Soul SirkUS – ‘World Play’ (2004/2005) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

Soul SirkUS started originally as a project called PlanetUS which had Neal Schon, Deen Castronovo, Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony. They demoed a couple songs, but it ended abruptly when Sammy and Michael returned to their small side gig called Van Halen. Neal and Deen wanted to continue so they needed a singer. Then in January 2004 at the NAMM Convention in Anaheim, California. Neal had heard of Jeff Scott Soto thanks to Andrew McNiece at Melodicrock.com who was good friends with Jeff and mentioned it to Neal. At the NAMM Convention, Neal and Jeff met and jammed and the relationship between the two was born.

They pulled in the great bass player Marco Mendoza and now the band was complete. They recorded 11 songs and changed the name from PlanetUS to Soul SirkUS. The name had to have the US in the name as Neal wanted to show this as a continuation of what he started with PlanetUS. The Soul Sirkus parts each start with an S to represent Neal Schon and Jeff Scott Soto. They spent time writing together, Neal on music and Soto on lyrics, but from what I gather, it was recorded in two days!! That is impressive. The album was complete and released on December 7, 2004. The cover was black which is different than the copy I have and I still need to get that copy.

While rehearsing for a tour, Deen Castronovo was exhausted and his health was not great after the long Journey tour that he and Neal just recently finished. Deen stepped away. But no one wanted the project to end so they recruited drummer Virgil Donati most notably from the band Planet X. The band didn’t want to go on the road as a band and support an album that not every member played on so they went back in the studio and had Virgil re-do all the drum parts. This gave them time to do a couple new songs as well. They re-released the album in March 2005 and this time the cover was a bright yellow and there were now 16 songs and not just the original 11 tracks.

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Friday New Releases – July 13th

Are things heating up where you live?  They are here.  Damn it has been hot!  Sadly, the music this week is not really…hot.  There is not a whole heckuva lot screaming at me, but I am sure I will get to some of it eventually.  Maybe a good time to play catchup on releases from earlier in the year that I missed.  I do have one I want and it is highlighted in Blue.  Let me know what interests you or what I missed on the list.

  • 031918_n2b_product_images_vinyl  Needtobreathe – Forever on your Side: Niles City Sound Sessions – (Atlantic):  A four song E.P. from Needtobreathe is always welcome.  Anything new from these guys is welcome.  One of my favorite bands and this one is music created from their time spent at Niles City.  Here is what they say about it…”Forever On Your Side (Niles City Sound Sessions) was recorded with the producer trio Niles City Sound (Leon Bridges) out of their studio in Ft. Worth, TX. The 4-track collection of songs and collaboration represents a creative leap for the band, who usually self-records and produces out of their home studio, Plantation Studios, in Summerville, SC.”  I have the 10″ Pink Vinyl on order and sadly won’t arrive until the end of September so for now I will stream or grab the CD.  Oh yeah, my wife and I have a date night to see Needtobreathe in August.  Yes…I am a fan.

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