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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Styx – Regeneration Vol 1 album review
Released through: Band's own label. / Styx website. Release date: Available now 

So here we have a ‘mini’ album or 'EP' from one the best melodic rock bands from the 70’s, yes indeed Styx are still going strong in 2010 and not showing signs of letting up in 2011!
This band is like an endless touring machine, certainly in North America anyway and they'll be kicking off a bunch of new US dates in January and February 2011, before heading to Europe in the Summer with both Journey and Foreigner, with dates starting there in June. 

This album, 'Regeneration Volume 1' was originally penned as ‘available at gigs only release,’ but it seems now if you go to the bands site, you certainly can pick it up there too.
It basically consists of six re-recorded Styx classics and one new song.

The band today is made up of two true classic Styx members in James ‘JY’ Young (Guitars/Vocals) and Tommy Shaw (Guitars/Vocals), joined by long time members in Lawrence Gowan (Keyboards / Vocals) and Todd Sucherman (Drums) and most recent addition - in 2003 - Ricky Phillips (Ex-Babys, Bad English).

Opening with ‘Grand Illusion’ now sung by Lawrence Gowan and clearly with the pace picked up a little from the original Dennis DeYoung sung classic, the band still sound as strong as ever.

Next is ‘Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man),’ as presented by the ever youthful looking Tommy Shaw and as ‘Grand Illusion’ before it, it certainly freshens up these older songs and Gowan has the keyboards coming through as powerful as ever.

'JY' takes the lead vocals on ‘Lorelei’ next on the track listing, so it’s clear the band is pushing each members vocal attributes and why not?! I seriously don’t think this song has ever sounded so good!

Tommy Shaw takes the lead vocals again for ‘Sing For The Day’ and it’s again very well done as anyone who’s seen this actual line up over the past five years can attest to already.
Next is ‘Crystal Ball’ which captures a part of Styx’ earlier almost prog rock moments and is an excellent piece of classic Styx history.

My thoughts at this time are more on the lines of the fact that if they were going to re-record songs, they should’ve at least includes at least one Styx rocker, like say ‘Renegade,’ ‘Blue Collar Man’ or even ‘Rockin’ the Paradise,’ but no such luck!
These tracks are perhaps all a little too smooth (Safe?), but I can’t knock them as they all still sound great!

I guess you do get ‘Come Sail Away’ next with Lawrence Gowan taking the helm here, which is good in terms of a rocker and he’s closeness at times to Dennis DeYoung works well. I still personally think one of the rockier tracks I mentioned in place of say ‘Sing For The Day,’ would’ve worked better or if they’d just added another one of those tracks. It’s just my take on things …

Final track here is the new song, ‘Difference in the World,’ which is a good new Styx song, don’t get me wrong, but as a stand alone example of perhaps the bands direction for new material, could’ve done with a little more ‘supporting cast’ in maybe one or two more new songs. From that standpoint, as a long time Styx fan I’m a little disappointed.

Overall these tracks, it has a very clean and crisp production mix, so you’re getting a quality product of that there is no question!
The only thing is, how many Styx fans will feel the value in paying the cash for a re-recorded mini ‘Best of’ release, when they’ve already got all of these already in some form or another?

With only one new song added here, ‘Difference in the World,’ – that was in fact originally offered to fans for free through the bands website – you have to wonder ….

For music / sound quality: 4.5 out of 5

For validity today: 3.5 out 5 - As these are pretty straightforward re-recordings of just six classic Styx tracks with just one new song, why not more?
Official Band website:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Brief Update for Wednesday 15th December, 2010

Are you ready for Whitesnake, LIVE in 2011?!

Yes, I can't believe it either!
You saw it here first - Unless you saw it at their site! - but with no official press release anywhere, in just doing a little snooping around a few sites, I found this on Whitesnake's home page, a link to 2011 tour dates!

So it seems after David Coverdale's somewhat embarrassing moments on tour with Judas Priest and at Download, where sadly the poor guy was losing his voice, after various treatments, the man must be ready to Rock and Roll!
The latest Whitesnake line up features the following suspects:
David Coverdale - Vocals
Doug Aldrich - Guitars
Reb Beach - Guitars
Michael Devin - Bass
Brian Tichy - Drums
and keyboard player to be announced!

Whitesnake Tour Schedule 2011
Dates will be added as they become available

June 2011
02 June 2011 - Moscow, Russia
Megasport Arena

04 June 2011 - St. Petersburg, Russia

13 June 2011 - Newcastle, UK
City Hall

14 June 2011 - Glasgow, UK
Clyde Auditorium

16 June 2011 - Wolverhampton, UK

17 June 2011 - Manchester, UK

19 June 2011 - Bournemouth, UK

20 June 2011 - London, UK
Hammersmith Apollo

22 June 2011 - Milano, Italy
Gods of Metal

25 June 2011 - Dessel, Belgium
Graspop Metal Meeting

28 June 2011 - Prague, Czech Rep.
Saska Arena

29 June 2011 - Vienna, Austria

For more details, go to:
Joe Perry to Perform at 99.5 KLOS/Mark and Brian Christmas Show

Citadel Broadcasting Company’s 95.5 KLOS and Mark and Brian to host the Mark and Brian Christmas Show on Thursday, December 16th at 6:00 pm (PST) at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE.

Mark and Brian Christmas Show will feature Billy Idol, the Mark and Brian All-star Band with Joe Perry (Aerosmith), Peter Frampton, Paul Rodgers (Bad Company), Michael Anthony (Van Halen), Jason Bonham, John Waite, Marc Bonilla and other world-class players. Plus comedian Ron White will give us a good laugh and the Margo Rey Band will kick off the show, and Billy Idol will close.

While the show is nearly sold-out, some tickets remain from $49 to $69 on Portions of the proceeds benefit the Eisner Pediatric and Family Medical Center.

Founded in 1920, Eisner Pediatric and Family Medical Center is a quality-focused, non-profit community health center dedicated to improving the physical, social and emotional well-being of people in the communities we serve, regardless of income.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees, Alice Cooper in, but not Bon Jovi?

Pollstar is claiming through a leak posted in the New York Times ... - Phew! - that among others, at long last Alice Cooper will get recognized as a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, but Bon Jovi, highly touted to get their spot will not!
Alice Cooper apparently will join Neil Diamond (Cough!), Dr John and Tom Waits as top names to be inducted if the New York Times is accurate.

The induction ceremony will not happen until March 2011, but from the nominees already listed, the actual inductees are due to be named today, Wednesday 15th December.
The New York Times story can be read here:
Pollstar have their storry right here:
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Rock News Update for Tuesday 14th December, 2010


The recently-released double-disc Dio CD, 'Dio at Donington UK: Live 1983 and 1987,' is about to get a glorious vinyl makeover. On February 15, 2011, the album will be issued as a double vinyl set with deluxe gatefold packaging, and on 180 gram vinyl - the first-ever Dio album to be released in this high quality vinyl format. The album was mixed and mastered under the supervision of Dio's longtime engineer, Wyn Davis, and comes hot on the heels of the CD version's success (debuting at #98 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart - Dio's strongest chart debut in the "Soundscan era").

The first disc of 'Dio at Donington UK: Live 1983 and 1987' was recorded at the first-ever UK performance by Dio's solo group, while on tour supporting their classic debut, 'Holy Diver.' And the set-list does a superb job reflecting Dio's debut (featuring such classics as "Rainbow in the Dark," "Stand Up And Shout," etc.), as well as classics from both Rainbow and Black Sabbath ("Man on the Silver Mountain," "Heaven and Hell," etc.) - resulting in a thorough retrospective of Dio's career, from Rainbow to Black Sabbath to solo hits. The second disc of 'Dio at Donington UK: Live 1983 and 1987' features guitarist Craig Goldy's debut - recorded in 1987, in support of the 'Dream Evil' album, and contains further highlights from Dio's career.

Between Facebook, Myspace and Twitter, the Dio social media followers now number over one million. Also recently opened for business is the Official Dio Webstore, which gives fans worldwide the opportunity to purchase t-shirts, limited edition items, and CD's/DVD's that fans have been requesting.
2011 is shaping up to be a busy shopping year for Dio collectors, so stay tuned!

For more information, please go to:

Extra Dio related news update

Craig Goldy (Ex-Dio, Giuffria, Rough Cutt, Budgie) was recently speaking with the UK's 'Classic Rock magazine' and in an interview with them, he shared that there was a new Dio track that was almost completed, before Ronnie (James Dio) passed away and that Wendy Dio plans to release it as part of a reissued 'Magica' release, that will also feature additional bonus tracks.
For all the details on this go to:

Continuing on the Craig Goldy theme, he also told 'Classic Rock magazine' that he is starting a new band, that will capture that missing 'rock star' type image of yesteryear that we all knew so well.
Read a little more on that here:

I recall Craig Goldy saying this to Eddie Trunk on his radio show when I was driving home from work, probably about a month ago.
Promising stuff we hope!
Craig Goldy's MySpace page is here: 

RIP Woolly Wolstenholme of Barclay James Harvest

(Photo courtesy of

After having had to withdraw from John Lees Barclay James Harvest's touring plans back in November, due to 'nervous exhaustion,' it is with great sadness that I hear Woolly Wolstenholme has passed away, through taking his own life after suffering from mental health deterioration. Very sad indeed.
I think Barclay James Harvest were always a much underrated band, one that I think a lot of AOR / Melodic rock fans could've appreciated more of the band from releases such as 'Ring of Changes,' 'Victims of Circumstance,' 'Face to Face' and many more.
I know Woolly Wolstenholme was not always involved in the BJH line up, but he was there for a great deal of the bands history and at the start.
It's sadder still that the man ended up taking his own life.
This has been posted at the band's website today:

 It is with great sadness that John Lees' Barclay James Harvest announces the passing of Woolly Wolstenholme. In recent weeks Woolly's mental health had taken a turn for the worse and sadly he took his own life on Monday 13th December 2010. As you can imagine, John, Craig, Jez and Kevin and everyone associated with the band are stunned that a shining light of Barclay James Harvest is no longer with us. In this difficult time our thoughts are with Woolly's partner, Sue. We would ask all of Woolly's fans to remember his incredible contribution to popular music and his unique presence on stage.

Bon Jovi take biggest touring act title, so say Billboard

Billboards annual touring chart claims that for the second time in three years, Bon Jovi are the highest grossing live act!
Billboard says:

'In an ongoing global trek promoted by AEG Live that saw the band play stadiums and arenas, Bon Jovi reported Boxscore grosses for the period of Nov. 20, 2009, through Nov. 28, 2010, of $146,507,388 and attendance of 1,591,154 to 69 sellouts. When Bon Jovi was tops for the year in 2008 with its Lost Highway tour, the trek finished with a gross of $210 million, the 10th-biggest of all time.'
Quite something, eh?!
Full details on the Bon Jovi story and the Top touring chart at:

Monday, December 13, 2010

Update for Monday 13th December, 2010

Hey folks, well, seems I'm on a run of bad luck right now, can't believe it ...!
Our PC here, crashed while the kids were on it - Probably my first mistake! - major pain, tried System Restore, wouldn't do it .... Eventually got the Recovery to work, which restores the machine back to received in factory setting condition, meaning that you'll lose everything ...
I thought, well, thankfully I backed the machine up with the external hard drive ...
I thought wrong, well, kind of anyway ... The unit is playing up, works when it wants to and not always and what I was sure it backed up ..., well, it didn't!
We've lost a mass of family pictures, gig pictures that I took this past year and a bunch more. :(
It's also been murder trying to reinstall everything again, as when bought this PC, well, it's been a few years, so there's many updates to reinstall again and this has been a painful, ongoing process since Saturday morning and I'm still a long way off.
Sorry folks ... I'm sure you were looking forward to better news than just this.

Meantime, while I go through so much recovery of info and so forth, let me guide you to some of the competition ... I know, what am I thinking right?
Well, they seem in a better supported position than me right now to keep you up to date!
For the latest rock news, check out: - Courtesy of Mr Andrew McNiece!
Also check out certainly a few interesting stories there this weekend including Emerson Lake and Palmer, Girlschool and news that Joe Perry will be playing with Paul Rodgers, it looks like in his band, since Joe Elliott's Down 'n' Outz are opening for him?

For interesting pieces from time to time, check out my 'old boss' Dave White's section on, by going here:
I wrote for that site for just over four years, so that says a lot for the man, Dave's certainly a passionate guy about music too!

There's also Jeb Wright's who I also briefly wrote for and he's pretty well hooked up with VH1 as it seems Dave Basner from VH1 is the man behind most of the news stories there these days.
Jeb also has a whole host of supporting cast writing reviews for him, so some interesting stuff there too ...

Don't worry, I'm not calling it quits, I love doing this too much and have made some great friends along the way too, it's just with the time of year, recent day job demands and now the PC dumping on me ..., well all is not right in the world right now.
I will return, may it may be a couple of days unless I get some really good stuff.
Meantime here's just a couple of Press releases I received at the weekend.
Cheers folks and thanks for your continued support and understanding, Al. 


What a kick ass year 2010 has turned out to be for rockers Jackyl! Jesse Dupree (Vocals), Jeff Worley (Guitar), Roman Glick (Bass) & Chris Worley (Drums) celebrated the release of the new Jackyl CD, ‘When Moonshine and Dynamite Collide’ by personally calling everyone that pre-ordered to thank them for their support. “We never expected just how cool that was going to be” Jackyl Lead Vocalist Jesse James Dupree quoted. As their first single ‘She’s Not A Drug’ shot up the active rock charts, Jackyl continued to tour from coast to coast.

Dupree also serves as executive producer of the truTV hit series FULL THROTTLE SALOON, which looks at the behind-the-scenes mayhem at Michael Ballard’s legendary biker watering hole in Sturgis, South Dakota.

This year Jackyl does it bigger than ever and to celebrate their new album, “When Moonshine And Dynamite Collide” as well as the Sturgis Rally’s 70th Anniversary, Jesse James Dupree plans to get shot out of a cannon in the heat of the Jackyl performance. This night proves to be the wildest in Full Throttle history. Tune in Wednesday, Dec. 22nd and 29th to catch all of the action including Jackyl’s special guest, Rock ‘n' Roll Hall of Famer DMC.

The Full Throttle Saloon airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. (EST) on truTV.
Full Throttle Saloon is #3 ranked show in the primetime hour and is the #2 show for males 18-49.

Jackyl are ending 2010 with a bang by collaborating with R&R Hall of Fame legend DMC from Run DMC by releasing the single ‘Just Like A Negro’.

DMC will be performing the extremely powerful song with Jackyl on stage during their late fall and winter tour. “Darryl is an inspiration and it’s an honor to sing and share the stage with him, especially having such a impacting message in our song, Just Like A Negro” says Dupree of DMC. The single is available for purchase at, and comes with a limited edition Jackyl featuring DMC poster, or download at ITUNES. Check out the video here:

For more information, please visit:

MR. BIG New Release "What If…"
February 8th, 2011 on Frontiers Records U.S.A.

I know, like I haven't already plugged this release already ... Here's another press release on the forthcoming new album, although this does focus more on it's US release.
HOLLYWOOD, CA (December 9, 2010) MR. BIG is back to announce their highly anticipated new studio album entitled « What If… » on February 8, 2011 on Frontiers Records.

"What If…" is MR. BIG’s first all original album since the reunion of the four original members, Eric Martin, Paul Gilbert, Billy Sheehan and Pat Torpey back in early 2009. Sixteen years after the release of "Hey Man," the new recording is set to bring back MR. BIG on the height of the current Hard Rock scene.

Guitarist Paul Gilbert said: “This is the first MR. BIG album I have been a part of, since fourteen years and it was done in a snap. It was fun and we had really a good time in making this one”. Continues Billy Sheehan “It’s so great to be back with Paul, Eric and Pat too. We wrote this record like we did in the old days for the first 2 records. Jamming together in the same room to write songs”. Pat Torpey adds “Some of the recording process is different now from what we were used to in the old times. But I think this record really managed to capture the performances of the band, not of the individual musicians”.

Eric Martin concludes: “I like to compare this to the first album, when we just got to know each other in a reharsal studio and cut it in 8 or 9 days. This is like chapter 2. We had so many years, so many records and so many things behind us. Now this feels like a beautiful brand new chapter starting for all of us”.

"What If…" was produced by Kevin Shirley (Aerosmith, Rush, Iron Maiden) and the release will be followed by a World Tour which will kick off in South America in March and will hit Europe in early summer.

Formed in 1988, Mr. Big forged its place in hard rock history by combining trademark "shredding" musicianship with awesome vocal harmonies. The original line-up – vocalist Eric Martin, guitarist Paul Gilbert, bassist Billy Sheehan, and drummer Pat Torpey. Mr. Big produced numerous hit songs that ranged across a wide array of rock genres – be it ballads, heavy metal, or blues rock.

Their hits included "To Be With You" (Billboard Hot 100 number one single in 15 countries for weeks, in 1991, propelling the band the band to huge international success and record sales in the multi-millions), "Wild World", Green-Tinted sixties Mind", "Just Take My Heart", and a host of heavy metal songs that were played mostly during their live performances: "Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy", "Addicted to that Rush", "Colorado Bulldog", and "Take Cover".

“What If…” will be released in a special edition CD + DVD in digipak, regular CD, vinyl and digital download and in a limited edition luxury box including the CD, DVD, LP and exclusive memorabilia.

“What If…” tracklisting includes: Undertow; American Beauty; Stranger In My Life; Nobody Takes the Blame; Still Ain’t Enough for Me; Once Upon a Time; As Far As I Can See; All The Way Up; I Won’t Get In My Way; Around The World; I Get The Feeling; Unforgiven (exclusive bonus track for Europe / North America – not on vinyl edition).

The DVD will include the videoclips of “Undertow” and “All the Way Up” plus a documentary “Making of” the album including interviews and exclusive behind the scenes features of the four members.