Grammy Nominated singer/songwriter Beth Hart treats fans to an intimate performance at New York's Iridium in this special episode of Front & Center. She first rose to fame in 1999 with her single "L.A. Song (Out of This Town)". Hart performs some material from her latest album, Fire On the Floor, including "Jazz Man," "Let's Get Together," and "Fat Man." On Friday April 13, 2018 Beth Hart will release "Front and Center - Live From New York" on Mascot Label Group/Provogue. It features a 15 track live CD and the Front and Center broadcast on DVD with an in-depth interview, 3 full band songs and 3 acoustic songs as bonus material.
Time traveler Alvin Youngblood Hart's albums have darted from crusty Delta fingerpicking and hollering to Hendrixian hellfire to crunchy, primal rockin' blues, all with the ring of authority that comes from complete commitment to the music. This time, he's set the wayback machine to the early '30s, using guitars, mandolin, banjo, and a lot of heart to interpret tunes by Son House, Charley Patton, Skip James, Leadbelly, and others. Somehow, the dust of old Mississippi, the state where the Oakland-born musician now resides, seems to have gotten into his blood. Hart sounds like Parchman Farm's newest inmate as he wails and moans through "How Long Before I Can Change My Clothes," plucking notes from a National resonator guitar. Chiming out chords and quick runs on banjo, he makes Odetta's "Chilly Winds" seem like they're carrying the voices of lost ghosts, recounting their lives of misery under Jim Crow's wing. Hart tends to take many of these classics, like Patton's "Tom Rushen Blues" and Leadbelly's "Alberta," at slightly slower tempos, which gives him more time to squeeze gut emotions from his lightly graveled phrases and lets his pluck-and-drone playing work its hypnotic effect. Stark and impressive for the power Hart generates alone, this may be the acoustic blues album of the year.
Wayne Shorter has written a number of landmark jazz compositions that have found favor among fellow jazz musicians, but Mysterious Shorter marks a rare occasion when an entire CD is devoted to his music. Trumpeter Nicholas Payton heads a strong quintet, including saxophonist Bob Belden (who doubles on soprano and tenor saxes, like Shorter, and contributed all of the arrangements), organist Sam Yahel, guitarist John Hart, and drummer Billy Drummond. Since six of the eight songs are from Shorter's early Blue Note CDs prior to his move toward fusion, the substitution of Yahel's laid-back organ for the more striking sound of the piano softens the sound of Belden's charts, giving them a bit more of a mysterious flavor, especially in the brisk, playful setting of "Footprints." Payton is known for his powerful trumpet playing, but displays a quiet lyrical touch in "Teru."
Mark Lanegan's first solo album, 1990's The Winding Sheet, was a darker, quieter, and more emotionally troubling affair than what fans were accustomed to from his work as lead singer with the Screaming Trees. The follow-up album, 1994 's Whiskey for the Holy Ghost, used The Winding Sheet's sound and style as a starting point, with Lanegan and producer/instrumentalist Mike Johnson constructing resonant but low-key instrumental backdrops for the singer's tales of heartbreak, alcohol, and dashed hopes. While The Winding Sheet often sounded inspired but tentative, like the solo project from a member of an established band, Whiskey for the Holy Ghost speaks with a quiet but steely confidence of an artist emerging with his own distinct vision. The songs are more literate and better realized than on the debut, the arrangements are subtle and supportive (often eschewing electric guitars for keyboards and acoustic instruments), and Lanegan's voice, bathed in bourbon and nicotine, transforms the deep sorrow of the country blues (a clear inspiration for this music) into something new, compelling, and entirely his own. Whiskey for the Holy Ghost made it clear that Mark Lanegan had truly arrived as a solo artist, and it ranks alongside American Music Club's Everclear as one of the best "dark night of the soul" albums of the 1990s.
Grammy Nominated singer/songwriter Beth Hart treats fans to an intimate performance at New York’s Iridium in this special episode of Front & Center. She first rose to fame in 1999 with her single “LA Song (Out of This Town)” which was a number one hit in New Zealand and peaked in the top five on the US Adult Contemporary chart and number 7 on the Billboard Adult Top 40 Chart. Hart performs some material from her latest album, Fire On the Floor, including “Jazz Man,” “Let’s Get Together,” and “Fat Man.”