Harvey Kubernik

Johnny Cash: The Mercury Records Years 1986-1991

By Harvey Kubernik © 2020  

Johnny Cash in the mid-1980s found himself between record labels. 

Mercury Records in Nashville snatched up the country legend after his 30 year run with the Columbia Records label. Cash subsequently

Courtesy of Mercury/UMe

released a string of six albums on Mercury in five years. 

    While the mid ‘80s to early ‘90s saw Cash, who was still touring heavily, a bit creatively adrift, but he never stopped making music and going into the studio. He signed a deal with Mercury Records at the urging of music business executive, Steve Popovich, after Columbia Records dropped him from the label.   

   Cash’s work issued from 1986 to 1991, were a diverse collection that included a notable reunion with fellow Sun Records alumni Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins, star-studded collaborations with Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney, Glen Campbell, Waylon Jennings, Emmylou Harris, Hank Williams Jr. and others, inspired takes on songs from Elvis Costello, Guy Clark and Harry Chapin, the Man in Black revisiting his classic hits, and some tunes written by Cash. Cash’s stint with Mercury has never been revisited—until now. Continue reading

Gilbert O’Sullivan Spring 2020 U.S. Tour

By Harvey Kubernik © 2020 

   In 2016, singer/songwriter Gilbert O’Sullivan signed with the BMG, the worldwide label and music publishing empire who ushered in

Courtesy BMG Music

O’Sullivan’s 2018 self-titled album Gilbert O’Sullivan produced by Ethan Johns (Kings Of Leon, Ray LaMontagne, Ryan Adams, Paolo Nutini, and Rufus Wainwright).  

   The album went Top 20 UK in 2018, his first British charting studio album in over 40 years. Gilbert has just completed a 16 date sell-out tour of the U.K.

    O’Sullivan has continued to bring forth his current tunes and recordings in select live performances (both solo and full band) to thrilled audiences across Europe, Japan and assorted parts across the continents for some time. 

   Theater critic Peter Grant of the U.K.’s Wirral Globe proclaimed in his 5-Star review from October 14, 2019, Glorious Gilbert at The Floral Pavilion….A joyous journey through the diverse, rich back-catalogue of one of the world’s most successful singer-songwriters.”

   And what of America? The ominous, often intimidating large slice of a nation across the pond that many European troubadours before him have seen as make-or-break territory, it still looms large (often ominously) on any touring artist’s itinerary.  Continue reading

CREAM GOODBYE TOUR – LIVE 1968

4CD Live Box Set

 BY HARVEY KUBERNIK © 2020 

Cream was a shambling circus of diverse personalities who happened to find that catalyst together….. any one of us could have played

Courtesy of Universal Music Enterprises

unaccompanied for a good length of time. So you put the three of us together in front of an audience willing to dig it limitles

sly, we could have gone on forever…. And we did….just going for the moon every time we played.”–Eric Clapton

The Universal Music Enterprises record label in March 2020 will release the 4-CD, special edition of Cream’s Goodbye Tour Live 1968. The collection assembles 36 tracks, including 29 making their first appearance on CD, recorded during Cream’s farewell tour of the US in October 1968 and their final UK date at London’s Royal Albert Hall on November 26th of that same year. 

There are a total of 19 previously unissued tracks, and a further 10 selections from the Royal Albert Hall show, which have only ever been available on DVD.  

On its original release in February 1969, Goodbye, which combined live performances from their last tour dates with a handful of studio recordings, earned a UK No. 1 slot and achieved a No. 2 position on the US Billboard chart.  Continue reading

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band

By Harvey Kubernik © 2020 

      Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band, the feature documentary was premiered September 5, 2019 as the Opening Night

The Band-Once Were Brothers

Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

Gala Presentation for the 44th Toronto International Film Festival. 

   In February 2020 it opens in Hollywood at the ArcLight Cinema February 21st on Sunset Blvd. where Robertson that night will participate in a Q&A after the 7:30 PM show. It runs nationally on February 28th. UK and Europe distribution will follow.  

    Inspired by Robertson’s acclaimed 2016 autobiography, Testimony, director Daniel Roher’s Once Were Brothers documentary explores Robertson’s young life and the creation of The Band, one of the most influential groups in the history of popular music. The compelling film blends rare archival footage, photography, iconic songs, and interviews with many of Robertson’s friends and collaborators, including Martin Scorsese, Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Peter Gabriel, Taj Mahal, Dominique Robertson, and Ronnie Hawkins. 

   In 2019, Magnolia Pictures acquired the worldwide rights

   In late January 2020 I was invited to the special screening Robertson, CAA Music, Brain Grazer, Ron Howard and Imagine Documentaries hosted at the Ray Kurtzman Theater in Los Angeles.  Continue reading

Songs For Groovy Children: The Fillmore East Concerts by Jimi Hendrix Now Out

Hendrix Final Album, Band of Gypsys, Celebrated with Remastered 50th Anniversary Vinyl Editions due March 27th     

By Harvey Kubernik © 2020 

Experience Hendrix L.L.C. and Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, released Songs For Groovy Children: The

The Band Of Gypsys featuring Jimi Hendrix, on stage at the Fillmore East, New York, NY January 1, 1970. Courtesy of Authentic Hendrix

Fillmore East Concerts by Jimi Hendrix, on CD and digital this past November, with a vinyl configuration that was issued December 13th

This collection assembles all four historic debut concerts by the legendary guitarist in their original performance sequence. The 5 CD or 8 vinyl set boasts over two dozen tracks that have either never before been released commercially or have been newly pressed and newly remixed. 

Over the course of four extraordinary years, Jimi Hendrix placed his indelible stamp upon popular music with breathtaking velocity.  Measured alongside his triumphs at Monterey Pop and Woodstock, Hendrix’s legendary Fillmore East concerts illustrated a critical turning point in a radiant career filled with indefinite possibilities.

The revolutionary impact Jimi Hendrix, Billy Cox and Buddy Miles had upon the boundaries and definitions of rock, R&B, and funk can be traced to four concerts over the course of two captivating evenings.  

These performances were first celebrated by Band of Gypsys, which featured six songs from the two January 1, 1970 concerts, including “Machine Gun,” the album’s dramatic centerpiece. Issued in April 1970, Band of Gypsys challenged and surprised the wide following of Jimi Hendrix with its extended arrangements and vibrant mix of rock and soul. 

In June of 1969, at the height of their fame, The Jimi Hendrix Experience closed a musical chapter.  Before the shockwaves could settle, Hendrix assembled a new, expanded ensemble to perform at Woodstock in August. A new chapter was opened as Hendrix introduced Gypsy Sun and Rainbows.  The large ensemble included Jimi’s longtime friend Billy Cox, on bass, whom he had befriended when both were serving with the 101st Airborne Division in Ft. Campbell, Kentucky in 1962.   Continue reading