California Rocker

Award-Winning Online Music Magazine

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

By DONNA BALANCIA

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.

Smash Mouth Plans to be ‘Walking On The Sun’ at The Canyon Club and at The Rose This Weekend

Photos by EVA RINALDI

Smash Mouth, known for its hits “Walking On The Sun” and “All-Star” will play the Canyon Club and The Rose this weekend.

The band, led by Steve Harwell and Paul De Lisle, have endured the ups and downs of rock stardom. Their music has become synonymous with the movie Shrek, which featured their Monkees cover of “I’m a Believer.”

Smash Mouth: More than 'Shrek' - Photo by Eva Rinaldi

Smash Mouth: More than ‘Shrek’ – Photo by Eva Rinaldi

But Smash Mouth never intended to be the heartthrob of youngsters and their parents worldwide.  Co-founder Harwell started out in a rap band called Freedom of Speech.  Harwell got together with De Lisle, a punker, and Smash Mouth was formed. Their 1997 album Fush Yu Mang went double-platinum powered by ‘Walking On The Sun.”

The current incarnation of the band, is Harwell, De Lisle, Jason Sutter, Michael Klooster and Sean Hurwitz.

Harwell and crew are no newbies to touring and recording as the group has been on the road and recording since they formed in 1994 in Northern Cal.

Smash Mouth plays the The Canyon Saturday night and The Rose Sunday. For more information go to The Canyon website.

 

John Mayall at The Rose in Pasadena: A Divine Experience For Those Who Worship The Blues

By PATRICK O’HEFFERNAN
Special to CaliforniaRocker.com

PASADENA – Going to a John Mayall concert is like going to church – not to a religious ceremony, unless blues is your religion, but being inside a cathedral experiencing something divine. With 61 albums and more than a half-century of music behind him, British bluesman John Mayall’s current USA tour is cool, reflective, gentle on the mind and the ears, and absolutely divine.

John Mayall’s new album is Find A Way To Care and you can listen to it on Soundcloud here.

Mayall has released a new album: Find A Way to Care - Photo by Patrick O'Heffernan

Mayall has released a new album: Find A Way to Care – Photo by Patrick O’Heffernan

At 83 years young, it is no surprise that Mayall’s energy level is far more relaxed that it was in the days when Eric Clapton and John McVie blasted out hot blues on English stages with him. But, as anyone who has followed Mayall for the past 50 years knows, hot or cool, he loves the blues and that love was on full display Friday night at Pasadena’s The Rose music venue.

Standing in the spotlight on the stage, Mayall and drummer Jay Davenport and bassist Greg Rzab pulled the audience in close with a warm smile and old familiars.  Mayall started the concert easy, conserving his energy for the 12-song set.  Playing on his revered Hammond, Mayall opened with his 1993 release “I’m A Sucker for Love,” introduced by Rzab and Davenport with a relaxed percussion riff that set the contented tempo.

Mayall’s voice, still strong but flattened with years, moved us along to the breakdown and a hot drum solo.  We knew we were in for a night of classic blues by one of the best.

CHECK OUT JOHN MAYALL TOUR DATES

Mayall moved to the Roland keyboard for the  Arthur Crudup song “That’s Alright” made famous by Elvis in 1954 but reimagined very blue by Mayall in his 2013 European concert.  Switching to the electric guitar, Mayall moved to the end of the stage and electrified the crowd with his guitar chops in a coolly delivered “Do I Please You” from his 1977 album A Hardcore Package.

Mayall's tour continues - Photo by Patrick O'Heffernan for CaliforniaRocker.com

Mayall’s tour continues – Photo by Patrick O’Heffernan for CaliforniaRocker.com

Always a natural with audiences, he introduced “The Bear”  from the 1968 album Blues from Laurel Canyon with the story of his stay at the  home of the band Canned Heat in Laurel Canyon and the band’s  lead singer Bob “the Bear” Hite.  He rolled the song out on the Roland with a toe-tapping tempo and his flat voice, edged with a smile. He stayed with the Roland for Sonny Landreth’s song about Louis Armstrong park,  “Congo Square,” delivering the lyrics in a muted monotone but them picking up the pace and adding heat with harmonica. A drum solo further upped the energy and the band finished the song with a flourish.

Davenport and Rzab introduced  “Moving Out and Moving On” with a strong  percussion lead in to Mayall’s guitar, which rode nicely on the kick drum beat. The lyrics were muted, almost flat, but the music moved right along. The feeling shifted to jazz with the “Sum of Something,” originally recorded as electric blues on Mayall’s 2009 Tough album.  Mayall kept things cool until the breakdown and a hot piano and drum solo that got the audience up and clapping.

Both Mayall and the room were fully warmed up as the band came down the stretch.  Even the slow blues number, “Blues for the Lost  Days” had a thrum of electricity through it that  got ramped up in “Moma Talk to Your Daughter” and broke out in a high energy “Chicago Line” with Mayall belting the lyrics and blowing the harmonica for all it was worth.

The band got brought back for an encore which was full tilt blues harmonica, exactly what the room was looking for.  Couples danced, diners clapped and you could tell that as much as Mayall blues are now cool and relaxed,  he loves blowing the harp for all its’s worth and so do his fans.  Mayall’s US  tour has seven more dates in California, Hawaii and Florida before he moves on to Europe, doing what he loves to do… playing divine blues.

Patrick O’Heffernan.  Host, Music FridayLive!, Co-Host MúsicaFusionLA

For more information on John Mayall check out his great fan site: www.johnmayall.com

— Video courtesy of Rob Orme —

The Great 1960s Musician Donovan Celebrates 50th Anniversary of ‘Sunshine Superman’ with Tour

The Rose, Saban, Highlight California Shows

donovan-sunshine-albumBy DONNA BALANCIA

In 1966, Lyndon B. Johnson was president, the Vietnam War was raging, astronaut Buzz Aldrin was tackling the final frontier and campus protests were daily occurrances.

Those are a few reasons why Donovan’s “Sunshine Superman” single was such a hit.

The unique new sound that emerged as a result of psychedelia and anti-establishment peace movements had teens around the U.S. huddled around transistor radios for escape. Donovan was a leader in the mellow, upbeat sound that was making a mark.

‘Sunshine Superman’ Tour

Donovan, 70, presents the “Sunshine Superman Tour” to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his hit single “Sunshine Superman,” when it reached No. 1 on the charts. The album of the same name is considered a classic masterpiece. You can see Donovan at The Rose and The Saban Theatre while he’s wrapping up the West Coast swing on the tour.

The psychedelic style put forth by Donovan, whose real name is Donovan Leitch, was a refreshing break from the daily pummelling the public received from the news of war, social injustice and “the man” in general.

Donovan’s hippie-style music gave listeners pause and conjured up images of the musician smoking banana leaves and morning glory seeds to derive inspiration for the groovy songs.

donovan-album

Donovan’s music helped young people cope with war and riots – Photo courtesy Donovan

But whatever his inspiration, his songs were influential and fun. He was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.

Audiences during the Sunshine Superman tour will be treated to Donovan’s history of hits, including “Mellow Yellow,” “The Hurdy Gurdy Man,” “Jenifer Juniper” as well as his legendary storytelling and other cult classic songs.

In addition, Sony/Legacy Recordings will present The Essential Donovan, a collection of his hits and other innovative album selections.

Gibson Guitars has created a special Donovan Model J45 Guitar, the guitar on which Donovan composed, recorded, and performed all his 1960s work.

For Donovan tickets go here.

DONOVAN initial SUNSHINE SUPERMAN TOUR dates are as follows below, with more U.S. dates to be added.

August 30: The Guild Hall (East Hampton, NY)

September 4: Sondheim Center (Fairfield, IA)

September 7: Capitol Theatre (Clearwater, FL)

September 8: Parker Playhouse (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)

September 10: Landmark (Port Washington, NY)

September 11: SOPAC (South Orange, NJ)

September 14: Troy Music Hall (Troy, NY)

September 15: Carnegie Hall (NYC, NY)

September 17: New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall (Boston, MA)

September 20: The Majestic (Dallas, TX)

September 21: Wortham Center’s Cullen Theather (Houston, TX)

September 22: The Tobin Theatre (San Antonio, TX)

September 24: The Paramount (Austin, TX)

September 25:  Boulder Theatre (Boulder, CO)

September 27: The Musical Instrument Museum (Phoenix, AZ)

October 7: The Rose (Pasadena, CA)

October 8: The Saban Theatre (Beverly Hills, CA)

October 12: The Regency Ballroom (San Francisco, CA)

October 13: The Regency Ballroom (San Francisco, CA)

October 15: Neptune (Seattle, WA)

October 16: Neptune (Seattle, WA)

October 21: The Danforth Music Hall (Toronto)

%d bloggers like this: