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February 2005

We Are the World - The Story Behind the Song (20th Anniversary Special Edition), We Are The World DVD for Aids research and tsunami victims


We Are the World - The Story Behind the Song (20th Anniversary Special Edition), We Are The World DVD for Aids research and tsunami victims available February 1st (see here).

The BBC wrote:

"US charity anthem to be re-issued
Various concerts have raised millions for the tsunami appeal
"We Are The World," the American charity anthem inspired by the success of Band Aid, is to be re-issued to raise money for Aids research and tsunami victims.
The track, recorded by USA For Africa, featured over 40 superstars, including Diana Ross, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.

It topped the charts in the US and UK, raising millions of dollars for African famine relief.

The re-release will also mark the 20th anniversary of the original recording.

It will be re-issued on 1 February as part of a two-disc DVD set, which will also feature footage from the recording session of the track in January 1985.

The single was originally released in the US on 7 March 1985 and sold 800,000 copies in its first week. It went on to win Grammys for song of the year and record of the year."

A dream that became a song... an event... and a worldwide movement! See the making of a milestone as 45 of the biggest names in American popular music combine to record a song to help alleviate the suffering of starving millions in Africa and America. Narrated by Jane Fonda, this program provides a behind-the-scenes look at the night of January 28, 1985, to provide more than a moving collection of words, pictures and music - it's a living piece of history.

Feat. Ray Charles, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, Bette Midler, Diana Ross, Quincy Jones, Willie Nelson, Kenny Loggins, Steve Perry, Huey Lewis, Daryl Hall, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder...

We Are the World - The Story Behind the Song (20th Anniversary Special Edition) double DVD-set (benefits will go for Aids research and tsunami victims): ORDER IT NOW.

Journey Day in Los Angeles: January 21, 2005, Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame for Journey


Journey Day in Los Angeles: January 21, 2005, Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame for Journey.

January 21, 2005 will forever be known as "Journey Day," as declared by Hollywood's Mayor Johnny Grant. That's the date Journey—who has sold over 75 million albums worldwide making them the 29th best-selling music group of all time--were honored with the 2,275th Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The Eastbound lanes in front of 6750 Hollywood Boulevard—directly in front of the renown Musician's Institute--were closed off as hundreds of fans from all over the world descended there to witness history in the making.

Not only was the entire current line-up in attendance (guitarist Neal Schon, bassist Ross Valory, keyboardist Jonathan Cain, singer Steve Augeri and drummer Deen Castronovo), but several band members from the past as well: drummers Steve Smith and Aynsley Dunbar, guitarist George Tickner and singer Robert Fleischman.

Perhaps the greatest surprise of all—not only to the fans in attendance, but to the band most of all—was the unexpected appearance of the group's legendary former frontman Steve Perry, who had not been seen anywhere with the band since his departure in 1996 after "Trial By Fire" was released and earned the band's first Grammy Award nomination for "When You Love A Woman."

After several attempts were made to contact Perry inviting him to participate in the ceremony, with no response either way, they ultimately thought that he'd be a no-show. Then at 11:30am, when the ceremony was set to start, he quietly emerged onto the scene and was soon laughing and smiling along with the rest of the band, much to the overwhelming delight of everyone in attendance.

Following glowing introductions by Mayor Johnny Grant and local morning show DJs Mark Thompson & Brian Phelps from KLOS-FM, Neal Schon, Ross Valory and Steve Perry addressed their adoring fans, giving thanks and expressing their heart-felt appreciation to their families, the team who helps keep them together behind-the-scenes, and most importantly, and Journey fans from there and everywhere who were ultimately responsible for nominating the band for the sidewalk tribute in the first place.

"Who could have imagined, so many years later, a Star on the Walk of Fame," said Nea Schon. And Steve Perry continued, "No one ever mentions the unsung heroes, the road crew who...made us look good."

Later that evening, to celebrate their Star, Journey performed at the House of Blues in West Hollywood, CA. After going on sale December 18, tickets for the show sold out in three minutes. Celebrities in attendance included Dan Aykroyd, Paul Stanley of Kiss, Fred Coury of Cinderella, Dan Estrin of Hoobastank, and "American Idol" finalist Ryan Starr.

Before the show, Journey had promised their fans some surprise guests and spontaneous jam sessions and that's exactly what the fans got. During the two-hour concert chock full of Journey classics, the band was joined onstage by Aynsley Dunbar, Robert Fleischman, and Steve Smith for "Wheel In The Sky," "Lights," "Chain Reaction," "Walks Like A Lady" and "Voodoo Child."

Current "American Idol" judge and former Journey member (playing bass on the "Raised On Radio" tour in 1986) Randy Jackson, who regrettably couldn't be at the ceremony or concert because he was in New York City promoting the TV show, sent a tape-recorded message in his place which was played at the concert before the show began.
In it he said, "…thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for letting me be a part of your lives and for making such a huge difference in my life. It's one of the best times I've ever had being a part of the Journey gang. Not only being a part of a great legendary band, but just being a part of a group of really really unbelievable people, friends and unbelievably talented musicians, singers and songwriters. You guys so deserve this! I think Journey is one of the best bands in the world ever and I don't know what I can say to even thank you for letting me be a part of that experience…I am so proud of you and I am so proud to have even been a small part of your legacy. Congratulations again."

January 21, 2005 is now in the history books and Journey put it there with grand force and certainly gave their fans a day to remember forever.

Journey "Greatest Hits DVD 1978-1997 - Music Videos & Live Performances": ORDER IT NOW.

Billy Idol: Devil's Playground


The new Billy Idol album "Devil's Playground" will be in stores March 22nd (on Sanctuary Records) and "Scream" goes to radio airplay early January.

"Enough!" said Billy Idol, "2005 is the time for an original punk rocker to show his stuff." After taking himself out of the music business "to regenerate, get free of myself and make an album for the right reasons," Billy Idol has completed his first album featuring new songs in over 10 years, aptly titled "Devil's Playground". The CD, which may or may not be named after a location deep inside the Billy Idol mind, is scheduled for release on March 22, 2005, and is the English rocker’s first for CSP Records/Sanctuary Records.

The first single, "Scream," is a down and dirty love romp featuring the sinister signature guitar of Steve Stevens and Billy Idol's rock and roll holla in the familiar vain of "Rebel Yell." It is on radio early January, with an impact date set for January 31.
Widely credited as one of the critical artists responsible for the golden age of Music Television and an early disciple of the art of controversy on the small screen, Blly Idol will attempt to reinvent the video art form by making one for "Scream," which will be completed early next year.

"Devil's Playground" is a journey through the musical mind, influences and taste of Billy Idol. The trip begins with the visceral thrust of the album's opener "Super Overdrive," followed by the punk anthem "World Coming Down," which borrows from his own history in the Bromley Contingent—the crew that included Siouxie Sioux, Steve Severin, The Clash's Mick Jones and others who followed the Sex Pistols—as well as his own early group, Generation X. In total, there are 13 tracks to be experienced on "Devil's Playground".

In the last few years, Billy Idol and his band, which once again includes longtime guitarist Steve Stevens, as well as new drummer Brian Tichy, bassist Stephen McGrath and keyboardist Derek Sherinian, have been reviving up the engine by playing a few select gigs across the country.
Billy Idol was thinking about a new album but had not yet written the songs he wanted to record. After a particularly raucous concert at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York last year, Idol was approached by Sanctuary Group Inc. USA CEO Merck Mercuriadis, who asked him if he was ready to record "a great Billy Idol album." The conversation that followed motivated the artist to do something that he had contemplated never doing again: Billy Idol signed a new record deal.

Billy Idol will tour worldwide commencing March 2005.

Billy Idol "Devil's Playground" new CD: ORDER IT NOW.

Clay Aiken to start work on third album, Clay Aiken on Scrubs


Clay Aiken to start work on third album, Clay Aiken on Scrubs

Yahoo Music reports that Clay Aiken (American Idol alumnus) is to start work on his third album this March.

The singer Clay Aiken has just concluded a tour to accompany his second record, "Merry Christmas With Love" (see here). Now Clay Aiken plans to take a short break before returning to the studio to work on new material.

"I'm gonna take a little bit of time off in January," said Aiken. "That's what I promised myself. We'll see if I end up doing it or not. I really don't like to sit down, do nothing for too long.
We'll probably start working on the album some time in March, and I'm looking forward to hopefully spending a little bit more time on this next one and really picking songs that I like and working with producers that I like to make it all work."

Clay Aiken on Scrubs:
Please note Clay Aiken will guest star on Scrubs (NBC) on February 15th.

Clay Aiken (born Clayton Holmes Grissom on November 30, 1978) is an American pop music singer who rose to fame on the American Idol television program. He came in a close second in the contest, with Ruben Studdard winning by a narrow margin. Though technically the show's "loser" he has since gone on to be one of the show's most popular stars, even more so than Studdard himself.

His debut album, "Measure of a Man," was released October 14, 2003 (see here) and has since gone triple platinum.

A Clay Aiken Christmas DVD: ORDER IT NOW.

New Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band album?


New Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band album?

"Rumors are growing stronger of a new Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band album and a tour to follow, but don't expect huge price leaps. "That's just not Bruce's style," Bongiovanni says."
- Quote of the Rocky Mountain News.

Bruce Springsteen nominated for a Grammy Award: Bruce Springsteen has been nominated for a Grammy award in the Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance category for his recording of "Code of Silence," released on "The Essential Bruce Springsteen" (see here).

In 2002, Springsteen released his first studio effort with the full band in 18 years, "The Rising" (see here). The album, mostly a reflection on the September 11 attacks, was a critical and popular success, and hailed the return of "The Boss". A massive tour was made to promote the album "The Rising". It would come to a final conclusion with 3 nights in Shea Stadium. Bruce Springsteen lost his police escort for the second night after performing "American Skin (41 shots)" a song about the police shooting of Amadou Diallo. Bob Dylan was a surprise guest on the last night, the two performed Highway 61 Revisited together.

In 2004, Springsteen announced that he and the E Street Band would participate in a politically motivated "Vote for Change" tour, in conjunction with John Fogerty, the Dixie Chicks, R.E.M., Jurassic Five and other musicians. All were be held in swing states, to benefit and encourage people to vote against George W. Bush. A finale was held in Washington D.C., bringing many of the artists together. Several days later, Springsteen had one more concert in New Jersey for This led to both criticism and praise from the expected partisan sources. Bruce Springsteen's "No Surrender" became the main campaign theme song for John Kerry's unsuccessful Presidential campaign. In the last days of John Kerry's campaign, he preformed acoustic versions of his songs at John Kerry rallies, mainly "No Surrender," "Thunder Road" and "The Promised Land".

Despite his overt partisanship, however, Bruce Springsteen was forgiven by many of his Republican fans, many of whom said they found Bruce Springsteen's passion for America and personal struggle consistent with their own ideology. Bruce Springsteen thus represented one of only a few modern performers whose music was viewed as widely relevant to the politics and culture of the day.

Current members of the E Street Band:
Roy Bittan - piano (replaced David Sancious in 1975),
Clarence Clemons - saxophone,
Danny Federici - organ, glockenspiel, keyboard,
Nils Lofgren - guitar (replaced Steven van Zandt in 1984; remained in group after van Zandt returned),
Patti Scialfa - guitar (Springsteen's wife - added in 1984),
Gary W. Tallent - bass guitar,
Soozie Tyrell - violin (recorded with Springsteen in 1995, joined the band in 2002 with "The Rising" album and tour),
Steven van Zandt - guitar, mandolin (replaced Sukia Levy [violin] in 1975; left in 1984 to go solo as Little Steven; rejoined in 1995),
Max Weinberg - drums (replaced Ernest "Boom" Carter in 1975, who replaced Vinnie "Mad Dog" Lopez in 1974 or 1975).

"MTV Unplugged - Bruce Springsteen in Concert" DVD: ORDER IT NOW.

Nanci Griffith: Hearts in Mind, Nanci Griffith new album


Nanci Griffith "Hearts in Mind," Nanci Griffith new album.

The first studio album from acclaimed folk/country/rock singer-songwriter Nanci Griffith since 2001's "Clock Without Hands," "Hearts In Mind" (New Door/UMe), set for release February 1st, 2005, is an uncompromising, unflinching look at war and an ultimately hopeful look at love. "Dedicated to the memory of every soldier and every civilian lost to the horrors of war," "Hearts In Mind" is the first of her 15 studio albums the five-time Grammy nominee has taken the lead in producing. Among its notable guest artists are Jimmy Buffett, for whom Nanci Griffith had contributed vocals for his 2004 hit album "License To Chill," Mac MacAnally, who sang the duet vocal on one of her early signature songs, "Gulf Coast Highway," and Academy Award-winning actor Keith Carradine, who both co-authored and sings on the track, "Our Very Own."

Her first album for the newly formed New Door label, Nanci Griffith wrote or co-wrote eight of the 13 tracks on "Hearts In Mind". Continuing the proud folksinger tradition of reflecting on current events, "Heart Of Indochine" and "Old Hanoi" echo her recent travels to Indochina with the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation. Her anti-war stance also reverberates in "Big Blue Ball Of War" and "A Simple Life." Songwriter Julie Gold (whose Grammy winning "From A Distance" was first recorded by Nanci Griffith) contributes "Mountain Of Sorrow," an emotional reaction to looking outside her New York City window on 9-11 and watching the terror unfold at the World Trade towers.

Love prevails in "Love Conquers all" (co-written with Charlie Stefl), "Angels" (penned by Tom Kimmel and Jennifer Kimball), "Beautiful" (Nanci Griffith's tribute to her stepfather) and two strings-laced tracks--"Rise To The Occasion" (from Ron Davies and with guest vocals by MacAnally) and "Back When Ted Loved Sylvia" (the story of the relationship between modern poets Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath as written by Le Ann Etheridge). Love does however fall short of its goal on Nanci Griffith and Etheridge's "Before," Griffith's "Last Train Home" and Clive Gregson’s tongue-in-cheek "I Love This Town," featuring Buffett on guest vocals.

Etheridge, Gregson and album co-producer Pat McInerney are all members of Nanci Griffith's long-time band, The Blue Moon Orchestra, which also includes James Hooker on keyboards. Former band guitarist Doug Lancio is heard throughout as well.

Nanci Griffith, hailed as "the Queen of Folkabilly" by Rolling Stone when she debuted nationally in the late '80s, won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Performance for 1993's "Other Voices, Other Rooms". Her most recent album was 2002's live "Winter Marquee". The last three years have also seen three new retrospectives, including 2002's two-CD "The Complete MCA Studio Recordings". Each has celebrated one of the most admired and uncompromising musical artists of this generation.

Nanci Griffith "Hearts in Mind" album tracklisting:
1. Simple Life
2. Angels
3. Heart Of Indochine
4. Beautiful
5. Back When Ted Loved Sylvia
6. Mountain Of Sorrow
7. Old Hanoi
8. Before
9. I Love This Town -w/ Jimmy Buffett
10. Rise To The Occasion -w/ Mac MacAnally
11. Love Conquers All
12. Last Train Home
13. Big Blue Ball Of War
14. Our Very Own -w/ Keith Carradine (Bonus Track)

Nanci Griffith "Hearts in Mind" CD (2005): ORDER IT NOW.

The Song For Tsunami Relief: Forever In Our Hearts feat. Brian McKnight, Mya, Nate Dogg and P.O.D.'s Sonny Sandoval


The Song For Tsunami Relief "Forever In Our Hearts" feat. Brian McKnight, Mya, Nate Dogg and P.O.D.'s Sonny Sandoval

Brian McKnight, Mya, Nate Dogg and P.O.D.'s Sonny Sandoval topped the list of celebrities that gathered at NRG Studios this Sunday, January 23rd to record the song "Forever In Our Hearts," a song written in honor of the victims of the tsunami tragedy in Southern Asia.

The song, written by Jason Miller and produced by Jay Baumgardner, is planned for immediate release to itunes upon completion of the recording process, along with a music video (taken from the recording footage) directed by Damon Harman of Chameleon Entertainment to be released to all video outlets. All of the proceeds will benefit Music For Relief, a charity formed by musicians and the American Red Cross.

"I am certainly not a celebrity" says Jason Miller (of the band Godhead), "but I know a few, and I thought if those few told a few more, than maybe we could put together something really special." The result was nothing more than amazing as the outpouring of support was more than anyone expected.

Over the last two weeks Jason Miller and Jay Baumgarder have been recording the music tracks which included contributions by Evanescance founder Ben Moody, A Perfect Circle's Josh Freese, Papa Roach's Tobin Esperence, Ben Jellen and members of 311, Jane's Addiction and Trapt among others.

Solo vocals were recorded by Brian McKnight, Mya, Nate Dogg, P.O.D's Sonny Sandoval and Papa Roach’s Jacoby Shaddix. Three more soloists will be recorded this week. "I'm still holding three more vocal slots," explains Jason Miller, "and I am waiting to hear back from a number of people we’ve approached or who have contacted us to take part."

On Sunday, January 23rd many of the musicians mentioned above were joined by a myriad of actors and other performers to record a sing-along of the chorus. Among those taking part were Eric Roberts, ER's Ming Na, Roselyn Sanchez, John Cho, Nuno Bettencourt, Gary Cherone from Extreme/Van Halen, Mitch Allan, Keaton Simmons, members of Static X, Lit, Godhead, Veruca Salt, and Adema, Sixpence None The Richer's singer Leigh Nash, Corey Feldman, Andrew Bryniarski, the Scorpion King’s Kelly Hu and many more.

A website documenting the project has been set up and can be viewed at

Brian McKnight "Gemini" new album (2005): ORDER IT NOW.

Ray Charles Tribute, Keith Urban, Gretchen Wilson, Lynyrd Skynyrd at the Grammy Awards


Ray Charles Tribute, Keith Urban, Gretchen Wilson, Lynyrd Skynyrd at the Grammy Awards.

The Recording Academy announced that Kanye West, currently nominated for 10 Grammys, will perform on the 47th Annual Grammy Awards telecast with a group of soul, R&B and gospel artists including newcomer John Legend, R&B great Mavis Staples, and current nominee the Blind Boys Of Alabama. In addition, Bonnie Raitt and Billy Preston will perform in honor of Ray Charles, and Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Gretchen Wilson, members of the definitive Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, and legendary musicians Dickie Betts (the Allman Brothers Band) and Elvin Bishop will appear in a special tribute to Southern rock. The Academy also announced that Norah Jones, Ludacris, Mark McGrath, and Gary Sinise will present.

Kanye West is nominated for Best New Artist; Album Of The Year (as an artist on The College Dropout and as a producer on The Diary Of Alicia Keys); Best Rap Album (The College Dropout); Best Rap Solo Performance ("Through The Wire"); Best Rap/Sung Collaboration ("Slow Jamz" with Twista and Jamie Foxx, and "All Falls Down" with Syleena Johnson); Song Of The Year and Best Rap Song ("Jesus Walks"); and Best R&B Song ("You Don't Know My Name"). Staples is being honored this year with the Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award. The Blind Boys Of Alabama are nominated with Ben Harper for their collaborative effort: Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album ("There Will Be A Light") and Best Gospel Performance for the album's title track.

Nine-time Grammy-winner Bonnie Raitt and two-time Grammy-winner Billy Preston are slated to perform in a segment honoring the late Ray Charles. Charles is posthumously nominated for seven Grammy Awards: Record Of The Year ("Here We Go Again" with Norah Jones); Album Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Album ("Genius Loves Company"); Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals ("Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word" with Elton John and "Here We Go Again"); Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance ("Sinner's Prayer" with B.B. King); and Best Gospel Performance ("Heaven Help Us All" with Gladys Knight).

The Grammys tribute to Southern rock will feature the once-in-a-lifetime collaboration of current nominees Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, and Gretchen Wilson with members of Lynyrd Skynyrd and musicians Dickie Betts and Elvin Bishop. Tim McGraw is nominated for two awards, Best Country Album (Live Like You Were Dying) and Best Male Country Vocal Performance ("Live Like You Were Dying"). Keith Urban currently holds two nominations: Best Country Album (Be Here) and Best Male Country Vocal Performance ("You'll Think Of Me"). Newcomer Gretchen Wilson is nominated for four awards: Best New Artist, Best Female Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Song ("Redneck Woman"), and Best Country Album ("Here For The Party").

Newly announced presenters include five-time Grammy-winner Norah Jones, Rap artist Ludacris, Emmy-winning actor and star of the CBS show "C.S.I.: New York" Gary Sinise, and recording artist and "Extra!" co-host Mark McGrath who also is serving as an Honorary Member of The Recording Academy's What's The Download Interactive Advisory Board. Norah Jones currently holds five nominations: Record Of The Year and Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals ("Here We Go Again" with Ray Charles), Best Female Pop Vocal Performance ("Sunrise"), Best Pop Vocal Album (Feels Like Home), and Best Country Collaboration With Vocals ("Creepin' In" with Dolly Parton). Ludacris is nominated for Record Of The Year and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration ("Yeah!" with Usher and Lil Jon).

These superstar artists join previously announced performances by Green Day, Alicia Keys, Tim McGraw, and U2; presenters Ellen DeGeneres, Christina Milian, and John Travolta; and host Queen Latifah.

Gretchen Wilson "Here for the Party" CD: ORDER IT NOW.

Song Tribute to Tsumami Victims Made Freely Available to Relief Cause: Know I'm Alive

Song Tribute to Tsumami Victims Made Freely Available to Relief Cause "Know I'm Alive" song.

In response to the Dec 2004 tragedy, recording artists "A little space" have written and produced a new song titled "Know I'm Alive". It is a poignant tribute to the Tsunami victims from a parent's point of view. "Know I'm Alive" features Vocalist Regi Perry. Songwriter Alan Gruskoff (Big Al) played Alembic Bass, MIDI Cello and Drums.

This new song "Know I'm Alive" is being made freely available to any charitable organizations supporting this relief cause. CD singles of the song will be available Feb 1. Lyrics, a Listen link and a Free Download link here.

Charitable organizations and Media are encouraged to use this song to support any relief efforts or presentations. The song producer will have CD singles available for sale to generate revenue for valid relief efforts.

"Know I'm Alive" will be included in the next album by "A little space", their third. To be titled "Box Of Love", that new CD is expected to be released March 2005.

Artist Profile: Recording Artists "A Little Space" presents tuneful. intelligently written songs with heart. It's jazzy, it's funky, it grooves, male vocals and instrumentals. On the same playlists with artists such as Steely Dan, Al Jarreau and Sting, though uniquely original. Call it "Rhythm & Jazz".

The self titled CD Album "A Little Space" IR09712 presents 9 Vocal and 5 Instrumental performances of very original, soulful, pop-based, jazz influenced music, released in May 2002 on Independent Records IR09712. The titled "A Space Of My Own" IR26752 released March 2004 features vocalist Regi Perry on 10 songs, adding 4 instrumental songs as well.

See the band site at for music, pictures and more.

A Little Space "A Little Space" CD (2002): ORDER IT NOW.

Canada for Asia: Charity Telethon feat. Rush


Canada for Asia: Charity Telethon feat. Rush.

Rush's performance on the Canada for Asia three-hour live telecast in support of relief efforts for the tsunami victims of South Asia will be posted on on February 1. This is exclusive to band's official website and will only be available for viewing until March 2. The performance will not be available for download.

As previously reported, Rush had recorded a new version of their 1977 hit "Closer to the Heart" with fellow Canadians Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies and actor Mike Smith for the broadcast, proceeds of which were slated to go to a variety of organizations, including UNICEF, the Canadian Red Cross, Oxfam Canada, Save The Children Canada, and World Vision.

Rush "Rush in Rio" (2003) double-DVD set: ORDER IT NOW.