Thursday, 30 October 2014

REVIEW: ALEX MILES [Alex Miles]


Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! If her sublime version of ELO's "Mr. Blue Sky" [as featured in this previous ELOBF article] met with your approval, then Alex Miles' new ten [10] song self titled album may well leave you in sonic raptures. There is plenty to enthuse about with this release as Alex also interprets songs by the likes of Paul McCartney, Kings Of Leon, Queen, Etta James and Stereophonics [amongst not a few others].

With her crystal clear, soothing vocals matched by her peerless piano playing, Alex Miles has put together an astounding and impressive album which not only showcases her enormous talent but also cries out to the many record labels looking [and failing] to discover exciting new artistes. This album will be of particular interest to ELO, Paul McCartney and Beatles fans, opening as it does, with a lovely interpretation of "No More Lonely Nights" followed later with a sweet version of Etta James' classic "At Last" [recently also covered, of course, by Jeff Lynne] before finishing with the aforementioned Lynne penned finale to "Concerto For A Rainy Day" and perennial Electric Light Orchestra anthem.

You should also have a listen to this Wolverhampton born musician's utterly moving versions of "Use Somebody" and "Dakota", not forgetting the remaining enchanting tracks within the album. I have no hesitation is endorsing and recommending this classy recording to all and sundry. [10/10]

Track listing: [1] "No More Lonely Nights" [4:22]; [2] "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" [4:15]; [3] "Use Somebody" [4:23]; [4] "Moves Like Jagger" [4:08]; [5] "A Kind Of Magic" [4:17]; [6] "At Last" [4:39]; [7] "Dakota" [4:47]; [8] "No Diggity" [4:50]; [9] "Never Gonna Give You Up" [4:19]; [10] "Mr. Blue Sky" [5:42]

This wonderful album is priced at just £10.00 each [including free P+P] and can be ordered via the Contact page at her official web site or in person at her performances. Check out Alex Miles and her portfolio via her official web site thus:

www.alexmilesmusic.com

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "Alex Miles" by Alex Miles to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of: ELOJeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 30-Oct-2014

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

ONE YEAR ON: NEW CLIMAX BLUES RELEASE UNVEILS FINAL PETE HAYCOCK SESSIONS


Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Tomorrow will mark the first anniversary of the tragic passing of the late, great Pete Haycock in 2013. Robin George had the great pleasure of working with the Climax Blues Band and ELO Part II co-founder both in recording his own album "World" as well as the much anticipated new album from Pete Haycock's Climax Blues Band.

Both recordings feature the sublime [slide] guitar craft and vocal skills of Pete and, as a gift to Pete's many fans, Robin has just released the lead single from the album - an edited version of "Bluesong" - which is taken from Pete's final album "Broke Heart Blues", his swansong project, with Robin George, Mel Collins, Charlie Morgan, Jacquie Williams and Charley Charlesworth joining forces with him one last time under the Climax Blues banner.


Both the single "Bluesong" and album "Broke Heart Blues" are being released in download format, one year to the day that Pete passed away, on Thursday 30th October 2014 with a CD release to follow [hopefully] in the near future. An official press release stated:

"... a scintillating mix of Rock and Blues played by masters of their art. These are Pete's final recordings and the "Bluesong" single is released as a gift to his fans as a tribute to Robin's great friend and brother in guitar to commemorate the anniversary of his tragic passing ..."

"Bluesong" [Single Edit] is priced at $0.99 and can be ordered via this link thus:

"Broke Heart Blues" is priced at $9.99 and can be ordered via this link thus:

"World" by Robin George is priced at $9.99 and can be ordered via this link thus:

My 2012 interview with Pete for ELOBF can be read via this link thus:

My tribute to Pete can be read via this link thus:

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends: "Broke Heart Blues" by Climax Blues and "World" by Robin George to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of: ELO, Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, The Move, The Idle Race, 'Brum Beat', The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 29-Oct-2014

Monday, 27 October 2014

ALEX MILES: MR. BLUE SKY

Alex Miles
Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! There are certain songs that are hard to improve upon, especially when they lend themselves only to be covered in the same style as the original.

One of those songs is ELO's anthemic epic "Mr. Blue Sky". Case in point would be Lily Allen's questionable effort to 'reinvent' it back in 2007. But earlier today my opinion was swayed by my good Aussie friend Jib Khan [from ELOBF recommended artiste Starflight] who alerted me to a wonderful piano laden interpretation of the Jeff Lynne penned classic by Alex Miles. In her own words:

"One of my favourite tracks ever, I recorded this version as a homage to the original. I was very careful in trying not to recreate the ELO version, as no cover version could ever surpass it. This is a different, acoustic take on a true masterpiece."

It reminds me a little of Sarah Blasko's serene 2009 version of "Xanadu" and it's so good that I felt it warranted some wider exposure to the ELO & Jeff Lynne fan base via ELOBF thus:


Wolverhampton born Alex has a CD available for sale which includes "Mr. Blue Sky" and also features her versions of "At Last" [also covered, of course, by Jeff Lynne] and Paul McCartney's "No More Lonely Nights". The CD is priced at just £10.00 [including free P+P] and can be ordered via the Contact page at her official web site or in person at her performances.


I think that you'll love it! Check out Alex Miles and her portfolio via her official web site thus:

www.alexmilesmusic.com

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends: "Mr. Blue Sky" by Alex Miles to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of: ELOJeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 27-Oct-2014

Friday, 24 October 2014

REVIEW: E.P. [GlasOnGlas]


Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Gary Burton, a former UK radio DJ who now resides in New York now plying his trade as a singer/songwriter, kindly forwarded me the debut EP of his musical vehicle GlasOnGlas the other day. The release - entitled "E.P." [for some strange reason!] - contains four [4] nicely crafted songs that showcase perfectly his stated musical influences including Jeff Lynne, Paul McCartney, Pugwash, XTC and 10cc [and not a few others].

"E.P.", produced by former Psychedelic Fur Joe McGinty, is replete with catchy hooks, string accompaniment and quirky, heartfelt lyrics instantly impresses with "Lemons Are Not Limes" [my fave track] an instant attention grabber with ELOesque arrangements - and a lead vocal not dissimilar to that of Christopher Cross or Jon Anderson. Next up is the country tinged, pensive ballad "100 Per Cent Proof" with "Mice And Men" following with its eighties vibe pleasing to the ear. Final song "Summer Of Love Feeling" recalls heady London days of the swinging sixties whilst quoting Tony Blackburn, "Waterloo Sunset", "... wonderful Radio 1" and much more! This is not only a great EP of much variety and promise, it serves also as a nice introduction to the talents of a certain exile in NYC. [9/10]

"E.P." trax are: [1] "Lemons Are Not Limes" [4:29]; [2] "100 Per Cent Proof" [3:44]; [3] "Mice And Men" [3:50]; [4] "Summer Of Love Feeling" [4:25]

Gary Burton: Pondering life, lemons and limes ...
GlasOnGlas are: Gary Burton [Vocals]; Joe McGinty [Piano/Keyboards/Drum Machine]; Jim Mastro [Guitars]; Jeremy Chatzky [Bass]; Clem Waldmann [Drums/Percussion]; Claudia Chopek [Violin]; Eleanor Norton [Cello]; Meredith Meyer [Backing vocals]

"E.P." by GlasOnGlas is available to purchase in MP3 format from Bandcamp.com, amazon.co.ukamazon.com, iTunes and other digital outlets.

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends: "E.P." by GlasOnGlas to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of: ELOJeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 24-Oct-2014

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

CAUGHT LIVE [2]: STAND UP & ROCK!

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! It was a case of it being so good that I had to see it twice as Jasper Carrott, Bev Bevan and Co. arrived in Dudley last Thursday [16th October] with their "Stand Up & Rock!" show more or less halfway through its highly successful sell-out national theatre tour.

Dudley Town Hall was filled to capacity as the lifelong friends were joined by Trevor Burton [The Move], Geoff Turton [The Rockin' Berries], Joy Strachan-Brain [Quill], Phil Tree, Abby Brant and Musical Director Tony Kelsey for another evening of Carrott comic capers coupled with another fantastic musical journey through sixties and seventies classics.

[L]: KJS with Jasper [and some friends!]; [R]: Bev shows off his portrait

The night was all the more special as I had the opportunity after the show to both present Bev with an original portrait by Glaswegian artist Jennifer Crawford and also touch base with Jasper, who after hearing one of my jokes, advised me to carry on blogging and taking photos! My review of the 'Stand Up & Rock!' show at Wolverhampton in September can be viewed via this link thus:

CAUGHT LIVE [1]: STAND UP & ROCK!

'Stand Up & Rock' features Jasper CarrottThe Bev Bevan Band [Bev BevanPhil TreeTony Kelsey and Abby Brant], Trevor BurtonGeoff Turton and Joy Strachan-Brain

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] endorses and recommends: 'Stand Up & Rock' to those enlightened folks who also like: ELO and Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood'Brum Beat', The Idle Race, The Move, The Beatles and their musical relatives.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 22-Oct-2014

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

FIVE RECOMMENDED PRE-CHRISTMAS RELEASES


Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! There are some interesting ELO and Beatles related releases to look forward to as 2014 ebbs away including a new Take That album, produced in part by Jeff Lynne. The Electric Light Orchestra maestro is also to be found on a new tribute album to Paul McCartney. And with new issues by The MoveRoy Wood and Magnum also due, ELOBF has listed them in release date order for you to peruse thus:

Monday 10th November 2014
THE MOVE: LIVE AT THE FILLMORE 1969 [2LP RED VINYL]

Monday 17th November 2014
VARIOUS: THE ART OF McCARTNEY [2CD]
MAGNUM: ON CHRISTMAS DAY [10" VINYL]

Monday 24th November 2014
ROY WOOD: ORIGINAL ALBUM SERIES [5CD]

Monday 1st December 2014
TAKE THAT: III

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 21-Oct-2014

Sunday, 19 October 2014

BEV HANDED JENNY CRAWFORD PORTRAIT

Jennifer Crawford's take on the three founding members of ELORoy WoodJeff Lynne and Bev Bevan
Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Earlier this year in January, ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] was pleased to introduce you to the awesome work of talented Glasgow based artist Jennifer Crawford - as featured within her Facebook page 'Fan Art of the Greatest Musicians in the World'.

Jennifer recently sent me three [3] 12" x 16" prints of her fantastic portraits of The Move and ELO threesome Roy Wood, Jeff Lynne and Bev Bevan [see above]. She also surprised me by sending me her original Bev Bevan portrait. Being as a second visit to see Bev in the smash hit touring show "Stand Up & Rock!" was beckoning at Dudley Town Hall, I thought that it would be great idea to present The MoveELO and Black Sabbath drummer with Jennifer's portrait in person. This was also the first time that the subject of Jennifer's art has met up with her art!

Hence, with many thanks to Tony Kelsey, Yours Truly KJS presented the picture to Bev after the show last Thursday night [16th October 2014] with long time pal Jasper Carrott "Looking On":

Bev Bevan receives his portrait from KJS [Photo: Abby Brant]
Jennifer Crawford can be contacted by email at: jenniferarmstrong1965@hotmail.co.uk, via private message on Facebook or via her fantastic Facebook page: Fan Art of the Greatest Musicians in the World for enquiries and/or to place orders. Check out this ELOBF article for further details thus:

RECOMMENDED: JENNIFER CRAWFORD'S ELO GALLERY AND MORE!

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends the portfolio of: Jennifer Crawford to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of: ELOJeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 19-Oct-2014