Tall Stories Releases Second Album, Skyscraper, on January 23rd
Steve Augeri, formerly of Journey, provides insight on inspiration for band’s much-anticipated release.
Tall Stories first rose to prominence upon the release of their self-titled debut album in 1991. At the vocal helm is Steve Augeri who previously provided the lead vocals for Journey, following Steve Perry’s departure from the band.
Formed by Augeri with Jack Morer on guitars, Kevin Totoian on bass, and Tom DeFaria on drums, Tall Stories represents a group of musicians who were exposed and inspired by such diverse sounds ranging from: Blues to Rock, Funk, Punk, Country and Reggae. As a result, their music isn’t typical of the standard rock genre.
“As a young, vivacious group of musicians from New York City, our inspiration came from spending time in Manhattan where music from all over the world could be heard within just a few City blocks,” recalls Steve Augeri. “We were fixtures in the downtown area, especially at The Bitter End on Bleeker Street, where on that small stage, graced the likes of: Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder and George Carlin, to name just a few notable musicians who have performed there. Our band played there a few times a week, while writing and trying out material for both the first album as well the upcoming release.”
Signed by Bud Prager’s ESP Management (Foreigner, Bad Co., Mountain, Damn Yankees), Tall Stories’ first album was produced by Frank Filipetti (Deep Purple, Kiss, Foreigner). While the musical climate in the United States in 1991 was going through a metamorphosis of its own, Tall Stories’ debut album was a breath of fresh air in the melodic rock scene at the time. The band’s unique musical core immediately became a sensation with rock fans and critics alike.
A tour with Mr. Big followed, but despite the great response from fans, the evolving musical climate forced the band to take a step back and hibernate during that period. Steve Augeri went on to join Tyketto and then Journey but, along the way, the band continued to collaborate and write songs, while waiting for the right time to regroup as a band.
“After leaving Journey, I found myself reflecting upon my past to identify why I had gotten into this crazy business to begin with. I dusted off my 12 string, dug out my Beatles, The Who and Zeppelin song books–whose songs were the catalyst to my passion for music as a child–and it was then that I found myself again,” Augeri explains. “I think there’s a purity, an honesty on this record–not to mention a lot of great rock and roll.”
Tall Stories’ rebirth offers its fans the opportunity to partake in what would be the band’s second chapter. Due to schedule conflicts, Tall Stories hired a handful of stellar guest drummers to complete the picture. First, the talent of Rodney Howard (Avril Lavigne) contributed to “Stay” and “No Justice.” Then the legendary Bobby Rondinelli (Rainbow, The Lizards) on the bombastic “River Rise.” And last but not least, Nir Z (Genesis, Chris Cornel) on “Original Sin,” “Eternal Light,” and “Pictures of Summer” to name a few.
Produced by guitarist Jack Morer, Skyscraper stays true to the genesis of Tall Stories: music and songs that are as melodically rich and diverse as the band members themselves. From the opening track, “Tomorrow,” an uptempo song reminiscent of U2 and Led Zeppelin, to the final song, “You Shall be Free,” a Gospel number in every sense of the word, the new album is a musical tapestry of different colours and textures.
Steve Augeri concludes, “Although there was perhaps too long of a lapse between the first Tall Stories release and this album, we’re fortunate that fate and timing has allowed us to come back together as a band, and create music that inspires us individually and collectively.”
“Skyscraper” includes the following tracks:
The soft-drink maker said in March that it would give a free soda to everyone in America if the album dropped in 2008. Chinese Democracy, infamously delayed since recording began in 1994, goes on sale Sunday.
“We never thought this day would come,” Tony Jacobs, Dr Pepper’s vice president of marketing, said in a statement. “But now that it’s here, all we can say is: The Dr Pepper’s on us.”
Beginning Sunday at 12:01 AM, coupons for a free 20-ounce soda will be available for 24 hours on Dr Pepper’s website. They’ll be honored until February 28th.
Dr Pepper is owned by Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc.
I must admit that I really wasn’t looking very forward to seeing Dokken. I wasn’t very impressed by their new CD, and with Don Dokken being the only member of the original band left, this is more like the Don Dokken solo band.
Dokken guitarist Jon Levin, without question can play any guitar lick that George Lynch recorded before him, and does it quite well. That was the highlight for me, when it came to Dokken’s set. Chris McCarvill from House of Lords played bass (covering for Barry Sparks who did not tour) and BJ Zampa (also from House of Lords) played drums, covering for Mick Brown who was on tour with Ted Nugent. I never had the chance to see House of Lords play live, so it was to cool to at lease see a couple of the guys performing in Dokken’s band.
I don’t know if Don was trying to squeeze some high notes out of his crotch, but he wore a pair of jeans that both my wife and I thought was far too tight for a man of his age and size. As you can see in the video below, Don was skipping the higher vocals in Kiss of Death. Amazingly, his newer song, “Standing On the Outside” sounds better than his Lynch era material.
The set list has the following songs:
“Intro (Without Warning)”, “Tooth and Nail”, “Into the Fire”
“Standing On the Outside”, “Dream Warriors”, “Just Got Lucky”, “Kiss of Death”, “Alone Again”, “Breaking The Chains” and “In My Dreams”
As much as I love the Lynch and Pilson era of Dokken, I think Don Dokken needs to find another bass player that can sing the higher parts that he can no longer reach. Pilson’s vocals are still great missed in this band. Aside from Don’s diminished range in his vocals, Jon Levin‘s playing was excellent all night, and for the band having some fill in musicians, the songs sounded better than expected.
Check out the live clips from the show below.
Kiss of Death
Standing on the Outside/ Dream Warriors