FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 2, 2013
SOUNDTRACK ALBUM TO BIG STAR: NOTHING CAN HURT ME
COMING ON OMNIVORE RECORDINGS JUNE 25
With movie opening July 3, 22-song CD, 2-LP and digital soundtrack
contain all previously unissued versions of classic songs
from pop music’s greatest cult band.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The story of Big Star will finally hit the big screen in the feature-length documentary Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (Magnolia Pictures) http://www.magpictures.com. After years in the making, the movie comes to theaters, On Demand and iTunes on July 3.
On June 25, Omnivore Recordings will release the soundtrack to the film featuring 22 tracks, all of which are unissued versions of classic Big Star songs. The soundtrack will be available on CD, double-LP in a gatefold sleeve with a download card included, and digitally. A limited edition of the LP version was made available on Record Store Day and sold out immediately, following previous successes with the 2011 Record Store Day release of the legendary Third [Test Pressing Edition] and Alex Chilton's Free Again: The "1970" Sessions in January of 2012.
An official selection of the SXSW Film Festival (2012), winner of the Best Documentary at Indie Memphis (2012), and a hit at the BFI London Film Fest and DOC NYC, the Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me film chronicles the initial commercial failure and subsequent critical acclaim of Big Star, further solidifying the enduring legacy of one of pop music’s greatest cult bands.
Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me traces the origins and history of the legendary group — from 16-year-old Alex Chilton skyrocketing to stardom in the late ’60s with the Box Tops and their #1 hit, “The Letter”; to the serendipitous meeting of Chilton and local Memphis singer-songwriter-guitarist Chris Bell; through the tumultuous recording of Big Star’s landmark albums, #1 Record, Radio City, and Third; culminating with the band’s implosion due to lackluster record sales, personal breakdowns, and the tragic death of Bell in 1978.
The three original Big Star releases, each of which charted on Rolling Stone’s “Top 500 Albums of All Time,” have become critically lauded touchstones of the rock music canon. A seminal band in the history of alternative music, Big Star has been cited as an influence by R.E.M., The Replacements, Belle & Sebastian, Elliott Smith, Wilco, Beck, Jeff Buckley and The Flaming Lips, to name just a few. With never-before-seen footage and photos of the band, in-depth interviews and a rousing musical tribute by some of the bands they inspired, Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me is a story of artistic and musical salvation.
The Omnivore Recordings soundtrack plays like an audio version of the documentary, capturing its essence. It features previously unissued versions of classic Big Star, Chris Bell and Alex Chilton songs, including demos, plus alternate original and new mixes made especially for the film.
1. O My Soul (Demo, 1973)
2. Give Me Another Chance (Control Room Monitor Mix, 1972)
3. In The Street (Movie Mix, 2012)
4. When My Baby ’s Beside Me (Alternate Mix, 1972)
5. Studio Banter (1972)
6. Try Again (Movie Mix, 2012) Rock City
7. My Life Is Right (Alternate Mix, 1972)
8. The Ballad Of El Goodo (Alternate Mix, 1972)
9. Feel (Alternate Mix, 1972)
10. Don’t Lie To Me (Alternate Mix, 1972)
11. Way Out West (Alternate Mix, 1973)
13. Thirteen (Alternate Mix, 1972)
14. You Get What You Deserve (Alternate Mix, 1973)
15. Holocaust (Rough Mix, 1974)
16. Kanga Roo (Rough Mix, 1974)
17. Stroke It Noel (Backward Intro, 1974)
18. Big Black Car (Rough Mix, 1974)
19. Better Save Yourself (Movie Mix, 2012) Chris Bell
20. I Am The Cosmos (Movie Mix, 2012) Chris Bell
21. All We Ever Got From Them Was Pain (Movie Mix, 2012) Alex Chilton
22. September Gurls (Movie Mix, 2012)
All tracks by Big Star except where noted. All tracks previously unissued.
More information about the movie:
# # #
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 11, 2013
IN THE WAKE OF CRITICAL ACCLAIM
FOR TOWNES VAN ZANDT’S SUNSHINE BOY,
OMNIVORE RECORDINGS REISSUES TWO MORE FROM TOWNES:
HIGH, LOW AND IN BETWEEN
AND THE LATE, GREAT TOWNES VAN ZANDT
Early ’70s albums are re-mastered, available on CD
and 180-gram vinyl, with notes by Colin Escott
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Even though Townes Van Zandt may not be a household name, he is a legend to songwriters and the music fans who love them. As the recently issued Sunshine Boy: The Unheard Studio Sessions & Demos 1971-1972 proved — receiving five-star reviews from American Songwriter and Mojo, along with a ten-out-of-ten-star piece from Uncut — the world was ready to rediscover not only Van Zandt, but the studio albums those sessions came from.
Omnivore Recordings now offers reissues of Townes’ two seminal recordings: High, Low and In Between and The Late Great Townes Van Zandt, each available on CD and — for the first time in decades — on high-quality, 180-gram vinyl, with a release date of May 21, 2013.
High, Low and In Between, Townes Van Zandt’s fifth album, originally released by Poppy Records in the fall of 1971, was an album that saw Townes becoming the songwriter revered today. Full of original material, including “You Are Not Needed Now,” “Blue Ridge Mountains,” and “To Live Is To Fly,” it opened eyes and ears to his abilities. His backing band included folks like Larry Carlton, who would play on Joni Mitchell’s Court & Spark, who accompanied Steely Dan on The Royal Scam (playing that solo we all know and love on “Kid Charlemagne”), and who was a member of Jazz’s elite Crusaders. High, Low and In Between is, in the end, a classic Townes Van Zandt album. And one that should be re-examined.
The Late Great Townes Van Zandt, his sixth effort, hit the shelves in 1972. The album built on High, Low and In Between, adding texture in both song and production. It’s probably best known for “Pancho & Lefty” — the song Emmylou Harris covered for 1977’s Luxury Liner and which Willie Nelson & Waylon Jennings would take to the top of the charts in 1983. Full of originals, as well as covers like Hank Williams’ “Honky Tonkin’,” the release was Van Zandt’s perfect storm, with every element in place. The Late Great Townes Van Zandt might be his masterwork. This release should be in every collection of great American music.
The gloriously remastered editions of High, Low and In Between and The Late, Great Townes Van Zandt will be available on CD, in a digipak with liner notes from award-winning scribe Colin Escott, as well as on 180-gram vinyl, with the first 1000 pressed on orange and clear colored vinyl respectively. (Future pressings will be on standard weight, black vinyl.)
It’s not too late to know and love the Late Great Townes Van Zandt.
# # #
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 28, 2013
OMNIVORE CELEBRATES RECORD STORE DAY
WITH VINYL-ONLY RELEASES
FROM BIG STAR (NOTHING CAN HURT ME),
OLD 97'S & WAYLON JENNINGS
AND '80s NORTH CAROLINA LEGENDS THREE HITS
(featuring RSD co-founder Michael Kurtz)
April 20 is RSD. Support your local brick-and-mortar record retailer
with these incredible collectibles. Supplies won't last!
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Record Store Day (April 20, 2013) is an opportunity for music fans across the nation to re-experience the lost art of purchasing music over the counter. But it’s more than that. Record stores, while scarcer than they were ten years ago, remain a place to hear about new music, discuss it with fellow fans, and experience non-virtual face-to-face social networking.
Here are three more reasons to get to a record shop on April 20: Omnivore Recordings will release limited-pressing vinyl collectibles that are musts: The soundtrack to the long-awaited feature-length Big Star film documentary Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me will be available in a special, limited edition (4,000 worldwide) 180-gram, two-LP translucent yellow vinyl pressing ahead of its standard release configurations; a collaboration between the Old 97’s and Waylon Jennings will be released as disc one of a double 7" 45 rpm gatefold single on yellow vinyl (the second disc features two Old 97’s demos) in a limited edition of 1,500 world wide; and the North Carolina band Three Hits will issue Pressure Dome, a 12" five-track EP of released and previously unreleased material (1,000 world wide). Their original 45 release by the same name came out originally on the Hib-Tone label (home of R.E.M.’s debut single), and the band bears other connections to the early era of American indie-rock.
Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (Original Soundtrack): After years in the making, the band’s story will finally hit the big screen in the feature-length documentary Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (Magnolia Pictures), coming to theaters this summer. An official selection of the SXSW Film Festival (2012), winner of the Best Documentary at Indie Memphis (2012), and a hit at the BFI London Film Fest and DOC NYC, the film chronicles Big Star’s initial commercial failure and subsequent critical acclaim, further solidifying the enduring legacy of one of pop music’s greatest cult bands. Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me traces their origins and history — from 16-year-old Alex Chilton skyrocketing to stardom in the late ’60s with the Box Tops and their #1 hit “The Letter,” to the serendipitous meeting of Chilton and local Memphis singer-songwriter-guitarist Chris Bell, through the tumultuous recording of the landmark albums #1 Record, Radio City and Third, culminating with the group’s implosion due to failed record sales, personal breakdowns, and the death of Chris Bell in 1978.
Those three records (all of which are on Rolling Stone’s list “Top 500 Albums of All Time”) have become critically lauded touchstones of the rock music canon. A seminal band in the history of alternative music, Big Star has been cited as an influence by R.E.M., The Replacements, Belle & Sebastian, Elliott Smith, Wilco, Beck, Jeff Buckley, and The Flaming Lips, to name just a few.
With never-before-seen footage and photos of the band, in-depth interviews, and a rousing musical tribute by some of the bands they inspired, the film is a story of artistic and musical salvation. The Omnivore Recordings soundtrack captures the essence of the documentary and plays like audio version of the film, featuring all previously unissued versions of classic Big Star, Chris Bell and Alex Chilton songs. The soundtrack includes 21 previously unheard period mixes, new mixes made specifically for the film, and alternate takes and demos.
For this special, limited, first-edition Record Store Day pressing, the double LP will be released on 180-gram RTI HQ translucent yellow vinyl (download card included), with mastering by Larry Nix at L. Nix Mastering. The project was overseen by the documentary’s executive producer, John Fry, at Ardent Studios in Memphis. The additional standard configurations (CD, CD/DVD deluxe, double-LP standard weight black vinyl and digital) will be available at a later date to be announced.
Old 97’s & Waylon Jennings: Old 97’s & Waylon Jennings: Imagine if Waylon Jennings came to see your band. Imagine if Waylon Jennings liked your band. Liked them enough to talk you up in press like The Austin Chronicle. Imagine your A&R guy telling you to write Waylon to thank him and see if he wanted to record some music with you. Imagine if Waylon said yes.
Waylon Jennings attended an Old 97’s gig in 1996, and later that year joined Ken Bethea, Murry Hammond, Rhett Miller and Philip Peeples in a studio in Nashville to cut two tracks. Imagine the youthful energy of Old 97’s with the classic delivery of Waylon Jennings. Sadly, Waylon passed away and these recordings — some of Jennings’ last — never saw the light of day. Until now.
Omnivore Recordings will issue the first-ever release of those two songs, “Iron Road” and “The Other Shoe.” “Iron Road” would eventually arrive as a live version on 2005’s Alive & Wired along with “The Other Shoe” (which first appeared on Old 97’s second album, 1995’s Wreck Your Life.) Two more previously unissued demos are added: “Visiting Hours” (a live version appeared on 2011’s The Grand Theater Vol. 2) and “Fireflies” (re-recorded by Rhett Miller for his acclaimed 2006 solo album The Believer). These four songs will be available on double yellow vinyl 7" set, packed in a gatefold sleeve with art from Jon Langford (of the Mekons and Waco Brothers, and renowned painter of Country Music icons) and insightful and hilarious liners from the band’s Rhett Miller, which put you right there in the studio. The package also includes a download card, offering digital files of the four tracks.
Alt-Country, Outlaw Country, or just plain Awesome Country, the Old 97’s & Waylon Jennings double 7" is a must for fans of any or all of those genres. These historical documents finally see the light, 17 years after being recorded!
Three Hits: Pressure Dome: It’s pretty cool to be label mates with a band like R.E.M. The Rock & Roll Hall of Famers’ first single was released on Atlanta’s Hib-Tone Records in 1981. Four years later, a band named Three Hits would also be on that label’s roster with the 7" single “Pressure Dome” b/w “Numbers,” produced by Don Dixon at Mitch Easter’s Drive-In Studio, much like R.E.M.’s. Three Hits was started by Sheila Valentine and Michael Kurtz at Appalachian State University. Along with classmate Jim Biddell, they began rehearsing between the bins at Schoolkids Records, eventually adding Michael’s brother Danny and touring up and down the East Coast — even sharing the bill with Alex Chilton at CBGB’s in New York. Twenty-two years after “Pressure Dome” was released, Kurtz co-founded Record Store Day — a yearly feast for music junkies, where references to labels like Hib-Tone are commonplace — it’s only fitting that Three Hits’ classic single should be available for the first time in nearly three decades for Record Store Day 2013.
Now wait, why is it on a 12" purple piece of vinyl if it was just a single? Well, in addition to the original singles’ two tracks, there’s a third song from the Dixon sessions, “Picture Window,” plus and additional two tracks produced by Huw Gower (The Records) from their long out of print 1989 E.P. Fire in the House. The download card also offers up two previously unissued songs, “Just One of the Guys” and “Wild Volcano,” for a total of seven downloadable tracks. In a celebration of independent music, independent labels and independent record stores, Omnivore Recordings is proud to present the Three Hits 12" EP Pressure Dome for Record Store Day 2013.
# # #
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 23, 2013
GENE CLARK’S HERE TONIGHT: THE WHITE LIGHT DEMOS
COMING FROM OMNIVORE RECORDINGS ON MARCH 26
In 1970 former Byrds singer and songwriter moved to Northern California to escape Los Angeles. There he found inspiration for the songs that became his first solo album of the ’70s, White Light.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — By 1970, weary and wary of the fame game in Los Angeles with the trappings of “the star-maker machinery” surrounding him at every turn, ex-Byrds songwriter and singer Gene Clark was looking for a refuge. On March 26, 2013, Omnivore Recordings will release Clark’s Here Tonight: The White Light Demos, a glimpse into the songwriting craft of Clark at the inception of the compositions that would become his first ’70s solo album, White Light, for A&M Records, released in August of 1971.
Of the tracks on this 12-song album, six (“White Light,” “For a Spanish Guitar,” “Where My Love Lies Asleep,” “The Virgin” “Because of You” and “With Tomorrow”) appeared in final form on White Light. Two (“Opening Day” and “Winter”) appeared in final form as bonus tracks on the 2002 A&M/Universal reissue of the album. One track (”Here Tonight”) is an alternate version of a song that appeared on the Flying Burrito Brothers compilation Honky Tonk Heroes.[J1] <#_msocom_1> And three songs (“For No One,” “Please Mr. Freud” and “Jimmy Christ”) have never been issued previously in any form. Liner notes are by John Einarson, author of Mr. Tambourine Man: The Life and Legacy of Gene Clark (Backbeat Books, 2005). The collection is being reissued with the full cooperation of the estate of Gene Clark.
Precipitating Clark’s move to a secluded life in Northern California, events of the prior four years had elevated the reclusive Kansas-raised boy to the top of the rock ’n’ roll pantheon. The Byrds had topped the charts with their 1965 debut single, “Mr. Tambourine Man” and followed it with a string of folk- and country-influenced songs, many of them from Clark’s own pen. With a little help from Bob Dylan, the Byrds gave rock a literary sensibility. In his own songwriting, Clark had come to embrace the Dylan style of oblique lyric poetry and accrued considerable attention for his songs, to the chagrin of his band mates. Fissures in the band hierarchy ensued.
With his sudden departure from the Byrds in 1966, Clark withdrew from the public eye. His attempt at a solo career later that year was hampered by a reluctance to tour or fly (earning him the title of “the Byrd who wouldn’t fly”). Teaming up with banjo demon Doug Dillard in 1968, the Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark recorded two trail-blazing country-rock bluegrass band around Gene’s well-crafted songs. By early 1970, he left the band, left L.A. for the open spaces of Little River, Calif., near Mendocino, accompanied by his girlfriend Carlie McCummings. The two were equally captivated by the tiny seaside community and were married in June of that year.
Away from the pressure of the music business and inspired by the pastoral beauty of the area, Clark began to write songs that took on a reflective, introspective direction. His songs became more folky and stripped down as Clark swore he’d never again play electric guitar. “There was no deadline,” says McCumming. “He wasn’t under any pressure. And as a result, the songs just flowed out of him. The lyrics were so pure. They don’t come out of any manufactured experience.” Clark also began exploring the nature of spirituality and the human condition in his lyrics, inspired by friend Philip O’Leno. At the end of the Dillard & Clark partnership, Gene owed A&M Records two additional albums. Company co-founder Jerry Moss himself paid Gene a visit in Little River and managed to entice him and Carlie back to L.A. to record. Jesse Ed Davis, with whom Gene had struck up a friendship during the Dillard & Clark sessions, was enlisted to produce.
Clark first recorded the songs meant for the White Light album in demo form on acoustic guitar. It’s these demos, lost for decades and recently discovered, that comprise Here Tonight: The White Light Demos with the songs presented as Clark had originally conceived them in his Mendocino Coast cabin. “His voice was absolutely perfect at that point,” notes Carlie. Included are songs that would later appear on the A&M debut, as well as several that failed to make the cut. Jesse Ed Davis maintained much of the simplicity and honesty of the demos in producing the finished album. Rolling Stone drew comparisons to Clark’s mentor Bob Dylan. It was voted “album of the year” in the Netherlands, whereupon Clark boarded a rare airplane to tour internationally.
Sadly sales were slim. Clark returned to Northern California to write the next album at his own pace. Eventually he returned to L.A. to sustain his career. The rigors of the road eventually tore his marriage apart, leading to a tailspin of alcohol, drugs and death in 1991. He was 46.
As biographer and reissue annotator John Einarson writes, “In the intervening decades, the songs Gene Clark wrote and demoed for White Light, offered here, stand as a deeply personal statement to an enduring talent at peace with himself, his surroundings and his life choices.”
# # #
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 11, 2012
OMINVORE RECORDINGS CHRONICLES
THE CLASSIC YEARS OF
COUNTRY MUSIC PIONEERS WITH COLLECTIONS BY
WANDA JACKSON, GEORGE JONES AND MERLE HAGGARD
Ten-inch vinyl EPs made available on Black Friday provided a sneak preview of Merle Haggard’s The Complete ’60s Capitol Singles, George Jones’ The Complete United Artists Solo Singles,and Wanda Jackson’s The Best of the Classic Capitol Singles.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Omnivore Recordings will release definitive compilations by three giants of country and rockabilly music — Wanda Jackson, Merle Haggard and George Jones — on February 12, 2013. Having released musical appetizers in the form of ten-inch vinyl EPs on Record Store Day’s Back to Black Friday, Omnivore will serve the main course on compact disc in the form of Merle Haggard’s The Complete ’60s Capitol Singles, George Jones’ The Complete United Artists Solo Singles, and Wanda Jackson’s The Best of the Classic Capitol Singles. All three compilations feature A & B sides from the artists’ most influential years. The vinyl EPs were companion pieces, containing rarities not found on the CDs.
Wanda Jackson’s The Best of the Classic Capitol Singles contains 29 songs from her Capitol stint, which began in 1956. Each was taken from the original analog mono 45-rpm masters. Idolized by three generations of rockers, the Queen of Rockabilly made musical side-trips into country and gospel. For every A-side rave-up like “Mean Mean Man” or “Fujiyama Mama,” she offers B sides of equal intrigue: a weeper like “(Every Time They Play) Our Song” or the hillbilly tragedy of “No Wedding Bells for Joe.” She tore through songs that Elvis sang, and also drew from the jazz greats, R&B legends, doo-woppers and the Nashville hit machine. And she made each song her own.
In the ’50s, Capitol Records ad men scratched their heads, looking for a way to position Wanda Jackson’s sound, gamely settling on “jumping rock ’n’ waltz novelty.” Today, as she plays before indie-rock-aged crowds, supporting recent albums produced by Jack White and Justin Townes Earle, we know she’s no novelty. The Best of the Classic Capitol Singles, with extensive liner notes by Daniel Cooper, is her most definitive career retrospective to date.
Jackson’s Capitol label-mate Merle Haggard became one of country music’s greatest stars while recording his Bakersfield-honed songs at the tower at Hollywood & Vine from 1965 until 1976. The Omnivore compilation The Complete ’60s Capitol Singles features 28 A & B sides taken from the original analog mono 45-rpm masters. Neo-rockabilly artist and part-time journalist Deke Dickerson, a longtime Haggard fan, wrote the liner notes.
From “Swinging Doors” in 1965 until the end of the decade, Haggard had an impressive string of hits. “The Fugitive” (b/w “Someone Told My Story”), his first #1 single, was a composition by the esteemed songwriter Liz Anderson (Lynn Anderson’s mother). “I Threw Away the Rose” b/w “Loneliness Is Eating Me Alive” went to #2 on the charts in 1966. Other chart-toppers on this volume include “You Don’t Have Very Far To Go” b/w “Good Times” and “The Legend of Bonnie & Clyde” b/w “I Started Loving You Again.” “Working Man Blues,” written when Haggard “needed (his) own ‘Folsom Prison Blues,’” became a blue-collar anthem and shot to #1. The collection closes with “Okie From Muskogee,” the unlikely political pop crossover that sent mixed signals to younger listeners. Most have since delved deeper into Haggard’s five decades of music and consider him a hero. He continues to record today.
United Artists Records was eventually married to Capitol when it, along with parent label Liberty, was acquired by EMI in 1978. But when country star George Jones recorded for the label (following stints at Starday and Mercury) from 1962 til 1966, United Artists and Capitol were Hollywood crosstown rivals. It was at UA that Jones mastered all the flavors of country: lovelorn ballads, inspirational gospel, uptempo honky tonk, humorous novelty numbers, old-timey murder ballads — even holiday and Western songs. Most of his UA work was done in Nashville featuring the city’s A team: guitarist Grady Martin, pianist Hargus “Pig” Robbins, bassist Bob Moore, drummer Buddy Harman and Hal Rugg on pedal steel. The Jordanaires provided background vocals.
Omnivore’s 32-song George Jones compilation, The Complete United Artist Solo Singles, leads off with chart toppers “She Thinks I Still Care” b/w “Sometimes You Just Can’t Win,” produced by the legendary Cowboy Jack Clement. Both sides of the single pointed the way to the sound that would mark his signature style in decades to follow. The collection also includes Jones’ 1965 smash “The Race Is On.”
“Country music is like a religion to me,” he told Holly George-Warren, author of this compilation’s liner notes. Jones’ early ’60s work for United Artists will make a believer out of you.
# # #
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 27, 2012
NEVER-BEFORE-HEARD MUSIC BY
TEXAS MUSICAL LEGEND TOWNES VAN ZANDT
TO BE ISSUED ON 2-CD SET BY OMNIVORE RECORDINGS
Sunshine Boy: The Unheard Studio Sessions & Demos 1971-1972
is a 28-track set featuring versions of notable songs from the artist’s most prolific period, 1971-72. Liner notes by Colin Escott.
AUSTIN, Texas — As musicologist Colin Escott writes in his liner notes for the upcoming Omnivore Recordings release of the late Townes Van Zandt’s Sunshine Boy: The Unheard Studio Sessions and Demos 1971-1972, “The art of Townes Van Zandt reveals a little at a time. Every hearing brings forth something you can’t believe you missed all the other times, or something that rings even truer today than way back when.”
Omnivore will give listeners more to discover in Townes Van Zandt when the 28-song, two-CD set is released on February 5, 2013. The recordings that comprise the set have been hidden away in the vault since their initial recording and are now presented with the cooperation of the estate. Due to acquisitions by various labels of the initial Poppy Records recordings, these session recordings have sat on the shelf with no one knowing quite where to find them — until now.
Following ten studio albums, several singles and several live albums, the troubled life of the influential singer-songwriter, performer and poet came to a close on New Years Day 1997.
Omnivore is pleased to finally be able to present, after many years in the works, a two-CD set of previously unavailable music from the Texas singer-songwriter’s classic albums High, Low & In Between and The Late Great Townes Van Zandt. One disc features outtakes and alternate takes/mixes of tracks from the sessions for those LPs; the other highlights solo demos. The set offers a window into the work that went into those two brilliant recordings, from a time when Van Zandt was at the height of his songwriting powers.
With alternate takes and mixes of songs like “To Live Is To Fly” (presented in both alternate take and demo form) and the classic "Pancho & Lefty" a mix made alongside the known version, but without the strings and horns of the commercial version), Sunshine Boy is an essential release for all true Townes Van Zandt fans. The quiet and largely solo demo disc provides an intimate portrait of Van Zandt demo-ing songs, some of which would become his best-known compositions.
As Escott explains, “alternate versions add an entirely new dimension, like seeing someone you thought you knew so well in a new light. The new songs are simply good to have when it seemed the barrel was empty. And so here are more than two hours of Townes Van Zandt — music unheard since the engineer peeled off a little splicing tape to seal the box 40 years ago.”
Escott’s comprehensive liner notes, unseen photographs from the era and some entirely unheard songs, make this collection a must-have for fans of one of the best songwriters of his time.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 12, 2012
BUCK OWENS’ HONKY TONK MAN AND DON RICH’S SINGS GEORGE JONES ON OMNIVORE RECORDINGS ILLUSTRATE THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE BAKERSFIELD COUNTRY SOUND IN THE ’70s
Owens’ 18 tracks from the Hee Haw era and Rich’s only solo album
were never released until now. Street date is January 23.
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The San Joaquin Valley city with a population of just over 300,000 served as the Western counterpart to Nashville from the ’50s on through the ’70s, producing such stars as Buck Owens & The Buckaroos, Merle Haggard, and the Maddox Brothers & Rose. Owens and Haggard topped the country charts for decades while retaining their Central California roots. But it wasn’t until 2012 that Omnivore Recordings, digging a little deeper, found two albums worth of never-before-released music from the Buckaroos camp: Buck Owens’ Honky Tonk Man and Don Rich Sings George Jones. Both CDs are set for release January 23, 2013.
The 18 tracks on Buck Owens’ Honky Tonk Man were culled from the vast trove of material he recorded at his Bakersfield studio for the rural hit comedy TV series Hee Haw in the early ’70s. The set is a concise tutorial on the history of country music — from “In the Jailhouse Now,” a song first popularized by Jimmie Rodgers in 1928, to “Rednecks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer,” a hit for Johnny Russell in 1973. Many of the songs Owens did for Hee Haw were originally recorded by his biggest and earliest influences: Bob Willis & His Texas Playboys’ “Stay a Little Longer”; Hank Williams’ “My Bucket’s Got a Hole in It,” “Jambalaya” and “Hey Good Lookin’”; Hank Snow’s “I’m Moving On”; and Jack Guthrie’s “Oklahoma Hills.” Owens also nodded to fellow Bakersfield Sound stalwart Merle Haggard on “Swinging Doors.”
The CD’s title track, “Honky Tonk Man,” is a song first popularized by Johnny Horton in 1956. Thirty years later it became an even bigger hit for Dwight Yoakam, an avowed Bakersfield Sound disciple.
An unreleased Owens track is a rare thing indeed. To have 18 previously unreleased sides collected in one CD is a Bakersfield-sized bounty of riches for Buck Owens fans everywhere.
Until his tragic death in 1974, guitarist, fiddler and vocalist Don Rich appeared on nearly all Buck Owens’ hit records, beginning in the late ’50s. Don Rich Sings George Jones is one of the most exciting country music discoveries in decades — the only solo album ever recorded by the legendary lead guitarist and harmony vocalist for Buck Owens & the Buckaroos. Even more amazing is the fact that this album sat in Owens’ tape vault — unreleased and long forgotten — until now.
In the mid-’60s, with Owens a key part of the Capitol Records roster for a decade, the Buckaroos were issued a separate recording contract with the label, allowing the band to make its own recordings. The band recorded a dozen LPs, over half of which hit Billboard magazine’s best-selling album chart. While primarily known for sizzling instrumental tracks, almost all these albums featured vocals by Rich and other members. With Don’s vocal songs becoming charting singles in their own right, making a Don Rich solo album became pretty much a foregone conclusion.
As fellow Buckaroo Jim Shaw recalls, “Buck went to Don and said, ‘Why don’t you do an album of George Jones covers?’ I suspect Buck thought, ‘That’s a good commercial way to go. George Jones has a huge pile of hits to choose from.’” As to why the album languished in the tape vault for over 40 years, since Owens and Rich are both gone (Rich died in a 1974 motorcycle accident while leaving the Bakersfield studio), there’s no one to provide the answer. But Jim Shaw points out that Rich wouldn’t have bothered to remind anybody about the recording: “Don didn’t have a lot of ambition to be a solo artist. He just wanted to read books about military airplanes and ride his motorcycle.”
The album features such Jones hits as “A Girl I Used To Know,” “White Lightning” and the fittingly Bakersfield-esque “The Race Is On.” In addition are four never-before-released George Jones covers by Buck himself: “The Race is On,” “Four-O-Thirty Three,” “Root Beer” and “Too Much Water.”
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 30, 2012
TO CELEBRATE RECORD STORE DAY’S BACK TO BLACK FRIDAY EVENT (NOVEMBER 23) OMNIVORE RECORDS READIES FOUR TEN-INCH VINYL DISCS BY WANDA JACKSON, GEORGE JONES, MERLE HAGGARD AND BUCK OWENS
Also from Omnivore, Jellyfish’s two-CD set Stack-a-Tracks offers
rare glimpse of band in an instrumental mode
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Record Store Day comes but once a year, but its Back to Black Friday event in November brings the focus back to independent record stores during the biggest shopping day of the year. And for Omnivore Recordings, it’s an important and fun event.
“Everyone at Omnivore is a fan and a collector, most of us have worked at a record store at some point in our career, and as a label, Back to Black Friday gives us an opportunity to make something that we might not otherwise get the chance to make,” says the label’s Cheryl Pawelski. “We love supporting record stores because we all grew up in them and feel that they are an important part of how people learn about music.”
In order to celebrate Black Friday Record Store Day (November 23, 2012), Omnivore has prepared four ten-inch vinyl EPs by country legends Merle Haggard, Wanda Jackson, George Jones and Buck Owens, with much of the material making its vinyl debut. At another end of the musical spectrum, Jellyfish’s Stack-a-Tracks presents never-before-heard instrumental mixes of the band’s two studio albums in a limited-edition, numbered, first edition digipak.
On November 23, 2012, Omnivore will release these ten-inch discs, which will preview full albums due in 2013: George Jones’ United Artists Rarities; Wanda Jackson’s Capitol Rarities; Merle Haggard’s Capitol Rarities; and Buck Owens’ Buck Sings Eagles. Jellyfish’s Stack-a-Tracks also hits the racks on the same day.
According to Pawelski, “Our very first Omnivore release, the Big Star — Third [Test Pressing Edition] is an example of being a little extra creative for Record Store Day. It was an expensive release to make, and without the event that is RSD, we probably couldn’t have pulled it off. It gave us that extra latitude to be able to push the creative limits as far as we could go and justify it.”
The November 2012 Record Store Day Back to Black Friday releases:
• George Jones – United Artists Rarities: As Jones prepares for his farewell tour in 2013, Omnivore is planning the release of The Complete United Artists Solo Singles. Jones had two label homes prior to signing to UA in 1962, and while his tenure there was short (four years), it produced hits like “She Thinks I Still Care” and “The Race Is On.” The United Artists Rarities ten-inch vinyl EP in a beautiful picture sleeve presents four alternate versions of UA recordings plus two previously unissued duets with Melba Montgomery (“There Will Never Be Another” and “Alabama”).
• Wanda Jackson – Capitol Rarities: 2012 was a big year for the Queen of Rockabilly on the heels of career-reinvigorating new albums produced by Jack White and Justin Townes Earle. While Omnivore puts the crowning touches on its 2013 release The Best of the Classic Capitol Singles, the six-song vinyl EP Capitol Rarities sets the stage. Included are previously unissued versions of songs recorded between 1956-62 including “Step by Step” “In the Middle of a Heartache,” “The Wrong Kind of Girl” and three more.
• Merle Haggard – Capitol Rarities: One of the pioneers of the Bakersfield sound, Haggard toured with Buck Owens in the early ’60s and in 1965 was signed to Capitol Records (already home to Buck) by producer Ken Nelson. Omnivore is planning a full-length CD The Complete Capitol ’60s Singles for 2013 release, to which the Capitol Rarities ten-inch vinyl EP sets the stage. The EP contains songs never released back in the day, and alternate versions of well-known tunes. All six songs emanate from unique Nashville and Hollywood recording sessions, making this EP a very cool, collectible piece.
• Buck Owens – Buck Sings Eagles: If Buck Owens, Father of the Bakersfield sound, wasn’t already a household name by 1968, the advent of the hit TV series Hee Haw cemented his fame. Music for the show was recorded in Buck’s studio and then played back on the show with live-to-track vocals. Omnivore will issue these previously unissued made-for-TV recordings as Honky Tonk Man: Buck Owens Sings Country Classics in 2013. Among these recordings were four previously unissued cover songs by the California country-rock torch-carriers the Eagles that comprise the ten-inch vinyl EP.
• Jellyfish: Stack-a-Tracks: While recording their two pivotal studio albums, 1990’s Bellybutton and 1993’s Spilt Milk, “instrumental” mixes of each record were created by Jellyfish and their producers. Unheard and untouched for decades, these recordings will finally see the light of day on Omnivore Recordings’ Jellyfish – Stack-a-Tracks. This is not a “re-imagining” of what these records “might” sound like as instrumentals. They’re the real deal, transferred from the original 1/4-inch masters. With an individually numbered edition of 2,500 units, housed in a digipak for the limited first edition with new illustrated artwork (created for the release by artist Mike McCarthy), this two-CD set is destined to become the newest gem in the collection of power-pop fans everywhere.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 25, 2012
OMNIVORE RECORDINGS TO RELEASE NEWLY REMASTERED
30th ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF THE LONG LOST, OUT-OF-PRINT
1982 BERT JANSCH ALBUM HEARTBREAK
Available on limited edition vinyl and as a two-CD set combining the original with a previously unissued 14-track live show from 1981
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Omnivore Recordings will release a newly remastered 30th Anniversary limited edition LP and two-CD set of the long lost, out-of-print, landmark 1981 album Heartbreak, by seminal Scottish folk guitarist, singer, and composer Bert Jansch on November 6. The first pressing of the LP will be issued on 1,500 pieces of clear vinyl (with subsequent pressings on black vinyl), while the two-CD collection includes the original Heartbreak album in its entirety along with 14 previously unreleased tracks recorded during an intimate live show in June 1981 at the storied venue inside McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, Calif.
Set for release just days after what would have been Jansch’s 69th birthday (November 3), this is a collector’s must-have, featuring extras including special photos and liner notes by legendary English folk musician Ralph McTell and the album’s original producers.
Recorded in June 1981 (and released in 1982), Heartbreak was produced by two enthusiastic fans, Rick and John Chelew. This was the first time in the studio for Rick and his brother John (producer of the pivotal John Hiatt album Bring the Family, three Grammy award-winning albums for The Blind Boys of Alabama, and many others). They borrowed money from their mother to finance the sessions and to pay enlisted musicians like renowned guitarist Albert Lee (Eric Clapton, Emmylou Harris, The Everly Brothers, Bill Wyman) and noted singer/songwriter Jennifer Warnes to accompany Bert in the small Silverlake Studio where the album was recorded. During the sessions, Bert played a few live solo shows around California, including the legendary folk club McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica. Fortunately, Rick and John had the foresight to document these concerts, and now the 30th Anniversary Edition of Heartbreak has been further enhanced by a previously unreleased, complete live show from McCabe's Guitar Shop.
Bert Jansch was one of the most important and central figures in folk music, both for his solo recordings and his work with influential British folk group, Pentangle. Born in Scotland, he was steeped in American blues and jazz, North African music, and folk early in his career, and by the beginning of the ’60s he was playing the British folk clubs, extending his musical education. Artists like Martin Carthy and Anne Briggs turned him on to songs in the British folk tradition.
By the mid-’60s Jansch had set up residence in London where he began and playing live shows, and began making the studio recordings that would come to influence a generation of songwriters, singers, and guitar players. Classic artists like Jimmy Page, Neil Young, Paul Simon, Donovan, Elton John, and Nick Drake, all the way up to present artists like Fleet Foxes and Devendra Banhart, have acknowledged Jansch as a major influence and innovator of acoustic guitar playing.
By his second album, Jansch was collaborating with John Renbourn, another seminal British folk guitar giant. Together in 1967, they formed Pentangle, one of the most important British folk groups of the ’60s. Bert Jansch is listed as one of Rolling Stone magazine’s “Top 100 Guitar Players of All Time.”
According to McTell on his liner notes, “Around this time, Bert was in a very dark place. . . Heartbreak marked an opening up in Bert’s approach to his work, and from here on, although times were often difficult, Bert began to sort out his life through his music.”
Jansch died on October 5, 2011.
About Omnivore Recordings:
Founded in 2010 by longtime, highly respected industry veterans Cheryl Pawelski, Greg Allen, Dutch Cramblitt, and Brad Rosenberger, Omnivore Recordings preserves the legacies and music created by historical, heritage, and catalog artists while also releasing previously unissued, newly found “lost” recordings and making them available for music-loving audiences to discover. Omnivore Recordings is distributed by EMI.