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Concert Review: Slipknot, Marilyn Manson, Of Mice and Men, Live at SPAC

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NEW YORK - Saratoga Springs, New York is probably not the first place one associates with heavy metal music, with its vast history of horse racing and luxury homes, the area is more known for its upper class, high brow visitors and activities. True, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) has hosted musical acts from all genres since its opening in 1966. This writer as seen everyone from Sting to Lynyrd Skynyrd at the venue and has rarely been disappointed.


Review by John Yake

I couldn't help but find it ironic that Marilyn Manson and Slipknot, two of the heaviest, most brutal acts currently touring would be performing on a picture-perfect summer evening, while nearby, horse racing enthusiasts, clad in top hats and tuxedos were dining on caviar and oysters.

Book Review: Life Behind Bars, Stories and Encounters: Vignettes Over Cocktails

Books One & Two, By Kyle Branche

Los Angeles, California – Kyle Branche is surely an interesting (and very busy) character; entrepreneur, writer, author, extreme music enthusiast and above all else, a story-telling, name-dropping, elbow-rubbing professional and private bar tender with over 30 years of experiences and vignettes to tell! Yes, Kyle can realistically be labelled as “L.A.'s professional bartender to the stars.”


Review by Joe Milliken * Photos courtesy of Kyle Branche

Originally from Sackets Harbor, a village off the edge of Lake Ontario in Upstate New York, Kyle would move west to Phoenix, before ultimately landing in the City of Angels, Los Angeles, where he launched his journey in the bartending and beverage industry.

Concert Review: Legendary Entertainer Leon Russell Performs at Mystic Theater, Petaluma, CA

PETALUMA, CALIFORNIA - It seems that Dolly Parton is credited with writing nearly every song in the world. Some of them you know from the radio and movies, some you hum on a crowded elevator. Leon Russell is just like Dolly Parton in that they both have more than just two big hits... and there he was, at the Mystic Theater, in Petaluma, California... Leon Russell, with the assistance of a cane in his left hand, strolled out to the glowing white grand piano set slightly off center stage; his familiar hat on top of his head tilted slightly forward.


Review and photos by Cmaden Barbour

However, I could see his eyes as he surveyed the audience and he looked to me, to be sizing us up for trouble. It occurred to me I might not want to be standing on his lawn uninvited. His long white hair flowed over his shoulders, his white beard ended in a thin layer over his chest.

CD Review: Roland Pearsall's "Sell Your Soul"

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - Roland Pearsall is a Boston-based singer/song writer who combines elements of roots and garage-rock, folk and blues, psychedelia and the British Invasion... and poured it all into a melding pot to produce his first full-length CD release titled Sell Your Soul.


Review by Joe Milliken * Photos courtesy of Roland Pearsall

Featuring 13 original songs by Pearsall, he also plays virtually everything, including acoustic and electric guitars, organ, piano, harpsichord, harmonica, bass and drums. Roland also recorded and mixed the songs himself.

The Imperfectionsists Perform to Perfection at KJ's Place!

NORT SPRINGFIELD, VERMONT - This reviewer recently had the pleasure of seeing The Imperfectionists, perform live at KJ's Place in Springfield, a very cool venue and seemingly "perfect" setting for this intimate acoustic set of classic covers.


Review by Brian Koppenhaver

Featuring Travis Parker on guitar and lead vocals, Marc Prouty on bass and backing vocals and Johnny O on lead guitar, this talented trio combines fine musicianship, tight, two-part harmonies and a little bit of humor mixed in to produce a lively interaction between not only the performers but audience as well.

Their interesting set of classic covers included songs such as Jim Croche's "Don't Mess Around With Jim," Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire," America's "Horse With No Name" and Kenny Wayne Sheppard's "Blue on Black" just to name a few.

Kinks Guitarist Dave Davies Offers Up Unique Solo Performance

NAPA, CALIFORNIA – If you want to see an honest show, then go and see Dave Davies perform and if you want to see joy on someone's face, then go see Dave Davies perform. Yes, the expressions on his face are a “world tour” in themselves. As he furiously jams away on the fantastic songs he's written, Dave studies the music stand he trotted out and meticulously plays his guitar parts; then he looks up, sees he's performing for an audience full of new and old friends alike and you see the biggest grin you could imagine spreading across his face.


Review and photo by Camden Barbour

For those who may not know, Dave Davies and his brother, Ray, were The Kinks... a great band with an ever-greater sibling rivalry between the two brothers. Although the band hasn't performed together since the 1990's, near the end of his set, Dave teased the audience that Ray promised to join him somewhere on the tour and for a heartbeat... I thought we would be the lucky ones to see it. Dave did take the time, however, to call for his brother... who was obviously nowhere to be found.

The Anderson-Ponty Band Live at the Regency Grand Ballroom in San Francisco

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - In San Francisco, on a chilly November evening, as I enter the Regency Grand Ballroom to see the Anderson-Ponty Band, (APB) I proceed up the stairs from a busy Van Ness Avenue into a spacious, yet somewhat narrow lobby. The vaulted ceiling introduced a hallway on my left and my right.


Review and Photos by Camden Barbour

The entrance to the ballroom from here puts you just inside the rectangular shaped room. When I say ballroom, in this case I mean a nicely open space with a balcony opposite the stage, a firm and clean wooden floor. Here the stage is wide, set at mid-chest level with a proscenium enclosure. The seated venue holds the other fans politely talking amongst themselves and waiting for APB.

CD Review and Interview for Mark Knight's Latest, Self-Titled Release

If Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and The Allman Brothers Band ever had a secret baby, than Mark Knight would be their musical Black Crow of a love child, observing from the top of a tree, the top of a house, or the top of a mountain. In the lyrics of Knight's latest self-titled release, you may notice the ending of a previous life lived. But we also get the rebirth of another life beginning.


Review by Kyle Branche

Mark's set of newly-penned songs are in a sense, a glimpse into all of our lives and how they ebb and flow with heartache and triumph, failings and successes. But the one undying thought we all keep on with in one varying degree or another, is moving forward and trying to make things a little better each day, for ourselves and others around us. After all, we only have one life that we know of. What are we going to do with it?

Original Genesis Guitarist Steve Hackett, Turns Back Time at Albany's Futuristic "Egg"

ALBANY, NEW YORK - Having been a Genesis fan over four decades running, it was a thrill to recently experience live, Steve Hackett, the guitar virtuoso who played a major part in the legendary band's formative years. The setting was “The Egg,” a intimate and futuristic-looking (from the outside) venue in Albany, New York, that I had also yet to experience.


Review by Joe Milliken * Photos by Craig Mellish

For those not familiar with Mr. Hackett's work, he played the role of lead guitarist for six of the band's early albums and was a member of Genesis from 1970 to 1977. He participated on such fan-favorite albums as Selling England By The Pound, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Trick of the Tail and Wind and Wuthering and after leaving Genesis to pursue a solo career, Hackett has remained prolific - releasing some 24 solo album titles over the last 35+ years.

Steppin' Out With Legendary Joe Jackson at Northampton's Academy of Music Theatre

NORTHAMPTON, MASSACHUSETTS – Joe Jackson is one of those artists that transcends music genres; pub rock, punk, jazz, R & B, ballads and even vibes of world music... and they were all on display on this fall night at Northampton's Academy of Music Theater, which has the unique distinction of being the first municipality-owned theater (established in 1891) in the United States.


Review and photos by Joe Milliken

Jackson would actually mention the very fact, that he “felt much more comfortable here," after having just performed at the more modern “Egg” venue in Albany, New York. He was clearly impressed with the vintage atmosphere, after revealing that his dressing room was actually called “The Mae West Dressing Room.” But I digress...

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