My Sunday Song – “Brother” (feat. Gavin DeGraw) by Needtobreathe

For My Sunday Song #170, we are choosing the song “Brother” by Needtobreathe as the final song in the 10 song Needtobreathe series.  This song is the one with Gavin DeGraw as guest vocalist and not the version on the album “Rivers in the Wasteland”.  Although I liked that version, I think having the duet added a lot to the song since it felt more like it matched the meaning of the song.  The song only reached #98 on the Billboard charts, but the Christian charts had it reaching #1.

The song came about due to the issues between two brothers.  Those brothers were Bear and Bo Rinehart.  Their friendly competition turned in to more of a blame game as times got difficult for the band as they struggled during the work on the album ‘Rivers in the Wasteland’.  They finally worked things out once they actually talked to each other confessed their own personal faults.  Once that was done, they realized how important it was to have a brother working with you and beside you rather than compete with you.  They turned that in to a beautiful song.

The song has a church feel and some choir-like backing vocals to help add to that effect.  Having Bear and Gavin do it as a duet it gave the song that back & forth that it needed to give it the effect of two brothers going at it and making amends to each other.  It gave the song more dimension and heart.  Their voices worked so well together and their tones blended nicely and gave the song the emotion it needed.

Continue reading “My Sunday Song – “Brother” (feat. Gavin DeGraw) by Needtobreathe”

Friday New Releases – November 15th

As were are starting to get closer the Holidays, the new releases become fewer and fewer.  There might be one more big week, sadly this is not one of them.  I barely have enough to fill the 6 panels of pictures above.  My choices are limited so I apologize, but maybe there is something for you.  We have Country, R&B, Emo, Classic Rock, 50’s Rock and Pop…that’s it…one for each.  My choices are highlighted in Blue.  Let me know what you want to hear or if there is something I missed that you want to mention.  Thanks for stopping by and have a Great Weekend!!

  • 919hw6IaWZL._SX522_.jpg  Lady Antebellum – Ocean – (Big Machine):  I diss Country a lot, but there a few artists/groups I like and this is one of them.  They are band my wife and I enjoy together and I love when we have someone we both like.  They have been around awhile and usually they deliver and I expect nothing less this time.  It is usually a softer side of Country, but man these guys/gals can sing.

  • 81SKw7E7vlL._AC_UL115_.jpg  Prince – 1999 (Super Deluxe Edition) – (Warner Records):  Prince’s estate is emptying the vaults at an alarmingly fast rate and now 1999 is getting the Super Deluxe Edition. The album was unbelievable the way it was, but having all this bonus material is going to be a blast going through.  I could spend a lot of time with this one.

Continue reading “Friday New Releases – November 15th”

Kiss – The Box Set (Disc One 1966-1975) – Album Review (Part 2 of 6)

In Part 1 we talked about the packaging and all that was included in The Box Set.  Now, we are going to talk about the music.  There are 5 discs included in this set and they are broken up in to certain eras/timeframes of the band.  They cover from the very beginning all the way up to 1999.  The set was released in 2001 so nothing from after Psycho Cirus.

First up is Disc One that covers the era from 1966 to 1975.  Wait…Kiss didn’t start until 1973, how do we have stuff from 1966?  Well, you will have to wait and see.  The disc has 21 songs and of those, 12 are previously unreleased. And it is those 12 songs that are the prize on this release.  Here is the entire track listing for this disc.

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The first two songs up are demos that were done in 1973 at Electric Lady Studios with the great Eddie Kramer on the boards.  You know Eddie from his work with Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix…at least you should.  The two songs were “Strutter” and “Deuce”, two of the bands most iconic songs.  These versions had never been released prior to this set.  I think I am going to go out on a limb and mention that these versions might be better than the actual recordings on the debut album of which, Eddie was not a part. These songs had so much more meat to them.  They had more edge and captured more of the band’s essence.

“Strutter” is actually from an early Gene Simmons song called “Stanley the Parrot”.  They took the chord pattern off that song and turned it in to a song that Paul feels has a “strutting” feel to it and thus the name.  “Deuce” was another song that was sort of a Frankenstein pieced together from a couple of other songs except these weren’t old Kiss songs.  The band loosely based it off the song “Bitch” by the Rolling Stones and the beginning of the song came from The Raspberries song “Go All the Way”.

Continue reading “Kiss – The Box Set (Disc One 1966-1975) – Album Review (Part 2 of 6)”

Soren Andersen – ‘Guilty Pleasures’ – Album Review

This one completely caught me off guard.  Soren Andersen, famous for being the guitarist for the great Glenn Hughes as well as Electric Guitars and Mike Tramp, released a new solo album without me even knowing.  How does that happen.  It doesn’t matter as I found it and I am a better person for it.  After the brilliance of his 2011 release ‘Constant Replay’, this time around he goes full on instrumental.

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From the opening track, “City of Angels”, you know you are in for something special.  At times there is a whole Satriani vibe to the songs because they are songs.  They are full of melodies and typical song structure you can almost sing along with the guitars which is what I want in an instrumental. There is no showboating for the sake of showboating.  He isn’t going, “hey, look what I can do!!”.  He is giving you his heart and emotions in his songs.

At times he goes all metal with songs such as “The Kid” that come at you like a fist to the face.  He is a rocker at heart with songs like “Agent Wells” that even throw in some funky bass lines.  There are even a couple songs I would consider ballads with the song “Satori” and “Bird Feeder” which are both a little reminiscent of Satriani from his early 90’s work.  “Skybar” opens with a little electronica elements and some wicked ass bass guitar.  The album is full of interesting elements and Soren isn’t a one-trick pony.  He gives you a little of everything.  The album ends with one of the most interesting tracks, “Bipolar”, which gives you two elements of his style and sound and blends them together.

Continue reading “Soren Andersen – ‘Guilty Pleasures’ – Album Review”

1,000 Posts and Counting

I can’t believe I have done 1,000 Posts.  I never thought I would be able to keep up with the site let alone get this far.  It all started on April 17th, 2016 with my very first post which was “Road Rage” Playlist!

And now, 1,304 days later here I am at my 1,000th post.  Crazy!!

Since we are looking back, let’s take a look at the Top 5 Posts viewed and the Bottom 5 posts viewed.  It is always curious to me which ones do well and which ones don’t. Sometimes I feel like I wrote a great post that was so witty and insightful, yet hardly any one sees it and then others I think I sucked at it and should have never posted and ends up getting a butt load of hits.  There is no rhyme or reason for any of it I am sure.

Here are the Top 5 Posts viewed:

5. Top Rock Songs of 2018 – 4,103 views:  This one only did well thanks to the one and only Michael Sweet of Stryper.  I picked the Stryper song “Take it to the Cross” as the #7 song of the year and he tweeted about it and mentioned it on Facebook (and so did Stryper).  As a result, this post took off!!  Thanks Michael!!

4. Maroon 5 – The Albums Ranked Worst to First – 4,393 views:  And this one did well thanks to Maroon 5 playing the Super Bowl half time show.  That week before and after were huge on views.

3. The Original vs. The Cover – “The Sound of Silence” – 5,110 views:  This is one I never realized would have done so well.  Thanks to a first page result when you Google this song, I get a bunch of reviews everyday.  I hope that continues.

Continue reading “1,000 Posts and Counting”

Whitesnake – ‘Lovehunter’ – Album Review (The David Coverdale Series)

In May 1979, the band went back in to the studio to record the follow-up to ‘Trouble’.  In a few short weeks they were done and on October 1st, 1979, the band released “Lovehunter’ to the masses.  The album was recorded by Martin Birch who did ‘Trouble and they recorded at Clearwell Castle in Gloucestershire in the Rolling Stones Mobile and it was later mixed at Central Recorders Studio and Sauna in London.  Sauna???  That is freaking weird.  Anyway, the album did modestly and reached #29 in the UK Chart.  Not a smashing success, but it did chart.

The album was rather controversial.  Not for the music, no that wasn’t it.  It was that cover.  And oh what a cover!!  It was a picture of a beautiful lady straddling a huge snake.  Oh, and she is naked!!  If only the U.S. had this album back in the day…why couldn’t my brothers have owned this one because at 10 years old, I would have really loved this cover.  The artist was Chris Achilleos who was known for fantasy artwork and I believe he was very distraught over the controversy as it was the last album cover he did until 2003 when he did the album cover for Glenn Hughes’ album ‘Once and Future King Part 1’.

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This album would end up being Duck Dowle’s last album as the drummer for Whitesnake as he was replaced shortly after the release by former Deep Purple drummer Ian Paice which would bring the total of ex-Deep Purple members to three.

Continue reading “Whitesnake – ‘Lovehunter’ – Album Review (The David Coverdale Series)”

My Sunday Song – “Don’t Wait for Daylight” by Needtobreathe

For My Sunday Song #169, we are going to talk about the very first Needtobreathe song I ever heard.  The opening track to the album ‘Daylight’ called “Don’t Wait for Daylight”.  The song that started it all for me.  The one that said…these guys are special…they have a sound I like…their songs are interesting…I can get it in to this…and I did.  13 years later they are now one of my all-time favorite bands.

This song is really interesting as a band that was supposed to be a “Christian” band (which they are not) tackled a very delicate subject.  Well, actually two delicate subjects…Suicide and Affairs.  The song is about a woman who was having an affair with man and while she was going to his house to end it, she wound up stealing his coat so she could have a piece of him to remember and never said a word.  Inside the coat pocket was a note. Not just any note.  A suicide note that he wrote for his wife.  Now here is where it gets interesting.  Does she tell someone and save him?  If she does, it will then be known she has cheated on her husband. Quite a predicament.  The song is telling her not to wait.  She has to let people know.  She has to come clean and save this man’s life even if it mean destroying her world.  Wow!

Musically, it is a great rocker, upbeat tempo and a standout opening track to an album. The guitar work is fantastic with a nice opening riff and pulsating beat accompanying Bo’s guitar.  The song has punch and has an intensity that matches the lyrics.  There is a sense of urgency in the music the same as the urgency in the need for the woman to let someone know about the note as she struggles with her decision. Bear’s vocals show range and has a maturity that most singers don’t have on their first album.  It has a little raspiness to it that gives it the grit that makes for a great rock singer.

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Continue reading “My Sunday Song – “Don’t Wait for Daylight” by Needtobreathe”

Friday New Releases – November 8th

Happy Friday and yes, the weekend is upon us!! Thankfully we have some new tuneage to get us through the weekend.  There are a lot of releases today and hopefully you will find something to make this weekend a rocking good time.  I have quite a few I am excited to hear, however, not running out to buy anything yet until I hear them first (Thank goodness for streaming as it saves me money sometimes).  My choices are highlighted in Blue.  Let me know what interests you or even what I might have missed as it has been known to happen.  Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!!

  • 81VAZDOCfuL._SX522_.jpg  Work of Arts – Exhibit – (Frontiers Records):  Thanks to Melodicrock.com, I came across this band.  If you know the Jeff Scott Soto band W.E.T., the “W” is for Work of Art member Robert Sall who is in W.E.T.  This band is an awesome piece if melodic rock in the same vein as maybe Toto and Journey and other bands of that ilk.  Give it a try as I think you will like it.

  • 913SqUH3ftL._SX522_.jpg  Pretty Maids – Undress Your Madness – (Frontiers Records):  In what might be their 16th album (so many I have lost track), this hard rock band out of Denmark always deliver solid work and I am interested to hear what they have brought the table this time around.  They rarely disappoint.

Continue reading “Friday New Releases – November 8th”

Bob Ezrin – Producer Extraordinaire #5

We are finally on our 5th Producer in the “Producer Extraordinaire” series after a very long break.  This time we are focusing on Bob Ezrin as he has produced some very influential albums and albums that have impacted my life like all the producers in this series have.  The other producers have been as follows:

Bob_EzrinBob Ezrin hails from Toronto, Canada (and I think 2 of the other producers in this series hail from Canada) and has been producing for over 40 years.  He has spanned many genres, but it his rock productions that have become the most famous and most notable.  He is a member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and has actually never won a Grammy award although he has been nominated once.  Let’s discuss his work…

ALICE COOPER:

Bob Ezrin has worked with Alice Cooper more times than I can count.  He might as well be considered a member of the band.  He pretty much did all the big albums in the 70’s and even a couple big ones in the 2000’s.  I believe it is a total of at least 13 albums (oh, I guess I can count).  Insane.  I guess he as much a part of their sound as anyone.

To be a part of such huge albums as “Welcome to My Nightmare”, “School’s Out”, “Billion Dollar Babies” and even Alice’s latest masterpiece, “Paranormal” goes to show the magic that Bob can pull out of an artist.  It also makes you wonder would Alice have been Alice without Bob behind the boards…probably, but who knows.

Continue reading “Bob Ezrin – Producer Extraordinaire #5”

Kiss – The Box Set – Album Review (Part 1 of 6)

I didn’t buy this when it originally came out as I was not a in a good music place at the time.  My music buying was limited.  So, now that I wanted it, I had to search for it, find one in good condition and find it at the right price as some of the prices were RIDICULOUS!!!

Lo and behold, I was at a record show here in Charlotte and a guy had one for sale.  Actually, he had two.  One was in the guitar case, CDs still sealed and had the hard back book, but I didn’t want to spend that much dough, when I could get this version for a fraction of the price. Plus, I wasn’t paying a premium for sealed CDs as the seal doesn’t last long on my collection. I listen to my music.  As much as I want the guitar case version, my wallet decided this was the better way to go. Sometimes my wallet is smart and other times, he wants to spend, spend, spend.

The Box Set by Kiss was released on November 20th, 2001 and consists of 5 CDs spanning their entire career (up to that point) and a paperback photo book which we will get to in a minute.  I will review all 5 CDs individually over 5 different posts over the next couple of months.  For now, we will talk about the overall box set and the packaging.

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The CD’s span different eras of the band and there are 5 discs full of music.  The Box Set includes 94 tracks,  which consists of 30 previously unreleased band and solo demos as well as outtakes and live recordings.  The other 64 tracks are songs selected from each of the band’s albums except for Gene’s solo.  From that one you get a demo.

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That is a lot of stuff.  Here are the discs…

Disc One: 1966-1975

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Disc Two: 1975-1977

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Disc Three: 1976-1982

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Disc Four: 1983-1992

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Disc Five: 1992-1999:

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PHOTOBOOK:

You also get a 120-page color booklet that contains track-by-track commentary by the band, detailed track information, photos and essays.  I loved the commentary and getting all the tidbits of information on the songs.  The pictures are stunning and the book is really high quality as it is with everything the band does.

Here are some pictures…

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I had to have my daughter hold it open to take the pictures as the book hadn’t really been viewed and was nice and stiff.  I was able to edit out her fingers.

The package comes in a nice box with a red velvet insert to hold the disc.  It is really a nice little set up.

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And then on the spine of the box, the Kiss logo is in engraved into the fabric for a nice shiny feel.  You can feel the grooves.

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For the packaging and the photobook, I will give the set a 5.0 out of 5.0 Stars.  It is what you would expect from a Kiss Box Set. Now for the music, I will review over the next 5 posts and rate each disc separately and then a final Overall Score on the last post.  There will be 6 parts overall (this is part 1) to this series and I hope you enjoy them all as much as I will going through them.  Thanks for stopping by and until next time, have a great day!