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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...

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.

Concert Review: Kasim Sulton Live at Hotel Utah in San Francisco

Also featuring Bill Spooner of The Tubes

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - A great song is one that drives people other than the author to perform it. A great song writer is one who gets you to drop out of your world and live, even if it is only for three minutes, in the world of the song. A great performer whisks you away into a time and place directed by the songs he or she decide to perform.

Review by Camden Barbour * Courtesy Photos

In June a select few of a select audience were in attendance to witness Kasim Sulton’s first ever solo performance in San Francisco at the Hotel Utah, a very small club in the heart of San Francisco. Kasim invited legendary Bill Spooner to do the opening set of songs and Kasim completed the second set.

Kasim has played in San Francisco many times with Todd Rundgren and Blue Oyster Cult, but the chance to see this amazing performer and his million-dollar smile less than 20 feet away... was an opportunity for which the fans lined up early.

Concert Review: The Tubes Live at the Soiled Dove Underground

DENVER, COLORADO - The Rocky Mountains, dividing the US continent, were created millions of years ago by a surge of unimaginable amount of energy. From this cataclysmic uproar a fluid stream of asphalt oozed up and poured over the prairie like a silkie layer of fudge on a hashish cake. Where herds of Winnebegos once roamed free, cowboys and cowgirls ride along in electric cars which say, “Mha, mha, mha” when you lay on the horn.

Review and photo by Camden Barbour

Where the radios dare to “wake us up from a sleep...” the rockies innocently await the winds from the plains. It is exactly this landscape in which the restaurant and concert venue, The Soiled Dove Underground collects its nutrients from the dry air like a cactus flower in the alkaline soil.

Concert Review - Blue Oyster Cult Live at the RockBar, San Jose, CA.

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA - My ear plugs are still vibrating with the sounds of Blue Oyster Cult performing live in late March, at the RockBar in San Jose, California. Passing by all the big limousines in the parking lot, I flew into the venue and right away I could sense the special attention that a radio-friendly hit, or two, can bring to any show.

Review by Camden Barbour * Photos courtesy of Blue Oyster

Blue Oyster Cult has a handful of radio-favorite songs as well as a collection of tunes that diehard fans truly treasure. Since BOC is more than a cult of long-haired metal fans, the RockBar was filled with attendees you might not see at any other rock show.

The radio presence in the lobby adds to the special atmosphere in the otherwise conventional rock club/bar/theatre. There is a slightly higher ratio of high-hair females and young couples than middle aged men in the audience at this BOC show (ok, slightly onward from “middle-aged”).

CD Review: "Van Halen Live - Tokyo Dome In Concert"

When the announcement was made that Van Halen was releasing a complete concert from their 2013 tour with David Lee Roth, I had mixed feelings, as did many others. I’d watched some clips from shows on YouTube that didn’t impress me much-Although in fairness they were mostly fan recordings-But like so many, I wasn’t convinced that Diamond Dave could still front the band with the energy he used to.

Review by Christopher Bergmann

Then came the controversial appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel show, where during sound-check, Dave smacked himself in the face with his mic forcing him to wear a bandage on his nose (Several people had commented that it was a Breathe Right strip) and like many others, I wasn’t sure Dave still had it.

Concert Review: Roger Steen Band Live - Fenix Supper Club, San Rafael, California

SAN RAFAEL, CALIFORNIA - My friends Patrick, Rocky and I went to Marin County to see the Roger Steen Band at the Fenix Supper Club in San Rafael on a Thursday evening in March. It was a warm, nearly spring evening. We anticipated what the band might play that evening as we drove over the Richmond-San Rafael bridge towards our exit on Fourth Street.

Review by Camden Barbour * Photo courtesy of Roger Steen Band

We are big fans of RSB and we had an idea of what to expect. We love Roger's self- titled 2013 solo CD, Roger Steen. We discussed which Tubes songs he might cover, if any, and wondered what surprises he might play from his extensive repertoire.

Roger Steen is a guitar player/song writer and a founding member of the San Francisco theatrical rock band, the Tubes. Roger has a long list of songwriting credits, some of which Billboard magazine posts in the top 100 songs. “Don’t Want To Wait Anymore” made top 50 and “She’s a Beauty” went to the number 10 chart positions.

Concert Review: Sparks Live in Los Angeles, 40th Anniversary Show

LOS ANGELES - From the land that stretches between the San Gabriel mountains to the Pacific ocean come the brothers, Ron and Russell Mael, performing as Sparks, celebrating the 40th anniversary of Kimono My House on Valentine’s Day in LA. A show I was lucky enough to attend, with my beautiful wife and darling friends and I believe, I am falling in love again.

Review and photo by Camden Barbour

My wife, Sharon, and I were invited to a special Valentine's dinner at the home of an LA Sparks fan and friend, Jill Masters. It was an elegant beginning to what we all anticipated would be a special evening at the show. We had a wonderful time listening to Sparks and Mick Ronson over the entree of trout, freshly caught by Ms. Masters and skillfully barbecued using planks by her friend David.

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