Tag Archives: American Rock

JOE BOUCHARD to release American Rocker

Joe Bouchard’s new album will be ready June 3.

From http://www.joebouchard.com : This is the strongest album yet, you won’t be disappointed! Coming soon on RockHeart Records dist. by Deko Entertainment.  The first single will be the hard rockin’ MY WAY IS THE HIGHWAY that will be out on April 29, 2022.

https://www.dekoentertainment.com/product-page/joe-bouchard-american-rocker-cd

Blue Coupe – (Joe & Albert Bouchard and Dennis Dunaway) have announced shows in July, including one at Toronto’s legendary El Mocambo July 21. Check out the band’s facebook page for announcements – https://www.facebook.com/blue.coupe.rocks

03/’22

PHIL NARO – 2 Bands, 2 New singles debut in past week

Rochester born singer Phil Naro had a very busy and successful career fronting a number of bands, notably Talas. Sadly Phil passed last May after battling cancer. Phil also was a part of a number of tribute acts, such as Ozone Baby (Led Zeppelin), as well as worked with Classic Albums Live and the Platinum Rock All-Stars. In 2009 Phil won a Daytime Emmy Award for his performance of the theme song to the animated TV show “6Teen”. Phil kept busy right til the end, finishing 2 albums. Phil was a great talent and a classy guy, who was always friendly and just seemed happy performing. Billy Sheehan once described Phil as “the best attitude singer” he knew.

Sheehan would reform Talas with Phil 5 years ago, and play a number of shows. They would also sign a record deal with Metal Blade Records and record a new Talas studio album just prior to Phil’s passing. It is the first Talas studio album since 1982. Phil joined Talas after that, singing on the band’s 1984 Live Speed On Ice, before eventually moving on to numerous short lived gigs like Coney Hatch, Naro, Blood Red Flower, 24K,…. The first single from the forthcoming Talas album is “Inner Mounting Flame”; a thundering hard rocker in classic Talas form which Sheehan describes as – “a bombastic, high-speed chaos of adrenaline that we would often use as our opening song at the live TALAS shows in 1985. We stayed close to the original arrangement – this was such a blast to record, and Phil sang his ass off on it. The song title came from a very famous fusion bands album title (The Mahavishnu Orchestra – Inner Mounting Flame), and was our take on what that flame might be about.” The song is produced by Billy Sheehan, Russ Mackay, Scott Bush and Talas – which also consists of drummer Mark Miller, and new addition Kire Najdovski on guitar. As a fan of Talas, this track simply an amazing surprise – not just getting to finally hear it, but the fact that it is so energetic, and so well performed and produced. Phil sounds better than ever on it, so I am really looking forward to the rest of the album. There should be more news soon. Check out the Talas V2 Facebook group for updates – https://www.facebook.com/talasv2

Within days of watching the new Talas clip repeatedly there came a press release and Another video release featuring Phil Naro for the first single from the forthcoming LIPS TURN BLUE album. Lips Turn Blue is the band formerly known as DDRIVE, along with former Black Sheep / Lou Gramm guitarist Don Mancuso, as well as keyboardist Eric Bieber, bassist Mike Mullane, and drummer Roy Stein. DDrive had released 2 full albums plus a mini-album over the years but changed the name for this newest recording (see Japanese metal band D_Drive).

The first single is “Just Push”, an easily likeable aor rock track, with a great chorus, a bit of funky guitar, and well placed keys. Phil sounds excellent on this one too. It’s a fun upbeat tune, and is the first of a few singles from LTB’s album, The band signed to MIG Records (Europe), who will release the album in May, a year after Phil Naro’s passing. as well as LTB’s next one that has already been started, and will feature new singer Iggy Marino.  https://m.facebook.com/Lips-Turn-Blue

More on Lips Turn Blue in a future post…. But check out Mitch Lafon’s interview with Don Mancuso [below] for some insight and news.  www.Lipsturnblue.com

Phil can also be heard on Cactus’ Tightrope album from 2021, as he co-wrote and sang on the track “Wear It Out”. One can spend hours going through Youtube checking out all the albums and projects Phil was a part of, some great stuff to be discovered there.

03/’22

Story Behind The Album Cover : Grand Funk’s Shinin’ On

Released in March of 1974 – Shinin’ On is one of my favorite Grand Funk albums! Shinin’ On is known for including the band’s #1 hit single – “The Loco-Motion”, the classic title track [love that organ solo], And for the unique 3D cover! Anyone who has seen this cover in it’s original LP form, knows it came with a 3D cover & tear away 3D glasses, a poster, even upcoming tour dates on the inner sleeve … an amazing package. The cover / package concept & design was credited to Lynn Goldsmith and Andrew Cavaliere. Lynn worked not only as the band’s photographer, but also directed the 1973 promotional film for We’re An American Band, and created a number of other Grand Funk & Mark Farner [solo] covers,. She would also be credited on hundreds of album covers for art directing, creating, and photography by the likes of Alice Cooper, Tom Petty, Ted Nugent, Patti Smith Group, Ian Hunter, and loads more in various genres.

You can find out more about Lynn’s career and her massive list of credits, and classic albums she was a part of at :

Earlier this year I had written Lynn with questions about Shinin’ On, and a few weeks back she was kind enough to reply via a video on her Facebook page. It’s a very interesting clip, detailing the album cover, and and a good bit of insight into her time with Grand Funk. Any Grand Funk fan will want to check it out. Thanks to Lynn Goldsmith for this video. [below, enjoy!]

https://fb.watch/7ADlBXPvLA/

KJ, 08/’21

BLUE OYSTER CULT : Classics – without the cowbell!

‘Don’t Fear The Reaper’ was Blue Oyster Cult’s first and biggest hit in 1976, after 3 albums. The song became etched in American pop culture in 2000 when a skit was made of it on Saturday Night Live with Will Ferrell and Christopher Walken; having fun with the recording of the cowbell [which in turn inspired the song “More Cowbell” by Blue Coupe!]. BOC fans know the band was one of the best from the US in the ‘70s, originally signed by Columbia in hopes to be a response to the heavy bands on Warner Bros at the time – mainly Black Sabbath, but BOC were never simply a heavy ‘metal’ band, loads of variety, rockers, ballads, with 5 guys that all wrote and could sing lead. They had their own themes and stories in the songs and albums [see my interview with Albert Bouchard], a cool symbol [an idea taken on by other bands], noted for their lazer show in the ‘70s, but to us fans – a string of classic albums from ’72 to 81!  The band’s output [and quality of] declined when [drummer] Albert Bouchard left, and then [bassist] Joe Bouchard a few years later. Main singer [and guitarist] Eric Bloom and lead guitarist [and often lead singer] Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser still tour with BOC today. The Bouchards have an excellent little band [and a few cool band and solo albums] called ‘Blue Coupe’ [along with Dennis Dunaway of the original Alice Cooper group]. There was no one else like the original Blue Oyster Cult. So, here’s my recommended list of BOC classics, more so for those thinking they were just the band with the cowbell song!

RIP Allen Lanier, Sandy Pearlman, Sam Judd.

http://www.travellersintime.com/UniversalWheels/bouchardinterview.html

http://www.travellersintime.com/UniversalWheels/Bouchard2012.html

http://www.travellersintime.com/UniversalWheels/Bouchard2013.html

 

boc6251

Cities On Flame With Rock And Roll                              

From the first album in 1972. The band’s first great rocker, an anthem and permanent live favorite, penned by Donald Roeser and Al Bouchard. Those first 3 albums were in a class of their own.

Wings Wetted Down

Not exactly sure what this eerie tale is about, vampires[!?] , but always loved this from Tyranny & Mutation, penned by Albert and Joe Bouchard. A dark heavy riff, playing around piano / acoustic verses, cool lengthy solo, and heavy chorus.

Hot Rails To Hell

From the second album, one of Joe Bouchard’s biggest contributed tracks in BOC. A classic early rocker; Joe drives this song with the bass, and it’s a killer. Fast paced, heavy on the guitars…BOC was not so smooth sounding early on, made to be played loud.

Career Of Evil

The opening cut to Secret Treaties, penned by Al Bouchard with Patti Smith. such an energetic track. Based mainly on Allen Lanier’s organ sound. creepy, gothic stuff about doing anything imaginable wrong to somebody. – “I choose to steal what you choose to show, And you know I will not apologize.”

Astronomy

Epic from the Secret Treaties in 1974; written by Albert & Joe Bouchard with Sandy Pearlman. Originally composed on piano and keys, so eerie and cool. Not exactly sure what this all about [some interesting discussion at > www.songfacts.com] . I like the various versions [the Some Enchanted Evening live version and the 1988 Imaginos re-do],but the original is my fave BOC track. – “it’s the nexus of the crisis, and the origins of storms”.

Al Bouchard – “Pearlman was always reading every kind of esoteric book imaginable so that had a lot to do with our subject matter.”

Flaming Telepaths

I think I grew to love this dark rocker because it leads in to “Astronomy” on the album, and since there no break between the songs, I always play[ed] them together! Cool and rare synth & piano solo, followed by a classic Buck Dharma solo. Co penned by Donald Roeser, Albert Bouchard, Sandy Pearlman, and Eric Bloom. …”and the jokes on you” …. I really gotta figure out these stories in the songs…

This Ain’t The Summer of Love

The lead off track from Agents of Fortune – such a strong album [see ETI, Morning Final, Debbie Denise..]. Great guitar chugging intro and then band crashing in; a short, powerful rocker! Co-written by Al Bouchard, Murray Krugman and Don Waller, but given a fitting vocal from Eric Bloom. Lizzy Borden did a decent cover of this.

Sinful Love

A classic rocker from Agents of Fortune, penned by Al Bouchard [who also sang it] along with Helen Wheels. Love the chorus and harmonies, great lyrics – “I love you like sin – but I won’t be your pigeon”.

Searchin’ For Celine

A classic Allen Lanier penned track. kicking off with piano, a bit of funk and lots of changes, melody, and a great vocal from Eric Bloom. Love this one; very different!

R.U. Ready to Rock

One thing BOC almost always managed to do was have kick ass rockers open each album side. This song was written with the live show in mind; great riff and intro, short and to the point! Written by Al Bouchard and Sandy Pearlman.

I Love The Night

BOC did so many different tunes, and some classic ballads, such as this haunting one from Spectres.Also penned and written by Buck Dharma. Great melody and harmonies. – “the day is ok and the sun can be fun…”

The Vigil

From 1979’s Mirrors. This had some great songs, but the production was a bit too tidy, attempting to perhaps pull some radio friendly tunes!? But “The Vigil” [co-written by Donald and Sandra Roeser] stands out as a late in the game BOC epic; lots of changes, lots of guitars, harmonies, and big production. One of Buck’s best!

Divine Wind

Written by Donald Roeser for Cultosaurus Erectus, as a reaction to the Iran hostage situation. Great vocal from Eric Bloom, a slower paced, guitar heavy, dark classic. Produced by legendary heavy producer Martin Birch [Sabbath, Deep Purple, Maiden..] to bring the band back from the aor approach of Mirrors. – “If he really thinks we’re the devil, then let’s send em to Hell.”

Joan Crawford

From Fire Of Unknown Origin, the last to feature the original line up. Love the classical piano intro and then the band stepping in. great lyrics, with humor, very theatrical. The band even shot a video for this song in ’81.

Al Bouchard – That song was inspired by the book “Mommy Dearest” and also the behavior of my ex-wife one day while David Roter, Jack Rigg and I were trying to record a demo. Joe wrote the intro but Allen played it.

Burnin For You

The band’s other top 40 hit, and probably 2nd best known song, from Fire Of Unknown Origin. Penned by Richard Meltzer with Buck Dharma, who sang it. A more mainstream rocker about the rock n roll life. – “Burn out the day, burn out the night.”

*Drop me a note and let me know what ya think! BOC fans – feel free to add in omissions and insight. [thanks]

Here’s a few more BOC links for you…

http://www.hotrails.co.uk

http://joebouchard.com

http://blueoystercult.com

www.albertbouchard.net

http://www.buckdharma.com

http://www.ericbloom.net

www.martinpopoff.com/html/Boc.html

KJJ- 09/16