Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Father's Day To All You Dads & Papas

Gary Hoey
The Endless Summer II Soundtrack
Biography by Greg Prato
Just as alternative rock was signaling the death knell for many of the "guitar shredders' of the late '80s, a few instrumentalists were able to sneak in under the radar, such as Gary Hoey -- who attracted some attention via his 1993 debut, Animal Instinct. Hailing from Boston, MA, Hoey was first a music fan before picking up the guitar -- following such renowned rock bands that hailed from the area (Aerosmith, J. Geils Band, Boston, etc.). It wasn't long after that Hoey decided to give the guitar a try, initially inspired by the usual guitar greats (especially Jimi Hendrix, whom he dug initially because of his "cool clothes"). Hoey was not entirely self-taught, however, as he would often hang around outside of Boston's renowned Berkelee School of Music, make friends, and then offer to pay them for lessons. Sensing that he should devote all of his time to music, Hoey dropped out of high school and began playing Boston's local clubs, making ends meet by teaching guitar to others.
Hoey's big break appeared to come his way in 1982, when Ozzy Osbourne began looking for a replacement for his recently deceased guitarist, Randy Rhoads. Despite a series of auditions (including Hoey being asked to fly out to Los Angeles), Hoey failed to land the gig, but in the process, he decided to relocate permanently to the West Coast. Packing up all his belongings into a U-Haul, Hoey arrived with $17,000 in his pocket (saved from his playing and teaching gigs). Years later, Hoey eventually came to the attention of manager Dave Kaplan, who helped get the guitarist's career moving forward. Although it wasn't the best of times to launch a career for a "guitar hero" in 1993 (with Nirvana and Pearl Jam being all the rage), Hoey did just that and, surprisingly, scored a sizeable MTV/radio hit with his cover of the early-'70s prog rock gem "Hocus Pocus" by the Netherlands-based group Focus. The album it was taken from, the aforementioned Animal Instinct, also featured contributions from a few notable names of '80s hard rock -- bassist Tony Franklin (ex-Firm), keyboardist Claude Schnell (ex-Dio), and drummer Frankie Banali (ex-Quiet Riot).
Hoey never managed to scale the same heights commercially, but it didn't prevent him from carving a niche for himself, as his albums got progressively more surf-based and rootsy. A friendship with surf guitar great Dick Dale soon blossomed, with Dale going as far as declaring Hoey as one of his all-time favorite players, alongside the likes of Eric Clapton, B.B. King, and Andrés Segovia (in Guitar Player magazine), which led to the two working together. The two talented guitarists went toe to toe on a remake of "Miserlou" (titled "Miserlou '97") for the 1997 benefit album M.O.M., Vol. 2: Music for Our Mother Ocean, which also saw Hoey produce and play on another track for the collection, "V-12 Cadillac," by a then still unknown Jewel.
Hoey continues to issue solo albums on a regular basis (including a series of Christmas-themed releases), as well as being a regular guest on several nationally syndicated radio shows (Mancow, Mark & Brian, etc.). He also has worked with various musical instrument and electronics companies creating his own signature gear for retail. In 2006, Hoey released American Made on Surfdog Records.
Review by William Ruhlmann
Power trio instrumental electric guitar rock to accompany footage of surfers, ranging from raging metal to wailing ballads. Jimi Hendrix lives again, and this time his name is Gary Hoey.
1. Riptide
2. Blast
3. Sweet Water
4. Low Rider
5. Walkin' the Nose
6. Drive
7. La Rosa Negra
8. Linus and Lucy
9. Surfdoggin'
10. Pipe
11. Shake & Stomp (Part II)
12. Theme from Endless Summer
13. Escape
14. The Deep

Friday, June 17, 2011

Uma Says........

Santa Esmeralda

Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood


Not a great bitrate but still worth the listen.


by Andrew Hamilton

Santa Esmeralda's debut dropped on Phillips Records in 1977, then on Casablanca Records for worldwide distribution; Hot Records reissued it on CD in 1994. Although the disc had originally been titled Santa Esmeralda Featuring Leroy Gomez, Casablanca renamed it to capitalize on the hit single "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood." The old Animals classic covered an entire side of the original vinyl album; "Esmeralda Suite" was simply a reworking of the hit. Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood contains three other tracks: the dull ballad "You're My Everything"; an elongated remake of "Gloria" that's borderline disco; and the refreshing "Black Pot," a soulful number that uses Spanish guitars, flamenco percussion, and lead guitars to good effect. There are no bonus tracks, so you're getting the original album intact.


1 Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood

2 Esmeralda Suite

3 Gloria

4 You're My Everything

5 Black Pot

Get it HERE

Cruel or Gentle?

Charlie Sexton

Cruel and Gentle Things




by Thom Jurek

It's been a decade since Charlie Sexton issued the sprawling, ambitious Under the Wishing Tree. But Sexton has been anything but idle. He's produced recordings by Lucinda Williams, Edie Brickell, Los Super Seven, Shannon McNally, and Double Trouble. He also played guitar in Bob Dylan's studio and road bands for over three years. Cruel and Gentle Things is only the fourth album issued under Sexton's own name. It was recorded, in many sessions over a number of years, whenever he got a break from his other occupational duties. It is a close and intimate affair that finds the songwriter and producer playing nearly everything over ten songs. There are a few guests who appear -- mainly bassist George Reiff and drummer J.J. Johnson, but overall this is truly a solo affair. The set opens with "Gospel," a slippery, languid acoustic blues testament to faith in times of trouble. The sheer skeletal beauty of the track is striking, and Sexton's vocal is full of a relaxed conviction that gets right at the heart of the lyric. Daniel Lanois would kill to have written this. Rock & roll enters on "Burn," a, dreamy and seductive nocturnal groove that stands in sharp contrast to the sheer lost-love desolation in its lyrics with a killer backing vocal by McNally. The rootsy country-folk stroll of "I Do the Same for You," with its lap steel and layered acoustic guitars, inspires with its gritty sense of dedication. "Once in a While," though another broken love song about moving on after a breakup, is bright bouncy pop fueled by a simple bassline and a layer of guitars. Dobro, ringing electrics, and skittering drums envelope the other instruments in a buoyant swirl around the singer. They seem to give him the courage to step out and state his willingness and truth. "Dillingham Lane" was written with Steve Earle and features Sexton's brother Will on backing vocals. A droning, open-tuned guitar piece, it narrates a look back to the street the pair grew up on. There's no romance in the lyric -- simply a statement of what was, looking at it as it informs the present. Ultimately, Cruel and Gentle Things is a series of postcards from various places and people in the songwriter's life. It comes across as an interior kind of travel record, one that charts, exposes, lays bare, and celebrates the years as the revelations of everyday life, lived in space and time but not bound by them. It is easily the finest and most poetic and musically realized record in Sexton's catalog.


1 Gospel
2 Burn
3 I Do the Same for You
4 Cruel and Gentle Things
5 Bring It Home Again
6 Once in a While
7 Just Like Love
8 Regular Grind

9 Dillingham Lane

10 It Don't Take Long

Get it HERE

Schools Out 1970 Style

Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Emerson, Lake & Palmer


@ 320 w/ 3% Recovery


by Bruce Eder

Lively, ambitious, almost entirely successful debut album, made up of keyboard-dominated instrumentals ("The Barbarian," "Three Fates") and romantic ballads ("Lucky Man") showcasing all three members' very daunting talents. This album, which reached the Top 20 in America and got to number four in England, showcased the group at its least pretentious and most musicianly -- with the exception of a few moments on "Three Fates" and perhaps "Take a Pebble," there isn't much excess, and there is a lot of impressive musicianship here. "Take a Pebble" might have passed for a Moody Blues track of the era but for the fact that none of the Moody Blues' keyboard men could solo like Keith Emerson. Even here, in a relatively balanced collection of material, the album shows the beginnings of a dark, savage, imposingly gothic edge that had scarcely been seen before in so-called "art rock," mostly courtesy of Emerson's larger-than-life organ and synthesizer attacks. Greg Lake's beautifully sung, deliberately archaic "Lucky Man" had a brush with success on FM radio, and Carl Palmer became the idol of many thousands of would-be drummers based on this one album (especially for "Three Fates" and "Tank"), but Emerson emerged as the overpowering talent here for much of the public.


1 The Barbarian

2 Take A Pebble

3 Knife Edge

4 The Three Fates: Clotho - Lachesis - Atropos

5 Tank (Instrumental)

6 Lucky Man

Get it HERE

Just Like Mama Said, Bring Yo' Ass To The Table!

Left Lane Cruiser

Bring Yo' Ass To The Table



by Jo-Ann Greene

In another life, Freddie J IV could have been a good ol' fingerpickin', porch-playin' blues guitarist. Basking away in the sun, he could have whiled away his time exploring the many shades of blues, from country hit whittling to Delta swamp wading. But there was fire in his belly and a flame in his soul, and in his hands the blues were transformed into an assault weapon. Bren "Sausage Paw" Beck was perhaps every mother's nightmare, a boy who seemingly just couldn't sit still. In a world pulsing with rhythm -- from the blood pounding through our veins to the cacophony of traffic in our towns -- Beck had to drum back in response at every turn, on anything and everything available. He is a continuous tattoo, battering out the beats of his own internal drums. Fatefully, one day the two met, and so was born Left Lane Cruiser, an astounding two-man blues band. Lo-fi is a totally inadequate term to describe their sound, a sizzling mix of Beck's pusillanimous drums, claps, percussion, and hoots and hollers and Freddie J's blistering guitar and husky vocals. This is the blues in their purest form, rough and ragged, rubbed raw by too much hard living and too many tough breaks. The blues' African-American progenitors could bare the pain in their souls, but dared not express the anger that underlay it. Cruiser, however, are under no such constraints, and on the trio of songs that close the set the music bristles with barely repressed rage that immediately brings the Stooges to mind. In contrast, the exuberant crash and bash of "Wash It," the dizzy stomp of "KFD," and the gleeful hook of "G Bob" all roil with a grand joie de vivre, with the exhilarating "Set Me Down" the perfect band anthem. Then again, every track on Bring Yo' Ass to the Table ripples with energy and an electric charge of creative frisson. Whether celebrating a plate of "Pork n' Beans," "Big Momma"'s delights, or "G Bob"'s steel guitar playing, the Cruisers rumble through the back streets of life, focusing on the small details, although the scathing "Amerika" does look at the bigger picture. A thoroughly unique journey down a well-traveled road; best now to sit yo' ass down a spell and listen to this stunning album.


1 Wash It
2 Set Me Down
3 Pork n' Beans
5 Justify
6 G Bob
7 Big Momma
8 Busket
9 Amerika
10 Amy's in the Kitchen
11 Mr. Johnson
12 Heavy

Get it HERE

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Never Assume

Friday, June 03, 2011

Vios Con Dios Marshal Dillon