In Review

YES - Heaven & Earth (Frontiers Records)
As I wrote in another column: “Heaven & Earth” is as fresh as a Spring morning! This is the latest offering from that veteran ensemble of musical talent that we have been saying “Yes” to for over forty years! What we have here, are eight absolutely stunning pieces of swirling-symphonic musical progressions that will lighten the heaviest of hearts amongst us! A literal and musical masterpiece!  “Heaven & Earth” may just be the album that re-invents “Yes” and introduces them to a whole new generation! Teaming up with legendary producer Roy Thomas Baker, “Yes” have delivered a complete musical statement that retains all the high marks this group have become known for. Yet, they have also breathed new life in their musical creations, finding new nuggets in their quest of musical expression. There is so much creativity within each track, and from each musician, that it truly boggles the mind! In a few words, “Heaven & Earth” is nothing short of beautiful and unique, just nothing quite like this in all of Heaven or on Earth!! Bruce Atkinson (90/100) 


They are back! Tesla are giving us the simple goods! “Simplicity” is all new and it is a no nonsense slice of Hard Rock from this musical force! Yes, guitar dominant still, the Tesla sound is just as hard and just as full of unique signatures as they were from the beginning. Melody? This quintet pulls melody out of the air and lay it all down effortlessly. Listening to “Simplicity” one could be forgiven for mistakenly thinking that this five piece must be brand new Rock Heroes and not the thirty year veterans that Tesla is. That is the energy level you are about to experience. Each and every track is a musical statement in of itself, no matter what Jeff is singing about or what musical emotion is being played out. Dave, Troy, Frank, and Brian just keep giving it and the combination is amazing! Each song builds in to the next, combining to give us one heck of a wild ride! Stand-out tracks? Well, all of them in fact, however a few of my favorites? “Cross My Heart”, MP3”, “Life Is A
River” and “Flip Side”. Tesla: simply enjoy! Bruce Atkinson (91/100)

This veteran Swiss group are about to close another chapter in their long and storied career. Yet, they are also readying for a brand new, exciting chapter to be added! “33 The Best Of” Shakra is a very ambitious release. Yes, this one is thirty-three tracks on two cd’s and contains three brand new heavenly pieces of Hard Rock! Unfortunately, just last month, John Prakesh announced that he was leaving the band-however Thom, Thomas and Roger and Dominik are pushing forward. But, we shouldn’t worry-as “33…” shows us that “Shakra” are not ready to throw in the towel! All stand out tracks, with thirty of them taken from the group’s nine albums… When you come upon the three brand new tracks, don’t be surprised that their next full-length album will hit that magic spot as well! “33 The Best Of” shows off every great piece of Hard Rock this five piece have created. Their attention to melody, dramatic lyrics and constant high energy is overflowing here. There are some rare pieces on
this release as well… So, this scribes advice? Embrace this release… Treasure it, as “33...” is full of gems from this top drawer Hard Rock five piece! Bruce Atkinson (90/100)

RIK PRIEM - Rik Priem’s Prime (Avenue of Allies)
For this young guitarist “Prime” is a very ambitious debut. Helped by musical mate Carsten Schulz of “Frozen Rain”, Rik’s dreams of a guitar-driven musical soundscape has been realised. Bringing in some of Europe’s finest musical craftsmen has also helped. Of course there is Carsten on vocals, Greet Margodt on keyboards, with Ramy Ali providing the pounding rhythms, with Vincent De Laat keeping pace on the bass and all four producing such solid material that Rik can soar from! “Prime” of course is a guitar album, and a guitar lover’s album! Rik’s talents on the fret board is just unbelievable!  Displaying a wide spectrum of style and influences, his skill blossoms, as does each other member of the band. A collection of thirteen tracks that offer up a variety and depth that will astound. Upon one listen it is hard to believe that this is Rik’s debut. Rik Priem is a rising star and “Prime” is his rocket, the line-up on this record are set to bring these tasteful explorations of sonic brilliance to the stage… So get ready for a rocket ride this Summer!! Bruce Atkinson (89/100)

Under The Lights

Upcoming Club/Concert Highlights:

The Blue Gator:   Zamboni Brothers:  Aug. 21st & 22nd 23rd  & Aug. 29th                                                           
Crosstown Bus:  Aug. 29th  & Aug. 30th 

Barking Parrot (Penticton):  Paul Gibbons:   Aug 29th  
Checkers Bar & Grill (Vernon):  The Keys:  Aug. 29th & Aug. 30th 
Doc Willoughby’s Downtown Pub:   Frankie McQueen:  Aug. 30th The Fangles:  Sept. 5th 
O'Flannigan's Pub:   (Live Music every Tuesday with Riaz and Friends)   Rockaholicks:   Aug 29th/30th     
Papa Wheely:  Sept. 5th & Sept. 6th 

Notable Concerts:    

Prospera  Place:    Alan Jackson  Sept. 25th   Sarah McLachlan:   Oct. 24th   
Kelowna Community Theatre:  Gordon Lightfoot:   Oct. 28th  
South Okanagan Events Centre:  John Fogerty:  November 27th  
Minstrel Café:  Maria Muldaur:  September 11th 


...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.

Previous Stories