New album from Jan Akersson’s Shadow Rain

MelodicRock Records is very pleased to announce an extension of the relationship with S.A.Y mastermind Jan Akesson, working with the guitarist/vocalist/songwriter/producer on his debut solo album ‘Ascension’, set to be released August 26 under the moniker Jan Akersson’s Shadow Rain.

Jan Akesson’s Shadow Rain is an intense, in your face hard rocking rollercoaster that is both unique and melodic as well as very familiar to fans of the debut S.A.Y album, released on MRR in 2015. Guitars and menace run through the album’s 10 tracks, whilst each throws in a hook and melody that draws you back in for more.

01. I Can’t Tell You No
02. The Promised Land
03. City Of Light
04. Into The Fire
05. Sound Of A Broken Heart
06. A Sound For Death
07. After The Love Is Gone
08. Cross The Universe
09. Love On The Run
10. Fool For Your Loving

Jan Akesson’s Shadow Rain is:
Jan Akesson: Vocals, Guitars, Backing Vocals

Additional Musicians:
Sven Svantesson – Lead Guitars
Lasse Johansson – Bass
Jens Westberg – Drums

Produced, Mixed Mastered by: Jan Akesson
Recorded at Ump Unlimited Music Production

Official url:


Two great bands touring later this year and Cats In Space release their second album ‘Scarecrow’ in August 🙂


9/11 Plug, Sheffield
10/11 Foxlowe Arts Centre, Leek
16/11 The Tunnels Bristol
17/11 The Ruby Lounge, Manchester
18/11 The Cluny, Newcastle
19/11 The Bodega, Nottingham
23/11 Stereo Glasgow
24/11 Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
25/11 The Empire Coventry
26/11 O2 Academy Islington London
1/12 The Waterfront Norwich
2/12 The Talking Heads, Southampton

Weds 06 The Borderline, London
Tues 12 The Globe, Cardiff
Weds 13 The Borderline, London
Fri 15 Rock City Basement, Nottingham
Sat 16 O2 Academy 2, Birmingham
Sun 17 The Fleece, Bristol
Tues 19 The Haunt, Brighton
Mon 25 G2, Glasgow
Tues 26 O2 Academy 3, Manchester
Weds 27 The Borderline, London
3/12 Planet Rockstock 2017


DON BARNES Lost Solo Album ‘Ride The Storm’ Comes To MRR

MelodicRock Records is thrilled to announce one of the biggest releases for the label thus far! How else could you describe an album featuring Dann Huff, Alan Pasqua, Jeff & Mike Porcaro, Jesse Harms and Denny Carmassi?
MRR will be the label finally able to extract one of the best “lost” albums of all time for an official release. Plenty have tried over the years, but timing is everything!
Nearly 30 years ago, what would have been an instant classic was relegated to storage thanks to the old story of record label machinations. Of course, we are talking about the classic AOR masterpiece DON BARNES solo album ‘Ride The Storm’.
MelodicRock Records started a conversation with the legendary 38 Special vocalist nearly 12 months ago to the day, suggesting that more than enough time has passed and that this record deserves its time to shine. So it is with great pleasure that MRR announces that DON BARNES ‘Ride The Storm’ will be released worldwide June 30.

And even better news for fans and collectors that have had this record in its various MP3 forms over the years, what you have isn’t the main record you’re about to hear.

In searching for the original masters for ‘Ride The Storm’, after being lost for two decades, Don found the only existing copy of a ‘rock mix’ that was commissioned back in 1989 to take a look at how the songs would sound, remixed for a bigger ‘rock’ impact.

Ever the completist, MRR’s Andrew McNeice insisted that both mixes of the classic album were included in the release – as well as the three individual, heavily traded, solo demo tracks that were recorded but not included on the original album.

The complete ‘Ride The Storm’ release will therefore be a 2CD set, featuring the album in its intended form, plus the second ‘alternate mix’ disc, on which the three additional bonus tracks are added at the end.

As there was no original artwork yet conceived for ‘Ride The Storm’, so regular MRR artist extraordinaire Nello Dell’Omo was commissioned to come up with something amazing. And that he has. In collaboration with Don, who drove the vision and MRR, the end result might just be one of his best album covers yet! Two individual sets of remastering also serve the album well – it sounds as fresh, punchy and as amazing as it ever has. Thanks to JK Northrup (Rock Mix) and Brian Foraker (Alt. Mix) for their vital work.

It’s time Don himself jumped in with the story behind this amazing solo album:

“Over two decades ago, with years of success as lead singer and guitarist with 38 Special, I was given an opportunity by A&M Records to create a side solo project as an artist.  A&M suggested putting several top-rated musicians in the studio with me and I would write and co-produce the project. I set about co-writing songs and was honored to have some of the industry’s top musicians join me in the recording.

All of these players were extraordinary talents in the music business; the great Jeff Porcaro along with his brother Mike, respectively the drummer and bassist from the band Toto – and the best ‘bottom-end foundation’ for any session – came on board to help forge a great rock record.

We also had the masterful veteran drummer Denny Carmassi from the band Heart, noted session keyboardist and composer Alan Pasqua from the band Giant on keyboards…along with another music titan, virtuoso guitarist and now-producer Dann Huff, all of whom brought such excellence and talent to the sessions that I just can’t find enough words of praise and appreciation for them.

Additionally, I was privileged to work and collaborate with two extremely talented producers – Martin Briley and Brian Foraker – both of whom brought a wealth of experience and cool vibe to our sessions. We had always felt that the combination of these powerhouse players together created a very special album, a unique ‘rock classic.’ Many who have heard the album say that description still remains true today.

Unfortunately, unexpected situations arose in the record business at that time and corporate transitions got in the way of the release date. The album was finished, mixed, and ready to go, but what started out as a great rock record turned into a series of disappointing twists and turns.  Just as it was ready to be released, A&M Records was sold through a huge global acquisition and the company changed hands several times over the years. The new company and staff had their own difficulties getting accustomed to the transition and my project was put aside without a release date.  My solo album became one of those music stories of a great rock record that started in one direction but had corporate business dealings move it to some other outcome.

I’m proud to finally present my solo album, complete with extras like the 3 additional recordings in demo form left off of the original group of songs, along with a second full CD of alternate mixes.

We had a great time recording these big, explosive songs, all presented here with newly re-mastered technology.  You’ll hear the intensity and spirit of the songwriting, the excellence and power of talented players, and the absolute force we delivered on the recordings.

This album and these songs made it through a rough storm and they rock stronger than ever today. Turn it up and enjoy a great ride.”
– Don Barnes, May 2017


Honeyjack are a duo of Mark Summerlin (vocals/guitars) and T.J. Scarlett (guitars). Mark Summerlin has been the guitarist and musical director for Seal and he was planning this to be a solo album until he hooked up with T.J. Scarlett and Honeyjack was born.

This is an assured debut album that delves into southern rock, albeit the more AOR/melodic rock end of it similar to bands like .38 Special and Lynn Allen. Listening to the melodic rock of ‘Hated Being Right About You’ you’d think it was .38 Special. A really classy song and indeed all eight songs on here stand up to repeated plays, with a good mix of styles. The personal lyric on  the ballad ‘Show You Arkansas’ takes the pace down a little.

‘Know How To Pick ‘Em’ has a humorous lyric and a fast paced country picking style in the guitars, making for another stand out track. Speaking of guitars the playing throughout is top draw and includes some sublime slide guitar.

Highly recommended for lovers of southern rock with an AOR edge, hopefully a start of something big for Honeyjack.

We Came To Rock!

Thought I would resurrect this idea as had some good responses when I first did this back in 2010 over on the Rock ‘N’ Roll Oatcake.

A series of quick interviews with rock fans, without whom there would be no rock ‘n’ roll…

The legend that is Batttttty! Webmistress to the stars and a big fan of all things UFO (the band not those funny green alien things)…

What was the song, album and/or band that got you into rock music?
Was Sweet classed as ‘rock’, at the time? If so…. it was probably Blockbuster

First album you bought and the latest…
Days Of Future Past by The Moody Blues (I was in my pram at the time, and my gran saw me jiggin to it and bought it for me).
The latest? Blimey I can’t remember that far back. Silver beer-mats just keep arriving through the post these days, and I can’t dammmn well stop them cascading through the letterbox. Tskkkkk!

First gig you went to and the latest…
Argent in Wulveramppppton.
UFO at High Voltage in London.

Vinyl, CD or MP3 which do you prefer and why?
Oh how can you even arx. It has to be vinyl. Not for the record itself, but for the size and warmth of the cardboard cover – and sometimes, if you’re lucky, a poster insert!

A lost gem of an album you’d recommend to fellow rock fans and why?
Steppenwolf Gold – for Magic Carpet Ride, The Pusher, and Snowblind Friend. Listen to those songs and you’ll understand why.

If you could be in any band who would it be and why?

Hmmmm… will have to check the riders before I answer this one, but pretty much any band that insists on a bottle of SoCo and a pyramid of Ferrero Rochers at every gig.

A band you loved back in the day but don’t now…
The Stones. Dunno why, but that was the first band that came to mind

…and a band you used to detest but have mellowed to over the years…
Abba. Blimey, did I really just admit that?

Any ‘guilty pleasures’ in your music collection…
The Four Bucketeers – with the Bucket Of Water Song

Anything else to add… (feel free to add your weblinks etc)
Buy t-shirts while ya can, because one day, they might be extinct. And so might the bands they represent. Just do it.


Mike Exley who was a journo (including writing for the much missed ‘Metal Forces’) and now runs his own PR company who look after the UK end of things for AFM Records and AOR/Metal Heaven.

What was the song, album and/or band that got you into rock music?

There’s two…. Motorhead’s “Ace Of Spades” that got me into classic rock and heavy metal and Venom who I saw live at Hammersmith in 1984 who got me into the heavier stuff….. It was all downhill from there, Ha! Ha!!”

First album you bought and the latest…

“Metal Muthas….” on cassette. It opened with a track by Iron Maiden…. Last I bought was Venom’s Special Edition of Black Metal because it had the 1984 Hammersmith DVD on it, but also just got the new Touchstone live album, “Live In The USA” the other day, so looking forward to that.”

First gig you went to and the latest…
“Hawkwind on the “Sonic Attack” tour; had to see them do “Silver Machine”! Latest, Bloodstock….. My promo company was working with 3 bands (Ross The Boss, Onslaught and Gwar) so we didn’t see many bands, but Doro was superb as always!!

Vinyl, CD or MP3 which do you prefer and why?

CD. I like to own the original although I’ve still got loads of promos from my writing days…… Can’t bear downloads. They seem incomplete without a booklet.”

A lost gem of an album you’d recommend to fellow rock fans and why?

I’ll recommend two if that’s alright….? Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom’s debut of the same name – not only because it has Ross The Boss on it, but because it’s a great record and the two Liquid Tension Experiment albums – Dream Theatre members in mass studio jam… Priceless!!”

If you could be in any band who would it be and why?

“Ha! Ha! That’s an unfair question for an ex rock journalist but I’d have to say Slayer or Destruction because they’re my favourite bands…. It would also mean I’d learnt to play the guitar properly, ha! ha!”

A band you loved back in the day but don’t now…

“Got to be careful here, but I’d say Grunge bands like Nirvana and Alice In Chains…. It was very innovative in its infancy but somehow it lost its sparkle. The last time I saw Alice In Chains it was as if they’d never changed and they have a different singer – why would you want to be the same band after all that has happened to you?

…and a band you used to detest but have mellowed to over the years…
“Ahhh, now that would be telling!!

Any ‘guilty pleasures’ in your music collection…

“Not too many nowadays because every now and then I have a purge and throw out loads of stuff I don’t listen to. You can’t sit on the old stuff all the time….

Anything else to add…

Could flagrantly champion my labels I work with but won’t; but will say, “Check out a few new bands I like right now – Touchstone, Lost In Vegas (who’s new Mini Album “A State Of Mind” will be released in October….) and Onslaught who’s new album will give UK thrash a right old kick up the ass!!”   Cheers!!


John Dryland of Cargo Records fame and a big rock fan…

What was the song, album and/or band that got you into rock music?

The initial bands I liked singles by were Slade, Sweet and Gary Glitter, Blockbuster by Sweet would be up there as one of the first

First album you bought and the latest…

Led Zeppelin II and Black Sabbath Paranoid were the first. A Todd Rundgren box set the latest.

First gig you went to and the latest…

The first gig was Status Quo at Hammersmith Odeon in 1979 closely followed by Led Zeppelin at Knebworth, Boston, AC/DC and Motorhead. The last was the excellent High Voltage festival in Victoria Park

Vinyl, CD or MP3 which do you prefer and why?

CD’s are easiest but vinyl is still something special.

A lost gem of an album you’d recommend to fellow rock fans and why?

Trigger by Trigger is a great Starz meets Kiss style US hard rock record and still sounds fresh. The Supergroupies debut album was an overlooked GlamPop classic

If you could be in any band who would it be and why?

Motley Crue in 1981 or Led Zeppelin in 1975. Crue were just starting and released the classic “Too Fast For Love” and Zeppelin were at their peak as the greatest band of all-time.

A band you loved back in the day but don’t now…

KISS (although Sonic Boom is ok) and Ozzy Osbourne

…and a band you used to detest but have mellowed to over the years…

Anything from the 1st Pearl Jam album is totally horrendous but the single The Fixer wasn’t.

Any ‘guilty pleasures’ in your music collection…

No. They have all been buried in the back garden in a locked suitcase.

Anything else to add…


Nick van der Meulen who likes sophisticated pop as well – good man!

What was the song, album and/or band that got you into rock music?Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the water” from “Machinehead”

First album you bought and the latest…

First album: Boney M’s greatest hits (I was 11 :-))
First rock album :Twisted Sister’s “Come out and play”
Latest: The Union, BLS – “Order of the black”, Iron Maiden – “The final frontier” (all in one order :-))

First gig you went to and the latest…

First gig: Voice of Destruction, local band.  First international gig: Foreigner ’94

Latest gig: Deep Purple/Uriah Heep/Wishbone Ash ’10

Vinyl, CD or MP3 which do you prefer and why?Vinyl…nothing can match the magic and warmth.

A lost gem of an album you’d recommend to fellow rock fans and why?Tony Martin’s “Back where I belong”.  It’s such a well written and performed album that both rock and metal fans love it!

If you could be in any band who would it be and why?I sing a bit, so it would be a band that featured Gary Moore or Zakk Wylde.  Imagine laying your vocals over guitars like that…

A band you loved back in the day but don’t now…Bon Jovi…not what they used to be.

…and a band you used to detest but have mellowed to over the years…Hendrix, believe it or not.  Took years for me to appreciate him!

Any ‘guilty pleasures’ in your music collection…Plenty 🙂  Nik Kershaw? ABC’s “Alphabet city”?  I enjoy sophisticated pop.  Aaaah!  The secret is out!


Musician and fellow GRTR! reviewer Nikk Gunns…

What was the song, album and/or band that got you into rock music?Can’t remember the exact songs, I have always loved The Rolling Stones, Hanoi Rocks, Kiss, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Europe, Whitesnake, Guns N Roses etc. 1986 was a massive year for me musically and probably the one that changed the course of my musical life most.

First album you bought and the latest…

First album I physically bought myself was “Rio” by Duran Duran. Last one I bought was Iron Maiden’s “Final Frontier”.

First gig you went to and the latest…

First was The Wombles- it was the mid ’70’s and I was only 3 or 4. Last was Europe/Foreigner at The ITunes Festival.

Vinyl, CD or MP3 which do you prefer and why?

I like the physical aspect of the CD- the booklet etc. I still have a soft spot for vinyl- you couldn’t beat a picture disc in the ’80’s. MP3 is convenient,and space saving, though. I’ll go with CD….

A lost gem of an album you’d recommend to fellow rock fans and why?

Andy Taylor “Thunder”. The former Duran Duran guitarist was definitely their secret weapon in recruiting the more rock orientated fans. He then went on to prodice the likes of Thunder.

If you could be in any band who would it be and why?

I can’t make my mind up between Europe, Def Leppard and The Stones.

A band you loved back in the day but don’t now…

I had kinda stopped listening to Kiss until their recent resurgence. There are also a lot of late ’80’s bands who only have 1 original member left and still milk it- no names mentioned!!!

…and a band you used to detest but have mellowed to over the years…

I have recently got into UFO- not sure how they ever really passed me by.
Any ‘guilty pleasures’ in your music collection…

Only Duran Duran and possibly the odd bit of Motown (blame the Mrs!!!).

Anything else to add…

Band wanted- apply within………….

See I am looking for like minded musicians to form a Lynyrd Skynryd type band.


Mark Colton, vocalist with prog rockers Credo

What was the song, album and/or band that got you into rock music?

Queen – News Of The World and Rainbow – Rising

First album you bought and the latest…

Cheap Trick – Budokan first and Gaslight Anthem new cd

First gig you went to and the latest…

Black Sabbath with Van Halen Opening!!!  Francis Dunnery Bristol Colston Halls

Vinyl, CD or MP3 which do you prefer and why?

Vinyl!!! The sleeve, the feel, the sound THE RITUAL

A lost gem of an album you’d recommend to fellow rock fans and why?

CREDO RHETORIC or AGAINST REASON lol, its the album I always wanted to make

If you could be in any band who would it be and why?


A band you loved back in the day but don’t now…  #

Can’t think of one…

…and a band you used to detest but have mellowed to over the years…


Any ‘guilty pleasures’ in your music collection…

Bloody too many, the prog Police would lock me up for ever!!!

Anything else to add…


Paul Timblick, he occasionally works in between rocking…

First song was Ballroom Blitz, Sweet (first single I bought and the B side is good too) but it was Quo’s Mystery Song that really got me into the heavier stuff (album version).

First album I bought was Sweet’s Fanny Adams (1974) and the latest ….dunno it was such a long time ago. Why would I need to buy another album after Sweet Fanny Adams???

First gig was Whitesnake on the Lovehunter tour. Latest was Quo in a marquee in Chichester in 2005 or UFO in Athens (2004?).

Vinyl of course. Rock music is big and an album should be at least the size of a large plate if not the size of a widescreen. CDs and MP3s are nothing more than musical place mats.

Don’t know if its a lost gem but never received its rightful plaudits (and sorry to bang on about them)….Sweet’s Off the Record. Sure theres one or two duds on there but theres some sublime quality too. Plus the album cover is a classic.

I’d be in Motorhead just to stand on the stage next to a rock god.

Band I used to love would be ….nobody. Still love them all.

Band I used to detest…..well, punk in general. But I now see that there wasn’t a world of difference between metal and punk in the 1976 – 1980 period. In particular the first Motorhead album (and Beerdrinkers EP) has some punky sounds. Classic crossover album.

Guilty pleasures….Three Degrees. Sheila Ferguson’s voice stokes me up (and I don’t even support Stoke).

Anything else….. I will demand Ace of Spades on a daily basis if I live long enough to end up in a nursing home.

THE RADIO SUN SIGN TO PRIDE & JOY MUSIC – new album ‘Unstoppable’ out in October 2017

Great band and really looking forward to hearing more new music from them.

PRIDE & JOY MUSIC is happy to announce the signing of Australian Melodic Rock band THE RADIO SUN! Based in Melbourne, Australia the band consisting of Jason Old (lead vocals & guitars), Stevie Janevski (lead guitar, backing vocals), and Gilbert Annese (drums & vocals) is currently working on their fourth release “Unstoppable” which is planned for release in late October 2017. This new album once again will be mixed by Paul Laine (solo, ex Danger Danger, Dark Horse).

The band has just completed another European tour which included an astonishing performance at Hard Rock Hell AOR Fest and very successful shows in the UK and a gig in Greece. THE RADIO SUN will return to Europe with dates in the UK, Greece & Germany in March 2018.
*Anderstein Music will release the new album in Japan.

Connect with the band at:
Label: /

RIP – John Wetton

Very sad to hear news of the death of John Wetton. Being a massive fan of Asia since hearing their classic ‘Alpha’ many moons ago. I have made many a good acquaintance and friendship with fellow Asia fans, a band I have seen a fair few times although only once with John Wetton.

It was after finding John Wetton’s solo album ‘Caught In The Crossfire’ on cassette back in the late 80’s that it lead me onto discovering many other bands and artists linked to John Wetton and his music. Artists like John Young, who co-wrote songs on John’s solo albums plus was a member of the short lived Quango. Then there is John Mitchell, JW’s solo band guitarist, who has a whole host of bands that tweaked my musical interest including Arena, Frost* and Kino. Plus his stints in more ‘name’ bands like Uriah Heep and Roxy Music. All these musical paths lead back to John Wetton and Asia. RIP


Below is the press release from Asia’s record label Frontiers:

Rock Music Legend John Wetton Dies

(12th June 1949 – 31st January 2017)

Rock music legend John Wetton sadly passed away in the early hours of this morning, Tuesday 31st January 2017, after a long and courageous battle against colon cancer.

John rose to fame with King Crimson in the early 1970’s during the iconic ‘Red’ era and later formed the band UK. In the early 1980’s he was a founder member of supergroup ASIA, which was his biggest commercial success. The band’s 1982 self-titled debut album was the biggest selling album in the world that year and contained the mega-hit ‘Heat of the Moment’.

John also enjoyed a successful solo career, including the seminal album ‘Battle Lines’, and formed iCon with ASIA bandmate Geoff Downes. In 2006 the original line-up of ASIA reformed and toured the world several times to promote four further studio albums.

John had been planning to tour with ASIA for the band’s forthcoming US arena tour with Journey and, following the success of his solo Studio Recordings Anthology, to continue working on the ongoing reissue programme of his solo albums via his own Primary Purpose label.

John valued his over 11 years of sobriety and volunteered time in fellowship with other alcoholics to share his experience, strength and hope with them. John is survived by his recently wed wife Lisa, 18 year old son Dylan, brother Robert and mother Peggy.

The very last studio song of John Wetton’s career was the closing track on the most recent ASIA album ‘Gravitas’, which included the profound lyric Think the best of me, till we meet again.”

A new live album by ASIA entitled ’Symfonia – Live In Bulgaria 2013’ is released on the Frontiers label on 24th February.