Sunday 31 May 2015

Review_Lunden Reign_American Stranger

Classic Rock Radio (Dot CO Dot UK)
30 May 2015 NEW Music Review
Lunden Reign - American Stranger (2015 Cleopatra Records)

                  Lunden Reign - American Stranger
        Cover Artwork:Ioannis - Photo: Benjamin James - Model: Marie

From the great state of California, and what was The Lori G & Nikki Lunden Band, comes; Lunden Reign. 

For a modern rock band publicly described as being, big beat / alternative rock, after playing their debut CD many times in a row, I decided what we have here is a new rock band with an appreciation for the rock and roll before them. Touching on old school vibes, yet emitting their own fresh, and unique sound.

First listens and my mind compares the music with; The Bangles, or Heart. Successful musical groups that had a distinctive sound, which earned them as time went by, buckets full of cash, and a rather large following. I feel the same can happen for Lunden Reign. If radio was what it was decades ago when the outstanding bands I just mentioned was breaking ground, I lay two tracks from 'American Stranger' on the general public, and in the process make them stars. That easy. The title track, American Stranger, and what can also be referred to as Track Six on American Stranger, a solid number with a hard edge entitled, Hear Me. Infectious drum beat. Every song on American Stranger deserves attention / airplay. These are just two. And not just for the music, but the lyrics, which can be found to be more real than poems about Egyptians, or magic men. 

                                Lunden Reign - American Stranger (2015 Cleopatra Records)

The comparison is all about Lunden Reign's leading ladies; Nikki Lunden, whose performs lead vocals, and is a keyboardist, and Lora G (Espinoza-Lunden), who's a guitarist, and synth player. I'm genuinely impressed. Saying they play or sound like women who made it to the top of the music heap, in popularity and sales, and actually are life long professional musicians now, is certainly meant as a compliment. It's my job as a writer to describe what I hear. If 'big beat' means 'upbeat' or 'rocking', then I'm hearing that loud and clear.

Tell tale signs you got something. American Stranger isn't too long in length. Ten songs, with the whole disc coming in at around the thirty-eight minute mark. It was recorded in three very cool places; Capitol Records (Hollywood CA), Stagg Street Studios (Van Nuns CA), and Abby Road Studios (London UK). Plus it has very prog-rock like cover art. Works for me!

Lunden Reign - American Stranger is an album / CD easily played from beginning to end. Here is where I would usually say what my favorite songs were, and truth is at the moment, I find it impossible to say what tracks I get into the most. I conclude that I must dig them all! Each one having something special about it. A guitar riff, the vocal performance, a groovy beat, a catchy melody or chorus. Every part is interwoven perfectly with the others. And now that the opportunity presented itself, hats off to the rest of the band, and a word of thanks to anyone I may have left out who made 'American Stranger' possible.

Rating: Back to the business at hand, I'll cut to the chase and say that I now consider myself a fan of Lunden Reign. Am already looking forward to whatever the their follow up is.

Using the five star rating system, whereas one star means it sucks through a long straw, to five stars meaning one can spend their hard earned money on it, Uncle G gives Lunden Reign - American Stranger …5 stars! Had to have seen that coming.

For more information on Lunden Reign, please check out their official social media websites:

Official Website:
Official Facebook:
Official Twitter:

Gary Brown
American Correspondent for
Twitter @GBrown0816

Thursday 28 May 2015

Review_ELP_Live At The Mar Y Sol Festival '72

                  Uncle G's Classic Rock CD Collection

                         ELP - Live At The Mar Y Sol Festival '72 - CD Cover Wrap

Note: This is a modified version of a column / review that ran as a Facebook EXCLUSSIVE, back on June 14, 2012. 

Today's Pick: Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Live At The Mar Y Sol Festival '72 (2011 Shout Factory)

Last year (2011) Shout Factory released a sound board recording of ELP from a show performed in 1972. My research tells me this concert was a few months before the release of Trilogy.

Seeing the CD there with all the other ELP recordings really surprised the hell out of me. Here I was walking the CD aisle in Fry's (Houston Texas) last week, and in the corner of my eye, I notice this. Picked it up so I could read the details. The next time it left my hand was when I got into the car. Purchased for a reasonable price.

The CD's called; ELP - Live At The Mar Y Sol Festival '72. It reads; Recorded live on April 2, 1972 at The Mar Y Sol Festival, Vega Baja, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

ELP's act was part of a HUGE three day rock concert. Reading the list of acts that also played there just blows my mind; Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, Allman Brothers, Dr. John, and Fleetwood Mac -- just to name a few. Plus imagine being able to see ELP. All this in 1972. Now where my time machine go? I could only imagine how cool it would have been to be there. But what about the flip side to these festivals we all hear about? All those people outside for three straight days; smelly, sweaty, and bad breath galore. And lets not forget to mention; drunk, stoned, and wired from getting no sleep. The older I get, the less appealing that all becomes.

The Scan: This cracked me up. The booklet (check out the scan - top of this webpage) includes a reprint of a poster for the event. Price of admission was $15.00, in which it stated, "did not include travel arrangements." Think they had a sense of humor here, or that they were dead serious? To Puerto Rico...right. As wasted as most of these concert attendees must have been, I mean really. Who on Earth would think that? "OK, I purchased my $15.00 ticket. When's the limo arrive to take me to the airport?"

Good news. From what I can tell, this CD contains their whole set. These guys are smoking hot. Really in their prime. This is an EXCELLENT live CD !!! I would strongly recommend adding ELP - Live At The Mar Y Sol Festival to YOUR CD collection if you haven't done so already. Has already received many repeat plays in this household, and I predict will get many more. A real treat!

Rating: Using the one to five Star Rating System, whereas one star means it blows chunks, to five stars which means it's perfectly alright to spend your hard earned cash on, Uncle G rates Emerson, Lake, & Palmer - Live At The Mar Y Sol Festival 72 ... 5 stars! For reasons already stated. 

UPDATE 2015: Just announced, a limited - deluxe edition of Trilogy containing three discs, the original album (remastered), an alternative mixes disc, and a surround sound DVD audio disc produced by Jakki Jakszyk is to be released Worldwide, on June 9th. For more detailed information, please check out the following link; official ELP merchandise page:

Emerson, Lake, & Palmer - Trilogy (1972)

Gary Brown
American Correspondent for
Twitter @GBrown0816

Friday 22 May 2015

Review_The Rolling Stones_Some Girls_Live In Texas Blu-ray

            Uncle G's Classic Rock DVD Collection

                      Blu-ray: The Rolling Stones - Some Girls - Live In Texas
                                                (Also available on DVD)

Note: In celebration of The Rolling Stones, on the road and doing shows in the year 2015, proudly re-print a column that appeared as a Facebook EXCLUSIVE sometime last year; 2014. 

The Rolling Stones. Still kicking ass, and taking names. Isn't that awesome!

Review_The Rolling Stones:Some Girls_Live in Texas (2011 Eagle Rock Entertainment)

So about a week ago I'm in the music DVD aisle in Fry's, and I run across this new Rolling Stones item. A DVD from back when they were touring Some Girls. Sprang from their giant archives I imagine. Most excellent !!! Different packages, going for different prices. You can get a regular DVD for about 12 bucks. The Blu-ray was 3 dollar more. The deluxe was a DVD (maybe Blu-ray) and a audio CD. I picked the Blu-ray. With tax it was under seven-teen bucks.

In the year 1978, a concert ticket to see the Stones play at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia cost me around 15 bucks. Less than the Blu-ray DVD I just purchased. Back then I was sixteen years old. In high school back then a popular question was if one was a Rolling Stones or a Beatles fan? For some weird reason, most were fans of either one or the other. Like it was impossible to be fans of both. I really did dig The Beatles. Still do, but I also liked the Stones. I must admit not as much. Out of all the musicians in those bands, I liked Paul McCartney the best. That was back when I was a teenager. Over the years as I matured, it's changed somewhat. And leaning more towards the Rolling Stones favor.

Maybe a half year before the studio album Some Girls was released, the Stones came out with a live gem called; Love You Live. A double album. I fell right into it, playing nothing else for the longest time. So when I got my concert ticket, I was just really hoping that I'd get to see them play like they came across on wax. I probably thought of The Rolling Stones as more a party band. I seen their film Gimme Shelter several times at a midnight theater showing. I would go with different young ladies and we make out the entire picture. I never saw much of the film, but I heard everything. Regarding the songs, I knew the older hits. Already seeing Led Zeppelin, now it was time for me to be in the presence of this super group.

The concert date was June 17th. It was a Saturday. I was going to Philadelphia with a group of friends. All of us were excited about going. The band Foreigner was warming up. Was excited about seeing them also.

We partied our collective asses off several nights leading up to the date of the show. Two nights before the concert, the unspeakable happened. We were involved in a car accident. The auto we were in lost brakes, and we drove into a super high curb. The driver thought at first he killed everyone. I was in the backseat with two young ladies. The front seat on impact moved back and my foot being underneath it, was injured as a result. The ankle was sprained. My foot swelled to the size of a football. Doctor said I would have been better off breaking it. I was given crutches.

Friends all the next day came and visited. I was sharing a place to live. Most visitors brought booze. One older friend reached out his hand to give me what he said; "would make you feel all better". This miracle pill was know as a; Quaalude. Later that night, just a stones throw from Madam Marie's psychic reader / fortune telling building on the Asbury Park boardwalk, I proclaimed myself healed and threw my crutches over the rail into the Atlantic Ocean. The next day after the Quaalude's wore off, I had to get another pair of crutches. We missed the concert. I never did see the Rolling Stones, or Foreigner for that fact.

This Blu-ray disc makes up for it. Damn sure does. This is sweet !!! From the get go, picture and sound quality are off the chart. I'm so glad I spent the extra three bucks for the Blu-ray. You can see the sweat drops fall off Jagger. Not that I find that appealing. It's the details you see. While doing so, you're hearing the show like you're there. Close your eyes and your imagination will plant your feet front and center, right by Mick. Imagine hard enough, and you can smell the weed coming from the crowd. This is Dallas, Texas in the late seventies. Everyone's smokin' something. Our guitar players here do just that. Regular cigarettes. Between Woods and Richards they smoked so damn many cigarettes that I started really feeling like I would like one myself. How weird is that? It's been since November of 2007 since I had a drag. I did get a kick from watching that. Mick was such a help. He put their smokes out for them. Again...the over all picture...details are incredible. Got some pretty Texas women in the audience. Something to see for everyone.

The disc starts off with a quick glance of the crowd before show time. Like a page out of a late seventies high school year book. It's an indoor concert. Seventeen songs performed in all. They hit stride by the third song; Honky Tonk Women. It is a tour of their album 'Some Girls' and they do just that by performing seven out of the ten songs that make up one of the groups biggest selling albums. Nothing half ass about this. It's not a so called off night for the band. They are rehearsed, and well tuned. The audience eats out of their hands from the first moment they take the stage. At a frenzy whenever Jagger and company called for it. A perfect night for audience and the main attractions.

                                  The Rolling Stones - Shattered

That's not it. Bonus footage. A new interview with Mick. A poster of the DVD cover behind him in which he comments. It's funny seeing the interviewer try to get at questions that Mr. Jagger can remember. For one thing, and not good for ones memory, the band revolved around booze and drugs more than once in their now fifty year career. Especially in the time span Some Girls covers. It was before and after the album that Richards was dealing with being busted for heroin. In Canada, back in 1977. He ended up being a very lucky man. Probation and community service (benefit concerts). That's of course touched on, as well as other prevalent subjects. Mick is cool with answering questions and tries to provide whatever information he can. Seemed that way to me.

Back in '78 I watched the super popular television show, Saturday Night Live. That's when I wasn't already passed out from drinking too much. I remember coming home early so I could catch the Rolling Stones as musical guests. That was a BIG thing. I had this tiny black and white TV set. I was poor. It's all I had back then. I was cool with it. To my delight, the SNL footage is included as a bonus feature. To see it now...on a big color...wonderful picture clarity...blows me away.

Rating this one out of ten stars, Uncle G gives it a perfect score; 10. I watched this twice in a 24 hour period. It actually makes me feel at peace with missing the band all those years ago. I recommend this for every fan of classic rock out there. It's that good !!

Gary Brown
American Correspondent for
Twitter @GBrown0816

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Wednesday 20 May 2015

Review_Squackett_A Life Within A Day

Classic Rock Radio (Dot CO Dot UK)

New Music from Classic Rockers

Note: This is a re-run of a column that first ran as a Facebook EXCLUSIVE on 31 July 2012.

                         Squackett - A Life Within A Day (2012)

How about we start with a little background first?

The name Squackett. A witty combination of the artists two last names. It is a weird sounding word. Always gets some kind of reply when said aloud. Imagine this if you will. Out of your home stereo speakers blast the debut CD from; Squackett. We'll say for this exercise that the song playing is a little more on the prog rocking side; Storm Chaser. Three out of four times this is what the guest you just allowed into the house is going to say; "Is is ok if I use your bathroom? It was a long trip." In which you will reply; "Of course. You know where it is." On the way out of the toilet; "Hey, I really like that music. Who is that?" If they spent any substantial time in the loo then they might have been able to hear more than one song. And really, that's pretty much all it takes to realize just how good, and solid this CD is. Your reply to the inquiry; "Squackett."

Chris Squire. Bass player for Yes. Steve Hackett. Ex-Guitar player for Genesis. Two seriously well versed musicians. Both men now into their sixth decade of existence on this planet. Behind them such a phenomenal body of work that for the rest of their lives they could pretty much rest on their laurels, letting the praise continually roll in. Hopefully the money as well for both being solid songwriters and main reasons why their respected bands became famous to start with. Experienced in all phases of the music business. Plus, both can also sing exceptionally well. Squire a choir boy from back in his youth.

My hopes for when it comes to buying any of these SUPER GROUPS releases, are always guarded nowadays. In other words, I've been let down over the years. Musicians I genuinely liked, but whatever the project failing to generate from me, any sparks from within. I finally hear something I've been waiting ages to hear, and I end up disappointed. Another twenty dollar bill wasted. It is easily explained. Most times the music, it just don't click. It's not what one was expecting. Maybe it's in a style which is different than what I come to know the musician(s) for? Odds are I got turned onto their work playing rock music. So here they are putting out something new that is NOWHERE near the form or style of music I originally liked them for. Think Marilyn Manson putting out a polka record. This would be in the five dollar bin at Walmart in no time flat. A double edge sword here. Make music that keeps sounding alike, and fans will walk away because they think you are not capable of doing anything else. I'm happy to report that Squackett is on pretty solid ground.

As is the history of both musicians, the musical styling of this recording does change direction from time to time. That being the case and lots of times the winning formula to a successful album / CD. I find Squackett to be a true progressive rock release. Saying that, I also find this to be a solid rock album. A main reason why I enjoy progressive music so much is that it incorporates different styles of music, yet centers them around a rock format. In a nutshell, it helps provide for a more unique listening experience then say just standard rock n' roll. Squackett does just that.

The opening tune is also the title track off the CD; A Life Within A Day. One of the BEST new prog rock songs that I heard in ages. What a welcome relief also. Both gentlemen let us know almost immediately that this is not old folks music. Carries over to the next song; Tall Ships. This has one of the most infectious bass lines you ever want to hear. Squire's doing it !! Hackett is right out front giving the listeners something to wiggle their behinds too. Two outstanding songs, and on the first two tracks of their debut release. Three cheers -- hip hip hooray. For the record if ones kept up with what Hackett / Squire have been doing while each contributing to each others solo projects, than one is not surprised by what they just heard.

                               Squackett - A Life Within A Day

The song 'Divided Self' follows. Somewhat mellower than the previous songs just played. Actually to my ears it sounds like a left out song from the Yes - Talk recording sessions. Has that sort of feel about it. Not a derogatory statement. More a statement to the Yes West haters out there. Talk is actually one of my favorite Yes studio releases. It was the early material that made me a fan. Taste and opinion changes as one matures. Came out at a right time in my life. Reminds me now whenever I play it of the time when my wife and I dated.

Track four is a Squire tune; 'Aliens'. Much better than another sci-fi themed song that comes to mind that also had Chris' participation; Arriving UFO. Think Yes' 1978 studio release; Tormato. Nowhere near being a favorite Yes song of mine. 'Aliens' on the other hand is an excellent song. It's catchy. I caught myself walking around the house singing aloud the chorus; "Aliens are only us, are only us, from the future." My cat be looking at me all funny like. You could only imagine what they are thinking while zeroed in on your behavior; "explain me that one Einstein. Are you referring to time travel? Where is my tuna dinner?" No...seriously...this is a groovy song. I can forget all about Arriving UFO with this one.

Sea Of Smiles I believe is set up to be the first single. It is a extremely solid, pleasant song. Displays superior musicianship. Has a marvelous beat. Rather positive. Excellent vocals. Like the whole CD, it's examples of excellent producing and mixing skills. Makes me smile listening to it.

The Summer Backwards again displays the magnificent musicianship that one gets used to when playing recordings from either of these performers. Somewhat mellow. Nice pace to it. Again, excellent vocals.

The next song should is totally contagious; Storm Chaser. Squire's outstanding. As all his work is on here. It is so thrilling to hear Chris be able to stand out, and being heard is always appreciated. He is not one to turn down in the mix. Midpoint has the coolest sci-fi TV theme song thing going on your ever heard. Then back to being a badass rocker. Turn this up and be'll blow your speakers out.

The CD ends with on a high note. Two songs that go well side by side. Ending not as rocking as I might like, I'll still pretty cool with the end results.

Here's names of other contributing musicians associated with Squackett; Roger King - Keyboards. If a fan of Hackett's solo material (which if should be) then you know the name. Does excellent work. On Squackett, some of the best prog keyboard work I heard in a long time. Dude's still in his 40's too. Amanda Lehmann, guitar and vocals. A multi instrumentalist if I'm not mistaken. Also a driving force working previously with Hackett. And rounding out the group, drummer Jeremy Stacey. Has played with countless of hugely popular acts over the years. On Squackett, he ranks right up their alongside a Bruford, or a Collins. Can blend in, or lead the charge. That ladies and gentlemen is the signs to knowing and identifying a brilliant drummer. Together these musicians mingle and compliment each others styles. Would be exciting to get to see this in a concert setting. In a new interview with CRR's Jon Kirkman, Chris Squire suggested that perhaps we'd see some live shows towards the end of the year. I hope so and guys...professionally record it and put me down for an advanced copy of the DVD. Look at that. Sold one already.

Rating: One out of five stars, Uncle G gives Squackett - A Life Within A Day, a rating of; 5 Stars. It is worth the effort getting it. My first time seeing this retail, the store wanted close to 25 bucks for it. Add sales tax. Walk out would be close to 30 dollars. For the single CD, and not the one that comes with a bonus DVD. Because it is an import. More than I could afford, I passed. Next, I ordered it on a highly popular retail website that now adds sales tax to it's final amount. Couple days later I get an e-mail saying how sorry they are that they are sold out. Thank God for e-Bay. For without them, I could not have done this review.

Gary Brown
American Correspondent for
Twitter @GBrown0816

Tuesday 19 May 2015

Lynyrd Skynyrd- "One More For The Fans"


On one special night last November, an extraordinary collection of artists came together at the historic Fox Theatre in Atlanta, GA to perform and celebrate the songs of Lynyrd Skynyrd, one of the most influential bands of our time. This unique concert event centered around performances by Lynyrd Skynyrd, including a special rendition of “Travelin’ Man” with Johnny Van Zant singing along with an archival video of hislate brother, Ronnie performing, as well as a rousing rendition of “Sweet Home Alabama” with Skynyrd inviting the entire star-studded line-up up on stage to perform alongside them.

The show will be available July 24, 2105 as a 2CD and 2DVD set as well as Blu-ray titled Lynyrd Skynyrd - One More For The Fans on earMUSIC in collaboration withLoud & Proud Records in partnership with Blackbird Presents.

One More For The Fans features performances by Lynyrd Skynyrd as well as music legends and young talent, culled from multiple genres including Classic Rock, Country and Americana with Gregg Allman, Trace Adkins, Alabama, Blackberry Smoke, Cheap Trick, Charlie Daniels, Peter Frampton, Gov’t Mule, Warren Haynes, John Hiatt, Randy Houser, Jason Isbell, Jamey Johnson, Aaron Lewis, moe., O.A.R., Robert Randolph and Donnie Van Zant all coming together to perform songs from Lynyrd Skynyrd’s extensive catalog of music.  
“Hearing all of these incredible musicians sing our songs was unforgettable,” says Rossington. “It was a really special night and I’m so happy our fans will now get to enjoy the show at home.”

Keith Wortman, creator and executive producer of the concert event, broadcast special and music release worked with Ken Levitan and Ross Schilling who also served as executive producers of the show. Don Was led the all-star house band as musical director for the evening.   
As part of the campaign to save the Fox Theatre from demolition, Lynyrd Skynyrd recorded their 1976 live album, One More From The Road, at the landmark theatre. The title Lynyrd Skynyrd - One More For The Fans was inspired by that legendary album’s title.

With a catalog of over 60 albums and sales beyond 30 million worldwide, Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Lynyrd Skynyrd remains a cultural icon that appeals to multiple generations. Lynyrd Skynyrd continues to build on the legacy that began over 40 years ago in Jacksonville, Florida.  Led by core members Gary Rossington (guitar),Johnny Van Zant (vocals) and Rickey Medlocke (guitar), along with longtime drummer Michael Cartellone, the band also includes Mark "Sparky" Matejka (guitar), Johnny Colt (bass), Peter Keys (keyboards) and The Honkettes-Dale Krantz Rossington and Carol Chase-on background vocals.

“Lynyrd Skynyrd - One More For The Fans” Track Listing:
1. Whiskey Rock A Roller – performed by Randy Houser                 
2. You Got That Right – performed by Robert Randolph & Jimmy Hall       
3. Saturday Night Special – performed by Aaron Lewis        
4. Working For MCA – performed by Blackberry Smoke                  
5. Don't Ask Me No Questions – performed by O.A.R.  
6. Gimme Back My Bullets – performed by Cheap Trick
7. The Ballad of Curtis Loew – performed by moe & John Hiatt
8. Simple Man – performed by Gov't Mule              
9. That Smell – performed by Warren Haynes         
10.  Four Walls of Raiford – performed by Jamey Johnson              
11.  I Know A Little – performed by Jason Isbell  
12.  Call Me The Breeze – performed by Peter Frampton
13.  What's Your Name – performed by Trace Adkins          
14.  Down South Jukin’ – performed by Charlie Daniels & Donnie Van Zant
15.  Gimme Three Steps – performed by Alabama              
16.  Tuesday's Gone – performed by Gregg Allman             
17.  Travelin’ Man – performed by Lynyrd Skynyrd With Jonny and Ronnie – Ronnie on big screen
18.  Free Bird - performed by Lynyrd Skynyrd
19.  Sweet Home Alabama – performed by Lynyrd Skynyrd and the entire cast

Thursday 14 May 2015

Review_Not A Good Sign_From A Distance

Classic Rock Radio (Dot CO Dot UK)
14 May 2015 New Music Review

Not A Good Sign - From A Distance (2015)
Spotlight: Not A Good Sign - From A Distance (2015 AtltrOck Productions)

So I open the padded envelope this came in, and see the cover of the CD. The band's name jumps out at me; Not A Good Sign. My first thought; Not A Good Band Name. My mind works like that. So I played the CD. Didn't matter what they were calling themselves. The music contained jumps out and grabs you. The singing, and lyrics not at first. Grows on you. Can't say I liked James LaBrie (Dream Theater) immediately when I first heard the first Dream Theater he was on; Images And Words (1992). The actual music is what I'm drawn to. The vocals to me have to appear as a natural fit. Deciding the music was too good to let this go, I gave it a few more plays. Some time later decided that the singer, Alessio Calandriello, is a perfect match for the other four in the band. That the music contained within 'Not A Good Sign - From A Distance' is a perfect vehicle for this singer and these lyrics. Much akin to James LaBrie and Dream Theater's 2nd studio offering. Just not as hard sounding.

Research shows that 'Not A Good Sign - From A Distance' CD is their second studio release. Not the same exact band line up here as the first outing. All new to this reviewer. What I hear is progressive rock with influences steering off into the land of King Crimson, and Porcupine Tree. There are some rocking passages, as well as some just some downright beautiful moments.

If a fan of keyboards, then you're love Not A Good Sign's keyboard player; Paolo SKE Botta. His playing, be it the piano, or his choice of keyboard textures and sounds, capable of catching one's attention, and never letting it go. Alessandro Cassani on bass and backing vocals, Martino Malacrida behind the drum kit, make up a solid rhythm section. The guitar playing mostly heard on the CD is by a former founding member of Not A Good Sign member Francesco Zago, with one track (Flying Over Cities) by current guitar man, Gian Marco Trevisan.

                                            Not A Good Sign - Wait For Me 

Using the star rating system where one star means it blows chunks, to five stars which means it's cool to spend your hard earned cash on, Uncle G rates Not A Good Sign - From A Distance … 5 stars! Main reason is because it demands listening to. Solid Italian progressive rock. Not that I'm an expert. Has a mature, aged sound to it, that I'm certain would be greatly appreciated by all those who dig this kind of music. I for one certainly do.

Important Internet Links

CD Label - AltrOck Productions

Not A Good Sign Official Website

Gary Brown
American Correspondent for
Twitter @GBrown0816

                                  THE MAGIC BUS   

Released through Universal Music on 8th June 2015, ‘Magic Bus’ is a massive 3CD collection of 57 tracks that sound-tracked the journeys taken along the ‘hippie trail’ by thousands in the late ’60s, early ’70s.  Rolling on from London to Amsterdam, then to Istanbul and finally to Kathmandu in Nepal, the epic voyage, and indeed the mode of transport itself has entered the cultural vernacular.  A garishly painted bus still evokes, for us all, the open road and the setting sun.  ‘Magic Bus’ speaks of the impact upon the world’s young people of the nascent counterculture; bringing freedom, hedonism and spirituality.

With tracks from the likes of The Mamas & The Papas, Scott McKenzie, The Byrds, The Who, Bob Dylan and many more, ‘Magic Bus’ opens a window that allows the aromatic atmosphere of a cherished era to filter back to us. These are intoxicating memories.  This music encompasses the collective positivity of the times that underlined a generational shift; but most importantly this is about far more than just basking in nostalgia, this is some of the greatest music ever recorded.

Jefferson Airplane, Buffalo Springfield, Joan Baez, Canned Heat and many, many more all join us on the way.  This music and this journey was truly an immersive experience for those who hit the ‘hippie trail’.  Sunlight refracted through a cracked windscreen and roiling clouds of fragrant smoke.  Sudden moments of transcendental clarity and focus.  The hum of the engine and a largely unjustifiable belief that the road being followed would lead to where the occupants of the Magic Bus truly wanted to be.  But it didn’t matter.  The journey is, after all, the destination and this is a trip about far more than sightseeing.

As Timothy Leary put it so succinctly, “Turn on, tune in, drop out” 

CD1 – Turn On

  1. The Who - Magic Bus
  2. The Byrds - Mr. Tambourine Man
  3. Scott McKenzie - San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)
  4. Barry McGuire - Eve Of Destruction
  5. Matthews' Southern Comfort
  6. Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth
  7. The Band - The Weight
  8. The Mamas & The Papas - California Dreamin'
  9. The Lovin' Spoonful - Summer in the City
  10. Simon & Garfunkel - A Hazy Shade Of Winter
  11. Love - Alone Again Or
  12. The Fifth Dimension - Aquarius / Let the Sunshine In (The Flesh Failures)
  13. The Lemon Pipers - Green Tambourine
  14. The Cowsills - The Rain, The Park & Other Things
  15. Harpers Bizarre - 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)
  16. The Association - Cherish
  17. The Hollies - King Midas In Reverse
  18. The Box Tops - Neon Rainbow

CD2 - Tune In
  1. Bob Dylan - Subterranean Homesick Blues
  2. Joan Baez - The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
  3. Cat Stevens - Katmandu
  4. Donovan - Sunshine Superman
  5. Melanie - Ruby Tuesday
  6. Tim Hardin - If I Were A Carpenter
  7. Peter Paul & Mary - Where Have All The Flowers Gone?
  8. Judy Collins - Both Sides Now
  9. Janis Joplin - Me and Bobby McGee
  10. Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity - This Wheel's On Fire
  11. Lynyrd Skynyrd - Sweet Home Alabama
  12. Grateful Dead - Truckin'
  13. The Allman Brothers Band - Whipping Post
  14. Deep Purple - Hush
  15. Canned Heat - On The Road Again
  16. The Beach Boys - Good Vibrations
  17. Sonny & Cher - I Got You Babe
  18. Traffic - Hole In My Shoe
  19. The Move - Flowers In The Rain

CD3 – Drop Out
  1. Cream - Sunshine Of Your Love
  2. Steppenwolf - Born To Be Wild
  3. The Gun - Race with the Devil
  4. Iron Butterfly - In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
  5. Frank Zappa - Peaches En Regalia
  6. Strawberry Alarm Clock - Incense and Peppers
  7. Ten Years After - I’d Love To Change The World
  8. Jefferson Airplane - White Rabbit
  9. Santana - Black Magic Woman
  10. The Yardbirds - For Your Love
  11. Jethro Tull - Living In The Past
  12. Rare Bird - Sympathy
  13. Simon Dupree & The Big Sound - Kites
  14. Procol Harum - A Whiter Shade of Pale
  15. The Moody Blues, The London Festival Orchestra, Peter Knight - Nights In White Satin
  16. Elton John - Tiny Dancer
  17. Thunderclap Newman - Something In The Air
  18. Zager & Evans - In the Year 2525
  19. Crazy World Of Arthur Brown - Fire
  20. The Troggs - Love Is All Around


Live In Paris ‘79” DVD + CD set

On 17 July 2015, Eagle Rock Entertainment release “Live In Paris ‘79” by Supertramp on DVD + CD set [Cat No. EAGDV048].  This is the first release of the remixed full length audio, in the original running order, on one CD set, and the first time the audio and video have been available together; this release comes packaged in a 3 disc digipack. “Live In Paris ‘79” was on first release in 2012, incredibly, the first ever live Supertramp video release featuring the classic line up of Rick Davies, Roger Hodgson, John Helliwell, Dougie Thomson and Bob Siebenberg. It features all their classic tracks including “The Logical Song”, “Crime Of The Century”, “Give A Little Bit”, “Dreamer”, “Breakfast In America”, “Take The Long Way Home”, “Bloody Well Right”, “Rudy”, “Goodbye Stranger” and many more. 
The show was transferred and digitised to full HD from the original 16mm film. The sound was remixed by Peter Henderson and Supertramp’s original sound engineer Russel Pope from the original multi-tracks and is presented in both stereo and 5.1 surround sound. All songs were written by Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson, each writing the songs on which they sing lead vocals. [Rick Davies (^) & Roger Hodgson (*)].
(Disc 1): 1) School ^*  2) Ain’t Nobody But Me^   3) The Logical Song*   4) Goodbye Stranger^   5) Breakfast In America*   6) Bloody Well Right^   7) Hide In Your Shell*   8) From Now On^   9) Child Of Vision*   10) Even In The Quietest Moments*   11) You Started Laughing (When I Held You In My Arms)^
(Disc 2): 1) A Soapbox Opera*   2) Asylum^   3) Downstream^   4) Give A Little Bit*   5) Dreamer*   6) Rudy^   7) Take The Long Way Home*   8) Another Man’s Woman^   9) Fool’s Overture*   10) Two Of Us*   11) Crime Of The Century^
DVD Tracklisting:
1) Introduction   2) School^*  3) Bloody Well Right^   4) The Logical Song*   5) Goodbye Stranger^   6) Breakfast In America*   7) Hide In Your Shell*   8) Asylum^   9) Even In The Quietest Moments*   10) Give A Little Bit*   11) Dreamer*   12) Rudy^   13) Take The Long Way Home*   14) Another Man’s Woman^   15) Child Of Vision*   16) Fool’s Overture*   17) Two Of Us*   18) Crime Of The Century^   19) From Now On (credits)^ - Plus five bonus tracks, for which the original footage has been lost, are presented with newly created montage visuals: 1) Ain’t Nobody But Me^  2) You Started Laughing (When I Held You In My Arms)^  3) A Soapbox Opera*   4) From Now On^   5) Downstream
Supertramp’s “Breakfast In America” was the biggest selling album in the world in 1979. It spawned several hit singles and went on to win two Grammy Awards and sell in excess of 20 million copies. On the album’s release Supertramp embarked on a 10 month world tour which arrived in Paris at the end of November. These 4 shows from the Pavillon de Paris were all recorded and the last two were filmed. The audio went on to form the basis of the 1980 live album “Paris” but the film was never released.  As bonus features, we include five tracks recorded on the night (but for which there is no film) using montage visuals: “Ain’t Nobody But Me”, “You Started Laughing (When I Held You In My Arms)”, “A Soapbox Opera”, “From Now On” and “Downstream”.
"Finally released after all this time, the only footage of Supertramp at their very best. For me, as their old manager, watching the film was like coming home, any bitter-sweet memories from the intervening years swept away as I was transported back to that special band and those special concerts of 1979...Man, they really were that good!" -  Dave Margereson.

The Who
Live At Shea Stadium 1982”

On 29 June 2015, Eagle Rock Entertainment release “Live At Shea Stadium 1982” by The Who on DVD and SDBlu-ray [Cat Nos EREDV1184 and ERSDB3021 respectively].  The set list on this amazing show features both classic tracks and rarely performed songs and includes: “Pinball Wizard”, “Won’t Get Fooled Again”, “My Generation”, “Substitute”, “Who Are You”, “I Can’t Explain”, “See Me Feel Me”, “Baba O’Riley” and many more.  Although a couple of tracks have appeared on compilations, this is the first official release of the full show and features restored footage and newly mixed sound.
The Who’s 1982 tour, which was all in North America apart from two warm-up dates at the Birmingham NEC in England, was their last to feature Kenney Jones on drums and the band did not tour again until 1989. The tour promoted the recent “It’s Hard” album, which had been released in June 1982, and the set list included a number of tracks from that album, some of which the band would only play live on this tour. This concert film features the show from the second of their two nights at New York’s Shea Stadium and was filmed on October 13th 1982.
1) Substitute   2) I Can’t Explain   3) Dangerous   4) Sister Disco   5) The Quiet One   6) It’s Hard   7) Eminence Front   8) Behind Blue Eyes   9) Baba O’Riley   10) I’m One   11) The Punk And The Godfather   12) Drowned   13) Tattoo   14) Cry If You Want   15) Who Are You   16) Pinball Wizard   17) See Me Feel Me   18) Love Reign O’er Me   19) Long Live Rock   20) Won’t Get Fooled Again   21) Young Man Blues   22) Naked Eye   23) I Saw Her Standing There   24) Summertime Blues   25) Twist And Shout
2015 is a year of even higher profile than usual for this legendary band - with their 50th Anniversary show taking place in London’s Hyde Park – and “Live At Shea Stadium 1982” shows exactly what their reputation has been built on.

Wednesday 13 May 2015

Legendary Manfred Mann's Earth Band Vocalist Chris Thompson Releases 'Jukebox - The Ultimate Collection' 2CD Remastered Anthology

London, UK - Esoteric Recordings is pleased to announce the release of 'Jukebox: The Ultimate Collection', a two disc anthology by legendary CHRIS THOMPSON!

Known for his work as the lead vocalist and guitarist on many hits with Manfred Mann's Earth Band, including “Blinded By The Light”, “For You” and “The Mighty Quinn” as well as featured on the classic Jeff Wayne concept album 'War of the Worlds', Chris is also a noted songwriter (penning among other songs the smash hit “You're the Voice” for John Farnham). His most recent studio album, 'Toys and Dishes', his first in over ten years, (released on Esoteric Antenna), gained excellent reviews from critics and praise from fans worldwide.

Chris Thompson continues to draw enthusiastic live crowds throughout Europe. 'Jukebox: The Ultimate Collection' is a fine, brand new 36-track newly remastered compilation of material that has defined Chris Thompson's career, including songs such as “Blinded by the Light”, “For You”, “Father of Day’, ‘Davy's on the Road Again”, “Martha's Madman”, “The Mighty Quinn”, “Thunderchild” and “You’re the Voice’, along with tracks from 'Toys and Dishes' such as “Eddie Wants to Rock” and “Millie Christine”.






Tour dates:

01/05/15 - Bergen Madam Felle, Norway
02/05/15 - Bergen Madam Felle, Norway
13/05/15 - Rjukan Festival, Norway
30/05/15 – Oslo Bjerkefestivalen, Norway
05/06/15 - Egersund Dalane Blues Festival, Norway
03/07/15 - Konsberg Konsberg Jazz Festival, Norway
04/07/15 - 24340 Eckenförde Radio Nora Sommer Open Air, Germany
09/07/15 - Mosjøen Festival, Norway
22/08/15 - Hamar Under Brua, Norway
10/12/15 - 63739 Aschaffenburg Colos-Saal, Germany
12/12/15 - 64625 Bensheim Musiktheater REX – Kulturdenkmal Güterhalle, Germany
17/03/16 - 76646 Bruchsal Fabrik, Germany
18/03/16 - 55232 Alzey Alzeyer Oberhaus, Germany
19/03/16 - 53721 Siegburg Kubana, Germany

To purchase:

For more information: 
Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158 (USA),

Friday 8 May 2015

Uncle G's After Hours FUN Movie Reviews_Evil Bong 420

Classic Rock Radio (Dot CO Dot UK) 
08 May 2015 
Uncle G's After Hours FUN Movie Reviews

                       Spotlight: Evil Bong 420 (2015 Full Moon Features) 

What a better day than to release a pot movie, then on April 20th. A no-brainer right? All day long cannabis festivities. The icing on my cake, was early in the evening of this past April 20th, sitting down in the living room recliner with a nice and hot, fresh out of the oven Paul Newman pizza, a chilled glass of sangria, while under the influence of a popular strain. Turning on Hula Plus. No puffing it up inside the rental. That's what outside is for. Feeling fine at the moment, and not to be denied any longer, for it's time to forget damn near all important things, and immerse oneself in what I believe is one of the best, and cleverly written stoner movies I have witnessed in a while. A indie comedy / horror Hollywood B film, tailor made for the company's (Full Moon Features) loyal fan base, and what movie history will show, helped expand it even more. 

Fair Warning: I predict after digging Evil Bong 420 that you'll be compelled if you have not already, to check out the previous films associated with this one. And then you're hooked. That's all I'm saying. 

Did I mention Evil Bong 420 ends with a cliffhanger? Not that I'm giving away anything but it ended like those old serial stories of way back when. The characters you took time bonding with the last hour are all the sudden left in some kind of peril. No advanced warning. Surprised me. Begs to be asked; When will Evil Bong 420 Part Two be coming out? Another question; Will Evil Bong 420 Part Two be the concluding film to this storyline? All good things can come to those who patiently wait. I got my money's worth, for now. Am anxious for the next segment. 

HIGHlights of Evil Bong 420 (Part 1) 

Every line of dialog is worth paying attention to. Excellent word flow that moves the story along very nicely. Expect some funny lines. Remember, this is an adult Rated R comedy / horror movie. The main topic centering around what most States here in America still consider to be an illegal substance; marijuana. The scripts underlying sediment is pro cannabis. A wise stance to take, especially with the younger generation in American today. The only ones in opposition of legalization and decriminalization of marijuana, and catching news headlines lately, seem to only be out of touch Republicans. Someone would blame the liberal media. Makes me wonder to myself. I said, Self; Why else would otherwise seemingly intelligent people all the sudden go brain dead when it comes to the subject of cannabis. After all, legalizing and decriminalizing is really the only logical thing to do. Why pay for law enforcement busting otherwise good citizens and making them criminals because they prefer toking over boozing or taking pills? It's apparently safer. Name someone who overdosed on grass only? Politicians believing we're just stupid, answer our inquiries about legalizing pot, by telling us it's a gateway drug, and still insisting it's evil. Is it not obvious people's interest whatever that might be, are being protected? Think about this. Who loses money if cannabis is legalized? Big Pharmaceutical? Booze companies? What about just hemp? Big Cotton? Big Toilet Paper? Enough of that crap. Back to the talkies. 

Add to Evil Bong 420's entertainment value is bare adult female boobies. LOTS of them. Might even be breaking a record, as far as Full Moon films go. A bare pair here, a bare pair there, sprinkled throughout everywhere. I'll call it directors Charles Band ode to fun bags. And for those unaware, Mr. Band's been ahead of the curve, and helping free the nipples for sometime now. Matter of fact, dudes made it his lifelong pursuit. All done in good fun, of course. This time around, compliments of those all too willing to take one for the team; the Evil Bong 420 ladies.

Still from Evil Bong 420: Rabbit & his Weedblower
 Have I mentioned the passionate female kissing scene yet? Horniness just being one side effect of being hit by Rabbit's Weedblower. Soon to be offered in head shops around the Country, or if not on Full Moon's website in the product section already. Will come with a disclaimer saying it's just a 'Hollywood Prop' (wink wink). Could be for the better. If real, the weedblower looks like it takes at least an ounce of the herb to make the bowl even look like it had something in it. Designed for parties, and works like a charm. For wherever you lit it up at, a party will be soon to follow. 

                                    Promo Clip: Evil Bong 420

I know Full Moon Features, what was Full Moon Pictures, Charles Band, the Gingerdead Man series of films, and the entire Evil Bong franchise, like I do the back of my hand. Not only that, but I'll fully disclose that the first ever fan club I joined in my life, was one for Full Moon Pictures back in the 1990's. I still have the card sent to me. It's no longer good for discounts or anything. I've upgraded. Now Uncle G is a current and in good standing fan club member of Full Moon Features. Like before I was sent a card. Lost it moving last Spring, which bums me out. Am usually not that irresponsible, especially with a collectible. Still hoping to run across it one day. 

Straight up, I'm not biased. I could see where those might think I would be. The people who know me, understand it's the things I like best, that I tend to be critical of the most. Because I come to expect more. 

Charles Band is a veteran of Hollywood B movies. Remember 1985's Ghoulies? Forty years later I come to expect everything with the Charles Band name on it to be above average, and worth what I pay for it in entertainment value. Just about all times I'm a satisfied customer. Things are never an issue. Makes me think. Why when it comes to film or music, emphasis is more on a rookies work than a veteran? Isn't someone experienced, a master at his or her craft? Thus, I have a hard time finding anything wrong with Director / Producer Charles Band forth Evil Bong outing. Something that started back in 2006. The original 'Evil Bong' with Tommy Chong. An R Rated, horror / comedy, straight to DVD popcorn flick where the monsters a popular delivery system for marijuana name EeBee, that talks, and had magical powers, thus creating havoc for anyone near it. Also in the Full Moon family, Gingerdead Man. A wisecracking murderous cookie made from scratch with satanic dough. What's not to love? 

Evil Bong DVD Cover Wrap.
Autographed by Charles Band
From the private collection of American Correspondent Gary Brown
In under an hour's time, Charles Band gives those viewing Evil Bong 420, the best of the characters between the two franchises (Evil Bong_Gingerdead Man), witty banter, a cool storyline, and adult eye candy galore. Picking up from 2013's Gingerdead Man Vs. Evil Bong, Rabbit (Sonny Carl Davis) the main character in this chapter of fun, escapes the clutches of EeBee the Evil Bong and her domain, called Bong World, to open a topless bowling alley. Financed by the sale of Ebbie's weed that Rabbit stole from her while breaking out of Bong World. And along for the ride are Hambone the Clown, and Ooga Booga! Cast information you can find online. I hate to say more and spoil it. Cool first seeing each character emerge, and then intermingle with everyone else. 

Promo Picture - Evil Bong 420
Left to Right
Sonny Carl Davis, Robin Sydney, Director Charles Band, Amy Paffrath, and John Patrick Jordan

Uncle G Rating 

Using the IMDb website rating system of one to ten stars, whereas one star means it blows chunks, to ten stars which means it's cool to spend your hard earned cash on, Uncle G gives Evil Bong 420 … all 10 stars! A good old fashion R Rated adult comedy, that reflecting the year it was made (2015), centers around a subject that's in the news every day; Marijuana. Well done scoring, hardy laughs, cool visuals, and it's everything a pothead loves, and MORE. 

Shout Out: Sonny Carl Davis should win an Oscar. If only that would happen. The man gives a stand out performance. As does everyone around him. For in Evil Bong 420, there is no character in front of the camera that should not be there. All actors in front of the camera, be it, they have a small or large part, simply shine. Hats off also to those behind the scenes as well. Last but not least, here's another Charles Band movie I like. As expected. And so it is written, and so it was done. Mister Band … You keep making movies, and I'll keep watching them. 

Useful Information - Official Full Moon Websites

Gary Brown 
American Correspondent for 
Twitter @GBrown0816