Friday 28 February 2014

Transatlantic – Kaleidoscope (2014 Radiant Records)

A fresh Transatlantic studio effort to me is a big deal. As soon as I find out a new studio project by the group is coming out, I get excited and can't wait to hear whatever it is. For me, it's an automatic buy. And I did just that by ordering my 2 CD / 1 DVD version of Kaleidoscope through the bands label via their website, Radiant Records. Not my first purchase from them over the years. Always a pleasure doing business with them. No complaints, and always plenty of parking in the rear.

Transatlantic's new studio offering, Kaleidoscope, arrived with a songbook that my lazy ass could use if I ever learned how to play the bass my friend gave me. I must admit, it's going on five years ago at least. I like having the four string electric instrument, and the small amp that accompanied it. I see it every day in my living room, yet never take it out of its black carrying case to plug it in. Here's the thing, I'm lucky I could play a radio let alone anything else. I was never mechanically inclined. My patience level also is, well...not that high. If I played for a day, I'd have expectations of sounding like Pete Trewavas, multi-instrumentalist / songwriter, whose position in the group Transatlantic is primarily of bass player and one of four vocalists. Trewavas' performance and contributions on Kaleidoscope are absolutely brilliant. Forgive me...I'm getting ahead of myself.

I have always fixated on the rhythm section in rock bands. It just so happens that the one keeping the beat in Transatlantic is another outstanding musician, songwriter, and drummer: Mike Portnoy. Story goes; it was his idea to form an all-star progressive rock band. Mission accomplished!! My opinion is they are like fine wine; the band gets better with age. All previous studio projects by this band are leaps and bounds what you hear within the normal confines of general rock n' roll. This isn't The Cars (who I really dig and been into since their early days). One listens to Transatlantic when wanting to experience more than what they get when they pop on their local radio station. Results when listening to Transatlantic music is having fun, and if the mind allows them, much like what a good film can do. One can be carried away to a happy place where feeling content is being surrounded by the sounds heard.

Two other band members need to be mentioned. Both highly creative musicians. Both songwriters and multi-instrumentalists: Mr. Neal Morse (keyboards, acoustic guitars, and vocals), and Mr. Roine Stolt (electric guitars, vocals, percussion, 12-string acoustic, and additional keyboards). I first got turned on to these gentleman’s music back in 1997. Neal with Spock's Beard and Roine with The Flower Kings. Two giants in the world of modern prog rock today. A highlight that year for me was being able to attend ProgFest '97 in Los Angeles, California USA. Both bands played the same night, and get this ProgHeads (for I only assume that is who mostly will read this); along with The John Wetton Band who just kicked ass that night, as did Spock's Beard and The Flower Kings. I've been an above-average fan ever since. I'm never one to take anything to the fanatic stage. Others are out there who do that far better than I. As any other serious music fan that doesn't tend to take things to the extreme, I have my list of favorites. A common pursuit is I just mostly want to rock. Along the way I enjoy uplifting music with a seriously wicked beat. This new one from Transatlantic fits like a glove. We have moments like that here, plus lots of other groovy things scattered about. This is what seasoned musicians can do. All four participates publicly displaying talents that enable them to stand alongside those who rank as the best in progressive rock history.

Uncle G talks Transatlantic – Kaleidoscope (2014 Radiant Records)

Track 01: Into The Blue (25:11) I. Overture (instrumental) / II. The Dreamer And The Healer / III. A New Beginning / IV. Written In Your Heart / V. The Dreamer And The Healer (reprise)
Uncle G's thoughts: The first track starts off quiet with a slow instrumental build up. By the three minute mark, we're into metal prog territory. Blast off!! From that point on, the melody stays in your head long after playing it. The CD contains more killer instrumental moments. Transatlantic takes most of its cues from one of prog-rocks legends, Genesis. Both bands are similar in that their compositions contain just the right amount of vocal and instrumentation so as not to take away from either, but rather compliment both. Genesis inspired many, and perhaps more so than others for Neal Morse. His old band Spock's Beard had those who compared the band to the prog rock legends as well. All in a good way. For Neal Morse is an extraordinary musician who creativity matches that of Mike Oldfield, Steve Wilson, and Vangelis. A short list just to give the reader a better idea. “Into The Blue” is a throwback in part to Spock's Beard and The Flower Kings. Overall a wonderful composition. On headphones the sounds are crisp, and I enjoy the mix. That can be said throughout the whole recording of Kaleidoscope.

Track 02: Shine (7:26)
Uncle G's thoughts: Should be in heavy rotation on AOL rock radio. The lyrics are heartfelt. The vocals and harmonies outstanding. Both subjects mentioned vocals and lyrics, by the way consistent throughout the album. Shine is the first single off Kaleidoscope. Seeing the video I can say - job well done!!

Track 03: Black As The Sky (6:43)
Uncle G's thoughts: Awesome keyboard intro and it just keeps getting better. Bass and drums are the results one might think of a Vulcan Mind Meld. Their playing is like one well-oiled machine in perfect step with each other. Just to be expected. My third time now saying this...all throughout the disc.

Track 04: Beyond The Sun (4:29)
Uncle G's thoughts: A perfect example of musicians knowing when a vocal performance is that good, as to not want to do anything that would take away from it. Instead they compliment. I can dig the more mellow moments when presented as well as this one.

Track 05: Kaleidoscope (31:53) I. Overture (instrumental) / II. Ride The Lightning / III. Black Gold / IV. Walking The Road / V. Desolation Days / VI. Lemon Looking Glass (instrumental) / VII. Ride The Lightening (reprise).

Uncle G's thoughts: Dynamite intro!! Modern prog rock at its best. This is what the new generation of prog bands can strive for. Contains all the basic ingredients of a typical Transatlantic composition: wonderful main vocals and harmonies, drum playing capable of giving multiple eargasms to anyone within hearing range, creative and imaginative guitar work, impeccable bass playing, the coolest keyboard parts, solid song structure, mature lyrics...ALL this is the new Transatlantic –Kaleidoscope...and more.

Rating: Using the one to five star star rating system, Uncle G simply can't say any more positive things about Transatlantic – Kaleidoscope, which is kind of a bummer because I give it 5 solid stars. Did I say how much I also like the artwork and presentation? A very cool project indeed. The name Kaleidoscope coming from Mr. Portnoy. Worked out very nicely!! It gives off a hippie kind of vibe which fits right into the music that is Transatlantic. Maybe next time a lava lamp?

Note: Kaleidoscope also came along with a bonus disc of cover songs. The band re-done some of the best songs in classic rock history. I enjoyed listening to it. At times, I kind of wished the group especially considering how talented these guys are, would have given these iconic songs a new breath of air, perhaps adding to or changing the style of the original composition. Not enough so the listener can't recognize it, but enough so to make it a alternate listening experience. Still, an enjoyable disc that I'm sure would be cool, played loudly at home parties on any given night of the week.

Kaleidoscope ALSO came with a DVD. Again, this is the version I purchased. The DVD is an almost 90 minute 'making of' documentary. I put it on and was just seriously zoomed in. On the spot creative moments that ended up vital to the making and recording of Kaleidoscope are presented, right before your eyes. Like a fly on the wall scenario. It's absolutely FASCINATING.

In closing, I recommend Transatlantic's Kaleidoscope to anyone who has a real appreciation of above average music. Whatever your definition is. Back in the 1970's when I grew up, it was bands like Genesis, original Alice Cooper, Yes and Pink Floyd out there making what was “art” rock. For those not old enough to remember, was also labeled “head music”. Intended more for the mind, and not just the limbs. It's a form of music that has been made fun of, but I imagine mostly by people who can't even play Chop Sticks on the piano. Am glad there are musicians and bands out there now like Transatlantic creating, presenting, and keeping the prog tradition alive.

Gary Brown

American Correspondent for Classic Rock Radio (Dot EU)

Thursday 27 February 2014

Classic Rock Radio (Dot EU) Movie Review
Spotlight: Return To Nuke 'Em High Volume One (2014 Troma Entertainment)

This past Thursday night (20 Feb 14), I had the pleasure of attending the Houston film premier of (Anchor Bay Films Presents) 'Return To Nuke 'Em High Volume One'. To make the occasion even more special, it was part of a DOUBLE FEATURE. I can't remember the last time I attended one of these at a theater. Playing before Troma Entertainment's newest offering, a blast from their spectacular past; Class Of Nuke 'Em High (1986). Both films having in common the same genius director, Mr. Lloyd Kaufman. Along with equally brilliant Michael Hertz, FORTY years now making and distributing films that if not for Troma Entertainment, might have never seen the light of day onto the Big Screen, Bata-Max, Laser Disc, VHS tape, DVD, Blu-ray (and whatever other format I might have missed).

Troma Entertainment, a unique independent film B film company specializing in OVER-THE-TOP horror, sci-fi, and comedy movies. Other stuff as well, included instructional books and documentaries on how to MAKE YOUR OWN DAMN MOVIE. So much for any worry concerning competition. It's almost a dare to the general public, if you don't LIKE what you see, to do better. The results are most rewarding of it's audience, people LIKE me. Troma Entertainment in it's now four decades of being around has inspired, and it's films contained some rather LARGE Hollywood names. Some consider it a stepping stone to certain fame to participate in a Troma movie. A privilege even. I'd be in that school of thought myself. An old saying; “Everyone's got to start someplace.” Welcome to the world of low-budget movies. The B movies of yesteryear brought us some of our motion pictures brightest stars, and those that work behind it's scenes. It's a tradition that still goes on today thanks in part to Troma Entertainment.

Uncle G of CRR (Dot EU) says: “Troma Entertainment – one of the best independent (and always claiming to be broke) motion picture companies today.”

So I drove at least forty miles, through parts of the forth largest city (Houston aka Space City) in America, finally ending up at a very cool movie house called, The Alamo Draft House. For clarity, the one I went to was in Tomball Texas. A cool place to see a cool film like 'Return To Nuke 'Em High Volume One'. One of those fancy theaters in which you can enjoy a wonderful menu of fine booze and food. Throughout the evening I had a couple Samuel Adams brews, and a tin of french fries that were to kill for. Good service too. Reasonably priced. Most important, they remained in control of the situation with rules about no talking, texting on cell phones, etc. I think it all helped the experience that was a fun and unique event to be able to participate in. That's why I drove across Houston. Please note...and very well worth it. An evening to remember fer sure.

What's so special you ask? Why do ALL this and not just wait for the Blu-ray to come delivered to my snail mailbox was simple; LLOYD KAUFMAN himself was going to be there as well !! Holy Shit my rodent flying rabies infected flying creature. I been seeing Lloyd and Michael Hertz on my television screens (different ones over the decades) since...and I tried to remember when talking to Mr. Kaufman's better half (no...not Toxie...that comes later). Massive brain it comes...I remember seeing The Toxic Avenger (1984), my FIRST Troma film, on either cable TV, or on VHS tape. Had to be in the 1980's. Am surprised I can remember that, especially considering how due to a collapsed marriage and lots of drinking and drugging, that I can barely remember little else about that decade.

I have a confession. I absolutely LOVE Troma in-house films that has Mr. Hertz's or Mr. Kaufman's personal hands on. One of their best, Troma War, came out back in 1988. The humor, the over the top grossness – all the things a Troma fan wants in a Troma film..oh yeah...and tits. Don't have any hang ups on the human body and be watching movies like this. Well...that's all part of the charm. I learned early on what the name Troma really stood for; Tits Are Our Main Attraction. Besides Toxie, a pair of healthy looking female breasts, a symbol of Troma Entertainment and it's fine low-brow contributions to American culture over it's now forth decade history.

And have I mentioned yet that there is DEATH in Troma movies. LOTS of crazy-ass scenes where people die in ways, a normally sane viewer could never fathom. And if you watch enough Troma movies, there's this car scene where it leaves the ground and gets completely destroyed. To save money on repeated filming of car crashes that might appear in future Troma films, they uses the same footage, in every new film where a scene like that is called for. I consider it an INSIDE JOKE. To see it inserted now into the Return Of Nuke 'Em High Volume One...shit...did I say spoiler alert? Here's a little more. The audience including myself, applauded and cheered when seeing it again. If a Troma fan already, it's to be expected. New Troma fans should adapt pretty rabidly.

After the showing of Class of Nuke 'Em High and before the PREMIER showing of Return To Nuke 'Em High Volume One, in classic Lloyd Kaufman style, he is seen walking up the aisle to the stage wearing a paper bag over his head. The joke...something about an over-priced actor who shall remain NAMELESS. Gets a huge laugh from the audience. From there a wonderful Q & A session where Lloyd gave his all answering fans questions. Could have been the same ones he's always asked, but being a people person, it's obvious that what matters most at that very moment in Lloyd's life, is the individual he is talking to. Is keen to throw in a personal antidote about whatever subject matter. Show that trademark smile for any photo opportunity. All this while keeping alert to the audience as well. From the last row up, Lloyd appeared to come off on stage as good-natured, comedic, fascinating, and a real pleasure to be around human being. Always a treat coming across people like that.

Uncle G Reviews Return To Nuke 'Em High Volume One (2014 Troma Entertainment)
Loved It !! Of course I did. My first thought after immediately viewing Return To Nuke 'Em High Volume One was if I using the one to five star rating system, I'd say 4.5 stars. Reason because it's “Volume One”. And my reason for knocking off a WHOLE half the middle of observing a major female characters hygiene habits...WAIT....did I say spoiler...shit. Fine...something happens, or maybe not? When you view Return 2 Nuke 'Em High Volume 1 yourself, then you'll realize what it is I am referring to. More then likely you won't agree with my subtracting a half star from what I'm sure you will think for yourself, to be a 5 star flick. Honestly (like I'm lying my ass off the entire rest of the time) I could agree with that. Maybe it was the toxic taco I found on my way out of Alamo Draft House (in Tomball Texas) on the ground, glowing and begging to be consumed by a live creature? Well who am I to rain on someone's parade, and besides I was slightly still hungry. Did Troma Entertainment arrive in a vehicle that it may have fallen out of? It's been a while since I ate anything coming out of New Jersey I told myself. Since when I moved in 1986, or the last time I was with my first wife in '92.

While it could be said that 'Return To Nuke 'Em High Volume One' must have been made for fans of Troma Entertainment, it's also a great launching vehicle for the first timer exposed to a Troma movie. Anyone who is open-minded to others ideas, is mature enough not to get offended by everything they see, and enjoys a good time. One job of a film is to take the viewer away mentally from the everyday ups and downs of life. A job succeeded in EVERY Troma Entertainment movie I have ever watched.

Return To Nuke 'Em High Volume One is NOT really a straight up remake of the Class Of Nuke 'Em High. More like an update on what happened since Class Of Nuke 'Em High was made. These new undated participants given yet another set of unique circumstances to over come. This adaption to the already kick ass franchise gives EVERYTHING one wants to regard a modern day B comedy / horror / musical flick.
The main love story as found in the original Class Of Nuke 'Em High, a traditional boy-girl relationship takes on a whole new twist in Anchor Bay Films Presents 'Return To Nuke 'Em High Volume One'. Meet Chrissy (Asta Paredes) & Lauren (Catherine Corcoran). Main characters. Two attractive young female adults who very much, have the HOTS for each other. The two actresses do a wonderful job throughout the fun flick. Catherine Corcoran's role a tad harder for she had to work with an animal. To the late and great W C Fields, a horrible situation for any actor, made only worse if a child was in the scene also. In this movie, one of the stars is a duck. Ladies & Gentlemen may I introduce; Kevin The Wonder Duck. An emotional attachment from the viewer is formed almost immediately the time our new feathered friend appears on the BIG screen. The duck...almost steals the show. But wait, have I mentioned the word CRETIN yet? Like every other actor participating in the film, the ones that make up the most fucked up high school Gee Club ever seen, give their ALL in front of Mr. Kaufman's camera. A director...a man of many hats in the motion picture business, that knows what his audience...the Troma audience...wants to see.

To sum up, I went to the screening to have a good time, and I did JUST THAT. Was a hoot watching two cool films, and in the company of one of the most colorful film makers in today's cinema; Mr. Lloyd Kaufman & his lovely travel companion (again not meaning Toxie).
Anchor Bay Films Presents 'Return To Nuke 'Em High Volume One, exceeded my expectations, or possibly met them head on. I been a casual fan of Troma Entertainment for a few decades now. I know when a Troma film starts that I'm guaranteed to have a good time viewing matter what. I'll either LOVE it to death, or entertain myself by picking it a part. Either way I'm distracted from what credit card payment I'm making next. A cool reward for watching and letting ones mind,  having a fun time getting into whatever unbelievable stuff you see before your eyes. One of my favorite motto's; "Life can't always suck." Bright spots need to exist. Those like Troma Enertainment. A common message to be aware of the problems, but maybe not to take them seriously ALL the time. By making fun, one's making at least aware.

Using a one to five star rating system Uncle G gives Anchor Bay Films Presents 'Return To Nuke 'Em High Volume One; 4.5...wait...fuck that...5 stars !!

Next: And SOON I hope...Anchor Bay Films Presents 'Return To Nuke 'Em High Volume Two.

Gary Brown
American Corespondent for Classic Rock Radio (Dot EU)

Dave Davies of the Kinks returns to London to perform his first UK concert for 13 years at the Barbican Hall on Friday 11th April.  This concert will see him celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the revolutionary guitar sound he created, which launched the Kinks to international stardom. 

Tickets go on sale Friday 28th February at 9am from the Barbican Hall box office0207 638 8891 
or can be booked online from the website below

You Really Got Me and All Day and All of the Night were predecessors of the whole three-chord genre,” says musicologist Joe Harrington. “The Kinks did a lot to help turn rock 'n' roll into rock.”

“As lead guitarist and co-founder of the Kinks, Dave Davies is one of the most unpredictable and original forces in rock,” enthuses writer Bill Crowley. “His distinctive guitar style went on to have major impact on several key guitar-rock styles, including heavy metal and punk. A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Dave's massive guitar sounds have inspired bands from Van Halen to Green Day.”

Photo: © Paul Undersinger

Dave Davies of the Kinks
with special guests Laura& Pixi
Barbican Hall  / Friday 11, April 2014
Tickets: £35.50, £32.50
Box Office: 0207 638 8891
Book Online:
Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS

Important Websites

Official Website




Wednesday 26 February 2014

Winger New Album "Better Days Comin'" Released April and Download Appearance In June


One of the most misunderstood Hard Rock bands to emerge from the 1980’s is returning with their highly anticipated sixth studio album. Comprised of original members Kip Winger on vocals/bass, Reb Beach on guitar, Rod Morgenstein on drums, plus long-term guitarist John Roth, Winger is releasing Better Days Comin’ on April 21st via Frontiers Records.

"On ‘Better Days Comin’’ we drew from our past to elaborate on our future. The band is stronger than ever and very excited about the music on this record,” explains front man Kip Winger. “We feel this album exemplifies the true sound of the band in every way."

From the opening riff of album opener ‘Midnight Driver Of A Love Machine’ to the final outro lick of  ‘Out Of This World,’ it is clear Winger is back and better than ever. Hard rocking songs like ‘Queen Babylon,’ progressive rock moments like ‘Tin Soldier,’ and touching ballads like ‘Ever Wonder’ display the band’s diversity while always centreing on great songs. The debut single from ‘Better Days Comin’’ is the adrenaline fueled rocker ‘Rat Race’ that showcases some of the band’s best work of their 25 year career.

Winger formed in 1987 and soared to immediate success with their 1988 self-titled release. The album spawned the hit singles ‘Seventeen’ and ‘Headed For A Heartbreak’ and achieved platinum sales status. Winger also stayed on the Billboard Top 200 chart for over 60 weeks where it peaked at #21. Their next album, ‘In The Heart Of The Young’, also achieved platinum status and contained the singles ‘Can’t Get Enuff’ and ‘Miles Away’. The change in musical climate of the mid-90’s, compounded with unprovoked ridicule on MTV’s popular Beavis and Butthead, led the band to go on hiatus in 1994. In 2001, the band reunited and have not looked back since. Winger has made a name for themselves with relentless touring, while winning back fans and critics alike because of their exceptional musicianship, Kip Winger’s powerful vocals and the band’s incredible songwriting.

The album is available for pre-order on in a standard configuration
and deluxe configuration 

The deluxe edition comes in a glossy digipak and includes the bonus track “Another Beautiful Day” and a DVD including a Making of the Album documentary as well as videos for the first single “Rat Race” and title track “Better Days Comin'.” An iTunes pre-order will be available soon. The band has always been known for their incredible musicianship and the trend continues on Better Days Comin’.

Track Listing                                                                                                              
 1)   Midnight Driver Of A Love Machine                                               
 2)   Queen Babylon
 3)   Rat Race
 4)   Better Days Comin’
 5)   Tin Soldier
 6)   Ever Wonder
 7)   So Long China
 8)   Storm In Me
 9)   Be Who You Are, Now
10)  Another Beautiful Day (Deluxe Edition Bonus Track)
11)  Out Of This World

The Band have also confirmed that they will be appearing at the "Download Festival" in June

Kip Winger – bass guitar, vocals
Reb Beach - guitars
Rod Morgenstein - drums

John Roth - guitars

Classic Rock Presents Bad Company





One of the most acclaimed bands in rock, Bad Company, celebrate an incredible 40 years of rock ‘n’ roll with the release of their official 40th anniversary DVD documentary directed by Jon Brewer. The DVd is available as a Classic Rock Collector’s Pack and also a standalone DVD.

Filmed over 3 years on the road and on two continents, Bad Company: The 40th Anniversary is surprisingly the only fully authorized documentary film to be made on this iconic Rock and Roll band.

Released on 3rd March, the limited edition pack includes a brand new DVD documentary movie directed by Jon Brewer - Bad Company: The Official Authorised 40th Anniversary Documentary. Featuring live concert footage, TV performances and unplugged versions of the band's classics Feel Like Makin' Love, Shooting Star and their anthem Bad Company. The collector’s pack will also come with a 132-page magazine that has been produced with the full cooperation of the band and offers an insightful retrospective look through the bands incredibly vibrant and successful past.

The Bad Company DVD & Magazine Collector’s Pack is exclusively available to pre-order now at

The collector’s pack will include:
  • 100% official DVD documentary directed by Jon Brewer
  • 132 page magazine
  • Collectable art cards

The 132-page magazine includes:
  • Brand new exclusive interviews with all three surviving original Bad Company members: singer Paul Rodgers, guitarist Mick Ralphs, and drummer Simon Kirke
  • An exclusive celebratory memorial to their late bass player, Boz Burrell, including interviews with his wife, Cathy, godson, Mike Patto Junior and those musicians and friends that knew Boz best
  • An exclusive interview with Jon Brewer
  • Hundreds of rare and previously unseen pictures from the bands 1970’s heyday
  • Exclusive inside features on their legendary manager Peter Grant
  • Every album reviewed
  • The ultimate Bad Company Jukebox!
  • Eye-witness accounts of their major US tours
  • Inside the studio with the band

April will then see the DVD released as a stand alone by Universal Music.

Formed in 1973, Bad Company originally consisted of Paul Rodgers, Mick Ralphs, Boz Burrell, and Simon Kirke and was managed by legendary manager of Led Zeppelin Peter Grant. In a career that has seen them release an incredible twelve studio, two compilation and four live albums, six have been certified platinum/multi-platinum and eight Gold in the US and UK, with top 10 albums and singles worldwide. They have an extensive tour through the US this summer.

Bad Company Website 

Tuesday 25 February 2014

Gotthard are set to release their new album ‘BANG!’ on the 7th April 2014 through PIAS.

The Swiss rock band has been at home touring the globe for over 20 years throughout Europe, North and South America and Asia on the back of 14 studio and live albums. Gotthard have collected multiple gold and platinum awards on the way, selling almost three million records and appearing at the biggest, most important festivals on the map of rock.

The dynamic boogie groove of the title track is also new ground for the band, reflecting their unbridled energy and pure confidence. Also worthy of mention is a duet with the unknown (so far) American vocalist Melody Tibbits on a ballad entitled ‘Maybe’. As is the blues excursion the band takes in ‘Spread Your Wings’. The final ‘Thank You’ is a veritable epic complete with orchestra and goosebumps, flowing against radio friendly convention to a length of more than ten minutes. Written as a tribute to the departed mother of guitarist Leo Leoni, it serves as a homage to mothers everywhere.

The first single from the new album is ‘Feel What I Feel’, a perfect demonstration of the group’s talent for combining melodic vocals with strong guitar hooks. These songs are set against a background of classic Gotthard rock tunes like ‘Get Up‘N’Move On’, ‘Jump The Gun’ and ‘My Belief’ which traditionally grace every album by the Swiss combo. All told, ‘BANG!’ presents a compelling mix that is sure to take its rightful place in the proud legend of Gotthard.

Recorded and produced by Charlie Bauerfeind & Gotthard's own Leo Leoni at Yellow House Studios in Lugano in the Swiss canton of Tessin, ‘BANG!’ was then mixed at the Dutch Wisseloord Studios (Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney, Tina Turner) by Ronald Prent, who has managed to keep the Gotthard sound but transport them into 2014.  No wonder, after all Prent has worked in the studio with bands such as The Scorpions, 3 Doors Down, Def Leppard and Within Temptation.  

Apart from a standard jewel case, the album will be available in digipack version, with 2 bonus tracks and also on vinyl.

‘BANG!’ will be released through PIAS on 7th April 2014.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd "Goin Home" Released In May

Five-time Grammy-nominated and multi-platinum-selling blues/rock guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd has today confirmed that his new studio album, GOIN’ HOME will be released on May 5th through the Mascot Label Group.

Kenny Wayne will also embark on a 15-date whistle-stop tour of Europe to coincide with the album release, including a concert at London’s O2 Academy Islington on Wednesday 30th April.
For tickets go to

GOIN’ HOME is an exploration into the music of Kenny Wayne’s biggest influences, and features songs originally recorded by many of his musical heroes, such as B.B. King, Albert King, Bo Diddley, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Johnny "Guitar" Watson and Lee Dorsey. He reached deep into their catalogues and chose songs that inspired him when he was learning to play the guitar.

The album includes guest performances by some of Kenny Wayne’s closest friends (who also happen to be some of the greatest musicians performing today), including Ringo Starr, Joe Walsh, Warren Haynes, Keb’ Mo’, Robert Randolph, Kim Wilson (Fabulous Thunderbirds), Pastor Brady Blade, Sr. and the Rebirth Brass Band.

Photo © Mark Seliger

GOIN’ HOME follows Kenny’s involvement in the blues/rock supergroup THE RIDES, which features Shepherd alongside Stephen Stills (CSN / CSN&Y / Buffalo Springfield) and Barry Goldberg (Electric Flag). Their 2013 album "Can’t Get Enough" was critically acclaimed the world over and appeared in countless "Best Of 2013" album polls.

Official Website
Kenny Wayne Shepherd Official Website

Official Facebook Page 

Bill Wyman Joins Albert  Lee's 70TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS

Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, London SW1X 9DQ

March 1st and 2nd 2014  -  7pm/Sat, 6pm/Sun

Bill Wyman is confirmed for the star-studded line-up for ALBERT LEE’s 70th birthday celebrations.

Albert tours on a regular basis with Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings and said “I am delighted Bill is able to make it and to be able to welcome him to my show for a change!” Joining them will be fellow Rhythm King members Terry Taylor and Graham Broad.

Albert’s landmark birthday is being marked with two special concerts at Cadogan Hall on March 1st and 2nd. Other artists taking part include:

Joe Brown, Chas and Dave, Gary US Bonds, Gary Brooker, Marty Wilde, Bruce Welch, Chris Farlowe, Brian Bennett, Andy Fairweather Low and the Low Riders, Shakin’ Stevens, Ralph McTell, Dave Edmunds, The Robert Wells Trio....just some who are scheduled to appear.

Partner for the concerts, Yamaha, will be providing many of the instruments on the night as well as ground breaking THR amplifiers for backstage.

The shows will be compered by DJs  Bob Harris on March 1st and Mike Read on March 2nd. The artist line-up varies each night.

NB Due to curfew restrictions the Sunday night show will now begin at 6pm.

The Saturday show starts at 7pm as previously announced.

ALBERT LEE has played with pretty much everyone. No surprise as he’s just about one of the best guitarists....ever.

From Eric Clapton to Emmylou Harris, from Vince Gill to James Burton, from Jools Holland to Joe Bonanassa, everyone sings his praises.

As Clapton succinctly put it
 “He’s the greatest guitarist in the world...the ultimate virtuoso”....

a sentiment endorsed by Vince Gill,  
He’s one of the finest guitar players who ever walked this earth.” 

The accolades are huge, many and extraordinary.

So no surprise to find the celebrations for Albert’s 70th Birthday crammed with top drawer musicians wanting to pay their respects.

Amongst those joining Albert on stage at London’s prestigious Cadogan Hall on March 1st and 2nd are the following:

Joe Brown, Bill Wyman, Chas and Dave, Gary US Bonds, Gary Brooker, Marty Wilde, Bruce Welch, Chris Farlowe, Brian Bennett, Andy Fairweather Low and the Low Riders, Shakin’ Stevens, Ralph McTell, Dave Edmunds, The Robert Wells Trio....just some of the artists scheduled to appear.

Partner for the concert, Yamaha, will be providing many of the instruments on the night including piano and sound desk as well as ground breaking THR amplifiers for backstage.

The shows will be compered by DJs  Bob Harris on March 1st and Mike Read on March 2nd. The artist line-up varies each night. The promoters plan to release a further small allocation of £40 tickets just before the dates.

The 70th birthday celebrations will be followed by the release of a new single from Albert, “Spellbound” and an album , “Frettening Behaviour”, both out of March 3rd. A tour with his band, Hogan’s Heroes, kicks off around the UK on March 7th.

Albert Lee has spent the last 50 years making music. A double Grammy Award-winner, he has worked with many of the world’s top stars – Dolly Parton, Eric Clapton, the Everly Brothers to name but a few. He played at George Harrison’s Memorial Concert and has featured on various occasions at Clapton’s Crossroads Festival. A member of Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings, he has also been a member of Hogan’s Heroes, one of the best country rock bands in the world, since 1987.

Official Websites
Albert Lee

Albert Lee and Hogan's Heroes
Toby Jepson's Brand New Mini-Album Is Out Now via Townsend Records.

'Raising My Own Hell' sees the former Little Angels frontman retain his rock sensibilites with an acoustic edge and a brilliant live vibe that captures the essence of Toby Jepson in 2014.

Now focusing on his solo career and production work, Toby is quickly being recognised as the 'go to' producer and mentor for exciting new rock bands. His production work includes The Virginmarys (Classic Rock Magazine 2013 award winners) Toseland (fronted by former World Superbikes Champion James Toseland) Irish rockers The Answer and most recently, the award winning British export success story, classic rock band The Brew.

The Album can be purchased directly from here:

Jizzy Pearl and Love Hate Return with Album and UK Tour

LOVE/HATE frontman, Jizzy Pearl, is back with a brand new release and UK tour to heat things up during the cold winter months ahead.

Jizzy Pearls new 6 track mini-album 'CRUCIFIED' is out now via iTunes, with an extensive UK tour confirmed for March 2014.

Pearl has also recently been confirmed as lead singer for legendary U.S metal band QUIET RIOT.

Love/Hate burst onto the scene in 1990 with the debut album 'Blackout out in the Red Room' and proceeded to take the UK by storm with
Best Album of the Year' from Kerrang and Metal Hammer magazines. Playing sold out shows and opening for Skid Row, AC/DC and Dio put Love/Hate on the map. MTV hits “Why do you Think They call it Dope”, “She’s an Angel” and the bands follow up album 'Wasted In America' has ensured a loyal UK following to this day.

In 2014 lead singer Jizzy Pearl will carry the Love/Hate tradition into the new millennium with a new mini-album 'CRUCIFIED' - 6 new original songs that sound as vibrant and young as Love/Hate’s first records.

March 2014 Jizzy will return for a 16 day whirlwind UK tour which starts 6th March and includes Hard Rock Hell AOR Festival. Jizzy Pearl has proven that real Rock ‘n’ Roll will never die with his new solo mini-album 'CRUCIFIED'. Check it out!

Jizzy Pearl on 'CRUCIFIED'

Hanging You Out To Dry - “A song about the infamous Hollywood Sign stunt from the viewpoint of the Crucifee himself. The vibe is simple, I tried to get back to the start, a bunch of young kids banging out loud musical joy in a little room and the singer in the middle, one microphone, testifying to the World.”

Sunny Day - “A love song to my girlfriend, plain and simple. Usually I had to break up with my girlfriends to get a good song out of them but not this time, thankfully. Sunny Day is old School Love/hate psychedelia."

You’re Making Me Nervous - “A fictional account of every man’s idea of a bad date. The lyrics come straight from the horse’s mouth as he watches his Friday night fantasy crash and burn."

I Don’t Want To Be Your Baby - “This is a twist on the traditional Power Ballad where the guy not only doesn’t get the girl, he doesn’t want the girl."

Love Is All - “My Led Zeppelin roots come out on this one, all those Kashmir days and nights huddled around the peace pipe. I got to stretch out a bit and do some cool things musically that you can’t normally do in a 3 minute pop song.”

Too Late - “A song about someone near and dear to me who f**ked up. You can’t go back to high school, you can’t go back to those glory days of youth. You just—can’t—go—back.”

Jizzy Pearl's Love/Hate UK Tour March 2014

6th - Waterfront, Norwich UK
7th - Diamond Rock Club - Belfast, IE
8th - Moorings Bar - Aberdeen, UK
9th - Fibbers - York, UK
10th - Bannerman's - Edinburgh, UK
11th - Bannerman's - Edinburgh, UK
12th - Trillian's - Newcastle, UK
14th - Vault Rugby UK
15th - Diamond - Sutton, UK
17th - The Underworld - London, UK
19th - The Slade Rooms - Wolverhampton, UK
20th - Ebb Vale Institute, south wales
21st - Tivioli - Buckley, UK
22nd - HARD ROCK HELL AOR Festival - UK

Monday 24 February 2014


Jazzbones Tacoma, Washington February 22, 2014

Following my obsession for guitar prodigies, last night I was lucky enough to be on the guest list at the Randy Hansen Jimi Hendrix Tribute concert at Jazzbones in Tacoma, Washington.  Randy Hansen has two band line-ups, one for the USA and one for Europe.  Last night was the USA line up featuring Randy Hansen on guitar and vocals, Kevin John Adams on bass and Rick Spano on drums.  The show started around 9 O'clock and finished around 11 with the band giving us a sixteen (plus) song set list!

Jazzbones in Tacoma is a unique club that has everything you may need for a nice evening out; great entertainment featuring jazz, blues, and rock, good food with a full dinner menu and a Sushi Bar, and an upstairs art gallery.  Guests have the option to reserve a table if you are the sit-down type during a concert, you can stand in front of the stage, or you can go upstairs where there are chairs to sit or stand looking over the balcony.  Me, I'm a stage side rocker!

Randy Hansen started his Jimi Hendrix tribute career in 1977 with a band called "Randy Hansen's Machine Gun" and shared the bill with big headliners like Heart, The Kinks, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, just to name a few.  As a Jimi Hendrix Tribute band, Randy is one of the best tribute acts in the world and is officially recognized by the Hendrix family.  Not only does Randy share the bill with the big players, but has become one of the greats himself sharing the stage with Uli Jon Roth, Jack Bruce, Steve Miller, Sammy Hagar, and I could go on and on.

As previously noted the Jimi Hendrix Tribute band is Kevin John Adams (USA) on bass and Rick Spano (USA) on drums. Kevin's bass career started in 1976 touring the US and Canada with bands Lodestone, Spyder Davis Blues Band, Spin Gibbous, Fanatic, UVU, and The Belairs.  Kevin was greatly influenced by Jimi Hendrix and calls his playing in the band, starting in 2004, a "labor of love."   Rick Spano started out playing accordion at a very young age, his father being an accomplished accordianist, but later found his true love, drums!  Rick has been studying drums for years and now is a teacher himself in the West Seattle area.  Rick currently plays for Randy Hansen, the Overton Berry Trio, the Scott Rosburg Project, and the Tim Turner Band.

Randy, Kevin, and Rick together form the brilliant USA, Randy Hansen Jimi Hendrix Tribute Band.  The chemistry between them was explosive as they started out the first three in one "Tobacco Road/Stone Free/Fire" song. Randy Hansen's guitar became silent during Stone Free and Randy said, "Think I blew up my amp, but we got another one."  Kevin Adams and Rick Spano kept the music going giving us a strong up-beat rhythm while Randy made the switch.

Randy played "Hear My Train A Comin'" next and this is when I noticed how much he represented Jimi Hendrix. He played a one minute solo with his teeth as he backed into the crowd almost as if he was going to crowd surf, but then stepped forward back on to the stage.  Continuing with his solo he used his voice and mimicked the same notes on his guitar.  The audience was really getting in to the show now, people from the bar started coming up to the stage.

The next song, "Can You See Me" started with an awesome funky bass solo and drum entrance then Randy swung his guitar to his side and tapped his guitar string with one finger while engaging the crowd, encouraging us to make some cheerful noise which we happily obliged.  They went on to play "You Got Me Floating" and in the middle of this song Rick Spano gave an incredible, high energy drum solo showcasing his talent for jazz/rock style drumming.

Randy playing a black and white Fender American Standard Stratocaster thus far said, "I brought all these guitars and I'm gonna play em'" switching to a Fender American Standard Strat with a Maple Fingerboard then went on to play "Foxy Lady." following which, Randy smiled at the crowd and switched back to his black and white Strat and played "Midnight" and "I Don't Live Today."

The show up to this point was truly amazing, but then we had  "Little Wing" and to be honest the  performance was spectacular! Sublime even. Randy playing beautifully and melodically throughout the song then proceeded to leave the stage and step up onto a table and play the most electrifying solo using his teeth and playing behind his back. You can imagine a showstopper for sure and Randy had everyone's full attention.  People sitting upstairs came off of their seats and stood at the balcony to see this incredible moment.  Randy left the table and with his back towards the stage jumped up and did a backwards roll back on to the stage, guitar still strapped in position.  The noise from the crowd was deafening as people cheered. People now abandoned their reserved seating and packed us in at the stage.

They went on to play seven more songs with plenty of audience participation, "Ain't No Telling," "Freedom" Are You Experienced?," The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again," where Randy could have been a great contender for the Roger Daltrey's long shout at the end, YEAH.............  "Hey Joe," "All Along The Watchtower," "Voodoo Chile"/Alice In Chains "Man In The Box," and for the encore "Purple Haze."

The show was extraordinary!  I wasn't fortunate enough to see Jimi Hendrix in concert, but during the Randy Hansen show I not only felt like I was experiencing what it would have been like to see Jimi in concert, I was also feeling as though I had witnessed something incredible which I am sure seeing Jimi Hendrix would have been.
There is much musical snobbery around when it comes to artists paying tribute to other artists. In this instance Randy Hansen's performance transcends that. This is more than a tribute...this is almost at times channeling the spirit of Jimi Hendrix but at no time were we aware that Randy was just going through an act. This performance LIVES!

Tour Dates:
March 11:  Trattoria Amante in Issaquah, Washington
March 16:  Tulalip Resort Casino in Marysville, Washington
March 21:  Tonic Lounge in Portland, Oregon
April 02- 07: Live on The Moody Blues Cruise
April 12:  Louie G's Pizza in Fife, Washington
April 24:  Scala Cantina, Club, Cinema in Leverkusen-Opladen
April 25:  RäuchereiPreetzer Str. 3524143 KielGermany
April 26:  Royal Irene MuziektheaterSteegstraat 215921 GJ Venlo-Blerick
April 27:  Musiktheater PianoLütgendortmunder Str.4344388 DortmundGermany
April 29:  Object 5Seebener Str. 506114 HalleGermany
April 30:  Hot Jazz ClubHafenweg 26b48155 MünsterGermany
May 02: Altes E-Werk NiersteinPestalozziplatz 155283 NiersteinGermany
May 03: Kulturzentrum ´Stadthaus`38, avenue Charlotte4530 DifferdangeLuxenburg

Randy Hansen Website:

Randy Hansen Facebook Page:

Review by Jill Maciel
West Coast Correspondent for CRRdotEU

Photography by Scott Banning