Charlie features on two tracks of the exclusive bonus disc of Ben Harper's forthcoming album 'Both Sides of the Gun'. You can hear him on 'Gather Round The Stone' and 'Dressed in Black'. You can get hold of this special edition on Ben Harper's website.
Mississippi-born Charlie Mussewhite returns to his home state roots with DELTA HARDWARE, a 10 song collection that captures the raw sound and emotions of electrified blues at its best. This marks his second album on Real World Records following the critically acclaimed 'Sanctuary'. It will be released in early May this year. His most energized recording in years finds Charlie recapturing the hard-edged sound that first brought him to the sixties blues/rock scene with recordings like his classic 1963 debut STAND BACK!. In his earliest days as a musician Charlie regularly played with the likes of Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters who, like Charlie, had also migrated to Chicago from the rural south, and their aggressive 'urbanized' approach to country blues left an impression on Charlie that is clearly felt in the gritty approach of this new release.
The songs on Delta Hardware were mostly written by Charlie over the last few years and cover a powerful range of blues topics -- from poverty and loneliness to partying and love gone wrong. The songs hang together well because the music and the lyrics ignore sentimentality in order to convey a brutal frankness. In recording with his own touring band for the first time in almost 20 years, Charlie has found a group of musicians, led by guitarist Chris 'The Kid' Andersen, that could stand behind his honest readings of these songs. The resulting chemistry makes for a very organic, yet electrified, album that rocks and rolls from the first note.
In spite of their mature years the wonderful Blind Boys seem to be as energetic as ever! Here is their latest message to the fans! "We almost hate to leave 2005 behind after winning our 4th straight Grammy award last year, but we are looking forward to a great 2006. We're off to a wonderful start with our most recent CD, Atom Bomb, being named to a host of 2005 year-end Top Ten lists and receiving a Gospel Music Association (GMA) Music Award nomination for Traditional Gospel Album of the Year. The GMA awards will be held at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville on April 5, so wish us luck! We have also been working on two musical collaboration and you can hear us on the forthcoming new albums by Susan Tedeschi and Randy Travis."
Meanwhile, the Blind Boys will be touring as always - taking Canada, the West and the Midwest by storm. A highlight of our tours will be two special shows on March 5 & 12 with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra will be conducted by Henry Panion, who has done the same for other top artists such as Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin. Another key date is a benefit concert on March 23 in downtown San Francisco at the beautiful and historic Grace Cathedral. This show is a fundraiser for the Boomer Coalition, an organization dedicated to raising awareness of CVD (cardiovascular disease) among baby-boomers. Special pre-sale tickets are available now on the website below.
Check out the full listing of Blind Boys live dates at the tour section of the Real World Records website.
As China is now on the list of 'most desired' holiday destinations, you need a guide as authentic as Guo Yue when you arrive in Beijing. To read about the genuine taste of this fast changing city - which are the best restaurants and where you can find the tastiest experiences - you need to catch up with The Guardian newspaper's Travel Supplement. If you missed the original article you can still catch it online!
While the musicians and singers from Värttinä are working hard in Toronto in readiness for the first preview show of the theatrical production of The Lord of the Rings, back home in Finland their new album 'Miero' made a great impact. In the first week of sales 'Miero' in number 5 in the Finnish album charts.
Guo Yue is celebrating the launch of his book "Music Food and Love", the release his new CD and Chinese New Year with an appearance on BBC Radio 4. If you missed him at 9.00 am on Midweek, follow the link below to "Listen Again" on the BBC website.
Värttinä enjoyed a very successful performance at Midem convention in Cannes on January 22 on the main stage, Ambassadeur Hall as part of Finnish Opening Night which also featured Kimmo Pohjonen / Samuli Kosminen Kluster and Apocalyptica. Värttinä performed four songs from the new album Miero (Real World) with the show's climax being the explosive song "Riena", Miero´s lead-off track. No men were spared from their fiery tongue-lashing! The 1000 strong crowd was cheering with excitement as the band left the stage. After the show and throughout the next three Midem days, ecstatic responses to the concert flooded the Finnish stand. Värttinä missed all the praise as they flew immediately back to Toronto to continue rehearsals for The Lord of the Rings stage adaptation.
Iarla O Lionaird brought a unique style of singing to London Convent Garden's Royal Opera House on January 25. Singing in the Linbury Theatre- Royal Opera House 2 - the 'alternative' face of the Opera House which aims to create new art and bring new audiences to the prestigious venue. As part of a series of concerts (which includes a performance by Real World's Daby Touré on January 28) 'Opera World/World Music is the beginning of new journeys for opera into the 21st century, journeys where no-one can yet imagine the destinations...'. Iarla's concert was reviewed in London's Evening Standard newspaper : " The Royal Opera House is a regular home for songs of love and loss in languages the audience doesn't understand, but this was the first concert in ROH2's Opera World World Music series exploring " the future in four corners of the world". The intimate space of the Linbury Theatre is a great setting for this music and broadens the palette of the venue.'