Thursday 9th March 2017
Friday 10th March 2017
Jizzy Pearls “Love/Hate”
Saturday 11th March 2017
LA Guns (Tracii Guns and Phil Lewis)
Paul Laine (Danger Danger)
The Radio Sun
Trophies of Man
Saints Of Sin
Walter Trout – Alive In Amsterdam
Provogue Records (June 2016)
Reviewer: Peter Scallan
Walter Trout is one of these artists that down through the years I have heard the odd song and never got around to buying any albums. Therefore, when offered the chance to review this album I jumped at the chance! He has been around for quite some time, including spells with both Canned Heat and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers before becoming a solo artist. Recently he suffered serious health issues which could have been fatal, so I am guessing the album title is a play on the fact that he is still about, kicking up a storm.
From the get-go the man receives a standing ovation before launching into the opening track called ‘Help Me‘ which opens with Walter soloing his ass off and also includes an organ solo midway resulting in just over seven minutes of bluestatstic rocking. This is quickly followed by ‘a song with message’ in ‘I’m Back‘ and this rocks along too. The pace drops for some slow burning blues in ‘Say Goodbye to the Blues‘ which could comfortably sit on any of Gary Moore’s blues albums with the opening guitar salvo. The song is dedicated to BB King with Walter explaining his relationship with the late, great man. We slip back into some blues rock with ‘Almost Gone‘ which lyrically sounds like it could be autobiographical in terms of Walter’s health issues. Based on a driving blues rock riff it rocks along nicely. In fact, the next song is autobiographical in that it is about his stay in hospital during his illness. Entitled ‘Omaha‘ it describes his experience during his illness and is another blues rocker. ‘Tomorrow Seems So Far Away‘ has a funky blues feel to it and bounces nicely around a great bass line and keeps up the theme from the previous two songs. The feel and pace change dramatically for ‘Playin’ Hideaway‘ which is a pacey riffed-up rocker with Walter sounding great vocally too. It also has some crowd participation for the woahs in the chorus. The closing song on the first CD is ‘Haunted By The Night‘ which is more moody and laid back with great guitar part driving the song. So far, so good!
The second disc doesn’t hang around opens with the superb ‘Fly Away‘ which is more blues with a melodic rock edge. It moves along swiftly with Walter giving an assured vocal performance. Next up is an acoustic ballad which sounds more country rock and for some strange reason reminds me of Pat Travers. Entitled ‘Please Take Me Home‘, Walter again provides a great vocal performance in terms of doing exactly what the song requires. In addition there is some rather tasteful guitar playing. Next up is a bit of a blues jam session with Walter introducing his son to the proceedings with the old blues standard ‘Rock Me Baby‘. While I am sure it is a real buzz for Walter playing with his son and pretty good to watch for me it does really translate to record as I found his son’s playing a little pedestrian in comparison to Walter’s – he still has a little way to go to be a chip off the old block! With ‘Marie’s Mood‘ the Gary Moore comparison is again valid. Walter treats us to some rather neat guitar work during this instrumental work out and shares the limelight with a great organ solo again. The mood is lifted for the slow burning blues of ‘Serves Me Right to Suffer‘. Opening with a great guitar solo, Walter trades off vocal and guitar licks as the song progresses. Coming in at well over eight minutes it highlights just how good a guitar player Walter is and also includes a drum solo. Last and by no means least, we have ‘The Love That We Once Knew‘ which is clearly a crowd favourite. Slipping back into an acoustic country rock vibe again, the crowd join in on the chorus and some it brings the set to a suitable close.
Having no real significant experience or knowledge of Walter’s back catalogue, this has served as a great introduction to Walter Trout for me. While by no means being innovative, Walter serves a great mix of rock, blues and a little country that really appeals to me. A sign maybe that I am becoming a boring old fart possibly, as the same time I find the melodic rock scene starting to converge on a generic style and sound, as it did in the 80s, that on the whole leaves me rather unmoved. My advice, check this out if you want to hear some real music – old guys rool!
Review: Rob Moratti – Transcendent
Escape (June 2016)
Reviewer: Peter Scallan
Rob Moratti has been kicking around for quite some time with his first albums released in the early to mid-90s with Moratti. He also featured in Saga for a while and most recently on the last Rage of Angels album. Admittedly, I haven’t heard much of his back catalogue but he is highly rated amongst the melodic rock fraternity, so I was looking forward to reviewing this album.
Opening song ‘Answer of Life’ has a very Pink Floyd/Dave Gilmour intro which then bursts into a very Journey-like song. Right from the off there is no doubting the quality of this guy’s voice with his crooning and the soaring heights he reaches. The song is well crafted too, but for me the production is just so lack lustre and sounds like so many other AOR/melodic rock bands. ‘Don’t Give Up’ follows very much in the same vein in terms of sound but takes the pace up a notch or two with Rob really hitting the high notes. While I love the range of his voice, for me it would have most effect if used sparingly to create a real wow effect in a few choice songs. Next is a mid-paced rocker which suits the sound and for me is one of the few occasions when the album really works for me. Called ‘Edge of Love’ if anybody bothered to release singles properly then this would be the one from this album. ‘I’m Back’ quickly follows and falls back into the category of the first two songs and could be any one of a number of bands with a change of vocalist. Rob’s undoubted quality as a vocalist shines through on ‘Lost and Lonely’ but again the song just passes me by with the uninspiring production.
We then have the obligatory AOR dut-dut keyboard song in the shape of ‘I’m Flying High’. And like Edge of Love this song really suits the production and it certainly soars along with Rob’s voice. This is followed by ‘Within Your Eyes’ which is a similar song to the afore-mentioned Edge of Love, and while good, only lends itself to the sameness of the album. Although it works well, I hasten to add. ‘Mist of June’ is next and is back to the generic sound of the majority of the album and just passes me by. Rob then tries to rock it up with ‘There’s No Denying’ but the lack lustre production just doesn’t allow the song to reach its true potential. ‘To Be An Honest Man’ sees the return of dut-dut keyboard which again indicates for me lack of versatility in the songs and production and again just comes and goes with very little impact apart from the vocal performance in the chorus. There is a lush keyboard/bass intro in a similar vein to the opening track which then leads into a power ballad driven by acoustic guitar called ‘Baby I’m Yours’. For me, another good song hampered by the generic sound. The last song is ‘Euphoria’ and if I am honest I am feeling anything but euphoric about this album as it just comes and goes with very little impact. Point in case is the fact that it is guitar driven but the guitars just don’t rock the song like they should.
Now there is absolutely no denying that Rob Moratti has a stunning voice, but the old saying of the singer not the song just doesn’t stand up here for me. Sure there are some highlights and the songs are well crafted and executed. But it is so generic in places it could be any number of bands if the singer changed. In the 80s melodic rock/AOR started to sound the same as a few key producers were in demand and they had ‘their sound’ using the same old tricks for every band instead of actually producing them on the basis of what suited their songs and style. We seem to be heading in the same direction again, with engineers and producers making their mark instead of understanding the needs of the songs and the players within the band. You need go no further than the last Bryan Adams album as evidence with Jeff Lynne ‘producing’ this album and it sounding like Adams singing for ELO – if Jeff Lynne sang on it you would think it were a ELO album. I just hope for the sake of melodic rock we don’t make the same mistakes from the past and end up with lots of generic music that could be any one of a number of bands!
Manhaton Records is pleased to announce the debut album “A Force of Nature” from one of the most exciting Blues rock singers, Sari Schorr. Released in the UK and Europe on Friday 2nd September 2016, the album is produced by the legendary Mike Vernon whose credits include Fleetwood Mac, John Mayall & the Blues Breakers, David Bowie, Savoy Brown, Chicken Shack, Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Christine McVie and Ten Years After.
In January 2015, Mike received a Keeping the Blues Alive award at the prestigious International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee. The award was not the only highlight of the weekend for Mike. The second highlight occurred when Mike witnessed the performance of one of the most amazing female blues singers he’d seen in years.
Mike was so knocked out, he came out of semi-retirement to produce her new album. Already a consummate songwriter in her own right, with tracks on major labels, Sari has written or co-written almost all the songs on the debut album. Released byManhaton Records (home of Robin Trower and King King) the new album features guitarists Walter Trout (John Mayall, Canned Heat), Innes Sibun (Robert Plant), Oli Brown (RavenEye) and keyboardist John Baggott (Massive Attack, Portishead).
New York-based Sari Schorr initially gained prominence throughout the blues world after several years of touring the US and Europe with Blues legend, Joe Louis Walkerand renowned guitarist, Popa Chubby. Schorr was recently inducted into the New York Blues Hall of Fame.
Sari has appeared on the Conan O’Brian Show, and has toured extensively throughout the US, Europe, Asia and Australia. She has received critical acclaim for her blustery vocals and emotionally-charged performances, and is described by many blues pundits as a modern-day hybrid of Janis Joplin and Tina Turner – a red-hot blues mama who radiates emotional intensity, connects with and inspires her audiences, and leaves a lasting impression that’s larger than life.
Sari’s new band, The Engine Room, features stunning British guitarist Innes Sibun(former Robert Planet guitarist). “The Engine Room truly is a remarkable band,” says Sari. “Something magical happens when we’re on stage together. We’re fuelled further by the audiences’ reaction and everything’s possible. I love touring and enjoy the privilege of meeting so many like-minded people who share our love of the Blues.”
The album delivers hard-driving Blues-Rock, influenced by the late ’60s British Blues movement. Sari (who trained as an opera singer) mixes Blues, Rock, and Soul with concrete melodies and poetic lyrics to striking effect. Says Sari, “I set out to write achingly honest songs about the beauty and the tragedy of the human experience. I hope my music can be a galvanizing force to inspire, repair and unite people. I try not to allow constraints on my writing or my performance of the songs. Most often, I manage to trust my intuition and honestly, Mike Vernon brings out the best in the artists he works with.”
“My songs are rooted in the blues and honouring that long tradition is important to me,” reflects Sari. “My song-writing draws heavily on contrasting melodic hooks with aching harmonies. I spend a lot of time working over and rewriting my lyrics. I rely heavily on imagery and enjoy using double-entendres that are entertaining to those who catch them. My influences are many and various and include Son House, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Lead Belly, Bessie Smith, Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, Freddie King, Robert Johnson, B.B. King, Peter Green, Robert Plant, Martha Velez and Bob Dylan.”
UK / European Tour Datea
Book tickets via Bands In Town:
July 1 Ruta 66 Sevilla, Spain (Sari & Innes only)
July 2 Fuengirola Malaga, Spain (Sari & Innes only)
July 14 Guitare en Scene France
July 18 Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, Scotland
August 4-5 Notodden Blues Festival Norway
August 26 Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Altwood Rd, Maidenhead, UK
August 27 Varenwinkel Festival, Herselt, Belgium
August 28 Seacroft Double Festival, Norfolk, UK
August 29 Great British RnB Festival, Colne, Lancashire, UK
August 28 Seacroft Double Festival, Norfolk
Sept 9 Darlington RnB Club, The Forum Music Centre, Darlington, UK
Sept 5 Half Moon Putney, London, UK (Album Launch)
Sept 10 Blues Club, Devizes, Wiltshire, UK
Sept 11 Winchester Discovery Centre, Winchester, UK
Sept 14 The Tunnels, Bristol, UK
Sept 15 Southern Pavilion, Worthing Pier, West Sussex, UK
Sept 16 New Crawdaddy, Billericay Town FC Billericay, UK
Sept 17 Old Town Hall, High Street, Hemel Hempstead, UK
Sept 23 Selby Town Hall Yorkshire, UK
Sept 24 The Iron Road, Evesham, Worcestershire, UK
Sept 25 Hope Tavern, Caistor Rd, Holton-le-Moor, Market Rasen, Lincs, UK
Sept 28 Vonnies Blues Club, Cheltenham
Sept 29 Cranleigh Arts Centre, High Street, Cranleigh, Surrey
Sept 30 B.A.R Festival, France
October 1 Hereford Blues Club, Booth Hall, Hereford, UK
October 6 Bar Brunel Bridgewater, UK
October 7 Deux Rivieres Blues Festival, Brittany, France
New Zealand rockers Devilskin have released an Official Video for the track ‘Fade‘.
Following the empowerment and self-belief of the singles Start A Revolution and the introspective Never See The Light, sonically softer than its predecessors, ‘Fade‘ is just as relevant and just as powerful.
‘Fade’ was one of the first songs they wrote together as a band and they believe “its genesis really propelled Devilskin onto bigger and better things.”
Shot on a cold wooded beach out of Auckland, Devilskin wanted the beauty of nature as a backdrop to capture all the elements of the song, “beauty, mystique, power, passion and hurt.” The stark colour grading is crucial and highlights the mood and intensity of ‘Fade’.
Review: The Dead Daisies – Make Some Noise
Caroline International S&D (August 2106)
Reviewer: Dan Mann
The Dead Daisies make a welcome return after their excellent 2015 release ‘Revolucion‘. I’ll nail my flag to the mast from the off and say I’m a fan of this ‘supergroup’, a band of highly experienced and talented musicians who deliver a fine brand of rock.
Kicking off ‘Make Some Noise’ we have ‘Long Way To Go‘ which starts with a riff more than a little reminiscent of a certain AC-DC. A real toe tapper of an opener which sets the scene for the rest of the album. John Corabi’s vocals still sound great with that hint of a rasp adding to his delivery.
The whole album is full of catchy tunes that demand you crank up the volume. From the frantic ‘Mainline‘, the anthemic ‘Make Some Noise‘ too the two excellent covers ‘Fortunate Son‘ and ‘Join Together‘ this is an album that rocks!
I cannot wait to see messers Corabi, Lowy, Tichy, Mendoza and Aldrich perform this material (plus of course tracks from their previous albums) at the Ramblin’ Man Fair at the end of the month.
Conclusion, this album bloody rocks!
Palace Of The King have released an Official video for the track ‘Beyond The Valley‘ taken from their new album ‘Valles Marineris‘.
The album is due for release on July 15th.
Palace Of The King guitarist Harri Harrison recently guested on the Rockposer’s Roulette Radio Show. You can listen on demand via Mixcloud.