Friday, March 24, 2017

Tell Me Something New: Roadcase Royale


With a little bit of time off from Heart this year, Nancy Wilson has started up a new band project called Roadcase Royale.

Joining Nancy are former Prince vocalist Liv Warfield and lead guitarist Ryan Walters along with a trio of Heart veterans: Chris Joyner (keyboards), Dan Rothchild (bass) & Ben Smith (drums). Nancy Wilson came up with the band name and says that is an interesting symbol. 'The big heavy duty road cases that our amps, drums and guitars travel in are much like the musicians they accompany on the road - strong and regal looking, yet all scuffed up and dented, covered in funny stickers that tell te story of a crazy traveling circus'

The band's lead single is 'Get Loud',which is classy and soulful rock music. Check out the video below!


Monday, March 20, 2017

Pollinator


Blondie return with their 11th studio album 'Pollinator' on 5th May.

The album was produced by John Congleton and was apparently the last to be recorded at New York studio The Magic Shop (where David Bowie recorded 'Blackstar') before the studios were closed down.

The album features a whole host of collaborators; from Joan Jett who appears on 'Doom Or Destiny' to Laurie Anderson who guests on the hidden track 'Tonight'. Debbie Harry and Chris Stein wrote or co -wrote several tracks but there are also contributions from outside writers including Sia Furler ('Best Day Ever'), Johnny Marr ('My Monster') & Charlie XCX on 'Gravity' & 'Fragments'.

The lead single is 'Fun' which Debbie Harry & Chris Stein co-wrote with David Sitek.

      

The Full track listing is as follows:

1. Doom or Destiny
2. Long Time
3. Already Naked
4. Fun
5. My Monster
6. Best Day Ever
7. Gravity
8. When I Gave Up On You
9. Love Level
10. Too Much
11. Fragments 

(+ hidden track 'Tonight')

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Vindicated!


For over 25 years I've been a fan of Christian rock band Petra. Very broadly speaking their most successful period can be divided into two halves: 1979-1985 when the band featured the extraordinary vocals of Greg X Volz, and 1986-1995 when the band were fronted by former Head East vocalist John Schlitt.

There were two marked shifts in the band's sound. The first of these came with the arrival of a hotshot young keyboard player named John Lawry, who was all over their 1984 album 'Beat The System'. The second came in 1986, not only because John Schlitt joined the band at that time, bringing with him a different vocal style that took the band in a heavier direction, but also because it marked the beginning of a fruitful collaboration with the production team of John & Dino Elefante.

John Elefante had formerly been a member of Kansas. Along with his brother they put together their own Christian Rock project - Mastedon - who released two excellent albums in 'It's A Jungle Out There' (1989) and 'LOFC Audio' (1990) before returning nineteen years later with '3' and picking up exactly where they had left off.

Whether you think what Petra sing about is life giving truth or superstitious nonsense is down to you, but for me, I've always argued that, musically speaking, the band are absolutely part of the AOR canon along with Foreigner, Boston, Kansas, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Journey etc...

Which is why I was delighted to stumble across this fabulous clip on You Tube late last year. A cover of a Styx classic from 'The Grand Illusion' album, featuring John Elefante and John Schlitt on lead vocals and John Lawry on keyboards. And rather good it is too! I feel vindicated by it to be honest!

    

I then took off to see what John Schlitt is up to these days - and I'm pleased to report he's still making fine rock songs with a musical and lyrical clout:


As for Petra, well the Volz-era line up reunited for a series of gigs in 2011 going under the name 'Classic Petra'. Here's a clip from the accompanying DVD of a track called 'Adonai', from the 'Beat The System' album, which is still just a tremendous uplifting rock song...:

  

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Joni Sledge


So sad to hear that beautiful Joni Sledge passed away suddenly at age 60. She blessed the world with her talents and brought so much joy into our lives. My condolences to her family and friends.

Do me a favour. Dig out your Sister Sledge records over the next few days and play something loud and proud in memory of a lovely lady and the fabulous music she and her sisters gave us.  

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Tears On The Dancefloor

The mighty Steps return with a new album 'Tears On The Dancefloor' on 21st April. The album artwork echoes the mirror image of their debut ('Step One') and musically it updates their pure pop sound with contributions from Benny Andersson & Bjorn Ulvaeus (ABBA) Ina Wroldsen (Calvin Harris, Britney Spears), Steve Mac (Jess Glynne, Little Mix), TMS (Years & Years, Sigma), Carl Ryden (The Saturdays) among others.

The album is preceded by a single 'Scared Of The Dark' which is released this Friday. Full track listing for the new album is as follows:

1. Scared Of The Dark
2. You Make Me Whole
3. Story Of A Heart
4. Happy
5. No More Tears On The Dancefloor
6. Firefly
7. Space Between Us
8. Glitter & Gold
9. Neon Blue
10. I Will Love Again

Limited edition signed CD copies of the album are available from their website here as is a limited edition neon blue vinyl version. Strangely, vinyl copies in a deeper shade of blue are not available...!

As if all that weren't enough, the band embark on a UK and Ireland Arena tour, starting in Dublin in November and ending up in Manchester on 2nd December. All details can be found on the band's official website:

http://www.stepsofficial.co.uk

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Spirit


Depeche Mode release their 14th studio album 'Spirit' on March 17th. The full track listing is:

1. Going Backwards
2. Where's The Revolution
3. The Worst Crime
4. Scum
5. You Move
6. Cover Me
7. Eternal
8. Poison Heart
9. So Much Love
10. Poorman
11. No More (This Is The Last Time)
12. Fail

You can see the video to their rather excellent single 'Where's The Revolution' below


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Chained To The Rhythm


We live in strange and dangerous times. A post truth world of 'alternative facts'. An age where social media creates the illusion of connection and engagement. An era when the leader of the free world declares the 'fake' media to be 'the enemy of the people' and routinely denounces them. A period when the voices of hate and intolerance seemingly shout louder than those of love and compassion.

This is not the time to be silent. You have a voice so make yours heard. Make a difference. 'Express Yourself', as Madonna would say.

Katy Perry, bless her heart, has done exactly that in her excellent new video 'Chained To The Rhythm'....