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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Giuffria - Silk and Steel (Reissue / Remaster) review

Giuffria – Silk and Steel (Reissue / Remaster) review
Released on: Metal Mind Productions. Release date: Available now!

This album was clearly the forerunner to Gregg Giuffria's next project House of Lords and opening track ‘No Escape’ is a fine slice of AOR ala House of Lords with the only real difference being David Glen Eisley on lead vocals and Allan Krigger (Drums), as the other two members in Chuck Wright (Bass) and Lanny Cordola (Guitars) – who’d replaced Craig Goldy on guitar in Giuffria, went on with Gregg Giuffria to form House of Lords.
House of Lords brought in James Christian on lead vocals and Ken Mary on Drums.

‘Love You Forever’ next is a huge power ballad with a serious Journey feel, even to the point of Cordola’s also Neal Schon like style on here. I really believe that MCA was pushing the band to simulate Journey as close as they could. It’s still classy stuff.

The single ‘I Must Be Dreaming’ is next and it’s almost like AOR / Power Pop in sound, but of the finest calibre, it really is a catchy number. Nice solo too!

‘Girl’ is another one of those big power ballads, so full of sounds, multiple layers of lush melody. Great!

Next track ‘Change of Heart’ has an almost Survivor like sound, a slight nod towards ‘Eye of the Tiger’ through the verses, again, very catchy and some fine musicianship here throughout.

‘Radio’ picks up the pace and rightly so, as originally this was where the original vinyl album was separated or should I say separating ‘Silk’ from ‘Steel.’ Side one of the original album was ‘sub-titled’ ‘Silk’ and Side two was ‘Steel’ and the change is clear, as all the previous tracks on here were clearly in that power ballad, more pop / rock vein.

Do we keep the pace going? Well, ‘Heartache’ next is indeed power ballad territory and very slick indeed, but I certainly would not say steel, except perhaps the guitar solo!

OK, this is more like it with ‘Lethal Lover,’ heck the opening guitar riff is almost like something on a Dio album! It certainly rocks along in fine fashion. Great hook lines still. Yes it’s commercial but this is a seriously classy record and it feels much more consistent than Giuffria’s debut release if you ask me.

‘Tell it Like it Is’ next is an up tempo hard edge pop rocker, the chorus line is very pop rock, while Cordola’s playing, keep the edge here.

The original final track on this album was ‘Dirty Secret’s’ and to be honest, in a way it reminds me of a heavier ‘Dirty Laundry’ (Don Henley) and there’s even some kind of a funky attitude to it in heavy way. Heck, Gregg Giuffria even plays a slight solo here, but Cordola then picks it up himself. It’s not the best Giuffria track to be honest, possibly the weakest and almost kind of filler like to be honest.

There is a bonus track here though folks in ‘Say It Ain’t True.’ It’s a fairly laid back affair and to be honest, I’d even say the production seems lacking a little compared to the rest of the album and maybe that’s why it didn’t make the original album?

To me, ‘Silk and Steel’ has an edge over the original Giuffria release and if someone was to do the same with the frist House of Lords album, I’d love to hear that!
Overall then, it’s great to get these on CD, finally! I still have both on vinyl, but it seemed when these were originally released on CD, I missed out!

I will tell you that both these reissues through Metal Mind, are very limited to just 2000, individually numbered copies and they have been pressed in gold! So there you go! Exclusive stuff eh?!

Rating: 4 out of 5
Available through MVD Entertainment here:

Giuffria - Giuffria (Reissue / Remaster) review

Giuffria Debut album (Reissue / Remastered) review
Released on : Metal Mind Productions. Release Date: Available now!

This band was the notion of former Angel keyboard man Gregg Giuffria who to be honest was a guy in the league of say Keith Emerson or Jon Lord, but in the AOR field.

Giuffria to me at the time – 1984 – was a name that I had heard, but Angel had never really grabbed me, too proggy if you will for my liking, but with Giuffria it really seemed the man had found something to challenge the musically talented likes at the time of say Journey, Styx and Toto, if slightly different in their overall sound.

Giuffria of course then became the lead in blueprint for Giuffria next project House of Lords.
David Glen Eisley was also quite the vocalist, perhaps not – As I’m led to believe, from back at that time – as Steve Perry as they really wanted him to be, but how many soundalikes can you really have in one genre?

This album opens with the awfully titled ‘Do Me Right,’ but let’s be honest here, it was the 80’s, plenty of cheesy and tacky song titles did the rounds back then.
The thing is it’s a great slice of prime and lush AOR, driven hugely by Gregg Giuffria’s massive keyboard sound and of course the (Steve) Perry like vocals of one David Glen Eisley.

The smash hit single from the band, ‘Call To Your Heart’ is next and don’t say you don’t remember it! If this came on the radio, you’d know it in a flash. It is a class track.
It’s funny as Giuffria at this stage, really were a blend of near prog rock meets AOR, with some of song structures.

‘Don’t Tear Me Down,’ next seriously gives a nod in the Journey direction and takes a more up tempo direction than the two previous tracks. Of course if you already had / have this album, I’m telling you nothing you don’t already know.
Some great guitar work here, of the finest caliber from Craig Goldy.

The tempo is kept up with ‘Dance’ next and again full of huge synth sounds and it’s at time quite a poppy number, with some great keyboard flourishes in there too.

‘Lonely In Love’ is a huge power ballad in the same way that ‘Call to Your Heart’ was and really deserved to do better as a single than it did back in the day.

Ah, prog fans may well like the almost Emerson like keyboard solo stabs in ‘Trouble Again’ which is a strange number, as it’s a song full of classy hooks as was the bands style and slick work, but then Eisley tries to intersperse some almost David Lee Roth tongue in cheek shout, mid way through and also tried to add an almost aggressive edge to his phrasing here.

‘Turn Me On’ next is way more up tempo, a very fast paced track, almost hurried to the point of almost dare I say it, throwaway in nature, but it has it’s moments, with some fun interplay between both Giuffria and Goldy.

With ‘Line of Fire’ next it’s a steady, yet up tempo rocker again, borderline perhaps Whitesnake like at times, but Giuffria himself keeps it within the unique Giuffria keyboard driven arena, to be true to themselves.
I hadn't mentioned it before, but the rhythm section is made up of a familiar name on bass in the genre to everyone, in Chuck Wright and on drum is Allan Krigger. 

It’s a creepy sound that brings on ‘The Awakening’ next, with it’s Freddy Kruger like voice, some screams and then …, the strange additional of a childrens choir, backed by keyboard atmospherics and the two minute track becomes obvious that it is simply the intro for final track, ‘Out of (The) Blue.’

‘Out of (the) Blue’ to be honest, never really goes anywhere and to be honest, it’s almost a bit of a slow almost filler track, but of course, there’s still no taking away the musical genius that is Gregg Giuffria.

It was generally a good debut and to many fans of the genre, a classic. I personally prefer follow up, ‘Silk and Steel’ to the debut release here.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5
Available through MVD Entertainment:

Friday, February 4, 2011

Rock News Update for Friday 4th February, 2011

Bob Seger Announces First Two 2011 Tour Dates with shows in Saginaw, Michigan and Toledo, Ohio

After all the build up, talk and expectations, that have been ongoing since late last year, finally ... Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band have spread the word on the first two dates for their 2011 North American tour: The first two officially announced shows are:

Dow Event Center in Saginaw, Michigan on March 29th
Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio on March 31st.

The Michigan show goes onsale on February 12th at 10:00 a.m. ET and the Ohio show goes onsale February 11th at 10:00 a.m. ET via Ticketmaster.

These two shows are as speculated previously, right on Bob Seger's hometown doorstep in Michigan and both are in relatively small venues, compared to those he played on his 'comeback' tour, promoting his 'Face The Promise' album, that took place during 2006 / 2007.
This being the case, they'll no doubt sell out quickly. 
Word is though that they'll be quite a few more dates yet to be announced. He has also indicated to various sources that after the tour, he'll head into the studio to complete a new album.
I for one will be very impressed if it follows the same path as 'Face The Promise.'
Bob Seger official website:

Hugh Cornwell to perform Stranglers classics on forthcoming April UK tour

I know what you're thinking, why is Al promoting an ex-punk rocker!?
Well, isn't Billy Idol just that and look what a class band the guy has always had backing him up?!
I did actually like some of The Stranglers work to be honest and truth be told, I preferred them over Billy Idol's Generation X!
Anyway, enough of that, here's the press release for one of the original 'Men in Black!'

Hugh Cornwell, the original vocalist and guitarist of the Stranglers, hits the road for a series of UK concerts from April 6th. The man whose credentials include the Stranglers classics Golden Brown, No More Heroes, and Peaches, will not only perform his critically acclaimed solo album Guilty, but due to fan demand, he will also perform epic Stranglers songs never performed before as a solo artist, including The Raven, Schoolmaam and Toiler on the Sea.

"The idea for this tour came from my fans," says Cornwell. "The requests for Guilty haven't stopped since it was first released. Now the fans have heard my interpretation of Rattus Norvegicus, they're demanding to hear the other Stranglers epics 'a la Hugh'. I can't wait to perform them."

 (Photo Credit: : © Christie Goodwin)

Cornwell’s UK tour dates include:
Portsmouth South Parade Pier (April 6),
Gasteshead Sage (April 7),
Manchester Academy (April 8),
Glasgow Academy (April 9),
Sheffield Academy (April 10),
Clitheroe The Grand (April 12),
 Leamington Assembly (April 13),
Bath Komedia (April 14),
Wolverhampton Slade Rooms (April 15),
Islington Academy (April 16),
Brighton Komedia (April 17).

Tickets are now on sale from the National Ticket Hotline: 0871 230 1101 or can be booked online from or

As a special bonus to fans, Hugh will perform Fan Choice Encores which can be voted for at The five songs with the most votes will end the evening. 20 VIP Tickets are available for each date and will enable fans the chance to watch and interact with Hugh before and after the sound check, where they will be given an exclusively recorded album entitled Your Covered - limited to 250 copies, personally autographed by Hugh on the night of each concert.

Uriah Heep US Tour dates - More udates!

As previously mentioned here, Uriah Heep will visit North America in the Summer of 2011 for a number of live dates, following the great fan response to their live dates last year.
The tour will be in support of a new album due in April 2011 on Frontiers Records, entitled “Into the Wild” and it will include 11 brand new songs.

Full tour dates so far (More to come!):

June 2011
6/14/2011 Tue Atlanta GA Variety Playhouse
6/15/2011 Wed Chattanooga TN Riverbend Festival
6/17/2011 Fri Kettering OH Fraze Pavilion for the Performing Arts
6/18/2011 Sat Annapolis MD Rams Head on Stage
6/19/2011 Sun Falls Church VA State Theater
6/20/2011 Mon Sellersville PA Sellersville
6/22/2011 Wed New York BB King Blues Club
6/23/2011 Thu Foxborough MA Showcase Live
6/24/2011 Fri Jim Thorpe PA Penn's Peak
6/25/2011 Sat Ridgefield CT Ridgefield Play House
6/27/2011 Mon Norfolk CT Infinity Hall

August 2011
8/12/2011 Fri Three Forks MT Rocking the Rivers Festival Site
8/14/2011 Sun Rochester MN Mayo Park

More updates over at:
Yeah, I'm still disappointed not to see any date in Detroit and they've not visited here in the past 10 years!


Free Reign is certainly one of the more intimidating-looking heavy metal bands currently on the scene.
And with good reason, as three of the four band members are players in the National Football League.

Comprised of two Dallas Cowboys (singer Marc Colombo and bassist Leonard Davis) and a Miami Dolphin (drummer Cory Procter), Free Reign is rounded out by a non-footballer, guitarist virtuoso Justin Chapman, and have issued a pair of hard-hitting releases thus far, 2010's 'Tragedy' and 2011's 'Heavier Than Metal'. The group has already won an award at the Golden God Awards [for "Most Metal Athletes"] and are making believers out of such headbanging notables as Rob Halford, Vinnie Paul, and Zakk Wylde. Don't say you haven't been warned about the power of Free Reign!

North America Yes 2011 Tour in March

Very brief but here it is nonetheless!
British Prog rockers Yes - Minus Jon Anderson - will head out on a few tour dates in North America in March 2011. - If you ask me, it's the House of Blues tour 2011!
First official dates so far:

March 6th SUN - Houston, TX - House of Blues

March 7th MON - Dallas, TX - House of Blues

March 9th WED - New Orleans, LA - House of Blues

Click here - -  for the Live Nation Yes tickets page, which includes Live Nation presales that begin on February 4.
Official band website:


February 9th Tour Kick-Off to be Streamed LIVE to Hundreds of Media Websites Through NDN
Ustream Powers Additional Viewing Opportunities.
Tickets for Select Dates On Sale Beginning Friday, February 11th

Due to overwhelming popular demand, Bon Jovi has just added another leg to their 2011 Tour, with newly scheduled concerts in Montreal, Atlanta, Orlando, Houston, Memphis, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Columbus, and more (see full itinerary). Tickets for select dates will go on sale beginning Friday, February 11th.

The 2011 tour is set to kick off on February 9th at Bryce Jordan Center in State College, PA and once again Bon Jovi will utilize the latest in web-based video technology to engage their fans worldwide, as a portion of the show will be broadcast LIVE via a free webcast. Cutting-edge digital video company News Distribution Network (NDN) will deliver the video to hundreds of the world’s top online media websites; and Ustream, the leader in live video will provide additional viewing opportunities.

NDN will stream the live concert to their publisher sites, which includes newspaper websites, online media outlets and radio websites, as Bon Jovi opens the digital doors to their State College performance on Wednesday, February 9th starting at 7:30 pm EST / 6:30 pm CST / 5:30 pm MST / 4:30 pm PST.
Fans worldwide can tune in and rock out along with the group on the campus of Penn State University. To watch the band rock the Bryce Jordan Center LIVE, click,,, or
Viewers can also see the webcast by logging on to the websites of top national newspapers such as San Francisco Chronicle, Houston Chronicle, Chicago Sun-Times, New Jersey Star-Ledger, Boston Herald, New York Daily News, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and many more.

Bon Jovi’s 2011 dates come fresh off the heels of the band earning the top-grossing worldwide tour of 2010, according to both Billboard and Pollstar, an honor achieved for the second time in just three years. The band will perform concerts in the U.S., Canada and throughout Europe, presented by AEG Live. Globally, the Grammy® Award-winning band has sold more than 125 million albums, and performed more than 2,700 concerts in over 50 countries for more than 35 million fans. Bon Jovi Greatest Hits (Island Def Jam Music Group) debuted at #1 around the world in November, with the band’s three-decade-spanning retrospective charting higher and selling more copies in its first week than their 1994 Cross Road release, which has sold more than 21million copies to date. Previously, the band’s “Lost Highway Tour” was named the #1 tour of 2008.
Nearing three decades of an incredible career, Bon Jovi shows no sign of slowing down.
For more information on all things Bon Jovi, visit

New Bon Jovi 2011 North American Tour Dates

May 2011
May 3 ---- Ottawa, ON ---- Scotiabank Place – Just Added
May 4 ---- Montreal, QB ---- Bell Centre – Just Added
May 7 ---- Uncasville, CT ---- Mohegan Sun – Just Added
May 10 ---- Columbus, OH ---- Nationwide Arena – Just Added
May 12 ---- Des Moines, IA ---- Wells Fargo Arena – Just Added
May 14 ---- Atlanta, GA ---- Philips Arena – Just Added
May 15 ---- Orlando, FL ---- Amway Center – Just Added
May 17 ---- Houston, TX ---- Toyota Center – Just Added
May 19 ---- Memphis, TN ---- FedEx Forum – Just Added
May 21 ---- Milwaukee, WI ---- Bradley Center – Just Added
May 22 ---- St. Louis, MO ---- Scottrade Center – Just Added

See for full 2011 tour listing.


Los Angeles' own CLANDESTINE have confirmed a CD release show for their new album "The Invalid" which is being released on February 15 via Nightmare Records.
The show will take place on Friday February 11 at The Whisky in Los Angeles, CA.

Lead singer June Park is eagerly anticipating the show:
"I'm very excited about our CD release show at the world famous Whisky A Go Go club in Los Angeles. It has been a while since we played out so I know I will have some excess energy to burn on the stage. I can tell there is something wild locked inside of me that needs to be unleashed by performing. I already feel the nervous excitement as I'm speaking about the show. And usually the more nervous I am, the better the performance gets which is odd. I look forward to meeting our loyal fans, and hopefully a lot more new people will come check out our new songs from "The Invalid" which will hit the streets on February 15 through Nightmare Records."

Heavy metal video website METAL INJECTION debuted the new video clip for "Disappear in You" You can be one of the first to see this breathtaking video at its direct link

Recently premiered another track from "The Invalid" entitled "Fracture" Check it out at

CLANDESTINE and Nightmare Records have also confirmed that they will be offering the digital version of the album at a fan friendly price of $4.99. "The Invalid" will be available at this special price at ITunes, Amazon, Nightmare and all other major digital retailers.

CLANDESTINE'S ultimate goal is combining diverse influences and styles that mark a new generation with an unnamed creation while striving to provide a sonic link from the past to the future. Their fierce and melodic style creates a bi-polarity of music that is its own enigma...

CLANDESTINE is a truly unique band, combining progressive rock with female fronted metal, a touch of electronic music that enhances the futuristic timbre, and some smooth huge pop melodies. "The Invalid" is a must for fans of bands as diverse as Evanescence, Dream Theater, Fair to Midland, Rush, Lacuna Coil, Tool and Between the Buried & Me.

What more can you ask for?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

News Update for Thursday 3rd February, 2011


Yes, I  know I just gave Robin Trower a bit of a plug a few days back, but now I have the official Press Release! Thanks David!
Robin Trower returns to the US in 2011 for an extensive tour in support of his new CD “The Playful Heart”. The tour started in Fort Lauderdale Florida on January 27th and now continues on through the end of June, Robin will be performing his signature songs, with a variety of new material and some surprises included in the set.

Initial response to “The Playful Heart” (V-12 Records) is overwhelmingly positive from both fans and critics. Everyone agrees that it was a great idea for Robin to bring his longtime touring mates, Davey Pattison, Glenn Letsch and Pete Thompson into the studio for the sessions. The years of gigging together has resulted in a very tight band and their mutual inspiration shows through the entire CD. Early focus tracks include "Find Me”, "The Turning", "Don't Look Back” and the title track. This release has the musical intensity of "Twice Removed From Yesterday" and "Bridge Of Sighs" combined with Trower's new vision of his guitar voice.

Robin Trower is offering a select four FREE downloads from various records including the amazing "Prince of Shattered Dreams" from his new record The Playful Heart and "Shame the Devil" from the live RT@RO.08 album. Go to to download these songs, purchase the new release, and locate all the Robin Trower tour dates in the US.

Robin Trower recordings are a great way to hear one of the most prolific guitarists express his unique voice, but it is at a Robin Trower concert that you will be made aware of just what a guitar can do in the hands of a master. No two shows are ever identical because Robin improvises his solos every show, based on audience response -- which encourages fans to attend multiple performances. Like many other guitar fans - both Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Steve Lukather have most recently proclaimed simply..."Trower Rocks!".

Don’t miss this tour – check out the show nearest to you on the list below.

Robin Trower's official website is available at
Robin Trower's US tour dates are available at
Free Robin Trower downloads are available at

Night Ranger, VERY slight update from guitarist Joel Hoekstra

Yes, I did recently share that Night Ranger would be playing some dates with both Journey and Kansas in Germany, but read on for this from Joel Hoekstra, Night Ranger guitarist.
Joel has recently provided a massive note / message to fans, that basically covers all his activities including Trans-Siberian Orchestra tours, the Broadway presentation of Rock of Ages and of course, Night Ranger.
Here's a snippet of what Joel shared on Night Ranger related stuff!

'As if the 8 'Rock of Ages' shows a week on Broadway weren't enough, I had about 65 shows this past year with Night Ranger. I also had the pleasure of playing on Jack Blades' soon-to-be-released solo album. Currently we are all in the studio working on a new Night Ranger record and are looking forward to a World Tour in '11 (US, Japan, Europe, South America).'
Posted at on January 30th, 2011.

Queensryche's Geoff Tate Completes Work on new Feature Film!

Geoff Tate is starring in the psychological thriller, “The Burningmoore Incident.” Long time admirers of Geoff’s onstage theatrics and commanding presence, Fires at Midnight Films, found him to be a perfect fit as the film’s unstoppable killing machine.

The film focuses on the murderous rampage that took place in March of 2010, in Bayside Queens, as the construction team of Cole Contracting were being video taped by multiple cameras on the first day of what was to be a home makeover reality show. By sundown the house was a bloody scene of carnage.

Geoff has also contributed an exclusive new track for the film.
Check out the official movie trailer on YouTube:
Click here for the official movie website :


TESLA's Brian Wheat, Frank Hannon, and Jeff Keith have reviewed the tracks from the last recording sessions with former guitarist Tommy Skeoch from the 2005 "Acoustic Jam" tour, as well as the recently recorded tracks featuring the new TESLA song "Second Street" to be released this year (2011).

TESLA'S RECORD COMPANY has signed a deal with EONE distribution to release this new CD .. tentatively titled "TWISTED WIRES" ... (the acoustic sessions). Troy Luccketta, will be joining Frank and Brian at Sonic Ranch studios where the REAL to REEL sessions were recorded and they will collectively wrap up the recording and mixing of "TWISTED WIRES" simultaneously, utilizing the studio's amazing analog equipment to record and mix down the tracks. The album will consist of 6 tracks recorded back in 2005 at Brian's J STREET Studio (luckily these tracks survived the infamous fire!) and 6 newly recorded tracks recorded at Frank Hannon's studio including acoustic remakes of songs from "Bust a Nut" and a brand new song "Second Street".

During all of this JEFF KEITH and his wife will be welcoming the arrival of their baby boy due at the end of February! After all this mayhem is finished ...TESLA will be writing a follow up studio album of all new material with guitarist Dave Rude starting in March 2011 and performing select dates across the USA.

In the meantime Dave Rude Band, SoulMotor, and FHB will be finishing up some tour dates supporting their solo efforts... Stay Tuned for more!

REO Speedwagon Abbey Road Live Limited Edition CD

After the recent success of the Abbey Road Live Limited Edition recordings in Bloomington and Milwaukee, REO Speedwagon has decided to introduce more limited edition recordings at select upcoming shows, including Soaring Eagle Casino Resort on Feb 11, and Belterra Resort & Casino on Feb 12!

Best of all - if you are **attending** either show, you can reserve your copy online and literally walk out with the full concert in your hands! That's right ... you can take home the concert you just heard, encore and all!

These new super exclusive limited edition CD sets will be packaged in handsome double disc DigiPaks, with an elegant gold foil stamp of the REO Speedwagon logo on the front.

Don't fret if you cannot go to the show - you can still reserve your copy online and the folks at Abbey Road Live will ship it home to you. These are sure to become collectors items. And don't forget - these are 100% fully mixed and mastered, so the quality is amazing!

Here's a clip from Milwaukee: Click here to view:
There will only be 1000 of each show ever made, so you will want to reserve your copy early before they all run out!
To reserve your copy now, simply go
For all REO Speedwagon updates go to:

Saga's Michael Sadler shares message on his return to the band

This message was recently posted at the Saga band website, from returning original Saga frontman, Michael Sadler:

Message from Michael Sadler:

"To my dear friends, fans and family,
Let me begin by saying how touched I am by your overwhelmingly positive reaction to the news of my return to Saga. It’s always good to feel support from one’s friends and family, (fans fall under both categories!) especially at a time when you’re making any kind of life change or decision, and believe me, this was a big one!
Although the facts about “how it all went down” will surely be elaborated upon through the course of the inevitable interviews that will follow, this came about simply because Jim (Crichton) and I stayed in contact after my departure in 2007.

After all, after 30 years of musical and emotional investment, it’s next to impossible not to be at least a little curious about the ripple effect, positive or negative, you may or may not have caused as a direct result of a decision you’ve made.

During the course of a conversation we had some months ago about a few things, musical and otherwise, the topic of Saga came up, and we briefly touched on the notion of what it would be like, hypothetically speaking, if I were to rejoin the band. Nothing serious, just two friends sharing some memories and speculating just for fun.

One thing that we agreed on was that, if and when I ever were to return, it would have to feel like it was exactly the right thing to do and exactly the right time to do it!

While I can’t say for certain that my return, in whatever capacity, was inevitable, what I can say is, that on more than one occasion, I have thought of what it would feel like, to once again record and perform with Saga.
Consequently, during a more recent conversation, Jim said he felt that perhaps the time was right, and after quite a bit of thought …I agreed.

One thing I would like to make clear, considering the implications and impact that my decision would have on my family, I naturally discussed this extensively with my wife, Gwen.

Ultimately we agreed…this is who I am...and this is what I do!
But make no mistake, without her support & belief I know that this decision would not have been made. So, although I am very optimistic about Saga’s future and very happy about my decision to come back, my family is, and will remain, my number one priority.

So there you have it. The “if” has become “yes” and the “when” has become “now”.
I would like to thank you all again for making me feel so welcome. It’s nice to be back!
I’ve missed you…

Michael Sadler "Official band site:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

News Update for Wednesday February 2nd, 2011


More It's not the first time in the history of rock music that coincidence led to the discovery of hidden treasures: a carrier bag full of music tapes (note: tapes) turned out to be the basis for 'Diamonds and Dirt', the first solo release by Scottish guitarist/composer Brian Robertson, due to be released on March 28th 2011 (Germany: 25 March; US/Canada: April 5th) on SPV/Steamhammer.
"I thrust the bag into my friend Søren's hand and said: 'Why don't you listen to these some time when you're bored. They're a number of my previously unreleased compositions.'"

Søren Lindberg from Sweden happens to be one of former Thin Lizzy/Motörhead guitarist Brian Robertson's closest friends and frequently works as his driver when he has equipment which needs transporting. "He had plenty of time to listen to that pile of tapes in his truck on the way back to Scandinavia," Robertson remembers, "and he called me as soon as he reached Stockholm: 'Brian, there's some brilliant stuff on those tapes. We should make an album of them.'"

Lindberg already had a number of musicians in mind: he enlisted two of his country's most renowned instrumentalists in drummer Ian Haugland (Europe) and bassist Nalley Påhlsson (Treat). Says Robertson: "They're great, the best rhythm section I've played with since Phil Lynott and Brian Downey." Leif Sundin (ex-Michael Schenker Group) was recruited as an additional vocalist, and the amazing Liny Wood joined the fold as backing vocalist. "It wasn't easy to get all these extremely sought-after musicians in one place at the same time, which is why the work on "Diamonds and Dirt" took longer than originally scheduled. But it was important to us to get the best possible line-up, so we preferred to wait until they could all be there."

The result is a superb album at the interface of hard rock with definite blues elements and gritty mainstream, wonderfully melodic and full of excellent guitar arrangements. In terms of compositions, the album presents a number of outstanding Robertson numbers, such as the driving title track, the truly intense "Passion", "Texas Wind" with its wonderfully atmospheric beginning, and the powerful "Devil In My Soul" with its awesome wah-wah guitar solo. The album is rounded off by tracks from Robertson's extremely successful collaboration with Phil Lynott during their Thin Lizzy days in the years 1974 to 1978 and his fellow-countryman Frankie Miller, with whom he recorded "Dancing in the Rain" in 1986, among others.

"I think Phil would be proud of what I've done with those Lizzy songs," says Robertson. "My guitar style is audibly stronger than it was back then when we admittedly still sounded a little wooden." Robertson is referring mainly to "It's Only Money" (originally from the 1974 Thin Lizzy recording 'Nightlife'), which has received in 2011 the very polish it still lacked in the mid-1970s. The yet unreleased Robertson/Lynott co-composition "Blues Boy" and the Lizzy track "Running Back" (off 'Jailbreak', 1976) present Robertson as an impressive instrumentalist.

Coincidentally, the track has been recorded in two versions: "I said to Søren: 'Let's cut it the way I hear that number.' So we tried several interpretations, among them a slower version, which we've also included on the album." The three Frankie Miller numbers, "Mail Box", "Do It Till We Drop (Drop It!)" and "Ain't Got No Money", sound equally accomplished. To keep Miller happy, former Riverdogs frontman, Rob Lamothe, was enlisted to record the latter. "I played the first version to Frankie, but he didn't like my vocals. So we asked Rob to sing the number. Frankie was very pleased with the result."

Rightly so, because the album with its top-notch production courtesy of Robertson, Søren Lindberg and Chris Laney fascinates from the first to the very last note. We can only hope that we will get an opportunity to see this illustrious line-up live on stage. "For organizational reasons, I have my doubts that it will be possible to get these musicians together for a full tour, but who knows: we may always turn up for a number of festival gigs this summer. I'm sure we'd all enjoy that." So would the audience…

Track Listing:
01. Diamonds And Dirt (Brian Robertson)
02. Passion (Brian Robertson)
03. It's Only Money (Phil Lynott)
04. Mail Box (Frankie Miller)
05. Running Back (Phil Lynott)
06. Texas Wind (Brian Robertson)
07. Devil In My Soul (Brian Robertson)
08. Do It Till We Drop (Drop It) (Frankie Miller/Jeff Barry/Brian Robertson)
09. Blues Boy (Brian Robertson/Phil Lynott)
10. That's All...! (Brian Robertson)
11. 10 Miles To Go On A 9 Mile Road (Jim White)
12. Running Back (Phil Lynott) (slow version)
13. Ain't Got No Money (Frankie Miller) (bonus track)

Produced by Chris Laney, Sören Lindberg and Brian Robertson except for "Ain't Got No Money" produced by Sören Lindberg and Brian Robertson.
Brian Robertson - All Guitars, Lead & Backing Vocals, Keyboards(Bass Guitar and Percussion on "Ain't Got No Money) (Ex-THIN LIZZY, Ex-MOTÖRHEAD, Ex-WILD HORSES)
Ian Haugland - Drums and Percussion (Drummer EUROPE)
Nalley Påhlsson - Bass Guitar & Backing Vocals (Bassplayer THERION and TREAT)
Leif Sundin - Lead Vocals (Ex-singer of MSG)
Liny Wood - Backing Vocals
Rickard Jakobson - Percussion
Chris Antblad - Piano on "Running Back"
Ola Gustafsson - Dobro on "Running Back"(slow version only!)
Rob Lamothe - Lead Vocals on "Ain't Got No Money" (RIVERDOGS)
Ellinor Alm - Backing Vocals on "Ain't Got No Money"
Håkan Persson - Drums on "Ain't Got No Money"


Ex-Bad Company frontman Brian Howe to release new solo E.P. His last recordings?

Yes, Brian Howe who released the excellent 'Circus Bar' last year to some great reviews all over the place - Including a 5/5 review here: - is about to release a follow up 5 track E.P., entitled 'Emotions' through his own label Howe's Business.
The E.P. will be four new tracks and a remastered version of his Christmas single, appropriately entitled 'Christmas'.
That, incidentally is still available here:
The E.P. is currently, finishing being mastered and it should be released within the next two months and be available through iTunes.

On a sad note though, Brian told me this morning, that this will most likely be his last recorded work, a big part of that is tied in wih the familiar story for so many musicians, that so many people are not prepared to pay for new releases and download so much material illegally, so who ends up paying the studio costs without much in return? The artist(s)!

Here's hoping that Brian's fans will all get behind this new E.P. release, through iTunes and show him enough support, that he won't call time on recording, after all both 'Circus Bar' and the 'Christmas' releases, were great sounding and show that Brian Howe is sounding as good, if not better than he did with Bad Company!
Brian isn't quitting the music scene though, he just plans to focus on more live work.
More info when available.
Brian's Facebook page is:
Official website:

It's official! Chickenfoot are indeed back in the studio!

This just in from over at the Chickenfoot website ....
Yes, as you may have heard, Chad, Joe, Mikey and Sammy are back in the studio this week working through material for the second Chickenfoot album.
It's only been a few days, but things are going great and you can count on more updates in the future!

In case you hadn't caught it elsewhere, here's a few links of the guys commenting on the new album: - Mike Anthony at N.A.M.M.
- Joe 'Satch' Satriani interview
One with Sammy too:
Official band site:


As originally posted here earlier this week, Canadian band Saga announced the departure of Rob Moratti from the band and original singer Michael Sadler's return.
I also shared that Rob Moratti was planning a solo album, so here you go ... Read on! 

Escape Music is pleased to announce the forthcoming album titled “Victory” from the much loved and
talented former Saga vocalist Rob Moratti, the album is being recorded as we speak and will be mixed by
Richard Chycki (Rush, Aerosmith, Gotthard, Mick Jagger, Pink, Skillet).
The release date shall be announced shortly!!

The players on the album are....
Rob Moratti - Lead Vocals and Background vocals.
Christian Wolff - Lead Guitars, Rythm guitars and Keyboards.
Reb Beach - Lead Guitars (Winger / Whitesnake)
Tony Franklin – Bass (Blue Murder / The Firm)
Fredrik Bergh – Keyboards
Brian Doerner - Drums (SAGA)

Produced by - Rob Moratti
Mixed by - Richard Chycki
Weblinks: and

Richard Marx lines up solo and duo live dates

Singer / songwriter Richard Marx, who generally does not play too many live shows, has lined up some solo and duo shows in the US over the next two months, prior to travelling to the UK for five live dates there.
The duo shows I'm guessing with be with his long time collaborator Matt Scannell.
The show details are as follows:

Fri Feb 11, 2011 - 7:30 PM - South Orange, NJ
DUO Show
South Orange Performing Arts Center


Sat Feb 12, 2011 - 8:00 PM - Easton, MD
DUO Show
Avalon Theatre


Sun Feb 13, 2011 - 7:00 PM - Cleveland, OH
DUO Show
Playhouse Square


Thu Mar 10, 2011 - 8:00 PM - Tucson, AZ
Solo Acoustic
Rialto Theatre


Fri Mar 11, 2011 - 7:00 PM - Mesa, AZ
Richard Marx Solo Acoustic Show
Mesa Arts Center


Sat Mar 12, 2011 - 7:00 PM - Las Vegas, NV
Solo Acoustic
Orleans Casino


Sun Mar 13, 2011 - 7:00 PM - Las Vegas, NV
Solo Acoustic
Orleans Casino


Wed May 25, 2011 - 7:30 PM - Glasgow, UK
Richard Marx - Solo Acoustic
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall


Thu May 26, 2011 - 7:30 PM - Birmingham UK
Richard Marx - Solo Acoustic
Birmingham Symphony Hall


Sat May 28, 2011 - 7:30 PM - Liverpool, UK
Richard Marx - Solo Acoustic
Liverpool Philharmonic


Sun May 29, 2011 - 7:30 PM - Bristol, UK
Richard Marx - Solo Acoustic
Bristol Colston Hall


Tue May 31, 2011 - 7:30 PM - London, UK
Richard Marx Show
Richard Marx' last recorded work was the single he had co-written with Trey Bruce and Mark Holman called “Your Moment” back in December, 2010, that had already been featured on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” as well as in a promo for the current season of “American Idol.”
The song, recorded by Mark Holman, is now available on iTunes. Check it out!
For more details go to:

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Brief News Update for Tuesday 1st February, 2011

British Hard Rock Legends URIAH HEEP announce the new album deal!

Frontiers Records is pleased to announce the signing of URIAH HEEP, the legendary British Hard Rock band for the release of their 23rd studio album in April 2011.

Following the completion of their 40th Anniversary Tour, the band started the recordings in January 2010 at Liscombe Park Studios in Buckinghamshire England. The confirmed title of the album is “Into the Wild” and it will include 11 brand new songs, including some epic additions to the band’s huge catalogue of rock classics.

Guitarist and founding member Mick Box said: “We are delighted and excited to be joining the Frontiers roster. We see it as a really fantastic move and we are now fully immersed in recording process and hope to deliver the album they want, we want and the fans want. ‘Appy Days”

The band has recorded a video recording diary and the first chapter can be seen following this link :

Uriah Heep debuted in 1970 with the release of one of Hard Rock music’s milestones “Very 'eavy... Very 'umble” and have since sold in excess of 30 millions albums worldwide. They constantly tour in the world, playing in over 53 countries and the band’s live setlist features hits from the 70s and 80s, such as “The Wizard”, “Free ‘n Easy”, “Sunrise” and their monster hits “Easy Livin’”, “July Morning” and “Lady in Black”, as well as new material.

Uriah Heep play up to 250 shows a year to a total audience of 150,000 people and a full tour in support of the new release has been already announced:

March 2011
31.03.11 Brisbane - Tivoli, Australia

April 2011
01.04.11 Sydney - Enmore, Australia
02.04.11 Melbourne - Palais Theatre, Australia
12.04.11 Weert - Bosuil, Netherlands
14.04.11 Ebersbach - Kulturhaus, Germany
15.04.11 Worpswede - Musichall, Germany
16.04.11 Flensburg - Roxy, Germany
17.04.11 Osnabruck - Rosenhof, Germany
18.04.11 Hamburg - Fabrik, Germany
20.04.11 Aalen - Stadthalle, Germany
21.04.11 Unna - Stadthalle, Germany
23.04.11 Leipzich - Haus Auensee, Germany
24.04.11 Erfurt - Thuringenhalle, Germany
25.04.11 Filderstadt - Filharmonie, Germany
26.04.11 Aschaffenburg - Colossaal, Germany
27.04.11 Pratteln - Z7, Switzerland
29.04.11 Zug - Collierhalle, Switzerland
30.04.11 Appenweier - Stadthalle, Classic Rock Night Germany

May 2011
06.05.11 Oldenburg - Kulturetage, Germany
07.05.11 Lichtenfels - Stadthalle, Germany
10.05.11 Munchen - Muffathalle, Germany
11.05.11 Memmingen - Kaminwerk, Germany
12.05.11 Wien - Gasometer, Austria
13.05.11 Leoben - Stadthalle, Austria
14.05.11 Temitz - Stadthalle, Austria
16.05.11 Saarbrucken - Garage, Germany
17.05.11 Nurnberg - Hirsch, Germany
18.05.11 Simbach - Lokhalle, Germany
19.05.11 Giessen - Hessenhalle, Germany
20.05.11 Oberhausen - Turbinennhalle, Germany
21.05.11 Morbach - Stadthalle, Germany
23.05.11 Wroclaw - Eter, Poland
24.05.11 Praha - KD Vitavska, Chech Rep
25.05.11 Katowice - Mega club, Poland
27.05.11 Gunzberg - Market place, Germany
28.05.11 Karlsruhe - Radio, Ettlingen open Air Germany
29.05.11 Zwolle - Hedon, Netherlands
30.05.11 Zoetermeer - Boerderij, Netherlands
31.05.11 Ulft - Drufabriek, Netherlands

July 2011
28.07.11 Vallemaggia - Vallemaggia Blues Festival, Switzerland

August 2011
05.08.11 Bad Krozingen - Kurpark, Germany

Mick Box - guitar, vocals
Trevor Bolder - bass, vocals
Bernie Shaw - lead vocals
Phil Lanzon - keyboards, vocals
Russell Gilbrook - drums, vocals


Incidentally, keep watching both the band's home site, as well as here as I understand directly from Mick Box that June has been set aside for return Uriah Heep US live dates. :)

Journey add Kansas and Night Ranger to European tour dates

Over at the Journey website, the band has added the following message, which is great news for European fans of both Night Ranger and Kansas. Although I know Kansas have played European dates in recent years, fans of Night Ranger know all too well, that it's been a number of years since the band played Europe.
As previously mentioned here, Night Ranger will also be opening for Journey for two US dates in February:

February 23, 2011 - LAS VEGAS, NV - PLANET HOLLYWOOD
Special Guest: Night Ranger
February 25, 2011 - RENO, NV - RENO EVENTS CENTER
Special Guest: Night Ranger

"Rock the Nation" Festival Germany - additions to lineups ... 
Kansas and Night Ranger have been added to several shows in Germany and one in Switzerland too.
Check Journey's Tour Dates page for more info!

News source link:

Robin Trower supports new album 'The Playful Heart' with multiple US live dates

Classic rock guitar legend Robin Trower who's recently released his new album, 'The Playful Heart,' has set up a large tour of North America, which in fact already started late last month but continues tonight, February 1st at his sold out show in Knoxville, TN at the Bijou Theatre.
The tour continues tomorrow night in Greenville at the Handlebar venue.
For all tour dates go to: