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Steve Vai Is Inviolate

Posted January 2022

Inviolate finalClick Above To Order Your CopyWhen I first launched Boomerocity 12 or so years ago, I had a bucket list of people - once I decided that I was going to start interviewing people (which was not at the beginning of Boomerocity). Once I started interviewing people, I made a little bucket list of those I wanted to talk to and Steve Vai was on my shortlist of people I really, really, really, really wanted to talk to. Over the years, I would try off and on getting through to the right people to interview him.

Finally, it happened.

I'm extremely grateful to have recently been given the opportunity to interview Steve Vai and for Steve making himself available. A lot of people want to talk to the man. He's a phenomenon in and of himself when it comes to playing guitar.; I first learned about him watching the movie, “Crossroads”, where he played the devil guitar player and fought a guitar duel with the Karate Kid guy, Ralph Macchio. After that, of course, I saw him with David Lee Roth on MTV and those wild music videos back when MTV was actually about music. After that, I became intrigued with this guy named Steve Vai. He was as much of a showman as he was probably one of the best guitar players in the world.

When the opportunity came up to talk with Steve, of course, I jumped at the chance. He has an album coming out titled, “Inviolate”. I've heard the album, it's phenomenal, and a great guy to talk to as well. The guy is amazing. I know you're going to love the album. I also know you're really gonna love this interview, below. After you watch it, please share it with your friends.

Underneath the interview video are the album notes that were provided before the album went to press. You'll definitely want to check those out and the videos associated with them!

You can keep up with Steve Vai at his website, here, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

The Boomerocity Interview With Steve Vai

Click On the Lower Right Corner To Enlarge the Video Above

Pre-Release Album Notes

Teeth of the Hydra:

Perhaps 5 years ago I had the idea to create a wild guitar based on a steampunk type motif, with three necks and harp strings.
The amazing designers at Hoshino (Ibanez) went to work and after perhaps 2-3 years, and a prototype to boot, the Hydra was born.

That’s what I named the guitar, the Hydra. The Hydra is a mythical multi headed dragon like creature. It was inspired in me by the old film “Jason and the Argonauts”.

The Hydra and the track "Teeth of the Hydra" was a concept 5 years in the making. It started with the idea to create a 3-neck steampunk style guitar with harp strings. The idea was brought to Ibanez and their excellent team manifested the Hydra.
Original design and first renderings by Mr. Moti Kashiuchi
Built by Mr. Kazuya Kuroki
Electrical engineering by Mr. Hirotada Nomura


Zeus in Chains:

Although many of the titles on this record have Greek mythology attached to them, there’s no deep meaning here on my end. I just like the way the titles sound. Jeremy Colson on drums. I did the rest.


Little Pretty:

Think little red riding hood and the wolf, ha. The main guitar I used for this track was a Gretch, yup. It put up quite the fight but achieved what I was looking for. The solo section is particularly challenging for me in that I wanted to write changes that moved every odd bar, and have those chords spell out synthetic type scales. Most important was to make a melody out of the solo and not have it sound like I’m jazzing about over odd changes.
Drums: Jeremy Colson
Bass: Bryan Beller
Everything else: Steve


Candle Power:

This is a track that I was thinking about recording for quite a while before I did it. I finally recorded it during the first lock down year and released it with a video on June 6, 2020. The goal was to write a piece of guitar music with a trio and set up parameters with the guitar that were somewhat out of my comfort zone. To do this I decided on a Strat style guitar, a clean tone, no whammy bar, and only using my fingers to pluck notes. All of these things way out of my comfort zone. But then I thought that wasn’t enough. I’ve had this vision of a riff that requires a guitar without a whammy bar. The idea was to be able to navigate around the neck using multiple string bending in opposite directions while pulling off notes, releasing bends, hammering others, etc. It was a visualization, and it took me weeks to get the two passages that employ this technique. I call it “joint shifting” because in order to pull some of it off requires bending only the top joint of the finger independently from any other finger. I made a simple video performance of the track and the fans seemed to enjoy it.

Bending multiple strings is not a new concept. Obviously country players have been doing it, exceptionally Jerry Donahue. But I had not seen any of it done in the way I was envisioning it, but hey… has anything not been done before on the guitar? ha.

I decided to include this track on the new record as this one, (and Knappsack) felt like orphans in a way.
But I wanted to redo the drums on this and felt that Terry Bozzio would be perfect. Luckily, he agreed to lay down a new drum part. I love it.

I play guitar and Bass and Terry is on drums.


Apollo In Color:

I have all these little acoustic string instruments in the studio and decided to use them as flavor through this track. I asked Henrik Linder to lay down a bass track and Vinny Calouta on drums.

SV: Guitar and other string things
Bass: Henrik Linder
Drums: Vinny Calouta
Keyboards: David Rosenthal



Drums: Jeremy Colson
Bass: Billy Sheehan
Keyboards and guitars: Steve


Greenish Blues:

This track is my take on blues. It’s the closest I desire to come to it.

Drums: Jeremy Colson
Bass: Philip Bynoe
Organ: Bob Carpenter
Guitar: Steve



During lock down earlier this year I had to undergo shoulder surgery for 3 torn tendons. Oddly enough, at the same time I developed trigger finger in my left thumb, and it eventually froze and made it very difficult to play. I decided to get this stuff fixed.

My excellent shoulder surgeon was Dr. Knapp. He invented this sling that is specific for patients who have had this type of surgery. He calls it the “Knappsack”. Wink wink.

I had to wear the Knappsack for 4 weeks and did not have the use of my right hand, or my left thumb for which I had the surgery on around the same time. But during my first week of recovery, I received the first ONYX Black PIA. The “PIA” is the name of the new guitar I released with Ibanez. It’s like a Jem but with some alterations. It was so beautiful when I received it, I had to try and play it, but I only had my left hand to use. I immediately thought it would be interesting to compose, record and film the performance of a song recorded with just one hand.

Hey, any means necessary, ha.

Confidentially, in a weird twist of fate, during this last summer I actually tore another, and different tendon in the same shoulder, and the main finger on my left hand (ring finger) is starting to trigger.


Sandman Cloud Mist:

I create simple loops and just jam over them to warm up. That’s basically how this track started. I was making a video on digital delay for my Patreon channel and decided to improvise to this little jam and film it for the episode. I jammed and filmed for about 20 minutes and then cut it up for the vid and posted it to you tube.

For the record recording I didn’t want to use the loop that I used in the video, so I fleshed out the track with other musicians.
Drums: Vinnie Colaiuta
Bass: Philip Bynoe
Rhythm Guitar: Dave Weiner
Keyboards: David Rosenthal
Lead Guitar: Steve

Kenny Wayne Shepherd Talks Touring, Trouble Is, and The Blues

Posted January 2022

KWS 006The word “prodigy” is often an overused and/or misapplied word. In the case of blues-rock guitarist, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, the label is quite appropriate.

Picking up the guitar at the tender age of seven after meeting the late guitar great, Stevie Ray Vaughan, the guitar gods must have cast a special mantel on Shepherd. He quickly gained a following and secured a record deal with none other than the legendary Irving Azoff by the time he was eighteen years old.

Since then, Kenny has had seven singles in the Top 10, and his second album, “Trouble Is…” is credited for holding the record for the longest-running album on the Billboard charts - due in part to the successful song, “Blue On Black” that was ultimately re-recorded with Queen’s Brian May, Five Finger Death Punch, Brantley Gilbert. No wonder the guitar wiz has been nominated for a Grammy five times.

Shepherd is conducting a 25th anniversary tour to commemorate the release of his “Trouble Is…” album as well as doing some dates that aren’t just focused on that album. KWS has been on my bucket list of desired interviews for quite a while. When it was announced that his tour was making a stop near my hood, I reached out to Kenny for an interview and he graciously agreed.

Kenny and I chatted about several things including his plans for a release of a new album, some streaming shows, and maybe a surprise or two. Please give this interview, below, a close listen. Afterward, please feel free to share it with your friends and fellow Kenny Wayne Shepherd fans.

You can keep up on the latest with him by visiting as well as his social media pages Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

The Boomerocity Interview With Kenny Wayne Shepherd

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Ian Anderson Exhibits The Zealot Gene

Posted January 2022

Cover ArtClick Above To Order Your CopyI’ve said it before and I hope to say it a lot more times in the years to come: It's always flattering to me when an artist talks to me in the first interview, but it's even more so when they will take the time to speak with me again, or, in the case of some, several times over the years since Boomerocity was launched. Such is the case to be able to talk to - not only for the second time but for the second time in six months.

As you may recall, I talked to Ian Anderson back in July (2021 – here) about some things. As we discussed in that interview, he mentioned he had an album coming out towards the end of the year. And lo and behold, here it is!

Titled, “The Zealot Gene,” it is likely to be remembered as one of the best new classic rock albums released in 2022. I have listened to it and it is amazing!

If you're Jethro Tull fan, you're going to want “The Zealot Gene” and you're definitely going to want to listen to this interview. It's classic Ian Anderson. Highly intelligent (some might even say intimidatingly so). Like the last time, we talked about the current state of the pandemic, and of course, how it impacted the recording and the assembling together of this album; how it's impacted tour. We talked in-depth, again, about religion. Again, a truly fascinating man to listen to and I think you guys are going to love listening to what he has to say.

After watching the interview, please share it with your friends. Also, order "The Zealot Gene" by clicking on the album cover on the upper left. You can keep up with the latest on Jethro Tull by visiting, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and/or Instagram.

The Boomerocity Interview With Ian Anderson


 Click On The Lower Right Corner Above to Enlarge Video

 Press Release


Jethro Tull launch video for title track of new album ‘The Zealot Gene’

British Progressive Rock Luminaries JETHRO TULL recently announced details for the group’s first studio album of new material in over 18 years! ‘The Zealot Gene’ will see a January 28th, 2022 release on Inside Out Music. Today they are pleased to reveal the video for the albums third single & title track, once again directed by Iranian film-maker Sam Chegini who previously created a clip for ‘Sad City Sisters’.

Ian Anderson comments of the track: “The title track offers many allusions to the radical, politically-charged world of populism in leadership. As a song lyric, it sums up, for me, the divisive nature of societal relationships and the extreme views which fuel the fires of hate and prejudice, more so today perhaps, than at any time in history. Perhaps you think you know who I might have been thinking about here but, in reality, there are probably right now at least five prominent, dictatorial national figures who could fit the bill.”

Watch the previously released videos below:
‘Sad City Sisters’:
‘Shoshana Sleeping’:

“Ripe with fresh inspiration and resonant of past glories, it belongs high in the Tull canon.” – Prog Magazine

“The music is light, bright, tight and recognisably Tull” – Classic Rock Magazine

A record that began to take shape as early as 2017, ‘The Zealot Gene’, in many ways, seeks to defy convention during a time when the business of being a touring and recording artist has never faced more uncertainties. Tull bandleader Ian Anderson holds no reservations about the role for which the mythos and themes of Biblical storytelling played in the lyrical content of the new album, saying:

"While I have a spot of genuine fondness for the pomp and fairytale story-telling of the Holy Book, I still feel the need to question and draw sometimes unholy parallels from the text. The good, the bad, and the downright ugly rear their heads throughout, but are punctuated with elements of love, respect, and tenderness.”

Looking back on the earth-shaking disruption of the Coronavirus pandemic, which ultimately ended the band’s touring plans and hopes of a 2020 release for ‘The Zealot Gene’, Anderson shares, "It was so sudden. Amidst the concerns and warnings of the scientific community and a few more enlightened politicians, we all retreated in disbelief to our homes to wait out the storm."

The Zealot Gene will be offered in the following formats:
• Special Edition Digipak CD
• Gatefold 2LP+CD+LP-booklet
• Limited 2CD+Blu-ray Artbook
• Limited Deluxe 3LP+2CD+Blu-ray Artbook
The Deluxe 3LP+2CD+Blu-ray Artbook comes on white vinyl and includes a 3rd LP with the rough demos. It also includes a slipmat and a numbered art print. The blu-ray includes a 5.1 surround sound mix by Jakko Jakszyk (King Crimson).

‘The Zealot Gene’ Tracklisting:

  1. Mrs. Tibbets (5:54)
  2. Jacob's Tales (2:13)
  3. Mine Is The Mountain (5:40)
  4. The Zealot Gene (3:54)
  5. Shoshana Sleeping (3:41)
  6. Sad City Sisters (3:40)
  7. Barren Beth, Wild Desert John (3:37)
  8. The Betrayal Of Joshua Kynde (4:06)
  9. Where Did Saturday Go? (3:53)
  10. Three Loves, Three (3:30)
  11. In Brief Visitation (3:00)
  12. The Fisherman Of Ephesus (3:41)

With more than 30 albums to their credit and sales totaling more than 50 million, Jethro Tull are one of the most successful rock bands of all-time with a catalog that contains classics that still resonate today. Led by Ian Anderson, Tull still continue to tour throughout the world, entertaining audiences of all ages.

The band currently consists of:
Ian Anderson - Flute, acoustic guitar, harmonica, vocals
Joe Parrish-James – Guitar
Florian Opahle - Guitar (album only)
Scott Hammond – Drums.
John O’Hara - Piano, keyboards and accordion
David Goodier - Bass guitar

Micki Free Talks Turquoise Blue, Prince, Gibbons, Santana, Simmons & Shalamar

Postred January 2022

MIcki Fee Press 1 Hi Res by Marie Gregorio OviedoI'm always late to the party. In this case, I’m kinda late in “discovering” Micki Free. Now that I’ve learned about him, I’m a dedicated fan!

As you’ll see in the interview video, below, Micki and I hit it off immediately and, man! Does he have some stories to tell! I love this guy! He's a great human being as well as a phenomenal guitar player.

The first concert he attended was Jimi Hendrix. And you can certainly hear the influences of Jimi in Micki's playing. He was discovered by Gene Simmons of Kiss. He had his first big splash was back in when he was playing for Shalimar. He also enjoyed an amazing working relationship with Prince and calls many other artists his friends.

During our chat, below, we focused mostly on his new album, Turquoise Blue. It doesn't come out until February, but you’ll want to go ahead and pre-order it (click on the album cover on this page to order it). It's phenomenal.

It's got Cindy Blackman Santana on it. You'll know her from her interviews with us (some know her as Mrs. Carlos Santana). She’s a phenomenal drummer who does a song on there with Carlos’s band called, “World On Fire”. The album is great. You're just going to have to buy the album. The press release for the album is posted under the interview video.

After you’ve watched the interview (and have ordered the album), please share this page with your friends who would enjoy Micki’s kind of music and who might enjoy watching this interview.

You can also keep up with Micki at his website,, as well as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

The Boomerocity Interview With Micki Free

Click On The Lower Right Corner To Enlarge Video Above

Press Release

Grammy-Winning Blues-Rock Guitarist Micki Free Unleashes Incendiary New Album, Turquoise Blue, Set for February 4, 2022, Release on Dark Idol Music Label
Epic Journey in Sound and Soul Premieres with Debut Single, “Bye 2020,” on November 12

PHOENIX, AZ - Heralded by Carlos Santana and Billy Gibbons, among many others, Grammy-winning blues-rock guitarist Micki Free announces a February 4, 2022, release date for his new album, Turquoise Blue, on the Dark Idol Music label, distributed by Burnside Distribution / The Orchard / Sony. Free’s mastery of tone is showcased on the new disc’s 13 originals, plus a scintillating cover of Jimi Hendrix’s classic “All Along the Watchtower.” The album was recorded, mixed and mastered by Ken Riley at Rio Grande Studios in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Special guests on Turquoise Blue include Gary Clark Jr., Steve Stevens, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram and Cindy Blackman Santana. Free teases the album’s release with his debut single, “Bye 2020,” on November 12, featuring additional guitar pyrotechnics from long-time Billy Idol six-stringer Steve Stevens. Watch the “Bye 2020” video trailer here =>

“I wrote Turquoise Blue over the period of time when Covid first broke out and we were advised to remain at home,” Free recalls. “Interacting with my peers was just not an option. The songs are a direct testament of how I felt during that crazy time. Take my song, ‘Bye 2020;’ it tells exactly how I felt that year, with the dying, the masks, the quarantine, the protests, the fake news, the misinformation…. I just wanted to say, ‘Bye 2020!’ I enlisted my good buddy Steve Stevens from Billy Idol to lay down the first guitar solo and I did the second solo.

“I get my mojo from the classic greats—the masters of blues-rock and even classic rock,” Micki Free declares, “but everything I play comes from my own heart, and with Turquoise Blue, I feel like I’m really getting to the core of what I do in a way I hope people will connect with, because making music is about a connection so strong that it transcends language.”
Free’s resume reads like an almost-mythical backstory to a movie: a protégé and guitar-slinging peer of KISS’s Gene Simmons, Prince, Billy Gibbons, Carlos Santana, and Cheap Trick’s Rick Neilson; glorified in a popular Chappelle’s Show episode of “Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories,” as part of Prince’s team in a now-legendary basketball game. A featured member of R&B hitmakers Shalamar, he scored a top 20 hit with “Dancin’ in the Streets” and won a Grammy in 1985 for the song, “Don’t Get Stopped in Beverly Hills,” from the Beverly Hills Cop film soundtrack.

Free was born in West Texas of mixed blood Cherokee/Comanche Native American and Irish descent. Soon after, his family relocated to Germany, where his father was stationed as a sergeant in the Army. It was there at age 12 that an older sister took him to see Jimi Hendrix. “Jimi just blew my mind,” Free recalls. “He came out dressed like a gypsy with scarves and a flowing, psychedelic shirt, and his guitar was the most incredible thing I’d ever heard. From that moment on, I knew what I wanted to do with my life.”

After his family moved to Illinois, Free formed his first rock band, Smokehouse. When Smokehouse opened a concert bill that included the group KISS, Gene Simmons, himself, walked up to Free as his band was coming offstage and declared him “a star.” By that time, Free, had already developed a flair for rock ‘n’ roll fashion and the dynamic stage presence that’s one of his trademarks. Free was 19 years old when Simmons became his first manager. Since then, he’s been in the whirlwind of the music business, having recorded, written songs, and played with Simmons, the Rolling Stones’ Bill Wyman, Janet Jackson, Diana Ross, Prince, Little Steven, Sam Moore, Cheap Trick, Billy Gibbons, Carlos Santana, and Jean Beauvior of The Plasmatics.

During his nine years with Shalamar, Free was nominated for Grammy Awards three times. “I loved being part of that band and its success,” Free says, “but as a musician I felt I really couldn’t be myself. I was a blues-rock guitar player and songwriter who just wanted to let it fly and play from my soul.” Once free from the constricts of playing in a commercial R&B format, Free reconnected with his roots in big guitar tones and epic soundscapes, and songs written from the heart and not for the charts. You can hear the exploration that culminates in Turquoise Blue on five previous studio albums, including the critically heralded Tattoo Burn, from 2017, as well as Micki Free—American Horse Live at Hyde Park, which captures a 2010 London concert that featured guest Bill Wyman and Native American dancers.

“I’ve grown and matured as a songwriter since my Shalamar days, and brought my blues-rock guitar playing, which has been my passion since I saw my first concert - Jimi Hendrix- front and center,” Free says. “With this album, I’ve been able to thread every element of my life and my playing together in a way that reflects my entire journey. I’ve kept it honest to the bone, so listeners can feel it, too. This album is, basically, Micki Free.

“Another standout track on the new CD is ‘World on Fire,’ a song definitely about the sign of the times. The music for the song started out as sort of homage to my buddy Carlos Santana, who I’ve jammed with many times in the last five years or so. I idolized him and Jimi Hendrix growing up as a boy. The lyrics again were inspired by current events during 2020-2021. I have my old bandmate Cindy Blackman-Santana, wife of Carlos Santana, on drums, Andy Vargas, lead singer of Santana, and Karl P. on percussion. I produced the track and played all the guitars.”

An additional highlight is Micki Free’s treatment of the Hendrix/Dylan classic, “All Along the Watchtower.” “After seeing Jimi perform ‘All Along the Watchtower’ in-person, his version was just so haunting to me and I always wanted to cover it…to this day my favorite Jimi Hendrix song…written by Bob Dylan.”

Through it all, Free has also embraced his heritage. As a musical activist, he has created the Native Music Rocks program, which gives Native American musicians performance opportunities. He also founded the first Native American record company (Native Music Rocks Records) and is an advocate for the Seminole Tribe of Florida. In addition to his guitar prowess, Free has mastered the Native American flute and has recorded five albums on that instrument, including 2016’s The Native American Flute as Therapy. Next to his Grammy, his accolades thus far include five Native American Music Awards, including Male Artist and Pop Rock Artist.

Turquoise Blue Track Listing and Credits
All songs written (except “All Along the Watchtower” by Bob Dylan), produced and arranged by Micki Free

  1. Bye 2020- Steve Stevens 1st guitar solo / Micki Free 2nd guitar solo
  2. Low Ridin’420
  3. World on Fire - Cindy Blackman-Santana drums; Andy Vargas lead vocal; Karl Perazzo percussions; Micki Free all guitars
  4. Heavy Mercy
  5. Judicator Blues – Christone “Kingfish” Ingram 1st guitar solo / Micki Free 2nd guitar solo
  6. Spring Fever
  7. Come Home Big Mama
  8. Invitation Love
  9. Woman – Gary Clark Jr. 1st guitar solo / Micki Free 2nd guitar solo
  10. All Along the Watchtower – Micki Free – all guitars
  11. My Big Regret – Steve Stevens nylon guitar solo
  12. Heaven or Heroin
  13. Ring of Fire
  14. Blue Memories

Jennifer Saran and Narada Michael Walden Celebrate Christmas In A Bubble

Posted December 2021

ChristmasInABubbleCoverThe year of 2021 is ending up being a phenomenal year this year with tons of great interviews having taken place. In fact, 2021 is closing out to be the most prolific year, interview wise, in the entire life (to date) of Boomerocity.

Because of that, I think it’s especially “poetic” that the last Christmas-oriented piece for 2021 is with Jennifer Saran and Narada Michael Walden. Jennifer is an incredibly talented and prolific singer/songwriter in the areas of adult pop and contemporary jazz. Narada is no stranger to Boomerocity. I had the privilege of interviewing him five years ago (here). As you’ll read in that interview, he’s a renowned producer, musician, and recording artists. The two together are creative dynamos who, when they put their talents and ideas together, the result is amazing music.

As great as that is, it’s even better when it comes to their Christmas music. That is especially true this year with their new Christmas single, “Christmas In A Bubble”. The music video for that song is to the right. Give it a good, close listen. Listen to the brief interview below, with Jennifer (dialing in from New York) and Narada (dialing in from Southern California). After you enjoy it, share it with your friends.

Keep up with Jennifer Saran at here website (here), Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The same goes for Narada Michael Walden. Visit his website, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

The Boomerocity Interview With Jennifer Saran & Narada Michael Walden


 Click On The Lower Right Corner To Enlarge Above Video