STAR CLUB ANNIVERSARY SHOW –HAMBURG April 9 2017

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STAR CLUB ANNIVERSARY SHOW –HAMBURG April 9 2017

We were kids with dreams, and a love of rock n roll music. There was no road map for this. There was no “Fame Academy”, no pop music schools, no internet where videos of our musical heroes were a click away. There was only radio, where we could hear the American music we loved, and if we were lucky we might meet like minded young people and try to play together and perhaps perform at local dances. For some it might have ended there. But then came the Star Club Hamburg- and the stories which would become the stuff of legend.

The Star Club has a pivotal place in rock n roll music folk lore. It hosted the big American stars, and was a magnet for young British bands. It was the place which taught us lessons in “stage craft”, what playing in a band together was really about, whilst giving us the opportunity night after night to improve our musical skills. It is where many of the musicians I most admire began their professional journeys and has given me some precious life long friends.

From time to time there has been a “Star Club Night”-an event featuring some of the original artistes. We have seen some truly great Anniversary shows, and come to appreciate the significance not only of the musicians, but the loyalty of the public who are simply our old friends-our extended family.

On 9 April at Downtown Blues Club, Hamburg, I will play a 55th Anniversary show together with Kingsize Taylor & the Dominos, Beryl Marsden, Karl Terry, Howie Casey and others.  The number “55” alone suggests that this must be the last such event we can expect.

The music which I make today, the songs I have written-and the  history that walks onstage with me everytime I pick up a guitar to play for people, would be impossible had it not been for the Star Club. Gratitude does not begin to cover it. The Star Club shaped my life and the lives of all who were there.

I do hope that many many old friends will meet with us in Hamburg to celebrate rock n roll. Come along , dress inappropriately and behave badly! You know you want to !

P.S. If you are too young to have been there, come along and soak up some of the original atmosphere!

Badger One Live Badger Review by G. W. Hill

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Cherry Red Records is reissuing this album with a nice booklet and multi-layer digi-pack. When Tony Kaye left Yes he became the keyboardist in this group. They released this debut album (Yes, a live album as a debut) to showcase their sound. Interestingly enough, the gig at which it was recorded was one of two at London’s Rainbow when they were opening for Yes. Some of that band’s Yessongs album was recorded the same night. Honestly, if it weren’t for Kaye’s involvement in Yes, this would probably not land under progressive rock. It’s more psychedelia meets jam band, but there is some prog here. It should be noted that the recording quality of the show is good, but not studio quality.

Track by Track Review
Wheel of Fortune
Imagine combining early Yes with Santana and some R&B. You’ll have a good idea of what this song sounds like. It has some smoking hot jamming with both the guitar and the organ really weaving some classic melodies.
Fountain
The mix of sounds here is perhaps the same. Still, there is a bit more of a jam band kind of thing going on here. It definitely feels like psychedelia in a lot of ways. I dig the jam session mid-track. It’s one of the best musical passages of the disc. I also love the synthesizer solo section around the five minute mark.
Wind of Change
This is one of the most easily accessible things here. It makes me think of the band H.P. Lovecraft to a large degree. It has some great song construction and the jamming is top-notch.
River
In some ways, this doesn’t seem to work as well as some of the rest. That said, the psychedelia meets jam band kind of vibe does gel at times. There is a bit of a Doors element here at times.
The Preacher
Now, this one is really classy. There is a bit of a soulful element here. The song just really rocks. It has a lot of style and charm.
On the Way Home
This might be my favorite tune here. I love the vocal arrangement. The whole song is just very cool. It’s got a dramatic psychedelic rock sound to it. The instrumental sections take it closer to prog (and particularly early Yes) than anything else here.

Brian Parrish Traveller Review by G. W. Hill

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Review by G. W. Hill – Brian Parrish – Traveller
Brian Parrish is possibly best known for his work as part of the band Badger. This new solo album shows that he’s got what it takes to deliver great music on his own, though. If you were to just listen to the first song or two, you might think that this is an AOR prog disc. The first part of the album fits in that category. Beyond that, though, this is more of a mainstream blues rock disc. It’s a very strong one, too.

Track by Track Review

Land of the Night Games
This comes in mellow, atmospheric and trippy. It works to a great fairly mellow groove for the song proper. There is a definite Pink Floyd kind of thing here, but with more of a psychedelic rock edge. The chorus hooks and other elements seem to bring an AOR rock element, too.

Talk To Me
This has a harder edged groove that’s very tasty. I really dig the tasty guitar solo later in the piece. Perhaps this is more mainstream rock than prog, but there are elements that make me think of both Pink Floyd and Supertramp in some ways.

Kandy Road
A bluesy rock tune, this is another classy number. I love the guitar sounds on this thing. There are some hints of psychedelia at times, along with hints of world music and prog. The world music jam at the end is definitely progressive, if perhaps not progressive rock. Either way it’s great.

When It’s Over
A pure old school blues rock jam brings this into being. There is a bit of a Grateful Dead vibe to it in some ways, too. There is definitely a soulful thing at play here. This cut has no prog at all in the mix. It’s closer, perhaps, to something Eric Clapton might do than it is to anything else.

Traveller
Now, this blues tune is classy for sure. I like the retro organ, and the whole thing feels like an electric blues thing from the 1970s. It’s quite cool. The female vocals add a lot, but the tune just oozes cool, anyway.

Slow Riding
The horns really add a lot to this. There is a lot of funk along with soul and more. It’s very mush a 70s kind of groove. It’s classy stuff, too.

Blue
A slower, mellower pure blues tune, this is so strong. It has some especially tasty guitar soloing.

The Time Will Come
Here’s a more energized, but no less bluesy tune. It’s a cool rocker that is very much a timeless kind of thing. Again Eric Clapton is a good reference.

Summer Day
A mainstream rocker, this still has a lot of blues in the blueprint. It’s a solid rocker. It’s not one of my favorites here, though. The saxophone solo is a nice touch.

Angel of Death
More of a pure blues tune, this has a lot of Eric Clapton in the mix along with some BB King. This is one of my favorites of the set.

Love Like This
There is a bit of a country edge to this mellower tune. It’s another class act, though.

Don’t Waste My Time
There is something a bit like Pink Floyd in this tune, too. That’s tempered by more of a pure blues sound. Either way, this another cool tune. It has some nice touches for sure.

Diamonds and Pearls
Folk and country merge on this mellower number. It’s very old school in sound.

 

Review by G. W. Hill