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Saturday, January 8, 2011

News Update for Saturday 8th January, 2011


FEBRUARY 11: The Chance, Poughkeepsie, NY
FEBRUARY 12: The Crazy Donkey, Farmingdale, NY
FEBRUARY 13: Dingbats, Clifton, NJ

MORE INFORMATION: Joe Lynn Turner's longtime friend, collaborator and guitarist Karl Cochran, helped to arrange some "Welcome Home JLT" shows next month.
As you may or may not know, Joe's been busy touring with Over The Rainbow and as a solo artist in Russia/Turkey/Eastern Europe. After some shows with Big Noize late January in Los Angeles, California and Brazil, he will be back in the States for a these dates in and close to his home state of New Jersey.
There have been some rumors about these shows posted online but they were just confirmed January 7.

and in other Joe Lynn Turner related news ...
Jan Holberg and Joe Lynn Turner announce Norway shows
The Jan Holberg Project, featuring Joe Lynn Turner, will release their new album "SENSE OF TIME" March 28 in Norway. The band will do three shows to support the album.
Besides playing songs from their new album they will also perform songs from JLT's time as a frontman in Rainbow and Deep Purple, plus a few songs from his solo career.

The concert dates are:
27th April - BLAEST (Trondheim)
28th April - JOHN DEE (Oslo)
30th April - HEMNEHALLEN (Hemne)
(all in Norway)

Official sites:

German rocker Michael Bormann (Jaded Heart, J.R. Blackmore Group, Bonfire, Zeno) has been doing the melodic hard rock rounds for many years now and just last year received a number of rave reviews, for his 2010 release, 'Different.'
Well - Once he finds a new bassist! - he will start playing some European live dates in the Spring 2011.
If you haven't heard him, check him out on You Tube or at his own MySpace site, where you can hear samples:
Anyway, here's those live dates so far, chances are he'll be adding some more live dates along the way, so keep an eye out!

April 9th 2011
Ritmo y Compas - C/ Conde de Vilches 22
Madrid, 28028 SPAIN

April 23rd 2011
Cultuurpodium Boerderij - Amerikaweg 145
Zoetermeer, 2717 NETHERLANDS

May 6th 2011
Garage Deluxe - Friedenstr. 10
München, Bayern 81671 GERMANY

May 7th 2011
Rockcity - Aathalstr. 74

May 8th 2011
Rockfabrik 2 - Grönerstrasse
Ludwigsburg, Baden Würt 71634 GERMANY

May 13th 2011
Riders Cafe -Leinweberstr 4
Lübeck, Schleswig 23556 GERMANY

May 14th 2011
Zeche - Prinz-Regent-str. 50 - 60
Bochum, NRW 44795 GERMANY

August 6th 2011
SAAR SPEKTAKEL - Bühne am Theater

You can also check out this video teaser of Michael's, for 'Different Melody' right here on You Tube:

His official website:

Eddie and Wolfgang Van Halen spotted at an Alter Bridge concert. Wolfgang joins in on drums!

(Picture courtesy of

Yes, it seems Eddie Van Halen has made a rare public appearance at a recent Alter Bridge show at the House Of Blues in West Hollywood, California and in addition to that, a very fit looking Wolfgang Van Halen joined the band to jam on drums on 'One Day Remains!' 

The You Tube clip from the show can be seen at this location:

Still no updated words from anyone about 'that' new album and tour for 2011 that has been banded about by so many sources, but I'm guessing - Since there's no smoke without fire, right?! - that something should be announced soon enough.
Last any of us heard was that Diamond Dave Lee Roth has been submitting vocal tracks to Eddie, but sources indicated that Eddie wasn't that happy with what he was hearing ...
Hopefully they can agree to something soon as the world waits for another Van Halen tour and new album. 
Keep checking at and as I say, it can't be long now before we hear something!

Brief snippet of information on Myles Goodwyn / April Wine

Fresh from the Metalworks Studio's news desk, it seems Myles Goodwyn of April Wine called in a favor to Gil Moore (Triumph and owner of Metalworks studios) requesting his drumming services on an upcoming catchy tune called "Love To Watch You Walk Away".
It's not clear at this point if this is a new April Wine track or Myles Goodwyn solo work on the way.
I'm sure we'll hear more soon.

To me though, I'm all the more intrigued that Gil is into playing again, as when I interviewed Gil, it seemed his focus was more on his studio's activities than playing. - That interview can be read here:

It sounds promising that he is at least keeping his hand in ... Although the Newsletter update from Rik Emmett - See next news piece. - would have you think that any possible Triumph activity is unlikely ...

Keep up with April Wine at:

Rik Emmett Newsletter Update

Yes, I recently received this fan newsletter update from Rik Emmett on his recent Holiday activities.
Check it out!

I had a nice dinner with Gil (Moore) and Mike (Levine) on Monday night. Lots of discussion and lively chit chat --- Gil extended an open invitation to have me and Mike mix "Marco's" at Metalworks. There's a lot of progress on the new Triumph website, and build-up of merch and other stuff.
No - no gigs or touring in the immediate future.

- I'm doing a promo guest thing at the legendary Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto on Jan. 8, singing a few Triumph songs with the house band at around 10:30 p.m., if it all goes off on time. This is in support of CARAS and the Junos 40th anniversary, as they are having a theme night party celebrating the 80's.

- I bought one of those little mini Tonelab ST pedalboards on line, and I'll give it a shot on the 8th and on my fly-in Calgary date on Jan. 28. It seems good with its 'UK' Plexi pre-set, and its reverbs and echos ... but it doesn't have the same "VR GAIN" circuit that the bigger LE board has, so the output tone seems a bit more strident and not as smooth. Still - great convenient size.

- Got a new lyric for a song up and running before xmas, and finished it yesterday ... Wrote the lyric entirely before picking up a guitar and working on the music ... We'll see how it turns out, when I get the other half of the work done ...

- we've been lolling around and watching old seasons of "Entourage" on DVD --- also, some old Harry Potter movies [Blockbuster was getting rid of them at $5 a pop], and before xmas we went through some of our old xmas movie pile ---- my fave is The Bishop's Wife, with Cary Grant, David Niven, and Loretta Young . I also love to watch old stuff like Uncle Buck.

- Xmas presents of note: the Keith Richards biography --- Jeff Beck dvds [Live at Ronnie Scott's - awesome, yay]: Gibson Electric Guitar history ... and my son found me an autographed copy of Sting's Broken Music biography [cool collector item - a real autographed copy... ! ... ]

I hope you've all had a really lovely, relaxing holiday, and now it's time to buckle down on those resolutions. Peace, love and cheers, folks,

Rik Emmett


WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2011 (P.R.O. Trio - Pavlo, Rik Emmett, & Oscar Lopez)
Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec
Theatre Du Cuivre

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2011 (P.R.O. Trio - Pavlo, Rik Emmett, & Oscar Lopez)
Val-D'or, Quebec
Theatre Telebec

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2011 (P.R.O. Trio - Pavlo, Rik Emmett, & Oscar Lopez)
Thetford Mines, Quebec
Salle Dussault

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2011 (P.R.O. Trio - Pavlo, Rik Emmett, & Oscar Lopez)
Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Quebec
Theatre Des Deux Rives

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2011 (P.R.O. Trio - Pavlo, Rik Emmett, & Oscar Lopez)
Kingston, Ontario
The Grand Theatre

THURSDAY, MARCH 3, 2011 (P.R.O. Trio - Pavlo, Rik Emmett, & Oscar Lopez)
Sainte-Therese, Quebec
Theatre Lionel-Groulx

SATURDAY, MARCH 5, 2011 (P.R.O. Trio - Pavlo, Rik Emmett, & Oscar Lopez)
Quebec, Quebec
Palais Montcalm

SATURDAY, MARCH 26, 2011 (P.R.O. Trio - Pavlo, Rik Emmett, & Oscar Lopez)
Medicine Hat, Alberta
Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre

SUNDAY, MARCH 27, 2011 (P.R.O. Trio - Pavlo, Rik Emmett, & Oscar Lopez)
Sherwood Park, Alberta
Festival Place

TUES & WED, MARCH 29 & 30, 2011 (P.R.O. Trio - Pavlo, Rik Emmett, & Oscar Lopez)
Swift Current, Saskatchewan
Living Sky Casino

THURSDAY, MARCH 31, 2011 (P.R.O. Trio - Pavlo, Rik Emmett, & Oscar Lopez)
Airdrie, Alberta
The Bert Theatre

SATURDAY, APRIL 9, 2011 (Rik & Dave - "Todd's Night Out" Fundraiser for Tomorrows Children's Fund)
Pompton Lakes, NJ
Pompton Lakes Lodge
For tickets and info call 973-978-2984 or email

SUNDAY, APRIL 10, 2011 (Rik & Dave - Troubs show)
Bordentown, NJ
The Record Collector

SATURDAY, APRIL 30, 2011 (Rik & Dave - Troubs show)
Montreal, QC

For additional information, please visit

..... And finally, last by certainly by no means least ....

Steve Clark RIP - 20 years ago today January 8th, 1991

It was 20 years ago today, original Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark passed away at his home in Chelsea, London, England, much too soon at the age of 30 ...

I like so many other, can say that I was fortunate enough to have met Steve before a show in Southampton, way back in those early years, when Def Leppard were playing alongside Magnum as joint headliners on their 'On Through The Night' tour.
Yes, it was a great show and I went on to see Steve with Def Leppard at a number of other live shows.
He really was a great talent and unique player. He is certainly missed.

RIP Steve Clark 

Friday, January 7, 2011

News update for Friday January 7th, 2011

Y&T's Phil Kennemore RIP
October 20th, 1953 - January 7th, 2011

(Photo credit to Jill Meniketti from

Sadly today Friday 7th January, Y&T original bassist / vocalist Phil Kennemore lost his battle with lung cancer.
He had been sick for some time and only just recently Jill and Dave Meniketti had origanized a concert in aid of raising money to help pay off some of the costs of Phil's cancer treatment and to help towards any additional future costs.

I saw Y&T just a couple of times, but have loved their music for years, this is indeed sad news as Phil was a founding member of Y&T alongside Dave Meniketti when they started out originally as Yesterday and Today back in 1974, alongside Leonard Haze (Drums) and Joey Alves (Guitars).

RIP Phil, you will be missed, you were indeed a huge part of the Y&T legacy.


One band that many veteran metal heads feel should have hit the big time was New York's The Rods. Comprised of members David "Rock" Feinstein (guitar/lead vocals), Garry Bordonaro (bass/vocals), and Carl Canedy (drums/vocals), The Rods would go on to open arena shows for such renowned groups as Iron Maiden, Twisted Sister, Judas Priest, Ozzy Osbourne (the 'Blizzard of Oz' tour), the Scorpions, Rainbow (Joe Lynn Turner era), and during the mid '80s, even had a then-unknown Metallica opening a headlining tour for them. Add to it the fact that Feinstein is the cousin of the late, great Ronnie James Dio (both played together in Elf) and Canedy is an acclaimed metal producer (having worked on classic early releases by Megadeth, Anthrax, Overkill, etc.), and it makes it even more baffling why The Rods never got their due.
But this appears to changing quickly, as the trio has signed on with the Niji Entertainment Group, a label that was created by Ronnie James Dio and his wife/manager, Wendy Dio.

The band's seventh release overall (and sixth release overall for Niji) is titled 'Vengeance,' and will be released on March 29, 2011. The release comes hot on the heels of Feinstein's recently-released solo album, 'Bitten by the Beast.'

The first single off 'Vengeance' will be "The Code," which features vocals from none other than Ronnie James Dio (one of the very last songs that Ronnie ever recorded, before his untimely death in May of 2010).

This aforementioned Rods line-up has been rocking and rolling for nearly 30 years, and the group has been officially invited to play SXSW this year in Austin, Texas.

More info and tour dates will be announced soon, so get ready to rock once more with The Rods!

'Vengeance' Track Listing:
5. "THE CODE" (Featuring Ronnie James Dio)

For more information, visit:

Peter Gabriel joins Sudanese War Child's campaign for a peaceful referendum

After producing the string arrangements on ex-Sudanese war child Emmanuel Jal’s “We Want Peace” charity single, music icon Peter Gabriel has joined a host of other celebrity names in raising awareness to ensure the Sudanese referendum on Sunday January 9th remains a peaceful affair.
"I have been horrified at the reports of the potential for civil war in the Sudan after the election," says Gabriel. "Emmanuel Jal is an inspiring and charismatic young musician and, considering most of the fighting in these wars is actually carried out by young people, I believe Emmanuel's impassioned campaign for peace will be much more likely to reach them."

Alongside Peter Gabriel, Jal has gathered further support from the likes of George Clooney, Alicia Keys, Kofi Annan, Jimmy Carter and Richard Branson, all of whom appear in the music video for ‘We Want Peace’, which was directed by Gabriel’s daughter, Anna Gabriel. Annie Lennox and MC Hammer are also supporting Emmanuel's "We Want Peace" campaign via Twitter and Facebook.

Says Emmanuel Jal, “It is a simple concept. If people around the world don't know what is happening in Sudan, their governments will not feel compelled to concern themselves, either. This Sunday, a referendum will take place in my country that will almost inevitably be controversial, causing anything from tension to wide-scale war and genocide... Had the world known that 6 million Jews would die during the Second World War then they would have done something about it. We need to shine as bright a light as possible on Sudan in the coming days so that the impending evil of war simply cannot prevail.”
To view the video for 'We Want Peace' and read more, go to:

Europe embark on February "Balls 'N' Banners" UK tour

Following their knockout performances at 2010’s iTunes and Sonisphere Festivals, Swedish rockers EUROPE will embark on their nationwide “Balls and Banners” UK tour in February 2011. Support on all dates will come from Voodoo Johnson.

Full dates include Glasgow 02 ABC (Feb 17), Birmingham 02 Academy (Feb 18), London 02 Shepherds Bush Empire (Feb 19), Oxford 02 Academy (Feb 21), Bournemouth 02 Academy (Feb 22), Bristol 02 Academy (Feb 23), Manchester Academy 2 (Feb 25), Leeds 02 Academy (Feb 26) and Newcastle 02 Academy (Feb 27). Tickets, priced at £17.50 regionally and at £18 in London, are available from 0844 477 2000, and

Keep up with Europe at:

Hi all, just a brief closing note here today, I apologise for some scary looking formatting shown here on the site earlier today, hopefully the site looks a little better tonight after some adjustments!
I did the update at lunchtime from a remote location and ran into some issues on the formatting and basically the site was not playing ball ... Technology, eh?!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Brief update for Wednesday 5th January, 2011

Frontiers Records sign Jimi Jamison and Bobby Kimball for joint project

Jimi Jamison (ex SURVIVOR singer) and Bobby Kimball (ex TOTO lead singer) are joining forces together in a duet album produced by Mat Sinner from the German Heavy Metal band Primal Fear.
Jimi and Bobby are currently putting their finishing touches on the recording of the lead vocals in Los Angeles, while the musical tracks have been recorded in Germany.

The songs on the album, which promises to be one of the highlights of 2011 in the Melodic Rock scene, have been selected from several songwriters including Richard Page (Mr Mister), Randy Goodrum (Toto, Steve Perry), Robert Sall (Work of Art), John Waite and more melodic rock luminaries.

Jimi and Bobby can be seen in this videoclip on Facebook presenting the album:!/video/video.php?v=1756792922076

The release is currently pencilled for spring 2011. More details to be announced shortly.

Gerry Rafferty RIP - Dead at 63
16 April 1947 – 4 January 2011

Gerry Rafferty, the Scottish singer-songwriter behind hit songs "Baker Street," "Night Owl," "Get it Right Next Time," and "Stuck in the Middle With You," has died. He was 63.

Rafferty's agent Paul Charles confirmed on Tuesday that his client had passed away following a long illness, but said he had no additional information on how or where he had died.

Rafferty's classic record "Baker Street" - renowned worldwide for its distinctive haunting saxophone solo - climbed to No. 3 in the U.K. and No. 2 in the U.S. music charts in 1978. It still achieves considerable airplay on radio stations.

Apparently Gerry Rafferty had gone through a very rough patch of hitting some serious lows, with
struggles with alcoholism and had also undergone treatment for liver failure. He reassured fans of his well-being in February 2009 after a former bandmate expressed concerns over his health and whereabouts in the press. Yet later in 2009 he released the album "Life Goes On."

He was a seriously underrated talent and it's very sad to hear of this loss.
There are various news stories around of course, but here's a couple:

RIP Gerry Rafferty

The GRAMMY Museum Presents An Evening With Robby Krieger

Please join us in welcoming The Doors legendary guitarist Robby Krieger to The GRAMMY Museum to discuss his new, GRAMMY-nominated pop instrumental album, Singularity. Before an intimate audience of 200 in the Museum's Clive Davis Theater, hear Krieger in conversation with Vice President of the GRAMMY Foundation, Scott Goldman. They'll discuss the inspiration and creative influences behind not only his most recent release, but also his entire career. Following the interview, Krieger will take questions from the audience and perform selections from the album.

WHO:  Robby Krieger
WHEN:  Friday, January 14, 2010; 8 p.m.
800 W. Olympic Blvd., Suite 200, Los Angeles, CA 90015 (Near the corner of Figueroa Street and Olympic Boulevard)

TICKET INFO: Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased on starting December 23, 2010 at 12:00pm or at The GRAMMY Museum box office. All proceeds benefit The GRAMMY Museum.

Official site:

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Rock News Update for Tuesday 4th January, 2011

New supergroup, 'Strangers In The Night' with certainly some familar faces!

Yes indeed, this has been doing the rounds in the rumour mills and I can now confirm that an interesting new supergroup has been put together in the shape of Michael Schenker (Guitars), Pete Way (Bass, Vocals), Herman Rarebell (Drums) and Michael Voss on lead vocals.
The name they are going by ... Strangers In The Night!
This as many UFO fans will recognise as being the title of the excellent live album released by the band back in 1979, that indeed featured both Schenker and Way.

Anyway, I don't have too much more information except that they have made a promo video, that has been posted on You Tube, entitled 'Saturday Night,' which I have here for you folks, although the way this blogspot deal works, you may want to follow the link to You Tube directly, posted below the video.  

Official sites:

Phillip Lynott RIP - 1949 - 1986 - 25 years gone

Yes it's really been 25 years to the day, since the passing of Thin Lizzy frontman Phillip Lynott and I for one seriously miss the guy.
I was fortunate to have seen Thin Lizzy ten times with Phil fronting the band, as well as catching his band after Lizzy, Grand Slam twice live.
He was indeed a serious talent and sadly, he chose to waste his life and talent.
The songs and memories will always stay with me, as I'm sure they do with each of you that also saw Phil with Lizzy live.
I still swear to this day, that they WERE the best damn live band going in their day. I really miss them.

Long time Lizzy members Scott Gorham, Darren Wharton and original member Brian Downey have reunited once agin, to take Lizzy out on the road in 2011, along with Marco Mendoza (Ex-Whitesnake, Ted Nugent, Soul SirkUS) who played bass in post Phil Lynott line ups, Vivian Campbell (Guitars - Taking time out from Def Leppard) and Ricky Warwick (Ex-Almighty).

Scott Gorham, Brian Downey and Darren Wharton posted these thoughts on Phil, at the new Thin Lizzy site, along with this message:

January 4th, 2011 marks the 25th Anniversary of the passing of Philip Parris Lynott. As the lads get ready to embark on a European Tour, Scott, Brian, Ricky, Vivian and Darren would like to take this opportunity to share some memories and thoughts of Phil.

"25 years on and I still miss the guy. Hell, we all miss him. It's a major reason why we go out and play the songs. But standing next to him for 11 years through all the ups as well as the down periods always brings back memories, especially at this time of year. As you can imagine, Phil and I got to know each other like brothers on a mission. Maybe not always a successful mission, but we always gave it a Hell of a shot. He was a good friend, so I tell you what, when we introduce Phil each night.......... TAKE THE ROOF OFF!!! I'm pretty sure he's watching."
Looking forward to meeting up with a lot of you out on the tour,
Scott Gorham

"Phil songs bring back some special memories to me especially at this time of year. Cowboy song instantly transports me back to when Phil and me were kids going to see the Lone Ranger or Hopalong Cassidy and Roy Rogers at the Apollo Cinema in Dublin for Saturday afternoon Cowboy Matinees. Emerald, where Phil wrote about the myths and stories we were taught at school about ancient Gaelic wars and disputes. Or Black Rose where Phil mentions the great literary figure Brendan Behan who lived on Bangor Road not far from where we both lived in Dublin. An abundance of personal memories Phil, 25 years on. Always sadly missed."
Go dtuga Dia suaimhneas da anam. Róisín Dubh.
Brian Downey

"Being a member of Thin Lizzy has been a fantastic, and life changing experience. Not only has it had a profound impression on me as a person, but also looking back, I've realized how much my own music with Dare has been greatly influenced by Phil, Scott, Brian and Thin Lizzy. Not so much in the style of writing, but more importantly in the sincerity and passion they brought to their unique music. As the years go by, I think about Philip most days, and when I do, I whisper a quiet "thank you" to myself. So now, as I look forward to seeing you all soon at the forthcoming concerts; as we honour and pay tribute to the genius of Phil Lynott, and the music of Thin Lizzy...... as we take the stage, I'll whisper once again, "thank you for letting me be part of one of the best Rock bands there ever was....."
God Bless,
Darren Wharton

For the other guys words, go to:

BENEDICTUM to unleash their 'Dominion' on the Metal crowds !

Frontiers Records is pleased to announce the release of BENEDICTUM anticipated third full length album entitled “Dominion” on February 18th in Europe and March 8th in North America.

Surging forward as they are driven by the powerful momentum of front woman Veronica Freeman - whose unique and powerful style has been called one of the truly most extraordinary voices in Metal - and the guitar pyrotechnics of writer and guitarist Pete Wells, the time has come for the world to be on notice.
Benedictum is again upon us.

Formed in 2005 and quickly noticed by Dio guitarist Craig Goldy, the wheels were soon set in motion for their debut album “Uncreation”. The collaboration of producer Jeff Pilson (Dokken, Dio, Foreigner) and the musical works of vocalist Veronica Freeman and Pete Wells along with the talent of drummer Blackie Sanchez, bassist Jesse Wright and keyboardist Chris Morgan, “Uncreation” was released to great reviews. Benedictum was selected as one of the top bands to watch in 2006 by Classic Rock magazine and one of Rock Hard Germany’s top 50 albums for that year. Guest appearances included Jeff Pilson, Craig Goldy and Jimmy Bain.

The result of the second collaboration between Jeff Pilson and Benedictum was their 2008 release “Seasons of Tragedy” which evolved them into a Metal force which could not be denied. With Veronicas’ raw and powerful vocals, songs with memorable melodies and the magical talent of Pete Wells along with new drummer Paul Courtois and the guidance of Jeff Pilson, “Seasons of Tragedy” further solidified the fact that there was something quite special at work here. “Seasons of Tragedy” garnered more great reviews and were on many a list for top albums of 2008. Guest appearances again by Jeff Pilson, Craig Goldy and also George Lynch who added his special flare to the track Bare Bones and the cover of Accept’s “Balls to the Wall”.

Their driving music and energetic shows allowed Benedictum to grace the stage of many festivals including Wacken, Gods of Metal, HRH and a tour with DORO.

Now ready for yet another amazing chapter, Benedictum are off on a new and exciting musical episode as they have signed a contract with Frontiers Records. Building upon their great foundation Benedictum has recruited Grammy Award winning producer Ryan Greene (Megadeth, F5, MXPX, NOFX) and are firing on all cylinders. With members Chris Shrum now on bass, Mike Pannone on drums and Tony Diaz on keyboards the new music promises to continue to expand the horizon for Benedictum and is sure to please current fans as well. From the onslaught of the opening track Dominion to the epic Epsilon and the heartfelt acoustic track Sanctuary, this album has it all. Adding to the already explosive sound of Dominion are guest appearances by Jeff Pilson, Craig Goldy and none other than Rudy Sarzo on the fist pumping track Bang.

The album “Dominion” contains an absolute musical journey with powerful riffs, well thought out lyrics and truly amazing musicianship. Crank it up, give it a listen and you too will become a “Victim of Benedictum”!

“Dominion” tracklisting includes:
Dominion; At The Gates; Seer; Grind It; Prodigal Son; The Shadowlands; Beautiful Pain; Dark Heart; Bang; Loud Silence; Epsilon; Sanctuary (Bonus Track); Overture/The Temples of Syrinx (Bonus Track)


Asia annonce first North American 2011 Tour Dates

No word on any new album at this time, although there's probably one on the way, but in the meantime the 'Original' Asia band members, John Wetton, Geoff Downes, Steve Howe and Carl Palmer have announced some North American tour dates for Spring time, to blow away those Winter blues.
Details of Asia's 2011 touring schedule have started to firm up.
Confirmed North American shows to date are shown below.

April 2011
Apr 28 - The State Theatre, Easton, PA
Apr 29 - Keswick Theatre, Glenside, PA
Apr 30 - Tarrytown Music Hall, Tarrytown, NY
May 2011
May 01 - Birchmere, Alexandria, VA
May 03 - Rams Head Tavern, Annapolis, MD
May 05 - The Mayo Center for the Performing Arts, Morristown, NJ
May 07 - Casino Rama, Rama, ON, Canada
May 12 - Leelanau Sands Casino, Peshawbestown, MI
May 13 - House of Blues, Chicago, IL
May 14 - Pabst Theatre, Milwaukee, WI

Keep track of Asia at:

Monday, January 3, 2011

Pictures of Status Quo – 40 Years of Hits – DVD review

Pictures of Status Quo – 40 Years of Hits – DVD review
Released through: SRO Entertainment. Release Date: Available now.

OK, this for me was a real treat, as having been a (Status) Quo fan for years - Let’s face it, they are a British institution! – to learn that in the USA, a label of ‘any’ kind is behind putting out a current statement of Status Quo’s history, is one for the record books!

The band sadly have never broken in the States and who knows why … It’s not for want of trying as Francis Rossi told me in an interview late last year.
Interview link:

Through the early years, from the money the band made in the UK from successful albums, they ploughed the money back into touring the US, where they had achieved minor success with ‘Pictures of Matchstick Men,’ back in the late sixties. Suffice to say, America already had ZZ Top – The closest thing to Quo here, although dirtier! – why did they need another band that was famous for their twelve bar boogie blues!
I have to tell you, from my experience, you are missing out America!

More hit singles in the UK charts than both, The Beatles or the Rolling Stones, yes, Status Quo are a UK legendary band!

This opens with a view of the N.E.C. stage, in Birmingham, England for the back, with a packed house inside and a buzz coming from the stage … This is interspersed with a few early words from Bob Young, Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi, before the opening – Familiar – chords of  'Caroline’ ring out.

Then it’s into the documentary proper with Rick Parfitt first discussing how he started out playing, then Francis Rossi and John Coghlan. It is great to hear them reminiscing some, Francis and John about the first band, The Spectres and then Rick about The Highlights. Then of course how Rick received the phone call out of the blue, asking him to join the band. Then it’s discussed how as a new band they changed their name to Traffic, which almost immediately they had to change again due to Stevie Winwood's band of the same name …, so they switched to Traffic Jam again briefly, before settling on Status Quo, which initially was ‘The Status Quo.’
Bob Young is then introduced, as he was asked initially to become the bands roadie, all of that changed down the line though.

The band then changed direction thinking they wanted a more rock ‘n’ roll sound, rather than the psychedelic material they had been playing. Cue ‘Down The Dustpipe,’ which I actually didn’t realize before but apparently it took 6 months to break the charts and then it became a hit single.

Next thing it becomes obvious that Francis Rossi and Bob Young could write well together as ‘Paper Plane’ became their first joint success and as Francis explains how it came together, it’s extremely amusing. He really is and always has been a very funny guy.

He then goes on to explain how ‘Caroline’ started as a shuffle, bluesy tune originally before Rick went over a few things and suggested doing it a similar way to the previous successful songs.

Before the band knew it, they were then finding themselves with number one albums and then ‘Down Down’ became the bands first number one single in the UK. Again a Rossi / Young composition …

The story behind John Fogerty’s, ‘Rockin’ All Over the World’ getting the Quo treatment is discussed next, before Andy Bown then gets introduced to the band by Bob Young and tells his story – Which is also quite entertaining. – then before too long he’s writing away successfully with Rick Parfitt, with ‘Whatever You Want’ being their first successful collaboration.

Bob Young then explains how things started to get tense towards the end of the 70’s and John Coghlan decides to quit.
Once ‘Margarita Time’ reared its ugly head, Alan Lancaster said he’d had enough too, cue the ‘End of the Road’ gigs.
After Rick and Francis had done the ‘End of the Road’ gigs, they both decided, they couldn’t call it quits and decided to continue and Live Aid was their opportunity to resurrect the band.

Before too long they soon pulled in both John ‘Rhino’ Edwards and Jeff Rich on bass and drums respectively, who incidentally had both been long time members of female singer / songwriter, Judie Tzuke’s band.

Next a change of manager took place with David Walker coming onboard and he was there from 1989 – 2000 and the band explained how he had some great ideas, such as the ‘Rock ‘til You Drop’ gigs, where the band entered the Guinness Book of Records with four different gigs across the UK in 24 hours!
His not so great ideas perhaps could include the covers albums the band did when they hit a period of writers block and released, ‘Don’t Stop’ and ‘Famous in the Last Century.’
Although many die hard fans were not best pleased with these releases, they were still relatively successful releases.

In 2001 Simon Porter became manager and still is to this day and then a change of drummers once more with Matt Letley joining the band and this completed the band to date also.
His baptism in joining the band is quite amusing too, as you’ll find out.

‘Heavy Traffic’ had a huge launch with the band playing a gig on HMS Ark Royal, the Royal Navy’s huge aircraft carrier.

With this line up, the band seem to have grown yet more and feel like they’ve flourished quite a bit and then the song ‘Beginning of the End’ from the very good ‘In Search of the Fourth Chord,’ is discussed in depth.

‘Pictures of Status Quo’ celebrating forty years of Quo is released and that really wraps things up.
This really is a great behind the scenes documentary, in say a similar fashion to say VH1’s ‘Behind the Music’ series, which being American sadly means Status Quo would be unlikely to feature in.

Status Quo without doubt are truly one of Europe’s most consistently, successful rock bands and this DVD is an absolute winner to me and I’m sure would be to any die hard Quo fan, but also new fans would get a great kick out of checking this out.
Great stuff indeed!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Official band website:

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Brief update for Sunday 2nd January, 2011

Hi all, yes, it really is 2011! Can you believe it??!
Hope you all had a great Christmas holiday and survived New Years Eve, we feel like we need to hit that crash diet and get back on track as Christmas has been seriously laid back, but it's been a great time with family and friends.

Really been pretty sparse on the news front, as you've probably noticed ... I've been looking around each day to try and bring you folks something, but it's been all quiet more or less on all fronts, so here we are we're into the New Year now and off we go with a slight news update for you. Cheers, Al.

Glenn Hughes announces UK tour in Spring 2011

After two successful live shows with his latest 'supergroup' project, Black Country Communion in the UK in December, Glenn Hughes will return in Spring 2011, for a solo band tour, with some low key dates.
Here's the flyer from his site:

Official site:

UK rockers UFO provide update through newsletter

UFO who have recently played a brief UK tour during December including the UK's end of year hard rock festival, the fourth Hard Rock Hell event, recently announced plans in May to play the USA, but at this time only five dates have been confirmed:

May 2011
11th May - Baltimore - MD - Bourbon Street
13th May - New York - NY - B.B. Kings
14th May - Foxboro (Boston) - MA - The Showcase Live
20th May - Chicago/St. Charles - IL - The Arcada Theatre
21st May - Chicago/St. Charles - IL - The Arcada Theatre

Aside from these dates, the bands keyboard and guitarist Paul Raymond, has just posted a newsletter update, include tales of the recent tour, news on a new album for 2011 and more. this can be checked out over at Paul's site here:

To keep up with the bands activities:

Kansas melodic rockers Shooting Star to play rare live show

I literally just stumbled on this by chance, but if like me you enjoyed the music of Shooting Star you may be interested to know that the band will soon be playing a one off gig.
The band from Kansas who produced some excellent albums over the years, including 'Hang on for Your Life,' 'Silent Scream,' 'Three Wishes,' 'Leap of Faith,' 'Burning,' as well as the very good last studio release 'Circles' that featured classy vocalist Kevin Chalfant.
The band's current line up features:
Current Lineup:
Van McLain - Lead Guitar/Vocals
Ronnie Platt - Lead Vocals
Dennis Laffoon - Keyboards/Vocals
Steve Thomas - Drums, Percussion
Ron Verlin - Bass
Janet Jameson- Violin/Vocals 

The one off gig will be as special guests to Dennis DeYoung on Valentines weekend, but not Valentines Day, on February 12th, 2011.

Date: February 12, 2010 Time: 8:00 pm
According to Dennis DeYoung's site it's at the Sunrise Theatre, Fort Pierce, Florida:

Sadly, Dennis DeYoung's site gives no mention of Shooting Star, but Shooting Star's MySpace page advertises the show here:

Rock and Roll legend Chuck Berry taken ill

According to the BBC website, rock and roll legend Chuck Berry collapsed on stage in Chicago mid song.
The rock and roller now eighty four years old, has written some rock and roll classics, such as 'Roll Over Beethoven,' 'Johnny B. Goode' and 'Maybelline.'
There's various stories around the world on this, but here's a link to a Chicago news site: