WONDERWORLD Pays Tribute To Ken Hensley as LIVE FIRE on New Album

WONDERWORLD is the name of the power trio consisting of Roberto Tiranti, Ken Ingwersen, and Tom Fossheim. From 2013 until last year the band played alongside Ken Hensley, as his LIVE FIRE band (including 2013’s Trouble album and 2019’s Live In Russia). During that time the band also doubled as their own heavy rock outfit releasing 3 albums under the Wonderworld name. So, it is most fitting that Wonderworld’s 4th album pays homage to their former mentor and band leader via a newly recorded collection of songs they performed as part of Ken’s support band, under the name Live Fire!

The album consists of 12 tracks – 6 Heep tracks, 5 from Ken’s later albums, and 1 instrumental opener to the album. It is essentially songs that the band (Live Fire) would’ve performed the most while with Ken Hensley. There are the Heep standards like “Gypsy”, “Easy Livin”, “July Morning”, “Circle Of Hands”, “Look At Yourself”, the first video “Sunrise”…. and despite Ken’s absence [there is a guest keyboard player on various tracks]. These are not simply tired ol’ rehashes, as the band really does an exceptional job performing,. Lots of energy. Both [singer] Tiranti and [guitarist / producer] Ken [Jr] Ingwersen sing and play with a lot of emotion and it shows throughout this album. I love this version of “Look At Yourself”, and how the band work out the ending here. Digging this version of “Gypsy” as well. [*There is No “Lady In Black” on this album! 🙂 ]

For me though the highlights are the post Heep tracks, notably “The Last Dance”, “Ready To Die”, and “The Curse” — 2 of the best songs Ken Hensley wrote in the last 2 decades. I will always hail Ken’s original take of “The Last Dance” as the best [with his own vocal], however Roberto pulls off a strong performance of it that I will gladly take. “Ready To Die”, from the Trouble album is also a favorite here; tho it lacks a bit of the weight without Ken’s Hammond organ, I think Roberto gives a better vocal here, and the band still delivers it with power; a great track for the heavy hitting drumming of Tom Fossheim here. And lastly – “The Curse” – what made this song so great the first time was the interplay from the 2 Ken’s during the 2nd half – the instrumental section of the song. So the keyboards take a different approach here, but Ken Ingwersen plays this so well, as his guitar stands out even more here, definitely the highlight of the album for me! The disc ends with “The Longest Night”, another track I think Hensley really liked from his latter days, and it is the only track here to feature him, as it’s a duet between Ken and Roberto. (not sure where Ken’s vocal came from – an alternate take from ’13?] , but it sounds great.

Cover art nicely done by Ken Ingwersen, which follows nicely in suit with the other Wonderworld covers.

*You can sign up for this CD release [4 days left!], as well as get other Wonderworld albums [LP & CD] here : https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/wonderworld-live-fire?fbclid=IwAR1D_-RHSAGxbaXX0Vi-fxrswh4fscpryy8263g_9dUX6TQaU_zLSkstBA8#/

KJ, 11/21

NESTOR – Album Success & Live Dates

Press Release:

The success story continues for NESTOR, consisting of five childhood friends from the small town of Falköping, Sweden, who chose to restart the band they once formed back in 1989, that’s been lying dormant for just over three decades.

Their debut full-length album Kids In A Ghost Town was released on October 22 and reached first place on the Swedish Hard Rock Album Chart as well as an honorable second place on the list for Physical Album Sales. The album has been unanimously acclaimed by rock press and media, both at home in Sweden and abroad in Europe, the UK, and the US, where many have mentioned it as a given candidate for Album Of The Year.

Their music has already reached close to 1,5 million streams on Spotify and more than 500 000 views on YouTube of their music videos, among them the one for the single “Tomorrow” – an epic ballad duet with 80s icon Samantha Fox, that together with the videos for the two prior singles “On The Run” and “1989” showcase the band’s love for the 80s and all its attributes, with a sense of detail that is hard to match.
With their live debut accomplished in conjunction with their album release at a sold-out gig in Stockholm, where the only real complaint was that the crowd wanted more, NESTOR have several upcoming live performances, both at the big arenas in Sweden and on the trustworthy summer rock festivals.

NesTOUR DATES 2021-22:Nov 20 – Keep It True Rising, Würtzburg, GermanyDec 10 – Scandinavium, Gothenburg, Sweden (w/ Takida)Dec 11- Hovet, Stockholm, Sweden (w/ Takida)Dec 17 – Malmö Arena, Malmö, Sweden (w/ Takida)Feb 4 – Vulkan Arena, Oslo, Norway (w/ H.E.A.T)Feb 5 – Berns, Stockholm, Sweden (w/ H.E.A.T)Feb 18 – Amager Bio, Copenhagen, Denmark (w/ H.E.A.T)Feb 19 – Trädgår’n, Gothenburg, Sweden (w/ H.E.A.T)Feb 26 Folkets Hus, Blomstermåla (w/ H.E.A.T)June 4 – Atlas Rock, Gävle, SwedenJune 11 – Sweden Rock Festival, Sölvesborg, SwedenAug 3 – Sabaton Open Air, Falun, Sweden
Many more dates to be added.

NESTOR embraces influences from the 80s in their nostalgic rock, with tongues-in-cheek and a lot of heart along with great passion. The album Kids In A Ghost Town is produced by Tobias Gustavsson, mixed by Sebastian Forslund (The Night Flight Orchestra), and mastered by Thomas “Plec” Johansson at The Panic Room.

NESTOR ARE: Jonny Wemmenstedt (guitar) Mattias Carlsson (drums) Tobias Gustavsson (vocals) Marcus Åblad (bass) Martin Frejinger (keyboards)

11/’21

CHUCK WRIGHT – Makes Solo Debut

American bass player (& songwriter) Chuck Wright has been a part of several major bands over the decades, though best known for being the long time bass player in Quiet Riot (going back to playing on a few tracks on the legendary Metal Health album, to Guiffria & House Of Lords, Blackthorne (supergroup w/ Graham Bonnet), as well he was a member of Heaven & Earth (playing and writing on 2013’s excellent Dig album).

This past summer it was announced that Chuck was leaving Quiet Riot and moving on to other projects (like this solo album). This guy’s list of credits is extensive and outstanding, not just the bands that he was a member of (https://www.discogs.com/artist/136623-Chuck-Wright).

Chuck has just released a video for “Army Of Me” from his forthcoming solo album. *Check out the press release and link to video and download below.

https://archive.blabbermouth.net/news/quiet-riots-chuck-wright-on-rudy-sarzos-return-ive-supported-the-band-for-40-years-and-will-continue-to-do-so/

QUIET RIOT’s Longtime Bassist CHUCK WRIGHT Releases First Official Single & Video “ARMY OF ME” From His Debut Solo Album, CHUCK WRIGHT’S SHELTERING SKY!

Los Angeles, CA – Long-time bassist for multi-platinum rockers Quiet Riot, Chuck Wright, proudly presents the release of the first single from his new solo album. Wright has also worked alongside such rock music luminaries as Alice Cooper, Greg Allman, Ted Nugent, various members of Guns N’ Roses and Kiss to name a few, and now embarks on his first-ever solo excursion.

The first single is a hard-rocking, intense interpretation of Björk’s 1995 hit “Army of Me” and is accompanied by a video that represents Wright’s exploration into disorder and parallels with the recent chaotic state of world affairs. The visuals include a 3D animation of an “army” of Ruth Bader Ginsburgs, the late Supreme Court Justice, feminist icon, and steadfast advocate for women’s rights and gender equality. “I chose to recognize the late Justice Ginsburg in this video as she was such a formidable presence on and off the bench. She challenged the status quo knocking down legal obstacles to women’s equality and inspired an army of believers.”

The track “Army Of Me” features several of Wright’s musical peers including the late Pat Torpey (Mr. Big) on drums, guitarist Lanny Cordola (House of Lords), and Sven Martin (Jonathan Davis Band) on keyboards along with songstress Whitney Tai, the recent “Best Vocalist” winner at The Intercontinental Music Awards.

Watch the video: https://youtu.be/BeORufRPfVo
(Mixed by Tim Janssens)

Stream/download the single: https://orcd.co/chuck_wrights_sheltering_sky_army_of_me

The full-length album from Chuck Wright’s Sheltering Sky, coming in 2022, features over 30 guest performers including members of Mr. Big, Skid Row, Tesla, Dream Theater, Great White, Asia, Jefferson Starship, acclaimed solo artists Allen Hinds, Toshi Yanagi, and many others. Wright is finally stepping out on his own with a wide range of genres, from Jazz Fusion, Prog, Funk to in-your-face Hard Rock, which was in itself one of the things that led him to want to forge his own way and create this unique collection of songs within his “Sheltering Sky” project.

Top photo: Mari Kawaguchi

For more information:
www.chuckwright.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ChuckWrightOfficial  
Instagram: @chuckwrightbass

Press inquiries:
Glass Onyon PR
Billy James
PH: 828-350-8158
glassonyonpr@gmail.com

CLEOPATRA RECORDS, Inc.
11041 Santa Monica Blvd #703
Los Angeles CA 90025
www.CleopatraRecords.com
Facebook @Cleopatrarecords
https://www.facebook.com/CleopatraRecords/

11/”21

A Heepster Writes a Memoir

The Misadventures Of A Boomer by [Mac Steagall]

My longtime friend and fellow Uriah Heep fan Mac Steagall from North Carolina has written a book – The Misadventures Of A Boomer. The book is a well written series of stories, essentially an autobiography in short chapters. It’s an interesting and entertaining read, detailing Mac’s life growing up in a close-knit family in a small town in North Carolina. A different time and place for me, which made it very interesting. Mac goes on to cover stories from his youth, school, college, early jobs, and career, with various tales for each period. Later in life it was Mac’s desire to attend a Heep fan convention in St Louis in 1997 {i was there], which would help him overcome his fear of flying, and he talks about further Heep fan conventions and shows he would attend overseas. Not a lot of musical content, but as a friend, fellow Heep fan, and one who likes reading about life in different eras and places [just before my time], it was a fun read.

Not too lengthy of a read, at just over 160 pages [no pics]. and or $5 on Kindle, it was well worth it.

KJ

ROBIN GEORGE – Wilderness

Robin George – Wilderness

Released early this year, Wilderness was the first album recorded as the world went in to the Co-vid pandemic, and Robin would follow it up with 3 more albums since! He’s also edited and remastered 4 other releases during this time, so the man has been very busy! (All 8 releases available at his website). But going back a bit, British guitarist / songwriter / producer Robin George spent much of his career being more known for the names he had collaborated with early in his career – David Byron, Phil Lynott, Robert Plant, Glenn Hughes, Roy Wood,….. plus he had a huge hit in the 80s with “Heartline” from his 1984 debut album Dangerous Music. He remained busy, but his next solo album wasn’t until 2001’s Rock Of Ageist. Wilderness is the follow up to 2018 album Rogue Angels, and it’s a good rock album, with lots of great guitar work & mixes, lots of blues and groove throughout this album. There’s a great feel to the songs via Robin’s playing and the drumming of the legendary Charlie Morgan [Elton John] . For me the album starts out rockin’ with “Eyeball Kid”, and just gets better, with favorite tracks like “Deadwood”, “Freedom”, the title track, and “Belief”. Love the heavy riff that intros the outstanding “Cocoon”, as well. Robin’s vocals are kinda in that Marc Bolan style, which suits his songs, and there’s plenty of smooth backing vocals which add to the overall atmosphere, especially on the acoustic based tracks “Belief”, “Bittersweet Heartbeat” and “Rainbow Ridge”. Lots of stories told throughout these songs, with Robin being a poet and storyteller. Am looking forward to hearing more of his ‘rockdown’ albums that followed this.

*Wilderness comes with a 12 page booklet of poetry and words.

*for more info & ordering check out http://www.robingeorge.co.uk

nd visit – http://www.facebook.com/robingeorgemusic

KJ, 11/’21

ASIA – Heat Of The Moment (new single)

Asia’s debut album from 1982 featured a number of hits, but it was the lead off single that was most successful and became the band’s trademark song, as it would for John Wetton. The song became a Top single in at least a half a dozen countries, as well as #1 on Billboard’s mainstream rock charts. In a 2011 interview with http://www.rediscoverthe80s.com John Wetton explained the song – “The lyrics are an abject apology for my dreadful behavior towards a particular woman (the woman I would eventually marry, but divorce 10 years later), the chorus began its life as a 6/8 country song, but when Geoff and I started writing together, we moved the time signatures around, and “Heat of the Moment” emerged. No-one else particularly “got” the song, and it was the last song to be recorded for the album…”

Hearing this song always takes me back to when this first came out, and hearing it daily either playing pool at a neighbor’s house (with the radio on) or listening to it on my walkman while delivering papers. Years later I got to interview John Wetton, and he was happy to talk about Asia and that song. It would feature on every Asia collection, as well as every John Wetton live release.

Today sees a ‘live’ release of the classic track, from the band’s upcoming release Official Live Bootlegs Volume 1, to be released through BMG Records on 26th November 2021.

Pre-order it here:- https://asiaband.lnk.to/OLB1PR

The live single version of “Heat of The Moment” was recorded live at Kleinhan’s Music Hall, Buffalo, NY, USA on 3rd May 1982. This performance came just days into their debut US tour. They were already selling out 2,000 – 5,000 seat halls. Within weeks, on the strength of an unprecedented amount of radio play and heavy rotation of their videos on MTV, their box office draw exploded.

Geoff Downes, who co-wrote the track with the late John Wetton commented: “Just before we went into the studio to record the first ASIA album, we realized we were one track short. So John and I sat down one afternoon and came up with “Heat Of The Moment.” He had the chorus, I had the verse and we literally put the ideas together there and then. I’m glad we did, because it became the lead-off single from the album and really established the band in the mainstream pop/rock charts. It’s hard to say whether or not the album would have been as successful had we not had this track, but for sure it certainly created a lot of momentum for us at the time. I’m proud of it, as it shows the instant magic John and I could work together as songwriters, and it still remains relevant 40 years on.”

The Official Live Bootlegs Volume 1 celebrates the huge appeal of the concert tours that followed ASIA’s first two albums in 1982 and 1983. The success continued following ASIA’s 25th anniversary reunion in 2006 and three more highly acclaimed albums. The slipcase boxset features 5 x 2CD concerts from 1982 (Buffalo, NY, USA), 1983 (Worcester, MA, USA), 2007 (São Paulo, Brazil), 2008 (Tokyo, Japan) and 2010 (London, UK).

11/’21

PETER GOALBY – Easy With The Heartaches

I can’t remember many of the recordings, it was so long ago. The thing I remember more than anything was the excitement I had when it was time to record Pete’s vocals. He made it look effortless, and for me, the guy on the other side of the glass, it was a dream. He knew how to deliver a vocal, not just with ballads but with the rockier songs too. It was great that, other than the guitar solos, it was just me and Pete on the recordings. The technology was just getting interesting at that time and allowed us to work without the confines of other musicians. I’d like to think we had a chemistry that allowed us to work without evening speaking at times! I knew what he wanted from me, he knew what I wanted from him. Having heard the recordings again for the first time in many years, I can almost feel that relationship in the music. I guess Easy with the Heartache would be the song that gets me every time! When I heard the mix, I could picture a 20 something me smiling back at myself, also with a tear in my eye. I love Pete, with all I am! Paul Hodson


Recorded in the immediate few years following Peter Goalby’s departure from Uriah Heep, the songs on Easy With The Heartaches show that he had not only gotten better as a songwriter, but also that his voice was in fine shape [contrary to news at the time]. One fellow Heep fan commented that Peter “sounds better than he did with Heep!” Upon hearing this, as a fan, you might have a number of questions that all start with ‘Why’ – like why did no one pick this up and sign him at the time, why did no other artists record a bunch of these songs already, and why did it take over 30 years for them to get a proper release. All these answers are probably what lead to Peter’s frustrations that lead him to leaving the music business in the early 90s, and not looking back. But I think the ‘legend’ of this ‘lost’ solo album, and the feedback so far since the announcement of Easy With The Heartaches shows just how many fans are still eager to hear more from Peter and what he did after Heep. Heck, dare I say – many many be much happier with this than Equator 🙂
If you’ve heard these songs on the internet, with crappy sound, having been passed around for many years on audio cassettes and computer files, you will be happily surprised to hear a proper remastered and authorized set of these songs. The sound is excellent, and the songs chosen are some of the best Peter wrote in his career. These songs were done in a studio in Wolverhampton with Peter, keyboardist Paul Hodson, and guitarist Eddy Morton [guitar solos]; Robin George also co-wrote 3 songs and plays guitar on those.
Many Heep fans may gravitate to “Mona Lisa Smile”, a track that saw a single release in 1988, and more so for it’s being the basis for the track “Voice On My TV” on Heep’s 1989 Raging Silence album [the first studio after without Peter]. it is an easily likeable song and Peter used the original recording of it here. For me it is those punchy 80s pop rock tracks that really jump out here. I think what Peter was best at was writing those catchy and most memorable choruses. “Hold The Dream” is the standout (IMO), such a great chorus, you can easily imagine this on a Heep album, and more so see it as hit single; it might’ve suited nicely in an 80s movie somewhere [heck, a number of these tracks sound like they could’ve fit right in to an 80s movie]. But, there are a number of tracks that are upbeat and listeners will easily get in to, such as the title track, which one might (like Peter) imagine Tina Tuner singing. “Chance Of A Lifetime”, “I Built This House” (both with Robin George; the latter sounds like it would’ve fit nicely on Heep’s Head First!) and “They’ll Never Find Us (Running For Our Lives)”. Another favorite here is “Take Another Look”, it start’s out soft, but gradually picks up, and by the time it gets to the chorus I am thinking of Foreigner, A shame Peter never got an offer to join Foreigner beyond Heep, because this song would’ve been a huge hit. (It reminds me slightly of Foreigner’s “Heart Turns To Stone” & Lou’s “Just Between You And Me”.) That track is one of a handful of excellent lighter songs, along with “Used To Be Your Lover” and “Perfection” – another favorite here.


If you liked the ’80s, the sounds that came from that era, the keyboards, classy AOR rock, or recall Goalby’s performances on Uriah Heep’s 3 albums in that decade you will want to check this out. Also for those who might’ve appreciated the likes of Lou Gramm (Foreigner), Richard Marx, and perhaps even John Parr (who Peter would write songs for) For being deemed as ‘demos’ at the time, the sound and performances are outstanding, and well produced, It’s a great collection of songs from a guy who sadly disappeared at the end of the decade (see his comments on the CD liner notes), but hopefully is back (enough) to clear out his archives for fans, and who knows …..!?

Paul Hodson recalls the technology and recordings“If my memory serves me I think I used a program call C Lab Creator running on an Atari 1040 st computer. It was the the beginning of computer based sequencing and, despite it limited technology, it was really stable! Synth wise I guess I would have used a Roland D110 and an early sampler, either a Sequencial Circuits Prophet 2000 or a Casio FZ1 I guess. There may have been other synths but it was a long time ago! I think we were running a 16 track recorder onto 2 inch tape back then. I always remember we had a huge box of spare relays and a few hours before Pete came in I’d be swapping parts just to make sure it worked! We had a newer 24 track machine soon afterwards so the later recordings were done on that. I can’t remember which desk I used at the time, I think it was a TAC Scorpion! Showing my age now!
For Pete’s guitar we used a Tom Shultz Rockman, it was the sound of the 80s, I think we used the same on John Parr’s album. Pete had got the best Telecaster I have ever heard, a real old one, I hope he still has it!
I don’t do much now. I retired a few years ago from music and a enjoying my free time! I had a solo album out in 2004 and maybe I’ll do another but I guess nobody would buy it! Been away too long!”

From Robin GeorgeMy first recollection of Peter is, I bought a Gibson 330 guitar which was fab! A friend was opening a music store, and he asked me to lend it him for a window display. The first night, the shop got robbed and my guitar was stolen! He had no money so he gave me an MG Midget sports car as recompense. I loved the car so all was cool. The next time I saw the Gibson was at the Lafayette club where Trapeze were live (great band)… Peter was playing my 330 so I was really pleased it went to a really good home. Later Dave Holland, Trapeze drummer (later Judas Priest) introduced us and we got on well, so we started writing and recording together at my home studio. Peter would arrive with the titles and the choruses mapped out, so as he put it ‘I brought my guitar and played you the choruses and any other bits then you would add from there putting verses together and finished the JIGSAWS.’ I played the instruments and produced what we both agree were great songs. Peter later signed a deal with RAK records on the strength of the tracks, and Mickie Most produced Mona Lisa Smile, as a single. My memories of the sessions were mostly losing the great groove and atmosphere of the song, even a great gospel choir didn’t help. It was released, but I don’t know if it sold.

Peter later told me, ‘The Mickie Most Session WELL ? You can mention the fact that I have used our original version and NOT the Mickie Most version!’ You can tell Kevin about me doing the vocals in your kitchen LOL’ – He was in good company at the kitchen sink, Robert Plant Glenn Hughes Ruby Turner Pete Way Daniel Boone to name just a few of the stars who sang there… nobody washed up though 🙂
Later Peter contacted me to say Estrella, the band, wanted to do a version of Mona Lisa for their album ‘Come Out to Play’ ( a good version it is too) which we were both pleased with.
They also covered our song ‘Chance of a Lifetime’.
Later Peter asked if I had the recordings we did for his new project (he only had a cassette tape of the sessions) so I tracked them down and had the 5 tracks re-mastered and they sound really good!
We’re still very much in touch and I’m really pleased with the interest in Peter these days…
His new album ’Easy with the Heartaches’ is out on 19th November on Sanctuary Records and includes Chance of a lifetime, I built this house, and Mona Lisa Smile of course.
Cheers
(www.robingeorge.co.uk)

*Easy With The Heartaches can also be found on Amazon sites, and various online shops. When you get it – come back and let me know what you think in the comments!

+Join us on Facebook in the Peter Goalby fan group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/124798726162

KJ, 11/’21

YES – The Quest

The 2nd YES album to featured Jon Davison on vocals. I never did give it’s predecessor much of a chance [but have picked it up while enjoying this new one]. The 2nd video released “Future Memories” I really liked right away, and that got my interest. It is still the stand out song here, for me, a classic Yes ballad, and if the band ends tomorrow Jon Davison will have left an amazing mark with this one. Lead off track / video “The Ice Bridge” is a strong track as well, love Geoff Downes bright keyboards throughout this number, with the intro briefly reminiscent of ELP, and elsewhere this song reminds me a bit of Saga, and love Steve Howe’s riff and solo. Davison and Billy Sherwood co-write and share vocals on the upbeat “The Western Edge”. Though much of this album is near ballads or acoustic numbers, it is a pretty uplifting set of songs, as The Quest according to guitarist and producer Steve Howe – “The Quest is a strong album with a common theme: posing the great questions of life and finding that we have our destiny within our own hands.” The band also pays tribute to The Beatles in the track “Mystery Tour”. YES also pays homage to their won past according to Geoff Downes – “There’s a lot of retro sounds, reminiscent of some of the early Yes recordings. I was really a big fan of Tony Kaye, his style of Hammond playing, and even going back to the Drama album, the basic keyboard instruments – like the Hammond organ and acoustic piano – have really come out on this album..” The album also includes orchestra on a couple of tracks – Howe’s “Dare To Know” – “I wanted to augment what Yes does – To have something as beautiful as an orchestra was really appealing, and that was done remotely in Macedonia. Paul K. Joyce did the arranging for me.” The orchestra was also used on the Davison / Sherwood track “Minus The Man”. Howe’s “Leave Well Alone” is an epic Yes tune with a classy mix of vocals, and plenty of changes, and I’m pretty sure I hear a nod to “Starship Trooper” later on in.

As I’ve said previously, I never was a huge Yes fan, and post 90125 albums were hit and miss with me, but I did like The Ladder, and going back recently [upon hearing this] really liked Fly From Here, so I will put The Quest up there as my next favorite Yes album, despite being fairly laid-back, overall. There are a few songs that have jumped out at me, and there is lots to still get in to here. For all that’s been said of the line-up being without a few founding members, I am quite happy with this and look forward to more.

The Quest comes in various formats, colored vinyl, a box set… Beautifully packaged in Roger Dean artwork again.

https://yes-band.lnk.to/TheQuest?fbclid=IwAR0n1ojd5KpLGNPU-vwkJx1GlMlGeDF3jkxyr8LiGCpSs5Ob_0sAB9vyhyw

https://www.facebook.com/yestheband

http://www.yesworld.com

insideoutmusic.com

KJ, 11/’21

HODSON – This Strange World (Revisited)

This Strange World - Hodson | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic

British keyboard player [+ writer, producer, singer] Paul Hodson produced this album in 2004. Hodson recorded with the likes of Ten [Gary Hughes], Bob Catley [Magnum], Cloven Hoof, John Parr, and Peter Goalby [Uriah Heep]. I got this album well after the fact [British bands like Magnum and Ten were not in my collection til the mid 2000s], but it is a very strong album and heavier than the band’s mentioned above, which is due mainly to the guitar playing and sound of Vince O’Regan [Escape], as well as Hodson’s vocals, who at time can be as ‘eavy as Bruce Dickinson, but hey toss in the likes of Graham Bonnett and Gary Hughes too., …. But yeah, some huge guitar sound – riffs and big lengthy solos, love the lead off track “This Foolish World”, epic ” The Calling”, “Soulman”, and a pretty good cover of Rainbow’s “Light In The Dark”. 9 track album ends with the ballad “The Swan” [co-written with Eddy Morton, ex The Bushburys] – which features a nice fast keyboard/guitar break. Bass – Josie Vespa, drums – Lynch Radinsky.

*Great cover art from Al Barrow [former Hard Rain bandmate, ex Magnum]. A shame there was no follow up, but an excellent one-off project / release worth checking out.

https://www.discogs.com/master/1195626-Hodson-This-Strange-World

KJ, 11 / ’21

Six Silver Suns – As Archons Fall

Well, something very different….hard rockin’, but plenty of ’70s influences, some prog, some pop, and a lot of imagination – musically and lyrically. Check out tracks like “Children Of The Stars”, “Vultures Of Nevermore”, “To The Unknown”, “A Night Upon My Shoulders’, and epic piece ” Sweet Promethean”. Great songs and productions, plenty of acoustic guitars, vocal harmonies, cool guitar breaks, and synths. The bio compares these guys to one of my favorite bands – Blue Oyster Cult, which is what caught my attention. Like BOC, very crafted songs, and not really ‘heavy’ in the metal sense at all. Very good cover of “California Dreamin”, with great harmonies. Awesome cover album cover art to boot!

SIX SILVER SUNS is a recent addition to the Finnish rock field, but the band’s members are all well known musicians. Janne Mannonen on the drums is known from Finnish legendary band, YUP. Vocalist Markku Kuikka has been heard on many of heavy and hard rock albums. Guitarists Toni Bite and Harri Petjakko, bass player Teo Lehto and keyboardist Sammy Tabermann have released dozens of records with several bands. Helena Haaparanta is heard as a background singer.
 
Six Silver Suns has emerged from the desire to wander back to the golden years of rock and pop music: the 70s and the 80s. The band’s inspiration comes from progressive rock, goes towards Blue Öyster Cult, and combines all with the catchy tunes and melodies from AOR and Hard Rock scene.
 
Their first release is entitled “As Archons Fall”. The album includes ten versatile songs which have beautiful harmonies and melodies all the way. “As Archons Fall” is a fantastic journey to the Six Silver Suns Universe, where any song can lead a listener into different kind of cosmic soundscapes. You cannot underline just one song only because “As Archons Fall” is an entire experience for the listener. There is also pleasant cover song, The Mamas and the Papas – “California Dreamin`”. The album’s opening song – “Lord of the Southern Tower” lead you into distant worlds and tune you in to following songs. Until you have reached the song “A Night upon My Shoulders”, you will understand the whole. Of course there is some pieces to pick up as a enjoyable moments as you like. 


 
“Six Silver Suns has two main composers, and both have a strong vision. On my other band YUP, I felt I did not have much to offer as a composer, while now I feel like I’m more on my own field, musically. When Toni and I started to write music for Six Silver Sun, we soon realized we work really well together, even though our tastes in music are quite different”,  explains Janne Mannonen.
 
“Six Silver Suns has given me a chance to sing in a completely new musical environment. Our goal has been to take influence from the 70s and it was surprisingly easy to find that natural groove. We all have been playing in quite different type of bands, but all that experience came together nicely in Six Silver Suns, and – at least to my ears – we sound good! ” Vocalist Markku Kuikka says.
 
“This record is an awesome and casual journey into the world of rock music where there are no rules. Imagination and the freedom to compose without frames was a key element of this record for myself. I think this record will be a joy for many people for a long time to come”, explains Toni Bite


 
Line up: Markku Kuikka-vocals, Toni Bite-guitar, Janne Mannonen-drums, Harri Petjakko-guitar, Teo Lehto-bass, Sammy Taberman-keyboards.

Track list: 01 Lord of the Southern Tower, 02 To the Unknown, 03 Children of the Stars, 04 Fading by Light, 05 Sweet Promethean, 06
Cosmic Bitter Blues, 07 The Stranger, 08 Vultures of Nevermore, 09 Edge of Forever, 10 A Night upon My Shoulders, 11 California
dreamin` (The Mamas and the Papas cover)

https://www.facebook.com/sixsilversuns/

KJ, 10/’21

Hard rock, Classic Rock, reviews, interviews, lists…

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