Classic Rock News, Reviews And Interviews
May 7, 2014
Photos and Story by Scott A. Smith
The spirits of Thin Lizzy, Brother Cane and Megadeth are near – but never overpower – one of rock’s newest, most invigorated bands.
Black Star Riders are burning down U.S. highways to promote their debut CD, “All Hell Breaks Loose,” and their concert May 5 at Neumemier’s Rib Room & Beer Garden in Fort Smith was loud and proud, with the quintet of veterans giving 150 percent over the course of a well-paced, tour-hour set.
Guitarists Scott Gorham (Thin Lizzy) and Damon Johnson (Brother Cane) kept six-string fans and casual rock fans happy with edgy, always tasteful interplay, while bassist Marco Mendoza (Ted Nugent, Thin Lizzy) and drummer Jimmy DeGrasso (Megadeth) formed an air-tight rhythm section from the get go. This instrumental base gave lead singer Ricky Warwick (The Almighty, Thin Lizzy) the ultimate, punchy platform.
Well-rehearsed but often incorporating brilliant flashes of improvisation, Black Star Riders played the bulk of their new CD, with “Kingdom of the Lost,” “Kissin’ the Ground,” “Before the War” and the title track all leaving a sustained impression on audience members.… Continue reading
December 18, 2013
By Michael Yanko
Rock Legends Photographers
Hosted by the Magic City Casino in Miami, the Classic Rock Legends Festival was a huge success and one of the best-run festivals we have ever been to. Special thanks to Kansas management and Phil Ehart for making time for a fun interview.
Q: You’ve been touring for about 40 years, who is your favorite band to tour with?
A: Well, that’s a good question. The band that we enjoyed the most touring with was Queen. That was the “Sheer Heart Attack” tour and we did 40 gigs with them, and then we came back and toured with them a year or so later and toured with them again. That was really enjoyable because our band was just starting to come into its own as far as being able to play with a headliner, and Queen was just starting to explode, and it was really exciting to watch them.… Continue reading
December 14, 2013
Photo and Story by Scott A. Smith
Tobymac’s sonic gumbo of rock, funk, old-school R&B and more flowed like musical honey on Dec. 12 in Tulsa, Okla.
The former DC Talk member and five-time Grammy Award winner brought his Hits Deep Tour to Tulsa’s BOK Center, and the set list stood exactly as promised — it was crammed to the gills with Toby’s radio staples and equally favored LP cuts. Guitarist Tim Rosenau’s staccato, clean-toned intro to the bouncy “Me Without You” later gave way to crunchy, glorious hard-rock distortion on “Eye On It,” “Tonight” and “Gone.”
Throughout Toby’s 80-minute set, Toddiefunk slapped, tapped and thumped what sounded like brand-new strings on his bass, and drummer Brian Haley kept the rhythms assertive and adventurous. “Steal My Show,” “Lose Myself” and “Speak Life,” all terrific tracks from Toby’s No. 1 album from 2012, “Eye On It,” gushed with new-found confidence and purpose on the Tulsa stage.… Continue reading
November 26, 2013
Interview and photos by Isaac Rodriguez
Rock Legends Photographers
Q: What music or musician inspired you to be an artist?
A: When I was young in the 50’s my dad would play Elvis, Bill Haley, and the Everly Brothers, those were the early years, but I think once I picked up a guitar in the early 60’s I would have to say immediately The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and the surf instrumental music. Then I quickly got inspired by the Beatles, like everyone else I suppose, also the singer and songwriters of the 60’s. But if I would have to pick one band I would say it’s a tie between the Beatles and The Beach Boys.
Q: When did the band America originate?
A: Technically we started as the band America in 1970. We were a band in high school in London England. We went to an American school in England.… Continue reading
November 21, 2013
By Rock Legends Photographer Isaac Rodriguez
Photos by Isaac Rodriguez
(These are edited excerpts from the interview)
Q: The fans from the Rock Legends Cruise have been asking to see you play. Is that something you would consider?
A: We did a cruise one time, and (laughs) we had kind of a bad experience due to weather. It was a rough cruise. I just don’t know, we have to see about that.
Q: What artist past or present that you never played with would you just to get on stage and jam with?
A: BB King, hands down. I’d love to get up and jam with BB.
Q: The inspirational postings that appear on Facebook, do you do that personally?
A: Actually I do it on twitter, it comes up on Facebook. I do one every day, usually some bible scripture and I hope it’s something inspirational that will be encouraging to the people.… Continue reading