Tuesday, June 28, 2022

WNY Current Event listings 2022

Upcoming Music Events/Things To Do:
Bands can submit flyers directly to Joe Tell @ jtellfotos@yahoo.com or through Facebook at WNY Music page.

Mollly Hatchet?...

Jim Crean - Serpentine Vol. III/Hair Nation

Here's a couple photos of Jim Crean and Hair Nation from a recent performance at the Showplace Theater alongside Mr. Speed and Grosh. Special thanks goes out to Rob from Talkin Bout Rock!


Jim Crean's latest project is called Scream Taker. Scream Taker features Jim Crean, Vinny Appice and Steph Honde.
Jim Crean was part of the MOB (Musicians of Buffalo) benefit concert in 2021. The All-Star band featured Billy Sheehan on Bass and Vincent James on Guitar.

Photos courtesy of Jim Crean and Ray Enzinna Photography.

Jim and Vince.

Serpentine Vol. III is Jim Crean's third release of cover material. 
Serpentine is an interesting word in itself and here's a couple of definitions of serpentine, like a serpent or snake (cool) and cunning and complex. A unique and uncommon word that has several different meanings which makes for a great album title.
Here's a rundown of the song list with a little background on some of the songs.
1. For Whom The Bell Tolls by Metallica. 
 Based on Ernest Hemingway's war novel and known for bassist Cliff Burton's use of a wah pedal.
2. Back In The Saddle by Aerosmith. 
 This song was a top 40 hit for Aerosmith in the late 70's. Instantly recognizable from it's distinctive bass sound. Played by Joe Perry on a Fender Bass VI.
3. We Die Young by Alice In Chains. 
 Released on the band's first promo only EP. The vinyl and cassette copies have since become collector's items
4. I'm Insane by Ratt. From their 84' top 10 release.
5. Heaven Tonight by Cheap Trick.
6. Crazy Nights by Loudness.
7. Queen Medley - Death On Two Legs/I'm In Love With My Car.
8. Ain't Talkin' Bout Love by Van Halen.
9. Lights Out by UFO.
10. Fly Me Courageous by Drivin N Cryin.
11. Moving In Stereo by The Cars.
12. Rearviewmirror by Pear Jam.
13. The Mountain Song by Jane's Addiction.
14. Strange Wings by Savatage.
Serpentine Vol. III features performances by Jim Crean, Steph Honde, Artie Dillon, Dave Pontrello, Art Kalenda, Anton Shcherbakov and Jim Papafagos. 

Review for Jim Crean's release The Book Of Cryptids Vol. II by Joe Tell.
The first track on The Book Of Cryptids II is Medusa from Anthrax. Anthrax was one of the first thrash metal bands to emerge from the east coast in the 80's. Medusa is great example of early thrash metal at it's finest. Jim Crean performs the soaring vocals of Joey Belladonna, hitting all the high notes. 
Next up is Kings and Queens from one of my favorite bands, Aerosmith. Kings and Queens was originally released in '77 on the Draw The Line album and the lyrics call to mind a medieval fantasy. Jim crushes the vocals, handling all of Steven Tyler's raw inflections to perfection.
Mirror Mirror (Look Into My Eyes) was released by Def Leppard in 1981 on the High 'n' Dry album. Def Leppard quickly established itself as one of the finest bands to come out of the British Metal scene in the early 80's with its high energy music and performances. This song is a perfect choice for Jim Crean who matches the primal energy and passion of the original. This song inspired me to revisit one of the best metal albums of the early 80's.
A Criminal Mind by Gowan is a Canadian rock classic. It's a unusual stylistic choice for Jim but he performs the vocals on the synth/progressive rock track with ease. Gowan emerged from Canada in '82 and is now a member of the band Styx. A Criminal Mind showcases Jim's emotive vocal chops on top of the progressive rock track. I found myself enjoying the vocal melodies and becoming a fan of this song the more I listened. One of the best songs on the CD. 
Jim shows his love for 80's music by covering the top 10 hit Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground) by Mike + The Mechanics from '85. 
Cry For Freedom is from the hard rock band White Lion. The song was released on their '89 gold album Big Game.
Love Is another surprising musical choice. The song shows yet another side style of Jim's unique vocal talent. Love Is was a top 10 hit and was originally released by Vanessa Williams as a duet with Brian McKnight in '93.
Jim returns to the rock sound with the grunge rock Star Dog Champion from Mother Love Bone. Jim's vocal style is best suited for the rock sound and this song proves it in spades.  
Once again, Jim shows his love for the metal band the Scorpions covering When The Smoke Is Going Down. Jim covered Falling In Love by the Scorpions on his last cover album, Gotcha Covered. (see review) Jim's metallic crooning really shines on this one. Great Choice! 
The final track is my favorite on the CD. Jim covers all the classic vocals of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Mary Clayton on Gimme Shelter by the Rolling Stones. The music sounds exactly like the record and Jim conveys all the energy and emotion from the original track. 
The playlist on this CD is sure to please and rock 'n' roll fan and keeps things musically interesting by covering a wide range of prominent musical artists'.
Special thanks to Jim Crean. 

Video compilation cover.

The video compilation and the autographed pic and guitar pick were included in my pre-order.

Jim Crean "Mirror,Mirror (Look Into My Eyes)" Def Leppard Cover
Written by Rick Allen,Joe Elliot,Rick Savage,Steve Clark & Pete Willis
Appears on the Album Jim Crean "The Book Of Cryptids"
Jim Crean~Lead & Background Vocals
Produced By: Steve Major
Video Edited by: James Papafagos

Jim Crean  "Stardog Champion" Mother Love Bone Cover
Written by  Bruce Ian Fairweather  & Andrew Wood
Appears on the Album Jim Crean "The Book Of Cryptids"
Jim Crean~Lead & Background Vocals
Produced By: Steve Major
Video Edited by: James Papafagos

Jim Crean "When The Smoke Is Going Down" Scorpions Cover
Written by Klaus Meine & Rudolf Schenker
Appears on the Album Jim Crean "The Book Of Cryptids"
Jim Crean~Lead & Background Vocals
Produced By: Steve Major

Jim Crean "Gimme Shelter" The Rolling Stones Cover
Written by Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
Appears on the Album Jim Crean "The Book Of Cryptids"
Jim Crean~Lead & Background Vocals
Produced By: Steve Major

Jim Crean: The London Fog/Gotcha Covered interview and music review by Joe Tell.

Exclusive interview with Buffalo Music Hall of Fame alumni, Jim Crean by Joe Tell.
Jim is currently promoting his two latest releases, The London Fog and Gotcha Covered.
The London Fog and Gotcha Covered can be purchased by clicking on www.jimcrean.net or www.visionarynoise.com

Hello Jim, 
-When did you start singing?
I started at the age of 13 and then started playing clubs by 15.

-Which instruments do you play?
I play guitar and sing.

-What was the first tune you learned to sing and play?
Dream On by Aerosmith.

-Was anyone in your family musical?
My dad was a drummer.

-Which famous musicians do you admire? 
There are so many but probably mostly Ronnie James Dio & Steven Tyler from Aerosmith.

-Which famous musicians have you learned from?
I have been privileged to work with so many known high profiled musicians so It’s hard to pinpoint one person!

-What are your fondest musical memories? 
There are so many it’s hard to keep track of, especially touring with Appice, however I just recently was inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall Of Fame and that was a highlight being recognized in my own home town!

-Were you influenced by old records & tapes? Which ones?
My biggest records that influenced me were Animal Magnetism from the Scorpions and all of the Talas albums!

-Who are your favorite musicians? 
Every one that I have worked with.

-Any major tours/plans for the future?
Yes I am going out on tour with Appice in the coming year and The Jim Crean Band is planning on doing many shows along with releasing a Live album / DVD from the Whiskey A Go Go in Los Angeles that we recorded back in August.
Thank you Jim!

Jim Crean - The London Fog music review by Joe Tell.

One of Jim Crean's 2019 releases is an all original album called The London Fog.
(Released on Visionary Noise records and produced by Jim Crean and Steve Major)
The London Fog is Jim Crean's third major solo release.
The guest stars that play on The London Fog is a list of who's who in the hard rock world. Guests' include Steph Honde (Cafe' Bertrand, Paul Di'Anno (Iron Maiden) Hollywood Monsters), Mike Tramp (White Lion, Freak Of Nature), Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne, Whitesnake, Yngwie Malmsteen, Dio, Blue Oyster Cult), Carmine Appice (Cactus, Beck, Bogert and Appice, Ozzy Osbourne, Rod Stewart, Ted Nugent, Vanilla Fudge), Vinny Appice (Rick Derringer, Black Sabbath, Dio, Heaven & Hell, John Lennon), Frank Dimino (Angel), Tony Franklin (The Firm, Jimmy Page, Quiet Riot, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Whitesnake), Rik Fox (Steeler, W.A.S.P.), Colleen Mastrocovo, Robby Lochner (Great White), A.D. Zimmer, Ray Tabano (Aerosmith), Artie Dillon, Barend Courbois, Robbie Robson, Eric Lebailley, Chris Tristram (House Of Lords), Chris Holmes (W.A.S.P., L.A. Guns), Chris Konys, Dave Pontrello, Freddie Villano, Carl Canedy (The Rods) and Mitch Perry (Michael Schenker, Talas, Ratt). Wow, very impressive.
The London Fog starts off with Scream Taker. The intro is reminiscent of the cool music you usually hear at the beginning of any classic hard rock album and the music the band plays before you would see them in concert. Nice piano and guitar touches. The song features an all-star cast with Steph Honde on guitar and keyboards, Rudy Sarzo on bass and Vinny Appice on drums. The hard driving music starts fast and will make you move or raise your blood pressure, like a good rockin' song should. The lyrics strike me as a tribute to the legendary metal singer Dio. Jim immediately makes his presence heard with a couple of aggressive screams. An absolutely killer solo is enhanced with some nice string sounds. Jim takes the syncopated music out with a couple more high-pitched screams. Jim's vocal performance on Scream Taker is one of the best on the album, full of passion, fire and a little brimstone.
Conflicted continues the high energy vibe, the song features Steph Honde on guitar and keyboards and A.D. Zimmer rips a short but sweet bass solo reminiscent of Billy Sheehan. The guitar intro establishes the mid-tempo rocker. Jim gives another impressive vocal performance punctuating the music perfectly. The lyrics reflect the drama that only a rock and roll love affair can provide.
The next song Broken was released with a accompanying Youtube video. The video features Colleen Mastrocovo and members of Jim's cover band Hair Nation, Dan Kaplin and A.D. Zimmer.
Click on the arrow in the middle to watch the video.

Broken sounds like it was pulled directly off of an MTV Headbangers ball playlist. Jim Crean delivers an emotionally driven and strong vocal performance, the song is completed with some blazing lead guitar by Steph Honde.  

Aphrodisiac is an exciting song that stimulates the listener in more ways than one. The repeating musical figures have a mesmerizing quality and the amazing guitar solo raises the sexual tension even more. 
Lady Beware has a solid drum beat that will get your toes tappin'. Jim's aggressive vocals rise above the backbeat lifting the energy up and the quick, sharp solo emphasizes the quick tempo.
Let It Go is a ballad that features a melodic piano track further emphasized by a brilliant backing guitar track. Jim delivers another emotionally charged vocal performance.
Loaded lifts the energy and the tempo back up. Loaded delivers a head-banging, fist pumping musical track. Jim provides a melodic touch with the catchy chorus. A.D. Zimmer provides the thunder with a pounding and punchy bass track. 
Candle is a duet that features Mike Tramp on vocals along with Jim. Candle is a song that Mike Tramp wrote with Freak Of Nature, it appears on the Gathering Of Freaks album. If you haven't heard of this song before you are missing out. Jim's version puts a new spin on the killer track.
1981 sounds like it is from 1981, one of my favorite years for heavy rock music. Colleen Mastrocovo provides a pounding and intense drum track. Jim Crean is seemingly singing about and old flame that he still may hold a candle for. The guitar solo on this track is one of the best on the entire album, absolute shredding! I can envision a massive crowd singing along with the catchy chorus.
Time Will Let You Know is a stylish and sophisticated rock ballad that was written by Robin Zander. Jim delivers the goods once again providing a passionate vocal performance.
A cover of Rod Stewart's Passion is up next. This song features the killer rhythm section of Carmine Appice on drums and Tony Franklin on bass. Jim does a great hard rock version of this song that you can still dance to. 
To watch the video on Youtube click on this link https://youtu.be/xJYzNZAYDiQ
Fool delivers an Aerosmith-like punch. Jim shows off his rock vocal chops by expertly singing on this track like only he can. Former Aerosmith member Ray Tabano plays guitar on Fool.
Don't Take Your Love is another duet that features Angel singer Frank DiMino. This song is a classic 70s arena rock anthem. Don't Take Your Love was written by Angel and it appears on the Angel album Sinful.
Tears closes out The London Fog. A heavy guitar track is provided by W.A.S.P. veteran Chris Holmes. Jim belts out a melodic vocal track in perfect contrast to the metallic strings. 

Jim Crean's second musical release of 2019 is called Gotcha Covered.
Gotcha Covered is a good mix of popular rock songs and a few lesser-known deep cuts. 
The metallic and heavy, Hall Of The Mountain King by Savatage kicks off Gotcha Covered.
Next up is Like The Way I Do by Melissa Etheridge. Jim puts his own unique spin on the song adding a heavy touch.
Hungry by White Lion, Outlaw by The Scream and The Last Time by Badlands are a few songs I've never heard of but after listening to them it's obvious that they are all killer choices.
The popular Lonely Nights by Bryan Adams is rocked up by Crean and Mazzy Star's Fade Into You is a surprising choice. Jim creatively turns the song into a rock ballad.
Bye Bye Love by The Cars draws the listener back in with its familiarity. 
Falling In Love by the Scorpions is a song I have always loved and Jim does a stinging version. Jim executes a great version of Saved By Zero by The Fixx.
Fellow hometown heroes the Goo Goo Dolls are next up on the album. Jim keeps the song melodic while making the main riff even stronger and heavier. 
Cry No More is a deep cut by the band Arcade. Arcade was fronted by Stephen Pearcy (Ratt) and featured Fred Coury (Cinderella) on drums.
When Heaven Comes Down by Dokken and Love Is Like Oxygen by The Sweet brings everyone back up to speed.
A slammin', hard rock version of 25 or 6 to 4 by Chicago closes out Gotcha Covered in style.

The London Fog and Gotcha Covered can be purchased by clicking on www.jimcrean.net or www.visionarynoise.com

Mr. Speed (KISS Tribute) - Cleveland, OH


Rob from the Talkin Bout Rock podcast invited me out to see Mr. Speed, Grosh and Hair Nation at the famed Showplace Theater. After having, #1 grown up on KISS music, #2 reviewed both of Grosh's releases and #3 reviewed Jim Crean's music I was excited to go. (Thank You Rob!) 

After overcoming some ear pain I was able to take Rob up on his invite. Being late (as usual) I missed Grosh (darn it!) but was able to check out Jim Crean/Hair Nation and Mr. Speed. Here's a few pics of Mr. Speed, a band I've always wanted to see.


Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Darius Q. Johnson - The Rhanes Of Terror: The Long Goodbye

Darius Q. Johnson is a WNY based comic book artist who released his latest graphic novel The Rhanes Of Terror: The Long Goodbye Part 1 on 6/11/22 at Queen City Bookstore. All the books sold out so I was lucky enough to grab a copy. Darius assured me he was going to get more so goto Queen City Bookstore to get your copy today. I promised to do a post for him to promote him and his amazing art. Below is the front and back cover and his business card. Thank You Darius!

Saturday, June 4, 2022

Jeremy Porter and The Tucos - Detroit, Michigan

On Thursday, June 9th, Jeremy Porter and The Tucos bring their original rock and roll from Detroit to Buffalo for a show at Duende at Silo City. This will be The Tucos fourth Buffalo appearance and their first since 2018. The band's sound is described as a combination of classic American powerpop bands like Cheap Trick and The Plimsouls and roots-rock/alt-country bands like Uncle Tupelo and Gram Parsons, with elements of punk, rockabilly, pop and classic rock thrown in. They're supporting their most recent album Candy Coated Cannonball (GTG Records, 2021) and a three-CD retrospective "Bottled Regrets: The First Ten Years." Front-man Jeremy Porter says of Buffalo: "We love the city - it's a blue-collar, rust-belt town like Detroit that wears its heart on its sleeve. Some hard years for sure, but things are coming back better than ever. Great people, great food, and a down-to-Earth attitude. We fit right in!"    

Thursday, June 9th
Jeremy Porter and The Tucos
Duende at Silo City
85 Silo City Row - Buffalo NY
6-8 PM - Free - All Ages

Jeremy Porter and the Tucos - Detroit, Michigan

Jeremy Porter and the Tucos Don't Worry, It's Not Contagious music review by Joe Tell. Jeremy Porter and the Tucos sound like a band that is ambitiously striving for the mainstream. The band is very diverse showing off many styles punctuated by some unique sounds.  

Don't Worry, It's Not Contagious kicks off with Walk Of Shame. Walk Of Shame has an Americana  feel and packs a punch with it's twangy rock and roll guitars. The piano track played by Jeremy Porter adds a unique sound to this straight ahead rock and roll song.
Huckleberry has a infectious, urgent rock energy that's hard to ignore. This song shows off the band's alternative rock side with elements of pop punk. Patrick O'Harris provides a sweet sounding bass track offset with some great guitar melodies. This song reminded me of Huckleberry Hound.  
Watch and listen to Huckleberry on Youtube, here's the link  https://youtu.be/4dIGIuuhz5k

The title track, Don't Worry.. kicks off with a cool sounding bass line and neat little bass line takes the song out. A strong vocal delivery tops off this powerful and punky track.  
A slammin' drum track provided by Gabriel Doman punctuates Avenues Are For Heroes, an uptempo song about the hard life of the streets. 
Consolation Prize features Jeremy Porter and Jennifer Westwood on a vocal duet. Jennifer Westwood fronts a band called Jennifer Westwood and the Handsome Devils.  
Torn features Jeremy on acoustic guitar topped with a lone, melancholy vocal track. 
The sound of Don't Have To Ask Twice is reminiscent of early 80's alternative rock. A sound at the end of the track sounds vaguely familiar adding a unique touch...
Urge To Cry is a rock ballad with a cool tempo change and a great guitar lick ending.
Patty's Not Impressed is a quick uptempo song about a rock fan who just doesn't "get it".   
Worth The Wait is a straight ahead rock song with a catchy chorus. This song reminded me of early 80's FM rock, like Tom Petty.
Somewhere New closes out the record with a bang. This song is one of my faves with it's old school drums, twangy guitar track and blowin' harp.

Jeremy Porter and The Tucos play a unique blend of classic American Powerpop and roots-rock and they are from Detroit, Michigan. They've been compared to The Replacements, Cheap Trick, Gram Parsons and X, and they're currently touring in support of their third album "Don't Worry, It's Not Contagious."  They are known for a tight live show that will get you rocking and dancing one minute and crying in your beer the next. Don't miss the band live!  



Jeremy Porter & The Tucos - Wikipedia Page
Stream our music at jeremyporter.bandcamp.com/
Check out Huckleberry on our YouTube channel - the first video from our third album - Don't Worry, It's Not Contagious!

"...one of America's best examples of pure talent and hard work." - Jersey Beat, November 2017

“…a great job combining roots rock and powerpop…highly recommended.”  - PowerPopAHolic, Oct 2015

“…as northern American blues as you can get before Canada. Whiskey-smooth, with the white hot licks of Ted Nugent, the veteran inspiration of Cheap Trick, and the experimentation of Hüsker Dü. They also have grooves, in all the right places.” – Dayton City Paper, Oct 2015