Showing posts with label Interviewing the Legends. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Interviewing the Legends. Show all posts

Friday, June 14, 2024

LEGENDARY DUTCH ROCK BAND FOCUS ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM AND TOUR: ZOOM SPECIAL EVENT WITH THIJS VAN LEER TALKING ABOUT THE MAGIC OF "HOCUS POCUS" AND SAYS WE ARE NOT A PROG GROUP!

 


DUTCH ROCK LEGENDS


 ANNOUNCE NEW STUDIO ALBUM

F O C U S  12

AVAILABLE JULY 5TH

ZOOM SPECIAL EVENT

with SINGER...SONGWRITER

KEYBOARDIST...FLAUTIST

BANDLEADER

THIJS VAN LEER

INTERVIEWING THE LEGENDS

click below 

to watch the entire interview!


 With their unique brand of progressive rock, Focus manifested themselves at the start of the '70s as the most successful and appreciated of all the Dutch pop-rock exports. Fronted by founding member Thijs Van Leer, and best known for their hits "Hocus Pocus", "House of The King" and "Sylvia", as well as critically acclaimed albums 'Moving Waves', 'Focus 3' and 'Hamburger Concerto', the iconic Dutch music masters are back with their tenth album, which is guaranteed to please their legions of fans! 


 After a comeback in the early 2000's, which resulted in the well-received albums 'Focus 8' and 'Focus 9', the band regrouped with a fantastic new line-up. Along with Thijs van Leer on vocals, flute and keyboards, back on the drums is famed Focus drummer Pierre van der Linden, who joined the group on their second album 'Moving Waves' in 1972.

Internationally renowned for his rhythmic skills, Pierre remains a defining factor in the Focus sound. Guitarist Menno Gootjes, who participated in Focus at an earlier stage, and acclaimed bass player Udo Pannekeet, complete the band's current line-up. Recently, Focus's biggest hit "Hocus Pocus" was used in a 4-minute Nike commercial before the World Cup broadcast. Focus music can be regularly heard on Top Gear and Saxondale on TV in the UK.     

A new Focus era has arrived! There is a rejuvenated passion amongst the band as they released their first studio album for 6 years, Focus 11, in early 2019.   They toured the world in support of the new album and are now excited re their 50th Anniversary tour. Unfortunately, the world situation had halted the 50th Anniversary celebrations, but Focus now is happy touring the world again.


Eagerly awaited, we are pleased to announce the forthcoming release of FOCUS 12, the brand-new studio album from Focus.  

For Thijs van Leer (75) and Pierre van der Linden (78), age is nothing more than a number. Both continue to contribute to Focus with passion.


Thijs, who has written most of the new album, rises at 4.30 am every day in order to work on his compositions. Whilst the album boasts some of Pierre’s greatest and most energetic drum sequences to date.

Allowing the younger guard to take the audio reins for the first time, Focus 12 is produced by band members Udo Pannekeet and Menno Gootjes, who also contribute two compositions on the album.

Thijs commented “How beautiful life can be when a band plays so easily and so together.”

preorder

THE BRAND-NEW STUDIO ALBUM

BY

FOCUS

entitled

FOCUS 12


available July 5th 2024


pre-order at

 https://burningshed.com/store/focus

“FOCUS TWELVE BY DUTCH PROG LEGENDS FOCUS IS A CAPTIVATING AND SUBLIME MUSICAL RESCUE. EVERY BRILLIANT TRACK IS GRATIFYING AND PERFORMED TO ITS PERFECTION. THIS ALBUM VALIDATES WHY 70S ROCK BANDS WHO STILL RECORD AND TOUR HAVE ALEADY ACCOMPLISHED LEGENDARY STATUS.”

5 STARS!

….BY MUSIC JOURNALIST RAY SHASHO


THE HEAT OF THE MOMENT TOUR

2024 DATES

HEADLINED

BY

A S I A 

with special guests

FOCUS

MARTIN TURNER  ex WISHBONE ASH

CURVED AIR

MC'd by ARTIST ROGER DEAN 

The tour will commence on July 3rd 2024 and will incorporate 21 dates across the USA and Canada.

The tour has been masterminded by rock music keyboard legend & original Asia member, Geoff Downes (Buggles, Asia, Yes)

Wednesday, July 3: Ridgefield Playhouse, Ridgefield, CT

Thursday, July 4: Fallsview Casino, Niagara Falls, ON

Saturday, July 6: Chevalier Theatre, Medford, MA

Sunday, July 7: The Paramount, Huntingdon, NY

Tuesday, July 9: Bergen Performing Arts Center, Englewood, NJ

Wednesday, July 10: Count Basie Center, Red Bank, NJ

Friday, July 12: Tropicana Showroom, Atlantic City, NJ

Saturday, July 13: Wind Creek Event Center, Bethlehem, PA

Sunday, July 14: American Music Theatre, Lancaster, PA

Tuesday, July 16: Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium, Spartanburg, SC

Wednesday, July 17: Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, TN

Thursday, July 18: Columbia County Performing Arts Center, Evans, GA

Saturday, July 20: Hard Rock Live, Orlando, FL

Sunday, July 21: Pompano Beach Amphitheater, Pompano Beach, FL

Monday, July 22: Seminole Hard Rock, Tampa, FL

Wednesday, July 24: North Charleston PAC, North Charleston, SC

Thursday, July 25: Macon City Auditorium, Macon, GA

Friday, July 26: Saenger Theatre, Mobile, AL

Sunday, July 28: VBC Mark Smith Concert Hall, Huntsville, AL

Tuesday, July 30: The Arcada Theatre, St Charles, IL

Wednesday, July 31: The Pabst Theater, Milwaukee, WI


DISCOGRAPHY

STUDIO ALBUMS

FOCUS

     Focus Plays Focus (1970; also known as In and Out of Focus)

    Focus II (1971; also known as Moving Waves)

    Focus 3 (1972)

    Hamburger Concerto (1974)

    Mother Focus (1975)

    Ship of Memories (1976) (studio compilation)

    Focus con Proby (1978)

    Focus (1985) (as Jan Akkerman & Thijs Van Leer)

    Focus 8 (2002)

    Focus 9 / New Skin (2006)

    Focus X (2012)

    Golden Oldies (2014) (studio re-recordings)

    Focus 8.5 / Beyond the Horizon (2016)

    The Focus Family Album (2017) (studio outtakes from 2012 to 2017, plus solo tracks)

    Focus 11 (2018)

    Completely Focused (2021) (studio re-recordings)

    Focus 12 (2024) (up-coming)









THIJS VAN LEER
APPEARS
JUNE 14TH 2024

ON INTERVIEWING THE LEGENDS

WITH RAY SHASHO

THE ROCK STAR CHRONICLES

BOOK TRAILER

 

BOOK REVIEW

-By Literary Titan (5) STARS

The Rock Star Chronicles by Ray Shasho, is a splendid book written by a music enthusiast who has poured their heart and soul into it. It’s a story of a boy who loved rock music, and his obsessive passion of it earned himself the name Rock Raymond. He went to school but instead was schooled in all matters of music while his peers were buried chin-deep in coursework. He then became a radio DJ and has now compiled a book on all interviews he held with Rock gods who raided the airwaves back in the 70s and 80s. It’s a compilation of interviews with outstanding vocalists, legendary guitarists and crazy drummers in the rock music scene. Each interview gives a reader an in-depth view into their personal lives and the philosophies that guide their lives which all serve to humanize these great icons. For readers who are old enough to call themselves baby boomers this book will bring old memories back to life. Millennials, on the other hand, may think of this book as a literal work of the Carpool Karaoke show. 

The Rock Star Chronicles is a book I didn’t know I was waiting for. To come across a book that will talk me into trying something new. One brave enough to incite me to venture into new frontiers. This book made me a believer- I am now a bona fide Rock and Roll music fan. 

Ray Shasho masterfully gets the interviewees talking. He smartly coaxes answers from them with crafty questions designed to get a story rolling out of them. The artists talk about diverse issues ranging from music, politics, and their social engagements. Having been on the music seen all his life, Ray Shasho knows the buttons to press, how to get them comfortable about talking about their lives. 

The book’s cover is befitting of its subject matter with the leather look offering a royal background to the golden letter print. It speaks to how high a level rock music holds in the pecking order- arguably, modern music as we know it has originated from blues and rock music.  The second noteworthy thing is the use of high-definition pictures to reference the musician being interviewed in every sub-chapter. This ensures that the book is for both original rock and roll lovers and aspiring new ones. Together is makes for a refreshing and consistently enjoyable read.

I recommend this book to rock music enthusiasts, aspiring musicians wondering what it takes and all readers curious to learn new things by going back in time.

https://literarytitan.com/2020/05/03/literary-titan-book-awards-may-2020/   

Gold Award Winner



MORE BOOKS BY RAY SHASHO




RESERVE YOUR SPOT TODAY
 
TO BE PART OF MUSIC HISTORY!

CALL 941-567-6193

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??? 

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

NORMAN GREENBAUM DISCOVERING THE ORIGIN OF “SPIRIT IN THE SKY” ‘THE LOST INTERVIEWS’ WITH RAY SHASHO EPISODE 13

 


NORMAN

GREENBAUM

THE ORIGIN OF

"SPIRIT IN THE SKY"

'THE LOST INTERVIEWS'

with RAY SHASHO

EPISODE 13

CLICK BELOW 

TO LISTEN TO THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW!


-INTERVIEWED Dec 6th, 2011 

“When I die and they lay me to rest

Gonna go to the place that’s the best

When I lay me down to die

Goin’up to the spirit in the sky” 

Norman Greenbaum is considered by many music experts to be a one-hit wonder.  But when the lyrics to that hit meant so much to so many and with eternal impact… then who cares?

Greenbaum’s “Spirit In The Sky” echoed an inspirational message of optimism for hope of an afterlife. The song reached #3 on the Billboard charts and sold two million singles by 1970, and during an important transitional period in music that witnessed Album-Oriented Rock formats overshadowing Top 40 singles on the airwaves. Greenbaum created one of the most recognizable guitar riffs in rock and roll history using an industrial fuzz tone. Released in 1969, “Sprit In The Sky” has stood the test of time. Greenbaum states, “Motorists actually still pull over to the side of the road when they hear the song being played on the radio.”

And the song continues to be a heavily requested tune at funerals. Rolling Stone magazine ranked “Spirit In The Sky,” #341 on the list of top ‘500 Greatest Songs of All Time.’ Countless musicians have mimicked their version of the celestial composition including Elton John, DC Talk, Darrel Mansfield, The Stovall Sisters (The back-up singers on the original recording), Doctor and the Medics, Nina Hagen, and Norman’s favorite cover version, The Kentucky Headhunters. “Spirit In The Sky” has been featured in countless movies, TV series and commercials. The song has also been spotlighted on the 2008 music video game- Rock Band 2, enlightening a whole new generation of “Spirit” advocates. Norman Greenbaum began a music career as a member of Dr. West’s Medicine Show and Junk Band. Their sole hit was, “The Eggplant that Ate Chicago” (#52 on Billboard’s top 100) in 1966. Greenbaum departed the band and began a solo career under the direction of producer Erik Jacobsen (Lovin’ Spoonful, Sopwith Camel, Chris Issak).

Raised of the Jewish faith, Greenbaum states that there wasn’t much resentment from the Jewish Community over his Christian-like lyrics, especially his reference to Jesus. The only true criticism came from the Christian side who were not very pleased with his lyric… “Never been a sinner I never sinned.” Greenbaum says, “I just didn’t know better at the time.” Today Norman Greenbaum is 69 years old and lives in Northern California. His 1969 metaphysical one- hit wonder continues to be adored and emulated by countless fans. Most recently Peter Frampton covered “Spirit In The Sky” on William Shatner’s latest album, Seeking Major Tom.Norman enjoys sponsoring races at the local fair. He says, “All it consists of is getting around thirty friends together, having a party, and getting your picture taken with the winning racehorse.” He’s also won a bunch of blue ribbons entering various works. Here’s my interview with Songwriter/Vocalist/Guitarist/Rock and Roll Icon/ and a very amusing and hip guy… Norman Greenbaum. (We had to reschedule the original interview date because Mr. Greenbaum was feeling a bit under the weather).








THE ROCK STAR CHRONICLES

BOOK TRAILER

 

BOOK REVIEW

-By Literary Titan (5) STARS

The Rock Star Chronicles by Ray Shasho, is a splendid book written by a music enthusiast who has poured their heart and soul into it. It’s a story of a boy who loved rock music, and his obsessive passion of it earned himself the name Rock Raymond. He went to school but instead was schooled in all matters of music while his peers were buried chin-deep in coursework. He then became a radio DJ and has now compiled a book on all interviews he held with Rock gods who raided the airwaves back in the 70s and 80s. It’s a compilation of interviews with outstanding vocalists, legendary guitarists and crazy drummers in the rock music scene. Each interview gives a reader an in-depth view into their personal lives and the philosophies that guide their lives which all serve to humanize these great icons. For readers who are old enough to call themselves baby boomers this book will bring old memories back to life. Millennials, on the other hand, may think of this book as a literal work of the Carpool Karaoke show. 

The Rock Star Chronicles is a book I didn’t know I was waiting for. To come across a book that will talk me into trying something new. One brave enough to incite me to venture into new frontiers. This book made me a believer- I am now a bona fide Rock and Roll music fan. 

Ray Shasho masterfully gets the interviewees talking. He smartly coaxes answers from them with crafty questions designed to get a story rolling out of them. The artists talk about diverse issues ranging from music, politics, and their social engagements. Having been on the music seen all his life, Ray Shasho knows the buttons to press, how to get them comfortable about talking about their lives. 

The book’s cover is befitting of its subject matter with the leather look offering a royal background to the golden letter print. It speaks to how high a level rock music holds in the pecking order- arguably, modern music as we know it has originated from blues and rock music.  The second noteworthy thing is the use of high-definition pictures to reference the musician being interviewed in every sub-chapter. This ensures that the book is for both original rock and roll lovers and aspiring new ones. Together is makes for a refreshing and consistently enjoyable read.

I recommend this book to rock music enthusiasts, aspiring musicians wondering what it takes and all readers curious to learn new things by going back in time.

https://literarytitan.com/2020/05/03/literary-titan-book-awards-may-2020/   

Gold Award Winner



MORE BOOKS BY RAY SHASHO




RESERVE YOUR SPOT TODAY
 
TO BE PART OF MUSIC HISTORY!

CALL 941-567-6193

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??? 


Sunday, June 2, 2024

ENGELBERT HUMPERDINCK INTERNATIONAL SUPERSTAR ‘THE LOST INTERVIEWS’ WITH RAY SHASHO EPISODE 11

 



ENGELBERT HUMPERDINCK

INTERNATIONAL SUPERSTAR

'THE LOST INTERVIEWS'

WITH RAY SHASHO

EPISODE 11

CLICK BELOW

 TO LISTEN TO THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW!


-Interviewed February 5th 2015 

British entertainer Arnold George Dorsey (stage name Gerry Dorsey) had limited success as a singer, but in 1967 Engelbert Humperdinck became an overnight sensation and a household name worldwide. Humperdinck recorded one of the best-selling singles of all-time; a number-one hit song entitled “Release Me,” which thwarted The Beatles efforts of reaching the top of the charts with their double A-sided record, “Strawberry Fields Forever /Penny Lane.” “Release Me” held the number-one slot on the UK Pop charts for six weeks and remained on the charts for a record fifty-six consecutive weeks, selling 80,000 copies a day. 

Humperdinck superseded the success of “Release Me” with “There Goes My Everything” and “The Last Waltz, “sweeping the Top 40 Pop charts that same year. Engelbert’s charisma, good looks and magnificent vocals mirrored performers such as Elvis Presley and Tom Jones, and it quickly became evident that a new singing sensation had conquered and charmed the music world. Humperdinck’s sex appeal captivated a huge female fanbase which became known as the Humperdinckers, and throughout the 70’s, Humperdinck sustained the hits on the Top 40 airwaves …“Am I That Easy to Forget,” “A Man Without Love (Quando M’Innamoro),” “Les Bicyclettes de Belsize,” “The Way It Used To Be,” “I'm A Better Man (For Having Loved You),” “Winter World of Love,” “Sweetheart,”  ”When There’s No You,” and “Another Time, Another Place.” Engelbert Humperdinck’s albums released throughout the 60’s and 70’s … Humperdinck relentlessly toured the world in front of adoring sold-out audiences and became a hot commodity and mainstay attraction on the Las Vegas and Atlantic City Strips.

When he wasn’t on the road, he’d be in the recording studio generating the hits. His last major Pop hit on the Top 40 charts came in 1976 with the brilliant and graceful “After The Lovin’” composed by Ritchie Adams and written by Alan Bernstein. In 1979, Humperdinck spawned his fourth number-one hit on the Easy Listening charts in the U.S. with, yet another Adams/ Bernstein composition entitled “This Moment In Time.” In 1983, Engelbert released his last charted single “Til You and Your Lover Are Lovers Again.” 
In 1999, Humperdinck released The Dance Album which featured newly recorded dance versions of six of Engelbert's greatest hits, along with five original songs. The album landed in the Top Ten on the Billboard Dance charts. Most Recently: Engelbert Humperdinck released his highly anticipated and critically acclaimed double-CD entitled… “Engelbert Calling” which features incredible duets with some of the world’s most recognized names in music … including Elton John, Willie Nelson, Olivia Newton-John, Gene Simmons, and many-more. The album is released by OK! Good Records, and produced by Grammy Award-winner Martin Terefe, who is well-known for his work with Jason Mraz, James Morrison, KT Tunstall, and Mary J Blige. … I gave “Engelbert Calling” by Engelbert Humperdinck (5) Stars! 
Engelbert Humperdinck’s career spanned nearly five decades. He’s sold more than 150- million albums world-wide, including 24 certified with platinum status and 63 with gold, four Grammy nominations, a Golden Globe for “Entertainer of the Year” (1988), and earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Engelbert has solidified his name as an international Pop legend and has established himself as one of the world’s most influential artists. At 78, Humperdinck continues to tour the world and record in the studio, and like a fine wine, he just keeps getting better. Engelbert is happily married to Patricia, his wife of 50 years.

The couple has 4 children and 9 grandchildren. He’s managed by his son Scott Dorsey/Dorsey Productions. 
I had the wonderful pleasure of chatting with one of my favorite singers about his critically acclaimed release … ‘Engelbert Calling’ …Engelbert’s follow-up releases upcoming ... The current world tour …The early days… ‘The Humperdinckers’ … Befriending ‘Elvis’ …And Much-Much More! Here’s my interview with an internationally renowned singer, songwriter, entertainer, a true gentleman and a really nice guy...



ENGELBERT

HUMPERDINCK

IN CONCERT

2024

Count Basie Center

Red Bank, NJ

June 11, 2024  

7:30 PM

Bergen Performing Arts Center

Englewood, NJ

 June 13, 2024

 7:00 PM

Casino Rama

Rama, Ontario, CANADA

June 15, 2024

8:00 PM

Chumash Casino

Santa Ynez, CA

June 28, 2024

8:00 PM

Saban Theatre

Beverly Hills, CA

June 29, 2024

8:00 PM

Sunbet Arena

Pretoria, SOUTH AFRICA

July 12, 2024

8:00 PM

GrandWest

Kaapstad (Capetown), SOUTH AFRICA

July 14, 2024

4:00 PM

DREAM FEST 2024 - Sea Breeze Resort

Baku, AZERBAIJAN

July 26, 2024

6:00 PM

Muziekgebouw Frits Philips

Eindhoven, NETHERLANDS

August 30, 2024

8:00 PM

Kursaal Oostende

Oostende, BELGIUM

August 31, 2024

8:00 PM

Palác Lucerna, Velký sál

Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC

September 02, 2024

8:00 PM

Konzerhaus

Vienna, AUSTRIA

September 03, 2024

8:00 PM

Tivoli/Vredenburg

Utrecht, NETHERLANDS

September 05, 2024

8:00 PM

Queen Elisabeth Hall

Antwerp, BELGIUM

September 06, 2024

8:00 PM

London Palladium

London, ENGLAND

September 08, 2024

7:00 PM

Opera House

Manchester, ENGLAND

September 09, 2024

7:00 PM

Symphony Hall

Birmingham, ENGLAND

September 10, 2024

7:00 PM

Royal Concert Hall

Glasgow, SCOTLAND

September 12, 2024

7:00 PM

Theatre Capitole

Quebec City, Quebec, CANADA

October 29, 2024

7:30 PM

Place des Arts

Montreal, CANADA

October 31, 2024

7:30 PM

Theatre du Casino du Lac-Leamy

Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA

November 03, 2024

7:30 PM

Massey Hall

Toronto, CANADA

November 06, 2024

7:30 PM

Carteret Performing Arts & Event Center

Carteret, NJ

December 06, 2024

8:00 PM

Flagstar At Westbury Music Fair

Westbury, NY

December 08, 2024

7:00 PM

Chevalier Theatre

Medford, MA

December 12, 2024

8:00 PM








THE ROCK STAR CHRONICLES

BOOK TRAILER

 

BOOK REVIEW

-By Literary Titan (5) STARS

The Rock Star Chronicles by Ray Shasho, is a splendid book written by a music enthusiast who has poured their heart and soul into it. It’s a story of a boy who loved rock music, and his obsessive passion of it earned himself the name Rock Raymond. He went to school but instead was schooled in all matters of music while his peers were buried chin-deep in coursework. He then became a radio DJ and has now compiled a book on all interviews he held with Rock gods who raided the airwaves back in the 70s and 80s. It’s a compilation of interviews with outstanding vocalists, legendary guitarists and crazy drummers in the rock music scene. Each interview gives a reader an in-depth view into their personal lives and the philosophies that guide their lives which all serve to humanize these great icons. For readers who are old enough to call themselves baby boomers this book will bring old memories back to life. Millennials, on the other hand, may think of this book as a literal work of the Carpool Karaoke show. 

The Rock Star Chronicles is a book I didn’t know I was waiting for. To come across a book that will talk me into trying something new. One brave enough to incite me to venture into new frontiers. This book made me a believer- I am now a bona fide Rock and Roll music fan. 

Ray Shasho masterfully gets the interviewees talking. He smartly coaxes answers from them with crafty questions designed to get a story rolling out of them. The artists talk about diverse issues ranging from music, politics, and their social engagements. Having been on the music seen all his life, Ray Shasho knows the buttons to press, how to get them comfortable about talking about their lives. 

The book’s cover is befitting of its subject matter with the leather look offering a royal background to the golden letter print. It speaks to how high a level rock music holds in the pecking order- arguably, modern music as we know it has originated from blues and rock music.  The second noteworthy thing is the use of high-definition pictures to reference the musician being interviewed in every sub-chapter. This ensures that the book is for both original rock and roll lovers and aspiring new ones. Together is makes for a refreshing and consistently enjoyable read.

I recommend this book to rock music enthusiasts, aspiring musicians wondering what it takes and all readers curious to learn new things by going back in time.

https://literarytitan.com/2020/05/03/literary-titan-book-awards-may-2020/   

Gold Award Winner



MORE BOOKS BY RAY SHASHO




RESERVE YOUR SPOT TODAY
 
TO BE PART OF MUSIC HISTORY!

CALL 941-567-6193

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR???