“My First Time” with Pat Benatar’s ‘Wide Awake in Dreamland’

Pat Benatar had been around for almost 10 years by the time I got around to buying my first Pay Benatar album.  I had seen her videos and heard a lot of songs on the radio, but I had never bought an album.  That changed in 1988 with the release of one song…”All Fired Up”.

That was the song that did it for me.  I heard that song and finally decided to go out and buy the CD.  The album ‘Wide Awake in Dreamland” was My First Time with Pat Benatar.

Pat Benatar has one of the finest voices ever in Rock music, but for some reason I always hesitated buying her stuff.  There is no one out there with her octave range or her talent. This album showed me that she was untouchable when it came to vocals.  It was this album that caused me to go back and get her entire collection over the next few years.

I was out at the record store a month back and came across this album and had to have it on vinyl.  The cool thing about the album I found was that it was a “Promotional Only” album and not supposed to be available for resale.

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My Sunday Song – “Amazed” by Lonestar

My Sunday Song #28 is “Amazed” by the band Lonestar.  I can attest to my wife loving this song as it is one of the most played in my library.  Here she is to tell you why she loves this song…

“Amazed” is a song written by Marv Green, Aimee Mayo, and Chris Lindsey. The first version of the song was recorded by the American country music group Lonestar, whose version was released in March 1999 as the second single from their 1999 album Lonely Grill. If you’re looking for a good love song, this is one you’ll want to put on your all time favorites list.

“Amazed” is one of those love songs that you can truly “feel” when you sing or listen to the words. This feeling is especially heightened when you have someone you are madly in love with. It could be a new love or one that’s been around for years. I first heard this song when I started dating my husband which is why “Amazed” is very special in my heart. To this day, 16+ years later, I still get goose bumps when I hear this song and he still amazes me with pretty much everything he does.

I hope you will take a moment to listen to this song if you have not heard it before. You won’t be disappointed in Lonestar.

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Friday New Releases – February 24th

There is a lot of Rock albums out today and I am super excited and hope I can get through them all.  Frontiers Records normally does 4 albums every month but today they bring us 5 albums that could keep me very busy.  I have highlighted in Blue the ones I am most excited about.  I am sure there is something this week for everyone.

  • cover170x170-11  King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Flying Microtonal Banana – (Flightless Records):  King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard are back after only one year and now they are top on my list.  I had never heard of them until I did a music challenge where I pick an album to listen to based solely on the band name, the album name or the album cover and I picked them.  Read about it here.  I found that album to be stellar and now they will be the first thing I listen to on this day out of all the new releases.  They are a very unique band and probably an acquired taste and the song “Rattlesnake” makes me a little worried about this release, but I will still listen.

  • 170x170bb-33  Mike Tramp – Maybe Tomorrow – (Target Records):  Mike Tramp keeps pumping out the solo music and he brings us a new one to enjoy.  The former lead singer of 80’s rock band, White Lion, has carved path in his solo work that is nothing like his former band and that is okay. He never disappoints.

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Bruce Fairbairn – Producer Extraordinaire #3

In my producer extraordinaire series, this is the 3rd producer who helped create some of my favorite albums.  The first post in the series was for Robert John “Mutt” Lange and then second post was for Brendan O’Brien.  Both legendary producers.

Bruce Fairbairn didn’t have as long as career as the first two guys due to his untimely death back in 1999.  However, during his brief time, he crafted some of the most memorable albums of the 80’s & 90’s and the albums sold well over 65 million copies if you just count the platinum and gold albums.

It all started in back in Canada in the late 70’s when he started out producing for a band called Prism.  Prism had moderate success in Canada, but not much internationally.  In 1980, Bruce started production on the debut album for another Canadian band called Loverboy.  Loverboy opened the doors for Bruce with the bands international appeal. He produced 4 albums with Loverboy in the 80’s.  They were as follows:

  • Loverboy – (2x Platinum)
  • Get Lucky – (4x Platinum)
  • Keep It Up – (2x Platinum)
  • Wildside – (Gold)

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Black Star Riders – ‘Heavy Fire’ – Album Review

‘Heavy Fire’ is Black Star Riders third album in just 4 years and they keep getting better.  For those that don’t know Black Star Riders, the band is really made up of the current members of Thin Lizzy.  They wanted to release some new songs, but they didn’t want to release them as Thin Lizzy so they created Black Star Riders.

I think I understand why they did it.  If you think about it, was anyone looking to hear new music from Thin Lizzy…No, probably not.  This was actually a brilliant move as it caused a lot of buzz around the original release and here they are 4 years later getting better and better.

The band members are as follows:

  • Ricky Warwick – vocals
  • Scott Gorham – lead guitar
  • Damon Johnson – lead guitar
  • Robbie Crane – bass
  • Jimmy DeGrasso – drums

The album is a guitar heavy, hard rock release and you wouldn’t expect anything less when you have two lead guitarists.  The opening track and title track, “Heavy Fire”, comes screaming in with the guitars and a nice heavy sound.  Ricky sounds fantastic and they deliver a shot that resonates throughout the album.

The first single, “When the Night Comes In”, keeps up with the opening track and now you are completely invested in this album.  I love guitar rock and they bring it even more on this song.  “Dancing With the Wrong Girl” is a little more pop sound, but that doesn’t take away from anything, but actually adds to its charm.  Jimmy’s drums on this one are perfect.  They aren’t over powering and just enough that set perfectly in the song.

The heaviest and baddest song on the album is “Who Rides the Tiger”.  The song is a full on attack of your senses and even the lyrics are a blast.  They guitar solo was amazing and I don’t think I will ever tire of this duo of Scott & Damon.  This is probably my favorite song they have ever done.

“Cold War Love” is next up, but this is one song that I could never connect with.  It is a nice slow ballad, but I wasn’t feeling it.  Hopefully you can connect with it and enjoy it.  Luckily, the next song was their current single, “Testify or Say Goodbye”.  The song picks the tempo back up and gives us more of the what you love from this album.  The classic rock sound, the vocals and all around musicianship make it another standout on the album.

“Thinking About You Could Get Me Killed” gives us a little more darker sound and is a nice change of pace for the album without losing the flow of the album.  “True Blue Kid” is another song that misses the mark for me.  I can’t pinpoint what it is about the song, but I found myself skipping it which is never a good sign.

“Ticket to Rise” brings me back to the enjoyment with another solid guitar heavy song with a great solo.  Keep it coming and I won’t tire of it. “Letting Go of Me” is the only song on the album not co-written by Damon Johnson and yet it is still a great song.  This one was a fun song with a faster tempo.

The final track, “Fade”, is considered a bonus track but it is too good and fits nicely with the overall album. It doesn’t have the bonus track feel.  It is a slower song and actually kept my interest.  I usually like albums to end with a bang, but this worked for me nonetheless.  A nice way to end the album.

Track Listing:

  1. “Heavy Fire” – Keeper
  2. “When The Night Comes In” – Keeper
  3. “Dancing With the Wrong Girl” – Keeper
  4. “Who Rides the Tiger” – Keeper
  5. “Cold War Love” – Delete
  6. “Testify or Say Goodbye” – Keeper
  7. “Thinking About You Could Get Me Killed” – Keeper
  8. “True Blue Kid” – Delete
  9. “Ticket to Rise” – Keeper
  10. “Letting Go of Me” – Keeper
  11. “Fade” – Keeper

9 keeper out 11 songs – 82% (4.1 out 5 stars).  The Black Star Riders are killing it on this album.  I always talk about how rock today seems to be missing the guitar rock sound and these guys are not missing anything.  The guitars are outstanding and take me back to when guitars were king.  Nobody wanted to be a DJ, they wanted to play guitar.  For that alone this album is worth it, but it has so much more to offer.  Go grab a copy and get ready to have your ears blasted with what rock should sound like.

My Sunday Song – “Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me)” by Casting Crowns

For My Sunday Song #27, my wife has chosen “Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me)” by Casting Crowns. Now over to my wife and let her explain why she chose this song.

“Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me)” is a song performed and composed by the Christian band Casting Crowns from their 2009 album Until the Whole World Hears. While the band composed the music, the lyrics come from the hymn “One Day”, written in 190 by John Wilbur Chapman, and Michael Bleecker at The village Church in Flower Mound, Texas, set the song’s verse melody.

It was a beautiful day and I had just left the mall and was headed home to meet my girls at the bus stop. I can vividly remember the skies being so blue that day.  There wasn’t a cloud to be found and what should have been a somewhat chilly day turned out to be a gorgeous warm one. I recall thinking, “I sure wish everyday could be as nice as this one” and then realized I had better get my thinking back on the road because I was completely zoning out on the beautiful day! Not a good thing when you are behind the wheel.

When you are driving along and it is gorgeous out, what do you need to go with that? Music, right! Loud music! I turned on my radio and then hit the button in my car called “Jukebox” which allows me to store songs there that I like. The song “Glorious Day” came on and at first it was just a song but by the time it got to the second chorus, I was nearly in tears and could literally feel Jesus’ presence in my car. I was rocking out to “Glorious Day” with Jesus! How awesome!!! I don’t know what happened that day but it is a day I will never forget as I drove down Abbotts Bridge Road in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Do you have a song that just gets you like this every time you hear it? I have a few other songs that are not Christian based songs that do this.  I’ll leave you with a quote from Jimi Hendrix, “Music is a safe kind of high.”             

“Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me)”

One day when Heaven was filled with His praises
One day when sin was as black as could be
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin
Dwelt among men, my example is He
Word became flesh and the light shined among us
His glory revealed

[Chorus:]
Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day

One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He
Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree
And took the nails for me

[Chorus]

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He arose, over death He had conquered
Now He’s ascended, my Lord evermore
Death could not hold Him, the grave could not keep Him
From rising again

[Chorus]

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming
One day the skies with His glories will shine
Wonderful day, my Beloved One, bringing
My Savior, Jesus, is mine

[Chorus]

Glorious day, Oh, Glorious day

Written by John Wilbur Chapman, Mark Hall & Michael Bleecker

Friday New Releases – February 17th

Happy Friday.  Welcome to the end of another long work week and hopefully something released today will fit your needs.  Not much out this week, but a couple to look forward to for me.  They are highlighted in Blue.

  • 170x170bb-78  Alison Krauss – Windy City – (Hokker, Inc):  Hard to believe that this is her first solo release in 18 years.  Sadly it is only a covers album and not original material.  I will take what I can get from this bluegrass/country superstar.

  • 170x170bb-28  Ryan Adams – Prisoner – (PaxAmericana Recordings):  Ryan hasn’t waited 18 years for his next solo release.  He has only waited about 3 years.  For him, this is his 16th studio album.  That seems crazy, but he does put out a lot of albums as he averages about 1 album a year.  I am sure it will be interesting as his usually are.

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