Detroit Live Magazine March 2015

Page 1

Darian Counts Presents

LIVE 1 Photo by Marc Nader




MARCH 2015




ERICA PAIGE 26. CHOICE CUTS 28. HOROSCOPE Contributors: Eric Harabadian, Dylan James, John Lebang, Aluna Michaels, Brian Quintos, Darian Counts, Benny Jet,

taken aces



Tara Morris, Chris Balow, Julia Sikora Graphic Design: Granger Graphics Additional Photos: Matteo Donini, Marc Nader, Chris Balow, Darkside Photography Cover Photo: Marc Nader Make up and hair: Jamie Piturro Publisher: Detroit Live Media LLC Promotion: Amanda Blanchard Managing Editor: Darian Counts



Contributing Editor: Jay Brian Sales: Eric Mac, Darian Counts






It’s hard to believe that this past Valentine’s Day marked the fifth anniversary of the death of former front man for The Knack, Doug Fieger. At 57 his passing was certainly untimely, as most folks’ memories of the Detroit area native were ones of a vibrant and vivacious performer. In 1979 his band’s album Get The Knack was one of the top sellers of that year, largely due to the monumental success of hit singles like “My Sharona” and “Good Girls Don’t.” Berton Averre (lead guitar, backing vocals and keyboards), Prescott Niles (bass) and Bruce Gary (drums) were the core of the original group, with the unmistakable stage antics and exuberance of Fieger on rhythm


guitar and lead vocals commanding the charge. The band followed with the album ….But the Little Girls Understand in 1980. While that record did respectable numbers it failed to top or, even, equal the impact of their debut. Various band break-ups and reformations ensued resulting in six more band releases through 2012. Doug Fieger, who grew up in Oak Park, had two siblings Geoffrey and Beth. Self-admittedly, Geoffrey, who had gained substantial national notoriety as an attorney who represented assisted suicide doctor Jack Kevorkian, has never really had the opportunity or has been asked in the past to talk about his brother. But he was most gracious and eager to reminisce with us about him here. “We both started on piano and both of us became fascinated like billions of other kids with The Beatles when they were on Ed Sullivan,” says Fieger. “Shortly after that, around 6th grade, Doug had been playing in bands and got a Gretsch Country Gentleman DETROITLIVEMAGAZINE.COM

guitar. I had a blonde 12 string Rickenbacker like Jim McGuinn of the Byrds. Doug was in a group called The Royal Jammers at that time.” After that group Doug, Geoffrey, John Coury (who eventually would join The Eagles’ backing band) and Bob Greenfield formed a group called Spirit. But they quickly changed their name to the New Spirit after they found out there was already a California outfit with that name. “We played the Grande several times, but we practiced all the time,” explains Fieger. “I was into other things like sports and girls. I didn’t have the stick-to-itiveness that Doug had so I dropped out of the group. It became a three-some with Doug, John Coury and Bob Greenfield and they changed

their name to Sky.” This was around 1970 and Doug was about to make a bold move to bump his band up to the next level. They had put in the time on the Detroit circuit and were really honing their craft, although barely out of high school. “This is pretty audacious and wouldn’t happen today, but Doug wrote a letter to Jimmy Miller, who was the producer of The Rolling Stones and Traffic,” says Fieger. “He had just done Beggars Banquet with the Stones and Doug wrote him a letter to see if Jimmy would produce an album for Sky. Miller actually came to our house in Oak Park and sat down in the basement listening to Doug’s band rehearse. He immediately signed them and brought them to England where they recorded two albums for RCA at Mick Jagger’s house.” This fairy tale-like fantasy came complete, with several of the Stones’ backing musicians Jim Horn, Bobby Keys and Doris Troy contributing to the sessions creating exceptionally soulful and diverse rock ‘n’ roll. “This is where Doug really came into his own as a songwriter,” says Fieger. “It’s a process where you just have to force yourself to write. If you’ve got some talent, it will come out. Doug was not a musical virtuoso, but he was very driven, talented and knew what he wanted.” Sky had some modest airplay and success in Detroit and nationally but, upon Doug’s move to Los Angeles, the group broke up. For a few years Doug became just another displaced singer-songwriter on the Hollywood landscape trying to peddle songs, pursuing sideman work and chasing his dreams. He eventually partnered with Burton Averre in the late ‘70s and formed The Knack. The band quickly developed a local following playing along L.A.’s Sunset Strip, with a residency at The Whiskey that caught the attention of several major record companies. When Capitol Records came calling Doug eagerly responded, as this was the label that signed The Beatles.

“In 1979 Get The Knack came out and I had just graduated from law school,” recalls Fieger. “I saw him several times on his first tour. Everyone in our family was really proud of him. When the album came out it went immediately to Number One! They were very tight and sounded just like their records. Doug didn’t screw around. They were great musicians!” But Fieger waxes philosophically about the cultural times during all that hoopla and reflects on his brother’s level of success. “Even though it was the number one album of the year and the biggest single of the year, rock was in, more or less, a decline from then till now,” says the attorney. “If that would have happened in ’69 things would have been different. He would’ve been a bigger star. Sales of records were going down. The entire medium was changing and now it’s changed completely.”

even though I know a lot of good talent still comes from Detroit,” says Fieger. “But Doug and I came from a time where if you were gonna be a star, then be a star! Now you can be a star and nobody knows you. Doug was a big rock star, but not as big as he would’ve been 10 years before and would’ve been less 10 years later, regardless of the same success.” Doug Fieger; an amazing showman, an award-winning songwriter—not only for The Knack but for other artists like The Manhattan Transfer—and, above all, beloved by family and countless fans and friends alike. Most certainly his music and ebullient spirit will live on for many years to come. -Eric Harabadian

Along these lines, Geoffrey Fieger pulls no punches in his assessment of the state of the music industry and his brother Doug’s place in it. “I don’t really follow the music scene today DETROITLIVEMAGAZINE.COM




BENNY & THE JETS If this column goes to 50,000 people, via the hard copy, the web, or Facebook. How many times would something have to be mentioned to become FAMOUS?

know. Jimmy McCarty, Jason Bone, Eddie Leighton, Joe LiGreci, and Mike Katon.

Arbor Reign (as in Ypsi /Ann Arbor) features a petite, yet powerful Melissa Kalnasy on lead vocal, guitar, bass and sax. Always cool to hear Sax! Arbor Reign is a band you could easily see on David Letterman or any college stage in America. (Promo Idea; Arbor Reign send this to the David Letterman show - who knows)

ROCK JONES, ot the Rock Jones Band, recently introduced yours truly to Steve Farmer of the Amboy Dukes, Stoney and the Jagged Edge, Emery “The ANIMAL” Perez of To contact Benny, Benny (solo guitar) or Benny and the Jets Band, call 313 the Stray Dawgz band, and Victor Peraino 730-1627, email of of Kingdom Come Band. find them on line at www.facebook. com/bennyandthejets. PS if you read Victor Peraino a true Detroit Rock and Also the professionals say most people about someone in the column, make Roll Legend, has worked with everyone can only retain FIVE things? So you can sure you tell them, so they know they are not over load a message, or paragraph, or from Crazy World of Arthur Brown and FAMOUS. story, or idea, or even a song. Did you catch Byron in Motion, to Frijid Pink. Look for up coming shows at the Token Lounge. Photo Marc Nader that? Message, paragraph, story, idea, or even a song. FIVE things. Writing columns FIVE Detroit Live Music Stages - The All or songs, telling stories, advertising all Around in Taylor, The Token in Westland, overlap. Dirty Spyder’s Perfect Pitcher in Taylor, My friend Eric Harabadian, writes columns Chatters in Westland, and Club Axis inside the MGM Casino, downtown Detroit. and songs, does record reviews, plays in the Chain Reaction band, and along with his wife Lisa, is working on a local movie - FIVE Area Music Stores -MIKE CARRY in Lincoln Park, Anderson Music in "Nothin' But The Music." Dearborn Heights, Blues Airmen in Garden FIVE bands, often mentioned in this column, City, Huber Breese in Fraser, and our friend Bill at Bill Cairo’s Drum Shop and Music that readers (should) know. 50 Amp Fuse, Store in Redford. Kaleido with Christina Chriss, Pistol Day Parade, Killer Flamingos, Mega 80's. Might mention Raddi Audio, Lighting and FIVE bands, we should mention more often Staging, near the music stores. These that readers need to know!Howling Diablo’s, guys do all the pro stages, for all the Critical Bill, Shock Wave, Bullet Proof Snow, area festivals and events. The Raddi team are very musician friendly. They support and Phoenix Theory. musicians we support them. FIVE bands, I would have liked to had in that paragraph. Nightmare - Detroit's only Alice The Rushmore’s, an incredible indi-rock Cooper Tribute, War Machine, 2 Timin Band, trio from Wyandotte, did a fantastic show at Simon’s After Dark in Allen Park Category 5, Yankeeville Band. with Mental Health Day, Oak City Roots and FIVE Detroit guitar players everyone should Arbor Reign’. Emery “The ANIMAL” Perez Experts say the average person has to see an item FIVE times before it clicks. You might read it in a column. See it on TV, a billboard, a flyer, hear it on the radio, but it needs to be FIVE times, till it hooks you.



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By Julia Sikora

of attention after being named Detroit’s Super Singer, a title given to the winner of WDIV-Local 4’s annual Super Singer contest. If all of this wasn’t impressive enough, Simmons travelled to Maryland only a year later to record her debut album Difficult. Fourteen years old, Simmons teamed up with producers Chris Biondo and Lenny Williams, known for their work with Eva Cassidy, who had been an early inspiration for Simmons. Difficult features’ strong, full-bodied vocals, set against a well-honed R&B sound. Eleven years later, it’s 2014, and Simmons recently released her fourth album, Now or Never. Named for the album’s first track, Now or Never was officially released November 28th at a live show at Hatchey’s Higher Ground in Utica. For Simmons, whose last original release came out in 2010, the album has been a long time coming. “It made sense to call it Now or Never,” Simmons says of the album’s title, “because I’ve been recording this CD for almost two years. It was the perfect title to [finally] get it out and release it.” Prior to the release of Now or Never, Simmons had been out of the original music scene for two years, which she spent singing for Killer Flamingos and “doing the cover band thing,” because unfortunately, recording albums isn’t cheap. “[Playing with the cover bands] helps me pay for all of this original stuff” Simmons said. “I’m fortunate because I get to sing and do what I love to do, but it goes back into something I love even more, which is writing and being in the studio [recording] my own [music]. Now that she’s producing original music again, though, Simmons’ main goal is to push her album as far and as hard as she can through her various connections.

Photo By Lois Ryzyk

Alyssa Simmons’ name has echoed through Detroit for well over a decade. And so has her voice. Strong and fierce with the smooth purity of classic pop/soul singers, Simmons’ vocals have carried her across the U.S. and back (thankfully) to Detroit, where she is sure the join the growing ranks of mind-blowing female artists. There was no doubting Simmons’ talent when she first began taking voice and piano lessons at the age of nine. In no time at all, she was performing in voice competitions and opening for the likes of Randy Travis, Diamond Rio, and The Smothers Brothers. At the age of thirteen, Simmons garnered a great deal 12 LIVE

Listening through Now or Never prior to our interview, I was impressed by the variation and unique nature of Simmons’ current sound. A long way from the standard R&B elements of Difficult, this latest album features a mixture of rock instrumentation and pop melodies given substance by Simmons deep, soulful vocal style. The masterful execution of this mixture is truly a credit to Simmons’ own talent and the skill of her producer, current Sponge guitarist, Andy Patalan. Together, the two have created a light, uplifting sound with a definitive edge that will please pop and rock fans alike. “It’s a fun little ride,” Simmons said of the album. “I just hope [listeners] can connect to some of the lyrics, relate [them] to their own [lives], and just enjoy it.” I don’t think any of those expectations will be an issue. Now or Never is incredibly relatable, telling the stories of breaking up, of personal struggle, of loss, and of hope. My personal Top 3 songs on the album are “This Is War,” “Never Again,” and “Danger-Danger.”

Photo Marc Nader

“This Is War,” is a piano ballad driven forward by the neverending strength of Simmons’ voice. The song is personal favorite of Simmons’ as well. “I feel like a lot of people can connect to it,” she said. “It’s about not beating yourself up because we can because we all can be our own worst enemies at times. It’s saying stop doing that to yourself, it’s not worth it.” The first song on the Now or Never to feature any sign of solemnity, “This Is War,” is followed by the more airy “Never Again.” A light-hearted screw you to every ex-lover who crawls back with empty apologies, “Never Again” features jazzy, soft rock instrumentation and light Motown soul vocals.

individual Simmons is. More than that, she’s a determined individual. In spite of her early start and status, Simmons has no illusions about the kind of time, effort, and energy it takes to make it in music, even local music. Her determination is not that of the naïve young starlet, but the learned determination of a girl with passion who refuses to let herself down. Now or Never is available at and on Itunes. It is my hope that readers will give the album a listen and find Simmons’ work as interesting as I do. Alyssa Simmons is undoubtably going places in the future, but with the support of the greater Detroit area, we can get her there that much faster.

As unique as these two songs are, it’s the fifth track, “Danger-Danger,” that perfectly encapsulates Simmons’ beguiling sound. The melody is simple and recalls sixties pop and Motown, complete with a chorus of backing vocals. And yet, the rock elements are still there, expertly woven around the vocals to create a fusion where there would normally be clashing discord between genre and style. From this alone, I hope you can tell what a talented LIVE 13

Photos and review by Brian Quintos

­­­ Canadian dubstep/electro house producer Troy Beetles, known by his stage name Datsik, rolled out yet another bright, 100,000 watt show at the Royal Oak Music Theater which sold out on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2015. The show was in support of Beetles' Ninja Nation Tour which has been on the road since late January and will be running till early April. Known for the infamous vortex used in his stage design, the producer captivated audiences with electrifying projected visuals contemptuously juxtaposed with full bass music and light effects. Some highlights of the show included Datsik’s remix of Lana Del Ray’s 2014 track Ultraviolence and any one of the various break beat drops by Beetles, or the openers which included Trolly Snatcha, Lookas and Barely Alive. Due to the high turnout for the show and Beetles made the decision to add a second Michigan date at electronic dance music club Elektricity in Pontiac the day after the Valentines Day show.


Garth Brooks Story and Photos by Chris Balow

Garth Brooks played his first show as a professional recording artist at the Detroit Downtown Hoedown back in 1989. On Friday evening, he acknowledged his clamoring fans at Joe Louis Arena and exclaimed that, “Coming back to Detroit is more than I remember. You can tell everyone it’s on!” Without a doubt, fans exuded their love for Brooks’ music as he worked in a few of his new tracks form his new album “Man Against Machine” amongst all the classic tracks that he classified as “Garth 101” his 2 hour and 20 minute refresher course. He bends over at the waist laughing hysterically thanking God for this life as a performer – grinning ear-to-ear seemingly thinking how has it been 18 years since he has last played in Detroit. This is opening night for Brooks who is playing 6 sold-out shows over the course of two weekends in the Motor City; he is on fire stomping around the circular stage that extends to the back of the arena end—so much so that he is dousing his black cowboy hat with two Aquafina water bottles before he cast the remaining contents on the crowd. The lights over the set begin to simulate lightning --the fog machine pouring in smoke as Brooks launches into “The

Thunder Rolls” and the crowd helps him sing every word. Mr. Brooks plowed through all the hits including “Rodeo,” “Two of a Kind, Workin’ on a Full House,” and of course everyone’s sing along bar tune “Friends in Low Places.” He represents the definition of quality country music and it’s really hard to imagine that he has been gone for so long. He even stops to say thank you to the audience for their supportive energy “What you’re doing right now means the world to someone that does what I do,” as he guffaws in disbelief. During the middle portion of his set, Garth takes a break as his wife Trisha Yearwood comes out to pre-


form 4 songs including her song “How Do I Live” from the movie “Con Air.” The crowd is still blissfully singing along and it’s refreshing not to have to wait for a set change. Brooks and Yearwood started her portion of the set with a duet “In Another’s Eyes,” and ended the show with a duet of “Walkaway Joe” which is a rare tour treat. This will likely be one of the best country events to happen in Michigan all year right next to the Faster Horses Festival. The remaining people that have a chance to see Garth Brooks perform should – as it’s a unforgettable night. -Chris Balow


talent show with hundreds of people in the audience. The crowd went quiet, her heart was pounding, and her nerves were about to jump out of her skin. She decided to sing “Jesus Take the Wheel,” sung by one of the biggest voices in country to this day, Carrie Underwood. But when Taylor opened her mouth, let out that first word, all the tension and all the fear vanished. It was the first pivotal moment of her future in singing. Taylor knew that she had what it takes. She decided to try out for American Idol when she was only sixteen years old. A quirky personality and a drive to achieve her lifelong dream led her to audition. The travel to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania was left in disappointment. She did not receive the golden ticket, and was told that she had potential but needed to grow more. Taylor took their advice and built off of it.

“It fueled a fire in me to continue and not to give up.” Those are strong words from a young lady who is determined to make her lifelong dream a reality. That girl is Taylor Walls, a twenty year old from South Rockwood, Michigan. She was referring to the second time the American Idol judges decided to let her go. From a very young age she was amazing her parents and family members with her outstanding singing abilities. It has been a part of her for so long that she does not remember a time when she was not singing. Taylor began to sing in school productions and at church. As she grew she began to choose songs that fit not only her voice but who she was as a person. Her parents have been huge inspirations in her life. They both sing, although she says her father is a “closet-singer,” who does not like to admit his talent. Her mother had a dream of playing guitar and becoming a famous singer. She believes that Taylor is finally making that dream come true. “They are so supportive,” Taylor gushed. The support of her parents helps carry Taylor throughout her journey. To hear her talk about how her father never misses her gigs and how inspiring her mother is when she sings at church every week, enlightens us on how a solid background helped build a young woman with the willpower to become nothing but exceptional. When she was only in sixth grade she chose to compete in a Photo By Lois Ryzyk


She chose to attend Madonna University for Music Management. Taylor will be using her education to either help herself in her musical pursuits or to help others to achieve their dreams. A solid educational background as well as performing with her band, Athens Creek, represent the dedication she has to advance. She formed this band with Nate Jones and Oscar Sosa in July of 2014. She first met Oscar in a talent competition and connected with him and his sister. They met again at a Relay for Life concert this last June. It was shortly after that they met Nate and began to talk of becoming a band. They have been together for not even a year, but they are already performing gigs almost every weekend and are expanding. They have two gigs lined up in Pennsylvania this summer and are seeking other opportunities as well. Some may achieve their dreams easily, but Taylor has made sure that she gains enough knowledge through her education as well as as hard work and performing continuously. When her parents heard that American Idol was visiting Detroit in 2014, they encouraged Taylor to audition again. She was reluctant at first, but thought of all her vocal training and some schooling, and decided she should give her dream another shot on the show. With their push, she went for it. The three years that went by showed some maturity in Taylor’s voice. She left her audition with a golden ticket! She was able to travel to Hollywood and met many talented singers. However, her good fortune didn’t go beyond there. She was one of many



people that were cut first. But not even that would stop Taylor from pursuing her dream. “It was an amazing and growing experience,” she said. Even when she talks of her hard trials, her energetic and bubbly personality tell of a strong dedication that is needed in the business of music. She didn’t see her cut on the show as a failure. “Being able to perform on the Idol stage is a dream come true, and in that moment last year it felt as if I was home and where I was meant to be. So once I received a “No” from the judges after solo round last year, it pushed me to love and want to pursue music even more and to make sure that I make it back “home” to the stage.” Taylor furthered her voice and piano lessons as well as performing with her band as much as possible. With that, she decided to audition for American Idol again this year. Taylor was excited to inform her family and friends that she made it through to Hollywood again. “I owe a big thank you to Barbara Wiltsie, who is a professor at Madonna University, as well as my voice teacher. She shares a big part in helping me perfect my craft and become an even greater performer.” Unfortunately, Taylor was cut again this year, but she is not letting that hold her back. Taylor with her band, Athens Creek, has performed at various locations, including the Stone Pub in Wyandotte, Bierkeller in Taylor, and they will be performing at TV’s Grand Event in downtown Trenton on March 6th from seven to ten in the evening. If you haven’t already checked them out on YouTube, go check out their music and visit them at TV’s Grand Event! -Tara Morris

Individuals with positive attitude and neat appearance needed for sales positions with Detroit Live Media. up to 50k per year. We are interviewing in Taylor office for (1) Sales Manager and (3) Full Time Representatives. Should be outgoing, independent and people oriented. Love of the music industry is a plus. Interviews begin Mon. Jan. 12th Full Time / Part Time email: or call 734-775-9991 AREAS AVAILABLE: WESTLAND / CANTON LIVONIA NOVI ROYAL OAK / FERNDALE DOWTOWN DETROIT DOWNRIVER












Eric Harabadian’s

choice cuts February 2015

Niecie, The Other Side (Ride the Tiger Records RDTGR-4330-9, From rock, to blues, to soul and all points in between, Detroit’s hometown girl Niecie has got all her bases covered. A lesser artist might spread themselves a tad thin trying to cover so many fronts, but not this talent. Not only does she possess an expressive and appropriately soulful voice but she writes and chooses great material and knows how to surround herself with some of the best players around to interpret it. A lot of the tunes are born out of a blues tradition but put the emphasis on unique arrangements and pop-oriented hooks. “Strange Way” kicks off the album with a mid-tempo rocker that wouldn’t be out of place on one of Eric Clapton or Little Feat’s more contemporary projects. “God’s Got This” is a clever gospel-flavored funk number that seems quite autobiographical for the leader. Another highlight is Niecie’s take on the Isley Brothers’ heartfelt hit “Harvest for the World.” While no means a religious album it’s the choice of material like this that gives this disc real spiritual power. Well done!

Stahl and the White Russians, Used ( ) This is a curious and amusing follow up to their excellent 2013 debut Jackie Does Love.” While their initial release was essentially comprised of original material this current venture is an EP’s worth of eclectic cover songs. But heavy on the word “eclectic” for these are contemporary and vintage rock and pop tunes that are boiled down to their essence and reinterpreted in a whole new way. Opening the disc with Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus” is brilliant as Stahl takes the classic ‘80s electro-pop anthem and gives it a rustic shakedown. The tune’s thinly veiled religious themes take on a significant and more poignant meaning when processed through the lens of Stahl and company. The Coasters’ “Youngblood” is somewhat true to the bluesy original but has a tricky cadence and syncopation to it that is lilting and minor-sounding. Nazareth’s “Hair of the Dog” has got to be one of the oddest ones on here. Again, that blues element is definitely there but this band turns the ‘70s party rocker on its ear, injecting it with a “Susie-Q”/CCR-type redux. Stahl’s droll and laid back delivery adds to the version’s playful charm. Jimmy Reed’s “Big Boss Man” has been done by many over the years and gets a respectful showing here, but tends to drag a tad rhythmically and energy-wise. But they saved one of the best for last doing a take on Morphine’s up-tempo “Thursday.” The groove is jazzy and kicking, with a New Orleans sort of feel. Overall, an interesting listen as these Detroit players demonstrate their love for ageless music, with a sublime ability to simultaneously honor and deconstruct it. and a host of Motown and Nashville’s finest. 28 26 LIVE LIVE


Jim Baxter & Sam Trocki, Critically Acclaimed ( , 323-382-8400) L.A.-based singer-songwriters Baxter and Trocki have each had some very accomplished indie recordings previously on their own. But, to my knowledge, this is the first time that they’ve collaborated on a release together. The result is something that, perhaps, lives up to its title. While they may not be household names, the duo does a nice job churning out an album’s worth of musically diverse pop and rock. Memorable hooks and finely crafted harmonies abound on songs like “Sad Guitar”, “I Need a Miracle” and “Good Times.” A lot of the tunes have a densely produced sheen to them that seems natural and not too antiseptic. The guitars sound huge and there are some lovely keyboard interludes throughout as well. Although this is all original material, the duo was obviously raised on music of the ‘80s and ‘90s. Granted, the songs are contemporary, radio-ready and hold up on their own, but listeners should have a fun time playing “name that influence” as they peruse the track list. music fan alike.

Goodnight Tonight, Watch the Rain ( ) The six-track EP from this Akron, Ohio trio (now a quartet) really kicks! From the opening tune “The Only Thing I Know” lead vocalist/guitarist Emily Gambone unleashes an unbridled delivery that is part pathos and passion all rolled into one. This story of an abusive relationship is told from a place of real humanity and an intelligent perspective. The harmonies are exquisite and the driving rhythms of bassist Holly Camp and drummer Logan McNeal are sharp, precise and totally on point. “Poison” follows, with a tale on the loss of innocence and, again, Gambone weighs in with lyrics that are revelatory and ring true. “Lieutenant James” appears to be a soldier’s story told from the point of view of those awaiting a loved one’s return. This is modern rock in the vein of Paramore or Cassadee Pope, with some of the best production and arrangements from an unsigned act this reviewer has ever heard. Big meaty riffs, tasteful interplay and a well-conceived musical approach make this an up and coming band to watch!

Eric Sardinas and Big Motor, Boomerang (Jazzhaus Records JHR 102) Well it’s the tail end of winter as this review is being written and that seasonal old man is holding on for dear life. It may be sub-zero temps outside but hold on, because this new one by axe man supreme Eric Sardinas is sure to melt away any ice and snow in its path! With a raspy snarl and a frenzied electric dobro Resonator guitar the leader breaks down barriers with “Run Devil Run.” It’s a full-on hard rockin’ blues attack that comes off like Stevie Ray Vaughan on steroids. A little down the list Sardinas grabs an acoustic dobro for some of the sweetest guitar one could ever hear on “Morning Glory.” And when the guitarist sings “I’m Evil…My Name is Misery” on the Elvis Presley-popularized classic “Trouble” you have no doubt but to believe him! The album closer is a little rave-up called “Heavy Loaded”; complete with backing chorus vocals, kazoos and a playful spirit that wouldn’t be out of place on an Aerosmith or Van Halen album of old. Lord have mercy! DETROITLIVEMAGAZINE.COM




Pisces (Feb. 19 – March 20) – Happy birthday Pisces! Your year starts with a powerful total eclipse in your sign! It is validating your intuition — you’re intelligent on more dimensions than the average person! Trust the messages you get in meditation and live from your truth. Think supportive thoughts about yourself. Sudden changes at work bring prosperity and joy, so be fearless if things shake up. Aries (March 21 – April 19) — This month’s eclipse stimulates dreams and helps you visualize exciting future changes. Meditate for more guidance after you complete each step in front of you. In early August you can manifest major results if you stay consistent! You can also be starting a new relationship that’s very sexy and exciting (or have a renaissance in a current partnership). Enjoy everything, just don’t let todays’s thrills divert you from long-range goals. Taurus (April 20 – May 20) — This month’s eclipse asks you to contemplate how helpful your friends really are. Do you have built up resentments? Maybe it’s because they are less evolved than you. It could be time to seek new friends as thoughtful and spiritual as you. Don’t put up with crumbs! Also make a beautiful peaceful place in your house to meditate. You need a serene environment for a serene mind. Gemini (May 21 – June 20) — You can have exciting opportunities with work that you’ve been wishing for! The total eclipse opens many doors. Supervisors have been putting in good words for you. Or, if looking for new jobs, you’re exciting to the hiring team. In relationships, things become deeper. Be sure to express your positive emotions to your partner, even if the intimacy frightens you. This cements your bond and helps your partner open up more to you. Cancer (June 21 – July 22) — Let your intuition guide your career. Get in touch with your soul through daily meditation. Just five minutes of quiet time every day is enough to open the channel. You’ll gain insights on forgotten talents, or on ones you underrate, but others value. You’re better than you think! Be bold and let your light shine! Prosperity can come from a source you overlooked or gave up on — a big tax return, a bonus from a critical supervisor, or a loan you gave long ago. Leo (July 23 – Aug. 22) — Let relationships unfold gently. You might want to jump in too fast, or the other person could be over-eager. With the eclipse this month, it’s easy to get emotionally overwhelmed. By advancing slowly, yet steadily, you’ll be in a solid place six months form now. Also, be prudent about spending. You’re on a high now and that’s great. But meditate for balance so you can see all options clearly. 28 LIVE

speak or act! Intense emotions can be related to past events that aren’t even connected to the person or situation. Meditate and journal to find roots of feelings — they could have childhood BY ALUNA MICHAELS, M.A. beginnings or even be past life patterns! If about present day, you’ll be poised and calm Virgo (Aug. 23 – Sept. 22) — This month’s eclipse tests your willingness to release if you need to do or say anything. Cleansing past relationship issues. Things are being stirred like this makes for intimacy, serenity and even prosperity! up to be cleared out. Breathe through the feelings, journal about them and let them go! Aquarius (Jan. 20 – Feb. 18) — An Resist your ego self who wants to poison the present with old junk! The roots might go back amazing, spiritual relationship can start — or your present one gains new depth and love! to your parents’ bond — but you can create Aquarians are “in their heads”, so meditate better future karma. You’re not doomed to to go beyond thoughts and release logic. As patterns! Happiness awaits on the other side. intuition flows you’ll be more peaceful and Libra (Sept. 23 – Oct. 22) — Take control attract higher energy people. As mental stress of your mind — especially around body image, is relieved, current folks regard you more health and diet. Meditate on your divine beauty positively. Since intellect is your secularity and the wholeness of each cell. Don’t buy into blanket, releasing thoughts is a daily yoga practice for you. Stick with it fearlessly to your own negativity or society’s manipulative maintain bliss! messages. The energy you salvage from not tormenting yourself with thoughts will channel Aluna Michaels is a second-generation into relationships. You’ll feel present and astrologer and soul evolutionist practitioner. loved, as well as blissful and loving! Seek out friends who stay positive to reinforce your new She also holds a Masters in Spiritual Counseling and has been teaching and consulting for more mindset. than three decades. Her book “Spiritual Gifts of the 12 Astrological Signs” is now on Amazon in Scorpio (Oct. 23 – Nov. 21) — This month’s eclipse asks you to incorporate fun into Kindle version and as an E-book on her website. your life! Other transits are pushing you to work Aluna is available for appointments in her home, by phone or Skype. Call (248) 583-1663 or visit hard and be aware of your finances, maybe even re-budgeting. That’s great, but what about nurturing your playfulness? So many intuitive solutions come when you rest your mind through play. Or you might do art, dance, be with pets or kids, even cook. Creating balance makes you energized, successful and serene! Sagittarius (Nov. 22 – Dec. 21) — Like Leo pals, be cautious in relationships. It’s too easy to get caught in too much enthusiasm and then burn out. Allow love to develop gently and it will last! Make time for your spiritual practice; don’t abandon your soul! If partnered, a shot of divine energy will enliven a dull connection. Be active together and more sexiness will stir up! Meditate or practice yoga together and see each other with new eyes.

Capricorn (Dec. 22 – Jan. 19) — This month’s eclipse brings up subconscious “stuff” — so think before you



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