Tag Archives: Canadian Rock

Hip Review: Aug 5, 2016, MTS Centre, Winnipeg

About A Week Ago My Best Pal T-Bone Scored The Ticket OF A Lifetime To This Show! When He Emailed The News My Return Message Was “Awesome And Review Please!” By Golly T-Bone Delivered Folk’s! Read On & Thanks T…… For Sharing…..

 

The famous quote from baseball’s Yogi Berra may never be more eloquently or bravely portrayed than the performance being given by one Mr. Gord Downie of The Tragically Hip who is demonstrating to all of Canada that “It ain’t over till it’s Fuckin’ over!” (Under the circumstances I felt the F-Bomb was a justified ad lib here.) A little piece of Canada appears to be dying right before our eyes and I don’t even understand how it can be so painful and yet on some level, so beautiful. But don’t let Mr. Downie see your tears of sadness because he’s on a mission to bring one last tour of celebration and joy to an entire nation. And he is delivering like a defiant mother-fucker!

I know one word cannot sum up the powerful performance I am so grateful to have witnessed on Friday Aug 5, 2016 at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, but the one word I have that comes close is, “Wow!” I was awestruck at the magnitude of the moment and only hope my almost 50-year-old mind allows me to store this memory away forever in safe keeping. Although I cannot profess to be the biggest Hip fan in the country because there are just so many down-right serious fanatics, make no mistake I am a Fan. A proud Canadian fan. This was the fifth time I have seen them perform live (not sure I have seen any other band more) and I also have owned many of their original albums while in more recent years having downloaded most of their entire back catalogue on i-tunes. The Hip are one of those bands that transcend their music to be more than a band, more than a mere ensemble of musicians but rather rise to a level of becoming an iconic representation of the country they are obviously so proud to call home. And in return we are only too proud to call them ours. Fuck you to the rest of the world. You have no idea what you’re missing out on. (In true Canadian fashion, I apologize if my last statement offends anyone. But I hope you get my point).

Gord’s lyrics along with the bands grass roots, blue collar blend of rock, blues & country styles took on deeper meaning than usual on this night. “Get Ry Cooder to sing my eulogy”? I mean “Come on!” it’s only the first song and I’m already choking back some waves of emotion. But I am pounding my fist in the air, standing in my seat like I owe him at least that much. Two songs later he’s singing about Courage and schooling us on the meaning of it. This is so awesome yet emotionally difficult to watch at the same time. Around this point the first of many chants of “Gordie, Gordie, Gordie…” erupts from the crowd. Next it’s Wheat Kings and where in the country does this song carry any greater meaning than Winnipeg? And from the roars the band knows that the Wheat Kings came to rock tonight. A couple songs later and Gordie tells us he’s ‘Tired as Fuck’ and I don’t even want to pretend to know what he’s going through right now but, Wow! This is Heavy. The first set closes with a couple of new songs from ‘Man Machine Poem’, “What Blue” and “In a World Possessed by the Human Mind” which sound fantastic live. This night is just so damn powerful to this point that I am already running out of words and phrases to express how amazing I feel this performance is. By the first brief intermission I am somewhat relieved for the opportunity to take a break from the emotional roller coaster. It is at this point I want to make one thing perfectly clear, because reading back over what I’ve written thus far one might think I’m describing a weak, frail, dying man that can barely perform. This could not be further from the truth. I know Gord Downie is very sick and as a result likely weakened from treatments and he is somewhat visibly frail but this man is leaving it all on the ice here. His voice is fantastic, his usual quirky signature stage moves are at times dramatic and humourous at others as we’ve grown to expect. During his time on stage he never stops moving. And his will to deliver the best show possible under the circumstances is just down right inspirational.

Another thing I should point out. Although I am obviously very hung up on Gord’s performance due to his present situation. Let it be known that the importance and gravity of the moment are not lost on the other members of the band who are equally important and impressive in delivering on this night. Let’s face it, this has to be difficult for them as well and they all play with hearts firmly on sleeves while pouring everything they’ve got into their playing which is perfect in tempo, synchronicity and groove this is a group of well-seasoned individual musicians who collectively are a powerful force especially in a live setting. Johnny Fay and Gord Sinclair are the foundation and engine that drives each song, while lead guitarist Rob Baker tastefully colours between the lines of the grooving rhythm laid down by Paul Langlois. These guys don’t play like it’s a job, they play like they love it and they mean it. They know what’s at stake and they will not disappoint.

I cannot go throught the entire set list song by song or I will end up repeating myself at nauseam, so instead highlights for me during what I will refer to as the second set are “Man-Machine-Poem”, “Poets”, “Bobcaygeon” and then following Phantom Power’s “Membership” there is another pseudo-intermission where Gord leaves the stage briefly (Wardrobe change) and the rest of the band remains to jam in his absence.

Following this break Gord re-joins the band for what is a mini ‘Road Apples’ set which begins with “Last of the Unplucked Gems”, “Little Bones” and “The Luxury”. Then during “Long Time Running” (One of my all-time favourites) I scared half the audience around me as I belted this one out as loud as I could as if I wanted Gordie himself to hear me. This set then closes with yet another ‘Road Apples’ classic “Twist My Arm”.

At this point all of the band with the exception of Gord (Downie) exit the rear of the stage and he remains alone under a spotlight, does not say a word but slowly and deliberately walks about all four sides of the stage, saluting the crowd and doing his very best it seems to try and make eye-contact and give a personal good-bye to all 16,000+ in attendance. The roar of the crowd during this whole time which felt like it lasted at least 10 minutes just progressively got louder and the weight of emotion in the building became almost unbearable. At this point I only stopped my aggressive clapping momentarily from time to time to wipe my eyes because at this point I couldn’t take it anymore. I don’t care who can see… I am moved to tears.

When Gord finally did exit the stage there was no doubt this crowd wasn’t letting these guys go anywhere. Another chant of “Gordie, Gordie, Gordie…” (probably the fifth so far on the night to this point) roars through the rafters. And yes, I am yelling my fool-ass-off as well.

The crowd continues to roar but even if you weren’t looking you knew the band was climbing back on-stage as the roar finds yet another gear. This place is cooking! “Boots or Hearts”, “Opiated” and a little ditty no-one has probably ever heard of (something about New Orleans sinking) are played and the energy level remains at full fever pitch. Just before exiting the stage from this encore set Gord embraces each member of the band individually making meaningful eye contact with each of his long-time mates and has some words for them which from my vantage point looks like a “This is our last time in Winnipeg” moment. The band waves, the crowd roars and the boys exit the stage yet again.

More chants “Gordie, Gordie, Gordie …” The Peg knows this is it and they aren’t ready to say goodbye just yet and even if the fat lady was singing, you wouldn’t have been able to hear her. “What do ya say boys. Let’s give the ol’ Wheat Kings a couple more for ol’ time sake?” And so they do….

“Springtime in Vienna” and an emotional finale of “Ahead by a Century” where the line “The disappointing you’s getting me down” is powerfully repeated many times by Gordie as if to say “I’m sorry, I didn’t plan it this way”. Cymbal crash, Deafening Roar, Waves, Salutes, Emotion … and then ‘goodbye’ … Over!

“Wow!” As I said before it’s the only word I have.

Set-List:

Set 1:

At the Hundredth Meridian

Pigeon Camera

Courage (for Hugh MacLennan)

Wheat Kings

Machine

Tired as Fuck

What Blue

In a World Possessed by the Human Mind

Intermission :

Set 2:

Streets Ahead

The Lookahead

Man Machine Poem

At Transformation

Escape Is at Hand for the Travellin’ Man

Poets

Bobcaygeon

Membership

Intermission :

Set 3:

The Last of the Unplucked Gems

Little Bones

The Luxury

Long Time Running

Twist My Arm

Encore 1:

Boots or Hearts

Opiated

New Orleans Is Sinking

Encore 2:

Springtime in Vienna

Ahead by a Century

Tea Party/Live In Australia..Reformation Tour(2012)

 

Whoah! Them Tea Party Boys  sure know how to spread there musical chops now don’t they as a 3 piece ….

Jeff Burrows – drums, percussion, backing vocals
Stuart Chatwood – bass, keyboards, harmonium, mandolin, acoustic guitar, backing vocals
Jeff Martin – guitar, acoustic guitar, theremin, esraj, oud, bowed guitar, lead vocals

Hell some of the instruments listed I have no idea but Wowzers pretty damn impressive for some Dudes From Toronto isn’t it?

So like a lot of bands The Tea Party had a real good run in Canada and Fellow Bloggers “Destroyer Of Harmony” home turf of Australia back in the 90’s into the 2000’s before the wheels came off and they shut down and went and did various projects.

It was over at Mikey’s site that he reviewed the 20th Anniversary Edition of The Edges Of  Twillight . Great read review as always and that got me thinking….over to iTunes I go!  Here’s link to Mikes site…

REVIEW: The Tea Party – The Edges of Twilight (20th anniversary deluxe edition)

But also like a lot of other bands The Tea Party ramped back up and hit the tour trail and once they got to Australia some live recording was on tap and here’s Live From Australia which I ended up purchasing  and Boom here it is…..

Here’s the track listing from the album……

Disc 1
No. Title Length
1. “The River” 9:30
2. “The Bazaar” 6:40
3. “Lullaby” 5:46
4. “Psychopomp” 6:50
5. “Correspondences” 8:18
6. “The Messenger” (Not on Vinyl Release) 5:05
7. “Fire in the Head” 5:14
8. “The Badger” (Not on Vinyl Release) 4:42
9. “Shadows on the Mountainside” (Not on Vinyl Release) 4:31
Disc 2
No. Title Length
1. “Sun Going Down” 11:13
2. “Halcyon Days” 7:20
3. “Save Me” 11:32
4. “Heaven Coming Down” (Not on Vinyl Release) 4:45
5. “Release” 6:17
6. “Temptation” 5:33
7. “Winter Solstice” (Not on Vinyl Release, Not listed on CD sleeve) 2:03
8. “Sister Awake” 8:22

Tea Party plays a rip roaring barrage of Huge Bombastic Rock with a musical Muscle of Swagger and why not as these 3 cats are talented! If ya got the chops show em off. Tea Party does that but it’s  not really showing off as there is no musical whack  off here. Just a lot of Fantastic Rock!

The River is a great opener and at over 9 minutes The River lays down all the crazy off musical trimmings and the boys take you all over the place. The chorus is Gold! Big Swooping Power Riffs from Martin as Chatwood and Stuart drive the rhythm machine in behind Martin! Love it!

Alot of the songs are built up this way and at times stripped down like The Messenger. Sun Goes Down I posted and at 11 minutes it gives you a real good taste of rock done different.

This album is basically a Greatest Hits album done Live Style! The only real knock I have on it is each song fades out but that may be due as these recordings were pulled from various locations in Australia.

Crazy that this album has been out for about 4 years and it just came on my radar a few months back and it was a no brainer to buy!

I suggest you do it as well…..

Monster Truck /Sittin Heavy(2016)

I can count on one hand how many new bands that can come across my musical radar now that I actually dig(AlterBridge and Rival Sons would be two). For me I always go back to the classics. I think someone somewhere said I was musically frozen in the 80s! Haha…Fair Point and in a musical sense  yeah for the most part.

Monster Truck hailing from fellow blog reader “Bop’s” backyard of Hamilton Ontario are one of those new acts that with their second full length release Sittin Heavy have kicked my ass with a Furiousity (Ha!) so swift that I can’t believe how friggin good this album is….

Jon Harvey(Lead Vocals and Bass) Jeremy Widerman(Guitar) Brandon Bliss(Keys) and Steve Kiely(Drums) lay down a Sonic Boom that wallops you outside the head with some good old-fashioned Hard Rock!

The Truck fuses to my ears that is  the classic hard rock sounds of the 70s. The Truck skip all the fancy trimmings and trappings of the 80s and take hold of the sonics of the early 90s and there you have it!  A sound that is all their own and one that is loud!

Monster Truck say Don’t Fuck With The Truck…I say ‘Yep!’

WHY ARE YOU NOT ROCKING?-“Allright! Good To Go!” is said  by perhaps Jon and The Truck blast right out of the gate with Steve on the drums setting the table with a 4 on the floor stomper with Jeremy blasting quick shot of guitar riffs between verse’s. Jon delivers a great gruff rock vocal and slams his bass in overdrive while Brandon knows his place with his keyboard! He adds to the sonic boot camp known as Monster Truck! Love this tune! It’s fast it’s furious and it leaves you wanting more!

DONT TELL ME HOW TO LIVE-Truck delivers a real good hard rock single! This tune delivers the goods great verse a little on the tough rock side but by the chorus Jon sings a real smooth chorus. Love the mix and production courtesy of Eric Ratz. The band knows it’s place when writing these kind of radio rock tunes. Keep an eye and ear on keeping things nice and clean but toss in some loud drums and a fuzz guitar to not lose the street cred! Well done boys!

SHE’S A WITCH-Think Black Sabbaths After Forever during the verse’s. Man the guitar riff is so good! Top notch and this is jam 101 at Monster Truck Central! This song just flat-out rocks and also features a real good lead vocal! The song builds up and up and is so good seriously this album is ridiculously awesome!

FOR THE PEOPLE -This currently is my favourite track! We all know that these cats can play but man listen to the harmonies on this tune as I posted the video to it! It’s a good time feel good number! Kick Evil in the Ass and rise up people! This song just grooves with a real cool guitar work courtesy of Jeremy and special guest Ian Thornley(snappy slide guitar). All of the Truck guys can sing and man oh man they all look like brawlers but the Truck can kick your arse in different ways than just fists!

BLACK FOREST-Some nice Keyboard work by Brandon and Black Forest is a chill out track but thanks for some cool fuzz out heavy action guitar this makes the song far from wimping out! Nice build up from the verses Into the chorus.

ANOTHER MANS SHOES-Man this tune reminds me of like your were to take Deep Purples Perfect Strangers album and shoot it with a syringe full of steroids and boom here’s Another Man’s Shoes. The drums laid down by Steve sound like Steve Gorman slamming his drums on the second Black Crowes studio album ‘Southern Harmony”. These boys can chill out in Black Forest but ramp up things in a huge sonic boom like explosion in Another Man’s Shoes!

THINGS GET BETTER-Real cool piano begins this tune and leads the charge with a quick tempo. Monster Truck lead the charge with a lot of positive lyrics on this song and For The People. Love the chorus! Tempo change and they in the process keep the Truck on the road!

THE ENFORCER-Listen to that goal siren wail and The Enforcer will smash your teeth in! Honestly this is as close to Canadian on here as it gets. The lyrics tell the tale of the a fighter. Broken noses,missing teeth it’s all here. The song grooves with a ferocity that rocks with a bunch of ear candy like “Whoah Whoahs” sung and some stinging guitar work by Jeremy during the verses leads the way. Great song and makes me wanna break things. Hahaha….no not really I’m just trying to be tough!

TO THE FLAME-Is a big fuzzed up rock track and as Jon sings “There’s no way Outta here!” This tune is a late night after hours jam out tune! Big sonics rock this track! Heavy Jon Lord Like keys! Scott Holiday like fuzzed up loud guitar. Heavy Devy Drums and a knarly like lead vocal. People this is heavy rock delivered with style and flair

NEW SOUL-4 on the floor stomper! More straight ahead Truck stop rock and it drives a nice quick speed. Rock n Roll at its simple best. Just a great rock track with a heavy fuzzed up like rock shuffle. New Soul rocks….

ENJOY THE TIME-Brandon plays a real slick keyboard pattern on this tune and it totally reminds me of Paul Raymond of UFO fame style and there’s the 70s influence showing and the beginning of this song with Jeremy on guitar which is total Paul Chapman UFO not Schenker UFO. But that’s where the comparison ends. “Enjoy The Time We Had Friends Together” sings Jon and for all the rock that this  guy sings on this album he can chill out and take a breather. Nice end of the album wrap up and this album is so good just push repeat and play the damn thing again!

FINAL YAMMER- I preordered this back in early December(2015) and iTunes dropped down three songs quick from this album but I didn’t want to hear them until I got the other 8 songs as I want to hear it as whole, not as a single hear a single their kind of deal.

Man this album cooks and I’m totally blown away by it. I was expecting a pretty good album but what I heard was a frigging Awesome album that fuses all things of Rock that I likey!

Monster Truck blend a ton of influence’s but still keeping an ear to the ground and forging a sound of their own! That’s the best thing I can say about them …..

Must thank Bop as well for the info on the Ian Thornley guest appearance as ITunes did not drop down the digital booklet (Meh) with this release.

Look forward to checking out this killer band here in Tbay tomorrow night!

Live Review will be coming up shortly!

 

 

 

SONIC WAVES…Jeff Healey Band/Hell To Pay

Who better than the Late Great Johnny Carson to introduce Jeff Healeys 1988 appearance on the Tonight Show with a little bit of background history on Jeff! Well done Mr Carson(1988) Watch this video from the debut album  and See The Light!

Who didn’t dig Healey(RIP)and posse around the late 80s and early 90s!? The dude played a mean strat,sang and wrote a good song,made cover tunes sound his own and put out a pretty good run of material of studio records especially the first three albums (See The Light,Feel This ) and this one Jeffs second album Hell To Pay!

1990,Jeff and his music just cook on this release…..

Also of note they brought in some heavy hitters including Mark Knopfler,George Harrison,Tbays own Paul Shaffer and my pal Space Aces favourite rock dude Jeff Lynne!

Can’t pull the wool over Jeff….he’s a Confidence Man!

FULL CIRCLE- Healey nails a scorcher of a opening riff on his Fender Strat and we’re off and due to Ed Stasium’s stellar production he has given the Healey band a real kick of sonics! Full Circle upon first listen man grabbed me and booted my hair metal ass into next week! This is the real deal! Jeff nails down a superb solo while Joe Rockman (bass) and Tom Stephen (drums) keep the beat driving! Love this tune but I think you kinda gathered that right?! Awesome stuff and a great start! Crank the video folks ……love that Hammond organ courtesy of Bobby Whitlock.

I THINK I LOVE YOU TOO MUCH-Mark Knopfler wrote and plays on this single from the Healey boys! Like any good rock track Theres a ton of riffs all over the place but it’s kept in check by both Jeff and Mark! This is a mid tempo track. This song did well for them!

I CANT GET MY HANDS ON YOU-Boom! Jeff and crew ramp it back up and this song rocks! Healey rocks this song with guitar hero solo tricks thrown in and Stephen smashes the song out on his drum kit at the end. Super duper cool verses,love the playing of Healey on this as he goes from super clean sounding Strat to the solo where he ramps up into some real cool heavy tone!

HOW LONG CAN A MAN BE STRONG-I was always ok with Jeff’s slower tunes I mean on the debut See The Light of course he had Angel Eyes so Jeff threw down the gauntlet on telling me as a young music buying whipper snapper that there was gonna be slower tunes on my albums! So for that I was ok with it! How Long is a good song and this is one of many on this record where the sound is filled out huge by keys!

LET IT ALL GO-love it love it! This song written by John Hiatt Is a great song. The tempo along with the verses and chorus are gold in my book! Super laid back chill vibe in this tune. Cowbell peeps! Like Jeff says “You gotta Let It All Go so it doesn’t burn a hole in your heart!” Should have been a huge single in my book! Than again what do I know….

HELL TO PAY-the title track and lookie at the cover with the Healey band decked out in leather! There ready to rumble in a nice Canadian kind of way! BUT when push comes to shove Jeff will crack you over the noggin with his guitar! Great tune and backing vocals on this album as well from Sass Jordan.

WHILE MY GUITAR GENTLY WEEPS-allrighty so Jeff pulls in the heavyweights and that would be the writer of this classic song and that’s George Harrison(RIP) who wrote this tune! Here,George sings and plays acoustic while Jeff electrifies it and plays some real cool licks. Think about for a sec…this is a Beatles classic so not only do you have to do it justice by covering this song but you bring in the actual dude who penned it! Man,that’s impressive !

SOMETHING TO HOLD ONTO-this song is a song with a quick tempo with Jeff doubling up on acoustic on electric and the Hammond B3 organ plays a huge part in the sonics on this song! The solo in this tune is one of my favs and Jeff lets loose and jsut takes it to the top!  Great song ….better solo! Actually all of Jeffs solos are classics! Who the fuck am i kidding!

HOW MUCH-the singles could have kept rolling with this one as well! How much has a real snap happy chorus,the money shot in my book along with the Sass J’s backing vocals and the use of the piano to enhance the chorus as well! This tune like many is why I love Jeffs studio stuff. By that I mean he plays his guitar during  the verses nice and cleaney but come solo time he can shift it into some nasty heavy toneage! In other words he doesn’t puss out his sound! How much is another winner here at Arena Rock!

HIGHWAY OF DREAMS-is another tune where Jeff and the boys play the song a pretty decent clip and the thing about this tune is how at the end it kinda goes a little wonky,trippy ha! But this is Jeff,Joe and Tom starting to chill out towarss the end of the record! Dig Jeffs playing in this one…..

LIFE BEYOND THE SKY-this mid tempo rock track brings Hell To Pay to a close. It’s funny revisiting this album (gulp) 25 years later that this track and Highway Of Dreams are the two that I aways never visited and well that’s my bad! These are two great songs that should not be overlooked and fair enough time to show EM some love! I like the use of Jeffs clean guitar sound on this one! I mean your don’t have to be blazing on the fretboard at 125 mph all the friggin time. This song proves this theory!

IN CONCLUSION- Hell To Pay Indeed! This is a important record folks! Give these guys there due man as in 1990 they weren’t following the hairspray musical trends of that era instead they were blazing there own path of tunes! Writing and gigging and doin it there own way! Full props man! Healey is missed no doubt about it and do yourself a favor and check Hell To Pay out………

CANADA DAY COOL TUNE…SLOAN/Good In Everyone

Lets throw down this review for Mr Aaron at the KMA,

Sloan I knew were out there of course (early 90s)but when I first heard Good In Everyone I had to get the whole damn album from where this song originated!(One Chord To Another)

Sloan dudes Jay Ferguson,Andrew Scott,Chris Ferguson and Patrick Pentland nail The Good In Everyone from start to finish in a cool 2 minutes 18 seconds!

You have to love the reckless abandon as the intro sounds like all the Sloan dudes are stuffed all together in there Volkswagon  and off the cliff it goes….

As quick as that happens the song is back on track and it becomes apparent real quick that Pentland is the rock guy in Sloan and he crafts     vocally a real cool lyric that slides into a real cool verse!

Also must be mentioned is Pentlands guitar solo,dude breaks out some wah pedal and slips and slides and shifts right back into the chorus!

Before you know it…Song is over and I got my ass kicked in under 2 and a half minutes!

Two vids of Good In Everyone. Top one(live) is recently and the bottom one is from 1996

Kudos to Sloans  choice of swag in the original video!( Bonus points awarded to Pentland for the cool hat!)

Love the Rock vibe of the live vid as well! Man that drummer Andrew Scott plays like a crazed lunatic behind the kit! Kinda like a Canadian Keith Moon! Props to the extra memeber(snazzy captains hat)dude slicing and dicing the tambourine=Street Cred!

Happy Canada Day Folks!

SONIC WAVES…..Triumph/Thunder 7

Hard to believe that in late 1984 this would be the last real good studio Triumph record …Ummm ever!

1981  Triumph puts out the 100% Deke full endorsed Allied Forces and you can check out that article here….https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2014/09/10/sonic-waves-triumphallied-forces/

1986 Triumph puts out what is in musically speaking terms a Titanic like Musical Disaster(Sorry Probie!) that you can chuckle here about…..https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2015/02/25/34s-filler-triumphsport-of-kings/

Triumph was a real good band and when they released Thunder 7 in 1984 it was a quick purchase. Thunder 7 had a cool cover and I loved the power trio format especially in Triumph were it’s basically riding on Rik Emmett and his guitaring many styles like rock,classical and more rock! Where Gil Moore drummer boy was the co lead vocalist with Emmett as well and Mike Levine who wore hockey jerseys,played the bass and managed them as well….

Triumph always would get compared to that other trio from Toronto(Rush) and i always thought who cares there different bands man the only comparison is there from Toronto and thank god Geddy Lee didn’t have Mike Levines stache!

Rocky Mountain Triumphs Way……

SPELLBOUND- Wowzers some diddling synth sounds and boom bass drums and Emmett on guitar get the show started and we’re off.Gil lays down the lead vocal and were rocking  with a great chorus and of course Rik lays down a great solo and I’m Speeeeeeeellbound! Triumph is rocking it down …..check out the live video posted a few years later from Probies(Ha) fav Triumph album Sport Of Kings Tour where Triumph had a fourth memeber added on second guitar(Rick Santers)

ROCK OUT ROLL ON-a slow plodder of a rocker! This Is Riks tune so there’s guitar and  a slow groovey tune! Cool Rik solo and Wowzers Triumph 1984 is fine and well! Of course 2 years later in 1986 …Umm I ain’t going there!

COOL DOWN-Emmett throws down the acoustic classical style Zep like trimmings and the song does ramp up and no wonder this sounds like Zep to me Eddie Kramer  dialed this album in as producer and he produced Zeppelin so there Ya be!

FOLLOW YOUR HEART-Big Triumph single! Gil handles the vocals and with Triumph they always wrote positive lyrics! These guys weren’t bummed out well they probably were after Sport Of Kings album torpedoed Into the dumpster commercially speaking! Seriously though Follow Your Heart kicks into gear with the chorus and its a great tune! Great solo and Triumph kicks good ass on this tune!

TIME GOES BY-Now this is tune is big Triumph Prog! Rik handles the vocals and man he nails down some riffing especially during the solo where his solo reminds me if Eddie Van Halen was in a head on car crash with Angus Young! What’s even more impressive is Levine actually lays down a solid bass line and doesn’t run out of gas! The solo ends and its back to Triumph Prog! I gotta tell Ya folks that after not hearing this song for years this is classic Triumph! Basically stuff the musical bong full of riffs,airy keyboards,snappy happy Gil Drumming,Mike Levine playing keep up and ladies and gents ..EXHALE! Check out the video posted!

MIDSUMMERS DAYDREAM-Rik showboats himself on acoustic guitar! The cat was by far the real deal in Triumph. Meaning he was very important by that  I mean his riffing in the power  trio format was essential as he kinda to my eyes and ears carried the other two dudes to great heights! Like say in the my old band that i was in with Tbone! (Current River) I rode Tbones contails basically I was the Mike Levine of the Current River Band! For starters I pushed Tbone to write tunes than we had to put out our music,do shows, and oh yeah play a half ass sloppy bass and the real clincher for me was in Mike Levine fashion was i even wore a New York Rangers jersey at one of our shows! For the record though I never ever have grown a stache! I’d probably still be single today!

TIME CANON-acappella of the word …TIME ,TIME,TIME….ged it?

KILLING TIME-is one of my fav tunes from Triumph! Why you ask? Simple says I. Gil and Rik share lead vocals on this track. Why these guys never did this more often in Triumph I will never know but man Killing Time is a Great track. Kinda Boston like in the verses and I love when the chorus kicks in. Rik jacks up some power chords and we’re off! Check out the video posted to get a dose of the Rock N Roll Machine circa 1984!

STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND-Rik man he’s the king of guitar chops! This is groovey Triumph! Rik nails down the lead vocal and were off an running!

LITTLE BOY BLUES-ends Thunder 7 as a musical as in Triumph is playing  the blues not singing just playing and once again Rik shows the cool kids on guitar how to do it!

IN CONCLUSION-Thunder 7 was produced by Eddie Kramer,he of Kiss fame! Word on the street was that Eddie and Rik butted heads over the guitaring of Emmett Or something to that effect!

For me though this is a real good Triumph album. Allied Forces I would still rate higher in the Triumph catalog but never the less this is a real solid deal! Kinda funny as Riks voice was tailor made for radio play(Lay it On The Line,Magic Power,World Of Fantasy) but it’s that crazy guy Gil on drums who gets the single meal deal with the two tracks Spellbound and Follow Your Heart are the ones that the vids are done for!

Interesting …..but still 1984 and in my hood the Rock N Roll Machine is alive and well!

Other Side Of Midnight…..

Honeymoon Suite/Haywire/July 26 1988/Thunder Bay/Fort William Gardens

Summer of 1988 rolls around and the Suite Express shows up again to play the Gardens and whats evidently clear is the place is almost half empty as when they rolled into town 2 years earlier the Barn was almost sold out say 4000 or so and well now (1988) maybe just over 2000 people and from where i was sitting(straight at the back of the Gardens ) there were patches of people around me and my lady friend.

Like i said last week in the Racing After Midnight album review this album I thought was there best but  for many it slid by kinda bizarro but hey what do I know! Finicky album buyers back in 1988!

So Haywire is plugging there current release Don’t Just Stand There and what’s clear is that they have ditched the baggy pants/bright clothes that they wore 2 years earlier when they played Tbay supporting Kim Mitchell ! Now they were into the street rock look with the leathers and whatnots and a heavier punchier sound live! That night even Haywire impressed me with a little snipet of Aerosmiths Mother Popcorn thrown into one of there tunes! Shit Ya! Good call !

Honeymoon Suite hits the stage with a one two punch of Other Side Of Midnight and Tears On The Page and we’re off an running! Pretty slick  lighting show and Johnnie Dee lead singer played a lot of rythm guitar that night as his leg was in a full sized leg cast! Story went to the effect that he was crossing the road at the airport in LA and boom some car hit him and snap a roo …but hey here he is in Tbay the show must go on and it did! This I thought was a better show than 2 years earlier oh yeah that’s cuz I liked Racing After Midnight that much better than the Big Prize!

Lookin Out For Number 1,Long Way,It’s Over Now and the two opening songs were played off of Racing After Midnight so about half the record was played live! Of course a healthy dose of the debut and Big Prize were represented that night as well. This was another good performance from them so in 3 years,one as a opener and two as headliner Honeymoon Suite was moving on up in the live ranks but Racing After Midnight was the end of I guess there Arena run. There next release Monsters Under The Bed in 1991 was buried by a Seattle musical mudslide that wiped any chance of them sustaining any momentum! Case in point they were in Tbay early in 1992 playing the Inntowner(bar)….

SONIC WAVES….Honeymoon Suite/Racing After Midnight

 

Yep so Honeymoon Suite were I band I dug especially from the Big Prize on. The debut had some good moments (Funny Business) and some goofy moments(Wave Babies) but all in all they had a good vocalist in Johnnie Dee and a good guitar player in Derry Grehan! There second album (Big Prize)was produced by Bruce Fairbairn(RIP) who went on later to produce Bon Jovi/Aerosmith/VH/Kiss/ Yes/Dan Reed and many others and oh yeah Krokus ha! But by the third album The boys went down to LA and hooked up with Ted Templemen who worked with the Doobie Brothers and well also Templemen produced the first 6 VH albums with David Lee and of course my other fav,Eat Em And Smile and  many others as well.

So when I read this in Music Express Magazine I knew the guitar would not be drowned by the keys! Yippity Ki yeah!

LOOKIN OUT FOR NUMBER 1- drums and boom here comes Derry and his guitar. The album is off to a racing start. Good for them Honeymoon is on a roll with the previous two albums being good in there own right. So off to LA LA Land and hey I likey what I hear so far!” This time there’s no turning” back sez Johnnie Dee he continues with ‘ you tell the boss he’s at a loss I’m Lookin Out For Number 1″ ha if I said that I would be lookin’ not out for number 1 but for a job! Great lead off track!

LONG WAY BACK- Derry leads off with a power riff and holy crap Michael McDonald from the Doobie Brothers co wrote this with them and it’s a great track. Michael McDonald also cowrote the great Van Halen track I’ll Wait from VH’s 1984 album but it wasn’t Til many years later he was actually credited.

COLD LOOK- coulda been a single make that a rock single. Good song and it’s got there sound plastered all over it ! That’s the thing I really like about this record as it’s more guitar rock and it’s not lost on the mix! But hey you get Ted Templemen producing Van Halen Ya think Teds gonna tell Eddie”I think we should crank the keyboards here?” Nope, but Templmen keeps the keys chill on this release.

LOVE FEVER- pretty good song as well! I even know that Honeymoon has to chill out in the Suite every so often and I’m good with that!

OTHER SIDE OF MIDNIGHT- the tour opener for the Racing After Midnight tour! Boom,drums and than Derry plays some fancy dancey Eddie like riffs and we’re off and it’s easily one of my fav tracks of there’s!  Johnnie Dee nails down a superb lead vocal on this track as well and Derry goes off on the solo! “ladies in waiting, listennnning to the radio” wham and this song it just kicks man!

LOVE CHANGES EVERYTHING- Yup this was the single and for the fans of the band everyone knows it but for the general casually lazy Honeymoon fan maybe not the single well the video never really caught fire! Kinda surprising ….

ITS OVER NOW- The big power rockish ballad thats supposed to push the album over the top but it didn’t! I mean Europe drips Carrie everywhere and sells huge and this track is buried …ah well that’s the way it goes sometimes!

FAST COMPANY- love this song,it’s got some real good percussion and the song just rocks along and a decent clip but without overdoing it to the point that it makes me nauseous! Dig the middle part where you hear the screeching of tires,bottles smashing….Wowzers I’m Rumbling with the Suite Boys!…

TEARS ON THE PAGE- So blind to see,with the Tears On The Page sez Mr Dee and this is my other fav track! Great guitaring during the verses and the Chorus drives the point home! Great tune….

LETHAL WEAPON- yeah the tune from the first Lethal Weapon movie. This song to me always seemed out of place on this album. That’s ok I’m sure this sold a few more copies with it on it.

IN CONCLUSION- Honeymoon Suite goes to L.A and sets up shop and puts out a more guitar oriented Rock record which I really dug but for some reason it never really took off! When I do listen to these guys it’s this one and Monsters Under The Bed(very underrated ). Johnnie,Derry,Rob,Dave and Gary rocked it up. Good job fellas!

SONIC WAVES…Trooper/Hot Shots

My bro in law Lenny has requested Hot Shots….

Who in Canada over 35 years young has not heard of Trooper? Exactly we all have! Trooper was everywhere for a while say the late 70s into the  early 80s! I mean they headlined arenas all across Canada and had a good run and like all so many acts in Canada they fizzled out of the arenas but thanks to the term nostalgic Trooper I’m sure is probably out there  plugging away ummmmm Hot Shots!

Hot Shots is a greatest hits set released in 1979 to keep the buzz going created by Troopers Thick As Thieves album from 1978 produced by Randy Bachman! You know the one with Raise A Little Hell! So strike while the iron is hot and boom let’s capitalize with a release which equals $$$$$ It worked!

So I guess the main lineup of Troop changed over the years but the main dudes ….Ra Maguire,Brian Smith,Doni Underhill,Frank Ludwig and Tommy Stewart were the basis of the band that I dug!

Where’s Jerry the Garbage Man?

BOYS IN THE BRIGHT WHITE SPORTSCAR-so it’s 4 chords and we’re off and here comes the boys in Trooper waving they’re arms in the air! And where did they get that car! This is a song we all know thru and thru in Canada along with all other Trooper tracks! Outside of Canada these guys couldn’t get arrested! So all my blog buddies outside of Canada can watch the vids and you get a feel for Trooper! Big chorus with Na na a na na na……The sound is 70s Rock to a T!

BABY WONCHA PLEASE COME HOME-Smith and his guitar start off this track with some good OL Harmonica(Yee Haw!) great verse,pre chorus and man the drums and bass just push the song and you know what? This  is my fav Troop song of all time!

GENERAL HAND GRENADE- goofy good time tune! The music is not goofy but boy the lyrics are big dumbo Canadian Arena Rock but guess what? This song sticks in your fuckin noggin for hours on end! Seriously it does…. Watch the vid and you can thank me later! Hahahaha !

TWO FOR THE SHOW- Big Trooper power ballad(Bic lighter included!) and Trooper tells General Hand Grenade to chill out that they will crank it up (kinda) shortly but the boys slow the brakes down and let’s us take stock that these fugly guys calling themselves Trooper are writing proto type power ballads in the 70s! Say it ain’t so !

SANTA MARIA- so General Hand Grenade boards the Santa Maria ship and sets course into waters unknown! This is a mid tempo kinda rocker! Let’s face it folks, Trooper are not scientists but they could craft a good tune and make it catchy and well this is another one! One that can stick in your noggin for hours on end!

WERE HERE FOR A GOOD TIME- Reggae tinged track especially the drums plow this tune Into good time chill vibe mode! The rhythm is a good time beat! You know “so have a good time the sun will shine every day!” Thats  not my poetic ness folks wish it was but I’m not that clever!

OH PRETTY LADY- Wowzers were headed into total Troop AOR material ville! Trooper wanted the ladies bad can Ya blame em? Na I can’t! Slow the show down….play a song for the ladies and board the bus after! Holy shit did I just rehash that Journey Sap track video out loud (Faithfully) Hahahaha I did! Gosh I’m done!

ROUND ROUND WE GO-mid tempo rocker one that possesses a snappy happy prechorus that in my mind is stronger than the actual chorus! That’s no mean feat! But by golly I heard this tune a million times as this comes from the Thick As Thieves album which I spun oh a few times! This tune was sung by the keys guy Frank Ludwig who sings a good song!

THE MOMENT THAT IT TAKES- more of a power tunish song! Holy Moses,Frank Ludwig takes the lead vocal on this track and it’s another good song and well with these two songs sung by Ludwig he quit Trooper shortly after and where the hell did he go?

RAISE A LITTLE HELL-what can I possibly add to this tune that hasn’t been said! You go to hockey games in Canada its played over the PA system! It’s all over classic rock radio! I sure hope that Ra and Brian got some kind of royalty out of this tune! You know my fav part of the tune is at the end when the music stops after the solo and than the tune cranks up and Smith plays that big ass power chord and chugs the song with the drums to the end of the song! Boom! Done! Goodnight!

IN CONCLUSION- I own 2 Tropper albums(Hot Shots and Thick As Thieves) and for me that’s all I need thank you very much and I’m sure for other music peeps out there you may own more and I salute you! I really do! But man good on Trooper cuz since they could not get arrested outside of Canada inside our own little abode of a country Trooper had a good run! For that I say….

GOOD ON YA!….

I also must mention that the song 3 Dressed Up As 9 is another of my fav Troop tunes but they never put it on Hot Shots?? Well it’s here for all of you to see Trooper live in 1979! Does it not get any better than this?!

SONIC WAVES…..Helix/Wild In The Streets

 

1987 was the name of the album by Whitesnake that sold millions due to a ton of promotion and those videos! Hahaha….another album that came out in June of that year was Wild In The Streets by Helix. After a bit  of a musical bump with Long Way To Heaven Helix stormed back with a album solid of Rock all rolled into one neat little package. Helix in my book hit one out of the park with this album and why it did not sky rocket em to fame in the U.S Of A who the hell knows. Capitol records?? Definitely not the material that was on here and I will tell ya why….

Lets see what Brian/Brent/Paul(RIP)/Daryl and Fritz are bringing to the Parteeeee!

WILD IN THE STREETS- HELIX kicks you right in the ass,right out of the gate with the name sake of the album as the lead off song! The production of this song tells ya that the boys spent some money on making it sound like a big time record! They don’t disappoint. Love the lyrics especially the line about being spread around like a Social Disease! Helix must have had a crystal ball cause here we are 27 years later and social networking is being spread around at times like a “Social Disease!”Good call man!

NEVER GONNA STOP THE ROCK- the Helix boys for me go into a heavy funk due to Fritzs drums and there going to keep the rock going until the wee early morning hours! So ya better buckle up !

DREAM ON- A Nazareth cover that Helix if you didn’t know was a cover you would think it’s there own song! Compared to a lot of supposed big time power ballads of the day this should have put Helix on the map ! But for some reason we had to suffer with stuff a few years later like Heaven by Warrant and whatever Trixter was plugging! Damn finicky public man!

WHATCHA BRINGING TO THE PARTY-Helix bids adieu to the power ballad and kicks it back into gear with one of my favourites from this record. That’s the thing about Helix there our fun Canadiana party band all of our own to party with and if you didn’t know any better the Helix party bus will show up with party treats! We won’t be disappointed!

HIGH VOLTAGE KICKS- This song starts off with a little guitar interplay between Vollmer and after he tells us about his High Voltage Kicks..the song lifts off Cape Canaveral like the shuttle and heads into orbit quick!  Doctor Doerner and Paul Hackman never in my book got the due they deserved with  there playing together. It was a a good as anybody out there at the time plus they had the rock moves down to a fine art. Don’t believe me watch the vid I posted!

GIVE EM HELL- starts off side two. Helix is basically telling us like Aaron from Keeps Me Alive(check out his blog) to give’er! And by golly I will Helix I will give it hell all the time. That’s the thing about the music these guys wrote they would say don’t be down on your luck so don’t give a ….well give em hell! Positive vibes all good !

SHOT FULL OF LOVE- is a 18 wheeler driving off of a cliff. Helix says you want some hard rock here….eat it!  The guitars In this song just wail along with Daryl Gray on the bass and Fritz on the skins! Vollmer tries to reign it all in….but he doesn’t ease on the brakes!!!

LOVE HUNGRY EYES- could have been a single! It’s as catchy as hell! What were the honchos at Captiol Records doing? Uhh I probably wouldn’t want to know! But seriously this album had good hard rock singles. Some one dropped the ball!

SHES TOO TOUGH-so this was a Joe Elliot from Def Leppard composition and Helix like I said with Dream On earlier take this song rock the shit out of it and make it there own! Funny thing Is i heard the Leppard version when they put it out on there Retroactive release and well Leppards version sucked man! Sorry Joe just telling it like it is! Helix rocked it.  Leppard was trying to get on the radio with there’s…Helix wasn’t it. They were just doing what they were doing!

KISS IT GOODBYE- great sense of humour but hey Helix is Canadian! Bend over Kiss your ass good bye! Just a great ending to a great record! Cool drumming on this one!

IN CONCLUSION -Helix should have broke open with this release! Everything about this album was solid/songs/ playing/vocals/production and for some reason it did not catch! But where I came from it was on high rotation in my neck of the woods!