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The RockIt Scientist
on 1485 Radio Today

1485 Radio Today
Also on DStv
Audio Channel 70

The RockIt Scientist is a very diverse music programme that features Progressive/ Hard/ Classic Rock, Blues, Brass Rock, Latin/ African Rock, Jazz and Metal music.

As "non-commercial/ non-Top 40" music ranging from the mid sixties to the present day is featured, the intention is to cater for the more discerning music listener, with no age limits or restrictions imposed or implied. An open mind and a love of music is mandatory!

The programme, which is broadcast on 1485am Radio Today, every Friday evening between 10pm and 1am, is presented by Leon Economides, who has worked with radio greats such as Tony Sanderson (Chuckle and Chat Show on Radio 5), Chris Prior (The Priority Feature on Radio 5), Phil Wright (The Dinosaur Days on 5fm), and Rafe Lavine (Rock Classics and The Great Unknowns on Radio 5, and the original RockIt Scientists on SAfm).

Radio Today is also available nationwide on the DStv Audio Channel 70.

The RockIt Scientist went live on air on Wednesday the 31st August 2005.

Rock On Radio Today

Rockfest on 1485 Radio Today


Marq Vas ("Ride Hard Ride South African!") - 09.00pm to midnight

Rosemary Royeppen ("Rock 'n Rhythm") - midnight to 01.00am

Live crossing to the BBC - 01.00am to 06.00am


David Blood ("In Your Vein") - 10.00pm to midnight

Rosemary Royeppen ("Rock 'n Rhythm") - midnight to 01.00am

Live crossing to the BBC - 01.00am to 06.00am


Lesley Chase ("In Hot Pursuit") - 08.00pm to 10.00pm

Melanie Walker and Nicole de Gruchy ("Solid Blonde") - 10.00pm to midnight

Rosemary Royeppen ("Rock 'n Rhythm") - midnight to 01.00am

Live crossing to the BBC - 01.00am to 06.00am


Rosemary Royeppen ("Rock 'n Rhythm") - 09.00pm to 10.00pm

Steve Kirker ("The Eternal Apprentice") - 10.00pm to midnight

Live crossing to the BBC - 01.00am to 06.00am


Rafe Lavine ("Hot Dog Radio") - 08.00pm to 10.00pm

Leon Economides ("The RockIt Scientist") - 10.00pm to 01.00am

Live crossing to the BBC - 01.00am to 06.00am


Andrew Levy ("Rock Roots") - 08.00pm to 09.00pm

Live crossing to the BBC - 01.00am to 06.00am


Chris Prior ("The Rock Professor") - 08.00pm to 10.00pm

Phil Wright ("The Metalhead") - 10.00pm to midnight

Rosemary Royeppen ("Rock 'n Rhythm") - midnight to 01.00am

Live crossing to the BBC - 01.00am to 06.00am

Visit RockFest On Radio Today for more info.

Rockfest on 1485 Radio Today

All the news is archived in the News Archive

Hello again
Welcome to the latest newsletter.
The playlists forThe RockIt Scientistshows of 01/09/2006 and08/09/2006 are also featured in the newsletter.
There've been some amazing new CDreleases and re-releasesthese past few weeks, with more to come. I've also been raiding my vinyl collection lately and featuring some of thevery rare and unknown gems that haven'tbeen released onCD yet,onThe RockIt Scientist. There's something really special about vinyl - it has afeeling of warmth and authenticity that's sadly lacking in many CD releases. The CD issues of theLP gimmicky/poster-type covers, especially, such as the classic Jade Warrior, Beggars Opera, Magna Carta,Ramases, Patto, Catapilla,Tudor Lodge, Greenslade, Badgerand other LPs,arenot quite the same as the vinyl originals.
Having said that, though, labels such asGermany's RepertoireandItaly's Akarma,have released limited copies ofmany classic and collectiblealbumson CD,a lot of themfrom the Vertigo stable, in a miniature cardboardreplica format, complete with originalposters and cut/fold outs.
Vinyl's made a big come-back,and the collector's market is doing a thriving business.Many really rare and collectibleLPs have also been re-released on vinyl.The biggest drawback, of course, is that it's a real bummer that you can't playthem in the CD player inyour car -they tend to break after the third fold.
The following is a veryshort list of some of the most collectible (original/mint)rock/prog LPs in the world:
The Dark - Dark Around The Edges(1972) - Musically nothing togo wildabout - basically hard rock with plenty offuzz guitar. BIG bucks - originals fetch around 1,800 Pounds. (only 12 copies of the original, withcolour 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 reformed recently.
MellowCandle - 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" fetchupwards 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 originalmint copy, numbered between 000000001 and 000000010, of The Beatles' self-titled1968 Apple LP release (catalogue number PMC/PCS 7067/8).You can ask for, and probably get, between 4,000 and 5,000 Poundsfor 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 providingMP3 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 aTexas Blues band from Germany called Cold Shot, to their roster.
Rhythm Records Online Music Store
Micogram hasopened up a new branch in 7th Street, Melville, cnr 2nd Avenue. Jeff hasa great collection of CDs and LPs to choose from.
The 'Zine - Happy Birthday!
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 latestalbum, "Princess". Killer stuff!Contact zine@joday.com
Rockfest Club
Your support is alwaysneeded! Please visit www.rock.co.za/rockfestand sign up. There are some great prizes up for grabs, including weekend holidaygiveaways.
RockIt Scientist website
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 leon@rock.co.za.
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 Today!
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 vocals)
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 talented)
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 {unfortunately})
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 tohear the odd snap, crackle or pop, remember that some of thevinyl 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, though!
The following bands/artists were featured on the RockIt Scientist these past two weeks:
Lana Lane
Mostly Autumn
Natalie Chapman (new album & interview)
Gov't Mule (tribute to Allen Woody)
Allman Brothers Band (tribute to Allen Woody)
Maynard Ferguson (tribute)
Jethro Tull
Gravy Train
Dan Patlansky (new album)
Starglow Energy
Atomic Rooster
Liquid Smoke
Duck & Cover (new album)
Cactus (new album)
Savoy Brown
Off The Edge/Clint & Co
Dark Star
Praying Mantis
Diamond Head
Alabama Thuderpussy
Spiritual Beggars
Orange Goblin
Gov't Mule (new album)
Blindside Blues Band (new album)
Leslie West (new album)
Damnation of Adam Blessing
Fabulous Rhinestones
Marshall Tucker Band
(See below for write-ups/reviews)
Playlist for Friday 01/09/2006 - 22h00 to 01h00
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 1999.
The Queen of Symphonic Rock has been featured regularly on The RockIt Scientist and she's well known to Radio Todaylisteners. 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 in 2005.
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 GrandOpera House in York in 2003.
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 andfolk, with an amazingCeltic 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, isa 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 out.
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, thevery gifted singer whowasspotted backing Mel Botes about eight months ago, and whohas released one "unofficial" and one "official"album to date.
Natalie Chapman.
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", hasrecently been released. Her music, most of which is all self-penned, has elements of folk, acousticrock and a touch of jazz. She has a stunning voice andan 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 andwas 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.
Visit Natalie's website: www.nataliechapman.co.za
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 early60'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 vocalparts that weredeemed 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 andrun in a new babe) ballads, but believe me, when they rocked, theyREALLY 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 1973by 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 2005.
Journey's new album, "Generations", was released to much acclaim in 2005.
Tribute time again.
Allen Woody
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 bandbefore being hired to play, together with guitarist/vocalist Warren Haynes, in the Allman Brothers.
In1994, 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 Mule.
Allen Woodywas awarm and beefy sounding bass player, with a very distinctivestyle 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 Mule.
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 stuff!
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 lovedtracks. This acoustic version (with guitars by Betts and Haynes), is too fantastic for words. Nearly 11 minutes long, you almostwish that the song doesn't ever end - the interplay between the two is absolutely stunning. The Allen Woody bass solo at the end isthe cherry on top, making it one of the great acoustic tracks of all time. This track alone is reason enoughto look out for this great album.
And yet another tribute, this time to one of the world's greatest trumpet players:
Maynard Ferguson
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, CountBasieand others. Another RockIt Scientist regular, Bill Chase, had learnt much from Ferguson, with Chaseemulating Ferguson's very high pitched trumpet, which heused to great effectin his powerfulnine piecehorn 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 & Osound system. Bill Chase hit one of those particular high Ferguson-esque notes, andour very largelounge window split right down the middle! Even worse, my dognearly did a break-dance and I could've sworn thathebarked in Greek!
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 hisbest known.
Maynard Ferguson passed away on August 23rd, 2006, as a result of liver and kidney failure.
For more information on this incredibly influential,respectedand gifted musician, visit www.maynardferguson.com.
14. Maynard Ferguson - Gonna Fly Now, from "Conquistador", in 1977
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 recommended.
15. Jethro Tull - Hunting Girl, from "Songs From The Wood", in 1977
Ian "Flamingo" Anderson and his band areextensively 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, theirdebut 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 UKby 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 earlyJethro 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 1971
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 anddifferent album for Vertigo Records, with assistance from Lol Creme, Kevin Godley, Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart,who would go on tobecome future members of 10cc. Original copies of the LP featured a large poster of a spaceship taking off through thespire 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 replicare-issue treatment by Repertoire.
Webmaster Brian Currin, who is probably the world's foremost authority onourfollically challenged wanna-bePharaoh(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 album!
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 albumby Dan Patlansky and The Mississippi Muthers, called "Standing At The Station", was releaseda 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 songsare written by Dan, and there's a nice mix of some seriously slinkybluesy tunes in addition to a few real kick-ass numbers that willget 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 thetours and play the gigs. He recently performed in the US, and the experience he gained there hasenhanced his ability to write a damn fine blues or blues/rock number.
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 the album)
20. Southern Moon (pure bliss)
All three tracks from "Real".
Featured musicians are Andy Turrell on drums andGraham 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 1997
So what if they supposedly took their name from the title ofa 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 greatalbums since the mid 90's, buthave been sadlysilent 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 1973
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 finalstudioalbum 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 website.
23. Solarplexus - A Real Good 'un, from "Solarplexus", in 1972
This Swedish jazz/rock outfit were formed by members of Made in Sweden, with guitarist Georg Wadenius beinga 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 01h00
01. Liquid Smoke - It's AMan'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 VinceFersak 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'sdebut, 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 classicis one of the best you'll ever hear. They also did a fantastic version of "I (Who Have Nothing)",the track immortalized byShirley Bassey, which was released as a single.
Imagine my surprise when I recentlyreceived a request to subscribe to The RockIt Scientist newsletter from none other than Sandy Pantaleo! Sandy told me thatsince Liquid Smoke folded, he'dbeen 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 future.
02. Fuse - Permanent Resident, from the self-titled debut album in 1968.
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 nowa 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 weresigned to Elektra Records, who couldalso boast about having thelikes 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 afewyears 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 aSouth Africa boogie/hard band called Duck & Cover. I'd never heard the band before, althougha 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. TheCD, 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 Jetsthrown 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 anew 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 mentionedbefore on The RockIt Scientist, such as Wolfmother and The Answer.The album is released on Wolmer Records, with production by Lani Van Der Walt.
Our own Rafe "Hotdog" Lavine works very hard and long hours, but I know that he really looks forward to his weeklytwo 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 Scientist are:
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 2006
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'sa real professional!
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 andTim 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", featuringnew 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 fewother newmembers. Bogert and Appice went on towork 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 areback 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 1978
On the subject of guitaristKim Simmonds' outfit, I thought I'd feature a more hard rocking style from the band who were wellknown 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 andTom 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, GrahamParker & The Rumour, Clover and others.Kim Simmonds is still the only remaining original member of this blues/rock outfit who were formed in Englandas 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 them.
11 September 2001
It wasn't quite the 11th of September when this RockIt Scientist show was broadcast, but, as I have done every yearsince those tragic events that changed our lives back in 2001, I decided to have a tribute and dedicationto all those who lost their lives on that fateful day, and also to the many heroes that emerged from the rubble.
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 nightin 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 tributeshows to the likes of U2, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Joe Cocker and others. The great news is, though, that theyare alsoin the process of putting down some new tracks for aforthcoming Off The Edge album! You'll be the first to know of furtherdevelopments. 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 singers.
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) scene.
You ask - I provide!
08. Dark Star - The Musician, from "Dark Star", in 1981
Not quite what you'd expect to hear from a band considered to be aHeavy Metal act. A nice acoustic track, nonetheless. If you're a musician, you can relate to the words! This UK trio, formed initially in 1979as 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 1979
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 thenNicky 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 1980
Case in point were this hard rocking outfit who wereformed 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 alsoappeared on The Friday Rock Show.
13. Demon - Don't Break The Circle, from "The Unexpected Guest", in 1982
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 toSamson'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 asThe 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 2005.
14. Diamond Head - Am I Evil, from "The White Album", in 1980
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 released.
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 probablynot 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 2002
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 asmolderingtreasure 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 Beggars.
17. Lowrider - Freelance Fiend, from "Sucking The 70's", that double Stoner Rock compilation, released in 2002
Lowrider are another very competentSwedish 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 modernslant, 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 UKStoner 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 album.
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, fromsoulful bluesyballads 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, theytake 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/vocalistMike 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,releaseda 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 recentfantastic "Voodoo Crossing" tributetoHendrix.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 bestwork, 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 andup 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 acovers 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 vocalstyle - 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 isstillone 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 mid60'sgarage bands, The Society and The Alarm Clocks. Essentially a melodic/hard rock act, they were alsoextremely competent at doing the odd blues number, as per the featured track. They were also known to use orchestration to great effect, especially on theirfinalalbum "Which Is The Justice, Which Is The Thief", by which time they were known as Damnation. They releasedthree very goodalbums and folded in the early 70's, although they reformed under the name of Glory. Akarma Records released allthree Damnation Of Adam Blessing/Damnationalbums 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 1970.
Catfish were a US psych/blues outfit formed by vocalist/guitarist Bob "Catfish" Hodge, a fairly large gent not known for havingvisited 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 quitean 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 final album.
This Detroit - based US hard rock outfit were formed in the mid sixties, initially as TheTremolos and later The Fugitives, by brothers Glen and Gary Quackenbush (can you image how they must've been ripped offwith 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 1973
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 withMark, 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, butnever 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 wasfound 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 1970.
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'sUK band of the same name.Gypsy was formedin the late 60's, by guitarist James Johnson, bassist Doni Larson and drummer Tom Green, evolvingout ofa 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. Theybecame the house band at LA's famed WhiskeyA Go-Go club, replacing Chicago (Transit Authority), who hadset out on a major tour to promote their recently released debut album.Gypsy's debut album, a double lp set, had some fantasticorgan 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 releasedfour 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 IllinoisSpeed 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 Recordsand released their debut albumthat year. This 2nd album featured contributions fromthe Brecker Brothers andDavid 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 1972.
Although their album was released on the famous Capitol Records label, info onthis eight piece US horn rock is almostnon-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 awesomenew studio album, "Beyond The Horizon", a few yearsago). 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 Wind".

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