Classic Rock News
    Concert Review: Steely Dan at Walmart AMP/Arkansas Music Pavilion, Rogers, AR

    Photos & Story by Scott A. Smith

    Remember way back when, when Steely Dan ignored the road, treating the word “tour” like a big, glowing slab of Kryptonite?steely-dan-1-by-scott-a-smith

    Back in the mid- and late-1970s, Steely Dan’s creative nucleus, Donald Fagen (keyboards, vocals) and Walter Becker (guitar, bass, vocals), showed extreme favoritism to the recording studio, where they meticulously built still-great-sounding, jazz-rock LPs such as 1975′s “Katy Lied,” 1976′s “The Royal Scam” and the Grammy Award darling from ’77, “Aja.” Back then in those big-car, pre-digital times, Fagen and Becker steered clear from touring, even though they had the musical gifts to cut it on the stage. In their minds, who needed auxiliary touring musicians, the endless hours of travel and a meddling road manager? It was more fun for the Dan to hole up in a studio and cut into black discs of wax with friends like Michael McDonald, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter and Larry Carlton.… Continue reading

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    Review: The Winery Dogs, May 20, Neumeier’s Rib Room & Beer Garden, Fort Smith, AR

    Photos & Story by Scott A. Smithwinery-dogs-1-by-scott-a-smith

    How many bands has former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy been in over the last decade?

    That could be a million-dollar question for many rock followers.

    Portnoy’s latest post-DT project is The Winery Dogs, a powerhouse of a trio that magically marries Superman-like instrumental abilities with a disciplined focus on the song. Also featuring bass guru Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, David Lee Roth) and singer-guitarist Richie Kotzen (Mr. Big, Poison), The Winery Dogs showed how to be hard-hitting aggressive in sound without shoving melody away from the front-and-center position May 20 at Neumeier’s Rib Room & Beer Garden in Fort Smith, Ark.

    Following an impressive opening set by Charm City Devils, The Winery Dogs commandeered the stage by immediately diving into the jet-propelled “Elevate,” pulling the capacity crowd into a frenzied wave of exciting rock and roll music. Assertive, loud and air-tight on their stops, starts and everything in between, the group pounded out rhythms and patterns that did justice to the studio versions on its self-titled debut CD.… Continue reading

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    Review: Don Felder/Styx/Foreigner, May 16, Zoo Amphitheatre, Oklahoma City, OK

    Photos and Story by Scott A. Smith

    Cool-breeze melodies and some of the most gripping guitar solos and riffs in all of rock-and-roll land are among the high points found on the new U.S. tour by Styx, Foreigner and former don-felder-by-scott-a-smithEagles guitarist-singer Don Felder.

    Billed as “The Soundtrack of Summer Tour,” the tour saw its second night at the Zoo Amphitheatre in Oklahoma City, with Felder and his four-piece solo band mixing his solo work with  must-play Eagles numbers over the course of a well-received, 50-minute set. Donning sunglasses, black vest, black pants, black shoes and a polka-dotted, black-and-white shirt, a grinning Felder emerged from the backstage area to greet the all-ages audience with an impressive take of The Eagles’ “Take It Easy.” Felder handled the song’s lead vocals with ease — why Eagles founder Glenn Frey continues to erroneously claim Felder is no lead singer is one of music’s biggest head-scratchers.… Continue reading

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    Review: Black Star Riders, Neumemier’s Rib Room & Beer Garden, Fort Smith, AR

    Photos and Story by Scott A. Smith

    The spirits of Thin Lizzy, Brother Cane and Megadeth are near – but never overpower – one of rock’s newest, most invigorated bands.black-star-riders-by -scott-a- smith-1

    Black Star Riders are burning down U.S. highways to promote their debut CD, “All Hell Breaks Loose,” and their concert May 5 at Neumemier’s Rib Room & Beer Garden in Fort Smith was loud and proud, with the quintet of veterans giving 150 percent over the course of a well-paced, tour-hour set.

    Guitarists Scott Gorham (Thin Lizzy) and Damon Johnson (Brother Cane) kept six-string fans and casual rock fans happy with edgy, always tasteful interplay, while bassist Marco Mendoza (Ted Nugent, Thin Lizzy) and drummer Jimmy DeGrasso (Megadeth) formed an air-tight rhythm section from the get go. This instrumental base gave lead singer Ricky Warwick (The Almighty, Thin Lizzy) the ultimate, punchy platform.

    Well-rehearsed but often incorporating brilliant flashes of improvisation, Black Star Riders played the bulk of their new CD, with “Kingdom of the Lost,” “Kissin’ the Ground,” “Before the War” and the title track all leaving a sustained impression on audience members.… Continue reading

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    2014 80’s in the Park Festival Announced

    Dates: September 26th-28th. Melbourne, Florida. Full details available here.

    Lineup:

    Faster Pussycat
    Stephen Pearcy- the voice of Ratt
    Jack Russell’s Great White
    Enuff Z Nuff
    Zebra
    Dale Bozzio’s Missing Persons
    Jack Starr’s Burning Starr
    Bow Wow Wow
    Lillian Axe
    Velcro Love
    (glad to have them back)
    Shoot to Thrill (glad to have them back)

    There will be 20 bands so be sure to check back and watch for upcoming bookings!

    Tickets are just $29 for all 3 days and VIP packages are available at two for $200

    2013 Report

    The first annual 80’s in the Park Festival was a tremendous success! In my opinion this was the best concert to ever occur in Brevard County, Florida. 80’s music fans came from near and far and were not disappointed by the performances of the fabulous bands. Hats off to the Richard and Kyle, the promoters that put this awesome lineup together!… Continue reading

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    Interview with Phil Ehart of Kansas

    By Michael Yanko
    Rock Legends Photographers

    Hosted by the Magic City Casino in Miami, the Classic Rock Legends Festival was a huge success and one of the best-run festivals we have ever been to. Special thanks to Kansas management and Phil Ehart for making time for a fun interview.

    Q: You’ve been touring for about 40 years, who is your favorite band to tour with?kansas
    A:  Well, that’s a good question. The band that we enjoyed the most touring with was Queen. That was the “Sheer Heart Attack” tour and we did 40 gigs with them, and then we came back and toured with them a year or so later and toured with them again. That was really enjoyable because our band was just starting to come into its own as far as being able to play with a headliner, and Queen was just starting to explode, and it was really exciting to watch them.… Continue reading

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    Review: Tobymac at the BOK Center, Tulsa, OK

    Photo and Story by Scott A. Smith

    Tobymac’s sonic gumbo of rock, funk, old-school R&B and more flowed like musical honey on Dec. 12 in Tulsa, Okla.

    The former DC Talk member and five-time Grammy Award winner brought his Hits Deep Tour to Tulsa’s BOK Center, and the set list stood exactly as promised — it was crammed to the gills with Toby’s radio staples and equally favored LP cuts. Guitarist Tim Rosenau’s staccato, clean-toned intro to the bouncy “Me Without You” later gave way to crunchy, glorious hard-rock distortion on “Eye On It,” “Tonight” and “Gone.”

    Throughout Toby’s 80-minute set, Toddiefunk slapped, tapped and thumped what sounded like brand-new strings on his bass, and drummer Brian Haley kept the rhythms assertive and adventurous. “Steal My Show,” “Lose Myself” and “Speak Life,” all terrific tracks from Toby’s No. 1 album from 2012, “Eye On It,” gushed with new-found confidence and purpose on the Tulsa stage.… Continue reading

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    Ten Questions with Dewey Bunnell – Founding Member of the Band America

    Interview and photos by Isaac Rodriguez
    Rock Legends Photographers

    Q: What music or musician inspired you to be an artist?
    A: When I was young in the 50’s my dad would play Elvis, Bill Haley, and the Everly Brothers, those were the early years, but I think once I picked up a guitar in the early 60’s I would have to say immediately The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and the surf instrumental music. Then I quickly got inspired by the Beatles, like everyone else I suppose, also the singer and songwriters of the 60’s. But if I would have to pick one band I would say it’s a tie between the Beatles and The Beach Boys.america-2

    Q: When did the band America originate?
    A: Technically we started as the band America in 1970. We were a band in high school in London England. We went to an American school in England.… Continue reading

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    Ten Questions with Charlie Daniels

    By Rock Legends Photographer Isaac Rodriguez
    Photos by Isaac Rodriguez

    (These are edited excerpts from the interview)

    Q: The fans from the Rock Legends Cruise have been asking to see you play. Is that something you would consider?Charlie Daniels Live
    A: We did a cruise one time, and (laughs) we had kind of a bad experience due to weather. It was a rough cruise. I just don’t know, we have to see about that.

    Q: What artist past or present that you never played with would you just to get on stage and jam with?
    A: BB King, hands down. I’d love to get up and jam with BB.

    Q: The inspirational postings that appear on Facebook, do you do that personally?
    A: Actually I do it on twitter, it comes up on Facebook. I do one every day, usually some bible scripture and I hope it’s something inspirational that will be encouraging to the people.… Continue reading

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    Interview with Firefall

    By Isaac Rodriguez
    Rock Legends Photographers

    I had the pleasure today of meeting and watching the band Firefall perform. Firefall delivered an awesome concert which had the crowd cheering and singing along. This performance was at The Mardi Gras Casino in Hallandale, Florida on November 12th. This is an awesome venue with very reasonable prices for their events, and a very friendly and helpful staff. I also had the privilege of interviewing Mr. Jock Bartley, one of the founding members of the band. A special thank you to Michelle and Lisa for making this possible.

    Q: What music or musician did you listen to that inspired you as an artist?Firefall Live
    A: The main group of course was the Beatles when they came out, and they changed the world. Beatlemania took over! They were great song writers and
    singers, but when I heard Eric Clapton play for the first time the heavens opened up and I said “I want to do that”.… Continue reading

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