http://melodicrock.com/articles/news-feed/2017/10/13/mecca-demos-audio-preview-pre-order  

  

Paul Gilbert

Mon
31
Jul

MR. BIG - Defying Gravity (Review)

information persons: 
content: 
85%
Produced By: 
Kevin Elson
Release Date: 
2017
Released: 
Worldwide
Musical Style: 
Melodic Hard Rock
Score: 
85
Label: 
Frontiers
Artist: 
 
Reviews are back! And they’re staying back. With more than 200 albums to catch up on, the first on the block is the latest from one of my favourite groups ever – Mr. Big.

 
Let’s cut right to the chase. This is without doubt the worst sounding Mr. Big album ever. I’m not sure why this ultra-toned down bass heavy style was chosen – but with the combined talent of the 4 guys plus production genius Kevin Elson, it had to of been a conscious decision.
 
The sound gives the impression of a really muddy mix, but everything can be heard clear enough. This took a good while to appreciate, the nature of the music is quite different from the usual Mr. Big sound and quite diverse also. It reminds me of the raw energy and tempo of the debut, which I put a long way ahead of this album.
But there are some real gems here – even if the guys did seem to run short towards the end of the album.
 
The man in control of this album appears to be Paul Gilbert, as his guitar is truly the driving force, not just in the riffs, but also in the song melodies as best exemplified with the two best songs of the album, the title track Defying Gravity and also the head turning ripping flurry of notes driving Mean To Me.
 
The album sits in mid-tempo mode for the majority of it’s 11 songs. The groove is, as usual, one of the highlights of playback, I just love these guys when going at it on the opening Open Your Eyes, Everybody Needs A Little Trouble and the two aforementioned tracks.
 
Interspersed between the grooves is the glorious feel good acoustic rocker Damn I’m In Love Again and one of the band’s finest ballads ever in Forever & Back. It’s a real gem with a killer Eric Martin vocal.
Its followed immediately by another melodic track She’s All Coming Back To Me Now, before a trilogy of groovers. Sadly I could probably have stopped the album here as while 1992 is average, the next two are slow and dull, with only the last 90 seconds of Be Kind proving worthy. If only the instrumental flurry here was more prevalent throughout the album.

Well, there’s several typically fantastic tracks here, which I will add to my Mr. Big playlist, but also several fillers and that production sound.
So while there’s magic to be heard, it’s in the individual tracks rather than the album as a whole.
Categories: 
 
Wed
14
Jun

MR. BIG 'Defying Gravity' Formats Announced, Release Delayed

Artist: 
 
MR. BIG ‘Defying Gravity' New Release Date
 
7.21.17 - CD / Deluxe CD/DVD / Digital
8.18.17 - LP / Deluxe Collector’s Edition Box Set 
 
 
 
June 13, 2017 -- Frontiers Music Srl announced full format details and a slightly delayed release date for MR BIG’s new album, ‘Defying Gravity’, pushing it back from the previously announced street date of July 7.
 
The album will be available on CD, LP, deluxe CD/DVD, digitally and a deluxe Collector’s Edition box set that includes: deluxe CD/DVD, LP, poster, numbered lithograph, T-Shirt, sticker. The box set is strictly limited to 500 copies worldwide. See artwork below.
 
The CD and LP contain the following tracklisting: 
Open Your EyesDefying GravityEverybody Needs A Little Trouble / Damn I’m In Love Again / Mean To MeNothing Bad (About Feeling Good) / Forever And Back / She’s All Coming Back To Me Now1992Nothing At All / Be Kind
 
The DVD contents are:
Defying Gravity [music video] / Everybody Needs A Little Trouble [music video] / Making of Defying Gravity [video] / Making of Everybody Needs A Little Trouble [video] / Track by track interview. Total length is approximately 65 minutes.       
 
 
The Box set includes: CD/DVD deluxe edition, Vinyl, Lithograph, Poster, Sticker and exclusive T-Shirt (L size only).
 
The first video from the new record, for ‘Everybody Needs A Little Trouble’, was made available on June 5 and can be seen here:  http://bit.ly/2s8c60k . The group are currently on tour in the U.S. and are planning European dates in the autumn.
 
MR. BIG - ‘Defying Gravity’: press release
 
“OK, we’re rolling.” With those three declarative words (spoken by producer Kevin Elson right after the music kicks in on ‘Open Your Eyes’, an instant callback to the beginning of ‘Addicted to That Rush’, the hard-charging lead track on the band’s self-titled 1989 debut), Mr. Big plants the flag between past, present and future with ‘Defying Gravity’, the band’s ninth original studio album.
 
Recorded in just six days at Ocean Studios in Burbank, California, the album reunites Mr. Big with the aforementioned Elson (Journey, Europe, Lynyrd Skynyrd), who is back behind the boards for the first time since helming the band’s first four albums. ‘Defying Gravity’ deftly showcases that patented Mr. Big blend of crunch and melody, from the freight-train ride of opening cut ’Open Your Eyes’ to the harmony-laden wonderment of ‘Damn I’m In Love Again’ to the nostalgia trip of ‘1992’ (recalling the days when the band was flyng high atop the singles charts with their international smash ‘To Be With You’) to the barnstorming slide-blues closing track, ‘Be Kind’. Overall, the album is prime evidence that the only thing Mr. Big remains tethered to is their ongoing pursuit of achieving creative excellence.
 
“It’s inspiring to work with Mr. Big,” observes guitarist/songwriter Paul Gilbert, who penned much of the material on the new album. “I know that any ideas I bring into the studio have to go through our long-established band filter, which means the songs all have to rock, have melody, and put a grin on the faces of all of my bandmates to make the final cut.” What that means is Gilbert, lead vocalist Eric Martin, bassist Billy Sheehan and drummer Pat Torpey all have to agree collectively on the finished product — as does touring drummer Matt Starr, who also joined in on the studio proceedings this time around.
 
That tried-and-true “all for one, one for all” mentality is one of the main things that fuels Mr. Big to reach for new heights whenever they are recording. “That’s what makes a band a band,” believes Torpey. “I think we all feel that way. It’s not one guy’s vision that the other guys all just follow. We’re always kicking ideas around to come to some kind of consensus. And that makes Mr. Big music what it is.”
 
Adds Sheehan, “I like recording with a sense of urgency. Put a mic in front of us, roll tape, and that should sound like what you’re hearing from us live. When you can create that kind of pressure in the studio in a short amount of time, it makes for better songs — and better performances.”
 
Once Martin got in sync with Gilbert, the album took shape in a relatively short amount of time. “My music tells you more about me than I can actually tell you myself,” the vocalist admits. “And ‘Defying Gravity’ is about ignoring everybody in life who tells you it can’t be done; that it’s impossible to do what you love. You have to stand your ground whenever someone tells you to give up your dream to do anything your heart desires — whether it be as a musician, painter, dancer, or whatever you want to be — in favour of a life that’s safe and conventional.”
 
To a man, Mr. Big couldn’t be more pleased to be working with Elson again. “Kevin Elson is really good at steering the ship through rough waters and making it seem like they’re not rough waters,” Gilbert notes. “He’s a very even-keeled guy — mellow, but he still gets it done.” Concurs Sheehan, “It was glorious and fantastic. Kevin creates an atmosphere of ease and creativity. He’s full of so many ideas. Really a wonderful man.” Torpey adds. “We’ve got a lot of history with him. He’s a great guy, super-talented. It’s not like having a dictator for a producer, just somebody who barks commands. He’s got so much experience, history and pedigree — and he’s also a really good friend, so the vibe in the studio was perfect.” Sums up Martin, “I always loved Kevin because of his musical sense, and I love singing in front of him. Kevin has a different approach that’s more cerebral. He has a lot of ideas like a musician and a songwriter would. Kevin’s a huge piece of our recording puzzle. He’s a musician’s friend. He gets good sounds, and I trust his insight and his criticism. Kevin has the golden touch, and he knows how to make great voices sound even greater.”
 
One of the key tracks on the album, ‘1992’, hearkens back to the glories of much headier days for Mr. Big - albeit with tongue planted firmly in cheek. “That was an incredible period in our lives, right when the rumblings of grunge were starting to happen,” Gilbert points out. “So here I am writing about and tweaking something that was so positive in just about every way, but it did open the world to us. Suddenly, we were playing stadiums in Indonesia, just going all over the place. And to this day, whenever we start a  tour, we end up going all around the world. That whole era, back when we all still had giant hair(!), really opened the door for us. Thankfully, people still gravitate toward the underlying thing that is still important, and that’s the music.”
 
Sheehan adds his own spin: “It’s a song about its own history. It reminds me of Deep Purple’s ‘Smoke on the Water’, a song where a band looks back and talks about how it all went down in a clever way. And ‘1992’ certainly pops for me from a philosophical point of view.” Muses Torpey, “Who would have thought we would actually be talking about something like this 25 years later? But I’ve had those thoughts myself. It’s really interesting to reflect back like that and actually have it come out in a song. It’s an epic kind of song that’s got the classic rock stuff, the crazy guitar-and-bass stuff, and the big vocals from Eric. It’s a Mr. Big song, no doubt.”
 
Speaking of the band’s inherent instrumental virtuosity, there is plenty of it on display during the middle section of ‘Mean to Me’, where Paul and Billy trade a score of hot licks back and forth. “That song came about very quickly,” Gilbert reports, “and the solo was a first take with no overdubs at all; it was done live with the band. The delay I used helped make it twice as fast, but you still have to be dead-on accurate, and play the notes super-staccato so that it doesn’t get sloppy. Billy, however, does it all for real where no effects were necessary. He battles my technology-aided solo with the pure fire from his hands.” Observes Torpey, “The songs themselves are always important, but we always want to come up with the right vehicle to have some gymnastics between those twin towers of rock, Billy and Paul. That’s a big part of what we do, and we utilise it. I hope the fans like it.”
 
Martin is proud that ‘Defying Gravity’ showcases the best of what Mr. Big has to offer. “There’s something about this band. We’ve been through a lot of stuff together,” he notes, “but there’s a spiritual bond we all share, no matter what. And that raises you up to give the best performance you can for a record that came together so quickly, like this one did.” Adds Sheehan, “This record really seems to fit in with some of my favourite times in music, which were right around ’68 to ’74. The other thing is, Mr. Big is really a singing band, and I love the fact we have that here with the background vocals we were able to add to some of the songs.”
 
For his part, Gilbert is very much looking forward to bringing ‘Defying Gravity’ to life for Mr. Big fans the world over: “We’re aware that we’re going to be playing this music onstage, and we’re no longer just going to be looking into each other’s eyes — we’re going to be looking into the eyes of the audience. We know our audience quite well, and we’re looking forward to seeing their reactions to the album.”
 
Torpey has the final word: “The title says it all: 'Defying Gravity'. We’re still here, and we’re still keeping the ball rolling down that hill. We’re still doing it. The album has a positive message, and that’s what I like about it. We can still fly, even after all these years.”
 
Indeed, Mr. Big’s keen combination of their virtuosic nature with a DNA-infused sense of melody continues to enable listeners the ability to sing along to every word they hear. Not a lot of acts can do that as deftly as Mr. Big does, and ‘Defying Gravity’ finds this still-hungry band collectively leaning into it to push their music into new stratospheres. Climb aboard.
 
MR. BIG:
Eric Martin - Vocals
Paul Gilbert - Guitar
Billy Sheehan- Bass
Pat Torpey- drums
with Matt Starr - drums
Produced by Kevin Elson
 

 

Categories: 
 
Thu
11
May

FREDDY NELSON Preps Debut Album 'Shake The Cage'

Artist: 
 
FREDDIE NELSON READY TO ‘SHAKE THE CAGE’ WITH DEBUT SOLO ALBUM DUE OUT JULY 7
 
May 10, 2017 -- Guitarist, singer, songwriter, and producer FREDDIE NELSON first came to international attention in 2010 when he collaborated with guitar virtuoso Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big) on their album, UNITED STATES. Together they wrote, performed, and produced the recording that was released on Mascot Records and toured Japan and Europe shortly after.
 
Flash forward to 2017 and it’s now time for Pittsburgh’s FREDDIE NELSON to SHAKE THE CAGE with his self-produced debut solo album, due out July 7. The album’s first single, “Hey Doll,” will be available at all digital retail outlets starting Friday, May 12. The album will be available for pre-orders starting May 19 on iTunes, which will include an instant gratification track. Pre-orders for CD copies will be available on his official website the same day.
 
We live in an age where reality shows create superstars and the technology that once revolutionized music has become the crutch of the creative process. In an oversaturated industry where anyone can be discovered, we have lost sight of the unseen magic that embodies iconic musicians. The music of FREDDIE NELSON is here to remind us of that magic.
 
“The record is called SHAKE THE CAGE, because I feel that a lot of music has become one dimensional with tools such as pitch correction and formulated songwriting.  There is no substitute for hard work and honing your craft, and it’s time to challenge mediocrity,” NELSON says.
 
With unprecedented attention to detail, SHAKE THE CAGE is truly a solo effort. All of the writing and producing was done by Nelson as well as all of the musical and vocal performances, with the exception of drums performed by the legendary Thomas Lang (who has played with Peter Gabriel, Kelly Clarkson, John Wetton and countless others). It was mixed by Rob Hill of X Music Studios in Los Angeles, CA and was mastered by Maz Murad at Metropolis in London, England.
 
SHAKE THE CAGE is a collection of eleven hook driven rock songs displaying NELSON’s impressive four octave vocal range and notoriously ferocious guitar playing. Intertwining elements of punk, pop, and blues, he has the uncanny ability to weave memorable melodies alongside intelligent lyrics to create a body of work that appeals to the masses.
 
“I let my instincts guide me,” NELSON explains, “and this album is the result of living in the moment.”
 
Categories: 
 
Tue
09
May

MR. BIG Return With 'Defying Gravity' Out July 7

Artist: 
Mr Big's new album, "Defying Gravity" will be released on July 7, 2017 on CD, CD/DVD and Digital.
A vinyl edition will be released as well at a later date to be announced soon.
 
DEFYING GRAVITY deftly showcases that patented MR. BIG blend of crunch and melody, from the freight-train ride of opening cut "Open Your Eyes" to the harmony-laden wonderment of "Damn I'm in Love Again" to the grateful/wistful nostalgia of "1992" (recalling the days when the band was flying high atop the singles charts with their international #1 smash "To Be With You") to the barnburning slide-blues closer, "Be Kind." Overall, DEFYING GRAVITY is prime evidence that the only thing MR. BIG remains tethered to is their ongoing pursuit of achieving creative excellence.
 
Original members Eric Martin (singer) (lead vocals), Paul Gilbert (guitars), Billy Sheehan (bass) and Pat Torpey (drums) reunited with producer Kevin Elson (who was behind the boards for the band’s 1989 self-titled debut, 1991’s LEAN INTO IT and 1993’s BUMP AHEAD) for an intensive six-day recording session in Los Angeles. While Torpey was unable to perform some of the songs on DEFYING GRAVITY due to a recent diagnosis of Parkinson's disease, Matt Starr has been filling in for him on a majority of the album. Starr also been touring with the band for the past couple of years, with Torpey able to play a couple of songs at each stop.
 
“It was great to get back in the studio with our original producer, Kevin Elson,” says guitarist Paul Gilbert. “Kevin recorded all of our original classic albums from the ‘80s and ‘90s, and we immediately felt that magic chemistry with him on DEFYING GRAVITY. We basically played live in the studio. Over the years, we’ve all had a chance to experiment with every recording technique possible, but it’s still always the best just to play together as a band. Most of my guitar solos were tracked live with the band. I’ve worked hard on my improvisation in the last few years, and it really paid off on this record…both melodically, and on the face-melting stuff.”
 
DEFYING GRAVITY is the follow-up to 2014’s THE STORIES WE COULD TELL (Frontiers Music Srl), which Ultimate-Guitar.com described as “An exceptional offering of accelerated hard rock from one of the more dominant ‘supergroups’ of the late 1980s, MR. BIG return with a vengeance on THE STORIES WE COULD TELL.”
 
An official trailer for DEFYING GRAVITY can be seen here:
 

 
MR. BIG is gearing up for the launch their latest worldwide tour which starts May 31 in Milwaukee, WI at the Potowatami Casino. For all the latest tour dates, fans should check the band’s official website: www.mrbigsite.com
 
“2017 is filling up quickly with tour dates all around the world,” proclaims Gilbert. “I can’t wait to play the new songs, and of course our favorites from the old days like ‘Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy’ ‘Just Take My Heart,’ ‘Green Tinted Sixties Mind,’ ‘Wild World,’ and ‘To Be With You.’”
 
Here’s the complete track listing for DEFYING GRAVITY:
 
1. Open Your Eyes
2. Defying Gravity
3. Everybody Needs a Little Trouble
4. Damn I’m In Love Again
5. Mean to Me
6. Nothing Bad (About Feeling Good)
7. Forever and Back
8. She’s All Coming Back to Me Now
9. 1992
10. Nothing At All
11. Be Kind
 
Check out MR. BIG at any of the following tour stops (MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED):
 
Leg 1:
5/31 Milwaukee, WI Potowatami Casino
6/2 St. Charles, IL Arcada Theatre
6/3 Wetland, MI The Token Lounge
6/6 Warrendale, PA Jergel’s Rhythm Grille
6/7 Newton, NJ Newton Theatre
6/9 Uncasville, CT The Wolf Den/Mohegan Sun
6/10 New York, NY B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
6/12 Nashville, TN Basement East
6/14 Lexington, KY Manchester Music Hall
6/16 Dallas, TX Gas Monkey Live
6/17 Houston, TX Scout Bar
6/19 Kansas City, MO Knuckleheads Saloon
6/22 Tempe, AZ Marquee Theatre
6/23 Agoura Hills, CA Canyon Club
6/24 Pasadena, CA The Rose
 
Categories: 
 
Tue
19
Apr

PAUL GILBERT Will Destroy on May 27

Artist: 

It's no accident that I CAN DESTROY cuts a wide swath of styles and textures, from the full-frontal assault of  'Everybody Use Your Goddamn Turn Signal' to the jazz-blues lament of 'One Woman Too Many' (which also features GILBERT's patented four-pick Makita drill-bit riffery) to the radio-friendly balladeering of 'Love We Had' to the smoking-hot gut/heart punch of 'I Am Not the One (Who Wants To Be With You),' the latter track's title a playful reference to the ubiquitous #1 hit PAUL GILBERT enjoyed as part of his gig as lead guitarist for the still-going-strong Mr. Big.
 
'My guitar playing was born from playing in my teenage heavy rock bands,' GILBERT explains. 'After playing for 40 years, I've been able to evolve the way that I see the fretboard, and how I hear the guitar in my head. This opens up my soloing, and also my writing. I couldn't have written this music when I was a kid. I couldn't have written these lyrics either. I needed time to live'to experience joy, and anger, and love, and frustration at people who don't use their turn signals.'
 
GILBERT knew that I CAN DESTROY producer Kevin Shirley (Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Rush, Joe Bonamassa), whom he previously collaborated with on Mr. Big's 2011 release WHAT IF, would push him to do his best from the get-go. 'One thing I knew about working with Kevin as a solo artist is that there weren't going to be that many overdubs on the record ' not that many takes, and not many fixes,' he reports. 'As a musician, that puts the fear into you. It's a good fear, and it made me want to prepare in a pretty healthy way.'
 
With Shirley onboard to get behind the board, GILBERT next had to cull together some top-drawer musicians to bring into the studio. 'On drums, we've got Thomas Lang, who's somewhat of a drumming legend, and on bass is Kevin Chown,' details Gilbert. 'He was the only guy I'd never worked with before, and he was great. He played all the right stuff. He's played with everybody from Chuck Berry and Little Richard to Sebastian Bach.'
 
Ultimately, the joy GILBERT expresses all throughout I CAN DESTROY celebrates the freedom and creativity he enjoys as a solo artist. 'I do my best. It's pretty incredible to have been living the dream and putting food on the table by banging it all out on an electric guitar,' he concludes. 'This is actually my 30th year as a recording artist, and I still enjoy the search. I like looking around, trying to find things I haven't done yet, and then seeing if I can do them.'
 
Here's the complete track listing of I CAN DESTROY:
 
1. Everybody Use Your Goddamn Turn Signal
2. I Can Destroy
3. Knocking On A Locked Door
4. One Woman Too Many
5. Woman Stop
6. Gonna Make You Love Me
7. I Am Not The One (Who Wants To Be With You)
8. Blues Just Saving My Life
9. Make It (If We Try)
10. Love We Had
11. I Will Be Remembered
12. Adventure and Trouble
13. Great White Buffalo (bonus track)
 
Categories: 
 
Fri
31
Oct

MR. BIG - The Stories We Could Tell (Review)

information persons: 
section name: 
TRACK LISTING
content: 
- Gotta Love The Ride
- I Forget To Breathe
- Fragile
- Satisfied
- The Man Who Has Everything
- The Monster In Me
- What If We Were New
- East / West
- The Light Of Day
- Just Let Your Heart Decide
- It's Always About That Girl
- Cinderella Smile
- The Stories We Could Tell
section name: 
SCORE
content: 

 

94%
Produced By: 
Pat Regan
Running Time: 
61
Release Date: 
2014
Released: 
Worldwide
Musical Style: 
Melodic Hard Rock
Score: 
94
Label: 
Frontiers Records
Artist: 
 
It is an emotional time for Mr. Big as drummer Pat Torpey recently announced he was dealing with the onset of Parkinson’s disease as the band regrouped for their second post-reformation studio album.
But they managed to do it, adding another chapter to the Mr. Big story, and delivering a different beast to the last album What If…
 
There’s a different vibe to this album, most likely down to the change of producer, from Kevin Shirley (who likes recording live in the studio) to Pat Regan, who takes the more traditional route.
A couple of interesting facts from the recording sessions explain the vibe of this album – one was that the guys were all individually busy, so many parts were recorded without the others present as schedules permitted time to record, and the other was the revelation from Billy Sheehan that drummer Pat doesn’t actually play live drums on the album. Instead, the two Pat’s worked together on programming drum parts to match Torpey’s style and energy.
In fact, that part of the process held up the release of the album, forcing a slight reschedule and some last minute deliveries of the master.
But I’m impressed with the job done here. Both from Pat Regan for the overall sharp, traditional Mr. Big style production (he also worked with the guys on ‘Get Over It’ and the side project ‘Influences & Connections’); and also from Pat Torpey, who delivers perhaps the best programmed drums ever.
Eric Martin sounds fabulous as always as does Paul Gilbert with his flawless master class of riffing and soloing that continues throughout.
I don’t think Billy Sheehan’s bass is as prominent in the mix as last time around. The technical flair and authority is there, just not as promiinent in the mix as on What If.
 
The hour long album touches on a few aspects of the band’s sound and career to date. There’s definitely some of the bluesy ‘Get Over It’ influences here, despite that album not featuring guitarist Paul Gilbert; there is also some touches of the debut from way back in ’89 as well as Bump Ahead and of course the most recent release What If.
There is also a strong influence of 70s rock n roll throughout, a loose bluesy vibe that blends into the band’s sound.
All in all, it’s Mr. Big and its good!
 
I think the album runs a little long as there’s a couple of tracks in the back half of the album that more or less repeat what’s come before, if the album had been cut to 11 tracks it might have been a little more concise.
 
Gotta Love The Ride is a bombastic bluesy rocker. A solid groove, nice guitar solo and a chorus that seems restrained but gets better each listen. A cool track!
I Forget To Breathe is another up-tempo blues based rocker with a big groove. Billy's bass not nearly as prominent in mix as last album. Another pretty simple chorus....but it rocks and I like it. I'm hearing some 'Get Over It' here. Great guitar solo.
The wonderfully melodic Fragile was my pick of the album from day 1 and continues to be. A real Mr. Big sounding track with the same type of vibe as the equally brilliant "Undertow".
Satisfied took some time to grow on me. Back to the 70s blues rock again and I'm a 80s guy, so I wasn’t sure, but it has grown into a fine track. A very melodic vocal bridge that hints at a big chorus that doesn't arrive.
Its ballad time. The Man Who Has Everything is a familiar Mr. Big acoustic driven ballad. Still carrying that 70s feel though. Big soulful vocal by Eric Martin - another possible single here I'd expect. Some orchestral backing makes it fuller in sound.
The Monster In Me still has that bluesy 70s sound going through it. The mid-tempo, heavy rocker was another track that grew on me and it’s jerky, abrupt chorus is cool.
What If I Were New sees the band is sounding like The Rolling Stones. A different vibe for sure and perhaps one of the lesser quality tracks on the album. Interesting chorus. I wouldn't call it catchy, but it's original and the choppy Paul Gilbert guitar work is cool.
East/West features acoustic intro and first 30 seconds before band comes to life. Acoustic base, but electric also. A feel good song this and a traditional Mr. Big commercial pop/rocker.
The Light Of Day is a fast rocker with a big groove, big guitars and bass, fast moving vocal and chorus, with Eric in fine voice as ever.
Just Let Your Heart Decide - ballad time again. Deep sultry vocal from Eric and an extremely good chorus. Just like 'What If', the second big ballad on the album is the better one. No Mr. Big fan is going to dislike this one.
It's Always About That Girl - this is another mi-tempo 70s groover. Not as into this as earlier tracks and sees the band repeating themselves a little here.
As is the case with the slow/mid-tempo groove based track Cinderella Smile. Simple chorus, stop/start slow groove and a track that brings a slow tempo to the closing part of the album.
The Stories We Could Tell is unfortunately another slow-mid-tempo 70s groover.
Interesting track, but not the most instant or catchy tune out there and similar to a couple of others on the album. A good chorus, some nice bass fills from Billy and more classy playing from Paul. But three slowish 70s groove tracks in a row to close the album is too many.
I would have cut Cinderella Smile and It’s Always About That Girl.
 
For the European release there is the bonus track Addicted To That Rush (Live)Now, being the musical snob I am, I just can’t endorse live tracks tacked onto the end of studio albums. It just doesn’t sit right with me that an all-new studio album closes with an old live track.
Add to that the fact the quality of this live track is horrible. The instrumentation is clear enough, but the vocals sound as if they were piped in from the lavatory backstage. Very hollow and low in volume. It’s a real shame as the sheer energy of Pat Torpey and world class guitar soloing from Paul and Billy throughout is otherwise stunning.
The Japanese release adds the bonus track 30 Days In The Hole (Live). Again, the playing is nothing short of exquisite, but next to studio material it just doesn’t sound right or match the production values.
 
The Japanese Special Edition sees the band add a bonus disc of 10 re-recorded classics. The Japanese are becoming increasingly generous with their extra features to entice a shrinking market into buying and it worked for me!
The tracks covered include the fan favorites Addicted To That Rush, Colorado Bulldog, Daddy Brother Lover Little Boy, Green Tinted Sixties Mind and Take Cover.
There’s not a dramatic overhaul of these tracks in any way. More or less, they are just an updated sound, consistent with the production of the new material and the odd tweak here and there with vocals, backing vocals and guitar and bass riffs. Long time Mr. Big fans will hear the differences, casual fans won’t. But it’s well worth getting.
 
The Stories We Could Tell is a big, groovy, rocking album, but not the chorus heavy style of Mr. Big's most commercial tracks.
It is also not an instant album, but it has the same Mr. Big appeal as always for me and has been on high rotation now for many weeks. I’m still loving the tracks I love and still not warming to the last few.
The guys’ individual performances are as special as we always expect from these phenomenal musicians.
Be prepared for a different sound and a more retro groove based style.
 
Another great Mr. Big album, but it's going to have to appeal to people's individual tastes a little more than past albums.
Categories: 
 
Mon
18
Aug

MR. BIG - The Stories We Could Tell (Pre-View)

Artist: 
UPDATED: 4 or 5 listens in now and the album continues to grow and the tempo lifts as the melodies come to life. Some really good songs on here as usual.
 
 
Mr. Big, are back with their new album "The Stories We Could Tell". The band's eighth studio album is slated for release on September 19th in Europe and September 23rd in North America via Frontiers Music Srl. 
 
Eric Martin says of the new Mr. Big: "This is the album that we threatened to make decades ago. A classic, grooving, blues-rock record with the spirit and spark of our rock and soul idols from the 70s..."
I gave Mr. Big's "What If..." 100%, so there's a lot of expectation here.
 
It always awesome to hear these guys play. The collective talent is unbelievable and Eric Martin has been a favourite of mine since the mid-80s.
 
This is a different sounding record from the outset. It’s big, loud, live and very retro 70s in places and very bluesy also. It will take a little time to get used to it.
Not an instant record by any means, but it rocks. Makes delivering a first impression harder to do accurately.
 
But after two full listens through at ear piercing volume – here’s my thoughts:
 
 
Track 1: Gotta Love The Ride - Bombastic intro, bluesy edge for sure. It’s a mid-up tempo rocker.
Different sound for the band here. Production definitely different than “What If”. Groove based rocker, nice guitar solo. Restrained chorus that gets better each listen. A cool track!
 
Track 2: I Forget To Breathe - Another up-tempo blues based rocker with a big groove. Billy's bass not nearly as prominent in mix as last album. Another pretty simple chorus....but it rocks and I like it. I'm hearing some "Get Over It" here. Great guitar solo.
 
Track 3: Fragile Thought it might have been a ballad at first, but bluesy 70s guitar kicks in and the tempo lifts. I like it a lot. A real Mr. Big sounding track. Fragile has the same type of vibe as "Undertow". A more familiar Mr. Big style bridge-to-chorus melody and a nice melodic vocal here. Best track of the first 3. A commercial single feel.
 
Track 4: Satisfied - Back to the 70s blues rock again. I'm a 80s guy, so not sure about this. Another pretty straight forward uptempo bluesy rocker. Satisfied has a one line, very melodic vocal bridge that hints at a big chorus, but it doesn't arrive. More straight forward groove based.
 
Track 5: The Man Who Has Everything - Its ballad time. This is a familiar MB acoustic driven ballad. Still carrying that 70s feel though. Big soulful vocal by Eric Martin - another possible single here I'd expect. Some orchestral backing also.
 
A big Billy bass flurry kicks off Track 6: The Monster In Me. Still got that bluesy 70s sound going. Mid-tempo, but heavy...Big guitar and bass tracks. Very different sounding record this so far. Unlike any Mr. Big album prior. Raw, live feel and very groove driven.
 
Track 7: What If I Were New - now the band is sounding like The Stones. Mmmm... Different approach with choruses this album too. Big harmonies here and a nice feel good chorus. Perfect Mr. Big style. Interesting chorus. Wouldn't call it catchy, but it's original and the choppy Paul Gilbert guitar work is cool. Big attitude.
 
Track 8: East/West - acoustic intro and first 30 seconds before band comes to life. Acoustic base, but electric also. A feel good song this and an early favourite.
 
Track 9: The Light Of Day - big groove, big guitars and bass, fast moving vocal, Eric in fine voice as ever.
 
Track 10: Just Let Your Heart Decide - ballad time again. Deep sultry vocal from Eric. VERY good chorus. Just like "What If", the second big ballad on the album is the better one. No Mr. Big fan is going to dislike this one.
 
Track 11: It's Always About That Girl - this is another mi-tempo 70s groover. Not as into this as earlier tracks.
 
Track 12: Cinderella Smile - Another slow/mid-tempo groove based track. Sorry, think I'm going to have to say I'm not into this one. Simple chorus, stop/start slow groove. Not my fav style. A bit of a jammer.
 
Last track! Track 13: The Stories We Could Tell - yep, another slow-mid-tempo 70s groover.
Interesting track, but not the most instant or catchy tune out there and similar to a couple of others on the album.
Good chorus, some nice bass fills from Billy and more classy playing from Paul.
 
 
 
It's a big, groovy, rocking album, but not the chorus heavy style of Mr. Big's most commercial tracks.
13 tracks, 2 ballads, a couple of traditional melodic “Mr. Big style” tunes and a whole stack of bluesy rockers with a retro vibe.
 
Not an instant album, but I’ve hit play straight away and are already through my second listen. Some more aspects definitely jumped out second time around.
 
The guy’s rock and the performances are there. Big love to the as yet unmentioned Pat Torpey who thumps away with his usual authority.
 
Be prepared for a different sound and a more retro groove based style.
 
I think this sounds like another great Mr. Big album, but it's going to have to appeal to people's individual tastes a little more than past albums.
 
 
 
The Japanese Special Edition release (cover pictured above) features a second audio disc and a DVD "making of".
 
The audio CD contains 10 tracks re-recorded by the band for this occasion.
Those tracks are:
 
01. To Be With You
02. Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy (Electric Drill Song)
03. Green Tinted Sixties Mind
04. Take Cover
05. Just Take My Heart
06. Colorado Bulldog
07. Addicted To That Rush
08. The Whole World's Gonna Know
09. Rock & Roll Over
10. Out Of The Underground
 
 
 
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Mon
11
Aug

MR. BIG - The Stories We Could Tell Out September 22

Artist: 
MR. BIG RETURN WITH THEIR EIGHTH STUDIO ALBUM IN 25 YEAR CAREER
...THE STORIES WE COULD TELL
 
Latest Album Slated for Release in September via Frontiers Music Srl
 
Amazon Pre-Order Available at http://geni.us/MrBigStoriesAMZ
 
Hard rock's original supergroup, Mr. Big, are back with a vengeance with their new album 'The Stories We Could Tell. The band's eighth studio album is slated for release on September 19th in Europe and September 23rd in North America via Frontiers Music Srl. The original lineup comprised of Eric Martin on vocals, Paul Gilbert on guitar, Billy Sheehan on bass and Pat Torpey on drums, returns with some of their strongest material to date. The new album is the follow-up to the 2011 release What If, an album that marked the band's return to their signature hard rock sound. Mr. Big got together this past June to begin recording and laid down the 13 new tracks in just a month. 'Stories We Could Tell was produced by Pat Regan, known for his work with the likes of Deep Purple, Warrant and Keel. The album is currently available for pre-order via Amazon at http://geni.us/MrBigStoriesAMZ.
 
The track listing for ...The Stories We Could Tell is:
1)      Gotta Love The Ride                                                                             
2)       I Forget To Breathe
3)       Fragile
4)       Satisfied
5)       The Man Who Has Everything
6)       The Monster In Me
7)       What If We Were New?
8)       East/West
9)       The Light Of Day
10)   Just Let Your Heart Decide
11)   It's Always About That Girl
12)   Cinderella Smile
13)   The Stories We Could Tell
14)   Addicted To That Rush (Live ' Exclusive Bonus Track)
 
Mr. Big recently announced that drummer Pat Torpey has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. The diagnosis has left him unable to perform his normal drumming duties on the band's upcoming World Tour. He did complete all of the drumming on the upcoming album, but unfortunately touring will be too difficult for him at the present time. Mr. Big intends to announce a drummer in the near future who will handle most of MR BIG's drumming duties on the Fall 2014 tour and expects Torpey to jump on the drums on suitable live songs as well as participating in the group's acoustic set.
 
Mr. Big formed in 1988 and immediately began to solidify their place in music history. By combining trademark "shredding" musicianship with awesome vocal harmonies, Mr. Big produced numerous hit songs that ranged across a wide array of rock genres ' be it ballads, heavy metal, or blues rock. Their hits included 'Alive and Kicking,' "Just Take My Heart" and the chart-topping ballad "To Be With You" (Billboard Hot 100 number one single in 15 countries for weeks, in 1991, propelling the band the band to huge international success and multi-platinum record sales).
 
Mr. Big continues to be a touring force with sold-out shows around the globe and with more dates to be announced in the near future.
Mr. Big have announced the following tour dates in Europe in support of the new album:

Fri 17 Oct - Koko, London, UK
Sat 18 Oct - Tivoli Vredenburg, Utrecht, NL
Mon 20 Oct - Z7, Pratteln, CH
Tue 21 Oct - Live Club, Trezzo Sull'Adda (MI), IT
Thu 23 Oct - La Riviera, Madrid, ES
Sat 25 Oct - Izvestiya Hall, Moscow, RU
Sun 26 Oct - Zal Ozhidaniya, St. Petersburg, RU

 
Weblinks: www.mrbigsite.com
 

 

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Thu
24
Jul

PAUL GILBERT New Album “Stone Pushing Uphill Man” on Shrapnel Records August 5

Artist: 

Paul Gilbert's new record 'Stone Pushing Uphill Man' is a guitar-oriented instrumental record on which Paul covers some of his favorite songs, using his guitar like a voice to convey a wide range of emotions, while retaining his signature cutting-edge solo work. Following Paul Gilbert's last highly successful CD, 'Vibrato' is the next important chapter in this amazing guitarist's career. Regarded internationally as one of the greatest players in the industry, Gilbert once again proves why he is the guitarist's guitarist.

Starting his recording career with Shrapnel Records as a teenager in the late 80's, Paul Gilbert has remained one of the most active guitarists from the original shred guitar scene, stemming from his multi-faceted talent and long-range career. With Platinum success, including a number one song with Mister Big, and cult status as founding member of the legendary and highly successful underground progressive metal band Racer X, Gilbert's sales draw from more than 20 albums and more than 20 years as a recording artist and touring musician. Paul has toured on the legendary G3 tour in support of Joe Satriani and once again confirmed to a younger audience what Gilbert fans have known for over 20 years: that Paul Gilbert is simply one of the greatest guitar players on the planet today.

When excitedly discussing his newest record, Paul said: 'For my new 'Stone Pushing Uphill Man' album, I decided to bring my guitar to the forefront and let it sing. To do this, I used the inspiration of my favorite singers. Paul McCartney, Steven Tyler, Elton John, James Brown, Sting, k.d. lang, and more. These voices are always in my head. With my guitar I could finally reach their high notes. The challenge was to match their emotion and expression. This was my goal as a guitarist. 'Stone Pushing Uphill Man,' is the first big step to truly find my voice on the guitar. I wanted the inspiration of my favorite singers for such a big challenge, so I chose a lot of cover songs. I think listeners will be surprised at what I've been able to do with the guitar'.

Paul Gilbert "Stone Pushing Uphill Man" available August 5th at finer record stores, Amazon.com, iTunes and Shrapnel Records Inc.

TRACK LISTING

1. WORKING FOR THE WEEKEND
2. BACK IN THE SADDLE
3. I GOT THE FEELIN'
4. GOODBYE YELLOW BRICK ROAD
5. WHY CAN'T WE DO IT IN THE ROAD
6. SHOCK ABSORBER
7. PURPLE WITHOUT ALL THE RED
8. MURDER BY NUMBERS
9. MY GIRL
10. WASH ME CLEAN
11. STONE PUSHING UPHILL MAN

Points of Interest

' Gilbert's profile as a music educator, instructional video performer and international guitar clinician, and guitar designer continue to keep his visibility high.
' Response from Gilbert's fans was overwhelming for his last record, 'Vibrato', and they are about to get served up an even more impressive guitar smorgasbord, beyond their wildest hopes.
' Racer X remains one of Shrapnel's best-selling catalog items, fueled by guitar fans that want to hear Gilbert at his shredding best. 'Stone Pushing Uphill Man' contains some of Gilbert's best playing to date.

http://shrapnelrecords.com 

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Fri
04
Jul

MR. BIG STORIES WE COULD TELL DELUXE EDITION ANNOUNCED

Artist: 
The new Mr. Big album "The Stories We Could Tell" will be released worldwide in September. So far just the Japanese release date has been confirmed - September 10.
 
The exciting news is that the Deluxe Edition is a 2CD/1DVD package that will include the all-new studio album as well as a second disc of re-recorded tracks from the band's previous albums. No information as yet as to what those tracks will be.
 
Here’s the Japanese description: “Album from Mr. Big. This edition features K2HD mastering and HQCD format. Also includes a greatest hits album with tracks newly recorded in 2014 and a bonus DVD with the latest interview and more. 3D slipcase. *The DVD disc is encoded for region 2 (Japan, Europe, and Middle East), and no subtitles are included.”
 
Stay tuned for updated info ASAP!
 
 
 
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