To many, Graham Bonnet will always be associated primarily with Rainbow and then with MSG, but it must also be remembered he had his first hit single with The Marbles in 1968. In 1983, he co-founded Alcatrazz, with Gary Shea (bass), and Jimmy Waldo (keyboards) of the band New England, former Alice Cooper drummer Jan Uvena, and Swedish guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen.
Just a quick side note, New England’s debut album is still one of my very favorite of the melodic AOR genre, and if you have never heard it then you need to seek it out. Needless to say, there were line-up changes, bitterness and fights over the years, and at one point there were even two versions of the band in existence, and long periods when everyone was moving in different directions, but Graham, Jimmy and Gary Shea, reunited after 33 years for a unique series of shows in Osaka, Nagoya, and Tokyo, Japan on March 2017. For the special occasion, the band was rounded out by Mark Benquechea (drums) and Conrado Pesinato (guitars), both from the Graham Bonnet Band. In addition to this recording and filming the event, Alcatrazz raided the archives and added some unreleased bonus tracks taken from the original sessions recorded in 1985, including one song, “Emotion” with a young Steve Vai on guitar. The first thing one notices is that Bonnet has lost absolutely none of his power or range, and this from a singer who was in his 70thyear when this recorded. Just listen to the way he hits and holds the notes on “God Blessed Video”. I must confess, hearing this inspired me to go back and look at the original video of this from 1985 and it still makes me smile – Steve Vai showing exactly what he was capable of – and all credit to Conrado Pesinato who doesn’t do a bad job at all. If this wasn’t enough for the fans, the 11 “live” numbers have been boosted by another seven studio demos and rehearsals. This is a real blast from the past, and if you enjoy Eighties melodic rock then this is essential.
Graham Bonnet is a rock legend. With a pedigree that includes Rainbow, MSG, Alcatrazz, and Impellitteri, he is one of the finest vocalists of his generation. His is a recognizable and unique voice on a number of classic hard rock albums, including Rainbow’s ‘Down To Earth’ (1979), Michael Schenker Group’s ‘Assault Attack’ (1982), Alcatrazz’s ‘No Parole For Rock ‘n’ Roll’ (1983) and ‘Disturbing The Peace’ (1985), and Impellitteri’s ‘Stand In Line’ (1988).
The recently formed Graham Bonnet Band, features Graham Bonnet on, of course, lead vocals, Beth-Ami Heavenstone on bass, South American guitar sensation Conrado Pesinato on lead guitar, ex-Alcatrazz man Jimmy Waldo on keys, and Mark Zonder (known for his acclaimed work with Warlord and Fates Warning) on drums.
The new album, “The Book” offers 11 new songs where Bonnet lays down his legendary vocals over a selection of hard rock tunes that are chock full of great hooks and melodies. “The songs on the album are very similar to what I have done in the past with Rainbow, Alcatrazz and MSG,” says Graham. “I think this is what people want to hear from me and won’t be disappointed”.
Graham Bonnet is in fine form and the album is easily his best in decades: 11 new tracks that will blow hard rock fans away! The album also includes a bonus disc featuring re-recorded versions of some of the most well known classics he has sung in his solo career and with Rainbow, Alcatrazz, MSG and Impellitteri.
The Graham Bonnet Band has spent the last 12 months touring solidly around the world, with performances at several major European festivals including an acclaimed set at Sweden Rock 2016. “The Book” will be supported with several shows in the UK and Spain in 2016, with more dates to be added.
CD1 (new songs)
1. Into The Night
2. Welcome To My Home
3. Earth’s Child (I Am Your Son)
5. Dead Man Walking
6. Strangest Day
7. The Dance
8. Where Were You?
9. The Book
10. Everybody Wants To Go There
11. California Air
CD2 (re-recorded classics)
1. Eyes Of The World
2. All Night Long
3. Lost In Hollywood
4. Since You Been Gone
5. Night Games
7. Assault Attack
9. Desert Song
10. Island In The Sun
11. Hiroshima Mon Amour
12. God Blessed Video
13. Will You Be Home Tonight
15. Stand In Line
16. Here Comes The Night (Down Without A Fight)
GRAHAM BONNET BAND
Graham Bonnet – lead vocals
Conrado Pesinato – guitars
Jimmy Waldo – keyboards
Beth-Ami Heavenstone – bass
Mark Zonder – drums
Angelo Vafeiadis – keyboards on CD2 (bonus disc)
TOUR DATES 3 November Sala Chango, Madrid, Spain 4 November Sala Totem, Pamplona, Spain 5 November Sala Capitol, Santiago de Compostela, Spain 8 November Boston Music Room, London, UK 9 November Stourbridge, River Rooms, UK 10 November Warehouse 23, Wakefield, UK 11 November Pwllheli, Hard Rock Hell, UK 12 November Manchester, Club Academy, UK 13 November Edinburgh, Bannermans, UK 15 November Doncaster, Diamonds, UK 16 November Think Tank, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK 18 November Derry-Londonderry, Nerve Centre, UK 19 November Limelight 2, Belfast, UK 20 November Monroes, Galway, Eire 21 November Voodoo Lounge, Dublin, Eire 22 November Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff, UK
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