dimanche 18 février 2018

Video of the Week - Steve Conte "Gimme Gimme Rockaway"

Best known as Michael Monroe and (reformed) New York Dolls guitarist for years, Steve Conte also have a career on his own and released several albums. So here's his new video featuring special guests : on bass, the one and only Denis Dunaway of the Alice Cooper Group and on drums, Rob Youngberg of Lotion.


Steve Conte "Gimme Gimme Rockaway" (2017)

Side A : Gimme Gimme Rockaway
Side B : Mercedes Benz (Janis Joplin cover)

jeudi 15 février 2018

Jo Dog & The Desperados - Single & E.P. review

If you were a fan of The Dogs d'Amour in the late 80s/early 90s you sure know who these guys are.

Jo Dog, Steve James & Bam Ross along with Tyla are responsible for the best Dogs d'Amour records and are forever the classic line up of the band. Of course there have been legion of musicians in Dogs ranks but none have left a deeper mark than this wild bunch.
But The Dogs d'Amour are no more. All 4 reunited years ago for a few benefit gigs for one of their friend and even recorded an E.P. but ultimately call it quit.

And while 2 of them are living in the USA (Jo & Bam) and the third one still in sunny England (Steve) they managed to record new songs in 2017 under the name Jo Dog & The Desperados.

"Preacher's Blues" was the first to be unleashed as a Digital single. And now a 10inch E.P. featuring 2 tracks, both in 2 different Electric and Acoustic mixes. The record is a Limited Edition of course, in green vinyl, and with artwork done by Jo himself.

What can I say ? Listen to them is like reunited with a long lost friend. And it feels pretty good ! The trio is not trying to recreate an old sound, they are the vivid elements that have delivered such timeless records such as "In the Dynamite Jet Saloon", "Straight" or "A Graveyard of Empty Bottles". And their playing and style is unique  and immediately recognizable. So we could say it does sound like the Dogs but sum it up to only that would be way too easy. And unfair.

Steve has always been the multi task force back in the days. Bass, acoustic guitar, saxophone and vocals (the song "Billy Two Rivers" is a fine example) so it's no surprise that he's taking care of the vocals here.

All songs are co-written by them all, the mixing is perfectly done by Bam and there's a bit of piano on "Every Star", thanks to Bam's wife and musical partner Share (Vixen and once a Dogs d'Amour). So you really can say its a band effort.

All 3 songs are great, "Preacher's Blues" being the most up-tempo of them while "Every Star" and "King For Day" are more laid-back. There's bitter-sweetness in all of them that bring you on a reflective mood, perfectly served by Jo's guitar magic. It's even more accurate on the acoustic versions. More stripped down version of the songs that really showcase how well-written the tracks are.

Young men's shambles are long gone, we all have aged. Quite well in this case.

Jo Dog & The Desperados "Preacher's Blues" (2017)

Digital single

Jo Dog & The Desperados "King For A Day / Every Star" (2017)

10inch vinyl

First Side : Every Star (Electric) ; Every Star (Acoustic)
Seconf Side : King For A Day (Electric) ; King For A Day (Acoustic)


dimanche 11 février 2018

dimanche 4 février 2018

Video of the Week - Dobermann "Pure Breed"

Let's tart this Video of the week rendez-vous with the cool Italian rockers of Dobermann !

Taken from their 3rd album, "Pure Breed" was the first single released in February 2017. The album contains 10 Hard Rock N Roll tracks, all of which in English while their 2 previous albums were in Italian language.


Dobermann "Pure Breed" (2017)

2. War thunder
3. Taking in the out takes
4. Radioactive ( feat. Bumblefoot )
5. Pure breed
6. I fucking hate drummers ( feat. Adam Bomb )
7. I need a holiday
8. Stuck in traffic
9. Hometown
10. Magic mountain

samedi 3 février 2018

King Zebra - New single "Bad Idea"

Switzerland 80s glam metal inspired purveyors are back. In black, but still flamboyant tho' ! With a new digital single out King Zebra is back in action.

From the first measures of the song the infectious groove and melody of the main riff find its way deep down to your skull, thanks to the tasty slide guitar licks ! 

More Hard rock n' roll than Glam metal, King Zebra brand new track is one of those songs naturally cut to get radio airplay and to easily convince a new audience to join the party. 

In 3 minutes and a half you get anything a good classic rock track might need : simple yet catchy main guitar riff, Bonham-like drums and tight bass delivering a groovy rhythm section, a great voice and melody along with a lot of background vocals, a basic song structure and a slide guitar solo on top of it. Nothing new but damn effective ! 
The sound production is irreproachable and do exactly what its supposed to : make everything and everyone sound good and the song ready to be blasted on any device and location.

And while King Zebra style nowadays is less colorful and juvenile than before the message remains the same. Having a good time.

Great job.

A short interview with the Ben (drums) below.

You've just released a brand new digital single : "Bad idea". It's been 2 years since your latest album and some changes occurred in the meantime. Can you sum it up for me ?

Shortly after we released the last album in 2015 we separated from our longtime frontman Tom Hoochy Coo. The reasons were differences in thoughts where we wanna go and what we wanna reach with the band. But we separated in peace and we are still very good friends. We haven't had any new lead vocalist by this time but still had confirmed Shows for 2016. So we engaged an interim singer who was a good friend of us and kept on searching for a permanent lead singer. At the same time we engaged our producer of the album "Wild! Wild! Wild!", Jerry, as a permanent rhythm guitarist in the band. In April 2017 we came across ex-China lead vocalist Eric St. Michaels and started writing new songs.

Based on this new track, the music of the band seems to have evolved to something more groovy and direct, less L.A.'s glam metal than you use to be. Same with your image which is less colorful. What lead you to that ?

I would say our music is more grown up now than it used to be. We started all this because we really dig this crazy 80s LA sunset strip world. We celebrated it on and besides the stage. But the reality in Switzerland isn't all about cocaine and hookers and if you pretend it was you lose credibility. It doesn't mean that we are boring fucks now...our band room is still filled with empty beer bottles and we love to party but in a contemporary way. Onstage we lost the animal print spandex and concentrated more on the music. Our live shows are still a highlight because we still follow Lemmy’s advice: “People don’t want to see the guy next door on stage; they want to see a being from another planet. You want to see somebody you’d never meet in ordinary life.”

"Bad Idea" is the first song available with your new singer, Eric St Michael who formerly was in China. How did you meet him ?

We met Eric in April 2017. There was the annual Lemmy Bash going on in a club nearby. This is a show where lots of Swiss rock musicians honor Motorhead with a big show. Our bass player Michael was invited to join. He let one of the other musicians, Pat Wydler who is also a music journalist, know that we were still looking for a lead vocalist. He connected us to Eric. By that time China played their last show. But Eric never thought of stop making Rock and playng live on stage. So one fit to another: Eric got a bunch of youngsters full of energy and King Zebra got the Bon Jovi from Switzerland.

What input each members have in the songwriting process and what Eric brings to the band new material ?

Jerry and Roman (the two guitarists) are the brain behind the songs of King Zebra. In Jerry’s home studio they work on the instrumental parts. All the vocals are Eric’s business. As he has a longtime career as vocal coach and decades of experience as lead singer his job is amazing. As we send him an instrumental demo it takes two hours and we receive jaw dropping vocal lines. Our workflow is mainly digital. Lots of sending stuff back and forth. I’d say dropbox is almost our rehearsal room as Eric is based in Lucerne and the rest of us in Zurich. The instrumental fraction still meets once a week for rehearsing though.

How is the audience and press response so far for the new song ?

The audience is excited about the news that Eric is the new singer and about how the new defined sound of King Zebra is. We’ve spread the word as far as we can and the press reacts with a high interest. We reached lots of blogs and radio stations who are featuring us on their platform. And of course everybody is curious to see what comes next which is good for us because there’s a lot to come. 

Will you release a video for it ?

The video is ready to be released on February 11th!

What are your plan for the coming months ?

Our plans are: A recording session in February at V.O. Pulver’s Little Creek Studio. Three brand-new songs will find their way to the public in the near future, release dates aren’t defined yet. At least for one there will be another music video. In May we are starting to play Live shows, the first on May 26th at the Hall of Fame in Wetzikon, Switzerland. The audience can expect a killer show with all brand new songs.

King Zebra " Bad idea" (2018)

Digital single

King Zebra " Wild! Wild! Wild!" (2015)

Digital album

King Zebra " Greatest Hits" (2013)

Digital album


mercredi 31 janvier 2018

Jane Lee Hooker - Blues Spiritus !

With their 2nd album now out Jane Lee Hooker confirmed they are one of the best electric blues band nowadays.

I don't remember how I discovered the band. Online for sure but was it on social medias or on one of the music legal platforms I don't recall. And not that it is important at all. The only things that matter is that I've been impressed by their first album "No B!". Showcasing mostly covers, the songs are performed with such urge and energy that even what could have been considered as washed out classics sound like exciting brand new tracks.
My favorites are "The Hunter" and "Mannish Boy". Difficult to not make comparison with Tina Turner and especially since "The Hunter" is one of my best-loved song from Ike & Tina Turner legacy. But Dana has the pipes and bravado to compete and the band is delivering a version as good as Turners rendition and doing it like they wrote the track themselves. Same with "Mannish Boy", this track is one of the most known blues song and yet sounds fresh and youthful as ever. Possibly the best version I ever heard.
In between the covers you can find an original : "In The Valley". And while one could think the whole album is full of originals, another one could think the whole album is full of covers. Depending on ones knowledge of the blues and Rhythm and Blues legacy you might not noticed one way or another. But what everyone can be aware of is the quality of each and every track here. Stellar job.
But delivering a second album is not always an easy task so will they manage the situation ?

Well if you are a regular reader of this blog you know the answer since "Spiritus", their second opus, is featured in my Top 10 of 2017. Here's what I wrote then :

"This time the new and 2nd album is featuring originals for the most part and the music is still delivered with the same passion and efficiency than on their previous record. The soulful "Mama Said" is a stellar track with every band members on the top of their game. But you won't find much to complain about here, unless you can't stand blues music.  
Dana "Danger" Athens has the pipes to compete with Tina Turner and Betty Davis, the guitars of Tina "T-Bone" Gorin on Fender and Tracy Hightop on Gibson are equally great yet complementary and the rhythm section powered by Hail Mary Zadroga on bass and Melissa "Cool Whip" Houston on drums are tight and groovy enough to allow the songs to really stand out.
"Ends Meet", "Be My Baby", "The Breeze" are other examples of the talent of this wild bunch. Top notch."

So, ok, the band is good in studio but what about the real thing ? Equally great ! Check out the Rockpalast gig below to get an idea but let me tell you something. I was there last December when they played in Paris and I'll be there next time as well.

Jane Lee Hooker "No B!" (Ruf records - 2016)
1. Wade in the water
2. Mean Town Blues
3. I believe to my soul
4. Bumble Bee
5. In the valley
6. Free me
7. The hunter
8. Champagne and reefer
9. Didn't it rain
10. Mannish boy
11. Shake for me

Jane Lee Hooker "Spiritus" (Ruf records - 2017)
1. How ya doin' ?
2. Gimme that
3. Mama said
4. Be my baby
5. Later on

6. Black cat
7. Ends meet
8.How bright the moon
9.Turn on your love light
10. The breeze



mercredi 24 janvier 2018

Babylon Shakes - New boys in town !

Recent years have seen a bunch of bands claiming sleaze influences from some of the coolest acts of the 80s. Here's the new boys in town but they are not new at all tho'.

The 80s gave us some real cool bands that could be pigeon holed under the term Sleaze. Think Princess Pang, The Throbs, Faster Pussycat, Smashed Gladys, Sea Hags... all in all bands heavily influenced by The New York Dolls, early Aerosmith, the Alice Cooper group and Hanoi Rocks.

Singer/guitarist Chris Clark is no new comer since he's been in Last Call Messiah for the past few years. But this band had a more metal edge. And eventually split. Babylon Shakes is all getting back to the blues rock 'n roll riffing, back-to-basic catchy tunes and whiskey soaked voice of a stray cat n top of it.

Been all seasoned guys it didn't take too long for the trio to record and release a CD single and their first video a few months after the band formed.
While the original credit is due to Chris for the vision and plenty of songs already in his sleeves, both Gary Jordan (bass/vocals) and Jeff "Morty" Mortimer (drums/vocals) must be praised as well for the solid rhythm section they sure are and essential backbone they are giving to the music on this promising release.

Started with Velveteen Libertine the band is offering exactly what you expected to hear. With its guitar shuffle riffs and sing-along choruses the song is your typical sleaze rock track including a Chuck Berry-like solo and swagger all along its less-than-4mns duration. Early Buckcherry and Faster Pussycat come in mind and there's nothing wrong with that in my book. A necessary addition in the jukebox of the Cathouse club.

The second track, Silver Tongue Devil is more aggressive yet groovy with plenty of cowbell and a wah-wah guitar solo. Good taste prevail here. Once again Faster Pussycat is the obvious influence on this number as well and almost could be an outtake from their 2nd album "Wake Me Up When It's Over" or even more the missing link between this album and their 3rd one "Whipped!".

No doubt Babylon Shakes know what they are doing here and have the abilities to do so. One of the thing I like the most is the honesty and fun behind the whole thing. The dedication to the cause as well because so many bands labeled themselves as sleaze purveyors but sound like Dokken.

More material should be released in a few months and I guess expectations (at least mine) are high with such debut.

Babylon Shakes "s/t" (self released)

Velveteen Libertine
Silver Tongue Devil

available in Digital and CD single