Tuesday, 18 November 2014



Classic Rock Show 2015
Top 20 Greatest Riffs Of All Time - LIVE!

“The classic rock fan’s ultimate live juke box!"


After its sell out 2014 tour,The Classic Rock Show returns in 2015 to perform the ‘Top 20 Greatest Guitar Riffs Of All Time’!

From the extraordinary opening sounds of Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love' to Queen's powerhouse anthem 'We Will Rock You' via AC/Dcs 'Back in Black' and everything in between, this show will rock you to your core...Classic Rock doesn’t get any better than this!

This critically acclaimed show celebrates its fifth birthday in 2015, and will toast the occasion in the best possible fashion, with some of the greatest moments in rock guitar history.

This year the show will focus on songs best known for their irresistible guitar hooks, instantly recognisable songs that have earned a golden status in the history of popular music.

Often imitated but never equalled,The Classic Rock Show offers the rare opportunity to hear these timeless classics played to perfection and in all their glory!

A virtuoso band of the finest musicians on the planet will take you on a two and a half hour foot-stomping ride featuring the music of The Eagles, Led Zeppelin, Dire Straits, Pink Floyd, Queen, Deep Purple, AC/DC, Lynyrd Skynyrd,The Who, Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac & much, much more!

Exhilarating and entrancing in equal measure, with a climax to the show that is not to be missed…a gem of a rock show.

Sore throat guaranteed!





Tickets are on sale now.


JANUARY 2015

Wed      14         Milton Keynes                The Stables                   01908 280800
Thu       15         Tunbridge Wells             Assembly Hall                01892 530613
Fri       16         Yeovil                           Octagon Theatre            01935 422884
Sat        17         Guildford                       G Live                          0844 7701 797
Wed      21         Leeds                            City Varieties                 0113 243 0808
Thu       22         Salford                          The Lowry                     0843 208 6000
Fri        23         Harrogate                      Royal Hall                      01423 502116
Sat        24         Gateshead                     Sage                             0191 443 4661
Wed     28         Cambridge                     Corn Exchange               01223 357851
Thu       29         Cheltenham                   Town Hall                      0844 576 2210
Fri        30         London                          Cadogan Hall                 020 7730 4500

FEBRUARY 2015

Wed     4           Basingstoke                   The Anvil                      01256 844244
Thu       5          St. Albans                      Arena                           01727 844488
Fri        6          Birmingham                   Town Hall                      0121 345 0600
Wed      18         Edinburgh                      Queens Hall                 0131 668 2019
Thu       19         Aberdeen                      Music Hall                     01224 641122
Sat        21         Liverpool                       Philharmonic Hall           0151 709 3789


0844 844 0444 -Ticketmaster.co.uk / 0844 888 9991 -Ticketline.co.uk / 0871 220 0260 -SeeTickets.com


For more information on the Classic Rock Show please visit 
their website, Facebook or You Tube Channel links below:


Leon Alvarado: 2014 – Music From An Expanded Universe

Classic Rock Radio (Dot EU)

15 November 2014

CRR (Dot EU) New Music Review
Spotlight: Leon Alvarado: 2014 – Music From An Expanded Universe (Melodic Revolution Records)


From out of the dark, and into the light. Easier to find stuff when one has sight.

I found this very fascinating EP CD in my mailbox, the day after it's release. Around Halloween. I open the padded envelope and pulled out a CD that has cover art similar to an artist who I dug for decades and who just passed away this year, H R Giger. Inside the CD, I find out its a tribute to the late and great painter, known for being a surreal artist. In lots of his catalog, it's his and others nightmares in vivid detail. Dripping in sexuality, depraved or otherwise. My lovely Sandra and I, in the past, would look at a collection of Giger artwork played a game called "find the penis". Those having IQ scores of a hundred or less, might conclude (in a New York heartbeat) that there is something demonic associated because of the imagery. A frozen hot dog on a clean white plate to one, a meat dildo to others. As music is subjective to an individual's interpretation, so is the creations of the masters.

Straight up, I was completely unaware of the musician whose CD this is. Sometimes I luck out and find players I don't know, and in the process find an extraordinary musician / artist. So much so, I never forget them nor their work and end up becoming a loyal fan (not fanatic...meaning I start buying their products, and attending concerts, etc...). Or they find me, which is cool also. In this case, the songwriter / multi-instrumentalist is Leon Alvarado. Besides the EP of his that I'm reviewing, his bio states Leon had other projects previously, and in doing so has combined forces with musicians admired for their skill including drummer / percussionist Bill Bruford (Yes – King Crimson – UK). That in itself impresses me, for I can't imagine Mr. Bruford nowadays just getting behind the drum kit for just anyone.

The musical stylings on this 24 minute instrumental masterpiece go from ambient to lively new age, to serious prog-rock, to just plain old-fashioned rock. With a jazz vibe somewhere in the mix. People can even dance / march to this. More upbeat than dreary. The quieter moments stimulates the imagination, but it's the more livelier moments that had me give it repeated plays.


Rating: Using the one to five star rating system whereas one star means it pretty much sucks through a long straw, to five stars which means one can safely spend their hard-earned money on it, Uncle G rates Leon Alvarado: 2014 – Music From An Expanded Universe – 5 stars to the tenth power. It's a extremely fine EP that is seriously contagious. If I had to compare, I'd say it reminds me slightly of Steve Wilson's 'Incredible Expanding Mindfuck' project. With Leon Alvarado: 2014 – Music From An Expanded Universe, there's no limitations on where the extraordinary vibes / sounds take you. My fellow Prog-Heads will no doubt dig this, especially the bonus track called, Cinemania “Alive” (typed correctly by the way). This particular song has an early Vangelis vibe that's to kill for.

For Your Information: Helping Leon on 2014 – Music From An Expanded Universe are Trey Gunn (King Crimson), Jerry Marotta (Hall & Oates_Peter Gabriel...many others), Smith6079 (or typed Smith 6079) who is credited with atmospheric guitars on the second track. On the same number, we have Gracenotex, who is noted for Atmospheric keyboards. Artwork done by Synergy Design / Leon Alvarado.

Official Leon Alvarado Website:

www.leonplaysmusic.com

Official Leon Alvarado Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/leon.alvarado

Gary Brown

American Correspondent for Classic Rock Radio (Dot EU)

Monday, 17 November 2014

The Universal Tone
Carlos Santana
Published By Orion Books

With a mixture of luck, dedication, and intense personal effort Carlos Santana has reached unprecedented heights as a Mexican-born, internationally acclaimed artist. Carlos has spent his life as the embodiment of the dreams and aspirations of the invisible people all over the world; The Universal Tone is a testament to his success.  Here Carlos shares his story, weaving in memories of the immortals of musical history including Miles Davis, B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Otis Rush and Harry Belafonte; and the many other people who have influenced his life including Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Carlos’s story begins in the town of Autlán de Navarro, in the state of Jalisco, Mexico where, inspired by his father Jose Santana, a professional violinist, Carlos learnt to play the guitar at an early age.  His career is a journey of success, from the legendary performance at Woodstock in 1969 that propelled Santana to international recognition, before their first record was produced.  They have gone on to win Grammy Awards, three Latin Grammy Awards and countless Gold and Platinum Awards for a body of work that includes Supernatural, one of the most successful albums in history.


Carlos was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. This is his story, told for the first time.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Swedish Composer and Keyboard Virtuoso Pär Lindh Releases New Classical Christmas Album 'Three Christmas Concertos'

¨Classical Rock Keyboard Legend Pär Lindh goes all the way and releases his first Concerto in Classical style!¨

Possibly one of the most talented composer and keyboardist to emerge from Sweden, Pär Lindh will be releasing a new classical CD titled 'Three Christmas Concertos'. For those in the progressive rock community Pär Lindh is considered a keyboard wizard – so much so that he was chosen to play keys for the reunion of the legendary Nice (a prestigious position only held by keyboard visionary Keith Emerson). With the release of several highly acclaimed albums, Pär Lindh has garnered worldwide acclaim. And now, for the first time, he has released a purely classical Christmas album!

Says Pär, “I have every Christmas since my youth been listening to the 'Arcangelo Corelli' concerto (as well as Greg Lake's 'I Believe In Father Christmas') so it became a natural idea once I had my own Christmas piece. When I rewrote my concerto 2011 and extended it from the three movements I composed 1979-1981 to four movements. I found then that the third movement had a distinct Christmas carracter. And since my idea is to write four concertos to form a modern version of the four seasons suite by Vivaldi. This Christmas concerto would then have the nickname 'The Winter'. So in the future there will be the spring, summer and autumn.”

This is the first release by Pär's new record label based in Sweden called NORDVERK CLASSICAL MASTERWORKS. Next release is due for early 2015. You will find on this album a new work, which has been predicted to become a future classic, as well as two well-known classical Christmas concertos played in such a way as to give listeners who are familiar with this music a possibility to hear it performed in a new light. 'Three Christmas Concertos' includes the first ever recording of Pär's concerto 'Then Svenska Julkonserten', which was recorded winter 2013/2014. 

The premiere which took place in Sweden on December 4, 2011 was a huge success. Says Pär, “The work recieved thunderous applause after each movement and on one occasion even during a movement. I realised then that this work had the quality to go directly to the hearts of an audience. In November 2013, we recorded the three concertos. Kennet Boman oboe, Anders Lagerqvist kapellmeister and the orchestra has beautifully captured the mood of my work. Manfredini, having written several Christmas concertos, we choose this lovely work to be the sweet balacing piece in C-major between two concertos both in minor keys and of greater length. It has also been a pleasure to record this version of 'Corellis' famous concerto.”

Three Christmas Concertos including a new concerto by Pär Lindh

1. Pär Lindh Concerto grosso in a-minor for oboe, violin, celesta, tubular bells and string orchestra
2. Francesco Manfredini (1680-1748) Concerto grosso per il Santissimo Natale in C-major
3. Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713) Concerto Grosso i g-minor Fatto per la notte di Natale

Musicians: 
Pär Lindh celesta & harpsichord
Kennet Bohman oboe
Anders Lagerkvist violin (known from Pär Lindh project album Time Mirror)
Kern Westerberg 2nd violin
Torbjörn Helander viola
Natalia Goldman cello
Per Björkling bass
Urban Grip tubular bells

Produced by Pär Lindh
Artistic director Pär Lindh
Kapellmeister Anders Lagerqvist
Recorded by Crimsonic Label Studios
Engineered by Pär Lindh
Mixed at Recordia by Fredrik Larnemo & Pär Lindh
Cover Artwork by Davide Guidoni (www.davideguidoni.com)
Special thanks to Mr David Hoyland
NORDVERK/Crimsonic Label 2014

Here's what the press have been raving about Pär Lindh:

¨Pär Lindh is the Mozart of our time!¨

“A brilliant renaissance for Swedish classical music!¨

“Pär Lindh is the Scandinavian king of the keyboards!”

¨The music was filled with pure magic, beautiful harmony and of such beauty that Pär Lindh should be called the greatest composer of Sweden. He surpasses the world-famous composer Arvo Pärt by far!¨ 

¨Lindh's tonal language goes directly to the heart. Like the music of the great Jean Sibelius!¨ 

¨This unique piece is really a musical gem. Nothing like it has ever been written in Sweden before!¨

¨A storming success! After the last movement the applause just would not stop and the orchestra had to play the last movement allegro moderato once again as an encore!¨

¨A Swedish masterpiece without equal!¨

¨The Vivaldi of Sweden!¨

In closing, Pär has this to impart, “Well the message is that since we unfortunately live in a very dark and seemingly hopeless reality today I just wanted to give people a very positive and beautiful message of hope and goodwill and to help us all meet our tomorrows in a cool, progressive and positive way.”

To purchase Pär Lindh's 'Three Christmas Concertos': 


For Information & Booking:
European Progressive Rock Releases

Having been involved with some very high profile Progressive Rock events over the last few years Classic Rock radio's Jon Kirkman is always interested in hearing new bands and albums. Here is a round up of some recent releases from Progressive Rock bands in Europe. We think they are rather fine and invite you to check them out 

Opus of a Machine - Simulacra
Drawing influence from experimental bands by the likes of Tool, Opeth, Radiohead and Devin Townsend with a pounding electro and pop edge, “Opus of a Machine” pushes the creative boundaries of alternative, progressive rock. With a large plethora of musical heroes, Opus of a Machine blends technical proficiency and raw emotion, bridging the gap between the two.

Their debut album "Simulacra" mixes hard-hitting, anthemic metal with expressive electronic and progressive elements.



The Mercury Tree - Countenance
Countenance takes a little bit of every direction that The Mercury Tree have been exploring over the last four years and mashes them all together to create what is an eclectic, yet exhilarating experience. Each song has its own unique identity, but at the same time, is definitely part of one bigger picture. Listening to this album will be like experiencing the life journey of the band over an hour.

Dropshard - Silk
Silk is the second studio album by Italian symphonic progressive rock band Dropshard released on Aurovine / Sonic Vista. The album is comprised of twelve new songs exploring the vast and unknown of the progressive rock genre.

Syndone - Odysseas
Italian prog masters, Syndone returned with their fifth studio album entitled "Odysseas," out on Fading Records. The band, led by composer and keyboardist Nik Comoglio, collaborated with drummer Marco Minnemann (The Aristocrats, Joe Satriani, Steven Wilson) and John Hackett, brother of legendary Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett. The album is a tribute to Homer's Odyssey where the concept of travel is seen as the goal of the man being, always tended to look to the future: "the true travel is not to discover new landscapes but in having new eyes."

Braindance - Master of Disguise
Braindance releases Master Of Disguise, long-awaited concept album containing five singles, epic trilogy, groundbreaking packaging and 16 page comic.

Kalle Vilpuu - Silver Lining
Solo album by Estonian guitarist Kalle Vilpuu, who previously worked with Ultima Thule, Henry Laks and Saxappeal Band.
Status Quo
Second Single from Hit Album!
Status Quo will release the second single, ‘Pictures Of Matchstick Men’, from their game-changing hit album ‘Aquostic (Stripped Bare)’ on 15 December 2014 through Rhino / Warners. The album soared to number 5 in the charts, giving the band their highest placing for 18 years. This track, which opens the album, was the band’s breakthrough hit in 1968 and is delivered here as never before.  There will also be an exclusive B side remix, entitled ‘Pictures of Matchstick Men (London Mix)’. The single exemplifies the new approach with the opening notes of this classic Quo calling card immediately recognisable, and yet demonstrably re-engineered.

‘Aquostic (Stripped Bare)’ has been received incredibly well.  The band were invited to perform an exclusive broadcast set for BBC Radio 2, who also play-listed the entire album.  The band's triumphant live debut of Aquostic at The Roundhouse was the BBC's highest-rated programme on the red button with over a million views in just five days.  They then transferred the show from that intimate venue to the Schleyerhalle arena in Stuttgart – playing in front of eight thousand with no loss of impact!  The critics raved about the new approach too.  Classic Rock said that the album “Not only survives the songs’ sparse makeover, but actually dares to improve many of them,” with The Times adding that, “It’s time to… reclaim them as one of Britain’s great bands.” The Sun said simply that the album, “Helps confirm their national treasure status,” whilst Sunday Express commented, “If you haven't bought a new Quo album in a whilethis is the one to get”.

After 50 years at the top of their game as one of the world’s premiere hard rock acts, Quo have leapt out of their comfort zone, the ‘Aquostic (Stripped Bare)’ album is fully acoustic and boasts 22 completely reworked Quo hits and fan favourites. The band are helped out along the way by female backing vocalists, additional musicians on some tracks and even a string section. Tracks are taken from across the band’s incredible output throughout the decades; some permanent features of the electric setlist, others being ushered into the limelight for the first time – having been scrubbed and polished and reappraised through the prism of a new approach.   The arresting cover image was shot by none other than the superstar Bryan Adams.  

There’s a new swing and verve to some of these recordings.  Quo are a band that practice their art more than most and it’s the virtuosity that is apparent here.  ‘Aquostic (Stripped Bare)’ reflects the hours spent backstage or on the bus running through progressions and figures on battered acoustics whilst the Telecasters await onstage.  Three chords?  Whatever…  Do keep up!



Legendary pre-YES band
MABEL GREER’S TOYSHOP to release new album
Featuring ex-YES member Tony Kaye on keyboards

And co-produced by Billy Sherwood

The psychedelic progressive rock group Mabel Greer’s Toyshop, which sprouted the first shoots of YES, have reunited and announced a new album entitled New Way Of Life, which will be released on 9th March through RSK Entertainment. The opening track Electric Funeral premieres on YouTube today.

New Way Of Life is about authenticity without compromise - a unique and very special album. At once distinctly different from all twenty-one YES studio albums, it still has unmistakeable early Mabel Greer’s Toyshop (MGT) vibes from the time Chris Squire, Peter Banks, Tony Kaye and Jon Anderson were in the band. The album demonstrates the evolution of the group from when it was formed in the sixties to how life experiences have since shaped the music. “We hope that YES followers everywhere enjoy this offering. It’s a piece of history brought to life by the technology of today. The album includes new versions of old classics like Beyond & Before, and a whole lot of new music too," says singer, guitarist and songwriter Clive Bayley.

The 11-track album has been co-produced by YES producer and former member Billy Sherwood who also plays keyboards alongside Tony Kaye and bass alongside Hugo Barré, and combines Bayley’s soulful vocals and wailing guitar solos with Tony Kaye’s distinctive keyboards.

On New Way Of Life, Mabel Greer’s Toyshop deliver a vibrant, energised and occasionally otherworldly sound; with an eclectic mix of old and new music, the album doesn’t disappoint on originality. It was recorded after the two founding members Clive Bayley and Robert Hagger met up again last August after a gap of 45 years! Other members of MGT went on to establish long and successful careers in the music business with YES and other bands, while Clive and Bob ventured into the world of business. “It really was a miracle that we came together and produced this album”, says Hagger. “It started out as fun when I met Clive again and he suggested a trip to the recording studio. The outcome was that we re-discovered the old magic - it was a big buzz working together again, and we have to thank Alex Keren and Hugo Barré for their help in making this project happen.”

Billy Sherwood adds: “On hearing that Mabel Greer’s Toyshop wanted to get back together after so long, I was sceptical about how it would all sound - to my surprise it was actually very cool. Not only will this new album appeal to the die-hard YES fans, but also to a whole new breed of followers. It’s such an exciting project to be involved in”.

New versions of Beyond & Before and Sweetness, from the very first YES album in 1969, are included on New Way Of Life - the former co-written by Clive Bayley and Chris Squire and the latter by Bayley, Squire and Jon Anderson. Other new versions of classic songs on the album co-written by Bayley and Squire are: Jeanetta, Get Yourself Together, Images of You & Me and Electric Funeral. The other tracks are all new compositions written primarily by Bayley.

New Way Of Life will be available on CD and digital download from 9th March 2015.

The opening track, Electric Funeral, on YouTube: 


Official Website


Tony Kaye     Hugo Barre     Robert Hagger  Billy Sherwood  Clive Bayley