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Author Ken Sharp

The title of the first solo album by Moody Blues guitarist/lead vocalist Justin Hayward is Songwriter. Judging by Hayward’s remarkably inventive output penning such enduring hits as Nights In White Satin, Tuesday Afternoon, Question, The Voice and others, that moniker is apt for this legendary artist — whose magnificent body of songs, jettisoning image and changing fads and trends, has kept him a vital part of popular music for over 50 years. Hayward’s new solo jaunt, dubbed Stage Door 2016, is named after a key song culled from that debut. “‘Stage Door’ has a particular resonance for me as when we were small boys, my…

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Decades since ELO first disbanded, its legacy has gotten bigger and bigger. The band’s inventive orchestral pop/rock farmed by band mastermind Jeff Lynne’s Technicolor “everything but the kitchen sink production” shamefully didn’t garner the respect and accolades they deserved from a jaded press corps. But in 2016, ELO, once wrongly written off by critics, is now rightfully regarded as high art. As architect of ELO’s sound, production and songwriter, Jeff Lynne is now being afforded the respect he deserves as one of music’s most consummate and skilled record makers. The new Jeff Lynne’s ELO album, Alone in the Universe, has…

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Delta Lady: A Memoir is the apt title of Lafayette, Tennessee-born singer Rita Coolidge’s new autobiography. That classic Leon Russell-penned track and his signature A Song For You were inspired by Coolidge — also the muse of onetime beau Stephen Stills, who wrote Cherokee about the talented singer/songwriter. But apart from her qualities as a muse of the highest order, Coolidge is a first class singer and songwriter– She co-penned Superstar, a monster hit for The Carpenters and also served as background vocalist for the likes of Eric Clapton’s After Midnight, Stills’ Love The One You’re With, Ray Charles’ Busted, Joe Cocker, Delaney…

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Via such epic singles as Shapes Of Things, Heart Full of Soul, For Your Love, Over Under Sideways Down, Happenings Ten Years Time Ago and others, The Yardbirds made their mark in the ’60s with a sound awash in gritty blues rock swagger. It also didn’t hurt that the band showcased in its ranks three of rock’s greatest guitar players, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. A pivotal influence on the likes of Aerosmith, The Black Crowes and sundry other bands, The Yardbirds legacy lives on through a new ensemble numbering original drummer Jim McCarty and new recruits, John…

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In commemoration of their 50th anniversary, The Monkees have pulled off the impossible with Good Times, the group’s first new studio album in 20 years. The LP is truly a timeless record that stands up proudly against their most revered recordings (i.e.-Headquarters and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, Jones Ltd.) Marrying disparate strands of pop, folk, country, bubblegum and psychedelia, the album, produced by Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne fame, is a well-considered and welcome throwback to their classic ’60s sound with strong contributions from surviving members Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork along with the late Davy Jones — who is represented…

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It takes a special artist to merit induction into The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame and an even more extraordinary one to be inducted twice into that hallowed institution. Graham Nash is one of those extraordinary artists who has found his way into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as both a member of ’60s British sensations The Hollies and with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. And while he’s celebrated as a consummate master of exquisite harmonies amply displayed in both of those legendary outfits, he’s managed to carefully and diplomatically circumnavigate disharmony in the ranks of those groups with…

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By the early ’80s, guitarist Brad Whitford and lead singer/guitarist Derek St. Holmes, members of Aerosmith and Ted Nugent respectively, had departed from their classic bands and were forging out together on a new project aptly titled Whitford St. Holmes. In 1981, the duo issued a self-titled album, packed with radio-friendly songs bursting with power charged riffs, passionate, soulful singing and giant hooks. Inexplicably, the album failed to make a commercial dent on the charts and after a slate of touring dates they disbanded. Now a remarkable 35 years later, they’ve joined forces once again and have returned with a…

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For self-respecting music fans, Andy Partridge is rightly revered as one of the most important songwriters in popular music based on his stellar work in XTC. But away from his own work, Partridge is a huge fan of rock and roll, from Pink Floyd to the Beatles, The Byrds to The Hollies, Small Faces to The Kinks, and all groups in between. He’s also a diehard Monkees fan. So when he received the call to submit new songs for a Monkees album, he woodshedded and delivered a parcel of pop jewels embroidered with Monkee magic. Andy shares his love of the…

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Just like the Beach Boys, a band that featured brothers Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson and cousin Mike Love (plus Alan Jardine), ‘60s female surf group The Honeys featured two sisters, Marilyn and Diane Rovell and cousin Ginger Blake. The trio clicked musically and created their own signature brand of feel good music with classics like He’s A Doll and Hide Go Seek. Rock Cellar Magazine sat down with Marilyn Wilson and Ginger Blake, two of the three founding members of The Honeys, for a fun filled look back at their career. The band formed in 1961 and was originally called The Rovell Sisters,…

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B.B. King is championed by pundits as the quintessential blues guitar player. Since his emergence in the Fifties, King, trusty black Gibson “Lucille” guitar in hand, wowed audiences with his gritty, expressive voice and spectacular blues guitar playing. He could say more in one note than others could say in a hundred. In recent years received kudos for his high-profile collaborations with rock giants, Eric Clapton (Riding With The King) and U2 (When Love Comes To Town) and continued touring until his recent passing at the age of 89.  But his legacy is so vast, his influence so unmeasurable that…

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