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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Quick Note Update for Thursday December 27th, 2012

Hi All,
Well, as we come closer to ending yet another year, I and I hope you can reflect on so much great music that has come to us all in 2012 and by the looks of things, there's plenty more where that came from to come in 2013!
Heaven + Earth's new one especially something I can't wait to hear!
The new Steve Lukather is not too shabby either, nice work again Luke, that'll be out late January!
T&N the band featuring George Lynch, Mick Brown and Jeff Pilson will be getting a new (2nd) album out soon in 2013 and they plan to tour with Michael Sweet (Stryper) helping out on vocals / rhythm guitar too.
Sorry there's no news update right now. I had hoped to get something done, but it's been a crazy Christmas, very busy, but then we've had a little sickness in the house too.
Rhonda and I had planned a jam tonight (Thursday), with a bunch of band mates from various line ups, but with the kids struggling with chesty coughs, noses going too, we couldn't see how we could pass them off to family to take care of, so we've postponed the jam for now ...
I really wanted to get more reviews up here too, but ..., time has been no friend, so apologies to my many PR contacts and artists, that it didn't happen. It was not intended. :(
Sadly, many I have just not even had the chance to get to watch (DVD's) or listen to with some of the albums. Again, it was not intended.
So ....
I hope and pray that 2013 can be a little better in terms of getting to more stuff.
I wish I had a few more 'helpers' here at 'C.O.R.' could sure use some ....
Anyway, it's 1.30am, T.G. it's the holidays, but I need to sleep, already corrected a bunch of typo's as I did this!
Take care folks, hope to get something up before the year's out, so check back soon, OK?!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Issa – ‘Can’t Stop’ album review

Issa – ‘Can’t Stop’ album review
Released on: Frontiers Records. Release date: Available now
First of all, Norwegian vocalist Issa – Full name Isabell Oversveen – is without doubt a singer that I have a lot of time for as my previous reviews on ‘Chambers of Rock’ reflect on her first two releases, 'Sign of Angels' and 'The Storm.'
She really does have a wonderful voice that fits the AOR / melodic rock genre perfectly, while also bordering on the pop / rock world too and she has been fortunate to have worked with the right team of players, who with the backing of Frontiers records have got her significant attention.
 So here we are with her third release for Frontiers, the first ‘Sign of Angels’ was released in 2010.
‘Can’t Stop’ is ultimately a combination of cover songs, reworked the Issa way and to be honest, I did not know all of the original versions so I’m really not going to look to draw on too many comparisons. Part of that too, is because chances are most of my readers here may not know of or even have heard of any of these band / artists names, but I do know some ...
The songs on here come from 21 Guns (Scott Gorham, Leif Johanson), BLVD – Great AOR band! – Aviator – I like what I’ve previously heard. – Mark Free (Now Marcie FreeUnruly Child) was a good singer, but sadly as to the rest I know little or nothing about.
Tower City (Surrender)? Atlantic? Regatta? Worrall? Sorry folks …
Failed that pop / rock quiz didn’t I?!
Opening with the excellent ‘Can’t Stop’ title track, she does no wrong by me.
Perfectly crafted, contagious pop / rock with a perfect AOR touch in an up tempo piece of class … Yes, I did say class!
‘Power Over Me’ is next and her voice sounds great and musically the band backing her sound great, Mario Percudani’s guitar work on the solo here is just beautiful!

A perfectly well produced album here by Alessandro Del Vecchio (Hardline), there really is great balance over the entire album.
This really is a nice overall blend of AOR / Pop rock and without being too poppy Issa’s rendition of ‘Wherever I Run’ is sweet!
The band backing her feature the aforementioned talents on guitar of Mario Percudani, nice work from the producer Alessandro Del Vecchio on keyboards, who provides some great keyboard flurries here and there, Anna Portaluppi on bass and Alessandro Mori on drums completes the lineup.
Issa and the band’s performance on 21 Guns excellent, ‘Just A Wish’ actually reminds me more of Heart meets Roxette than anything if you ask me and it’s monster!
 Huge power ballad of the finest nature, I love it!
Here’s the thing where I feel at a disadvantage, as I said before I was not familiar with all the original versions of the songs that Issa has covered here, so I obviously can’t really compare against many of these songs original versions.
‘If You Ever Fall’ is just one of those songs that you’d easily say, ‘Wow, doesn’t that sound like ...?!’
The original singer of the song is Tone Norum, who is the younger sister of Europe’s John Norum. Now who wrote it …???!
On Tone Norum’s first album – She released five that I know of ... – the majority of the musicians on it were indeed the band Europe, but this song originated on her second release, which I can find very little info on ... I’m getting off track here aren’t I?!
Issa does a great job on this track for me and again all power to producer Alessandro Del Vecchio for doing a grand job on every track!
‘Do You Ever Think Of Me’ is just such a massive song, it eases in gently at the start, then the chorus is just AOR to die for!
I love the song, it’s a more laid back AOR power ballad in style, still some great music accompanying Issa’s great voice.
Next track ‘Dream On’ is possibly my favourite here because it the best known of the songs here – Besides the 21 Guns songs. – and the original by BLVD was always a winner with me and that album by BLVD, hard to find but every bit a winner.
This is one of those classic AOR gems that deserved to be huge, but amazingly never was.
Nice guitar and synth solo’s on this version though and of course a great vocal from Issa.
Thank you for bringing this song to more people’s attention.
‘Stranded’ next I did not know before hearing it here and it’s pretty nice stuff, not outstanding but however you look at or listen to it, there’s no denying Issa and band have done a nice job.
Another song next that I am not familiar with in ‘Heat of the Night’ and its origin by Worrall (Who?), but the tune sounds like it should be familiar, probably why Serafino (PeruginoFrontiers) picked the songs for Issa to redo.
 ‘I Won’t Surrender’ falls into the same category as the last song, good stuff, but something I never previously knew of.
OK, ‘State of Love’ originally done by Mark Free – Now Marcie Free in Unruly Child. – is a song that is really very familiar to me and I’m thinking I have it on some album somewhere, BUT I never had the Mark Free album that it featured on.
Really nice track and yes, it’s well done by Issa, mid to up tempo almost in Bryan Adams like territory at times to be honest.
So to the final track which is just a monster in anyone’s eyes, originally done by the so overlooked yet excellent 21 Guns, ‘These Eyes’ is just an absolutely perfect gem and it’s done so well here too.
Why 21 Guns never broke bigger with songs like this one and the earlier ‘Just A Wish’ as well, as they are two outstanding tracks, is just beyond me but then it was the 90’s so classy AOR at that time faced the grunge takeover and even many classic and establish bands struggled then. I guess I just answered myself!
This has without doubt though, made me want to go and pull out my 21 Guns albums for a trip down memory lane!
This really is, yet another really nice album from Issa, she has a class voice and she’s always recorded with great musicians, so I’m telling you, this is music to pay attention to! Ignore at your cost / loss!
Rating: 4 out of 5
Ed's note: Without any real official website for Issa, the best I can do is point you to Issa's old MySpace page here:
Or what I believe is her official Facebook page:

Friday, December 21, 2012

Rock News Update for Saturday 22nd December, 2012

Hi all,
Well, as you can see I'm trying to stay on top of things here!
Well, it looks as though we all beat the Mayan calendar, what were they thinking?! Sad ...
I don't know about you, but I'm thinking they made a huge error and to be honest, I for one am certainly glad!
Once again, I do not know if I'll get the chance to update the site before Christmas, after this one, but I'll try.  It's just too crazy right now.
Take care folks, love thy neighbour ... And try to avoid stress!
Merry Christmas one and all!
Cheers, Al
Thin Lizzy name change in hand ...
Are you ready for Black Star Riders?
Well, it's a pretty sad day in the world of rock as Scott Gorham, the main man today in Thin Lizzy has declared to Classic Rock Magazine in the UK, that the days of a band going out on the road as Thin Lizzy are seriously numbered.

Classic Rock magazine seemed to get the exclusive on the Thin Lizzy scoop, the name change, the band change and it seems the Lizzy band is done ... At least for now ...

Scott told Classic Rock, “Thin Lizzy is a partnership between Brian Downey and myself and the estate.
 If the estate had said, ‘This is a kick-ass idea,’ we would have had to rethink. But because they were feeling uncomfortable about it, that put a full stop to it.”

I dropped Scott a note, before this was announced to wish him a Merry Christmas and that I was hopeful about Lizzy moving forward in the New Year, with the album and a new name ...

At the time I really wasn't too concerned and thought, OK, maybe they'll refer to a Lizzy album or track and whatever happens, the album should be great with the contributions of Scott, Brian Downey and Darren Wharton, alongside the new boys!

Sad to say, this won't be the case ...
Brian Downey has again dropped out of Lizzy, as he did before citing he does not want to tour as much as the others. That's the official Thin Lizzy line anyway.
I don't know ... He seemed to be having fun when I spoke with him backstage in Detroit ...

Darren Wharton, well he's had Dare on the side for sometime, but with interest in the fact that classic AOR act is on the rise again, he has declined continuing with Scott and the guys, as he wants to remain focused on Dare ...

Ed's note: I didn't drop Darren any note, but I will ...

Black Star Riders 2012

Thin Lizzy, under the new name of Black Star Riders - Don't like the name, sorry ... - will continue with the lineup of Scott, Ricky Warwick, Marco Mendoza, Damon Johnson and former Megadeth / White Lion drummer Jimmy DeGrasso.
There is currently no plan to bring in any new keyboard player, indicating a desire to stay rockin' harder!

The band apparently has fifteen songs down and they will go into the studio 'AS' Black Star Riders, to record a new album under the direction and guiding hands of mega producer Kevin Shirley (Aerosmith, Black Country Communion, Europe and many more).
It should be interesting, but I am disappointed by the non-involvement Downey or Wharton and what is also not clear is if they had ANY input in the songwriting?

You can read the Classic Rock story here:

I also do not know what the lineup will be, that goes down under to open for Kiss and Motely Crue?

Official Thin Lizzy website:

Black Star Riders Facebook page:


Next year, the most successful Swedish rock band of all time, Europe, celebrate their 30th year as recording artists with a grand anniversary show at the Sweden Rock Festival.

The concert will be their only on Swedish soil in 2013, and it will be a grandiose event indeed, promises singer Joey Tempest.

The stage show will be one of the greatest of the band's entire career (certain very special guest stars will also appear). The setlist will be specially composed from Europe's entire nine-album discography. Including their cult debut "Europe" (1983), multi-million seller "The Final Countdown" (1986) and their most recent outing "Bag of Bones" (2012) which has now reached gold status.
The performance will also be filmed for a DVD release!

Europe will close the Sweden Rock Festival main stage on Friday evening, June 7th.


To download the full press release and to learn how you and a friend can WIN 3-day tickets to the festival and a MEET & GREET with the band, visit:

The history of rock ‘n’ roll will come to life like never before with RAIDING THE ROCK VAULT. 

RAIDING THE ROCK VAULT -- the theatrical production telling the chronological story of classic rock -- which recently premiered in Los Angeles.

Narrated, sung and acted along with compelling imagery including historical footage, the show transports the audience back to a magical musical journey from 1950 to 1990, telling the  history of rock 'n' roll like never seen before. The production plans on touring in 2013.
Written by esteemed Grammy Award-winning record producer David Kershenbaum, and musician, producer and vocalist John Payne (Asia), RAIDING THE ROCK VAULT traverses the genre's history chronologically through the ‘50s, '60s, '70s and '80s, through to the year 1990, RAIDING THE ROCK VAULT features classic anthems from The Who, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Free, The Eagles, Led Zeppelin, Bryan Adams, Van Halen, Deep Purple, Queen, KISS, Rolling Stones and more, truly boasting "The Greatest Set List Ever."
It was born to give audiences an important history lesson, while encouraging them to rock out as much as possible. It’s as fresh and fiery as it gets.
These timeless gems are translated on stage live and loud by an all-star band comprised of Howard Leese [Guitar] (Heart, The Paul Rodgers Band, Bad Company), Joe Lynn Turner [Lead Vocals] (Rainbow, Deep Purple), Tracii Guns [Guitar] (LA Guns, Guns 'n’ Roses), Robin McAuley [Lead Vocals] (M.S.G., Survivor), John Payne [Lead Vocals and Bass] (Asia), Paul Shortino [Vocals] (Rough Cutt, Quiet Riot), Jay Schellen [Drums] (Hurricane, Asia), Andrew Freeman [Lead Vocals and Guitars] (Lynch Mob, The Offspring), and Michael T Ross [Keyboards] (Lita Ford, Hardline, Angel).

 David Kershenbaum (co-writer of the script for Raiding The Rock Vault), Robin McAuley and John Payne visited KLOS’s The Heidi & Frank Interview to discuss the show, which you can view here:

The VAULT will open and you may never view rock ‘n’ roll the same way!

For more information, check out:


The new Swedish Melodic Rock sensation DIAMOND DAWN to unleash their debut album "Overdrive" on the Melodic Rock World, out on Frontiers in February.

Frontiers Records is pleased to announce the release of DIAMOND DAWN's debut album "Overdrive" on February 22nd in Europe and February 26th in North America.

Hailing from Goteborg, Sweden DIAMOND DAWN are easily one of the most promising Melodic Rock bands to come out from the Scandinavian underground scene. They came to the attention of the fans thanks to the digital release of the song “Standing as One”, which created a very nice buzz around the band’s abilities.

In a world where rock n roll seems to lack a certain positive nerve, the band stands for a vision of conveying energy and excitement through their pompous and melodic, yet hard rocking songs. With a clear vision of how melodic rock is supposed to be delivered, DIAMOND DAWN is ready to bring back the excitement to the music!

“Our intention is to have a good time, and make people wanna have a good time!” says guitarist Olle Lindahl.
“We wanted to write some great music and release a rockin’ debut album; we definitely think that we managed to capture the positive energy that Diamond Dawn is all about. “Overdrive” is the album that we would want to go out and buy and tell the world about!”

Musically the band has not changed the coordinates that were possible to envision in “Standing As One” (a re-recorded version of the song will also appear on the new album), however, as Olle tells, “We’re not doing what we do or sound like we do for the purpose of keeping something old alive. We’re a bunch of guys that love to play together and when we do, the sound and output comes naturally. Our music is very melodic and pompous rock with a strong positive nerve. Each band member comes from a different musical background and that is what definitely makes the sound what it is. There is no way to control that as long as you do what you feel like!”

So get the party started and enjoy “Overdrive” which will probably end up being on many people's best of list of 2013 even if the album will be released almost... at the beginning of the year!

Anticipated by the digital release of the awesome 1st single “Take Me Higher” on January 17th, "Overdrive" final tracklisting will include the following eleven tracks:

Into Overdrive; Take Me Higher; Crying; Standing As One; California Rush; Indestructible; Turn It Up; The Hunter; Give It All; Don't Walk Away; Powergames.

Turn it up loud and enjoy a “Take Me Higher” sample following this link:


Olle Lindahl – Guitar/backing vocals
Alexander Strandell – Lead Vocals
Efraim Larsson – Drums/backing vocals
Jhonny Göransson – Guitar
Mikael Planefeldt – Bass
Niklas Arkbro - Keyboards


"Ceremonial" is the highly anticipated new album for German Arena Rockers PINK CREAM 69

Frontiers Records is excited to announce the release of PINK CREAM 69’s newest studio album “Ceremonial” on January 25th in Europe and January 22nd in North America.

Six years after the critically praised “In10sity” album, the German based band delivers another slice of great Arena Hard Rock!

Hot on heels after a successful German tour with HELLOWEEN and STRATOVARIUS, “Ceremonial” is PC69’s second studio effort for Frontiers Records and also the first album with their new drummer Chris Schmidt.

This new album is possibly the freshest and most diverse PINK CREAM 69 album to date.

Recorded partially at Hofa Studios and mixed at Dennis Ward’s private studio - The TrakShak - the band really made the best of their time. “The songs had to be 100% ready and we took all the necessary time”, states bass player and producer Dennis Ward.

“This gaves us the possibility to experiment and to achieve the best possible result.” And indeed, the explosive, energetic opening track “Land Of Confusion”, the contemporary rocking “Wasted Years”, the biographic “I Came To Rock” the heavily 90s-influenced “Find Your Soul” or the soulful “Passage” are all new, bright and shining diamonds in a discography full of highlights and hits.

“We deliberately called the album “Ceremonial” because we feel it’s kind of a celebration of music styles we all grew up with, regardless of what PC69 has done in the past”, continues Ward.

“There were various projects that I was involved in over the last couple of years”, adds singer David Readman. “But the work on “Ceremonial” felt like coming home. A real relief.” Nothing more to add.

“Ceremonial” includes the following new songs:
Land of Confusion; Wasted Years; Special; Find Your Soul; The Tide; Big Machine; Let the Thunder Roll; Right or Wrong; Passage of Time; I Came to Rock; King for One Day; Superman.

Samples from a few album songs can be heard following the link below :

The first single off the album: “Special”, can be exclusively listened in streaming on the Frontiers Records webradio. Tune in at

David Readman – vocals
Alfred Koffler – guitars
Uwe Reitenauer – guitars
Dennis Ward – bass
Chris Schmidt – drums

Official site:


Thursday, December 20, 2012

News Update for Thursday December 20th, 2012

Hi All,
Yes, quiet around here eh?
Well it's not been that quiet, just been busy folks, life can be like that ... And it's almost Christmas!

So tell me folks, do believe the end of the world is about to happen, really?
Many folks are doing a whole bunch of scare tactics and sadly following last weeks tragic school shooting, people have been threatening that there's going to be further school shootings ... What is wrong with people?!
If you do believe the world is going to end, think smart, spend that time with your family ...
If you don't believe it's going to end, 'hey' it's that time of year folks ..., so why not spend it with family!
We all work way too much and just don't give our families enough attention, as it's Christmas, why not make a change folks and love the ones you're with, because even if the world ISN'T going to end soon, someone's life may be ending soon and you and I just don't know it yet ... So seriously, love those that you care about, I do and I will!

OK, soap box session over folks!
I hope to bring further news updates and more reviews before the end of the year, but clearly it's got so crazy lately I just don't know how my days are going to go ... Sorry.
This updates consists of some I've just received, plus some from last week that I didn't get to post, that I thought you may still be interested in ...

If I don't though and I seriously hope that is not the case, have a fantastic Christmas and holiday time off!
Merry Christmas whether or not I update the site again or not!
Anyway, let's move on, have a great weekend folks!

Heaven + Earth - Something New!

Folks, I recently caught up with Stuart Smith and although the guy is incredibly busy he took a little time to give me an update and to point me in the direction of the completely updated Heaven and Earth website! - See below.

Stuart told his days are just so busy - Boy, can I relate to that mate! - but the album is recorded but it is now in the mixing process!
Stuart is really stoked about this release and tells me that there are some serious people involved in supporting this latest version of Heaven and Earth.

I obviously can't give too much away just yet and even more so, I wish I could give you a little insight into some of the music to give a few pointers, but ... I've heard nothing!
I am still small fry in the big scheme of things, but when Stuart tells me that when the album is released early next year, the band have got people behind them that come from the camps of both Aerosmith and Bon Jovi, so those that have heard some of the music are certainly behind Stuart Smith's latest Heaven and Earth project.
Read on ... I just cannot wait to hear the album or even just one song!


Spirits are halfway between God and man. They are envoys and interpreters that ply between Heaven and Earth, flying upward with our worship… and descending with heavenly answer… they merge both sides into one great whole… ~Plato

Taking up from where iconic bands like Deep Purple and Bad Company have left off, Heaven & Earth is on a mission to resurrect the sanctity of classic rock to its purist, most accessible form. Heaven & Earth fuses elements of hard rock, blues, even bits of classical, to create a potent blend of high-powered anthems, melodic rockers and introspective ballads that evoke the spirit of a magical era.

Tapping into the methodology and madness of old-school rock with a new-school attitude, Heaven & Earth are shaking their classic rock roots down to the very core on their newest effort, 'Dig' (Quarto Valley Records). The album, produced by Dave Jenkins — who’s turned the knobs for everyone from Metallica to Tower of Power — and scheduled for an early 2013 release, features guitarist Stuart Smith, singer Joe Retta, bassist Chuck Wright, drummer Richie Onori and keyboardist Arlan Schierbaum, along with special guests Howard Leese (Heart, Paul Rodgers, Bad Company) and David Paich (Toto).

As the band’s founder and visionary, Smith says Dig is “the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.”


Click to Enter


The origins of Heaven & Earth align the guitarist with a rich lineage of rock’s most celebrated musicians. Kelly Hansen (Foreigner), Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow, Deep Purple, Yngwie Malnsteen) and Kelly Keeling (King Kobra) have all fronted the band at various junctures. Guitarist Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi), singer and bassist Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Black Country Communion), and drummer Camine Appice (Vanilla Fudge) have each contributed their extraordinary talents to the music of Heaven & Earth.

Early in his career, Smith distinguished himself by making the acquaintance of Deep Purple’s Ritchie Blackmore, who mentored the up-and-coming musician. “I’m probably one of the few people in the world who grew up with a poster of someone on their wall, ended up meeting them, becoming friends with them, and getting mentored by them,” Smith notes. “I feel I owe everything I do to Ritchie. He taught me a lot about the guitar.”

Heeding Blackmore’s advice, he migrated to New York and after three years jamming around Manhattan and Long Island, headed west to Los Angeles, where he’s been ever since. Smith established himself as an in-demand guitarist in L.A., playing countless sessions and joining up with other British expats like Keith Emerson and Sweet. Around the same time, Heaven & Earth was conceived as a side project, something to cultivate Smith’s creative juices between stints working with others.

A few false starts and random gigs in, he recruited Richie Onori and singer Kelly Hansen to record the first album, 'Heaven & Earth Featuring Stuart Smith.' He also invited along a few heavy friends like Richie Sambora, Joe Lynn Turner, Glenn Hughes, Camine Appice, Howard Leese, Chuck Wright, Arlan Schierbaum, Robbie Wykoff and many more to appear on the record.

'Windows to the World,' produced by Howard Leese, followed in 2000 and featured Onori, Wright, Schierbaum and singer Kelly Keeling. Four years later, when Smith and Onori started their own label, Black Star Records, to reissue the first Heaven & Earth CD, they recorded a four-song EP called 'A Taste of Heaven' with Paul Shortino handling the vocals.

Joe Retta entered the picture when he joined Sweet in 2008. “I wanted to write and record new music and so did Stuart,” the singer recalls. “We discovered eventually that Sweet did not.”
Smith adds, “After touring with him in Sweet and recording with him in the studio, there was no other choice. Everyone else was second best.”

In the summer of 2012, the guitarist tendered his resignation to Sweet bassist Steve Priest and set out to mold Heaven & Earth into a world-class recording and touring band. Having Retta, Onori, Wright and Schierbaum committed and on board, Smith says Heaven & Earth is now a “real band,” ready to unleash its unique brand of classic rock upon an unsuspecting public.

'Dig' is very much a collaborative effort. Quarto Valley Records has been integral in allowing the band to develop and nurture the album without pressure.

“We are incredibly lucky to have Quarto Valley Records president, Bruce Quarto behind this project,” Smith says. “He told us from the very beginning that he didn’t care how long it took or how much it cost. If we come out of the studio and feel we could have done better, he wants us to go back in and do it again. We’ve been able to take our time crafting the songs. It’s very rare to have that kind of support and belief in what you’re doing.”

A good portion of the music on 'Dig' was brought to the band by Smith. He came up with riffs and the band worked up songs as Retta wrote vocal melodies and lyrics. On one occasion, Smith and Retta went on a hike and discussed the idea of putting together a song in the vein of a Rainbow classic co-written by their friend Ronnie James Dio (RIP).

“We both played at his memorial service,” Smith recalls. “I thought we needed a song like ‘Long Live Rock N’ Roll.’ But instead of saying society hasn’t saved me, the church hasn’t saved me, school hasn’t saved me, religion and politics haven’t saved me… rock and roll has. So we wrote a song called ‘Rock ‘n Roll Does.’ That was a turning point of the album.”

The music just kept coming. Smith might throw out a title or a concept for Retta to run with, or the singer might have an idea to develop on his own. Or they may turn to the other band members for input — especially Wright, whom Smith describes as a “great part writer.” The bassist, who has held down the bottom end for Quiet Riot for the past decade concurs, “Stuart brought in a riff that had a real Middle Eastern flavor, and I jumped right in with a lot of parts that basically rounded out the song.”

That song is “Victorious,” one of the more intense and heavier tracks on 'Dig' — mightily driven by a surly, dominant guitar line, magnificently sustained by Schierbaum’s inimitable swipes at the keys. “He’s the most amazing Hammond player I’ve ever seen in my life,” Smith raves. Quite an impressive endorsement from someone who was in a band with Keith Emerson.

Where does the inspiration come for such an epic piece? Retta says “Victorious” was originally called “Arabia.” He and Smith decided the lyrics should appeal to a wider audience, so they went back to the drawing board and recast the song. “The music feels violent to me,” the singer explains. “The ‘Arabia’ version gave me visions of men at war on horseback in the desert. It was already about battle. So a transition to the pre-battle scenario that you hear now is more natural.”
Stuart Smith, a man and his 'Strat!' - Photo: Alun Williams
Stuart Smith onstage with The Sweet in Detroit 2012 - Photo: Alun Williams

According to Smith, when work began on 'Dig,' he had just gone through a nasty breakup, which set a dark tone for the first few tunes. “Back In Anger,” “No Money No Love” and “I Don’t Know What Love Is Anymore” all reflect the emotions the guitarist was experiencing.

As work progressed, Smith’s mood started to lighten, which affected the direction of the music. For the final number, the uplifting “Live As One,” a choir was added to sweeten the melody, ending the record on an extremely high and positive note.

Dark to light, hair-raising rockers to intense ballads and all things in between — Smith believes the diversity of material on 'Dig' is inherent even in the Heaven & Earth moniker. “I think it sums up the music,” he says.

“'Dig' is very different from the first album I was involved with,” Wright adds. “That first album was more of a Stuart Smith solo record. This one is truly a band effort.”

All the backing tracks on 'Dig' were recorded at Ocean Studios in Burbank, California, and all the overdubs were done at the band’s own Wine Cellar Studios in Woodland Hills, California.  To further refine the record’s sonic reach, Jenkins used a Closed Loop Analog Signal Processor (CLASP), a device that integrates real analog tape recording into digital tools like Pro Tools to create a warm and vintage sound. Both Van Halen and Aerosmith enlisted a CLASP on their most recent albums.

In the same tradition, Heaven & Earth brought in photographer/creative director Glen Wexler to create the cover art for 'Dig.' Wexler has shot and designed over 300 album covers, including records by Van Halen, Black Sabbath and ZZ Top. He’s also directing the music videos for 'Dig,' planned for release in January 2013.

The future has never looked brighter for Heaven & Earth. After years of stopping and starting, adjusting and shifting, Smith feels his time has come. “Everything sort of fell into place for this — the songs, the players, even the old-school approach to recording. I couldn’t be more excited.”

Heaven + Earth are:

Chuck Wright
Arlan Schierbaum
Joe Retta
Stuart Smith
Richie Onori





(New York, NY) - Frontiers Records is proud to announce the return of classic pop rockers, Player.  The band will release its first new album in nearly 20 years with TOO MANY REASONS due out in North America on February 26th.  TOO MANY REASONS, written and produced by Peter Beckett, features twelve brand new tracks, as well as a new acoustic version of the band's chart-topping smash hit radio staple, "Baby Come Back." 

Founding member/bassist Ronn Moss commented, "It's wonderful to have our new music out in the world again. Our sound, our vocals, are stronger than they've ever been. I also believe there's a huge market waiting for this kind of music, a market in which lyric and strong melody are still valued." 

Founding member Peter Beckett added, "I am very happy that Player is on the Frontiers label, it feels like we have found a home again. I am also thrilled with the way the CD turned out. There's a little bit of everything on there, rock, r&b, pop ballads...something for everyone." 
Please see below for the track listing for TOO MANY REASONS.

Photo left-to-right: Peter Beckett, Ronn Moss
Photo credit: Devin DeVasquez-Moss

Player was formed in 1977 when Englishman Peter Beckett met J.C. Crowley at a Hollywood party. Beckett had come to the United States after the demise of his popular English band Paladin.
The band was completed by Ronn and John Friesen and the four became the founding members.  After many rehearsals and songwriting sessions, Player was born.  In 1978, the band had an international number one hit with first single "Baby Come Back", which was co-written by Beckett and J.C. Crowley and sung by Beckett.
The first album entitled simply PLAYER went platinum and the band toured extensively, including support stints with Boz Scaggs, Eric Clapton, Heart and Kenny Loggins, consistently playing to sold out arena audiences. Four albums followed spawning four more hit singles, including "This Time I'm In It For Love", which reached number eleven on Billboard's chart. Player "redux" consists of founding members Peter Beckett (guitars/lead vocals/keyboards) and Ronn Moss (bass/lead vocals).

Peter Beckett has written hit songs for such artists as Heart, Olivia Newton-John, Kenny Rogers, The Temptations, Poco, Janet Jackson, The Commodores, Cliff Richards, Survivor, Grace Slick, and most recently Vanessa Hudgens.
He has numerous movie credits as artist, producer and/or writer, including "The Karate Kid", "Two of a Kind", "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure", "Major League", "St Elmo's Fire" (Grammy nomination), "Frankie and Johnny", "Rock Star", "Terminator 3", "Basic Instinct", "Beyond Borders", "Life or Something Like It", "Dirty Dancing 2", and "Transformers".
From 1989-1997, Peter was a featured member of Little River Band and has written several singles for them.

Since the mid '80s, Ronn Moss has also gained worldwide stardom with his other career: 25 years as Ridge Forrester, the male lead in the CBS television series "The Bold And The Beautiful," a role from which Moss recently elected to depart to allow him time to devote to Player and other film and TV roles.  "B&B" consistently ranked as the most watched television series in the world, averaging more than 26 million viewers per day, and garnered more than 500,000 Twitter followers for Moss. He has also appeared in numerous feature films and television commercials, and took second place on the Italian version of "Dancing With The Stars".

TOO MANY REASONS track listing:

1.    Man On Fire
2.    Precious
3.    I Will
4.    Tell Me
5.    The Sins Of Yesterday
6.    My Addiction
7.    Too May Reasons
8.    To The Extreme
9.    The Words You Say
10.  Life In Color
11.  A Part Of Me
12.  Nothin' Like You
13.  Baby Come Back
For more information, please visit:
Twitter: @ronnmoss

ASIA forced to cancel 30th Anniversary UK Tour

Supergroup ASIA, featuring the original line-up of Geoff Downes (keyboards),  Steve Howe (guitar), Carl Palmer (drums) and John Wetton (Lead Vocal, bass), were recently forced to cancel their 30th Anniversary UK Tour due to drummer Carl Palmer being struck down with a severe case of E. coli.  

Tickets are refundable from the point of purchase.

The cancelled dates were as follows:
Already passed dates - Sorry! - Late with this update ...

Tavistock The Wharf (Dec 15)
Holmfirth Picturedrome (Dec 16)
Edinburgh Queen’s Hall (Dec 17)
Salisbury City Hall (Dec 19)

Previously planned - Now cancelled:

Birmingham Town Hall (Dec 20)
Manchester Royal Northern College of Music (Dec 21) 
London o2 Shepherds Bush Empire (Dec 22)

Get well soon Carl, loved the show here in Detroit at the beginning of last month.

Review link of that show here:


JORN goes "Symphonic" offering his fans a new retrospective on his career

Frontiers Records is pleased to announce the release of a very special album from JORN entitled “Symphonic” on January 25th in Europe and January 22nd in North America.

“Symphonic” is not a proper new album, but rather a selection of tracks taken from JORN’s previous studio releases, which have been carefully selected by the Norwegian singer himself and painstakingly remixed in order to add a grandiose classical orchestra arrangement to the existing Hard Rock structure.

“I didn't want to choose the most obvious Jorn songs, as I didn't want this album to come out as a typical "best of" release”, explains the Norwegian singer. “Some songs that are not too typical in a Jorn context, were chosen simply because some great songs often tend to be forgotten and therefore deserve a second chance”.

Tracks like “I Came to Rock”, “Burn Your Flame” and “Behind the Clown” especially are presented in a very intriguing and different new dressing, which enhances the variety and depth of JORN’s classic songwriting and performance style. In Jorn’s words: “I Came To Rock, might now even remind the listener of a Broadway musical, not coming from a heavy rock band like Jorn. The new version of "Behind The Clown" shows how much as a young boy I have been fascinated by Kate Bush. “Burn your flame” instead came out really fresh and different, compared to the original version on 'Spirit Black' from 2009.”
“Symphonic” also includes an unreleased track: a cover version of Dio’s “Rock n Roll Children”.
“I hope you will enjoy the album and maybe you will even rediscover some songs you had forgotten…” concludes Jorn.

“Symphonic” tracklisting includes:
I Came To Rock; Rock And Roll Children; The World I See; Burn Your Flame; Man Of The Dark
; My Road; Time To Be King; Black Morning; Like Stone In Water; Vision Eyes; War Of The World; Behind The Clown; A Thousand Cuts; The Mob Rules.
The first single off the album “I Came to Rock” can be exclusively listened in streaming on the Frontiers Records webradio.
Tune in at
Official link:


(New York, NY) Frontiers Records is excited to announce the release of the new studio album from international rock group W.E.T.; their sophomore effort RISE UP will hit streets in North America on February 26th.  W.E.T. is the union (and corresponding acronym) of some of the world's most accomplished musicians.  W.E.T. is Robert Säll ("W" = the keyboardist/guitarist from Swedish melodic rockers Work of Art), Erik Mårtensson ("E" = from Swedish pop-metallers Eclipse; Mårtensson plays guitars, bass, keyboards and lends vocals) and Jeff Scott Soto ("T" = from Talisman, the highly-celebrated American vocalist, also known for his work with Yngwie Malmsteen, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Journey), along with members Magnus Henriksson (guitars) and Robban Bäck (drums), also from EclipseW.E.T.'s self-titled debut album in 2009 was one of the rare occasions when a band created by the vision of Frontiers Records President/Founder Serafino Perugino managed to create such a wave of enthusiasm and interest from fans and the media alike that it went beyond the band's own expectations. 

Jeff Scott Soto commented, "To me this album sounds more like a band versus the first album.  The first album was great as it had a lot of great songs, but this one has great songs and a band personality which shows growth as far as I'm concerned." 

Erik Mårtensson added, "We took what we all loved about the first album and built the songwriting and sound from that. We wanted to give the band more of an identity and tried to find 'our' own sound.
I really think we achieved it with this album.  It's melodic rock for a new century!" 

RISE UP's release will be preceded by the first single from the album, "Learn to Live Again" on December 17th, which features for the first time ever a vocal duet between Mårtensson and Soto
Video sample here:

The new songs will be showcased live for the first time at a special show at the Debaser club in Stockholm, Sweden on January 17th. 

An audio sample of "Learn To Live Again" can be heard here.  

RISE UP track listing:

1.    Walk Away
2.    Learn To Live Again
3.    Rise Up
4.    Love Heals
5.    What You Want
6.    The Moment
7.    Bad Boy
8.    On The Run
9.    Broken Wings
10.  Shot
11.  Still Believe In Us
12.  Still Unbroken

For more information, please visit:

A Free Gift From Liberty N' Justice and new CD info

LNJ Records and Roxx Records have joined forces just in time for the holidays to bring you Liberty N' Justice's massive double CD, "The Cigar Chronicles" (26 songs/ over 70 guest artists).

"The Cigar Chronicles" will be the "LAST" all-star CD as LNJ stops being a project band and becomes a real band. With an official release date of 2-26-13, Liberty N' Justice's official website (, Roxx's online store(, and some online stores will be releasing the CD early. Anyone ordering, LNJ Records and Roxx Records have joined forces just in time for the holidays to bring you Liberty N' Justice's massive double CD, "The Cigar Chronicles" (26 songs/ over 70 guest artists).
You can hear song samples at including a "FREE CHRISTMAS SONG DOWNLOAD" that has JK Northrup's monster guitar playing and arranging  with "the voice' of the new LNJ, David Cagle!!!!

Roxx will all so be selling an exclusive autographed copy for the first 100 purchasers plus a special package with a new Roxx LNJ release "Before The Revolution: Best of LNJ the early years".  (

Here is what people are already saying about "The Cigar Chronicles" ...      
"! The Cigar Chronicles: Volume 2-The Originals is as near to perfection as 2012 has seen. Crank this masterpiece to 9.5 (outof 10).." - Arttie Parker, Glitter2Gutter 

"buying 'The Cigar Chronicle' is a must! It is definitely one of the best albums of 2012! No fillers, all killers!" - Kurt Morgan Skjæringrud, 

"The Cigar Chronicles is one of the musical highpoints of 2012...CRANK IT UP (9 out of 10)" Keven Crothers, White Throne Metal Reviews

"Murr and the LnJ project are going out big (4.5 out of 5)" - Craig Hartranft, DangerDog
"my overall opinion of The Cigar Chronicles is… GET IT… GET IT NOW! This is so good" (5 out of 5) - Tom Johns, Dead To Self Radio

"Best Christian Rock/Metal Album of 2012 -The Cigar Chronicles by Liberty N Justice." - Mark Lewis, Rock Over America 

"What we have in the original material is perhaps the best collection of LNJ songs to date (90% originals/80% covers)" - Andrew Rockwell, Angelic Warlord 

"must check out for any fan of Hard Rock (8 out of 10)" - Deny, MyGlobalMind 

"On his latest musical project, ‘The Cigar Chronicles,’ Justin Murr once again uses his skills to put together an all star cast of musicians and pounds out a collection of 26 both original and cover songs that really rock it out." - C.W. Ross, Let God Rock Your World 
Official website: