Wednesday, August 13, 2014



Story By: G. H. HARDING
Randy Travis

TRAVIS BACK --- The new album from country music icon, Randy Travis, Influence Vol. 2: The Man I Am is available for download on iTunes starting today. While getting ready for the official release set for next Tuesday, August 19th on Warner Bros, records, fans can get the collection of covers online a week early and also take a look at a series of concept videos created in anticipation of the release. The album had exclusively streamed in its entirety on Rolling Stone Country as well.

Throughout his celebrated career, Travis and his music have been a major influence to other country artists, while on Influence Vol. 2: The Man I Am, Travis pays homage to some of the songs and artists that were instrumental in crafting his musical career.

Says Travis, “We had such a great time putting together Influence Vol. 1, but there were still so many musical heroes of yesteryear that I learned from and wanted to honor. We had no choice but to release a second volume. The Influence that the older, great ones had on me, and the Influence that I may, somehow, have on the ones that come along after me, is God’s way of allowing us to pay it forward. It is my prayer answered—and, His will done—it is what makes me, the man I am."

TRUST GREGG --- Lakeshore Records will release the Trust Me – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack digitally on August 26, 2014. The album features original music by Mark Kilian (Pitch Perfect TSOTSI).

“Director Clark Gregg and editor Kathryn Himoff and I spent much time conceptualizing and molding what the tone of the score should be,” explained Kilian. “The movie presented a fine line between nourish darkness and cleverly written comedy that feels sharp and real, especially for Hollywood folks.”

To achieve this Kilian described, “I assembled a collection of struck ethnic idiophones like gamelan, glass marimba, bass marimba, metal buzz balafon, hapi drum and glock and started recording moods and patterns on which I could build further. To invoke a noir attitude I used trumpet (both muted and open) and string bass and then filled in as was needed with strings and some manipulated guitar soundscape work.”

South African born Mark Kilian has had a successful and eclectic film-scoring career since moving to Los Angeles in 1994. He is most known for his ethnic-flavored scores like the Oscar winning TSOTSI, Traitot, Rendition, and Bless Me, Ultima.

His TV work includes HBO’s 41, ABC’s Killer Women and Daybreak. He has also written music for many TV commercials including Apple, Toyota, Budweiser and American Express. He has 3 albums out under the name The Gravy Street, which have received airplay in Los Angeles.

Clark Gregg leads an all-star cast in the sharp comedy Trust Me, as Howard Holloway, a down-on-his luck agent for child actors and truly one the last good guys left in Hollywood. After discovering a 13-year-old acting prodigy (newcomer Saxon Sharbino), he is poised to close the deal of a lifetime which would catapult his tween client and, at long last, himself, into the big time. With the support of his gorgeous new neighbor (Amanda Peet), he must wrangle the actress' volatile, overprotective father (Paul Sparks), dodge a scheming producer (Felicity Huffman), and outwit his uber-slick nemesis. As he arrives on the brink of the Hollywood dream that's eluded him for a lifetime, he begins to sense that his innocent young starlet may not be quite what she seems. Also featured, are: Allison Janney, William H. Macy, and Molly Shannon.

REAL MUSIC, REALLY GOOD --- From Roger Friedman’s always prescient Showbiz 411: “What year is it? After a summer of disposable music, the real guys have grabbed hold of the top 3 on the album charts. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers have their first number 1 album ever with Hypnotic Eye– 126K copies sold. Eric Clapton’s tribute to JJ Cale is number 2, with 58.5K copies. And the soundtrack to Guardians of the Galaxy– all hits from the early 70’s called Amazing Mixtape, Vol. 1 is number 3 with 57,000 copies. No, none of these numbers are high, but they're the best of the week. And it’s all real musicianship, nothing faked. Download ‘em, stream ‘em, whatever.”

Maybe … just maybe, the younger generation is finally discovering real music. No disrespect to One Direction, Ariana Grande, or Iggy Azalea or other such new hit wonders, but, real music is … really good!

CLOSING NOTES --- I am still utterly gutted by the news of Robin Williams’ passing. Whatever the reasons why, I hope he is finally at peace. I think Meryl Streep may have come up with the best tribute to him: It’s hard to imagine an unstoppable force, stopped. What a unique gift he had. Rest easy Robin. Your gifts will resonate for years…

And Lauren Bacall, who was a star since first being discovered on a cover of Harper’s Bazaar at 18, passed yesterday. I don't think anyone who ever saw her in Key Largo, will ever forget her mesmerizing presence. Feisty, outspoken … she was one of a kind…

Smokey Robinson’s new duets album Smokey & Friends premieres today exclusively via First Play on iTunes Radio. The album will be available to stream in its entirety today through August 18.

Smokey & Friends features Robinson alongside old friends like James Taylor, Sir Elton John, Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Sheryl Crow, as well as with some of today's hottest new artists including John Legend, John Mayer, Miguel, Aloe Blacc, JC Chasez, CeeLo, Ledisi and Jessie J.

Check it out HERE

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