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Willie Nelson’s “Lost” Reggae Sessions Released PDF Print E-mail
Music - Music News
Written by John James   
Tuesday, 26 July 2005 18:00
Hidden away in record-company vaults for almost a decade, Willie Nelson’s lost reggae-infused recordings are seeing the light of day. Originally recorded with producer Don Was in Jamaica with legendary guest Toots Hibbert, the resulting CD, Countryman, found a champion in Lost Highway Records, which polished the rescued sessions and presents this gentle little gem this coming Tuesday. A cool island breeze wafts throughout the album with percolating dub session players revisiting a selected handful of Nelson’s own material going back to the early 1960s, smoothly blending country and music from the West Indies. A few must-hear covers are included: Jimmy Cliff’s classic “The Harder They Come” and Nelson’s and Hibbert’s take on Johnny Cash’s “I’m a Worried Man.” Audiophiles can find a special 180-gram vinyl release available, and homes that are worried about junior asking, “Daddy, what’s the pretty plant on this CD?” can find the disc in an “edited” cover.

• While it’s not surprising that Michael Jackson feels connected to outer space and desires to mingle with the intergalactic, did you know that a long list of rock and pop royalty shares this fascination with aliens and many claim to have experienced a close encounter of the third kind? Michael C. Luckman, director of the New York Center for Extraterrestrial Research, has just released a new book in conjunction with VH1 and Pocket Books that spills the beans on the bizarre connection between pop music and cosmic serendipity. Entitled Alien Rock, the result is a well-researched collection of claims by rock stars of UFO sightings, abductions, and creative assistance by alien intervention. Perhaps Elvis Presley’s talent was truly from the cosmos, as an eerie blue light in the skies is said to have hovered over the place of his birth, and he explained to Wanda Jackson in taped telephone conversations that “I am not of this world.” I can understand the alien abduction claims of Jerry Garcia, Nina Hagen, Rick Wakeman, Dave Davies, and Cat Stevens – but Sammy Hagar? Taste is certainly not an intergalactic element. Can one really blame all the UFO sightings by Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Ace Frehley, and the Moody Blues on bad acid? Alien fascination in music is everywhere, from Dave Grohl’s Roswell Records imprint (the Foo Fighters are named for the strange balls of light that chased Allied aircraft in World War II), David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and man-who-fell-to-Earth personae, Parliament’s mothership, and the alien imagery so prevalent in rave culture. Whether you’re a believer or find laughter in the claims of these space cowboys, this new book is a fun read that might have you looking to the sky at night and wondering.

Television Alert:

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno welcomes Jack Johnson tonight, Garbage on Thursday, Willie Nelson on Friday, Incubus on Monday, and Faith Hill on Tuesday; The Late Show with David Letterman hosts Aimee Mann this evening and Son Volt on Monday; Late Night with Conan O’Brien rolls out the royal treatment for Louis XIV on Thursday overnight, Amos Lee on Friday overnight, and Fall Out Boy on Monday overnight; Last Call with Carson Daly boasts the Eels on Thursday overnight, Scott Weiland on Monday overnight, and The Dan Band on Tuesday overnight; Jimmy Kimmel Live features Alanis Morissette this evening overnight and Jack Johnson on Friday overnight; and Saturday Night Live’s musical guest this weekend is Green Day.

New Releases Coming Tuesday, August 2:

... and like the winds, young grasshopper, are subject to change.

Danny Barnes– Get Myself Together (Terminus) new from the Bad Livers founder, featuring a cover of Willie Johnson’s “Let Your Light Shine on Me”

Natasha Bedingfield– Unwritten (Epic) expanded reissue in the DualDisc format

Broken Flowers– original motion picture soundtrack (Decca) the new Jim Jarmusch film features music by The Greenhornes, Holly Golightly, Marvin Gaye, and the Brian Jonestown Massacre

Johnny Cash– The Legend (Columbia Legacy) four-CD box set stretching from 1955 to his death, also available in a special edition featuring a hardcover book and a bonus CD and DVD in two weeks

Pete Doherty/Wolfman– “For Lovers” (Rough Trade) two-track CD single from the upcoming solo album from the Libertines founder

Frog Pocket– Gonglot (Planet Mu) collected songs from Scotland’s Charles Wilson, blending beats with fiddle and mandolin

Fun Lovin’ Criminals– Livin’ in the City (Sanctuary) all new featuring the single “Mi Corazon”

The Greenhornes– East Grand Blues EP (V2) on tour next month with The White Stripes

Richard Hell– Spurts: The Richard Hell Story (Sire/Rhino) collection of 21 tracks from his days with The Neon Boys, Dim Stars, and The Voidoids; currently on a literary promotional tour in support of his new book Godlike

Faith Hill– Fireflies (Warner Bros) featuring a cover of Jessi Colter’s 1975 hit “I’m Not Lisa”

Penny Honeywell– Faint Humms (Galaxia) second musical side project from the painter Clare E. Rojas

Houston Calls– A Collection of Short Stories (Rushmore) featuring “Amtrack Is for Lovers” and “Bottle of Red, Bottle of Spite”

Rick James– I’m Rick James Forever (Sanctuary Urban) sessions recorded before his death

Maria Muldaur– Sweet Lovin’ Ol’ Soul (Stony Plain) collection of Delta blues classics with guests Tracy Nelson, Pinetop Perkins, Alvin Youngblood Hart, and Taj Mahal – who duets with Muldaur on Butterbeans & Suzy’s “Ain’t What You Used to Have”

Mushroomhead– Volume 1 (Filthy Hands) self-produced DVD featuring behind-the-scenes footage and members unmasked

Nektar– Door to the Future (Eclectic) the first “official” bootleg in the band’s Light Show Tapes series, collecting live, alternate material, and previously unreleased tracks from 1974

Michael Penn– Mr. Hollywood Jr. 1947 (Mimeograph/SpinART) with guest Aimee Mann and The Jayhawks’ Gary Louris

Dug Pinnick– Emotional Animal (Magna Carta) new solo album from the King’s X bassist

Tristan Prettyman– Twentythree (Virgin) debut with guests G. Love and Jason Mraz

The Prom Kings– The Prom Kings (Three Kings) with music featured in the new film The Island

Marc Rizzo– Colossal Myopia (Shrapnel) new from the Soulfly and Ill Nino guitarist

Shel Silverstein– The Best of (Columbia Legacy) collection of poems and songs from the children’s book author, also known for writing such hits as “A Boy Named Sue” and “Cover of the Rolling Stone”

The Slits– Live at the Gibus Club (Sanctuary) recorded in Paris in 1978

Stray From the Path– Our Oceania (Five Point) brutal Long Island hardcore

Satoshi Tommiie– ES-B (Saw Recordings) hot off sets at Caf Mambo in Ibiza, this smooth mix CD features Metro Area, John Tejada, Chab, and more

Turning Point– Matador (Native Language) stunning smoker of funky, smooth Latin jazz featuring guest scratch master DJ Mister Best

Miss Alex White & the Red Orchestra– Miss Alex White & the Red Orchestra (In the Red) debut from this 19-year-old Chicago native and members of Clone Effects

David Yazbek– Tape Recorder: Collected Works (What Are Records) nifty collection of witty tunes from the composer of Broadway’s The Full Monty and the theme song to Where In the World Is Carmen Sandiego?; with collaboration with Andy Partridge of XTC on “Mississippi Honeymoon”

various artists– Fusion for Miles: A Tribute in Guitar (Tone Center) Miles Davis salute with Eric Johnson, Warren Haynes, Mike Stern, Bill Frisell, and more

various artists – Killer Queen (Hollywood) highly anticipated Queen tribute with Be Your Own Pet’s joyride through “Bicycle Race,” Eleven (with guest Josh Homme) tackling “Stone Cold Crazy,” and more cover contributions from Los Lobos, Antigone Rising, Jason Mraz, Sum 41, Rooney, and Joss Stone
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