Invasion of the actor-singers

July 17th, 2009, 1:41 pm by Greg

jeffDanielsWilliam Shatner, Brent Spiner, Jada Pinkett Smith, Bruce Willis, Scarlet Johnasson, Don Johnson, Terence Howard, Minnie Driver, Jeff Bridges, Eddie Murphy, Robert Mitchum, Russell Crowe, Robert Downey Jr., Lynda Carter, John Travolta…

The list just keeps growing longer. The list – that is – of actors who feel the deep inner need to express themselves musically.

Jeff Daniels knows that the last thing the world needs is another actor-singer-songwriter.

So he kicks off his CD, “Jeff Daniels: Live and Unplugged,” with a pre-emptive strike – a wonderfully witty little ditty titled “If William Shatner Can, I Can, Too”:

“Despite people across the country screamin’, `Please don’t do it,’
We’ve got another CD from Jennifer Love Hewitt,
And now that Adam Sandler’s got more money than God,
I hope he takes his guitar and … just goes away.”

Daniels, of course, isn’t about to go away. And he isn’t about to stop singing, either. In fact, he’s swinging into the Colonial Theater in Pittsfield for a concert on Monday, July 20.

And Daniels isn’t the only actor-singer headed into Nippertown this week. The very next night – Tuesday, July 21 – Kevin Costner rides into Northern Lights in Clifton Park with his band, Modern West.


JEFF BUCKLEY’s “Grace Around the World”

June 2nd, 2009, 10:16 am by Greg

(Columbia/Legacy, 2009)
When he drowned in Memphis a dozen years ago, 30-year-old Jeff Buckley had completed only one full-length album. But that album was 1994’s audacious “Grace,” and it cemented Buckley’s legacy as a cult icon.

Now that stunning debut album is being celebrated on the occasion of its 15th anniversary with “Grace Around the World,” a CD/DVD combo that presents previously unreleased live versions of the songs from the album. (Benjamin Britten’s “Corpus Christi Carol” is absent from the new compilation. In its stead is the Qawwali-influenced “What Will You Say.”)

The live renditions are culled from a variety of concerts and television appearances in London, New York, Frankfurt, New Orleans, Tokyo and Chicago. It’s pretty amazing stuff, perfectly capturing Buckley’s fearless adventurousness.

Serious fans will want to go the extra bucks for the deluxe package which includes a second DVD – the hour-long, award-winning documentary, “Amazing Grace: Jeff Buckley,” by directors Laurie Trombley and Nyla Bialek Adams.

Jeff Buckley: Grace-Around The World Deluxe Edition (CD/DVD+DVD Documentary Amazing Grace: Jeff Buckley)

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