Author: Rockshot

All Quiet Now: Donna Summer

Donna Summer, disco queen, actress and a performer who paved the way for the look of Beyonce and Alisha Dixon to name but two. A singular vocal stylist whose string of disco hits spawned five Grammy awards and a following that has long outlived the genre, has died at age 63 of cancer. More to...

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All Quiet Now: Donald “Duck” Dunn

Bass guitarist Donald “Duck” Dunn, who played with Booker T and the MGs, has died in Tokyo aged 70. The MGs were the house band for Stax Records, and Dunn can be heard on songs such as Otis Redding’s Respect and Sam and Dave’s Hold On, I’m Comin’. He was in Japan for a series of concerts, and had played two shows on Saturday night. His friend and fellow musician Steve Cropper, who was on the same tour, said Dunn had died in his sleep. “Today I lost my best friend,” Cropper wrote on his Facebook page. “The World has lost the best guy and bass player to ever live”. Miho Harasawa, a spokeswoman for Tokyo Blue Note, the last venue Dunn played, confirmed he died alone early Sunday. She had no further details. Born in Memphis on November 24, 1941, Dunn started playing bass at the age of 16. “I tried the guitar but it had two strings too many,” he wrote on his website. “It was just too complicated, man! Plus, I grew up with Steve Cropper. There were so many good guitar players; another one wasn’t needed. What was needed was a bass.” His distinctive grooves underpinned dozens of hit records for the legendary Stax label – including Soul Man and Try A Little Tenderness. The MGs scored their own hit with Green Onions in 1962....

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Photography: Tinariwen @ Shepherds Bush Empire

Tinariwen played a double header Soundclash event with Jose Gonzalez at the Shepherds Bush Empire and it was packed to the rafters. They play their instruments with desert warrior like aplomb and share dancing, instrument changes and lead vocal with ease. The lighting was a couple of stops down from a normal rock gig at Shepherds Bush but colourful....

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All Quiet Now: Lloyd Brevett Skatalites

Lloyd Brevett, bassist and co-founder of the highly influential ska band the Skatalites, died this morning at the age of 80,  Brevett, known for playing the upright bass, passed away at Andrews Memorial Hospital in St. Andrew, Jamaica, after being treated for a stroke and seizures. The original Skatalites only existed for 18 months between 1963 and 1965, but were essential in popularizing their genre, which included elements of R&B, jazz, calypso and Cuban music. The band’s best known songs included “Guns of Navarone” and “Eastern Standard Time,” both of which helped to lay the groundwork for the emergence of rocksteady and reggae. The Skatalites still tour as a band and have some gigs in the UK coming up in...

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Photography: John Peel’s Studio Door

When bands used to play on John Peel’s radio show to record the Peel Sessions etc, they used to treat the studio as a home from home…as you can see many of them left stickers and scribing’s on the studio door. These pictures were taken about 5 years ago before the BBC Maida Vale revamp. John Peel’s recors collection has now been releases online through a collaboration from the BBC and the Arts Council and can be found at...

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Rock Media: Record Store Chart

US rock group Alabama Shakes have topped the first ever Official Record Store Chart. Their album, Boys And Girls, beat competition from Adele, Trembling Bells and Graham Coxon to take the top spot. The chart, which reflects sales at the UK’s independent record shops, has been launched to coincide with International Record Store Day on Saturday. DJ Steve Lamacq announced the top 10 on BBC 6 Music. Seven of the records were released on independent labels. By contrast, only one album in the mainstream top 10 is not on a major label – and that is Alabama Shakes’ Boys And Girls. Led by singer and guitarist Britanny Howard, the four-piece are signed to London-based Rough Trade Records. Label boss Geoff Travis said the number one made him “very proud”. “Alabama Shakes deserve every accolade and success that may come their way. They do it right.” RECORD STORE CHART 1) Alabama Shakes – Boys and Girls 2) Adele – 21 3) Trembling Bells – The Marble Downs 4) Graham Coxon – A&E 5) M Ward – A Wasteland Companion 6) Lana Del Rey – Born To Die 7) Sun – Death 8) Black Keys – El Camino 9) Dr John – Locked Down 10) Shins – Port Of Morrow Appropriately, given the nature of the chart, Rough Trade Records started as an off-shoot of the Rough Trade record store in...

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Rock Media: SQUACKETT. Chris Squire & Steve Hackett

Esoteric Antenna are pleased to announce the release of the hugely anticipated album by SQUACKETT, the collaborative project between two legends of Progressive Rock, Chris Squire and Steve Hackett. With progressive rock (in its many forms) now seemingly more popular than ever a collaboration from members of two the the godfathers of the genre is hugely exciting. Chris Squire has appeared on every YES album and is widely regarded as one of the most influential bass guitarists of all time. Now an established solo artist, Steve Hackett first came to prominence as the guitarist with Genesis. He was in...

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All Quiet Now: Jim Marshall

Guitar amp innovator Jim Marshall – dubbed “the Father of Loud” for creating kit used by some of the biggest names in rock – has died aged 88. Mr Marshall, who originally owned a music shop in London, founded Marshall Amplification 50 years ago. Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain are among the musicians who used Marshall amps. A statement posted on the company’s website called him a “legendary man” who led a “truly remarkable life”. Fomer Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash tweeted: “The news of Jim Marshall passing is deeply saddening. R & R will never be the same w/out him. But, his amps will live on FOREVER!” Jim Marshall began building amplifiers in the early 1960s, using the Fender Bassman amp as a model, creating what later became known as “the Marshall sound”. It took him six attempts to create an amp he was happy with. ‘Humble and generous’ As the company grew, Mr Marshall expanded his products, unveiling the Master Volume Marshall amps and the classic JCM800 split channel amps. “Jim rose to become one of the forefathers responsible for creating the tools that allowed rock guitar, as we know and love it today, to be born,” the statement said. “In addition to the creation of the amps, chosen by countless guitar heroes and game changing bands, Jim was also an incredibly humble and generous man who,...

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All Quiet Now: Davy Jones

Davy Jones, Manchester-born lead singer with 60s band The Monkees, has died aged 66, his publicist has confirmed. He died in his sleep at his home in Florida. His publicist, Deborah Robicheau, said he had a massive heart attack. The band, who included musicians Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork, were famous for hits including Daydream Believer and I’m a Believer. The Monkees were an American pop band, assembled in 1966. Jones was married three times and had four daughters. Early on in his showbusiness career he appeared as Ena Sharples’s grandson in ITV soap Coronation Street. The...

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All Quiet Now: Dory Previn

Dory Previn, the US singer and composer who collaborated with former husband Andre on two Oscar-nominated songs, has died in Massachusetts at the age of 86. Born Dorothy Veronica Langan in 1925, she began as a lyricist before finding success as a solo artist in the 1970s. She married Andre Previn in 1959 and worked with him on the theme to 1967’s Valley of the Dolls. After he left her for Mia Farrow, she recorded such albums as On My Way to Where and Mythical Kings and Iguanas. According to the New York Times, her difficult childhood, divorce from Previn and bouts of mental illness informed her music. The six albums she released in the 1970s were confessional and confrontational. Beware Of Young Girls, a track from On My Way To Where, directly addressed Mia Farrow’s role in the break-up of her marriage. “Beware of young girls, who come to the door, wistful and pale, of twenty and four,” she sang. “She was my friend. She was invited to my house,” the lyrics continued. “She admired my wedding ring”. Her death on Tuesday at her Southfield farm was confirmed by husband Joby Baker, a Canadian actor she married in 1984. Soul-bearing Dory was born in New Jersey in the 1920s and, after school, attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She worked as an actress and a dancer until...

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All Quiet Now: Etta James

US soul singer Etta James, best known for the tracks At Last and for I’d Rather Go Blind, has died aged 73. It was announced last year that the singer had been diagnosed with leukaemia and was undergoing treatment. The star began singing in a group aged 14, before she embarked upon a solo career where she signed to the legendary Chess Records label. She went on to win six Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. Legendary producer Jerry Wexler once called her “the greatest of all modern blues singers”....

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All Quiet Now: Tom Ardolino

Tom Ardolino, a longtime drummer for the critically loved, commercially underappreciated rock band NRBQ, died last night (Jan. 6) following a long illness, according to the Hartford Courant. He was 56. Ardolino joined NRBQ — short for New Rhythm and Blues Quartet — in 1974, taking over for original timekeeper Tom Staley. Over the next 30 years, Ardolino played on 15 studio albums, leaving his mark on songs that would earn the group a fervent cult following, if limited mainstream success. NRBQ’s fan base is said to include Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello and Bob Dylan, and their songs have been covered by everyone from Bonnie Raitt to She & Him, who recorded ‘Ridin’ in My Car’ for 2010’s ‘Volume Two’ and ‘Christmas Wish’ for their recent holiday album. “He was a great drummer and a great guy,” fellow NRBQ alum Al Anderson told the Courant. “He had a totally unique style of drumming that nobody can ever duplicate. That was one of the baddest rhythm sections in the world.” After NRBQ went on hiatus in 2004, Ardolino remained active in music and participated in various reunion shows. He also released a solo album, played on friends’ recordings and even worked on the soundtrack to a film shown in driver’s-ed classes around the country. According to Jim Chapdelaine, the producer behind the film project, Ardolino was hired to drum in...

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All Quiet Now: Cesaria Evora

Singer Cesaria Evora, dubbed the “Barefoot Diva” for often performing without shoes, has died in her native Cape Verde at the age of 70. The musican, forced to retire earlier this year due to ill-health, began her career singing in the bars of Mindelo in the West African island nation. Evora did not begin her recording career until 1988, and won a Grammy Award in 2004 for her album Voz D’Amor. She was famed for singing songs of longing with her rich contralto vocals. Her sultry voice was often compared to blues star Billie Holliday Her fourth album, Miss Perfumado, was her breakthrough hit in 1992. It sold more than 300,000 copies worldwide, and resulted in a number of tours. She released 10 albums in all. Evora had a penchant for alcohol and cigarettes, and in later life her health began to decline. She suffered a stroke while on tour in Australia in 2008 and later underwent open heart surgery. In September, she spoke of her sadness at having to retire, saying: “I have no strength, no energy. I want you to say to my fans: forgive me, but now I need to rest. “I infinitely regret having to stop because of illness, I would have wanted to give more pleasure to those who have followed me for so long.” Evora was considered one of the world’s greatest exponents...

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All Quiet Now: Billie Jo Spears

Country singer Billie Jo Spears, best known for her 1975 hit Blanket on the Ground, has died at the age of 74. The singer, who had 25 Top 40 country hits between 1969 and 1984, died at her home in Vidor, Texas on Wednesday, according to reports. Famed for her bluesy vocals, Spears had her first chart hit with Mr. Walker, It’s All Over. Her other Top 10 hits included What I’ve Got in Mind, Misty Blue and If You Want Me. Though her popularity waned in the 1980s Spears continued to tour, despite having triple bypass heart surgery in 1993. The Texan star had been scheduled to make a number of UK appearances next May as part of a touring show entitled Ladies of...

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All Quiet Now: Jackie Levin

Tributes have been paid to the Scottish singer-songwriter Jackie Leven, who has died at the age of 61, after a battle with cancer. He was the founding member of the punk band Doll by Doll, and also enjoyed a lengthy solo career. Among his many releases was a joint album with the crime writer Ian Rankin, who like Mr Leven hailed from Fife. A reformed drug addict, Leven and his wife set up a charity for the treatment of heroin addiction. Ian Rankin posted on Twitter: “RIP Jackie Leven. Gentle man, poetic songwriter, skilled guitarist, storyteller. It was an honour to call you friend.” BBC Radio Scotland presenter Tom Morton also used the social networking site to pay tribute to the singer. He tweeted: “Wish still had some Leven’s Lament whisky to drink to his memory. We’ll miss him.” Singer-songwriter Eddi Reader posted: “Has Jackie gone?? What hard news today!” Mr Leven’s record label, Cooking Vinyl, also posted: “Our long time friend and CV artist Jackie Leven has lost his battle with cancer. We will miss him dearly.” In the days leading up to his death, a statement on Mr Leven’s official website said: “In a career stretching over 40 years, Jackie Leven has carved an impressive reputation as a uniquely gifted singer-songwriter. “From his emergence as leader of the underrated Doll by Doll in the seventies, through well...

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All Quiet Now: Barry Feinstein

US photographer Barry Feinstein, best known for taking enduring pictures of musicians such as Bob Dylan and George Harrison, has died aged 80. He was responsible for capturing more than 500 record sleeves, including Harrison’s All Things Must Pass album. The Rolling Stones sleeve for Beggars Banquet, shot in a graffiti-covered toilet, was also Feinstein’s work. Friend and agent Dave Rolando paid tribute, calling him a “lovely man and a real talent”. Feinstein’s work recently featured in Martin Scorsese’s documentary about Harrison, Living in the Material World. Feinstein’s picture of Dylan at a damp ferry port on the banks of the River Severn at Old Aust before the 1st suspension bridge was built between England and Wales, was also used in No Direction Home, Scorsese’s 2005 film about the musician. The photographer, who was reluctant to talk about the stars he shot, was also the on-set photographer for Steve McQueen’s film Bullitt. Originally from the US, he shot most of his work in the UK. He died of natural causes on Thursday in Woodstock, New York...

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Photography: Todd Rundgren @ Jazz Cafe

Todd played a very close up set to about 400 people in a great atmosphere (not much light). Very high ISO all round! The Jazz Cafe has no pit so photographers have to negotiate with fans to get a space for a song or two. TR played guitar for a couple of songs but mainly sat on a stool and sang with backing from the band which included Todd stalwarts Kasim Sulton, Prairie Prince and Jesse Gresse. An enjoyable show with Todd running through a song from each album. Highlights for me were Flaw, Lost Horizon and Love of...

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All Quiet Now: Bert Jansch

Scottish folk musician Bert Jansch, a founding member of the band Pentangle and a well-known guitarist in his own right, has died at the age of 67. Jansch, who had cancer, passed away in the early hours of Wednesday morning at a hospice in Hampstead, north London. A guitar player and singer who I really loved. His version of In the Bleak Mid Winter just gets you in the...

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All Quiet Now: Marv Tarplin

Marv Tarplin, Motown guitarist with Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, has died at his Las Vegas home aged 70. Tarplin was one of the group’s original members and co-wrote several of their hits including Tracks of My Tears, which was released in 1965. spotify:track:5Cw5ieg9k7UUQiy1LRhJUD He remained with the group until 1973, and continued to collaborate and tour with Robinson until retiring in 2008. A spokeswoman for The Miracles said the cause of death had not yet been determined. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Tarplin first came to Berry Gordy Jr’s Motown label in the late 1950s as a guitar player for the Primettes, a teenage girl group that later became the Supremes. Robinson, who was already with the label, hired Tarplin on the spot to play for The Miracles. He went on to co-write hits including My Girl Has Gone, Going to a Go-Go and The Love I Saw in You Was Just a Mirage. The guitarist also co-wrote I’ll Be Doggone and Ain’t That Peculiar for Marvin Gaye in the mid-60s. After Robinson went solo in 1973, Tarplin continued their musical relationship and co-wrote the singer’s hits Cruisin’ and Being With You. Billy Wilson of the Motown Alumni Association paid tribute to Tarplin as The Miracles’ “secret weapon”. “You can’t express how much this one man meant to those of us dreaming to make it in the music business,”...

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