Sunday, February 12, 2017

Seven Inch Sunday (T Rex)

Today's seven inch single is from T Rex. A couple of weeks ago while digging through some used records and a local record store I came across the 1970 Tyrannosaurus Rex album A Beard Of Stars that was released on Blue Thumb Records. Included with this release is the seven inch single that features the two songs "Ride A White Swan" and "Summertime Blues". I was happy just finding the album never mind the single still with it.

Ride A White Swan.

Summertime Blues.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Sam Roberts Band Live in Edmonton Feb.4th 2017

Last Saturday Janis and I went to the Sam Roberts Band and Hollerado double bill at the Winspear Centre here in Edmonton, courtesy of Bullfrog Power.

The opening band Hollerado is an indie power pop band from Ottawa. A band I had never heard til this show. While they were alright, certainly nothing I would rush out to buy or go out of my way to see again. The band was energetic and at times reminded me a little bit of Weezer. Lead singer Menno Versteeg was all over the stage trying his best to get the crowd in to it. It seemed there were a lot of women that knew and liked them as they were up dancing and singing along. He did a pretty good job considering most in the audience didn't know who they were.


This was my fifth time seeing Sam Roberts Band in concert, and having seen them that many times, I knew what I was in for. A good blue collar rock n' roll show. Sam is out on tour in support of his latest album Terraform.
Why this tour was booked in mostly soft seat venues is beyond me. To me Sam Roberts should be playing general admission shows where people can swill beers and dance.

The band opened with the title track from the new album which sounded good, as I am not familiar with the new stuff. There were some older tunes from the "We Were Born in a Flame" album played that I knew much better, songs like "Brother Down","Hard Road", "Where Have All The Good People Gone?" and "Don't Walk Away Eileen" the members of Hollerado came out to help on this one. All those songs got a great reaction from the crowd with everyone singing along, especially too "Good People Gone". I never realized how repetitive that song really is. I used to like that song but have to say, not so much anymore.

Sam and the band rocked it out pretty good, not as good as the show I saw last summer at the outdoor Interstellar Rodeo Festival, but still good. I found the stage lighting to be dark. The band was tight, and looked to be enjoying themselves on stage. I noticed he had a horn player with him this time too, maybe he was there last summer too, not sure, but I noticed this time, he added a new twist to a few songs. Sam didn't have a lot of interaction with the audience during the show, until the end, when he jumped off the stage and shook hands and high fived those in the front row, and then made his way down the aisles to the back of the venue.

All and all it was a good show. Good times!!!

Sam Roberts Band.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Jr. Gone Wild Live January 28th 2017

On Saturday afternoon my buddy Buzzard and I went to the Cask and Barrel in downtown Edmonton for the Garage Band Saturdays event which was originally billed as a Mike McDonald solo show but ended up being a Jr. Gone Wild show. This was my ninth time seeing them live and the smallest most intimate venue I have seen them play. The place can't hold much more then 70-80 people.

This was the first show JGW has played this year, and with little or no rehearsal, the band sounded great. Ya, there were a few rough spots but overall I thought they were awesome. Mike only played acoustic through out the whole show which I have never seen him do at JGW gig before so that was cool. His voice sounded great and guitarist Steve Loree just keeps sounding better to me, maybe because Mike was on acoustic, but Steve really seems to be getting better and better, and of course Dove on bass and Larry Shelast on drums held their own too.

The band did two sets on this afternoon, lots of great tunes and a few good stories told as well. I didn't realize that it is the 30th anniversary of JGW first album Less Art, More Pop! which is a brilliant album.

I really enjoyed the selection of songs played during the two sets. A couple of newer ones "Barricades (The Hockey Riot Song)", "Old & Ugly" and "Fools Errand". From the Pull The Goalie album there was "What's Going On", "Try Again" and "What A Great Day". From Simple Little Wish there was "Downtime" and "I'm So Glad".

Mike told a good story about the 1990 album Too Dumb To Quit. He mentioned that guitarist/lead singer Bill Henderson from the band Chilliwack produced that album, and how Bill would make them do the songs over and over and over. Well they had enough of that, when it came to the song "Bachelor Suite" in which they did on this afternoon. Mike and the band would only do the song once, no more takes, so the song you hear on the Too Dumb To Quit album is the only take of that song. The version they did at the Cask and Barrel sounded damn good too.

Other songs they performed Saturday afternoon from the Too Dumb To Quit album were "I Don't Know About All That", "In Contempt Of Me", and "Poet's Highway". JGW also did a couple of cover songs I had never heard them do before. Loudon Wainwright III "Dead Skunk" that was a really fun song and a Hank Williams song "Long Gone Lonesome Blues".

This was a great afternoon of music. Good times!!!


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Joel Plaskett with The ESO January 23rd 2017

On Monday night Janis, Char, Buzzard and I went to the Joel Plaskett with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra concert at the Winspear Centre here in Edmonton. This was my eighth time seeing Joel in concert and one where I wasn't sure what to expect.

Joel Plaskett was in Alberta for two shows only one here in Edmonton with the ESO and then in Calgary the following night playing with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. So this was going to be a rare show and one off kind of event.

The show started with the ESO getting warmed up by playing the Ian Tyson song "Four Strong Winds", then a medley of Gordon Lightfoot songs. The conductor for the evening was a fellow Nova Scotian by the name of Martin MacDonald. Joel's opening song of the night was "Harbour Boys" from his Scrappy Happiness album. Joel admitted several times during the course of the night about how nervous he was about the show with the symphony. Having never been out to see the ESO, I was nervous as well, but with Joel's quirkiness, shuffles and his between song banter I was feeling more comfortable as the show went on as did Joel.

What was nice is that the whole show wasn't just Joel with the ESO, he also did a few songs solo, and a few songs with Peter Elkas on guitar and piano. One of the songs Joel did "Old Friends" was dedicated to Peter as they have been long time friends having met back when Joel toured with his 90's band Thrush Hermit, it was while in Montreal that he met Peter who used to be in the band Local Rabbits. Joel also had drummer Mark Inneo playing these two Alberta shows with him. But it was really about the 50-60 musicians that make up the ESO were backing Joel up. I tried counting how many there were but never did get an accurate count, over 50 for sure.

I thought Joel and had great setlist for the type of show he was playing. Some of the songs were "North Star", "Park Avenue Sobriety Test" which had a great sing-a-long, "Love This Town", "Nowhere With You" and a solo version of "Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'," which had the whole crowd stomping and clapping along to the song, "When I Close My Eyes", "Lying On A Beach"," I'm Yours".

Joel Plaskett and The ESO did two sets on this night. The second set started with the ESO warming up playing a medley of Procol Harum songs, which makes sense seeing as Procol Harum and The ESO played together in 1971 and released a live album in 1972. After that it was back to more awesomeness with Joel Plaskett. The highlight of the night for me was the version Joel and the ESO did of the song "Lightning Bolt" to close out the second half, wow, just fucking incredible. I would love to see that song released as a single, or perhaps a live album of the whole show. But that song was amazing, the way the orchestra and Joel mixed together. The ESO certainly rocked the hell out on that one.

Joel ended the evening with a poem called "Just Because (For Gord Downie)", Joel went on to tell a story about opening for the Tragically Hip on a nation wide tour back in 90's. And you could tell that Joel has nothing but the utmost respect for Gord and The Hip. At the merch booth they had ten inch singles of the song, which sold out at the show. All proceeds from the single are going to the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund.

After the poem Joel came out for an encore but be damned if I can recall right now what the hell it was he played. This was an amazing show. Good times!!!

Joel Plaskett with The ESO.

Ten Inch Single.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Bombchan Live January 20th 2017

On Friday night my Cuz and I went to see a friends band called Bombchan at the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts. This show was part of an art show by artist Kevin Kunce who is a friend of the bands. Kevin had his art displayed on the walls of the gallery and had a good turnout for his art show. Kevin's art is pretty decent, I am no art expert by any means, but it seemed a lot of people took an interest in his art. Good on you Kevin. Kevin's art exhibit runs through until February 10th. I too was impressed.

As for Bombchan, I haven't seen them play in a while and it was what I was expecting, although a little lower in volume then usual with the show being held in an art gallery. The band which consists of Mike Park on slide guitar and vocals, Ayla Brook on guitar, Karie Brown on bass and Grant Stovel on drums sounded better then the last couple of times I have seen them. Their music is blues based style reminiscent of T-Model Ford and RL Burnside. The band rarely if ever rehearse which is a shame because if they did this band could really be a tight unit. Nonetheless it was a good show and a lot of fun. Free beers always help! Good times!!!

T-shirt with logo designed by artist Kevin Kunce.

In other news...Ayla Brook who plays guitar in Bombchan just recently released his first solo album in eight years. The album is called "(I Don't Want To Hear Your) Break Up Songs", Ayla is backed up by his five piece band The Sound Men and is available through his bandcamp page and iTunes. It's a great sounding album and well worth picking up. The album can also be streamed on Spotify and Soundcloud. To hear the album click on either link.

You can also download Bombchan's music on their bandcamp page by clicking here.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Sebastian Bach - 18 And Life On Skid Row (Book Review)

I recently finished reading the Sebastian Bach book, 18 and Life on Skid Row. Sebastian of course was the lead singer of hair metal band Skid Row between 1987-1996.

This was a very entertaining and easy read. Bach got his start by singing in the church choir, which eventually led him to singing in the band Kid Wikkid in Toronto, his stint in the mega glam band Madam X and then onto Jersey band Skid Row. And after getting the boot out of Skid Row, he went on to acting in a few Broadway plays.

Sebastian tells some great stories about hanging with the likes of Axl Rose of Guns N Roses and the rest of the band, but especially Axl as they have been close friends for years now. Stories of partying with Pantera whom Skid Row took on the road for a tour. My favorite story though was of Bach hanging, recording and partying with his guitar hero Ace Frehley of KISS fame.

From reading this book there is no doubt that he could be an asshole with his drinking and drug taking which in time had him on his own tour bus while touring with Skid Row. There are some great stories here which he tells in great detail about the drugs, drinking, women and sex everything you would expect from a heavy metal singer during the late 80's early 90's.

All and all I enjoyed reading this book, he reminds me of David Lee Roth of Van Halen with his wild stories and how he goes about telling them. A great read.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

RIP Gabby (Cadillac Tramps)

Well we all know what 2016 was like for musicians passing, looks like we are off to a terrible start here in 2017. Only four days in to the new year and we have already lost someone. That someone would be Mike (Gabby) Gaborno the lead singer of Orange County, California's Cadillac Tramps. Gabby passed away yesterday at the age of 51 after a long battle with cancer.

I was lucky enough to see the Cadillac Tramps play here in Edmonton five times in a two year span, it was almost like they were a Canadian band there for a while. The first time seeing them was August 12th 1993 when they opened for Pearl Jam at the Convention Centre here. They absolutely killed it live that night and vowed I would see them if they ever came through Edmonton again.

As luck would have it they played here again in October of 1993 twice.

October 7th at The Bronx (now the Starlite Room).

October 9th as one of the headliners for Mosh Fest at the Agricom, they were a late addition to the line up.

Then in 1994 they came through town a couple times again.
October 1st at The Rev (old Bronx now the Starlite Room)

And November 18th again at The Rev.

Gabby and the band were amazing live, I will never forget the way Gabby would belt out the songs, taking his shirt off and shaking his big old belly which had a big smiley face on it. Sadly after all those shows in 1993-94 they never came through town again. No worries though, I had all there music on CD and kept the music playing.

RIP Gabby you will not be forgotten. Condolences to his family, friends and fans. Long live the Cadillac Tramps!