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John Waite Won’t be ‘Missing You’ as he Launches 40th Anniversary Tour at Canyon Tonight


John Waite, lead singer for The Babys, will celebrate his 40th anniversary of making music with a tour kicking off at the Canyon in Agoura tonight.

Waite, known for The Babys songs “Isn’t It Time,” and “Everytime I Think of You,” has amassed a following of not only veterans but young followers as well.

He launched his solo career in 1982 with the album, Ignition, and never looked back.

His next album, No Brakes, released in 1984 brought the megahit, “Missing You,” which went to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It is one of the classic love songs of the 1980s and was in high rotation on MTV.

Tina Turner Cover

Tina Turner covered the song, “Missing You,” after Waite’s version knocked her “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” out of the top spot on the charts.

No Brakes sold more than 1.5 million copies in the U.S.

After The Canyon, Waite hits the Coach House on Friay, The Rose in Pasadena on Saturday, Talking Stick Resord in Scottsdale on Aug. 11, and then takes his tour back East, hitting Plymouth, N.H., Richmond, Va., and Daryl’s House in Pawling, N.Y.

Ty Segall, Iggy Pop and Chicano Batman Shine at Uneven FYF Fest; Nine Inch Nails Closes with ‘Hurt’

Fest May Return to Historic Park in 2018


Performances by Ty Segall, Chicano Batman, and Iggy Pop highlighted an otherwise uneven FYF Fest last weekend at Exposition Park.

Rumor has it that the event — which attendees say suffered logistical challenges —  could be moving back to Historic Park in Chinatown next year.

Chicano Batman frontman Bardo Martinez dances at FYF – Photo by Donna Balancia

Parking snafus and entrance issues occurred Friday night and delays at ticket pickup were out of the ordinary.  But the diverse if not unusual lineup mix of Frank Ocean, Bjork, Solange, Missy Elliott, Run The Jewels and Nine Inch Nails were enough to please any eclectic taste and were worth the logistical challenges some encountered.

Iggy Pop leaps during performance Sunday in Exposition Park - Photo by Donna Balancia

Iggy Pop leaps during performance Sunday in Exposition Park – Photo by Donna Balancia

It was the acts on the Lawn Stage on Sunday that stole the show. Iggy Pop, Ty Segall, Cherry Glazerr, Chicano Batman and Run The Jewels ran away with the prize before thousands of enthusiastic moshers.

Cherry Glazerr

Cherry Glazerr’s upbeat and charming performance is always a hit with locals in Los Angeles.  The band has a style that is unique, a combination of punk and new-alternative and the musicianship is vintage.

Cherry Glazerr - Photo Donna Balancia

Cherry Glazerr – Photo by Donna Balancia

Ty Segall

The remarkably talented Ty Segall is a regular at the July festival and as usual he gave his all, wasting no time and kicking off his set with “Play Your Guitar” and treating the crowd to his abstract and wild style. The moshers and crowd surfers warmed up with him and put on the full press with Iggy.

Video courtesy of Prestoff2000

Iggy Pop Whips a Frenzy

One thing about the King of Punk, there is experience, longevity and a surprising dose of humility as his set came at sunset on the Lawn Stage. #IggyPop has come off a wildly successful run touring with Josh Homme for Post Pop Depression.

Iggy’s Career

He opened by running on stage and drawing in the crowd with “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” a song that has endured throughout a 50-year career.  Iggy’s work may have been misunderstood in the day, but one trademark about a good song – it endures the test of time.

Iggy Pop – Photo by Donna Balancia

Search and Destroy

Iggy’s music may not have been understood when he was in his teens and 20s mainly because there was no frame of reference to anything like it.  Now today with YouTube, he has achieved worldwide acclaim and praise from big bands who draw on him as their inspiration.

Iggy Pop shows ’em how it’s done – Photo by Donna Balancia

Inspiring Iggy

And inspire he did as he sang an impassioned hour-long set, sweating, spitting, falling down on stage, whipping the floor, throwing the mic stand, putting the microphone in his pants,  and, well … just being Iggy.  The crowd of surfers and moshers left their black and blue marks on many in the aftermath of Iggy’s tight music, which ranged from Stooges songs to the David Bowie-produced selections off The Idiot.

Iggy in the prime of his career – Photo by Donna Balancia

Chicano Batman

Chicano Batman, the local LA band with crossover appeal, really played their hearts out to their thousands of adoring fans. With Bardo and the crew, it’s always a classy affair that draws an enormous crowd. The band has grown so popular they’ve been running meet-and-greet events after their performances.

Video courtesy of Alex Pena

Chicano Batman shows love to the audience – Photo by Donna Balancia

Run The Jewels

Run The Jewels brought the fans and didn’t disappoint. Their infamous music and stage presence is well earned and they build new followers by the dozens.

Check out Run The Jewels video courtesy of EdNLA:

Mainstream Performers

Not to be overlooked are the performances that earned mainstream media attention.

When you have a famous sister and you ate seeking your own path, what better way to be noticed than to do a local festival. Often. Solange is no stranger to the annual July festival.

“Her performance is great and I love her songs,” said Elvia Martinez of Silverlake. “She is different than Beyonce.”

Check out Solange video, courtesy of Prestoff2000

Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean serenading Brad Pitt was a highlight to many attendees and the event dominated social media.

Check out video courtesy of Christian Kassoff:

Missy Elliott

Missy Elliott brought her girl power crew of supporters and fans, she’s a survivor.

Video courtesy of EdNLA:


As far as productions go, #FlyingLotus #Bjork and Nine Inch Nails took the honors from fest goers for most amazing and mind-blowing experiences:

Flying Lotus

Video courtesy Joan Jetsetter, Bruno Pritchard (warning: pulsating light)



Bjork never disappoints and this time around, the Icelandic talent outdid herself complete with full orchestra.   Video courtesy of Prestoff2000


Nine Inch Nails

Nine Inch Nails, while giving a taste of new songs, did not finish with the now infamous David Bowie song “I Can’t Give Everything Away,” but performed it in the middle of a great mix of old and new tunes. The #NIN version of “I Can’t Give Everything Away” by Bowie was hardly upbeat as the song comes from Black Star, the album Bowie created while dying.

It was worth the three year wait to see Trent Reznor show his stuff as the frontman of a band that has always been known for dynamic performances and intriguing musical dynamic.


Ending Fest on a Downer

#NiN actually wrapped up the night with “Hurt,” the ultimate downer tune by Johnny Cash which they famously cover. That was the encore.

(If you really want bizarre Check out the perverted Kermit The Frog version of “Hurt” on YouTube.

In any event, the last note of the festival was fitting for an event that has enjoyed many years of attendance, with a local LA flavor that may or may not be a taste for the masses.



VIDEO INTERVIEW: Chip Kinman of Rank and File, The Dils, Talks Ford Madox Ford and New Album

‘This American Blues’ to Drop Soon


Ford Madox Ford will release a new album called This American Blues, frontman and founder Chip Kinman told in an exclusive interview. CHECK IT OUT:

Ford Madox Ford: New Album

Kinman, founder of renowned punk bands Rank and File and The Dils, said his new group takes punk and blues to another level.

“We just finished mixing our debut L.P.,” Kinman told “We’re going to master it at Capitol in two weeks.”

Ford Madox Ford will pick up the live shows again soon – Photo © Donna Balancia

Changing Music Scene

Kinman said the band will pick up on the live shows in a few weeks. In the meantime, check out our video interview with Kinman live from The Echo in downtown LA.

Music Has Changed … But It Hasn’t

Kinman said things in the music business have changed since his days with The Dils, but some things remain the same.

“After all, we are talking about pop music,” Kinman said. “Disposable and permanent. Blues certainly has not changed. Until now.”

Check out more Ford Madox Ford on the Youtube page.



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


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


Living Colour Rocks the Canyon Club, Corey Glover and Crew Bring Elite to Agoura Hills Scene

Band’s ‘Personality’ Attracts Friends and Fans


Living Colour brought their style of bluesy punk to Canyon Club playing new songs and favorites to a packed house.

The band will release a new album, called Shade, in September.

corey glover donna balancia

Corey Glover is dapper – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Like a Fine Wine

Comprised of frontman Corey Glover, Will Calhoun on drums, Doug Wimbish on bass and Vernon Reid on guitar, this band only improves as the years go on.

The band is styled by the Style Diva herself, Leisa Balfour, who celebrated an early birthday during the Canyon show.

Vernon Reid is among the best and most underrated lead guitarists around – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Vernon Reid

Living Colour has got what it takes. If there’s such a thing as getting better like a fine wine, these guys have it nailed. Vernon’s guitar work sounds more and more remarkable each time out, Corey has the chops and the warmth of one of the best frontmen in the business, Wimbish plays one of the most wicked slapping basses in music and Will Calhoun is one of the most underrated drummers on the planet.

Bassist Doug Wimbish puts on a show - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Bassist Doug Wimbish puts on a show – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Fans and Friends Visit Backstage

Their songs, in particular the hit “Cult of Personality,” electrify the room.

It’s hard to tell why Living Colour isn’t in the mainstream still after all these years. This band packed the Canyon and draws the fans even to side gigs, including supporting acts for other performers. Corey was on hand to celebrate the Sound Barrier reunion party at the Whisky A Go-Go several weeks ago.

Drummer Will Calhoun rips it on the kit – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Sound Barrier

Speaking of Sound Barrier, Bernie was among those hanging out with the Living Colour guys at the Canyon the other night. Sound Barrier recently released its single “I’m Just A Man,” and an EP is on the way.


A Collection of Photos: Living Colour at The Canyon Club

Bernie K. of Sound Barrier with stylist Leisa Balfour and Darius McCrary – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia









Going Abstract with Ty Segall: Southern California Rocker Rips in Three Sold Out Nights at Teragram LA

Josh Homme and Pals Support Segall’s Rockin Show


Night Three of Ty Segall at The Teragram Ballroom was even better than the rest as fans and friends crowded into the sold out house to see the master of the abstract do his rockin thing.

Promoting his new album, Drag City, Ty brought on some new tunes as well as some old favorites — he’s the only musician we can think of who puts his set list on tissue paper.

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Photo of Ty Segall © 2017 Donna Balancia

Ty has only gotten better with age and cuts an impressive figure calling to mind all the greats — is there any genre of music this guy can’t play?  If Paul McCartney, Neil Young and The Stooges had a baby it would be Ty.

Ty’s new album Drag City is one for the collection. Check out the single”Break a Guitar.”

Ty Segall and the Signature Blend

His signature blend of avant garde that mixes with punk, garage and the blues — there are even times when Stevie Ray Vaughn comes to mind — blows the crowd away. Crowd surfing and moshing go hand in hand with Ty’s shows.  People even feel comfortable enough to jump on stage with him and announce their birthdays, as is what happened last night.

But there was no time for chit chatting and socializing, except maybe backstage where Josh Homme and his wife were among the music pals who made a visit to their longtime friend.

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Ty Segall: ‘One of the Best’

“I’ve seen Ty a bunch of times and every time he’s great,” said a fan who drove up from whence Ty hails — the county of Orange. “He’s one of the best out there.”

The fans don’t overexaggerate.  It’s Ty’s sixth session at Teragram Ballroom since it opened, employees estimate, and he’s probably the closest thing to a house band the DTLA music staple has.

The toilet paper set list was punctuated with some standards as well as new tunes, all of which left the crowd of all ages stunned and stammering.

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

We particularly liked his style of dress — sort of a dark Mariachi style resplendent with red flowers adorning the arms, his flying blonde hair and moves like Elvis a stark contrast.   But isn’t the contrast that what it’s all about with Ty?

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia


Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia


Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia


Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia


Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia


Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia


Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Ty Segall at Teragram Ballroom - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Ty Segall at Teragram Ballroom – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Ty Segall tuning - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Ty Segall tuning – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia









Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

PHOTOS: An Evening With the Photographic Greats Richard Young and Chris Cuffaro in West Hollywood


They have captured greatness, these rock photographers, but tonight Richard Young and Chris Cuffaro were the center of attention. Young’s show, “Rebels” was held at the Leica Store in LA and Cuffaro held an exhibit at Gibson’s Tower Records.

© Donna Balancia

From Rebels to Greatest Hits

Ranging from Marvin Gaye to The Sex Pistols, Young’s exhibit showed the inner rebellious spirit of the musicians he shot primarily in the early 1980s.  It was a time of transition for many with music moving into the disco era, as his photographs — taken in the dance clubs of New York City  and beyond showed.

As for Cuffaro, whose event was punctuated with performances by emerging bands and appearances by other photographers notably Henry Diltz, the 1990s was his heyday. In addition to Pearl Jam, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and NXS, Cuffaro captured a range of artists whose legacies continue on.

Sweet Relief was supporting and President Bill Bennett and Executive Director Rob Max were on hand.

For more information on Richard Young, check out his page.  Chris Cuffaro has a website where all his work is displayed as well.

© Donna Balancia


© Donna Balancia


© Donna Balancia


© Donna Balancia


© Donna Balancia


© Donna Balancia


© Donna Balancia


cuffaro-17 (1 of 1)


cuffaro-20 (1 of 1)


© Donna Balancia


© Donna Balancia


© Donna Balancia


cuffaro-7 (1 of 1)


© Donna Balancia


© Donna Balancia


© Donna Balancia


© Donna Balancia


© Donna Balancia

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


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


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. Nabs Four Finalist Nods for Arts and Entertainment Awards by Los Angeles Press Club


HOLLYWOOD –, a music industry website and fanzine published by Donna Balancia, received four National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards finalist designations, it was announced by The Los Angeles Press Club.

The finalist selections all came in the area of photography: Three images were in the Action Photography category and one finalist selection came in the Photo Essay category.

Suzanne Allison Witkin scored a Los Angeles Press Club nod with her photo essay, "On Tour With The Hollywood Vampires" - Photo courtesy Suzanne Witkin

Rock photographer Suzanne Allison Witkin scored an LA Press Club nod with her photo essay, “On Tour With The Hollywood Vampires” – Photo courtesy Suzanne Witkin

“Our work reflects our commitment to the highest quality music journalism,” said publisher Donna Balancia. “Our independent website and fanzine strive to give up-and-coming as well as established musicians a voice amid the overwhelming coporate clatter.”

Winning Images: Hollywood Vampires, At The Drive-In, which first went live in 2014, dominated the photography categories, with photographer Suzanne Allison Witkin scoring for her Photo Essay called “On Tour With The Hollywood Vampires.”  The project included a diary with exclusive, behind-the-scenes photos of Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp, Joe Perry and all of The Hollywood Vampires.

Los Angeles Press Club Cedric Bixler-Zavala of At The Drive-In leaps into the air during a performance at the Hollywood Palladium - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Cedric Bixler-Zavala of At The Drive-In leaps into the air during a performance at the Hollywood Palladium: A winning image – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia


California Rocker Dominates Action Photos also scored a record three finalist designations in the Action Photo category. The photos, taken by Donna, captured Fishbone’s “Flyin’ Jay” Armant launching himself into the audience at The Roxy Theatre; Cedric Bixler-Zavala of the band At The Drive-In leaping into the air at The Hollywood Palladium, and the 80-year-old Dick Dale, “King of the Surf Guitar,” revving the audience with his upbeat music.

Los Angeles Press Club Suzanne Allison Witkin captured images of The Hollywood Vampires on their historic tour - Photo © 2016 Suzanne Allison Witkin for

Suzanne Allison Witkin captured images of The Hollywood Vampires on their historic tour – Photo © 2016 Suzanne Allison Witkin for


Los Angeles Press Club Keeping Journalism Alive

“We are honored to be selected as finalists for the National Arts and Entertainment Awards,” Donna Balancia said. “The Los Angeles Press Club strives to keep journalism alive. We too not only support independent journalism, but through our stories and images we also help musicians at a time when the music business is extremely challenging.

“ has the best reviewers, writers and photographers in the music world working together with us, and we are delighted with the finalist designations.”

Los Angeles Press Club Fishbone image has been named a finalist in the action photo category of the National Arts and Entertainment Awards - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The remarkable ‘Flyin’ Fishbone’ image was captured by Donna Balancia at The Roxy Theatre – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Wayne Kramer and Jail Guitar Doors Concert ‘Rock Out 3!’ Bring Humanity Out from Behind Prison Bars

Don Was and Marshall Crenshaw - Donna Balancia California Rocker

Don Was and Marshall Crenshaw – Photo by Donna Balancia


Wayne Kramer still champions the underdog.

Kramer, founder of MC5, the legendary band that started the punk revolution, is still raging — to help those behind bars.

He was joined by Don Was, Marshall Crenshaw, Gilby Clarke and a host of others at The Ford Theatres at a concert called Rock Out 3! to benefit Jail Guitar Doors USA.

The organization brings musical instruments into prisons and youth camps, teaches inmates music, and creates hope for those behind bars.

Wayne Kramer and Marshall Crenshaw - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia for California Rocker

Wayne Kramer and Marshall Crenshaw – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

“We give them a guitar to pick up so when they get out they won’t pick up a gun,” Kramer said. “The music takes them out of their surroundings and gives them hope.”

Rock Out! 3, the third annual Benefit Concert for Jail Guitar Doors USA drew fans and rockers alike.

Jail Guitar Doors is a California non-profit organization that provides musical instruments and opportunities to help rehabilitate prisoners.

In 2009, musicians/activists Kramer and Billy Bragg created Jail Guitar Doors USA, which puts on music based prison outreach programs that work to help minimize prison violence and give hope to inmates.

‘Personal Subject’ for Kramer

Wayne Kramer, Alma Robinson and Larry Brewster - California Rocker

Wayne Kramer, Alma Robinson and Larry Brewster – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

It’s a very personal subject to Kramer who was incarcerated on drug charges. In 1977 The Clash recorded “Jail Guitar Doors,” a song detailing the imprisonment of their hero and fellow musician, MC5’s Kramer.

There are devoted volunteers who all showed up at the Ford Theatre event. While there may be a stigma about working with “tough guys,” volunteer Donna Jo Thorndale said when she goes into the prisons she has no preconceived notions.

No Judgment Zone

“The inmates have been judged enough, they don’t need me to judge them.”

Donna Jo says she’s seen progress as a result of the work of Jail Guitar Doors.

Larry Brewster and Donna Jo Thorndale - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Larry Brewster and Donna Jo Thorndale – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

“When they focus on the music it helps them to develop self confidence and that’s an ‘inside job.'”

Prof. Larry Brewster said after going into the prisons, he comes away with “new best friends.”

“I’ve made some good friendships,” said Larry, a professor at University of San Francisco.

Teaching volunteer Cody Marks agreed.

“It feels good to get through to the guys,” Cody said. “We form bonds with the prison population and when one guy might be transferred we’ll see sometimes them again at another prison.”

Wayne Kramer: ‘Progress Being Made’

Don Was said he’s been working with Kramer on Jail Guitar Doors for several years.

Wayne Kramer - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Wayne Kramer – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Was gets a great deal of satisfaction out of seeing progress.

“It could be anyone of us in there,” said Don Was, who was a headliner at the event. “We tend to believe that the prison population is some other species, but if one or two things didn’t go the right way, it could just as easily be me or you in there.”

A couple of years ago, we went in to Sing Sing Prison and we played a concert,” Was said. “Some people screw up and people tend to forget that about this population.”

Jail Guitar Doors lobbyies against unjust lengthy prison sentences, the privatization of prisons for profit, and seeks to restore humanity in a forgotten segment of our citizens: Those incarcerated.

Wayne, Cody and Jeff - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Wayne, Cody and Jeff – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Program Growing With Number of Inmates

From 1980 to 2008, the number of people incarcerated in America quadrupled, skyrocketing from roughly 500,000, to 2.3 million, according to the US Bureau of Statistics.

Kramer said Jail Guitar Doors is in 65 prisons, there are songwriting workshops in four.

Kramer was joined at the event by Jill Sobule, Elainie Mandel, Crenshaw, Clarke, Keith Morris, Jason Heath and The Greedy Souls and The Wild Reeds.

Bobcat Goldthwait and Matt Pinfield were special guests with Goldthwait as emcee.

Jason Heath, frontman for Jason Heath and The Greedy Souls said he was happy to participate.

Wayne Kramer and friends - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Wayne Kramer and friends – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

“It’s important to remember the people who are serving prison terms,” Heath said. “And we’re honored to play this show.”

Highlight of the evening was an all-star version MC5’s “Kick Out The Jams,” with all the musicians doing their own thing up there

“We do this because we care and we want to let them know inside the prison that the people outside care,” Cody said.

No Easy Job

The Jail Guitar Doors is not an easy undertaking.

Cody said that there was an extensive process to bring in musical equipment in to work with the prisoners.

Wayne Kramer and Jill Sobule - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Wayne Kramer and Jill Sobule – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

“They check everything,” Cody said. “They even count the strings that you have for the guitars, they look at the picks,” she said. “One time we broke a string, you have to be careful everything is accounted for.”

Songs ranging from The Who cover “We Won’t Get Fooled Again,” by Clarke, to “Television Light,” by Crenshaw, Eleni Mandell’s “I Belong To Someone New,” brought out the best in the evening before the showstopper finale.

For more information, go to



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.


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


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”]

California Rocker Nabs Second ‘Best Blog’ Nom from LA Press Club

California Rocker's coverage of The New Basement Tapes earned the young digital publication an LA Press Club nomination - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

California Rocker’s coverage of The New Basement Tapes earned the young digital publication a second LA Press Club nomination – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

California Rocker’s Coverage of ‘New Basement Tapes: One Night’ Only Earns Blog a Finalist Spot

California Rocker has been nominated in the Best Individual Blog category for its coverage of The New Basement Tapes: One Night Only concert last November at The Montalban Theater in Hollywood.

Donna Balancia is the producer and creator of California Rocker.

The multimedia package on the one-off concert by the “superband” known as The New Basement Tapes, consisted of a traditional article that ran on California Rocker, with embedded video, links, and still photos from the show. The article,  The New Basement Tapes: One Night Only, was posted Nov. 14, 2014, the day after the show.

A social media component played an important promotional role in the coverage, and digital images were filed during and after the event, and the story was updated several times via the web.

The New Basement Tapes is an all-star band whose diverse musicians each wrote music to accompany the lyrics of Bob Dylan that were recently discovered in the basement of the Big Pink house in upstate New York.

Rhiannon Giddens; Marcus Mumford of Mumford and Sons; Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes; Elvis Costello; and Jim James of My Morning Jacket comprise The New Basement Tapes. The show was produced by T Bone Burnett.

Also performing with The New Basement Tapes on Nov. 13 were the popular Haim sisters and film actor and musician Johnny Depp.

California Rocker nominated for Blog coverage of "The New Basement Tapes One Night Only"

California Rocker nominated for Blog coverage of “The New Basement Tapes One Night Only”

Among some of the notable songs produced by the Burnett-assembled group are “Kansas City,” “Card Shark,” and “When I Get My Hands On You,” from the group’s album, Lost On The River. 

It is the second LA Press Club nomination for California Rocker in as many outings. In addition to California Rocker, Balancia also produces East Coast and is the president of News Notables of Beverly Hills, a digital editorial consultancy.

“To be nominated for digital media is an achievement for me and all journalists today,” said Balancia. “Reporters and editors have had to adapt to a challenging journalism environment.  I hope to inspire more independent reporters and editors to have a voice in our ever-changing world.”

As producer of California Rocker, Balancia writes, shoots stills, shoots video, edits the site through a content management system, and promotes California Rocker stories via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Youtube, as well as other platforms.

“Journalists are a lot like musicians,” Balancia said.  “We are all trying to tell our story in the manner that is the most compelling and most impactful.  Don’t get overloaded with promotion hype and distribution technology. Choose to create and inform, above all else.”



Morrison Hotel Gallery To Represent at The 2015 Photo Contemporary

MHG: A Relaxed Respite for Snappers and Songsters

By DONNA BALANCIA, WEST HOLLYWOOD — The Morrison Hotel Gallery — one of Los Angeles’ most respected photo galleries — has become the place to see iconic photos by rock’s most talented artists.

From May 1-3, the Morrison Hotel Gallery will participate in the 2015 Photo Contemporary Art Fair, at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood.

Morrison Hotel Gallery - Peter Blachley, Alison Mosshart, Jamie Hince, Henry Diltz

Jamie Hince’ photo gallery show celebrated by pals Alison Mosshart, Peter Blachley and Henry Diltz – Photo © Donna Balancia

Former recording executive Peter Blachley and his team have taken a passion for music and turned it into a visual tribute to some of Rock and Roll’s greatest musicians and photographers.

The music afficionado should be happy for Blachley’s passion.

Morrison Hotel Gallery, which has locations in New York and Los Angeles, hosts a range of exhibits and openings, and works by the most well-known names in music grace its walls.

Founded by music executives Blachley and Richard Horowitz, and esteemed photographer Henry Diltz, Morrison Hotel Gallery has succeeded in part because of relationships.  And if the warm-hearted founders continually add new friends the their illustrious list of famous pals.

The Morrison Hotel Gallery has hosted events featuring rare photos from musicians and photographers including Stevie Nicks, Danny Clinch, Lynn Goldsmith and other noted artists.

One recent event featured Jamie Hince of The Kills, whose exhibit, Echo Home, reflects his well-traveled life as founder of the beloved and creative musical group.

Morrison Hotel Gallery Peter Blachley, Alison Mosshart, Jamie Hince, Henry Diltz

Peter Blachley, Alison Mosshart, Jamie Hince, Henry Diltz at Morrison Hotel Gallery – Photo © 2014 Donna Balancia

Blachley’s relationships and his partnerships — in particular, his friendships with photographers like partner Diltz — have been key to success.

“We have plans to expand and we want to always have a presence in the art community,” said Blachley, a San Francisco native. “We’ll be at Art Basel in Miami this year and we really like Nashville.”

Morrison Hotel Gallery is well-known among photographers and musicians and Blachley said a goal is to make the gallery the resource for collectors of photographic works.

Morrison Hotel Gallery Peter Blachley, Alison Mosshart, Jamie Hince, Henry Diltz

Peter Blachley, Alison Mosshart, Jamie Hince, Henry Diltz at Morrison Hotel Gallery – Photo © Donna Balancia

Blachley’s fiance, Susan Brandt brings her flair for fun, and love for working with charitable groups to the gallery.

She works with the group Rational Animal and ties the charity into various events, like the Echo Home which helped to raise money for the animals.  Hince and The Kills bandmate Alison Mosshart support the charity.

“It’s a great cause and we’re happy to help,” Hince said at the VIP reception at Morrison Hotel Gallery Saturday night following the band’s Halloween performance at the LA Forum.

Few are fortunate enough in life to blend their passion and their work and earn a living at it.  In addition to always planning events and exhibits for the gallery Blachley and his Morrison Hotel Gallery group have other passions.

Blachley recorded an album, Nevada Sky, that was featured in East Coast Rocker.   READ THE REVIEW HERE



Revolutions 2: Rock Art On Display at Forest Lawn Museum

GLENDALE, CA—Forest Lawn Museum presents Revolutions 2: The Art of Music, an exhibit that celebrates the artists behind some of the most admired and enduring visuals and graphic art in music of the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

On view at Forest Lawn Museum from through August 2, Revolutions 2 commemorates the 10-year anniversary of the original Revolutions exhibition and marks the latest presentation in Forest Lawn Museum’s heritage of exciting and popular exhibitions.

The exhibit features artists who created beautiful and thought-provoking album and CD covers, posters and other fine art music lovers have come to know over the years.  Revolutions 2 gives insight into the creative behind-the-scenes work that continues to inspire generations of music and art enthusiasts.

Spotlighting the visual artists, the recording artists and the record companies that shaped the music industry, Revolutions 2 displays the original form of mass-produced art that helped sell the music.  Included in the exhibit are handmade illustrations, large-scale paintings, photographs, and even sculptures that spotlight the often overlooked and painstaking process behind the music.

Renowned in the music, arts and photography world, these visual artists have had some of the greatest influence on the evolution of graphic art aligned with the world’s best musicians.

From Black Sabbath’s Sabbath Bloody Sabbath album art to The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s iconic Fillmore East to illustrations for Rolling Stone magazine, more than 35 artists are represented in more than 175 artworks loaned for this important exhibition.

Revolutions 2 is open to the public, and will run from through August 2, 2015 at the Forest Lawn Museum, Forest Lawn-Glendale, 1712 S. Glendale Blvd., Glendale. Admission and parking are free. Call 800-204-3131 or visit for more information.

#Revolutions 2

GRAMMYs: McCartney, Dylan and … Tom Jones?

Paul McCartney, Kanye West, Rhianna -- Photo courtesy of for California Rocker

Paul McCartney, Kanye West, Rihanna prep for performance — Photo courtesy of for California Rocker

LOS ANGELES — Honorees take all different styles and shapes at the GRAMMY Awards.

But 2015 is definitely a nostalgia year as Paul McCartney and Tom Jones were set to perform, and Bob Dylan was honored.

With 84 categories in 2015, there were several wins that viewers tuning in to CBS at 8 PM EST would not see.

Early winners include “Happy” by Pharrell Williams for Best Music Video and 20 Feet From Stardom as Best Music Film.

Ricky Dillard, nominated for Best Gospel Album for Amazing, was outshone by Erica Campbell, whose Help won the statuette.

“I feel I am blessed to be a nominee,” Dillard told California Rocker. “I’ve been around a long time.”

“Don’t get yourself get cornered by fear,” said Angelique Kidjo, winner in the Best World Music Album category. “Every one of us have the power to transform this world. What I tried to do is give the voice to the African women. They want to live in dignity.”

Another veteran, Toni Braxton, secured a Best R and B Album win with Love, Marriage and Divorce, surpassing Aloe Blacc, whose album Lift Your Spirit was considered a strong favorite in the category.

Rockin’ performances are expected during the evening, with McCartney teaming with Rhianna; Beyonce teaming on a Selma tribute with John Legend and Common and 60s sex symbol Jones performing with Jesse J.

Jones said: “I got my first GRAMMY in 1965, 50 years ago exactly, and I got it for Best New Artist, now (I’m) back with Jesse J  for ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin.’”

Dylan was honored with a fundraiser Musicares concert Thursday night and he gave a speech that moved the audience.





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.”

Honest Thieves, Them Guns, Rock DTLA’s 5 Star Bar

The Smokey Knight was with Them Guns, The Honest Thieves and Camcorder at 5 Star Bar

The Smoky Knights at 5 Star Bar in DTLA

DOWNTOWN LA — There are few times when we are as impressed as we were at 5 Star Bar in downtown LA last weekend.

The 5 Star Bar makes it a new experience to meet cool people of all ages, listen to fun music and enjoy a beer in a can.

The lineup for the first annual Psych Fest, also known as Mind Gasm, included The Smoky Knights, Them Guns, The Honest Thieves and Camcorder. See video for The Honest Thieves here.

Downtown LA has come a long way, while some say it has a long way to go.

But in the meantime, fun bars like this will hold the attention of a diverse group of pool-players, up-and-coming rock stars, aspiring artists and everyone in between.

California Rocker thinks 5 Star Bar lives up to its name.  Worth checking out.

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

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.


Heather Reid takes ‘Cross Words’ on the Road

Heather Reid East Coast Rocker

For Heather Reid, family comes first

Family Comes First for California Rocker

By DONNA BALANCIA in LOS ANGELES – Heather Reid’s new solo album Cross Words is an emotional map that takes us through her journey of new beginnings.  The music is so great, we want to go with her.

Reid, who was with the alt-punk band The Murmurs has started over again in many areas of her life.  Cross Words is about new beginnings, family and relationships.

“It’s a personal album, it’s about  the evolution of relationships and how pain is an important part of process. how we get to define what relationships look like, even in friendships.  So the album is about resilience.”

See the video for “Ivy” off Cross Words here

“I was going through a transition and a wide range of emotion and heartbreak,” Reid said. “So when I was writing these songs I was trying to figure things out on my own, the way I do that is through songwriting.  These songs are primarily about finding love and hope and dealing with a difficult situation. The pain is sometimes a necessary step and that’s where the songs came from on this album.”


Bob Roback Joins Fender as President

Bob Roback President of Fender by California Rocker

Bob Rodack has been named President of Fender Guitar Corp.

LOS ANGELES — Bob Roback has been named President of Fender Musical Instruments Corp. and will open a new Los Angeles-based office for the company.

Mainly known as co-founder of Dashbox and former Head of Music for Yahoo!, Roback has been an entrepreneur and executive in the music business since 1991.

Bob Roback and Digital Strategy

Long-considered a base for emerging music talent, Los Angeles represents a continual resource for retail.  The company’s latest move is seen as an initiative to increase presence in the LA market.

At Fender, Roback will oversee the development of Fender’s emerging digital strategy. The company wants to engage a broader group of consumers.



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


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