Music

Music

Sun
27
Sep

Devil To Pay has a song for all the blues and for every blues fan

Kim Simmonds Savoy Brown Devil To Pay Dennis Russo Critical Blast

Savoy Brown is one of the seminal English blues rock bands to come out of the sixties, and are still playing great blues after all these years. Their newest album, THE DEVIL TO PAY on Ruf Records, continues true to form.

Although the line up of the band has seen numerous musicians come and go throughout the years since they started in 1965, with some finding fame in other bands (most notably Foghat)  the band as it is today comprises Simmonds on guitar, vocals and harmonica, Pat DeSalvo on bass, and Garnet Grimm on drums. This kind of intimate lineup is perfect for this kind of music to my eyes, and especially to my ears when the guitar player is a master craftsman like Kim Simmonds.

Fri
25
Sep

Santana, McLaughlin Illuminate World of Great Jazz Fusion, Guitar

The Montreux Jazz Festival was started in 1969 by the late Claude Nobs, and is renowned worldwide as one of if not the great Jazz festivals held; everyone who is anyone wants to play at this yearly event. Now, with consent from the festival and the artists, Eagle Rock Entertainment is making these concerts available for the first time on CD.

SANTANA AND MCLAUGHLIN: LIVE AT MONTREUX 2011 is one such concert…and what a concert it is!

Tue
15
Sep

KISS is the New Gold Standard for American Rock 'n' Roll

According to the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), KISS is now #1 with the most Gold Album Record awards. With 26 albums and 4 solo albums under the KISS brand (released simultaneously), a feat never duplicated, they have earned a total of 30 Gold albums. They have also acquired 14 Platinum and 3 multi-Platinum albums over the years.

A true testament of their longevity that spans across four decades.

From the press release:

“Congratulations to KISS – the new Gold standard for albums by American bands,” said Cary Sherman, Chairman & CEO, RIAA.  “What an extraordinary achievement for an enduring band.  Forty years later and the band is still rocking.  Congratulations to KISS on their Gold album milestone and continued success."

Mon
14
Sep

Owning EMERSON LAKE AND PALMER: LIVE AT MONTREUX 1997 Will Have You Saying, "Ooh, What A Lucky Man I Am"

Emerson Lake Palmer Montreux 1997 CD music Dennis Russo Critical Blast

What do Aaron Copeland, Carl Orff, Modest Mussorgsky, and Johann Sebastian Bach all have in common?  They all have music arranged and played by the greatest power trio of progressive rock ever: Emerson Lake and Palmer.

Is there a better opening song to a concert than “Karnevil 9-1st Impression Part 2?” Or better opening lyrics than “Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends?" In all my concert going and musical listening, I think not (well, maybe with the exception of Alice Cooper’s “Hello Hooray”); but anyway, how apropos for this band who, even at the time of this show in 1997, had been around, despite a break-up in the early 80’s, for decades?

Mon
07
Sep

No Need to Dream On any Longer, ROCKS DONINGTON Delivers Aerosmith To Your Home

Aerosmith Rocks Donington LP DVD review Critical Blast Dennis Russo

The ROCKS DONINGTON 2014 “Limited Edition” set from Eagle Rock Entertainment is a 3 LP/single DVD set of the live outdoor show Aerosmith performed in 2014.

The band consists of the familiar as family line up of:

Steven Tyler

Joe Perry

Brad Whitford

Tom Hamilton

Joey Kramer

Sun
06
Sep

Rob Thomas with Plain White T's and Vinyl Station Rocks The Peabody

Rob Thomas on "The Great Unknown Tour" at The Peabody in St. Louis 9/4/2015. Photo Credit: Jeff Ritter

The old adage “good things come to those who wait” was proven true once again on September 4, 2015 as Rob Thomas finally arrived in St. Louis. He had to cancel is tour stop earlier in the summer due to an illness in the family, which is more than understandable. As an apology of sorts for the hassle of having to make folks reschedule their plans, Thomas and his supporting acts, Plain White T’s and Vinyl Station, really cut loose with fun-filled, more-than-your-money’s-worth performance.  Apology happily accepted, Mr. Thomas.

Mon
24
Aug

Iron Maiden Pays Tribute to Robin Williams

Iron Maiden is arguably one of the most innovative and influential metal bands in existence. Despite little support from radio or television, they are still considered one of the most successful bands throughout heavy metal history. Known for frontman Bruce Dickinson's piercing vocals, and the bands lengthy musical interludes, their songs often contain dark themes, such as 'Hallowed be thy Name', or historical context like 'Aces High' and 'Alexander the Great'.

According to NME, Dikinson spoke to an Italian publication about what song from the new album BOOK OF SOULS, was his favorite. Unfortunately, the publication was not credited in their article.

Mon
17
Aug

STYX LIVE is No Grand Illusion, But The Real Thing!

Styx Live Orleans Arena Las Vegas Eagle Rock Entertainment

STYX: LIVE AT THE ORLEANS ARENA IN LAS VEGAS from Eagle Rock Entertainment is a recording done, as you would guess by the title, live at the venue during the 2014 “Soundtrack of Summer Tour.” What you do not know, and you can’t tell by this review, is that I am writing it totally exhausted -- exhausted because this CD rocks! Really rocks! Because Styx still really rocks!

Normally when I review a record or CD, I sit myself down in the sweet spot of my listening room, have something to drink by my side and listen through the first time just to experience how it “moves” me, and then another time or two in a more in-depth, critical-listening manner.

This CD, however, had me just rocking out not only the first time I played it through, but the next several times over the next couple of days, before I could even get to a point where I could remain seated and put on my critical listening ears, which I even now have to fight (and ultimately fail) to maintain.

Fri
14
Aug

Warning: 'Speed of Light' May Cause Extreme Nostalgia

Heavy Metal Band Iron Maiden has released its first official music video to the upcoming album: BOOK OF SOULS.

Titled, 'Speed of Light', the video has their mascot, Eddie, going on a journey through a history of video games as the graphics grow increasingly better. On a quest to collect hearts, he battles his way through each 'level' until reaching the final altar in which he must display his collection. The ending offers a nice little 'heart-wrenching' twist. It's a fun and nostalgic progression through video games and can be appreciated by anyone who has been playing them for as long as they've been around.

The visuals are a treat for any gamer and the accompanying track is pure bonus.

Sun
09
Aug

MIGHTY is Mighty Worshipful and Mighty Good

Mighty Kristene Dimarco

Recorded live in Redding, California at Bethel Church, with additional recording at the Soundhouse, MIGHTY did not immediately strike me as a live recording. It was very polished sounding. Oftentimes in live shows the audience sound is immediately heard before and during the performance and usually very much so in Christian recordings. Replete with a full band, strings, and a choir, this album is quite a production, many times giving the songs immenseness.

Wed
08
Jul

John Fogerty's 1969 Tour Proves Age Is Irrelevant When You Can Rock

John Fogerty 1969 Tour Photo Credit Jeff Ritter 7/7/15

1969. What does that year make you think of--hippies, Woodstock, Vietnam? If you were a alive and old enough to recognize music you couldn’t have made it through 1969 without hearing Credence Clearwater Revival. John Fogerty, the band’s guitarist, singer and songwriter, was perhaps the most prolific musician ever in a single year. Who else has put out three full albums of all new material in a single calendar year? Not even in the Internet Age does this happen. Credence Clearwater Revival was like a star just bout to go nova—it blazed white hot that year before fading away soon after. Infighting broke up the band and legal battles have kept them from reconciling for decades. Despite the hardships, John Fogerty has endured. He seems pretty happy, just a little more than a month beyond his 70th birthday. He’s got an incredible band on a highly successful tour highlighting the glorious year of CCR and promoting his new book, “Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music” coming out this October.

Tue
07
Jul

SPECTRUM Pieces Together a Journey of the Senses for Autism

There's a good chance that if you're reading this, you or someone you know has been touched by autism. It's not often we find ourselves reading about subjects that have nothing to do with us. Only the few seek knowledge in areas they are unfamiliar with, but if not for those select few, we would not gain the wisdom required to understand it better.

If you're one of those people, let me give you a brief introduction to the world of autism.

Tue
30
Jun

Enter to Win The Who: Live at Shea Stadium 1982

The Who Shea Stadium 1982 DVD

This contest is over. The randomly selected winnier is SHANNON B. of EMMETSBURG, IA.

The Who's 1982 tour would prove to be their last with Kenney Jones on drums and the band wouldn't do a full scale tour again until 1989. The tour promoted the then recent IT'S HARD album, which had been released in June 1982, and the set list included a number of tracks from that album, some of which the band would only ever play live on this tour.

The main film features the show from the second of their two nights at New York's Shea Stadium on October 13, 1982, with bonus tracks from the first night.

The Who remain one of the finest live rock acts of all time, and this show will be a great addition to any fan's collection.

 

Mon
29
Jun

Outrigger Resorts, Blue Note Entertainment Group Partner to Open Internationally Recognized Music Venue in Waikiki

Blue Note Outrigger Resorts Music Theater Waikiki Critical Blast

WAIKIKI, HONOLULU, HAWAII – Outrigger Resorts is proud to announce a partnership with the iconic Blue Note Entertainment Group, with music clubs in New York, Washington D.C., Milan and two locations in Japan, to bring world-class music performances to Hawaii. Blue Note Hawaii will serve as the state’s premier venue for world-renowned artists, from jazz and blues to Hawaiian favorites.

Located in the former Society of Seven showroom inside Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort, Blue Note Hawaii will feature a wide range of musical entertainment – from local talent to international sensations – for limited engagements. As a part of Outrigger’s ongoing commitment to the musical arts, the performance venue will undergo an extensive, multi-million-dollar revitalization, creating a brand new venue in the heart of Hawaii’s most famed beach resort destination. Blue Note Hawaii is expected to open no later than early 2016.

Thu
25
Jun

THE WHO: LIVE AT SHEA STADIUM 1982 is finally on DVD!

The Who Live Shea Stadium Bluray Critical Blast

I've been a fan of THE WHO since I was a young boy. No, I'm not straight out of their '60s heyday, but I was bopping around in the late '70s and '80s getting an education in the best rock music from my father. I was exposed to "Tommy" at an early age, heard all their best tunes, knew all about the guys destroying their equipment, and always was amazed when my Dad told me he saw THE WHO open for HERMAN'S HERMITS. Can you imagine seeing one of the most legendary bands in history before they were famous?

Tue
23
Jun

This August, 'Disturbed' becomes IMMORTALIZED

The American heavy metal band, 'Disturbed', announced on their Facebook page that new music is forthcoming. Having taken a hiatus from both music, and each other, the band secretly came together and has been working on the new album IMMORTALIZED.

"This album had the arduous task of, in some way, justifying the hiatus; giving the fans something that made it worth our time away from one another. We hope that it succeeds in that task. Thank you for staying with us over the years." - Official Statement from Disturbed via Website/Facebook

The first song released titled, "The Vengeful One" is accompanied by a music video. Fans of Disturbed will recognize the style of music right away. While they haven't done anything revolutionize their sound, they certainly didn't alienate their fans.

Thu
18
Jun

Iron Maiden to Release "Book of Souls" in September

Iron Maiden "Book of Souls" image courtesy of ironmaiden.com

UPDATE (6-23-2015): You may now pre-order this album!

According to Iron Maiden's website, they plan to release BOOK OF SOULS; their first studio album in nearly five years and their 16th overall.

Recorded in Paris, with their producer Kevin “Caveman” Shirley in late 2014, they put the finishing touches onto it earlier this year. Given the recent health problems with frontman Bruce Dickinson, they wanted to wait until he was fully recovered before the album's launch.

Bassist (and founding member) Steve Harris, contributed to seven of the eleven tracks. And for the first time since 1984's POWERSLAVE, Dickinson has two tracks written entirely by him. BOOK OF SOULS is expected to have a total running time of 92 minutes, making it the bands first ever double studio album.

Sat
13
Jun

Skynyrd Comes Home Sweet Home Alabama in Rockin’ 2 CD Live Collection

Lynyrd Skynyrd Rockpalast double album Dennis Russo Critical Blast

This 2 CD set from Rockpalast features something not usually found on Live CD’s. While the entire first CD and half (give or take some minutes here or there) of the second features the the post-1977 era (which took the life of Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gains, Cassie Gains and others) version of the band led by Johnny Van Zant and recorded in 1996, the last half of the second CD features 4 songs from a 1974 concert and features Ronnie Van Zant. (Steve and Cassie Gaines, brother and sister, were not members of the band yet in 74’).

Sat
13
Jun

Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer: Creating Gold

Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer Ava Gold Havana Critical Blast Interview

So you have a new music single and video debuting, "Havana," and I understand that this is inspired by the story of your parents coming to America from Cuba. Can you elaborate on that story a little bit?

My dad came from Havana. My mom came from Santiago. There was just a lot of crazy things that happened and challenging sacrifices they had to make to get to this country. You know, in pursuit of the American dream.

Fri
29
May

Laurie Berkner Sings Kids Songs for the Ages -- All Ages

Laurie Berkner Band Critical Blast Dennis Russo

Okay, here’s the deal. I have been around a long time, and have seen many of the greatest musicians and bands from multiple genres live many times over. I have over 2000 LPs and 500 CD’s and listen to music dedicatedly every day. And I am also a bona-fide Laurie Berkner fan!

It started several years ago when my now teenage daughter was in single digits. We bought her many children’s music CDs from many artists, some with words, some without, and there was one artist in particular that rose to the top of her/our playlist: Laurie Berkner. Her music was/is so catchy, so upbeat, so tuneful that it didn’t matter if you were a kid or an adult, it sticks in your head and you can’t help but sing her songs to yourself. Then we’d see her videos on Nick Jr and that just let us enjoy her music all the more, because you could see just how much she enjoyed playing it.

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