This newsletter requires a bit of reading, so sit yourself down, grab a cuppa, and be thankful and grateful that my ONE typing finger has worn itself down to the bone, just for YOU!!! Read it from beginning to end – I’m gonna ask questions afterwards, and if you get anything wrong, you will be forced to sit in a small room, bombarded with 7 million-beats-per-minute rave, techno and rap music, for one whole week! AND you’ll be charged for the strait jacket!!
Thanks to you, we are getting some fantastic feedback, and there are some exciting things happening at the station!
The new line-up is starting to gel nicely and the response, especially from our overseas friends who listen via streaming, is incredibly encouraging, so, on behalf of all of us at 93.8fm and The Rockfest, thank you so much!
There are so many people I would like to thank, but those that deserve a really special THANK YOU are Sonia Mota, Colin Tench and the members of BunChakeze, Marsha Christian, Mike Onesko (of Blindside Blues Band), Yolanda Flaming and the members of Murky Red, Rich Basile, Luis Ramirez, Gavin Carstens, Sandra Patterson, Kai Von Pannier, Dolly Dagger, John Michael Soria and the members of StoneAge, Helder Da Silva , Johnny Patterson II, Lydia & Henri Craemer, Goddy and Maria Symons, Greg Cagle, Vince Stevens, Georg Voros, Mandy Wade and all the other guys and gals of our Saturday Rockfest lunch club!
In a major scoop for the station, I’d like to let you know that the lovely Melanie “Action Girl” Walker, who was a Rockfest presenter when we were at “that other station”, will be joining 93.8fm from this Sunday (13 March). She will be on air from 10am til midday. Not quite normal Rockfest hours, that’s true, but Mel has a fantastic choice and selection of great music and she’s bound to rock your socks off, no matter what time of the day she presents her show! Ex-beauty queen Mel is a veteran of the airwaves and of TV, and she always presents an entertaining show. Mention ZZ Top to her and it’s like showing a red rag to a bull!
Two Fridays ago, I was fortunate enough to have a chat with Ami and Etienne of veterans of the live scene, Margaret’s Daughter, who were invited to the Zihuatanejo International Guitar Festival in Mexico! A fantastic accolade for a really great South African band!
I was recently introduced to a soon-to-be extremely popular and famous young South Africa singer. Eden Michelle (www.edenmichelle.com) is a revelation! She’s a talent of note who is destined for great things, locally and internationally.
She’s got the look, the charisma, the voice, the enthusiasm and an incredible ability to write really great rock songs. Her album, which was actually released in 2008, called “Broken Truth”, is really worthwhile checking out. It’s available through stores such as Look & Listen, Musica, and download via www.max3.com . Produced by Jon Buckley of Toxic Shame fame, it’s brim-full of catchy rock tunes with a bit of bite, as well as the odd ballad, some of which showcase her classical roots. If she is representative of the future of rock, then the genre is in good hands indeed!
I hope to be chatting to the legendary Julian Laxton shortly. Julian is a veteran of the SA rock scene, going way way back to the days of famous SA bands Freedom’s Children, Hawk, etc etc. The contributions Julian has made to the SA rock scene over the years cannot be quantified, and he is an excellent and accomplished guitarist to boot. The goal is to finally get Julian nominated for a SAMA award in the rock category, something that has been a long time comin’, as The Electric Flag said! The same goes for seasoned radio DJ Barney Simon, who, together with the likes of Chris Prior, Phil Wright, Rafe Lavine, Kevin Savage, David Blood, Benjy Mudie and others, have kept rock alive on radio in this country. Barney is up for a nomination too, and it’s about time!!
Another great SA band worth a mention are Dixie Hillbillies! If you like Charlie Daniels Band with a bit of a kick and some sterling violin playing, then their album “A Touch Of Grass” is for you! The band features JP Dix on vocals, guitars and banjo, JD Scheppel on electric and acoustic violins & vocals and Jerry Grove on bass. A very interesting album that’ll keep you coming back for more! Contact Ilze Ferreira (ilsef) for bookings, etc
Quirky SA band Falling Mirror have released a new album, Special Agent Duck. Currently only available via download, the album features Tully McCully on bass, Alan Faull on guitars, keys & vocals, Pat Humphreys on drums and perc, and Nielen Mirror on lead vocals. Legendary record company guru / saviour/reviver/believer of/in classic SA bands/ and famous DJ Benjy Mudie will apparently be giving it an official CD release. The album is great fun, with catchy, clever tunes, and excellent musicianship! Check it out!
I’ve managed to get my grubby mitts on a number of fantastic albums from overseas bands who have been tuning into The Rockfest and who have become regular listeners and supporters, for which we are very grateful and honoured. Bands that you really need to check out, are:
StoneAge – SA – from Texas – fantastic Texan boogie/blues rock! Fronted by vocalist Dave De Haes, this great band features John Michael Soria (JMS) on guitars/vocals, Dave Henington on drums, John Windle on bass and Steve Holbrook on keyboards. The album is available via CDBaby, etc. Check out http://www.myspace.com/stoneageband. The band is getting extensive play on The Rockfest and the response from listeners has been amazing!
BunChakeze – Whose Dream?– from the UK. This has to be one of THE great prog rock finds of the past few years, at least, although the album was actually recorded in 1985, and remixed in 1992, finally being released at the tail-end of 2010! Passion, great musicianship and a strong belief in themselves, tenacity and originality are the hallmarks of this very promising band, who started out as Odin (in/of London). Joining founder, guitarist, synthesizer player and backing vocalist Colin Tench, are vocalist Joey Lugassy, bass guitarist and co-founder(s) Gary Derrick and drummer Cliff Deighton, and guest pianist Alex Foulcer. Given the right exposure and coverage, which the band are quite deservedly receiving on a number of overseas radio stations, BunChakeze have the potential to become one of prog rock’s best bands. The genre, for the past 20 years or so, has made a much needed and very welcome come-back, and it’s bands like BunChakeze that will ensure that prog rock holds it head up high and proud in the history of rock music.
Murky Red – Time Doesn’t Matter – from Belgium. This exciting up and coming band are in the process of releasing their debut album, ‘‘Time Doesn’t Matter”. Drawing influences from bands such as Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac and others, Murky Red deliver an album of seven tracks (this is an advance copy, for airplay) written by very talented guitarist / vocalist Stef Flaming. Stef’s lovely wife, Yolanda, is on vocals, although she handles lead vocals on only a few of the tracks, the balance as backing vocalist. The rest of the band is comprised of Jef Vandervorst on drums, Tom Kockelmans on bass and Georges Petrofski on guitars. The standard of musicianship and song writing in Murky Red is very high, and they’re a young band with lots of promise and potential. Their presentation is professionally put together, and the songs are ideal for radio play. Check out their website www.murkyred.com. I think we’ll be hearing a lot about this band in the future!
You still there? Not bored yet??
Other releases that arrived a bit too late for full inclusion in this newsletter are “Voodoo Charm” by astounding guitarist Marino De Silva (thanks to the stunning Dolly Dagger for re-acquainting me with this tremendous guitarist who I met here in South Africa a number of years ago). Check out www.MarinoRocks.com . Critically acclaimed as “one of the GREATEST guitarists of our time”, Marino is living proof that musicians get better and better with time. If you’re into guitar-based blues rock with some drop dead killer riffs, Marino’s your man and “Voodoo Charm” must be your next purchase! A flawless release by a true legend! Listen to my show, The RockIt Scientist, this coming Friday night, between 9pm and midnight, to hear a few tracks from this great album.
On the subject of legends, blues rock guitarist / vocalist Miller Anderson, of Keef Hartley Band / Savoy Brown / Hemlock / Dog Soldier, etc, fame, has just recently released a brilliant new DVD, “Miller Anderson Band – Live At Rockpalast 2010”. Featured with Anderson are Kris Gray on bass / backing vocals, Frank Tischer on keys and backing vocals, and Tommy Fischer on drums. I haven’t had a chance to watch the DVD yet, as it literally just arrived, but given Anderson’s history and pedigree (and the fact that I’ve admired and enjoyed his work for yonks!), this has GOT to be good! He has an amazing guitar sound, and his distinctive vocals played their part in making bands like The Keef Hartley Band such an integral and important part of the blues rock scene in the UK in the late 60’s / early 70’s. Check out www.milleranderson.co.uk for this and other solo CD releases from one of the UK’s best ever guitarists. Tune in on Friday night to hear some tracks from his latest album release, ‘’From Lizard Rock”
Told you it was long, didn’t I? (the newsletter, that is). Stop complaining. There’s a prize or two at the end!!!!
Some more new releases, including one from stunning Finnish prog outfit Moonwagon, to be featured in the next newsletter.
You might, or might not be aware, but everybody on The Rockfest and on 93.8fm, is a volunteer, giving of their time freely in order to bring you their shows. There are people from all walks of life, all with a common goal: the love of music, and the desire to share it. As a new feature to these newsletters, I will be introducing you to a Rockfest personality every now and then.
First up is our resident Jethro Tull fanatic, Max Aston.
Max has been with the Rockfest for over a year now, being one of the first presenters to join since we started at 93.8fm, back in December 2009. Max, who works in a bank, is extremely passionate and dedicated to the station and to his show. He does, under what must be very difficult circumstances, a fantastic job in presenting a very good and informative show, encompassing elements of prog rock, folk, Southern rock, classic rock and blues, and anything Jethro Tull-ish in nature!!
I say very difficult circumstances because Max is physically disabled, being a Cerebral Palsy sufferer since a very early age. He is mostly wheelchair bound, but that doesn’t stop him from getting into a taxi, at his own expense, and travelling the 60-odd km round trip to the studio, every Sunday night, to present his 8 pm to 10pm show. He is also always keen and willing to fill in for other presenters who might be away on leave or otherwise unable to do their shows.
In Max’s own words:
Cerebral palsy (CP) is an umbrella term encompassing a group of non-progressive, non-contagious motor conditions that cause physical disability in human development, chiefly in the various areas of body movement.
I spend 90% of my time in a wheelchair. Although CP is a non-progressive disease, the wear and tear on my joints is accelerated resulting in me having arthritis.
I live alone (with my music collection).
I cannot drive a motor vehicle so get around on a battery operated scooter with a top speed of 8km per hour which I use for short trips.
I live and work in the middle of Sandton so all amenities are close by.
I am fortunate to have found a sponsor which takes care of all my travel to and from the radio station. I cannot thank Monde and the gang at The Big 5 Cab SA enough for all their assistance over the last year. Contact Monde on 082 415 6139 for a comfortable ride and very competitive prices.
Max Aston is a true rock ‘n roll warrior! We are extremely fortunate and happy to have someone with his passion, knowledge and music collection, on The Rockfest.
Ok – enough already – we’re NEARLY done!!
The Rockfest is very much behind any anti-rhino poaching petitions, and we wholeheartedly support the stringing up by the short and curlys and extermination of any vermin caught killing these majestic animals, for whatever reasons. To date, over 50 rhino have been destroyed for their horns, mainly so that some wanker in a Far Eastern country can get a woody. At this rate, the rhino will be extinct in a few years. So please, make yourself heard whenever you see a petition calling for an end to this barbaric practice, and if you are able to make a financial contribution, even better still.
Check out Rock Out Radio www.roronline.com for the best in South African music! Kosta has done a great job in reviving this great online radio station that specializes in South African music.
Grooveyard Records (www.grooveyardrecords.com) is just the site you need to visit if guitar-based hard rock and blues rock is your thing. Take a few tranquilizers first – Joe Romagnola has assembled a catalogue to die for!
One of the artists / bands on the Grooveyard label is Blindside Blues Band, led by guitar supremo Mike Onesko. Remember those prizes I was referring to? NOW I have your attention, do I??? I have two Blindside Blues Band cds to give away, both of which will blow your socks off! They are “Raised On Rock’’(2010) and “’Smokehouse Sessions – Volume 2 – The Blues Is Evil” (2011). And no, you can’t win them both. One to each winner.
Question: What was Ozzy Osbourne’s dentist’s cousin’s mother- in-law’s name, and were her teeth real, both of them??
Failing that, just tell me who Blindside Blues Band’s guitarist and leader is! The first two correct entries, by return email (leon), will get one of the Blindside Blues Band cds each. ( Specify your preference and supply a postal address – overseas entries welcome!)
Remember that we offer extremely competitive advertising rates. For more information, please contact Kim on 0835501138, or at the studio on (011) 848-6900 or (011) 848-6901. Her email address is kim. We don’t get funding from anyone, so any help would be greatly appreciated!
We are also streaming now, via The Rockfest website (www.rockfest.co.za), as well as via www.93-8fm.co.za. Daytime presenters such as Mark Taylor (surely one of SA’s best radio presenters!), the lovely Rosemary Royeppen and the entertaining Neil Gundry ensure that, night or day, you have a top notch radio station, run and manned by people who love music, mostly rock, as much as you do!
If you have any requests or comments / feedback, please would you send them to onair.
Tune in, and enjoy the music!
ROCK LIVES on The Rockfest!!
20h00 to 23h00 – David Blood
23h00 to 01h00 – Frank Heydenrych
20h00 to 22h00 – Kim Coetzee
22h00 – midnight – Stevan Dembo
20h00 – 22h00 – Graham Rees
22hoo – midnight – Rusty Hornsby
20h00 – 10h00 – Tamara Jeunette (Duncan Macleod will be doing her shows on 10/03 and 17/03)
10h00 – midnight – Mike Tymvios
18h00 – 21h00 – Linda Sue
21h00 – midnight – Leon Economides
Midnight – 02am – Chris Venter
20h00 – 22h00 – Ingrid Botha
22h00 – midnight – Aris Binikos
Midnight – 02am – Mandi Waldbaum
10am – Midday – Melanie Walker
20h00 – 22h00 – Max Aston
22h00 – midnight – Wayne Hampton