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Showing posts from June, 2019

A Conversation with Blues Singer James Montgomery

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Perhaps no genre of music has a history as deep an uniquely American as the blues.  Whether it's the traditional blues of the Mississippi Delta, Chicago, Detroit, or yes, the vibrant blues scene in the Northeast, James Montgomery has been part of it for close to 50 years.  I had the absolute pleasure of talking blues with James and we covered everything from James Cotton and John Lee Hooker to Paul Butterfield and Johnny Winter to what makes the blues scene thrive in places like New England and Rochester, NY.  James and his band will be headlining the Great American Hemp & Blues Festival on July 10th at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT. Please press Play below to hear the MisplacedStraws.com Conversation with James Montgomery: On playing festivals - It's great, it gives you a chance to catch up with all your compadres backstage and kind of pal around and sometimes sit in and jam, so they're a lot of fun.  I'm probably doing 10 or 12 this summer. 2:40

Ultimate Jam Night NYC, David Z Fund Benefit, The Cutting Room 6/13/19

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The Ultimate Jam Night, a weekly staple at the famed Whisky A Go Go on Los Angeles' Sunset Strip, made it's return to NYC on June 13 and this time with a purpose, a benefit for the David Z Fund .  David Z was the immensely talented bass player and vocalist for such bands as ZO2, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, SOTO, Adrenaline Mob, Rubix Kube and others.  His brother and ZO2 band mate Paulie Z serves as the MC of the weekly Jam and is responsible for bringing it into New York. ZO-No! The concept of the Ultimate Jam Night is to bring together talented musicians and singers from various backgrounds to play classic songs.  Being a benefit for the David Z fund, most of the performers had a relationship with David and some, like American Idol and Rock of Ages alum Constantine Maroulis, brought friends like former Idol contestant Anthony Federov. Kids Jam Adam Abbas, Paulie Z, Constantine Maroulis The night began with a special jam.  Part of the mission of the Fund i

A Conversation with Legendary Vocalist Geoff Tate

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When the topic of the greatest singers in rock and metal comes up, nearly every list will contain the name Geoff Tate.  From his classic work fronting Queensryche to his band Operation:Mindcrime to his work with Avatansia and Sweet Oblivion, Geoff Tate's voice is instantly recognizable and loved by millions.  I had the fortune to spend some time with Geoff as he prepares for the Tail Winds Music Fest on June 29 and discuss his entire career from the early days to the real story behind Operation:Mindcrime to what's in store for Empire 's 30th Anniversary in 2020.  There are some brief connection issues early but the audio is fine after the first minute. Please press Play below to listen to the MisplacedStraws.com Conversation with Geoff Tate: On playing a festival as opposed to a regular gig - You have a talk with your people and you say "ok look we're going into a festival and you've got to have your festival head on and go in there and fight for your

The ALTIMATE Tour - Bush/Live/Our Lady Peace at The Grand Theater, Foxwoods Casino, Mashantucket, CT June 6, 2019

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1994 was a pivotal year in rock music.  Not only was the grunge scene beginning to dominate the music landscape but we also saw the rise of alt-rock.  These were bands that thrived on the college radio scene of the early 90's and burst into the mainstream during this monumental year.  Now these bands are beginning to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the landmark releases that, in most cases, defined their careers.  The ALITMATE tour, which had it's opening night in the Grand Theater at Foxwoods Casino on June 6 brought three of these bands together. After a brief opening set from Canada's Our Lady Peace the night featured full headlining sets by both Live and Bush. Our Lady Peace released their first record in Canada in 1994.  While not their biggest release, Naveed did contain their breakthrough single "Starseed".  Our Lady Peace wasn't the biggest band but did have a handful of hits in their career which could easily have filled up their 30 minut

A Conversation with Vocalist Jeff Scott Soto

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Very few musicians can boast of a resume that rivals Jeff Scott Soto.  From the classic recordings of Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force to Talisman, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, his own solo work and now his band SOTO, Jeff has been one of the top vocalists in rock for over 35 years.  I was lucky enough to have a few minutes with him to talk about his new record Origami as well as his illustrious career.   Press Play below to listen to the MisplacedStraws.com Conversation with Jeff Scott Soto: On the heavier sound of SOTO compared to his solo material - That's by design because it is a bit different from the norm in terms of solo albums I've done in the past... I intentionally want SOTO to more of a heavier outlet for me more so than trying to confuse it with all of the other things I've done. 1:20 On bringing Tony Dickenson into the band - I didn't want people to think that Tony was being asked or brought into Soto just because he replaced (the late) David

Gin Blossoms/Collective Soul, The Plaza at MGM Springfield, Springfield, MA June 1, 2019

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The start of summer brings two things...outdoor concerts and 90's nostalgia. The first of this year's 90's summer packages made its way to the new Plaza at MGM Springfield outdoor venue on June 1.  A smart package of hit making contemporaries, Gin Blossoms and Collective Soul filled the summer night with familiar hits. Gin Blossoms, who just spent the last year or so celebrating the 25th anniversary of their breakthrough record New Miserable Experience , began the night with their trademark brand of jangly power pop.  The crowd immediately sang along to hits like "Follow You Down" and "Until I Fall Away".  Vocalist Robin Wilson was in fine form as was the guitar duo of Jesse Valenzuela and Scotty Moore.  For the most part the band stuck to the hits, however they did reach into their 2018 release Mixed Reality for a pair of songs and added an inspired cover of Tom Petty's "Even the Losers" which proved to be a great fit for Wilson'