Sunday, February 19, 2017

Concert Review: Let It Be A Beatles Tribute

Let It Be at The Proctor in Schenectady New York
February 18, 2017



The Beatles music is timeless and over the years they have been celebrated again and again and so has each individual member of the band for their excellent solo work. There is still a huge market for their music and anything to do with the ultra-famous Fab Four. Only two other artist rank at the top of list for worldwide album sales, Elvis and Michael Jackson. 

Paul McCartney (Neil Candelora-bass/piano/vocals), John Lennon (Michael Gagliano-guitar/vocals/piano), Ringo Starr (Chris McBurney-drums/vocals) and George Harrison (JT Curtis-lead guitar/piano/vocals) are names that will live forever. Special mention goes the fifth Beatle on keyboards Daniel A. Weiss who provided some amazing orchestral parts in songs along with some tasteful keys.

There have been many knock offs of The Beatles over the years however how many could you count as being legitimate imitations of them?  I experienced a band last night that were a close facsimile to them. 

Let It Be is an entire production company devoted to bringing The Beatles music and stage show to an audience that never had an opportunity to witness the original band in a live setting.




I was only 12 years old when The Beatles broke up and launched their solo careers however I did grow up listening to their music. I remember clearly as a little boy watching them on the Ed Sullivan show when they arrived in the US (or the colonies as they said last night). I can hear the girls screaming now muffling out the mop tops music and not understanding what all the fuss was about, I just wanted to hear them playing.

As the years went by I never lost my love for their music, it is something all the fans hold close to their hearts regardless of age. I saw all ages at the concert and the Proctor was packed full. It was nice to see that and what we were about to witness was fascinating.

The gents that played John and Paul, Gagliano and Candelora, had their vocals down spot on. Gagliano looked more and more like John as the night went on. It was giving me chills, especially when he sang. At first when I looked at the drummer, McBurney, I did not see much of a resemblance with Ringo but when he came out at the second half of the show with a beard he looked like a dead ringer for Mr. Starr. 

The first half of the show were some of the early hits and how they transformed into what we would see at their performance in Shea Stadium and during Sgt. Pepper’s (complete with the colorful garb) and then what they looked like towards the end of their careers just before they broke up.

The second half of the show was very interesting as well. They presented The Beatles and what they would have been like if they reformed after years of their solo work had been produced.

They mixed it up well and the stage presentation was top notch. I would not hesitate to say, being a lifelong Beatles fan, that this representation of the band was excellent with a very entertaining and colorful stage show to match.

The musicianship was great and the vocals as close to the originals as anyone could expect. I highly recommend seeing Let It Be if you have the opportunity.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
February 19, 2017
Founder of:

Singer/Songwriter Amanda Abizaid Releases New Project in Support of HelpPhilippineSchools.org, Walking In Twos EP feat. Legendary Stephen Stills


“Amanda is Fabulous. Really! Check this out!” - Stephen Stills

Los Angeles - Singer/songwriter Amanda Abizaid is releasing a new EP in support of HelpPhilippineSchools.org, a non-profit organization that helps children get the best education possible through the betterment of existing schools, working “from the inside out.” Walking In Twos, featuring the legendary Stephen Stills, is a 7-track EP including two diverse mixes of the titular song, which was inspired by Amanda’s experiences with the Aeta Filipino children. The EP also features other original songs and will release worldwide on all digital platforms March 3, 2017, along with a limited physical release. The project’s goal is to create a self-sufficient revenue stream using proceeds from the song's downloads and streams to buy school supplies for the Aeta children of the Philippines.

By making state-of-the art teaching technology available, while at the same time seeing to the need for proper food and clothing, HelpPhilippineSchools.org insures a prosperous, personal and professional future for young minds in the country. Amanda is a professional singer/songwriter living in Los Angeles, CA and she is the Cultural Ambassador to the organization. Their overall mission is to supply rural government elementary schools throughout the Philippines, beginning on Mindanao, with modern educational equipment, food and clothing. They do this by dedicating profits generated through AEGIS, and from donations by private individuals, businesses and/or institutional entities.

Amanda describes her music as “Neo-Soul meets World.” A gifted pianist, guitarist and flautist, Amanda Abizaid was born in Beirut, Lebanon to an American mother and Lebanese father. Upon relocating to Los Angeles in the 1990s, Amanda immediately began working with some of the best musicians on the scene. She gained major notoriety when she lent her voice to “A Place in Time,” the haunting theme song from Paramount's TV series The 4400, which premiered in 2004. Amanda's 2010 CD release This Life garnered rave reviews from fans and music press from around the world. Brian Ball of Woman's Radio touted “This Life is the perfect half-hour escape from the boundaries of time and space altogether,” and Paul Fleck, former Executive Director of Marketing of Paramount Pictures Motion Picture Group praised, “This Life is unquestionably Amanda’s most accomplished work to date.” Tapping into her early musical influences from her childhood, Amanda infuses a sensual and seductive Middle East flair to her music.

The song “Walking In Twos” was inspired by Amanda Abizaid’s experiences with the Aeta Filipino children in Haduan Village when she was abroad in 2016. “I shook hands with every child and they told me their names,” Amanda recalls. “This is how the magic of this song began.” The village of Haduan is situated in the Southeastern foothills of the Pinatubo Volcano Range, across the Secovia Lahar River Basin. Visiting the village requires walking a few miles through rugged dirt paths, crossing a wide river, and a tropical wet dirt hike through the mountains. “When I arrived at their village,” says Amanda, “I entered their little stone classroom and soon began singing to my acoustic guitar instrumental of 'Walking In Twos' walking in between the tables and chairs. They smiled and their eyes lit up. In their indigenous language, they yelled out how much they loved the melody, clapping joyfully and asked what it meant. That's when I knew I was on to something special.”

Amanda made a strong impression on the children, and on her way home, a barefoot little girl named Lilibeth walked by her side. “Together we hiked down the mountain, crossing the unstable wooden roped bridge high over the river to the other side. We walked until we reached the paved road—the main entry of their village to civilization.” The children also made a strong impression on Amanda, and when it came time to record the song she had them sing in their native language on the chorus. “For the Aeta to agree to perform on my song 'Walking In Twos' is a first time event for them, and for the world to hear these children's voices.”

Amanda Abizaid wrote and produced the Walking In Twos EP, and sings and plays flute and piano as well. Stephen Stills is a legendary singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist best known for his work with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. He plays guitar on the title track. “To have Stephen Stills performance on the project is an amazing honor,” says Amanda, “and together with the support of the Aeta children this project is a wonderful opportunity to share and help them through music.”

The new Walking In Twos EP features an electronica remix of Amanda’s original title track produced by Lindsay Gillis, a Los Angeles based musician and songwriter who has worked with Ron Fair, Dennis Dreith and Steve Deutsch. The Walking In Twos EP also includes five original songs: “One Love,” Amanda’s most recent acoustic reggae rock single, featuring bi-lingual lyrics; “Promises Of Love,” a trip hop World beat track featuring Egyptian oud player Ahmed Kamal (creative singer and composer) both co-produced with Raj Ramayya (Cowboy Bebop, Beautiful Losers, Pokemon, Strawberry Hill Music) and Théo Nogueira; “Set It Up,” a trip hop track featuring World flute melodies; “Lion’s Den,” an acoustic rock track with a touch of electronica; and “Release Me,” an ambient electronic bi-lingual track co-produced with Mixman Shawn.

Other featured musicians on this work are bassist Mike Mennell and acoustic guitarist Lindsay Gillis. Mike Mennell is a bassist and singer in Southern California who has been friends with and worked alongside Amanda for the past 16 years. Lindsay Gillis is a Los Angeles based musician/songwriter, survivor of numerous Southern California gigs and sessions, and collaborates with Amanda on the songwriting project “Someday Girl.”

Other contributions of note include MI (Musicians Institute) students performing drums under Stewart Jean, a drummer and educator based in Los Angeles, California, currently the Program Chair for Drums at Musicians Institute in Hollywood. Also featured are local Buddhist children and the Aeta children from Village of Haduan, Philippines singing in their native language on the chorus, and Mark Stephen Weitz from '60s legends Strawberry Alarm Clock performing Wurlitzer on the track. Bill Dasheill was the engineer.

“The hard work and dedication of Amanda Abizaid shows all over this new track 'Walking In Twos'! Thank you for asking me to play on this new project. The addition of the Aeta Filipino children's voices recorded 'on site' really brought even more life to an already upbeat and spiritually uplifting song. You are truly a SAINT!” - Mark Stephen Weitz

Download proceeds will go to www.helpphilippineschools.org

To purchase Amanda Abizaid's Walking In Twos EP:
Pre-Order on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/walking-in-twos/id1201027283

For more information about Amanda or this release, please visit: www.AmandaAbizaid.com ;

For Press inquiries contact Billy James at Glass Onyon PR: (828) 350-8158 or glassonyonpr@gmail.com

For Interviews contact: Erin Cook at Jensen Communications: (626) 585-9575, erin@jensencom.com

For Digital Marketing contact Jerome Forney at Independent Distribution Collective: jerome@independentdistro.com

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Jamie O’Neal: Sound ✓ Arizona Tennessee




by K.W. Poole 2/2017 for WMMW    http://www.4womenofmusic.com




Jamie O’Neal has achieved iconic country - not only as an artist but as a mentor for women in the industry.  Based on her own fortunate history of learning from some of the best she is paying it forward in spades and with style.  To kick off CRS she held a showcase with Sound Check introducing us to the her latest project: New from Nashville Tour.   A beautifully weighty line up of new female artists for whom she is the proud mentor.


Jamie was one of the lucky ones and now she is creating opportunity for others. Her talent and willingness to learn, along with gracious perseverance brought her performance to heights many dream of; helping other women to reach for those dreams is her latest endeavor.


What is the New From Nashville Tour?  It is all women of music.  It is in short and long what the organization WMMW stands for; a natural and serendipitous fit for the Women in Music Wednesday Spotlight. Basing the approach on her expertise, experience and some sound advise, Ms. O’Neal is the champion of budding female country artists.  It is an educational and career boosting version of an un-televised and un-sensationalized live-stage version of The Voice. With all the coaching and promoting - without the voting and gloating - it is truly inspiring.  Guiding new artists to reach for humble-filled heights is the basis of this project.  Find the talent, teach the talent, share the talent.  What a gift.

The Showcase at Sound ✓’s studio D featured four new female artists whom she has been coaching and collaborating with for the past couple of years. Each of these young women posses the talent, ability and presence to make a mark on the Nashville and global scene.  This was immediately evident in the individual performances and the collaborative finale.
The event kicked off with a video intro and in true O’Neal style a live performance.
The video shared the ideals behind the project, in which Jamie expressed her gratitude for the opportunities she had when first arriving in Nashville; chances to talk to and take stage with “a lot of empowering female artists” helping her “to feel comfortable in the world of Nashville.”  Performance opportunities with the likes of icons including Reba McEntire and Martina McBride. 

Throughout the showcase video clips reminded the audience of the focus; a concept in hopes each of the girls will feel supported and confident while becoming expertly crafted professionals.  In turn, Jamie’s goal is to spread the career wealth by not only introducing the world this talent but additionally to  - "Help them command the stage and feel comfortable in front of the audience. “  She adds: “It is the best feeling world!”

The opening song brought us all back, as she took the stage boldly bearing chunky black glasses, decked out in velvet and leather; Jamie demonstrated all she teaches.  ”There is No Arizona" may be a classic, but Jamie still has it, the performance is ever timeless.  Spot on.  Her voice is full of elegant power and soulful softness.
As she introduced the artists, Jamie referred to herself as the ”Mother Hen…nervous and excited for them.”  The pride was both evident and warranted.



First up, the fourteen year old, Meghan Woods (http://meghanwoodsmusic.com/index.html.)  That’s right 14.  This tiny blonde opened muscling through a mic dysfunction with more adept performance than recent veterans of noted awards shows.  Though we could not hear her at first, the audience was mesmerized by her rock star stage presence. She never skipped a beat.  She commanded the stage so that when - in procuring O’Neal’s mic in an expert wing pass-off - the sound came up, we never felt like we missed a word.  This project is obviously working for her.

And then Her song: Let it Rain, poured over us.  Meghan’s strength is apparent in softer surprisingly gritty vocals which are youthfully beautiful.   “Let it rain ’til the sun comes out…
Wood’s introduction to her second song: (Perfectly Imperfect) spoke to the plight of women of all ages; words beyond her own experience of years.  ”So many people define themselves by the one mistake they make in life and that is not what defines you...I Promise you...it's how you get past that mistake that defines who you are.”
The lyrics create a positive spin on the challenges of the human plight: ”You're everything god made you to be. Perfectly imperfect, like me.””
Number two in the line-up Brittany Ray (http://brittanyraymusic.com) was the strongest and most compelling performer of the night.  She is a self-professed product of living room family singing.

“I grew up on natural, female, country powerhouse vocalists...karaoke in the living room...always knew I wanted to be a singer."
She starts her set at the keyboards with a song that speaks to the repetition of relationship history.  “I Should Quit you” the words are full of double entendre in her
sultry and soft delivery.  A bit Martina McBride, a little Tara Nevins but all her.  Through her lyrics the listener is pulled into the timeless story of love - even when we know it is not right we repeat…

She cranks it up with the stellar Read My Hips.  This single has it all.  A Gretchen Wilson, tongue in cheek approach to brilliance, delivered with class and humor.  Brittany moved out from behind keyboard seamlessly to rock the stage.  This song took the night to a new height.  “Read my hips as I'm walkin' away, Hope I look good leavin’ ‘cause I ain’t gonna stay.”  Ms. Ray - It goes like this - don't walk off the stage, keep singing.

Next up, Kaylee Rutland, had a hard act to follow.  Jamie described her as “Positively hard to rattle.”
Her intro was simply based on the experience: “I learned about song writing [in Nashville] and about voice and the dream to be that person.”  She adds she cannot believe Jamie O’Neal is her mentor - “Me? That’s someone else’s mentor.”
Her opener: “Pick Me Up.” is a crowd sing-a-long song.  A bit girl-meets-bro-Country
It speaks to her own positivity and is delivered with crowd inclusion enthusiasm.  She like Meghan was a bit hard to hear.  Vocals a little muddy, due to the sound.  Unfortunate for the showcase.

Her second single tells the story of a relationship transformation; from friends to couple.  The lyrics: "Can't think can't sleep I’m layin' here wishin' I was back there in your arms...I Could Use A Little More of That” speak to audiences of all ages.  That hook and the intro of the song is catchy but as it picked up, again the vocals were lost.  Future development of her stage personality and strengthening of her voice will ensure this performer’s place in Country music; in the moment she would have benefited from better balance between band and vocal sound.

The one issue with this showcase - a showcase with the sole purpose of highlighting female vocalists - was with sound.  Sound can be tricky in these types of spaces, which are great for rehearsal, less for performance.  It is up to the sound technician to ensure that - what should be heard - is.  All too often the balance is placed on the band and not the vocalist.  This was the case last night.  Love that jam sound, guitar heavy, when it is appropriate - but highlight what you are hired for - the girl’s vocals cannot be muddy or secondary when they are the purpose.  Two of the artists were able to power above these issues; two were not - their voices became strained and flat at times - through no fault of their own.

The final artist Rachele Lynae brings pint-sized Alaskan power to the event. She joked as positioning a mic stand twice her height: ”Well this mics a little taller than me.”  A clear and present presence on stage.  Produced and expertly represented by Jamie O’Neal, Rachele is what this night is all about.


Mid performance, she shared: “[It was] so exciting to move to Nashville - but then you get here and there's crazy amounts of talent…”   Talent she represents.  Her credo: ”We have so much to learn as artists or as women!"
Starting off with live video theatrics, sitting on couch with the guitar player, matching lyrics pulled the crowd in as she commanded that couch and the performance.  A Pat Benatar meets Belinda Carlisle, delivering a driving beat of soulful Country-Rock, belting out about “Breakin’ the chains.”

She describes music as "a lot cheaper than therapy.”  Leading into the song about “the love of her life” and drummer of the night, her husband, Tim, she tells a story; she tried to thwart off his advances, but he persisted  until she found herself running out of “Reasons To Run.”

An additional highlight of the night was the stellar Ellen Angelico, (mandolin, keyboards, back-up vocals); would love to see her in the spotlight on the next showcase.  She had the back of every performer on stage.  Though she claims to be a “utility player”  she should be a front liner.


In closing, Jamie O’Neal eloquently delivered the advice she professes to live by: ”Stay calm and always stay centered.  Stay humble and kind.”  The lead in for the first number of the finale, a beautiful rendition of the song entitled by that sentiment.  Each performer taking a brief solo spotlight as well as expertly supportive harmonic collaboration, demonstrated their incredible talents in this moment, all equal in their own right.

The top off, as Jamie called out: "Let's leave ‘em with a party song!” The women picked it up one more time and left the audience wanting more and knowing there will be.

In the words of her signature song Jamie may have been promised a better life out in Arizona.  Though there may not be an Arizona, there is a new and better scene in Nashville for this talent. That is what she is giving these artists. Let it rain til the sun comes out, because apparently there is an Arizona in Nashville Tennessee.

WMMW Mission Statement: Women of Music, Music of Women (WMMW) is a Nashville based International Promotional & Networking Alliance for female Music Industry Independent Artists and Professionals. WMMW offers educational seminars/retreats/conferences, showcasing, guest and 
industry speakers, promotional opportunities and more. WMMW embraces and welcomes all genres of music, seeking diversity in participation. The objective is to provide a networking environment of inclusion, education and cooperation between our members for the benefit of the group and all individuals involved. Form and cultivate long term relationships between industry professionals by facilitating communication among members and with other organizations.  WMMW seeks to encourage member participation and to promote continuing education in the arts. In an effort to empower female artists, we provide the opportunity to network  with other music professionals around the globe through all mediums.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Debut Album By Burnt Out Wreck “Swallow” Featuring Heavy Pettin's Gary Moat Now Available!


London - The eagerly awaited debut album from Burnt Out Wreck featuring ex-Heavy Pettin's Gary Moat is now available! “Swallow” is a huge slice of full on, punchy classic hard rock with guitar riffs galore! Released via Cherry Red Records, this album is every bit as good as you would expect from one of Scotland's original rock n rollers, Gary Moat!

Says Gary, “I went in to the studio to record a set of songs. Before I knew it, 'Swallow' had been created, and now here it is. I thoroughly enjoyed being in the studio but it was never my intention to become a recording artist again but here I am. It is crazy but I'm loving it. The album is a culmination of all my influences. It has been 30 years in the making and it seems it's being received very well everywhere...which is fantastic.”

Gary has a colorful history as the drummer and main songwriter for metal legends Heavy Pettin'. The band were signed to Polydor and Warner Chappell in 1983 with help from Def Leppard's manager Peter Mensch. They toured extensively until 1988 with Kiss, Ozzy Osbourne, Whitesnake, Ratt, Motley Crue, Saxon, Accept and Magnum amongst others, as well as headlining their own tours. They recorded three albums with different producers: Brian May, Mark Dearnley and Adrian Lee/Tony Taverner. Heavy Pettin' also played the likes of Reading Festival, Loreley and other major festivals, as well as recording The Friday Rock Show for Tommy Vance & Tony Wilson.

Gary created Burnt Out Wreck in the summer of 2016. After penning songs for an album, he ventured into the studio under the watchful eye of acclaimed sound engineer Steve Rispin (Asia), and with Gary's determination to create good time classic rock, “Swallow” began to take shape. For Burnt Out Wreck, Gary has traded the drum stool for the microphone. He has his own imitable style, and is frequently compared to Bon Scott and Marc Storace.

Burnt Out Wreck's “Swallow”  is co-produced by Gary Moat and Steve Rispin (Asia, Inglorious), mastered by Pete Maher (U2, The Killers, Jack White, Rolling Stones etc).

Watch Burnt Out Wreck's “Swallow” video:


(The video was created by Mark Leary at ASYLUMseventy7)

Burnt Out Wreck features:
Gary Moat - vocals, rhythm guitar
Adrian Dunn - guitar, backing vocals
Alex Carmichael - bass, backing vocals
Miles Goodman, guitar
Paul Gray - drums

The band played their first live show at the Giants Of Rock in Minehead in January 2017, alongside the likes of Steve Hackett, Ian Anderson, Iain Paice, Phil Campbell, Focus, Gun, Dare and many more.

Upcoming UK show:
23rd March, Underworld, Camden
http://www.theunderworldcamden.co.uk/gigs/events/23-mar-17-burnt-out-wreck-the-underworld/

To purchase Burnt Out Wreck's “Swallow”:
Amazon CD: http://geni.us/swallowalbum
iTunes: http://geni.us/BurntOutWreckSwallow

For more information:
https://www.facebook.com/BurntOutWreck
https://twitter.com/BurntWreck?lang=en-gb

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

Monday, February 13, 2017

Progressive Rock Ensemble APE SHIFTER To Release Self-Titled Debut Album “Ape Shifter”


It was a cold, dark day when the fire burned high and the simian shadow raised his hand through the smoke in solemn praise and exclaimed, “It is time for instrumental rock!”

Germany – Progressive Rock ensemble APE SHIFTER will be releasing their self-titled debut album in March 2017! APE SHIFTER is all instrumental and reaches from rockin' 70's riffs played with punk rock ferocity to creeping metal grooves. Intense Simian Instrumental Rock from the nasty pits of the Hellabrunn Zoo.

Born on Friday the 13th in Washington, D.C. and raised in Laurel, Maryland, Jeff Aug is a cool underground guitarist who lives at the foothills of the Alps in Southern Germany for the last 18 years.  He has toured with Allan Holdsworth, Soft Machine, Johnny A., Albert Lee, and has performed shows with Jawbox, Shudder To Think, and Ice-T & Bodycount with his old band.  He's worked with John Stabb from Government Issue, has been touring and recording with Anne Clark for the last 10+ years, and has been touring as a solo guitarist for the last 20+ years. Jeff can also be heard on the Atari Teenage Riot album “Is This Hyperreal?” (Dim Mak Records / Digital Hardcore Records). Jeff is also a Guinness™ world record holder setting the world record for the “most concerts performed in different countries in 24 hours” twice (2009, 2012)!

Progressive, loud instrumental rock; that's how APE SHIFTER describes their sound. APE SHIFTER brings you the perfect combination of melody intertwined with fat 70's riffs and punk rock ferocity.

After 3 albums with his rock band Sorry About Your Daughter, 1 album with his punk band Banana Peel Buzz, 8 instrumental acoustic guitar albums, 3 albums & 1 DVD with Anne Clark, guest appearances with ATARI TEENAGE RIOT, 2 Guinness(TM) world records, and a #1 album on the iTunes Acoustic Music Charts in the U.S., Jeff Aug gives you his new instrumental rock band: APE SHIFTER!

Featuring:
Jeff Aug: guitar
Florian Walter: bass
Kurty Münch: drums

APE SHIFTER Live Video Clip:


APE SHIFTER “Brain-O-Mat” (rough mix):

APE SHIFTER “Sakrotani”:


APE SHIFTER's self-titled debut album is available via iTunes, Amazon and at www.ape-shifter.com

Artist:  Ape Shifter
Album Title:  Ape Shifter
Label:  Brainstorm Records    
Catalogue Number:  BS0401639          
LC Number:  11050    
Barcode / EAN:  40 27791 00810 3            

Tracklist:

01 Uhluhtc  03:33
02 Revolution Summer  03:10
03 Desert Rock  03:27
04 Dopamatic  04:27
05 Hot Rod 02:34
06 Verdammt  03:54
07 Dead Tuna Boogie  02:58
08 Ratchet Attack  05:08
09 Sakrotani   03:13
10 Brain-O-Mat  03:47
11 Superhero Helden  02:30

Recorded on 09./10.July 2016 by Jürgen Schlachter at 36music in Leipheim, Germany.
Mixed in Winter 2016 by Alec Empire at The Hellish Vortex Studios in Berlin, Germany.
Mastered by Calyx in Berlin, Germany.
Artwork & layout graphics by Chris Lakriz.
Cover photo by Peter Travers.
This album was recorded live in the studio. There are no overdubs or “punch-ins.”
All compositions by Jeff Aug and published by Protozoa Music.

Ape Shifter and Jeff Aug use Hughes & Kettner amplification, Hipshot accessories, D´Addario strings, Planet Waves cables, and Dunlop picks & guitar accessories.  Ape Shifter wear RatRax.

APE SHIFTER Tour Dates:
Presented by GUITAR Magazine
27.01.2017 DE-Leipzig, Naumanns im Felsenkeller (with Shotgun Valium)
28.01.2017 DE-Dessau, Cadillac (with Jeff Aug solo performance)
03.03.2017 DE-Weikersheim, Club W71
04.03.2017 DE-Immenstadt, Rainbow (official album release concert!)
09.03.2017 DE-Karlsruhe, KoHi
10.03.2017 NL-Tilburg, Little Devil*
11.03.2017 NL-Landgraaf, Oefenbunker*
12.03.2016 DE-Düsseldorf, Pitcher*
17.03.2017 DE-Reutlingen, Franz.K (as support for WHO KILLED BRUCE LEE!)
27.04.2017 DE-Burgkunstadt, TECnet
28.04.2017 DE-Schwerin, Speicher
29.04.2017 DE-Erfurt, Museumskeller HsD (w/ Shotgun Valium)
30.04.2017 DE-Berlin, Supamolly  (special guest:  JUD)
*with special guest Chris Haskett's Amplified Ambition (Rollins Band guitarist!)

Artist Management & Booking by MAXIMUM Booking: info@MAXIMUMBooking.com

For more information:
www.ape-shifter-com
www.facebook.com/apeshifter/

Bandcamp: https://apeshifter.bandcamp.com/album/ape-shifter

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com
Album copies for promotion and review available upon request. Artist is available for interviews. All press inquiries to Billy James at Glass Onyon PR

Metal Review: Judas Priest-Turbo 30

Release Date: February 3, 2017
Label: Sony

This month the metal gods, Judas Priest, returned with a reminder of where the band was in 1986.  Turbo 30 is celebrated on their 30th anniversary with a 3 CD set. The set includes a trifold cardboard fold out case containing the original album remastered and two live discs recorded in Kansas City on The Fuel of Life Tour.

I must admit this is not one of favorite JP albums but it does not lack for classic heavy metal tracks that have become staples of their live set. I have seen them 3 times now, first during the comeback tour with Halford back in 2005 promoting Angel of Retribution, then in 2010 to celebrate the great British Steel album and finally in 2014 to promote their surprisingly different and excellent Redeemer of Souls album. So, I got a taste of several different decades in live setting and have had a good dose of this band over the years and completely enjoyed it.

The title track is killer, what a grand opening for an album. Another heavy track followed it titled “Locked In.”  “Out in the Cold” was another stand out giving their rabid fans a taste of the heavy metal priest they came to know and love. “Parental Guidance” sounded more like a Twisted Sister or Quiet Riot anthem than anything from their catalog even although there were some good guitar licks.

One thing that may have got lost in translation was the fact that it was 1986, and this was a band trying to create a sound to fit the times. The problem with a heavy metal band with the reputation of JP is that they would only set their audience up for some disappointments with Turbo.  With the addition of synthesized guitars (which they would master brilliantly on the Nostradamus album many years later) and that techno sound it would water down the mix and take away some of their normal oomph and power.

This is not to say that this album was not worthy of special anniversary issue. People listen differently with the passing of time and we cannot take for granted what a great band of talented musicians this band had at its disposal. And their lead singer Rob Halford did not look like the badass that he does now. Ever since his return to the group, with lightning bolt tattoos on his shaved head and that menacing goatee - well let’s just say it has been quite a ride. They all look metal that is for sure. 

If you have a thing for this kind of release you are in luck plus you get a ton of prime JP music live which is always a good thing if you are a fan and have seen them live you will appreciate it even more. They get an A for effort on this back in 1986 and overall C+ with the addition of the live cuts. They should have stood their ground and stayed with the time-tested formula of heavy metal without all the glitter and things around the fringes. This is great for the collector and completest but for the die hard metal freaks, it’s a maybe or total pass.

3.5/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
February 13, 2017
Founder of:

Review Provided By Write A Music Review Review
 
Track List:

Disc One — Turbo: Remastered:
01. Turbo Lover
02. Locked In
03. Private Property
04. Parental Guidance
05. Rock You All Around The World
06. Out In The Cold
07. Wild Nights, Hot & Crazy Days
08. Hot For Love
09. Reckless

Disc Two — Live At The Kemper Arena, Kansas City:

01. Out In the Cold
02. Locked In
03. Heading Out To The Highway
04. Metal Gods
05. Breaking The Law
06. Love Bites
07. Some Heads Are Gonna Roll
08. The Sentinel
09. Private Property
10. Desert Plains
11. Rock You All Around The World

Disc Three — Live At The Kemper Arena, Kansas City:12. The Hellion
13. Electric Eye
14. Turbo Lover
15. Freewheel Burning
16. Victim Of Changes
17. The Green Manalishi (With The Two -Pronged Crown)
18. Living After Midnight
19. You’ve Got Another Thing Coming
20. Hell Bent For Leather

Band Members:
Rob Halford – lead vocals
Glenn Tipton – lead and synthesized guitars

K.K. Downing – lead and synthesized guitars
Ian Hill – bass
Dave Holland – drums

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Art Rock Band Schooltree Descends into Crumbling Dreamworld with Multimedia Epic Heterotopia


Boston, MA - When music trends pander to the lowest common denominator, the real rebellion discards formulas and charts a stubbornly individualistic path. That's where we find Schooltree on their second release, Heterotopia: forging a new standard in sonic storytelling and taking us through cracks in the sidewalk into other worlds.

The story
Four years in the making, Heterotopia is a symphonic odyssey through a dystopian dreamworld: a 100-minute double record in the tradition of ambitious concept albums like The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway and Quadrophenia.

Underachiever Suzi loses her body and must make her way through a parallel world of the collective unconscious to get it back. But the road she travels has been overtaken by shadows and chaos. In order to become whole again, Suzi must uncover the origins of this darkness, in a journey that takes her from the neon lights of her plasterboard horizon home to the bottom of a cursed river, where the fate of this place and her own are inextricably linked.

The recording
Produced by Peter Moore (Think Tree, Count Zero) and Lainey Schooltree, Heterotopia favors warmth and dynamics but also clarity and punch, effecting a sound that’s both classic and contemporary. Dramatic choices like distinct singing styles for each character’s voice and accompanying instrumentation guide the listener through a shifting topography layered with stacked guitar harmonies, crystalline synth leads, odd time grooves and ominous ambient soundscapes.

Heterotopia’s successful Kickstarter campaign raised more than $20,000, with signal boosts from notable artists Aimee Mann, Neko Case, Margaret Cho, Amanda Palmer and Barry Crimmins. (link: http://kck.st/1Rn2Je8 )

Brimming with ambition, this record is the sound of a group of musicians playing at their peak.

The illustrated book
In a nod to classic opera, Heterotopia’s complete libretto will be made available as a companion to the album, bringing the story and lyrics to life in a full color illustrated book. Combining influences from art nouveau and graphic novels, the artwork has a dreamlike quality that complements the music.

The live experience
Heterotopia will first be performed on March 31 at OBERON, the American Repertory Theater's stage in Cambridge, MA. The performance will take audiences inside a 3D interactive light sculpture video installation by Sam Okerstrom-Lang (Samo), a Boston-based new-media interdisciplinary digital artist and designer. Samo’s boundary-pushing work will use technology create an immersive sensory experience, blurring the line between nirvana and dystopia. From the moment each audience member enters the room, their experience will reflect Suzi’s, as the installation’s elements are activated in parallel with the performance. Key moments will be accentuated with sound and light, triggering an out-of-body sensation of navigating the worlds expressed in the music.


Lainey Schooltree
Lainey Schooltree is a Boston-based composer, performer and producer. A classically trained musician and vaudeville performer, humor and tragedy inform each other equally in her work. She explores the intersection of the new and old, always striving for the timeless in sound and theme. Her band, Schooltree, fuses literature and music to create something uniquely accessible, visceral and profound.

Lainey is the composer and librettist of Heterotopia, and will serve as performer, musical director and producer of the live experience.

Here's what the press have raved about Schooltree!

“Schooltree's music embodies the essence of Art Rock, with catchy melodies, sophisticated arrangements, lush instrumentation, and a wide array of influences that - besides classic prog - include opera, Broadway musicals and baroque pop. Lainey's dazzling vocals deliver lyrics that are humorous and thought-provoking at the same time. Highly recommended to fans of Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Supertramp, Queen and Roxy Music.” – Progarchives.com

“Schooltree (the woman) is a painstaking crafter of sound, if not an outright artisan of sound...” – Cambridge Day

“All in all, Lainey has her own stamp and an incredible sense of all aspects of music, from basic structure to finished master. Her arrangement skills are regal. Her composition smarts are sorely beautiful. Schooltree moves from art pop to symphonic rock, to haunting ballad to unforgettable music all over.” – Prognaut.com

“It takes a certain kind of courage to get onstage and make people laugh. It also takes courage to lead a rock band playing your own autobiographical, if cryptic, songs. For Lainey Schooltree, it has been a long trip transitioning from one to the other.” – The Phoenix

“Shockingly gorgeous… There’s an undeniable charm in Schooltree's music.” – Glorydaze Music

“Schooltree is a beautifully unique and experimental artist. Possessing a world of talent as vocalist, pianist, and composer, she is unafraid to let her creativity and imagination unfold and take her in whichever direction she feels like going.” – Bill Copeland News

“Lainey is the prog rock queen of modern times, with her Broadway musical vocals and theatrical cabaret presentation.” – Boston Survival Guide

“With a voice that garners comparisons with Goldfrapp, Tori Amos, Kate Bush and even Freddie Mercury, and a virtuoso command of the keyboard, singer Lainey Schooltree is a strong frontwoman who becomes two or three times actual size on stage. Believe it.”  – Boston Band Crush 

To purchase Heterotopia:
http://schooltree.bandcamp.com ;

For more information:
http://schooltreemusic.com
http://facebook.com/schooltreemusic

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