Below is one of the first post I ever did for this site and I haven’t updated since. That was 4 years ago. Jeff Scott Soto has released a ton of albums since then so I figured I needed to do an update on this post from 4/17/2016. If I was to complete do this from scratch today, it wouldn’t look this pedestrian, but I will leave it is an just update some albums and song information. I have been on a big JSS kick lately so I want to spread the love….I hope you enjoy.
The artist spotlight is on one of my favorite rock vocalists, Jeff Scott Soto. I came across his music thanks to a great website by Andrew McNiece – Melodicrock.com (go check it out). If you haven’t heard of Jeff, let me tell you a little about him.
Jeff has only been in a few bands – Yngwie Malemsteen’s Rising Force, Talisman, W.E.T., Sons of Apollo, SOTO, Soul Sirkus, Redlist, Eyes, Journey (yes, that Journey), Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Takara, Eyes, Axel Rudi Pell and I believe there are several others so yeah…only a few.
He also has made appearances on so many other albums (too numerous to list). Most recently he was on Joel Hoekstra’s 13 album “Dying to Live” which I thought was a great album. He was even in the fictional band Steel Dragon from the movie “Rock Star” with Mark Wahlberg. And lastly, he has had a great solo career.
I mentioned he was in Journey above. In 2006, Journey let their lead singer go, Steve Augeri, and picked up Jeff to finish the tour. Jeff had worked withNeal Schon in the group Soul Sirkus which I will talk more about later. I was so excited with that announcement as after hearing his version of “Send Her My Love”, I knew he had the chops for it. Sadly, it didn’t last. After the tour they let him go and went with a different singer.
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Time for an update as he has released a new album, ‘Life on Death Road’, since I wrote this around a year ago…
My artist profile this time is on Norwegian rock vocalists, Jorn Lande. He has a new album coming out on Friday and so I thought I would highlight his career.
His popularity here in the states is pretty much non-existent as I have never heard his songs on the radio. I find this to be a travesty. Radio here in the states is so bad now and pollutes our ears with such garbage that we miss out on so many great bands and artists from around the world.
Jorn’s voice is so powerful and he could hold is own with some of the more well known vocalist out there. When he sings, he does sound almost exactly like David Coverdale of Whitesnake. And when he covers any Whitesnake song, the resemblance is uncanny.
My only negative on Jorn is his music videos. I swear he looks like he is so angry with the camera and he looks like he is just screaming at it. If you can get past that, the songs are awesome.
Jorn has been in so many bands, he is sort of a vocal nomad. The bands he has been in are Vagabond, The Snakes, Ark, Millenium. Beyond Twilight, Masterplan and Allen/Lande. My familiarity with him comes from 2 of his bands and his solo work. So my focus will be strictly with those albums and songs.
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With a new album out, I thought I would update Steel Panther’s Artist Spotlight which was originally posted early last year:
Do the following names ring a bell?
- Ralph Saenz
- Russ Parrish
- Travis Haley
- Darren Leader
No, what about these?
- Michael Starr
- Lexxi Foxx
- Stix Zadinia
Yes, I thought those would. They are Steel Panther. The greatest Metal, Comedy band of all time! That is right…Metal and Comedy. These guys are a tongue-in-cheek version of the 80’s Glam Metal scene. They are vulgar, repulsive, hilarious and man they can play some serious metal music. Well, not really serious music as it is comedy, but they can actually play and play well.
Five years ago, I was in Los Angeles and got a chance to go see these guys live at the House of Blues (at least I think it was the House of Blues). I am not sure how I would describe what I saw, but I know I enjoyed it immensely. The show was part metal concert, part comedy show and part soft porn. They never take themselves seriously and are always having a good time. The audience loved them and women were jumping up on stage and doing pretty much whatever they wanted. It was a little insane.
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The band Ratt has been in the news a lot lately and not all in a good way. First with Stephen Pearcy releasing a great new solo album. And second, the Ratt band mates have been feuding over who owns the band name. It is sad and disgusting. To me, Ratt is Stephen Pearcy, Warren DeMartini, Bobby Blotzer, Robbin Crosby and Juan Croucier. But the band is now two bands fighting over the name.
In one corner you have Stephen Pearcy, Warren MeMartini & Juan Croucier. The other corner you have Bobby Blotzer. Robbin Crosby passed away in 2002 and luckily isn’t witnessing this fiasco. Based on what I have read, Bobby Blotzer will probably lose and Ratt will be with Stephen, Warren and Juan, but what do I know I am not an attorney.
Any other version is a cover band…sorry Bobby that is all your version would look like. Plus, you were never a song writer on any of the songs so the Ratt sound and style didn’t come from you so not sure I would ever check out your version of Ratt. I am sorry that was mean. There were actually 2 songs you have writing credits on and your drumming in the band was actually great. I still feel your version is a cover band though!!!
Because of them being in the news, I have been listening to their music and I realized they have a lot of great songs. I figured why not do a list of my Top 20 Ratt songs. I have gone through all their albums and I feel I have the definitive list of Ratt songs. I was hoping to have songs from every Ratt album, but their 1999, self-titled reunion album sucked so much that I could not in good faith include any songs. Collage was a compilation of rarities and b-sides but mostly stuff from pre-Ratt and I wanted to stick with the main Ratt era. Otherwise, here the Top 20 Ratt songs.
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Last week I had the pleasure and the honor to sit down with one of the nicest and most talented guys I know, Carey Durham. Carey is a violinist, singer and a songwriter. His style is a cross between hip-hop, R&B, Jazz, Pop and big band crooning. I had the chance to review his album ‘Mr Music’ back in July and once I was finished I knew I wanted to interview him and get to know more about him and his music. We were finally able to make our schedules work and sit down for an hour and chat.
Below is that conversation. I will admit it is very long so I hope you have time. If not, break it up in pieces and come back to finish. When you are done, I hope you will discover what a great person he is and go out and support him and his music.
2Loud2OldMusic (2L2OM): Welcome. Thank you for taking the time to sit with me. Your album, I loved it as you can tell from my review. But for most of my audience, which has gotten bigger since then by the way (he laughed), tell them who Carey Durham is personally, musically or however.
Continue reading “Carey Durham – The ‘Mr. Music’ Interview”
After I wrote on one of my favorite music producers “Mutt” Lange, I started thinking of other producers I tend to gravitate towards and the first one that popped into my head was Brendan O’Brien.
Brendan was very busy in the ’90’s during the Grunge & Alternative movement and worked with so many of the top bands of that era. He worked with Stone Temple Pilots throughout the ’90’s on their albums ‘Core ‘(1992), ‘Purple’ (1994), ‘Tiny Music’ (1996) and even ‘No.4’ (1999). The relationship continued into the 2000’s with his work on their fifth album ‘Shangri-La Dee Da’ (2001).
Continue reading “Brendan O’Brien – Producer Extraordinaire #2”
Bret Michaels with Poison is enjoyable. The music is kind of mindless, like KISS, but a lot of fun. Bret Michaels as a solo artist is a different story. As a solo artist, Bret Michaels is a “Repeat” Offender!! What do I mean by that? Well, let me tell you. Bret Michaels can not release a new album that doesn’t contain all original music. He has to repeat songs from his days as lead singer of Poison or songs from his previous solo album. At this point to me, it is so laughable and sad at the same time.
It didn’t start out this way as his first 2 solo albums were pretty much all original/new material. His first solo album in 1998 was ‘A Letter from Death Row’ which was the soundtrack to a movie he wrote, directed and starred in, believe it or not. On a side note, I never saw the movie. Here is the track listing:
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Robbie Williams is one of the most talented singer/songwriters out there and is so extremely underrated in the states. He had a few minor hits early on in the states, but for some reason, never caught on. The rest of the world seems to adore this man as he has sold over 75 million records over his career.
Robbie was a member of the British boy band Take That in the early 90’s before branching out on a solo career and releasing his first solo album in 1997. It is that solo career where I became a fan and have been since. He is one of the few artist that will release an album and I will buy it without hearing anything on it beforehand. I don’t think I have been disappointed yet.
I am going to give you my Top 20 favorite songs by Robbie Williams. This was actually really hard to narrow it down to 20. I eventually narrowed it down to 24 songs and then I had to re-listen to everything again to get it down to the Top 20. I hope you give him a listen and become a fan, if you are not already.
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Train holds a very special place in my heart. Mainly due to the fact it is the one band my wife and I enjoy together. We have seen them in concert at least 4 or 5 times and twice we took our kids. For my wife and I, there is just something special about their songs and their music.
We like them so much we even paid for the Meet & Greet on one of their tours as an anniversary present for ourselves. They were extremely pleasant and gracious. If you haven’t seen them live, you must. Pat Monahan is a great frontman as he is energetic, funny and he makes you feel like you are part of the show.
We also like them because my brother-in-law was the recording engineer on their Drops of Jupiter album for which he received a Grammy nomination (he didn’t win). Maybe I can get him to tell us about that experience for another time.
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Gotthard is a rock band out of Switzerland and sadly never got much, if any, airplay here in the states. This is another band I was introduced to thanks to the website Melodicrock.com. I don’t think I would have ever heard of them otherwise, and I would have missed out on a great band.
The band was started back in the early 90’s and they have gone on to be one of the top selling bands in Switzerland. I believe at one time, the top selling was a little known band named Krokus. Who doesn’t love Krokus.
The moving force behind Gotthard was the lead singer Steve Lee. He had such an amazing voice and he could rock out or sing a heartfelt ballad. He had a little raspiness in his voice and his vocals brought so much passion and life to these songs it gave you an instant connection to them.
Sadly, in October 2010, Steve Lee was killed in a freak accident when he was on a motorcycle tour in the U.S. I still remember when I heard the news and I can say I was truly upset. I spent the next few days listening to their albums non-stop.
The band has gone on to replace Steve with a new lead singer, but it is not the same. The band I am writing about here is specifically the era of Steve Lee.
Continue reading “Gotthard / Steve Lee – Artist Profile”