Saturday, August 24, 2013

Rod Stewart's Autobiography - Rod - review!

I was never a huge fan of Rod Stewart’s music but was recently guided by a friend to try out his early 70’s albums (prior to his disco era) and I have to admit, I like what I heard. So, I passively read about Rod online, about how many people felt that he was a sell-out who just went for mainstream success. I recently noticed his new autobiography Rod at the bookstore and decided to give it a shot. Rod tells his story in a fun, respectable and non-apologetic way.

His early career was filled with future stars including playing in bands with Long John Baldry, first as a backup singer and later often sharing the lead vocals. Rod writes about his past with The Faces and his relationship with his band mates. He also mentions Elton John often, especially the years of their friendly competition of who had the biggest hits.

He discusses everything from intimate details to drug habits often blaming himself for failed relationships and taking responsibility for his adulterous past. He never seemed to be a full fledge drug addict, but rarely passed up a bump of cocaine prior to an encore just to give him a little more drive. All drugs he used were not recreational, after singing night after night as loud as he could he often found he was unable to even speak the following day, let alone sing. So began his days of dabbling with steroids to get his vocals in shape for the next show.

Rod was filled with many interesting stories and facts. He never let his readers get bored and sure didn’t hold anything back. Did he strive to make music or money? Both! He enjoyed his suede suits and Ferrari’s (and still does) and few could blame him (Personally, I may pass on the suit.. but I’ll take the car!) Was he in the press for dating supermodels and stars?  Yep! Did he go out of his way for these public relationships? Not really, but who was he to turn down a supermodel? He could have easily twisted some of these stories to make himself look better but he was never ashamed to point out his past mistakes. Of course, he was never ashamed of pointing out his successes either.

I strongly recommend this book. I’m proof that you don’t need to be a huge Rod Stewart fan to enjoy this read. He lives an interesting life and tells his stories in an adventurous and often humorous way.  

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Candymen - Deep in the Night - a brief history!

I picked up a 7” single today from a band that I have never heard before. This is a very common practice in my crate digging adventures, always looking for something interesting and exploring new music.

So what made me choose this specific 45?

A few things actually:

1)      The sleeve: It wasn’t a picture sleeve but it was an ABC Paramount sleeve that was in absolutely amazing condition and it had this really cool vintage look to it. Made out of grocery bag style paper with the names of many famous artists plastered all over it.

2)      The label: I recognize many label variations from my endless hours studying vinyl records. This particular label from ABC was older, but I could not pinpoint the actual year.

3)      The artist’s name: The Candymen just jumped out at me. I knew this had to be a band from the 60’s era when they all had these clever bubblegum rock band names.

4)      The Country: This is a U.S.A. pressing. How did it end up in Canada? I’m thinking it must have been worth importing.

5)      The condition: This record is in near mint shape. Even if the music sucks at least it is a good example of this label variation that I can reference (nerd alert!).

6)      I have a problem: I just love records. I didn’t find anything else at this dig, so I knew I couldn’t leave empty handed.

The Candymen were originally known as The Webs. They formed in the mid 60’s by guitarist John Rainey and singer/guitarist Bobby Goldsboro in Alabama. Rainey and Goldsboro had various musicians join and leave their band when it was first formed. Goldsboro did not stay long either, leaving in 1964 and beginning his own solo career. He was replaced by Rodney Justo on lead vocals. Regardless of many lineup changes, The Webs became a fairly successful local band in Alabama.

Roy Orbison was scheduled to tour through Alabama and was in need of a backing band. The Webs got the gig and meshed so well that they became Orbison’s full-time backing band on the road. This is when their name changed to become The Candymen (named after Orbison’s song, Candy Man). So, the official members of The Candymen consisted of: Rodney Justo on vocals; John Rainy on bass; Billy Gilmore on bass; Robert Nix (Paul Garrison for a very short while prior) on drums; and Dean Daughtry on keyboards. Most of their songs were written and produced by their friend Buddy Buie. Once they joined Roy Orbison, Buie also took on the role as his tour manager.

The Candymen continued to perform as their own band when they had breaks from Orbison’s tour. Also, during this time they released a handful of singles. They eventually parted ways with Roy Orbison and merged with another band called The Classics IV, forming the successful group called The Atlanta Rhythm Section. I learned a lot of music history from this 45!

The single I found is Deep in the Night (b/w Stone Blues Man). This single sounds great. I love how the quality of these old records doesn’t seem to diminish overtime. Deep in the Night is filled with great harmonies and chord progressions, fitting in nicely with similar bands in the 60’s such as The Byrds and The Hollies. It is a super catchy song that will stay stuck in your head for hours.

Below you will find a video of Deep in the Night by The Candymen that I found on YouTube. Enjoy!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Maritime Vinyl and Homemade Jams Interview Quiet Parade

Brad Schofield and Bondo had the chance to speak with Trevor Murphy of Quiet Parade about the new album, working with Daniel Ledwell, and their upcoming show at The Capital on August 17, 2013.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Thee Attacks - Dirty Sheets - review!

The best thing about being a music reviewer is the surprises. Sure I can review the latest from John Fogerty, or the highly anticipated new album from The Backstreet Boys, but as I dig through the “to be reviewed pile” I always find myself looking for an adventure, something that nobody else is talking about, something fresh, something from another country perhaps… or maybe I’ll just review that album over there in the corner with the highly offensive picture of a crotch on the cover. I’m in love with this album before I even push play.


The album is called Dirty Sheets and it is the second release for Danish band Thee Attacks. I never knew the genre when I picked out this CD, with the aforementioned cover and the inside photo of four fellows wearing a questionable amount of makeup and loads of attitude, who could guess what this was going to sound like? The best comparison I have is somewhere between The Black Keys and The Clash… and I LOVE those bands.

Thee Attacks consists of Jimmy Attack on vocals, guitar and organ; Ritchie Attack on drums; Johnny Attack on Bass; and Terry Attack on lead guitar and organ. These four have been touring heavily for the past two years visiting Canada, USA, United Kingdom, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Spain, Portugal and France. Wow.

They open the album with their punchy debut single Stab filled with a cloud of distortion, hand clapping, and drum stick clicking. Throw in a load of “Dee la de da’s” and you have one kick ass rocking tune. They neglect to slow down throughout the entire album. Take Take Take is next and is the song that quickly reminded me of The Clash. Not saying that they are cloning them by any means, but I can sure hear some influence… and who doesn’t love the cowbell? Another favorite would be Stop Saying No, opening the song using heavy distortion and a constant bass drum beat backing the strong vocals, all leading into a very catchy chorus. This song already sounds like a classic.

Judging an album by its cover has again paid off for me! This is a true gem and a pleasant surprise. Full of original, powerful rock and roll. I have been recommending this album to friends and have been getting similar responses. Check out this video below and see for yourself!