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PIGSHIT: A Clearer Than Ever Portrait of a True Legend

Most every single time the 20th century’s greatest singer-songwriters find themselves getting lionized or even litanized, it seems one towering figure is strangely, sorrowfully AWOL. Despite this man’s myriad accomplishments both on the stage, behind the scenes, in the control room or, of course, in front of the microphone, his name is all-too-rarely uttered alongside those of Lennon, Smokey, Dylan, Aretha, Holly or even Hank.

Nevertheless, January 22, 2011 would have been Sam Cooke’s 80th birthday and I spent it the only way I knew how: with lights low and relaxed beneath headphones filled with ABKCO Records’ newly-upgraded Sam Cooke: Portrait of a Legend, 1951-1964.

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PIGSHIT: “The greatest rock movie you’ve never seen,” according to Steven Van Zandt

Attention music fans and pop culture connoisseurs everywhere!

Your assignment for today is to gather one dozen of the world’s most popular entertainers into a medium-sized concert facility, for one evening only. Age, style, size, corporate affiliation and musical pigeonhole is to be strictly of no concern whatsoever. Each act just has to have had a heck of a lot of their songs downloaded, perhaps maybe even sold, over the past calendar year or so.

Then, with a bare minimum of rehearsal or directorial guidelines of any sort – and an equally bare-boned budget to boot – a two-hour concert has to sequenced, scored, choreographed, and executed upon a single stage utilizing all these chosen singers, dancers and accompanists. AND, the entire proceedings have to be filmed live, music and vocals, without re-takes. Finally, the resulting  miles of tape then have to be edited, printed, promoted, and distributed for public viewing to theaters.

Oh! And there’s one more catch: This all has to be completed within a mere fourteen days, from show-date to release-date.

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Brian Ray on Playing with Paul McCartney, Jimmy Page, Etta James and His Upcoming Album

redbone1Brian Ray calls himself a “Reluctant Rock God and Guitarist” on his MySpace, but what’s perhaps even more impressive is that he’s scored one of the best gigs around: since 2002 he has been Paul McCartney’s bass player and yes, that’s The Beatles‘ Sir Paul McCartney. However, Brian Ray’s extensive career is not to be undermined. He’s accomplished many great musical feats and in the past has played with greats such as Bobby Pickett, Etta James and Smokey Robinson and, more recently, played on Chris Cornell’s solo album. He’s even released his own solo record, Mondo Magneto, and has a second in the works. Brian recently agreed to honor The Rock and Roll Report with an exclusive interview.

Q:  You just finished a tour with Paul McCartney, how was it?

A: BR: Yes, we finished a recent big stadium tour in the US [11 dates] and it was a fabulous time, including the new Citifield Stadium [home of the NY Mets] and the outdoor concert on the rooftop marquee of the Ed Sullivan Theatre [home of David Letterman’s Show].