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Vernon Reid Band Review
Joe Milliken
The Jock of Rock
December 2, 2019
0


Concert Review
The Vernon Reid Band of Gypsys Revisited Band
The Stone Church – Brattleboro, Vermont
Review and photos by Joe Milliken

Upon learning on a last-minute tip that virtuoso and former lead guitarist of Living Colour, Vernon Reid, was performing at the intimate and very cool Stone Church, I was certainly interested in attending the performance. However, once I learned that The Vernon Reid Band of Gypsys Revisited Band (VR-BOG-RB) would be performing Jimi Hendrix songs from the legend’s 1970 “Live at The Fillmore East” album, something was telling me that I had to be there!

Reid and his bandmates, Andre Dre Glo on guitar and vocals, James “Biscuit” Rouse on drums and vocals and Jared Michael Nickerson on bass and vocals, have all known each other since the mid-80s and now over 30 years later, have come together to revisit, recreate, and explore the Hendrix-Gypsys concept undertaken on “Live at The Fillmore East” of never playing the songs the same way twice!

Recorded on New Year’s Eve in 1969 and New Year’s Day in 1970, Jimi’s Band of Gypsys’ debut release was a groundbreaking album featuring improvisational rock songs, but up to that point, improvisation had (mostly) only been performed within a jazz music context.

However, don’t assume that the VR-BOG-RB is a “covers band,” for there’s a big difference between performing covers and recreating the improvisational experience of the Fillmore album’s songs. This band cleverly and impressively uses the source material from the album as a springboard to explore their own interpretations.

On this night and basking in the wonderful acoustics of this church-turned-music room, Vernon and company not only churned out the Fillmore East album, but other Hendrix classics as well, giving the songs creative, explosive, and sometimes even humorous treatments. A few of these classics included “Are You Experienced,” “Wind Cries Mary,” “Crosstown Traffic,” “Purple Haze,” “Message of Love,” and “Machine Gun.”

A few highlights for this reviewer included Reid’s amazing, jaw-dropping solos during “Are You Experienced” and “Wind Cries Mary,” guitarist Andre Lassalle’s smooth vocal and his own bluesy solo during “Experienced,” bassist Jared Michael Nickerson’s jazzy, deeply in-the-pocket bass lines in Purple Haze, “Biscuit” Rouse’s booming gospel-like vocals during “Them Changes,” and the blending of Reid’s medal guitar roots with Jimi’s more fluent style in his “Little Wing” and “Burning The Midnight Lamp” solos.

That said, these aforementioned “highlights” really only touch upon the overall musicianship witnessed during this unique and entertaining show. In all honesty, I could have written highlights about each and every song during the (roughly) two-hour set and on numerous occasions, the music before us was triggering my two friends and I to look at each other with mouth-agape amazement. Do yourself a favor, if you get the chance to see this band, I highly recommend you do just that!

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King Crimson review
Joe Milliken
The Jock of Rock
October 1, 2019
1

Photo by Joe Milliken

BOSTON – When one sees King Crimson in concert, it seems that describing it as simply “going to see a show” just isn’t good enough. It’s more like “a moving, emotional, musical experience” and on this warm September night at the elegant Wang Center in Boston, it was certainly a concert experience to behold.

This legendary progressive band, led by its ever-calculating founder and guitarist, Robert Fripp, not only creates a wide-ranging musical tapestry, but a uniquely visual one as well, and I certainly don’t mean by way of physical stage antics by its band members. (more…)

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An Exclusive Interview With Genesis’ Touring-Guitarist, Daryl Stuermer
Joe Milliken
The Jock of Rock
May 20, 2019
2

Genesis’ Touring-Guitarist, Daryl Stuermer (2007)Originally from Milwaukee, guitarist Daryl Stuermer is widely known for his work as touring guitarist for the legendary band Genesis, as well as working with, among others, front-man Phil Collins, during his solo career. Stuermer has appeared on all ten of Collins’ solo albums, including the multi-platinum-selling Face Value, Hello, I Must Be Going, No Jacket Required and …But Seriously albums. Stuermer has also worked with a variety of other artists over the years including jazz/fusion violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, Frank Zappa-band keyboardist George Duke, Joan Armatrading, and Earth, Wind & Fire’s Philip Bailey. (more…)

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An Interview With Guitar-Session legend Steve Hunter
Joe Milliken
The Jock of Rock
April 30, 2019
0
Guitar-Session legend Steve Hunter (2016)

Guitar-Session legend Steve Hunter (2016)Although many rock music aficionados might not be familiar with the name, Steve Hunter, rest assured you have heard his work somewhere along the line. You see, Mr. Hunter is a long-time (mostly) session guitarist who has worked with some of the genre’s biggest names. From Aerosmith and Peter Gabriel, to Lou Reed and Alice Cooper, to Dr. John, Mitch Ryder, David Lee Roth and Cream’s Jack Bruce, Mr. Hunter has carved out quite a niche for himself. (more…)

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An interview with a gentleman who booked shows for the famous 70s NYC club Max’s Kansas City!
Joe Milliken
The Jock of Rock
April 24, 2019
0

PeterMaxed Out! Talking Music At NYC’s Max’s Kansas City With Peter Crowley (2016)

OKEECHOBEE,FLORIDA – Max’s Kansas City was a legendary, New York City restaurant and night club. Opened in 1965 by the late Mickey Ruskin and located on Park Avenue South, Max’s was the night-spot for many of the city’s most influential artists and visionaries of the era, including musicians, painters, sculptors, art dealers, gallery owners, music critics, politicians, assorted hipsters and members of the trans gender and gay societies. Surely an eclectic crowd-mix, to say the very least. (more…)

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An interview with Legendary Drummer Bill Bruford.
Joe Milliken
The Jock of Rock
April 16, 2019
3
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 24: British Drummer Bill Bruford on stage doing a sound check at the Southbank Centre's Purcell Room on November 24, 2007 in London, England. The performance was part of the 2007 London Jazz Festival. (Photo by Rogan Coles)

Drummer, composer, and band leader, Bill Bruford

Drummer, composer, and band leader, Bill Bruford, is recognized as a highly versatile rock and jazz musicians. As a drummer, he helped pioneer the “art rock” genre in the 70’s with bands such as Yes, Genesis, and King Crimson, and would go on to form his own band, Bruford, a progressive outfit designed to satisfy his growing desire to create music outside of the rock realm. (more…)

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An Interview With Veteran Bassist/Vocalist Kasim Sulton (2014)
Joe Milliken
The Jock of Rock
April 8, 2019
1

An Interview With Veteran Bassist/Vocalist Kasim Sulton (2014)

Not only is bassist/vocalist Kasim Sulton the long-time sideman for the legendary Todd Rundgren and a founding member of Todd’s band Utopia, Kasim has also been a sought-after session musician for 40 years strong. His impressive list of credits includes working with Mick Jagger, Cheap Trick, Blue Oyster Cult, Meatloaf (yes, the Bat Out Of Hell album), Hall & Oates, Joan Jett, Rick Derringer, Patti Smith, Steve Stevens, Richie Sambora, Patty Smyth and Scandal, Indigo Girls and The New Cars. (more…)

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Bad Company
Joe Milliken
The Jock of Rock
April 3, 2019
0

1975, Bad Company released their second studio album titled “Straight Shooter.” Recorded at Clearwell Castle in Gloucestershire, England and produced by the band for Swan Song (label owned by Led Zeppelin), the album was released a month after the release of the hit single “Feel Like Makin’ Love.” (more…)

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Rockchat Rewind Joe Milliken
Joe Milliken
The Jock of Rock
April 2, 2019
0

On this day in 1975, guitar legend Jeff Beck released his second solo album titled “Blow By Blow.” Recorded at AIR studio in London and produced by George Martin, Beck had decided to record an “all-instrumental” jazz-fusion album after a brief audition to join The Rolling Stones didn’t “feel right” to him.

He put together a band for the release which included Max Middleton (from the Jeff Beck Group) on keyboards, Phil Chen on bass, Richard Bailey on drums and special guest Stevie Wonder on clavinet, who also contributed two songs to the album including “Thelonius” and “Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers,” which Beck dedicated to fellow guitarist Roy Buchanan. The result was a crisp, new direction for the solo artist after previously putting together a couple of bands that didn’t exactly light the world on fire. (more…)

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Rockchat Rewind
Joe Milliken
The Jock of Rock
March 14, 2019
0

This photo of Jimi Hendrix was taken by his girlfriend the last day of his life on September 18, 1970, he was only 27 years old. It’s hard to believe the influence he still has on music and pop culture today

when you consider he only released four studio albums within a four year span: “Are You Experienced” (1967), “Axis: Bold As Love” (1967), “Electric Ladyland” (1968) and “Band Of Gypsys” (1970). I mean, even the Beatles were around for a decade. Oh yeah, and he was the most creative and influential guitarist ever! #AreYouExperienced

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