2/29/2024

Blues-Rock-Country Review: Dion-Girl Friends

Release Date: March 8, 2024

Label: INGROOVES

Website

Dion has been making music for a mighty long time. He is one of the few who recorded music in the 50s and 60s that is still alive and relevant. That point alone should tell you something about the man's resilience and determination. It tells me a lot.

 

Girl Friends is another winner, his most recent release with an all-star cast. As you can see by the CD cover, all his guests are the ladies accompanying him on twelve tracks of blues, rock, and country-flavored tunes. I enjoyed it from start to finish, and Dion is in fine form musically and vocally.

 

Track one begins "Soul Force," an excellent way to kick off things with the fiery Susan Tedeschi. They both rock the house as Dion sings, "Superpower stronger by the hour."

 

"I Aim to Please" with Danielle Nicole is a country-inflected mover! This one has a great call answer from the duo and is a real toe-tapper. 

 

"Stop Drop and Roll" with Valerie Tyson features a strumming acoustic guitar with lots of rhythm and harmonizing. It is a country pop tune with banjo and excellent electric six-string licks. Some foot-stompin' country, y'all!

 

"Do Ladies Get the Blues" with Christine Ohlman & Debbie Davies asks the question. By all accounts, it is true. The ladies and Dion bring it home to make you a believer as some stinging electric guitar heats things to a boil and the bottom end cooks right along with it.

 

"An American Hero" with Carlene Carter is my favorite track because of its meaning. Dion sings, "We need an American hero to stand up for everyone." Never was there a time in our history was that truer. Carlene Carter was a great choice with her voice, and they punctuated every word, which gave me chills.

 

"Don't You Want a Man Like Me" with the soulful Rory Block and some acoustic slide guitar to get those embers of passion burning. The rhythm section is rock solid; hard rockin' blues burn the fuel as they sing "Some Like It Hot."

 

"Sugar Daddy" with Christine Ohlman's breathy vocals and steady rhythms merge for another rockin' blues workout. Acoustic and electric guitars soar!

 

"Endless Highway" with Randi Fishenfeld features exceptional bass, with the track deep in Americana roots and country twang. Dion is in great form.

 

"I Got Wise," with Maggie Rose starting the vocals, is the first on the album without Dion leading off. Dion comes in to answer her at a slow and emotional pace—a very atmospheric track.

 

"Hey, Suzy" with Sue Foley is a kind of old-fashioned love song. The duo combination is perfect, with Dion showing that he still has some range in his vocals. The country and blues-varied guitar lines hit the bullseye.

 

"Mama Said" with Shemekia Copeland is soulful, with Shemekia singing "Listen boy"…as Dion responds. It was another strong and well-rounded effort by the duo.

 

"Just Like That" with Joanne Shaw Taylor is a great closer with smokin' hot guitar lines as they cross the finishing line with conviction.

 

Girl Friends is an eclectic range of artists providing music and vocals that keep it a satisfying listen from beginning to end. The booklet accompanying the CD has an excellent write-up from Dion about the "feminine genius" and how it has surrounded his life. Also, he adds comments about each artist.

 

Dion proves once again that age has nothing to do with a great musician and a singer's capabilities as long as you have the experience, confidence, and belief in your craft. It is a solid release, and everyone involved should be proud.

 

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-MuzikMan.net Founder

February 27, 2024

Tracks:

01. Soul Force with Susan Tedeschi

02. I Aim to Please with Danielle Nicole

03. Stop Drop and Roll with Valerie Tyson

04. Do Ladies Get the Blues with Christine Ohlman & Debbie Davies

05. An American Hero with Carlene Carter

06. Don't You Want a Man Like Me with Rory Block

07. Sugar Daddy with Christine Ohlman

08. Endless Highway with Randi Fishenfeld

09. I Got Wise with Maggie Rose

10. Hey Suzy with Sue Foley

11. Mama Said with Shemekia Copeland

12. Just Like That with Joanne Shaw Taylor


FOGHAT’s Iconic 1999 Live Performance Immortalized In CD/DVD Set SLOW RIDE - LIVE IN CONCERT!

Los Angeles, CA - Fans of classic and blues rock have good reason to rejoice as the legendary Foghat, known for hits like "Slow Ride" and "Fool for the City," unveils a sensational live album titled "Slow Ride - Live In Concert." Capturing the raw essence of Foghat's electrifying stage presence, this album showcases a momentous live performance recorded and filmed in Texas in 1999, just before the tragic passing of Dave Peverett in 2000 at the age of 56.

"Slow Ride - Live In Concert" presents undistilled Foghat at its finest. The power and drive of their classic songs resonate with unbridled energy, offering listeners a front-row seat to the band's unparalleled talent and enduring musical legacy. This release is not merely a collection of tracks but a testament to Foghat's vision and impact since their explosive debut onto the world stage in 1970. For a taste of what’s in store, check out the version of the blockbuster “Slow Ride,” released today on all music platforms. Peverett and company have never sounded so good!

Stream/download the single: https://orcd.co/foghat_slowridelive

Watch the video: https://youtu.be/0sTEj1pp-Ck

In addition to the CD release, fans are treated to a bonus DVD featuring the entire concert meticulously enhanced to HD quality. This visual experience transports viewers back to the thrilling atmosphere of the live performance, capturing every exhilarating moment and ensuring that the magic of Foghat's stage presence is preserved for generations to come. The full concert will be available everywhere starting April 5!

Order the CD/DVD: https://cleorecs.com/store/shop/foghat-slow-ride-live-in-concert-cd-dvd/
Pre-order/pre-save the digital: https://orcd.co/foghat_liveinconcert

TRACK LIST:
1. Drivin' Wheel
2. Somebody's Been Sleepin' In My Bed
3. Stone Blue
4. It Hurts Me Too
5. Rock Your House
6. Sweet Home Chicago
7. Angel Of Mercy
8. Fool For The City
9. I Just Want To Make Love To You
10. Slow Ride

Press inquiries:
Glass Onyon PR
Billy James
PH: 828-350-8158
glassonyonpr@gmail.com


CLEOPATRA RECORDS, INC.
Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube | Spotify | Cleopatra Records Store
11041 Santa Monica Blvd #703
Los Angeles CA 90025
www.CleopatraRecords.com

2/26/2024

Markus Reuter & Stefano Castagna To Release New Collaborative Album “Sea of Hopeless Angels”

An unexpected concerto. The streets of Berlin. Nourishment and exhaustion. The celestial, moving among us. All of these things might describe (or, more accurately, permeate) Markus Reuter’s latest project – a spontaneous collaboration with Stefano Castagna.

From a strictly Reuterian perspective, “Sea of Hopeless Angels” could be seen as a reaction to Markus’ furious and abrasive work with the free-rock improvisation quartet Anchor & Burden, one of his central priorities during 2022. At the same time, it stems directly from that project (having emerged in the heart of actual band time) and also serves as an intentional sequel-of-sorts to the “Anchor and Burden – Musica 2021” album which, while consisting of solo soundscapes, served as a conceptual introduction to the band. An understanding and acceptance of music as being both fundamental and stabilizing, while also being a grave and sometimes disruptive weight, underpinned both band and solo recording; and also eventually left its imprint on this new work.

The seeds of what would become “Sea of Hopeless Angels” were several unedited “live-in-the-studio” electric touch guitar solos by Markus, recorded at Castle Studios, Germany, 26 July 2022 (during day two of a three-day recording session for the Anchor & Burden band’s ‘Kosmonautik Pilgrimage’). Unusually – especially considering the ferocity of his recent work – Markus mostly selected clean instrumental tones, feeling that after much previous experimentation he’d finally found a way to speak through them musically. From there, the solos ended up in the hands of the album’s mixer, Stefano, and it was there that they underwent a new transformation.

Although Stefano’s connection with Markus goes back to the recording of mixing of Markus’ “TRUCE 2” album in 2021 (and his mixing wizardry also helped to hone the “Mata Atlantica” album), this is the first time that the two of them have collaborated on composition. From his own Ritmo&Blu studios in Pozzolengo, northern Italy, Stefano has created and produced recordings of Italian indie music, film and television soundtracks, dance music and performances for theatre, ballet and visual art exhibitions. However, his true roots are at that point where 1980s art rock intertwines with jazz, Mediterranean music and experimental sound (something reflected in his Flos project with Luca Formentini, with its mixture of invented instruments, found sound and avant-pop songcraft). It is this nexus of inspirations which drives his sympathies with Markus. It informed their work together on “TRUCE 2”, and drew Markus into the same year’s “Mask of Confidence” project (a collaboration between Stefano, Fabio Trentini and Jeff Collier, which hearkens back to the keystone art-pop work of Mick Karn and Japan).

Inspired to bring out his own palette of sounds, Stefano took on this set of Reuter solos and produced instinctive counterpart work, gradually building up to become a sympathetic one-man orchestra. “Listening through, I perceived a very free and sinuous narrative, undulating between some slow meditative sections and some faster, rhythmic moments. I have tried to support this narrative throughout, keeping his performances always in the foreground, highlighting the most outstanding parts, adding sounds and instruments when needed (my own vocals, samples, bass or synth sounds and electronic variations added in the mixing process). It's just as if I let Markus tell his story and let it guide me throughout, without too much thinking.

“As I listen to the final result, I realize that I was playing out the lesson I learnt from two records that were pivotal in my artistic education, Fripp/Summers’ ‘I Advance Masked’ and Eno/Byrne’s ‘My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts’, famously conceived and brought about by a duo rather than a band.”

Markus concurs with this particular connection, adding, “the vibe quite strongly reminds me of the instrumental half of David Sylvian’s ‘Gone to Earth’ album.”

The music on “Sea of Hopeless Angels” is also directly inspired by Wim Wenders’ celebrated “Damiel and Cassiel” films – “Der Himmel über Berlin” (“Wings of Desire”) and “In weiter Ferne, so nah!” (“Faraway, So Close”) – in which angels hover above pre- and post-unification Berlin and are gradually, inexorably and transformatively drawn towards the lives of its human inhabitants. Although the chosen titles of several of these pieces refer directly to characters from the films, the music remains mysterious; and reluctant to draw a straightforward picture.

Stefano’s initial responses and reactions to the music also informed the selection of the album’s visual component – although, as opposed to his instinctive musical choices, the choice of cover art in particular was much more deliberate and considered.

All of the pieces on “Sea of Hopeless Angels” feature video accompaniment drawn from the Italian painter and video-artist Aldo Grazzi archives, with two of them (including the currently viewable title track) also accompanied by live-in-the-studio footage of Markus’ original performances.

Markus: “What I love about this record in particular is that it is the marriage of spontaneous creation and considered composition. The video that shows me playing in the studio is wondrous because of that. It would be impossible to play like I do if it was pre-planned/composed.”

Track listing:

1 Damiel 5:30
2 Comfort and Trust 4:37
3 Sea of Hopeless Angels 5:44
4 Angels Fall 6:48
5 Blood Gold 8:27
6 Ghost World 4:42
7 Cassiel 5:59

Markus Reuter: Touch Guitars® S8, Live Looping

Stefano Castagna: Synths, Samples, Bass, Voice, Percussion, Treatments

Markus’ parts recorded by Arno Jordan at Castle Studios on July 26, 2022
Stefano’s parts recorded and album mixed at Ritmo&Blu Studios, Dec. 2022 - Jan. 2023
Mastered by Lee Fletcher
Produced by Markus Reuter and Stefano Castagna
Video art by Aldo Grazzi, 1983
Cover design and layout by Bernhard Wöstheinrich
Distributed by Flatiron Recordings

To purchase: https://markusandstefano.lnk.to/seaofhopelessangels

For more information:
markusreuter.com / ritmoeblu.com

Press Inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 1-828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

2/22/2024

Rock Guitar Hero STEVE STEVENS Explores The Dark Side Of Progressive Rock On New Single “Darkest Hour” With Supergroup THE PROG COLLECTIVE, Preview Haunting New Album!

Album features performances by Steve Morse, King Crimson violinist David Cross, GnR guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, and keyboard legend Patrick Moraz plus members of Weather Report, Utopia, Angel, Soft Machine, Gong, and more!

Los Angeles, CA – As longtime guitarist and co-writer for the powerhouse rock hitmaker Billy Idol, Steve Stevens is widely celebrated as a master of composing forceful, electrifying rock melodies that balance their intensity with an undeniable mainstream appeal. It’s that melodic sensibility matched with an impressive technical mastery that has made Stevens one of the most sought after collaborators in music today. Recently, Stevens accepted an invitation to contribute to the new album from The Prog Collective and the result is one of the purest expressions of Stevens’s creativity ever captured.

For the uninitiated, The Prog Collective, founded and helmed by producer/multi-instrumentalist and famed bassist for Yes Billy Sherwood, has united some of the finest musicians of rock, jazz, metal, pop and everything in between since its founding in 2012. The group’s newest studio effort, entitled Dark Encounters, takes a deliberate turn toward a more brooding and melancholic musical path, filled with haunting ambience and eerie melodic passages. All of this makes Stevens the perfect partner for an exploration into the darker side of prog rock. Check out the album’s first single and the album’s leadoff track, “Darkest Hour,” which is released today on all music platforms.

Stream/download the track: https://orcd.co/tpc_darkesthour

Dark Encounters is set for release on March 29 and includes contributions from a number of notable musicians and creative geniuses from the legendary Steve Morse, violinist David Cross, and guitar wizard Bumblefoot to keyboardist Patrick Moraz, Utopia’s Kasim Sulton, Gong’s Steve Hillage, and more!

Order CD/Vinyl: https://cleorecs.com/store/?s=the+prog+collective+dark+encounters&post_type=product
Pre-order/pre-save the digital: https://orcd.co/tpc_darkencounters

Track List:
1. Darkest Hour with Steve Stevens
2. Ominous Signs with Steve Morse
3. At The Gates with David Cross
4. Dark Days with Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, Patrick Moraz & Omar Hakim
5. Lonely Landscape with Kasim Sulton
6. The Long Night with Frank Dimino & Marco Minnemann
7. The Quasi Effect with Billy Sherwood
8. The 11th Hour with John Etheridge
9. Between Two Worlds with Steve Hillage & Gregg Bissonette
10. Distant Thunder with Todd Sucherman
11. Dark Money with Joe Bouchard
12. For All To See with Pat Mastelotto
13. Beyond Reason with Chad Wackerman
BONUS TRACKS [CD ONLY]
14. I Saw the Light - Todd Rundgren with Rick Wakeman
15. I'm Not In Love - Nektar with Rick Wakeman

Press inquiries:
Glass Onyon PR
Billy James
PH: 828-350-8158
glassonyonpr@gmail.com


CLEOPATRA RECORDS, INC.
Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube | Spotify | Cleopatra Records Store
1831 Pontius Ave
Los Angeles CA 90025
www.CleopatraRecords.com

2/21/2024

New York Pop-Rock Ensemble Joyous To Release Debut Album

New York’s celebrated pop-rock group Joyous is releasing their debut album! The band formed in 2015 and features lead singer Joy Pratt, who is also the main songwriter, often humming bass lines into her husband & bassist Randy’s ear. Randy Pratt is best known for his work with The Lizards, Cactus and Ruffyunz.

Joy and Randy write the lyrics together. When guitarist Pat Klein noticed the collection of catchy gems the married couple had assembled, he came on board without a second thought. Pat’s voice blends sweetly with Joy. Add perfect pop percussionist Phil Weiss and there was the Joyous sound!

Pat, a world class engineer, and Randy, owner of a world class recording studio, assured the record’s quality (both were members of classic rock legends The Lizards). Pat’s knack for arranging put the finishing touches on this 43-minutes that sounds like a greatest hits collection.

The band did a video themselves in their studio “on the cheap.” Next step is a big production video.

Joy wrote a happy, feel-good record for a troubled world. With guest appearances from many of New York’s best players and singers, here it is!

Available on HyperspaceRecords.com, Spotify and Apple Music

For more information: www.hyperspacerecords.com

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 1-828-350-8158 (US), glassonyonpr@gmail.com