Twenty years ago today—on February 4, 1994—Bootsauce played the Commodore Ballroom for the first time. The Juno-winning funk-rock group out of Montreal was touring behind it's fourth album, Sleeping Bootie, which I remember thinking was pretty cool in a Red Hot Chili Peppers kinda way.
Lead singer Drew Ling and bassist Al Baculis dropped by the Straight office a couple weeks before the show and gave me the scoop on the new album. Here's the story that ran in advance of the Vancouver gig in case anyone's interested. Sorry about saying "sassy" so many times.
Vancouver’s Devin Townsend is a master of extreme metal. I’m not saying that from personal experience, because I’m not into extreme metal. Old Iron Maiden’s about as extreme as I get these days.
But from what I’ve heard the fortyish singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist is quite the artistic genius when it comes to various types of metal-based music. He’s hugely prolific and has pretty well gone on to conquer the world since I was following him in the early ’90s, writing about his band Gray Skies and his collaboration with American rock-guitar hero Steve Vai.
After that I went back to listening to Thin Lizzy and stuff.
I just finished reading Stephen King's latest novel, Doctor Sleep, and to be honest--even though it was dedicated to Warren Zevon--I wasn't that crazy about it. Then again, as much as I adore King's early work and appreciate all he's done for the horror genre, I haven't been that crazy about a few of his books.
Sometimes I think he just really needs to edit himself a bit, especially with those weighty tomes that break the 800-page barrier. Insomnia almost put me to sleep, and I just plumb gave up trying to get through the 1074-page behemoth that became the godawful TV series Under the Dome.
Maybe you saw him at the Grammy's the other night, performing his old hit "Photograph" and then playing drums behind Paul McCartney on some song that wasn't a Beatles tune.
Well, now you can see him in the flesh, as legendary Fab Four drummer and all-around good guy Ringo Starr is bringing his All-Starr Band to the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver on July 15.
Ringo's band will include guitarist Steve Lukather (Toto), keyboardist Greg Rolie (Santana, Journey), bassist Richard Page (Mr. Mister), drummer Gregg Bissonette (Joe Satriani), and multi-instrumentalist-vocalist Todd Rundgren (Todd Rundgren).
Twenty years ago today—on January 28, 1994—Slash called the Georgia Straight to talk about Guns N’ Roses’ then-new album, The Spaghetti Incident? Though it wasn’t no Appetite for Destruction, I thought the disc was cool in that it included covers of some of my fave ’70s bands, like the New York Dolls (“Human Being”), T-Rex (“Buick Mackane”), and Nazareth (“Hair of the Dog”).
Steve Berlin first got noticed on the music scene as a saxophonist for the Blasters, and later on Los Lobos, but in recent years he’s been known just as much for his producer credits, having helmed records by such diverse artists as Susan Tedeschi, Deer Tick, Leo Kottke, Buckwheat Zydeco, and Leftover Salmon.
Berlin’s latest production job was on Weightless, the new disc by New Brunswick bluesman Matt Andersen, who was surprised to learn that Berlin had also produced the Tragically Hip’s 1998 release, Phantom Power. Andersen’s current bio actually states that Phantom Power is his favourite Hip album.
Saw my first concert at the Rio Theatre last night, and I gotta say, I love that venue for live music.
The sound was great. And not only that, you can buy PBR in a can and walk around with it.
Mind you, it helps if the band you’re seeing is as conducive to blue-collar brew as the North Mississippi Allstars.
The NMA were touring behind their latest album, World Boogie is Coming, which pays tribute to the Mississippi hill-country blues artists they grew up with–awesome dudes like R.L. Burnside, Otha Turner, and Jr. Kimbrough.
Vancouver acoustic guitarist and avowed Wishbone Ash devotee Don Alder will appear at NAMM’s All Star Guitar Night this Saturday (January 25) in Anaheim, California.
Thirty years ago today B.B. King was in the midst of a two-week stand at the Plazazz Showroom in North Van, and I got the thrill of my blues-loving life when I sat down with him in his hotel room and asked a bunch of questions.
Some of them were pretty lame.
But man was he nice.
When did you first encounter music?
I really don’t know. When I grew up I heard it all around me, people singing and playing. When I started to want to play, I was eight or nine years old, and I got my first guitar when I was about 12.
What made you choose guitar?
Thirty years ago today—on January 19, 1984—Black Sabbath was scheduled to play the Pacific Coliseum. The British metal legends were touring behind their new album Born Again, their first and last one to feature Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan. Also in the lineup—though not on the album—was former Electric Light Orchestra drummer Bev Bevan.
The show was cancelled when bassist Geezer Butler came down with bronchitis, but not before I interviewed guitarist Tony Iommi and we put them on the cover.