Record Label
and Music Spotlight 

JUNE 2012








10T RECORDS - Adding to a growing progressive rock scene on the American West Coast, the band Mars Hollow are making sonic waves with their 2012 CD World In Front Of Me. Perhaps the Mars Hollow prog-rock meets instro math-rock sound can be best described as sounding influenced by album producer Billy Sherwood, who adds his sonic seal of approval. With surging rock fusion dynamics and 4 part harmony vocals, the Sherwood inspired late 1990’s YES influence runs through center of the 50 minute, 7 track album. Comparisons to other prog superstars such as Rush and Spock’s Beard aside, Mars Hollow makes a statement all their own with World In Front Of Me.

- Bringing a little bit of southern hospitality to her West Coast pop sound, singer songwriter Carolann Ames will make a whole lotta music fans happy with her 2012 album Laurel Canyon Road. A solid backing band gives Ms. Ames a fresh sound but the center is really on her amazing sounding voice, which kind of sounds somewhat like 1980’s pop superstar Marti Jones, almost to a startling degree. Of course Marti Jones was influenced by vocalists like Jackie DeShannon and Dusty Springfield and in some ways Ms. Ames offers a 21st century modern pop equivalent of those unmistakable voices. While the accent is on her voice and her well produced songs, there’s a good down home Americana sound on Laurel Canyon Road.

- On his 2012 CD, Gloryland, singer-songwriter and Louisiana native Kevin Gordon has a bad case of the blues. Gordon's singing and song writing is spot on but key to his sound is his sizzling electric guitar work. On the 11 cut CD, Gordon sounds like a dead ringer for blues-rock icon Rory Gallagher, he’s just that good. With a shared affinity for blistering electric blues, Gallagher would appreciate where Gordon is coming from on on Gloryland. On his well constructed web site, Gordon bemoans the state of the music world or as he puts it, ‘With the collapse of many labels, retail record store chains and most conventional music business models, the industry has been turned upside down.’ So what’s an enterprising electric blues rock guitarist to do these days? Clearly, once blues and rock fans get a chance to hear Gloryland, Gordon’s name will travel far and wide. Assisted by producer / guitarist Joe McMahan, Gordon’s album features some excellent backing musicians. The CD sound and packaging is first rate too. On his fifth solo album, guitarist Kevin Gordon takes listeners straight to blues-rock nirvana.

- Best known for his torch song approach to modern pop, Rufus Wainwright returns with a solid pop-rock album. Some critics are actually comparing parts of the 12 track, 2012 CD release of Out Of The Game to some of Bowie’s mid ‘70s albums, like the blue-eyed psychedelic soul sound of Young Americans. Produced by Mark Ronson, the CD benefits thanks in part to some swirling worthy pop-savy Wainwright originals and a studio backing band that sounds totally in sync with the music herein. A number of gifted musicians, including guitarist Thomas Brenneck, create quite a full bodied, indescribable sonic palette of sounds that would even make Van Dyke Parks blush.

- A whole new younger generation of progressive rock bands are taking hold in the music world and you can count Druckfarben among the most aspiring. Formed in Canada way back in the mid 1980’s by guitarist Ed Bernard and drummer Troy Feener, Druckfarben have been gaining well earned accolades for their 2011 self-titled Druckfarben CD. Both Bernard and Feener cite YES and Gentle Giant among huge influences and you can also add Rush in there too. Filling out the Druckfarben sound stage are Phil Naro (vocals), Will Hare (keyboards) and Peter Murray (bass). In the spirit of mid ‘70s YES, Druckfarben have chops to burn and in fact, one of their first gigs way featured Druckfarben performing their own version of the early YES magnum opus “Close To The Edge”. Featured on the Druckfarben CD are a range of prog-vocal based tracks filled with instrumental passages that showcase Druckfarben’s daredevil approach to 21st century prog. Echoing the best progressive rock fretboard giants, Bernard’s guitar work is truly amazing and, in addition to producing the CD, he gets noteworthy song-writing assistance from his band mates. From the cover art down to achieving a stellar sound and vision, Druckfarben honors the prog-rock spirit with their remarkable CD debut.

- Over in the EU, the German based Ear Music continues onwards into 2012 with King Of Number 33 by prog-rockers DeeExpus. The 5 track CD includes a 27 minute “King Of Number 33” suite with six parts. On King Of Number 33 DeeExpus mastermind Andy Ditchfield joins forces with Marillion founding member, keyboardist Mark Kelly. Written by Ditchfield and group lead vocalist Tony Wright, the music sounds inspired by 21st century prog-rock bands like Dream Theater and Rush, yet there’s also some mid ‘80s YES like about them. There’s some fine lead guitar work from Michael McCrystal, along with John Dawson (bass) and Henry Rogers (drums). King Of Number 33 just blows you away with its massive proportions of progressive rock sound.

- Every pop group in England wanted to sound like the Beatles back in the 1960s. 40+ years on, in fact it’s pretty much the same in the case of the 2012 CD from Pugwash. Of course no one could write or sing as John or George so it was up to Paul to be the guy most could identify with. Inspired by the McCartney side of the Fabs, and lead by singer-songwriter Thomas Walsh, the band Pugwash really deliver the pop goods with their 5th studio album entitled The Olympus Sound. Walsh and his Pugwash cohorts sound like a modern day ELO on “Be My Friend Awhile” and so it goes throughout the superbly mastered CD, which is neatly encased in retro packaging with lyrics booklet.

PARAPLY RECORDS - Back in late 2009, Sweden's Paraply Records released an album masterpiece from pop maven Citizen K and now in early 2012 the label have put out Innocent Again, the third CD from the Gothenburg, Sweden based band known as Little Green. While listening to Little Green, one can’t help but admire just how skillfully this Swedish band has adapted and assimilated a musical style kindred to the best 1970s folk-rock bands of both the U.S. and the U.K. One can hear echoes of both bands like The Eagles and Poco as well as U.K. folk legends like The Strawbs, while some music critics have also compared Little Green to Americana icons The Jayhawks and Son Volt. On Innocent Again, Little Green not only write memorable songs but they have the chops to back it up. Innocent Again features fine playing all around, including the mandolin and guitars of Thomas Pontén and the lead vocals and guitar of Andreas Johannesson, who get backup from Karl Wassholm (bass) and Jonas Holmberg (drums). Accenting their sound with seasoning from Swedish music, Little Green also enhance their sound with a number of fiddle players, lead and backing vocalists and several additional guitarists and keyboard players. Some tracks like the Little Feat flavored “Don’t Tell Me It’s Over” (featuring guest vocals from Ted Russell Kamp) just spin in your head and hold up great under repeat spins. There’s a host of superb rootsy pop sounds and infectious vocal harmonies in play on Little Green’s wonderful Innocent Again album.

PLAYGROUND MUSIC - The country of Sweden continues to amaze with the 2012 Playground CD release of Youth from the band Simian Ghost. Sounding like a mix between Joe Jackson style lounge pop mixed with kind of Pet Shop Boys type grooves, the band centers around the intelligent pop of songwriter Sebastian Arnström. Nothing too heavy, the breezy 21st century pop sound in play is further bolstered by effective cover art and excellent recording sound.

- On his fourth solo album, entitled Where We Meet, singer-songwriter Tyrone Wells continues onwards and upwards with his seamless blend of rock, pop, soul and acoustic based sounds. For the 2012 CD release of Where We Meet, Tyrone teams with producers Thomas Doeve and Bill Lefler and the result is a powerful rock album that is both singer-songwriter based as well as sounding big production wise. Commenting, Tyrone adds, ‘I always wanted to make an album that was both sparse and intimate but also had these epic moments.’ In addition to the fine production work, Tyrone gets support from his band. The combined chemistry of top flight production, catchy songs and stellar band work just makes the songs on Where We Meet sparkle and shine. Making great music that soars into the skies doesn’t always add up to great financial success but Tyrone is off to the races in style with the solid production of Where We Meet.

/ RABBLE ROUSER MUSIC - Singer songwriter Rachael Unthank and her sister Becky Unthank are featured artists on the new album from The Unthanks called Diversions Vol. 1 released by rough Trade through their own label. Interesting that it should be a live album that sounds like it was recorded very spartan-like, near acoustic yet superbly recorded. The fare finds the Unthanks delving into the songbooks of cult rockers Antony & The Johnsons and jazz-rock pioneer turned goth-prog pioneer Robert Wyatt, each of whom adds in some back cover liner notes. A live album superbly recorded at the famous Union Chapel, the 15 track CD finds the sisters sounding inspired by angelic pop singer Sarah McLachlan, for example, at least vocally, as backed by the stately chamber pop sound of The Penguin Cafe Orchestra. There’s plenty of pleasant Diversions here to whet the musical senses.

- The group known as Here We Go Magic have a pretty cool new album out called A Different Ship. Released in the U.K. during the spring of 2012, the ten track CD mixes soft rock with a more cutting edge electronic effect, sort of a hip-hop version of Pink Floyd. The album was produced by Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich who coaxes some pretty astounding sounds from the group. Some writers in the U.K. have compared Here We Go Magic to the German art-rock group Neu! and even Danny Kirwan era Fleetwood Mac in places. A Different Ship fatures some pretty strange and beautiful sounds from singer-songwriter Luke Temple and company, with some kind of wild experimental Velvet Underground meets Eno meets Crosby Stills & Nash vibe in play.

Okay here’s a strange one, new on Umbilical Records for 2012 is a double CD set from a U.K. band called Omnia Opera. Anyone who remembers how great Gong was with singer / guitarists David Allen and Steve Hillage back circa 1974 or say Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd should check these guys out. The double CD release of Nothing Is Ordinary contains some of the most far-out, free form psychedelic rock experimentalism since that mid ‘70s heyday. There’s a multitude of download options but best to invest in the double CD set, which is packaged with a display of psychedelic artwork, a full libretto with lyrics and eye-popping booklet that must be seen to be believed. As you can see from their web site, it’s been about 15 years since Omnia Opera released an album but, with the action packed, double CD release of Nothing Is Ordinary, that late ‘60s Pink Floyd / early ‘70s Gong sound is making quite a resurgence in 2012.

- With famed guitarist John Frusciante out of The Red Hot Chili Peppers, he’s been replaced by newcomer Josh Klinghoffer. Sounding in places like a modern day Hendrix, Klinghoffer mixes up a white hot variety of hard rock guitar riffing on the 2011 CD release of I’m With You. There’s plenty of hard-rock grooving and pop schmoozing from Chili Peppers members Anthony Kiedis (vocals), Flea (bass), Chad Smith (drums) and of course Klinghoffer, who joined in 2009. Even with so much pop, funk and stadium rock goodness in play, perhaps the coolest thing about the CD release is the amazing artwork which is nothing less than stellar and must be seen to be believed.

- Since the early 1980's Nick Saloman has headed up the group known as The Bevis Frond. Still sounding musically inspired and living the dream from that ‘67-71 era of early Syd Barrett and Bowie, The Bevis Frond return in a big way with the 2011 CD release of The Leaving Of London. Nick’s band is spot on throughout the 18 track CD with loads of retro-tinged rock psychedelia as brought to life again in 2012. In bands since the late ‘60s and ‘70s, Saloman has also been on the indie music scene with a prolific catalog on the Woronzow and Flydaddy labels since 1987.

- The group known as Mull Historical Society released City Awakenings in early 2012. The CD features the vocals and music of Colin MacIntyre backed up by a number of musicians topped off by excellent album production from Dom Morley. Commenting on the album Colin adds, ‘The songs are breezy pop, some are wide screen things and some are more minimalist, punchy tales of finding yourself in the city. They are mostly upbeat songs about people living their lives.’ Morley is a Grammy winning producer and together, MacIntyre and Morley get a solid modern pop sound that echoes groups like Crowded House.


BLUE DUCHESS - Whether cutting vocal sides or jazzin’ out on a platter of appealing instrumentals, guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer Duke Robbilard hardly misses a chance to blow you away with his superb taste. Case in point is, Wobble Walkin’, a 13 track of jazz flavored instrumentals. Mixing bop style jazz, ala Wes Montgomery with a post modern kind of Pat Martino style jazz groove, Wobble Walkin’ finds Duke in the groove while getting solid back up by the dynamite rhythm section of Brad Hallen (acoustic bass) and Mark Teixeira (drums).

- The label of U.K. based electronic musician Ian Boddy, DiN has several 2012 releases out or coming including a CD entitled Frontiers by Ian Boddy & Erik Wollø. The 2012 CD of Frontiers is the latest chapter in the working relationship between Wollø and Boddy. When these two record together, there’s a icy, glacial feel to the sonic vibe. Between Boddy’s synths, keyboards, samplers and field recordings and Wollø’s electric, slide, e-bow and fretless guitars as well as guitar synths, synths and field recordings, there’s plenty to marvel at on the ten track Frontiers, which mixes vintage 1980’s electronic music with a futuristic 21st century sound. For a look back at Ian Boddy’s early work take a listen to the double CD Pearl, which examines a wealth of Boddy’s recorded output including rare music recorded way back in the 1980’s with the second CD featuring Boddy collaborating with seasoned electronic musicians such as Robert Rich, Markus Reuter and Mark Shreeve. Another recent release on DiN worth hearing is Music By Mirrors the group known as Mazmoneth. Featuring the pooled talents of Nigel Mullaney and Ray Sherwin, the Mazmoneth sound is even more stark than the Boddy & Wollø CD yet clearly both albums fit into the same genre and will hold the fascination of ardent electronic music followers. / /

- Although he grew up listening to his fathers collection of Shadows LP’s, Al Marconi evolved into one of the most acclaimed nylon string guitarists in the UK. No doubt, Richie Blackmore and Tony Iommi held sway over the younger Marconi yet his love of instrumental guitar music—specifically the Baroque lute music of J.S. Bach—led him to discover the joys of The Gipsy Kings which in turn led him to the rumba flamenco instrumental guitar style. That blend of nuevo flamenco is at the core of Marconi’s 2011 solo album entitled Insomnia, released on his own Ego Recordings. Since his 1997 solo album Equilibrium, Marconi has staked out some interesting guitar terrain and the resulting Insomnia album makes a fine choice for fans of the time-honored nuevo flamenco guitar sound. Thanks to some well placed system software and synthesized string and things, Marconi sounds like a mini flamenco band, yet, even so, on Insomnia the central focus is on Marconi’s finely tuned guitar sound.

- A sonic reflection looking back on the winter of 2011-2012, In Winter is the latest guitar opus from New England guitarist Kevin Kastning. A collaboration between Kastning and electric bass icon Michael Manring, the 20 track, 73 minute In Winter CD is filled with more amazing Kastning guitar extrapolations that tastefully blur the musical borders of jazz, New Age, neo-classical and acoustic guitar instrumental. In the CD liner notes, Guitar Player editor Barry Cleveland describes the CD as creating a sense of ‘reflective quietude and tranquility, a mélange of colors’ and he’s quite right about the depth of musical expression both Manring and Kastning possess and are quiet capable of executing and encompassing. Even though there is a strong sense of musical experimentalism on In Winter, that feeling is almost superseded by a warm, fuzzy feeling that creates a sense of deja vu, guiding you to a kind of musical place you feel you’ve been before and also want to go back to. For those keeping score, Kastning’s guitars of choice on In Winter include his famous 14 string Contraguitar, which adds in shimmering, harp like sounds throughout the CD, while Manring helps the CD soar into the sonic stratosphere thanks to his amazing work on his Zon basses. Echoing the spirit of Kastning’s other current CD releases—including Triptych with guitarist
Sándor Szabó and percussionist Bálazs Major and Dreaming AS I Knew with horn player Carl ClementsIn Winter was mixed and mastered by his musical cohort Sándor Szabó in his native Hungary. Guitar fans who blissed out to ‘70s ECM album classics from original masters like John Abercrombie and Ralph Towner, as well as some of Pat Metheny’s more experimental albums will find much to enjoy here. A work of veritable musical wonder by two gifted, kindred virtuosos, In Winter is one of the most awesome sounding musical collaborations thus far in the 21st century.

- Heading up his band The Retroliners, guitarist Michael Welch goes all out on the 2012 CD release of Lucifer’s Lounge. Subtitled Soul, Sin & Surf, the 13 track album features Welch backed up by his Retroliners band, including former Wings member Steve Holly on drums. The all instrumental album benefits from the Retroliners’ devotion to the surf-rock instrumental sound of bands like The Ventures, Link Wray and more. More jazzy than your usual surf-rock instrumental fare, Lucifer’s Lounge also benefits in places thanks to some fine B-3 organ work of Andy Burton. If you like your Ventures style instro rock a little on the jazzy, funky side, guitars and B-3 in full flight, The Retroliners are for you. Either way, Lucifer’s Lounge sounds great and is a welcome addition to the growing Retroliners catalog of CD releases.

- One of the top hard rock / heavy metal guitarists in the USA today, Chris Poland, and bassist Robbie Pagliari, join forces with members of the rock group Umphrey’s McGee for the 2012 CD release of Posthaste by the group OHMphrey. Joining Poland and Pagliari from OHM are Umphrey’s guitarist Jake Cinniger, Kris Myers (drums) and Joel Cummins (keys). If you like your instro jazz-rock fusion played hard and fast with a lot of rock energy, then OHMphrey is for you. There’s plenty of frenzied, hard rock riffing in places and of course Poland is well known for that in his band called OHM, which also features Pagliari, so let’s just say Posthaste combines the hard instro rock of OHM with the freaky atmospheric jam / metal sound of Umphrey’s, Steve Morse and the Dixie Dregs and beyond. It’s not lost on the fans that Poland was actually a member of Megadeth in the 1980’s. Much more than just a hard rock instrumental album, the nine track, 74 minute Posthaste has ample guts and, while jazz fans may scratch their heads in skepticism, the hard rock instro guitar crowd will lap up this brilliantly played and recorded CD by Chris Poland, who adds, ‘We all have this kind of synchronicity. It’s kind of an overused word, but we have it. Whatever we’re doing, it works.’

- Chicago based guitarist Bobby Broom may have spent a number of years in the windy city, yet he pays homage to his NYC roots on his 2012 CD Upper West Side Story. In his own words, ‘This music is my ode to where I’m from.’ Compared to his 2009 tribute Bobby Broom Plays For Monk, the Upper West Side Story music is all Broom originals. Assisting are fine players including bass player Dennis Carroll and a pair of drummers Kobie Watkins and Makaya McCraven. Carrying forth the sound and vision of legends such as Wes Montgomery and George Benson, Bobby Broom breathes new life into the guitar jazz genre with Upper West Side Story.

- The space where cutting edge World Beat meets avant gard electronica is where you’ll find Real World Records. Started by Genesis founder Peter Gabriel, Real World break more records with the early 2012 CD release of the self-titled album from Portico Quartet. If avant card classicists like Edgard Varese and jazz guru John Coltrane were alive today, they’d be listening to Portico Quartet. Imagine Charlie Parker or Coltrane jamming with Edgard Varese as produced by Fripp and Eno and you have some idea about the self-titled Portico Quartet CD. A sonically rich palette of near indescribable electro-acoustic music, Portico Quartet is an instrumental album in search of a soundtrack and in doing so, it invents a whole new musical language that simply must be heard to be believed. Produced by the group and engineered by Greg Freeman, the ten track CD features the combined genius of Jack Wyllie (sax, electronics), Duncan Bellamy (drums, electronics), Milo Fitzpatrick (bass, electronics) and newest member, classically trained keyboardist Kier Vine (electronics). Portico Quartet is thoroughly modern instrumental music—complete with a multitude of sampling and hi-tech sonics that draws on the finest elements of past greatness while creating something completely fresh and invigorating.

- San Diego based guitarist Tim Coffman launched his 2012 album Island Breezes in May 2012. A tasty follow up to The Longboard Collection, the 10 track Island Breezes CD is the second release in Tim’s ongoing Cruisin’ Pacific Coast Highways: Instrumental Soundtracks music series. Inspired by the beauty of California’s legendary Pacific Coast Highways, Coffman’s music evokes the classic ‘60s instrumental surf-rock sounds of The Ventures and The Sandals and, in a less direct way, late, great exotica musicians including Les Baxter and Martin Denny—two key American musicians responsible for introducing mainlanders to the sights and sounds of Hawaiian music. One of the most underrated American guitarists recording in 2012, Tim Coffman gets some amazing tones from his vast array of electric guitars. The full bodied tone of “Low Tide” is brilliant, while helping Tim out on some tracks with his lush steel guitar sounds is Greg Sardinha. As he admitted in various interviews, Coffman experiments quite a bit with his guitar sounds to get just that perfect West Coast instro guitar sound, yet when he hits that perfect note, he’s just as effective as West Coast guitar giants like Bob Bogle and John Blakeley. On the 2012 CD release of The Island Breezes Collection, Tim Coffman combines a multitude of guitar tones and sounds and the result is another note perfect album of instrumental guitar excellence.

- Interesting name for a record label, Spleen released Fine Arts Avenue, the 2011 CD from L.A. based guitarist Andrea Balestra. With his skillful approach to instrumental jazz and rock guitar, Andrea seems to have settled nicely within the L.A. jazz-fusion music scene. A number of players fill out Andrea's band on Fine Arts Avenue and even hard rock guitar hero George Lynch guests on a track here. Backed up by a solid band, Balestra’s electric guitar work sounds inspired by any and all of the big name instro guitar heroes—from Robben Ford to Holdsworth and Scofield and as such should be of interest to instrumental guitar watchers. Commenting on the CD, Balestra adds, 'The idea was simply to create something that would be very compelling, and use contrast as a tool to help accomplish it. I try to think of an album in a cinematic direction, that way it can go places and be organic at the same time.' One minute moody and introspective, the next hard rocking blues and funky, Balestra has his guitar sound totally covered on the ten track Fine Arts Avenue. email:

- Commenting on his new instrumental album Shape Shifter guitarist Carlos Santana says, ‘It feels like it’s the perfect time to give people something that they have been asking for a long, long time. We just want to hear Carlos play his guitar! So, this is it.’ Made in honor of the original native American Indians, Shape Shifter takes its title from the American Indian belief in reincarnation. Describing the melody as ‘the universal language’, Carlos recorded his long awaited instrumental music masterpiece at Fantasy studios in Berkeley. The first release on Santana’s own Star Faith record label, Shape Shifter features Carlos in the studio with a tight band of players including jazz great, keyboardist Chester Thompson and drummer Dennis Chambers as well as his son, keyboardist Salvador Santana. With the instrumental rock and fusion emphasis on Shape Shifter Carlos breaks free of the very commercial sound he was going for on various albums since 1999 and as such will undoubtedly make a quite a few instro guitar heads quite happy. Even though Shape Shifter is primarily instrumental, that unmistakable guitar and spiritual vision remains the central focus of the Santana name.


DISQUES MERITE - Based up in Canada, Disques Mérite released several collections of instrumental guitar-based music in 2011 including Le Top 30 from guitarist Arthur Cossette and Les Jaguars. The Jaguars CD features 30 tracks, mainly guitar-based rock instrumental, and the sound echoes the spirit of ‘60s guitar bands like The Shadows and even The Ventures. Most of these tracks were cut in the ‘60s, ‘70s and the ‘80s as well. Several French vocal tracks get mixed into the instrumental sound but there’s plenty of guitar sounds on hand to please even the most diehard surf-rock fan. Another fine instrumental guitar collection on Disques Merite comes from the Quebec based group Les Mégatones. Like the CD from Les Jaguars, Le Top 30 from Les Mégatones features a cross-section of tracks mainly recorded in the 1960s with several ‘70s cuts added in for good measure. A great Mégatones versions of Bach’s “Bourree” is followed by a vocal cover of the Eddie Cochran classic “Twenty Flight Rock”. A fitting tribute to the sounds of the 1960’s, both CD compilations on Disques Mérite are a solid find for guitar fans.

/ HEAR MUSIC / CONCORD MUSIC GROUP -With a back catalog that’s longer than the road that stretches out ahead, Paul McCartney is taking his time and savoring a raft of reissues coming out by way of his deal with Concord Music and Hear Music. Recorded in NYC and released on Apple Records back in 1971, RAM was in some ways McCartney’s first real solo album following the self-made McCartney album from 1970. Officially on board was wife Linda McCartney, joined by drummer Denny Seiwell and guitarists Hugh McCracken, Henry McCullough and David Spinozza. This 2012 RAM CD reissue on Hear Music / MPL is really exemplary on a number of levels. First among the various versions of the reissues is a rare mono mix of RAM in a 5 disc box set version for ninety dollars makes it a collectible. The best thing is the new single disc remaster of the stereo mix is that it's the best sounding version of RAM yet while the more standard triple disc version features a second CD of out takes, a few surprises and period piece McCartney cult favorites while the addition of a bonus DVD fleshes out the triple disc RAM with several original McCartney videos.

UME - The Beatles related event of 2011 was the release of the comprehensive Martin Scorsese documentary on the life and times of Beatles legend George Harrison. Years in the making, the 3 and a half hour George Harrison: Living In The Material World documentary is a true cinematic triumph that makes you remember just what seeing a great movie is all about. Released through Universal Music Enterprises, the movie is available as either a double DVD set and/or a single 210 minute DVD. With one riveting scene after the next, once you start watching the DVD, it’s almost impossible to stop. All the usual suspects are here, a cast of hundreds including the Beatles, Eric Clapton, Yoko Ono, Phil Spector, the wives and George’s son Dhani Harrison. This was a huge deal on HBO in late 2011 so clearly, with the movie being a total Beatle-esque revelation, it’s impossible for George Harrison fans to go wrong with this DVD. To coincide with the May 2012 DVD release of the Living In The Material World DVD, UME also have released a CD of high quality demo recordings by George entitled George Harrsion - Early Takes Volume 1. With ten tracks clocking in at thirty minutes, Early Takes Vol. 1 features some up close and personal versions of George doing favorites from All Things Must Pass with unreleased Harrison versions of The Shadows favorite “Let It Be Me” and Bob Dylan’s “Mama You’ve Been On My Mind.” The sound of the demos, mostly George with Ringo Starr on drums, is clear and crisp and you almost feel like you’re in the room with George. The one, two punch of the DVD and the CD is quite a Harrison-esque revelation. Well with George Martin’s son Giles Martin working on the CD sound what would you expect, considering the younger Martin’s incredible remastering work on the amazing Let It Roll: Songs By George Harrison from 2009. Like Let It Roll, the CD features liner notes by Martin as well as rock musicologist, artist and big time George Harrison fan Dr. Warren Zanes, who, commenting on the movie in the CD liner notes adds, Living In The Material World will likely be remembered as one of the great archeological digs in rock and roll history.’ /

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