rockford illinois entertainment guide
2005 Articles

Are you the type of listener who enjoys sitting down with the headphones and totally absorbing yourself in an album?  Are you the type of listener who did the same with the albums of bands such as Pink Floyd, Genesis, and Yes?

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A whopping twelve years after her last album, Kate Bush has just released a new CD.  A double CD, no less.  It's called Aerial, and it's absolutely classic Kate Bush.  That's not to say it's any kind of retread.  On the contrary, Kate has always been an amazing innovator, a truly singular artist. > More
Guitars and Christmas Trees

Rockford guitarist Steve Laputa has put together a CD whose title both does a great job of getting you ready for the music within and also is a nice creative twist. The cover is much a similar twist, and both of these things fit very well with the music contained within. Laputa works guitar magic around Christmas favorites, both old standards and more modern rockers. The end product is one that will be a nice addition to your holiday celebration.

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Atom Bomb
The title Atom Bomb seems like it would be more attuned to a rock or metal band release, but it's the latest work of 4-time Grammy-winning gospel singers The Blind Boys of Alabama. Atom Bomb is Christian music set forth in a variety of styles, versatility diversity giving testimony to faithful living and a commitment to really good music. > More
Blues Guitar Shootout - Sinnissippi Park Music Shell 7/9/05 DVD

The concert captured in this video was an outdoor show recorded at the Sinissippi Park Music Shell this summer and features some of the hottest blues men from the Rockford area - and they are all worthy of national (and even international) attention. These guys got together for one day and performed the music they loved as only they can. They played in various combinations and at the end as one group - and they were hot!

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Live @ Sinnissippi Park 7/23/05 DVD

Produced by Snapshot Music in cooperation with California Guitar Trio, this DVD captures a 2005 show from the band at the Sinnissippi Park Music Shell. For those who aren't familiar with California Guitar Trio's particular brand of guitar based (well, actually guitars are the only instrument) instrumental progressive rock, let's just say that it is truly amazing what three guys with guitars and a few effects can do.

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Angel of Retribution

For those who follow the history of Judas Priest it will be no surprise to find out that long time vocalist Rob Halford is back in the band after an extended period where Ripper Owens was handling the screaming duties. Well, the Priest (Halford, Glenn Tipton (guitarist), K.K. Downing (guitarist), Ian Hill (bass) and Scott Travers (drums)) found the time amidst touring to get in to the studio and record the album Angel of Retribution. What a resounding success this disc is! It is arguably the best album (at least in terms of consistency) the group have ever recorded.

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Robert Cray will be bringing his brand of music to Rockford's On The Waterfront on Saturday, September 3rd when he headlines the Verizon Wireless Left Bank stage at 10 PM. For those looking for a preview or just for those looking for an enjoyable listen, his latest CD "Twenty" will fill the bill nicely. > More
Julie Roberts

Julie Roberts is scheduled to appear at Rockford's On The Waterfront festival on Sunday, September 4th. She's lined up to headline the ComEd Country stage that night. So, it seems a good time to have a look at her self-titled debut. The truth of the matter is that this disc is very nearly a perfect album. The only real issues here are technical ones that have nothing to do with the material or the performance.

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Deluxe Edition

Lonnie Brooks and The Brooks family band will be coming to On the Waterfront this year, and that seemed as good a reason as any to have a listen to one of his CD's. His most recent dates a ways back; the man has been doing live performances rather than hitting the studio, but it is a good collection. The disc represents a compilation of some of his better work on Chicago based Alligator records.

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The Eyes of Alice Cooper

With Alice Cooper on the verge of bringing his brand of onstage insanity back to Rockford's On The Waterfront festival, it seems a great time to have a look at his latest album, The Eyes of Alice Cooper. While the disc is not the best that the former Mr. Furnier (Cooper was born Vincent Furnier) has ever produced, there are some good songs, and it actually contains one of the spookiest ever from him.

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In this world of rushing here and running there, we all can use a bit of tranquility in our lives.  Where better to find a place to escape than within the sounds of a finely crafted CD full of serene melodies that can help wash away the stress of our day.

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Hot Tomato
Snaggs fans rejoice because they have just given all of you a hot tomato. For those unfamiliar with this band, it's time you catch on to one of the more promising local groups. The Snaggs are fronted by Cheap Trick vocalist Robin Zander's daughter, Holland, and the Trickster has nothing on his daughter, as her performance is evocative and impeccable. The remaining members of the group are Karl Ropp (bass), Micky Rosenquist (drums), Ed Dulian (vocals) and according to the liner notes Bill Olson (lead gut puncher). > More

There are those who would like to lump Deep Purple into the "heavy metal" category. Certainly the band has always been hard rock, but they definitely don't fit under the metal banner. The group has had one of the more stellar histories in music, but also has been plagued with lineup changes and personal friction. Since their beginnings in the late 1960's they have produced several hit songs, including the immortal "Smoke on the Water" and a string of albums that have been consistent sellers.

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If you've never heard Velvet Revolver and pop the CD in, it may seem very familiar, and for good reason. This band is essentially a combination of two very prominent bands. Three members of the outfit were the main instrumental team of Guns 'N' Roses - Slash (guitar), Duff McKagan (bass) and Matt Sorum (drums).

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Words and Music

There are those who consider Bruce Springsteen to be the All-American rocker. Well, my money's on John Mellencamp. He has consistently represented American ideals and values, and created rock which reflects the roots of this country far better then Springsteen ever did.

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Essential REO

REO Speedwagon were a mainstay of the Rockford live scene in the 1980's, playing such concert venues as The Rockford Speedway and The Metro Centre. The Champaign based band had a strong following in the city. The 1980's pretty much belonged to REO anyway, their songs getting regular airplay on nearly every radio station and topping the charts.

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