Sunday, June 28, 2015

One Way Street


                         Club Belmont Family Fest Picnic 

Photo by: Yago Garcia. 14th Annual Family Picnic
Founding in 1922, Shriners Hospital for children has been a leading foundation battling diseases, disorders and poverty. Some folks might be familiar with Danny Thomas and his pledge to raise money for St. Jude's during the 1950's. With only $7.00 to his name, he placed the money in a church donation box and wondered how to cover the cost for the birth of his daughter. The power of prayer was answered and Thomas landed a small movie role that could pay 10 times the amount given to the church and the rest is history.
Club owner, John Kola is making history and has spearheaded a family fest that seeks donations that will provide education, research and better quality of life for children that are in need of medical care.
The mission for Shriner, Thomas and Kola has been implemented without regard to race, creed gender or disability. With a suggested $20.00 donation, children that have spinal cord injuries, cleft lip or a number orthopedic needs can receive the needed care with these contributions. At Club Belmont's picnic, everyone here was focused on the children with special needs and their families with love and hope in their hearts.

Scott Fricke
There was plenty of joy and happiness at Club Belmont's 14th annual family picnic this year. Pony rides, mini-golf and a Bouncy House where just some featured attractions for the kids. Adult activities included a Beer Truck, Barbecue, and live music performed by One Way Street. A bit of 70's Funk was played at Grove 10 in Schiller Woods on this hot and sunny afternoon. My notes are bit splotchy from the blood, sweat and beer form this social event.  However, cover songs from Off Broadway,  Megadeth and Offspring sounded pretty damn good. Other songs such as, "I Want You To Want Me" (Cheap Trick) "Possum Kingdom" (Toadies) and "Cumbersome" (Seven Mary Three) had everyone dancing and toe-tapping to shady summer beats.  Members of One Way Street include: Scott Fricke (Lead Vocals) Mark Cutro, Tom O'Connor (Lead Guitarist) Tony Galati (Bass) and Fred Braun (Drums). Oh, I almost failed to mention Kayla Fricke offering up lead/back-up vocals to this groups powerful performance.
One Way Street

In conclusion, it was good to see some old friends such as Will, Bernie Stalans and Yago Garcia. Members from High Alert showed up in support for Shriner's Hospital and the good will it brings to the lives of others in need. The greatest gift of all is a child's love. They make you feel taller, smarter, and your eyes brighter with hope that tomorrow will be a better day.
My point in this article is all about helping each other. Sure, Beer Trucks and live music is good, but when we work for the greater glory of God, all things are possible.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

High Alert.

                             Summer Fest Review at Joe E's in Chicago.

Okay. This horrible  rain needs to stop. Music lovers are having trouble relaxing and enjoying the great outdoors for the last three weeks with a soggy outcome.  I was drinking with Eddie Bak, when High Alert made the executive decision to relocate their band equipment from the beer garden to the small inside stage at Joe E's in Chicago, IL. As you may know, a little rain is no match for Heavy Metal Thunder and High Alert is living proof that the show must go on at all cost!

Mike Gaynor
There have been a few line-up changes during the winter months for High Alert, replacing lead vocalist, Vic Ryan with Mike Gaynor. and former bassist Raf Winterpacht with Will Heart.   Performing with Know Time 4 Pain, Gaynor thirst for Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest continued. Ultimately, hitting the high notes and covering some of the best music ever created is no easy feat in this arena. There is no room on stage for being second best and in Chicago we're all reaching for top spot to play.  However, Gaynor delivers the goods with a strong stage presence during each and every song.  
Will Heart & James Nobel

Next, we have new bassist Will Heart. Devils & Angels was short lived for Heart, and he mentioned "Sweet Leaf"  as awesome tune to play. "Another cool song is "Fairies Wear Boots," explains Heart.There are some challenges with the lead part for that song and it's always fun to play Geezer Butler stuff," he adds to say. Traveling all the way from Rockford, Heart has indeed earned himself a seat at the table for the Noble Order of Metal Bass Players. Other Members include, Brian Joseph Vinezeano, James Nobel (lead guitarist) and drummer Andrew Schreiner. It was time to rock the house on this small intimate stage. Drinks flowed heavy by two outstanding bartenders Erika & Danielle as the show kicked-off with Priest classic titled: "Electric Eye" The eye of the storm was fierce that Saturday night at Joe E's. Yet  Gaynor's showmanship was right on point and kept the crowd eager for more Metal. James Noble was holding his own position, offering some powerful back-up vocals to songs such as "Your Fucking Nightmare" and that well known Avenged Sevenfold classic, "Buried Alive."  

High Alert
On the surface High Alert may fit some social drawbacks and Heavy Metal stereotypes. In truth, This group has struggled building this five piece foudation. However, They are not looking back, and hopes for brighter future with a new line-up this summer. All things considered, there is a good chance that we'll be seeing more High Alert in the years to come. In due time, bigger and better shows will come for these guys. It's up to you to take action and spread the word and check out High Alert at their next show. Until then, Stay Metal!! 


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Chicago Blues Fest


The Thrill Lives On!

32nd Annual Chicago Blues Fest
June is a great month for outdoor festivals. It is a time for backyard barbecues, plush green grass and warm sunshine. Ah yes, Summertime has arrived and so did the 32nd Annual Chicago Blues Festival, held in Grant Park.  Blues masters such as Sly Johnson, Scott Albert Johnson and Buddy Guy have hit the stage, practicing their craft in the Windy City.
In the world of Blues, I am not just some rabid fan that wants to hear Muddy Waters or Willie Dixon. No sir. I am a lifelong addict of Blues Music and Heavy Metal thunder.  I was addicted from the start, and the thirst for Blues pumps through my veins like those who enjoy pills and cheap whiskey trying to ease the pain.  Under those circumstances, there was no escape form the long and painful security line. Folks gave up their constitutional rights and allowed the Illinois Nazis to conduct Bomb searches in baby strollers. Ye Gods, Man. What has happened to this beautiful country we once lived? I am getting the Blues just thinking about Martial Law and that fear is the harvesting machine. But never mind that kinda talk. Let's move on, cover the Chicago Blues Fest without the Gestapo tactics and learn more about the sponsors and artists that made this an historical event in 2015.

Shawn Holt & The Tear Drops
For the most part, the sun was shining hot and bright once I entered the gated area.  Shawn Holt & The Tear Drops where up on the Budweiser Crossroads Stage playing all the blues classics.  Next it was time to see The Cash Box Kings performing on the Pepsi Front Porch Stage.  However, during all this great music, I was unable to capture any live shots from T.C.K. with my cameras and was too busy taking notes for this article.  That's what happens when you're having too much fun listening to some great music.  With this in mind, it was time for more beer. and time to hit the Petrillo Music Shell.

Buddy Guy
Headlining this years Blues Fest was no other than Blues legend Buddy Guy. A long and successful career in the early 1950's Buddy Guy began  playing with bands in the Red Sticks (Baton Rouge, LA). Leaving his blues in California and opened his own nightclub in Chicago, Buddy Guy has a rich history, jamming with Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson and Stevie Ray Vaughan. But seeing him live was a real treat to Blues fans in Grant Park. The Blues fell down like the rain that keep coming back that night. Yet, the lousy weather was no match for Buddy Guy as he played a 90 minute set for his adorning spectators. Nevertheless, most concert goers had a good time and did not have to go home. But at 11:00  pm they could not stay at the park after dark and it was time to disperse.