HOZIER RETURNS — Late last week, multi-Platinum singer/songwriter Hozier released “Nina Cried Power” on Columbia Records. The 4-track EP is the first collection of new music he has shared since the 2014 release of his critically acclaimed self-titled debut album. In addition to vocals from legendary multi-Grammy Award-winning artist and performer Mavis Staples, the EP features instrumentation by renowned Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient Booker T Jones who played the organ on multiple tracks. It’s a good track; very reminiscent of his first album.
Hozier remains one of the brightest lights in contemporary music right now.
Hozier says: “I’m very excited to release my new single ‘Nina Cried Power.’ The song was written sometime last year – my aim was to credit the actuality of hope, solidarity, and love found in the human spirit at a time when their opposites were being given a mainstream platform 24/7. The song started as a tongue-in-cheek inquiry into modern popular language regarding political awareness and grew from there.”
Mavis Staples adds, “Oh, Nina is gonna wake the world up. Such a huge sound it could shake the Earth, filled with soul, passion, and fire, and it channels the struggles of some of my contemporaries. I’m telling you when you hear it, it’s going to drive you to rise up.”
Says Booker T, “Hozier is a rare artist who remains a wellspring of creativity. Like a baby who never becomes a child, he lingers selflessly at the source, rendering one fresh song after the other.”
Hozier’s debut self-titled album was a totally unexpected surprise in 2014; to consumers and radio alike. One radio wag said, “There was nothing else like it at the time, so for that fact alone, we all listened to it … and, loved it.”
My favorite tracks were “From Eden” and “Jackie and Wilson.” The sparse production and his emotive voice proved irresistible all around. To me, the fact that he wrote everything was sensational too. He also ended up writing the track “Better Love” which was for the Warner Brothers film The Legend Of Tarzan.
Hozier kicks off his sold-out North American headline tour next week at Ottawa’s CityFolk Festival. The 17 city run includes three nights at both New York’s Beacon Theatre and Los Angeles’ The Wiltern. Hozier will also play prominent sets at Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival and Austin City Limits Music Festival.
JOHN SHINES — The Farewell Yellow Brick Road-tour from Elton John officially opened last weekend in Allentown, PA. The reviews were just brilliant: a three hour show which just gets better and better. Opening with “”Benny and the Jets” (and, ending with “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”) the show reportedly is the biggest and best yet from John. In reviewing the set list, all the usual suspects are included, but a John’s “Believe” (from his 1995 album Made In England) was a welcomed and surprise addition. I loved that song and the video (here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABSXJiYQFuI ) was just tremendous.
I’m seeing it next month here in NYC and cannot wait. I am and always will be a huge John fan. If you’ve never seen him, make this tour a certainly.
With a tremendous catalog of songs (with Bernie Taupin of cruse), he’s one of a kind!
SHORT TAKES —Rock & Roll Hall of Fame guitarist Gene Cornish of The Rascals is in good spirits at a Montana hospital after collapsing during a concert. Melissa Kucirek says the 74-year-old Cornish is expected to be released from a Billings hospital today, Wednesday. She said that “he’s on the path to a speedy recovery” and is eager to get back on stage. Kucirek says she didn’t know what caused Cornish to collapse Friday at a show in Billings.
Gene Cornish of The Rascals is scheduled to perform at the D’Angelico Guitar Auction Press Preview at GTR Showroom on March 25, 2014 in New York City. She says that “Gene would like everyone to know that he so appreciates the prayers and well-wishes.”
Cornish, keyboardist Felix Cavaliere, singer Eddie Brigati and drummer Dino Danelli formed The Rascals in 1965.Their hits include “Good Lovin” and “People Got to Be Free.” They were inducted into the hall in 1997. A major figure in contemporary music Get well gene … Duane Betts, in Morocco, preps his new video, “Downtown Runaround.” We’ve seen it and it’s a beauty. Stay tuned … Monkee-Micky Dolenz takes part in a discussion of particle psychics next weekend at The Big Bang Science Fair in Providence, Rhode Island, with Dr. Donald Lincoln; a renounced experimental physicist at Fermilab, Illinois. If you didn’t know it, Dolenz is a fan of particle psychics. How’s that for Monkee-ing around! … Donnie Kehr, prepping his 25th edition of his Rockers On Broadway (November 12), will be at the forthcoming BCEFA Flea Market on September 30. Patrons can get Rockers memorabilia and meet and greet with founder Donnie Kehr. btw: some major announcements next week for Rockers. Stay tuned … Seeing the legendary Chick Corea at NYC’s Blue Note next week. I’ve been a fan of Chick’s for decades; jazz-fusion at its best!
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Leslie Gold; Carmine Appice; Bruce Pilato; Duane Betts; Rod Stewart; Bob Kaus; Jacqueline Boyd; Cori Gardner; Andrew Sandoval; Jason Elzy; Donna Quinter; Randy Alexander; and, CFS.