Random Listening 2.0

Now this is COOL! If you recall back a few weeks ago I posted my Top 10 Live and Studio albums for the World to see!
Fellow Blogger Pal “Destroyer of Harmony” from Australia posted his thoughts on my Top 10 Studio albums…
Check it out and while your at it follow ‘Destroyers” Blog as its a great Friggin read!

destroyerofharmony

A few of the people I follow on WordPress had their 2017 lists up and it got me interested to check out the music which made their lists.

So these random listens are from the WordPress site ….THUNDER BAY.

Greta Van Fleet – From The Fires

For the last four months, people have been telling me to check this band out. And when I did, I thought it was Wolfmother, an Aussie band who had a similar 70’s classic rock/metal feel to their music. All I know of them is that they are young. That’s all. How different to before, when we read the interviews in the magazines, saw the advertisements and basically knew how the album was made before we even purchased it or listened to it or dubbed it from a mate.

“Edge Of Darkness” is the song that hooked me. It’s feel and groove, which is…

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Izzy Stradlin & The Ju Ju Hounds(1992)

It’s always a real hoot when you’re rummaging around a Record Shop and you come across an album that you had no idea was out on vinyl!

In this case its the fantastic release from Izzy Stradlin & The Ju Ju Hounds. When this was released back in late 1992 it was CD all the way Baby but here we are in 2018 and Viola as soon as I seen it on vinyl it was an instant keeper.

Course it came with a $50 price tag as it was limited to 1000 copies and comes in an Orange Marble coloured vinyl which is real slick-looking! (It also helped that my daughter Lauren gave me spending cash for Christmas to use on albums…)

When the needle hit the groove we were off….What a great revisit with Izzy and the Hounds. Upon listening to this album now I hear a whole Tom Petty like vibe with this album as Izzy was trying to distance himself from his old band that he quit a year earlier. (We all know that band he was in) Amazing he just walked away and made a record exact opposite of his contributions  to Axl N Roses.

The 10 songs that make up the record are a laid back affair and if you one was looking for the Dust N Bones/14 Years kind of tunes that Izzy had written in Guns just keep moving along folk’s as you know Izzy distance himself so much from that Circus as far as possible!

Opener Somebodys Knocking has more to do with a Keith Richards solo artist vibe than anything. The Ju Ju Hounds are excellent players as well as Izzy roped in ex Georgia Satellites Guitarist Rick Richards which his speciality is that slippery slide guitar stuff that he did oh so well back in the hey day of the Satellites. On Bass is Jimmy Ashurst as well as Charlie Quintana on drums.

Once its apparent that this is no Guns spinoff which as a listener takes you about two minutes of Izzy to realize it out comes Track 2 which is the brilliant Pressure Drop which ramps the pace up to about a 110 miles per hour with a driving Bass line locked in with the drums and Frigg Man it’s so catchy “Pressure Drop Oh Pressure Drop Down On You” the song than all of a sudden goes into left field with a reggae like vibe. Silly Izzy had me going there……Great track!

The first single that dropped from this album Shuffle It All is in my  mind anyway the best track Izzy has ever written along with Ashurst they hit one out of the park as I’m thinking this is a pretty autobiographical as it gets for Izzy. Basically once again packing up your bags and moving on! In other words Adios Axl! Shuffle it all is an excellent mash of the Stones and Petty. Pure Bliss….

Train Tracks is a great rocker track that opens Side 2 with Richards doing his patented slide guitar work. How Will It Go and Cuttin The Rug keep the laid back rock vibe going while Ronnie Wood shows up on his own track that Izzy covers and they bang out Take A Look At The Guy. 

When Izzy released this back in 1992 it was a far away as possible from Bombastic as you could go. Stradlin was smart man as he made a record exact opposite of his previous band(In which he wrote the best songs as far as I’m concerned in that Band)

Speaking of which I read that Geffen put this record out before Izzy signed his contract as he stated “Just get my shit out there!” By out Izzy  meant not into the mainstream which is probably why this record never really took off….

Izzy even though he’s been out of the spotlight he has been productive since 1992 releasing 11 solo albums all on the downlow with no fan fare and still has Richards in tow as his guitarist. Some of these are iTunes only releases so it was a pleasant surprise a few weeks back when I did in fact come across this Gem on vinyl no less!

Impact Albums: M.S.G- One Night At The Budokan(1982)

 

Micheal Schenker splits from UFO and puts together back in 1980 a first for me and that would be the word Supergroup!

Ok maybe not the ultimate supergroup per se. But at the time snagging the Late Great Cozy Powell(RIP) as well as bringing along ex-UFO homeboy Paul Raymond were names I knew. Basssit Chris Glenn (Alex Harvey Band) and a singer I had never heard of and that would be Gary Barden round out MSG,

A fellow I went to Highschool with named Pizza Thief ( a long story which I have written about before) bought this album on import and when I heard it for the first time(1982) It blew my mind!

All the songs on here are pure gold as when MSG hit Japan in 1981 they recorded a Double Live Entree at the famous Budokan…

One Night At The Budokan has some of Micheal’s most excellent songwriting and guitar playing! When you have Cozy Powell backing you up and slamming those drums into submission behind you it gets no better than that!

I love the opening of this album as you here the opening classical taped music being drowned out by a power blast of sonic chaos of MSG and they head right into Armed & Ready. Schenker is on fire right out of the gate and his playing is flawless on this album.

Micheal had one album out at the time (The Micheal Schenker Group-1980)  so when MSG headed to Japan  after recording their second album the brilliant MSG(1981). The new album  hadn’t been released yet but most of it was played that August night back in 81!

Attack of the Mad Axman is one of my fav’s from the Mikey catalogue as vocalist Gary Barden sings the tale of the Axman sneaking around the back streets and what not but where this song picks up total steam is at the end as Powell and Schenker lift off and Micheal solo’s like there is no tomorrow! Pure class….

Like the feel of this album as you can hear them tuning between tracks as Barden intro’s the next song…

13 tracks on the original release! Cry For The Nations/On And On/But I Want More just to name a few and when this album was expanded in 2009 the 11 minute Cozy Powell drum solo was added as were  a few instrumentals…..

Having x-UFO sidekick Raymond along for the ride adding rhythm guitar/keys and backing vocals was an added plus. Never Trust A Stranger is the lone like ballad on this album (written by Raymond) yet once again Powell drives the engine that pushes this tune along nicely and not wussing it out…

Speaking of UFO the great Doctor Doctor track is the lone leftover UFO track that MSG play rather relying on their two studio albums release’s to let people know they were here to stay…

Ummm,yeah about that here to stay part….

Sadly this band imploded right after this release….

Raymond left to form Waysted with another X-UFO’er Pete Way. Gary Barden as well left to be replaced by Graham Bonnet for Micheals excellent 1982 release Assault Attack. Cozy Powell left after an argument in the demo stages of Assault Attack while Bassist Chris Glenn was the only fella to remain with Micheal!

Make no mistake though as when it comes to Budokan albums everyone and their dog knows about Cheap Tricks Budokan  but if you’re wanting to dive into some other Budokan albums check this one out!

For myself I can listen to this album still to this day! There is not a dud  track on here. MSG is an awesome listen. Period!

How many times have I been Schenked!

First got this recorded on cassette tape courtesy of Pizza Thief(1982). Purchased on single CD in 1992(found it in Winnipeg) Bought the deluxe version on iTunes(2009)

 

 

David Lee Roth: A Little Ain’t Enough(1991)

Dave Roth back in January of 1991 was the first of many CD purchases for me that year!

A Little Ain’t Enough is a decent album in the Roth catalogue that over time has grown on me. But as the early 90’s rolled in  I thought it was good but nowhere near the level of 1986’s Eat Em & Smile album which was a bona fide classic for many!

Dave though of course soldiered on and released 1998’s Skyscraper which after its recording Bassist Billy Sheehan quit as well after the Skyscraper Tour Guitarist Steve Vai bolted to the green money-making pastures of Whitesnake.

David Lee though kept going. Guitar for Hire Steve Hunter and Young Fella Jason Becker came aboard along with the Greg and Matt Bissonette (Bass and Drums respectively) as well as Bret Tuggle on keys!

This band headed to Vancouver to work with Bob Rock so I knew beforehand this album would have an excellent drum and production sound!

12 songs make up this album.  Dave kinda stays in the 80’s game with these songs at times and no better evidence is the opening track/video A Little Ain’t Enough.  More so the video as Roth was still stuck in the roaring 80’s MTV video cycle which if you strip from your memory the video this is a pretty decent track!

Roth and band on these tracks play more like a band as gone is the explosive playing  of Sheehan and Vai and a more less friendly Hot Dog approach is taken. Shoot It and Lady Luck  take Roth and crew into new directions musically. Dave is growing up. An older wiser Dave I suppose!?

Hammerhead Shark though is classic Dave with him doing what he does best and that’s writing some real cool lyrics ..

It was a time of trouble
And a time of grief
Kings lay with whores
And begat thieves
Yeah the world was wicked
And their hearts were cold
Noah said to his missus
Well, it’s time to go
Lord said to Noah
‘Fore ya float that arc
You better save me a space
For my hammerhead shark
Whoa yeah, the hammerhead shark
Now, now now Johnny liked to drink and fight
And he raised big hell every Saturday night

This is Dave at his finest..Love the groove of this tune and some slick slide guitar work courtesy of Steve Hunter! Dig the big smash out at the end with the drums that will knock your socks off!  With the live video below I laugh at  the fact that Dave has his lyrics taped to the drum riser as he takes the odd look at them but tries to do it so no one notices..haha

Tell The Truth and  Baby’s On Fire are new directions in sound for Dave as he headed into the early 90’s. Tell The Truth is more chill Dave as Hunter lays down some slick Blues along with Becker. Baby’s On Fire harkens somewhat back to old school Roth but Dave is trying to move into new sonics of Roth N Rock!

40 Below begins with Greg’s big Drum Sound and more slip n slide Blues licks splattered throughout but played at a decent clip! I have to say the picking and playing of Hunter/Becker is awesome on this album. Dave was smart to add two guitars for this album so there was no real Vai comparisons as Hunter especially is the exact opposite to the wacka doodle wang bar bizarro work of Vai!

Sensible Shoes I remember getting some play here in Tbay. I’m sure its Dave blasting some Harp on this track. Always been fond of this track as ‘Sensible Shoes the one’s that will lead me back to you”. Love the Harmonica and guitar picking mashup going on this track!

When myself/Tbone/Darr & Rugg fist heard  Last Call back in January of 91 we all hollered ‘Dave’s ripping off Aerosmith’s Walk This Way”  and why wouldn’t Dave? Aerosmith was huge in 1990-91 so the most logical move would be to nix a Aeroclassic and Roth it up and shoot for a hit. Well Dave got the Aero part right but the ‘HIT’ part didn’t work out so well!**

Dogtown Shuffle is another one of those mid tempo rock tracks. It’s ok, not a great track a little lumbering but some of the vocal lines are quite amusing to say the least…

The Diamond One decides to do a Musical  Hot Dog Track called Its Showtime  to feature his new young protegé Jason Becker to rock it up on the guitar and this song is a close to a Van Halen tune if any on this album. When I first heard it I thought man this has to be the opener of Dave’s upcoming tour. I was wrong! haha

The last track Drop In A Bucket  is an absolute classic in the Dave solo catalogue. Becker sizzles and dazzles on the fretboard as his Boss tosses down a real good lead vocal. Nice use of the female backing singers as well and man what total drag for us listeners as well for  Becker to get Gehrig’s disease but this album is a testimony that the cat could play!

Roth n Roll in 91 was starting to show cracks in the foundation. Times were a changing as each of Dave’s solo albums were selling less and less and his tours were starting to have troubles in moving tickets  as well.

A Little Ain’t Enough is  like the Sleeper Album in  Dave’s solo career. Pretty decent listen actually. Not as good as the Eat Em record of course  but its Dave trying to  push his inflated microphone prop into the early 90’s but not to many were caring…

**- When I was writing this up I thought I would play the beginning of Last Call for my Suzi. Now Suzi will be the first to admit that she is not the biggest Hard Rock Fan out there but it only took a few seconds for her to answer when I asked her “What song does this remind you of?” Quickly The Boss answered “Walk This Way”  First time she ever heard Last Call and perhaps Suzi’s Last Call with Roth  as well!

Impact Albums-AC/DC: Flick of the Switch(1983)

1983 and AC/DC were not selling anywhere near the numbers they were with their two previous releases.(Back In Black & For Those About To Rock)

DC 83 was a different beast. By than Angus & Malcolm Young took over the controls and did it how they wanted to do it. Gone was the gloss  production of the Mutt Lange era. Back in was the raw like sounding Flick of the Switch album which dropped in the summer of 1983 when I was 16. Upon its release it was quick purchase for me!

Right after that I taped it onto cassette which made a great listen on my Walkman when I would ride my bike to my kitchen summer job washing dishes which started at 6 am! Rising Power indeed!

Speaking of which. Opener Rising Power  took me all of 10 seconds to realize that this was cranky DC  street rock. A no-nonsense approach to the songs on here. Came across this video of  them jamming Rising Power for there 83 Tour. Check it out below. Looks like Brian Johnson’s appendix are gonna explode ….Awesome!

This AC/DC album knocked me off my block as it was sonically what I was looking for at the time! An album that featured no hits from a band who didn’t give a Shit!

There were other bands in 83 that had hits and two of them were Def Leppard with Pyromania and Quiet Riot with Metal Health! Those two albums especially Lep had songs tailor-made for radio at that time. AC/DC on the other had sold millions of copies into the early 80’s of course between Back In Black and For Those About To Rock so I guess the powers that be must have been shocked when Malcolm and Angus handed in their final product!

Ha! The suits were probably non to pleased about this! Kinda like when I would hand in my Homework the Teacher would give me that glaze over stare so I’m sure the Young Brothers got that glare from there Record Company Boss when they handed in the masters of this album. Course AC/DC was dealing with millions and millions of dollars where I was just trying to scrape by with a pass. In other words I would hand in 3/4’s Filler to get a decent grade…hahaha!

On the other hand! I loved it..

This House is on Fire/Nervous Shakedown/Flick of the Switch/Guns For Hire/Bedlam In Belgium are songs that just grab you by the throat and smack you outside the head with the No Frills approach. The guitars are mixed loud on this album.

That is what I love…Don’t get me wrong that this album ranks over the output of Bon Scott. It doesn’t, but Flick of The Switch at that point in time back  in the Summer of 1983 told me through their music and sound that they really didn’t give a crap what the big fad was that year!

Your with em or you’re not with em!

I was with em!

How many times has my Switch been Flicked!(HAHA)

Originally purchased on vinyl back(1983). Purchased on CD(1990). Purchased as a remastered edition on CD (2003)

Rock The Fort-2006(Concert Review)

 

All the  awesome photos posted here in this review  were taken by  Paul Jokelainen who has graciously shared them with me.  Please clink the link below and take a moment to check out Paul’s photo’s from various Thunder Bay Concerts throughout the years!

http://performancephotography.ca/piwigo/

Back in 2005 Rock The Fort was launched at Old Fort William here in Tbay which was a great thing. The first year featured a whole Can Con Lineup featuring bands that fellow Blog  reader (from across the Ocean)  Mr 1537 has never heard of like Trooper/Nick Gilder/Glass Tiger/Headpins/Prism and others. He will think I’m once again making these bands up!!

In 2006 when the festival returned we went World Wide with the Acts! The Lineup is posted below… June 16th-18th!

Friday
6:00 – 6:45 Katrina Chester
7:30 – 9:00 Lee Aaron
9:45 – 11:00 Heart

Saturday
12:00 – 12:45 The Ryde
1:15 – 2:30 Alannah Myles
3:15 – 4:30 Helix
5:15 – 6:30 Foreigner with Lou Gramm
7:15 – 8:30 The Sweet
9:30 – 11:00 Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe

Sunday
12:00 – 12:45 To be Announced
1:15 – 2:15 The Northern Pikes
3:00 – 4:30 Quiet Riot
5:15 – 6:30 The Stampeders
7:30 – 9:00 Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings
2005 the lineup did not interest me as these acts have been through many a time and I have seen them  at various bars even when some still could sell out the 4000 seat Fort William “DUMP’ Gardens back in the day! Plus Tbone was getting married that weekend as well and I was busy practising the harmonica for my speech at his wedding!
2006 and this lineup intrigued me. Heart had never been here before and is  anyone up for a little Vince Neil karaoke?
This show I’m going on total memory so bear with me folks! Along for the shows were of course The Boss and her bestie friend Dawn.
Lee Aaron came out and it was like 1984 all over again when I had  her pictures on my bedroom wall  of the  Metal Queen album where she is swinging the sword and looking METAL!  After doing who knows what with her career from 1991 to 2006 she looked and sounded pretty damn good if I don’t say so myself. It was like I was 16 years old again back  in 1984  when Lee and her band  played the hits like Whacha Do To My Body/Hands Off and of course Metal Queen. Than I snapped back into reality!
Heart the Friday Night Headliner came out and played all there mega hits. Especially when those Wilson sisters were bad ass in the 70’s  and tonight they cranked out those  tunes like Crazy On You/Barracuda/Kick It Out/Magic Man and also some Zep tracks were tossed in. Course the 80’s tunes that propelled em back to the top were played and were talking about songs like What About Love/These Dreams/Alone.  Nancy Wilson is beast on guitar especially doing that crazy ass picking on Crazy On You. Her sister  Ann can still belt it out as well… Good Live Act to end Night 1!
By the time we rolled into the Grounds for Day 2 Alannah Myles was playing all those tunes from that debut album of her’s from 1990 that sold mega units along with the video for Black Velvet. Plus opening for Robert Plant at the time didn’t hurt her  any. Sixteen years later Alannah is still plying her trade singing for her supper. People liked her….I liked the Metal Queen Better!
 
Hey! Look its our favourite Can Rock Fella Brian Vollmer and his Helix home boys showing up doing what they do best and that s giving everyone an “R!” Back in 2006 it was just Vollmer and some dudes bashing out the catalogue of Helix tunes. Even though Vollmer is the only original cat left at that  time in Helix. He takes his craft seriously and for that  you have to hand it to him…
 
Foreigner with Lou Gramm. Well Lou was here but that was not Foreigner with him.  Most people here wouldn’t care but  get the billing right people. Lou was good, played the good rocking stuff from his days from his  old band and also blasted out Midnight Blue which I thought was a great track from his solo album back in 1987 or so….
Than it started to Rain…and Rain …and Rain….
That didn’t dampen The Sweet with Andy Scott leading the charge and playing basically the Greatest Hits album that we all own. Fox On The Run/The 6 Teens/Little Wily/Ballroom Blitz/Wig Wam Bam. Some dude with frizzy hair like Dee Snider was slamming the bass and was show upon himself. Well ,If I didn’t spot with my little eye seeing the soon to the stage Headliner Vince Neil watching  from the side during Sweets set.
More Rain…Rain ….Rain….
It was getting dark. We were soaked/cold and waiting for Vince and his backup band which is basically Slaughter to get there asses out on stage and let’s get this show going.
Nope..whatever the problem was we waited and it was fucking annoying….
Finally there’s Vince and his Hired Crue  opening with Live Wire (I think) and  Vince was  making the crowd sing basically every second or third word. By The sixth song I told the Boss and Dawn we could split as I had enough. Vince was on fire when I seen the Crue back in 1990.  16 years later though it was brutal. Vince’s band was ok. The dude on Guitar was overplaying  and hot dogging .  Between him and Vince and well lets face it bass player(Dana Strum) still plays that goofy bass that he used back in the Vinnie Vincent Invasion. By this point that Bass Guitar was even  irking me! haha…
 I Had Enough…
Kudos to The Sweet who I thought were the band of the day!
Back on Sunday and hey Here Comes The Sun! Rain was gone….
 Missed the band called “To Be Announced’ Haha… Northern Pikes were good this day. Never seen em before but had one cassette and one disc of theres and they started off with a lot of songs us Canucks have heard. Hopes Go Astray/She Ain’t Pretty/ Teenland/Believe.  Good band and down to a 3 piece unit that day.
Well here’s   Kevin Dubrow along with sidekick Frankie Banali kicking off with a few open bars of Metal Health (good attention grabber as everyone knows that opening ) than ripping into Put Up or Shut Up from the maligned QR 3 album. Always dug this track and it came across live real good as it wasn’t glossed over with keys like the studio version.  Quiet Riot showed up man. They played what they were supposed to play(Cum On Feel The Noise/Mama Were All Crazee Now/Metal Health) and dug deep into the back catalogue with tracks like ThunderBird/Lets Get Crazy/Sign of the Times/Party All Night/Slick Black Cadalliac .  This being the third time I have seen them here in Tbay this was the best show I seen from them. Dubrow was in a great mood as the crowd was big (12000 I believe) and yeah man…Metal Health will drive ya mad! Sadly Dubrow passed away less than a year later in 2007.
More Cancon in the form of The Stampeders came out and played there hits and they were ok on a different level. The songs were good but their energy level was nil especially when comparing them to Quiet Riot….
Randy Bachman/Burton Cummings headlined the Sunday night and it was a show featuring many of the hits they did together in the Guess Who(American Woman/Undun/These Eyes) and it was cool to see each other guy jam the other guy’s solo catalogue. They were a good headliner but once again a different vibe….
 
When all was said and done I thought Sweet/Heart and Quiet Riot were the winners. They showed up did there deal.Collected there loot and split unlike Vince Neil who showed up/collected his pay and I split after 6 tracks!
For the record I have zero interest in ever seeing Vince again not even if Neil showed up with Sixx/Lee/Mars.  Gah! Must thank my Brother in Law Lenny who got us Backstage for the Sunday portion of the show. Some day I will write about it but for now…. Adios!

 

 

Just Between You & Me: Myles Goodwyn(2017-Book Review)

 

Thanks to Mr Books for sending me this ummmm…. Book!

So here we have another Rock star writing his memoir. Myles Goodwyn is his name and he’s the founder/main songwriter/guitarist/lead vocalist of the Can Con band April Wine.

April Wine had a real good Arena run here in Canada back in the late 70’s early 80’s even broke through in the U.S.A in 1981 with the big single Just Between You And Me from the pretty decent album Nature of the Beast.

Myles though goes from the his years growing up in Nova Scotia. Picking up the guitar. Forming April Wine and the drama that came with it.

I will say Goodwyn pulls no punches towards his ex band mates and writes quite candidly  about the problems that arose once they started selling records as well as  once the wheels started coming off the Wine X-press!

At times his writing comes across as grumpy as in he says David Lee Roth’s voice with his  “Whoah’s” and well you know Roth’s deal but Myles just says it irks him and wish some one would have slapped Roth . Also another one is when they were playing the bar circuit back in the early 2000’s and Carl Dixon was involved. Myles  says when  they released there live album they couldn’t use any of Carl’s parts.

Like really?  That’s a slag man. Why print that? Carl though in his book did mention the fact that when he would rehearse with April Wine they would so at ear-piercing volumes. Don’t slam Carl to hard Myles as Coney Hatch has released four stellar albums so…..

Course there are fun things as well in the book like when the Wine opened for The Rolling Stones back in 77 at the El McCambo  in Toronto and Maggie Trudeau was partying with Mick/Keef/Ronnie. You know those old debauchery tales of yesteryear.

With all the fun things scattered throughout the book comes the bad stuff or as I guess what you called Life. Myles battles with alcohol/ rehab/failed marriages/failing health and basically calling out issue’s with his ex members in April Wine which would be interesting to hear what a guy like ex drummer Jerry Mercer would have to say after being called out as ‘Doper” in the book. Myles though like I wrote earlier says he was no angel as well. Still though…

I will say he talks about the making of the April Wine albums in detail which is a real cool part of the book and the fallout from the followup to the ‘Beast” album called Powerplay which failed to ignite more sales. Animal Grace in 85 is discussed as well as is Walking Through Fire from 1987 as  that album was the nail in coffin for these guys until the early 90’s.

This book was an “Ok” read. Fellow Wine Guitarist Brian Greenway adds a ton of quotes to the stories as well.  I mean it’s basically Myles writing his version of Motley Crue’s The Dirt  except he knows no dancer named Bullwinkle. 

Maybe since I recently read Bruce Dickinson’s book which is written about Bruce’s life but from a  different angle. Meaning that Bruce states that he’s not discussing band mates/family/wives/girlfriends etc.  Myles does the opposite and writes about all this stuff in his book.

Myles Book. His Deal!

Who knows maybe I’m mellowing….

 

 

Rock Album, Concert Reviews And The Odd Book Review