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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Chickenfoot - Get Your Buzz On DVD review

Chickenfoot – Get Your Buzz On Live DVD
Released through DC3 / Rockpit.

OK my thoughts on Chickenfoot, what a potentially great act!
Why do I say potentially many of you may say who are already loving, ‘The ‘Foot’ as they are affectionately known between both band members and the fan base already established.

Why potentially? A combination of guitar maestro Joe ‘Satch’ Satriani, drummer Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), over the top bassist / vocalist Michael Anthony (Van Halen, The Other Half) and of course legendary Sammy ‘Red Rocker’ Hagar (Montrose, Van Halen) on lead vocals / guitar, what’s wrong with that great line up?

Well, here’s the thing with this band, it really is or seems to be a case of you either get Chickenfoot or you really don’t and if you guessing that I think the latter, I have to admit you’d be quite right.
I had really wanted to love this band, as I love pretty much all the work the various members have behind them, with the exception of Chad Smith’s ‘Chili Peppers .. Likewise, I don’t get that band at all …

I read reviews of the ‘CF’ album before hearing it and the Led Zeppelin comparisons weren’t encouraging.
Then I heard the album and it has never really clicked with me, but I thought well maybe it’s a live thing.
Cue the live DVD ….

Interestingly enough before the band go onstage Sammy gets all the band and crew together in a huddle and says a prayer before they run out onto the stage.

Opening the live set as the album does with ‘Avenida Revolution’ the crowd is ready to rock ‘n’ roll.

As the song rips in its Satch who is the showpoint, with his riffing away as the song starts and Sammy gives a strong vocal and the band is clearly rocking the house. Trouble is the track for me, really goes nowhere … Is it just me?

Next we get ‘Sexy Little Thing’ with it’s repetitive riff and the chorus should grab me but it really doesn’t, still the band look like they’re having fun and there’s some great interplay between Satch and Mike Anthony.

Probably the only real song of theirs that has got my attention is up next, as we get ‘Soap On A Rope’ and I tend to think the crowd feels the same way with their response. That said, so far the crowd really isn’t singing along with everything … The song is though I have to say, perhaps the closest thing we get to Van Halen and maybe that’s it?! Hmmm …

Before they kick into the next track, Chad – Doesn’t this guy have that crazed Will Ferrell look about him?! - and Sammy play off each about why they recorded this DVD in Phoenix, Arizona with Chad saying, ‘There’s a lot of very attractive people out there tonight,’ and Sammy replies, ‘Isn’t that what Arizona is known for, their beautiful women. Doh! Maybe that’s why we wanted to record this here!’
Time for ‘My Kinda Girl’ which almost wants to be Van Halen song and isn’t too bad at all, but again the songs they’ve established together for me just lack a little something. That ‘X factor.’

‘Down the Drain’ next and Sammy says, ‘You know this song started as a jam session and then we turned it into a song. Well how about tonight we turn it back into a jam session?!’

I hate to say it but I really think that sums up my thoughts on Chickenfoot. They really do just sound like a jam band, sure it’s of the highest quality but put simply the songs really aren’t singalong songs.
There’s no ‘Can’t Drive 55,’ no ‘Red,’ no ‘Only One Way To Rock,’ no ‘Dreams,’ no ‘Top of the World,’ or anything along those tracks, so you get the picture.

Other tracks off the album come in the form of ‘Bitten By The Wolf,’ – A bonus track on certain versions of the album. – then ‘Oh Yeah,’ which seems to get the crowd interested in joining in vocally.
You also get, ‘Learnin’ To Fall,’ ‘Get it Up,’ ‘Turnin’ Left’ and ‘Future in the Past.’

Highlight for me in the set was the inclusion of the old Montrose number ‘Bad Motor Scooter’ where Sammy finally grabs a …, well it ain’t a guitar, but it’s a custom ‘jobby’ which he takes to the front of the stage to play as a steel guitar would be played, on his lap as he plays the simulated engine revving intro.  
The band really jams this song to back Sammy up and then Sammy introduces, ‘Chad Smith on the drums’ as Satch just kicks out some powerchords and then … Sammy grabs his guitar and kicks some serious butt! Now this is a mega jam I can appreciate! Sweet!

They then move into a rip roaring rendition of The Who’s ‘My Generation’ and fittingly Chad Smith trashes his kit at the end and Satch closes the set with the ‘Star Spangled Banner.’
Then they are done. I don’t think I’ll be checking out Chickenfoot live, but if you liked the album, then you’re sure to enjoy this.

Extra features are a very good documentary including the opening scene where Chad poses as a reporter with microphone and goes out into the streets of the city asking people on the street if they’ve ever heard of Chickenfoot and shows a band photo to see if anyone can recognize any of the members. Perhaps the funniest moment is where two young lads are asked and one says, ’Is that Jimmy Page?’ and Chad says, ‘Yeah, sure, that’s Jimmy Page, alright!’ Too funny.

There’s other great stuff in the documentary too like Joe Satriani interviewed by Nigel Tuffnal (Spinal Tap) and Sammy interviewing / meeting Bob Weir for an entertaining ‘chat’ and there a lot more too.
Don’t get me wrong, the live show’s alright, the bands songs just don’t grab me, so as an overall package it’s OK.

Rating: 3 out of 5 for me

The bands website is:

Friday, August 13, 2010

Rock News for Friday 13th August, 2010

Tony Iommi Gibson SG guitar stolen

It seems some seriously heartless ..., well you all know where that was going, but anyway ...
While Tony Iommi and Heaven and Hell were at the High Voltage festival in London, playing their tribute show to Ronnie James Dio, someone took it upon themselves to steal Tony Iommi's cherry red custom Gibson SG.
Tony's management asked the Black Sabbath website to post this message through their site, so I thought the least I can do is offer my support to try and help by doing the same here:

"Sadly, my RED CUSTOM SHOP IOMMI SG was stolen at the tribute show Heaven and Hell performed at High Voltage on July 24th. If you have any information or leads please let us know, we are offering a reward" - Tony  

Black Sabbath's site is:

Carl Palmer news update and tour dates

(Photo courtesy of

As Carl Palmer wraps up a bunch of Asia tour dates and his recent show with Emerson Lake and Palmer at London's High Voltage festival, he's about to go it alone for a while, before then hooking up with Asia again in December, for some more dates.
I also have it on reasonably good authority that next year, E.L.P. will be back in North America for some select tour dates. Watch this space!

A new film by British artist Andrew Cross featuring the music of Carl Palmer exploring the relationship between music and space by focusing on the drum solo.

Special screening on 28 August 2010, Dusk to 11pm
Preceded by artist's talk at 7pm
FREE: Booking essential

Station Road
Hampshire SO41 6BA
T: +44(0)1590 682260

There is a DVD available and a special limited edition 12" vinyl LP and set of prints. These are available from Ikon Gallery in Birmingham.

Carl Palmer Band tour dates:

Date City Venue
Oct. 2010
Tue 10/12/10 Hamilton, ON Studio At Hamilton Place
Wed 10/13/10 Toronto, ON Lula Lounge
Thu 10/14/10 Montreal, QC Gesu Theatre
Fri 10/15/10 Londonderry, NH Tupelo Music Hall
Sat 10/16/10 Foxboro, MA Showcase Live
Sun 10/17/10 Lakewood, NJ The Strand Center For The Arts
Tue 10/19/10 New York, NY B.B. King Blues Club
Wed 10/20/10 Glenside, PA Keswick Theatre
Thu 10/21/10 Annapolis, MD Rams Head On Stage
Fri 10/22/10 Rockville, MD Robert Parillia Performing Arts Ctr
Sat 10/23/10 Cleveland, OH Beachland Ballroom & Tavern
Sun 10/24/10 Detroit, MI Jazz Cafe at Music Hall
Tue 10/26/10 Indianapolis, IN The Slippery Noodle Inn
Wed 10/27/10 Chicago, IL Reggie's Live
Thu 10/28/10 Milwaukee, WI Shank Hall
Fri 10/29/10 Chicago, IL Arcadia Theatre
Sat 10/30/10 Iowa City, IA The Englert Theatre
Nov. 2010
Tue 11/02/10 Denver, CO Soiled Dove Underground
Thu 11/04/10 Park City, UT The Star Bar
Sat 11/06/10 Petaluma, CA McNears Mystic Theatre
Tue 11/09/10 San Diego, CA Brick By Brick
Thu 11/11/10 Agoura Hills, CA Canyon Club
Fri 11/12/10 Santa Ana, CA Galaxy Concert Theatre
Sat 11/13/10 Las Vegas, NV Cannery Casino Hotel
Sun 11/14/10 Phoenix, AZ The Compound Grill
Carl Palmer website:

YOSO add more tour dates

YOSO the band that features ex-Yes and Toto members, Tony Kaye and Billy Sherwood (Yes) and Bobby Kimball (Toto) follow up their classy album release 'Elements' with some more tour dates!
Currently playing US dates, they will soon cross 'the pond' to play European dates.

Full tour dates as follows:
Aug. 2010
Fri 08/13/10 Lakewood, NJ The Strand Center For The Arts
Sun 08/15/10 Annapolis, MD Rams Head On Stage
Tue 08/17/10 New York, NY B.B. King Blues Club
Thu 08/19/10 Kent, OH The Kent Stage
Fri 08/20/10 Newport, KY Newport Syndicate
Sat 08/21/10 Rancho Murieta, CA Lake Clementia Amphitheater
Sept. 2010
Tue 09/21/10 Verviers, Belgium Spirit of '66
Wed 09/22/10 Zoetermeer, Netherlands Boerderij
Fri 09/24/10 Helmond, Netherlands Lakei
Sat 09/25/10 Zaandam, Netherlands De Kade
Mon 09/27/10 Cologne, Germany Eltzhof Das Kulturgut
Tue 09/28/10 Dortmund, Germany Domicil
Wed 09/29/10 Luxembourg, Luxembourg Den Atelier
Thu 09/30/10 Pratteln, Switzerland Z7
Oct. 2010
Sat 10/02/10 Aschaffenburg, Germany Colos-Saal
Sun 10/03/10 Augsburg, Germany Spectrum
Fri 10/08/10 Cardiff, United Kingdom The Globe
Sun 10/10/10 Leamington Spa, United Kingdom The Assembly
Mon 10/11/10 London, United Kingdom Jazz Cafe
You can keep up to date with band activities through their website here:

Carlos Santana Guitar Heaven released September 21st

The longest-running, most successful partnership in the history of rock takes flight anew, as legendary Rock And Roll Hall of Fame inductees Carlos Santana and Clive Davis, Chief Creative Officer of Sony Music Entertainment, collaborate on the brand new concept album, GUITAR HEAVEN: THE GREATEST GUITAR CLASSICS OF ALL TIME, arriving in stores September 21st on Arista Records.
The album was co-produced by Howard Benson, Matt Serletic, Carlos Santana and Clive Davis.


“Whole Lotta Love” Chris Cornell
“Sunshine Of Your Love” Rob Thomas
“Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’” Scott Weiland
“Dance the Night Away” Pat Monahan
“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” india.arie and Yo-Yo Ma
“(Get it On) Bang A Gong” Gavin Rossdale
“Smoke On the Water” Jacoby Shaddix
“Photograph” Chris Daughtry
“Back In Black” Nas
“Little Wing” Joe Cocker
“Riders On the Storm” Chester Bennington and Ray Manzarek
“I Ain’t Superstitious” Jonny Lang
“Fortunate Son” Scott Stapp

Website is:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Rock News for Wednesday 11th August, 2010


Inspired by the success of their 2009 StarCity Recording DVD/CD release 'There's Know Place Like Home' - which saw the veteran classic rock band KANSAS team up for a special night with the Washburn University Orchestra - the group decided to take this idea on the road. The feedback that KANSAS drummer Phil Ehart received from prospective universities has been overwhelmingly supportive in their desire to bring the concept to their campuses.

"We started by cold-calling schools all over the country to find out if there was interest in us coming to play with their orchestras. We immediately discovered that most schools have no money for their music programs. We then thought of performing the shows as fundraisers, helping to raise funding for the school's music programs. As we started talking to the schools, we found out that many of them don't even have a place on campus for a school symphony concert...but they do have an 80,000 seat football stadium! I had one school music director actually break down emotionally on the phone with me - he was very distraught that this might be his school's last year with a music program. He thought this concert might actually save the music program for another year!

The result is the 'KANSAS Collegiate Symphony Tour.' With performances booked throughout September and October, the group will be joined by each respective college's symphony, conducted by Larry Baird, for what promises to be a truly unforgettable evening of powerful rock music. "These will be full-blown concerts with pro lights and sound," adds Ehart. "KANSAS prides itself in performing first class shows no matter what the venue. Our college tour will showcase KANSAS and each school's orchestra in the best possible manner."

As the presenting sponsor, D'Addario & Company, Inc., is joining KANSAS in their objective to raise funds for college and university music programs. D'Addario, the world's largest musical products accessory manufacturer, brings products to market under the brand names D'Addario; Planet Waves; Rico Reeds; and Evans/PureSound/HQ percussion products.

"Receiving the support of D'Addario seemed like such a natural tie-in," comments Ehart. "Most of us in the band use their gear, and I know you'll find their products on college campuses across the country."

"We are so excited to be part of 'KANSAS Collegiate Symphony Tour," offers David Via, VP of D'Addario & Company. "The experience and memories that these schools and their students will have from these concerts will last a lifetime. Financially, the D'Addario Foundation will be providing music scholarships to each school's music department, while D'Addario & Company will be providing complimentary product support to each institution," concludes Via.

With their self-titled first album released in 1974, KANSAS went on to become one of the decade's most popular rock acts - issuing classic rock albums such as 1976's 'Leftoverture' and 1977's 'Point of Know Return,' along with the hit singles "Carry on Wayward Son" and "Dust in the Wind", and "Point of Know Return." The band - which in addition to Ehart, is comprised of singer/keyboardist Steve Walsh, guitarist Rich Williams, bassist Billy Greer, and violinist David Ragsdale - continue to tour in front of large and enthusiastic audiences and to this day remain a fixture on classic rock radio. Additionally, they have reached an entirely new audience through their unmistakable presence on the popular video games Guitar Hero and Rock Band.

In closing, Ehart hints that the 'KANSAS Collegiate Symphony Tour' may point to the band's future.
"This is going so well that other schools are contacting us for 2011 and 2012. City orchestras are even calling us about doing the same for them. KANSAS has always been a symphonic rock band; we may have found a whole new niche!"

Confirmed 'KANSAS Collegiate Symphony Tour' dates and venues, with more to be added:

September 9 & 10, 2010 - University of Alabama (Moody Concert Hall - Tuscaloosa, AL)
September 17, 2010 - University of Texas - San Antonio (Laurie Auditorium -San Antonio, TX)
September 18, 2010 - Wichita State University (Hartman Arena - Park City, KS)
September 23 & 24, 2010 - Oklahoma State University (Stillwater High School Performing Arts Center - Stillwater, OK)
September 25, 2010 - Hardin-Simmons University (Behrens Chapel Auditorium - Abilene, TX)
October 9, 2010 - Truman State University (The Family Arena - St. Charles, MO)


T.S.O. Winter Tour 2010 Announced

To All Our Friends,

The Winter Tour stage is being built as we speak and the entire band is counting the days till we get to fire up the new show. As always we are determined to take the show to another level. Can't wait to see you on the road.
Sincerely From New York City (Nocturnal Division),

Paul O'Neill & Everyone in the Trans-Siberian Orchestra


Visit for more details and updates about on-sale dates or TSO's fan club community site, for access to this year's exclusive Winter Tour pre-sale!
(All dates and venues are subject to change)

Side note here: I have held off posting the dates that are shown at the site or in the bands newsletter, as there are conflicts. i.e. Two different cities are being shown in many cases down the list, on the same date!
This is including the 2 shows that they are typically doing per day. Afternoon matinee and evening performances, just the same if you go to the link below here you WILL see the cities they plan on playing!

UFO tour news update and rumours denied

It seems UFO are being singled out for a little rumour mongering, regarding a line up change!
This statement has just been posted over at the bands website:

"Just a quick update to address the rumour that has been circulating recently that a line-up comprising of Phil Mogg, Pete Way, Michael Schenker and Herman Rarebell is expected to tour next year. This is not the case and is pure nonsense!"

Interesting one that, makes you wonder where that came from ...?!

Anyway, the band still have a few more shows lined up for the rest of the year and plan to add more, so keep checking in for more details.
Current remaining dates for the year:

September 201019th September - USA - Chicago - Loopfest (With Kenny Wayne Shepherd Ratt, Dokken, Fuel and more!). Details:

October 2010
11th October - Germany - Bremen - Meisenfrei
12th October - Germany - Melle - Hohnerkamps Ballsaal
13th October - Germany - Lorsch - Musiktheater Rex
15th October - Germany - Obermarchtal - Gemeindehaus
19th October - Germany - Freiburg - Jazzhaus
22nd October - Germany/Norway - Kiel to Oslo - Classic Rock Cruise

December 2010
2nd December - England - Birmingham - HMV Institute
3rd December - Wales - Prestatyn - Hard Rock Hell IV
4th December - England - Holmfirth - Picturedrome
More dates to be added soon.

The UFO website can be found here:

The huge Soundwave festival will be hitting Oz in 2011!


There used to be a saying at Soundwave that no one band is bigger than the festival ...
That saying will be tested in 2011 as we proudly announce a rare chance to see rock legends IRON MAIDEN as the headline artist for next years festival. Maiden are one of the few artists that inspire loyalty and worship by a constantly growing army that spans several generations of not only fans, but other rock musicians ranging from todays biggest metal bands to pop icons.

What makes Iron Maiden unique amongst their peers is that the band has never lost their creative touch and their ability to deliver album after album of greatness. Just when you would think there cannot be another hitherto undiscovered original yet amazing guitar riff; Maiden turn up with another album full of new classics to add to metal and rocks greatest back catalogue.

Only a fool would bet against the bands upcoming album, The Final Frontier, being anything less than a masterpiece. Only a fool would bet against Iron Maiden, period.

Maiden will be bringing with them the full stage production that featured in their hugely successful recent tour of North America, where they played to almost 400,000 fans over the 25 shows. And of course that includes Eddies latest incarnation..!!

Joining our gargantuan headliners is a cast of rock, punk and metal luminaries, headed by the regal guitar rock of QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, metal gods SLAYER, indie pioneers PRIMUS, the incomparable SLASH and fifty or so other international artists who form the who is who of cutting edge music for the coming decade.

And that is just the 1st announcement...
Iron Maidens appearances at Soundwave are part of their Final Frontier World Tour and the band will also play two extra arena shows in Melbourne (Feb 23) and Sydney (Feb 24) prior to the start of Soundwave. For more details please see below -

'We promised our Australian fans in 2008 that it would not take too long to return and we are delighted to have not only kept our promise but also to be headlining Australias greatest Metal Festival, Soundwave, along with a couple of arena shows beforehand to rev up the batteries!! To say that we are greatly looking forward to this is a major understatement, with so many great bands in the Soundwave line up this promises to be one hell of an event!!' - Bruce Dickinson


Special presales will be available to Maiden fan club members from Tuesday
10 August Midday to Wednesday 11 August 5pm go to for more details.
General Public on sale: Thursday 12 August, 9am.



To be eligible for the Soundwave Festival members pre sale you must be registered as a member on the Festival website
•Tuesday 17 August 9am, Brisbane

•Wednesday 18 August 9am, Sydney

•Thursday 19 August 9am, Melbourne

•Friday 20 August 9am, Adelaide and Perth

General Public on sale: Thursday 26 August, 9am

*All shows are licensed and all ages
*Venue and lineup subject to change
For more information head to

For the full line up go here:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Jorn - The 'Dio' album CD review

Jorn – The Dio album (Released on Frontiers records)
Release date: July / August 2010

Opening the album with a direct tribute to Ronnie James Dio with ‘Song for Ronnie James’ at the start Jorn almost sounds David Coverdale like, along with the Dio edge that he seems to have mastered.

All power for paying tribute to the sadly now deceased rock legend but the song itself even with it’s Dio references throughout is OK, but not really a patch on say Dio’s own material, which was of course the vein he was trying to write it in.

I will say this though, hearing ‘Invisible’ sung so well by Jorn gave me eerie Goosebumps first time around and still impresses the heck out of me as to simply how well this man can do this material. Great job Jorn! Not without praise to Jorn’s band also.

Likewise ‘Shame on the Night’ is impressive with perhaps a little more aggression in Jorn voice, a very strong and well done version.

‘Push’ from the ‘Killing The Dragon’ Dio release is also performed very well indeed and it certainly shows what strength Jorn has in his voice as he really does not falter in his Dio vocals at all. I’m impressed.

Oh yeah, I absolutely love next track ‘Stand Up and Shout,’ it really was possibly ‘the’ Dio anthem and it sounds like I could be playing the ‘Holy Diver’ album right now, yeah, it’s that close. Wow!

‘Don’t Talk To Strangers’ is again excellently presented, I will say the gentle vocal at the beginning is not perfect in the Ronnie tone but at the end of the day, I need to remember this really is meant as a tribute to the late vocalist.

Throughout this album Jorn has perhaps surprised people by picking some less than the better known tracks, next tracks is one such tune. ‘Lord of the Last Day’ was from the ‘Magica’ album. Starting with some big Hammond organ and then all dark and moody, once again, presented very well indeed.

I must say this now, if you were ever a Dio fan, I know you’ll be impressed by this release, it really is done so well. Certainly a worthy addition to any rock fans collection.

A track from the ‘Dream Evil’ album next with ‘Night People’ and it’s a song that almost brought to mind at the time Ronnie re-writing the Rainbow track ‘Kill the King’ to a degree.

OK, any self respecting Dio fan will remember ‘Sacred Heart’ as well as any track as it was many a Dio fans favourite.
I remember seeing Dio on this tour and as always Ronnie was in class form and this was such a strong band line up too.
Great job again Jorn and gang!

‘Sunset Superman’ was another favourite on the ‘Dream Evil’ album with it’s pace through each verse then it’s chugging chorus.

As I said the band that’s backing Jorn here deserve more than a huge pat on the back and it’s interesting that Jorn has three guitar players onboard at this time, all very impressive players, featuring Tore Moren, Jgor Gianola and Tor Erik Myhre ably assisted by the solid rhythm section of Nic Angileri on Bass and Willy Bendiksen on drums.

The band next pay tribute to Ronnie’s time with Black Sabbath with ‘Lonely Is The Word’ which then blends into ‘Letters From Earth.’ The former from the first Sabbath release - 'Heaven and Hell' - that featured Ronnie and the latter track was from the not so popular ‘Dehumanizer’ album, which was perhaps more grungy as it’s 90’s surroundings possibly drove it to be.

A classic from Ronnie’s last album with Rainbow in ‘Kill the King’ is next and the guitar playing is very good, if perhaps a lot more metallic than Ritchie Blackmore’s original style, nice that the solo’s here are split between guitars and keyboards, cool.
I think also this version is perhaps a little borderline thrashy to be honest, still well done, but perhaps it takes a little away from what the guys are doing here.

The album closes with a live version of ‘Straight Through The Heart,’ by Jorn and his band and it proves that the man Jorn and the band are a very together class act.

Jorn’s previous solo work I must say has been impressive too, I would say that the guy has a good future ahead.
The fact that the remaining members of Dio’s last band, Heaven and Hell asked Jorn to share the stage with Glenn Hughes to sing lead vocals with the band at London’s High Voltage event last month, to pay tribute to Ronnie James Dio, also speaks volumes.

A very good tribute album indeed then and certainly one I’ll be playing again from time to time.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Asia - Omega CD review

Asia – Omega CD review (Released on Frontiers records)
Release date: May / June 2010

For a band like Asia it must be tough to try and emulate or even come close – to be 100% honest – to what they achieved in their first few years existence, which of course is like a lifetime ago now (1982).

Of course the band has been through a number of changes over the years with only Geoff Downes being the solitary mainstay all through the bands journey. John Wetton left to some solo work, a brief joint venture with Carl Palmer in Qango and even the Icon project work with Geoff Downes, which is possibly the driving factor behind the reunion a few years back.
Carl Palmer has been doing drum clinics, solo work and dabbling with E.L.P. again as well. Steve Howe has been doing the Yes gig and of course various side bits and pieces too.
So, I know what you wanting to know … What’s this latest Asia release like?
Well, without further ado, here’s the lowdown! 

Opening track here ‘Finger on the Trigger’ has picked up a reasonable amount of airplay, all things considered and I must say that on first hearing I wasn’t overawed by the track, as it doesn’t really hark of more glorious Asia days.
Still, as far as this album goes it’s certainly as strong as anything here, perhaps one of the better tracks.

Next up, ‘Through My Veins’ is a fairly safe laid back affair for the most part although Howe’s guitar almost gets a little heavy at one point. Just an OK track to me to be honest, nothing more ... What seems sad of late with Asia is the lack of really, driving lead keyboard work from Geoff Downes. Nothing here on a par with say ‘Only Time Will Tell,’ ‘Heat of the Moment,’ ‘Go!’ or even ‘Don’t Cry’ to be honest.
‘Holy War’ gets the tempo going again after a built up beginning and I do like it. Again, it’s not massive compared to some of their previous years of anthems, but still a nice slice of AOR.

In ‘Ever Yours’ it’s starts almost hymnal like, before getting into a steady ballad groove. It’s OK.

I do like next track ‘Listen, Children’ which has a sound that would probably work well as a single if it could get the airplay. A more pop rock tune, very commercial and certainly hit worthy.

Then with ‘End of the War’ it’s more of the prog rock type track at the start, building up and up at the beginning before easing into a more ballad type verse and chorus and to be honest stays there for the most part, before revisiting and repeating the intro midway through, then finishing a little more involved.

‘Light the Way,’ next is a little more intricate in almost a Yes type fashion and should be more of a pleaser for prog rock fans who still follow the band.

Interesting to have a bonus track midway through an album, but ‘Emily’ is that bonus track next and certainly seems to have more of a pop rock, almost a sub-Beatles type direction, then goes a little psychedelic prog before coming back into the verse and chorus again. Interesting …

‘I’m Still The Same’ next as a mid paced pop rocker say ala E.L.O. and it’s OK, fairly steady number.

On a slightly different track is, ‘There Was a Time’ which is laid back with an almost renaissance type feel and it’s a difference in this set of songs that really appeals. It starts with just a piano and gentle percussion and then about two thirds in, it picks up with the full band. I like it, I really do.

OK back to big time AOR rock and ‘I Believe’ and it’s a winner from the start! Almost to a ‘Don’t Cry’ level, good stuff indeed and tasty solo from Steve Howe!

Final track here is, ‘Don’t Wanna To Lose You Now’ and the way it started almost had me singing Bryan Adams ‘Heaven!’ It’s a fairly safe and easy going number, again as compared previously elsewhere here, almost E.L.O. like.

This album overall for me is very safe, if a little light overall, but after John Wetton having gone through heart surgery probably not too long before the band did this album, perhaps why. His voice is still as familiar as ever.
Carl Palmer’s drumming, it’s there too but perhaps not as adventurous as certain people may expect per his previous Asia work.
I personally think this album may be on a par with the previous ‘Phoenix’ release from two years back. Maybe a little lighter ...

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 for me.

Band website:

Monday, August 9, 2010

Rock News for Monday 9th August, 2010

Robert Plant adds more solo UK tour dates 

To many rock fans out there, Robert Plant continues to push aside possibilities of any Led Zeppelin reunion, be it with his activities with Alison Krauss or his other solo side project, Band of Joy.
The band has just completed a 12 date US tour in July and well ... So it continues as more Band of Joy tour dates appear, just this past week another 3 UK dates were added.
His full current list of European tour dates with Band of Joy are as follows:

September 2010
2nd September, HMV Forum, London
October 2010
14th October, Annext, Stockholm, Sweden
16th October, Sentrum Scene, Oslo, Norway
18th October, Edinburgh, Usher Hall
20th October, Gateshead: The Sage
21st October, Liverpool, The Olympia
24th October, France/Paris– Palais De Sports
26th October, St David’s Hall, Cardiff
27th October, Symphony Hall, Birmingham
31st October 2010, Palace Theatre, Manchester
November 20101st November, Olympia, Dublin, Ireland
For more updates on Robert Plant activities:

How about a new Scrap Metal tour date ...?

I know, many people are thinking who ...?
Well, Scrap Metal - for those that don't know - are the side project / band that was the dreamchild of brothers Gunnar and Matthew Nelson, Mark Slaughter, Kelly Keagy and Eric Martin.
Since forming the side (occasional) project a number of years back, every onece in awhile, they get together again and when they do, you can usually guarantee a number of all star rock guests joining them.
These days though, Kelly Keagy has to back out from summer dates, due to his touring commitments with Night Ranger and Eric Martin these days, seems to spend most of his time in Japan.
Anyway, check out their special guests for this show coming up, along with the show details:

New Scrap Metal Tour Date!!!
August 20, 2010- Mohegan Sun Wolf Den Uncasville , CT
The line up for this show is scheduled to include:

John Payne / ASIA
Asia 's hit singles include “Only Time Will Tell,” “Heat of the Moment,” “Sole Survivor” and “Wildest Dreams.”

Steve Plunkett / AUTOGRAPH
Autograph's hit singles include "Turn Up the Radio", "Loud and Clear", "Blondes in Black Cars"

Janet Gardner / VIXEN
Vixen's hit singles include "Cryin", "Edge of a Broken Heart"

Mark Slaughter / SLAUGHTER - hit singles include "Up All Night", "Fly to the Angels"

Matthew & Gunnar Nelson / NELSON - hit singles "After the Rain", "Love and Affection", "More Than Ever"
Details over here:

Van Halen update - Official at Warner / Chappell site

Well, it seems somehow the press release that previously mentioned rock sites, and got a hold of, must have been an early leak, as indeed, the statement is NOW up at the Warner / Chappell site.
Here's the link to go read it for yourself:

Even without Michael Anthony onboard, I do seriously hope, Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth can indeed come up with some fine new music for us all.
It will be interesting to see what influence Eddie's son Wolfgang could have on the songwriting too, if they were to bring him into the writing equation. This of course is assuming a new album does see the light of day.

Rick Springfield new US tour dates

Rick Springfield continues to hit the live trail - hopefully plugging the excellent Venus in Overdrive album - playing the following US tour dates during August:

Thursday, August 12, 2010
Indianapolis, IN - Indiana State Fair
FREE with fair admission!

Friday, August 13, 2010
Youngstown, OH - Covelli Center Outdoors

Saturday, August 14, 2010
Atlanta, GA - Symphony Hall - Woodruff Arts Center

Friday, August 20, 2010
Lynden, WA - Northwest Washington Fair

Saturday, August 21, 2010
Tacoma, WA - Emerald Queen Casino

Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Kennewick, WA - Benton Franklin Fair

Friday, August 27, 2010
Great Falls, MT - Hideout Lounge & Casino

Saturday, August 28, 2010
Lewiston, ID - Hot August Nights Car Show, Pioneer Park

For more updates:
Another rock cruise lined up
These various rock bands getting together with cruise liner companies, for rock cruises seems to be getting more and more popular and here's another one for you, that I found through 38 Special's website!
Simpleman Cruise 2011

38 Special is getting back on the boat! We are excited to announce we’ll be sailing once again on the Simple Man Cruise in 2011! We're thrilled to be joining the 5th cruise adventure, with the band that’s closest to our family – Skynyrd - and hope you can join us!

We'll be sailing with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Little Feat, Blackberry Smoke, Heather Luttrell, Tom Hambridge & the Rattlesnakes, Leroy Powell, Swampdawamp, Truth & Salvage Company and a full lineup of more than a dozen bands from January 20-24th, 2011 from Tampa, FL, to Grand Cayman on the Carnival Inspiration.
We are sure you’ve heard the stories, and the past 4 years of this event sound unforgettable (we know last year was!). We want you to join us in making this year’s event the biggest celebration of the southern rock community yet! We don’t want to be there without you, so please come on board with us!

There are less than 50 cabins left, so hurry and get one of the last! Prices start at $649 per person (based on double occupancy) plus $149 per person for taxes and fees. To book your cabin today, head on over to or call 877-SIXTHMAN and book your cabin. With less than 50 to go, make plans to join us today!
We can’t wait to see you on board!
See you on the cruise!
-38 Special

Sunday, August 8, 2010

'Frontiers' (Journey tribute band) - Live in Michigan gig review.

Journey tribute band Frontiers live review.
Sterlingfest, Sterling Heights, MI. Friday 6th August, 2010.

On Friday night (6th August), we went to check out Journey tribute band 'Frontiers,' with Jeremey Hunsicker on lead vocals, the guy that didn't quite get the Journey gig, but co-wrote (Along with Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain'Never Walk Away,' the lead track on Journey's last album 'Revelation.'

These guys are actually a national touring outfit now, doing this tribute gig for a living.
I have to say that the videos of them / their shows live, make them look a lot better than they certainly were last night.
When you go over to these guys MySpace page - or their own website it's almost too easy to be very impressed as I have been and have been telling everyone as much and so I was really looking forward to this gig.

To me, Hunsicker really doesn't look the part of a frontman, almost like a salesman in that suit, even if he was barefoot to stand on the Persian rug that was on the stage under his mic stand.
I can kind of therefore see why he wasn't right for Journey, even if his facial features are slightly Steve Perry like.
Admittedly this was an outdoor gig that was a free festival locally, but the mix for the most part was horrible ....

The drums and the guitarist's amp were mic'd but the bass and keys went direct via the mixer to the PA so when you're right in front of stage and PA is hanging overhead, what do you hear? Drums and guitar, faint, murky bass sound, keys non-existent - Although apparently they could be heard out of the PA, but how much ....?!

Hunsicker was controlling the sound at the back of the stage area and he kept wondering over to adjust it.
He was seriously struggling to hit a number of notes too though ... Shame. I wonder how good he could hear himself? - They all had in-ear monitoring, so it should've been as good as he had mixed the sound?

We stayed for about 45 minutes of their set - they were headline over other local acts. - then we left ... Shame.
These were the songs that we heard during that time - Which seemed a good song selection:

Seperate Ways - Hunsicker struggled in places on this and sound was rough mix from the start. Everything was a wash of sound.
Only The Young - Mix is terrible, keys should be prominent ... Where are they?!
Send Her My Love - Better than the previous two, but mix still not there yet.
Girl Can't Help It - Guitar comes through well, but bass now loud in the mix, keys are thin / sparse. Drums fine.
Stone in Love - Pretty good start and so, so mix ... Drawn out by lengthy guitar soloing.
Faithfully - Harmonies were good, even if Jeremey is struggling towards the end big time ... Sorry mate, that's how it sound to us ...
Lights / Stay With Me Awhile - Just so, so really, the mix is better than at the start but still disappointing.
Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin' - It's not improving and we decided to leave ...

There's been quite a bit of hype about these guys - Probably down to lead singer Hunsicker's involvement with Journey. - and the fact that they make a living doing this, I guess there's reason and need to promote yourselves, right ...?
To be honest, either we caught them on a bad night (Day? - It started at about 8.30pm and it was still quite light out.) or I don't know what else to tell you?

I think when many live acts play directly through the PA via mixer of course, it often compresses the sound so much, that it really sounds like it's lacking something.
It weird as their You Tube video's all show them playing with amps miked up, so why not tonight?
These guys could also have cranked the volume a touch too, as after all, aren't they a rock band?

As a live presentation too, the guys looked like they could've just been a local band playing someone's back yard party and really didn't look into it except maybe the guitarist.

Disappointing. Maybe it's just because it was an outdoor gig and they were using the venue's PA, but they were without doubt lacking something.
Perhaps in an indoor venue, with more factors within their control (?), they'd really impress, who knows?
On this occasion I have to say I was very disappointed. Next time I'll try to check them out at an indoor venue, as a headline act and maybe then I'll pass a different judgement.
Anyway, you make up you own minds folks.

Rating: 2.5 / 5

Brief News update Sunday 8th August, 2010

Y & T 's Phil Kennemore diagnosed with cancer

Sad news in the world of rock as the big 'C' word rears it's ugly head again, this time with Y & T's long time servant Phil Kennemore
This came via the bands newsletter:

 A Message From Phil...

To all of my dear friends and fans around the world and on the forum,

Up to now you haven't heard much information (other than about my extreme back pain) because there really hasn't been much until now. I hated leaving you all in the dark but I didn't want to say anything until there was something conclusive to say. We do have a lot more information now. The number one thing you need to know is that I have cancer. It wasn't absolutely formally diagnosed until yesterday.

With the bad news I also got the good news that along with surgery and treatments, I will be back rockin' and rollin'. I'll be getting a hip replacement as well as back surgery, which means I'll also be more agile. The doctor said that this is treatable and I'll be walking out of this place and I'll be able to go on the road and do everything I need to do to continue my rock 'n' roll life, in due time.

I wanted to thank everyone for your well wishes. I've been sitting here in the hospital reading all of the things that you've all posted online, and I want you to know it means so very much to me to see how much I am loved, supported, and missed. I can really feel the love as I'm reading. I love reading your posts on the web site forum, and, in fact, I need to hear it. From here on out, whatever thoughts and feelings you have, please know that I wish that I could personally respond to each and every one of you, but I'm not able to right now.
Brad--thank God for Brad! I'm so grateful that he stepped in to help keep Y&T on tour, bringing Facemelter to the people while I was ordered to the hospital. Right now I think he's the best guy on earth!

I'll be released from the hospital within three-to-four weeks, continuing treatment, and at some point, I'll be returning to the road. Keep the love and good vibes flowing. Do me a favor and go out and see the band now--Y&T is kicking serious ass--and I'll be back rocking with you all soon.

Anyone that would like to post a message to Phil go here: