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February 2011

The Hitman Returns: David Foster & Friends New DVD/CD


Hitman David Foster and the hugely successful Foster & Friends franchise has returned with another extraordinary night of music which is thrillingly captured on his latest DVD and CD "The Hitman Returns: David Foster & Friends.

 " Scheduled for release on 143/Reprise Records on March 1st, PBS will simultaneously broadcast the show beginning in early March as part of their Great Performances Series. "Hitman Returns" was filmed before a sold out crowd last year at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The lineup of talent lead by Foster as maestro of ceremonies includes performances by Seal, Donna Summer, Martina McBride, Earth, Wind & Fire, Natalie Cole, Ruben Studdard, All-4-One,"Glee" star Charice, Chaka Khan, Jackie Evancho, Lara Fabian and other artists whose careers have been touched by Foster, a 15-time Grammy winning producer and songwriter.

The first David Foster & Friends Hitman Show on PBS was one of the highest rated pledge shows of the last decade and was viewed by millions of fans. "This turned out to be one incredible show. I was thrilled to be able to get some of my very favorites on this go round who weren't free last time out including Earth, Wind & Fire and Chaka Khan. There were so many magic moments that night. I'm especially proud of the terrific combinations of talent including a medley with Chaka, Seal and Michael Bolton, a breathtaking duet with Natalie Cole and Ruben Studdard and a standout performance by Charice, Ne-Yo and Robert Randolph. And of course, accompanying the great Donna Summer on keyboards for 'Last Dance' brought me right back into the studio when we first recorded the song," commented Foster about the show.

David Foster's four decade career includes writing and producing with a who's who in music including Whitney Houston, Barbra Streisand, Michael Bublé, Josh Groban, Jennifer Holiday, Natalie Cole, Kenny Loggins, Madonna, Michael Jackson, George Harrison, Diana Ross, Sonny & Cher, Rod Stewart and scores of others. The Hitman also discovered, signed and produced Michael Bublé and Josh Groban whose CDs have sold well over 20 million copies apiece. He is currently producing "America's Got Talent" runner up -- 10 year old Jackie Evancho as well as writing a Broadway musical about Betty Boop. The success of the Foster & Friends franchise also includes sold out tours around the world.

143/Reprise Records

I Like It Better - More Music From Home


When Jack Tempchin, legendary songwriter for the Eagles, (“Already Gone”, “Peaceful Easy Feeling”), Johnny Rivers (“Slow Dancing”) and Glenn Frey (“Smugglers Blues”, “You Belong To The City”), first heard Swedish act Citizen K, he was so impressed by the vocal, instrumental and arranging skills, that he offered a new unreleased song, right there on the spot.

“You Only Live Once” is the opening track to "I Like It Better Here – More Music From Home" (the 2nd album to celebrate the joy and and magic of home), where Citizen K and two of his musical buddies are calling themselves the Smashing Tempchins, as a humble hommage to one of their favorite songwriters.

Where the first volume had more of a “westcoast-focus”, this second volume has more of a “americana/country/roots-feeling”.....

Several American artists in the frontline of the “no depression-fold” have relinquished new and exclusive tracks for this album – Albert & Gage, Clarence Bucaro, Anthony Crawford, Fur Dixon & Steve Werner, Fayssoux, Ted Russell Kamp, Annie Keating, Jeff Larson, Steve Mednick and Kimmie Rhodes.

Canadian artist Luke Jackson contributes an unreleased track from his latest album, produced by Christoffer Lundqvist (Brainpool, Roxette, Per Gessle), with an exquisite string arrangement by the late, great Robert Kirby (Nick Drake, Elton John, Richard Thompson, Elvis Costello).

But just as on the first volume, several Europan acts also contribute exclusive tracks; Dean Owens and Hey Negrita from the UK, Shiner Twins from Holland, and singer-songwriter Henrik af Ugglas (who’s forthcoming album legendary writer Lennart Persson called “the most awaited debut in a very, very long time...”), up-and-coming alt-country-group Little Green from the Swedish westcoast, and alt-blues-artist Slowman (“he easily switches between styles, yet at the same time is a master at whatever he does”), all from Sweden.

More informations at

Thanks to Peter Holmstedt

Jude Johnstone "Quiet Girl"

“Quiet Girl” lives up to the soulful songwriting you might expect from someone with Jude Johnstone's track record. Her intimate, passionate vocal style is delivered with thoughtful and heartfelt lyrics throughout this impressive collection.

In February, Jude will open for two Concerts with Bonnie Raitt. Check out her tour dates at bojackrecords.

Thanks to Peter Holmstedt at Hemifran

Jude Johnstone: Quiet Girl

Contante & Sonante "Highlights and Rarities"


Highlights and Rarities is Contante & Sonante's long-awaited comeback release after the critically acclaimed triumph of 2009's Fly Away / The Songs of David Foster. Fly Away / The Songs of David Foster definitely marked a turning point for our label. Years of hard work produced a once-in-a-lifetime record that featured a who's who of quality pop like Bill Champlin, Jeff Pescetto, Arnold McCuller, Bill LaBounty, Warren Wiebe, Robbie Dupree, Bill Cantos, Joe Pizzulo and many more. Highlights and Rarities is a special album that showcases a collection of hits from our past catalogue that includes the previously mentioned David Foster tribute, Steve Dorff's magical 2004 release of Original Demos and two releases by Swiss music-maker Urs Wiesendanger, 2005’s Somebody New and A Christmas Eve in LA., originally issued in 2006.

The treat with Highlights and Rarities is that it also presents eight unreleased songs from the label's vaults, which come directly from those same recordings or have been especially produced for the occasion. Among these rarities you'll find many pleasant surprises like the never before heard ballad from Steve Dorff's private archive, "My Angel's Voice," beautifully performed by the late Warren Wiebe. "My Angel Voice" is another tender, moving performance by Mr. Wiebe that finally sees the light of day. Additionally, "A Little Thing Called Life", "Kindred Spirit" and "Somewhere In Time" are the selected numbers from the Steve Dorff original release added to the track listing.

Urs Wiesendanger's contributions to Highlights and Rarities include eight tracks, four of them heard here for the first time. The previously unreleased gems are "Luckiest Man", a smooth, sultry R&B number featuring world-renowned guitar player Chris Camozzi, plus great vocals courtesy of the talented Skyler Jett who was a singer for The Commodores. "When I Think of You" is an extraordinary ballad featuring great Swiss singer Rey Thomas, backed up by the incredible Robbie Buchanan on rhodes. Another couple of Wiesendanger's goodies are beautiful renditions of the Christmas evergreens "Silent Night" and "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas". Both songs are performed by the fantastic singer and regular Weisendanger collaborator Thierry Condor.

Highlights and Rarities presents Bill Champlin's "In The Stone," from the Fly Away project, with an alternate-beginning version included only on the Limited Edition EP plus Arnold McCuller's refined take on “Jojo” and Ole Borud's "Through The Fire", which can only be found on the European CD release. You can also find three previously unreleased numbers from the same Fly Away sessions, which remained uncompleted and have been re-arranged for this special occasion. All of them are produced and arranged by the very talented Tomi Malm. Among these new songs, we have a haunting cover of "Forever", a ballad originally sung by Kenny Loggins who co-wrote it with Foster for Loggins’ Vox Humana album.

SunHo Lim, a fantastic new name from Korea, offers an outstanding vocal performance on this emotional take of the classic. Another remarkable rarity is a stunning rendition of The Tubes' rocking classic "She's a Beauty". Malm's inventive arrangement truly brings the famous song into another dimension. Bjarne Langhoff's amazing vocal, backed by a powerful rhythm section, add fire to the tune and takes it one step higher.

And best way to end this magnificent album is a new version of the David Foster and Boz Scaggs hit "Look What You've Done To Me". This adaptation of the song that Foster considers to be one of his best ever gives the listener a new, light bossa nova version that features a different piano performance by Foster and also a new, wonderful lead vocal by L.A.-based singer Cecily Gardner. The song also features renowned guitar player Mitchell Long and Danish drummer Lars Daugaard.

We guarantee that Highlights and Rarities isn't the typical compilation album. It's a superior release that will help you rediscover many familiar sounds from the past as well as new, fantastic secrets from Contante & Sonante's amazing world of music. This album is out as an exclusive 1000 copy limited numbered edition, so go and order your copy now before they're all gone!

Paul Young "Chronicles"


Escape Music are pleased to announce the release of the Paul Young album "Chronicles" on the 25th March, 2011. Paul is sadly no longer with us, but this CD is a reminder to us all of what a hugely talented man he was. Paul will be remembered always for his recordings with Sad Cafe and, of course, Mike and the Mechanics, The album also features renowned musicians such as Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart of 10cc, Victor Emerson and Ian Wilson of Sad Cafe, and of course Paul Carrack and Mike Rutherford of Mike and the Mechanics.

Paul was born in South Manchester, England in June, 1947, and soon became a well-known and much loved “Wythenshawe lad”… He formed his first group “Johnny Dark & the Midnights” in 1962 whilst still at school, and very quickly made a name for himself as a front man and lead singer… so much so that following an appearance at a local hall, he was invited to join the now legendary beat group “The Toggery Five”. The Toggery Five were to share the same management as the then very famous “Hollies”, and they went on to sign with Parlaphone Records, and released two excellent singles, which are now both rare collectors’ items. Paul later left the band and went on to form “PAUL YOUNG’S TOGGERY”, and then performed on the cabaret circuit with ex Toggery Five guitarist Frank Renshawe, as a double act…yes…they were called Young & Renshawe! Paul was also a short time member of British beat group “The Measles” in 1968, and later became known in various cooperative bands such as Rhythm & Blues Incorporated, and The Electric Circus. The early 1970’s saw Paul as a solo artist signed to CBS records, before teaming up with Ian Wilson from “GREASY BEAR” to form “GYRO” a popular local rock band on Manchester’s buzzing live music scene… GYRO were later to become involved with a project led by composer/engineer/producer Davy Rohl, who put together MANDALABAND and released two excellent albums featuring many Manchester musicians, including Paul and Ian. GYRO & MANDALABAND joined forces around 1977 and became one of Manchester’s best live bands SAD CAFÉ.

The band released “FANX TA-RA” in 1977 to critical acclaim, and an extensive catalogue of material was to follow, most of which was penned by Paul, and several singles which “Everyday Hurts” climbed to the top of the charts and albums emerged from POLYDOR/A&M/CHRYSALIS/ and other record labels until the band finally broke up following “Politics Of Existing” in the mid 1980’s before he went on to join Mike Rutherford (Genesis), and become a full time member of “MIKE & THE MECHANICS” in 1985. Paul was to remain with Mike and the Mechanics with many hits under his built and tour the world until his untimely death in July 2000, following sudden heart failure. A few years after he passed away, unfinished material he had been working on was recovered from his home studio, a total of thirty five songs, some of which have since been carefully recorded and completed by musician friends and collaborators who had known and worked with him… so now, after more than ten years, we are to hear these “NEW” recordings for the very first time,  will be released by “ESCAPE MUSIC”, which means that for Paul Young fans everywhere, the dream is still very much alive !

Jimmy Barnes "Rage and Ruin"


Jimmy Barnes is a bit of everything for everyone. A rhythm and blues man, soul man, front man, father, brother, son, grandfather, friend, hero. But to his army of fans, he will always be a rock singer. Indeed, the most recognizable rock singer this country has produced. With his suit neatly packed away, 'Barnesy' has slipped back into some denim and a tee with no alterations required. He's stomping around like a caged warrior and letting rip with a new album titled Rage And Ruin, a collection of songs that rock in all the right places or roll smoothly with a couple of ballads gently tugging at the heartstrings.

So where does all the rage and ruin come from? Barnesy's "book of life", that's where, and he means that quite literally. "Most of the lyrics on this album came from a book I've had all my life which has lyrics, phrases and notes I've penned over the years from when I'd get inspired to write something," Barnes explains. "A lot of the lyrics come from that book, which is mainly from around the time I was in my own rage and ruin, when I was hitting it pretty hard, drinking hard etc." But with time comes wisdom, and Barnes says he has been able to look back on that material with a new angle and much clearer perspective.

For fans pining for the return of a Barnesy rock record, the wait is over. From addictive mid-tempo groovers like God Or Money and Turn It Around to fired up raw, rockin' stompers such as first single Before The Devil Knows You're Dead and the irresistible energy of Can't Do It Again, there's a mixed bag of goodies for everyone. If it's a little tenderness you desire, fall under the spell of Love Can Break The Hardest Heart, and take a trip down memory lane amid the folkcharged charms of Largs Pier as Barnes reflects on his Cold Chisel days and a special Adelaide venue of yesteryear that remains dear to his heart. Barnesy, is a rocker folks, it's time to surrender to his world of Rage And Ruin.

Gary Grant "Don't Hold Your Breath"


Gary Grant was born and raised in a musical family, (Mary Kay, Eben, Ernie) of which he received his early training from his father, Harry Grant. He attended North Texas State University before a two year tour with the famed Woody Herman band, which he performed as a lead trumpet and featured soloist. Gary spent 3 years in Hawaii collaborating with a phenomenal group of musicians performing with his own big band and 7 piece ensemble.

In 1975, Gary moved to Los Angeles to become one of the most sought after musicians in the business. Almost 20 years later, he has accumulated an impressive list of recordings that include many top hits of the past three decades. Gary is also a part of the world famous "Jerry Hey" horn section.

As a featured soloist, Gary's rich and clear sound can be heard all over the world in many famous movie soundtracks and numerous television shows and commercials

Gary is also famous in the record industry, recording with many famous national and international artists from including:  Barbara Streisand, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Toni Braxton, Brian McKnight, Frank Sinatra, Natalie Cole, Toto, Chicago, Earth Wind & Fire, Go West, Take Six, Elton John and Aerosmith.

Gary has also recorded with one of the most respected producers of our time, Quincy Jones on albums, Back On The Block and Q's Juke Joint. Other producers Gary has worked with include: David Foster, Glenn Ballard, Dave Grusin, and Baby Face. Gary was also a guest artist with the "Chicago 17" recorded horn section. Currently Mr. Gary Grant is producing and writing around a very busy playing schedule, and has recently released a new CD called, Don't Hold Your Breath, which can now be purchased online at CDBaby. In conclusion, one could say Mr. Gary Grant is an "unsung hero" of the music industry. He is an excellent musician, trumpet player, writer, producer, teacher and clinician. His musical talents are here for all to benefit for years to come. 

Gary Grant: Don

Brian Hobbs "Second Glances"


Brian Hobbs is an Elizabeth City native who now resides in Stockholm, Sweden. As a songwriter, he has had songs recorded by artists in Japan, Sweden, China, Norway, Denmark, Poland, Germany, Spain, South Africa, Australia, the Phillipines, Iceland and Great Britain. He is the president and owner of Eidolon Productions, an independent record label in Stockholm, Sweden. This is his third solo album. He is also currently working on a musical based on the life and writings of Elizabeth City newspaper editor, W.O. Saunders.

Brian Hobbs: Second Glances

Josef Melin “Prepare for Y2K”


Hailing from Sweden, Josef Melin is the brainchild of the band Smooth Reunion, they released their critical acclaimed full length debut “Cleaning Up the Business” in 2008. Now Josef is going solo, as a first taste we saw the release of the EP “Offshore Monsters” in November last year. Now, on February 2, 2011 it is time for his full length debut “Prepare for Y2K”.

This is an excellent mix of Pop, Jazz, Soul and a big portion of Steely Dan; well crafted, humoristic and performed with brilliance and charm! His melodies and twists and turns are flowing with ease and together with the smart and sometime humoristic lyrics we get a combination that is irresistible. All fans of Smooth Reunion will feel at home as the sound and feel-good vibe also is found on here, its just that, the songs on “Prepare for Y2K” is even better!