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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Jack Blades – Rock ‘n’ Roll Ride album review

Jack Blades – Rock ‘n’ Roll Ride album review
Released on: Frontiers records. Release date: Available now

With input from Night Ranger band mates Brad Gillis, Kelly Keagy, Joel Hoekstra and Eric Levy, as well as a special guest appearance by Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander, it's clear Night Ranger fans everywhere will be picking up this new one from Jack Blades. Former Night Ranger keys man Christian Matthew Cullen is also present here too, as is Jack’s son Colin Blades.
Drums throughout are shared between Kelly Keagy and Brian Tichy, isn’t that something?!

Last year’s 'Somewhere in California' was an excellent new Night Ranger album, that got praise worldwide from so many reviewers and fans alike, to bring the classic Night Ranger sound right up to date song wise. With this new one from Jack, he's certainly captured all elements from Night Ranger, Shaw / Blades and of course Damn Yankees.

It's a very strong album which I'm so happy to state, as Jack's last self titled solo release from 2004 didn't really grab me, as much as I would’ve liked.
I've loved the Shaw / Blades stuff, as different as it is from any of his other work and of course, I thought Damn Yankees were fantastic but too short lived, but that said, Night Ranger is such a strong live band and studio - IMO - that I'm happy they are still around! 
Opening with the very strong ‘Back in the Game,’ the Night Ranger front man has got my interest without any question!
It’s a steady catchy pop rocker that sets up the album nicely from the get go.
The AC/DC like - even down to the almost Bon Scott like vocal - ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Ride’ then gets into Night Ranger like territory too, excellent stuff! 
No question on the hook driven ‘Born For This,’ it’s sheer class! As catchy as Bon Jovi or Bryan Adams’ best work, it’s a complete winner in this reviewer books!

‘Hardest Word To Say,’ is an excellent modern power ballad, keeping it very contemporary indeed. Not unlike say something 3 Doors Down or Goo Goo Dolls might come up with. The great songs just keep coming. Brilliant!

With ‘Anything For You’ Jack pulls in Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander to share the chorus vocal and this track is really not unlike the Shaw / Blades material. Very poppy and I’m guessing Tommy Shaw wasn’t available and Robin was! ;-)

A nod to Damn Yankees as well as the current Night Ranger sound – ala ‘Somewhere In California.’ - with ‘Love Life,’ really enjoy this one … Well, OK, I love them all so far. Great album Jack and it’s only six songs in!

The Shaw / Blades sound is certainly the direction of ‘West Hollywood,’ it has a kind of different rock twist from the Night Ranger material, but it still fits in well here. Rocking, but yet rootsy in places …
‘Say You Will’ is Night Ranger through and through, with both Joel Hoekstra and Brad Gillis throwing in their excellent guitar solo work. It’s …, well, it’s like everything else here, class!
The laid back ‘Don’t Give Up’ is a nice touch, easy going pop rocker. Really tasty guitar solo here, very nice indeed!
‘Rise and Shine’ starts as an easy going number, then pretty much laid back though the first verse that then picks up and kicks into a real groove with the chorus, then it just picks up a little more as the song progresses step by step.
Almost an AC/DC kind of riff, once it get into it. Good one!

Closing number ‘Hey Now,’ is a laid back starter and almost has a kind of rootsy feel to it, a little Faces, even (Rolling)Stones like feel  about it at times too and then it rocks out as it gets into the final third, before easing back again in the last quarter.
 Jack, you should every right to feel good about this album, it’s a winner, no question!
OK, now we’ve had an excellent Night Ranger last year and now this one is out, let’s have a Damn Yankees reunion, but just for a year or so … I’d miss Night Ranger too much!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Official site:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Slight News Update for Thursday May 3rd, 2012

Hi folks, well, this update comes to you from my hotel room on the west side of the state of Michigan, on a business trip with the day job ... Phew! It got warm yesterday!
We hit something like 82°F today here in the town / city by the name of Three Rivers and it was still seriously warm and muggy last night.
Today I hear is supposed to be warmer still ... Summer here at last, I think!

Well, enough of my blabber about that though and on with the news 'stuff!'
Cheers, Al

Black Sabbath Announce an Intimate Homecoming Show.

Well, as many of you already know, Black Sabbath had last year announced that they were reuniting, Ozzy, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward were set to play a series of live dates around the world and record a new studio album, the first with this line up in over thirty years!
All looked pretty promising, but then the first shock was announced that Tony Iommi was suffering from lymphoma and ungoing various cancer treatments ..., so the tour was cancelled but plans for the new album continued, in between Tony's chemotherapy and other treatments.
Tony's treatments continue ...

Two shows had been scheduled to go ahead though, whatever happened ..., so it seems, one at the UK's annual Download Festival and the other in the US, that being the Lollapalooza show:

Then Bill Ward said he had withdrawn from the reunion, due to the financial side of things not being right for him and he stated if things were put right, then he'd happily rejoin.
To date, this is still unresolved and so therefore, who will be drumming for Sabbath, remains to be seen ...? Sadly money as we all know, remains the root of all evil, certainly in this case.
I like many believe that being as this would have been the original Sabbath line up, why is the money not split an even four ways ...?

Anyway the Black Sabbath camp has just recently annouced that there will be a warm up gig in the UK prior to the Download appearance and here's the details on that.

In preparation for their hugely anticipated headline performance at this year’s Download Festival, Black Sabbath have announced an intimate homecoming show at the O2 Academy in Birmingham on Saturday, 19th May. The show will be the band’s first in Birmingham for thirteen years. A donation to Help for Heroes will be made from the proceeds of the show - ticket details below.

Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler return to their hometown for this exclusive show following November’s momentous announcement that the band are currently working on their first studio album in thirty three years with seven-time Grammy winning producer Rick Rubin.
It will be their ninth studio album together and their first since 1978’s Never Say Die!

Black Sabbath is one of the most influential rock bands of all time. According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, “The success of their first two albums ‘Black Sabbath’ and ‘Paranoid’ marked a paradigm shift in the world of rock. Not until Black Sabbath upended the music scene did the term ‘heavy metal’ enter the popular vocabulary to describe the denser, more thunderous offshoot of rock over which they presided.”
Following the release of their self-titled debut album in 1970, “The Original” Black Sabbath have gone on to release eight acclaimed studio albums and sell over seventy million albums worldwide. In 2005 the band were inducted into the U.K Music Hall of Fame by Angus Young of AC/DC.
This was followed by their induction in 2006 into the U.S Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, an honor bestowed on them by Metallica’s James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich.

Black Sabbath will headline the legendary Lollapalooza Festival in Chicago this August before returning to the studio to finish recording their long-awaited studio album.

Tickets will go on sale for thier homecoming show in Birmingham this Friday at 9:00 am. Tickets will be available HERE.

Official website:

Stan Bush to play rare live gig ...

 US AOR rocker Stan Bush, the man behind some great albums in 'Stan Bush,' 'Stan Bush and Barrage,' 'Every Beat Of My Heart,' 'Call To Action,' as well as 'Language of the Heart,' 'Shine,' 'In This Life' and his last classy release 'Dream the Dream' has shared news of a one off acoustic performance.

Stan is also the man behind 'The Touch' the excellent song from the original Transformers animated movie.
The well known House of Lords track 'Love Don't Lie' was also written by Stan, from his 'Stan Bush and Barrage' album.

Stan has been invited to open the show for the 'Rock and Roll Express tour,' featuring
Styx, REO Speedwagon and Ted Nugent this coming Sunday, May 6th at the Greek Theater in L.A.  Stan has told me he will be doing a 20 minute solo acoustic performance to open the
 Sounds good to me, wish I could be there!

Stan's website can be found here:


The current line up of Thin Lizzy have added three shows to the already announced UK dates later this year.
The new dates are in Southend, Exeter and Bristol with tickets having just gone on sale Friday April 27th.

Full UK Winter schedule as follows:

November 29th – Bournemouth, England – o2 Academy
November 30th – Southend, England – Cliff’s Pavilion
December 1st – Exeter, England – University Great Hall
December 3rd – Norwich, England – UEA LCR
December 4th – Bristol, England – Colston Hall
December 5th – Middlesborough, England - Empire
December 7th – Liverpool, England – o2 Academy
December 8th – Edinburgh, Scotland – HMV Picture House
December 9th – Nottingham, England – Rock City


05/03/2012 Stuttgart, Germany PORSCHE-ARENA
05/04/2012 Nurenmburg, Germany Arena Nurnberger
05/05/2012 Linz, Austria Tips Arena Linz *
05/07/2012 Krakow, Poland Club Studio *
05/08/2012 Pardubice, Czech Republic CEZ ARENA
05/09/2012 Bratislava, Slovakia Incheba Expo Arena
05/12/2012 Fribourg, Switzerland Forum *
05/13/2012 Saarbrucken, Germany Garage *

05/15/2012 Leamington Spa The Assembly
05/16/2012 Guildford, England G Live
05/17/2012 Ireland – Dublin 02 Arena *
05/19/2012 Nottingham Capital FM Arena *
05/20/2012 Liverpool Echo Arena *
05/23/2012 Newcastle Metro Radio Arena *
05/25/2012 Glasgow SECC *
05/26/2012 Birmingham LG Arena *
05/29/2012 Manchester MEN Arena *
05/31/2012 London 02 Arena *
06/01/2012 London 02 Arena *

06/23/2012 Dessel, Belgium Graspop Festival
07/05/2012 Sundsvalls, Sweden Gatu Festival *
07/06/2012 Skaanevik, Norway Skaanevik Festival *
07/07/2012 Lakselv, Norway MIDNATTSROCKEN FESTIVAL
07/12/2012 Vizovice, Czech Republic MASTERS OF ROCK
07/13/2012 Messegelande, Balingen BANG YOUR HEAD Festival
07/14/2012 Svedala, Sweden Sommarrock Festival
07/18/2012 Uppsala, Sweden Flutstret Outdoor *
07/20/2012 Tromso, Norway BUKTA-TROMSO Festival
07/21/2012 Lappeenranta, Finland Saimma Open Air Festival
07/22/2012 Oberhausen, Germany Devilside Festival
07/24/2012 Brondby, Denmark Brondby Stadium
08/10/2012 Slupsk (Dolina Charlotty Resort), Poland Legends of Rock Festival

08/17/2012 Carlisle, England Sands Centre *
08/18/2012 Belfast N. Ireland Belsonic Festival in Custom House Square *

11/29/2012 Bournmouth, England O2 Academy *
11/30/2012 Southend, England Cliff’s Pavilion *
12/01/2012 Exeter, England University Great Hall *
12/03/2012 Norwich, England UEA LCR *
12/04/2012 Bristol, England Colston Hall *
12/05/2012 Middlesborough, England Empire *
12/07/2012 Liverpool, England O2 Academy *
12/08/2012 Edinburgh, Scotland HMV Picture House *
12/09/2012 Nottingham, England Rock City *

* Check venue website or local ticket agent

Neal Schon says, 'A Steve Perry reunion with Journey would be farewell to the band ...'

Guitarist, Neal Schon has spoken out officially when pushed about any possible Journey reunion with the bands best known frontman Steve Perry, but insists it would not only be Perry fronting the band ...

He has said that the only way Steve Perry could return would be as part of their farewell tour.
And apparently that would only be with current singer Arnel Pineda remaining part of the band, if that were to happen.

Schon, speaking at the premiere of band documentary Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey, told the Huffington Post:
“I don’t think there’s any way not to have Arnel at this point. Who can say never? You can never say it’s never going to happen.

“But if that situation ever came up, I think it would be the both of them. And I think it would be at the point where it’s a farewell tour, and we’re done. That’s the only appropriate way to go about it.”

Pineda says he’s open to the possibility: “I hope I can sing with him, you know, side by side – if he would welcome that. That would be awesome. The hardcore fans would love it.”

UK Classic Rock magazine has posted this on the story:

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

News Update for Tuesday May 1st, 2012

Hi folks,
Sorry about the lack of activity, busy weekend indeed, away on Sunday from most things at a family funeral, got back late Sunday, knackered! Er, that's equal to feeling wiped out for any non-Brit's reading this! :)
Anyway, trying to catch up - As ever! - it's a thankless task I guess, but I keep trying to bring you all something worth reading ... Comments from you all, seem to have gone quiet again.
Occasional comments I get from overseas, that sadly online translators don't help with much, so sorry to my overseas readers who have not seen their posts / comments posted ... Please try English!
It just makes it a lot easier for me to work with, thank you.
I have quite limited time to run this site, so your understanding is appreciated.
OK, on with what I have for you for now ... Cheers, Al

Time for Rock Legend's Cruise II to get lined up on the horizon




The line-up for the second annual ROCK LEGENDS CRUISE II continues to grow with the additions of Kansas, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Melvin Seals & JGB, along with Citizens Band Radio, and The Blue Lords.  These acts join a bill that is led by rock legends including Foreigner, Paul Rodgers, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, Bachman & Turner and 38 Special, among others.

The weekend-long musical journey will feature a music festival environment with three easily accessible performance venues on the ship:  The Deck, The Platinum Theater and Studio B/Ice Rink.  Throughout the trip, each band will perform two or three shows at the three venues to ensure that attendees will have multiple opporunites to see each of the bands.

Passage on the January 2013 ROCK LEGENDS CRUISE II can be booked for as low as $649 (+taxes, gratuities and port fees) when booking multiple attendees in a room.  State rooms range from traditional interior cabins to luxurious ocean view suites with balconies.  Each passage booked includes an automatic donation to the Native American Heritage Association.

Beyond the performances throughout the ROCK LEGENDS CRUISE II weekend, artists will collaborate musically, schedule meet-and-greets and relax alongside fans throughout the four-day excursion.  The ROCK LEGENDS CRUISE II departs Fort Lauderdale, FL Thursday, January 10 and docks Saturday, January 12 in Labadee, Haiti before returning to Fort Lauderdale Monday, January 14.


Other traditional ship board activities include:  On-board surfing (thanks to its FlowRider wave generator), a boxing ring, a full-sized volleyball/basketball court, cantilevered whirlpools and variety of gourmet restaurants.  In addition, while docked at the private secured Labadee resort–situated on the north coast of Hispaniola which averages a high of 84.9 degrees in January–passengers can enjoy Kayaking, Snorkeling, Parasailing and Wave Runners at the resort’s stunning beaches, surrounded by beautiful mountain slopes and exotic foliage. The Liberty of the Seas from Royal Caribbean is one of the biggest, fastest and most luxurious passenger vessels in service today; it is served by a crew of 1300 on 18 decks.

The Native American Heritage Association has been working on reservations in South Dakota for more than 18 years and is a 4-star charity with for seven consecutive years.  Native American Heritage Association tractor trailers are on the road daily with supplies to the various far flung communities and 94% of the organizations total revenue goes towards program services which provide basic life necessities, including fuel assistance and medical transportation to 90,000 people.  Many of these residents face an 80% rate of unemployment; 70% don’t have transportation and many of those who do, don’t have the means to purchase gas. These Lakota Sioux live in abandoned school buses, shacks or government housing with no insulation, some live without indoor plumbing, in homes with dirt floors, no beds or furniture. 
More information can be found at:

 To book passage on ROCK LEGENDS CRUISE II, go to or call 888-666-1499 with any questions.

RELEASE DATE : USA: Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Some things just go together…heavy metal and thunder…denim and leather …Saxon and Wacken.
They‘ve been old friends for many years now, their harmony collecting an army of thousands upon thousands who view Saxon live as a pilgrimage to the heart of metal music. And when that pilgrimage takes you, repeatedly, to the largest heavy metal festival in the world, Wacken Open Air in Germany, the results will always be electric. "When we first played Wacken, it was a small festival with a small stage in a small field, driven by nothing more than raw enthusiasm, which appealed very much to us!" says Biff Byford, Saxon's venerable frontman, "it started as fans putting on a festival for fans, and now it‘s fair to say that it is to Heavy Metal what the Donington Festival used to be. That was the iconic heavy metal festival of the 80's, and Wacken is the iconic heavy metal festival of now."
Now you can feel that electricity for yourselves thanks to Saxon - Heavy Metal Thunder - Live - Eagles Over Wacken the no-fat-no-bullshit-100%-pure CD/DVD featuring DVD highlights from Saxon's Wacken shows in 2004, 2007 and 2009 comprising THIRTY songs, plus a live CD from Glasgow in 2011. Each set captures the Barnsley-bred British heavy metal legends delivering classic after classic, from "Denim & Leather" to "Metalhead" to "Heavy Metal Thunder" to "Princess Of The Night" to "Crusader" in front of 75,000+ loyal, ravenous fans, who have come to expect (and receive) the levels of performance Saxon have been delivering for 32 years. "And when the eagle comes down at Wacken, when it opens up over the audience, it is always an electric moment for those there," says Biff emphatically of the famous Saxon eagle, a ton or so of steel and lights, rescued from a storage space in the British home counties where it had lain dormant gathering rust. In many ways, the eagle's rebirth and Wacken's ascent are partners on the journey, as it was Wacken's organizers who offered to restore the mighty metal bird so as it could become a live centerpiece of both Wacken and Saxon's history.

And when it comes to heavy metal, Saxon's history is, indeed, rich.

Rightly seen as one of the premier vanguards of Heavy Metal alongside the likes of Iron Maiden, Saxon were a major influence behind platinum-coated stars such as Metallica and Megadeth. Formed as Son of A Bitch in 1976 (and becoming Saxon in 1978) they enjoyed tremendous commercial success in the UK during the ‘80s, with 8 UK top 40 albums, and have sold over 13 millions albums worldwide, while albums such as Wheels Of Steel, Strong Arm Of The Law, Denim & Leather and The Power & The Glory have become legendary staples of any self-respecting metal fan’s collection. But it has always arguably been on stage where Saxon have excelled the most. There‘s no hiding once you hit the boards, and whether playing to 20000 people in Buenos Aires or 2000 people in Bolton, Byford, Carter, Glockler, Quinn and Scarratt source the same high-voltage energy reserves and deliver the same high-octane, blood and sweat-soaked show that makes Saxon a perennial touring favorite. "We‘ve consistently tried to write, and perform songs which both us and our audience enjoy," says Biff, "and we‘ve worked very hard to maintain that link with our audience, because if you don‘t have that connection it can be very dangerous. We need them, and we need to be ready to deliver for them at every show, that‘s the challenge and it‘s one we gratefully accept and enjoy. If the audience are prepared to get crazy, then it‘s always going to be a strong show, and Wacken always delivers us a fantastic connection. You cannot fake that electricity, everyone wants that‚ charged atmosphere and it is absolutely priceless…"

If you‘ve never had the chance to experience Saxon, start here and start now! If you‘ve had the chance and yearned to capture the energy, the moment and the memory of it all, then put your hands together for Saxon “Heavy Metal Thunder - Live - Eagles Over Wacken” and be grateful to know that despite everything going on in our increasingly confused world, your escapist musical prayers have been answered.

"Heavy Metal Thunder - Live - Eagles Over Wacken" is available in a variety of formats, including the 'Golden Ticket' D2C/Direct To Consumer Box. Strictly limited, this exclusive package contains the "Best Of Wacken" DVD, plus the full and complete Saxon W:O:A performances from 2004/2007/2009 each on a separate DVD, plus a Saxon flag. The real surprise is that 10 'Golden Tickets' are randomly included in the box sets, which will allow the lucky winners to visit any Saxon concert in any city around the world (excluding festival appearances). 'Silver Tickets' giving access to special online content are for the remaining boxes so there are no losers - only winners.



Ronnie James Dio's stellar musical career was matched by very few, and what turned out to be the last-ever studio album released by his solo band, Dio, will be issued as a picture disc on June 5th. 'Master of the Moon' will be released via the Niji Entertainment Group, and is the first time the album has been issued as a picture disc in the U.S.

Featuring the stellar line-up of Ronnie James Dio – vocals, Craig Goldy – guitar/keyboards, Jeff Pilson – bass, Scott Warren – keyboards, and Simon Wright – drums, 'Master of the Moon' features such Dio classics as "One More for the Road" and the title track. Also included is "The Eyes," which the late singer once noted was one of his all-time favorite tracks recorded by the Dio band.

The tenth Dio studio album overall, 'Master of the Moon' was the perfect way to close the solo career of one of hard rock/heavy metal's all-time great vocalists. Featuring artwork by horror/science fiction artist Marc Sasso, this striking picture disc is a must-have for Dio collectors. And soon, fans will get the opportunity to rediscover and experience this classic album like they never have before!


"One More for the Road" – 3:18
"Master of the Moon" – 4:19
"The End of the World" – 4:39
"Shivers" – 4:15
"The Man Who Would Be King" – 4:58
"The Eyes" – 6:27
"Living the Lie" – 4:25
"I Am" – 5:00
"Death by Love" – 4:21
"In Dreams" – 4:26


TRACER announce UK September tour and mini album

 Straight off the back of their first triumphant UK headline tour in April, Australian power rock trio TRACER return for their second UK headline tour, kicking off at the Wolverhampton Slade Rooms on Wednesday 26 September.  View TRACER’s official UK tour announcement on YouTube here.:

A 48-hour ticket pre-sale will kick off on Planet Rock - - on Wednesday 2nd May, followed by a 24-hour ticket pre-sale with ents24 - - on Thursday 3rd May.
Tickets go on general sale on Friday 4th May from the 24 hour box office: 0844 478 0898, Gig Cartel. - 

To coincide with the September tour, Cool Green Recordings will release TRACER’S mid-priced mini album “LA?” in the UK on 27 August (the mini album was originally released in Australia in 2009).

Read the official press release here:

TRACER – UK September Tour Dates:

Wednesday 26 September        Wolverhampton Slade Rooms
Thursday 27 September           Manchester Academy
Friday 28 September                Newcastle Cluny
Saturday 29 September            Glasgow ABC
Sunday 30 September              Leeds Cockpit
Wednesday 3 October              Nottingham Rescue Rooms
Thursday 4 October                  Bath Komedia
Friday 5 October                      Gloucester Guildhall
Saturday 6 October                  Poole Mr Kyps
Sunday 7 October                    Brighton The Haunt

Tracer - Official Website