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In almost any interview with Three Dog Night vocalist Chuck Negron, the conversation inevitably turns to drugs, their abuse, and redemption. Negron famously became a heroin addict at the height of his career, but eventually emerged from it in the 1980s, and you could say he’s been on a mission to warn others ever since.  He speaks very frankly and openly about it and doesn’t shy away from the conversation. I recently spoke with the legendary front man about a wide range of topics including his latest album, the fan-funded Generations, his time in Three Dog Night, his Latino heritage,…

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A cinematic quality surrounds several songs on The Last Few Beautiful Days, The Motels’ first new studio release in a decade. Its cover art displays a shuttered Troy, N.Y. movie theater built in 1914. Martha Davis says her compositions serve as time machines or travelling agents and are “supposed to transport you…When I was a five-year-old kid listening to [Stravinsky’s] ‘The Rite of Spring,’ my mind was blown. I remember floating in space; free falling.” The veteran singer, calling from a large farmhouse property she shares with six dogs, nine cats, four alpacas and three goats outside Portland, Ore., was…

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Passed over for years, The Cars are finally being inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. And it’s about time. Coming off like art-rock Beatles fronted by Buddy Holly, they delivered album after album of infectious pop music laced with a twisted, avant-garde sensibility, marrying mighty hooks, lush vocals, consummate musicality and forward thinking production into one package. https://twitter.com/ElliotEastonEE/status/983523613751037953 We caught up with lead guitarist and founding member Elliot Easton for a peek under the hood into the history of The Cars — past, present and future. Rock Cellar: What does it mean for The Cars to be…

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Photo: Dennis Manuel “Some people may not realize it but the Rascals were the first rock band in the world … in the center of the universe, New Jersey, the Rascals were the first band.” –  Steven Van Zandt, 1997 Induction of the Rascals into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame New Jersey has always been an essential part of the blue-eyed soul of the Rascals. In the 1960s, the Rascals produced a string of hits notable for the diversity of their sound. “Good Lovin’,” “Groovin’,” “How Can I Be Sure,” “A Beautiful Morning” and “People Got to Be…

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This past January, Rock Cellar attended the 2018 NAMM Show in Anaheim, California. Also attending this year’s event was Mercedes Lander, co-founder and drummer of the Canadian heavy metal band Kittie. Having recently celebrated their 20th anniversary as a band, the members of Kittie are finishing up work on a documentary film, Origins/Evolutions, chronicling their band, from its origins in London, Ontario in the late 1990s, through their Ozzfest performances and everything that came next. We caught up Mercedes at the Show for a fun interview — enjoy it below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RTYfvY7L9I Rock Cellar: Tell me about the new Kittie documentary,…

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Eric Clapton is one of the most skilled and creative guitarists of his generation. For more than 50 years “Slowhand” has brought his brand of blues and rock to bands that include the Yardbirds, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Cream, Blind Faith, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends and Derek and the Dominos. Clapton’s 1963-1965 stint with the Yardbirds came to an end with the release of “For Your Love.” Clapton, a blues purist, had no interest in recording three-minute pop hits. Clapton joined John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers for the album Blues Breakers, popularly known as The Beano Album because its cover shows Clapton…

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On June 23, 311 released Mosaic, the twelfth full-length album for the long-running alt/rock band. This time around, the band — vocalist/guitarist Nick Hexum, vocalist S.A. Martinez, bassist Aaron ‘P-Nut’ Wills, guitarist Tim Mahoney and drummer Chad Sexton — worked with producers John Feldmann and Scott “Scotch” Ralston, as well as a host of co-songwriters. The result is a rich, layered listen that truly is a Mosaic of sounds from the band, now veterans of the rock realm responsible for hits including “All Mixed Up,” “Amber,” “Beautiful Disaster” and more. Near the start of their 2017 Summer Unity Tour launch,…

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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame calls Jimi Hendrix “arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music.” Hendrix was an unparalleled guitarist and showman who helped launch the psychedelic rock era. In recent months we’ve asked musicians to recall their experiences with Bob Dylan  and Janis Joplin. In the third of the series, Rock Cellar asked some of the most respected artists in rock, blues and jazz  – including “Godfather of Fusion” Larry Coryell shortly before his untimely death – to share their recollections of the first time they heard Hendrix perform. Interviews have been edited for…

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Janis Joplin was called “the greatest white urban blues and soul singer of her generation” by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which inducted her in 1995. Joplin’s powerful, gritty vocals made songs like “Piece of My Heart,” “Ball and Chain,” “Summertime” and “Me and Bobby McGee” uniquely her own. Joplin, who died in 1970 at age 27 of an accidental drug overdose, burst on the music scene in 1966 as vocalist of San Francisco’s Big Brother and the Holding Company. The band’s manager, Chet Helms, encouraged its members to make Joplin their lead singer. Joplin’s triumphant performances at…

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Talk about better late than never. 44 years since it was recorded, Gary Wright’s 1972 album, Ring of Changes, finally saw release a few months back. And upon listening to the album, one is puzzled why Wright’s label, A&M Records, buried such a strong commercial release which had sat in the archives for more than four decades. Consummate musicianship and arrangements, powerful, emotive vocals and songs primed for heavy AOR airplay, fans of Wright can rejoice that this lost treasure is now being made available for the very first time. Best known for the smash ’70s hits “Dream Weaver” and “Love Is Alive” and as…

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