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Jon Fro’s Roseland Theater Show

16 Nov

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On Wednesday night November 15, 2017 I attended the John Fro gig at the Roseland theater, in Portland, Oregon. Everyone from Bob Dylan to Jack White have played at the Roseland, but tonight John Fro was featuring his new albumย Out From Within and featured cuts like “Coffin Nail” and “A Million Things.” It was a killer performance and he was the most entertaining artist of the night. I included a few of the images that I took that night of both the performance and some of the crowd.

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North Mississippi Allstars

7 Nov


When I was in grade school and we took our turns to spell a word, as we stood at attention next to our desk, the favorite word was “Mississippi,” because it had a musical ring to it even if we didn’t know it yet. By the time that we were teenagers the word “Mississippi” became synonymous with racism. Then at the same time “Mississippi” was the home of the music that was adopted by the White youth culture. That White youth culture was primarily in the U.S., but there was a British contingent as well. Everyone from the “Beatles” and “Rolling Stones” to “Cream” and “Led Zeppelin” either relied or were influenced by Mississippi Delta blues and would claim Robert Johnson as their primary influence.


Jim Dickinson was a contemporary and produced a number of recordings for key figures at hisย โ€œZebra Ranchโ€ in Hernando, Mississippi. His children Luther and Cody Dickinson were influenced by him and began their own musical careers in 1996 and to read more about it go to my review of their show on Saturday, October 14, 2017, at Revolution Hall in Portland, Oregeon.ย



Greta Van Fleet

31 Oct

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Greta Van Fleet is my favorite all time rock band from Frankenmuth, Michigan. During the 1950’s when I was growing up in the Greater Detroit Michigan suburb of Warren, my parents would take me to Frankenmuth for their famous family style chicken dinners at Zehnder’s. A few months ago a friend of one of my adult sons introduced me to a new band that he was watching on YouTube called “Greta Van Fleet.”

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one thing led to another and as a rock & roll journalist I decided to cover them for “Blues Rock Review.” I interviewed Danny Wagner, the drummer and attended, photographed and reviewed their concert in Portland, Oregon. I included the links and some additional photos.


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The band is made up of three brothers; 18 year old Sam Kiszka on bass guitar, 21 year old Jake on lead guitar and 21 year old Josh on lead vocals. The drummer is their best friend, 18 year old Danny Wagner. Same and Danny just graduated from High School last June, which allowed them to begin touring. They’ve been playing together as a band for five years.

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Talk On The Street

Black Smoke Rising

Edge of Darkness

When the Cold Wind Blows

Flower Power

Youโ€™re The One


Mountain of the Sun

Watching Over

Lover Leaver

Highway Tune

Safari Song



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Joe Bonamassa Concert Review

12 Oct

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On Thursday, October 5, 2017, at the Arlene Schnitzer concert hall in Portland, Oregon Joe Bonamassa played to a sold out 3000 seat house. Joe Bonamassa is the premier blues rock guitarist of the day and draws comparisons to everyone from Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck to Jimmy Page and Peter Green. This is a link to my review in “Blue Rock Review.”ยย I also included some additional photos that I took that aren’t included in the article.

Bonamassa is a member of Black Country Communion along with Glenn Hughes, Jason Bonham and Derek Sherinian. BCCโ€™sย fourth album was just released .ย ย

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Tom Petty Eulogy

3 Oct

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By: Bob Gersztyn

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I loved the music that Tom Petty produced, because it accompanied me on my life’s journey for 37 years and became a staple of my personal soundtrack. At the beginning of what became another transitional point in my life I first heard a song by Tom Petty. It was in the summer of 1980, when I first moved my family from Los Angeles, California to Oregon to pioneer a Foursquare Church in Philomath, which I never did. I was working in a gourmet sea food restaurantย as a sous-chef and the local AM radio station played the top ten on Casey Kasem every Friday night. โ€œRefugeโ€ from Dam the Torpedoes played and I immediately liked it and after that I was fan.

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At the time I was still a licensed minister holding Foursquare ministerial credentials and secular rock music wasnโ€™t accepted unless it had an underlying Christian message. Then in 1986 Bob Dylan, who became a born again Christian in 1978 and produced 3 gospel albums toured with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with them as his backup group. I saw them perform together in Portland, Oregon in the summer of 1986 after I transferred to Salem with the post office.

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It was an amazing concert since I was finally seeing my long time idol Bob Dylan, live for the first time. At the same time I was seeing the beginning of the ascension of Tom Petty into the rock and roll god pantheon. First โ€œTom Petty and the Heartbreakersโ€ played, then Dylan came out for an acoustic set and then after a few songs Tom Petty and the band returned and played a set and then backed Dylan for an electric set.

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Eight years later in early1994 when my oldest sons were 17 and 19 we went to see โ€œTom Petty and the Heartbreakersโ€ while โ€œMary Janeโ€™s Last Danceโ€ was a radio hit.ย  ย It was one of the best shows that I had ever seen and ranked up there with shows by the โ€œDoorsโ€ and โ€œJimi Hendrixโ€ ย that Iโ€™d seen.

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Through a series of synchronistic events, by the turn of the 21st century I was a freelance rock & roll journalist who was photographing and reviewing whatever concert I wanted to cover. In 2001 a friend that I worked with had an extra ticket to see โ€œTom Petty and the Heartbreakersโ€ at Oregon State University, so he asked me if I wanted to go and I said yes. The โ€œWallflowersโ€ opened the show and it was kick ass. I didnโ€™t have a photo pass, but I snuck my camera and 200mm lens in and shot the encore from the seat I was in, with security guards scanning the crowd for infractions like mine.

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The last time that I saw Tom Petty play was in November 2002, on The Last D. J. tour that I had a photo pass to. They didnโ€™t give me a ticket to watch the show, but they let me stand at the foot of the stage in front of the front row for the entire concert. I shot all the film in my camera bag and stayed for the entire show. I made a photo mosaic out of some of the photos from the 2 concerts that I photographed.

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Tom Pettyโ€™s songs are indelible on my memory and bring joy to my heart every time that I hear โ€œFreefallinโ€ or โ€œI Wonโ€™t Back Down,โ€ along with dozens of other compositions. Tom Petty is as far up on the rock royalty ladder as you can get and has performed with some of the greatest rock personalities, not as support, but as an equal. From Roy Orbison and 1950โ€™s roots rock, to Dylan and the Beatles 1960โ€™s folk rock, Tom Petty was at home and equal but from another decade. I cherish my memories of his performances and will continue to listen to his music until I eventually join him.

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Joe Bonamassa Interview

25 Sep

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Last week I interviewed Joe Bonamassa for Blues Rock Review and this is a link to the interview.


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This is another interview that I did with Joe ย 6 years earlier in 2011 about his then new album,ย Dust bowl. ย

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These shots are from 2011 when Joe was playing at the Arlene Schnitzer concert hall in Portland, Oregon, where he will be playing on October 5, 2017, when I’m scheduled to photograph and review the concert for “Blues Rock Review.”

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Third Eye Blind

16 Sep

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By: Bob Gersztyn

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โ€œThird Eye Blindโ€ formed in 1993 and snagged a phenomenal record deal in 1996. In 1997 after signing what was reported as being one of the biggest unsigned artist record deals in music history they released their eponymous album โ€œThird Eye Blind,โ€ which went platinum 6 times. The album had 5 radio hits and they appeared on โ€œSaturday Night Liveโ€ and toured as an opening act for U2 on their โ€œPopMartโ€ tour. Over the decades band personnel has changed and the current lineup includes 2 original members, lead singer/rhythm guitar/songwriter/producer, Stephen Jenkins and drummer Brad Hargreaves. The rest of the band includes Kryz Reid on lead guitar, Alex Le Cavalier bass guitar and Alex Koop playing both keyboards and guitar and everyone assisting on vocals. Over the decades theyโ€™ve released 5 studio albums, a compilation album, 3 EPโ€™s and have an unreleased album.

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I had the opportunity to cover the concert for a couple of publications and these are some of the shots that I took of the concert, that happened on Thursday August 31, 2017 at the Oregon State Fair in L. B. Day Amphitheater, in Salem, Oregon. It was a great concert with a 90 minute set that covered material from the first album in 1997 to material off their current 7 song EP, We Are Drugs. This was one of the last shows from their “Summer God’s” tour, celebrating the 20 year anniversary release of their first eponymous album.

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The set consisted of 19 songs, including “Weightless,” “Company of Strangers,” “Horror Show,” “Wounded,” “Simi Charmed Kind of Life,” “Dopamine,” “Crystal Baller,”ย “Back 2 Zero,” “Motorcycle Drive By,” ” Slow Motion,” “Deep Inside of You,” “Rites of Passage,” “Never Let You Go,” “In the Fade,” “Thanks a Lot,” “Jumper,” Something in You” and “How’s it Going to Be.” The concert was high energy and audience engaging with Stephen Jenkins continually talking to the audience telling them how they just flew in and that the show was unstructured and people could just call out what they wanted to hear, which people did. Not knowing what to expect from the restructured band I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed the show immensely.

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