Van Morrison: It's Too Late to Stop Now...Volumes II, III, IV & DVD- I must admit, this is my first plunge into the world of Van Morrison other than always liking the hits I've heard on the radio throughout my life. Great stuff, rock & soul from a fantastic singer and crack band. One of the better archival live albums I've heard in years.
Styx: The Mission- this one has become a contender for album of the year folks. I LOVE '70s & early '80s Styx, and this new concept album from the boys is a wonderful throwback to their glory years.
Deep Purple: Infinite- another one of my album of the year candidates, this one is now 3 months since release date and I'm still playing it regularly.
Siena Root: A Dream of Lasting Peace/Pioneers/Far From the Sun-though I'm playing the crap out of the new one A Dream of Lasting Peace, these are all just completely kick ass '70s styled hard rock albums with plenty of psych, prog, and jam thrown in for good measure. Once again, the Swedes are kicking butt!
Inglorious: II- sizzling sophomore release from this great new hard rock act
Samsara Blues Experiment: One With the Universe- again, from Sweden comes another winner. Great hard rock/psych/doom/blues act who have a few strong releases to their credit, including this stellar latest album.
Jorn: Life on Death Road- great new line-up featuring the legendary Jorn Lande on vocals and most of Primal Fear. Classic hard rock collides with power metal!
The Ferryman: The Ferrymen- speaking of Primal Fear, here's the new project with guitarist Magnus Karlsson and current Rainbow vocalist Ronnie Romero along with veteran drummer Mike Terrana. Top notch power & classic metal!
Robin Trower: Time and Emotion- latest release from the legendary guitarist is a good one. This guy just keeps on keepin' on!! And thank God he does!
Govt' Mule: Revolution Come...Revolution Go- really varied new platter from the Mule, with some hard rock, soul, jam, country, R&B, and blues thrown into their already potent stew.
Iced Earth: Incorruptible- veteran US power metal act does not disappoint here!
Hawkwind: Into the Woods- another band that just keeps on delivering the good as they tip closer to 50 years of space rock majesty.
Lunar Shadow: Far From Light- really enjoying this classic metal throwback!
Snakecharmer: Second Skin- sophomore release from this hard rock supergroup. No more Mickey Moody however, but they haven't lost a step.
Night Demon: Darkness Remains- these guys just rule...'nuff said!
Iron Maiden: The Book of Souls- revisiting this latest release again after their fine show at The Prudential Center in Newark, NJ a few weeks ago.
Delaney & Bonnie: Home- I'm late to the game on this very fine husband & wife duo from the '70s, who released some great bluesy rock, soul, and pop with a ton of special guest stars. A very fine debut.
Johnny Van Zandt Band: No More Dirty Deals/Round Two/Last of the Wild Ones/Brickyard Road/Van Zandt- for some strange reason, big Southern Rock fan that I am, never owned any of these JVZ albums till now. I remember seeing the JVZB open up for Black Sabbath on the Mob Rules tour and getting booed off the stage...real shame, as even though a bad fit, they were a great band. If you dig Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blackfoot, Molly Hatchet, .38 Special, and the Outlaws, these are mandatory listening.
Humble Pie: the whole catalog- after reading Jerry Shirley's very fine autobiography, had to go and listen to these classics all over again. Smokin', Eat It, Rock On, Humble Pie, Town and Country, and of course Rockin' The Fillmore...all essential albums.
Stepson: Stepson-speaking of Humble Pie, here's a little know band from the '70s cut squarely in that mold, with the help of Mountain were able to get a record deal but then quickly faded into obscurity. Real solid heavy blues rock.