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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 Theatre, which has the unique distinction of being the first municipality-owned theatre (established in 1891) in the United States.
Review and photos by Joe Milliken

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 much 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...

Concert Review: VEHICLE Rocks New Hampshire's Cornish Fair

CORNISH, NEW HAMPSHIRE - This music fan spent last Sunday afternooon enjoying longtime, New Hampshire/Vermont rockers VEHICLE, performing live at the Cornish Fair in Cornish, New Hampshire. The weather cooperated nicely and the band put on an entertaining show for the crowd, which just so happened to be peppered with several other great local musicians, all there to enjoy the music.

Review and photos by Brian Koppenhaver

Featuring Bernie Moss on lead guitar, Keith McCane on guitar and keys, Jim Murphy on bass, Paul Bocchiaro on keys and sax, Gary Spaulding on drums and Roy Alan Brown on lead vocals, the band tore through a cool mix of unique and classic rock covers spanning three decades.

CD Review: Scott Kempner's "Live on Blueberry Hill"

Considering Scott “Top Ten” Kempner’s music roots, being a founding member of proto punk-rock icons The Dictators and all, you might not expect a live solo-acoustic release from the Bronx-born guitarist... and as it turns out, with this live recording, Kempner wasn’t expecting it either.

Review by Joe Milliken * Photo courtesy of Scott Kempner

Released in January on the independent GB Music label, Live on Blueberry Hill chronicles a 1993, intimate Kempner solo performance at Cicero’s, located at the Blueberry Hill club in St. Louis. The performance reveals that for as much of a hard-edged rocker as he was back in the day, Scott is as much a thoughtful and intuitive songwriter today, thank you very much.

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