by Ross CAT

By Ross Cat

    TRUCKIN’ OFF TO BUFFALO…..Guitar prodigy DEREK TRUCKS and his band will be making a tour stop in town this Wednesday the 25th at the University of Buffalo Center for the Arts. DTB is on the road in support of their new album “Songlines”, which is set for release on Columbia Records February 21st. This latest effort finds the twenty-six year old guitarist/songwriter “Hittin the Note” with a passion and precision unmatched by any other guitarist of his generation.
    The nephew of ALLMAN BROTHERS drummer BUTCH TRUCKS; DEREK not only grew up with the BROTHERS he would eventually become part of the ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND. A touring musician since the age of twelve;TRUCKS along with GOV’T MULE guitarist WARREN HAYNES are responsible for rekindling the fire of the ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND live performances over the past decade.
    Already a veteran of the jam band circuit TRUCKS and his blistering axe have carved out a signature sound with this new disc. The albums twelve songs are a celestially crafted body of work that intertwines musical influences from around the world. The blues based album is sweetened by the soulful sounds of a rhythm section that is in a groove, which is markedly evident on the second track “I’ll Find My Way Out”. Track seven “Revolution", is a tenacious tune that finds the band hitting on all cylinders. “Songlines” also features the debut of impassioned vocalist MIKE MATTISON whose vigorous voice melds the music and its message.
    The DEREK TRUCKS BAND will be on the road through March, check out the bands website at for dates and cities. TRUCKS will then join the ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND as they play the annual Beacon Theatre Run in New York on March 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25. Check out the BROTHERS website at for instant live recordings of the bands shows.
    DRIVE...One of the more interesting rock and roll storylines developing this year has musical maverick TODD RUNDGREN getting behind the wheel of a CARS reunion. Following the success of his 2004 “Liars” tour, which is available on DVD. RUNDGREN has confirmed on his website, that he along with KASIM SULTAN and PRAIRIE PRINCE will join CARS members ELLIOT EASTON and GREG HAWKES for a new inCARnation of the band. Original vocalist RIC OCASEK has declined the invite to reunite; he has just released a solo album titled “Nexterday”.  Original bassist BEN ORR passed away in 2000. Sources say the band will not only tour this year but are recording new material as well. NIGHTLIFE will keep chasing down this CARS story as it develops.
    BRAND NEW SHINE...While most bands are “Counting the Days” to their first record deal, Multi-Platinum recording artist COLLECTIVE SOUL have gone Indie and are feeling “Better Now”. This past year has been a liberating one for a band who spent most of the nineties topping the charts with seven #1 singles and selling over 10 million albums, amply fulfilling their contractual obligation to ATLANTIC RECORDS. With those credentials behind them the boys from Atlanta decided to start their own Indie Label called EL MUSIC GROUP with the intentions of owning all the rights and masters to whatever music they record.
    Following a four year hiatus and the addition of guitarist JOEL KOSCHE, the ROLAND BROTHERS and bassist WILL TURPIN have carried over the success with a rejuvenated sound, laced with “Heavy” guitar licks and complex arrangements. The release of “Youth” in late 2004 finds singer/songwriter ED ROLAND lyrically illuminating, taking the band to a new level behind the sizzling single “Better Now”, this was no easy task considering their previous chart success. This past year found the band pounding it out on the road which included two amazing gigs in Western New York including a blow out show at the Canal Festival last summer.
    Great news for COLLECTIVE SOUL fans who didn’t get to see the band on tour,  February 7th will mark the release of “Home: A Live Concert Recording with the ATLANTA SYMPHONY YOUTH ORCHESTRA”, available on both DVD and CD. The show was recorded in the bands hometown of Hotlanta last April as they shared the stage with an exuberant group of young musicians. NIGHTLIFE had the pleasure to speak with bassist/percussionist WILL TURPIN about the show and what’s in store for the band in the New Year:

  R.Cat.- Congratulations on the success of “Youth” this past year. Was the making of this record more gratifying for the band because it was done on your own terms and label?

  W.T.- Thanks so much. It really was a satisfying experience; we went out on a limb with no record label to back us up. It was a challenge for us as musicians but we are really proud of the success that has come from it.

  R.Cat.- The concert DVD really captures the bands new found enthusiasm which is equaled by the ATLANTA SYMPHONY YOUTH ORCHESTRA. Was it a conscious decision to go with the “Youth” theme as opposed to a veteran group of performers?

  W.T.- There were a couple different factors that came into play. The album title reference definitely was a factor when we decided on how to go about choosing the Symphony. More importantly, these musicians are a well trained and well rehearsed group of young professionals. We felt they brought the same eagerness to the live performance that we felt after being away from the stage for a few years. This really gave the songs both old and new an added dimension. We told the youngsters to be loose, and when you’re not playing its O.K. to enjoy the show like the fans in front of them.

  R.Cat.-  This had to be an amazing experience for the young musicians whose ages range from 14-19 years old. How long did the orchestra get to rehearse with the band?

  W.T.- We took about a week to prepare both ourselves and the orchestra for the show knowing it was going to be recorded for DVD/CD release on February 7th. Normally COLLCETIVE SOUL doesn’t have the full dress rehearsal thing, but in this instance we did two of those during the week, then the actual shows where done on Friday and Saturday night. We are really happy with how it all turned out.

  R.Cat.- It really has been a great year for the band, what can fans look forward to in 2006 from COLLECTIVE SOUL?

  W.T.-We really enjoyed being out on the road last year we did over 160 shows and it was great to reconnect with our fans after sometime away. We will be heading out again this summer; we are currently looking at a couple of packages that will include touring in a festival style format. So we hope to see all you fine folks in Buffalo again this year. NIGHTLIFE would like to thank WILL TURPIN for his time and Heather Lindner from Deborah Radel Public Relations for putting this together. You can see the band perform their next single “Counting the Days” on the Tonight Show with JAY LENO on Friday February 3rd.
    JANUARY FRIEND...Although it may be just a bit premature to be thinking about spring, April 6th may be a date to mark on your calendar. Hometown hero’s the GOO GOO DOLLS will release “Let Love In” the bands next studio effort. Since the release of the July 4th concert DVD in 2004 the GOO’S have enjoyed great success with the singles “Give a Little Bit” and “Better Days”. NIGHTLIFE will try to “Slide” in an interview with the band before the disc hits the street.  Also look for a full scale tour in 2006 that will include a Darien Lake PAC summer show. 
    GAMBLE ON... The Seneca Niagara Casino has joined the high stakes of live music with the opening of their brand new state of the art entertainment facility. The SENECA EVENTS CENTER which is located inside the luxurious SENECA NIAGARA CASINO and HOTEL has a seating capacity of 2200, this beautiful facility should draw in many new and diverse performers to the region. Artist already slated to roll into town include comedian BILL COSBY on January 21st, BROOKS and DUNN on February 17th, ANN and NANCY WILSON of HEART on March 11th, and Jazz legend GEORGE BENSON on March 25th.
    With all the new wonderful facilities within the Casino we don’t want the intimate surroundings of the Bear’s Den Showroom to get lost in the shuffle. They will welcome the JEFFERSON STARSHIP FAMILY REUNION for two shows on Friday February 24th, and Saturday February 25th. Ticket information and show times can be found at
    LOCAL SUPPORT... With the closing of Media Play we at NIGHTLIFE would like to remind music fans about the many great convenient locations that longtime local merchants RECORD THEATRE offers to Western New York. Check out for information on stores in Buffalo, Amherst, Hamburg, Lancaster, Niagara Falls, and Rochester, and be sure to drop your music coin at a location near you. 
    PRESS RELEASE: Nightlife Magazine is proud to announce an exciting new collaboration with Best of  Powered by Bob Luterek and the fine folks at LK, this site is your one hit click to all that is hot in entertainment in Western New York. The NIGHTLIFE Rock Report is now available online @ and will include a Bonus Tracks section that will contain more music news and interviews not found in the weekly publication. This month will include a conversation with JACK BLADES of NIGHT RANGER, along with news on THE WHO, and the “Unchained” DAVID LEE ROTH radio gig.

**************WEB BONUS TRACKS**************
    JACK OF ALL TRADES…..Classic rock radio welcomes yet another chart topping act to the Silver Anniversary fellowship in 2005 as NIGHT RANGER celebrates this monumental plateau. To commemorate the occasion the boys from the BAY area released a record last November titled NIGHT RANGER: Hits Acoustic & Rarities. The disc touches on the bands huge success of the mid-eighties with the hit singles “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” and the immensely popular soundtrack favorite “Sister Christian”. The disc also offers up recent renditions of each song both live and acoustic, well worth a listen.
    That being said anyone who knows about the band most certainly knows that JACK BLADES and company won’t be satisfied with just a walk down “Sentimental Street”, as they plan to keep “Rocking America” in the New Year. NIGHT RANGER is currently working on brand new material for a new album and tour this year. That’s not all that is coming out of the NIGHT RANGER camp these days as singer/songwriter and bassist extraordinaire JACK BLADES has several other irons in the fire, including collaborations with several of his Rock and Roll comrades. NIGHT- LIFE had the pleasure to speak with the multi-faceted musician, and all around nice guy about what’s in store for 2006

  R.Cat.- Congratulations on not only surviving twenty-five years in the music business but doing so quite successfully.

  J.B.- Thank you so much.  We are really proud of that accomplishment. The guys really enjoyed putting together the Anniversary album especially the acoustic version of “Sister Christian” as well as the live cut of “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me”.  What is even more exciting for us is we are in the middle of recording an album of brand new material which will be out this year.

  R.Cat.- You’ve enjoyed great success writing and producing for yourself but you also have quite a list of credits with other artist the likes of AEROSMITH, ALICE COOPER, ROGER DALTRY, CHER, and OZZY just to name a few. How did you get involved in those different aspects of music?

  J.B.- I’m not just a musician I’m a fan of music. I ‘ve had the great fortune to be able to sit down with guys like STEVEN TYLER and JOE PERRY, when you’re writing with them they make you feel like your part of the band. I really enjoy co-writing especially with artist whom I have great respect for.  I’m also currently working with my old “DAMN YANKEES” band mates. TOMMY SHAW and I are releasing an album this year called “Influence”, which is a set of cover tunes that we really love playing. I’m also slated to produce the new TED NUGENT album this year. So I really thrive on keeping busy and collaborating with artist on several different styles of music. As a matter of fact I recently spent some time in Nashville working with some country artist.

  R.Cat.- What a great lead in to my next question. You’ve proven to be quite an all around talent throughout your storied career not only fronting NIGHT RANGER, you were also a member of the 1990’s super group “DAMN YANKEES” which included Rock and Roll’s favorite madman TED NUGENT and STYX singer/guitarist TOMMY SHAW. How did that all come about, and is there any chance that group my reform in the future?

  J.B.- It got started when a friend of mine at Geffen Records told me that SHAW and NUGENT were in New York working on material as asked me to sit in, NIGHT RANGER had split for a while so I was all for it. I got there and Boom that first weekend we wrote half the first album. As it turns out TOMMY and I have since become close friends. We really didn’t go in looking to make a chart topping record it just kind of happened. Even at that time we were considered dinosaurs so we didn’t really know what to expect. People have been trying to discount TED for years and he just continues to piss people off and I just love it. As for a reunion I myself hope so, it really was a positive experience, we toured relentlessly and it was a blast. I think it could happen considering the strong relationships we all still have.

  R.Cat.- You also hold the prestigious title of Band Camp Director at the ROCK and ROLL FANTASY CAMP, scheduled for February 16-20 in Hollywood, CA. Tell us about that gig and do you get many flute players?

  J.B.- That is something that is just a huge thrill for me probably even more so then the aspiring campers who come along. It really is amazing spending time with people who want to know what it’s like to put together a group, then a song, and finally a performance, we manage to pull it off all in one weekend. What’s even more electrifying is I get to play a WHO song with ROGER DALTRY singing right next to me. The list of artist who participate is amazing. This year we will have ROGER as I mentioned, all the guys from CHEAP TRICK, DICKEY BETTS formerly of the ALLMAN BROTHERS, and NEAL SCHON of JOURNEY. Those are just few of the musicians, you can check out the website at for other performers and how to sign up for band camp.
    We at NIGHT-LIFE would like to thank JACK BLADES for taking time out of his extremely busy schedule to speak with us.  Also we would like to thank Jeff Albright from the Albright Entertainment Group for setting up the interview. 
    LISTENING TO YOU…..It appears that WHO fans “Won’t Get Fooled Again” this year as PETE TOWNSHEND and ROGER DALTRY will finally complete their first album of new material in over two decades.  The duo did write two new songs for their greatest hits package prior to touring in 2002. Slated to be titled WHO2 the band will also tour once again this year. The legendary guitarist has been posting a journal on his website  explaining why he has struggled in getting out new material. In recent years TOWNSHEND has come clean about the severe hearing loss he has suffered over many years in the studio. Many people have this misconception that the reputation of the WHO’S legendary live performances may have caused this; TOWNSHEND explains that was not the case. “It was not the live loud shows that caused my hearing to deteriorate; it was the headphones from working in the studio.  In the studio there are often accidental buzzes, shrieks, and poor connections that cause temporary high level sounds which have caused me long term damage.
    “You Better You Bet” that NIGHT-LIFE will keep an ear to the ground for any breaking news from the WHO front.
    UNCHAINED…..How ironic is it that DAVID LEE ROTH is now facing the daunting task of replacing a legend behind the mic? Since the departure of HOWARD STERN to Sirius Satellite, ROTH has taken over the morning drive spot once held by the King of All Media as a DJ, and ROTH is wasting not time Rocking the Cradle.
    Since leaving VAN HALEN in 1984 ROTH has had a less then stellar solo career. After a failed attempt to “Jump” back in with the band in the late 1990’s ROTH is using his new medium to get the rumor mill rolling again. On his first radio show ROTH proclaimed that; “a VAN HALEN reunion with him fronting the band is inevitable”. He claims that he has had regular communication with drummer ALEX VAN HALEN and feels it’s just a matter of time. This is being denied by sources close to guitarist EDWARD VAN HALEN who say, when it comes to working with DIAMOND DAVE again EDDIE “Ain’t Talkin’‘Bout Love”.
    In other related VH news former front man SAMMY HAGAR who never gives his fans the “Runaround”, continues to pump out new music with his band “The Waborita’s”. HAGAR has a new album ready for the spring and Redheads can expect a summertime tour. NIGHT-LIFE Magazine is ready to set sail to CABO with the Red Rocker as we will embark on the 1st annual CABO WABO Cruise. The seven day cruise in April will take fans to the world famous CABO WABO Cantina where we will be treated to a concert with SAMMY HAGAR and the WABORITA’S. NIGHT-LIFE will have a full report on the cruise and the concert in May. There is still space available check out for more information.
    If any of you Rock and Rollers want to contact the NIGHT-LIFE Rock Report you may do so at  Please feel free to send along this issue to any friends outside the region.  PEACE, Ross Cat.

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