By Pete Fry, host of Fryday Night with Fry, 8-11pm on PhillyRockRadio.com
Each Friday night I get the pleasure of presenting songs from great bands in the world of Melodic Rock. Hope you've enjoyed hearing them as much as I had playing them. Below is the list of albums that I selected as the best releases of 2018. Certainly welcome your opinion on the following choices and would love to know how they compare to your list. Cheers!
CLICK ON THE ALBUM ART OR ALBUM NAME TO HEAR SONGS
Lady Diesel's Debut Store Bought Love
By Kevin Law,
Host of The Saloon Rock Club Radio Show
Last week I got a much-needed dose of local music when area bands, Lady Diesel, Three Chord Money, and Rat Rod took their turns on stage at Hot Shots in Westville, NJ. If you're a listener of The Saloon Rock Club radio show, then you've undoubtedly heard them, but I'd recommend checking them out live to see the magic in action. Each band brings a different rock 'n roll flavor, but it's a nicely paired menu as far as I'm concerned.
The show was also a reminder that I had some catching up to do on this blog. So let me try to right this ship by posting a review I did a while back of Lady Diesel's debut album, Store Bought Love, which was released earlier this year. This production is a well-crafted collection of songs that are instantly likable, and felt like old friends after the first listen. Their brand of rock ’n roll is a bluesy mix of emotion, grit and kick ass.
The album opens with “Black Moon Lullaby,” followed by “Sweet Whiskey Rider,” both proving that Phil Michaels’ lyrics can be more like painted pictures than written words. To me, they show a style and skill reminiscent of John Fogerty. No small feat! The third track, or should I say earworm, “Tears Go By,” has me dancing and singing along just thinking about it. And if I had to name Store Bought Love’s sleeper hit, my vote would be for its closing track, “Monster.” A one-of-a-kind gem that had this child of the ’70s conjuring up the image of a pre-pubescent Alice Cooper eating a bowl of Count Chocula while watching The Mystery Machine en route to its next meddling mission. FUN!
In addition to the swampy southern flavor of CCR mentioned earlier, fans of Classic Rock and Southern-Fried music will no doubt pick up on their ’70s blues-based rock influences, some of which a bit more recognizable than others. But with that being said, this well-oiled rock ’n roll band of brothers have made these sounds their own, and in the process created something brand new. Very much looking forward to hearing more from Lady Diesel in 2019!
You can buy a copy of Store Bought Love on Amazon -- CD Baby -- and iTunes and of course from the band itself.
Find the band on facebook: www.facebook.com/LadyDiesel.philly/
Lady Diesel Band Members
Phil Michaels: Vox 'n Guitars,
Pete Laquitara: Lead Guitar
Chico Crow: Bass 'n Vocals
Damian MonteCarlo: Drums 'n Vocals
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — November 7, 2018
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — PHILLY ROCK RADIO announced that “David Uosikkinen’s In the Pocket” radio program will debut on the station November 15, 2018, airing Thursday nights at 9 p.m. with replays Friday afternoons at 4 p.m.
“David Uosikkinen’s In the Pocket,” a weekly talk show spotlighting Philly music history and featuring some of the area’s most talented and influential performers, has been added to Philly Rock Radio’s lineup. Beginning on Nov. 15, “In the Pocket” will air at 9 p.m. Thursdays and again at 4 p.m. Fridays on PhillyRockRadio.com. The podcast version can also be heard at wildfireradio.com.
“In the Pocket” is co-hosted by David Uosikkinen, original drummer for Philly rock legends The Hooters, and Andy Vineberg, a former longtime entertainment writer for the Bucks County Courier Times, Doylestown Intelligencer and Burlington County Times. The show is named after Uosikkinen’s project In the Pocket, which features an all-star ensemble of Philly-area musicians performing “the essential songs of Philadelphia.” Each week, Uosikkinen and Vineberg are joined by guests with rich musical legacies for in-depth conversations about their favorite songs, their local roots, their career highs and lows, wild stories from the road and more. Previous guests have included Charlie Ingui (the Soul Survivors), bassist Kenny Aaronson (Bob Dylan, Joan Jett and dozens of others), Richard Bush (the A’s, the Peace Creeps), Steve Butler (Quincy, Smash Palace), Anita Wise (wife of late legendary guitarist TJ Tindall), ZouZou Mansour (Soraia), Randy Ellis (booker at Trenton’s City Gardens) and Lon Van Eaton (who worked with George Harrison, Ringo Starr and other big names while signed to Apple Records in the ’70s).
"We’re excited to have David and Andy join Philly Rock Radio,” said Kevin McElroy, station owner. “Their show delivers entertaining conversations with guests specific to our local music community. The stories you’ll hear chronicle Philly’s music history. That aspect is important to us here, and this program is exactly what we want Philly Rock Radio to be about."
Uosikkinen and Vineberg are both well-versed in Philly music history. Uosikkinen grew up in Levittown, Pennsylvania, and was a founding member of The Hooters alongside Eric Bazilian and Rob Hyman in 1980. In addition to performing with The Hooters for the last 38 years, he has recorded and performed with Alice Cooper, Rod Stewart, Cyndi Lauper, Taj Mahal and Patty Smyth, among many others, and has played at such major events as Live Aid, Amnesty International and Roger Waters’ “The Wall” in Berlin. In 2010, he formed his own band, David Uosikkinen’s In the Pocket, to bring awareness to music education and to pay homage to Philly’s musical history. When he’s not performing with The Hooters or In the Pocket, he also plays drums with South Jersey power pop band Smash Palace. He lives in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, with his wife and manager, Dallyn Pavey Uosikkinen.
Vineberg, who resides in Burlington County, New Jersey, has been writing about music and entertainment since 2001 and considers himself a total music geek. He grew up in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, listening to 93.3 WMMR, which is how he first fell in love with The Hooters. Ironically, Uosikkinen was the first professional musician Vineberg ever interviewed, back when The Hooters performed at his high school in 1983. Thirty-five years later, he’s thrilled to be co-hosting the “In the Pocket” program with him.
Each week, Uosikkinen, Vineberg and their guests take listeners on a deep dive through decades of Philly music and memories, and they are excited to bring those stories to PhillyRockRadio.com.
Tune in: David Uosikkinen’s In The Pocket can be heard Thursday nights, 9 p.m – 10 p.m. and Friday afternoons, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., starting November 15 on PhillyRockRadio.com, the station’s free mobile app and via the TuneIn mobile app. For all station information, visit phillyrockradio.com
PhillyRockRadio.com is an internet radio station that presents a weekly schedule of original programs playing Hard Rock, Heavy Metal and Classic Rock from the late ’60s through today. It also provides a platform for indie artists and bands local to the Philly music scene. The station can be streamed through the website phillyrockradio.com, its free mobile app and through the TuneIn app.
By Kevin Law,
Host of The Saloon Rock Club Radio Show
Whiskey Grin is a hard workin’, hard-rockin’ trio out of South Jersey, and they’ve just released their independently produced self-titled debut. It showcases what this band does best, which is deliver a straight-ahead blues-infused brand of heavy rock. The album opens with the song, “Saturday’s Child” whose opening riff calls you aboard this rock and roll train ride and the driving rhythm quickly takes you to the point of no turning back.
On its surface the album’s theme, to borrow a line from its track “Midnight Driver,” is “under the veil of darkness” with a heavy focus on the darker side of our human condition as it tells stories of murder, corrupt leaders, failed relationships and even the spawn of a satanic seed for good measure. I did say BLUES-infused, right?
Many of the nine songs are emotionally driven, and singer John Tidwell isn’t afraid to expose past wounds in the lyrics he writes. His stories of growing up with an abusive father in “Battle Creek” and a failed romantic relationship which brought about a murderous rage in “Bad Feelin’” are very personal. But more than rehashing the past, these stories may have been dredged up to purge old demons and heal those wounds. It’s with this that the darkness sheds light on a deeper level and, in my opinion, the real theme: catharsis. Again in “Battle Creek” you’ll hear the son ask his father, “Why must you be so cruel?” and then realize for his sake, the anger wasn’t his fault and there was nothing he could do to change him. A similar idea is delivered in the song “Feet Of Clay”. We’re told when faced with human weakness, whether our own or our heroes, we have to “Rise up and walk again.” In these songs, there’s more than meets the ear, which may provide subtext to the album’s tongue-in-cheek (or should I say cheeks on seat?) cover art.
I’ve seen Whiskey Grin perform some of these songs live, but now thanks to this recording, I have the opportunity to pay closer attention and absorb the songs. I can appreciate everything I hear, from guitarist Jim Mayberry’s blistering solos throughout, to the thunderous rhythm bassist John Tidwell and drummer Dreem brings down on these tracks. From its aforementioned opening to the beautiful coda “Palace Of The Paramour” with its Zeppelinesque touches, the quality of the production, well-crafted at Ron Tagg’s Greenfield Records in Runnemede, NJ, and the musicianship from this experienced trio of rockers is excellent. One only has to pick any song on this album to prove it.
For an independent band like Whiskey Grin, who have responsibilities like day jobs, families and mortgages, the project of writing, recording and producing an album is no small task. This is a project that requires much commitment, time and collaborative teamwork. I admit to teasing the fellas about the amount of time it took to complete this project, and now I have to say that it was well worth the wait. The end result is a collection of great songs you will want to hear again and again.