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Lacey Sturm Interview, Part 2

This is the second part of our compelling conversation with ex-Flyleaf vocalist Lacey Sturm.  Before you dig into this, check out part one of the interview here: Lacey Sturm – Family, Faith and Rock ‘n Roll

Lacey and Josh Sturm. Photo: Jackie Creedon
Lacey and Josh Sturm. Photo: Jackie Creedon

Continue reading Lacey Sturm Interview, Part 2

Texas Metalheads “Shattered Sun” Rock Jacksonville

Shattered Sun - Photo by Leon Jonjock
Shattered Sun – Photo by Leon Jonjock


Reflections on Shattered Sun at Welcome To Rockville

HappyJack shares his thoughts on one of his favorite new discoveries from Welcome To Rockville.

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This 2 day event has sold out two years in a row with major acts headlining four different stages throughout the event.  Jacksonville is truly becoming a destination rock ‘n roll city in terms of music acts coming thru town. And, this festival show is really cool, everyone is happy to be there, and it’s a great atmosphere.

I showed my access pass at the gate and got to work making tracks for stage left with my cameras to film the bands on my hit list. Later that night I would be escorted to the V.I.P. tent to do interviews with a few bands and snap a few backstage photos, but the non-headliners early in the day are usually just as great.

A couple of cool young rock bands started off the day, on each of the 4 stages, with fans packing into each stage area to see them playing up closer. After a few bands, the wind changed, …the storm was brewing, …on the stage in front of me was an instant uplift of power chords! Who is this new discovery, I wondered, as they kicked teeth with dual lead rhythm guitarists, blistering fingers with every note , and a dual-voiced singer growling one moment and changing his attitude and sound the next?

I looked up from my position in front of the stage, and saw dark movements streak across my frame of reference, and then i focused in on the blur. The blur was a band called SHATTERED SUN, a Texas Metal Band, and they were on fire right off the bat. I was immediately digging it. These guys pounded away on their instruments in a frenzied pace that would wear most other bands out in 30 seconds – speed and power chords!

The music is Texas Metal, a genre that has been getting a lot of attention the past couple years as the new metal sound people thirst for. I also did a show review for another Texas metal band last year for this magazine, SEEKER – so, I know what i’m talking about. Texas was rising this night in Jacksonville Florida, and I couldn’t be happier.

Members: Marcos Leal – Vocals, Twitter: @marcos_ssun; Daniel Trejo – Guitar, Twitter: @daniel_ssun;  Jessie Santos – Guitar, Twitter: @shatteredjessie; Joseph Guajardo – Bass, Twitter: @joseph_guajardo; Robert Garza – Drums, Twitter: @CrasRob; Henry Garza – Keys/Samples, Twitter: @henrygarza29.

Shattered Sun - Photo by Leon Jonjock
Shattered Sun – Photo by Leon Jonjock

These were the guys who were stirring up trouble at breakneck speed. The mosh pit was loaded with kids slamming into each other and having a blast as the band ran thru all of their coolest hits: “Hope within Hatred,” Awaken” and “Burning Regrets” along with some heavy, heavy songs that are ten feet thick with a wall of sound that you can’t turn away from.

The band is being featured in many festivals this year as the favorite – to open the shows for the major acts, but for how much longer? It won’t be long at all – they are getting too big to open anymore, and soon we’ll see them a as headliner like Testament and Slayer, the bands they are opening for this night.  These guys are coming out swinging with both fists, with very heavy riffs.

These guys showed Jacksonville fans that they came to play – a great brotherhood of musicians, each member with their skills to be in this year’s up and coming fresh faces in metal music – TEXAS METAL MUSIC!   I was energized hearing this metal band. As an Iron Maiden fan, and no band has come close to awakening my senses since I consumed Maiden’s first album in 1980. But this band has opened not only my eyes, and all the fans in attendance, but to industry reps.  The guys are young enough to build a dream come true – this band is another pick for me.

Check out the new album from the band and get involved with our brothers in heavy metal – SHATTERED SUN will definitely make your day. Love metal? Love melody?   Get this album in your collection as soon as you can – you’ll be glad you did – it rocks, ….just like the showcase performance from the band at Welcome To Rockville. They were a great surprise on the stage for the fans.

Thanks to the band’s management for the access and to the band for the experience. We will be waiting for your return. We do Metal!  See many great stories from all of our writers – just click a favorite topic and enjoy the stories…

Thanks to Rarasfarm.com for the assignment

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I’ll be back soon,
Leon Jonjock
92.1 FM Radio
Jacksonville ,Florida


“Southern Thunder Project” – CD Review

Full Throttle Heart Album Review

Hello Rarasfarm.com Fans – HappyJack is back with another cool CD Review: Southern Thunder Project’s – “Full Throttle Heart” 

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Southern Rock ‘n Roll has been getting a lot of attention across the world lately, and I am excited to have the chance to review a CD from this music genre. I, along with millions of others, have enjoyed the attitude and heartfelt songs many famous Southern Rock bands have recorded over the years. So many great bands – Skynyrd, Marshall Tucker Band, Outlaws, Molly Hatchet and Charlie Daniels to name a few; we love them all.

Now, a new generation of wonderful Southern Rock Bands have emerged on the music scene – bringing the fans new songs and stories.

Today we have a compelling new album, the Southern Thunder Project, featuring the following esteemed contributors:

Gary STP Gary Jeffries Lead Vocals / Guitar / Harmonica / Gary Jeffries Band – based in Ohio
 Boone  STP Boone Froggett  Lead Vocals / Guitar / Slide / OTIS Band – based in Kentucky.
 Chris STP Chris Walker – Guitar / Chris Walker Band – based in England.
 Larry STP Larry Velez – Guitar / Studio Musician – based in Indiana.
 Steve F STP
Steve Fletcher – Bass / Gary Jeffries Band – based in Ohio.
 Steve J STP Steve Jewell Jr – Guitar /  OTIS Band – based in Kentucky.
 ME STP John Rehmel Guitar / Songwriter / Founding Member / Asst.Producer /  based in Indiana.
 Randy STP Randy Trent – Drummer on 11 songs / Gary Jeffries Band based in Ohio.
 Andrew STP Andrew GilpinDrummer on 2 songs / OTIS Band – based in Kentucky.

The CD was recorded in Lewis, Indiana at Chief Lemon Head Studios and is produced by Curt Hall


Track #1 – Full Throttle Heart

This is the title track – think Southern Rock , Biker Rock, and Blues. Nice opening song for the band – great classic gravelly vocals – lead guitars sneak into the bridge wonderfully.  Listening to this song makes you interested in every song on the CD – very organic – great bass guitar hook. Drumming is not rushed – and played with exactness making every hit pronounced perfectly – a treat to hear.

Gary Jeffries –Vocal and guitar, Steve Jewell Jr.-guitar, Steve Fletcher-Bass, Randy Trent-drums, Chris Walker-Guitar solo.  Song written by John Rehmel / Steve Jewell Jr. / Gary Jeffries


Track #2 – Daisy

This is a great second track on the CD making you want to jump up and do something – a fun song. High energy – using the coolest slide guitar along with the rhythm guitars – playing power chords together. Bass guitar is really working the hook – and sounding great all the way through – nice petals. Song has a Boogie Woogie style that grandpa would be proud of – a toe tapper indeed. The drummer had to be exhausted – bam bam bam bam – nonstop sweaty fun. Vocals feature a rare voice that commands attention – Southern style!

Boone Froggett-Vocal and guitar, Steve Jewell Jr.-guitar, Steve Fletcher-Bass, Randy Trent-drumsSong written by John Rehmel / Boone Froggett


Track #3 – Nothing To Hide

Fine storytelling – great vocals with excitement builds slowly to the last word. Rhythm guitars are in full force, playing together as one – and breaking off to solo – wonderfully executed. The harmonica brings out the flavor of the South – with a strong vocal to back it up during the song. Drummer and Bass player lay the foundation on this song – thick and crisp – a magical beat. This is the perfect song to listen to while fishing, or any sport you love.

Gary Jeffries-Vocal, guitar and harmonica, Steve Jewell Jr.-guitar, Boone Froggett-guitar, Steve Fletcher-Bass, Andrew Gilpin-drums. Song written by John Rehmel / Steve Jewell Jr.


Track #4 – Destiny

Rock ‘n Roll ballad with heartfelt vocals. Nice production – could be released as a single down the line. Feels like you’re daydreaming – a song makes you stop and think about yourself. Bass is slowly thumping with softness that the song needs to break free of any restraints. I can see the fans, hands in the air – waving from left to right to the drummer’s beat.

Boone Froggett – Vocal and guitar, Steve Jewell Jr.- guitar, Steve Fletcher – Bass, Randy Trent – drums, Chris Walker – guitar solo.  Song written by John Rehmel / Boone Froggett


Track #5 – Little Miss Rock ‘n Roll

Song sounds like a mix of Z.Z. Top and The Dr. Hook Medicine Show. Steady drumming with nice cymbal accents bring the song alive. Vocals and the bass guitars sound great – lead guitar solo’s are fresh every time you hear it. Great build up and ending – should be a popular track at every show.

Gary Jeffries – Vocal and guitar, Steve Jewell Jr. – guitar, Steve Fletcher – Bass, Randy Trent – drums. Song written by John Rehmel / Steve Jewell Jr.


Track #6 – Camouflage Man

Dark and gritty – just the way we like it – Southern fried, to satisfy! Great story played with passion – the band comes together on this one perfectly. Vocals are coming through with fierce testimony – you’ll like the backwoods vibe. Singer reminds me of Black Oak Arkansas Go Jim Dandy Go! Hands down, with the dueling guitars, this track is gonna be the fan’s favorite – deadly.

Boone Froggett – Vocal  and guitar, Steve Jewell Jr.-guitar, Steve Fletcher-Bass, Randy Trent-drums and Larry Velez-guitar solo. Song written by John Rehmel / Boone Froggett


Track #7 – Stormy Weather Blues

Flashback – this track sounds like a classic song from yesterday, with a new horizon. Pat Travers Band would be proud of this effort – great production with guitars front and center. Bluesy Rock with double barrel guitars a blazing. Solid bass line – solid blues vibe. You’ll be playing this CD everyday, the songs don’t stop growing on you!

Boone Froggett – Vocal and guitar, Steve Jewell Jr. – guitar, Steve Fletcher – Bass, Randy Trent – drums, Larry Velez – guitar solo. Song written by John Rehmel/Boone Froggett   


Track #8 – Outlaw In Me

Instantly starts off sounding like a classic “Lynyrd Skynyrd” song (from the original line up). Slide guitars – duel guitars – both blended to make this song stand out. Vocals are amazing as he reaches new heights and sounds classic at the same time. Drummer and the bass player are solid as always, they know exactly what this song needs. Great songwriting – songs like this take experience, life’s ups and downs and true feelings.

Gary Jeffries – Vocal and guitar, Steve Jewell Jr. – guitar, Steve Fletcher – Bass, Randy Trent – drums. Song written by John Rehmel.


Track #9 – Lone Wolf Blues

Another great Southern Rock / Boogie Woogie song that captures the band in their prime. Vocals are strong – sung with emotion – grabs your attention to what is being said in the song. Guitar pickin’ at it’s best – these guys have it down pat. To have this many great songs on one album is a wonderful experience.

Boone Froggett-Vocal and guitar, Steve Jewell Jr.-guitar, Steve Fletcher-Bass
Randy Trent-drums, Chris Walker-guitar solo. Song written by John Rehmel / Boone Froggett


Track #10 – Back Road Traveler

This song has the hooks that everyone will love, just when you weren’t expecting it. Remember Stevie Ray Vaughan?  This song leaps off the album as a great effort from  the band. Nice lead solos – the guitarist have spent their lives mastering this stuff. Perfectly paced and it makes a well rounded hit.

Boone Froggett-Vocal and guitar, Steve Jewell Jr.-guitar, Steve Fletcher-Bass, Randy Trent-drums, Larry Velez-guitar solo. Song written by John Rehmel / Boone Froggett


Track #11 – Slow Movin’ Train

The second slow ballad. Wonderfully mixed slide and rhythm guitars – organic and fresh. A storytelling song that brings out your own feelings when hearing it – guaranteed to grow on you instantly. This is the song that the ladies will want to slow dance to. Bass player takes the time to make every note pronounced in a way that keeps you hungry for more. I thought I was hearing a Kid Rock song – a cool ballad with a Southern sound.

Gary Jeffries-Vocal and guitar, Steve Jewell Jr.-guitar and B3 Hammond, Steve Fletcher-Bass, Andrew Gilpin-drums. Song written by John Rehmel / Steve Jewell Jr.


Track #12 – Living Proof (Sandy Hook Song)

Acoustic surprise opening, with electric guitars coming soon after – a treat for my ears. Perfect production – a local fan favorite that has ability to change the way you think about things. Guitars are in full swing and not missing a lick – these guys have the riffs that match the vocals.

Gary Jeffries-Vocal and guitar, Steve Jewell Jr.-guitar, Steve Fletcher-Bass, Randy Trent-drums
Background harmony vocals-Boone Froggett, Steve Jewell Jr., and Andrew Gilpin. Song written by John Rehmel / Steve Jewell Jr.


Track #13 – Bringin’ The Bacon Home

Great closing song – I thought I was hearing a early .38 Special song, but this song is all Southern Thunder Project, with each member bringing out their best. Makes you wanna grab the motorcycle throttle and crank it to drive 100 MPH. A great finale to a wonderful release from the guys – this album will be a fan favorite for years.

Gary Jeffries-Vocal and guitar, Steve Jewell Jr.-guitar, Steve Fletcher-Bass, Randy Trent-drums, Chris Walker-guitar solo. Song written by John Rehmel / Steve Jewell Jr.


Thanks for reading the CD Review – please feel free to comment. Thank you to the band – and the band’s management team for the access. Great band – we can’t wait to see you on tour soon – we’ll keep the fans posted on your adventures.

Grab this CD now:

I had a great time reviewing this CD – and I am glad I have a copy, my friends will want it also.  Happyjack will be back with another album review right here. In the meantime, read my other stories in the archives.

Click the “Like Us” button on the band’s homepage page… And on this page.

Thanks to Rarasfarm.com magazine – for the best in music review and rock music features.

92.1FM Jacksonville

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From Ashes to New lifts ROCKVILLE

From Ashes To New Show Review

Hello Rarasfarm.com Fans! Happyjack is back with yet another great story – “Rockville#2Jacksonville Florida’s Metal Festival Event!

Make sure you Like RARAsFarm’s Facebook Page and Follow us on Twitter for rock music coverage.

I am thrilled I got the call again this year to review the bands playing live at North Florida’s largest concert event – “Welcome To Rockville.”

This year, the line-up of bands was overwhelming with all of the local fan favorites playing – totally the coolest thing happening in North Florida. Many tours skip Jacksonville for Tampa and Orlando, but we still rock when we can, and fans have bought tickets to prove it, selling out this year’s event!

I got my assignment to review – “From Ashes to New” , a Lancaster Pennsylvania band that has been getting a lot of heat in the press.

from ashes to new 03
From Ashes To New at Welcome To Rockville. Photo: Leon Jonjock.

There are six members in this band:

Matt Brandyberry (Vocals/Guitar/Keys/Programming)
Chris Musser (Vocals) Dan Kecki (Guitar)
Branden “Boo” Kreider (Guitar/Vocals)
Dan Kecki
Garrett Russell (Bass, Boyish Good Looks)
Tim D’onofrio (Drums)

These guys all started in different bands in the beginning, each band with different attitudes of music.  Some of the bands were playing Metal, some were Alternative Metal and even Rap Metal.  After band members came and went from the six bands, the remaining members formed a cool band, leveraging all of the music genres.  Instantly the band clicked with each other and in 2013 the band was picked up by Better Noise Records.

Grant McFarland was the Producer who put the band on track, creating an epic masterpiece EP, that took the boys to the next level.

The band’s lead vocalist, programmer and creative mastermind Matt Brandyberry says this line up is the heart of the underground music scene in Lancaster Pa.  Many fans have jumped on the bandwagon, and happily, are enjoying all the elements of music this band brings to the stage.

Each song on the new EP shows strong emotions – true heartfelt feelings – from being angry at the world to being blessed in every way. I was pleasantly surprised to hear what I have never heard before in Metal Music – inspiration.

The band’s new 4 track EP Downfall, has the coolest mix of contemporary metalcore crunch and soul-searching rap, breaking down hostile barriers in today’s music scene. In just the past few weeks – the new EP has garnered over a half a million hits – the band can hardly keep any in stock. Everyone was snapping up the CDs at the merchandise booth today – case after case of CDs are being bought up – one CD at a time.

Promoters of major tours with the likes of Hollywood Undead, and Music Festivals with major acts like Slipknot , Godsmack , Marilyn Manson , and many more – are ringing the management’s phone for this band to open for them on tour.  It’s rare buzz, and it is exciting to see it happening. This band has a fresh new attitude of metal music that has all the elements of all the genres that we know and love. It’s like hearing six bands in one – not the same old song and dance that many bands get trapped into.

Well, tonight in Jacksonville Florida the band hits the stage at full speed – kicking out power riffs along with power vocals from both singers. Matt would sing in one genre style and Chris would sing in another style – in the same song – it was so cool to witness this live with 20,000 fans.

The songs were inspiring, not death and devil lyrics, but true feelings – words that have resonated with every listener in attendance. These guys are grounded in their beliefs, and it helps getting through life’s struggles by letting it out of your heart and soul with powerful songs like these.

Tonight the band is live in concert – here’s what is happening:

Tim is beating the drums as fast as he can and smoking the competition tonight with his ability to adapt to the ever changing tempos. He wears sunglasses and smiles to the ecstatic fans waving to him – and he is surely making plenty of new fans along the way.  He was upbeat and happy to be a part of Welcome To Rockville and the fans will remember him and the band next time they tour through Florida. He was very nice to everyone and they could tell he was for real, putting his skills to work as one of the best drummers of the event. 4/4 time never sounded better!

Brandon was also excited to be here, playing his slick guitar with amps at full maximum level. He made many fans tonight cheer after every song.  He moved on the stage so the fans could see him up close, never missing a lick. The attitude he shows means a lot to the 20,000 in attendance tonight.  Playing a cool looking guitar, he looked the part – totally immersed into the music and the fans. The songs demanded attention to detail and he made sure the songs got it. He has fingers that move on the fretboard effortlessly.  It also helps being young and good looking and the females were attentive to Brandon with smiles and sweat dripping off of them as they were jumping all night.

from ashes to new 02

Chris has a two-sided look; a clean cut boy next door look, and an intensely powerful voice that reached across town as he belted out the songs. It was easy to see how mesmerizing he can be behind those scary white contacts and jamming with the band, singing his heart out.  He showed professionalism with being the co-singer and knowing his role and timing with the music, not to over run Matt’s parts in the songs. This band should last forever with this type of energy and music styles they infuse into their music.  This band is not out there with another gimmick – just straight up groovy metal jams!

Garrett held down the stage with his awesome bass playing – how does one change styles in mid song?  He is already a seasoned pro despite looking like he is 18 years old!  His constant pulling of the strings makes people jump up and down – boogie woogie metal is what i call it.  I was so proud of this band tonight, seeing a different genre in metal – infused with rap lyrics – was something I would have never thought I’d like…I was wrong. The thousands in attendance with fists in the air were witnessing history.  I am happy I was here to see it.  This is what makes life good – great bands and always a new direction to be explored in music. 

Dan also put in 110 percent – playing guitar riffs that snapped your neck.  I couldn’t believe what these young new whipper snappers were able to pull off on stage musically. Dan put some cool moves onstage that excited the girls and the metal fans were coming in closer to see him packed like sardines at the stage. The mosh pit area was getting stirred up about 100 feet wide by 50 feet wide with fans in an instant frenzy, stomping the ground with their combat boots, pushing each other around the mosh area; it was surreal to say the least to watch it all unfold. The fans were very happy tonight. Dan waved at the crowd, and after the set, the crowd did not want the band to leave the stage. It ended all too soon, but everyone had a great time with the band in Jacksonville Florida !

It was great to see them live in concert – get ready for another tour coming soon. Also – make sure to get the bands new EP CD soon – You need fresh jams!

From Ashes To New at Welcome To Rockville. Photo: Leon Jonjock.
From Ashes To New at Welcome To Rockville. Photo: Leon Jonjock.

I will also release an interview with all 6 members from backstage in a few days – stay tuned to Rarasfarm.com. You don’t want to miss a single story – all of our writers are working hard to bring the news to the fans!

Here are a few band links – you’ll need them!

http://youtube.com/fromashestonew  –  Link to YouTube Video’s of the band  – a must see
http://twitter.com/fromashestonew  –  Link to the Twitter Account to stay in touch with the band
http://www.fromashestonew.com/  – Band’s personal Website – sign up for emails

We had a blast at Rockville #2 in Jacksonville Florida with From Ashes to NewMatt has really done a great job with this band.

We hope to see these guys again soon on tour – this time the promoters might want to get a bigger venue – because the fans have spoken, With over a half million hits online over the band’s new EP in just a few weeks, this band is quickly climbing the heavy metal ladder!

Thanks to the management of Mad Mac Entertainment for the access. Rob McDermott and his hard working representatives made this show special, and all I can say is that they better get them boys ready for the future – it’s gonna be a great ride!

Also thanks to Rarasfarm.comThe World’s Leader in Rock n Roll Music News  – you guys always have the best stories every month!

I’m Happyjack – reporting from Jacksonville Florida – your insider to the best in music news that fans like you want to hear about!

lease be so kind to leave a comment – and “Save us as a favorite” on your toolbar to read our monthly stories – And “Like Us” on “Facebook” – so your friends can join us also!

Remember, I have the interviews being released soon – Stay Tuned for more – “From Ashes to New” !

92.1 FM Radio


Scott Verville – The Groove Master Interview

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Scott Verville Interview

Hello again Rarasfam.com fans, I promised fans an interview with Scott Verville, a multi-talented musician who is winning fans all over the State.

Make sure you Like RARAsFarm’s Facebook Page and Follow us on Twitter for rock music coverage.

This guy plays some awesome dance grooves mixed with all of today’s genres of music. I grabbed some time in his busy schedule to ask some questions on Easter weekend.

Happyjack – Hello Scott, great to see you and we are excited to have you today for the interview. Fans have been asking me to help them know you better. Let’s get right into the interview, what was your first big break as a professional artist?

Scott – Well I’m still waiting for the “BIG” break, but I’d say getting “Skinny Girls” published a couple of years ago definitely opened some doors for me professionally speaking.  After the publishing deal my song Skinny Girls got placed on 2 compilation CD’s.  The Best Artists 2010, VOL 3 and Kate Margret and Friends, VOL 3.

Happyjack – When did you start playing ?

Scott – Guitar in 5th grade and trumpet in 6th grade.  Started seriously singing in 8th grade.

Happyjack – Was it your idea to write original music ?

Scott – Of course!!  I’ve always written my own stuff.  Even way back in my high school garage band.  It’s a form of expression I can’t live without.

Happyjack – Is it easy for you to write the songs ?

Scott – Sometimes yes and sometimes no.  It all depends on the inspiration.  I don’t like to force a song to it’s completion.  I still have tons of unfinished ideas just waiting to be completed.  However, there’s been lots of songs that just come out of me and I’ll have them done in a day.

Happyjack – What’s your current instrument gear ?

Scott – I have a lot of guitars, amps, effects pedals, trumpets, etc..  However, the main gear I use today is my US Masters guitars along with my Boss pedals and Rivera Amp.  I also play my Callet Soloist as my main trumpet.

Happyjack – Highlight of your career so far?

Scott – I’d say after releasing my debut CD VERVILLE while stationed at Pearl Harbor Hawaii, I was interviewed on air and had 3 of my songs played by the rock station Star 101.9.

Happyjack – Who inspired you to begin making music?

Scott – Well neither of my parents were very musical, but my dad was a huge jazz lover and had all these great albums of Dizzie Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington playing around the house all the time.  Not to mention all the jazz crooners like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, etc….  So when I wanted to take guitar lessons and play trumpet in the school band, they were very supportive.

Happyjack – What’s next for “Scott Verville” in 2015?

Scott – I’ll be retiring from active duty in August after a 20 year career as a military musician.  As I enter civilian life, I really can’t see myself doing anything else other than music.  It’s what I love and what I do best.  So I will continue working as a musician playing solo shows, performing with the band Take Cover and trying to get my music out there to the masses.

I’ll also be releasing 2 new CD’s this year.  First will be a CD I co-wrote with  my friend and Take Cover guitarist Mark Parisi and the 2nd CD will be a new VERVILLE CD I’ve been working on for a while now.  Here’s a little sampler of each.

TAKE COVER – http://www.verville-music.com/announcing-we-came-to-party/

VERVILLE – http://www.verville-music.com/sex-me-the-brand-new-single-from-verville/

Happyjack – Describe what this CD is all about – and the future goals – of your music

Scott – VERVILLE CD – Enjoy dancing when you’re happy? Appreciate an uplifting song when you’re sad? Like to hear face melting guitar licks when you need to get pumped up? For all of your crazy mood-swings, Verville’s self-titled CD is the doctor, the pharmacist, and all of the medicine that you’ll need to balance you out. Listed under Sweet-Funky-Jazz-a-Rock, you’ll find this has the perfect cure for what ails you.

Red-n-Verv CD – The Red-n-Verv CD is rock-n-roll duo music in the true sense of the word Duo.  Packed with true duet style harmonies throughout, easy to sing melodies, intense grooves and fun uplifting subject matter, this CD will be the one you take for there long road trips in your life.

Happyjack – What’s your favorite track on the new “Scott Verville” CD ?

Scott – “I’m Coming Home” (A Sailor’s Song).  This song is close to my heart for many reasons, but I wrote this as a tribute to every man and woman who has ever had to leave their loved ones behind while they served their country,

Happyjack – Did you get to enjoy yourself in the studio ?  Highlights?

Scott – I always do!!  Creating and recording your own music can be an exhilarating (and sometimes frustrating) process.  The best part of recording is when one idea sparks several more and you end up with an incredible finished product you are proud of.

Happyjack – How much input did you personally put into the recording itself?

Scott – Everything.  I play all the instruments, vocals, etc…  I do all the recording myself and then usually send out the tracks to be mixed and mastered.

Happyjack – Today’s songwriters lack inspiration say many critics, where then does a songwriter go to get that inspiration?

Scott – From deep within themselves.  We are all products of this world in one way or another, so dig deep and tell me your personal take on a subject or feeling.  Put it to a good melody and you may have a great song.

Happyjack – Your most treasured instrument?

Scott – My 1965 Gibson Byrdland.  Also, my US Masters Guitars.  They are truly incredible hand crafted instruments.

Happyjack – Your favorite music artists?

Scott – Wow!  Way too many to list, and I have such an eclectic palate, but here goes.  Van Halen, Ted Nugent, Scott Henderson, Jimmie Herring, Mike Stern, Pat Martino, Guthrie Govan, Tower Of Power, Earth Wind & Fire, Dizzie Gillespie, Blue Mitchell, John Coltrane, Stevie Wonder, Beethoven, Edvard Grieg, Frank Sinatra, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fishbone, Papa Grows Funk, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, DumpstaPhunk, we could be here all day!

Happyjack – The last song you listened to was?

Scott – Just got done listening to Jimmie Herring Band, “Matt’s Funk.”

Happyjack – The best fans are the ones who?

Scott – the ones that hang around after the show to get a beer with you.

Happyjack – Why should major acts and festivals consider you to open their shows?

Scott – Performance experience and I like to think I really engage with the audience.

Happyjack – Did you want to be the front man in the beginning?

Scott – Yes.  The rush is much better!

Happyjack – What does a new artist need to break out in the current Rock biz ?

Scott – Lots of determination and I would say a little bit of luck.

Happyjack – How important is it for a new up and coming artist to have articles in print and on the web?

Scott – Very important!  It’s all about discovery, and what better way to get your name out there than getting it in print or online.

Happyjack – Future Goals?

Scott – I want to keep writing and putting out my own music and playing for live audiences everywhere.

Happyjack – What jobs do you currently work in between gigs and festivals ?

Scott – I am lucky enough to be working as a full time musician in the US Navy for the next few months.  After that, we’ll see, but I’d like to be able to earn enough by just playing music after that.  Stay Tuned!!  🙂

Happyjack – The new released hit single ” Sex Me” is getting a lot of requests, what is the story behind the song?

Grab the song on iTunes here: Sex Me – Single – Scott Verville

Scott – A little ditty about unrequited love.  Actually, it’s just a fun, funky dance tune with a great hook chorus you can sing along to.

Happyjack – Any final words for your fans?

Scott – I just want to give a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout the years and to everyone who has supported me in my original music.

Thank you for the interview. We want to thank you for a great debut CD and fans can’t wait to see you live soon! We also want to thank Scott Verville’s Manager, Tracy Cain, she is the best! Grab the New CD and check out Scott on tour – currently at fine Florida Festivals and Special Events!

Happyjack will be back with another great interview with your favorite artists.-

“Like Us” – Scott Verville and Rarasfarm.com – share with your friends!


Okay, well if you made it this far in the article, you are obviously a rock music fanatic like the Rock And Roll Animals at RARAsFarm. Do us a big favor and like our Facebook page for future updates, rock news and photos. Thanks and please spread the word to other intelligent, creative, beautiful music fans like you 🙂


The Doobie Brothers Sell Out St. Augustine


Photo by Jeremy Denton
Photo by Jeremy Denton

Doobie Brothers Concert Review

Hello Rarasfarm.com Fans, Happyjack is back – this time with legendary rockers, The Doobie Brothers!

Make sure you Like RARAsFarm’s Facebook Page and Follow us on Twitter for rock music coverage.

I got the call 2 hours before the show and quickly packed the van and the camera gear and headed to St. Augustine Florida. Tonight I will be reviewing the legends, and I am super excited to see The Doobie Brothers, featuring a special reunion with former band mate Michael McDonald. This will be a packed house filled with fans looking forward to all of the hits they were raised on.

The band continues to write and record new music and they frequently tour the world to their legions of loyal fans who continue to support the band through their many incarnations.

The Doobie Brothers recently broke new creative ground in the exploration of their musical connection with Nashville, the capitol for Country Music. They recently released Southbound, a new collaboration with the top country stars of today, and already, I can’t wait to get this CD. You’ll hear guest spots from Zac Brown, Blake Shelton, Brad PAisley, Sara Evans and many more.

These critically acclaimed Northern California Grammy winners know what the fans want to hear and they love doing it for them, and that love continued when they were offstage, too, as I watched the band signing autographs and taking the time to say “Hello” to the fans this night.

These guys have stood the test of time since forming back 1969 by singer-songwriter-guitarists Tom Johnston, and Patrick Simmons, along with founding drummer John Hartman, and bassist Dave Shogren. 45 years later, we still see the band making great music fronted by the same two original founding members in Johnston and Simmons.

I still have a couple 8 track tapes from the Doobies and we wore them out every week in the 70’s and early 80’s. Those were the days man, I tell ya!

Tonight’s show was a special treat with all the classics being played with such loving feeling that everyone was dancing in the stands and the entire crowd sang every lyric along with the band. They were the locomotive to a high energy train that drove the set all night – and the fans loved every moment.

The band also dealt with the exit of long-time front man Michael McDonald which took some of the wind out of the band – but not for long as they continued to tour and pour the love back out to their loyal fans. They had started their journey years before he was added to the line-up, so they had a strong foundation of hit songs they had recorded without him that they could rely on.

Yes, the years have witnessed many changes in the Doobies, but the band’s most recent studio lineup harkens back to their earliest days. The band really knows each other well enough to allow each other the space to showcase their best attributes for the songs.


Simmons says, “The sound of the band is the same. Tom and I are still involved in writing the songs and arranging. It brings the sound of the early ‘70s back to the forefront. Tommy and I now have been working together longer than any other time the band has been in existence, steadily working every year, touring.” And as we witnessed on this night, the fans will not let them down – always showing up to see the band that helped build their lives.

The show was a treat as the band came out for two encores in a set packed with long-time hits. It was a night of groovy California easy rock n roll; the sound we all recognize immediately as the Doobies’ sound.

As a testament to their popularity, the weather was a brisk 45 degrees on this outdoor pavilion event, but the weather did not stop the band nor the fans. The show was a sell out – and their merchandise table stayed busy all night.
Like so many other fans this night, I was happy to see these guys again after so many years of listening to their music. To be at a historic location in St. Augustine and to see this band will be a memory that will forever touch my heart. Thanks guys for everything guys – you have always rocked us fans!

Go see these guys while you still can. The tour has the band playing with The Marshall Tucker Band for the next couple weeks, and then they play the rest of the year with Greg Allman’s Band – another great double bill show.
And the new CD – don’t forget it – new country versions of all the classics. Get it: Southbound – The Doobie Brothers

Here is the current band line up –
Michael McDonald – Vocals/Piano/Organs
Tom Johnston – Vocals/Guitar
Pat Simmons – Vocals/Guitar
John McFee – Guitar/Strings/Vocals
Ed Toth – Drums
Guy Allison – Keyboards/Vocals
Tony Pia – Drums
Marc Russo – Saxophones
John Cowan – Bass/Vocals

Thanks for reading up on another one of our favorite bands. We thank all our loyal readers all over the world, and a sincere thank you to the band’s management team for coming through for me.

Like Us” on Facebook (Top of this page) and show support for us.

I’ll be back soon with another great Concert Review right here. And, remember, when you want the news on the street, look for Rarasfarm.com’s “Happyjack” to bring it to ya.

Jacksonville’s Sold Out “Welcome To Rocville” reviews coming in April and check out our preview here. Korn , Slayer, Testament and many more…

You want rock n roll – we got it coming! Till then, take care…

Jacksonville, Fla

Okay, well if you made it this far in the article, you are obviously a rock music fanatic like the Rock And Roll Animals at RARAsFarm. Do us a big favor and like our Facebook page for future updates, rock news and photos. Thanks and please spread the word to other intelligent, creative, beautiful music fans like you 🙂


The Curt Towne Band Interview

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Interview With The Curt Towne Band

Hello again to all our worldwide Rarasfarm.com Fans. Happyjack is back with another great interview from my hometown, Jacksonville, Florida – North Florida’s rock n’ roll hometown to many Southern Rock Legends.

Make sure you Like RARAsFarm’s Facebook Page and Follow us on Twitter for rock music coverage.

Here’s our February update:

This time we are proud to follow up on last month’s concert review with this month’s much anticipated Curt Towne Band Interview. These fresh young Southern Rockers from Jacksonville have been getting a lot of attention lately; most notably from major rock bands like Molly Hatchet, Lynyrd Skynyrd and others bands who request this hot act to open their shows. We’re talking shows on major cruise lines and in packed houses all over the country.

A couple months ago I met with band manager Brenda Alvarez Hays, and gained access to meet the band and take pictures for our magazine. This took place at a sold out Molly Hatchet concert who the Curt Towne Band opened for.

The place was humming with excitement the minute I got there. The front stage area was packed with fans trying to get closer to the opening band that they had heard so much about, a band mentioned in some industry circles as the new kings of Southern Rock. The band kicks off with some toe-tapping jams that put a smile on everyone’s face. Girls are dancing and guys are having fun, and it all fits perfectly with the locals’ Southern attitude.  Their hot new single “Whatcha Gonna Do?” is drawing a lot of attention.

The opening show lasted a good hour, leaving the fans wanting more. After they left the stage for the headliner to play, they came out to sign autographs for the happy fans who bought a ticket to see them.

Southern rock fans have been waiting for someone to take the reins and set the world on fire again. and this band is fast becoming a legend. I was amazed by the incredible passion this band has developed with their well-written music and ever-changing melodies that make you stomp your boots.

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Southern Rock fans can check out last month’s Concert Review with the Curt Towne Band here, or in our Southern Rock category in this magazine.

Now, let’s get closer to learning more about them.

Happyjack – Let’s start the questions. What was your first big break as a professional band?
Curt Towne, Guitar – Definitely the band’s first big break was being one of the headlining acts on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Simple Man Cruise this past November. Sharing the stage with the likes of Skynyrd, Blackberry Smoke and Foghat to name just a few of the other great bands on the cruise was an honor. Meeting the people on this cruise who are hungry for fresh, original material, who became fans, going out of their way to contact us, spread the word about us and ask us to come play in their locale has been an incredible experience.
James Aaron, Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar – Playing the Simple Man Cruise has to be the first big break for us. It has opened so many doors for us, especially the opportunity to plan a European tour for the Summer of 2015.
Mike “The Sultan” Cansler, Drums – The Simple Man Cruise is our first big break as a band. It gave us the opportunity to share the stage with great bands and artists, along with international recognition.

Happyjack – Highlight of your career so far?
Towne – Being able to share the stage with so many musicians who have been role models to me and have them respect this band’s music.
Aaron – Being a part of The Curt Towne Band has refueled my passion for my musical career.The energy/vibes of this band has taken my songwriting, playing and performing to new heights.
Cansler – Being blessed to share the stage with musicians I admire and having a bird’s eye view watching them do their “thang”.

Happyjack – Who inspired you to begin making music ?
Towne – The one artist who inspired me was Randy Rhoads. However, growing up around the members of Skynyrd, Blackfoot, 38 Special and Molly Hatchet also had an influence on me. As a kid hanging around Skynyrd’s Allen Collins, that was super cool! And Kiss’s Peter Criss, Ian Paice and Artimus Pyle were the ones who got me interested in music. However, it was Randy Rhoads (Ozzy Osbourne,Quiet Riot) who inspired me to play.
Aaron – Going to many Southern Baptist Gospel sings when I was young. Those groups were the ones who inspired me to begin making music.
Cansler – John Bonham, because he had the fattest groove and the coolest hippest drumbeats.

Happyjack – What’s next for The Curt Towne Band in 2015 ?
Group answer- Finish our debut CD and get it out to the fans, opening for national acts, touring, meeting and making many new friends on the road.

Happyjack – I’d never perform without …
Aaron – The belief and passion in what I am singing.
Cansler – Knowing the groove and beat of the music was real.

Happyjack – My most treasured instrument is…
Towne – 1972 Les Paul Black Beauty Custom named Norma Jean after my mom and Grandma
Aaron – Yamaha Drum Set
Cansler – DW Drums

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Happyjack – My favorite Music Artists…
Towne – I can’t pick just one-there are too many.
Aaron – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Cansler – Led Zeppelin

Happyjack –  The best fans are the ones who…
Group answer –  share the same or have equal passion for the music.

Happyjack – The city that has the best fans is …
Group answer –  The world wide city at sea, Simple Man Cruise!

Happyjack – Favorite track on the new EP?
Towne and Aaron – Whatcha Gonna Do ?
Cansler – Maybelline

Happyjack – When did you start playing?
Towne – I started playing the drums at 15 and began playing the guitar at 17.
Aaron – I was beating boxes at 8 years old, started playing drums at age 11 and began singing as well as drumming at age 13.
Cansler – At 16 when I sat down and started jamming to my dad’s stereo.

Happyjack – What does a new artist need to break out in the current rock business?
Towne – You must be true to yourself, passionate about the music you are making and use a grassroots method.
Aaron – You have to believe in what you are presenting to the crowd.
Cansler – Originality. You have to separate yourself from everyone else, marketing and grassroots.

Happyjack – How long did it take to get the EP completed? How long for the CD?
Group answer – 3 months for the EP. It will probably be 6 months for the CD, since we are only in the studio 2 to 3 days a month.

Happyjack – Why do you think The Curt Towne Band was selected to open for Lynyrd Skynyrd and Molly Hatchet?
Group answer – These bands believed in the strength of our music.

Happyjack – Songwriters today seem to lack inspiration. where do you as songwriters go for inspiration?
Towne – I get inspiration through life, the things myself and others have actually lived. My inspiration for songs has to be heartfelt and real.
Aaron – My inspiration comes from life experiences, conversations, personal experiences… real life.

Hey guys , thanks for spending a few minutes for the fans! We are very excited about the band’s future and want to be here for you all the way! Congrats on this year’s new tour schedule and we can’t wait to see you play live again. We will do a follow-up on the new EP with your insight to the songs, as I know you guys are in the studio wrapping up the new CD to be released later.

The band says thanks to Rarasfarm for being here for the fans and they can’t wait to see all of you on their new 2015 tour. Make sure you grab a very hard to get limited edition EP CD Single if you can.

Check out “Long Live My Country” on iTunes

Thanks again to Brenda Alvarez Hays for making this interview possible.

OK, Southern Rock Fans, thanks again for reading Rarasfarm.com, Florida’s rock music source, and please share our interview with friends and “LIKE US,” will ya? When you want to know what’s happening with your favorite bands that come through town visit www.rarasfarm.com, and remember me – Happyjack – the North Florida Music Insider who will be back soon with his Lynyrd Skynyrd concert Review.  In the meantime, read all of our Southern rock articles in our Southern Rock category at the page top.

Please feel free to comment below, where the band will see your thoughts, as well.

Okay, well if you made it this far in the article, you are obviously a rock music fanatic like the Rock And Roll Animals at RARAsFarm. Do us a big favor and like our Facebook page for future updates, rock news and photos. Thanks and please spread the word to other intelligent, creative, beautiful music fans like you 🙂


Crossfyre – Finland’s Southern Rockers Interview

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Interview With the Members of Crossfyre

HappyJack is back with another cool interview – This time it’s “Crossfyre” – Southern Rockers from Finland and the USA!

Make sure you Like RARAsFarm’s Facebook Page and Follow us on Twitter for rock music coverage.


Hello guys – glad to have you take a minute from your studio time and touring schedules to answer some questions for your dedicated fans,  When I heard you are playing Southern Rock in Finland, I had to check you guys out, and I was not disappointed in the music. I know that this band started in Florida, and now you’re playing to a lot of Southern Rock fans in Finland. How’s life on two Continents?

Who inspired you to begin making music ?

Michael “StarBuck” Majalahti – Lead Vocals – Black Sabbath
Dan Ronnbacka – Bass Guitar / Vocals – The Beatles
Jaakko Kinnari – Guitar – a Finnish band called Hurriganes
Jari Ravaska – keyboards – Billy Preston (Rolling Stones Organ Player)
Danny Cross – drums – The Beatles
Jay Jay Asikainen – guitar, backing vocals – Eric Clapton

What?s your current instrument gear ?

Ronnbacka – Fender Roscoe Beck five string and Gallien Krueger Amps
Kinnari – Fender Strat ’65 and an axe I put together myself from leftover parts I had lying around. And a Marshall Jubilee combo 50/25
Ravaska – Nord Electro 4
Cross – Custom made 28bd 14×14 tom 18×18 floor tom 14×8 DW Snare
Magnus Ljunqvist – Nord Electro 2
Asikainen – 335 Gibson and Fender deluxe-

My favorite track on the New “CROSSFYRE ” CD is ?

Majalahti – Ironhorse
Ronnbacka, Ravaska, Cross – Born To Be Free
Asikainen – Crying Heart

Dinner when on tour or event usually consists of ?

Ronnbacka  – Steak
Kinnari – Some kind of beef and fries with some kind of veggies and a salad
Ravaska – Hot dogs
Cross – A nice steak
Asikainen – Steak and salad

The best gift I ever received in this band is –

Majalahti – Meeting my wife
Kinnari and Ljunqvist – Playing on the Rock Legends Cruise
Asikainen – Touring in Europe

My most treasured instrument is?

Kinnari – My ’65 Fender Strat
Ravaska – Hammond B3
Cross – My old custom shop drums
Asikainen – My old Stratocaster

Favorite Music Artists? 

Majalahti – Motley Crue
Ronnbacka  – Deep Purple
Kinnari  – ZZ TOP
Ravaska – Pink Floyd
Cross – CCR
Asikainen – Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble

When I’m looking to get inspired I ?

Majalahti – Look at my wife
Ronnbacka  – Play my acoustic bass on the couch
Kinnari – Sit down and play
Ravaska – Silence
Cross – Play on my acoustic
Asikainen – It comes when it comes

My favorite travel destination is ?

Majalahti – Japan
Ronnbacka – Rome
Kinnari – Northern California
Ravaska – London
Cross – Texas
Asikainen – Key West, Florida

The last song I listened to was ?

Majalahti – “Child of Light” by Abbot
Ronnbacka – “Dust In the Wind” by Kansas
Kinnari – “Mercenary Territory,” Little Feat
Ravaska  – Robben Ford
Cross – “Simple Man,” Lynyrd Skynyrd
Asikainen – “Feels like Rain”

The city that has the best Fans is …

Majalahti,  Ronnbacka, Ravasaka and Asikainen – Braunchweig Germany
Kinnari – Maybe one of them towns in Northern Finland. Kuusamo or Ivalo
Cross – I loved Poland this past summer tour

When did you start playing ?

Ronnbacka – My brother got me a bass guitar when I turned 14
Kinnari – Piano at the age of six
Asikainen – At the age of 13 

What does a new artist need to break out in the current Rock biz ?

Ronnbacka – Good original songs
Kinnari – Good songs recorded and produced well and an ability to perform live the way that’s is consistent with the sound on the records. And good connections and good luck…
Ravaska  – Social media
Cross – Exposure
Asikainen – Be different and original 

How much input did you personally put into the recording itself ?

Ronnbacka – I wrote all the bass tracks and backing harmonies
Cross – Songwriting and drums
Ljunqvist – Keyboard tracks
Asikainen – As much as possible 

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Why should Major Bands select you guys to open the shows ?

Majalahti – We have a good drive and a sound
Ronnbacka – Because we are nice people and we love to rock 

Today’s songwriters lack inspiration. Where do you, as a songwriter go to get that inspiration ?

Majalahti – To the gym
Ronnbacka – Everyday life
Kinnari – Me myself have to just sit down and not to give up
Ravaska – Travelling
Cross – From the blues and joy in life
Asikainen – From life

Why do you think there is such an interest in Rock music now ?

Kinnari – Many people are just fed up with the overproduced radio pop
Ravaska – Rock is coming back
Cross – People like real instruments

Did you get to enjoy yourself in the studio ? Highlights ?

Majalahti – I was sick the day I sang the lead voice overs, but like a miracle, I got the tracks down, like someone would say Hell Yeah !
Kinnari – All of it was fun
Cross – Hell Yeah!
Asikainen – Yes, getting to work with HANNU LEIDEN from HAVANA BLACK

What jobs do you currently work in between gigs and festivals ?

Majalahti – Pro Wrestler
Ronnbacka – IP support at a University
Kinnari – Some occasional computer repair stuff
Ravaska – Studio work
Cross – Restore cars

The new released hit single ” Born to be Free” is getting a lot of requests – What is the story behind the song ?

Majalahti – Life and freedom
Cross – Wrote the song a day before going to the studio Starbuck came in and wrote some of the verses and JayJay and Kinnari came up with the riffs end of story
Asikainen – Life goes on

Describe what this band is all about and the future goals of each member

Majalahti – Playing good music
Ronnbacka – Playing some good rocking music
Kinnari – Good bluesy rock and roll
Ravaska – Touring the world
Cross – Always been the music and touring and trying to get better at it !
Asikainen – All about some good old rock-n roll

Thank you to the Band’s Management Team, and thanks to Crossfyre, Finland’s Southern Rock Legends for answering questions for the fans.

Take time to get the new CD and Crank it Up!   Wait until you hear what Finland can do with Southern Rock. These guys love Skynyrd , .38 Special and Marshall Tucker Band (I do, too).

* We’ll see you guys on the road soon !  You guys Rock !


If you enjoyed the interview with the band – please be so kind to “LIKE US” on this page and save us as a Favorite on your Toolbar – to see our articles every week with Rarasfarm.com magazine.


HappyJack – Rarasfarm’s insider when it comes to Southern Rock N Roll, supporting music that you love to hear!  And, please check out the other articles I have written!   I’ll be back soon with another wonderful interview with out Favorite Bands – Cheers !


Okay, well if you made it this far in the article, you are obviously a rock music fanatic like the Rock And Roll Animals at RARAsFarm. Do us a big favor and like our Facebook page for future updates, rock news and photos. Thanks and please spread the word to other intelligent, creative, beautiful music fans like you 🙂