Friday, July 25, 2014

Book Review: A Must Read Book For Metal Music Fans Summer Reading List

Here is one book that needs to be on every classic heavy metal music fan's list is "The Big Book Of Hair Metal - The Illustrated Oral History Of Heavy Metal's Debauched Decade." It tells the complete story of this sub-category of metal music, straight from the mouths of the artists that lived it.
 
The book could be read two different ways, one way is to read the timeline facts, beginning in 1951 with the release of "Rocket 88," the first unofficial rock 'n' roll song recorded. Then continuing through the sixties and seventies until Quiet Riot's "Metal Health" tops the album charts in November 1983, becoming the first "metal" album to do so. It highlights the major album and single releases that made an effect on this musical genre and why some of them are significant to the development of "hair metal." The other way the book could be read is reading the thousands of quotes that author Martin Popoff has gathered together to help explain the history of this music phenomenon. It's great to hear early insight from Dave Davies (The Kinks) and John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) as to what was happening in the sixties and seventies to help develop this brand of music. The greatest quotes come from right in the heart of the book, when members of Motley Crue and Poison and Twisted Sister and tons more talk about their albums, tours or even clothing and make-up.
 
If that doesn't keep you coming back for more, then the tons of memorabilia pictures, album covers and photos will. Just flipping through the pages brought back so many memories of that era of music that I could not stop examining every little thing. With over 200 pages of information, this book could be considered the encyclopedia of "hair metal." As with all good things, they must come to an end as this era of metal music did with the September 1991 release of Nirvana's blockbuster "Nevermind" album.
 
To find out more about this great "must have" book, please visit qbookshop.com.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

CD Review: World Reknown Guitarists Carl Verheyen And Peppino D'Agostino Release New Music

Former Supertramp guitarist Carl Verheyen released his thirteenth solo album entitled "Mustang Run" last year and is promoting it with a world tour that will bring him to Europe this fall. The eleven-song release is almost entirely instrumental, except for his cover of Supertramp's "Bloody Well Right." Carl mixes genres, beginning with the rockabilly feel of "Taylor's Blues," which allows him to get things rocking right from the start.  He explores his progressive rock side with the six-minute, guitar-fueled tempo of "Fusioneers Disease," then heads to the more mainstream "Amandola," which sounds like a hit single that is missing the vocals. The tempo picks up with the quick-pace of "Riding The Bean," before closing with the funkiness of "Fourth Door On The Right" and the laid back blues of "Spirit Of Julia."

The Carl Verheyen Band have a few shows out along the west coast, before heading to Europe at the end of September. To find out more about Carl and his latest album "Mustang Run," please visit carlverheyen.com.
 
World famous Italian guitar virtuoso Peppino D'Agostino will be releasing is new instrumental studio album "Penumbra" this fall. Since arriving in the U.S. over 25 years ago, D'Agostino has been hailed by his peers as one of the best guitar composers in the trade. His new twelve-song album is a collection of originals and compositions of some of his favorite guitar composers, including two songs written specifically for him by Latin Grammy award-winner Sergio Assad. Beginning with the titled-song, D'Agostino slowly feels his way around, plucking the strings until reaching the rhythm heavy second half of the song. The two-minute "Peppino Sotto Portico" puts D'Agostino's skills to the test on this wonderful piece, while his rendition of Roland Dyens' "Valse des Anges" captures your attention with its exciting chord changes and unspoken story. The heavy strumming of "Irican" and the gentle plucking of "Incantation" shows the diversity in D'Agostino's magically instrumental appeal. He portrays his emotions through his guitar with the bright, energetic sound of "MB Love" and the dark, stern feel of "Sergio." The album finishes with D'Agostino painting a clear picture in your mind with the melody of "The Blue Ocean."

Peppino D'Agostino will begin his tour over in Europe this month, before coming to the U.S. in mid-August. For a complete list of shows and to find out more about his new album "Penumbra," please visit peppinodagostino.com.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

CD Review: A Wide Range Of Independent Releases From The Assist, Poker Man And Ivar Pall Jonsson

From the U.K. comes the debut release from the indie rock band The Assist. The new EP is entitled "Speak It Aloud" and features four songs filled with raw, youthful energy, but has an attractive modern alternative rock sound. Beginning with the title-song, you'd think this band has been around for a few decades as the music reflects a time when alternative rock was an underground phenomenon. They show some of their youthfulness with the post-punk rhythm of "The Rave" and also on "Control." To find out more about The Assist, please check them out on Soundcloud (soundcloud.com/the-assist).

Next, from Hollywood, CA comes the latest release from indie-pop artist Poker Man entitled "Psychedelia." All of the music, lyrics, singing and producing of the album was done by Poker Man and showcases his influences of pop icons Michael Jackson, Madonna and Donna Summer. His beats are addictive as with the club rhythm of "Moonshine" and "Turn Me On," while the lyrical hip-hop of "Take It Back" is where you really discover Poker Man's talents. He looks to break into the mainstream with the single "I Can't Be With You," which is the strongest pop piece on this release. He finishes the album with his return to the club with the beats of "Cannabis." To find out more about Poker Man, please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/PokerManMusic.

Lastly, from Iceland comes singer/songwriter Ivar Pall Jonsson with his latest release "Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter," featuring the Revolutionary Cellular Orchestra. The new nineteen-song set was released on July 15 and tells the story in the same vein as The Who's "Tommy," mixing in rock singles with conceptual pieces of music. Beginning with "The Legacy Of Elbowville," Jonsson lays the groundwork with the build-up of rhythm and the amazing vocals of Soffia Bjorg. The tempo really gets going with the alternative rock appeal of "We Play The Game," which reflects the early days of Coldplay's career. The album mixes in the pop sound of "Don't Miss The Boat" and the grand orchestration of "All We Need Is Confidence" and "No Plan B." The album's first single, "Alone" is a great introduction into the complexity of Jonsson's songwriting, filled with tempo changes and drifting between rock and operatic pop. The album finishes with the lovely duet of "I'd Have Told You The Truth" and the grand build-up of "Our Revolution." To find out more about Ivar Pall Jonsson and his latest release "Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter," please visit facebook.com/elbowville.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

CD Review: Magic Man's Debut Album Comes "Before The Waves"

From Boston, MA comes the full-length debut album from electronic rock band Magic Man entitled "Before The Waves." It was released through Columbia Records on July 8th and features four songs from their "You Are Here" EP, which caught the attention of many music critics. The new twelve-song album begins with the dance-club feel of "Texas," then moves on to the funkier beats of the album single "Paris." The band comes together for the up-tempo, exciting sound of "Chicagoland" and the mainstream dance/pop of "Every Day." The single "Out Of Mind" has the rhythm to attract listeners of all ages, while the unforgettable chorus replays in your head. The album closes with the album's latest single, "It All Starts Here," which is the perfect recipe for a radio hit.
 
Magic Man are current on their U.S. tour which runs to the beginning of August. To find out more about their latest release "Before The Waves," please visit magicmanmusic.com.

Monday, July 21, 2014

CD Review: Slow Burn Inject A Raw, Hard Rock Sound Into Their Covers

Connecticut native band Slow Burn has been performing on the local indie-rock circuit for the better part of five years. They perform everything from covers to a few originals, putting their hard rock stamp on many well-known classics. Their latest self-titled EP features five cover songs and the originally penned "Take Me Home." They turn Joe Walsh's "Rocky Mountain Way" and Neil Young's "Rockin' In The Free World" into metal magic with the heavy driving guitar of Billy Francis and vocalist Mike Thiede nostalgic sounding vocals. The rhythm section of Justin Piccirillo on drums and Bob Nich on bass motors Led Zeppelin's "Good Times, Bad Times," but their sound matches perfectly to their cover of Alice In Chains' "Them Bones." The one original song "Take Me Home," carries a southern rock vibe with a slight country feel and a stomp beat that should get you to stand up and take notice.
 
Slow Burn have an upcoming show on July 25 at the courthouse green in downtown Meriden, CT. They will be on full display, performing classic covers with an original or two thrown in. To find out more about the band, and to hear some of their music, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/SLOW-BURN-band.