New Cars — It's Alive!
(Eleven Eleven 7058312, 2006, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2007-03-01
Reunion incantations of classic acts have been part of the rock and roll roadmap since the 50s. Only rarely does a group eclipse the live persona of its original instance. Todd Rundgren had been friends for quite a while with guitarist Eliot Easton since The Cars’ original inception. He has brought along Kasim Sultan (ex-Utopia) and Prairie Prince (ex-The Tubes) to patent a credible version of an early 80s hit machine that is as fun now as it was then. Todd is as natural as he is unlikely for the front man role left vacant by Ric Ocasek. His droll delivery across the disc on the band’s best known hits including “You’re All I’ve Got Tonight,” “Good Times Roll,” and “Let’s Go,” shows a careful respect for the their still radio friendly repertoire. It’s Easton and keyboardist Greg Hawkes who push this well-oiled machine into high gear on tracks such as “Candy-O” and “Bye Bye Love,” where it’s all riffs and serious hard rocking. The real bolt from the blue is Sultan’s lead vocal on Ben Orr’s signature piece “Drive” that carries all the sentimental weight of the original. New songs in the same vein include “Not Tonight,” “Warm,” and “More,” which hint at the spirit of the band which fortunately stops short of self parody. Considering Todd has stated he can pay his bills and have fun playing the hits live it’s no wonder the CD is a clever success.
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more