Ok, so I have had this track for a few days now and can’t get enough of it. Jeff and Mike will be releasing the lyric video to the world tonight 01/31/14 at 6pm mst right here: Jeff Sandoval & Mike Araiza on their Facebook page.
Let’s talk a bit about the track and the video. While it is an acoustic track it does not come off that way at all, in fact, it’s pretty damn heavy. Let’s talk about the bass first. Kurt Arft lays down a heavy, dirty bassline that, by itself, does not seem like it belongs in this song but it fits like a puzzle piece into it. Kurt gives it that groove that this song so rightly deserves. Chris Collier, who not played drums on this but produced it as well, put all of those puzzle pieces together into one solid track.
What can I say about Mike Araiza? The guitars on here are clean, and I mean CLEAN. Mike is so full of melody and it truly shows in his playing and style. I keep forgetting that this is an acoustic track.
Ahhh the vocal stylings of Jeff Sandoval. There are not to many vocalists out there that can still give me the chills, Jeff is one of them. You feel ALL of the emotion that Jeff is imparting into his vocals.
The video for “It’s All I Need” is an incredible piece of work as well. While it is a “lyric”video it leaves you with the images playing over and over in your head. You will find these images replaying in your mind every time you listen to this song.
I have known Mike Araiza for several years now. In fact I remember sitting in the parking lot of the Owl Cafe with him and Jeff Sandoval listening to the freshly minted tracks from the Of The Earth project they had just completed.
They moved on in their journey and the next step was an album of songs they had written that turned out to be the frank Hannon Band ‘Six String Soldiers. Which featured appearances by legendary guitarists Dickey Betts, Dave Meniketti, Rick Derringer, and Pat Travers.
Now, I am excited to say, Mike and Jeff are taking the next step in their musical evolution. They are going to be releasing a series of new tracks as single releases over the next year. The first of which is tentatively called “All I Need” or “It’s All I Need”. This first track features mutual friend Kurt Arft on bass guitar and Chris Collier pulling double duties on drums and production duties.
bassist Kurt Arft
drummer and producer Chris Collier
Mike and I had a nice conversation about all of these events and would love to invite you to listen to it right here:
I was “Teslafied” on 03/25/1987 in Albuquerque, NM. My friend Steve and I had bought tickets for the Alice Cooper “Raise Your Fist And Yell” tour. At that point we had never heard of Tesla. When Tesla took the stage and vocalist Jeff Keith announced that we were about to be “Teslafied” we looked at each other in amusement, for about 30 seconds. This band ROCKED! I became an instant fan and have been ever since. I eagerly purchased each new release and caught them several times when they rolled through my town. Years later a very good friend of mine, Mike Araiza, won a chance to play a song on stage with Tesla. That one song turned into several and a long-lasting friendship with the band. A couple of years later that relationship led to a collaboration with Mike’s musical partner, vocalist Jeff Sandoval, and Tesla guitarist Frank Hannon.
04/20/2013 – My wife and I purchased VIP seats to once again see one of our favorite bands. It was a mellow evening as we waited for the show, there was no opener so the stage was set for just Tesla.
After a brief intro the band came on strong with “I Wanna Live” and took hold of the sold out crowd and never let go. Despite a few technical glitches the show went off amazingly. Jeff Keith’s vocals were spot on and powerful as ever. Smiling, and at ease, the perfect host for an evening of Rock N’ Roll. Jeff has a personality that makes you feel like you’re at a backyard party watching your friends band.
The rhythm section of Troy Luccketta and Brian Wheat anchored the band solidly. Brian is a joy to watch as a bass player. He doesn’t stand in one spot, as some other do, he plays to the crowd from all over the stage. His playing style is solid and rock steady providing the beautiful low-end to the Tesla songs we all know and love. Troy provides the beat with a no B.S. approach. Perfect timing and giving the band the foundation to rock your ass off.
Which leaves me with the Dynamic Duo of guitars, Frank Hannon and Dave Rude. These guys are here to amaze. From heartfelt acoustic, to in your face shred these two have got you covered. Frank and Dave compliment each other so well. The classic Tesla song were played live as if they were in super HD, brilliant, and flawless. Flying across the stage, engaging the crowd, drawing you in to the show. This guitar tag team remains one of my favorites. They have gotten the Rock N’ Roll equation right.
During the show we noticed that Mike Araiza and Jeff Sandoval (previously mentioned as members of the Frank Hannon band, and close personal friends) had arrived and were enjoying the show as well. We all said hello and hugs were given all around and went back to watching the show.
Jeff Sandoval and Mike Araiza from the Frank Hannon Band.
The evening’s set list consisted of songs from the vast library of Tesla greats. Tesla gave the crowd their money’s worth and then some. Including: “I Wanna Live”, “Hang Tough”, “Breakin’ Free”, “Heaven’s Trail”, “Mama’s Fool”, “Getting Better”, “The Way It Is”, “Signs”, “What You Give”, “Love Song”, “Edison’s Medicine”, “”Lazy Days”, “Modern Day Cowboy”, and “Little Suzi” as their encore. When their set was finished the band took pictures of the crowd and thanked and shook hands with as many as they could from the stage.
The show was over but the evening had just begun to get interesting. We hung around and caught up with Jeff and Sharon Sandoval and Mike and Marta Araiza. During our catching up a magic “King” and “Queen” (they’ll know who they are when they read this) managed to slip us a couple of guest passes to meet the band. All of these years of listening to Tesla and now we were getting the chance to meet them.
We got meet and talk with Frank Hannon, Troy Luccketta, Brian Wheat, and Dave Rude (Jeff Keith had already retired to the tour bus). We hung around for about an hour and half just talking about projects, music etc. Jeff Sandoval was in full on pimp mode telling the band members about this blog site. He sure made me feel good about what I am doing here on this blog. The guys took a definite interest in it and we shared information for future writings and interviews. Thank you Jeff, Mike, and Marta for the chance to meet this great bunch of guys.
Mike Araiza, Frank Hannon, the Hellion, Mrs. Hellion, and Jeff Sandoval
Dave Rude and the Hellion
Troy Luccketta and the Hellion
Brian Wheat and the Hellion
A very special thanks to Jeff, Frank, Brian, Troy, and Dave from Tesla, you guys continue to amaze.
A super special thank you to Frank Hannon for making the evening EXTRA special!
2. The Fields
5. Galaxy Rise
7. Night Songs from the Desert
8. The Red Wedding
9. Silver Queen
10. State Lines
11. Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo
I had the great fortune of getting to know guitarist Erik while he was on tour helping my good friends in Scattered Hamlet. I was excited for this release and was not disappointed when it dropped. You need to check this one out!
1. Psycho, California (Explicit)
2. What You Do To Me (alt)
3. What You Do To Me
5. All These Years
6. Wicked Lines
7. Bury You
8. Bury You (alt)
11. Set It Off (Explicit)
Alex Grossi gave me a great interview and Hotel Diablo delivered a fantastic release! Awesome CD guys thanks!
1. Deep Creek
2. When The Sky Falls
3. Suicide Woods
4. The Weak and Wounded (Prelude to Flames)
5. After The Great Fire
7. The Art Of Mourning
8. I Am Wendigod
9. Axe Murder Hollow
10. Ruby Ridge (Every Knee Shall Bow)
11. Judas Cradle
A great bunch of guys and a kick ass band. I have gotten to know guitarist Craw, and interviewed him and singer Connor. Can’t wait to hear more from these guys!
1. I’m Alive (feat. Pat Travers)
2. Set Me Free
3. Six String Soldiers
4. Lipstick, Smoke and Gasoline (feat. Dave Meniketti)
6. Cross Your Mind
7. Touch The Ground (feat. Dickey Betts)
8. I’m Just Sayin’
9. Love, Life and Beauty
10. To The Light (feat. Rick Derringer)
I happen to be good friends with guitarist Mike Araiza and vocalist Jeff Sandoval so this release has special meaning to me. I am so happy that their dream is coming true for them, and I wish them continued success.
1. Back From The Dead
2. Own Worst Enemy
3. Another Version Of The Truth
4. The One That You Hated
5. Good To Be Bad (feat. John 5)
6. Just Don’t Ask (feat. Slash)
7. Blown Away
10. Your Diamonds
11. Dead Wrong
I am glad to see Mr. Adler back in good form. Solid band, solid songs, solid CD!
1. Hollywood Forever
2. You Better Not Love Me
3. Eel Pie
4. Sweet Mystery
6. Vine Street Shimmy
7. Dirty Black Night
8. Underneath The Sun
10. Crazy Tango
11. Venus Bomb
12. I Won’t Play
13. Requiem (Hollywood Forever)
14. Araña Negra
L. A. Guns has been one of my favorite bands for many many years. Even though there has been lineup changes and controversy this lineup carries on the sleaze.
1. Red Ferrari
2. Something’s Gotta Give
3. Red Leather
4. Save Me From LA
5. Stir Crazy
6. Mama Said
My good friends from Australia, Sunset Riot. I am lucky to have become a member of the Sunset Riot family. These guys know feel good Rock N’ Roll and continue to delight fans around the world! So Check them out!
Scattered Hamlet of all the bands listed are more than family to me. I have been friends with them for a while now. I actually head up their fan-base “The Hellriders”. They released a single this year and have a full release Skeleton Dixie coming in 2013. DO NOT OVERLOOK THIS BAND!