Tag Archives: new releases

the final cluck

Tom Brunner, The Final Cluck (20 Years of Elvis Chicken)

the final cluck

Pee Pee Records

Local 41 (Johnstown, PA) member Tom Brunner isn’t kidding when he says “Weird Band Alert!” He wears a chicken head onstage while performing television show theme songs such as “Hawaii 5-0” on a Suzuki Q-Chord synth-guitar, and squawks occasionally. The Final Cluck contains 27 tunes, from “Turkey Bells” to “Coconut Island of Love.”

Brunner says performing with a rubber chicken head on is something he’s still working on perfecting. “I do a 40-minute set, and after about 25 minutes it starts to get really hot and heavy in there,” says Brunner, who has also been known to do somersaults in his very unique and unpredictable show.

the band's visit

The Band’s Visit: Original Broadway Cast Recording

the band's visit

Ghostlight Records

The award-winning Broadway musical The Band’s Visit is based on a 2007 Israeli film of the same name. It tells the story of a group of Egyptian musicians, the Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra, who come to Israel to perform and end up getting stuck overnight in the wrong town. In this very “boring” and isolated desert town, they encounter and interact with various townspeople and play music to pass the time.

This original Broadway cast recording features Local 802 (New York City) musicians Andrea Grody (conductor/keyboard), Jeff Theiss (associate conductor/keyboard 2), George Abud (violin/oud), Alexandra Eckhardt (electric/acoustic bass), Ossama Farouk (darbouka/riq), Philip Mayer (drums/Arabic percussion), Sam Sadigursky (clarinet/saxophone/flute), Harvey Valdes (oud/guitar), and Garo Yellin (cello).

chinese butterfly

The Chick Corea & Steve Gadd Band, Chinese Butterfly

chinese butterfly

Concord Jazz

The bond between Local 802 (New York City) members Chick Corea and Steve Gadd goes back more than 50 years. The two-disc album Chinese Butterfly is a result of the two musicians’ long-held desire to work together more intensely.

“Whenever Chick and I bump into each other, we’re always talking about playing music together,” Gadd says. “After many years of saying that, we finally put some time aside.” The resulting recording uses their shared history of innovation as a launching pad to push into new territory with funk, intimate lyrical excursions, and Spanish-hearted improvisations in jazz.

Collaborators on the album include Benin-born Local 802 guitarist and vocalist Lionel Loueke, Local 802 saxophonist and flutist Steve Wilson, Cuban bassist Carlitos Del Puerto, and Venezuelan percussionist Luisito Quintero.

tyranoscorus rex

John Rodby, Tyranoscorus Rex

tyranoscorus rex

Penfield Music

Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA) member John Rodby makes reference to his aversion to the use of computers in composition and orchestration with the title Tyranoscorus Rex. “The project is a lifelong dream of mine to write jazz for a large orchestra,” he says. Describing the release he says it has components you don’t hear much of anymore: “counterpoint, harmonic voice leading, orchestral color, dynamics, ensemble playing, no sequencing, and absolutely superb playing by 38 of Los Angeles’s best musicians.”

Most of Rodby’s career has been in television and film. He was musical director for Dinah Shore for 26 years. He has worked as keyboardist-arranger for many well-known musicians, including Frank Sinatra and Liza Minnelli. The CD can be ordered by sending $18.50, which includes postage and handling, to John L. Rodby, 5351 Penfield Ave., Woodland Hills, California 91364-3536.


Concert Artists of Baltimore Symphonic Chorale / Baltimore Symphony Orchestra / Edward Polochick, Handel: Messiah

baltimore symphony

Released September 2018
Naxos Records

This recording of the holiday Baroque classic features the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, members of Local 40-543 (Baltimore, MD), the Concert Artists of Baltimore Symphonic Chorale, Soprano Jennifer O’Loughlin, Alto Diana Moore, Tenor Nicholas Phan, and Bass Sidney Outlaw.

The conductor is Edward Polochick, who founded Concert Artists of Baltimore in 1987. He is in his 20th season as music director of the Lincoln (NE) Symphony Orchestra, and has served on the conducting faculty of The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University since 1979.

Celebrated for its vivid choral writing and expressive density of solo arias, George Frideric Handel’s Messiah is considered one of the greatest choral masterpieces of the Western canon.

John Legend

John Legend, A Legendary Christmas

John Legend

Released October 2018

John Legend of Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA) released his first-ever holiday album, featuring eight holiday classics, such as “Silver Bells” and “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) as well as six new holiday tunes. Legend expressed his excitement for A Legendary Christmas in an Instagram post, “I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time.”

The album includes strings, horns, and a trio of singers, including Sy Smith. Local 5 (Detroit, MI) member Stevie Wonder can also be heard on the album, playing harmonica on “What Christmas Means to Me” and Esperanza Spalding sings on “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

A critically acclaimed, multi-platinum singer-songwriter, Legend has garnered 10 Grammy awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, a Tony Award, and an Emmy Award, among others. He is the first African-American man to win an EGOT.

To promote the new album, Legend launched a 25-date tour around North America on November 15 in Clearwater, Florida, that ends December 30 in San Diego, California.


Mike Daly, Renascence


Released June 2018
Mike Daly Music

Renascence is defined as the revival of something that has been dormant. This is the third solo album from musician, songwriter, and producer Mike Daly of Local 257 (Nashville, TN). The multi-instrumentalist plays steel guitar, slide, dobro, Weissenborn, steel drum, and percussion on the release. Daly wrote six of the album’s nine tunes. He plays duets with some of the world’s best steel players, including Lloyd Green and Dan Dugmore of Local 257, Greg Leisz of Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA), Robert Randolph, and English musician B.J. Cole.

“These five special guests have been influential in the evolution of steel guitar and influential in my life,” says Daly. “I wanted to showcase them with music that is a part of the musical landscape right now. I didn’t want to make a country record, rather an instrumental record where everything happened to be played on steel.”

For example, 82-year-old Green, well known for his solo on Linda Ronstadt’s “Blue Bayou,” was playing something completely new on Daly’s “md.ldg.” “And he really enjoyed it,” says Daly.

pretty bird

Kathy Mattea, Pretty Bird

pretty bird

Released September 2018
Captain Potato

This is the first new album in six years for the Local 257 (Nashville, TN) member. Though Kathy Mattea has enjoyed two Grammy wins, four CMA Awards, four number one country singles, five gold albums, and a platinum greatest hits album, her continued career was in doubt when her voice began to change a few years ago.

“The hardest thing was facing the question of whether I would still be able to sing well enough to enjoy it. That was the acid test for me, and I had to be willing to walk through a process that bumped me up against a very real possibility that, in the end, the answer might be no,” says Mattea.

She dug in with her vocal coach, and in the end, produced the most poignant album of her career. Pretty Bird is an acoustic collection of 12 songs—a number of powerful covers that chronicle her journey back to singing and a couple contributions from her husband, songwriter Jon Vezner. The title track comes from bluegrass singer-songwriter Hazel Dickens. Other tracks include “Chocolate on My Tongue” (Wood Brothers), “Ode to Billie Joe” (Bobbie Gentry), and “I Can’t Stand Up Alone” (Martha Carson).

John Carter Cash, We Must Believe in Magic

John Carter Cash

Released September 10
Reviver Legacy

“No matter our path, the magic is inside us all. And though it may be forgotten, it can be remembered once again … It is only up to us to do one single thing, and do it purely … believe,” says Local 257 (Nashville, TN) member John Carter Cash.

We Must Believe in Magic is a collection of 17 tracks recorded over the last 10 years. Musical guests on the album include some of the top session players and artists representing rock, gospel, and country music, among them Local 257 members Sam Bush, Shawn Camp, John Cowan, Jerry Douglas, Tony Harrell, Robbie McCoury, Charlie McCoy, Bob Moore, John Prine, and Dave Roe, as well as The Fisk Jubilee Singers.

The only son of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, and grandson of Maybelle Carter Cash, John Carter Cash has been a producer for 25 years and has earned six Grammy Awards. He has also written three children’s books and two biographies about his parents’ legacy. His latest project, The Cash and Carter Family Cookbook: Recipes and Recollections from Johnny and June’s Table, was released this fall.

Shawn Mendes

Shawn Mendes, Shawn Mendes

Shawn Mendes

Released May 25
Island Records (UMG)

Making the transition from teen star to career musician, the Local 149 (Toronto, ON) member’s self-titled album has Mendes trying different styles and collaborating with a number of well-known artists. Contributions include friend and mentor Ed Sheeran, who co-wrote one song; John Mayer of Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA), who produced and plays guitar solo on another; plus Ryan Tedder (OneRepublic), Johnny McDaid, Khalid, and Julia Michaels. Though primarily pop, Shawn Mendes has rock, blues, and R&B influences.

The album debuted at number one in Mendes’s native Canada—his third number one album there. It also debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200. Mendes is the third youngest artist to collect three number one albums, and in March, when the album’s lead single, “In My Blood,” hit the top of the Billboard Adult Pop Songs chart he became the first artist to have four number one singles in the chart before turning 20 years old.

Mendes will embark on a world tour in 2019 to promote his new album.