Beth Hart Commands Zeppelin

Posted February 2022

BethHart Feb2022 001The video you're about to watch of my interview with Beth Hart is my fifth interview with her. Every time I talk with this amazing, musically gifted woman, I just love her more and more as a fan.

As big of a fan that I am of hers, I am also blown away by her resilience. Beth been through a lot. Each time she comes through with flying colors, and it always comes out in her music. So, with this being my fifth interview, we just flew fast and loose in our chat to both catch up on things as well as about her incredible new album, “A Tribute To Led Zeppelin”.

I recorded this interview around the first of December and as of this posting, the album will come out on February 25th. I’ve already listened to it a bunch more times than I already had by the time of the interview with Beth. On it she covers some of the most phenomenal Led Zeppelin tunes that we all know and love . . . and she does it her way.

And she has done them in the most amazing ways.

This is not hype.

That is honest to goodness truth.

If you love Led Zeppelin, and if you love Beth Hart, this is going to be a phenomenal album for you to own. The press release for the album is under the interview video.

If you've never heard Beth Hart, this is a great album for you to get introduced to her on. It's a little bit of a departure from her normal work because she's normally a blues rocker type.

After you watch the interview video below, please share it with your friends and family. Then, pre-order Beth’s new album by clicking on the album cover image on this page. You can follow her at her website - BethHart.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The Boomerocity Interview With Beth Hart

 

 Press Release

tributetoledzeppelincoverClick Above To Order Your CopyThe Grammy-nominated powerhouse vocalist Beth Hart takes on one of her most profound undertakings to date by channelling the legendary voice of Robert Plant on A Tribute To Led Zeppelin. The album will be released on February 25 via Provogue/Mascot Label Group and will be available digitally, CD, and LP (Black vinyl, Orange transparent vinyl, and Splatter red gold vinyl).

The nine track album highlights the incredible musical spectrum that Led Zeppelin operated in. At the helm was super-producer Rob Cavallo (Green Day, Linkin Park, My Chemical Romance) and engineer Doug McKean (Goo Goo Dolls, Adam Lambert). The A-list musicians include Cavallo on guitar along with Tim Pierce (Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner); on bass was Chris Chaney (Rob Zombie, Slash);on keyboards was Jamie Muhoberac (Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones); on drums was Dorian Crozier (Celine Dion, Miley Cyrus, Joe Cocker), and Matt Laug played drums on Stairway To Heaven (Alanis Morissette, Alice Cooper). Orchestral arrangements were by David Campbell (Muse, Beyoncé). All that was left was the final piece of the puzzle... the voice.

Things clicked into place when Cavallo was producing Hart's previous album, War In My Mind (2019), and she did an impromptu version of "Whole Lotta Love" in the studio. He later asked about doing a whole record. Beth said, "I'm not doing this whole album. To do Zeppelin, you've got to be pissed off to hit that right. I can't go there; I've worked years to put my rage away."

She continues, "then the pandemic and all the things around it hit. So now I'm pissed off. I called my manager and said, have Rob and Doug send me all the music because I am ready to do this."

If you were to rewind, you could say the story for a Led Zeppelin album started further back; in May 2004 Hart prowled the stage at the Paradiso in Amsterdam for an incendiary performance of "Whole Lotta Love". The song became a semi-regular fixture in her setlist over the years, including a memorable performance with Slash.

As a child, the sound of "Black Dog" traveled from Beth's neighbor's house into her orbit. Her brother introduced her to the heavy rock of Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. Her major-label debut came on Atlantic with the 1996 release of Immortal. The same label introduced Led Zeppelin to the world in 1969.

Earlier on in Beth's career, former VP of Led Zeppelin's Swan Song label, Alan Callan, recommended Beth contact Jeff Beck to work together. Hart and Beck have gone on to form a beautiful friendship. Beck and Jimmy Page are also friends, and for a while, bandmates in The Yardbirds. After Beck's departure from the band, they would eventually become Led Zeppelin.

After her phenomenal performance at the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors for Buddy Guy, she received a standing ovation from Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and John Paul Jones.


It's fitting that "Whole Lotta Love" is the opening song of the album. From there, it's a non-stop journey through "Kashmir", an enchanting version of "Stairway to Heaven" to a James Brown-esque funky strut of "The Crunge." Inspired medleys "Dancing Days/When The Levee Breaks" and "No Quarter/Babe I'm Gonna Leave You Now" stand on both sides of "Black Dog." The penultimate song, "Good Times Bad Times" leads into the orchestral ballad "The Rain Song," which closes the album.

Talking about the music and legacy of Zeppelin, she says, "it's so beautifully done, it's timeless. It will go on forever. Sometimes people come along, and they're from another planet, and they make these pieces of art which will forever be."

Hart is recognized as one of her generation's most talented voices. She has sold out tours worldwide, including performances at historic venues such as Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, London's Royal Albert Hall, and the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam. She's topped the Billboard Blues charts six times, gone double platinum and had a string of Top 10 charting albums across Europe.

On a final thought, Beth pauses and reflects to say, "this Zeppelin album allowed me to get all my rage out, and for that, I'm really grateful."

Track List

  1. Whole Lotta Love
  2. Kashmir
  3. Stairway To Heaven
  4. The Crunge
  5. Dancing Days / When The Levee Breaks (Medley)
  6. Black Dog
  7. No Quarter / Babe I'm Gonna Leave You (Medley)
  8. Good Times Bad Times
  9. The Rain Song

TOTO's Joe Williams Talks Tour With Journey and More

Posted Fanuary/February 2022

JoeWilliams Jan2022Boomerocity followers already know that we’re huge fans of TOTO and have been privileged to have interviewed Joe Williams and Luke multiple times over the past several years.

Recently, TOTO announced the band’s return to the road in late-February. The band will begin the DOGZ OF OZ WORLD TOUR in Las Vegas, NV on February 25. Initial dates on-sale this week are presented below, while additional appearances will be announced in the coming weeks.

On April 7, TOTO will perform an additional 18 shows in U.S. arenas with Journey. In July and August, the band will be touring in Europe headlining festivals, alongside performing in arenas and large theaters which include an already sold-out appearance at Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome.

To talk about the tour, Joe Williams and I hooked up via Zoom to chat about the tour and what fans can expect. It was yet another fun, brief chat that fans will want to listen in on via the video below. Underneath the video are some up-to-date fun facts about the band.

Watch the video. Enjoy it. Share it with friends. Then go online at TotoOfficial.com to order your tickets.

The Boomerocity Interview With Joe WIlliams

 

 

TotoTourToto’s “Africa” recently crossed the threshold of ONE BILLION streams on Spotify. This accomplishment speaks to the continual discovery of the band’s repertoire, alongside the multi-generational fan base enjoying a composition that is nearing forty years since the band’s album IV was released. Cumulative Spotify streams exceed 3.3 Billion plays.

The band recently released With A Little Help From My Friends via The Players Club / Mascot Label Group. Steve Lukather shares, “We are keeping the music of Toto alive with a little help from our friends.” Joseph Williams offers, “In the midst of a global pandemic and an unprecedented lockdown we realized a few things. Musicians must play and people need to get together to watch them. It was then Luke, Dave and I decided to call upon our friends to create this performance. We welcomed new friends on to the stage and found an instant connection with them. Welcomed back old friends to do a little work! The fact is we couldn’t have pulled it off without the love and support of our friends and family. Never was a title or a song been more appropriate. I hope you enjoy ‘With a Little Help From My Friends!’”

The global tour that will stretch several years is presented by Toto co-founder and musical director David Paich. Joining Steve Lukather and Joseph Williams on the road are new band members bassist John Pierce (Huey Lewis and The News), drummer Robert “Sput” Searight (Ghost-Note), and keyboardist / background vocalist Steve Maggiora (Robert Jon & The Wreck). Keyboardist Dominique “Xavier” Taplin (Prince, Ghost-Note) and multi-instrumentalist / vocalist Warren Ham (Ringo Starr) segued over continuing their tenure in the ensemble. This marks the fifteenth incarnation of the Toto line-up in consideration of band members or sidemen who joined or exited.

Steve Lukather offers, “When the music is performed by great musicians it honors Toto. The documentary featured on the DVD offers great insights into our thoughts looking forward. David, who stands with us, alongside Joe and me, desire to keep this music alive. And Paich could pop in any time for a show as a special surprise. We’ll be selecting a broader mix from the Toto catalog that includes deep cuts, the hits, and tunes from Joe and my recently released solo albums. Both of us could not be more thrilled with the global response to these records.”

Luke and Joseph Williams are life-long friends since they were kids, and bandmates sharing a deep colorful history that has thrived professionally on a global basis over the past decades. Luke offers, “There is a refreshing, optimistic enthusiasm to step into the future. At this moment, Joe and I are the only long-tenured members of the band that want to be on the road continuing to bring music to our multi-generational fan base. I’ve spent almost four and a half decades of my life as the only original member who never missed a show or an album nurturing this legacy while enabling the music to continually exist in the live concert setting. That is something I’ll never stop doing, and when we inevitably return to the road it presents a rare opportunity to reimagine our personal futures while simultaneously preserving the deep connection that exists with the audience while likewise yielding continual discovery.” Williams adds, “Luke and I have been through a lot with one another. He’s like a brother to me. Our creative partnership has always enriched our lives. As we look towards what’s to come in unison, there is nothing but anticipation to bring everything in our minds to life. I can’t think of anyone else on Earth I’d rather launch the next chapter with than with this lifelong, loyal and gifted friend and band mate. We’re the last men standing…The Dogz of Oz,”

With A Little Help From My Friends was Produced by Joseph Williams, who also edited the accompanying long-form video. The band’s long-time front of house engineer Ken Freeman mixed and captured the sound. On February 26, Luke and Joe presented solo albums via The Players Club / Mascot Label Group which charted in multiple territories across the globe.

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

 

Avalancha:

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

 

Knappsack:

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

Brian Ray Talks Etta James, McCartney and Guitars

Posted January 2022

Brian Ray 001When I launched Boomerocity, I had a mental bucket list of some of the people I wanted to interview. Among them was Brian Ray, guitarist for Paul McCartney for the past twenty years.

Other than the obvious, one of the big reasons I wanted to interview Brian was because he also played with the late, great Etta James at the beginning of his career. The fact that he co-wrote the Smokey Robinson hit, “One Heartbeat” was also a big draw for me.

Ray has also worked and/or shared stages with (as well as collaborated with) some of the biggest names in music. Artists such as Peter Frampton, Keith Richards, Rita Coolidge, Bo Diddley, Johnny Hallyday, Santana, The Bangles’ Michael Steele, Bonnie Raitt, Joe Cocker, and many others. When he’s not working with others, Brian enjoys a successful solo career.

Brian is a phenomenal guy. Gracious, very kind, and he’s got a very sweet spirit of about him and is a lot of fun to talk to, to boot. He's done a lot of great interviews with a lot of great journalists, and I feel honored that he took the time to speak with me for just a little bit about his career, what he's been up to, that kind of thing.

I hope you enjoy watching the interview, below, as much as I did conducting it. After you watch it, please share it with your friends. You can follow Brian Ray on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

The Boomerocity Interview With Brian Ray

 

Click On The Lower Right Corner To Enlarge The Video Above

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 KennyWayneShepherd.net as well as his social media pages Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

The Boomerocity Interview With Kenny Wayne Shepherd

Click On The Lower Right Corner To Enlarge The Above Video