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From Pink Floyd and Abbey Road to The Project and Austin Powers: A Conversation with Alan Parsons

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Though most people associate the name Alan Parsons with his prog rock hits of the seventies and eighties, this sound designer has had a passion for the latest technologies that reaches back to his early days with EMI and Abbey Road Studios. As an artist, his hits include "Games People Play," "Time," "Eye In The Sky," "I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You," and "Don't Answer Me." As a producer, he helmed Al Stewart's "Year Of The Cat" and "Time Passages," and as an engineer, his credits include classics such as "The Air That I Breathe" by The Hollies, and a little album you might have heard of called The Dark Side Of The Moon by Pink Floyd.

Alan Parsons' latest project is The Art & Science Of Sound Recording, a three-disc DVD series filmed in high definition that explores various aspects of the field. It not only features the world-renowned engineer/producer, but also many of his colleagues and contemporaries such as Elliot Scheiner and Niko Bolas, plus some narration by Billy Bob Thornton, and contributions by Simon Phillips, The Foo Fighters' Taylor Hawkins, and Michael McDonald. On the technical side, there are discussions about EQ, compression, setting up microphones, the art of "listening," and much more, plus there's a presentation on the history of recording from Edison to the MP3. Alan took more than a moment to talk about his illustrious past that included his days at Abbey Road Studios through his latest technology-focused endeavor.

Mike Ragogna: Since your early days of engineering at Abbey Road Studios, you've always been ahead of the technology curve. What are you working on lately?

Alan Parsons: I'm trying to pass some of the knowledge of the technology back to the real world. I've been working on a DVD series called The Art & Science of Sound Recording. If you go to my website, which is alanparsonsmusic.com you'll see a link to this project, a video series which I've written and presented with a guy named Julian Colbeck. It's split into about 24 sections covering everything on recording known to man. It's my attempt to pass on the knowledge to people who might be interested.

MR: Do you also go over aspects of projects you've worked on relative to the information you're covering?

AP: Yes, I often refer to works I've done in the past. What's interesting about it is that it's not only my perspective, it's the perspective of lots of other engineers, producers and artists that I've interviewed during the program.

MR: Who are some of your guests?

AP: Engineer-wise, it's just about anybody who's anybody like Elliot Scheiner, Niko Bolas, Alan Sides, all big name engineers. Michael McDonald is one of the artists. We're still kind of working on various interviews before the full thing is completely wrapped up. Still hoping to get McCartney to do it, still hoping that P. Diddy might do it.

MR: So this is a series on how many DVDs?

AP: It's a three DVD set. But about two-thirds of it is already available as downloadable material from the web.

MR: Where can one find that material right now?

AP: The site is artandscienceofsound.com.

MR: Rumor has it you have a CD/DVD combo being released on the Frontier label?

AP: Well, there's the live album which is just coming out.

MR: Will it cover the The Alan Parsons Project plus your solo material?

AP: It does, though there's only actually one song from the solo material, the rest is all Project hits, basically.

MR: Everything seems to go full circle, you having earned your stripes at Abbey Road Studios. Recently, the facility was in the news because its owner, Terra Firma, possibly was selling it to help generate income due to its enormous EMI debt. How do you feel about a landmark in musical history being sold like that?

AP: I'm pleased to say they seemed to have changed their minds. The building is now off the market, the last I heard.

MR: That's good news, it's a shame that story wasn't as hyped as the potential sale.

AP: Of course, it didn't make the news media because a change of mind is not good news. But that's the word, it's off the market. They've seen the light. They realized they had something that was part of history. If they had sold it, I think it would have been saved by somebody in the industry. But you know, the industry changed, commercial recording facilities are not as in demand as they used to be. It's a new world out there. People are making records on laptops in small studios because they can. It's a whole different ballgame right now.

MR: Speaking of Abbey Road, how did you get your start there?

AP: I actually was working for EMI when I got the job at Abbey Road in a sort of associated department in West London. It was a department that was manufacturing reel-to-reel tapes, which was the way it was then. I'm showing my age here, but it's before cassettes were on the market. You could buy commercial product not only on vinyl, but also on tape on a little plastic three-inch spool in mono. They sounded great, they were very good sounding projects, you see. I worked for that department, doing tape feed maintenance, transfers, and copying master tapes for foreign countries. It was through that association with Abbey Road that I had a sort of in, I knew who to write to ask for the job.

MR: How old were you when you got there?

AP: When I got to Abbey Road, I was 19. But I'd already been working for EMI for three years. I started with EMI when I was 16. I was essentially a high school dropout that went straight into the industry.

MR: Sometimes there are behind the scenes stories the public never hears about when it comes to recording high profile projects. So, that said, how much did you contribute to The Beatles' Abbey Road?

AP: I made tea and coffee, I was a very junior guy in those days. (laughs)

MR: Okay, so you're not telling.

AP: No, I served my apprenticeship, I did my internship as it were, and learned very quickly. Within a matter of weeks of starting at Abbey Road, I was working on Beatles sessions, so that was an amazing experience, of course. And I was learning from the best, from the best engineers in the business...Geoff Emerick, Peter Vincent, Tony Clarke, Ken Scott, you know, all of whom became famous engineers and producers.

MR: Still being modest.

AP: Oh, no, no, not at all. No, I was paid to keep my mouth shut. I was just happy to be sharing the experience. I was there, I was watching it, I watched the album being made. I pressed play and stop and record when told to do so.

MR: Alright, but you did get to do your own projects at the studio. What were some of the first projects you worked on?

AP: The very first session I did was with The Hollies, a track called "Gasoline Alley Bred." It was a small hit for them, it was okay. It would have terrible if it hadn't been a hit because it would have been the beginning of the end of an uninterrupted string of hits over the years. It wasn't one of their biggest, but I did go on to do one of their biggest which was "The Air That I Breathe."

MR: Their producer was Ron Richards, but I imagine you had an idea or two that was used?

AP: Yes, I think I was always ready to pitch-in an idea or two, and Ron was very receptive to that. You know, making records is all about teamwork--the artist, the producer, and the engineer, all working together, provided you have the chemistry between you to make things happen. We're all there to get the best results. If I had a suggestion that I felt would improve the result, then I would speak out or demonstrate it audibly in what I did.

MR: How so?

AP: "How 'bout we make the vocal sound like this?" and I'd twiddle a knob and apply an effect. Just through doing that, you can say you had an influence.

MR: Personally, I feel The Hollies' Another Night album is one of the greatest, under-the-radar pop albums ever made. It had a beautifully "open" sound, and the vinyl's dynamics were pretty impressive. I feel it pushed the envelope beyond most of the records on the market at the time.

AP: Another Night, yes.

MR: To me, it seems that this record was a very big example of your "sound." Can you remember any particular sonic nuances that you might have conjured for this album?

AP: There's one thing I distinctly remember doing, and that was suggesting that we not only double-track the vocals, but we triple-track them, and that made for a better stereo effect. A lot of time, we would have the doubled track on the left side, the tripled track on the right side, and the original vocal in the middle. So, I think that made the overall vocal sound a lot bigger than it had been for The Hollies.

MR: You're also credited as engineering Pink Floyd's Atom Heart Mother and a little record called The Dark Side Of The Moon that ended up being one of the biggest-selling albums of all time. Though, as you said, it's teamwork, here's another group turning the corner sonically and creatively, and look who the engineer is!

AP: (laughs) I'm honored that you would say those things. You know, I didn't engineer Atom Heart Mother from start to finish, I did it with the late Peter Bown. But I did do the mix, and I'm guessing that the fact they felt I did an okay job on the mix led to their asking for me to do The Dark Side Of The Moon.

MR: It's not even arguable that The Dark Side Of The Moon advanced the way rock artists approached their sound quality during that era. Plus it's one of the biggest-selling and continuously-charting albums of all time. All these years later, how do you feel about having been a very significant part of that?

AP: I'm never allowed to forget it. (laughs)

MR: I'm sorry.

AP: Really, barely a day goes by without some reference in my professional career to Pink Floyd. I'm very glad of it, things might have been very different without it.

MR: Most producers and engineers, whether they say it or not, have opinions about follow-up albums by bands when they don't produce them. Considering how Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here turned out, have you ever listened to that record and thought to yourself how you might have done such-and-such differently?

AP: Absolutely. I was hugely disappointed with it, and remember thinking we should have found a way of working on the two albums, not just the one.

MR: What prevented that?

AP: It was a combination of politics and the need for me to get on with my career. I mean, they made me a very good offer to work for them full-time exclusively, but right at that same time, I was starting to get into production and having hits. So, it just wasn't meant to be.

MR: You worked on Paul McCartney's Red Rose Speedway and Wings' first album which are terrific credits. And in my opinion, you created a new sound with Al Stewart's Year Of The Cat album, with nothing previously sounding like tracks such as "Midas Touch," "Lord Grenville," and especially, "On The Border." On the title track, the saxophone is played aggressively against a rhythm section with big breathing spaces. If you listen to how many pop records approached the sax after that point, you can see that many producers and engineers copped what you did, especially on single mixes.

AP: Really? Didn't "Baker Street" come out around that time as well?

MR: Nope, you beat that record by two years, that was 1978.

AP: It was after? Yeah, that was sort of the big sax record. If I had one radio play for anything of mine for one radio play of "Baker Street," I'd be so rich. (laughs)

MR: But "Year Of The Cat" was huge here in the U.S.

AP: Yeah, and in England. And Al was suspicious at the time at the suggestion of sax. He said, "I never had a sax on my records." But we got a good player, Phil Kenzie, and the next thing I know, he was joining his band. (laughs)

MR: And then comes Time Passages which used the same formula, but again, here comes another leap in the sound. The single "Time Passages" had the most unique electric piano approach of its time--lots of air, but with enough action in the keyboard to make it "play" with a little percussion, as opposed to settling for it to just hover or waiver as most producers and engineers were employing the instrument. I mean, you had the instrumentation of many songs on the radio, but nothing sounded like your end results.

AP: This observation of yours comes out in The Art & Science of Sound Recording. You can put the same set of tracks in one pair of hands, and it will sound totally different than when it's put in another pair of hands. You know, just the initial balance that's set-up by a certain individual will be so totally different that it will sound like a different record.

MR: But it almost seems that each of your mixes pushed the envelope sonically of what was possible at Top Forty radio.

AP: This is just one of those things. Every engineer, producer, whatever, has their own style, and he thinks he's acting on his own instincts. It's those instincts that give the perception that this guy is talented. It's really odd, I can't put my finger on exactly what it is, it's just something in the instinctive reaction that one person has over the other in terms of presenting a mix. That can be the live or die, you know. It makes all the difference.

MR: And when you listen to what you did with John Miles...

AP...wow, you have done your homework. (laughs)

MR: I own all of these records, I know all your stuff. And I know that the album John Miles--another record that never caught on in America--was brilliant for its time. There were three or four potential singles, but he just never got any radio luv beyond FM stations like New York's WNEW that played the heck out of "Music."

AP: That's such a shame because it really deserved to be a hit in the early days of AOR. As you probably know, it was a Top Three in the UK, and it lasted something like six minutes. It broke all the rules.

MR: Do you think it might have gone over the head of the American audience at that time?

AP: I think it just didn't get played because of its length. Radio wanted three minutes, four minutes in those days. It's such a shame because John, to this day, is such a talented artist. I just did a tour with him in December in Germany, the guy's still as talented as ever, still singing that song.

MR: And he guested on albums by The Alan Parsons Project.

AP: Yes, he did.

MR: Recently, we lost your longtime musical partner, Eric Wolfson.

AP: It was in December during that tour that I got the news.

MR: He was your partner for many projects. How did you take the news?

AP: Well, I knew he wasn't well, and he'd been battling with cancer for four or five years at least. But it came as a surprise, I didn't know he had a relapse. It was untimely, it was unexpected. And it was very emotional, it was tough. I was on the road and had to make the announcement to the audience that evening in Mannheim, Germany. There was a very shocked reaction from the audience.

MR: Together, you guys had a golden era that lasted about ten albums, with that run of I Robot through Eye In The Sky in a lot of collections to this day. Which were you and Eric's favorite albums, if you feel comfortable speaking for him?

AP: We both recognized that the first album, Tales Of Mystery And Imagination, broke the most new ground and got us onto the map. That's the one we both feel is the most deserving of any recognition.

MR: Did you have any favorite Alan Parsons Project singles?

AP: Hmmm...you know, we never really tried to make singles, per se. We always strove to make albums work as a whole. In a way, we were born into the right generation to do that because people did go buy an album and sit down, turn the lights down and light up, and play an album from start to finish. It's just something they don't do anymore. And you still had to get up and turn the record over. (laughs) That's a kind of missing link in the chain for me, going from side one to side two.

MR: Well, things got longer and longer, more room.

AP: Instead of simply sitting through the forty-five minute CD, it became the one-hour CD. I think albums became too long because of the CD format.

MR: Exactly, and the culture now uses music for function, you know, for working out or playing sports or background ambiance. You can hardly think of a Top Ten pop album these days that makes an artistic statement as a single body of work.

AP: Well, the iPod generation just wants to download the big hits, they don't care about what happens between the big hits and anything else that's on the album. They just want the song of the moment. It's sad, you know?

MR: What was the creative process like for you and Eric making Alan Parsons Project albums?

AP: Eric was usually the one to come up with the conceptual idea, sometime because he had a couple of songs based around that idea to start with. But sometimes, the concept changed. Pyramid, for example, did not start as an album based on pyramids. It was an album based on witchcraft. We just found there was so much to offer from pyramids--pyramids, pyramid power, the history of the pyramids, Egyptology, etc. We just zeroed-in on that and decided to call the album Pyramid.

MR: Did any other Project albums evolve like that?

AP: We didn't come up with the title Eve until we were way, way into the album. We knew that it was an album based on women, but we didn't have a title.

MR: One of the great things about your music is that it led to great album covers by Hipgnosis. Every one is progressive and memorable.

AP: Yeah, he did a good job for us over the years, as he did for Pink Floyd and countless others. But I've always believed in the strength of the artwork and always lamented the loss of the 12" format.

MR: Although you and Eric parted a while back, was there a shot that you would collaborate with him again on another Alan Parsons Project?

AP: I think with each passing year, it had become more unlikely. We were in different areas, and he was clearly entrenched in musical theater, and my experience with the theater and our music was not a good one. I mean, Freudiana was an experience I'd much rather forget. But he seemed okay with it.

MR: And you did have some great success with him.

AP: It seems odd but, in a way, I spent my entire career with him on the project trying to take away the sort of pretty song aspect of something that might have worked in staged musicals that didn't work on rock records. I would often give his songs a harder edge somehow, just to do something to take the prettiness away.

MR: Did you have any "discussions" as a result?

AP: Yes, I think we did. (laughs) We were sort of legendary about disagreeing with each other about so many things. It was a kind of love/hate relationship, it became more difficult to work together, we did start seeing things in sort of a different light. But a lot of artists go through that.

MR: My favorite group ever, Simon & Garfunkel.

AP: Yeah, right. (laughs)

MR: You and Eric had certain responsibilities when approaching your records, right?

AP: Well, you know, his main contribution--and I will always give him credit for this--was his songwriting. That's what he did, he wrote the songs for the project. Anything that I could contribute to those songs was through production and through ideas developed during the recording. On occasion, we genuinely did collaborate on the writing of a song. A good example would be "Days Are Numbers" that was essentially my chord sequence, my title, my basic chorus line. But he came up with the verse and all the lyrics. Another example was "Breakdown." That was a genuine collaboration between us. "Can't Take It With You" is another one. But most of the time, it was his songs, and most of the instrumentals were my tunes.

MR: How did you decide on some of the guest artists who sang lead. For instance, Allan Clarke?

AP: It just seemed like a nice idea at the time, you know, let's try Allan Clarke. He's up the road, I knew him well. He jumped at the chance, everyone was agreeable, so we just got him. It was great.

MR: And you had return vocalists.

AP: John Miles certainly, and Colin Blunstone was the favorite. You know, everybody loves Colin's voice, so the opportunity to use him was always a good idea.

MR: Are you working on any new music?

AP: Well, I'm just about to release a single from The Art & Science Of Sound Recording project because I wrote and recorded it especially for the program. So, you get to see the entire recording process of that song in the program. I think it'll sell a lot of copies on that basis. You get to see pretty much from start to finish what goes on with one of my productions. It may eventually form a part of a future album, it remains to be seen. But for the moment, it's just a single that will be released April 9th. It will be available on iTunes and everything else, but it will be considered to be promotional for The Art & Science project.

MR: And, of course, you're pressing it up on vinyl, right?

AP: Uh...no plans for that. (laughs) If there's pressure to do so, then maybe we will, yes.

MR: You have at least ten Grammy nominations...

AP: ...I think it's twelve now. I hold the record with Joe Satriani for having the most number of nominations without winning. But you know, think of it. Jimi Hendrix has never won a Grammy, Led Zeppelin has never won a Grammy.

MR: Eh, Grammy, shmammy. That brings us to Ladyhawke. You produced the soundtrack which sounds a lot like an Alan Parsons Project, but Andrew Powell is the "voice."

AP: I think Richard Donner, the director, probably asked me to do it, but by the time it went through all the negotiation process, they handed it to Andrew. But they kind of insisted that at least I produce it. I think maybe Eric was not feeling good about writing instrumental music. Although I would have been happy to do it, I think Andrew was equipped to write it. Writing is a time-consuming process, it really is. If you're gifted in being able to write and present orchestral music like Andrew is, I think it was the right thing to write it. I think I was offered to write the main theme or something. It sounded like me anyway. (laughs)

MR: Now, all in the same period, you did Al Stewart's Year Of The Cat, John Miles' Rebel, and you produced Ambrosia's Somewhere I've Never Traveled album.

AP: Yeah, those were good times. I'm actually doing a solo, unplugged, talk show panel discussion with a small audience in Orange County with David Pack. I think it's on the website.

MR: What was your reaction to being referenced in the Austin Powers movie?

AP: Oh, I loved it! (laughs) The only frustration was not knowing ahead of time. I didn't know until I was sitting in the seat in the cinema, and...okay, I wouldn't have gone to see the movie had somebody not told me to go and do it. It was a complete surprise, and I was open-mouthed when the reference came. But I took it in good humor, and I feel good about it.

...and don't forget...

2010-04-01-51kFPnZH8L._SL500_AA300_.jpg

Tracks:
1. I Robot
2. Can't Take It With You
3. Don't Answer Me
4. Breakdown / The Raven
5. Time
6. Psychobabble
7. I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You
8. Damned If I Do
9. More Lost Without You
10. Don't Let It Show
11. Prime Time
12. Sirius / Eye In The Sky
13. (The System Of) Dr. Tarr And Professor Fether
14. Games People Play

It never ceases, these press releases:

SOUL MEN STEVE CROPPER (BOOKER T. & THE MGs) AND FELIX CAVALIERE (THE RASCALS) REUNITE FOR SECOND STAX RECORDING

Midnight Flyer, due in stores June 15, showcases more brilliant songwriting by two titans of blue-eyed soul's golden age

Steve Cropper, guitarist for Booker T. and the MGs and one of the primary architects of the unmistakable Stax sound of the 1960s, and vocalist/keyboardist Felix Cavaliere, the voice of the Rascals and the pivotal figure in the blue-eyed soul movement of that same era, have reconvened for their second collaborative recording. Sparks fly at the crossroads of Memphis soul and East Coast R&B when Stax Records releases Midnight Flyer on June 15, 2010.

Midnight Flyer, recorded in Nashville and mixed by the legendary David Z, is the followup to Nudge It Up a Notch, the 2008 maiden voyage by Cropper and Cavaliere that scored critical acclaim from the music and mainstream press. The San Francisco Chronicle called Nudge It Up a Notch "an unexpected delight," while BluesWax heralded the project as "one of the great surprises of 2008, and further evidence of Concord Music Group's genuine commitment to the revamped Stax imprint."

The Stax legacy -- and Concord's commitment to it -- are very much alive in Midnight Flyer, an album that once again showcases the songwriting prowess of two towering figures from one of the most seminal periods in the history of American pop music. Assisting with the songwriting throughout most of the album's 12 tracks is drummer/percussionist/vocalist Tom Hambridge, who also lent a hand with the crafting of the previous album.

"Felix and I come from pretty much the same musical school -- but from different geographical locations," says Cropper. "He's a Jersey boy at heart, and I grew up in Memphis, but when soul meets soul, what can you say? There are no borders. There are no boundaries."

But geography does play a role in the making of great songs, says Cavaliere. "Steve has that Southern vernacular, which is something I really like," he says. "It's almost like another language to those of us from the East Coast. It has a certain folky quality to it. Some of those idioms are part of the hit songs that Steve has written and recorded over the years, and they're part of this record as well."

The impact of both of these musicians and songwriters on pop music is nearly impossible to quantify. As part of Booker T. & the MGs -- the house band for the Stax label in its original incarnation during the 1960s -- Cropper co-wrote and produced classics by artists like Eddie Floyd ("Knock On Wood"), Wilson Pickett ("In the Midnight Hour") and Otis Redding ("Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay"). In subsequent decades, he lent his instrumental and production skills to a range of artists including Jeff Beck, the Blues Brothers, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and many others.

Cavaliere came to prominence in the mid-'60s as vocalist/keyboardist/songwriter for the Rascals (initially known as the Young Rascals). Cavaliere wrote and/or sang several of the band's biggest hits, including "Good Lovin'" (1966), "Groovin'" (1967), "It's a Beautiful Morning" (1968) and "People Got To Be Free" (1968). The phrase "blue-eyed soul" was coined during the Rascals' heyday, due in large part to the group's highly successful forays into R&B and soul -- styles that had been developed and previously dominated by African-American artists.

Co-produced by Cropper, Cavaliere and Hambridge, Midnight Flyer captures the synergy and brilliance that can only emerge when two powerful forces of nature come together. The result is a range of styles and shades, from heartfelt ballads like "When You're With Me" to the soul-charged "I Can't Stand It," a churning vocal duet featuring Cavaliere and his daughter Aria. "Sexy Lady" harkens back to the soul stylings of the '70s, while the funky instrumental "Do It Like This" digs into a tight groove and makes plenty of room for Cropper's tasty riff work to close out the set.

"The main thing we both take away from this record is how much fun we had making it," says Cavaliere. "We may have used a lot of new technology that didn't even exist when Steve and I were recording back in the day, but the songs themselves are still the most important part of the process, and we just had a blast writing and recording them. I think that spirit comes through on the record."

Cropper notes a timelessness about Cavaliere that serves as a metaphor for the music itself. "Felix is ageless," he says. "Sure, you can look at him and see that he's gotten older since those early days, just like we all have. But if you close your eyes, he sounds as young and energetic as he did when he was making records back in the '60s . . . Working together on records like this reminds us of the kinds of things that go into the making of a good song. We're still doing that, and we're still having fun doing it."

16mm HOME MOVIES OF COUNTRY STARS OF THE 1950S JUST DISCOVERED

HANK WILLIAMS, CARTER FAMILY, LEFTY FRIZELL, OTHERS SEEN IN PERFORMANCE AND BACKSTAGE

San Diego, CA - Reelin' In The Years Productions, the world's largest music footage library has uncovered a 30-minute film of home movies from the 1950s featuring the legendary Hank Williams Sr. along with Marty Robbins, the Carter Family, Merle Travis, Lefty Frizell, Hank Snow, Maddox Bothers & Rose, Bill Monroe and a host of others.

These images, shot in pristine 16mm color film, capture these classic artists in performance and in rare candid moments. Highlights include Hank Williams singing at a disc jockey convention in Nashville, Marty Robbins playing guitar on a front lawn, Kitty Wells standing in front of her tour car and Merle Travis preparing to board a small plane.

This newly recovered footage was shot by John Banks, part owner of radio station KRDU in Dinuba, CA while these artists were at the station and his home. In addition to filming these artists in California, Banks took his 16mm camera to Nashville and captured many artists backstage during a convention of disc jockeys held in the early 1950s.

"There exists precious little footage of many of these artists shot so early in their careers," notes David Peck, President of Reelin' In The Years Productions. "To now have pristine color film documenting Hank Williams just a few short years before his untimely death, is thrilling. This is an important piece of country music history." The forgotten original 16mm color films had been in the garage of Banks' widow Bernice until their recent discovery.

The film has now been restored and transferred directly to digital format, highlighting the richness of depth and color that 16mm film offered. Another recent discovery by Reelin' In The Years is 50 minutes of home movies from the Louisiana Hayride in the late 50s and early 60s featuring color 8mm footage of Johnny Cash, George Jones, Ray Price, Faron Young and Hawkshaw Hawkins among others.

In addition to having the world largest library of music footage (over 10,000 hours), Reelin' In The Years has produced over 55 commercially released DVDs, garnering them a Grammy nomination, platinum and gold awards and rave reviews. Earlier this week, the company released a five volume British Invasion DVD box set chronicling the music and careers of Dusty Springfield, Herman's Hermits, Small Faces and Gerry & The Pacemakers. A second series of British Invasion DVDs is expected in the fall of 2010.

DELTA SPIRIT TO RELEASE NEW RECORD, HISTORY FROM BELOW, JUNE 8, 2010

NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES CONFIRMED

Rounder Records is excited to announce the release of the new Delta Spirit Record on June 8, 2010. Entitled History From Below, the record was produced by My Morning Jacket's keyboardist Bo Koster and Eli Thomson. History From Below is the follow up to the band's critically acclaimed debut, 2008's Ode to Sunshine, which Spin hailed in its four-out-of-five-star review, saying, "This rousing debut impresses mightily," while Filter called it "pure joy" and Jim Fusilli of the Wall Street Journal said, "I make no pretense of objectivity with Delta Spirit, I love these guys."

"All we wanted to do is put the record together one song at a time," says Delta Spirit's singer/guitarist Matthew Vasquez about History From Below. "It's been three years of straight touring off our last record so most of the songs were written in hotel rooms and tested in front of an audience. We spent spent six months of this last year making a record that sums up three years of growing up."

History From Below was recorded at Prairie Sun Studio C in Cotati, CA -- the same place Tom Waits has recorded almost exclusively since 1991. The record is brimming with incredibly deep and moving songs that are alternately grand and explosive, always eloquent and melodic. It has a powerful energy that radiates musically, lyrically and vocally from the moment you hit play as it finally captures the uncontainable spirit the band exudes on stage.

The track listing for History From Below is:

911
Bushwick Blues
Salt in the wound
White Table
Ransom Man
Devil knows you're dead
Golden state
Scarecrow
Vivian
St. Francis
Ballad of Vitaly

Delta Spirit will hit the road in support of History From Below. The dates are as follows:

June 8 / Solana Beach CA / Belly Up
June 9 / San Francisco CA / Independent
June 10 / Portland OR / Doug Fir
June 11 / Seattle WA / Neumo's
June 12 / Vancouver BC / The Venue
June 14 / Boise ID / Neurolux
June 15 / Salt Lake City UT / Urban Lounge
June 16 / Denver CO / Bluebird Theatre
June 17 / Omaha NE / Waiting Room
June 18 / Minneapolis MN / Varsity Theatre
June 19 / Chicago IL / Metro
June 21 / St. Louis MO / Firebird
June 22 / Indianapolis IN / Radio Radio
June 23 / Columbus OH / Basement
June 24 / Cleveland OH / Beachland Ballroom
June 25 / Pontiac MI / Pike Room
June 28 / Boston MA / Middle East Downstairs
June 30 / New York NY / Bowery Ballroom
July 1 / Brooklyn NY / Music Hall of Williamsburg
July 2 / Philadelphia PA / First Unitarian Church
July 3 / Washington DC / 9:30 Club
July 5 / Carrboro NC / Cat's Cradle
July 6 / Chaleston, SC / Pour House
July 7 / St. Augustine FL / Cafe 11
July 8 / Orlando FL / The Social
July 9 / Atlanta GA / Masquerade
July 10 / Birmingham AL / Bottletree
July 11 / Haittesburg MS / Thirsty Hippo
July 13 / Little Rock AR / Juanita's
July 14 / Tulsa OK / Cain's
July 15 / Dallas TX / The Loft
July 16 / Houston / TX Mango's
July 17 / Austin TX / Emo's Outside
July 20 / Santa Fe NM / Santa Fe Brewing Co
July 21 / Tucson AZ / TBD
July 23 / Los Angeles CA / El Rey Theatre
July 24 / Santa Barbara CA / Velvet Jones