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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Rock News for Saturday 4th December, 2010

Yes, I'm back folks!
With snow in so many places now welcome to Winter eh?!
It seems most of the updates I really have for come from artists with their Christmas newsletters or general messages, to us rock fans.
Anyway, no chance to get to the site yesterday, apologies for that, so that means for now I'm playing catch up right now, so here we go!

Frontiers Records announces the new North American distributor

Frontiers Records is proud to announce the signing of a new Distribution Agreement for its label products with EMI Music Distribution in North America.

The new Agreement will be effective from January 1st 2011 and marks a “huge step forward in the label’s expansion strategy” – as stated by Frontiers President, Serafino Perugino.

EMI Music will distribute physical product from Frontiers Records in the United States of America and Canada. Plans are already underway to expand the territorial areas of partnership.

"We are happy that Frontiers Records have chosen us to partner with to release some of the greatest rock bands of all time - on their label you will find greats such as Whitesnake, Asia and Yes” said EMI’s Executive VP / General Manager Mike Harris. “True classic rock artists that have sold millions of records worldwide. We look forward to a very rewarding relationship and know we will see true success in 2011."

Frontiers has recently announced the new partnership with Derek Shulman and 2Plus Music Entertainment who will oversee the label development and marketing over the North American market in conjunction with the EMI team in New York. Shulman said: “Our friends at EMI are all real music enthusiasts and we are looking forward to a long and fruitful relationship with them. The North American Frontiers team is gearing up for the first quarter release, which includes new music from Mr. Big, Nelson and Whitesnake”.

The first releases which will be distributed with the new set up in January 2011 will be the recent YOSO debut “Elements”, the ALLEN LANDE hit album “The Showdown”, along with NELSON’s recent comeback “Lightning Strikes Twice” and MR. BIG forthcoming “What If…”. The first quarter release plan shall be officially announced shortly.

Pictured L to R: Mike Harris, Serafino Perugino, Derek Shulman, Mario de Riso, Sid McCain at EMI's Head Office - NY

Frontiers Records is pleased to announce ....
John Waite - Rough and Tumble
Released on January 21st, 2011

Three decades have passed since a restless, wild-eyed teenager from northwest England first packed his bags for London to pursue his passion for music, and though he has enjoyed formidably staying power, chart-topping records and sold-out concerts around the world, John Waite’s hunger has never diminished – it has simply become something much more complex.

The turn of the page to 2011 finds the ever-evolving British singer/songwriter preparing the release of “Rough and Tumble”, John Waite’s anticipated new studio album recorded partly in Nashville and recently wrapped up in Los Angeles with the members of his touring band.

Waite says. “As much as the live album released last may was a defining moment and as much as I enjoyed playing those songs, I consider this album as a new beginning.” Waite is referring specifically to the sweet pocket of creativity he enjoyed with Matchbox 20 lead guitarist/songwriter Kyle Cook.
The two wrote plenty of fresh new music for “Rough and Tumble”.

“It’s pretty much extraordinary,” Waite says of the material he created with Cook, who he met through a mutual friend. “It’s not like what people would expect from me. It’s a step to the left. There’s a rock imprint on the music and a melodic presence, but it’s just shifted gears. It has an identity and a philosophy of its own, which is really fresh for me.”

The collaboration has proved to be nothing short of phenomenal, and songs like “Evil” (a thumping rocker-meets-dance-club tour de force), “Better Off Gone” (a hook-laced better-off-on-the-open-road anthem), “Love’s Goin’ Out of Style” and the magic ballad “If You Ever Get Lonely”. “I’m not saying it’s high art, but genuinely speaking, it’s fantastic for me,” Waite says, reflecting on his new music. “I certainly am interested in spending the rest of my life doing something creative rather than just living in the past”. This eclectic collection of brand new music, Waite’s first studio album since 2007’s “Downtown…Journey of Heart”, is set for a January 2011 release in Europe on Frontiers Records.


John Waite – Vocals
Luis Maldonado – Electric & Acoustic Guitar on “Rough & Tumble,” “Shadows Of Love,” “Skyward,” “Sweet Rhode Island Red,” “Mr. Wonderful”
Tim Hogan – Low End on “Rough & Tumble,” “Shadows Of Love,” “Skyward,” “Sweet Rhode Island Red,” “Mr. Wonderful,” “Further The Sky”
Billy Wilkes – Drums/Percussion on “Rough & Tumble,” “Shadows Of Love,” “Skyward,” “Sweet Rhode Island Red,” “Mr. Wonderful”
Kyle Cook – Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Programming & Harmony Vocals on “Evil,” “If You Ever Get Lonely,” “Love’s Goin’ Out of Style,” “Better Off Gone,” “Peace of Mind”; Keys on “Evil”; “If You Ever Get Lonely” & “Love’s Goin’ Out Of Style”
David Santos – Low End on “If You Ever Get Lonely,” “Love’s Goin’ Out of Style,” “Better Off Gone,” “Peace of Mind”
Mike Webb – Hammond B3 on “Shadows of Love,” “Skyward,” “Sweet Rhode Island Red,” “Further The Sky”
Fred Eltringham – Drums/Percussion on “If You Ever Get Lonely,” “Love’s Goin’ Out of Style,” “Better Off Gone,” “Peace of Mind”
Shane Fontayne – Electric & Acoustic Guitar on “Further The Sky,” Acoustic & Baritone Guitar on “Hanging Tree”
Rodger Carter – Drums/Percussion on “Further The Sky”
Bobby Keys – Saxophone on “Love’s Goin’ Out of Style”
Jennifer Paige – Background Vocals on “If You Ever Get Lonely” & “Better Off Gone”

Whitesnake Message for Christmas - The Holiday Season Is Upon Us!

So here's an update from David Coverdales Whitesnake camp.
As we come to the end of yet another action packed, fun-filled year together and prepare ourselves for the March release of our new studio album, some other highly anticipated bits and pieces and of course, our return to touring the World's stages so we can continue Preaching The Good Gospel Of The Snake 2011... once again with some fab new music and a couple of new, exceptional Whitesnake Warriors at our side, Michael Devin and Brian Tichy, whom Doug (Aldrich), Reb (Beach) and I are tres, tres, tres excited to introduce to you, I cannot help but reflect on how amazing our journey together has been thro so many years... and indeed, God Willing, will continue, with us going down so many roads together next year and the next, ad infinitum...

The company of Good Friends... Olde and New... the Much Loved and Celebrated Whitesnake Choir... ( I promise we have some splendid new anthems for you to singalongawhitesnake!!! )

So, it is, with the sound of festive Christmas carols, an occasional distant yodel, fueled no doubt by ample amounts of the good stuff, echoing thro my home at Lake Tahoe, I take this opportunity to sincerely wish You and Yours a wonderful, magical Christmas, from me and mine... and remember... do not get your nuts too close to the fire...

Christmas Love & LIGHT...
Your Obedient Serpent

David Coverdale
Dec 2010
Lake Tahoe

Rik Emmett December 2010 Newsletter


Best of the season to you, folks. Rik Emmett Newsletter time! ...
This is always a busy and stressful period of the year for everyone, so I won't drag this out, and I'll let you get back to your shopping / partying / caroling / humbugging / contemplations of peace and love, etc., asap.

Quickly: the P.R.O. 2010 tour wrapped up with a gig at Koerner Hall in Toronto, then a xmas charity show out in Ajax last week, and it all felt very fitting and fulfilling. There will be another run of dates in Quebec at the end of February and the beginning of March 2011 (and in particular a gig in Kingston, Feb. 28, that has a charity tie-in, so we'll be promoting that one with gusto over the next few months) - then we're out to Alberta at the very end of March ... So a chapter barely closes and another one begins ...

Same for the Troubs: Dave Dunlop and I had a lot of fun doing a very private affair in Burlington, Ontario last night, and we'd had a really successful run through Cambridge, Philly and New York the week before that, so we're full of ourselves and eager to try some new things together. But Dave and I will close out the year with an orchestra show in St. Catharines Ontario Dec. 3, where I'll play my "Guitar Heroes" set of classic electric rock with the Niagara Symphony Orchestra - which will finish the gigging year for me. (And not a moment too soon, considering the college term will be drawing to a close, with an avalanche of marking and grading to do ... )

Just in case you folks don't visit the website's Network forum, you might be interested to know that I've acquired two new electric guitars for my 'harem' - a beautiful used Gibson CS-356, which I've named 'Ruby', and a white Fender Stratocaster which I've imaginatively dubbed 'Becky'. My wife allows me these small affairs without jealousy, and seems glad that my obsession is not with, ohhhhhh, European sports cars that cost six figures. ;-)

I'm getting together with Mike (Levine) and Gil (Moore) to toast the season (it's a new tradition), and my wife and I are committed to some parties before Xmas. As is the custom we will be having our extended nuclear family over for Xmas Eve, and then a much more private and quiet Xmas Day, as our brood go off to spend THAT day with the families of their Significant Others. BTW - there seems to be a lot more efficiency to Xmas shopping nowadays, since the advent of email means the sharing of family Wish Lists occurs before the U.S. Thanksgiving weekend hits.

Since I won't be bugging you again until the New Year, please allow me to wish you and your families the happiest of holidays, and I'd like to take the opportunity to thank you all again, so very much, for the support you've shown throughout 2010. It has been (astonishingly) one of the most successful years of my long & checkered career, rich with facets of a professional life (PRO, Troubs, band gigs, orchestra shows, teaching gigs .... website and indie label to run, endorsements, blogs ... ) that keeps me hopping, and my head filled with repertoire that confounds a 57 yr. old brain (I mean - how many different arrangements of "Lay It On The Line" can one human being attempt to hold in their memory?). But I'm not complaining or protesting - I am delighted by the challenge, and I can't help but get an anticipatory tingle that 2011 could prove to be even more fun, as "Marco" FINALLY makes it to the public (by the time you read this, a few tiny tasty Sneak Preview guitar pieces should be making themselves available through the social media sites and and I have a few more tricks up my sleeve, so stay tuned.

Merry Christmas to all, and Happy New Year, all the way along The Network, and across the digital highways. May your holiday season be filled with good health, happiness, love, and the profound joy of good music.

Cheers, peace and love,

Rik will also be playing a few shows here and there with just one in December this year, then he'll be doing more starting in February 2011. Check his live show updates right here:

Rik also included a very interesting question / answer piece in this months newsletter that I thought was well worth sharing, here you go - Sorry for perhaps making this much more lengthy for you folks to read, but if you're a trivia freak like me, I hope you'll love this too:


Each month, a new question (and answer from Rik) is selected from the questions that appear on the Network Members Messageboard at There are usually 8 to 10 questions (or more) posted each month, with interesting, enlightening, and often humorous responses. Craig brings us this month's question:
Craig writes:

Hey Rik,

I've been listening to 'Just a Game' recently. It's the first time in a long time.

I forgot how much I love the song Just a Game. I think it was ahead of its time for a Triumph tune, and I think it easily could've been on the Thunder 7 album next to songs like Rock Out, Roll On, and Stranger in a Strange Land, and wouldn't have seemed out of place. Actually it would've been cool to hear it as the band's abilities, and recording technologies had progressed. Those types of songs were always my favorite Triumph tunes, because to me, I couldn't really put them in a category, because I think they were hybrids. Sure they were rock, but there was a lot of other stuff going on there that made them unconventional.

Now the questions. 1) I listened closely to the background vocals on those tunes, and couldn't really pick out your voice or Gil's voice on some of them. Did you guys hire backup singers for some of those tunes? 2) I wondered if you guys caught any flack because you were a Canadian band saying that you wanted American Girls? To me, and I'm sure 99.9% of the listeners, it was just a song, but there's always that .
1% that will make a stink.


Rik's reply:

Yes - female bg singers. Elaine Overholt [went on to fame as the vocal coach for Richard Gere and Rene Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones in Chicago, and other Hollywood stuff], and Colina Phillips. They probably overdubbed their own harmonies on a few things, and probably doubled every part (although I might not have this exactly right, because this was back in the day of a 24 track 2 inch master).

No - no flack for American Girls from the pov of dissing the loveliness of homegrown beauty ... The only thing was, a song lyric like this was likely the kind of thing that made critics hate us for seeming shallow and contrived ... since we had bumped up on the Canadian radar for being an act that had made successful inroads into the U.S. market, and now here was a shallow kind of horny teenager song about chasing chicks --- but of course, Gil really liked the old school rock and roll songs of Chuck Berry, and the horny riffing of stuff like ZZ Top's Tush - and there's no denying that songs like, ohhh, the Beach Boys' California Girls, or the Beatles 'Back in the USSR' had created a category of rock and roll song that worked. This post of yours points up something about Triumph that made it both loved and hated, a kind of schizoid nature of the band, that probably contributed to its appeal, its loathing by critics, and to its eventual break-up.

Some people love diversity in their preferred musical acts. Some people have narrower visions of what constitutes 'good' music. If a solo artist has a wide range of musical ambition, it goes down easier with a critical community, because the single source automatically defines the range as personal, considered, weighed choices. But with bands, the chemistry changes. Critics generally want a band to adhere to some kind of shared 'team' ethic, and image, and fulfill their destiny within the confines of that 'market' demographic. Bands with a single front man / singer generally are better loved.

Triumph was a band that had Rik and Gil - two very different musicians/writers. But it was also a band that had the largest degree of its success based on being a live touring rock and roll machine with a big show. And while it went into the studio and recorded 'Rik' songs like Just a Game, or Suitcase Blues it also went out on to concert stages and blasted riff rock songs like American Girls, which worked great out on tour. Critics hated the diversity - to them, it made us seem shallow and contrived. For us, for about a decade, it was simply the nature of our particular beast. Once the record company began to insist on getting pop product that had hit singles, whatever organic balance we had within the act got damaged beyond repair.
Rik has answered many more questions in addition to the one posted above. To submit a question to Rik on the messageboard, please visit for additional information on joining the Network.

Two New Books by author Greg Prato...
MTV Ruled The World: The Early Years Of Music Video
The Eric Carr Story

As the author of such books as, 'Grunge is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music,' 'Touched By Magic: The Tommy Bolin Story,' and 'A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other: The Story of Shannon Hoon and Blind Melon,' Greg Prato has two new titles that are now available for purchase.

The first, 'MTV Ruled the World: The Early Years of Music Video,' is the first-ever book to focus solely on the channel's important building-block years, specifically from the MTV's launch to when its original group of VJs left the channel. Comprised of over 70 all-new interviews ("Weird Al" Yankovic, Daryl Hall, John Oates, Joe Elliott, Phil Collen, Rob Halford, Stewart Copeland, Rick Springfield, Jerry Casale, Geddy Lee, Ann Wilson, Chuck D, Alan Hunter, Nina Blackwood, etc.), the book is not only an eye-opening account of the early years of MTV and the stories behind its biggest videos, but also of the music industry, important music developments/events, and the "Big '80s" in general.

The second, 'The Eric Carr Story,' is the first-ever book to tell the life story of Kiss drummer Eric Carr. Comprised of all-new interviews, the book also doubles as a study of 1980's era Kiss. You'll find insight into all of Kiss' albums that featured Carr (from producers Bob Ezrin, Michael James Jackson, and Ron Nevison), as well as those closest to him (sister Loretta Caravello, girlfriend Carrie Stevens, Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick), and music-related friends (Eddie Trunk, Dream Theater's Mike Portnoy, Anthrax's Charlie Benante). Also included is one of the last-ever interviews conducted with Kiss' original manager, Bill Aucoin, and for the first time ever, Kiss fans will be able to learn what the real story line to Kiss' controversial release '(Music From) The Elder' was all about (thanks to an explanation from Ezrin).

With both the 30 year anniversary of MTV's launch (August 1, 1981) and the 20 year anniversary of Eric Carr's passing (November 24, 1991) approaching in 2011, what better way to celebrate both subjects than with all-new books? Both books are set up in an "oral history" format (in other words, you're getting the story straight from the source) and are chock-full of rarely seen (or in many cases, never-before-seen) photographs.

The MTV book is 427 pages long and priced at $24.99 (ISBN # 978-0-578-07197-8), while the Eric Carr book is 256 pages long and priced at $19.99 (ISBN # 978-0-578-07424-5). Both books will make perfect gifts this holiday season for rock music fans worldwide. For ordering information and to view samples from each book before purchasing, visit the following links...

Rainbow's Down To Earth album to be reissued as two disc set

UK rock magazine, Classic Rock is claiming that the first Rainbow album released after Ronnie James Dio left the band, 'Down to Earth' which featured Graham Bonnet, Cozy Powell(RIP), Roger Glover, Don Airey and of course, Ritchie Blackmore, is to be reissued as a two disc set.

Not 100% sure where they have their information from, as I did a search through the Deep Purple sites and Rainbow locations too, including Mr. Blackmore's site and see no mention of it?
Even and aren't really forthcoming on information either, although does reflect a 'Down to Earth' Deluxe edition, released in 2010 but that is a Japanese import, with no more information on it except that it is two discs and it's a Japanese import ...

Anyway, Classic Rock claim that the two disc tracklisting will contain different versions of the songs on the original album, two b-sides tracks from singles and two previously unreleased tracks - One of which has two versions?
Here's the tracklisting, courtesy of

CD 1
1. All Night Long
2. Eyes Of The World
3. No Time To Lose
4. Makin’ Love
5. Since You Been Gone
6. Love’s No Friend
7. Danger Zone
8. Lost In Hollywood
9. Bad Girl (seven inch single B-side)
10. Weiss Heim (seven inch single B-side)

1. All Night Long (instrumental outtake)
2. Eyes Of The World (instrumental outtake)
3. Spark Don’t Mean A Fire
4. Makin’ Love (instrumental outtake)
5. Since You Been Gone (instrumental outtake)
6. Ain’t A Lot Of Love In The Heart Of Me
7. Danger Zone (instrumental outtake)
8. Lost In Hollywood (instrumental outtake)
9. Bad Girls (instrumental outtake)
10. Ain’t A Lot Of Love In The Heart
11. Eyes Of The World (instrumental outtake – take two)
12. All Night Long (Cozy Powell mix)

For confirmation of this information at Classic Rock magazine go here:

Bryan Adams announces more 'Bare Bones' tour dates

Canadian groover from Vancouver, Bryan Adams has announced a bunch of new acoustic 'Bare Bones' gig in conjunctions with his album release of the same name.
Dates currently confirmed, starting tonight Sat. December 4th in Jackson, Michigan are as follows:

December 2010
Sat 12/04/10 Jackson, MI Potter Center
Sun 12/05/10 Saginaw, MI Temple Theatre
Mon 12/06/10 Grand Rapids, MI DeVos Performance Hall
Tue 12/07/10 Green Bay, WI Weidner Center For The Perf. Arts
Mon 12/13/10 Damascus, Syria Congress Hall
Tue 12/14/10 Beirut, Lebanon TBA
Thu 12/16/10 Doha, Qatar Cultural Center
Fri 12/17/10 Dubai, United Arab Emirates World Trade Center
Sat 12/18/10 Muscat, Oman Muscat Hotel International

January 2011Thu 01/13/11 London, United Kingdom HMV Hammersmith Apollo - Appearing at "A Concert For Killing Cancer" with The Who

Sun 01/23/11 Trenton, NJ Patriots Theater At War Memorial
Mon 01/24/11 Troy, NY Troy Savings Bank Music Hall
Tue 01/25/11 Ithaca, NY State Theatre
Wed 01/26/11 Lancaster, PA American Music Theatre
Thu 01/27/11 New York, NY Beacon Theatre
Fri 01/28/11 New York, NY Beacon Theatre
Sat 01/29/11 Baltimore, MD Hippodrome Theatre / France-Merrick Perf. Arts Ctr.

February 2011Fri 02/11/11 Pune, India Amanora Township at Magarpatta
Sat 02/12/11 Mumbai, India Johnny Walker One Tree Music Fest
Sun 02/13/11 Bangalore, India Palace Grounds
Tue 02/15/11 Delhi, India NSIC
Wed 02/16/11 Hyderabad, India HiTec Complex

March 2011Fri 03/11/11 North Bethesda, MD Music Center At Strathmore
Sun 03/13/11 Easton, PA State Theatre Center For The Arts
Tue 03/15/11 Bolivia, NC Odell Williamson Auditorium
Wed 03/16/11 Savannah, GA Lucas Theatre
Thu 03/17/11 Greenville, SC Peace Center Concert Hall
Fri 03/18/11 Atlanta, GA Symphony Hall - Woodruff Arts Ctr.

June 2011
Sun 06/12/11 Berlin, Germany Spandau Zitadelle
Fri 06/17/11 Monchengladbach, Germany Hockey Park
Sat 06/18/11 Oberursel, Germany Hessentag
Wed 06/22/11 Cork, Ireland Docklands
Thu 06/23/11 Dublin, Ireland The O2 Dublin
Fri 06/24/11 Belfast, United Kingdom Odyssey Arena

July 2011Fri 07/08/11 Bad Mergentheim, Germany Schlosshof
Thu 07/14/11 Klam, Austria Castle Clam
Fri 07/15/11 Dornbirn, Austria Messehalle
Sun 07/17/11 Munich, Germany Olympiapark - Appearing at "Tollwood"
Official artist website:

Chickenfoot Holiday treat!

Yes, check this out, can you say that you've seen this before?! I doubt it!
Chickenfoot performing the Jimi Hendrix classic, 'Foxy Lady' live!
This from the guys in the band:

  "This was a great year and we were just feeling thankful for all of you fans and thought we'd share this as a holiday gift. It's an outtake from the Live In Cabo webcast and is a really smoking version of this tune!
Have a great holiday season and we'll see you from the studio in the 2011!"

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thursday 2nd December, 2010

Hi all, this week has been a tough one with the day job and put simply, I'm working away from home, very long days and not really getting a chance to provide you wonderful folks with any updates.
Hopefully ..., maybe I can get you some update tomorrow Friday, but later today is doubtful.

Encouraging brief snippets I have on good authority I'll tell you now is that I do know three artists are working in their respective studios on new releases and they are:

UFO - New album expected in June 2011, some US tour dates starting in May 2011, as previously mentioned, are already listed at the bands site.

Brian Howe - Hard at work right now on new album follow up to the excellent 'Circus Bar.' Don't forget to check out his new Christmas single through iTunes, it does sound great! - See previous news item on Friday 26th November. Expect the odd live date from Brian here and there and I do know, he was hoping to play some European dates, but guessing that won't happen now until some time next year at the earliest.

Night Ranger - Currently working on new material.
They were a number of rumours and certain pointers that a covers release may be on it's way, especially with some of the cover tunes the band shared live this past year. Also, the bands website kind of gestures through a current site survey, asking what new material / new album would you like to hear from the band and cover tunes are included the answer options ... FYI - If you do the survey, you'll get 10% off any site item in the store! -
My understanding is that a cover tunes release from the band is not out of the question, but it's not next on the cards. The next one is planned to be new material, as a follow up to the excellent - IMHO - 'Hole in the Sun' release, that receive a very mixed reception from fans and reviewer alike elsewhere.

Interesting teasers for you? Sorry that's all I can give you right now.
Hope to give you more updates as I say Friday, at some point. Cheers!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gin Blossoms – No Chocolate Cake album review

Gin Blossoms – No Chocolate Cake album review
Released on: 429 Records. Release date: Available now.

I don’t know about you, but for me the Gin Blossoms were always one of those ‘hard to tag’ bands, based on their overall sound.
Like so many acts from the 80’s and 90’s, they also had more than their fair share of bad luck.
During their peak – They started around 1987 – let’s say the mid 90’s, they probably only had four or five really well known songs, that people would really remember and they only released three albums during that time and this new one, ‘No Chocolate Cake’ is only their fifth official studio release.

Back in their heyday, though they had some other really strong songs too, that were written by main songwriter and guitarist Doug Hopkins, who sadly was to take his own life in 1993. The guy actually wrote probably their two best known hits in ‘Hey Jealousy’ and ‘Found out about You,’ although other popular songs by the band were ‘Follow You Down,’ ‘Alison Road,’ ‘Mrs. Rita’ and ‘Until I Fall Away.’

The downside for me with the band, was that although I really liked all of the above songs and more, the albums did not hit me as consistent enough throughout, albums such as ‘New Miserable Experience’ – Probably the best of the bunch. – the debut ‘Dusted’ and ‘Congratulations, I’m Sorry.’
Much as I really hate to say it, but for me simply ‘Outside Looking In: The Best of the Gin Blossoms’ has become my favourite release by the band …, until now!

Yes, ‘No Chocolate Cake’ although it only features two of the original band members in bassist Bill Leen and vocalist Robin Wilson, it’s a really enjoyable album, at least for me!
Keep in mind, I really did like their most commercial work best!

The very up tempo and punchy ‘Don’t Change For Me’ is very catchy indeed, if you don’t like the opener, then you are missing out big time, I think it’s a great and solid opener.

You know at times, the band actually remind me of UK pop rock band, Squeeze and next track ‘I Don’t Want To Lose You Now,’ makes me think that at times, then I think musically of Tom Petty, even Bryan Adams – With his better material.
It’s a good mid tempo pop rock tune and vocalist Robin Wilson still has that distinct voice that many people simply love or downright hate! I think it's great, unique and clearly identifies the band and is still as good today as it was during the bands peak.

‘Miss Disarray’ is another mid paced pop song, that even brings to mind Crowded House and nice guitar solo too. Good stuff!

In ‘Wave Bye Bye’ it’s a true Gin Blossoms more laid back, emotional style song that fans of old will easily associate themselves with.

It’s back to a punchy start with ‘I’m Ready’ next which then eases back before picking up again for the chorus.
Does anyone ever remember a UK pop/rock band called ‘The Motors?’ Well, the Gin Blossoms also at times bring back memories of them as well, certainly with this release. It’s full of so many hooks, it really is.

‘Somewhere Tonight’ is more of a laid back tune generally, with that jangly guitar sound, that OK, the band do have a lot of here, still very solid though.

Time to pick up the pace again with ‘Go CryBaby’ up next. The Gin Blossoms have an awful lot of material that starts with that uptempo, almost trademark kick in intro before easing back through the verses and then ripping things up in the chorus.
After the intro on this, the song tends to settle for a mid to up tempo pace and once again, it’s got a tasty guitar solo.

Wow! It’s serious ballad time with ‘If You’ll Be Mine’ which almost has a Beatles like feel to it. Kind of George Harrison / Jeff Lynne territory. Nice one guys!

‘Dead or Alive On the 405’ has more than a little tongue in cheek to it! They use a brass section sound here, then there's a brief Beach Boys parody or perhaps tribute too, not to mention both Styx and Nickelback getting name checks here and a song or too along the way.
It’s a fun tune, I can see that and it’s still catchy too!

It’s the laid back approach in ‘Something Real’ next and it’s OK but perhaps the least hook laden of all tracks here.
To close the album off, it’s the steady mid paced ‘Goin’ To California’ that’s fairly true Gin Blossoms stuff to be honest.
It’s really not a bad album at all and is certainly, in my opinion, the most consistent work from these guys in a long time.
Welcome back guys!

Rating: 3.75 out of 5
Official website:

Rock News for Tuesday 30th November, 2010

Yes, I'm back folks! Hopefully Paypal and Ebay come through for me and things aren't as bad as I thought ... That said, once this matter is cleared up, I think I may just pull out of Ebay for a while, the whole identity theft thing, credit card theft / fraud, call it what you will is just too scary. I really don't need that right now or anytime. Sad but true, that after 9 years as an Ebay user, my account becomes compromised.
Enough on all that though, you're here for the latest and greatest in the world of rock, right, so here you go!

Mr Big exclusive video from 'What If ...' through Frontiers

Yes, lets kick things off with a treat from those wonderful people at Frontiers records and give you a video from Mr Big as a taster or teaser - Read as applicable! - from their forthcoming album, 'What If ..."
The album is due to be released in Europe on January 21st, 2011. - What about a US release dates guys?!

So here's the new video from Mr Big entitled 'Undertow.' Enjoy!

Europe, I guess you are giving the US a run for their money, in the fact that you folks seem to be more supportive of certain bands from the 80's and 90's in the melodic and hard rock world, when it comes to new material. i.e. Supporting album sales.
Japan of course, always seems to be there for live shows and paying the bands from that era the big bucks to come over and play just one or two shows.
It really sucks, that US radio simply does NOT play enough of the great new material that these classic hard rockin' bands are still releasing these days.
So here's my plea to all those US Radio stations out there ... Come on US radio, why not?
You know these bands sell out shows again and again on US turf, so why can't you radio programmers allow this new material to be heard. It's clearly good stuff! You are missing out and depriving fans who are out of touch, of knowing what their favourite bands are doing these days. OK, rant over ...
Don't forget folks, the new Mr Big album WILL be out in 2011!

Keep up with the band at:

Rush 'Time Machine,' North American Dates Revealed

Canadian rockers Rush have confirmed that 'The Time Machine Tour' will visit new cities throughout North America and play a few return engagements beginning March 30th in Ft. Lauderdale and running through April 22nd in 2011 with dates in Greensboro, Nashville, Louisville, Toledo, Hershey, New York’s esteemed Madison Square Garden, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Hamilton, Montreal and Baltimore.
The tour also returns to North America in June with performances in select markets that will include cities such as New Orleans, Austin, Vancouver and a very special return play in Los Angeles – more information on these dates and more soon!

Tickets for RUSH go on sale in select markets beginning December 6th at

Tickets for the Rush performances will go on sale in Hershey, Detroit and Baltimore beginning Monday, Dec. 6th, with additional on-sales to follow.
To benefit the relief efforts in Haiti, one dollar of each ticket sold will be donated through several charities including “Doctors Without Borders”.
Rush will also contribute a portion of their proceeds at the culmination of the tour.

For Rush Fan Club tickets, as well as fan club exclusive merchandise offers, visit
For Rush Time Machine packages, visit

Please check all updates on the tour page for all updates:

Phil Kennemore Benefit - A special Y & T New Years Eve event with very special guests!

On December 31st, 2010, a gig will take place at 'The Avalon' in Santa Clara, CA featuring Y & T and some very special guest, friends.
The event taking place is in aid of raising funds to help Y & T man, Phil Kennemore deal with some of his medical costs, after Phil was sadly diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer.

Very special guest performances and unique auction items available at the event. Other auction items available at the Y&T web site. Tickets available at the Avalon and online.
Breakfast offered at the end of the night.

Special guests who have volunteered to perform*:
•Geoff Tate (Queensryche)
•Don Dokken
•Bobby Blotzer (RATT)
•Vinny Appice (DIO, Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell)
•Sean McNabb (Dokken, Montrose)
•Loren Gold (Roger Daltrey)
•Paul Bostaph (Testament)
•Jimmy DeGrasso (Alice Cooper)
•Joey Alves
•Leonard Haze
•...and more to be announced! Check back often for updated performer list.

Thanks to some of the many friends who have donated items/services to help:
Frankie Banali (Quiet Riot)
•Joey Allen, Erik Turner and Warrant
•Jeff Scott Soto
•Eric Martin and Mr Big
•Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake)
•Twisted Sister
•Robb Reiner, Lips and Anvil
•Primal Fear
John Taylor Dismukes and Capstone Studios
Timothy Drury
George Bisceglia / Bisceglia Guitars
Ron Capps
Frank Aresti / D'Addario Strings, Evans Drumheads, Planet Waves
Joey Tafolla / JTM Merchandising
Scott Ferrara / EMG Pickups
Dean Markley Strings
San Jose Pro Drum
Diana and Rob Jensen / Testarossa Winery
e design
An extra huge thanks to the Avalon for donating 100% of the ticket proceeds to Phil.
* Subject to change due to artist availability.

Otherwise, feel free to donate to Phil's fund right here:

Simple Minds line up 'The UK Forest Tour 2011'

Simple Minds are to play a 'Greatest Hits UK Forest Tour' next summer, playing a series of dates in spectacular woodland locations as part of Forestry Commission Live Music.
Special guest support for all dates will be Starsailor front man James Walsh.

Money generated by Forestry Commission Live Music ticket sales is spent directly on the nation’s woodlands, benefiting everything from butterflies to mountain bikers.
Commenting on the tour, Simple Minds frontman Jim Kerr said, "We've never done the forest gigs before so we are really looking forward to performing in such beautiful places."

Confirmed Simple Minds - Greatest Hits Forest Tour Dates:
June 2011
Fri 10 June Bedgebury Pinetum & Forest, Nr Goudhurst, Kent.
Sat 11 June Thetford Forest, Nr Brandon, Suffolk.
Fri 17 June Westonbirt Arboretum, Nr Tetbury, Gloucestershire.
Sat 18 June Sherwood Pines Forest Park, Nr Edwinstowe, Nottinghamshire.
Fri 24 June Dalby Forest, nr Pickering, North Yorks.
Sat 25 June Cannock Chase Forest, Nr Rugeley, Staffordshire.
July 2011
Sun 03 July Delamere Forest, Delamere, Cheshire.

Tickets cost £35.00 (subject to booking fee)
These dates look set to be very special indeed.
Look forward to seeing you there!

Steve Lukather performs at KLOS radio All Star Xmas show in L.A.

Steve Lukather's website is currently plugging an upcoming gig in L.A. that will feature a killer all star line up.

Announcing the 95.5 KLOS Mark and Brian Christmas Show at the Nokia Theatre Thursday, Dec 16th, 2010 benefiting the Eisner Pediatric and Family Medical Center.
Tickets will be available at Mark & Brian's All-Star Band features Steve Lukather alongside, Peter Frampton, Paul Rodgers, Michael Anthony, Jason Bonham, Mark Bonilla, Tal Wilkenfeld, Gregg Bissonette, Slash and many more.


Just over ten years years ago, former Praying Mantis lead vocalist Mark Thompson-Smith (Ex-Idol Rich, After Hours) released a solo album entitled 'A Far Cry From New Jersey,' which picked up a number of favourable reviews if I recall correctly and since then, his career has bounced around a little, but he did some tour work with British glam rockers, The Sweet too. Since then he's been doing odd session work here and there and playing gigs mainly in southern England.
Some of his session work, included working with his old mate Steve Newman, helping Steve out on some of his Newman releases and it was this connection that eventually led to the 'Big Life' project.

The 'Big Life' album featuring Mark Thompson-Smith and Steve Newman is now complete.
The guys are very excited about this new album and the few people who have heard songs from it have shared their enthusiasm. It's going to be an album to look out for in 2011.
A label and release date is currently in negotiation, We will have more details very soon so watch this space!!!

Eric Clapton Announces Additional Dates of 2011 TouringU.S. AND CANADA DATES ADDED TO CLAPTON'S 2011 SCHEDULE!

Directly on the heels of Eric Clapton’s recent new album 'Clapton' released to strong critical acclaim, the artist announced initial dates for his 2011 touring that will encompass the West Coast of the U.S. in the Spring to be followed by a run of shows in Ireland and the U.K. in May 2011.

Critics have been raving about the latest Clapton album as a new and inspiring body of work by one of the world’s most legendary guitar players. Co-produced by guitarist and long-time collaborator Doyle Bramhall II, the album features an all star cast of musical collaborations starting with the legendary JJ Cale, drummer Jim Keltner, bassist Willie Weeks, and keyboardist Walt Richmond—and the sessions later added guests including Steve Winwood, Wynton Marsalis, Sheryl Crow, Allen Toussaint, and Derek Trucks. Clapton created a collection that touches on everything from century-old traditional brass bands to little-known country blues to brand-new originals. The result is both relaxed and revelatory, and unlike anything the guitarist has done in his legendary career.

Clapton has assembled an impressive band for the 2011 tour which will consist of long-time touring partners: Steve Gadd (drums), Willie Weeks (bass), Chris Stainton (keyboards) along with Michelle John and Sharon White as backing vocalists.
Ticket On-Sale Information -- Check local ticket agencies for availability and pricing

Friday, Feb 25 Vancouver, BC Rogers Arena
Saturday, Feb 26 Seattle, WA Key Arena
Monday, Feb 28 Portland, OR Rose Garden Arena

MARCH 2011
Wednesday, March 2 San Jose, CA HP Pavilion
Thursday, March 3 Sacramento, CA ARCO Arena
Saturday, March 5 Las Vegas, NV MGM Grand Garden Arena
Sunday, March 6 San Diego, CA Valley View Casino Center
Tuesday, March 8 Los Angeles, CA Gibson Amphitheater at Universal CityWalk
Wednesday, March 9 Los Angeles, CA Gibson Amphitheater at Universal CityWalk

Previously Announced International Dates
Monday, Feb 14 Singapore Singapore Indoor Stadium
Friday, Feb 18 Hong Kong, China Hong Kong Asia World Arena

MAY 2011
Monday, May 9 Dublin
Tuesday, May 10 Belfast
Thursday, May 12th Glasgow SECC
Saturday, May 14th Cardiff International Arena

Royal Albert Hall (London, England)
May 17, May 18, May 20, May 21, May 23, May 24, May 26, May 27, May 29, May 30

JUNE 2011
Monday, June 6 Helsinki, Finland Hartwall Arena
Wednesday, June 8 Stockholm, Sweden Ericsson Globe
Thursday, June 9 Oslo, Norway Norwegian Wood Festival
Saturday, June 11 Herning, Denmark Jyske Bank Boxen
For more details go to:

Monday, November 29, 2010

Update for Monday 29th November, 2010

Sorry folks, apologies for the lack of updates right now, the weekend was really busy and I've also got some concerns on ID theft! Not cool!
Ebay integrity was not so ... Consequently, someone got into my account and ..., well, things aren't good right now.
When I can add an update on news items, I assure you I will. My apologies once again.