The Rock and Roll Report Podcast Will Be Back the First Week of September

rrr_300After taking a bit of a holiday break the Rock and Roll report Podcast will be back the first week of September so get ready to download some great music that will rock your socks off!

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Ray Charles – Ultimate Ray Charles Collection and – Modern Sounds In Country and Western Music (Concord Records)

ray_charles_smokingA true music legend in every respect, the late Ray Charles released a ton of classic discs in his near 50 year career as an American musical icon. These are but two of them but thankfully the wonderful folks at Concord have decided to give Charles’ extensive catalog the love and respect it deserves and has an aggressive reissue plan in place to bring Charles’ music back to the marketplace with bonus tracks and better sound than ever before. These two albums are just the most recent installments in that plan.

The first album, a new Greatest Hits comp, is simply a must-own if you are interested in Charles’ music and are looking for one great disc to sample his work and get your collection off to a great start. Just about every one of Charles’ biggest hits is included and, being a big fan of Charles’ work, I have bought a lot of comps featuring Charles’ music and this is the most comprehensive yet, The sound of the CD is also excellent and whoever re-mastered Charles’ music for this release went the extra mile for sure.

On the other hand, if you are wanting to build up a collection of noteworthy albums by Charles, you can hardly do better than to start with the albums many consider to be his best: Modern Sounds of Country and Western Music Volumes 1 and 2 which have been gathered and reissued on one CD thanks to the fine folks at Concord. I could go on and on regarding the many characteristics of this all-time classic which make it one of the best albums of all time, but suffice to say one of the most important is the fact Charles recorded this as an album-length statement at a time when singles were the accepted musical statement from artists. Another would be Charles being known as primarily an R&B/rock singer who was African-American and recording an album full of country songs, a genre of music most accepted by and listened to primarily by whites. In other words, there were a lot of ways in which this project was doomed to fail but only by the sheer talent and business savvy of Charles did it succeed and succeed mightily, spawning many singles and just about cementing his position as the pre-eminent American musical icon second only to Elvis in terms of longevity.


Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Shoes “Double Exposure”

ShoesWhile I truly believe in neither fate nor coincidence, there might just be no other way of describing my “relationship” with the band Shoes. After knowing about the band for over fifteen years, it was just recently that I found the website to the band. There, I found out that the band has released an album entitled Double Exposure. This current release was put out in 2007 as a way to introduce new people to the music of a band that released their first major label release for Elektra Records in 1979.

The band of Shoes was made up of three main musicians: Gary Klebe, Jeff Murphy and John Murphy (who all shared duties on acoustic guitars, electric guitars, bass and lead vocals). Skip Meyer and others added the texture to the music as the band’s drummer. This group has had a long career, as they created music throughout the eighties and into the nineties.

In 1979, Shoes released “Present Tense,” a great rock release that actually falls into the category of “Power Pop”. The band and the music genre began at the same time that the music industry was trying to “recover” from the onslaught of both Disco and people like Cat Stevens, The Carpenters, and others who produced music that became fodder for musicians who were making “Elevator Music”. And while Shoes did not create the heavier music of Deep Purple or Thin Lizzy (to name only two), they were still heavier than many of the artists that made up the music industry in the Seventies.



Sound & The Jury (S&J), a virtual battle of the bands will offer one lucky band a slot on the Dell Stage at Austin City Limits Music Festival (Oct. 2-4, 2009). Bands can upload their music now at Five finalists will receive $1,500 and a trip to Austin, will be listed as part of the official lineup and receive an opening slot on the Dell Stage at the ACL Festival, artist passes for the entire weekend with access to catering and the artist lounge, promotion on, a 15″ Dell Studio laptop, weekend hotel accommodations in Austin, and tickets for some friends the day of show.


Made in Sweden: Swedmetal Records Revive Rock n’ Roll, One Band at a Time

Swedmetal Records LogoThis is one record label that has certainly not followed a conventional path to success. For one it began as a shop – yes, an online metal shop called Swedmetal Rock Shop ( “It grew very quick and became one of the leading independent web shops with over 15.000 articles in stock,” recounts founder Mike of the company’s roots.  “After just a month in business the first bands started to get in touch asking us to sell their demos, CDs and stuff,” he continues, but it wasn’t until 2004 that they really began to dabble in recording. That year “we got offered to release a fantastic live recording with Old Heroes 220 Volt, which was quite big during the early 90´s. We gave it a shot and after that it just went on: more bands got in touch, and we helped them to get out an album,” says Mike.

Since then, Swedmetal have made it their business to help talented acts from the realms of Sleaze, Glam and Rock n’ Roll to get their music to the world. Along the way they’ve made every opportunity a learning experience: “Today, we probably wouldn’t have released some of the stuff since we didn’t at the time know how to sell some of it,” admits Mike and explaining further adds, “We know how to sell Rock n’ Roll, not Death Metal or industrial stuff – we learnt.”


Rock and Roll Report Radio Playlist for August 17, 2009

So it was slightly sunburnt and very exhausted that I took command of the board at CKUT 90.3 FM in Montreal for my monthly Rock and Roll Report Radio on the Drastic Plastic Program. Fortified by Red Bull and rock and roll, I manage to make it through the hour as I furiously air drummed to a get 14 song set that featured:

  1. See You Around by The Revisionists
  2. High Speed Rock’n’Roll by Paperback Freud
  3. Go Go Go by The 88
  4. Go Back (To Drinking) by The Neighborhood Bullys
  5. Say Another Prayer by Gee Davey
  6. All That I Need by Devi
  7. Balaclava by The Honeydogs
  8. Blisterene by The Monochrome Cherubs
  9. Fortune Teller by Baby Woodrose
  10. Indestructible by Play the Angel
  11. Seeing Red by Soul Destroyer
  12. Shake Me by Taddy Porter
  13. Cling by Krescent 4
  14. The Grind by 4Lyn

You can download the show up until the 24th at,22:00

You can also listen to it on the CKUT archives by going to and searching for the Drastic Plastic Program archives for this date.

Thanks for listening!


Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Strangefinger “Into the Blue”

intotheblue_600_200x200Strangefinger…strange name, but fantastic disc. “Into the Blue”, the latest offering from SideBMusic, arrives just in time as the new soundtrack to summer. Since it comes from SideBMusic, you know it has to be good…and after I heard Chris Manning (Jellyfish) had a hand producing and mixing the record, I was waiting outside by the mailbox with eager anticipation for its arrival.

Strangefinger is pure power pop bliss – band leader and main songwriter, Freddie Lemke, has gone through hell and high water to get this record, which was recorded and mixed in 2005, to finally see the light of day. Persistence has paid off and Strangefinger’s “Into the Blue” is destined to be a classic in the genre.

Maybe it is the album title or cover art, or song titles with “Ocean” and “Sunshine” in them, or maybe it is the sunny melodies, bright instrumentation, or positive vibe, or perhaps the heavy Brian Wilson influence in many of the songs, but numerous reviews have already remarked how appropriate “Into the Blue” is for the beach. And while these comments make perfect sense, I’d like to add for clarification that Strangefinger does not sing about the surf and sand; rather, the lyrics are much more interesting, rewarding the listener with something more substantial and contemplative.



Music Strategies, a company that assists up-and-coming bands, has partnered with Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Attendees at the Music Strategies conferences held there will have the opportunity to perform in one of the premier hotels and live entertainment venues in the country. “I will be inviting college bookers from around the United States (the people who book the live shows on campus) as well as military bookers,” says Music Strategies’ Tim Sweeney. For all details on the June 2010 3-day workshop, visit the site or call 951-303-9506. Visit


Online Recording Experience Opportunity Courtesy of 30 Seconds to Mars

Multiplatinum rock band Thirty Seconds To Mars is kicking off a groundbreaking interactive online recording experience known as The Digital Summit today. The band has always been quick to embrace digital culture and will use that technology to offer their community across the globe a chance to get involved in the record making process through Twitter. Participants will be able to record sounds and vocals from their personal computers and mobile devices for inclusion on the album by uploading them to For more information on the band visit

Features Free MP3s

Intense Nick Presents i AM BODHi

BODHi Cage 300i AM BODHi comprise of Stos Goneos on guitar and lead vocals, while his younger brother Dimitri plays the drums and provides the backing vocals. Lucas James is the bassist. They have been playing as i AM BODHi since December 2008 although they had been together under a different name for a while before that. They are all self taught with a wide range of influences, Stos and Dimitri were brought up in Central Africa (schooled in South Africa) Lucas was born and bred in Wiltshire, they met when Stos and Dimitri returned to the UK to finish their schooling and settle. Stos and Lucas formed a band first before being joined by Dimitri two drummers later. They have played well over 50 gigs mostly in the Southwest but some further afield eg: Manchester and Leicester. They have had a healthy amount of radio airplay – including GWR FM Uploaded, BBC Bristol Introducing and BBC WIltshire Introducing, as well as a couple of live interviews on Swindon 105.5 fm and several other community radio stations (even up in Scotland). Late last year they were offered the opportunity to do a recording at The Animal Farm in London where the three tracks currently on their My Space page were produced. They are great tunes, ‘Ebon Flow’. ‘Miles and Motion’ and ‘The Link’