Saturday, December 3, 2016

Nirvana's Nevermind The Record that Started a Revolution

Nevermind is the second studio album by the American rock band Nirvana, released on September 24, 1991 by DGC Records. Produced by Butch Vig, Nevermind was the group's first release on DGC. Lead singer Kurt Cobain sought to make music outside the restrictive confines of the Seattle grunge scene, drawing influence from groups such as the Pixies and their use of "loud/quiet" dynamics. It is their first album to feature drummer Dave Grohl.

Despite low commercial expectations by the band and its record label, Nevermind became a surprise success in late 1991, largely due to the popularity of its first single, "Smells Like Teen Spirit". By January 1992, it had replaced Michael Jackson's album Dangerous at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart. The album also produced three other successful singles: "Come as You Are", "Lithium", and "In Bloom". The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has certified the album diamond (at least over 10 million copies shipped), and the album has sold at least 24 million copies worldwide. Nevermind was in part responsible for bringing both alternative rock and grunge to a large, mainstream audience, and has been ranked highly on lists of the greatest albums of all time by publications such as Rolling Stone and Time.

Gov't Mule
Legendary rock torchbearers, Gov’t Mule, are ramping up their 2016 schedule with an extensive tour and the release of a new archival album entitled The Tel-Star Sessions, the band’s very first, and never-before-released, demos made in June 1994 at Tel-Star Studios in Bradenton, Florida. These newly mixed and mastered recordings feature the original line-up: Warren Haynes, Allen Woody and Matt Abts. “Having listened to them recently, for the first time in decades, a big smile came over my face. These recordings capture the rawness and excitement of the earliest stage of Gov’t Mule,” explains Haynes.

Recorded during the infancy of Gov’t Mule, the demos heard on The Tel-Star Sessions are from a time when Mule was an adventurous side project, formed during a year when Warren Haynes and Allen Woody had some down time from their work with the Allman Brothers Band. Becoming one of the most enduring, respected and active bands in the world was the furthest thing from the band's imagination; the plan was to record a low-budget album and play a few shows. It's now clear that they had stumbled upon something special, but at that point Mule was an experimental rock trio: Haynes, Woody and drummer Matt Abts, who Haynes brought in after playing with him in the Dickey Betts Band. Fans will love the chance to hear their early improvisational interplay, an impressive skill that has since become a signature of Gov't Mule's albums and live shows. 

Collaborating with Allman Brothers sound engineer Bud Snyder, and taking legendary producer Tom Dowd's advice to record all instruments simultaneously live in a room, Gov't Mule holed up in the Tampa-area studio. They recorded a mix of early originals such as “Blind Man In The Dark,” “Monkey Hill,” and “Left Coast Groovies” along with covers by ZZ Top (“Just Got Paid”), Free (“Mr. Big”), and Willie Dixon (“The Same Thing”). Says Warren, “Along with our discussions about the ‘power trio’ being missing from the current musical landscape were the discussions of how the sound of the bass guitar had gotten progressively ‘cleaner’ since the ’80s (or late ’70s), and how that affected the overall feeling of the music.” Their influences leaned heavily on the likes of Cream, Jimi Hendrix Experience and ZZ Top, but Mule’s search to bring back a familiar sound is mingled with grunge and alt-rock influences that had just emerged in the early-mid ‘90s. Little did they know that the magic created during these sessions would spark such a prolific musical journey.

The band recorded three increasingly ambitious studio albums and performed countless shows before Woody died in August, 2000. After briefly pausing to ponder their next move, Haynes and Abts began recording The Deep End, two CDs featuring guest bassists, ranging from the Who’s John Entwistle to the Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh.

“Everything we’ve done collectively has led up to where we are now,” says Haynes. “But those Deep End sessions, and the experience of playing with so many bassists and adapting to different sounds and approaches had a profound effect on Gov’t Mule and what we’ve done since.”

Danny Louis, a longtime collaborator, became a full-time member of Gov’t Mule in 2001, and the group has been a four-piece ever since. Bassist Jorgen Carlsson has been with the group since 2008, solidifying the lineup.

“I think a lot of the music we’re doing now is very similar to the music we were making in the earliest years with the obvious exception that we are no longer a trio,” says Haynes. “In some ways we’ve come full circle and in other ways it only makes sense if you step back and connect the dots. And that seems right to me. You want to keep growing and you never want to be static, or done changing.” 

Warren Haynes’ unparalleled ability to bring together different musicians into a cohesive whole or to pull off epic musical happenings is one of the many reasons why Haynes stands apart from the many great front men and guitarists who have graced the musical landscape. Combined with his guitar and vocal mastery, these skills have made him an in-demand presence and indispensible musical ally for many.

Gov't Mule has showcased its virtuosity, intelligence and breadth for more than two decades, which have encompassed 15 studio and live albums, millions of album and track sales and thousands of performances. The band has become a human encyclopedia of timeless American music while adding to that canon with their signature sound.

Alabama Thunderpussy
Kyle Thomas: Vocals
Erik Larson: Guitar
Ryan Lake: Guitar
Mikey Bryant: Bass
Bryan Cox: Drums

Richmond, Virginia

Record Label
Relapse Records
Bryan Cox, Erik Larson and Asechiah Bogdan founded ATP in 1996. Bill Storms and Johnny Throckmorton completed the lineup, and the band signed to Man's Ruin Records in 1998. They debuted with Rise Again later that year, and recorded River City Revival, released in 1999. 2000 brought Constellation. The band released a split with Halfway to Gone the same year. The split was the first time that the band was billed as Alabama Thunderpussy. 2002's Staring at the Divine followed. Alabama Thunderpussy parted ways with Man's Ruin and singer Johnny Throckmorton later that year, signing to Relapse Records and hiring new frontman Johnny Weills. Weills performed vocals on the album Fulton Hill (album), released on May 25, 2004. By the time of the following ATP album, Open Fire, Weills had left the band to form Danballah in Columbus, Ohio. He was replaced by Kyle Thomas, formerly of New Orleans bands Floodgate and Exhorder.

Members of ATP have appeared in many side projects. Larson has released two discs under his name, the most recent in 2005. Larson has also appeared in the side project Axehandle with Bryan Cox and Ryan Lake. Erik also appears in another side project group Birds of Prey with a release from July 25, 2006. Erik Larson was also the former drummer for AVAIL. Bryan Cox was a member of instrumental band Suzukiton and was on their one release, Service Repair Handbook.

Former vocalist Johnny Throckmorton is now the vocalist for Richmond, VA-based Before the Machine.

Open Fire, the band's latest CD, was released March 6, 2007 on Relapse Records.

Mississippi Bones

Mississippi Bones formed in the flat lands of Hardin County, Ohio in 2010 as a 2 man studio project, thanks to some free studio time, with no other motives than to lay down some rock and no intentions of a future. In the last 4 years the rock has not stopped. They have moved from a 2 to a 6 man (5 men 1 lady) band, and have went from peddling discs in their small town to selling albums across the globe, but the goal remains the same, laying down some rock.

 Inspired by all things that rock, bad sci-fi movies, beer, comics, good sci-fi movies, and bad jokes, they come bearing loads of riffs, tasty grooves, run on sentences, and a serious irreverence. Over the years they have continued to expand the borders of their sound but one thing always holds true, whether it be fast and furious, tinged with metal, dirty, swampy, bluesy, fuzzed out, or low and slow just like a good barbeque, it will always be about laying down some sweet rock.

They like to laugh. They like to make music. They like watching horror movies on the garage door in the drive way while eating pulled pork sandwiches. People know them as Mississippi Bones. You can become one of those people. I’m sure they’d appreciate it.

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