Friday, August 29, 2003

DRS2 Jazz live
Jazzfestival Willisau
DRS2, Freitag, 29. August, 22.35 - 00.00
Kubus, Kroyt und Living Colour am Jazz Festival Willisau 2003
goto:Listen here with real audio or windows media

*note - I do not know if they will be streaming the Living Colour show, and to the US fans, remember the time difference

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Living Colour Tour Dates plus these two :
Fri 8/29/03 - Willisau, SWITZERLAND @ Willisau Festival
Sat 8/30/03 - Saalfelden, AUSTRIA @ Saalfelden Festival

No Escape From The Blues: The Electric Lady Sessions

In Stores September 9th, 2003 on HYENA
Produced by Vernon Reid
The follow up to 2001's Grammy Award-nominated Memphis Blood: The Sun Sessions
Featuring Special Guests Olu Dara & Queen Esther

James Blood Ulmer to be Featured in Martin Scorsese's seven-part PBS series "Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues-A Musical Journey" airing late September 2003

In Studio A at the hallowed Electric Lady Studios in New York City, James Blood Ulmer and his band are set up in a circle: producer and guitarist Vernon Reid with pedals and wires entwined about his feet and stretching to his rig, a ring of hot rod guitars at his back; bassist Mark Peterson and drummer Aubrey Dayle side by side holding down a loose and steady groove as they've done alongside Blood countless nights prior around the world; against the far wall painted in a bright blue psychedelic mural with a cloud of smoke always drifting just above his head sits Charlie Burnham, Blood's foil in the now legendary Odyssey band and currently deconstructing the blues with blasts of electric wah-wah drenched fiddle and howling slide mandolin; to the immediate left is harpist David Barnes, wailing to the heavens and channeling the ghost of Little Walter; rounding out Ulmer's cosmic roadhouse band is Leon Gruenbaum, vintage gear at his fingertips from Wurlitzer to Fender Rhodes, a Yahama Baby Grand to Jimi Hendrix's original Hammond B-3.

No Escape From The Blues: The Electric Lady Sessions is the next chapter in a story that began at Sun Studios, Memphis, Tennessee, April 2001. It was the idea of Vernon Reid to bring James Blood Ulmer back to his Southern roots. Ulmer grew up in the deep South, son of a Baptist preacher, taught from an early age to fear the blues. His mother warned him repeatedly of its evil influence. In no uncertain terms, it was the "Devil's Music." The man down the street playing bottleneck guitar on his front porch, drunk on corn liquor, was a result of the blues life. Yet as hard as Ulmer tried to be faithful to his mother's teaching, there was truly, No Escape From The Blues. It was part of the very fabric of the land-a birthright. When he arrived at Sun in Memphis all those years later, Ulmer found himself face to face with the songs and music once again. Producer Vernon Reid insisted he run from his past no more.

The resulting album, Memphis Blood: The Sun Sessions, gave life to Reid's assertion that Ulmer was one of the last great American blues voices. It was a concept that took vision being that Ulmer is revered as a jazz musician having come to national acclaim as a disciple of Ornette Coleman's Harmolodic school. "The thing about Blood is that he's not playing the blues, he is the blues. All the stories that these songs tell, that's his life, he's lived that, it defines him," declares Reid. "He's staring his past straight in the face with this music. It's the conflict, the fact that he's now confronting this head on that makes the music so vital."

In the true spirit of falling to one's knees at the crossroads, this chapter was haunted by the devil early along the way. Memphis Blood was released September 7, 2001. One week later the tragic events of September 11th occurred. By September 17th, Label M (the record company that issued Memphis Blood), was shuttered. This left Ulmer and his most celebrated album in over a decade to wither on the vine. And yet word of Memphis Blood's authentic potency spread, garnering critical praise and stubbornly refusing to die. With the album suffering such a harsh fate, nobody expected it to be nominated for a Grammy Award in the "Traditional Blues Recording of the Year" category. Memphis Blood subsequently sold through the remainder of copies that had been shipped to record stores.

Now almost an exact two years to the day in April 2003, James Blood Ulmer and company gathered again under the direction of Vernon Reid to further explore what they began in Memphis. The reason for recording in New York City at the fabled Electric Lady Studios grew from the idea that the blues itself had migrated from the rural south to the booming urban metropolises of the north. Ulmer's career paralleled this exodus. At the age of 17 he left his home in St. Matthews, South Carolina and relocated to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, gigging in organ combos on the juke joint circuit. He then moved to Detroit, Michigan and finally to New York City where he's lived for the past 30 years.

The songs recorded on No Escape From The Blues often deal directly with migration and the struggles of adjusting to big city life. Blood sings them with brutal honesty and raw conviction. It's clear, as Reid stated, he has lived the tales he sings of. From the opening jug band stomp of the Jimmy Reed chestnut "Goin' To New York" to the harsh realization that not all is paved with gold upon arriving north-"The Hustle Is On"-doubling as timely contemporary commentary.

Blood's take on Howlin' Wolf's "Who's Been Talkin'" is downright possessed, reciting the lyrics like a man who's been "the cause of it all" one too many times. We also hear the first of several cuts on which Blood turns out inspired guitar work essentially acoustic and unplugged on his Gibson Birdland; a first on record for the legendary guitarist.

Johnny Copeland's classic "Ghetto Child" is up next and it's arguably the strongest vocal performance of Ulmer's career. It might also be the album's most significant meeting of the traditional and modern. The song is sung from the perspective of the "Ghetto Child" whose mother's taken ill, whose father has left and who's turned away from school for arriving with no shoes. In keeping with the concept of migration and its inherent struggles, the song is rural and urban, ancient and current. Ulmer states: "The blues is nothin' more than a story. The 'Ghetto Child' story is deep. Yeah, that one's good."

"Are You Glad To Be In America?" is the first of two solo performances by Ulmer. It is also one of two original Ulmer compositions. The song stands tall alongside the rest of the record's material, highlighting the strength of Ulmer's own writing. The question Blood poses is at once seemingly earnest and ironic, touching on both opportunity and burden. Blood comes across like a long lost blues preacher stumbled upon somewhere at the bottom of the radio dial moaning ghostly the refrain, "Home of the brave and slavery is obsolete."

At this point in the album, No Escape From The Blues takes a decidedly looser, more freewheeling turn. Ulmer leaves behind the troubled terrain of struggle, poverty and betrayal, and his sense of humor emerges beginning with a steady rocking, feel good duet featuring Queen Esther on John Lee Hooker's "You Know, I Know." The two trade verses tempting each other with a certain future rendezvous. Queen Esther, who recently finished a stint in the off-Broadway musical "Harlem Song," soars in the tradition of the great blues divas.

Blood keeps the joint jumping with a burning romp through Earl King's "Come On (Let the Good Times Roll)." In further enchanted blues lure, the tune was chosen by Vernon Reid in light of Jimi Hendrix's version on Electric Ladyland. However, the day before the sessions began, Earl King passed away adding an entirely new dimension to its inclusion. David Barnes' midnight hour harmonica tag is dead on the spot, setting up a smoky, spaced out take of Jimmy Reed's "Bright Lights, Big City," with Queen Esther on harmony, Maya Smullyan Jenkins tap dancing and very special guest Olu Dara on pocket trumpet. Olu, who was once a member of Ulmer's band in the early 1980s, has not appeared on record with Blood since that time. Their reunion is a session highlight.

"Well somebody made a mistake when they said life was a bowl of fruit, you know I had to go downtown and pawn my last suit, well I can see I was born to lose, and for me there ain't No Escape From the Blues," demands Ulmer, wearing his life's woes like a badge of honor on the album's title track. The band kicks, thumps and rumbles, driving the tune forward with frantic momentum and energy. "I named the album after this song because it best tells what this record is all about," explains Ulmer.

Ulmer's second original composition and solo piece is "Satisfy (Story of My Life)." An ode to the women in his life, and the complexities of keeping him happy, this is pure Ulmer psychology. Sisters around the world take note.

The album's journey is summed up with the haunted faith of "Trouble In Mind." This was the last track recorded for the record - the arrangement seemingly floating out of the ether as the musicians ran it down. Take two is the keeper. There was not a soul in the vicinity of the music being created that didn't feel the hair on the back of their neck rise. John Kruth sits in on tamboura. Blood moans in a weary baritone. All possible roads have been exhausted, and all that's left to do is hold out for the sun.

No Escape From the Blues closes with the raucous, electrified send off, "The Blues Had A Baby and Called It Rock & Roll." The Muddy Waters' tune is a perfectly fitting closer in light of where the blues would ultimately go upon arriving north and thus tying together the thread that runs through the recording.

No Escape From The Blues: The Electric Lady Sessions is scheduled for release September 9th, 2003 on HYENA Records. Additionally, HYENA has secured the rights to Memphis Blood: The Sun Sessions and has since reissued it. Look for James Blood Ulmer & The Memphis Blood Blues Band to perform select dates late this summer and early fall. In addition, Ulmer & Reid will be featured in Martin Scorsese's upcoming seven part PBS series "Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues-A Musical Journey."

Hyena Records.

Sunday, August 24, 2003

Band Returns In Living Colour
(from 96.1 KLPX )
Whereas a lot can change in ten years, the decade that has passed since Living Colour released their last album has had little effect on the group. At least that's according to frontman Corey Glover, who tells "Rolling Stone" that fans who pick up the band's new disc can expect to hear more of what brought the quartet to the table. He says their sound, quote, "hasn't changed much. But I think we've expanded on what we were." The rock act's music isn't the only thing that remains unchanged following their lengthy disappearing act -- Living Colour's original lineup of Glover, guitarist Vernon Reid, bassist Doug Wimbish and drummer Will Calhoun are all back on board for "CollideOscope," which follows 1993's "Stain." One difference, however, might be that the quartet has grown a bit nostalgic in their old age. For the first time, they've included two covers on the upcoming disc: The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" and AC/DC's "Back In Black." While the group kicked up the sound on the 1966 "Revolver" classic, Glover says they pretty much stayed true to AC/DC's original concept on "Back In Black." He says, quote, "It's very, very cool. Straight-ahead rock and roll." Produced by Living Colour, "CollideOscope" is due in stores on October 8th.

Saturday, August 23, 2003


New Living Colour Album entitled "Collideoscope" will be released in the USA, October 7th, 2003. An earlier release in Europe, September 23rd, is planned.

Inside sources reveal that David Sancious plays keyboards on the track : Holy Roller, from the soon-to-be-released : Collideoscope.

Pre-order through UK and/or CD Universe.

Please join the Living Colour yahoo chat group : Sacred Ground, over 575 members strong, and growing.

Call your local radio station(s) and request NEW and OLD : LIVING COLOUR

Friday, August 22, 2003


Ladies and Gentlemen, put your hands together!
Living Colour press shot

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Mos Def and Black Jack Johnson play London's FORUM

September 6, 2003. See Ticketmaster UK for details.

No Black Jack Johnson until early 2004

"...As for Mos' own studio album, after toying around with his all-star rock outfit Black Jack Johnson for the better part of two years, he has assembled a mix of both hip-hop and rock songs. Mos' spokesperson said the untitled album should see release in early 2004."

The Black Jack Johnson Boogie Man Show
"...Mos Def is expected to release his long-awaited sophomore set, Mos Def Presents The Black Jack Johnson Boogie Man Show, this fall. The album will feature guest appearances from Ludacris and Foxy Brown. "

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Sanctuary Records Press Release : Living Colour - Collideoscope

When the four members of Living Colour went separate ways in 1995, drummer Will Calhoun grabbed his passport and went globetrotting. Over the course of the five years that followed, Calhoun's journeys took him everywhere from Russia (as a member of jazz great Wayne Shorter's touring band) to Australia (where he studied tribal music while living with an Aborigine family in the Outback) to Morocco, where he went to explore the trancelike sounds of Gnawan music.

Though his destinations were diverse, the question was always the same: When is Living Colour getting back together? "It seemed like I was being asked almost everywhere I went," says Calhoun. "It was amazing to learn that the music we created had traveled so far around the world. I had everyone from [Montreux Jazz Festival founder] Claude Nobs to Mick Jagger pull me aside and tell me we needed to regroup. It really made me think about the art and energy of Living Colour and the impact that we made. As an artist, you have to respect that."

That Living Colour's legacy has broken through obstacles of language, distance and culture comes as little surprise. Formed by guitarist/Black Rock Coalition founder Vernon Reid in 1984, the quartet revised a Black music tradition that extends from Chuck Berry and Little Richard to Jimi Hendrix and Parliament-Funkadelic. Over the course of their career, they released three critically acclaimed albums (Vivid, Time's Up and Stain), which sold over 4 million copies combined, earned a pair of Grammy Awards, two MTV Music Video Awards and tore up stages around the world. They were perhaps the only band that could have opened for the Rolling Stones and played the first, groundbreaking Lollapalooza Tour.

Deciding that he didn't want to be "sitting around with regret at age 60," Calhoun phoned Reid in December of 2000 and invited him to sit in with Headfake, a drum & bass side project featuring former Living Colour bassist Doug Wimbish and on occasion, vocalist Corey Glover. The guitarist agreed, and a gig was booked at the band's old stomping ground of CBGB's under the winking banner of "Headfake and Surprise Musical Guest."

The faithful turned out by the hundreds and the band didn't disappoint. On the same small stage where they had been discovered more than a dozen years earlier, a revitalized Living Colour blazed through searing renditions of "Cult of Personality" (from 1998's Grammy-winning, multi-platinum album Vivid), "Love Rears Its Ugly Head," "Time's Up" and "Type." In a review of the show, MTV reported that "the foursome tore into [their set] with the fervor of newcomers."

"It was such an incredible feeling to look across the stage and see Corey standing next to Vernon and Will playing behind them," recalls Wimbish. "You could see that they were having a great time. After all those years, it was good to be able to share a moment like that once again."

In fact, it felt so good they decided to do it again and played a string of sold-out nationwide club dates, while also hitting South America and the European festival circuit.

"It felt a little weird at first," says Reid. "But we started becoming a band again. And based on the reaction we were getting at the shows, it was clear that our audience still cares. Hell, people were coming up to me after gigs and saying we've reaffirmed their faith in music. That's pretty powerful."

Inspired by fan reaction and eager to redefine its focus, the quartet began to write. Fully aware that their long absence required one helluva re-entry vehicle, they took time to craft the material carefully. "We spent a year and a half writing and recording four albums worth of material," laughs Calhoun. "It was a long, drawn-out process, but I think we needed to go through it to make the right record."

The much-anticipated result is CollideØscope (Mayan Records / Sanctuary), an electrifying testament to the range and depth of Living Colour's artistry. The band's first studio album in ten years sees them staying true to their roots, while keeping their grooves current and
hearts open. The songs are edgy, inventive and uncompromising and rank among the influential band's best ever.

"We felt the record really had to say something," says Glover. "Over the years, we've seen a lot of things go down that aren't being addressed and someone needs to talk about that. We had an obligation then and we have an obligation now to speak the truth, and we're never going to be afraid of that."

Looking at the world outside his window, Glover sees an America filled with disillusion, injustice and fear. It's a vista of ruin, its streets littered with broken and abandoned promises and he channels the collective hurt into songs of monolithic power. Like many of us, the seismic repercussions of the September 11th terrorist attacks have forced him to reevaluate his perceptions of good and evil ("Song Without Sin") while avoiding a life of fear ("A ? of When" and "Operation Mind Control"). As Glover tells it, the latter two are flip sides of the same paranoia."'A ? of When' refers to 'the high alerts,' he says. "We have been told us time and again, 'it may not happen today, tomorrow, or the day after that, but it'll happen soon and it'll be very severe.' We're being kept in this state of suspended fear. It's been said that you can run a lot of things by people in a state of confusion. That leads to 'Operation Mind Control,' which is about those that go along with it all. It's a gleeful sing-along of paranoia, saying, 'hey, this is fun-let's dance for the surveillance cameras'."

The album's emotional linchpin is the achingly beautiful "Flying," a heart-wrenching tale about a young couple whose tragic end comes sudden and without warning. In a single moment, their dreams are both realized and erased, and no one takes notice of their passing.

"It's a story about a guy who goes to work at the Trade Center on September 11 and decides that today is the day that he's finally going to ask out Carmen, a co-worker," says Glover. "Ironically, they do wind up together, but it's certainly not the way he imagined it. It's the idea of taking this huge, tragic event and boiling it down to its smallest essence, which is that it was about people. There were so many people there that day, going to work, punching time clocks. Who knows how many of them got to realize their dreams on that final day?" As the album spins on, Glover talks pointedly and poignantly about consumerism ("Choices Mash Up; A) Happy Shopper"), anxiety ("Holy Roller") and global environment ("Sacred Ground") against a stunning backdrop of hypnotic grooves, honeyed melodies and speaker-shattering guitars. Living Colour does a lot of things brilliantly-and they do most of them on CollideØscope, offering an adventurous earful of soulful, raucous rock ("Lost Halo"), reggae/dub ("Nightmare City") and electro-dynamics ("In Your Name"). Among the album's many highlights is the band's blistering version of the AC/DC classic "Back in Black."

"It's a song we've wanted to do for a long time, but it takes an interesting twist with us," laughs Glover. "There are references to having nine lives and lynching with lines like, 'they've got to catch me if they want me to hang.' That definitely takes on new meaning when I sing them."

"On one hand, the idea of Living Colour doing 'Back in Black' is a no-brainer," adds Reid. "But there's an unintended irony that comes into play because of the lyrics. I've heard the song millions of times over the years and the only thing I remember hearing clearly is the chorus.
But it turns out there are certain lines in the verses that give our rendition real resonance."

Produced by the band and mixed by Andy Stackpole, CollideØscope also features a devastating cover of the Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows." "We originally planned to do it for a project that never materialized, but it fit perfectly on this record" says Reid. "This song and 'A ? of When' are flipsides of the same coin. On the former, you have fear and loathing, while the latter speaks about the endless coming and going of life and that everything happens for a reason. It's a classic song."

CollideØscope may have taken a year and a half to make, but it arrives just in time and was definitely worth the wait. In an era when there's a cookie-cutter sameness to so many of today's acts, the return of Living Colour recalls a time when bands were praised for their uniqueness and willingness to take music to the edge.

"As an artist, you want to make the right moves and step up the ladder," says Calhoun. "But what does that mean for your integrity and artistry? If going up the ladder means becoming more conservative and corporate, then you can have the ladder. We don't want it. We'll just keep doing our own thing."

Message From Doug


Tuesday, August 12, 2003

New Living Colour Album entitled "Collideoscope" will be released October 7th, 2003.

Doug Wimbish video from NAMM 2003
*thanks Sam

Saturday, August 09, 2003

Thursday, August 07, 2003

US Release Date Pushed Back
(from the messageboard of
First Single
As reported on the SacredGround board, the first single off Collideoscope, will hit the airwaves next week.

Monday, August 04, 2003

Living Colour 2003 European Tour
(courtesy of

Fri 8/29/03 - Willisau, SWITZERLAND @ Willisau Festival
Sat 8/30/03 - Saalfelden, AUSTRIA @ Saalfelden Festival
Sat 9/20/03 - Leffinge, BELGIUM @ Leffengeleuhrue Festival
Sun 9/21/03 - Hardenberg, HOLLAND @ Podium
Mon 9/22/03 - Amsterdam, HOLLAND @ The Milky Way
Tue 9/23/03 - off
Wed 9/24/03 - London, U.K. @ Highbury Garage
Thu 9/25/03 - Paris, FRANCE @ Trabendo
Fri 9/26/03 - Karlsruhe, GERMANY @ Tollhaus
Sat 9/27/03 - Linz, AUSTRIA @ Posthof
Sun 9/28/03 - Prague, CZECH REP @ Lucerna Music Bar
Mon 9/29/03 - Vienna, AUSTRIA @ Reigen
Tue 9/30/03 - off
Wed 10/01/03 - Freiburg, GERANY @ Jazzhouse
Thu 10/02/03 - Innsbruck, AUSTRIA @ Treibhaus
Fri 10/03/03 - Bergamo,ITALY @ Motion
Sat 10/04/03 - Basel, SWITZERLAND @ Z-7
Sun 10/05/03 - Munich, GERMANY @ Backstage
Mon 10/06/03 - Cologne, GERMANY @ E-Werk
Tue 10/07/03 - Manheim, GERMANY @ Fuernache
Wed 10/08/03 - Berlin, GERMANY @ Columbia Fritz
Thu 10/09/03 - Hamburg, GERMANY @ Fabrik
Fri 10/10/03 - Bergen, NORWAY @ Kulturhuset USF
Sat 10/11/03 - Oslo, NORWAY @ Kosmopolit

US TOUR begins on Halloween in Los Angeles, California.
This info is from sacred ground yahoo group...

Friday, August 01, 2003

Living Colour Press Release

Press Release:
Grammy award winning artistes Living Colour release their long awaited new album Collideoscope through Mayan Records / Sanctuary on September 22nd. Co-founder of the Black Rock Coalition, Vernon Reid formed Living Colour in the mid 80's - one of the few hard rock bands comprised of all black members, yet with the talent and eclecticism to inject everything from punk and alternative to funk, jazz, soul and rap into their sound.

Creating a buzz on the New York underground, Living Colour won the support of Mick Jagger and went on to debut to massive critical acclaim in 1988 with 'Vivid' and the smash single/video 'Cult Of Personality', taking the album to number 6 in the US charts, platinum certification and the first of several Grammy Awards. A string of dates opening stadiums for the Rolling Stones' first US tour in eight years supported the release.

After sweeping the board in several Best New Band awards in such magazines as Rolling Stone, 'Time's Up' was released in 1990, resulting in the UK hit single 'Love Rears It's Ugly Head'. The band split in 1995, deciding to head in their own musical directions. Critically acclaimed solo efforts from each Living Colour member and ground breaking side-projects followed such as Headfake, Jungle Funk, Masque, Vice.

Re-uniting for gigs and tours in recent years, Collideoscope has all the key ingredients that make up their classic sound, with a contemporary feel that we have come to expect from such an eclectic and accomplished band.

Tracklisting: Song Without Sin . A ? Of When . Operation Mind Control . Flying . In Your Name . Back In Black . Nightmare City . Lost Halo . Holy Roller . Great Expectations . Choices Mash Up . Happy Shopper . Pocket Of Tears . Sacred Ground . Tomorrow Never Knows . Nova

you got it here first - officially!