Posts tagged Heaven and Earth

Stuart Smith of Heaven and Earth

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Welcome to the Nothing Shocking Podcast. On this weeks episode we talk with Stuart Smith of Heaven and Earth. They have a new album coming out Oct 6th called Hard to Kill. Check out more on the album below.

Los Angeles hard rockers HEAVEN & EARTH HARD TO KILL, October 6 on Quarto Valley Records. It’s available to pre-order via HEAVEN & EARTH’s PledgeMusic campaign. In addition to pre-ordering HARD TO KILL, fans can purchase a range of exclusive merchandise and special offerings from the band, including signed albums, guitars, posters and lyric sheets, Skype lessons with each band member, and even a Skype cooking lesson with singer Joe Retta. A lyric video for “The Game Has Changed” was recently released and can be seen on the band’s official YouTube page. It will be available on iTunes September 22. are set to release their highly anticipated fourth studio album.

HEAVEN & EARTH features Joe Retta (lead vocals, guitar, harmonica), Stuart Smith (guitars), Lynn Sorensen (bass and vocals), keyboardist Ty Baillie (who has played with Katy Perry and Robbie Robertson), and essential to the album with his songwriting and drumming is Kenny Aronoff, who has been a sideman to countless bands both live and in-studio including Bob Seger, John Mellencamp, and the Rolling Stones. His distinctive style and energyis one to behold on HARD TO KILL. While on tour, the band includes musicians Mike Mangan (Hammond organ and keyboards) and Steven Wilson (drums, percussion, vocals).

Taking HARD TO KILL as a whole, the 11 original songs ring true and the melodies unfold like you have known them your whole life. The title track serves as the band’s anthem, a testament to perseverance and the power of rock. “L.A. Blues” exposes the pitfalls of living in the City of Angels, while “The Game Has Changed” dramatically contrasts the past with the present. Meanwhile, “Til It’s Over” will earn the admiration of longtime rock listeners, just as the attitude in “Bleed Me Dry” and “Walk Away” will speak to any modern music fan.

With guidance from Ritchie Blackmore, Smith’s own performing career took him across Europe with various bands, through New York City, and ultimately to Los Angeles where he first formed HEAVEN & EARTH. The band released two previous albums before he met singer Joe Retta about a decade

HEAVEN & EARTH founder/guitarist Stuart Smith was born in Great Britain, the son of an RAF jet fighter pilot, and he was originally classically trained on the guitar from the age of 8. After seeing a Deep Purple concert in the early ‘70s, he got turned on to rock & roll. When he was 19 years old, he met guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and the two became fast friends. Blackmore instantly took Smith under his wing and mentored him.ago, when both men were touring with The Sweet, known for the classic hits “Ballroom Blitz” and “Fox On The Run.” After developing a strong writing partnership, Retta and Smith joined forces to continue the HEAVEN & EARTH legacy.

A native of Rochester, NY, Retta established himself as one of the most versatile singers in Los Angeles. He has performed with The Sweet, Gregg Rolie, Dio Disciples, and Trans-Siberian Orchestra. With Retta out in front, his powerful vocals and world-class musicianship are integral to HEAVEN & EARTH’s epic sound.

Bassist Lynn Sorensen, a Seattle native, has performed all across the globe with Bad Company and in Paul Rodgers’ band. As a teen, Sorensen studied classical violin and viola; to this day, he maintains a passion for classical music.

“We feel that HARD TO KILL is definitely the band’s best work yet, and we’re excited to see how it’s received,” says guitarist Stuart Smith. “We’re looking forward to going on tour and playing selections from all four HEAVEN & EARTH albums, as well as a few surprises.”

“The reinvention of rock comes to you from HEAVEN & EARTH. A band that brings every riff you ever wanted into the 21st century”
—Chris Lord-Alge, Multi Grammy® Award-winning mix engineer

“The new album from HEAVEN & EARTH is the real deal. Many great songs start out as a great riff, and this album is full of them. Intention, intensity, and emotion. All three are in play here. Well done, guys. Keep On Rocking!”
—Edgar Winter

“On all fronts, HARD TO KILL is an album that demands your attention. I recommend a total surrender, because those who absorb its savage beauty will be rewarded with a transcendent musical experience.”
— Michael Molenda, Guitar Player magazine

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Interview – Steve Howe of Yes

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Progressive Rock icons Yes are back with a brand new album “Heaven and Earth.” I haven’t had my whole life to sit on this album like I have “Fragile” and “Close to the Edge,” but I did enjoy what I heard. Only time will tell if these songs stand the test of time. As a guitar player I was always irritated when I’d look at the best rock guitarist of all time lists and see that Steve Howe either wasn’t on them or barely cracked the top 100. Steve Howe is a guitar God in my opinion and not enough people understand that. I grew up with the music of Yes, my dad literally played the music to me while i was in the womb. Yes is one of the best bands of all time and recently I got the chance to chat with one of my heroes, Mr. Steve Howe.

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Stuart Smith of Heaven and Earth

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I like a wide variety of music. Let me rephrase that, I like a wide variety of rock music. Whether it’s simple punk, classic rock, or heavy metal, I like just about all of it. I can’t help but prefer the classic rock though. The problem with classic rock is the word classic. Classic means old. There are great bands that operate within the classic rock genre that are new, fresh and relevant, but their music hasn’t gotten national attention it deserves.

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Heaven and Earth is one of these bands. You’ve got a guitar god in Stuart Smith, whom none of you have heard of, a keyboard player that you can hold up with Rick Wakeman and Keith Emerson and a front man that sounds like a combination of Paul Rodgers and Chris Cornell. This band is amazing and should be playing arenas, but none of you have heard of them. Whose fault is that? What can they do about that?

On the newest episode Jason and I sit down with guitarist Stuart Smith from Heaven and Earth and try to answer those questions. It is one of our best and most fascinating interviews to date. Please be sure to check it out. Subscribe to our podcast here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/zoiks!-online-podcast/id482837310?mt=2

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