Get this crazy baby off my head!



Focus - Live At The BBC - 2004 - Hux Records

Recorded in London on 21st March 1976 by the BBC, this concert includes new material as well as old Focus standards. In 1976, the only original Focus members left were Thijs van Leer and bassist Bert Ruiter. Thijs assembled a new Focus line-up for a UK tour. He recruited Philip Catherine, the great jazz fusion guitarist and the great LA session drummer David Kemper. This is a very good Focus album even without the great Jan Akkerman. Check out Focus’ classic “Live At The Rainbow” album, Jan Akkerman’s “Tabernakel” album, and Philip Catherine’s “Twin House” album [All tracks @ 320 Kps: File size = 141 Mb]


1. Virtuous Woman (Van Leer) 10:58
2. Blues In D (Ruiter) 3:46
3. Maximum (Van Leer) 14:00
4. Sneezing Bull (Catherine) 7:46
5. Sonata For Flute (Bach, arr. by Van Leer) 2:47
6. House Of The King (Akkermann, Flynn) 3:15
7. Angel Wings (Catherine) 5:38
8. Little Sister/What You See (Van Leer) 8:18
9. Hocus Pocus (Akkermann, Van Leer) 5:48


Philip Catherine - Guitars
Bert Ruiter - Bass, Vocals
Thijs Van Leer - Keyboards, Flute, Vocals
David Kemper – Drums


Best remembered for their bizarre chart smash "Hocus Pocus," Dutch progressive rock band Focus was formed in Amsterdam in 1969 by vocalist/keyboardist/flutist Thijs van Leer, bassist Martin Dresden, and drummer Hans Cleuver. With the subsequent addition of guitarist Jan Akkerman, the group issued its debut LP, In and Out of Focus, in 1970, earning a European cult following thanks to the single "House of the King." Dresden and Cleuver were replaced by bassist Cyril Havermanns and drummer Pierre Van der Linden for the English-language follow-up, Moving Waves; the record generated the hit "Hocus Pocus," a hallucinatory epic distinguished by Akkerman's guitar pyrotechnics and van Leer's demented yodeling. Easily one of the flat-out strangest songs ever to crack the American pop charts, the single peaked at number nine in the spring of 1973, by which time Focus had already exchanged Havermanns for bassist Bert Ruiter and issued their third album, Focus III, which yielded the minor hit "Sylvia." In the wake of 1974's Hamburger Concert, the band streamlined the classical aspirations of earlier efforts to pursue a more pop-oriented approach on records like Ship of Memories and Mother Focus; though roster changes regularly plagued Focus throughout the period, none was more pivotal than the 1976 exit of Akkerman, who was replaced by guitarist Philip Catherine for 1978's Focus con Proby, cut with British pop singer P.J. Proby. Focus then disbanded, with the original lineup reuniting in 1990 for a Dutch television special. © Jason Ankeny © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/focus-mn0000195305/biography


James McMurtry & The Heartless Bastards

James McMurtry & The Heartless Bastards - Live In Aught-Three - 2004 - Compadre Records

In his regular column for Entertainment Weekly, noted author (and passionate rock ’n’ roll enthusiast) Stephen King cited McMurtry as “the truest, fiercest songwriter of his generation.” A very underrated singer, musician and brilliant songwriter, James McMurtry from Fort Worth, Texas has a lot of great songs under his belt. Lyrically, the guy is a great storyteller. Like Leonard Cohen, Mose Allison, Janis Ian, Tino Gonzales or the young Dylan, James writes songs often with a socio-political theme. He writes evocative lyrics, often cynical and dry, but never boring, and like the aforementioned artists he has the rare talent of writing great music for what often sounds like dull topics. His music is steeped in Americana, and with a small band he produces brilliant music. "Live In Aught-Three" is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Buy James' great "Just Us Kids" album. Support real music and real talent [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 175.1 Mb]


1 Saint Mary of the Woods - Flash/Hess/Johnson/James McMurtry
2 Fraulein O.
3 Red Dress
4 No More Buffalo
5 60 Acres
6 Rachel's Song
7 Out Here In The Middle
8 Choctaw Bingo
9 Lights of Cheyenne - Johnson/James McMurtry
10 Levelland
11 Max's Theorem
12 I'm Not from Here
13 Too Long in the Wasteland
14 Rex's Blues - Townes Van Zandt

All songs composed by James McMurtry except where stated


James McMurtry - Guitar, Vocals
Ronnie Johnson - Guitar (Bass), Vocal Harmony
Daren Hess - Drums
Tim Holt - House Sound


12th & Porter, Nashville, TN (05/16/2003-11/15/2003); John Barleycorn's, Wichita, KS (05/16/2003-11/15/2003); The Orange Peel, Asheville, NC (05/16/2003-11/15/2003); Zephyr Club, Salt Lake City, UT (05/16/2003-11/15/2003).


James McMurtry's written plenty of great songs, but he's never made a great album. His character sketches and stories have always rung true, and he's as perceptive a chronicler of the disaffected and alienated as you'll find, but his limited vocal range and sometimes almost-indifferent delivery have made even his best discs, Too Long in the Wasteland and Where'd You Hide the Body a struggle to get through. Live in Aught-Three isn't a great album, but the live setting lets McMurtry and his backing group, the Heartless Bastards, breathe real rock & roll life into many of these songs for the first time. "Levelland," an account of stasis in the fly-over land, aches with a longing for something, anything, that's more exciting than high-school football games and farms, and "Red Dress" burns with an angry intensity that you'd never have guessed McMurtry had in him. We also get a dose of McMurtry's deadpan humor on a few between-song asides ("I used to think I was an artist. Come to find out I'm a beer salesman") and a hilarious delineation between intellectuals and good ol' boys. In fact, the strongest material here — and McMurtry's best work overall — are the ones in which he finds both the humor and the pathos in quirky, nasty characters like the ticked-off heir to the worthless farmland of "60 Acres," or the twisted crew at a family reunion in "Choctaw Bingo." If McMurtry's albums haven't caught your attention before, Live in Aught-Three is a perfect opportunity to reassess him. © Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen © 2010 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:0nfqxqqaldae

Though he's rightly revered as a pungent, literate songsmith, McMurtry would be just as happy to go down in history as a rocker, a scathing guitar-slinger equal parts Keith Richards and Neil Young. For the most part, McMurtry's first live recording (drawn from four separate gigs in Salt Lake City, Nashville, and Asheville, N.C.) slams that point home with droning fuzz-tone guitar jams and a rhythm section that measures up to Crazy Horse's pounding gravity. Even Townes Van Zandt's gorgeous "Rex's Blues" roars without compromise. With the exception of the relatively understated "Rachel's Song," "Out Here in the Middle," and one of his best new lyrics in years, "Lights of Cheyenne" (previously unreleased and rendered solo here), the trio find a slash-and-burn sonic equivalent to the songwriter's withering social commentaries, often trumping their original versions. © Roy Kasten © 1996-2010, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates http://www.amazon.com/Aught-Three-James-Mcmurtry-Heartless-Bastards/dp/B0001HAI72

When you think of a James McMurtry character, you envision someone staring out over the plains or the water or the highway. Nevermind that the plains are filling up with strip malls, or that the water's banks are infested with lake houses, or that, for all the highway stretched out like the future, there's a good bit that's already been traveled like the past. It's tempting to think of McMurtry as a high-plains drifter version of John Mellencamp, but when McMurtry sings from the perspective of someone who inherits farmland, they're usually moaning that it isn't suitable for a WalMart. Nevertheless, McMurtry's characters can be a contemplative bunch, using those wide open vistas and changing horizons to create keen observations. As the son of writer Larry McMurtry, James McMurtry gets it honest. In fact, the younger McMurtry took a few knocks early in his career for the writing advice his father supposedly provided. I don't know about you, but if I had the author of Lonesome Dove for a dad, I'd kidnap him and bring him on tour just for the chance to sit at his feet while he doled out character development wisdom. James McMurtry, though, has come into his own -- quietly since he debuted with some fanfare with 1989's Too Long in the Wasteland. Typically alternating between two tempos -- a dusty plains boogie and Texas-hewn acoustic balladry -- McMurtry's tales are often sad, occasionally wry, and more often than not, spot-on evocations of inner thoughts. Live in Aught-Three brings those abilities into sharp focus. Recorded over two nights at Nashville's 12th & Porter and one night at The Orange Peel in Asheville, North Carolina, the disc finds McMurtry and his crack band, the Heartless Bastards, trolling through his catalog and confirming his status as a songwriting force worth noticing. The song selection stretches across his career (although "Too Long in the Wasteland" is the only song to make the cut from his excellent debut), and the sound is typically lean, even snarling in places. The Heartless Bastards don't try to be a roadhouse band, but there's a remarkable absence of fat in the arrangements, which is fitting given McMurtry's customary economy with words. Live in Aught-Three really gets going about 1/3 of the way in, when McMurtry settles into a batch of songs that examines the juxtaposition of old-fashioned purity and modern encroachment in rural America. "No More Buffalo" teems with "ah hell" realizations, while "60 Acres" explores the more pragmatic side of inheritance. Nimble guitar and a solemn drum beat attempt to pull "Rachel's Song" in two different directions, befitting the ambivalence of the lyrics. Equally uncertain but more sardonic is "Out Here in the Middle", which works up to a soaring chorus full of McMurtry's trademark wryness. The narrator's pride that you can leave your doors unlocked mixes with the bittersweet observation that Starbucks has come to town. He observes that the area contains "amber waves of grain and bathtub speed", states ominously that "applicants are screened with a fine-toothed comb", and that it's a place "where the center's to the right and the ghost of William Jennings Bryant preaches every night". Following that is a head-first dive into "Choctaw Bingo", a meth-cookin', arms-hoardin', Asian-bride-orderin', 2nd-cousin-lustin' tale that rides a locomotive riff for all it's worth. The unreleased live favorite "Lights of Cheyenne" drops things down to a personal, but no less wistful, level, with the lights of the title acting as a beacon of different sorts for the song's characters. "Levelland" sets its tone early with the line "Flatter than a tabeltop / Makes you wonder why they stopped here / Wagon must have lost a wheel / Or they lost ambition, one". McMurtry ends the disc on an uptemp note, with the briskness of "I'm Not From Here", followed by a gasoline-soaked bluesy take on "Too Long in the Wasteland" and a nod to Townes Van Zandt with "Rex's Blues". All in all, Live in Aught-Three is a decent introduction to McMurtry, and it definitely works as a snapshot of where McMurty is now. All those songs of adult restlessness and of finding little personal patches of freedom mark McMurtry as a legitimate inheritor of the Texas songwriting tradition. Over the course of his career, McMurtry's settled into his niche so comfortably that it's easy to take him for granted; Live in Aught-Three, though, goes a long way towards shining a proper spotlight on a songwriter who some people may have forgotten. © Andrew Gilstrap PopMatters Associate Music Editor 19 March 2004 © 1999-2009 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved http://www.popmatters.com/music/reviews/m/mcmurtryjames-livein03.shtml


Texas singer/songwriter James McMurtry, known for his hard-edged character sketches, comes from a literary family; his father, novelist and screenwriter Larry McMurtry, gave James his first guitar at age seven, and his mother, an English professor, taught him how to play it. McMurtry began performing his own songs while a student at the University of Arizona and continued to do so after returning home and taking a job as a bartender. When it transpired that a film script McMurtry's father had written was being directed by John Mellencamp, who was also its star, McMurtry's demo tape was passed along, and Mellencamp was duly impressed, serving as co-producer on McMurtry's 1989 debut album, Too Long in the Wasteland. McMurtry also appeared on the soundtrack of the film (Falling from Grace), working with Mellencamp, John Prine, Joe Ely, and Dwight Yoakam in a one-off supergroup called Buzzin' Cousins. McMurtry has continued to record, releasing albums in 1992 and 1995. Walk Between the Raindrops followed in 1998, and 2002 saw the release of Saint Mary of the Woods, his last for the Sugar Hill label. He signed with Compadre the following year, releasing Live in Aught-Three in 2004 and Childish Things in 2005. Just Us Kids appeared in 2008 on Lightning Rod Records, with another concert album, Live in Europe, arriving in 2009. © Steve Huey, Rovi © http://www.answers.com/topic/james-mcmurtry#Discography_d


James McMurtry (born March 18, 1962 in Fort Worth, is a Texas rock and Americana music singer, songwriter, guitarist, bandleader and occasional actor (Daisy Miller, Lonesome Dove). With his veteran bandmates and rhythm section The Heartless Bastards (Darren Hess and Ronnie Johnson) he tours regions of the United States and, increasingly, Europe, for parts of each year, performing in intimate and mid-sized venues, especially those with dancing room for his audiences. His father, novelist Larry McMurtry, gave him his first guitar at age seven. His mother, an English professor, taught him how to play it: "My mother taught me three chords and the rest I just stole as I went along. I learned everything by ear or by watching people." James spent the first seven years of his boyhood in Ft. Worth but was raised mostly in Leesburg, Virginia. He attended the Woodberry Forest School, Orange, Virginia. He began performing in his teens, writing bits and pieces. He started performing his own songs at a downtown beer garden while studying English and Spanish at the University of Arizona in Tucson. After traveling to Alaska and playing a few gigs, James returned to Texas and his father's "little bitty ranch house crammed with 10,000 books". After a time, he left for San Antonio, where he worked as a house painter, actor, bartender, and sometimes singer, performing at writer's nights and open mics. In 1987, a friend in San Antonio suggested he enter the New Folk songwriter contest. He was one of six winners that year. John Mellencamp was starring in a film based on a script by James's father, which gave James the opportunity to get a demo tape to Mellencamp. Mellencamp subsequently served as co-producer on McMurtry's 1989 debut album, Too Long in the Wasteland. McMurtry also appeared on the soundtrack of the film Falling from Grace, working with Mellencamp, John Prine, Joe Ely, and Dwight Yoakam in a "supergroup" called Buzzin' Cousins. McMurtry released follow-up albums in Candyland (1992) and Where'd You Hide the Body (1995). Walk Between the Raindrops followed in 1998 and 2002 brought St. Mary of the Woods. In April 2004, McMurtry released a tour album called Live In Aught-Three. In 2005, McMurtry released his first studio album in 3 years. Childish Things again received high critical praise, culminating in him winning the song and album of the year at the 5th Annual Americana Awards in Nashville, Tennessee. The album was perhaps McMurtry at his most political, as his working-class anthem "We Can't Make It Here" included direct criticism of George W. Bush, the Iraq War, and Wal-Mart. McMurtry released his follow up album to Childish Things in April 2008. Just Us Kids continued with the previous album's political themes and included the song Cheney's Toy, McMurtry's most direct criticism of George W. Bush so far. Like We Can't Make It Here from the previous album, Cheney's Toy was made available as a free Internet download. James McMurtry currently resides in Austin, Texas. When in Austin McMurtry and The Heartless Bastards play a midnight set at The Continental Club on Wednesday nights. He's usually preceded by another Austin roots rock legend, Jon Dee Graham.


Larry Carlton & Robben Ford

Larry Carlton & Robben Ford - Unplugged - 2013 - 335 Records

First ever acoustic performance recorded with Robben Ford! The New Morning club in Paris presents the incredible – and long awaited – pairing of two guitar giants for their first Unplugged show. Imagine: Larry Carlton and Special Guest Robben Ford, two legendary guitarists… one stage unplugged… a guitar lover’s dream! This unique pairing of two all-time great guitar legends delivers an unforgettable evening of dueling guitar solos and an uncompromising evening of The Blues performed the way it was meant to be. Nineteen-time GRAMMY NOMINEE, four-time GRAMMY WINNER and all-time guitar great, Larry Carlton established himself from his first recording, A Little Help From My Friends. His studio credits include musicians and groups like Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell, Michael Jackson, Sammy Davis Jr., Herb Alpert, Quincy Jones, Bobby Bland, Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and literally dozens of others. He went on to perform with the Crusaders and then with the multi platinum jazz super group Fourplay. With more than 30 albums to his credit and having performed on over 100 albums that have gone Gold or Platinum, Larry Carlton has set a standard for artistry that spans three decades. Joining forces with Larry in Paris is Robben Ford who at 18 he was playing with the likes of Charlie Musselwhite, Jimmy Witherspoon, the L.A. Express with Tom Scott, George Harrison, and Joni Mitchell. He was a founding member of the Yellowjackets, then went on to tour with Miles Davis, Sadao Watanabe, and Little Feat. In 1992 he returned to his roots: the blues – a genre he masters in most exquisite grand style. © 335 Records http://335records.com/?page_id=33

This polished combination of smooth jazz, pop, rock, and fusion should be at the top of this year’s compulsory viewing of each guitar nerd on the planet. And I’m talking about rockers especially, because if you’re a rock fan looking for a first taste of jazz guitar, then this is it – an as painless an introduction as they come, presented in an easy-to-swallow, ever so slightly sweetened form. Session-man extraordinaire, guitar guru, and four-times Grammy laureate Larry Carlton – as expected — dominates the proceedings. Robben Ford’s displays of fantastic guitar chops are less extensive and less flashy, but show just how much a rhythm player of his caliber can influence a soloist. Mind you, Ford is a world-renowned lead player on his own right with a 45-year career under his belt and collaborations with artists ranging from Miles Davies to Joni Mitchell. As this release follows an earlier pairing of Carlton and Ford recorded in 2007 and titled Live in Tokyo, no wonder the two guitarists operate on exactly the same wavelength. An acoustic setting gives the show a more down-to-earth feel than its predecessor, but don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the set-up. Despite the apparent austerity of the two guitars, the bass, and the drums, this 100-minute performance serves up erudite musicianship managing to avoid predictability almost at every turn. The set list runs through Carlton’s oldies, an odd chestnut, and an occasional Ford number, but also finds place for fresh material. Standout “Cold Gold” is a new song by Carlton – a blues-inspired tune with a dash of lyrical jazz. Carlton’s first-class technique and his exquisite choice of notes turn a straightforward composition into a gem. Letting just enough disquiet seep through the restrained delivery he keeps the affair from getting too heavy while adding depth to please the philosophers and the poets among us. “Rio Samba” – by contrast – diverts the set into a bubbly Latin direction. Ford’s rhythm parts galvanize the proceedings while Carlton’s impro criss-corsses narratives without losing razor-sharp focus. A musically intense story told with few well-chosen notes becomes a lesson in putting approachability before the ego. Not to mention the moments where Carlton lets the rhythm section jump to the fore, varying the texture of the band’s sound with subtle aplomb. But it isn’t all about A-grade chops, clever comping, or making jazz accessible to any kind of audience while keeping the buffs on their toes. When “That Road” begins its bouncy harmonic roundabout you instantly appreciate the band’s elastic, finely sprung rhythm machinery. Where it really knocks you off your feet is when Carlton starts improvising over the seemingly simple chord progression, on the spot coming up with one faultless theme after another. The union of big ideas and nuanced detail rarely sounds so compelling, just like a pairing of a jazz whiz and a blues romantic. - By & © Alissa Ordabai - Senior Columnist © 2001 - 2014 HardrockHaven.net | All Rights Reserved http://hardrockhaven.net/online/2013/10/larry-carlton-and-robben-ford-unplugged-the-paris-concert-dvd-review/

If you know ANYTHING about the guitar, you must have at least half a dozen Larry Carlton recordings in your collection. Oh, they may not feature him as a leader, but he’s there on your Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell or Crusaders discs back in the stash. His style and sound is one of the true proofs of the existence of a benevolent and loving God-it glows as if it’s seen a burning bush. Here, he pulls up a chair with a kindred spirit of the Royal Order of the Axe, Robben Ford, and along with Claude Salmieri/dr and Fifi Chayeb/b, they have the time of their lives in front of an appreciative Parisian audience playing for the pure artistic pleasure of it. This one-disc workshop of how to play the guitar features the two gents picking and grinning through laid back porch music like “NM Blues 08” before the rhythm section joins in to settle into a sliding and slinky and downhearted “Cold Gold.” A hip and snappily percussive “Monty” and funky grooving “That Road” have the guys going back and forth like tap dancers out to show each other what they can do. They mix some rock into their blues on “Hand in Hand…” with Ford throwing in some patented easy gliding vocals.They make their strings beg for mercy after Ford moans through the lyrics on a riveting reading of “I Put a Spell on You” before a closing “Rio Samba” delivers rapid fire shots like a box of firecrackers served over a sizzling rhythm section. Guitar album of the year? Not a bad choice!!! - By & © George W. Harris • March 25, 2013 © 2014 Jazz Weekly. All Rights Reserved http://www.jazzweekly.com/2013/03/12-strings-of-joy-larry-carlton-robben-ford-unplugged/

Two modern day guitar legends play a sensational live set of jamming, and incredible duelling guitar solos. Recorded live at the New Morning Club in Paris. Stellar music and VHR by A.O.O.F.C [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 133 Mb]


1. NM Blues 08 - Larry Carlton & Robben Ford 7:33
2. That Road - Robben Ford 8:55
3. Monty - Robben Ford 7:09
4. Cold Gold - Larry Carlton 7:04
5. Hand in Hand with the Blues - Robben Ford & Jill Freeman 4:58
6. Amen AC - Larry Carlton 6:33
7. I Put a Spell on You - Screamin' Jay Hawkins 6:24
8. Rio Samba - Larry Carlton 9:05


Robben Ford - Guitar, Vocals
Larry Carlton - Guitar
Fifi Chayeb - Bass
Claude Salmieri - Drums


Leslie West

Leslie West - Live! - 1993 - Shrapnel

One of the most indulgent live rock albums ever released was undoubtedly Mountain's Twin Peaks from 1974, which included a never-ending, over half-an-hour (!) long version of "Nantucket Sleighride." Luckily, the 1993 live album from Mountain guitarist Leslie West, Live, does not commit any similar flubs. Once considered to be one of rock's top guitarists -- with a style that was a more heavy metal-esque take on Eric Clapton's playing circa Cream -- West by the '80s committed the same blunder that a lot of other veteran guitar players did around this time. Instead of sticking to the style that garnered him recognition in the first place, he attempted to keep pace with the young bucks (namely Eddie Van Halen) by attempting to incorporate modern techniques into his playing, resulting in a muddled and unoriginal style. While some of Live shows that West was still coming out of the wilderness, for the most part, you're treated to solid readings of such Mountain classics as "Never in My Life," "Theme for an Imaginary Western," and of course, an album-closing reading of "Mississippi Queen." © Greg Prato © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/live-mw0000239330

Great live power rock and Rock'n'Roll by the hugely underrated guitarist Leslie West who was the dynamic driving force behind the great Mountain band which Rolling Stone once called a ‘louder version of Cream’. Arguably Leslie is one of the most influential rock guitarists of all time and has played with many great rock musicians, from ex-Scorpion Michael Schenker to the one and only Jimi Hendrix. This live album contains some great covers of classic Mountain songs including "Theme for an Imaginary Western" as well as a few standard rock classics like Don Nix's "Goin' Down". Leslie plays plenty of virtuosic rock solos throughout. Listen to Leslie's "Blue Me" album and Mountain's great "Climbing" album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 117 Mb]


1 Intro Guitar Solo - Leslie West 1:34
2 Never in My Life - Leslie West, Gail Collins, Corky Laing, Felix Pappalardi 5:53
3 Theme for an Imaginary Western - Jack Bruce, Pete Brown 6:50
4 Third Degree - Willie Dixon 7:46
5 Voodoo Chile - Jimi Hendrix 6:58
6 Goin' Down - Don Nix 4:46
7 Baby I'm Down - Gail Collins, Felix Pappalardi 1:36
8 Nantucket Sleighride - Leslie West, Gail Collins, Corky Laing, Felix Pappalardi 7:31
9 Mississippi Queen - Leslie West, Corky Laing, Felix Pappalardi, David Rea 6:02


Leslie West – Guitar, Vocals
Richie Scarlet – Bass Guitar
Paul Beretta – Drums


Leslie West first gained recognition as the lead guitarist for the Vagrants, a locally popular 1960s Long Island group. One of that group's singles was produced by Felix Pappalardi, a bass player who also produced Cream. After the Vagrants and Cream split up, Pappalardi played bass on and produced West's debut solo album, Mountain (July 1969). Following its release, the two teamed up with drummer Norman Smart (soon replaced by Corky Laing) and keyboard player Steve Knight to form the band Mountain, which cut the albums Climbing! (February 1970; a gold-selling LP featuring the Top 40 single "Mississippi Queen"), Nantucket Sleighride (January 1971; which also went gold), and Flowers of Evil (November 1971). In 1972, Pappalardi left Mountain to return to being a producer. (Posthumous record releases included Mountain Live (The Road Goes on Forever) [April 1972] and The Best of Mountain [February 1973].) West and Laing joined with former Cream bassist Jack Bruce to form West, Bruce & Laing. The trio recorded two studio albums, Why Dontcha (October 1972) and Whatever Turns You On (July 1973). (A live album, Live 'N' Kickin', was released in April 1974.) Bruce quit in the summer of 1973, and West and Laing briefly formed Leslie West's Wild West Show. Then West, Pappalardi, Alan Schwartherg (drums), and Bob Mann (keyboards) re-formed Mountain, recording a double live album, Twin Peaks (February 1974), in Osaka, Japan, in August 1973. This was followed by a Mountain studio album, Avalanche (July 1974), made by West, Pappalardi, Laing, and Knight. Then Mountain split again, and West formed the Leslie West Band, releasing The Great Fatsby (April 1975) (which featured Mick Jagger) and The Leslie West Band (1976) (which featured Mick Jones, later of Foreigner). Bedeviled by substance abuse problems, West retired from music for a time, then cleared up and again re-formed Mountain with Laing and bassist Mark Clarke (Pappalardi had died in 1983) for Go for Your Life (March 1985). The group broke up again, and West made Theme (1988), again teaming with Jack Bruce. West then participated in the Guitar Speaks (1988) and Night of the Guitar (1989) recordings of legendary rock guitarists for IRS Records' Illegal subsidiary. His next solo album was Alligator (August 1989), followed by Dodgin' the Dirt (1994). In 1994, West and Laing teamed with ex-Jimi Hendrix Experience bassist Noel Redding in another edition of Mountain, recording two tracks for the compilation Over the Top (1995). The solo As Phat as It Gets followed in 1999. After an album for Voiceprint, Guitarded, in 2004, West released two blues-inflected albums for Blues Bureau International, 2005's Got Blooze and 2006's Blue Me. West lost a leg due to complications from type 2 diabetes in June of 2011, but it didn't slow him down much. He released Unusual Suspects, which featured guest spots from guitarists Billy Gibbons, Slash, Zakk Wylde, Joe Bonamassa, and Steve Lukather three months later in September. © William Ruhlmann © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/leslie-west-mn0000255371/biography



From - "0611" Cat Quarter - 1971 - CBS

Good Hammond based Teutonic progressive jazz rock/fusion and funk from the obscure German band, From, founded in 1970. When From played at the 13th Frankfurt Jazz Festival, the band was well received by the German music media, and by a substantial fanbase. From also released the album, “Power On!” in 1972. There is no lead guitar on "0611" Cat Quarter. The music revolves heavily around the brilliant piano and Hammond work of Klaus Göbel, with Dieter Von Goetze on bass, Kurt Bong on percussion and Gustl Mayr on sax. It is very difficult to find detailed info about this band, but this album is good, with great jamming, and Miles Davis styled riffing. Any more info on From would be greatly appreciated by A.O.O.F.C [All tracks @ 192 Kbps: File size = 60.8 Mb]


A1 Lollipop Mainliner - K. Göbel 4:13
A2 Goose Pimples - G. Mayr 4:35
A3 Chicks - G. Mayr 4:19
A4 Gargoyle - K. Göbel 4:37
A5 Mood Blue - G. Mayr 5:00

Fancy Suite

B1 Cat Quarter - G. Mayr 5:40
B2 Dig It - G. Mayr 5:28
B3 Fancy Soul - G. Mayr 5:15
B4 Ruck-A-Sack - G. Mayr 4:10


Dieter Von Goetze - Bass
Klaus Göbel - Organ
Kurt Bong - Drums, Percussion
Gustl Mayr - Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone


Dieter von Goetze (born August 23, 1929 in Kiel, Germany) is a noted jazz bassist and sound engineer. In the late '50's /early '60's he played in Frankfurt, with his own jazz trio. He also worked with Fritz Hartschuh, Günter Kronberg, Kenny Clarke, Leo Wright, Dizzy Gillespie, Eric Dolphy and Don Menza. In the 1970s he was a bassist with Volker Kriegel, Rolf Lüttgens, Gustl Mayer, in the jazz rock group From, which also included the organist Klaus Göbe. In the 1990s he played with Peter Wichert Hot Jazz New Orleans Connection and Big Band Memories (Director Klaus Pehl). As an engineer, he worked on both contemporary music and jazz recordings, and worked extensively with the late Frankfurt born, modern jazz trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff. Klaus Goebel (born in 1942) in Frankfurt, Germany was playing accordion at the age of four. As a child, he taught himself to play piano. At the Helmholtz school, he became interested in jazz music. After he discovered an old Hammond organ, he began playing jazz in various bands, and during the '60's he played in famous jazz venues like Frankfurt's Rendezvous Club where he worked with artists like the great trumpeter, Carlo Bohlaender. In 1970 he joined the jazz rock group, From, with which he recorded two albums. He retired from jazz in the late '70's but after a 20 year period he founded the band Organizm in 1994 with Jürgen Schwab, Michael Ehret, and bassist Patrick Long. He also appeared with the Frankfurt Radio Big Band. His album "Finally Back Home" released in 2000 was recognized in World Week (Switzerland) as "the most beautiful organ disc in a long time". Read more about this album and Klaus @ http://www.klausgoebel.com/home/hintergrund/body_hintergrund.html


Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings

Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings - Struttin' Our Stuff - 1997 - BMG

“Struttin' Our Stuff” was the first studio album from Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings founded and led by former Rolling Stones bass guitarist Bill Wyman, together with his lifelong musical partner Terry Taylor, and is a great energetic collection of jazz, blues, R&B, and Rock & Roll. The Rhythm Kings are well known for their great live touring performances throughout Europe and the United Kingdom. Bill Wyman has explained that "The whole idea behind the band was to play music that we love, and I think you can hear and feel that on our records. It's also great to work with people I've known for many years”. There are a number of fine moments here, including great covers of CCR’s "Green River", John D. Loudermilk’s classic R&B "Tobacco Road", the jive tune 'Jitterbug Boogie' and the slow Blues 'Bad To Be Alone'.There are many famous guest appearences from music greats that include Gary Brooker, Eric Clapton, Albert Lee, Peter Frampton, Georgie Fame, Beverley Skeete, Paul Carrack and many more. An enjoyable and not too heavy set of great songs covering the late ‘50’s to the late ‘90’s period. Bill Wyman may not be the world’s greatest vocalist, but he’s a legendary figure in the history and development of rock, and this album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Try and listen to Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings’ “Double Bill” album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 107 Mb]


1 Green River - John Fogerty 3:14
2 Walking On My Own - Bill Wyman, Linzi Hunter, Terry Taylor 5:36
3 Melody – Mick Jagger, Keith Richards 4:08
4 Stuff (Can't Get Enough) - Bill Wyman 3:41
5 Bad To Be Alone - Bill Wyman 3:19
6 I'm Mad - Willie Mabon 3:23
7 Down In The Bottom – Willie Dixon 2:57
8 Motorvatin' Mama - Bill Wyman, Terry Taylor 3:36
9 Jitterbug Boogie - Bill Wyman, Terry Taylor 3:10
10 Going Crazy Overnight - Bill Wyman, Terry Taylor 3:53
11 Hole In My Soul - Sascha Burland 4:03
12 Tobacco Road - John D. Loudermilk 4:33


Eric Clapton, Albert Lee, Peter Frampton, Martin Taylor – Lead Guitar
Terry Taylor – Rhythm Guitar, Guitar, Organ
Bill Wyman – Bass, Vocals
Georgie Fame, Geraint Watkins – Organ, Vocals
Dave Hartley – Organ, Piano
Gary Brooker – Organ
Max Middleton – Piano
Graham Broad – Drums, Percussion
Ray Cooper – Percussion
Frank Mead, Nick Pentelow, Nick Pantelo, Andy Hamilton, Derek Watkins, Pete Beachil, Andy Macintosh, Martin Drover – Horns
Nick Payn – Horns, Harmonica
Geoff Grange – Harmonica
Beverley Skeete, Paul Carrack, Melanie Redmond, Keeley Smith, Zoe Nicholas, Mike Sanchez, Natasha Kristie, Susie Web, Maggie Ryder, Barbie Carey – Backing Vocals


Volker Kriegel & Spectrum

Volker Kriegel & Spectrum - Mild Maniac - 1974 - MPS

Nice, uncomplicated fusion by the late German jazzman / guitarist and "Father of Jazz Rock" Volker Kriegel. There is some beautiful jazz fusion here like "Mindwill" with great E-Piano solo and deep euro grooves. The pianist and keyboardist Rainer Bruninghaus plays a Fender Rhodes piano with a Wah Wah pedal for lovers of electric jazz. Check out Volker Kriegel & Mild Maniac Orchestra’s “Long Distance” album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 93 Mb]


A1 Mindwill 6:45
A2 Prinz Eisenherz 4:37
A3 Schnellhörspiel 5:26
A4 Mild Maniac 5:08
B1 The Visit 7:26
B2 D-Dödel 12:12

All tracks composed by Volker Kriegel except Track B2 by Volker Kriegel, Eberhard Weber, Joe Nay, & Rainer Bruninghaus


Volker Kriegel, Electric & Acoustic Guitar: Bass Guitar on Track A1
Eberhard Weber - Electric Bass, Bass Guitar, Double Bass, Cello
Rainer Brüninghaus - Keyboards
Joe Nay - Drums
Peter Giger - Percussion


Volker Kriegel (* December 24th 1943 in Darmstadt; † June 15th 2003 in San Sebastián) was a jazz guitarist, composer, bandleader and cartoonist, an extensively educated artist that studied sociology in Frankfurt at Adorno and considered one of the pioneers of German jazz-rock. Kriegel was an autodidact and in 1963/1964 he won two Best Guitarist/Soloist awards at the Düsseldorf Amateur Jazz Festival at the age of 20. While studying sociology in Frankfurt he was already playing with established musicians like Klaus Doldinger, the Emil brothers and Albert Mangelsdorff, Ingfried Hoffmann, Freddie Hubbard, and Percy Heath, among others. His breakthrough came in 1968 when he released his first solo record (“ With A Little Help From My Friends”) and also performed at the German Jazz Festival in Frankfurt. Between 1968 and 1972 he was a member of the Dave Pike Set with American vibraphonist Dave Pike, bassist Hans Rettenbacher and drummer Peter Baumeister. This formation played at almost all important international festivals and released six albums. Another Kriegel solo album, “Spectrum”, was released in 1971, followed by “Inside: Missing Link” in 1972, “Lift” in 1973, and “Mild Maniac” in 1974. In “Lift” he played among others with bassist Eberhard Weber and violinist Zbigniew Seifert, two main individualists of European jazz. In the following years Kriegel also wrote music for radio and TV and played with artists like Don Sugarcane Harris and Alexis Korner. One of his most impressive albums is “Topical Harvest” of 1976, which finally introduced the electric Kriegel phase that elegantly steppes away from the rough, jazzier playing of his early recordings over to a more personal sound that mixes jazz, rock, pop and elements of South American and other Non-european music. He later lead his own group the Mild Maniac Orchestra. In 1977 he started playing in the United Jazz und Rock Ensemble, of which he was also a founding member. Kriegel used several Framus AZ-10 models and BL semi-acoustics. © http://www.framus-vintage.de/modules/infos/info.php?katID=4685


Mark Varney Project (MVP) (Feat. Allan Holdsworth & Frank Gambale)

Mark Varney Project (MVP) - Truth In Shredding (Feat. Allan Holdsworth Frank Gambale) - 1990 - Legato Records

MVP stands for the Mark Varney Project. He has been a longtime recruiter of guitar speed demons such as Yngwie Malmsteen and Tony Macalpine. Here he brings together accomplished and established players. It is a very intense fusion recording that can be an intimidating listen both in terms of technique and the consistent intensity maintained throughout. The metal-influenced Frank Gambale is one of the pioneers of the sweep-picking technique that allows him to generate mind-numbing speed.Allan Holdsworth proves a good counterpoint, as his unique approach also produces lightning-quick runs. Guitar fans, especially the younger crowd, will appreciate the extended solos and lack of any commercial hooks here. It is basically a blowing date; however, it pales in comparison to a jazz blowing date because the players quickly run out of ideas and continuously revert back to familiar territory. This is not to say that the musicians don't deserve credit for their playing -- quite the contrary; it's just that the abundance of linear scales and repetitive patterns proves tiresome. Out of the two, Gambale seems a bit more inspired and more comfortable in this setting. Tommy Brechtlein turns in a fine performance on drums, especially when given some space on "Bathsheba." If taken in short doses, the impact of this recording is more effective. Recommended for fans ranging from fusion to progressive to metal. © Robert Taylor © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved

"Truth in Shredding" is the first studio album by The Mark Varney Project (MVP). The band was a short-lived collaborative concept devised by Mark Varney (brother of Mike Varney, the founder of Shrapnel Records), featuring guitarists Frank Gambale and Allan Holdsworth. "New Boots" was composed by Frank Gambale. The other six tracks are covers of jazz fusion compositions by Randy Brecker, Michael Brecker, Wayne Shorter, and Chick Corea. Mark Varney has said "When I approached Frank (Gambale) with the MVP concept and asked him if he would do it if I could bring Allan (Holdsworth) on board, he jumped at the chance, especially since I let him pretty much choose his favorite fusion tracks and players he was comfortable with. I was fortunate that I didn't have to do much convincing of Allan since, for the most part, he liked the tunes and respected Frank's playing. To this day, I believe both count TIS as one of their favorite projects." "Truth In Shredding" is a superb jazz fusion album by two guitar giants, and HR by this blog. Listen to Frank Gambale's "The Great Explorers" album, and Allan Holdsworth's "Road Games" album. You should also check out Allan Holdsworth's great "I.O.U. Band Live" album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 136 Mb]


1. Rocks - Randy Brecker 7:01
2. Humpty Dumpty - Chick Corea 6:31
3. The Fall - Wayne Shorter 8:15
4. Not Ethiopia - Michael Brecker 9:36
5. New Boots - Frank Gambale 6:24
6. Ana Maria - Wayne Shorter 9:15
7. Bathsheba - Michael Brecker 8:16


Frank Gambale – lead electric guitar, acoustic guitar, rhythm guitar
Allan Holdsworth – lead electric guitar, SynthAxe
Jimmy Earl – bass guitar
Freddy Ravel – keyboards
Tom Brechtlein – drums
Steve Tavaglione – saxophone, EWI


Frank Gambale is best-known for his fiery work with Chick Corea's Elektric Band. He was a student at the Guitar Institute of Technology while in his early twenties, wrote instructional books, and during 1983-1986, was on the school's faculty. He joined Corea in 1986, has also performed with Steve Smith's Vital Information, and has been a leader on his own rock-oriented dates for JVC. A collaboration with bassist Stu Hamm and drummer Steve Smith was another fruitful venture for Gambale, spawning several discs between the three that became increasingly ambitious as time went by. © Scott Yanow © 2010 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/frank-gambale-p6551


Guitarist Allan Holdsworth is widely considered to be one of the finest instrumentalists in all of jazz fusion, yet has never truly received the recognition that he so rightfully deserves. Born on August 6, 1946, in Bradford, Yorkshire, Holdsworth was originally taught music by his father, who was a pianist. First a saxophone player, Holdsworth didn't pick up the guitar until he was 17 years old, but learned the instrument quickly. After playing in local outfits (in addition to learning the violin), Holdsworth relocated to London, where he was taken under the wing of saxophonist Ray Warleigh. By 1972, Holdsworth had joined progressive rockers Tempest, appearing on the group's self-titled debut a year later before joining Soft Machine in December 1973 -- and radically changing the latter outfit's sound to guitar-based fusion in the process. U.S. drummer Tony Williams discovered Holdsworth around this time, which led to an invite for the up-and-coming guitarist to replace John McLaughlin in Williams' Lifetime project -- Holdsworth abruptly left Soft Machine in March of 1975, subsequently appearing on the Williams recordings Believe It and Million Dollar Legs. But Holdsworth's union with Williams was a brief one, as the guitarist joined up with French-English prog rockers Gong for such albums as 1976's Gazeuse! (released as Expresso in the U.S.) and 1978's Expresso II, in addition to guesting on recordings by Jean-Luc Ponty, Bill Bruford, Gordon Beck, Jack Bruce, and UK. Also in the late '70s, Holdsworth launched a solo career, which over the years has seen the release of nearly 20 albums (a few standouts include 1983's Road Games, 1985's Metal Fatigue, 1994's Hard Hat Area, and 2000's The Sixteen Men of Tain), as the guitarist has been joined by such acclaimed musicians as Paul Williams (a former bandmate of Holdsworth's in Tempest), Gary Husband, Chad Wackerman, Gary Husband, Jimmy Johnson, Steve Hunt, and Alan Pasqua, among others. In the mid-'80s, Holdsworth was one of the first musicians to use a Synthaxe, a guitar that contained a breath controller that proved to be a cross between a synthesizer, guitar, and saxophone (Holdsworth was awarded Best Guitar Synthesist from 1989 through 1994 in the readers' poll of Guitar Player magazine). In the '90s, Holdsworth also created his own signature guitar model with the Carvin company. In the mid-'90s, Holdsworth briefly shifted away from his fusion originals and recorded an album with longtime musical partner Gordon Beck that dipped into jazz standards. The Sixteen Men of Tain (2000) marked another shift, in that it was the first Holdsworth release to feature an all-acoustic rhythm section. This was followed in 2002 by All Night Wrong, his first official live release. Then! Live in Tokyo was next, featuring Holdsworth's 1990 live band, which was followed by Against the Clock, a career retrospective, in 2005. © Greg Prato © 2010 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/allan-holdsworth-p6754/biography

Gregg Bissonette

Gregg Bissonette - Submarine - 2000 - Favored Nations

Gregg Bissonette is a journeyman rock and jazz drummer with a resumé that includes work done with Carlos Santana, David Lee Roth, Maynard Ferguson, and more. A diverse and hardworking talent, he telescopes those incredibly different styles and interests into this eclectic solo album. This is Bissonette working with ten world-renowned guitarists. Among the guests are Joe Satriani, Robben Ford, Steve Vai, and more. The tracks vary from jazz fusion to modern rock. Bissonette also contributes lead vocals, trumpet, and percussion outside the kit drums. © Tom Schulte © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/submarine-mw0000060061

I waited for this album to be released with great anticipation. I am a drummer of 30 years, and can say with confidence I know my way around a drumset. Having said that, Gregg Bissonette, never fails to blow me away with the way he handles music and the drums. His approach is always creative and musical. This album has tracks ranging from hi-energy rock, to funk, to traditional jazz, to fusion, to latin. What doesnt it have -- I guess a big name behind it. It is unfortunate when I see some of the music that is being sold to the public, which has little musical significance except that the singers are young boys or sexy young girls (if that is significant). This disk flys in the face of the pop genre and gets down to some pretty serious stuff, there is no fluff here. The sheer range of styles combined with the talent of both Gregg and his brother Matt along with the incredible array of guitarists, leaves me feeling a little disapointed that this album will likely get little air time if any on the radio. I personally enjoyed the vocal tracks and would suggest that Gregg is a great singer. The first track of the album is amazing, the groove will blow you away, just sits there in a funk feel and makes it impossible not to tap your feet. Later on, on the disk you will hear music that will take you back to the 60s British invasion. Bottom line, if you want a CD that is filled with great musicianship, originality and covers a broad spectrum of music styles then you should check it out. I highly recommend this disk to anyone. Cheers - ***** A Drummer's Point of View By & © Karl on February 22, 2001 © 1996-2014, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates http://www.amazon.com/Submarine-Gregg-Bissonette/dp/B00004SG5T#cm_cr_dpwidget

Nowadays, it's not unusual to see fusion cats sharing hangs with chops-heavy rockers. Or, if you prefer the other angle, chops-heavy rockers dipping into the fusion waters. Drummer Gregg Bissonette's Submarine (Favored Nations FN2010-2; 54:42) is studded with shred hotshots (Steve Stevens, Frank Gambale, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai) and non-shred notables (Robben Ford), all of whom get hard-blowing guest spots. This disc works as a fusion album mainly because it's not a fusion album-it's a rock album, even though it rocks in ways that put you in a 1989 state of mind. Tunes like the Kings X-ish "Submarine" and the power poppish "The Son Man" would still be on rock radio if that Nirvana thing had never happened a few years back. Robben Ford takes some liberties with the blues scale on "Cloudy Day," while Steve Vai whips up his trademark note-souffle on the propulsive "Noah's Ark." Joe Satriani, on the other hand, turns in the date's most affectingly tasty performance, on the reflective, waltz-time "Lum Lum," playing off Bissonette's vaguely Elvin Jones-ish rhythms. - By & © Tony Green © 1999–2014 JazzTimes, Inc. All rights reserved. http://jazztimes.com/articles/11603-submarine-gregg-bissonette-s

Great album done with taste and finesse from one of the best and most experienced drummers in the business. Gregg Bissonette has played with a very wide range of artists on stage and in the studio, including Ray Charles, and Carlos Santana. He can also be heard on a number of rock instrumental and progressive rock albums, including Temporal by Shadrane, Deep Forest by Deep Forest, Bass Invader by Martin Motnik, Inner Galactic Fusion Experience by Richie Kotzen, Shadow King by Steve Fister, Revolution Road by Rocket Scientists, In The Eye Of Time by Vox Tempus, Bug Alley, Instrumentality by Marco Cardona, and a number of albums by Steve Vai. “Submarine” is an eclectic mix of genres from fusion to latin to beatlesque melodic rock and features some spectacular jamming and soloing by some of the world's greatest musicians including Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Frank Gambale, Robben Ford, Mike Landau, Richie Kotzen, and David Garfield. Gregg demonstrates his renowned and superb percussion technique, and check out the great melodic bass lines by his brother, Matt Bissonette. Listen to Gregg’s s/t album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 133.2 Mb]


1.Marbles - (featuring Frank Gambale)
2.Submarine - (featuring Doug Bossi)
3.No Ey Parqueo - (featuring Gary Hoey/David Garfield)
4.Lum Lum - (featuring Joe Satriani)
5.Train to Willoughby - (featuring Steve Stevens)
6.Noah's Ark - (featuring Steve Vai)
7.Cloudy Day - (featuring Robben Ford)
8.Son Man, The - (featuring Tim Pierce)
9.Sasquatch - (featuring Mike Landau)
10.12 to 3 - (featuring Matt Bissonette)
11.So Many Notes, So Little Time - (featuring Richie Kotzen)

All tracks composed by Matt Bissonette


Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Frank Gambale, Doug Bossi, Gary Hoey, Steve Stevens, Robben Ford, Tim Pierce, Mike Landau, Richie Kotzen (guitar)
Matt Bissonette (acoustic, fretted & fretless electric basses, piano, (trombone, background vocals)
David Garfield (piano, organ)
Gregg Bissonette (drums, percussion, trumpet, vocals)
Kathy Bissonette (background vocals)


Gregg Bissonette has become known as one of the most versatile drummers in the business, his broad experience ranging from big band, blues, and rock, to Latin, fusion, and much more. Gregg’s warm, easy-going down-to-earth manner is refreshing from one of the top drummers in the world. Gregg’s incredible sense of humor comes across clearly whether he’s recording or teaching at a drum clinic. His perfect balance between professionalism, strong work ethic, and congeniality make him a wonderful colleague and session artist, and a much-respected name in the music industry. The Detroit native comes from a family of talented musicians. Gregg’s dad Bud was a drummer and his mother Phyllis played piano and vibes. Gregg started playing on his dad’s drum kit from about the age of 5! His brother Matt is a bassist and producer, and their sister Kathy also lives and works in concert promotion in LA. Gregg’s dad was his first teacher, and at age 10, Gregg started taking private rudimental snare drum lessons with Bob Yarborough, a local teacher in Warren, Michigan. By age 11, Bob had started Gregg on reading drum set music. At the same time, Gregg also started taking private trumpet lessons from Jim Ruffner. Proficient in both instruments, Gregg would trade off between drums and trumpet with the Warren Michigan Wildwood Elementary School Band. At 14, Gregg and his brother Matt started a band called Today’s People, inspired by their junior high stage band/jazz band performances while at school under the direction of their teacher, expert drummer Jerry Hasspatcher. That same year, Gregg began taking drum set lessons from popular Detroit drummer Myron MacDonald. At 15 years old, Gregg won a scholarship to attend the Interlochen School of Music summer band program in Michigan. By this time, both Gregg and Matt were performing professionally in and around Detroit with their dad’s band The Buddy Blair Band, a name their dad chose because he thought Bissonette was just too hard to remember! (Bud’s band when he was young was called Buddy Bissonette and His Bouncing Bulgarian Bean Band!) Soon after, under the direction of Bill Baker, Gregg became the drummer of the Warren Mott High School Jazz band. With Bill’s recommendation, Gregg got to play with many professional groups in the area, including The Brookside Jazz Band, The Austin/Moro Band, and a progressive big band called Concertjazz. The following year, Gregg and Matt started Grand Circus Park, named after a park in downtown Detroit. This band featured their high school friends — Brian Biggs on guitar, Doug Burns on lead vocals, Sante Bologna on keyboards, Rick Kastruba on trumpet, Burt Snover on trombone, and Eric Kott on saxophone. Grand Circus Park started as a band that primarily played tunes by one of their favorite bands, Chicago (formerly Chicago Transit Authority). The band even had the same exact instrumentation! They originally named their group Chicago 2…but changed the name after realizing more creativity was needed. After high school, Gregg left Detroit for North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas). He became the drummer for the famed NTSU One O’Clock Big Band. Under the direction of Leon Breeden, Gregg recorded two albums with the One O’Clock Band, Lab 80 and Lab 81. He joined one of his favorite R&B bands in Dallas called The Buster Brown Band. He also was a member of the Dallas-based band Network with his brother Matt on bass and vocals and Paul Ventimiglia on keyboards and vocals. In 1982, following his graduation from NTSU, Gregg made the move to Los Angeles. In his new home of LA, he made friends with three of his favorite drummers: Myron Grombacher from the Pat Benatar band, the late Mark Craney from Gino Vannelli’s band, and Doane Perry from Jethro Tull. They started a fun drummers club called The Woodland Hills Drum Club with friends Jay Rubin, Barry Schnider, Dean Zimmer, Tony Pia, and many others. Gregg’s trumpet hero was always Maynard Ferguson and his dream was to play drums for Maynard’s band someday. This dream became a reality in 1982, when Gregg became the drummer for Maynard Ferguson’s Big Band. An added bonus for him was that the band already included his brother Matt on bass! The band toured the world and recorded a live CD called Live in San Francisco. After the Maynard gig, Gregg joined The Brandon Fields Band and recorded The Other Side of the Story. The members on that CD included Brandon Fields, saxes, Walt Fowler, trumpet and keys, David Garfield, keyboards, John Pattitucci, bass, and Gregg on drums. Later that year, Gregg went on tour with Tania Maria’s Latin/jazz group with Luis Conte on percussion and John Pena on bass. Gregg’s next gig was also with his brother Matt, playing with one of their heroes, Gino Vannelli. After their audition, the band became Gregg and Matt on drums and bass, Gino Vannelli on vocals, Joe Vannelli and Karen Childs on keyboards, and Mike Miller on guitar. Gregg’s big break came in the summer of 1985, when David Lee Roth left Van Halen and started his own band. Gregg landed the gig playing drums, with Steve Vai on guitar, Billy Sheehan on bass, and Brett Tuggle on keys. The band recorded the albums Eat ‘Em & Smile and Skyscraper, both of which went multi-platinum. Gregg’s brother Matt joined the band for the Skyscraper tour and the next studio album, A Little Ain’t Enough. The videos for “Yankee Rose,” “Goin’ Crazy,” “Just like Paradise,” “Stand Up,” and “That’s Life” got plenty of airtime on MTV. n 1989, Gregg had the great experience and honor to perform with The Buddy Rich Big Band on the Buddy Rich Memorial Scholarship Concert video. This video also featured Vinnie Colaiuta, Steve Gadd, and Louie Bellson. In 1992, Gregg and Matt recorded with Joe Satriani on his CD The Extremist, produced by one of Gregg’s favorite engineers/producers, Andy Johns, who also engineered lots of Led Zeppelin tunes. When Andy asked Gregg what he would like his drums to sound like, Gregg replied, “How about like ANY of the stuff you did with John Bonham?!” Andy quickly smiled and answered, “We can do that!” Gregg and Matt toured with Joe Satriani right after the release of “The Extremist,” and also did a live CD of that tour called “Time Machine.” Matt went on to record three other CDs with Joe Satriani and still tours with Joe when he can. Gregg and Matt started their own band called The Mustard Seeds in 1993 with guitarists Doug Bossi and George Bernhardt. All four of the members wrote the songs together and sang lead vocals and harmonies. Gregg remembers this band as being a very creative and rewarding time musically. “There is something very special about being in your own band with your brother,” he says. In 1995, Gregg did a European tour with the band Toto after Simon Phillips (Toto’s drummer since Jeff Porcaro’s unexpected death) asked Gregg to fill in for him for four months due to an injury. The tour led to lots of playing time with Steve Lukather, and a couple years later he worked with Steve on the album Luke, which included a tour of Europe and Japan. Gregg also played on the 2003 Lukather Christmas album SantaMental, featuring Steve, Gregg, Jeff Babko on keyboards, and John Pierce on bass. Gregg played trumpet as well, along with Walt Fowler on trumpet and Jeff Babko on trombone. Gregg celebrated another milestone in 1998 — the birth of his wonderful son Noah. Later that year, he also had the chance to work with one of his longtime heroes, Don Henley, on Don’s album Inside Job. Don’s producer was Stan Lynch, the drummer for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and one of Gregg’s best friends. n 2000, Gregg had the honor of playing with Carlos Santana on the multi-Grammy winning CD Supernatural. This session came about because the producer originally called one of Gregg’s favorite drummers, Vinnie Colaiuta, to do the session, but Vinnie was unavailable and recommended Gregg. In 2001 Gregg celebrated the birth of his second child, his wonderful daughter Mary. In the same year, Gregg and Matt toured with Jeff Lynne and ELO on their Zoom Tour Live. Gregg and Matt had both been big fans of ELO and Jeff Lynne, who played with the Traveling Willberries, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, and more. Gregg has recorded and released two solo albums, Gregg Bissonette on Shrapnel Records (which includes a cover of one of Gregg’s favorite songs, “No Matter What” by Badfinger, with Gregg on vocals), and Submarine on Favored Nations Records. All songs were written and produced by Matt Bissonette, featured on bass, vocals, trombone and cello. Gregg sings leads on both CDs, besides playing drums, trumpet, and percussion. Gregg Bissonette features guest guitarists Steve Vai, Ty Tabor, Andy Summers, Paul Gilbert, Doug Bossi, George Bernhardt, Steve Lukather, Scott Henderson, Michael Thompson, and Mike Miller. Submarine features Joe Satriani, Frank Gambale, Steve Stevens, Tim Pierce, Steve Vai, Gary Hoey, Doug Bossi, Ritchie Kotzen, and the great piano player David Garfield. From Maynard Ferguson, to multi-platinum albums, to world tours and a Grammy, Gregg has seen his musical dreams come true one by one. And in 2003, another dream became a reality when he and Matt were asked to tour with Ringo Starr to promote Ringo’s album Ringo Rama. Ringo has been Gregg’s drumming hero since his dad took him to see the Beatles live in 1966! In addition to playing drums while Ringo fronted the band on the songs “Yellow Submarine,” “With A Little Help From My Friends,” “Photograph,” “It Don’t Come Easy,” and Ringo’s tribute to George Harrison, “Never Without You,” Gregg and Ringo also played double drums on Beatles hits like “I Wanna Be Your Man” and “Boys.” Besides a great live concert in New York, they also played on the TV shows The Tonite Show with Jay Leno, Conan O’Brian, Good Morning America, Regis and Kelly, and Last Call with Carson Daly. Gregg also did a music video with Ringo for “Never Without You.” Some of you might know Gregg as his alter ego, Skippy Skuffleton! Gregg has played with England’s loudest rock band, Spinal Tap, since he first toured with them in 2001. He also played with Tap at Live Earth 2007, and the Glastonbury Festival and Wembley Stadium in 2009. You can hear him on drums on the Back from the Dead album, released 2009. Gregg got to tour again with Ringo, this time as an All Starr in Ringo’s All Starr band, for their 2008 and 2010 tours. Band members of the 2008 All-Starr tour were Colin Hay (from Men At Work), Billy Squier, Hamish Stuart (Average White Band), Edgar Winter, and Gary Wright. For the 2010 Tour, the band included Wally Palmar (The Romantics), Rick Derringer (The McCoys), Edgar Winter, Gary Wright, and Richard Page (Mister Mister). In July of the 2010 tour, Gregg was part of a birthday celebration when Paul McCartney surprised Ringo for Ringo’s 70th birthday in Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Gregg got to play the Beatles song “Birthday” with both Ringo and Paul, and a star-studded musical cast! Gregg’s definitive instructional DVD, Musical Drumming in Different Styles, was released by Hudson Music in 2005. It was shot at the Allaire studio in upstate NY, where Norah Jones and David Bowie had just recorded albums. Musical Drumming features eight band tracks from Gregg’s solo albums, in styles ranging from jazz, to funk, to latin, to swing. With all his drumming accomplishments and accolades, to Gregg his children are his greatest attributes. A strong and committed family man, he loves spending time with his son and daughter. As a single dad, Gregg values his time with them and is an inspiration to other single dads trying to balance the challenges of a hectic musician’s life with raising kids. Today, Gregg continues to record with and for many other artists, films, and TV shows. Gregg’s favorite advice to drummers? “Be a musical drummer!” he says. “Concentrate on keeping the tempo and the groove for the whole song, and play dynamically. Learn to play big band, Latin, funk, Afro-Cuban, hip-hop, R&B, play with brushes, in small groups, large groups, small or large venues, all ages and all kinds of styles and approaches. Remember, it’s not about playing drum solos, it’s about making a joyful noise…hopefully making a living out of it someday!” Gregg exclusively uses Mapex Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, DW Drum Pedals, Remo Drum Heads, Vic Firth Drum Sticks, Samson Audio, Shure Mics, the Gregg Bissonette Signature Stick Bag by Kaces, XL Specialty road cases, Beato Drum Bags, LT Lug Locks, and LP Percussion products. © 2011 Gregg Bissonette. All Rights Reserved. http://greggbissonette.com/bio/


Nick Johnston

Nick Johnston - Public Display Of Infection - 2011 - Nick Johnston

Nick Johnston is a Canadian musician known primarily for his instrumental rock guitar style. He started playing guitar when he was 13 and learned and played songs by Metallica and Nirvana while jamming with a band in his basement. He later took a great interest in Shrapnel artists like Yngwie Malmsteen, Paul Gilbert, Jason Becker and more which inspired him to practice immensely hard. At 16, he played a school concert for over 700 people, which gave him the confidence needed to become a great guitarist. Nick then took lessons with guitar teacher Adrian Raso, who helped Nick immensely to become the great and unique guitarist he is today. Around this time Nick was aware of guitarists like Greg Howe and Brett Garsed and he practiced for up to eight hours daily to try and achieve the standard of these guys. ‘Public Display Of Infection’ received great critical acclaim and his second album ‘In A Locked Room On The Moon’ features features legendary guitar players Paul Gilbert and Guthrie Govan, and strengthened Nick's already strong credibility and reputation as a great virtuosic guitarist and songwriter. “Public Display Of Infection” is HR by this blog. Buy Nick’s ‘‘In A Locked Room On The Moon” album and support real music. Has anybody any info on an album called "False Step" released by Nick early in his career [Tracks @ 216-234 Kbps: File size = 73.7 Mb]


1. The Uncomfortable Relationship Of Gawker And Gawkee 4:31
2. Black Eye 5:19
3. Public Display Of Infection 4:23
4. Bulletproof 3:25
5. Wander 4:49
6. Night Of The Living Dance 2:32
7. Devil's Dancing Shoes 3:48
8. Blue Blood 4:16
9. Moon Waltz 4:06
10. Drive It Like It's Stolen 5:22

All tracks composed by Nick Johnston


Nick Johnston - Guitar
Zack Ordway - Guest guitar solo on 'Wander'
Travis Orbin - Drums
Matt King - Bass