All posts by limelightmagazine

The Cassette Chronicles – HUEY LEWIS AND THE NEWS ‘SPORTS‘

By JAY ROBERTS

The Cassette Chronicles is a continuing series of mini reviews and reflections on albums from the 1980’s and 1990’s. The aim of this series is to highlight both known and underappreciated albums from rock, pop and metal genres from this time period through the cassette editions of their releases. Some of the albums I have known about and loved for years, while others are new to me and were music I’ve always wanted to hear. There will be some review analysis and my own personal stories about my connection with various albums. These opinions are strictly my own and do not reflect the views of anyone else at Limelight Magazine.

Click on the above ad to purchase tickets!

HUEY LEWIS AND THE NEWS – SPORTS (1983)

It’s funny how things work out. I didn’t think I’d be doing a piece on this particular album because I’d been waiting around to buy the 30th anniversary edition CD when I could find it at a cheap enough price.

But as luck or good fortune would have it, an online music friend of mine named Jeff spotlighted the follow up album Fore! on a music message board on which we are both active members. He does an Album of The Week feature on that board and after reading his piece I wanted to check out Huey Lewis and The News a bit more. Of course, growing up back in 1983 & 1984, I heard a lot of their music on the radio since they were all over the airwaves on 92 Pro FM out of Rhode Island and on Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 countdown show on Sundays.

But I didn’t have the albums and only knew the hits. I was going to pull the trigger on the CD version, but I did a check of one of my cassette boxes and wouldn’t you know it, I had a copy of Sports.

I’m actually quite happy that I had the cassette and could do this article because I got to kind of discover the music all over again. There were four Top 10 hits plus a Top 20 hit out of the nine songs, but even more exciting to me was how the album tracks were pretty darn good as well.

Having sold seven million copies of the album when it was first released (the liner notes for the 30th anniversary reissue apparently say the album is nearing 10 million in sales), the hit songs really don’t need much rehashing. “The Heart of Rock and Roll”, “Heart and Soul”, “If This Is It” and “I Want A New Drug” were all instant classics back then and given that they still show up on what would be considered adult contemporary or easy listening stations that people like me have to listen to at work, they are still classics. The latter of those four songs remains my favorite song from the band. I think back to singing along to the radio when that song was playing and having to explain to my somewhat taken aback mother that it wasn’t actually about drugs. She wasn’t overly protective but displayed the appropriate parental concern until shown it wasn’t necessary.

The surprising thing to me about the Top 20 song “Walking On A Thin Line”, besides that I barely remember it as a “hit” song, is that when you listen to the lyrics, they are kind of dark at times. Maybe it’s my slightly twisted take on life, but that additional little edge made the song that much more interesting to me this time around.

As for those four album tracks, the one odd thing I found was the song “Bad Is Bad” wasn’t a single. I could’ve sworn I heard that all over the radio because I remember it like it got played to death as most 1980’s singles would be. I remembered it far more strongly than “Walking On A Thin Line”, an actual hit. I don’t know why that is.
The band’s cover of the Hank Williams song “Honky Tonk Blues” was surprisingly effective. I’m not a huge fan of old time country music but I’ve found when I hear covers of those types of songs I can be moved to liking them a lot more than I might’ve expected.

The remaining two tracks are “Finally Found A Home” and “You Crack Me Up”. The first track starts off a bit slower but then takes off with a lively engaging soundtrack. The entirety of the performance really won me over and I dug into the song a lot. If I got to pick a set list for one of the band’s concerts, I would put the track on it. The latter of the two songs starts out fast and continues that way throughout the tune. It is another song that builds up a big enveloping vibe for the listener, drawing them in and invariably you will find yourself singing along.

Huey Lewis and The News might look like the guys who play in a bar band on the occasional Saturday night gig, but boy did they have something going for them on this album. That isn’t an earth-shattering revelation I know, but I liked being reminded of just how good they were during their heyday.

NOTES OF INTEREST: Ray Parker Jr. was apparently sued for plagiarizing “I Want A New Drug” for his “Ghostbusters” song with an out of court settlement being reached.

Longtime Doobie Brother John McFee played the pedal steel guitar on the band’s version of “Honky Tonk Blues”.

The album cover photo of the band was taken at the 2 AM Club in Mill Valley, CA which was one of the clubs the band played on their way up.

The Cassette Chronciles – Lizzy Borden’s ‘Give ‘Em The Axe’

BY JAY ROBERTS

The Cassette Chronicles is a continuing series of mini reviews and reflections on albums from the 1980’s and 1990’s. The aim of this series is to highlight both known and underappreciated albums from rock, pop and metal genres from this time period through the cassette editions of their releases. Some of the albums I have known about and loved for years, while others are new to me and were music I’ve always wanted to hear. There will be some review analysis and my own personal stories about my connection with various albums. These opinions are strictly my own and do not reflect the views of anyone else at Limelight Magazine.

LIZZY BORDEN – GIVE ‘EM THE AXE (1984)

Released in May 1984 on Metal Blade Records, this EP from Lizzy Borden is a straight forward heavy metal primer for the band. While the band is usually more commonly associated with the hair metal genre because of the theatrics in their live shows, their sound has more in common with what would be considered a traditional heavy metal style while sometimes delivering a kind of power metal style at the same time.

While I’ve been a fan of their 1987 album Visual Lies since its release (and might just be featuring that album in this series down the line), I’d merely only known of this EP and never owned it. I came across it when I visited a store that had just gotten in a huge batch of cassettes from which I could search to my heart’s or wallet’s content.

While there are only five songs on the release, it does a really good job of showcasing the band right from the start. While the production on the EP is raw, it feels more by design than a lack of proper facilities to do a better job. I’m not an audiophile expert or anything but that’s what I thought after listening.

The last song on the release is “Rod Of Iron” which was originally featured on the Metal Blade Records compilation Metal Massacre IV in 1983. It starts out a bit slower than the rest of the material but guns start firing soon after. I thought the track was decent but for me it was actually the lesser of the five songs.

As for the rest of the album, there was no time for syrupy ballads or wimpy intros. Lizzy Borden hits you in the mouth from the start with the title track. “Kiss of Death” and “No Time To Lose” effectively echo that first punch with a follow up 1-2 punch of in your face metal.

If you are a metal fan of long standing, you’ve likely heard the vocal work from Lizzy Borden the singer. He has kind of vocal presence that soars and echoes in your head as the lyrics spill forth. If you’ve heard it, you won’t forget it and you will always instantly recognize his voice.

What really got me a bit extra excited for this album was their cover of the Rainbow song “Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll”. It isn’t an easy thing to try and do justice to a song sung by Ronnie James Dio and as a rather huge fan of Dio myself, I’m usually extra critical. That said, I thought this cover was largely effective at paying respect to the original while still sounding like it was the band’s own song at the same time. That might sound a bit weird considering the Lizzy Borden version of the track was recorded 34 years ago but looking back is kind of the point of this series, now isn’t it?

Give ‘Em The Axe definitely slipped past me upon its original release. I was basically in my infancy as a rock/metal fan in 1984 so I imagine that is something I could say about a lot of albums released in 1983-1984. Getting to listen to it now came about by pure happenstance (and a large purchase of cassette collection), but I’m sure glad it did because it has kind of relit my interest in the band that I was a fan of but now want to become more invested in their material as a whole.

NOTES OF INTEREST: The band was originally together from 1983-1996. They’ve had two reunions. The first one was in 1999 and ran until 2004. They got together again in 2006 and are still a going concern to this present day. However, despite rumored work on new material, there hasn’t been a new album since 2007’s Appointment With Death.

The Give ‘Em The Axe EP was produced by Brian Slagel, who founded Metal Blade Records in 1982.

Autograph to perform at Greasy Luck Brewpub on April 26th

Hard rockers Autograph will perform in The Vault at Greasy Luck Brewpub in New Bedford, MA, on Thursday, April 26, 2018. Station will open the show.

Autograph left an everlasting imprint on Rock ‘N’ Roll. The platinum-selling Southern California hard rock juggernauts gave the world the ubiquitous hit “Turn Up the Radio”, seminal albums such as Sign In Please (1984), That’s The Stuff (1985), and Loud and Clear (1987) as well as unforgettable sold out shows alongside everybody from Mötley Crüe and Ronnie James Dio to Van Halen and Aerosmith. Given those accolades, when they disbanded in 1989, they never left the hearts and minds of millions of fans around the globe. Simply put, a reunion was both inevitable and essential.

Successfully touring again since the beginning of 2014, Autograph has strived and shined at theaters, casinos, various venues and major festivals. The band delivers an undeniably bombastic live performance and was featured recently in the USA TODAY news website.

Tickets are only $15 and can be purchased HERE. Tickets will also be available at the door.

For those wishing to meet the band, you can purchase a $50 VIP Eat & Greet ticket, which includes your general admission ticket. You’ll get autographs and photos with the band. You’ll also be able to have dinner with them from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Your dinner choice of the Greasy Luck Brewpub’s classic cheeseburger or veggie burger with fries is included in the ticket price. Click HERE to purchase VIP Eat & Greet tickets.

For more details about the show, click HERE.

The Vault at Greasy Luck Brewpub is located at located at 791 Purchase Street in New Bedford, MA. The venue is set within a former bank building featuring original vault doors and a truly historic feel. Patrons have raved about the superior acoustics and intimate setting.

Greasy Luck Brewpub announces diverse April line-up of shows

NEW BEDFORD – With the arrival of spring, Greasy Luck Brewpub has announced a must-see lineup of artists they are bringing to New Bedford, Mass., in April. These artists will perform in The Vault at their 791 Purchase Street location. Click HERE to purchase tickets to any of their shows and be sure to check back often as new shows are always being added.

The April schedule of upcoming events is as follows:

April 1 – The Expanders with Sensamotion and Dubbest. $10 advance; $15 day of show (DOS). Doors 6 PM, Show 7 PM.
April 5 – The Ghosts of Paul Revere with Sharks Come Cruisin and The Pourmen. $15; $20 DOS. Doors 7 PM, Show 8 PM.
April 7 – Joshua Tree: A U2 Experience with Rebels: Tom Petty Tribute. $10. 9:30 PM, Show 10 PM.
April 14 – Ted Poley: The Voice of Danger Danger with Super Troup. $18. Doors 7 PM, Show 8:30 PM.
April 16 – Saving Abel with Blind Revision. $10. Doors 7:30 PM, Show 8 PM.
April 20 – Entrain with The DayBreakers. $15;$20. Doors 7:30 PM, Show 7:45 PM.
April 21 – Timmy Brown & Black Diamond with Ashley Jordan and her band. $10. Doors 7 PM. Show 8 PM.
April 26 – Autograph with Station. $15. Doors 6:30 PM, Show 8:30 PM.
April 28 – One: The Only Tribute to Metallica with Judas Rising: Tribute to Judas Priest. $15. $20. Doors 7 PM, Show 8 PM.
April 30 – Marbin. $10;$15. Doors 6:30 PM, Show 8 PM.

Guaranteed seating/reserved tables, meet and greets or even eat and greets with the artist are also available. Please click HERE for more information.

The Vault at Greasy Luck Brew Pub is located at located at 791 Purchase Street in New Bedford. The venue is set within a former bank building featuring original vault doors and a truly historic feel. Patrons have raved about the superior acoustics and intimate setting.

ADVERTISEMENT – Autograph will perform at The Vault at Greasy Luck Brewpub, located at 791 Purchase Street in New Bedford, MA, on April 26, 2018 with special guest Station. Click on the above ad to purchase tickets!

King’s X bring the ‘Groove Machine’ to The Met in Pawtucket, RI

Power rock trio King’s X return to the road this summer with a date at The Met in Pawtucket, RI, on June 28, 2018. This will be the band’s first performance in Rhode Island since 2000. Purchase tickets directly from Limelight Magazine HERE. Purchase tickets through The Met’s box office HERE.

Few hard rock bands are as widely respected yet overlooked as King’s X. The band, which combines progressive rock and soul with vocal arrangements influenced by gospel, blues and British Invasion groups, still features original members Doug Pinnick (vocals/bass), Ty Tabor (guitar) and Jerry Gaskill (drums). They were ranked #83 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock and released over a dozen albums featuring the radio hits “Over My Head,” “It’s Love,” “Black Flag” and “Dogman.”

King’s X released their first studio album, Out of the Silent Planet, in 1988 and followed it up with the stellar Gretchen Goes to Nebraska.” Their third album, Faith, Hope, Love, was the group’s first release to crack the US Top 100, with the help of the successful single “It’s Love”. The band landed a gig opening for AC/DC in the U.S. and Europe for the first half of 1991. They also toured with Living Colour and were nearing the peak of their popularity.

King’s X signed with major label Atlantic Records for their next self-titled release. After parting ways with their longtime manager, the band enlisted veteran producer Brendan O’Brien, who had previously produced albums for Stone Temple Pilots and Pearl Jam. The ensuing release, Dogman, performed respectfully on the charts. This success resulted in the band opening shows for Pearl Jam and a show-stopping performance on the opening night of the mammoth Woodstock ’94 festival

King’s X completed their contract with Atlantic Records with Ear Candy in 1996, before moving to Metal Blade Records where they released four studio albums and one live release. The band’s latest studio albums, Ogre Tones (2005) and XV (2008), were released on the InsideOut label. “XV” was their first album since Ear Candy to chart on the Billboard Top 200, ushering in a new wave of popularity for the band.

The Met is located at 1005 Main Street in  Pawtucket, R.I. Tickets can be purchased directly from Limelight Magazine HERE or through The Met’s box office HERE.

The Cassette Chronicles – Sweet F.A.’s ‘Temptation’

BY JAY ROBERTS

The Cassette Chronicles is a continuing series of mini reviews and reflections on albums from the 1980’s and 1990’s. The aim of this series is to highlight both known and underappreciated albums from rock, pop and metal genres from this time period through the cassette editions of their releases. Some of the albums I have known about and loved for years, while others are new to me and were music I’ve always wanted to hear. There will be some review analysis and my own personal stories about my connection with various albums. These opinions are strictly my own and do not reflect the views of anyone else at Limelight Magazine.

Click on the above ad to purchase tickets.

SWEET F.A. – TEMPTATION (1991)

After I found myself a little surprised to have enjoyed Sweet F.A.’s first album Stick To Your Guns, I guess it was only a matter of time before I discovered that the band’s second album was also in the Big Box of Cassettes I have to pull potential article material from.

Though the album was released in 1991, this copy that I listened to was brand new from the long defunct Strawberries record store due to the fact it had never been opened from the original plastic wrapping.

Because of various writing projects recently, I didn’t have time to listen to the album at home. Instead I listened at work and ended up with some feedback from my co-worker as well. I had joked with him that I was going to punish him for some imaginary offense by making him listen to the album with me. He likes blues, jazz and classic rock so I really didn’t think he’d like this album.

To my surprise, he actually seemed to enjoy it as much as I did. We differed on some of the songs we liked individually but his final analysis was that it wasn’t at all a form of punishment to listen to the album with me.

Which is a good thing, because like Stick To Your Guns, I was genuinely surprised to find myself enjoying much of what they had to offer on Temptation.

The album was produced by Howard Benson, who had done the band’s first album as well. He must really have been in tune with the band because they sound great and do a good job at varying their material within hard rock style. This little twist from song to song was also mentioned by said co-worker as a reason why he ended up liking what he heard.

At first, I was worried that the Indiana-based rockers might fall victim to the sophomore jinx. The first side of the cassette is rather hit or miss. It opens with the mostly fast paced rocker “Bad Boy” which has a real gritty and sleazy feel to it.

But after that, the next three songs are a bit pedestrian at best, gawdawful at worst.

The band rebounded with “Storm Is Movin’ In” which has a very cinematic feel to the music. This effect is deepened with that grittier edge to singer Steven David De Long’s vocals. The song starts slow with the combined music and singing giving the song an extra dimension. When it switches to a more fast paced rocker, the cinematic vibe is lost but the song still remains top notch.

“Vices” closed out the first side and while the pacing is good, this song ended up being one that just didn’t come completely together for me.

The second side of the album was far better in my opinion. “Please Oh Please” was a fantastic track, blazing out of the speakers. I’d venture to say that it is one is one of my favorites from either of the two albums. But the next song, “Paralyzed (By You)” really shone brightly as Sweet F.A. fashioned a song that had a deeply noir-ish feel to it. I could imagine hearing this song on a dark night filled with potential for bad things, rain coming down to further depress the scene. It was darn near ART to my ears.

I didn’t really care for “Liquid Emotion” or “Ta Kill Ya Sunrise” that much, but the instrumental “1800” that led into the latter song was really ear catching.

Paying a bit of homage to their roots, the band’s song “Indiana Heart” a midtempo groove driven track was another track that I would love to hear over and over. Finally, if you are looking for a song that is about nothing more than pure attitude, you’ve got the balls out album closer “Reckless”. It is audio adrenaline to the Nth degree.

Though Sweet F.A. recorded just two albums, I think they had something special. It might’ve not been fully refined but had they arrived on the scene a few years earlier, the level of their success would’ve been far greater. They might be consigned to the deepest section of the Where Are They Now section of musical memory for most people, but after listening to Temptation as a follow up to Stick To Your Guns, I just know that I would’ve been a fan had I actually heard them when these albums had been originally released.

 

Pretty Boy Floyd and Every Mother’s Nightmare to perform at Greasy Luck Brewpub on May 3rd

Glam metal titans Pretty Boy Floyd & Every Mother’s Nightmare will perform in The Vault at Greasy Luck Brewpub in New Bedford, MA, on Thursday, May 3, 2018.

Not too long ago, when rock was about having a good time, letting your hair down and creating chaos and anarchy, four guys got together in Hollywood and formed a band. NYC guitarist Kristy Majors hooked up with west coast front man Steve Summers and laid the foundation for their dream band. They worked, wrote songs and played and played and played. The band chose the name “Pretty Boy Floyd” because it seemed to describe them – four teen toughs armed with guitar licks and teenage angst who set out to conquer the world.

The group signed to MCA records and released Leather Boyz with Electric Toyz, an album whose very name was a tongue-in-cheek tip of the hat to their glamorous heroes – Sweet, Kiss, the NY Dolls – all the bands who believed that rock music wasn’t just music – it was a show, a spectacle, a lifestyle – “a prostitute to be trumped up and tarted around like a band aid or cheap whore” – to borrow a quote from David Bowie. The Howard Benson-produced album made a significant impact, being named one of the hottest albums of its genre by Metal Edge and Spin magazines. Fast forward to today and Pretty Boy Floyd have outlasted many of the critics who cried “they’ll never make it.” The band continues to record and tour the world.

On the other hand, Every Mother’s Nightmare is no stranger to the music scene. After quickly arriving on the Memphis rock scene, word spread about their energy-packed live performances gaining them the attention of Clive Davis (Arista Records). After signing with Arista, Every Mother’s Nightmare became staples on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball with their music videos for “Walls Come Down”, “Love Can Make You Blind”, and “House of Pain”.

Tickets are only $15 and can be purchased HERE. Tickets will also be available at the door.

For more details about the show, click HERE.

For those wishing to meet the band, you can purchase a $50 VIP Meet & Greet ticket. You’ll get autographs and photos with them! Click HERE to purchase VIP Meet & Greet tickets. Please note that this is an additional purchase that does not include the entry ticket.

The Vault at Greasy Luck Brewpub is located at located at 791 Purchase Street in New Bedford, MA. The venue is set within a former bank building featuring original vault doors and a truly historic feel. Patrons have raved about the superior acoustics and intimate setting.