Category Archives: Featured Bands / Artists


DARREN DPAUL WISE is an American guitarist perhaps best known in his own country for his work as music director of the Drew Pearson Live television show. (This is an entertainment / sports programme that airs on ABC, ahead of all Dallas Cowboys’ NFL football games.

Originally from Louisiana, Darrren moved to the Dallas area in the nineties where he played in several local bands. As he began to garner a reputation as a mean guitarist, general networking within the local music industry opened up various new avenues for him to further his career.

When, in 2013, the band he was playing with was asked to come up with theme music for a TV pilot show (that subsequently bombed) it was suggested he create music for the hit Texas show, ‘Gas Monkey Garage.’

And so, well – you what they say about success leading to success.

Since then, he’s been involved in composition and production of various commercials and worked on incidental music for Major League Baseball, NASCAR and the NBA.

And now …. he’s only just gone and landed himself an ‘artist arrangement’ with Gibson Guitars!

Who needs big hair, make up, spandex trousers and set their guitar on fire to make a name for themselves in music, these days?

Talent will always come through.

REGGAE ROAST: ‘Sensi Skank Reloaded’ … (coming 26th July.)

Playing out of the inner borough of Hackney, London Reggae Roast have been in the vanguard of the UK reggae and soundsystem culture for many years.

They have recorded original songs with international artists including General Levy, Mr Williamz, Burro Banton, Tippa Irie, Ward 21, Earl 16 and Charlie P to name just a few., and are also the first signing to Trojan Records’ new imprint label Trojan Reloaded.

The regular events events organised by the collective are attended by thousands at a time and Reggae Roast now play regular slots at festivals all across the globe, always with a guest MC such as Kenny Knots, Charlie P or Ramon Judah.

Later this month they will release ‘Sensi Skank – Reloaded,’ (featuring Ruben da Silva.) As you may imagine, it’s a bit of an homage to weed, and re-visits Ruben’s #1 hit and giving it the Reggae Roast Soundsystem deep bass production treatment.

The video to accompany the track features a number of renowned personalities from the world of film and television – showcasing a rich tapestry of cannabis culture in cinematography. 

Unfortunately, I’ve just realised there’s an embargo on the video until July 26th …. oops!

Still – I suppose it gives me an excuse to pop up a couple of other videos for your delectation and delight.

(And if you need more of this stuff in your life, and who doesn’t, then check out their excellent website for more news, events and podcasts.)

Introducing Roy Buchanan: The World’s Greatest Unknown Guitarist

I have taken the easy option here, because I know I couldn’t do any better! This post is reproduced with the kind permission of JIM S who runs the excellent MUSIC ENTHUSIAST blog / site.

I can’t say definitively how I came across the music of ROY BUCHANAN, but it would likely have been encouraged t explore more Blues material by the recordings of my ultimate musical hero, RORY GALLAGHER. Or perhaps it was the late night radio shows of JOHN PEEL.

Either way, my enthusiasm for the blues and ROY’S distinctive guitar playing style st me aside from my school pals who were all into the ‘accepted norm’ bands of the time like YES, DEEP PURPLE and PINK FLOYD.

This post by the MUSIC ENTHUSIAST is a really succinct piece on yet another tragic blues player taken from us to early. (I’d say ‘star’ but Roy was not the kind to go for that terminology).

(Thanks JIM S.)

I’ve added this to MUSIC ENTHUSIAST’S original post,, simply because it’s my favourite. Just check out the guitar solo from about 3 minutes, forty seconds in!

Music Enthusiast - At the intersection of rock, blues, R&B, jazz, pop,and soul

“Probably the most original country style rock and roll guitar player. Has the nicest tone, the most amazing chops technically – superfast. And much neglected.” – Jerry Garcia on Roy Buchanan.

“We never heard anything quite like what Roy was doing. He interested the hell out of me. He’s not playing an arpeggio the way you learn an arpeggio. If you had studied the instrument you played straight on, the chromatic scale you’re taught in school (sic). This guy was anything but conventional – he was just out there. He was unrestricted, as far as what he played. If he felt like getting from here to there, it didn’t matter how he got there. If he didn’t pick it, he plucked it with his fingers. There were no rules with Roy. He was cruising down his own lane.” – Les Paul on Roy Buchanan

“I found something at church I…

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I have to credit this month’s issue (July 2019) of Wire magazine for prompting me to include this little piece.

There is absolutely no reason why I or anybody should be surprised at the fact that punk, and metal music are popular in Africa.

But it seems the case that I / we, are indeed surprised. In fairness, it’s more simply a case that we don’t often, if at all, have the opportunity to listen to those particular genres of music from that part of the world. It’s not promoted so much in the UK for instance, and indeed a Google search for ‘Afropunk’ or ‘Punk Africa’ etc doesn’t result in much other a few pages dedicated to the various annual festivals in USA and UK that do actively celebrate live music, film, fashion, and art produced by black artists.

This needs sorting right now! So, to add a little weight to the superb Wire article, and the short documentary made for German TV (see at the end of this piece) here’s what I can muster about Kenyan punk band, Crystal Axis.

The five-piece released their debut EP, ‘State of Uneasein 2012 when they were in their late teens. The music reflected the lads’ thoughts on the violence they witnesses during their country’s turbulent elections of 2007.

All went quiet on the band front for about five years as the the members graduated into further education.

However, they were to return mid 2017 with the release of the ‘Leopold’ a hard-hitting punk anthem, about King Leopold and the Belgian colonisation of the Congo. Although principally aimed at one person, the song is pertinent to all previous and subsequent colonisation.

This track shows how much the band matured in their time away. Guitarist Djae Aroni, who studied in the UK at Cantebury university, says the band are constantly gigging and recording with a view to releasing an album at some point in the near future.

Meantime, the band are to appear in the UK this summer. They will be performing in London, late June, at the brilliant sounding, Decolonise Fest.

Go check ’em out.

Here’s the short documentary on metal in Kenya. (It’s recorded in German but still an interesting watch even if you don’t speak the language..

My new favourite band … until the next one: THE NUDE PARTY

I’m writing this as a part of the healing process. It’s kind of cathartic, you know?
See, I ‘discovered’ The Nude Party when reading the bill for a Freakender event here in Glasgow.The gig was scheduled to be held at my favourite record store & cafe / bar, Monorail / Mono so all the stars were aligned for an amazing night.

Except … Chief stargazer and brainiest bloke in the universe is quoted as saying: ” We’re both clever and stupid in equal measure.” In this respect, his research s flawed, because he obviously didn’t include little ol’ me in the equation. I’m evidently more tilted towards the ‘stupid’ side. You see, I forgot to write down the date of The Nude Party gig in Glasgow.

The show was two weeks ago.

Old age doesn’t come alone, as the saying goes.

Oh well, since I didn’t get to chat with the band, I’m just going to have to take the ‘lazy’ option here which I hate doing, and reproduce their band info from their Facebook page.

(Next time guys. Look out for the wee dumb looking short-ass with the daft haircut. Come say hello. You may have to shout.)

(Copied from Facebook – 6th June 2019):

Despite rock’n’roll’s rapidly waning role in mainstream culture, thousands upon thousands of rock groups currently occupy our nightclubs, bandwidth, and brainspace with their performance, recording, and Bandcamping. And while the ubiquity of these projects crowd 2018’s musical landscape, from Highland Park to Bushwick and all points in between, the authentic rock’n’roll band is an endangered species. While any musician with wifi can actualize a rock group in a matter of minutes, a band, in the words of one of our great contemporary philosophers Ian Svenonius, is “about an ideology, a way of life, an aesthetic.”

The Nude Party is one of the last of these aggregations – an inseparable gang of blood brothers bonded by a musical mission indistinguishable from their friendship. The band’s psychic and effortless musical communication comes from learning how to play their instruments together since their teens, rooming together in house after house for six years, and developing their sound and aesthetic through literal nude partying together. 

The members came together in the freshman dormitories of Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina in 2012. Patton Magee (lead vocals, guitar), and later Austin Brose (percussion, vocals), linked up with childhood friends Connor Mikita (drums) and Alec Castillo (bass guitar, vocals), and stepbrothers Shaun Couture (lead guitar, vocals) and Don Merrill (organ/piano, vocals). The following summer, with the shimmer of The Kinks, Velvet Underground, and other still-unsurpassed classic rock masterpieces as their soundtrack, the young men moved into a lake house outside of town, began acquiring and learning to play instruments, and jamming on rudimentary riffs. Friends came by the lake house to swim and canoe and party and soon ritual nudity was a part of the festivities.

When the fall semester came around the friends moved into a house in Boone and the jamming continued in the basement on a nightly basis. During this time the Dionysian Adamite sextet began developing a following as the house band at a notorious Boone party palace referred to as the 505 House. The bare honesty of their performances was contagious and their audience also started partying au naturel. While these traditions may appear risqué to the casual observer, the band explains, “These weren’t orgies, they weren’t sexual even. It was just kind of a wild exhibitionism that we felt gave us freedom.” 

As the informal aggregation of musicians became a defined unit, and were offered gigs outside of the 505 House, they had now become a proper band and thus needed a name. Best known around the campus as “the naked party band,” they chose to call their group simply “The Nude Party.” Ironically, since playing in their birthday suits was illegal in the bars and clubs of this next step of their career, The Nude Party began playing clothed as soon as they were christened.

By 2014, living in a bigger more isolated house, known as “The Nude Ranch” by townies, the band met Black Lips’ Oakley Munson at a Night Beats show in Charlotte and before long the drummer became their mentor. He recorded the band’s “Hot Tub” EP and the band began
honing their craft as incessant road warriors in the national market.

2018 and the band were living with Munson in the Catskills. Their prolific performance schedule has built a substantial following in Brooklyn and beyond and they’ve just completed their first proper LP – the culmination of six years of experimentation and refinement of material.