Sunday, December 9, 2018

Beach Boys Brian Wilson And Al Jardine Spread Christmas Cheer At The Toyota Oakdale Theatre

Legendary singer/songwriter and founding member of The Beach Boys, Brian Wilson, along with his 10-piece backing band strolled into the Toyota Oakdale Theatre Saturday night to spread Christmas cheer. He is currently in the midst of his holiday tour, which finds the artist, with fellow Beach Boy, Al Jardine and his band, performing the entire Beach Boys' "Christmas Album."

As the band took their positions, Brian Wilson was helped to his rightful place at center stage, right behind his white piano. The night kicked off with Brian singing lead on the Beach Boys' classic Christmas single "Little Saint Nick." The harmonies of his band are simply amazing, as displayed during the songs "The Man With All The Toys" and "We Three Kings Of Orient Are."

The spotlight was also shared by former Beach Boy, Blondie Chaplin for his performance of "Merry Christmas Baby" and the reggae-infused version of "Blue Christmas." Soulful falsetto singer Rob Bonfiglio laid down a perfect rendition of "I'll Be Home For Christmas," as his Carl Wilson-like vocals were the perfect support for Brian Wilson and Al Jardine's singing.

Jardine would introduce a couple of tracks that were recorded back in the seventies for a Beach Boys Christmas album that was never released, as he sang lead on "Winter Symphony" and Wilson on "Christmas Time Is Here Again." Wilson would also perform a couple of originals ("Christmasey" and "On Christmas Day") from his 2005 solo holiday album.

After a rocking version of "Run Rudolph Run," lead by Blondie Chaplin's guitar work, the music of The Beach Boys would take over, beginning with "Wouldn't It Be Nice" and "Sloop John B." A heartfelt rendition of "God Only Knows," sung by Wilson, and the summer vibe of "Good Vibrations" got the audience standing with applause. They stayed up to dance along to the classics "Help Me Rhonda," "Surfin' U.S.A." and "Fun, Fun, Fun," before settling back down for a beautiful rendition of "White Christmas." The night concluded with everyone, including the opening act, Beats Root Revival, gathering around Wilson's piano for an acapella version of "Auld Lang Syne." With a backing band as amazing as the one, the music of Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys will continue to live on forever.

Setlist: Little Saint Nick, The Man With All The Toys, Santa's Beard, Merry Christmas Baby, Christmas Day, Frosty The Snowman, We Three Kings Of Orient Are, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, I'll Be Home For Christmas, Blue Christmas, Christmasey, On Christmas Day, Winter Symphony, Christmas Time Is Here Again, O Holy Night, Run Rudolph Run, Wouldn't It Be Nice, Sloop John B, God Only Knows, Good Vibrations, Help Me Rhonda, Barbara Ann, Surfin' U.S.A., Fun Fun Fun, White Christmas, Auld Lang Syne

Saturday, December 8, 2018

"Dare To Be Different" Documentary Pays Homage To Cutting Edge Long Island Radio Station

Arriving December 7th on DVD and digital formats is the new documentary "New Wave: Dare To Be Different." The film is about the story of one of the most influential radio stations in America, WLIR in Long Island, NY. While not being able to compete with the country-wide radio stations of its time, WLIR took a risk and starting playing the music of some underground rock bands at the time, like U2, Talking Heads and R.E.M, just to name a few from a long, long list of artists.

Director Ellen Goldfarb uses classic new footage and videos, mixed with recent interviews about everyone praising the radio station, in order to tell a modern story of David vs. Goliath. In 1982, the station changed their format, which switched from playing music by classic pop acts like The Beatles and The Monkees, to music by new wave rockers like Billy Idol and The Pretenders. New interviews with artists like Idol, Thomas Dolby and Dave Wakeling, along with former WLIR DJs explained that their popularity came about by what the BBC was not playing on their radio stations. It allowed for this small radio station to invite the second coming of the British Invasion.

This station was one of the first in the U.S. to play songs by then unknown artists like Blondie, Madonna, Prince and even started to blur the lines between rock, pop and new wave music. Hearing the stories first hand from those who worked at the radio station is priceless. The music that WLIR was playing on the radio started spilling into the club scene in the '80's and life was good for everyone involved, that was until the station was forced to shut down in 1987.

This film is also a great reminder as to how important radio was during the '80's decade and how it help many of today's popular bands break through into the mainstream. To find out more about this new documentary "New Wave: Dare To Be Different," please visit newwavedaretobedifferent.com.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Renaissance Are On "A Symphonic Journey" With Their New Live Release

The English progressive rock band, Renaissance continues to amaze audiences all around the world. The band's history dates back nearly fifty years, but they felt renewed on their latest tour, last year, which was captured for a new 2-CD/DVD release titled "A Symphonic Journey." It was recorded at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, PA in October 2017 and showcases the band covering their classic material, but this time with the specially assembled Renaissance Chamber Orchestra.

The 11-track set begins with the orchestra warming up the crowd with the "Prologue," as lead singer Annie Haslam joins in with her voice as her instrument. Renaissance then dive back to the mid-seventies for a wonderful rendition of "Trip To The Fair," as the addition of the orchestra fills in on the instrumentation perfectly. They stick to that decade with the classical/pop feel of "Carpet Of The Sun" and the gentle ballad "At The Harbour." They close out the first half of the show with the twelve-minute progressive masterpiece, "Symphony Of Light."

Renaissance touch upon one of their earliest tracks with the acoustic, folk-based harmonies of "Island," before delivering one of the show's highlights, a magical ten-minute version of "Mother Russia," which showcases the orchestra wonderfully. They finish up their show with the epic power of "Song For All Seasons" and grace of "Ashes Are Burning." To find out more about Renaissance and their latest live release "A Symphonic Journey," please visit cherryred.co.uk.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Celebrate the 30th Anniversary Of Albums By Lenny Kravitz And Anthrax With New Vinyl Releases

In honor of the 30th anniversary of the debut album, "Let Love Rule" from Lenny Kravitz, Virgin/UMe will be releasing the entire album, for the first time on vinyl. This new 180-gram, double-LP set not only includes a beautifully remastered sound, but also includes three tracks that were previously only available on CD.

The thumping bass of "Freedom Train" will certainly rattle your speakers and wake up your neighbors. Kravtiz's sound on this debut release was so experimental that he did not stick to one genre. There is the blues of "My Precious Love," the funk of "Fear" and the grunge-like rock of "My Cab Driver." As Kravitz handled most of the instruments himself, you begin to get a sense of where his powers lie as he showcases the delicacy of "Rosemary" and the rock assault of  "Flower Child." This new vinyl release gives fans the cleanest, clearest version of the album to every be released to this point. To find out more about this new vinyl re-issue of "Let Love Rule," please visit facebook.com/lennykravitz.

Another album celebrating its 30th anniversary is the fourth release from thrash metal giants, Anthrax. Their album "State Of Euphoria" followed the mega-successful "Among The The Living" and delivered a more aggressive, less commercial sound, despite containing one of their biggest hits "Antisocial."

To celebrate the album's anniversary, Island Records/UMe released a 2-LP set and a 2-CD set of the album, with 15 bonus tracks. The original ten song album was remastered for this release, as you can hear that extra punch in the drums of "Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind" and "Who Cares Wins." The chugging guitars of "Misery Loves Company" and "Finale" will simply rock your speakers with its new cleaner sound. The first CD disc closes with an additional six tracks that were released as B-sides to the songs "Antisocial" and "Make Me Laugh." These six bonus tracks also appear on side 4 of the double-vinyl anniversary release of the album.

The second disc of the 2-CD set contains nine tracks dubbed "Charlie's Archives," as they feature demo versions to almost every song on the album. As you listen, you are given insight into the development of this music as the tapes were just rolling when Anthrax were recording at Quadradial Studios in Miami, FL. It is really great to be given this access into how these metal giants created some of their masterpieces. To find out more about this new 30th anniversary release of Anthrax's "State Of Euphoria" album, please visit anthrax.com.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

New Music From David Cross/Andrew Booker, John Greaves, Fernando Perdomo and Dean Ford

Former King Crimson member, David Cross and former No-Man member, Andrew Booker teamed up in 2006 to work together in the studio. The duo recorded about half-a-dozen songs together, but the project was shelved, until now. After twelve years, David Cross & Andrew Booker's previously unreleased studio album will see the light of day. It features seven-tracks that definitely highlights the talents of both artists as they stepped out of their comfort zones. Their collaboration explodes on the nine-minute adventure "The Shakes Rattled," as you can feel both artists pushing one another to be the best. They look to expand upon their sound with the space-rock approach of "Sleek," while Booker's drums lend a little excitement to Cross' solo in "Worship The Gourds." The album closes with the worldly, experimental sounds of "End Meeting" and the short ambient keyboard sounds of "Loopscape B." To find out more about this newly released collaboration between David Cross and Andrew Booker, please visit cherryred.co.uk.

British bassist/composer John Greaves (Henry Cow) recently released his new studio album "Life Size" on November 30th. It features twelve tracks, beginning with the French-sung piano ballad "Air de la Lune." Greaves continues with the ambient backdrop of "The Same Thing," as his baritone vocals demand your full attention. Vocalist Annie Barbazza lends her beautiful voice to the Italian-sung acoustic folk ballad. The two team up for the quiet passion of "Earthy Powers" and the electronic, Bowie-like delivery of "Still Life." The angelic voice of Himiko Paganotti will simply melt your musical soul with the subtle touch of "La Lune Blanche," before John Greaves closes out his new album with the quiet emotions of "How Beautiful You Are" and the spoken word of "Lie Still, Sleep Behind." To find out more about John Greaves and his latest release "Life Size," please visit johngreaves.org.uk.

Progressive rock artist Fernando Perdomo recently released his fifth studio album titled "Zebra Crossing." The excitement of Perdomo's new album album is felt in his music, as he felt honored to be recording this record as the famous Abby Road Studios. He begins with the build up of "I'm Here" and "Sometimes I Feel Nothing At All," as you can imagine him working in the studio with the ghosts of Beatles' albums past lending a hand to his contemporary pop sound. The album's first single "Find Love (Hold On)" is where Fernando finds his pulse with this up-tempo rocker, which features the work of Danny Ayala, Megan Zeankowski and Ken Sharp. The album continues with the gentle blues of "Somehow" and the stellar guitar instrumental "Not Meant To Be." Fernanado Perdomo wraps up his new album with the wonderful acoustic/folk melody of "Sundays" and a spot on cover of The Beatles' "While My Guitar Gentle Weeps," which also features Diane Birch, Shawn Lee, Jason and Daphne Rowe. To find out more about Fernando Perdomo and his latest release "Zebra Crossing," please visit fernandoperdomo.com.


Scottish singer/songwriter Dean Ford recently released his new double-album titled "This Scottish Heart." It features thirty tracks that will solidify Ford as an established solo artist following his work in the U.K. group, Marmalade. The set mixes genres, from the energetic rock of "Running Out Of Time" to the country vibe of "The Blue Angel." His voice is so warm and inviting on the acoustic folk ballads "Butterflies In June" and "I Got You." He delivers such beautiful harmonies on the religious/Christmas story of "Precious Little Boy," before closing out the first disc with the electronic/keyboard pop of "He's An Angel" and the quiet lullaby of "Dreamland."

He begins the second disc with the energetic Celtic strumming of "Glasgow Road" and the gentle, acoustic storied ballad "Bonnie Mary." His songwriting shines in the simple sounds of "Daddy" and "For McDougall," before finishing with his cover of Marmadade's biggest hit "Reflections Of My Life." To find out more about Dean Ford and his latest release, "This Scottish Heart," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/groups/deanford.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Manifesto Records Begins Allan Holdsworth Live Archive Series With "Live In Japan 1984"

British born guitarist/composer Allan Holdsworth was one of the innovators of jazz fusion, with a career that lasted over four decades. Known for his complex cord progression and intricate solos, Holdsworth has been named as an influence by some of the world's biggest artists like Eddie Van Halen (Van Halen), Alex Lifeson (Rush) and Joe Satriani (Chickenfoot).

On December 7th, Manifesto Records will be releasing the first volume of an ongoing live archive series from Allan Holdsworth. This first release showcases Allan and his band, I.O.U., "Live In Japan 1984." The twelve-song set displays highlights from his first three solo albums, while also introducing tracks from his soon to be released album, "Metal Fatigue." The first 1,000 copies of this new release includes a DVD of the performance, which definitely makes this very worthy, as you are able to watch the master at work.

The CD plays through the entire set, while the DVD intersperses interview segments from Japanese television. The film certainly is not in high definition, given its age, but the close-ups on Allans guitar work is phenomenal, especially on songs like "Panic Station" and "Material Real." The excitement of this release comes together when the entire band locks in and becomes one unit, as in the rocking groove of "Metal Fatigue" and the progressive space rock of "The Things You See (When You Haven't Got Your Gun)." The album closes with "Was There?," which will certainly remind you of how great of an artist Allan Holdsworth was and the power of his band, I.O.U. To find out more about this new release "Live In Japan 1984," please visit manifesto.com/allan-holdsworth.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Rush's "Hemispheres" Gets Deluxe 40th Anniversary Release With Unreleased Live Concert

This year marks the 40th anniversary of one of Rush's most progressive albums, "Hemispheres." After the success of their previous two albums ("2112" & "A Farewell To Kings"), Rush tried to push the boundaries of their music, especially with their 18-minute, complex suite, "Cygus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres." This album ended up taking so much time and energy from the band, that they would not return with another new album for two more years.

This new deluxe, 40th anniversary release came out on November 16th as a 2-CD set and a triple-vinyl set, which includes a previously unreleased live show from 1979. The set includes the 2015 remastered edition of the album, which will appear for the first time on CD. The sound is simply amazing, as Rush, along with UMe, continue to deliver a masterful collection of Rush material. The remaster especially shines on the quiet acoustics of "The Trees" and the grand, guitar-led epic "La Villa Strangiato."

While most die-hard fans may already have the bonus concert in bootleg form, which was recorded at the Pinkpop Festival in June 1979, this is definitely the first time that it ever sounded this good. Almost the entire show is present, except for the entire "2112" suite. The Pinkpop Festival was originally recorded for a possible live album release, following the release of the "Hemispheres" album, but the idea was eventually shelved. Now, Rush fans can rejoice at having almost the entire show present in amazing quality. This new anniversary set does include a version of "2112," recorded seven months earlier during a "Hemispheres" tour stop in Tuscon, AZ. The sound is a bit rough, nowhere near high-quality, but the historic value and performance more that makes up for the recordings imperfections. To find out more about this great 40th anniversary edition of Rush's "Hemispheres" album, please visit rush.com.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Sheryl Crow Encompasses Her Entire Career Into New "Live At The Capitol Theatre" Release

American recording artist, Sheryl Crow has had a successful solo career that is entering its third decade. She is a hit-making machine, with five platinum selling albums and three top ten singles. Her latest release is her only her third full-length live album, but it is also her most personable. It was recorded during her 2017 "Be Myself Tour" and is presented "Live At The Capitol Theatre." It was released on November 9th, as a 2-CD set, along with a DVD or Blu-ray.

The 21-song set is a run through of many of her greatest hits, along with a couple of cover tracks and some new, politically-charged anthems. Throughout the show, Crow is sporting a tank top with the word "Grateful" spelled out in gold and that is exactly how I think she feels about this new live release. Not many artist release their best live album 25 years after their debut album, but Sheryl Crow is that timeless artist that crossed many genres and age groups.

She come dancing out on to the stage with the beat of "Everyday Is A Winding Road" and "A Change Would Do You Good." She immediately warms up to the audience with a couple of her earliest hits, "All I Wanna Do" and "My Favorite Mistake." This is Sheryl Crow's first visit to the Capitol Theatre venue and she certainly makes the most of it, provoking the ghosts of past performers to come out and dance to her cover of Cat Stevens' "The First Cut Is The Deepest" and the Rolling Stones' inspired "There Goes The Neighborhood." 

Sheryl Crow is on cruise control with "Leaving Las Vegas" and "Strong Enough," as she now has the audience eating out of her hand. The film does intersperse some interview segments as Crow talks about her first album and the loss of music icons, David Bowie, Prince and Tom Petty. She finishes her show as strong as she started it, with the fun romp of "Soak Up The Sun," her cover of the Allman Brothers Band's "Midnight Rider" and the quiet inspirational blues of "I Shall Believe." To find out more about Sheryl Crow "Live At The Capitol Theatre," please visit sherylcrow.com.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Get "Revitalized" With New Remixes Of Billy Idol Classics

The story goes that when Billy Idol first arrived in the U.S., following the break-up of his punk band, Generation X, he stepped into a club in New York which was playing a dance version of their hit song "Dancing With Myself." Since then, Idol has always been attracted to his songs getting remixed, as displayed within his platinum selling remix set "Vital Idol." With the 30th anniversary of that release arriving last year, Idol though it would be great to update the idea with new remixes of some of his classic hits. But, instead of including the songs of "Vital Idol" along side these new mixes, Captiol Records/UMe released a new set of remixes titled "Vital Idol: Revitalized."

It features 11 brand-new remixes by some of today's top DJs, like Moby, The Chrystal Method and Paul Oakenfold. Fans may find this release a mixed-bag of treats, with highs like RAC's mix of "Dancing With Myself" and Juan Maclean's update of "Catch My Fall," sitting next to near-misses like Moby's mix of "(Do Not) Stand In The Shadows," which includes an unneeded filter on Idol's vocals. One of the odder inclusion on this set is Paul Oakenfold's remix of "One Breath Away" and not because of the mix, which is perfect for the dance clubs, but the fact that it is not a well-known song outside of Billy Idol's fanbase. DJDS gives "To Be A Lover" an entirely different feel, by removing the rockabilly swing of the original song and instead delivers a steady bouncing beat, highlighted by runs of piano keys. This new set closes with a new reworking of "Hot In the City" by Shotgun Mike, which doesn't stand up next to the version from "Vital Idol," but gives it a more laid-back vibe.

The set was originally released back in September on CD and digitally, with the digital version including an extra 4 bonus tracks, like alternative versions of "One Breath Away" and "(Do Not) Stand In The Shadows." But, the true way to hear this set is on the newly released double-vinyl set, which was recently released on November 16th. To find out more about "Vital Idol: Revitalized," please visit billyidol.net/vital-idol-revitalized.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Roy Orbison And The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Team-Up Once Again For More "Unchained Melodies"

Back in November 2017, Roy's Boys, in association with Sony Legacy, released the sensational compilation "A Love So Beautiful: Roy Orbison & The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra." It featured 15 classic Orbison tracks that were reworked to included the stunning sounds of The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Now, on November 16th, lightening strikes again with a brand new 15-song compilation that teams up the iconic vocals of Roy Orbison with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra once again.

None of the songs on this new release duplicate last years album, as even more of Orbison's biggest hits are featured on this release. The well-known classics like "Blue Bayou," "Leah" and "Walk On," which were voted by fans to be included in this new set, only added to Orbison's endless legacy. Another example of the timeless sound of Roy Orbison's voice, is his interpretations of well-known hits like "Unchained Melody," "The Great Pretender" and "Danny Boy." Listening to this new release feels as if these songs were originally intended to be given the orchestration treatment as the mix is perfect with the songs "She's A Mystery To Me" and "The Crowd." The set closes with rising country singer Cam performing a duet with Roy Orbison on his swinging song "Heartbreak Radio." To find out more about the newly released "Unchained Melodies: Roy Orbison with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra," please visit royorbison.com.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

New Music From Sandoval Band, High South, The Thin Cherries, Youniverse, The High Loves and Evan Myall

Meriden, CT-based rock/funk group, Sandoval Band recently released their new album titled "Sound Of All, Episode One." It features 13-tracks, beginning with a classic rock sound, mixed with the R&B-styled lyrics of "Make A Way." The band then dives back to the bluesy/country roots of "You Gotta Let Go (Move On)," which is highlighted by some sweet slide guitar work. Their funkiness comes shining through on the up-tempo groove of "Got Nothin' Without You" and the beats of "Fake News (We Can Change)." The Sandoval Band slow things down and finish up the first half of their album with the mellow, jazz-like piece "Say Amen (We Believe In You)." The second half of their new album finds band leader, Jean Sandoval discussing the songs and how they came to be. To find out more about the Sandoval Band and their latest release "Sound Of All, Episode One," please visit sandovalband.com.

Next up from Nashville comes the American debut release titled "Change In The Wind" from the Americana/Roots trio, High South. Their new six-song EP begins with the track "Make It Better," which sounds like it was heavily influenced by Crosby, Stills and Nash. The album continues with The Band inspired "Joshua Tree," which will make you wonder if this came from the "Music From Big Pink" sessions. The band's beautiful acoustics and sweet harmonies are highlighted on the gentle touch of "Honestly." High South finish up their new, all too short, release with raw, country rocker "Love Ain't Gonna Let You Down" and the up-lifting, inspiration of "Change In The Wind." To find out more about High South and their latest release "Change In The Wind," please visit highsouthofficial.com.


Moving on to Chicago is the sophomore release from the alternative/psychedelic rock band, The Thin Cherries. Their new album titled "On Moose Island" features ten tracks, beginning with the dreamy rock approach of the titled song "Moose Island." The acoustic strumming of "Soviet" slows down the tempo, while "Follow Sun" feels like it was a forgotten gem from the sixties British invasion. The Thin Cherries modernize their sound with the up-tempo, electronic beats of "I Don't Know You At All," before delivering the mellow, psych-rock of "Espresso Pedals." They wrap up their new album with the addictive, alt-pop melody of "Novato" and the six-minute relaxation of "Leanne," as the band leave you calm and content. To find out more about The Thin Cherries and their latest release "On Moose Island," please visit thethincherries.bandcamp.com.


Next, we have the debut release from the Slovakian industrial/electro band, The Youniverse. Their new album titled "CMYK" includes 15 tracks of experimental wonder, as they keep you guessing which way their music is going. The Youniverse break up their new release into four different sections, to match the different color representation of "CMYK." Beginning with cyan, the album starts off with the electronic blues of "Silver" and the raw, experimental rock of "Har(d)b(r)inger." Next we move on to the magenta side of the album, with the space-rock, pop tones of "Breathe" and the R&B ballad "Riverbanks." As we move on to yellow, you begin to get a sense of how the songs in each group relate to one another. The industrial electronics of "Eye Of The Storm" burns with passions, while "Three Little Monkeys" draws you in with its addictive keyboard riff and pop beats. The Youniverse close out their new album with the black section, which includes the guitar buzzing blues of "Ammo Box" and the dance beats of "Bubblegum Pants." To find out more about The Youniverse and their latest release "CMYK," please visit the band's Facebook page at facebook.com/tammyxyouniverse.


Next from Toronto, Canada comes the return of The High Loves with their new five-song EP titled "Serotonin." The album begins with the band's latest single "You Already Knew," which delivers a post-punk energy with a youthful, addictive chorus that will easily stick in you head. They continue to deliver the passion with the up-tempo strumming of "Winding Up Nowhere" and "Serotonin," before closing their new short release with the quieter pop harmonies of "High-Rise." To find out more about The High Loves and their latest release "Serotonin," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/thehighloves.


Last, but certainly not least we have the latest release from California-based singer/songwriter, Evan Myall. His new album titled "Basic Gardening" follows his string of seven other studio albums that has made Evan an international artist on the independent touring circuit. His new release begins with the wonderful modern rock approach of "Devil's Shoes" and the majestic, sweeping melody of "Who." The album's lead single, "Frances" has an bright, electronic pop sound that should fit right at home on alternative-pop radio. Evan wraps up his new album with the floating sonic backdrop of "I Want U" and the build-up of the emotional ballad "Phoenix." To find out more about Evan Myall and his latest release "Basic Gardening," please visit evanmyall.com.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Explore New Music From Eraldo Bernocchi and Anguish On RareNoise Records

Musician, composer and co-founder of RareNoise Records, Eraldo Bernocchi is preparing to release a new album title "Like A Fire That Consumes All Before It." The new release features Bernocchi handling all the instrumentation as the music is an underscore for the film "Cy Dear," about the famous American artist, Cy Twombly. The music just floats on by with its ambient feel, as it's intention is to only add emotion to the films subject matter. The soundtrack will not excite you, but instead give you a calming feel, that allows you to just listen and relax. Most of the tracks on this 18-song release are only a few minutes long, as Eraldo Bernocchi is able to showcase some of his latest instrumental work. He incorporates subtle industrial beats on "The Silver Laugh" to give his music a more modern feel. He delivers a Pink Floydian sound to "A Crack In Time," before closing with the gentle touch of piano on "Near By Distance." To find out more about Eraldo Bernocchi and his latest release "Like A Fire That Consumes All Before It," please visit eraldobernocchi.com.


Next, we get the new experimental outing from the all-star line-up of Will Brooks, Mats Gustafsson, Hans Joachim Irmler, Mike Mare and Andreas Werliin. Their new album is titled "Anguish," and features a free-form infused jazz, Krautrock sound with no parallel. The music sounds as if it came from some random jam sessions as the opening track "Vibrations" has very little form attached to it. You are simply drawn in by the wonder of what comes next. The music moves into the hip-hop territory with the solid rhythm and rolling vocals of "Gut Feeling." The poetry of "Healer's Lament" is stunning as the ambient backdrop adds to the emotions of the lyrics. The nine-song set closes with the buzz of "A Maze Of Decay" and the seven-minute steady climb of "Wumme." To find out more about the new release of "Anguish," please visit rarenoiserecords.com/anguish.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Celebrate 50 Years Of The Rolling Stones' "Beggars Banquet" & Find Out Their Favorite Blues Songs With "Confessin' The Blues"

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of some iconic albums, like The Jimi Hendrix Experience "Electric Ladyland" and The Beatles' "White Album," let's not forget that The Rolling Stones also released a monumental album, "Beggars Banquet." It is the last album that was fully recorded with the band's original line-up of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts. It also includes two of the band's biggest hit singles, "Sympathy For The Devil" and "Street Fighting Man." "Beggars Banquet" was a return to the band's roots, after their 1967 psychedelic trip "Their Satanic Majestic Requests," as it featured a more stripped-down sound.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the album, ABKCO Records released a new remastered, 180-gram vinyl package, which also includes the 12" mix of "Sympathy Of The Devil" and a flexi-disc containing a 1968 interview with Mick Jagger. The sound on this new vinyl is so spectacular, that you just want to raise the volume as loud as you can and float back in 1968 all over again. You can hear every strum of the guitar on "Parachute Woman" and feel the dirtiness of "Stray Cat Blues." The tapping of piano keys during the studio jam of "Jig-Saw Puzzle" and the sweet country acoustics of "Prodigal Son" are pure bliss, as you finally hear this music the way it was intended.

The double LP set comes housed with it's original, banned "toilet" cover with the less offensive "wedding invitation" included as a slipcase. On the flip-side of the "Sympathy For The Devil" 12" single is an etching of the album's original cover. To find out more about this new 50th anniversary release of The Rolling Stones' "Beggars Banquet," please visit abkco.com.

Speaking of The Rolling Stones, we get a brand new compilation of some of the biggest blues artists of all time, handpicked by The Stones for this release. This new 2-CD, or 2x2 vinyl set, titled "Confessin' The Blues" includes 42 of the original blues hits from such legendary artists as Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf and Bo Diddley and that's only scratching the surface of what is included in this set.

The blues played such an important roll into the development of The Rolling Stones, that the band members felt the need to pay homage to the genre by picking their favorites. Guitarist Ronnie Wood has described the blues as "how Mick (Jagger) and Keith (Richards) first got close." The cover art of this new release is also an original painting of Woods. Proceeds from the sales of this set, benefit the Willie Dixon Blues Heaven Foundation.

All of the tracks in this set are blues standards, to which all other blues songs came from. You have "Key To The Highway" by Big Bill Broonzy" and "Stop Breakin' Down Blues" by Robert Johnson, which laid the groundwork for Otis Rush's "I Can't Quit You" and Buddy Guy's "Damn Right I've Got The Blues." As you listen to this amazing set of music, you can follow the common thread that binds the blues together, no matter the artist. With this release, school is in session and The Rolling Stones, who started out their career singing the blues, have provided the perfect criteria of what it takes to sing the blues. To find out more about "Confessin' The Blues," please visit rollingstones.com.

Monday, November 26, 2018

William "Shatner Claus" Pays You A Visit, Along With New Christmas Albums From Mitch Ryder and Thor

This Christmas, we will receive a trio of new holiday-themed albums from none other than William Shatner, Mitch Ryder and even classic heavy metal artist, Thor. All three of these artists are getting into the holiday spirit, releasing their first ever Christmas albums, beginning with "Shatner Claus." 

This 14-song release from William Shatner features a load of special guests as Shatner talks his way through the holiday album. Right from the beginning, Shatner does his best to get you into the Christmas spirit with his recital of "Jingle Bells," with help from Henry Rollins. Shatner then describes what it would be like to be stranded with Brad Paisley during "Blue Christmas" and enjoys rocking out with Todd Rundgren and Artimus Pyle during "Frosty The Snowman." The mood gets serious during of the reading of "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" as Rick Wakeman lays down the perfect piano backdrop to support William Shatner's iconic voice. One of the best songs on this new album features the collaboration of Shatner with guitarist/singer Billy Gibbons on the rockabilly swing of "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer." The album finishes with a wonderful lounge/jazz version of "White Christmas," which finds Shatner teaming up with Judy Collins on this new holiday staple. To find out more about William Shatner's first holiday album, "Shatner Claus," please visit williamshatner.com.


Michigan native Mitch Ryder has been rocking the music scene for over four decades with his backing band, The Detroit Wheels, but this year features his first holiday album titled "Christmas (Take A Ride)." The new twelve track release kicks off with the soulful rock of "What Christmas Means To Me" and the up-tempo, swinging rhythm of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town." Mitch Ryder settles in perfectly to the R&B ballad "Someday At Christmas," while "Santa Claus" is a full-on rock assault that shows that Ryder can still rock with the best of them. He wraps up his first holiday-themed album with the fun, light-hearted groove of "Sleigh Ride" and a closing message of positiveness with "Put A Little Love In Your Heart." To find out more about Mitch Ryder and his new release "Christmas (Take A Ride)," please visit cleorecs.com.


Maybe one of the oddest Christmas albums to arrive this holiday season comes from classic heavy metal artist, Thor. The new release titled "Christmas In Valhalla" features nine original tracks that are geared toward metalheads and rockers looking to break away from traditional Christmas songs. The album kicks off with Thor's homage to "two of the fastest reindeer," with the high-powered energy jolt of "Donner And Blitzen." Thor keeps the holiday spirit alive with "Gonna Have A Rockin' Christmas," before getting a bit darker with the classic heavy metal appeal of "Slay Rider." He eases thing up with the power ballad "Our Last Christmas," then brings back the hard rock assault with the chugging rhythm of "Lend Me Your Ears." Thor wraps up his new Christmas album with the poetry reading of "Cold St. Nick" as ambient keyboard sounds swirl in the background. To find out more about Thor's first holiday-themed album "Christmas In Valhalla," please visit cleorecs.com.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Let Los Straitjackets Get You Into The Holiday Spirit With Their New "Complete Christmas Songbook"

Perfect timing for the holidays, the mask-wearing, surf-rock instrumentalists, Los Straitjackets recently released their new compilation "Complete Christmas Songbook." It features every holiday song the band has recorded in their 30 year career. All 27-tracks have been previously released, beginning with their first holiday album "'Tis The Season For Los Straitjackets" all the way through to their most recent holiday adventure, "Linus & Lucy" taken from a live show with Nick Lowe.

The first 13-tracks make up Los Straitjackets first delivery of Christmas cheer, which dates back to 2002. Songs like the "La Bamba" inspired "Feliz Navidad," the lounge feel of "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer" and the big band swing of "Frosty The Snowman" will fill your speakers with joy. The next 10-tracks were featured on their second full-length holiday album "Yuletide Beat" and the energy and excitement of the season continues with the Dick Dale guitar influence of "We Three Kings" and the power rock ballad "Groovy Old Saint Nick." They inject some R&B flavor into "Joy To The World" and then deliver the jazzy sounds of "Soul'd Lang Syne."

The final four tracks of this new compilation are taken from other releases by the band, including the fun times of "Holiday Twist" and the 2011 limited edition Christmas single "Hark The Herald Angels Sing" with "Silver Bells." Let's not forget the wonderful Los Straitjackets' ska version of "Linus And Lucy," which closes out this new compilation on a high, energetic note. This new release became available on CD (October 19th) and coming soon to vinyl (December 7th). To find out more about Los Straitjackets new holiday compilation "Complete Christmas Songbook," please visit yeproc.11spot.com.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

The Brian Setzer Orchestra Celebrates Their 15th Anniversary At Foxwoods With Christmas Classics

I can't think of a better way to kick off the holiday season, than by checking out the Brian Setzer Orchestra on their "Christmas Rocks!" tour. The rockabilly icon paid a returning visit to the Grand Theater at the Foxwoods Resort & Casino on Friday night, and he brought his 19-piece orchestra along for the ride. Brian Setzer would also rename the venue to "Foxywoods," in order to make the night sound a little more sexy.

The night would blast off with a trio of Christmas hits, including a couple of Setzer reworkings, "Dig That Crazy Santa Claus" and "Gettin' In The Mood (For Christmas)." The night was not only a celebration of the holiday season kicking off, but also Setzer and his orchestra are celebrating their 15th anniversary with this tour.

The Brian Setzer Orchestra then slipped in a couple Stray Cats classics with "Stray Cat Strut" and "Runaway Boys." Setzer showed off his new shiny red guitar (that he got early for Christmas), as he lead the band through a jamming, solo-filled, swinging Christmas version of "Boogie Woogie Santa Claus. Next, it was time for Brian's stellar back-up singers (Julie Setzer and Leslie Spencer) to grab the spotlight with their choral rendition of "Angels We Have Heard On High."

Brian Setzer described the sound of his orchestra as a "Cadillac that just run perfect." He showcased that power by taking the audience to the next level with his cover of the Louis Prima classic "Jump, Jive and Wail." Setzer would also perform others covers that night, including The Beatles' "Hey Bulldog" and the Johnny Cash classic "Ring Of Fire."

The youthful side of Brian Setzer came pouring out as the rockabilly trio of Setzer's longtime bassist Johnny Hatton and drummer Noah Levy came together for an explosion of energy performing the Stray Cats' "Fishnet Stockings." Setzer closed out the set with another Stray Cats classic, "Rock This Town," as everyone was swinging to the rockabilly sound.

After an evening of some Stray Cats, Beatles and Johnny Cash, now it was time for the Brian Setzer Orchestra to cover Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker Suite." This nearly eight-minute instrumental was the perfect way for Setzer to re-introduce his stellar orchestra, before closing the evening with the sing-along of "Jingle Bells." As the snow began to fall in the theater, Brian Setzer and his orchestra wished everyone a Merry Christmas by sending them home with memories of these holiday classics.

Setlist: Dig That Crazy Santa Claus, Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree, Gettin' In The Mood (For Christmas), Stray Cat Strut, Boogie Woogie Santa Claus, Gene & Eddie, Angels We Have Heard On High, Runaway Boys, Jump Jive and Wail, Here Comes Santa Claus, The Dirty Boogie, Hey Bulldog, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, Rockabilly Boogie, Ring Of Fire, Fishnet Stockings, Rock This Town
Encore: The Nutcracker Suite, Jingle Bells

Friday, November 23, 2018

Re-Discover The Amazing Talents Of Chris Cornell With This New Deluxe Edition Box Set

On May 18, 2017, the world lost a musical icon when singer/songwriter/musician Chris Cornell lost his battle with depression and took his own life. The legacy he left behind, can only be summed up as, "Amazing!" Leading three bands, Soundgarden, Temple Of The Dog and Audioslave, Cornell was at every turning point in the development of rock music. In order to showcase all his musical talents, The Chris Cornell Estate is association with UMe released a career-spanning, four-disc, 64-track compilation titled simply "Chris Cornell." It was released on November 16th, and is also available as a single 17-track CD and double-vinyl LP.

This set starts out with Cornell, and the early days of his Seattle-grunge band, Soundgarden. As you listen to the songs "All Your Lies" and "Loud Love," you will instantly recognize that Soundgarden were ahead of their time. The Seattle music scene did not fully catch on until 1991, and these early Soundgarden tracks helped build that strong foundation. The first disc continues with the more well-known Soundgarden hits like "Outshined," "Black Hole Sun" and "Spoonman," but not before a couple of well-known songs from the all-star Seattle band, Temple Of The Dog. The hidden gems are the Chris Cornell solo-acoustic song "Seasons" (from the "Singles" soundtrack) and his cover of "Hey Baby (Land Of The New Rising Sun)" (from the Jimi Hendrix tribute album "Stone Free").

The second disc starts out with some of Cornell's most vulnerable work, as his voice will just melt your soul on the simple acoustics of "Sunshower" and "Sweet Europhia." Then the power of Audioslave takes over as you rock out to "Like A Stone" and "Cochise," as this super-group breathed new life into the frontman. Some highlights from the second disc include the theme song "You Know My Name" from the James Bond movie "Casino Royale" and his delicate cover of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean."

The next disc includes some of Chris Cornell's team-ups with Slash ("Promise"), Santana ("Whole Lotta Love") and Joy Williams ("Misery Chain"). This disc also includes some of Cornell's more recent recordings, including emotional live acoustic versions of "Call Me A Dog" and "I Am The Highway" from his "Songbook Tour." This disc closes with a couple of soundtrack entries ("'Til The Sun Comes Back Around" from "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi" and "Stay With Me Baby" from "Vinyl"), along with the previously unreleased track "When Bad Does Good," which almost feels like a autobiographical piece, as Cornell sings his heart out on this slow-burning ballad.

The fourth disc in this set is where fans will flock to as it contains a number of previously unreleased live tracks. Beginning with the Soundgarden cover of Black Sabbath's "Into The Void," you are in for a magical treat as each song just gets better and better. From listening to Cornell belt out the chorus of "Show Me How To Live" from Audioslave live in Cuba, to the honest, gentle touch of his solo acoustic version of Temple Of The Dog's "All Night Thing," this set showcases the purity in Cornell's vocals. His acoustic version of Prince's "Nothing Comperes 2 U" is just heart-wrenching, as is his duet with his daughter on the Bob Marley classic "Redemption Song." This set will only solidified the Midas touch that Chris Cornell presented to whatever he was a part of, whether it was in a band or just solo, Cornell was an icon and may his music live on forever in the hearts of his fans. To find out more about this new amazing box set, please visit chriscornell.com.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Shawn Mullins "Soul's Core Revival" Revisits His Hit Album For Its 20th Anniversary

When you are best known by only one album, or even only one song, it may be tough to break away from that, in order for people to see you as an enduring artist. Well, singer/songwriter Shawn Mullins has embraced that type of fame. After a trio of independent releases, Mullins became a staple on the radio with his 1998 hit single "Lullaby." The song was a top ten single around the world and catapulted Mullins into musical superstardom. His album "Soul's Core" reached the top ten here in the U.S. and in the U.K. He would eventually record another five solo albums, with only minor success.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of that special album, and to celebrate, Shawn Mullins recently released a newly recorded version of that special album. The new release titled "Soul's Core Revival" features not one, but two new versions of the album, one electric and one acoustic. Mullins also assembled a brand new band to help breathe new life into his music.

This 2-CD set features the same line-up of songs on each disc that mirrors the album's original release. As you begin to listen to this new recording, you will first notice the deep, slightly more gruff tone to Mullins' vocals, but that adds to the wonderful storied lyrics that he wrote 20 years prior. The experiences heard in his voice give more authenticity to the songs "Twin Rocks, Oregon" and "Soul Child," as you once again warm up to Mullins's iconic sound. His cover of Kris Kristofferson's "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down" seems to fit in much better on this version of "Soul's Core Revival," as you can feel the emotion in his singing. Let's not forget the two hit songs that came from the "Soul's Core" album, "Lullaby" and "Shimmer," which still have those magical qualities as you once again feel like its 1998 all over again.

The addition of the acoustic disc feels like an episode of the MTV show, "Storytellers," as Shawn Mullins introduces each track with a story. You also get to concentrate more on Shawn's amazing lyrics and hearing the stories will make you listen to these songs in a different light. Plus, having these stripped down versions allows you to notice how timeless the music on this album is. To find out more about Shawn Mullin's "Soul's Core Revival," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/pg/ShawnMullinsMusic.