, overall, the best tour in the band's history.  And of course it was recorded in 16 track, so now what you're going to hear is the best possible version... so yes, I'm excited/impressed/very pleased that Rhino pulled the trigger on this.

2. This original 3 record set of "Europe 72" turned myself and many others on to the Grateful Dead. Back Then, Did the Organization think that this recording which they had put so much into would turn out to be as big and influential as it  was?

  By the time of Europe '72, the band had already put out six albums.  Though Workingman's Dead and American Beauty had done well, their overall experience with the record business had been mostly a little disappointing, even though they recognized that Warner Bros. had actually treated them pretty well.  So, no, I doubt very much that they had any wild expectations of the results of Europe '72.

3. Just to keep this short, any special memory of the tour, that you would like to share?

 I'm lazy - I'm going to give you the story as I wrote it in the book....


"It was during their second and last night in Paris that the most hilarious adventure of the tour began.  A young Frenchman approached the band at the theater and began arguing about their lack of political consciousness.  To Kreutzmann, it seemed "obvious he wanted free tickets."  They put him off, and he moved his harangue to Cutler and Rex Jackson, getting no satisfaction.  When everyone returned to the hotel, he took up a position in front, bracing every member of the tour party as they came in or out. He was wearing a velvet jacket, which caught their eye, and when they eventually concluded he'd become a bore, Rex dumped ice cream on the jacket he was so proud of, and the Dead all had a good laugh and went to bed.  While they slept, Monsieur la Politiquehad his revenge, introducing a foreign substance into the equipment truck's gas tank.
         The next day they were scheduled to play Lille, a very political college town.  The buses and one truck arrived, their equipment truck did not.  No amps,no show.  The promoter was not able to offer instant refunds -- according to some memories, he was unable to offer refunds at all.  Sensing trouble,the streetwise Garcia decided that honor did not require going to the hall, and along with Kreutzmann, elected to stay at the hotel.  "You guys are nuts" was his analysis.  Phil and Bobby went out on the stage and talked to the audience, but "Pasde musique" was about the best they could muster, even after Weir's five years of high school French. "It quickly became my job to explain to a crowd of irate Frenchmen just exactly this -- no show tonight, sorry about that.  I got three or four sentences off before the crowd became very surly."
         Ushered offstage into the dressing room, Lesh, Weir, Rosie, and a few others suddenly realized they were in deep shit. The audience was furious, convinced of American perfidy, and though no one was thinking in terms of death, Weir thought "they woulda thumped us good and proper."   The door to the dressing room had a window, and they covered it with newspapers and considered their options.  Other than being thumped, there was only one: climb down the drainpipe to the top of the truck, jump down on the hood,then to the ground, and run run run for the bus, which was waiting with the engine idling.  The furious Frenchmen began to pound on the door, and as the hinges started to creak, Dead family members began going out the window.  A gentleman to the end, Weir's main worry, as he thought about it later, was getting the interpreter, Rosie McGee, and photographer,Mary Ann Mayer, down the drainpipe. That accomplished, he turned to the promoter, promised they'd make up the show, dropped a rose on the sill, and scooted down the pipe like the part monkey he was.  He was on the roof of the truck when he heard the door give way, and he hit the ground running for "what physicists called the absolute elsewhere, in a big hurry."  A couple of hours later, after wrapping themselves around some good Bordeaux, it was all pretty funny, but it had been a near thing." 

From Dennis McNally's Book "A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of The Grateful Dead"
(available on Amazon and where fine books are sold"

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