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Michael Franks "The Dream - 1973/2011"


EU five CD anthology from the Smooth Jazz/Pop singer/songwriter Michael Franks. Together with Steely Dan, James Taylor and Christopher Cross, Michael Franks is one of the original sculptors of the West Coast/California sound. His musical alchemy is unique: Jazz, Pop, Funk, Bossa, Soft Rock and Fusion.

In 38 years and 18 albums, he has collaborated with the greatest Jazz and Pop musicians and has created some of the most memorable West Coast in the process. This box set offers the best of Franks' output on five CDs. The first four disc are separated into different themes.

The fifth CD contains the rare live recording from Michael Franks with Australian band Crossfire. This 73 track box set contains hits, fan favorites, rarities and so much more.


Lionel Richie's new Country album "Tuskegee"


Surpassing his creative and personal boundaries, Lionel Richie comes full circle with the innovative and personal "Tuskegee", performing 13 of his most revered "anthems of our day" with some of the biggest names in country music, including Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Darius Rucker, Rascal Flatts, Kenny Chesney, Billy Currington, Little Big Town and Jason Aldean.

On this worldwide, multi-genre album, Richie is also joined by the likes of such superstars as Shania Twain, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson and Jimmy Buffett. "Tuskegee" is an exciting and transcendent arc in a career that has seen album sales of more than 100 million, 22 Top 10s, five Grammys, an Academy Award for Best Original Song, a Golden Globe, and a host of other awards from virtually every major entertainment organization. While defying boundaries and breaking barriers throughout his storied career, Richie reveals once again that "Tuskegee" will join the ranks of his timeless body of work that touches people of all faiths, ages and demographics across the world.

Two Dakota's first albums reissued by Rock Candy...


DAKOTA’S DEBUT came out all guns blazing, sporting an AOR coat of armour and brandishing a much heavier, almost quasi pomp rock sound that invited comparison to the likes of Toto, Le Roux, Trillion and Styx. That they were great songwriters was an added bonus, making tracks such as ‘If It Takes All Night’, ‘Crazy Love’ and ‘Restless’ sound like hit singles in the making; a truly superlative slice of period perfect AOR.

DAKOTA’S ‘RUNAWAY’ marks a high point in mid eighties melodic AOR. Radio friendly yet aggressive enough to punch home a message, the album set the tone for years to come, laying the foundations for the likes of Survivor, Mr Mister, Bon Jovi and many more.

For more great reissues, visit!


Dean Owens "New York Hummingbird"


Edinburgh based Dean Owens is one of Scotland’s most acclaimed and established singer-songwriters. Previously the front-man of the much loved and lauded Americana act The Felsons, Dean has subsequently been recording and touring as a successful solo artist.

In February 2010 Dean travelled to New York to work with New York writer/producer Dave Derby. Dave is a singer-songwriter in his own right and has produced albums of his own material for his band Gramercy Arms, plus he has produced a number of artists including Lloyd Cole. The February trip was so fruitful that Dean returned in the summer to start work on his new album with Dave and various New York musicians. These include drummer Ray Ketchem from the band Elk City. Ray is also a great producer/mixer and runs his Orange Road Studio in New Jersey. Dean and Dave have brought Ray in to co produce and mix the new record. In December 2010 Dean released his charity Christmas single Snowglobe to raise funds for the mental health charity Mind. Snowglobe was recorded as part of the New York sessions and reached No 46 in the iTunes singer – songwriter chart.

Dean has spent 2011 finishing off the New York album "New York Hummingbird" which is was released at the beginning of 2012. This year has also found Dean working on a project close to his heart, recording an album of Johnny Cash songs. A long-time fan of Johnny’s music Dean has been playing his songs at concerts for many years. The album is scheduled for release in 2012 to coincide with what would have been Johnny Cash’s 80th Birthday.

Thanks to Peter Holmstedt at Hemifran

AOR "The Color Of L.A."


After two years of hard work, Frédéric Slama is back with a new album called AOR « The Colors Of L.A », featuring a cast of Aor talents in a single album such as Tommy Denander, Philip Bardowell, Jerry Hludzik (Dakota), Joe Pasquale, Steve Newman, Joey Summer, Bill Champlin (Chicago), Christian Tolle, Steve Lukather, Michael Landau, David Foster, Randy Goodrum, Michael Thompson, Rick Riso, David Diggs, Bruno Levesque (Silence) and many more.

Co-produced by Tommy Denander, « The Colors Of L.A », AOR’s 10th Release, is the perfect mix between melodic rock & westcoast music. The sound is heavier this time in the vein of Toto, Foreigner or Survivor. Great Melodies, Fabulous solos and brand new recorded versions of favorites like « Teach Me How To Love You Again » or « You’re My Obsession ». « The Colors Of L.A » contains all the elements of a classic. Pure Aor bliss !

AOR: The Colors of L.A

Michael Hossack, Doobie Brothers drummer, dies


Doobie Brothers drummer Michael Hossack passed away at age 65. He died of cancer this monday at home in Dubois, Wyoming. Michael Hossack has joined The Doobie Brothers in 1971/1972 as a drummer nearly the beginning of the band.

The official Doobie Brothers website has just published this very sad piece of news :

"Doobie Brothers drummer Michael Hossack passed away yesterday in Dubois, Wyoming, at the age of 65. His family was by his side. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family and loved ones. We will miss him greatly."

Several members of the Doobie Brothers have already written these statements :

“Mike has always been a part of my musical life and the life of the Doobie Brothers; from our earliest singles, like ‘China Grove’ and ‘Blackwater’ to our most recent single ‘Brighter Day. He was an incredible musician, a studio quality drummer. The last few years, he was brave and determined to keep on playing in the face of ill health, and I will always admire him for that. He was a terrific dad and family man, and we will all miss him.” -Tom Johnston (Vocals/Guitars)

“When my kids were little, they used to call him ‘Big Mike,’ because to them he was such a big guy. But to me and those who knew him, he had an even a bigger heart. We were friends for 43 years and we shared some wonderful adventures together, times I will never forget. Thanks for all those wonderful memories Mike, and all the great music. We love you.” -Patrick Simmons (Vocals/Guitars)

Also, the Doobie Brothers official website has published a biography about his career: Doobie Brothers Longtime Drummer Mike Hossack Passes Away After Battle With Cancer.

Photo : The Doobie Brothers (2012). Copyright : Official website. Michael Hossack was sitting on a chair.

Also, the Doobie Brothers official website has published a biography about his career: Doobie Brothers Longtime Drummer Mike Hossack Passes Away After Battle With Cancer
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Nostalgie California : 100% westcoastmusic webradiostation also available as a mobile app


A major event :
French major radio network Radio Nostalgie (France) has just created a 100 per cent Westcoast Music / AOR / Californian webradiostation entitled Nostalgie California, just launched on February 20th, 2012. Nostalgie California is one of the 27 webradiostations of Radio Nostalgie. You can listen to it online 24 hours a day at this address.

Nostalgie California is also available via the 100% free app Radio Nostalgie for iPhone/iPad/iPod, Android et Windows Mobile devices.

The playlist of Nostalgie California is a mix of classic hits from Westcoast Music as well rarities and new californian rock music stuff : with 100% of music. Via the mobile apps, you can select the present tune airplayed to put it on your Facebook wall. Each song airplayed is featured with the title of the song and the name of the artist/group.

Andreas Aleman "It's The Journey"


With his first album, THIS IS LIFE, Andreas Aleman proved that he had the voice, the songs and the grooves to make him recognized as one of Sweden’s most soulful artists….”Yeah, Andreas is the new Swedish funky boy!”- Nils Landgren”Here’s living proof that Swedish artists are still able to create first class westcoast pop. Andreas places himself among artists like Bill Champlin, Kenny Loggins, Bill Cantos and Bobby Caldwell.”- Ola Gränshagen.  

IT’S THE JOURNEY will continue to establish Andreas as the preeminent soul singer in Sweden and a world-class performing artist. Andreas has gained a following in Sweden through his sold-out shows at Fasching in Stockholm and is reaching new fans throughout the world. He has been invited to perform with the acclaimed band, Santa Fe & the Fat City Horns at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas, and shows are planned for Los Angeles, North Carolina and New York City along with possible tours in Russia, Italy, Spain and Germany.  

The album combines traditional soul/R&B/gospel and funk elements, which pays homage to his influences, Ray Charles, Michael McDonald, Michael Ruff and others, while maintaining his own contemporary sound. Andreas has produced, recorded and arranged the entire album and nine of the ten tracks were co-written by him.

Together with the top musicians in Sweden, Andreas has succeeded in making a second album that has all the elements of a breakout international success.  

Andreas is not a pre-fabricated artist… this is the real deal…something new in today’s music world…pure old-fashioned talent.

Andreas will have a release concert for his new album on April 27 at Jazzclub Fasching in Stockholm. Get your tickets here!

Andreas Aleman: This Is Life

Tom Kell "This Desert City"


When Tom Kell formed a trio that grew into one of Seattle's most popular club and concert bands in the late 70's, it was all about the songs...

The Skyboys (a 7-piece alt-country outfit) became the most popular original country-rock band in the city's history, sharing the stage with Emmylou Harris, Jimmy Buffett, The Amazing Rhythm Aces, Charlie Daniels, Pure Prairie League, Asleep at the Wheel and countless others.

When Tom Kell came to Los Angeles in 1983 to complete a development deal with A&M Records, it was all about the songs...

In 1985 when he signed a deal with Seattle–based Upper Level Records and subsequently released “Lonely Town” (a project spearheaded by John David Souther, and featuring background vocals by J.D. and Timothy B. Schmit, and a duet with J.D.) using Glenn Frey’s band, it was all about the songs…

In 1989, when he signed with Warner Brothers Records (by Jim Ed Norman himself!) and had songs covered by Kenny Rogers and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, it was all about the songs… 
That album, “One Sad Night”, introduced us to “Lilly Butane, or some such fiery girl,”, as Tom regaled us with the story of “One Sad Night In Kerrville”. It was produced by Josh Leo and featured the likes of Harry Stinson, Michael Rhodes, Bernie Leadon, Dan Dugmore, Jeff Hanna, Bob Carpenter, and again Timothy B. Schmit and J.D. Souther.

In 1993, when legendary record label Vanguard Records was signing new artists for the first time in several decades, it was all about the songs…
“Blue Telephone”, Thunder and Lightning”, “Drivin’ Alone” and “LA To Angeltown” continue in the Southern California songwriting tradition that Tom has so clearly defined through his own pen, establishing his own credential. 

Once again, “Angeltown” featured stellar musicians including David Lindley, Kenny Edwards, Bob Glaub, Russell Kunkel, Karla Bonoff, Wendy Waldman and Bob Carpenter.

Tom had an opportunity in 1996 to work directly with Kenny as Producer in a more relaxed setting by seizing the offer of Tom’s good friend James A. Taylor. They worked in James’ home studio, and Kenny played virtually all of the instruments, backed by Bob Carpenter, Scott Babcock and Jill Dowell. Karla Bonoff laid down the harmony vocal on the song "Blamed on Me". This project "Complicated Luck" was released in 1997.  

For Tom Kell it has always been about the songwriting. From his earliest days as a country-rock pioneer on club and concert stages in his native Seattle and throughout the Northwest, to singing duets with John David Souther, Timothy B. Schmit and Valerie Carter, he has always been lead through his career by his songs. He writes with a unique sense of time and place, and sings with a voice so full of character and heart, that you feel as though you’re standing next to him, seeing the same images, breathing the same moment. As Harry Stinson put it, “It sounds like Tom is sitting on his favorite couch, wearing his favorite shirt and singing straight at you.”

Now, after several years away from the studio and stage, Tom returns with “This Desert City”, an album so laden with hope and pain, rife with Los Angeles imagery, so full of talent and grace that the listener will wonder how he could have stayed away, even for a day.

This music is as timeless as it is unique and is delivered by a band of LA players so perfectly assembled, that it could easily be Tom’s finest hour. Tom is joined by Jeffrey Cox, his long-time production and engineering collaborator, in the Producer’s chair and returning studio mates Kenny Edwards (Karla Bonoff, Linda Ronstadt), Bob Glaub (Jackson Browne, John Fogerty and too many to name) and Greg Leisz (Eagles, Robert Plant/Alison Krauss, kd lang, Dave Alvin, Jackson Browne). Don Heffington (Emmylou Harris, Bob Dylan, and Dave Alvin) is featured on drums while Jim Christie (Dwight Yoakam, Lucinda Williams) plays drums for the stunning “Sometimes”. Mark Goldenberg (Jackson Browne) joined for two songs that personify Mark’s sound and feel. Valerie Carter (James Taylor, Jackson Browne, and Little Feat) shines with that undeniable soul and grit that can’t be duplicated by any other vocalist. Jonathan McEuen (Hanna-McEuen) is stupendous in his vocal marriage with Tom’s plaintive delivery, throughout the project. David Jackson (J.D. Souther, New West) provides that alt-edge with his superb playing, once again proving why you don’t have to "Go To Jail" if you play an accordion.


Certainly, some of the finest guitar playing on this project is provided by Tom’s long time friend and stage mate Kenny Edwards. It is wildly apparent that Kenny has participated in many aspects of Tom’s career over the past fifteen years, in that his playing so clearly embraces and underscores the nuance in Tom’s writing and singing.

It is this kind of long-time-relationship union that brought all of the players to this project. “When I contacted these musicians for these sessions, everyone, to the man, was ecstatic about working with Tom and his songs.” noted Cox. “Tom has a long history with many of these guys, and their commitment is obvious from the first notes. This kind of playing and musicianship doesn’t just come off the shelf.”  And those that were new to Tom’s songwriting were clear from the start, that this is the
 “…kind of stuff that just doesn’t come around very often. It’s such a pleasure to sing.” notes Valerie Carter.

Throughout This Desert City the feel, echoes and grit of Los Angeles permeate the songs. As a LA resident of thirty years, Tom’s muse frequently turns up pictures and conversations from those mind-numbing hours on the freeways and streets of the megalopolis. “The Way Of The World” opens with one of Kell’s quintessential lines “She was a French girl, she came to LA for the heat.”, and takes us on a sobering journey through the backstage doors and alleys of Los Angeles.  “Sometimes”, a centerpiece to the project, details in full literary dress, characters and dreams in the hamlets and towns that populate and personify life in Southern California.

"Texas On The 4th of July” is a road trip out of LA to an unnamed West Texas town, and in a dusty, fevered voice Tom soul searches the wisdom of leaving LA and a sweetheart, while a “hotel just won’t leave me alone”, as it paws at his guilt and memories. “Texas On The 4th of July” is the last in the ‘Texas Trilogy’ that Tom has written over the years, starting with “Texas Has Nothin’ On Me” and “One Sad Night in Kerrville” from Tom’s earlier albums.” notes the project’s Producer, Jeffrey Cox. “Each of these three songs paints incredibly evocative pictures with a ‘Larry McMurtry/Lonesome Dove/Last Picture Show’ quality and essence that puts you right in the scene.”  

“Dove” is a classic Tom Kell duet, dipped in Blues and Country and is masterfully and soulfully entwined with Valerie Carter’s aching and passion-soaked spirit and voice. Kenny Edwards slide guitar solo bleeds with droplets from the fountain in Echo Park, and echoes of Chavez Ravine.

“Sands Of Time” is a poke in the eye to LA for all its foibles and frequently misguided good intentions. “The weatherman’s tellin’ his daily lies, sun in the desert and rain on the coast. We can never decide what we need the most.” is pure Kell comic Cinema. This Desert City combines Tom’s skillful songwriting with two established songs from the past. “Baby’s In Black” is a Beatles gem that Tom and Jeffrey have wanted to do since the old Skyboys days. “When we were discussing the pieces to do, we both made “Baby’s In Black” a priority for this project.” states Kell. “It’s the Everly Brothers, written by Lennon/McCartney. It doesn’t get much better than that!”

Cox notes that “’Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’ came to me in the middle of the night. I knew Tom would nail it. I just wanted a smokier, thicker groove. When we laid it down, there were two takes that just didn’t find the feel. We took a break, went back out, and that’s the take we got. Truly one of those spine tingling moments that leave you stunned. It was the same thing with Kenny’s acoustic guitar solo. That’s the solo he played, straight through. No punches. Wow…”

But the body of this project is Tom’s undeniably lucid songwriting. There is so much “here and now” reality to his vision that you are swept into the scene, to observe and feel. Whether you’re standing unseen in a hot, ramshackle hotel room somewhere in West Texas listening to a Norte accordion from a far away radio drifting down the hall, as Tom’s character laments “Maybe drivin’ here was really not that smart” in “Texas On the 4th of July”, or knowing the guy whose “pride and joy is his El Camino” in “Sometimes”, Tom’s cast of characters and backdrop of sobering reality draws from our common literary or literal experience.

This is what defines "Tom Kell music", and why the imagery and feel of This Desert City so clearly personifies Tom Kell. It is all about the songs.

Thanks to Jeffrey Cox & Peter Holmstedt

Tom Kell: This Desert City

Robert Lamm "Living Proof"


Lamm's 1st group, known as The Trondells, formed in 1962 on the southside of Chicago. The band Chicago was formed in February 1967. In the mid-90's, Lamm formed a trio with Gerry Beckley of the band America and Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys. After Wilson's death from lung cancer in February 1998, an album was released entitled "Like A Brother".

In 2004 Lamm fronted his own group The Robert Lamm Band, performing concerts in New Zealand and Los Angeles. Apart from his involvement with Chicago, Lamm has recorded a number of solo albums, beginning in 1974 with "Skinny Boy" right up to the present with "Living Proof".

With "Living Proof", Robert Lamm offers us a new collection of songs exploring new sounds and atmospheres in an other musical direction he uses to do with Chicago. And we're pleased to discover the talented Zosia who sings so perfectly on "Liquid Sky".

Read Robert's "Living Proof" Liner notes on his website to learn more about this new release.


Thanks to Peter Holmstedt at HEMIFRAN