Marshall Of Rock

Tag: Lenny Castro

Toto at Vina…a Sunday night in Wine Country

by on Sep.13, 2016, under LINKS, PHOTOS, ROCK NEWS, ROCK TOUR DATES

Toto at Vina…a Sunday night in Wine Country

Toto wrapped up their Summer 'An Evening With' tour at the beautiful Vina Robles Amphitheatre this past Sunday and it was an evening of stellar musicianship, all the Toto hits, tracks from their latest studio album 'XIV,' and even a cover featuring some fantastic guitar work by one of the best, Steve Lukather.

The core Toto members, Steve Lukather, David Paich, Steve Porcaro and Joseph Williams were joined by Lenny Castro (percussion), Shannon Forest (drums), the legendary Leland Sklar (bass), and back-up vocalists Mabvuto and Jenny Douglas for a show that spanned the decades of great material from the band, and showed off the amazing talents of everyone on that stage. As individuals, the members can be heard on an amazing 5000 albums that together amass a sales history of a half a billion albums and more than 200 Grammy nominations.

Approaching 40 years of making music, Toto well represented their first self-titled LP (released 38 years ago), kicking off their set with the first track on that album, the instrumental 'Child's Anthem' right into 'I'll Supply the Love.' 'Georgy Porgy' and the top 5 hit 'Hold the Line' were featured later in the show.

The band has certainly known their share of ups and downs over the years personally and professionally, with the loss of great band member brothers Mike and Jeff Pocarro to Lou Gehrig's disease and heart attack, and nearly getting dropped from their label after their initial success. They certainly did rebound and persevere to make their amazing 'Toto IV' album, which yielded three top 10 hits and was awarded 7 Grammys, including record and album of the year. The classic tracks 'I Won't Hold Back,' 'Afraid of Love,' and the massive hits 'Rosanna' and 'Africa' represented that special era for the band in the set, with 'Africa' wrapping up the show encore.

Five fresh songs from the band's latest album 'TOTO XIV,' released last March made the setlist, and fit right in with the melodic progressive direction that was felt on this Fall evening in Central California wine country. Check out Toto's first new studio album in ten years and everything about the band at

A highlight for me was seeing the great Steve Lukather perform a cover of Robin Trower's 'Bridge of Sighs,' showcasing the talent of one of the great guitarists of his era. One of the leaders of Toto since its inception in 1976, Steve has also been one of the most sought-after session guitarists in Los Angeles music history, playing with a wide range of artists and performing on over 1,500 records spanning over 36 years. He is known as one of the top 10 session guitarists of all time and has been a part of so many legendary hits and recordings.

Toto are true survivors and thrivers of the music business, having earned their place as a truly great American rock band. Hopefully one day, they will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as it is more than deserving.

The one song I would have liked to see the band perform was '99,' but that didn't put a damper on what was a beautiful night of music at a beautiful venue for Toto to wrap up their 2016 Summer tour.

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1. Child's Anthem
2. I'll Supply the Love
3. Stranger in Town
4. Holy War
5. I Won't Hold You Back
6. Georgy Porgy
7. Burn
8. Afraid of Love
9. Bend
10. Pamela
11. David Paich Piano Solo
12. Great Expectations
13. Without Your Love
14. Bridge of Sighs (Robin Trower cover)
15. Hold the Line
16. The Road Goes On
17. Orphan
18. Rosanna
19. On the Run
20. Africa


Special Thanks to Vanessa Kromer and Jennifer Anderson of Nederlander. For all upcoming shows at Vina Robles Amphitheatre, go to:

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Joe Bonamassa new solo album ‘Different Shades Of Blue’ to be released September 23

by on Jul.23, 2014, under CD/DVD RELEASES, LINKS, ROCK NEWS, VIDEO

Joe Bonamassa new solo album ‘Different Shades Of Blue’ to be released September 23

GRAMMY-nominated guitar superstar Joe Bonamassa will release his brand new solo album 'Different Shades Of Blue' on September 23. This is Bonamassa’s first studio album in two years and the first album of his career to feature all original material. The result is a record with more of an experimental edge than previous Bonamassa records. It’s a blues record that explores the outer reaches and the many different sounds that shape the genre.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been involved in the writing on an entire album. So I decided I wanted to make a completely original blues album,” said Bonamassa. “I’ve really had to push myself to make everything I do better than the last project. I know the fans expect it. And I feel like I owe it to the fans to give them an original record after all these years.”

o prepare for the record, Bonamassa took 2013 off from releasing any new studio material, a rarity in the tireless bluesman’s career, and instead spent time in Nashville writing with Jonathan Cain (Journey), known for hits “Who’s Crying Now,” “Open Arms,” and “When You Love A Woman;” James House (Diamond Rio, Dwight Yoakam, Martina McBride), and Jerry Flowers (Keith Urban).

“The writers really inspired me, and having access to really great lyricists and songwriters made it such a great experience,” said Bonamassa.

Recorded at Studio At The Palms in Las Vegas, NV, Different Shades Of Blue was produced by Kevin Shirley (Black Crowes, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin), who has helmed Bonamassa’s last fifteen projects including his solo projects and collaborations with Black Country Communion and Beth Hart. To compliment Bonamassa’s signature guitar style and vocals, Shirley brought together a group of musicians including Reese Wynans (organ, piano), Carmine Rojas (bass), Michael Rhodes (bass), Anton Fig (drums, percussion), Lenny Castro (percussion), Lee Thornburg (trumpet, trombone), Ron Dziubla (saxophone), the Bovaland Orchestra (strings), and Doug Henthorn and Melanie Williams (background vocals).

“It’s definitely my favorite Joe Bonamassa record to date,” said Shirley. “It’s an album that deserves to be listened to in its entirety. Luckily Joe’s fan base really seems to appreciate a body of work and not just songs.”

Each year, Bonamassa strives to deliver something new for his fans to thank them for their loyalty, dedication, and enthusiastic activity on Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook which has helped grow the guitarist’s reputation exponentially in the U.S. and abroad.

Shirley said, “I think Joe has learned the value of not underestimating his audience. He plays music as well as he can, and always tries to bring music of depth to his audience. We try very hard to make the records as multidimensional as possible and really try not to cut any corners in delivering them.”

Bonamassa has twelve #1 Billboard Blues Albums (more than any other artist) and received his first GRAMMY nomination in 2013 for his collaboration with Beth Hart on the duo’s sophomore album Seesaw. His 2013 solo acoustic project An Acoustic Evening at the Vienna Opera House was nominated by the Blues Music Awards for Best DVD and his 2009 DVD Live From The Royal Albert Hall recently received RIAA Platinum Certification.

Pre-order the album now: here

Joe Bonamassa Different Shades Of Blue album cover

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