On March 15, 2015, I saw my first and last Neil Diamond concert when he made a stop in Philadelphia on his Melody Road Tour. It was my last Neil Diamond show because he retired just a few years later after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I recently came across the following full HD recording of that concert. It’s a great memory for me, and I hope you enjoy it too. Below is the full video and the setlist for the concert, as well as a video I recorded showing off the tour program I picked up at the concert. Neil Diamond may be done touring, but the music lives on.
I love Christmas, and I love Steve Perry. Therefore, when I heard that the golden-voiced singer was releasing a Christmas album, I was ecstatic. Let’s dive into The Season, Steve Perry’s first full-length foray into timeless Christmas classics.
Paul Stanley has been and will forever remain my favorite member of KISS. I’ve always been able to relate to Paul on a personal and professional level, and he’s clearly the most talented member of KISS. I’ve consistently enjoyed the music he’s written and performed, including when he made forays into uncharted territory, like “Then She Kissed Me,” “Hold Me, Touch Me (Think Of Me When We’re Apart),” and “Odyssey.” Thankfully, I had the opportunity to interview Paul about his latest and most compelling work as a solo artist: Soul Station. Paul has assembled a soul group aptly named Paul Stanley’s Soul Station, and the band’s debut album entitled Now And Then is spectacular! Read on for my track-by-track review of this special record that is the embodiment of everything that makes Paul Stanley the unique individual and talent that he is.
Dionne Warwick, my favorite female vocalist, is back with her second Christmas album, which is appropriately titled Dionne Warwick & The Voices of Christmas. This collection of 12 songs is comprised of 10 duets and two solo tracks by Dionne that begin and conclude the album. I positively adored Dionne’s first Christmas album, My Favorite Time of The Year, when it was released in 2004 and it was a day-one purchase for me. Dionne Warwick & The Voices of Christmas is an excellent follow-up holiday album that features Dionne tackling songs she’s never recorded before, as well as approaching ones she has from a new angle. As for those she sings with, you can expect to hear Johnny Mathis, Aloe Blacc, Michael McDonald, and others. All of the arrangements are slickly produced with the vocalists front-and-center in the mix, as they should be, making for a highly enjoyable early Christmas present.
Tommy James, best known as the lead singer for Tommy James and the Shondells, is back with a new album: Alive. Overall, I’m impressed with the vocals and music. However, there are a few duds and the album has a disjointed feel to it.
Dionne Warwick is a five-time Grammy award-winning pop music icon. She’s also my favorite female vocalist of all time. The reason why is because she has one of the most beautiful, versatile and emotionally-charged voices in the history of music. She also has an expansive and diverse catalog of music that is compelling, satisfying and extraordinary.
Four By Fate, the killer new hard rock band started by Tod Howarth and John Regan of Frehley’s Comet, is releasing its debut album, Relentless, on June 3. Howarth and Regan are steeped in rock and roll history. These two rock veterans have worked with some of the biggest names in the business over the past 30 years, including Ace Frehley, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Cheap Trick, John Waite, Billy Idol, and Davide Lee Roth, just to name a few. The group is rounded out by Patrick James Gasperini (Pound, Flywheel) and former Skid Row drummer Rob Affuso. Other contributors include Stet Howland (drummer for WASP), Sean Kelly (guitarist for Helix and Nelly Furtado) and celebrated Twisted Sister drummer AJ Pero, who recorded six tracks on the album before his untimely passing in 2015. The drum tracks that Pero recorded for Relentless are thought to be his last recordings.
When I interviewed Melissa Manchester in December 2013, we talked about her upcoming album You Gotta Love The Life. That album will officially be released tomorrow, February 10, and I’m happy to report that it was well worth the wait. It’s a wonderfully diverse collection of songs that creates an unforgettable musical tapestry that is both modern and classic.