Thursday, February 27, 2014

Jon Herington - Much More Than Just Steely Dan's 'Go To' Guitarist - The Rock Guitar Daily Interview

"I found out that one of the most amazing opportunities anyone can have in a musical career is this repeat chance, years and years in a row, again and again, to play the same music with a top notch band. Music with room to improvise, and to play it at high stakes, where an audience is expecting a high caliber of musicianship night after night, year after year. It's amazing what you can accumulate over the years if you are working consciously to get better at it." ~ Jon Herington on touring with Steely Dan

Jon Herington is certainly best known for being a guitarist for Steely Dan, and various Dan related solo projects and off-shoot bands for nigh on fifteen years, but he's also led his own band for over twenty years and five albums, including a record (2012's Time On My Hands) that Vintage Guitar Magazine called, 'One of the best albums of the year, but of the past decade,' and rightfully so.

Monday, February 24, 2014

KISS - Opportunity Missed?

I'm jumping on the bandwagon on this one, something I rarely do, but I may as well say my piece. The fact that KISS is not playing their own induction into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame with the original lineup is a crime against their fans, and a great opportunity missed.

George Lynch - A Good Effort But A Too Tame Mob in Sacramento

Keith St. John saved the night. A last minute addition to Lynch's mob, St. John stepped in and did a great job in an otherwise extremely lackluster night at The Boardwalk in Sacramento.

In what seems to have become a recurring theme George Lynch again found himself without a lead singer on the eve of a tour. Whether Tad Gonzales walked, or was shown the door, no one seems to know, but regardless of the details, it certainly doesn't look good, and it doesn't make for great rock and roll. It wasn't that long ago that original Lynch Mob vocalist Oni Logan bailed on the band just hours before a flight, and had to be replaced by LA veteran Chaz West. It begs a few questions, but first, some praise for Keith St. John.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Rolling Stones Gear - Stones Fans and Guitar Lovers Rejoice!

"Keith explained the unconventional origins of "Paint It, Black" and how it came together: "Mick wrote it. I wrote the music, he did the words. Get a single together. What's amazing about that one for me is the sitar. Also, the fact that we cut it as a comedy tack. Bill was playing an organ, doing a takeoff of our first manager (Eric Easton), who started off his career in show business as an organist in a cinema pit. We were doing it with funky rhythms, and it hadn't worked, and he started playing it like this and everybody got behind it. It's a two-beat, very strange. Brian playing the sitar makes it a whole other thing." ~ Chapter 6 - page 221

Of course, then Bill Wyman goes on to tell a quite different story completely concerning the organ part, the story of the sitar use is fleshed out superbly, we read about the acoustic guitars that Brian and Keith used (Gibson Hummingbirds, with Keith using a Guild Freshman M-65 for his lead), we find out who played what rhythm instrument, all adding up to, "a great sound... like a Hungarian polka."

Monday, February 17, 2014

BIGELF - Into The Maelstrom - A Stunning Comeback

Originally printed at!
"Damon Fox is the real thing. How many times do we get to hear that? Rock and roll is fading into memory, lost in a sea of mediocrity and an ocean of banality. Playing live with Damon is like standing on the stage of a dingy bar in London in 1972 with a charismatic figure from a Charles Dickens fantasy with a B-3 organ at his bejeweled fingertips. Keeping the great traditions of true rock music alive, Damon looks plays, and inhabits the rock and roll vibe of all the greats." ~ Michael Des Barres

I hadn't heard from Bigelf in quite a while when I noticed that Fox was playing amazing keyboards in The Michael Des Barres Band for some great shows, and a couple of excellent records. Then I heard that Inside Out Music had signed the band, Mike Portnoy had lent his aid, and things were back on track for the LA based outfit.

Cynic - Kindly Bent To Free Us - First Rate Thinking Man's Metal

It could be said that Cynic has image issues. Google in one direction and they'll be called prog, go in another direction and you can read about their thrash metal origins, Wiki will tell you they're all but a polka band at times. Whatever they've been, and however they've been perceived is for me immaterial - I'm a neophyte, and I find them fabulous.

Jack Bruce - Silver Rails - Top Of The Class In 2014

Who would have thought that Jack Bruce would do his best work at the age of 70? It's a familiar tack with me, but think about what you would have wanted Jack to sound like in 2014 - he's singing better than ever, he's playing great bass and piano, and he's writing brilliantly. Could you have hoped for more than that? Silver Rails may be his best solo record ever, its certainly the best record he's made in a great many years, and it should end up on a lot of lists for the best albums of 2014.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Michael Schenker's Temple Of Rock - The Boardwalk - Sacramento, California 8th February, 2014

It wasn't the best Schenker show I've ever seen, but it was the best Schenker show I've seen in over twenty years....

It was a cold and rainy winter's night in Sacramento, but the loyal came out in droves to celebrate Michael Schenker's Temple Of Rock. On a stage that even threw fear into the heart of as experienced a frontman as Doogie White, the mad axeman and his band of merry men could do no wrong, and the over-capacity crowd sang every word and punched the air with every solo. Schenker is continuing his steady climb that might just have him now at the top of the guitar hero sweepstakes, and he's finally found a dependable frontman with which to share the stage in the seasoned White.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Gary Moore - Rest In Peace (A Re-print from 2011)

It's terribly difficult to put into words what I am feeling on this cold, wintery Sunday afternoon. Just this morning, I wrote a defense of Gary Moore, only to hear hours later of his death. I am, along with a great many others, shocked and saddened.

I have been a huge fan of Gary Moore's since I was about 16. I saw Moore play with Thin Lizzy, and it changed my entire musical worldview. At that age I had never witnessed anyone play with such passion, and enthusiasm. It was as if the music passed through him like electricity, as he jumped, grimaced, and writhed through the show. No mere posturing, the notes revealed a stunning amount of emotion and conviction. He never lasted long in Lizzy, as he was fueled by his desire to sing and write his own material, difficult to do in a band with Phil Lynott, but when they did unite it was always exceptional.

California Breed - Glenn Hughes' New Power Trio with Jason Bonham and Andrew Watt

I first heard the demos some six months ago, but I had been sworn to secrecy by the ex-Purple bass man, Voice of Rock Glenn Hughes.

Hughes, "An announcement will be made soon, about my new band with Jason and Andrew - it's going to be a mind-blower. We're recording in Nashville with Dave Cobb and Vance Powell (Rival Sons, Raconteurs). I am fresh, alive, and with a bag o' tunes to shake up the music industry - and with a record company that will be with me all the way (Frontiers Records)."