Get this crazy baby off my head!


Stan Webb

Stan Webb - Jersey Lightning - 1975-1978 - 2000 - Indigo

Great classic British blues compilation of 15 digitally remastered tracks from Stan "The Man" Webb, one of the UK''s greatest bluesmen. The tracks were recorded between 1975 and 1978 and the album contains some very rare studio tracks on CD for the first time. Audio quality varies on tracks. You may need to up the volume at times. Can anybody supply dates and band line-ups for these tracks? Buy Ruby Turner's great "Call Me By My Name" album featuring Stan Webb on guitar and listen to Chicken Shack's classic "Imagination Lady".Check out Stan Webb's Chicken Shack’s “Still Live After All These Years” and Chicken Shack’s “Goodbye” albums on this blog [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 131 Mb]


1. Standing On The Border - Lance Alexander / Stan Webb
2. It's Alright - Lance Alexander / Stan Webb
3. Keep Your Love - Blunt / Stan Webb
4. Can't Keep You Satisfied - Blunt / Stan Webb
5. Jersey Lightning - Stan Webb
6. Evil - Willie Dixon
7. Ain't No Magic - Blunt / Stan Webb
8. Crying Smiling - Blunt / Stan Webb
9. The End - Blunt / Stan Webb
10. Use What You've Got (Doesn't Matter About Your Size)- Blunt / Stan Webb
11. It Wasn't Me (All About Rumours)- Blunt / Stan Webb
12. Little Bird - Stan Webb
13. Emily (Little Girl)- Stan Webb
14. Let Me Love You Baby - Willie Dixon
15. Shake Your Money Maker - Elmore James


So where does it all begin? According to recent CD releases Stan was born in London on February 3 1946, and then at an early age moved to Blakedown in Worcestershire, and eventually became based in nearby Kidderminster. In fact Stan's first instrument was the old favourite of the time - the tea-chest bass, an essential item for any skiffle band. It was not until he heard Barney Kessel playing guitar on an Oscar Peterson record that he decided to take up the guitar.Whatever, it was in Kidderminster that Stan put together his first group - the Blue Four. Pete Frame's Family Tree describes how his first real band was Sounds of Blue formed in 1964, a Stourbridge-based r n' b band.It included Christine Perfect, Andy Silvester and Chris Wood (later to join Traffic) amongst others in their line up. On a personal note, I was actually living in Stourbridge at the time, but I must admit I don't recall seeing Sounds of Blue although the lead singer's name (Dave Yeats) does ring a bell from my schooldays. Anyway, moving on from Sounds of Blue, in early 1965 Stan put together the first incarnation of Chicken Shack with Andy from Sounds of Blue plus Alan Morley, and then Al Sykes and then Hughie Flint and finally Dave Bidwell on drums. This line-up paid their almost obligatory rock dues in Hamburg (five hour sets at the Star Club) for a couple of years before returning to the Midlands in 1967. It was then that Christine Perfect joined them and they recorded their first album for Blue Horizon. (They had sent Mike Vernon a tape, but because the quality wasn't brilliant he came up to the Midlands to see them...and I suppose the rest is history.)You can read an account of their set at the 8th National & Jazz Blues Festival at this time here. However after the first two albums, Christine Perfect left in August 1969, ironically just as Chicken Shack achieved chart success with the single 'I'd Rather Go Blind'. Christine was replaced by Paul Raymond, ex-Plastic Penny. This line up recorded two further albums for Blue Horizon. However by the recording of the last Blue Horizon album (Accept) there were clear musical differences between Stan and Mike Vernon, and in many ways the split was inevitable, although Chicken Shack moved labels anyway. With the loss of the Blue Horizon deal, at the end of 1970 Stan disbanded this version of Chicken Shack (apparently Kim Simmonds got Paul Raymond first). According to a Canterbury Scene web site, Pip Pyle was a drummer with Chicken Shack around this time - for a very short time. He claims he was fired by Stan after laughing at his version of If I Were A Carpenter! Whatever, in early 1971 Stan launched his new three-piece set up. This version of Chicken Shack had, besides Stan, Paul Hancox on drums and John Glascock on bass. John Glascock later joined Jethro Tull, and subsequently tragically died. However it would appear that this line up lasted just a year before further changes came about - John Glascock being replaced by Bob Daisley, and then just as Unlucky Boy was being released it was all change yet again. Basically Stan's rhythm section left. For replacements he got David Wilkinson (remember that name please) on keyboards, Alan Powell on drums and Rob Hull on bass. However no sooner had they recorded a live album, with it all ready for release, when in 1974 Stan announced he was disbanding Chicken Shack and joining a reformed Savoy Brown with Kim Simmonds and Miller Anderson. By all accounts their live performances were good, and they recorded one album Boogie Brothers, but the tensions of having three composers, three guitarists, and, I imagine, three egos on board led to its inevitable demise. Kim Simmonds reformed Savoy Brown bringing back in Paul Raymond on keyboards and Dave Bidwell on drums, while Stan put together Broken Glass featuring Robbie Blunt on guitar, Mac Poole on drums and Rob Rawlinson on bass - Miller Anderson was still around as well. Broken Glass perhaps fitted in well with the kind of mid seventies calm before the punk storm, and released one album in 1975, toured for a bit, but after that they broke up (1976), and Stan was back on his own with the Chicken Shack name. For the next few years it gets difficult to track Stan's progress and bloody frustrating to get hold of his recorded output. In effect Stan put together a touring and occasional recording band. According to Pete Frame's Family Tree, Chicken Shack members during this time included Paul Martinez and Steve York on bass, Robbie Blunt on guitar, Ed Spivock on drums, and Dave Winthrop on sax. Stan continued to build on his strong popularity on the continent, especially Germany, and recorded two albums in the late seventies. Then in October 1979 a new version of Chicken Shack, with Paul Butler (ex-Jellybread, Punch n'Judy and the Keef Hartley Band) on guitar, Keef Hartley himself on drums and Bob Daisley back on bass played a one-off gig at Banbury football ground. Hmm, I was living in Banbury at the time and had no bloody idea such a gig took place till now! However it was with a rather different line-up that Stan took Chicken Shack into the 1980s. In May 1980 Stan put together yet another version of Chicken Shack. The only survivor from Banbury was Paul Butler, joining them on bass was Alan Scott and ex- TYA drummer Ric Lee. Alan Scott was soon to be replaced by Andy Pyle who was ex-Juicy Lucy, Savoy Brown, Blodwyn Pig, Colosseum II, Kinks, Keef Hartley Band amongst others! Stan and this line-up, augmented by Tony Ashton back on keyboards recorded the live Roadies Concerto album (released April 1981)which featured a more bluesy sound. However once again this line up was not to last the course, and Stan went into 1982 with a new band calling itself Stan Webb's Speedway. This featured Andy Pyle on bass, Russ Alder on drums and Miller Anderson back on second guitar. By 1983 it was back with Stan Webb's Chicken Shack, but there wasn't a really settled line-up for the next three years which saw on occasions Miller Anderson as well as Andy Scott and Andy Pyle on bass, Roger Saunders on guitar and John Gunzell on drums. By 1986 and the release of 39 Bars Stan was supported by John Gunzell on drums, Jan Connolly(Campbell?) on bass, Dave Winthrop back on saxophone and David Wilkey (or is that Wilkinson?) on keyboards. However in1987 he was touring with a line up of himself plus David Wilkinson on keyboards, Bev Smith on drums and Wayne Terry and later David Wintour on bass. By 1988 Gary Davies on 'back up guitar' had been added to the line up, and they were very much a blues band again. In 1989 a live album was released. In 1991 a new studio album, Changes, was released which revealed that James Morgan was now to be found on bass. This album featured a more mellow Stan, although he still found time to showcase a revamping of I'd Rather Go Blind and Poor Boy. However by 1993 and the release of Plucking Good it appeared that David Wilkinson was no longer around. This new line up recorded another live album in 1995, and carried on as a four-piece until 1998 when James Morgan was replaced by Jim Rudge. This was the line-up which took Stan into the 21st Century, but in 2002 Bev left, and after a couple of drummers Stan has settled with Mick Jones, and this is the current line-up in 2004 © 2009 Stan Webb's Chickenshack. All Rights Reserved


Formed in 1967, Chicken Shack consisted of Stan Webb on guitar/vocal, Andy Sylvester on bass, Christine Perfect on vocals/keyboards, and Alan Morley on drums. An earlier 1964 incarnation had been called 'Sounds of Blue' and Christine played in this band while a student at art college in Birmingham. Sounds of Blue dispanded after a year when Christine and another member left Birmingham for careers in London. Then, at the beginning of 1967, Andy once Chicken Shack again contacted Chris and suggested that she rejoin her former mates in a new band. (The group got their name from the chicken coup in Kidderminster where the band often rehearsed.) Chris admits that she was not the most accomplished blues pianist when she joined the group, but developed her own style from listening to Freddy King records. Chicken Shack made their public debut at the Great Britain's National Blues & Jazz Festival at Windsor along with Fleetwood Mac on August 13, 1967-- "There were two stages at Windsor, the main one an open-air ramshackle structure, the other inside a marquee. Fleetwood Mac had their initiation on the main stage but much was made of Chicken Shack's tented debut." The group became the second major signing of the Blue Horizon record label (co-founded by Mike Veron), the first being Fleetwood Mac. Chicken Shack's first two albums,Forty Blue Fingers Freshly Packed and Ready to Serve and OK Ken?, were quite successful, with much of the credit due to the fact that they had a beautiful, talented, female keyboardist and vocalist-- something that most definitely added individuality to the group in the male-dominated late 60's music scene. Christine's version of Etta James' 'I'd Rather Go Blind' was a massive hit, and she was voted Best Female Vocalist in the Melody Maker polls two years running. After Christine married John McVie and left the band, Stan Webb did carry on with the band in various incarnations, but Chicken Shack never quite matched their earlier success. The 'irrepressible' Stan Webb still lives in Kidderminster in a house that is filled with twenty-nine years of Chicken Shack memoribilia. The talented, yet relatively unrecognized, guitarist has this to say about the way major success has eluded him: "Some people say, 'You should be on stage at the Albert Hall, not Eric Clapton.' And I think, well, I don't agree with that, but I should certainly be able to go on there as well. But I'm happy with what's happening now. I've done the years and I'm getting more respect than I ever did then. It's worked for me." [ source: The Penguin Biographies ]


Chicken Shack was a British blues band, primarily of the late 1960s, consisting of Christine Perfect (vocals and keyboards), Stan Webb (guitar and vocals), Andy Sylvester (bass guitar), and Alan Morley (drums). The band was formed in 1967 and reputedly named themselves after the chicken coop in Kidderminster where they rehearsed. Their first concert was at the 1967 National Blues and Jazz Festival at Windsor and they were signed by the Blue Horizon record label in the same year. Chicken Shack enjoyed modest commercial success, with Christine Perfect being voted Best Female Vocalist in the Melody Maker polls, two years running. Christine Perfect left the band in 1969 when she married John McVie of Fleetwood Mac. Pianist Paul Raymond, bassist Andy Sylvester, and drummer Dave Bidwell all left in 1971 to join Savoy Brown. Although the band went through several subsequent incarnations, it never equalled its earlier successes. However, Webb remains as its only constant band member.


In 1968 Chicken Shack were a major signing to MIKE VERNON’S now legendary BLUE HORIZON label. Led by the mercurial Stan Webb on guitar and vocals, Chicken Shack were a band brimming full of talent, far outweighing the bands, groups and solo performers purveying the BLUES – a musical tradition in many forms, taken from the ‘Folk Roots Of Black America’. Probably the bands most well known member was CHRISTINE PERFECT (later McVie) who went on at a later date to even greater fame and fortune with FLEETWOOD MAC. The late sixties were a prolific time for Chicken Shack with their first two albums “40 Blue Fingers Freshly Packed And Ready To Go” and “O.K. Ken” storming into the U.K. top twenty, whilst the singles “When The Train Comes Back” and “Tears In The Wind” also scored heavily in the charts. Stan’s blistering guitar style matched with a huge stage presence have made Chicken Shack a firm favourite of rock and blues fans everywhere. Since those heady days of the late sixties a further fifteen albums have been released together with numerous compilations proving that Stan, really is “The Man”.Throughout a distinguished career Stan Webb has played and recorded with the very best, including, STEVIE WONDER, HOWLING WOLF, TAJ MAHAL, PETER GREEN and CANNED HEAT, whom he joined on guitar for a U.K, tour following the departure of the bands guitarist. As the ‘60’s have given way to the ‘70’s; ‘80’s and ‘90’s, Stan Webb and Chicken Shack show no sign of slowing down, continually touring the U.K. and Europe to packed houses and rave reviews. In 1997 Stan received the BLUE HEART AWARD for services to blues in Germany, in 1996 that went to BB KING, a glowing testament to Stan Webb and his ongoing love of playing the blues. 2006 saw Stan embarked on an extension UK tour with John Mayall. “Stan The Man” shows no sign of slowing down.


Walter Trout & Friends

Walter Trout & Friends - Full Circle - 2006 - Ruf

In his mid-fifties at the time of this album's release in 2006, Walter Trout seemed to be in a reflective mood. His 2005 album was a collection of older, previously unreleased tracks from various stages in his extensive career. This follow-up finds him reconnecting with many artists he has worked with, laying down newly recorded originals. In fact, this is Trout's first studio recorded disc of fresh material since 2001's Go the Distance. As the Full Circle title implies, the guitarist rounds up some musicians/friends he has played with for a spontaneous set of performances. The liner notes explain that some of these tracks were unrehearsed first takes, and the heightened energy level throughout reflects that. Also impressive is that Trout was eye-to-eye with each artist, as opposed to projects where guests lay down solos at various times in different cities and never see each other. The disc kicks off in fine, heated form with John Mayall sharing vocals and guitar and adding harmonica to a fiery eight-minute slow blues workout "She Takes More Than She Gives." Trout restrains -- slightly -- his propensity to pummel more notes per minute than the next guy, infusing greater passion into his playing as evidenced by the swampy blues-rock of "Workin' Overtime," featuring Jeff Healey. Fellow fret shredders of his genre such as Bernard Allison, Coco Montoya, and especially Joe Bonamassa add predictable firepower with their contributions and seem to spur Trout to new heights. In this heavy company, it's refreshing to hear him shift into a jazzier mood with Junior Watson on "Slap Happy" and even go acoustic on "Firehouse Mama," where he trades hyperactive riffs with neighbor Eric Sardinas. Harp master/vocalist James Harman (who, with his burly face and long white beard looks more like Moses everyday) and organist Deacon Jones bring comparative subtlety to the proceedings and alter the groove to a less frenzied attack than when Trout is trading licks with his guitar buddies. Guitar Shorty, Little Feat drummer Richard Hayward, and noted DJ Larry Keene -- whose articulated fast talking can be compared to Trout's own style on guitar -- also appear, the latter for a spoken word title cut finale that could have been left on the cutting room floor. Deep blues fans will still probably shy away due to the album's guitar heavy appeal and Trout's tendency to overextend his furious solos. But for the blues-rocker who loves a rugged blast of electricity and barrages of notes played with no-frills intensity, this is arguably Trout's most listenable, impressive, and diverse album yet. © Hal Horowitz © 2013 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/full-circle-mw0000411991

The brilliant Walter Trout plays dynamic fiery leads throughout the album, as well as a few lyrical and sensitive solos. Some of the artists playing with Walter include greats like Joe Bonamassa,John Mayall, Jeff Healey, Coco Montoya and Eric Sardinas. This is a dream album for aficionados of blues guitar, and is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Listen to Walter’s s/t 1998 album [All tracks @ 256 Kbps: File size = 130 Mb]


1 She Takes More Than She Gives - Walter Trout - feat. John Mayall 8:38
2 Workin' Overtime - Walter Trout - feat. Jeff Healey 5:48
3 Firehouse Mama - Eric Sardinas / Walter Trout - feat. Eric Sardinas 5:07
4 Who's Listenin' In - Walter Trout - feat. Coco Montoya 6:51
5 Slap Happy - Junior Watson - feat. Junior Watson 2:31
6 Wrapped Around Your Finger - Walter Trout - feat. Guitar Shorty 5:02
7 A Busy Man - James Harman - feat. James Harman 7:40
8 Highway Song - John Mayall / Walter Trout - feat. John Mayall 2:54
9 When Will It Ever Change - Luther Allison - feat. Bernard Allison 4:54
10 Can't Help Falling Apart - Walter Trout feat. Finis Tasby 4:00
11 After Hours - Erskine Hawkins - feat. Deacon Jones 6:48
12 Clouds on the Horizon - Joe Bonamassa / Walter Trout - feat. Coco Montoya 7:51
13 Full Circle - Walter Trout - feat. Larry Keene 2:29


Walter Trout - Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
Bernard Allison, Joe Bonamassa, Guitar Shorty, Coco Montoya - Guitar, Vocals
Jeff Healey, John Mayall - Guitar, Harmonica, Piano, Vocals
Eric Sardinas - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Junior Watson - Guitar
Alec Fraser, Rick Knapp - Bass
Rob Rio, Daniel Timms - Piano
Deacon Jones - Organ
Bill Bateman, Al Webster, Stephen Hodges, Richie Hayward - Drums
James Harman - Harmonica, Vocals
Finis Tasby – Vocals
DJ Larry Keene - Spoken Words


Walter Trout enjoys pockets of support in the United States, but he is a veritable rock and blues god in Europe, where he routinely headlines major tours and releases albums to great critical acclaim. A slashing, intense guitarist, his work echoes the experimental freedom of Jimi Hendrix, the jammy sting of Stevie Ray Vaughan, and the speedy phrasing of Eddie Van Halen. An impassioned singer who handles both hard rockers and slow blues, he is one of the last great purveyors of the sweat-stained art of rock showmanship.Born in Ocean City, New Jersey, on March 6, 1951, Trout inherited a love of music from his parents. "I was really lucky in that, even though my parents were not musicians, they were both incredible afficionados and lovers of music," he told Contemporary Musicians. "I heard it in the house all the time. There was anything playing from Duke Ellington to Count Basie to John Coltrane to Bill Monroe to Hank Williams to Ray Charles … you name it. I remember my father taking me to a black jazz club in Atlantic City when I was a little kid to see a pianist named Ahmad Jamaal…. My dad also took me to see Gary U.S. Bonds and Chuck Berry on a bill. My mom took me to see James Brown, Ray Charles, Harry Belafonte, Andy Williams, Lou Rawls. I also saw the Philadelphia orchestra on many occasions." Trout's first instrument of choice was the trumpet, which he began learning before he had turned ten. To encourage the boy, his mother, an English teacher who read poetry aloud to him, set up a special meeting with one of the youngster's idols. "When I was ten years old, my mom arranged somehow for me to spend an entire afternoon hanging out with Duke Ellington and his orchestra," recalled Trout. "I got to hang out with them in their dressing room. I was an aspiring trumpet player and I got to sit down and have guys like Cat Anderson, Johnny Hodges, and Paul Gonzales talk to me about jazz and music. Then Duke Ellington sat down on a couch with me and talked about the music business and what I could expect if I went into it. One of the things he told me was, 'Always keep your focus on being an artist and don't look for the glory. Try to have a career of longevity and not be a one-hit wonder. Concentrate on being the best that you can be on your instrument and think of it as an art and not show-business.' It was an amazing day." His parents' divorce marred the boy's seemingly idyllic situation, and young Walter was later emotionally scarred by the constant drunken turmoil created by his stepfather. As a result, he launched himself into music, switching over to guitar once his older brother, Ed Jr., tired of the one he owned. Overnight, Trout's musical interests changed. "That was the year that Dylan's first album came out. They had Hootenanny on televison. I got into the folk music thing and I was a big fan of the Chad Mitchell Trio." Many folk performers of the early 1960s included blues tunes in their repertoire, so the leap to that genre seemed natural for Trout, who recalled that his brother Ed continually encouraged his new areas of musical interest. "He brought home an album and said, 'Sit down and listen to this guy play the guitar.' It was the first Paul Butterfield album which featured Mike Bloomfield on guitar…. That changed my life. The trumpet went away and I knew what I wanted to do right then." Initially Trout performed solo, playing his first gigs in restaurants as an acoustic act. Egged on by the arrival of the Beatles and the 1960s rock-blues explosion, Trout played various spots in New Jersey, including the Steel Mill—which launched Bruce Springsteen—with a local aggregation called Wilmont Mews. A recording of the group from 1972 appeared on the Deep Trout compilation, and showed the youngster sounding quite polished. Hoping to make a name for himself, Trout moved to California in 1974 and began asking to sit in with other bands. Ironically, his first regular job didn't require his services as a guitarist. Sitting in with the Jive Bombers, a local country and bluegrass combo, he was told that they already had a guitarist, but needed a singer. After singing a couple of Hank Williams standards, he was hired as a regular vocalist, but was repeatedly told they didn't need another guitarist. With his first paycheck he bought a white Fender Stratocaster, and asked that he be allowed to play it on stage. Reluctantly, the other Jive Bombers acquiesced. Trout recalled with a chuckle: "I got up and played a song and they got all excited, 'You didn't tell us you could play like that!' That night I ended up as the lead guitarist. By the end of my tenure there, I eventually turned them from country bluegrass into a band that played Chuck Berry and early Stones. They ended up losing their regular gig because they went too rock 'n' roll." All the exposure did Trout some good. Soon he was playing clubs with various rock and soul bands, including J.E. Davis and the Boys. This led to some gigs playing behind established touring industry stars such as Bobby Hatfield of the Righteous Brothers, Joe Tex, Percy Mayfield, Big Mama Thornton, Pee Wee Crayton, and O.B. Wright. "Once I got my first sideman job," Trout proclaimed, "I was never without work." He backed up Big Mama Thornton, and John Lee Hooker, who was also on the bill, asked Trout to play a set with his band. Trout explained, "So, I got up and played and ended up in his band. Through playing with his band, I get heard by some members of Canned Heat and they say, 'We have a tour of Australia and Henry [Vestine] is drinking too much, would you do the tour?' I did the tour and ended up with a four-year gig." Trout injected some much-needed life into Canned Heat, whose days as an influential combo ended with the 1960s. In return he received some studio and overseas touring experience. This, however, exacerbated his drinking problem. "I drank to escape the pain of my youth and the pain I was feeling," he explained to Contemporary Musicians. "I was running from a lot of my past." Trout landed a gig opening for John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, and ended up playing a set as second guitar to Mick Taylor. Mayall later added Trout to his group, but the thrill of recording and touring with Mayall was no match for Trout's hard-drinking ways. Finally, in 1987 a disgusted Carlos Santana, one of Trout's musical heroes, confronted the New Jersey guitarist about his constant inebriation and musical sloppiness. Ashamed, Trout finally quit drinking. Once sober, Trout's guitar technique improved dramatically and he began wondering if a solo career would be viable. One night in Denmark, Mayall was too sick to perform. Trout and fellow Bluesbreaker Coco Montoya filled in and brought the house down. Afterwards, a promoter offered Trout a chance to record and tour under his own name. By the end of his first solo tour, Trout was playing major venues to packed houses. Recording for the Provogue label, he even scored a hit, a single called "The Love That We Once Knew," which became a number one hit in Europe in 1990. It was re-recorded on Livin' Every Day in 1999. Overseas, Trout was a star who toured with Elton John and had a video on European MTV's power rotation. But American record labels still weren't buying. "I think that here in America, this type of music is taken for granted because it's everywhere and I think a lot of people in this country have even turned their back[s] on it," the performer declared. "It's just part of everyday life in America. In Europe it's not. They're still kind of in wonder when you come out and play it with the feel that Americans seem to have." Trout hoped to solve his greatest career conundrum—blues labels thought he was too rock, rock label thought he was too blues—by signing with Silvertone in 1994. However, the American independent label promoted poorly in the States and not at all in his European base. Fortunately, fellow Bluesbreakers guitarist Coco Montoya suggested he get together with producer Jim Gaines, who in turn got Trout onto the German Ruf label. A prolific songwriter with a knack for non-traditional lyrics, Trout has done his best work for Ruf, and his releases have sold well worldwide. In return Ruf has given the artist creative carte blanche. "[Ruf] has never once said anything about material," Trout stated. He added that the label has said, "'Here's a budget. It might not be a lot, but here's what I have. You make it work. You go make me a record. You do your job and I'll do mine.'"For the most part, Trout likes spontaneity in the studio and on stage. Many times songs are discussed rather than formally arranged or rehearsed. "Actually, it's the John Mayall thing of finding musicians that have chemistry, and then they play together naturally," said Trout. "A lot of that doesn't even have to be spoken, it's just felt among the four of you. It's definitely instinctual." Whether recording or playing a live gig, Trout still sings with every gutcheck emotion at his command. Asked if he finds that approach difficult to maintain, the singer responded: "You know what, it's not difficult to keep meaning it, because for me it's therapy." He described how his music has drawn on and then reflected his emotionally difficult and sometimes violent childhood, his parents' breakup and the problems with his alcoholic stepfather. "If you listen to a song of mine called 'Collingswood,' [from Relentless] it's in there. It took me thirty-five years to write that and when I wrote it, I had a nervous breakdown. So, the music and guitar became therapy for me. It became an outlet, a refuge, and a sanctuary." Today, Trout's personal life is far more serene than the memories he calls up for audiences night after night. Now managed by his wife and occasional co-writer, Marie Trout, and touring with his three sons—whose band occasionally opens for him—the singer-guitarist is more successful than ever. In 2006 he released Full Circle, a guest-star laden album that featured Trout in top form performing duets with the likes of Mayall, Montoya, Jeff Healey, Finis Tasby, Guitar Shorty, and Joe Bonamassa. It became his fastest selling album in the United States to date. He has even figured out a definitive response to blues purists who criticize his hard-rock leanings. On tour he sells T-shirts at the gigs: "I want everybody to know what they're in for so I don't have to hear about it," he explained. "So on the front [the shirt] reads: 'Walter Trout and the Radicals.' On the back of the shirt in big letters it says: 'Too many notes! Too loud!' (Laughter.) Sometimes a purist will come up and say, 'Man you played too many notes and you're too loud.' Then I'll hand him a shirt and say, 'I'm glad you understand what I'm trying to do.'" © http://www.answers.com/topic/walter-trout-1


Joel Hoekstra

Joel Hoekstra - The Moon is Falling - 2003 - Joel Hoekstra (Ind.)

"a freewheeling rock-jazz-funk-classical ride that features the fiery axe slinger in power trio form with bassist Ric Fierabracci and the unstoppable Virgil Donati." - Drum Magazine

"Once again we see that not all "guitar albums" are the same. Joel Hoekstra has made an album that features the guitar as its principal voice, but shows that variation and imagination hold a far greater key to good music." - Bob Mulvey, Dutch Progressive Rock Page

"The Moon is Falling" shows you why he is highly sought after...I call it pure genius when these three guys get together...This disc is just phenomenal." - Wayne Klinger, Quintessence Metal Webzine

"'The Moon is Falling' shows a glimpse of Donati's scary talents and Hoekstra's fantastic songwriting. Fans should pick this one up for Donati's flawless drumming and Hoekstra's stellar guitar work." - Brad Schlueter, Drum Magazine

"Joel Hoekstra is one of those artists that provides absolute proof that the music industry has it's head up it's collective ass.....The Moon is Falling impressed me from the first riff to the last....a progressive instrumental rock showcase that shows an artist pushing boundaries, breaking rules." -Christopher J. Kelter, roughedge.com

Joel Hoestra rebounds from his phenomenal genre-exploring, debut release, Undefined, with a compositional masterpiece of completely original and unique instrumental material on The Moon Is Falling. The unexpected change in direction caught this reviewer completely by surprise and left me thinking that this follow up to Undefined should have been named "Unexpected - Redefined" because Joel Hoekstra has completely redefined his scope and artistic depth on this release. The album consists of complex, mind-bending compositions in a concept album format where the tracks are bound by a unifying thread of musical continuity that runs throughout the album giving it a paradoxical cohesion relative to the diverse musical ideas that Hoekstra explores. Though Hoekstra's guitar work is advanced and impressive, the fretboard finesse that Hoekstra demonstrates on the album is merely a tool that he uses to shape his musical vision that is dominated by the compositional genius that Hoekstra has achieved on this effort. Fans of Hoekstra's first release, Undefined, should abandon any expectations of a sequel that resembles in any way his previous effort. Hoekstra has taken aim on defying categorization based on his debut release and has succeeded in making a complete departure from his first album's style. The album opens with a disillusioned descent into instrumental madness that is reminiscent of Ron Thal's impressionistic compositional style that uses musical motifs to paint emotional imagery targeted at the listener's subconscious psyche, though in no way infringes on Thal's patented style. Though Hoekstra at times sounds redolent of many other instrumental artists, the manner it is done leaves the listener with the uncertainty of whether it is due to true influence or coincidental exploratory coverage of the same experimental territory. Hoekstra delves into many complex tonal themes and savory chordal phrasings that are carefully crafted together into gripping, dynamic arrangements that leave the listener bewildered with amazement because of the seeming incompatibility of the enigmatic motifs that are woven together into confoundingly coherent, exotic compositions. And then, these multifarious pieces are complemented surprisingly on other tracks by translucent melodies that haunt the listener with their eery, unearthly harmonies. Some of these melodies summon nostalgic flashes of ancient, classic musical themes from a wide variety of epic tunes conceived by the likes of thematic masters such as JS Bach, Billy Joel, Eagles, Lyle Workman, and Steve Morse, among to many other disparate artists to even attempt to list. Though again, the similarity in these profound themes to the apparent influences leaves the listener with the impression that the flares of congruence are fortuitous. And, though these bursts of impressionistic flashbacks are striking to the listener, their role in the overall scheme of the compositions are more or less subservient to the overall dauntingly intrepid and captivating mosaics that they fit. The range of styles that Hoekstra seamlessly integrates throughout the compositions is staggering, traversing many genres such as jazz, fusion, funk, classical, and concept rock, as well as many styles and schools of thought within them. This transparent integration of diverse styles is done in a deft manner that makes the listener feel as though there were some natural affinity for these incongruous styles to belong together as incorporated in and revealed by Hoekstra's enlightening revelations of stylistic fusion set forth on this CD. The net effect of Hoekstra's colossal efforts on The Moon Is Falling is a modern epic of composition, technical execution, and conceptual content that will leave fans of instrumental musics in a state of astonishment pondering the visionary musical vision contained on this album. As a parting note on this review, I will add that due to the originality and uniqueness of the content on this CD, this was one of the most difficult reviews that I have had to write to date. There really is nothing that I am familiar with that this CD could be compared to give listeners an idea of what it sounds like. The guitar work and incredible composition will surely be of interest to fans of progressive instrumental music. But, though this CD has found a fan in this listener's ear, I am not sure what audience this CD will appeal, even among fans of progressive music. The album has a very unusual dichotomy of complexity and accessiblity that makes it difficult for me to predict what listeners will acclimate to it. Be that as it may, I recommend that all fans of progressive instrumental music check out The Moon Is Falling from Joel Hoekstra and give it a chance to sink in. This is definitely not the type of album that most listeners will be able to fully absorb the first time through. But, this is the type of album that a listener will never grow tired because of its constantly shifting sonic soundscapes that relentlessly challenge the listener with one theme after another transitioning with constantly unpredictable directional changes that often resolve into profoundly and deeply satisfying conclusions. ***** © Chris Ruel © http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/hoekstra2

Joel Hoekstra is back and his band once again includes the winning rhythm section of Virgil Donati on drums and Ric Fierabracci on bass, and we also have Chris Grove on keyboards. The band come roaring out of the starting gate with the title track, which is a Country-Funk-Metal blend with a fusiony Eddie Van Halen shred solo that announces loudly and proudly that this follow-up to Hoekstra's Undefined CD from 2000 is going to be another monstrous and lusciously varied slab of instrumental guitar heaven. Among the highlights is "Fire Island", which begins as an easy-paced jazz tune, but includes moments of roadburning rock and mind blowing guitar. Hoekstra excels at incorporating an array of styles and themes into individual tracks in a way that flows seamlessly and comes off like a multi-themed progressive rock suite... all compacted within a 3-4 minute construction. Only 2 of the CD's 14 tracks break the 5 minute mark. Yet Hoekstra manages to make highly sophisticated and totally kick ass statements within a framework that, for him, is clearly not a limitation. "9/11" is a frantic and quirky rocker that includes calmer moments of jazz fusion and much more. And it's interesting that a song called "9/11" would be followed by one with samples of Michael Rennie's statement to the world in The Day The Earth Stood Still for mankind to abandon his war-like ways and join the advanced races' "system that works". Food for thought. And it's a killer tune with the usual Hoekstra variety and includes moments of pounding King Crimson styled power. "The Great Og" is a crunchy rocker with a metallic edge, fiery shred guitar and some cool little spacey bits. "Antonia" and "Confessions" are among the more sedate songs on the CD, and appearing back-to-back in the playlist serve as peaceful breathers in the midst of the storm. "Maybe Just At Parties" is an excellent funky jazz-in-space tune I enjoyed. At nearly 7 minutes "Kaleidoscope" is the longest track of the set and is a roller coaster ride of progressive rock, jazz fusion and metal. And the closing track, the aptly titled "Lull", is an acoustic guitar piece given a freaky edge by barely audible UFO electronics swirling around in the background. In summary, I give this CD a big thumbs up to guitar fans of all stripes, and the prog rock crowd will find much to enjoy too. Hoekstra is full of flash, but keeps the discerning listener interested and at full attention throughout the album with his skillful and imaginative blend of styles and turn-on-a-dime thematic twists and turns. Hot shit. Check it out. Reviewed by & © Jerry Kranitz & Uploaded to Aural Innovations: September 2003 © http://aural-innovations.com/2003/september/hoekstr2.html

“The Moon is Falling” is the follow-up to New York guitarist Joel Hoekstra’s acclaimed ”Undefined” album. As before, he is backed by the amazing Virgil Donati (Planet X, Steve Vai) on drums and the incredible Ric Fierabracci (Chick Corea, Andy Summers) on bass. The album is another great example of the creativity and inventiveness of this wonderful guitarist. Joel uses rock, jazz, funk and classical elements to produce an album of complex mostly guitar driven instrumental music that is often experimental but definitely “mind-bending” and played with an impressive and advanced technique. The music is always very accessible and truly enjoyable from a guy who is trying to do something different in the jazz rock/fusion genre. The album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Buy Joel’s “13 Acoustic Songs” album and promote great innovative modern progressive music. Check out Joel’s website @ http://www.joelhoekstra.com/index.html [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 132 Mb]


1. The Moon is Falling (3:55)
2. Fire Island (5:02)
3. Euphoria (3:56)
4. Translucent (3:32)
5. 9/11 (3:46)
6. Join Us (4:31)
7. The Great Og (3:43)
8. Baboons Are Dangerous (3:28)
9. Antonia (4:05)
10. Confessions (4:45)
11. Snoop (4:23)
12. Maybe Just at Parties (4:58)
13. Kaleidoscope (6:47)
14. Lull (3:15)

All tracks composed by Joel Hoekstra


Joel Hoekstra - Guitar
Ric Fierrabracci - Bass
Chris Grove - Keyboards
Jay Cappo – Keyboards on Tracks 11,12,13
Virgil Donati - Drums
Dan Cipriano – Saxophone, Flute, Piccolo


Joel Hoekstra is an American guitarist currently in the band Night Ranger. The son of classical musicians, he started out playing cello and piano at a young age, but it was hearing Angus Young that inspired him to start guitar. He was raised in Chicago he has lived in New York City for over 10 years. When not touring with Night Ranger, he performs as a guitarist in the Broadway musical, Rock of Ages. He also made a cameo appearance alongside Sebastain Bach, Nuno Bettencourt, Kevin Cronin and Debbie Gibson in the big screen movie adaptation. Hoekstra also plays with Trans-Siberian Orchestra on their Winter tours. Joel has played on stage and in studio with Foreigner (band), Dee Snider, Jeff Scott Soto, Jim Peterik, The Turtles, Big Brother & the Holding Company and many more.



Argent - Greatest: The Singles Collection - 2008 - Varèse Sarabande

The title of this collection of Argent's music is somewhat deceiving since only 10 of the 18 tunes were 45s. Those songs are presented in their rare single edits and mixes, though, which makes this a necessary addition to Argent collections since they're hard to find in the digital age. Eight more popular and representative album tracks are added to max out the playing time and provide a well-rounded overview of the U.K. quartet's relatively short run from 1970 through 1975. There is only one inclusion from the two albums released after primary singer/songwriter/co-founder Russ Ballard left for a solo career in 1975, both of which were commercial and artistic disappointments. Argent -- the band -- had an unusually eclectic career, touching on the Zombie-fied pop of Ballard's dreamy "Schoolgirl" to the anthemic harder pop/rock of "Hold Your Head Up" (here in its tight 3:18 edit), and "God Gave Rock and Roll to You," Rod Argent's keyboard-driven prog of "Lothlorien," and the gutsy thump of "It's Only Money, Pt. 2" that effectively combined all of the above songs and quoted from Motown, too. Considering the mixture of styles, the songs flow together unusually well and feel like the work of a unified band with a vision, albeit a diverse one. While some would argue that Argent was an album act whose approach didn't translate well out of the context of the original sets, this compilation flows surprisingly well. It also resurrects excellent, missed-chance singles such as the pounding, militaristic beat of the Yes-styled "Man for All Reasons" one of Ballard's few political songs. A live "Time of the Season" extends and bolsters Rod Argent's Zombies' hit and shows how powerful this quartet was in concert, even if their sole live album wasn't a particularly well-recorded document of their on-stage prowess. The remixed sound is another bonus, making this a terrific summation of an influential and creative outfit too often pegged as a one-hit wonder. © Hal Horowitz © 2013 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/greatest-the-singles-collection-mw0000751559

Argent was a great 70’s English progressive rock band who incorporated pop rock, art rock, and jazz rock/fusion into their music. If you are a fan of Argent you most likely have heard all these tracks. Arguably, all of Argent's albums before their 1974 "Nexus" album were more in the AOR mould, but very good AOR. However, later albums like "Nexus", "Circus" and "Counterpoints" were in the classic progressive rock vein, and contain some of the band's best work. “Greatest: The Singles Collection” contains many of Argent’s best tracks from the 1970-1975 period and includes 10 original single mixes appearing on CD for the first time. The album also includes a live reworking of Rod Argent's previous band, the Zombie’s classic “Time of the Season.” If you're not looking for overly intense progressive rock this album is a great chronicle of an often forgotten band, and is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Listen to Argent’s 1974 "Encore: Live In Concert" album. [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 176 Mb]


1. Liar (single version)
2. Schoolgirl (single version)
3. Dance In The Smoke
4. Sweet Mary (single version)
5. Lothlorien
6. Pleasure
7. Celebration (single version)
8. Cast Your Spell Uranus
9. Hold Your Head Up (single version)
10. Be My Lover, Be My Friend
11. I Am The Dance Of Ages
12. Tragedy (single version)
13. God Gave Rock and Roll To You (single version)
14. Its Only Money, Pt 2 (single version)
15. Man For All Reasons (single version)
16. Thunder And Lighting (single version)
17. Jester
18. Time Of The Season (Live)

N.B: See album sleeve for composers


Rod Argent – Organ, Mellotron, Electric Piano, Vocals
Russ Ballard – Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Vocals
Derek Griffiths - Guitar
Jim Rodford – Guitar, Bass Guitar, Double Bass, Vocals
Robert Henrit – Drums, Bass Drums, Percussion, Vocals


After the Zombies broke up, keyboardist/songwriter Rod Argent formed his own band in 1969, which incorporated more classical, jazz, and art rock influences in accordance with Argent's musical training. The group's other members were guitarist/songwriter Russ Ballard, bassist Jim Rodford, and drummer Bob Henrit. Argent's first two albums, Argent and Ring of Hands, received a fair amount of critical acclaim, but their real breakthrough came with 1972's All Together Now, which contained the Top Five smash "Hold Your Head Up"; In Deep produced a minor hit in "God Gave Rock 'N' Roll to You," which was covered by Kiss in 1992. By 1974, Ballard had developed his songwriting talents enough to leave for a solo career (Three Dog Night had a Top Ten single in 1971 with his "Liar," from Argent), and was replaced by guitarist John Verity and string player John Grimaldi. Without Ballard, the group lost its focus and indulged its tendencies toward extended art rock passages and improvisational solos to somewhat excessive levels. Argent broke up in 1976; Rodford joined the Kinks, while Argent himself recorded several solo albums and became a record producer, working with Tanita Tikaram, among others. © Steve Huey © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/argent-p3571/biography


Argent are an English rock band founded in 1968 by keyboardist Rod Argent, formerly of The Zombies. The first three demos from Argent, recorded in the autumn of 1968 featured Mac MacLeod on bass guitar though he was not meant to become a member of the group. Original members of the band were bassist Jim Rodford (Rod Argent's cousin and formerly with the Mike Cotton Sound), drummer Bob Henrit and guitarist/keyboardist Russ Ballard (both formerly with The Roulettes and Unit 4 + 2). Lead vocal duties were shared between Ballard and Argent. Rod Argent, Chris White (former Zombies bassist, producer, songwriter) and Russ Ballard were the group's songwriters. Some of Ballard's compositions became hits when they were covered by other artists, including Kiss, Petra, Rainbow, Hello and Santana. When Ballard left in 1974, he was replaced by guitarist/vocalist John Verity and guitarist John Grimaldi and there followed a period of intense recording and touring until the band decided to come off the road late in 1976. Rodford, Henrit and Verity briefly continued together under the name Phoenix before going their separate ways, with first Rodford and then Henrit becoming members of The Kinks. Argent's biggest hit was Rod Argent and Chris White's "Hold Your Head Up" from the All Together Now album, which, in a heavily-edited single form, reached #5 in the U.S. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. "Hold Your Head Up" was covered in 1987 by the band 20/Twenty, which recorded on Refuge records' Christian label. Argent also recorded the original version of "God Gave Rock and Roll to You", written by Russ Ballard, which was covered by Kiss in 1992 under the name "God Gave Rock 'n' Roll to You II", and featured prominently at the end of the film Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey. The song also became a Contemporary Christian rock anthem and was twice covered by the Christian Rock band Petra, in 1977 (on the album Come and Join Us) and again in 1984 (on the album Beat the System), albeit with new verses. The Russ Ballard song "Liar" on Argent's first album became a hit for Three Dog Night. The sound of the band was a mix of rock and pop, but also covered more progressive rock territory in songs like "The Coming of Kohoutek," an instrumental from their Nexus album. When Ballard left the band after Encore, they took an even more progressive/fusion turn with their final Epic album Circus and then signed to a new record label (United Artists) for the final 1975 album Counterpoints. By 2005, all albums, including compilations, have been re-released on CD, except Counterpoints. The original Argent lineup reunited at the High Voltage Festival in Victoria Park, London on 25 July 2010, and undertook a short five date concert tour in December 2010, with gigs in Frome, Southampton, Wolverhampton, Leamington Spa and London.


Rod Argent (born Rodney Terence Argent, 14 June 1945, St Albans, Hertfordshire, England) was a founding member of the 1960s English pop group The Zombies and the 1970s band Argent. While at St Albans School, he met Paul Atkinson and Hugh Grundy. The three of them joined up with Colin Blunstone and Chris White to form The Zombies. In addition to playing piano and keyboards in the group, Rod Argent was (with Chris White) one of the group's two main songwriters, penning the hits "She's Not There", "Tell Her No", and "Time of the Season", amongst others. Argent was initially the group's lead singer, with Blunstone on guitar. Upon realizing Argent's keyboard talents, he became the group's full time keyboard player, conceding the role of lead singer to Blunstone. After The Zombies split, he went on to form Argent, who had a hit album in 1972 with All Together Now, which contained the single "Hold Your Head Up". They also recorded the original version of the rock anthem "God Gave Rock and Roll to You", written by lead singer Russ Ballard which was later covered by Kiss. Argent's first album included the song, "Liar" (also composed by Ballard) which became a hit for Three Dog Night. Argent later played keyboards with many other musicians, including playing piano on the title track of The Who's album Who Are You, and on Variations with Gary Moore, Julian Lloyd Webber and Andrew Lloyd Webber. In 1986 he composed the ITV theme music for their coverage of the 1986 World Cup - "Aztec Gold". It was released as a single under the title of "Silsoe". Argent also composed the theme music to the ITV (LWT) sitcom The Piglet Files airing from 1990 to 1992. He also played keyboards on and produced Joshua Kadison's 1993 album "Painted Desert Serenade". In 1999 Argent recorded a solo piano album, Rod Argent Classically Speaking, in which he played Chopin études and music by Ravel, Bach and Grieg as well as three of his own compositions. Argent and Blunstone have continued to perform together, and in 2004 they recorded a new album — As Far as I Can See — in the style of the Zombies. Subsequent album and DVD Colin Blunstone & Rod Argent of The Zombies Live At The Bloomsbury Theatre received favorable reviews, as did their 2007 U.S. tour - "The Zombies, still led by original keyboard wizard Rod Argent and featuring the smoked-silk vocals of Colin Blunstone, is the best 60s band still touring which doesn't have Mick Jagger as a front man". In 2006, Argent joined Hamish Stuart, Richard Marx, Billy Squier, Edgar Winter, and Sheila E. touring with Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band.


Keyboardist/songwriter Rod Argent spent the '60s as a crucial part of underappreciated British Invasion popsters the Zombies, and later moved on to embrace album rock as leader of his own band, Argent. He was born June 14, 1945, in St. Alban's, England (near London); aside from about two years of lessons, he was a largely self-taught pianist. He discovered rock & roll at 11 through his cousin's Elvis Presley records, but also grew up appreciating classical music and jazz, and his study of those forms would lend his future pop compositions a definite melodic and harmonic sophistication quite unlike most of his British Invasion peers. The Zombies were formed when Argent was just 16, and signed with Decca in 1963 on the strength of his composition "She's Not There," which became a hit on both sides of the Atlantic the following year. Their second American Top Ten, the Argent-penned "Tell Her No," arrived in 1965, but despite a number of stunning singles written either by Argent (the band's most prolific composer) or guitarist Chris White, the Zombies had trouble landing another hit. They disbanded in 1967 after completing the psychedelic classic Odessey and Oracle, and Argent formed a new band called Argent, with Chris White sharing production and songwriting duties (though he wasn't an official member). Argent the band remained their main focus even after "Time of the Season" belatedly became the Zombies' biggest hit in early 1969. Later in 1969, Argent issued its eponymous debut album, which found the bandleader taking a heavier, more visceral approach while maintaining the intricacy of his keyboard work with the Zombies. Additionally, the burgeoning progressive rock movement was offering new ways to fuse jazz and classical music with rock & roll, which was a natural direction for Argent to take. Their second album, 1971's Ring of Hands, was one of their most prog-oriented, featuring lots of keyboard soloing. It didn't break the band to a wider audience, though; that would only happen with the next album, 1972's All Together Now, which produced a Top Five hit in America with a truncated version of "Hold Your Head Up." Argent toured successfully over the next few years and recorded several more albums, landing a smaller hit single in 1973's "God Gave Rock 'n' Roll to You" (actually written by Argent's bandmate Russ Ballard). Argent disbanded in 1976, and Rod immersed himself in session work in an effort to expand his musical range. Over the next few years, he recorded with the Who (Who Are You), Roger Daltrey solo, John Dankworth, Cleo Laine, Gary Moore, and Andrew Lloyd Webber (Variations), not to mention old Zombie cohort Colin Blunstone. In 1978, he released his first solo album, Moving Home, and two years later, he wrote the stage musical Masquerade, which premiered in London in 1982. After working with British jazz saxophonist Barbara Thompson, Argent composed music for British television during the mid-'80s, and in 1987 he formed a production partnership with ex-Van Morrison drummer Peter Van Hooke. Together they produced successful and acclaimed records like Tanita Tikaram's Ancient Heart (1988), Nanci Griffith's Late Night Grande Hotel (1991), Joshua Kadison's Painted Desert Serenade (1993), and Jules Shear's Healing Bones (1994), among others. Additionally, Argent broke a decade's worth of silence as a solo artist with 1988's Red House. Ten years later, he returned with an album of solo piano performances titled Classically Speaking, which true to its title featured a number of classical pieces interspersed with a few originals. In addition to his work as a producer, arranger, and session player, Argent reunited with Colin Blunstone for 2001's Out of the Shadows, which was accompanied by a tour. © Steve Huey © 2010 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&searchlink=RODARGENT&sql=11:k9fyxqr5ld0e~T1


Brand X

Brand X - THE PLOT THINS - A HISTORY OF BRAND X - 1992 - Virgin

Ten tracks from the band’s 1976-1980 period. The album is hardly a “history” of this great fusion band as ten tracks from six albums cannot do the band justice. Arguably, there are far better tracks available which could have been included on this compilation. But that is the problem with these compilation albums. You can’t please everybody’s favourite track choice, and many people will argue that these albums are released as a cheap moneymaking ploy when the tracks are mostly available on a band’s other albums. There is no doubt that Brand X was an immensely talented and creative fusion group and the tracks on this album demonstrate that. Listen to this album and if you like what you hear, check out the band’s other albums, especially “Unorthodox Behaviour” and “Morrocan Roll” [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 163 Mb]


1 Nuclear Burn - Phil Collins / John Goodsall / Percy Jones / Robin Lumley (from Unorthodox Behaviour 1976) 6:20
2 Born Ugly - Phil Collins / John Goodsall / Percy Jones / Robin Lumley (from Unorthodox Behaviour 1976) 8:13
3 Why Should I Lend You Mine? - Phil Collins (from Morrocan Roll 1977) 11:12
4 Disco Suicide - Robin Lumley (from Morrocan Roll 1977) 7:49
5 Malaga Virgen - Percy Jones (from Livestock 1977) 8:52
6 Isis Mourning Part 1 - Phil Collins / John Goodsall / Percy Jones / Robin Lumley / Morris Pert (from Livestock 1977) 4:41
7 The Poke - Percy Jones / Peter Robinson (from Masques 1978) 5:07
8 Dance Of The Illegal Aliens - Percy Jones (from Product 1979) 7:49
9 Algon - Robin Lumley (Live at the Roxy, Los Angeles, September 23, 1979) 7:05 *
10 Triumphant Limp - Phil Collins / John Giblin / John Goodsall / Robin Lumley (from Do They Hurt? 1980) 7:31

N.B: * All these tracks can be found on official Brand X albums. "Algon", which was recorded live at the Roxy, Los Angeles, on September 23rd 1979 was later released on the 1997 "Live at the Roxy" CD, but the version on this 1992 release is far superior in audio quality. The studio version of the track originally appeared on the band’s 1979 “Product” album. A US release of “THE PLOT THINS” contains the extra tracks, “The Ghost Of Mayfield Lodge”, and “Cambodia”


John Goodsall – Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Sitar, Bass, Vocals, Background Vocals
Percy Jones – Bass, Harp, Autoharp, Marimba, Vocals
Peter Jones, John Giblin – Bass
Robin Lumley – Keyboards, Piano, Moog Synthesizer, Harp, Autoharp, Background Vocals, Chainsaw, Echo
Peter Robinson – Keyboards, Vocals
Morris Pert – Piano, Percussion
Phil Collins - Drums, Percussion, Piano, Vocals
Kenwood Dennard, Chuck Burgi, Mike Clark – Drums
Jack Lancaster – Wind
Michael Palin – Spoken Word, Voices


Brand X were a British jazz-rock fusion outfit formed by Genesis drummer Phil Collins and Atomic Rooster guitarist John Goodsall as a side project from their regular groups. Their initial lineup also included keyboardist Robin Lumley and bassist Percy Jones (the Liverpool Scene, the Scaffold). Brand X's debut album, Unorthodox Behaviour, was released in 1976; a live album, Livestock, and the studio effort Moroccan Roll followed in 1977. Collins left the group to concentrate on Genesis, and for 1978's Masques, he was replaced by Al Di Meola drummer Chuck Burgi, as well as additional keyboardist Peter Robinson, who had played with Stanley Clarke. Three further albums -- 1979's Product, 1980's Do They Hurt?, and 1982's Is There Anything About? -- followed before the group disbanded. In the mid-'90s, Lumley, Goodsall, and Jones reunited, issuing several live collections in the years to follow. © Steve Huey © 2013 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/brand-x-mn0000614982

Ron Levy's Wild Kingdom (Ron Levy Related)

Ron Levy's Wild Kingdom - Greaze Is What's Good - 1998 - Cannonball Records

"A Hammond B-3 organ should be funky, soulful, power packed, dynamic, roof-raising and greaZy. Most of all, the greaZy part. A Hammond should drip with hot licks, and no one knows that better than Levtron.com's Records master blaster Ron Levy. He's studio saavy Svengali of greaZy organ, a guy who knows about grits, gravy, greens and grooves. Long before pork became the 'the new white meat,' Levy was playing fatback organ and taking sizzling solos. His blues credits - sessions with Charles Brown, Roomful of Blues, Ronnie Earl, Champion Jack Dupree, Lowell Fulson, Ann Peebles, Otis Clay, Jimmy McCracklin, and seven years touring & recording with his excellency, B.B. King - are impeccable. After just one listen to "GreaZe is What's Good", you can add 'acid jazz master' and author to Levy's bulging resume. Look for his new 'web-book' "Tales of a Road Dog" on his website (Levtron). It describes these experiences noted above.” – from Album Notes @ http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/ronlevyswildkingdom18

On Greaze Is What's Good, Ron Levy is joined by trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, guitarists Melvin Sparks and David T. Walker, drummer Idris Muhammad, and trombonist Steve Turre, plus Memphis blues guitarist Preston Shannon, for a solid set of grooving, bluesy soul-jazz. © Steve Huey © 2013 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved

Great uptempo soul jazz/blues album with a stellar line-up including Melvin Sparks and Preston Shannon on guitar, Stanley Banks on bass, Idris Muhammad on drums, and Freddie Hubbard on trumpet. CDbaby says the album is “GreaZy, funky, soulful and delicious featuring a who's who of world class A-rated musicians playing Levy's groovin' grooves. If you love blastin' Hammond B-3 organ, this is for you!” The album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Killer keyboards, great guitar, and not a dud track. Buy Ron Levy's Wild Kingdom's "Green Eyed Soul" album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 143 Mb]


1. Can I Change My Mind - Barry Despenza / Carl Wolfolk
2. Greaze Is What's Good – Ron Levy
3. One People - Ray Greene
4. Mr. Mr. Blasta from the Past'da – Ron Levy
5. What d'Freak – Ron Levy
6. Big Fine Lil' Lass – Ron Levy
7. What's Going On - Renaldo Benson / Al Cleveland / Marvin Gaye
8. Long Time Ago – Ron Levy
9. In the Middle / The King - unknown
10. J-J-Jazz It Up – Ron Levy
11. Gangsta's to Blame - Ron Levy's Wild Kingdom


Darby Hicks, Jr. - Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Fender Rhodes, Voices
Melvin Sparks , David, T. Walker, Preston Shannon – Guitar
Stanley Banks, W. Zimmermann – Bass
Ron Levy - Hammond Organ, Fender Rhodes
William F. Zimmerman – Piano
Idris Muhammad, James Gadson – Drums
Greg Morrow - Drums, Percussion
Carol Steele – Percussion
Ralph Dorsey – Congas
Gordon "Sax" Beadle - Tenor Sax
Jim Spake – Tenor & Baritone Sax
Crispin Cioe - Alto & Soprano Sax
Freddie Hubbard, Scott Thompson - Trumpet
Steve Turre - Trombone, Conch Shell
Ray Greene, Michelle Wilson – Vocals


b. Reuvain Zev ben Yehoshua Ha Levi, 29 May 1951, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. Levy played clarinet during his childhood and, inspired by a Ray Charles concert, started playing piano at the age of 13. He soon took up organ too, and, influenced by Billy Preston and Jimmy Smith, was a quick learner. Two years later he was backing up blues artists performing in the Boston area. At 17 the young musician was discovered and hired by blues legend Albert King. Still in high school, Levy worked with King, who had become his legal guardian, for 18 months. From December 1969 to February 1976 he played piano and organ in B.B. King’s band. The period from that time until 1980 saw him work with the Rhythm Rockers, led by Johnny Nicholas and featuring the young Ronnie Earl on lead guitar. As the house band of the Speakeasy in Cambridge they honed their skills backing up great blues musicians, among them Walter Horton, Johnny Shines and Roosevelt Sykes. After working with Luther ‘Guitar Junior’ Johnson for three years, Levy played with Roomful Of Blues from 1983-87. In addition to recording with his own band, Ron Levy’s Wild Kingdom, he has played on numerous recordings by other artists, and since 1985, has produced a steady stream of albums for labels such as Black Top and Bullseye Blues. He became an in-house producer for the latter. © 2012 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/ron-levys-wild-kingdom-mn0000287470


Greg Serrato

Greg Serrato - Holy Smokes - 1999 - J-Bird Records

When I first heard Greg Serrato on disk, I thought, "Uh-oh, another great guitar slinger who could be a SRV or Hendrix clone". But I was wrong. Greg has the depth and insight to make what he does emotionally powerful and remove it miles from clonedom. He is a real natural. Someone said: "Anyone can practice guitar, learn some licks and make believe that they're an entertainer, but to be great at your instrument - to be able to walk out on any stage and immediately plug into the musicians who are playing, plug into the audience, then find your spot and be yourself - that is a real talent". And that is what Greg has. The Southern CA's most talented blues musicians can play different styles of blues, however Greg's depth as a lead guitarist, singer and composer is revealed in his ability to change styles without ever losing his signature sound. "Child of the blues", his first release with J-bird is a tasteful mix of contemporary blues with a touch of jazz influence. For his second release "Holly Smoke" Serrato presents 11 new original songs and offers a tasty variety of rockin' blues, funky grooves, Texas stroll and it also features some great instrumentals. The instrumental ballad 'Val' is a dense musical meditation that hypnotizes. It pulls and releases with a grand sweep of guitar virtuosity: truly a compelling composition. Serrato uses his good humored signature in songs like "Cadillac blues" or "Kids have the blues too". The Blues Access Magazine wrote " Rockin' Stratmaster Serrato gets the big sound on these 11 cuts, with organ and horn arrangements framing his fine guitar and vocals. The instrumental title cut will cause guitar slingers to holler "Holy Smokes.". The latest and most excellent album is called "Like A Tornado" and is also released on J-Bird Records. Another smokin` CD from Greg Serrato! A fan wrote me once regarding my tribute page to Serrato saying: "This guy is so good that he can't afford to be famous". I liked that one :) © Sylvain (Sly) Chartrand © Bluesrockers 2012 http://www.bluesrockers.ws/serrato.html

Holy Smokes is the new album from electric Bluesman Greg Serrato. This talented lefty struts his stuff all over the place. You can hear the Buddy Guy and Albert King influences virtually dripping from his solos. This is one of the best electric blues albums that we've heard all year. It was exceedingly difficult to pick the best songs, but we think that you'll like: That Ain't Right, Holy Smokes, Crying Like A Fool, Jump Baby Jump, Warrior Of Peace and Cheatin' Hand. © http://www.sonicbids.com/2/EPK/?epk_id=13728#bio

A good "upbeat" modern electric blues album with Greg playing some cool and very skillful extended guitar solos backed up by many Grade A musicians. Www.Bluesrockers.ws referred to Greg as being "one of the most talented blues-rock guitarists in the world today". There are many great blues guitarists on the music scene today, and Greg Serrato is high on that list. The guy from Anaheim, California is very underrated outside the U.S. Try and listen to his great "Child Of The Blues" album which has some great jazz guitar throughout. Support real music [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 118 Mb]


1 Cadillac Blues 3:50
2 That Ain't Right 6:33
3 Holy Smokes 2:42
4 Living On A High Wire 3:57
5 Crying Like A Fool 5:45
6 Going Insane 4:46
7 Val 5:57
8 Kids Have The Blues Too 2:57
9 Jump, Baby, Jump 3:37
10 Warrior Of Peace 5:10
11 Cheatin' Hand 7:35

All songs composed by Greg Serrato


Greg Serrato - Lead Guitar, Vocals
Lawrence Perez - Guitar
Steve Kelly - Bass, Keyboards, Percussion
Dan Guerry - Bass on Tracks 6 & 7
Derek "The Kid" Silverman - Keyboards, Hammond Organ, Piano
Chris Latimer - Drums, Percussion
Carlos Vega - Drums, Percussion on Tracks 6 & 7
"King" Roger Ehrnman - Tenor Sax, Horn Arrangements
Martin Crowe - Harmonica
Candis Arrigo, Cee Harrelson, Ron Sindelar - Background Vocals
Chelsea Kulback, K.D.Stewart - Background Vocals on Track 8
Loren Serrato - Dialogue on Track 8


Spirit Wind Records presents - Greg Serrato, referred by some as “The Tornado”, is a Native American (Apache) high-powered blues guitarist, vocalist and songwriter who takes command of the stage with his ferocious fret work and hard driving sounds. Hailing from southern California, (Anaheim) he is regarded by www.Bluesrockers.ws as one of the most talented blues-rock guitarists in the world today. He has become a force to be reckoned with and has generated a strong fan base in and around the United States. Serrato has recorded nine CDs to date. Three of which were nationally distributed by the Navarre Corporation. His band consists of Alan Cater on drums, Steve Moreno on Guitar and Phil Fistori on bass. All veterans of music and players at the top of their game. Greg regards his rhythm section as the best he's ever played with. These guys are tight! Greg plays the guitar left handed with it strung for a right handed player. Basically, Upside-down! Self taught, he began playing the guitar at the age of five and by the age of eleven was performing in his first band. Since then, he has shared Blues Festival and Concert/Club stages with such notables as SRV's Double Trouble, Jeff Healey, Albert Collins, Rod Piazza, Colin James, Savoy Brown, Sonny Rhodes, Gregg Allman, Leon Russell, Anson Funderburg, Pinetop Perkins, Johnnie Johnson, Rik Emmett, Lowell Fulson, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Tommy Castro, Elvin Bishop, John Mayall, Duke Robillard, El Chicano, The Premiers, Etta James, Jimmie Vaughan, Keb Mo, Robin Trower, Levon Helm, Wishbone Ash and many more. His third CD on J-Bird Records "Like A Tornado," (featuring Phil Fistori on bass & Alan Cater on drums) was nominated for Best Blues Recording by the Native American Music Awards. Venues and Festivals Serrato has performed & headlined include; The Grand Ol' Opry in Nashville, TN., The Chicago Blues Festival, The Long Beach Blues Festival, BB King's Blues Clubs, The House Of Blues, BluesFest International in Ontario Canada, The King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena Arkansas, The Pikes Peak Blues Festival in Colorado Springs, CO., The Julian Blues Bash in San Diego California, The Modesto State Theater in California, The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, CA. , Bottom Of The Hill in San Francisco, The Monterey Strawberry Festival, The Rosebowl in Pasadena, CA., Bourbon Street Blues in Nashville, TN., The Inland Empire BluesFest in Riverside, CA., The Pomona Blues Festival in Pomona, CA., The Native American Blues Festival in San Jacinto, CA., and The Modesto Blues Festival in Modesto, CA. to name a few.....Greg's music is also featured on six Klopf Productions Films. These are internationally distributed surf films. His music has been heard on KCAL9; a Los Angeles based Television News Station. Greg also appeared on the "Cooking With Lenny" blues cooking television show in 1996. Greg recently won the Ravenhawk Productions "Silver Arrow Award" for outstanding achievement in Music by a Native American. Greg received National radio attention with Child Of The Blues, Holy Smokes and Like A Tornado as well as in Croatia, Germany, Japan, Italy, Greece, The Netherlands, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, England, France, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, and other parts of the world. With Phil, Steve and Alan Cater bringing on the power in the rhythm section, the band supplies a big sound. As one New York reviewer wrote, “People we have got to get this guy to town to see if he’s for real!” We guarantee Serrato is as real and talented as they come! © http://www.sonicbids.com/2/EPK/?epk_id=13728#bio



Trioshift - Trioshift - 2006 Cookietime

Veterans in the music business know it when they hear it. It’s the “thing” people talk about. When the drummer Chuck Fields, bassist Tony Nagy and guitarist John Cook played together for the first time, they knew it was there. The natural communication, the chemistry, the common musical vocabulary, the fun, the voodoo, the chills, the spirit, the flow, the heart, the mojo…the “thing” that makes any project special, was there from day one. TRIOSHIFT’s epinonymously titled debut c.d. is the sound of three master musicians in a room, playing the music they wrote together. Their only goal was to play and write from the heart, and be as honest as possible. As writers, TRIOSHIFT is a collaborative effort in the truest sense; no one musician is the “fountain head” for writing. Says guitarist John Cook, “We write kind of like a rock band; someone brings in an idea, the mojo starts hapenin’, and before you know it, we’ve got a piece of music we all love.” By writing as a band, even when different styles are brought into the mix, there’s a certain cohesion. While TRIOSHIFT’s music is jazz based, the intensity of rock, the “booty” of funk, the roots in the blues, and the freedom of improvised music all blend together naturally and organically. There is no consideration to fitting in to a nice, neat musical genre. Their only goal is to be as honest as possible. Bassist Tony Nagy says “Making great music with great people is special. So why ruin it by trying to fit in?” Drummer Chuck Fields adds, “It’s weird that we all like the same music for the same reasons. We always seem to agree on what we like, and what works. That’s very rare.” The result is personal, honest, and creative music that makes for a very exiting and intense recording. There is also no stoic, “hipper-than-thou” vibe that most instrumental and jazz outfits exude. "We have such a blast when we play together, and we respect each other as musicians and as people, so there is no need for some lame, artsy-fartsy attitude." says guitarist John Cook. TRIOSHIFT delivers a cd full of musical intensity, personal passion, and artistic truth. So if you are a fan if honest music that has compositional integrity, improvisation, interplay, intensity, passion, mojo, and MUSICAL chops, BUY THE DEBUT TRIOSHIFT CD TODAY! – from Album Notes © http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/trioshift

Trioshift are an experienced Nashville based fusion trio, with John Cook on guitar, Tony Nagy on bass, and Chuck Fields on drums and percussion. Between them they have performed and recorded with many great artists in many genres, including jazz, rock, fusion, blues and country. They have used their experience to compose and play original, dynamic, and progressive electric fusion. The band said “Power Trio Jazz? Electric Post-Fusion? We dunno. We just had a blast writing and recording it. Guitar, bass and drums workin' up a sweat, live in the studio. Deep original tunes, played with intensity, passion, and master musicianship; that's our priority”. Read more about this band @ http://www.myspace.com/trioshift [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 137 Mb]


1. Steve-O 4:50
2. Warm, Hot, and Cheeky 5:30
3. Peepin' Around 4:27
4. Faust on the Discovery Channel 6:24
5. Rain on the Back 17 6:12
6. Ode to the Bal-Aire Bees 6:00
7. In A Loud Way 3:40
8. The Sinus Headache Blues 5:33
9. Southern Discomfort 4:45
10. Bonus Track (improv warm-up jam)13:06

All tracks composed by John Cook, Tony Nagy, & Chuck Fields


John Cook - Guitar
Tony Nagy - Bass
Chuck Fields - Drums, Percussion


Storyville - A Piece Of Your Soul - 1996 - Atlantic

Storyville was a blues-rock band formed in 1994 in Austin, Texas, USA. Drummer Chris Layton and bassist Tommy Shannon, former members of Arc Angels and the rhythm section for Stevie Ray Vaughan's band Double Trouble, formed the band with Malford Milligan after a jam session at Antone's. After releasing an album on November Records in 1994, the band won a total of nine Austin Music awards; they became stalwarts on the local music scene and toured nationally. They subsequently signed to major label Atlantic Records, for whom they recorded two albums before breaking up. The single "Born Without You", from their 1998 release Dog Years, reached #28 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart

Storyville's second album, Piece of Your Soul, is a gritty Texas blues record, but it's delivered with enough rock & roll savvy to crossover into the mainstream. That's not to say that the group has watered-down the greasy roadhouse R&B that is their stock and trade -- they simply inject it with a shot of feverish rock & roll energy, and that's what makes Piece of Your Soul a successful follow-up to the award-winning debut, The Bluest Eyes. © Thom Owens © 2013 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/piece-of-your-soul-mw0000184626

A dynamic and classy album of soul, blues, and rock from the Austin based Storyville. The songs are well written with brilliant grooves and tones throughout. Malford Milligan is a terrific vocalist in the same vein as Paul Rodgers and Paul Carrack, but all the musicians on this album including guitarists David Grissom, David L. Holt, and drummer Chris Layton and bassist Tommy Shannon, ex- Arc Angels and SRV’s Double Trouble really know their stuff. “A Piece Of Your Soul” is HR by A.O.O.F.C. It’s a pity this line-up recorded so few albums. Try and listen to the band’s “Bluest Eyes” album and Dave Holt’s great “Perpetual Motion” album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 121 Mb]


1 Bitter Rain - David Grissom / Malford Milligan 5:54
2 Good Day for the Blues - David Grissom 3:59
3 Blind Side - David Grissom / David Holt / Chris Layton / Malford Milligan / Tommy Shannon 3:48
4 Don't Make Me Cry - Craig Ross 5:34
5 What Passes for Love - David Grissom 6:07
6 Solid Ground - David Holt / Malford Milligan 5:14
7 A Piece of Your Soul - David Grissom / David Holt / Chris Layton / Malford Milligan / Tommy Shannon 3:53
8 Cynical - David Holt / Malford Milligan 4:05
9 Luck Runs Out - Doyle Bramhall / David Grissom / David Holt / Malford Milligan 4:34
10 Can't Go There Anymore - David Grissom / David Holt / Chris Layton / Malford Milligan / Tommy Shannon 4:43
11 Share That Smile - David Grissom 5:47


David Grissom, David L. Holt - Guitar, Background Vocals
Tommy Shannon - Bass
Reese Wynans - Hammond Organ
Chris Layton - Drums, Percussion
Malford Milligan - Vocals
Bertram Brown, Felecia Hayes - Background Vocals


Veterans from dozens of jam sessions and all-star backing bands, the members of Storyville gelled at just such a jam, in 1994 at the Austin club known as Antone's. Bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton had played in Stevie Ray Vaughan's Double Trouble for ten years before the bluesman's death in 1990, and both moved on to the Arc Angels before meeting the other members of Storyville. Lead guitarist David Holt played on the Mavericks' debut album, and appeared with another lead guitarist David Grissom in Joe Ely's backing band. Grissom would also gain experience touring with John Mellencamp and the Allman Brothers. The only member of the band with less than ten sideman credits, vocalist Malford Milligan, sang with the Austin band Stick People before the formation of Storyville -- named, of course, in honor of New Orleans' historic red-light district. After several sessions to work out their bluesy soul/R&B, Storyville hopped into the recording studio and produced an album for November Records. Released the same year of the band's foundation, The Bluest Eyes won the band six awards at the 1995 Austin Music Awards, including Best Band and Best Single. The LP was rated highly in mainstream publications, and earned Storyville a major-label contract, with the Atlantic subsidiary Code Blue. Though the band released no new material during 1995, three more trophies at that year's Austin Music Awards were forthcoming. Second album A Piece of Your Soul was released in 1996, followed in 1998 by Dog Years. © John Bush © 2013 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/storyville-mn0000632257

Check out David Grissom @ http://www.davidgrissom.com/bio/

There is more about David L. Holt @ http://www.davidholtmusic.com/bio.html


Percy Jones, Scott McGill & Ritchie DeCarlo

Percy Jones, Scott McGill & Ritchie DeCarlo - Percy Jones, Scott McGill, Ritchie DeCarlo With Special Guest Markus Reuter - 2010 - Uniblab Recordings

Scott McGill's guitar playing career started at 19 years old. He's won critical acclaim in the mainstream press by leading, recording, and touring in bands featuring the legendary Michael Manring, Percy Jones (Brand X) and Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), as well as Grammy Award-winning producers Neil Kernon and David Torn. He was Senior Lecturer of Guitar at The University of The Arts USA and is a columnist for Guitar Techniques. © 2012 Brighton Institute of Modern Music

I recently left a review for "Debut", the first release by Percy Jones – ScottMcGill - RitchieDeCarlo(http://www.amazon.com/Debut-Percy-Jones-scott-McGill-Ritchie-Decarlo/dp/B002OSWWSE/ref=pd_sim_m_1). On that disc there were a lot of fine moments ... some very engaging fusion, indeed. Their follow-up, Jones-McGill-DeCarlo "w/Special Guest, Markus Reuter" finds the band going in a new direction: EVEN FURTHER OUT THERE!! Fans of adventuresome guitar will certainly not be disappointed, as Scott McGill's excursions here showcase his finest tones, textures, rhythms and improvs to date. Truly, such fans will find the intriguing palette of guitar and guitar synth tones on display here more than worth the price of admission on their own merit alone. There are a wide range of Scott's influences evident, though most noteably would be that of John McLaughlin (throughout the disc) -- with a touch of Ralph Towner influence to be found on "TWO BY TWO". Being a nearly lifelong fan of Percy Jones -- perhaps the most innovative electric bassist ever -- I was quite pleased that his captivating mixture of bouncing, precise, solid and always unpredictable bass lines were on prominent display. Whereas there were moments on "Debut" were he seemed content to "hold down the fort" in the background, fans of this preeminent bass guitar legend will be pleased that he is more out front and imposing on this date. Indeed, there are many moments which remind the listener of Percy's legacy, Brand X. From the sheer drive and veracity of the disc's opening number, "Menagerie Animoto", to the textural wonderlust of "Rumsfeld's Spleen" (he lost his balls long ago), "The Ghost of 47 Letsby Ave.", and "Rising (Parts 1 & 2)", to the shattering of sonic thresholds apparent in "Definition Defied" (most appropriately titled!), one is constantly taken back to Brand X's era of musical adventurism in Percy's nuance-filled, clearly inspired, gymnastic playing here. But there is one major difference: IT'S A WHOLE LOT BETTER!!!! (... And this from a diehard Brand X fan! ...) The textures and subtleties throughout this incredible disc -- combined with the quality of the musician's tones and the clear, present production -- make for a listening experience that the great fusion pioneers of the '70's never quite captured in a studio environment. The dynamics at work on this disc are sheer fusion magic. Though I should be winding this review up, I would be remiss if I neglected to mention the dynamic, versatile performance by drummer Ritchie DeCarlo (who also shares the production duties -- stellar work, also). In just their second outing, Ritchie has formed a cohesive bond with Percy that transforms music sometimes bordering on chaos into flowing, grooving excursions. ... I think this guy could make ANYTHING groove. Few drummers could exhibit such a "sense of the appropriate" for music that is so swiftly and suddenly shifting gears. For fans of pioneering fusion music, this disc will certainly NOT disappoint. Fans of Brand X will be most delighted as, to my ears, it surpasses any of their recorded output; there is the same hard-driving, dauntless spirit behind their collective efforts, but with more cohesion, purpose and direction. For more than 30 years I have been listening to bands who have been (not easily) categorized as "prog", "art rock", "jazz-rock", "fusion", "alternative", "acid jazz", and more. One thing that most of these bands have in common is their "going for it" attitude and approach to performance. After all these years, it is incredible to realize that SOMEONE FINALLY GOT THERE. I only gave this disc 5 Stars, because 6 Stars wasn't available to give. Buy this CD ... don't think twice: select a seller and BUY IT!!!! (You'll be very glad you did.)- from Completely Over The Top! July 14, 2010
By & © John Mcguire © 1996-2013, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates http://www.amazon.com/McGill-Ritchie-DeCarlo-special-Markus/dp/B003NSXIGO

Guitarist Scott McGill rips, roars, soars, and shreds like crazy on this entirely fearless and exquisitely intense fusion masterpiece. Backed by legendary fretless bassist Percy Jones (Brand X, Eno, Soft Machine) and drummer/synthesist Ritchie DeCarlo (with cameo soundscapes by touch guitarist Markus Reuter), McGill’s electric, MIDI, fretless, and acoustic guitars repeatedly peg the Creative meter. By & © Barry Cleveland Wed, 1 Sep 2010 © 2012 by New Bay Media, LLC. All rights reserved

If you like masterly, powerful, compelling and creative fusion and would like your little cotton socks shredded, then give this album a listen. Wayne Krantz the great fusion guitarist praised Scott McGill’s The Hand Farm’s s/t album which is in the same mould as the one posted here. The album carries A.O.O.F.C health warning! [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 142 Mb]


1. Menagerie Animoto 4:39
2. Rumsfeld's Spleen 7:55
3. F-Hole's Worth 3:33
4. Polonium 210 Filter 4:40
5. TWO by TWO 2:27
6. 43 Letsby Ave. 5:50
7. The Ghost of 47 Letsby Ave. 9:19
8. Rising (Parts 1 & 2) 7:40
9. Borgasmord 2:52
10. Definition Defied 5:49
11. Days Fogged In 7:56

All music composed by Scott McGill, Percy Jones, & Ritchie DeCarlo


Percy Jones - Fretless Bass
Scott McGill - iGuitar, Fretless Guitar, MIDI MOOG VOYAGER
Ritchie DeCarlo - Drums, Percussion, MODULAR MOOG VOYAGER, BFD & Battery 3
Markus Reuter - Touch Guitar Soundscapes on Tracks 2 & 7

You can also check out Scott on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/ScottMcGillGuitar/info

Check out Percy Jones @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Percy_Jones_(musician)

Check out Ritchie DeCarlo @ http://www.myspace.com/ritchiedecarlo


Michael Burks

Michael Burks - Iron Man - 2008 - Alligator

He was a nominee for "Best New Artist" in the 2000 Blues Foundation W.C. Handy Awards, but the truth is, Michael Burks already had a lifetime of blues under his belt when considered for that award. A relative newcomer to the form, Burks recorded his self-produced, critically-acclaimed debut in 1997, and released Make It Rain, his Alligator Records debut, in 2001. Burks was born into the blues, his father playing alongside Sonny Boy Williamson, and his grandfather was a Delta-style bluesman from Arkansas. Burks began playing guitar while still in the single-digits, age wise, and began performing shortly thereafter. He grew up in his father's blues club, and although he's worked a day job most of his life, Burks has always found time to pull out his guitar and set it on fire on any available stage. In fact, Burks has earned the nickname "Iron Man" for his dynamic, electrifying, marathon live performances. As such, one has to approach Burks' anticipated third Alligator Records release, Iron Man, as if you're watching the axeman performing live on stage...I suspect that Burks approaches the recording process with much the same passion and commitment that he brings to his stagework. Iron Man certainly jumps the gun right from the starting line, rising with the blisteringly heavy "Love Disease," Burks' rabid wolverine of a guitar ripping and tearing off bloody riffs and surgical solos with maddening fury. It's a sure sign that Iron Man is no run-o-the-mill blues workout, but rather a menacing, towering, white-hot rollercoaster of houserockin' blues...old-school, ice-cold Albert Collins style. The pace slows only slightly with "Strange Feeling," to a deliberate dino-stomp of self-assured rhythms and Burks' throaty, soulful vocals. If anything, the man's solos here are even more reckless and rocking than on the album-opener, Burks opening up a can o' kick-ass and proceeding to flog the listener's ears with shredded guitar strings and his magnificent guitar tone. A more refined, dignified affair, "Empty Promises" brings Iron Man onto a more traditional blues turf, Burks' stormy lyrics matched with a moody, atmospheric, and cloudy soundtrack. The keyboards are mixed to the forefront here, playing well off of Burks' tasteful, nuanced fretwork. The vintage Chicago blues-styled "No More Crying" is provided a romp-n-stomp arrangement, Burks getting reckless as he mixes tightrope solos with drummer Chuck Louden's sturdy beats and cymbal-bashing, and bassist Don Garret's steady heartbeat. The Southern rock-flavored "Don't Waste My Time" offers some nice Gospel-styled keyboard flourishes behind Burks' emotional vocals, the resulting performance taking on a reverent, spiritual air. Wayne Sharp's keyboard work here is inspired, drawing from a number of sainted Dixie-rock traditions, and adding a dignified edge to Burks' restrained guitar-play. "Quiet Little Town" is anything but, Burks and gang shedding the rarified modesty of the previous song to crank out a chainsaw roadhouse rocker, with buzzing guitar riffs, honky-tonk piano-bashing, and rock-em-sock-em rhythms that drive the song right off the stage, through the door, and out into the street to catch its breath. "Hard Come, Easy Go" is a soulful blues-rocker with mournful vocals and Burks' taut fretwork while "Ice Pick Through My Heart" is a classic example of "woman done me wrong" blues music, complete with tearjerker fretwork and dusky, foreboding keyboards. A spot-on cover of Free's "Fire And Water," with plenty o' Kossoff-inspired guitar pyrotechnics and Burks' deep, throaty vocals, is certain to grab the blues-rock fan by the ears and shake loose some spare change. The album-ending "Changed Man" is another raucous roadhouse number, stinging six-string slicing through the thick instrumentation, a steady rocking beat tipping the stage from one end to the other. After the song hits its chaotic crescendo, it ramps down the rpm and exits stage right. It's a surefire way to keep Burks' face-pasting fretwork ringing in your ears for days after hearing it blast out of your speakers. Iron Man is undoubtedly an album directed at those listeners that love them some guitar-driven electric-blues. To this end, almost every song here features some variation of Burks' roughneck guitar-slinging. What Iron Man also does, however, is showcase Burks' growing talents as a singer and songwriter, the artist penning several near-classic tunes here that I could easily see being swiped, er...covered by some blues-rock band sometime in the future. More to the point, though, Burks' six-string skills continue to evolve and expand, the talented fretburner just as capable of bringing a subtle, elegant flourish to a song as he is in tearing off a lightning-quick solo. Iron Man is a blues guitar fan's kind of album - red hot and ready to rock! By & © Reverend Keith A. Gordon, About.com Guide ***1/2 from ***** © 2013 About.com. All rights reserved http://blues.about.com/od/cddvdreview1/fr/MichaelBurks1.htm

Michael Burks is the liberator of the next generation blues guitarists. Although still considered a new blueblood, Burks has been performing for more than 30 years and is capable of expressing the blues like its masters did during the genre’s heyday. You likely know about Burks’ fiery guitar skills, but what about his singing skills? They lie somewhere between crooning and lamenting as substantiated on tracks like Icepick Through My Heart. Nothing is contrived on Iron Man. It all sounds and seems entirely natural. Much of that credit goes to recording live in the studio with Burks’ high-powered touring band versus using studio stars as in the past. Dubbed from Burks’ nickname, which was earned from his lengthy live sets, formidable guitar playing, and ability to drive hundreds of miles non-stop, Iron Man is one of those CDs which is ideal for testing the potency of your sound system. One minute into the first track, a ripping guitar solo lets you know what’s in store for the next hour. Seven of the album’s 12 songs were written or co-written by Burks. Common themes include wasted dreams, bad relationships, and shedding tears. On No More Crying, Burks sings (“I cried so many tears/I have no tears at all”). Jimmy Johnson’s Ashes In My Ashtray is given an interesting reading because Burks’ plaintive vocals are so different from Johnson’s comforting vocals. Best of all you can figure out the lyrics because the former mechanical technician for Lockheed-Martin sings them clearly. The song’s hurt and betrayal burns from the smoldering fretboard just as it did on the original version. Burks’ wild slide guitar and ardent vocals sound very similar to Luther Allison on Strange Feeling. Quiet Little Town is rhythmic radio rock and it contains a memorable riff. Fire And Water – originally made popular by the band Free and later covered by Wilson Pickett – contains another radio friendly rock steady groove. The pop/rock jam Salty Tears is infused with southern soul. Southern rock flourishes on Don’t Waste My Time and Hard Come, Easy Go. Burks projects as much vocal fervor as possible on the former, and then finishes the kill with a torrential guitar exhibition. The latter possesses a raw Tinsley Ellis edge and a blues/rock riff. It was written specifically for Burks by label-mate Ellis. Whether you have experienced the anguish of empty promises or not, you’ll know exactly what it feels like after listening to Burks’ song of the same name. The arrangement and lead guitar work is impassioned and Burks’ vocals are exercised to their maximum. The brilliant track reveals a vulnerable side of Burks. The intensity of the performance easily equals, if not exceeds, All Your Affection Is Gone from I Smell Smoke. Compared to his last two Alligator CDs, the most noticeable difference is the fact that Burks’ influences, e.g., Albert King, are no longer on display. Alligator’s president, Bruce Iglauer, admits “Watching Michael Burks mature into one of the most exciting bluesmen of his generation has been a treat for me.” This CD clearly portrays Burks as one of the best contemporary blues players whose every ounce is made of iron ore. By & © Tim Holek © http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/michael-burks-cd/m-burks-cd-page.html

Listen to the late, great guitarist’s "I Smell Smoke" album, and buy his "Show of Strength" album to hear Michael Burks at his stinging best [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 137 Mb]


1 Love Disease – Burks 3:20
2 Strange Feeling – Burks 4:28
3 Empty Promises – Burks 6:15
4 Salty Tears – Seiger & Feldman 4:33
5 No More Crying - Jones 4:27
6 Ashes in My Ashtray – Johnson 6:07
7 Don't Waste My Time – Burks, Hahn & Wilkin 4:38
8 Quiet Little Town – Burks & Hahn 5:40
9 Hard Come, Easy Go - Ellis 5:05
10 Icepick Through My Heart – Burks, Iglauer & James 6:52
11 Fire and Water – Fraser & Rodgers 4:04
12 Changed Man – Burks & Iglauer 4:45


Michael Burks - Guitar, Vocals
Don Garrett - Bass
Wayne Sharp - Organ, Piano
Chuck "Popcorn" Louden - Drums
Frank Donaldson - Percussion on "Fire And Water"


Born in Milwaukee in 1957, blues guitarist Michael Burks began learning his instrument at an early age -- inspired by his musical family (his father played bass and often performed alongside harmonica legend Sonny Boy Williamson II, while his grandfather was a Delta-style bluesman from Camden, Arkansas). By the age of five, he was playing along with his father, and picked up a thing or two from his parent's record collection -- his father would often give his young son incentive to learn songs by offering him a dollar for each tune he could successfully figure out from beginning to end (a year later he made his performance debut in front of an audience, when he joined a cousin's band on stage). In the early '70s, Burks' father moved his family to Arkansas, and opened up the Bradley Ferry Country Club (a 300-seat juke joint), as Burks was hired as the leader of the house band, backing numerous blues and R&B greats that played the venue. By the time the club closed in the mid-'80s, Burks briefly put his love of blues on the back burner, as he supported himself by taking a job as a mechanical technician for Lockheed Martin, although he still managed to play clubs and regional festivals. In 1997, Burks issued his very first album, From the Inside Out, producing the entire record himself, which immediately racked up impressive reviews from several esteemed blues publications (Blues Access raved the debut was "the most impressive indie in recent memory," while Living Blues named it one of "the best debut discs of the year"). In 2001 Burks issued his debut recording for the Alligator label, Make It Rain, produced in Memphis by Jim Gaines (Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan) and Bruce Iglauer (Albert Collins, Johnny Winter). Two years later, I Smell Smoke was released, followed by Iron Man in 2008, both on Alligator. In the midst of this successful phase of his recording and performing career, Burks collapsed on May 6, 2012 at the Atlanta airport upon returning to the States after a European tour; he could not be revived after being rushed to the hospital. Michael Burks was 54 years old. © Greg Prato © 2012 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/michael-burks-mn000039124


Guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Michael “Iron Man” Burks was a modern-day blues hero. His “Iron Man” moniker was born from his hours-long, intensely physical performances, his fearsome guitar attack and his tough, smoky vocals. It also came from the thousands of miles a year he personally logged behind the wheel of his touring van. His fiery music was driven by an intense, blue collar work ethic that won him a rabid worldwide fan base. Between his blistering guitar sound—which could at any moment become sweetly melodic—and his live charisma, Burks earned four Blues Music Award nominations, including, most recently, the 2012 nomination for Guitarist Of The Year. He won the 2004 Living Blues magazine Critics’ Award for Best Guitarist. GuitarOne named his Alligator Records debut album, Make It Rain, one of the Top 200 greatest guitar recordings of all time. According to Living Blues, “Burks burns his own signature onto almost everything he touches...he has the ability and the imagination to fuse the best of the old and the new.” When he suddenly died at age 54 on May 6, 2012, the world lost a true musical treasure. Burks’ final album, Show Of Strength (on which he wrote or co-wrote five of the album’s 12 tracks), was recorded and finished just prior to his untimely death. From the explosive opening blast of Count On You to the closing strains of Charlie Rich’s elegiac Feel Like Going Home, Burks’ signature combination of feral yet tuneful guitar work with his gritty, dynamic vocals provided a searing, emotional autobiography in blues. According to Alligator president Bruce Iglauer, “It was my decision to leave this album as we intended it, not as a memorial to a friend and bluesman gone, but as a living, breathing statement, sent straight from Michael’s heart and soul. Although Michael is not here, the music he recorded is indeed his show of his immense strength and spirit. It will live on, confirming forever his status as one of the greatest bluesmen of his generation.” Born in Milwaukee on July 30, 1957, Michael Burks quite literally entered the world with blues in his blood. Joe Burks, Michael’s grandfather, played acoustic Delta blues guitar in his hometown of Camden, Arkansas. Michael’s father, Frederick, was a bass player. For years, Frederick Burks worked in Milwaukee steel mills and refineries during the day and spent his evenings performing in the city’s dimly-lit blues clubs, often backing harmonica legend Sonny Boy Williamson II as well as other touring blues luminaries and local stars. Michael first held a guitar when he was two years old, and Frederick immediately began teaching his son how to play. Equipped with a fully functional, child-size guitar, the young Burks began emulating the bass runs of his father. Soon he was learning scales and songs. By the age of five, he was diligently studying his father’s 45s, aided by an effective lesson plan. “I’ll give you a dollar if you learn this song by the time I’m home from work,” Frederick would tell his young prodigy. Sure enough, Michael would learn that tune inside out and sideways by the time his father walked through the front door. When he was six, Michael played his first gig during a visit to his family’s hometown in Arkansas. The fledgling guitarist took the stage with his cousin’s band and thrilled an unsuspecting audience. In 1971, at age 14, he got his first road gig, touring California as guitarist with Michael Clay and the Fabulous Souls. In the early 1970s, Frederick Burks moved his family back to their southern home. There, along with his siblings, Michael helped his father build The Bradley Ferry Country Club—a 300-seat juke joint. By this time Michael was fronting his own band and backing most of the blues and R&B greats who passed through town, including Johnnie Taylor and O.V. Wright. Business at The Bradley Ferry thrived for years, with Michael Burks leading the house band every Thursday through Saturday. Tables near the stage had to be reserved two weeks in advance. His status as a local celebrity was further heightened by his success at rebuilding and racing motorcycles. Michael, with a new baby daughter to raise, wanted a stable home life and a steady paycheck. He took a job as a mechanical technician for Lockheed-Martin. But his desire to perform persisted, and in 1994 he formed a new band and began playing clubs and regional festivals. Despite his not having a record deal, the high-powered energy of Michael’s performances began to earn him festival offers from Florida to California. Fortunately, Michael’s boss was a blues lover. He recognized Michael’s ability and encouraged it, giving Burks the flexibility of long weekends in order to tour. On more than a few occasions, Lockheed even entertained its clients by flying them to Michael’s festival appearances. Burks self-released his debut CD, From The Inside Out, in 1997. His impassioned, string-bending solos, combined with his fiery tone and smoldering vocals, left no doubt that Michael Burks was an emotionally-charged blues powerhouse. Critics and fans loved what they heard. Living Blues rated it as one of “the best debut discs of the year.” In 2000, Burks received a Blues Music Award nomination for Best New Artist, even though he was already a hard-working professional. It had become clear that Burks needed to pursue his musical career full-time once again. Fueled by a tank full of positive reviews, Michael began to play more festivals than ever before, appearing at the Chicago Blues Festival, Telluride Blues Festival, Mississippi Valley Blues Festival and Kalamazoo Blues Festival, and making headlining appearances at the Mississippi Muddy Waters Blues Festival, Arkansas River Blues Festival and the Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival, among others. After his powerful set at the 2000 Chicago Blues Festival, Iglauer signed him to Alligator on the spot. With Make It Rain, his 2001 Alligator debut, Burks achieved well-deserved national and international acclaim and became one of the blues world’s fastest-rising stars. He immediately hit the road in support of the CD, bringing his blistering blues to fans across the country, throughout Europe, and even to Australia. Guitar Player said, “Burks plays and sings with conviction, as he proves with each song.” 2003’s I Smell Smoke featured songs driven by Burks’ feral guitar playing and impassioned vocals. As raw and galvanizing as ever, Burks played with the precision and dedication of a seasoned veteran. He received the Blues Music Award nomination for Contemporary Blues Album Of The Year. His next album, 2008’s Iron Man, drew even more rave reviews. Blues Revue said, “Burks’ down and dirty guitar screams and wails on every cut. Hard-hitting blues, outrageous tone...blazing, explosive solos. His [music] is full of soul and passion. His vocals possess the rich soulfulness of B.B. and rival his stinging guitar work as his greatest talent.” The unstoppable, heartfelt intensity that Burks brought to the stage was the very core of his appeal. His passionate music and undeniable charisma made him an overwhelming force in the blues. On Show Of Strength, Burks is captured at the absolute height of his musical powers. With taste, melodicism, and always in full command of his mighty guitar playing and soul-baring, fervent vocals, Michael “Iron Man” Burks leaves a legacy of extraordinary music, including the new Show Of Strength—a timeless statement of universal truth from a larger-than-life musician certain to become a blues legend. © 2008 Michael Burks All Rights Reserved © http://www.michaelburks.com/bio.html