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Friday, July 22, 2011

News Updates for Friday 22nd July, 2011

UK Hard Rockers URIAH HEEP to release a new stunning official Live CD and DVD package recorded in Armenia

Frontiers Records is pleased to announce the release of URIAH HEEP's "Live in Armenia" 2CD+DVD package on September 23rd in Europe and September 27th in North America.

In October 2009, Uriah Heep released their 40th Anniversary 'Celebration' album, containing new studio recordings of 12 of their most successful, classic tracks, plus two brand new songs. This recording heralded an exciting new phase for the band, taking their classic sound right into the future.

The band hit the road to celebrate 40 years at the top and opened new frontiers in Eastern Europe, Australia, South Africa, Japan and America. The band has played 53 different countries in total. The band's motto has always been "if the people cannot come to see and hear Heep music, we will take it to them" and based on that when the band was invited to play for the first time in Armenia, they did not think twice and went for it. So when the band agreed they were approached by TV and film crews to document this concert which shows an epic performance and an incredibly strong and powerful audience reaction.

"It was unique because it was a first for us, and the fact that our music meant so much to so many people, was just wonderful" says Mick Box. "It cannot get any better than that. There were some technical problems to overcome, as we played on hired equipment, but the emotion of the night won through, and if asked, we would indeed go back and play again".

Uriah Heep, who indisputably invented Hard Rock in conjunction with Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin, have sold in excess of 30 million albums since their inception in 1969. From their early incarnation as The Gods and Spice, through record breaking tours, gold and platinum selling albums, timeless chart scaling anthems and a fiercely dedicated fan base of worldwide proportions, Uriah Heep can rightly claim to be one of the greatest U.K. Progressive Heavy Rock bands of both the 20th and 21st centuries.

"Live in Armenia" will be exclusively released in a glossy digipak 2CD+DVD package and on a limited 2LP gatefold sleeve version (including only the audio portion). Full tracklisting is below:

CD1: Wake the Sleeper; Overload; Tears of the World; Stealin'; Book of Lies; Gypsy; Look at Yourself; What Kind of God; Angels Walk With You; Shadow.

CD2: July Morning; Easy Livin'; Sunrise; Sympathy; Lady In Black.

DVD: Wake the Sleeper; Overload; Tears of the World; Stealin'; Book of Lies; Gypsy; Look at Yourself; What Kind of God; Angels Walk With You; Shadow; July Morning; Easy Livin'; Sunrise; Sympathy; Lady In Black.
DVD Stereo mix 2.0 - Screen 16:9; format: NTSC Region Free / Length 100 mins.

Enjoy a DVD trailer following this link:

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

Produced by Mike Paxman
Official band website:

House of Lords return with new album 'Big Money.'

Euro Release date: 23.09.2011
USA Release date: 27.09.2011

House of Lords debuted in 1989 with the release of the self-titled album, a record which is still regarded as one of the best Arena Rock releases of the 80’s. The colossal sound, the soaring vocals of James Christian and instrumental capabilities of the band (which featured ex Angel and Giuffria, Gregg Giuffria, along with such luminaries as Lanny Cordola, Chuck Wright and Ken Mary), reminiscent of such frontrunners as Whitesnake, Deep Purple and Van Halen, immediately brought the band to the attention of the media and fans.

With their sophomore release entitled “Sahara”, House of Lords gained considerable chart success with their cover version of Blind Faith’s “Can't Find My Way Home”. After a tour with Nelson in 1991, the group disbanded, eventually coming back together with a new lineup (only featuring original members Giuffria and Christian) in 1992 with "Demon's Down". This was a more melodic record which saw the big contribution at the songwriting helm - between others - of Mark Baker, a guy who penned a couple of years before the majority of the Signal “Loud and Clear” album, one of the most sought after gems of the Melodic Rock genre.

With the change of the musical climate, House of Lords went into hibernation until the original lineup came back together in 2000, releasing of the controversial “Power and the Myth” an album which featured a sound leaning more towards Progressive Hard Rock with 70’s rock influences.

After a short European tour, singer James Christian decided to go back to the trademark Arena Rock sound of House Of Lords, putting together a new line-up with the blessing of founding member Gregg Giuffria, who opted out right before the release of “Power and the Myth”. New members Jimi Bell on guitars, B.J. Zampa on drums supplied a true powerhouse sound to the fifth studio album “World Upside Down”, a record which caused a real stir in the Hard Rock and Melodic Rock scene and was followed up by the equally impressive “Come to My Kingdom” in 2008.

House of Lords toured relentlessly Europe and the States in support to the releases and have now become a true staple between the Hard Rock crowd among the two continents. Needing a more fresh impact in the songwriting, James decided to team again with Mark Baker for the new album entitled “Cartesian Dreams”. The record is just what you can expect and even more: superb hooks, majestic atmospheres that bring back the memories of the debut album, monumental guitar riffs and a production to die for. Everything in “Cartesian Dreams” shines from the first second to the last!

Fast forward to September 2011 which will mark the release of the newest addition to a stellar catalogue of songs. "BIG MONEY" is well, ‘BIG!’
The album starts with the trademark vocals of James Christian and crashes into a Power Rock Classic that you will not forget after the first listen, followed by in a song that Christian describes “as the band’s best work to date”: “One Man Down”. Each song has its own distinct quality as you would expect from The Lords and once again the album is full of soaring choruses, awesome guitar work and songs that grab you from the first listen and don’t let go. James teamed up again on the songwriting with long-time friend and partner Mark Baker along with the other band memmbers Jimi Bell and BJ Zampa.

Look out for House of Lords on Tour in September of 2011.

House of Lords is:
James Christian – vocals
Jimi Bell – guitars
BJ Zampa – drums
Chris McCarvill - bass

Official weblinks:

Leslie West, Uli Jon Roth and Michael Schenker Unite for 3 Guitar Heroes Tour

Leslie West, Uli Jon Roth and Michael Schenker will be joining forces for what's being called the '3 Guitar Heroes Tour' this fall. The tour will included individual sets by each guitarist, plus a jam with all three afterwards. The three will also be joined by special guests on most dates of the tour.
On the touring plans, Leslie West said: "I am honored to be a part of the '3 Guitar Heroes' tour with Uli Roth and Michael Schenker. My manager Bob and I have been discussing a run like this for ages, and when the opportunity came up I hopped on board. That's right - the guy who just had his leg amputated. These guys are monster players and this should be a lot of fun."

Michael Schenker added: "It is very exciting to be part of a tour that has very deeply rooted connections with two guitarists that have been at their best since the start of their careers. When I was around 14 years-old, I saw a guy on stage playing amazing guitar. It was Uli, and he was around my age. Three years later while with the Scorpions, I chose to join UFO and found the best possible replacement in Uli. I knew my brother Rudolf (Schenker) and Klaus (Meine) were in good hands.

When I was 16 years old, Leslie West was one of my favorite guitarists. He had just recorded 'Theme For An Imaginary Western' with MOUNTAIN, a song featuring one of my all-time favorite lead-breaks on it. Looking back, Leslie is the last guitarist I ever copied seeing that from when I was 17 on, I went completely my own way.
So, here we are after all these years on stage together, celebrating the phenomenon - rock guitar."

3 Guitar Heroes Tour Dates:
October 2011

6 - Norfolk, CT Infinity Music Hall & Bistro
8 - Ridgefield, CT The Ridgefield Playhouse
9 - Plymouth, NH The Flying Monkey
12 - Foxborough, MA Showcase Live
13 - Asbury Park, NJ Stone Pony
14 - New York, NY Irving Plaza
15 - Philadelphia, PA Theatre of Living Arts
16 - Westbury, NY NYCB Theatre At Westbury
19 - Baltimore, MD Sound Stage
20 - Cleveland, OH House of Blues
21 - Cincinnati, OH Bogart's
22 - Indianapolis, IN Egyptian Room
26 - Milwaukee, WI The Pabst Theater
27 - Chicago, IL House of Blues
November 2011

4 - Dallas, TX House of Blues
5 - Houston, TX House of Blues
11 - Las Vegas, NV Boulder Station Hotel & Casino

More dates will be announced shortly.
Story source:
You can also see more at:



Monday September 5th sees the UK release of Derek Sherinian’s new solo album ‘Oceana’ – released on the Music Theories Recordings label via the Mascot Label Group.

If this were the 1970's, the heyday of such keyboard titans as Keith Emerson, Rick Wakeman and Jon Lord, he would be among that elite circle of players whom were superstars - back in a time when such talent was not only appreciated, but celebrated in popular music. This is, however, 2011, and in this age, Derek Sherinian is the premiere rock keyboardist of his generation, a member of the supergroup Black Country Communion, a core member of Dream Theater, and a prolific solo artist.
Derek has played with a diverse range of artists including Alice Cooper, Billy Idol, Yngwie Malmsteen and KISS. In addition to being a part of Dream Theater, Derek was also a member of the prog rock band Platypus, and the founder of the progressive fusion/metal band Planet X.
Oceana is mixed by the legendary drummer Simon Phillips (whose drumming credentials include Toto, The Who, Jeff Beck, 10CC, Roxy Music, Mick Jagger, Mike Oldfield).

The new album features contributions from Joe Bonamassa (Black Country Communion), Tony MacAlpine (Planet X), Simon Phillips (Toto), Steve Lukather (Toto), Steve Stevens (Billy Idol), Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake), Jimmy Johnson and Tony Franklin (The Firm, Blue Murder).

1. Five Elements (4:37)
2. Mercury 7 (4:29)
3. Mulholland (5:56)
4. Euphoria (5:34)
5. Ghost Runner (4:54)
6. El Camino Diablo (5:06)
7. I Heard That (4:53)
8. Seven Sins (5:56)
9. Oceana (5:38)

Sherinian has carved out a niche for himself within the progressive metal scene. His solo albums have featured the best technically proficient and creative musicians, including luminaries as diverse as Al DiMeola, Steve Lukather, Yngwie Malmsteen, Slash, John Petrucci, John Sykes and Zakk Wylde.

With Oceana, the album is yet again an assemblage featuring some of the most talented players to ever strap on a guitar, all of whom have joined Sherinian in the studio.

Steve Lukather once again collaborated with the keyboardist on the tracks Mulholland, Euphoria and Seven Sins, and former Planet X guitarist and fusion legend Tony MacAlpine performed on Five Elements and Mercury 7. Acclaimed session musician Steve Stevens is featured on Ghost Runner and the title track Oceana, while Black Country Communion band-mate Joe Bonamassa makes an appearance on I Heard That. Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake) performs on El Camino Diablo, and Jimmy Johnson plays the bass on all tracks with the exception of Ghost Runner and Oceana, which both feature Tony Franklin. Toto’s Simon Phillips performs drums across the whole album.

Favouring a guitar heavy rock based approach to fusion ala Jeff Beck, Sherinian’s music creates a certain energy that comes through the recordings, setting him apart from other jazz fusion artists.
His music also appeals to fans of technical heavy metal.
Thanks to his relentless touring schedule with a wide range of well-known artists, Sherinian easily adapts to ever changing musical genres, while always maintaining his signature style.

Earlier this year record producer Kevin Shirley opened the door for the keyboardist to join Glenn Hughes, Jason Bonham and Joe Bonamassa in the rock supergroup Black Country Communion.
BCC’s two acclaimed album releases have set the stage for ‘Oceana’ to reach a more mainstream audience, a move which will surely continue to cement Derek’s legacy as one of the premiere rock keyboardists of the 21st century.

To promote the release of ‘Oceana’, Derek will embark on a solo tour in early 2012.
Official sites:

ZZ Top hits the North American highway but no sign of any new album on the way ...

It appears that there is still no update on any forthcoming Z.Z. Top new album, at the bands website, but the band are not sitting around ...

So no word on that at the moment, but the band is seriously hitting the North American highway to play a number of live dates this summer, including a one off live date in Michigan with Ted Nugent and the ending this current run of live shows with a 5 date cruise, playing live on the cruise ship alongside George Thorogood and The Destroyers, a trend in recent years and fun marketing ploy which has become very popular lately among rock acts.

The bands live dates are as follows:
Date, City, Venue

July 2011 

Sun 07/31/11 Big Flats, NY Tags Outdoor Amphitheater

August 2011

Wed 08/03/11 Rama, ON Casino Rama Entertainment Centre
Fri 08/05/11 Mount Pleasant, MI Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort
(with Ted Nugent)

Sat 08/06/11 Greenville, WI Greenville Lions Park
Sun 08/07/11 Hammond, IN The Venue At Horseshoe Casino
Mon 08/08/11 Kettering, OH Fraze Pavilion For The Perf. Arts
Tue 08/09/11 West Allis, WI Wisconsin State Fair Grandstand

Thu 08/11/11 Prior Lake, MN Mystic Lake Casino
Fri 08/12/11 Hankinson, ND Dakota Magic Casino
Sat 08/13/11 Tower, MN Fortune Bay Resort Casino
Fri 08/19/11 Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE
Sat 08/20/11 Bushkill, PA Mt Laurel - Pocono Mountain Performing Arts Center
Tue 08/23/11 Lancaster, PA American Music Theatre
Fri 08/26/11 Mashantucket, CT Foxwoods Resort Casino & MGM Grand At Foxwoods
Sat 08/27/11 Gilford, NH Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion
Sun 08/28/11 Westbury, NY NYCB Theatre At Westbury
Tue 08/30/11 Newark, NJ Prudential Hall
Wed 08/31/11 Red Bank, NJ Count Basie Theatre

September 2011
Fri 09/02/11 Atlantic City, NJ Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa / Music Box
Sat 09/03/11 Virginia Beach, VA 5th Street Stage, "American Music Festival"  

Sun 09/04/11 Cherokee, NC Harrah's Cherokee Casino
Sat 09/24/11 Thackerville, OK Winstar World Casino

October 2011
Sat 10/01/11 Henderson, NV Sunset Station Hotel & Casino
Tue 10/04/11 Saratoga, CA The Mountain Winery
Wed 10/05/11 Fresno, CA Paul Paul Theatre, "The Big Fresno Fair"

Fri 10/07/11 West Wendover, NV Peppermill Concert Hall
Sat 10/08/11 West Wendover, NV Peppermill Concert Hall

December 2011
"Rock Legends Cruise" with George Thorogood & The Destroyers

Thu 12/01/11 Miami, FL Royal Caribbean Cruise Line - "Liberty Of The Seas"
Fri 12/02/11 Miami, FL Royal Caribbean Cruise Line - "Liberty Of The Seas"
Sat 12/03/11 Miami, FL Royal Caribbean Cruise Line - "Liberty Of The Seas"
Sun 12/04/11 Miami, FL Royal Caribbean Cruise Line - "Liberty Of The Seas"
Mon 12/05/11 Miami, FL Royal Caribbean Cruise Line - "Liberty Of The Seas"

For more details on any of these dates, go to:


Pallas – ‘XXV’ album review

Pallas – ‘XXV’ album review
Released on : Music Theories Recordings (Through Mascot).
Release date: Available now.

So, to many reading here, this may be a surprise to you seeing me covering a review of an album by a Prog rock band!
Pallas is actually a band whose first album, 'The Sentinel' that was released in '84, appealed to me in a big way. The band came out amidst a few other UK bands of significant note at the time, such Pendragon, Twelfth Night, I.Q. and yes - No, not Yes! - Marillion.
Editor's Note: Prog rock fans, yes, I know there were others, but these five acts, I remember seeing them all back at the time!

I don't know what it was that grabbed me, but it was different and I thought that was an excellent release.
When two years later they released 'The Wedge,' I don't what it was but the appeal for me was just ..., not the same.
For whatever reason, thereafter, the band dropped off my 'interest' radar and now look, here we are it's 2011 and the band is about the release it's sixth album!

Yes, surprising to me too that after twenty five years have passed, there has not been more output from the band ... Let's see, only three albums in twenty five years after two were released with two years of each other ... There's progression for you! Cough, cough!
No seriously, shame on me as not so long after 'The Wedge' they split or went on hiatus until 1999 and since then it's been a sparse forward move from the band or it's remaining original members.

So, having the title 'XXV' has more meaning - certainly - to me now, without doubt but what does it bring and why should I choose to now review a Pallas album? What drove it, right?

Well, talk of it being the sequel to 'The Sentinel' certainly had me curious as well as the fact that this release came through part of the Mascot Records group, the label that signs many of the musician's musician type act, was very encouraging.
Original members here are bassist / vocalist Graeme Murray, keyboard genius Ronnie Brown and guitarist Niall Mathewson, augmented by drummer Colin Fraser and newest member Paul Mackie on vocals.

‘Falling Down’ opens the album and it starts with a radio broadcast, some strong keyboard notes and then ‘Go!’ The band joins in and in comes a huge sound, very reminiscent of hearing ‘The Sentinel’ for the first time, massive sound!

It’s funny that since the first album was released, I’ve come to listen to a lot of other prog kind of stuff and another band that I find very similar in styles to Pallas is Canadians Saga. Why do I mention Saga?
Well, I know a lot of my readers are US / Canadian based, so in trying to give some folks over here a hint into Pallas’ sound, I felt Saga is possibly as close a reference that people could relate to. I would also add without a doubt though, the big UK type prog style is present here overall in a big way.
I am also reminded here in places of the likes of Yes, Steve Hackett and even Marillion too.
‘Falling Down’ clocking in at around seven and a half minutes is its own epic! The song blends intricate detail, great melodies, strong choruses too, but never loses sight of it prog origins. Clever, twisting and brilliant all at once!

With ‘Crash and Burn’ next, this one starts with some radio communication and then gets into some seriously heavy prog sounds, signature time changes, push power chords, between keyboards and guitars and loads of flashy solo work too!
This one is seriously busy!
An atmospheric swirling keyboard intro and haunting vocal is the basis to ‘Somewhere in the Deep’ that basically just works around ‘just’ that.
Now the dark ‘Monster’ next, is brilliant and I love it! Starting with someone trying to tune in a radio station and again some atmospheric keyboards building up and then the band kicks in with a steady yet held back groove and yet it’s edgy and yes, dark!
It is kind of moody, it really is, but there’s a really nice tasteful guitar solo from Niall Mathewson.
‘The Alien Messiah’ is a multi-layered piece, in true prog epic style and the track as the rest of the album, focuses around the concept that drives the album. It’s quite heavy stuff initially where at times it’s almost E.L.P. like and some of the guitar work is melodic yet really reaching … Then it gets back into one of the albums sporadic spoken sections, backed by accented stabs from the band before getting back into some seriously heavy and dark moments musically again.

‘XXV Part 1 (Twenty Five Good Honest Men)’ is next with the keys leading in haunting style once more, the spoken word again, before the band and lead vocalist Paul Mackie joins in with the chorus and then it’s a mid-paced piece with the verses presented in a semi-spoken manner and then the choruses a little larger, but pretty steady.
‘Young God’ is a bit of a deep number that initially doesn’t do much for me and then Niall Mathewson’s guitar solo hits and it’s great, kind of rescues the track somewhat, then once it’s back to the song itself, kind of loses it again but then Ronnie Brown pulls out an excellent solo too before the track finishes.
Kind of a weird one, as both guitar and keys solos I loved, but not so much the rest of this song.
No doubt prog fans will love it! LOL!

The next track ‘Sacrifice’ really redeems the band after the last track in my mind and it kicks in with a great rocking guitar riff and chord structure, but then it takes things down a little and up again in the verses. Heck there’s even a little harmony guitar part before the solo and then that big riff kicks in again and the track rocks out at the end, yeah!!! Great!
‘Blackwood’ is simply a short – two minute - string driven, instrumental interlude that kind of merges into the haunting, ballad like ‘Violet Sky’ that is really ..., simply ..., just that.

The final closing epic that is ‘XXV Part 2 (The Unmakers Awake)’ starts gently and slow and then grow into a huge beast before easing back into some choral voices and it fades out, finishing with some radio static to indicate, there’s nothing left, as the graphics in the album notes describe the end of everything …

So there you have it, big concept piece that could possibly take some growing on some people, but if you’re a prog fan and indeed a Pallas fan from the early days, then you should enjoy this. Not exactly my bag but I enjoyed a lot of this, oh and look for the edition with the bonus live DVD, as the band performs a short, but good set at Loreley, well there’s just four tracks on it.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Brief News Updates for Wednesday 20th July, 2011


New York, NY (July, 2011) — Status Quo, one of the most long-lasting UK rock bands of all time, have sold 118 million records worldwide since their first single, “Pictures Of Matchstick Men,” in 1968. Since then, they’ve enjoyed 63 more British hit singles, 22 of which have reached the Top 10. Eagle Rock Entertainment will release their latest CD 'Quid Pro Quo' on July 12.
The release is the band’s 30th album, and the first since Eagle Records released 2007’s 'In Search Of The Fourth Chord' in the U.S.
Recorded in the spring of 2010, 'Quid Pro Quo' ROCKS, plain and simple, with a primal unadorned directness and honest love for pure unadulterated rock’n’roll. Mike Paxman is again behind the board, producing with Bob Young and Francis Rossi. Led by original members Rossi and Rick Parfitt, the lineup also includes keyboard player Andy Bown (35 years in the band), bassist John Edwards (25 years) and drummer Matt Letley (11 years).

'Quid Pro Quo,' in its hard-charging 15 tracks, is proof positive that their vitality, verve, action-packed aesthetic and musical prowess have yet to diminish. First and foremost, it’s obvious from one listen that a wild sense of pure freedom and abandon inform these tracks as their tightness, their stop-on-a-dime virility and their commitment come to the fore.

Refusing to rest on past laurels, Status Quo is still rocking stages across Europe.
The long-running band is showing no signs of slowing down!

Track Listing:
1) Two Way Traffic
2) Rock’n’Roll’n’You
3) Dust To Gold
4) Let’s Rock
5) Can’t See For Looking
6) Better Than That
7) Movin’ On
8) Leave A Little Light On
9) Any Way You Like It
10) Frozen Hero
11) Reality Cheque
12) The Winner
13) It’s All About You
14) My Old Ways
15) In The Army Now (2010)

Official band website:

In related Status Quo news ...

Status Quo keyboards man Andy Bown to release new solo album

"Unfinished Business", the new album by Andy Bown, is released on 5th September 2011 on Cherry Red Records. The album features ten new tracks and is his first solo album in over 30 years.

The album was produced by Mike Paxman and recorded by Chris West, it features contributions from Henry Spinetti on drums, Mick Rogers on guitars, Trevor Bolder and Brad Lang on basses and vocalists Juliet Roberts and Sylvia Mason-James.
It was recorded at State Of The Ark Studios in Richmond, Surrey in 2010.

Andy has a rich musical heritage, starting from his sixties bands The Preachers and The Herd, where he gave the talented teenager Peter Frampton his first job, on through an endless list of recording sessions with artists such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Halliday, Dusty Springfield, Cilla Black, Tim Hardin, Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, Lesley Duncan, Paul McCartney, Carly Simon and many, many more, whilst part forming the ultimate 70's pop rock band, Judas Jump (opening The Isle of Wight Festival 1970) and also appearing with the cult folk band Storyteller.

He played keyboards for Peter Frampton in the early 1970s, switching to bass for several tours after Rick Wills (Foreigner, Bad Company, David Gilmour, Small Faces) departed the band. Andy was the surrogate Roger Waters during Pink Floyd's 'The Wall' tour of 1980 and 81 and he also played on Pink Floyd's "The Final Cut" album and Roger Waters' subsequent release "Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking".
He has previously released four solo albums, the first of which "Gone To My Head" was released in 1972.

Andy continued an intermittent solo recording career, whilst starting to work with Status Quo in 1973, first as a session musician, and then as a full time member, recording "Rockin' All Over The World" with the band in 1977. He plays keyboards, guitar and harmonica with Status Quo to this day and is an integral part of the band, having co-penned many well known Quo songs, most prominently the group's hits "Whatever You Want", "Again and Again" and the 1988 hit "Burning Bridges" which, re-recorded, went on to reach No.1 in the charts as Manchester United Football Club's anthem.

Official website:

UK's Z Rock Festival 2012 Line Up

The annual Z Rock festival - Seemingly over all it's previous troubles. - for 2012 is due to take place on Saturday May 5th, 2012 at The Robin 2, Bilston, West Midlands, England, UK.
This event although having 'teething' problems in the past, that didn't settle well with some rock fans, seems to have got back on track over the past couple of years much to the enjoyment of many rock fans and the event planners, have now announced the running order for the 2012 event.
This from the site ...


Z ROCK 2012 Tickets are now on general sale at all outlets on June 13th priced £45.00 each.
Ttickets can be purchased on line at or from ST Records Dudley tel: 01384 230726


Over the years, legendary singer Ronnie James Dio fronted some of the most popular/enduring hard rock/heavy metal bands of all-time, including Rainbow, Black Sabbath/Heaven & Hell, and Dio.

But before all of these bands, there was Elf. Described as a "Rock/Honky Tonk/Blues band" a forthcoming release, 'And Before Elf…There Were Elves' will prove that Ronnie could easily handle other rock-related styles.
Released on October 11th via the Niji Entertainment Group, 'And Before Elf' will feature twelve previously unreleased tracks (all from 1971), comprised of both live in the studio and live on stage tracks.

The album will feature a striking Lenticular/3D/Hologram cover, that when you turn it, you will see two alternating images – Ronnie from the first Elf LP, as well as a vintage group shot from 1971. And although these recordings are 40 years old, the sonic quality still passes the test, as longtime Dio engineer Wyn Davis remastered the original tapes.
Formed in 1967 in Cortland, New York, The Elves also featured other members that would carve a niche for themselves in the hard rock world!

Guitarist David "Rock" Feinstein (Dio's cousin) would go on to front the Rods. Elf would last for a trio of albums, before Ronnie exited the group in 1975, to co-form Rainbow with ex-Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore.
Ronnie James Dio always had the golden touch as a masterful singer and frontman.
And upon hearing 'And Before Elf…There Were Elves,' you'll discover he possessed his one-of-a-kind voice from the very beginning of his career.
"And Before Elf…There Were Elves" Track Listing:

1. You Shook Me
2. Stay With Me
3. Four Day Creep
4. Buckingham Blues
5. Wakeup Sunshine
6. Driftin'
7. Smile For Me Lady
8. You Felt The Same Way
9. Simple Man
10. Drown Me In The River
11. Cold Ramona
12.. Little Queenie

For more information, visit:


MelodicRock Records is excited to announce final details of the next release from the label - Taxxi's 'from the vault' album Traxx.

The classic-style AOR album will be released officially on August 29. Pre-orders are available from today - see below for PayPal link or visit the MRR Store.

Pre-ordered copies will ship out by August 12 at the latest. So if you want to be the first to hear this cracking album, order now. And as an extra bonus, those that do pre-order will recieve a link to one extra track not on this release...a track that should be very familiar to Taxxi fans.

Taxxi are a British rock band best known for the songs "I'm Leaving" and "Cocktail Queen“. The band first came to prominence in the early 1980s with several AOR hit singles and heavy MTV airplay.

Scottish-born singer/guitarist David Cumming, keyboardist Colin Payne, and drummer Jeffrey Nead met in London in the late 1970s. Through an association with Kit Lambert (The Who) the band recorded demos and were eventually signed by Berkeley's Fantasy Records. Teamed with producer Phil Kaffel the band recorded three albums for the prestigious indie label. Filling out the trio's sound were session musicians including bassist Randy Jackson, keyboardist Tim Gorman (The Who), guitarists Marlon McClain and Danny Chauncey (.38 Special), saxophonist Steve Douglas and Journey drummer Steve Smith who lent a hand on tambourine on their second album, “States of Emergency”.
Moving labels in 1985, Taxxi recorded their 4th album “Exposé” with Tom Dowd (Cream, Rod Stewart).

In 2001, “Chequered Past”, a compilation CD was remastered with participation by the band and their original producer - released by Fantasy Records.

Singles such as "Girl (New York City)", "I'm Leaving", "Cocktail Queen“, "Still In Love", “Forever“ and "The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter" saw the band get airplay in the US and Europe and a build-up in their fanbase.

On tour, the band opened in concert for The Police, Triumph, Foreigner, Loverboy and the Motels, and released five music videos.

After the late Colin Payne left the band, the duo of Cumming/Nead continued to work on new material following the successful 'Exposé' release. This material would continue in the direction set out by 'Exposé' – more commercial 80's AOR with that Taxxi twist. That material would remain unreleased. Until now.
Following an approach by MRR's Andrew McNeice to the band in 2009, the guys dug back into their archives, and pulled out 11 lost gems that now make up the album “Traxx”. The material was written and recorded from 1987-1988. To get these songs to the release stage, tapes first had to be baked in a controlled environment to recover the files, before being passed to engineer/producer Jeff Northrup in L.A. to remaster.

The result is a bright and rejuvenated set of songs that if released back in the day, would have been classed as Taxxi's best record to date. The songs speak for themselves and the performances are typical Taxxi – highly emotional, instantly catchy and perfectly crafted classic-style AOR.

Taxxi is: David Cumming – Vocals, Guitars, Synthesizers (pictured - right); Jeffrey Nead – Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals (pictured - left).
With: Kevin Russell – Guitars, Backing Vocals; Arthur Barrow – Bass, Keyboards; Earl Slick – Guitars (Cupid's Arrow); The Fowler Brothers – Horns (Lust For Gold).
All Songs by: David Cumming and Jeffrey Nead except for Writing On The Wall and Never Lived A Dream by: David Cumming, Jeffrey Nead and Jesse Harms.

Produced by: Arthur Barrow and Taxxi.

The album is dedicated to the memory of Colin Payne.

Track Listing:

01. Writing On The Wall (4:17)
02. I Just Want To Be With You (3:54)
03. I Want You Back (4:20)
04. Last Of The Red Hot Lovers (4:51)
05. Never Lived A Dream (4:14)
06. One Man One Voice (3:58)
07. Cupids Arrow (4:14)
08. Lust For Gold (4:10)
09. It Ain't Over (4:14)
10. Hot Shot (3:29)
11. Restless Heart (4:26)

Audio samples available at:


(New York, NY) - It's been a long wait for American and Canadian fans ..., but come this October guitar legend Yngwie Malmsteen will make his triumphant return to North American stages with a Fall headlining tour. In support of Malmsteen's latest release, 'RELENTLESS,' the trek will kick off on Thursday, October 13th at New York City's Irving Plaza. Please see below for the itinerary, more dates will be announced shortly.
Of the upcoming dates, Malmsteen commented, "I am very much looking forward to playing new pieces from 'RELENTLESS,' as well as Malmsteen classics. Fans can expect the unexpected...I raise the bar with every performance I do and this tour will be no different."
In other Malmsteen news, baseball fans will soon get a treat as the guitar legend is scheduled to not only perform his explosive version of the National Anthem, but he will also throw out the first pitch at the Florida Marlins home game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday, August 6th.

Released late last year, Yngwie Malmsteen's aptly-named latest album, 'RELENTLESS,' contains more than 60 minutes of new material and showcases the guitar great at his best with the signature virtuosity and mind-blowing technical speed for which he has come to be known. The album also features striking vocals from Tim "Ripper" Owens (Judas Priest, Iced Earth), who first collaborated with Malmsteen on 2008's critically-acclaimed 'PERPETUAL FLAME' (Malmsteen's first album for the Rising Force Records label). 'RELENTLESS' has received rave reviews from both critics and fans alike.
Malmsteen recently graced the February cover of Guitar Player, with the magazine avowing, "RELENTLESS continues the guitarist's long string of insane, epic and jaw-dropping releases."
For nearly three decades, Grammy-nominated Swedish guitar icon Yngwie Malmsteen has been amazing audiences with dazzling technical speed and ability. Malmsteen's signature style of playing, which combines elements of seemingly disparate styles of music - metal and classical, spawned the now commonplace genres of heavy metal known as "shred guitar" and "neo classical" and earned Malmsteen the title "the Paganini of heavy metal".
Malmsteen was the first guitarist to have his own Fender signature guitar model (even before Eric Clapton). He has graced the cover of more than 200 magazines worldwide, has won every guitar award imaginable and to date, has sold millions of records. Time recently named Malmsteen one of the "Top Ten Greatest Electric Guitar Players", an honor he shared with the likes of Les Paul, Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix.
"Guitar Hero" enthusiasts know they have arrived when they are bestowed with the Yngwie Malmsteen award in the Xbox 360 version of "Guitar Hero 2". The award signifies a 1000+ note streak in succession.

Yngwie Malmsteen North American headlining tour:

13 New York, NY Irving Plaza
15 Silver Lake, MD Fillmore
18 Montreal, QC Club Soda
19 Toronto, ON Phoenix
21 Chicago, IL House Of Blues
23 Denver, CO Bluebird Theatre
26 San Francisco, CA Fillmore
28 Anaheim, CA House Of Blues
29 Los Angeles, CA Club Nokia


1 Houston, TX House Of Blues
2 Dallas, TX House Of Blues
5 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Revolution

For more information please visit:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Slight Update for Tuesday 19th July, 2011

Hi folks, I had hoped to get a couple more reviews up at the site, but the weekend seemed to fly by and that time passed, all too quick ... Too quick for me to get those reviews done!!!
Hoping that the gremlins that have been giving me problems recently will BACK OFF(!) and allow me to share with you various news bits and pieces, without too much trouble!

Here's wishing you all a good week ahead, at the time of starting to write this update, I've not long arrived at my hotel (9pm Monday night) just outside of Cincinnati - Day job business trip ... - and driving down from Detroit to here, boy did I hit some serious rainstorms!
Between Toledo and Dayton today it was one after another and seriously gusting winds too, the car was rocking from side to side with the winds and the rain was like a white out blizzard basically, crazy! So everyone was driving around 5 - 10 mph in stretches, others thought they could drive at 50 - 60 mph, no wonder some were off the road as I got further along!
Add to that upper 90F's temp weather, it's nut and seriously heavy going ...
Anyway, enough of all that, on to what I've been made aware of in the last few days, cheers, Al! 

Cheap Trick survive storm that trashes the stage set

It seems to be that time of year over here, where bands are playing in the northern territories, well North America and Canada anyway and big storms have hit to mess up the show, venue or both!
I remember back in the summer of 2008, that the annual Rocklahoma concert event, got totally messed up when either a hurricane hit or tornado passed through?
A couple of weeks ago, The Sweet show I reviewed was stopped when a torrential storm came through and looked as if it could've had a tornado develop ...

Well, US rockers Cheap Trick apparently just went through a similar situation if not worse, when they played in Ottawa this past weekend.
Here check this out from the Cheap Trick site:

Severe weather hits stage at Ottawa Bluesfest
This posted July 17th, 2011

Severe weather hit the stage as Cheap Trick was performing at the Ottawa Bluesfest tonight. The stage blew down and collapsed. Everyone is shaken up but band and crew are all fine.
Cheap Trick hopes that everyone who attended the show is also ok.

Robin Zander said “Fortunately the band and crew are all lucky to be alive and we’ll see you down the road. And all the best to our truck driver Sandy.”

These pictures were taken at the concert site and posted at Cheap Trick's website:


Just before the storm hit, with the band still onstage:

The stage gear in the aftermath

Please note, all of the above pictures are credited to:

I would just like to add, someone, somewhere, was looking out for you guys that night!
Glad to know that everyone was OK, if somewhat shaken up and as the band say, let's hope everyone attending the event got home safely.


(UFO's Vinnie Moore photo by Sandi Murphy.) 


UFO guitarist VINNIE MOORE was the featured artist last Friday on Guitar World’s “Lick of the Day” iPhone and iPad app. A description of today’s lick is described below.
Today VINNIE MOORE shares a rolling legato run based on the B blues scale. It's a hard-rockin' blues lick with just a hint of country "twang." Find out more and check it out at

Editor's note:
Sorry folks, I actually received this info last Friday, but Friday and Saturday night I was having problems with site formatting. Hopefully, those muso's amongst you can track down the actual lick.
I did find this, but I believe it's from a previous session:

In related news ...

UFO has confirmed a new run of North American dates kicking off this September in Santa Rosa, CA.
The band will be touring North America in support of their latest, encompassing collection “Best of a Decade,” that takes in some of the best moments of the bands past ten years, that is out now on SPV/Steamhammer.
UFO are also in the process of working on a new studio album which is scheduled for release in early 2012.

Providing direct support on the tour with be Brazilian rockers MINDFLOW. Their latest release “With Bare Hands” is available now on Nightmare Records. Heavy metal, hard rock, modern rock…try to put MINDFLOW’s music into a category and you either don’t know where to stop or you can’t find the words. It’s all there – the compelling energy of the rhythm section – drums and bass pounding relentless power.


September 2011

9/15: Santa Rosa, CA @ Last Day Saloon
9/16: Sacramento/Orangevale, CA @ Boardwalk
9/17: Santa Clara, CA @ Avalon
9/19: Portland, OR @ The Aladdin Theater
9/21: Modesto, CA @ The Fat Cat
9/23: Las Vegas, NV @ Boulder Station Casino
9/24: Los Angeles, CA @The Key Club
9/26: Ventura, CA @ Ventura Theater
9/29: San Juan Capistrano, CA @ The Coach House
9/30: San Diego, CA @ Brick By Brick

October 2011

10/1: San Bernadino, CA @ Orange Raceway
10/6: Dallas, TX @ House of Blues
10/7: Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live Studio
10/8: San Antonio, TX @ Backstage Live

For more info visit:

Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa team-up on new album "Don't Explain"
‘Don’t Explain’ is the debut collaboration between American singer-songwriter Beth Hart and the acclaimed Blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa. The album, made up exclusively of intimate soul cover versions, will be released in the UK and Europe on Monday 26th September by Provogue Records.

Produced by Kevin Shirley (Aerosmith, Black Country Communion, The Black Crowes), ‘Don't Explain’ perfectly combines Hart's raspy and soulful vocal with Bonamassa's unique guitar sound, as the pair unite on a stunning collection of hand-picked soul tracks, as performed by celebrated artists such as Gil Scott-Heron, Tom Waits, Etta James, Aretha Franklin and many more.

The full album tracklisting is:
1. Sinner's Prayer (Ray Charles w/ B.B. King)
2. Chocolate Jesus (Tom Waits)
3. Your Heart Is As Black As Night (Melody Gardot)
4. For My Friend (Bill Withers)
5. Don't Explain (Billie Holiday)
6. I'd Rather Go Blind (Etta James)
7. Something's Got A Hold On Me (Etta James)
8. I'll Take Care Of You (Gil Scott-Heron)
9. Well, Well (Delaney & Bonnie)
10. Ain't No Way (Aretha Franklin)

After crossing paths with Beth and her band on the road numerous times, Joe Bonamassa recalls how ‘Don’t Explain’ came about; "I was up late one night, I couldn't sleep. I was playing songs on my iPod from the reissue of Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out, which included all the opening acts from that Stones show," says Bonamassa. "As soon as the Ike & Tina tracks came on, I just said out loud, 'Beth Hart.' I emailed Kevin, saying, 'Let's do a soul covers record with Beth,' and he replied back, 'Actually, that's a great idea.'"

For further information and much more, go to:


Monday July 25th, at 6 PM - To coincide with the 2012 tour launch plan, Thin Lizzy will be appearing at HMV’s Flagship London store (150 Oxford Street, London W1D 1DJ) where they will play an exclusive in store live set and do a signing session! - You lucky, lucky people!

Everyone and anyone is welcome to come down and watch the set and meet the guys. The latest Thin Lizzy re-issue albums 'Black Rose,' 'Bad Reputation' and 'Chinatown,' (via Universal Music) will be available to get signed and attendees can purchase tickets and VIP packages for the 2012 dates in store.

Here's the tour flyer for the UK gigs:

For all up to date information on Thin Lizzy go to:

Michael Schenker UK Tour slight update

This Friday night, 22nd July Michael Schenker will start his latest UK tour, with a headline gig at The Robin in Bilston, West Midlands, England. UK, before then hooking up with Black Country Communion as special guest for their UK tour.
Both acts will also be playing at the High Voltage festival*, in London on Sunday 24th July.

It seems, this will NOT be the Michael Schenker Group (M.S.G.) as such ... It seems it's a variation on a theme, that will be simply called Michael Schenker, possibly ..., 'plus Special Guests?!'
Read on, as this is posted at the German guitarist's website:

This will be the first time that Michael Schenker, Herman Rarebell, Pete Way, Michael Voss, Elliott "Dean" Rubinson and Wayne Findlay will be touring together with this new line-up promoting Michael Schenker's Brand New Album "Temple Of Rock" to be released in September ...
Anyway as previously mentioned, the tour will start on July 22nd and will last until the 31st.
A great new set will be performed with lots of Michael Schenker Classics from UFO to Scorpions and MSG as well as songs from the new album. See you out there!
Michael Schenker: MSG, ex Scorpions/UFO - Lead Guitar

Herman Rarebell: ex Scorpions - Drums

Pete Way: ex UFO - Bass

Michael Voss: Vocals

Elliott (Owner of Dean Guitar) Rubinson: Bass

Wayne Findlay: MSG - Keyboards/Guitars

*High Voltage Festival will have this new line up plus very special guests

Michael Schenker official website: