Showing posts from July, 2018

3 questions with...TONY FRANKLIN

3 questions with…

Jimmy Page, John Sykes, Joel Hoekstra, Kenny Wayne Shepherd. What do all of these legendary guitarists have in common? A great bass player, Tony Franklin, the Fretless Monster!  Whether he's part of a band (Page's The Firm, Blue Murder with Sykes) or as the best hired gun in the business (Hoekstra, KWS and a million others) no one brings the feel, style or look like Tony Franklin.  Tony is one of the most in-demand session musicians as well as a top stage performer.  It is a true pleasure to present:

3 questions with...TONY FRANKLIN
1 - Who is your single biggest musical influence?
TF -I have many musical influences - among them are Jaco Pastorius, James Jamerson, Jimmy Page, Roy Harper, Stevie Wonder, my parents. If I had to name just one, it would probably be Queen.
2 - What is the most important (not necessarily best or favorite) song you have ever written or recorded and why?
TF - My favorite song of mine is called Watching The Story. It appeare…

3 questions with...ROB LAMOTHE

3 4questions with…

In 1990 the LA metal scene was still in full force when Epic Records put out a debut record from a band that didn't have the glitz or glam of every other act, but it did have one thing that made it stand out, Vivian Campbell, fresh from his time in Whitesnake, on the cover.  I had never heard of  Riverdogs and while Vivian may have been the draw it was the incredible songs and soulful voice of Rob Lamothe that was the hook.  Unfortunately, music began to change and Riverdogs were one of many bands that became a victim of a shifting landscape.  The band, minus Vivian, put out a few records in the 90s and Rob released a handful of brilliant solo records before reuniting.  The product of this reunion is, in my opinion, one of the great records of the last 20 years, 2017's California.  Rob, while preparing to put out a record with his 2 sons and daughter, was so gracious that I have expanded the usual 3 questions segment to an unprecedented...

4 quest…

Foo Fighters/Struts 7/12/18, Jones Beach Theater, Long Island, NY

So, someone told you rock n' roll is dead? On Saturday night in Long Island the Foo Fighters and The Struts blew that theory to bits with easily the best rock show of the year.  At 7:00 sharp with the sun still out and the venue sparsely filled the Struts took the stage and over the course of 8 songs staked their claim as the best young rock band in the game today.  Front man Luke Spiller is the 21st century love child of Mick Jagger, Freddy Mercury and David Bowie, and along with guitarist Adam Slack, bassist Jed Elliott, and drummer Gethin Davies, Spiller owned the stage while the Struts played songs off of their 2014 debut Everybody Wants as well as new music from their upcoming release. In a sign of the respect this band has, Red Hot Chili Pepper drummer Chad Smith came out and joined the band for a surprise, glammed up cover of Dancing in the Dark. Don't pass on this band if given the chance to see them, they are the next wave of rock stars!

Shortly after 8:30 with the s…

Ultimate Jam Night...David Z Tribute Concert

Friday, July 14, 2017. I received the call with the horrible news, there had been an accident...our friend, musician and all around amazing person David Z was killed in a tragic tour bus accident while on the road with Adrenaline Mob in Florida.  Dave had a way of making everyone around him feel special, he went out of his way not only for the people who actually knew him but for all of his fans. As the one year anniversary of this tragedy approaches, Dave's brother Paulie along with wife Lucia Marco  and family put together the Ultimate Jam Night at the Cutting Room in NYC on July 12 as a way to not only remember David by celebrating his life in music with friends and band mates, but to help raise money for the David Z Scholarship Fund at his alma mater Brooklyn College of Music.

It was a truly star studded night featuring people who played with David such as ZO2 members Paulie Z & Joey Cassata, Adrenaline Mob's Russell Allen & Jordan Cannata, Trans-Siberian Orchestr…

Shinedown - Attention Attention

6 out of 10

With the release of the brilliant Amaryllis in 2012 Shinedown established themselves as a leader of the new breed of rock bands.  They steadily grew over their first three records and put out a sharp, focused record that showed off the stunning vocals of Brent Smith and solid songwriting of Smith and Dave Bassett.  The follow-up, 2015's Threat to Survival, was a bit of a scattered affair and a step back but I had high hopes for a strong effort on Attention Attention

While the band is the same, one noticeable change on this record is in the songwriting partnership. Bassett, a professional songwriter and Smith's partner on the last three records only has 4 writing credits this time around.  This is a big change as the songs are ultimately the downfall.  The tracks run the gambit of every genre from hard rock to rap to funk to the obligatory ballad but there is no continuity or focus.  Even though the idea is an album that tackles human emotions and facing who you a…

3 questions with...DIZZY REED

3 questions with…

When someone asks the question "What is the biggest rock n' roll band in the world?" the answer has been the same for last 31 years...Guns N' Roses. Since 1990 the man behind the keyboards has been the one and only Dizzy Reed.  In addition to his time in Guns, Dizzy also did a stint with The Dead Daisies, his own band Hookers N' Blow, and just released an amazing new solo record Rock N' Roll Ain't Easy.  Dizzy was inducted into Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame with Guns N' Roses in 2012.

A Hall of Fame inductee deserves his own spin on a segment, so I present a very special 3 questions with...Dizzy Reed:

1 - On this record you collaborate with a lot of people outside Guns, how did the collaboration with Ricky Warwick (Almighty, Black Star Riders) come about? Musically it’s a great pairing.
DR - Del (James) had worked with Ricky on some of the Almighty records, he introduced us back in the early 90s. At that time, the three of us…

Guns N' Roses - Appetite For Destruction Reissue

11 out of 10

Appetite For Destruction. The best rock record of the 80's, quite possibly the best rock record of the 20th Century, hell, probably the best rock record ever.  The 30th anniversary of this monumental record came and went in 2017, but it gets a massive reward on it's 31st! Let me begin by explaining exactly what it is I'm reviewing as there are 5 versions of this reissue out now.  This review is based on both the 2 LP, 180 gram, audiophile edition for the main record and the Super Deluxe Edition for the bonus content.

We'll take the review one disc at a time. First up, the remaster of the classic studio record. I'm always worried when these special editions come out, my first thought is usually "why? ".  Mike Clink's production on Appetite was perfect, the work on this edition is even better.  The sound is immense.  There is no change to the mix of anything, just an overall cleanup and boost.  All the dirt you loved from the original mix is…

Megadeth - Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good: The Final Kill

7 out of 10

Reissues are always sort of a mixed bag as there are a lot of moving parts...the original record, how does the new mix/master change the original sound, what bonus material is included, what's the quality of the bonus material?Sometimes all the parts click, other times it can be a little hit or miss.  This anniversary edition falls into the latter, so I'll look into each part individually.

First, the source material. While not my favorite Megadeth record (that would probably be Peace Sells) there is no denying the impact of Killing Is My Business.  Dave Mustaine was on a mission. Armed with some of the best material from his Metallica days (I have always preferred "Mechanix" to "The Four Horseman") as well as some bone crunching new ideas, Dave and the the original Megadeth lineup recorded a classic.  However, like most low budget debuts or the era, it suffered from poor production.  For The Final Kill Megadeth not only cleaned up the sound but …