AOR and Melodic Rock News on 27/05/2014

VEGA TO RELEASE THEIR STEREO MESSIAH ON FRONTIERS:
Frontiers Records is pleased to welcome back to the label British Melodic Rockers Vega who plan to release their third album “Stereo Messiah” in the fall of 2014.

“It is a pleasure to be part again of the best label in the world!” said James Martin keyboardist and co-songwriter of the band. The recordings are almost completed and the band is currently putting the finishing touches to the album which can certainly be enlisted as one of the Melodic Rock highlights of the second part of the year. “Stereo Messiah” has been produced by John Mitchell and will be mastered in June by Harry Hess of Harem Scarem. It will also see Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott appear on a duet with singer Nick Workman on a rare Def Leppard song given to Vega by the Sheffield front man himself! “It’s a clichй to say this, but it really is a dream come true for us. Leppard are a massive influence on us. This is such an honour!” said Nick.

Vega have also finalized already the first batch of UK shows. More dates will follow in the rest of Europe and UK in the following months:
November 1st: Nottingham Rescue Rooms
November 6th: Bolton Railway
November 7th: Swansea Static
November 8th: London The Garage


TIMO TOLKKI’S AVALON “THE PARADISE LOST” LYRIC VIDEO:
Timo Tolkki’s Avalon “The Paradise Lost” Lyric Video. Order the album on Amazon www.smarturl.it/avalonangelsamaz or iTunes www.smarturl.it/ttokkkisangelitunes. Or buy it on www.frontiers.it.

AOR ­ LA CONNECTION DUE JULY 18:
Escape Music will release the new AOR album L.A Connection July 18.
Track listing: On The Edge Of Glory / Pride Of Strangers / Closer To Zero / Once Off Guard / Lost Souls Don’t Cry / Exiled In Sadness / Age Of Desire / Circle Of Danger / The Crystal Heart.

Audio Preview: Lost Souls don’t cry.

Musicians: Frйdйric Slama : Guitars & Keyboards; Tommy Denander : All Instruments; Bill Champlin : Lead & Backing Vocals; Paul Sabu : Lead & Backing Vocals; Jeff Paris : Lead & Backing Vocals; Sherwood Ball : Lead & Backing Vocals; David Forbes : Lead & Backing Vocals; Philip Bardowell : Lead & Backing Vocals; Bob Harris : Lead & Backing Vocals; Rick Riso: Lead & Backing Vocals; Tamara Champlin: Lead & Backing Vocals; Pete Newdeck : Backing Vocals; Colin Rodgers : Guitars & Bass; Pat Thern : Drums.

Band bio: “Frederic Slama has continued to inspire us through the years with his “LA” themed releases. Ranging from soft rock to west coast to harder, edgier tunes Frederic has always brought quality music to the table. Now in 2014 Frйdйric Slama’ s AOR project is back with lucky number 13, with an impressive new album called L.A Connection, featuring a fantastic list of guests such as Tommy Denander, Bill Champlin (Chicago), Paul Sabu (Sabu, Only Child, Kidd Glove), Jeff Paris, Sherwood Ball (Jay Graydon), David Forbes (Boulevard), Rick Riso, Philip Bardowell (Places Of Power, Unruly Child), Bob Harris (Axe), Tamara Champlin & many others.
For this 13th album, AOR is flirting with heavier territories with songs reminiscent of Foreigner, Giant, Journey & Toto. The first class production by Frйdйric Slama & Tommy Denander will leave you breathless and the legendary singers of L.A Connection will surely take Melodic Rock to new heights. So it’s time for the “L.A Connection”.
This is AOR’s best outing to date and worthy of your attention, like a great red wine AOR just improves as each year passes.”
WebLink: www.Escape-Music.com.


MORE FROM THAT VOICE:
Here’s a better view of the 3 songs Steve Perry sung with The Eels this weekend past. It seems Perry’s arrival on stage has gone viral!

KILLER DWARFS IN HIGHWAY SMASH:
Killer Dwarfs frontman Russ Dwarf airlifted after band was involved in a multi-car freeway pileup returning from Rocklahoma appearance. Details: www.metalsludge.tv/?p=43662 
I’ve just heard via Mitch Lafon that “Russ okay in hospital. On plane now coming home…”

INTRODUCING GERMAN ROCK BAND AT EAZE:
The German newcomer rock band At Eaze has just released their new record Another Shot – modern hard rock at its best!
“Back in the years we released our first album Facing the Odds in 2010, which gave us a huge respect of the music scene in many countries. With our new record Another Shot we wanted to start something amazing, something that’s a milestone in modern Hard rock music. Well, we’ve got it. And this one is for all of you guys out there!”, singer/bass player Laura Fink says.
Another Shot will kick your ass with modern Hard rock and a strong woman’s voice. So blow up your mind and hit your ears.
Don’t miss these four awesome musicians and their powerful rock music. You can download the record on iTunes and Amazon. WebLink: www.facebook.com/ateaze.


MITCH LAFON TALKS TO GREAT WHITE:
In episode 16 of One On One With Mitch Lafon, Mitch sits down with, in part one, Great White’s Michael Lardie to discuss the band’s recently launched Official Great White TV channel on YouTube. The pair also discuss the band’s upcoming touring and recording plans as well as singer Terry Ilous. They also talk about Michael’s involvement in the ‘A World With Heroes – Kiss tribute CD’ (that raises money for a Montreal Palliative Care home), his cover of the Kiss song ‘beth’, Great White’s Elation album and Michael’s time with Night Ranger.
WebLink: www.spreaker.com/user/talkingmetal/one-on-one-with-mitch-lafon-episode-16.

In Part 2, Mitch chats with Great White’s Mark Kendall and his wife Bridget Kendall. Topics of discussion include the launch of the Official Great White TV channel on YouTube. The challenges of being a rock ‘n roll married couple and dealing with every day life while on the road (from taking care of the family, to paying bills, etc). This was Bridget’s first ever interview with her husband, Mark. It offers a unique perspective of being a rock ‘n roll family.
The episode of One On One With Mitch Lafon was co-hosted by former Guns ‘N Roses & Great White manager, Alan Niven.
For more about Great White visit: http://www.greatwhiterocks.com. Follow Mark Kendall on Twitter: @MarkKendall_GW and Great White: @GreatWhiteBand 
For more about the Kiss 40th Anniversary Tribute album for Palliative care on iTunes visit: itunes.apple.com/ca/album/world-heroes-kiss-tribute/id716859684.

NEW SHOWCASE:
A new Showcase online today for the Frontiers Rock Festival 2014 Compilation. Check it out here and purchase here: www.frontiers.it/album/5207/.

 

NEW REVIEWS ONLINE:
New Reviews added to the site today – the LAST batch before the launch of the new MR website!
Online today are reviews for: California Breed, Neal Schon, Timo Tolkki, Seven, Diesel, SunStrike, Mother Road, Alien, Dynazty and Brother FiretribeCheck them out now.

Today’s reviews reflect a few things. First – there’s a lot of great releases around. Plenty to pick and choose from for all!
Secondly, with the development of the new MR website, I haven’t had much time to devote to reviews as is needed, so what I’m reviewing right now are the main titles around right now – and as far as those – they are mostly very consistent and of high quality. The ratings have been high all year – because of the quality with mainline releases and the fact I haven’t had time to get to the secondary releases which may not obtain such high praise and help average out the scores, but equally deserving of coverage.

Which leads to my final point – the increased consistency and quality of releases is leading the reviews to tend higher and if I keep going we’ll need a 110 rating soon enough.

So with today’s reviews, say goodbye to the old MR site and stand by for the new. The new design allows me a whole lot more flexibility to add reviews one at a time, instead of painfully working up a batch and HTML’ing them to add in one go. That means more reviews, less constraints over what titles and the length of reviews (long if I want, short if I want…) and a slight tweak to the ratings system.

I have grappled with this for months, but decided that to do anything completely different would throw 16 years of past reviews into disarray, so the % system will stay and I’ll continue to talk about the details within each release in as much detail as necessary, but at the same time, there is one additional rank being added within the current 0-100 system, plus I have tweaked the descriptions each color rank uses. On top of that, you can expect me to be tougher on scores and a general depreciation in overall marks (just slightly), as this will allow greater scope to point out truly outstanding releases, focus on the good records and allow room to grow once again. 

80 is the new 90 🙂

I’m looking forward to getting the new site launched….I hope the new layout and system makes sense and is as popular as the reviews here have been over the years. Once the new site is launched I will begin the slow process of cataloguing all past years’ worth of reviews into one mega-searchable database at the new site!
Thanks for the support and awesome feedback over that time.

BEAUTIFUL GOODBYE FROM RICHARD MARX IN JULY:
A new Richard Marx album titles Beautiful Goodbye will be released worldwide July 8 via Marx’s own independent label. The tracks featured on the album are: 01 Whatever We Started 02 Suddenly 03 Inside 04 Beautiful Goodbye 05 Forgot To Remember 06 Turn Off The Night 07 Have A Little Faith 08 Like The World Is Ending 09 To My Senses 10 Getaway 11 Eyes On Me.
Check out the first single now:

STEVE PERRY JOINS THE EELS ON STAGE:
Great to hear the legendary Mr. Steve Perry on a stage once again – making a short cameo lead vocal appearance this weekend with The Eels. Check it out here: www.facebook.com/MelodicRockAU/posts/10152339516022326.

BRITISH MELODIC ROCKERS SERPENTINE RETURN:
Press Release: “We are delighted to announce that after twelve months in the proverbial wilderness, Serpentine are back!
After parting ways with our former singer Matt Black last year, and with our beloved bassist and founder member Gareth Vanstone bowing out in early 2014 due to health issues, it is with extreme pleasure that we welcome two new recruits to the band who represent the cream of the South Wales rock scene. Vocal powerhouse Adam Payne (ex-Tidal) was identified almost immediately upon Matt’s departure as the voice to represent the new era of Serpentine, and is joined by bassist Owen Crawford whose work on former band Triaxis’ ‘Rage & Retribution’ album is beyond impressive.
You may have gathered by now from our Facebook posts that work in the studio on our yet-to-be-titled third record, which is being produced and co-written by Gary Hughes (Ten), is well underway. The sessions so far have been great and we are more than confident that the songs we’ve chosen represent our best work to date. With that in mind, we are also very excited and honoured to have landed the services of Neil Kernon (Queensryche, FM, Judas Priest, Autograph) to mix the album this summer, which promises to have a harder and darker edge than previous releases.
More details will be available in a full press release, which will be out at the beginning of next week. In the meantime we hope that you will all join us in welcoming two class acts into Serpentine. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your continued support while we’ve been away. Now we’re back, and you’re gonna know about it!!”


PAUL DEAN’S PRE-LOVERBOY BAND STREETHEART RELEASES 1993 LIVE REUNION ALBUM:
One Night One Take features Dean, Matt Frenette and Ken “Spider” Sinnaeve reuniting with Kenny Shields and Daryl Gutheil

New York, May 23, 2014–Long before they became full-time members of Loverboy, guitarist Paul Dean, bassist Ken “Spider” Sinnaeve and drummer Matt Frenette were members of another legendary Canadian band, Streetheart. Long gathering dust in Dean’s archives, One Night One Take finally sees the light of day, a live recording made at Winnipeg’s Rolling Stone Cabaret on Friday, August 13, 1993, part of a week-long stint marking the band’s reunion after Dean was “dumped” 15 years before.

One Night, One Take shows off a band where chops, musicianship and communication resulted in an almost 14-minute-long cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Under My Thumb” and a fiery version of Them’s Bert Berns-penned classic, “Here Comes the Night,” both spotlighting Dean’s intense guitar-playing. Sinnaeve’s virtuoso bass and Frenette’s frenetic drumming are showcased on one of the previously unreleased tracks, “Mr. Tall”, while the other new track, “Losin’ Streak”, features vocalist Kenny Shields and keyboardist/vocalist Daryl Gutheil. Also, check out Dean’s electric violin solo on “Move On Over,” where Shields playfully dubs him Paul “Charlie Daniels” Dean, or his guitar pyrotechnics in “Can You Feel It” for further proof of Streetheart’s legendary jamming prowess. “At rehearsal, I said to myself, how the heck am I gonna pull that off – did I actually play that?” laughs Dean today. Their musical touchstones included such powerhouse outfits as Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, and Cream (catch the snippet of “Sunshine of Your Love” in the midst of the almost 10-minute-long “Mr. Tall”). The CD is available now at Streetheart gigs as well as online, and can be downloaded worldwide from digital retailers like iTunes and Amazon, as well as streaming services such as Rdio, Beats Music and Spotify. 

Based in Edmonton at the time, longtime musical collaborators Dean and Frenette were playing in a local cover band, Great Canadian River Race, when they heard about a group from Saskatchewan playing a bar in town. Dean says he and Frenette were impressed, to say the least. Soon after, they found themselves in Regina with Shields and Gutheil, and a year later they recorded their only album, Meanwhile Back in Paris. Dean was replaced in the group shortly thereafter, and eventually joined up with vocalist Mike Reno to form Loverboy, along with bassist Jim Clench (soon to be replaced by the late Scott Smith) and keyboardist Doug Johnson, with Frenette coming aboard soon afterward. “Spider,” who went on to play with Tom Cochrane’s Red Rider, rejoined his ex-Streetheart mates in 2001, after the tragic death of Smith.
Streetheart went on to receive a Juno Award, two Ampex Golden Reel Awards and were voted the most popular Canadian act at the People’s Choice Awards. During the course of their career, they toured with fellow Canucks Chilliwack, Rush, Aldo Nova and April Wine, as well as Sammy Hagar, Styx, Kansas, Blue Oyster Cult and AC/DC.

“I thought we were a great band,” says Dean. “We definitely had dynamics and communication on stage, and it took a live album to showcase that. Yeah, I was pretty distraught when I got kicked out – that was a heavy period in my life, but I got over it. I survived. And now I think I can speak for Matt and Spider – it wouldn’t take much convincing for us to do a tour one day. We’re totally appreciative of all our Streetheart and Loverboy fans. Personally, it blows me away that people are still behind us as much as they are, and I’m excited we can finally offer them something like this in return.”

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Main AOR and Melodic Rock News on 28/04/2014

RED MOON RISING COMES INTO PERFECT VIEW IN MAY:
The Italian Melodic Rock band Perfect View will release their second album Red Moon Rising on May 23 through Avenue Of Allies. Almost four years have passed since the five-piece from Modena released their acclaimed debut album “Hold Your Dreams” in the fall of 2010 and the development of the band since then is nothing short of impressive. While the first record was a very good sounding and solid effort, it still tested the waters of a variety of Hard and Heavy genres, from AOR to Progressive Hard Rock. The songs “Red Moon Rising” are now very focused and it’s clear that Melodic Rock with a slightly harder edge is what the band does best. As expected the songs are again on a consistently high level regarding the song writing, the arrangements and the flawless performance of each band member.
Perfect View was founded in 2008 by singer Max Ordine, guitar player Francesco Cataldo and drummer Luca Ferraresi. Their idea for the musical direction of the band was to combine elements of first class AOR and Melodic Rock in the vein of Toto, Winger and Journey with some harder moments а la Van Halen and Lynch Mob and to add an occasional progressive touch to the sound.
The line-up for “Hold Your Dreams” was completed by Cristian Guerzoni on bass and Pier Mazzini on keyboards.

Prior to being a part of Perfect View the guys in the band have shown their musical talents on the stage, as well as in the studio when they were working with established artists and bands like Olaf Thorsen (Vision Divine, Labyrinth), Roberto Tiranti (Labyrinth), Alex DeRosso (Dokken, Dark Lord) and the very successful Kiss tribute band Electric Circus. Max and Francesco were also members of the band Xteria, a predecessor of Perfect View. Xteria recorded one album called “Outshine” in 2000 and they opened for the American Progressive Metal band Symphony X that same year.
Since the release of their debut album the band shot a video for the title track of “Hold Your Dreams” and they also played a number of live shows, including an opening gig for Harem Scarem. In early 2012 Cristian left the band for personal reasons, he was replaced by Frank Paulis, an old road dog, who also took over various tasks on the band’s business side.


The work on the songs for “Red Moon Rising” was again a collective effort with contributions coming from each musician, in addition to their own compositions the guys added Toto’s epic “Home Of The Brave” to the album’s tracklist. The recording sessions started in May 2013, with the tracks eventually being engineered and mixed in November by Roberto Priori (Danger Zone, Wheels Of Fire, Los Angeles) at his PriStudios in Bologna, Italy, together with Pier Mazzini. Some of the band’s musical friends make guest appearances on the album,Michele Luppi (Secret Sphere, Los Angeles, ex-Vision Divine) sings background and harmony vocals on the Melodic Rock anthem “By My Side” and Giacomo Gigantelli (Danger Zone) contributed to the background vocals on “Slave To The Empire”.
Perfect View have already scheduled some concerts and festival gigs for 2014 and the band will support the release of “Red Moon Rising” with special activities for the fans and of course with more live dates.

Track listing: 1) Where The Wind Blows 2) By My Side 3) Room 14 4) Slave To The Empire 5) I Will Remember 6) In The Name Of The Father 7) Living In Disguise 8) Dead End Street 9) Holdin’ On 10) In A Blink Of An Eye 11) Home Of The Brave.

All lyrics written by Francesco Cataldo, except “Home Of The Brave” by David Paich, Steve Lukather, Jimmy Webb & Joseph Williams.
Perfect View are: Max Ordine: Lead & background vocals; Francesco Cataldo: All guitars & background vocals; Pier Mazzini: Keyboards & background vocals; Frank Paulis: Bass & background vocals; Luca Ferraresi: Drums & background vocals. Guest musicians: Michele Luppi: Background vocals on “By My Side”; Giacomo Gigantelli: Background vocals on “Slave To The Empire”.
WebLinks: www.perfectviewtheband.com / avenue-of-allies.com.


THE LATEST FROM ROCK CANDY:
The following four new Rock Candy titles are all available now from www.rockcandyrecords.com for a discounted price including postage to anywhere in the world for the next two weeks ending on May 12.

Rick Springfield ‘Working Class Dog’ CANDY227 / Of Australian origin, Rick Springfield’s early career saw him flirting with a number of styles, from pop to psychedelia and all points in between. Moving to the US in the early seventies Rick’s recording career slowly ground to a halt whilst, simultaneously, his acting career was growing in leaps and bounds, affording him am envious profile. It wasn’t long before record companies came knocking and by 1981 Rick had secured yet another contract, this time with RCA and released the album ‘Working Class Dog’, a triumph of melody and muscle. Recorded in his adopted home of Los Angeles, at the now famed Sound City studios, with a production combination of Rick Springfield, Bill Drescher and Fleetwood Mac producer, Keith Olsen, the album exploded out of the box to become one of the biggest selling records of the year, eventually achieving three million units. In addition, the single ‘Jessie’s Girl’ reached #1 on the charts, helping to define his clean cut pop rock style and providing a watershed mark for the rest of his career. Penning nine of the ten songs himself, it was left to fellow rocker Sammy Hagar to provide the second hit single taken from this record, ‘I’ve Done Everything For You’, a song originally written in 1977, but not recorded at that time. As near a perfect a pop rock album as you could wish for, ‘Working Class Dog’ set the standard for radio friendly rock for much of the eighties.
Special Deluxe Collector’s Edition, fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, 3 bonus tracks, contains ‘Jessie’s Girl’, and ‘I’ve done Everything Thing For You’, 16 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork and rare photos. 
Track Listing: 1. Love Is Alright Tonite 2. Jessie’s Girl 3. Hole In My Heart 4. Carry Me Away 5. I’ve Done Everything For You 6. The Light Of Love 7. Everybody’s Girl 8. Daddy’s Pearl 9. Red Hot & Blue Love 10. Inside Silvia Bonus Tracks: 11. Easy To Cry 12. Taxi Dancing (Original Version) 13. Jessie’s Girl (Demo Version).

Rick Springfield ‘Rock Of Life’ CANDY228 / Rick Springfield’s previous studio album, ‘Tao’, went a good way to redefine his creative ambitions as he had previously, rather unjustly, been labelled as a glamorous pop rock idol with an acting profile that forever appeared to overshadow his musical career. At this point Springfield was at a crossroads in his life both professionally and personally, looking for answers to a multitude questions that had begun to increase in importance and complexity. ‘Rock Of Life’ was, in many ways, a continuance of the themes touched on with ‘Tao’. Songs such as ‘Honeymoon In Beirut’, ‘World’s Start Turning’, ‘Woman’ and the title track, are profoundly poignant, confessional and focus on specific personal issues. But whilst the lyrical content may be heavy, the musical support is anything but. Produced to pin-point accuracy by long time collaborator Keith Olsen, the music is seriously upbeat, dynamic and very cutting edge, in fact it’s is generally regarded as one of the best sounding albums of the era. Originally issued in 1988, ‘Rock Of Life’ may not have been a chart smash but it definitely helped to quash any thoughts that he may have been just a pretty face with little to say. Surrounded by some of the best session players of the time, including guitarists Tim Pierce and Dan Huff (Giant), the album stands out for a number of reasons as arguably his greatest achievement.
Special Deluxe Collector’s Edition, fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, 2 bonus tracks, 16 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork and rare photos. 
Track Listing: 1. Rock Of Life 2. Honeymoon In Beirut 3. World Start Turning 4. One Reason (To Believe) 5. Soul To Soul 6. Tear It All Down 7. Woman 8. Dream In Colour 9. Hold On To Your Dream 10. (If You Think You’re) Groovy Bonus Tracks 11. The Language Of Love 12. Rock Of Life (Extended Remix).

xx


Lynch Mob ‘Wicked Sensation’ CANDY238 / It was hardly a surprise when George Lynch announced his departure from Dokken, the band he’d enjoyed enormous success with during the eighties. The fact that Don Dokken and George Lynch were at loggerheads for much of that time was no secret, so the split was, in many respects, inevitable. For George it was a chance to strike out on his own, assembling a handpicked unit that retained the services of fellow Dokken drummer Mick Brown with the addition of bassist Anthony Esposito and the then largely unknown, but super talented, vocalist Oni Logan. Dubbed, rather amusingly, Lynch Mob, the band were signed by Elektra Records who were hoping to benefit from Lynch’s platinum success with Dokken. Produced by Max Norman (Ozzy Osbourne, Y&T, Armored Saint) and recorded in Los Angeles, the music was a combustible mixture of blues based hard rock with a searing metallic edge, allowing George Lynch to fly off the handle with amazing guitar pyrotechnics at every available opportunity. It also showcased Oni Logan’s incredibly mature sounding voice to maximum effect. Think Coverdale, Ronnie James Dio and Tom Keiffer. Containing twelve tracks that have stood the test of time with flying colours, the music is full-tilt in your face rock, spearheaded by tracks such as ‘River Of Love’, ‘Sweet Sister Mercy’ and ‘She’s Evil But She’s Mine’. Best of all, it is the title track that really defines the band’s sound, a howling thunderclap of noise with a one in a million hook that takes no prisoners.
Special Deluxe Collector’s Edition, fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, produced by Max Norman (Ozzy Osbourne, Dokken), enhanced artwork and rare photos.
Track Listing: 1. Wicked Sensation 2. River Of Love 3. Sweet Sister Mercy 4. All I Want 5. Hell Child 6. She’s Evil But She’s Mine 7. Dance Of The Dogs 8. Rain 9. No Bed Of Roses 10. Through These Eyes 11. For A Million Years 12. Street Fightin’ Man.

Georgia Satellites ‘S/T’ CANDY234 / When they first arrived on the scene, in 1986, The Georgia Satellites couldn’t have been more incongruous in the musical landscape. On one hand they were flanked by clean cut electro pop acts and on the other they were surrounded by legions of hair-metal reprobates. The Satellites, however, were not only digging deep into their regional southern roots but they were also taking inspiration from the rock and roll era. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, the band worked up a sound that seemed part British blues boom and part southern rock, evoking comparisons to influences as diverse as Status Quo, the Rolling Stones, the Faces and Lynyrd Skynyrd. It was a raw, take no prisoners style, with an eye on the prize and a nod to the band’s musical heritage, which set them apart as a breath of fresh air in a scene short of genuine originality. Issued in 1986 on the Elektra label and produced by Jeff Glixman (Kansas, Gary Moore, Black Sabbath), the album is an explosive statement of intent with guitars cranked to the max and songs that sounds so relaxed they could’ve written themselves. Comprised of front man Dan Baird, guitarist Rick Richards, bassist Rick Price and drummer Mauro Magellan they smashed their way to #2 in the Billboard singles chart with ‘Keep Your Hands To Yourself’ and ‘Battle Ship Chains’. Look out too for a killer version of Rod Stewart’s classic ‘Every Picture Tells A Story’.
Special Deluxe Collector’s Edition, fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, Produced by Geoff Glixman (Kansas, Black Sabbath),16 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork and rare photos. 
Track Listing: 1. Keep Your Hands To Yourself 2. Railroad Steel 3. Battleship Chains 4. Red Light 5. The Myth Of Love 6. Can’t Stand The Pain 7. Golden Light 8. Over And Over 9. Nights Of Mystery 10. Every Picture Tells A Story Bonus Tracks 11. I’m Waiting For The Man 12. The Myth Of Love (Live) 13. Battleship Chains (Remix) 14. Hard Luck Boy 15. Red Light (Live) 16. No Money Down (Live) 17. Battleship Chains (Remix).

xx


THE BABYS READY TO DELIVER SOME OF THAT:
By Gerry Gittelson ~ Melodicrock.com Los Angeles correspondent – The Babys are back with a new album, “I’ll Have Some of That”

Los Angeles — Legendary classic-rock band The Babys have a new album set for release in June entitled I’ll Have Some of That, and the group celebrated with a listening party for members of the press and the production team along with some friends and a few fans.
There are 14 songs (12 for the USA release), a mix of blistering rockers like “Grass is Greener” and “These Days” and layered ballads like “See You There,” a totally infectious selection that figures to be the first single. Co-founders Tony Brock (drums) and Wally Stocker(guitar) remain, and the new members are singer John Bisaha and guitarist Joey Sykes.
Brock handled production duties at his studio Silver Dreams, and the record sounds bright and slick while retaining a bluesy edge that mostly nods towards the band’s early recordings like their self-titled debut and “Broken Heart.” The band played a series of successful comeback shows this past summer in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, and an international tour is planned for late summer. A side keyboardist and two female backup singers are part of the touring ensemble.

The Babys formed in 1976 and enjoyed a string of hit singles including “Isn’t It Time,” “Every Time I Think of You,” “Back on My Feet Again,” “Head First” and “Midnight Rendez-Vous.” Original singer John Waite has gone on to stardom as a solo artist and also as a member of supergroup Bad English, which featured fellow former Babys Jonathan Cain (now in Journey) and Ricky Phillips (now in Styx).
For information, visit thebabysofficial.com.
Photo: The Babys (left to right): John Bisaha, Tony Brock, Wally Stocker, Joey Sykes.

xx


R.I.P DAVID KNIGHT OF HOLY WATER:
Fredric Villano of US rockers Holy Water delivered this sad news to me Saturday: “I’m sorry to report the recent passing of Holy Water singer David Knight. The details surrounding his death are still developing, but we do know he passed away on Monday April 21, 2014. David was a phenomenal singer and those who knew him and/or heard him sing will most definitely attest to this fact. “All I Need,” the video/single released by Holy Water in support of The Collected Sessions release (Perris, 2009), is quite possibly the last song David ever wrote/recorded/sang. You can check that out here: myspace.com/thisisholywater/video/all-i-need-/100593250.”

INTRODUCING BLACKWELDER:
International power prog metal band Blackwelder signs record deal with Germany’s GoldenCore Records/ZYX Music. Blackwelder is currently recording, mixing and mastering the yet untitled album for a release later this year. Hailing from the four corners of the world, Blackwelder is a brand new metal experience featuring some of the top names in Power Prog Metal today. Arguably the best singer in all of metal, Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear, ex-Gamma Ray) fronts this extraordinary outfit at the top of his game, alongside guitar virtuosoAndrew Szus (Seven Seraphim), Bjorn Englen (Dio Disciples, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen) and Aquiles Priester (Hangar, ex-Angra) round out this unstoppable team of what quite possibly could be one of the greatest line-ups metal has ever seen.
Blackwelder began as the long-awaited follow up to Seven Seraphim’s “Believe in Angels“. Bit by bit, as the songs materialized, it became evident to mainman Andrew Szucs that this music should carry the banner of a new musical entity, emerging from a richer, darker source – thus, Blackwelder was born. Andrew began this musical journey alone, however, once he completed the framework for all of the songs, the band members began to fall into place like pieces of a puzzle.
Bjorn Englen was the first to climb aboard, expertly adding his bass lines to the songs. Bjorn would later go on tour with Tony MacAlpine alongside drummer Aquiles Priester, after which, it seemed only natural to keep this rhythm section intact for Blackwelder.
Once Andrew’s guitars were recorded, it became evident that a true powerhouse vocalist was needed to carry these songs to completion. Not just any voice would do.Blackwelder would need the stratospheric vocal stylings characterized by the rich tradition of European heavy metal, and who better to do that than the voice of Primal Fear: Ralf Scheepers. Like a dragon with its fire, Ralf’s voice and lyrical themes are a natural fit to the songs of Blackwelder; blending and contrasting with the Marshall-based guitar tones in perfect harmony.
Topping off this powerful line-up is the unparalleled drumming of Aquiles Priester. Andrew and Aquiles agreed to finish the songs with Aquiles’ unique pyrotechnic display of progressive metal drumming techniques and what a display it is.
Blackwelder is a winning formula of raw musical virtuosity that holds the listener’s ears right from the start. This act is surely not one to be missed and cannot be denied!
WebLink: www.facebook.com/BlackwelderMetal

INTRODUCING SUPRALUNAR:
The powerhouse rock trio Supralunar out of Stockholm, Sweden has just released the singles ”People Like Us” and “Nine Candles” from their full length debut album “A New Hope”. The band inked a deal with Swedish label Dead End Exit Records in January 2014 and the album is scheduled for release shortly. By some described as “a mix of Foo Fighters and Sweet” or “like The Beatles but hard”. You be the judge!
The tracks are available on Spotify: open.spotify.com/track/1DUw0G8M4ZWwKJOMvsR4zJ and open.spotify.com/album/2xmcRLkcvIunbQx9UANFE4.
Both songs have also a video available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRIMfsRlO_c / www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bt1qyd2pOxw.
For an electronic presentation of the band please watch our EPK: bit.ly/1jNz1Ar / www.facebook.com/supralunar.

xx


EDGUY’S TOBIAS SAMMET INTERVIEWS WITH HARDROCK HAVEN:
Edguy’s Tobias Sammet Interviews with Hardrock Haven
HRH: Thanks for taking the time to talk with Hardrock Haven … and on to the neww album, Space Police: Defenders of the Crown. How did the band possibly come up with such a happy album? Aren’t you guys aware that humanity is destroying the earth’s climate, that the gibbering idiot American War Machine is drooling over the possibility of being able to go to war with white people this time, that these are the ‘End Times’ќ some people say? And you combat that with ‘Love t-t-t-tyger!’ќ (And is that a William Blake reference, as in, ‘tyger tyger burning bright’ќ)
Tobias: It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, if you succeed or fail; the only thing that counts is whether you’ve got your sunglasses on. My world is going down with flying colors! And the other question is: How entertaining is it to go to a Metal show, have seven beers and listen to a nerd with a flannel shirt singing about Exxon Valdez? To each his own, but beware of the Love Tyger, he’s gonna get all of you! ‘Tyger Tyger burning bright’ќ? No, I just thought tigers looked more Metal than I, with a ‘Y’ќ as in Queensr-Y-che’s earl-Y albums, not as in Queensryche’s Tr-I-be. That’s it! Y is Metal! Just like Yron Mayden, MetallYca and The Yardbirds. Did you know that a lot of us musicians are illiterates? I am not as half as smart as some people may think, ha!
To read the entire interview, head to: hardrockhaven.net/online/2014/04/interviw-with-tobias-sammet-of-edguy/

Bobbie Brown on The FDH Lounge, recently to promote her new autobiography, “Dirty Rocker Boys”www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgxppMf17xo&list=UUgleHbQwuloA5Gkkhp_YXZw.

Now online is the new in-depth interview with solo singer/songwriter and former Trans-Siberian Orchestra vocalist Peter Shaw. In it, Shaw discusses his time touring and performing with TSO, his views on the music business and his exciting new solo EP:musicandartinterviews.blogspot.com/2014/04/peter-shaw.html.

On this week’s Double Stop show Brian Sword talks to producer Keith Olsen. He covers his early days at Sound City, his role in the creation of Fleetwood Mac, and what it’s like to be in the studio with the Grateful Dead (he nailed the door shut to keep them in). He goes into detail on the making of Whitesnake’s 3 most classic albums (including Dan Huff), Ozzy’s “No Rest for the Wicked’ (Zakk was a riot) and Lynch Mob’s self-titled (Including Glenn Hughes’ involvement): thedoublestop.com/ep-12-keith-olsen-fleetwood-mac-the-grateful-dead-whitesnake-ozzy.

MAX NAVARRO TO START RECORDING NEW ALBUM:
The Italian-Canadian rocker Max Navarro has confirmed that he’s going to finally begin work on new album, with a message left on his Facebook profile. Nine tracks that will be published in his fourth official still untitled album that will see the light in winter. A lot of changes in the line-up of the band after the departures of drummer Simone Morettin – who joined Elvenking – and bassist Jack Novell, replaced by Alex Parpinel and Danny Pollaci. Alongside Navarro have remained guitarist John Paul Bellucci and producer Nick Mayer.
‘We have completed the pre-production in January, but we took a couple of months to settle some ideas – Navarro says – . This album will sound less harsh than the previous “Hard Times” , but surely it will be a great American-rock album. “Hard Times” was an angry record , this one will be somehow more detached; not that the world over the past two years has changed for the better; maybe it’s just me that look at it more peacefully’ќ.
For recording sessions Navarro chose the Nico Odorico’s ‘Angel ‘s Wings Studios’ќ: ‘I’m happy to work with Nico again, there’s a great feeling between us. We worked together over the last two albums, but only for the mixing. Now I decided to give him the keys of the entire record. One more reason to expect great things’ќ.
WebLinks: www.maxnavarro.com – www.cherrylipsrecords.com.

Concert Review: Red Ragon Cartel In Toronto

Show Date: April 10, 2014

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Venue: The Rockpile West

Reviewer: Olivier

 

Back when Red Dragon Cartel concert tickets went on sale for their upcoming show in Toronto on April 10th, I thought that it would be wise to immediately purchase my ticket. This was due to a number of reasons, which included that Red Dragon Cartel were playing what I thought was a relatively small venue — with a capacity of only about 350 people — and taking into account that this was guitar legend Jake E. Lee‘s first band since his Badlands days and was lead singer Darren James Smith‘s homecoming show. 

Red Dragon Cartel live in Toronto, OntarioRed Dragon Cartel live in Toronto, Ontario

I am glad that I purchased my concert ticket early on, because when I got to The Rockpile West venue at around 10 pm the parking lot seemed completely full, and for the first time ever, I had to park in one of the few remaining spots in the back of the premises. When I entered the Rockpile West it reminded me of when Stryper last played the venue because the place was jam packed with people. It was difficult to get to within three rows of the stage even when one of the opening acts was still playing, and the various bands’ merchandise was being sold from a back room — it sure seemed like this was a sold out show! 

Red Dragon Cartel hit the stage with the familiar sounds of Ozzy Osbourne‘s “The Ultimate Sin” and you could feel the energy in the crowd right from the start. With Jake E. Lee‘s extensive back catalog of amazing songs to choose from, including some that have not been played live in more than 20 years, Red Dragon Cartel has tons of excellent tunes from which to offer a stellar setlist. After all, Lee‘s musical career spans two underrated Ozzy Osbourne records, ‘Bark At The Moon’ and ‘The Ultimate Sin’, his excellent covers CD ‘Retraced’, along with three records fromBadlands which includes their stellar self-titled debut album — one of my favorites, and frankly, one of the best debut albums of all time. Throw in some songs from the strong debut from Red Dragon Cartel and you have the making of one dream set list! This was my first time seeing Jake E. Lee play live and the first thing that struck me was how small the man seemed. Not that this mattered in any way, as it was a real treat to see one of the guitar greats play live! 

Red Dragon Cartel live in Toronto, OntarioRed Dragon Cartel live in Toronto, Ontario

The second song played was the best song that Red Dragon Cartel has to offer from their own repertoire in my opinion — “Deceived”. The pro-Smith Toronto crowd seemed to lap everything up. This is probably the only show on Red Dragon Cartel‘s tour where the crowd was chantingSmith‘s name on numerous occasions — “Darren! Darren! Darren!” rather than guitar legend Lee‘s name — call it the home court advantage if you will. Smith introduced the crowd as his “family and friends” to the rest of the band. 

You got to hand it to Darren James Smith, he has a tough act to follow in tackling songs from one of the greatest rock vocalists of all time, Ray Gillen, but that is exactly what he does night after night. Although no one can replace GillenSmith did a good job singing the Badlands tunes, including one of my favorites and likely tougher ones to sing, “High Wire”. Perhaps Smith needed to recover after singing that song because he traded spots right after with drummer, and fellow Canadian, Jonas Fairley to let the latter handle the lead vocals on another long forgotten Ozzyclassic “Rock ‘N’ Roll Rebel” from back in the ‘Bark At The Moon’ days. Fairley actually did a kick ass job singing the tune and he had a lot of presence whenever he ventured to the front of the stage while handling the singing duties. Of course, this was only possible because Smith is an excellent drummer in his own right, having previously handled holding the beat and rhythm for more than decade with Harem Scarem

Red Dragon Cartel live in Toronto, OntarioRed Dragon Cartel live in Toronto, Ontario

Funny enough, I noticed while Red Dragon Cartel‘s gear was being set up that one of the roadies advised The Rockpile West staff not to worry if the sound for the vocals wasn’t exactly right as surely Smith was going to let them know during the show based on the last comment, “You know Darren!”. Right on cue, and within a few songs, Smith was gesturing for the guitar as well as his own vocals’ sound levels to be adjusted. There is nothing wrong with being a perfectionist, as I thought that the sound was excellent overall on this night. 

I actually enjoyed the first half of the show more than the latter half because I thought that the choice of songs towards the end could have been a lot better at times. Badlands‘ classics and faster rockers such as “Street Cry Freedom”, “The Last Time”, “Dreams In The Dark”, and even the gorgeous ballad “Winter’s Call” — yes, I am a big fan of Badlands‘ debut album — were bypassed for the ballad, almost acoustic rendition of, “In A Dream” and the bluesy and slower “Sun Red Sun”. Red Dragon Cartel‘s limited setlist — only eleven songs by my count — could have done without these two songs in particular. Indeed, after the slower “Rumblin’ Train” with what seemed like an extended solo from guitar maestro Jake E. Lee, a faster paced rocker would have been a welcome addition rather than “Sun Red Sun”. I get that some might have been pleased to hear something from the last Badlands record ‘Dusk’, particularly since the album was never released when the band was in actual existence, but when only four Badlands songs are being represented why not play the best ones? If you are going to blame someone for that it is likely only Lee, as Smith made it clear when I interviewed him a while back (read the interview here) that the guitarist was calling the shots on which songs to play live. 

Red Dragon Cartel live in Toronto, OntarioRed Dragon Cartel live in Toronto, Ontario

Darren James Smith was especially respectful of Gillen‘s legacy throughout the show, pointing or looking to the sky when playing “In A Dream” and taking the time to pay tribute to his own three daughters prior to the song. One poignant moment was at the end of that song when presumably one of his daughters came onstage to give him a hug. It was tough to tell from my vantage point, but I swear I saw some misty eyes from Smith right after that. Red Dragon Cartel closed out their set with “Feeder” from their new record before coming back for one encore — “Bark At The Moon”– which seemed to have everyone in the audience singing along. Once all of the band members had left, Jake E. Lee came out to shake and tap hands from the stage with whichever audience members were still there. 

At the end of the day, Red Dragon Cartel put on a great show full of energy — although it was definitely a little on the short side. However, since I had a flight to catch in less than six hours after the show — meaning very little sleep — I actually did not mind the shorter set this time around. I look forward to seeing Red Dragon Cartel play live again later this month at the M3 Rock Festival! 

Red Dragon Cartel Setlist:
01. The Ultimate Sin (Ozzy Osbourne cover)
02. Deceived
03. War Machine
04. High Wire (Badlands cover)
05. Rock ‘N’ Roll Rebel (Ozzy Osbourne cover)
06. Shout It Out
07. In A Dream (Badlands cover)
08. Rumblin’ Train (Badlands cover)
09. Sun Red Sun (Badlands cover)
10. Feeder
Encore:
11. Bark At The Moon (Ozzy Osbourne cover)