California Rocker

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Deap Vally, Jurassic Shark, Girl Pusher Display Their Special Brand of Music at Dirty Penni Fest at Echo

Echo and Echoplex Host Alt Music Fest

Photos by ALYSON CAMUS and DONNA BALANCIA

Excellent concerts were aplenty as the July 4 weekend kicked into high gear.

Jurassic Shark

Explosive Weekend

Dirty Penni Fest featured Deap Vally, Jurassic Shark, Girl Pusher, Mike Watt and The Shrine and was followed at The Echoplex by Noveller.

Meanwhile at The Redwood Friday, The Sloths topped the bill, and on Saturday, The Glam Skanks headlined with Will Crewdson and The Schizophonics. Following Dirty Penni Fest was Noveller at The Echoplex.

Deap Vally – Photo by Donna Balancia

The Echo, Dirty Laundry TV and Penniback Records

The Dirty Penni Fest has topped itself from years prior.

Deap Vally showed the stuff that got them the opening gig for the Blondie tour as the girls are looking and sounding better than ever.  Jurassic Shark had the Echo leaping with stage divers — most weren’t so energetic and the term “crowd fallers” may have been better suited.

The music at Dirty Penni fest was varied and excellent ranging from surf rock to shoegaze and everything in between.  The Shrine, Plague Vendor and Starcrawler showed star power as the performers have really come into their own.

Starcrawler – Photo by Alyson Camus

The Lineup

The lineup was impressive with top performers rounding out the fest: Mike Watt and the Jom and Jerry Show, Enjoy, Zig Zags, Jurassic Shark, Girl Pusher, Flat Worms, Here Lies Man, Beach Bums, Hit Bargain, The Red Pears, Clit Kat, Espresso, Keif Season, Girl Tears, Janelane, Fringe, Capital Wasteland, Sabrina is Not in This Chat, Sketch Orchestra, Model/Actriz and Worn Tin.

Girl Pusher – Photo by Donna Balancia

 

Josh Landau of The Shrine – Photo by Alyson Camus

 

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.

California Rocker Wins Best Photo Essay, Best Action Photo at Prestigious LA Press Club Awards Gala

California Rocker Wins Three Awards at 2016 NAEJ

By DOTTIE PARIS

California Rocker, the online music magazine, won Best Photo Essay and Best Action Photo categories Sunday night at the National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards by the Los Angeles Press Club.

The awards were presented to California Rocker producer Donna Balancia at the annual awards gala that honors the best of entertainment journalism.  The event was held at the Millennium Biltmore in downtown Los Angeles.

California Rocker Wins Best Action Photo

Donna Balancia Cedric Bixler-Zavala of At The Drive-In - California Rocker Wins

Donna Balancia won Best Action Photo for this image of Cedric Bixler-Zavala of At The Drive-In – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Best Action Photo was awarded to Donna Balancia for her image of Cedric Bixler-Zavala, the high-energy frontman for At The Drive-In, leaping into the air at the Hollywood Palladium.  California Rocker wins included third place in the same action photo category for a beautiful image of the legendary surf guitar master Dick Dale performing to an adoring crowd at The Whisky A Go-Go.

Best Photo Essay for Suzanne Allison Witkin

Suzanne Allison Witkin - Vampires California Rocker Wins

Suzanne Allison Witkin took first place for her photo essay “On Tour With The Hollywood Vampires – Photo © 2016 Suzanne Allison Witkin

Renowned rock photographer Suzanne Allison Witkin won Best Photo Essay for “On Tour With The Hollywood Vampires,” a photographic documentation of behind-the-scenes with the supergroup featuring Johnny Depp, Alice Cooper and Joe Perry.

The gala was attended by hundreds of writers, editors, producers and photographers and honored renowned songwriter Diane Warren, actress Angela Lansbury, and late-night talk show star Chelsea Handler.

‘Voices of Independent Artists Heard Tonight’

Dick Dale at the Whisky A Go-Go California Rocker Wins

The photo of Dick Dale taken at the Whisky A Go-Go was honored with a win in the action photo category – Photo © Donna Balancia

“I started California Rocker three years ago to give independent artists a voice,” Donna said. “Their voices were clearly heard tonight as our work was selected over that of the corporate media.  We will continue to work with up-and-coming and established musicians, writers and photographers so talent and truth can shine through.”

Previous wins include the work of Heather Harris in the LA Press Club’s first-ever Photo Essay category, for her images of musician James Williamson’s all-star concert at the Bootleg, and Donna’s image of Flyin’ Jay Armant, of the band Fishbone, launching into the crowd at the Roxy Theatre.

California Rocker has had several finalist designations and this year was no exception. California Rocker took three finalist designations among five in the action photo category and Suzanne’s Photo Essay was among three finalists.

Lady Gaga Wraps Dive Bar Tour By Crowd-Surfing at Silver Lake’s Favorite Retro Venue, The Satellite

Joanne Singer Gives LA Locals a Big Surprise

Gaga crowd surfs at The Satellite on Thursday - Photo courtesy Lady Gaga

Gaga crowd surfs at The Satellite on Thursday – Photo courtesy Lady Gaga

By DONNA BALANCIA

On Thursday night, Lady Gaga took to crowd surfing at one of Los Angeles’ favorite retro venues: The Satellite.

Fresh off her fun Carpool Karaoke turn with James Corden, the Joanne songstress wrapped her Dive Bar Tour at one of LA’s best concert bars.

Obviously sponsored by Bud Light, the Satellite show was live-streamed on Facebook for fans around the world recorded more than 855,000 views and 73,000 comments.

Crowds lined the streets in Silverlake when Gaga arrived for her hour-long set.

All the while self-streaming her entrance, Gaga, emerged from from a 1950s Cadillac on Silverlake Boulevard, clutching the hands of her dancers.  The backs of their white jackets formed the word Joanne, the name of her new album.

Lady Gaga Performs ‘Joanne’

Lady Gaga emerges from a Cadillac - Photo courtesy Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga emerges from a Cadillac – Photo courtesy Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga walked among the packed crowd and entered opening with “Come to Mama.”  On stage, she peeled off her white jacket, revealing a glittery Hawaiian-style electric blue sparkly outfit with flowers in her hair.

She asked “How’s everybody doing?” and requested Joanne, her guitar.

She then played “A-Yo,” to the delight of the screaming crowd.

“I missed you so much,” she told the crowd. “I’m happy we made it we had car trouble, Elvis loaned me his car for tonight.”

She pulled up a stool and put on a cowboy hat and played a lively version of the electronically influenced “John Wayne.”

After the song, she introduced “Million Reasons,” her captivating and moving hit single with information about the tremendous reach of the song.

Lady Gaga Tells World ‘You are Heard’

Lady Gaga plays the Satellite - Photo courtesy Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga plays the Satellite – Photo courtesy Lady Gaga

“We are really excited to sing this song tonight,” she said. “Are you having a good time? We’re so excited to play this song because right now this is the No. 1 song on iTunes in the United States. We’re so happy, it’s also the No. 1 song in so many countries right now including Saudi Arabia. For everyone who bought that song or who is listening and streaming this song, when I saw that I felt so ‘heard’ today.  And that means if I’m heard that means you’re heard.

“And so I wanted to tell all those women and men who bought that song that I can fckin hear you and every time I sing this song I can hear you in my heart singing with me.”

After the performance she sat on the edge of the stage and took a moment to compose herself.

Gaga then spoke her hopes openly to the crowd before giving an overwhelmingly emotional performance of “Angel Down.”

Lady Gaga expressed hope that election day would go smoothly - Photo courtesy Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga expressed hope that election day would go smoothly – Photo courtesy Lady Gaga

“I wrote this song about people loving each other and taking care of each other. The elections are coming up and I really hope that that is a peaceful day, as much as it can be.  I pray that on that day we all understand that not everyone’s going to vote for the same person. Everybody has different ideas and thoughts and that’s OK, and we don’t have to hate each other for that. What we have to do is come together because there’s a lot of people suffering and there are too many angels down so let’s not focus on the hate let’s focus on who needs the help.”

After a few minutes off stage, Gaga re-emerged wearing a plain white midriff T-shirt and cutoffs with Mark Ronson on guitar and introduced “Joanne,” the title track of her new album.

‘I saw a look in my father’s eyes’

“I missed you so much,” she said referring to her time in the studio and away from her fans. “What I wanted to tell you is this song is so important to me, this is the title track from the album.

Gaga is consoled after song - Photo courtesy Lady Gaga

Gaga is consoled after song – Photo courtesy Lady Gaga

“The thing is when we made this song we just thought it was a beautiful song and we just thought it was an honest song, but after this record came out and everybody heard this music and came to my father’s restaurant in New York, Joanne to celebrate. I saw a look in my father’s eyes I’ve never seen in my life.

“When my father was really young, he lost his sister Joanne, and sometimes I used to wonder if I ever got to meet my real dad.

“Because sometimes things happen that are so hard in your life you die too or a part of you dies.

“And after this record came out I swear that part of my dad came back to life. And I hope that when you hear it when you’re with your families and when you think about the loss you’ve had or the pending loss in your life I hope this song heals you like it healed me and my family.”

Gaga wrapped with “Perfect Illusion” and leapt into the audience and crowd-surfed, then poured a beer over her head. Not a bad time for a Thursday in Silver Lake.

 

‘Trailer Park Boys’ Live: Cheeseburger Randy and Mr. Lahey Bring Comedy Show to Whisky A Go-Go

Mr. Lahey and Randy bring their crazy comedy to the Whisky A Go Go - Photo courtesy of Mr. Leahy and Randy

Mr. Lahey and Randy bring their crazy comedy to the Whisky A Go Go – Photo courtesy of Mr. Lahey and Randy

By DONNA BALANCIA

If you haven’t seen the comedy series Trailer Park Boys on Netflix, it’s not too late to get caught up before two of the show’s main characters come to the Whisky A Go-Go next week.

Cheeseburger Randy and Sunnyvale Trailer Park supervisor Mr. Lahey, are bringing their boozy, wacky audience participation comedy show to the Whisky on Oct. 28.

‘No Pants Unpissed Tour’ Hits Whisky on Oct. 28

Keeping in character, Mr. Lahey and the cheeseburger-chasing Randy answered a few questions for CaliforniaRocker.com

CR: What happens at your show?

MR. LAHEY:  We don’t get wild we get silly. We pack the houses and have a lot of fun.  People need a change of clothes from our show.

lahey-and-randy-drink

Mr. Lahey and Randy: It’s all about booze and burgers – Photo courtesy of Lahey and Randy

CR: OK …

MR. LAHEY: We’ve had some great shows, we even opened for Coldplay

RANDY:  It’s called the ‘No Pants Unpissed Tour’ – it’s a a silly show, you know. Stand-up.

MR. LAHEY: Mostly people take off their shirts.

CR: Do you like Los Angeles?

RANDY: I’m looking forward to coming to Los Angeles because of In and Out Burger. We don’t get here often, but we love In and Out – going in and going out. That’s my  best friend, ‘In and Out,’  and I like it extra sloppy and extra greasy.

MR. LAHEY: I haven’t been to Los Angeles since 1976 to see my friend, Arthur.

RANDY: Like ‘Arthur?’ Arthur was a movie, and he was a drunk like you, Mr. Leahy.

CR: What prompted you two to tour the U.S.?

RANDY: I wanted to try cheeseburgers across America.

MR. LAHEY: And I wanted to try the California wine. That’s why we’re coming to California.”

Randy and Lahey coming to the Whisky A Go Go - Photo courtesy of Randy and Leahy

Randy and Lahey coming to the Whisky A Go Go – Photo courtesy of Randy and Lahey

CR: What kind of wine do you like? Do you like Napa, California wine? Red?

MR. LAHEY: I like any kind anybody will buy me.

CR: What happens at the show?

RANDY: Basically people piss their pants laughing. That’s why they have to go home and change.”

For tickets go to The Whisky A Go Go website.

Video courtesy of Scandy B. Gnarly

Mike Comfort Offers Compilation Album, ‘Pretty Sweet Stuff’ to Fans Beyond Northern California

By JOHN DALY – It’s no surprise Mike Comfort and his band were voted “Best Band in Sacramento,” by the Sacramento Bee and “Best Band in Northern California” by 107FM The Point Chico.

Comfort’s voice is pure Rock N Roll and his style is upbeat — even when it comes to singing about some tough topics.

The alt rock artist has a new compilation album of the work from his other albums, called Pretty Sweet Stuff.  It’s an appropriate name and maybe his marketing manager suggested the title.  Few would disagree.

While all of the cuts on the record are great, our favorite is “Disarray.” It’s a song about lost love, but executed in such an almost upbeat manner that the words hit home.  Comfort gives a good change of pace with a song that has such a great beat, but sad message.  The song leaves us hanging, wondering if the guy will get the girl back mainly because he doesn’t know and he’s trying to go on with his life.

Photo courtesy of Mike Comfort

Photo courtesy of Mike Comfort

The star of the show here is Comfort’s voice. It has an emotive and raw quality that captures the essence of heartbreak and happiness. In the case of “Disarray,” the voice projects the topic of proceeding alone while still in love.

“I sit around and I wonder why all that I did I did for you … It’s just no telling now how much more this heart can take.”

The song’s rockin beat gives the listener the impression the singer feels he may have a shot at getting the gal back.  Hope is good, especially in this crazy world.  What we don’t need is another depressing breakup song and obviously Comfort agrees.

Pretty Sweet Stuff!

Pretty Sweet Stuff!

Tunes that are the sweetest of the sweet also include “Story of Your Smile,” “Upside Down” and “Anywhere With You.”

This is no amateur act. Comfort and his band have been selling out shows in and around Chico for years. Comfort was a session musician and met Chris Holmes and recording engineer and guitarist at a session for another artist. Before the collaboration, Comfort was writing songs and working with or for a host of top-charted artists.

The band is tight and top notch.  Other than Comfort on vocals, the band is comprised of Holmes on guitars and backing vocals, D.J. Farrell on drums, Jonathan Stoyanoff on bass and Brandon Mains on guitar and backing vocals.

The songs were produced at Heirloom Studios in Chico; Red Dot Studios in Tracy and B. Mains Bedroom Studios in Chico.  It was produced by Comfort, was co-produced and engineered by Holmes and was mastered by Rob Beaton with RKS Mastering in Los Angeles.

Listen to Mike’s album, Pretty Sweet Stuff! 

Dave Pirner and Soul Asylum Celebrate Their ‘Change of Fortune’ at The Whisky A Go Go

Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum - Photo by Donna Balancia for California Rocker

Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum – Photo by Donna Balancia for California Rocker

Soul Asylum Opener Wild Roses Also Impresses

By DONNA BALANCIA

Dave Pirner and Soul Asylum gave an electrifying performance at the Whisky A Go Go promoting the album Change of Fortune.

The show proved that Pirner and his band that rose to fame in the late 1980, embrace the twists and turns in their own careers.

Change of Fortune

Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum at Whisky A Go Go - Photo by Donna Balancia for California Rocker

Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum at Whisky A Go Go – Photo by Donna Balancia for California Rocker

Promoting Soul Asylum’s 11th studio album, Change of Fortune, Pirner is happy to be on tour, telling the audience “Thank you, you’re too kind,” after the applause with each song.  It’s a different Soul Asylum than back in the day when Soul Asylum came to prominence, but lots of things are different today.

With the new album, Pirner takes his familiar sound, made famous from “Black Gold,” and “Runaway Train,” and has ratched it up a few notches.

Whirling around with his guitar and speaking honestly to the audience, with little regard for his sweaty appearance, Pirner is happy to be on stage.  If nothing else Pirner and Soul Asylum are truthful in their performance and the crowd appreciates it.

Dave Pirner and Soul Asylum

Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum at the Whisky A Go Go - Photo by Donna Balancia for California Rocker

Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum at the Whisky A Go Go – Photo by Donna Balancia for California Rocker

Change of Fortune was a Pledgemusic project and more than a few contributors were in the audience during the U.S. tour, which started off on a bill with The English Beat and wrapped as a solo act.

The lead single off Change of Fortune, called “Supersonic,” is a fast-paced rockin tune, and when performed live brings out the best of a more mature, but very physically active Soul Asylum. Mixing other cool cuts off the new work and blending in some of the famous Soul Asylum songs, frontman Pirner and his group put on a terrific show.

Pirner’s pretty down to earth and his personality rings true no matter what. The audience is faithful, with a diverse age range of attending his shows, or at least that was the case at the recent show at the Whisky.

Enduring the Changes

I can't hear you Dave Pirner says during Soul Asylum show at Whisky A Go Go - Photo by Donna Balancia

‘I can’t hear you,’ Dave Pirner says during Soul Asylum show at Whisky A Go Go – Photo by Donna Balancia

As for Change of Fortune, the name of the album is appropriate.  Pirner has endured a lot of changes since the band started, and one notable change was the loss of his bandmate and pal, Karl Mueller, who died of cancer in 2004.  He dedicated a song to Karl during the show.

But Change of Fortune has its dynamic driven songs and mellow tunes — it covers a range of emotions one can only expect from Pirner, one of the most prolific songwriters of the last 35 years.

Change of Fortune, which is co-produced by John Fields and the band, is a classic and is testament to Pirner’s persistence. Other than “Supersonic,” other standout cuts on the new album are rock anthem “Can’t Help It,” “Make It Real,” and electro-ballad, “When I See You.”

If you missed them in the day, it’s not too late to add Soul Asylum to the bucket list of great performances.

Wild Roses to Open for The Living End

Marc Orrell of Wild Roses - Photo by Donna Balancia

Marc Orrell of Wild Roses – Photo by Donna Balancia

Another high point of the evening was opener Wild Roses, a band led by frontman Marc Orrell and bassist pal, Jeff Roffredo; these guys crank out some great music.

Orrell who’s got a great rock n roll voice, was guitarist with Dropkick Murphys and still has a good relationship with the band.

They’ll be opening for Australian punkers The Living End at the Roxy on Aug. 19; and the Glass House in Pomona on Aug. 20.

Get Tickets to The Living End.

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”58″ gal_title=”Soul Asylum Whisky A Go Go”]

Jackson Browne Goes ‘On The Boulevard’ To Give Free Concert for 650 People in Hollywood – With Video

Jackson Brown by Donna Balancia at Lucky Strike Live

Jackson Brown performed ‘Running On Empty” to 650 fans at Lucky Strike Live – Photo by Donna Balancia

New Soundcheck Live Show Gets Star Power

By DONNA BALANCIA – Jackson Browne put on a free concert to those lucky enough to get into Lucky Strike Live in Hollywood Wednesday night.

Browne graced the stage of the bowling alley-bar that’s come on the scene over the last year, hosting stars from Johnny Depp to David Lee Roth.

Wednesday night is a regular jam session called Soundcheck Live. Browne brought star power to the new weekly program at Lucky Strike. Soundcheck replaced Chuck Wright’s Ultimate Jam Night, which moved to Tuesday nights at the Whisky A-Go-Go nine weeks ago.

SEE PHOTO GALLERY BELOW

Jackson Browne collaborates with Lucky Strike bandmembers - Photo by Donna Balancia

Jackson Browne collaborates with Lucky Strike bandmembers – Photo by Donna Balancia

A Ticket Wasn’t Necessarily Good Enough

The new show by Steve Ferlazzo features well-known and talented musicians. But of all the musicians at Soundcheck Live last night, Browne was the beloved headliner and throngs of fans tried to get into the show.

Browne cancelled the previous Wednesday because of illness but made good on his promise to draw the crowds a week later. He was backed by musicians including Carl Restivo and Steve Fekete on guitar, Derek Frank on bass, Ferlazzo on keyboards and Randy Cooke on drums.

Admission to see Browne was not guaranteed, and the line to get into Lucky Strike Live went down Highland and wrapped around the corner onto Hollywood Boulevard. Eventually, about 650 squeezed into the Hollywood club to hear the Hall of Fame musician perform “Running On Empty,” among other favorites.

Browne made the news earlier in the week when he said he would perform two previously postponed concerts in North Carolina on May 28 and June 1. Browne said he was ill on Jan. 8, when he was supposed to perform in Asheville, N.C. and bad weather prevented him from playing in Wilmington on Jan. 22.

He said he would donate the proceeds of the concerts to local and national LGBT groups.

"Running On Empty" by Jackson Browne - Photo by Donna Balancia

Jackson Browne, pictured with Carl Restivo and Derek Frank, performs at Lucky Strike Live – Photo by Donna Balancia

SETLIST

That Girl Could Sing

On The Boulevard

These Days

Somebody’s Baby

Lawyers, Guns and Money

Running on Empty

Video courtesy of Wayne Bowdoin and Lucky Strike Live

Jackson Brown Photo Gallery

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”52″ gal_title=”Jackson Browne at Lucky Strike Live”]

Living Colour Gives Wild Performance On Aerosmith’s U.S. Blue Army Tour

Living Colour Brings Energy and Alternative Funk to the HOB

Corey Glover of Living Colour - Photo © Donna B

Corey Glover of Living Colour – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

By DONNA BALANCIA — Living Colour packed the House of Blues Anaheim with their funky, punk-influenced music and wild performance, a hint of what to expect on their tour with Aerosmith.

The Blue Army Tour just wrapped.

“We wouldn’t miss their show,” said Molly, with her boyfriend Joe, regulars at the Living Colour shows since the 1980s.  And after seeing the concert Thursday, we see there’s a good reason for Molly’s many years of devotion.

To put it mildly, Living Colour kicked ass, with lead guitarist Vernon Reid jamming, Corey Glover singing his heart out, Doug Wimbish killin’ it on a wild bass, and Will Calhoun driving the jams on drums. Living Colour will be on the road in a supporting role with Aerosmith’s Blue Army Tour.

Living Color hasn’t lost a beat since the heydays of the 1980s and kept up with the HOB audience, which sang along word for word with each song.

Doug Wimbish of Living Colour - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Doug Wimbish of Living Colour – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

The band, which falls into the rare niche category of “black men who perform funky-punk-alternative” gave a performance in Anaheim that will long be remembered by the 16-to-60s on hand.  For those who’ve seen Living Colour at CBGB or the Ritz in the day, they’ll remember the bandmembers were  known for their ability to whip up the audience with funky tunes while also whipping their dreadlocks.

Glover’s commanding voice, one of the best around, pulls all the emotion out of some of the multiple GRAMMY Award-winning band’s top tunes, including opener “Who Shot Ya,” “Cult of Personality,” “Desperate People,” and “Middle Man.”

Glover moves pretty well — and in fact climbed through the audience and to the upper decks — singing the whole way, bodyguard in tow.  His trademark dreads are gone and have been replace by a cap, but his remarkable voice remains stronger than ever.

The band’s founder, Reid, is one of the most diverse guitarists around, ripping riffs that blew the audience away.  It’s incredible the rig he travels with — any visitor checking out the equipment should have a degree in sound engineering to follow his work.  For such a sophisticated technologist, he’s  understated, making it look easy and smiling through the performance as the audience got down with the sound. He’s got Pedals ranging from Whammy and Ring Worm to the old-fashioned Synth Wah and the gamut.  Premier Guitar does a nice job chatting him up about his equipment HERE.

Corey Glover - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Corey Glover – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Calhoun’s drumming keeps things moving nicely and his solos were greeted with screams and whooping from the packed Anaheim venue.  Bassist Wimbish has brought a new dimension to the band that’s reminicent of the Bad Brains in style, throwing the audience back with his powerful bass lines, flailing arms and cool moves.

At show’s end, Glover gave props and sent regards to his friends Fishbone and Bad Brains, as both bands had a huge impact on Living Colour’s music and style.

The tour happens now and those who live in the area who are fortunate to catch a glimpse of Living Colour will have a memorable experience. Living Colour and Aerosmith can be seen at Prospera Place in Kelowna, BC on Monday night, the tour moves on to Las Vegas Aug. 1 and wraps up at the Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, Aug. 7.

Vernon Reid, left, with Corey Glover - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Vernon Reid, left, with Corey Glover – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Renaissance Man Tom Verlaine Social, But Not Through Social Media

Tom Verlaine - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Tom Verlaine – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Teragram Ballroom Review Tom Verlaine

By DONNA BALANCIA — Tom Verlaine and Television don’t want to be labeled, but successful is one term they will have to accept.

Verlaine may not have attained the kind of superstar status deemed acceptable by today’s corporate music world, but he and his partners in Television have achieved something more important.  The band has influenced many young artists over the years — maybe more today than ever before.

Verlaine takes it all stoicly in stride and continues to play his tunes, as he did at the Teragram Ballroom last Thursday and Friday, before legions of post-20s-aged fans.  His music has deeper appeal today than it did when Television came to prominence in New York City in the 1970s.

Television was founded by Verlaine, Richard Hell, Billy Ficca and Richard Lloyd.  The group had a major influence on music and could be found mainly playing gigs at CBGB, which was considered home. The music has a richer value today but the music scene is different than the 1970s in many regards.  Mostly in the way of getting the music — and the message of the music out to the public.

The message that Television was playing LA did get out there as evidenced by fans aged 20 to 70 years old, who packed the Teragram Ballroom in Downtown Los Angeles (#DTLA).

Television - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Television – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Verlaine doesn’t have a website, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, nor does he participate in any of the social-media mind clutter on which many people spend time today.  “They” say you’ve gotta have social media. Verlaine doesn’t listen to what “They” say.  He never has.

It’s not that he’s not open to the ideas, after Thursday’s show he was open to conversations about his audience and his methodologies. But he comes from a place where exchanges are more personal in nature, as evidenced by the sold-out show Thursday night at Teragram Ballroom.  The new Los Angeles venue seems to have been designed almost with Verlaine in mind.

Teragram Ballroom is a 600-person venue that generates sound seemingly to each individual listener.  The construction of the venue is unique and the team that keeps the new concert hall running is not only experienced but they are respectful of guests, the musicians, and each other.

Verlaine is a soft-spoken person whose humble appearance belies his extensive accomplishments and world travels.  He’s jovial when talking to his band members on stage, and none of the punch is gone from the songs like Marquee Moon and others he made famous more than 30 years ago.

Back in New York, at places like CBGB and Max’s Kansas City, he and other renowned artists like Lou Reed and the Talking Heads were turning out an entirely new genre of music.  The music was introspective and thought-provoking at a time when Top 40 Radio was playing The Village People, Gino Vanelli and “Le Freak” by Chic.

Tom Verlaine Always Tuning - Photo © Donna Balancia

Tom Verlaine Always Tuning – Photo © Donna Balancia

Was it really considered anti-establishment or punk?  To actually put the music of Television in either of those categories is incorrect.  Influential?  Yes.  Punk? No.   In fact, there are few “punk” performers who consider themselves to fall into that arena.  But it’s a non-issue all these years later, particularly for Verlaine, who loves to play music.

During the performance to a sold-out house at Teragram Ballroom, Television, complete with Jimmy Ripp, Fred Smith and Billy Ficca, enjoy sharing the stage with each other.  After the show, Ripp said he was happy the Los Angeles audience was so warm, compared with some other LA experiences the band had.

Well, they’re East Coast guys, Television, and it’s not only obvious from their accents, but their attitudes.

Has Verlaine achieved commercial success?  Today the answer that the all-powerful “They” would render would probably be no.

If he had the opportunity to fight a Spotify or some technology that gives away artists’ creations, he would probably do it. But he might not have the clout of a young hitmaker to pull it off, and likely he would never get involved with something that didn’t communicate directly to his audience.

Diane from Teragram - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Diane from Teragram – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Verlaine thinks about the future, with his team he discusses upcoming gigs, merchandising opportunities, art and design.  It’s more in his line of thinking compared to clicks and hits and uploads and downloads. It’s not likely any of his future opportunities will come at the hands of a techie.

There’s a common concern for artists whose audiences are getting past the age where it’s de rigeur to buy the latest music. And in the past, record deals were made with a handshake and an advance, not based on Facebook “likes” and click farms ploys.  It should be noted that musicians are not the only ones who have had challenges as a result of the use of evolving technology.

All media — newspapers in particular — suffered substantial losses when TV came along, prompting many writers and editors to ditch the printed word and take jobs in TV.  Since that medium stuck, it’s a natch that Snapchat will stay, so veterans and freshmen alike better learn it. Right?

Phoebe Bridgers - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Phoebe Bridgers – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Thursday night’s performance by Phoebe Bridgers was a nice opener as her humble stance and familiar songs piqued further interest in this innovative songstress.

As for Teragram Ballroom, the local decendent of the Bowery Ballroom and the Mercury Lounge in New York, there are websites, social media, calendars, analyses, the latest in sound design and young and veteran club people alike teamed together in downtown Los Angeles.  And though clubs come and go, it feels like The Teragram Ballroom has already etched out a space in a crowded arena. Its two bars have familiar faces hanging above every type of liquor you can imagine, and there’s a menu that’s set to take off, with reasonable prices and served with a smile.

Teragram Ballroom is a warm, welcome respite in a world gone crazy sterile. It’s proof there are some things that are more important than pushing buttons.  At least to music lovers and lovers of great ambiance.

In all, Teragram Ballroom was the perfect setting for Verlaine and his well-loved melodies and companions to spend some time.  And the timing was perfect for Teragram Ballroom to host his artistry.

And yes, by the way, history has proven that Television is here to stay. After you experience Verlaine and his band, no truer words could be said.

Dr. Boogie an LA-Based Band that Gives The Fans What They Want: A Solid Dose of Rock ‘N’ Roll

Dr. Boogie - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Dr. Boogie – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

By DONNA BALANCIA – Dr. Boogie has the prescription for Saturday night.

The bandmates in Dr. Boogie — guitarist Dustin James, dynamic blond-haired frontman Chris Parsekian, bassist and drummer Luis Herrera — are Rock ’N’ Roll to the core.

And while their music sets them apart, there is another important asset the guys possess: They have a strong work ethic based on reinvesting back into the band.

“We save every penny we make through our gigs and put the money back into the band,” said James. “We’ve saved up for a van and now we’re going to be gigging around to support our upcoming album.”

The band’s new album, Gotta Get Back To New York City, due in the fall, is a collection of songs that reflect the band members’ experiences, ranging from every day occurrences to topics in the news.

Dustin James and Chris Parsekian of Dr. Boogie - Photo © 2015 Heather Harris for California Rocker

Dr. Boogie – Photo © 2015 Heather Harris for California Rocker

Record On The Way

“We write songs about our daily lives, and a lot of the time, that’s where we find inspiration,” James said. “Two songs relate to subjects in the news, those are ‘Life On The Bread Line,’ and ‘I Need A Gun.’ They’re songs about topics that are important.”

The band took time off from gigging to write and record and now they’re taking their act on the road with the goal of getting back to New York City.

“We all have some kind of connection to New York,” James said. “So we’ve been writing and recording and now we’re ready to gig to promote the record.”

“The record Gotta Get Back to New York City is a traditional 8-song album, the kind they used to do,” Parsekian said. “We’d like to put one out every year.”

The songs are fun, derived from Dr. Boogie’s mid-20th century rock roots. Their favorite bands are The New York Dolls, MC5 and The Stooges. But they have managed to weave in some pop to make their music appealing to a broad group of fans.

Punk, Rock ‘N’ Roll and Motown Influences

But while the guys admire The Rolling Stones and the Dolls, they have other influences, like Chuck Berry and a lot of soul and Motown.

“It’s the four of us together on the songwriting, arranging and recording,” Parsekian said. “We write all the songs together as a band. And that includes Luis our drummer as well. He’s not your run of the mill drummer, he’s incredibly musical, not just as a drummer laying down a beat or groove. He’s totally and completely part of the songwriting process.”

“We love what we do and it’s great to play music with these guys,” Herrera said. “I come from a long line of drummers and musicians. My father played music, and my great grandfather played drums in Mexico.”

Herrera — who can always be found in the middle of a group of fans when he’s out at the gigs — said the time is right to hit the road and promote the music.

“We’ve spent a lot of time writing and recording and now we’re going to tell the whole country about our music and spread the word,” Herrera said.

Herrera said Dr. Boogie is family to him.

“We are like brothers,” he said. “We get along, we support each other and we enjoy each others’ company. We better, because it’s a long way to New York City.”

 

The Dead Milkmen Speak – Q and A Interview with Dean Clean Sabatino

Featured photo © Heather Harris.

DEAN SABATINO of The Dead Milkmen Q and A

with DONNA BALANCIA, Editor of CaliforniaRocker.com

DB: What have you learned over the years?

DS: Relax and have fun.

DB: What is the difference in your attitude today compared with when you first started out?

Dead Milkmen

Dead Milkmen

DS: We’re content to do things our own way now and not worry too much about the fame. We release our own records now and play when we want to and are able. Its not like we’re on the “release a record-tour for months and months-write a new record- record the record” schedule. The next album will be out when we are happy with the songs we have ready and not before.

DB: If you could write a song right at this second what would you call it?

DS:  “I haven’t Packed A Thing!”

DB: Did any of you ever find that Punk Rock Girl for real?

     DS: We have been in touch with the real punk rock girl from the video. Her name is Miriam and she lives in NYC. She used to be in a band called God’s Crotch.

DB: Who owned the “Bitchin’ Camaro?”

     DS: None of us have ever owned a Camaro… I suppose “Bitchin’ Ford Focus” doesn’t have a very musical sound to it.

DB: Why was the band considered “humorous” or “funny?”  I never saw you as “funny” frankly, I always thought you guys were making very important social commentary. Am I right?

     DS: I would agree with you. We packaged some political/social commentary up in a potentially “humorous” wrapper. Certainly back in the 80’s it seemed like there were some very “serious” bands….but now I sense more playfulness and some humor in more music.

DB: Are there certain songs that you do not play today because of politically correct-ness?

     DS: Well we don’t play a song or two from the old days. Times change. People mature a little bit. We have better songs now.

Photo courtesy of Jessica Kourkounis

Dead Milkmen – Photo courtesy of Jessica Kourkounis for California Rocker

DB: Are there new songs you’ve added to your repertoire that are politically incorrect?

     DS: Not that I’m aware of.

DB: Have you changed lyrics to any of your songs?

     DS: Not due to any outside pressure. Rodney will substitute a line or two once in a while to possibly make a more topical current event reference when we play live.

DB: With Pretty Music for Pretty People, you talk about the state of music today.  Is it the corporate mentality that drives the vast amounts of dumb music or is it that executives see people WANT dumb music?

     DS: I think some folks are lazy and will listen to anything they corporate mentality push at them. Some folks don’t want to take risks on new music or open up to a new and different sound.

DB: How are young aspiring artists — or older aspiring artists — able to survive in music these days?  Is there a distribution method that helps artists make a little money off their recordings?  What is your preferred method of distribution?

     DS: We release our own recordings now via our website and through Amazon and iTunes. Buying a disc or MP3s directly from the band is the best way.

DB: How important is Record Store Day for you this year?  How important is it in general?

     DS: We’re not too connected to Record Store Day directly. There have been releases of two of our older records but those were from a company that licensed the vinyl rights from our back catalog label. We’re fine with it for now. Last year you could get a green or yellow version of “Big Lizard In My Backyard”. This year they’re releasing Blue and White versions of “Beelzebubba”.

The Dead Milkmen - photo courtesy of Jessica Kourkounis for California Rocker

The Dead Milkmen- photo courtesy of Jessica Kourkounis

DB: What is the age of your fan these days?  Are fans from the 80s coming to see you, is it mostly them?  How are younger fans discovering you?

     DS: We get all ages of fans now. Our older tried and true fans come out to see us and we get younger fans too. Possibly the younger fans are the kids of our old fans!

DB: Who was the biggest influence on the band from early on?

     DS: I think the Punk movement in England, NYC and Southern California were our main influences and the DIY philosophy – that anyone could start a band and make music – that was our starting point.

DB: If you considered that your band plays a “genre”  what would that be?  Do you consider yourselves really “punk?”   We know you’re not pretty music for pretty people, but your fans aren’t bad-looking ha!

     DS: I have always used “Punk Rock” to describe us to folks who are not familiar with us.

FOR MORE on the Dead Milkmen, read In Their Own Words at EastCoastRocker.com

California Rocker Nominated for Best Entertainment Blog

California Rocker Award by Donna Balancia

California Rocker, in its first year, has been nominated for Best Entertainment Blog by the LA Press Club

LA Press Club Tabs California Rocker Mag Among Tops

LOS ANGELES — California Rocker, the West Coast-based sister publication of East Coast Rocker, has been nominated for Best Entertainment Blog by the Los Angeles Press Club, it was announced Friday night.

Produced by Donna Balancia, California Rocker covers emerging musicians and established rockers in the Golden State.

“It’s a challenging era for journalists, as it is for musicians,” said Donna, who also produces East Coast Rocker.  “The nomination to Best Entertainment Blog in our first year of operation means a lot, especially coming from such an illustrious panel of editors.”

In addition to covering technology and music industry news,  California Rocker covers new and established musicians, who today more than ever, need the support of publications and music publicity.

“Musicians give their all to their audiences and receive nothing in return, especially in the early years,” said Donna.  “Some musicians don’t receive recognition until late in the game.  California Rocker was created to help the young artists and to pay homage to established musicians.”

Send music news to editor@californiarocker.com.

The Los Angeles Press Club holds its annual awards ceremony on Nov. 23 at The Biltmore in downtown Los Angeles.  For more information go to the website for the Los Angeles Press Club.

Jeff Bridges And The Abiders Debut Live Album

Jeff Bridges California Rocker

Bridges’ new album is available on iTunes

LOS ANGELES  – Jeff Bridges And The Abiders will release their new album Live on September 30.

The 14-track album will include live recordings of songs from the Jeff Bridges And The Abiders debut album Be Here Soon and self-titled follow up on Blue Note Records, as well as original music from the film Crazy Heart and some of Bridges’ favorite chosen covers of The Byrds, Tom Waits and Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Live was recorded during concert performances at Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas earlier this summer.

“We’ve been touring this summer and this is what we came up with,” said Bridges. “The tunes have many sources – John Goodwin wrote a bunch, T Bone Burnett, Stephen Bruton, and Gary Nicholson wrote a few. We do a beautiful Tom Waits tune, a little Creedence, some Byrds, Townes Van Zandt; Greg Brown, I wrote a tune with T Bone that’s on there. The band sounds great. I’m digging it.”

Jeff Bridges And The Abiders Live is now available for pre-order online. Pre-order the album now at iTunes and instantly receive the new, unreleased track “Exception to the Rule.”

The Replacements Tour: You Can Go Home Again

The Replacements Tour, The Replacements California Rocker

Courtesy of NBC

ST. PAUL, Minnesota — The Replacements Tour took a turn home Saturday night as the legendary band knocked out the crowd in St. Paul.

The Replacements headlined their first show in there more than 20 years, knocking out the crowd.

Read about The Replacements’ upcoming gigs at East Coast Rocker.com

The Replacements Tour

The Replacements played their home state of Minnesota and gave a knockout appearance on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon the other night.

After the New York concert at Forest Hills, The Replacements tour will play Summer Ends Music Festival on Sept. 27 in Tempe, Ariz. and two weekends of the Austin City Limits Festival on Oct. 5 and Oct. 12 in Austin.

The Replacements were first formed in 1978 as the band Dog’s Breath.  The original band was comprised of guitarists Paul and Tom Stinson, lead singer Paul Westerberg and drummer Chris Mars. The band’s first album was Sorry Ma I Forgot To Take Out the Trash, released in 1981 and the band embarked on its first U.S. Tour in 1983.  The Replacements broke up in 1991, but reunited for a Replacements tour in 2012.

For tickets and more information on The Replacements Tour check out their website. 

Outside Lands Fest Adds Sparkle to Golden Gate Park

California Rocker: Tom Petty headlines Outside Lands

Outside Lands a rockin California music event

By DONNA BALANCIA in SAN FRANCISCO – Death Cab for Cutie, Arctic Monkeys, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and The Flaming Lips headline the 7th annual Outside Lands Festival in Golden Gate Park.

The Outside Lands festival brings top music names each year to the San Francisco Bay area.

Last year, Paul McCartney, Nine Inch Nails and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs were among the performers.

Ecology-minded? You’ll find a corner of the fest dedicated to keeping the Earth healthy, with a water station, solar stage and a farmer’s market.

Well-known and even some not so well known restaurants will be on hand to sell their fare, including special selections from Tacolicious, Homeroom and others.

For more information see the Outside Lands website.

 

Jesus The Bus Driver Inspires With His Music

Jesus the Bus Driver

“I have water, I have my music,” said Jesus the Bus Driver – Video by Donna Balancia

BY DONNA BALANCIA — Jesus played Chilean folk music on the side of a Southern California road.

He was waiting for help in Carlsbad after his bus broke down en route to San Diego from Pasadena.

It’s not exactly rock music, but Jesus was so inspiring we had to post a video.

Jesus, originally from Mexico, learned to play the Chilean music in school. He tried to put a band together once, he said.

“It’s hard to keep the people together,” Jesus said. “We played together one night and that was it.”

Jesus California Rocker Donna Balancia

Chilean folk music could be heard from beyond a broken down school bus in Carlsbad – Photo © 2014 Donna Balancia

Jesus was on his way to San Diego to pick up a group of Pasadena vacationers and then was to turn around and bring them home. Instead, a mechanical issue sidelined him off the freeway, but he found a safe spot under a tree.

He said as a bus driver he is always prepared for the worst case scenario.

“I have enough water, I have my music,” he said. “I’m waiting for help but I’m OK.”

#CaliforniaRocker @califrocker #carlsbad

Johnny Winter’s Interview with California Rocker

Johnny Winter California Rocker

Johnny Winter tour dates include California and Japan

Guitar Great is ‘Just having fun again.’

By DONNA BALANCIA, Oct. 13, 2013 – Johnny Winter has learned to become a great teacher — and a student — of time’s lessons.

“I never knew my career would last this long, but I sure hoped for it,” said Winter, who at the age of 69, has survived a finicky musical landscape to emerge as one of history’s most well-respected blues artists.

Sporting his signature long white hair, cowboy hat, and characteristically cool demeanor, Winter sat down with California Rocker editor Donna Balancia to chat about his career.

Winter is playing dates in California through the first week of April then moves on to spend time touring Japan.

“We love to play Japan,” Winter said. “We play there often.”

Winter, a Blues Foundation Hall of Fame inductee, is a Grammy-nominated producer, known for his work with blues greats like Muddy Waters.  The famously fair-haired, Texas-bred blues buff and older brother to rocker Edgar Winter, has come through dark times to reach the light-heartedness that now marks his personal life and his musical career.

His relationships have been an important factor to get him and keep him healthy, in particular his friendship with guitarist Paul Nelson, who has been one of the most significant people in his life.

Johnny Winter California Rocker

Johnny Winter on Letterman

“Johnny’s a blues historian,” said Nelson, Winter’s bandmate and manager. “He’s not the kind of guy who’s going to listen to Pavarotti. He’s cemented to the blues.  He not only plays it, he knows the blues.”

Nelson has helped Winter instill a healthy lifestyle to keep touring and recording.

“It’s been a long road, but he’s sober now, he’s smiling now and his vocals are clear,” Nelson said. “There was a time that there was so much that came so fast, like in the 1970s, it was when he went from blues to rock. Then through the 1990s he had a rough time.

“I met Johnny in 2000, he had been a recluse,” Nelson said. “His management was not up to date.  I firmly believe that when you’re young you need older management, when you’re older you need young management.”

Winter has become a new man since turning the corner and quitting drinking and partying.

“No, I don’t do any of that anymore,” Winter said. “I’m not drinking or doing drugs. If I didn’t quit, I wouldn’t be alive today.  This was my choice.  I’ve been clean for 10 years.”

Winter lives in Connecticut, but has fond memories of his home town of Beaumont, Texas, where as a kid he did a lot of fishing, he said.

“There are some really great parts of Texas,” Winter said. “My folks aren’t alive, so I don’t have much cause to go back there too much these days.”

Johnny Winter's Screamin Demon Hot Sauce

Screamin Demon Hot Sauce

His business and personal interests have diversified over the years.  He’s even come out with his own signature hot sauce called “Screamin’ Demon Hot Sauce.”

While Winter said he is encouraged that young people today are getting into the blues, for the most part, he said, he’s not too fond of the “sound of today.”

“I hate the new music,” he said. “I just do.”

His touring keeps him busy, and promoting his album, “Roots,” has been a labor of love, Winter said.  It’s through his touring and promoting the blues that he stays in touch with the fun in life.

“These are the songs I heard when I was first getting into my music,” he said. “It’s just real good music.”

Back in the day, the average age of fans at a Johnny Winter concert was 20, today the average age is 55. He is appreciative of his fan support.

“When my fans come talk to me they always say things like, ‘I’ve been listening to your music for 40 years,'” he said. “And let me tell you, that’s a pretty good feeling.”

For more information on Johnny Winter’s tour and club dates CLICK HERE

#END #JOHNNYWINTER CALIFORNIA ROCKER INTERVIEW @califrocker

Neil Young’s Pono Surpasses its Kickstarter Goal

Neil Young's Pono: New Tech California Rocker

Neil Young hits Kickstarter mark with Pono

By BOB BUSBY

— LOS ANGELES — “Come a little bit closer, hear what I have to say.”

So sang Neil Young some 22 years ago. Now he’s out to show he was serious.

Harboring much disdain for the compressed sound from MP3 technology, yesterday Mr. Young launched a KickStarter campaign for his self ballyhooed yet to be realized high-fidelity portable music player Pono.

The KickStarter goal was to raise $800,000 in 34 days. As of this writing the first 24 hours has elapsed netting a jaw dropping $2,227,343 from just under 7,000 backers many of whom have pledged $300 which gets them the player expected to retail for $399.

However there are also a lot of pledges for $400 and there is also a sold out pledge level of $5,000 for which there’s a super-duper prize.

We’ve yet to see when or how Pono will get to market but Mr. Young is certainly off to a remarkable start.

See campaign here https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1003614822/ponomusic-where-your-soul-rediscovers-music

How Rock Stars Pick Their Guitars: Stevie Salas

California Rocker: How Rock Stars pick their guitars

The Idolmaker is the Stevie Salas signature model for Warwick-Framus

By DONNA BALANCIA — Stevie Salas has worked with world-class musicians but stays true to his humble Southern California roots.

He was selected to play guitar for Mick Jagger, has toured with Rod Stewart and will jam with George Clinton at SXSW in Austin.

“This is my third signature model in 25 years,” said Salas, whose extensive work as musical director for 19 Entertainment and the hit show American Idol inspired the name of the guitar.

“People have told me they think it’s the most beautifully crafted guitar and that’s not because they were talking to me and it’s my signature guitar.  It is extremely good quality. I wanted something different, something that wasn’t a ripoff of a Stratocaster or a Les Paul.”

Stevie Salas California Rocker

Stevie Salas

Sleek in its purple and black with gold tone, the Idolmaker, like the Oceanside-born rock star himself, purposeful with quality, and just a little bit flashy. The neck wood is maple, the fretboard is Tigerstripe Ebony with Indian Feather Inlay, a reminder of Salas’ Native American heritage.  It is a carved body top, the bodywood is 1-inch AAA Quilted Maple top with Mahogany body.

Particularly interesting to Salas is Warwick’s devotion to the planet: The company is known to purchase its wood from sustainable sources.

“A few years ago,  I met Hans-Peter Wilfer, who owns Warwick,” Salas said. “I like his views.  Since I have a Native American background, I wanted something that was environmentally friendly.”

Salas said he took a tour around the production facilities in Germany, met the head of production, designer Marcus Spangler and was impressed with what he saw.

Check out Stevie’s website CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE FOR SALAS at FRAMUS NAMMSHOW

 

 

Offspring Doesn’t Go Far for OC Award

Offspring by California Rocker

Offspring

Local Fave Receives the 2014 OC Impact Award

HUNTINGTON BEACH — With more than 40 million records sold and fans across the globe, The Offspring has been named winner of the 2014 OC Impact Award.

The band was created in Huntington Beach, Calif., in 1984.  The Offspring has sold more than 40 million records since its first release of The Offspring in 1989 and with Smash in 1994, to the newest album Days Go By in 2012,

Special presentations honoring Orange County Impact recipient, The Offspring, and Lifetime Achievement honoree, Kid Ramos, will be presented live at the 13th annual 2014 OC Music Awards celebration at the City National Grove of Anaheim on Saturday, March 8.

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