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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Nils Lofgren – Old School album review

Nils Lofgren – Old School album review
Released on: Vision Music, Inc. Release date: Available now

Nils Lofgren is a player, who has been in the game for many a year now and while he may not be really, a hard rocker, he’s certainly produced plenty of material in or around the realms of classic rock.
For years - twenty seven of them! - he had played as part of Bruce Springsteen’s touring band – Which sadly for me does nothing, sorry folks. – but he is most certainly a star player in his own right, with many albums under his belt.

I enjoyed his material at first, back in the 80’s …, but then kind of lost touch, that said this is actually Nils first new material in five years.

The album is also dedicated to Nils old E Street band mate Clarence ‘Big Man’ Clemons RIP.

 His actual style of music is really hard to pigeon hole - as if you’d even try! – as he tends to flit kind of this way and that, with some blues, some classic rock, but also kind of skiffle at times as well, but vocally with his phrasing style,  it’s really not unlike say Bruce, Mark Knopfler or even Bob Dylan.

Opening is the title track ‘Old School’ where Nils shares the vocal spotlight with former Foreigner vocalist Lou Gramm.

Sadly these days he does not sound as distinctive as he once was. It’s certainly quite an up tempo track, but Nils was clearly in a bit of an emotional ‘area’ when he wrote and recorded this album. Just listen to the lyrics here … He’s out to make his point.

’60 is the New 18,’ next is quite the sarcastic track, which just has to be heard, certainly amusing at times, but presented in a more pop rock format, with gives it a pretty good groove.
Maybe this is a hard call but it’s almost Dire Straits meets Styx somewhere!

In ‘Miss You Ray,’ Nils remembers the legend Ray Charles in melancholy fashion and this number is very, very Springsteen like indeed.

‘Love Stumbles On,’ is again very Springsteen like in a kind rustic laid back style number.

It’s skiffle band time next with ‘Amy Joan Blues,’ where Nils pulls in Paul Rodgers for some vocal input, but you almost wouldn’t know it was Rodgers from the mix, just like the opening track ‘Old School’ with Lou Gramm.

You kind of wonder when artists pull in guest vocalists, if they don’t let them take the lead, why they do it?

Next track is in an almost Van Morrison vein, perhaps the song title leads me to think that with ‘Irish Angel.’
  It’s actually a really beautiful track, one that Nils masters perfectly; in ballads he has it down to a tee!

Nils pulls in Sam Moore from Sam and Dave fame to help on the apt ‘Ain’t Too Many of Us Left,’ of course focused on the fact that so many ‘good old boy’ blues legends have passed away in recent years. It’s a pretty good blues jam.

‘When You Were Mine’ is a laid back folksy like ballad and I really feel again that Nils has played so much with Bruce Springsteen that I think his phrasings and songwriting have rubbed off on Nils greatly. Sadly for me, that’s not to my liking, but that’s not to say of course that many of you would feel the same.
  If you’re a fan of Bruce, you’ll most likely really enjoy this album.

Tempo gets a lift with ‘Just Because You Love Me,’ which is a pretty catchy upbeat number to be honest. Enjoyable stuff!

‘Dream Big,’ is a strange, almost multi-musical track, think of some of those old Kate Bush – busy – tracks, with loads going on throughout. Odd backing …, sounds … Tap dancing?

I really love the acoustic intro to ‘Let Her Get Away,’ sadly then Nils vocal to this ballad is almost depressing, bringing to mind the likes of Leonard Cohen …, with perhaps a little more tunefulness.

Closing track, ‘Why Me’ has a nice lead intro, played across a very laid back skiffle’ish style number, slow to mid-pace song that’s almost Bruce like again, some nice lead guitar work though throughout.

So overall, really, not my bag I have to say. Perhaps just too rootsy which might well work for a lot of people, just not me …
  I was very curious to hear this album, guess I should have left it alone.

Rating: 2.75 out of 5 – Just didn’t work for me. Bruce fans, buy, buy, buy!

Official website:

News updates for Saturday February 4th, 2012

Hi folks, sorry once again for lack of updates and I know you really don't care what my excuses are, but I will say again, that news in general, certainly with press releases has been scarce.
Lined up another interview with a great musician for this evening my time, who I really don't believe has done a full interview in quite some time. Looking forward to that ... 
Anyway, you don't want to hear my blabber, so I'll move on.

Just one other thing for those of you that keep asking me about the radio interview I did, that you didn't get a chance to hear and you wondered if you could find the stream somewhere?
Well, yes you can. Big JD, the radio host who interviewed me has told me to go here:

Select the show date of January 25th, 2012, right mouse click the Mp3 file - That shows the headphones and has the date in the middle of the file name of 20120125 -  to 'Save As' and it will allow you download the file as an Mp3.
That's it!
Cheers, enjoy your weekend!

Bill Ward puts Black Sabbath original reunion in doubt

It seems all is not well in the Black Sabbath reunion camp.
As if it's not bad enough that founding member and lead guitarist Tony Iommi has been diagnosed with lymphoma and is going through treatments as he battles that, but to then have some kind of fued over contracts is just nuts to me.
It casts a very dark shadow over the whole situation, especially with Tony being so sick.

Apparently Bill Ward has been issued a contract to sign, that he says he feels is 'unsignable.'
Here is Bill's message to Black Sabbath fans, about the whole deal:

Dear Sabbath Fans, Fellow Musicians and Interested Parties,
At this time, I would love nothing more than to be able to proceed with the Black Sabbath album and tour. However, I am unable to continue unless a “signable” contract is drawn up; a contract that reflects some dignity and respect toward me as an original member of the band. Last year, I worked diligently in good faith with Tony, Ozzy and Geezer. And on 11/11/11, again in good faith, I participated in the L.A. press conference. Several days ago, after nearly a year of trying to negotiate, another “unsignable” contract was handed to me.
Let me say that although this has put me in some kind of holding pattern, I am packed and ready to leave the U.S. for England. More importantly, I definitely want to play on the album, and I definitely want to tour with Black Sabbath.
Since the news of Tony’s illness, and the understanding that the band would move production to the U.K., I’ve spent everyday getting to or living in a place of readiness to leave. That involves something of a task, and as I’ve tried to find out what’s going on with the U.K. sessions, I’ve realized that I’ve been getting “the cold shoulder” (and, I might add, not for the first time). Feeling somewhat ostracized, my guess is as of today, I will know nothing of what’shappening unless I sign “the unsignable contract.”
The place I’m in feels lousy and lonely because as much as I want to play and participate, I also have to stand for something and not sign on. If I sign as-is, I stand to lose my rights, dignity and respectability as a rock musician. I believe in freedom and freedom of speech. I grew up in a hard rock/metal band. We stood for something then, and we played from the heart with honesty and sincerity. I am in the spirit of integrity, far from the corporate malady, I am real and honest, fair and compassionate.
If I’m replaced, I have to face you, the beloved Sabbath fans. I hope you will not hold me responsible for the failure of an original Black Sabbath lineup as promoted. Without fault finding, I want to assure everyone that my loyalty to Sabbath is intact.
So here I am. I lay my truth down before you. I’m good to go IF I get a “signable” contract. I don’t want to let anyone down, especially Black Sabbath and all the Sabbath fans. You know I love you. It would be a sad day in Rock if this current situation fell to the desires of a few.
My position is not greed-driven. I’m not holding out for a “big piece” of the action (money) like some kind of blackmail deal. I’d like something that recognizes and is reflective of my contributions to the band, including the reunions that started fourteen years ago. After the last tour I vowed to never again sign on to an unreasonable contract. I want a contract that shows some respect to me and my family, a contract that will honor all that I’ve brought to Black Sabbath since its beginning.
That’s the story so far.
Stay safe and stay strong.
I love every single one of you.
–Bill Ward

It's just crazy in this day and age, that musicians, especially those that have known each other for so long, would go through all this stuff that to be honest, borders on being childish.
That said, I agree with Bill that he was there at the start, through the major Ozzy years and even recorded the first brilliant album Sabbath did with Ronnie James Dio (RIP) in 'Heaven and Hell,' so I agree, he deserves better.
Guessing that Sharon Osbourne is doing her usual 'Ozzy is better than everyone else' bit here.
Sad indeed.
Official Bill Ward website:

Night Ranger guitarist Joel Hoekstra posts update for fans

Workaholic guitarist and super nice guy Joel Hoekstra, who's Brad Gillis' foil with US rockers Night Ranger, was very busy in 2011 doing shows with Trans-Siberian Orchestra, the Rock of Ages show on Broadway and even stepping in for Foreigner's Mick Jones for a bunch of shows last summer and much more, has posted an update for fans at his website.
Here's some snippets from there:

'Hi everybody! Once again, I'm overdue with this update, but it's only because I've had such a busy year....the busiest yet. For me it was another year of Night Ranger, Rock of Ages and Trans Siberian Orchestra and some other highly notable moments.

For Night Ranger, 2011 started in the studio. What we came away with was "Somewhere in California", considered by most to be Night Ranger's strongest album in years. For me it was an honor to become part of the bands recording history.

You can read some choice quotes here:

Here's a behind the scenes video for Somewhere in California:

and here's the official video for the first track Growin' Up in California:

Joel also goes on to talk also of the Rock of Ages gig that is now a movie, starring Tom Cruise in the lead role that will come out in the Summer this year ...

'I actually STARTED the year playing Rock of Ages 1/1-1/9 at the Brooks Atkinson Theater. Then the show took a brief break to move to the Helen Hayes Theater where it re-opened on 3/24. The show continues to thrive. During 2011 it celebrated it's 1,000th show on Broadway and recently became the 93rd longest running show in the history of Broadway (and is rapidly climbing on that list.).

I was also able to get down to Miami to film a cameo for the upcoming Rock of Ages movie (due out 6/15/12). Basically, they took Sebastian Bach, Nuno Bettencourt, Kevin Cronin, Debbie Gibson and me and put us around Russell Brand in a scene where we are singing across the street to Catherine Zeta Jones and her followers. 
In addition to the filming itself, we were able to play an impromptu concert in catering for the actors and the hang was absolutely priceless.'

Here's the trailer for the movie:

'Once again, I want to finish by thanking my family, my bandmates in Night Ranger/Rock of Ages/Trans Siberian Orchestra, all of my endorsements (see below) and of course anyone who attended a show, bought one of my CD's, or even wrote words of encouragement. 
I've got the best job in the world and I appreciate the opportunity!!!'

There's quite a bit more to it at his website and here's also a few more links.
Seriously, Joel is a great player and a great guy and I wish the guy nothing but continued success and of course the very best for 2012!


The Ronnie James Dio online webstore is new and improved!

If you're a Ronnie James Dio fan and to be honest, there's not many rock fans that aren't, then perhaps this news from the Dio camp, run by Ronnie's widow Wendy Dio, may well be of interest.
Hey folks check out the new and improved Official Dio Web Store:

Smart phone? take a test drive on our new Mobile Dio Store.
Built friendly for the on the go Dio shopper:
Now pay with ALL MAJOR CREDIT CARDS, PayPal, Checks or Money Orders.
Multiple shipping options, rates are calculated real time by USPS and FedEx web apps. You decide if you want to receive your order fast or slow, it's up to you! We even offer normal postal mail to save you money. If you're not in a rush, this is a good option.
Browse the new Dio Store Blog. Find information about new products, releases, related videos and stories :

Log in to your account for complete shopping history. View, track and manage your orders. Address book, wish list and more.

Help us be the best Dio Store we can be! Use our new "Feedback" tool, quick and easy tell us what you think.
New products and features are being added everyday. We just added lots of new shirts for both men and women, hats, beanies, wristbands, CD's, DVD's, Blu-ray and more!!!!

We have a brand new Ronnie James Dio Memorial Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund Shirt that 100% of the proceeds go to the Fund and you get a cool shirt modeled after the "Long Live Rock 'n' Roll" LP:

The Memorial shirt comes in sizes Medium, Large, XL, XXL, XXXL and XXXXL.

Official weblinks:

Maryland's M3 Annual event announces line up

The M3 annual rock festival held at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD has become pretty popular in recent years, having played host to many great names in the past, this years event is sure to likewise be no disappointment!

The event that takes place over the May 11th Friday and 12th Saturday, is clearly once again focus around some great, successful 80's rock acts.
Night Ranger will headline the Friday night and they always guarantee a good live show.

Saturday night, the main event will include Ratt back together again, kind of doubtful the new album will be ready by then, but you never know.
If it's anything like 2010's excellent 'Infestation,' then it should be well worth the wait!

The Saturday bill also includes the strange combination of two bands on the same day that well ..., is interesting!
Dokken led by Don Dokken and ..., well, whoever he has in his band at the time I guess are playing the Saturday, but also on the bill is Lynch Mob, featuring former guitarist George Lynch.
Lynch has recently been collaborating with two other members of the 'classic' Dokken line up, in drummer Mick Brown and bassist Jeff Pilson and have been playing together under the name Tooth and Nail, jamming classic Dokken songs that Don Dokken seems to simply not play enough of.

A few other bands on the bill, are also big names from the 80's scene, but three of those big names are minus their original vocalists, Skid Row now having featured Johnny Solinger since 2000, as Sebastian Bach took the solo path. Then there is Warrant, who have had a couple of singers since parting ways with the late singer Jani Lane RIP, now feature Robert Mason on vocals.

Quiet Riot whose singer Kevin Dubrow passed away back in 2007, are currently in limbo, since recently parting ways with Mark Huff, currently have Keith St. John filling in on singing duties, who most recently had been fronting Ronnie Montrose's band.

Saturday night will be headlined by Cinderella who I hope, will have Tom Keifer in good form.
The poor guy has been suffering with some health issues in recent years, which has made the band limit the amount of live shows they now play each year.

Queensryche will no doubt please a lot of fans too, although they seem to not always do so good in front of festival audiences.
Stryper should hopefully have new album done or almost done by the time they play. I loved their last album of covers, appropriately titled 'The Covering.' Should be good too.

I'm sure there's many rock fans that will be pleased to also catch Kix again, after they played at last years event.

Enuff Z'Nuff, Loudness, XYZ and Bang Tango should be crowd pleasers too, as they all have a great live reputation. XYZ though don't play out so much these days, so a special one to catch there.

Official festival site is here:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

News Update for Wednesday February 1st, 2012

More UK dates for Thin Lizzy in May

Thin Lizzy have announced additional UK dates to their 2012 tour schedule.
The legendary rockers, due to phenomenal demand, will play 7 additional dates in May.
The lineup, features vocalist Ricky Warwick, bassist Marco Mendoza and guitarist Damon Johnson alongside Classic Thin Lizzy members Scott Gorham, Brian Downey and Darren Wharton have gone from strength to strength since announcing their return in May 2010

Currently blowing away fans with 13 dates across the UK during January and February, Scott Gorham commented “The response has been amazing – there are some towns we haven’t played with this line up and demand for us to play there means we can add more shows – so here you are!!’

The band, who have not released a studio album since 1983's 'Thunder And Lightning', indicated earlier this year that they are considering recording new material together. Were this to happen, it would mark the first new music the band had released since the death of front man Phil Lynott in 1986.
 Thin Lizzy will play:

MAY 2012

 Wed 16 GUILDFORD, G Live - 0844 7701 797
Fri 18 LIVERPOOL, O2 Academy - 0844 477 2000
Sat 19 EDINBURGH, HMV Picture House - 08448 444 747
Sun 20 MIDDLESBROUGH, Empire - 01642 253 553
Tue 22 NOTTINGHAM, Rock City - 0845 413 4444
Wed 23 NORWICH, UEA LCR - 01603 508 050
Thu 24 BOURNEMOUTH, O2 Academy - 0844 477 2000

Tickets are on general sale from 9am, Friday 3rd February.
Priced £26.00 plus booking fee and are available from* or the 24hr Ticket Hotline 0844 338 0000* and venue box offices.
*all dates except Edinburgh and Norwich

For more information and VIP Package details go to:
Special Guests on these dates will be BLACK SPIDERS and THE TREATMENT.
Thin Lizzy are:
Scott Gorham – guitar
Damon Johnson – guitar
Ricky Warwick – vocals/guitar
Marco Mendoza – bass
Darren Wharton – keyboards
Brian Downey – drums

Official Thin Lizzy site:

“Best New Band in the Last Decade” To Release Live Double CD

Black Country Communion to Release Rip-Roaring Double Concert CD “Live Over Europe” on February 28, 2012
BCC to go back into the studio for third record this Summer

Los Angeles, CA, January, 31, 2012: Black Country Communion, the English-American rock band featuring the talents of bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Trapeze, Black Sabbath), blues rock guitarist/vocalist Joe Bonamassa, drummer Jason Bonham (Led Zeppelin), and keyboardist Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater), will release their first concert CD Live Over Europe on February 28, 2012 on the J&R Adventures imprint. This 2-disc CD follows up the October 2011 release of the 2-disc DVD by the same name. The album is available for pre-order at:
Get your free download of the single “Cold” from the live album at:

Recently named by Eddie Trunk and co-hosts as “Best New Band of the Last 10 Years” on VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show, BCC taped Live Over Europe during its debut tour in the summer of 2011. On the album, the band blazes through 17 tracks, recorded in surround over three nights, playing to packed venues in Hamburg, Munich and Berlin. The set list includes songs from both of BCC’s albums – 2010’s self-titled debut and 2011’s sophomore release 2 - including “Black Country,” “One Last Soul,” “Save Me,” “Man In The Middle,” “Cold,” and “Song of Yesterday.” Also included in the mix is “The Ballad Of John Henry,” from Bonamassa’s 2009 solo album and the Deep Purple classic “Burn.”
Producer Kevin Shirley explains, “We saw that this live act could be an awesome force of nature to behold; one that promised legendary performances like those of our heroes of Classic Rock. The plan was to get them out there for the entire world to hear. Records allow a certain musical finesse, but live performance promises so much in the very transient nature of a gig; chances are taken, boundaries are crossed and the most exciting performances explode. Two studio albums built a repertoire big enough for a full concert which allowed us to unleash the monster for all the world to see and feel.”
Guitar World named BCC’s 2 as #12 in their Top 50 Albums of 2011. In November, BCC scooped up the Breakthrough Award at the Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards. called BCC the “Great Last Hope for Classic Hard Rock.”
BCC debut tour took the band around the world, playing to cities in North America and Europe. On June 10, at Anaheim, CA’s Grove of Anaheim, The Orange County Register exclaimed, “The four members of BCC truly recast the heavy rock of the '60s and '70s and yank it into the 21st century as well as anyone in recent memory.”

Live Over Europe Track List:
Disc 1
1. Revolution of the Machine
2. Black Country
3. One Last Soul
4. Crossfire
5. Save Me
6. The Battle For Hadrian’s Wall
7. Beggarman
8. Faithless
9. Song of Yesterday
10. I Can See Your Spirit

Disc 2
11. Cold
12. The Ballad of John Henry
13. The Outsider
14. The Great Divide
15. Sista Jane
16. Man In The Middle
17. Burn
Essential Links:

Guitar World magazine streaming new UFO track

US magazine Guitar World has just issued this following piece on the UK's excellent UFO, focused around the playing of popular guitarists favourite player, Vinnie Moore.

For more details on Guitar World, UFO or the band's labels and other artists:

British hard-rockers UFO have had an amazing, 40-plus-year career, so we're excited to be able to bring you the opening track off their 20th studio album, Seven Deadly. Scroll down to listen to "Fight Night" now.

Seven Deadly is out February 28th in the U.S. and a day earlier worldwide via SPV/Steamhammer.

If you like what you hear, you can pre-order Seven Deadly right now through
UFO guitarist Vinnie Moore just unveiled a new custom guitar from Dean USA earlier this month at Winter NAMM 2012.
Check out a photo gallery of the Dean USA DCR Vinnie Moore Vinman Koa here.

..... And finally ....

Just for fun folks ....
Based on the US format of month, day, year .... Guess what day it makes?

Alright!!!! Yep, you guessed it, it's 2112 day (2/1/12)!!!

Get yer Rush on!!!
Time to pull out the old '2112' classic album for some serious Rush listening!

Happy Rush day!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

News Update for Tuesday January 31st, 2012


New York, NY (January 30, 2012)--Roger Hodgson, the legendary voice of Supertramp, will embark on his Breakfast in America Tour next month, kicking off with two sold out shows at the Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, CA.

Fans the world over have been thrilled with Hodgson's unforgettable songs such as "Breakfast in America," "The Logical Song," "Dreamer," "Give a Little Bit," "Take the Long Way Home," and "School."
Hodgson and his band will perform these timeless songs, as they take you on a magical musical journey.

Universally recognized as one of the most gifted composers and songwriters to have ever put pen to paper, Hodgson helped define a generation of progressive rock.

Founding Supertramp in 1969, Hodgson's dulcet tones and beautifully crafted lyrics helped the band sell in excess of 60 million albums, transforming them into a worldwide phenomenon. Although he departed the band in 1983, he is still regarded as the spiritual and creative force behind Supertramp.

For a taste of the live Hodgson experience, Take the Long Way Home - Live in Montreal, is available on DVD from Eagle Rock Entertainment

Reflecting on his tour and DVD, Roger said "I love performing these songs, which continue to resound for me as a performer and for the fans. My songs come from a very personal place inside me and they carry my beliefs and my dreams and my philosophy of life. I understand the deep connection that fans have with my songs that have been a part of so many peoples' lives around the world."

Roger Hodgson will perform at the following venues:

February 24 and 25 Temecula, California, Pechanga Resort Casino

February 26 Chandler, AZ, Wild Horse Pass Casino

February 28 Tulsa, OK, Hard Rock Casino - The Joint

March 2 Hinckley, MN, Grand Casino Hinckley

March 3 and 4 Milwaukee, WI, Potawatomi Casino / Northern Lights Theater

March 7 Hollywood, FL, Hard Rock Live

March 8 Ft. Pierce, FL, Sunrise Theatre

August 17 Lincoln, RI, Twin River Casino Event Center
More dates to be announced in the coming weeks! For details:


John Sykes update following pulling out from working with Mike Portnoy

Two great players, John Sykes (Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake, Blue Murder) and Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater) and the band that might've been!

Despite announcing their collaboration on That Metal Show back in July 2011, featuring Eddie Trunk, the work they started has recently, apparently now been scrapped.

Reasons given for the split implied differing time management skills of all the musicians involved with the project.

John Sykes (Left) and Mike Portnoy - What might've been!

"The project I was putting together with [former Dream Theater drummer] Mike Portnoy didn't work out, and I wish him all the best for the future. I'm continuing to work on my new album, and I look forward to putting out some great new music in 2012."

Word out there now, is that drummer Mike Portnoy and Mr. Big Bassist Billy Sheehan (Talas, David Lee Roth, UFO), who were both previously working with Sykes, are now involved with a new band including guitarist/singer Richie Kotzen (Poison, Mr Big).

I guess we'll all have to wait and see on all fronts now, what might still come from all these guys in 2012. An interesting year ahead indeed.
I like many others, based on what the man has provided to us solo and with Blue Murder, look forward to new John Sykes material with open arms!
Story source:


Summer 2012 Tour Rumours

As a new year starts, to try and put the winter blues behind us all we start to think ahead to summer and what great summer tours there might be.
Already the rumours are flying and possibly the two biggest tour rumours are of
Poison teaming up with Def Leppard again and of Kiss going out on the road with Motley Crue which will probably break most peoples bank balances for sure no doubt!
There is also talk that The Scorpions may well swing back to the US on their farewell tour during 2012 too.

I'll tell you of a personal double bill I would love to see as well, that I know there is more chance of seeing a flying pig go by!
I would imagine classic rockers out there would love to see a double billing of Uriah Heep and Thin Lizzy!

Both acts did pretty well for a lot of people and plenty of praise on both their individual, if low to mid scale US tours early last year and then Lizzy gained even more adulation playing alongside Judas Priest on their Epitaph tour late last year, so a double billing of those two acts, in some cities where maybe one or the other or both did not play last year, would I believe, go down a storm!

Yeah, I know ... Regular readers know that I'm a big fan of both acts, but wouldn't that be a killer bill?
What about you folks, what would be your dream bills I wonder?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Slight News Update for Monday January 30th, 2012

Well, I don't know if it's just quiet in the world of rock or that my previously trusty PR contacts are now giving me the cold shoulder, all bar one or two, for my not being able to keep up with absolutely everything they send my way?!
There has been a distinct lack of new press releases coming my way from the many folks that used to send them ..., strange. Ah well ...
I'll keep trying to give and share with you all, the best that I can.
Keep on rockin' folks, cheers, Al

UK Firefest 2012 Announcement

Yes, it's official, the annual UK Firefest event is on for 2012 with the announcement on UK rock station, yesterday evening. Each act being announced by Firefest's main spokesperson, Kieran Dargan on a band by band basis.
Here's the new 2012 flyer for the event:

I know pretty much 100% certain, that I unfortunately could not afford to go over and personally, I think I would've preferred probably to have attended either or both of the last two Firefest events.
Sorry, that's just me though ...

Giving the event it's due though, they've certainly done well to once again talk some old favourite rock bands out of nowhere land.
I know from responses all over Facebook last night that many are very excited to see XYZ, Santers and Brighton Rock on the bill and all power to Swiss band Gotthard playing out again, after the very tragic loss of brilliant lead singer Steve Lee, in 2010.

Interesting to see Robin Beck on the bill, who had a number one hit years ago in the UK and Europe with 'First Time,' that was also used in a Coke commercial.
She has been - As many that follow the world of rock will know. - been married to House of Lords lead singer and band leader, James Christian for a few years now.

Fiona too has apparently been getting back to the rock, that the melodic rock world loved hearing when she first hit the scene, before taking a little ..., well, different direction before too long.
Big favourites I know for sure will be Tyketto and Ted Poley's band Danger Danger, both sure fire winners!
I'm also very pleased for Pete Fry and the Farcry guys for being on the bill this year, hopefully Mr. Kivel will get flights booked far enough ahead of time, that they can play this time! Good luck guys!

So, the annual UK October - rock - Fest is on and I'm sure many rockers will be well pleased with the lineup. Enjoy folks!

Official site:

Aussie rockers announce UK tour

Due to popular demand, Australian power rock trio TRACER kick off their first nationwide headline UK tour at London’s Islington O2 Academy on Tuesday 24th April.

Planet Rock will start a 48-hour ticket pre-sale from Wednesday 1st February at 9am, ents24’s - - pre-sale will follow from Thursday. Tickets go on general sale at 10am on Friday 3rd February via the 24 hour ticket hotline: 0844 478 0898, Gig Cartel.

Tuesday 24th April Islington O2 Academy 2, London

Wednesday 25th April The Tunnels, Bristol

Thursday 26th April Manchester Academy 3

Friday 27th April The Duchess, York

Saturday 28th April The Plug, Sheffield

TRACER was recently voted third place in Planet Rock’s “Best New Band” listeners’ poll.
Over the past four months the station has played the singles Too Much and Devil Ride, both taken from Tracer’s debut critically acclaimed album Spaces In Between.
The upcoming UK headline tour follows Tracer’s 2011 tour supporting Royal Republic.

TRACER has captured the excitement and adrenalin rush of rock’n’roll. Tracer's sound embodies the same raw dynamics and edge to that of Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, Queens of the Stone Age and Black Sabbath. Classic Rock magazine recently deemed them “New Band of the Month”, while Total Guitar, Rock Sound, Guitarist, Fireworks and Powerplay awarded the debut 4 stars.
Hailing from Adelaide, South Australia, the trio embrace a sonic sledgehammer sound steeped in epic guitars, thunderous riffs and raw, uncompromising vocals. Their Australian blend of 90’s stoner and 70’s classic rock continues to win them new fans.

Read the official online press announcement:


When it comes to paying tribute to the blues greats, few classic rock acts have done as much as Foghat over the years.

Case in point, their first hit single was a classic cover of Willie Dixon’s “I Just Want To Make Love To You,” and they organized a 1977 star-studded NYC concert that benefited the start of the Blues Archive at the New York Public Library. Foghat was the ‘house band’ backing their special guests including Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Johnny Winter, Paul Butterfield, Honeyboy Edwards, Eddie Kirkland and many others).

The group continues to pay homage to blues masters, as evidenced by their latest release, 2010's 'Last Train Home.' which contains covers of several blues classics such as “So Many Roads, So Many Trains” and “Shake Your Money Maker,” and a few new originals.

And now, LP collectors will get an opportunity to add this killer album to their collection, as it will be issued in a limited edition of 1,000 copies, as a blue vinyl/double album with gatefold sleeve (including plenty of photos, and liner notes by Classic Rock Revisited founder Jeb Wright). “Last Train Home” is the culmination of a dream shared by Roger Earl and Lonesome Dave Peverett who passed away in 2000. The album will be issued on February 7th, which will mark the 12 year anniversary of his passing.

‘Last Train Home’ sees Foghat’s line-up - Roger Earl (drums), Charlie Huhn (vocals/rhythm & lead guitar), and Bryan Bassett (lead & slide guitar) - joined by several special guests, including harmonica player Lefty Lefkowitz, Earl’s brother, Colin, on piano, and Eddie ‘Bluesman’ Kirkland (who we sadly lost in a car accident last February). Due to a prior commitment for the band’s bassist, Craig MacGregor, Jeff Howell, formerly of Foghat, Savoy Brown and the Outlaws filled in for the recording.

One of classic rock's most enduring acts will soon be revisiting the format that originally made them stars, with a beautifully assembled vinyl version of 'Last Train Home.'

Complete track list for ‘Last Train Home’:

Born for the Road – Earl, Bassett, Huhn, Howell

Needle & Spoon – Chris Youlden

So Many Roads, So Many Trains – Otis Rush

Last Train Home – Huhn, Bassett, Earl, Howell

Shake Your Money Maker – Elmore James

It Hurts Me Too – Elmore James

Feel So Bad – Chuck Willis

Louisiana Blues – Muddy Waters

495 Boogie – Earl, Earl, Bassett, Howell, Huhn, Lefkowitz

Rollin’ & Tumblin’ / You Need Love – CC/Willie Dixon

In My Dreams – Eddie Kirkland

Good Good Day – Eddie Kirkland