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Archive for the ‘The Wallflowers’ Category

Elton, Orbison, Plant, Mellencamp, Allman Salute “The Producer” On New T Bone Burnett Comp

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T Bone Burnett epitomizes cool.  The former Joseph Henry Burnett, with his omnipresent sunglasses, is so cool, in fact, that he makes the name “T Bone” sound hip!  He’s the producer as rock star, an artist whom superstars and fresh-faced talents alike seek out for a shot in the arm.  He’s also the man who made bluegrass trendy.  And lest his cool credentials be in doubt, the man toured with Bob Dylan on the Rolling Thunder Revue!  Raised in Texas, by way of Missouri, Burnett relocated to Southern California as the seventies began, fronted a couple of bands and gained major notice in 1980 with Truth Decay, an album bearing little relation to anybody else’s music at the dawn of that decade.  It was during the 1980s that the musical revivalist began making significant inroads as a producer for other artists, eventually amassing a resume dotted with names like Roy Orbison and Elton John, John Mellencamp and Robert Plant.  And oh yeah, he picked up an Oscar, too.  The career of T Bone Burnett, producer, is the subject of a most unique new compilation from Starbucks Entertainment, available now at the ubiquitous coffee shops.  The simply-titled T Bone Burnett: The Producer collects fifteen of his finest productions as well as a booklet with track-by-track notes by Burnett recalling the stories behind the songs.

Journalist Bill Flanagan has suggested that Burnett is “the conscience of the music industry,” if such a thing is possible, opting instead that he’s “a one-man counterculture.”  The story of the one-man counterculture began in Texas where he was running a studio at an early age.  (He even cut a number of pop songs with future Broadway star Betty Buckley there!)  Always a man of mystery, he appeared on a 1968 album by a group with a name that could only have come out of that era: Whistler, Chaucer, Detroit and Greenhill.  Which was T Bone?  Productions for another group, The Case Hardy Boys, followed, as eventually did another album, The B-52 Band and the Fabulous Skylarks.   Burnett began frequenting the clubs of New York’s hallowed Bleecker Street, where he reportedly met Bob Dylan.  Whatever the circumstances, it wasn’t long before Burnett was appearing alongside Mick Ronson and Bobby Neuwirth on the Rolling Thunder Revue.  He then formed The Alpha Band at the behest of Arista’s Clive Davis, though the charts were hardly bothered by the band’s albums.   It was on 1980’s solo Truth Decay (ironically not produced by its singer and songwriter but by Reggie Fisher that Burnett’s “voice” became evident via its collection of what Rolling Stone termed “mystic Christian blues.”  The songs were inspired by Sun Studios, and old blues and folk records, and despite the title, arguably had more truth in them than much of the synthesized popular music storming the charts.  Burnett was on his way.  Hit the jump to join T Bone in 1987! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 2, 2011 at 13:37

Like Father, Like Son

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Humorously enough, just as word spreads that a large Bob Dylan box set might be in the works, Interscope preps a catalogue compilation devoted to Mr. Zimmerman’s son Jakob and his band The Wallflowers. Looking Through You – Another Collection will compile some of The Wallflowers’ best-known odds and ends from singles, soundtracks and other compilations.

The Wallflowers were a popular band in the late ’90s alt-rock scene for a number of reasons. Yes, Jakob was the son of musical royalty, but his ensemble didn’t owe too much of their style – or their success – to him. Dylan’s songwriting chops were well-honed, as evidenced by early singles “One Headlight” and “6th Avenue Heartache,” and that’s been good enough for audiences to this day. While the status of The Wallflowers is more or less in stasis (Dylan recently released his second solo LP and the band’s last record was in 2005), Interscope has been keeping the flame alive, first with last year’s hits disc Collected 1996-2005 and now this rarities disc.

Look for Looking Through You on June 29. Pre-order it here and check the track list after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

June 14, 2010 at 08:45