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VIDEO: Check Out Gonzo From Tribal Seeds Live at The Standing Room in Hermosa Beach

VIDEO by DONNA BALANCIA

Gonzo and his crew took the stage at The Standing Room in Hermosa Beach for a one-off show, apart from his band, Tribal Seeds.

It was a cool vibe with a packed house grooving to reggae tunes performed at the low-key beach establishment. Die-hard fans were on hand and there was a lot of dancing going on by performers and the faithful alike.

Check out the exclusive videos here:

Review: Singer-Songwriter Debbie Hennessey Hits A High Note with Video for ‘Every Song Is You’

By DONNA BALANCIA

She’s a woman for the ages: Singer-songwriter, performer, editor and photographer.  There isn’t much that super-talented Debbie Hennessey can’t do.

Her latest work is the video for her release “Every Song Is You.” It’s a cool adventure in love, friendship and romance with her tried and true video and musical team.

Every Song Is You is the opening track from Hennessey’s latest CD No Longer Broken, produced by guitarist Jeffery Marshall at Red Rover Productions.

“Every Song Is You” was co-written by Hennessey, Marshall and Courtney Leigh Heins, and was named a semi-finalist in the most recent Song of the Year Contest

Hennessey’s video team is comprised of director, DP and editor David Lillich, featuring Jody Barton, AC and sound by Courtney Leigh Heins and Makeup by Madi Masten.

Jeffery Marshall, guitarist and co-writer - Photo courtesy Debbie Hennessey

Jeffery Marshall, guitarist and co-writer – Photo courtesy Debbie Hennessey

Hennessey’s a gal who appeals to a broad range of fans. Her whiskey voice and fun attitude keeps you tuned in and her obvious sense of humor is refreshing in the competitive world of music and recording.

It’s remarkable what Hennessey has accomplished on her own. She writes and performs catchy tunes with Marshall, she records, she shoots videos and manages to promote her own work.

Her latest CD, No Longer Broken, is a collection of songs that everyone can relate to. They cover adventure, heartbreak, love and joy.  It’s Hennessey’s delivery and whipsmart lyrics that makes her so special.

We love just about every song on this album, but our favorites are the Spanish-guitar infused “Whiskey Charm,” the upbeat “Right for Right Now,”  which tells of a doubtful newfound romance and Every Song Is You” for its dramatic music and great lyrics.

Check out her music and story here.

No Longer Broken by Debbie Hennessey - a refreshing take on country

No Longer Broken by Debbie Hennessey – a refreshing take on country

Hennessey has impressive credentials. She was named AC40 Female Artist of the Year by New Music Weekly and she charted a Top-20 hit on NMW’s AC40 Charts. Her song Believe was used in an episode of The Moment, which aired on USA and UHD Networks.  Her music video for the song Good As Gone was featured on the TV shows Extra!, and The Next GAC Star.

She has received multiple Honorable Mentions from the Billboard World Song Contest, Great American Song Contest and West Coast Songwriters Contest. She has been included on compilation CDs including CMT’s New Music CollectionGoGirls.

Hennessey’s three full-length cds and six singles are all available through many music outlets including iTunes, CDBaby, and Amazon, or by calling 1-800-BUY-MY-CD.

The Suffers To Play Their Brand of ‘Gulf Coast Soul’ at The Echo Saturday Night, Release New Video

The Suffers: Get Ready for Soulful Rock N Roll

By DONNA BALANCIA

The Suffers, Houston’s answer to Rock N Roll Soul, led by powerhouse front woman Kam Franklin, will hit the stage at The Echo Saturday night.

If you’re a fan of revved up soul music and you haven’t been following the outrageously talented 10-piece Houston band, the show at The Echo provides an opportunity.

The Suffers on Soundcloud

The Suffers on Soundcloud

Kam and her troupe of talented musicians in The Suffers have been making the rounds in the media and at all the top clubs and it’s a rare treat to hear sounds like this. They say their unique retro rock-soul style is “Gulf Coast Soul” and it’s a catchy new moniker for their wildly reinvented genre.

Check out The Suffers on Soundcloud

The Suffers consider themselves to be a combination of soul, rythm and blues, hard rock and a little part romance.  They’ve just released a new video, which they say is their most “intense” yet, called “Midtown.”

While it may have a semi-remorseful tone in that it deals with a post-breakup situation, the sound is deceivingly upbeat and joyful.  So maybe when Kam asks the question, “Do you ever want to go back to you and me?” she most likely knows the answer.

The Suffers are Kam, Pat Kelly, Adam Castaneda, Michael Razo, Kevin Bernier, Jon Durbin, Cory Wilson, Nick Zamora, Jose “Chapy” Luna and Alex Zamora.  Their first full-length album, self-titled, is available at www.ilovethesuffers.com.

Tickets are still available for The Suffers at The Echo, go to the Echo website for tickets, here.

Check out The Suffers video “Midtown” here:

Leonard Cohen, Legendary Poet and Musician Known for Soulful and Skillful Songs of Truth, Dies at 82

Cohen Enjoyed a Full Life, Well-Lived

By DONNA BALANCIA

Prolific musician Leonard Cohen has died, it was announced Thursday night. He was 82.

The Canadian-born Cohen was known for his beautifully written songs of love, angst and sex and his resonant voice. Cohen enjoyed a remarkable musical life and his folk-tinged, often romantic songs influenced many of today’s musicians.

“It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away,” a statement on Cohen’s Facebook page reads. “We have lost one of music’s most revered and prolific visionaries. A memorial will take place in Los Angeles at a later date. The family requests privacy during their time of grief.”

You Want It Darker

Cohen worked until the very end, as his latest album, You Want It Darker was released in October.

Among his most popular songs were “Hallelujah,” which Jeff Buckley reimagined in 1994 and “Suzanne,” considered his first mainstream success, released in 1967. In 1995, Cohen  dropped out of music and became an ordained monk at a monastery outside Los Angeles. In 2001, after discovering deep financial problems, he went on a worldwind tour performing more than 385 shows from 2008 to 2013.

A cause of death is not known.

Cohen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2008 and he received a lifetime achievement award by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in 2010. He leaves behind a daughter, Lorca, a photographer, and a son, Adam, who produced Cohen’s last album, You Want it Darker.

 

Gavin Rossdale ‘Monkeys’ With the Packed House at the Observatory, Takes a Trip into His Audience

Bush gave an energetic performance at the Observatory in Santa Ana, with frontman Gavin Rossdale climbing through the packed crowd and giving kisses, hugs and handshakes to the faithful.

The band which came to fame in the late 1990s gave a tight rendition of some of the old favorites as well as a couple of new songs, but a clear favorite that got the crowd moving was “Monkey.”

Rossdale didn’t miss an opportunity to get in with his adoring fans, taking a trip through the audience.

Check out the IN CONCERT VIDEO HERE.

Paul McCartney Re-Teams With Rihanna at ‘Oldchella’ for Their Collaboration, ‘FourFiveSeconds’

Photo courtesy Prestoff2000

Say what you will about Paul McCartney teaming with Rihanna, but this rendition of FourFiveSeconds — sans Kanye West — had the Desert Trip fans enraptured.

Shot by our favorite videographer, Prestoff2000, this video rocks it.

Check out Prestoff’s Youtube Channel.

‘We All Bleed Red’ by Jim Peterik Takes a New Approach to Honor Those Who Need it Most

By DONNA BALANCIA – Jim Peterik is not only one of the most prolific songwriters of our era, but he he has given a new voice to those who can’t speak.

Peterik was so impacted by the Orlando shootings, that he wrote a song called “We All Bleed Red,” and his team created a video to go along.  The song brings a fresh approach to the topic of mass shooting with a driving beat and a rock-style adaptation.

Peterik, prolific songwriter and founder of the band Survivor, recently released an album called “The Songs,” an acoustic collection of the mega-hit high-amp songs he has written and performed with his illustrious rock n roll colleagues.

“We All Bleed Red,” came about after the June 12 mass shooting of innocent people at the Orlando nightclub, Pulse.

SEE THE “We All Bleed Red” VIDEO HERE


But rather than taking a heartbreaking event and creating a song that was on the downbeat, Peterik created something that fans can actually hear and be empowered by. “We All Bleed Red” is a song that can be enjoyed while bringing to mind the issues that affect us all.

“I wanted to do a uniting type of anthem,” Peterik told CaliforniaRocker.com. “After all, we all bleed red man. I wanted it to be celebratory only because we should celebrate that we all live together. It all came to me in one day, it took three days to record.”

Peterik is smart.  After all, should only sad songs be created in commemoration of a tragic event?

Peterik recently released his album, “The Songs,” which was funded through a Pledgemusic campaign.  If you want to be impressed by one of the most outstanding singer-songwriters, check out the album at the Jim Peterik website.

Peterik, whose works include the GRAMMY Award-winning “Eye of The Tiger,” and some of the most famous hits from the radio, considers his style “melodic” rock.

His group, Pride Of Lions, tours Europe regularly, and their albums and DVDs are best sellers. The new POL CD “Immortal” was released in Septermber 2012.

Guns N Roses Makes it Through The ‘Suprise’ Troubadour Show – Now On With the Tour

Guns N Roses reunion tour launched at the Troubadour - Screengrab courtesy Ross The Bassist

Guns N Roses reunion tour launched at The Troubadour – Screengrab courtesy Ross The Bassist

By JOHN DALY – Guns N Roses kicked off their “Not In This Lifetime” reunion tour with a rockin’ show at The Troubadour, the place where it all began.

Guns N Roses will play 24 cities over four months for a tour dubbed the “Not In This Lifetime” tour — mainly because it was believed the band would never get together again — Guns N Roses had barely  endured many rifts all along.

Tickets and Tour information are available here.

But diehard fans — who have been “bandless” since 1993 when GNR broke up — finally got a chance to see the group together.  Well almost.

GNR was missing a few players, notably Izzy Stradlin and Steve Adler, but it didn’t seem to make a a lot difference to fans who sardine-packed West Hollywood’s Troubadour, the place where the guys got their first break so long ago.

GNR Donna Balancia

The “Not In This Lifetime” Tour

Those who attended said the show was an amazing feat, just the fact that Axl and Slash were back together again was good enough for most.  Axl may look a little heavier and his trademark long red locks are gone, but he still has the vocal power as evidenced by the videos posted.

There’s plenty of opportunity to see Guns N Roses on their upcoming tour.  The band stops in 20 cities over the next two months and there’s plenty of merch to go around.

Gibson Brands Tower Records

While it may have been “once-in-a-lifetime experience” even to stand in line at Gibson Brand’s Tower Records on Sunset to try your hand at getting a ticket, it was a relatively joyless experience for most, except for a limited few.

Those who put in the efforts, getting to the Gibson Brands Tower Records building by midnight or earlier the night before and staying overnight til 10 am the next morning, were rewarded with a place in the audience at the Troubadour. But for every person who did get in, there were at least nine who did not, according to rough calculations on the scene among those waiting in line.

Carla gets her Guns N Roses ticket - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Carla, finally gets her Guns N Roses ticket – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

“The line is up the hill and almost around the block, I just don’t think I’m going to get in,” said John Blalock, who was about halfway up Horn Ave.  “I really wanted to go but found out too late.”

Carla, though, who arrived the night before to wait in line, was one of the lucky ones — she was admitted to buy the sought-after green wristband that would lead to a ticket to the show.

“I can’t believe it,” she said. “This is unbelievable!  I can’t believe it!  I’ve been a fan since the beginning,” she said.  Her friend echoed the sentiment. “She can’t believe she’s really going and either do I!”

After the tickets were sold out — word of which took about 30 minutes to reach the end of the line up Horn Ave. — about half of the estimated 1200 or so people in line dispersed.  Others remained to buy commemorative merch. But as promised, free food was on hand provided by Dogtown Dogs and Border Grill.

Fans including Paul, Agatha and Andrew (c) said it was worth a try to wait in line to see Guns N Roses - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Fans including Paul, Agatha and Andrew (c) said it was worth a try to wait in line to see Guns N Roses – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

It was a challenge to even buy a T-shirt or a poster in the parking lot, the crowds were four and five-people deep surrounding the merch tent set up in the Gibson Brand’s Tower Records parking lot.  Free food on hand, provided by Dogtown Dogs and Border Grill made the bad news more tolerable.

Fans had been kicked to the curb but got satisfaction April 1 when their broken hearts were mended. Since Guns N Roses broke up in 1993, not much had been heard about the band, though Slash has been active, playing gigs around Los Angeles.

But not all the fans who were ready to go to the show were so optimistic.

“I’ll believe it when I see it tonight,” said Eddie, who was lucky enough to get a ticket to the Troubadour. “Axl tends to walk off stage when he’s pissed so we’ll see how much of tonight — or the rest of the tour — he can put up with.”

guns-n-roses-line1a-wtmkL

Video courtesy of Ross the bassist:

Rock N Roll Mourns Lemmy; Says in 1985 Video: ‘When We First Started, We Were Put in the Punks’ Rack’

Edited by DAVE DALY

Lemmy and Wurzel Burston in a 1985 interview (video courtesy of Gosta Hare)

 

WORLD PREMIERE VIDEO: The DoGs Release Video to promote their Latest EP ‘Ain’t Going Nowhere’

The DoGs Video World Premiere

The DoGs Video World Premiere on Smelvis Records – Video courtesy of BlankTV

By DONNA BALANCIA – The DoGs, those legendary rockers from Detroit, have released a video “Ain’t Going Nowhere” courtesy of BlankTV.  It’s a funny vid depicting one of our favorite bands.

“We wanted to have a visual to help promote our new EP of the same name on Smelvis Records,” said Loren Molinare, front man for the band. The EP is now available via a pre-order link.

It’s the first video the band has done in a while.

Pre-Order The DoGs ‘Ain’t Going Nowhere’ EP

Molinare said in an ever-changing world that’s overwhelmed by technology, video is still an effective way to promote the music.

“Video lets people have another look into the band and our music, plus it’s a great tool for spreading the word about the new record and the band,” Molinare said.

In the video, directed by Andrew Cho, bassist Mary Kay portrays a “fed up” door-to-door saleswoman and drummer Tony Matteucci bails on his stuffy office gig.

The DoGs have done four official videos and lots of live footage from their shows are out there.

The DoGs selected Cho to direct the video because of his cool sense of storytelling.

“He wrote the storyboard and what he did not want to do was have just another band lip-synching to their song,” Molinare said. “He came up wtih the surreal setting of Mary and Tony going out of character in the first and second verse scenes.

“The overriding theme for the video is that no matter how tough life sometimes gets, have a sense of humor and live through it, and not take it so seriously.”

Pre-Order The DoGs new EP

DSKARADOS Usher in a New Style of Beloved Punk-Ska Genre: VIDEO from Punk Rock Swap Meet

The DSkarados are a cool band from Los Angeles worth checking out.  They’ve got the punk-ska style down and they breathe fresh air into a 1980s genre. The video was shot at the Punk Rock Swap Meet at South Bay Customs in El Segundo.

 

Mike Campbell Uses His LA Band, The Dirty Knobs, for Kicks, While Reaping Big Marketing Rewards

Mike Campbell: Smart marketer - Photo © 2015 Heather Harris

Mike Campbell: Smart marketer – Photo © 2015 Heather Harris

By DONNA BALANCIA – Mike Campbell may be known as “Gator,” in his band The Dirty Knobs but the only thing ferocious about him is his extraordinary guitar playing.

Campbell, known for his day job as Tom Petty’s guitarist and co-founder of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, is one of the most “social” onstage musicians around.  Younger musicians can take a page out of his book.  Campbell recently kept the house at the Echoplex in jovial spirits as The Dirty Knobs paced a fast and rockin’ show.

As the performance becomes ever more important in the financial health of a band’s career, Campbell sets an example of what to do onstage to retain a fan base.  As many of the audience members at the Echoplex knew his ‘schtick,’ it’s clear Campbell keeps ’em coming back again and again.

How?  With fantastic music, and he addresses audience members individually with compliments and quips.

mike-marc17-wtmks

Mike Campbell and Jason Sinay share a moment – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

“And I’m Steve,” Campbell joked after introducing his band known by nicknames: Ape (guitarist Jason Sinay), Swampfox (drummer Matt Laug) and Crawdaddy (Lance Morrison).  And the audience members, getting in on the fun, did just that, calling out the newly created moniker between songs, yelling “Yay Steve,” and having a good time.

In between the songs there was a reverential silence akin only to being in the presence of greatness.  Campbell pointed it out, saying The Dirty Knobs play biker bars where glass is smashed, so it’s nice to have the silence between songs once in a while.  But from that point on, there would be little of that for “Shecky” Campbell.

Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

The Dirty Knobs – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Heckling Has its Rewards With The Dirty Knobs

“You’re bitchin!” called out one gal from the audience.

Not missing a beat, Campbell asked her name — Laurie? — and said that was the nicest thing anyone had called him. He promptly invited her to the front of the audience as a reward.

He singled out a lady photographer in the audience saying she had a hairstyle that reminded him of “Mrs. George Harrison.” Of course, the comment was not lost on the photographer — none other than the renowned veteran rock shooter, Heather Harris.

Swampfox - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Swampfox – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Campbell has volumes of experience in big-time music biz, not counting the massive worldwide touring with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Campbell has co-written songs with a bevy of heavy hitter musicians including Don Henley, Warren Zevon and Jackson Browne.

He co-produced most of the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers albums, along with Petty’s solo recordings. But yet, this guitarist who’s been named to almost every “top guitarist” list that exists likes the simple things: His doggie table where his beer and towel rest during his show, his Rickenbacker guitar and playing music.

Campbell started The Dirty Knobs as a way to have fun and play music he enjoys. It also gives him a way to keep in close touch with the people, which seems to becoming less and less valued but is needed more than ever.

Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Marc Ford – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

“What I like is that he really takes note of who’s in the audience,” said an Echoplex concert-goer named Bobby. “He looks everyone in the eye, he winks. He smiles and he cracks jokes – I think he’s having fun.”

It’s obvious he’s doing just that. The Dirty Knobs, name aside, is a powerful group aside from being a great marketing tool for Campbell. The band has some amazing originals, but also covers The Beatles, Bob Dylan and The Grateful Dead, much to the appreciation of a diverse audience, ranging in age from 20s to late 60s.

The undercards were no slouches either. Marc Ford and his band had played earlier in the evening and Campbell called the well known guitarist for the Black Crowes up to jam with the Knobs.  It’s easy to see why Ford has done so well in the competitive world of music.

Jeremy White - Photo © 2015 Heather Harris

Jeremy White – Photo © 2015 Heather Harris

 

Local Band: The Blessings

The opening band, The Blessings, are a local favorite the audience appreciates.  Frontman Jeremy White looks the part of an upscale rocker from the 1970s as one astute audence member commented.

The other band members impress with drummer Jason Upright, keyboardist Jeffrey Howell, Duffy Snowhill on bass, Mike Gavigan on lead guitar and backing vocalist Lavone Barnett.

But more than their appearance, The Blessings have matured into a contender for RNR success. Two of their CD releases, Shipwrecked and Tomahawk Inn, are of special note.

James Williamson ‘Re-Licked’ Show Featuring Biafra, Mosshart, Released On Video

Last January, The Stooges’ influential guitarist James Williamson gathered together some of his alternative A-List pals and put on the ‘Re-Licked’ show at the Bootleg.  It rocked the house.

The Re-Licked show featured Alison Mosshart, Jello Biafra, Cheetah Chrome, Lisa Kekaula and other fantastic musicians.  The artists reinvigorated some classic but “underexposed” songs written by Iggy Pop and Williamson.

Read the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of the show here.

Here is video of that show courtesy of Yahoo!

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