Tuesday, January 29, 2013

NAMM 2013: Squeezing in Yamaha's 125th Anniversary Celebration, Take 6, bumping into Matthew Sweet and more!

Newcomer Isaac Moore at the NAMM Show in Anaheim. Photo: Bob Steshetz, for the Register
Even as late as the eve of this year’s NAMM Show, it appeared as if the only can’t-miss event would be Yamaha’s 125th anniversary concert with Elton John, Sarah McLachlan, Michael McDonald and more on Friday night (January 25, 2013). But once more musicians started gathering in and around the Anaheim Convention Center it was clear that this year was going to be another banner batch of performances from top names in pop, rock, jazz and Americana.
Only a few hours after wrapping up Thursday with an impressive Tower of Power concert, it was time to arrive early on Friday to see what the day had in store. The first great set of the morning came via the Tora Bora Boys, mostly comprising musicians who are with San Francisco’s Saga Music. The band’s 25-minute set of rousing bluegrass was enhanced by 11-year-old guest singer and guitarist Isaac Moore.
Saga president Richard Keldsen led the band through several classics, notably the upbeat “Shady Grove” (with Paul Shelasky tearing it up on fiddle) and even faster “Salty Dog” (kicked off by banjo virtuoso Rick Shubb, of Shubb Capos). When Moore was brought up front (he had been playing guitar throughout the set) to sing on the sixth cut, “I Just Think I’ll Go Away,” he instantly impressed with emotive vocals revealing a depth beyond his years, then sealed the deal with a strong lead solo on his Blueridge acoustic guitar.
After that, I dashed to the Hilton Acoustic Stage for O.C.’s own Fallen Stars, an Americana outfit led by husband-and-wife duo Bobbo and Tracy Barnes. They attracted a capacity crowd to hear sterling originals like melodic “Massachusetts” (with harmonies evoking the magic of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris), ambitious rocker “Dam” and country-flavored “Part Time Cowboy,” as well as a loose but winning take on AC/DC’s “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll)” to cap their 35-minute showcase.
Later, waiting for award-winning a cappella ensemble Take 6 to appear at the Shure booth, it dawned on me that all six members might not fit onto its relatively small stage. Instead, it was as if the large crowd were watching them in a small rehearsal space, which created palpable energy as the group performed its unique blend of jazz, gospel and R&B in astounding arrangements. The nonstop 15-minute turn included a powerful cover of “Stand by Me” that showcased Joey Kibble’s lead vocals and their own harmony-filled “Spread Love.”
Of course, the highlight of the weekend was my opportunity to attend the Yamaha concert featuring a big cast of legends on Friday night. Over the course of almost four hours, everyone from openers Earth, Wind & Fire to Sir Elton performed brief sets. While it was great to see John's energetic five-song set that completed the night, my favorite sets were actually from McLachlan, the aforementioned EW&F, newcomer Leogun's rocking (as in "hard rocking") blistering two songs and a lengthy jazz piece featuring Lee Ritenour and Dave Grusin and some of their pals. You can read Ben Wener's full-length review of the show here on the Orange County Register site.
Saturday is always the busiest day at NAMM, with tens of thousands of conventioneers crowding into the main hall as well as the adjacent Hilton and Marriott hotels, which also host performances.
It was just after 8 a.m. when Ian Ethan Case took the stage to kick off a long day of music-making. Inside the Hilton’s Pacific Ballroom he served up a 20-minute set of his compositions, delivered on both acoustic double-neck guitar and kalimba (a small African percussion instrument often called a thumb piano).
Spotlighting material from his new album The Narrow Way, he admitted to having “this thing for weird instruments” before performing “The Ridge” entirely on kalimba. Plucking at the tiny metal tines and utilizing small holes on the instrument to further ornament the sound with rich vibrato, he concocted rich, involving soundscapes out of an instrument many western audiences view as alien. His finished on guitar, however, for “North by Northeast,” blending harmonics and hammering on the neck with top-flight fretwork.
Deering is one of the industry’s most celebrated banjo manufacturers and the San Diego company always attracts aces to perform at its booth. Mark Johnson (the father of “clawgrass” banjo) and Emory Lester (mandolin) were slated to perform as a duo but were quickly joined by several high-profile friends, including Uwe Kruger (guitar) and Joel Landsberg (bass) of the Kruger Brothers. Jamming in such a casual setting allowed fans to get up close with these picking heroes.
Caught up with singer-songwriter Matthew Sweet, who had stopped by Fano Guitars’ booth to check out the new GF6 guitar and GF4 bass models. He was so impressed, according to company head Dennis Fano, that he ordered one of each and now owns about a dozen Fano instruments. While checking out the various wares, chatting with fans and signing autographs, Sweet did a little jam with his lead guitarist Dennis Taylor, but they opted out of playing a structured set — the hall was simply too loud to get it right.
Among the many celebrated players I ran into on Saturday but missed seeing perform were guitarist Craig Chaquico, lead guitarist of Jefferson Starship, Vicki Peterson of the Bangles and Mike Collins, drummer of Throwback Suburbia. Also spotted but not there to perform were Walter Clevenger and members of his great local band the Dairy Kings, John Borack (of the Popdudes) and singer-songwriter James Grey.

Sights and Sounds: Ringo Starr, Noel Gallagher, Dawes

Wow, lots of news about some of my favorite artists has been released today...I'm sharing some of the media releases below!

Ringo Starr is a living legend whose contribution to the roots of rock and roll is immeasurable, not only as a Beatle, but also through his prolific and successful solo career. In gathering a new group of iconic rockers to play as the All Starr band each tour, every configuration offers a new and memorable moment where we get to experience songs we all know and love.
Ringo At The Ryman, filmed on July 7, 2012, celebrates Ringo’s birthday with an extra special lineup touching on some unforgettable hits spanning four decades – from Steve Lukather (Toto), Richard Page (Mr. Mister), Mark Rivera (Billy Joel), Gregg Rolie (Journey, Santana), Todd Rundgren and Gregg Bissonette. The set list is undeniably familiar: “It Don’t Come Easy,” “Act Naturally,” “Photograph,” “I Wanna Be Your Man,” “Yellow Submarine,” and his bandmates’ contributions “Roseanna,” “Black Magic Woman,” “Kyrie Eleison,” “Bang the Drum All Day,” and so many more.
During the show at the Ryman, the All Starrs weren’t the only stars out that night. Joe Walsh makes a special guest appearance to play “Rocky Mountain Way” and is then joined for the encore, “With A Little Help From My Friends,” by his daughter Lucy and some of Nashville’s finest players such as Brendan Benson, Kix Brooks, Gary Burr, Vince Gil, Brad Paisley and former All Starr alums Felix Cavaliere and Richard Marx.
Ringo at the Ryman is a musical journey featuring great players and great classic hit songs, all-in-all a momentous celebration, and a heck of a birthday party.
The 2012 All Starr Band
1. Open / Matchbox – Ringo Starr
2. It Don't Come Easy – Ringo Starr
3. Wings – Ringo Starr
4. I Saw The Light – Todd Rundgren
5. Evil Ways – Gregg Rolie
6. Rosanna – Steve Lukather
7. Kyrie Eleison – Richard Page
8. Don't Pass Me By – Ringo Starr
9. Bang The Drum All Day – Todd Rundgren
10. Boys – Ringo Starr
11. Yellow Submarine – Ringo Starr
12. Black Magic Woman – Gregg Rolie
13. Band Intro / Happy Birthday
14. Anthem - Ringo Starr
15. I’m The Greatest - Ringo Starr
16. Rocky Mountain Way – Joe Walsh
17. You Are Mine – Richard Page
18. Africa – Steve Lukather
19. Everybody’s Everything – Gregg Rolie
20. I Wanna Be Your Man - Ringo Starr
21. Love Is The Answer – Todd Rundgren
22. Broken Wings – Richard Page
23. Hold The Line – Steve Lukather
24. Photograph - Ringo Starr
25. Act Naturally - Ringo Starr
26. With A Little Help From My Friends / Give Peace A Chance
The All Starr Band:
Ringo Starr: Drums, Vocals
Steve Lukather: Guitar, Vocals
Todd Rundgren: Guitar, Vocals
Richard Page: Bass Guitar, Vocals
Gregg Rolie: Keyboards, Vocals
Gregg Bissonette: Drums
Mark Rivera: Saxophones, Percussion, Vocals
Special Guest:
Joe Walsh: Guitar, Vocals


Flying solo and flying high….his debut solo show goes down a storm.” NME

International Magic Live At The O2 is packed with exclusive footage featuring Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds live at London’s O2 on Feb 26, 2012, the biggest Arena show Noel’s band have played to date.  International Magic Live At The 02 will be available in three formats: a video download, 2 disc DVD version and Blu-ray with exclusive CD.

“Ride The Tiger” is a 20 minute film includes three of Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds videos – directed by Mike Bruce. The trilogy sees “If I Had A Gun….”, “The Death Of You and Me” and “AKA…What A Life!” linked together to create one continuous film (“…the most successful video trilogy of all time…” – Entertainment Weekly).  It also features snippets of “Shoot A Hole Into The Sun” - one of the tracks Noel recorded with The Amorphous Androgynous.

The NME Awards saw Noel win Godlike Genius where he also played the closing set of the night, bringing the star-studded crowd to their feet – all captured on disc 2 of the DVD

Additionally, the Blu ray edition package will include an exclusive CD – “Faster Than The Speed Of Magic” featuring all the demos of album tracks, B sides and previously unreleased live favorite – “Freaky Teeth.”
tracklisting below:

1.     Everybody’s On The Run (Demo)
2.     Dream On (Demo)
3.     If I Had A Gun… (Demo)
4.     (People Who Would Be) The Death Of You And Me (Demo)
5.     Record Machine (Demo)
6.     Ride The Tiger AKA What A Life! (Demo)
7.     Soldier Boys And Jesus Freaks (Demo)
8.     Fallen Angel AKA Broken Arrow (Demo)
9.     (Stranded On) The Wrong Beach (Demo)
10.  Stop The Clocks (Demo)
11.  The Good Rebel (Demo)
12.  I’d Pick You Every Time (Demo)
13.  Freaky Teeth (Demo)
DVD 1 - International Magic Live at the O2 – 1hr 37
·         1. (It's Good) To Be Free
·         2. Mucky Fingers
·         3. Everybody's On The Run
·         4. Dream On
·         5. If I Had a Gun...
·         6. The Good Rebel
·         7. The Death of You And Me
·         8. Freaky Teeth
·         9. Supersonic
·         10. (I Wanna Live in a Dream in My) Record Machine
·         11. AKA... What a Life!
·         12. Talk Tonight
·         13. Soldier Boys And Jesus Freaks
·         14. AKA... Broken Arrow
·         15. Half The World Away
·         16. (Stranded On) The Wrong Beach
·         17. Whatever
·         18. Little By Little
·         19. The Importance of Being Idle
·         20. Don't Look Back In Anger
DVD 2 -  Noel Gallagher Live At The Mod Club Toronto, 5th November 2011 – 1hr 22min
·         1. (It's Good) To Be Free
·         2. Talk Tonight
·         3. If I Had A Gun…
·         4. Supersonic
·         5. Wonderwall
·         6. AKA...What A Life!
·         7. Half The World Away
·         8. Don't Look Back In Anger
Ride The Tiger
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds Live At The NME Awards 2012
·         1. Everybody's On The Run
·         2. Dream On
·         3. If I Had A Gun…
·         4. AKA... What A Life!
·         5. Half The World Away
·         6. Don't Look Back In Anger


In anticipation of their forthcoming album, Dawes have released a trailer for Stories Don't End, the LA quartet's third full-length album due out April 9. Produced by Jacquire King (Tom Waits, Kings of Leon, Norah Jones, etc.), Stories Don't End is the band's first release on its own label, HUB Records

Watch the trailer which previews two brand new songs, including the single "From A Window Seat," and features studio footage from the band recording the album in Asheville, NC, HERE.
                                                   Photo: Noah Abrams

Stories Don't End track-listing:
01. Just Beneath The Surface
02. From A Window Seat
03. Just My Luck
04. Someone Will
05. Most People
06. Something In Common
07. Hey Lover
08. Bear Witness
09. Stories Don't End
10. From The Right Angle
11. Side Effects
12. Just Beneath The Surface (Reprise)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

NAMM 2013: Brian Wilson, Tower of Power, Gary Hoey get first official day underway

What can I say? Since Wednesday of last week I have been pretty much living full time in and around the Anaheim Convention Center covering the NAMM Show. Here is the first of several overviews I'll post today and tomorrow with my coverage of the show. I'll also be providing links with the work of Ben Wener, George A. Paul and, of course, the episodes of Music Worth Buying that I work on with TJR. A special thank you to photographer Bob Steshetz for the use of his fantastic photos shot at NAMM. I also appreciate The Orange County Register video reporter Mark Eades allowing me to post a link here too. Here goes!

Here is a link to view a video report that TJR and I did at NAMM on Thursday, Jan. 24.

Here is a link to view a great video report that reporter Mark Eades did covering the media preview day held at NAMM on Wednesday, Jan. 23.

Here is an extended version of my post that originally ran on the Soundcheck blog on The Orange County Register site on January 25, 2013:


Gary Hoey fires up some licks Thursday at the NAMM convention. Photo: Bob Steshetz, for the Register

With the NAMM Show getting more massive every year, attendees no longer have to wait until Friday or Saturday to catch key performances at the Anaheim Convention Center and neighboring venues hosting the world’s largest music trade show.
That was clear throughout Thursday’s (Jan. 24, 2013) opening as heavyweight Brian Wilson kicked things off early and other strong performances played out throughout the day and evening. Performing with a backing trio inside the Gibson Guitars booth, Wilson and company  (including his long-time music director Jeffrey Foskett), his four-song set of Beach Boys classics included the opening salvo of "California Girls" and instantly-wonderous "God Only Knows." The 15-minute set closed with the summertime vibe of "Surfer Girl" and "Surfin' USA."

While morning rain threatened to wash out a number of sets later that afternoon, it stopped drizzling in time for plans to proceed. I caught the last part of Redondo Beach-based Smiles, a talented young band that featured songs from its coming debut Sharing, due Feb. 10. The quintet closed with “Learning How to Shuffle,” an ambitious song that boasts a freewheeling, Arcade Fire-like groove.
Also performing outside was Tinsel Korey, a Canadian singer-songwriter and actor best known for her role as Emily in the Twilight films. Backed by a five-member group, she turned in half-hour of original songs from her Seize the Day EP as well as several retooled covers. Her material ranged from the infectious pop of her title track and the jazz-tinged “Game of Hearts” to the ballad “Letter,” but she displayed her most powerful vocals on a bluesy cover of the Civil Wars’ “Barton Hollow.”
Even stronger performances were to come, with guitar virtuoso Gary Hoey attracting a large crowd to the Monster booth. Armed with fantastic material from his new Deja Blues album, he opened his short set with its eponymous cut, a strong original that allowed Hoey to flex his mastery on a Fender Stratocaster, his fretwork recalling the late Gary Moore of Thin Lizzy fame.
On “Boss You Around” he unleashed more blues guitar but added potent vocals, then served up one of his best instrumental works, “Utopia,” artful in its progressive structure and distinctive melodies. Few guitarists can master the blend of styles Hoey can. He continues to gain new fans through shining sets like this one.
Taylor Guitars hosted back-to-back, polar-opposite appearances from singer-guitarist Phil Brown and up-and-coming country act the Farm, both of them terrific. Brown’s set showcased loose playing and effective storytelling, plus an inventive take on Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” that would have fit on a Police disc.The Farm, meanwhile, a young trio out of Nashville, endeared itself to the crowd with an energetic blend of sweet three-part harmonies, excellent fiddle work and infectious songs such as “Sweet Sweet Sunshine” and the aptly titled “Fresh Off the Farm,” plus a singalong to Johnny Cash’s classic “Ring of Fire.”
Capping my day was a performance on a surprisingly beautiful night (no rain!) from Tower of Power. The Oakland troupe brought its seasoned brand of soul, funk, blues and rock to an energetic performance that featured uptempo classics such as “I Like Your Style” and “Only So Much Oil in the Ground” as well as R&B ballads like “Willing to Learn.” Thousands of NAMM attendees jammed the new outdoor plaza area and grooved throughout the full-length set, notably on the “You Got to Funkifize.”

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Coachella 2013 lineup announced!

It is official everybody! Coachella 2013's lineup is now online for the world to see.

Blur, The Stone Roses, Modest Mouse, Lou Reed and Band of Horses are among the headliners who will perform on Fridays, April 12 and 19, 2013.

PhoenixSigur Rós, New Order, Grizzly Bear and Moby are among the performers set to be in Indio on Saturdays, April 13 and 20, 2013.

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Vampire Weekend, Social Distortion and Dead Can Dance are among the acts set to perform on Sundays, April 14 and 21, 2013.

Get all the details at www.Coachella.com or www.Facebook.com/Coachella.

NAMM 2013: Members of No Doubt, Young the Giant and Testament kick off event

NAMM 2013: Sameer Gadhia, Tom Dumont help kick off annual Anaheim convention

The world-renowned NAMM Show at the Anaheim Convention Center doesn’t begin until today, and its most-anticipated moments (like the Elton John-led event for Yamaha’s 125th anniversary inside Disney California Adventure) won’t happen until the weekend.

But a media preview on Wednesday (January 23, 2013) provided a chance to get an early look at the new music-related products on display Jan. 24-27 at the National Association of Music Merchants’ annual trade show. NAMM president and CEO Joe Lamond said this year’s gathering is expected to attract more than 100,000 people for the first time.

“The NAMM Show is where the global music industry comes together,” he explained during an appearance with Grammy-nominated guitarist and former New York Yankee great Bernie Williams to discuss the importance of music education. “There are products made today that will be played by our great-great-grandchildren.”

Lamond also praised Orange County for welcoming NAMM attendees every January, noting that the music show was first staged here in 1976 at the Disneyland Hotel.

As is typical, there was no shortage of names to check out even during an advance stroll through the massive hall. Highlights of the day included a performance by Young the Giant singer Sameer Gadhia, who utilized his TC-Helicon VoiceLive 2 to create layers of vocal parts he improvised on the spot, creating a fantastic experimental soundscape with Radiohead shading that had video reporters riveted.

No Doubt guitarist Tom Dumont also turned up to share a few licks on behalf of Laguna Hills guitar manufacturer GJ2, co-founded by Grover Jackson. “I was a rock music lover,” Dumont mentioned, recalling the sound and feel of Jackson guitars back in the day. “I get the same feeling today as I got all those years ago.”

Another gifted guitarist, Alex Skolnick of Testament, showcased a new 40-watt Peavey amp ideal for both acoustic and electric players as well as bassists. But what got onlookers excited was his speedy fretwork. He later played an impromptu set with jazz players Jon Barnes (trumpet) and Malcolm Turner (bass) that revealed his chops extend beyond metal’s loud and lightning-fast demands.

Music history was also celebrated: violin virtuoso Elizabeth Pitcairn played her “Red Mendelssohn” Stradivarius built in 1720, movingly performing John Williams’ theme for Schindler’s List. In an age of digitally-enhanced everything, it reconfirmed the power of a single acoustic instrument, when it’s in the hands of a master.

Much newer creations that were unveiled included a series of boutique amplifiers created by Sacramento-based Fargen Amplification, featuring John Lennon’s artwork. Taylor Guitars showcased “The Grand Orchestra,” its successor to the Taylor Jumbo guitar and the largest acoustic model it has made.

“It’s distinctly original and not a borrowed design,” said Andy Powers, a master builder with Taylor and primary designer of the instrument. “It’s louder and has a huge, powerful sound.”

You can view a video and photos courtesy of Mark Eades at The Orange County Register via this link.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite coming to Doheny Blues Festival

Ben Harper, left, with Charlie Musselwhite will be performing at the 16th Annual Doheny Blues Festival
Although the 16th annual Doheny Blues Festival doesn't arrive for another four months, there is plenty of excitement building for Orange County, California's greatest annual multi-day concert event.

"Get Up!" is set for release on Jan. 29, 2013
In addition to a potent previously-announced lineup of Joe Bonamassa, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Shemekia CopelandMarcia Ball, Sonny Landreth, James Hunter and many more, now comes word that Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite will perform together in Dana Point this May.

For the past week I've been listening to Get Up!, a new concept album featuring the duo and it's fantastic (my detailed review of the album will be published in Desert Star Weekly later this week). Get Up! is a song-cycle set for release by Stax Records on January 29 and is one of the first epic albums of 2013. Produced by Harper, it is his 12th studio album and marks a decade-long dream by Harper and Musselwhite to work on a full-length project together.

"Charlie and I have been looking to make this record for over ten years and now that we've gotten to it," stated Harper in a press release, "I can't wait to play it live."

Added Musselwhite: "Ben and I really locked in, personally and musically, when we recorded with John Lee Hooker. Ever since then we wanted to record together and being in the studio together is just a natural. You can hear it and feel it in the music on Get Up!"

The 16th Annual Doheny Blues Festival will be held on May 18 and 19, 2013 at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point.

For more information, visit: http://www.dohenybluesfestival.com.

Sights and Sounds: 'Queen: Live at Wimbley Stadium' set for March 12, 2013 release

When it comes to legendary shows, Queen's two concerts at Wimbley Stadium in 1986 are about as big as they come. Today comes news that the concert is coming to DVD and digital video on March 12, 2013. Here is the release...

Eagle Rock Entertainment To Release


NEW YORK, NY (January 22, 2013)–On March 12, 2013, Eagle Rock Entertainment will issue the 2DVD and Digital Video release of Queen Live at Wembley Stadium. A new edition of the 25th Anniversary DVD of Queen’s legendary 1986 concerts, the 2 disc set comes with previously unreleased footage and brand new bonus features.

Over one remarkable summer weekend, on Friday, July 11th and Saturday, July 12th 1986, Queen performed two sell-out shows at Wembley, concerts which have been widely acknowledged as two of the most incredible rock events ever staged.

Now, both the Friday and Saturday night concerts can be seen in their entirety on the Anniversary edition DVD, highlighting that no two Queen shows were ever the same. The driving rain of the Friday night show presented its own challenges but failed to dampen the mood or the music, presenting Freddie Mercury with some perfect opportunities to amuse the crowd. The sun shone on Saturday, making it a magical summer’s evening, as the band showcased everything that made Queen brilliant live.

The DVD footage has been restored for the Anniversary edition and the sound has also been remastered with a brand new stereo mix and 5.1 sound.

Extras on the DVD include ‘The Magic Tour’, a short feature containing brand new interviews with Brian May and Roger Taylor filmed in 2011. They reflect back on what was to be their final tour with their familiar intelligence, honesty and brilliant wit and humor. They explain in depth how they would approach planning their concerts and they also reflect on the poignancy of the shows which were to become among the last few performances with Freddie.

“The Wembley concerts in 1986 were the pinnacle for us” says Brian May. “We were at our height band-wise, and Freddie had developed this phenomenal way of dealing with stadium audiences. Being back home in London playing two sell-out nights was such a big, big occasion for us. None of us realized that this would be almost the last time we played together…”

Queen’s 1986 Magic Tour had been their most successful to date. Regenerated and reinvigorated by their triumph at Live Aid almost exactly a year earlier, the band were on a 26-date tour of the UK and Europe and after a month out of the country returned home to London to play two defining concerts at the ‘place of champions’, Wembley Stadium.

These were to be Queen’s biggest stage, their biggest lighting rig, the biggest screen that not only Queen had performed with, but also that Wembley Stadium had ever seen. For director Gavin Taylor, filming it involved the unprecedented use of no less than 15 cameras and a helicopter to capture the aerial shots.

For Freddie it was the start of one very long party. Friends were flown in from New York and ferried from his London home to Wembley in special coaches. It was one of the proudest days of his life.

The Saturday show saw a previous wet day turn into one of the sunniest of the year. “It was a perfect day,” says director Taylor. And the Wembley roar went up as Brian, Roger, John and Freddie arrived on stage to the synthesized opening chords on One Vision.

For the next 110 minutes Queen played what was undoubtedly one of their most potent concert performances. The two Wembley concerts, along with a hastily added final date at Stevenage’s Knebworth Park a month later, were among Queen's finest moments.

“Wembley Stadium was such a special place,” says Roger. “Having played it as part of Live Aid and to come back and play it again was such a blast.”

It’s perhaps no surprise that Queen’s hit musical, We Will Rock You, sees the show’s heroes end up at Wembley Stadium, ‘the place of living rock’ for the storming finale where the roots of rock are rediscovered and the rebellious bohemians find their way to recreating the music of the Mighty Queen.

Towards the end of Queen’s performance on the DVD, Freddie Mercury addresses the audience: “There’ve been some rumors we’re splitting. They’re talking through their *****,” Freddie says. “We’ll be together forever.”

“And in a way,” says Brian, “I guess we were. We might not have been a touring band much longer, but we were together as a band right until the end.”

“I don’t think anyone expected the Magic tour to be the band’s last dates; things had gone so well and we were already planning the next one,” says Gerry Stickells, Queen’s tour manager. “There was no sense of anything coming to an end”.

But as things turned out, Queen only ever played 2 further UK concerts, in Manchester on July 16 and that final concert at Knebworth on August 9.

But if ever a reminder was needed of why Queen earned themselves the mantle of best stadium rock group in history, then you only have to turn to this DVD to see Queen live, uncut, and at their ferocious, majestic, best.
Info: www.queenonline.com



Live At Wembley Stadium Saturday 12-07-1986

1. One Vision

2. Tie Your Mother Down

3. In The Lap Of The Gods ... Revisited

4. Seven Seas Of Rhye

5. Tear It Up

6. A Kind Of Magic

7. Under Pressure

8. Another One Bites The Dust

9. Who Wants To Live Forever

10. I Want To Break Free

11. Impromptu

12. Brighton Rock Solo

13. Now I’m Here

14. Love Of My Life

15. Is This The World We Created

16. (You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care

17. Hello Mary Lou (Goodbye Heart)

18. Tutti Frutti

19. Gimme Some Lovin’ *

20. Bohemian Rhapsody

21. Hammer To Fall

22. Crazy Little Thing Called Love

23. Big Spender *

24. Radio Ga Ga

25. We Will Rock You

26. Friends Will Be Friends

27. We Are The Champions

28. God Save The Queen

* Saturday 12 July 1986 concert only


Live At Wembley Stadium Friday 11-07-1986

Bonus Features:

· The Magic Tour - approx 12min feature containing new interview filmed with Brian and Roger in 2011.

· The Wembley Weekend - approx 25min feature where Brian and Roger describe what went into these legendary concerts filmed in 2003

· Rehearsal - Secretly filmed footage from the bands rehearsal for the Magic Tour.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Live review: Trampled by Turtles, honeyhoney impress at packed Observatory

My review was originally posted on Soundcheck on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. A special "thank you" to Bob Steshetz for the use of his great photos taken at the concert.

Trampled by Turtles' Dave Carroll (left) and Dave Simonett on Jan. 18, 2013 at The Observatory

Live review: Trampled by Turtles and honeyhoney impress at packed Observatory show

Americana music has had such a huge impact in recent years that it has given rise to international stars, from England’s Mumford & Sons to Sweden’s First Aid Kit. But Friday night (Jan. 18, 2013) a capacity crowd filled the Observatory in Santa Ana to celebrate two homegrown champions of the sound, Trampled by Turtles and honeyhoney.
The mighty headliners from Duluth, Minn., brought major-league game to the stage, offering 100 minutes that effortlessly mixed together punk-speed bluegrass, affecting indie folk and alternative country, providing nonstop proof why the quintet has become so popular. Displaying nothing but fun, the group conjured deeply moving songs in one breath (“Midnight on the Interstate,” “The Calm and the Crying Wind,” “New Orleans”) then dashed off hootenanny-ready workouts the next (“Walt Whitman,” “It’s a War”).
Fiddler Ryan Young in action
Few young acts are so capable of dazzling young audiences with virtuoso musicianship the way the Turtles did here. When lead singer/guitarist Dave Simonett, bassist Tim Saxhaug and banjoist Dave Carroll weren’t casting out gleaming three-part harmonies, it was time for mandolin player Erik Berry and fiddler Ryan Young to thrill with lusty solos. Even on relatively quiet folk nuggets like “Widower’s Heart,” their chops astonished.
The crowd went crazy for the fast stuff, but the Turtles were just as effective while mining more emotional terrain. The confessional “Bloodshot Eyes” featured Simonett on guitar and harmonica, his vocals aided by singer Suzanne Santo of honeyhoney. And “Alone” was magic: With a full moon projected behind the quintet as they embarked at gentle ballad pace, rippling banjo and mandolin dancing amid the harmonies, the song suddenly transformed into a roaring, foot-stomping bluegrass rocker that ignited the room.
As perfect as Trampled by Turtles were, discerning listeners might have wished that the audience would had dialed down their chatter a few notches. With a performance this awesome, didn’t they want to hear it?
Opener honeyhoney’ 50-minute set was also a wonder. Led by singer and banjo/fiddle player Santo and guitarist Ben Jaffe, their mix of sterling Americana originals, harmonies comparable to the Civil Wars and an immediate connection with the crowd provided a headlining feel to the performance.
Suzanne Santo of honeyhoney
A clear highlight was the surprise appearance of TBT members on “Angel of Death,” the addition of mandolin, fiddle, banjo and guitar from that group enhancing not diminishing the song’s haunting power. Elsewhere in the set, the newly brandished tune “Yours to Blame,” the confessional country folk ballad “Don’t Know How” and the genre-blasting “Thin Line” (which marshals an Achtung Baby-era U2 groove with the force of Neil Young & Crazy Horse ) reinforced the belief that honeyhoney is bound for future glory.
See them again when they open for another roots star, Ryan Bingham, March 2 at House of Blues Anaheim.

To view the original posting of my article on The Orange County Register Web site, click here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Music Worth Buying: 'Under the Radar' episode with Venice Is Sinking

On the latest episode of Music Worth Buying, we journey "Under the Radar" to celebrate the music of Venice is Sinking and Other Lives.

Inbox Update: Justin Hayward, Bad Religion

Here are the latest highlights pulled from my inbox. Very exciting news that Justin Hayward is set to issue a solo album next month. Enjoy everybody!

On February 26, 2013, Eagle Records is proud to release Spirits Of The Western Sky by Justin Hayward
As lead guitarist and vocalist of the legendary rock band, The Moody Blues, Hayward is one of the most prolific singer-songwriters in music.  Justin’s songs include “Nights In White Satin,” “Tuesday Afternoon,” “Question,” “The Voice,” “Your Wildest Dreams,” and “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere,” to name just a few of his worldwide hits.  Performing and recording for more than 40 years with The Moody Blues, during which the group has sold more than 60 million albums, Justin Hayward has been a driving force in the band’s success. 
Spirits Of The Western Sky, recorded in Genoa, Italy and Nashville, is Hayward’s first solo album since 1996’s The View From The Hill It features his trademark vocals and guitar work on tracks such as “One Day, Someday,” “On The Road To Love,” & album opener “In Your Blue Eyes,” and also highlights orchestrations by Academy Award-winning composer Anne Dudley. Additionally, Hayward moves into new areas with the three country and bluegrass-influenced tracks “What You Resist Persists,” “Broken Dream,” and “It’s Cold Outside Of Your Heart.”
Anne [Dudley] is one of the true greats,” states Justin, “in the same rarefied class of orchestrators as Peter Knight, who was such an inspiration in my early Moody Blues days. I’ve worked with Anne on different projects over the years and it’s always a joy (when she is arranging, all the studio musicians know it’s going to be wonderful).  I also co-wrote a song with my friend Kenny Loggins for Spirits Of The Western Sky. He and I were both on the road and staying in the same hotel.  We had a great day playing guitar together and we came up with ‘On The Road To Love’. Kenny plays and sings on the track with me. This album is a labor of love. It’s been my whole life for the last few years. I know we all have many choices nowadays and I thank everyone who gives my album a listen and brings these songs into their collection. Every track is truly from my heart”.
Building on the best of his work throughout an incredible career, Spirits Of The Western Sky is an album guaranteed to delight Justin Hayward’s legions of fans around the world. For more information, visit Hayward's official site at: http://www.justinhayward.com.
Eagle Rock Entertainment is the largest producer and distributor of music programming for DVD, Blu-Ray, TV, Audio and Digital Media in the world.  Eagle works directly alongside talent to produce top quality, High Definition and 3D programs, both concerts and documentaries, including The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, The Who, Queen, The Doors, Jeff Beck, U2, Peter Gabriel, Paul McCartney and Ozzy Osbourne. Eagle is a Grammy Award winning company and has received over 30 multi-platinum, over 50 platinum and over 90 gold discs, worldwide.  Eagle Rock Entertainment has offices in London, New York, Toronto, Paris and Hamburg.


Band Announces North American Spring Tour
LA's legendary punk heroes Bad Religion are streaming their new album True North in its entirety starting today (Jan. 15, 2013), in front of their January 22nd album release date. In anticipation of their new release, Bad Religion have announced a North American tour starting in March of 2013 with support from  Against Me! and Polar Bear Club. Tickets for the tour go on-sale  starting this Thursday, January 17th.

To stream the new record, please go to: http://bit.ly/VGb3O1

True North celebrates the power of cogent punk in the face of personal pain and adversity. It is one of the band’s most emotionally accessible albums to date. Beneath the bristling guitars and surging drums exists one of the most cathartic works of the band’s career. WithTrue North, Bad Religion deliberately revisits and refines the fast melodic Southern California sound they helped to define on albums such as Suffer, No Control and Recipe For Hate.

With a new album around the corner, Bad Religion cements their place in punk rock history with 16 studio albums, worldwide critical acclaim and countless world tours  and will continue the celebration of their distinguished career with extensive touring  in 2013, a rare intimate show in Los Angeles on January 23rd at The Echo in Los Angeles and  their  first ever appearance on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon this January 30th.

Fans can pre-order True North by going here: http://www.kingsroadmerch.com/bad-religion/region/ and can check out the single "True North" via YouTube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKflTc_RT6U

Bad Religion Tour Dates:

1/23/2013The EchoLos AngelesCA
3/8/2013OC Fair & Event CenterCosta MesaCA
3/9/2013SomaSan DiegoCA
3/12/2013Backstage LiveSan AntonioTX
3/13/2013House of BluesHoustonTX
3/14/2013House of BluesDallasTX
3/16/2013The Ritz YborTampaFL
3/17/2013House of Blues- OrlandoOrlandoFL
3/19/2013The MasqueradeAtlantaGA
3/20/2013War Memorial AuditoriumNashvilleTN
3/22/20139:30 ClubWashingtonDC
3/23/2013The Wellmont TheatreMontclairNJ
3/24/2013Electric FactoryPhiladelphiaPA
3/26/2013Terminal 5New YorkNY
3/28/2013House of BluesBostonMA
3/29/2013State TheatrePortlandME
3/30/2013MetropolisMontreal   QC
3/31/2013Kool HausToronto    ON
4/2/2013St. Andrews HallDetroitMI
4/4/2013Newport Music HallColumbusOH
4/5/2013Congress TheatreChicagoIL
4/6/2013Pops NightclubSaugetIL
4/8/2013Granada TheaterLawrenceKS
4/10/2013The FillmoreDenverCO
4/11/2013In The VenueSalt Lake CityUT
4/13/2013   Vogue TheaterVancouver   BC
4/14/2013Roseland TheaterPortlandOR
4/15/2013Showbox SoDoSeattleWA
4/18/2013Hollywood PalladiumHollywoodCA
5/26/2013Punk Rock BowlingLas VegasNV