Archive for Pat Travers

Great Rock Albums of 1985: Stevie Ray Vaughan- Soul to Soul

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 11, 2018 by 80smetalman

If I had relied on MTV for musical influence back in 1985, I would have never discovered this cool album from Stevie Ray Vaughan. I remember not being overly impressed with the music video for the song, “Change It” from the album. That was because that a huge part of Stevie’s guitar solo on the song got cut out of the video and that was a damn shame. What he could do with a guitar was what Stevie Ray Vaughan was all about and the 1985 album, “Soul to Soul” demonstrates this to a tee.

At the time, blues based guitarists seemed to be not trendy enough for the then current generation of MTV slaves. Eric Clapton was accused of being too ‘new wave’ and in spite of some great albums in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Rory Gallagher had not really broken through to the USA. Furthermore, Pat Travers seemed to have vanished off the face of the earth, it was reassuring that Stevie Ray Vaughan was able to carry the torch in traditional blues based style.

Any doubt about it is erased on the very first track of “Soul to Soul.” “Say What” is a blinding blues instrumental where Stevie just takes his guitar and does what does best with it. He does take over the vocal duties on the songs after that and while his vocals are okay, it’s the guitar work that impresses me more. “Look at Little Sister” is the hidden gem on the album because of the upbeat tempo along with the combination of saxophone and guitar which sounds perfect for this song. The following track “Ain’t Gone n Give Up On Love” is also an amazing blues song reminding me of some of the blues Gods who have gone before such as John Lee Hooker and BB King. There’s another blinder of a guitar solo on that one.

Thinking about it and my Swiss cheese memory might be to blame here, maybe it wasn’t “Change It” that I saw on MTV all those years ago. Listening to it now, this song is much better than what I remember seeing on the video. I have to confess it is a great song. The remainder of the album doesn’t depreciate in any way. The fast paced “You’ll Be Mine” takes things up a notch or four leading right to the great guitar solo intro on “Empty Arms.” After more blistering guitar solos on “Come On (Part III), the album concludes nicely with the slow blues number, “Life Without You” making “Soul to Soul” a classic blues rock album for the 1980s.

Linking past to present, while I have always loved Stevie Ray Vaughan’s music, I think the reason I like it even more these days is because this album especially reminds me of the television show, “NCIS- New Orleans.” Mrs 80smetalman and I are both big fans of the show and with every song here, I think of the end of the programme when after solving the big case, the team are all celebrating in the bar owned by Scott Bakula’s character and this type of music always seems to be playing in the background. Think about it, if it hadn’t been for Stevie’s tragic death from a helicopter crash in 1990, he might have made a guest appearance on the show. That would have been awesome!

Track Listing:

  1. Say What
  2. Lookin’ Out the Window
  3. Look at Little Sister
  4. Ain’t Gone n Give Up On Love
  5. Gone Home
  6. Change It
  7. You’ll Be Mine
  8. Empty Arms
  9. Come on (Part III)
  10. Life Without You

Stevie Ray Vaughan

Stevie Ray Vaughan- guitar, vocals, drums on “Empty Arms”

Tommy Shannon- bass

Chris Layton- drums

Reese Wynans- keyboards

Joe Sublett- saxophone on “Lookin’ Out the Window” and “Look at Little Sister”

Stevie Ray Vaughan proved that blues based rock was still alive and well in 1985 in spite of what the synth pop addled MTV youth might have said. “Soul to Soul” is a fantastic album.

Next post: Molly Hatchet- Double Trouble Live

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://c-newfreepdf.cf/olddocs/free-download-online-rock-and-roll-children-pdf-1609763556-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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America’s Best Kept Secret: Hannah Wicklund and the Steppin Stones

Posted in Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2018 by 80smetalman

As most of you already know, I’ve come to America these past two weeks for not the happiest of reasons. However, in between my mother’s memorial service, the scattering of her ashes into the ocean and my getting stuck into cleaning her house, (she was a heavy smoker), there have been other more happier events like the wine tasting day my sister and her husband took me to. I also got to hook up with my old friend and true metal fan, Frank Formica, at a karaoke night. He even sang “Battle Hyms” by Manowar for me. So, it hasn’t been all gloom for me while I’ve been here, something I’ve been really grateful for.

Having some wine

On one of these more happier occasions, while at my sister and her husband’s house, they told me about this new lady blues guitarist whom they happened to see at some fair in New Jersey not long ago. The guitarists’ name was Hannah Wicklund and my brother in law, Mark Pickeral, who is a pretty good guitarist himself, was so blown away by this lady that he bought two of her albums. I believe this self titled one is her fourth album. But before I get into what a great album “Hannah Wicklund and the Steppin Stones” is, I have to say that when they showed me concert footage of Hannah, I was just as blown away. The album is excellent, it’s going to move into my top 15 for sure, but she is even more kick ass live. I hope that one day I have the opportunity of seeing her do so.

Hannah Wicklund has been called a combination of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. I can see the comparison here because she has the power vocals of Janis and she can play guitar like Jimi. When I listen to her blues based guitar rock, I am reminded of other greats in this genre like Rory Gallagher, Robin Trower, Pat Travers, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and even  Eric Clapton. Her guitar playing can hold its own with any of these mentioned but none of them come close to her in her vocal ability. My God, can she sing! What we have here is a great singer who can shred brilliantly. For me, what’s not there to like?

The hardest thing I find to do when listening to “Hannah Wicklund & the Steppin Stones” is to pick a favourite track. Every time I think I might have chosen, another comes along and vies for the title. This is down to the fact that there are ten great songs on the album. Her vocals come through straight away on the opener, “Bomb Through the Breeze” and her sheer power is stamped on “Ghost.” Then she changes up on “Looking Glass.” My vote, possibly, for best guitar solo comes on “On the Road.” Then just when you think you got her pegged, she surprises you with a near ballad like closer, “Shadow Boxes and Porcelain Faces.” But on every song, Hannah’s vocal and guitar skills shine through.

Track Listing:

  1. Bomb Through the Breeze
  2. Ghost
  3. Looking Glass
  4. Mama Said
  5. On the Road
  6. Crushin
  7. Strawberry Moon
  8. Too Close to You
  9. Meet You Again
  10. Shadow Boxes and Porcelain Faces

Hannah Wicklund

Hannah Wicklund- lead vocals, guitar

I can’t find his name anywhere- bass

Luke Mitchell- drums

Note: Luke is also Hannah’s brother who fronts his own band, The High Divers.

One song wasn’t enough to do Hannah justice here so that’s why you are getting three. Hopefully, you will find as I do that Hannah Wicklund kicks ass and she is destined for great things.

Next post, I’ll decided that when I get back to the UK next week.

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://crreadac.cf/current/ebooks-free-download-rock-and-roll-children-fb2-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Diamond Head- Canterbury

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2016 by 80smetalman

diamond_head_canterbury_cover

It is quite possible that my mind is well and truly going. My memories from when I saw Diamond Head at the 1983 Monsters of Rock Festival at Donington Park in England, I thought that this band played some really hard metal. However, when I listen to their 1983 “Canterbury” album, which was released two months before their Donington appearance, I find myself asking, “Is this the same band?” The “Canterbury” album isn’t that straight forward in your face metal I remember from when I saw them all those years ago. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a cool album and there are a couple of hard tracks on it, however, the album takes a more progressive rock, artsy direction.

The first two tracks are definitely in the progressive vein but still decent tracks. For some reason, the opener, “Makin’ Music” reminds me a little of the opening track from Pat Travers’ live album. Things go gradually harder with the tracks that follow. The first metal track in the sense of the word for me is “One More Night.” That song does knock your socks off. I could say the same thing for the next track as well but the vocals remind me too much of early U2. I don’t want to insult lead singer Sean Harris but he does sound like Bono a little on it. One could say that this track might be what U2 would sound like if they went metal, as if. Then again, maybe I think too damn much.

Thoughts of U2  don’t disappear immediately on the very next track. They linger for the first half of “Knight of the Swords” but they do go away when Brian Tatler lays down his best guitar solo on the album. For me, that alone makes it the best track on the album. You know all this thinking about U2, I have to remember that back in 1983, they were good in my eyes and ears as they were with many others. So, the comparisons shouldn’t be seen as a harsh criticism. After “Knight of the Swords,” things go more melodic hard rock with “Ishmael.” It’s an okay song but I don’t find it anything to get too excited about. With “I Need Your Love,” Diamond Head goes kind of new wave/metal. It is a good track to bop your head along to and it hosts the second best guitar solo on it, so pluses all around. The title track closes the album and this is definitely an artsy progressive rock tune. It begins with a piano to which Harris sings a ballad like tune for the first two and a half minutes. While the song doesn’t go crazy power metal after, it does pick up the tempo. There is some fine musicianship on it and it turns out to be a good way to end the album.

Track Listing:

  1. Makin’ Music
  2. Out of Phase
  3. The Kingmaker
  4. One More Night
  5. To the Devil His Due
  6. Knight of the Swords
  7. Ishmael
  8. I Need Your Love
  9. Cantebury
Sean Harris and  Brian Tatler who made up Diamond Head

Sean Harris and Brian Tatler who made up Diamond Head

Sean Harris- vocals

Brian Tatler- guitars

Additional Musicians:

Colin Kimberly- bass

Mervyn Goldsworthy- bass

Duncan Scott- drums

Robbie France- drums

Jamie Lane- drums

Chris Heaton- keyboards

Back in the early 1980s, Diamond were the best kept secret of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, (NWOBHM). While Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Saxon to name some had established themselves as big names in the US, most Americans never heard of Diamond Head. One such person, when reading my Donington t-shirt thought that because the name Diamond Head was on it, the concert had taken place in Hawaii. I put him right on that one. “Canterbury” might not have been the metal album one would expect from Diamond Head, but it’s still good album nevertheless.

Next post: Saxon- Power and Glory

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishingroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Iron Maiden- Piece of Mind

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2016 by 80smetalman

iron_maiden_-_piece_of_mind

One problem with me back in 1983 was procrastination. When I would hear about how good a particular band was or even heard a couple of songs I really liked from said band, I still wouldn’t rush out and buy their album. I put it down to me being too tight with my money back then. In the case of Iron Maiden, I heard a lot of good songs from them in the early years and even saw their kick ass live show in January 1985, which is highlighted in “Rock And Roll Children,” but the first Maiden album I actually bought was “Live After Death.” It was then that I started to delve into their backlog of studio albums and discovered what would be my all time favourite Iron Maiden studio album, “Piece of Mind.”

If I’m completely honest, I think what I liked most about “Piece of Mind” was that fact that it has many of the songs that I loved from “Live After Death” on it. What’s an added bonus is that the studio versions of those songs don’t sound too different from the live ones. Although when I hear “Revelations,” even after all these years, I still half expect Bruce Dickinson to shout “Scream for me Longbeach!” in the middle of the song. Still, you can’t go wrong with such great tracks as the one mentioned as well as two others near the top of my favourite Iron Maiden song list, “The Trooper” and “The Flight of Icarus.” The weird thing about those two songs is that “The Flight of Icarus” sounds shorter in length that what it actually is and “The Trooper” sounds longer. But hey, who cares about things like that? They’re both great songs, one written about a famous Greek fable while the other is about a tragic blunder in British military history, the charge of the light brigade. Both done very well set to music.

“Die With Your Boots On” is another cross over from the live album and I really like that one as well but those don’t lessen the effect the other tracks has on the album. “Where Eagles Dare” is a fantastic opener and “To Tame a Land” is a cool closer. The other three tracks on the album also contribute to “Piece of Mind’s” greatness although I never really get to hear what is said in “Nicko” which is a backwards message at the beginning of “Still Life.” It was included as a dig at the religious nuts who claimed Iron Maiden were Satanic on account of the “The Number of the Beast Album.” On the subject of Nicko, this was the first album to feature drummer Nicko McBrain, who replaced Clive Burr. What I never knew was that Nicko used to play with guitar great, Pat Travers. Man, you learn something new every day.

Track Listing:

  1. Where Eagles Dare
  2. Revelations
  3. The Flight of Icarus
  4. Die With You Boots On
  5. The Trooper
  6. Still Life
  7. Quest for Fire
  8. Sun and Steel
  9. To Tame a Land
Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden

Bruce Dickinson- vocals

Steve Harris- bass

Adrian Smith- guitar

Dave Murray- guitar

Nicko McBrain- drums

History has tried to state that the new wave of British heavy metal, (NWOBH) was fading by 1983. I guess that Iron Maiden forgot to pick up the memo because they put out a stellar album in that year. One can’t fault “Piece of Mind” at all as it cemented their place as heavy metal legends.

Next post: Def Leppard- Pyromania

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Dura Silex Should Be Signed

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2014 by 80smetalman

Not long ago, I obtained possession of a demo CD from a band named Dura Silex. Before, I go on any further, I’d like to just say that I was hoping for a group photo from the band but since I haven’t received one, I thought I would post about them anyway. The reason is that after my first listen to their demo CD, I was so blown away that I promised myself that I would do a post listing my reasons why they should have a record deal in the same way I felt that Black Emerald should have had one when I saw them at Bloodstock last year.

Black Emerald

Black Emerald

First a little background: Dura Silex, which is Latin for hard rock, come from Southern New Jersey and at the moment comprise just two members, guitarist Mark Pickeral and lead singer Marie Christina. If her name sounds vaguely familiar, that is because she attended Rock and Roll Fantasy camp and got to perform along side the likes of Howard Leese (Heart), Kip Winger (Winger) and Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot, Whitesnake). The demo was recorded at Mark Pickeral’s home studio and he programs the bass and drums for it.

Now if you were counting on Dura Silex and Black Emerald together on a joint tour, it probably wouldn’t work. While Black Emerald are more your straight forward metal band and they’re very good at it, Dura Silex has a sound that favours a hard blues rock sort of vibe. First, since I have already mentioned her, let’s start with the vocals of Marie Christina. Her opera background comes through with the very first track and it is beautiful to hear. It is so good and unique that it’s hard to compare her to any other vocalist, though that’s not a bad thing. The closest I would say is Liv Christine of Leave’s Eyes. Christina’s operatic voice really shines through the most on the second track, “Ego Maniac.” However, the opera training does not compromise her power to go total rock and roll. The result is one part that makes Dura Silex, great vocals.

Liv Christine and Leaves Eyes

Liv Christine and Leaves Eyes

Now onto guitarist Mark Pickeral. I have to confess here, I may appear a little biased here because Mark is my brother in law but related or not, he definitely knows how to bend a six string. I have heard previous offerings from him in the past but on this demo he really goes to town. It is his playing that has led me to conclude that Dura Silex play a hard blues rock sound. His efforts remind me of Pat Travers or Rory Gallagher but at the same time, his playing style is unique. The end result is the combined playing style of Mark and the vocals of Marie make a great team. You only have to listen to the demo to be converted.

Rory Gallagher

  Rory Gallagher

Pat Travers

Pat Travers

 Track Listing:

1. Louder Than Lies

2. Ego Maniac

3. Thief of Hearts

4. For the Love

5. Roaming

6. Walk Through Fire

7. Through to You

8. Last Laugh

9. Waiting

10. Dream Walker

11. Down on My Luck

While it has been said that these aren’t the best tracks Dura Silex have laid down, (they’re saving their best for a more professional demo) the ones here would make up an album that would make any artist proud. “Louder Than Lies” is a great opener and “Down on My Luck” is a fantastic closer. In between, there are nine songs that really rock. The ones which really stick out for me are “Thief of Hearts,” “Through to You,” “Last Laugh” and “Waiting.” If these tracks should appear on line and I will let you know if it does, then have a listen to them. You should be in agreement with me that any record label who passes on them is just plain stupid.

Next post: American Pop, Soundtrack

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

A Tribute to Blues Based Guitarists

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2013 by 80smetalman

Like I did with the “Who’s the Greatest Rhythm Guitarist?” poll, I have decided to put in an extra thought between the years of my metal history tour. So, since I have finished with 1980 and before heading into 1981, I thought I would take a moment to reflect on some of the great blues based guitarists I have come to know and love over the years. Now, I have always been a sucker for a good long guitar solo played in the mentioned fashion. Even when they were performed by guitarists who may not have been known for such a style. That is probably why my all time favourite Jimi Hendrix song is “Hey Joe,” although the lyrics may have something to do with it as well. Then the other day, I was listening to the Rainbow “Anthology” album and I must say that I was relatively blown away by Ritchie Blackmore on the final song, “Difficult to Cure.” 

 

Jimi Hendrix

      Jimi Hendrix

153533071322c578

One guitarist who many have considered one of the all time greats was old slow hand himself Eric Clapton. I had the pleasure of seeing him live in 1985 and despite the fact that the record company was trying to get him to go new wave, that night he played many of his classic guitar jams. In fact, I thought it was an act of sacrilege when the other guitarist in his band played a solo on “Cocaine.” Still, Eric showed why he is one of the all time greats.

Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton

 

 

Rory Gallagher

Rory Gallagher

 

Pat Travers

Pat Travers

 

Robin Trower

Robin Trower

True most the guitarists I have featured here were from the years I have been visiting here on 80smetalman’s Blog but these were the ones who I have first come to know and appreciate. By the late 1980s, there were some who claimed that the blues guitarist was buried dead in the past. I can see their argument as so many great metal lead guitarists were stepping into the limelight. The blues guitarist may have been pushed to the side but they weren’t totally gone and then in the mid 90s, a new guitarist would take his place in the spotlight. His name was Kenny Wayne Shepherd. His album “Trouble Is” took me back to those days of listening and playing along to long bluesy guitar solos and the world was balanced once again.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd

Kenny Wayne Shepherd

 

I could go on naming more great guitarist from this style, Jimmy Page was known to lay down a killer blues riff or two and right now Mark Knopfler’s efforts on “Sultans of Swing” comes to mind. For me, these were the pioneers of great guitarists. I loved their style and still do. That doesn’t mean I’m not open to a good ripping solo from one of today’s metal giants. It’s just I like to reflect back on some of the blues guitarist that first got me into rock and then metal. I hope you’ve enjoyed the ride too.

 

Next post: 1981- The Dam Continues to Break

 

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Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

Great Rock Albums of 1980: Pat Travers- Crash And Burn

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2013 by 80smetalman

220px-PatTravers-CrashAndBurn

Back in this year, I used to belong to one of those mail order record clubs. You know, you join by buying six albums for a penny and then you have to buy a certain amount of albums in two years. I think RCA ran the one I belonged to. They had an album of the month and if you didn’t say that you didn’t want that album in time, they would send it to you. I always got my no response in time, especially after my friend who didn’t and got sent an album by KC and the Sunshine Band. I bought a number of albums this way: Alice Cooper- “From the Inside,” Van Halen II, ZZ Top- “Eliminator” and I know for a fact that the very last album I purchased this way was Black Sabbath- “Live Evil.” Whenever, I would go through the booklet of albums to buy, this album “Crash and Burn” by Pat Travers was always in it. I never bought it, even after listening to his great previous live album, “Live! Go For What You Know.” Having finally heard this album, I regret never buying it all those years ago.

Pat Travers is responsible for rekindling my love for blues based guitar rock. I love the slow but hard riffs accompanied by a long guitar solo in the middle. His talents shine on the fore mentioned live album and they continue to do so on his 1980 effort, “Crash And Burn.” Saying that, you might be fooled by the opening title track as it’s more of a progressive rock song. However, the second track, “(Your Love) Can’t Be Right) goes back to the style Mr Travers has been best known for. Then comes the very famous “Snortin Whiskey” and you know that all is well. This is probably the most mind blowing song he’s done, at least in my limited experience of Pat. A great hard rocker with a just as amazing guitar solo. It bears all the trademarks associated with this great musician. The pace is then set for the rest of the album after that but I do love his take on the Bob Marley written “Is This Love” which is done with total pinache. The album goes well all the way down to its exciting closer, “Material Eyes” and sends the album out on a very definite high.

Pat Travers

Pat Travers

Track Listing:
1. Crash And Burn
2. (Your Love) Can’t Be Right
3. Snortin Whiskey
4. Born Under a Bad Sign
5. Is This Love
6. The Big Event
7. Love Will Make You Strong
8. Material Eyes

Pat Travers- lead vocals, lead and rhythm guitars, keyboards
Pat Thrall- lead and rhythm guitars, backing vocals
Peter Mars Cowling- bass
Tommy Aldridge- drums/percussion
Additional Musicians
Dawn Shahan- backing vocals
Michael Shrieve- percussion
First of all, I apologise for the lack of photos on this post. I don’t know what the problem is here but it’s not letting me do so at the moment. If I can sort it, then I will add them. Still, you don’t need photos to know what a great rocking album “Crash and Burn” is. I bet that Pat Travers hasn’t gotten anywhere near a nomination for the Rock Hall of Fame, sad.

Next post: 1980- Tragedy and Triumph

To Buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London