Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Tuesday, March 03, 2009



Produced by Mick Fleetwood and former Fleetwood Mac member Rick Vito, BLUE AGAIN was recorded live at the Sheldon Concert Hall in St. Louis, Missouri in February of 2008 and sees him teaming up on this recording with guitarist and lead vocalist Rick Vito, bassist Lenny Castellanos and keyboardist Mark Johnstone. The immaculate recording gives the songs a vibrant, modern immediacy which transcends easy nostalgia. Says Mick: “Over my career I’ve been called a pop star and a rock star, yet in my inner heart, I will always be part bluesman. On my journey from blues to a life of rock ‘n’ roll, I’ve always remembered where I started.” BLUE AGAIN is both an original musical tour de force and a respectful tribute to Fleetwood Mac initiated by the sole member of the band to be in every incarnation from the beginning.

Available at itunes March 3, 2009 with an exclusive Bonus Track

Available at Amazon on March 17th

Released By: 429 Records (Click through for preview)


There are still things for us to work
out emotionally

Chicago Sun Times

Lindsey Buckingham is attempting to explain why his on-again, off-again megastar band, Fleetwood Mac, is on the road again without an album to support. Nothing to sell. Just the classic band (himself, Stevie Nicks, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood -- still no Christine McVie), together again, playing the hits. He provides lots of deeply considered reasons, yadda yadda -- but then he says something extraordinary.

"Maybe someone came to the conclusion that it might not be a bad time to go out and do some dates to use as hang time, as a proving ground," he says. "It's an inverted model, for sure, but there's something to it."

Proving ground? What could Fleetwood Mac -- author of one of the biggest-selling albums of all time, 1977's "Rumours" -- possibly have to prove at this point?

Buckingham chuckles. He's used to people straining to square his massive insecurities with his equally massive successes.

"In a general sense, every time you get together to do something new, you have to start thinking after all these years there are still things for us to work out emotionally, historically. We are a band of couples who broke up and got through it living in various states of denial and never getting closure -- at least from my perspective -- and it leaves a lot of stuff hanging out there.

"I took off in '87 to regain my sanity, and the band died a slow death without me. That didn't make me feel too bad," he snickers. "Without sounding too vindictive, it was nice to know they needed me. ... But we're still a work in progress in terms of those interactions. There are still things that need to be worked through."

Kind of amazing, isn't it? More than 30 years after Buckingham and Nicks split up at the dawn of the band's success, the "issues" remain that palpable between them. He still considers the band a "band of couples who broke up." And that was always part of the appeal -- the telenovela-like drama and tension between two of the fiercest artistic personalities in Southern California.

Buckingham, at least, still hopes to harness that tension for more musical magic. He and the other members seem to be viewing this tour as a casual way for the quartet to settle a bit, to get back into some kind of rhythm that would produce a new record.

It's the elephant in the room that each member treads carefully around.

"There have been discussions, for sure, that we would love to make some more music," said founding drummer Mick Fleetwood, during an earlier teleconference with the band. "I think it's really down to the whole sort of biorhythms of how everyone is feeling and what's appropriate."

They're still so careful when speaking of each other, except Nicks, who remarked -- with discernable astonishment -- how well they were all getting on so far and added, "Lindsey has been in incredibly good humor since we started rehearsal. When Lindsey is in a good humor, everybody is in a good humor."

They still look to him, take their cues from him, and he remains the band's creative linchpin. The last few Mac albums he was on -- you know, the successful ones -- each began as Buckingham solo projects that the record label and the band begged to turn into band efforts. "Tango in the Night" sounds like his crystalline solo work with a few warmer Nicks and McVie songs added. Buckingham had asked Fleetwood and bassist John McVie to back him on another solo album that, with the addition of four Nicks songs, became Fleetwood Mac's 2003 comeback CD, "Say You Will."

But he'd like that pattern to change.

After "Say You Will," Buckingham told the band to leave him alone for three years, during which he exorcised two back-to-back solo discs: the quieter, almost indie-rock outing "Under the Skin" in 2006, and last year's slightly harder rocking "Gift of Screws." As a result, Buckingham says he feels refreshed and at the height of his creative powers.

"Having accomplished what I wanted to do with both solo albums, I'm really in the best place I've been artistically," he says. "I tapped into things I wanted to get to for a long time. And I have a lot of new material -- I could drop another solo album at any time -- but no one's talking yet about a new Mac album, at least for a while. Still, I'm pointedly not fleshing out my new stuff, so that I might be able to show it to the band and let it take on a life in the context of that.

"The way we used to do it, we'd each have rough ideas and would get together and the songs would get formulized and brought into some sort of life for the first time through a set of Fleetwood Mac eyes. More often than not, over the last few experiences it's been my solo material that had to be slightly altered to make it feel more Fleetwood Mac-like. So I'd really welcome the chance to come to these people with things a little less fleshed out, something that might be born as Fleetwood Mac rather than being just ... painted like it."

So he speaks of this tour as a "way to create a level of ferment" among the band again, and adds uncharacteristic optimism of "bringing things to light in a more organic way by being together without a real reason."

The question is: Do you want to pay $50 to $150 for a ticket to watch four grizzled but talented music makers "hang" and "ferment"? Buckingham says the band is not using the tour as an expensive woodshed.

"We've very pointedly stuck to catalog for this tour," he says, adding, "There is still validity in looking at this body of work, the irony being that this is what most people want to hear from us, anyway. I figure, let's make our mantra just hanging and working on the rough edges in terms of personal interactions with band members. That in itself will be part of the preparation for making an album, whenever that does happen."

Monday, March 02, 2009

“We would have been eaten alive, I’m sure,” (Lindsey Buckingham)

Fleetwood Mac - Give The People What They Want

Imagine the headlines if Fleetwood Mac recorded Rumours in 2009 instead of the mid-’70s. People magazine, Us Weekly, and other supermarket litter would have a field day, as would the paparazzi waiting to catch a glimpse of a band on the verge of destruction.

Appearing: March 5th and 6th at Allstate Arena in Rosemont.

A Britney Spears meltdown barely holds a candle to the oft- recited tale of the band’s two couples breaking up and funneling all the pain, doubt, and bitterness into 11 perfect songs. Add snow-capped mountains of blow to the mix to guarantee a spike in newsstand sales.

“We would have been eaten alive, I’m sure,” guitarist Lindsey Buckingham guesses from home in Los Angeles. “Thank God we didn’t have the kind of tabloidism that exists today.”

Three decades after releasing and surviving Rumours, Fleetwood Mac hits the road with its most successful and well-known lineup in tow for a large-scale tour. Original members Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, rock goddess Stevie Nicks, and the thinking-man’s guitar hero Buckingham are all along for the ride (Christine McVie hung up her honeyed vocals after 1997’s The Dancereunion). The foursome last dusted off the Fleetwood Mac tunes five years ago when touring behind Say You Will, but this time the band comes armed with the hits and only the hits – a big departure.

“This is the first tour we’ve ever done where we’re really concentrating on giving all the stuff we feel people would really love to hear because we’ve always toured with a brand-new album. This is the only time we have never done that,” Fleetwood admits, hours before meeting the crew for rehearsal in Los Angeles. “We haven’t been going ’round playing all our lovely songs for 15 years, which a lot of bands do.”

When Buckingham put up the do-not-disturb sign after the last tour to focus on his solo work (2006’s Under The Skin and 2008’s Gift Of Screws), the band took a break with the intent of gathering again at some point to discuss new material.

“There was this implication that the band would reconvene and start doing something and it did indeed begin with the perception that we would go in and make an album first and then start touring,” Buckingham explains. “Somewhere along the line that got inverted and we found ourselves rehearsing first. It wasn’t necessarily my game plan, but a part of what I’m doing this time around is approaching this as much from the standpoint of thinking about everyone’s comfort level.”

Plus, it’s a great way for the longtime friends/former lovers/thorns-in-each-others’ sides to spend time together in a low-pressure situation. “In a way, it’s kinda cool. It kinda frees us up to go out there and just hang out and enjoy each other’s company and not have a particular musical agenda going out there,” Buckingham reasons. “The fact that we are coming out with a tour where there is no agenda to redefine ourselves musically – it kind of gives us that freedom to redefine ourselves a little bit emotionally and personally.”

When these varied personalities converge, drama ultimately follows. According to Buckingham, Nicks left the last tour muttering that she’d never work with him again (oh, how things change), which Buckingham chalks up to the absence of Christine, normally Nicks’ “emotional back-up onstage,” and unresolved issues from years past “that no one ever got closure on.”

On the other hand, Fleetwood characterizes the last tour as “incredibly productive and successful. The Say You Will tour was a happy tour,” Fleetwood says. “We had a good time doing it.”

Always the optimist, Fleetwood is the yin to Buckingham’s brooding yang when it comes to putting a finger on the emotional pulse of the band. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle, but both can agree the current atmosphere remains affable. “I’d say all the signs are good,” Buckingham forecasts. “I think we’re gonna have a good time out there.”

“It’s always fun when we get back together,” Fleetwood says. “It’s like that old getting-back-on-a-bike thing that you sometimes forget. You forget how good that chemistry is when it’s all locked in. There is something that happens when these people get together and make music. You sort of, in retrospect, in real time look at yourselves in this framework called Fleetwood Mac and you really quietly pay tribute to how special that is. And you spend three, four years apart not doing that – when you do come back in the first week of rehearsal, there’s lots of glances across the stage. You can’t even second guess it. It just consumes you. And you’re never really going to fully analyze it, you just end up totally accepting it and you go, ‘That’s the real shit.’ When we’re all together, this is what happens. And when we’re not together, lots of great things happen for all of us, like I said, Stevie has a very successful [solo career], but still, when she comes back to Fleetwood Mac and we all do, it’s amazing.”

There’s no doubt otherworldly forces are at work when this bunch share a stage. You Tube “Silver Springs” from The Dance concert special MTV first aired in ‘97 and behold how the last minute encapsulates the tangible passion coursing through Nicks and Buckingham. When they lock eyes and sing, “I’ll follow you down ’til the sound of my voice will haunt you,” showmanship gets thrown out in deference to standing face-to-face with a musical soulmate dating all the way back to high school.

Nicks has played duet partner with good friends Tom Petty and Don Henley to proven success, but when Buckingham enters the fold, the intertwining of these two voices elicits a response on
 par with a first kiss – a mix of excitement, nausea, and a concrete change in body temperature.

It’s no surprise, then, why Buckingham continues to feel a need to participate in this endeavor – even when the same buttons pushed at age 27 manage to still irk the bejesus out of everyone as they approach the AARP years. “I’ve known [Stevie] since I was like 16, so I don’t want Stevie and myself to be so distant from each other in any way,” Buckingham reveals. “I’m doing it because I think I’m going to learn something from it. I think that there’s a road left to be walked with this group of people that needs to be approached in a certain way. I want to see us in a place where we can be friends and enjoy each other and dignify how we got started.”

On the opposite side of the spectrum, Fleetwood and John McVie also share a history, dating back to John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. Former Rolling Stone photographer Mark Seliger once dressed the powerhouse rhythm section as a bride and groom for an eerily prophetic photo spread. Most marriages stop short of the 40-year mark – wedded bliss for both Fleetwood and McVie failed to yield such milestone anniversaries – yet their friendship and professional relationship continues to endure.

- Janine Schaults

To read more about Fleetwood and McVie, grab the March issue of Illinois Entertainer, available free throughout Chicagoland.



Coming later this year will be a four-disc Rumours boxed set including previously unreleased tracks recorded during the making of the 1977 landmark album. The set will feature a DVD component with never-before-seen footage of the band. There's been no release date announced for the collection yet, but various online sources are saying that it could be out as early as the Spring.


Fleetwood Mac Live in Pittsburgh, PA March 1, 2009

Pittsburgh Tribune
By: Rege Behe

Because they are a staple of classic rock radio, it's easy to take Fleetwood Mac for granted. Songs that have been heard for more than 30 years tend to lose a bit of their luster after repeated plays.

On the opening night of the band's Unleashed Tour Sunday at the Mellon Arena, those oft-heard tunes were dusted off and given new life. From the opening chords of "Monday Morning" it was immediately apparent that this was not going to be a typical recitation of the band's greatest hits.

Most of that is due to the wondrous talents of Lindsey Buckingham. While his voice was initially a bit raspy, notably on "The Chain," his vocals got better as the night wore on.

But chances are no one who attended the concert noticed much about the quality of Buckingham's singing. Not after the way he "unleashed" some of the more evocative guitar solos heard in these parts in recent memory. Especially noteworthy was his solo, acoustic version of "Big Love" and the amazing Guitar Hero- worthy performance on "I'm So Afraid" that electrified the audience. He also did a more than credible job on the ancient Fleetwood Mac chestnut, "Oh, Well."

Next, Steve Nicks. Her smoky voice shows little wear, and if she's somewhat less energetic that Buckingham — for most of the evening they performed about 15 feet apart from each other — she nonetheless has a charismatic aspect that made songs such as "Dreams" and "Rhiannon" memorable. Most notably, Nicks did well by "Storms," a gem from the album "Tusk" that the band resurrected for the first time in years.

But the shape of Fleetwood Mac's is due to the band's rhythm section, bassist John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood. It was McVie's melodic bass lines and Fleetwood's superb way of shaping a song via percussion that gave "Tusk," "Gold Dust Woman," "Go Your Own Way" and just about any other song the band performed definition and backbone.

If there was a flaw in the evening — a big if — it was the continued absence of Christine McVie on songs such as "Don't Stop," "Say You Love Me" and "World Turning." Buckingham and Nicks did a credible job filling in, but McVie's voice is nonetheless missed.

by: Britt Robson

Stevie Nicks stormed off the stage and permanently short-circuited the last Fleetwood Mac tour five years ago because of an argument with, who else?, her ex-lover and sparring partner, Lindsey Buckingham, with whom she swore she’d never play again.

But hey, there’s a new boxed-set edition of "Rumours," a DVD/CD combo, which includes previously unreleased songs from the sessions that were so good they had to be held 31 years for the rest of the world to catch up. And Nicks’ "Live in Chicago" DVD, originally scheduled for release last fall, has been pushed back to March 31. And tickets for Tuesday’s second stop on Fleetwood Mac’s "Unleashed: Hits Tour 2009" at the Xcel Energy Center go for a mere $149.50 (or $49.50 for nosebleeds), not counting service charge. Perhaps all of these things enabled Nicks to have a change of heart.

Unlike their last tour, which included songs from their then-current album that became a waste of everybody’s time, Fleetwood Mac is reportedly purveying nothing but the hits on this sojourn into the big arenas and increasingly unreliable memories of their aging fan base. Christine McVie once again has refused to come on board, having retired from the whole shebang years ago. But Nicks and Buckingham, who each turned 60 last year, plus bassist John McVie (63) and drummer Mick Fleetwood, who’s old enough for Medicare, will be around.

Bickering aside, both Nicks and Buckingham have proved to be in good voice recently, and it’s not as if the likes of "Rhiannon," "Going Out of My Head," "Go Your Own Way" (and all the other chestnuts that placed the band alongside the Eagles and Jackson Browne as the poster narcissists for the SoCal pop-rock of the 1970s) are that challenging on the larynx. If you’ve got the green, Fleetwood Mac will flip on the way-back machine. 

By the way, Buckingham’s latest collection, "Gift of Screws," is a pretty good record that can be had for a fraction of a ducat at the Xcel. But I don’t imagine that will dissuade thousands from flocking to the hockey palace for a mass, boisterous sing-along (such as this one) of the old stuff. All together now: "Don’t stop/thinking about tomorrow/yesterday’s gone/yesterday’s gone!"

Fleetwood Mac at the Xcel Energy Center, Tuesday, March 3, 8 p.m.; $49.50-$149.50.

REVIEW: Buckingham is a pure live wire

Fleetwood Mac still rockin' after all these years

Monday, March 02, 2009
By Scott Mervis, 

Back in the '70s when you were listening to "Rhiannon" and "Gypsy," you may have given a passing thought to the concept of Stevie Nicks at 60.

Now we're at the point where we don't have to imagine anymore.

We saw her last night at the Mellon Arena on the opening show of the Unleashed tour, and we can testify that she's still the golden haired diva, still mysterious, still beguiling, still beautiful as she sings those haunting, heartbreaking love songs.

Her partner in crime since they were teenagers, Lindsey Buckingham, is still on the brink of 60, at 59, and he's, well, he's going to be an intense dude up until the day he dies.

The former lovers came out holding hands and then went off to their positions to dazzle with the promised greatest hits show, plus some surprises from the back catalogue.

Buckingham made early mention of the band's "complex and convoluted emotional history," saying that every time they come back together "it's always different." He added that they "had a ball" during their days of rehearsal at the arena, and the evidence was on stage.

A nod to their fresh start was "Monday Morning," an unexpected opener, as it was never a staple of the "Say You Will" tour five years ago. It wasn't until the second song, "The Chain," that we got that first taste of the magical Buckingham-Nicks harmonies, two voices that born for each other.

Nicks always had an unusual voice, husky yet delicate, strong yet vulnerable. Early in the set, like on "Dreams," she clung more to the lower register, backing away from the mike on the high notes. As the set picked up energy, so did she, pouring emotion into "Sara" and "Landslide," with that line "I'm getting older, too." On "Gold Dust Woman," she unleashed a long, gorgeous wail, before turning her back to the crowd and spreading her golden shawl like wings -- dragon-lady wings -- as the song slowly faded.

Buckingham is a pure live wire, and people who have never seen Fleetwood Mac might not know that if he hadn't ended up in this co-ed pop band, his name might be thrown around with guitar heroes like Neil Young and Eric Clapton. Buckingham can rip in numerous ways, from the frantic acoustic fingerpicking on "Big Love" to the nitro shredding on "I'm Afraid," which, contrary to the image of the 50-something ballad-loving Fleetwood Mac fan, drew the biggest roar of the night.

With Nicks offstage to change shawls, or something, Mac reverted back to its early blues-rock form for "Oh Well," with Buckingham excitedly playing Peter Green's scorching riff. You need a good drummer for all of this and at 61, Mick Fleetwood is still beating the hell out of the skins and hasn't lost any of his pace. John McVie blends into the background with the two side musicians and three backup singers, but manages to keep up with the fiery Fleetwood and Buckingham, even on "Tusk," which had the USC marching band channeled through the keyboard player.

They churned like a powerful New Wave machine on "Stand Back," with Nicks delivering one her most edgy vocals. Buckingham closed the set by first playing the note-perfect solo on "Go Your Own Way" before beating the guitar with his fists.

They ended the show with the Clinton-Gore theme song "Don't Stop," and leaving the arena, fans had plenty of reason to be glad that Fleetwood Mac takes that title at its word.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Fleetwood Mac Photos - Opening Night Unleashed Tour

Interesting shot of the stage lighting.... The stage looks very minimal.
This is a pre-encore shot
photo by: Basial

Below photos by:  Stephanie Keegan


Opening Night in Pittsburgh at Mellon Arena.

With the first show in the can... Fleetwood Mac move on to Minneapolis for Tuesday nights show...  Let's hope the set list stays intact.

Based on what was coming out of some of the interviews with the band members - there weren't as many surprises with the set list tonight as expected.  A few gems pop up I'm happy to say and I'm completely looking forward to hearing them played live.  I hope this set list doesn't change from here on out, which can happen after the first show - we'll have to watch for Minneapolis to see if anything is dropped or added.  If anything, I think they should add a couple more songs to the set.  Comparing this show to the Say You Will Tour - this was 2 songs shorter. 

If you want to be spoiled on the set list - you can view it here:  Set list

Reports from the show indicate that there is no percussionist on this tour.  Both Stevie and Lindsey sounded amazing tonight and the backup band consists of: Brett Tuggle & Neale Heywood with Sharon Celani, Jana Anderson and Lori Nicks on backup vocal duties:

Lindsey wore a red shirt with a black leather jacket.... Stevie came on the stage in a Burgundy/red dress - and at some point had on red boots!!  The top hat was worn near the end of the show... and Mick didn't do his drum solo like he said he was going to do.

There will likely be video posted late tonight on the various video sites... 

by: Jon Bream

Full Article

Fleetwood Mac's ticket prices have jumped 20 percent from the last tour -- from a top of $125 to $150 this time. Other Rock and Roll Hall of Fame acts, including AC/DC and Bruce Springsteen, are keeping their top prices under $100 in economically challenging 2009.

Can Fleetwood Mac explain the discrepancy?

"We don't do the amount of gigs that, say, a Bruce Springsteen or an AC/DC does," Fleetwood said. "We're doing 46 gigs. We're not doing 250 gigs."

Does that mean that Fleetwood Mac makes more money off a shorter tour than Springsteen or AC/DC do for a longer tour with less expensive tickets?

"I doubt it," Fleetwood said. "It's actually probably the other way around."

Opening Night Fleetwood Mac - Unleashed

TONIGHT'S THE NIGHT that Fleetwood Mac begin the first of 44 US dates in Pittsburgh at Mellon Arena - show time 8:00pm.

The Set list has been wildly speculated upon and largely kept a secret by the band. In various interviews with Mick, Lindsey and Stevie - some of the obvious "Hits" (and set list staples) have been confirmed ie "Go Your Own Way" & "Dreams". Mick believes the fans will be very happy with the 2 1/2 hour set they've put together including paying a little bit more attention to what Christine McVie contributed to the band and its catalogue of hits. 

Everyone loves Christine Mcvie and miss her music and her presents within Fleetwood Mac as a band member and as a touring band member, but Christine's touring days are over... and so the band must play on.

This will be the first time Fleetwood Mac has toured without backing up a new release of new material. It will be interesting to see what they fill the set list with now that 3 or 4 tunes (new material) aren't there.   We know Lindsey and Stevie will each be bringing to the set one song each from their solo career - and if they had asked the fans what they should include, you'd hear titles such as "Sisters of the Moon", "Angel", "I Don't Want To Know" and a whole host of Lindsey's tunes from Tusk.  Not to mention tracks from the Buckingham Nicks album.  But the band hasn't asked the fans, so we'll just have to leave it in their capable hands and wait it out until later tonight when the first show set list is confirmed.

Have a great show tonight Fleetwood Mac - and to everyone going to tonight's show... Show the band some love!! 

Fleetwood Mac is a rare act and one that won't be around forever.

Oh... And there's been talk that additional dates will be coming for the month of June.... Here's hoping they head to the UK, Europe and beyond.