Rockingham Live 2017

The lineup of Rockingham Live 2017 were released tonight, as usual on the Steve Price Show on ARfm.
The days of which the bands are not yet done, but here are the bands:

Vince Neil (singing the Hits of Mötley Crue)
Loverboy
Kix
Great White (Terry Ilious-version)
Brother Firetribe
Blanc Faces
Dare
Cruzh
Maverick
Harem Scarem
Honeymoon Suite
Dave Bickler
Fortune
Moritz
Vega
The Amorettes
Airrace
Bailey

We will update this news later when we know the days the bands will play and so on…

Jack Russells Great White – He saw it coming

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Record Info

Label: Frontiers
Producer:
Release date: January 27, 2017
Line-up: Jack Russell (v), Tony Montana (g, keyb), Robby Lochner  (g), Dan McNay (b), Dickie Fliszar (dr)

Rating: 7/10
(10: A Master Piece / a future classic, 9: Superb, near perfect, 8: Great, 7: Very good, 6: Good, 5: Average)

Jack Russells recoqnizable voice will forever be known as the voice of Great White. With the at times melodic rock then a great deal of pop/rock/funk should be a fair way to describe Jack Russells Great White.

The songs are written together with Robby Lochner and Tony Montana, who played bass in Great White during their most successful era. Today Tony plays rythm guitar in Jack Russells Great White.

Sing of the times are the first song. It starts of with accoustic guitar, a feature that’s usually on every Great White album. It has also got a couple of programmed effects that this time adds to the sound. One of the best songs on here.
She moves me are next one out. It starts of with a bass riff followed by a smooth guitar giving the song kind off a groove.
The same guitar sound later gets used in Don’t let me go another of those more funk groove songs that still are more of a pop song rather than a rock song. Both of the two mentioned are amongst the better on He saw it coming. Robby Lochner also presents one really nice guitar solo on Don’t let me go.
Crazy dirty guitars and perhaps the most close sounding to the old Great White. With the guitar sound and also the rythm and when we get to the chorus there’s a singalong chorus.
Another song I should mention are the ballad Anything for you probably not a classic even though its beautiful. It shows that the band has used modern way of producing. The solo sound makes me think of White Lions When the children cry only because of the chosen guitar sound.
We get a couple of really good tunes and perhaps a couple of more anonymous songs, but I wouldn’t say any bad ones.
Finishin of the album are a song that reminds me of the do-wop arrangement Slaughter made on Winging It from their debut. But when I compare the two the difference is quite big. Godspeed ,as the song is called, is close to three minutes long and it has got real lyrics, then again we get some do-wop backing vocals.

All in all Jack Russells Great White do cover some new ground that i don’t feel has been covered with the original line-up. I do enjoy the updated sound and songs even if the album won’t come up to the same standard as the Classic albums (that’s why they’re classics). But its well worth listen to and if you like I enjoy Jack Russells raspy voice you should have this album.

Jim Jidhed live at Hard Rock Cafe Gothenburg

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Jim Jidhed held a party to celebrate his new release Push on Through at Hard Rock Cafe in Gothenburg. Somewhere around 150 – 200 persons were invited to listen, mingle and additionally get to hear how some of the songs sounded live. The latter was for me a bonus, I thought we only would get to listen to the album meet some of the involved person on the album and maybe hear a story or two about the creation.
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A humble Jim Jidhed told how the album got to be all the way from our own Johan Nylén who introduced Jim and producer Daniel Flores to eachother, on to thank everyone who contributed to the album like songwriters, musicians, photographers as well as his girlfriend Sandra who was very supportive all the way.
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After all was said about the album Jim and bassist Ken Sandin performed Only one Woman just the two of them, bass and guitar and after a short intermission we then got 3 songs If we call it love, The first time and Glorious with full band. Daniel Flores behind the drums hitting them hard as always, Ken Sandin on bass, Robin Jidhed on rythm guitar, Rolf Pilotti backing vocals and of course the fabolous Michael Palace on lead guitar.

The songs all sounded as good as one could wish for and then some. Jim also invited two of the songwriters to guest appear, Philip Lindstrand got to share vocals on his song The first time and on my favorite song on the album Glorious Ulrik Lönnqvist did a short vocal guest apperance.

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I believe they will get on the road to support the album and I frankly can’t wait to see a full set of songs mixed from all of Jim’s solo albums. Let’s hope it will happen sooner than later.

John Wetton has passed away

The melodic community has lost another of it’s great legends. Singer & bassist John Wetton passed away this morning, as he lost his battle with colon cancer, 67 years old.
Wetton is mostly known for his work with Asia from 1982-1990, and again from 2006 onwards. He were also known for his work with King Crimson in the early 70’s and UK in the late 70’s, as well as a brief stint with Uriah Heep. Wetton also had a great solo carrer for about 10 years between 1994 and 2004, where he released the fantastic record Battlelines.
John Wetton were known for his soleful voice, that always raised the quality of the band he were in, no matter which is was. He’s survived by his wife Lisa, his son Dylan, his brother Robert and mother Peggy.

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(Picture Credit: JohnWetton.com)

Review: Jim Jidhed – Push On Through

Jim Jidhed - Push On Through

Record Info

Label: AOR Heaven
Producer: Daniel Flores
Release date: January 27, 2017
Line-up: Michael Palace (v), Michael Palace (g), Philip Lindstrand (g), Ken Sandin (b), Daniel Flores (dr)

Rating: 9/10
(10: A Master Piece / a future classic, 9: Superb, near perfect, 8: Great, 7: Very good, 6: Good, 5: Average)

Jim Jidhed is a well known name in the swedish melodic rock genre, the singer from Alien and, in my opinion, the best AOR-voice sweden has ever had. Jim’s voice is even better now, almost 30 years after Alien’s debute, the man’s voice is simply incredible, maybe one of the best in the world.
This is Jim’s 3rd solorecord where he sings in English, he has released a couple with swedish vocals. The first one were released in 1990, simply called Jim. The second one, Full Circle, were released in 2003 and were the highlight of that year, stunning record. This time Jim got hooked up with producer Daniel Flores, through their mutual friend, our very own Johan Nylén. Together with outside songwriters (one of them our good friend Philip Lindstrand) they wrote 11 songs, most of them are really great.

Glorious is the first song, the heaviest song Jim has ever sung on, it must be, the song is really glorious (no pun intended). The title tracks is up next, a more traditional AOR-song and not one of my favourites here (even if it’s a good one). If We Call It Love is next, now we’re talking. A phenomenal song in every sense, my favourite song on the record. The ballad Waiting For Summer is next, a really good song that’s fits in well. Up next is The First Time, a superb ballad where Jim’s vocals are just stunning. Of the remaining 6 songs, there are 2 who really stands out (the rest are really good). Too Many Words, and One Breath Away. The first one is really emotional ballad, with great lyrics and vocals of the highest class. The second one is a more uptempo song with brilliant guitarplay.
I think that the first half of thre record are clearly better than the latter. The quality drops slightly and there are almost only ballads or semi-ballads on the other half.

There are not much to complain about on this record. One thing for me is maybe the coverart of the record, Jim could have chosen a “real” cover, but that’s just my opinion and nothing that affects my rating or has anything to do with the songs of course. Another thing is that there’s maybe a ballad too much on it, especially on the second half of the record. Other than that the record is almost flawless and a record that You should own, especially if you like Jim Jidhed’s voice or swedish AOR in general.

Escape Open Air release lineup.

 

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On the 8th & 9th September 2017, in Germany.

Friday:
Bonesetter
(Ger)
Violet Janine (Swe)
House Of Shakira (Swe)
Blood Red Saints (GB)
Martin Turner’s Wishbone Ash (GB)
Secret Headline Day One*

Saturday:
InUtero (Ger)
RebelHot (I)
Jorge Salan Band (Esp)
Palace (Swe)
Bigfoot (GB)
F**ing Furys (Swe)
Feat members of Eclipse, Jaded Heart, Talisman & Degreed.
Praying Mantis (GB)
FM (GB)
Joe Lynn Turner (USA)

You can buy tickets here >> Escape Open Air Facebook

Singer & producer David A Saylor passes away.

david_a_saylor_pressSinger/Producer David Antonio Saylor died on new years day in a heart attack.
David was born in 1963 and was mainly known for his involvement in Push (UK), Wild Rose & solo.
David returned to the scene with critical acclaimed Santa Ana Winds that featured obscure AOR cover from artist such as Charlie, Stan Bush, LaMarca & Jim Jidhed.
David is survived by his wife Yvonne, we at PlanetAOR.com sends out our condolences  to David’s family & friends.

The Family leaves this quote on David’s Facebook page.
“It is with great sadness that we have to inform you of David’s passing this morning. We as a family would like to thank all of Davids fans for their support with his music. Our hearts are broken and life will never be the same. Xxx”

The band Wild Rose leaves this qoute on their Facebook page.
“With tears in our eyes and with great sadness we would like to inform you that the singer of our two albums “Dangerous” and “Hit ‘N’ Run” David Antonio Saylor has passed away this morning.
We will always remember him as a friend, a great person and voice he was…. Deep condolences to his family, hope his soul will rest in peace… R.I.P. Brother we will always remember you… https://youtu.be/bhlO4MzcxrI
Andy, George, Haris, John, Dimos, Phil, Panos, Chris”

Review: Palace – Master Of The Universe

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Record Info

Label: Frontiers
Producer: Daniel Flores and Michael Palace
Release date: August 26, 2016
Line-up: Michael Palace (vo, g), Rick Digorio (g), Soufian Ma’Aoui (b), Marcus Johansson (dr)

Rating: 9.5/10
(10: A Master Piece / a future classic, 9: Superb, near perfect, 8: Great, 7: Very good, 6: Good, 5: Average)

Palace is a new Swedish melodic rock band that was formed by lead singer and guitarist Michael Palace (ex-Big Time). Palace previously worked with the Frontiers label as a songwriter and guitarist on different projects such as First Signal and Cry Of Dawn, a collaboration that eventually led to Michael himself being offered a record deal with Frontiers by label chief Serafino Perugino. The band was then hand picked by Palace from the Stockholm area musician circuit.

Clearly a one-of-a-kind talent, the 24 year old multi-instrumentalist and songwriter reportedly single-handedly wrote these 11 tracks in just a couple of weeks time, a feat which by any standards must be seen as a major accomplishment not least considering the quality of the material at hand. I haven’t heard genuine retro AOR done this well since H.E.A.T´s 2010 platter “Freedom Rock” – which is saying a lot, since there has been a wealth of excellent AOR albums released in between those years.

For those familiar with Palace´s previous band Big Time (which also featured Palace guitarist Rick Digorio), the quality of this album will certainly not come as a surprise, as the band’s 3 song 2012 e.p was pretty much flawless melodic rock, highlighted by the fantastic AOR anthem Julia. (a song I would very much like to see re-recorded on a future Palace album). It was already evident from that point that these guys would go on to even greater things, and this new album is certainly a testament to that.

The strength of “Master Of The Universe” definitely lies in it’s consistency, with just about every song featuring an instantly likeable chorus or hook that just screams to be replayed. Even after having lived with the album for over 3 months I still find myself humming along to these tunes, surely a sign of a great and memorable album.

Highlights include the Danger Road-esque anthemic AOR rocker Master Of The Universe, the catchy and atmospheric Cool Runnin’, the supreme and powerful ballad Rules of The Game and the melodic mid tempo masterpiece Part Of Me, a song that would give 80’s Whitesnake a run for their money. Another hightpoint is the keyboard heavy and very H.E.A.T.-sounding No Exit, with great keyboard and guitar arrangements all over. Young, Wild, Free has more of a Scandi flavour to it, a bit like Da Vinci, while Matter In Hand is another killer AOR cut with a chorus to die for.

While you could certainly put the label “melodic hard rock” on most of the material here it still never gets too heavy, which is an important point from an AOR perspective. Personally I would suggest that “ballsy AOR” is a more appropriate term because of the strong pop melodies and widely use of keys, but whatever the case, the most important thing is still the songs and here Palace deliver in spades, no doubt about it.

The band have a gig at the Frontiers Rock Festival lined up in April of next year and from there on who knows what will happen. Personally I would love to see a quick follow up album, preferably with an even more pure AOR sound, which I’m sure would turn out equally if not even more fantastic. Whatever the case, “Master Of The Universe” is certainly one of the most promising debuts in a long time and an essential purchase for every melodic rocker out there.