Archive for Southern Rock

Bloodstock 2016: Friday- Well Most of It

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2016 by 80smetalman

Old age had caught up with me just after midnight on the Thursday so I decided to call it a night. Trying to get to sleep, I was disturbed by several loud crashes that went on through the night. When I awoke the next morning, Teal, my stepson, tells me about the latest sports craze sweeping Bloodstock, bin jousting. From what he tells me, you get two large dumpster bins, one or more persons to stand on it and then a group of people to push the bin into that of their opponent’s. Whoever falls loses. I would have definitely done something like that in my youth but these days, nah!

My first morning at Bloodstock, I wolf down my breakfast and head for the arena. With no apparent appearance of anyone on the Ronnie James Dio Stage, I head over to the New Blood Stage. Maybe, I’ll find another band like Black Emerald. At 10:30, a three piece band called Witch Tripper from Mansfield, England ascends the stage and immediately blows me away. They were a great power metal band. The guitarist, who is also the lead singer, can definitely shred and he is supported by a very capable rhythm section. They were that good that they held my attention to the point that I never even noticed the first band of the day on the main stage had begun playing. If there were any record scouts watching these guys play and didn’t make them an offer, then shame on you. Witch Tripper was a great start to the Friday morning.

Witch Tripper made the perfect start to the day.

Witch Tripper made the perfect start to the day.

When Witch Tripper finished, I immediately beat feet to the Ronnie James Dio Stage to catch the second half of Hark. I’m glad I did. Hark’s brand of metal followed very nicely from what I had just seen. They were powerful, fierce and hungry and their performance on the stage showed it. While Witch Tripper might have kicked things off for the day, Hark definitely got the show started on the main stage.

Hark

Hark

It was on Teal’s recommendation that I check out the second band on the main stage on Friday, Gloryhammer. My first impression when I heard them was, “They sound a lot like Hammerfall.” Melodic keyboards, fantasy lyrics and at times, a good power sound, yes, all the elements I know of from Hammerfall. Furthermore, all the mannerisms of the band while they were on stage gave the impression that they were from one of the Scandinavian nations. Even the actions of lead singer, Thomas Winkler, had me thinking they were from said reginon. Well, the last bit was all wrong. The members of the band are from Scotland and Switzerland! In fact, Winkler claims he is the heir to the throne of Fife. Still, their music and stage show was very good. I especially liked when they brought a young lady dressed as a medieval serving wench to refresh them. So, while there was still a definite Hammerfall influence here, they were unique enough to rock the stage.

Gloryhammer fulfilling fantasies

Gloryhammer fulfilling fantasies

More Gloryhammer

More Gloryhammer

Heir of Fife addressing his subjects

Heir of Fife addressing his subjects

Tried to get the serving lady, too many hands got in the way.

Tried to get the serving lady, too many hands got in the way.

With a break in the action on the main stage, I heard loud sounds from the Sophie Lancaster Stage. Going to investigate, I discovered the band Brutai blasting away. Silly cliches but Brutai were brutal. They were loud and proud. So loud in fact that work phoned my mobile during their time on stage and I had to walk a good ways from the tent in order to hear the call. They proved to be an enjoyable bridge between Gloryhammer and the next band to ascend the Ronnie James Dio Stage.

Brutai pounding the Sophie Lancaster Stage

Brutai pounding the Sophie Lancaster Stage

Gloryhammer played melodically to people’s fantasies. The next band on the main stage, Evil Scarecrow, simply scared the crap out of people. Their Halloween make up combined with their aggressive thrash metal was not for the feint-hearted. Evil Scarecrow pulverized the stage and anyone who got near enough to hear them. It must be my sub-conscience masochistic tendencies but I kind of enjoyed what I heard. Still, not one to play when your grandmother is visiting.

I wasn't the only one unafraid of Evil Scarecrow

I wasn’t the only one unafraid of Evil Scarecrow

For some reason, Evil Scarecrow left me feeling a bit hungry. I mean there was no drinking of animal blood on stage or anything like that but my stomach was calling. Therefore, I thought it would be a good idea to feed my face, down a couple of cans in preparation for the long time I was going to be at the front of the main stage. It was always my plan to see three of the last four bands on the Friday and since the other band was the one on before the headliner, I thought I would see them just so I wouldn’t lose my place for the main event.

The first of those bands was Corrosion of Conformity. I listened to one album of theirs back in the 1980s, but that was all. My memory of them was always them being a thrash metal band but this night, I was educated. While they were definitely metal, I couldn’t help hearing some of their Southern roots in their music. Well, they were announced as being from North Carolina, so I can certainly see where that comes from. Nevertheless, they were metal on this day, through and through. Really loved it when they played “Vote With a Bullet.” They were a great start to the marathon.

Corrosion of Conformity establishing their dominance

Corrosion of Conformity establishing their dominance

Woody Weatherman cranking out a solo

Woody Weatherman cranking out a solo

Corrosion of Conformity wowing the crowd.

Corrosion of Conformity wowing the crowd.

Actually, the wait between bands wasn’t as excruciating as I was fearing. So, it didn’t seem all that long before, Venom emerged. Not to be outdone, Venom hit the stage like a formula one car and only accelerated more as they went on. Playing a good mix, it was only four songs before they played the first of their classics, “Welcome to Hell.” From there, they only created more mayhem on the stage and I have to admit, compared to when I saw them in 1986, Cronus has definitely matured as a musician, singer and showman. Plus, new guitarist, La Rage, was definitely a welcome addition to the band. The only thing I could nit pick was the fact they didn’t play “Women, Leather and Hell” but only a minor disappointment from what was a rather good set, especially when they ended with “Black Metal,” fantastic! At one point, Cronus stated that Venom hadn’t played Britain in ten years but I think that on this day, they earned their place back in the hearts and minds of British metalheads.

Venom comes back

Venom comes back

Cronus proves he still has pipes

Cronus proves he still has pipes

La Rage showing what he can do with a guitar

La Rage showing what he can do with a guitar

I thought that this might have been my first time seeing Behemoth but I now realise that I may have seen them in 2010. I can’t be sure. If I had, back then, they definitely didn’t enter the stage as theatrically as they did on this day. With guitar and bass waiting under a wooden frame while eerie music played, Nergal made his dramatic entry onto the stage and then all pandemonium broke loose. Behemoth’s brand of black metal and death metal provided an interesting gap in what had gone before and what was to come. While I only realised it since coming home from the festival, Behemoth played their latest album, “The Satanist” in it’s entirety. Knowing this and seeing them on stage, has made me want to listen to the album. I have to say, their stage show was quite good except at the end when they released the black confetti, all I could think was that Sabbaton did that last year.

Orion, Seth and Inferno silently wait for things to commence

Orion, Seth and Inferno silently wait for things to commence

Nergal hits the stage

Nergal hits the stage

Behemoth go for it

Behemoth go for it

Cool light show

Cool light show

Black Confetti

Black Confetti

One band was to follow Behemoth on this night. However, you will have to wait til next post to read about them. After all, I did say that I would do a separate post for them alone and trust me, they deserve it.

Next post: Twisted Sister at Bloodstock

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Further Thought About 38 Special

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2016 by 80smetalman
38 Special

38 Special

Something I said in my last post about the “Tour de Force” album by 38 Special has given me cause for further reflection. In that post, I suggested that the gradual but steady decline in the quality of 38 Special’s albums as a new one was released might have had to do with the fact that when each new album came out, the songs sung be Donnie Van Zant decreased while those sung by Don Barnes increased. There may be a link here but I can’t really say for sure.

38_Special_-_Wild-Eyed_Southern_Boys

My reflections have brought on an epiphany in regards to 38 Special. I now offer into evidence my second favourite of all time, 38 Special song, the title track to the album “Wild Eyed Southern Boys.” On this phenomenal track, Barnes & Van Zant both sing lead on it. They each sing a line before passing over to the other. This alternation of vocals works very well with the song and is one of the reasons why it’s so good. However, of the four 38 Special albums I have, this is the only song where they do it. My question is why the hell not? I’m not saying they needed to do it on every song but I see nothing wrong with one track on every album. See, their vocals complimented each other so well on “Wild Eyed Southern Boys,” one would have thought they would have done this more. Man, I wish I had a time machine because I would go back to 1981 and point this out to them. What do all of you think?

Donnie Van Zant

Donnie Van Zant

Don Barnes

Don Barnes

80smetalman will resume normal duties in the next couple of days.

 

Great Rock Albums of 1983: 38 Special- Tour de Force

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2016 by 80smetalman

38_Special_-_Tour_de_Force

“Tour de Force” proves what I probably said about albums by 38 Special in previous posts. Each new album is not as good as the ones before. Going back to the very first 38 Special album I listened to, “Rockin’ Into the Night” was outstanding, their best album ever. The next one, “Wild Eyed Southern Boys” was an excellent album and “Special Forces was somewhere between good and very good. However, the 1983 “Tour de Force” album was just good.

Another thing which I have said in the past was my belief that if the single opens the album, then the album may not be up to much because that has always been a trick of one hit wonders. In the case of this album, the first three tracks are the singles that were released on the album. Of those three, the middle one, “Back Where You Belong,” is the best. That song is more the 38 Special I had come to know and love back then. A good opening hard riff with a cool guitar solo, full marks there. Saying that, “If I’d Been the One” is a decent enough song but I’ve never been impressed with the third track, “One Time for Old Times.”

Here is a case where instead of one song not making an entire album, it’s two. I won’t include “Back Where You Belong” because it is a great song. However, after those three singles, things definitely turn up a few notches for the good. “See Me In Your Eyes” starts to return things to a normality with 38 Special and then “Twentieth Century Fox” is a complete rocker. The exact same thing can be said for the tracks that follow on after that. “Long Distance Affair” and the closer, “Undercover Lover” are fine rocking tracks with the latter song, when it closes out the album, leaves you with an all’s well that ends well feeling towards the album.

I must also add that “I Oughta Let Go” is more of a Southern boogie number which proves that at this time, the band hadn’t completely abandoned their Southern Rock roots. But my brain has me wondering if the decline in each album is down to cause and effect. With “Rockin’ Into the Night,” Donnie Van Zant sings lead on five songs and Don Barnes three and one cracking instrumental. On the ensuing albums, the number of Van Zant leads lessen and Barnes sings lead on more. On “Tour de Force” Donnie Van Zant only sings lead on three songs with Barnes the other six. Now, I’m not knocking Don Barnes, he is a great vocalist and I should have included him in my list of great rhythm guitarists but Donnie Van Zant definitely brings an energy to the songs he sings. So, I wonder that if they kept it as it was on the first album, there wouldn’t have been such a noticeable decline. Oh yes, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again because it remains true on “Tour de Force.” Jeff Carlisi is a very underrated guitarist.

Track Listing:

  1. If I’d Been the One
  2. Back Where You Belong
  3. One Time for Old Times
  4.  See Me in Your Eyes
  5. Twentieth Century Fox
  6. Long Distance Affair
  7. I Oughta Let Go
  8. One of the Lonely Ones
  9. Undercover Lover
38 Special

38 Special

Don Barnes- lead vocals, guitar

Donnie Van Zant- lead vocals

Jeff Carlisi- lead guitar, steel guitar

Larry Junstrom- bass

Steve Brookins- drums

Jack Grondin- drums

Carol Bristow- backing vocals

Lu Moss- backing vocals

Jimmy Markham- harmonica

38 Special were at a cross roads at this point in time. I remember tearing my hair out trying to convince my friend that they were not a top forty band and that they were a cool Southern Rock band like Lynyrd Skynyrd and Molly Hatchet. I’m not sure if he ever believed me but while this album may lead one to think that they had sold out, there is enough on this good album to show that hadn’t.

Next post: Rolling Stones- Undercover

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

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1983: ZZ Top- Eliminator

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-ZZ_Top_-_Eliminator

I wasn’t completely accurate when I said that Molly Hatchet’s “No Guts No Glory” album was the first vinyl record I bought after leaving the marines. In fact, I was only telling half the truth because I bought the record through a mail order record club but not only did I buy Molly Hatchet, I had also bought “Eliminator” by ZZ Top and they came in the same package. I won’t lose any sleep over it though, after all I had two great albums from 1983 to listen one right after the other, which I did.

For many people, ZZ Top’s “Eliminator” album epitomized 1983. It was one of those albums that brought people of different musical tastes together. Johnny-come-lately trendies liked it because ZZ Top sounded a little different and back then, anything to mainstream enthusiasts that sounded different was branded new wave. However, for harder rockers like me as well as those who had been listening to them for years, it was the fact that ZZ Top managed to do so well without compromising their musical style, well not too much anyway. They retained their Texas-bad boy-boogie-blues style rock that had endeared them to listeners such as myself. Believe me, unlike some artists about this time, “Eliminator” has never had me pining for their earlier classics like “Tres Hombres” or “El Loco.” It’s great as it stands.

The main reason why I like is that Billy Gibbons just basically rips through the entire album with his guitar solos. Pick any song on this album and guaranteed, I will be rocking away to his solo on it. But while Billy is sensational, you must give credit to the Dusty Hill and Frank Beard who must be one of the tightest rhythm sections in music. Another plus for “Eliminator” is the songs are so upbeat without being mushy. Most of the songs are topics we can all identify with. Yes, every girl is crazy about a sharp dressed man. It’s just too bad I didn’t take those words to heart back then and more than the average man, I am definitely a sucker for a nice pair of legs. We’ve all eaten TV dinners at one time in our lives. Oh, I do like that song because ZZ Top proved that they could add keyboards and still sound great. Then I think everybody gets the innuendo with “I Got the Six.” I could say that the song was about a dice game but I don’t think anyone would believe me somehow. One more thing, I think that “Got Me Under Pressure” is a very underrated song with some amusing lyrics.

“She don’t like other women, she likes whips and chains.
She likes cocaine and filppin’ out with great Danes.
She’s about all I can handle, it’s too much for my brain.”

The famous ZZ Top Eliminator car

The famous ZZ Top Eliminator car

Another first for me with this album was that it was the first one where I was influenced by video. Videos for the songs “Gimme All Your Lovin,'” “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Legs” all featured the famous eliminator car, (see above) and those three lovely ladies. Now, I’ll be the first one to say that ZZ Top didn’t need such things for this album to succeed because the music is that good but on the other hand, who am I to complain?

Remember these ladies from the ZZ Top videos?

Remember these ladies from the ZZ Top videos?

Track Listing:

  1. Gimme All Your Lovin’
  2. Got Me Under Pressure
  3. Sharp Dressed Man
  4. I Need You Tonight
  5. I Got the Six
  6. Legs
  7. Thug
  8. TV Dinners
  9. Dirty Dog
  10. If Only I Could Flag Her Down
  11. Bad Girl
ZZ Top

ZZ Top

Billy Gibbons- guitar, vocals

Dusty Hill- bass, keyboards, vocals

Frank Beard- drums, percussion

“Eliminator” by ZZ Top brings back fond memories of 1983 for me. It was a great album and on a personal note, it was a great one to return to civilian life to. It’s an album in the ZZ Top style that happened to gain loads of commercial success. Well done!

Next post: A Revelation That Might Interest Some Readers!

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

Great Rock Albums of 1983: Molly Hatchet- No Guts No Glory

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2016 by 80smetalman

No_Guts...No_Glory_(Molly_Hatchet_album_-_cover_art)

One Southern Rock band that did still get some attention up North in 1983 was the great Molly Hatchet. What excited many Hatchet fans north and south of the Mason-Dixon Line was the return of lead singer Danny Joe Brown to the band to record the “No Guts No Glory” album. For those who are new to 80smetalman, it might be a good idea to have a crash history lesson. Danny Joe Brown left Molly Hatchet after the magnificent “Flirtin’ With Disaster” album, actually he was kicked out because of his drinking, and replaced by lead singer Jimmy Farrar who sang on the next two albums, “Beatin’ the Odds” and “Take No Prisoners.” While there was nothing wrong with either of those albums and Jimmy Farrar is a very capable singer, there seemed to be something missing from those albums. It was hoped that Brown’s return would re-ignite the chemistry that brought them fame with “Flirtin’ With Disaster.”

The old chemistry certainly does return on the “No Guts No Glory” album from the very first song. Things definitely feel very upbeat on the first two songs and at the time, I wanted to scream, although I did inwardly, “Welcome back Danny!” While the first two tracks set the pace for the entire album, it is the third track that propels things into the ionosphere. “Sweet Dixie” is one of those Southern rock boogie tunes that has me bouncing in my chair whenever I hear it. Unless I’m walking, then it makes me quicken my step. Even when I returned north after I got out of the service, the lyrics reminded me of the good things about being down South.

“Just give me those stars and bars, Willie on the radio

A good cold beer and that rebel cheer

And man I’m ready to roll

That sweet sweet Dixie music really gets into my soul

So Mr Deejay won’t you play that Southern rock and roll.”

Of course the guitars of Dave Hlubeck, Duane Roland and Steve Holland are all over that song as well as the entire album but the song where they really shine is the best known song from the album, “Fall of the Peacemakers.” Written as a lament over the murder of John Lennon although I always saw it as an anti- war song, the three guitarists lay down some killer solos in the style of “Freebird” or “Highway Song” on the final five minutes of it. “Fall of the Peacemakers” has been said to have been Molly Hatchet’s own “Freebird.” The guitars are certainly good enough.

Having originally bought “No Guts No Glory” on vinyl, actually my first vinyl purchase upon leaving the service, the songs mentioned were side one. Side two is definitely not filler. There are five awesome tracks on it that keep the party going very well. Of those five, the standout for me is “Kinda Like Love.” They do throw in something a bit different at the end as the closer, “Both Sides,” is an instrumental. Some more great guitar work on it to end the album just right.

Other interesting facts about the album are the fact that this is the only Molly Hatchet album not to portray a Franzetta painting on the cover. Another is the use of keyboards. Danny Joe Brown was wise to bring John Galvin over from his Danny Joe Brown band to play on the album. The album also features a completely new rhythm section with Riff West on bass and Barry BB Borden on drums. They work very well here.

Track Listing:

  1. What Does it Matter
  2. Ain’t Even Close
  3. Sweet Dixie
  4. Fall of the Peacemakers
  5. What’s it Gonna Take
  6. Kinda Like Love
  7. Under the Gun
  8. On the Prowl
  9. Both Sides
Molly Hatchet

Molly Hatchet

Danny Joe Brown- vocals

Dave Hlubeck- guitars

Duane Roland- guitar

Steve Holland- guitar

Riff West- bass

Barry BB Borden- drums

Additional musicians:

John Galvin- keyboards

Jai Winding- keyboards

*Note- Steve Holland would leave the band during the tour for the album and John Galvin would replace him and become a permanent member

Thanks to the return of Danny Joe Brown, many would say that Molly Hatchet was back. I know they never really went anywhere but the “No Guts No Glory” album in my mind, returned them to former glory.

Next post: Talking Heads- Speaking in Tongues

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

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1983: Blackfoot- Siogo

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-Blackfoot_siogo

Further evidence to support the fact that Southern Rock was becoming a non entity north of the Mason-Dixon Line is to be found with Blackfoot’s 1983 album, “Siogo.” It’s also yet another reason why I was glad I got to spend three months in the South. In the years running up to 83, Blackfoot had been slowly but surely gaining attention in the North thanks to their three best known albums, “Strikes,” “Tomcattin'” and “Marauder.” However, when I did return North in the middle of the year, it seemed that no one had known they put out a new album and it was fortunate I had bought it in North Carolina because it would have been tougher to find it in New Jersey.

“Siogo” marked a slight change of direction for Blackfoot in the sense that they acquired keyboards player Ken Hensley. Many metalheads and hard rockers normally panic when a band known for hard power chords from the guitar adds keyboards. There is the belief that said band is selling out, going commercial or whatever and Van Halen in 1986 proves that point but that story is for another time. Well, you can all rest easy because when I first heard the single from the album, “Send Me and Angel,” I thought the keyboards went well with the hard crunching guitar that Blackfoot was known for. Everything else associated with Blackfoot was in place, the great guitar solos, Rick Medlocke’s unmistakable vocals and the rhythm section provided by Walker and Spires.

Let me get right to the point, “Siogo” is a great album and it’s unfortunate it has been overlooked so long. It also proves that the addition of a keyboard does not destroy the sound of a hard and heavy band if employed properly. Dio is the ultimate example but again, that’s for another time. Proof of this with this album lies in the track “Goin’ in Circles.” You can hear the keyboards in support at the beginning when the guitars pound in on the intro to the song. They add flavour to it and then go on a support role as the song gets into full gear and there’s a killer guitar solo on it. If you want to hear Hensley at his keyboard best, then the track “We’re Going Down” is the one. His keyboard solo is the highlight of a song that is no less rocky. The rest of the album is more old school Blackfoot if there is such a thing. Full of trademark intros, see “Teenage Idol” and “Crossfire” here and straight forward, blow your eardrums hard rock music. I said it before but it still applies with “Siogo,” Blackfoot could be called “Southern Metal.”

When I first looked at the track listing and saw a track called “Sail Away,” I thought that this was going to be some sort of ballad. After all, there are plenty of songs with similar titles that are. However, the song that bears the title on this album is nothing of the sort. Okay, maybe the first two notes of the intro may give that impression but the rest of the song just rocks! And don’t be fooled by the lyrics of “White Man’s Land.” It’s nothing racist, the song, at least to me, is a dig at the rat race and I can definitely see where they’re coming from here. Besides, the song reminds me a little of the classic “Train, Train.”

Track Listing:

  1. Send Me an Angel
  2. Crossfire
  3. Heart’s Grown Cold
  4. We’re Goin’ Down
  5. Teenage Idol
  6. Goin’ in Circles
  7. Run For Cover
  8. White Man’s Land
  9. Sail Away
  10. Drivin’ Fool
Blackfoot

Blackfoot

Rick Medlocke- lead vocals, guitar

Charlie Hargrett- guitar

Ken Hensley- keyboards, backing vocals

Greg T. Walker- bass, backing vocals

Jackson Spires- drums, backing vocals

I’m afraid that I’m going to have to say, “Damn Yankees” for the fact that this album has been overlooked up North. Fortunately, I was in the South so I didn’t miss out on it, to which I’m glad. “Siogo” is definitely a Blackfoot album that deserves a mention when you say the band’s name.

Next post: Molly Hatchet- No Guts, No Glory

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

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1983: Doc Holliday- Modern Medicine

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2016 by 80smetalman

DOCHOLLIDAY_MM

Here’s another reason why I was glad that I spent my final three months in the marines down south. Nantucket headlined the Mayfair Festival that great day in May, 1983 and were fantastic but the band on right before them was just as good. On that day, Doc Holliday reinforced what I have always loved and continue to love about Southern Rock. If I hadn’t been there, I would have missed them because like I said previously, many people up North had moved on from Southern Rock in 1983. That is why my only album experience of Doc Holliday to this day was their 1983 “Modern Medicine” album.

The band being from Atlanta, Georgia, their album has all the trademarks of all things good about Southern Rock but that doesn’t stop Doc Holliday from putting their own personal stamp on things. All of the above is evidenced in the very first song on the album, “City Nights.” The keyboard at the beginning rams home the ‘these guys are a bit different’ feeling before quickly going into more harder southern boogie guitar work complimented by typical Southern lyrics about partying and getting drunk. “City Nights” sets the rest of the album perfectly.

Other songs go a bit harder after that for most of the songs. “Rock City,” “Hell to Pay,” “Gimme Some” and “No Relation to Love” are all hard rocking scorchers. But if you are looking for ballads, then “You Don’t Have to Cry” fills that bill very nicely. It’s a good Southern love song with some rather impressive guitar work. It provides a kind of break in the action between all the harder songs mentioned above so it’s not out of place. “You Turn Me On” sounds almost like a 1970s funk tune but Doc Holliday pull it off perfectly. It is my conclusion that those damn Yankees up North shouldn’t have been so quick to abandon Southern Rock because many of them missed out on one hell of a band.

Track Listing:

  1. City Nights
  2. Dreamin’
  3. Gimme Some
  4. You Don’t Have to Cry
  5. Rock City
  6. Hell to Pay
  7. No Relation to Love
  8. You Turn Me On
  9. We’re Not Alone
  10. You Like to Rock
Doc Holliday

Doc Holliday

Ric Skelton- guitar

Bruce Brookshire- lead vocals, lead and slide guitar, synths

Eddie Stone- synths, piano, backing vocals

John Samuelson- bass, backing vocals

Herman Nixon- drums

Thank God that in 1983 I got to go to the Mayfair Festival and witness this band. If I hadn’t, I would not have experienced the “Modern Medicine” album because Doc Holliday’s fame never spread to New Jersey. That is a shame but at least I got to hear them and can tell you how great they were and hopefully, you will give them a listen on Youtube.

Update: the petition to free Confess is near 2,500 signatures. If you haven’t signed it, please do so. You can access the petition by seeing my last post.

Next post: Blackfoot- Sirrocco

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

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1983: Nantucket- No Direction Home

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-No_Direction_Home_LP

One thing I am grateful for as I reflect back on 1983 was the fact that I got to spend my remaining three months in the marines in North Carolina. If I hadn’t, I might have missed out on some great stuff from a few of the great Southern Rock bands that were around at the time, Nantucket being one of them. By 1983, Southern Rock was once again contained to the South. Many people from the North had moved on from listening to what for me was a great sub-genre of rock. In the case of Nantucket, it was most unfortunate, because the world didn’t get to hear what a great band they were.

Memories came flooding back as soon as I listened to the album, “No Direction Home,” after so many years. I remember the single, “Hiding From Love,” which was written by Bryan Adams getting a good amount of airplay on the local station in North Carolina. While Bryan’s influence can be heard on the song, Nantucket certainly make the song their own, adding that Southern boogie vibe that all great Southern Rock bands are known for.

A criticism that was being aimed at Southern bands in the mid- 1980s was they were abandoning their roots to sound more mainstream. There is some sign of this with “No Direction Home,” with the fore-mentioned single and the cover of Marvin Gaye’s “Ain’t That Peculiar.” Saying that, Nantucket still stamp their authority on both songs and that’s where any thoughts of mainstream ends. That point is made crystal clear with the hard rocking opener. The second song, “I Don’t Want to Lose You” is more of a blues based song and it’s done very well. Following the two songs already mentioned that they didn’t write, there are some steaming rockers, “Morning, Noon and Night” and “Ready For Your Love” before slowing down to the ballad “Come Home Darling.” That is as good a power ballad as any. The album finishes on a very high note with three more rockers with the closer, “Tennessee Whiskey,” being everything you’ve always loved about Southern Rock. A massive heart pumping rocker about a favourite Southern past-time, drinking whiskey.

Another disservice to Nantucket is the lack or respect to the guitarists, Tommy Redd and Mark Downing. These two deserve to being mentioned among the great names of Gary Rossington, Allen Collins, Rick Medlocke, Duane Rowlands and Dave Hlubeck. They’re that good! Nantucket offer a unique feature as well in the form of saxophonist Eddie Blair. I’m going to go out on a limb and say he’s as good as Clarence Clemmons of Bruce Springsteen fame. In evidence, I ask you to listen to “Girl I Got Your Number.”

Track Listing:

  1. No Direction Home
  2. I Don’t Want To Lose You
  3. Hiding From Love
  4. Ain’t That Peculiar
  5. Morning, Noon and Night
  6. Ready For Your Love
  7. Come Home Darling
  8. Never Felt This Way Before
  9. Girl I Got Your Number
  10. Tennessee Whiskey
Nantucket

Nantucket

Gary Uzzell- lead and backing vocals

Tommy Redd- guitar, backing vocals

Eddie Blair- keyboards, saxophone, backing vocals

Mark Downing- guitar

Richard Gates- drums

David ‘Thumbs’ Johnson- bass, backing vocals

I had the fortune of seeing Nantucket live two months before I left the service on tour supporting the “No Direction Home” album. (The above photo wasn’t taken at that concert). They headlined a local festival called the Mayfair and I remembered they were brilliant, though I wish I wasn’t so partied out by the time they hit the stage. While they were great in the South, I still think they were cheated out of their chance to gain wider attention.

Next post: Doc Holliday- Modern Medicine

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

1983: The Year the Dam Well and Truly Burst

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 8, 2015 by 80smetalman

Got a little ahead of myself on the last post. I stated that the next post would be The Scorpions but I realize that before I talk about the album that started my 1983 off right, that I should first introduce the year. 1983 was a very pivotal year for me in a lot of ways. Most important was the fact that I spent the first half of the year as a marine and the second half as a civilian. In fact, my last military haircut was on June 25, five days before I got out and it would be seventeen months before I got another one.

I have mentioned on several other blogs about how I used to store my cassettes. During my time in the marines, I bought a lot of cassettes due to the limited living space. At first, I bought a proper cassette case but that only held 30 tapes. Whenever we had some sort of training exercise, whether using live or blank ammo, there would be spare ammo cans laying about, which we were allowed to keep. I managed to get two and it was enough to house 58 more tapes. Those cans were probably my best souvenir from my time in.

The famous ammo cans

The famous ammo cans

Bonus points if you can guess the albums

Both as a marine and a civilian, the one thing that remained constant throughout was the music. I’m tempted to quote from a rather popular film from this year which I’ve never seen but I’ll refrain. It would be this year that I would declare myself a metalhead but I wouldn’t totally forget other great forms of rock. Southern Rock’s popularity may have waned north of the Mason-Dixon line but having spent the last three months of my enlistment in North Carolina, I still got to hear killer albums from Nantucket, Blackfoot and Molly Hatchet. But as it says in the title, 1983 was the year the dam well and truly burst and heavy metal flooded the world.

Next post: The Scorpions- Blackout  (yes it truly is this time)

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

 

Great Metal Albums of 1982: Triumph- Never Surrender

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2015 by 80smetalman

TRIUMPH10

Just learned something. Different internet sites can provide different information about the same thing. Heavy Harmonies states that this classic album, “Never Surrender” from Triumph came out in 1982, while Wikapedia states that it was released in January, 1983. I can’t say because I never had to buy it at the time, my sister’s then boyfriend had it and let me borrow it. Needless to say, it got played to death.

I must also confess that I lied last year. I said that “Allied Forces” was my favourite Triumph album. Actually, “Never Surrender” is, although there isn’t much between the two and knowing me, I could listen to the other one again and things would revert back. That’s just how good both albums are.

It just so happens that “Never Surrender” contains my definite all time favourite Triumph song, “World of Fantasy.” The acoustic intro followed by the thundering guitar and supplemented with a catchy chorus and a great guitar solo from Emmett, make for an all time great. Full marks should be given to the band for creating such a masterpiece. It is always the first song to come to mind when someone says Triumph and that catchy chorus is playing through my head as I write.

Of course, there are other great songs on the album, otherwise the album wouldn’t be great. There are some great straight forward hard rock tunes starting with the opener, “Too Much Thinking,” which starts things off just right. Others include “All the Way” and “Writing on the Wall.” Then there’s the reggae sounding title track. Well not totally reggae because it does rock. Like my all time fave, “When the Lights Go Down” also starts with a cool acoustic intro, except this one sounds almost like it’s going to be a country or Southern rock song. It’s not, just typical hard rocking Triumph. Finally, while Emmett’s guitar skills are present throughout, I must say that his best effort is the instrumental closer, “Epilogue.” He really shines on this one. Putting all of these great tracks together, it’s easy to see why “Never Surrender” is such a stupendous album.

Track Listing:

  1. Too Much Thinking
  2. World of Fantasy
  3. Minor Prelude
  4. All the Way
  5. Battle Cry
  6. Overature (Procession)
  7. Never Surrender
  8. When the Lights Go Down
  9. Writing on the Wall
  10. Epilogue (Resolution)
Triumph

Triumph

Rik Emmett- lead vocals, guitar

Mike Levine- bass, organ, synthesizer, piano

Gil Moore- drums, percussion, backing vocals

It doesn’t matter whether or not “Never Surrender” was released in 1982 or 83. Whatever year, the album totally kicks ass as Triumph were at their prime. As I already said a number of times, 1982 was a famine year for me musically on account of my military commitments. I have come to regret missing many of those albums I have written about in that year but never got to listen to at the time. The sacrifices we make serving one’s country. However, 1983 would be different and I will be starting that pivotal year with albums that were released in 82 but brought my 83 in with such hard rocking style. But first, a break in the action.

Next post: Tribute to another great rock club

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