No Flash In The Pan

An erroneous adage …has driven the North American music industry for years, and what is it you may ask?  That the life of a rock group is around seven years.  As we enter in to 2013, we know, as music lovers, that this just isn’t true.  Look at the Rolling Stones; celebrating fifty years of making and playing rock n’ roll!  The recent Paul McCartney tour is also evident that a rock musician has a lot longer life than just seven years!  And, just too totally devastate this adage…the recent announcement of David Bowie’s new album and single!  Continuing with looking ahead in 2013, from last week’s column…2013 marks significant anniversaries of a number of groups:  Let’s take a brief look at a few:

“Pretty Maids”  a five-piece out of Denmark whom are celebrating their brand of Rock, creating and playing it for the last thirty years!  Their last album “Pandemonium”, has made inroads across the globe…giving them, not only a ‘charting’ album, but a new lease on life.  A fantastic way to celebrate their rocking thirty years!  Already hard at work on their next effort, “Motherland”, the group have written the bulk of the album and will release the Work in the Spring.  A classic heavy rock quintet, “Pretty Maids” consistently record great pieces filled with a socially aware lyrical content.  The group’s new release will not be any different, with such titles as: “Mother Of All Lies”, “To Fool A Nation” and “I See Ghosts”---“Motherland” promises to be an epic musical journey!

Another group, closer to home, that is celebrating thirty years is one that graced a Kelowna stage several times over the past few years.  “Great White”, the California blues rockers are about to release another Live disc…again celebrating their thirty year career.  Below is a recent Review I did for the European Music Magazine “Melodic Rock”.  With a new singer, ‘Great White’ are set to keep pushing the envelope for years to come!

Great White “30 Years-Live From The Sunset Strip”                                                  
Frontiers Records - A great way to wrap-up an eventful year for this hard working band!  Great White are not only celebrating thirty years but the beginning of a new phase in their illustrious career.  A tougher—perhaps more rhythmic sound, this live album reminds us of why we stuck with this group through the years, and it is a fresh promise of their maturing music.  With the arrival of Terry Ilous there is a new found energetic vibe to the group.  Terry seamlessly has added a deeper blues interpretation and his rock solid vocals solidify the Great White standards.  He is an even match to the biting licks of lead guitarist Mark Kendall.  All this done in a invigorating way, and not dis-colouring all the ingredients that have made Great White the force they are.  A live testament, this album holds those brilliant musical memories, plus gives us a sneak preview of where these five fine musicians are heading toward.  A great home-coming and a promising future, all wrapped up in one package: that is “30 Years-Live From The Sunset Strip”!

Another California group that just celebrated thirty years in the business, and recently appeared at the Prospera arena is ‘Night Ranger’!  Many songs from these guys have ended up on millions of Canadians’ ‘Life Soundtrack’.  Here is a Review of their last disc, one that approached their collective catalogue in an acoustic way:

Night Ranger “24 Strings And A Drummer—Live & Acoustic”
Frontiers Records
Review by: Bruce E.J. Atkinson

One can always tell when a group of musicians are a confident bunch when they strip down their electrified music creations to that of the bare essentials and voices.  And that is what ‘Night Ranger’ has done!  What with just guitars/barest of drums, and all their vocal ability, this group put on an amazing performance. 

After thirty years in the business—these lads should be confident!—and it shows!  This new release was recorded just a few months back, live and off the floor—with only acoustic guitars and the bare essentials in the drum department, new life has been breathed into these classic numbers by the perfect harmony of the combined voices of Night Ranger.  A beautifully packaged CD/DVD set, you, too, can be part of the select members of the audience—with this specially invited concert performance!  Captured live somewhere in California, Night Ranger celebrates thirty years of creating some of the best AOR around!...and now we can celebrate with them!

Of course there are more Artists that will be celebrating the thirty year milestone in 2013, some which were thought of as being nothing but a flash in the pan, and of course they proved everyone wrong!  Now a group that isn’t that ‘long in the tooth’, but embraces the music of the 1970’s is a British/German combination “Voodoo Circle”, whom I had the pleasure of discovering in the dying weeks of 2012.  Here is a video EPK of the group, with their story and promoting, (at the time), their second effort:

  “Voodoo Circle” are about to release their third record..and it is one that will further the health of Hard rock and Blues the world over:  “More Than One Way Home” will expand this group’s influence across the globe:

Voodoo Circle  “More Than One Way Home”                 
AFM Records          
Review by: Bruce E.J. Atkinson            

It is music like this that excites me about the year 2013!

Alex Beyrodt’s third effort with ‘Voodoo Circle’ strikes hard and true to the mark.  “More Than One Way Home” is a hard-melodic slice of blues-tinged Hard Rock.

Twelve pieces that should electrify and amaze.  Every potential of ‘70’s style hard rock is realised right here!  A solid musical statement that doesn’t shy away from the influences that Alex and fellow band members wear.  Each expression shows strength, variety and top drawer musicianship.  Certainly this record is performed by six highly rated and skilled craftsmen.  The skill of ‘Voodoo Circle’ is matched by the production of this album.  A thick and meaty sound punctuated with emotion in both the vocals and instrumentation.  Most certainly, this is the group’s strongest effort to date.

Yes, there may be “More Than One Way Home”…but this is the best way!

Under The Lights

Upcoming Club/Concert Highlights:

97th Street Pub:    Radio LifeLine:  January 11th & 12th    Floyd Vedan Band:  January 18th & 19th   Tad & The Twins:  Jan. 25th & 26th

The Blue Gator:   Pappa Dawg:   January 11th & 12th   Zamboni  Brothers:   January 17th   Jimmy LeGuilloux Band:   January 18th & 19th    Sherman Doucette:  Jan. 25th & 26th

The Minstrel Café:   Mark Irving:   January 11th   Fighting Orange:   January 12th   Andrew and Zachari Smith:   Jan. 17th & 18th     Cod Gone Wild (duo):   Jan. 19th   Michael Wood Band:   Jan. 24th   The Rowdymen:  Jan. 25th   Blue City Trio:  Jan. 26th

The Pheasant & Quail Pub:   Cod Gone Wild:  January 18th    Introducing “Sing-A-Long” Saturdays…January 19th       …And don’t forget the “Talented Kelowna” events at the Pub in January and February!

Streaming Café:   Lydia Hol with Ryan Smith:  January 12th     Tribehouse  Katalyst & Norm Strauss:  January 14th  

Notable Concerts:  

Interior Savings Centre (Kamloops)  Nelly Furtado:  January 11th

The Tragically Hip:   January 20th   

South Okanagan Events Centre:   Heart:    March 9th 2013

 Penticton:  August 8th 2013    Honeymoon Suite:   

…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.

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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