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Reviews and Features For April 2017


On The Record: Jen Gloeckner - Vine Having trouble getting that daydream started? Gloeckner solves your problem here with Vine, a collection of trippy and otherwise ethereal cuts guaranteed to help you slip off into the ether. Read the full Jen Gloeckner - Vine review

Iron Maiden TBT Month- Flight 666 We continue our Iron Maiden TBT month with a look back at Kevin Wierzbickis 5 Star review of the Flight 666 film which documented the first leg of the bands legendary Somewhere Back in Time World Tour Read the full Iron Maiden TBT Month- Flight 666 review

RockPile: Hollywood Monsters- The Dahmers In this installment of Rock Pile, Kevin Wierzbicki tells about new releases from Hollywood Monsters (featuring members of Black Sabbath, Dio, Whitesnake, and Paul DiAnno Band) and The Dahmers. Read the full Hollywood Monsters- The Dahmers review

On The Record: Strange Karma - Cold Blooded Martin Strange, the lead singer for Australian power trio Strange Karma, has a voice that often recalls a young Robert Plant. In a throwback to the heyday of classic hard rock, Cold Blooded is available on vinyl only. Read the full Strange Karma - Cold Blooded review

Bernie Torme - Dublin Cowboy Torme is best known as lead guitarist in Gillan and he also had the unenviable task of taking over guitar chores for Ozzy Osbournes Diary of a Madman tour after the death of Randy Rhoads Read the full Bernie Torme - Dublin Cowboy review

Iron Maiden TBT Month- Live After Death DVD We continue our month long Iron Maiden TBT special today with a look back at Matt Henschs review of the long awaited DVD release of the bands epic concert film Live After Death Read the full Iron Maiden TBT Month- Live After Death DVD review

Al Atkins - Reloaded Metal fans who are up on their trivia will recognize Atkins as the singer who left Judas Priest when they were struggling to find a record deal, thus opening the vocalist position that would be filled by metal god in waiting Rob Halford. Read the full Al Atkins - Reloaded review

The Psyatics - Famous Monsters The Psyatics may be a garage band, but their album Famous Monsters certainly doesnt sound like it was tracked in a messy old garage. Granted, this is guitar rock, in its most basic and best form. Read the full The Psyatics - Famous Monsters review

Road Trip: Travel News, Trips and Tips April 2017 Now that spring is upon us, the weather will soon be ideal for road trips. With that in mind, here are some suggestions for things to do when you hit the road, and some products that will help you out along the way. Read the full Travel News, Trips and Tips April 2017 Road Trip

Iron Maiden TBT Month: Number of the Beast We are kicking off our special Iron Maiden TBT month by revisiting DeadSuns classics review of the bands landmark Number of the Beast album which celebrated its 35th anniversary last month. Read the full Iron Maiden - Number of the Beast review

Electric Ray and the Shockers - California Torpedo Songs like T.R.O.U.B.L.E might lull you into thinking Electric Ray and the Shockers California Torpedo is little more than a rockabilly-tinged rave- up. Later, with Tempt Me though, the band charges into unbridled rock & roll fever. Read the full Electric Ray and the Shockers - California Torpedo review

Beauty In The Breakdown - NEON Beauty in the Breakdown, the LA-centered four-piece, sprung from percussionist Chastity Ashleys desire to create original music of her own. Shes already gained respect in the music community, having added percussion to Duran Duran shows. Read the full Beauty In The Breakdown - NEON review

Road Trip: Boise, Idaho's Treefort Music Fest The 2017 Treefort Music Fest took place in downtown Boise, Idaho and it was a resounding success by any measure. Only in its sixth year, Treefort presented shows by hundreds of bands while also offering plenty to do Read the full Boise, Idaho's Treefort Music Fest Road Trip

Reviews and Features For March 2017


Mastodon - Emperor of Sand Having previously tackled the subjects of fire, earth, water, air and the natural cycles of nature in their previous albums, this time out Mastodon delves into a subject that is not so easily defined: the mysterious concept of time. Read the full Mastodon - Emperor of Sand review

TBT: Ministry - The Last Sucker For this weeks TBT we revisit Robert VerBruggens 2007 5 Star review of Ministrys The Last Sucker where he found with every track, Ministry sticks a finger in the eye of the basic, sloppy, improvisational rock n roll ethic. Read the full Ministry - The Last Sucker review

Ships Have Sailed - Whispers EP The name Ships Have Sailed speaks to regret. That ship has already sailed, some might say when an opportunity has passed them by. Whispers is an EP of quiet regret and just a little bit of romantic hope. Read the full Ships Have Sailed - Whispers EP review

RockPile Prog Edition: Steve Hillage- Van Der Graaf Generator- Richard Barbieri Our salute to prog rock this time out samples a mammoth box set from one of the genres most-revered guitarists, a stunning new album from some elder statesmen of prog and a solo effort from one of todays most popular prog bands. Read the full Prog Edition: Steve Hillage- Van Der Graaf Generator- Richard Barbieri review

On The Record: The Dollyrots - Whiplash Splash Theres a new baby in their Dollyrots family too in the form of new album Whiplash Splash and it has the perfect release date; with warm weather just around the corner Whiplash Splash is ready to party the summer away. Read the full The Dollyrots - Whiplash Splash review

TBT: Down III Over the Under For this weeks TBT we take a look back at Travis Beckers review of metal supergroup Downs third studio album, Down III, which he found to be the bands most cohesive, and quite simply, their most coherent album to date. Read the full Down III Over the Under review

Les Bohem - Moved to Duarte Bohem is better known for his work in film. He won an Emmy for his work on Taken, a Steven Spielberg mini-series. Chances are good the songs on Moved to Duarte wont receive the same kind of mass exposure as Taken Read the full Les Bohem - Moved to Duarte review

In Tribute: Chuck Berry Live In Chicago Chuck Berry died this past weekend at the age of 90. There isnt enough space here to devote to how altering his words and riffs were to the musical form known as rock n roll. Read the full In Tribute: Chuck Berry Live In Chicago review

Sad Vacation: The Last Days of Sid and Nancy The story of Sid Vicious and his girlfriend Nancy Spungens relationship and how it came to be comes to vivid life here in all its sordidness, and many may rightfully consider Sad Vacation to be the definitive statement on the matter. Read the full Sad Vacation: The Last Days of Sid and Nancy review

Emmet Cahill - Emmet Cahill's Ireland Cahill is a featured performer with the Irish group Celtic Thunder and here he puts his beautiful tenor to work on an 11-song set of beloved traditional Irish songs. It makes for a great soundtrack to a mellow St. Patricks Day, or indeed any day. Read the full Emmet Cahill - Emmet Cahill's Ireland review

American Dreamer - Restless Nights Alabama once sang of how, if you want to play in Texas you need to have a fiddle in the band. American Dreamer stretches that Southwest-centric definition in the most peculiar and beautiful ways. Read the full American Dreamer - Restless Nights review

Rock Reads: Out of the Basement: From Cheap Trick to DIY Punk in Rockford, Illinois, 1973-2005 The latest in the Scene History series from Microcosm chronicles the birth and evolution of the punk scene in the Rust Belt city of Rockford, where, like elsewhere, punk was a powerful magnet for bored and alienated youth. Read the full Out of the Basement: From Cheap Trick to DIY Punk in Rockford, Illinois, 1973-2005 review

Dan Webb - Oedipus The King Its easy to miss Webbs intelligence due to his sonic weirdness. But hes by no means some sort of raving lunatic. He just likes to stir the pot, both lyrically and musically. A delightful aural journey down Dan Webbs unique sonic rabbit hole. Read the full Dan Webb - Oedipus The King review

Root 66 Week: Corey Ledet and His Zydeco Band - Standing on Faith While Ledet and company color outside the lines here everything, regardless of description, has a groove and you can bet that the bands live shows provide a raucous good time. In the meantime Standing on Faith will do quite nicely. Read the full Corey Ledet and His Zydeco Band - Standing on Faith review

Derek Davis - Revolutionary Soul Fans of the hard rock band Babylon A.D. have a lot to look forward to: the group, featuring all of the original members, will release a new album this October. In the meantime, lead singer Derek Davis has a new solo effort on offer as a tide-over. Read the full Derek Davis - Revolutionary Soul review

Root 66 Week: Darin and Brooke Aldridge - Faster and Farther With the speedy and very spiritually-attuned Kingdom Come and the gospel number Fit for a King opening the latest from this bluegrass duo, you might get the idea that this is a full set of gospel bluegrass. It is not. Read the full Darin and Brooke Aldridge - Faster and Farther review

Road Trip: The True/False Film Fest 2017 The True/False Film Fest took place in Columbia, Missouri March 2-5 and once again the annual celebration of the best new documentary films was a crowd-pleasing success filled with fun and surprises Read the full The True/False Film Fest 2017 Road Trip

Root 66 Week: Chip Taylor - A Song I Can Live With Thats the modus operandi here, sedate yet intense songs with minimal accompaniment (mostly guitar and piano) that might throw those who only know Taylor from his work with Carrie Rodriguez for a bit of a loop. Read the full Chip Taylor - A Song I Can Live With review

Zucchero - Black Cat The dream production team of Don Was, Brendan OBrien and T Bone Burnett puts the perfect edge on this set of funky, Continental-via-New Orleans party rock from Zucchero. Read the full Zucchero - Black Cat review

Mike Llerena - Absence & The Heart Just as certain men seemingly love all women, Llerena loves most varieties of rock & roll. Hes the guy that gets as excited about a Tom Petty classic rock concert, as he is about a local punk bands set, one imagines. Read the full Mike Llerena - Absence & The Heart review

Root 66: Charlie and the Regrets - Rivers in the Streets Charlie and the Regrets lead singer Charlie Harrison has been quoted as saying, Everything I say is with a smile and a wink, and that becomes obvious right away here on opening track Proud Man. Read the full Charlie and the Regrets - Rivers in the Streets review

Tony K's Best Films Of 2016 List Awards do not mean anything in the big picture of life. I love watching the Academy Awards every year but must confess, with every passing year, I do not always remember who won, but I always remember the films that penetrate my soul. Read the full Tony K's Best Films Of 2016 List review

Reviews and Features For Feb 2017


Chickn - Chickn Heres a really cool and trippy offering from this Greek band. Opening cut Chickn Tribe mashes up bluesy, Jimi Hendrix-style guitar with Jim Morrison-recalling vocals and a tribal drumbeat along with subtle psychedelic effects Read the full Chickn - Chickn review

Avenged Sevenfold TBT For this weeks TBT we revisit Matthew Hasties 2007 review of Avenged Sevenfolds self-titled album where he found that the band sounded better than ever but a little more haywire. Read the full Avenged Sevenfold TBT review

Miss Ohio - White Hot: The Best of Miss Ohio One could be easily fooled that Miss Ohio is Drive-By Truckers, especially because of Magnet. Vocalist David Wilson is a dead ringer for DBT singer Patterson Hood. He has that scratchy, woebegone sound down pat. Read the full Miss Ohio - White Hot: The Best of Miss Ohio review

Joe Lynn Turner - The Sessions Powerhouse vocalist Turner rocks through a set of mostly well-known, mostly hard rock songs from iconic bands like Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC as well as his former band Rainbow. Read the full Joe Lynn Turner - The Sessions review

Matt Chanway The fact that most of these tracks clocking in at over six minutes, should give you a clue its an all-instrumental work. Matt Chanway is a master guitarist, and his chosen musical style is progressive metal. Read the full Matt Chanway review

TBT - Arctic Monkeys' Favourite Worst Nightmare For this weeks TBT we travel back a decade for Kevin Wierzbickis review of Arctic Monkeys Favourite Worst Nightmare where he found that they not only avoided the dreaded sophomore slump but took a leap toward senior. Read the full TBT - Arctic Monkeys' Favourite Worst Nightmare review

Root 66: Washboard Hank - Human Beans Fans of acts like Mojo Nixon and his washboard-playing sidekick Skid Roper will love the similarly earthy sounds of Washboard Hank. And as with Mojo and Skid, Washboard Hanks music is full of delightfully-skewed humor. Read the full Washboard Hank - Human Beans review

Marty McKay - New York City Dreams Marty McKay once played with Vanilla Ice. But dont hold this against him. In fact, his music could hardly be any more different from that Great White Hopeless. This Swiss rocker writes and sings heartfelt songs Read the full Marty McKay - New York City Dreams review

Root 66: Holly Norman - Taking Care of Bluegrass: A Tribute to Elvis Singer and guitarist Norman got the idea to do an Elvis Presley tribute album during a visit to Graceland and what a good idea it was. Here she presents grassed up interpretations of a dozen songs associated with Presley Read the full Holly Norman - Taking Care of Bluegrass: A Tribute to Elvis review

Judas Priest - Turbo 30 For some Judas Priest fans it probably seems like just yesterday that they were roaring down the street with the car radio cranked up, singing along with Priest front man Rob Halford on the big hit Turbo Lover. Read the full Judas Priest - Turbo 30 review

Alice Cooper: Between High School & Old School For this weeks TBT we take a look back at Tony Ks Alice Cooper: Between High School & Old School feature from 2007 where he examined the legacy of the legendary shock rocker! Read the full Alice Cooper: Between High School & Old School review

Saul Losada - Energy Saul Losadas Energy offers him the opportunity to stretch out and prove what he can do on an electric guitar. Also, the album is sprinkled with a few familiar songs, which makes it more than just a show off work. Read the full Saul Losada - Energy review

Travel News, Trips and Tips: Pink Jeep Sedona Tour, Travvy Award Winners And More This time out our column features something especially for sweethearts, news of this years winners of Travvy Awards, and a new book for travelers who are fans of military history. Get a bag packed and lets go! Read the full Pink Jeep Sedona Tour, Travvy Award Winners And More review

5 Star: Jethro Tull - Stand Up: The Elevated Edition Overall the package is an excellent snapshot of early Jethro Tull presented in a modern manner that makes Stand Up: The Elevated Edition a very desirable collectible. Read the full Jethro Tull - Stand Up: The Elevated Edition review

Scott Taylor - Blues Kitchen Blues music gets right to the point, whether love is good or bad, which is why its eternally and universally loved and respected. And Scott Taylor cooks up all the good stuff on Blues Kitchen. Read the full Scott Taylor - Blues Kitchen review

Shallow Side - ONE With cuts like the heavy-thumping, defiant Rebel and an incendiary take on the Styx chestnut Renegade in their arsenal, Shallow Side land firmly in the bastion of bands that have the goods to shut down the rock is dead naysayers. Read the full Shallow Side - ONE review

Reviews and Features For Jan 2017


Root 66: Saints Eleven - Coming Back Around This Dallas-based band plays a sort of country music that rings with authenticity. Whether vocalist Jeff Grossman is professing eternal love or attempting to get back with an ex, the plaintive quality of his voice makes every word believable Read the full Saints Eleven - Coming Back Around review

The Blues: The Reverend KM Williams - The Real Deal Blues Fans can take this albums title literally, the retro production techniques employed here give this record a vibe that will be irresistible to hipsters while also pleasing blues purists. The real deal indeed. Read the full The Reverend KM Williams - The Real Deal Blues review

TBT: David Bowie Live In Chicago 2004 Tony K continues out TBT look back at music legend David Bowie and celebrates the 13th anniversary this week of the January 16, 2004 Rosemont, IL concert that he reviewed. Read the full David Bowie Live In Chicago 2004 review

Michael Hornbuckle - Soul Repo As the title of the album suggests, singer and guitarist Hornbuckles music is exceptionally soulful. With a voice that reminds of superstar John Mayer, Hornbuckle here demonstrates a mastery of lights-down-low slow dance R&B Read the full Michael Hornbuckle - Soul Repo review

Saint Blasphemer - Simon Templar Saint Blasphemer is a unique band because much of the music on its Simon Templar EP express frustration of seeing friends and family members struggle with addictions Read the full Saint Blasphemer - Simon Templar review

David Bowie - Station To Station Remaster We continue our special TBT look back at music legend David Bowie with flashback to Tony Ks review of the remaster of the iconic album Station To Station. Read the full David Bowie - Station To Station Remaster review

Travel News, Trips and Tips: January 2017 Edition It takes some of the fun out of traveling if you arrive at your destination with a pain in your neck or elsewhere. Aching neck and shoulders are common problems for travelers. Now there is help, plus Legendary Blue Danube River Cruise and W Las Vegas Read the full January 2017 Edition review

The Blues: Big Jay McNeely - Blowin' Down the House: Big Jay's Latest & Greatest This phenomenal sax player was driving audiences wild with his high energy stage show way back in the late 40s and early 50s and many fans today might be under the impression that the star has passed away. Read the full Big Jay McNeely - Blowin' Down the House: Big Jay's Latest & Greatest review

TBT: Bruce Springsteen - Nebraska Bruce Springsteen recorded what he thought were demos on a 4-track tape recorder 35 years ago this week. The demo recording was haunting and proved challenging to replicate with the band. Read the full Bruce Springsteen - Nebraska review

The Blues: Popa Chubby - The Catfish Popa Chubby is a multi-instrumentalist and he plays lots of the bass, drum and keyboard parts on The Catfish, but it is his guitar playing and singing that take the spotlight here as he romps through a dozen songs, 10 of which are self-penned. Read the full Popa Chubby - The Catfish review

Tumbler - Come to the Edge Its odd that Tumbler lists Soul Asylum, The Kinks and The Cure as similar artists. While there is an urgency in the way Harry and Richard Grace sing these songs, theres also an optimism you rarely in hear in Kinks songs Read the full Tumbler - Come to the Edge review




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