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Classic Rock News

The Moody Blues Kick Off New North American Tour Tonight

Image Courtesy of Chris Hewlett PRThe Moody Blues have returned to North America for a late summer tour that gets under way tonight in Syracuse, New York. The outing includes a total of 26 shows, and will stop mostly in cities in the northeastern and midwestern U.S., winding down with a September 4-5 stand at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois.

Moody Blues frontman Justin Hayward tells ABC News Radio that one of the interesting things about this trek for him is that the band hasn’t performed in North America too often in August. He notes that, because of the time of year, “we’ll be doing a lot of outdoor gigs and I’m sure it’ll be a lot of fun.”

Hayward also reports that the Moodies will be visiting “[p]laces we haven’t been for a while,” adding, “I think we’re all looking forward to it.”

As for the band’s set list, Hayward says he doesn’t think it “will have changed much” from the one featured on the group’s last visit to the U.S. He points out, though, that since the Moodies will be playing some places they haven’t been to before, the show likely will be new to those fans.

At their concerts this past May, The Moody Blues included some lesser-known tunes like “Higher and Higher,” “You and Me,” “Peak Hour” and “Nervous,” along with classic hits like “Nights in White Satin,” “Tuesday Afternoon,” “Question” and “Your Wildest Dreams.”

Meanwhile, The Moody Blues haven’t put out a new studio album since their 2003 holiday collection, December, and Hayward tells ABC News Radio that the band still has no concrete plans for another record.

“I never know what’s gonna happen [with The Moodies],” he admits. Justin does reveal that the band has plans for a U.K. tour next year, adding that “there’s talk of another DVD project, so that’ll be good too.”

If the band does decide to hit the studio again, Hayward suggests that there won’t be a shortage of new songs. “There’s always something in the diary, that’s for sure,” he maintains.

Here are all of The Moody Blues upcoming North American dates:

8/1 — Syracuse, NY, Landmark Theater
8/2 — Niagara Falls, NY, Seneca Events Center
8/4 — Saratoga, NY, Saratoga Performing Arts Center
8/5 — Bethlehem, PA, Musikfest
8/6 — Uncasville, CT, Mohegan Sun Arena
8/8 — Rama, ON, Canada, Casino Rama
8/9 — Rama, ON, Canada, Casino Rama
8/11 — Philadelphia, PA, Verizon Hall
8/12 — Englewood, NJ, Bergen Performing Arts Center
8/14 — Gilford, NH, Meadowbrook Music Arts Center
8/15 — Hyannis, MA, Cape Cod Melody Tent
8/16 — Hyannis, MA, Cape Cod Melody Tent
8/17 — Danbury, CT, Ives Concert Park
8/20 — Toledo, OH, Toledo Zoo Amphitheatre
8/21 — Grand Rapids, MI, Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater
8/22 — Fort Wayne, IN, Embassy Theatre
8/23 — Dells, WI, Crystal Grand Music Theatre
8/25 — Lincoln, NE, Pinewood Bowl Theater
8/26 — Minneapolis, MN, Northrup Auditorium
8/28 — Springfield, IL, Sangamon Auditorium
8/29 — Kettering, OH, Fraze Pavilion
8/30 — Detroit, MI, Fox Theatre
9/2 — LaCrosse, WI, La Crosse Center Arena
9/3 — Appleton, WI, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center
9/4 — Highland Park, IL, Ravinia
9/5 — Highland Park, IL, Ravinia

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Perform New Album Tunes on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”

Image Courtesy of Mary Ellen MatthewsTom Petty & the Heartbreakers celebrated the release this week of their new album Hypnotic Eye with an appearance on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! Thursday night. After Jimmy packed his studio audience onto open-air tour buses, they drove to Culver City, California, for a private concert at Petty’s rehearsal space. The band played “American Dream: Plan B” and “Forgotten Man” from the album.

Petty & the Heartbreakers will launch a North American tour in support of Hypnotic Eye this Sunday in San Diego. The trek is plotted out through an October 10 gig in Los Angeles.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Steven Tyler & Joe Perry’s Rearranged Version of “Dream On” Released as Single to Benefit Marathon Bombing Victims

Image Courtesy of E:60In April, Aerosmith‘s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry teamed up with the Southern California Children’s Chorus to perform an updated version of their band’s classic song “Dream On” for a TV special paying tribute to the victims of last year’s Boston Marathon bombings. Now, a recording of the performance, which has been titled “Dream On (Boston Strong 2014),” has been released as a digital single via iTunes.

All money that Tyler and Perry earn from the track will be donated to charities aiding people affected by the bombings.

Meanwhile, during Aerosmith’s concert on Wednesday night at The Forum in Inglewood, California, the band welcomed the Southern California Children’s Chorus to the stage for a surprise performance of “Dream On (Boston Strong 2014).”

“The tragedy that took place during the Boston Marathon was unfathomable, but Boston is incredibly resilient and became even stronger,” says Tyler in a statement. “I am so honored to release this version of ‘Dream On’ and to be able to have had the Southern California Children’s Chorus perform with us last night was a beautiful moment, a true gift from up above.”

Adds Perry, “Boston Strong was [a positive response to the bombings] and gave an example of our city’s inner strength. I would like to think that the strength of our performance on ‘Dream On’ last night with the Southern California Children’s Chorus…was another rallying point for the goodness in all of us.”

Tyler and Perry’s original performance of “Dream On (Boston Strong 2014)” debuted on the special Dream On: Stories from Boston’s Strongest, which was the premiere episode of the spring 2014 season of ESPN’s E:60 news magazine series. The show, which marked the one-year anniversary of the Boston attacks, also profiled five people who survived the bombings.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Listen to Elton John and Smokey Robinson’s Duet of “Tracks of My Tears” Online

Verve Records; Autumn de Wilde/Verve RecordsElton John is one of the guest artists on Smokey Robinson‘s upcoming duets album, Smokey & Friends; he collaborated with the Motown legend on a new version of “Tracks of My Tears.” While the album won’t be released until August 19, has posted the audio of the new collaboration for your listening pleasure.

A month ago, a video was released in which Elton commented about “Tracks of My Tears,” and Robinson’s influence on his own career. He called the tune, which was a #16 hit for Smokey’s old group The Miracles in 1965, “maybe the greatest pop song ever written.”

Elton said of Robinson’s ability as a wordsmith, “His lyrics always struck me as being so great and so direct and so simple and so heartfelt…He’s been in my heart ever since I was…17.”

The list of guest artists on Smokey & Friends also includes Aerosmith‘s Steven Tyler, James Taylor, Sheryl Crow John Legend, Cee Lo Green and Mary J. Blige.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

New Box Set Featuring Seven Classic Foreigner Albums to Be Released in October

Rhino/AtlanticDuring its commercial heyday, Foreigner released one memorable hit after the next, reaching the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 more than a dozen times between the late 1970 and late 1980s. Now, a new box set gathering together the veteran rockers’ first seven studio albums and featuring all of their best-known tunes is scheduled to be released this fall.

The CD collection, titled Foreigner: The Complete Atlantic Studio Albums 1977-1991, will hit stores on October 14. It includes the group’s 1977 self-titled debut, as well as 1978′s Double Vision, 1979′s Head Games, 1981′s 4, 1984′s Agent Provocateur, 1987′s Inside Information and 1991′s Unusual Heat. Foreigner’s first five albums all received multi-platinum certifications from the Record Industry Association of America, with Double Vision selling the most overall — more than seven million copies in the U.S.

The first four discs in the compilation will include the bonus songs featured on the deluxe editions of the albums that were issued in 2002. Among these extra tracks are a demo of “Feels Like the First Time,” a live rendition of “Hot Blooded” and a mostly acoustic version of “Waiting for a Girl Like You.” The Complete Atlantic Studio Albums box set boasts a suggested list price of $39.98 and also will be available as a digital download.

Foreigner was led by the talents of singer Lou Gramm and guitarist Mick Jones, who wrote — or co-wrote with Gramm — all of band’s biggest hits. The group topped the Hot 100 in 1984 with “I Want to Know What Love Is,” and also reached the top 5 six other times, with “I’ve Been Waiting for a Girl Like You,” “Double Vision,” “Hot Blooded,” “Feels Like the First Time,” “Urgent” and “I Don’t Want to Live Without You.”

Gramm left Foreigner in 1990 and was replaced by Johnny Edwards, who handled lead vocals on Unusual Heat. Lou did return to the band for one more album, 1994′s Mr. Moonlight, but left for good to focus on a solo career in 2003. Foreigner, of course, has continued on with Jones leading the group and Kelly Hansen as the frontman.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Slash Launches New Web Video Series, “Ask Slash and Myles”

Image Courtesy of Robert JohnSlash with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators are on the road this summer with Aerosmith, and that experience is the subject of the first installment in a new video series, Ask Slash & Myles, that premiered Tuesday on the guitarist’s website.

In the two-minute clip, Slash explains that although he wasn’t planning to tour behind his upcoming album, World on Fire, until around the time of its release in September, when the opportunity arose to hit the road with Aerosmith, he jumped.

“They were a huge influence on me, and the direction I went into musically is very much in tandem with what they do, so the two of us playing together is a sort of unique rock ‘n’ roll package that you don’t see to much of these days,” says the ex-Guns N’ Roses guitarist.

“They were one of those band that helped draw up the blueprint for hard rock,” adds Kennedy. “The goal for me is to just try and keep up. Steven Tyler is one of the greatest front men in rock and roll…so I’m real excited to sit on the side of the stage when we’re done and just take notes.”

New episodes of Ask Slash and Myles will be posted each Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio