More hard-hitting, kick-ass blues based British rock. Plenty of heavy guitar rockers, with harmonica, great riffs and vocals. Check out tracks like “666 At The Crossroads”, “Rebel With A Cause”, …”Jealous Woman”. *Check out the press info and title track below.
CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED HARMONICA PLAYER, WILL WILDE, ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF NEW BLUES ROCK BAND, BAD LUCK FRIDAY
Bad Luck Friday’s self-titled debut album was released by Wilde Fire Records on Friday 2 September 2022. This is one of the most highly anticipated debut albums from a British rock band in years. The album is available from www.badluckfriday.com
The first single and title track, ‘Bad Luck Friday,’ was released July 1, 2022 and is available to buy and stream HERE.
The band has also just released their 2nd single “Banshee”, which is available to stream on Spotify HERE.
The official music video is available to watch on YouTube
Big guitars, wailing harp and a pounding rhythm section characterize this tune as a total anthem, making it the perfect track for Halloween. Scream if you want to go louder!
The band’s eponymous debut album, available on CD and colored vinyl, is available to order from www.badluckfriday.com.
Don’t be fooled by the harmonica. Bad Luck Friday is not your typical blues rock band. Will Wilde has a reputation in the blues world as a pioneer of the rock harp, but with Bad Luck Friday, he’s taken the music well beyond it’s traditional blues roots.
The band formed during the ashes of the pandemic when live music ground to a halt. Frustrated but still determined and highly creative, Wilde teamed up with guitarist, Steve Brook, and together they journeyed inward and developed their original style before bringing in Alan Taylor and Jack Turnbull to complete the line-up. Their fusion of bluesy classic rock and aggressive, contemporary hard rock encompasses anthemic choruses, catchy riffs, searing vocals, and Wilde’s blistering harmonica solos.
Will Wilde: Vocals, Harmonica
Steve “The Beak” Brook: Guitar, Backing Vocals
Jack Turnbull: Bass
Alan Taylor: Drums
Recorded at PA Studios and Brighton Road Studios, Brighton
Produced by Steve Brook
BAD LUCK FRIDAY – BIOGRAPHY
Bad Luck Friday is an exciting new rock band from Brighton, England. Formed in 2020, the band features Will Wilde (lead vocals, harmonica), Steve “The Beak” Brook (guitar, backing vocals), Jack Turnbull (bass) and Alan Taylor (drums).
Fronted by singer and world-renowned blues rock harmonica player, Will Wilde, their unique sound draws from an eclectic mix of influences, from classic rock bands such as Led Zeppelin and Free through to more aggressive contemporary bands like Black Stone Cherry, Halestorm and Alter Bridge.
Bad Luck Friday’s debut album is a blend of hard rock riffs and blues-infused melodies, big choruses with strong hooks, and face-melting harmonica solos that owe just as much to Slash or Angus Young as they to do Sonny Boy Williamson or Little Walter.
British Hard Rock Supergroup Snakecharmer Anthology 4-CD Box Set Feat. Former Members of Whitesnake, Wishbone Ash, and Thunder Available for Pre-order
An awesome line-up of veteran British rockers, Snakecharmer put out 2 albums in 2013 and 2017. Both albums are full of British classic rock ala early Whitesnake, Bad Company, and the other respective bands some of these guys were a part of. Really, just excellent British rock, as you’d expect Founding member and original Whitesnake guitarist Micky Moody left after the first album to be replaced by Simon McBride, a much younger player who has recently been named the new permanent guitarist for Deep Purple! This 4-disc set comes with bonus tracks, as well as 2 live shows recorded a year apart, featuring the band’s own favorites, as well as a number of Whitesnake classics. *Check out the press info below, track-listing, and links below!
British hard rock supergroup Snakecharmer was formed in 2013 by former members of Whitesnake, Wishbone Ash, and Thunder.
The resulting line-up is a veritable who’s-who of classic hard rock: Vocalist Chris Ousey (Heartland), Guitarist Laurie Wisefield (Home/ Wishbone Ash), Drummer Harry James (Thunder/ Magnum), and Keyboardist Adam Wakeman (Ozzy Osbourne) Guitarist Micky Moody (Whitesnake)
Given the band’s pedigree, it was inevitable that the music would sound like good-time, classic melodic hard rock with a blues edge, their eponymous debut was released in 2013 by Frontiers. The response from fans and critics alike was rapturous, and the band toured to wide acclaim.
In 2015, Moody left the band, replaced by young Irish-born virtuoso Simon McBride (now of Deep Purple). Snakecharmer’s follow up album, Second Skin, arrived in 2017.
This 4-CD box set collects the bands two studio albums as well as two live shows from Milton Keynes which show the band at work in a live environment, the booklet has notes by Classic Rocks Dave Ling talking to the band about their career as well as newly mastered studio albums done by Tony Dixon.
Featuring: Chris Ousey – Vocals Simon McBride – Guitar Laurie Wisefield – Guitar Adam Wakeman – Keyboards Neil Murray – Bass Harry James – Drums Micky Moody – Guitar
Track list: DISC ONE: Snakecharmer My Angel Accident Prone To The Rescue Falling Leaves A Little Rock & Roll Turn Of the Screw Smoking Gun Stand Up Guilty As Charged Nothing To Lose Cover Me in You BONUS TRACKS White Boy Blues A Breath Away – Japan Only Bonus Track
DISC TWO: Second Skin Sounds Like a Plan That Kind of Love Are You Ready to Fly? Follow Me Under I’ll Take You as You Are Hell Of a Way to Live Fade Away Dress It Up Punching Above My Weight Forgive And Forget Where Do We Go from Here? BONUS TRACK On My Way – Japan Only Bonus Track
DISC THREE: Live at The Stables, Milton Keynes 26/01/2014 Guilty As Charged A Little Rock & Roll Ready An’ Willing Accident Prone Walking In the Shadow of The Blues Falling Leaves Moody’s Blues Slow An’ Easy My Angel [Band Introductions] Cover Me in You Nothing To Lose Here I Go Again Fool For Your Loving
DISC FOUR: Live at The Stables, Milton Keynes 17/01/2015 Intro. Guilty As Charged A Little Rock & Roll Ready An’ Willing Cover Me in You Accident Prone Falling Leaves Walking In the Shadow of The Blues My Angel Moody’s Blues Slow An’ Easy Nothing To Lose Here I Go Again Take Me with You Fool For Your Loving
John Sloman has a new video out. It’s “Blind”, on Red Steel Music. The track has been produced by John & Robert Corich, and remastered by Bella Corich, who adds a livelier sound to an already excellent song from 2016. “Blind” will be featured on John’s forthcoming retrospective double album The Missing Link. Art for the single also by Callum Fernandes-Clarke.
John Sloman recently posted – “This is the new video for the soon to be released single (Blind) taken from the retrospective album ‘The Missing Link’ which will be released in a couple of months. The video is brilliantly directed by Callum Fernandes-Clarke who directed all three of my previous videos. Blind originally featured on the album ‘Don’t Try This At Home’.”
Further, the track was recently featured on Classic Rock’s Louder Sound‘Tracks Of The Week‘. You can check that out And vote for “Blind” there!
Troy Redfern has become well known as Great Britian’s ‘King of the slide guitar’. The blues rocker has a new album titled The Wings of Salvation and is currently on tour in the UK with British rockers Dare. The Wings of Salvation is Redfern’s most accessible and talked about album yet, so if you’re not familiar – check out his latest singles/videos “Come On”, “Gasoline” and “Sweet Carolina”! You can also order The Wings of Salvation in various formats from his website, as well as previous albums, t-shirts, and art prints (Redfern has also created his latest few albums covers, among other pieces). In this interview Troy Redfern talks about his influences, favorite albums, his past recordings, and plenty about his new album. *Check out the links below for ordering and more info on Troy Redfern.
Can you give me a bit of background as far as where you hail from and how you came about to take up the guitar and blues direction?
I grew up on the Welsh border, near Hergest Ridge, which was made famous by Mike Oldfield – who recorded an album by the same name. It’s quite a rural area, and that’s probably one of the things that sort of lead me to play guitar. I was into soul music from an early age, from about the age of 5.
I think one of the most important things was I first saw the film Back To The Future – that really sort of solidified my desire to want to play the guitar, and my parents got me a guitar when I was about 12, I think. And I started getting in guitar music, from Back ToThe Future I heard Van Halen, and then I got into Jimi Hendrix, and the Beatles and all those kinds of bands. And then a friend lent me a Son House album on vinyl, and that was my introduction to early blues music, and that was kind of a game changer in discovering that, because this was pre-internet days. So yeah, that album really got me into blues and slide
I’ve read some of your favorite guitar players, a wide range of rock, fusion, and blues players. Could you give me a ‘top 10’ list of your favorite/influential guitar rock or blues albums?
My top 10 would probably be – Son House – Library of Congress recordings Zappa – Shut Up ‘N’ Play Yer guitar, box set. Allan Holdsworth’s – Road Games Steve Vai’s Flex-able Queen 2 Aerosmith’s Toys In The Attic Deep Purple In Rock Frank Zappa’s Overnight Sensation R.L. Burnside’s A Ass Pocket of Whiskey
You’ve made a name as ‘king of the slide guitar’. Can you tell me a bit about your attraction to this style and sound?
Like I said hearing Son House when I was really young got me interested in that style of music, but i really started getting into it probably when i was about 18 or 19. A girlfriend, her dad showed me how to tune a guitar to open tunings, and sort of module tunings, and major-minor, and from that point on I just kind of started experimenting with tunings and finding my way around the fret board and obviously because it’s completely different to standard tunings, so you have to re-learn everything. It’s just kind of something that’s developed over the years, I’ve put a lot of time into that style and found that to be one of the most natural ways for me to play. It’s just completely comfortable, and when you enjoy something, and you feel like you connect with something that’s that
You also sing – did this come about naturally or out of necessity? How do you feel about (or see yourself as) singing? Any favorite singers that either influenced you or you like in blues / blues-rock?
As far as singing goes, I enjoy singing, but it’s sort of one of those things – it’s a necessity thing. When I started going out under my own name, I just felt that it was right to not only have a voice on my guitar but to use my voice to sing. I think Elmore James was sort of one of my biggest influences
Your latest album is a great set of blues rock, and I think very accessible for those that aren’t familiar to your previous work. So, with that being said – can you give me some background on your pre-lockdown recordings? Personal favorites and highlights, successes…(?)
Background on my previous Lockdown recordings. the one I released in 2017 was called Dirt Blues Ritual, and that was maybe a bit less rock orientated, obviously still slide playing, but probably had more of a rockabilly-blues sound. It’s still identifiable with what I do now, but just the production I did was slightly different, and I was producing that stuff myself. Most of that stuff is on Bandcamp. And there’s an album I released through a Belgian label called Blues Boulevard Records; it was called Back Door HooDoo. And that was sort of a collection of material that I’d released digitally, the first album being Werewolf Etiquette, the second one being Mother Tongue and the third one being Playing with Fire – those were all released on Bandcamp. So that was like a collection of material, all the ‘best of’ from those albums, but they’re still available on Bandcamp. And like I said I was producing that stuff myself and it was sort of a free sort of time where I just learned, over the years, to record myself, and I got my home studio, so I was free to put stuff out without being self-conscious about what I was writing and just enjoying it. I think Werewolf Etiquette is one of my favorites
You made 6 (!?) albums during covid lockdown — what inspired so much writing & recording? And (again), can you give me a round-up in brief or those albums – their direction, how they varied, personal favorite tracks or highlights?
Yeah, I made 6 albums during lockdown, released that many. Well, it was actually 6 albums across that time period, one was actually released before lockdown – that was called This Raging Heart. And then as soon as lockdown happened, I decided I wanted to record something slightly more acoustic and little more experimental, and that became the album that was called Island. And then we realized lockdown was carrying on, so I decided to release more material that was on my hard drive, because you know I’ve recorded lots of material over the years, and I archived that stuff. And then I put (out) a leftovers album called Deep Cuts, which was stuff that didn’t make it onto This Raging Heart. I put out a resonating improvisation album called Improvisations Part 1. And then I put out an instrumental album called Thunder Moon – that’s one of my favorites, because that’s non-genre specific, really. It’s all instrumental music; it shows just different aspects of my creative output that isn’t sometimes released on the official releases, you know. So that’s really why I like Thunder Moon – because it’s so free. I enjoy that one!
Did you approach your latest album any differently to your previous few albums? Any changes in writing, recording,?
Yeah, normally I take quite a while to write stuff, and I’ll make a lot of demos over a long period. The Fire Cosmic I think took probably almost a year to sort of put that together before recording it, but this one was the complete opposite where we wrote and recorded everything from scratch in just over 4 weeks. So, it was a completely different way of approaching it; it was a lot more compressed. We sort of gave ourselves a deadline, which I think really helped you know – it really drew out ideas and it got them from the initial idea to being a fully developed song very quickly, which I think really helped keep the inspired part of the song in there. And I also worked with a producer named Dave Marks who really helped with different aspects. we talked about arrangements, and sort of stylistic choices we were going to make. So that was great – working with someone like that, working with someone closely crafting an album. And like I said, when I was producing all the stuff myself, you’re doing that in isolation, in a bubble, and this was a completely different process where you’re sort of bouncing off of someone and getting things done super-quickly, you know!?
Can you give us a bit of insight (with reference to the new album’s tracks) how you come up with songs – musically and lyrically?
As far as I come up with songs, and lyrics and what-not – usually all the ideas would’ve started with an acoustic guitar or a resonator – I use a 1929 National Triolian Resonator. So, we sketch the ideas, and they would just be non-conscious stream of thought kind of whatever comes out ideas, which is how I like to work because I feel that that’s the most inspired way of getting something – because you’re not actually consciously trying to force something out, you’re just playing and seeing what happens. Let’s take an example – “Gasoline” – I just started playing a riff, which happened to be in 7/8, and I would just play that riff and see where it went, and then just sort of take different turns you know – where the chorus would go and just feel my way through those changes. And as far as lyrics go, that was the hardest part of the album because I had 10 songs to write lyrics for in a very short space of time. There were thematic ideas and narratives that I wanted to get in this time. “Navajo” is about the great walk of the native Americans in 1865, a thing sort of about loss of freedoms, and just trying to tie those 2 things together with that sort of modern loss of personal freedoms and tying it back to that narrative. And “Dark Religion” is the combination of 2 different themes – one personal of the loss of a friend who died of an overdose, all stemming back to a strict Christian upbringing, but then also wrapping that story in a narrative about a woman leaving this country in the 1800s to go to America and set up a new life and realizing that the grass isn’t greener – that kind of narrative, which is basically the same character I used a song called “Ghosts” off The Fire Cosmic and “The Line” from Dirt Blues Ritual. So, I was pleased with the lyrics on that one because they felt like little self-contained stories instead of being too abstract
There is a wide range of guitar sounds, feel, and solos on this album – can you talk a bit about the different sounds and guitars you used on this?
On this album a big part of the album was the Dobro, I’ve got a 1935 Dobro M32, so a lot of the ideas were sort of recorded on that, using a Magnatone Twilighter stereo amp, and also the National Triolian- a 1929 National Triolian, I used that one. A couple of Danelectric guitars made appearances, and an old 1962 Silvertone Jupiter. So, it was mainly vintage guitars that I was using because I think they have unique characteristics that I kind of wanted to get tonally into the tracks, so the stuff’s still quite ‘rock’ but with those kinds of nuanced sounds that has some character that you wouldn’t get with just a standard Humbucker, maybe.
Can you tell me a bit about the album’s cover art/shot? Whose idea and who put it together? (Influences in creating that look?)
On the The Fire Cosmic, the last album, I did the artwork which is kind of in a Jack Kirby comic style. And I was really pleased with that – people seemed to like it, you know. So, I thought well on this one I need to do the same sort of thing. I enjoy making the complete package – where it’s not just the music, it’s the artwork as well. When I was speaking to Dave about needing to do the artwork, we’re both comic book and Star Wars geeks, and he said to me “this album is more Tatooine than it is Jack Kirby”, and I knew exactly what he meant – the sort of browns and reds of that kind of ‘desert’ environment. So, one afternoon I just decided to get some paper, and I managed to find some sort of sandy colored textured paper and I found some charcoals and pastels. And there was a photo that my daughter took, maybe 7 or 8 years ago, and just always loved the lighting on that. So, one of the original ideas was to use the photo and recreate that lighting, but instead I decided to have a go at charcoals and pastels, and I just worked on it, worked it up. And I was kind of pleased because it has that kind of slats of desert-y rough feel to it, texturally, and for me that seems to tie in with the music really well.
Any personal favorite tracks, solos, performances on the new album?
I really like “Dark Religion”, because that’s a style I’ve not written anything – I don’t think, in 3/4, and it has just a completely different vibe to anything I’ve done. And the solo section – I was really pleased with that, the chord progression under that kind of really octave of waves and sea which is sort of what the story’s about. And “Gasoline”, I was really pleased to get that one in there because that one’s in 7/8, and like I said before that’s something you don’t generally get in blues-rock and southern music, so it was nice to get a 7/8 in there that doesn’t throw you around and feel like jarring. And I really enjoyed the solo on “Mercy” because that’s actually not a slide solo, that’s just a standard tuning guitar solo, and I think that was just kind of nice to put it on there because it gives a different aspect, again, to just the slide thing that I’m kind of generally known for.
Have you played in North America as of yet? And when might we see you in Canada?
No – I’ve not played in North America – I’d love to. But it’s just one of those things, you know if the opportunity comes then I’ll be there like a shot because it’s somewhere … you know I’ve played in Europe, Russia, but have not been to the US or Canada yet, but I’d absolutely love to!
Out Of The Archives Comes A Vintage Rarities Collection From Legendary British Rock Band HUMBLE PIE!
Fans of classic, hard-chargin’ blues rock take note! A superb collection of mid ’70s rare recordings from blues rock institution Humble Pie is being released this month. I Need A Star In My Life features studio recordings from 1974-1976 with unmistakable HP vocalist Steve Marriott along with bassist Greg Ridley and guitarist Clem Clempson. Together this trio experimented with a variety of styles and sounds as they composed several new songs as well as rearranging songs by soul legend Sam Cooke, blues giant Bo Diddley, and others. King Crimson saxophonist Mel Collins even pops in for a special guest appearance!
These recordings have been completely digitally remastered and packaged with full liner notes from music journalist Dave Thompson. I Need A Star In My Life is available now on all formats including CD, digital and multiple vinyl configurations!
*Also be sure to check out the companion 7” featuring the band’s take on Sam Cooke’s “Shake” as well as an ultra rare track “Bluestalk” featuring the original guitarist of The Rolling Stones, Brian Jones!
Track List: 1. Shake 2. Mona 3. Lend Us A Quid 4. Send Me Some Lovin’ 5. She Moves Me Man 6. Street Rat 7. Captain Goatcabin’s Balancing Stallions 8. High And Happy 9. Be My Baby 10. It’s All Over 11. Bluegrass Interval 12. Don’t Take But A Few Minutes 13. Louisiana Blues 14. You’re A Heartbreaker 15. I Need A Star In My Life 16. Cocaine 17. I’ll Find You 18.Lord Let Me Hold Out 19. Hambone 20. Signed Sealed
I Need A Star In My Life appears to be a reissue (remaster, repackage?) of the The Scrubber Sessions, which features the same track listing, and also includes in the credits – Boz Burrell (bass, ex King Crimson), Ian Wallace (drums, ex King Crimson), Tim Hinkley (keyboards, organ), Joe Brown (fiddle), and BJ Cole (pedal steel guitar). Presumably this will be an upgrade in sound, and the packaging looks nicely done.
Scottish singer Mike Starrs recorded albums with Colosseum II and Lucifer’s Friend in the late ’70s, but prior to that, he had released a number of solo singles, as well as a solo album in 1974.
First ever CD release of Mike Starrs’ only solo album
Remastered by band member Gerry Morris and approved by Mike Starrs and original producer Tony Atkins.
Includes all four of his non-album singles as bonus tracks; a ‘catch-all’ of his 1970s solo releases.
Featuring 12 tracks Electric Garden was pure 70s pop, featuring plenty of ballads, strings, and songs that would’ve fit a number of AM radio playlists. Most of the songs were written by bass player Gerry Morris, at least half of those with Starrs. Morris had previously been a part of 60s band The Cymbaline, as well as prog band Lodestone – who’s lone 1971 album Time Flies, is also seeing a CD release next month. On Electric Garden, Starrs was also supported by the Rubettes’ John Richardson (drums) & Peter Arnesen (keyboards), as well as Mike Bailey (trumpet + string and brass arrangements), and guitarist Geoff Whitehorn! The latter would go on to Crawler, Bad Company and Procol Harum. Both Whitehorn and Gerry Morris also released his solo albums in ’74, with much of the same support crew (players, producer, engineers). All these albums were produced by Tony Atkins (Marquee Productions). Both Morris and Atkins have also been involved with this Cherry Red release of Electric Garden. I have the original LP version of Electric Garden, on the Telefunken label, and can only find another release for it on Pink Elephant (Netherlands), it is the latter that was used as the base for this CD reissue, as the 2 1974 issues had slightly different tracklistings and running orders. And though it was recorded and mixed in London Electric Garden never got a UK release in ’74! The album’s cover shot of Mike was one of (or The) first to be taken by famous ’70s photographer Barry Levine, who went on to credits with the likes of The Sweet, Kiss, The Runaways and more.
In a 2014 interview with Mike Starrs, he recalled – “In the ’70s I was living and working in London, Singing 6 nights a week in a Pub in Essex the Band was called Spinning Wheel our keyboard player for approximately 2yrs was Rick Wakeman – who as you know went on to become rather well known. A record producer heard the band and offered me a deal with The Marquee Studios which was behind the Famous Marquee Club. I recorded 1 album and a couple of singles.”
Electric Garden originally came with lengthy liner notes, and biography on Mike Starrs on the back cover, the CD reissue includes those, as well as new linernotes from Mike. Electric Garden also includes Mike Starrs’ version of “Da-Doo-Ron-Ron”, originally a hit for ’60s all-female American act The Crystals, (and was later a hit for Shaun Cassidy). It is listed as a ‘bonus’ track here, though it is the first track on my German vinyl pressing, it wasn’t included on the original Dutch LP. The Pink Elephant LP also featured one more track than the Telefunken version, including “Loving You” (Atkins/Morris) and “I’ll Take Good Care Of You” – originally written by American Jerry Ragovoy and became a hit for R & B singer Garnett Mimms in 1966. Highights on the album include the ballad “Beautiful Day” (Starrs/Morris), the upbeat “Electric Garden” (Morris), “Hold One” (penned, but apparently unused by Lodestone), as well an excellent cover of Lesley Duncan’s 1970 hit “Hold On”. The heavier rockin’ B-side “Witches Brew” (Morris) is a great addition, would’ve made a good album cut too. More recently Starrs has recorded with Crossover, and with Peter Hesslein; Gerry Morris went on to success as a songwriter and producer, working with American singer Amii Stewart (among others).
FEEL SO GOOD WHEN IT COMES TO LOVE ELECTRIC GARDEN THE WILL GOOD LIFE TO EVERYONE CONCERNED LOVING YOU BEAUTIFUL DAY LOOKING FOR LOVE I’LL TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOU HOLD ON LOVE SONG *Bonus tracks WITCHES BREW LOST WITHOUT YOU DA-DOO-RON-RON BLUE AND WHITE
CROSSOVER is a British band of veteran rockers put together by guitarist Paul Gaskin (Gaskin) and drummer Gary Pearson (Vardis) in 2017. Originally, the band also featured singer Mike Starrs (ex Lucifer’s Friend, Colosseum II). Kevin Riddles (Angelwitch, Tytan) on bass and Martin Howells on keyboards. Following a couple of years of major health issues, and a few members moving and leaving the band regrouped with a few new faces, and Gaskin & Starrs writing new songs together. Ken Lorenz joined on bass in early 2020, just as the pandemic kicked in. From then the band was limited in their activities – “We literally could do nothing, except write new songs on our own, or Mike would send me lyrics, and I’d come up with the music. As things were easing in 2021, I decided we should get into the studio and start recording some of the songs, so at least we’d have something to work at and aim for. “ recalls Paul Gaskin. As Ken Lorenz left for a bit, Neil Murray (a friend of Mike Starrs) came in to play on a few songs. There are a few clips of the band on youtube, but at present the band has released a very limited (signed) CD single “Shangri-la” & “Gypsy Blood”. “We are currently looking for a label that suits us. In the meantime, I thought it would be a good idea to bring out a limited edition single to get some airplay. I chose a “radio friendly” number, and it’s one of those that Neil plays on.” PG.
The band: Mike Starrs – vocals Martin Howells – keyboards/vocals Ken Lorenz – bass/vocals David Pick – drums/vocals Me – guitars/vocals Guests; Neil Murray – bass Gary Pearson – percussion Kevin Riddles – bass *The single has Neil on bass and Gary on percussion on “Shangri – la”, and the regular band on “Gypsy Blood”.
LOST ON PLANET ARTIFICE: Rock musician John Sloman writes rock- memoir-cum-survival-manual for 21st Century.
John Sloman – singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist , has released his book Lost On Planet Artifice, which is his own story.
“Over the years, family members and close friends have suggested I write a book about my time in music. My response has always been the same: “I’d write it, but who would read it?”
Having been in such bands as Lone Star, Uriah Heep, and Gary Moore, Sloman would be hosed over on a number of occasions (such as the story of his 1989 solo album!), and grew to dislike the music business. In the 2000s he began recording a number of solo albums, mainly all on his own. His latest is Two Rivers. Both that album And Lost On Planet Artifice can be purchased on Amazon. (Kindle edition for under $5 Canadian!).
The first review on the book states – “Reading John Sloman’s book was a revelation in the sense that here’s a man who has been shafted and betrayed by the powers that be and it is outrageous that few in the ‘business’ give a damn. His prose is very well constructed and his stories are, in places, hilarious. It certainly makes a change reading this work from all the usual drivel of so many rock stars writing about life on planet ‘Orifice’. Well done to this brave Welshman.” (Derek Pringle).
I am looking forward to this, and highly recommend, whether you’re just a Heep fan or not – you check it out.
Kings of Mercia, the new group formed by acclaimed rock/metal guitarist Jim Matheos (Fates Warning, Arch/Matheos) and powerhouse rock vocalist Steve Overland (FM) have announced the release of their self-titled debut album on September 23rd, 2022 via Metal Blade Records. Accompanying the duo on the upcoming album are Matheos’ Fates Warning bandmate Joey Vera on bass, and legendary drummer Simon Philips.
Kings of Mercia are now pleased to share the new single “Liberate Me”.
Steve Overland says this about the track: “’Liberate me’ is another great example of what the Kings of Mercia album represents, a high energy, hard rock song about someone who has lived life selfishly and done many wrongs, but as the years take their toll, they begin to regret their past and want to make things right. Once again, it shows off the great individual talents in the band with great performances by all.”
TRACKLIST: 1.Wrecking Ball 3:54 2.Humankind 4:13 3.Sweet Revenge 4:38 4.Set the World on Fire 4:16 5.Too Far Gone 6:07 6.Liberate Me 4:18 7.Nowhere Man 4:20 8.Everyday Angels 3:59 9.Is It Right? 4:03 10.Your Life 6:07
Best known as the founding guitarist for Fates Warning, but with countless other projects under his belt – including Arch / Matheos and most recently Tuesday The Sky – Jim Matheos is incapable of stifling his creativity. In early 2021, he started working on the songs that would become Kings Of Mercia’s self-titled debut album, bringing his distinct style yet doing something a little different. “I started writing without any real idea of what direction I wanted to go in or what I was going to do with the material. The first few songs came together quickly and were a bit more straightforward than I’m used to, and I really liked that idea, kind of going back to my early heavy/hard rock roots.” Not having any pre-conceived ideas of what the record should or would end up sounding like, at least early on, certainly helped, “as did the fact that it’s our first record, so there was nothing to measure it against or expectations to live up to, even if only in my own head.”
Churning out songs, Matheos’ next concern was to find the musicians who would help him realize the material, and his first priority was a vocalist. It was his friend Jeff Wagner who suggested FM’s Steve Overland, and another friend, rock journalist Dave Ling, who put them in touch with each other. “Jim had asked Dave for my contact details, we talked about his idea for mixing the two styles, his heavier background, with my melodic/bluesier direction,” says Overland. “We decided to try a collaboration on one song and see how it worked, we came up with the track “Humankind”, and we both loved it.”. Having already settled on this hard rock direction, it was only once Matheos got the first couple of songs back from Overland that it became all the way clear of the shape the record would take, with the vocalist sending over his parts every few weeks, everything gradually coming together.
Behind the kit for the record is the legendary Simon Phillips (ex-Toto, Derek Sherinian), one of Matheos’ favorite drummers. “I decided to contact him on a whim, not really expecting that he’d be available or interested in this project. But, to my surprise, he liked the music and was able to fit some recording into his schedule. It’s an honor to share a credit with him and I couldn’t be happier with what he added to the record.” Rounding out the group is bassist Joey Vera – Matheos’ Fates Warning bandmate – who brings his trademark style and professionalism to the table. “My old friend and co-worker Joey Vera was a natural choice for bass. Not only did I know he would deliver performance-wise, but it was nice to have a familiar face among the new personalities.” With these players involved it was an easy, stress-free process throughout, making music for the love of it, and coming up with something that sounds familiar yet new, expanding the repertoire of all involved. This means songs like the half-acoustic ballad, half-swaggering “Too Far Gone” or the beautiful “Everyday Angels”, and the soaring “Wrecking Ball”, which opens the record on a high note, all brought to life in dynamic style. Jim Matheos – Guitars Steve Overland – Vocals Joey Vera – Bass Simon Phillips – Drums
SPIROGYRA was another interesting British band from that golden period of the early ’70s. The band was folk, progressive, psychedelic…Lots of harmonies, soft vocals, acoustic guitars, pianos, synths, flutes, violins and various string instruments.., The band only released 2 singles back in the day, along with these 3 albums, and commercial success eluded them, but they have maintained many followers years later. Plenty of gems among these albums, such as “Cogwheels, Crutches And Cyanide”, “Time Will Tell”, “Dangerous Dave” (a single), “Don’t Let It Get You”, “The Sargent Says”, and “In The Western World”. Very easy going stuff, but lots of stories amongst the songs, and the sweet vocals of Barbara Gaskin, and the distinctive voice of (guitarist) Martin Cockerham. Disc 2 comes with 4 bonus tracks, all outtakes, the best being the upbeat “Melody Maker Man”. Disc 3 contains the bonus track “I Hear You’re Going Somewhere (Joe Really)” – the A side to the band’s 2nd single. The set comes with a 12 page colored booklet complete with photos, liner notes, and interviews telling the band’s story. Well worth picking up if you’re interested, especially considering how much the band’s original LPs go for on Discogs.
*For more info check out the press release, tracklisting, and links below…
• NEW 3CD CLAMSHELL BOXED SET OF THE THREE ALBUMS BY SPIROGYRA RELEASED BETWEEN 1971 AND 1973 • FEATURING THE ALBUMS ‘ST RADIGUNDS’, ‘OLD BOOT WINE’ AND ‘BELLS, BOOTS AND SHAMBLES’. WITH A FULLY ILLUSTRATED BOOKLET
Spirogyra was formed by duo Martin Cockerham and Mark Francis in Bolton in 1968, but the band expanded when Cockerham was a student in Canterbury at the end of 1969. The expanded line-up featured Cockerham (guitar, vocals), Barbara Gaskin (lead vocals), Steve Borrill (bass) and Julian Cusack (violin, keyboards) and secured a contract with B&C Records in 1970. The band’s impressive debut album, ‘St Radigunds’ was issued in 1971 and featured guest drummer Dave Mattacks and Tony Cox on VCS3 Synthesizer. In 1972 the band’s second album, ‘Old Boot Wine’, was released on the Pegasus label, a “progressive” imprint established by B&C. Prior to the recording of the album Mark Francis re- joined the group, and the sessions also saw contributions from guest musicians Dave Mattacks (drums), Julian Cusack (violin, keyboards), Rick Biddulph (mandolin), Alan Laing (cello). With the demise of the Pegasus label, Spirogyra recorded their third album for Polydor. By this time Spirogyra had become a core of Martin Cockerham (guitar, vocals) and Barbara Gaskin (lead vocals) with Steve Borrill (bass) and guest musicians Dave Mattacks (drums), Julian Cusack (violin, keyboards), Henry Lowther (trumpet), John Boyce (cello), Stan Sulzman (flute) and Steve Ashley (whistle). Despite achieving critical praise, Spirogyra failed to enjoy commercial success which ultimately led to their demise. The trio of albums the band recorded between 1971 and 1973 featured music of innovation and originality and are arguably beyond classification. They remain highly regarded and are sought after by collectors and aficionados of the Progressive era. This collection features four bonus tracks recorded during sessions for ‘Old Boot Wine’ and the 1973 single release I Hear You’re Going Somewhere (Joe Really).
Disc One: St Radigunds
The Future Won’t Be Long Island Magical Mary Captain’s Log At Home In The World Cogwheels, Crutches And Cyanide Time Will Tell We Were A Happy Crew Love Is A Funny Thing The Duke Of Beaufoot
Disc Two: Old Boot Wine
Dangerous Dave Van Allen’s Belt Runaway Grandad Wings Of Thunder World’s Eyes Don’t Let It Get You Disraeli’s Problem A Canterbury Tale Bonus tracks Counting The Cars Window Turn Again Lane Melody Maker Man
Disc Three: Bells, Boots And Shambles
The Furthest Point Old Boot Wine Parallel Lines Never Separate Spiggly An Everyday Consumption Song The Sergeant Says In The Western World 1) In the Western World 2) Jungle Lore 3) Coming Back 4) Western World (reprise) Bonus track I Hear You’re Going Somewhere (Joe Really) (A- side of single)