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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Ozzy Osbourne - Scream album review

Ozzy Osbourne – Scream album review
Released through: Epic records. Release date: Available now.


Ok, so I’m not the world’s greatest fan of Ozzy Osbourne but that doesn’t mean I don’t like his material.
I actually enjoy his later years in Black Sabbath material, like Technical Ecstasy and Never Say Die, which most Sabbath fans thought were the worst! So what do I know, eh?
Of course there's classic Sabbath too that he always still covers live these days and that's some great stuff. 
I loved his early solo work too, ‘Blizzard of Oz’ release too, which of course featured the late Randy Rhoads, ‘Bark at the Moon’ with Jake E. Lee and ‘The Ultimate Sin’ grabbed me too, but I guess over the past decade or so, I really didn’t give his music too much listening to …

When ‘Scream’ was released I don’t know what it was but I wanted to check out just what I thought of Ozzy today and so when this arrived in my mailbox, I popped the disc in my car player and listened …

‘Let it Die’ starts with an eerie’ish intro before double bass drums, thrashing guitars and pummeling bass bond together .., briefly ... and then it becomes doom laden almost ala early Sabbath. The verse Ozzy sings through a voice box and the chorus picks up a little, but generally it’s a chug along doom metal sounding. Some nice little guitar touches here and there from new band guitarist Gus G, who perhaps is the shining star throughout.

With the single ‘Let Me Hear You Scream’ it’s certainly a more viable rock radio friendly style track, but Ozzy is belting it out for sure. Up tempo mainstream rocker that you’ve most likely already heard.

‘Soul Sucker’ next really does very little for me at all to start with, grungy doom laden chug along stuff again, until it hits a bridge that picks things up somewhat and then Gus G rips out a great flashy solo, before the tracks gets back into the grunge sound again.

Ozzy takes a complete left turn next and completely throws me with ‘Life Won’t Wait’ which has an almost sub-U2 type sound to it, through the verses certainly then punchy power chords pick things up in the choruses. Then towards the latter part of the song, it gets a little meatier shall we say, before right at the end Ozzy eases back again. I do like this somewhat!

‘Diggin’ Me Down’ starts misleadingly with some nice acoustic guitar, which is then played de-tuned and the metal starts and Ozzy decides to write an anti-Christ song … Quite why he had to go so extreme with some of the lyrics beats me ...? I guess it's his song ...

In ‘Crucify’ it’s starts with a little rumbling bass and the song slowly builds and builds as Ozzy starts singing about killing someone … Certainly Mr. Darkness appears to be back here. Musically, it’s an interesting piece, but again lyrically leaves something to be desired, but I guess he sometime likes being referred to as the prince of darkness. Sounds like he’s on that track here …

‘Fearless’ starts with some grungy, crunching riffs and then the song gets into it’s groove and sounds like a song about soldiers at war, being sent away to die … Keeping it dark Ozzy. The chorus is made up of stop start riffing. Heavy.

Next up ‘Time’ starts and finishes with some nice harmony, choral like vocals and it’s a fairly steady slower rock track that starts more laid back then picks up a little in the chorus then eases back in the following verses. Nice solo work again from Gus G.
Driving drums and bass throughout is provided by Tommy Clufetos and Blasko respectively and mostly atmospheric keyboards are from Adam Wakeman, who’s Rick Wakemans (Yes) son

‘I Want It More’ like many tracks here starts eerily before crunching power chords kick in and then fast chugging metal chords riff in the verses, but more of a melodic chorus tames things a little before those chugging riffs kick in again. Not bad.

I guess Ozzy keeps the morbid vibe going with ‘Latimer’s Mercy’ written about murderer and former farmer Robert Latimer and the song is sure fire sub-thrash metal. Very dark material to match the subject matter I guess?!

He closes the album with the very gentle, yet short and sweet – A little over a minute long. - ‘I Love You All,’ that is made simply of these lines. ‘We all must stand together now, or one by one we fall. For all these years you’ve stood by me, God Bless, I love you all.’
Interesting words, especially considering the lyrical content elsewhere on the album.

So, as I said at the start I’m not his biggest fan, but I can see the appeal to the metal masses that follow him through the years, as well as those that like his darker material. For me, there’s moments I don’t mind, but it’s really not a patch to me on some of his more mainstream rock.
There’s no doubting the musical ability of the players either, it’s just for me that the songs aren’t strong enough or in a vein that could be more appealing. That said, the album has already sold bucket loads, so clearly I’m one of the few that’s not really impressed.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
Official website: www.ozzy.com/us/home

John Norum - Play Yard Blues album review

John Norum – Play Yard Blues album review
Released on: Mascot records. Release Date: Available everywhere now!

(Album cover photo by Paul Bergen)

John Norum is a guitarist who I have a great deal of time for, he’s seriously a class act, but more than that he has previously admitted he was heavily influenced by two of my favourite all time bands in both Thin Lizzy and UFO.

His band Europe not so long ago also paid tribute top both acts in their release ‘Almost Unplugged’ and Norum himself has covered Lizzy tracks on previous solo releases and has done so again on this new one.
What I really like about the guys style is that I hear a similar sound to Michael Schenker's playing in many of his solos and licks here and there, very similar to say Brian Robertson and even Gary Moore and to be honest his voice at times is similar to both Gary Moore and Jack Bruce (Cream).

To be completely open with you I’m not a big fan of blues, so I really wondered where this album would go, as my taste in blues is along the lines of more rocky blues ala Joe Bonamassa, Jeff Healey, a little Cream some Gary Moore blues, Kenny Wayne Shepherd you get the picture.
This album was pleasantly surprising in that although Norum is showing blues elements here and there, it a rocking release!

What’s really a nice touch here also is that the album is dedicated to his late musician wife Michelle Meldrum Norum (RIP) who sadly passed away back in 2008 and the album cover features their son Jake Thomas Norum posing alongside John.
So now you have some background, on to the album!

(Jake Thomas and John Norum photo by Paul Bergen)

Opening with a very Hendrix / Cream like ‘Let it Shine’ Norum has a winner, it’s a song with a great vibe and strong chorus, great sound, with a little psychedelic bridge mid way through with the solo and then back to that catchy riff that runs through the verses.
I love it and even Europe bandmate Mic Michaeli makes his presence felt on the Hammond organ here.

In a similar vibe comes ‘Red Light Green High’ save for the solo where he switches direction a little, eases back for some smooth guitar work then back into the rockin’ blues vibe. Nice.

Very impressed by his cover of Lizzy’s ‘It’s Only Money’ next and he’s got the vocal somewhere between a Phil Lynott / Gary Moore sound, classy stuff John. This should excellent live!
Please play some US dates John …!
Guest vocalist Leif Sundin joins John on next track ‘Got My Eyes on You’ which is well written between the two of them, with more than a nod towards Lizzy again, even a little Wild Horses (UK version) like, with a great solo section that almost encompasses a sound not unlike both UFO and Lizzy. Great rocker for sure. This album is cruising for me!

‘When Darkness Falls’ is again very Lizzy like with some Robertson style licks here and there, yet his solo is all his own and rips! Yet another really strong song indeed to keep the momentum up here.

For ‘Over and Done’ next, the presence of Michaeli’s keyboards are felt again alongside a grooving blues riff, very Cream like in places.

Norum’s backing band includes Tomas Torberg on bass who keeps things steady, yet grooving throughout alongside some great rhythm from drummer Thomas Broman and Peter Stappe add percussive touches elsewhere.

Another cover next in the shape of Canadian Frank Marino’s ‘Ditch Queen’ which true to Marino’s style has a very Hendrix vibe about it, but Marino’s material never really grabbed me, so Norum makes this workable for me, probably wouldn’t have worked if I just heard it from Marino.

The sound on next track ‘Travel In The Dark’ I’ve got to say, sounds more like Joe Lynn Turner era Rainbow than anything else here, ironically it’s a Mountain track!
Norum adds more than a touch of (Ritchie) Blackmore type style here, adding the Hammond just makes it all the more so and I seriously had to pick up the album to check it wasn’t Joe Lynn Turner! Love it!

“Born Again’ brings Leif Sundin back in on vocals and is an out and out rocker, dare I say ala M.S.G. like and it’s solid ripping it up track, very tight rhythm section indeed and Norum comes into his own element, big time with some great solo work.

OK, to the title track ‘Play Yard Blues’ to close the album and sure enough, Mr. Norum indeed gives us some great blues licks!

If you’re already a fan of the man, then chances are you’ve already got the album! If you’re a fan of Europe, you may or may not have, but seriously, this is a great album and I am thankful to have a copy, so I do indeed recommend it to you all!

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Official website: www.johnnorum.se/

Friday, October 1, 2010

Brief Rock News Update Friday 1st October, 2010

Wow! Look at this year go folks, here we are in October already, unreal!
Well, it's pretty quiet on most things to be honest, ran out of time on the review coverage, as I was hoping to upload one or two reviews for you tonight, but alas no ... :(
Should have two new album reviews for you very soon though at least, if not possibly three!
One is a new release (In North America), from an excellent European guitarist, ahem, another from a young'ish Scottish band with a lot of promise and the other ..., if time allows is from an older rocker that was released about a month back ... Yeah I know, I'm not keeping up so well but if you're regular readers here, it's probably because you prefer the in depth reviews I share .... I hope! So you should enjoy these which should be up this weekend.
Still working on completing that interview from a while back now ... Phew! It's a long one ...
Anyway, back to the news items for you, sorry it's brief but really couldn't find a lot and no new Press Releases hitting me yesterday so this is it! Cheers, Al


Peter Frampton World Tour Dates

In support of the guitar and voicebox legend Peter Frampton's latest release "Thank You Mr Churchill," the man is 'seriously' doing a world tour!
I kid you not! After wrapping up his US Summer Tour, he's now heading Down Under for dates in October through into November, before then heading to Honolulu and Maui also in November and it looks like a breather after that. Then in March he has lined up UK dates, before heading to Holland, Germany, Austria and Italy.
Now come on, that's not too bad and who's to say he won't throw in some more dates here and there, eh?!
Here's your full list of dates, from his site, but you should probably check back there for updates, plus of course any news the guy cares to share!
You go Peter!

Those dates are as follows:

October 2010
10.27.2010 Harbour Theatre, Sydney, AUS
10.29.2010 WIN Entertainment Centre, Wollongong, AUS
10.30.2010 Riverstage, Brisbane, AUS
November 2010
11.01.2010 Etiham Stadium in Melbourne, Australia
w/ Brian Wilson, Chicago & America
11.03.2010 Palais Theatre, Melbourne, AUS
11.05.2010 Luna Park, Sydney, Australia
11.06.2010 Wyndham Estate Winery, Hunter Valley, AUS
11.07.2010 AIS Arena, Canberra, AUS
11.09.2010 Theatre Mode, Adelaide, AUS
11.12.2010 Pioneer Women’s Memorial Kings Park & Botanic Garden,
Perth, AUS
11.15.2010 Blaisdell Concert Hall, Honolulu, HI
11.17.2010 Maui Arts & Cultural Center - Castle Theater, Maui, HI

European Tour 2011
March
03.01.2011 Assembly Rooms, Leamington, UK
03.02.2011 ABC/Academy, Glasgow, UK
03.03.2011 Academy 2, Manchester, UK
03.05.2011 Shepherds Bush Empire, London, UK
03.06.2011 Academy, Bristol, UK 
03.08.2011 Boerderij in Zoetermeer, Holland
03.10.2011 Hugenottenhalle in Frankfurt, Germany
03.11.2011 Stadhalle in Bad Rappenau, Germany
03.12.2011 Haus Auensee in Leipzig, Germany
03.14.2011 Muffathalle in Munich, Germany
03.15.2011 Lowensaal in Nurnberg, Germany
03.16.2011 Stadhalle in Braunschweig, Germany
03.18.2011 Turbinenhalle in Oberhausen, Germany
03.19.2011 Stadthalle in Heidenheim, Germany
03.20.2011 Arena in Vienna, Austria
03.22.2011 Salumeria della Musica in Milan, Italy
03.23.2011 Auditorium Sala Sinopoli in Rome, Italy  

4th Annual School of Rock! Featuring Jim Peterik and World Stage

TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW for the hottest event of the year!
4th Annual School of Rock! - October 28, 2010

Please join us for an evening of cocktails, cuisine and rock n’ roll at the historic House of Blues.

Featuring:
Jim Peterik and World Stage

Also expected to Appear:
Don Barnes – .38 Special
Mike Reno – Loverboy
Jack Blades – Night Ranger
Rik Emmett – Triumph
Dave Bickler – Singing the Songs of Survivor
Bun E. Carlos – Cheap Trick

Other surprise guests to be announced!
With DJ ROCK CITY – Voted #1 DJ in Chicago by Chicago Scene Magazine – and DJ E-SIX AND MATT ROAN

ALL proceeds to benefit San Miguel Schools Chicago!
San Miguel Schools Chicago is proud to announce our fourth annual School of Rock fundraising event, “Big Hair, Bigger Hits!” Thursday, October 28, 2010 at the historic House of Blues.

We are going back to the 80’s with a special one night only performance by Jim Peterik & World Stage featuring guest artists from bands like Toto, Loverboy, Night Ranger, .38 Special, Survivor, Triumph, Winger and Ides of March!

We expect over 800 guests to attend this year’s School of Rock and invite you to join our celebrity Co-Chairs for an evening of cocktails, cuisine and great rock n’ roll:

Jerry Azumah, former Chicago Bear, Philanthropist and Industrialist
Celia Chavez, President of Telemundo Chicago
Marv Nyren, Regional Vice President of WLUP, The Loop
Larry Wert, President of NBC Chicago
J.Y. Young of STYX

School of Rock is the signature fundraiser for San Miguel Schools Chicago, an inner-city middle school serving students and families on the south and west sides of Chicago. Now in its 4th year, School of Rock has evolved into one of the most talked about fundraisers in Chicago.

This event is unlike any other in Chicago, throwing out the conventional “rubber chicken dinner” fundraiser to create an exciting evening of cocktails, live auction and rock n’ roll in an historic venue. So keep that tux and gown tucked in your closet and join us for one of the most notorious benefit events in the city.

San Miguel hosted the first School of Rock in 2007 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, in conjunction with the MCA’s 40th anniversary exhibit, “Rock and Roll Since 1967.” This event was a complete sell-out and the talk of the town! According to Crain’s Chicago Business “No painting, sculpture, artist or exhibition has rocked the Museum of Contemporary Art the way the fundraiser for San Miguel Schools did!”

On October 9, 2008, San Miguel moved its second School of Rock fundraising event to the House of Blues and featured performances by The Lovin’ Spoonful and Jim Peterik’s World Stage show featuring guest artists from bands such as REO Speedwagon, Jefferson Starship, .38 Special, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Ides of March and The Motels.

In 2009, San Miguel hosted the largest School of Rock yet, with national acts STYX and DJ Biz Markie helping to draw over 800 people and raise nearly $200,000 for San Miguel’s Scholarship Fund.
School of Rock 2010 will be held on Thursday, October 28 again at the historic House of Blues.

Explore http://www.sanmiguelrocks.org/ for more information on how you can be a School of Rock sponsor, buy tickets, and learn more about this year’s performers!

Ace Frehley to Appear at Redemption Song at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall in New York, NY on October 5


On October 5, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. in Zankel Hall, the Carnegie Hall Notables program—a membership and ticket program for music enthusiasts in their 20s and 30s—presents REDEMPTION SONG, an evening of conversation and performance exploring the relationship between artistry, dependency, recovery, and longevity. This event features a one-night-only conversation between influential entertainers in music discussing struggles with drugs or alcohol. The evening will benefit music education in the New York metropolitan area by supporting the many music education programs made possible by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute.

Musician, actor, and activist against substance abuse Henry Rollins will host an open discussion interspersed with readings and performance, inviting the audience to listen to musicians as they reflect upon their personal journeys and the impact that obstacles have had on their music. Blues, folk, jazz musician, and singer-songwriter, Rickie Lee Jones will perform selections from her acclaimed body of work, musician and drummer Steven Adler (Guns N’ Roses, Adler’s Appetite) will read from his book My Appetite for Destruction: Sex, and Drugs, and Guns N’ Roses, and musician Darryl “DMC” McDaniels (Run-DMC) will also give a reading from his book King of Rock: Respect, Responsibility, and My Life with Run-DMC; and guitarist, songwriter, and author Ace Frehley (KISS) joins the panel.

Immediately following the discussion and performance, attendees are invited to attend an exclusive afterparty sponsored by FUZE Beverage at Providence, formerly a world-famous recording studio where The Rolling Stones, The Ramones, and Jimi Hendrix created iconic records. Steven Adler will sign copies of My Appetite for Destruction: Sex, and Drugs, and Guns N’ Roses at the afterparty where guests will receive a complimentary copy.

Redemption Song and all annual Notables season-launch events are generously underwritten by Pia and Jimmy Zankel. Mr. Zankel also serves as the Co-Chair of the Notables program.

The October 5 panel discussion and afterparty are free for Carnegie Hall Notables members at the Supporter level and higher. Admission is $40 for Notables members at the Prelude level and $60 for the general public. For more information, please call 212-903-9734, or visit www.carnegiehall.org/redemptionsong
Ace Frehley site: www.acefrehley.com/

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rock News Update for Thursday 30th September, 2010

MASCOT RECORDS RELEASES 7TH ALBUM FROM GUITARIST JOHN NORUM

(Album photo by ©Paul Bergen)

NEW YORK – “Play Yard Blues,” the latest solo album from Europe guitarist John Norum, is now available on Mascot Records.

The long-awaited album takes a different approach than Norum’s past releases, showcasing a more bluesy side of his soulful style. “Play Yard Blues” consists of 10 tracks, recorded in Norum’s hometown of Stockholm, Sweden.

“When I started playing, I only played blues rock,” Norum said. “Now I feel it’s time to go back to my roots.”
The album title was inspired by the studio in which it was recorded – Play Yard Studios. “It’s also the name of a song and it ended up being one of my favorite songs on the album,” he said.

In addition to the Norum originals, the guitarist puts his personal stamp on a few classics: Thin Lizzy’s “It’s Only Money,” Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush’s “Ditch Queen,” and Mountain’s “Travellin’ in the Dark.” “I always loved Thin Lizzy, Mountain, and Frank Marino, so I want to pay tribute to those guys,” Norum said.

As a whole, Norum sees his new album as a tribute to his late wife, Michelle Meldrum of the band Meldrum, who passed away suddenly two years ago at the age of just 39. Photos of Norum and the couple’s young son emphasize the double meaning of the album’s title, with the guitarist and the boy side-by-side, guitars in hand. “It´s a tribute to Michelle and I wanted him to be part of it,” Norum said. “And he is proud of his daddy’s playing.”

(Photo by © Paul Bergen)
“Play Yard Blues,” Norum’s seventh solo album, was mixed and produced by Norum and Peer Stappe. Norum, who sings on the album in addition to playing to guitar, is joined by musicians Tomas Torberg (bass), Thomas Bronman (drums), Peer Stappe (percussion), and Mic Michaeli (keyboards).
Vocalist Leif Sundin (MSG, JOHANSSON BROTHERS) also guests on two tracks, 'Born Again' and 'Got My Eyes On You.'

Full track listing is:
Let It Shine
Red Light Green High
It’s Only Money
Got My Eyes On You
When Darkness Falls
Over and Done
Ditch Queen
Travel In The Dark
Born Again
Play Yard Blues

Mascot Records is an independent record company based in The Netherlands that specializes in guitar music, from metal to instrumental guitar, hard rock, prog rock and (guitar) fusion.


Classic rockers UFO announce European tour dates

Hard rocking UK or should it be Anglo American act now, UFO, have just had a new "Best of" album "BEST OF A DECADE" released through SPV music and are about to hit the road across Europe throughout October, November and December.

For these date, bassist Barry Sparks will be stepping in again, to join original members Phil Mogg, Paul Raymond, Andy Parker and the band long time current lead player Vinnie Moore.

Dates lined up at this time are as follows:

October 2010
11th October - Germany - Bremen - Meisenfrei
12th October - Germany - Melle - Hohnerkamps Ballsaal
13th October - Germany - Lorsch - Musiktheater Rex
15th October - Germany - Obermarchtal - Gemeindehaus
16th October - Austria - Vienna - Szene
17th October - Germany - Trier - Exil
19th October - Germany - Freiburg - Jazzhaus
20th October - Holland - Zwolle - Hedon
21st October - Belgium - Verviers - Spirit of 66
22nd October - Germany/Norway - Kiel to Oslo - Classic Rock Cruise
24th October - Finland - Helsinki - Nosturi
25th October - Finland - Tampere - Pakkahuone
26th October - Finland - Turku - Karen
28th October - Sweden - Stockholm - Debaser Medis
29th October - Sweden - Örnsköldsvik - The Merry Can
30th October - Sweden - Skövde - Valhall
31st October - Sweden - Gothenburg - Sticky Fingers

November 2010
1st November - Denmark - Copenhagen - The Rock

December 2010
2nd December - England - Birmingham - HMV Institute
3rd December - Wales - Prestatyn - Hard Rock Hell IV
4th December - England - Holmfirth - Picturedrome
5th December - England - Liverpool - O2 Academy
7th December - England - Brighton Concorde 2
For more current information on the band:

BUDDY GUY, JIMMIE VAUGHAN, AND SHEMEKIA COPELAND BRING NIGHT OF BLUES TO TRENTON

TRENTON, N.J. – The Blues returns to the capital city on October 23 for one night with legends Buddy Guy and Jimmie Vaughan, and the young Blues queen Shemekia Copeland at Patriots Theater at the War Memorial.

With his new album, “Living Proof,” available next month, Guy takes a hard look back at a remarkable life. At age 74, he’s a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, a major influence on rock titans like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, a pioneer of Chicago’s fabled West Side sound, and a living link to that city’s halcyon days of electric blues. He has received five Grammy Awards, 23 W.C. Handy Blues Awards (the most any artist has received), the Billboard magazine Century Award for distinguished artistic achievement, and the Presidential National Medal of Arts. Rolling Stone ranked him in the top 30 of its "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time."

Though Guy will forever be associated with Chicago, his story actually begins in Louisiana. One of five children, he was born in 1936 to a sharecropper’s family and raised on a plantation near the small town of Lettsworth, located some 140 miles northwest of New Orleans. Guy was just seven years old when he fashioned his first makeshift “guitar”—a two-string contraption attached to a piece of wood and secured with his mother’s hairpins.

Perhaps the most significant landmark on “Living Proof” is that, for the first time, the incomparable B.B. King stopped by to play and sing a song, “Stay Around a Little Longer,” on a Buddy Guy album.
“I am excited to be on the same bill with Jimmie and Shemekia,” Guy said. “I've done shows with them before and am looking forward to it as much now as I did the first time.”

Jimmie Vaughan is far more than just one of the greatest and most respected guitarists in the world of popular music; as Guitar Player magazine notes, “He is a virtual deity–a living legend.” After all, Vaughan provides a vital link between contemporary music and its proud heritage, as well as being a longtime avatar of retro cool.

With Vaughan’s fifth and most recent solo release, “Plays Blues, Ballads & Favorites,” was released in July. Exactly what the title implies, the record is made up of Vaughan’s hand-picked favorites, including covers of songs by artists such as Little Richard, Jimmy Reed, Willie Nelson, Roy Milton, and Roscoe Gordon.

Since releasing his first solo album in 1994, Vaughan has set the standard for quality modern roots music. Throughout his career, Vaughan has earned the esteem of his legendary guitar-playing heroes and superstar peers along with successive generations of young players. His musical ethos and personal style have had an impact on contemporary culture, from spearheading the current blues revival with The Fabulous Thunderbirds to his longtime, innate fashion sense of slicked-back hair and sharp vintage threads (now seen throughout the pages of contemporary fashion journals) to becoming a premier designer of classic custom cars.

At a young age, Shemekia Copeland is already a force to be reckoned with in the Blues. While still in her 20s, she’s opened for the Rolling Stones, headlined at the Chicago Blues Festival and numerous festivals around the world, and scored critics’ choice awards on both sides of the Atlantic (The New York Times and The Times of London). Heir to the rich tradition of soul-drenched divas like Ruth Brown, Etta James, and Koko Taylor, Copeland’s passion for singing, matched with her huge, blast-furnace voice, gives her music a timeless power and a heart-pounding urgency. Her music comes from deep within her soul and from the streets where she grew up, surrounded by the everyday sounds of the city – street performers, gospel singers, blasting radios, bands in local parks, and so much more.

Born in Harlem, New York, in 1979, Copeland actually came to her singing career slowly. Her father, the late Texas blues guitar legend Johnny Clyde Copeland, recognized his daughter’s talent early on. He always encouraged her to sing at home, and even brought her on stage to sing at Harlem’s famed Cotton Club when she was just eight. At the time, Shemekia’s embarrassment outweighed her desire to sing. But when she was fifteen and her father’s health began to fail, her outlook changed. At only 19, Copeland stepped out of her father’s shadow with her debut recording, “Turn the Heat Up!,” and the critics raved.

Last year’s “Never Going Back” represents a crossroads in Copeland’s ongoing artistic journey – a place where numerous new avenues are open to her. While she will always remain loyal to her blues roots, Never Going Back takes a more forward view of the blues, and in so doing points her music and her career in a new direction.

“It should be a fantastic show,” said Copeland. “We've got three different generations of blues represented which in itself is cool. Plus we all rock. I'm trying to create blues for a new generation to make sure the music stays alive.”

Tickets for this unforgettable night of Blues are just $29.00, $39.00, $49.00, $65.00, and $79.00. A 10% military discount is available (Box office only, must show ID). Tickets are available by calling The Patriots Theater Box Office at (609) 984-8400 or (800) 955-5566, or online at thewarmemorial.com or tickets.com.

Patriots Theater at the War Memorial is located at 1 Memorial Drive, Trenton, NJ 08608.
Show time is 7:30 p.m. Parking is always free and directions can be found at the Patriot’s Theater website (http://www.thewarmemorial.com/).

High Voltage Festival Live recordings being made available

Concert Live have just launched their new website, where you can find recordings from this past summer High Voltage Festival, held in London's Victoria Park.


At this time the only recordings being made available are from:
Argent
Asia
Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Marilion

Get them through the following site:

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Brief Rock News Update for Wednesday, 29th September, 2010

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame releases first nominees names for 2011 inductees

Well, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to many or should that be most rock fans, has become a bit of a joke, with so many classic rockers being clearly overlooked for the past decade or more.

It seems for 2011 over there this week (Tuesday), have already been some 'joke' nominees listed for possible induction into the least rock and roll roll of honour list of names, of which LL Cool J has to be top of!

Many will cry 'at last' for possibly at least two of the new nominees, in Alice Cooper and J. Geils Band and possibly Bon Jovi too, although two huge names are again and again ignored for whatever reason and they are Rush and Kiss.
Sure a ot of rock fans out there still think of Kiss as clowns in make up, but come on, seriously they have some great rock tunes that seriously have stood the test of time.
They still sell out huge gigs and their last album 'Sonic Boom' did great globally, so how can they be ignored?
Likewise Rush who simply have to be Canada most successful hard rocking prog rock trio!
Their albums continually hit the upper reaches of the charts with every release and like Kiss, they sell out tour after tour and there is no denying their abilities whatsoever.

I'm pleased for Alice Cooper to be included as a nominee, but he seriously should be an inductee already, just like the two examples - And they are just two! - there's plenty of others, equally deserving.
Go here to check out current nominees:

At least UK magazine Classic Rock will be honouring Rush by awarding them the 'Living Legend' title at their annual Classic Rock Roll of Honour awards ceremony:

Eagle Rock to release "Neon Nights - 30 Years of Heaven & Hell' live album and DVD


What more could fans ask for as a fitting tribute to Ronnie James Dio's passing?
Not only can we soon expect through Nija Entertainment, a Dio double live CD set, but now Eagle Rock has announced this beauty. 'Neon Nights - 30 Years of Heaven & Hell.' 

The show was recorded in Wacken, Germany on July 30, 2009 and will feature the following track listing:

E5150 (DVD only)
Mob Rules
Children of the Sea
I
Bible Black
Time Machine
Fear
Falling Off the Edge of the World
Follow the Tears
Die Young
Heaven & Hell
Country Girl (DVD only)
Neon Knights

This featured the classic line up featuring Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Vinny Appice.
The release date is set as November 16th, 2010.
For more details go to:

In related Sabbath news ....

Ian Gillan and Tony Head Back Into The Studio For Charity!! - 28th September 2010

(Photo courtesy of www.iommi.com)

In 1989 Tony Iommi and Ian Gillan were just two names in a long list of talent involved in the recording of the Deep Purple track “Smoke on The Water.” This song was re-recorded to raise money for those affected by the Leninakan earthquake that struck Armenia in 1988. In October of last year both Tony and Ian travelled to Armenia to see how the funds raised had helped the local community. On their trip they visited a music school only to find it being run out of temporary accommodation, it was only location not to have been rebuilt 20 years after the earthquake had struck.

Next week Tony and Ian will be heading back into the studio, joined by Jon Lord (ex Deep Purple / Whitesnake) and Nicko McBrain (drummer of Iron Maiden) to record a new track to raise money to rebuild the Armenian music school. More information about the charity single “Out of my Mind” and behind the scenes photos will follow soon!
“Smoke on The Water” Rock Aid Armenia Video:
For more information go to: http://www.iommi.com/

UK melodic rockers FM release details of their upcoming tour opening acts


FM are pleased to announce the following Special Guests for our forthcoming UK shows:

Wed 6th Oct Newcastle: Moonlight Valentino www.myspace.com/moonlightvalentino

Thu 7th Oct Manchester Madison www.madisonofficial.com/ Rollin' Thunder www.myspace.com/rollinthunder22

Fri 8th Oct Buckley Whiskey & Lace www.myspace.com/whiskeyandlaceofficial

Wed 1st Dec London Airrace www.myspace.com/airraceband

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*** Check out the City Limits EP soundclips which are now up on our Media page ***
*** Deadline for October Meet & Greet applications is midnight Thursday, 30th September ***

For more info please go to:

THE CULT + MASTERS OF REALITY TOUR 
NEW BLOOD DEEP CUTS DESTROY THE NIGHT
with Masters of Reality

September 2010 – Following the success of their recent European tour, which included several outstanding festival appearances, The Cult have today announced that they will be returning to the UK in January 2011 for their most extensive run of dates in over a decade.

The band have just released the first of their recent recordings on the newly formatted ‘capsule’ collection. Rather than revisit the traditional method of releasing a long-form CD, the “capsule” is a collection of not just new music, but film, art and fashion. It will consist of new music ‘Every Man and Woman Is A Star’ and ‘Siberia’; live recordings from the recent internationally sold-out ‘Love Live’ tour, as well as short film ‘A Prelude to Ruins’ (directed by Ian Astbury and Rick Rogers). The capsule will be available in several formats including MP3 CD / DVD (DUAL DISC) and 12″ Vinyl in limited quantities for a limited time. The first song ‘Every Man and Woman Is A Star’ was debuted in the UK and released as an iTunes exclusive. Vocalist Ian Astbury explains:
‘We are stepping away from the conventional system. By including new music, live music and a film, we are giving the audience the opportunity to own other creative visions. The Capsule is a way of delivering music in bites, quicker and fresher than in the context of an album format.’

The latest recordings were guided by legendary producer Chris Goss (Unkle, Queens of the Stone Age, Too Many DJ’s, Masters of Reality). A mixture of violent guitars, emotive vocal performances with high melody and driving beats. In addition to producing The Cult, Goss’ band MASTERS OF REALITY will serve as the support for the tour. The group have a new album out entitled ‘Pine Cross Dover’.

After the massive success of the ‘Love Live’ world tour, it is now time for the band to bring their UK fans New Blood and Deeper Cuts, a set list that will consist of the band’s incredible new material such as ‘Every Man and Woman Is A Star’, ‘Embers’ and debuting previously unrecorded material, as well as tracks that have never/rarely been played. On returning to the UK, Ian Astbury has the following to add:
‘We want to continue the long love affair with our UK audience and share some new music as well as some deeper cuts. The band is on fire right now.’

The Cult
NEW BLOOD DEEP CUTS
DESTROY THE NIGHT
With Masters of Reality

JANUARY 2011
Tue 18 O2 Academy Leeds
Wed 19 O2 Academy Bristol
Fri 21 HMV Hammersmith Apollo
Sat 22 Cambridge Corn Exchange
Sun 23 O2 Academy Bournemouth
Tue 25 Nottingham Rock City
Wed 26 Wolves Civic Hall
Thu 27 O2 Academy Newcastle
Sat 29 O2 Academy Glasgow
Sun 30 Manchester Academy

For for band info go to: http://thecult.us/main/

Monday, September 27, 2010

Rock News for Tuesday 28th September, 2010

YNGWIE MALMSTEEN RETURNS WITH KILLER NEW 'RELENTLESS' ALBUM, RECENTLY SELECTED AS ONE OF TIME MAGAZINE'S "TOP TEN GREATEST ELECTRIC GUITAR PLAYERS OF ALL TIME

"Shred guitar" and "neo classical metal" are two phrases that have been commonplace in the world of heavy metal for decades by this point, but both can be attributed to the unmistakable work by Yngwie Malmsteen.

Ever since the early 1980's, Yngwie has been pushing the limits of guitar, and influencing countless other players in the process.
And he continues to impress to this day, as evidenced by his forthcoming album, 'Relentless,' the highly anticipated follow-up to 2008's critically acclaimed 'Perpetual Flame' (Yngwie's first album for Rising Force Records).

The album is the second to feature ex-Judas Priest and Iced Earth singer Tim "Ripper" Owens, and features over 60 minutes of incredibly complex, kick ass arrangements.

"This title truly is the right one for this album," explains Yngwie. "I mean, after all these years, some kind of force is driving me to create something that totally surpasses everything I've done before. I tried to capture the raw energy of a live performance, yet push myself to the most demanding level of playing and composing to harness that elusive magic that can't just be switched on. All the way out, caution to the wind, but disciplined performances was what I went for. Maybe I did it too, check it out!"

Confirmed song titles for 'Relentless' include "Relentless," "Look At You Now," "Shot Across the Bow," "Adagio B Minor Variation," "Caged Animal," "Critical Mass," "Into Valhalla," "Enemy Within," and "Caprici Di Inferno."

Bursting onto the scene with such classic releases as 1984's 'Rising Force,' 1985's 'Marching Out,' and 1986's 'Trilogy,' Yngwie instantly made a name for himself, by recreating the spirit of celebrated composer/musician Niccolò Paganini, but within the realm of heavy metal guitar.

Soon, countless other guitarists were copying Yngwie's style...but there is simply only one Yngwie.
Yngwie's career continued to thrive throughout the world, including such additional triumphs as his totally classical work for orchestra and solo electric guitar, 'Concerto Suite,' which proved once and for all that his classical credentials were genuine.

Yngwie continues to receive accolades worldwide, such as recently being selected as one Time Magazine's "Top Ten Greatest Electric Guitar Players" (amongst the stellar company of Les Paul, Jimmy Page, and Jimi Hendrix).

A respected musician among both his peers and his fans, Yngwie continues to play and compose at a level of mastery that many career musicians only dream of.
'Relentless' is a must-have, which will appeal to all Yngwie fans and rock music fans alike.
Prepare yourself for a 'Relentless' classical metal attack!

FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT:
www.myspace.com/yngwiemalmsteen

Frontiers records to release Nelson - Lightning Strikes Twice


.On September 29th 1991 NELSON reached the height of the US Single charts with their evergreen hit “(Can’t Live Without Your) Love And Affection”. Their music has stood the test of time and now 20 years later Matthew and Gunnar Nelson explore fresh creative territory in the present with their new album, “Lightning Strikes Twice”.

Magical melodic songwriting and soaring sibling harmonies continue to ensure that this dynamic duo is still a vital part of the music scene’s future. The new album goes straight back to the absolute brilliance of NELSON’s first album, hence the title and an amazing set of songs that are going to restore the faith in NELSON.

“After the Rain” was the debut multi-platinum album by NELSON in the early 1990s. They zoomed to number one with their hit song, "(Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection,” which made history landing America’s iconic Nelson family (bandleader Ozzie Nelson, rock legend Rick Nelson, and twins Matthew and Gunnar) into the Guinness Book of World Records as the ONLY family in Entertainment with 3 successive generations of #1 hitmakers.

NELSON’s “After the Rain” record and tour became a phenomenon just prior to the rise of grunge. The last major success of the good time rock’n’roll era, NELSON has had (1) Number One, (4) Top Ten, and (5) Top 40 Billboard Hot 100 hit singles, plus (5) #1 MTV videos and has sold over 6.5 million albums worldwide!

Nelson has always been synonymous with entertainment in America. Matthew and Gunnar follow Ozzie Nelson’s vision of embracing connecting with people and audiences through all forms of media. They have been doing television-hosting work for VH1 and E! Gunnar is also a standout reality TV star with VH1’s “Celebrity Fit Club”. Plus, Gunnar co-hosted LIFETIME Radio’s nationally syndicated morning show.

A&E channel’s Nelson Family “Biography” episode is still one of the top-rated ‘Biography’ installments. Matthew and Gunnar embraced this fascination by creating a touring show to celebrate the TV Nelsons and the amazing career of their legendary father, Ricky, for whom LIFE magazine coined the phrase “Teen idol”. They share video clips and tell stories about their Hollywood family and perform their Pop’s music live to audiences in RICKY NELSON REMEMBERED while separately touring as NELSON.

NELSON has been headlining at major rock festivals around the globe celebrating the 20th anniversary of “After the Rain”. Touring in China, the U.K. and of course the U.S. where they have also toured extensively with Peter Frampton and Styx. In October 2010 the band will head to the UK to headline day 2 of the Firefest festival appearing with label mates Jimi Jamison, Lynch Mob, Strangeways, Pretty Maids amongst others. A world tour at the beginning of 2011 will follow.

"’Lightning Strikes Twice’ has allowed us creatively, artistically and musically to resolve some unfinished business," Gunnar says. "We’ve had a blast going into the studio writing and performing some of our best songs. Plus, being back on the road with NELSON is living the dream all over again. New fans are discovering our music and original fans have shown incredible support all over the world. It ROCKS!”

Matthew adds, “Who could believe we would be doing a NELSON sequel to ‘After the Rain” twenty years later? Gunnar and I feel it’s our best work to date and should live up to its name ‘Lightning Strikes Twice’. We believe NELSON fans will agree with that forecast and hope they feel it’s been worth the long wait.”

NELSON
Gunnar Nelson: Lead Vocals, Guitars
Matthew Nelson: Lead Vocals, Bass
With
Gary Corbett: piano, keyboards
Brian Burwell: drums
David Morgan: piano, background vocals
Steve Lukather: guest guitar on “To Get Back To You”
www.frontiers.it/home/
http://thenelsonbrothers.com/

Status Quo 'Live at the BBC,' Collectors discs on the way!
 
OK, here comes the press release for this Status Quo set, but sorry folks, there's no way I'm going to list all the different versions of this release and specific track listings, wow! This is something else!
 
The unique relationship with those two great British institutions, Status Quo and the BBC is celebrated on "Status Quo Live At The BBC" which is issued by UMC on 24 October 2010. The release will be available on a range of formats: 2CD 'best of' collection / DVD / 4CD box set and a limited edition collectors' 8 disc complete set [see site for full tracklisting]. Status Quo's unbelievable career has largely been built upon their unassailable reputation as one of the world's greatest live acts and it is that prowess and power that underlies this collection.

This release is collated from all of the BBC owned Quo recordings that still exist in the archive and charts the inexorable rise of the band: from the first steps made as The Spectres, the brief incarnation as Traffic Jam and then the glory days as the mighty Status Quo. The BBC gave the band a platform and support at crucial stages in their career and thus "Status Quo Live At The BBC" should be seen essentially as an alternate Greatest Hits, a musical growing up in public.

Francis Rossi said, "We've done so much with the BBC over the years that a release such as this truly charts the history and evolution of the band. It's wonderful that these recordings have been collected and presented this way."
Rick Parfitt added, "The relationship with the BBC has not always been a smooth one but a release like this shows how important they are in supporting and celebrating music in this country."
John Coghlan commented, "There's no doubt that the Beeb played a big part in getting Status Quo off the ground, and I'm just as excited by this anthology as the fans will be. It's about time it came out."

This incredible archive represents the last great unreleased set of recordings in the Quo catalogue. The collection has been brought together by trawling the BBC archives, but also by inviting contributions from fans. The BBC had a habit of wiping tapes after they were broadcast which has meant that some of the Corporation's output has been lost for ever. However thanks to fans recording broadcasts at home a couple of gems have been reclaimed here for this set.

Sessions for shows hosted by the likes of David Symonds, Dave Lee Travis, Steve Wright, Ken Bruce and more are included here, as are live performances such as the legendary and much-bootlegged Paris Theatre set from 1973, and shows in Wembley, Birmingham and Brighton. Classic performances and, of course, classic tracks: this collection brings together everything of real significance from the psychedelic styling of 'Pictures Of Matchstick Men' to the true Rock thumpers of the 70s to the tracks that made the band a household name, 'Rockin All Over The World', 'Caroline', 'In The Army Now', the list goes on.

Fully supported and endorsed by the band - the current line up but also the original incarnation of Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt, Alan Lancaster and John Coghlan - "Status Quo Live At The BBC" is a triumphant collection of the defining moments of a truly seminal British rock act, as witnessed, broadcast and archived by the voice of the nation, the BBC. A set to be treasured.
 
Go here for the official press release at the bands website and the complete track listings. You will be blown away!
 
Rock of Ages Broadway rockin' musical hitting the road!
 
Yes, the show that's been playing in New York on Broadway for quite some time now, is about to go on tour!
The show, 'Rock of Ages' had boasted an impressive show, that from time to time pulled in many different rock stars, to perform their songs that are featured in the rock musical.
Last night (Monday), REO Speedwagon's Kevin Cronin joined the line up to sing 'I Can't Fight This Feeling.'
 
Long time 'Rock of Ages' guitarist Joel Hoekstra deserves a medal if you ask me, as the guy keeps jetting to and from Night Ranger gigs - Who he's also a member of. - to perform on a regular basis, back on Broadway!
Here's the blurb from the musical to shed a little more light on the production.
 
'Tony Award® nominee and American Idol finalist, Constatine Maroulis reprises his acclaimed performance as Drew in the First National Tour of the five-time Tony-Award®  nominated smash-hit musical ROCK OF AGES. In 1987 on the Sunset Strip, a small town girl met a big city rocker and in LA’s most famous rock club, they fell in love to the greatest songs of the 80s. It’s five time 2009 Tony Award® nominee ROCK OF AGES, an arena-rock love story told through the mind-blowing, face-melting hits of JOURNEY, NIGHT RANGER, STYX, REO SPEEDWAGON, PAT BENATAR, TWISTED SISTER, POISON, ASIA, WHITESNAKE and many more. Don’t miss this awesomely good time about dreaming big, playing loud and partying on!
Here's the production's website too:
Finally, you can also check out Spin magazine's article on the show right here:


Rock News for Monday 27th September, 2010


Jack Russell, Great White lead vocalist in bad shape

Word is doing the rounds right now, that Great White lead singer, Jack Russell, is in pretty bad shape, healthwise right now. - although no official statement has come out from family or band member.
As soon as I can add more to confirm his condition, then I most certainly will. 

Jack Russell had not so long ago had major surgery after suffering a perforated bowel. The surgery had left Jack with a colostomy bag.
Russell has also not so long ago, had some really bad back concerns and I don't know how that is right now.
There is really no more info on this situation at this time, but the forum (The Noticeboard) over at http://www.melodicrock.com/ has had several posts on there and Andrew McNiece - Owner of Melodicrock.com - has recently posted on Facebook, for people to please keep Jack in their prayers as he's not doing so good.
I just like to add that my prayers and sympathy go out to Jack and his family.

That Metal Show Ronnie James Dio Tribute

The sixth season of the distinguished "That Metal Show", the one and ONLY place on television to celebrate all things hard rock and heavy metal, will be taped in Los Angeles the week of September 30 - October 5.

Hosted by Eddie Trunk, Jim Florentine ("Crank Yankers", "Inside the NFL", "Meet The Creeps") and Don Jamieson ("Inside The NFL", "Dice Undisputed", "Meet The Creeps"), "That Metal Show" is a round-table talk show — now newly expanded to an hour from the previous 30-minute format — where rock legends hang out and discuss their past and current projects, while interacting with metal fans that make up the studio audience.

The first episode of the sixth season of "That Metal Show" to be taped on September 30 will be a tribute to legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio.

The following guests have been confirmed to appear on the special Dio episode of "That Metal Show":

* Vinny Appice (BLACK SABBATH, DIO, HEAVEN & HELL) * Geezer Butler (BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN & HELL) * Simon Wright (AC/DC, DIO, UFO) * Wendy Dio (Ronnie James Dio's wife/manager) * Tom Morello (RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE) * Rob Halford (JUDAS PRIEST) * Craig Goldy (BUDGIE, DIO, ROUGH CUTT, GUIFFRIA)

FM to release CITY LIMITS EP in October!


After the fantastic success of FM's WILDSIDE EP and from talking to fans at recent live shows, we are happy to announce we will be releasing the stonking CITY LIMITS EP.

The EP - featuring 9 incredible tracks - includes the radio edit of 'Bring Back Yesterday' and a brand new song 'Start It Up'. This fantastic track will only be available on the CITY LIMITS EP and as a download - it will not feature on the band's next studio album. Also included is a stripped down and sexy acoustic version of the FM classic 'That Girl'. As if that wasn't enough there's more ....

During the band's recent live activity selected shows were recorded and the EP features live versions of 'Wildside', 'Hollow', 'Metropolis', 'Over You' and 'Flamingo Road', all from this year's acclaimed METROPOLIS album. Bringing up the rear is another extended mix - this time 'Bring Back Yesterday' gets the DJ Juppy knob-twiddling treatment.

The CITY LIMITS EP will be officially released and on sale in the FMofficial shop on 11th October for £6.00 + P&P. Those wishing to get their hands on a copy prior to the general release date can do so as the EP will be sold at the band's forthcoming October UK live shows.

Full track listing as follows:
Bring Back Yesterday (Radio Edit),Start It Up, That Girl (Acoustic Version 2010), Wildside (Live), Hollow (Live), Metropolis (Live), Over You (Live), Flamingo Road (Live), Bring Back Yesterday (City Limits Extended Mix).

Nancy Wilson divorcing Cameron Crowe

According to information posted at Pollstar.com, Heart's Nancy Wilson has filed for divorce from film writer / director, Cameron Crowe, after 20 years of marriage.
Crowe is probably best known for 'Almost Famous' and 'Jerry Maguire' among other movies. 

Apparently irreconcilable differences have been cited as reason for for the divorce, which was filed Sept. 16th, 2010.
Sad stuff, although when you think how busy they probably both are, with their respective careers it's amazing they even got things started!
According to court records, Wilson and Crowe separated in 2008.
The couple were married in 1986 and sadly have twin 10-year-old sons, so it will be hard on them for sure. Wilson is seeking joint custody.

Nazareth update from bassist Pete Agnew

In some updated news from band member, bassist Pete Agnew comes this from the Nazareth camp.

'I'd like to thank you all for the Birthday wishes. Here is me trying to forget about getting old and here are you reminding me about it but still your messages are much appreciated.

As you all know, Dan's birthday is exactly one month after mine so he gets to refer to me as "the old fart" for a whole month. He's really enjoying it.
Anyway let me tell you what's going on at the moment.

We're in Sono Studios in Prague (Czech Republic) recording the new album. The studio is great and if you Google Sono Records you'll see where we are.
The album is sounding really good and we have Jimmy co-producing with Yann who did "The Newz"

It's going to be a bit different from "The Newz" as we're going for a more live sound and doing minimal overdubs. Because of this approach the guitar sounds are bigger when needed and the drum sounds are fantastic.
Jimmy and Lee have pretty much written all the songs between them with me and Dan chucking in our tuppence worth from time to time and I've got say the material is some of the best we've ever had.

There will be 11 tracks on the finished CD and I hope you will enjoy listening to them as much as we have enjoyed playing them.
We're laying down the last track today and after that we pretty much go on to start mixing so we are making good time.
I hope I can give you an album title before we finish but you know how we always seem to leave that till the last minute.

As always the guys would like to thank you for your support and hope we don't disappoint with this new record. I don't think we will.
All the best