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The Year in Reissues: The 2011 Gold Bonus Disc Awards

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What are you doing New Year’s Eve?  As we count down to that big celebration, we’ve been holed up at Second Disc HQ readying another year’s Gold Bonus Disc Awards for you!  We consider our annual awards a companion piece to Mike’s round-up over at Popdose (essential reading, I might add!) and we endeavor to recognize as many of the year’s most amazing reissues as possible as well as to celebrate those labels, producers and artists who have raised the bar for great music throughout 2011.  These ladies and gentlemen (some of whom we were privileged enough to interview this year) have proven, week after week, the strength and health of the catalogue corner of the music world, and The Gold Bonus Disc Awards are dedicated to them.

Let’s get on with it!  And don’t forget to please share your thoughts and comments below. What made your must-have list in 2011?  Without further ado, let’s celebrate 2011′s best of the best. Welcome to the Gold Bonus Disc Awards!

Which releases take home the gold this year?  Hit the jump below to find out!

All winners are in bold, and we’ve linked to our original reviews and features in the body of each category’s text. Read the rest of this entry »

The Two Things In One: Omnivore, Ace/BGP Team Up For “Together Forever”

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You can’t keep a good Rhino down.

Many alumni associated with the heyday of the Rhino label (still active and producing some remarkable releases under the Handmade banner, by the way) have recently launched new labels, among them James Austin and Rockbeat Records, and Cheryl Pawelski and Omnivore Recordings.  Omnivore, founded by Pawelski and partners Greg Allen and Brad Rosenberger, announced an impressive and diverse slate with releases by Leon Russell, The Motels, and Jellyfish.  The young label has also launched a partnership with its European distributor, Ace Records.  Both the logos of Omnivore and Ace’s BGP (Beat Goes Public) label adorn an exciting title coming your way tomorrow.  The Two Things In One’s Together Forever: The Music City Sessions brings together the band’s recording output during their 1971-1973 period with the Bay Area-based Music City label.  The 16-track CD compilation includes the band’s three local hit singles, “Silly Song,” “Together Forever,” and “Overdose (Of Your Love),” and some well-selected covers including the Allman Brothers’ “Dreams,”  CSNY’s “Ohio,” Stevie Wonder’s “I Was Made to Love Her” and Bacharach and David’s “Walk On By.”  A vinyl edition of10 tracks will receive a first pressing limited to 1,500 pieces on translucent red vinyl, followed by an unlimited edition on standard black vinyl.

Together Forever turns the spotlight on a precociously talented quintet, with an average age of sixteen, who followed in Sly Stone’s footsteps in blending soul, jazz, funk, pop and rock into a groovy whole.  Michael Jeffries (vocals), Michael Griggs (guitar), Kevin Burton (keyboards), Johnnie Tucker (bass) and Marciel Garnier hailed from Richmond, California, just across the bay from San Francisco.    KDIA radio deejay Bob James became an early patron of the band, introducing the group to Ray Dobard of the Music City shop and label.  Dobard believed in the band’s Stevie Wonder-meets-the-Meters sound, and succeeded in procuring them bookings around the Bay Area.  The group’s taste was eclectic (“By the Time I Got to Phoenix” even made it to its live repertoire) and they shared stages with Earth Wind & Fire, War, Bill Cosby, the Sylvers, the Whispers and Funkadelic.  You’ll hear not only the 10-minute-plus funk jam “Cantaloupe Island,” but smooth shoulda-been-a-hit single sides including “Close the Door,” “Together Forever” and “Silly Song.”

You’ll find much more about The Two Things in One after the jump, including the full track listing of Omnivore’s new release! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 10, 2011 at 10:26