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Jul 10, 2014 | Garth Brooks, Sony Music Entertainment Announce Highly Anticipated New Music, World Tour and Going Digital
New York – July 10, 2014 – Singer/songwriter Garth Brooks will release his first album of all-new material in more than a decade under a new agreement with Sony Music, it was announced today by Brooks and Sony Music Entertainment CEO Doug Morris at a press conference in Nashville. Under the worldwide deal, Garth, who […]Read More »
Jul 08, 2014 | Look Again To The Wind: Johnny Cash's Bitter Tears Revisited - A Special Release Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Cash's Landmark Album Available August 19

Album Features Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Bill Miller, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, and Norman and Nancy Blake and others

Jul 8, 2014

NEW YORK, July 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Of all the dozens of albums released by Johnny Cash during his nearly half-century career, 1964's Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian was among the closest to the artist's heart. A concept album focusing on the mistreatment and marginalization of the Native American people throughout the history of the United States, its eight songs—among them "The Ballad of Ira Hayes," a #3 hit single for Cash on the Billboard country chart—spoke in frank and poetic language of the hardships and intolerance they endured.

Now, 50 years after it was recorded, a collective of top Americana artists has come together to reimagine and update these songs that meant so much to Cash, who died in 2003. Look Again To The Wind: Johnny Cash's Bitter Tears Revisited (Sony Music Masterworks, August 19), produced by Joe Henry (Bonnie Raitt, Aaron Neville), features American music giants Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Bill Miller, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, and Norman and Nancy Blake, as well as up-and-comers the Milk Carton Kids and Rhiannon Giddens, interpreting the music of Bitter Tears for a new generation. As his project was for Cash, the new collection is a labor of love with a strong sense of purpose fueling its creation.

"Prior to Bitter Tears, the conversation about Native American rights had not really been had," says Henry, "and at a very significant moment in his trajectory, Johnny Cash was willing to draw a line and insist that this be considered a human rights issue, alongside the civil rights issue that was coming to fruition in 1964. But he also felt that the record had never been heard, so there's a real sense that we're being asked to carry it forward."

Bitter Tears, widely acknowledged for decades as one of Cash's greatest artistic achievements, did not realize its stature as a landmark recording easily and quickly. At the time that Cash proposed the album, he was met with a great deal of resistance from his record label.  They felt that a song cycle revolving around the Native American struggle as perpetrated by the white man took him too far afield of the country mainstream and Cash's core audience. Cash still released the album and although it did not perform as well as he had hoped, he remained extremely proud of the album throughout his life.

Ironically, at the same time that his own label was balking because it felt he would alienate the country audience with his Native American tales, Cash was finding a new set of admirers among the burgeoning folk music crowd that had recently made stars of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Peter, Paul and Mary. Cash's debut performance of "Ira Hayes" at the 1964 Newport Folk Festival had earned him rave reviews.  His appeal was undeniably expanding beyond the country audience, and for those who did connect with Bitter Tears, among them a 17-year-old aspiring singer-songwriter named Emmylou Harris, its music was revelatory and important. "The record was a seminal work for her as a teenager," says Henry. "She bought the album brand new and realized at that moment that Johnny Cash was a folk singer, not a country singer, and was involving himself politically and socially in a way that she had identified with the great folk singers at that moment."

Henry's awareness of Harris' affection for Bitter Tears led him to invite her to contribute to Look Again To The Wind: Johnny Cash's Bitter Tears Revisited. Following the epic, nine-minute album-opener "As Long as the Grass Shall Grow," written by Peter La Farge—a folk singer-songwriter with Native American bloodlines who Cash had befriended—and sung here by Welch and Rawlings, Harris takes the lead vocal on the Cash-penned "Apache Tears," which also features sweet, close harmonies by the Milk Carton Kids, the duo comprising Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan. For Henry, carefully matching artist to song was integral to the integrity of Look Again To The Wind. For some of the tracks, that process required a great deal of consideration. But when it came to deciding who would interpret "The Ballad of Ira Hayes," Henry quickly zeroed in on Kristofferson.

Another of five songs on the original album written by La Farge, "The Ballad of Ira Hayes" is based on the true story of Ira Hamilton Hayes, a Pima Indian who was one of the six Marines seen raising the flag at Iwo Jima in an iconic World War II photograph. Hayes' moment of glory was followed upon his return to civilian life with prejudice and alcoholism—Cash, moved by Hayes' story and La Farge's recounting of it, vowed to record the song.  When planning out Look Again To The Wind, Henry knew that only a few living singers could deliver the song the way he wanted to hear it. He called Kristofferson, utilizing Rawlings and Welch to sing background.

"I wanted somebody whose relationship with Johnny Cash was not only musical but personal," he says. "I'd worked with Kris on a couple of other things and I thought why not ask? Who else has a voice with that kind of power and authority?" That same sense of intuition guided Henry to choose the other participants and the material they would render. For La Farge's "Custer," the album's third song, the producer knew instinctively that Steve Earle was the right man for the job. "Steve is an upstart, and there are very few people I can imagine working right now who could deliver a song that is that pointed in that particular way and do it authentically without cowering from it or making it feel a little too arch," Henry says. "He really could embody the kind of swagger that that song insists upon." 

Similarly, Henry chose Nancy Blake (with Harris and Welch on backing vocals) for the Cash-written "The Talking Leaves," Norman Blake to sing "Drums," the Milk Carton Kids to lead "White Girl" (both of those authored by La Farge) and the powerhouse vocalist Rhiannon Giddens of the Carolina Chocolate Drops for the original album's finale, "The Vanishing Race," written by Cash's good friend Johnny Horton. To bolster the album (the original, typical of mid-'60s vinyl LPs, ran just over a half hour), Henry fills out the track list of Look Again To The Wind with reprises of "Apache Tears" and "As Long As the Grass Shall Grow"—both sung by Welch and Rawlings—and ends the set with the title track, a La Farge tune that did not appear on the original Johnny Cash album but instead on the songwriter's own 1963 release As Long as the Grass Shall Grow: Peter La Farge Sings Of The Indians. Here it's sung by Bill Miller, with Sam Bush providing mandolin and Dennis Crouch upright bass, a fine and fitting coda to the collection.

From the start, Henry looked at the project as one that would require great personal commitment and responsibility on his own part. Approached as potential producer of the project by the man who first envisioned it, Sony Music Masterworks' Senior Vice President Chuck Mitchell (who'd been in conversations with Antonino D'Ambrosio, author of A Heartbeat and a Guitar, a book about the making of Bitter Tears), Henry immediately understood the importance of the assignment. "Johnny Cash was my first musical hero and I feel a profound debt to him as an artist, and as a courageous one," he says. "How could I say no to that?"

He also realized that the Bitter Tears album held a special place in Cash's canon, and that in many ways the issues it raised still resonate today—this had to be apparent in the new versions. "Mr. Cash knew that if he took this on, even if his point of view was not adopted, he had the power to be heard," Henry says.

The album was recorded in three sessions: the first two in Los Angeles and Nashville and, lastly, one at the Cash Cabin, in Cash's hometown of Hendersonville, Tennessee, where Bill Miller cut his contribution. Providing the instrumental backing for most of the album are Greg Leisz (steel guitar, guitars), Keefus Ciancia (keyboards), Patrick Warren (keyboards for the L.A. sessions), Jay Bellerose (drums) and Dave Piltch (bass).

Sony Music Masterworks comprises Masterworks, Sony Classical, OKeh, Portrait, Masterworks Broadway and Flying Buddha imprints. For email updates and information please visit www.SonyMasterworks.com.

TRACKLIST:

  1. As Long as the Grass Shall Grow – feat. Gillian Welch & David Rawlings
  2. Apache Tears – feat. Emmylou Harris w/The Milk Carton Kids
  3. Custer – feat. Steve Earle w/The Milk Carton Kids
  4. The Talking Leaves – feat. Nancy Blake w/ Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch & Dave Rawlings
  5. The Ballad of Ira Hayes – feat. Kris Kristofferson w/ Gillian Welch & David Rawlings
  6. Drums – feat. Norman Blake w/ Nancy Blake, Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings
  7. Apache Tears (Reprise) – feat. Gillian Welch & Dave Rawlings
  8. White Girl – feat. The Milk Carton Kids
  9. The Vanishing Race – feat. Rhiannon Giddens
  10. As Long as the Grass Shall Grow (Reprise) – feat. Nancy Blake, Gillian WelchDave Rawlings
  11. Look Again to The Wind – feat. Bill Miller 

 

SOURCE Sony Music Masterworks

Jul 08, 2014 | Original Film Soundtrack of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Available Digitally on July 8 and on CD July 29

MUSIC BY ACADEMY AWARD® WINNING COMPOSER MICHAEL GIACCHINO

Jul 8, 2014

NEW YORK, July 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Classical is pleased to announce the release of the original motion picture soundtrack of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, composed by the Academy Award®-winning Michael Giacchino (Ratatouille, Up, The Incredibles). Directed by Matt Reeves, the film is the sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) and is the second time that Reeves and Giacchino collaborated following the romantic horror film Let Me In (2010).  The soundtrack will be available digitally on July 8 and on CD on July 29.

The previous work of the prolific American composer Michael Giacchino includes scores for movies, television series and video games. Giacchino has received numerous awards for his work, including an Emmy®, multiple Grammys®, a Golden Globe® Award, and an Academy Award®. Giacchino majored in film production at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and studied composition at the Juilliard School. His early work on video games such as Medal of Honor and Call of Duty was followed by writing the music for the television series Alias as well as the award winning show LOST, which earned Michael an Emmy®.

His career in movies took off ten years ago with the commission to score The Incredibles, which garnered two Grammy® nominations in 2005 (Best Score Soundtrack Album and Best Instrumental Composition) for its lively, jazz-influenced orchestral sound. In 2008, Giacchino's compositions for Ratatouille earned the Grammy Award® for Best Score Soundtrack Album and an Academy Award® nomination. In 2010 Giacchino received two Golden Globe Awards®, a BAFTA, and the Academy Award® for Best Original Score for his music for the movie Up. Giacchino's other credits for film music include Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, the latter two showing that he is no stranger to composing for science fiction. To his previous work in this genre, he now adds a full orchestral score for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

Michael Giacchino's stated preference is for clear melodies and themes which he likes to combine with touches of atonality, while respecting previous compositions and reacting to the content of the movie. "I knew immediately that I wanted to acknowledge the experimental musical style which my hero Jerry Goldsmith chose for the original film by finding my own interesting sounds. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is an extremely moving story about tolerance and how we deal with each other as a society … I knew we would have to treat that subtext with great respect and dignity. I hope that I have done so while also honoring Jerry's original sound." 

About the movie
A nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of humans who survived the virus that devastated them ten years earlier. The fragile peace that they reach proves to be short-lived, when men and apes come to the brink of a war that will decide which species dominates Earth. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes stars Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell, and Kodi Smith-McPhee.

Sony Masterworks comprises Masterworks, Okeh, Portrait, Sony Classical, RCA Red Seal, and Masterworks Broadway imprints. For email updates and information please visit www.SonyMasterworks.com.

SOURCE Sony Classical

Jun 25, 2014 | Band of Brothers, Willie Nelson's New Album for Legacy Recordings, Enters the Billboard 200 at #5, Debuts at #1 on Nation's Country Album Charts

Willie's First Batch of Newly Penned Songs In Nearly 2 Decades is His 2nd Consecutive Top 10 Album in Under a Year & First #1 Country Album Since 1986

Jun 25, 2014

NEW YORK, June 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Band of Brothers, the new Willie Nelson studio album, is entering the Billboard 200 best-selling albums chart at #5, marking Willie's highest debut and highest position on America's popular albums chart since Always On My Mind peaked there for three weeks at #2 in 1982.

Legacy Recordings logo. Division of SONY Music Entertainment.

Willie's latest is also debuting at #1 on the Billboard Country chart, making Band of Brothers his first #1 Country album since The Promiseland hit the top slot in 1986.

With Band of Brothers sitting high on the nation's Pop and Country charts, Natural Renegade, a Willie Nelson retrospective collection originally released in 2007, has also returned to the charts, coming in at #7 on the Top Catalog albums chart.

Willie's second Top 10 album in less than a year--its predecessor, To All The Girls..., entered the Billboard 200 at #9 (and the Country chart at #2) in October 2013--Band of Brothers premieres 14 studio tracks including nine brand-new songs composed by America's quintessential pop/country songwriter. Willie's first album of predominately newly-written original material since 1996's Spirit album, Band of Brothers is already drawing praise from music press and fans alike as a welcome return-to-form from the master tunesmith.

All 14 tracks on Band of Brothers are new recordings and none of the songs have been previously recorded by Willie Nelson.

"We have had many, many great musical performers and music acts on this stage, and this theatre has seen the best of the best," said host David Letterman recently, introducing Willie Nelson to his Late Show audience, adding, "No one better than this guy...."

It's a sentiment echoed by NPR, who devoted a section of their online music home page to a "first listen" to Band of Brothers and conducted an extensive, lively interview with Willie on "All Things Considered" on June 15, with host Arun Rath calling the artist, simply "such a great songwriter."

"The master songwriter turns in his strongest tunes in ages," wrote Rolling Stone. "A minute into Willie Nelson's new set of songs – largely self-penned for a change – it's clear the man who wrote Patsy Cline's 'Crazy' 50-some years ago has lost neither verve nor cojones."

The New York Times called Band of Brothers "...a serenely feisty autumnal statement from the singer, who formed his sage, grizzled persona decades ago. [...] his relaxed, quavery, behind-the beat vocals and his acoustic lead guitar always made him a voice of maturity. The sly versatility of his style has allowed him to cruise through many albums of collaborations, covers and tributes to vintage country music. But 'Band of Brothers'--with nine of its 14 songs written by Mr. Nelson and Buddy Cannon, the album's producer--is set in the present. At 81, Mr. Nelson has more right to be autumnal than ever. That doesn't mean he's retreating...."

"Nelson the songwriter returns in all his wonderful guises," observed Associated Press (AP). ".... each song is a perfect projection of its writer's best qualities. They're comfortable, familiar, well-worn, but also new and different."

"Of course when it comes to country nonconformists, Nelson not only wrote the book, he published it and put it on the shelves. Country's original Outlaw has spent decades proving it's possible to be an icon and an iconoclast at the same time," wrote CMT in a review of Willie Nelson & the Family's recent performance at Radio City Music Hall, testifying to Willie's on-stage power and charisma. "Watching Nelson work his magic as he did at Radio City is a thrilling experience....as if Nelson was venturing ever further on a high wire without losing his footing."

Band of Brothers is a Pick in People magazine, who praise the album as "spirited," noting that "the 81-year-old legend is ready for any challenge yet to come...."

In that spirit, Willie Nelson sat down for an adventurous interview with the ESPN Sports Center on June 16 and went online for a SportsNation chat with his fans.

Willie Nelson/Band of Brothers - tracklisting

  1. Bring It On (Willie Nelson/Buddy Cannon)
  2. Guitar in the Corner (Willie Nelson/Buddy Cannon)
  3. The Wall (Willie Nelson/Buddy Cannon)
  4. Whenever You Come Around (Vince Gill/Pete Wasner)
  5. Wives and Girlfriends (Willie Nelson/Buddy Cannon)
  6. I Thought I Left You (Willie Nelson/Buddy Cannon)
  7. Send Me a Picture (Willie Nelson/Buddy Cannon)
  8. Used to Her (Willie Nelson/Buddy Cannon)
  9. The Git Go (Billy Joe Shaver/Gary Nicholson)
  10. Band of Brothers (Willie Nelson/Buddy Cannon)
  11. Hard to Be an Outlaw (Billy Joe Shaver)
  12. Crazy Like Me (Dennis Morgan/Shawn Camp/Billy Burnette)
  13. The Songwriters (Gordie Sampson/Bill Anderson)
  14. I've Got a Lot of Traveling to Do (Willie Nelson/Buddy Cannon)

WillieNelson.com 
LegacyRecordings.com

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20060130/LEGACYLOGO

SOURCE SONY/Legacy Recordings

Jun 23, 2014 | Original Soundtrack Of Fargo Available July 1

MUSIC BY JEFF RUSSO FOR THE CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED FX SERIES

Jun 23, 2014

NEW YORK, June 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Music is proud to announce the release on July 1 of the soundtrack for Fargo, the 10-part critically acclaimed television series for FX produced by MGM Television and FX Productions, featuring music composed by Jeff Russo.

Jeff Russo is a songwriter, composer, guitarist, vocalist and producer. He came to prominence as founding member, lead guitarist and co-songwriter of the American rock band Tonic, recipients of two Grammy® nominations, with whom he still plays. Recently, he has had a prolific career composing scores for feature films, TV programs and commercials, including the ABC dramas The Unusuals and My Generation, The Discovery Network's FreeFall, the USA network series Necessary Roughness, the CBS network mini-series Hostages, and most recently the Starz drama Power. In 2013 he worked on feature films including Shoreline Entertainment's Watercolor Postcards and the independent movie Free Ride. Russo has also composed music for the New York-based Cedarlake Ensemble Contemporary Ballet.

The score of Fargo perfectly showcases Jeff Russo's versatile talents. Russo is able to emphasize the strengths of the series and its storied cast of characters by assigning different motifs and instruments to each one: the weak and easily led "Lester Nygaard" (Martin Freeman) is assigned the main theme with its slightly whimsical nature.  For the manipulative "Lorne Malvo" (Billy Bob Thornton), sleigh bells, which typically denote happiness, in this case represent his dangerous, animalistic nature, chiming for Lester when he is reminded of the brutal Malvo. In the second episode, "The Rooster Prince," new hit men coming down the highway are introduced by means of a steady drumbeat without any other accompaniment.

About Fargo
An original adaptation of the Academy Award®-winning feature film, Fargo features an all-new "true crime" story and follows a new case and new characters, all entrenched in the trademark humor, murder and "Minnesota nice" that made the film an enduring classic. Oscar® winner Billy Bob Thornton stars as "Lorne Malvo," a ruthless, manipulative man who meets and forever changes the life of small town insurance salesman "Lester Nygaard," played by BAFTA Award® winner and Emmy®-nominated Martin Freeman. Colin Hanks plays Duluth Police Deputy "Gus Grimly," a single dad who must choose between his own personal safety and his duty as a policeman when he comes face-to-face with a killer.  Allison Tolman also stars as "Molly Solverson," an ambitious Bemidji deputy. 

Rounding out Fargo's colorful cast of recurring characters are Emmy winner Bob Odenkirk as "Deputy Bill Oswalt," Golden Globe™ and Emmy-nominated Oliver Platt as "Stavros Milos," Screen Actors Guild Award® winner Kate Walsh as "Gina Hess," Glenn Howerton (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) as "Don Chumph," Joey King as "Greta Grimly," Peter Breitmayer as "Lieutenant Schmidt,"  Tom Musgrave as "Bo Munk," Josh Close as "Chazz Nygaard," Russell Harvard  as "Mr. Wrench," Adam Goldberg as "Mr. Numbers," Keegan-Michael Key as "Bill Budge"  and Jordan Peele as "Webb Pepper." 

Fargo is produced by MGM Television and FX Productions for the FX Network in the U.S., with MGM Television acting as the lead studio and worldwide distributor of the series.

Sony Masterworks comprises Masterworks, Okeh, Portrait, Sony Classical, RCA Red Seal, and Masterworks Broadway imprints. For email updates and information please visit www.SonyMasterworks.com.

SOURCE Sony Classical

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