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Author Ken Sharp

This interview with Bill Withers, originally conducted years ago, first ran on Rock Cellar in 2015. In light of Withers’ passing, we’re bringing it back as a snapshot of the man’s impeccable legacy of timeless music. Soul. It’s elusive. It’s intangible. It’s a hugely desired commodity. It’s what separates the men from the boys. It’s magic. And you either have it or you don’t. One man who personifies the essence of soul is the legendary Bill Withers, who will (finally) be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next month. Revered in music circles as one of the…

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It’s 2020, and rock and roll icon Robbie Robertson is busier than ever. A new solo album, Sinematic, acclaimed work on the Martin Scorcese’s mobster film The Irishman and a new career-spanning documentary Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band shine a worthy spotlight on his prodigious creative gift as a storyteller. Join us for an illuminating conversation with Robbie Robertson as he touches on his new solo album, storied work with The Band and much more. Rock Cellar: From the new album, Sinematic, to your work as a solo artist, scoring films and with the Band, your songs have…

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Rivaling the mighty Beatles in popularity in the mid-60s, The Dave Clark Five records exploded like an atom bomb detonating out of the speakers. Songs like “Glad All Over,” “Bits & Pieces,” and “Anyway You Want” were proto-hard rock anthems that generated massive success for the band all over the world. Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame inductees tallying over 100 million records sold worldwide, The Dave Clark Five are hailed by the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Ozzy Osbourne and actor Tom Hanks, to name just a few. Gene Simmons of KISS is such a huge fan that…

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Having helmed the excellent 2010 Lennon NYC documentary (stylized LennoNYC), director Michael Epstein’s next immersion into the world, life, times and legacy of John Lennon was chronicling John’s rich creative adventures recording 1971’s Imagine album. The resulting documentary, 2018’s Above Us Only Sky, lends a heretofore unseen window into the creative process, offering expansive and revelatory footage of the session themselves at Ascot Studios and John and Yoko’s activities away from the studio during that period of time. Above Us Only Sky is now available on Blu-ray or DVD. We spoke to Epstein, who shared the back story behind the…

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Time for another inside look at the KISS Kruise, the annual seaside rock and roll festival thrown by the Hottest Band in the Land … October 30th 10AM Port of Miami Miami, Florida The Norwegian Pearl, a massive cruise ship, is docked at the port of Miami. As the harsh sun begins to bake the black concrete, a large line snakes its way up and around the ship. To my right stands a family of four hailing from Chicago, Illinois; each is dressed as their favorite member of KISS, there’s two Gene Simmonses (Dad and son), Mom wears the Starchild’s…

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The Who accomplished a great deal in their heyday, but judged against fellow ‘60s contemporaries The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Kinks, the group’s recorded output body of work is relatively small. But what they lack in sheer quantity is made up by a strong, must-listen collection of classic albums; witness the pop art swagger of The Who Sell Out, groundbreaking pop-operas Tommy and Quadrophenia and the introspective angst of Who By Numbers to find a band truly in its element. Simply titled WHO, the band’s first new record in 13 years, is available now. It’s a thrilling, spirited snapshot…

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2019 marks the 50th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s triumphant 1969 return to live performance with a sold-out engagement at the newly opened International Hotel in Las Vegas. The newly released Sony Music 11-CD box set, Elvis: Live 1969 (pick up a copy here) showcases 11 complete concerts that lend powerful testament to the enduring magic of Elvis Presley live in concert and what made him the world’s most explosive, charismatic and dynamic performer around. Energized by the galvanizing global success of 1968’s Singer Presents … Elvis NBC TV special, Elvis was primed and ready for a long-awaited return to the concert stage.…

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More than a half a century since its original release, The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society album is lauded as a landmark moment in rock and roll history and is lauded as one of the group’s signature classics. Yet its worthy follow-up album, 1969’s Arthur (Or The Decline and Fall Of The British Empire) has wrongly failed to earn the same gushing accolades. Now that’s about to change, with a 50th anniversary 4-CD deluxe box culling 81 tracks, including a newly remastered version of the original album having been released in late October. In addition to the above,…

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The impact of the musical contributions of Jesse Colin Young is undeniable. As a founding member of seminal 1960s band the Youngbloods, the songwriter/singer attained success and notoriety with their version of the peace anthem “Get Together,” which hit No. 5 on the billboard charts when it was re-released in 1969. Recently, Jesse Colin Young paid a visit to RockCellarTV studios for a special one-on-one video interview and performance session. During the candid and revealing chat, Jesse discusses the legacy of the Youngbloods, life in general, songwriting and much more. Watch the interview below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8x7urGhJltc Jesse also strapped on an…

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A faithful member of Elvis Presley’s retinue of close friends known as “The Memphis Mafia,” Marty Lacker was one of The King’s trusted friends and was instrumental in arranging Elvis’ seminal recording sessions at American Studios with producer Chips Moman in January and February of 1969. We spoke to Lacker a few years back before his passing in February of 2017. During that exclusive conversation, he shared the genesis behind those historic sessions, which yielded the hits, “Suspicious Minds,” “In The Ghetto,” “Don’t Cry Daddy,” and “Kentucky Rain,” and marked an artistic rebirth for Presley’s career. Marty Lacker: I quit…

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