I hope you’re enjoying the fantastic spread of music you can hear on The Rockfest on 93.8FM Midrand Stereo. As you by now probably know, you can hear anything from classic rock to metal and blues on the station, seven nights a week, from 8pm til late.
There are one or two presenter line-up changes that are to take place shortly – will keep you posted. Kevin Stuart (Thursday 10pm to midnight) has left the station – we’d like to take this opportunity to thank him for his time and for sharing his music with us.
If you’re keen to subscribe to the blog, please visit (http://rockfest.co.za) and use the easy form on the right-hand side bar.
A number of people have requested that I provide more info, where possible, on the various bands/artists featured on The RockIt Scientist, in these playlists/newsletters. Time permitting, I will, but this may not always be the case. The following playlist took over eight hours to compile, so at least READ the damned thing before deleting it!!:)))
And if you have any gigs or happenings that you’d like us to advertise / promote, please feel free to let me have the details (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A bit of sad news: I learnt, this past week, thanks to Pasi Koivu, that John Heyworth, guitarist for UK late 60’s / early 70’s prog outfit, Cressida, who I featured on The RockIt Scientist a few weeks ago, passed away last week. He was one of the founding members of the band and he appeared on the debut album, released on Vertigo Records, in 1970. He left the band and was replaced by John Culley, who appeared on the band’s second and final album, “Asylum”, which was also released on Vertigo Records, in 1971. Both albums are prime examples of everything that was good about the prog scene in the UK in the late 60’s / early 70’s.
In our never ending quest to highlight and promote good, original South African music, I had the pleasure of having the attractive and dynamic Nelda in the studio with me, and our own lovely Linda Sue sat in on the interview. Nelda recently released her debut solo album, “Baklei Vir My”, (”Fight For Me”) (David Gresham Records – DGR 1738). This very talented and versatile singer has been known to belt out some serious rockers, and there are one or two of them on this English / Afrikaans release, which is available at music stores such as Look & Listen. She has the look, the style, the class, the voice and the talent to go very far, and her band is pretty good too (visit www.nelda.co.za)
The RockIt Scientist – Monday 18 January 2010 – 21h00 to midnight
01. Tower Of Power – Soul With A Capital “S”, from “Soul Vaccination: TOP Live”. 1998 – Sony Music (the greatest soul band in the world, with a horn section to die for! Still around today, with Emilio Castillo, Doc Kupka, Rocco Prestia and David Garibaldi not having souled out! Also check out their excellent new release, “Great American Soulbook” – TOP Records)
02. Heavy Metal Horns – Sinner In The Mirror, from “4:20 In The Land Of Plenty”. 1999 – Danger Records (Perfect name for a band if you enjoy metal and brass rock! This very tight US soul / funk/ brass rock outfit is similar in style to Blood, Sweat & Tears and Tower Of Power. Know of four albums)
03. CTA– I’m A Man, from “Full Circle”. 2006 – CTA Records (CTA, abbreviation for California Transit Authority, is a brass rock outfit – with “guest” horn players – put together by ex-Chicago drummer Danny Seraphine and guitarist Marc Bonilla, of Glenn Hughes fame..The album features respected musicians such as keyboard player Ed Roth, Tower Of Power vocalist Larry Braggs, bassist Mick Mahan and Peter Fish, also on keys. They do a number of Chicago covers. And exceptionally well, too!)
Interview with Nelda, together with Linda Sue. Eat your heart out.
04. Nelda – Stand Up
05. Nelda – Born To Be Your Baby
06. Nelda – Like This
07. Nelda– Ek Haat…
All the tracks featured are from her debut solo album, “Baklei Vir My”, released in September / October 2009.
08. Abraxas Pool – Cruzin’, from “Abraxas Pool”. 1997 – Miramar Productions (you could say that this is basically Santana without Carlos. Tremendous Latin Rock album, featuring keyboard player Gregg Rolie – who has a new live album out, drummer Mike Shrieve,
percussionists Mike Carabello and Jose “Chepito” Areas, bassist Alphonso Johnson, and one of the greatest guitarists in the world, Neal Schon. There is only one thing wrong with this band: they only made the one album!)
09. Tribe Of Gypsies – Puro Party, from “Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants”. 2000 – Victor Entertainment (any band with guitarist Roy Z has got to be good. Known for his work with Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson, Driver, Rob Halford, etc, this exceptionally good guitarist formed this Latin Rock / Metal band in the late 90’s. Any /all of their five albums is / are worth adding to the collection. Latin Rock is already highly infectious: these guys take it into the “must have” league)
10. Malo – Street Man, from “Evolution”. 1973 – Warner Bros. Records (probably the best album put out by this legendary Latin Rock outfit who were formed by Carlos’s brother, Jorge Santana, and vocalist Arcelio Garcia, back in the early 70’s. A popular live attraction at Bill Graham’s Fillmore, they were blessed with a very powerful horn section, coupled to an excellent rhythm section. Sort of Santana on ‘roids, but better. They’re still around today, led by Arcelio Garcia, as the only original member, and are sounding as good as ever).
11. El Chicano – Zaire, from “The Best Of Everything”. 1975 – MCA Records (with some phenomenal guitar work from Mickey Lespron and Jerry Salas, who released a great solo album, called “Salas”, in 2006. Formed in East Los Angeles in the late 60’s, El Chicano were one of the pioneers of the Latin Rock movement. Excellent keyboard work (by Bobby Espinosa) and percussion / drums (Rudy Regalado, Andre Baeza and John DeLuna), together with a solid bass foundation (Joe Perreira and Freddie Sanchez), were the hallmarks of this legendary band. They reformed a few years ago and released a new live dvd, called “In The Eye Of The Storm”)
12. Jim Capaldi – Let The Thunder Cry, from “Let The Thunder Cry”.1981 – Jet Records (9th solo album from Traffic’s drummer. He released his first solo album back in 1972, and went on to release around 15 albums. He was also part of the Traffic reformation – with Steve
Winwood – and he appeared on 1994’s “Far From Home” album. He passed away in January 2005).
13. Jim Morrison – Awake, from “An American Prayer – Music By The Doors”.1978 – Elektra Records (a posthumously released album of poems and songs written by the late Jim Morrison, with music performed by Doors musicians Ray Manzarek, John Densmore and Robby Krieger, together with bassists Bob Glaub and Jerry Scheff. Quite a controversial album, it nonetheless cemented Morrison’s reputation as a disturbed but extremely gifted and uncompromising individual. The Doors have reformed, with Ian Astbury, of The Cult, in Morrison’s place. An interesting replacement.
14. XIT– Reservation Of Education, from “Without Reservation”. 2002 – Warrior Records (evolving out of blues/rock outfit Lincoln Street Exit, this Navajo Nation rock outfit were well known for their “tell it like it is” emotive and very poignant lyrics, mainly written by Tom Bee, as well as their solid rock foundation, complete with orchestration and ethnic percussion. They released five albums and were quite popular in Europe. They resurfaced in the late 90’s, recording this live album, which has also been released on dvd, in 2002)
15. Gamma – Four Horsemen, from “Gamma 2”. 1980 – Elektra Records (exceptionally good US hard rock outfit put together by guitarist Ronnie Montrose and vocalist Davey Pattison, and featuring drummer Denny Carmassi and synth player Jim Alcivar, both of whom had been with Montrose in his own band, Montrose, and bassist Glen Letsch. They released three critically acclaimed studio albums plus a great live album before folding in the early 80’s. Pattison went on to feature with Robin Trower. Ronnie Montrose released a host of solo albums, some crossing into jazz fusion territory. One of the world’s great guitarists, he reformed Gamma in the late 90’s and released “Gamma 4”. This album featured Jean-Michel Byron, the SA singer who had previously worked with Toto, on backing vocals)
16. Pipedream – Lies, from “Pipedream”. 1979 – Label Not Shown(this short-lived US band had the potential to go really far. Vocalist Willie Daffern had previously been with Hunger, Truk and Captain Beyond. Guitarist Ben Schultz, from Buddy Miles’s band and KGB, bassist Tim Bogert from Cactus and Beck, Bogert and Appice, and drummer Jan Uvena from Alcatrazz. It’s not clear if this great album was ever officially released. Willie Daffern – aka Willie Dee, also appeared with Gary Moore in G Force, ZoomLenZ, and others).
17. Gamalon – Billy’s Saloon, from ‘‘Gamalon”.1987 – Amherst Records (the drumming and guitar work on this debut album from Ted Reinhardt, Bruce Brucato and George Puleo (who has been replaced by an amazing female guitarist called Nori Bucci)is unbelievably good, as is the contribution from bassist Tom Reinhardt. Gamalon were a US guitar-based fusion/rock band of the highest order. A mostly-instrumental only band, they released around six albums, including an excellent live effort. For fans of early Mastermind and Cosmosquad).
18. Rush – La Villa Strangiato, from “Hemispheres”. Mercury Records – 1978 (Canada’s Music Ambassadors have been around since 1970, when they were formed by guitarist Alex Lifeson, bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee and drummer John Rutsey, who died in May 2008. This line-up appeared on the band’s self-titled debut, released in 1974. Enter Neil Peart, who was not only a fantastic drummer, but a songwriter and lyricist of note. Subsequent releases cemented the band’s fast growing reputation as one of the most popular acts in the world. The musicianship is flawless, as is the songwriting. Despite various tragedies and setbacks, the band are still a major force in the rock / prog rock world and are still releasing material to this day)
19. Threshold – Oceanborn, from “Hypothetical”. 2001 – InsideOut Records (unquestionably one of England’s best progressive metal bands. They’ve been around since the early 90’s. Plagued with drummer and vocalist problems, they’ve nonetheless managed to record and release albums of a consistently high standard. Original members members Karl Groom, Nick Midson, Jon Jeary and Richard West, appear on this album, together with drummer Johanne James and vocalist Andrew “Mac” McDermott. Original vocalist Damian Wilson has apparently rejoined the band. If you don’t know Threshold, and you enjoy quality progressive metal, you need to get to acquaint yourself with these guys).
20. Star One – Set Your Controls, from “Space Metal”. 2002 – InsideOut Records (a conceptual space metal project, with a doff of the cap to Space Rock masters Hawkwind and Space Oddity-era David Bowie, this album was put together by Dutch multi-instrumentalist Arjen Anthony Lucassen, who is an extremely talented, and busy musician. Probably best known for his work with Ayreon, he has also featured with Stream Of Passion, Vengeance, Ambeon and a host of others, his latest work being with Guilt Machine. Surrounding himself with some astounding musicians and vocalists, Lucassen delivered one of the best prog metal albums of 2002 with this masterpiece).
21. Eric Norlander– Fly, from “Into The Sunset”. 2000 – Transmission Records (keyboard player and producer of note, Eric Norlander, of Rocket Scientists fame, is also married to the Queen of Symphonic / Progressive rock, Lana Lane. This was his second (?) solo album, and he was accompanied by some serious talent, in the form of Arjen Anthony Lucassen on guitars, Tony Franklin on bass, Greg Ellis on drums and vocalists Glenn Hughes, Lana Lane, Edward Reekers and Robert Soeterboek. Norlander has an array of keyboards that bring back the glory days of Keith Emerson, Rick Wakeman, Duncan Mackay and others. And he sure knows how to play them!)
22. Livin’ Blues – Divin’ Duck Blues, from “Rockin’ The Tweedmill”. 1973 – Phillips Records (Holland has produced some amazing musicians and bands, of all genres. Livin’ Blues were certainly close to the top of the pile. Probably best known for their stand-out “Blue Breeze” album, their earlier material was equally as good. “Rockin’ The Tweedmill”, recorded in the UK, was undoubtedly one of their best releases. Led by original musicians, vocalist Nicko Christiansen, guitarist Ted Oberg and harmonica player John Lagrand, they delivered an album that could quite easily hold it’s head up with releases by the greats of the era, such as Savoy Brown, Chicken Shack and the Climax Blues Band). Christiansen has since revived the band, and they are touring and recording as Livin’ Blues Xperience.
23. Aunt Mary – Upside Down, from “Loaded”. 1972 – Vertigo Records (2nd album from one of Norway’s best bands. Formed in 1970, they recorded and released their self-titled debut album in Denmark in 1971. Essentially a heavy blues band, they did, however, draw influences from the likes of prog kings ELP and King Crimson. They unfortunately disbanded at the end of 1973, having released three very good, and collectible albums. They reformed in 1980 and recorded a great “Live Reunion” album, but nothing further came of this reunion, and they folded again. 1992 saw them reforming once again, with much of the original line-up, and they released ”Bluesprints” that year.
24. AUM – You Can’t Hide, from “Bluesvibes”. Red Fox Records – 1969 (although sounding very dated, this debut blues/psych album from this US trio has a certain charm that is indicative of the exciting blues/rock scene that was starting to surface in the US at the time. Similar in style to Illinois Speed Press and Raven, AUM released a second, highly collectible album called ‘’Resurrection” before splitting in 1970).
25. Eloy –Age Of Insanity, from “Visionary”. 2009 – Artist Station Records (German prog outfit Eloy’s roots go back to 1971, when they were formed in Essen. Taking their name from H.G.Wells’ “Time Machine”, they released their debut album that year. Initially adopting a classic heavy rock feel, similar to Jethro Tull, Deep Purple and Uriah Heep, they soon branched into a more symphonic / progressive rock style. Led by guitarist/ vocalist Frank Bornemann, the band released many great albums, well into the 80’s, including the soundtrack to the movie “Codename Wildgeese”. They seemed to go into limbo on a few occasions, surfacing with another great release every now and then. This new album is one example of the “resurrection” of this fantastic band. Bornemann, together with long-time members Michael Gerlach – keys, Klaus-Peter Matziol – bass, Hannes Folberth on additional keys, and Bodo Schoff on drums, deliver what must rate as one of the top prog albums of 2009).
26. Ramses – War, from “La Leyla”. 1976 – Sky Records (emerging on the wrong side of the Kraut Rock movement, Ramses were nonetheless a very competent German prog outfit who could hold their own with many of their contemporaries. “Accused” at times of sounding too Anglo-American, their Yes and Starcastle- influenced brand of symphonic prog won them few fans amongst the Kraut Rock diehards, although all their albums certainly do deserve some credit. They split in the early 80’s after having released three albums. They reformed in the early 90’s and again in 2000, with new albums being released with each reformation)
27. Virus – King Heroin, from “Thoughts”. 1971 – Pilz Records (this sadly little-known German outfit were formed in Bielefeld in 1970. Taking a lot of influences from “Saucerful Of Secrets”–era Pink Floyd, they were similar in style to Gila and Tangerine Dream, but with a bit more vooma. Their debut album, “Revelation”, had a fantastic and very “cosmic” adaptation of the Stones’ “Paint It Black”. After its release, some of the band members went on to form Weed, which, incidentally, featured Ken Hensley on guitars , vocals and keyboards.New members were recruited, and they appeared on the featured album. Listen to the lyrics of the track carefully – if you’ve ever contemplated toying with heroin, you’ll think twice before messing with that stuff, or any other, for that matter! Stick to rock ‘n roll, rather! A third, previously unreleased album, with new and live tracks, recorded in April 1973, called “Remember”, was released in 2004)
If you are struggling to find rarities, especially those of the Kraut rock bands, there are various mail order companies, such as Green Brain (www.green-brain.krautrock.de), that specialize in this kind of music.
And remember, for the guitar-god worshipper, you won’t find a better site than www.grooveyard.com Joe has released some INCREDIBLE killer riff music on his highly respected label. Coming up this week on The RockIt Scientist, some brand new releases from Blindside Blues Band, Mountain Of Power, Blindstone and others. Be prepared to be blown away!
Look & Listen also has access to, and can order, almost anything you want. They have stores countrywide, and you can also order online (www.lookandlisten.co.za)