You rockers out there know what I’m talking about. You listen to hardcore rock while those “other people” listen to that country music stuff, and now it’s invading the pop-music scene thanks to the likes of American Idol.
You make sure everyone around you knows how much you hate it too! When Carrie Underwood comes on the radio and starts tearing up that pretty little souped up four wheel drive, you dive (rocker style) for the radio to change the station. But secretly, when no one is around, you start tapping your toe and daydreaming of riding that bucking bronco down at your local country bar – not that you know where the country bar is, let alone if it has a bucking bronco.
But wait!! Don’t touch that dial. The next song you hear could be one of your bestest most favoritest rockers of all time. No not Steven Tyler, that other rocker guy Jeff Keith, lead singer extraordinaire from one of the great rock bands of all time – Tesla.
Yes! Jeff Keith has come out of the country closet, as he’s set to release a brand spanking new album of nothing but country songs due out this Friday November 9th. This isn’t country rock either, this is the bonafide real McCoy, so hold off from changing that dial and have a listen to what he has to offer.
The Album, Jeff Keith and Country Music Friends, is the result of a side project of Keith’s and his country music friends Kent Goodson and Pat Boone from The George Jones band. I should put a disclaimer here that Pat Boone is not the really old guy who likes to drink milk, but the not-so-really old guy who likes country music.
Apparently they met after a Tesla concert in Canada and the next thing you know, the three of them are paddling around in a pontoon boat somewhere in the middle of Nashville, slamming down sasparillas, and singing country songs.
So how’s it sound?
The album starts off with a nice ballad, “Same Ol’ Cowboy,” complete with violins and steel strings. As most of the songs on the album, this song is old style country music complete with violin, steel string guitars, and a whole lotta twang.
“Life’s Just a Roller Coaster Ride” has a good strong country beat with Keith hitting his country stride as he dials in the twang and cranks up the beat.
Restraining himself from belting it out like a rock-star, Keith shows off his vocal prowess with “Can’t Let Go,” as he slows it down country style. This one is another winner.
“Life on the Road” reminds me of the Waylon and Willie days with a more upbeat tempo and a great storyline.
“Oklahoma Bound” is another ballad, and wrapping up the album with my favorite “Oh Hell,” which is an awesome little diddy.
When you purchase the CD you get a bonus track of interviews with the boys.
Bottom-line: This is definitely worth a listen. I really enjoyed all the songs as Keith and company take it old school country. For those of you faint of heart, start with “Can’t Let Go,” and work your way through the list, ending with “Oh Hell.”
For all you Tesla fans out there – no worries. Jeff isn’t quitting his day job.
I’m off to shine my boots and take in a couple of re-runs of Hee Haw.
The Placer County 10-35 Foundation’s Thunder in November charity drive took over Thunder Valley Casino’s Pano Hall on Saturday as the Chris Gardner Band, Road 88 and special guest Jeff Keith performed to a charitable crowd.
The Placer County 10-35 Foundation was created in 2011 as a non-profit charity designed to assist the men & women of Placer County law enforcement. The Foundation is a fraternal & benevolent association chartered to assist Placer County peace officers in times of great personal and organizational tragedy.
10-35 is part of law enforcement’s 10-code which means officer needs assistance.
Road 88 opened the show with lead singer Rachel Steele belting out Gretchen Wilson’s “All Jacked Up” and Emmylou Harris’ “One More Bottle of Wine.”
Joining founding members Rachel Steele (vocals) and Scott Prentice (guitar/vocals) were Billy Haggard (guitar), Charlie McGimsey (drums), Todd Prout (bass), Paul Southerland (lap/pedal steel, dobro) and Maggie Keith (backup vocals).
Road 88 was flawless in their delivery as one would expect from a band that was voted #1 in the Best Local Band category for the second year in a row on KCRA’s A-List.
Towards the end of their set Steele brought Tesla’s lead singer Jeff Keith on stage to sing a country song.
Yes pardner you heard right! Jeff Keith comes strutting out looking cuter than a junebug in a jumpsuit, donning, of all things, a cowboy hat. Y’all wouldn’t have believe it.
After some wild applause and a collective gasp from the audience, Keith went on to explain that he was still with Tesla and all was good with the band, but he was pursuing a lifelong dream of singing country music. His new CD Jeff Keith and Country Music Friends, is due out on November 9th, featuring Kent Goodson and Pat Boone from The George Jones band.
With his best country voice, Keith went on to sing George Jones’ “Grand Tour,” as the crowd cheered him on.
As one would have expected, Keith’s chops were flawless and, surprisingly, he sounded like a genuine country star. Who’d have thunk it!
Stay tuned for a complete review of his new album.
In between sets Jim Hudson with the Placer County 10-35 foundation announced the winners of their silent auction for an autographed guitar signed by REO Speedwagon (Katie was the winner), and an autographed guitar signed by Road 88 and Jeff Keith(Diana was the winner). Katie insisted that she get a picture after the show with Chris Gardner and her newly acquired guitar.
The Chris Gardner Band kicked their set off with Alabama’s “Mountain Music” and Luke Bryan’s “Rain is a Good Thing,” as droves of people made their way to the dance floor.
Lead singer Chris Gardner was joined by Dwight Hogan (bass), Aaron Shively (lead guitar), Joey Gonzales (drums), Nikko Vargas (rhythm guitar), and Shawn Holiday (keyboard).
While Road 88 had a solid set, the Chris Gardner Band was able to pack the dance floor as they continued playing “Something Like That” and “Dixieland Delight.”
This was a fun and successful event. Expect to see Thunder in November II next year!
For more information on Placer County 10-35 please visit them at http://www.placer1035foundation.org
Y’all don’t forget to checkout Jeff Keith’s alter ego at Jeff Keith Country!
Independent music publishing company pigFACTORY Music, whose roster includes recordings and songs performed by artists such as Jordin Sparks, Demi Lovato, Fatboy Slim, Iggy Pop, and Meatloaf, has just signed iconic 80s rock band Tesla to an international publishing administration and synch representation deal. The announcement was made today by Keatly Haldeman, CEO, pigFACTORY Music.
The new deal allows pigFACTORY to exclusively administer the publishing for all songs that Tesla has written and license for synchronization all of Tesla’s songs and later recordings.
Said Haldeman, “We’re honored that Tesla has chosen pigFACTORY to represent their music. Tesla continues to put out great songs and relentlessly tours for its loyal fan base. We are excited to expose Tesla’s new music to the TV/film/advertising community and to shine a spotlight on their hits such as “Love Song.”
For those of you who may not know what a synchronization license is, it allows a film, video or television producer to contract with a songwriter or the songwriter’s publisher to use a song in a film, video, music video, television program, or television advertisement. PigFACTORY will be administering this license on an international basis.
About PigFACTORY Music Publishing:
pigFACTORY Music Publishing specializes in the international placement of music in film, television, film trailers, advertising, and videogames, and in the collection of publishing royalties, worldwide. To that end, the company leverages an advanced digital publishing system to proactively exploit its clients’ music catalogues and track music publishing royalties on a global scale. The company represents top songwriters, artists, record producers, labels, and publishers, with a roster of over 250,000 songs, including an extensive selection of classic hits.
pigFACTORY is one of the only highly proactive independent publishers in the international marketplace to affiliate directly with a large number of royalty societies throughout the world. Via its direct memberships and partnerships, and by using state-of-the-art royalty software, pigFACTORY quickly and accurately registers its clients’ song catalogues with the publishing rights societies, and collects ‘at source’ in most major international territories.
The U.S. headquarters of pigFACTORY is 8075 W. Third Street, Suite # 540, Los Angeles, CA, 90048. The phone is 323/653-1200, and the website is www.pigfactory.com.
Tesla is an American hard rock band formed in Sacramento, CA, in 1984. They have sold 14 million albums in the United States. The band originally formed as City Kidd, and was renamed Tesla during the recording of their first album, 1986′s “Mechanical Resonance.” The band derived their name, certain album and song titles, and some song content from events relating to inventor and electrical engineer Nikola Tesla. The band’s original lineup consisted of lead vocalist Jeff Keith, guitarists Frank Hannon and Tommy Skeoch, bassist Brian Wheat, and drummer Troy Luccketta.
Tesla’s music is often referred to as hard rock. The band’s lyrics also strayed from the themes popular in hard rock, particularly in the 1980s at the beginning of their career. A further distinction from their contemporaries was their T-shirt-and-jeans image which was in strong contrast to glam metal bands of the time, which were characterized by big hair, leather pants, and flashy makeup. Also in the early days of their career, Tesla toured with David Lee Roth, Alice Cooper, Def Leppard, and Poison, which incorrectly resulted in the band being categorized as a Glam metal band.
It was three years before the band released their second album, “The Great Radio Controversy.” The album helped solidify the band’s growing reputation and fan base, and produced the hit single, a classic ’80s power ballad “Love Song”. In 1990, Tesla released “Five Man Acoustical Jam,” a live album featuring acoustic renditions of hits such as “Comin’ Atcha Live”, “Gettin’ Better”, “Modern Day Cowboy”, and “Love Song”. The album also featured a number of covers most notably a version of “Signs,” a 1971 hit by the Five Man Electrical Band.
In 1991, Tesla released their third studio album “Psychotic Supper.” The band itself considers this to be their best album. The 1998 Japanese reissue import of Psychotic Supper contains three previously unreleased songs, including “Rock the Nation”, “I Ain’t Superstitious”, and “Run Run Run.” In 1994, the band released their fourth studio album “Bust a Nut.” After the release of “Bust a Nut,” Skeoch departed because of his struggle with substance abuse, and the band moved forward as a four piece for a short while. In l994, the band members parted ways.
After a break of six years, The Sacramento Bee reported that Tesla had reformed in 2000 with the help of local radio personality Pat Martin of KRXQ. The band played an emotional sold out show at Arco Arena in Sacramento on October 25, 2000, and soon thereafter recorded the double live album “Replugged Live.” In 2002, they were featured in the Rock Never Stops Tour alongside other 1980s rock bands, and 2002 saw the release of another live album “Standing Room Only.”
The band released “Into The Now” in 2004, followed by “Reel to Reel I & II” in 2006 on their own label Tesla Electric Recording Company. In between those albums, Dave Rude joined the band to replace outgoing member Tommy Skeoch and “Forever More” was released in 2008.
In 2009, Tesla was among the performers on the cruise ship “ShipRocked;” in 2010, the band’s studio burned to the ground, and in 2011, Tesla played at a rally for the Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association. Tesla also released an acoustic album, “Twisted Wires and the Acoustic Sessions,” during 2011.
Tesla is currently on an arena tour with Scorpions playing for thousands of screaming fans all over the USA.
Tesla, not to be confused with Nikola the coil guy, kicked off Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s Summer Concert Series on Friday night, with an electrifying performance in front of a sold-out crowd of diehard Sacramento fans.
This was one hell of a show and Tesla’s third at Thunder Valley Casino, and still a sold out show.
Could it be because ever since they released their latest album, Twisted Wires, they’ve been on the road almost non-stop? Or could it be because Jeff Keith, the 53 year old lead singer’s voice is simply aging like a fine wine? Or maybe it’s because fellow band members Troy Luccketta (drums), Brian Wheat (bass), Frank Hannon (guitar), and Dave Rude (guitar), just get along and are having a great time together?
Whatever the reason, fans around the globe are thankful that Tesla is continuing to tour, bringing their long hair, attitude, and some kick-ass tunes.
Keith came out before the concert, much as he did last year with son Joe Bob. His daughter Courtney was also there to help bring Joe Bob backstage. However, this year Joe Bob was walking and trying to kick around a beach ball onstage, and Courtney’s becoming quite the young woman with a rock-star look.
After Courtney carried Joe Bob offstage Tesla opened with “Comin’ Atcha Live.” The crowd was on their feet, screaming and clapping before Keith uttered a note. There were even a few lighters being raised, rock-style, into the air.
They followed up with a couple of songs from their new Twisted Wires album “Edison’s Medicine” and “Into the Now,” as Keith gave a shout out to Nikola Tesla, the father of radio.
As the band started playing Led Zeppelin’s “Thank You,” Joe Bob was rolled out onto the stage with Keith kneeling down singing to his son. The whole time Joe Bob was fascinated with the microphone. It was a very touching moment between father and son, something many won’t soon forget, as it brought a number of audience members to tears. Keith said after the song;
“Children are the most purest, precious, thing in this world.”
I have to agree with Keith, but let’s check back with him in a year, as Joe Bob goes through the terrible twos. I think he just might change his tune.
In true rocker form Keith was vibrating from one side of the stage to the other all night, even though his doctor advised him not too. He was performing with a torn rotator cuff – Ouch!
It was fun watching Hannon and Wheat play guitar together, and then trade off with the Jim Carrey of guitar Dave Rude. Yes, there I said it . . . He so reminds me of Jim Carrey, with his facial expressions and the pure fun he’s having onstage. Come on, tell me he doesn’t look like Carrey!
Hannon was on fire as usual, with his animalistic talent, blazing riffs, and driving passion for all things guitar, and let’s not forget Wheat pounding out bass and the guy hiding behind the drums keeping time for everyone. Yes, that would be the short haired guy with a really cool name ““ Luccketta.
Keith dedicated “What You Give” to local 98 Rockradio personality Pat Martin. Thanking him for playing their music consistently throughout the years ““ and it’s been a lotta years.
They ended the concert with “Modern Day Cowboy” and “Little Suzi”, receiving a standing O at the end of a great night.
I wanted to get someone’s opinion of the concert, so as I was making my way to introduce myself to one of the concert goers by the name of Mike Hayes, I kept getting interrupted by people. I guess I had wandered into the area where sick people hangout.
Apparently they had some type of prescription drug where you had to smoke the prescription. Actually I think it might have been some type of weed, because someone actually asked me if I wanted some. Yeah right! Like I want that shit in my garden, it’s hard enough to keep the weeds I have at bay, let alone introducing a whole new variety.
When I asked Hayes what he thought of the concert, his reply;
“It was cool dude.”
This was a fantastic start to what is going to be a truly great Summer Concert Series out at Thunder Valley Casino Resort. Especially since they have expanded the venue to include even more general admission seating, making for even funner events (I know ““ funner’s not a word – just let it go).
Go to http://www.thundervalleycasino.com/entertainment for the full summer lineup.
Make sure you visit the Tesla’s Troops website, where for under twenty bucks a year you can watch videos as they bring the experience of being in the band right to your computer. They have backstage and green room footage giving you an exclusive look into the life of a rock-star. Plus you get awesome discounts off their merchandise!!
Shocking price ““ electrifying deal. Tee Cee – feel free to use the tagline
I know it’s kind of counter intuitive since Tesla gets their name from the famous Tesla Coil, but yes, they are going unplugged – Again!
Local heroes Tesla are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their legendary 5 Man Acoustical Jam, in full “Acoustic” fashion this November 2011 in support of their new album “Twisted Wires and the Acoustic Sessions.”
The new album features “acoustic” versions of TESLA classics such as “Hang Tough” and “What You Give” as well as a new hit single titled “2nd Street.” The concert tour will feature TESLA the band playing a stripped down acoustic set ““ No! Not stripped as in naked, stripped as in unplugged. I know! Of course they will have some things plugged in, just work with me here.
This CD/tour reinforces the fact that Tesla started the “unplugged” craze back in the 90′s. Their acoustic renditions of lesser known songs such as “Shine Away” and “Caught In a Dream,” are refreshing to listen to and have excellent guitar and harmonies. Keith’s vocals have definitely improved with age and remind me more and more of Steven Tyler. However, Keith continues to have a sound all his own, especially when backed by the likes of bassist Brian Wheat, guitarist Frank Hannon, drummer Troy Luccketta and newest member, guitarist Dave Rude.
I had the opportunity to cover the release of their latest CD “Twisted Wires and the Acoustic Sessions,” at Dimple Records in Sacramento, CA. where they played a few songs from their new CD, including “2nd Street.” Trust me, this is not something you want to miss. Click on the song of your choice below to have a listen. If you haven’t already purchased their CD, get it now.
Upon entrance to the store, I heard the latest addition to the family singing – or should I say wailing – away as if he were onstage. Four month old Joe Bob Jeffrey Keith, son of lead singer Jeff Keith, was rockin’ the house just prior to Tesla taking center stage. That boy has a set of lungs to rival his dad’s. It took some time but Joe Bob finally calmed down and let Dad take center stage.
Lori Townsend, a longtime fan, was standing in line with couple Alfred and Shawna Lyon. They were excited to be there and were buying CD’s so each of the band members could sign the covers.
The Band was introduced by Pat Martin from 98 Rock. After a few questions, Tesla performed acoustic versions of “Signs,” “Love Song” and their brand new song “2nd Street.” It was fascinating to see the various cameras and camera phones popping up during the performance.
Their carefree and neighborly demeanor is one reason the band is one of the most loved bands of the 80′s. All the band members were gracious to their fans, shaking hands and talking to them as if they were old friends. In fact, Keith was being rushed over to the signing table, but stopped to take time to have his picture taken with a few fans along the way.
Both young and old were in line. Rick Paige stood in line for about 45 minutes to have his electric guitar signed by the band. Not to be outdone, his daughter Paige followed him with a CD cover.
The new album has a total of 12 songs with six original tracks that were recorded in 2005 at Brian Wheat’s recording studio, J Street Recorders. These recordings were the last with original member Tommy Skeoch who later left the band.
The remaining six tracks were recorded at guitarist Frank Hannon’s studio, including one new song, “Second Street,” and a newly recorded song dating back to their Geffen Record days, “Better Off Without You.” Last year on a nationally televised program, guitarist Frank Hannon stated that the song was a demo for Geffen and that Guns N’ Roses song, “Patience,” was their song note for note.
This CD reinforces the fact that Tesla started the “unplugged” craze back in the 90′s. Their acoustic renditions of lesser known songs such as “Shine Away” and “Caught In A Dream,” are refreshing to listen to and have excellent guitar and harmonies. Keith’s vocals have definitely improved with age and remind me more and more of Steven Tyler. However, Keith continues to have a sound all his own, especially when backed by the likes of bassist Brian Wheat, guitarist Frank Hannon, drummer Troy Luccketta and newest member, guitarist Dave Rude.
While some people will be disappointed that there isn’t a lot of “new” material on the CD, the fact that they went out on a limb and recorded lesser known tracks speaks volumes about the band’s confidence and creative ability. Some people might argue that it’s not very creative to do a different version of an old song, but most bands are not willing to go out on a limb and put out songs that didn’t do well in the first place. For that reason alone I say hats off to the band and wish them luck on their upcoming tour and CD sales.
Fans will be pleasantly surprised.
In the late 1800s, a guy by the name of Nikola Tesla was busy inventing a new kind of transformer, not realizing the level of energy his name would carry into the future.
I’m not going to go into a lot of history since Tesla is a Sacramento band and most readers know who the hell these guys are. They started in the ’80s and, for the most part, were labeled a hair, metal, or glam band. As history has proven, those labels didn’t come close to describing their mix of soulful blues and metal.
While many “hair” bands of the ’80s are balding, gray and pretty much forgotten, Tesla remains one of the few ’80s bands still producing great music, both collectively and as solo artists. Yes, they’ve aged as we all have (thanks to radio personality Don Geronimo for pointing this out, but more on that later), but they’ve never sounded better, and Saturday night at Thunder Valley Casino and Resort was no exception.
Just before the show, the audience was treated to an appearance of the latest member of the Tesla family, Joe Bob Jeffrey Keith. It was kind of a family-album moment, and you could tell lead singer and father Jeff Keith was in his dad element. When he introduced the newest member his daughter Courtney handed off Joe Bob to their father.
The band kicked off the concert with “Forever More,” followed by “Hang Tough.” These guys are high energy and were constantly on the move. Band members were flinging picks throughout the show. I was afraid I was going to lose an eye.
Just prior to “Breakin’ Free,” the band pretty much challenged Don Geronimo. It appears there’s a bit of a tiff between Tesla and Geronimo. It all started when Tesla was asked to play at the Here We Rally at Cesar Chavez Park in support of the Kings. Just before the rally, Geronimo went on a rant about the band members. Bass player Brian Wheat took exception to his comments and posted his response on Tesla’s site.
I guess we’ll see if Geronimo responds. I can see it now. Thunder Valley Casino and Resort presents the “Ultimate Mud Wrestling Championship: Tesla vs. Don Geronimo.” I’ve never heard Geronimo’s show before, but I did listen to the show in question, and I’ve determined Geronimo gets off by demeaning people in general, so I wouldn’t take it too personally. However, what he did say, according to Wheat’s post, is pretty personal. This from a guy who, when he was just starting out, was fired for forging an FCC broadcasting license.
Back to the concert. Like I was saying, these guys are high energy. They were a blur of action until their acoustic set. I thought the audience would start to lose interest going to a mellower sound, but the crowd remained engaged, clapping as guitarists Frank Hannon and Dave Rude flawlessly performed “Love Song” with Wheat joining in.
For their last song, “Signs”, a lucky 98 Rock contest winner was invited to join the band onstage to sing the intro. Jody Snider was thrilled to learn that she had won the opportunity and was joined by a friend. They also had the opportunity to go backstage and have their picture taken with the band. The whole time they were bubbling with excitement.
Like the original Tesla coil, Tesla the band has just gotten bigger and better over time. Both the coil and the band now operate at extremely high-peak power levels with the ability to reach mucho megawatts (just ask the sound guy). They proved that Saturday night with a high-energy show. And to prove they still have it, Tesla will be at Dimple Records on Tuesday signing autographs and performing an acoustic set for the release of their new album, “Twisted Wires & The Acoustic Sessions.” They will be at 2433 Arden Way Sacramento, CA 95825-2411. Doors open at 6:00 p.m.
The CD has six original tracks that were recorded in 2005 at Wheat’s recording studio, J Street Recorders. These were the last recordings with original member Tommy Skeoch. Wheat’s studio burned down last year and, lucky for Tesla fans, not all their recordings were destroyed in the fire. Wheat is rebuilding, and rumor has it the new studio will be named The Trax.
Tesla backstage at Thunder Valley Casino and Resort (Image by: Randy Miramontez) Join the band out at Dimple Records and show them some Sacramento love!
As for Don Gerinomo. Donnie, I’ve never listen to you before today and I don’t plan on listening to you again, but I’ve been listening to Tesla for over 20 years and will be listening for another 20.