Feature: Albums that time forgot…CALVERT FLEMING PROJECT – Shotgun Pixie

Calvert Fleming Project - Shotgun Pixie

Amazing Radio 2021

‘Shotgun Pixie’ is the ultimate album that time forgot, except it’s not been forgotten. This post psychedelic gem of an album by Ohio  guitarist Jimmy Fleming and Robert Calvert’s grand daughter Maya Calvert is very much available again on the Amazing Radio platform.

It’s also an album with a back-story tracking the ten years of its inception.

11 years ago I discovered a magnificent duo jam band from Ohio called Uncle Mont’s Quandary. Led by Jimmy Fleming, a guitarist who was mentored by Woodstock promoter Artie Kornfeld, he established himself as an independent solo artist, bandleader, songwriter, arranger, writer, owner of independent Regalia Records and more recently founder of the ground breaking website called Guitardoor.com.

Well now he’s back a neo psychedelic rock album called ‘Shotgun Pixie’ which is inevitably shot through with the ghost of Uncle Bob – Maya’s lyrical acumen sounds like its been handed down through the generations -  while Fleming revels in jammed out guitar lines that owe much to the early Hawkwind.

The album which came about through sheer chance, took some ten years to realise and one fevered month to write and record.

Jimmy Fleming was researching a piece he was writing on Hawkwind’s influence on contemporary music, think dub, rave EDM, doom and flat out psychedelic rock.

He happened upon Alex “Maya” Calvert, the grand daughter of the late Robert Calvert (writer, poet and musician with Hawkwind, Hawklords and Michael Moorcock).

She was into poetry and self reflective lyrics and took her stage name from Nik Turner’s ‘Coming of The Maya’ from his ‘Space Gypsy’ album.

Sometime later Fleming sold his house and found himself with enough money to pursue a musical dream.

He invited her to fly over from Ramsgate to Chillicothe Ohio, and work in his Studio as well as hooking up with producer/musician Matt Moon.

It proved to be an inspired catalyst for as Maya’s lyrics and evocative vocals, while multi instrumentalist Jimmy filled the tracks with his post Psychedelic grooves.

In the true tradition of the post Woodstock generation they later headed to the local woods with producer Moon and within 30 minutes they had the instrumental concept of the title track. Another 30 minutes of creative input from Maya produced the lyrics while a few days hard graft gave them the basis of a project which was to become ’Shotgun Pixie.’

It proved to be the culmination of an idea realized over 10 years of transatlantic messaging and was originally released on Fleming’s own Regalia record label and has now been reissued in the digital age by Amazing radio platform.

It’s an album on which 3 creative spirits coalesce. There’s Fleming overall vision, his unrelenting energy and multi instrumental versatility. Then there’s and Maya’s lyrical bent and vocal phrasing which being the songs to life. And then it’s its all glued together by Moon who polishes up the sonic input through a combination of his own drums, bass and keys as well as production.

Jimmy riffs start where Maya’s lyrical imagination leads him, in an organic outpouring captured on the barn burning, gnawing psychedelic hard rock of ‘Cells’, which along with ‘Ode To The Others’ represents the 2 songs from the duo’s original collaboration.

The album opens with the chunky riffs of ‘Running’, which dials into Hawkwind late 70’s sound, before Calvert adds some stop time lyrics, about: “Running for a long time, from myself.”

She provides a kind of a lyrical tension Jimmy that fills out with a psychedelic groove.

‘Remembered’ has a shimmering swampy feel, reminiscent of the Stones ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ as Jimmy whips out his best ‘Keef’ licks.

‘Ode To The Others’  finds Maya’s  gentle whispered phrasing cushioned on a sinewy guitar and warm piano line with what sounds like rain as a backdrop.

It got a real haunting quality, as her voice impressively rises above Fleming’s intricate accompaniment on one of her best vocals on the album.

You can feel the album building by degrees. The collective confidence surges and the interplay become more mellifluous as Maya really finds her voice.

And as if seizing the moment, Fleming let’s rip on ‘Lucifer My Brother’ with some gnawing wah-wah, interwoven into a track that builds to like a psychedelic drone on the back of Maya’s melodic hook.

It feels as if all the subliminal Hawkwind influences pour into this track. Fleming’s guitar playing is an object lesson in focussed intensity giving the song a bigger vista, while Maya’s vocal is full of presence which provides perfect contrast to the lyrical refrain.

The whole album is anchored by the title track ‘Shotgun Pixie’, on which Fleming represents the shogun and Calvert the Pixie.

It’s a perfectly balanced piece that evokes Zeppelin and Sandy Denny, but it’s cut with its own cloth, being forged by of Matt Moon’s mandolin, some intricate percussion and Calvert’s lyrical mantra: “If you can’t see it’s not mean to be.”

Both ‘Shotgun Pixie’ and the closing Fire & Brimstone’ are the highlights of an album you will probably keep returning to as there’s so much to explore.

There’s spiralling psychedelic fuzzed up wah-wah guitar, a manic blur of rumbling bass, crashing cymbals, and chick rock vocals.  It’s all part of a layered post psychedelic bluster, on which the original spirit of Hawkwind lives loud and clear.

The perfunctory ending cleverly draws the listener into the following  ‘Home’ on which Fleming again digs deep for some Keith Richard riffs on country tinged Stoned style number, shaped by a lo-fi arrangement, which though lacking bottom-end is counterweighted by a busy drum work and a would be anthemic chorus.

Jimmy’ s ascending guitar line evokes Jerry Garcia, while  Maya’s repeated hypnotic hook leads to a perfect guitar and piano finish that The Allman Brothers would have been proud of.

The album also owes much to its thoughtful sequencing. All 8 tracks illuminate every aspect of the songs and Jimmy’s overarching musical vision.

Better still, he’s joined by Chad Stout on second guitar and Dan Smart on the concluding instrumental ‘Fire & Brimstone’, which opens as if Paul Kossoff had just discovered reggae.

It’s a supreme jam track that bubbles up beautifully with the kind of pulsating bass that was missing earlier on in the album.  Fleming adds heavy duty fuzz guitar and coruscating wah-wah on a post reggae groove full of flinty tones.

It’s the perfect resolution to a finely honed album, though I’ve since discovered that Maya couldn’t make the final session, as they finished late on the night before she has to fly back.

In sum, the lo-fi production and jam band feel aligned with Calvert’s singer songwriter introspection sits perfectly with the contemporary music scene.

Fleming’s guitar squalls are bathed in subtle echo reverb and paint their own pictures on a psychedelic canvas, as the ghost of Bob Calvert and Hawkwind subtly infuse an album with 70’s antecedents.

Robert Calvert may be gone, but his poetic bent lives on in Maya’s lyrics, while the original spirit of Hawkwind resides safe in the hands of guitarist Fleming whose spacey bends and aching tone conjures up a warriors on the edge of time. Simply magnificent. ****

Review by Pete Feenstra


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 1 August 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week and an interview with “metal queen” Lee Aaron.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 7 September 2021.


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.
You can Listen Again to shows via the presenter pages at www.getreadytorockradio.com

Featured Albums w/c 6 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 HEARTLAND Into The Future (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 VEGA Anarchy And Unity (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JACKSON BROWNE Downhill From Everywhere (indie)

Power Plays w/c 20 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BAD TOUCH Twenty Five Miles (Marshall)
THE HUMAN VEIL Enemies (indie)
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY Now’s The Time (Golden Robot Records)
VANSLEEP Oceans (indie)
TRUE NORTH Save Me (Out Of Line Music)
SORROW & THE SPIRE In The City Tonight (Golden Robot Records)



Popular (last 30 days)


Album review: BLACK SABBATH – Technical Ecstasy (Super Deluxe 5LP Vinyl Box Set)

BLACK SABBATH - Technical Ecstasy

BMG / Sanctuary Records   [Release date: 01.10.21]

Following the superb ‘Super-Deluxe’ releases of ‘Paranoid’, ‘Volume 4’ and ‘Sabotage’ in the last couple of years, it is now the turn of ‘Technical Ecstasy’ to receive the sumptuous multi-disc box-set treatment.

Released in 1976, Technical Ecstasy was really the first Sabbath album that critics and, to a lesser extent, fans, began to pick holes in and wonder in which direction their heroes were going.

For heroes they were to a whole generation of spotty Herberts (like me) who were crying out for a music that they could both relate to and, indeed, call their own.

I remember at the time much rumination about the appearance of synths (courtesy of ‘fifth’ Sab, Gerald Woodruffe) and whether Sabbath had “gone soft” or “lost their edge” and to read some of the critics you would have thought they had embraced Country and Western or some suchlike.

In actual fact, it WAS a little different here and there, but all the power-riffing and pounding bass and drums were still present and correct and it’s well deserving of a re-evaluation after 45 years.

BMG/Sanctuary have done it proud too – with a five LP (also available on CD) Super-Deluxe box set with the original album remastered, two LPs of new mixes and alternative versions (mixed by the genius that is Steven Wilson) and a 2LP live concert recording from the 1976/77 world tour, plus many extras including a 40 page hardback book, colour poster and replica concert programme.

The original album sounds great – with the music jumping out of the speakers and Iommi’s sledgehammer riffing combined with Ozzy’s exuberant vocals delivering the classic Sabbath sound on openers ‘Back St. Kids’ and ‘You Won’t Change Me’ – the sound rounded out by Woodruffe’s keyboard flourishes.

‘It’s Alright’ (with vocals by Bill Ward (!) is probably the track that gave the album its rep. at the time – atypical, with tinkling piano until Iommi grabs it by the scruff of the neck.

Things get back on track with the rifferama of ‘Gypsy’ and the rather progressive-leaning ‘All Moving Parts (Stand Still)’ replete with synth solo, and ‘Rock ’n’ Roll Doctor’ with its pant-wettingly heavy riff and AC/DC-like charge.

Things conclude with ‘She’s Gone’ with its 12 string acoustic and strings sounding like this album’s ‘Changes’ and ‘Dirty Women’ whose doom-laden heavy riffing is not quite the R’n’R wig-out the title would suggest.

Now, as good as this is (and it’s very good), it’s the two discs re-mixed by Steven Wilson where things really take off. I don’t know how he does it, but he always manages to squeeze out that little bit extra from the original recordings, resulting in a sensational, sparkling sound that takes the music to a different level.

Even on the outtakes and alternative mixes the sound is exceptional with Ozzy’s vocals well to the fore and every nuance of Bill Ward’s peerless drumming laid bare for all to enjoy.

If Steven Wilson had been around in the 70’s with today’s technology some of our finest albums would have been sensational…

The final two discs are live recordings from the world tour supporting ‘Technical Ecstasy’.

There’s a phrase that goes “don’t complain about how badly the dog dances, be amazed that it dances at all” and having read Iommi’s autobiography, it IS amazing they were able to perform at all given the quantity of Columbian marching powder that was being used at the time.

But perform they did, and these are a pretty good representation of a Black Sabbath gig – I know, I’ve been to a few. Despite the remastering, there’s still an inevitable ‘bootleggy’ feel about them but that’s how they were and there’s tremendous versions of ‘War Pigs’, ‘Electric Funeral’, ‘Snowblind’, ‘Children Of The Grave’ and a bowel-loosening rendition of the seminal ‘Black Sabbath’ replete with Geezer’s sliding bass cueing-in Iommi’s killer riff.

So, a fantastic end to a superlative box set showcasing heavy metal’s groundbreaking pioneers, OK, warts and all, but sophistication was never their strongpoint and we wouldn’t want it any other way.

And top marks to BMG/Sanctuary – this is the way these things should be done.   *****

Review by Alan Jones

 


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 1 August 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week and an interview with “metal queen” Lee Aaron.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 7 September 2021.


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.
You can Listen Again to shows via the presenter pages at www.getreadytorockradio.com

Featured Albums w/c 6 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 HEARTLAND Into The Future (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 VEGA Anarchy And Unity (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JACKSON BROWNE Downhill From Everywhere (indie)

Power Plays w/c 20 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BAD TOUCH Twenty Five Miles (Marshall)
THE HUMAN VEIL Enemies (indie)
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY Now’s The Time (Golden Robot Records)
VANSLEEP Oceans (indie)
TRUE NORTH Save Me (Out Of Line Music)
SORROW & THE SPIRE In The City Tonight (Golden Robot Records)



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Album review: MY GLASS WORLD – Still Life With Machine Gun

Luxury Noise [release date: 24.09.21]

Everything Absent Or Distorted was a (now defunct) “sprawling, American, Indie Rock Ensemble”. They recorded their song ‘Still Life With Machine Gun’ in 2006.

15 years later, My Glass World have recorded their own song with the same title. So, apart from the obvious influence on them both by Vietnamese artist Ocean Vuong, where’s the similarity? The answer is that both are collectives. They have no fixed line up. A constant injection of new blood keeps the music fresh and fertile.

My Glass World’s core members are songwriter/ pianist/ performer Jamie Telford and his “accomplice”, Sean Reid…both are part time members of The Jam and Dexy’s Midnight Runners. The duo wrote and recorded the album by long distance communication during lockdown, enlisting the help of Stephen Gilchrist, Little Barrie and Jon Kensington, on drums, guitar and bass respectively.

Telford: “with Sean’s help, as a predominently solo piano player, having a great bunch of musicians around me meant I could utilise them all to create a bigger sound… collectives can be interesting”.

Nice understatement there.

It’s a move up from 2018′s Prisoner of Gravity, which we said was an album “of rare depth and quality”. As is Still Life With Machine Gun, only moreso. To depth has been added width.

Telford confesses to taking his lyrical inspiration from “the news and the ‘net”, and so his compositional skill begins with wry observations on life and living, from the personal to the universal, from vaccine passports to street philosophy.

There’s lots of improvised scat in among the vocal arrangements, pushed along by rubbery piano plinks and compact horn arrangements, themselves leaning more toward jazz than pop. ‘On The Ground’ gets the party started, ‘Step Right Up’ matches up funk-lite with rootsy rock’n'roll, sounding more like Costello or Lowe than the bands the duo are associated with, and ‘When Everything Closes’ is country music designed for the UK.

Having now exposed his undeniable songcraft to outside influences, Telford might just have found the right combination. ***1/2

Review by Brian McGowan


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 1 August 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week and an interview with “metal queen” Lee Aaron.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 7 September 2021.


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.
You can Listen Again to shows via the presenter pages at www.getreadytorockradio.com

Featured Albums w/c 6 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 HEARTLAND Into The Future (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 VEGA Anarchy And Unity (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JACKSON BROWNE Downhill From Everywhere (indie)

Power Plays w/c 20 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BAD TOUCH Twenty Five Miles (Marshall)
THE HUMAN VEIL Enemies (indie)
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY Now’s The Time (Golden Robot Records)
VANSLEEP Oceans (indie)
TRUE NORTH Save Me (Out Of Line Music)
SORROW & THE SPIRE In The City Tonight (Golden Robot Records)



Popular (last 30 days)


Album review: TOMMY CASTRO Presents A Bluesman Came To Town: A Blues Odyssey

Tommy Castro - A Bluesman Came To Town

Alligator Records [Release date: 17.09.21]

Every since breaking nationally on NBC’s Comedy Showcase, San Francisco’s Tommy Castro has enjoyed a well founded reputation in the new blues vanguard for his willingness to explore new avenues in the blues genre.

Down the years he’s dipped into a melange of blues, rock, funk soul and r&b, while more recently paying closer attention to the rhythmic quality of his grooves.

And after 4 decades of profile building and deserved critical acclaim, he’s still buoyed by the same enduring mantra: “I never made the same record twice.”

And so after scooping the Male Artist of the Year, Contemporary Blues Album of the Year, Band of the Year Award and B.B. King Entertainer of the Year Award, you might ask where else is there for him to go?

He delivers the answer loud and clear on ‘Tommy Castro Presents A Bluesman Came To Town’,  a blues concept album that finds him applying his soulful grooves and resonant playing to the story of a nascent blues man who lives the dream, but never quite turns his back on home.

He’s enlisted the talents of award winner, producer/songwriter Tom Hambridge whose imprint is to be found all over the contemporary blues scene from Buddy Guy - ‘Blues Prisoner’ which could easily have come off Guy’s last ‘The Blues Is Alive and Well’ album - to James Cotton, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Quinn Sullivan and Joe Bonamassa.

Hambridge’s undoubted talent can actually work both ways, for while he delivers the magical fairy dust as a producer, an acclaimed songwriter and as on this album an ‘in the pocket’ drummer, he is arguably the reason why much of the contemporary blues output sounds homogenous.

Happily Castro pulls off a slight of hand by making sure the songs and various musical styles amplify the coherent story line and draw the listener into a timeless blues tale with a beginning, middle and end.

The result is an accessible and satisfying album that plays to Tommy’s strengths as a fiery guitarist with soulful vocal chops, who always serves the song first and only stretches out later.

He invest his music with an emotional veracity as evidenced by the opening ‘Somewhere’, which is beautifully reprised at the end of the album on dobro and with a suitable lyrical conclusion.

On the opening version his tremulous slide guitar locks horns with Jimmy Hall’s husky harp on a choogling mid-tempo groove that nicely levers us into his musical storyboard.

The swampy title track sets out his hero’s search for a better life as a bluesman. Castro interweaves the track with mellifluous guitar lines before delivering the thematic hook: “Once he heard that guitar, man it shook him to the ground, the bluesman came to town he felt the tug, blues man came to town, he caught bug. The boy breathed in that sound when the bluesman came to town.”

The great thing about this album is the way Castro reaches deep into the fabric of the stories to ensure that each song is illuminated by both his playing and expressive singing.

His blues odyssey traces the ups and downs of a blues man who is fuelled by the optimism of the title track, but who also trawls the lows on ‘I Got Burned’ which is all stinging guitar and tinkling ivories over a whip-crack rhythm section.

His vocal phrasing really gets inside the slow blues of ‘Blues Prisoner’ as his sinewy guitar lines and Kevin McKendree’s rolling piano populate a classic slow blues which builds with unrelenting intensity

He cleverly juxtaposes the latter with an outright rocker with the uplifting title of ‘I Caught A Break’.

It’s a sister track to ‘Child Don’t Go’, an earlier train-time rocker and ‘call and response’ gospel style duet with Terrie Odabi. This song alone serves to illustrate Castro‘s ability to slip through the gears as the moment demands.

Much deeper in the album he adds the slide-led, riff driven ‘Bring It Back’ on which his hero lets his heart lead him back home.

The album cleverly illustrates every facet of a bluesman roller coaster working environment. There’s the youthful aspirations of the title track through a yearning soulful love song ‘You To Hold On To’, to the business side of the blues, as expressed by the greasy funk of the aptly titled ‘Hustle’, on which Keith Crossan’s sax work evokes early career War.

He toughens up his vocals and his guitar tone on the riff rocking ‘Women Drugs and Alcohol’ and searches for balance on the undulating funky groove of ‘Draw The Line.’, which owes much to Tommy MacDonald bass line and brings out a stellar vocal and intense guitar performance from Castro.

In contrast he draws on real feel and southern soul alongside special guest Deanna Bogart, who adds the perfect sax led resolution to the self explanatory ‘I Want To Go Back Home’.

Each song fits perfectly like a piece in a blues man’s jigsaw puzzle, as Castro achieves the difficult task of bringing fresh meaning to a genre that too often settles on good playing, but is hampered by lyrical cliché.

He tells us that the songs here are not autobiographical, but the fact that the themes are familiar, gives the material an almost universal flavour, the very thing quality songwriters always strive for.

Like the album’s subtitle ‘a blues odyssey’ suggests, we’re taken on a musical journey that finishes with the ambivalent contentment of having lived the kind of life that Castro himself knows so well. ****½ 

Review by Pete Feenstra,


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 1 August 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week and an interview with “metal queen” Lee Aaron.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 7 September 2021.


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.
You can Listen Again to shows via the presenter pages at www.getreadytorockradio.com

Featured Albums w/c 6 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 HEARTLAND Into The Future (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 VEGA Anarchy And Unity (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JACKSON BROWNE Downhill From Everywhere (indie)

Power Plays w/c 20 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BAD TOUCH Twenty Five Miles (Marshall)
THE HUMAN VEIL Enemies (indie)
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY Now’s The Time (Golden Robot Records)
VANSLEEP Oceans (indie)
TRUE NORTH Save Me (Out Of Line Music)
SORROW & THE SPIRE In The City Tonight (Golden Robot Records)



Popular (last 30 days)


Gig review: THE CINELLI BROTHERS- Cabbage Patch, Twickenham, 16 September 2021

THE CINELLI BROTHERS- Cabbage Patch, Twickenham, 16 September 2021

One of the advantages of being an active gig goer is picking up recommendations from like minded ‘gig buddies’ of new acts to discover. One such that were being raved about prior to the pandemic were blues band The Cinelli Brothers, who had supported Bernie Marsden and played the prestigious blues gigs at Pizza Express.

For obvious reasons it took me a while to check them out but to my delight they played a local show to me at the Eel Pie Club. They were the second new rising stars in a month to make a debut appearance here, after Connor Selby.

THE CINELLI BROTHERS- Cabbage Patch, Twickenham, 16 September 2021

The eponymous brothers, guitarist Marco and drummer Alessandro, are British based but Italian born and raised, and indeed could not look more archetypically Italian with their artfully coiffed dark hair and beards and stylish threads.

On the opener ‘Everything’s Gonna Be Alright Tonight’, Marco showed why he has been nominated for various blues guitarist awards with a marvellously tasteful solo which he made look so easy, but he shared top billing with the decidedly un- Italian Tom Julian-Jones, the hat wearing co-frontman whose blues harp playing dominated the first part of the song.

THE CINELLI BROTHERS- Cabbage Patch, Twickenham, 16 September 2021

Marco was very much in the lead on ‘Save Me’,  singing and using his wah wah pedal to coax some great sounds from his guitar, but then switched for a few numbers to keyboards, risking killing some of the momentum. In fact, Tom, wielding a left handed Strat was an excellent guitar player in his own right with a perhaps slightly edgier style, while it allowed them to dabble in a broad range of influences such as jazz and gospel.

 The two also shared lead vocal duties throughout the set and their versatility with different combinations of guitar, harmonica, keyboards and vocals according to the song contributed to a remarkably varied set. ‘Wanna Have a Good Time’- one of a number of songs from a forthcoming album- had the feel of vintage funk and on ‘Your Lies’, Marco’s sneering vocals was complemented nicely by  Tom’s harp playing.

THE CINELLI BROTHERS- Cabbage Patch, Twickenham, 16 September 2021

The other selling point was their engaging sense of fun, epitomised by the fact Alessandro and bass player Enzo Strano spontaneously traded places for a song.

Having opened with some fairly lengthy numbers, they then played some shorter songs including ‘Married Woman’, a cover of country star’s Vince Gill’s ‘One More Last Chance’, delivered in more of a swampy southern rock style as Tom’s power chords and Marco’s slide playing intertwined nicely, and ‘Nothing but a Player’ which had a similarly twangy feel.

THE CINELLI BROTHERS- Cabbage Patch, Twickenham, 16 September 2021

The second  set began in insidious style with ‘Wolf Whistle’, with more prominent blues harp playing, and ‘Last Cigarette’ which had a late night jazz club feel before a series of songs concluding with ‘Choo Ma Gum’, that returned to the style of loose and lengthy,  though never dull jams, not least when Marco was unleashing some exquisite solos.

They encored with Tom on lead vocals on ‘Back Down South’, preceded by joking that he was from ‘down south’ (Balham!) and the band leaving the stage to give Alessandro scope for a drum solo.

THE CINELLI BROTHERS- Cabbage Patch, Twickenham, 16 September 2021

While it could be argued they are offering nothing original, the Cinelli Brothers certainly put a fresh twist on the music that influenced them and as entertaining performers have a potential crossover appeal beyond just blues purists. After this successful introduction, they are definitely a band I am keen to spend more time getting into.

Review and photos by Andy Nathan


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 1 August 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week and an interview with “metal queen” Lee Aaron.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 7 September 2021.


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.
You can Listen Again to shows via the presenter pages at www.getreadytorockradio.com

Featured Albums w/c 6 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 HEARTLAND Into The Future (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 VEGA Anarchy And Unity (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JACKSON BROWNE Downhill From Everywhere (indie)

Power Plays w/c 20 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BAD TOUCH Twenty Five Miles (Marshall)
THE HUMAN VEIL Enemies (indie)
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY Now’s The Time (Golden Robot Records)
VANSLEEP Oceans (indie)
TRUE NORTH Save Me (Out Of Line Music)
SORROW & THE SPIRE In The City Tonight (Golden Robot Records)



Popular (last 30 days)


Book review: WHO IS BLUES Vol.2 – The Interviews. Blues Encounters 2000 – 2020 by Vincent Abbate

Vincent Abbate - Who Is Blues

Self Published [Publication date 01.09.21]

‘Who Is The Blues Vol.2: The Interviews. Blues Encounters 2000-2020′ is an interesting cross section of 20 years of interviews of contemporary blues artists by the German based, New York blues scribe Vincent Abbate.

Abbate is blessed with the ability to get his subjects to open up and tell their stories, while his engaging writing style makes for a very accessible book.

I have already reviewed his excellent Doug McLeod book which confusingly is titled Volume 1 of his ‘Who Is’ series. Volume 2 extends his scope over 15 diverse blues artists.

The antecedents of this book stretch back to 2017 when Abbate established his ‘Who Is The Blues’ blog and first interviewed Watermelon Slim, who along with Bobby Rush and Walter Trout turns out to be one of the most engaging subjects in this book.

Abbate’s gentle enquiring style is the perfect catalyst for 15 miniature, but revealing interviews which provide source material from the contemporary blues scene.

Outside of discussing various “latest” albums, the main focus of Abbate’s interviews is three fold, the business of the blues, the creative process and the eternal argument about what blues is.

When I first saw BB King on the cover, my heart sank a little as I wrongly assumed his subject matter would be the usual roll call of familiar names and stories. But I couldn’t be more wrong.

Eschewing the impulse to find out who his interviewees are in advance, I dived right in to immerse myself in The Holmes Brothers, who have taken the blues to parts of the globe many others in the book could only dream about.

It wasn’t difficult to maintain the element of surprise as the book lacks a table of contents, though the respective artists are printed in bold on the back cover.

My only other gripe is with the structure of the book which segregates the respective interviews from the one page biographies which appear at the end, while a lack of an index is less of an issue as the 256 pages that can be read very quickly

The fact that ‘Who Is Blues Vol 2′ is more of a digest than a weighty tome, means it  provides career snapshots with enough interesting revelations to give you an inside track on the contemporary blues scene.

For the most part, Abbate’s gentle encouragement leads to an interesting insider’s view of the music they play. Occasionally – probably due to a lack of time, as some interviewers only give him 20 minutes – he fails to persist with an analytical supplementary question. But it’s when considering the commercial potential or otherwise of the blues that the sense of common ground dissipates.

BB King for example proudly reflects on his visionary role in setting up his club to foster the blues in the South:”It’s a profitable place business-wise, somewhat because it opened up Memphis to what I thought it should have been even years ago.”

But the book also includes cautionary tales that reflect the downside of the genre.

Excellent slide guitarist John Mooney was mentored by the great Son House and talks about his trance blues and spiritual connection with the music, yet has to settle on weekend gigs as part of his responsibility to his family

The Paladins’ Dave Gonzales reflects on the way his band worked hard to retain their musical independence: “We mixed rhythm and blues, early rock and roll, country, gospel, jazz. We mixed all of that to come up with a hybrid rootsy sound.”

In the 20 year old interview, he also presciently notes: “All the 70’s jive rock players that fizzled out in LA are all in Nashville now.” And they still are, almost in aspic.

Sue Foley the Canadian darling of Austin, Texas in the 90’s, reflects on Canadian to US visa problems and the fact that: “The money is worse than it was ten years ago.”

Guitarist Josh Smith a highly rated sideman and session player also voices his frustration at trying to catch a break as a solo artist :”Everybody’s unique. But in the blues world, they expect you to fit into these little boxes.”

Perhaps he should pay heed to Bobby Rush, who makes the distinction between art and commerce and being an entertainer rather than merely a musician: “An entertainer is an entertainer. A musician is a musician. They’re both important, but one is more important than the other.”

He thinks this is specially the case on the Chitlin’ circuit which has served him so well for half a decade: “Back people go to see entertainers, not musicians.”

Watermelon Slim is another who finds the genre unforgiving, even though he has clearly lived the blues: “I’m a songwriter and a master of the English language. That’s what my entire curriculum was. But that doesn’t make you a commercially successful musician.”

His interview alone makes the book worthwhile, as he moves from excruciating stories of living the blues, to the surreal.

It’s not all doom and gloom of course, as Walter Trout tells us that having stared death in the face he treats each day as blessing and retains the same kind of  independent spirit that has sustained Bobby Rush for over 50 years:” I didn’t let people tell me what to do. I maintained my vision and I followed my muse when people were vilifying me and my music. I didn’t change it. My life has been a great adventure.”

Going back to the entertainment element of the blues the late Terry Evans gives us an insight into reading his audience:” What I try to do is enjoy myself, enjoy the musicians I’m working with. We create an atmosphere and it transcends the people.”

When it comes to blues police, Trout even turns negative quote: “Too many Notes , too loud” into a positive, by printing the quote on his tour T-shirts, while Tommy Castro also offers these wise words: “They forget that the people who created the music were not interested in doing pure blues. They did it because that what was popular with their audiences at the time. They were always trying to do something more creative and different.”

Quinn Sullivan on other hand was mentored by Buddy Guy, but appears to have broad enough shoulders to realize the opportunities he’s had and is eager to see where they will take him.

John Mooney, Paul Delay and Samantha Fish all offer insights into their creative process, while Fish also tantalisingly tells us about a possible book about being a woman in a predominantly male dominated work place: “It’s not necessarily their experiences or their perceptions, but other peoples’ perceptions of them that’s different.”

‘Who Is Blues Volume 2′ offers insightful interviews with plenty of substance and no little humour. The author’s own evocative prose is best exemplified by the way he describes some of his interviewees. In the case of the late harp player Paul Delay, he memorably remembers that:” The nine time zones that separated us were no match for his oversized personality and boyish humour.”

He also describes Ronnie Baker Brooks as: “A warm hearted, genuine person.” They don’t always have to finish last do they?

You get the feeling that as long as Vincent Abbate continues to shine his light on such blues artists they won’t.

One final point, Abbate tells us there are no Europeans blues artists here, an omission he hopes to make up for in what will surely be a much anticipated volume 3.  *****

Review by Pete Feenstra


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 1 August 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week and an interview with “metal queen” Lee Aaron.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 7 September 2021.


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.
You can Listen Again to shows via the presenter pages at www.getreadytorockradio.com

Featured Albums w/c 6 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 HEARTLAND Into The Future (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 VEGA Anarchy And Unity (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JACKSON BROWNE Downhill From Everywhere (indie)

Power Plays w/c 20 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BAD TOUCH Twenty Five Miles (Marshall)
THE HUMAN VEIL Enemies (indie)
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY Now’s The Time (Golden Robot Records)
VANSLEEP Oceans (indie)
TRUE NORTH Save Me (Out Of Line Music)
SORROW & THE SPIRE In The City Tonight (Golden Robot Records)



Popular (last 30 days)


Album review: PARADOX – Heresy II, End Of A Legend

AFM Records [release date: 24.09.21]

German giants of Thrash, Paradox are well known within the genre. They have a sizeable coterie of discerning fans who’ve followed them since the band’s inception in 1986. Had their chosen genre been say, power metal, they would easily be as big as Helloween or Iron Saviour. No question.

Any doubts about that claim will be dispelled by listening to their eighth album, Heresy II, the second half of 1990′s Heresy release. Lyrically, reflections on the persecution of the Cathars in 14th century Europe will not sit comfortably with many, but the original Heresy album sold well.

The music is dramatic, battle hardened metal, armed with speeding bullets of thrashed out melody and barbed, biting axework, surrounded on all sides by locomotive riffs.

Opener, ‘Mountains And Caves’, ‘Children Of A Virgin’ and ‘Journey Into Fear’ are all cast from the same template. As each song opens, Charlie Steinhauer and Christian Munzner’s pummeling guitars signal an early warning. They’re quick to reach a gallop, then even quicker to accelerate into some lightning fast Thrash, led by Steinhauer’s breathless, quasi spoken word growl. This is music as an emotional power, disturbing, lyrical, technical, dark in places, light in (very few) others.

The ghost of early Metallica – a clear influence on a fledgling Paradox – creeps noisily into ‘Man Of Sorrow’ and ‘Priestly Vows’, but in fairness, that band’s influence has long been assimilated into the visceral, violent power of the Paradox sound.

The intensity can be unnerving at times, the rhythms underlying so many of these tracks have a panicky pace. A desperate rush for salvation. We should hope Paradox get there soon. ***1/2

Review by Brian McGowan


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 1 August 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week and an interview with “metal queen” Lee Aaron.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 7 September 2021.


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.
You can Listen Again to shows via the presenter pages at www.getreadytorockradio.com

Featured Albums w/c 6 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 HEARTLAND Into The Future (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 VEGA Anarchy And Unity (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JACKSON BROWNE Downhill From Everywhere (indie)

Power Plays w/c 20 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BAD TOUCH Twenty Five Miles (Marshall)
THE HUMAN VEIL Enemies (indie)
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY Now’s The Time (Golden Robot Records)
VANSLEEP Oceans (indie)
TRUE NORTH Save Me (Out Of Line Music)
SORROW & THE SPIRE In The City Tonight (Golden Robot Records)



Popular (last 30 days)


Gig review: LEAFHOUND- Cabbage Patch, Twickenham, 9 September 2021

LEAFHOUND- Cabbage Patch, Twickenham, 9 September 2021

The long and intriguing history of Leafhound is now entering a new chapter. Their sole 1971 album, released after the band had already split, has subsequently become a cult classic especially among the stoner rock community, with original vinyl copies going for £6000!

In more recent years, in the mid 2000s singer Peter French put together a new line up with some extremely able younger musicians, who I’ve been privileged to see many times. They released an excellent album ‘Unleashed’ but incredibly that was nearly 15 years ago. With band members gradually moving on, only a live album since and infrequent shows, I will confess that I was losing interest and wondering whether the band had run its natural course.

LEAFHOUND- Cabbage Patch, Twickenham, 9 September 2021

However when word reached me that they would be playing some new songs, my interest was freshly piqued by this gig at one of Pete’s haunts, the Eel Pie Club at the Cabbage Patch- ironically only weeks after I had seen him here fronting the resurrected Atomic Rooster.

They opened with ‘Sad Road To The Sea’ which flowered into a spectacular jam in which all three musicians identifiably showed their paces, but notably bassist Peter Herbert, whose stage movements were a talking point as he rocked back and forth and essayed some spectacular if rather risky leaps and high kicks.

LEAFHOUND- Cabbage Patch, Twickenham, 9 September 2021

‘105 Degrees’ saw the first chance to shine for new(ish) guitarist Tim Smith with its wah-wah solo and the first surprise of the night came in Pete playing a song from his Cactus days, ‘Bad Stuff’,  which very much had the spirit of early seventies American hard rock.

My pre-gig fears that the Unelashed stuff would now be eased aside were unfounded with the dry and bluesy ‘Nickels and Dimes’, a tad slower than the recorded version,  and the ‘Man With The Moon In Him’. Pete sounded rather like UFO’s  Phil Mogg on the verse while the solo gave Tom a chance to burn up and down his racing green-coloured Les Paul in faster fashion.

I was always a big fan of his predecessor Luke Rayner’s fluid, languid style but Tom combined this soul with a harder edge to his playing. ‘Overtime’ was another given a new lease of life by the new band’s sharper edge, as was ‘Barricades’ in the second set.

LEAFHOUND- Cabbage Patch, Twickenham, 9 September 2021

However they went into the break with the moment we had been waiting for in the first public airing of a new song, ‘Burn The House Down’,  a storming straight-ahead rocker with a big riff and strong hook on the chorus that could have come from the late seventies or early eighties works of UFO, Riot or Y and T. It made nothing less than a stunning impact.

They kicked off the second half of the set with the other two new numbers.  ‘Hold Back The Night’ was in a similar style, though not quite as impressive while ‘Cinderella’ was a more adventurous  proposition with its bluesy riff, Pete straining his voice to the limit and an interesting Eastern sounding guitar pattern over the chorus.

LEAFHOUND- Cabbage Patch, Twickenham, 9 September 2021

The Atomic Rooster songs they used to play have now naturally been dropped but until now ‘Growers of Mushroom’ had been unexpectedly marginal. That was rectified with the title track with Pete’s anecdote dispelling some of the myths about the meaning it has taken on – it featured some spectacular jamming between the trio of musicians either side of a drum solo from his son Dominic.

‘With A Minute To Go’ was a change of pace with a more laid back and almost psychedelic feel while still boasting a nice guitar solo, but then came the moment I had waited for,  to see how Tom would put his spin on the massive riff that is ‘Freelance Fiend’ and he and indeed the band did not disappoint.

LEAFHOUND- Cabbage Patch, Twickenham, 9 September 2021

Similarly, on the encore, the ‘Crossroads’ influenced ‘Too Many Rock n Roll Times’, always a live favourite  was given fresh life and heaviness. Peter himself seemed reinvigorated  by the presence of fresh blood and showed himself to be one of the few of his contemporaries who is singing as well as ever. After this show, I’m eagerly awaiting the results in the studio of this third act of the Leafhound story.

Review and photos by Andy Nathan


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 1 August 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week and an interview with “metal queen” Lee Aaron.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 7 September 2021.


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.
You can Listen Again to shows via the presenter pages at www.getreadytorockradio.com

Featured Albums w/c 6 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 HEARTLAND Into The Future (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 VEGA Anarchy And Unity (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JACKSON BROWNE Downhill From Everywhere (indie)

Power Plays w/c 20 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BAD TOUCH Twenty Five Miles (Marshall)
THE HUMAN VEIL Enemies (indie)
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY Now’s The Time (Golden Robot Records)
VANSLEEP Oceans (indie)
TRUE NORTH Save Me (Out Of Line Music)
SORROW & THE SPIRE In The City Tonight (Golden Robot Records)



Popular (last 30 days)


Album review: SAVATAGE – Sirens and Dungeons Are Calling (remasters)

ear-MUSIC [release date 3.09.21]

We’re cranking the machine way back to 1982, and Savatage’s twin debuts, Sirens and Dungeons Are Calling, both independently released.

The band, Jon and Criss Oliva, Keith Collins and Steve Wacholz recorded and mixed all the tracks in a day. Quite an achievement, but such was the limited storage capacity of vinyl, the recordings were split. Thus an LP and an EP were released.

Both have now been reissued in remastered form by Ear/Edel, who have embarked on a new series of back catalogue remasters. (Next up, Saga).

Defined by the the ominous chime of church bells and the clang of heavy metal guitars on Siren‘s opening track, the band’s doomy and direct metal had them wading into dark waters indeed.

The album wasn’t universally acclaimed, but even now, looking back, the tracks are performed with such vigorous animal intensity you can’t help but be impressed. ‘Holocaust’, ‘Rage’ and ‘Twisted Little Sister’ are just as visceral as the titles suggest. ***

Though Dungeons Are Calling was written and recorded at the same time, you have to say that it has the vision and the ambition that Sirens doesn’t.

Once we get past the theatricality of the intro, the title track has the band
really going for it. They’d clearly gained in confidence as the session progressed.

We’re in a heavy metal world of Dungeons And Dragons. ‘Midas Knight’ and ‘By The Grace Of The Witch’ simply quake with armour plated riffs and pneumatic rhythms. ‘City Beneath The Surface’ isn’t far behind. And yet… with the benefit of hindsight, a close examination of the lyrics reveal veiled references to the murky world of drug addiction, and an underlying empathy for lost souls… ‘I steal from my friends’, ‘a prisoner in hell’, ‘live like the dead’, and so forth. ***1/2

On both, the label’s rich remastering job has improved the listening experience. The “recorded in a cave” ambience has been replaced by a much more contemporary sound, adding depth and weight to the band’s recordings.

By accident or design, Savatage had created a substantial chunk of metalised music that would act as a loud and proud calling card. No surprise that Atlantic Records signed them within months of Sirens and Dungeons…’ release.

Review by Brian McGowan


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 1 August 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week and an interview with “metal queen” Lee Aaron.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 7 September 2021.


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.
You can Listen Again to shows via the presenter pages at www.getreadytorockradio.com

Featured Albums w/c 6 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 HEARTLAND Into The Future (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 VEGA Anarchy And Unity (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JACKSON BROWNE Downhill From Everywhere (indie)

Power Plays w/c 20 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BAD TOUCH Twenty Five Miles (Marshall)
THE HUMAN VEIL Enemies (indie)
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY Now’s The Time (Golden Robot Records)
VANSLEEP Oceans (indie)
TRUE NORTH Save Me (Out Of Line Music)
SORROW & THE SPIRE In The City Tonight (Golden Robot Records)



Popular (last 30 days)


Album review: INGLORIOUS- Heroine

INGLORIOUS - Heroine

Frontiers Records (Release Date 10.09.21)

In the seventies it was not uncommon for bands to release two albums a year but it is virtually unheard of these days. So I was surprised when I learned that a little over six months after the release of their very strong fourth ‘We Will Ride’ album, Inglorious have taken advantage of the extra time with no touring opportunities to release a full-length covers album.

On the face of it, this might seem a strange career move. They launched their career with covers of ‘Fool For Your Lovin’ and ‘Burn’ and have since had to work extra hard on original material to convince the naysayers that are out there. In addition, with live action starting up again it detracts attention from their previous release.

Yet this is an intriguing covers album with a difference, as every one of its eleven songs was originally sung by a female artist. Moreover, no bases are uncovered as they dip their toe into covering pop, dance and alternative rock acts.

From the opener of Whitney Houston’s ‘Queen of the Night’, with Nathan James’ raw bluesy tone very much reminding me of Skin’s Nev MacDonald and a spectacular guitar solo, nearly every song is given the Inglorious treatment and  turned into a storming hard rocker regardless of its origins.

The one exception is the penultimate number, Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Time After Time’  which is delivered in even more stripped back fashion with raw, hurting vocals from Nathan James. It is easy to imagine it’s something he might have done in his days as a reality TV hopeful.

Heart’s ‘Barracuda’ is given a faithful rendition with brilliant guitar work even if the arrangement is a little too cluttered.  Other much-covered rock classics such as ‘Nutbush City Limits’, with some r’n’b-style piano, and ‘I Hate Myself for Loving You’ are fun, but unchallenging.

More interesting is when they tackle different genres. Christina Aguilera’s ‘Fighter’ and Miley Cyrus  ‘Midnight Sky’ are transformed into rockers, the latter sounding more like Shinedown  though that got me thinking that contemporary rock has adopted more dance music influences than we might like to admit. A brilliant rocked up version of Avril Lavigne’s ‘I’m In You’ shows quite what an underrated power ballad that was.

In the middle ground are more alternative rock songs, a particularly interesting development as ‘We Will Ride’ saw them moving away from the classic bluesy hard rock towards a new more modern direction.   Evanescence’s Bring Me to Life’ is complete with a touch of nu-metal rapping and Halestorm’s ‘I Am the Fire’ provides a neat symmetry in this as Lzzy Hale’s outfit are a suitable comparison, having themselves released EPs of cover versions of a dizzying variety of original styles.

The album ends with Alanis Morrissette’s ‘Uninvited’ delivered in epic fashion with Nathan going from a falsetto to his trademark throaty roar, supported by a big production. This had already become a live favourite pre-pandemic and, I would wager, lit the spark for this whole concept. It is one they have carried off spectacularly well- with the band sounding this good let’s hope they continue to write their own material in just as good a vein.

**** 1/4

Review by Andy Nathan


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 1 August 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week and an interview with “metal queen” Lee Aaron.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 7 September 2021.


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.
You can Listen Again to shows via the presenter pages at www.getreadytorockradio.com

Featured Albums w/c 6 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 HEARTLAND Into The Future (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 VEGA Anarchy And Unity (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JACKSON BROWNE Downhill From Everywhere (indie)

Power Plays w/c 20 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BAD TOUCH Twenty Five Miles (Marshall)
THE HUMAN VEIL Enemies (indie)
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY Now’s The Time (Golden Robot Records)
VANSLEEP Oceans (indie)
TRUE NORTH Save Me (Out Of Line Music)
SORROW & THE SPIRE In The City Tonight (Golden Robot Records)



Popular (last 30 days)


Album review: LEAVES EYES – The Last Viking, Midsummer Version

AFM Records [release date: 17.09.21]

Leaves Eyes’ latest release, The Last Viking, Midsummer Version, is a multi media concept album, a high impact audiovisual story.

The “Last Viking” was Harald III of Norway, known as Harald Hardrada (Harald the Hard Man). In 1066 he took 7000 vikings into battle on mainland England. Few came back alive. From the 300 ships of the Viking invasion force, only 24 returned to Norway.

This is their story. On 3CDs, DVDs and a 90 minute, three part series on YouTube.

The soundtrack to the series is on CDs 2 and 3.
The album’s focal point – the songs (14 of them), are on CD1:

This was a mammoth Symphonic Metal undertaking. The band, primarily Elina Siirala and Alexander Krull on vocals, plus guitarist/writer Thorsten Bauer, had to write a cinematic soundtrack that also doubled as a stand alone metal album. A considerable challenge.

Most of the time it works. Lovers of Symphonic Rock and Metal will love the production’s big movie orchestral feel, the adventurous notes, and the dark, passionate intensity of the songs.

It will be reassuring for fans to learn that many of the tracks are laced with the folk stylings for which the band is known. The most notable are ‘Varangian’, ‘For Victory’ and ‘Serpents And Dragons’. The celts and the vikings were two ethnic groups who had close relationships in the middle ages. Accordingly, many celtic rhythms and instrumentations permeate these songs, carefully and colourfully threaded through the cranked up folk metal that takes centre stage.

As anyone familiar with the band’s previous material would expect, the guts of the album is about mood and melancholy, a band creating its own highly melodic metal landscape… the music is incredibly emotional, but it’s not triumphant, because of the subject matter. ‘Serkland’ and ‘Black Butterfly’ are perhaps the most accessible tracks, with catchy tunes, heroic music and operatic chorale passages. Elina Siirala’s sweet soprano radiates energy, pulsing outwards into every corner. She doesn’t force it. Her voice just goes where she wants it to go.

The album’s climactic conclusion comes with ‘Break Into The Sky of Aeon’. In true operatic tradition, like other significant tracks, ‘Dark Love Empress’ and ‘War Of Kings’, it’s full of repeating orchestral themes and leitmotifs. And a strong sense of sadness (underlined by Krull’s growl) as those last survivors make it home. A sombre yet uplifting finish. ****

Review by Brian McGowan


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 1 August 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week and an interview with “metal queen” Lee Aaron.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 7 September 2021.


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.
You can Listen Again to shows via the presenter pages at www.getreadytorockradio.com

Featured Albums w/c 6 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 HEARTLAND Into The Future (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 VEGA Anarchy And Unity (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JACKSON BROWNE Downhill From Everywhere (indie)

Power Plays w/c 20 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BAD TOUCH Twenty Five Miles (Marshall)
THE HUMAN VEIL Enemies (indie)
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY Now’s The Time (Golden Robot Records)
VANSLEEP Oceans (indie)
TRUE NORTH Save Me (Out Of Line Music)
SORROW & THE SPIRE In The City Tonight (Golden Robot Records)



Popular (last 30 days)


Feature: Albums that time forgot…THE STORM (Gregg Rolie, Ross Valory, Steve Smith)

The Storm - 1991

Interscope/Atlantic 1991

The Storm is very much a case of “what we did in our down time”.  With Journey on hiatus in the late eighties Neal Schon formed Bad English then Hardline (debut album Double Eclipse in 1992) whilst Journey alumni  Gregg Rolie, Ross Valory and Steve Smith formed a band with Kevin Chalfant (vocals) and Josh Ramos (guitars).

Chalfant and Valory had already worked together (The Vu) and their songs came to the attention of producer Beau Hill (Winger, Ratt) and Jimmy Iovine who had recently started the Interscope Records label.

Many will think this offering Journey-lite without Schon’s incendiary guitar and Steve Perry’s vocals although Chalfant (and Ramos) do a very good job.

Ross Valory: “There was a stigma attached to the band because people said ‘these are members of Journey, but it’s not Journey’. We didn’t gain the recognition we deserved. Record executives would say that although it was good music, it wasn’t really what they were selling at the time. They thought the demographic for The Storm were baby boomers.”

The Storm should be considered along with that Hardline debut and other contemporary albums such as Lou Gramm’s Shadow King.  It was like a last hurrah for melodic hard rock/AOR before the winds changed to the blast emanating from Seattle.

This really was the pinnacle of the genre and it is interesting to compare and contrast with the production line nature of much modern melodic rock.  I guess it’s a great combination of budget, musicianship and production/programming (Beau Hill/Bob Marlette).  Or was there just something in the air at this time?

The Storm
The Storm in 1991: (l to r) Kevin Chalfant, Gregg Rolie, Ross Valory, Josh Ramos and Steve Smith

The album opens appropriately with crackling thunder and the energising ‘You Keep Me Waiting’ whilst ‘In The Raw’ has a ‘Money For Nothing-esque’ intro and straight into a humongous riff.  If you don’t get off on this you need to see your GP even if by video conference.  Ditto ‘Touch And Go’, whilst ‘Gimme Love’ is another slice of  late hair metal crunch.

There are several upbeat blasts of AOR such as ‘You’re Gonna Miss Me’ whilst ‘Show Me The Way’ and ‘Can’t Live Without Love’ are power ballads that made the Top 10 rock charts at the time. Gregg Rolie supplies the lead vocals on the mid-tempo ‘Still Loving You’.

A second album (with Ron Wikso on drums who replaced Smith when the band started touring) was in the can before the label switched their musical focus to gangsta rap (not grunge!) and therefore the band was dropped.  ‘Eye Of The Storm’ was later released by Music For Nations in 1996 and reissued by Krescendo in 2008.  The debut has not so far been reissued.

Ron Wikso told GRTR!’s Jason Ritchie in 2003 “As far as whether or not there will ever be another Storm album, who knows? At this point, unless there were some really compelling reason to do one, it doesn’t seem likely but I’ve learned never to rule things out.

Right now though, Gregg and I are really concentrating on the Gregg Rolie Band – and digging every minute of it – and Ross Valory is busy playing with Journey. Kevin has his own band, is playing with Alan Parsons and occasionally comes out and sings with us in the Gregg Rolie Band when we do some of the Journey material. I don’t really know what Josh is doing but, suffice it to say, there is nothing planned at the moment for The Storm.”

Kevin Chalfant told Jason Ritchie in 2002 that he’d love to see The Storm reform and, yes, there were unreleased tracks.  GRTR!’s melodic rock expert Andy Nathan reviewed Chalfant’s 2016 gig at the Rockingham Festival commenting: “The Storm … really cemented his reputation as an AOR demi god.”

The Storm effectively petered out with Smith and Valory rejoining Journey in 1995.  Rolie has followed a solo career since then including spells with Ringo Starr and Santana. Chalfant and Ramos formed a band called Two Fires with a debut release in 2000.

© 2007-2021 David Randall.  All rights reserved.

2020 Vision - Rock. Reviewed. Revisited.


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 1 August 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week and an interview with “metal queen” Lee Aaron.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 7 September 2021.


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.
You can Listen Again to shows via the presenter pages at www.getreadytorockradio.com

Featured Albums w/c 6 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 HEARTLAND Into The Future (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 VEGA Anarchy And Unity (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JACKSON BROWNE Downhill From Everywhere (indie)

Power Plays w/c 20 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BAD TOUCH Twenty Five Miles (Marshall)
THE HUMAN VEIL Enemies (indie)
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY Now’s The Time (Golden Robot Records)
VANSLEEP Oceans (indie)
TRUE NORTH Save Me (Out Of Line Music)
SORROW & THE SPIRE In The City Tonight (Golden Robot Records)



Popular (last 30 days)


Album review: BONNIE TYLER – The East West Years 1995-98 (3 CDs)

Cherry Red [release date: 17.09.21]

Bonnie Tyler’s two most famous songs, ‘Total Eclipse Of The Heart’ (1983) and ‘It’s A Heartache’ (1977) are among the best selling singles of all time, with combined sales of over 12 million.
She’s enjoyed considerable commercial success for many years. Not least with German label, Hansa (now BMG) and writer/producer, Dieter Bohlen. Despite that, Tyler moved to Eastwest Records in the mid nineties, looking for a fresh beginning.
This 3 CD set contains her two album releases on that label, plus a third CD, jam packed with special edits, radio versions, dubs and extended mixes of the biggies from those two albums, Free Spirit (1995) and All In One Voice (1998).

Only two albums perhaps, but a significant slice of time in Tyler’s long career. The label put everything behind Free Spirit, bringing in a panoply of writer/ producers with proven track records … Humberto Gattica, David Foster, Jim Steinman, Christopher Neil, and top professionals on backing vocals . . . Eric Troyer, Chris Thompson, Glen Burtnik, Kasim Sulton and more.
The investment paid off. The songs are robust and thunderous, brimful of sturdy tunes and stadium sized choruses.
Steinman’s ‘Making Love (Out Of Nothing At All)’, a supersized version of Air Supply’s original; Andy Hill’s ‘Given It All’, a bittersweet AOR beauty, tailor fitted for FM Radio, and a dancefloor version of ‘Steinman’s ‘Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad’ are the probable picks. But before the prizes are awarded, you have to come back to another Andy Hill song, ‘Make It Right Tonight’ a gorgeously understated study of forlorn romance. And a perfect fit for Tyler’s rough hewn voice.
The album and its spin-off singles enjoyed significant sales in Europe and the USA. ****

Most successful artists reach that point in their career where they want to widen their musical horizons, or as the music press would term it, “their experimental stage”. That moment came in 1998, with All One Voice.

As a singer brought up in the celtic musical tradition, Tyler looked first to Ireland, hooking up with well known producer of ethnic Irish music, Jimmy Smyth. The first half of the album features songs adorned with traditional Irish folk song instrumentation. It’s a huge jump from David Foster’s “bombastic pop kitsch” (Rolling Stone 1985) to the harp, the flute and the whistle. And so the music found few admirers.
The second half of the album was recorded in Germany by well known producer, Harold Faltermyer, and is peppered with songs written by the unlikeliest of bedfellows, like Royal Republic, Frankie Miller, and Franz Gruber. And includes disparate covers, including Bette Midler’s ‘The Rose’, and Screamin Jay Hawkins’ ‘I Put A Spell On You’.

Interesting as these combinations were, the album was not a commercial success. **1/2

Completists will love the third CD in the set, Singles And Bonus Tracks.
‘Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad’ presents in six variations. The ‘soft dub’ and the ‘cha cha dub’ versions are marvellously inventive. The ‘Tribal Beats’ version shows you just what fun producers can have in the studio.
But the real bonuses are the two versions of the Alan Parson’s song ‘Limelight’, most especially the amped up “Overture Mix”, a roof raising, crowd pleasing stadium sized ballad written for the AOR generation. It eventually became a bonus track on later pressings of the Free Spirit album. It is a bonus track among bonus tracks, and is a magnificently apposite closer. ***

Review by Brian McGowan


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 1 August 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week and an interview with “metal queen” Lee Aaron.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 7 September 2021.


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.
You can Listen Again to shows via the presenter pages at www.getreadytorockradio.com

Featured Albums w/c 6 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 HEARTLAND Into The Future (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 VEGA Anarchy And Unity (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JACKSON BROWNE Downhill From Everywhere (indie)

Power Plays w/c 20 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BAD TOUCH Twenty Five Miles (Marshall)
THE HUMAN VEIL Enemies (indie)
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY Now’s The Time (Golden Robot Records)
VANSLEEP Oceans (indie)
TRUE NORTH Save Me (Out Of Line Music)
SORROW & THE SPIRE In The City Tonight (Golden Robot Records)



Popular (last 30 days)


Album review: IRON MAIDEN – Senjutsu

Parlophone [Release date 03.09.21]

It’s been almost 6 years since Iron Maiden released Book Of Souls to an eagerly waiting world. For me it was one of the most disappointing releases of the band’s career, over long, plodding and ultimately boring, not a criticism I ever expected to level at Maiden.

When the details emerged for Senjutsu I was immediately drawn to the song listing, and in particular, the duration of each track. Again, few songs dipped below the seven-minute mark and with a total duration of over 80 minutes my heart sank, was this to be Book Of Souls part 2 and another snooze fest?

Thankfully not! Things get off to an interesting start with an almost tribal like drum intro to the title track ‘Sejutsu’. This is a heavy track with Nicko McBrain leading the way with a huge drum sound and the triple guitar attack providing a driving, riff led rhythm, whilst Bruce Dickinson puts in a soaring vocal performance, a good start then.

The band released two tracks in the weeks leading up to the album release and both are up next starting with ‘Straego’. This is a good, old fashioned Maiden romp with Steve Harris’s galloping bass line driving the rhythm section. This song is everything that was missing on the ‘Book Of Souls’ album exciting, vibrant and something to get the fans moving in a live setting.

The other pre-album release was ‘The Writing On The Wall’ which takes us down another path with it’s acoustic, spaghetti western style opening leading on to a bluesy riff. The song then progresses through various twists and hooks you in with a big chorus to scream along to, is this really the same band that released such a plodder six years ago?

‘Lost In A Lost World’ also starts off with a quiet acoustic passage with a gentle vocal from Bruce before all hell breaks loose once more with Dave, Adrian and  Janick cranking out the riffs and solos with aplomb.

At this point I must mention the album production by Kevin Shirley. He has done a fantastic job of capturing the sound on this occasion and the mix is spot on. He has given the band a harder edge this time around, especially on the guitars, which again lifts the songs and conjures up memories of Maiden at their best.

The results of Kevin’s work are amply displayed in the next track ‘Days Of Future Past’ another full-on Maiden romp with a huge, rocking sound to get the blood pumping.

Next up is one of my album highlights and the first of the longer epics on the album. ’The Time Machine’ is laden with interesting melodies and time changes and you are never sure what is coming next. It continues with the prog rock theme of ‘Book Of Souls’ but with a much harder edge this time around. This is the Iron Maiden we know and love.

‘Darkest Hour’ finds the band in full on ballad mode, and what a track it is! From the intricate guitar intro through to the climactic ending this track is a classic. Bruce’s emotional vocal delivery on this one is outstanding whilst the mid-song guitar solos are some of the best on the album with a bluesy edge to them.

Following the big ballad, you will want something to up the pace and to get you bouncing. Look no further than ‘Death Of The Celts’. This is the natural successor to ‘The Clansman’, again with a strong Scottish theme and melody line to boot. It’s a bit of a slow builder, but once you hit the riffs in the mid-section it all comes to life and you can almost picture the carnage in the pit when this one is played live.

We are transported further back in time with ‘The Parchment’ which conjures up pictures of ancient Egypt and the ‘Powerslave’ album in equal measure. This is the longest track on the album clocking in at over 12 minutes, but it holds your interest and never feels like it outstays it’s welcome. Again, this is down to interesting and well-developed melody and time changes throughout coupled with more top-notch guitar work.

‘Hell On Earth’ then rounds of the trio of closing tracks which in total clock in at over 34 minutes! This is another 11 minute epic which builds from a quiet intro into another all-out Maiden classic riding on a wave of Steve Harris’s galloping bass line and big riffs from eighteen string guitar attack.

‘Senjutsu’ is a long album and for some it may to too much but for me this album is everything that Book Of Souls wasn’t. Where the last album sounded like it was produced by a band who were past their best and jaded, this album is from a newly revitalised Iron Maiden who have honed their metal edge once more and have delivered a collection of songs worthy of their legacy. Welcome back guys.  *****

Review by Dave Wilson


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 1 August 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week and an interview with “metal queen” Lee Aaron.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 7 September 2021.


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.
You can Listen Again to shows via the presenter pages at www.getreadytorockradio.com

Featured Albums w/c 6 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 HEARTLAND Into The Future (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 VEGA Anarchy And Unity (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JACKSON BROWNE Downhill From Everywhere (indie)

Power Plays w/c 20 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BAD TOUCH Twenty Five Miles (Marshall)
THE HUMAN VEIL Enemies (indie)
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY Now’s The Time (Golden Robot Records)
VANSLEEP Oceans (indie)
TRUE NORTH Save Me (Out Of Line Music)
SORROW & THE SPIRE In The City Tonight (Golden Robot Records)



Popular (last 30 days)


EP review: MUDDIBROOKE – Luncay

MUDDIBROOKE - Lunacy

Self-release [Release date 22.10.21]

‘Lunacy’ is the debut EP from Derby based alt rockers MuddiBrooke who formed in January 2020. They have previously released two singles and music videos which have seen them receive airplay on Kerrang! Radio and earn them ‘Track of the Week’ on BBC Introducing.

MuddiBrooke consist of ‘Brooke’ Harriet McDonnell (guitar, lead vocals), Anna Melidone (bass, vocals) and Mary Prince (drums).

The title track starts things off and from just one listen you can hear that MuddiBrooke have that certain ‘something’ about them. From the vocals of Brooke and the tight ass rhythm section, this song is a winner. ‘Liverpool Guy’ is a bit of fun lyrically, with said Liverpool guy “Liverpool guy wants to kiss me but I don’t know where he’s been.”

Not quite taken by ‘Straight Jacket’, although at just under two minutes and full of guitar riffs, it certainly packs a punch.

The acoustic ‘Turn To Dust’ shows MuddiBrooke’s gentler side, well until the electric guitar and rhythm section kicks in halfway through! ‘Fake It’ is another alt rocker with a grungy undertone. One of this EP’s strengths is the production which is crisp and precise, especially on the vocals.

MuddiBrooke are a name to watch out for in the coming months as their debut EP is a bit of a belter! ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

1st Oct – SHEFFIELD, Sidney & Matilda

2nd Nov – SHEFFIELD, West Street Live

14th Dec – BIRMINGHAM, The Sunflower Lounge


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 1 August 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week and an interview with “metal queen” Lee Aaron.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 7 September 2021.


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.
You can Listen Again to shows via the presenter pages at www.getreadytorockradio.com

Featured Albums w/c 6 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 HEARTLAND Into The Future (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 VEGA Anarchy And Unity (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JACKSON BROWNE Downhill From Everywhere (indie)

Power Plays w/c 20 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BAD TOUCH Twenty Five Miles (Marshall)
THE HUMAN VEIL Enemies (indie)
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY Now’s The Time (Golden Robot Records)
VANSLEEP Oceans (indie)
TRUE NORTH Save Me (Out Of Line Music)
SORROW & THE SPIRE In The City Tonight (Golden Robot Records)



Popular (last 30 days)


Album review: GUS G – Quantum Leap

GUS G - Quantum Leap

AFM Records [Release date 08.10.21]

When I interviewed Gus G back stage in Manchester in 2012 all the talk was how he had fared with Ozzy.  He contributed to the album ‘Scream’ (2010) and there were high hopes of a more regular gig.  But as time went on it became evident that Ozzy’s late career was in hiatus and then of course there was the brief Sabbath reunion.  Then it seemed Zakk Wylde was back in favour.

The truth is that whilst the Ozzy gig was prestigious it took Gus G away from his own fanbase and his own furrow, ploughed since 2002 when he released the debut Firewind album.

Thankfully, in this respect, he returned to his first love and has since released four excellent band albums and three under his own name.   Whilst the guitarist provides continuity and class Firewind have had a series of vocalists and long serving keyboard player Bob Katsionis left in 2020.

So on to 2021 and his first all instrumental album, which I am sure will tick a few more boxes for his fans.  A bonus CD captures selected solo album highlights recorded live in Budapest in 2018.

Gus G is one of the more engaging and charismatic  shredders around and this album is full of his fluid figures whether on tracks like ‘Exosphere’ or ‘Quantum Lead’.  The best bits are when he breaks things down as during the punchy mid-section of ‘Chronesthesia’ or the slower ‘Enigma Of Life’ and the Terminator beat of ‘Night Driver’.

Of course, an instrumental album is quite a challenge, both in terms of variety and in keeping the listener’s attention.  As you might expect whilst there is no shortage of serial riffage (‘Judgement Day’, ‘Fierce’, Demon Stomp’, ‘Force Majeure’) Gus G piles on the melody too and in this respect comes across as a more metallic Satriani in places (‘Not Forgotten’).  But unlike other guitarist solo albums you won’t find any big diversions here, no country picking and no funk or blues.

Overall, the album may be too widdly-diddly for some and maybe even a little predictable (and old school) for others.  It may be a ‘Quantum Leap’ only in title but melodic metal guitar lovers will still wet themselves.  ***1/2

Review by David Randall


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 1 August 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week and an interview with “metal queen” Lee Aaron.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 7 September 2021.


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.
You can Listen Again to shows via the presenter pages at www.getreadytorockradio.com

Featured Albums w/c 6 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 HEARTLAND Into The Future (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 VEGA Anarchy And Unity (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JACKSON BROWNE Downhill From Everywhere (indie)

Power Plays w/c 20 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BAD TOUCH Twenty Five Miles (Marshall)
THE HUMAN VEIL Enemies (indie)
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY Now’s The Time (Golden Robot Records)
VANSLEEP Oceans (indie)
TRUE NORTH Save Me (Out Of Line Music)
SORROW & THE SPIRE In The City Tonight (Golden Robot Records)



Popular (last 30 days)


Album review: EDGE OF PARADISE – The Unknown

Frontiers Music [release date 17.09.21]

Edge Of Paradise is a duo made up of Armenian/ Russian/ American singer, “the female Robin McAuley”, Margarita Monet, and American guitarist and songwriter, Dave Bates. The Unknown is their fourth album, and second on Frontiers.

The duo have got a lot going for them. Their first two recordings were helmed by respected producers, Michael Wagener and Chuck Johnson respectively. This latest album is produced by Howard (Halestorm/ Daughtry) Benson, and engineered by Mike (Van Halen/ Dio) Plotnikoff.

That would be room enough to celebrate. But to find that the arrangements, the music and the performances match up to the expectations is a thrill indeed.

Monet’s multi-octave voice is gloriously hypnotic and theatrical. Not in the sense that she overdramatises her vocal performance, but in the sense that she’s not just singing, she’s acting out the part she plays.

Her sensual, breathy vocals on ‘Digital Paradise’ easily switch up through several gears as her voice soars, and on the darker toned ‘My Method Your Madness’ it eventually reaches escape velocity and rockets into orbit. It’s passionate, articulate symphonic metal, occasionally conducting lightning raids onto hard rock terrain… ‘False Idols’ has more of a contemporary sound, faster paced and more simply constructed. It’s anchored by a solid percussive beat that latches on fast to a hard rock groove.

There’s always a lot going on in Benson’s imaginative arrangements. Much of it not always immediately obvious. He’ll drop a few bars of synth strings into the middle of a song, giving it a classy, elegant tone, or he’ll stretch out soaring strands of amazingly sustained melody, while upfront, Monet is delivering a blistering slice of raging symphonic metal.

The title track, ‘The Unknown’, is a bit like that. After starting life as an ebbing, flowing ballad, meandering through some sweet piano phrases, it’s caught up in the sudden storm of Benson’s symphonic orchestration, carrying all before it.

It’s a hard act to follow. But they try. Especially on ‘Tidal Wave’ and ‘Believe’, two songs that stake out a sizeable chunk of pop metal territory.

We’ve seen a proliferation of Symphonic Rock albums on Frontiers of late. This is unarguably one of the best. ****1/2

Review by Brian McGowan


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 1 August 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week and an interview with “metal queen” Lee Aaron.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 7 September 2021.


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.
You can Listen Again to shows via the presenter pages at www.getreadytorockradio.com

Featured Albums w/c 6 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 HEARTLAND Into The Future (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 VEGA Anarchy And Unity (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JACKSON BROWNE Downhill From Everywhere (indie)

Power Plays w/c 20 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BAD TOUCH Twenty Five Miles (Marshall)
THE HUMAN VEIL Enemies (indie)
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY Now’s The Time (Golden Robot Records)
VANSLEEP Oceans (indie)
TRUE NORTH Save Me (Out Of Line Music)
SORROW & THE SPIRE In The City Tonight (Golden Robot Records)



Popular (last 30 days)


EP review: JESSICA LYNN – Reimagined

JESSICA LYNN - Reimagined

www.jessicalynnmusic.org/music [Release date 17.09.21]

This new four song EP from Jessica Lynn is influenced by her weekly livestreams during the pandemic. “Since the pandemic started,” Jessica reflects, “I have been performing piano livestreams every week, where my fans have challenged me to try all different types of music and songs, as well as to approach and rework many of my own songs in totally new ways.”

The first single ‘Not Your Woman’, is a vocal tour de force from Jessica. Backed only by her piano playing, she really does pour her heart and soul into this performance. As Jessica herself said “I referred back to that livestream video actually while recording the track to capture my emotion and excitement of the moment and I am so proud of how it came out and also so grateful for this time I have been able to spend at home to be creative and explore opportunities like this. I have never released anything before where I was the only instrumentalist on the track.”

‘Run To’ is a ballad in its original form, although it takes on a more poignant air when performed with just the piano. ‘Pretty’ is another chance for Jessica to highlight the emotive side of her singing, with ‘Now Or Never’ completing the four song EP.

An artist like Jessica Lynn thrives in the live environment, so credit to her and other artists, who adapted the performance of their music to the pandemic limiting live music. Her ever growing army of fans will love this EP, plus it should open her music up to a wider, non-country audience. A country pop artist on the up and up. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 1 August 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week and an interview with “metal queen” Lee Aaron.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 7 September 2021.


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.
You can Listen Again to shows via the presenter pages at www.getreadytorockradio.com

Featured Albums w/c 6 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 HEARTLAND Into The Future (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 VEGA Anarchy And Unity (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JACKSON BROWNE Downhill From Everywhere (indie)

Power Plays w/c 20 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BAD TOUCH Twenty Five Miles (Marshall)
THE HUMAN VEIL Enemies (indie)
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY Now’s The Time (Golden Robot Records)
VANSLEEP Oceans (indie)
TRUE NORTH Save Me (Out Of Line Music)
SORROW & THE SPIRE In The City Tonight (Golden Robot Records)



Popular (last 30 days)


Album review: NEWMAN – Into The Monsters’ Playground

NEWMAN- Into the Monsters' Playground

AOR Heaven (Release date 10.09.21)

For a remarkable near quarter of a century Steve Newman has turned out a series of finely crafted albums. He never remotely hinted at the big time, but as compensation his name enjoys almost universal  respect in the melodic rock/AOR world, not just from fans but increasingly fellow artists asking him to collaborate.

‘Into the Monsters’ Playground’ comes Just 18 months after last album ‘Ignition’ and remarkably is his thirteenth studio effort, even discounting the ‘Decade’ compilations which rustled up unreleased tracks. Like most of his recent albums, it is a cottage industry- not only does he produce and write all the songs, but plays all instruments himself other than drums from Rob McEwen.

The album is in contrast to some of the glossier, more instant efforts in the field. While the budget limitations show- for example the rhythm section could do with more punch- on the other hand the arrangements are spacious, giving the songs time and space to breathe and evolve, none of them lasting under four minutes.

Opener ‘Start This Fire’ is relatively conventional melodic rock in its verses and choruses, reminding me of Walk on Fire, and with crisp and clean guitar solos prominent. But in his songwriting and arrangements he is unafraid to depart from the clichés of the genre we all know and love, so ‘Timebomb’, while a rocker, is piano led which serves the drama of the song. His rich vocal tones which have improved with age are also less smooth than many of his counterparts in the field.

‘Hurricane Sky’, with an outstanding chorus is one of his best songs of recent years, with a strong vibe of Asia’s John Payne-led years, ‘I’ll Be the One’ balances a guitar riff with tinkly keyboards, and ‘Don’t Come Runnin’ is a fine piece of AOR, right down to the stabbing keys on the chorus.

Yet it is impossible to make a judgement about whether the album represents a change in direction from previous releases, because the writing styles are so diverse.  Both ‘Icon’ and ‘Spirit Cries’ have a laid back, jazzy, almost Steely Dan-esque swing- the former grew on me a lot, the latter less so- and ‘Lightning Tree’ with its sparse intro and almost whispered vocals sits outside a conventional AOR structure.

‘Give Me Tonight’ is another interesting one, with a rapid fire delivery and brittle keys then giving way to a slower second section with a long guitar solo  and the title track has harsher vocals as befitting the song’s angrier theme.

The album closes in more mainstream fashion with the naggingly familiar ‘Shadows of Love’, a real grower where his voice soars in symphonic fashion, and ‘This Life Alone’, with a keyboard sound reminding me of the debut Giuffria album.

Another solid release that confirms the south coast resident’s role as the thinking man’s melodic rocker. ****

Review by Andy Nathan


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 1 August 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week and an interview with “metal queen” Lee Aaron.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 7 September 2021.


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.
You can Listen Again to shows via the presenter pages at www.getreadytorockradio.com

Featured Albums w/c 6 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 HEARTLAND Into The Future (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 VEGA Anarchy And Unity (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JACKSON BROWNE Downhill From Everywhere (indie)

Power Plays w/c 20 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BAD TOUCH Twenty Five Miles (Marshall)
THE HUMAN VEIL Enemies (indie)
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY Now’s The Time (Golden Robot Records)
VANSLEEP Oceans (indie)
TRUE NORTH Save Me (Out Of Line Music)
SORROW & THE SPIRE In The City Tonight (Golden Robot Records)



Popular (last 30 days)


Album review: IAN PARRY’s ROCK EMPORIUM – Brute Force

Metal Mind [release date 14.07.21]

Singer/songwriter, Ian Parry has always been master of his own destiny, moving from project to project and label to label over the course of his 30 year career. He counts Hammerhead, Elegy, Ayreon and Vengeance as probably the best known of the marquee names he’s fronted. He’s very much a European, and on this, his second album with enterprising Polish label, Metalmind, he again rubs shoulders with international musicians like Patrick Rondat, Kris Gildenlow, Patrick Johanson, Allan Sorenson, Luca Sellito and many more.
That mix of input gives music a cosmopolitan sophistication that is impossible to define, or indeed, ignore.

It’s a lesser known name who makes the initial impact. Rising guitarman, Luca (Stamina) Sellito wrote and performed ‘Till The Day I Die’ with Parry. It’s more classic rock than metal, but sits comfortably in this high calibre company.

Much of the album is based on melody and harmony, with hints of neoclassical metal adorning the arrangements … guitars that bite and sting alongside pummeling rhythms. ‘Isolation’ is one of those tracks. It draws inspiration and influence from rock and metal, most notably from power metal’s hi speed bpms and Progrock’s shifting tempos.

The more conventional rock of ‘Fairytale’, an intensely dramatic ballad, woven around a memorable melody, is skillfully written and performed. Similarly, ‘Where Do We Go’, a mainly acoustic, lightly orchestrated ballad, more than confirm that Parry knows when to ramp up the power and when to show restraint.

Parry is of the metal pioneers’ generation of the last century, and is still going strong. Long may that continue. ***1/2

Review by Brian McGowan


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 1 August 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week and an interview with “metal queen” Lee Aaron.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 7 September 2021.


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.
You can Listen Again to shows via the presenter pages at www.getreadytorockradio.com

Featured Albums w/c 6 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 HEARTLAND Into The Future (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 VEGA Anarchy And Unity (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JACKSON BROWNE Downhill From Everywhere (indie)

Power Plays w/c 20 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BAD TOUCH Twenty Five Miles (Marshall)
THE HUMAN VEIL Enemies (indie)
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY Now’s The Time (Golden Robot Records)
VANSLEEP Oceans (indie)
TRUE NORTH Save Me (Out Of Line Music)
SORROW & THE SPIRE In The City Tonight (Golden Robot Records)



Popular (last 30 days)


Album review: PETER H NILSSON – Sign Of Myself

PETER H NILSSON – Sign Of Myself

AOR Heaven [Release date 10.09.21]

Peter H Nilsson’s debut ‘Little American Dream’ was a very enjoyable AOR/ West Coast listen and still played regularly by this reviewer. The good news is that this follow-up album sees Nilsson still teamed up with US vocalist Chris Biano, who between them wrote all the songs on here bar one. Joining them are drummer Darrell Nutt, Antonio Morales on keyboards and bassist Patrik Adiels, who played on the previous album.

Plenty of AOR treats on here with hummable choruses aplenty to be had on the likes of ‘Fire and Thunder’ and ‘Time To Remember’. Nilsson and Biano are a great match, with Nilsson himself laying down a few tasty solos throughout the album.

On the title track Nilsson contacted the horn session group Blåsemafian from Oslo, who add a bit of pizazz to the song, giving it a strong Toto feel. A musical idea that works well and hopefully another collaboration could be in the offing on the next album?

‘The First Time’ is a melodic slab of bliss, with a tasty guitar riff, plenty of keys and one of those instant choruses that stick in your head for days afterwards.

More of the same, namely highly polished AOR with the soothing, melodic vocals of Chris Biano a key part of the album’s sound. It is nothing you won’t have heard before but it is done with style, a glossy production and lots of AOR-tastic tunes. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 1 August 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week and an interview with “metal queen” Lee Aaron.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 7 September 2021.


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.
You can Listen Again to shows via the presenter pages at www.getreadytorockradio.com

Featured Albums w/c 6 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 HEARTLAND Into The Future (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 VEGA Anarchy And Unity (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JACKSON BROWNE Downhill From Everywhere (indie)

Power Plays w/c 20 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BAD TOUCH Twenty Five Miles (Marshall)
THE HUMAN VEIL Enemies (indie)
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY Now’s The Time (Golden Robot Records)
VANSLEEP Oceans (indie)
TRUE NORTH Save Me (Out Of Line Music)
SORROW & THE SPIRE In The City Tonight (Golden Robot Records)



Popular (last 30 days)


Book review: BOBBY RUSH with Herb Powell – I Ain’t Studdin Ya: My American Blues Story

Bobby Rush with Herb Powell - I Ain't Studdin' Ya - My American Story

Hachette Books [Publication date 15.07.21]

Grammy award winner Emmett Ellis Jnr aka Bobby Rush’s  ‘I Ain’t Studdin’ Ya: My American Blues Story’ is easily one of the best musical biographies of the year.

It’s the life and time of a blues man, filtered by his intuitive biographer Herb Powell. Rush  turns out to be perceptive commentator with a philosophical view of the world that mirrors the saying, ‘What goes round comes round.’

His prismatic approach is fuelled by a Zen like appreciation of his place in the world, in which blues is the colour of his prism.

The feel of the book is  impressionistic and he’s analytical by turns, while his essential flow is aided by 100 plus very short chapters which deal with people, places, incidents that are glued together by his homespun philosophy, gleaned from growing up in the south and a life lived on the road.

‘I Aint Studdin’ Ya’ has the feel of a time and place, the latter being defined a third of the way through the book, when he reflects that clubs he spends his life working in are: “places of comfort and retreat.” This lead him to his enduring niche: “Today I’m called The King of the Chitlin’ Circuit. And I’m proud of what that means in terms of me being a survivor.”

When reflecting on the genesis of 50’s rock and roll, he says: “The only thing that white folks did to create rock n’ roll was Alan Freed giving it the name rock and roll.”

He recalls the transition form R&B to rock and roll, on the back of artists such as Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Big Joe Turner and Ray Charles, whose material he came to include in his own set: “Moving music forward with its gumbo like mix of gospel and blues. All them songs were catchy and almost irresistible. All they needed for this good-ass, feelgood, change your life music was a white face to sing it.”

And in that observation alone, Rush shares with us his eye for commerce, his adaptability and the kind of musical versatility that has enabled him to enjoy success on his own terms well into his 80’s.

And though the book is essentially a chronological account of his struggle for that success while remaining independent and staying true to his southern roots, it’s his colourful combination of jive talk,  imagery and metaphor that draws the reader into the life of a blues based entertainer who pays due reverence to the music, but is constricted by it.

He tells us early on that: There was nothing but a spirit of:  “do” in my house.” Inspired by his parents and his preaching father in particular, he relocates to Chicago.

‘I Ain’t Studdin Ya’ sometimes broaches the structure of a Socratic dialogue, as his biographer Herb Powell dutifully records Rush’s experiences and thoughts through which he searches for universal applications and meaning. It’s honest and exhilarating account of a life lived and one which he is still very much enjoying.

Taking the book title to mean ‘I’m not wasting my time judging you, or listening to gossip etc, it’s a book that radiates positivity and a passion for the music he plays and the lifestyle he lives.

He’s not called “The King of the Chitlin’ Circuit” for nothing. And as he says deep in the book: “That name was chosen for me. But in that choice would come a recognition that I had waited for my entire life.”

Refreshingly he adapts to the way he sees contemporaries like BB King and later Luther Allison crossing over the blues to an international market.

Allison later tells Rush of the new expectations of the blues in Europe, which doesn’t include his vaudeville elements. And yet though he again adapts,  he never gives up on what he knows best, both musically and culturally and manages to successfully  come out the other side as an internationally recognised  award winning elder statesman of the genre he’s played for over 50 years.

He tells us early on: “A lot of my song ideas are just a play on words from the natural-world lessons of my boyhood. And he cites ‘Chicken Heads’, ‘Camel Walk’ and ‘Porcupine Meat’ as examples, while later adding : “Looking back, I think my country-boy way of talking gave me some blues cred.”

He learns his craft as an all rounder as a drummer, singer, dancer, harp player and joke telling performer.

Throughout his career he never loses sight of the importance of being an entertainer, effectively learning his craft with the black vaudeville world of the Rabbit Foot Minstrels.

And yet he’s perceptive enough to throw in a stinging coda when she says: “Every Black entertainer who sings dances or tells a joke with a smile on their face is playing to a stereotype. Because the Black entertainer is at the core – literally in the DNA – of American entertainment culture, it deserves to be examined by people much smarter than me.”

Much later in the book he concludes: “It doesn’t matter who sings the blues. It only matters that proper credit is given to the men and women who created it.”

His only major career regret in life appears to be a lack of a proper education, though his use of language here is full of almost filmic metaphors that bring his story to life with real vitality.

When he applies what he has learnt in a musical context, he takes us to the heart of a groove: “The big schooling was that when you stopped playing (guitar), even your silence had a groove – but you would not feel that groove until you started playing again.”

His moves to Chicago where he tells us: “Having a gun is like having a snow shovel, it’s a necessity.”

He gets mentored by Rufus Thomas, who wisely tells his protégé: “Ain’t No shame in doing what you gotta to get where you wanna go.”

The real joy of this book lies in Rush’s linguistic minutiae.  He describes Sonny Boy Williamson’s harp playing thus: “Sonny’s playing was so good it was like a juicy conversation – full of gloomy truths and joyful lies.”

He’s equally good when remembering Little Walter’s harp playing: “Walter could make that thing weep like you were burying your own mama, or he could make that thing praise the goodness of the Lord.”

He increasingly uses his name Bobby Rush in the third person, as he almost imperceptibly becomes a blues brand.

Through Muddy Waters he comes to realise the rich pickings for blues artist in Europe, but doesn’t immediately immediately go there, a decision he partly regrets, except he’s still make good money in the States.

He steers his own course as the blues scene changes and becomes smoother and ultimately retreats back to the Chitlin’ circuit pursue his consistent aim of: “A little money in my pocket; A song that was at least known regionally; And just the feelin’ that I was close to my dream.”

There ‘s a possibility with Chess Records, and he opens for the likes of  Ray Charles and Little Richard  while also learning the ropes of production and honing his won style on folk-funk style on 7 labels in 7 years.

He continues to live by the Chitlin’ Circuit motto:  “Can I put on a good show.” So when popular r&b declines, his style of southern blues though still under some people’s radar endures sufficiently to sell sold plenty of records.

The rest of his journey is an account of his success as realising his aim of being an independent musician, showman, promoter, booker and label boss, while regaining long overdue recognition from both his peers and the international blues scene

He’s also cast a pivotal figure in a high profile blues documentary, which he neatly summarises as:  “My life is the current version of what the old cats did.”

It neatly brings things full circle for true survivor and a blues innovator with an undiminished twinkle in his eye.  *****

Review by Pete Feenstra


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 1 August 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week and an interview with “metal queen” Lee Aaron.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 7 September 2021.


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.
You can Listen Again to shows via the presenter pages at www.getreadytorockradio.com

Featured Albums w/c 6 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 HEARTLAND Into The Future (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 VEGA Anarchy And Unity (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JACKSON BROWNE Downhill From Everywhere (indie)

Power Plays w/c 20 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BAD TOUCH Twenty Five Miles (Marshall)
THE HUMAN VEIL Enemies (indie)
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY Now’s The Time (Golden Robot Records)
VANSLEEP Oceans (indie)
TRUE NORTH Save Me (Out Of Line Music)
SORROW & THE SPIRE In The City Tonight (Golden Robot Records)



Popular (last 30 days)


Album review: BRIAN SETZER – Gotta Have The Rumble

Surfdog Records [Release date 27.08.21]

The 70’s and 80’s were a glorious time for music. Whilst that may smack of rose-tinted spectacles and the purposeful forgetting of several horrific ‘novelty’ records that came out in those decades, few can argue that the variety of music in the charts was diverse compared to what we see these days. Instead of the recent constant merry go round of interchangeable singer songwriters and bland dance tracks, those around in the era never knew quite what was going to be played on the radio or who would appear on seminal programme ‘Top of the Pops’, Judas Priest rubbing shoulders with Glen Campbell, the Bee Gees or some film theme (more often than not accompanied by dance troupe Pans People).

From this melting pot of popular culture emerged the singular talent that was Long Island natives Stray Cats, their formation at the fag end of the 70’s seeing them hone their rockabilly style and instantly winning plaudits from fans and a bidding war amongst record companies. Key to their success was hooking up with legendary musician and producer Dave Edmonds and by 1981 the band had three consecutive top twenty singles within the space of six months. Whilst this collaboration between the two talents was the thing that broke them into the mainstream, one thing that everyone agreed on was the outstanding musicianship displayed by the trio and their knack of writing great material that tapped into the authenticity and nostalgia of artists like Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent whilst sounding cutting edge.

The plaudits rightly rained down on the band but special praise was poured onto the head of singer/guitarist Brian Setzer, his nuanced and characterful vocals and fiery guitar playing catching the imagination of both fans and peers. Whilst the Cats have seen their career come and go, with break-ups and reunions a feature of the past few years, solo albums by the band members are as eagerly awaited as group releases and in ‘Gotta Have The Rumble’ Setzer proves once more that he’s the cat who’s got the cream.

Displaying his range from the full-blooded grandstanding powerhouse of opener ‘Checkered Flag’ (sic) all the way through to the Americana of Bluegrass blast ‘Rockabilly Banjo’ that closes the album, here is something that is shot through with class and a real verve. You get the sense of a genuine storyteller here, each song painting a vivid picture and bringing to life living and breathing characters. This picture painting is enhanced by some subtle touches, the whiff of the mystic East in ‘Smash Up On The Highway’, the muscular guitarwork of ‘Turn You On, Turn Me On’ and the spare, lean fury of ‘One Bad Habit’ all adding to the fireworks.

Whilst the fun, but throwaway, 50’s/60’s pastiche ‘Drip Drop’ is a little light, it’s more than made up for by the magnificent ‘The Wrong Side Of The Tracks’, its lush arrangement and strings expertly mixed with rockabilly making it a definite highlight of the album. Given the different styles displayed here, ‘Gotta Have The Rumble’ is something that can be equally enjoyed as something to dip into as well as a feast to be enjoyed in one sitting, letting the needle or shuffle function drop where it may. His reputation intact and glowing, once more Setzer displays exactly why he is so feted and this eleven track blast of hot-rodding rock ‘n’ roll is an exhilarating ride that’s hard to beat. ****

Review by Paul Monkhouse


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 1 August 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week and an interview with “metal queen” Lee Aaron.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 7 September 2021.


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.
You can Listen Again to shows via the presenter pages at www.getreadytorockradio.com

Featured Albums w/c 6 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 HEARTLAND Into The Future (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 VEGA Anarchy And Unity (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JACKSON BROWNE Downhill From Everywhere (indie)

Power Plays w/c 20 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BAD TOUCH Twenty Five Miles (Marshall)
THE HUMAN VEIL Enemies (indie)
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY Now’s The Time (Golden Robot Records)
VANSLEEP Oceans (indie)
TRUE NORTH Save Me (Out Of Line Music)
SORROW & THE SPIRE In The City Tonight (Golden Robot Records)



Popular (last 30 days)


Album review: THE PETAL FALLS – All These Years

THE PETAL FALLS - All These Years

[Release date 03.09.21]

Just about a year ago I reviewed this band’s debut album, ‘Workin All Night, Workin All Day’ and I was literally blown away. I knew then that this band had reach and would appeal to a broader audience – it’s fair to say, that I’ve been looking forward to seeing what would come next and here it is, “All These Years”.

From the opening track, ‘Between my Brother and Me’ views from the debut album are totally confirmed – the big band production and sound is back, the lyrics are as poignant and meaningful, and there’s something for everyone. Powerful lyrics each telling a story.

Second albums can be notoriously poor second servings, this is absolutely not the case here, this album flows beautifully. The debut album had a job to do and that was to get the music out there, every track was diverse and packed full of talent, it had been a long time in the making.

This album feels like The Petal Falls know exactly who they are, what they’re about and what their sound is, this is a move to share their voice and confirm their rightful place in the status quo.

The title track “All these years” feels particularly poignant given the struggles they have had to release their music when an earlier record company deal went sour, and that ultimately led to the eventual demise of the original band, after never being given the opportunity to publicly release the wealth of material.

It is to Keith’s credit that he seized the opportunity, when the music became available to re-master the original songs into complete albums with the help of old friend and Producer/Engineer/Drummer John King and here we are.

Favourite tracks ( no fillers on here) are ‘Between my Brother & Me’,  “you’re fighting fire with just flesh and bone”. ‘I won’t be There’ – absolutely love the sentiment in this and it is so true – don’t take anyone for granted, treat everyone as you’d like to be treated.
‘Take me Home’, which is so contagious I had to listen to a few times over as I was too busy dancing round the kitchen.

I know I am onto a complete winner when my list of earmarked tracks almost matches the track list for the album, ‘A Lifetime too Late’,  ‘In the Shadow of the Clan’ and ‘Liberated’ all fabulous, punchy tracks – I’m sold. This is a band that has so much talent it defies what anyone was thinking when they chose not to release the material.

I’m captivated by the Petal Falls and I know I won’t be alone. I defy you not to be foot tapping along.

This album will be one hard act to follow, but I know that the band have so much more in their arsenal and I for one, will be waiting with eager anticipation. Now rightfully added to my top 5 albums of the year – give it listen, you’ll enjoy it. *****

Review by Karen Clayton

‘Liberated’ video


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 1 August 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week and an interview with “metal queen” Lee Aaron.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 7 September 2021.


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.
You can Listen Again to shows via the presenter pages at www.getreadytorockradio.com

Featured Albums w/c 6 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 HEARTLAND Into The Future (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 VEGA Anarchy And Unity (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JACKSON BROWNE Downhill From Everywhere (indie)

Power Plays w/c 20 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BAD TOUCH Twenty Five Miles (Marshall)
THE HUMAN VEIL Enemies (indie)
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY Now’s The Time (Golden Robot Records)
VANSLEEP Oceans (indie)
TRUE NORTH Save Me (Out Of Line Music)
SORROW & THE SPIRE In The City Tonight (Golden Robot Records)



Popular (last 30 days)


Album review: BRAINSTORM – Wall Of Skulls

AFM Records [release date 17.09.21]

Judging by this new release, Brainstorm turned the pandemic related lockdown to good advantage, in writing and recording Wall Of Skulls. It’s no more than an incremental step up from last album, Midnight Ghost, but it further cements their position as a leading practitioner of European Power Metal.

Cool opener, the beautifully composed baroque cantata, ‘Chamber Thirteen’, is only 2 minutes long, but it will linger in your consciousness well after the last track ends.
The explosive burst of first track proper, ‘Where Ravens Fly’ initially seems like an intrusion, but we’re soon tuned into the band’s wide wall of sound and clipped, punchy riffola.

On their thirteenth studio album now (who said Power Metal wouldn’t last?), the band have cultivated a darker, more menacing MO. ‘My Dystopia’ and ‘Stigmatized’ nudge the needle further into the shadowy world of 21st century Power Metal. Torsten Ihlenfeld’s and Milan Loncaric’s guitars are an omnipresent background, as vocalist Andy B Franck’s lyrics denounce social disintegration. Their joined up axework ebbs and flows around repeated motifs, harmonising with Franck’s soaring voice and pronounced enunciation, adding further character to the lyrics.

Tracks like the standouts, ‘Solitude’ and ‘Glory Disappears’ smoulder encouragingly, cutting against the grain, always on the point of ignition. But it doesn’t happen, and that’s the secret, they keep us on the edge, holding our attention.

There are echoes still of Brit “power metal” bands of the 80s like Priest and Maiden. But those echoes are fading now. German Power Metal has fastened itself into a rocket ride of fist pumping anthems (‘Escape The Silence’, ‘Turn Off The Light’), fuelled by thick cut riffs and the propulsive thud of powerful snare/ bass drum rhythms.

Even a less than forensic analysis would confirm that there has been little develoment in Brainstorm’s Power Metal sound since its inception, in 1989. An observation noted by the music press.
Thirteen albums on, Brainstorm remain unmoved.

The band is playing the Boston Music Rooms in London on 3 October, a double bill with Tri-State Corner. ****

Review by Brian McGowan


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 1 August 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week and an interview with “metal queen” Lee Aaron.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 7 September 2021.


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.
You can Listen Again to shows via the presenter pages at www.getreadytorockradio.com

Featured Albums w/c 6 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 HEARTLAND Into The Future (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 VEGA Anarchy And Unity (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JACKSON BROWNE Downhill From Everywhere (indie)

Power Plays w/c 20 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BAD TOUCH Twenty Five Miles (Marshall)
THE HUMAN VEIL Enemies (indie)
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY Now’s The Time (Golden Robot Records)
VANSLEEP Oceans (indie)
TRUE NORTH Save Me (Out Of Line Music)
SORROW & THE SPIRE In The City Tonight (Golden Robot Records)



Popular (last 30 days)


Feature: Albums that time forgot…CALVERT FLEMING PROJECT – Shotgun Pixie

Calvert Fleming Project - Shotgun Pixie

Amazing Radio 2021 ‘Shotgun Pixie’ is the ultimate album that time forgot, except it’s not been forgotten. This post psychedelic gem of an album by Ohio  guitarist Jimmy Fleming and Robert Calvert’s grand daughter Maya Calvert is very much available … Continue reading

Feature: Albums that time forgot…CALVERT FLEMING PROJECT – Shotgun Pixie

Calvert Fleming Project - Shotgun Pixie

Amazing Radio 2021 ‘Shotgun Pixie’ is the ultimate album that time forgot, except it’s not been forgotten. This post psychedelic gem of an album by Ohio  guitarist Jimmy Fleming and Robert Calvert’s grand daughter Maya Calvert is very much available … Continue reading

Album review: BLACK SABBATH – Technical Ecstasy (Super Deluxe 5LP Vinyl Box Set)

BLACK SABBATH - Technical Ecstasy

BMG / Sanctuary Records   [Release date: 01.10.21] Following the superb ‘Super-Deluxe’ releases of ‘Paranoid’, ‘Volume 4’ and ‘Sabotage’ in the last couple of years, it is now the turn of ‘Technical Ecstasy’ to receive the sumptuous multi-disc box-set treatment. … Continue reading

Album review: MY GLASS WORLD – Still Life With Machine Gun

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Luxury Noise [release date: 24.09.21] Everything Absent Or Distorted was a (now defunct) “sprawling, American, Indie Rock Ensemble”. They recorded their song ‘Still Life With Machine Gun’ in 2006. 15 years later, My Glass World have recorded their own song … Continue reading

Album review: TOMMY CASTRO Presents A Bluesman Came To Town: A Blues Odyssey

Tommy Castro - A Bluesman Came To Town

Alligator Records [Release date: 17.09.21] Every since breaking nationally on NBC’s Comedy Showcase, San Francisco’s Tommy Castro has enjoyed a well founded reputation in the new blues vanguard for his willingness to explore new avenues in the blues genre. Down … Continue reading

Gig review: THE CINELLI BROTHERS- Cabbage Patch, Twickenham, 16 September 2021

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One of the advantages of being an active gig goer is picking up recommendations from like minded ‘gig buddies’ of new acts to discover. One such that were being raved about prior to the pandemic were blues band The Cinelli … Continue reading

Book review: WHO IS BLUES Vol.2 – The Interviews. Blues Encounters 2000 – 2020 by Vincent Abbate

Vincent Abbate - Who Is Blues

Self Published [Publication date 01.09.21] ‘Who Is The Blues Vol.2: The Interviews. Blues Encounters 2000-2020′ is an interesting cross section of 20 years of interviews of contemporary blues artists by the German based, New York blues scribe Vincent Abbate. Abbate … Continue reading

Album review: PARADOX – Heresy II, End Of A Legend

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AFM Records [release date: 24.09.21] German giants of Thrash, Paradox are well known within the genre. They have a sizeable coterie of discerning fans who’ve followed them since the band’s inception in 1986. Had their chosen genre been say, power … Continue reading

Gig review: LEAFHOUND- Cabbage Patch, Twickenham, 9 September 2021

LEAFHOUND- Cabbage Patch, Twickenham, 9 September 2021

The long and intriguing history of Leafhound is now entering a new chapter. Their sole 1971 album, released after the band had already split, has subsequently become a cult classic especially among the stoner rock community, with original vinyl copies … Continue reading

Album review: SAVATAGE – Sirens and Dungeons Are Calling (remasters)

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ear-MUSIC [release date 3.09.21] We’re cranking the machine way back to 1982, and Savatage’s twin debuts, Sirens and Dungeons Are Calling, both independently released. The band, Jon and Criss Oliva, Keith Collins and Steve Wacholz recorded and mixed all the … Continue reading

Album review: INGLORIOUS- Heroine

INGLORIOUS - Heroine

Frontiers Records (Release Date 10.09.21) In the seventies it was not uncommon for bands to release two albums a year but it is virtually unheard of these days. So I was surprised when I learned that a little over six … Continue reading

Album review: LEAVES EYES – The Last Viking, Midsummer Version

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AFM Records [release date: 17.09.21] Leaves Eyes’ latest release, The Last Viking, Midsummer Version, is a multi media concept album, a high impact audiovisual story. The “Last Viking” was Harald III of Norway, known as Harald Hardrada (Harald the Hard … Continue reading

Feature: Albums that time forgot…THE STORM (Gregg Rolie, Ross Valory, Steve Smith)

The Storm - 1991

Interscope/Atlantic 1991 The Storm is very much a case of “what we did in our down time”.  With Journey on hiatus in the late eighties Neal Schon formed Bad English then Hardline (debut album Double Eclipse in 1992) whilst Journey … Continue reading

Album review: BONNIE TYLER – The East West Years 1995-98 (3 CDs)

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Cherry Red [release date: 17.09.21] Bonnie Tyler’s two most famous songs, ‘Total Eclipse Of The Heart’ (1983) and ‘It’s A Heartache’ (1977) are among the best selling singles of all time, with combined sales of over 12 million. She’s enjoyed … Continue reading

Album review: IRON MAIDEN – Senjutsu

senjutsu

Parlophone [Release date 03.09.21] It’s been almost 6 years since Iron Maiden released Book Of Souls to an eagerly waiting world. For me it was one of the most disappointing releases of the band’s career, over long, plodding and ultimately boring, not a … Continue reading

EP review: MUDDIBROOKE – Luncay

MUDDIBROOKE - Lunacy

Self-release [Release date 22.10.21] ‘Lunacy’ is the debut EP from Derby based alt rockers MuddiBrooke who formed in January 2020. They have previously released two singles and music videos which have seen them receive airplay on Kerrang! Radio and earn … Continue reading

Album review: GUS G – Quantum Leap

GUS G - Quantum Leap

AFM Records [Release date 08.10.21] When I interviewed Gus G back stage in Manchester in 2012 all the talk was how he had fared with Ozzy.  He contributed to the album ‘Scream’ (2010) and there were high hopes of a … Continue reading

Album review: EDGE OF PARADISE – The Unknown

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Frontiers Music [release date 17.09.21] Edge Of Paradise is a duo made up of Armenian/ Russian/ American singer, “the female Robin McAuley”, Margarita Monet, and American guitarist and songwriter, Dave Bates. The Unknown is their fourth album, and second on … Continue reading

EP review: JESSICA LYNN – Reimagined

JESSICA LYNN - Reimagined

www.jessicalynnmusic.org/music [Release date 17.09.21] This new four song EP from Jessica Lynn is influenced by her weekly livestreams during the pandemic. “Since the pandemic started,” Jessica reflects, “I have been performing piano livestreams every week, where my fans have challenged … Continue reading

Album review: NEWMAN – Into The Monsters’ Playground

NEWMAN- Into the Monsters' Playground

AOR Heaven (Release date 10.09.21) For a remarkable near quarter of a century Steve Newman has turned out a series of finely crafted albums. He never remotely hinted at the big time, but as compensation his name enjoys almost universal … Continue reading

Album review: IAN PARRY’s ROCK EMPORIUM – Brute Force

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Metal Mind [release date 14.07.21] Singer/songwriter, Ian Parry has always been master of his own destiny, moving from project to project and label to label over the course of his 30 year career. He counts Hammerhead, Elegy, Ayreon and Vengeance … Continue reading

Album review: PETER H NILSSON – Sign Of Myself

PETER H NILSSON – Sign Of Myself

AOR Heaven [Release date 10.09.21] Peter H Nilsson’s debut ‘Little American Dream’ was a very enjoyable AOR/ West Coast listen and still played regularly by this reviewer. The good news is that this follow-up album sees Nilsson still teamed up … Continue reading

Book review: BOBBY RUSH with Herb Powell – I Ain’t Studdin Ya: My American Blues Story

Bobby Rush with Herb Powell - I Ain't Studdin' Ya - My American Story

Hachette Books [Publication date 15.07.21] Grammy award winner Emmett Ellis Jnr aka Bobby Rush’s  ‘I Ain’t Studdin’ Ya: My American Blues Story’ is easily one of the best musical biographies of the year. It’s the life and time of a … Continue reading

Album review: BRIAN SETZER – Gotta Have The Rumble

BRIAN SETZER - Gotta Have The Rumble

Surfdog Records [Release date 27.08.21] The 70’s and 80’s were a glorious time for music. Whilst that may smack of rose-tinted spectacles and the purposeful forgetting of several horrific ‘novelty’ records that came out in those decades, few can argue … Continue reading

Album review: THE PETAL FALLS – All These Years

THE PETAL FALLS - All These Years

[Release date 03.09.21] Just about a year ago I reviewed this band’s debut album, ‘Workin All Night, Workin All Day’ and I was literally blown away. I knew then that this band had reach and would appeal to a broader … Continue reading

Album review: BRAINSTORM – Wall Of Skulls

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AFM Records [release date 17.09.21] Judging by this new release, Brainstorm turned the pandemic related lockdown to good advantage, in writing and recording Wall Of Skulls. It’s no more than an incremental step up from last album, Midnight Ghost, but … Continue reading