It’s rare to find a ’60s legend still on trailblazing form in their eighth decade. The 73-year-old guitarist finds himself in a golden late-bloom of creativity. In recent years, his solo output has been championed by both press and public, with the impact of 2014’s ‘Something’s About To Change’, 2016’s ‘Where You Are Going To’ and 2017’s ‘Time & Emotion’ setting up some of his best-attended US dates since he conquered that continent with ‘Bridge Of Sighs’ in the mid-’70s.
 
The bluesman’s back pages leave no doubt of his towering contribution. Follow the thread back to ’50s Southend, where the teenage Trower lived and breathed a vinyl collection that left an indelible mark on him. Making his first mark in R&B hopefuls The Paramounts, he then forged his reputation over a five-album tenure with Procol Harum. His solo career exploded in 1974 with ‘Bridge Of Sighs’, the gold-selling masterpiece. Suddenly, Trower was a mainstream draw in the States, booming from prime-time radio, taking the stage at stadiums. That wave of popularity carried Trower into a series of celebrated collaborations with Jack Bruce that began with B.L.T. (1981), and even saw him guesting on tracks for Bryan Ferry’s acclaimed Taxi (1993).
 
With ‘Coming Closer To The Day’, his songcraft and soulful performances have never sounded more alive – even on an album whose title track acknowledges that life is short and time precious. “I’m saying that I’m nearer the end than the beginning,” he explains. “But that doesn’t scare me. Not at all. If I went tomorrow, I’d feel like I’d been blessed with being able to achieve an incredible amount as a musician.”

The album was recorded at Studio 91 in Newbury, with engineer Sam Winfield. “’Diving Bell’ is probably my favourite track on the album,” he says. “‘Truth Or Lies’, that one was quite hard to pull off. I love the song, but I recorded it once and wasn’t happy with it, so I started from scratch again. It’s got quite a strong early R&B flavour to it. That song is not really about me. I’m writing from the viewpoint of a guy whose loved one has been messing around. ‘Someone Of Great Renown’, again, that song isn’t about me, but it’s maybe someone that I’d like to be.”
 
“’Lonesome Road’,” he continues, “that’s about me touring and asking how long I can go on with it. That’s definitely coming from my heart and head. ‘Ghosts’ is about things from the past where you didn’t do right in your personal life. ‘Don’t Ever Change’ is an out-and-out love song: a very nice, easy vibe, but still quite soulful.”
 
The calibre of the songwriting on ‘Coming Closer To The Day’ is matched by Trower’s performances, with the bandleader handling all instruments except the drums. His basslines are supple and rhythmic, his vocals growl and the lead guitar work only adds to his reputation as an all-time-great soloist. 
 
For Robin Trower, the next great song is always right there at his fingertips. For five decades, the iconic British bluesman has written the same way. The valves glow in his Marshall amplifier. Those fabled hands roam the neck of his Fender Stratocaster. Then the music starts to flow: raw and real, played with fire and skill, untainted by commercial aspirations, accompanied by lyrics that get to the guts of the matter.

Tracklisting

  1. Diving Bell
  2. Truth or Lies
  3. Coming Closer to the Day
  4. Ghosts
  5. Tide of Confusion
  6. The Perfect Wrong
  7. Little Girl Blue
  8. Someone of Great Renown
  9. Lonesome Road
  10. Tell Me
  11. Don't Ever Change
  12. Take Me with You

 

Loudersound.com asked former Slipknot drummer, Joey Jordison, to name his favourite drummers of all time. Here you can see what Jordison answered:

John Bohnam (Led Zeppelin)

Neal Peart (Rush)

Keith Moon (The Who)

Bill Ward (Black Sababth)

Lars Ulrich (Metallica)

Charlie Benante (Anthrax)

Brann Dailor (Mastodon)

Danny Heifetz (Mr. Bungle)

Hellhammer (Mayhem)

and Dave Lombardo (Slayer, etc).

 

 

 

 

 

Ted McKenna is no longer with us. He died today at the age of 68. The famous Scottish drummer had played with the following acts: The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Rory Gallagher, Michael Schenker Group, Ian Gillan etc. Most recently, he toured and recorded with Gerry McAvoy, Marcel Scherpenzeel and Davy Knowles in Band of Friends, a celebration of the music of Rory Gallagher, and Michael Schenker Fest, which reunited the legendary German guitarist with three former MSG singers, Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet and Robin McAuley.

Some first reactions to McKenna's passing:

"Awoke this morning to the terrible news that our beloved brother Ted has left us. Seemingly he passed away during complications with his operation for his hernia. My most heartfelt condolences to all his friends and family... Just can't believe it." - Chris Glen

"I just heard the tragic news today that my dear friend Ted McKenna passed away this morning. A fabulous musician and one of the all-time greats who inspired so many rock drummers across generations he was a truly legendary stick man who graced so many kits behind so many world-famous bands. I had the enormous pleasure of not only working in the studio with him but also sharing stages in various incarnations over the years. He was a monster drummer with endless energies who played with so much soul and passion and drove songs with a power and grace like no other.

"But it wasn't only his playing that made him such a legend. He was a beautiful man who could drift from the comic to the serious, abound with stories and anecdotes, a perpetual smile despite all the difficulties he encountered and suffered over the years with never a bad word to say about anyone. I loved his bear hugs and his enthusiasm for everything. Always positive and always there for you if you needed him. He was a man's man and I am honoured to have had him as a true friend.

"My heart goes out to his family and his friends, of which he had so many and to all the people he touched with the music over his long years with us. He will be deeply missed and never replaced.

"Love you, Ted. RIP brother." - Fish

"Completely shocked by the very sad news of the sudden death of drummer Ted McKenna (SAHB, Michael Schenker, Rory Gallagher and many others) who I spent time with only three weeks ago at the Cozy Powell Birthday Bash. A lovely guy and great drummer who will be much missed." - Neil Murray

MusicRadar.com organized a poll for the best rock guitarists of 2018 and we present you here the results. The nominees were what MusicRadar.com considered to be the guitarists and guitar gear that have excelled in 2018 and an amazing number of 126,000 people voted. So, the 15 best guitarists in rock music in 2018 are:

15. Rich Robinson (The Magpie Salute)
14. Michael Schenker
13. Phil Collen, Vivian Campbell (Def Leppard)
12. Billy Corgan, James Iha, Jeff Schroeder (The Smashing Pumpkins)
11. Tim Sult, Neil Fallon (Clutch)

And from 10 to 1 we have:

10. Jerry Cantrell, William DuVall (Alice In Chains)

9. Lzzy Hale, Joe Hottinger (Halestorm)

8. Chris Robertson, Ben Wells (Black Stone Cherry)

7. Tom Morello

6. Justin Hawkins, Dan Hawkins (The Darkness)

5. Slash

4. Joe Satriani

3. Paul Gilbert

2. Richie Kotzen

And the winners are:

1. Mark Tremonti, Myles Kennedy (Alter Bridge)

 

   

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