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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

3 Doors Down - ‘The Greatest Hits’ album review

3 Doors Down -  ‘The Greatest Hits’ album review
Released through: Universal Republic. Release date: Available now
3 Doors Down are a band that really seemed - to many people - to have hit the big time pretty quickly or maybe that was just the perception as they have only put out 5 studio albums, starting with their ‘The Better Life’ release in 2000, that has since gone more than six times platinum. Not bad eh?!
Subsequent releases ‘Away From the Sun’ – Brilliant! – has apparently sold over four million copies, the stunning ‘Seventeen Days,’ also rapidly passed platinum status after just one month of release.
The band’s fourth album, aptly titled ‘3 Doors Down’ – Another winner by me! - has been certified gold with over 700,000 sales and last release ‘Time of My Life’ although hitting the number three spot on the Billboard charts, has not had quite the same impact as previous releases but is still a very strong release.
The band were formed though back in 1996, so you see the perception with just five studio releases with possibly just four that come to mind with most people, is that they are a newer band ...
The first ever leadoff single by the band though ‘Kryptonite’ was picking up radio play in 1999 before anything was officially released and radio stations back then were getting inundated with requests for more and more info on this band and THAT song!
So it’s apt that ‘Kryptonite’ with it unique energy is the opener on here. Great one at that!
The special thing about this greatest hits release is that all the previously released songs on here have actually not just been re-mastered but they’ve been remixed, to freshen them up some and to great effect too!
There are also three brand new tracks here as well, including latest single ‘One Light.’

I actually got into 3 Doors Down – For whatever reason – a little later than most not having realized that ‘Kryptonite’ was theirs and when I had heard it, first thought it was maybe a little too punky at the time for my liking, but maybe I didn't give it a chance at the time.
When I heard ‘When I’m Gone’ though, the next track here, I was sold!
The band I was in at the time, I insisted we should include in our set list.
It’s a great combination of light and dark / melodic and heavy, hard rocking, ‘When I’m Gone’ I think really solidified what rock fans and musician fans of the band needed to hear to be completely sold, hence why from this point on, sales went through the roof.

‘Here Without You’ is a wonderful power ballad, massive!
The thing with 3 Doors Down is – Just to be clear … - they are not a 70’s or 80’s band and no, they are not an AOR band. No, they’re not even a metal or hard rock band. They are simply a class band, formed in the late 90’s.
Often tagged in the same bracket as Nickelback, but 3 Doors Down are so much more talented or should that read, a deeper band than Nickelback.
‘Here Without You,’ has always been a great song, written during tough personal times for the band.
With ‘It’s Not My Time’ it’s kind of like ‘When I’m Gone,’ with its gentle intro before the rock kicks in, only it kicks in quicker and to be honest it’s like a modern day ‘When I’m Gone’ – Yeah, I know it’s only six years newer … - and it without a shadow of a doubt totally reflects the bands’ progression. Killer song, hence why it kept the band’s fan base happy and put the band back in Billboard’s Top 20 singles once again!
The album doesn’t flow in the order that the singles were released and they step back to the ‘Away From The Sun’ – Possibly my favourite … - album for ‘Let Me Go,’ which again captures the light and dark sound that the band captures so perfectly with each release. Great playing here, as there is throughout.
It’s funny I often listen to the bands’ music and think that they often remind me a little of a cross between Thin Lizzy and Big Country, ironically two British bands that never really broke the US that big.
‘Be Like That’ bounces the band back to the first album and I don’t know why but that period of the band often reminds me of Matchbox 20 and this song in particular.
That said, I think – personally - that musically 3DD offers more than Matchbox 20 can.
Another great track too, more mid paced generally. Nice stuff.
Funny, next up is the third track so far on here from that first 3DD album with ‘Loser,’ which obviously dwells a lot on depression, a trend that the band often play on through their songs.
The bridge in the song about two thirds in, really changes the song to a serious heavy sub-grunge vibe.   
Possibly my all-time favourite track from the band – Which by the way, is so hard to call! – comes up next in ‘Away From The Sun,’ the bands’ second album title track.
It’s just beautiful, so well written.
Such a great blend of light and dark effect.
‘Duck and Run’ next is perhaps my least familiar 3DD song, although it shows again how far the band has come and yet how talented they were even way back then, almost eleven years ago.
The only downside to me about this track, is although the songs have been remixed, the overall guitar take when you listen closely, sounds like the EQ levels weren’t right at the time of the original recording and here they have been pushed up to a level, where it sounds like the guitar sound is breaking up. Shame, as it’s still a great track.
So now we come to the new songs with the first being ‘One Light.’
It’s without doubt a fresh sound for the band, edgy as ever and remember I said that the band often remind me here and there of Thin Lizzy at times. I would say that there’s moments of that here in some of the guitar chord patterns / song structure and it works nicely.
Interesting that the band are now working with more outside co-writers too and a good choice in Marti Frederiksen (Def Leppard, Aerosmith, Mötley Crüe, Ozzy, Foreigner) with this song and the last track on the album.
Still sad to me that the band have overlooked the ‘Time of My Life’ album but I guess even the single ‘When You’re Young’ only really just broke into the Billboard Top 100. It’s a great album, don’t forget to check that out, so prior to these three new tracks ‘It’s Not My Time,’ from 2008’s ‘3 Doors Down’ is the most recent song on here, prior to these three tracks.
Maybe they should've gone with 'The Very Best Of ...?'
‘There’s A Life’ next is an interesting track, a little more intricate in some of the playing through the verses.
Great interplay between the guitars though, nice picking, nice style indeed, then it picks up in choruses.
Great new track too!

No better way to close the album than the wonderful ‘Goodbyes,’ again co-written with Marti Frederiksen as with ‘One Light.’
It’s their trademark light and dark sound again and I have to say, towards the outro of each chorus, that Lizzy like sound is present again!
Don’t shy from it guys, right down to some harmony guitar work too!
I hear keyboards quite obvious in this last song and I wonder if we’ll hear more going forward with the band?
Perhaps it depends on how well this is received?

This really is a great compilation folks, capturing the hits from the first four 3DD albums and three great new tracks!
The band is currently out on tour in support of the release too. It’s a great double bill with Daughtry too so I strongly recommend you go and see them, we’re going to!!!
Rating:  4.5 out of 5
Official band site:

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

News Update for Tuesday December 4th, 2012

Hi All,
Yes, you've been wondering where all the news has gone ...
Well I'm trying to play catch up with reviews, I'm so far behind and still trying to squeeze them all in from the past few months, those that I've had no time to do, so news has been limited but when I get to it, hopefully there's enough to keep everyone a little happy!
Have a great rest of the week folks, looking forward to seeing 3 Doors Down and Daughtry on Wednesday night! :)
Still can't believe it's December ..., wow! Where did that year go?!
(New York, NY) - Legendary rock vocalist Sebastian Bach is currently working on the upcoming release of a brand new DVD/live CD package: ABachalypse Now is scheduled for release in Spring, 2013 via Frontiers Records.  The DVD/CD includes never-before-seen footage from this year's GrasPop Festival in Belgium, the full never-before-seen Hellfest set from France and the fully-remixed and remastered Club Nokia show from Los Angeles (originally broadcast on AXS TV).  The exact track listing and table of contents is forthcoming.  Bach commented, "I am so excited for all of you to witness and experience ABachalypse Now.  We have included three recent concerts and the footage is totally kickass!  It's remixed and remastered for full audio and video quality.  The performances and energy of the crowds are killer throughout the DVD and you really feel like you are at the shows.  Prepare yourselves for the coming ABachalypse - now!"
Sebastian Bach photo by: Katarina Benzova
Sebastian Bach's latest album, KICKING & SCREAMING, was produced by Bob Marlette (Black Sabbath, Shinedown, Atreyu, Filter) and debuted in the Top 75 of the Billboard Top 200 Album chart and received rave reviews from critics and fans alike.  Outburn declared, "Sebastian Bach delivers a balls out gang of mountainous hooks, titanic grooves and straight down the middle hard rock", while Revolver avowed, "Bach's voice is in particularly fine form on KICKING & SCREAMING, boasting more color and range than most..."  Bach was recently named one of the 100 greatest living rock stars by Revolver.
Sebastian Bach has sold in excess of 20 million records worldwide as lead singer with his former band, Skid Row and as a solo artist.  Far from just being a multi-platinum recording artist, the singer/songwriter/actor/entertainer has expanded his career over the past decade to include episodic television with a 5-season recurring role on the CW's hit series "Gilmore Girls", starring roles on Broadway ("Jekyll & Hyde", "The Rocky Horror Picture Show") and national touring companies ("Jesus Chris Superstar"), and has appeared regularly on MTV and VH1.
Bach on the web:
British Hard Rock supergroup Snakecharmer debuts with a self titled album on Frontiers in January
Frontiers Records is pleased to announce the release of SNAKECHARMER’s self-titled debut album on January 25th in Europe and January 22nd in North America.
Originally founded in 2011 by former Whitesnake members Micky Moody and Neil Murray, the Snakecharmer super-group also includes Chris Ousey (Heartland), Laurie Wisefield (ex Wishbone Ash, Tina Turner), Adam Wakeman (Ozzy Osbourne) and Harry James (Thunder).
With members gigging record breaking tours, earning double platinum selling albums and playing to crowds of 100,000.
“I met up with Neil Murray a couple of years ago and we spoke about playing a few gigs together for fun and old times’ sake”, says Micky Moody. “The obvious choice was early Whitesnake material, so when Neil suggested Laurie Wisefield and Harry James I jumped at it. Chris Ousey was highly recommended and Adam had depped for Company Of Snakes some years back. We went out as Monsters Of British Rock mostly performing the songs of early Whitesnake, Thunder, Heartland and a Laurie Wisefield original and we caught the attention of Martin Darvill, head of QEDG Management, who suggested we record an album of original material, which we did. The result is Snakecharmer on the Frontiers label”.
Musically this debut album is everything you would expect from musicians with such a pedigree: a finely crafted Hard Rock album with Blues and Melodic overtones, akin to Whitesnake (1979-81 era), Bad Company and with hints of early Foreigner as well.

“The songs on our debut album reflect the kind of music that the members of the band want to play, which is melodic rock with a blues influence”, adds Neil Murray. “Each of us has played many different styles of music, and our influences are varied, but Snakecharmer originally came together to play mainly early Whitesnake songs, so that is our starting point. There wasn't a deliberate plan to write songs in a particular style; each song on the album started as a basic idea by one or two band members, and if the other guys were enthusiastic about the idea, then the song would be worked up into a finished song”.
Snakecharmer's debut album is therefore shaping up as an unmissable purchase for the classic Hard Rock lovers.
You can enjoy the band’s EPK following the link below:
“Snakecharmer” tracklisting includes the following songs:My Angel; Accident Prone; To The Rescue; Falling Leaves; A Little Rock & Roll; Turn Of The Screw; Smoking Gun ; Stand U ; Guilty As Charged; Nothing To Lose; Cover Me In You. White Boy Blues * * bonus track
The first song off the album “Accident Prone” can be exclusively listened to, streamed on the Frontiers Records web-radio. Tune in at

Chris Ousey - lead vocals
Micky Moody - guitar, slide guitar, vocals
Laurie Wisefield - guitar, vocals
Adam Wakeman - keyboards, vocals
Neil Murray - bass
Harry James - drums, vocals


Marco Mendoza stepping out from Thin Lizzy for solo shows

Marco Mendoza (Whitesnake, Ted Nugent, Soul SirkUS, Thin Lizzy), has been out on the road with the current line up of Thin Lizzy for some time now, but that is coming to the end pretty soon, so Marco is about to step back out on the road with his solo work.
The man just never stops!
First off, Marco will be doing a Bass Clinic at the Bowerham Pub in Lancaster on Thursday the 6th of December at 8:00pm.
Admission is FREE and there is limited space so get there early!
The Bowerham,
Bowerham Road,
+44(0)1524 65050
After this show, Marco wraps up the last of the years Thin Lizzy live dates, before heading across the English channel and beyond for more European gigs with his solo band.

His last solo album 'Casa Mendoza' may not be the hard rock you'd maybe expect from someone who has been associated with such hard rocking acts as you know him well for, but there's some great material on there.

Classy guitaring from Rafael Moreira (Magnetico, The Voice), the keyboards skills of Steve Weingart (Steve Lukather) and stunning drum work of Joey Heredia, all alongside some great playing by Marco and lead vocals too.
Review here:


Expect other material from Marco's first album 'Live For Tomorrow,' released through Frontiers Records and no doubt other surprises from an already fantastic career so far and so much more to come!

Dec. 19 -Old Sponge Pub - Alba Adriatica (TE)
Dec. 20 -Woodstock Pub - Grandate (CO)
Dec. 21 -Dragon's Pub - Crevacuore (BI)
Dec. 22 -Il Peocio - Trofarello (TO)
Dec. 23 -Crossroad -Roma
Dec. 25 -The Bluesiana - Velden , Austria
Dec. 26 -Ludwig Pub -Roseto Degli Abruzzi (TE)
Dec. 27 -Breaklivemusic Club -Ascoli Piceno
Dec. 28 -Casale Rock - Tivoli (Roma)
Dec. 29 -Lyons and Barrels - Copenhagen
Dec. 31 -Live Proberaum - Zulpich
Poor old Marco ... Playing through Christmas ... Phew!
You lucky Austrians!

For more details go to:
Who is Rafael Moreira? Have you watched The Voice?
Rafael Moreira photo courtesy of Rafael's Facebook Page

OK now stop it people, no I don't typically watch TV's The Voice, but Rhonda does when she can. That said there are some good talents left on there currently and one particular shining star plays in house band.
Yes, the talented guitarist who rips out some great licks on guitar, night after night on American TV's 'The Voice,' is the extremely talented,
Rafael 'Rafa' Moreira!!!
You simply cannot ignore the talent that shines from the shows house band and Rafa does not disappoint.
The guitarist / singer / songwriter / producer, has been playing for years so it's little wonder that the man shines under the spotlight.
What you may or most likely do not know, is that 'Rafa' has played alongside some of the best and no, I don't mean the singers on The Voice!!!


Besides his own project work including his 'Acid Guitar' solo album and rock project Magnetico, this fine player has recorded and performed with:
Paul Stanley (Kiss), Steven Tyler (Aerosmith), Tommy Lee (Motley Crue), Marco Mendoza (Whitesnake, Ted Nugent, Thin Lizzy), Sheryl Crow, Don Felder (The Eagles), P!nk, Christina Aguilera, Stevie Wonder and so many, many more!
Unreal huh?!
There's another rock album in the works he tells me ... I can't wait!
He has also been on TV before, CBS's 'Rock Star: INXS' and 'Rock Star: Supernova,' Saturday Night Live, shows with Conan O'Brien, David Letterman, Jay Leno and Jimmy Kimmel.

Still don't get it folks? Then check this out:
You can find out more about Rafa, right here:



January 28 (Hear No Evil/Cherry Red Records)
Paul Raymond, songwriter, keyboardist and rhythm guitarist of legendary cult hard rock outfit UFO has inked a deal with Cherry Red Records' new hard rock imprint label Hear No Evil for his new solo album with The Paul Raymond Project.
The new album, entitled "Terms & Conditions Apply" is set for a worldwide release on January 28, 2013.   It will mark the sixth release by the group and features a guest appearance from Michael Schenker (MSG, UFO, Scorpions) on a cover of ‘Reach Out (I’ll Be There)’ and by Reuben Archer (Stampede, Wild Horses, Lionheart, Lautrec) on ‘Love Is Blind'. 
Paul Raymond is set to play some select regional solo UK shows to promote “Terms & Conditions Apply” in the New Year, including a special headline launch show at London’s Borderline venue on Friday 1st February, before resuming his duties touring with UFO.  The shows will feature Stampede vocalist Reuben Archer amongst other special guests and will showcase the new material as well as UFO classics. Regional dates are yet TBA.
Paul Raymond is primarily best known for his work in UFO, having joined the band’s ranks in 1976. Beginning with “Lights Out” in 1977, to date Paul has appeared on 11 UFO albums, including the incendiary double live “Strangers In the Night”.  In a varied career, he’s also been a key member in a number of acts, including 70s legends Savoy Brown, Chicken Shack, Michael Schenker Group and Waysted.
The Paul Raymond Project (PRP) was first formed in 1989 in Japan featuring original lineup of Frank Di Mino (formerly of Angel) on lead vocals and Masoyoshi Yamashitu (Loudness) on bass.  Paul spent 1990 writing new material, inspired by the resurgence of straight-ahead blues/rock led by bands such as the Black Crowes and the Quireboys, until, joined by guitarist Andy Simmons, the third incarnation of the project released “Man on a Mission” through Zoom Club records.  It was to be nine years before Paul and Andy joined forces again and recorded “Virtual Insanity” as UFO had once again intervened. In 2010, together with bass player Mark Coles and drummer Tony Steel, they began working on “Terms & Conditions Apply”.
Tickets for the London show at The Borderline on Feb 1st are available here:
"Terms & Conditions Apply" Track Listing:
1. Born & Raised On Rock ‘N’ Roll
2. End Of Life As We Know It
3. Deeper Shade Of Blue
4. C-List Celebrity
5. We Will Be Strong
6. Terms & Conditions
7. Whiskey Mac
8. Bright Lights
9. Reach Out (I’ll Be There)
(featuring. Michael Schenker)
10. Love Is Blind (featuring Reuben Archer)
11. If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody
Bonus Tracks:
12. Still The Same
13. Drifting Apart
14. Partners In Crime

PRP are:
Paul Raymond – lead vocals/lead & rhythm guitars/keyboards
Andy Simmons – lead & rhythm guitars/ keyboards
Mark Coles – bass/backing vocals
Tony Steel – drums/backing vocals