Monday, October 31, 2016

Concert Review: The Tedeschi Trucks Band Bring Their Soulful Blues To Mohegan Sun

Husband and wife duo, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi have a combined experience of over forty years in the music industry. Derek Trucks is a guitar prodigy that started his own band, The Derek Trucks Band, at age 20 and became a full-time member of The Allman Brothers Band at age 23. Susan Tedeschi, a soulful blues singer and guitarist, started her own band, the Susan Tedeschi Band, at age 23. The two met while Tedeschi's band opened for The Allman Brothers Band in 1999. They married two years later and began the Tedeschi Trucks Band in 2010.
 
They have released three albums, all cracking the top 20 on the album charts and have gathered a dedicated following at their live shows. Tedeschi and Trucks, along with their 10-piece band, returned to Mohegan Sun Sunday night to perform in the arena. With no opening act, the band strolled on stage to a roaring applause for the audience. After a quick tune-up, the band led off the night with "Laugh About It" from the their most recent studio album "Let Me Get By." Trucks highlighted the song with an amazing slide guitar solo as he would lead the band during their performances of "Don't Know What It Means" and "Keep On Growing." Tedeschi's soulful vocals soared on a bluesy rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Bird On A Wire," followed by a well-deserved standing ovation.
 
Her solo performance of "Angel From Montgomery" brought up comparison to the great Bonnie Raitt, before transitioning into the Grateful Dead's "Sugaree." After receiving a well-deserved standing ovation, the entire band returned to the stage for a 12-minute cover of Allen Toussaint's "Get Out My Life Woman." The entire floor got up to dance to the swinging groove of "Made Up Mind" and Susan Tedeschi showcased her guitar skills on the B.B. King classic "How Blue Can You Get."
 
The Tedeschi Trucks Band had to improvise during their solo of "I Want More" as guitarist Derek Trucks broke a string on his guitar. Not before long he re-joined the rest of the band and led them into a fiery version of Santana's "Soul Sacrifice," which closed out their main set. 
 
After short break, the band returned to the stage for their encore performance of Ray Charles' "Let's Go Get Stoned." Each of the back-up singers sang a verse and by the end of the song, the audience was singing along to the chorus. As two hours seemed to fly by, their fans were more than pleased with another great live performance from the Tedeschi Trucks Band.
 
Tedeschi Trucks Band Setlist: Laugh About It, Don't Know What It Means, Keep On Growing, Within You Without You>Just As Strange, Bird On A Wire, I Wish I Knew (How I Would Feel To Be Free), Let Me Get By, Angel From Montgomery>Sugeree, Get Out My Life Woman, Bound For Glory, Made Up Mind, How Blue Can You Get, I Want More>Soul Sacrifice
Encore: Let's Go Get Stoned

CD Review: Throwing Muses' Kristin Hersh Delivers "Wyatt At The Coyote Place"

Author/musician Kristin Hersh will be releasing her new 2CD/book set titled "Wyatt At The Coyote Place" on November 11th through Omnibus Press. Hersh is best known as a member of the rock band Throwing Muses and this will be her third CD-book format release.

Beginning with "Bright," you get a sense that Kristin Hersh has all these stories to tell and adds any type of music in the backdrop to invoke the right mood of her tale. You hang on her every word as her vocals have an aged, experienced tone to them in "Bubble Net,"  "Hemingway's Tell" and "August." The wonderful experimental folk/rock of "Wonderland" and the acoustic grunge of "Killing Two Birds" showcases Kristin's love for many different musical genres. She wraps you up with her vocals as in "American Copper" and "From The Plane" and excites the senses with the punk-like energy of "Sun Blown." The double-album finishes with the gentle, quiet tones of "Cooties," the acoustic, alternative rock of "Christmas Underground" and the six-minute grunge-like sound experiment of "Shotgun." To find out more about Kristen Hersh and her latest release "Wyatt At The Coyote Place," please visit kristinhersh.com.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Concert Review: Kiss Explodes For Mohegan Sun's 20th Anniversary Special

During the month of October, Mohegan Sun has been celebrating their 20th anniversary. The casino has invited special guests to perform all month long and the festivities continued Saturday night with a performance from rock legends Kiss. Also, being so close to Halloween, everywhere you turned fans had their faces painted as one of the members of the band. Some even going as far as wearing the band's full battle armor, snapping pre-show photos with fellow fans. This night would be extra special for me, bringing my 11-year old daughter to her first Kiss concert and what a night she was in for.

As the arena goes dark and with the curtain drawn, a deep bass line rang through the speakers. Then those historic rock words that all Kiss fans know were spoken, "You wanted the best, you got the best! The hottest band in the world, Kiss!" As the curtain drops, the masters of theater concerts are lowered from the ceiling getting the excitement flowing with the fire and explosions of "Detroit Rock City." Bassist/singer Gene Simmons posed for the cameras between his verses of "Deuce," before lead singer/guitarist Paul Stanley addressed the sold-out audience.

Kiss has always fed off the energy of their fans and Stanley got the crowd going with a screaming match between the two halves of the arena. Vintage clips played on the giant video screen behind drummer Eric Singer during their performance of "Do You Love Me." Simmons' alter persona, The Demon, begins his bass solo with the Halloweenish effect of spitting blood to the roaring response from fans. I can only image what my daughter may have thought, since no-one in today's pop world comes close to that level of shock performance.

The demonic tones of "God Of Thunder" found Simmons flying to the raptures, 50 feet above the stage to sing his iconic hymn. Guitarist Tommy Thayer steps up to the microphone to sing the lead vocals of "Shock Me," which lead to his rocket firing solo. Kiss steps into their non-makeup wearing era only once for "Lick It Up," before diving back into "War Machine" highlighted by the fire-breathing demon.

Invites from the audience got Paul Stanley flying across the arena to perform "Love Gun" from a smaller stage at the back of the arena. Then Kiss' epic live number "Black Diamond" closed out the 90-minute set. Eric Singer left his drum set to sing the ballad "Beth," before Paul Stanley addressed the audience with the politics of today. The mention of Kiss supporting U.S. vets received a huge applause, while the ringing of "boos" followed his speech about politicians.

Everyone stood for the "Star Spangled Banner," preceded by the "Pledge Of Allegiance." Kiss closed the night with the rock and roll nation anthem, "Rock And Roll All Nite," which finished the night off as one big party. As confetti and fireworks filled the air, smiles were on everyone's face as even the youngest of fans sang along to this rock and roll pledge. A night with Kiss has become a rite of passage that fans have passed down from generation to generation and my daughter is now a fan for life, witnessing one of the best live bands of all time.

Kiss Setlist: Detroit Rock City, Deuce, Shout It Out Loud, Do You Love Me, I Love It Loud, Flaming Youth, God Of Thunder, Psycho Circus, Shock Me, Cold Gin, Lick It Up, War Machine, Love Gun, Black Diamond, Beth, Star-Spangled Banner, Rock And Roll All Nite

Saturday, October 29, 2016

CD Review: Goldenlane Records Boxes Up Ike & Tina Turner's Pompeii Recordings

The husband and wife duo of Ike and Tina Turner were the king and queen of soul music in the late sixties and early seventies. Their version of "Proud Mary" was a top five hit in the U.S. in 1971, but prior to that, the couple failed to have a hit single, but over in Europe they became a huge sensation. They had a top five hit with the single "River Deep - Mountain High" and accepted the opening slot on the Rolling Stones European tour. While over seas, they recorded three albums worth of material for Pompeii Records. Goldenlane Records collected those recordings for the new box set, "The Complete Pompeii recordings 1968-1969."

The new set includes the albums, "So Fine," "Cussin', Cryin' & Carryin' On" and "A Black Man's Soul." All of the albums are represented in this set in their own sleeves that replicate the original album covers. The album "So Fine" showcases Tina Turner's gritty soul vocals on "Ain't Nobody's Business" and "It Sho Ain't Me." The album saves some of the best songs for the second side like their cover of "Sake A Tail Feather" and the title song "So Fine," which displays the wonderful voices surrounding Tina on vocals.

Their second album with Pompeii Records was "Cussin,' Cryin' & Carryin' On," which begins with the title song that displays the funkier side of Ike Turner & The Kings Of Rhythm. They mix the sound up on this album featuring the blues of "Poor Little Fool," the up-tempo pop/rock of "I'm Fed Up" and the gospel/soul of "Make 'Em Wait." The album had an inconsistent flow, before they zeroed on a more rich soulful, R&B sound on their third album for Pompeii Records, "A Black Man's Soul."

The album begins with the funk-fueled instrumental "Thinking Black," before diving into the horn-fueled "Black Beauty." This album mainly focused on Ike Turner and his band leadership as The King's Of Rhythm were in top forms on tracks like "Funky Mule" and "Freedom Sound." To find out more about this new box set, "Ike & Tina Turner - The Complete Pompeii Recordings 1968-1969," please visit cleorecs.com.

Friday, October 28, 2016

CD Review: Alfio Re-Release "After Love" & Project Grand Slam Hops Aboard "The Queen's Carnival"

Australian-Italian singer Alfio is the hottest new crooner on the music scene. His live album "Alfio In Concert" was top 10 on Billboard Classical Crossover Charts and his PBS special received two Emmy nominations. He has been compared to some of the greats like Andrea Bocelli and Michael Buble and is preparing to sing the national anthem at the November 6th New York Rangers game at Madison Square Garden. He is also preparing to re-release his 2015 album "After Love."

The new thirteen-song release mixes together pop standards like Eric Carmen's "All By Myself" with the Italian flavor of "No More." He pays a loving tribute to Luciano Pavarotti with the pop standard "Pavarotti" and delivers exceptional loving vocals on "You're My Song." He picks the tempo up with the European swing of "I Said I Love You" and after the pop tones of "Alright," he is back home, crooning his way through the original penned gospel of "Our Dream." The album closes with the operatic feel of "Santa Lucia Luntana," sung in his native language and of course the Frank Sinatra classic "My Way," done his way. Alfio is performing on November 13th in Sellersville, PA, which is his only remaining show on his schedule. To find out more about his latest studio album "After Love," please visit alfiomusic.com.

From New York comes the latest release titled "The Queen's Carnival" from jazz-fusion band Project Grand Slam. Their new album follows hot on the heels of their successful 2015 album "Made In New York" and features their fresh new take of The Kinks' classic "You Really Got Me." The new single starts the album off with a funk-infused bass line joined by an electrifying guitar solo. The band takes off on the exciting power-jazz instrumentals "Beyond Forever" and "Gorilla," before slowing down for the quiet "Lullaby For Julesy." The band gets funky again with the seventies sound of "Slap Shot," then be prepared to break-out the party favors for the island flavor of "The Queen's Carnival." Their most recent single "The Rescue" showcases the full showmanship of the band, before closing this release with an instrumental version of the opener, "You Really Got Me." To find out more about Project Grand Slam and their most recent release "The Queen's Carnival," please visit projectgrandslam.com

Thursday, October 27, 2016

On The Record - Music: Talking With Trevor Lewington Of The Celtic Rock Band Enter The Haggis

Trevor Lewington from Enter The Haggis discusses the band's new album "Broken Arm" and filming the videos for each of the songs on the new EP. They also give us the insight to the meaning of the band's Irish-based name, Enter The Haggis.

CD Review: Check Out New Releases From The Legal Matters, Myles Sanko & The Robert Kraft Trio

From Detroit comes the sophomore release from pop/rock band The Legal Matters titled "Conrad." The new albums shows the development and maturity in their songwriting since their debut album two years prior. The new eleven-song release begins with the wonderful harmonies of "Anything," before digging back to their influences on the Beatles-inspired "I'm Sorry Love." They bring together their voices for the undeniable pop appeal of "Minor Key," then bring out their guitars for the more rock-infused "Short Term Memory." When they slow the tempo down for the acoustic-based "Pull My String," you can appreciate the bond between band members Andy Reed, Chris Richards and Keith Klingensmith. The album wraps up with angelic harmonies of "Hip Hooray" and "Lull And Bye," before finishing with smooth rock sound of "Better Days." To find out more about The Legal Matters and their latest release "Conrad," please visit thelegalmattersband.com

UK jazz/soul artist Myles Sanko will be releasing his new full-length album "Just Being Me," on October 28th. The new eleven-song release begins with the short, trickling instrumental "Freedom," which leads into the soul-infused R&B tones of "Just Being Me." Sanko picks the tempo up for the classic sound of "Promises" as his vocals ignite your body to move. The album continues with the piano introduction of "This Ain't Living," which then leads into the song's Stevie Wonder-like groove. His vocals soar on "For You" as the music carries a pop/disco break that gives his sound a nostalgic feel. The album finishes with the free-form vocals of "Land Of Paradise" and the smooth R&B tones of "Missing You," before closing with the spiritual, gospel-like delivery of "Empty Road." To find out more about Myles Sanko and his new album "Just Being Me," please visit mylessanko.com.

The Robert Kraft Trio recently released their latest single "Gotta Have You" which has a nostalgic rhythm & blues sound that swings with its smooth Motown-like delivery. The flipside of their new 45-inch single is the sixties-sounding pop appeal of "I Want To Show You" as their sound will definitely transport you to an earlier time in music. To find out more about The Robert Kraft Trio, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/The-Robert-Kraft-Trio.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

CD Review: New Music From Underground Rock Artists The Bordellos, The Dead Love & SIANspheric

Arriving from the U.K. is the latest release from the underground folk/rock band The Bordellos. Their latest release titled "How To Lose Friends And Influence No-One" continues The Bordellos duty of singing the truth. The new thirteen-song release begins with the indie-folk protest of "I Don't Believe In MFs Anymore." They bring down the mood with the dark tones of "Unhappy Song," before finally plugging-in for the controversial, garage-rock of "Gary Glitter." They attack the BBC with "Did The Bastards At The BBC Kill John Peel?," then blast away your frown with the grunge-like buzz of "Fanzine Smile." Their new album wraps up with the moody acoustics of "Stone Turns To Stone" as The Bordellos take you on a word-filled journey, before finishing with the expressive sonic landscape of "Piss On Spotify." To find out more about The Bordellos and their latest release "How To Lose Friends And Influence No-One," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/TheBordellos.

Next from Sydney comes the latest release from Australian grunge legends The Dead Love titled "So Whatever." Their new sophomore release begins with the highly energetic rage of "Frown" as their music heads more toward mainstream alternative rock on this latest album. They ignite their sound with the grunge feel of "Down" and the Nirvana-inspired single "Wasteland." They keep the energy going with the upbeat, alternative rock of "Love Drugs," while "99" showcases the band's harder, edgier sound. The album finishes with the guitar driven tempo of "So Whatever" and the final blast of energy from the wonderful rawness of "The End." The Dead Love have a few dates left on their current tour of Canada. To find out more about their new album "So Whatever," please visit thedeadlove.com.

Canadian rock band SIANspheric return with their first new album in fifteen years. The new LP titled "Writing The Future In Letters Of Fire" features ten tracks, beginning with the atmospheric build up of the title-song as the vocals float around the song's smooth rock melody. They slow the tempo down even more for the dark, moody delivery of "I Draw The Line," then add a progressive rock twang to their sound with the eight-minute sonic adventure "I Have It." Their sound explodes with the quick, evasive blast of horns on "Los Herejes," before finishing the album with spiritual feel of "The Simple Exit" and the Pink Floydian tones of "Ender (or the Ethereal Melodies Of Lazerpipe Arkestra)." To find out more about SIANspheric and their latest release "Writing The Future In Letters Of Fire," please visit sianspheric.com.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

CD Review: The Neal Morse Band Explore A "Dream" On New Double-Album

American singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Neal Morse is preparing to release his latest album with The Neal Morse Band titled "The Similitude Of A Dream." It will be released on November 11th through Metal Blade Records and is a double-album, clocking in at over 100 minutes. The entire Neal Morse Band is back, including Mike Portnoy on drums, Randy George on bass, Eric Gillette on guitar and Bill Hubauer on keyboards. The songs tell of a journey through dreams, beginning with the subtle strings of "Long Day," which lead into the progressive rock instrumental "Overture." Morse tells the tale of "The Dream" that builds up to the thunderous rock driven "City Of Destruction." The harmonies are wonderful on the magical sounds of "Draw The Line" as the band displays a jazzier side to their music, before continuing with the classic, seventies prog-rock sound of "Back To The City." The first disc finishes with a pair of seven-minute experiments like the early Genesis-sounding "The Ways Of A Fool" and the uplifting, spirited feel of "Breath Of Angels."

The second disc kicks off with the intense, keyboard driven rhythm of "Slave To Your Mind" and the quieter pop/rock of "Shortcut To Salvation." The band comes together to rock out on "The Man In The Iron Cage," before keyboardist Bill Hubauer electrifies "The Road Called Home" with his solo. The Neal Morse Band mix up their sound with the Americana feel of "Freedom Song" and "I'm Running," which sounds like an outtake from The Who. The second disc wraps up with the piano ballad, "The Mask" and the ten-minute, prog-rock adventure of "Broken Sky/Long Day (Reprise)." The Neal Morse Band are starting out 2017 with a North American tour. To find out more about their new album "The Similitude Of A Dream," please visit nealmorseband.com.

Monday, October 24, 2016

CD Review: New Releases From Indie-Artists James Young, Ray Vaughn And Grit

British musician and author James Young is getting his "Songs They Never Play On The Radio" album reissued through Gonzo Multimedia. Fans will remember Young as a member of the band, Faction along with Nico from the Velvet Underground. After Nico's death in 1988, James Young wrote a book about their adventures together and one year later released the album. It features Young performing mostly solo as companion piece to the book and includes excerpts of Nico talking as Young uses her voice within many of the songs. Highlights of the album included the spoken poem of "Down By The Wannsee," the dark folk-rock delivery of "Burn Away" and live versions of the piano ballads "Dog" and "My Funny Valentine." To find out more about the new reissue of James Young's "Songs They Never Play On The Radio," please visit gonzomultimedia.com.

San Francisco rocker Ray Vaughn has been a part of the music industry since founding the art rock band Hostages in 1979. Since then, he has left his mark on the west coast music scene and is looking to expand with his latest solo album "Wounded Bird." The new full-band release begins with "Human Calculator" as Vaughn's songwriting captures the full-range of his backing band on this up-beat rocker. He picks the tempo up for the energetic, punk-like delivery of "Wounded Bird," then brings on the western flair of "Change In Latitude" with the full support of his band. He builds up the inspirational "Song For You," before closing his new eight-song release with the wonderful, southern country sound of "Rain" and the acoustic, folk-style storytelling of "It Happened On Willow Street." To find out more about Ray Vaughn and his new album "Wounded Bird," please visit rayosomusic.com.

French rock band Grit recently made their debut with their 3-song EP titled "Live At Kramus Deluxe Studio." It showcases this new four-piece band as a blast of raw energy as they begin their new release with "G.F.Y." They have a garage-rock sound made popular by The Black Keys with an addictive rhythm. They follow that with the grunge-like guitar buzzing of "Ready Or Not," before closing their short release with the punk-like energy of "Sister." Grit has videos on their website for the three songs that make up their new EP and they are performing live in Paris in November. To find out more about this rising underground rock band, please visit grit-music.com.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

DVD Review: Sony Classics Allows Frank Zappa To "Eat That Question: In His Own Words"

Frank Zappa was one of the most outspoken musicians in history. He let his music do most of the talking, but when it was time for interviews, Frank Zappa was always the smartest man in the room. Sony Classics recently released a new DVD titled "Eat That Question: Frank Zappa In His Own Words," which allows the viewer into the world of Frank Zappa through historic footage of live performances and on-air TV interviews.

Directed by Thorsten Schutte, he tries to capture the genius of Frank Zappa and portray him on screen in order for all of us to try and understand him a little better. Schutte allows Zappa to tell his story in his own words as he combines previously unseen footage together to chronologically tell the history of this brilliant, but misunderstood musician. While many of these clips are available on YouTube, the way Zappa is portrayed in this 90-minute documentary, shows the toll his body took on the demand of his art. While cigarettes and coffee was his diet of choice, it also allowed him to express all of his musical intuitions, tho sad to see his body digress as the video clips became more recent. Schutte does a masterful job merging performances and interviews, I only wish the full performances were available separately, but that would take up a whole other DVD. 

 The film was an official selection of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and a must see for Frank Zappa fans. To find out more about "Eat That Question: Frank Zappa In His Own Words," please visit sonyclassics.com/eatthatquestion.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

CD Review: Barry Gibb Arrives "In The Now" & The Debut Album From Lewis Del Mar

As one third of the famous brother band, the Bee Gees, Barry Gibb reached the highest of highs in the music industry, like having the biggest selling soundtrack of all time. Since the death of his two partners and brothers, Barry has been writing new music that eventually found its way onto Gibb's first solo album in over thirty years. His new album titled "In The Now" was released on October 7th through Columbia Records and features writing credit from his two sons Stephen and Ashley.

The new twelve-song release begins with the quiet build-up of the title-song "In The Now" as this what we've come to expect from his former band, the Bee Gees. Gibb continues with the inspirational "Grand Illusion," which has him sounding better than ever on this pop/rock gem. Gibb was originally planning on recording a country album and "Star Crossed Lovers" is one of the songs that will make fans realize that Barry Gibb can also write country songs too. He picks the tempo back up for one of his most rocking songs "Blowin' A Fuse," which reminds us of his early days of the Bee Gees pre-disco era. One of the highlights of the album is "Home Truth Song" that carries a folk/rock vibe and sounds like an autobiographical musical piece. His vocals still sound magical on the quietness of "Shadows," before closing the album with the upbeat swing of "Diamonds" and the emotional piano ballad "End Of The Rainbow." To find out more about Barry Gibb and his latest release "In The Now," please visit barrygibb.com.


New York duo Danny Miller and Max Harwood recently released their full-length debut album together as Lewis Del Mar. They have been receiving great praise since the release of their EP earlier this year and you will become an instant fan once you listen to their new ten-song release. Beginning with "Such Small Scenes," its hard to pinpoint their sound as it floats between, pop, folk, rock and hip-hop. One thing's for sure, the beats are very infectious in "Loud(y)" and the lyrical rhymes are addictive in "14 Faces." The duo's raw, alternative sound hits the highs with "Painting (Masterpiece)," then they soak in the sun with the cool vibe of "Tap Water Drinking." The album wraps up with laid back delivery of "Islands" and "Live That Long." Lewis Del Mar are currently on tour in the U.S. until the beginning of November. To find out more about their full-length debut album, please visit lewisdelmar.com.

Friday, October 21, 2016

CD Review: Dee Snider Releases Solo Album For "The Ones" & Kirra "Run Away" With Debut Album

Legendary rocker Dee Snider, front man for the hard rock band Twisted Sister, will be releasing his brand new solo studio album on October 28th through Red River Records. The new album titled "We Are The Ones" showcases Dee in a different light. He takes the pedal off the metal and works with soaring melodies and synth-driven anthems. The new nine-song release begins with the title-song "We Are One" as Dee does what he does best, to get the adrenaline pumping with shout-along choruses and thunderous rhythms. He continues with that winning formula for "Over Again," then shifts gears with the power ballad "Close To You," which features a string section, and the pop/rock tones of "Rule The World." He re-tools his classic anthem "We're Not Gonna Take It" into an inspirational piano ballad, before taking on Nine Inch Nails "Head Like A Hole" delivering a spot-on cover of the classic nu-metal song. The album finishes with the much, out-of-place, dance/pop vibe of "Superhero" and the emotional, battle cry of "So What." Dee Snider has a few solo dates over the next couple of months. To find out more about his new solo album, "We are The Ones," please visit deesnider.com.

From Oklahoma City comes the debut album titled "Run Away" from the raw, hard rock band Kirra. Their new album was released on October 7th through Pavement Entertainment and was recorded live with little to no overdubs. The twelve-song release begins with "Tappy Gilmore" as guitars start blazing a trail for you to follow. They bring some of their influences into the exciting, hard rocking vibe of "Fly" and the classic blues-rock vibe of "Lay You Down." They slow the tempo down for the darker, grunge feel of "Run Away" and the deliver the bass-driven rhythm of "Chemicals" to power their hard rock sound. The album continues with "Drown," which was written at the band's first practice together and carries that hungry-feel for success as they pour their all into the performance.  They finish with the slow-build up of "Forgive Me" and the energetic power of the closer "Too Far Gone." To find out more about Kirra and their latest release "Run Away," please visit kirramusic.com.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

On The Record - Music: Meriden's Own Gary Burr Tells Us Tales Of His Musical Career

Meriden native Gary Burr discusses his career in the music industry. He tells us about his recent trip back to home to Meriden to perform with Meriden's Music Men and growing up in the city. He also tells us a couple stories about recording with Tanya Tucker and playing Ringo Starr's drum kit.

CD Review: Columbia/Legacy Releases New Mike Watt Live Album Featuring Eddie Vedder And Dave Grohl

Mike Watt is an American singer/bass player, best known as a member of the bands Minutemen, Firehose and the Stooges. In 1995 he released his first solo album titled "Ball-Hog or Tugboat?" The album included the addition of some pretty famous friends including Dave Grohl, Eddie Vedder, Flea, Henry Rollins and Krist Novoselic just to name a few. Later that year, Mike Watt brought his new album out on the road to test his new material in front of an audience and the response was overwhelming.

In honor of the 20th anniversary of Mike Watt's album "Ball-Hog Or Tugboat?," Columbia/Sony Legacy is releasing "Ring Speil Tour '95" on November 11th. It features a show recorded during Watt's 1995 tour stop at the Metro club in Chicago. The show features Watt on bass and vocals along with Dave Grohl on drums and guitar, Eddie Vedder on guitar and vocals with special guests Pat Smear on guitar and William Goldsmith on drums. 

The new sixteen song release begins with a couple cover songs, "Walking The Cow" and "Big Train," before Vedder jumps up to help Watt on the vocals during "Against The '70s." Mike Watt takes on the early Vedder's own composition "Habit," giving the song it's raw, punk-like due, before Watt and the band get funky with the original "Makin' The Freeway." Watt dedicates "Piss-Bottle Man" to his dad as the energy of the song is through the roof. He brings out the classic Seattle grunge sound of "Political Song For Michael Jackson To Sing," before tackling a couple more covers, including Blue Oyster Cult's "The Red And The Black" and Madonna's "Secret Garden." The show finishes with just Mike Watt and his bass performing "Powerful Hankerin'" to the delight of the audience. To find out more about this new live album from Mike Watt, please visit hootpage.com.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

CD Review: New Releases From Moonjune Records Artists Dewa Budjana, Marbin And Andre Dinuth

International guitarist Dewa Budjana is ready to release his new double-album titled "Zentuary." Helping Dewa out on this new album are Tony Levin (King Crimson), Jack DeJohnette (Herbie Hancock) and Gary Husband (Level 42) and it will be released on Steve Vai's record label, Favored Nations, on October 14th. The new twelve-song release clocks in at 100 minutes, giving you some exciting new jazz fusion adventures, beginning with the Indian-influenced "Dancing Tears." The music gets a little jazzier on the nine-minute delivery of "Solas PM," before Dewa works in his signature, experimental piece, "Lake Takengon" as he uses voices to create rhythm as another instrument. Dewa and his band deliver a calming message to "Dead Yulman," before the international R&B groove of "Crack In The Sky."
 
The second disc begins with the funky, jazz fusion of "Pancarona" that has a captivating sound, before entering the smooth jazz of the "Manhattan Temple." The album wraps up with eleven-minute jazz fusion build-up of "Uncle Jack" and the short acoustic guitar instrumental "Zentuary." To find out more about Dewa Budjana and his latest release titled "Zentuary," please visit dewabudjana.com 
 
Next up is the latest release from Chicago's guitar driven, jamband, Marbin with their latest release "Goat Man & The House Of The Dead." It features nine-tracks, beginning with the exciting, quick-pace of "Buddha Complex," before showing their jazzier side with the songs "Goatman" and "The House Of The Dead." They pick the tempo back up with the rockabilly flavor of "Whiskey Chaser," then finding their "jamband" groove entering "Electric Zombieland." The album closes with the ten-minute sonic adventure into the "Carnival" and the horn/guitar duet of "Escape From Hippie Mountain." To find out more about Marbin and their latest release "Goat Man & The House Of The Dead," please visit marbinmusic.com. 
 
Finally from Indonesia comes the guitar sensation Andre Dinuth with his sophomore release titled "Here With You." It features ten-tracks of inspiring instrumentals, beginning with his travels of "Sahara" as the music takes on a worldly feel. Dinuth and his band get little funkier on "Fufu" and lets his talents soar on "Rote Island." He slows down for the gentleness of "Solitude" and "Sophie's Song," before ramping back up for the country/rock vibe of "Farm-O-Country." The album finishes with the funky bass line of "Wy Knot" and the seven-plus minute jazz fusion of "Saturn Five." To find out more about Andre Dinuth and his latest release "Here With You," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/Andre-Dinuth.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

CD Review: Jamestown Revival Give Us "Education Of A Wandering Man & Adult Future Is "In The News"

The Jamestown Revival have been quite busy releasing a new album, "The Education Of A Wandering Man," performing live on Conan and opening for Nathan Rateliff And The Night Sweats on their current tour. Their latest album features twelve songs, beginning with the soulful, country-rock flavor of "Company Man." They highlight their latest single with some blues slide-guitar for the slow-build up, sing-along chorus of "Love Is A Burden," before featuring the wonderful harmonies of "Journeyman." Jamestown Revival go all-out country with the classic, bluegrass sound of "American Dream" and add a little bit of soul into their delivery of "Airliner." The acoustic guitars make their presence known on the country ballad, "Back To Austin," before finishing the new album with the Americana blues-stomp rhythm of "Poor Man's Gold" and the country swing of "Head On." To find out more about Jamestown Revival and their latest release "The Education Of A Wandering Man," please visit jamestownrevival.com.

From Toronto, Canada comes the new release from Adult Future titled "In The News." Adult Future, formally known as The Smoking Bells, have created the songs on this album from personal experiences and gave their sound an addictive pop/rock makeover. Beginning with the Bowie-esque sound of "We Start Over," their new eight-song release has a mature modern rock/new wave sound. Adult Future easily draw you in with the emotion of "For K," before finding the perfectly pop/rock groove with "Here But Not Here." The keyboard/guitar wizardry of "Go Ahead And Mess Around" delivers a sonic blues landscape, before closing the album with the stark backdrop of "No Returns," which allow their words to be expressed. To find out more about Adult Future and their latest release "In The News," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/AdultFuture.

Monday, October 17, 2016

CD Review: Musicians Gather To Pay Tribute To Adam Carroll & Paul Kelly And Charlie Owen Team Up For A "Dateless Night"

Texas born singer/songwriter Adam Carroll has been an inspiration for rising musicians for over two decades. His songs may not be nationally known, but he "takes the events of ordinary lives and turns them into deeply moving songs." Austin-based record label Eight 30 Records decided to pay tribute to the wordsmith with "Highway Prayer: A Tribute To Adam Carroll," featuring other local rising talent.
 
The new sixteen-song release begins with James McMurty performing the laid-back country tune "Screen Door" as Carroll's words are simple and to the point. The slow, country sway of "South Of Town," performed by Slaid Cleaves, feels like country gold as his voice warms your heart. The acoustic folk appeal of "Oklahoma Gypsy Shuffler" showcases some of Carroll's best writing as Band Of Heathens deliver an amazing version of the song. Jamie Lin Wilson adds a different tone to "Hi-Fi Love" with her spirited vocals and Scott Nolan delivers a stark, emotional version of "Rain." The duo of Tim Easton and Aaron Lee Tasjan team up for the country/folk interpretation of "Black Flag Blues," before Jason Eady tells the tale of "Errol's Song." The album finishes with the feel-good story of "Home Again" from Mando Saenz and an original from Adam Carroll selling us on "My Only Good Shirt." To find out more about "Highway Prayer: A Tribute To Adam Carroll," please visit facebook.com/Highway-Prayer-A-Tribute-to-Adam-Carroll
 
Australian-born music artists Paul Kelly and Charlie Owen have teamed up for the first time on the latest release "Death's Dateless Night." The two discussed the collaboration driving together to a funeral and the song's selected for their collaboration have that dark, soft quality that circles around the subject of time and loss. The new twelve song release begins with a stark, piano bar feel of Stephen Foster's "Hard Times." The duo continue with the traditional, acoustic blues of "Pallet On Your Floor," before arriving at the first original song of the album featuring Kelly's storied lyrics for "Nukkanya." The album's only other original "Meet Me In The Middle Of The Air" features the great supported dobro work of Owen to Kelly's folk-style songwriting. The duo find the perfect marriage of music and words on Leonard Cohen's "Bird On A Wire," before finishing with a spiritual delivery of The Beatles' "Let It Be" and the country twang of Hank Williams' "Angel Of Death." To find out more about Paul Kelly and Charlie Owen's first collaboration, "Death's Dateless Night," please visit paulkelly.com.au.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

CD Review: The Mavericks Return To Perform "All Night Live"

The Mavericks have made a successful career combining elements of country with a Latin flair and rockabilly energy. After an eight-year hiatus, The Mavericks have returned with their own record label, Mono Mundo Recordings and their first release on the label is "All Night Live, Volume 1." It is the band's first live release in a dozen years and showcases why The Mavericks have been named one of the best live band around.

Their new sixteen-song release begins with the Latin swinging sing-along of "All Night Long," before picking up the tempo for the fun, ska-like feel of "All Over Again." Their rockabilly roots come shining through on the classic sound of "Stories We Could Tell" and they keep the energy going with "What You Do To Me" as The Mavericks sound fresh and renewed in this live setting. They deliver the blues with "Do You Want Me To," before blowing you away with the exceptional horns of "As Long As There's Lovin' Tonight." They slow down for the emotional country ballad "Pardon Me" and also feature an amazing cover of Neil Young's "Harvest Moon." The album wraps up with the Latin boogie shuffle of "Dance In The Moonlight," the seven-minute, Tex-Mex guitar driven "Come Unto Me" and the exciting, quick-pace of "Waiting For The World To End."

The Mavericks are currently on tour through December. For a complete list of shows and to find out more about their new live album "All Night Live, Volume 1," please visit themavericksband.com

Saturday, October 15, 2016

CD Review: Omnivore Collects Everything For The "Complete Third" From Big Star

In 1971, from Memphis, TN came one of the brightest young bands named Big Star. Their power pop/rock sound was heavily influenced by The Beatles and The Byrds and the band recorded only three albums in their short tenure together. Big Star's first two albums ("#1 Record" & "Radio City") received positive reviews upon their release, but failed to make it on the music charts. They recorded a third album in 1974, before breaking up later that year. Big Star's third album simply titled "Third" was not released until 1978, which again did not make it on the music charts, but it did find a cult following. It has since been named one of "Rolling Stone" magazine's best 500 albums of all time and "NME" named it the #1 "heartbreak" album of all time.

Big Star also became a huge influence on such bands as R.E.M., Uncle Tupelo, Wilco, The Jayhawks and The Bangles. Members of Big Star would reunite in 1993 for a string a shows and even recorded a fourth album in 2005. After the deaths Alex Chilton and original bassist Andy Hummel, the band Big Star would cease to exist, but other members of the band have performed together under the moniker "Big Star's Third," paying tribute to that special album.

On October 14th, Omnivore Records will release "Big Star - Complete Third." The new 3CD box set gathers together almost fifty demos and rough mixes recorded for Big Star's "Third" album, many have never been released. Many of the demo tracks feature only Alex Chilton with an acoustic guitar, which sounds outstanding and many feel superior to the released version of the song. Some of the highlights of the first disc titled "Demos To Sessions To Roughs" are playful cover version of The Beach Boys "Don't Worry Baby," The Beatles' "I'm So Tired" and George Jones' "That's All It Took."

The second disc titled "Roughs To Mixes" feature more complete versions of the songs that involves the whole band. The songs still have that unfinished feel, but the energy of "Whole Lotta Shakin Goin' On" and the emotions of "Holocaust" are presented in these versions. The songs have that raw, unpolished feel as if you were in the control room at the studio listening to the band record these versions of the songs. The third disc of the release titled "Final Masters" features all twenty of the album's tracks that have been released on numerous versions of Big Star's "Third" album. It is great to have all of the songs collected together on one disc. The songs in this set are presented so the listener can follow them from their early demo form to their final released version.

Also included in this set is a 32-page, full color booklet featuring essays from those involved in the recordings and from other musicians who were influenced by the music of Big Star. To find out more about the newly release "Big Star - Complete Third" 3CD set, please visit omnivorerecordings.com.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Concert Review: Megadeth Bring Their "Dystopia" Tour And Special Guests To Mohegan Sun



The Mohegan Sun Resort & Casino is in the midst of celebrating their 20th anniversary this month. To help celebrate, the casino has invited some of the biggest names in pop music (Bruno Mars), country (Tim McGraw) and rock (Kiss) to perform and Thursday night brought in some of the greatest names in heavy metal. Thrash metal legends Megadeth are almost finished wrapping up their “Dystopia” U.S. tour with one of their last three stops at the Mohegan Sun Arena. They also brought along some friends to help celebrate.

The night began with a couple of quick 20 minute sets from newcomers Butcher Babies and the newly reformed Metal Church, featuring original guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof and long-time lead singer Mike Howe. Carla Harvey and Heidi Shepard, lead singers of the Butcher Babies used their screams and sexuality to grab the attention of audience early as their music was strikingly swift. Then, Metal Church return to their eighties-metal heyday for the hard rock anthems “Fake Healer” and “Beyond The Black.”

Next up was the west-coast, punk-like thrash metal of Suicidal Tendencies. They are touring behind a new album, “World Gone Mad,” their first in three years. They started their forty-minute set with the MTV staple “You Can’t Bring Me Down” as fans were exerting all their energy in the mosh pits that broke out on the floor. Suicidal Tendencies would stick close to their early days with songs like “War Inside My Head” and “Subliminal,” much to the delight of long-time fans, since they are the longest-tenured band in the line-up. Shouts of “S” “T” would close out their set with the 1988 anthem “Pledge Your Allegiance.”

An orchestra-like keyboard instrumental signaled the arrival of Viking metal band Amon Amarth with their opener “Twilight Of The Thunder God.” Their stage set-up features the front of a Viking ship as lead singer Johan Hegg went between the two sides of the stage, growling through the vocals of “The Pursuit Of Vikings.” Amon Amarth are also touring behind the release of a new album, “Jomsviking,” which was released back in March as they performed the lead single from the album “First Kill” to a roaring applause from fans. Their nearly hour-long set finished with another new track, “Raise Your Horns” as all the members of the band drank from their horn goblets and demanding a heavy metal battle cry for  “Guardians Of Asgaard.”

As the lights went out one final time at 9:30pm, Megadeth took the stage, beginning with the instrumental “Hanger 18” as guitarists Dave Mustaine and Kiko Loureiro traded solos. Megadeth is touring behind their new top 5 album “Dystopia” as they scattered new songs throughout their set. The audience welcomed the new tracks like “The Threat Is Real” and “Conquer Or Die!” with overwhelming delight, seeing their idols still creating some of the best music of their career. The quick pace of “Wake Up Dead” got the mosh pit moving in overdrive and enticed many to surf the crowd. The fan favorites “Sweating Bullets” and “Post American World” got everyone banging their heads and pumping their fists to the song’s thunderous rhythms. Dave Mustaine dedicated “Tornado Of Souls” to former Megadeth drummer, Nick Menza, who died earlier this year of an apparent heart attack. The band closed their set with the one-two knockout punch of “Symphony Of Destruction” and “Peace Sells” as all in attendance were singing along to these classic thrash metal hymns. Their ninety-minute set closed with the final rush of energy for the epic delivery of “Holy Wars…The Punishment Due.”

As Mohegan Sun continue their 20th anniversary celebration, Thursday night was dedicated to heavy metal as fans gave all they had to their idols and also discovered some new music that can carry on the thrash metal legacy

Megadeth Setlist: Hangar 18, Reckoning Day, The Threat Is Real, Wake Up Dead, In My Darkest Hour, Conquer Or Die!, Lying In State, Sweating Bullets, Tornado Of Souls, A Tout Le Monde, Post American World, Fatal Illusion, Trust, Dystopia, Symphony Of Destruction, Peace Sells, Holy Wars...The Punishment Due