Category Archives: Features & Interviews

Shaun Hague pays homage to Eric Clapton

BY JULIA CIRIGNANO

Shaun Hague of Journeyman - A Tribute to Eric Clapton (PHOTO BY ERIC SCHMIDT, SUBMITTED BY SHAUN HAGUE).
Shaun Hague of Journeyman – A Tribute to Eric Clapton (PHOTO BY ERIC SCHMIDT, SUBMITTED BY SHAUN HAGUE).

There are a lot of similarities between former Kenny Wayne Shepherd and John Waite guitarist Shaun Hague and the legendary Eric Clapton. Hague has recently made a name for himself as a proficient blues guitarist and has gained enormous success from his band Journeyman: A Tribute to Eric Clapton. Although Hague currently lives in Chicago, Illinois, he will be returning to southeastern Massachusetts with his band on March 30, 2017, with a gig at the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River, Mass. Purchase tickets HERE.

Hague, who was originally from Somerset, Mass., started playing music at a young age. He has been inspired by some of the greats, including his top three favorites – Eric Clapton, The Beatles, and Bruce Springsteen. Hague talked about how Journeyman: A Tribute to Eric Clapton, fell together.

“Everyone has that main influence, and Eric became mine…I had every Clapton record, and I was learning all of them,” he said. “And then I became such a huge fan, and I knew all of his songs inside and out. And now with my guitar techniques that were somewhat like his and my vocals; I just happen to have a bluesy, raspy voice. So it just seemed like a good fit, and it was always something I’ve wanted to do.”

Hague attributes both his success and his passion for music to Clapton, saying that he may have never fought and worked so hard to be such an incredible guitar player if it wasn’t for Clapton. Hague also talked how he was affected by the presence of The Beatles and Springsteen when he was growing up.

“[The Beatles] really turned me onto music,” he said. “Bruce Springsteen kind of showed me what an entertainer is, songwriter, you know he’s just kind of the ultimate package of musicianship, live entertainment, and stage presence.”

Now that we know how Journeyman formed, how did the journey men come together? Hague talked about the creation of The Journeyman featuring Robert Monroe (keys/vocals), Andy Taylor (drums) and Sheldon Dukes (bass).

“After moving to Chicago a few years ago from LA, I befriended musicians,” he said. “There were a couple of guys I knew in town and then after that we just became friends and I said, ‘Hey I’ve got this idea,’ and they were totally into it.”

Hague explained that the tribute band is named after one of his favorite Clapton albums, “It has a lot of great hits and a lot of great non-hits too.”

Hague also mentioned his top three favorite Clapton songs which are “Pretending,” “Bell Bottom Blues,” and “The Core”.

Hague talked about the success he has gained from Journeyman, attracting a multitude of fans — with growing success that even Hague hadn’t expected.

“I went into this hoping for the best and it’s been more than I expected,” he said. “The first show we did was kind of hush hush. It was done here in Chicago. 130 people showed up or something and our second show was in Iowa.”

Even though the first show was low key, they had instantly caught the attention of many fans. This led to a sold out show in Iowa and many more people were turned down at the door. From there, Journeyman rocked a number of stages, attracting their largest audience to date at the Wildey Theatre in Edwardsville, IL, on Nov. 25, 2016, in which 315 attended.

Hague was surprised at the immediate success of Journeyman and at how fast tickets for future shows are selling out.

As he tries to understand his own success, Hague has come to the conclusion that Journeyman has become a favorite out of all the Clapton tribute bands for two reasons. The first, they are willing to travel and play just about anywhere. Second, they are younger than the other bands. Hague reminds people of a young Clapton, one they might have seen before, instead of an older version.

Hague jokingly questioned if he and Clapton are related somewhere down the line, then added, “I look like him from the 70’s.”

Although Hague’s main focus nowadays is covers, he has somehow managed to make a name for himself as a blues guitarist. Hague said it all started in 2001 when he was 17. He had never performed in front of anyone before, but he was chosen to play at the House of Blues in Boston and was named “The Best Young Blues Guitarist”.

“I love the blues. Always been influenced by it,” he said. “I think everyone does at some point in their life. But I understand it and connect with it.”

Along with Hague’s passion and skills, the Narrow Center for the Arts helped kick start his career. Hague has a great relationship with The Narrows and started his career there playing open mics. He is looking forward to returning in the spring to headline the Journeyman show.

“I love The Narrows, I love [Narrows Executive Director] Patrick [Norton]. I go all the way back to the Narrows Center when it was in a different spot,” he said. “It was this little art gallery and downstairs there was this kind of makeshift music venue. There were tables and chairs and a stage that wasn’t very high off the ground [with] very minimal lighting [and] minimal sound equipment. And they had open mics. Occasionally they would book a small show.”

After winning the contest at the House of Blues, Norton called Hague and invited him to play at one of their open mics.

“So I went down and sat in with Patrick. I played the blues or something, and I kept going back every week or every other week or something. And then I was in a little cover band. So we would show up and sit in on the cover nights and play,” said Hague.

Since 2001, The Narrows and Hague have grown both separately and together. Hague has played at The Narrows many times, both at The Narrows old location and their present location. Hague will be back at the Narrows Center as a headliner on March 30th (which also happens to be Eric Clapton’s birthday). Hague talked about why this show will be better than any show he’s ever played at The Narrows before.

“The first time I played The Narrows it was all acoustic. That was just the setup that was there. Last time, I came through with my band, the band I had. It was kind of unrehearsed. It was a good show though. Everyone’s always wanted me to play guitar, play blues, and the last two times I was in there, that’s not what I was doing. So, next time around, it’s going to be all about guitar work and my vocals and stuff. The band I have now is absolutely amazing. Each guy is super proficient with his instrument.”

Since Hague grew up in Massachusetts, many of his friends and fans are anticipating his return to Fall River. Hague is also looking forward to being back, especially coming back a new, more successful man. He is proud to have done what he set out to do when he lived there, “which was do music for a living. A lot of people laughed at me when I was 16, 17, but I’m proud to go back there and headline this venue that overlooks the town I grew up in.”

Hague also talked about growing up in Massachusetts, “I remember myself as a kid, being over in Somerset, playing my guitar in my room non-stop. The neighbors called the cops on me at night. Being a kid from a small town, I didn’t have many friends. I just spent all my time playing guitar,” he said.

Hague is proud of his success. He took a risk by not going to college and playing music instead. Yet, it’s obvious, that this risk paid off for him. He has had success playing original music, but prefers to play Clapton’s songs.

“To be honest with you, I feel more freedom and I feel more comfortable playing Clapton’s music because I’ve been doing it so long,” he said. “I feel much more comfortable playing his stuff than my own original music. You know it’s a bit more naked when you’re out there…so playing his music I feel more free. I play better than I’ve played in years. I sing better than I’ve sang in years. These songs have been in my head since I was 14, 15 years old. So for twenty plus years I’ve been listening to Eric Clapton non-stop.”

Hague acknowledged that he’s also managed to be creative within his tribute band.

“The original part we’re playing, in the tribute, obviously the vocals are word for word. The main guitar riffs are note for note,” he said. “But when I go solo or my keyboard player goes to solo, it’s not always the exact solo that was there, sometimes. So we’re getting to show what we can do through his music. I get the opportunity to showcase my skills, the piano player’s skills, even my drummer gets a solo on a song, so does my bass player, he gets a solo too.”

The Narrows Center is located at 16 Anawan Street. Tickets to the Journeyman show can be purchased online HERE or by calling the box office at 508-324-1926. For those wanting to purchase tickets in person, box office hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 12 noon to 5 p.m.

Metal singer Leather Leone recording new solo album with her ‘boys from Brazil’

BY JULIA CIRIGNANO & JAY KENNEY

Leather Leone promises big things in 2017. (PHOTO BY JIM SCHUMACHER, SUBMITTED BY LEATHER LEONE)
Leather Leone promises big things in 2017. (PHOTO BY JIM SCHUMACHER, SUBMITTED BY LEATHER LEONE)

When legendary heavy metal vocalist Ronnie James Dio died on May 16, 2010, it sent shock waves throughout the hard rock and metal community. As sad as his death was for so many people, it motivated vocalist Leather Leone to return to the heavy metal music scene after being away from it for nearly two decades. Since then, she has released a studio album with The Sledge/Leather Project, reunited with the band she originally fronted, Chastain, for two stellar recordings (Surrender To No One and We Bleed Metal), and is currently in the process of recording her first solo album since 1989 with a stellar band in Brazil. 2017 promises to be the year of Leather!

“The loss of Ronnie Dio changed me as much as when I had spent time with him,” said Leone in an exclusive interview with Limelight Magazine. “It took my breath away, as it did for many. I had to say and do something…the only way I knew was through song. He had always told me I had a gift. I simply gave it back to him. I think of him always when I write and record. He has always been my vocal reason. I thank him for any note that I sing.”

Leone said that her 20 year hiatus from music wasn’t planned but it just happened.

“After Chastain, the offers were comprising and uninteresting,” she admitted. “I would and will not try to be something I am not…I had other paths that called to me.”

Leather Leone is working on her first solo album since "Shock Waves" in 1989.
Leather Leone is working on her first solo album since “Shock Waves” in 1989.

While Leone’s path took her on a road away from the music industry, she is now back stronger than ever with a new solo album in the works with a lineup of musicians that includes Daemon Ross (guitar), Braulio Drummond (drums), Thiago Velasquez (bass) and Vinnie Tex (guitar).

“I call them my boys from Brazil,” Leone said. “They are a well-kept secret that I have the privilege of working with. They have done their share of working with much bigger names than me. I had met Daemon Ross on my first jaunt to Brazil in 2014. We had stayed in touch hoping it would evolve in some way. Vinnie, Braulio and Thiago I met for the first time in September. For me it was magic. We fit together very well.”

Although many years have passed, Leone feels like she’s the same rocker she has always been with the opportunity to become even better than ever.

“I can’t tell you how empowering and life changing this new project is for me,” Leone said. “The band that my promoter/manager Rodrigo Scelza had found for me is a wall of inspiration. I am basically writing with Vinnie Tex via email. I have gone through his and Daemon Ross’s ideas and chose what I think will work with my lyrical ideas…then Vinnie and I start doing demos back and forth. It is working very well. I have found a sense of sameness with them.”

Leone and her “boys from Brazil” are recording this new album in South America due to the unique opportunity she has working with these musicians.

“The guys are all situated there,” she said. “It is easier for me to go to them and it is important for me to be there with them. The energy I get from South America is indescribable.”

The new album doesn’t have a title yet but Leone did mention that it will be released sometime in 2017 “Dio willing,” she said, in commemoration of Ronnie James Dio.

While Leone is the same hard rocker she has always been, she said the music industry around her has drastically changed over the years.

“I find social media crazy,” she said. “Anyone can make music. All music can be downloaded and found for free. There are so many bands, it’s hard to find your place. That is what I’ve noticed, but I am still blessed to be able to make music so I have no complaints.”

"Mystery of Ilusion" is the debut studio album by Chastain which featured Leather Leone on vocals.
“Mystery of Illusion”(1985)  is the debut studio album by Chastain which featured Leather Leone on vocals.

Leone recorded her first album ever in 1985 with the band Chastain called Mystery of Illusion. They released music for five years before Leone departed the band in 1991. Over the past several years, Leone returned to Chastain and recorded two studio albums, Surrender To No One (2013) and We Bleed Metal (2015). [Check out the music videos for “Evil Awaits Us” and “I Am Sin” from Surrender To No One by clicking on the song title.]

“Working with Chastain is like riding a bike,” Leone explained. “You always remember and it comes back to you. Our relationship hasn’t changed. It was very cool to be back in the studio with him (David T. Chastain). At this time I see no plans for another record but weirder situations have come to be.”

Although Leone worked with Chastain in the studio again, they hadn’t shared a stage in over 25 years until they performed together on October 8, 2016, at Bogart’s in Cincinnati, Ohio.

“The live show with Chastain was cool,” Leone said. “I had always known it would happen eventually. It made me realize how thankful I was to have come from there and how lucky I was to move forward with my boys.”

Leone hopes to play some shows in the states again, possibly even with her “boys from Brazil.”

“My world with this band is wide open,” she said. “I am starting again with a fireball of talent beside me. There is interest and possibility. I hope to play in the states again.”

As Leone cements her return to the music scene, she is now accompanied by many more female rockers than before. When Leone first started making music, she was playing with the boys and being compared to male metal singers such as Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson and Judas Priest’s Rob Halford. Although Leone is proud to have been a pioneer female vocalist and rocker, she has also struggled with this label.

“I have always said I have a hard time with the female label,” Leone explained. “I understand looking back that we were few but still that label is so boring. I feel blessed, of course, to be spoken in the same conversations as the big guns but why is gender an issue?”

Leone is thankful for everyone who has supported her throughout her career.

“Thank you to everyone who has stuck by me with love and belief,” she said. “My new band will blow your mind as they do mine every day.”

Keep up with Leone and get band updates at leatherleone.com.

Leather Leone (PHOTO BY JIM SCHUMACHER, SUBMITTED BY LEATHER LEONE)
Leather Leone (PHOTO BY JIM SCHUMACHER, SUBMITTED BY LEATHER LEONE)

Local musicians look back on 2016 and make resolutions for 2017

BY JULIA CIRIGNANO

To coincide with the end of 2016 and the start of a fresh, new year, Limelight Magazine spoke with ten local musicians about what they were most grateful for in 2016 and their New Year’s resolutions for 2017 both within their personal lives and their music careers. We’d like to thank each of them for participating in our short survey. We’d also like to wish our readers a very happy, healthy, safe, and prosperous 2017!

What were you most grateful for in 2016?

Sarah Barrios

Sarah Barrios (PHOTO BY DAWN KINGSTON PHOTOGRAPHY, SUBMITTED BY SARAH BARRIOS)
Sarah Barrios (PHOTO BY DAWN KINGSTON PHOTOGRAPHY, SUBMITTED BY SARAH BARRIOS)

“I think I’m feeling most grateful for my friends, family, and the endless support from those who follow my career. 2016 has been a year of real self-reflecting for me. I’ve learned a lot about myself as an artist, who I want to be, what kinds of music I want to make, what topics to write about and I think that’s given me a new perspective of my career and how I want to move forward. I started making consistent YouTube videos twice a week and it’s really helped me connect even more so with the lovely people who help support my music. Without them, I truly would not be where I am today. I can’t imagine doing anything else, so the fact that I have the opportunity to pursue my dreams is something that I am very grateful for.

On a more personal note, I have always been someone who enjoys to be alone, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes you need your space, but for the past few years, I just couldn’t be bothered to really put myself out there…until now. I have made and strengthened such incredible friendships this past year and I can’t even begin to describe what it feels like to be surrounded by truly kind, talented and inspiring people. As for my family, they are my rock and my home and I have learned that no matter how annoying your brothers may get or how frustrating your parents can be, your family will always be there to support you at any stage of your life and I am very lucky to have the fun and loving family that I do.”

Liz Bills (of Analog Heart)

Liz Bills (center) with Analog Heart (PHOTO BY SHIVOHN FLEMING PHOTOGARPHY, SUBMITTED BY LIZ BILLS)
Liz Bills (center) with Analog Heart (PHOTO BY SHIVOHN FLEMING PHOTOGARPHY, SUBMITTED BY LIZ BILLS)

“I have so many things to be grateful for! Here are a few. I am grateful for my loving and supportive boyfriend. The health of my family and friends. My own physical and mental health. My wonderful band Analog Heart who have stuck with me through thick and thin. The freedom to express myself and to shoot for the stars. My amazing students who teach me more and more about myself and give me purpose and balance in my life. The love that surrounds me.”

Shaun Hague (of Journeyman – A Tribute to Eric Clapton)

Shaun Hague
Shaun Hague (PHOTO BY ERIC SCHMIDT, SUBMITTED BY SHAUN HAGUE)

“I am most grateful for two things in 2016. My beautiful family which grew even bigger this year as we welcomed our second daughter into the world. Everyone is healthy, happy and doing well. I am also grateful for the amount of professional booking and touring work that landed on my plate this year from lots of hard work, with even more coming in 2017 and beyond!”

Ashley Jordan

Ashley Jordan (SUBMITTED PHOTO BY ASHLEY JORDAN)
Ashley Jordan (SUBMITTED PHOTO BY ASHLEY JORDAN)

“I am most grateful for my family. They are wonderful, loving and supportive and I can’t imagine my crazy life without them!! It will be nice to spend some extra time with my family over the holiday season!!”

Jenna Lotti

Jenna Lotti (PHOTO BY KIERA SLYE PHOTOGRAPHY, SUBMITTED BYJENNA LOTTI)
Jenna Lotti (PHOTO BY KIERA SLYE PHOTOGRAPHY, SUBMITTED BYJENNA LOTTI)

“I’m grateful to be a part of the Boston music community.”

Dan Masterson

Dan Masterson and his band after winning The Last Band Standing Competition. From left, Jamie Howell, Alec Gaston, Dan Masterson, & Matthew Silva. (PHOTO BY PATRICK CREAN, SUBMITTED BY HAILEY MAGEE)
Dan Masterson and his band after winning The Last Band Standing Competition. From left, Jamie Howell, Alec Gaston, Dan Masterson, & Matthew Silva. (PHOTO BY PATRICK CREAN, SUBMITTED BY HAILEY MAGEE)

“I’m most grateful for getting out my bed-bug ridden apartment and moving into a new place in Brighton without going completely broke or insane. I never take a good night’s sleep for granted. I’m also grateful for discovering EBASS (Emerging Boston Area Singer Songwriters) which has been an incredible community and source of support as a performer and I’m thankful to the New England Music Awards and all my friends and fans who came out and propelled us to a win at this year’s Last Band Standing in New England Competition.”

Erin Ollis (of Thirty 6 Red)

Erin Ollis ( (PHOTO BY SYDNEY ROSE PHOTOGRAPHY, SUBMITTED BY ERIN OLLIS)
Erin Ollis ( (PHOTO BY SYDNEY ROSE PHOTOGRAPHY, SUBMITTED BY ERIN OLLIS)

“2016 has been one of the best years thus far. I’ve been very grateful to be part of a wonderful band, Thirty 6 Red, who I can also call a second family. We’ve performed at so many wonderful events this past year and we’ve been so fortunate to have the support of family, friends and fans. We ended this year by performing at Gillette Stadium on Christmas Eve before the Patriots took the field…We were also lucky enough to choose a fan to join us for the entire day and invite them to watch the Patriots game afterwards with us.”

Louis St. August (of MASS)

Louis St. August (of MASS) (PHOTO BY MICAH GUMMEL FOR NEW ENGLAND CONCERT REVIEWS, SUBMITTED BY LOUIS ST. AUGUST)
Louis St. August (of MASS) (PHOTO BY MICAH GUMMEL FOR NEW ENGLAND CONCERT REVIEWS, SUBMITTED BY LOUIS ST. AUGUST)

“I didn’t have to give this one too much thought because I am so grateful for many things in 2016. Mostly for my family who have always been supportive in all that I do and understand that there may be times when our family plans may need to be altered. I’m very grateful for their love and understanding. Secondly, I’m very grateful that most, if not all, of my family and friends have stayed relatively healthy and happy in 2016. I’m also very grateful for our amazing fans that continue to support me and MASS music over the many years. I’ve been blessed to still have the passion and desire to create and perform the music that still burns in my heart and soul.”

Matt York

Matt York (PHOTO BY MEG MAKEIJ, SUBMITTED BY MATT YORK)
Matt York (PHOTO BY MEG MAKEIJ, SUBMITTED BY MATT YORK)

“I’m most grateful for my wife because honestly, that’s never not the right answer. However, in this case it’s actually true. I’ve had a pretty wild year musically and got to travel to some cool spots, experience some cool things and none of that would have been possible without her support. We have two young daughters and trying to coordinate the schedules of two people who both work full-time along with all the things that come along with parenting could be challenging but we’ve made it work.”

What are your resolutions for 2017?

Sarah Barrios

“I don’t think I’ve ever made a New Year’s resolution but like they say, ‘there’s a first time for everything.’ One of my resolutions for this coming year is to take more risks. I tend to let my fears, many being ones that have been created purely from my own imagination, control my life and the decisions I make. I’ve let these fears rule over me because I was more comfortable not taking risks and complaining about it, than taking the risk and seeing where the journey took me. While that wasn’t a huge deal when I was younger, I’m now pursuing a career that requires you to really step outside the box and out of your comfort zone. Maybe it’s because I’ve reflected over it or maybe it’s because I’m getting older but I’ve grown tired of feeling caged in by walls that I’ve put up all on my own. I want to step outside of my comfort zone and create without fear. To make content that is unapologetically honest, to travel more, make new friends, strengthen my musical abilities, make videos that are different from my current content. I want this year to be the year that I get out of my own way and start to live less for my fears and more for my dreams.”

Liz Bills (of Analog Heart)

“I don’t like to do New Year’s resolutions but if I had to have one it would be to continue to always learn and grow and expand. To strive for balance and happiness and to have the wisdom to stay calm and patient in times when I am sad, angry, sick or in pain.”

Shaun Hague (of Journeyman – A Tribute to Eric Clapton)

“My New Year’s resolution is to get things done and not leave them for another day. I do that too often whether it’s work related or even a house chore. I have had two ballerina prints sitting in my office for my oldest daughter’s room that should have been in there months ago. Lazy dad! Well not really lazy, I just have so much going on family/work wise and I’m not prioritizing my time well enough this year.”

Ashley Jordan

“My New Year’s resolution for 2017 is to officially release my newest album He’s Crazy and to get it out there in a new and unique way. I also want to do some music videos for my songs on my new album.”

Jenna Lotti

“I don’t really have a specific resolution but I have a goal of making 2017 my best year yet, music wise. I’ve been working on new music that is very different from anything I’ve put out yet and I’m very excited for people to hear it! I’m going to work as hard as I possibly can in 2017.”

Dan Masterson

“My first and most important resolution this year is to do anything and everything possible to defend and support my LGBTQ friends, friends of color, and female/non-binary friends — and to not be silent when I see any kind of intimidation directed toward folks simply for who they are or how they look. I feel strongly that this is a resolution that I must commit to without exception.”

Erin Ollis (of Thirty 6 Red)

“I’m sure 2017 will be jammed packed with more music and exciting memories. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to take more risks. I want to expand my music repertoire and create more original music to showcase to the public.”

Louis St. August (of MASS)

“My resolution is simply to try and be the very best human being possibly and to spread the word of hope and love through my daily actions and of course through song.”

Matt York

“For 2017, one of things I really want to do is work more to support local artists. I think with the way the landscape has changed in recent years, it’s harder for musicians to find an audience, sell merchandise and so on. So, if I can help that, even in a tiny way, by seeing more shows, buying more CDs and letting people know about acts that really impress me, I’d like think that could help a little bit.”

Ian Anderson, Rik Emmett, Shaun Hague, Limelight readers remember Bob Coburn

BY JULIA CIRIGNANO & JAY KENNEY

logo-rockline

Bob Coburn, host of the nationally syndicated radio show Rockline, died on December 18, 2016, of lung cancer at the age of 68. Limelight Magazine would like to commemorate Coburn for what he added to the world of rock & roll. Through Coburn, Rockline connected fans with their rock & roll heroes from 1981 to 2014, giving listeners the opportunity to call in with their questions. Long before social media, Rockline was the primary way for fans to do this.

Coburn got involved with Rockline in 1981 when his friend, mentor and then host of the show, B. Mitchell Reed, became seriously ill. With Reed’s blessing, Coburn took over the position and impressed everyone on the show, landing him a permanent job as host of the show. With Coburn bringing in excellent ratings, Rockline’s popularity skyrocketed. With Coburn’s uplifting personality and hard work ethic, combined with the extraordinary crew that he worked with, the show had about 48 of the top-50 markets and hundreds of affiliates.

Since the 80’s, Coburn has had the opportunity to interview some of rock & roll’s biggest acts including Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Rod Stewart, Neil Young, Van Halen, David Bowie, Ronnie Spector, Joey Ramone, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Black Sabbath, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Rush, Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, Paul Rodgers, Def Leppard, Buckcherry, Queensryche, Puddle of Mudd, Dave Mason, Green Day, REM, Creed, Pete Townshend, Alice In Chains, and Guns N’ Roses. A lot of rock history and shenanigans happened at the Rockline studio, yet they also hosted comedians such as Joan Rivers, Billy Crystal, George Carlin, Mike Meyers, and Denis Leary.

With such a vast list of musicians and pop icons already interviewed before his death, Coburn mentioned some musicians that he never had the chance to interview, but wishes he had. He mentioned many deceased rock stars such as John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison, and a few who are still alive, Eric Clapton and Bruce Springsteen.

Limelight Magazine spoke with three musicians days after Coburn’s death, including Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson, Rik Emmett of Triumph, and Shaun Hague who was the former guitarist of the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band and currently the guitarist of Journeyman – A Tribute to Eric Clapton.

Ian Anderson had been friends with Coburn for years before his death and appeared on Rockline with Jethro Tull.

“Bob Coburn was already a radio legend when I was appearing in the Los Angeles market from the early 80s onwards,” Anderson explained. “We contributed to Rockline from various parts of the planet many times and met up in LA on several occasions. He was a kind and gentle man with a real knowledge and love for all things rock and roll. An email from him on my birthday a few months ago spoke only of a continued commitment to music and radio, back home again with KLOS. We will all miss you Bob. Part of American music history. Legends live on and the music never dies.”

Emmett, formerly of Triumph, also spoke about Coburn’s genuine passion for music that resulted in a major legacy.

“In the music biz, one encounters lots of folks who talk about how much they love music but what they eventually reveal is their love for their own position in the biz. Not Bob,” Emmett said. “He was a rare breed in the rock & roll biz. He was an old pro with a smooth style and a sincere, respectful gentleman. Bob was someone who had a genuine love of music, and a deep, deft ability to connect to the musicians who made the music he loved. He was a storyteller and a man who could draw stories from his guests. He will be missed and mourned but should also be celebrated with our humble respects.”

Fellow musician Shaun Hague talked about his relationship with Coburn from being star struck to Coburn actually interviewing him.

“In 2003, one of my biggest influences, Jimmy Page, appeared on Rockline,” Hague explained. “I tried forever calling in to speak with him. In the last hour of the show, I got through. Many of the questions I wanted to ask had been brought up by that point so I asked him a question about the How The West Was Won DVD and started it off by telling him what an idol he was to me. At the end of his five minute response, he stopped and said to me, ‘Thanks again Shaun for what you said about my guitar playing and influence’. I nearly fell off my chair!!!”

“One year later, I was in studio with Bob on Rockline as a member of the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band. It was just such an honor to be in the same room that many of my heroes had been in, also getting interviewed and playing live for Bob. I hope someone carries the torch of his unique interview concept, will be hard shoes to fill though.”

Limelight Magazine also spoke with six local music fans and readers of our publication on the passing of Coburn.

Tom Chagnon, of Providence, R.I., talked about his experience of listening to Rockline when he was only 13 years old and later in life when he got to interact with his music idols through the show.

“I remember sneaking a small transistor radio under my pillow so my parents wouldn’t find out. I used to visualize being in the studio with Bob as he ‘partied’ and spoke with David Lee Roth, Paul Stanley, etc. I remember the first time I called the station to speak with Paul McCartney. I was too late, the show wasn’t taking any more calls. I was so bummed. Years later I found out that Izzy Stradlin was going to be on Rockline. I called early to make sure I got a question in. When I finally asked it, Izzy gave a great answer which lead Bob to say, ‘Thanks Tom, great question’. I was around 24 and no longer sneaking a transistor radio under the pillow. I called Rockline several times. I got to ask questions to Buckcherry, the reunited Warrant and lastly The Winery Dogs.”

David Tolar, of Millis, Mass., talked about Coburn’s unforgettable shows.

“I remember listening to Bob and the Rockline program every week on various FM rock stations over the years and always loved the informal and fun nature of the show,” Tolar said. “He was brilliant at letting the artists be comfortable in his environment, and some of those performances that the various artists and bands did were remarkable!”

With so many memorable shows, Tolar said that Rush was one of his favorites.

“I don’t have one single band that jumps out at me as an all-time favorite but bands like Rush who weren’t exactly known for their sense of humor were able to truly shine on his show,” Tolar said. “Van Halen was always a hoot as well for completely different reasons. They were just out of control. [It was] a tremendous show and one that was the gold standard for every aspiring rock and roll interviewer. Bob will truly be missed.”

Brad Stevens, from Mashpee, Mass., also has fond memories of Rush on Rockline with Coburn.

“My favorite memory was in 1983,” Stevens said. “I was a huge fan of the band Rush and Bob had them on one evening and it was to talk about the upcoming release of their new album Grace Under Pressure. I just so excited that a new song was gonna be played for the first time which was ‘Between The Wheels’.”

Tim Cobb, of Fairhaven, Mass., also said that Van Halen was one of the best shows that Coburn hosted. Cobb remembers the nostalgia of listening to Rockline.

“Listening late Monday night as a tweener/teenager with my Walkman under the covers (my parents thinking I was sleeping) listening to Bob Coburn’s fantastic voice and interviews with my favorite rockers,” he said.

Jay Roberts, of Wareham, Mass., spoke about what he believed made Coburn and Rockline such a unique and intriguing show for music fans.

“The personal memories I have of listening to Bob Coburn and Rockline are pretty much how growing up and discovering the show made you eagerly await each successive week’s show,” Roberts said. “The intro music and Bob’s introduction. His great radio voice and how he managed to ask questions that went beyond the standard creampuff Q&A. Rockline covered everyone and even those artists that might not be ones you like were made interesting because they got really in depth with them on the show. You got to learn more about the artists when the internet wasn’t as easily accessible (or available at all in some cases). Bob Coburn and Rockline made the music and the musicians that much more interesting.”

Roberts and music fan Mikeal St. Ayre, of Lowell, Mass., both agreed that their favorite show was when Coburn interviewed Queensryche.

“My straight favorite time was when Queensryche premiered Promised Land on Rockline,” Ayre said. “We were all so excited! The funniest one was in ‘89 when Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora were on and utterly obliterated. That episode got cut short but not before they performed one of the best takes of ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’ ever recorded.”

RIP Bob Coburn…You will be sorely missed!!!

Girls, Guns and Glory Record Their First Analog Album ‘Love and Protest’

BY JULIA CIRIGNANO

Girls, Guns and Glory (PHOTO BY ELIZABETH ELLENWOOD)
Girls, Guns and Glory (PHOTO BY ELIZABETH ELLENWOOD)

Girls, Guns and Glory is a band like no other. Their music has been compared to Hank Williams, Roy Orbison, Dwight Yoakam, Chris Isaak and many more. While the band may be compared to some of the greats, they also stand out from the rest. They are both an intellectual and soulful band that you don’t want to miss when they tour in your area.

The band consists of four talented musicians, Ward Hayden, (acoustic guitar and lead vocals), Josh Kiggans (drums), Paul Dilley (bass and vocals), Cody Nilsen (lead guitar and vocals). Check out their latest album Love and Protest where they analyze the connection between these two words. Ward Hayden explained the main concept behind the album.

“The overarching theme of the album is the exploration of what love is, what it means, what is its purpose in our lives and then the other side of that, what happens when that emotion is faced with opposition,” he explained. “To me Love and Protest are alpha and omega. It is the emotion itself and then it is the opposition of it. The songs on the album cover those feelings and there is a lot of ground to cover in between those extremes.”

The songs on Love and Protest is a combination of rock, country, and blues music. Many iconic musicians have inspired the band through the creation of this album.

“Sonically we were really inspired by Tom Petty’s Damn The Torpedoes album,” Hayden explained. “For the 10 years we’ve been a band we’ve always made music rooted in classic country and early rock ‘n’ roll and as the band has matured and progressed, we’ve worked to blend those styles into something that sounds distinctly like Girls Guns and Glory.”

One of the most unique aspects of Love and Protest, is that it was recorded in analog. With the guidance of their producer Drew Townson, Girls, Guns and Glory were able to embody the magic of classic rock and country albums recorded on tape.

“Recording an analog album was a largely positive experience,” Hayden said. “Our producer, Drew Townson, had the vision of this being an all analog album from the very beginning of this album’s creation. He was very upfront in his feelings that we were losing some of the energy the band has when we record digitally. By recording to tape, he felt it worked well with my voice and he felt that it would better capture a vibe that can get lost in the digital process. Now, that the album is complete, I have to agree with Drew that this was the best way to capture the feeling and emotion of these songs. There is something raw and honest about four people being in a room and making music together and that is what this recording was able to capture.”

Besides the different recording techniques used, Hayden explained the other ways in which Love and Protest is different from the band’s previous releases.

“I think it shows a lot of development in the band,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of stage and studio experience under our belt and this is the first time that we approached an album with songs that were really labored over.”

In the past, Hayden typically wrote songs in short bouts of creativity. For this album, he took his time and worked hard and long on each song.

“With Love and Protest, some of these songs were worked on for years,” Hayden said. “They were songs that I’d kept for myself and continued to rework and think about for a really long time. For me, it’s some of my most personal songwriting and I think it shows when you listen to the album.”

This also wasn’t the first time Girls, Guns and Glory worked with Townson. He also mixed and co-produced the band’s 2015 release A Tribute to Hank Williams Live. 

“I’ve known Drew for about nine years and we’d always wanted to do a studio album together,” Hayden said. “He and I produced the Tribute To Hank Williams album together, so I knew I liked how he worked and vice versa. What I also liked was that he was not only open to the idea of having Josh Kiggans, Paul Dilley and I sitting in the producer’s chair with him but he welcomed it with the new album. He was very open to our ideas and we were comfortable enough with him that we knew we could pitch concepts and ideas to him and know we were getting honest feedback.”

Girls, Guns and Glory are proud of all the albums they have released yet Hayden explained why he feels that they are a new band due to the release of Love and Protest.

“Right before we entered the studio we parted ways with our guitarist at the time,” he explained. “Josh, Paul and I got together with our manager and he said to us that we can’t look at this like a road block. He told us that he believed we have the songs ready to make the best album of our career and that we have the guys needed to make it. It was a vote of confidence that we really needed at that time.”

During the creation of the new album, guitarist Cody Nilsen joined the band adding a fresh, new quality to the album in addition to the solidified Guns, Girls and Glory sound.

“For us, it felt like new life had been breathed into the band and we were re-energized,” Hayden said. “When one door closes, another door opens and I think all of us felt like we were almost new again. Things felt great in the studio and they’ve felt great on stage as we’ve been touring.”

Girls, Guns and Glory have done lot of touring over the past several years and have experienced some amazing moments. One of the band’s most memorable moments was when they played two shows in France last year.

“We were performing just outside of Paris when the Bataclan terrorist attack occurred,” Hayden explained. “The show that night ended with people in total distress and people were extremely worried and upset. The next night we got the call from the venue we were supposed to play that over 150 tickets had been cancelled because people were afraid to go out and the venue wanted to know if we wanted to cancel the show. We talked amongst the band and with our tour manager and ultimately decided that putting joy and music into the world was the best option. So, we told them we’d be there for the show. There were only about 100 people that wound up coming out but the connection between the band and the audience that night was the strongest I’ve ever felt from the stage. People sang along with tears in their eyes and so did we. It was one of the most memorable and moving experiences I’ve had in this band. We didn’t speak French and they only spoke a little English but we connected over music and emotion. It helped me believe that good can win over evil and I felt it was an example of the resilience of the human spirit.”

Girls, Guns and Glory have played shows with some popular acts within the music industry such as Los Lobos and George Thorogood and The Destroyers.

“Los Lobos are just some really welcoming and cool guys,” Hayden said. “They’re always good for a laugh backstage. George Thorogood and The Destroyers have told us some great stories about touring with The Rolling Stones and seeing Chuck Berry. I love rock ‘n’ roll history, so getting to share the stage and hang out with people who have been in it for so long is really inspiring and exciting. I consider myself a music fan first and foremost, so getting to hear the stories and firsthand accounts has been one of the best perks of being a musician.”

Girls, Guns and Glory is managed by Patrick Norton, Executive Director of The Narrows Center for The Arts in Fall River, Mass. Norton came in contact with the band since he was a fan and has continued to propel their career using both his venue and the connections that he has within the industry.

“Girls, Guns and Glory had started to attract a following in Boston and Patrick was one of the first people outside of the city to give us a shot,” Hayden explained. “He put us on as the opener for a few bands at the Narrows and gave us the chance to start building a following there. It took us give or six times of playing the room but we’ve been able to sell it out a few times in the last couple years and The Narrows has become one of our favorite venues to visit.”

Hayden loves his job as a musician and even had some advice for aspiring musicians today.

“I’d say to an aspiring musician to keep grinding and working hard,” he said. “This business is a roller coaster ride, plenty of ups and downs. If you can learn to ride the roller coaster then you’ll do well and enjoy what you’re doing. I’d also encourage aspiring musicians to do their best to not get discouraged. The music business has changed so dramatically in the 10 years I’ve been in it. Major label deals are a thing of the past but there are so many ways for independent artists to succeed nowadays. It’s all about finding your angle and putting in the time and hard work. If you love it, keep at it, just make sure you truly love it. If the love is there, even the bad times won’t seem so bad.”

Get your copy of Love and Protest on iTunes or Amazon. Girls, Guns and Glory will also be hosting CD release shows throughout the Northeast this winter and in the South and Mid-West this spring. Visit their website HERE to keep informed about the band.

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Girls, Guns and Glory (PHOTO BY ELIZABETH ELLENWOOD)

blindspot gears up for debut E.P. & release party

BY JULIA CIRIGNANO

blindspot (PHOTO BY MARK MYERS PHOTOGRAPHY, SUBMITTED BY ALEXA ECONOMOU)
blindspot (PHOTO BY MARK MYERS PHOTOGRAPHY, SUBMITTED BY ALEXA ECONOMOU)

If you like Paramore, U2, The Killers, Neon Trees, Coldplay, and Aerosmith then you will love blindspot. The band is fronted by lead singer Alexa Economou, accompanied by Chris Cormier and Austin Ferrante. Blindspot is an indie rock band from Lowell, Mass. They will be releasing their debut EP on February 24, 2017, followed by a release show at The Middle East Upstairs on February 25th. The music video for their lead single off this EP is titled “Every Time You Close Your Eyes” and has just been released!

Economou and Cormier have been friends since high school and eventually started pursuing music together.

“Chris got into sound recording and he began recording me performing cover songs,” Economou said. “Eventually, he asked me to sing at an open mic and I gathered up the courage to do it. From there we started writing together and eventually started playing gigs as a band. The rest is history. The two of us met Austin through playing shows with other bands that he was in, and we recruited him to become an official member of blindspot this past fall.”

While blindspot is based out of Lowell, the band plays many shows in the Boston area as well as New Hampshire and New York.

“We typically play at places like The Middle East, Thunder Road, etc.,” Economou explained. “We also head up to New Hampshire pretty often to play venues such as Fury’s Publick House in Dover. We have a residency coming up there in January on every Wednesday night of the month. This year we have also travelled to New York a lot for some really cool gigs.”

Over the last two years, blindspot has had the opportunity to open up for some well known bands such as Gin Blossoms, Candlebox, Plain White T’s, Buckcherry, Puddle of Mudd, Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots, Finger Eleven, Fuel, Saving Abel, Smile Empty Soul, and Tantric.

“The most memorable shows have been when we won a battle of the bands to open for Puddle of Mudd, when we opened for Gin Blossoms to a sold out crowd of over 600 people, and when we opened for Scott Weiland from Stone Temple Pilots, a true legend,” Economou said. “One of my most recent favorite shows was actually on my birthday this past September at The Whiskey Barrel Bar in Haverhill, Mass. We had so many friends and fans show up that night to support us and I could not have imagined spending my birthday any other way. We also ventured out on our first official tour this past spring and travelled all the way down the East Coast, where we had a lot of great shows and experiences in new cities.”

One of the biggest acts blindspot has opened up for was Steven Tyler of Aerosmith at Laconia Fest this past summer.

“Opening for Steven Tyler was nothing short of a dream come true,” Economou said. “When I found out that we were going to be opening for him, I was in a state of shock and very nervous on the days leading up to the show. Steven has been my idol, role model, and inspiration since I first got into music at a very young age. He and Aerosmith have shaped my entire life because I would not be who I am today without their music. My sole focus on the day of the show was on nailing blindspot’s performance and walking away satisfied that we played the same show as the one and only Steven Tyler. Yet the icing on the cake came after the show when I got to meet Steven and he asked me about my band and even kissed me! It was definitely an experience that I will never forget.”

Blindspot’s debut, self-titled EP will be released on February 24th, 2017. The following night, the band will be playing a release show at The Middle East Upstairs in Cambridge, Mass.

“We have released a handful of singles over the last two years but we really feel as if this EP epitomizes who we are as a band and so we wanted to title it as our name to show who we are,” Economou said.

The music on this EP shows the growth that blindspot has gone through over the past two years they’ve been playing together. The band has written some songs together yet they finally feel that they have created a compilation of music that is purely blindspot originals. They believe in these songs and are excited for the world to hear them.

“We have become better musicians and songwriters over time so the performance is definitely stronger for everyone as well as the sound quality,” Economou explained. “We definitely love the music we have previously released but we are extra excited to showcase our new material.”

The lead single off this EP is titled “Every Time You Close Your Eyes.” For the music video, blindspot decided to use a concept that also follows a common theme within the band as a whole, the concept of vision, blindness, sight, eyes, etc.

“The main theme in the video is that we are all wearing blindfolds. The song is called ‘Every Time You Close Your Eyes’ so the blindfolds signify the concept of eyes,” Economou explained. “The meaning of the song is the internal conflict of the heart vs. the mind where the heart is telling you one thing that you might desire but the mind is telling you that it might not be good for you and you should let it go.”

Check out the video HERE.

“The video depicts me walking through rooms blindfolded where the audience sees strange things happening behind closed doors yet I can’t see them even though I want to,” Economou said. “Eventually, I am able to let go of the blindfold and become free from everything holding me back from who I want to be. The video was done with 41st Casanova Productions and we are super stoked with how it came out.”

Blindspot chose this song as the lead single off their new EP because they believe it is the best representation of the band.

“We wanted to introduce the EP with a song that is fun but has a strong meaning behind it,” Economou said. “It is already one of our favorite songs to play so we wanted to share it with everyone as the first single and also let it really come alive visually by putting a video to it.

Check out blindspot at their website HERE and Facebook page HERE.

Have guitar?…Mouradian Guitar Company will fix

By JULIA CIRIGNANO

Inside the work space at Mouradian Guitar.
Inside the work space at Mouradian Guitar.

Come to Mouradian Guitar Company located at 810 Main Street in Winchester, Mass., for quality guitar repairs by skilled repairmen Jim and Jon Mouradian. This family owned business focuses on exceptional guitar and bass repairs as well as selling used guitars, basses, amplifiers and select musical accessories.

The store was founded in 1980 by guitar maker Jim Mouradian and is now co-owned by his son Jon. In 1984, Jon, who was only nine years old at the time, started helping his father with minor repairs which grew into a joint partnership that has lasted most of both Jim and Jon’s adult life. Limelight Magazine recently stopped by the shop to talk to Jon about the business he runs alongside his father.

“My dad built guitars and I would have little jobs,”  Jon explained. “I’ve been good with mechanics my whole life. I would mount the strap buttons, mount the knobs, and mount the tuners. It started off very simple.”

Jon soon became an expert in his field. Off and on from 1992 to 1997, he toured and traveled as a guitar tech with bands such as Extreme, Saigon Kick, and Big Wreck.

In 1997, at the age of 22, Jon decided to work full-time at Mouradian Guitar helping his father repair and sell guitars. Over the years, the shop has changed and evolved to follow the current musical trends.

“The business itself has not changed a ton so much as the cast of characters,” Jon said. “That kind of follows whatever the trend is in Boston. There will be times when the blue scene is huge or the punk scene is huge or the underground rock scene is huge and we see a lot more of those people. There was a time we were installing Floyd Rose Tremolo’s and putting humbuckers on stats as a very regular occurrence. Now, it’s much more about preserving guitars and maintaining as much of the original guitar as we can while keeping them working.”

Some of the most common trends Jon is seeing these days are head sock repairs, Mahogany guitars, Gibsons, Martins, bridge re-glues on flat top acoustics, and installing pickups in acoustic guitars.

When it comes to guitar repair, Jon and Jim have seen it all. Father and son have seen nasty home repairs with duct tape and bad repair jobs done by other shops. They have received guitars in multiple pieces and each time manage to restore them to their original quality.

“A couple days ago a guitar came in in multiple pieces with the headstock masking taped on,” Jon said. “That must have happened years ago and wherever they stored it insects decided to take up home in the masking tape. There’s probably 10,000 dead bugs in the tape and that’s not the first time.”

Both Jim and Jon Mouradian have established a one-of a kind guitar repair shop. They have managed to make a name for themselves the old fashion way: by creating long lasting relationships and doing quality work.

Mouradian Guitar has made a name for itself due to the two gifted men who run the shop. The shop itself is rather small, with one sign outside the door and shades always drawn. The reason this business has been successful is because of the quality of their work and the human connections they make along the way.

“My dad is super nice. Mr. Congeniality,” Jon said laughing. “But really, it’s genuine. I think people like coming and talking to him as much as having their guitars fixed. There’s also the fact that we’re blessed with whatever mechanical abilities that allow us to work on these guitars all the time and make them better without damaging anything. Years of doing a good job at a good rate.”

With so much success and only two real employees, Jon explains the difficulties they are now faced with. They are currently backed up two months since they have such a long waiting list of guitars that need repairs. While they sometimes make exceptions for musicians who need a quick repair, Jon wishes he could return guitars at a better rate.

“The hardest thing for us with everybody is the time,” he said. “We get a lot of push back on the calendar which is tough. I’m not sure what to do. If we do a terrible job for six months, turn around time would be very quick but nobody will want to come and see us.”

 While quality work is always the number one priority at Mouradian Guitar, Jon believes that building a relationship with clients is also one of the most important parts of being a store owner.

“I think what makes our world successful is that we’re nice, we do a good job, and we try and become friends with our clientele,” Jon said.

He believes this is part of what makes Mouradian Guitar better than many other guitar stores. Jon believes he has some competition from other local music stores but not much from chain stores such as Guitar Center. While they may have a bigger selection of guitars to buy, their repair center is nowhere near as skilled as Jon and his father. The interaction with their staff is mediocre and both their range and level of guitar repair skills is below average.

“No disrespect to those guys but there’s not a whole lot of people who do what we do,” Jon said. “Guitar Center will never be a competitor of ours when it comes to repair because they don’t have anybody really qualified working on the guitars. Unfortunately, I see that. Just last Saturday, I bailed a kid out. I was driving away and I saw him walk up to the door of the store. He said, ‘I’m having a ground problem’.”

Jon then proceeded to re-park his car, open the shop back up, and repair his guitar which had received a botched fix at Guitar Center. With several major problems within the guitar, Jon was able to repair everything in time for this client to go on tour.

Throughout his years working with musicians, one story sticks out the most. This story took place in the early 90’s when Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, and Krist Novoselic of Nirvana walked into Mouradian Guitar. At the time, Jon was on the road as a guitar tech but his father Jim greeted the three musicians dressed in ragged clothes.

“It was prior to them releasing their first record,” Jon began. “They were traveling around, touring, playing clubs like tons of our friends do now. The day before they walked into the building, “Kurt L-kabombed (smashed)” both of his guitars which separated the necks from the bodies; just ripped the four screws right out of their Fender style guitars. So they came into the shop and said ‘hey, can you help us out?’ And my dad, being a dad and being understanding, said “yeah, I’ll help you out but you’re on tour, you’re making money with these guitars, you really can’t break them’.”

At the time, nobody knew who these three men were. Months later, Mouradian Guitar got a package in the mail containing Nirvana’s Nevermind album, a t-shirt, a hat, and a thank you note. At that point, Jim and Jon still didn’t know how famous they would become.

“It just so happened that they ended up becoming a world famous band,” Jon said. “There’s lots of people who we help out all the time who finish their day’s work as a plumber and then go play a gig somewhere so they can feed their families and that’s as important.”

Check out their website HERE and their Facebook page HERE.

For any inquiries, give them a call at 781-756-4877 or send them an email at info@mouradianguitar.com.

From left, Mouradian Guitar co-owner Jon Mouradian and Limelight Magazine writer Julia Cirignano.
From left, Mouradian Guitar co-owner Jon Mouradian and Limelight Magazine writer Julia Cirignano.

Hard works pays off for singer/songwriter Erinn Brown

BY JULIA CIRIGNANO

Erinn Brown Band (SUBMITTED PHOTO BY NANCY WESTON)
Erinn Brown Band (SUBMITTED PHOTO BY NANCY WESTON)

Erinn Brown is living proof that if you work hard enough you can become a successful musician. Singer/songwriter Brown has released three records with The Erinn Brown Band: Road Signs To The Sun, Don’t Forget About It and Ruled My Life with The Erinn Brown Band. She currently plays gigs around her hometown of Salem, Mass., and also teaches private music lessons to a variety of different age groups.

Brown is a gifted musician herself yet she still loves teaching private home and studio lessons, private lessons at Endicott College in Beverly, Mass, and will soon be teaching the Modern Band Project at Endicott. She is beyond happy with her current musician career. She loves being part of both the Salem music scene and the Endicott College community.

Brown attended Berklee College of Music where she majored in Professional Music with a concentration in Performing and Songwriting. She uses many of the skills she learned there when she teaches music lessons and also when she writes her own music.

Brown has been teaching private music lessons for younger kids for eighteen years and teaching at Endicott College for over five years. At Endicott, she teaches piano, guitar and voice lessons.

“I started working there because the music and arts program decided they wanted to implement private lessons as an option for students,” Brown explained. “I was asked if I wanted to teach there privately. It was exciting for me to get involved in that because it’s a different level. I had been teaching little kids so it’s nice to have the adult students.”

After being part of the Endicott College community for such a long time, Brown was recently asked to teach the Modern Band project at Endicott for the Spring 2017 semester. During these fifteen weeks, she will be helping several students form a band and prepare for live performances on campus.

“I was just asked to fill in this coming semester to teach a class which I’ve never done before,” Brown said. “I’m really excited about it and I’m really nervous.”

Brown fits perfectly into the Endicott community, especially the performing arts family. She looks forward to her new, additional role within the community.

“I feel very lucky to be part of it. I think it’s a really neat program,” she said. “The people who I have been working with there are creative and fun and thoughtful. I feel a good sense of community and that’s comforting.”

Brown has been pursuing her own music with The Erinn Brown Band for over ten years. She plays many local venues with her band and also as a trio, duo, and solo act. Brown has grown both through her experience teaching and her work with her band.

“The Erinn Brown Band with all the different musicians has been inspiring to me,” she said. “I will always appreciate their input. It’s similar in the way I’ve grown with my teaching. I’m always learning from other people.”

Brown has worked with many different local musicians, yet her current band consists of Steve Peabody on drums, Sven Larson or Bryan Sheehan on bass, Randy Leventhal on lead guitar, and Brown on rhythm guitar and lead vocals. Brown has known Peabody the longest and talked about how he became part of the band.

“I worked with my drummer in college,” she said. “We were in an ensemble together and we wound up taking a couple classes together. We were good friends.”

While Brown and Peabody drifted apart after graduation, he ended up finding her on MySpace in 2005.

“At that time, the drummer I had been working with had just passed away so it was perfect timing for Steve to contact me; both as a good friend and being supportive and also he’s a great drummer,” Brown explained.

Brown’s work within her band is very near and dear to her heart. Her music is personal since her writing is so raw and honest. Brown has been a writer her whole life whether she is writing for herself or songwriting. While themes such as relationships may have first inspired her writing, she has also pushed her some towards more mature and controversial topics.

“I think I wrote mostly about my relationships in the beginning then expanded,” Brown explained. “Relationships are always a big part of my writing but I tried to, I mean didn’t necessarily try it just came out, but to be more political and socially aware in my writing. On my second record I wrote a song called ‘And In The End’ and that was very driven by the politics at the time. Feeling a split between political parties and others, kind of what’s going on these days.”

Brown has always written music that is very real and true to herself, to the point where she sometimes finds it hard to sing her own lyrics. She only writes about events and feelings which she has experienced, so recording and performing these songs can sometimes be very emotional for her.

Brown is currently working on some songs for a new record with various political themes. Keep your eye out for a new Erinn Brown Band record that will hoping be coming out in 2017. Brown has also written some songs with her drummer Peabody which she said will definitely be on the new record.

While Brown is dedicated to her band, she sometimes plays shows as a solo act, and some as a trio. She also plays many shows with her guitarist/boyfriend Randy Leventhal. No matter what the setup, Brown loves the community of musicians and friends she has acquired since moving to Salem.

“We play at In The Pig’s Eye in Salem frequently. It’s like a second home to me,” Brown explained. “When I first moved up this way, I first started playing guitar in front of people at this place. Before, I was a singer who just fronted bands. The Pig’s Eye was always a place that I enjoyed going to and hanging out with people there. Of course, the clientele changes but it always feels comfortable there and it’s really nice to feel that comfort with my friends; my best friend Randy on guitar and my friend Steve on drums.”

Brown plays at many other venues around the Salem area. While many of them are now closed, she still enjoys playing at Brodie’s Seaport since they have a big enough stage for her whole band to perform. She also plays at many venues in Somerville, such as Sally O’Brien’s.

Check out The Erinn Brown Band’s official website to get the latest update on her show schedule HERE. Also, check out the band’s Facebook page for updates HERE.

Joan Osborne follows her own instincts

BY JULIA CIRIGNANO

Joan Osborne (SUBMITTED PHOTO BY JEFF FASANO)
Joan Osborne (SUBMITTED PHOTO BY JEFF FASANO)

Joan Osborne has been pursuing music for over 20 years and she has just hit her creative climax with her newest album Love and Hate. Osborne’s story began when she moved to New York City in the late 80’s when she founded her own record label called Womanly Hips. Osborne pursed her love for singing and songwriting and gained substantial success in 1995 when she released her first major label album, Relish, featuring the hit single “One Of Us”. Although this album gained substantial attention, Osbourne made her intentions clear as stated in her website bio, “She was more interested in musical integrity and creative longevity than transient pop success.”

Osborne has always been ahead of her time. She bravely stepped out into New York alone and opened her own record label. She has also been open about both her sexual and creative freedom. With one compilation album, one holiday album, two live albums, and seven studio albums under her belt, Osborne still felt that she had creativity that needed to be let out. Osborne worked on Love and Hate for several years before perfecting and releasing her eighth studio album in 2014. This album explores many different aspects of both love and hate. Within this album, Osborne once again displays her iconic, raw lyrics and bluesy voice.

Osborne will be performing a show consisting of stripped down versions of songs from Love and Hate, as well as songs from her other studio albums, at the Spire Center for Performing Arts, located at 25 ½ Court Street in Plymouth, Mass, this Thursday, Dec. 8th. Purchase tickets HERE.

“If fans are familiar with the full band versions of the songs from the album or from seeing us live, they can expect a more intimate experience,” Osborne said “For the duo and trio shows we strip the songs down to their bare essence and the fans have told us over and over that it is a very emotionally affecting show, that they hear things in the songs that they never have heard before.”

At the show, Osborne will be bringing playing with two other talented musicians: Jack Petruzzelli and Andrew Carillo.

“I will be bringing two excellent musicians who are also old friends,” Osborne said. “Jack has been a collaborator since the early nineties, and we came up together playing in the clubs and bars of Manhattan. He and I have also coproduced the last two albums that I’ve released. Jack plays with Patti Smith, with Rufus Wainwright, and is a founding member of the Fab Faux which is the world’s premier Beatles cover band. Andrew has been working with me since the early 2000’s and he and Jack together have a great sound. They are also really fun to hang out with, and because they have known me for so long, they have lots of embarrassing stories about me!”

Osborne said it’s much different performing as a duo or trio compared to having a full band.

“Performing with the full band is a lot of fun but there is something about doing a duo or trio that is both more challenging and more satisfying for a singer,” Osborne said. “You have nowhere to hide but you can also work with a lot of subtleties that get lost in a band configuration, and the shows tend to be more emotionally intense because of that.”

Since Love and Hate’s release, the album has received many positive reviews. What makes it so much more different from Osborne’s previously released music is her focus on songwriting.

“We first started writing material for Love and Hate a full seven years before the album was released,” Osborne said. “It took us that long to find our way to what the album wanted to be. It started as an effort to create something that was stylistically in the world of Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks or Pink Moon by Nick Drake but as we worked on it the themes of romantic love–in all its many variations–began rising to the surface and I realized that that was what the record wanted to be. So for that reason, we were all very busy with other projects, it took us a long time to get to the end result but I think that was a good thing. I like the fact that every song went through many versions before being fully realized. I think the writing is as strong or stronger than anything I have done.”

For Osborne, Love and Hate is one of the most personally-charged, creatively ambitious efforts of her two-decades-plus recording career.

“I think the subject matter, romantic love, is a very complicated one at this time in my life and in the life of my family and friends,” Osborne said. “Most popular songs tend to explore the territory of a new love or of kicking someone to the curb after you can’t take it anymore. There is a huge area in between those two points, an area that is very complex, and that is what I see people in my world living through; trying to negotiate and it’s both very difficult and very rewarding. I wanted to explore love in that way, to get into all the messy details of a deeper love.”

As a seasoned musician and songwriter, Osborne now feels that she is truly writing for herself and she is making up her own rules. Her dedicated fans have followed Osborne through her growth and she is grateful they are willing to evolve with her.

“I know that doing music for a living is very privileged life, even though it can be very difficult,” Osborne said. “I know that I would not be able to do this unless I had fans who came to the shows, who bought CDs and T-shirts, and who have stayed with me through all the different styles and incarnations I’ve traveled through. I honestly have no idea what I would be doing if I could not do music, so my fans have been my salvation.”

Osborne has been nominated for seven Grammy Awards; six in the 90’s and one in 2013.

“Of course it’s nice to be recognized in that way,” Osborne said. “It’s nice to feel that you are part of a larger community of music artists and going to the Grammy awards, seeing the other artists from all different genres, always makes me feel connected to this huge web of people making music around the world.”

With many years of experience as a musician, Osborne still manages to create compelling and refreshing music.

“I have jumped around from genre to genre, which can be seen as commercial suicide in a way,” Osborne said. “I can only say that I have followed my instincts more than any plan for commercial success and I don’t honestly know whether that has been a good thing but that’s been my choice.”

“I think my experience makes it easier for me to create music,” she added. “I think it allows me to cut through the noise and get to the heart of the matter more quickly. I don’t feel bored: music is like the ocean, you can dive in and swim your whole life and you will never get to the other side.”

Osborne also has a lot of memorable moments since the release of Relish in 1995.

“I have been really fortunate to be welcomed into a lot of different musical worlds,” she said. “I have sung with Lucciano Pavarotti in Italy, I have sung with Stevie Wonder at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I’ve toured with The Dead, dueted with Bob Dylan and I’ve sung with Patti Smith. Those have been highlights but honestly they have not been any more wonderful than just performing with my band in front of a crowd on a normal night. There’s something about the communal emotional experience of that which transcends everyday life and elevates us all.”

While Osborne hasn’t released any new music in two years, she is currently working on a set of Bob Dylan songs that she hopes to start recording this winter.

“Our next album will be a set of Bob Dylan songs,” Osborne explained. “It’s a project I have long wanted to do and the residency we did at the Café Carlyle back in March was the springboard for this album; we did two weeks of nothing but Bob Dylan songs and it was amazing. I felt like what an actor must feel like doing Shakespeare, the material is so rich. So we’ve been in pre-production for that and will be going into the studio shortly after our show in Plymouth.”

Tickets to Osborne’s show at The Spire are $45. The venue features superior acoustics, custom state of the art lighting and sound systems and original period architectural details, offering patrons an exceptional performing arts experience.

Vintage record store to open in downtown New Bedford

BY JULIA CIRIGNANO

Purchase Street Records is located at on Purchase Street in New Bedford, MA (PHOTO BY ROGER CHOUINARD)
Purchase Street Records is located on 767 Purchase Street in New Bedford, MA (PHOTO BY ROGER CHOUINARD)

Looking for a store with a variety of vintage, heavy metal music along with classic rock and punk records? Roger Chouinard will be hosting the grand opening of his new shop Purchase Street Records on Saturday, December 3rd. The shop is named due to its location at 767 Purchase Street, in New Bedford, Mass. This shop will sell a variety of vintage records, tapes, and T-shirts focusing on the theme of heavy metal, punk and hard rock music.

Chouinard recently spoke with Limelight Magazine about why he chose to open up the store.

“I took a year off from my previous ownership,” he explained. “I’ve been doing the buying and selling throughout my life and I’ve always enjoyed music because I play drums and I have a musical heritage with family members.”

Chouinard chose to open up the shop in New Bedford because he grew up in the area and has pursued music within the local music scene.

“My bands and I see this as a forthcoming city in the arts district,” he said. “I really just wanted to bring music back to the area as when I was growing up it was a city that everyone of them wanted to play and make a name for themselves in.”

At Purchase Street Records, Chouinard will mainly be selling vintage records, tapes, and T-shirts. Many of his items are rare finds since Chouinard has been collecting rare metal, punk, and hard rock items for years.

“I’ve collected so many heavy metal/hard rock items in bulk because I know that style of music and for some reason it finds me,” Chouinard said. “I have a lot of Euro metal, heavy metal, and even indie titles. With that said, I also have some of the best classic rock collections that you can find and you know everybody loves classic rock.”

As a business owner, Chouinard has set some goals for Purchase Street Records.

“My goals are for the shop is to be an outstanding business in the community and bring back vinyl,” he said. “I hope to make somebody’s day when they find a record they been looking for forever.”

Not only is Chouinard a lover of music but his uncle, the late Bobby Chouinard, also inspired him. Bobby was the drummer for Billy Squier, Beggars and Thieves, Peter Wolf, and several other acts.

“My uncle taught me that anything can be achieved and you treat people the same way no matter if they are on their way up or on their way down,” Chouinard said. “Everyone’s a person no matter who, what or how they’ve lived in life.”

At Purchase Street Records, Chouinard will also be selling his uncle Bobby’s book titled Bobby Chouinard: Drummer Extraordinaire. The book was published by Roger Chouinard and it’s about Bobby’s life and the different bands he played with.

“If you’re a lover of music please go like our Facebook page, Purchase Street Records (click HERE), and if you’re not a big music collector please pass on my name to somebody that is. I hope everybody has a great holiday,” Chouinard said.