Busola Martins: “Pleasant Surprises” ft. Bukola Bekes – You can hear the passion and her intention

“He turns my life around”, with these words, Busola Martins whets our appetite as we are led with bated breath into her new release “Pleasant Surprises” ft. Bukola Bekes.  With her ingenious use of simple questions and quotable phrases, she challenges us on a mid-tempo cliff hanger to re-access our relationship with Jesus. Precisely because Gospel thrives on its spontaneity, it has often traded lyrical sophistication for its immediacy.  This is not so with this track. Saved without being sanctimonious, and heaven-aspiring while remaining down-to-earth, when it comes to conveying ministry within her music, Busola Martins handles the load with passion

Weston Simonis set to release “Yoga Pants” video on Thanksgiving

For those who’re still unfamiliar with Weston Simonis and his wide range of musical styles, this is a very special talent. A native of the Grande Ronde Valley, Weston is difficult to pin down to one or two genres. Some might say he’s all over the place. I say he has the special ability to play Blues, Rock, Funk, Metal, Punk and any progressive thinking crossover music at will. Listening to his award winning album “Moments Of Intoxication” has reminded me that there was a time when you could hear all types of artists on the same radio station. Now

Jay Felicite: “758 Stories 2” features killer hooks and irresistible melodies

When thinking of England as a musical landscape, Dancehall may not be the first genre that pops to mind for people not in the know, but it’s there, under the surface of the streets, the thump of the drum and pop of the bass reverberating into walls, and spilling out under the doorways from dub clubs and roots bars. One of the current underground stars of the UK’s indie circuit is probably Jay Felicite (pronounced; Fay-Lee-See-Tay) is a Saint Lucian born and raised singer, songwriter, sound engineer. The resilient firebrand is making a big noise with the release of his new

Cris Marshall’s music will ensure he hooks as wide an audience as possible

Cris Marshall is an American Country Music Artist raised in a musical home, the small town of Haslet, Texas. He received his first drum set from his father at the age of two and by 8 he was playing his first guitar. In his teens, and alongside his dad, Cris began performing at some of Dallas/Fort Worth’s most well-known music venues. A singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, Cris also launched his very own home studio when he was 18, recording artists and bands all over Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. However his passion for writing and performing never subsided during this time,

Midnight Watchman: “Liquid Universe” – an extremely focused record

A guitarist and keyboard player who began as a street musician in UK before touring the US and then returning home, Andy Jones AKA Midnight Watchman, is a composer and producer of ambient music. Influenced by an extremely wide spectrum of music and musicians, that go from Vangelis to Chopin, ad Ryan Adams to Tycho, Midnight Watchman has released his 12 track instrumental album, entitled “Liquid Universe”. In the hands of a lesser artist, the varying song structures of this album would likely become tiresome, but every one of the album’s twelve tracks is a testament to the Midnight Watchman’s

Joey Britton: “Edmonton Sessions” – fluorescent, acoustic-centric ambient atmospheres

Joey Britton started his journey in music at an early age. He joined the band ISO and played lead guitar helping to launch the Torn and Tethered Album. After ISO, Joey decided to move to California to expand his skills in the music industry while writing, recording, and producing his own records.  “I try to write songs that tell stories, relate to people, so that when you listen to them – you realize you’re not alone,” says Joey Britton. Exploring is an experience not easily replicated. Associated with it is equal parts thrill, anxiety, and apprehension. Exploring a new artist

Daryl Yahudy: “Soulful Life Within” – a perfect calling card

Indeed, you could say that Darrell McClover aka Daryl Yahudy, a former professional athlete, is a soul singer with a warm timbre and a penchant for sublime, emotional arrangements, defining what the neo-soul genre should sound like in 2017. He is a singer with a fine voice weaving a spell on songs which are full of distinctive takes on universal topics. The album “Soulful Life Within” is almost looking at how he was, how he is and how he will be in life. The warm, evocative, impeccable playing around Daryl here ensures a timeless listen. The album is overflowing with lush, lilting

John J: “Pain To Power 5 Love Letters” – strap yourself in and enjoy this vibrantly orchestrated roller coaster

I have always been eager to pick up every piece of music John J issues because of the lyrical expertise he demonstrates in every song, and the attention to the music production and features he provides. John J has just dropped a 5 track bonus EP, entitled “Pain To Power 5 Love Letters”, which comes hot on the heels of his latest release, “Pain To Power”. Like his previous recordings, each song on this EP carries a different succinct feel and hook while the flow stays swift and acrobatic. The beats, features and subject matter again excel well above average.

Chaz Hearne: “Rise of the Voluminous” – sneakily inventive and massively engaging

The very first thing I learned while listening to the album “Rise of the Voluminous” by eclectic folk artist, Chaz Hearne, is that the defining question regarding any Hearne song is which Chaz Hearne he’ll be. Will it be the introspective, contemplative Hearne of slow-burning masterpieces like “Falling For Reason” and “Hount The Jab”? Or will the party-starter behind “Fun In ‘82” poke his head out, armed with flash phrases and funky beats? Or maybe he will just activate his progressive art-rock mode, as on “Voluminous Man” and “Spicy In The Dim Halls” – catchy, complex, yet ultimately armed with a sort

The Gibb Collective: “Please Don’t Turn Out the Lights” – perfectly cut gems!

October marks the 45th anniversary of the Bee Gees song “Please Don’t Turn Out the Lights,” and fans of the musical super group of the 1970s, have reason to be excited. The Gibb Collective is a musical tribute, and a family legacy.  On the input of Maurice’s daughter, Samantha, the children of Andy, Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb have found a way to honor their fathers by infusing new lymph  into the more than memorable Bee Gee classics of the 60’s and 70’s. And what better title for the 10-track album, than “Please Don’t Turn Out The Lights”. Though I

Van Halen: Next Live Dates

With their 1978 eponymous debut, Van Halen simultaneously rewrote the rules of rock guitar and hard rock in general. Guitarist Eddie Van Halen redefined what electric guitar could do, developing a blindingly fast technique with a variety of self-taught two-handed tapping, hammer-ons, pull-offs, and effects that mimicked the sounds of machines and animals. It was wildly inventive and over the top, equaled only by vocalist David Lee Roth, who brought the role of a metal singer to near-performance art standards. Roth wasn’t blessed with great technique, unlike Eddie, but he had a flair for showmanship that was derived as much from lounge performers as Robert Plant. Together, they made Van Halen into the most popular American rock & roll band of the late ’70s and early ’80s, and in the process set the template for hard rock and heavy metal for the ’80s.

Throughout the ’80s, it was impossible not to hear Van Halen’s instrumental technique on records that ranged from the heaviest metal to soft pop. Furthermore, Roth’s irony-drenched antics were copied by singers who took everything literally. One of these was Sammy Hagar, an arena rock veteran from the ’70s who replaced Roth after the vocalist had a falling out with Van Halen in 1985. Hagar stayed with the band longer than Roth, helping the group top the charts through the late ’80s and early ’90s. However, the group’s sales began to slide in the mid-’90s, just as tensions between Hagar and Eddie began to arise. In one of the most disastrous publicity stunts in rock history, Hagar was fired (or quit) and Roth was brought back on, seemingly as a permanent member, but only for two songs on a greatest-hits album. He was subsequently replaced by Gary Cherone, a former member of Extreme.

Through all the upheaval over lead vocalists, Eddie Van Halen and his prodigious talent remained the core of Van Halen. The son of a Dutch bandleader, Eddie and his family moved from the Netherlands to Pasadena, CA, in 1962, when he was seven years old and his older brother, Alex, was nine. As their father supported the family by playing in wedding bands, Eddie and Alex continued their classical piano training. Soon, both boys were enraptured by rock & roll. Eddie learned how to play drums and Alex took up the guitar, eventually switching instruments. The brothers began a hard rock band called Mammoth and began playing around Pasadena, eventually meeting David Lee Roth. At the time, Roth, who had been raised in a wealthy Californian family, was singing in Redball Jet. Impressed by the Van Halen brothers, he joined forces with the group. Shortly afterward, bassist Michael Anthony, who was singing with Snake, became a member of Mammoth. After discovering that another band had the rights to the name Mammoth, the group decided to call themselves Van Halen in 1974, rejecting the proposed Rat Salade.

For the next three years, Van Halen played throughout Pasadena, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles, playing both clubs and hotel bars. The band’s repertoire covered everything from pop and rock to disco, but they eventually worked in their own original material. Within a few years, they had become the most popular local band in Los Angeles, and Eddie became well known for his groundbreaking technique. In 1977, Kiss’ Gene Simmons financed a demo recording session for Van Halen after seeing them at the Starwood Club. On the strength of Simmons’ recommendation, Mo Ostin and Ted Templeman signed Van Halen to Warner Bros., releasing the band’s debut the following year.

Van Halen became a hit due to strong word of mouth, constant touring, and support from AOR radio. Within three months the album had gone gold, and five months later it went platinum. It would eventually sell over six million copies, thanks to the album rock staples “You Really Got Me,” “Jamie’s Cryin’,” and “Runnin’ With the Devil.” Van Halen II, released in 1979, continued the band’s success, as “Dance the Night Away” became their first Top 20 single. Women and Children First (1980) didn’t have any charting singles, but was a success on the album charts, reaching number six. The band supported the album with their first headlining, international arena tour, and the group was quickly on their way to being superstars. Released in 1981, Fair Warning wasn’t quite as popular as their previous records, yet it still peaked at number six. Diver Down, released in 1982, was a huge hit, spawning a number 12 cover of Roy Orbison’s “(Oh) Pretty Woman” and reaching number three.

While all of their previous albums were successful, Van Halen didn’t become superstars until 1984, when their album 1984 became an across-the-board smash. Released on New Year’s Day, 1984 rocketed to number two on the strength of the number one single “Jump.” Like many songs on the album, “Jump” was driven by Eddie’s new synthesizer, and while Roth was initially reluctant to use electronics, the expansion of the group’s sound was widely praised. Throughout 1984, Van Halen gained steam, as “I’ll Wait” and “Panama” became Top 15 singles and “Hot for Teacher” became a radio and MTV staple.

Despite the band’s breakthrough success, things were not well within the band. During their 1984 tour, each member played separate solo sets and were physically separated on the stage. Roth was unhappy with Eddie’s appearance on Michael Jackson’s 1983 hit “Beat It,” and Eddie grew tired of the comic antics of Roth. In 1985, Roth released a solo EP, Crazy from the Heat, which spawned hit covers of “California Girls” and “Just a Gigolo/I Ain’t Got Nobody.” When Roth delayed the recording of Van Halen’s follow-up to 1984, he was fired from the band. Most observers were taken by surprise when Sammy Hagar was named as Roth’s replacement. The former lead singer of Montrose, Hagar’s solo career had been sporadically successful, highlighted by such arena metal hits as “Three-Lock Box” and “I Can’t Drive 55.”

Though many critics suspected Hagar wouldn’t be able to sustain Van Halen’s remarkable success, his first album with the band, 1986’s 5150, was a huge hit, reaching number one and spawning the hit singles “Why Can’t This Be Love,” “Dreams,” and “Love Walks In.” Released in 1988, OU812 was just as successful, earning stronger reviews than its predecessor and generating the hits “When It’s Love” and “Finish What You Started.” For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, released in 1991, was another number one hit, partially due to the hit MTV video for “Right Now.” Van Halen followed the album with their first live record, the double album Van Halen Live: Right Here, Right Now in 1993.

By the spring 1995 release of Balance, tensions between Eddie Van Halen and Sammy Hagar had grown considerably. Eddie had recently undergone well-publicized treatment for alcoholism, and Hagar was notorious for his party-hearty ways, even writing a paean to Amsterdam’s hash bars with “Amsterdam” on Balance. Furthermore, the band had become subject to criticism that it simply repeated a formula. While Balance was successful, entering the charts at number one and selling two million copies shortly after its release, it stalled quickly afterward. The band wanted to release a greatest-hits collection, but Hagar balked at the idea, escalating tensions even further. Following a skirmish in 1996 over the recording of a song for the Twister soundtrack, Eddie decided to make a change by switching singers. Van Halen began recording new material with Roth without informing Hagar, who went ballistic upon learning of the group’s reunion.

According to Hagar, Eddie fired him shortly afterward; Eddie claimed Hagar quit. Roth proceeded to record two new songs for Van Halen’s Best Of, Vol. 1, and once the reunion became public, the rock media reacted positively to the news; MTV began airing a welcome back commercial days after the announcement. However, the reunion was not to be. Following an appearance at the MTV Music Awards, Eddie Van Halen fired Roth from the band, claiming that he was only on board to record two new songs. Roth said that he was duped into recording the songs, believing that the reunion was permanent. Former Extreme vocalist Gary Cherone was announced as the band’s new lead singer. Though the resulting Best Of, Vol. 1 was a success, Eddie’s reputation as a nice guy was tarnished once the entire affair was over. Cherone’s long-awaited debut with Van Halen, entitled Van Halen III, was finally released in March of 1998. Although the album debuted high on the charts, crashing in at number three, it quickly slipped down the charts, since the reception to the album from fans, critics, and radio was mixed.

After Van Halen III proved to be the worst-selling album of Van Halen’s long and illustrious career (the ensuing world tour was poorly attended as well), Cherone was dismissed from Van Halen in 1999. Immediately, rumors began to swirl once more of an impending David Lee Roth/Van Halen reunion. Things were kept completely hush-hush in the Van Halen camp until early 2001, when David Lee Roth went public on his website with an update, confirming that he had recorded several new songs with the band (tracks that Roth described as amazing, phenomenal, and astonishing), but hadn’t heard back from them since the previous summer.

Only a few days after Roth’s news, Eddie Van Halen admitted to the public that he was battling cancer, but was told by his doctors that chances were good for a complete recovery. In the summer of 2001, Eddie told MTV News that the band’s remaining members had penned a total of three albums’ worth of new material and that they were still unsure of who their next singer would be. Months later, fans were shocked to hear that the band parted ways with Warner Bros., its label since 1979. The bandmembers blamed the label for promoting younger bands, while also admitting that they had not yet found Cherone’s replacement and were no longer considering Roth.

The next three years found various members tending to situations both personal and professional. Eddie and longtime wife Valerie Bertinelli separated, Michael Anthony began making regular appearances with Sammy Hagar’s Warboritas, and in a surprise move, David Lee Roth and Hagar hit the road together for the popular Heavyweight Champs of Rock & Roll Tour. In 2004, the band announced that Hagar would return to the fold for an American tour in support of a new greatest-hits collection, The Best of Both Worlds. The shows were undeniably successful, but tensions were high and Hagar and Anthony returned to the Warboritas the following year. In 2007, Van Halen were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and rumors of a reunion tour with Roth began to circulate again. Those rumors were confirmed on August 17th when the group announced legitimate dates, along with a controversial lineup change that replaced Michael Anthony with Eddie’s son Wolfgang on bass. The tour kicked off in September and went on to gross over 93 million dollars. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Greg Prato, Rovi

  MAR 
24
SAT

Boardwalk HallAtlantic City, NJ
07:30 PM
Van Halen
Details: Van Halen, Kool & the Gang
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  MAR 
24
SAT

Boardwalk HallAtlantic City, NJ
07:30 PM
Van Halen – Official VIP Packages
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  MAR 
26
MON

Canceled
Bryce Jordan CenterUniversity Park, PA
07:30 PM
Van Halen
Details: Van Halen, Kool & the Gang
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currently not on sale
  MAR 
26
MON

Sovereign CenterReading, PA
07:30 PM
Van Halen
Details: Van Halen, Kool & the Gang
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  MAR 
26
MON

Sovereign CenterReading, PA
07:30 PM
Van Halen – Official VIP Packages
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  MAR 
28
WED

Verizon CenterWashington, DC
07:30 PM
Van Halen
Details: Van Halen, Kool & the Gang
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  MAR 
28
WED

Verizon CenterWashington, DC
07:30 PM
Van Halen – Official VIP Packages
Details: Van Halen
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  MAR 
30
FRI

CONSOL Energy CenterPittsburgh, PA
07:30 PM
Van Halen
Details: Van Halen, Kool & the Gang
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  MAR 
30
FRI

CONSOL Energy CenterPittsburgh, PA
07:30 PM
Van Halen – Official VIP Packages
Details: Van Halen
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  APR 
1
SUN

Allstate ArenaRosemont, IL
07:30 PM
Van Halen
Details: Van Halen, Kool & the Gang
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