6.13.2016

BASS LEGEND: STU HAMM WITH THE KENNY HILL GROUP


Stu Hamm: Live at the Token Lounge
Keith Mansfield

Stuart Hamm is an American bass guitar player known for his session and live work with numerous artists as well for his unconventional playing style and solo recordings. Full Bio Here

When I first got the assignment to go see a bass solo show I thought, really? When I found out that bassist was Stu Hamm, my thoughts changed to, well, this could be interesting. Stu Hamm, for the uninitiated, has played with pyrotechnical guitar shredders like Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, Yngwie Malmsteen & Steve Vai. Stu has recorded and toured with everyone from Bette Midler to Chic Corea, Michael Schenker, and everyone in between.


This intimate show at the Token Lounge on Sunday night was unique and delightful. There were no backing tracks, no loops just Stu, his bass and his stories. He opened the show with, according to him, an old Irish drinking song made famous by Jimi Hendrix.

That would be The Star Spangled Banner followed by America the Beautiful. He told the audience about moving to California at the behest of his old college pal Steve Vai. This little story, one of the many he shared, was followed by his bass solo of Zeppelin's Going to California.

Stu performed songs from The Beatles, Satriani, Vai and even the Partridge family.  All in all, a different but very enjoyable evening with the promise of returning in August with his full band. 


The show was opened by special guests The Kenny Hill Group. A tight three piece band from Redford that rocked several instrumentals and got the small but passionate crowd cranked up and ready.

Keith Mansfield

6.11.2016

"5 CARAT ROCK" Shines Brightly For SWEET CRYSTAL


DETROIT:  “5 CARAT ROCK”– the fifth release from fifteen time (and counting) Detroit Music Award winning rock band SWEET CRYSTAL is shining even brighter, thanks to their ongoing collaboration with engineer/producer  Chuck Alkazian (Christina Aguilera, Mitch Ryder, Pop Evil).

The new 7 song, 8 track (more on that later) EP features all the stellar guitar tones and solos, keyboard melodies and arrangements  and dynamic vocal performances of previous SWEET CRYSTAL releases, but it’s the addition of Pearl Sound Studios (Canton, MI) signature live drum tracks and Alkazian’s bass playing that makes this the most powerful and poignant project to date for the band – and that’s saying a lot.

“There are some pretty sweet themes behind the original songs on 5 Carat Rock” says founding member Marq Andrew Speck. “The opening track “Even Now” is based on how our lives parallel the story of Lazarus in the Bible. “Come As We Are” is the first full out praise-n-worship song we’ve ever written. “Jericho” equates the walls we build in our lives to those of that ill-fated city in the Old Testament and “Can’t Turn Back” is a reflection on how we react as we encounter the world around us. There will be a song or two (Ed. Note: or more) in 5 Carat Rock that touches everyone right where they live.”

The physical CD (released on the Nightcrier Music label) also contains bonus tracks not available as downloads: SWEET CRYSTAL not only covers music from two iconic artists (Bob Dylan and Motley Crue), but perhaps the most interesting cut is Track 8 - “Sgt. Penney 1945 (Live)”. This historic audio archive is a restored live recording from a young soldier, originally broadcast in 1945 from the Pacific front during World War II back to a Detroit radio station. “There is a very unique connection between this decorated warrior and the band that made this well worth documenting on this release” says Speck.

The core trio of musicians that make up SWEET CRYSTAL - Marq Andrew Speck (lead vocal, anything with keys), Bill Blatter (vocals, anything with strings) and Steve Wieser (anything hit with sticks) remains standing strong on the front lines of the Michigan music scene. Their music, message, mission and ministry continue and show no sign of slowing down any time soon.

SWEET CRYSTAL and 5 CARAT ROCK – still “Reaching The World, One Song At A Time ™”!

Follow SWEET CRYSTAL  on FacebookTwitter and at www.sweetcrystal.com

Previous Releases Also Available At http://sweetcrystal.bandcamp.com/




6.05.2016

CINETOPIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2016!

http://www.cinetopiafestival.org/2016-program/

Cinetopia International Film Festival is here again! They have ten days of film screenings, special events, celebrities, filmmakers and film fans experience excellent cinema at venues throughout the Detroit region.


Thanks to the help from their Cinetopia partners at the Arab American National Museum, Cinema Detroit, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, College for Creative Studies, the Henry Ford Giant Screen Experience, the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, the Maple Theater, Redford Theatre, Campus Martius, New Center Park, Ford Resource and Engagement Center, and the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, together with the Michigan Theater and the State Theatre in Ann Arbor, movie lovers now have approximately 120 screenings from which to choose over the festival’s ten days!



6.04.2016

IGGY POP LIVE AT BASEL: FILM PREMIERE IN DETROIT & ANN ARBOR!


Sun, Jun 5 7:00 PM

Detroit Film Theatre

Sun, Jun 12 7:00 PM Ann Arbor

Michigan Theater - Auditorium


There’s a reason why many consider Iggy Pop the godfather of punk – every single punk band of the past and present has either knowingly or unknowingly borrowed a thing or two from Pop and his late ’60-early ’70 band, the Stooges. Iggy Pop, an outstanding artist known for his outrageous and unpredictable stage antics, sings at the Baloise Session in Basel, Switzerland, where he was honored with a 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award.


This fantastic performance features many of Iggy Pop’s top hits, including I Wanna be Your Dog, The Passenger, Lust for Life and many more. Advance tickets and festival passes are available at the Cinetopia Film Festival website. - See more RETROKIMMER.COM

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