Nguyen Le – Songs Of Freedom (2011)

FrontCover1Nguyên Lê (Vietnamese: Lê Thành Nguyên; born 14 January 1959) is a French jazz musician and composer of Vietnamese ancestry. His main instrument is guitar, and he also plays bass guitar and guitar synthesizer.

He has released albums as a leader and as a sideman. His 1996 album Tales from Viêt-Nam blends jazz and traditional Vietnamese music. Nguyên Lê has performed with Randy Brecker, Vince Mendoza, Eric Vloeimans, Carla Bley, Michel Portal, Renaud Garcia-Fons, Per Mathisen, Marc Johnson, Peter Erskine, Trilok Gurtu, Paolo Fresu and Dhafer Youssef.

In spring 2011 he released Songs of Freedom, an album with cover versions of pop hits from the 1970s. (wikipedia)

Nguyên Lê01

For over twenty years, Nguyên Lê has collaborated with a growing cadre of like-minded musicians—mostly Paris-based, where the guitarist of Vietnamese origins resides—building a body of work that is, in the truest sense of the word, “world music.” From the Afro-centric band Ultramarine, and exploration of his own roots on the seminal Tales from Vietnam (ACT, 1996), to recent explorations of a nexus where programming and spontaneity meet on Homescape (ACT, 2006), Lê has carved out a unique space—often fusion-like in its electricity and energy, but avoiding the negative connotations; undeniably jazz-centric, too, but largely eschewing overt references to traditionalism. These days, plenty of jazzers draw on pop music, but you’d be hard-pressed to find another taking a crack at one of the 1960s’ most iconic—and, often, reviled—songs, Iron Butterfly’s “In A Gadda Da Vida,” as Lê does on Songs of Freedom.


With an unorthodox core quartet, reliant on mallet instruments for much of its chordal support, Lê tackles other ’60s chestnuts, like Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love”—which, after a seemingly non sequitur introduction, filled with thundering percussion and wailing voices, turns relatively faithful, albeit at a brisker pace and with an uncharacteristic complexity of percussive detail. But once singer Himiko Paganotti gets past the first verse and chorus, the harmonic center shifts, and suddenly, with vibraphonist Illya Amar layering a shifting cushion of chords over bassist Linley Marthe’s lithe underpinning, the song turns into an odd-metered solo feature for Lê, his mesh of oriental microtonality and occidental grit and grease moving in parallel with background vocal percussion, leading to a knotty, thundering finale.

As for “In A Gadda Da Vida,” sure, its near-Jungian riff remains intact, but delivered on marimba, and driven by drummer Stéphane Galland’s lithe 17/8 pulse, there’s none of the Nguyên Lê02original’s gravitas, as Lê takes its preexisting Indo-centricity further, giving it an idiosyncratic arrangement; its chorus gradually building to staggering contrapuntal confluence and impressive solos from Lê and Amar, before a newly composed section leads to an ostinato-driven drum solo that avoids all the clichés of the original…all in a nice, compact five minutes.

Elsewhere, Lê tackles The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby,” with Youn Sun Nah making one of two guest appearances (the other, a tabla and konnakol-driven version of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” ), the guitarist’s swirling, ethereal guitar lines supporting the singer during an extended intro before the band enters, eastern linearity meeting western harmonies in Guo Gan’s erhu and Lê’s electric guitar, for a more subdued yet undeniably grooving album opener.

When it comes to interpreting music in a jazz context, freedom more often than not means improvisational freedom, and to be sure, Songs of Freedom has plenty of that. But clearly, for Lê, the concept has more to do with an unfettered prerogative to draw on what, in many cases, are the simplest of song forms, as grist for far more elaborate compositional reworks filled with pointillist detail. Songs of Freedom combines heartfelt respect with absolute irreverence, breathing an utterly different kind of life into these songs, four decades after they first hit the airwaves. (John Kelman)


Illya Amar (vibraphone, marimba, electronics)
Stéphane Galland (drums)
Nguyên Lê (guitar, electronics)
Electric Bass, Vocals – Linley Marthe (bass, vocals)
David Binney (saxophone on 09.)
Keyvan Chemirani (goblet drum)
Erhu (guo gan  on 01.)
Ousman Danedjo (vocals on 01., 02., 05., 07. +15.)
Prabhu Edouard (tabla, vocals on 10.)
Stéphane Edouard (percussion on 01., 02., 04., 09., 12. vocals on 02.)
Hamid El Kasri (guimbri)
David Linx (vocals on 02., 07., 09. + 15.)
Youn Sun Nah (vocals on 01., 10.)
Himiko Paganotti (vocals on 02., 05., 07., 12. + 15.)
Julia Sarr (vocals on 07., 11. + 15.)
Chris Speed (clarinet on 15.)
Dhafer Youssef (vocals on 03., 04.)
K. Ziad (percussion on 05., 10., 12., drums on 12.)


01. Eleanor Rigby ( Lennon/McCartney) 6.59
02. I Wish (Wonder) 5.46
03. Ben Zeppelin (Youssef/Lê) 0.52
04. Black Dog (Page/Baldwin/Plant) 6.18
05. Pastime Paradise (Wonder) 8.01
06. Uncle Ho’s Benz (Lê) 0.40
07.Mercedes Benz (Joplin) 6.21
08. Over The Rainforest (Lê) 0.36
09. Move Over (Joplin) 6.56
10. Whole Lotta Love (Page/Baldwin/Bonham/Plant) 5.16
11. Redemption Song (Marley) 5.26
12. Sunshine Of Your Love (Bruce/Brown/Clapton) 4.42
13. In A Gadda Da Vida (Ingle) 5.25
14. Topkapi (Lê) 0.43
15. Come Together (Lennon/McCartney) 5.47



The official website:

Wanda Jackson – Wanda Live! At Third Man Records (2011)

FrontCover1Wanda Lavonne Jackson (born October 20, 1937) is a retired American singer, songwriter, pianist and guitarist who had success in the mid-1950s and 1960s as one of the first popular female rockabilly singers, and a pioneering rock-and-roll artist. She is known to many as the “Queen of Rockabilly” or the “First Lady of Rockabilly”.

Jackson mixed country music with fast-moving rockabilly, often recording them on opposite sides of a record. As rockabilly declined in popularity in the 1960s, she moved to a successful career in mainstream country music with a string of hits between 1961 and 1973, including “Right or Wrong”, “Tears Will Be the Chaser for Your Wine”, “A Woman Lives for Love” and “Fancy Satin Pillows”.

She had a resurgence in popularity in the 1980s among rockabilly revivalists in Europe and younger Americana fans. In 2009, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the category Early Influence.

On March 27, 2019, Jackson announced her official retirement from performing. (wikipedia)

Wanda Jackson02

And here´s a very special concert …

In the early 1980s, Jackson was invited to Europe to play rockabilly and country festivals and to record. More recently, American country artists Pam Tillis, Jann Browne, and Rosie Flores have acknowledged Jackson as a major influence. Jackson embarked on a major U.S. tour with Flores in 1995. Jackson returned to the studio in 2010 to begin work on a new album. “The Party Ain’t Over” arrived in early 2011 and while in her seventies she was still touring in 2012. (

Wanda Jackson03

The Party Ain’t Over was the thirtieth studio album by American singer Wanda Jackson and a collaborative album with Jack White, the lead vocalist of The White Stripes.

To promote this album … their recorded this live-album … what a mixture: Jack White and the Queen Of Rock N Roll …

Enjoy this very special collaboration …

Oh yes … Rock N Roll ist still live and well !

And I add a very long and interesting interview with Wanda Jackson.


Justin Carpenter (trombone)
Dominic Davis (bass)
Rich Gilbert (pedal steel-guitar)
Joe Gillis (keyboards)
Wanda Jackson (vocals)
Olivia Jean (guitar)
Leif Shires (trumpet)
Craig Swift (saxophone)
Jack White (lead guitar)
background vocals:
Ashley Monroe, Ruby Amanfu

Wanda Jackson01
01. Raunchy (Instrumental) (Justis/Manker) 1.54
02. Riot In Cell Block #9 (Leiber/Stoller) 4.23
03. I’m Busted (Howard) 3.28
04. You Know That I’m No Good (Winehouse) 6.34
05. Like A Baby (Stone) 3.32
06. Right Or Wrong (Jackson) 4.25
07. Fujiyama Mama (Burrows) 4.24
08. Funnel Of Love (McCoy/Westbury) 3.14
09. Blue Yodel #6 (Rodgers) 4.24
10. Let’s Have A Party (Robinson) 4.11
11. Shakin’ All Over (Kidd/Robinson) 3.43



Steve Cropper – Dedicated – A Salute To The 5 Royales (2011)

FrontCover1Steven Lee Cropper (born October 21, 1941), sometimes known as “The Colonel”, is an American guitarist, songwriter and record producer. He is the guitarist of the Stax Records house band, Booker T. & the M.G.’s, which backed artists such as Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas and Johnnie Taylor. He also acted as the producer of many of these records. He was later a member of the Blues Brothers band. Rolling Stone magazine ranked him 39th on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.

Born on a farm in Willow Springs, Missouri, Cropper lived in the nearby towns of Dora and [[West Plains, Missouri|West Plains before moving with his family to Memphis at the age of nine. It was in Memphis where he was exposed black church music, which “blew [him] away”. Cropper acquired his first guitar via mail order at the age of 14.

He admired guitarists including Tal Farlow, Chuck Berry, Jimmy Reed, Chet Atkins, Lowman Pauling of the Five Royales and Billy Butler of the Bill Doggett band. (by wikipedia)


Steve Cropper has said in numerous interviews that his main influence as a guitarist was Lowman Pauling, chief songwriter, arranger, and axeman of North Carolina’s 5 Royales, a ’50s-era group that wedded doo wop, jump blues, gospel, and jazz in an R&B style that scored them numerous hits throughout the 1950s. The 5 Royales also featured lead vocalist Johnny Tanner (and occasionally younger brother Eugene) supported by backing singers Otto Jeffries, Jimmy Moore, and Obadiah Carter. Cropper was approached by producer Jon Tiven (who he’d previously worked with on the first of his two collaborations with Felix Cavaliere) about collaborating on a tribute album to the 5 Royales, and jumped at the chance. Dedicated: A Salute to the 5 Royales, which represents the latest chapter in a late-career resurgence for Cropper, one of the most influential soul guitarists in history, combines the talents of a red hot studio band — Cropper, bassist David Hood, keyboardist Spooner Oldham, percussionist Steve Ferrone, drummer Steve Jordan, and Neal Sugarman and Tiven on horns. In addition, Cropper and Tiven enlisted a stellar group of vocalists to perform 5 Royales standards: Lucinda Williams, Sharon Jones, Bettye LaVette, Delbert McClinton, Willie Jones, B.B. King, Shemekia Copeland, Buddy Miller, Dan Penn, Brian May, Steve Winwood, John Popper, and Dylan LeBlanc, fronting a great cast of backing singers.


Despite the historic material and arrangements, Dedicated is a decidedly contemporary recording in production, saving it from the dubious fate of numerous other tribute albums that seek to re-create the actual vibe of original recordings. It begins with an excellent rendition of “Thirty Second Lover” featuring Winwood, but, fine as it is, it’s a teaser for what’s to come. LaVette and Willie Jones tear up “Don’t Be Ashamed.” On “Dedicated to the One I Love,” Williams literally sends shivers up and down the spine as she uses her gauzy, slow, emotive voice to wrench every ounce of emotion from the verses — with Penn adding another dimension to them on the bridge.

Lowman Pauling

Speaking of Penn, an excellent but reluctant lead singer, his reading of “Someone Made You for Me” is one of the most unexpectedly endearing performances on the set. McClinton’s “Right Around the Corner” puts these rhythm & blues in the heart of honky tonk country. The back-to-back readings of “Messin’ Up” by Jones and “Say It” by LaVette come close to stealing the show — but Williams still holds on with the title track and her searingly naked “When I Get Like This” as the closer. Cropper also takes a couple of economical but stinging instrumental breaks on “Help Me Somebody” and “Think” that reveal the depth of Pauling’s genius as well as his own. Given what a mixed bag tribute albums usually are, Dedicated is not only a surprise for its consistency, but a shining example of what they can — and should — be. (by Thom Jurek)


Steve Cropper (guitar, background vocals on 12.)
Steve Ferrone (drums, percussion)
David Hood (bass)
Steve Jordan (drums)
Spooner Oldham (keyboards)
Neal Sugarman (saxophone)
Jon Tiven  (saxophone)
Billy Block (percussion on 05.)
Shemekia Copeland (vocals, guitar on 03.)
Angel Cropper (background vocals on 03., 05., 09.)
Beth Hooker (background vocals on 02., 03., 05., 12.)
Sharon Jones (vocals on 09. + 12.)
Willie Jones (vocals on 02.)
B.B. King (vocals, guitar on 03.)
Bettye LaVette (vocals on 02., 10.
Dylan LeBlanc (vocals on 12., background vocals on 04.)
Brian May (vocals, guitar on 08.)
Delbert McClinton (vocals on 06.)
Buddy Miller (vocals, guitar on 11., background vocals on 12.)
Keb Mo (background vocals on 04., 06., 09. – 11.)
Leroy Parnell (background vocals on 04., 06., 09., 10.)
Dan Penn (vocals on 04., 12.,  background vocals on 11.
John Popper (vocals on 05.)
Harry Stinson (background vocals on 02., 03., 05., 12.)
Jon Tiven (background vocals on 06., 10. – 12.)
Lucinda Williams (vocals on 04. + 15.)
Steve Winwood (vocals, organ on 01.)


01. Thirty Second Lover (Paul/Pauling) 3.55
02. Don’t Be Ashamed (Pauling) 2.50
03. Baby Don’t Do It (Pauling) 2.51
04. Dedicated To The One I Love (Bass/Pauling) 3.15
05. My Sugar Sugar (Pauling) 3.08
06. Right Around The Corner (McCoy/Singleton) 2.36
07. Help Me Somebody (Instrumental) (Pauling) 3.08
08. I Do (Pauling) 2.48
09. Messin’ Up (Pauling) 3.05
10. Say It (Pauling) 2.25
11. The Slummer The Slum (Carter/Pauling) 3.12
12. Someone Made You For Me (Glover) 3.38
13. Think (Instrumental) (Pauling)  4:02
14. Come On & Save Me (Pauling) 2.58
15. When I Get Like This (Jeffires/LeBow) 2.29




Mountain – Wilkes Barre (2011)

FrontCover1Mountain is an American hard rock band that formed on Long Island, New York in 1969. Originally comprising vocalist and guitarist Leslie West, bassist and vocalist Felix Pappalardi, keyboardist Steve Knight and drummer N. D. Smart, the band broke up in 1972 and has reunited frequently since 1973. Best known for their cowbell-tinged song “Mississippi Queen”, as well as the heavily sampled song “Long Red” and their performance at the Woodstock Festival in 1969, Mountain is one of many bands to be commonly credited as having influenced the development of heavy metal music in the 1970s. The group’s musical style primarily consisted of hard rock, blues rock and heavy metal. (by wikipedia)

And here´s a pretty good bootleg from one of these countless Mountain gigs after the death of Felix Pappalardi …. but Leslie West plays on and on …

Undisputedly one of the top guitarists around, Leslie West helped Rock 107 WEZX Scranton celebrate the station’s 31st birthday with an electrifying display.

Mountain circa 1969; Leslie West in 2016

Thanks to bcironmaiden who recorded and shared the tracks on the net. bcironmaiden noted: “There were also some tech problems during the show with Leslie’s guitar and the vocal mics on stage. That being said… they still kicked ass!”

What a fucking great show … what a fucking great concert !

Enjoy the power of Leslie West and his guitar … hot and dirty, loud and proud !


Corky Laing (drums)
Richie Scarlet (bass, vocals on 04.)
Leslie West (guitar, vocals)

01. Blood Of The Sun (West/Pappalardi/Collins) 7.56
02. Never In My Life (Laing/Pappalardi/Collins/West) 4.54
03. For Yasgur’s Farm (Collins/Gardos/Laing/Pappalardi/Rea/Ship) 6.06
04. Goin’ Down (Nix) 7.35
05..Theme For An Imaginary Western (Bruce/Brown) 5.48
06. Cell 65 (West) 5.51
07. Crossroads (Johnson) 7.32
08. Nantucket Sleighride (Pappalardi/Collins/Laing) / Pain It Black (Jagger/Richards) 13.44
09. Mississippi Queen (West/Laing/Pappalardi/Rea) 7.04



More Mountain:

The Fleshtones featuring Lenny Kaye – Brooklyn Sound Solution (2011)

FrontCover1Often tagged as garage rock revivalists, the Fleshtones mix the fuzz guitar and Farfisa organ sounds of that genre with rockabilly, ’50s and ’60s R&B, and surf into a potent retro stew the group likes to call “super rock.” The group formed in 1976 in Queens, New York with vocalist/keyboardist Peter Zaremba, guitarist Keith Streng, bassist Jan Marek Pakulski, and drummer Bill Milhizer and aimed to return rock & roll to the simplicity and unself-consciousness of the ’50s and early ’60s. (The group was often joined on-stage and in the studio by sax player Gordon Spaeth, who passed on in 2005.) The group fit nicely into New York’s punk and new wave scene, and an early single, “American Beat,” attracted the attention of independent label Red Star and, in time, I.R.S. The group’s debut EP, Up-Front, was released in 1980 and was followed by their first full-length album, Roman Gods, and Blast Off!, an unreleased studio album recorded for Red Star in 1978. 1983 produced Hexbreaker, widely regarded as the Fleshtones’ finest album. The band continued to record through the ’80s and released Powerstance in 1992 and Beautiful Light in 1994. (Powerstance also marked the debut of new Fleshtones bassist Ken Fox, who replaced Pakulski in the lineup and has been with the group ever since.)


While the group’s popularity dipped under the radar in the last half of the ’90s, in 2003 the group bounded back when they were signed to the potent indie label Yep Roc Records and released one of their best albums, Do You Swing? An equally solid follow-up, Beachhead, was issued in 2005 and was produced in part by Detroit garage rock kingpin Jim Diamond. Fleshtones side projects include Keith Streng’s band Full Time Men, which featured R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, and Peter Zaremba’s Love Delegation. In 2008, more than 30 years after the group formed, they released Take a Good Look, proving their ability to be just as raucous as they were in the good ol’ days. (by)


Man oh man, you’ve got to be some kind of ballsy dad rock bar band to think you can get away with covering “Day Tripper” on this side of the new millennium. Well, it’s a good thing the Fleshtones, circa 2011 (featuring Lenny Kaye, from the Jim Carroll Band, the Patti Smith Group and the Lenny Kaye connection) are precisely this kind of dad rock bar band. The perpetual garage rock revivalists return with more of the same fuzzy, concise, toe-tapping rockers. Brooklyn Sound Solution is comparably low-energy, weighed against the ‘Tones prime ’70s and ’80s output. But considering that they all look like uncles and college professors now, that’s to be expected. Still, tracks like “I Can’t Hide,” “Rats in the Kitchen” and Kaye’s sole songwriting contribution, “Lost on Xandu,” reward repeated listens. They may not be quite as vibrant, but the Fleshtones still sound good. Sure, they’re old, but they’re better than the Stones. (by John Semley)


“Pardon us for living, but the graveyard is full.” or so goes the title of a new documentary film telling the tale of The Fleshtones. While that sentiment is a bit tongue-in-cheek, it’s also true. The Fleshtones have been grinding out garage rock before garage rock was even called garage rock, and turning rock clubs like Max’s Kansas city into impromptu discos for over 30 years. While chart hits and magazine covers weren’t to be their fate; a reputation as the hardest working, most sincere rock band on the planet was cultivated in the process. The result of that distinction is their new album ‘Brooklyn Sound Solution’ featuring the legendary Lenny Kaye. In addition to his role as long-time guitarist for Patti Smith, Kaye also curated the seminal garage and psychedelic music compilations nuggets. Have a problem you can’t solve? The Fleshtones offer you a ‘Brooklyn Sound Solution’. (by


Ken Fox (bass, vocals)
Bill Milhizer (drums, percussion, vocals)
Keith Streng (vocals, guitar)
Peter Zaremba (vocals, keyboards, harmonica)
Steve Greenfield (saxophone)
Lenny Kaye (guitar)
Matt Verderay (vibraphone)
background vocals on 09.:
Anne Streng – Dave Faulkner – Phast Phreddie

Lenny Kaye

01. Comin’ Home Baby (Tucker/Dorough) 2.45
02. I Wish You Would (Arnold) 2.41
03. Day Tripper (Lennon/McCartney) 2.41
04. Bite Of My Soul (Zaremba) 2.37
05. You Give Me Nothing To Go On (Instrumental Version) (Taylor) 2.24
06. Lost On Xandu (Kaye) 3.05
07. I Can’t Hide (Parker) 2.21
08. Solution #1 (Streng) 2.45
09. Rats In My Kitchen (Estes) 2.03
10. Back Beat #1 (J. Petze/L. Petze/Collins/Pizze) 1.53
11. You Give Me Nothing To Go On (Taylor) 2.12
12. Solution #2 (Zaremba) 2.11



Pasadena Roof Orchestra – The Christmas Album (2011)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Pasadena Roof Orchestra presents its very first Christmas Album. All the tracks are carefully selected Christmas favourites drawn from the Orchestra’s extensive repertoire, and capture the very essence of a vintage Christmas celebration.

A Christmas album from an established artist is normally high up on the recording agenda. In this respect it might be fair to say this album is somewhat overdue, especially as the Orchestra had a radio hit with “White Christmas” in the 70s. A little research into seasonal songs from the 20s, 30s and 40s reveals a wealth of material, and whilst some of these tracks will be very familiar, others not so. “It’s Winter Again” or “I’m Going Home for Christmas” for example are welcome new additions to a Christmas playlist.

The styles on this album range from a pure Norman Rockwell like “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” to an out and out swinging Dorsey style “Santa Claus is Coming To Town”. It starts with a Simon Townley inspired “Christmas Stomp” – listeners who can spot all the tunes in this medley can award themselves an extra mince pie!


The Pasadena Roof Orchestra has been playing swing and hot dance jazz for over 40 years, releasing roughly 40 albums in that span. The London based outfit is extremely popular throughout Europe and, of late, in Japan. The founder of the group, John Arthy, was the last original member of the group when he retired in 1997. But the band goes on. Arthy founded the band upon having discovered a trunk full of original band arrangements from the 20s in an attic, so the bulk of the band’s repertoire is 20s and 30s, but they don’t always limit themselves to pre-war material (“The Christmas Album” being a good example; the song “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” made it’s first appearance in song on the radio in 1948). (


Mally Baxter (trumpet)
Dave Berry (bass, sousphone)
Dave Ford (trumpet)
Robert Fowler (saxophone, clarinet)
Adrian Fry (trombone, vocals)
Duncan Galloway (vocals, saxophone, clarinet)
James Hastings (saxophone, clarinet)
Dai Pritchard (saxophone, clarinet)
Graham Roberts (guitar, banjo)
Simon Townley (piano, celsta, vocals)
John Watson (drums)


01. Christmas Stomp (Townley) 3.42
02. Winter Wonderland (Bernard/Smith) 2.49
03. It’s Winter Again (Freed/Goodhart/Hoffmann) 3.09
04. Sleigh Ride (Anderson) 3.05
05. Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer (Marks) 3.12
06. White Christmas (Berlin) 3.18
07. The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot (Carr/Connor/Leach) 2.35
08. I’ll Be Home For Christmas (Gannon/Kent/Ram) 2.53
09. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (Coots/Gillespie) 3.39
10. I’m Going Home For Christmas (Goodheart/Hoffmann/Sigler) 2.52
11. Jingle Bells (Pierpont) 2.18
12. Silent Night (Stille Nacht) (Gruber/Mohr) 2:19



More from The Pasadena Roof Orchestra:


Vandaveer – Dig Down Deep (2011)

FrontCover1.jpgVandaveer is an American, Louisville, KY-based indie-folk musical project, spearheaded by singer-songwriter Mark Charles Heidinger. Vandaveer has released five albums and three EPs since 2007, touring extensively throughout the US and Europe, logging over 1200 shows to date.

Vandaveer began performing as a solo artist in late 2006, releasing his debut record, Grace & Speed, in the spring of 2007 on the now-defunct DC label, Gypsy Eyes Records. Rose Guerin began singing with Vandaveer in mid-2007 and has been a permanent fixture since. Robby Cosenza, Justin Craig and J. Tom Hnatow (all formerly of These United States) are regular collaborators with Vandaveer both in the studio and on stage. 2009 saw the release of Vandaveer’s second full-length LP, Divide & Conquer, on the Supply & Demand Music label in the US and Alter K Records in Europe.

In 2010, Vandaveer self-released the five-song EP, A Minor Spell, a stark, lo-fi homemade recording centered largely around the vocal pairing of Heidinger and Guerin.

In April 2011, the band released their third full-length record, entitled Dig Down Deep, again via Supply & Demand Music and Alter K Records.

Vandeveer01.jpgVandaveer’s fourth full-length LP, Oh, Willie Please… was released in April 2013, via Quack Media. The album, featuring J. Tom Hnatow on dobro, piano, pedal steel and acoustic guitar and Phillips Saylor on clawhammer banjo and acoustic guitar, is a collection of traditional folk songs, mostly murder ballads and songs of self-ruin, and was inspired in part by the band’s participation in The 78 Project in December, 2011.

On February 16, 2016, Vandaveer released their fifth full-length LP, The Wild Mercury. Timothy Monger of AllMusic called The Wild Mercury “…perhaps his most personal and well-constructed collection yet.”  Dylan Weller of Splash Magazine gave the album a score of 8/10 and said, “Their old-timey sound of angelic harmonies combined with hearty rustic guitar leads to a titillating production.”

Prior to Vandaveer, Heidinger was the primary vocalist, guitarist and songwriter for The Apparitions from Lexington, KY.

Vandaveer has been featured in Vincent Moon’s La Blogotheque series of live music encounters, called Take Away Shows. The video for “Pretty Polly,” the first single from Oh, Willie, Please… stars David Yow (The Jesus Lizard, Scratch Acid) and Tricia Vessey, and was directed by long-time Vandaveer video & film collaborator Jared Varava. (by wikipedia)


And here´s their third album:

As the title to Vandaveer‘s third album suggests, frontman Mark Charles Heidinger gets even more personal with his songwriting on these forthright batch of new tunes, while also clearly identifying with his countrified Kentucky roots. Dig Down Deep is a delicate collection of artfully crafted Americana that pulses with an honesty and elegance that ultimately makes these songs memorable while also sounding distinctly timeworn and familiar, even upon first listen. Rose Guerin’s lovely vocal harmonies augment each number with a deeper tenderness and added intimacy, as the duo’s weathered voices blend seamlessly over the sparse, wispy arrangements.

The hymn-like title track opens the record splendidly, as the muted strum of Heidinger’s acoustic guitar eventually gives way to an uplifting piano strain and muted drums that elevate the song to its rousing chorus. It’s a striking start that surely will catch any listener’s attention, but the band switch gears a bit on the rootsy ‘Concerning Past & Future Conquests’ (as they do consistently throughout the record), which has a poppier melody and echoes Damien Rice a bit both in the vocal delivery and raw emotion conveyed by Heidinger and Guerin. There is an old-world sound to each of these numbers, which is a testament to the subtle beauty of Heidinger’s songwriting, but also to the subtle, understated production that never piles on more sonic layers than these refined songs can handle.


‘Beat, Beat, My Heart’ is the longest track on the record, and even though it comes near the start, it forms the sturdy centerpiece of the album. The restrained guitar work featured throughout the track gives the song a real front-porch singalong feel, as if we have gathered around the duo as they sing to a reassuring roomful of friends. It’s a moving, genuine track that works because of its discerning nature, never trying for anything more grand or overreaching for fear of sounding false. The emotions conveyed by these stirring songs always come across cleanly and bristle with an authenticity that only adds to the lingering sentiment the listener is left with after spending time with the record.

‘The Great Gray’ injects a palatable sadness to the middle portion of the album, which continues with the mournful, bluesy piano of ‘As A Matter Of Fact,’ which colours the song with a disconsolate passion that is easy to identify with. But they snap out of their doldrums on the boisterous ‘The Nature Of Our Kind,’ a spirited, emphatic number that is one of the clear standouts of Dig Down Deep, and surely will get fans singing along on the rousing chorus. And rather than sticking out awkwardly after the string of downtempo numbers, the track fits seamlessly within the confines of the emotional spectrum set by these songs, and the record flows impeccably from start to finish.


After the driving urgency of ‘Spite’ and ‘Pick Up The Pace,’ the album concludes with the impassioned solemnity of ‘AOK’ and ‘The Walking Hour.’ The latter track comes across as a bit of a tragic lullaby that, despite its somber undertones and harrowing lyrics, at least provides a welcome bit of serenity for both the singer and listener alike after the tender, revealing sentiments expressed throughout the recording. It’s a strong finish to an album that touches a clear nerve, featuring songs that make you feel but also make you move at the right moments. And it’s ultimately quite refreshing to hear something this honest and heartfelt coming out of Washington, DC. Let’s just hope that some of the leaders are listening. (Erik Thompson)


Rose Guerin (vocals, guitar)
Mark Charles Heidinger (all instruments, vocals)


01. Dig Down Deep 4.03
02. Concerning Past & Future Conquests 3.17
03. Beat, Beat, My Heart 5.52
04. The Great Gray 2.37
05. As A Matter Of Fact 4.42
06. The Nature Of Our Kind 3.38
07. Spite 2.40
08. Pick Up The Pace 2.26
09. AOK 4.45
10. The Waking Hour 5.35

All songs written by Mark Charles Heidinger



The Head Cat – Walk The Walk, Talk The Talk (2011)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Head Cat is an American rockabilly supergroup formed by vocalist Lemmy (of Motörhead), drummer Slim Jim Phantom (of The Stray Cats) and guitarist Danny B. Harvey (of Lonesome Spurs and The Rockats). As of 2017, former Morbid Angel member David Vincent took Lemmy’s place as vocalist and bassist.

Head Cat was formed after recording the Elvis Presley tribute album Swing Cats, A Special Tribute to Elvis in July 1999 to which the future band-mates all contributed. After recordings were finished they stayed at the studio and Lemmy picked up an acoustic guitar and started playing some of his old favorite songs by Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran.[3] The rest of the guys knew them all and joined in.[4] The name of the band was created by combining the names Motörhead, The Stray Cats and 13 Cats, which resulted in The Head Cat, similar to what Lemmy did in 1980 with Headgirl, a collaboration between Motörhead and Girlschool.

In 2006, the band released their first studio album on Jun 27, Fool’s Paradise, which was a re-release of an earlier album titled Lemmy, Slim Jim & Danny B recorded in September 1999 but Fool’s Paradise doesn’t include 3 songs from first release and track list is in different order, sleeve is different as well and they used name The Head Cat for first time. It included cover songs from artists such as Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins, Jimmy Reed, T-Bone Walker, Lloyd Price, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash.


On the recordings Lemmy played acoustic guitar in live performance too like on “Rockin’ At Cat Club” only live album they had, on live performances Lemmy uses his signature Rickenbacker bass in later years saying “I’m just not that good on guitar”. Live album “Rockin At Cat Club” have almost all different songs from other two studio albums. Before that re-release, a DVD of a live performance was released on 25 April 2006, album was recorded in on Tuesday Jan 13 2004 and was released in 2006 on limited Vinyl 322 copies too. Filmed at the Phantom’s Cat Club on Los Angeles Sunset Strip and which included 13 live songs and interviews with the band.


The band’s second studio album (or third altogether), Walk the Walk…Talk the Talk, was recorded by the Niji Entertainment Group in June 2010, released in 2011. This was the first new material by the band in eleven years, following up from the Lemmy, Slim Jim & Danny B album in 1999. It has two original songs “American Beat” and “Eagles Fly On Friday”. First album was all acoustic, Lemmy was on rhythm guitar, harmonica and vocals. Second album, live album, was half acoustic, Lemmy was on acoustic guitar but Danny B was on electric guitar. Third album (second studio) was all electric, Lemmy played bass like in Motorhead. In 2016 Cleopatra Records re-released live album “Rockin At Cat Club” on vinyl with different sleeve from original release and for first time on CD three panel digipak. (by wikipedia)


While Lemmy Kilmister was best known as an innovator in heavy metal with his over the top band Motörhead, he was around to witness the early days of rock & roll. The Head Cat was a side project that allowed Lemmy to indulge his passion for rockabilly and first-era rock. The Head Cat featured Lemmy on bass, guitars, and vocals; Slim Jim Phantom of the Stray Cats on drums and vocals; and Danny B. Harvey of the Rockats and the Lonesome Spurs on guitar, bass, and keys. The trio came together when Lemmy was invited to contribute guitar and vocals for the 2000 album A Special Tribute to Elvis by Phantom and Harvey’s group the Swing Cats. After cutting a version of “Good Rockin’ Tonight,” Lemmy picked up a guitar and began jamming on some classic Eddie Cochran tunes. Phantom and Harvey quickly joined in, and the three felt the chemistry was right and they should cut an album of their own.


In 2000, the trio recorded Lemmy, Slim Jim & Danny B, which was released by the German label Steamhammer; it was reissued in a different sequence and with new artwork in 2006 by Cleopatra Records under the title Fool’s Paradise. The band played occasional live dates when their schedules permitted, and a 2004 show in Los Angeles was released in a special DVD/LP package, 2006’s Rockin’ the Cat Club: Live from the Sunset Strip. In 2011, the Head Cat brought out a second studio album, Walk the Walk…Talk the Talk. While the debut album consisted entirely of vintage rock & roll covers, Walk the Walk featured a pair of original numbers along with ten rockabilly, blues, and country chestnuts.

The Head Cat continued to play occasional club and festival dates until early 2015, when HeadCat05.jpgLemmy’s failing health began to interfere with his performance schedule. The Head Cat were scheduled to perform as part of a Lemmy birthday show on December 13, 2015, but Kilmister was too ill to participate. He died on December 28, ending the trio’s memorable run. (by Mark Deming)

It’s been a while since listeners last heard from the HeadCat, Lemmy Kilmister’s rock & roll side project. And now, five years after the release of their debut, Fool’s Paradise, comes their sophomore effort, Walk the Walk…Talk the Talk. Joining the Lem-man once more are Stray Cats drummer Slim Jim Phantom and Rockats guitarist Danny B. Harvey, and again, the trio has cooked up a rockin’ good time, heavy on readings of classic rock & rollers from yesteryear, cases in point being several tracks that were later covered/made famous by rock royalty — the Chuck Berry obscurity “Let It Rock” (later covered by the Rolling Stones), Johnny Kidd & the Pirates’ “Shakin’ All Over” (later covered by the Who), and an album-closing rendition of Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads” (later covered by Cream). And Lemmy’s trademark throaty growl works better than you’d think in the context of old-time rock & roll, as he takes it down a few notches on such ditties as “I Ain’t Never” and “The Eagle Flies on Friday.” As with the HeadCat’s debut album, Walk the Walk…Talk the Talk is a much welcomed arrival in a period that will undoubtedly go down as “the Auto-Tune era,” when the original thrill of raw and real rock & roll has been all but replaced by computer-perfected blahness. (by Greg Prato)

And their version of the Robert Johnson classic “Crossroads” was of course inspired by the legendary Cream !!!


Danny B. Harvey (guitar, piano)
Lemmy Kilmister (bass, vocals)
Slim Jim Phantom (drums)
TJ McDonnell (percussion)


01. American Beat (Harvey/Kilmister/Phantom) 1.44
02. Say Mama (Earl/Meeks) 2.02
03. I Ain’t Never (Tillis/Pierce) 1.53
04. Bad Boy (Williams) 1.58
05. Shakin’ All Over (Heath) 2.34
06. Let It Rock (Berry) 2.07
07. Something Else (Cochran/Sheeley) 2.04
08. The Eagle Flies On Friday (Harvey/Kilmister/Phantom) 3.22
09. Trying To Get To You (Singleton/McCoy) 2.23
10. You Can’t Do That (Lennon/McCartney) 2.29
11. It’ll Be Me (Clement) 1.58
12. Crossroads (Johnson) 3.04



Lemmy Kilmister.jpg
“Lemmy” Kilmister (24 December 1945 – 28 December 2015)

LeAnn Rimes – Lady And Gentlemen (2011)

FrontCover1.jpgMargaret LeAnn Rimes Cibrian (born August 28, 1982) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and author. Rimes rose to stardom at age 13 following the release of her version of the Bill Mack song “Blue”, becoming the youngest country music star since Tanya Tucker in 1972.

Rimes made her breakthrough into country music in 1996 with her debut album, Blue, which reached No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart and was certified multi-platinum in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The album’s eponymous leadoff single, “Blue”, became a Top 10 hit and Rimes gained national acclaim for her similarity to Patsy Cline’s vocal style. When she released her second studio album in 1997, You Light Up My Life: Inspirational Songs, she moved towards country pop material, which set the trend for a string of albums released into the next decade.

Rimes has won many awards, including two Grammys, three ACMs, a CMA, 12 Billboard LeAnn Rimes03Music Awards, and one American Music award. She has released ten studio albums and three compilation albums and two greatest hits albums, one released in the U.S. and the other released internationally, through her record label of 13 years, Curb Records, and placed over 40 singles on American and international charts since 1996. She has sold over 37 million records worldwide, with 20.8 million album sales in the United States according to Nielsen SoundScan. Billboard ranked her 17th artist of the 1990–2000 decade.[7] Rimes has also written four books: two novels and two children’s books. Her hit song “How Do I Live” was ranked as the most successful song of the 1990s by Billboard magazine. (by wikipedia)


Lady & Gentlemen is the tenth studio album by American country music recording artist LeAnn Rimes. The album is Rimes’ second cover album (the first being her self-titled album.) The only new songs on the album are the two bonus tracks, “Crazy Women” and “Give”. It was released on September 27, 2011 by Curb Records. Rimes co-produced the album with country singer, Vince Gill, and Darrell Brown, with whom she collaborated on her 2007 album Family. A vinyl record of the album was released on the same day.

Lady & Gentlemen consists of Rimes covering songs by male country artists, including LeAnn Rimes01Vince Gill, who helped produce the album, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, and Waylon Jennings. Rimes also “revisited” her 1996 debut single, “Blue” on the album, which she picked up the tempo on. The album was released on September 27, 2011 by Curb Records. A vinyl record of the album was released on the same day. Rimes co-produced the album with country singer, Vince Gill, and Darrell Brown, of whom she collaborated with on her 2007 album Family.

Three singles were released from the album. The first single released for the album was a cover of John Anderson’s 1983 single, “Swingin'” on June 8, 2010. The second single, “Crazy Women”, was released on December 10, 2010. A third single, “Give”, was released on June 14, 2011. (by wikipedia)

Country diva LeAnn Rimes has been contending lately with flak from image-conscious types over paparazzi photos of her slimmed-down physique, but her leaner, meaner approach to a batch of classic country songs for her latest collection is mostly good news.

She’s collaborated with country standard bearer Vince Gill in this outing, recasting hits from nearly a dozen male singers to a female perspective. Ultimately, however, it matters little whether it’s a man or woman singing Kris Kristofferson’s “Help Me Make It Through the Night.” The bittersweet character of a civilized romantic parting that Kristofferson sketched is gender-free.


There is a bit of an emotional shift in her take on Waylon Jennings’ “Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line,” when she changes “daddy” to “mama,” but the more significant differences come from the arrangements she, Gill and her other associates have cooked up. John Anderson’s “Swingin’” becomes a peppy double shuffle, while Merle Haggard’s “The Bottle Let Me Down” is given a haunted “Long Black Veil”-like arrangement.

She revisits her own first hit, “Blue,” picking up the tempo a tad, treating it as a barroom one-step. She rounds out her excursion to old-school country with two new songs, the single “Give” and “Crazy Women,” that bring her back to the contemporary pop-country mainstream. (by Randy Lewis)


LeAnn Rimes (vocals)
a bunch of unknown studio musicians


01. Swingin’ (Anderson/Delmore) 3.02
02. Wasted Days And Wasted Nights (Duncan/Fender/Meaux) 4.07
03. The Only Mama That’ll Walk The Line (Bryant) 2.39
04. I Can’t Be Myself (Haggard) 3.12
05. Sixteen Tons (Travis) 2.43
06. Help Me Make It Through The Night (Kristofferson) 3.01
07. Rose Colored Glasses (Conlee/Baber) 3.06
08. A Good Hearted Woman (Jennings/Nelson) 3.41
09. When I Call Your Name (Gill/DuBois) 3.41
10. He Stopped Loving Her Today (Braddock/Putman) 3.51
11. Blue (with The Time Jumpers) (Mack) 2.35
12. The Bottle Let Me Down (Haggard) 3.49
13. Crazy Women (Clark/Dillon/McAnally) 3.26
14. Give (Harrington/Isaacs/Yeary) 4.32



LeAnn Rimes04

Leslie West – Unusual Suspects (2011)

FrontCover1.jpgIf you don’t know of Leslie West, then shame on you. Even decades since his band Mountain shook Woodstock, his name still remains disturbingly unknown among the masses. On Unusual Suspects, his latest solo release, the pioneering titan of blues rock demonstrates that his name still deserves a spot among the greats; his impact on blues rock guitar (and hard rock, for that matter) can be heard in bands that range from Gov’t Mule to Motörhead to Muse.

The most exciting aspect of Unusual Suspects is the appearances made by A-listers of the guitar world. Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Slash (Guns N’ Roses), Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society), Joe Bonamassa, and session maestro Steve Lukather, best known for his role in Toto, are a crushing company that helps authenticate West’s status as a guitar legend. Despite their smoking presence, West towers above. It is also extremely noteworthy that Kenny Aronoff is by West every step of the way. With possibly the most impressive résumé of any working drummer, Aronoff continues to turn standard blues beats into flawless roaring beats that fit perfectly on Unusual Suspects.

When it comes to Unusual Suspects, there are no low points. If you drop the needle on any and every point of the album you are sure to witness heavy and fun displays of blues inspired rock. Of the tracks that brandish guest stars, there isn’t one that doesn’t demand an immediate listen.


“One More Drink for the Road” is driven by Steve Lukather’s ominous keys. The chugging rock tune is as heavy as anything else on the album without every truly exploding. “Mudflap Mama,” featuring Slash, boasts a nasty bottleneck riff that sounds as if it just rolled off the Harley-Davidson line. “Standing On A Higher Ground” is nothing but an ideal parade of Billy Gibbons and his blunt coolness. Co-written by Gibbons, the tune is 100% ZZ Top. Two of the most coveted and renowned tones in rock history team up together on this track. Gibbons’ swaggering and sly playing teams with West’s momentous crunch to create a locomotion of desirable sleaze. The wildest part of this track is undoubtedly the opening riff: an absolutely bizarre hybrid of Hendrix’s “Castles Made of Sand” and a garage blues turnaround. It is beyond delightful.


“Third Degree,” a cover of blues piano legend Eddie Boyd’s tune (co-written by Willie Dixon), flaunts the mesmerizing playing and vocals of Joe Bonamassa (a noted favorite of By dragging a spooky, heavier than heavy riff across an honored Chicago groove, and cutting loose on intimidating duels, West and Bonamassa provide an answer to those who have ever wondered what it would have sounded like if Muddy Waters were 10 feet tall and on steroids.


“Nothin’s Changed” proves West’s prominent influence on modern playing. Zakk Wylde, the MVP of the metal scene, flashes his impeccably meaty chops. Wylde has always been vocal about his influences, but here you can downright hear it. West’s bottom-heavy tone is an evident predecessor of Wylde’s metal-savvy tone. As West and Wylde fire playful thunderbolts at each other, the true fun is hearing how much fun they are having. It sounds as if a lifelong master guitarist and his novice are finally able to out-duel each other with a wink and a nod. The last notable team effort is a cover of Willie Nelson’s “The Party’s Over.” This beer and whiskey guzzling tune features two of the best beer and whiskey guzzlers on the guitar scene: Slash and Zakk Wylde. Driven by down-home acoustic playing, cutting solos, and simple percussion/clapping, “The Party’s Over” proves that “heavy” isn’t loud; “heavy” is passion and attitude.


It is worth mentioning that West’s cover of the Beatles’ “I Feel Fine” may seem like an odd addition, but it is presented as a fast, hip-shaking, boogie. The intro calls to mind “Satch Boogie” by Joe Satriani. Much of the pop gloss of the original is stripped by West’s ability to beef up the main themes, thus transforming the track into a bouncy version of the Mountain classic “Mississippi Queen.”

Upon hearing of Unusual Suspects, I was thrilled. I knew the music would be great, and I knew that I would love hearing the collaborations between West and some of the greatest American-influenced rock players of the century, but I was most excited that West has yet another shot at becoming a widely respected name like “Clapton” or “Van Halen.”

Leslie West.jpg

Still, with all of the respect and admiration of the guitar playing on this album, West never asks his guests to bow to him. They are there because West clearly respects them by trusting them to help his songs and by giving them their moment. The album comes full circle by the end as you realize that all of the talent, influence, mutual respect, and fun you just witnessed is the tangled behemoth that is Leslie West’s Unusual Suspects. (by Jason Bank)

And I included the great booklet … over 50 pages … with a story about Leslie West, written by Dave Ling from the Classic Rock Magazin)


Kenny Aronoff (drums, percussion)
Fabrizio Grossi (bass)
Phil Parlapiano (keyboards)
Leslie West (guitar, vocals)
Joe Bonamassa (guitar, vocals on 05.)
Billy Gibbons (guitar on 04.)
Steve Lukather (guitar on 01.)
Slash (guitar on 02. + 11.)
Zakk Wylde (guitar on 07. + 11.)


01. One More Drink for the Road (Pizza/West) 3.14
02. Mudflap Momma (Pizza/West) 3.07
03. To the Moon (Bronham/West) 4.51
04. Standing on Higher Ground (Gibbons/Grossi/West) 4.27
05. Third Degree (Boyd/Dixon) 5.11
06. Legend (Pizza) 4.45
07. Nothin’s Changed (Pizza/West) 3.54
08. I Feel Fine (Lennon/McCartney) 2.57
09. Love You Forever (Pizza/West) 5.06
10. My Gravity (Tiven/West) 4.23
11. The Party’s Over (Nelson) 3.21
12. I Don’t Know (The Beetlejuice Song) (Christy/Green/West) 2.34