RIP, Tommy Ardolino. Our friend. Meow.
As a teen, Mark co-wrote ” Summer In The City”, the Lovin’ Spoonful’s number one hit, with his brother John. He has collaborated as a writer, or in the studio, with his mentors, Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks, as well as Gary Usher and Earth Wind & Fire. His live performances have found him sharing stages with Laura Nyro, Eric Burdon, the Doors’ Robbie Kreiger, the Beach Boys and a host of Folk music greats, during his early days, playing the clubs in his native Greenwich Village.
Info on Mark’s gig can be found at the Living Room website.
We’re brokenhearted to report that our good friend Sean Bonniwell (The Music Machine) has passed. I was beyond fortunate to have spent time in the studio with Sean, working on Music Machine material, asking a zillion questions, and just hanging out… Rest assured that his talent was no fluke – Sean was a brilliant musician, a kind man, possessed an impossibly-sharp sense of humor, and was intuitive to the point of leaving you wide-eyed. We remained good pals throughout the years. We’ll miss you, Sean. And we’ll see you again.
Color this picture! (download here)
Paint or crayon this picture. (download here)
Freddie King’s upcoming 2012 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame marks a long-overdue honor for a seminal blues guitar god who continues to be worshipped and emulated by multiple generations of notable axemen. Although his career was tragically cut short by his untimely death at the age of 42, Freddie King was one of America’s most distinctive and influential electric guitarists. King’s raw, raucous trademark style, which reflected his roots in both Texas and Chicago, left an indelible mark on such guitar superstars as Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and the Rolling Stones’ Mick Taylor.
Born in Dallas in 1934, King began playing guitar at the age of six. In his teens, he moved with his family to Chicago’s fabled South Side, a neighborhood that was ground zero for the development of urban electric blues. There, the underage King began sneaking into local clubs, witnessing gigs by such electric blues heroes as Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, T-Bone Walker, Elmore James and Sonny Boy Williamson. King was still in his teens when he formed his first band and began working as a sideman with local blues combos; he soon established himself as one of the hottest players on the local scene.
King made his first records in 1956, but his recording career didn’t really take off until he moved, appropriately enough, to the Cincinnati-based King label in 1960. There, he scored a series of instrumental hits beginning with 1961′s “Hide Away.” It became his signature number and a much-covered blues standard, followed by such memorable tunes as “San-Ho-Zay,” “The Stumble,” “Freeway 75″ and “Funnybone,” and such classic LPs as Let’s Hide Away and Dance Away with Freddy King and Freddy King Gives You a Bonanza of Instrumentals (both available from Sundazed in pristine mono 180-gram vinyl editions).
By the late ’60s, King had broadened his audience considerably and increased his appeal to white rock fans, thanks in part his tireless touring and to his collaborations with such prominent King fans as Eric Clapton and Leon Russell. At the time of his death in 1976, King was playing for the biggest audiences of his career, and his reputation has only grown in the years since.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s induction of Donovan is a well-deserved acknowledgement of the iconic Scottish troubadour’s unique and enduring body of work, which continues to shine bright half a century after he began his musical career.
When he first emerged as an acoustic folkie in the early 1960s, Donovan Leitch was widely regarded as Britain’s answer to Bob Dylan. But the iconoclastic singer-songwriter-guitarist quickly proved himself to be a one-of-a-kind artist, with a singular musical persona and a vivid, visionary songwriting style that meshed perfectly with the adventurous spirit of the psychedelic age. Donovan’s ethereal songcraft and idealistic, optimistic spirit captured the hearts of fans on both sides of the Atlantic, with Donovan emerging as one of a small handful of best-selling ’60s album artists who was also a regular presence on the pop singles charts.
Donovan made his artistic and commercial breakthrough with his 1966 LP Sunshine Superman (available from Sundazed in a meticulously restored mono vinyl edition). It was on that album that he unveiled the exotic, inventive instrumental arrangements and playfully phantasmagorical lyrical imagery that would provide the foundation for his output over the next five years. That remarkable period produced such classic albums as Mellow Yellow, The Hurdy Gurdy Man, Barabajagal and the ambitious double LP A Gift from a Flower to a Garden, which spawned such hits as “Mellow Yellow,” “There Is a Mountain,” “Wear Your Love Like Heaven,” “Hurdy Gurdy Man,” “Jennifer Juniper,” “Season of the Witch” and “Atlantis.”
That series of albums—recorded with legendary producer Mickie Most and such stellar players as Jeff Beck, Jack Bruce, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones—saw Donovan evolve and develop at a dizzying pace, becoming one of the first British artists to embrace the experimental attitude of the emerging generation of American psychedelic bands, while also exploring elements of jazz, blues and Eastern music and spirituality.
Although his chart momentum slowed in the ’70s, Donovan has continued to make distinctive, deeply felt music that lives up to his stature as one of the most respected and beloved artists of his era.