Jacques Loussier Anthologized In My Personal Favorites





My Personal Favorites: The Jacques Loussier Trio Plays Bach

and Beyond Bach: Other Composers I Adore

celebrate the innovative pianist-composer’s 80th birthday

In a career that spans more than a half century, pianist and composer Jacques Loussier has built an enormous body of work by blurring the lines between classical and jazz. Beginning in 1959 with his Play Bach Trio, and later with alternate lineups that explored numerous other classical artists, Loussier and his various collaborators forced musicians and audiences of both jazz and classical music to re-evaluate the boundaries – and indeed the similarities – between their respective genres. Along the way, he has sold more than six million albums worldwide.

Fifty five years after those bold first steps with Play Bach Trio, Telarc celebrates Loussier’s upcoming 80th birthday in October 2014 with the release of two collections that provide a cross section of his masterful fusion of classical tradition with the jazz idiom. My Personal Favorites: The Jacques Loussier Trio Plays Bach and Beyond Bach: Other Composers I Adore – two specially priced 2-CD sets, each with tracks chosen by Loussier as personal favorites – are scheduled for a May 27, 2014, release on Telarc International, a subsidiary of Concord Music.

Personal Favorites: The Jacques Loussier Trio Plays Bach

The Bach collection principally features the trio that Loussier formed in 1985. “His personal selection of pieces from his Bach repertoire looks back on the one hand to his earliest triumphs, but also shows how the trio has developed and responded to the music over time,” says jazz  historian Alyn Shipton, author of the liner notes for both collections. “So, while the opening ‘Air on a G String’ is clearly recognizable as having affinities with his original recording from the Play Bach era, as the improvisation develops, there is a conversation between Vincent Charbonnier’s bass and the piano that would not have been part of the 1959 trio’s remit.”

“My interpretation of ‘Air on a G String’ was featured  in many Benson & Hedges cigar commercials on television between 1964 and 1999,” Loussier recalls, “and my music was suddenly exposed to millions of listeners. There were nearly 100 TV spots in all. They were very funny, especially the last one, which most people will remember.”

The collection also includes some noteworthy “firsts” in Loussier’s career with the Play Bach Trio. Prelude No. 1 in C Major from “The Well-Tempered Clavier” is the first Bach piece he ever arranged in a jazz context. Bach’s Toccatta and Fugue in D Minor, meanwhile, was the piece the trio debuted in Paris in 1959.

In “Pastorale in C Minor,” piano and bass double and then alternate the lead before going into a jazz passage where the bass takes on a walking role beneath the piano. Loussier’s choices on the CD, says Shipton, are an interesting mix of oft-requested Bach favorites and the composer’s own preference for slightly lesser-known music where the players bring their own personalities into the recipe.

“Italian Concerto” mixes a variety of elements in a way that never loses sight of Bach’s original, but which includes many original touches. “These include the sense of more than one tempo in the opening movement, for example, or the dramatic bleakness of the central Andante, with bass pedal notes and atmospheric drums creating a landscape that goes a great distance beyond Bach’s,” says Shipton. “The joyous conclusion is everything that its fans love about the trio: precision, delicacy, and hard-hitting swing, yet in a context of familiarity for the classical audience, and with moments of departure into a more abstract style.”

The collection also includes pieces that reflect the most contrasting moods from Loussier’s ambitious Goldberg Variations album. After the opening aria comes the impressionist treatment of Variation 2, and the uptempo Number 5. “It all comes together in the longer exploration of Variation 25,” says Shipton, “which as well as showing how the trio can be loyal to Bach while traveling a long way from its original, it can create a musical scene that is entirely its own, and testament to the creativity of its founder.”

My Favorite Composers

The Vivaldi concerto here – the second of the Four Seasons quartet – demonstrates how successfully Loussier applied his jazz approach to a classical composer. Instead of the strong harmonic development of J.S. Bach, with its affinities to jazz structure, Vivaldi deals in songlike melodies.

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons was our first CD after a long series of Play Bach recordings,” says Loussier. “It was quite different from what I’d been doing, and I wondered if it would be possible to make Vivaldi swing in the same way I had done with Bach, who is an interesting composer but not easy to improvise. After making that album, I decided I could do anything with any other composer.”

“There’s a direct connection between the summery feeling Loussier was aiming for in the opening of the Vivaldi and the laid-back calm of Gymnopedie No. 1 by Eric Satie,” Shipton explains. “Gnossiene No. 1 is more rhythmic, but overall in these pieces, Loussier uses the originals as an opportunity to add his own compositional touches, altering a harmony here, adding a subtle melodic flourish there.”

“I chose to record Satie’s Gymnopedie’s because this is already a swinging piece – like Bach is, but in a different way,” says Loussier. “But I felt very much at home with this unique piece of harmonistic and relaxing music.”


The baroque adventures in music by Handel and Scarlatti on these CDs sit closer to Jacques’ original experiments with Bach. Indeed, the Scarlatti has great affinities to the work of his first trio. And so, too, does the Mozart Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major.

The remaining pieces on the album are a testament to the variety of material that Jacques has explored. The charming simplicity of Schumann’s songs leads to a catchy inevitability about the arrangement of ‘Of Foreign Lands and People,’ whereas the selections from Chopin’s Nocturnes reveal Loussier’s skill as a solo unaccompanied musician.”

For years, Loussier has been consistently celebrated for his versions of Ravel and Debussy, both of which are included here. “I was fascinated by the avant garde minimalism of ‘Bolero de Ravel,’” says Loussier. “The constant crescendo, a repetitive and insistent theme in the orchestral version of the piece, created a new challenge when reinterpreting the piece for only three instruments!”

The Debussy album, meanwhile, remains “the masterpiece of the latter-day trio,” says Shipton. “Listen to ‘Clair de Lune,’ and revel in its liquid beauty as you join Jacques in celebrating his 80th birthday.”


Rush Midnight Remix By Tokyo Police Club

LISTEN – “Closer (Tokyo Police Club Remix)”


Ahead of his debut LP release on May 27, Rush Midnight shares a remix of his album “Closer” by Tokyo Police Club. He will also be heading out on a US and Canadian tour soon, dates below.
While on tour across Europe and Australia early 2010, Russ Manning began to write songs in 2 star hotel rooms and mixing the songs in the van. By 2012 Russ had discovered a clear voice of New York in the evening; an alter ego exploration called Rush Midnight.  New York label Cascine released Rush Midnight’s debut EP +1 in October 2012 with production support from George Lewis Jr. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Rush’s influences span from Minneapolis ’80s funk group Change, to The Police and Sade.


Rush Midnight signed with Last Gang Records in early 2014 with announcement of a forthcoming debut LP executive produced by Jesse F Keeler (Death From Above 1979/MSTRKRFT). He quickly gained support from The Fader, Stereogum, Noisey, and many more. His first two singles, “In Your Room” and “Closer” can be heard on Soundcloud with videos seen on YouTube.

Rush Midnight LIVE  

April 30 – New York, NY - The Studio at Webster Hall 

May 8 – Toronto, ON – Underground/Drake – CMW%

May 9 – Montreal, PQ – La Vitrola%
May 10 – Toronto, ON – Supermarket – CMW%
May 20 – London, ON – Music Hall#
May 22 – Peterborough, ON – The Red Dog#
May 24 – Collingwood, ON – Casbah Bar#
May 27 – Boston, MA The Red Room @ Cafe 939#
May 28 – Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s#
May 30 – Brooklyn, NY – Rough Trade#
May 31 – Baltimore, MD – Metro#
June 1 – Washington DC – DC9#
June 4 – Charlotte, NC – The Casbah @ Tremont Music Hall#
June 5 – Chapel Hill, NC – Local 506#
June 7 – Chicago, IL – The Empty Bottle#
June 9 – Hamilton, ON – Casbah#
June 11 – Kingston, ON – Merchant Tap House#
June 12 – Ottawa, ON – Mavericks#
June 13 – Montreal, PQ – Il Motore#
June 14 – Toronto, ON – Adelaide Hall#


% – w/ Leisure Cruise
# w/ Nightbox

The Griswolds “Beware The Dog”



NEW YORK, NY (April 23, 2014) - The Griswolds who hail from Sydney, Australia just put the finishing touches on their highly anticipated debut album with Tony Hoffer (M83, Phoenix, Beck).   The band announced today that their first single will be “Beware The Dog.” About the song, said Whitehall…   “This is the first song Dan and I ever wrote together. It’s about losing someone we were really close with to heavy drug use. ‘Beware the Dog’ is about that journey – the good and the bad times.”

Last year The Griswolds released their infectious four-song Heart of a Lion EP and upon the release of its first single, “Heart of a Lion,” it was immediately added into high rotation in Australia on triple j radio and was one of the station’s most played tracks of the year. The international airwaves were quick to take notice with the song attracting airplay in over 20 countries worldwide and it also reached #3 on the radio airplay charts in The Netherlands via tastemaker station 3FM and was an iTunes single of the week in the region.  Stateside, the release had critics and fans buzzing alike not only with the songs themselves but with their creative videos which all had noteworthy premieres - “Mississippi” premiered with CMJ and was featured onMTV Buzzworthy, the visualizer for the Magic Man remix of the song premiered on Neon Gold,  “The Courtship of Summer Preasley”premiered with Paper Magazine and “Red Tuxedo” premiered on Vice Noisey.The Griswolds just wrapped a tour in Australia with St. Lucia which had one of Australia’s leading music blogs, Tone Deaf boasting that they, “…put on an incredible support set that could have easily been redefined as a co-headline spot. The quintet oozed tropical flamboyance and Aussie ambience, and brought with them a euphoric lasso that hooked audiences from the get-go…‘Beware Of The Dog’, showcased the band’s impressive harmonies and raw heavy percussion, giving the song an infectious live presence that, in hindsight, rivaled many of the headliner’s moments.”  They also came off some great shows at SXSW to packed houses and rave reviews including making many best of lists such as, The Huffington Postnaming them as “30 SXSW Acts About to Break,” The Atlantic “18 Bands to Check Out From South by Southwest 2014,” Buzzfeed “50 Acts You Need To Hear,” AU Review naming the band as “Best Australian Artist at SXSW: The Griswolds” and Reverb naming them in their “The best shows at SXSW 2014” list. The Griswolds will be playing shows throughout the rest of the year including Bonnaroo andFirefly as well as select dates with Gemini Club.  More dates will be announced soon.

The Griswolds are also currently running a Pledge Music pre-order campaign which gives fans access to exclusive updates and content from the band, plus options for unique merchandise and experiences bundled with an album pre-order.  A portion of the proceeds go to benefit the ASPCA / RSCPA.  Get more information here:http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/thegriswolds

The Griswolds are Christopher Whitehall (Vocals), Daniel Duque-Perez (Guitars), Lachlan West (Keyboard / Percussion) and Tim John (Bass).

6/13/14 to 6/15/14 – Bonnaroo – Manchester, TN
6/17/14 –Great Scott – Allston, MA – w/Gemini Club
6/18/14 – Rough Trade – Brooklyn, NY – w/Gemini Club
6/19/14 to 6/22/14 – Firefly – Dover, DE
6/19/14 – Black Cat Backstage – Washington, DC – w/Gemini Club
6/20/14 – Boot and Saddle – Philadelphia, PA – w/Gemini Club
6/24/14 – Brillobox – Pittsburgh, PA – w/Gemini Club
6/25/14 – Grog Shop – Cleveland Heights, OH – w/Gemini Club
6/27/14 – DO 317 – Indianapolis, IN – w/Gemini Club

Eric Paslay’s “Song About A Girl”


 “Song About A Girl” Top 25 and Climbing

Nashville, TN (April 23, 2014) – EMI Records Nashville’s Eric Paslay (pass-lay) debuts his “Country Covers” performance on Ram County on Yahoo Music today.  The performance includes a fresh, heartfelt rendition of Sheryl Crow’s “I Shall Believe”, as well as, an acoustic version of his Top 25 and climbing hit single, “Song About A Girl” and can be viewed at http://ramcountry.music.yahoo.com.

“Song About A Girl” is the second single from Eric’s self-titled debut album.  The album’s debut single, “Friday Night,” was Eric’s first No. 1 as an artist and fourth No. 1 as a songwriter.  The Texas native’s three prior No. 1 hits as a songwriter include “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” (Eli Young Band), “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” (Jake Owen) and “Angel Eyes” (Love & Theft).  Eric recently made appearances on ABC’s Good Morning AmericaFox & Friends and The Queen Latifah Show.  He is currently on the road with Brantley Gilbert on his Let It Ride Tour.

Ram Country on Yahoo Music is the marquee country music program on Yahoo, sponsored by Ram Trucks. Currently in its fourth season, the program showcases a variety of original content and video segments, including live concert events, exclusive in-studio musical performances, interviews, news reports and documentary-style video episodes, as well as comprehensive blog coverage and exclusive photo galleries. In Ram Country on Yahoo Music’s “Country Covers,” an artist covers a classic country song or contemporary hit as well as his/her own current single.

Ram Country shoots in-studio and on-location across the United States with a range of artists, from stars such as Keith Urban and Taylor Swift, to emerging talent in country music.

My Goodness’ Shake + Shiver Coming June 24

Watch My Goodness’ Video For “Cold Feet Killer” and Download The Track For Free Now At Purevolume.com
April 23, 2014 – Los Angeles, CA – Seattle based rock band My Goodness will release their new full-length album titled Shiver + Shake onJune 24th via Votiv Music. The thirteen track record was recorded and produced by esteemed Seattle producer Rick Parashar (Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Blind Melon) at London Bridge Studio.
In anticipation of the upcoming release, My Goodness has partnered with Purevolume.com to offer fans a FREE download of Shiver + Shake’sexplosive first single “Cold Feet Killer” and a view of the single’s twisted video.
Download “Cold Feet Killer” and watch the new video now at Purevolume.com: http://bit.ly/1l2lBCM
“”Cold Feet Killer” is one of the first and oldest My Goodness songs,” singer/guitarist Joel Schneider explains to Purevolume.com. “I actually wrote the majority of the music on acoustic guitar before the band got its start. In a way it was one of the first few songs that ended up inspiring the creation of My Goodness.”
Consisting of Schneider and drummer Andy Lum, My Goodness formed in Seattle in 2008 and quickly took the Northwest by storm with their feverish concoction of blues-infused rock. The duo spent years honing their songwriting and playing to growing crowds with bands like Bosnian Rainbows, The Thermals, The Cave Singers and Augustines; all of which has led to this pivotal, career defining moment, the release of their new album, Shiver + Shake.
My Goodness’ connection to the Seattle music they grew up on is strikingly audible.  Bands from Nirvana and Soundgarden, to bands from the early 00′s Seattle scene such as Botch, Blood Brothers, Murder City Devils and Harkonen were on heavy rotation for Schneider and Lum throughout their formative years.  Dig deeper still and you find them tapping into a rich seam of blues, old and new – from Muddy Waters through Junior Kimbrough and RL Burnside to the musical sass of Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.  Though a very different prospect, the energy, intensity and attitude of hardcore and the groove of the blues feeds into everything My Goodness does. Ultimately it’s all rock music though.  Big throbbing rock music.
In the spring of 2014, My Goodness enlisted the help of friend and local Seattle musician Cody Votalato (The Blood Brothers, Jaguar Love) who joined them as a part time member on bass guitar for their first full U.S. tour.  Votalato will continue performing live with the band when possible.
Follow My Goodness at  https://www.facebook.com/MyGoodness for additional news and updates.
Shiver + Shake Track List:
1. Shiver + Shake
2. Back Again
3. Sweet Tooth
4. Hangin On
5. Pay No Mind
6. Check Your Bones
7. Bottle
8. Letter To The Sun
9. Cold Feet Killer
10. Say You’re Gone
11. C’mon Doll
12. Hot Sweat
13. Lost In The Soul

Yngwie Malmsteen Tours With Uli Jon Roth, Gary Hoey and Bumblefoot







(New York, NY) – The king of neo-classical shred guitar, legendary guitar virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen, will soon return to stages across North America this summer for the first-ever “Guitar Gods” festival tour.  Bringing together such accomplished axemen as Uli Jon Roth (Scorpions, Electric Sun), Gary Hoey (“Hocus Pocus”) and Bumblefoot (Guns N’ Roses),Malmsteen will headline an epic celebration (6+ hours!) of the instrument for a full evening of guitar pyrotechnics.  Each show will also feature special surprise guests.  The “Guitar Gods” tour is created and produced by April Malmsteen, Yngwie‘s wife and manager and is presented in proud partnership with Guitar Center.  Please see below for the itinerary; more dates to be announced.

Of the upcoming tour, creator and producer April Malmsteen commented, “Being able to put together this festival has been a lifelong dream of mine.  I sincerely believe that “Guitar Gods” will bring tremendous value and enjoyment to not only the guitar and heavy metal enthusiast, but also to anyone who loves music.”  Yngwie Malmsteen‘s most recent studio album, SPELLBOUND and his first book, the autobiography, Relentless: A Memoir, are both available now. Malmsteen was recently profiled about both on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday; that segment can be heard here.  In other news, the Yngwie Malmsteen premium artist signature series by Fender is now available.  The series features a full lineup ofMalmsteen-endorsed accessories such as guitar strings, instrument cables, gig bags, electronic tuners and more.  For more information, please click here.

For nearly three decades, Grammy-nominated guitar icon Yngwie Malmsteen has been amazing audiences with dazzling technical speed and ability.  Malmsteen‘s signature style of playing, which combines elements of seemingly disparate styles of music – metal and classical, spawned the now commonplace genres of heavy metal known as “shred guitar” and “neo classical” and earned Malmsteen the title “the Paganini of heavy metal”.  Malmsteen was the first guitarist to have his own Fender signature guitar model (even before Eric Clapton).  He has graced the cover of more than 200 magazines worldwide, has won every guitar award imaginable and to date, has sold millions of records.  Timenamed Malmsteen one of the “Top Ten Greatest Electric Guitar Players”, an honor he shared with the likes of Les Paul, Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix.  “Guitar Hero” enthusiasts know they have arrived when they are bestowed with the Yngwie Malmsteen award in the Xbox 360 version of “Guitar Hero 2″.  The award signifies a 1000+ note streak in succession.

Held in the highest regard in his own right, Uli Jon Roth brings the very special 40thAnniversary Scorpions set that he has been playing to audiences from Europe to North America, embracing his history with the band and digging deep into their catalogue for this tour.  Acclaimed for his accomplishments for perfecting his playing in multiple genres (rock, blues, surf), Gary Hoey performs his radio hits such as the Billboard Top 5 smash “Hocus Pocus” along with other favorites.  Bumblefoot, best known for his work with Guns N’ Roses, embarks on his first solo tour, playing songs from his entire critically-praised recorded history.

Yngwie Malmsteen/Guitar Gods North American tour 2014:



13        Huntington, NY           Paramount Theatre

14        Sayreville, NJ             Starland Ballroom

17        Englewood, NJ           Bergen Performing Arts Center

20        St. Charles, IL             Arcada Theatre

21        Toronto, ON                Phoenix Theatre

26        Seattle, WA                 Showbox Theatre

27        Portland, OR               Roseland Theater


3         Beverly Hills, CA         Saban Theatre

8         Tucson, AZ                 Rialto Theatre



Lord Huron Back With Ends Of The Earth Video

Photo Credit: Jessica Yurasek
The video for “Ends of the Earth” (directed by Kevin Donelan), off critically acclaimed Lord Huron’s debut Lonesome Dreams, is now streaming at Los Angeles Times’ Pop & Hiss Blog: http://lat.ms/1mA548P. The clip follows the recent premiere of the video for the latest single “She Lit a Fire” at The New York Times (watch here: http://youtu.be/VUxh-jw-C-w).
Lonesome Dreams continues to garner widespread praise:
“…Songs that feel wide-open and ambitious, but also giddy and unpredictable.”—NPR
“…music sails above those geographic and romantic landscapes as a thoroughly tuneful, reverberant extension of folk-rock and country-rock…”—The New York Times
“The indie-folk band paints a vivid landscape with upbeat, warm melodies and the dreamy vocals.”—USA Today
“…Campfire strumming and robust vocal harmonies ghosted by tuneful howls…”—Rolling Stone
“Harmonic, propulsive folk pop at once radiant and chilly…”—New York Magazine
“Lord Huron’s music is so impressionistic, it sometimes sounds like it emanates from a dream.”—Boston Globe
 “What sets the project apart is the level of their craft and
the feeling of travel and discovery in the lyrics and sound.”—LA Weekly
Gut-level, emotive songwriting that hits directly and honestly.”—Pitchfork
Lord Huron made their first network television appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and most recently performed on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Furthermore, the band has added tour dates throughout the summer, including various festival slots and a special performance with The National at Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park. The new dates round out a massive year of touring for Lord Huron, including their largest U.S. headlining run, their first large-scale U.K. outing, and numerous sold out shows nationwide, in addition to appearances at major festivals including Coachella, Bonnaroo, Firefly and Newport Folk Festival, among others. See below for further details.
Originally a musical and visual solo project by lead singer and Michigan native-turned-Angeleno Ben Schneider, collaborators now include Mark Barry (percussion, vocals), Miguel Briseno (bass, percussion), and Tom Renaud (guitar, vocals). Schneider started playing music as a child—most often on summer nights around the campfire on Lake Huron. He went on to study art in college and lived in France and New York before moving to Los Angeles in 2005 to pursue a career in the visual arts. Schneider’s passion for art and music are often intertwined, and he has composed music for various visual art projects over the years. In 2010, Schneider self-released his first EP, Into the Sun, online, complete with original artwork. The songs gained traction and Schneider set to work recruiting musicians to help him translate the recordings into a live performance.

Styx, Foreigner & Don Felder’s Soundtrack Of Summer Tour

April 23, 2014 – Responsible for some of Rock’s most indelible summer anthems, legendary groups FOREIGNER and STYX will release THE SOUNDTRACK OF SUMMER on May 6 to coincide with their highly anticipated tour of the same name, which also features very special guest DON FELDER, former guitarist of The Eagles.  The album, which features 16 classics by both bands, will be available exclusively at Walmart. Pre-orders are available on Walmart’s website.
THE SOUNDTRACK OF SUMMER package includes FOREIGNER hits “Cold As Ice,” “Juke Box Hero” and “I Want To  Know What Love Is,” and STYX hits “The Grand Illusion,” “Blue Collar Man” and “Renegade” (see below for a complete track listing).  The collection finishes with the spectacular highlight, a brand new interpretation of one of Classic Rock’s most successful songs ever, “Hotel California.”  Original songwriter DON FELDER teamed up with STYX and FOREIGNER for this very special collaboration, as well as a stunning new version of FOREIGNER’s massive hit, “I Want To Know What Love Is,” which will only be available as a limited edition vinyl disc and on iTunes.
Fans can check out an exclusive stream of “Hotel California” on USA Today’s website, which went live earlier today.
STYX is one of the most beloved rock bands on the planet, with more than 30 million records sold in North America alone.  Spawned from a Chicago basement in the early ‘70s, STYX would eventually transform into the virtual arena rock prototype by the late ’70s and early ’80s, due to a fondness for big rockers and soaring power ballads.  Over the course of their 38-year career they’ve released 15 studio albums, six best-of compilations and four live albums, garnering eight Top Ten singles.  Tommy Shaw, James “JY” Young, Chuck Panozzo, Lawrence Gowan, Ricky Phillips and Todd Sucherman have been together longer than any other lineup in the band’s 40-year existence.
With ten multi-platinum albums and sixteen Top 30 hits, FOREIGNER is universally hailed as one of the most popular rock acts in the world with a formidable musical arsenal that continues to propel sold-out tours and album sales, now exceeding 75 million. Responsible for some of rock and roll’s most enduring anthems, FOREIGNER continues to rock the charts more than thirty years into the game, Foreigner is led by founding member Mick Jones (guitar), and Kelly Hansen (lead vocals), Jeff Pilson (bass, vocals), Michael Bluestein (keyboards), Tom Gimbel (rhythm guitar, sax, vocals), Bruce Watson (guitar) and Chris Frazier (drums).
DON FELDER–former guitarist of the Eagles, New York Times best-selling author and four-time Grammy® Award winner—released his second solo album (and first since 1983), “Road To Forever” in October 9, 2012 and has been on tour throughout the U.S. ever since.  The album has recently been re-released with four additional songs, “Road To Forever: Extended Edition,” on March 4 via INGrooves Music Group.  The album’s latest single, “You Don’t Have Me,” is currently bulleted at #3 on the Mediabase Classic Rock chart.  “Road To Forever” originally debuted on Billboard’s “Heatseekers” chart at #27.  “Girls In Black,” the album’s first single, reached the Top 30 on the Mediabase Rock chart while the second single, “Wash Away,” co-written by FELDER and STYX’s Tommy Shaw and featuring Shaw’s signature vocal sound, quickly jumped to #4 on the Mediabase Classic Rock chart.
Here’s the complete track listing of THE SOUNDTRACK OF SUMMER:
1. Feels Like The First Time
2. Cold As Ice
3. Hot Blooded
4. Double Vision
5. Urgent
6. Waiting For A Girl Like You
7. I Want To Know What Love Is
8. Juke Box Hero
9. The Grand Illusion
10. Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)
11. Lorelei
12. Crystal Ball
13. Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)
14. Miss America
15. Renegade
16. Too Much Time On My Hands
17. Hotel California

Givin’ ‘Em Hell and Heaven: Conversations With Joe Satriani and Sebastian Bach


A Conversation with Joe Satriani

Mike Ragogna: Joe, it's an honor to be interviewing somebody who makes such strange, beautiful music.

Joe Satriani: [laughs] Thank you.

MR: Let's start by talking about your complete studio recordings. It has fourteen albums plus a bonus disc of the stray tracks.

JS: It was everything that you would expect, it was both cathartic and exciting and frustrating at times, but mostly illuminating, especially on the artistic side to have to go back and really pull these original recordings out of the vault to re-archive them. I kind of rediscovered them because of the way that we were able to remaster them, it sort of brought them to life in a way that I thought was impossible. The whole thing, in the end, turned out to be a wonderful experience.

MR: What was the remastering process like?

JS: Actually, it's a funny story about how we were approached by the guys at Legacy Sony about doing a box set and we were thinking to ourselves, "A box set? Really? Continue reading

A Conversation with Sebastian Bach – HuffPost 4.23.14

Mike Ragogna: Sebastian, I hear you’re going to Give ‘Em Hell. How are you giving ‘em hell this time around?

Sebastian Bach: Number one, I just love that title. Good titles are a dime a dozen in rock ‘n’ roll. Try to find a better name for a band than Skid Row. It’s like, “Wow, that’s such a good name.” It’s like Coca-Cola. Wow, this is crazy, I don’t know if I’ve changed that much in my life. Last night I went to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier and I totally loved the movie, and the term “Give ‘em hell” is like from old Marvel comics like Sgt. Rock and Enemy Ace — that one was DC. “Give ‘em hell!” That’s what I feel like, the moment of a concert when the lights go black and I’m about to jump out there and go insane, right at that moment I hear Sgt. Rock and his howling commandos going “Give ‘em hell, boys!”

MR: Uh-oh. Do you have a love of comics as much as I do?

SB: Yeah, well I’ll tell you this, you are on the phone with somebody that is the proud owner of Amazing Fantasy issue number fifteen.

MR: Holy crap!

SB: Ooh-hoo-hoo, for the win! For the win! For the win!

MR: Okay, we have to talk about the album first and then we’re getting back to comics. You’ve got the album, the book, the video… What’s behind the proliferation?

SB: You know what’s wild? I read this a long time ago, an interview with Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins, and he said that when he first started out in rock ‘n’ roll he was so excited and flipped out and he thought it was all going to be taken away from him, and then he realized as the years went on he can choose when to rock. I learned this a long time ago, I choose when to rock and when I choose to rock, get out of the way.

MR: And when you choose to rock, a lot of people like to rock alongside. You have some pretty highfalutin’ guests on the album.

SB: Well, the word “guest” is used but I would say that guy can’t be a guest if he plays on like half the record, which Duff McKagan does. He’s not really a guest on this record, he’s really the bass player. But I’ve got Duff McKagan on most of the album on bass, he also plays guitar on a song that he wrote called “Harmony,” it’s just a beautifully heavy melodic tune. Then I’ve got John 5 on the first single, “Temptation.” He has reinvented electric guitar playing as we know it. And if that’s not enough I’ve got the legendary Steve Stevens from Billy Idol’s band who I’ve been a fan of since 1983, playing electric guitar, his “stun gun” sound that he’s known for, it’s so amazing. So I’m a very lucky guy, I played with these guys in a band that plays corporate events around the world, actually. I just said to Duff on the bus, “Dude, do you want to fucking collaborate on some music?” and he goes, “Hell yeah, what kind of music?” and I go, “Rude!” and he starts laughing and he goes, “‘Bas, I can do dirty.” And he sure can! He sure can. I’m a fan of all these guys. I’m a fan. I’m a total fan of all these guys that are on this album, so that is a great feeling for me. I can put on Give ‘Em Hell on the headphones and go for a run and I will run through a brick wall listening to this stuff.

MR: So you really gave ‘em hell this time out.

SB: I signed a record contract–that sounds like an ancient term, a record contract–but I signed this deal about eight years ago and when I sign a record deal I don’t read it. I assume that it just says, “Hey, you’re the band, we’re the label, you make the album, we’ll put it out.” What else could it say? Nobody’s going to tell me what to do or when to do it, it’s never worked like that in the past, but the difference with this record is that I had a deadline that was on the contract I signed years ago, and when I go into Best Buy nowadays, or Wal-Mart or Target and I say, “Hey, where’s the CD section?” they point me off in the corner in the Radioshack world with like wires and shit and there’s one little aisle with lunchboxes and a couple of CDs mixed in with blank CDrs. It’s like, “Wow! Slim pickings in the old CD section!” So then I have a company saying, “You owe us this CD” and I go, “How cool is that?” Every time I go on the Internet or Blabbermouth, I read bands explaining why they can only put out a single or they can only do an EP, “Times have changed,” and blah, blah, blah, and I’m like, you know what? When I get on the plane on a five-hour flight and I’m bored out of my mind and I want to listen to music, I don’t listen to an EP, I don’t listen to a single, I listen to Steely Dan Aja or Neil Young Harvest; I listen to albums, and I always will, and I think most of us always will! So I consider myself so lucky in 2014, here’s my brand new CD while CDs still exist. I’m like one of the last dudes making these things. [laughs]

MR: How does the modern delivery system take the art and soul of something like that and turn it into something three minutes long? You can’t do it.

SB: You talk about the modern delivery system. This album and also the last album I had really showed me one crucial thing about the business these days — you have to be so vigilant. Dave Grohl posted some article with the headline “The Biggest Part Of Being A Musician Is Saying No,” and I laughed when I read that because I am an expert at saying no. You talk about the modern-day delivery system, this album just showed me how incredibly tricky it is to get the actual sound of what we make in the studio. We spent a year, a year, a year! making this album, and when it’s done in the mastering studio it’s like Star Wars. It’s so incredibly mind-blowing the way it sounds, but then the night before my video’s about to premiere to the whole world the first time any of you will hear it I look at the file at like three in the morning and it’s like an MPEG video file that’s been emailed and uploaded and downloaded and put on a website and posted and podcasted and I don’t even know and the resolution is so crappy that I have to like email everybody and be a total prick and argue and explain everything and all I’m trying to do is get what I actually made to you, the fan. You only get one shot to make a first impression.

So luckily at like five in the morning I got the high-res blah blah blah emailed it and uploaded it and I made it happen, but if I was asleep or drunk or not on top of shit–the only one that makes that s**t happen is the artist these days. The modern-day delivery system wants to make it as quick and as convenient as possible. I would rather have a larger file that takes one more minute to download and sound better than something that doesn’t sound as good. I think the answer, really, is this PONO music player that Neil Young is coming out with that plays the highest resolution files in your pocket. I will be the first one to go buy that and I would love to have Give ‘Em Hell on there, that would be so great. But that’s a tricky thing, getting the highest quality sound to you, the fan, with all those crappy little earbuds that they give you with the phones. Hey, newsflash: United States Of America, throw those in the garbage!

MR: [laughs] So how did you come up with the material for this album? What inspired you and it?

SB: It’s always so hard to put into words the feelings… When you make a record you go into this room, the studio, with nothing, zero, on the first day, and then months later the object is to come out with something you feel proud of for the rest of your life and put your name on it and do interviews about it and put it up next to the other album you’ve already put out, so my intention is always the same, I just try to make something that you want to listen to over and over and over again. That’s it. It’s got to sound good, the performances have to be top notch, the songs have to be great. I’m a Rush fan, I love Rush, Black Sabbath… These guys are 70 years old, Tomy Iommi has cancer and he’s putting out Black Sabbath’s 13. [laughs] That kicks ass. I’m way younger than all of those guys, I’ve got a ton of albums in me. This has always been the plan for me. I know people love “18 And Life,” “I Remember You,” and “Monkey Business,” they love that because they have an emotional attachment from when they were in high school or whenever. So when you’re competing against people’s memories of their lives, this shit had better be good.

MR: You’re a great interview. I really love how up front you are about this stuff. What advice do you have for new artists?

SB: Make something that you love. That’s it. If you honestly love it yourself you win. You win. Because nobody can take that away from you, and that lasts forever. In my experience, if I really love the music that I make myself and I want to play it every single day and it’s like my favorite CD in my collection, the one I made, which Give ‘Em Hell.Give ‘Em Hell is my favorite CD. [laughs] I’m not just saying that. When I go on a seven mile run, which I do as much as I can, that is the f**king CD that I put on. My own CD. I’m not just saying that, it’s the one that gets me through the run. When you have that in your pocket and you want to shake people by the collar and say, “Hey, listen to this, man, I’m so proud of it,” that’s what I would say to younger musicians: make something that you just can’t wait for the whole world to hear. That’s the best feeling that you can have.

MR: Nice. Do you feel like you’ve taken that approach with all your solo material plus your Skid Row records?

SB: Yes I do, except for one exception: one CD called The Last Hard Men, which was an interesting experiment to see if the worlds of heavy metal and alternative could combine and the answer is no! They can not. [laughs] There is actually some good music on there, but that was not my best moment by any means.

MR: I’m think a lot of people also enjoyed it.

SB: The Last Hard Men?

MR: Yeah, as much s**t as you might have gotten, I think some people were looking at that as a nice swing of the bat.

SB: Well that’s cool! There’s a great ballad on there called “The Most Powerful Man In The World” written by Jimmy Flemion, it’s a beautiful song, but from my perspective, in that time period in my life, that was like 1996, I felt as a vocalist that it was very uncool to sing good. I thought that nobody wanted to hear the Sebastian Bach “I Remember You” style of vocals, and I was probably right, but I am meant to sing like that. I have this voice that’s a physical part of my throat and it’s a shame to not use it. When I really started to scream high again was when I was in the Broadway show Jesus Christ Superstar and I was forced to learn these Ted Neeley high screams in this play. I could do it, but it took me like a month to sing like that again because I didn’t think anybody liked that anymore around the mid nineties. But then when I did Jesus Christ Superstar I felt so awesome hitting these screams, people’s jaws would hit the floor. It took me like a month to get that range going again but once I get it going it’s ripping and I’m really proud to say on Give ‘Em Hell, there are some of my best recorded screams in my career and that’s saying something. There’s one scream in the middle of “All My Friends Are Dead” that is like this blood-curdling roar and I’m like, “Jesus Christ, I can not believe that’s coming out of my mouth.”

MR: [laughs] Do you have good memories with the Guns ‘N’ Roses tour?

SB: Oh yeah, absolutely. Probably my personal favorite memory of touring is the 2010 Guns ‘N’ Roses Sebastian Bach South American Tour. You know, when you go on tour and your album is number one on Billboard you kind of expect the whole city to come to every show, but then in 2010, twenty years later you don’t know what to expect. That tour that we did four years ago was so huge, it was like thirty, forty, fifty thousand a night, just Guns ‘N’ Roses and my solo band, I would walk on the stage and I can’t describe the feeling, twenty years later and bigger than ever. Axl has been extremely kind to me and now Duff has been extremely kind to me, so those guys are my friends for sure.

MR: Nice. Beautiful. What’s the future look like?

SB: Well right now the future for me is touring. I’m going to be touring all over the world, I’ve got about sixty shows coming up, which is a real rock ‘n’ roll tour, which is cool. I make CDs and I go on tour! That’s what I do.

MR: Sounds like a good life, buddy.

SB: Yeah, that’s right, man. As long as they’ve got the little section left at Best Buy. I’m also doing a book for HarperCollins and I have a TV show on ABC TV, the first time in my whole career that I’ve had a major network show–I was on The Gilmore Girls but that was on the CW, this is ABC, dude–and it’s called Sing Your Face Off. It’s eight episodes and I’m one of the starring contestants along with Jon Lovitz, Lisa Rinna, and also on the show are Carmen Electra, Tom Arnold, Richard Simmons, it’s a crazy piece of American culture coming your way on May 31st, 9 PM on ABC TV. Sing Your Face Off.

MR: I know I have to let you go, but I said we’d get back to this… What did you think about Captain America: Winter Soldier?

SB: I loved it! I loved it! I loved it! When the Marvel movies are done right, they’re almost physically hard for me to watch because I have collected comics since I was a little boy in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, where I would buy, in 1975, the latest Captain America for 15 cents and all I had was my imagination, just like every other kid then. To be so immersed in that comic book world as a little boy in a snow bank in Canada, and then to be 46 years old and see it happen live in your face, not only that, but in IMAX 3D, it’s almost overwhelming to me. The Avengers is the greatest movie I’ve ever seen in my life, I’ve never seen a movie that beat the crap out of me with pure excellence, but you know what I would really love to see? The one thing that they have not done yet? I would love, I would love, I would love to see, like, okay, you know how they make grindhouse movies, like Quentin Tarantino makes seventies retro exploitation movies, you know what I’m saying, that look like ’74? Can you imagine a Ghost Rider movie that looked like Ghost Rider in ’74 with the black leather and the way that seventies movies looked? Can you imagine that shit? Like a movie that would almost look like Jack Kirby?

MR: [laughs] And all the square faces..

SB: Yeah! That kind of look! That specific silver age look. That’s the next thing they need to do, make a movie look like that. People would freak out.

MR: Yeah, they’ve got the Frank Miller look, but I would love the Jack Kirby approach.

SB: I’m dying for that! When I watch the Batman 60′s television show, can you imagine if some producer or director made a Marvel movie that was new technology but had that look? That’s what I want!!

MR: Hopefully, they’ll read this article and do it.

SB: That sounds like Give ‘Em Hell! You’ve got the classic voice of me, with new technology. And I appreciated the attention to detail in it; all the stuff that they’re talking about, you’ve really going to be on top of your Marvel game to know all the references and everything. They’re not dumbing it down.

MR: And I think Chris Evans nailed Captain America.

SB: Yeah, it’s great. My fiance saw Captain America hanging from a chandelier once, but that’s another interview…

MR: [laughs]

Transcribed By Galen Hawthorne