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.