Finding The Seventh Key
Sep 27, 2013 / 7:00 pm
Both were considered to be intellectual, progressive rock ensembles. One from Middle America, and one from the distant shores of England. The English group “City Boy” were making the scene much earlier than the American powerhouse “Kansas”. Yet both groups had a common future. When “City Boy” split,
Mike Slammer, the group’s guitarist extraordinaire, teamed up with one Steve Walsh-from “Kansas” and Bassist: Billy Greer.
This team formed the critically acclaimed Anglo-American group “Streets”. Although the group released only two full-fledged albums, they did turn heads. In 1985 the group dissolved and “Kansas” reformed with Steve Walsh bringing Billy Greer in to the fold. This re-vitalised version of “Kansas” also sported Steve Morse on guitar—and later of “Deep Purple”. Meantime, Mike Slamer took up session work, and continued to polish his production skills, and writing. He did several movie and television projects and went back to his first love of writing songs and producing with the band “Steelhouse Lane”, which he actually formed but did not play live with. Mike was the group’s main songwriter and on their first record-played all the guitars, even though the group’s listed guitarist was Chris Lane. “Steelhouse Lane” were a hard hitting melodic rock outfit that acted as a showcase for the type of music that Mike had been writing for the better part of the 1980’s and 1990’s. The group released two albums: 1998’s “Metallic Blue” and 1999’s “Slaves Of The New World”. On the group’s second album, Mike continued to play a dominant role as the key writer of both lyrics and music, but sharing guitars with Chris Lane. This album was harder and more . Such tracks as “Son Of A Loaded Gun”, “Slaves Of The New World” and “Seven Seas” solidified the group’s sound.
In 2000, Mike re-united with Billy Greer, and long time musical friend, Terry Brock. This time around, Mike was not a ghost member; he was prominent in the line-up playing both guitar and keyboards. The group was named “Seventh Key”, bringing together the elements of “Kansas”, “Streets”, and “Steelhouse Lane” and polishing them to a fine degree. Two albums were released, the self-titled debut in ’01, and the second, “Raging Fire” in 2004. Finally, not content to be in the shadows, and only in the recording studio—“Seventh Key” actually performed live at select dates, resulting in the “Live In Atlanta” DVD of 2005. This would be the first video document of this line-up, and the first ever video of Mike Slamer playing live!
It has taken another eight years for the group to surface with a whole new set of songs! “I Will Survive” is living testament of this ensembles extraordinary talent. Although Billy is still a very potent member of “Kansas”, he and Mike have re-committed to the “Seventh Key” mission. The duo have primarily written this new album, and have enlisted some very special musical guests…such as David Ragsdale, (Kansas) on violin, the return of Terry Brock, and Chet Wynd on drums. As 2004’s “Raging Fire” was met with excitement, so will this effort. A little harder-edged than previous work, “I Will Survive” will compel, and show the more progressive rock styling’s of Mike and Billy! The album will be available in early November on the Frontiers label!
Under The Lights
Upcoming Club/Concert Highlights:
The Blue Gator: ( featuring Tuesday Acoustic Jams) Zamboni Brothers: Sept. 26th Jimmy LeGuilloux Band: Sept. 27th & 28th
Doc Willoughby’s: K-Man & the 45’s Sept. 28th Authority Zero: October 1st The Brains with Special Guests: October 26th
The Habitat: Wild Son/Paperboy/Honest Woods: Thursday-Oct. 10th
The Minstrel Café: Shannon Lyon: Sept. 27th Fighting Orange: Sept. 28th John Lee Sanders Band: October 10th
O’Flannigan’s Pub: Poppa Wheely: Sept. 27th Radio Lifeline: Oct. 4th
Streaming Café: Andy Shauf: Sept. 27th Shannon Lyon & Braden Gates: Sept. 28th Wild Son: October 25th The Archers: October 26th
Kelowna Community Theatre: Dallas Smith: September 28th
Prospera Place: Dixie Chicks: October 27th
South Okanagan Events Centre (Penticton): Loretta Lynn: October 10th Matthew Good: November 22nd The Band Perry: January 9th-2014
Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre: Great Big Sea: October 23rd
Notes & News: The American classic crooners; “REO Speedwagon” will release “Live At the Moondance Jam”, their actual first High Definition concert video within the next month! Here is a sneak peek of what we can expect!
…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!!.....
Read more Under the Lights articles
- Rock News Dec 6
- Metal Cartel Nov 29
- Theocracy: A Spiritual Revival Nov 22
- A History Lesson In Rock Nov 15
- The Year For Fear Nov 8
- The Harvest Continues Oct 18
- Silent Rage No More Oct 11
- Roctober 13 Oct 5
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