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Under-the-Lights

Stormbringer

Recently a couple of groups have come to my attention, one from the Rock Fortress of the world, the United Kingdom, and one from a country that we don’t usually associate with rock Artists, let alone—Progressive Metal groups: Greece.  We’ll start with the twin guitar attack of the UK’s “Stormbringer”:

Out of the Northampton area, a relatively new group “Stormbringer” are about to unleash their second album.  Available worldwide in October, hard rockers will be able to enjoy “Blood And Rust”.  A five-piece, ‘Stormbringer’ create some very tasty guitar driven heavy rock.  The group consists of Darren McCullagh on bass, with Dom Wallace and Ash Smith on guitars.  The vocals are handled very well by Jimi Brown and keeping everything solid and punchy is drummer Jon Paul Quantrill.  Seems like a traditional set-up , and yes it is—but the way these guys play puts an edge to their music.  Young and brash, “Stormbringer” are dedicated to the tried and true foundations of Heavy Rock—and combine some modern attributes to the mix that result in a very energetic sound.  Listening to the material on this second release will belie the group’s age.  They sound and perform like they are veterans of the 1970’s—mind you-not copying anyone in particular—but the influences are definitely there!  Not only are they committed to this pure form of rock, but performing live is a huge part of their existence.  As time goes on, they may just be thought of as this decade’s hardest working band!  Oh!-just one more thing—another familiar 70’s name crops up…this second effort will be released through Attic Records!  So, start looking for it at the end of October!

Now, on to “Diviner”, a brand new Progressive Metal group that hails from Greece.  Another five piece, this group leans heavily on the progressive side of Heavy Metal.  With song titles like, “Kingdom Come”, “Riders From The East”, and “Seven Gates”…they compose from a slightly dark side of the mystical story telling plateau.  The music follows, and we hear a majestic and masterful set of music performances.  The lead vocalist sounds similar to a young Ronnie James Dio, pre-Sabbath days.  Again, a driving twin guitar attack ensures each musical journey is a full spectrum statement, and one that will excite.  Heavy yes, however “Diviner” do not get too immersed in the bottom layers of the sound spectrum.  Each creation flows and there is even some soaring flourishes that will brighten up what we are listening too.  This release is the group’s debut…entitled “Fallen Empires”, and will be available in North America during the latter part of November—but it will be worth the wait.  The guitar work within this group is par excellent, and they get in to some very interesting Eastern influences…another treasure to look out for.


Under The Lights
Upcoming Club/Concert Highlights:

The Blue Gator: Zamboni Brothers:  Sept. 24th & 25th 26th

Doc Willoughby’s:   Andrew Judah:  Sept. 25th   Open Air:  Sept. 26th

 Dream Café:  Ron Sexsmith:   Sept. 24th

Fernando’s Pub:  The Karpinka Brothers:  Sept. 24th   The Decoys:  Sept. 25th

O’Flannigan’s Pub:   (every Tuesday it’s a Local Talent Night!)  Linus:  Sept. 25th & 26th

Whiski-Jack’s:   Rumble 100:  Sept. 25th &  26th

Notable Concerts:   

Prospera  Place:  Dean Brody/Paul Brandt:  September 26th  Bare Naked Ladies:  October 25th  Shania Twain:  October 27th   Three Days Grace:  November 24th

South Okanagan Events Centre:   The Tenors:   October 3rd  Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band-(featuring Todd Rundgren, Steve Lukather, Gregg Rolie plus others!!)   October 10th 

Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre:  The Tea Party:   September 29th

   …if you have a musical story or news and would like me to write something… drop me a line at:  [email protected]  and let’s celebrate Kelowna’s rich and varied music community together!!.....

 



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Guitarist

As with most aspiring musicians, this local guitarist began very humbly…”…I saved for my first guitar and bought a Mexican made Strat at a Boxing Day sale.  I actually still have it.  It’s a great guitar.  Besides changing the pickups, I’ve done nothing to it.  It sounds dynamite!”  And so does he, oh!  who exactly is he? 

Mr. Tim Holman, an extraordinary guitarist that you may well have seen on area stages, as the lead guitarist for Kevin Foley’s “Forever Young” tribute band.  His teaming up with Kevin is also unique…” As I assume most musicians do at one time or another in their careers, I paid the bills by teaching.  Now, one of my students, Kevin Foley, had been given a gift certificate for four free lessons and wouldn't you know it, he wanted to learn as many Neil Young songs as he could.  So the lessons came and went and I never thought another thing of it until I got a call from Kevin asking me to play lead in a Neil Young tribute band.  I signed on and had so much fun that I continued.”  Now, Tim is a dedicated musician, one that has been playing guitar for over eighteen years, and you can tell just by talking with him he is very passionate about his craft.  He not only plays well, but he is deeply affected by the music that he plays…“Neil Young music is also quite freeing as his rock stuff is very much jam material.  I probably bring a very decided edge to the show but I try to remain true to what I'm feeling and consequently I feel like I am remaining true to the music.”  As you can see, staying true to the music is all important for this young aspiring musician!  Tim is not satisfied with just playing, no he must push that envelope—constantly practicing and elevating his abilities:  “I have always been attracted to very technical guitar playing or "guitar gymnastics" as some say.  This suits me well as I absolutely love to practice.  I really get a thrill from starting the metronome and working a new lick up to speed.  I've been known to almost wear holes through my fretboard as I incessantly noodle away!”

Have I mentioned Tim is very humble?  He is, as I’ve just recently met Tim and had a very enjoyable conversation with him in a social setting—both Tim & Kevin attended a relaxed musical get-together set-up by the Karroll family, and both had opportunity to perform acoustically around a good old fashioned camp fire!  Of course if you were out walking about that night, in the area, you would have sworn you heard Neil Young himself singing!  Kevin’s voice is that pure…and the guitar sounds?—pristine and crystal clear.  It was after the two’s performance and with much prodding from me that it was revealed the Tim has a distinct different style of playing that one can say is his first love.  “I first grew interested in learning the guitar through such bands as Guns N’ Roses, Metallica and Megadeth and indeed, my early playing and composition idolizes these bands and other ‘80’s metal.”  Tim continues…”However, after a little maturation, beyond a doubt the players who have influenced the sound of my playing the most are Michael Angelo Batio, Yngwie Malmsteen and Joe Satriani.”  Wow!, these three are some of the top Progressive musicians around!!  Then Tim, Kevin and I got talking about what musicians talk about—our aspirations, whether we have some original material and on and on…and Tim does!  And it is amazing!

Tim is also a sought after session guitarist…”Practice is also what gave me a start as a session musician.  I was recognized for my lead capabilities and have thus, been attempting to spray burning guitar over everything that a producer will let me get away with.  In contrast, working on my own solo material is so freeing because I can play as unrestrained as I like.”  So, wanna hear just what Tim is talking about?  You can discover his fine talents here at:  www.reverbnation.com/timholman and prepare yourselves for being amazed!

   I needed to ask Tim about the way he writes, as his pieces are so complicated…. could you describe the creative process that comes over you when you write?

“…songwriting is a very artistic and creative process.  Once a song is written and completed, it seems so simple, as if it just flowed and was always there to begin with.  However, there is often a lot of labor that goes into song creation.  Getting an initial spark of inspiration is the key to fueling the imagination and keeping the composition afloat.  I find that focusing on an emotion helps immensely and I continually ask myself, “What am I trying to say?  Does this section say what I mean?”  One little trick that sparks my imagination is having a good song title to work with.  I’m always writing down titles.  I have a little notebook that I record them in and when it’s time to write I skim through the list and ask, “Which title fuels me today?”

As with most talented musicians, Tim is ready to go to that next level…ready to move forward…” I want nothing more than to hit the road with my music and play live….I want to play proper shows to an appreciative audience, and to this end my dream has always revolved around theatres.  To pull this kind of a show off, I will need a serious band with serious players.”  And no doubt he will discover those players, if he hasn’t already!  One thing I said to Tim after I listened to some of his demos was…when listening to your material, I envision you in front of a full-fledged orchestra!  Any aspirations to that type of situation…say a one-off showcase?  “Honestly, I have never thought of doing that sort of a show, but it is a viable thought.  I would have to think of how to attack that.  It was all the rage for a while a few years back.  I know that many rock/metal acts including Metallica and the Scorpions were performing with orchestras.  If I was to do a show with an orchestra, I would compose the concert specifically with that goal in mind and I would capture it on film as a never to be repeated occurrence.”

--Hopefully, for us music lovers, this will happen for Tim, and we can watch as his music career continues to blossom!

  I want to thank him for this opportunity of chatting and letting me discover some truly inspired music!  Please check out his site and keep checking back here as I continue to put Extraordinary Talent “Under The Lights”


Under The Lights
Upcoming Club/Concert Highlights:

The Blue Gator: Linus:  Sept. 17th  The Goods:  Sept. 18th & 19th   Zamboni Brothers:  Sept. 24th & 25th 26th

Doc Willoughby’s:  Northern Coast Band:   Sept. 18th   Big John Bates:  Sept. 19th   Andrew Judah:  Sept. 25th   Open Air:  Sept. 26th

 Dream Café:  Ron Sexsmith:   Sept. 24th

Fernando’s Pub:  Honest Woods:  Sept. 17th   Michael Averill:  Sept. 18th  The Pick Brothers:  Sept. 19th  The Karpinka Brothers:  Sept. 24th   The Decoys:  Sept. 25th

Minstrel Café:  Kirby Sewell Band:  Sept. 17th  Paul Byrne Trio:  Sept. 23rd 

The Naked Pig (Vernon):  Local talent highlighted every Sunday Afternoon!!

O’Flannigan’s Pub:   (every Tuesday it’s a Local Talent Night!)  Rockaholicks:  Sept. 18th & 19th            Linus:  Sept. 25th & 26th

Whiski-Jack’s:   Hank Stallion:  Sept. 18th & 19th   Rumble 100:  Sept. 25th &  26th

Notable Concerts:   

Prospera  Place:  Dean Brody/Paul Brandt:  September 26th  Bare Naked Ladies:  October 25th  Shania Twain:  October 27th   Three Days Grace:  November 24th

South Okanagan Events Centre:   The Tenors:   October 3rd  Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band-(featuring Todd Rundgren, Steve Lukather, Gregg Rolie plus others!!)   October 10th 

Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre:  The Tea Party:   September 29th

   …if you have a musical story or news and would like me to write something… drop me a line at:  [email protected]  and let’s celebrate Kelowna’s rich and varied music community together!!.....

 



Fall Harvest part two

As the title suggests, we are going to look, once again, at some new music coming out this Fall.  Last week we looked at several, this week-again, but I hope you will notice the diversity.  Within the Rock umbrella, we are continuing to see a very healthy music scene—supporting many styles, and most from labels that have their base in Europe.  Yes, some of these Artists are European and some are from North America—the one thing in common?—they all have world-wide contracts from European based companies!

Avatarium are a band of neo-classical progressive group of musicians.  Quite a young band—formed in 2012-but founded by two veteran musicians in bassist Leif Edling of Candlemass, and Marcus Jidell of Evergrey.  They have released a couple of EP’s to more than critical acclaim, and a self-titled debut album that kept those accolades gracing music periodicals the world over.  Now, they are about to release their second full album: “The Girl With the Raven Mask”.  In some circles they are being branded as a “Doom-Metal” outfit, personally I think that is a misnomer.  As stated, they exist better as a Neo-classical Progressive Hard Rock group, and this album should cement that!  Available at the latter part of October, this group are worth seeking out!

Let me be the first to say, this Swedish foursome will have you dancing in the aisles, in the streets, and even on the mountain tops!  Yes, it is so—everything that you have heard from the great Artists in the 1970’s that belted out those groove infected Blues/Rock creations you will be constantly reminded of on “Graveyard’s new release “Innocence & Decadence”!!  I say remind you of, because simply, these four do not copy—rather they are heavily influenced by those ‘70’s Artists and hence—inspired to write and perform the originals you will delight in here.  All original, high energy and when they decide to perform a ballad, wow!—enough said!


Under The Lights
Upcoming Club/Concert Highlights:

The Blue Gator: Zamboni Brothers:  Sept. 10th    Young ‘Uns:  Sept. 11th & 12th

Barking Parrot (Penticton):   Dustin McGifford & Annie Scott:  Sept. 11th     Paul Gibbons & Joey Richards:  Sept. 12th

Barley Mill Brew Pub & Bistro (Penticton): -Every Sunday-Blues/Rock Jam & Showcase hosted by TR2 (7pm-10pm)     

Dream Café:  Ron Sexsmith:   Sept. 24th

Minstrel Café:  The Keys:  Sept. 12th

The Naked Pig (Vernon):  Local talent highlighted every Sunday Afternoon!!

O’Flannigan’s Pub:   (every Tuesday it’s a Local Talent Night!)  Hank Stallion:   Sept. 11th & 12th

Whiski-Jack’s:   Papa Dawg:   Sept. 11th & 12th

Notable Concerts:   

Prospera  Place:  Dean Brody/Paul Brandt:  September 26th  Bare Naked Ladies:  October 25th  Shania Twain:  October 27th   Three Days Grace:  November 24th

South Okanagan Events Centre:   The Tenors:   October 3rd  Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band-(featuring Todd Rundgren, Steve Lukather, Gregg Rolie plus others!!)   October 10th 

Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre:  The Tea Party:   September 29th

   …if you have a musical story or news and would like me to write something… drop me a line at:  [email protected]  and let’s celebrate Kelowna’s rich and varied music community together!!.....



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Fall Harvest pt. 1

Wow!...the beginnings of autumn already!  Musically speaking the heat is increasing, what with a robust harvest of musical offerings about to hit the streets including:

He led Seattle based supergroup Queensryche to the upper echelons of Progressive Rock, and is about to do the same with “Operation Mindcrime” and the first release: “The Key”!  Geoff Tate has gathered a variety of musicians to help him with a musical story that will reveal itself in three planned Recorded Works!  Included in this multitude of musical talent are Brian Tichy, behind the kit, and Mark Daily on vocals, Randy Gane on keyboards, Kelly Gray on guitars with Scott Moughton, and Simon Wright.  Believe it or not, the aforementioned are just some of the talent we hear on this epic!

As we should expect from the likes of Mr. Tate…this musical journey will be a complicated one, but an exciting one as well.  Expanding upon the album of the same name, Geoff’s story springs from “Operation Mindcrime” and expands the musical boundaries that were set forth from that break-through period.  “The Key” is the first of three releases planned for this enormous and exciting Work.  Expect to find “The Key” in stores by mid-September!

There are all sorts of rumors out there regarding Ritchie Blackmore returning to the realm of Hard Rock…and yes he may very well be preparing to do so!  However, Mr. Blackmore has never stopped creating, exploring and recording class ‘A’ music!  With his and his wife’s “Blackmore’s Night”, Ritchie has given us some exquisite musical meanderings of the Renaissance kind.  Continuing with these musical journeys, “All Our Yesterdays” will also be released by mid-September.  Ritchie and his partner Candice Night further explore the Renaissance period of music and along with their band of minstrels have created an excellent set of musical expressions.

You know…it is hard enough to work oneself in to a new band, especially a band like “Whitesnake”!  And to do this and start your own project at the same time!—well the pressure would be enormous.  But, it has been done, and done with grace—“Whitesnake’s new guitarist Joel Hoekstra has completed a scorcher in his Joel Hoekstra’s 13 debut “Dying to Live”!  With the blessings of David Coverdale, this multi-faceted guitar player has teamed up with Jeff Scott Soto, Russell Allen, Vinny Appice and Tony Franklin; and with additional guest Artists—has created an enormously energetic collection of Hard Rock!  Bringing together all of his own influences, and bands that inspired him—Joel has given us back the 1970’s Hard rock style with a vengeance!  The only negative on this one?—we have to wait until mid-October to hear it!

As mentioned in last week’s column, I was honoured to be a part of the social and musical showcase put together by the musical family of The Karroll’s while I was in the valley on business.  The Talent that gathered was fantastic, and all local!  There were unrehearsed singing and playing and the sounds were just heavenly!  Next week, we will start with a series of stories on these deserving musicians and their music, and hopefully showcasing some of their Original creations!


Under The Lights
Upcoming Club/Concert Highlights:

The Blue Gator:  Linus:  Sept. 3rd   Crosstown Bus:  Sept. 4th & Sept. 5th   Zamboni Brothers:  Sept. 10th    Young ‘Uns:  Sept. 11th & 12th

Barking Parrot (Penticton):  Paul Gibbons:  Sept. 4th & 5th/6th         Dustin McGifford & Annie Scott:  Sept. 11th     Paul Gibbons & Joey Richards:  Sept. 12th

Barley Mill Brew Pub & Bistro (Penticton): -Every Sunday-Blues/Rock Jam & Showcase hosted by TR2 (7pm-10pm)     

Dream Café:  Ron Sexsmith:   Sept. 24th

Doc Willoughby’s Downtown Pub:   Wild Son:  Sept. 4th

Minstrel Café:  Papa King:  Sept. 5th  Brent Tyler:  Sept. 9th   The Keys:  Sept. 12th

The Naked Pig (Vernon):  Local talent highlighted every Sunday Afternoon!!

O’Flannigan’s Pub:   (every Tuesday it’s a Local Talent Night!)  Lefty:  Sept. 4th & 5th                                Hank Stallion:   Sept. 11th & 12th

Whiski-Jack’s:   Jimmy LeGuilloux Band:  Sept. 4th & 5th    Papa Dawg:   Sept. 11th & 12th

Notable Concerts:   

Prospera  Place:  Dean Brody/Paul Brandt:  September 26th  Bare Naked Ladies:  October 25th  Shania Twain:  October 27th   Three Days Grace:  November 24th

South Okanagan Events Centre:   “Weird Al” Yankovic:  September 9th   The Tenors:   October 3rd  Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band-(featuring Todd Rundgren, Steve Lukather, Gregg Rolie plus others!!)   October 10th 

Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre:  The Tea Party:   September 29th

   …if you have a musical story or news and would like me to write something… drop me a line at:  [email protected]  and let’s celebrate Kelowna’s rich and varied music community together!!.....

 



More Under the Lights articles

About the Author

We call him the Professor of Rock: With a career in music, television and media arts spanning 30 years, Atkinson knows music. He's traveled as a professional musician and he loves Rock 'N Roll. He is a music journalist who writes internationally for Frontier Records' Melodic Rock magazine and he owns FBA International a multifaceted management, consulting, promotional entity.



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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