Made in America Festival is an annual music event founded by rapper and businessman Jay-Z in 2012. Following its inaugural year, it was announced to take place in Los Angeles for the later events and its arrival has since become an important symbol of unity. Jay-Z created the festival in a bid to join together musicians of all genres, creeds and cultures to emphasise the bond between music-lovers regardless of any animosity that may have existed between hip hop artists, rock artists and pop artists in the past. It is an attempt to build a world of peace and diversity because, in the words of Run DMC star Darryl McDaniels, 'Music succeeds where politics and religion fail'.
'Made In America' is a music documentary based on the new festival of the same name founded by Jay-Z who is also the movie's executive producer. It has been directed by double Oscar winner Ron Howard ('The Da Vinci Code', 'Apollo 13', 'Rush', 'A Beautiful Mind') and features behind-the-scenes clips and interviews of various music superstars including Run DMC, Rita Ora, Kanye West, Janelle Monáe, Tyler The Creator, Skrillex, Santigold and The Hives. The film premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and was nominated for 'Outstanding Television Documentary' at the Black Reel Awards.
Made In America is available on VOD and DVD 19 May 2014
Gary Clark Jnr - Gary Clark Jnr performing live at the West Coast Blues 'n' Roots Festival held at Fremantle Park, Fremantle - Perth, Australia - Sunday 13th April 2014
Blues guitarist Gary Clark, Jr. and his model girlfriend Nicole Trunfio are spotted walking together down the icy streets of New York City. Nicole is dressed to the nines in a chic fur coat, long black boots and a short skirt, while Gary plays it cool with a grey beanie, a snood and a fitted leather jacket.
The Crossroads Guitar Festival hit Madison Square Garden in April this year with tickets selling out in the blink of an eye. It's no wonder either, with some of the best guitarists in music history making up the line-up at the 2013 event including the Allman Brothers Band, Jeff Beck, Keith Richards, Keith Urban, Gary Clark Jr., Vince Gill, John Mayer and, of course, festival organiser Eric Clapton. Clapton has been curating this event since 2004 with talent-filled festival taking place every 3 years in aid of the Crossroads Center Antigua - a private drug rehabilitation centre founded by the artist himself.
Blues legends and modern artists jam on stage at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival at the weekend.
Eric Clapton, BB King and John Mayer were among some of genius performers at Clapton's fourth Crossroads Guitar Festival last weekend.
It was a blues infused weekend at Eric Clapton's fourth tri-annual Crossroads Guitar Festival on April 12th - 13th 2013 at Madison Square Garden, New York with guests ranging from the legends, to the more modern performers of the genre. 68-year-old Clapton, who remains to be the only three-time inductee in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, was seen enjoying a jam session with the King of blues BB King, 87, while John Mayer teamed with country star Keith Urban to show that there was little to sneer at with modern blues-pop. 'The Blues Brothers' star Dan Aykroyd, also made an appearance in a pair of Ray-Bans and a suit reminiscent of the 1980 movie, as well as Texan guitarist Gary Clark Jr. with his band and 76-year-old former Muddy Waters member Buddy Guy.
A Week In Reviews... It's hard to believe that's it's been well over a year since M83 released their single 'Midnight City' and signalled their long-awaited move up to alternative music's big leagues. Going gold in America on sales, and featuring heavily on hit UK TV shot Made In Chelsea, the song precluded album Hurry Up We're Dreaming reaching the US album charts top 20. Our reviewer found that, with 2012 now drawing to a close, the French group's party was very much still in full swing. "'Midnight City', as expected, gets the biggest cheer of the night before an epic version of 'Couleurs' brings the set to a close, and if your mind wasn't already blown, this unbelievable wall of noise was the final knockout blow" he wrote in gushing praise.
Away from the live arena and back to the studio, former Mercury nominees The Unthanks doled out another uncompromising slab of their ethereal folk. Songs From The Shipyards is the group's third release within a year, and was initially a soundtrack to a film documenting their local North East England's shipbuilding industry history. Andrew Lockwood took this one on, and found a band in the form of their life seven albums into their career: "The album, as you might expect, is full of character and love" he wrote. "The songs are performed with great care and attention and each note stirs the emotions as it recounts a slice of Shipbuilding history. Regardless of whether you have seen the accompanying film this set of songs works wonderfully well and once again shows what a prodigious and prolific talent The Unthanks are."
A Week In Interviews... We managed to grab a chat with stalwart Canadian pop-punkers Billy Talent, a group still fizzing with energy with their 20th anniversary of existence just round the corner in 2013. David Straw chatted to the band formerly known as Pezz (they changed their name after legal issues in 1999) and chatted of tours, new albums and the US general election, finding the group in bullish mood on the eve of a show in Nottingham.
Gary Clark Jr - a musician often described as the savior of blues music - has released his first major label record on Warner Brothers. Influenced by the likes of Buddy Guy and B.B King, Clark Jr's sound is, unsurprisingly, rooted in American blues, though his new record - incidentally titled 'Blak and Blue'- ventures into uncharted territory.
He forays into retro-soul, R&B and shades of hip-hop, all of which has impressed the critics. Jon Pareles of Rolling Stone magazine also hears garage rock and psychedelia though insists, "The album's core is still the blues. Clark dips into the historical timeline, sampling a juke joint's worth of 20th-century styles: from the rural slide-guitar picking of "Next Door Neighbor Blues" to the desolate tidings and incendiary lead guitar of "When My Train Pulls In." The New York Times' Nate Chinen suggests, "Still, the album's core strength lies in its approximation of what Mr. Clark can do onstage," which is play blues-guitarist really, really well. In fact, Clark is considered to be one of the finest blues musicians around.
The long-standing rocker is winning high praise for figuring out how a veteran bluesman can possibly thrive in 2012.