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  • Concert Review: Boston at Walmart AMP/Arkansas Music Pavilion, Rogers, AR

    Photos & Story by Scott A. Smith

    Whoa, Boston just took me back – really far back – in time.boston-2-by--scott-a--smith

    Led by founding guitarist/keyboardist/songwriter/producer Tom Scholz, the six-piece rock band allowed myself and several thousand other music addicts to hitch a ride to our youth via a sell-out concert Aug. 15 at the Walmart Amp in Rogers, Ark. An array of Boston’s still-favored FM radio hits and newer material seamlessly merged with the evening’s slight breeze to cover the multi-generational crowd.

    Sounding inspired and including lead singer Tommy DeCarlo, guitarist Gary Pihl, drummer Curly Smith, guitarist Kimberley Dahme and bassist Tracy Ferrie, Boston first hopped to the stage at 8:20 p.m. following an impressive, half-hour opening set by Arkansas blues-rockers Oreo Blue. Boston’s air-tight sound was appropriately loud and remarkably clear – the guitar solos and in-the-pocket harmony patterns of Scholz and Pihl cut through the mix with ease without ever drowning out the efforts of their compatriots.… Continue reading

  • Roger Hodgson set to Kick off Breakfast in America U.S. Tour This Fall

    Story by Scott A. Smith  /  Photo courtesy of RogerHodgson.com

    Supertramp co-founder Roger Hodgson is launching his new Breakfast in America Tour in the U.S., which promises to give more than just a little bit to fans of the acclaimed singer/guitarist/keyboardist/songwriter.Photo Courtesy of www.rogerhodgson.com

    Hodgson and his gifted solo band will perform Hodgson’s best-known Supertramp cuts like Breakfast in America, Give a Little Bit, Take the Long Way Home, The Logical Song, Dreamer, It’s Raining Again, School, and “Fool’s Overture.” – Roger Hodgson (writer and composer) with Orchestra

    The sets also will include numerous selections from Hodgson’s post-Supertramp solo career, which started with Hodgson’s 1984 LP, “In The Eye of The Storm.” Supporting Hodgson’s recent “Classics Live” CD release, the upcoming tour will kick off Nov. 4 in Wabash, Ind. before traveling to Detroit (Nov. 6), Niagara Falls, N.Y. (Nov. 7), Ridgefield, Conn. (Nov. 8), Bethlehem, Penn. (Nov. 9), Huntington, N.Y. (Nov. 11) and Rama, Ontario, Canada (Nov.… Continue reading

  • Concert Review: Steely Dan at Walmart AMP/Arkansas Music Pavilion, Rogers, AR

    Photos & Story by Scott A. Smith

    Remember way back when, when Steely Dan ignored the road, treating the word “tour” like a big, glowing slab of Kryptonite?steely-dan-1-by-scott-a-smith

    Back in the mid- and late-1970s, Steely Dan’s creative nucleus, Donald Fagen (keyboards, vocals) and Walter Becker (guitar, bass, vocals), showed extreme favoritism to the recording studio, where they meticulously built still-great-sounding, jazz-rock LPs such as 1975′s “Katy Lied,” 1976′s “The Royal Scam” and the Grammy Award darling from ’77, “Aja.” Back then in those big-car, pre-digital times, Fagen and Becker steered clear from touring, even though they had the musical gifts to cut it on the stage. In their minds, who needed auxiliary touring musicians, the endless hours of travel and a meddling road manager? It was more fun for the Dan to hole up in a studio and cut into black discs of wax with friends like Michael McDonald, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter and Larry Carlton.… Continue reading

  • Review: The Winery Dogs, May 20, Neumeier‚Äôs Rib Room & Beer Garden, Fort Smith, AR

    Photos & Story by Scott A. Smithwinery-dogs-1-by-scott-a-smith

    How many bands has former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy been in over the last decade?

    That could be a million-dollar question for many rock followers.

    Portnoy’s latest post-DT project is The Winery Dogs, a powerhouse of a trio that magically marries Superman-like instrumental abilities with a disciplined focus on the song. Also featuring bass guru Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, David Lee Roth) and singer-guitarist Richie Kotzen (Mr. Big, Poison), The Winery Dogs showed how to be hard-hitting aggressive in sound without shoving melody away from the front-and-center position May 20 at Neumeier’s Rib Room & Beer Garden in Fort Smith, Ark.

    Following an impressive opening set by Charm City Devils, The Winery Dogs commandeered the stage by immediately diving into the jet-propelled “Elevate,” pulling the capacity crowd into a frenzied wave of exciting rock and roll music. Assertive, loud and air-tight on their stops, starts and everything in between, the group pounded out rhythms and patterns that did justice to the studio versions on its self-titled debut CD.… Continue reading