JAM Magazine Blog
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Kara Grainger
February 8, 2019
Guitar Sanctuary
McKinney, TX

Review by David Simers
Photos by Kerry Langford

Kara Grainger Delivers The Blues In Style!

Kara GraingerAs the crowd fills in on a cold night at The Guitar Sanctuary in McKinney, several old friends gather to talk about seeing and hearing Kara Grainger for the first time. Others chime in and tell how they have followed the career path of the young blues artist originally from Sydney, Australia.

Grainger soon comes on stage and immediately wows the crowd with her slide playing on her acoustic guitar. The folksy blues beat picks up and her soulful voice seduces the audience on “The Sky Is Falling.” Her left hand becomes a blur on the fret for the guitar solo on the first blues song the talented artist ever wrote.

Kara continues on slide acoustic with J.J. Cale’s “I’ll Make Love To You Anytime.” Drummer Brian Austin keeps a heavy back-beat going during the song, especially during Kara’s solo. The percussion shows how important a good drummer is to a blues band. Read more »


Rival Sons
Feral Roots
Low Country Sound/Atlantic

Review by Tim Taylor

Powerful New LP By California Sons!

Rival Sons Feral Roots Low Country Sound/AtlanticWe live in a time when many music fans, critics, and artists are making the claim that Rock music is dead. I’d like to round up all of those people, and slap them across the face with a copy of Feral Roots, the latest masterpiece from Rival Sons. This record has all the brilliant fuzzy guitar riffs and thunderous drums that we’ve come to expect from this band on songs like the album opener “Do Your Worst”, “Back in the Woods”, and the heavy “End of Forever”, but the true beauty of Feral Roots lies in its unexpected intricacies.

The subtle female backing vocals on “Too Bad” are the perfect compliment to Jay Buchanan’s powerhouse vocals. The switch by Scott Holiday to a clean riff, instead of his signature fuzz-tone, on “Stood By Me” blends magnificently with his energetic slide-guitar solo. The surprise of the soft melody on “All Directions” connecting to its epic rock n’ roll ending with Buchanan’s strongest howl of the album will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Michael Miley’s percussion, most notably his quiet cymbal work, during the title track is masterful.

The most surprising moment of Feral Roots is the closing song, “Shooting Stars”. It starts with Buchanan singing with a choir, and when the rest of the band kicks in, it turns into an anthem of positivity and love saying, “We move through the world like shooting stars across the sky/spinning through the darkness putting the light into their eyes”.

This record takes you on a journey from beginning to end. It has all of the guitar tricks, otherworldly drumming, and superior vocals that Rival Sons fans have fallen in love with over the years, but it shows so many new sides of the band as well. You won’t want to pick a song or two from Feral Roots for a Spotify playlist. It’s not that kind of album. It’s an album to absorb and experience, like the great rock albums of the 70’s. There isn’t another rock band this good on the planet right now, so blind your eyes, still your tongue, and lose yourself in the best record in recent memory.


January 18, 2019
BOK Center
Tulsa, OK

Metallica’s WorldWired Tour Delivers High Energy Show And A Record Attendance!

Review by Vernon L. Gowdy III
Photos by Vernon L. Gowdy III

Metallica’s WorldWired Tour Delivers High Energy Show And A Record Attendance!American stand-up comedian Jim Breuer opened the show with a set of heavy metal jokes and crowd interaction – singling out the youngest and the oldest Metallica members in the audience.

Metallica played to a record attending crowd of 19,228 fans of all ages, playing for well over two hours through an 18 song setlist. Metallica opened with two of the newer songs, “Hardwired” and “Atlas, Rise!,” from their latest album, Hardwired…to Self-Destruct.

Metallica’s stage design consisted of a square mainstage equipped with several prop lifts located in the center of the arena and overhead 52 LED video cubes would ascend and descend while displaying vivid, colorful and flashing images. And of course no Metallica show would be complete without the use of pyrotechnics, which were skillfully used in the later part of the show. Read more »


Generation Axe
December 14, 2018
The Bomb Factory
Dallas, TX

Review by Dave Gray
Photos by Rene Rivera

Vai’s Generation Axe Slices Through Dallas’ Bomb Factory

Generation Axe Photos by Rene RiveraSteve Vai and four of his closest guitar friends almost imploded the Bomb Factory and honestly challenged the Dallas power grid tonight. Baby, it was cold outside, but that didn’t keep the masses away from Dallas’ Deep Ellum, as a packed house stayed for the four full hours of nonstop guitar wizardry from the likes of Vai, Yngwie J. Malmsteen, Zakk Wylde, Nuno Bettencourt, and Tosin Abasi. The night songs left my ears buzzing as I walked out of the venue after midnight, and I was sitting in the balcony most of the night.

The quintet opened the set with all five guitarists onstage at once performing the 1970’s instrumental “Hocus Pocus” by Focus (a hard rock anthem, before there was hard rock). The song featured each musician as they took turns performing a few bars of a guitar solo, and then slickly passed the torch to the next guitarist, which seemed to throw gasoline on it, igniting their own instrument, smoking, blazing hot. The rhythm of the song is a fast-paced epic, and the band provided the lush background as each guitarist took their turn with the torch. Read more »


SCORPIONS Interview With Guitarist Rudolf Schenker

JAM Magazine sits down with guitar legend Rudolf Schenker to talk about the new tour and GUITARS!

Interview by Michael Beers


John O’Daniel Memorial
December 9, 2018
Anatole Hotel
Dallas, TX

Review by David Simers
Photos by Chuck Flores

Hundreds Pay Homage To Late Singer!

John O'Daniel MemorialIt’s difficult to honor a man who means so much to the music community, but friends, family and extended family do so with a memorial to the late John O’Daniel. Big John, as many call him, would love the musical tribute by members of his two prominent bands – Point Blank and The Stratoblasters.

Long-time friends fill the Anatole Hotel ballroom and begin to share stories from their past with music as the central theme. Although it’s an emotional time, they see familiar faces from the past and are happy to relive some great memories, even though some of the memories were struggles at the time. The thoughts and words they share bring the friends as close together as they were when they saw each other every week at the concerts. Read more »


FOREIGNER Tom Gimbel Interview 40th Anniversary Tour

Photos Courtesy of ForeignerOnline.com

JAM Magazine chats with Tom Gimbel of FOREIGNER. Discussing the highs and lows of being a part of such an iconic 70s band for more than 25 years. Check out the 40th Anniversary Tour at Starplex Pavilion in Dallas TX this Friday, August 18th!


Buckcherry Rocks The Monkey!Buckcherry Rocks The Monkey!

On hot and sticky August Texas night, California rockers Buckcherry make another round to Big ‘D’ for yet another great night of Rock N’ Roll, this time at Gas Monkey Bar N’ Grill, and to make things better or worst, not really sure, it was a SOLD OUT SHOW! Read more »


Blink-182 All The Pop Punk Things!All The Pop Punk Things!

One of the premier pop punk bands has made their return to the land of over 10,000 lakes. Grammy nominated Blink-182 was here to show off some new tunes and classic songs for all the fans in attendance. Fortunately, it had stopped raining right before the gates opened to the venue. I am sure that most people were worried that the outdoor show would be canceled as the skies had darkened and there was a prediction of rain. However, what seemed doomed to be a very wet evening, ended up being a fantastic night. Read more »


All American Band!
Grand Funk Railroad @ Billy Bob's TexasHas Grand Funk Railroad Derailed? They say “Without Mark Farner, there is no funk! When Mark Farner left, the funk left with him!” Saturday night at Billy Bob’s Texas prove that wrong once again!

Not having been affected by the dynamics of any changes within Grand Funk Railroad in particular, there was no lack of awareness for personal connection felt through the original band mates “breaking up” if you will.

While this reigns true, for me it was not an option on keeping an open mindset. When the dynamics of any band change everything changes. One fact remains, musicians must and will play on. With that being said ‘Rock and Roll’ on following your hearts desire. Read more »