4/06/2021

Blues-Rock Review: Ten Years After-A Sting in the Tale (Deluxe Edition)

Release Date: March 19, 2021

Label: 2021 Deko Entertainment / Ten Years After

Website

From across the waters in Nottingham, England, arises a band that’s name derived from the period that saw a boom of rock & roll exhilaration after Elvis Presley broke through the doors of the genre. The band was launched officially in 1967 but, Ten Years After spent the first six years solidifying their group members and working out the band’s kinks. Heavy touring through the first 5 years was the first lead to their growing success. And, though the band suffered splits, and a less-than-stellar album, Ten Years After ultimately resurrected themselves within a new rise to success even 40+ years later.
 
The album A Sting in the Tale has now been re-released with live tracks to bring the band’s power to life in full force. “Land of the Vandals” starts the album out with a rising tide intro that for a rock record, keeps a soothing but steady-handed tone throughout. “Iron Horse” describes someone with the capacity to outperform those around them with every move he makes. Then, we arrive at “Miss Constable” where he sings of a blood-sucking woman who Is not only seemingly abusive but too, is never happy with how things are around her and the person that stands beside her. The guitar solo in this track offers a sense of levity to how dark the song is overall.

“Up In Smoke” really blows a hole in the listener’s heart. If you could look the definition of blues up in the dictionary, this song would be sitting right underneath. The singer speaks of how it’s too late to save him from the woes that have allowed him to arrive at this point in his life. It is overly apologetic but, sadly he knows that there is still no one listening, even at the very end. “Retired Hurt” is kind of somber like the prior track however, with a constant beat behind it and the fact that it sounds like the first-step process of life admissions, the song does not depress listeners entirely. Rather, it is a song of acknowledgment, even if the singer is still questioning what to do next.

“Suranne Suranne” is love slipped away. Although, with the subject matter being should’ve, would’ve, could’ve, it is a fun changeup from the album so far. If only the woman knew who the singer was, would things have been different? “Stoned Alone” is a cool piece, that depicts a relationship starting and ending all within the same breath and now the singer is left in his emotions (now heightened) alone. “Two Lost Souls” is the most fun and free-spirited track on A Sting in the Tale. Its up-tempo, action-movie-car-chase-styled tone brings levity and funk to the rest of the blues-smothered tracks.

“Diamond Girl” is a reminiscent song of this girl who is ideal perfection that sadly either does not stick around or slips out of the singer’s sights and life completely. It sings of this ideal perfection of a person that many dream up but few, if any, could ever find in life; especially since we are all flawed, to begin with. “Last Night of the Bottle,” “Guitar Hero,” and “Silverspoon Lady” all keep a constant pace to end out the record. “Silverspoon Lady” is a strong way to complete the album as the singer announces that this overly entitled-minded woman will not take advantage of this man and “will not get the best of him.”

So, to include the four live tracks, one of the tracks being a lead hit single that blasted the band to top success off of the album A Space in Time. As stated through one of the band’s press releases, it’s certainly true that “you put it on…you can’t just listen once.”


Gregg Keniston - MuzikMan.net Staff
April 1, 2021 

Tracks:
01. Land of the Vandals
02. Iron Horse
03. Miss Constable
04. Up in Smoke
05. Retired Hurt
06. Suranne Suranne
07. Stoned Alone
08. Two Lost Souls
09. Diamond Girl
10. Last Night of the Bottle
11. Guitar Hero
12. Silverspoon Lady
13. Land of the Vandals (Live)
14. I’d Love to Change the World (Live)
15. Silverspoon Lady (Live)
16. Last Night of the Bottle (Live)

Failure to Fracture: Learning King Crimson's Impossible Song

In a stunning, full-color book, author Anthony Garone details a 22-year journey of transformation in mastering the intricate complexity of “Fracture” - described by composer Robert Fripp as “impossible to play.”

Anthony Garone’s ‘Failure to Fracture’ is a success story.” – Robert Fripp

Watch Robert Fripp praising “Failure to Fracture”:

When progressive rock band King Crimson released “Starless and Bible Black” in 1974, very few recognized the astonishing virtuosity captured in the album’s 11-minute instrumental capstone, “Fracture.” Three minutes into the piece, guitarist Robert Fripp begins a quiet, non-stop barrage of notes called a “moto perpetuo” an Italian term for “perpetual motion.” Fripp’s moto perpetuo requires intense right-hand string-skipping, and picking capabilities only a handful of guitarists around the world possess.

Musician Anthony Garone was challenged by his father to learn “Fracture” in 1998. As a 16-year-old who practiced guitar six or more hours every day, he could not understand why he could play other technical pieces of music, but not “Fracture.” Over the years, he published blog posts and videos about his efforts. Garone kept working in isolated frustration until he enrolled in a week-long guitar instruction course led by Fripp in rural Mexico in 2015. That week was transformative.

It was in Mexico that Garone learned the mechanics of Fripp’s very unique right-hand technique. To properly play “Fracture,” Garone had to re-learn how to play guitar, sit, stand, and breathe. It would also require meditation and a new way of using his body.

Following many months of back-to-the-basics guitar practice, Garone re-trained himself to play guitar, playing a single open string for two hours a day across several weeks. In 2016, he was finally able to play small pieces of “Fracture” without any pain or frustration. He documented his progress on his Make Weird Music YouTube channel in a series called “Failure to Fracture.” The videos garnered hundreds of thousands of views and praise from Fripp himself, who wrote “Fracture is impossible to play, cf. Anthony Garone.”

“Failure to Fracture” captures Garone’s transformative 22-year journey. The story begins with his time as a teenager developing a friendship with guitar hero Steve Vai in 1996. It ends with video performances of both “Fracture” and the even more difficult “sequel” composition, “FraKctured,” written and performed in Fripp’s own New Standard Tuning. It is a book about achieving the impossible, overcoming one’s limitations, and retraining the mind and body.

In March 2021, Fripp stated on YouTube: “Anthony Garone is a man who has just written a book about to be published on ‘Failure to Fracture.’ Anthony has spent 22 years failing to play ‘Fracture.’ Actually, he’s done a pretty good job. Anthony’s failure is so well-achieved in my book, it’s a success.”

More praise from fellow Crims and chums:

The best story of the long path of craftsmanship I have come across.” - Trey Gunn, former member of King Crimson

This book is a game changer. It delivers a detailed insight into a ‘secret’ world that is hardly ever being discussed in popular culture.” - Markus Reuter

The insight in this book goes beyond simply learning to play an impossible song... it provides a roadmap for how to live your best life.” - Gabriel Riccio

Guitarist, author and composer Anthony Garone pens a compelling story of transformational failure after failure followed by a final victory: the ultimate performance of one of progressive rock’s most challenging and complex songs.

Release date: May 18, 2021

To pre-order:
www.FailureToFracture.com
Anthony@MakeWeirdMusic.com

Contact Information:
Ken Coffman, Publisher, Stairway Press
1000 West Apache Trail, Suite 126
Apache Junction, AZ 85120
(360) 420-8870
Ken@StairwayPress.com
www.StairwayPress.com

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

4/05/2021

Classic Rock Legends CACTUS Celebrate New Album TIGHTROPE With A Performance Video Of The Title Track!

Los Angeles, CA - The wait is finally over, friends, ‘70s classic rock legends Cactus, known to fans around the world as The American Led Zeppelin, have released their high-flying new album, Tightrope, on all formats today! Founding member and drum legend Carmine Appice, leads this dynamic quintet that includes longtime Cactus vocalist Jimmy Kunes, new lead guitarist Paul Warren (ex-Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, Joe Cocker), who also co-wrote and co-produced the album, Randy Pratt on harmonica, and James Caputo on bass, through a dozen newly recorded tracks that strike a delicate balance between powerful, driving rockers and more complex, heady cuts. The band filmed a slick performance video for the title track, which offers one of the album’s most killer and memorably groovy hooks.

Appice had this to say about the song, “‘Tightrope’ is one of my favorite songs from the album. The drum and bass groove plus the cool guitar riff rock!! Cool melodies on top make this is a great Classic Heavy Blues Rock track. I love it!!!”

Watch the video: 

For All Things Cactus, please visit: http://www.cactusrocks.net

Tightrope is now available on digipak CD, a deluxe 2LP set with a gatefold jacket and colored vinyl, and of course on digital platforms everywhere courtesy of Cleopatra Records!

Order the album: https://orcd.co/cactus_tightrope

Track List:
1. Tightrope
2. Papa Was A Rolling Stone
3. All Shook Up
4. Poison In Paradise
5. Third Time Gone
6. Shake That Thing
7. Primitive Touch
8. Preaching Woman Man Blues
9. Elevation
10. Suite 1 & 2: Everlong, All The Madmen
11. Headed For A Fall
12. Wear It Out

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

Cactus Management:
Bruce Pilato / Pilato Entertainment Marketing & Media LLC
585-721-6029
www.pilato.com
bruce@pilato.com


CLEOPATRA RECORDS, Inc.
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Los Angeles CA 90025
www.CleopatraRecords.com

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Dutch Music Legends Focus To Release “Focus 50 - Live In Rio” 3CD/1 Blu Ray Deluxe Edition

Released April 30, 2021

To celebrate 50 years of ground-breaking progressive rock, Focus are delighted to announce their “Focus 50” 3CD/Blu-Ray package to be released on April 30, 2021through In Focus Records distributed by Cherry Red Records.

The Coronavirus pandemic forced Focus to postpone their anniversary celebrations from 2020 and “Focus 50” will herald a year of celebration which will culminate in the release of a brand new studio album in early 2022.   

At the heart of the “Focus 50” package are 2CDs and Blu-Ray of “Focus Live In Rio,” a concert recorded in Nitteroi, Rio de Janeiro, in 2017. The concert features music from across the history of the band from “Focus 1” and “House Of The King,” on their very first album, through the classics “Hocus Pocus,” “Sylvia” and “Focus III” to “Song For Eva” first released in 2017.

“Focus 50” also includes a bonus CD “Completely Focused” with the classic Focus tracks numbered 1 through 12 re-recorded by the current Focus line-up of Thijs van Leer (keyboard, flute and vocals), Pierre van der Linden (drums), Menno Gootjes (guitar) and Udo Pannekeet (bass). The Focus tracks have been recorded during the lockdown period and mixed by Udo Pannekeet.

The discs are accompanied by a booklet with notes by the band, their long serving engineer Geert Scheijgrond and South American tour promoter Marcel Castro with whom Focus have had a long relationship and who brought together the recording of the show in Rio. The booklet also features photos from the Rio concert showing the energetic and fun side of life on the road with Focus together with personal photos from touring and in the studio - a more intimate view of the band away from the limelight. This captures the essence of the Focus family which includes Geert, Marcel and legendary artist Roger Dean, and is incredibly important to the band. The current line-up has been together since 2016 and has a magical chemistry which manifests into electrifying performances.

“Focus 50” is released on April 30, 2021 as a 3CD/Blu-Ray with book package through In Focus Records distributed by Cherry Red Records.

About Focus

Focus emerged in 1970 with a debut album “Focus Plays Focus” which became better known as “In And Out Of Focus.” Their breakthrough came with the worldwide success of singles “Hocus Pocus” and “Sylvia” the early seventies with a line-up which included founder member Thijs van Leer (keyboard, flute and vocals), Pierre van der Linden (drums) and Jan Akkerman (guitar). The albums “Focus II/Moving Waves” and “Focus 3” put the band at the very forefront of the progressive music scene.

Beloved by the student population, Focus’ music fused van Leer’s love of jazz and classical music and he employed a unique vocal style of yodeling and scat, using the voice as another form of instrumentation rather than singing in a conventional style. Focus played to sold out theatres around the world and, at that time, were quite possibly ‘the coolest band on the planet.’

Through many line-up changes across the years van Leer consistently sourced great musicians to join the Focus ranks. Focus went their separate ways in 1978, occasionally reuniting to perform on stage or record together on solo projects. Van Leer officially reformed Focus with a new line-up in 2001 and released the acclaimed “Focus 8” album the following year. Pierre van der Linden returned in 2004 while current guitarist Menno Gootjes joined the Focus family in 2010. Udo Pannekeet completed the current Focus line-up in 2016 contributing to the “Focus Family Album” (2017) collection, which includes re-recordings and previously unreleased material, before the band returned to the studio to record “Focus 11” (2018).

Focus are now looking forward to returning to live performance, once the Coronavirus pandemic has been controlled, and sharing their music with their fans - the extended Focus family.

Track Listing:

DISC ONE: LIVE IN RIO CD
1. FOCUS 1
2. HOUSE OF THE KING
3. ERUPTION
4. SYLVIA
5. SONG FOR EVA
6. ALL HENS ON DECK

DISC TWO: LIVE IN RIO CD
1. LE TANGO
2. P’S MARCH
3. FOCUS 5
4. HAREM SCAREM
5. HOCUS POCUS
6. FOCUS 3

DISC THREE: LIVE IN RIO BLU-RAY
1. FOCUS 1
2. HOUSE OF THE KING
3. ERUPTION
4. SYLVIA
5. SONG FOR EVA
6. ALL HENS ON DECK
7. LE TANGO
8. P’S MARCH
9. FOCUS 5
10. HAREM SCAREM
11. HOCUS POCUS
12. FOCUS 3

DISC FOUR: COMPLETELY FOCUSSED CD
1. FOCUS 1
2. FOCUS 2
3. FOCUS 3
4. FOCUS 4
5. FOCUS 5
6. FOCUS 6
7. FOCUS 7
8. FOCUS 8
9. FOCUS 9
10. FOCUS 10
11. FOCUS 11
12. FOCUS 12

Focus: Focus 50 - Live In Rio” 3CD/1 Blu Ray Deluxe Edition Pre-order here: https://www.cherryred.co.uk/product/focus-focus-50-live-in-rio-3cd-1-blu-ray-deluxe-edition/

For more information: https://focustheband.co.uk/

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

4/03/2021

Various Artists Review: Morning Café

Release Date: May 21, 2021

Label: Domo Records

Website

 

If you take a look at the cover of Domo Records' upcoming release Morning Café, one may say it “Looks Like Heaven.” And it does if you enjoy a nice latte and some kickback music to chill and start your day. That is the title of one of many tracks to take a deep dive into. In actuality this is music for any time, it is all very flexible and worthy of a listen to enliven your spirit.

If variety is truly the spice of life then this compilation defines that very meaning of spice and diversity on one recording. If you are a listener that likes the expectation of something new and different coming with each track then you will love this! Also, if you happen to enjoy being totally immersed in the sounds, this is the kind of varietal selection that will get you on that course rather quickly.

The previously mentioned track “Looks Like Heaven” inspired me. There can be heaven right here on earth. We don’t have to wait until we die to experience that.  

Luis Villegas starts off your first sip with “Noches Guitanas.” The worldly beats and Latino guitar expressions are colorful and vibrant, full of the life that another country or culture can bring to a listener. I thought it was an excellent way to start things off. Personally, I love instrumental music, particularly on guitar with a Latin spark to get your inner spirit aroused and the blood pumping into your veins for a shot of energy. Later into this compilation, you get much of the same with Benedetti & Svoboda on their tasteful flight “Moresca.”

Prior to all of that entertainment, there is so much variety and styles that you are bound to find some things you like. I found I enjoyed every track with varying degrees of interest. I appreciated each one as standalone work of art, as one should on such an impressive gathering of talent on one recording. The idea here is to take an adventure into the label to see all the work by each artist.

Dave Eggar’s “Follow Me To The Sun” is about as different as things can get on one compilation, with a funky beat and a little bit of new-age rap if you will. The bass is particularly good on the track. “Low Pass Dub” by Peas is quite unusual as well, I liked it quite a bit. It is original with a great mixture of sounds and a steady irresistible beat. It is hard to classify or put into a box, which makes it that much more engaging from where I sit. Lots of funky bass lines again lead the way into several transitions to enlighten the soul.

Dino Malito continues your travels with “Tienshan.” This is guitar-based with a bottom layer of steady playing with some beautiful lines on top of it to draw you in. It is mesmerizing, like a walk along the shoreline at around sunset and the feeling of peace and absolute serenity the sound of the waves can give you. This is a form of beauty set to music that will bring lovely visions of solace to your mind with very little effort. You can relax and let the music lead you into the story in your mind’s eye. The sound of the guitar has a surf music tone to it so that is why my vision came to life while listening.

Morning Café
is eleven tracks of instrumental bliss for the listeners with a diverse palette ready to get a taste of everything on the menu. And of course, the latte is pertinent to get you in the right frame of mind to discover all the enjoyment and the fragrances and tastes it has to offer. So, are you ready to place your order while you enjoy your morning or evening cup of instrumental bliss?


Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-MuzikMan.net
March 30, 2021 


Tracks:

01. Luis Villegas - Noches Guitanas
02. Dave Eggar - Earth's Paradise
03. Peas - Looks Like Heaven
04. Luna - Alone In Kyoto
05. Dave Eggar - Follow Me To The Sun
06. Tao Of Sound - The Field
07. Benedetti & Svoboda – Moresca
08. Luna - Back To You
09. Peas - Low Pass Dub
10. Dino Malito – Tienshan
11. Steve Anderson - Beau Soir, L. 6


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