Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the tag “Journey”

Book Review: Don’t Stop Believin’ by Jonathan Cain

Don’t Stop Believin’: The Man, the Band, and the Song that Inspired Generations, the long-awaited autobiography by Journey’s piano man, Jonathan Cain, is tied with Paul Stanley’s Face The Music: A Life Exposed as my favorite music autobiography. And if you have to choose one way to read this book, listen to the audiobook because it’s narrated by the man himself, making for a more intimate reading experience. Jon’s narration of his autobiography is so raw and authentic that at some points he becomes overcome with emotion, which only makes the stories he tells that much more impactful. And the generous amount of beautiful music weaved throughout the audiobook makes for an engaging and enjoyable audiobook that I’d gladly listen to again. It’s also worth noting that the audiobook features bonus chapters not found in the print version of the book.

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Journey’s Jonathan Cain Reflects On A Life Well Lived

Throughout his varied and extensive career, Jonathan Cain has played a key role in writing and performing some of the greatest music of all time. Whether it’s with Journey, Bad English, The Babys, or as a solo artist, Jonathan Cain has left an indelible mark on the music industry. In Don’t Stop Believin’: The Man, the Band, and the Song that Inspired Generations, released May 1, Jonathan Cain’s memoir, the prolific piano player reflects on his life and career. In addition to releasing his autobiography, Jonathan Cain will be on the road with Journey as the band joins forces with Def Leppard for what promises to be an epic summer tour. Below is my interview with Jonathan, where we discuss his book, his music, and more.

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Journey’s Neal Schon Discusses Def Leppard Tour, New Solo Album And Steve Perry

Neal Schon is the founding member and lead guitarist for Journey, one of the most successful and beloved rock bands of all time. In addition to his amazing work with Journey, Neal is a former member of Santana and Bad English, and he’s had a prolific career as a solo artist as well. Journey is touring this summer with Def Leppard, and, following the tour, Neal is releasing a new solo album: Universe.

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Neal Schon Releases Holiday EP

Neal Schon, lead guitarist and founder of Journey, just released his holiday EP, Ave Maria, featuring guitar by the man himself and orchestration by Gary Cirimelli. It’s available to buy and stream, and I highly recommend you do so, as the music contained within is beautifully done. In addition to the title track, which is a masterpiece, Schon included instrumental versions of two Journey classics – “Open Arms” and “Faithfully.” And he rounded out this holiday offering with a gorgeous version of “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” which was originally made famous by Elvis. I played this last track for my wife, as it was the song she walked down the aisle to at our wedding in September. Stephanie liked Neal’s version so much that she asked me to play it again, which is a testament to the quality of the music on Ave Maria.

Catching Up With Drummer Deen Castronovo

Just a few days after I interviewed him, it was announced that my friend Deen Castronovo is the new drummer for the fantastic rock band The Dead Daises. Deen and the guys are currently in Nashville working on a new studio album, and I couldn’t be happier for Deen or The Dead Daises. I’m sure what they produce will be phenomenal and I can’t wait to hear it.

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Hugs, Kisses & Warm Meals

This past Wednesday night, my family’s shore house in Ocean City, NJ, burnt down. The house was built 50 years ago when my Grandfather purchased the land and, since then, it’s been a place for four generations of family members to come together. While a bigger and better house will rise from its ashes, having it taken away from us in such a horrific and involuntary way is shocking and upsetting.

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Journey to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

15626576_10154357521614107_3083341465376598448_oCongratulations Journey! Today it was announced that the iconic rock band will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2017. As a fan of the band and a friend of Neal Schon’s, I couldn’t be happier or more proud of them. In their heyday, Journey created fantastic music that the critics tore apart, despite the undying support of the fans. And the fans’ unwavering dedication to this classic rock band is what led to Journey being the top choice in the recent fan poll conducted by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for who should be inducted in 2017. This is a testament to the staying power of Journey’s music and its ability to resonate with millions of people worldwide.

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A Conversation With Dennis DeYoung, Former STYX Vocalist

dennis-deyoungI had the pleasure of interviewing one of my favorite singers and one of the greatest voices in the history of music: Dennis DeYoung, lead vocalist of STYX hits “Come Sail Away,” “Babe,” “Mr. Roboto,” “The Best of Times,” “Don’t Let It End,” “Show Me The Way,” and “Lady.”

Our discussion lasted for more than an hour and we covered a myriad of topics, including Barry Manilow, Journey, what DeYoung misses most about being in STYX, the state of the music industry, politicians using music without the permission of the artists, and much more. DeYoung was funny, charming, smart, and easily one of the most enjoyable interviews I’ve ever conducted.

Make sure to visit DeYoung’s website for the latest tour dates. He has two performances in the Philadelphia/New Jersey/New York area coming up in October. I’m attending his show on October 8 at The Keswick Theatre in Glenside, Pa. For those of you closer to New York, DeYoung has an October 21 performance scheduled at the St. George Theatre in Staten Island, with special guest Steve Augeri, former lead vocalist of Journey.

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Journey Celebrates the 35th Anniversary of Escape in NJ

IMG_7566With the 35th anniversary of the Journey album Escape, which spawned numerous chart-topping hits, right around the corner, the band is back on the road. This time they are joined by The Doobie Brothers and Dave Mason. And Steve Smith is behind the drum kit, stepping in for the band’s former drummer Deen Castronovo. For those keeping count, this is the classic Journey lineup, minus one member: Steve Perry. I’m happy to say this was one of the best Journey concerts I’ve attended (this was my fifth), and my my pre-show meet and greet with Neal Schon exceeded my expectations. Read on for all of the details.

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A Conversation With Neal “Vortex” Schon

303Neal Schon is my favorite guitarist and, in my opinion, the greatest melodic rock guitarist of all time. He’s written classic songs, played legendary riffs and had a prolific solo career that is unparalleled in the music industry.

On the heels of the release of his latest solo album, Vortex, which is terrific, Neal took the time to grant me an interview. Speaking with him was an absolute honor, and we covered a lot of ground in our discussion. We spoke about everything, including his thoughts on working with Steve Perry, John Waite and Deen Castronovo, as well as how his latest masterpiece, Vortex, came to fruition.

I hope you enjoy the interview. And don’t forget to pick up a copy of Vortex. If you’re a classic rock fan, or just someone who appreciates inspired instrumental music, you’ll love it.

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