Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the category “Music”

Review: Steve Perry’s Traces

Steve Perry is the greatest male vocalist I’ve ever heard. I remember buying Journey’s Greatest Hits album many years ago and listening to the songs and discovering that I already knew most of them but didn’t realize the band behind these timeless tracks was Journey. While the guitar, piano, drumming, and bass were all exceptional, what captivated me most was that voice. How it soared to heights unimaginable for most humans and how it lovingly and soulfully intoned every word that was sung. With my headphones on, a Discman in my hands, and my eyes turned skyward, I gazed at the stars as the balmy beach breeze and Steve Perry’s vocals washed over me. It was a defining musical moment for me and one I fondly look back on when I think of this special band and this epic voice.

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Review: Love Never Dies

Love Never Dies

Photo: Danny Knaub

Love Never Dies, the sequel to the legendary Phantom of the Opera, is playing at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia from October 2 through October 7 and tickets can be bought here.

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A Conversation With Ace Frehley

Ace Frehley is more than just the former lead guitarist of KISS, he’s also an immensely successful solo artist whose sound – both vocals and guitar – is immediately identifiable. For decades Ace has blazed a path all his own and inspired millions of fans and musicians along the way. His new solo album, appropriately titled Spaceman, is out October 19. I’ve listened to Spaceman numerous times and it’s fantastic – easily one of his best. Ace was kind enough to speak with me about his new record and a variety of other topics. I hope you enjoy the interview.

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Dionne Warwick: Then Came You PBS Special

Dionne Warwick has had a long, diverse, and remarkable career. That one-of-a-kind career is celebrated in the new PBS special entitled Dionne Warwick: Then Came You, created by My Music Presents and produced by TJ Lubinsky. It begins airing on PBS on August 18 and you can check your local listings here.

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Christian Matthew Cullen Discusses Night Ranger

Composer, producer, and sound designer Christian Matthew Cullen has had an interesting and prolific career. He’s created audio for TV, radio, advertising, video games, and more. Along the way, he was chosen to be Night Ranger’s keyboard player, a position he held from 2007 to 2011. Christian was kind enough to speak with me about his time in the band. As you’ll see in the interview below, it was a remarkable time in his life and career.

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A Conversation With Ted Nugent

Ted Nugent. Those two words can elicit wildly different responses, depending on who you are. That’s not surprising since he’s known as the “Wild Man” of rock and roll. Nugent – or Nuge, to some – has a career that spans more than five decades, with more than 40 million albums sold and 6,400+ concerts along the way. When he’s not shredding his guitar for thousands of passionate fans, Nuge is writing books, hosting TV shows, or offering his vociferous thoughts on myriad political and cultural issues. He’s on the verge of releasing a new studio album entitled The Music Made Me Do It and Uncle Ted is on the road this summer, further solidifying his position as one of rock and roll’s preeminent guitar-slinging superstars. Amidst his busy schedule, Nuge was kind enough to do an interview with me where we discuss his impressive career, collaborations with other artists and more.

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Melissa Takes Manhattan

Melissa Manchester is not only one of my favorite musicians, she’s one of my favorite friends. Her talent, energy, kindness, and passion are undeniable and all were on full display tonight during her opening performance at Feinstein’s/54 Below. Melissa has additional performances on Saturday (7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.) and Sunday (7:00 p.m.), and I absolutely recommend you attend one or more of these fabulous concerts.

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Catching Up With Ricky Phillips

Photo by Rick Diamond

Ricky Phillips is one of the most talented musicians around. For the past 15 years, he’s been the bass player for STYX. He’s also been a member of Bad English and The Babys. All three of these bands have topped the charts numerous times and sold millions of albums. In between these three legendary gigs, Ricky has played with additional legends, including Sammy Hagar, Ronnie Montrose, and Eric Singer. 2017 saw the release of two new albums featuring Ricky’s masterful musicianship: STYX’s new studio album The Mission and Ronnie Montrose’s posthumous 10X10. STYX is on tour this summer with Joan Jett and Tesla, and Ricky was kind enough to speak with me about his impressive career and passion for music.

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Tommy Shaw’s Sing For The Day!

Tommy Shaw, best known as the lead vocalist and guitarist in STYX, is releasing his solo 2016 concert performance with the Contemporary Youth Orchestra on Blu-ray, CD, and Digital Audio/Video on June 29 via Eagle Rock Entertainment.

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Review: Aladdin The Musical

Disney’s Aladdin, the musical, is currently at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. Performances run until July 1, and I highly recommend that you go. I went to a performance last night and the nearly sold-out crowd ate it up from beginning to end. Having watched a clip of this show from the Tony Awards a few years back, I knew that the Genie was going to be the star of the show and he was. Michael James Scott, who plays the role of the Genie and was the understudy for the Genie during the original Broadway run, is fantastic. Just watch him sing and dance to “Friend Like Me” and you’ll be blown away by his stamina and unending charisma. He’s the heart and soul of the show and made it a blast to watch.

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