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Author Ken Sharp

Being a member of the Foo Fighters, one of the world’s biggest rock bands, helps swing open some pretty wide doors. When he’s not recording and touring the globe, shredding on lead guitar alongside Dave Grohl and the Foos, Chris Shiflett forges a solo career and most importantly, is able to do it on his own terms, following his muse wherever it leads and not having to kowtow to commercial restraints/expectations. Hard Lessons, Shiflett’s new solo album rooted in a fiery hybrid of rock and country twang, rings true with the voice of a shining talent. Rock Cellar: Given your new…

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Powerhouse drummer Zak Starkey has sat behind the kit with The Who for many years, his exciting percussive style uncannily summoning up the spirit of the band’s legendary drummer Keith Moon. Having recently wrapped the first leg of a North American jaunt, the band will be back in the States in the fall continuing their new tour featuring The Who augmented by an orchestra. Away from his work in The Who, Zak, a devoted reggae fan since he was child, has launched a new label, Trojan Jamaica, with partner Sharna “Sshh” Liguz. Calling from Jamaica, the spiritual home of reggae…

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2019 marks the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, The three-day event dubbed “An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music,” which saw hundreds of thousands of music fans converge on a 600 acre farm in Bethel, New York to witness rock and roll history on August 15-18, 1969. Those fortunate to have attended and survived the rain, mud and brown acid were treated to a dazzling assemblage of some of music’s most spectacular artists, from Jimi Hendrix to The Who, CCR to CSNY, Sly & The Family Stone to Jefferson Airplane. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of this landmark…

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In an unprecedented span of just four years between 1968-1972, Creedence Clearwater Revival owned the record charts, selling more records than the Beatles for two years in a row (1969 & 1970) and racking up a dizzying succession of top 10 singles. In direct contrast to the sprawling experimental rock played by their contemporaries at the time, they were an unstoppable hit-making machine, wedding tight, hook-filled, exquisitely written songs bursting with fiery soul, contagious attitude and a joyous spirit. The original lineup of CCR, John Fogerty’s gravel-throated voice that could peel wall paper and stinging guitar licks, the reliable guitar…

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Looking like they stepped out of time machine with the dial switched to 1956, The Stray Cats emerged on the music scene in the early ‘80s with a stroking image, incendiary live performance and a trunk of catchy, radio friendly rockabilly flavored powerhouses that set the record charts on fire. “Stray Cat Strut,” “Rock This Town,” “Runaway Boys,” and (She’s) “Sexy & 17” were among the fusillade of hip swiveling, hell cat boppin’ signature tracks delivered by the trio. Returning to the music scene with a new album, 40, their first in 26 years, and bookmarked by an extensive European…

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While there are many acclaimed technical drummers in commercial rock music, Neil Peart of Rush, Stewart Copeland of The Police to name a few, Ringo Starr’s exceptional work as a drummer continues to elicit widespread praise from fellow musicians and the public at large. A master timekeeper, Ringo’s fine tuned intuitive style of playing for the song, whether executing as he’s described the “funny fills” in “Rain,” the exquisite “ less is more” drumming in “A Day In The Life,” the primal psych rock of “Tomorrow Never Knows” and sheer propulsive bliss of “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and…

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At age 73, founding Moby Grape guitarist Peter Lewis will release a new album, The Road To Zion, on July 16. Moby Grape were one of the most groundbreaking and creatively fertile rock outfits to spring from the San Francisco music scene in the late ‘60s. While the band never enjoyed the major success afforded their fellow Bay Area contemporaries like Jefferson Airplane, CCR, the Grateful Dead and Santana, their brand of trippy guitar driven transcendence earned them a place among critics and music fans as a seminal music force. The Road to Zion stands as a fitting testament, demonstrating…

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In the late ‘90s, Rodrigo Sánchez and Gabriela Quintero (of acclaimed guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela) were playing in the streets of Dublin, Ireland, busking for passersby and slowly honing their sound. It’s a sound they describe as fusion music; “It’s mainly got Latin harmonies and rhythms but the structure is rock. It’s not jazz because it’s structured, and we don’t improvise; our solos are exactly what’s on the record.” Six albums later, today Rodrigo y Gabriela are headlining all over the world and bringing their unique synthesis of musical styles to historic venues like The Hollywood Bowl. Mettavolution, the duo’s newest album, represents their latest…

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Back in the early ‘80s, Men At Work owned the radio airwaves with a flurry of insidiously infectious hits, “Who Can It Be Now?,” “Down Under, “Overkill” and “It’s A Mistake.” The deadly combination of consummately crafted hook laden songs built for radio and their emergence as video stars on a new burgeoning network known as MTV set the stage for a remarkable run on the charts. Since Men At Work called it quits in 1986, the group’s chief songwriter, Colin Hay, has carved out a respectable career as solo artist, his considerable gifts as a songwriter undiminished. A current…

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Having penned the ultimate snarling garage rock song, “Wild Thing,” songwriter/artist Chip Taylor set forth a legacy that would be assured for decades to come. A seasoned, gifted songwriter logging over 50 years of experience in the trenches —  he also composed the hits “I Can’t Let Go,” “Angel Of The Morning,” “Try (Just A Little Bit Harder,” “Julie,” among others — Taylor continues to be a vibrant participant in music, writing songs and issuing his own studio albums. His latest, Whiskey Salesman, is a rootsy slice of Americana. He’s also building a whole new fan base of younger generation…

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