rock n roll
Blame Sally brings you everything from stompboxes to fiddles, as they weave their magic in a tapestry of musical delight. And don’t for a minute think of them as a folk band as they add a little bit of rock, and a whole lotta heart into each and every performance, blending the different genres into a melodic work of art.
Their live performances are more than just a musical journey, as they banter back and forth with each other in between songs as only true friends can do, making for a very entertaining evening.
Their most recent Sacramento appearance brought droves of fans from the San Francisco Bay Area to the KVIE studios in Sacramento to record an intimate concert that would later be used to raise money for public television. You can get more information regarding the CD/DVD at KVIE.com, as well as donate and receive free tickets to their upcoming show at Harlow’s where they will be releasing the KVIE CD/DVD to the public.
Winning top honors for “Big Big Red,” “Wide Open Spaces,” and “Bird in Hand,” as voted by fans in the Independent Music Awards, their popularity continues to soar as Blame Sally is quickly becoming a worldwide sensation. They are currently touring across the country and across the pond with upcoming stops in the UK and Ireland.
I’d be remorse if I didn’t mention that band member Monica Pasqual also won an Independent Music Award for Best Concept Album on This Cold Desire.
So who is Blame Sally?
Blame Sally is made up of four women, who decided to get together to play a little music in their spare time with no dreams of grandeur and no expectations, simply enjoying each other’s company while playing a little music.
Band members include Pam Delgado (percussions), Renee Harcourt (guitar/bass), Jeri Jones (guitar/bass) and Monica Pasqual (piano/accordion) – I know, not a Sally in the lot!
I had a chance to ask Monica some questions:
SacAndBeyond – You originally got together as a group to hang out and have some fun. At what point did you realize there was something special happening?
Monica – Monica – We realized we had something special the first time we got together. It was so fun and sounded so good – and that was the reason we really wanted to protect it and make sure that we were doing it for the right reason. We had all pursued “careers” in music and had gotten tired of trying so hard to make it. We loved playing together and we wanted to keep it that way, so we sort of dedicated ourselves to the idea of making great music and having fun together.
Sac- Do you have any regrets not pursuing your musical talents earlier in your careers?
Monica – We actually had all pursued music to varying degrees when we were younger. I started playing piano very young and thought I would have a career in classical piano. I was a professional dance accompanist and also composed for choreographers and then started writing songs and singing in my late 20s. I put out three solo albums before starting to play in Blame Sally. I was definitely pursuing music, so it’s been sweet to finally feel the payoff of lots of years of work!
Sac – Do you have any advice for the many musicians with day jobs?
Monica – I’m not sure I feel qualified to give advice – but I can say this much: There are no guarantees, no matter what you do. I got a lot of advice from family and friends to focus on a more stable career and in some ways I’m sure they were right. Making money as a musician is not easy – and honestly, if the aim is to make money and get famous, it’s probably not the right career for you. But If you are truly passionate about music, it doesn’t really matter what advice you get from other people – you find a way to do it, whether you have to keep a day job or not. Most musicians and artists I know have hobbled together a life and career that includes “straight jobs” and their art – sometimes leaning towards one or the other full time.
Sac – Now that you are on the road so much, are you still able to take the time to just hang out and have a good time?
Monica – The truth is that sometimes when I get home from being on the road I just really need to be by myself for a while. But there is a point where that retreat becomes habitual and needs to be broken, connections with friends and loved ones have to happen again. It is incredibly important to check out completely from the band and the business of the band in order to be able to reconnect to it with energy and passion. At least that’s the way it works for me!
Sac – In an effort to show women across the country that they can make a difference, you recorded a DVD to help out public television and spread the word. What did that mean to you and do you believe it has helped get the message out.
Monica – For some reason it seems like almost everything we do as a band has ended up being a message – and we’re okay with that. I think that we represent the exception to a lot of rules that people accept but don’t really believe in. We are 4 women who have chosen to work together for a common goal, we nurture each other and we manage to work together really collaboratively. The fact that we are having our first real public success at our age is unusual – but it shouldn’t be. For some reason people think that performers (particularly female performers) are more relevant when they are extremely young – but like people in any other career, there are incredible gifts that come from experience and time. We tell a different story then a 20 year old would tell, and I think that we tell it in a fresh way that has nothing to do with “nostalgia”.
Regarding PBS – we believe that it will be a great opportunity to connect with more people who will resonate with that message. The program is just starting to be aired now, so it remains to be seen. We hope that it will be another mutually supportive relationship.
Sac – What is your most memorable moment on the road?
Monica – I’m having a hard time finding one – but I think we’ve all found it pretty incredible to be touring in Europe lately. We have had the chance to travel in a way that is totally unique – instead of seeing the world from a tourist’s perspective we have been totally welcomed inside the living rooms of new friends who are eager to share their lives and perspectives, and are super interested in us, too. It’s almost like being an ambassador – it’s one thing I never expected to experience.
Sac – As the recently announced winners of the Independent Music Awards for three separate categories, how does that feel and what does it mean to you as a band?
Monica – It’s great to be acknowledged for this. It’s interesting that we were chosen in three different categories that really represent some of the variety that we encompass. With three lead singers and writers in the band – we sometimes find it difficult to concisely categorize what we do. It’s particularly sweet that we won all categories we were finalists in (including two more for my solo work) in the popular voting part of this. It’s good to know we resonate with the people who actually go out and listen to music.
Everyone knows them as REO Speedwagon.
Playing to an almost full house at Thunder Valley Casino Resort Saturday, 66 year old founding member Neal Doughty was the first to make it onstage. Leaving their walkers behind the rest of the crew slowly made their way onstage – I know they didn’t have walkers, quite the contrary these guys were in great shape.
As for the name REO Speedwagon, Doughty named the band after a flatbed truck he studied in college called Ransom E. Olds Speed Wagon, commonly referred to as Reo Speed Wagon. Doughty decided to call the band R.E.O. rather than Reo.
Joining Doughty onstage were Kevin Cronin (lead vocals, guitar), Bruce Hall (bass), Dave Amato (lead guitar), Bryan Hitt (drums). They warmed up the audience with “Don’t Let Him Go” and “Music Man,” then kicking it up a notch with “Take It on the Run,” as the audience provided supporting vocals.
At some point during the show the 58 year old Hitt decided to take his shirt off. Most of the audience cheered, but come on!! He’s 58 ““ dude give us a break! At least Steven Tyler stopped the practice some time ago (at least for the most part).
Continuing on with “Keep Pushin’,” “Golden Country,” and “Can’t Fight This Feeling,” the audience became somewhat subdued, but remained engaged throughout the concert, just not on their feet cheering on the band.
As the band left and came back for their encore, they lost quite a few fans as they headed for the exits. Their encore included “Keep on Lovin’ You,” “Ridin’ the Storm Out,” and ended with “157 Riverside Avenue.” Even more fans started filing out after “Keep on Lovin’ You.”
During their encore the audience was completely engaged with “Keep on Lovin’ You,” but once they started “157 Riverside Avenue,” most of the fans were back in their seats, or headed for the doors. They really should have ended the night with “Keep on Lovin’ You.”
Cronin did an excellent job with vocals and sounds much like he did all those years ago. While his voice is a bit more gravelly, I believe it’s enhanced his sound.
All in all it was a good concert. There were some rough spots in the middle and they could have ended on a better note, but Cronin and crew did a great job keeping the audiences attention with plenty of picks flying through the air.
But was it really Foreigner, or just another cover band?
Foreigner was originally formed in 1976 by veteran English musicians Mick Jones and Ian McDonald, along with American vocalist Lou Gramm. In 1980 McDonald left the band, leaving Jones and Gramm as the only original members. 1990 saw the departure of Gramm, only to rejoin the group a couple of years later.
With Gramm’s on-again, off-again relationship, coupled with health issues, a joint decision was made and Gramm made his final departure. This paved the way for their current lead singer, Kelly Hansen, who joined the group in 2004.
With Gramm’s sound and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler looks, Hansen has breathed new life into Foreigner, especially with the likes of Jeff Pilson (bass), Mark Schulman (plays some killer drums), Bruce Watson (lead guitar), Ollie Marland (keyboards), and Tom Gimbel (keyboards, guitar, sax).
Hold up! What happened to the only founding member Mick Jones? Jones has been having health issues and rarely plays with the band, although he has been known to show up to a show or two. Watson was brought on board to fill in for Jones.
With no original band members, can this really be Foreigner, or is it simply a well put together cover band?
If you ask any of the 4,500 plus fans in attendance at Friday’s concert at Thunder Valley Casino Resort, you will get a resounding answer ““ “This is Foreigner!”
As soon as the band struck the first few notes of “Double Vision,” the crowd was on their feet, as Hansen ran onstage. Following up with “Head Games,” Hansen continued his high energy performance as Watson and Pilson joined in, jamming with one another as well as Hansen.
As they started “Cold as Ice,” the crowd brought it up a notch as did Hansen. The 51 year old Hansen, who has been known to climb stage scaffolding, rocketed off the stage, jumped the pit wall, and headed out into a sea of waiting foreigners. Most of the fans he passed had their hand up to give him a high-five, while others scrambled for their cameras.
Towards the end of the show and halfway through “I Want to Know What Love Is,” some members of the Roseville Area High School Choir came out on stage singing the chorus, as Hansen mingled with the choir and then headed back out into the crowd.
During the show fans could purchase Foreigner’s new CD, or DVD, Rockin at the Ryman from the Roseville choir, in addition to their purchase each fan received a ticket for a chance to win an autographed guitar signed by all the band members. Ryan Spencer who is a huge Foreigner fan, as well as a 96.9 The Eagle fan, ended up with the guitar.
This has been a good year thus far for Foreigner, at least in the movies, with several of their hits appearing in “Rock of Ages,” as well as the recently released “Magic Mike.”
Coming to Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s outdoor amphitheater next week is Steve Miller on Friday and Earth Wind and Fire on Saturday.
Okay, maybe not Slaughtered.
While Bret Michaels was billed as the headliner, I do believe Night Ranger ruled the night with their intense, but fun loving, stage presence ““ more on that in a minute.
It was great to have the likes of Bret Michaels of Poison and Night Ranger’s guitarist Joel Hoekstra at Thunder Valley Casino the day after the new movie Rock of Ages premiered at theaters across the country. Music from Poison is featured in the movie and Hoekstra makes a cameo appearance. Hoekstra also stars in the Broadway hit Rock of Ages.
As over 4,000 fans filed into Thunder Valley Casino’s outdoor amphitheater, Slaughter took the stage kicking off this 4 hour extravaganza of hair flipping and high energy entertainment, with their hit song “Wildlife.”
As only true diehard fans can do in close to 100 degree weather, they rose up from the clutches of their nicely cushioned seats (ok, the bleachers ““ not so cushioned) to rock with the likes of Mark Slaughter (lead singer/guitar), Dana Strum (bass ““ makes sense with a name like Strum), Zoltan Chaney (drums), and Jeff “‘Blando’ Bland (lead guitar).
Within minutes into their set, the Slaughter crew were drenched in sweat and appeared to be totally into nothing but rocking and entertaining the crowd. Blando was the most energetic of the foursome, whipping his hair like it was 1999 and acting like he was still twenty-something.
The most violent award goes to drummer Chaney, who thrashed his drums to the point of having to pull out a wrench to fix one of his cymbals. The man was an animal!
While the entire crowd wasn’t on their feet during Slaughters performance, you could see them nodding their heads, pumping their fists, and just plain rocking out.
In between sets actor, stuntman, producer, director, and all around nice guy, Branscombe Richmond came out to joke around with the crowd and throw t-shirts at unsuspecting audience members.
As Night Ranger stormed the stage it was complete bedlam on stage and off, with Hoekstra immediately flipping his blonde locs of hair while ripping away at his guitar, while off stage the entire audience jumped to their feet.
Starting their set with “Lay it on Me,” founding members Jack Blades (bass) and Brad Gillis (guitar), along with Hoekstra were going back and forth playing off of each other. Hoekstra and Gillis were the most animated of the three, as they were making faces at each other and constantly engaging the audience.
Drummer and founding member Kelly Keagy joined in the fun too, as Hoekstra, Gillis, and Blades all would work their way to Keagy.
As they played through hits like “Sing Me Away,” “Touch of Madness,” “Hearts Away,” and of course “Sister Christian,” they continued to interact with the crowd and each other. Hoekstra had a grin on his face almost the entire set, as did Blades and Gillis.
Blades announced to the crowd that Gillis was celebrating his 55th birthday as he ribbed Gillis most of the night.
Night Ranger sounds just like they did years ago and they’ve maintained their high level of energy throughout the years. The addition of Hoekstra has added another, more theatrical, dynamic to their performances.
Prior to Michaels making his way on stage Richmond reminded everyone about Michaels ongoing battle with diabetes and how important it was to take care of yourself and get checkups on a regular basis.
It was a strange start as someone from Michael’s team came out and made some announcements regarding merchandise (nothing new here), but then after he yelled;
“The Party Starts Now!”
The audience ended up waiting for another 10 minutes before Michaels made it out on stage.
Sounding a bit off with Poison’s hit “Talk Dirty With Me,” Michaels had the crowd eating out of his hand. Wearing his signature bandana and long hair (come on! It’s gotta be a wig.) Michaels worked the audience like a true entertainer.
Thanking the audience for making the VH1 reality show “Rock of Love” the number 1 show on VH1 3 years running, Michaels started in with the theme song for the show, “Go That Far.”
Sounding much better after a few songs Michaels continued with a number of cover songs including Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama,” Loggins and Messina’s “Your Mamma Don’t Dance,” and Kiss’ “Rock and Roll All Nite,” just to name a few.
He peppered in some Poison songs such as “Something to Believe in,” “Unskinny Bop,” and “Look What the Cat Dragged in”
While Michaels wasn’t Slaughtered by Night Ranger, I place him at a close second due to the number Poison hits he left on the shelf. Talking to a number of people after the show, they all agreed that Night Ranger won the night. However, all were in complete agreement that Michaels put on a high energy and entertaining show – so no, he wasn’t Slaughtered.
Longtime drummer for the Doobie Brothers Michael “‘Big Mike’ Hossack died at his home after battling cancer in Dubois, Wyoming, on Monday at the age of 65.
Big Mike was a member of the Doobie Brothers between 1971 and 1973, during which time he played on several of the Doobie Brothers best-known hits, including “Jesus Is Just Alright,” “Listen to the Music” and “China Grove.”
Returning to the band in 1987 he remained until his health took a turn for the worse in 2010
The Doobie Brothers had released a statement in January letting Hossack’s fans know that he was improving slowly.
The Doobie Brothers Tom Johnston remembered Hossack, “Mike has always been a part of my musical life and the life of the Doobie Brothers; from our earliest singles, like China Grove and Blackwater to our most recent single Brighter Day. He was an incredible musician, a studio quality drummer. The last few years, he was brave and determined to keep on playing in the face of ill health, and I will always admire him for that. He was a terrific dad and family man, and we will all miss him.”
The Doobie’s Pat Simmons, who was a close friend of Hossack’s, said, “When my kids were little, they used to call him Big Mike, because to them he was such a big guy. But to me and those who knew him, he had an even a bigger heart. We were friends for 43 years and we shared some wonderful adventures together, times I will never forget. Thanks for all those wonderful memories Mike, and all the great music. We love you.”
He will be missed.
Sixty-two-year-old veteran rocker Eddie Money brought his Jingle Bell Rock tour to Thunder Valley Casino Resort on Thursday. Scheduled to appear was former Foreigner frontman Lou Gramm and former Jefferson Starship lead singer Mickey Thomas.
The day before their performance at Thunder Valley, it was announced that Gramm would not be performing for the remaining tour due to acute laryngitis, so Gramm was not in attendance.
As the concert kicked off with Money and Thomas taking the stage, the audience immediately started chanting, “Lou! Lou! Lou!” Money responded by explaining the situation and said they had added a couple of songs to their setlist to make up for the missing Gramm. This was followed by more than a few polite boos ““ is there really such a thing as a polite boo?
Money exited stage left while Thomas started singing “Jane.” Thomas wore a striped shirt with a loosely worn red Christmas tie, while he banged out “Sara,” “We Built This City,” “Nothings Going to Stop Us Now.” Thomas ended his set with “It’s Christmas Time Pretty Baby,” singing in the style of Elvis Presley.
The 62-year-old Thomas’ vocals really stood out throughout his set, sounding just as good as he did all those years ago, in particular when he sang Annie Lennox’s “Winter Wonderland.”
Backing Thomas was Money’s regular crew consisting of longtime band members Tommy Girvin (lead guitar) and Glenn Symmonds (drummer), with more recent additions Lee Beverly (bass) and Chris Groves (keyboards).
Following Thomas, Money came out singing “Baby Hold On” and “I Wanna Go Back.” As Money sang, he shuffled back and forth across the stage and even pulled out the saxophone to show everyone he can still play.
Rounding out the show, Money and Thomas took the stage together singing “Jingle Bell Rock” and a rocking version of “Jingle Bells.” For their encore they performed John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over).”
While Money’s vocals were not as pristine as Thomas’, he made up for it with his overall stage presence, sense of humor and kindness toward the audience, reaching out to shake hands with a few people in the front row.
Offstage, Money is extremely generous and cordial to all those around him, introducing himself to anyone standing near. His generosity doesn’t stop there.
Money is a strong supporter of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which helps support families of military personnel lost in service to our nation and for severely wounded service members and veterans.
Money is hoping fans will help bring some holiday cheer to heroic members of the armed forces by going to eddiemoney.com and purchasing his single “One More Soldier Coming Home.” All the proceeds will go to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.
The Jingle Bell Rock tour was originally started by Money. This past summer, Money performed at a benefit in a Los Angeles club where Gramm and Thomas also appeared. After some discussion they decided to work with Money and tour with him in the Jingle Bell Rock tour.
While this was Money’s show and he was the headliner, Gramm’s absence was a big disappointment for many of the fans in the audience. Especially after Foreigner just came through the area a couple of months ago with their new frontman Kelly Hansen leading the charge. Hansen did an awesome job and put on a high energy show ““ check out my review. I for one, was hoping to see the real deal – maybe next year.
Yes, the audience booed after they realized Lou wasn’t going to be there, but these diehard fans enjoyed the show nonetheless. It’s these types of fans that keep the old-school bands going. And it’s these types of bands that keep the old people going ““ and a little help from Geritol.
Wow. What the hell happened out at Thunder Valley Casino Resort Friday night?
It seems soft rock group Air Supply, playing to a packed house of lovesick fans, actually came out and rocked the house.
I know. I still don’t believe it, but it’s all true! It was bedlam, I tell you.
Here I Am thinking Sweet Dreams. What are the Chances I would find myself in a Sanctuary where Me Like You can feel The Power of Love – Everywhere, only to have a real rock concert break out. Seriously!?
Air Supply started out innocently enough with “Even the Nights are Better,” and then segueing into “Every Woman in the World.”
OK so far, but as veteran performers Russell Hitchcock (lead singer) and Graham Russell (lead guitar) weaved their hits through the guise of soft rock, I should have noticed the younger band members standing at the ready. That should have been my first clue.
The newest members to the band could have been playing for Papa Roach the way they were attacking their instruments, running and jumping around the stage. This should have been my second clue.
Jonni Lightfoot (bass guitar), CJ Burton (drums), Amir Efrat (keyboards) and Aaron McLain (guitar), all kicked out some serious tunes.
As the band made their way through their repertoire, the crowd started to react more and more with every hit played, but that all changed when Russell went acoustic with their new song, “Everywhere.” Just prior to the song, Russell requested that some audience members crowd down on the floor in front of him, having them sit on the floor.
While everyone was gathering around Russell, he explained how he enjoys sitting on his balcony at home and looking off into the mountains. He pointed to the spotlight, saying it represents the sun going down, and you all are the mountains.
“This song is about how love is all around us, and it’s called “‘Everywhere,’” he said.
Now I know you’re asking yourself, how is this not soft rock? Well, it is, but it’s really rocking in a Tesla/Eric Clapton unplugged kind of way.
But really the trick here is how Air Supply corralled a large portion of the audience to the very front of the stage and between the aisles. As soon as Russell was done with “Everywhere,” the band struck up “The One that You Love,” and Hitchcock headed out into the sea of madness, followed by Russell on guitar, neither of them missing a beat. That’s when they begin working the crowd into a complete frenzy.
Hitchcock was handing out hugs and kisses as he made his way up one aisle and down another. Women were grabbing at him as his crew fought to keep them at bay. Once they made their way back onstage, it was too late for the audience. They were under Air Supply’s spell, swaying to the music, with the periodic fan jumping up to grab Russell as he came close to the edge of the stage.
For their encore they played “Me Like You” and “All Out of Love.” It was quite obvious the crowd was not ready to leave, and there could only have been a handful of people who left before the end of the show.
I hate to say it, but Air Supply is a master of entertainment. There, I said it.
I like Air Supply.
Even the Nights are Better
Every Woman in the World
Here I Am
Power of Love
The One That You Love
Lost in Love
Dance with Me
Making Love Out of Nothing at All
Me Like You
All Out of Love
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