This month should host a fiftieth anniversary of LOVE AFFAIR’s “Everlasting Love” reaching the peak of charts, and Steve Ellis – one of the best rhythm-and-blues singers that Blighty produced – having become a star he deserved to be. Only it’s not the time for a celebration; fanfares will sound on April 20th, when “Boom! Bang! Twang!”, the veteran’s new album, is supposed to hit the shelves. Appearing seven years down the line after "Ten Commitments" and rather hot on the heels of the WIDOWMAKER anthology which served to remind the vocalist is able to handle heavier material alongside soul, this record finds Steve deliver a heady mix of covers and originals, some featuring Ellis’ famous friends.
Given his genius, it’s fairly surprising that George Harrison‘s songs are relatively rarely covered by other artists, and Randy Bachman would be one of the first to concur. It’s equally surprising, though, given the heavy slant of THE GUESS WHO and BACHMAN-TURNER OVERDRIVE founding member’s oeuvre, that the Canadian rocker dedicates an entire album to The Quiet Beatle. Out on March 2nd, “By George – By Bachman” focuses on the tracks Harrison composed for The Fab Four, but also includes his solo composition and a number he co-wrote with TRAVELING WILBURYS, while bits and pieces of his other songs are strewn across the record.
It’s been almost two years since these pages reported the news about the collaboration between David Cross and David Jackson, but it took some time for the former KING CRIMSON violinist and erstwhile VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR sax player to finally have results of their joint venture ready for release. Some people might hear some of this material from the stage, because the veterans didn’t limit their creative union to the studio, yet the album titled “Another Day” will be released on March 16th. Laid down in a quartet format, the record is to become the focus of the ensemble’s tour – and that’s where the most teasing improvisations can happen.
In Mick Clarke‘s world new year means new album – with the same color, of course, as his chosen genre, blues, dictates, although with a different, hue. “Bent Frets” that follows up 2017’s "Diggin' Down" – available for download now at all major digital platforms, with a CD to emerge a little later – is a typical for a KILLING FLOOR guitarist collection of original compositions and covers which complement them. This time, there are four classics on offer, one being Tarheel Slim’s “Number Nine,” a connoisseur delight.
A very private person, Dave Holland, who passed away a few days ago, aged 69, used to be heard far and wide. Mostly famous for his decade-long run with JUDAS PRIEST and contributing to such classics as “British Steel” that propelled the band to the forefront of heavy metal, Holland had also played on every recording by TRAPEZE (whose former management confirmed the sad news), where Dave’s chops were an integral part of trio tissue, especially when his drums locked in with Glenn Hughes‘ bass.
Much later Glenn invited his former colleague to help him and fellow Black Country man Tony Iommi lay down an album, but Holland’s parts would be erased, to remain only on bootlegs, due to Dave’s imprisonment which the drummer always maintained was unjust as he insisted he was innocent.
Hard rock and funk didn’t limit the drummer’s approach; among the albums Holland performed on are two LPs by an old friend Justin Hayward of THE MOODY BLUES whose label signed TRAPEZE, although those albums aren’t many. Dave could have done more and deserved more in terms of recognition. May he rest in peace.