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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.

BOOK REVIEW: "ROCKS: My Life In and Out of Aerosmith"

Aerosmith Guitarist Joe Perry Tells His Side of the Aerosmith Saga

BOSTON - Guitar legend Joe Perry has a new 'project' to talk about, but this time it's not his solo band releasing a new album. This time the Toxic Twin has released a book, co-written with acclaimed music biographer David Ritz (Buddy Guy, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Etta James) which unveils his side of the legendary yet sordid saga of one of rock music's greatest bands, Aerosmith.

Review and concert photo by Joe Milliken

However, this is not your typical tale of rock-and-roll excess, although there is plenty of that as well, no... this is a more thought-provoking insight about the life and times of a relatively shy guy from small town New England, who found fame and fortune through hard work, some hard partying and a little luck thrown in.

CD Review: Stonewall's "Worn"

The release of Stonewall’s second full-length CD in late 2013 was certainly a welcome sight and sound for all their loyal fans, who had patiently waited for the band’s follow up to their debut CD What If?, which had been released in 2008. Well, this reviewer is one of those fans and let it be it was all worth the wait!

Review by Joe Milliken * Photo courtesy of Stonewall

With tracks recorded at Subcat Studios based in Syracuse, New York and produced with Ron Keck, Worn is a more well-rounded collection of songs as compared to Stonewall's debut release, as Josh Parker (guitar and vocals), Philip Chiu (bass and backing vocals) and Ryan Young (drums and backing vocals) clearly show how they have progressed not only as musicians, but also songwriters and all-around purveyors of their art form.

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