Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Where's The Cake??

Today's a very special day in the Mouse House ... because we honour the birthday of our late, beloved Chief, Lloyd Thaxton.

Somehow, I get the feeling that Uncle Lloyd is saying, "Well, where's the cake?" No, I don't mean a cake of flour and sugar and eggs and candles with gooey icing and (ummm .. okay; if anybody SHOULD be makin' a cake like that, I'll indulge ... I just made myself hungry ...). He'd mean Look ... I'm not there in person to blow out candles or toot those paper horns, but I'm still there with you all in spirit ... in all I've shared with you.

So where's the cake?? Come on ... celebrate life! That's what LL was all about, wasn't he?

Now, I could stop here and go through his biography -- maybe it's expected, I dunno -- but this man, whose most famous TV "signature" was of kids replying "SOOOO WHAT?!?" when he spoke his name, wouldn't want a whole lot of fanfare and fancy gifts. He would've just wanted his fans to remember him, share the love and laughter he brought
and, in the words of Jay and The Americans, "Remember the Good Times" ...

Of course, Uncle LL would've been 84 years young today. But, to him, age was honestly just "a state of mind". For anybody who debated him, he'd say "Then what about Betty White (89)? Jerry Lewis (85)? Chuck Berry (84)? Tell THEM that .. if you can keep up with 'em!"

And who else but our perennially-young Chief Mouser could turn on an entire generation just by drawing little smiley-faces on his fingers and treating him like they were real people? Who else but Uncle Lloyd could slip on a record, then into a helmet and robe, cut up and move his lips to the song, Cara Mia, and make millions of kids laugh their heads off??
Who else, with words of understanding and wisdom, wrapped in his inimitable smile, could touch as many worried lives -- truly turning frowns upside-down with his mix of truth and humour?

Yes, we miss Lloyd Eugene Thaxton today just as much as we did that sad day in October, 2008. But we also know it's time to celebrate not just the legend, not just the icon ... but our friend ...

So ... where's the cake??

Stay tuned ...

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Memorial Day Honour ...

On Sunday, we set aside time to honour those American soldiers, sailors, Marines and Air Force personnel who gave their lives in the name of freedom -- and for God, duty and country.
Of course, the real celebration comes on Monday, when most stores and even more people have the day off to remember our deceased vets.

But it's also meant for those who survived the battlefields but, sometime down the road and for other reasons, passed from this world to another. Many of the ceremonies commence in churches, and end up in graveyards where the veterans are buried.

Most recently included amongst these are soldiers who served during the Afghan wars of recent years. These, unlike those of earlier conflicts, were volunteers; they didn't have to go to war. They could've easily remained "civilians", working their jobs, hanging out with their friends, dating, or going to college. Instead, they volunteered to serve our country -- and, sadly but subsequently, gave their lives to help protect it.

So, this weekend, we need to pay our respects to every one of them, whether World War or Vietnam, Korean or Iraqi, Afghan or a War Between States. It won't take long to thank these men and women on this particular day ... but it would take more than a lifetime to repay them for their courage, conviction and conscience ...


Summertime's right around the corner, and that means everybody's going to be "out-and-about", shopping for some of their favorite sun-and-fun deals. Of course, that's going to mean rummaging through our favorite stores, looking for specials and discounts.
But there's one store that people can rely on for the best in merchandise -- and at great prices! For years, I've shopped at K-Mart® and have saved quite a bit of cash when buying everything from clothes to CDs.
You can save even more, though, when you use kmart coupons to sweeten the already-low prices! By clicking the link you just saw, you'll be able to save on some very "sunny" merchandise to help augment your summer fun.
So, as you prepare for your summer, be sure to check out the great deals on quality merchandise! You and your wallet will definitely be smiling over the money you save on your purchase!

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Day In The Studio

A couple of hours ago, I had a chance to talk with a guy who'd just formed his first band about six months ago. They've had some great gigs around these parts -- and now they're ready to cut their first, all-important CD! Rehearsals are becoming more frequent in preparation, and there’s some anxiety building inside each member.

But what, exactly, does it take to cut a CD??

First of all, be sure you’ve got your songs down pat. Since “time is money” in a studio, you wanna make sure you have as few re-takes as possible. And that takes practice!

When you’re ready, you should scope out the studios in your area. Not only do you want one that has reasonable rates (at this stage of the game, you’re probably not able to spend thousands of bucks in one or two sittings!) but also one that has a good reputation.

Once you’ve found the studio you want, check out their engineer .. the guy who knows the consoles and computer programs that are necessary to get “just the right sound” for you in-studio.

You’ll also need a decent producer, who can check out the instruments, try you in various combinations or added instruments, and offer suggestions to make the sound better.
If you’ve got those two bases covered (along with costs) and have rehearsed the songs you wanna record to a tee, then you’re ready.

Now, you’ll most likely be allowed to pay by the hour — but, despite it sounding less expensive, it’s much better for your band to pay for a block of time (generally, four hours is good if your band is tight, confident, and listens to the engineer and producer).

Once the session’s over, be sure to get a CD of the songs you’ve recorded (on occasion, the producer will provide the full session tape at a reasonable price). This is the one that’ll be used to press others from.

More on this later, so stay tuned ...


It seems that, today, more people are concerned about cellulite (a thin layer of fat that lies underneath normal fat). Even athletes want to get rid of it on their bodies.
Now, there are many formulas and pills on the market that offer to help you take it off -- but the question most posed is "how can I be sure it'll work?"
To find out, you have two choices:
(1) You can go with the "trial-and-error" method, which will eventually cost you mega-bucks -- not to mention what the constant "testing" can do to your body. OR ...
(2) To find the best and most effective cellulite treatments just click on the link you passed a second ago.
These folks match the top brands of cellulite treatments against six criteria ranging from power and efficiency to ingredients and value. They even let you know if there are any side effects. Then they do even more and show where you can get the best online price for the one you choose!
So why wait? Summer's coming up and you'll want to look your best, right? That means getting rid of that unsightly cellulite -- and it all starts by clicking that link.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Exits and Entrances

JERRY LEWIS RETIRING AS TELETHON ANCHOR, or so the headline read this morning.

You know, in a way, you can't help feeling a little sad over that news. I mean, for forty-five years, his name and that of the annual MDA Telethon were synonymous. Jerry brought his heart and humour to us with such regularity and enthusiasm that it became part of us.

And now he's leaving.

Of course, we all understand Jerry's due his retirement, and he will remain the Muscular Dystrophy Association's national chairman (c'mon ... who better, right??). And we'll miss more than just his comic presence; his dedication to his "kids", the joy that he showed whenever the tote board would show another donation milestone ... it was all truly genuine.

But fans can't help wondering if the show will continue as strongly without him.

Listen ... as long as Jerry Lewis is involved with the org, you'd better believe it will. If there's one thing he won't do, it's let "his kids" down ... After all, he's their #1 cheerleader ...

TRUMP WON'T RUN FOR PRESIDENT Wait ... what's that gust of wind I'm feelin' around me?? Oh ... it's a nation wiping its collective brow and exhaling "WHEW!!"

A QUESTION ASKED is a question answered here at RockCentral:

A reader from Shenec ... Sckenect ... Scenneck ... a town in New York, who fully admitted that he knew little about Sixties bands before hooking up with us here in the Mouse House, wanted to know if Fang was a big star with his band "back then" (give the kid a break, okay? He confessed that he's only 17!).

Well, Chris in Schenectady, if he was spotlighted by Lloyd Thaxton, you knew he was big! Here he is on the front cover of Uncle LL's famous mag, Tiger Beat!
And, with his hit remake of The Times They Are A-Changin' starting to make an impact amongst radio stations and loads of fans (PS I said "starting". Watch this space -- 'cause I've got a feelin' this thing's gonna have the impact of an asteroid!), you gotta know he's gonna be just as hot on the music scene as he was with Paul Revere and the gang back-in-the-day!

If you want more info on this awesome performer (and pick up a copy of his tremendous hit), remember to click on PhilFangVolk.com ...

A new byline that his manager shared with me tells it all (the words are from a recent reviewer): PHIL VOLK: ONCE A RAIDER ... NOW A CRUSADER!
So get your copy of The Times They Are A-Changin' today ... but do more than just listen to it, huh?? ACT on it ...
'Cause, together, we can make this world a better place for all generations to enjoy.

We did it back in the Sixties ... and, by golly, WE CAN DO IT AGAIN!!

'Nuff said?? Good! Then stay tuned ...

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Times Are Changin'

Nearly five decades have passed since we all bowed to Dylan's anthemic hit, The Times They Are A-Changin'". We understood, all too well, the meaning of its lyrics; after all, we had wars all around us -- whether in the rice paddies of Vietnam or the streets of Selma, Alabama. And if we weren't fighting with bullets and napalm to gain a few precious feet of territory, we were doing it with protests and song to gain a few precious rights for minorities, women, and young people.
And we lost our glimpse into Camelot -- gunshots in Dallas' Dealey Plaza robbed us of a President who gave us all hope ...

Today, there are so many similarities to those days: We have wars all around us -- whether in the sands and caves of Afghanistan or the inner-city streets of New York. And, if we aren't fighting with smart bombs and HSMs to flush out Al-Quieda mercenaries, we're doing it with open protests in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen -- all for freedom's sake.
And we lost our glimpse into Hell -- gunshots in a Pakistani compound took one of the most hated men since Hitler -- one who gave us all fear ...

SO IT'S TIME for this song to be broadcast around the world once again -- and who better to record it than Phil "Fang" Volk, former bassist and cut-up with the legendary Paul Revere and The Raiders?
Released in an updated, rock-and-roll format, "Fang's" rendition reminds one of his "Raider" days but has a driving sound that will attract today's rock music fan. It carries the angst and urgency of the original, but with a seemingly built-in determination to win over the travesties that are going on around us ... and build a peaceful world once again.

Not only does Phil have a lively and powerful voice that makes you wanna hear more of this superstar, but he's really put his heart into this rockin' rendition; trust me: He means every word of it!

Here ... this is from his site:

"A SONG FOR A WORLD IN TURMOIL. Never before has humanity teetered with such instability, facing a future with incredible fear & uncertainty ... Yes, the times, they are a-changin' ..." (for the full, touching note, click on his site [see above] and scroll down. It'll be on the right, next to his handsome face ...)

PURCHASE YOUR COPY OF THIS TREMENDOUS HIT! Just click on his CD BABY® or AMAZON.COM® links ... and be sure to pick up your copy now! You'll hear samples of the song itself ... but, believe me, this isn't just gonna be a fab song you'll be downloading and rockin' to ... it's destined to be a piece of rock history!\

The times, they are a-changin'! Brothers and sisters, can ya feel it?? Then click on those links today and show it!!

Monday, May 9, 2011


Take a good, lonnnng look at that trio in that photo, readers -- because they comprise a band that you'll soon be seeing in front-page rock headlines around the globe.
They're called PaperFaces, and they hail from Worthing and Brighton, England. Having just included the popular Matt Hardy to their lineup as well as a session sax-man, the band is a mix of folk, rock and fun -- a group with lively presence, positive attitude, fab songs (self-composed material!) and absolute appreciation for each and every fan!
One 'listen' to their current hits and you're bound to become fast fans yourself (don't worry, yardbirds -- you're gonna hear two of them before we leave today!).

Just this morning, I completed an interview with Marie and the band. Enjoy, because you're reading a new chapter in rock history:

1. First, how about introducing our readers to the members of the band?
Marie Dance - Lead vocals/ guitar
Paul Moseley - Drums
Chris Baigent - bass
Matt Hardy - Lead guitar/ backing vocals
John Mittchell - session saxophone player

2. How and when did you all come together to form PaperFaces? Had you known each other prior to its formation?

MARIE: When I returned to the UK 2008 after three years rocking and rolling in Thailand I didn't know Paul or Chris or anyone that's in the band now. I just knew I had to form another band somehow. I started creating a heavy rock band with a friend of mine who plays lead guitar and that's when we went in search of a drummer. I had heard about Paul by going out on the town and by asking people and so I went to see him play a gig. He was in a heavy metal band at the time and as I watched him beating the hell out of the drums I decided he was the one I wanted. So he joined our rock band and we played a few gigs around town.
As we began to get to know each other I started to see that there was a softer more melodic side to Paul, as there was in me also, and so I started playing him my softer songs. He loved them and wanted to start something new built around my material. So we both quit the rock band and came together to start creating the PaperFaces sound.

We met Chris on The Gumtree advertising site, ha ha not very romantic, but we liked his look and we loved his playing style so he was in straight away. We met John out on the town at an open mic night. he played most nights as a legendary bass player for who ever wanted him. But PaperFaces were more drawn to his saxophone playing and the awesome sounds of his huge baritone and bass sax. And our latest edition Matt saw us playing at an open mic one night and then answered our add for a lead guitarist. We auditioned him and were very impressed. We have just played our first live show with Matt and it rocked. We're not just band mates we are great friends and have a very strong musical bond, which is very hard to find.

3. I've a couple of questions from readers, the first of which is from a fan named "Jeri" who asks, "How did they come up with the name PaperFaces?"

PaperFaces is the name of a Feeder song. It was Chris's idea and we had a load of other name ideas but we all thought that name was quite cool so we just went with it.

4. Who are your musical influences, individually and as a group?

MARIE: I just love The white stripes, bob Dylan Noel Gallagher And Neil Young . But I also like a lot of heavier stuff too like the Kings of Leon, Led Zeppelin, Queen and the rolling stones. I love rock n roll but I also like the more melodic song writers. I like to be able to hear the lyrics and understand what the song is about.

PAUL: I've got a great love for blues and rock but also like Marie the softer more melodic stuff. I love RORY GALLAGHER and that whole raw rock n roll vibe. I think LITTLE RICHARD and other old rock n roll legends are what really excite me but if we're talking about more modern stuff then I have to say I'm a big DAVE MATHEWS BAND fan and have been for a long time since there earliest work, and to mention a few more favourites TOOL - DAVID GRAY - LYNYRD SKYNYRD and probably QUEEN who got me started on wanting to play drums and make music in the first place! There are many more of course!

CHRIS: I grew up listening to my dad's favourite music which was a lot of David Bowie, Elton John and Queen. My mum was into Motown so I was definitely influenced by that and James Jameson had a big role to play in developing my style. When I first started to listen to music independently it was around the BritPop era so it was lots of Oasis and Pulp etc. but I went heavily for the alt rock scene and was blown away by Timmy C from Rage Against The Machine. I love his playing style but really, and I put this into the ad which got me noticed by Marie and Paul, I prefer melody over mayhem! (A little mayhem never hurts though!)

5. Now, who does the song writing in the band, and how do you come up with those fab arrangements?

When we started out we had a bunch of my songs to work with but as time has gone on we have started to write a lot more as a band. Paul usually comes up with a chord progression and an idea and then I will think of some Lyrics for Pauls idea. Sometimes Paul will come to us with a finished song and sometimes Chris will bring an idea forward. sometimes I have half a song but I need the boys to help me finish it or re arrange it. So in the end we just call them PaperFaces songs, we co write as a band.
Who knows? Maybe Matt will bring a song forward as he becomes more comfortable being part of the band.
As for the arrangements well we do that in the same way, we have lots of song writing sessions and we throw ideas out and agree what we think sounds cool. I guess the arrangements are just the way we naturally write songs we don't really think about it they just end up that way. And if it feels write then we call it a finished song.

6. PaperFaces have a distinct "retro" sound in their music. How would you compare today's music to that, say, of the early 60s?

Well we all love the old time 60's music and all the old music that doesn't get played as much as it should. we do want to have that boppy fun sound that you can just bounce around to. At the moment there are lots of choppy guitar indie bands out there which seems to be what the public wants right now, but we try not to compare ourselves and we love it that our sound is different. We don't try to be more commercial or change our image so that we fit in more. We'll just wait until our kind of feel good music is back in fashion again. A change has to come eventually and when it does we'll be ready.

7. This second question comes from "Roger" in California: "The girl in the group 'PaperFaces', is 'Marie Dance' her real name? She looks & acts so good I think I've found my favourite girl singer now."

First of all let me say thank you so much to Roger. What a lovely thing to say. it means so much to us to hear that people like us and that they are 'getting' what we are about.
And, yes, Marie Dance is my real name, my father is called John Dance and I have three brothers with the same surname. It's so funny because nobody asked me that before I started playing music but now I get asked that question all the time. I love my Name wooooo.

9. One more question: Where can your many fans go to purchase your albums or singles of either of your bands, or to see you perform if (or when) they're in the UK?

Well, we almost have a website up and running the address is www.paperfacestheband.co.uk. We will have links to ITunes were our music can be downloaded, our first EP is already on ITunes. we will also have all the info of up and coming gig in the UK and will be making regular announcements on MySpace at
. We haven't recorded an album yet as we just don't have the money. We have more than enough material for an album but we want to wait until we can get it done properly. But as soon as we can we will be in the studio to record our well overdue début Album.

Also if you like you could buy the album of my old band in Thailand called The Tonic Rays just go to www.myspace.com/thetonicrays and follow the links.
Pauls old heavy metal band can be found at www.myspace.com/ironflag".

10. Is there anything else you'd like to tell the many fans who are reading this interview?

We are just a small band from a small town in England, we are trying to be genuine and honest musicians. we love our music and we write songs that have a lot of meaning for us but every new fan that we find gives us more reason to carry on. we love to get feedback and hear what people think and we've been getting some great feedback lately. we are so pleased that we have connected with people all the way over in the states and it makes all the hard times worthwhile. And who knows maybe one day we will find the write connection to help us make our music professional and until then we'll just keep on keeping on.

Thanks a lot for listening. xxx

Thanks so much for your time, guys; you've definitely the attitude and sound that rock's needed for a long time. And it won't be long before you're in the studio, recording that anticipated first album (which is bound to go gold!)
Now, readers ... you've gotta feel their music in order to fully appreciate this amazing ensemble! Sooooooo, without further ado (adieu? adieux? I get 'em mixed up ...), here's PaperFaces with a twofer: Crazy Sometimes, followed by Passing By:

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Introducing: MATT HARDY!

Clapton. Page. Beck. Green. Townshend. Harrison.
In the annals of rock music history, these names are indelibly etched as the masters of guitar. And, here in the 21st Century, there are new axemen who are picking up the Gibsons, Martins and Fenders, on their way to become legends in their own right.
And leading the charge is the UK's popular singer/songwriter Matt Hardy. Many of you became fans of his when he performed his guitar magic with The Fore. Today, Matt has created a tremendous solo act whilst also working with the up-and-coming UK band, PaperFaces.
Recently, it was my pleasure to interview this popular singer/musician/songwriter:

1. First, could you tell our readers a little about yourself? Where did it all begin for Matt Hardy?

I was born in Sutton in Surrey and lived there until about 2 &1/2 years ago when I moved to the south coast with my family.

2. Matt, while many fans recognise you as lead guitarist of The Fore, you're now part of the popular band, PaperFaces as well as an accomplished solo artiste. How did you decide to get into music?

I started playing guitar when I was 8. I always remembered music from a young age, so learning an instrument was just the next step, I suppose.

3. Who would you say were your earliest musical influences?

The Beatles were a main influence at the start but I like a wide range of music.

4. Do you remember your very first gig as a guitarist/vocalist?

My first real gig in a band was in July 2003, in a covers band. I think it was at "The White Swan" in Deptford.

5. You've played many venues in your career thus far, both as a solo act and with the bands. What would you consider your most memorable gig?

Wow! That's a tough one. Supporting "The Bootleg Beatles" and "Wild Billy Childish" were highs for me, along with playing "The Cavern" in Liverpool, BBC Television Centre and the Danson Fireworks display to a few thousand people.
I think the last time I played the Cavern in 2010 was really good. Here's a link to The Fore's 2009 performance: http://youtu.be/iDSe6Ah2JMg

(HEY, FANS! Whilst we're here, why don't we just go ahead and watch Matt, with Spencer, Nathan and Simon, rockin' the famed Cavern Club? But keep readin', because the interview continues below, okay? Here's the vid:)

6. The Fore and PaperFaces have a distinct "retro" sound in their music. How would you compare today's music to that, say, of the early 60s?

I'm not really sure. Music comes and goes like fashion but will also go around in circles. Music is still the same as it was, 60's music was more main stream off the back of 50's rock and roll. Today, there is a more wider range of music available.

7. Matt, you compose much of your own music. How long does it take you to write and arrange a song?

That just depends. I could have most of a song & music outlayed in a couple of hours, and then it could take me weeks. It can be really easy and then very frustrating!

8. You're gaining exposure in the United States, have performed constantly, both as solo artiste and with The Fore, around the UK, are an amazing songwriter and have just recently joined the band, PaperFaces . Whilst your career is obviously keeping you busy, is there any specific goal that you would still like to reach in your career?

To really just to enjoy what I'm doing, it would be great to do music as a full time job, but I have done a lot of stuff to be proud of.

9. One more question: Where can your many fans go to purchase your albums or singles of either of your bands, or to see you perform if (or when) they're in the UK?

You can follow me on Twitter @matthewljhardy also on www.myspace.com/matthewljhardy. I try to put info on there when I'm playing, etc. Maybe soon I will book some studio time and record my stuff.

10. Is there anything else you'd like to tell the many fans who are reading this interview?

I would like to say thanks to you, Chuck, for your support and help. It's really appreciated.
And love to my wife Victoria who has always supported me and helped me all the way and also my two children who made me see things so differently ...

Thanks for taking from your busy schedule to share this with your many fans who read this blog, Matt! And, readers, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more well-rounded, talented and dedicated young man than Matt on any circuit. Here's a guy whose star is definitely rising to the top, both in his professional and personal life.
And if you get the chance to see Matt in performance -- whether with the band or in a solo venue -- make a point to be there! The Relic personally guarantees you'll love it!!
Now ... before we leave, let me put up a vid that stars Matt along with his mates in The Fore. It's their hit, Love For Sale:


In 1965, rock DJs across America began spinning one of the most upbeat and unique songs ever to come out of England.
Whilst the band Hedgehoppers Anonymous' Good News Week was considered a "protest" song, it delivered a sardonic optimism that made the song a smash hit on both sides of the Atlantic.
I recently had the honour of interviewing their lead singer, Mike Tinsley, one of the UK's most prolific solo performers and songwriters -- and it won't be long before you hear his music all over stateside radio as well!


Mike, where did it all begin with your band, Hedgehoppers Anonymous? You were all part of the Royal Air Force, as I recall.

It all began when I was stationed at RAF Wittering in Cambridgeshire, UK. I was trained as a Radar Technician working on Navigation and Bombing Systems, working on the "V" bombers -- namely Victors and Vulcan aircraft. These were nuclear armed and were in high rediness alert to attack the Soviet Union during the Cuban crisis. We were told we were a direct target for retaliation, should the USA be drawn into a 3rd World War. This was a grim prospect for the survival of many nations -- we were on the brink of a nuclear holocaust!
As a young Corporal I didn't expect to be here today after all the early scrambles. The name "Hedgehoppers" was created for my group because of the tactics used by the Vulcans to fly at very low altitude under enemy radar avoiding ground to air missiles (ie, SAM sites in Russia).
I first got into music with the a single. "Hedgehoppers Anonymous" recorded for Decca Records in the sixties. Four other singles didn't chart and we broke up in the 1970s.

You're also a tremendously popular songwriter. When did you first begin writing your own material?

My first break in songwriting came along in 1976 when I sang for the UK ....a song called "Wrap me in Love". This was at the "Yamaha World Song Festival" in Japan.
I met a director Ellis Ellias of Red Bus Records UK and he asked if I would like to co-write songs for Joe Dolan and Kelly Marie. This brought me into contact with Peter Yellowstone.
Regarding writing songs, I find melody and lyrics come as a natural element together. The quickest song took 10 minutes. The longest part is sorting out the best key and speed.

Who were some of your earliest musical influences?

My earliest influences regarding music were related to romantic pop songs sung by Sam Cooke, Buddy Holly and Phil Spector along with Motown. I hope the future will lead to an opportunity to get an album on the market with new material.

Recently, you had a long-awaited and joyous reunion with someone very special in your life. Could you tell us a bit about that?

I cannot divulge information about the reunion with my daughter Karen, only to say it runs in parallel with many heartbreaking stories you see in films and on TV. I can only say my prayers were answered and she's back!!

Mike, your story is one that's certain to inspire every reader of this blog -- readers whom, I know, will become fans of yours (if they're not already!). Is there anything else you'd like to share with them?

I would like to give a very special thank you to Tony (Hitman) Taylor who encouraged me to open a website, http://www.miketinsley.co.uk. This has had many viewers interested in my story. Also to be thanked is Producer /Writer Tony Swain, John Makin and Max Milligan who have collaborated with me on production to promote songs on Youtube such as "MY SURVIVAL" "TENPENNY BEAR" "ROLLING STONE".

An amazing story ... from an equally-amazing and talented gentleman who has his finger on the musical pulse of fans around the world. If you hear or read that Mike Tinsley is performing at a venue near you, then, no matter how you do it -- drive, take a bus, car pool, even walk if you haveta -- be sure to make the show! Take it from the Relic: You're gonna love it!
Here are two of his hits, courtesy YouTube® -- first, the classic Good News Week and, then, his recent (and touching) hit, Tenpenny Bear:

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Let's Do It Again, Shall We??

Sometimes it happens ...
When you write as many posts as this Relic has over the past 43.5 years -- and covered everything but The Kitchen Cinque (a real band back in the '60s, btw!) -- you're bound to lose one or two in the process.
Especially when your cats use the keyboard as a trampoline to jump to the top of the armoire sitting beside your desk!

That's what happened yesterday: K-Cat and Huggs -- the "Sonny and Cher" of catdom -- decided to take their less-than-sensuous relation to new heights! I had my "edit" screen up -- where all the posts are listed with the option of editing or deleting them -- and went to get a cup of coffee.
Enter the Dynamic Duo, who walked onto the keyboard, hit a few choice keys accidentally as they jumped! The PC went into hibernation (probably out of fear; the whiskerlickers' combined weight is akin to that of a small refrigerator), and, by the time I got it back up, two of them had been deleted (I mean posts here; the cats were already up on the armoire, laughing and high-fiving ...).

Ahhhh, but the Eight Paws of Doom forgot that their Friskies supplier keeps back-ups! And, whilst most of the material I posted is dated now, one part is VERY current ... it's happening now -- and, hopefully, will continue for years to come. Here's the recovered version:


You know, yer Cuzzin' Relic always tries to intro the best new acts on either side of any of the ponds, right? Well, over the past few days, I've found a band that totally blew my socks off with their lively folk/rock sound!
They're called PaperFaces and hail from the UK. To try and describe their fresh, somewhat "retro" sound (with all-new, self-composed material!) would be like trying to describe strawberry ice cream -- ya just gotta taste it yourself to dig its unbelievably-groovy flavour!
I'll tell you this, though: If Uncle Lloyd were with us right now and heard Marie, Paul, Chris, Matt and crew, he'd love 'em! And if Ed Sullivan were still around with his "really big shew", I could guarantee that this troupe would be headlining the broadcast.
Okay ... that being said, are ya ready to feel GOOOOOD?? Then catch this vid of the band doing Crazy Sometimes (PS I'm gonna try to finagle an interview with these dynamic talents next week, so stay tuned ...):

ONE MORE QUICK WORD: To you who'd responded to and commented on this vid: I apologise for its disappearance from yer TMC screen. The two meowsers responsible have been reprimanded (which, as you know, does no good at all with cats), and the armoire in question has been moved to a location outside Cincinnati ... but, according to your kind remarks, the PaperFaces are definitely star-bound! Wouldn't be surprised at all to hear them all over stateside radio soon ...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Interview with UK Country Star MIKE LANE!

We begin a new week of interviews with the hot new international country sensation, MIKE LANE! With great vocal stylings that accent every song he does, Mike has recently caught the attention of Nashville radio -- and it's just a matter of time before you hear him on country stations around America!
I had a chance to ask this busy superstar a few questions this past week:

1. First, could you tell our readers a little about yourself? Where did it all begin for
Mike Lane?

Well it all started out as a hobby really! From a young age I was always playing guitar and singing along. So Iʼm very happy to say that I am doing a job that I thoroughly enjoy!

2. You're a popular country music star who's certainly rising to the top. How did
you decide to get into country music?

Thank you!
Well the reason I got into Country Music was because I needed to eat! Basically I needed to earn a living and discovered that people would actually pay me to entertain them with my singing....I couldn’t believe it! And of course Country Music fans are the best fans in the world! You would find it very difficult to meet more enthusiastic, fun-loving, kind decent people anywhere else!

3. Who were your earliest influences?

Jim Reeves and Marty Robbins

4. What was your very first gig as a country artiste?

Oh wow that’s going back a bit......as a country artist probably the first gig I ever
did was for £8 at a local pub in the North East of England, UK. I had had experience of gigging prior to that but as part of a Chinese band in Hong Kong as they needed and English singer...That was during my army days over there.

5. You've played many venues in your career thus far. Do you have a favorite and, if so, why?

I have travelled worldwide and have enjoyed many venues. The biggest one that springs to mind would be a show at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, England, UK on Grand National Day which I have done several times since.

6. How would you compare today's country music to that, say, of the 1950s or early 60s?

Well like all music, Country music has developed over time but I think the simplicity of Country music hasn’t changed ...the stories that are told and how people can relate to those stories.... are all still relevant even in this day and age.

7. Your songs are often written by the great Ron Ryan. How long have you collaborated as a team?

Ron and I go way back as friends probably over 25 years! We have managed to find the time to work together musically more and more over the last two years.
We have collaborated on the last three of my albums both writing and composing over 30 brand new songs! I really like Ron’s style of writing and his songs just seem to fit me like a glove!

8. As Ron is widely known as a performer as well as songwriter, have you and he ever shared a billing together?

Surprisingly no... we have played a lot of the same venues and shows and have actually been on stage together as an impromptu guest appearance but we have never shared a billing as yet...

8. I understand you have a special musician who provides much of the instrumental backing for your recordings. Could you tell our readers a bit about him?

Yes, Iain Duncan. He’s actually an 18 wheel truck driver from here in the UK! He is one of the most naturally talented musicians I have ever met and I am pleased to say that I have the privilege of working with him on again the last three of my albums and also on the forthcoming album which is as as yet un-named.
I also work with Iain on many of my live shows which have taken us worldwide to places such as Switzerland and Germany.

9. You're gaining exposure in the United States (including Nashville), have released some new material recently, helped raise funds for the victims of the Japanese earthquake and have performed a number of shows around England as well.
Whilst your career is obviously keeping you busy, what can we look for from Mike Lane in the near future?

More of the same really, I’m currently in the studio as I say working on my forthcoming album alongside Ron Ryan and Iain Duncan. I’m pretty excited about this new album as it’s going to be a real mix of different styles of Country Music ranging from Gun-fighter Ballads to Gospel and even 50s rock!

10. One more question: Where can your many fans go to purchase your albums or singles?

Instant downloads and ringtones are available on iTunes and Reverbnation. CD hard copies are available from CD Baby, Amazon and Tesco online or you can buy the CD hard copies direct from me either from my website www.mikelanecountry.co.uk or at one of my many live shows.

Is there anything else you'd like to tell the many fans who are reading this interview?

Yes many of my songs have videos to go with them and these have been put together by Gary Quinn from North Carolina. These are currently available to view
on youtube, Reverbnation, Facebook and Twitter.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Chuck Hinson, my Press Agent who works tirelessly on my behalf promoting me all over the world arranging radio interviews etc! Thank you Chuck I really appreciate the work you are doing!
For all the latest information about me check out my Facebook and Twitter pages and also Chuck’s Rock, Rhythm & Rimshots Blog.

Thanks so much for the interview, Mike -- and, also, for the kind words! Now ... for you who are already fans (and for those of you who, in just a moment, will be), here's Mike doing a very poignant song called, "Be Your Father's Son":

Monday, May 2, 2011

24 Hours ...

In view of the events that have occurred over the past 24 hours, I just want to add my two-cents' worth via this video. We'll get back to the news, views and more beginning tomorrow: