THE GRANDMA Talk Group’s New Release “Cure for Fear”

Russian rockers The GrandMa are back with a new release–a full-length album “Cure for Fear,” which as the band members agree is “another door to the unknown.” About what it took to bring the release to life and more, the band speaks in the interview below.

You have recently launched an album with The GrandMa entitled “Cure for Fear.” How do you feel about the release?

Alexander: We’re absolutely excited about the release. It took us quite a long time to get there. I mean this is what we do. Music, rock music is our life and our passion, and now we feel like we just opened another door to the unknown. Speaking of music and generally of arts… Russia is still… mmm… let’s say “not open enough” and when your rock band releases an album worldwide it’s like you broke some shell and found out there’s a whole world outside. 

We are so inspired and up to more and more music, hell-bent to rock. So, it feels great. 

Sergey: Yes, and moreover, this is our first album together, and we got a lot of pleasant moments. I hope that it will be positively appreciated. The album was released worldwide through the new music label Djooky records (USA), and we are very excited about this collaboration.

What was it like working on the album? How much of a challenge was it to work on it?

Alexander: It was actually a real challenge. First of all, we kinda chose extremely “not a good” time to do it. I mean, pandemic had a huge impact on musicians’ lives and the money issues were inevitable during the whole album making process. I literally had to sell pretty much all I got to have studio time and so on. Besides, in the place we live, in this country, to be a rock musician is kinda like to be a strange “out of common sense” weirdo. A sort of social outcast. If they ask you : “what do you do?” and you’ll say : ” I am a rock musician. I play rock”, then they’ll ask you with total confusion : “but why? What for?!”…. Yes, it’s still here. Not as much as it was in soviet times, but still here. I mean, there’s a huge and great metalheads/rock fans community in Russia, but the music itself still “has to be” somewhere from far away, from another world. And in this circumstances, sometimes, it is hard to carry your creative mood and inspiration through this. And it’s very important after all. 

Luckily, inside the band, we have common preferences, and common “beliefs” about how to make our music. We all like analog sound, amps, and searching for new guitar sounds and so on… So generally we had an incredibly great time making “Cure for Fear”. It was so fun. 

Kate: Yeah! It was such a beautiful challenge and I enjoyed the process very much, staying up for several nights and thinking about nothing but the lyrics for this project during a very long time. I can also say that guys worked so hard to release this album.

Sergey: While we were recoding the album, we did not think about the album concept itself. We just recorded song after song. And only after some time we saw the outlines of the whole album and its concept.

All that was going on around us had an impact our music. 

Speaking of challenges, have you set any in the early phase of what has become the final result?

Sergey: Probably not. In my opinion, the main goal for the band was to record a high-quality material. I think we made it.

Mikhail: I believe, we just let the music come out from the inside. And the goal was not to interrupt this process!

Alexander: Well, this is our first record together and despite the fact we all are into rock music, we are still very different. Different as musicians, as listeners and so on… So, I guess, maybe the first challenge was like : “What is it gonna be like if we mix it up?” 

Tell me about the topics you explore on these songs.

Alexander: These songs, in general are about freedom, I guess, about the will to be free and happy, challenges and struggles we all have as human beings. The questions that never get old. Luckily we have our indispensable lyricist Kate, maybe she can say more about this. 

Kate: To be honest, you have already told everything that I would say. I can only add that it was a pleasure to speak through these songs and share some observations of mine about life, people and different experiences. Like Sasha said, these songs are about relevant topics that are as old as humanity itself. Sometimes, though, I was really surprised about the final lines that I came up with, because my main inspiration was a wonderful music that guys showed me. All I needed to do is just “to catch” the images that came to my mind and develop the stories while I was listening to the demos.

What is your opinion about the rock/metal scene in 2021?

Alexander : As for me, first what just came to my mind is “Mudvayne” reunion. It’s just… wow! I am super excited. 

Sergey: I am impressed with the latest work of Dead Daisies with Glenn Hughes!!! It’s super cool!!! And they’re already on tour… I’d like to meet them one day. 

Mikhail: I guess, rock music in general became more popular in the last few years. I think it’s the most emotional genre of modern music. After 2020 lockdown, after all those things, 2021 felt so special. Concerts, festivals, new releases, it’s like a silver lining we’ve been waiting for so long.         

Let me know about your influences—the artists that in a way shaped your work.

Alexander : This is definitely gonna be a huge list. I mean if gonna talk about what shaped each one of us as musicians, it would be an endless list. For me it’s a wide range of styles and artists. Like, from Slipknot to Stravinsky and more… But if we are talking about what shaped this work, the album, I think it’s more like: you wandering around, living your life and you hear and see something. Sometimes it’s little things. And it becomes an idea, musical idea, which grows into a song or your Instrumental part. And it can come from anywhere. 

Sergey: I have always been and still am a huge fan of 60-70s rock music. Therefore, in my list Doors, Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Yes, Pink Floyd and many others from this era.

What are your top 5 records of all time?

Alexander: It’s definitely “Black album” by “Metallica” 

Radzh: Yeah! “Black album” by “Metallica” and also

“Industrial Zen” by John McLaughlin,

“Full Circle” by Ravi Shankar

“Toto IV” by Toto

“10,000 Days” by Tool

Sergey: I would say, Deep Purple «In rock»…  Forever. 

If it is necessary to highlight the top five, then I will add more «L.A. Woman» by Doors, “Wish you were here” by Pink Floyd, “Presence” by Led Zeppelin and “Sabbath bloody Sabbath” by Black Sabbath

Mikhail: “Machine Head” and “Purpendicular” by Deep Purple, “Load” by Metallica, “Revolver” by Beatles, “Physical Graffiti” by Led Zeppelin

Besides the release of the album, are there any other plans for the future?

Alexander: Yeah, of course. Live shows mostly. 

Sergey: Yes, spring – summer of 2022. 

Any words for the potential new fans?

Sergey: Follow the news from The GrandMa. Something very impressive is coming soon

Kate: Let yourself dive into this amazing music flow, share our songs everywhere you can and sing along with the band on their live shows.

Keep your eye on The Grandma.

EP Review – InHibit’s Debut “Blinded”

Part rock, part funk, part punk, Brussels-based InHibit’s debut is unique and fun. The simple but funky baseline on “Shadows of Fire” reminded me of days gone by in popular music, but it sounds extremely fresh and clear. Uk-based journalist Chloe Mogg has more below:

By Chloe Mogg

InHibit’s latest EP Blinded is an appetising hybrid attempt at an 80s classic rock record, embroiled with metal riffs and drums beats and in-your-face vocals. The artist also rightfully takes influence from some of the greatest rock bands of late, and throws into the mix familiar elements from some of the best to ever do it, ensuring his EP has enough proven musicianship that’s sure to win him some points.

“Shame On Humans” crosses between charismatic, full bodied riffs and a squeaky, whining sound that’s almost like a sinister laugh; a villainous mock giving nod to the poor societal state of humanity that has encompassed most headlines in the turmoil that was 2020. The eponymous chorus is not unlike a Foo Fighters verse at all, while the most noteworthy section of the EP’s opener is its unravelling into a power ballad of a guitar solo that’s met in unison with InHibit’s discordant vocals, which break form from the established singing style and bring an endearing passion. InHibit’s aggressive vocals also seen in ‘Settings’ further help to determine that this is the best style for the artist, who should take pride in singing in a full-hearted, no-holds-barred style, which is definitely his forte in contrast to his softened, more intricate attempts seen in ‘The Quest’.

A jazzy, funk-filled bassline provides a fitting backdrop throughout ‘Shadows of Fire’, and ties the tracks surprising choice of instrumental sound together. The simple snare, hi-hat drum beat in parts, combined with the prevalent bass and the different layers of backing in vocals, does genuinely draw some resemblance to Queen’s infamously distinct style seen on the likes of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, which is only furthered through the whispered vocals and call and response claps which come toward the end of the track. Though InHibit’s work on this EP is far from the mastery of both Dave Ghrol and Freddie Mercury, the fact that the artist has attempted to replicate their superior musical notoriety and has found a place for it amongst his own style is a massive compliment alone.

The 1982 US Festival on DVD/Blu-ray

From Clint Weiler/MVD.

Taking us back to the years of Stranger Things. . . this looks wonderful.  From Clint Weiler, MVD Media:

The Us Festival: 1982 The Us Generation
The authorized story of the 1982 Us Festival with remastered live performances from
The Police, Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, Santana, The Cars, The B-52s, and more
Coming to Blu-ray / DVD on August 10th
The Us Generation: The Making Of the 1982 Us Festival is an in-depth look at one of the most influential music festivals of all time. The Us Generation is from award winning filmmaker and rockumentarian Glenn Aveni, who is also the film’s director. Co-Directed by Jay Cederholm and Produced by Bruce Gibb & Rich Schmig, the film blends rare concert footage and insightful interviews with both organizers and performers.
The film tells the story of the groundbreaking 1982 Us Festival–an epic three-day event featuring an eclectic and unprecedented lineup boasting some of the biggest names in music, performing live in front of over one million people at Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernardino, CA. The Us Festival was the brainchild of Apple visionary Steve Wozniak, who wanted to create something that was a true celebration of Americana, cultivating positive vibes and building a deep sense of community through the power of technology and music.
Highlights include performances by chart-topping superstars, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, alt-rock trio The Police, blues rock heroes Fleetwood Mac, guitar virtuoso Carlos Santana, retro-chic favorites The B-52s, and new wave icons The Cars; as well as archived appearances by Johnny & Joey Ramone, Carlos Santana, Sting, Ric Ocasek, Danny Elfman, and Fred Schneider; plus exclusive sit-downs with festival founder Steve Wozniak, Mick Fleetwood, Eddie Money, Marky Ramone, Kate Pierson, Stewart Copeland, and Mickey Hart, among others.
The film is produced by Icon Television Music, Inc., Plum Media, and in association with Us Festival original founders Unuson Corporation.

Black Stone Cherry (Mascot)

It was my ubercool English friend, Steve Dalton of the Black Vines, who originally introduced me to Black Stone Cherry–a band that makes me realize that rock is not only not dead, but it’s breathing like mad!  And, I’m quite partial to Mascot, too!

Exclusive ‘Kentucky’ CD+DVD with alternate cover
Available from the MLG US store!

We got a hold on the last few copies of the limited edition CD+DVD of Black Stone Cherry’s 2016 album “Kentucky”. This version, with an alternate rusty brown cover, was previously only available at Best Buy stores.

It can be yours for the incredible low price of $9.99 (plus shipping). We have BSC’s other Mascot Records albums in stock as well, so why not treat yourself to a truckload of Black Stone Cherry!

Kentucky (CD/DVD) – Alternate cover


Buy Now
Family Tree

Available on CD and vinyl

Buy Now
Black To Blues EP

Available on CD and vinyl

Buy Now
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Dany Laj and The Looks (Hilarious)

I don’t know these guys, but this email made me smile, and I had to repost.  I don’t smoke, but, unlike so many other Americans, I don’t think it’s the pestilential stink of the devil, either.

So, Dany Laj, glad to know you’re living life on your own terms.  Best to you.

Hey Brad,

I’m like Guy Lafleur – I do everything the hard way. And I smoke.
My band and I have spent the better part of the last six years bringing our high-energy, power-pop mayhem to crowds across the continent. Our brand new single, “Left Right To One,” found us branching out from the recording studios we’ve frequented in our homeland of Canada, and in Rockford, Illinois. Produced at Midwest Sound by Dan McMahon (Bun E. Carlos, Miles Nielsen and the Rusted Hearts), and engineered by Jeremy Koester, “Left Right To One” gives a glimpse into the longstanding, rock ‘n roll partnership between bassist Jeanette Dowling and myself.

Continue reading “Dany Laj and The Looks (Hilarious)”

Dear “The Gift”: An Ode to Bruce Springsteen

by Stephen Klugewicz

Springsteen from TEAMROCK
Bruce Springsteen in the 1980s.  Photo borrowed from

Dear “The Gift”

An Ode to Bruce Springsteen


In a world of oaths forsaken,

In a time of prophets bought and sold,

To the faithful along the avenue

You offered a gift of the purest gold.


Politician declares, “So help me God,”

Priest proclaims, “Let no man put asunder.”

But your whispered sweet sounds,

Were a bond sealed with thunder.


At once a stranger and yet a friend,

At once young and always old,

Singing the silent song of our souls,

Like that between mute lovers in the cold.


Now years are dissolved into dust,

Into the wind, into the mist.

Meaning made deep by memory,

Like a lover long and tenderly kissed.


You might have gone forever home,

You might have instead quietly slept,

Leaving us alone, betrayed and broken.

But you proved the gift a promise kept.

You proved the gift a promise kept.

Review: Barry Weinberg – Samsarana


Fresh from the warm South Florida, comes a prog rock veteran Barry Weinberg, with his debut album “Samsarana” dropping January 25th.

The fifteen-piece musical beast of a debut appears very much ready to stand next to plethora of amazing albums that the genre gave birth to over the years.

After short and atmospheric intro titled “Conception,” forward comes “Creation” leading off with a very Floydian feel and with a full sized chorus following all verses, it seems there may be an easy ride ahead for more cautious listeners. “Welcome to my World” is a laid-back stripped down acoustic piece with Weinberg’s voice over leading to “This Vicious Circle,” which sees Weinberg’s circling melody wash over the pebbles and steal away the shoreline behind, whereas “Come Out and Play” is a groovy and funny little piece.

“Beyond the Astral Sky” kicks in through a silent verse, attacking with a slightly alternative-flavoured chorus, and some sharp instrumentation, before the leviathan-sized hook belonging to “Taking it All” take things to a further level, with occasional hard rock sprinkle. We hear the same good work kept up through “Endless Sea” and “A Passage of Time,” the latter ringing the Genesis influence.

After another instrumental interlude “Perception,” “You Cannot Burn the Fire” comes as, arguably, the heaviest piece, incorporating heavy metal riffing and evil-flavoured singing. “Come My Way” brings in the folk element, while the following “The Way” comes with a steady pace, making for one of the highlights.

“Samsarana” is an absolutely accomplished piece of playing, writing and performance that should see the genre pushed out of its confines.

“Samsarana” is out on January 25th; pre-order it from Barry Weinberg’s official website.

An Angry Ted Nugent, 1977

I post the following not to start any kind of war against Nugent or any internet dog piling.  I did, however, find this absolutely fascinating.

As some of you know, I’m a professor by profession.  At the moment, I’m writing an intellectual biography of a very interesting sociologist, Robert A. Nisbet (1913-1996).  In my research, I came across this quote from Ted Nugent.  It was, by the way, next to a quote by Irving Kristol about Robert Nisbet.

If the punk rockers think they’re so punky with the pins in their face, I’ll show ’em my nine millimeter, put a couple of slugs in their chest and let’s see how punky they think that is.–Ted Nugent, quoted in THE REGISTER (November 17, 1977), F5.

I guess some things never really change.

Ghost Community: The Unceasing Brilliance of Matt Cohen

A review of Ghost Community, CYCLE OF LIFE (2016).

Tracks: Rise Up; Mirror Lakes; Anything and Everything; Blue December Morning; Ghost Community; and Cycle of Life

Ghost Community: Jake Bradford Sharp (drums); Matty Cohen (bass); Moray Macdonald (keyboards); Simon Rogers (guitars); and John Paul Vaughn (vocals).

ghost community
Ghost Community

Imagine if Styx hadn’t gone down the AOR and pop road in the second half of the 1970s, but instead had remained deeply embedded in the prog tradition of the early part of that decade.

Imagine, for just a glorious moment, that we remembered Styx not for KILROY WAS HERE, but rather for CRYSTAL BALL and EQUINOX?  Then, throw in some British rockers to replace the ones from Chicago.  Then, add the perfectionist and never-wavering mighty bassist and Welshman, the brilliant and steadfast Matt Cohen.

What you might find yourself with is a little piece of perfection in a rather dreadfully fallen world.

And, thus, you’d hold in your hand, Ghost Community’s CYCLE OF LIFE.

From the opening note to the closing one, Ghost Community is nothing if not utterly earnest.  I’m not sure if everyone in the prog community would classify this as strictly prog—but, then, really, what is?  The more unclassifiable the better—at least to me, when it comes to art as well as to individual human lives.

I must admit a bit of bias here.  I have rather proudly enjoyed the friendship of Matt Cohen (though, strictly through the internet) for many years, and I find him to be one of the most compelling artists of our day.  He loves to rock, he loves to get things exactly right, and he possesses the will power of ten great men.   No matter what life throws at him, Cohen NEVER sits down and he never wallows.  He thinks, and he acts.  And, the world is so much better for it.

He’s also one incredible bass player.

As I listen to this album, I can’t help but feel immense satisfaction.  It’s full of intensity and enjoyment.  There are great lyrics, great playing, great flow, great engineering, and great production.  There’s nothing more to desire.  At one level—hence, the comparison to early Styx—the album is rather obvious and straightforward.  Upon several listens, however, especially when paying attention to the lyrics, several more layers emerge—all quite subtle and nuanced.  My guess is that even a decade of listening will still reveal more nuances.

This is an intelligent release, an excellent contribution to the current wave of prog rock.  Maybe more rock than prog, it’s a delight.

“Light up, everybody.”