Sunday, February 13, 2011

Being Clarivoyant and The Future

Take a picture of this: The fields are empty, abandoned '59 Chevy, Laying in the back seat listening to Little Willie John; Yea, that's when time stood still...(Robbie Robertson - Somewhere Down the Crazy River)

It feels like that finally a long winter may be coming to an end. The days are getting warmer and longer. The sun has been peeking out and finally some new exciting music is being released. It seems that artists either get their music released for the Christmas season or they wait until March or April. Recent releases include Radiohead's download only King of Limbs, Lucinda William's Blessed, R.E.M.'s Collapse Into Now, The Baseball Project's High and Tight, etc...

On the Horizon:
  • Broken Bells will release an EP Meyrin Fields on March 29
  • My Morning Jacket is releasing live music from their web site each week until the April 12th release of their new CD Circuital.
  • Steve Earle's new CD is I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive will be released on April 26th
  • Old 97's will release The Grande Theater Volume 2 some time in May.
  • Robbie Robertson's How To Become Clairvoyant which is to be released on April 5.

Robbie Robertson is familiar to alot of folks as the guitarist for the Americana roots pioneers The Band (although 4 of the 5 members were Canadian). The Band toured and recorded with Bob Dylan, played at the Woodstock Festival and made several great albums in the late 60'/early 70's before breaking up in 1978. Their final concert was filmed and released as the movie The Last Waltz. The concert film included many of their contemporaries and friends such as Bob Dylan and Neil Young, to name two.

Robertson has recorded several solo albums since the breakup, but they have been far and few between. In 1987 Robertson released his self-titled solo debut, co-produced by super producer Daniel Lanois and Robertson. Some "Band purists" panned the album, but I thought it was brilliant. The record had that Lanois sound and featured U2 and Peter Gabriel (whom Lanois had also produced). The album contained several great songs including Somewhere Down the Crazy River which featured additional vocals from The BoDeans singer Sam Llanas. Fallen Angel, a tribute to bandmate Richard Manuel who had died in 1986, is another winner. Other standouts include Showdown at Big Sky, Sweet Fire of Love, American Roulette, and Broken Arrow which became a hit later for Rod Stewart.

In 1991 Robertson released Storyville, recorded in New Orleans. I have not heard that one. In 1994 Robertson recorded music for a televsion documentary called The Native Americans. In 1998 he continued along this road with another Native American influenced record Contact From the Underworld of Redboy. These records are inspired combining authentic sounds, chants with modern sounding music.

I have already read a negative review about How To Become Clairvoyant but I want to listen for myself. Robbie Robertson has not followed a straight career path since leaving the Band but his limited outputs have been fun.





No comments:

Post a Comment