Saturday, March 28, 2020

Weekend Bonus Edition of Focus on Metal With Eric Martin Available


Episode 453 SE - Eric Martin Special Edition

We live in crazy fucking times but if we can do our part to make it better we’re gonna give it a shot. Lots of you have asked us to publish some extra episodes while the world hunkers down and social distances. This is our first response to that. Here’s an previously unaired interview from the FoM vaults with vocalist Eric Martin. Enjoy and stay safe.

Get the this bonus episode from the Focus on Metal SiteThe Focus on Metal RSS feed, or subscribe on iTunes.

You can hear us every Tuesday night on Pure Rock Radio
and each Wednesday afternoon on Metal World Radio

Visit http://focusonmetal.net/ for information on all the past episodes and to find the links to all our other social media sites.

And as always
Focus On Metal…Everything Else is Insignificant.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Robin McAuley & RIchie Kotzen on This Weeks Focus on Metal



Episode 453 - The R & R Show

Double R’s this week as we welcome back Robin McAuley and Richie Kotzen to the show. First we talk with Robin about the debut Black Swan album “Shake The World”. After that we talk with Richie Kotzen about his latest release “50 for 50” an epic collection of songs he released in celebration of turning 50.



Get the this episode from the Focus on Metal SiteThe Focus on Metal RSS feed, or subscribe on iTunes.

You can hear us every Tuesday night on Pure Rock Radio
and each Wednesday afternoon on Metal World Radio

Visit http://focusonmetal.net/ for information on all the past episodes and to find the links to all our other social media sites.

And as always
Focus On Metal…Everything Else is Insignificant.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Dance With The Devil- The Cozy Powell Story by Laura Shenton (Wymer Publishing)

Image result for dance with the devil the cozy powell story 

   Amazingly this is the first biography ever written on Cozy Powell. For anyone who's been living under a rock Cozy drummed for the likes of Rainbow, MSG, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath and many many more. Or I could just say he's the guy on Rainbow's Stargazer arguably one of the greatest metal songs of all time.

   The book has a separate chapter on each band Cozy played with right up to his tragic death in a car accident in 1998. There's a lot on his session work pre-Rainbow and the graft he put in early on to become one of the most in demand drummers of the time. His technique, where he got his power and influences are all here. What the book reveals was a drummer who always put the music first, was never shy of sharing his opinion or standing up to anyone, didn't like the suits who ran the business of music and was a top professional who always put on a great show. There's numerous interview quotes from Cozy throughout the book from old publications and his take on things was pretty consistent. He liked whatever situation he was in at the time until he didn't and then he was gone.

   For anyone looking for current contributions from the likes of Coverdale, Blackmore or Schenker then there are none. The author decided not to contact anyone who worked with Cozy to share their stories. I found that decision more than a little puzzling and sometimes you need to take the fanboy hat off to gain a different perspective on how things might have gone down. Being more blunt just get these guys on the record now about Cozy before they can't. Jimmy Bain, Ronnie James Dio, Paul Raymond...

   I still enjoyed the book and hats off to Laura for writing it. If you want a detailed look at Cozy the musician then this is the book for you. He's played on a lot more then you might know. I interviewed Laura to help promote this and also former Rainbow road manager Colin Hart and a special episode on the great Cozy Powell will be coming soon.

Richie.

  https://www.wymeruk.co.uk/

 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Bassist Greg Chaisson Talks Kings of Dust on This Weeks Focus on Metal


Episode 452 - Kings of Dust

This week we are joined by bassist Greg Chaisson formerly of Steeler, Sircle of Silence, Red Dragon Cartel and most notably Badlands. Greg has put together Kings of Dust with Michael Beck, Ryan McKay and Jimi Taft.
The band released their self titled debut last week and Greg will be discussing that as well as some throwback chat as well.



Get the this episode from the Focus on Metal SiteThe Focus on Metal RSS feed, or subscribe on iTunes.

You can hear us every Tuesday night on Pure Rock Radio
and each Wednesday afternoon on Metal World Radio

Visit http://focusonmetal.net/ for information on all the past episodes and to find the links to all our other social media sites.

And as always
Focus On Metal…Everything Else is Insignificant.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Author Graham Sharpe Talks Vinyl on This Weeks Focus on Metal



Episode 451 - The Vinyl Countdown

Change of pace this week as we do a bit of a look at the revival of vinyl. Being that we are physical product guys like most metal fans we thought this might be an interesting diversion. To go along with this we also talk with Graham Sharpe, the guy who wrote Vinyl Countdown. Next week we return to our usual content.

Get the this episode from the Focus on Metal SiteThe Focus on Metal RSS feed, or subscribe on iTunes.

You can hear us every Tuesday night on Pure Rock Radio
and each Wednesday afternoon on Metal World Radio

Visit http://focusonmetal.net/ for information on all the past episodes and to find the links to all our other social media sites.

And as always
Focus On Metal…Everything Else is Insignificant.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Silverthorne-Silverthorne (Golden Robot Records)

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You don't need me to tell you that Brian Tichy has played with a shitload of bands, chances are he's on at least a couple of cds in your collection or you've seen him beating the skins at a show. He's known mostly as a replacement band guy, a guy you bring in who nails it, the definition of a hired gun. A tremendous drummer who is always in demand. What's lacking in his resume are bands he's in from the ground up, Pride And Glory with Zakk Wylde is an example but they only did one album in the mid-nineties.

So now we have Silverthorne with Pete Shoulder on vocals/guitar, Daniel Spree on bass, Brian on drums and an ep of 5 songs. I had heard Pete's name before as a member of The Union featuring Thunder guitarist Luke Morley but in all honesty had never checked them out. I had heard the first Silverthorne single Tear The Sky Wide Open a few months ago when I interviewed Brian, I liked it a lot. I wanted to hear the rest. I'm really glad I did.

The music has been described as having a classic rock sound with a modern feel. Some of it sounds like Led Zeppelin especially closing track Haunted By The Dawn that is the first cousin of Achilles Last Stand with a vocalist who sounds at times like Chris Cornell, yes Pete is that good. Roll Me Back Again also has that Zep feel and a huge open drum sound. Black River Rising wouldn't sound out of place on Superunknown. Just when you think you have the band figured out Movin veers off into Red Hot Chilli Peppers territory. Please let this not be a one and done, there's so much promise here.

Richie.

http://www.silverthorneband.com/

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Kings Of Dust- Kings Of Dust (Shock Records)

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The last album I reviewed was the new Ozzy one that had all the bells and whistles studio trickery and fixing known to man. This is the complete opposite, it is 4 guys playing live together in the same room capturing the magic of the moment. The chemistry. Old school. Being a massive Badlands fan the one name I know in this is bassist Greg Chaisson who has assembled a kick ass rock and roll band around him featuring former Red Dragon Cartel member Michael Beck on vocals, Ryan McKay on guitar and Jimi Taft on drums.

The sound is deeply rooted in 70s classic rock with a touch of southern boogie and ZZ Top. If that's your fix then this will not disappoint. I love the groove on The Devil Made Me Do It, Ugly just flat out rocks, Ya That's Me reminds me a little of classic Thin Lizzy and has a great riff and Mama is the big slow building epic. There's some real tasty guitar playing from Ryan all over this album and Michael has the voice to pull it off. In an upcoming interview Greg revealed a lot of these performances were captured on the first take, a band has to have it's shit together for that to work. These guys do. I hope this leads to some live shows.The album is released on March 13th.

https://www.facebook.com/KingsOfDust/

Richie.

Jeff Scott Soto & Joel McIver guest on this weeks Focus on Metal


Episode 450 - Sons of Morbid

This week we talk with Jeff Scott Soto about the latest Sons of Apollo release MMXX plus everything else he’s got going. After that we welcome back Joel McIver to give us the story on his the new book he did with David Vincent, “I Am Morbid”. All that plus a lot of discussion on this weeks show.


Get the this episode from the Focus on Metal SiteThe Focus on Metal RSS feed, or subscribe on iTunes.

You can hear us every Tuesday night on Pure Rock Radio
and each Wednesday afternoon on Metal World Radio

Visit http://focusonmetal.net/ for information on all the past episodes and to find the links to all our other social media sites.

And as always
Focus On Metal…Everything Else is Insignificant.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Geoff Tate- Tupelo Music Hall, Derry, NH 3/1/2020

Image result for geoff tate 2020



I have only seen Geoff Tate live twice, both with Queensryche. The opening night of the Empire World Tour at the SFX in Dublin noteworthy for the first performance of the entire Mindcrime album and the second supporting Judas Priest in Manchester, NH promoting their highly anticipated big time letdown Operation: Mindcrime 2. Both times his voice was spot on. I had tickets to see them on the Dedicated To Chaos tour, they cancelled on the day of the show, some say I was lucky.

He's arguably the best singer from our genre of music who started making waves in the 80s. Now he's 60 and like many artists he's gone way back in his career to sell tickets, for many people Geoff hasn't put his name to anything remotely decent in a long time although the Sweet Oblivion album from last year was a return to form. He's mostly ignored Mindcrime this time, a wise choice as I felt he was overplaying it. Just because a court case grants you exclusive rights to play the whole thing live doesn't mean you should. He did. A lot.

So what we get here is the whole Rage For Order and Empire albums with a 2 song encore. It's one long show past the 2 hour mark. The biggest concern of course was how his voice would hold up singing songs from the prime of his career, I'm happy to report he did a fine job of it. Of course he's not as good as he was back then, no one is unless your name is Sammy Hagar or Glenn Hughes. Look at how high the bar is for him though? Yes there was help especially with the sampled backing vocals but it really was a joy for me hearing the guy sing all those songs again especially Rage For Order.

He has a solid band behind him too, no one I knew of before the show but they do a fine job representing the sound of the songs as close to the originals as possible. I genuinely felt bad for one of the guitarists who spent the set sitting down after breaking his ankle a few days prior. Geoff did converse with the crowd at certain points in the set but for the most part stuck with the formula: play the songs in the order people remember them. I wish he would lose the circus grand master act he puts on though at times, the cabaret stuff didn't work with Queensryche either. Also put the fucking saxophone away. Artists in general should change up their between song banter, it's on You Tube and there were people finishing his sentences. Maybe spend some time talking about some of the lesser known Empire songs that you never performed live before this tour. We know everything about Silent Lucidity already.

The encore began with an Empire b-side Last Time In Paris and the show ended proper with the inevitable nod to Mindcrime in Eyes Of A Stranger. I'm really glad I went and so did the sold out crowd.

Richie.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Ozzy Osbourne- Ordinary Man (Epic Records)

Image result for ozzy osbourne ordinary man

   Mad, iron, miracle, vertical and now ordinary man. Ozzy has seen, done, snorted and drank it all in a life that so far has been extraordinary. The stories are out there and I've been told a few by people who were there. So what about the music? Well it's been 10 years since the release of his last solo album Scream, for many a disappointment, as was Black Rain and Down To Earth. I got something from all three, they weren't great but each had its moments and I would loved to have seen Gus G given a chance to write an Ozzy album. You would have to go back to No More Tears in 1991 for a classic Ozzy release. An album from him in 2020 gets these responses:

   The glass half-full guy: "Hey, Ozzy is a living legend and he's given me so much joy with his music since Sabbath. If it wasn't for him nobody would have heard of Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee or Zakk Wylde. The Osbournes was groundbreaking and one of the funniest shows I've seen in years. C'mon man he's 71 years old and if he wants to make a new album then more power to him, anything at this stage is a bonus, right."

   The glass half-empty guy: "Ozzy's voice is shot and has been for years, he hasn't made a decent album in nearly three decades because Bob Daisley is not there to write the songs. Zakk should be on the album, what's the point of introducing another guitarist now. The Osbournes made him a laughing stock. He's made his money and should have retired years ago when he announced it".

   So is this another disappointment or a late career comeback? Lets talk about the sound of the album first. There's no expense spared here and producer/guitarist Andrew Watt has the thing sounding amazing, Ozzy must have recorded this in a very expensive kitchen with the best blenders and filters used to get a pitch perfect performance. So much so that at times it doesn't sound like a real person singing the songs at all, there's effects on his vocals everywhere and there are a lot of vocals.

   I could live with that if the songs were great and I don't feel the majority are. Andrew Watt can play but outside of the opener Straight To Hell the album is missing great memorable riffs and solos. Goodbye and Under The Graveyard try to capture that old school Sabbath sound but are ruined with industrial sounding parts, when it comes to copying Sabbath sometimes less really is more. The trying to be punk sounding It's A Raid with Post Malone is dreadful. Eat Me goes nowhere as does Scary Little Green Men. It's the songs where Ozzy channels his love of the Beatles that save the album. All My Life is brilliant with the same vibe as I Just Want You from Ozzmosis, the title track featuring Elton John is heartfelt, listen to Today Is The End and tell me you can't hear Alice In Chains doing this. That brings me to closing track Take What You Want that should have featured Ozzy singing the whole song. If it is his last solo album and let's be honest it's looking like it I don't need to hear Post Malone sing half of it.

   So.....it's ok and no victory like Priest's Firepower. A new Ozzy album that everyone will talk about for a couple of weeks before putting back in their collection where it will most likely gather dust along with the other latter day Ozzy albums. It's ordinary. Man.

Richie.