THE JOURNEY ZONE
Journey 1977 Tour (with vocalist Robert Fleischman):
"Journey's vocalist points the group in some new directions"--Al Rudis, Chicago, IL, July 11, 1977
"Journey Is on a Brand New Trip"--by Joel Selvin, San Francisco, May, 1977
Review of Here to Stay (Neal Schon & Jan Hammer) by Pete Bishop, Pittsburgh Press, March 27, 1983
Review of Through the Fire (HSAS) by Pete Bishop, Pittsburgh Press, May 6, 1984
Review of Street Talk (Steve Perry) by Pete Bishop, Pittsburgh Press, May 6, 1984
Review of Raised on Radio Tour by Pete Bishop, Pittsburgh Press, October 1986
Review of Raised on Radio by Rich Sutton, Song Hits Magazine, October 1986
Review of For the Love of Strange Medicine (Steve Perry)--Chicago, IL October, 1994
Review of Beyond The Thunder (Neal Schon)--1995
The Storm: Eye of the Storm
Originally published at Amazon.Com, 07 October, 1998
Re-published at Jrnydv.Com, 17 August, 2003
The Storm is one of those rare rock albums that comes along every few years with absolutely no filler. From huge driving rockers which explode with melody to soaring, heartfelt ballads, this one's guaranteed to put a smile on your face. There's the obvious comparisons to Journey, but this is sooo much better than "Trial by Fire" - more like Journey on steroids and with superior songwriting. Having Gregg Rollie and Ross Valory in the group naturally helps.....the production from Nigel Green (Mutt Lange's apprentice, who was very much involved in albums like Hysteria) is very well handled and delivers the songs sharply. I promise you - from the first strands of larger-than-life opener "Don't Give Up", you'll know the purchase was well worth the money.
Review of Journey in Concert, Chicago, IL June 4, 1999
Vacation's Over 1999
Wantagh, NY, June 23
Originally published on the IMusic Journey Bulletin Board, 28 June, 1999
Abbreviated version published on The Official Journey Website
OK, kids. Here we go. I was seated dead center and pretty far back. Foreigner was great. Mick Jones and Lou Gramm were both there. Unfortunately, Gramm's voice is not what it used to be. Sounds familiar? Now, Journey. Steve Augeri is almost a carbon copy of Perry. The sideburns, the hair, the profile, the build, the dance style, the voice. They couldn't have picked a better replacement. I could barely tell the difference. Deen Castronovo is great. He gave Journey a punch that was only to be expected after hearing him play with Bad English. The drums were Zildjian, I believe, and used the simple black beatle Journey logo on white skins--two displayed it. Ross Valory hasn't aged much, and he still goofs around with the video camera. He puts on that wild look with his eyes at just the right moment, always conscious of when he's on the video screen, of which there were two, one on each side of the stage, about 30 feet wide and 20 tall. His hair style hasn't changed at all in sixteen years. Jonathan Cain also hasn't aged much. His playing was phenomenal, both on piano and on guitar downstage with Schon and Valory. The piano was bright red. Schon seems to really be enjoying unabashed middle age. He's wearing glasses now, trendy thin frames. He still puts on a great show, flirting with the girls in the front row and chewing gum while he plays his solos. He always keeps his cool. There was a heavy fog which made the bass notes overly sonic, but that was OK. Being towards the back as I was, I had the misfortune of sitting in between two non-fans who had probably come in off the beach to see whoever was playing. One of them ACTUALLY asked me to stop singing. Can you believe it? After that I limited myself to singing the backup vocals. The average age of the crowd was probably mine, 27. There were some older folks there, maybe in their fifties or sixties, and some younger ones too--more of them--in their early twenties. I don't think I saw anyone under twenty-one. There was an official no smoking policy, but a lot of people lit up anyway. The atmosphere was very loose and free. I smelled pot a couple of times, and even smelled skunk once (the theater is out near the beach, in the "wild"). Songs: Something from every album since Infinity except Dream, After Dream. From TBF: "One More." From ROR: "Be Good To Yourself." Multiple songs, of course, from Escape and Frontiers. From Departure: "Any Way You Want It." Augeri let someone in the front row sing one of the chorus from that one right into his microphone, which was very cool. Plenty of stuff from Evolution and Infinity. The best part was when Jonathan Cain sang Greg Rolie's lead vocals on "Just the Same Way" and "Anytime." That really surprised me. They concluded the set with "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'" and came back for an encore with "Don't Stop Believin'" and Faithfully." They sang one song I wasn't familiar with: it's either from the upcoming album or that song from "Armageddon." It sounded like it was called "Have Some Fun Tonight." It was different. They did both "Ask the Lonely" and "Be Good to Yourself." When it was all over, and the roadies took the stage, one of the first crates to be brought out was the piano case. It's still called "The Whale," and I wouldn't be surprised if it's the exact same case that appeared in the "Frontiers and Beyond" video. Madresfield, I took your advice and listened to hard stuff beforehand and soft stuff afterwards. I borrowed my friend Mike's pickup and came up from Baltimore, arriving late. I missed the first half of the Foreigner set. I listened to Greatest Hits, Live just before I arrived at the beach and Dream, After Dream on the way home. It was a great way to get psyched up for the show and a good way to mellow out afterwards. One last thought: no offense to you diehards out there, but...Steve Perry WHO?
Review of Journey in Concert, The Warfield, San Francisco, CA December, 1999
Review of Journey in Concert, Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, NV December 30, 2000
Neal Schon's Piranha Blues
Originally published at House of Shred, undated
Re-published at Jrnydv.Com July 18, 2003
Neal Schon, the timeless guitarist who is the foundation of Journey, has had several excellent side projects: Just-if-I, Hardline, and several solo discs (all of which are worth checking out, by the way). On this latest solo effort, Schon goes in a different direction, putting out a Blues album.
In the liner notes, Neal tells us to "Crank this disc up LOUD!" Once you've heard the opening lick of the first track, you won't be able to do anything BUT crank it up! Schon's got his guitar fired up for this one, and the results are impressive. Throughout this disc, Neal proves (as if he needed to) that he can shred with the best of them, regardless of the musical genre.
The songs on this CD range from rough blues/rock tracks to straight Blues numbers that sound like they have heavy Albert Collins influences (track 9 - "Play the Blues"). All the tracks are original material - there are no covers on this disc. But the songwriting is strong enough that there was no need for the band to throw on a familiar track or two to keep people interested. If you like Blues even a tiny bit, I guarantee that you will find something here for you.
In addition to Schon's luscious axe-work, there is some great bass work by fellow Journey member Ross Valory, solid drumming by ex-Tubes skins-pounder Prarie Prince, and the growling vocals of Richard Martin Ross. Ross's voice is perfect for the material. He sounds like a young Jack Bruce with just the tiniest dash of Joe Cocker thrown in to crank the gravelly growl up a notch.
Piranha Blues belongs in every Blues-guitar lover's collection. But even if you're not a big Blues fan, you owe it to yourself to take this disc for a spin, if only for Neal Schon's soloing. Enjoy!
Last Updated 16 July, 2009 (DHG)