New Release: “Nassau Coliseum, New York 1980” – Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

Posted in Bruce Springsteen with tags , , , on March 25, 2015 by 30daysout















I have heard this show on E Street Radio and it’s a classic. It’s the show that gave us the “War” B-side, “Merry Christmas, Baby” and the “Hungry Heart” B-side, “Held Up Without A Gun” and features a 16-minute version of “Rosalita” and a bunch of tunes off The River. I will be downloading tonight.

“Nassau Coliseum, New York 1980”

Live Review: Stevie Wonder, Houston

Posted in Review, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2015 by 30daysout




At 8:55, the great Stevie Wonder was escorted onto the stage to a standing ovation at the Toyota Center by his daughter, Aisha Morris. Yes, the same Aisha crying in “Isn’t She Lovely.” She is lovely and quite curvy, but that’s another story. Wonder proceeded to apologize to the sold out crowd for being almost an hour late, but he said it had been a tough day. One of his band members, Keith John, was found unconscious in his hotel room. He made sure to let us to know that no matter what we hear, it was not drug-related. Clearly shaken,Wonder then told the crowd a little about the album we were about to hear…Songs in the Key of Life. He then walked over to his keyboard and proceeded to rip into “Love’s In Need of Love Today.” With this we were on our way to an amazing musical extravaganza.

Members of the Houston Symphony joined Wonder on a beautiful version of “Village Ghetto Land” and then he proceeded to blow the roof off the place with a back-to-SonginKeyback-to-back tour de force of “Contusion,” “Sir Duke” and “I Wish,” featuring the legendary Nathan Watts on bass. “Knocks Me Off My Feet” was next and, in a word, was unbelievable. At the end of the song, he let his backup singers show off a bit, and told the crowd his band likes to “jam,” which they proceeded to do to the great delight of the crowd. He even let one of the Symphony violinists have a solo. “Ordinary Pain” finished off side 2 and brought Aisha Morris front and center with two other singers for the soulful ending that resulted in a standing ovation from many, including me. He ended the first set with great versions of “Saturn” and “Ebony Eyes,” two songs off the “Something Extra” 7″ single that came with the original album.

After a short 20 minute break, Wonder proceeded to tell us he has 9 children, and was looking for the men to give him some respect, which we did. He also told his daughter Aisha that “I saw you before your mama did.” A stellar version of the song he wrote about her, “Isn’t She Lovely,” kicked off the set, followed by “Joy Inside My Tears,” clearly the most soulful tune of the night and one that left Wonder with tears streaming down his cheeks. “Black Man” and “All Day Sucker” were incredibly funky and “Easy Goin’ Evening (My Mama’s Call)” showed off Wonder’s incredible ability to play the harmonica.

“Ngiculela – Es Una Historia – I Am Singing” started off side four, one of the best sides of any album ever. After performing his vocal part with one of his backup singers, Wonder sat down to play an instrument that I didn’t recognize. He proceeded to include versions of “Tequila” and Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel,” a tune that sent the crowd into a frenzy. Wonder explained the beautiful “If It’s Magic” is about love and it’s magic power. He sang to the original harp track performed by Dorothy Ashby, who he said died before the success of the album. “As” brought the crowd to it’s feet and a rousing “Another Star” kept them dancing for another eight minutes. Wonder then asked us if we were ready to go home, to which we emphatically said NO. He then sat down at the piano to play “When the World Began,” a new tune he’s working on with David Foster. It was so new, he screwed up the beginning and had to start over.

He again asked if we were ready to home, to which we screamed louder…NO. At this point he said “Stevie Wonder has left the building….I am now “DJ TICK TICK BOOM.” A DJ set up on the piano allowed him to tease with some of his classic tunes. He then did brief versions of “Livin’ for the City” and “For Once in My Life” before ending the night with an energetic version of “Superstition” that had the crowd dancing in the aisles.

This was a magical night of music. I had been waiting for this since I received the album as an Easter present in 1977 and Wonder and crew did not disappoint. As I watched him perform you could tell that he is on a different level of life than everyone else. Maybe not being able to see helps him see everything better than the rest of us. All I know is that if everyone had Stevie Wonder’s spirit there would no war, no racial hatred and the world would be a much better place.

Stevie Wonder Official Website

Review: “XIV” by TOTO

Posted in Uncategorized on March 19, 2015 by 30daysout


There are very few bands who are still jamming nearly 40 years after first getting together. TOTO, however, is one of those bands. It has survived bad reviews, the deaths of founding member, drummer Jeff Porcaro, and just last week his brother, bassist Mike Porcaro, (who lost his nearly eight year battle with ALS), lawsuits, and everything in between. Every time they get knocked down, members David Paich, Steve Lukather, Steve Porcaro and Joseph Williams seem to dust themselves off and come back with a vengeance. Their new album, TOTO XIV, is evidence of that.

TOTO albums usually open with a big, hard rocking track, and “Running Out of Time” is just that with a signature lick from Lukather. The bandtoto_by_heather_porcaro_hr
gets political on the hard-driving “Holy War,” and the ballad “Unknown Soldier” featuring a great vocal by Luke. They wrap their arms around the lonely on the excellent “Orphan” featuring the album’s best vocal performance by Williams. “Burn” is powerful track with a beautiful piano part played by Paich, who never ceases to amaze with his talent. They revert back to the days of the Farenheit LP on the Steve Porcaro penned love song “The Little Things.” Porcaro never had more than one song on any album, but they were always memorable and still some of the band’s best. “Chinatown” is vintage TOTO with Paich’s stirring piano opening, and featuring original TOTO bassist, David Hungate, who is also joining the band on tour. The ballad “All the Tears” features a stellar hook and “Great Expectations” starts off with Paich’s sad, lonely vocal and then got into another stratosphere in the same vein as YES. The final “bonus” track “Bend” is reminiscent of “A Secret Love,” the final track on Hydra.

It’s been nearly 10 years since TOTO released new music. In that time, lead singer Bobby Kimball left the band (again), Mike Porcaro was forced to leave the band due to illness, drummer Simon Phillips was replaced by Keith Carlock, and Paich and Steve Porcaro decided to return to the touring band to help raise money for ALS. Porcaro says this is no half-assed attempt to just put music out. He says in the band’s EPK that “everyone is playing like their lives depend on it.” It sure sounds like it.

Toto Official Website

“Orphan” by Toto

“Holy War” by TOTO

“Burn” by Toto


Curefest 2015: Humble, TX Family Raises Funds to Fight Brain Cancer

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on March 14, 2015 by 30daysout






In September, 2011, then 47-year old Phil Baumann started experiencing severe headaches. Then he started getting into his car on the passenger side instead of the driver’s side. When he would talk on his cell phone, his arm would be stretched out to his side and not bent up to his ear. His family doctor thought it was a sinus problem that was causing the headaches and the odd behavior, but after a trip to the emergency room, he found out he had a large tumor on his brain. After an MRI, he found out it was malignant. Glioblastoma Multiforme Grade 4, one of the worst forms of brain cancer, was the diagnosis. This type of cancer is particularly damaging because it’s relentless. In other words, once surgeons remove the tumor, it keeps coming back.

This is what happened to Phil. Surgeons at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston took out his tumor and six months later it reared its ugly head again. But luckily, it came back in an area of the brain right above where the tumor was and this gave doctors a chance to treat it. Instead of opting for another surgery, he entered the Delta 24 clinical trial. The trial involves injecting a modified cold virus directly into the tumor. Since entering the trial in April 2012, Phil has seen his tumor shrink every 8 weeks to the point where it is now non-existent. Of the 29 people in the trial, only two others had the same outcome. Baumann feels more than blessed.

Most people who deal with a disease as devastating as this one would be happy to receive good news and move on with curefest-ft-page-fliertheir lives. However, you have never met Phil and his wife, Misty.  In 2012, they put on the first Curefest at the Humble Civic Center in Humble, TX, just north of Houston. The event raised more than $150,000 and helped fund nine patients in the Delta 24 trial at M.D. Anderson. The money raised at Curefest 2015 will go towards a new phase of the trial that is looking at the effectiveness of injecting stem cells directly into the bone marrow, and sparing patients the pain of a needle in the skull every 8 weeks.

This year’s event will feature games and activities for the kids, a silent auction, and a live auction. A slew of local bands will start at 11 a.m. with American Idol top 10 finalist, Sundance Head, headlining the 12-hour event.

My band, The Crashers, played Curefest 2013 and it was amazing to see how the community came together for this event. Friends, family and strangers from all walks of life donated time and treasures to help this family make a difference in the lives of people who are searching for a miracle.

“It takes your breath away when we see how the community has supported our family and our quest to find a cure for brain cancer. ” said Misty Baumann. “It’s going to be a great day.”

Like the song says…”take a sad song and make it better.” The Baumanns are doing just that.

What: Curefest 2015, featuring American Idol top 10 finalist, Sundance Head.
You can purchase your tickets here.

Where: Humble Civic  Center, 8233 Will Clayton Pkwy., Humble, TX

When: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

“Darlin’ Don’t Go” by Sundance Head


Review: Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band – “Tower Theater, Philadelphia, 1975”

Posted in Bruce Springsteen with tags , , , on March 5, 2015 by 30daysout










The year 1975 was quite a 12-month stretch for Bruce Springsteen. After a painstaking recording process, he finally released the Born To Run album, a critical and commercial success which peaked at number three on the Billboard album chart.  For the first time, he played to audiences overseas and he appeared on the covers of Time and Newsweek the same week heralded as “Rock’s New Sensation.” On the last night of the year, he wrapped up four-night stand and the Born To Run Tour at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, PA, just outside of Philadelphia. Parts of this show have been floating around for years, but this is the first time it has been properly mixed and mastered in its entirety for release. The end result is nothing short of spectacular.

The standouts from this 19-song set include a slowed down, piano-driven version of “Tenth Avenue Bruce-Springsteen-Time-NewsweekFreeze-Out” that oozes soul, a powerful version of The Animals “It’s My Life,” hard-driving takes on “It’s Hard to Be A Saint in the City” and “Spirit in the Night,” an incredibly energetic version of “Born To Run, ” a nearly 15-minute version of “Rosalita” and an ultra-soulful “Jungleland.” The band is extremely tight and plays with incredible energy and heart throughout. Springsteen sounds like a man on a mission who plays and sings every note like his life depends on it.

I know many fans will not agree with me, but I believe this live set is better than the Agora ’78 show from Cleveland that was released last year. The sound is much better and the band is absolutely on fire. Thanks to Bruce and company for cleaning these old shows up and making them available for fans. I cannot wait to see what is next.

Bruce Springsteen Official Website

Worst Christmas Songs Ever: “Santa Baby”

Posted in Christmas with tags , , , , on December 13, 2013 by 30daysout

This is one that just gets on my last nerve. Every time it comes on I can’t change the channel fast enough. The tune, which tells the tale of a woman asking Jolly Old St. Nick for extravagant gifts, was written by Joan Javits and Phillip Springer in 1953. It was first recorded by Eartha Kitt that same year and has since been done by everyone from Madonna to Calista Flockhart.

I’m guessing the song is supposed to be sexy, but for me it’s about a thousand miles away. It just sounds like a rich girl whining to her wealthy old husband (dressed up like Santa, of course) for more and hinting at sex that most likely will never take place. After he falls asleep, because he’s in late 80s, she’ll max out his credit card and he’ll wake up and wonder what the hell happened. He’ll eventually die, she’ll get all his money, and then fight with his kids in court for years. I’m thinking I may have read way too much into this song.

Here is one of the worst versions performed by Madonna…

Bruce Springsteen – “High Hopes”

Posted in Bruce Springsteen with tags on December 12, 2013 by 30daysout


There have been grumblings in Springsteen nation about the forthcoming High Hopes album that is set to be released on January 14. Some people don’t like that the album will feature “covers.” Others think because the songs are not brand new and the album features previously released material, albeit in another form, that he is just putting something out to put something out. Does it really matter if you’re a true fan? I know it doesn’t bother me. I’m happy anytime Bruce wants to put out something new.

The song “High Hopes” is a serious upgrade from the version that appears in the Blood Brothers movie and six-song accompanying disc. Much more energy, much more groove, and, ah, Tom Morello, who presence is always refreshing. Some people I know can’t stand “Dream Baby Dream,” but I love it. It’s mesmerizing and soulful and the new version with the drum machine and background noise will be a welcome addition. I’m looking forward to hearing tunes like “Harry’s Place,” a leftover from The Rising sessions, a studio version of the excellent “The Wall,” written with Joe Grushecky and Morello’s take on “American Skin (41 Shots).”

Don’t listen to the haters, Bruce. We fans truly appreciate you putting out new/old/previously released material. Any Bruce is good Bruce.


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