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Showing posts from November, 2020

A Conversation With Shark Island Vocalist Richard Black

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 If you're a fan of the 80's L.A. music scene then you've probably heard the name Shark Island.  Once one of the top bands in Southern California, Shark Island spanned the era from Van Halen to Guns N' Roses.  While their popularity on the Strip didn't translate to mainstream success they remain as one of the bands that most influenced the look and sound of the era.  Frontman Richard Black is back with a new lineup and a new record, Bloodline 2.020 , and recently took some time to talk about it. Please press the PLAY icon below for the MisplacedStraws Conversation with Richard Black: On the new version of Bloodline 2.020 - Last year we released just Bloodline straight on our own. And we kind of managed it and sold it to our cult following. We just We do that from time to time. We'll put out something, we'll put out a live album or Gathering of the Faithfull  we put out, a while back. It kinda took off and it sold out. We just went, "Wow. that was ki

The Blues Fix - Elvin Bishop

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While this column has spotlighted some newer musicians, this edition of The Blues Fix centers on a true living legend.  Elvin Bishop first came on the scene as a guitarist in The Paul Butterfield Blues Band alongside Mike Bloomfield, on their 1965 debut.  Since then he's gone on to do over 25 studio and live records and recently released a brilliant record called 100 Years of Blues with fellow legend Charlie Musslewhite.  I recently spent some time with Elvin talking about the new record and his long career. Please press the PLAY icon below to hear my Conversation with Elvin Bishop -  It's hard to believe that it took until 2020 for Elvin Bishop and Charlie Musslewhite to record a full album together, but it certainly was worth the wait.  100 Years of Blues is a modern primer into the front-porch blues style that influenced the great early blues players.  Elvin points out that even though this is the first full record the pair has done, they've played together quite a bi

A Conversation With Eclipse Frontman Erik Martensson

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 Over the last 20 years, Sweden has become the epicenter for a vibrant melodic rock scene.  Leading the wave of these great bands is Eclipse.  They just released their first live record, Viva La VicTOURia, and vocalist/guitarist Erik Martensson sat with me to talk about it. Please press the PLAY icon below for the MisplacedStraws Conversation with Erik Martensson -  On finally releasing a live record -  Well, I know fans have been asking for it and we said, "Yeah, we should do one of those", and it's just it has never happened. And because when you play live, there's so many, especially festivals and stuff, it's just you have so little time to prepare and you want to have your own gear and you want to have a proper concert where everything is the optimal chances to perform good.  And it's just it just never happened. But this video was filmed during one of the gigs we did in Sweden over the tour. We are supposed to be touring for 2020. So Victor (Crusner), our

A Conversation With American Tears Keyboardist/Vocalist Mark Mangold

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 American Tears is a band that stands alone in the rock world.  Most rock bands rely on layers of guitars to produce a heavy sound, American Tears and it's frontman Mark Mangold do it all with keyboards. A throwback to Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman, Mangold uses everything a keyboard can offer to create modern, vibrant rock records.  The band just released its new record Free Angel Express and Mark took some time to return to the site and talk about it. Please press the PLAY icon below for the MisplacedStraws Conversation with Mark Mangold: On the sound of American Tears since reforming in 2017 -  Well, it's really refreshing to get back to keyboard's and revisit synth solos and organ solos, and things like that that I haven't done in a long time and I'm not even sure, really, people have heard that much of . You get a lot of questions,  "how do you get that sound with your guitar?" And it's like, "No". So we're using a lot of keyboards

Fozzy - Madison Studios, Atlanta, GA 11/14/20

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 As the world is now well into the eighth month without live concerts, the best a fan can ask for is an internet live stream concert from their favorite band.  At this point, tons of bands have tried some version of the live stream show, from full production on a club stage to an acoustic guitar in the living room.  Some of these shows worked well, others not so much.  On November 14, the members of Fozzy convened at Madison Studios in Atlanta, GA to throw their hat into the live stream ring. Starting off with the technical aspect, the band chose to use the Veeps platform for the show.  Veeps has been a leader in live stream shows during the pandemic.  It's an easy platform for the fan to use and works well technically with no glitches on this particular night.  The price of basic admission is only $10 with other packages available for a higher price.  While live stream prices vary among bands, kudos to Fozzy for keeping the base price low. The show starts off with the premiere of

Conversations with Steve Lukather and Joe Williams of Toto

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Few bands in rock history can boast of the success that Toto has achieved.  As a band and as individuals, the members of Toto are responsible for some of the most iconic songs in rock history.  The band is about to embark on its next chapter which will consist of a new lineup, a live stream concert, and solo records from core members Steve Lukather and Joe Williams.  Both men recently took the time to share their perspectives on the past and future of Toto as well as their respective solo records. First up is guitarist Steve Lukather, please press the PLAY icon below, you won't want to miss this unique Conversation with Luke: On David Paich's involvement - We were rehearsing the new band now for this live stream on November 21st, Dave was it down being Musical Director, playing with us, and really working the new guys in. It was fantastic, man. So it's me, Joe, and Dave standing on one side and the haters on the other side. 1:15 On dealing with the past year - The thumbnail

The Blues Fix - Alastair Greene

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This edition of The Blues Fix features blues-rock guitarist Alastair Greene.  Greene just released his new record The New World Blues on Tab Benoit's Whiskey Bayou Records and recently took some time to talk about the record, his influences and so much more. Please press the PLAY icon below to hear my full conversation with Alastair Greene: Alastair Greene was born in Santa Barbara, CA, and attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, but developed a love for the blues while in high school.  While heavily influenced by the great 80's guitar players like Eddie VanHalen, Jake E. Lee, and Vivian Campbell, Greene discovered the blues through a stack of records loaned to him that featured The Allman Brothers, BB King, Johnny Winter, and others.   Throughout his career, Greene has woven his love of rock and blues into his own unique style.  That style has never worked better than on The New World Blues .  For this outing, Greene explains that he wanted a more blues-centric record

A Conversation with Guitarist Reb Beach

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 Reb Beach has been one of the top guitar players in rock for almost 35 years.  He has been the driving force behind Winger, Whitesnake, and Black Swan and is about to release his second solo album, and first instrumental, entitled A View From The Inside .  Reb took some time to talk about the record, his bands and so much more!  Please press the PLAY icon below for the MisplacedStraws Conversation with Reb Beach -  On whether the pandemic had an effect on this release - The pandemic actually expedited things because I was on the road, I was gone. I was gonna have the best year I would have had since 1989. I was booked solid with Winger and Whitesnake. We were gonna tour with Sammy Hagar all through Europe and Japan and I flew home from Singapore when the thing hit. I got right to work on it It was Kip (Winger) I called Kip, "What do I do? Oh, my God". You know, Kip talks like Morris the cat, just really laid back. And he just said, "What about that fusion stuff you wer

A Conversation with Singer Jeff Scott Soto

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 Few artists can boast of the career that Jeff Scott Soto has.  More than 35 years into his career he is still putting out incredible records with multiple bands.  On November 6 he will release his latest solo record, Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) , which could be his best yet.  He recently took some time to walk through the record and talk about the Lakers, Eddie Van Halen, and much more. Please press the PLAY icon below for the MisplacedStraws Conversation with Jeff Scott Soto -  On the effect Covid-19 had on the release of the record - I believe the original intent was a July release or maybe early fall, maybe August. So I believe we definitely moved it based on the hopes that this whole thing would be over, and we could kind of be resuming our normal lives again. But obviously, when we delayed the release and we saw nothing was really gonna be changing any time soon, we obviously had to get it out there. We can't sit on it for an entire year. But on the other hand, now we have t