The first anniversary of the disastrous earthquake in Japan will be on March 11th, 2012. The aftermath of this catastrophe is still apparent, and to the present day the Japanese people are facing the impact of the events. The population of the affected area has not been able to completely return to their everyday live and the people are still grateful for our help.
Some of Europe’s leading Rock artists have united to join a campaign initiated by singer Tommy Heart (Soul Doctor, Fair Warning) and recorded a tremendous new version of the classic Beatles song “Help”. The EP “Help! For JAPAN” will be released in Europe on the German label Avenue Of Allies in early March 2012. All income from the sales of this project will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross.
This EP includes the following four songs:
2. HELP! (Tommy Heart Version)
3. HELP! (Guitar Version)
4. HELP! (Extended Version)
The musicians: Don Airey (Keyboards & Piano, Deep Purple), Leo Leoni (Guitar, Gotthard), Neil Murray (Bass, ex Whitesnake), Hena Habegger (Drums, Gotthard)
The singers: Tobias Sammet (Edguy, Avantasia), Bob Catley (Magnum), Andi Deris (Helloween), Torstein Flakne (Stage Dolls), Marc Storace (Krokus), David Readman (Pink Cream 69), Claus Lessmann (Bonfire), Oliver Hartmann (Hartmann), Bernhard Weiss (Axxis), Michael Kiske (Unisonic), Tony Mills (TNT), Carsten Lizard Schulz (Evidence One) and Tommy Heart (Soul Doctor, Fair Warning),
The solo guitar players: Cede Dupont (Downspirit), Kyoji Yamamoto (BowWow), Helge Engelke (Fair Warning), Roland Grapow (Masterplan), Leo Leoni (Gotthard), Henny Wolter (Nitrogods), Robert R. Rodrigo (Airless)
All “HELP!” versions produced and mixed by Tommy Heart, Tommy Remm & Rene Schostak (Valicon).
Vocal Arrangement by Tommy Heart.
Solo Guitar Arrangement for “Help” (Guitar Version) by Helge Engelke.
Audio mastering by TMM/Tom Müller Berlin/Germany.
Cover artwork “Help! For JAPAN” designed by Kai Swillus.
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For those of you unfamiliar with Steelhouse Lane, Keith Slack is a very good singer with a slight rasp in his voice. His voice is well suited for this style of rock. He has a very cool sound that oscillates between Kelly Keeling and Whitesnake front man, David Coverdale. While on the subject of Whitesnake, former Whitesnake keyboardist Don Airey lends a hand on the title track ” Straight Up”.
The real star on this CD, is Taz Taylor whose excellent guitar licks grace this CD. Taylor, whose influences include MSG, Randy Rhoads, Van Halen and Gary Moore, does a good job of serving up some quality guitar work to back up Slack’s vocals.
While I have enjoyed the vocals and the guitar work on this CD, the songs aren’t quite there. It is almost as if the choruses don’t make the impact that they should. The music is good, but the songs don’t stick with me. This disc doesn’t live up to the Taz Taylor Band’s 2006 effort “Welcome to America” with Graham Bonnet.
If you listen to one song, check out “Razor Tongue”, this song is one of the highlights on “Straight Up”.
Rating: Out of 10
- Lock and Load
- Razor Tongue
- One More Night
- The Fugitive
- What You Need
- In Harms Way
- Information Overload
- Never Letting Go
- Bring It
- Wait No More
- Straight Up
Taz Taylor Band:
Taz Taylor – Guitar, Bass, Keyboards
Keith Slack – Vocals
Val Trainor – Drums
Don Airey – Keyboards
Michael Schenker returns with a brand new CD, and quite possibly the best MSG lineup since the ’80s.
Gary Barden, who is often considered the best MSG vocalist, returns to the microphone on In the Midst of Beauty.
This disc also features the talent of Neil Murray (Whitesnake), Don Airey (Whitesnake, Deep Purple) and Simon Phillips (MSG, Satriani, Toto).
As always, MSG features the stellar guitar work of Michael Schenker. If you are familiar with any of MSG’s prior albums, you know you are going you are going to hear plenty of guitar riffs with that great Schenker trademark sound.
What is cool about this album, is that it seems to be more of a complete band output, than just Schenker playing over the top. Don Airey’s Purple-esque keyboards are often present adding a whole new layer to MSG’s music. This disc has a 70’s classic rock vibe about it, but the production and sound is top notch.
The last couple of MSG albums have been somewhat disappointing, and this is definitely a return to form for Schenker and company. This is easily the best album by MSG since the Robin McAuley era.
This CD will be released in May, and you will definitely want to add this to your list of discs to purchase soon! In the Midst of Beauty will likely find itself in many top album lists at the end of 2008!.
- City Lights
- I Want You
- End of the Line
- Night To Remember
- Wings of Emotion
- Come Closer
- Cross of Crosses
- The One
- This Time
Michael Schenker Group is:
Michael Schenker – Guitars
Gary Barden – Vocals
Don Airey – Keyboards
Neil Murray – Bass
Simon Phillips – Drums