Welcome to the latest newsletter.
The playlists for The RockIt
Scientist shows of 01/09/2006 and 08/09/2006 are also featured in the newsletter.
There've been some amazing new CD releases and re-releases these
past few weeks, with more to come. I've also been raiding my vinyl collection
lately and featuring some of the very rare and unknown gems that haven't been
released on CD yet, on The RockIt Scientist. There's
something really special about vinyl - it has a feeling of warmth and
authenticity that's sadly lacking in many CD releases. The CD issues of the LP
gimmicky/poster-type covers, especially, such as the classic Jade Warrior,
Beggars Opera, Magna Carta, Ramases, Patto, Catapilla, Tudor Lodge, Greenslade,
Badger and other LPs, are not quite the same as the vinyl originals.
Having said that, though, labels such as Germany's Repertoire and Italy's Akarma, have released limited copies of many classic and
collectible albums on CD, a lot of them from the Vertigo stable, in a miniature
cardboard replica format, complete with original posters and cut/fold
Vinyl's made a big come-back, and the collector's market is doing a
thriving business. Many really rare and collectible LPs have also been
re-released on vinyl. The biggest drawback, of course, is that it's a real
bummer that you can't play them in the CD player in your car - they tend to
break after the third fold.
The following is a very short list of some of the most
collectible (original/mint) rock/prog LPs in the world:
The Dark - Dark Around The Edges (1972)
- Musically nothing to go wild about - basically hard rock with plenty of fuzz
guitar. BIG bucks - originals fetch around 1,800 Pounds. (only 12 copies of the original, with colour booklet, were ever printed)
Leaf Hound - Growers Of Mushroom (1971)
- Powerful hard rock from this UK outfit who featured vocalist Pete French
(Atomic Rooster, Randy Pie, Cactus, etc) - original copies fetch over 600 Pounds. (A special South African issue for dog owners
who really loved their pets, "Ek Het Jou Lief, Hound", was contemplated, but
never released. I'll give you a few moments on that one......). The band
Mellow Candle - Swaddling Songs (1972) -
Fantastic folk rock from Ireland. Vocalist Alison (Assie) O'Donnell (formerly
Williams) and Dave Williams (vocals/guitar) came to South Africa in the mid 70's
and formed Flibbertigibbet. Original copies of "Swaddling Songs" fetch upwards
of 350 Pounds (although a mint copy was known to have
gone for nearly $2,700.00! (that's just on R20,000.00!!) on Ebay a short while ago.
Other LP's, such as Dr Z's "Three Parts To My Soul", Raw Material,
Megaton, Spring and Tonton Macoute's debuts, and hundreds of others, easily
fetch upwards of 100 Pounds.
All of the above, though, pale in comparison to an original mint
copy, numbered between 000000001 and 000000010, of
The Beatles' self-titled 1968 Apple LP release
(catalogue number PMC/PCS 7067/8).You can ask for, and probably get, between
4,000 and 5,000 Pounds for it!
On the other hand, you can just stick to CDs, and if it's South
African CDs you're after:
Well-known South African independent label, Rhythm Records, which is home to such diverse artists as
Chris Chameleon, Valiant Swart, Fokofpolisiekar and RockIt
Scientist favorite, Luna, has moved ahead of the pack and is now
providing MP3 downloads. MP3s cost R6 each and the artist receives 50% of this.
A number of albums which were out-of-print are now available again, such as
Albert Frost's brilliant live blues outing 'Catfish' and Jack Hammer's 'Death Of
A Gypsy' and 'Ghost On The Wind' albums.
Rhythm Records is not only selling their
own artists via this new trend in music distribution, but are also open to other
artists and have already added Anika, Lugkasteel (ex Soul Proxy) and a Texas
Blues band from Germany called Cold Shot, to their roster.
Rhythm Records Online Music Store
Micogram has opened up
a new branch in 7th Street, Melville, cnr 2nd Avenue. Jeff has a great
collection of CDs and LPs to choose from.
The 'Zine - Happy
The 'Zine, which is put out by Jo Day, SA's Rock Princess, is four
years old! A fantastic achievement - Jo puts in a lot of work and she's done
wonders for South African music. (www.joday.com). Check out her
latest album, "Princess". Killer
stuff! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Your support is always needed! Please visit www.rock.co.za/rockfest and sign up. There are some great
prizes up for grabs, including weekend holiday giveaways.
Check out The RockIt Scientist website (www.rock.co.za/rockit).
There's lots of stuff to read, together with gig info, links, playlists,
recommendations, etc etc. You're also invited to submit a list of your top
albums, groups, musicians, and so on.
If you have any gigs you'd like advertised, or any comments,
requests, etc, please email me at email@example.com.
The RockIt Scientist is part of The Rockfest on 1485 Radio
Today, which is also broadcast on the DSTV Audio
Channel 70. Check out The
Rockfest website (www.rock.co.za/rockfest)
to see who's featured on which nights. Be prepared to curtail your nightlife,
though - you'll be spending your nights at home, listening to the fantastic
line-up of big names on 1485 Radio
Some upcoming new releases/re-releases you
can expect to hear on The RockIt Scientist:
Goddo (Canadian hard rock outfit)
Fist (Canadian hard rock of the highest order, with Ron Chenier on
UFO (still going strong, after all these years)
Jukka Tolonen Band (great Finnish guitarist, although he's not
really - he's still going strong - finish...geddit??)
Neal Morse (ex-Spock's Beard)
Colin James (Canadian jazz/blues guitarist/singer - seriously
Kayak (one of Holland's great prog bands)
Primevil (a serious hard rock rarity from the US)
Tempest (The Celtic prog band, not Jon Hiseman's outfit
Scarlet Thread (Finland's answer to Dixie Dregs)
Juicy Lucy (can't wait for THAT one!)
Iron Maiden (their best album in years)
If you happen to hear the odd snap, crackle or pop, remember that
some of the vinyl you hear on The RockIt Scientist
is pretty old and has done a lot of mileage. I
promise that you won't hear Mrs. Mills, Jim Reeves or The Andrews Sisters,
The following bands/artists were featured on the RockIt Scientist
these past two weeks:
Natalie Chapman (new album & interview)
Gov't Mule (tribute to Allen Woody)
Allman Brothers Band (tribute to Allen Woody)
Maynard Ferguson (tribute)
Dan Patlansky (new album)
Duck & Cover (new album)
Cactus (new album)
Off The Edge/Clint & Co
Gov't Mule (new album)
Blindside Blues Band (new album)
Leslie West (new album)
Damnation of Adam Blessing
Marshall Tucker Band
(See below for write-ups/reviews)
Playlist for Friday 01/09/2006 - 22h00 to
Spring Day, and The RockIt Scientist's first
birthday on 1485 Radio Today! Three of Rock's most talented lady singer's kick
off this week's show.
01. Lana Lane - Night Falls, from "Queen Of The Ocean", in
The Queen of Symphonic Rock has been featured
regularly on The RockIt Scientist and she's well known to Radio Today listeners.
Lana, together with her keyboard-playing husband, Eric Norlander (of the band
Rocket Scientists - what a fantastic name! Wonder where he got that from?Only
kidding - he had it first!), have released a number of stunning albums, with
musicians such as bassist Tony Franklin, guitarists Mark McCrite and Neil
Citron, Arjen Anthony Lucassen, and others. She has a very powerful and
versatile voice and she's equally at home with the softer material as she is
with the heavier stuff. Check out her latest studio CD, "Lady Macbeth", released
02. Quidam - No Quarter, from "Pod Niebem Czas", which is Polish
for "The Time Beneath The Sky", in 2002.
Featuring the stunning voice of Emila
Derkowska, who is unfortunately no longer with this fantastic Polish prog band,
who formed in 1990, originally as Deep River. Emila's voice aside, the standard
of musicianship from Quidam is outstanding. The band are now fronted by a new
male singer, Bartek Kossowicz, and they recently released a new DVD, "Live in
Concert - The Fifth Season". Quidam are highly regarded as one of Poland's best
bands, and quite rightly so.
03. Mostly Autumn - The Gap Is Too Wide, from "At The Opera
House'', a live DVD recorded at The Grand Opera House in York in
Mostly Autumn have taken the progressive rock
world by storm. This English band, who are fronted by the beautiful Heather
Findlay, have often been compared to Pink Floyd. Their music encompasses
elements of rock and folk, with an amazing Celtic feel. Guitarist Bryan Josh has
become highly respected as one of England's great "new" guitarists, and the
band's equally attractive flautist/keyboard player, Angela Gordon, is regarded
as one of the best in her field. This particular track, written by keyboard
player Iain Jennings, is a truly memorable effort. Augmented by a string
quartet, choir and multi-instrumentalist Troy Donockley, it will go down as one
of prog rocks great anthems. If it doesn't move you in any way, you need to melt
the ice in your veins. The band have since released a fantastic studio album
called "Storms Over Still Water" and a new live album called "Storms Over London
Town". If you haven't yet heard this band, you need to check them
South Africa also has some tremendously talented lady singers, many
of whom are worthy of international acclaim. A few months ago, RockIt Scientist
listeners will remember the interview held with Luna,
the very gifted singer who was spotted backing Mel Botes about eight months ago,
and who has released one "unofficial" and one "official" album to
This time it was the turn of Natalie
Chapman, who had recently moved to Johannesburg from Cape Town. Natalie's
debut album, "
Between The Lines", has recently been released. Her
music, most of which is all self-penned, has elements of folk, acoustic rock and
a touch of jazz. She has a stunning voice and an incredible range, and her
songwriting ability is out of the top drawer. She writes about her life
experiences and she comes across as very sincere and passionate.
She started her musical career at the age of eight and was awarded
on many occasions for her outstanding performances. She later spent some time
backpacking through Europe and she uses her experiences as her inspiration.
She's worked in film production and she tried her luck on two reality music
shows, making it to the top 60 in Idols and top 26 in Project Fame. She financed
her debut album personally and through private investors.
The five featured tracks from her album were:
04. Are You Coming Home?
05. The Other Side
06. For A Moment
07. Nobody's Fault But Mine
08. Between The Lines.
Check your local listings for live gigs.
09. Boston - Foreplay/Long Time, from the remastered version of
their acclaimed debut album, originally released in 1976
Boston were formed in the mid 70's by
multi-instrumentalist Tom Scholz, together with bassist Fran Sheehan, Brad Delp
(guitar/vocals), Barry Goudreau (guitar) and Sib Hashian (drums). This
multi-million selling album was born out of a bunch of home-made demos recorded
by Scholz. Adopting the name Boston, they were signed to Epic Records. The album
reached number three on the US charts, eventually going on to sell in excess of
10 million copies worldwide. This new remastered edition contains an extensive
booklet with some great photos. The band's second album, "Don't Look Back", has
also been give the remastered treatment, with the rest surely to follow. Two
classics from a truly classic band.
10. Styx - Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man), from "The Grand
Illusion", in 1977
Originally formed in the early 60's as
Tradewinds and later as TW 4, Chicago's Styx were saddled with the unlikely
title of being a "pomp" rock band, with what some called "over the top" keyboard
and harmony vocal parts that were deemed to be too whimpish to be called heavy
rock, yet too heavy to be called pop. Pomp, heavy, call them what you will -
Styx were, and still are, a fantastically talented band, blessed with some great
musicians in James Young, Tommy Shaw, Dennis De Young and the Panozzo brothers,
Chuck and John. True, the band are probably (and unfortunately) best known for
their TIE (tongue-in-ear - you know... when you're trying to get down 'n dirty
and run in a new babe) ballads, but believe me, when they rocked, they REALLY
rocked! The featured album did very well for them worldwide and it was
considered by many to be their best offering. Tommy Shaw would later leave to
join Ted Nugent in Damn Yankees, Dennis De Young would leave the band and John
Panozzo would die from an alcohol related illness in 1996. They released a new
album, "Big Bang Theory", in 2005.
11. Journey - Topaz, from "Journey", their fantastic debut album,
released in 1975
Journey were formed in 1973 by ex-Santana
members Greg Rolie (keyboards/vocals) and Neil Schon (guitar/vocals), together
with ex-Tubes drummer Prairie Prince. Bassist Ross Valory, who'd been with The
Steve Miller Band, and George Tickner (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), completed
the quintet. UK-born drummer Aynsley Dunbar (ex-Zappa and others), replaced
Prince, and this line-up appeared on the debut album, which featured some of the
most amazing jazz/rock you'll ever hear. Journey's history is quite extensive
(and they are already well featured elsewhere on The RockIt Scientist website).
Suffice to say that they're still around, in a big way, with new vocalist Steve
Augeri, who is easily on a par with Steve Perry, the frontman who helped Journey
become one of the most popular bands in the US in the late 70's/early 80's. They
appeared at this year's Donnington Festival in the UK, together with Deep
Purple, Thunder, Alice Cooper and Queensryche, and if the reports are anything
to go by, Journey kicked everybody's butt! As far as great guitarists go, Neil
Schon is up there with the best of them - check out his "other" band, Soul
SirkUS, with vocalist Jeff Scott Soto, bassist Marco Mendoza and drummer Virgil
Donati. Their "World Play" album has to be one of the best rock releases of
Journey's new album, "Generations", was
released to much acclaim in 2005.
Tribute time again.
Bass guitarist Allen
Woody was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee and he majored in music
at Middle Tennessee State University. He joined ex Lynryd Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle's band before being hired to play, together
with guitarist/vocalist Warren Haynes, in the Allman Brothers.
In 1994, Haynes and
Woody decided to leave the Allmans and form their own band. Recruiting drummer Matt Abts, they formed what has become one of the best
bands the US has ever produced, Gov't
Allen Woody was
a warm and beefy sounding bass player, with a very distinctive style and groove.
Drawing influences from the likes of Free's Andy
Fraser, Cream's Jack Bruce and Tower of
Power's Francis "Rocco" Prestia, he was a vital cog
in the magic that was, and still is, Gov't
He tragically passed away on
27 August 2000.
The following two tracks are a tribute to one
of the great bass guitarists of our time.
12. Gov't Mule - War Pigs, from "Live With A Little Help From Our
Friends", in 1999, a fantastic collector's 4 CD set.
If you're a regular RockIt Scientist listener,
you'll know how I feel about this band and it's leader, Warren Haynes. He tops
my "best guitarist" and "best vocalist" list. There's nothing this band do, have
done, or will do, that I can find any fault with. Warren Haynes aside, Matt Abts
and Allen Woody had to be one of the tightest rhythm sections around. Their
version of Sabbath's "War Pigs", recorded at Atlanta's Roxy Theatre on New
Year's Eve, 1998/1999, is positively awesome. Allen Woody's bass hits you in the
gut with the force of a freight train - unbelievably powerful
The new Gov't Mule CD, "High & Mighty", will be featured on The RockIt
Scientist next week.
13. The Allman Brothers - In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed, from "An
Evening With The Allman Brothers - 2nd Set", released in 1995
Penned by guitarist Dicky Betts, this is one of
The Allman's most famous and well loved tracks. This acoustic version (with
guitars by Betts and Haynes), is too fantastic for words. Nearly 11 minutes
long, you almost wish that the song doesn't ever end - the interplay between the
two is absolutely stunning. The Allen Woody bass solo at the end is the cherry
on top, making it one of the great acoustic tracks of all time. This track alone
is reason enough to look out for this great album.
And yet another tribute, this time to one of the world's
greatest trumpet players:
Here I was, in the studio, at around 11.30 on Friday night, doing
my show, when I get this sms from my mate Luyton Driman, who was in the US. It
read "Maynard Ferguson died on Wednesday, aged 78".
That blew my evening for me. I loved Maynard Ferguson's music.
Born on May 4th, 1928, in Quebec, Canada, he was a highly respected
composer, trumpet (and other brass instrument) player and band leader, having
worked with the likes of Jimmy Dorsey, Charlie Barnet, Stan Kenton,
Count Basie and others. Another RockIt Scientist
regular, Bill Chase, had learnt much from Ferguson, with Chase emulating
Ferguson's very high pitched trumpet, which he used to great effect in his
powerful nine piece horn rock outfit.
How high pitched was it? Well, and this is no lie, I was once
playing Chase's "Ennea" LP very loud on my late dad's fancy B & O sound
system. Bill Chase hit one of those particular high Ferguson-esque notes,
and our very large lounge window split right down the middle! Even worse, my
dog nearly did a break-dance and I could've sworn that he barked in
Maynard Ferguson later moved to the UK, where he formed a fantastic
big band, recording a number of albums under the "MF Horn" title. The MF Horn 3,
4 & 5 albums are shortly to be released on CD - I know that Rafe "Hotdog"
Lavine will be very chuffed to hear that! Relocating to the US, Ferguson moved
with the times, adopting a decidedly more jazz/rock direction in the 70's. He
also involved himself with movie and TV themes, his version of the famous Rocky
theme, "Gonna Fly Now", being one of his best known.
Maynard Ferguson passed away on August 23rd,
2006, as a result of liver and kidney failure.
14. Maynard Ferguson - Gonna Fly Now, from "Conquistador", in
Featuring the likes of Bob James & Biff
Hannon (keyboards), Peter Erskine (drums), Gordon Johnson (bass) and a host of
reed and horn players, this album, released on Columbia Records, also features a
fantastic version of the "Theme From Star Trek". Highly
15. Jethro Tull - Hunting Girl, from "Songs From The Wood", in
Ian "Flamingo" Anderson and his band
are extensively mentioned elsewhere on The RockIt Scientist website (www.rock.co.za/rockit). This was
one of the great albums of the mid to late 70's, with contributions from John
Glascock (bass), Barriemore Barlow (drums), Martin Barre (guitars) and David
Palmer and John Evans (keyboards).
16. Gravy Train - The New One, from "Gravy Train", in 1970,
their debut album.
The first of two albums to be released on the
collectible Vertigo Swirl label. Gravy Train had the potential to be huge.
Formed in the UK by guitarist/vocalist Norman Barrett, drummer Barry Hughes,
bassist/vocalist Les Williams and flute/woodwind/keyboard player
J.D.Hughes, the band were often compared to early Jethro Tull. Gravy Train
combined dreamy, atmospheric folky parts with some seriously hard rocking
numbers, which endeared them to a wide audience. The second Vertigo album,
"Ballad Of A Peaceful Man", was a far better offering. Both of these albums have
been re-released on CD by Repertoire in a limited cardboard replica cover
format. The band released two further albums, "Second Birth" (1973), and
"Staircase To The Day" (1974), before splitting. You can't really consider
yourself to be a fan of progressive rock if you don't have at least ONE of this
stunning band's albums in your collection. Norman Barratt was one of the unsung
guitar heroes of the early 70's.
17. Ramases - Life Child, from "Space Hymns", in
Ramases was a central heating salesman from
Sheffield in England who believed he was a reincarnation of an Egyptian god
(sounds like one or two South African politicians, with the emphasis on "god"!)
Assisted by his wife Sel (also known as "Selket" or "Seleka"), they recorded
this very interesting and different album for Vertigo Records, with assistance
from Lol Creme, Kevin Godley, Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart, who would go on
to become future members of 10cc. Original copies of the LP featured a large
poster of a spaceship taking off through the spire of a church (a painting by Roger Dean). A second album,
"Glass Top Coffin", which has yet to be released on CD, contrary to rumors
floating around a number of years ago, was issued in 1975. "Space Hymns",
incidentally, has also been given the limited cardboard replica re-issue
treatment by Repertoire.
Currin, who is probably the world's foremost authority on our follically
challenged wanna-be Pharaoh (or "fair-ou", if you believe that there were no
dark-haired people in Egypt in those days), has maintained a fantastic website
devoted to his music.
Hot off the press!!
Dan Patlansky - New
Fans of our own young blues sensation, Dan
Patlansky, will be thrilled to know that Dan's new album, "Real", has just been released! Dan is undoubtedly one of
South Africa's most talented musicians. This is his second official album,
although an album by Dan Patlansky and The Mississippi Muthers, called "Standing
At The Station", was released a few years ago.
Dan's first "official" album, "True
Blues", released on Blue Note in 2004, was a fantastic effort which was
highly acclaimed. This new album, however, is a major step ahead of anything
he's done to date. His songwriting has progressed to a different level, as has
his ability on the guitar, if that was possible. Most of the songs are written
by Dan, and there's a nice mix of some seriously slinky bluesy tunes in addition
to a few real kick-ass numbers that will get your feet tapping.
He's a hard working, intelligent and gifted guitarist with a great
voice that belies his young age, and he's not shy to do the tours and play the
gigs. He recently performed in the US, and the experience he gained there
has enhanced his ability to write a damn fine blues or blues/rock
The official Gauteng launch of the album was held at the famous
Blues Room in Sandton, on Friday the 8th of
September. According to Rockfest HRC (Hot Rock Chick) Rosemary Royeppen, the evening went down an absolute storm!
She said that Dan and his band were positively cooking.
His dad, Phil, who has been a constant source of support, recently
gave me a copy of the album. The tracks featured were:
18. Real (one of those real foot stompers -
brilliant as an opening track!)
19. Only An Ocean (one of the best tracks on
20. Southern Moon (pure
All three tracks from
Featured musicians are Andy Turrell on drums and Graham Currie on
bass, with backing vocals by Gordon Legg, Tammy Saville and Nick Swardt. Garth
Victor and Marius Marais are on keyboards.
21. Starglow Energy - Time Machine, from "Time Machine", in
So what if they supposedly took their name from
the title of a track from Captain Beyond's second album, "Sufficiently
Breathless"? These Swiss prog rockers are fantastic! If you enjoy
Hammond-drenched melodic-to-hard progressive rock, you need to check these guys
out. They've released around four great albums since the mid 90's, but have been
sadly silent their last album, "Gate To Celdan", which came out about four years
ago. They also released a live video,(remember that antiquated format?) which,
as far as is known, isn't available on DVD yet.
22. Atomic Rooster - Ear In The Snow, from "Nice 'n Greasy", in
Essentially the band's final album. Featuring
guitarist Johnny Mandala (actually John Goodsall from Brand X - maybe he was
contractually bound not to use his real name? Nice guitarist!) This was Chris
Farlowe's second and final studio album with Atomic Rooster. Rick Parnell was on
drums and Vincent Crane on keyboards. Crane reformed the band in the early 80's,
with longtime guitarist John Du Cann and drummer Preston Hayman. The Atomic
Rooster story has been well documented elsewhere on The RockIt Scientist
23. Solarplexus - A Real Good 'un, from "Solarplexus", in
This Swedish jazz/rock outfit were formed by
members of Made in Sweden, with guitarist Georg Wadenius being a prominent
member (Wadenius went on to find fame and fortune as a member of Blood, Sweat
& Tears). The band's albums were quite difficult to find outside of their
home country, although Polydor Records did release a few albums elsewhere in
Europe. A nice double compilation was released on CD a few years ago.
Playlist for Friday 08 September - 22h00 to
01. Liquid Smoke - It's A Man's World, from their self-titled debut
album, released in 1970
Information about this great US rock outfit is
nigh impossible to find. Their only album release, which came out on Avco
Embassy Records, featured some stunning organ and guitar-based melodic hard
rock, from Benny Ninmann and Vince Fersak respectively, with fantastic vocals
from Sandy Pantaleo. The other members were drummer Chas Kimbrell and bassist
Mike Archeleta. This rare album, together with Led Zep's debut, was the very
first LP I ever got (I decided that I needed to progress from listening to Enid
Blyton records and this was a magnificent introduction to the world of rock for
me!). The band's version of the James Brown classic is one of the best you'll
ever hear. They also did a fantastic version of "I (Who Have Nothing)", the
track immortalized by Shirley Bassey, which was released as a
Imagine my surprise when I recently received a
request to subscribe to The RockIt Scientist newsletter from none other than
Sandy Pantaleo! Sandy told me that since Liquid Smoke folded,
he'd been involved in a number of bands, one of them being a 12 piece funk
outfit called Funk Philharmonik, which featured members of Tower of Power. He'd
done some acting in the past and was currently working on a cruise ship. I hope
to get some info about Liquid Smoke from him in the
02. Fuse - Permanent Resident, from the self-titled debut album in
Fuse were another fantastic US outfit who
released just one album before fading into obscurity. A hard rocking quintet,
their average age was less than 18 years old, but the quality of musicianship
from these youngsters was that of very seasoned pros, much the same as that of
their UK contemporaries, Clear Blue Sky and Stray. Vocalist Joe Sunderberg had a
really great voice, well suited to the powerful organ and guitar based hard rock
that these guys were capable of delivering. Chip Greenman was on drums and Craig
Meyers on guitar. Guitarist/keyboard player Rick Nielsen and bass player Tom
Peterson would go on to become founding members of mega stars Cheap Trick. The
album is now a minor collectible.
03. Rhinoceros - Lady Of Fortune, from "Better Times Are Coming",
their 3rd and final album, in 1970.
Rhinoceros were another great band from he US.
Formed around 1967, they were signed to Elektra Records, who could also boast
about having the likes of Love, The Doors and The Paul Butterfield Blues Band in
their stable. They released their self-titled debut album the following year.
Musically, Rhinoceros were best described as sort of trippy psych rock, with a
bit of blues and jazz thrown in the mix, not unlike bands such as Ultimate
Spinach and Fever Tree. Their second album, "Satin Chickens", is arguably their
best. They could also be a bit funky at times, as was demonstrated on this,
their final album. Keyboard player Michael Fonfara's name was spotted on an
album by Robbie Rox and The Monster Horn Band a few years ago. All three
Rhinoceros albums have now been released on CD.
Duck & Cover
I was very please to receive a copy of a CD of a South Africa
boogie/hard band called Duck & Cover. I'd never
heard the band before, although a few people had pointed them out to me. The
band, who are based in Pretoria, have been around for about five years, playing
the gigs and concerts to very appreciative audiences. The CD, their debut, was
officially released at Tings 'n Times in early August.
This is one HELLUVA great band! They're obviously influenced by
some of the classic 70's outfits such as Status Quo, Angel City and AC/DC, with
a bit of Rhino Bucket and Screaming Jets thrown in for good measure, and they do
it extremely well! If you like good, old fashioned-style boogie rock with a
production that's tighter than a new convict's butt, you need to get hold of
this CD! They could quite easily be called South Africa's answer to bands you've
heard and heard mentioned before on The RockIt Scientist, such as Wolfmother and
The Answer. The album is released on Wolmer Records, with production by Lani Van
Our own Rafe "Hotdog" Lavine works very
hard and long hours, but I know that he really looks forward to his weekly two
hour slot on Friday nights (8.00pm to 10.00pm). He was particularly knackered
after a hard day at work this last Friday. When he heard Duck & Cover, he forgot all about his heavy day and he
couldn't stop raving about this fantastic new find. Rafe is THE connoisseur of
boogie rock, so if he goes wild about an album or a band, you just KNOW that
they gotta be good!
So, the band that are highly endorsed by both
The Hotdog vendor and The RockIt
Justin Smit & Jaco Mans - Guitars & Vocals
Nathan Smit - Drums
Francois Coetzee - Bass.
Don't ask questions - just get this album!
04. Duck & Cover - Whiskey, from "Duck & Cover", in
One of many fantastic tunes from this exciting
SA boogie-rock band. The album is packed with some real "feel good" music
that'll get you going. It's uncomplicated, very catchy, ballsy and just plain
fun. A great effort from a young band that deserve serious kudos.
As always, thanks to Annelise at Bowline Music for the intro to
this, and other, great South African music. The work she puts into marketing and
promoting these bands/artists is phenomenal - she's a real
05. Cactus - Gone Train Gone, from "V", in 2006.
Who would've thought that this legendary band
would ever reform? Cactus, who were considered by many to be the US's answer to
Led Zep, existed for about four years. Formed in the late 60's, the original
band members were Carmine Appice on drums and Tim Bogert on bass (both
ex-Vanilla Fudge), ex-Amboy Dukes' Rusty Day on vocals and Jim McCarty on
guitar, from Buddy Miles Express and Mitch Ryder. They released four highly
acclaimed albums (the final album," 'ot & Sweaty", featuring new vocalist
Peter French and keyboard player Werner Fritzsching) before the band evolved
into the New Cactus Band, releasing an album called "Son Of Cactus", with Mike
Pinera, ex Iron Butterfly, on guitar, plus a few other new members. Bogert and
Appice went on to work with Jeff Beck, and Jim McCarty went on to work with
bands/artists such as Catfish Hodge and others. Rusty Day died in the early
80's. Fast forward to the present day, and Appice, Bogert and McCarty are back
together again, with ex-Savoy Brown vocalist Jimmy Kunes! You'd swear that they
hadn't been apart all these years - they're sounding as good today as they did
all those years ago. Fantastic stuff from a truly legendary band.
06. Savoy Brown - My Own Man, from "Savage Return", in
On the subject of guitarist Kim Simmonds'
outfit, I thought I'd feature a more hard rocking style from the band who were
well known for such classics as "Street Corner Talking" and "Hellbound Train".
By this time, the band had trimmed down to a powerful trio, with bassist Ian
Ellis handling the vocal duties and Tom Farnell on drums. The album was given a
swift kick up the rear in the production department by our own Mutt Lange, who'd
worked with City Boy, Graham Parker & The Rumour, Clover and others. Kim
Simmonds is still the only remaining original member of this blues/rock outfit
who were formed in England as The Savoy Brown Blues Band in the mid 60's. The
amount of musicians that have passed through the ranks in Savoy Brown is
staggering, but Simmonds has always managed to maintain a particularly high
standard of musicianship and songwriting, and the albums he releases are always
fresh and exciting. Oh, and he can play too! Clapton, Page, Beck - yes, they're
all great, but Simmonds is equally on a par with any of
11 September 2001
It wasn't quite the 11th of September when this
RockIt Scientist show was broadcast, but, as I have done every
year since those tragic events that changed our lives back in 2001, I decided to
have a tribute and dedication to all those who lost their lives on that fateful
day, and also to the many heroes that emerged from the
07. Off The Edge - Remember September, taken from a live recording
at The Showcase, on 18 September 2004
If you've been listening to The Dinosaur Days
or The RockIt Scientist on the various radio stations for the past six years or
so, you'll know that no South African band has had quite an impact on me as has
Off The Edge. Both Rafe Lavine Phil Wright have also been supporting and
promoting this band for many years. Originally formed by guitarist Peter Hanmer in the mid 80's, they recorded just one
self-titled album and were put on ice. Peter, together with Tony Groenewald, revived the band in the late 90's, and a
few albums were released, each better than the last.
A few years ago, Peter met vocalist Clint Cunningham, and they gelled fantastically. With Glenn Welman on drums and Mike
Dorea on bass, Off The Edge, who have only played a handful of live gigs,
became regarded as one of the country's best bands. Thanks to Phil and Rafe,
they received more airplay than any other band in the country. On the rare
occasion that they did perform live, the venue was sold out. On the particular
night in question, Peter and Clint performed this unbelievable acoustic track
together. I can assure you that there weren't too many dry eyes in the
house. Only available as an MP3 download from the Off The Edge website.
Off The Edge have been relatively silent for a
while, as the band are now performing to packed houses countrywide as Clint & Co, doing tribute shows to the likes of U2,
Creedence Clearwater Revival, Joe Cocker and others. The great news is, though,
that they are also in the process of putting down some new tracks for
a forthcoming Off The Edge album! You'll be the first to know of
further developments. Website: www.offtheedge.co.za
In the meantime, though, if you'd like to see
the amazingly talented and exciting Clint & Co in
action, they recently took residency at The
Soundstage in Midrand (011-315-5084 - www.soundstage.co.za), where they'll be performing their new
"Midnight Hour" show, Tuesdays thru Sundays, for the
foreseeable future (until New Year's Eve, 2006-2007, to be exact). Clint, who is
a very entertaining and gifted frontman, is backed by these three superb
musicians, together with a keyboard player and some backing
Entertainment at its finest!
I've recently had numerous requests to feature some of the lesser
known, and better bands, of the NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal)
You ask - I provide!
08. Dark Star - The Musician, from "Dark Star", in
Not quite what you'd expect to hear from a band
considered to be a Heavy Metal act. A nice acoustic track, nonetheless. If
you're a musician, you can relate to the words! This UK trio, formed initially
in 1979 as Berlin, came from the UK Midlands. They released two albums and
folded in the late 80's
09. Samson - Tomorrow Or Yesterday, from "Survivors", in
If you're a regular RockIt Scientist listener,
you'll be familiar with Paul Samson's work. The early days of the band featured
John McCoy on bass (previously with jazz/rock outfit Zzebra) - later replaced by
Chris Aylmer and Barry Purkis (aka Thunderstick) on drums, together with Paul
Samson on guitars and vocals, although Bruce Dickinson (Bruce Bruce) and
then Nicky Moore would take over vocal duties. Paul Samson tragically died a few
years ago - Angel Air Records have just released the album he was busy with
prior to his death. "P.S" is available now via their website www.angelair.co.uk
10. Chevy - Skybird, from "The Taker", in 1980
This Warwickshire based outfit had serious
potential. Formed in the mid 70's, they used to tour with Hawkwind. They
unfortunately folded in 1984, having released just the one album. Members of the
band later emerged in "Red On Red".
11. Praying Mantis - Captured City, from "Metal For Muthas", and
EMI compilation, released in 1980
There's quite a bit on this fantastic NWOBHM
outfit elsewhere on The RockIt Scientist website, so you can read up on them
there. The Metal For Muthas compilation featured tracks by some bands that were
never released on any other albums. Praying Mantis were one of the better bands
on the compilation.
12. Xero - Cutting Loose, from"Metal For Muthas Volume 2", also in
Case in point were this hard rocking outfit who
were formed in London in 1979. They weren't around long enough to record enough
material for a full-on album. They also appeared on another compilation called
"Brute Force", and they also appeared on The Friday Rock
13. Demon - Don't Break The Circle, from "The Unexpected Guest", in
One of my favorite bands. Demon were formed in
Staffordshire in the latter part of 1980 by vocalist Dave Hill and guitarist Mal
Spooner. Next to Samson's Nicky Moore, Fist's Ron Chenier and Thunderhead's Ted
Bullet, Dave Hill had (and still has) one of the finest voices of the hard
rock/metal scene during the 80's and 90's. Demon's early albums were packed full
of catchy, potent heavy metal riffs, which they carried over, albeit with a more
progressive slant, on subsequent albums such as The Plague, Taking The World By
Storm, and others. Spooner died in the mid 80's, but Demon are still a going
concern, having released a new album, "Better The Devil You Know", in
14. Diamond Head - Am I Evil, from "The White Album", in
Diamond Head are considered by many to be the
best band to emerge from the NWOBHM (indeed, they went on to become the band
that inspired the great Metallica!). They were formed in the spring of 1976 by
guitarist Brian Tatler and drummer Duncan Scott, together with bassist Colin
Kimberley and guitarist/vocalist Sean Harris. They recorded a number of albums
between 1980 and 1993, and many compilations and rarities have also been
Stoner Rock requests are coming in thick and fast!
15. Alabama Thunderpussy - Hymn 43, from "Sucking The 70's", a
double Stoner Rock compilation, released in 2002
Just love that name! Alabama Thunderpussy are
probably not the kind of band that're going to get much airplay, with a name
like that. A great pity, as they damned good! Probably best described as Stoner
meets Southern Rock, they've released around six albums to date. They do a great
version of the Jethro Tull classic on this double compilation, which features
contributions from some of the best Stoner bands around, such as Spirit Caravan,
Five Horse Johnson, Raging Slab and others.
16. Spiritual Beggars - Beneath The Skin, from "Open Fire", in
One of the most acclaimed Stoner Rock albums,
by one of the genre's best bands. The album was certified by critics the world
over as a smoldering treasure of timeless, melodic heavy rock. Formed in Sweden,
the band first started making waves with their "Ad Astra" album in 2001. Led by
former Carcass guitarist Michael Amott, the band were formed in the mid to late
90's. They've released six albums to date as well as a live DVD. Seriously
powerful stuff, but with an element of class that puts them in a league of their
own. Combine the melodic power of Black Sabbath and the ferocious brute force of
Blue Cheer, add a Hammond B3, and you have Spiritual
17. Lowrider - Freelance Fiend, from "Sucking The 70's", that
double Stoner Rock compilation, released in 2002
Lowrider are another very competent Swedish outfit who have
taken the Stoner Rock movement to another level. They combine the timeless old
school heavy rock riffs of the 70's with a modern slant, although they wouldn't
be out of place supporting greats such as Led Zep or Deep Purple in their day.
They do a great cover of "Freelance Fiend", a track originally written and
performed by Peter French's Leaf Hound, way back in 1971.
18. Orange Goblin - Black Egg, from "Thieving From The House Of
God", in 2003
Fifth album from this UK Stoner outfit, who
started out in the late 90's. The album features a great version of ZZ Top's
"Just Got Paid". The band have received indifferent reviews from a number of
different quarters, especially for their "Coup De Grace" album in 2002, which
touched on punk metal. Trimmed down to quartet, guitarist Peter O'Malley having
moved on, the band are back to their best on the featured
19. Gov't Mule - Brand New Angel, from "High & Mighty", their
brand new album
Right: where does one start? Are the words
"brilliant", "unbelievable" and "timeless" enough to describe this US band?
You've heard it all before, when it comes to Warren Haynes and his band. The
vocalist/guitarist has the uncanny knack to write the most incredible music,
from soulful bluesy ballads to power rockers. He's an awesome guitarist and his
voice is out of this world - truly one of the finest musicians rock music has
ever produced. You have to be pretty good to be nominated for seven Grammy
Awards! The line-up still features powerhouse drummer Matt Abts, bassist Andy
Hess, who had some big shoes to fill in Allen Woody, and keyboard player Danny
Louis. Maybe I'm a bit biased, but when you're dealing with the cream of the
crop, they take some beating, and it'll take a really special band to knock
Gov't Mule off their perch.
20. Blindside Blues Band - I Shoulda Loved You, from "Long Hard
Road", in 2006
It's been a number of years since the Blindside
Blues Band released any new material. Guitarist/vocalist Mike Onesko is well
know to Dinosaur Days and RockIt Scientist listeners, having been featured
regularly with his various bands, one of them being his killer Guitar
Army, released a while back. He's appeared with some big names in the industry,
such as Leslie West, Tim Bogert, Pat Travers and others, and he's also appeared
on a number of tribute albums, one of them being the recent fantastic "Voodoo
Crossing" tribute to Hendrix. This new Blindside Blues album, which features
Billy Gressock and Scott Johnson, together with Onesko on guitars, Emery Ceo on
drums and Michael Barrick on drums. Easily one of the band's, and Mike Onesko's
best work, it was released on Grooveyard Records (www.grooveyardrecords.com) about six months ago. There are
tons of blues/rock albums out there, not many of them with anything really
different or exciting. This, however, is certainly one of the best of the genre
you'll hear in a long time.
21. Leslie West - Woman, from ''Blue Me", in 2006.
Leslie West, the man who, together with the
late Felix Pappalardi, formed Mountain all those years ago, is one of the most
respected guitarists in the rock and blues/rock world. He's released quite a few
solo albums, in addition to keeping Mountain's famous name and reputation alive
and up there with the best of them. His new solo album, which features Aynsley
Dunbar on drums, Tim Fahey on bass, Kevin Curry and Todd Wolfe on rhythm guitars
and Art Groom on Hammond organ, is essentially a covers album of fantastic
versions of numbers by Muddy Waters, Sammy Hagar & Ronnie Montrose, Lowell
Fulson & Lloyd Glenn and, in the case of the featured track, Andy Fraser and
Paul Rodgers, of Free. Leslie West has a very distinctive guitar and vocal style
- you just need to close your eyes for a moment and you'll recognize those power
chords in an instant. His solo albums, especially the more recent ones such as
"Guitarded", "Got Blooze" and "Blues To Die For", remind you that he
is still one of the greatest guitarists in the world.
22. Damnation Of Adam Blessing - New York City Woman, from "The
Second Damnation", in 1970.
This Cleveland-based US quintet were formed by
vocalist Adam Blessing in the late 60's, evolving out of two mid 60's garage
bands, The Society and The Alarm Clocks. Essentially a melodic/hard rock act,
they were also extremely competent at doing the odd blues number, as per the
featured track. They were also known to use orchestration to great effect,
especially on their final album "Which Is The Justice, Which Is The Thief", by
which time they were known as Damnation. They released three very good albums
and folded in the early 70's, although they reformed under the name of Glory.
Akarma Records released all three Damnation Of Adam Blessing/Damnation albums in
a lavish LP sized box set, complete with booklet, a few years ago. They also
released the sole album by Glory, which proved to be as good as the material
they put out under their earlier names.
23. Catfish - 300lb Fat Mama, from "Catfish", in
Catfish were a US psych/blues outfit formed by
vocalist/guitarist Bob "Catfish" Hodge, a fairly large gent not known for
having visited Weight Watchers too regularly. He was a fantastic vocalist and
guitarist, and judging by the way he had the audience eating out of his hand on
the second (and last) Catfish album, "Catfish Live", he was quite an
entertaining frontman. The band, whilst being very tight, were quite
experimental at the same time. Hodge later recorded as soloist, under the name
of Catfish Hodge.
24. Dan Patlansky - Try My Lovin' Arms, from "Real", in 2006
Couldn't resist getting in another track from
this sensational young South African guitarist's brand new album. Refer to the
write-up on Dan and the new album above.
25. SRC - Midnight Fever, from "A Traveller's Tale", in 1970, their
This Detroit - based US hard rock outfit were
formed in the mid sixties, initially as The Tremolos and later The Fugitives, by
brothers Glen and Gary Quackenbush (can you image how they must've been ripped
off with a surname like THAT?!). Their self-titled debut received a fair amount
of airplay in the UK by virtue of the fact that respected dj John Peel enjoyed
the Doors-sounding organ on the track "Black Sheep". The band unfortunately
failed to capture the interest of the US public and they folded in 1970. Bass
guitarist Al Wilmot joined Lighthouse in 1972.
26. Bloodrock - Days And Nights, from "Passage", in
Quite a controversial band,
apparently. Bloodrock, who were formed in the US in the late 60's, were managed
by Terry Knight, the equally controversial manager who "looked after" Grand Funk
Railroad, and who sought an equally uncompromising outfit to consolidate the
success he had with Mark, Don & Mel. Bloodrock were considered by many to be
one of the least appealing of the West Coast US bands playing in the acid rock
period, which is a shame, because they wrote some fantastic numbers. Guitarist
John Nitzinger, (of Nitzinger, PM and Bugs Henderson fame), wrote a few tracks
for the band, but never joined them officially. They split in the mid 70's, with
vocalist Jim Rutledge and guitarist Lee Pickens both recording solo albums in
the mid to late 70's.
As an aside, Terry
Knight, who was found to have been very dishonest in his dealings with
Grand Funk as their manager, was killed in an argument with his daughter's
boyfriend, a year or so ago.
27. Gypsy - I Was So Young, from "Gypsy", their debut album, in
Although this band's name was Gypsy, the UK
pressing of the featured album was called "American Gypsy", so as not to cause
confusion with the early 70's UK band of the same name. Gypsy was formed in the
late 60's, by guitarist James Johnson, bassist Doni Larson and drummer Tom
Green, evolving out of a mid 60's Minneapolis-based band called The Underbeats.
The above line-up was augmented by keyboard player/vocalist James Walsh and
second guitarist Enrico Rosenbaum. They became the house band at LA's famed
Whiskey A Go-Go club, replacing Chicago (Transit Authority), who had set out on
a major tour to promote their recently released debut album. Gypsy's debut
album, a double lp set, had some fantastic organ and guitar based progressive
rock numbers, some of them quite long. Drummer Bill Lordan later joined the
band, who finally split in the mid 70's, having released four albums. James
Walsh embarked on a solo career, and Lordan joined Sly & The Family Stone
before spending a number of years with Robin Trower.
28. Fabulous Rhinestones - Vicious Circle, from "Freewheelin", in
1973, their 2nd album.
This very promising US melodic rock/funk band
were formed in 1972 by guitarist/vocalist Kal David, who'd previously worked
with Neil Merryweather and The Illinois Speed Press, bassist Harvey Brooks (John
Cale, Miles Davis, Electric Flag and others), and keyboard player/vocalist Marty
Grebb (Lovecraft, Bonnie Raitt & others). They signed to Just Sunshine
Records and released their debut album that year. This 2nd album featured
contributions from the Brecker Brothers and David Sanborn. By the time the third
and final album came around (in 1975), they'd dropped the "Fabulous" bit and
were known simply as The Rhinestones. They split shortly afterwards. A great
pity, as they were a fine band.
29. Minnesoda - Child's Play, from "Minnesoda", in
Although their album was released on the famous
Capitol Records label, info on this eight piece US horn rock is
almost non-existent, much the same as other great brass/horn rock bands such as
Puzzle, Sunship and others. They were pretty good, and their songs were well
written. Musically very competent, it's a shame that they didn't record any
(known) other albums.
30. Marshall Tucker Band - The Last Of The Singing Cowboys, from
"Running Like The Wind'', in 1979.
Not quite indicative of MTB's music, but a
fantastic track, nonetheless. The horn section on this track reminds you of
Chicago and Blood, Sweat & Tears at their respective peaks. Written by
rhythm guitarist George McCorkle, this number demonstrates just how versatile
the Marshall Tucker Band were (and still are! They released an awesome new
studio album, "Beyond The Horizon", a few years ago). The album featured Toy
(guitar) and Tommy (bass) Caldwell, both of whom have since passed on, vocalist
Doug Gray, drummer Paul Riddle and sax player/flautist Jerry Eubanks, the
"classic", and best, MTB line-up. The album also contains one of my all-time
favorite numbers, the title track, "Running Like The