Saturday, June 25, 2016

Star Wars Kanan review

Next up is a Star Wars, Kanan, The Last Padawn graphic novel review for Artvoice...and Queen City Bookstore. All of these books can be purchased from Queen City Bookstore.
Here's a link directly to Graphic Traffic column.

After that review, which is hopefully published properly and credited to me, is Dark Knight Returns The Last Crusade...

...after that is a Neil Gaiman book which I am looking forward to reading and reviewing How To Talk To Girls At Parties.

The Clyborn Yates Show with Chloe Bravada

Update 6/18/16 6PM: The posting on the Forever Green appearance is slated for 8/12/16. 
Listen in on the Clyborn Yates and Chloe Bravada show as they spin some Forever Green music and share some laughs with Dan and Joe during the interview.
Included lower on this blog piece is all the updated info about the show as well as a direct link to the online website where all the shows are compiled for easy access.

The Clyborn Yates Show with Chloe Bravada @
Supporting and Promoting WNY Musicians!
Clyborn Yates, Program Director/Disc Jockey
Chloe Bravada Co-Host/Producer
"Like" us on Facebook, Contact us on Facebook

The Beat Niagara on Facebook
To have your live music event listed on our page: Contact: Chloe Bravada on Facebook.
Daily posts on Facebook showcasing local musicians and local venues. 

Update 6/18/16 12AM: Forever Green will be guest starring on the Clyborn Yates on 6/18 @ 1pm. 
Clyborn will be spinning the latest Forever Green song "8 1/2 foot Ganja Bush" and a song or 2 from "10 Years In The Baking". 
Having been a guest on the show before it promises to be a blast! 
Look for an update on the show on the Clyborn Yates Facebook page, thanks for listening! 

Buffalo Bands, The Clyborn Yates Show supports local music, inquire at the websites above if your band is interested in appearing on the show, tell 'em Joey Tell sent ya!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Blair Clark - Madison, WI

Blair Clark is a low crooner and a late bloomer. He is a singer songwriter from Madison WI. In 2009 he formed the punk rock band underculture. Two years later he started the band The Sills. The music fused bluegrass and folk with punk rock and rockabilly. They put out two cd's and then Blair walked away in 2015. He is currently recording from his apartment on a smallish 8trk on a 10 EP run. He writes songs from his broken heart and broken head. The music is lean. His June release Take Me Like You Found Me is pop candy. In May he released Demolicious it is delicious lo-fi. You can check out all of his EPs at The Sills can also be found on bandcamp.

Take Me Like You Found Me is a authentic lo-fi experience the likes of which haven't been heard of since the late 60's. The throwback sound brings to mind all of the coolest bands who were influential in the development of punk and alternative rock. The song has a uplifting tempo which may very well inspire much dancing when played live. Blair's vocals are sweet and soulful, using accents and fluttering tremelo to create a unique singing style.
Come Away With Me would fit right in at any rock and roll dance party. A crowded dance hall full of swaying bodies comes to mind when I listen to this song. A guitar plays in the background and fills in all of the open spaces in the melody perfectly. The vocals convey the feeling of smoldering urgency.
See Saw is a melancholy, yet very melodic, rock and roll song which immediately drew me in. The song has a laid back feel yet still manages to sound strong with it's outstanding lead guitar hooks. Blair Clark's sad vocal tones convey the mood and set the tone for the song. See Saw is my newest, favorite song and the best song on Take Me Like You Found Me.
Silver Bells has the feel of late 50's rock and roll rave up. The descending guitar chords help create the mood with a fantastic, jingly jangly Fender sound. Pull out your old leather and slick your hair back before you listen is highly recommended. Bum a cigarette off your buddy to complete the picture.

to be continued...

Current Events

The Nickel City Con will be held at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Scenics - Toronto, CA

The Scenics // Toronto Proto Punk // Friday, July 8th // 8 PM
@ Mohawk Place // Buffalo, NY // Only $5 Cover @ The Door

The Scenics
w/ The Barksdales, Twin Lions, The Card Cheats, & The Rifts
Friday, July 8th // Doors @ 8 PM // Ages 18+
@ Mohawk Place // 47 E Mohawk St // Buffalo, NY
Only $5.00 Cover @ The Door!

“If a band makes an album and nobody hears it, does it still rock? It sure does. Three decades after the fact, recently reunited Toronto punks The Scenics have finally issued a sophomore disc — this long-lost batch of wiry Television guitars, black Velvets art-rock, Pere Ubu yelping and the freakiest Tommy James cover you’ve ever heard." Daryl Sterdan the Winnipeg Sun

“It wasn't so much that The Scenics were ahead of their time in 1977, it's more that almost everybody else didn't even know what time it was. The Scenics were on top of it though, grabbing the freedom promised by punk's first blush... New York had Talking Heads, and England was blessed with XTC, but here was their equal in Toronto and they never got the necessary push and support. It's fabulous we finally have the evidence, but it's a drag we haven't been able to enjoy it the past 30 years.”
Bob Mersereau, author of the "the Top 100 Canadian Albums"

“Largely unappreciated when they originally existed between 1976-81, these underground icons merged Television’s guitar work, Big Star’s pop prowess, Pere Ubu’s dementia, & the Ramones’ urgency.” Montreal Mirror

"Brainy crackpot art-pop with an ear for off-kilter melody, a headful of magic and twitchy grooves to burn. It's a sin the Scenics have left such a faint mark on punk-rock history... but now we can start to make things right: the reborn cult starts here.” Ben Rayner, Toronto Star

Music Videos:
Do The Wait
Dark Cave
I Killed Marx

Red Francis - Chicago, IL

Red Francis by Red Francis CD review
Song A kicks off this CD with a high energy instrumental jam that sounds like alternative surf rock.
Youtube link
Song B has a slow and steady groove that is carried along very nicely by a killer sounding bass track. The beat is contagious and will have you pounding something along with it by the end of the song. Bassically this song is my fave on Red Francis. Youtube link
Media Feeding Frenzy seems to be a commentary on the state of today's TV media. A well crafted rock song that is further enhanced during the chorus by some sultry female vocals and a well-blown trumpet.  Check out the fantastic video
Step Into The Moment is another well composed rock song with a strong melodic sense and a crafty chorus further enhanced with a great sounding keyboard track.
Youtube link
The next track has a rather odd title (7:04 Singer) that I'm sure has some kind of hidden meaning. The instrumental track starts slow and serene but soon the energy picks up as the band begins to rock out.
Youtube link
Beauty in the Grey is a groove heavy track that flows along very nicely until it ends very abruptly. I would have liked to hear some kind of solo somewhere along the line.
Youtube link
John the Fool follows along in the same vein as the rest of the songs until the song is punctuated with a well played solo from Jack Kerwin. The energy of the music is lifted up into a urgent crescendo during the solo until the song ends on a high note.
Youtube link
Curbstomp roars into the ears with unbridled aggression and power. This song is a refreshing change of pace from the rest of the music on the CD. Really enjoyed this track.
Check it out on Youtube
Star A War is the clever title for this rockin' song. The intro features the cool sounds of a distorted bass guitar and a edgy guitar keeps the spacy groove goin' strong. One of the best on Red Francis.
Youtube link which lists' the title as Start A War, either way this song rocks
Welcome To The Prime is driven by a melodic call and return guitar and vocal line. The bass takes over during the chorus becoming a bit busier.
Youtube link
Anxious and Mortified immediately reminded of a college radio song. This prime mover is one of my favorites on Red Francis. Youtube link
Seemingly saving the best for last, Nos Saevire (We Rage), is a 6 1/2 minute opus of rock goodness. Starting off like much of the rest of the CD, a awesome sounding distorted bass carries the song into the first couple of verses'. The song then slows down into a heavier, grinding, guitar driven jam. Once again I would have liked to hear a guitar or bass solo punctuating the music but the song still sounds great with plenty of psychedelic rock aggression and noise. Nos Saevire takes this great CD out in style. Youtube link

Red Francis bandcamp CD liner notes
Music by Michael Glader, Alex Fishback and Brett Fishback. Lyrics by Michael Glader. Engineered, recorded and mixed by Barrett Guzaldo. Music recorded and mixed at Treehouse Records. Mastered by Doug McBride. Mastered at Gravity Studios.

All songs written and produced by Red Francis except for "John The Fool," written by Bo Blodgett and Michael Glader. Background vocals provided by the lovely Viv McConnell and trumpet provided by Mike Jones. Guitar solo in "John the Fool" preformed by Jack Kerwin. All songs mixed and recorded onto tape at Treehouse Records via Barrett Guzaldo. Thank you to Treehouse Records, all of our beautiful friends, our awesome families and our incredibly supportive fans. Thank you all!
Soulful blues rock n roll from Chicago

Red Francis is a rock n' roll group out of Chicago. They've played the Midwest, the West Coast and are checking out the East Coast right on a 3 week tour right now. Red Francis have put out three albums so far and will be recording their fourth studio full-length right when they return to Chicago. Stay updated on everything at

Thank You, Red Francis!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Forever Green - Buffalo, NY

6/11/16: Aside from reviewing local music and writing graphic novel reviews I also record original music with my friend, Danny Manzella as Forever Green. We just released a new song called 8 1/2 foot Ganja Bush which I am really proud of. Originally a duo, Dan and I like to have our good friends come down to contribute parts to our original songs. It's interesting to hear them play along and it makes the entire recording experience that much more fun as they add their unique talents to our music. I would like to recognize everyone's contributions to the song as well as Dan's unique vocals and Mike's outstanding drumming. Great Job and Thank You!
8 1/2 foot Ganja Bush has a simple basic track so we agreed that there was plenty of room for soloing and improvisation from our friends.
Here's the breakdown of guest stars and what they added to the final mix.
My old friend, Jack Branka, agreed to play electric guitar as I played acoustic guitar on the original session. Jack played guitar in my first band so I thought it would a great idea to have him come down and play. He played awesome and his rhythm/lead guitar work is heard prominently in the mix. As I listened to the first few takes of the song I thought it would be great to have a female vocal singing along somewhere in the mix. Jenelle Duguay agreed to sing and her outstanding vocals add alot to the overall sound of the song. Brian Pond added some really cool sounds with his wah-wah lead guitar. Last but not least, good friends Tommy Leach Jr. contributed a sweet sounding lead bass solo and Justin Leach added a fourth lead guitar. Their playing comes into the song later around the 6 minute mark or so. Mike Boncaldo mixed and mastered the song which will be on a new Forever Green CD sometime soon. We hope you enjoy listening to the song as much as we enjoyed playing on it.
If you want to hear the 8 1/2 foot Ganja Bush song here is a direct link to it through our Reverbnation music page     
Thanks for listening and any comments are welcome.

Update 4/14/16: Big Thank you to All Music & All Bands for the fantastic review of 10 Years In The Baking...

Forever Green
"10 Years In The Baking"
CD Review
This acoustic Americana duo are Danny Manzella - All Lyrics, Lead Vocals, Harmonica, and Joe Tell - Guitars and Bass, with a host of guest players who helped bring this cool menagerie together. Danny also plays with 55 Main, The Lost Riders band and Jimmy Munt and friends. Other seasoned musicians on this disc are: Tony Chimera on Percussion; Vince Mastrantonio (The Vincent James Explosion, Carina & The Six String Preacher) - Producer; Brian Pond - Lead Guitar; Tommy Leach Jr. - Bass; Justin Leach - Lead Guitar (both from the River Rocks band), and Mike Boncaldo (Chunkpipe) - Drums. Special guest Rob Loiacano on Eggshaker for Melody For Maria. These various musicians make appearances and lend their talents to this 16-song debut CD, with some remoxed material from their first EP, with many interesting additions.
Getting it all going is "Senorita", going for an old-west type sound, like an outlaw and a Mex that's not enough, Tommy Leach Jr. is laying down solid bass. Drums are supplied by Mike Boncaldo. It's a story of a man in love with someone, whose father doesn't approve. The first verse says it all, "I know a girl Mariana, her presence set me afire, her flame was like the night, full of lust and desire. She walked from the canteena, from there I was under her spell, to me she seemed like an angel, could it been the wishing well. One night her Papa saw me creeping out the door. He screamed, I'll kill you seƱor, you won't see my daughter no more. She looked out from the window. She screamed: 'No Papa, No.' He came a-runnin' at me, now Papa run no more." The chorus here is sung like a serenade! "Empty Room Jump", actually a darker tune than one might realize, written about a man whose girl ain't comin' back. Tommy's brother Justin Leach is an incredible lead guitarist, and it's quite evident in his solo. Tony Chimera has his infectious percussion going. We love the guitar, which brings a fresh sound.
Just a simple ballad with a certain feel, "A Girl's Name", and one of their very first recordings as a band, is an acoustic-laden track. The singing and lyrics are emotional, "Sometimes I can't stop a tear from falling up in eye, cause I can't help it baby, I feel for you. I can't help the poor, not every single poor man I know, but I can try to do my part, each day, by and by."
"She Left" features Brian Pond laying down a superb groove, with Dan hopping in and improving the tune with some harp. Tony is chugging along with his style of bongos and various other percussion instruments. Love the mellow vibe and simplicity. Danny sings with passion and right from the soul. Strumming rock, upbeat acoustic and furious singing is how "Saw A Rose", kicks off and continues. It's definitely one of our favorites. It tells a tale of disillusionment over a relationship gone south. "Saw a rose, was not red, saw a rose, was not red. The place we sleep at night, is just our bed. See at night it's just our house, ain't no love nest baby, it's just our house, just a husband, just a spouse. Blue I feel is all around, when you shout and scream and try to run me out I think we know, Lord we just don't save. Go on and with it babe, there after day. Yeaaa!"
Clean with pleasant sounding acoustic guitar begins "I'd Find My Way". It's mixed in a slightly different vocal track. It conveys a feeling of sitting around and jamming, and having a great time. "When You're Near Me" is a slower, more soothing tune, with its harmonica, bongos, and fine bass lines by Tommy Leach Jr. Vocals here are lower toned, yet still powerful. We truly enjoyed the music, singing, and all the other elements cleverly placed, making it another one of our favorites. The chorus "Cause it's you and me babe, I get the feeling it will always be. Yea, it's you and me babe, when you're near me I feel free", are lyrics that bring a warm, loving feeling, and such a positive vibe. Enjoying the harmonica and pleasant chords on "To See You Again" (one of their older songs) was performed live, but was never recorded or released until now.
A well-written and performed guitar intro pushes us into "Waves". Written about many different kinds of waves, it's an older song, which was a task to sing live for Danny. Powerful guitar strumming and more fantastic vocals again here. It's the duo at its finest! It's a slightly different version than the live one on their debut, with no percussion.
A rockabilly and country blending makes for a cool mix for the theme behind "Greener Pastures". Again, it's another of their older classics from the early days. In between the verses, a mean harmonica plays out.
"Horse Behind The Plow Blues", is a simple blues tune the band keeps coming back to. Playing alongside them on Lead Guitar is Brian, another appearance by Mike on Drums and we can't keep Tony away from adding his talent!
"Final Wish Before Goodbye" is a song written about an indecisive man trying to determine where his relationship stands. Slowed up, with ringing guitar and vocals, and the harmonica was brought out for the occasion.
In "Fall Down Blues", Danny's singing his lungs out with lines like, "If you look at me and told me you wish I was dead, I'd still love you baby, I'm like that in the head"; and then, "a trip up the country thought would do us good. Instead treats me like a dummy made out of wood". He showcases his soulful and bluesy voice, and sings with heart. Acoustic guitar, uptempo rhythm and incredible vocals really make this a fun song to listen to. If you love Folk/Americana rock then this is your jam! We enjoyed the lyrics, speaking of going out to country, just to get away and clear the mind. It was their first song recorded as a band, and used to kick off a few of their shows too; it's the one that started it all.
One of Joe Tell's all-time faves is "Old Dead Flea Blues", describing an acid-drenched trip through the Everglades. With aggressive guitar that has attitude, an unexpected change to a bluesy-based bridge keeps the ears intrigued.
Talk about an old school vibe, "Exactly What You Did" does exactly that, sounding as if it's being played on an antique turntable, with all it's perfect imperfections. The mood that comes to mind is of being in the swamps and hanging on the porch, and is the finest of the blues! Standard beat, harmonica and gritty vocals are featured here.
Concluding this awesome release is an instrumental written by Joe, dedicated to his wife, "Melody For Maria." The track was produced by Vincent Mastrantonio (Vincent James Explosion, Carina & The Six String Preacher), Joe Tell is featured on Lead Guitar with yours truly on the eggshaker.
Thanks to Joe for providing this CD for review and giving us the opportunity to share great new music, with powerful lyrics and vocals! Please visit their Reverbnation site or for information on the band, their music, and upcoming events.
Track Listing
"Empty Room Jump"
"A Girl's Name"
"She Left"
"Saw A Rose"
"I'd Find My Way"
"When You're Near Me"
"To See You Again"
"Greener Pastures"
"Horse Behind The Plow Blues"
"Final Wish Before Goodbye"
"Fall Down Blues"
"Old Dead Flea Blues"
"Exactly What You Did"
"Melody For Maria"

Update 3/26/16:  Forever Green - self titled - EP review
Forever Green is a musical collaboration between musicians Dan Manzella and Joseph Militello AKA Joe Tell and the title of their new five song EP. Treading territory somewhere between Father John Misty and Hot Tuna the album is a stripped down affair with most tracks feature just guitar, bass and vocals with the occasional harmonica or percussion. "Fall Down Blues" and "When You're Near Me" are straight up acoustic blues numbers while "I'd Find My Way" is a slow ballad and "Joey's Song" an instrumental is almost in the realm of psychedelic mysticism with its experimental sounds. Rounding out the album is "Waves" a track that was recorded live at the Tudor Lounge. For more information about Forever Green visit them on the web at
Review By Bob Silvestri

Thank You Bob!

Update 2/15/16: Forever Green would like to thank Rob from the All Music/All Bands Facebook/Reverbnation music site for reviewing the Forever Green EP. Thank you Rob!
Here's the complete review...

Forever Green "Forever Green" CD Review

This two piece Folk, Acoustic based band out of the WNY area is made up of Danny Manzella (55 Main, Jimmy Munt and Friends, The Lost Riders Band) - Lead Vocals, Harmonica, and Joe Militello - Acoustic & Electric Guitar. Joe Militello also goes under the alias Guiseppe Tell and is listed as playing Bass. The CD features guest musicians, Vincent Mastrantonio ( The Vincent James Explosion, Carina & The Six String Preacher ) - Lead Guitar / Keyboards on Joey's song, Tommy Leach Jr. - Bass on When You're Near Me, and Tony Chimera ( 55 Main ) - Bongos, percussion on When You're Near Me.

Really enjoyed the first track, "Fall Down Blues". Danny's singing his lungs out with lines like "If you look at me and told me you wish I was dead, I'd still love you baby, I'm like that in the head" and especially on "A trip up the country thought would do us good. Instead treats me like a dummy made out of wood". A very soulful and bluesy voice and sings with heart. The acoustic guitar, up tempo rhythm and incredible vocals really make this a fun song to listen too. If you love folk / Americana rock this is for you then. I enjoyed the lyrics, telling the story of going out to country, just to get away and clear the mind.
"When You're Near Me" is a slower and soothing tune, with it's harmonica, bongos, and fine bass lines by Tommy Leach Jr. The vocals are lower toned, yet still powerful. I truly enjoyed the music, singing, and all the other elements added, making it one off my favorites. The chorus "Cause it's you and me babe, I get the feeling it will always be. Yea, it's you and me babe, when you're near me I feel free" are lyrics that bring a warm and loving feeling. Such a positive vibe. Clean and a pleasant sounding acoustic guitar begin
"I'd Find My Way". Mixed in slightly different vocal track. This track gives me the feeling of sitting around and jamming, just enjoying life.
"Joey's Song" is an instrumental dedicated to Joe's son Joseph. A precisely played guitar, the sound is perfectly clear, you can hear every note ring out, along with a low siren sound in the background is the first part that segues into a strumming guitar and thumping bass. To close it out, they have a special guest Vince Mastrantonio play an incredible guitar solo. Some sweeping and bending of notes on the neck and frets, shows why he is one of the best around.
"Waves" is a live song that gives you a taste of what this band is about. Acoustic, vocals, and a bongo all make a cool song. The energy is positive and gives a soothing feeling. This CD is just a sample from the band. They are working and finishing up their new disc.

Thanks to Joe for sending in the CD. Really loved listening to it! For more on the band, music, please visit Reverbnation or their cdbaby page.

Tracklist: "Fall Down Blues' ( 2007) "When You're Near Me" "I 'd Find My Way ( Vocal Remix ) "Joey's Song" ( Dedicated to Joseph Jacob Militello ) "Waves" - live Tudor Lounge 03/04/12

Thank You Rob!

12/23/15: Forever Green has (finally!) released a 5 song EP. This release includes a couple of alternate mixes that can only be heard on this CD. The first song, Fall Down Blues, was the first song Forever Green recorded and Joey's Song is the last song Joe Tell recorded. The second song, When You're Near Me, is a alternate version that will not be included on the full length release. I'd Find My Way is another alternate mix that uses all 3 versions of Dan's vocal tracks to create a very unique vocal sound. A second guitar can be faintly heard, this is a unplugged electric guitar which came through the vocal mic during one of Dan's vocal performances. Joey's Song was recorded by Vincent James. Vince is a master musician and he owns Music City Buffalo, one of, if not the best, music stores in Buffalo, NY. I must add that I was slightly intimidated recording with Vince because he is so talented, luckily I got over it and made it through. The guitar tuning on this track was created especially for this song and all the ethereal enhancements were added by Vince. Waves is a live track that Dan wanted to include on the EP. Dan's vocal talent really talent shines through on Waves. Tony Chimera played the bongos on Waves. EP Artwork was created by Cheryl and Dan Manzella and Joe Tell. This EP was meant to be a teaser in advance of a full length CD which will be released in 2016.

Update 3/14/15: Forever Green is proud to have been chosen as a finalist in the Artvoice BOOM (Battle Of Original Music)! We are glad to be recognized for our music and very happy to see our picture in the Artvoice newspaper. The best thing about it is our music is being heard by a larger audience.

Danny Manzella and I are writing music together again as Forever Green with the help of producer Mike Boncaldo of Ansley Court and Chunkpipe? fame.
Forever Green has also enlisted the top shelf help of Tony Chimera on bongos from 55 Main and Tommy Leach Jr. on 5 string bass from River Rocks.
Forever Green has released 2 live original tracks, "Waves" and "Old Dead Flea Blues" from the famed Tudor Lounge in Buffalo, NY with special guest Tony Chimera on bongos.
Big thanks goes out to Bruce Markwardt for recording us. Thanks Dad!
3 new originals have also been written, recorded and released, "When You're Near Me", "I'd Find My Way" and the 6 minute opus "Seniorita". Our love for the blues produced "Exactly What You Did" kept lo-fi on purpose. All of these songs are available on the Forever Green reverbnation music page.
Dan and I sincerely hope you enjoy listening to our music!

8/24/2011 Update: Forever Green is Now on Reverbnation!
Check out the Youtube video Forever Green (2) to hear Forever Green live...
Thank You for posting the videos Sue & Cheryl!
Forever Green is an acoustic duo Dan & I put together to express our love for music.
logo by Dan the Man.

Here's a classic FG handbill created by Joey Manzella and recently given to me by Dan. Thanks Dan!

This post is dedicated to Debbie Owens.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Flatbed - Buffalo, NY

It’s time for your monthly dose of Flatbed, this Friday the 10th from 5:30-8:30 @ Sportsmen’s Tavern. We’ve got more new/old favorites for this month. We’re taking July off from our regularly-scheduled Happy Hour shows at Sportsmen’s so come on down to stock up on enough Americana/Twang/Rock/Whatever to get you through until August.

Upcoming Shows:
-Tuesday, July 26
LARKIN SQUARE  •  Buffalo, NY  •  5:00pm
-Friday, August 12
SPORTSMEN'S TAVERN  •  Buffalo, NY  •  5:00pm
-Sunday, September 25
POLLYWOGG HOLLER ECO-RESORT  •  Belmont, NY  •  1:00pm

This flyer is supercool cuz it shows a historic piece of Buffalo, the Haunted Central Terminal!

The Vincent James Explosion - Buffalo NY


The Vincent James Explosion - VJXIV CD Review 

Left to right Vince, Jim and Jerry

The Vincent James Explosion is comprised of three of the most talented and versatile musicians currently performing on the Buffalo, NY music scene. The current members of VJX are Vincent James Mastrantonio: (Guitar) guitar teacher, producer, composer and entrepreneur, Jim Linsner: (Drums) published author and drum teacher and Jerry Sampson: (Bass), Jerry has won several Buffalo Music Awards for his outstanding bass playing. All three members of VJX are in several other high profile bands and they all are in demand as fill-in players. 

VJXIV is the fourth release from The Vincent James Explosion and it is the best to date from the band. The Vincent James Explosion plays jazz/fusion, instrumental music. 
The music also contains elements of funk, rock and avant-garde jazz. All of the performances on VJXIV are outstanding. The guitar playing is innovative and highlights Vince's versatility on his instrument of choice. VJXIV also contains Vincent James singing debut on "Madness".

VJXIV starts off with "Fanfare for a New Man". This track sounds like a celebration of music and sound.  The solo guitar and keyboards sound huge and powerful. I can hear this song opening or closing out a movie. This song would also work well opening a major sporting event. I can also hear it playing when a team first arrives at the big game. Great opening track. 

"Trial Exhibits" is a prime example of VJX doing what they do best. Rocking out on a jazz/fusion, guitar based groove. The unique sound of the opening rhythm guitar chords immediately caught my ear. The song breaks down into a bass groove which brings in the sharp and blazing guitar solo. The sound of the solo guitar is reminiscent of Joe Satriani/Steve Vai at times and Vince throws in some sweeping guitar techniques for good measure. 

"Kinky B" features a couple of effects-driven and passionately played guitar tracks. The song starts with a jazzy sounding, chord riff but then a dissonant, distorted guitar chimes in and adds a completely different element to the song. The chords continue the dissonant sound of the track. Vince plays an absolutely blazing solo which leads into an off meter turn for the band. This song could be called a avant-garde, jazz/rock fusion all out jam. Vince at his best! One of my faves on VJXIV.  

Next up is Vince's lead vocal debut on "Madness". I've heard this song develop over the years and this is the best version I've heard to date. "Madness" lyrics describe city violence and the end result which is pain and death. This song is a balls out rocker and once again Vince rips his way through an outstanding rock guitar solo. "Madness" is one of the best songs on VJXIV.

In stark contrast to "Madness",  "Jimmy Mack" is a brief jazz/fusion track, with more emphasis on jazz than fusion. Clean jazz guitar accompanies a a single note melody which sounds like it could be a sonically effected, bended guitar or keyboard note. Cool soundz!

"The Truth" features jazzy guitar and blazing rock guitar solos but bassist Jerry Sampson gets a turn showing some solid and melodic chops on a 70 second solo during this track.

"Deep Blue" features Vince playing some great, bluesy acoustic guitar. Unaccompanied except for a rather spacy sounding backing track Vince displays his exceptional technique on the acoustic guitar.

 The 7th song, "Carina" is "dedicated to my Carina" as Vince so eloquently says in the liner notes. Jim Runfola blows some killer soprano sax on this great instrumental.

The last song is VJX's take on the classic "Mission Impossible". The entire band tears it up and once again, Vince blazes through a melodic and polished guitar solo.

CD Review by Joey Tell (Joseph Militello)

Here's a recent picture of Vincent James from the Buffalo News performing with Caitlin Koch and the Jamie Moses band.

Thank you Vince and Carina!!

Joe Tell Contact info

-Always seeking new local music to review on this music blog, if your band is interested in submitting a CD or 2 for review or submitting a show flyer please email: for more info.
-Currently accepting paid fill-in offers playing bass.
I am a experienced fill-in player, having recently filled in for the cover bands Under Arrest and 55 Main learning their set-lists' on bass guitar for a performance.
-Offering beginner guitar and bass lessons to interested students who have their own instrument.
-After 34 years of experience playing countless gigs with a slew of local bands and after compiling many years of studio experience I'm offering my expertise and knowledge to any serious band that needs a in-studio musical consultant or producer.
-I have deleted my facebook (FB) account, this time I plan to stay off of FB permanently.
This mindless egotistical comment was directed toward me and my music along with many other brainless comments so I am posting this comment to remind myself why I deleted my account.
"Remember to vote for the guy that's out there supporting the music not talking shit about the people playing it".
Another individual also decided to make me an admin of a FB page I had nothing to do with after I unblocked him. One of my friends logged into his this individuals personal computer, not knowing that his FB passwords were going to be saved without his permission.
I must write this incident as well to further remind myself why I must stay off of that site.
If anyone needs to contact me directly I can be reached @, thank you. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Burn Halo - Orange County, LA

Just Announced!!! // BURN HALO // Wednesday, July 20th // 6 PM
@ Evening Star Concert Hall // $13 Presale Tickets NOW on sale!

Burn Halo
w/ special guests: Inertia, Breath of the Valkyrie, & more!
Wed, July 20th // Doors @ 6:00 PM // Ages 18+
@ Evening Star Concert Hall
8810 Niagara Falls Blvd  // Niagara Falls, NY
Tickets NOW on sale for only $13.00 each!
Order at:

Burn Halo is a mainstream hard rock band led by former Eighteen Visions lead singer James Hart that made its album debut in 2009. Based in Orange County, CA, the band was founded in 2007 by Hart after the dissolution of his former band, Eighteen Visions, an alternative metal act found in 1995 that had a brush with mainstream success with its final album, Eighteen Visions (2006). Intending to craft a straightforward mainstream hard rock album with commercial potential, Hart collaborated extensively with songwriter/producer Zac Maloy (formerly of the Nixons) on a full-length batch of songs recorded with hired studio hands such as Avenged Sevenfold guitarist Synyster Gates. A band lineup was also assembled: Joey Cunha (guitar), Allen Wheeler (guitar), Aaron Baylor (bass), and Ryan Folden (2009), in addition to Hart (vocals). Burn Halo made its eponymous full-length album debut in 2009 on the label Rawkhead Rekords in association with distributor Warner Music Group. The single "Dirty Little Girl," featuring Gates on guitar, was a mainstream rock radio hit. The band joined the 2009 SnoCore Tour in support of the album.

"Orange County's Burn Halo know how to make clear-cut, mainstream rock tracks with a bite. Fronted by former Eighteen Visions singer James Hart, the group’s latest album, ‘Up from the Ashes,’ is strong and show the chaps have a place alongside hard rock heavyweights such as Drowning Pool and Papa Roach." ~

Music Videos:
F*ck You
Dirty Little Girl
Tear It Down

Saturday, May 28, 2016

McGee Art Gallery

"Colorfields: Summer Art show at McGee Art Gallery located at 10931 Main St. Clarence, NY 14031. Opening reception will be Saturday June 4 from 6pm-10pm and feature artwork by:
Enid Edelman, Barb Ernst, Eric Evinczik, John Farallo, Bill Huggins, Keilka Salsbury, Mary Wyrick, Sibel McGee, Faranack Benz Nader and Chris McGee.
show runs through Saturday, July 23.