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Archive for the ‘Singer’ Category

RIP, Gregg Allman (May 27, 2017) Southern Rock Pioneer

Posted by themusicsover on May 27, 2017

Gregg Allman
December 8, 1947 – May 27, 2017

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Gregg Allman was the lead singer, keyboardist and primary songwriter for the Allman Brothers Band, which he formed with his brother, Duane Allman, in 1969.  The Allman Brothrers went on to become one of the most influential rock bands America has ever produced.  Albums like The Allman Brothers Band, At Fillmore East, and Eat A Peach are considered landmark recordings of the ’70s. Their marriage of rock to country, blues and jazz – along with unmatched improvisational skills, laid the foundation of the Southern Rock scene which exploded in their wake. Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top, and the Marshall Tucker Band are just a handful of bands from the American South who built successful careers due in large part to the Allman Brothers’ direct influence. Between their formation in 1969, and ultimately calling it a day in 2014, the band released 11 studio albums and 16 official live albums while playing countless live shows during their on-again off-again run.  During one break during the ’80s, when most thought his career was over, Allman released a handful of solo albums including Laid Back and I’m No Angel, both of which went gold.  His most recent solo album, 2011’s Low Country Blues, was also his highest charting, debuting at #5 on the Billboard charts.  In recent years, Gregg Allman suffered from a series of health issues and ultimate lost his life to complications of liver cancer.  He was 69 years old when he passed on.

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RIP, Chris Cornell (May 17, 2017) Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple of the Dog

Posted by themusicsover on May 17, 2017

Chris Cornell (Born Christopher Boyle)
July 20, 1964 – May 17, 2017

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Chris Cornell was Seattle singer, songwriter and guitarist who will forever be remembered as one of the primary architects of grunge, a sub-genre or alternative rock.  If a singer is lucky, she or he will find critical acclaim and commercial success by fronting just one band. But Cornell achieved that three times, with Soundgarden, Audioslave and early on, with Temple of the Dog, a one-off tribute to his friend, Mother Love Bone‘s Andrew Wood, who died of an overdose in 1990, just as the Seattle scene was about to change pop music forever. Born and raised in Seattle, Cornell found himself drawn to the Beatles as a child, reportedly spending most of his days between 9 and 11 years old, devouring a collection of Beatle records he found in a neighbor’s basement.  After learning to play the guitar and drums, Cornell joined a local cover band called the Shemps during the early ’80s.  It was with the Shemps that he forged his musical relationship with Kim Thayil and Hiro Yamamoto, which lead to the formation of Soundgarden in 1984.  The band went on to release six studio albums, with 1994’s Superunknown debuting at #1 and going on to sell over 9 million copies worldwide.  In all, Soundgarden sold upwards of 25 million albums.  With Audioslave, which Cornell co-founded with Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine, Cornell and the band moved more toward a ’70s rock vibe.  The band released three albums which sold more than 4.5 million albums in the US alone.  As a solo artist, Cornell achieved success with four releases and had the rare opportunity to record the theme song for a James Bond film, 2006’s Casino Royale.  The single, “You Know My Name,” charted in several places, most notably, the UK, where it peaked at #7.  After initially disbanding in 1997, Soundgarden reformed in 2010 and released  King Animal in 2012.  It was their first album in 16 years and debuted at #5 on the Billboard charts. It was while on tour with Soundgarden in 2017 that Chris Cornell passed away. Found deceased in his hotel room following a May 17th performance in Detroit, the local Medical Examiner ruled his death a suicide by hanging. He was 52.

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RIP, Col. Bruce Hampton (May 2, 2017) Influential Rock Guitarist

Posted by themusicsover on May 2, 2017

Col. Bruce Hampton (Born Gustav Berglund)
April 30, 1947 – May 2, 2017

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Bruce Hampton, more commonly known as Col. Bruce Hampton, was a bluesy avant-garde guitarist whose work has been credited for being a main inspiration on countless musicians, and in particular, jam bands who took a shine to his improvisational skills. Born in Knoxville, TN, Hampton’s first band of note was the blues rock outfit, Hampton Grease Band whose first album, Music To Eat was released by Columbia Records in 1971.  Never publicly proven one way or another, legend has it that it is the 2nd worst selling album in Columbia Records history – barely nudged out by an unknown yoga album.  True or not, the band soon parted ways with Columbia and found a more fitting home on Frank Zappa‘s Bizzare Records,  before calling it quits in 1973.  Hampton went on to release dozens of albums under different monikers over the next four decades and guesting on countless others while performing live in front of adoring fans around the world.  In 1992, Hampton helped launch the H.O.R.D.E. (Horizons of Rock Developing Everywhere ) festival tour.  Taking their cue from the recently launched Lollapalooza tour, founding band Blues Traveler imagined a traveling show where improvisational bands of every stripe could come together for the enjoyment of like-minded fans.  Besides Hampton’s Aquarium Rescue Unit, bands on the inaugural run included Phish, Widespread Panic and the Spin Doctors.  On May 1, 2017, the still very much active Col. Bruce Hampton was honored with a 70th birthday concert in Atlanta, GA. The all-star event included performers such as John Popper, Peter Buck, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, and Warren Haynes alongside members of Phish, Widespread Panic, Leftover Salmon, and more.  While performing “Turn on Your Love Lovelight” during the encore, Hampton collapsed in a way that many in the audience initially assumed it was part of the show.  When it was realized that he was indeed suffering from a medical emergency, he was carried offstage and taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead during the early hours of May 2, 2017. Cause of death was not immediately released.

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RIP, Lonnie Brooks (April 1, 2017) Chicago Blues Legend

Posted by themusicsover on April 1, 2017

Lonnie Brooks (Born Lee Baker)
December 18, 1933 – April 1, 2017

According to a press release from Alligator Records, Lonnie Brooks passed away on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at the age of 83. Cause of death was not immediately released. Over the course of his 60-year career, Brooks recorded 11 full albums and dozens of 45s for a number of labels. His career began in Port Arthur, Texas in the mid-1950s. Recording under the name Guitar Junior, he scored a string of regional hits, including “Family Rules” and “The Crawl” for the Goldband label. The success of his singles led to numerous southern tours and a busy performance schedule that included dancehalls, juke joints and roadhouses across Texas and Louisiana. In 1959, Brooks befriended the great Sam Cooke, who suggested his move to Chicago. Once settled, he changed his name to Lonnie Brooks (Chicago already had a Guitar Junior) and became infatuated with the sound of deep Chicago blues. He soon landed a job as a sideman with blues hitmaker Jimmy Reed, with whom he toured and recorded. Brooks cut a handful of singles throughout the 1960s, while appearing on a number of Chicago blues and R&B recording sessions. He played nightly in the bars on the South and West sides of Chicago and in Gary and East Chicago, Indiana. In 1969, Capitol Records released Brooks’ first album, Broke an’ Hungry, under his old stage name, Guitar Junior.  In 1978, Brooks recorded four songs for Alligator Records’ Grammy-nominated Living Chicago Blues anthology. This led to a full contract with the label. His Alligator debut, Bayou Lightning, was released in 1979. The album, along with Brooks’ roof-raising live performances, brought him to the attention of Rolling Stone, which ran a six-page feature on the legendary musician. The album won the prestigious Grand Prix du Disque Award from the 1980 Montreux Jazz Festival. Constant touring in the U.S. and abroad kept Brooks in the public eye. His scorching 1980 live performance of “Sweet Home Chicago” on the Blues Deluxe album (resulting in Brooks’ second Grammy nomination) is now considered the quintessential version of the song.  His final two releases, 1996’s Roadhouse Rules and 1999’s Lone Star Shootout, showed Brooks at his very best – an electrifying guitarist with full-throated vocals, clever original songs, and a dedication to having fun.   Lonnie’s last recording appearance was as a guest on his son Ronnie Baker Brooks‘ latest album, Times Have Change.

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RIP, Chuck Berry (March 18, 2017) Rock and Roll Pioneer

Posted by themusicsover on March 18, 2017

Chuck Berry
October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017

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As one of the founding fathers of rock and roll, Chuck Berry refined the early sounds of rhythm and blues, added catchy teen-centric lyrics, and turned up the volume of his guitar.  By doing so, he became one of the most influential artists pop music has ever known. Launching his recording career during the mid ’50s, Berry created songs that not only became a part of  America’s fabric, but would be played on radios, at parties, in concerts, on television, and in movies for the next 60 years. His remarkable output included such unforgettable songs as  “Johnny B. Goode,” “Maybellene,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” “Sweet Little Sixteen,” and “Rock and Roll Music.”  On stage, he stood head and shoulders above most of his peers by adding a showmanship that included dazzling guitar solos, and of course, that “duck walk” across the stage.  His direct influence is staggering –  the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, the Beach Boys, Michael JacksonBruce Springsteen, U2, Prince, Ted Nugent, Tom Petty, and George Thorogood  (to name just a very few) have all cited him as a significant influence or honored him in some way.  In 1986, Berry was deservedly part of the initial class inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and he went on to receive countless accolades for the rest of his life.  And of course, a pop music-related “Best Of” list that does not include him or one of his records somewhere near the top, should be taken to the shredder.  Chuck Berry was 90 when he passed away in his home on March 18, 2017. Cause of death was not immediately released.

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