Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Celebration of the 70th Anniversary of Jimi Hendrix's birth on November 27, 1942

Jimi Hendrix (Johnny Allen Hendrix) was born in Seattle, Washington on November 27, 1942. During his short life Jimi created, recorded and performed some of the twentieth century's most beautiful, innovative and memorable music.

Jimi was a human being, not a god, whose unique personality continues to shine through in his music, lyrics and guitar playing. To rise from a poverty-stricken background, to be black, left-handed, shy, and become a musical genius - always evolving, taking risks - and conquer the musical world, is testament to Jimi's perseverance amid a myriad of unwanted distractions and pressures.

During a career that lasted less than four years due to his untimely death on September 18, 1970, Jimi's own authorised album releases highlighted a 'unique' talent whose music varied in style from 'soul-searching' ballads to rhythms and sounds that remain startling, intense and profoundly original to this day. Jimi could conjure melodic guitar phrases out of thin air. A great number of guitarists attempt to emulate Jimi's guitar sound and style, but do not possess Jimi's musical genius, improvisational dexterity and spirit.

Jimi's many fans have their own opinion on the plethora of posthumously released albums, compilations, performances and documentaries. One of the most superb and memorable performances by Jimi, regrettably only 'partially captured' on film, was at Berkeley Performance Center, California on May 30, 1970. Jimi's magnificent rendition of 'Hear My Train A Comin' is sang with great conviction, and his guitar solos are dynamic and intricate. A truly flawless and hauntingly beautiful performance.

Jimi's music and guitar playing will continue to be explored whether it is re-edited, re-issued, or re-packaged. I just hope that the many musical masterpieces Jimi created remain untouched and available in their original format. Such creative and adventurous music should not be tampered with. 

The hundreds of hours of tapes of experimentation, exploration and unfinished ideas that Jimi left behind should, sooner rather than later, be locked in a vault. It's time to leave Jimi in peace and embrace the music released. When it comes to 'live' concert footage, performances that are of a high audio and visual standard, and that remain true to Jimi's art, should be released to show his outstanding talent. The official DVD release of one of Jimi's more looser and magical performances at the Royal Albert Hall, London on February 24, 1969 remains long awaited by his fans. It would be great to see decent footage of Jimi's remarkable rendition of 'Little Wing'.

For those fortunate to come of age during the 1960s Jimi Hendrix raised the bar and brought unparalleled power, sensuality, and sustained resurrection to guitar playing, song writing and performance. He exuded a contagious charisma and spirit seldom created by any musician, past or present.

Jimi Hendrix's art will continue to inspire musicians and be appreciated by his many fans and future listeners as long as music exists.

 Jimi Hendrix
November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970

Monday, August 20, 2012

Robin Trower: UK/European Tour Dates - February/March 2013 (CANCELLED) & New Studio Album 'Roots And Branches' (Release Date: February 4, 2013 - Listen to song samples and Pre-order)

Please note that due to a serious family illness the following tour dates have been cancelled. The tour is being rescheduled, and details of dates and venues will be posted as they are confirmed.

UK/European Tour Dates - February/March 2013 

29 Mar - Waterside Arts Centre, Manchester 
30 Mar - Picturedrome, Holmfirth

Robin's new studio album Roots and Branches will be released on February 4, 2013. The tracks represent a bold, radical musical step given that it contains a mixture of original compositions and Robin's musical interpretations of several standard songs. I hope Robin's new musical vision gets the adrenaline of his many fans flowing, and attracts new listeners' to his music. 


01 Hound Dog
02 The Thrill Is Gone
03 When I Heard Your Name
04 Little Red Rooster
05 I Believe to My Soul
06 Shape of Things to Come
07 That's Alright Mama
08 Save Your Love
09 Born Under a Bad Sign
10 Sheltered Moon
11 See My Life

A UK/European Tour in late 2013 by Robin would provide a valuable platform to promote the album.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Robin Trower: European Tour Dates 2012 & Set List

Tickets are on sale for upcoming concerts by Robin Trower in Germany & the Netherlands in March 2012. The following dates are confirmed and tickets are on sale. Robin will be joined on the tour by Richard Watts (bass and vocals) and Chris Taggart (drums).

European Tour Dates - March 2012

15 Mar - Luxor Live, Arnhem, Netherlands 
16 Mar - Downtown Blues Club, Hamburg, Germany
17 Mar - KJK Sandgasse, Offenbach, Germany
18 Mar - Hirsh, Nuremberg, Germany
19 Mar - Spectrum Club, Augsburg, Germany
20 Mar - T.B.A. Berlin, Germany
21 MarKulturscheune, Salzgitter, Germany
22 Mar - Heimathaus, Twist, Germany
23 Mar - Café Hahn, Koblenz, Germany  
24 MarDucsaal, Freudenburg, Germany
25 Mar - Harmonie, Bonn, Germany

  European Set List March 2012 



Robin Trower Official Web Site

Monday, April 30, 2012

Jeff Beck announces New Band & Album, Performing on 'SNL' (19/05/12) with Tal Wilkenfeld, Vinny Colaiuta & Mick Jagger. Also, with Sir Mick at The White House (21/12/12) performing 'Commit a Crime'

Some musicians find it hard to keep a group together and have to engage backing musicians who are sometimes not as good as their predecessors. Jeff Beck seems to attract the crème de la crème with each new project. Jeff has recently formed a new power-trio following a period of universal critical acclaim touring his Emotion and Commotion album, and numerous awards culminating in the 'Living Legend Award' at the '2011 Classic Rock Awards' at London’s Roundhouse in November.

Jeff's upward spiral in status as a musician, guitar player and innovator are, in part, due to his fans, the response of audiences, record buyers, the superlative musical talent of members of his group(s), critical acclaim, musical awards and management.

His musical vision and exploration for a fresh sound within the power-trio format culminates in Narada Michael Walden being replaced on drums by Veronica Bellino, who will record and tour with Jeff and bass player, Rhonda Smith, in 2012.

I hope the recordings produce an album hailed as innovative and imaginative, and reveal fresh depths to Jeff's guitar playing and music. No doubt Jeff opened a highly creative and productive phase with the four-piece unit incorporating Tal Wilkenfeld (bass), Vinnie Colaiuta (drums) and Jason Rebello (keyboards). Numerous recorded and filmed performances are testament to the inspired music created; the qualities of classic, precision and eloquence, come to mind.

I admit to disappointment when Jeff announced a new touring band in 2010: Narada Michael Walden (drums) and Rhonda Smith (bass) to join Jason Rebello on keyboards. It proved, however, to be a successful collaboration. The music - like the rhythms - changed, as did the performances. Jeff is, once more, seeking out new creative territory. I trust it proves successful, both musically and emotionally. Finally, it would be great to see Jeff reuniting with Tal & Vinny for an album and tour.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

CD Review: Robin Trower: "Farther On Up the Road - The Chrysalis Years (1977-1983)" [3 CD Box set] - Release Date: 27 February 2012

After the successful release in July 2010 of A Tale Untold: the Chrysalis Years 1973-1976 Chrysalis Records has issued a second compilation of albums by Robin Trower spanning the period 1977 to 1983. Similar to the first compilation this release comprises a 3 CD Box Set.

The set is titled: Farther On Up the Road - The Chrysalis Years (1977-1983) and contains six albums and two bonus tracks: a radio edit of 'Bluebird', and a b-side, 'One In A Million.' Again, most ardent fans of Robin's guitar playing and songwriting will have most, or, all, of the tracks on vinyl, CD and MP3. It is still, however, a compilation worth adding to a record collection.

It's gratifying to see a photograph of the late Reg Isadore included in the liner notes; he was an exceptional drummer and musician. I'm surprised there isn't a photograph of Bill Lordan. Bill played drums on four of the albums and isn't acknowledged with a photograph. I believe also that Bobby Clouter played drums on seven of the nine tracks on the album Back It Up, and Alan Clarke played drums on two tracks: 'Back It Up' and 'Islands'. Someone should meticulously proofread the credits before a record is released, and ensure that all the musicians' physically involved with the music are given due credit and respect.

Bill Lordan

Robin's good fortune in meeting James (Jimmy) Dewar can't be underestimated. Jimmy, as ever, connects with the listener in a way most vocalist's can only dream. His voice is beautiful, and brings a unique kind of greatness to the music. He was also an outstanding lyricist and tremendous bass player. If fate had been gracious, perhaps Jimmy and Robin would have collaborated again and produced music of profound power, passion and relevance. Robin and Jimmy's recorded work and 'live' performances are full of seminal masterpieces which bring unbridled joy to many fans worldwide, and continues to inspire and attract new admirers each day. A wonderful legacy.

James (Jimmy) Dewar - Bass, Vocals & Lyricist


Choosing one song, one album, a compilation of tracks, or albums, cannot begin to encompass Robin Trower's gift and passion as a guitarist and musician, or the depth and variety of his extensive musical output. No doubt the album Bridge Of Sighs, and the track of the same name, provide a powerful introduction to his musical style and guitar playing. Nevertheless, Robin's musical output is remarkable in terms of its quality, melodic intensity and his mastery of the guitar. There are millions of 'gifted' guitarists in the world but few mature into musical artists who play with astounding virtuosity and are able to compose music of the highest quality with a plethora of masterpieces. 

I believe, in the main, that this collection contains music of the highest quality. It is music of exploration, intensity, variety and colours - and it produces its fair share of magic. Nevertheless, as far as recording is concerned, the album Truce remains a disappointment. It has its share of undistinguished studio tracks, and - apart from a few performances where the interplay of Robin, Jack Bruce and Reg Isadore (all extraordinary gifted musicians) reach the creative standards one would expect - the overall atmosphere is uninspiring. The shortcomings lie, in part, in the poor quality of the songwriting.

The release of Back It Up in 1983 showed a return to Robin's customary creative standards. The new rhythm section: bassist Dave Bronze (an expressive player with a vivid bass tone) on seven of the tracks, and drummers Bobby Clouter and Alan Clarke (players of great style and intuition), and the return of James Dewar on vocals (and bass for two tracks), seems to have spurred Robin to push himself, yet again, to high limits both creatively and musically. 

Jimmy Dewar (most importantly), Reg Isadore and Bill Lordan, played a 'crucial' part in forming the identity, mood and texture of Robin's vision and creativity, and to bring the end result to the record buying public and concert audiences. While some of the tracks instantly capture the listener's attention, the collection contains music waiting to be discovered, or rediscovered, as there is a sense of timelessness, and wonder, in most of the performances and guitar solos.

Track samples and order available at: Amazon's Robin Trower Store

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Michael Schenker: "Temple Of Rock World Tour 2012" - Tour Dates and Tickets

As part of his "Temple Of Rock World Tour 2012" Michael Schenker has announced he will be touring with different line ups around the world. The Tour will start in the United States in February/March 2012 featuring Robin McAuley (Vocals), Elliott “Dean” Rubinson (Bass), Wayne Findlay (Keyboards & Guitar), and Pete Holmes (Drums).

The set lists will comprise songs from UFO, MSG, The Scorpions, and new songs from the Temple Of Rock CD released 26/9/11. I have been an admirer of Michael's guitar playing  from the '70s and believe the album is a tremendous achievement for Michael and mirrors his songwriting and guitar playing at its most powerful, passionate and engaging. Despite reading some negative comments, I believe the album captures its welcome share of wonderful moments, and is a record to return to again and again to buoy the spirit.  

U.S. Tour Dates: 15 Feb - 24 Mar 2012

At the end of March 2012 Michael will be joined in Japan with Michael Voss (Vocals), Herman Rarebell (Drums), Elliott “Dean” Rubinson (Bass), and Wayne Findlay (Keyboards & Guitar).

Japan Tour Dates: 27 - 30 Mar 2012

Michael Schenker has announced four UK dates for this tour. The shows will be the first time Schenker's touring band features two ex-Scorpions members: Herman Rarebill (Drums) and Francis Buchholz (Bass). The band line-up will also include Doogie White (Vocals) and Wayne Findlay (Keyboards & Guitar). Personally, I hope Michael adds a few more dates to the tour in the UK & Ireland.

UK Tour Dates

09 May 2012 - Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton
10 May 2012 - HMV Ritz, Manchester
11 May 2012 - O2 ABC Glasgow (ABC1 & ABC2), Glasgow
12 May 2012 - O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, London