Posts by Bruce Hilliard

Episode 098–Redline “Gods and Monsters” English Metal with Bruce Hilliard

Redline is a rock band, make that metal band, that hails from Birmingham, England, the ancestral home of metal. Balls to the wall guitars, a locked and loaded rhythm section and a powerful vocalist, Redline has forged its own distinctive blend of classic hard rock and British heavy metal. With influences drawn from a rich heritage, the band has been compared to Judas Priest, Saxon, Dio, Iron Maiden and a host of others from the founding fathers of metal.
Redline has played a number of British festivals including Hard Rock Hell, Planet Rockstock, Planet Rock’s Winter’s End, and Europe’s biggest free festival, The Godiva Festival in England. One of the tracks featured anthemic King Of The Mountain which has become the soundtrack to the Isle Of Man TT Motorcycle Races.
Music from the album is also used exclusively on Full Throttle, a challenging motorcycle theme pinball  game. Songs will now be featured on the new official video game of the IOM TT Races to be released in 2020 on PS4 and all formats by BigBen Interactive.
The band has welcomed Chris Basener, an accomplished and exciting new guitarist. Chris has released a number of solo albums as well as authoring books on guitar technique and brings fresh impetus to the song writing process. Redline has found a great chemistry that sees them writing material that has a darker and heavier feel than before… and from this cauldron Gods And Monsters was born.
Redline recorded the album at Rockfield Studios in Monmouth, England. This is a legendary studio that not only Rush, Black Sabbath and Robert Plant have recorded hit albums, but where Queen recorded one of the biggest tracks of all time, Bohemian Rhapsody.
Nick Brine at the console was a natural choice. Having worked at Rockfield and engineered, mixed and produced such diverse talents including The Darkness, Thunder, Tyketto, Brian May, Bruce Springsteen, and The Stone Roses. Nick has a great understanding of capturing that live band feel that the band was seeking. The finished mixes were passed onto Pete Maher, mastering  engineer for The Rolling Stones, U2, Linkin Park, Nine Inch Nails, Thunder, and Paul Weller. Redline had no doubt that Pete’s mastering would unleash the full power of the tracks. Redline’s Rockfield pilgrimage set out to capture the band’s signature classic rock sound, a raw energy that forms the basis of their music. Riff laden rock, power-pipe vocals and hook laden songs telling tales of the good…and the bad, of the darkness that lies within, and of hope that lights the way.

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Episode 097–Matt Westin “Hey Bro” and “Stomp On” with Bruce Hilliard

Matt Westin was born and raised in blue collar family in a middle class suburb of Pittsburgh, PA. From a young age, he pursued various paths of passions, including academics, sports, acting, and music. After years of searching, Matt found true fulfillment in the creative outlets of acting and singing, dedicating himself to his artistic pursuits, and walking away from a promising career in engineering. With the influences of many legendary artists ranging from Johnny Cash to Garth Brooks, all the way to Frank Sinatra, Matt found his voice. The thrill of live performance fed his passion as he honed his vocal ability in bars and clubs around Pittsburgh for over a decade. His obvious passion and talent quickly won over his family’s initial disapproval of walking away from an engineering career, and they became his biggest supporters. Tragically, after a bravely fought battle with Leukemia, Matt’s father succumb to complications with chemotherapy in April 2016. As a true family man, Matt was utterly devastated and struggled day to day with the reality of his father’s death. After months of depression, instead of self-destructing, Matt decided to honor his father’s memory by finally pursuing his music career, as his father had encouraged. Deciding to make a country record in his father’s honor, and being introduced by a mutual friend to world class musician/songwriter/producer Bryan Cole, the stage was set. Bryan took on the project as producer, believing in his talent and vision and guiding Matt in making a world class country record. Bryan recruited long time friend and mix engineer Doug Kasper to record and mix the record at nearby Tonic Recording Studios. With the right songs, legendary musicians Mike Brignardello (bass) and Steve Hinson (steel guitar), and an amazing up and coming musician Adam Ernst, Matt dedicated an entire year to making the record he and his father would be proud of.

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Episode 096–Ashley Puckett “Medicine” Via “Never Say Never” with Bruce Hilliard

Ashley Puckett was born and raised in North Huntingdon, just east of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Ashley realized her passion for music at a young age, performing at vocal competitions and community events, and eventually, landing at open-mic nights and shows in bars and clubs, doing anything to keep the music and her passion alive.  Her musical influences have been empowering..shaping the artist she has become: Ladies like Lee Ann Womack, Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Jo Dee Messina, Carole King and LeAnn Rimes.

At age sixteen Ashley picked up the guitar, began writing songs, and the adventurous country girl hit the road.  Somewhere between skydiving and bungee jumping, Ashley was introduced to world class Singer/Songwriter/Producer, Bryan Cole and Lead Sound Engineer, Doug Kasper at Tonic Studios.  With legendary musicians Mike Brignardello (bass), John Willis (banjo), Mike Johnson (Steel Guitar), Heidi Engel and Tammy Petty ( Background Vocals) and hot newcomer, Adam Ernst, Ashley’s debut album and lifelong dream, “Never Say Never” was made a reality. The album will be released on MTS Records in 4th quarter 2019, with first single, “Medicine” set for release in August 2019.

“I’ve never given up on where I wanted to be (in the music industry), however, when life pulls you in so many different directions, it sometimes takes you off-guard, and it becomes very easy to lose sight.  I believe everything happens for a reason, and although I feel I’m always at the wrong place at the wrong time, somehow that led me to the right place at the right time, to say ‘It’s now or never’ after meeting Bryan and Doug.  The energy the three of us have, working together, and their dedication is so exciting…I know this is just the beginning of something spectacular.” 

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Episode 095–Jackie Venson ‘s “Joy” and Music with Bruce Hilliard

Passion never dies.
It grows stronger every day.
Obsessed with music from an early age, singer/songwriter Jackie Venson immersed herself in its study, attending the Berklee College of Music to practice classical piano. However, it wasn’t until she switched to the electric guitar, that her long-simmering passion for emotive live performance was realized. Abandoning the straight-laced world of classical for the raw power of blues and soul, Venson has since been tirelessly honing her skills into an intoxicating amalgam of Blues, Rock, R&B and Soul with deeply heartfelt lyrics. Having just released her latest studio album “Joy”, Venson is in the midst of her global “Joy to the World” tour, which will see her playing shows all the way from Alaska to Austria and back!

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Episode 094–Donnie Vie and “Beautiful Things” with Bruce Hilliard

“This is my first record in 4 years. I had to make sure it was great. The songs started coming, starting with ‘I Could Save the World,’ which opened the door for the rest. I got great artists to play on it like Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big), Roger Manning (Jellyfish), Matt Walker (Garbage/Morrissey) and many other killers. The record exceeded my hopes and expectations. It’s like an ice cream sundae made out of sounds & colors, with more hooks than a tackle box. And of course my pipes, stronger than ever! The song ‘Beautiful Things’ felt like a great album title, so I expanded on that. It hits hard from start to finish. I’m proud to be a big part of it, it’s my best work yet, and that’s saying something after nearly 25 great records with Enuff Z’ Nuff and my solo stuff combined. If you like cool aggressive pop, you will love this. I sure do. Share the love, stop the hate, and let’s save the world.”

About the Artist
Donnie has been one of rock’s biggest secrets, who has been crafting melodic power pop and rock songs for over 30 years. He and Enuff Z’Nuff were instant critics’ darlings, with a debut record that soared up the charts generating two long playing MTV hits, “New Thing” and “Fly High Michelle.” A “Top Pick” from Rolling Stone Magazine, and inciting numerous TV and radio performances with repeat invitations from David Letterman and Howard Stern, the group released their “self-titled” and follow up ‘Strength’ on Atco Records, before being picked up by Clive Davis and signed to his Arista label for ‘Animals with Human Intelligence.’

The Grammy-nominated artist has amassed over 25 albums’ worth of songs and decades of live shows to his name, both with and without his former band. Now a solo act, Vie continues his songwriting and performing under his own name. Rolling Stone Magazine described Donnie’s writing skills as “Beatle-esque pop songcraft and ripping hard rock,” while Billboard Magazine says, “If there is such a thing as false advertising in rock & roll, then Enuff Z’Nuff is one of its textbook examples. Packaged in garish peace-glam attire by their record company, the group was wrongly lumped in with the disposable pop-metal bands of the late ’80s rather than appreciated for the truly gifted power pop act that they were.”

Donnie’s Homepage

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