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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

Episode 093–Lisa Satira Brozek “Differently Abled Man” with Bruce Hilliard

“My very intelligent son, stuck in this shell we call Autism. If he was able to tell us how he feels and express himself to me and to the world, I thought, what would he say?”— Lisa Satira Brozek

I can hear you, when I’m not looking at you
I can see you, without staring at you
I can feel you, we don’t have to touch
I’m a differently abled man and I matter so much

–lyrics from “Differently Abled Man”

“(Christopher) is an amazing and kind human being. People have written dissertations on him, his one therapist named her baby after him, and many of his therapists and teachers are still in his life today. But because he cannot socially interact, it makes it hard for him to make friends. You may think he isn’t paying attention, but he understands every word you say, he can hear you, he sees you, he just can’t verbally express it. Imagine how frustrating and lonely this can be, this is his life, everyday. My very intelligent son, stuck in this shell we call Autism. If he was able to tell us how he feels and express himself to me and to the world, I thought, what would he say? So one day I began to write…..and I wrote a song for my son.” – Lisa Satira Brozek on her son and inspiration for “Differently Abled Man,” Christopher Brozek

When local Pittsburgh mom Lisa Satira Brozek put pen to paper to write a touching tribute to her son, Christopher, who has Autism, she had no idea that her heartfelt words would become a worldwide music release. Enter Pittsburgh veteran musician and Top 20 iTunes charting artist, John Vento. John, along with Ron “Moondog” Esser, is a founder of Band Together Pittsburgh, a non-profit that raises awareness for those with autism, and engages them through music programs.

Vento suggested Pittsburgh rock royalty, David Granati for production and guitar duties. Joining David Granati in the studio was his brother, and another member of Pittsburgh’s version of The Wrecking Crew, Hermie Granati (keyboards.) Brother and sister, Christopher Brozek (drums) and Caitlin Nicole (vocals) rounded out the recording line-up. Caitlin, who had always been Christopher’s voice, growing up, sang the melody written by family friend, Kelsey Roche.

“Differently Abled Man” will help raise awareness for those on the Autism Spectrum, with a portion of the proceeds going to the organization. The song will have its official launch at the Pittsburgh Blues and Roots Festival on July 27th and 28th, at the Syria Shrine Center. The single will be available in digital and physical CDs around the world through MTS Records.

Watch the music video at

“I have watched my son, Christopher struggle on a daily basis with communication,” said Lisa Satira Brozek. “He has trouble expressing himself and putting words into a sentence. He generally needs time to process information that he hears and then also needs time to respond. This can be very frustrating for him, not being able to put his thoughts into a complete sentence.”

ABOUT BAND TOGETHER PITTSBURGH: The purpose of Band Together Pittsburgh (a recognized 501 (c) 3 non profit organization) is to employ the power of music to engage youth on the autism spectrum and their families. Music has the proven capacity to enhance social interactions, build and develop communication skills, and improve motor/sensory, emotional, and academic/cognitive functioning. PLUS it’s FUN!

Music brings us together. Fills our souls. And creates pathways to help those on the autism spectrum to build new skills. The founders of Band Together Pittsburgh have decades of experience in the music scene and in the non profit youth development world. That knowledge coupled with a science based approach provides us with a solid foundation to provide programming. For more information please visit

Episode 092–Deborah Berg “New Road Home” with Bruce Hilliard

Deborah Berg is a performing songwriter and teacher whose distinctive voice, songwriting talents, and warm teaching style characterize her 38-year musical career.

She is proud to be an official Martin Guitar and Sennheiser endorsed artist.

Deborah Berg's latest release “New Road Home.”
Her newest project, New Road Home (2019) is Deborah's third solo album and sixth album to date. New Road Home was recorded at Grand Street Recording in Brooklyn, produced by Ken Rich, and mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound in New York City.

New Road Home evokes a musical travelogue that transports listeners to parts both unknown and familiar. Deborah’s inquiring lyrics, lucid storytelling, and signature voice create classic country songs with plaintive bluegrass echoes.

Deborah’s band on this album combines the immense talents of Charlie Giordano (accordion and keys), Richard Hammond (upright bass), Chris Tedesco (violin), Hugh Pool (vocals and dobro), Sherryl Marshall and Stephanie Seymour (backing vocals), Monica Passin (guitar), Ethan Eubanks (drums), and Rich Hinman (electric and acoustic guitar).

Deborah has published and written over 50 original and co-written songs.

In the 1980s Deborah and British music composer, Julian Marshall, formed the duo Eye to Eye and were soon signed with Warner Brothers Records. Gary Katz (Steely Dan) produced their two classic albums: Eye to Eye and Shakespeare Stole My Baby.

In 1999, as Deborah Berg McCarthy, she recorded and produced her first solo album, Places Where I Dream.

In 2006, Eye to Eye recorded a third independent CD: Clean Slate, produced by Rhett Davies (Roxy Music).

With Doug Katsaros in 2009, Deborah co-wrote the new theme song for the public television program, Great Museums, the only nationwide television series devoted to America's museums.

Ms. Berg’s second solo album, No Rush was released in 2012. Her single, Goin' Nowhere was played on over 87 terrestrial radio stations. Deborah was a featured ARTIST TO WATCH on iHeartRadio NEW! Discover & Uncover (through Clear Channel).

In addition to studio work, Deborah is currently a choir member and soloists with Middle Church Jerriese Johnson Gospel Choir in NYC. She was one of the featured soloist in the Christmas Eve Special, A Bold New Love: Christmas Eve with Middle Collegiate Church, which aired nationwide on CBS on December 24, 2018.

Since 2013, through the non-profit arts program, Feel The Music!, Deborah has directed The Singin’ Seniors, a vocal ensemble class for elders at the Lenox Hill Senior Center in midtown Manhattan.

Deborah Berg's Homepage

Deborah's Facebook

Episode 091–Neil Fitzsimon On Getting the Best Drummers with Bruce Hilliard

Fitzsimon and Brogan are great, and okay, songwriter/guitar player and music aficionado Neil Fitzsimon is almost a co-host to the Better Each Day show. This episode features some talk about working with drummers Woody Woodmansey, best known for working with “David Bowie and Spiders from Mars”, and Pete Thomas, a member of  both “The Attractions” with Elvis Costello and with Costello as a solo.

Drummer Pete Thomas, top center.
Neil Fitzsimon and Bee Brogan were both members of the band, Pretty Blue Gun, who were signed to an indie label licensed to Sony. They released two albums which were critically acclaimed. Some of the guest musicians included members of The Art of Noise, Dave Bronze (Eric Clapton’s bass player), Tobias Boshell (Moody Blues) and Pip Williams who played guitar on the Walker Brothers’ track, ‘No Regrets’. The albums were produced by Pat Collier, who produced Katrina and the Waves’ international hit, ‘Walking on Sunshine’. The band went on national tours across the UK until disbanding. Neil Fitzsimon, the songwriter, and Bee Brogan, the vocalist, then went on to form a songwriting/production partnership that led to placement of their songs in Film and TV. They also wrote a musical, Jack Dagger, which was showcased at the Greenwich Theatre, London for the Musical Futures Award. It was also showcased at the Bridewell and the Royal College of Music in London. They have also just had a song placed in a USA Sci Fi Feature film. They recently had a track reach number 3 in a French national download chart. All songs are written by Neil Fitzsimon. Vocals, keyboards, drums and engineering by Bee Brogan. All guitars played by Neil Fitzsimon. Fitzsimon and Brogan see themselves as a studio act much in the vein of Tin Tin Out and Talk Talk. Their influences range from The Beatles, Elvis Costello, Jimmy Webb, Jacques Brel and David Bowie. Their aim is to produce pure pop for now people.

Fitzsimon and Brogan's Home Page

Episode 090–Dave Bickler “Eye of the Tiger” to New LP “Darklight” with Bruce Hilliard

In Dave's words: I saw The Beatles on Ed Sullivan.  My course was set.

I started my musical career as lead singer of the 1970s rock group Jamestown Massacre (Billboard Top 100 Song ‘Summer Sun') and doing commercial jingle work in Chicago. I was lead singer of the rock band Survivor from 1978-1983 and 1993-1999, and co-lead singer 2013-2014. I was the voice of ‘Eye Of The Tiger' the theme song for the film Rocky III, and #1 on the Billboard charts for six weeks. The song won a Grammy Award for ‘Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.' From 1999-2009 I was the singing voice behind the most award winning radio campaign in advertising history (‘Real Men of Genius') for Bud Light beer. 

Bickler was born in North Dakota, moved to Willmar, Minnesota, and then graduated from Benet Academy in Lisle, Illinois. His career began in 1968 as one of two lead singers and a musician in the early 1970s American rock group Jamestown Massacre. The group's single “Summer Sun” was a Billboard Top 100 and Easy Listening chart entry in the summer of 1972. Bickler met Jim Peterik while doing commercial jingles in the mid-1970s, leading to their future partnership in the band Survivor. 

In 2009, Dave Bickler posted several new songs he was writing and recording for a future solo project via his Twitter account and website. On September 28, 2018, he released his debut solo album, Darklight.

Dave Bickler is best known as an original member of Survivor from 1978 to 1983. He rejoined with co-founders Frankie Sullivan and Jim Peterik in 1993, staying until early 2000. He was a part of the group for their first four albums: Survivor, Premonition, Eye of The Tiger, and Caught in the Game. Although primarily serving as the band's lead vocalist during this time, he is also credited with playing keyboards on Survivor's first two albums (including being the sole keyboardist on their debut album, before rhythm guitarist Jim Peterik began to take over the role on Premonition, although future releases would see Peterik replaced in-studio by session musicians).

Survivor experienced their big breakthrough in 1982, when they were asked by Sylvester Stallone to provide the theme song for his movie Rocky III. The song, “Eye of the Tiger”, soon turned into one of the biggest hits of the band's career. It had an enormous impact on the Billboard charts, soaring to #1 for seven weeks. The song won the band a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal, was voted “Best New Song” by the People's Choice Awards and received an Academy Award nomination. Thanks to the song's success and another Top 20 single, “American Heartbeat”, the album Eye of the Tiger peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200 chart. The song remains popular today. It came in at #18 on the “Top 100 Singles” chart in Billboard's 100th Anniversary issue and it is well over the 300,000 mark on the iTunes Store, where it once held #9 on their “Top Soundtrack” chart.

Bickler left the band in late 1983 after he developed polyps on his vocal cords and required surgery and voice rest, a condition that would take a year and a half to recuperate from. After leaving Survivor, Bickler continued recording with other groups in the Chicago area and doing commercial jingles and ads.

Dave Bickler's Homepage

Dave's Facebook

Episode 089–Greg Kihn “ReKihndled”…They Don’t Write ‘Em!!! with Bruce Hilliard

NBC called Greg Kihn “Rock’s True Renaissance Man”
Apple iTunes Music called the Greg Kihn Band “A Rock Band of Genuine Consequence”

As a pioneer with the legendary Beserkley Records, Greg Kihn helped write the book on revolutionary west coast rock and roll. He’s toured the world, had hit records, and has won several awards for his hit songs “Jeopardy”, “Break Up Song” and “Lucky”.

After recently obtaining the rights to all his old recordings, Greg Kihn re-mastered & re-released his entire catalogue. In support of these releases and his latest 2018 album “ReKihndled”, the iconic San Francisco Bay area rocker, radio personality and author has been going out with the Greg Kihn Band all across the country. When the Greg Kihn Band wasn’t rockin’, Greg was on the road as part of Rick Springfield’s “Best In Show” 2018 Tour. The Greg Kihn Band and the “Best In Show” Tour Kihntinue to pick up 2019 dates, so check Greg’s calendar for an upcoming show near you.

The Greg Kihn Band consists of Greg Kihn on lead vocals/guitar, Greg’s son Ry Kihn on lead guitar/vocals, Robert Berry on bass/vocals, and David Lauser on drums. Fans who see the band will really appreciate the NEW 90 minute set consisting of all Greg Kihn original material: like the big hits “Jeopardy” and “Break Up Song”, fan favorites such as “Happy Man” and “Can’t Stop Hurtin’ Myself” as well as new material from his latest “ReKihndled” album.

Greg maintains a very strong online presence with a professional website and social media team managed by Michael Brandvold Marketing along with Skyler Turtle @ Riot Mgmt.

For more Kihnformation contact Greg Kihn’s Mgr Joel Turtle @
RIOT Media & Management

Episode 088–Leigh Isaacson “Dig” the K9 Person’s Dating App with Bruce Hilliard

Dig-The Dog Person’s Dating App is officially launching in Seattle with an exclusive, dog-friendly event at WeWork Lincoln! Entry and drinks are FREE when you download or share the Dig app. 
People are always looking for ways to get dogs in their lives. You’ll linger near the dog park’s fence, you’ll repeatedly offer to dog-sit while your friends are away, and you’ll scan every dating app for photos of potential matches with dogs at their sides. If you’re lucky enough to own a pup, you know that things never work out with someone if they’re not as into your dog as you are. So Dig founders Casey and Leigh Isaacson built a dating app that connects dog people based on what’s most important to them.
Dig-The Dog Person's Dating App is proud to join Pledge 1%, a global movement creating new normal where companies of all sizes integrate giving back into their culture and values. Pledge 1% empowers companies to donate 1% of product, 1% of equity, 1% of profit or 1% of employee time to causes of their choice.  Dig is excited to join Pledge 1%’s network of founders, entrepreneurs and companies around the globe that have committed to giving back.

Episode 087–Richard Lynch “Think I’ll Carry It On” with Bruce Hilliard

You’d be hard-pressed to find a musician as authentic as Richard Lynch, whose traditional country music fully embodies his hay-raising,…

Episode 086–David Lauser, From Sammy Hagar to Alliance with Bruce Hilliard

Drummer David Lauser grew up in California, where he first learned how to play the drums after watching the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. During his teens, Sammy Hagar sat in with his band and they performed together until a move to San Francisco matched Sammy with Ronnie Montrose. He separated from David to perform in Montrose, but our drummer guest continued to perform as a solo artist and in several bands. Hagar produced a demo for one of these bands when he noticed how strong his former drummer still played, so he picked him to drum in his band during his first solo outing. The two performed together until fate again separated the two and “The Red Rocker” Sammy Hagar was asked to join Van Halen. David continued to perform and eventually the split between Hagar and Van Halen led to their professional reunion. David continued to play with Hagar into the next decade, even joining him on the unusual co-headlining tour with David Lee Roth in 2002.

With the recent release of  the Fire and Grace Alliance album, David has this: “It seems like just yesterday that Gary (Pihl) called me about forming a group for the purpose of having a band outside of our main musical commitments. After several failed attempts with male and female vocalists and bassists, the illustrious A&R man, John Kalodner suggested we contact Robert Berry. Subsequently, Gary, Fitz (not on this album) and I jammed with Robert at Sammy Hagar's home studio. There was a definite spark. An immediate connection. Was that really 30 years ago? Spanning three decades and an ever changing musical landscape, Alliance has been truly a labor of love for all of us.” – David “Bro” Lauser

Link to New Album Fire and Grace

David's Facebook

Episode 085–Gary Pihl “Fire and Grace” and band Alliance with Bruce Hilliard

Gary Pihl is the lead guitarist for rock trio Alliance consisting of former guest Robert Berry on lead vocals, keyboards and bass, and drummer David Lauser.Raised in the suburbs of Chicago for the first 12 years of his life, Gary Pihl relocated to the San Francisco Bay area.  At 19, Gary had his recording debut with Day Blindness in 1969. He says, “After my time in Day Blindness, I was in a band called Fox with Roy Garcia and Johnny V (Vernazza), who went on to play in Elvin Bishop’s band.  We were on shows with Free (with Paul Rogers), Janis Joplin, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Eric Burdon and War and Mose Allison.”

Pihl’s first big break in came in 1977, when he joined Sammy Hagar’s band, where he toured and recorded for 8 years. Gary met Tom Scholz when Hagar was opening for BOSTON between ’77 and ’79. In 1985, Sammy joined Van Halen, however, Pihl didn’t miss a beat. He explains, “Tom called me up when he was working on the Third Stage album, he had one more song left to be recorded and asked me if I’d come out to work with him on it. As it turned out, I flew directly from Farm Aid (my last gig with Hagar) to Boston, so I wasn’t out of work for a day. I thought, how lucky could a guy get?”

Gary's Website


Episode 084–Kai Mata “So Hard” Video and Upcoming Album with Bruce Hilliard

In Kai's words: When I come out everyday to new acquaintances, I'm fortunate to be met with acceptance. Thanks to the effort and risks members of the LGBTQ+ Community before me, I reap the benefits, having never felt fear holding hands with a woman in public, nor having ever been the target of a hate crime. The laws are growing more accepting our love, with same-sex marriage legalized in 27 different countries and counting. Now, in the eyes of society, it's time for our love to be more than merely accepted. It's time for love to be valued for its intricacies and depth. Happy Pride Month. I hope this song and video shows it doesn't have to be so hard seeing two girls in love.
So Hard

Come and hear the words they say.

“Are you bi or are you gay?”

“Oh, how I thought you were straight.”

“What a pity; such a shame.”

“You both look so feminine.”

“Don't you miss it with a man?”

“With two girls, how does ‘that' work?”

“Because I can always be your third.”

Well, I'll answer all your questions,

Though I know it won't fit in your fantasy.

Despite the ego telling you,

Our bedroom does not want your company.

So go and lust, and fantasize,

But nothing more despite your tries.

I don't need a di…..ctator to tell me what I need.

Thank you to the following who took the time and effort to appear in the video: Maeve Nelligan, Dia Michelle Smith, Purnama Melissa Keller, Jamie, Anisha, Katie Barbaro, Fabian Racuk, Prita Tanaya, Leo Rising, Lacicke Wensday, Domi. Released June 8, 2019 Song written by Kai Mata Produced, mixed, and mastered by Rizal Abdul Hadi Photography by Mark L. Chaves Cover Art Design by Kai Mata About Kai: Heartfelt emotions emanate from her guitar, while truth flows through her lyrics. She invites her audience into her world. Kai Mata is an Indonesian-American Singer-Songwriter whose personal lyrics and soulful voice transport listeners onto a wild journey. Kai Mata is best known for her emotive singing and vulnerable lyricism that paints the human existence, seen in her 2018 Debut Album, Time to Shine. She comes on stage not just to share her music, but to create an impactful experience. Going to a Kai Mata show is to hop into a time machine. Expect to be transported: into the past and future, deep into the present moment, and into the places that make us all human. From the dusty streets of Egypt to Sonic Bloom Festival in Colorado to BaliSpirit Festival in Indonesia, she’s shared her music across the world. And she is excited to share it with you. For more information:







Episode 083–Jay Elle “Ease Up” and “Take a Holiday” with Bruce Hilliard

Jay Elle is a New York City based singer, songwriter and guitar player. Jay Elle’s heart and emotions are his driving forces. His curiosity and appetite for life makes him an avid listener of all music genres. Influenced by classical music as much as pop, rock, rap, country and R&B, Jay Elle believes that songs should carry positive energy and messages that bring people together. Jay Elle takes you on a journey while openly sharing his experiences. Become a keeper and sharer of wisdom. Follow Jay Elle, from song to song with his New EP out May 2019.

Coming on the heels of his Top 40 charting song “Never Dreamed,” mixed by Brent Kolatalo (Bruno Mars, Ariana Grande, One Republic,, Jay Elle asked Brent to mix all the tracks of this new EP,  including the first single “Ease Up (Into Love).” The result is a dynamic, polished and tasteful mix of “Ease Up,” a thoughtful well-crafted song, offering words of wisdom to those looking for love.

Ease Up (Into Love) is available for download now.

Episode 082–Tim Turner, West Seattle’s “Child” with Bruce Hilliard

Singer, songwriter and guitar player Tim Turner has been a huge part of the Seattle music scene for four decades. From the highly successful rock band CHILD to his current Tim Turner Band, Tim has consistently performed on the leading edge of the local music scene. Give Tim a “hollow-body” electric guitar and a stage and the outcome is always the same: first-rate guitar playing, great singing and outstanding original tunes.”

The Crystal Sect., ca. 1968. Tim Tuner far right.
Tim has been playing his unique and special brand of blues, rock and rhythm n blues since the 1970's, as a guitarist in Child, and several incarnations of his own Tim Turner Band. He has hosted several jams over the years and been a special guest host at local jams including Paul & Willow of the Unbound Blues Jam at the Madison Ave Pub in Everett, The Barrel Tavern Tuesday Night Jam, the J & M Cafe Jam in Pioneer Square, Seattle and the Lighthouse Sunday Night Jam in Des Moines, WA. Whenever he's on stage, he has the uncanny ability to bring out the best in whatever musicians are on stage with him. Tim also has a way of making the audience feel good and part of the music, asking various audience members to strum his guitar or inviting them to sing along with the song being played.

Tim Turner has been a Northwest favorite for many years. As well as appearing at casinos, clubs, pubs, lounges and festivals, the band has also opened for the Dave Mathews Band at the Gorge, Johnny Winters at the Ballard Firehouse and many other venues as well. Tim and his players were honored to be the entertainment at the four day Seagate Convention and Awards Ceremonies in Seattle, performing at the Experience Music Project’s Sky Church for this international event. Tim also hosted the longest running Blues JAM at Larry's Blues Cafe in Pioneer Square for over 10 years. Thank you for your interest in the Tim Turner Band and support of live music!

Episode 081–Gary Burk III “Friday Night” Partying With Friends with Bruce Hilliard

Hailing from Western Pennsylvania, Gary Burk III’s musical journey began at age 9. He riding along with his dad to their family camp. There was a song playing on the radio…some old-time country tune that touched Gary in a way that would change his life forever. The song was 11-year-old Billy Gilman singing One Voice, from the album of the same title that sold over two million copies.

Drawing inspiration from his biggest influences, Alabama, Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan, Gary fronts his 3 piece band of outlaws, performing at events across the region.

Gary’s extensive collection of guitars includes a Custom Built Signature J&B Customs Tele-Style, as well as a Gibson Les Paul Robot Series In Manhattan Blue. He uses a Line 6 M16 module played through an Egnater Tweaker 40 amplifier.

When he’s not touring or recording, Gary enjoys spending time with his twin boys and two daughters.

Gary Burk’s new single, “Friday Night” is being released on MTS Records this spring.


Michael Stover

MTS Management Group

Episode 080–Dr. Neil Ratner the Rock Doc Talks with Bruce Hilliard

As a teenager, Neil Ratner was an aspiring rock n’ roll drummer but ended up on the other side of the music business working as a tour manager, assistant manager and producer for groups like Edgar Winter, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Pink Floyd and T-Rex, among others. After a number of successful years working in the music biz, Neil had an epiphany and decided to pursue his other childhood dream of becoming a doctor.

Michael Jackson with Dr. Neil Ratner.
He finished college, learned Spanish, spent four years at a medical school in Mexico, completed two years of surgical training and an anesthesia residency, and helped create the new specialty of office-based anesthesia in Manhattan. In doing so, Dr. Ratner became an expert in the use of the new drug, Propofol, a drug that would play a significant role in Neil's future in regards to his most famous patient Michael Jackson.

Although Dr. Ratner encountered many celebrities in his anesthesia practice, one would change his life… Michael Jackson. Eight years after establishing his anesthesia practice, Michael Jackson walked into an office in which Neil was the Director of Anesthesia. Neil became a trusted friend and personal physician of Michael's from 1994 to 2002, periodically going on tour and spending time with Michael at Neverland. The experiences they shared together during that time are incredible and Neil is happy to relate them to you.

Neil's book available from his website and Amazon.
His book Rock Doc is Neil’s remarkable journey about Rock & Roll, Michael Jackson, Nelson Mandela, a prison sentence with very unexpected results and how helping the poorest of the poor became a key part of his life.

These days “the Rock Doc” lives a busy life in Woodstock, NY working to expand upon his brand. He has created a FB page entitled Neil Ratner Rock Doc with over 26,000 fans and posts everyday about the good old days of rock and roll along with his personal experiences. In addition, he has created a YouTube channel with over 80 videos, a popular Instagram site and a twitter feed.

His mix of rock and roll history and personal experiences along with rock musician interviews and audience participation is perfect for syndication and a fitting cap to a career that’s made an impact in many areas.

He’s on his way to that goal as he’s started a weekly segment on WDST, Radio Woodstock, called This Week in Rock, also heard on iHeart Radio.

Link to Neil’s website:

Link to Neil’s Facebook page:

Here’s a link to some of Neil’s This Week in Rock shows:

Link to a recent feature on Neil in Guitar International:

Link to a YouTube interview with Interviewing the Legends:

Episode 079–Will Black, Family, Health, Rock and Business with Bruce Hilliard

Canadian singer-songwriter Will Black crafts timeless, high-energy tunes rooted in chord-driven, melodic rock n’ roll. Layers of instrumental harmonies and thoughtful lyrics explore love, lust and heartbreak and honor the classic rock songwriters that continue to inspire him including Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Adams and John Mellencamp. Through magnetic live performances that channel the power of commanding entertainers such as the Rolling Stones, Prince and Bon Jovi, Will pulls audiences into his rock guitar-infused orbit. His latest album Cry Like Hell is a diverse collection of tunes, which provide personal insight into some of his life’s many plot twists.

Will’s creative journey has been dually marked by a deep respect for the roots of modern music and a commitment to forge his own path as an artist. As a kid growing up in the ‘80s across Canada, he was fascinated by his mother’s six-string acoustic guitar. In middle school, he began taking lessons at the local music store and eventually graduated to a “Sears Special” cherry red electric guitar. In his later teens, he developed skills as a compelling vocalist through high school bands and as leader of his own garage rock group. By the time he graduated, he had fully resolved to pursue a professional music career and began to weave his way throughout Western Canada busking, grabbing regular gigs and working jobs that gave him the freedom to develop his talent.

Will first found professional success with his classic rock duo The Doorcrashers. In 2001 he embarked on a new voyage as a full-time seafaring entertainer maintaining a rigorous live performance schedule on Carnival and Celebrity Cruise Lines. Since 2005, Will has enjoyed a long-term residency at Bermuda’s Hog Penny Pub where he performs five nights a week, April through December, frequently mixing up his show with different themes and other local acts.

For the past decade, Will Black has continued to consistently write and perform fresh material, collaborate on projects with other inventive artists and build up an enthusiastic following worldwide by sharing his deep passion for enriching the vibrant independent music community. In 2008, he recorded and self-produced his debut 8 track album Dancing With The Dead at the legendary Metalworks Studios in Toronto alongside a gifted team of the city’s top session musicians. The song Senorita Ballerina placed in the top 20 for the Rock/Alternative category in Unisong’s 12th Annual International Songwriting Contest, was nominated as Best Rock Song at the 2008 Ontario Independent Music Awards and was also selected as a Semi-Finalist in the 2008 UK Songwriting Contest.

Will's Website

Will Black”s Inner Circle Membership

Will's Facebook

Episode 078–Kristen Karma “Party Heroes” with Bruce Hilliard

Kristen Karma’s music career has already rocked the pop/dance scene in her hometown of Vancouver. Now located in Toronto, Kristen Karma is no stranger to the ever growing music industry.

Even though much of her formative years were devoted to a theoretical and exacting world of ballet lessons, Air Cadets, Military Marching Bands, and The Royal Conservatory of Music, some of the only evidence that remains of her past is the neon pink tulle that shoots out from under her black corset. It’s undeniable—Kristen Karma is a band nerd. But she is a band nerd who might punch you in the face for showing up late to practice.

Her current single Party Heroes has her hard pounding electronic dance sound that is sure to bring your to your feet. The clever constructed lyrics and catchy beats combined heavy powerful guitar solos will leave you wanting more. Already garnering rave reviews with the infectious sounds throughout,  this sees Kristen moving into a new share of her music career.

Kristen Karma is taking control of her own destiny with a Gold Award in one hand (personally given to her by HRH Prince Edward in 2009) and a black corset in the other. She effortlessly walks the line between an organized and responsibly rehearsed persona who has spent years studying the theory behind her music, and her alter ego who cannot refrain from gallivanting all over the stage during her pop/electronic performances. Karma not only wields a certificate in Audio Engineering from Hot Sole Music, but has studied voice with Judith Rabinovitch, who has worked with the likes of Avril Lavigne and Sarah McLachlan.

In 2013, Kristen Karma was selected as one of two performers to play the Lady Gaga Born This Way Ball After-party and open for Tour DJ/Lady Gaga BFF Lady Starlight in Vancouver. With rave reviews from her performance, she then went on to work with lil’Jon on her single Sirens.

In 2017, she opened for Grammy Award Winner Akon in Guelph, Ontario on his Canadian Promo Tour. Hot off the heels of her performance, Kristen was then approached and selected to play the Lady Gaga – Joanne World Tour VIP After-party once again in Vancouver after Lady Gaga’s performance at Rogers Arena.

Kristen has now teamed up with with Mark Zubek (Zedd Records) to bring you this quirky fun pop single Party Heroes. Her previous EP, Destination Unknown, garnered critical success with numerous positive reviews, but Karma’s recordings are far from her only facet that is gaining positive attention from the press. Kristen Karma lives for the stage, and it shows. “She plays as if it’s her last time she’s ever going to be playing,” reports DJ Spencer in a review (December 2011). Karma herself recounts stories of being drawn to the stage from an early age, saying, “Before the age of five, I would gravitate to the stage no matter who was playing. If I could, I would get up on stage and dance with the singers.” It is this kind of driven and simultaneously care-free attitude that has propelled Kristen Karma deeper and deeper into a professional career in music.

Karma continues to wow audiences with her energetic live performances, and she does it all with a neon pink microphone in hand.

Kristen Karma's Website

Kristen on SoundCloud

Episode 077-Kory Livingstone’s Jazz, Memories and Thoughts with Bruce Hilliard

Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, he's a Juno Award nominee who has a lifelong calling as a pianist/composer and songwriter coupled with a career as an entrepreneur and educator. “Just do it” was his philosophy long before Nike adopted it as their mantra. As a “keynote artist”, he underscores the emotional aspects his keynote addresses with original songs performed at the piano.

One of his achievements is his book, Quiet Determination, Unlocking the Gates to Unlimited Success. In his book he relates the tendency most people have to overthink “how we're going to do it” to the point of forgetting the original vision and giving up on it before it has a chance for fruition.

“I'm not a millionaire, nor am I losing any sleep over how to become one. I'm not famous, nor am I dying become an celebrity. Success means different thing to different people. We've been brainwashed by the media to think that success is defined as how much money we have, how many things we possess. You only have to look at the number rich and famous people who are generally depressed, dissatisfied and unhappy with their miserable, wretched lives to see what I mean.”

“Quiet Determination” by Kory Livingstone.
Kory has released six albums on his own independent record label, Crestant Records. His CD entitled You Were In My Eyes, a collection of eight original songs that tell stories about our everyday life experiences, the many faces of love, inspirational themes and the power of words. They Say It’s Wonderful is Kory’s response to popular demand from his fans. It contains vocal jazz standards and originals written by Kory.

His self-titled CD Kory Livingstone is Kory’s first CD. It has a wide variety of instrumental tunes that Kory composed for solo piano up to full symphonic orchestra, from gospel to jazz and reggae.

Kory's first business as an entrepreneur was founding the Toronto High School for the Performing Arts. It was the first school of it’s kind in Canada, pairing the study of the performing arts with academics. The world could use more Kory's.

Kory's Website

The Book! Quiet Determination

Episode 076–Ruby Dee and the Snakehandlers with Bruce Hilliard

Who are Ruby Dee and The Snakehandlers? Music lovers the world over continue to learn about this band that’s earned a nationwide following and international fans with its honest, original music fused with synergy, sugar, sweat and soul.

The 14-year-old four-piece combo plays an Americana that encompasses Texas honky-tonk, Bakersfield twang, Memphis rockabilly, Western swing and good old-fashioned rock ’n’ roll.

Ruby Dee’s is a tale of unbelievable resilience and drive in the face of struggles that would foil someone with less determination. Her latest album Little Black Heart is a tour de force of exemplary musicianship. Ruby wrote every song on it, with the exception of a Jack Scott chestnut that was a favorite of the band. This is amazing in itself, considering the aftermath of a terrible accident that left her with significant brain damage. Eight years ago, she was involved in a scooter accident that left her with a traumatic brain injury and other trauma: vertigo, memory loss, nausea, mental confusion and language challenges. “I could picture an image in my mind, but couldn’t think of the word. I couldn’t finish thoughts or sentences or conversations, let alone write songs.”

Providing the rock-solid honky-tonk groove backing Ruby and Jorge are Rick Watson on doghouse bass and Michael Bahan on cathouse drums. Together, they have played fourteen successful European tours and a few rockin’ Australian tours, as well as a variety of dates across the United States.

The band’s release Live From Austin Texas came out mid May 2011 on both CD and vinyl, showcasing a few new songs and fans old favorites cranked up with that live jumpin’ sound for which the Snakehandlers are so well known. Songs from the CD charted for three months on both the AMA and Texas Third Coast Music charts, and the CD earned the band a 54th Grammy consideration for Best Americana Album.

Their release Rockabilly Playground came out May 2013 on both CD and vinyl, and is a roots and rockabilly album for the whole family. With all mature instrumentation (no kazoos or funny voices) and lyrics for the kids: songs about homework, naptime, why we have to follow all the rules, super best friends, and more. Ruby wrote the record when she saw how many of their fans have children and when they can bring them to shows, how many of those kids LOVE this style of music! So rather than sing achy breaky ‘he’s gonna get it’ type songs to them, she wrote new ones with the kiddos in mind. Songs from the album charted on both AMA and FAR charts, and earned the band a 56th Grammy consideration for Best Children’s Album.

“Risky — and perhaps just a bit risqué — Ruby Dee and The Snakehandlers conjure forth all sorts of visions of another time,” said Metro Santa Cruz after a California show. “Rooted firmly in the classic country and rockabilly tradition, the band is an authentic backdrop for lead singer Ruby Dee’s blend of Wanda Jackson sass and Patsy Cline pathos. The band holds it down with the insistence of a chugging train while Dee, a pinup heartbreaker of yesteryear with thoroughly modern attitude, commands the stage.”

Media Contact: Western Publicity
Heather West, 773/301-5767;


Episode 075–Bill Protzmann Music, Health and Happiness with Bruce Hilliard

There is a special kind of person who seeks the more authentic experience, the genuine moment, the sweet fresh air…