This website is part of the South African Rock Encyclopedia
Subscribe to our newsletter
Online Music Store
The RockIt Scientist
on 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.
Wednesday 07 Sept 2005/ Friday 09 Sept 2005
01). Snowy White – Black Magic Woman
From Snowy White & The White Flames - "The Way It Is" in 2004. You've heard the track once or twice before. Originally written by Fleetwood Mac's Peter Green and immortalized by Santana, this great version is by one of the most respected blues/rock guitarists in the world. Apart from a fairly successful solo career, Snowy White has worked with the likes of Swedish blues/rock outfit November, Pink Floyd, Thin Lizzy and others. He was one of Roger Waters' guitarists when Waters toured SA a few years back.
02). Dan Patlansky – Mow De Lawn
From his second album, "True Blues", released last year. Dan Patlansky is one of South Africa's finest blues guitarists. His band, The Mississippi Muthers, is well known on the live circuit. This album, released on the illustrious Blue Note label through EMI, featured the likes of seasoned session players Nippy Cripwell on bass, Barry Van Zyl on drums, and Alistair Coakley on guitars, as well as Mississippi Muthers members, drummer Gordon Legg and bassist Mike Van Tonder.
Dan's father, Phil, told Leon that Dan was recently in New Orleans, about to start playing the local circuit, when Hurricane Katrina hit, forcing Dan to abandon his plans. Fortunately Dan managed to get away safely.
03). Tommy Castro – Right As Rain
Taken from his first official live album, "Live at The Fillmore", in 2000, also released on DVD. Tommy Castro is one of the finest blues guitarists to emerge from the US in the last twenty years or so. He's released a number of albums on the Blind Pig record label, and a new album was released just recently. The man is getting rave reviews everywhere. Certainly worthwhile checking out!
04). Debbie Davies – One More Time
One of the many talented blues guitarists recording for the Telarc Blues label. She's been around for a number of years and has released quite a few albums. This new CD, called "All I Found", came out earlier this year, and features keyboard player Bruce Katz, who'd previously featured with the great Ronnie Earl. The Telarc Blues label is being brought into the country by Sheer Music.
05). Styx – Can't Find My Way Home
Taken from their new album "Big Bang Theory", released on the Frontiers Record label earlier this year. It's essentially a covers album, with great versions of tracks by The Beatles, The Who, Hendrix, Jethro Tull, Free, and this pleasant version of the track originally written by Steve Winwood when he was a member of English supergroup, Blind Faith, back in 1969. Styx fans might be a tad surprised and disappointed that this is a covers album, but the choice of songs is great and the band are sounding as good as they ever did, with vocalists/guitarists Tommy Shaw and James Young, who, together with bass guitarist Chuck Panozzo, is the only remaining original member. Styx are back with a bang!
06). Home – Baby Friend Of Mine
From "Home" in 1972, the second album from this very classy UK folk/rock outfit. The band featured guitarist Laurie Wisefield, who would later go on to feature with Wishbone Ash and Tina Turner, and bassist Cliff Williams, who joined AC/DC. Both founding members, drummer Mick Cook and guitarist Mick Stubbs, passed away a few years ago. All three Home albums, as well as a BBC Live recording album released in 2000, are worthwhile additions to the collection.
07). Led Zeppelin – Going To California
Taken from "Led Zeppelin 4", released in 1971.
Most of Zeppelin's catalogue was re-issued in a fantastic cardboard cover format a few years ago. The "Physical Graffiti" cover even had the window cutouts, making this series an essential must-have for any self respecting lover of this great UK band.
(Listen out for details of Robert Plant's new solo album, "Mighty Rearranger", during the course of the next few weeks. A couple of copies of the album are available as give-aways).
08). Grovjobb – Lokomotiv
From their album "Landet Leverpastej" in 1971. This relatively unknown Swedish outfit's music featured elements of jazz, blues, folk and rock. Very rare album, excellent musically.
09). McChurch Soundroom – Trouble Part 2
This Hamburg-based German outfit with the Scottish name were actually a bit of a mystery band, as information about the band or the band members is almost impossible to find. The album, called "Delusion", released in 1971, is an absolute classic, evoking memories of bands such as Gravy Train and early Jethro Tull.
10). Tonton Macoute – Flying South In Winter
Tonton Macoute's sole album, released on the highly collectible RCA Neon label in 1971, is one of the best examples of the type of classy jazz/rock that was coming out of the UK in the early 70's. Evolving out of a band called "Windmill", they were almost signed to Vertigo Records, but when the Vertigo staff moved away to form Neon, they took this promising quartet with them. Four tracks for a mooted second album were completed, but the band split before they could be recorded.
11). Status Quo – You Never Stop
Taken from their forthcoming album, "The Party Ain't Over Yet...", due for world wide launch in South Africa on 19 September on Sanctuary Records. The band will be performing two shows at Carnival City on the 16th and 17th September.
Quo, who alongside The Rolling Stones and Golden Earring, are one of the oldest rock bands in the world. Formed in the mid 60's as The Spectres, their record sales have exceeded 112 million units! Original members, guitarists Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi, are still with the band, and it's estimated that they've played no less than 6000 live shows!
12). Toxic Shame – Always Outta Reach
From "Full Circle" in 2000. South African band Toxic Shame are Jon Buckley and Deon Du Toit, two very talented musicians and songwriters, who've been recording together for a number of years. They've released quite a few albums, although this album was their first for a major label, namely Universal Records.
Deon has worked the club circuit for many years and is a seasoned professional with an amazing voice. Jon is a respected and very talented guitarist.
13). Savoy Brown – Hard Time Believing In You
From their latest studio album, "Strange Dreams", in 2003, released on the Blind Pig Record label. Formed in the UK in the mid 60's as The Savoy Brown Blues Band, they went through numerous line up changes, with some members moving to the US to form Foghat. Founder and guitarist Kim Simmonds is the only original member of the band and he's been recording albums of a consistently high standard under the Savoy Brown banner ever since. One time Savoy Brown vocalist Dave Walker almost replaced Ozzy in Black Sabbath!
14). If – Child Of Storm
Taken from "If 3" in 1971. One of England's premier brass rock outfits. They were formed by sax player Dick Morrissey and guitarist Terry Smith in the late 60's. They were very popular in Germany and in the US, where they were regarded as rivals to groups such as Blood, Sweat & Tears and Chicago, but they were largely ignored in their home country. They went on to release a total of 8 albums and folded in the mid 70's. Drummer Dennis Elliot went on to become a founding member of Foreigner. Vocalist John Hodgkinson went on to feature with Rogue and Darryl Way's Wolf. Sax player Dave Quincy and Terry Smith formed Zzebra with Osibisa's Loughty Amao. Dick Morrissey worked with Jim Mullen in The Morrissey Mullen Band. He died a few years ago. You can be sure that you will hear a lot of this band on The RockIt Scientist!
15). Colosseum – Arena In The Sun
From "Tomorrow's Blues" in 2003, their latest studio album. Colosseum's influence on the UK Jazz and Blues scene can never be over-emphasized. Formed in the late 60's, the various members went on to feature with bands as diverse as Humble Pie, Tempest, Greenslade, The Hamburg Blues Band, Uriah Heep, Atomic Rooster and others. They split in the early 70's and the line-up of drummer Jon Hiseman, bassist Mark Clarke, guitarist Clem Clempson, keyboard player Dave Greenslade, vocalist Chris Farlowe and sax player Dick Heckstall-Smith (who died late last year), reformed in the mid 90's. They've released three albums since the mid 90's, as well as a great DVD.
16). Flamengo – Chicken In The Watch
The title track of their sole album, released in 1972. Flamengo were a Czechoslovakian progressive rock band with a jazzy touch, much in the same vein as England's Blodwyn Pig. They were formed in Prague in the late 60's and released eight singles. For some reason, the Czech authorities found the lyrics of the album too provocative and banned it. Sound familiar??
17). Triumph – Fight The Good Fight
From "Allied Forces" in 1981, 6th album from this Canadian power trio who were formed by drummer Gil Moore and bassist/keyboardist Mike Levine in Ontario in 1975. They auditioned several guitarists before settling on Rik Emmett, who they spotted playing at The Hollywood Tavern in Toronto. They signed with Attic Records and released their debut album in 1976, later becoming one of Canada's finest and most popular bands. They went on to release a total of 11 albums before Emmett left to embark on a solo career. One further album, with guitarist Phil Xenides, was released, but the band folded after that. A double compilation, "Livin' For The Weekend – The Anthology", has just been released. It's a great tribute to a great band. A few DVD's have also recently been released. Rik Emmett has consistently featured in, and topped, many guitar polls. He embarked on a successful solo career and has released quite a few albums. He's equally at home playing rock, blues, jazz or classical. Undoubtedly one of the world's great guitar players!
18). Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush – Learned My Lesson Well
Taken from "Eye Of The Storm", in 2001. Canadian guitarist Frank Marino, is also considered to be one of the world's greatest guitarists. He formed Mahogany Rush in the early 70's. Initially regarded as a Hendrix clone, he soon developed his own style of uncompromising hard rock and released a string of excellent albums, some of which were released under his own name. He's appeared on a few Blues Bureau International albums, and last year he released a stunning double live album, "RealLIVE!", on SPV Records. He's apparently moved in a jazzy direction, but is still touring and playing under the Mahogany Rush tag.
19). Robin Trower – Please Tell Me
From his latest studio album, "Living Out Of Time", released in 2003. UK guitarist Robin Trower left Procol Harum in the late 60's because he wanted to follow a harder, more blues/rock direction. He formed Jude in the early 70's and then the Robin Trower Band. He's had a very successful solo career, having released in excess of twenty albums with various backing musicians. This album finds him back with vocalist Davey Pattison (previously with Ronnie Montrose's Gamma) and bassist Dave Bronze. Robin Trower is in his 58th year and he's still touring and making great music.
20). Bruce Dickinson – Navigate The Seas Of The Sun
"Tyranny of Souls" is the brand new album from Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson. Produced by Tribe of Gypsy's guitarist Roy Z, who also plays guitar on the album, this is arguably Dickinson's best solo effort. It's also come out at the same time as most of his back catalogue material has been re-released with bonus tracks. Dickinson, who appeared with NWOBHM act Samson under the name Bruce Bruce in the late 70's/early 80's, is not only a seriously talented front man with Iron Maiden, he's also a qualified airline pilot and an acclaimed fencer.
21. Arena – Smoke And Mirrors
From "Pepper's Ghost", their new studio album. Arena are one of England's best progressive bands, formed in the mid 90's, featuring original Marillion drummer Mick Pointer. Like Threshold, Pendragon, Pallas, Marillion, IQ and others, the musicianship and songwriting in this band are excellent. This CD was released with an elaborate cover on the SPV label earlier this year.
Dedicated to my old Dinosaur Days partner, Phil Wright, who celebrates his birthday on the 8th of September!
22). Saga – If I Were You
Taken from their latest studio album, "Network", released in 2004. Another great band from Canada, Saga were formed in Totonto in 1977 by vocalist Mike Sadler and drummer Steve Negus. Saga are known to have one of the world's most underrated guitarists, Ian Crichton, who is phenomenally good. The band are also known for their conceptual albums. They're massive in Europe, especially Germany, and also in South America. They've released a number of great DVD's too.