Trans Siberian Orchestra is astounding crowds on their annual holiday season tour through the end of the year. The long-running act has been touring for twenty-one years in 2019, and as a result of their charitable efforts, they have raised nearly 17 Million Dollars for local charity organizations in every city they perform. The theme for 2019 is inspired by their smash debut album Christmas Eve And Other Stories (Lava/Atlantic) Yesterday in Newark, New Jersy, the band performed a new song for the first time ever. TSO member and featured singer/musician Kayla Reeves sang the soulful unplugged song ‘Can You Hear Me Now’, which according to the story Chris Caffery told beforehand, was a song written by late TSO leader Paul O’Neil and found on an old tape of his. O’Neil passed away in 2017. Your heart is not ready for this much emotion in a performance! Watch this fan-filmed clip now! Continue reading
2018 marks the 20th anniversary of Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO), and thus a celebration is in order. The band has announced their Winter Tour 2018 Tour, their annual November-December trek. This season brings a presentation of TSO’s unforgettable “The Ghosts Of Christmas Eve”, featuring late founder/composer/lyricist Paul O’Neill‘s timeless story of a runaway who finds her way into a mysterious abandoned theater, is set to begin on November 14 and will visit 65 cities across North America, for 100-plus performances, before concluding on December 30 (see full itinerary below). TSO’s Winter Tour 2018 is presented by Hallmark Channel. Continue reading
From the bombastic opening salvo of lead single ‘I Don’t Need Your Loving’, it is apparent that Inglorious are a rock group of a thoroughly vintage nature. Having formed in 2014 and hailing from Blighty Inglorious are rockers with a self-confessed love of 70’s rock. Continue reading
The music world was rocked on Wednesday night, as we learned that the irreplaceable Paul O’Neill passed away due to a chronic illness. Chris Caffery could only post the word “Shattered” at the time the news broke, but now the legendary guitarist has shared a wonderful, and powerful tribute to his fallen friend. Continue reading
Trans-Siberian Orchestra have confirmed that their leader, Paul O’Neill, has passed away at the age of 61. Continue reading
Wizards of Winter, featuring original members of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, will be kicking off their “An Evening with Wizards of Winter” tour, with dates posted below. Bassist Greg Smith (Ted Nugent) will be joining the tour on December 3rd in Concord, NH through December 20th in Chicago, IL.
Nov 19: Parker Playhouse – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Nov 20: The Capitol Theatre – Clearwater, FL
Nov 21: The Plaza Live – Orlando, FL
Nov 27: F.M. Kirby Center for Performing Arts – Wilkes Barre, PA
Nov 28: Count Basie Theatre – Red Bank, NJ
Dec 03: Capitol Center For The Arts – Concord, NH
Dec 04: Collingswood Scottish Rite Theatre – Collingswood, NJ
Dec 05: The State Theater Performing Arts Center – Easton, PA
Dec 06: Sugarloaf Performing Arts Center – Sugarloaf, NY
Dec 09: Ridgefield Playhouse – Ridgefield, CT
Dec 11: Agora Theatre and Ballroom – Cleveland, OH
Dec 12: The Kalamazoo State Theatre – Kalamazoo, MI
Dec 13: Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall – Munhall, PA
Dec 16: The Orange Peel – Asheville, NC
Dec 17: Marathon Music Works – Nashville, TN
Dec 18: Effingham Performing Arts Center – Effingham, IL
Dec 20: Thalia Hall – Chicago, IL
Dec 26: The Egg – Albany, NY
Dec 27: Crouse Hinds Theater – Syracuse, NY
Dec 29: The Forum – Harrisburg, PA
It seems that being in one band just isn’t enough for some musicians these days. Especially within the European Power and Symphonic Metal scenes. Quite possibly two of the most (musically) incestuous genres of all, there seems to be an unwritten law that every band has to release an album featuring a bare minimum of one special guest, or contain at least two members who have performed, produced or written material for no fewer than three other bands. So it comes as no surprise to find that the first release from Phantasma, a collective effort from Charlotte Wessels (Delain), Georg Neuhauser (Serenity) and Oliver Philipps (Everon), contains performances from no less than six guest musicians. As enticing as that prospect may be to fans of the acts involved, it’s all too common for collaborations like this to end with mixed or disappointing results, and The Deviant Hearts (Napalm) is no exception.
Opening with a nice, but rather twee sounding duet from Wessels and Neuhauser, the piano played ‘Incomplete’ sounds like it would have been more at home at the end of the record rather than the beginning. Evergrey vocalist Tom Englund lends his voice to the powerful title track, and things continue in good form with ‘Runaway Gray’. Easily the best track on the album, it features a superb performance by Wessels, with more than a hint of James Bond theme song about the verses, and even a touch of Rush during the middle section.
Things take a hefty downward turn, however, with ‘Try’. A horribly overwrought ballad featuring Trans-Siberian Orchestra singer Chloe Lowery, who although clearly capable of belting out high notes with ease, seems unable to sing softly without her voice cracking on almost every line. ‘Enter Dreamscape’ is a substantial improvement on the previous track, but it’s still just standard fare which sounds like it could have been written for any band within the genre.
‘Miserable Me’ begins by slowing down and reworking the tune to ‘Money, Money, Money’ by Abba before plodding off to nowhere interesting. Duet ‘The Lotus and the Willow’ is an attempt at recreating the Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue classic ‘Where The Wild Roses Grow’ but falls miles short of the mark. An insipid and forgettable tune, the song only lifts off momentarily during its Top Gun-esque guitar solo. ‘Crimson Course’ is another nondescript song that sounds like it could have been written for anyone, and the only memorable thing about ‘Carry Me Home’ is the return of that Top Gun style guitar solo.
By now, everything has started to sound like music from movies and other bands, and ‘The Sound of Fear’ does nothing to change that by appearing to be several old songs at once. The upbeat ‘Novaturient’ rescues things a little until it tries to be Meat Loaf, and ‘Let It Die’ closes proceedings as best it can, but it’s essentially just another song with nothing more to offer than a reasonably strong chorus.
At its best, The Deviant Hearts is a good, listenable album with two or three memorable songs, a handful of strong choruses, and some excellent vocal performances by Wessels and Neuhauser. But for the most part, it’s just a collection of songs not strong enough to make it onto the albums of any of the bands involved.
“I’m sixty-three years old, booking a world tour, the tickets are flying out the door… Why the fuck should I give a fuck?!” was David Coverdale’s rather eloquent response to criticisms of the concept of Whitesnake’s The Purple Album (Frontiers), an album that does exactly what it says on the tin (and then some), revisiting The Cov’s years as frontman of Deep Purple and Whitesnake-ing up a selection of his favourite tunes.
And, the guy has a point (so to speak – as the millions… and millions… of The Cov’s female fans would testify), for not only did he co-write all of these magnificent and timeless rock songs in the first place, but The Purple Album is a rather fine run through of them that will please both ‘snake and Purple fans alike, as tracks from the 70’s are electrified by the guitar talents of former Winger six-stringer Reb Beach and Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Joel Hoekstra.
It needs to be said, these are not “better” versions of the originals, but new, different versions, presented in vibrant aural technicolour – a thoroughly enjoyable run through of a selection of songs that do benefit from the modern, ballsy rock (but oh-so-slick) production, provided by Coverdale, Beach and Michael McIntyre. It also needs to be acknowledged that this is no bog-standard re-record. What we have here is one of Rock music’s most iconic and distinctive vocalists laying down versions of some truly seminal tracks – ‘Burn’, for example, an instantly identifiable riff and powerful chorus that inspired many . All through, The Cov is on absolute fire, effortlessly wrapping his larynx, like thick, oozing melted chocolate undulating down and over a fulsome breast, around ‘Love Child’, playful and powerful on a driving version of ‘Lady Double Dealer’ that sounds like it could have been on 1987 (EMI/Geffen) or soulful and with gravitas on ‘Soldier of Fortune’. While predominantly a Rock album, ‘Holy Man’ and ‘Sail Away’ are sensitively delivered by the distinctive, legendary tones of Lord David Coverdale.
What we have is a celebration of Coverdale’s career that sees him taking classic songs from the very beginning of it and peppering them with the condiments of his band, Whitesnake. The only real mis-step is ‘Mistreated’, because despite all the skill and best will in the universe no one can play that song and make those notes sing and emote like Ritchie Blackmore, but it is the only time things don’t quite hit the mark. For when all is said and done, all The Purple Album is, is a(n excellent) selection of Deep Purple songs played by Whitesnake. And a very good thing that is too.