Reviews and Features For November 2017
Guns N' Roses Week: Chinese Democracy
Due to the anticipation and wait there was no way fans expectations could be met, which is most unfortunate, because it features some of the most soul-baring work of Axl Roses career.
Read the full Guns N' Roses Week: Chinese Democracy review
Guns N' Roses Week: Our Greatest Arena Band (Live Nov 2017)
Shortly before midnight in Chicago on the stage of the United Center, Guns N Roses are taking their bows moments after the pyrotechnic aftershock of Paradise City.
Read the full Guns N' Roses Week: Our Greatest Arena Band (Live Nov 2017) review
Guns N' Roses Week: Use Your Illusion I and II
Appetite For Destruction may be a near perfect album, but the Illusion albums are more challenging and rewarding on repeat listens. Join Tony as he takes a ride rediscovering these poetic and powerful masterpieces.
Read the full Guns N' Roses Week: Use Your Illusion I and II review
Guns N' Roses Week: Defiant and Deconstructed
The band has been on a reunion tour for nearly two years and it doesnt appear that their legacy will be waning anytime soon. Appetite is where it all started for Guns N Roses and it will kick start our Guns N Roses week.
Read the full Gun N' Roses Week: Defiant and Deconstructed review
Paul Maged - Light Years Away
Although Paul Maged may claim both Green Day and Billy Joel as influences, except for the fact that each of these artists has a flair for the dramatic, they have little in common
Read the full Paul Maged - Light Years Away review
Sites and Sounds: Phoenix Concert Calendar For November
November is usually a bountiful time for concerts in the Phoenix metropolitan area, and with all the other hubbub of the impending holidays we thought that you could use a little help in figuring out which shows you want to see.
Read the full Phoenix Concert Calendar For November review
San Francisco String Trio - May I Introduce to You
San Francisco String Trio have a rather striking way of introducing themselves as a band, offering up a fun interpretation of the Beatles masterpiece Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band
Read the full San Francisco String Trio - May I Introduce to You review
Noise Ratio - Songs on Fire
Based in West Virginia, Valput has been influenced by a lot of major downer acts, such as Depeche Mode and Pink Floyd. His songs are philosophical, as titles like Left Alone with My Beliefs and Seeking the Truth suggest.
Read the full Noise Ratio - Songs on Fire review
Joecephus and the George Jonestown Massacre - 5 Minutes to Live: A Tribute to Johnny Cash
The last time we heard from Joecephus (aka Joey Killingsworth) he was masterminding the jim dandy tribute to Black Oak Arkansas, Mutants of the Monster.
Read the full Joecephus and the George Jonestown Massacre - 5 Minutes to Live: A Tribute to Johnny Cash review
Coral the Merknight vs. SEARANTULA - It Weaves a Web of Metal
Coral the Merknight vs SEARANTULA is described as a one-man parody metal act, and its album It Weaves a Web of Metal features musical heavyweights, like Travis Orbin of Darkest Hour and Adon Fanion of Ghost Ship Octavius.
Read the full Coral the Merknight vs. SEARANTULA - It Weaves a Web of Metal review
Reviews and Features For Rocktober 2017
Michael Jackson - Scream
Scream is not a Halloween album in the traditional sense. The compilation of hits and favorites is rather, as the CD liner notes indicate, A celebration of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, and his love for the Halloween season.
Read the full Michael Jackson - Scream review
Sites and Sounds: Monster of Rock Cruise 2018
Set to take place aboard the Royal Caribbean cruise liner Navigator of the Seas Feb. 11-16, the massive floating rock festival will feature acts like Lita Ford, Tesla, Queensryche, Thunder, LA Guns, Winger and many others.
Read the full Monster of Rock Cruise 2018 review
Powerman 5000 - New Wave
Powerman 5000 has been around for more than two decades now, releasing a new record approximately every other year, and New Wave marks their 11th effort overall.
Read the full Powerman 5000 - New Wave review
Sites and Sounds: We Got Your Back Brian Benefit Concert
The bluegrass community of Denver and surrounding area has come together to help out a fellow musician in need. Percussionist Brian Jung was injured in a diving accident at Cherry Creek Reservoir this summer
Read the full We Got Your Back Brian Benefit Concert review
Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul Live In Chicago
For an entire generation of music fans, Steven Van Zandt, was the bandana loving guitar player from the E Street Band highlighted in Bruce Springsteens Glory Days video.
Read the full Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul Live In Chicago review
Rock Reads: We Were Going to Change the World: Interviews with Women from the 1970s & 1980s Southern California Punk Rock Scene
Russo has wisely excised her questions here so each subjects contribution is presented instead in essay form, and that keeps the readers attention fully focused on what the women reminiscing about their punk era experiences have to say.
Read the full We Were Going to Change the World: Interviews with Women from the 1970s & 1980s Southern California Punk Rock Scene review
Chris Barron - Angels and One-Armed Jugglers
Dont worry Spin Doctors fans; guitarist and singer Chris Barron has not left the band. Hes merely stepping out with this solo album to, as he puts it, Express the broadness of my musicality.
Read the full Chris Barron - Angels and One-Armed Jugglers review
Kylie Odetta - Undertow
Kylie Odetta is only 19-years-old, which may surprise you the moment you hear her smoky singing voice. On one called Stress off Undertow, she sings like a woman with a lifetime of experience.
Read the full Kylie Odetta - Undertow review
Road Trip: Dublin By Bicycle: It's Electric!
Beautiful churches and countless buildings showing off their Victorian and Georgian architecture. Historic spots: The Vikings landed here, James Joyce hung out over here and rock stars U2 roamed right over there
Read the full Dublin By Bicycle: It's Electric! Road Trip
Road Trip: Explore Ancient Ireland at the Kerry Bog Village
There wasn't much that was pretty about life in an 18th century Irish bog village. As the day's toil came to a close, many exhausted villagers no doubt still managed a bit of a sly grin as they envisioned an afterhours trip to the village shebeen.
Read the full Explore Ancient Ireland at the Kerry Bog Village Road Trip
Steve Miller Band - Ultimate Hits (5 Star)
40 cuts in all, Ultimate Hits really lives up to its title while also bringing fans a nice selection of rarities. Vinyl fans can purchase this one on wax in a 2-LP version or in a deluxe 4-LP version.
Read the full Steve Miller Band - Ultimate Hits (5 Star) review
Remembering Tom Petty
Rock legend Tom Petty passed away on October 2nd. As a tribute we look back at Tony Ks 2010 review of the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers performance at Summerfest in Milwaukee.
Read the full Remembering Tom Petty review
Reviews and Features For September 2017
Remembering Charles Bradley
The sad news broke this past weekend that Charles Bradley had passed away. As a tribute we look back at Tony Ks Best of 2013 review of a live performance from Bradley in Chicago.
Read the full Remembering Charles Bradley review
Jesse Colin Young and the Martin Barre Band Live
Two legendary figures took to the stage at Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix on Friday, Sept. 22- beloved folk rocker Jesse Colin Young and revered guitarist Martin Barre of Jethro Tull fame.
Read the full Jesse Colin Young and the Martin Barre Band Live review
Quick Flicks: California Typewriter
For generations that have grown up using a computer and printer to generate physical documents, the typewriter must seem like some sort of device once favored by cavemen- for most practical purposes it is that far gone.
Read the full California Typewriter review
Kinlin - The Last Stand
Kinlin has been around for a while but longtime fans neednt be concerned with this albums title- this is not a farewell effort. In fact its just the opposite as the set is very tight and filled with hooks and likely to expand the bands fan base greatly.
Read the full Kinlin - The Last Stand review
UFO - The Salentino Cuts
UFO is now only about a year and a half away from celebrating their 50th anniversary, and The Salentino Cuts illuminates a side of the group thats never been shown before.
Read the full UFO - The Salentino Cuts review
On The Record: Walk the Line (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
The 2005 biographical drama Walk the Line tells the life story of the late country music legend Johnny Cash and this soundtrack to the film presents 16 songs, performed mostly by the films stars
Read the full Walk the Line (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) review
Neil Young - Hitchhiker
Recorded between the Zuma and American Stars and Bars albums, all the material on Hitchhiker is previously unheard until now in the versions presented here, even though most of the songs have been released over the years in other forms.
Read the full Neil Young - Hitchhiker review
Depeche Mode: Rock N' Roll's Revolutionaries
Depeche Mode is the worlds biggest electronic band. They have sold north of 100-million records, a few million fans see their tours and their singles are ubiquitous with generations of alternative-new wave-dance fans
Read the full Depeche Mode: Rock N' Roll's Revolutionaries review
Heather Kenney - Waltz
Its been said the best things come in small packages, and at just three tracks, Waltz is about as small as you can get. Nevertheless, its also likely ten of the best minutes of acoustic music youll hear in a long, long time.
Read the full Heather Kenney - Waltz review
Shawna Virago - Last Night's Sugar
Listening to Shawna Virago can be a lot like hearing Against Me! for the first time after Laura Jane Grace fully embraced her femininity. She looks like a girl, but she still sings like a man
Read the full Shawna Virago - Last Night's Sugar review
Here's the Riot - Tonight We're Alive EP
Heres the Riot, with Paris Tompkins angry, and sometimes scratchy vocals, is a sonic reminder of the influence Linkin Park and its late singer Chester Beninngton have had on rock music
Read the full Here's the Riot - Tonight We're Alive EP review
Staring Into Nothing - Power
Listening to Steve Rogers sing the songs that comprise Power, immediately brings Roger Waters to mind. Much like that former Pink Floyd front man, Rogerss music is a terminal downer.
Read the full Staring Into Nothing - Power review
Revolushn - Further!!
Revolushn music is the glorious sound of talented and experienced musicians creating (mostly) garage rock. What began as a duo comprised of No (guitar) and Dekay (drums) has evolved into a full-blown band
Read the full Revolushn - Further!! review
Blind Lemon Pledge - Backwards Glance
Blind Lemon Pledge is a wonderful name for a musical act. Although it suggests a snarky artist with a smart sense of humor, the music Bay Area bluesman James Byfield creates is not the sort of jokey mix such a moniker might suggest
Read the full Blind Lemon Pledge - Backwards Glance review
Kris Heaton Band - World Gone Mad
Listening to World Gone Mad wont provide any new revelations about life. But in the right circumstances, when all the evils of our fake news world have become too much, these basic sounds have a way to sooth.
Read the full Kris Heaton Band - World Gone Mad review
This is a little split between Coffins and Isla. Both bands have a bit of doom in their loins, although Isla implements some crust influences that are absent in the doom/death metal assault of Coffins.
Read the full Coffins/Isla Split review
Freddie Nelson - Shake The Cage
A recent Forbes article told us rock no longer the most popular genre. Its the first time this has happened since Nielsen Music began measuring stylistic popularity back in 1991
Read the full Freddie Nelson - Shake The Cage review
Rock Reads: Food on Foot: A History of Eating on Trails and in the Wild
Here author Guzey, an Istanbul-based writer with a passion for food, especially when its consumed in unlikely places like a mountaintop, presents a fun read
Read the full Food on Foot: A History of Eating on Trails and in the Wild review
Rainbow - Live In Birmingham 2016
Finally, the moment all Ritchie Blackmore fans have been yearning for, a return to the hard rock arena for the Man in Black. Last year, Blackmore felt a need to revisit part of his legacy
Read the full Rainbow - Live In Birmingham 2016 review
Reviews and Features For August 2017
Rabid Flesh Eaters - Reign of Terror
A name like Rabid Flesh Eaters suggests Reign of Terror is no cupcake. The Texan thrash squad had a close affiliation, both sonically and personally, with the deceased Rigor Mortis, the most anti-cupcake band on the planet.
Read the full Rabid Flesh Eaters - Reign of Terror review
Valdur - Pathetic Scum
Valdur delivers a nice package of blasphemous havoc cooked up just the way it sounds. Their riffs are enticing, appearing foul and flagrant over blasts which seldom halt the constant blitzkrieg.
Read the full Valdur - Pathetic Scum review
The Blues: The Nighthawks- Paradise Kings- Delta Wires
In this latest Get the Blues edition Kevin Wierzbicki tells us about the following new releases: The Nighthawks All You Gotta Do, Paradise Kings Controlled Burn and Delta Wires Born in Oakland
Read the full The Nighthawks- Paradise Kings- Delta Wires review
Dennis DeYoung Plays The Music Of Styx at Mesa Arts Center
Phoenix area fans of Styx began last weekend with a Fri. Aug. 11 show by former Styx lead singer Dennis DeYoung who was in town not Rockin the Paradise, but rocking the Ikeda Theater at the Mesa Arts Center.
Read the full Dennis DeYoung Plays The Music Of Styx at Mesa Arts Center review
Prong's X - No Absolutes
Prong, once caught in a creative vacuum that led to Victor hitting the restart button, sees itself lumbering down a familiar path from which its identity becomes nebulous and dormant.
Read the full Prong's X - No Absolutes review
Yestival Tour Preview With Yes, Todd Rundgren and Carl Palmer
Yestival tour with Yes, Todd Rundgren and Carl Palmer includes Phoenix stop at Celebrity Theatre. Yestival presents a trio of the eras most influential acts
Read the full Yestival Tour Preview With Yes, Todd Rundgren and Carl Palmer review
On The Record: NOMADS- All-Seeing Eyes- Birdseed
Kevin Wierzbicki checks in with his latest On the Record installment to share reviews of some exciting new vinyl releases from NOMADS, All-Seeing Eyes and Birdseed
Read the full NOMADS- All-Seeing Eyes- Birdseed review
Root 66: Lara Hope and the Ark-Tones - Love You To Life
Hope and her rockabilly crew have been racking up tons of accolades in their home stomping ground of the Hudson Valley area of New York and they also garnered national attention by winning a major award.
Read the full Lara Hope and the Ark-Tones - Love You To Life review
ZZ Ward - The Storm
Wards sultry voice and her knack for catchy vocal phrasing makes The Storm an enjoyable listen all the way through for all comers, and those who happen to be recently heartbroken will find a hefty cathartic here too.
Read the full ZZ Ward - The Storm review
Lollapalooza 2017 - Day Four Report
The fourth and final day of the 2017 edition of Lollapalooza was near flawless with anticipated showers never coming to light and a series of performances by women, who reflected brave beauty, fierce concentration and road map to a better tomorrow.
Read the full Lollapalooza 2017 - Day Four Report review
Lollapalooza 2017 - Day Three Report
The third day of Lollapalooza was welcoming with the sun covering Grant Park and the temperature in the high seventies, a solid twenty degrees warmer than the day before. The weather was perfect for a summer festival.
Read the full Lollapalooza 2017 - Day Three Report review
Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie
Considering that Buckingham and McVie are joined here by their Fleetwood Mac cohorts John McVie and Mick Fleetwood, it would not be wrong to think of this album as a Fleetwood Mac album without Stevie Nicks.
Read the full Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie review
Lollapalooza 2017 - Day Two Report
The main streets of Grant Park was less crowded Friday morning at Lollapalooza day two. The cancelled headliner slots hung over the festival and the gloomy skies above made many wonder if we were in for a repeat performance.
Read the full Lollapalooza 2017 - Day Two Report review
Lollapalooza 2017 - Day One Report
The 2017 version of Lollapalooza got off to a stirring and wet start this year on the first of four days. It was one of the more eventful days since it has become a destination festival with Chicago at its home in 2005.
Read the full Lollapalooza 2017 - Day One Report review
Haken - Affinity
Haken strength is writing detailed tracks which feature multiple musical webs and ideas intertwining to create a singular, complex entity. Half the numbers on Affinity perceptively drift away from this texture
Read the full Haken - Affinity review
Road Trip: The Cincinnati Music Festival
With 10 well-known artists appearing over the course of the festival, including headliners Mary J. Blige and Usher, festival-goers may have walked into the stadium but they were dancing on their way out.
Read the full The Cincinnati Music Festival Road Trip
Reviews and Features For July 2017
Sites and Sounds: Ubersoca Cruise 2017
If youre a fan of soca music and you also love to play in the warm Caribbean sun, heres just the ticket for you: The Ubersoca Cruise 2017 that sets sail from Miami, Florida Nov. 16 aboard the Carnival Cruise Line ship Sensation.
Read the full Ubersoca Cruise 2017 review
The Isley Brothers & Santana - Power of Peace (5 Stars)
The thought of Santana collaborating with The Isley Brothers for a full album is mouth-watering, and fans will no longer have to dream about such an event as it has come to fruition with the new album Power of Peace.
Read the full The Isley Brothers & Santana - Power of Peace review
Be'lakor - Vessels
Rather than continue milking the formula applied on its predecessor, Vessels ventures beyond the set musical perimeter by exploring its inherited musical philosophies.
Read the full Be'lakor - Vessels review
Don Barnes - Ride the Storm
Its double your pleasure time for fans of 38 Special as Ride the Storm presents this 2-CD set, a previously-unreleased solo album from the bands front man Don Barnes
Read the full Don Barnes - Ride the Storm review
On The Record: Raiders Of The Lost Ark Soundtrack
Definitely a gem for collectors, film buffs will love all the graphics on the gatefold jacket while audiophiles will appreciate that the sound has been remixed and upgraded and that no expense has been spared in pressing this double record set.
Read the full Raiders Of The Lost Ark Soundtrack review
Lollapalooza TBT Month: 2013 Day Two
As Lollapalooza 2017 approaches Tony K is taking a look back at some his favorite days from years past. We continue with Day 2 from 2013 featuring Mumford and Sons, The Lumineers, Ellie Goulding, The National and more.
Read the full Lollapalooza TBT Month: 2013 Day Two review
Sites and Sounds: Cincinnati Music Festival
One of the nations biggest urban music festivals, the Cincinnati Music Festival Presented by P&G offers three days of fun with some of todays biggest stars of R&B, rap and soul music along with a hefty dose of blast-from-the-past.
Read the full Cincinnati Music Festival review
Queen + Adam Lambert Live In Chicago
This incarnation of the band toured America for the first time in 2014 and they have returned to American shores for a blistering 2-hour show that covers their entire career showcasing their catalog in a different light.
Read the full Queen + Adam Lambert Live In Chicago review
Road Trip: Festival d'ete de Quebec
The festival took place in and adjacent to the city's historic and scenic old town July 6-16, and fittingly for its milestone 50th anniversary, festival organizers really outdid themselves with the musical line-up.
Read the full Festival d'ete de Quebec Road Trip
Junkyard - High Water
After enjoying some successful reunion shows, the guys, led by singer and founding member David Roach, hit the studio with new material and came out with this impressive set.
Read the full Junkyard - High Water review
Lollapalooza TBT Month: 2015 - Metallica, Brand New And More
As Lollapalooza 2017 approaches Tony K is taking a look back at some his favorite days from the festival from years past. We kick things off with his review of Day 2 from 2015 featuring Metallica, Brand New and more.
Read the full Lollapalooza TBT Month: 2015 - Metallica, Brand New And More review
Sailing to Nowhere - To The Unknown
This is a flawed record, but has glimmers of potential shining through the stormy skies like a lighthouses beam on an unseen island. Addressing the issues firsthand may find Sailing to Nowhere reaching somewhere.
Read the full Sailing to Nowhere - To The Unknown review
Mark Slaughter - Halfway There
For those of us who manage to live to be middle aged, loosely defined as from 40-years-old to 60-years-old, there comes a time of reflection about the years gone by and thoughts about the limited number of days yet to come.
Read the full Mark Slaughter - Halfway There review
Die Choking - III
Die Choking isnt content to simply rehash itself. III expands upon and further ramifies the metal, punk, and hardcore roots which together create the grindcore weed Die Choking is fond of picking
Read the full Die Choking - III review
American High - Bones in the Attic, Flowers in the Basement
American Highs music hearkens back to the 60s music heyday, as well as a touch of early 70s sounds. These songs all sound like they were influenced by recordings that came along well before punk rock broke.
Read the full American High - Bones in the Attic, Flowers in the Basement review
Root 66: Cary Morin - Cradle to the Grave
Cary Morin is a singer and guitarist specializing in finger picking and Cradle to the Grave, where he works without accompaniment, is a chance to really hear the eloquence of his picking
Read the full Cary Morin - Cradle to the Grave review
Reviews and Features For June 2017
On The Record: Melvin Van Peebles and Earth, Wind & Fire - Sweet Sweetbacks Baadasssss Song Soundtrack
theres a significance to the soundtrack that will be especially interesting to fans of Earth, Wind & Fire: the band was unknown at the time that they hooked up with Van Peebles (on vocals) to record this album.
Read the full Melvin Van Peebles and Earth, Wind & Fire - Sweet Sweetbacks Baadasssss Song Soundtrack review
Root 66: MandolinMan - Unfolding the Roots
MandolinMan is four Belgian guys playing traditional Flemish music on mandolin (and mandocello) but American fans can be forgiven for listening to cuts like Schottische Eppegem and Elewijt
Read the full MandolinMan - Unfolding the Roots review
Messa - Belfry
Messa lurks on a forlorn edge of haunting doom metal capped off by drone and ambient influences used as means to traverse the instrumental journeys of Belfry.
Read the full Messa - Belfry review
Root 66: Anthony Rosano and the Conqueroos
Fans of the Fabulous Thunderbirds will find the funky, harmonica driven 20 Days to their liking, and theyll also probably dig the Stevie Ray Vaughan-recalling Give Me Strength.
Read the full Anthony Rosano and the Conqueroos review
Road Trip Missouri: Get Your Sips on Route 66
While an ice cold pop appeals to just about everybody, sometimes mom and dad crave a beverage that's a bit stronger. Their oasis awaits just off Route 66 in St. James, Missouri.
Read the full Missouri- Get Your Sips on Route 66 Road Trip
Rock Reads: 45 RPM (Recollections Per Minute) The Morrell Archives Volume 3
Morrell enjoyed a lengthy career as a record company promotion man: those are the guys whose job it is to get songs on the radio, or to paraphrase Joni Mitchell, to stoke the star maker machinery.
Read the full 45 RPM (Recollections Per Minute) The Morrell Archives Volume 3 review
The Fatal Pursuit - Sinful
The Fatal Pursuit, from Alberta, Canada, are comprised of a core of boyhood friends. Knowing each other well is likely one of the reasons these five musicians sound so tight together on Sinful.
Read the full The Fatal Pursuit - Sinful review
Root 66: Evan Michaels - Ain't No Stopping This
Michaels is a native of Stillwater, Oklahoma who after a stint in Nashville realized that hed be more comfortable back home in Red Dirt country, so today he is one of the preeminent artists representing the Stillwater scene.
Read the full Evan Michaels - Ain't No Stopping This review
TBT: Van Halen
For this weeks TBT we go back in time almost forty years and revisit Zane Ewtons favorites review of Van Halens blockbuster multi-platinum self-titled debut album.
Read the full TBT Van Halen review
Root 66: Jeffrey Halford and the Healers - Lo-fi Dreams
Mostly Halford doles out alt country with liberal doses of soul and the occasional tender ballad or sweet remembrance. Halford is an exceptional storyteller and he penned everything here, and his guitar work is hot but not overly showy
Read the full Jeffrey Halford and the Healers - Lo-fi Dreams review
MesAlfie - Hey, Super
MesAlfies Hey Super album is as pretty, as it is sad. These songs would probably, sadly, sound way out of place on pop radio because they many times have a timeless quality about them.
Read the full MesAlfie - Hey, Super review
On The Record: Five Alarm Funk - Sweat
The music is so powerful here that its easy to think of Sweat as an instrumental album but most songs have short bursts of vocals, with the anthemic Power of Funk being the most fun to sing along to.
Read the full Five Alarm Funk - Sweat review
Remembering Gregg Allman - TBT 2007 Live Review
For this weeks TBT we pay special tribute to Gregg Allman with a look back at Tony Ks review of the Allman Brothers Bands August 29, 2007 concert at the Rosemont Theatre in Rosemont, IL:
Read the full Remembering Gregg Allman - TBT 2007 Live Review review
MorleyView: Kelley Ryan
A self-described studio rat, Kelley Ryan is an individual who truly loves the songwriting process. Morley spoke with Kelley recently to find out more about her brand new release Telescope.
Read the full Kelley Ryan MorleyView
Saint Motel - Arrival
Saint Motel is one of those difficult to describe collectives. There are obvious soul elements on its Arrival album, yes. But theres so much more. The album Arrival is so much more than mere lovers music.
Read the full Saint Motel - Arrival review
Edge of Free's Self-Titled Debut
There are lots of ways to make music sound dramatic- big drum flourishes, synthesizer swooshes and screeching guitars will all do the trick. But sometimes less is more, and the members of Edge of Free are well aware of this.
Read the full Edge of Free's Self-Titled Debut review
Little Steven - Soulfire
Soulfire serves as a reintroduction to the artist of Little Steven. This is Van Zandts way of taking ownership of these songs some of which date back more than four decades.
Read the full Little Steven - Soulfire review
Reviews and Features For May 2017
BJ Wilbanks - Self-Titled
BJ Wilbanks music has been referred to as back porch soul, and theres just an obvious happy feeling to the music this man makes. This is not dreadfully down in the dumps music like - say - Nick Cave.
Read the full BJ Wilbanks - Self-Titled review
TBT - Black Sabbath Rock Lollapalooza 2012
For this weeks TBT we venture back to the summer of 2012 with Tony Ks review of Black Sabbaths performance at the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago on August 3rd of that year
Read the full TBT - Black Sabbath Rock Lollapalooza 2012 review
Wild Iris - Wild Iris
Wild Iris is what happens when Bryan Shelton and Kate Mullikin make music together. Their self-titled album is a mixture of various Americana forms, including folk, blues and even a touch of the Celtic.
Read the full Wild Iris - Wild Iris review
Quick Flicks: Bang! The Bert Berns Story
Unless you are a student of pop and soul music or a big music trivia buff, chances are you have not heard of the late Bert Berns. Just as surely though, youre familiar with his work as a songwriter and producer.
Read the full Bang! The Bert Berns Story review
Remembering Chris Cornell
Tony K remembers Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell with a look back to a jaw dropping moment that he witnessed during the PJ20 Festival back in 2011.
Read the full Remembering Chris Cornell review
Hot In The City: Lane Change - Rise
Rise is a four-song EP from Arizona rockers Lane Change that opens with the big Southern rock sound of The Rich Get Richer, a cut that fans of the Black Crowes will be very comfortable with.
Read the full Lane Change - Rise review
Carly Van Skaik - Carly Van Shaik EP
Carly Van Skaik is described as an LA chanteuse, and because the first single from her mini record, Blue Diamond Eyes, has been used in the Showtime series Shameless, shes truly creating LA music.
Read the full Carly Van Skaik - Carly Van Shaik EP review
On The Record: The Bill Evans Trio - On a Monday Evening
It has been more than 35-years since jazz pianist Bill Evans passed away, but because of his status as one of the geniuses of the genre, interest in the man and his music has not waned over the decades
Read the full The Bill Evans Trio - On a Monday Evening review
Through Fire - Breathe
This Nebraska-based foursome probably never dreamed that their single Stronger would find success the way it did, as the song has found placement during the Stanley Cup finals
Read the full Through Fire - Breathe review
TBT: Iron Maiden - A Matter Of Life And Death
We had so much fun with our Iron Maiden TBT month that we decided to share a bonus look back this week of Matt Henschs look at the bands acclaimed 2006 album A Matter Of Life And Death.
Read the full Iron Maiden - A Matter Of Life And Death review
Passport: Orchestra Baobab- Amine & Hamza- Las Cafeteras
For this edition of Passport Kevin Wierzbicki tells about new releases from the Senegalese band Orchestra Baobab, Tunisia via Switzerlands Amine & Hamza and the Band Beyond Borders and East LAs Las Cafeteras.
Read the full Orchestra Baobab- Amine & Hamza- Las Cafeteras review
Sami Wolf - See You On the Moon
Sami Wolfs album See You on the Moon is packed with wonderful, melodic pop music. Even something like Driving 90, which features a rapped vocal, still has a sweetness about it.
Read the full Sami Wolf - See You On the Moon review
Passport: Tamkrest - Ian Faquini and Paula Santoro- More
For this edition of Passport Kevin Wierzbicki tells about new releases from Tamkrest (from Mali), Ian Faquini + Paula Santoro (from Brazil), Hanitra (from Madagascar) and compilation called Vintage Italia.
Read the full Tamkrest - Ian Faquini and Paula Santoro- More review
My Silent Bravery - Face to Face
This acoustic collection finds Matthew Wade vocalizing a little like a (happier) emo folksinger. The standout track is Drunk Off the Sun, which is a love song to the beach during summer
Read the full My Silent Bravery - Face to Face review
Rock Reads: Hey Joe: The Unauthorized Biography of the Rock Classic
The extent of the average fans knowledge of the 60s song Hey Joe probably consists only of familiarity with the version performed by Jimi Hendrix, which is still a mainstay on classic rock radio
Read the full Hey Joe: The Unauthorized Biography of the Rock Classic review
Justin Allen and the Well Shots - White Oak & Kerosene
Justin Allen doesnt just point to John Mellencamp as an influence, he also sounds a whole lot like the Indiana man. White Oak & Kerosene is fine release that marks Justin Allen as one to keep a keen eye on.
Read the full Justin Allen and the Well Shots - White Oak & Kerosene review
Jennifer Paige - Starflower
Its been almost 20-years since Paige had her big hit Crush which went to no 3 in 1998. A decade later, after the passing of her mom and dad and a cancer diagnosis, Paige left the music business to grieve and fight the disease
Read the full Jennifer Paige - Starflower review
Reviews and Features For April 2017
On The Record: Jean Jacques Perrey's Moog Indigo
The Moog synthesizer was only a few years old when this album released in 1970 and it had not yet become a favorite instrument for prog rockers and others who were into experimental music
Read the full Jean Jacques Perrey's Moog Indigo review
Iron Maiden TBT Month- The Golden Years
We conclude our special Iron Maiden TBT month with a look back at Tony Ks live review of the bands July 5th, 2012 concert at the First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park, IL.
Read the full Iron Maiden TBT Month- The Golden Years review
Ray Goren - Free
Until now Goren has been primarily known for his bluesy guitar playing prowess and while that talent is still on display throughout Free, the six song EP shows that Goren, still only a teenager, should not be pigeonholed as a blues rocker.
Read the full Ray Goren - Free review
The Psyatics - Famous Monsters
The Psyatics may be a garage band, but their album Famous Monsters certainly doesnt sound like it was tracked in a messy old garage. Granted, this is guitar rock, in its most basic and best form.
Read the full The Psyatics - Famous Monsters review
On The Record: Jen Gloeckner - Vine
Having trouble getting that daydream started? Gloeckner solves your problem here with Vine, a collection of trippy and otherwise ethereal cuts guaranteed to help you slip off into the ether.
Read the full Jen Gloeckner - Vine review
Iron Maiden TBT Month- Flight 666
We continue our Iron Maiden TBT month with a look back at Kevin Wierzbickis 5 Star review of the Flight 666 film which documented the first leg of the bands legendary Somewhere Back in Time World Tour
Read the full Iron Maiden TBT Month- Flight 666 review
RockPile: Hollywood Monsters- The Dahmers
In this installment of Rock Pile, Kevin Wierzbicki tells about new releases from Hollywood Monsters (featuring members of Black Sabbath, Dio, Whitesnake, and Paul DiAnno Band) and The Dahmers.
Read the full Hollywood Monsters- The Dahmers review
On The Record: Strange Karma - Cold Blooded
Martin Strange, the lead singer for Australian power trio Strange Karma, has a voice that often recalls a young Robert Plant. In a throwback to the heyday of classic hard rock, Cold Blooded is available on vinyl only.
Read the full Strange Karma - Cold Blooded review
Bernie Torme - Dublin Cowboy
Torme is best known as lead guitarist in Gillan and he also had the unenviable task of taking over guitar chores for Ozzy Osbournes Diary of a Madman tour after the death of Randy Rhoads
Read the full Bernie Torme - Dublin Cowboy review
Iron Maiden TBT Month- Live After Death DVD
We continue our month long Iron Maiden TBT special today with a look back at Matt Henschs review of the long awaited DVD release of the bands epic concert film Live After Death
Read the full Iron Maiden TBT Month- Live After Death DVD review
Al Atkins - Reloaded
Metal fans who are up on their trivia will recognize Atkins as the singer who left Judas Priest when they were struggling to find a record deal, thus opening the vocalist position that would be filled by metal god in waiting Rob Halford.
Read the full Al Atkins - Reloaded review
The Psyatics - Famous Monsters
The Psyatics may be a garage band, but their album Famous Monsters certainly doesnt sound like it was tracked in a messy old garage. Granted, this is guitar rock, in its most basic and best form.
Read the full The Psyatics - Famous Monsters review
Road Trip: Travel News, Trips and Tips April 2017
Now that spring is upon us, the weather will soon be ideal for road trips. With that in mind, here are some suggestions for things to do when you hit the road, and some products that will help you out along the way.
Read the full Travel News, Trips and Tips April 2017 Road Trip
Iron Maiden TBT Month: Number of the Beast
We are kicking off our special Iron Maiden TBT month by revisiting DeadSuns classics review of the bands landmark Number of the Beast album which celebrated its 35th anniversary last month.
Read the full Iron Maiden - Number of the Beast review
Electric Ray and the Shockers - California Torpedo
Songs like T.R.O.U.B.L.E might lull you into thinking Electric Ray and the Shockers California Torpedo is little more than a rockabilly-tinged rave- up. Later, with Tempt Me though, the band charges into unbridled rock & roll fever.
Read the full Electric Ray and the Shockers - California Torpedo review
Beauty In The Breakdown - NEON
Beauty in the Breakdown, the LA-centered four-piece, sprung from percussionist Chastity Ashleys desire to create original music of her own. Shes already gained respect in the music community, having added percussion to Duran Duran shows.
Read the full Beauty In The Breakdown - NEON review
Road Trip: Boise, Idaho's Treefort Music Fest
The 2017 Treefort Music Fest took place in downtown Boise, Idaho and it was a resounding success by any measure. Only in its sixth year, Treefort presented shows by hundreds of bands while also offering plenty to do
Read the full Boise, Idaho's Treefort Music Fest Road Trip
Reviews and Features For March 2017
Mastodon - Emperor of Sand
Having previously tackled the subjects of fire, earth, water, air and the natural cycles of nature in their previous albums, this time out Mastodon delves into a subject that is not so easily defined: the mysterious concept of time.
Read the full Mastodon - Emperor of Sand review
TBT: Ministry - The Last Sucker
For this weeks TBT we revisit Robert VerBruggens 2007 5 Star review of Ministrys The Last Sucker where he found with every track, Ministry sticks a finger in the eye of the basic, sloppy, improvisational rock n roll ethic.
Read the full Ministry - The Last Sucker review
Ships Have Sailed - Whispers EP
The name Ships Have Sailed speaks to regret. That ship has already sailed, some might say when an opportunity has passed them by. Whispers is an EP of quiet regret and just a little bit of romantic hope.
Read the full Ships Have Sailed - Whispers EP review
RockPile Prog Edition: Steve Hillage- Van Der Graaf Generator- Richard Barbieri
Our salute to prog rock this time out samples a mammoth box set from one of the genres most-revered guitarists, a stunning new album from some elder statesmen of prog and a solo effort from one of todays most popular prog bands.
Read the full Prog Edition: Steve Hillage- Van Der Graaf Generator- Richard Barbieri review
On The Record: The Dollyrots - Whiplash Splash
Theres a new baby in their Dollyrots family too in the form of new album Whiplash Splash and it has the perfect release date; with warm weather just around the corner Whiplash Splash is ready to party the summer away.
Read the full The Dollyrots - Whiplash Splash review
TBT: Down III Over the Under
For this weeks TBT we take a look back at Travis Beckers review of metal supergroup Downs third studio album, Down III, which he found to be the bands most cohesive, and quite simply, their most coherent album to date.
Read the full Down III Over the Under review
Les Bohem - Moved to Duarte
Bohem is better known for his work in film. He won an Emmy for his work on Taken, a Steven Spielberg mini-series. Chances are good the songs on Moved to Duarte wont receive the same kind of mass exposure as Taken
Read the full Les Bohem - Moved to Duarte review
In Tribute: Chuck Berry Live In Chicago
Chuck Berry died this past weekend at the age of 90. There isnt enough space here to devote to how altering his words and riffs were to the musical form known as rock n roll.
Read the full In Tribute: Chuck Berry Live In Chicago review
Sad Vacation: The Last Days of Sid and Nancy
The story of Sid Vicious and his girlfriend Nancy Spungens relationship and how it came to be comes to vivid life here in all its sordidness, and many may rightfully consider Sad Vacation to be the definitive statement on the matter.
Read the full Sad Vacation: The Last Days of Sid and Nancy review
Emmet Cahill - Emmet Cahill's Ireland
Cahill is a featured performer with the Irish group Celtic Thunder and here he puts his beautiful tenor to work on an 11-song set of beloved traditional Irish songs. It makes for a great soundtrack to a mellow St. Patricks Day, or indeed any day.
Read the full Emmet Cahill - Emmet Cahill's Ireland review
American Dreamer - Restless Nights
Alabama once sang of how, if you want to play in Texas you need to have a fiddle in the band. American Dreamer stretches that Southwest-centric definition in the most peculiar and beautiful ways.
Read the full American Dreamer - Restless Nights review
Rock Reads: Out of the Basement: From Cheap Trick to DIY Punk in Rockford, Illinois, 1973-2005
The latest in the Scene History series from Microcosm chronicles the birth and evolution of the punk scene in the Rust Belt city of Rockford, where, like elsewhere, punk was a powerful magnet for bored and alienated youth.
Read the full Out of the Basement: From Cheap Trick to DIY Punk in Rockford, Illinois, 1973-2005 review
Dan Webb - Oedipus The King
Its easy to miss Webbs intelligence due to his sonic weirdness. But hes by no means some sort of raving lunatic. He just likes to stir the pot, both lyrically and musically. A delightful aural journey down Dan Webbs unique sonic rabbit hole.
Read the full Dan Webb - Oedipus The King review
Root 66 Week: Corey Ledet and His Zydeco Band - Standing on Faith
While Ledet and company color outside the lines here everything, regardless of description, has a groove and you can bet that the bands live shows provide a raucous good time. In the meantime Standing on Faith will do quite nicely.
Read the full Corey Ledet and His Zydeco Band - Standing on Faith review
Derek Davis - Revolutionary Soul
Fans of the hard rock band Babylon A.D. have a lot to look forward to: the group, featuring all of the original members, will release a new album this October. In the meantime, lead singer Derek Davis has a new solo effort on offer as a tide-over.
Read the full Derek Davis - Revolutionary Soul review
Root 66 Week: Darin and Brooke Aldridge - Faster and Farther
With the speedy and very spiritually-attuned Kingdom Come and the gospel number Fit for a King opening the latest from this bluegrass duo, you might get the idea that this is a full set of gospel bluegrass. It is not.
Read the full Darin and Brooke Aldridge - Faster and Farther review
Road Trip: The True/False Film Fest 2017
The True/False Film Fest took place in Columbia, Missouri March 2-5 and once again the annual celebration of the best new documentary films was a crowd-pleasing success filled with fun and surprises
Read the full The True/False Film Fest 2017 Road Trip
Root 66 Week: Chip Taylor - A Song I Can Live With
Thats the modus operandi here, sedate yet intense songs with minimal accompaniment (mostly guitar and piano) that might throw those who only know Taylor from his work with Carrie Rodriguez for a bit of a loop.
Read the full Chip Taylor - A Song I Can Live With review
Zucchero - Black Cat
The dream production team of Don Was, Brendan OBrien and T Bone Burnett puts the perfect edge on this set of funky, Continental-via-New Orleans party rock from Zucchero.
Read the full Zucchero - Black Cat review
Mike Llerena - Absence & The Heart
Just as certain men seemingly love all women, Llerena loves most varieties of rock & roll. Hes the guy that gets as excited about a Tom Petty classic rock concert, as he is about a local punk bands set, one imagines.
Read the full Mike Llerena - Absence & The Heart review
Root 66: Charlie and the Regrets - Rivers in the Streets
Charlie and the Regrets lead singer Charlie Harrison has been quoted as saying, Everything I say is with a smile and a wink, and that becomes obvious right away here on opening track Proud Man.
Read the full Charlie and the Regrets - Rivers in the Streets review
Tony K's Best Films Of 2016 List
Awards do not mean anything in the big picture of life. I love watching the Academy Awards every year but must confess, with every passing year, I do not always remember who won, but I always remember the films that penetrate my soul.
Read the full Tony K's Best Films Of 2016 List review
Reviews and Features For Feb 2017
Chickn - Chickn
Heres a really cool and trippy offering from this Greek band. Opening cut Chickn Tribe mashes up bluesy, Jimi Hendrix-style guitar with Jim Morrison-recalling vocals and a tribal drumbeat along with subtle psychedelic effects
Read the full Chickn - Chickn review
Avenged Sevenfold TBT
For this weeks TBT we revisit Matthew Hasties 2007 review of Avenged Sevenfolds self-titled album where he found that the band sounded better than ever but a little more haywire.
Read the full Avenged Sevenfold TBT review
Miss Ohio - White Hot: The Best of Miss Ohio
One could be easily fooled that Miss Ohio is Drive-By Truckers, especially because of Magnet. Vocalist David Wilson is a dead ringer for DBT singer Patterson Hood. He has that scratchy, woebegone sound down pat.
Read the full Miss Ohio - White Hot: The Best of Miss Ohio review
Joe Lynn Turner - The Sessions
Powerhouse vocalist Turner rocks through a set of mostly well-known, mostly hard rock songs from iconic bands like Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC as well as his former band Rainbow.
Read the full Joe Lynn Turner - The Sessions review
The fact that most of these tracks clocking in at over six minutes, should give you a clue its an all-instrumental work. Matt Chanway is a master guitarist, and his chosen musical style is progressive metal.
Read the full Matt Chanway review
TBT - Arctic Monkeys' Favourite Worst Nightmare
For this weeks TBT we travel back a decade for Kevin Wierzbickis review of Arctic Monkeys Favourite Worst Nightmare where he found that they not only avoided the dreaded sophomore slump but took a leap toward senior.
Read the full TBT - Arctic Monkeys' Favourite Worst Nightmare review
Root 66: Washboard Hank - Human Beans
Fans of acts like Mojo Nixon and his washboard-playing sidekick Skid Roper will love the similarly earthy sounds of Washboard Hank. And as with Mojo and Skid, Washboard Hanks music is full of delightfully-skewed humor.
Read the full Washboard Hank - Human Beans review
Marty McKay - New York City Dreams
Marty McKay once played with Vanilla Ice. But dont hold this against him. In fact, his music could hardly be any more different from that Great White Hopeless. This Swiss rocker writes and sings heartfelt songs
Read the full Marty McKay - New York City Dreams review
Root 66: Holly Norman - Taking Care of Bluegrass: A Tribute to Elvis
Singer and guitarist Norman got the idea to do an Elvis Presley tribute album during a visit to Graceland and what a good idea it was. Here she presents grassed up interpretations of a dozen songs associated with Presley
Read the full Holly Norman - Taking Care of Bluegrass: A Tribute to Elvis review
Judas Priest - Turbo 30
For some Judas Priest fans it probably seems like just yesterday that they were roaring down the street with the car radio cranked up, singing along with Priest front man Rob Halford on the big hit Turbo Lover.
Read the full Judas Priest - Turbo 30 review
Alice Cooper: Between High School & Old School
For this weeks TBT we take a look back at Tony Ks Alice Cooper: Between High School & Old School feature from 2007 where he examined the legacy of the legendary shock rocker!
Read the full Alice Cooper: Between High School & Old School review
Saul Losada - Energy
Saul Losadas Energy offers him the opportunity to stretch out and prove what he can do on an electric guitar. Also, the album is sprinkled with a few familiar songs, which makes it more than just a show off work.
Read the full Saul Losada - Energy review
Travel News, Trips and Tips: Pink Jeep Sedona Tour, Travvy Award Winners And More
This time out our column features something especially for sweethearts, news of this years winners of Travvy Awards, and a new book for travelers who are fans of military history. Get a bag packed and lets go!
Read the full Pink Jeep Sedona Tour, Travvy Award Winners And More review
5 Star: Jethro Tull - Stand Up: The Elevated Edition
Overall the package is an excellent snapshot of early Jethro Tull presented in a modern manner that makes Stand Up: The Elevated Edition a very desirable collectible.
Read the full Jethro Tull - Stand Up: The Elevated Edition review
Scott Taylor - Blues Kitchen
Blues music gets right to the point, whether love is good or bad, which is why its eternally and universally loved and respected. And Scott Taylor cooks up all the good stuff on Blues Kitchen.
Read the full Scott Taylor - Blues Kitchen review
Shallow Side - ONE
With cuts like the heavy-thumping, defiant Rebel and an incendiary take on the Styx chestnut Renegade in their arsenal, Shallow Side land firmly in the bastion of bands that have the goods to shut down the rock is dead naysayers.
Read the full Shallow Side - ONE review
Reviews and Features For Jan 2017
Root 66: Saints Eleven - Coming Back Around
This Dallas-based band plays a sort of country music that rings with authenticity. Whether vocalist Jeff Grossman is professing eternal love or attempting to get back with an ex, the plaintive quality of his voice makes every word believable
Read the full Saints Eleven - Coming Back Around review
The Blues: The Reverend KM Williams - The Real Deal Blues
Fans can take this albums title literally, the retro production techniques employed here give this record a vibe that will be irresistible to hipsters while also pleasing blues purists. The real deal indeed.
Read the full The Reverend KM Williams - The Real Deal Blues review
TBT: David Bowie Live In Chicago 2004
Tony K continues out TBT look back at music legend David Bowie and celebrates the 13th anniversary this week of the January 16, 2004 Rosemont, IL concert that he reviewed.
Read the full David Bowie Live In Chicago 2004 review
Michael Hornbuckle - Soul Repo
As the title of the album suggests, singer and guitarist Hornbuckles music is exceptionally soulful. With a voice that reminds of superstar John Mayer, Hornbuckle here demonstrates a mastery of lights-down-low slow dance R&B
Read the full Michael Hornbuckle - Soul Repo review
Saint Blasphemer - Simon Templar
Saint Blasphemer is a unique band because much of the music on its Simon Templar EP express frustration of seeing friends and family members struggle with addictions
Read the full Saint Blasphemer - Simon Templar review
David Bowie - Station To Station Remaster
We continue our special TBT look back at music legend David Bowie with flashback to Tony Ks review of the remaster of the iconic album Station To Station.
Read the full David Bowie - Station To Station Remaster review
Travel News, Trips and Tips: January 2017 Edition
It takes some of the fun out of traveling if you arrive at your destination with a pain in your neck or elsewhere. Aching neck and shoulders are common problems for travelers. Now there is help, plus Legendary Blue Danube River Cruise and W Las Vegas
Read the full January 2017 Edition review
The Blues: Big Jay McNeely - Blowin' Down the House: Big Jay's Latest & Greatest
This phenomenal sax player was driving audiences wild with his high energy stage show way back in the late 40s and early 50s and many fans today might be under the impression that the star has passed away.
Read the full Big Jay McNeely - Blowin' Down the House: Big Jay's Latest & Greatest review
TBT: Bruce Springsteen - Nebraska
Bruce Springsteen recorded what he thought were demos on a 4-track tape recorder 35 years ago this week. The demo recording was haunting and proved challenging to replicate with the band.
Read the full Bruce Springsteen - Nebraska review
The Blues: Popa Chubby - The Catfish
Popa Chubby is a multi-instrumentalist and he plays lots of the bass, drum and keyboard parts on The Catfish, but it is his guitar playing and singing that take the spotlight here as he romps through a dozen songs, 10 of which are self-penned.
Read the full Popa Chubby - The Catfish review
Tumbler - Come to the Edge
Its odd that Tumbler lists Soul Asylum, The Kinks and The Cure as similar artists. While there is an urgency in the way Harry and Richard Grace sing these songs, theres also an optimism you rarely in hear in Kinks songs
Read the full Tumbler - Come to the Edge review