Today on Beale Street Caravan, it is a double dose of awesome as the legendary Joe Cocker and later, Todd Snider, grace the airwaves. Cocker’s performance comes to us from the Telluride Blues Festival in Telluride, Colorado, while Snider’s performance is from The Levitt Shell in Memphis, TN.

Later still, Preston Lauterbach tells us about The Chitlin’ Circuit.

About the artists:

He’s been a major player in the music business for more than forty years. He released 21 studio and four live albums. His unmistakable bluesy soul voice is a musical trademark in its own right. He sold millions of records and had massive hit singles all over the world. He is a Grammy, Golden Globe and Academy Award winning artist. He even received an OBE. Without any doubt, Joe Cocker is not only a true music legend but one of the most successful and popular singers of the last four decades. But despite numerous accolades and million selling releases, he still sympathizes and very much identifies with those who haven’t been as lucky as him, the outsiders and underdogs. So it’s no surprise that when he’s being asked about his feelings towards TV competitions like “American Idol” (a shows he has performed on twice – in France and in the US), he doesn’t seem too unhappy that these formats weren’t around in his youth. “When you think of all the losers on that, who disappear into nowhere”, he ponders, “it probably would have been more disillusioning for me if I had been in a competition like this – and lost, than to work in the pubs and come up that way”. It’s hard believe, but this man, despite being an icon for generations of music fans and musicians alike, still can’t see himself being a winner. His new album, the first for the Sony Music label Columbia Records, is called “Hard Knocks”.“I’ve spent probably more time on the streets than being educated”, explains the 66-year-old Brit. “Fans who’ve been around long enough to remember me all those years ago will probably understand the album title.” But despite the rough theme and atmosphere that it suggests, Cocker devotees (who had to wait more than three years for new material from the singer) don’t have to be worried about a hard-edged new musical direction, far from it. “Hard Knocks” is much more pop than any of his releases in recent years – especially his last album. “With Ethan Jones, who I love and with whom I made ‘Hymn For My Soul’ in 2007, we almost did it like a ‘demo record’. We were using no electronics and no special effects”, explains Joe Cocker.

The ten new tracks on “Hard Knocks” were recorded with Matt Serletic at the helm. It’s the first collaboration between him and Cocker. The Californian first emerged in the mid nineties when working with the alternative rock band Collective Soul. Later he produced records for Matchbox Twenty, Rob Thomas, Blessid Union Of Souls and Carlos Santana. “I met quite a few producers at the time I met Matt”, says Cocker. “We were just having a chat in his studio. I said that I wanted to make a modern record, but not too modern. I know I’ve got to compete with 25 year old kids here, but I’m not Green Day and all that! I felt the vibe from him that we could make something a little different together.”

The recording sessions took place in Serletic’s own Emblem studios in Los Angeles involving a host of acclaimed musicians like Ray Parker Jr., Tim Pierce and Joel Shearer on guitar, Josh Freese, Matt Chamberlain and Dorian Crozier on drums, Chris Chaney on bass and Jamie Muhoberac on keyboards. The songs were mixed by Chris Lord-Alge and mastered by Bob Ludwig.

Another producer he had a go with was none other than Nashville legend Tony Brown, who once played piano for Elvis Presley. “Oddly enough we have the same accountant”, laughs Cocker in reference to the link-up. “He’s quite a character. Actually we also cut another track but it didn’t fit the bill for the kind of record I wanted to make.” The one that actually made the cut is also the only cover version on the album, the Dixie Chicks song “I Hope” (from their 2006 album “Taking The Long Way”). For a singer who is legendary for refining other people’s songs with his unique voice and interpretation style, the quantity of brand new original songs on “Hard Knocks” might come unexpected even for long-standing die-hard Cocker fans. “I used to take a lot of flak for doing covers, especially from younger people and the press”, he remembers. “And in mid production everyone was saying: ‘Well, Joe, they are going to expect a couple covers’ and at one point we were talking about doing a duet with Joss Stone. I’d really like to sing with her, but for some reason we never got the right song. But when I finally delivered ten tunes they were happy enough and I thought: ‘It makes a change’.”

Unlike other bands and musicians who reliably praise their latest musical output as being their best ever, Joe Cocker pleasantly doesn’t believe in all the “next level s**t”-hype and rather lets the punters decide how “Hard Knocks” rates amongst his other works. “I guess it’s only about my 21st album in forty-odd years. That doesn’t seem a lot”, he muses. “I wait till I get feedback from the people. I haven’t even played it to them.” The singer will have to hold back his curiosity at least until October. Then not only will the new album be released, but he will also be touring Europe – for the first time since 2007.

Playing live is and always has been an integral element of his job and one that Joe Cocker always enjoyed immensely. Apart from presenting the songs from “Hard Knocks” live for the first time, he prepared another little surprise for his fans. “There are some songs that were quite successful, but always have been neglected for the live shows”, he explains. “Of course we always do ‘You Can Leave Your Hat On’ and ‘Unchain My Heart’, but now I want to do a little montage in the middle of the show that includes some old songs like ‘Simple Things’ and ‘Tonight’.”

************

Singer/songwriter Todd Snider first garnered attention for his timely alt-rock satire “Talkin’ Seattle Grunge Rock Blues,” a folk-rock song that struck a chord with younger people fed up with angry alternative rock bands, and at the same time, appealed to aging rockers who grew up with the folk revival of the 1960s. Snider was born in Portland, OR, and grew up in Santa Rosa, Austin, Houston, and Atlanta. After moving to Memphis in the mid-’80s and establishing residency at a local club named The Daily Planet, he was discovered by singer/songwriter Keith Sykes, a member of Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band. Sykes began to work with Snider to help advance his career, and after passing on demo tapes of Snider to Buffett, he was signed to the star’s Margaritaville Records. Snider’s debut album, Songs for the Daily Planet was released in the fall of 1994; “Talkin’ Seattle Grunge Rock Blues” was added to the album as an afterthought only after intense lobbying by a Canadian music critic, and ultimately became a minor hit.

On his second effort, 1996′s Step Right Up, Snider and his band, the Nervous Wrecks (comprised of lead guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Will Kimbrough, bassist Joe Mariencheck, drummer Joe McLeary, and keyboardist David Zollo), continued blending bluegrass, blues, folk-rock, and country-rock to forge their own distinctive sound. On his third album, 1998′s Viva Satellite, Snider took a Tom Petty approach, replacing much of his acoustic setup with twang-drenched electric guitar. In 2000, he signed to John Prine’s Oh Boy label and returned to his singer/songwriter roots with Happy to Be Here. He recorded three more records for the label, 2002′s New Connection, 2003′s Near Truths and Hotel Rooms Live, and 2004′s East Nashville Skyline. That Was Me: The Best of Todd Snider 1994-1998 was released on Hip-O in 2005, and the next year Snider’s eighth album, Devil You Know, came out. In 2008 Snider released the politically charged Peace Queer, an eight-song collection of antiwar songs as filtered through Snider’s signature wit and amiable pathos. The Excitement Plan appeared from Yep Roc Records in 2009.

He’s been a major player in the music business for more than forty years. He released 21 studio and four live albums. His unmistakable bluesy soul voice is a musical trademark in its own right. He sold millions of records and had massive hit singles all over the world. He is a Grammy, Golden Globe and Academy Award winning artist. He even received an OBE. Without any doubt, Joe Cocker is not only a true music legend but one of the most successful and popular singers of the last four decades. But despite numerous accolades and million selling releases, he still sympathizes and very much identifies with those who haven’t been as lucky as him, the outsiders and underdogs. So it’s no surprise that when he’s being asked about his feelings towards TV competitions like “American Idol” (a shows he has performed on twice – in France and in the US), he doesn’t seem too unhappy that these formats weren’t around in his youth. “When you think of all the losers on that, who disappear into nowhere”, he ponders, “it probably would have been more disillusioning for me if I had been in a competition like this – and lost, than to work in the pubs and come up that way”. It’s hard believe, but this man, despite being an icon for generations of music fans and musicians alike, still can’t see himself being a winner. His new album, the first for the Sony Music label Columbia Records, is called “Hard Knocks”.“I’ve spent probably more time on the streets than being educated”, explains the 66-year-old Brit. “Fans who’ve been around long enough to remember me all those years ago will probably understand the album title.” But despite the rough theme and atmosphere that it suggests, Cocker devotees (who had to wait more than three years for new material from the singer) don’t have to be worried about a hard-edged new musical direction, far from it. “Hard Knocks” is much more pop than any of his releases in recent years – especially his last album. “With Ethan Jones, who I love and with whom I made ‘Hymn For My Soul’ in 2007, we almost did it like a ‘demo record’. We were using no electronics and no special effects”, explains Joe Cocker.The ten new tracks on “Hard Knocks” were recorded with Matt Serletic at the helm. It’s the first collaboration between him and Cocker. The Californian first emerged in the mid nineties when working with the alternative rock band Collective Soul. Later he produced records for Matchbox Twenty, Rob Thomas, Blessid Union Of Souls and Carlos Santana. “I met quite a few producers at the time I met Matt”, says Cocker. “We were just having a chat in his studio. I said that I wanted to make a modern record, but not too modern. I know I’ve got to compete with 25 year old kids here, but I’m not Green Day and all that! I felt the vibe from him that we could make something a little different together.”

The recording sessions took place in Serletic’s own Emblem studios in Los Angeles involving a host of acclaimed musicians like Ray Parker Jr., Tim Pierce and Joel Shearer on guitar, Josh Freese, Matt Chamberlain and Dorian Crozier on drums, Chris Chaney on bass and Jamie Muhoberac on keyboards. The songs were mixed by Chris Lord-Alge and mastered by Bob Ludwig.

Another producer he had a go with was none other than Nashville legend Tony Brown, who once played piano for Elvis Presley. “Oddly enough we have the same accountant”, laughs Cocker in reference to the link-up. “He’s quite a character. Actually we also cut another track but it didn’t fit the bill for the kind of record I wanted to make.” The one that actually made the cut is also the only cover version on the album, the Dixie Chicks song “I Hope” (from their 2006 album “Taking The Long Way”). For a singer who is legendary for refining other people’s songs with his unique voice and interpretation style, the quantity of brand new original songs on “Hard Knocks” might come unexpected even for long-standing die-hard Cocker fans. “I used to take a lot of flak for doing covers, especially from younger people and the press”, he remembers. “And in mid production everyone was saying: ‘Well, Joe, they are going to expect a couple covers’ and at one point we were talking about doing a duet with Joss Stone. I’d really like to sing with her, but for some reason we never got the right song. But when I finally delivered ten tunes they were happy enough and I thought: ‘It makes a change’.”

Unlike other bands and musicians who reliably praise their latest musical output as being their best ever, Joe Cocker pleasantly doesn’t believe in all the “next level shit”-hype and rather lets the punters decide how “Hard Knocks” rates amongst his other works. “I guess it’s only about my 21st album in forty-odd years. That doesn’t seem a lot”, he muses. “I wait till I get feedback from the people. I haven’t even played it to them.” The singer will have to hold back his curiosity at least until October. Then not only will the new album be released, but he will also be touring Europe – for the first time since 2007.

Playing live is and always has been an integral element of his job and one that Joe Cocker always enjoyed immensely. Apart from presenting the songs from “Hard Knocks” live for the first time, he prepared another little surprise for his fans. “There are some songs that were quite successful, but always have been neglected for the live shows”, he explains. “Of course we always do ‘You Can Leave Your Hat On’ and ‘Unchain My Heart’, but now I want to do a little montage in the middle of the show that includes some old songs like ‘Simple Things’ and ‘Tonight’.”  – See more at: http://bealestreetcaravan.com/artists/joe-cocker#sthash.GB5IwrQG.dpuf

He’s been a major player in the music business for more than forty years. He released 21 studio and four live albums. His unmistakable bluesy soul voice is a musical trademark in its own right. He sold millions of records and had massive hit singles all over the world. He is a Grammy, Golden Globe and Academy Award winning artist. He even received an OBE. Without any doubt, Joe Cocker is not only a true music legend but one of the most successful and popular singers of the last four decades. But despite numerous accolades and million selling releases, he still sympathizes and very much identifies with those who haven’t been as lucky as him, the outsiders and underdogs. So it’s no surprise that when he’s being asked about his feelings towards TV competitions like “American Idol” (a shows he has performed on twice – in France and in the US), he doesn’t seem too unhappy that these formats weren’t around in his youth. “When you think of all the losers on that, who disappear into nowhere”, he ponders, “it probably would have been more disillusioning for me if I had been in a competition like this – and lost, than to work in the pubs and come up that way”. It’s hard believe, but this man, despite being an icon for generations of music fans and musicians alike, still can’t see himself being a winner. His new album, the first for the Sony Music label Columbia Records, is called “Hard Knocks”.“I’ve spent probably more time on the streets than being educated”, explains the 66-year-old Brit. “Fans who’ve been around long enough to remember me all those years ago will probably understand the album title.” But despite the rough theme and atmosphere that it suggests, Cocker devotees (who had to wait more than three years for new material from the singer) don’t have to be worried about a hard-edged new musical direction, far from it. “Hard Knocks” is much more pop than any of his releases in recent years – especially his last album. “With Ethan Jones, who I love and with whom I made ‘Hymn For My Soul’ in 2007, we almost did it like a ‘demo record’. We were using no electronics and no special effects”, explains Joe Cocker.The ten new tracks on “Hard Knocks” were recorded with Matt Serletic at the helm. It’s the first collaboration between him and Cocker. The Californian first emerged in the mid nineties when working with the alternative rock band Collective Soul. Later he produced records for Matchbox Twenty, Rob Thomas, Blessid Union Of Souls and Carlos Santana. “I met quite a few producers at the time I met Matt”, says Cocker. “We were just having a chat in his studio. I said that I wanted to make a modern record, but not too modern. I know I’ve got to compete with 25 year old kids here, but I’m not Green Day and all that! I felt the vibe from him that we could make something a little different together.”

The recording sessions took place in Serletic’s own Emblem studios in Los Angeles involving a host of acclaimed musicians like Ray Parker Jr., Tim Pierce and Joel Shearer on guitar, Josh Freese, Matt Chamberlain and Dorian Crozier on drums, Chris Chaney on bass and Jamie Muhoberac on keyboards. The songs were mixed by Chris Lord-Alge and mastered by Bob Ludwig.

Another producer he had a go with was none other than Nashville legend Tony Brown, who once played piano for Elvis Presley. “Oddly enough we have the same accountant”, laughs Cocker in reference to the link-up. “He’s quite a character. Actually we also cut another track but it didn’t fit the bill for the kind of record I wanted to make.” The one that actually made the cut is also the only cover version on the album, the Dixie Chicks song “I Hope” (from their 2006 album “Taking The Long Way”). For a singer who is legendary for refining other people’s songs with his unique voice and interpretation style, the quantity of brand new original songs on “Hard Knocks” might come unexpected even for long-standing die-hard Cocker fans. “I used to take a lot of flak for doing covers, especially from younger people and the press”, he remembers. “And in mid production everyone was saying: ‘Well, Joe, they are going to expect a couple covers’ and at one point we were talking about doing a duet with Joss Stone. I’d really like to sing with her, but for some reason we never got the right song. But when I finally delivered ten tunes they were happy enough and I thought: ‘It makes a change’.”

Unlike other bands and musicians who reliably praise their latest musical output as being their best ever, Joe Cocker pleasantly doesn’t believe in all the “next level shit”-hype and rather lets the punters decide how “Hard Knocks” rates amongst his other works. “I guess it’s only about my 21st album in forty-odd years. That doesn’t seem a lot”, he muses. “I wait till I get feedback from the people. I haven’t even played it to them.” The singer will have to hold back his curiosity at least until October. Then not only will the new album be released, but he will also be touring Europe – for the first time since 2007.

Playing live is and always has been an integral element of his job and one that Joe Cocker always enjoyed immensely. Apart from presenting the songs from “Hard Knocks” live for the first time, he prepared another little surprise for his fans. “There are some songs that were quite successful, but always have been neglected for the live shows”, he explains. “Of course we always do ‘You Can Leave Your Hat On’ and ‘Unchain My Heart’, but now I want to do a little montage in the middle of the show that includes some old songs like ‘Simple Things’ and ‘Tonight’.”    – See more at: http://bealestreetcaravan.com/artists/joe-cocker#sthash.GB5IwrQG.dpuf

Preston Lauterbach tells us about The Chitlin’ Circuit – See more at: http://bealestreetcaravan.com/listen/shows/2013-06-12#sthash.4m46avkh.dpuf
Preston Lauterbach tells us about The Chitlin’ Circuit – See more at: http://bealestreetcaravan.com/listen/shows/2013-06-12#sthash.4m46avkh.dpuf
ON Beale Street Caravan | June 20, 2013 | 3:00 pm

Joe Cocker and Todd Snider!

http://www.kkfi.org/wp-content/uploads/joecocker-wpcf_200x100.jpg

Today on Beale Street Caravan, it is a double dose of awesome as the legendary Joe Cocker and later, Todd Snider, grace the airwaves. Cocker’s performance comes to us from the Telluride Blues Festival in Telluride, Colorado, while Snider’s performance is from The Levitt Shell in Memphis, TN.

Later still, Preston Lauterbach tells us about The Chitlin’ Circuit.

About the artists:

He’s been a major player in the music business for more than forty years. He released 21 studio and four live albums. His unmistakable bluesy soul voice is a musical trademark in its own right. He sold millions of records and had massive hit singles all over the world. He is a Grammy, Golden Globe and Academy Award winning artist. He even received an OBE. Without any doubt, Joe Cocker is not only a true music legend but one of the most successful and popular singers of the last four decades. But despite numerous accolades and million selling releases, he still sympathizes and very much identifies with those who haven’t been as lucky as him, the outsiders and underdogs. So it’s no surprise that when he’s being asked about his feelings towards TV competitions like “American Idol” (a shows he has performed on twice – in France and in the US), he doesn’t seem too unhappy that these formats weren’t around in his youth. “When you think of all the losers on that, who disappear into nowhere”, he ponders, “it probably would have been more disillusioning for me if I had been in a competition like this – and lost, than to work in the pubs and come up that way”. It’s hard believe, but this man, despite being an icon for generations of music fans and musicians alike, still can’t see himself being a winner. His new album, the first for the Sony Music label Columbia Records, is called “Hard Knocks”.“I’ve spent probably more time on the streets than being educated”, explains the 66-year-old Brit. “Fans who’ve been around long enough to remember me all those years ago will probably understand the album title.” But despite the rough theme and atmosphere that it suggests, Cocker devotees (who had to wait more than three years for new material from the singer) don’t have to be worried about a hard-edged new musical direction, far from it. “Hard Knocks” is much more pop than any of his releases in recent years – especially his last album. “With Ethan Jones, who I love and with whom I made ‘Hymn For My Soul’ in 2007, we almost did it like a ‘demo record’. We were using no electronics and no special effects”, explains Joe Cocker.

The ten new tracks on “Hard Knocks” were recorded with Matt Serletic at the helm. It’s the first collaboration between him and Cocker. The Californian first emerged in the mid nineties when working with the alternative rock band Collective Soul. Later he produced records for Matchbox Twenty, Rob Thomas, Blessid Union Of Souls and Carlos Santana. “I met quite a few producers at the time I met Matt”, says Cocker. “We were just having a chat in his studio. I said that I wanted to make a modern record, but not too modern. I know I’ve got to compete with 25 year old kids here, but I’m not Green Day and all that! I felt the vibe from him that we could make something a little different together.”

The recording sessions took place in Serletic’s own Emblem studios in Los Angeles involving a host of acclaimed musicians like Ray Parker Jr., Tim Pierce and Joel Shearer on guitar, Josh Freese, Matt Chamberlain and Dorian Crozier on drums, Chris Chaney on bass and Jamie Muhoberac on keyboards. The songs were mixed by Chris Lord-Alge and mastered by Bob Ludwig.

Another producer he had a go with was none other than Nashville legend Tony Brown, who once played piano for Elvis Presley. “Oddly enough we have the same accountant”, laughs Cocker in reference to the link-up. “He’s quite a character. Actually we also cut another track but it didn’t fit the bill for the kind of record I wanted to make.” The one that actually made the cut is also the only cover version on the album, the Dixie Chicks song “I Hope” (from their 2006 album “Taking The Long Way”). For a singer who is legendary for refining other people’s songs with his unique voice and interpretation style, the quantity of brand new original songs on “Hard Knocks” might come unexpected even for long-standing die-hard Cocker fans. “I used to take a lot of flak for doing covers, especially from younger people and the press”, he remembers. “And in mid production everyone was saying: ‘Well, Joe, they are going to expect a couple covers’ and at one point we were talking about doing a duet with Joss Stone. I’d really like to sing with her, but for some reason we never got the right song. But when I finally delivered ten tunes they were happy enough and I thought: ‘It makes a change’.”

Unlike other bands and musicians who reliably praise their latest musical output as being their best ever, Joe Cocker pleasantly doesn’t believe in all the “next level s**t”-hype and rather lets the punters decide how “Hard Knocks” rates amongst his other works. “I guess it’s only about my 21st album in forty-odd years. That doesn’t seem a lot”, he muses. “I wait till I get feedback from the people. I haven’t even played it to them.” The singer will have to hold back his curiosity at least until October. Then not only will the new album be released, but he will also be touring Europe – for the first time since 2007.

Playing live is and always has been an integral element of his job and one that Joe Cocker always enjoyed immensely. Apart from presenting the songs from “Hard Knocks” live for the first time, he prepared another little surprise for his fans. “There are some songs that were quite successful, but always have been neglected for the live shows”, he explains. “Of course we always do ‘You Can Leave Your Hat On’ and ‘Unchain My Heart’, but now I want to do a little montage in the middle of the show that includes some old songs like ‘Simple Things’ and ‘Tonight’.”

************

Singer/songwriter Todd Snider first garnered attention for his timely alt-rock satire “Talkin’ Seattle Grunge Rock Blues,” a folk-rock song that struck a chord with younger people fed up with angry alternative rock bands, and at the same time, appealed to aging rockers who grew up with the folk revival of the 1960s. Snider was born in Portland, OR, and grew up in Santa Rosa, Austin, Houston, and Atlanta. After moving to Memphis in the mid-’80s and establishing residency at a local club named The Daily Planet, he was discovered by singer/songwriter Keith Sykes, a member of Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band. Sykes began to work with Snider to help advance his career, and after passing on demo tapes of Snider to Buffett, he was signed to the star’s Margaritaville Records. Snider’s debut album, Songs for the Daily Planet was released in the fall of 1994; “Talkin’ Seattle Grunge Rock Blues” was added to the album as an afterthought only after intense lobbying by a Canadian music critic, and ultimately became a minor hit.

On his second effort, 1996′s Step Right Up, Snider and his band, the Nervous Wrecks (comprised of lead guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Will Kimbrough, bassist Joe Mariencheck, drummer Joe McLeary, and keyboardist David Zollo), continued blending bluegrass, blues, folk-rock, and country-rock to forge their own distinctive sound. On his third album, 1998′s Viva Satellite, Snider took a Tom Petty approach, replacing much of his acoustic setup with twang-drenched electric guitar. In 2000, he signed to John Prine’s Oh Boy label and returned to his singer/songwriter roots with Happy to Be Here. He recorded three more records for the label, 2002′s New Connection, 2003′s Near Truths and Hotel Rooms Live, and 2004′s East Nashville Skyline. That Was Me: The Best of Todd Snider 1994-1998 was released on Hip-O in 2005, and the next year Snider’s eighth album, Devil You Know, came out. In 2008 Snider released the politically charged Peace Queer, an eight-song collection of antiwar songs as filtered through Snider’s signature wit and amiable pathos. The Excitement Plan appeared from Yep Roc Records in 2009.

He’s been a major player in the music business for more than forty years. He released 21 studio and four live albums. His unmistakable bluesy soul voice is a musical trademark in its own right. He sold millions of records and had massive hit singles all over the world. He is a Grammy, Golden Globe and Academy Award winning artist. He even received an OBE. Without any doubt, Joe Cocker is not only a true music legend but one of the most successful and popular singers of the last four decades. But despite numerous accolades and million selling releases, he still sympathizes and very much identifies with those who haven’t been as lucky as him, the outsiders and underdogs. So it’s no surprise that when he’s being asked about his feelings towards TV competitions like “American Idol” (a shows he has performed on twice – in France and in the US), he doesn’t seem too unhappy that these formats weren’t around in his youth. “When you think of all the losers on that, who disappear into nowhere”, he ponders, “it probably would have been more disillusioning for me if I had been in a competition like this – and lost, than to work in the pubs and come up that way”. It’s hard believe, but this man, despite being an icon for generations of music fans and musicians alike, still can’t see himself being a winner. His new album, the first for the Sony Music label Columbia Records, is called “Hard Knocks”.“I’ve spent probably more time on the streets than being educated”, explains the 66-year-old Brit. “Fans who’ve been around long enough to remember me all those years ago will probably understand the album title.” But despite the rough theme and atmosphere that it suggests, Cocker devotees (who had to wait more than three years for new material from the singer) don’t have to be worried about a hard-edged new musical direction, far from it. “Hard Knocks” is much more pop than any of his releases in recent years – especially his last album. “With Ethan Jones, who I love and with whom I made ‘Hymn For My Soul’ in 2007, we almost did it like a ‘demo record’. We were using no electronics and no special effects”, explains Joe Cocker.The ten new tracks on “Hard Knocks” were recorded with Matt Serletic at the helm. It’s the first collaboration between him and Cocker. The Californian first emerged in the mid nineties when working with the alternative rock band Collective Soul. Later he produced records for Matchbox Twenty, Rob Thomas, Blessid Union Of Souls and Carlos Santana. “I met quite a few producers at the time I met Matt”, says Cocker. “We were just having a chat in his studio. I said that I wanted to make a modern record, but not too modern. I know I’ve got to compete with 25 year old kids here, but I’m not Green Day and all that! I felt the vibe from him that we could make something a little different together.”

The recording sessions took place in Serletic’s own Emblem studios in Los Angeles involving a host of acclaimed musicians like Ray Parker Jr., Tim Pierce and Joel Shearer on guitar, Josh Freese, Matt Chamberlain and Dorian Crozier on drums, Chris Chaney on bass and Jamie Muhoberac on keyboards. The songs were mixed by Chris Lord-Alge and mastered by Bob Ludwig.

Another producer he had a go with was none other than Nashville legend Tony Brown, who once played piano for Elvis Presley. “Oddly enough we have the same accountant”, laughs Cocker in reference to the link-up. “He’s quite a character. Actually we also cut another track but it didn’t fit the bill for the kind of record I wanted to make.” The one that actually made the cut is also the only cover version on the album, the Dixie Chicks song “I Hope” (from their 2006 album “Taking The Long Way”). For a singer who is legendary for refining other people’s songs with his unique voice and interpretation style, the quantity of brand new original songs on “Hard Knocks” might come unexpected even for long-standing die-hard Cocker fans. “I used to take a lot of flak for doing covers, especially from younger people and the press”, he remembers. “And in mid production everyone was saying: ‘Well, Joe, they are going to expect a couple covers’ and at one point we were talking about doing a duet with Joss Stone. I’d really like to sing with her, but for some reason we never got the right song. But when I finally delivered ten tunes they were happy enough and I thought: ‘It makes a change’.”

Unlike other bands and musicians who reliably praise their latest musical output as being their best ever, Joe Cocker pleasantly doesn’t believe in all the “next level shit”-hype and rather lets the punters decide how “Hard Knocks” rates amongst his other works. “I guess it’s only about my 21st album in forty-odd years. That doesn’t seem a lot”, he muses. “I wait till I get feedback from the people. I haven’t even played it to them.” The singer will have to hold back his curiosity at least until October. Then not only will the new album be released, but he will also be touring Europe – for the first time since 2007.

Playing live is and always has been an integral element of his job and one that Joe Cocker always enjoyed immensely. Apart from presenting the songs from “Hard Knocks” live for the first time, he prepared another little surprise for his fans. “There are some songs that were quite successful, but always have been neglected for the live shows”, he explains. “Of course we always do ‘You Can Leave Your Hat On’ and ‘Unchain My Heart’, but now I want to do a little montage in the middle of the show that includes some old songs like ‘Simple Things’ and ‘Tonight’.”  – See more at: http://bealestreetcaravan.com/artists/joe-cocker#sthash.GB5IwrQG.dpuf

He’s been a major player in the music business for more than forty years. He released 21 studio and four live albums. His unmistakable bluesy soul voice is a musical trademark in its own right. He sold millions of records and had massive hit singles all over the world. He is a Grammy, Golden Globe and Academy Award winning artist. He even received an OBE. Without any doubt, Joe Cocker is not only a true music legend but one of the most successful and popular singers of the last four decades. But despite numerous accolades and million selling releases, he still sympathizes and very much identifies with those who haven’t been as lucky as him, the outsiders and underdogs. So it’s no surprise that when he’s being asked about his feelings towards TV competitions like “American Idol” (a shows he has performed on twice – in France and in the US), he doesn’t seem too unhappy that these formats weren’t around in his youth. “When you think of all the losers on that, who disappear into nowhere”, he ponders, “it probably would have been more disillusioning for me if I had been in a competition like this – and lost, than to work in the pubs and come up that way”. It’s hard believe, but this man, despite being an icon for generations of music fans and musicians alike, still can’t see himself being a winner. His new album, the first for the Sony Music label Columbia Records, is called “Hard Knocks”.“I’ve spent probably more time on the streets than being educated”, explains the 66-year-old Brit. “Fans who’ve been around long enough to remember me all those years ago will probably understand the album title.” But despite the rough theme and atmosphere that it suggests, Cocker devotees (who had to wait more than three years for new material from the singer) don’t have to be worried about a hard-edged new musical direction, far from it. “Hard Knocks” is much more pop than any of his releases in recent years – especially his last album. “With Ethan Jones, who I love and with whom I made ‘Hymn For My Soul’ in 2007, we almost did it like a ‘demo record’. We were using no electronics and no special effects”, explains Joe Cocker.The ten new tracks on “Hard Knocks” were recorded with Matt Serletic at the helm. It’s the first collaboration between him and Cocker. The Californian first emerged in the mid nineties when working with the alternative rock band Collective Soul. Later he produced records for Matchbox Twenty, Rob Thomas, Blessid Union Of Souls and Carlos Santana. “I met quite a few producers at the time I met Matt”, says Cocker. “We were just having a chat in his studio. I said that I wanted to make a modern record, but not too modern. I know I’ve got to compete with 25 year old kids here, but I’m not Green Day and all that! I felt the vibe from him that we could make something a little different together.”

The recording sessions took place in Serletic’s own Emblem studios in Los Angeles involving a host of acclaimed musicians like Ray Parker Jr., Tim Pierce and Joel Shearer on guitar, Josh Freese, Matt Chamberlain and Dorian Crozier on drums, Chris Chaney on bass and Jamie Muhoberac on keyboards. The songs were mixed by Chris Lord-Alge and mastered by Bob Ludwig.

Another producer he had a go with was none other than Nashville legend Tony Brown, who once played piano for Elvis Presley. “Oddly enough we have the same accountant”, laughs Cocker in reference to the link-up. “He’s quite a character. Actually we also cut another track but it didn’t fit the bill for the kind of record I wanted to make.” The one that actually made the cut is also the only cover version on the album, the Dixie Chicks song “I Hope” (from their 2006 album “Taking The Long Way”). For a singer who is legendary for refining other people’s songs with his unique voice and interpretation style, the quantity of brand new original songs on “Hard Knocks” might come unexpected even for long-standing die-hard Cocker fans. “I used to take a lot of flak for doing covers, especially from younger people and the press”, he remembers. “And in mid production everyone was saying: ‘Well, Joe, they are going to expect a couple covers’ and at one point we were talking about doing a duet with Joss Stone. I’d really like to sing with her, but for some reason we never got the right song. But when I finally delivered ten tunes they were happy enough and I thought: ‘It makes a change’.”

Unlike other bands and musicians who reliably praise their latest musical output as being their best ever, Joe Cocker pleasantly doesn’t believe in all the “next level shit”-hype and rather lets the punters decide how “Hard Knocks” rates amongst his other works. “I guess it’s only about my 21st album in forty-odd years. That doesn’t seem a lot”, he muses. “I wait till I get feedback from the people. I haven’t even played it to them.” The singer will have to hold back his curiosity at least until October. Then not only will the new album be released, but he will also be touring Europe – for the first time since 2007.

Playing live is and always has been an integral element of his job and one that Joe Cocker always enjoyed immensely. Apart from presenting the songs from “Hard Knocks” live for the first time, he prepared another little surprise for his fans. “There are some songs that were quite successful, but always have been neglected for the live shows”, he explains. “Of course we always do ‘You Can Leave Your Hat On’ and ‘Unchain My Heart’, but now I want to do a little montage in the middle of the show that includes some old songs like ‘Simple Things’ and ‘Tonight’.”    – See more at: http://bealestreetcaravan.com/artists/joe-cocker#sthash.GB5IwrQG.dpuf

Preston Lauterbach tells us about The Chitlin’ Circuit – See more at: http://bealestreetcaravan.com/listen/shows/2013-06-12#sthash.4m46avkh.dpuf
Preston Lauterbach tells us about The Chitlin’ Circuit – See more at: http://bealestreetcaravan.com/listen/shows/2013-06-12#sthash.4m46avkh.dpuf
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