Category Archives: Album Reviews
On his new album, “Transition” Steve Lukather paints a rich tapestry of sonic art and blends his brush (in this case, guitar) into a refreshing blend of blues, jazz, pop, rock and standard from his colorful musical palette.
Lukather is a five-time Grammy Winner and a personal guitar hero of mine. He’s worked with Eddie Van Halen, Slash, Zakk Wylde, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton. He’s also co-led Toto through every twist and turn of the band’s platinum lined history and has played on albums by Michael Jackson, Warren Zevon, Aretha Franklin, Roger Waters, Cheap Trick and other rock and pop royalty.
In addition to preparing dates to support the new CD, Lukather is also set to embark on an Australian tour with Ringo Starr and his All-Star band as well as scheduling dates for a Toto 35th Anniversary Tour.
Lukather sees ‘Transition’ as a turning point for himself. “As we were writing the songs” he says, “I was thinking about everything I’ve seen: all the people I’ve lost in my life, the great and the difficult experiences I’ve had, and how ultimately it was time to get it together and embrace things for what they are, because we’ve only got one life to live and we’ve got to make the most of it. I’ve got a lot to be thankful for, and now is a perfect time for me to take stock of that, which is part of what ‘Transition’ is about.”
Written with long time friend and keyboardist CJ Vanston, “Transition” is an album that delves deep into the psyche of the human persona, with contributions from artists that run the full spectrum of music. Among them: Gregg Bissonette, Fee Waybill (The Tubes), Nathan East (Fourplay), Richard Page (Mister Mister), and Phil Collen (Def Leppard). Expect nothing less than Luke’s tasty guitar wizardy combined with strong vocals and thought-provoking lyrics.
Highlights for me:
“Judgement Day”, a song that emphasizes the tabloid world we live in:
We can read the lies you write for all the world to see. The reflection in the mirror shows it’s you, but you blame me.
— Judgement Day
“Right The Wrong”; a haunting song (and my personal favorite) that also brings with it a message of hope. Because when you think about it, we really are the future and the past. We’ve got to make it last.
I’m tired of waiting for the world to end. We can’t let it disappear.
— Right The Wrong
“Do I Stand Alone” has a catchy country flair to it and a song that is radio ready.
Don’t Try To Take Away My Freedom
Don’t Try To Take Away My Voice
— Do I Stand Alone
The final track, “Smile” is Luke’s take on a Charlie Chaplin standard from 1936 and a song dedicated to his Mother. A fitting end and apropos title if you ask me, as it was something I found myself doing quite a bit of when the album was over.
Every once in a while an album comes along that reminds you of what true rock and roll is really all about. For me, that album is Adler’s ‘Back From The Dead’. I’m also willing to go out on a limb and say that drummer and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Steven Adler’s new album is the best hard rock album of 2012 and maybe even longer. Yes, it’s THAT good!
Adler’s past may be riddled with personal and emotional demons from his days with Guns N’ Roses and the various incantations of Adler’s Appetite, but this new chapter in his musical book of spells thankfully leaves all of that behind. Along with the top musicianship of Jacob Bunton (vocals/guitars), Lonny Paul (guitars) and Johnny Martin (bass), Steven’s drumming has never sounded better.
Producer Jeff Pilson (T&N/Foreigner/Dokken), also deserves credit for crafting one of the finest rock records in years. One that real rock fans (like me) have been craving for a long, long time. From the acoustic opening of the title track to ‘the anthem message of ‘Dead Wrong’, there is not one weak track on ‘Back From The Dead’. Even Rob Zombie guitarist John 5 contributes a face melting solo on the song ‘Good To Be Bad’. It doesn’t get much more rock than that.
For me though, the strongest track is “Just Don’t Ask”. With an amazing classical guitar intro by Bunton and a guest solo by Adler’s fellow GnR band mate Slash, the song should easily become a hit on mainstream rock radio.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Steven Adler and get his thoughts on the new band as well as his Hall of Fame Induction. For Steven Adler, the best is yet to come!
goJimmygo (gJg): What started this new project?
Steven Adler (SA): I was doing Adler’s Appetite playing the GnR songs and I just felt that it was time to be relevant again. All of my friends are out there playing music and touring and I want to be a part of that. I had so many different trials and tribulations with the drugs and with the people and family. For this project, I decided to just let everybody go and start fresh.
I did a lot of work on myself; my heart and my brain. It took a lot of healing. I had so much help from my guitar player, Lonny Paul. He got me back into shape; picking me up every morning and going to work out at the gym in his house. He really pushed me. Lonny also did much of the leg work for this project. I’m just glad that whatever I did was the right thing to bring these people into my life. I feel so blessed.
gJg: What was it like writing and recording the album?
SA: It was so fun and exciting to make it. I don’t think a band has ever high-fived each other as many times as we did. It was magic! We did it more now with this album than I did with the GnR guys doing Appetite.
gJg: Your drumming has never sounded better.
SA: I actually took drum lessons again for a year before starting to work on this project. I want to be the best I can be in what I do. It’s not just a job for me. It’s my career and it’s my life. It’s who I am. I can’t help it. I enjoy me. I look in the mirror and see a few scars, but I like myself.
gJg: This album is one of the strongest rock albums in years. From start to finish, every song is memorable.
SA: When I was growing up, you would put on a KISS record or a UFO or Aersosmith record and listen to it from the first song through the last song. It’s been so long since a band has put out a record like that.
gJg: You can hear a lot of influences on the album: Dokken, GnR, Journey, Aerosmith, Def Leppard.
SA: That’s exactly what we all wanted. Every song has influences from all of those bands we loved.
What was it like working with Slash again?
SA: It was wonderful. Just to have him be proud enough and believe in me enough again after all of the things that have happened. I have to prove myself every second of every day and it got to where I’ve proved myself enough for Slash to be happy and want to be a part of this record. It feels great that we have such a history together. I really care about what he thinks and feels about me.
gJg: Do you plan to take tour?
SA: Absolutely. It’s all about touring. Some people are built for just recording and some are built for touring and meeting people. We’re those guys; we’re built for playing live.
gJg: Do you have a funny story about your Appetite For Destruction days?
SA: We were touring with The Cult and it was our last show in New Orleans. Usually, what happens is the headlining band will do something to the opening band (assuming they like them). With us, they had the road crew come out and take my drum set apart piece by piece, so I was just sitting there with the snare drum.
So after that (which was something they weren’t expecting), we all put towels around our waists and our heads and I filled this cup with mayonnaise, mustard, raw eggs and relish. I went skipping out on the stage and smashed the cup on top of Ian Astbury’s head. He started chasing me around the stage and ripped my towel off and I was naked underneath. I tell you what, after being naked in front of 10,000 people, it takes a hell of a lot to embarrass me now. [laughs]
gJg: How was your experience being inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?
SA: It was the experience of my life and the best way to end that chapter of my life. It would have been cool if the whole band was there but that’s when I realized that it will never happen. There was always a part of me in my heart and soul that had a little belief, but after that, it would never happen. Let me tell you though, it was relief! It was a pain in the ass just wondering and worrying. I’m just glad that I got to work with those guys and that I was a part of the GnR legacy.
gJg: So ‘Back From The Dead’ is a fresh start?
SA: Every musician, their goal in life is to play music that people love and I’ve accomplished my goal. I was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and left that chapter of my life and those people in the past. Good and bad, I’ve loved and am thankful for that chapter. I’m thankful that I SURVIVED that chapter and am able to have a second chapter. I want to start fresh and become relevant again.
Article first published as ‘Back From The Dead’ : Steven Adler Delivers A True Rock Masterpiece on Technorati.
Today we do a little something different on goJimmygo. Jim and I, Kat from Kat’s Theory of Music, thought it would be a kick to both review the same album, but guest post on each other’s blog. We have been anticipating the release and have been pushing each other to do the review. In the end we decided to both do it. The CD to be reviewed is “Never Too Late” by Jimi Jamison.
Jimi Jamison, is best known as the frontman of Survivor, Cobra and Target, as well as a veteran solo artist. This latest album, released through Frontiers Records, was written expressly for him by Swedish wunderkind Erik Martensson. As a member of the European groups Eclipse and W.E.T., Martensson has gained a reputation as the go-to guy when you want your record to be well written, well produced and basically, well done.
Full disclosure: Jim and I are both fans of Jamison and we’ve had the pleasure of meeting him on more than one occasion. If this album was really bad…well I don’t think either of us would be writing the review. But it’s good, real good. I haven’t read a bad review of it. With that being said, it’s still fun to break it down track by track. Since Jim is a musician, his take on it will be different from what I absorb as a writer/music lover only. So read my review, then jump over to my blog and read Jim’s.
Here we go:
Everybody’s Got A Broken Heart: Bang…right out of the gate. Great tempo. Martensson has created a huge wall of sound. After listening to the album a few times, the one word I feel defines his producing technique is precision. Clean, clearly defined producing…it seems every note, every riff is thought through. This opening track is well put together, the vocal suits Jamison to a tee. It would be hard to find a reason not to like this song or why it’s not in the running to be released as a single down the road.
The Great Unknown: The opening notes of this song remind me a bit of Survivor’s “Can’t Give It Up.” But then Jamison voice explodes into all grit and fire…time to catch a ride. I’ve always enjoyed listening to how he interprets a vocal…this is a really nice example. The song itself has a great hook, from start to the real fun ending, it’s all good.
Never Too Late: Ultimate uplifting song. Caution: you will have the chorus in your head all day. Along with a great video, it has a great vocal, great hook, it’s just an overall spot-on balance of vocal and music production. Good choice as a first release, as it’s easily the most commercially viable song on the album. Has everything a hit should have…getting airplay is another thing.
Can’t Turn Back: If this was the 80’s, this song would be blaring out of radio stations non-stop. In this, Martensson has written a song for Jamison that plays to his strong suit…a ballad where he bounces between power vocal and marked restraint. Great haunting fadeout to the song.
Street Survivor: An electronic start into a rock anthem. It’s an interesting insertion to the CD. The rest of the album focuses mainly on the love found/love lost theme, with a few inspirational tracks thrown in, and I guess this might fit into the inspiration group, but it gives me the feel of one of Survivor’s finer songs, “Rebel Son.” The feeling of doing what you need to take on the world. A gutsy and strong rocker.
The Air That I Breathe: More of a traditional ballad, it starts with a easy feel and clear vocal before letting Jimi’s vocal chops shine through. Former Survivor bandmate Jim Peterik once commented about Jamison’s range when he’s really zoned in. He called it the Jamison yodel. As he hits some of the notes in “The Air I Breathe”, you can hear the yodel in full force. A real nice ballad.
Not Tonight: “Someday I might miss you, but not tonight.” Yeah, so who wasn’t felt that way. An underlying infusion of pop, but you can’t beat the chorus. The only issue I have on the album’s production is the backing vocals on this track. And honestly, that’s a little picky. The second half of the song sees the backing vocals become a little heavy handed. That being said, it’s still one of my favorite songs on the album.
Calling the Game: Although I’m sure it was his intent, but the writer in me hears a few too many clichés in Martensson’s lyrics. Musically, the song works. It’s well paced, catchy and Jamison’s vocal brings it all together.
Bullet in the Gun: Beginning with a beautiful piano intro, it quickly jump starts into full rocker mode. Interesting reverb ending creates and eerie fadeout….really well done.
Heaven Call Your Name: Haunting is the only word I can use to describe this. Jamison fully interprets the pain of loss. The stripped down organ intro only fuels the desperation of the lyrics. The kind of song where after you hear it you think…whoa. The use of Jamison’s younger daughter on background vocals adds to the ethereal quality; adding a female voice really provides the perfect sensitivity.
Walk On (Wildest Dreams): No doubt right from the start, this one is gonna punch it out. It finishes off the album repeating the theme of reaching for more in your life. A strong end to what is one fine album. As a whole, there isn’t a bad track on the album. Everything that was promised by having Erik Martensson command the project, was delivered. There is a reason he works non-stop on successful projects, one after another…he’s that good. To write an entire album where the material so acutely matches the singers’ ability is not an easy thing to do. To further produce and play most of the instruments, and not lose sight of the big picture is brilliant.
But aside from having good material and an intuitive producer, you still need the guy to deliver the goods. After all these years, Jimi Jamison is still at the top of his game. The voice has naturally morphed into a richer tone. And while he can still hit the high notes, as a singer he has learned that phrasing and reserve creates a much more solid and interesting vocal. In other words, he still rocks and rocks hard. If melodic rock is your passion, give in to the desire and buy the album. It’s exciting as all hell.
For Jim’s review, go to Kat’s Theory of Music
“It’s fun to tell the story, because it’s one of those things that just happened”, Loni Rose says when asked about how King’s Bullet (her partnership with hit songwriter and producer, Trey Bruce) came to be.
“Some of the best things in life happen when you least expect it. All of a sudden, you turn a corner, and there’s a gift just waiting for you.”
Loni originally met Trey through a mutual friend to do some songwriting together, but the pair quickly realized that what they had was something extra special. The result is the debut EP of King’s Bullet; eight songs shot straight from the heart. From the opening lines of the eccentrically titled “Watermelon Sun” to the rawness and energy of songs like “One Brick Shy”, “Blood On the Floor” and the title track, the power of their partnership is on full display.
I had the chance to speak with Loni about the new album and her partnership with Trey. We also discuss her musical background as well as the day she had an epiphany, and discovered the real secret of songwriting.
goJimmygo (gJg): Tell me about the genesis of King’s Bullet.
Loni Rose (LR): Trey and I met a few years ago in Nashville by a mutual friend (Eli Ball) just to meet and possibly do some writing together. One of the things Eli had told me before I moved to Nashville and started co-writing was, “You’re going to meet and write with a lot of people. There will be situations where you will really click, and then there will be times when you don’t. But every once in a while, and maybe only once, you’re going to meet someone and there’s going to be magical chemistry.” And that’s what happened with us. I’ve been a solo artist for a long time and Trey’s always been a hit writer and producer. So this is a major thing for both of us. It’s cool!
gJg: What were those early writing sessions like?
LR: Trey had hired me to sing the demo for a song he had written called “King’s Bullet” (which we ended up calling the duo). It was such a great demo and we received really great feedback on it. So we started writing material together that felt like that. The songs we found that were special were the ones that had a disregard for the typical format of a song. I mean, who would write a song called “Watermelon Sun”? [laughs]
gJg: That’s one of my favorite songs from the record!
LR: Thank you! Sometimes we’ll start with just an idea or a title. Sometimes we won’t even have a concept; like with “Watermelon Sun”. I said, “That title (Watermelon Sun) is so cool! I don’t even know what that means, but I like it.” [laughs]
gJg: One Brick Shy
LR: I was going through some things when I showed up at the co-write and that was kind of how that song was born. Trey and I discovered as we got to know each other that we both had gone through a lot of things in love and life that were similar. We both channeled that feeling and got really raw about it; which was new for me. I was always more comfortable with writing music that lifts and lights up a room. I wasn’t used to writing songs that had a darker edge or a tragic, sad quality to them. It wasn’t easy for me to get comfortable about talking and writing about it. That has been a huge evolution for me.
gJg: Blood On The Floor
LR: It was Eli Ball who once said, “When you guys write together, you leave your blood on the floor!” I immediately texted Trey and said, “This is our next song title!” [laughs]. We actually wrote “Blood On The Floor” the day before we went in to the studio to cut the EP.
gJg: Tell me a little about your musical background.
LR: My parents both played guitar and I grew up listening to them play in the house. When I was in third grade, I started taking piano lessons and got really into it. There actually came a point where I really got lost in playing. I would practice my piano in the morning, but then when I came home from school, I’d just play and make things up.
I remember that even before I had actually written a “real” song with lyrics, I had about fifty or so pieces of music that I created and would just play for hours.
When I was 16, my parents gave me my first guitar. By then, my parents both knew that I wanted to be a singer, but my Dad told me something that’s been so powerful to me ever since the day he said it. He challenged me and said:
“Singers are a dime a dozen, you need to write your own songs.”
It wasn’t until I was in a piano room in my high school trying to write a song with words that I finally realized where they come from. Songs come from inside of your heart, inside of you. It was a place to be expressive.
Ever since that clicked in my head and I wrote that first song with lyrics and melody, I was able to write, and I’ve been writing ever since. I’ve been fortunate to have had a lot of my music placed in TV and film. It’s given me nice exposure which helped when I moved to Nashville.
gJg: Now that the album has been released, what’s next for King’s Bullet?
LR: We’re definitely interested in going out on tour and supporting the new record. We’re on this amazing ride and have no idea where it’s going to go. It came from such an authentic place, and we’re having so much fun just throwing it at the world and seeing what’s going to happen next.
For more information on Loni and King’s Bullet, check out their official website by Clicking Here
Article first published as Women Who Rock: Loni Rose of King’s Bullet on Technorati.
In a career that spans five decades and more than forty albums, guitarist Lee Ritenour has developed a unique balance between the wisdom of experience and the enthusiasm of youth. Ritenour’s 2010 album, “6 String Theory” focused primarily on guitar and featured the winners of his 2009 guitar competition alongside guest appearances by guitar greats BB King, Steve Lukather and Slash among others.
For his new album, “Rhythm Sessions” Ritenour has added the winners of his 2012 Rhythm Section Competition which includes aspiring keyboardists, bassists and percussionists as well. The result is an album of sonic euphoria. From catchy songs like “The Village” and “LA By Bike” to the hypnotic vocal of Zamajobe on a remake of Stereophonics “Maybe Tomorrow”, there are elements that will appeal to both guitar and jazz fans alike.
I had the chance to speak with Ritenour about Rhythm Sessions, the competition and a really cool story about his days as a session player.
Check out the rest of my Guitar World interview with Lee Ritneour Here!
Fans of contemporary jazz, r&b, hip hop and alternative rock have reason to celebrate. On February 26, Concord Jazz will release Cover Art, a new recording by NEXT Collective; an ensemble recording by the next generation of jazz greats that features saxophonists Logan Richardson and Walter Smith III, guitarist Matthew Stevens, keyboardists Gerald Clayton and Kris Bowers, bassist Ben Williams, drummer Jamire Williams, and special guest trumpeter, Christian Scott.
The album, produced by Chris Dunn and NEXT Collective, features jazz interpretations of contemporary pop, hip-hop and R&B songs by such artists as Bon Iver, Drake, N.E.R.D, Little Dragon, Pearl Jam and Jay Z and Kanye West.
The range and feel of the music on Cover Art speaks both to the arranging talents of the members and also to the diversity of their collective tastes. Hip-hop and punk-funk, singer-songwriter, guitar-pop, electro-R&B and alt-rock are all integrated and explored by these jazz innovators.
Fans can get a sneak peak of the full album with an iTunes’ 3-track exclusive that exemplifies the diversity and daringness of the musicians involved. Included are covers of Jay Z and Kanye West’s “No Church In the Wild,” D’Angelo’s “Africa,” and Pearl Jam’s “Oceans.” Cover Art is definitely an album worth checking out!
You can listen to samples and purchase the preview release by clicking here
Complete Album Listing:
1. Twice (Little Dragon)
2. No Church In The Wild (Jay Z and Kanye West)
3. Africa (D’Angelo)
4. Fly Or Die (N.E.R.D)
5. Oceans (Pearl Jam)
6. Refractions In The Plastic Pulse (Stereolab)
7. Marvins Room (Drake)
8. Come Smoke My Herb (Meshell Ndegeocello)
9. Perth (Bon Iver)
10. Thank You (Dido)
After tracking songs for what was once to become a new Lynch Mob album, drummer Brian Tichy proposed the idea of bringing together George Lynch, Jeff Pilson and Mick Brown (the “Big Three” of Dokken) for a project similar to what Heaven & Hell was to Black Sabbath.
The result is T&N, and a new album, Slave to the Empire.
The album is packed with melodic, thought-provoking music that captures the spirit and magic of the classic metal genre. Featuring seven original songs (with Pilson on vocals) as well as five re-recorded Dokken classics with vocal performances by Tim “Ripper” Owens, Doug Pinnick (Kings X), Sebastian Bach and Robert Mason (Warrant), Slave to the Empire also adds to the mix the hard-hitting, multi-talented drumming of Brian Tichy.
A second album of new material and classic Dokken songs is slated for next year that will also coincide with a tour.
I spoke with Lynch to get his thoughts on Slave to the Empire as well as his other passion: the documentary Shadow Train.
goJimmygo (gJg): What’s the genesis of the T&N project?
George Lynch (GL): Initially, Jeff [Pilson] and I were writing for what we thought would be the new Lynch Mob record, but it turned out not to be a “Lynch Mob” kind of album. Instead, we decided to turn lemons into lemonade and do our own record. One of things we wanted to do was make a concerted effort to make the connection between our Dokken legacy and our newer writing efforts by combining classic Dokken songs alongside our newer compositions.
gJg: Was there ever thought given to an all original Dokken reunion?
GL: There’s always been talk of it, but it went nowhere, obviously.
gJg: What was it like revisiting the Dokken material again?
GL: It was a little surreal recording those songs again with the same guys. It was also a lot of fun. We were so comfortable with the material, having all been playing it on and off for years. We felt that we could liven the music up and bring new life to it.
gJg: How do you come up with your riffs?
GL: I can’t really say how it works. I think that after listening to all of the music I grew up with, a creative synthesis occurs and something just flows through me. As long as I’ve got a good sound, I just plug-in and with the magic of the studio, inspiration hits. It’s an adventure. The thing is, you never know what’s going to happen when you plug-in and get together with a group of guys and start creating.
gJg: Does Slave to the Empire have a message?
GL: Absolutely. The whole record’s a message. On the surface, people might say that it’s a political one, but I prefer to call it an exploration into truth and human nature. That’s really the job of the arts and music specifically; to convey a message beyond what the music might imply. Historically, that’s how it was done in the past, especially during the late ’60s and early ’70s. Rock and roll music was a catalyst and vehicle for change and we felt the need to take up that torch and continue to do that as best we can.
gJg: Are there plans to tour with T&N?
GL: We’re not going to tour together as a band most likely until next fall, upon the release of the second record. The next record is about half done. All of the Dokken material has been recorded. We just have to finish writing the new original material.
gJg: What Dokken songs can fans expect on the next album?
GL: Songs like “When Heaven Comes Down,” “Til The Livin’ End” and “Just Got Lucky.” “Just Got Lucky” actually ended up being insane. The latest plan is to have Sass Jordan, a wonderful Canadian female vocalist, singing it. She has a very soulful and gritty voice. It’s just beautiful. A wonderful rendition of the song.
gJg: Have you ever considered writing a book about your life and experiences?
GL: I’m not really a big fan of the rock biography. I think they’re more self-indulgent and full of a lot of self-congratulatory stuff. Throwing a bunch of people under the bus and throwing a lot of dirt out there. I’m more consumed with the work at hand and moving on. Affecting change through music. The music actually serves the same purpose as the book. I get to tell stories in the context of the song.
gJg: What other projects are you working on?
GL: Right now, I’m working on a record with the drummer from Korn [Ray Luzier] and the singer from Kings X [Doug Pinnick]. A still-unnamed project, but we’ve started writing and will be working on that through the middle of December.
The other thing that consumes most of my time is my movie project (and band) called Shadow Train. We’re doing a lot of filming, playing and working on a soundtrack/record. The film deals with a lot of political and human nature issues and history. I’m working with a lot of really great people, including Mark McLaughlin (a producer from PBS and The Documentary Channel) and Vincent Nicastro, who made another Native American themed documentary called The Blue-Eyed Indian. There are a lot of guests on it: street poets, political thinkers and speakers. People from the native community including medicine men and shamans. It’s a powerful, nerve hitting film. We’re all driven by passion.
gJg: Is there a tentative release date for the film?
GL: We’re hoping fall 2013, but that might be wishful thinking. Making a film is much more difficult than making a record, which is difficult enough. [laughs]
gJg: This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Dokken hit “Dream Warriors” from Nightmare on Elm Street. How did that song come about?
GL: It’s kind of interesting that you ask me about that because I was actually just over Jeff’s last week doing some T&N photo shoots and interviews for Japan. We were in his studio and he had the original recording machine that we used to track that song. It was an old Akai Beta Recorder; an obsolete machine that’s just a monster. Jeff still has it. It was interesting to see that again because I do remember the process of writing and recording that song and it took me back.
We were commissioned to write the song specifically for the film. Jeff and I were familiar with the first movie and already had an idea of what we were writing. We knew the name of the song and the premise and concept of the movie. We just fed off of that.
It’s a beautiful moment whenever Jeff, Mick and I get together.
Article first published as Former Dokken Guitarist George Lynch Discusses T&N and New Album, ‘Slave to the Empire’ on Technorati.
Singer-songwriter Jack Dolgen has just released his sophomore album, “Wandering Times” on his own Not One Thing Records. The album is the follow-up to his hugely successful Maricopa album; songs from which were featured on such shows as “How I Met Your Mother”, “16 and Pregnant”, “One Tree Hill”, and “Royal Pains”.
Produced by Mike Geier (B.O.B., Cee-Lo Green), Chuck Brody (Ra Ra Riot, Ted Leo) and Jack Dolgen himself, “Wandering Times” is an eleven song opus that’s filled with organic pop, catchy choruses and melodies that are highly addictive.
In addition to releasing the much-anticipated follow-up album, Jack continues to involve himself in a variety of interesting projects, including co-writing and producing comedy songs with Rachel Bloom (Robot Chicken, Allen Gregory); and composing music for film and TV, such as the theme song for season two of NTSF:SD:SUV:: (Adult Swim)
I had the opportunity to speak with Jack and get the insight about the new album. In “Wandering Times”, Jack takes the listener on a journey of thought and self-reflection. And in the end, we discover that sometimes you need to wander in order to find home.
goJimmygo (gJg): What’s the inspiration behind “Wandering Times”?
Jack Dolgen (JD): I decided to quit music a few years ago. Even though I was living in New York and had already made an album (Maricopa), I felt that everything was sort of crumbling around me. So, I put all of my instruments away, moved to LA and closed the door.
I quit and then the TV and film placements began coming in for my first record. Opportunities to record for TV shows kind of drew me back into recording and it was all going so well, I realized that I can’t really get away from music. I started recording songs in chunks, just to test the water and see if I could handle it. Eventually, I was back in completely.
gJg: What’s your songwriting process like?
JD: It’s different every time. Sometimes I’ll just be out walking or driving and a melody will come to me and I’ll record it on my phone. Other times, I just pick up the instrument and see what happens. All of the songs started out on just acoustic guitar or piano and then build from there. I try and take a stay out of the way approach to the early part of the songwriting process, when an idea comes from wherever it comes from. Then after that stage is over, I jump in and work, rework, tweak and refine.
Baby I’m Afraid Tonight: This song is about vulnerability and honesty in a relationship. The idea that it’s not the times when we’re perfect for each other that bring us closer together; it’s the times when we’re vulnerable.
In the song, I’m singing to a lover but in a sense, I’m also signing to myself. It’s a hard thing to be vulnerable. In a lot of my songs, I strive to learn from them.
gJg: What’s next for you?
JD: I’ve already begun writing songs for a third album. I’m always writing and working with different songwriters. I have a theme for NTSF:SD:SUV, the second season of which airs this week.
I’m also finishing up an album with Rachel Bloom. It’s her first full-length release. In addition to being an incredible musical talent, she’s also a tremendous comedic talent as well. We’ve worked on quite a few comedy songs and videos together. She’s phenomenal.
For More information on Jack Dolgen check out the links below:
Article first published as Jack Dolgen Releases New Album: Wandering Times on Technorati.
After wowing millions of fans with his comforting, yet husky and powerful voice and performing throughout the United States as part of the American Idol LIVE! Tour, the man who finished 4th on Season 9 of American Idol will release his self-titled debut album on August 14th. You can pre-order the album here.
Lynche, whom AI fans recall was famously “saved” by the judges during the competition, has created a sonically rich and lyrically inviting debut album. The first single of which, “Who’s Gonna Love You More” is #27 on Billboard’s Adult R&B Chart and still climbing!
With influences ranging from artists like: 2Pac, Notorious B.I.G., Michael Jackson, Earth, Wind & Fire, Bonnie Raitt and Jimi Hendrix, Lynche’s debut contains the perfect combination of R&B, Hip Hop and Jazz.
From “Crazy Gina” to “Unstoppable”, there’s an infectious sonic invasion that will satisfy every palette.
Mike’s heartfelt music has been virtually a lifetime in the making. A seed that was planted at an early age and nurtured by his mother, who shared her love of music with Mike and introduced him to a wide range of artistic sounds and styles.
Even though Mike was enamored with music and the arts throughout his school years, his focus eventually shifted to football. Michael’s work on the gridiron was rewarded when he earned an athletic scholarship to University of Central Florida.
It was following a break from school to take care of his ailing mother, when Mike bought a guitar and a remarkable thing happened.
“For the very first time in my life, I could play and sing at the same time,” Mike recalls. “More clicked for me musically. I was writing music to express what I was going through internally with my mom passing.”
Mike then gave music a second chance. Soon thereafter, a friend asked him to play at his wedding in New York. Though Michael was working at a mortgage company in his hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida, at the time he agreed. Mike played particularly well and while he and his wife were standing on a street corner in Time’s Square, she suggested they move to New York in order to pursue his musical dreams.
A few years later, Mike auditioned for American Idol, which launched his recording career.
None of Michael’s remarkable journey would have been possible without the love of his wife and the second chances he has enjoyed throughout his life. Now, with the new album, Michael Lynche gets to live out his dreams, both as a family man and musically.
“I’ve wanted to say these things for a long time. I feel like I was able to express myself more than ever on this album. I was able to get the things I wanted to say out in song and in melody in a way that I’ve never been able to before.”
For more information on Michael Lynche check out the links below:
Article first published as Michael Lynche’s Debut Album a Winner on Technorati.
Daniel Powter’s best days are ahead.
The man whose signature song, “Bad Day” became a #1 worldwide smash and was named Billboard song of the year in 2006; took an extended hiatus while dealing with his own personal struggles. With the weight finally lifted off his shoulders Daniel is now back, with a vengeance.
On August 14th, Daniel will unleash “Turn on the Lights”, a refreshing set of radio-ready songs that express universal feelings of life, love and the human emotion.
From the infectious grooves of “Cupid” and “Crazy All My Life” to the emotional messages in songs like “Come Back Home”, “Except the Blue” and “Tell Them Who You Are“; Turn On The Lights showcases Daniel at his best!
I had the chance to speak with Daniel and get his thoughts on the new album as well as the genesis of his #1 hit, “Bad Day”. As I quickly discovered, the optimism Daniel expresses when discussing “Turn On The Lights” is as infectious as the melodies themselves.
goJimmygo (gJg): Welcome back Daniel!
Daniel Powter (DP): Thanks so much! It’s been a while hasn’t it? I’m so glad to be back.
gJg: Why did you take such a long break in between albums?
DP: After 2 1/2 years of touring the “Bad Day” record, I was really starting to get burnt out. Around the same time, I was also dealing with a divorce, substance abuse and a few other issues as well. I was becoming a bit discouraged. It wasn’t until a year or so ago that something changed for me.
I was sitting with my 9 year old daughter at the piano working out some melodies when she told me that she really wanted me to come back. So, with her inspiration and some others encouraging me, I started writing a new record and am really glad that I did. I’m also extremely grateful to all of the fans, both here and internationally, who have welcomed me back. I’m looking forward to getting back on the road.
gJg: Why the title, “Turn On The Lights”?
DP: I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that I was in a pretty dark place. I got addicted to substances and alcohol when I got off the road; which really threw me into a spiral. I also became a bit secluded and the divorce was hard on me as well.
Then, one morning I woke up and said: “I’ve got to change my lifestyle!” It was almost as if someone had just turned the lights on for me and I realized that my life didn’t have to look like this. So I got sober, went through the divorce and wrote this new album.
DP: I’ve always been about making sure that the songs I write aren’t just about me. With the time I had off, I was able to experience so many different things; things that carried through into my songwriting. I really wanted to write songs that other people can relate to. This record is for everyone.
DP: Cupid was the first song I wrote for the album and a song that I wrote to cheer myself up. Everyone wants to find someone to have fun and spend time with and after everything I had been through, I wanted to experience those feelings again too.
Come Back Home:
I wrote that song after I came back from a ten-hour training mission with the Navy on the USS Ashcroft; a nuclear submarine stationed in San Diego. I was amazed with just the attitude these young men have who were going away to be at sea for such a long time. It inspired me, and really put things into perspective. The song was written for them, and for them to come home safely.
gJg: You know, I have to ask you about “Bad Day”; a song I really love.
DP: Thank you! Some people might think that I get tired of performing that song, but the truth is, I still love it. Whenever I play it live, there’s a new audience participating in it with me and keeping it fresh!
gJg: How did you write it?
DP: I had written the melody for the song and was getting ready to drive to the studio to record. As I was walking downtown towards my car, I noticed a sign hanging outside of a travel agency. There was a picture of a huge cruise liner ship on it and a caption that read: “Having a Bad Day?” with the emphasis being on taking a cruise. I thought that was cool and that’s actually where the idea came from.
So, I wasn’t having a bad day or anything like that. I was just walking along, fit what I saw into the chorus, and the rest is history! <laughs>
gJg: Congrats again on the record and hope to catch you on the road.
DP: Thanks for your time!
Article first published as Daniel Powter Turns On The Lights on Technorati.