NEWS IN BRIEF - SON OF JACK LANDS A RECORD DEAL:
Colin Blades, son of Night Ranger / Damn Yankees' Jack Blades has a solo deal in place. Jack will help his son record the album for release in 2003.
NIGHT RANGER CELEBRATE 20 YEARS OF GREAT MUSIC TOGETHER:
Over the past couple of weeks I have caught up with Night Ranger's Jack Blades, Jeff Watson, Kelly Keagy and Brad Gillis. I thought it was a good time to do an update on the band and what the guys are doing individually.
Night Ranger will be in action on several fronts this year, but a new studio album is still a little way off, or at least, is not yet on the guys schedules.
Night Ranger have recently signed with ICM Booking Agency and also with Pathfinder Management. This will see the band take on some extra dates this year - as many as 80 live dates - and will also help them lift their profile as they celebrate their 20th Anniversary. Dates start from February 21 at the House of Blues.
Keep track of dates via Pollstar and BradGillis.com.
A Night Ranger DVD is in the works - but news of a February release are way off base. Look for it later this year.
And the contents? Well, at this point, it looks like being a Live Greatest Hits affair - to be recorded this year, with bonus material.
That bonus material could take the form of a couple of new songs, some behind the scene's footage, and/or a couple of pretty rare Night Ranger videos. Jack says a clip was filmed for each of the band's last 2 studio albums! Sign Of The Times and New York Time were only ever released to media in Japan, but could be included on this DVD.
More news on this as things develop.
As for Jack Blades, he is keeping busy as always, producing, recording and writing.
Last week guitarist Michael Lardie (Great White) was at his house, with the duo recording tracks for use on a Japanese PC game.
Jack is also still involved in his record label Spun Out Records and has taken on the job of managing New Zealand band Zed in North America.
One signing to the label is a boy-band called Townsend, who are set to record a cover of Def Leppard's Pour Some Sugar On Me. Jack says just wait until you hear it...huge! A Real Audio sample is now online at the site.
Also signed to the label is "Survivor" star Lex van den Berghe's band Luckydog!
Jack is also on hand advising a young 19 year old singer/songwriter who has some strong label interest. The name of that singer? Colin Blades - his son!
Let's go to Brad Gillis. He's in the middle of a new solo CD and recording more music for use on cable sports network ESPN.
Brad is actively collecting vintage guitars (see pic) and is always looking for more.
Jeff Watson meanwhile is gearing up for those Night Ranger dates and has just started work on his first film project, (outside of Nash Bridges TV recordings) and will be scoring the music for a documentary about the advent of rock climbing from the 30s to present day. The project is quite exiting for Jeff, as he is already an avid hiker.
Jeff's also starting his third solo (rock) record, which will be comprised almost completely of all the songs (and the singer) from the Jeff Watson Band of the 70s. It's the material they were about to get signed with before he left to start Night Ranger.
Due soon (and finally says Jeff...) is a website at: JeffWatson.com
Kelly Keagy is currently setting up a North American release of his excellent solo album Time Passes. The album looks like being released via a local Midwest label called Orfan Records, with the possibility of some extra bonus tracks that didn't make the European or Japanese release.
Tracks recorded for the album, but not yet released include: Torch Of Faith, Soul, Inside My Head, Ear For Thunder & Keep Your Hands Off Me.
Other than that, Kelly can't wait to play some shows and says see you out there!
I didn't speak with Alan Fitzgerald, but he will be involved in a new Alliance album sometime this year.