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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.

Concert Review: Pat Travers Band, Live at RockBar Theatre, San Jose, Ca.

SAN JOSE, CA - A lot has changed between now and the last time I saw the Pat Travers Band in 1978. By the looks of the audience at the RockBar in San Jose, Pat Travers has accumulated a wiser, more refined and mature audience with enough unheeding animation to walk into a venue like the RockBar, on a Friday night and brave an evening of what is certain to be a night of loud music!

Review by Camden Barbour * Photos courtesy of Pat Travers Band

The RockBar is a converted card club with a large stage on one end of the room and a spacious lounge with various seating options on the other end. The two areas are separated by a colonnade which unfortunately blocks some of the view of the stage from the lounge areas. The place features a separate bar called, the Vodka Bar and another bar area in the corner of the main lounge.

CD Review: Kasim Sulton’s “3”

Kasim Sulton, best known for his work alongside Todd Rundgren and as a member of the power-pop band Utopia, recently released his third solo album (in Oct. 2014) and aptly titled 3. This talented singer/songwriter/bassist/guitarist has an impressive resume, having performed and recorded with Mick Jagger, Cheap Trick, Meatloaf, Joan Jett, Patty Smith, Hall and Oates, Richie Sambora, Celine Dion, Bon Jovi, Patty Smyth, Blue Oyster Cult and Meat Loaf over his nearly 40-year career.

Review by Joe Milliken

Nine of the tracks are written by Kasim and all but three of the tracks were recorded at his home studio, while the other three recorded in London at Phil Thornalley’s studio in St. John’s Wood. “I mostly work alone at home,” Sulton told this reviewer in a recent interview. “These days, you don’t need a lot of assistants to make a record.”

CD Review: The Veitch Boys EP

So, find yourself a woody... find yourself a surfboard, because you're about to be taken back in time. An artist from Bellows Falls, Vermont, The Veitch Boys EP is released by Michael Veitch and will take you back to the feeling of the surf music craze of the 60s, which now has a genre name of Trop rock.

Review by Brian Koppenhager

Michael has a long history in this area as a songwriter, has written hundreds of songs released Americana CDs such as Postcards From Vermont Volume 1, Painted Heart, Heartland and now, The Veitch Boys EP... he was invited to perform at the Newport Folk Festival 2001 and also wrote a song, "Veterans Day,” recorded by Judy Collins in a duet with Kenny White.

The EP opens with a very surf music-type song called “Drive,” featuring great harmonies and that Beach Boys sound in the vocal style.

CD Review: Pink Floyd's "The Endless River"

Pink Floyd is one of those bands that has left it's profound mark on so many. Their swan song release, The Endless River, is a gentle goodbye to those who shared their "real-time" timeline. There are a couple of pieces that are more up-tempo, but mainly it's a melancholy journey for the listener - and clearly the creators.

Review by Christopher Bergmann

David Gilmour and Nick Mason are saying their goodbyes to their late band mate, keyboardist Richard Wright, the best way they can, by using a large amount of the experimental material recorded at the same time they wrote and recorded 1994's The Division Bell. All of the music is full of beautiful - albeit mellow - Wright passages, augmented mostly within the last year and a half by the two remaining members, along with Mr. Wright's son in law, bassist Guy Pratt, and a few other recognizable players from the day.

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