If you follow this site at all, you know I am a massive Jeff Scott Soto fan and I am in the early stages of a Jeff Scott Soto Series where I am reviewing all of his albums in my collection. We are looking at over 70 reviews when all is said and done. I would love the opportunity to interview him, but that hasn’t happened yet. However, I did get to meet him. Jeff Scott Soto was in town with Jason Bieler (you know him, he is from Saigon Kick and wrote their massive hit “Love is On the Way”) and I bought tickets, of course. I also splurged and the the VIP package which got me in to the sound check and a Q&A.
Soto/Bieler played at a venue in NODA called The Evening Muse. A really small place and it holds about 300 people and it was packed which was great to see. I got there a little early as the VIP event started at 6pm. While I was walking from my car to the venue, I was crossing the street and who was coming the other way, Jeff and Jason. I realized it while they were passing me and Jason saw me do a double take and he said hello! It was cool. Then, while waiting in line, they came back from walking around NODA and while Jeff went in to get ready, Jason Bieler hung out and shook every one’s hand in line and talked for a few minutes.
For My Sunday Song #287, we are going to discover the first single from one of the most talented bands Jeff Scott Soto has been in. The song is “Coming Home” and it is off the album ‘Psychotic Symphony’ from the band Sons of Apollo. Why do I say most talented, let’s look at the players. Obviously you have Jeff Scott Soto on vocals or this post wouldn’t be happening, but you also have Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal on guitar, Billy Sheehan on bass, Derek Sherinian on keyboards and Mike Portnoy on drums. It don’t get much better than this. This song was the world’s introduction to the band and what a statement they made with it.
Normally, I go in to the song meanings before I get in to the music, but I can’t wait to talk about the music. That opening keyboard riff by Derek Sherinian is classic and brutal. If you expected the album to be all prog rock, you’d be wrong. This song is pure Hard Rock reminiscent of Van Halen but maybe even heavier. Bumblefoot’s effortless riffs dance throughout the song, Sheehan’s bass gives us a new sound from what you’d expect from Billy and it adds so much groove to the song. And you can’t forget Portnoy’s drums which are as immense and immersive as you’ve ever gotten from him. It is pure power! Speaking of power, Jeff Scott Soto attacks the vocals and they are filled with such anger and intensity that you feel it throughout your body and those screams are piercing and yet so beautifully done. This was so unexpected and totally amazing and you have to hear it to believe it.
And what does the song mean, who cares. Just put it on repeat and let the abundance of sound fill every void of your body and rock the hell out of you. Each time you hear it, there is something you hadn’t heard before as there is so much going on musically you can’t help but be blown away.
Starting January 3rd, 2022, we will kick off the EPIC series covering one of my favorite singers, Jeff Scott Soto!! We will go through his entire career from where it all began in 1984 with Panther all the way to his latest solo album that came out this past October called ‘Duets’. Wait, I know it started with a band called Threshold in 1983 (not to be confused with the prog metal band years later), but I can’t find anything on that band or album so it is starting with Panther for this series as I have that album.
No stone will be left unturned! Okay, that isn’t true as we are not going in to any compilations or tribute albums where he wasn’t the featured singer as this will only be albums that Jeff is the Lead Singer and not just appearing on one song as we would be here forever if that was the case. We will also have some great little bonus pieces with Singles and E.P.’s I happen to have in my collection and interesting one-off projects he has done. Heck, I even have a digital bootleg of when Jeff Scott Soto toured as the lead singer with Journey. And as you can see below, it is quite a collection…if I do say so myself…
There will be over 65 Posts in the Series, you read that right, 65!! And that is at least 65 because I am sure he will release 1 to 2 to maybe even 4 albums by the time I’m done. I expect this to take over a year to complete because this isn’t all I’m going to do. No, not at all. We will still finish up the series of Cheap Trick and Aerosmith that we are currently doing in 2022 and when those end I am sure new series will be added in as well. Quite possibly Bon Jovi, Scorpions, Van Halen, Ace Frehley, Poison or even Def Leppard. It won’t be all, just a couple of them, but I can’t decide which ones yet. But heck, I do already have an idea of which epic artist I want to tackle after Jeff, but that will be 2023 and it could be huge. We will announce it next year.
Welcome to the June Purchases wrap-up and what a month it was. After not visiting an actual record store in 2 months due to the Covid Stay at Home Orders, I was out in force when the opened back up. And this time it wasn’t just vinyl and CDs, there were a couple other surprises that were music related. And then there were a stack of albums I picked up that I didn’t have to buy which is always cool. Let’s get started.
First up was my trip to Repo Records and Noble Records as they were two of the first to open. I wanted to spend a little at both to show my support and I did just that. First up was Repo. I was worried we would have to wear masks and gloves, but thankfully neither store required but we could if we wanted to do it. Which I didn’t because we left the masks at home on the counter. I didn’t really find anything at Repo’s until I stumbled across a brand new copy of Tesla’s Psychotic Supper. It was new and sealed so no real deal on it, but it was cheaper than what Amazon was offering and since it is on a list of albums I want, I got it.
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.
It’s a pretty slow start to the year, nothing for me last week and only one for me this week (highlighted in Blue). However, that is normally the case for the first couple weeks of January. It will pick up soon, I promise. Hopefully there will be something for you in this list and if not, there will be something soon enough, I promise. The good news is it frees my up to keep chugging along on the Gene Simmon’s The Vault 15 part review and the David Coverdale Series…check them both out. How’s that for a shameless plug?
Sons of Apollo – MMXX – (InsideOutMusic): I am so happy to see Sons of Apollo bringing us their second studio album, but third album overall. I thought this might be a one and done kind of thing, but thankfully nope. The band has one of my favorite singers, Jeff Scott Soto as well as some guys you might have heard of by the names of Mike Portnoy, Billy Sheehan, Derek Sherinian and some no name guitarist that goes by Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal. Just a little band full of nobodies…huh, yeah right. It don’t get much better than this lineup!! A super group for dang sure. Check them out.
G. Love & Special Sauce – The Juice – (Philadelphonic Records / Thirty Tigers)
British Lion – The Burning – (Explorer1 Music)
Magnum – The Serpent Rings – (Steamhammer)
Little Big Town – Nightfall – (Craft Recordings)
Dustin Lynch – Tullahoma – (Broken Bow Records)
Halsey – Manic – (Capitol Records)
Of Montreal – UR Fun – (Polyvinyl Records)
John McLaughlin, Shankar Mahadevan & Zakir Hussain – Is That So? – (Abstract Logix)
Bombay Bicycle Club – Everything Else Has Gone Wrong – (Mmm…Records)
Anti-Flag – 20/20 Vision – (Spinefarm Records)
…And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead – X: The Godless Void and Other Stories – (Dine Alone Music)
2020 is upon us and it is always fun anticipating what new albums are and will come out in the year. There are quite a few we already know about, but some haven’t been officially announced or even a date set yet. From what I have gathered around the internet, here are the bands that should have new albums out in 2020, but no dates announced yet. The ones I would give a try (and my kids) will be highlighted in Blue. The ones with Dates Announced are at the bottom of this post. The list is building up nicely!!
We are at the end of August and are getting ready for some huge releases that will be coming in September and October. This week has a ton of releases, but none I am eager to run out and get although one everyone is talking about (but me – well I am talking about it, but I don’t really care). My choices are limited and highlighted in Blue. Let me know what you are interested in hearing or if I missed anything as that is known to happen…frequently. Have a great week.
Sons of Apollo – Live With the Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony – (Inside Out Music). Sons of Apollo are releasing a huge live album/DVD and I expect it will be awesome. How could it not with Jeff Scott Soto on vocals, Mike Portnoy on Drums, Billy Sheehan on Bass, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal on guitar and Derek Sherinian on keyboards. Their debut was spectacular and this will be nothing short of that. This will get played a lot!!
Tool – Fear Inoculum – (Tool Dissectional/Voyage): Here is the album everyone is talking about. It has been 13 years since their last album and I am not sure if anyone thought they would do another album. This is going to be huge in the world of music. So why do I not care one bit. I have never found them to be anything special so maybe I am missing something. I will listen to see if this finally grabs me, but I am not expecting much as I liked nothing prior. Can someone please tell me why they are so liked…seriously, let me know.
October is flying by and there are a bunch of new ones available this week…even Christmas albums if you are so inclined. There are some brand new bands, some old favorites and some fabulous reissues/deluxe editions. My choices are highlighted in Blue. Let me know which ones you are interested in with a comment below. Thanks and have a great weekend.
Sons of Apollo – Pyschotic Symphony – (Inside Out Music): Another supergroup and another one featuring Billy Sheehan and Mike Portnoy. If you liked in The Winery Dogs, this is not the Winery Dogs. This is a much heavier band with Jeff Scott Soto on lead vocals rather than Richie Kotzen. Also on the record is Bumblefoot on guitar and Derek Sherinian that make this a massive group with a massive sound. Can’t wait to dive into this one.
Europe – Walk the Earth – (Silver Lining Music): Europe is still putting out quality albums after 35+ years in the business. The took most of the 90’s off, but came roar back in the 2000’s and have been non-stop ever since. I have held off from listening to anything on this one yet as I want to take it in all at once.