· BLINDSIDE BLUES BAND - JOURNEY TO THE STARS (GYR148) ·

::T R A C K S::

01. JOURNEY TO THE STARS
02. ROCK N' ROLL IS MY LIFE
03. SMOKEHOUSE ROW
04. CALLING MY NAME
05. FREIGHT TRAIN
06. I'M ON FIRE
07. SHADOW IN MY DREAMS
08. FLY ON HIGH
09. ROLLING DOWN THE HIGHWAY
10. SIGN OF THE TIMES
11. .79 CENT BLUES


FORMAT: Audio CD / 4 PANEL WALLET
GYR148 - $14.99

Killer 12th disc by this excellent, long-standing, blues-based, heavy guitar rock riff:machine featuring 11 tracks of awesome, powerful, hard-hitting, retro-fied, dual guitar fueled riffage + mojo that kicks ass @ the hard rock excellence boogie train. Make no mistake, Blindside Blues Band have landed and are here to rock your bad-ass blues away. Crank up the volume and get ready to blast off into outer space with B.B.B. on the "Journey To The Stars" disc.

Blindside Blues Band is fronted by the legendary Mike Onesko on guitar & vocals. The man is a true riff:master who is on a Mission to Keep the Rock Alive. Onesko's classic riffage speaks volumes with endless amounts of 70s-inspired hard rock truth. The new 2016 version of Blindside Blues Band (which we like to refer to as B.B.B. - Mark III) also includes the debut of Martin J. Andersen (Blindstone / Mountain Of Power) on 2nd guitar to complete the twin, high-powered B.B.B. guitar rock team. Andersen is a bad-ass riff:master/axeripper from Denmark who kicks serious lead guitar ass and also co-wrote several of the new songs with Mister Onesko on the killer new B.B.B. disc. "Journey To The Stars" also features and marks the return of the original B.B.B. drummer and rock n' roll animal: Jeff Martin (Racer X / Badlands) on drums and seasoned veteran low-end bottom kool mojo man Steve Evans (Eric Gales / Pat Travers) on bass, both excellent top-shelf hard rock players who both lock in and nail down the rock solid, killer, electrified Blindside Blues Band heavy groove.

As the lyrics to the "title" track crank out of the speakers @ the opening track: "C'mon Boys & Girls... We're On A Journey To The Stars," we know it's time to rock our asses off with the Blindside Blues Band and their killer brand of old-school, classic, bluesy heavy guitar rock. The mighty B.B.B. have fired up their big, electric dual six string rockets, aimed high to the sky, armed & ready in their guitar shaped space ships on a mission to rock us hard into the next musical dimension on the essential "Journey To The Stars."


MP3 Sample Clips

01. JOURNEY TO THE STARS
02. ROCK N' ROLL IS MY LIFE
03. SMOKEHOUSE ROW
04. CALLING MY NAME
05. FREIGHT TRAIN
06. I'M ON FIRE
07. SHADOW IN MY DREAMS
08. FLY ON HIGH
09. ROLLING DOWN THE HIGHWAY
10. SIGN OF THE TIMES
11. .79 CENT BLUES

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· reviews ·

One tablespoon of Mike Onesko and another of Martin J. Andersen, and you have one dynamite recipe!! The rhythm section of Steve Evans and Jeff Martin is nothing to sneeze at either. These are seasoned professionals, and when they come together as the Blindside Blues Band — watch out! You’ll experience sonic bliss that takes you to the heavens. In fact, their new CD is called “Journey to the Stars,” perhaps as an indication of how high-flyin’ the music actually is. This is all original music, too, but the mood and style is anything but new: this is classic blues-rock, in the mode of the masters. Cream, Deep Purple, Zeppelin, Beck, move over. These guys are bringing you back with a fresh, new flourish. Listen closely.

Steven J. Rosen / Author + Journalist (January 2017)
 


Mike Onesko and his Blindside Blues Band deliver another energy-charged winner with their tenth opus Journey to the Stars. It’s incredible the amount of high-quality music this band has generated over the past twenty-five years, yet they still continue to up their game with each release. Joining Onesko is axe-master Martin J Andersen, badass bassist Steve Evans, and legendary drummer Jeff Martin. From the cosmic opening of title track ‘Journey to the Stars’ to the slow-grinding eight-minute ‘.79 Cent Blues’ the disc is packed with top-notch playing full of passion and emotion. The biographical ‘Rock N’ Roll Is My Life’ brings this 11-track set into focus as Onesko describes his journey as a musician from early days in California to becoming an international star. He sings, “1972 I knew I had to go / Packed up my guitar / Then I hit the road / California is the place I had to see…” Other road/train songs include the Steppenwolf-like ‘Rolling down the Highway’, the drum-fed “Freight Train’ and the soul-shaking ‘Calling My Name’ where Onesko does his best BB King vocal.

Three tracks in and ‘Smokehouse Row’ is a major ass kicker. Onesko winds up and lets the dirt fly with one of the disc’s best riffs. Right next to him is Andersen wailing line-by-line. Jeff Martin joins just in time beating the crap out of his drum kit while Evans lays down a whopping bass line. A monster if ever there was one. The metallic ‘Fly on High’ is the heaviest track with layered guitars and Jeff Martin’s Priest-like drumming. Its mid-section opens up to a tasty guitar solo with the drums and bass pounding out a tribal beat. “I’m On Fire” is a full band workout complete with twin-guitar runs, piercing solos and a hammer backbeat. Onesko’s Lemmy-like vocals take the track one step closer to Motörhead territory. Guitar enthusiasts unite with deep cut ‘Shadow in My Dreams’ a six-string axe-wielding mainline shredder. Slowing down “Sign of the Times” allows the band the lock into a weighty Sabbath dirge with an apocalyptic vocal. “Ten thousand years... ...So many tears,” sings Onesko as the guitars swirl and the drum marches. Another slab of brilliance!

Todd K. Smith / The Electric Beard (September 2016)
 


Mike Onesko is seventeen, he draws with his guitar and with only $60 in his pocket, he hitchhiked from Fairview Park, Ohio to San Francisco. There he first plays in a power trio called Sundog and later Steel Wind, a five-piece band, with John Warmouth (drums). His next band called The Mercury & The Army.

Mike played live at many clubs Marin County, California, discovered by Mike Varney, the head of Shrapnel Records. They set up the Blindside Blues Band. The other members were Scott Johnson (guitar), Jeff Martin (drums) and Greg Chaisson (bass). They bring this line up to three albums. The last Shrapnel lineup of the Blindside Blues Band was Mike Onesko, Mike Varney, Aysnley Dunbar and James Lomenzo.

Mike played on the Cream tribute album "Cream of The Crop" (along with Pat Travers, Leslie West, Tim Bogert, Rick Derrigner, Glenn Hughes & Neal Schon). Mike then signs with the Italian label Comet Records, where he released several albums as "Mike Onesko's Guitar Army", "Smokehouse Sessions", "Live At The Torrita Blues Festival", "Voodoo Crossing" and "Gypsy Blood" (two Hendrix 'tributes).

Currently and for many years Mike cooperates with Grooveyard Records. His recent Grooveyard Records album is called "Journey To The Stars". He picked it up along with Martin J. Andersen (guitar), Steve Evans (bass) and Jeff Martin (drums). It's an album with eleven original songs. Several co-written by Mike Onesko & Martin J. Andersen. The album opens with the title track, after an intro, at full speed is taken in tow by the guitars of Onesko and Andersen. The following tracks are an endless extension, which leaves behind a clear smoke trail. Highlights include "Rock N 'Roll Is My Life," "Calling My Name," the rocker "Freight Train," "Fly On High" and "Rolling Down The Highway". All eleven songs are absolute "killers", which the band goes to extremes. The guitar tandem of Onesko and Andersen proves great skills. Unobtrusive, but clearly present, we must certainly mention the excellent rhythm section of bassist Steve Evans and drummer Jeff Martin (Badlands / Racer X). Journey To The Stars" is rock & roll that reminds you of the past.

Mike Onesko 's twelfth album " Journey To The Stars" is fully in line with the previous Blindside Blues Band line-ups. The songs are very energetic, retro and the guitars of Onesko and (newcomer) Martin J. Andersen (as 2nd guitarist), which set the lines. For lovers of classic 70s hard rock guitar, with a bluesy undertones and many long guitar solos, this is an old-fashioned hit! () (August-2016)

Eric Schuurmans / Rootstime - Belgium (August 2016)
 


Mike Onesko and Blindside Blues Band is something of an American institution. They released the debut album back in 1993 and checking my own collection this is my BBB album number eleven. Racer X singer and Paul Gilbert/Badlands/MSG drummer Jeff Martin is back in the band, Steve Evans handles the bass and this time Mike has used the lead guitar skills of Danish dynamite guitarist Martin J. Andersen (Blindstone). I really like the previous BBB albums, but I think Andersen’s co-writing input gave the band a nice injection. The band feels truly vital and alive. They say you shouldn’t fix something that already works, but you can always rev up a motor to give it that extra boost. Mike also sings better than ever. I really like the mix of the songs on the album and don’t be fooled by the “blues band” tail in the name. This is not your standard four bar blues band. It is of course based on the blues, but this is so much more, with kick ass riffing hard as rock. They actually sometimes remind me of West, Bruce & Laing, but with more even quality song material. If you’ve never heard the band, this is where you start!

Janne Stark / Stark Music Reviews (August 2016)
 


The partnership between Mike Onesko (Mike Onesko's Guitar Army) and Martin J Andersen (Blindstone), surely must be one of the most potent guitar combinations in rock. Both have superb albums to their name outside of Blindside Blues Band, however bring them together and the sparks truly begin to fly. Mining deep into what makes the blues the hard hitting, emotion juggling beast it is, the pair coax out some of the most scintillating riffs and solos, all the while realising that what makes great music is basing all the guitar wizardry round great songs. Journey To The Stars (an album neatly bookended by 50s sci-fi TV sounds) is jam ram packed with 'em, "Fly On High" comes into being on the back of an intense train-rolling riff and simply ramps things up from there; and talking of keeping things firmly on track, "Freight Train" comes blazing out of the speakers with fretboard horns wailing and the rhythmical thunder (provided by ex-Badlands, Racer X drummer Jeff Martin and bassist Steve Evans) potently ploughing through everything in its path. Add in a solo that reminds of that most underrated of guitar masters, Dave Meniketti of Y&T, and what's not to love? "Rolling Down The Highway" moves things from the tracks to the road, the pace picked up further as the ZZ Top vibe comes down on this convertible time machine to whisk you back to a day when blues based heavy rock ruled (as it still should).

Onesko is in full, fine voice, his deep holler the perfect fit for sounds as vibrant and authentic as these, the manner in which he adds a little bit of spice to the already burning "Smokehouse Row" absolutely masterful. However you could turn to "I'm On Fire", "Calling My Name", "Shadow In My Dreams" or any other track for that matter, to prove that his vocal prowess is no one off. Cleverly after all the high octane guitar infused goodness ".79 Cent Blues" closes the album out with confirmation (as if we needed it) that Blindside Blues Band can serve up deeply intense heart tugging blues as well. It may be a slightly low key conclusion to an album that rocks for all it's worth, however, just as all the best bands do, BBB know that the best way to hit hard is to know when not to and ".79..." is a prime example of exactly that.

Blindside Blues Band never disappoint and with Journey To The Stars they've blasted another firecracker of an album into orbit.

Steven Reid / Sea Of Tranquility (August 2016)
 


Always driven by the guitar riffs from founder Mike Onesko, BLINDSIDE BLUES BAND are presenting their 12th album to date "Journey To The Stars", via specialized label Grooveyard Records. This is a new version of Blindside Blues Band, featuring the debut of Martin J. Andersen - the terrific Danish guitarist of Blindstone, a great band also presented in this blog - on 2nd guitar to complete the twin, high-powered B.B.B. guitarrock team.

Indeed, this Cleveland based combo is a guitar-driven hard rock beast with a classic bluesy foundation, plenty of hot riffs / solos and great melodies. Alongside the incendiary 6-string tandem of Onesko & Andersen each bringing their individual skill to the table making for one hell of a rock and roll party, we have the return to the Blindside Blues Band of the original drummer and rockin' roll animal Jeff Martin, known for his work with Racer X and Badlands. The work of Jeff Martin behind the skins kick some serious ass, and the rhythm section is completed by seasoned veteran low-end bottom man Steve Evans (Eric Gales / Pat Travers) on bass.

As you see, the Blindside Blues Band line-up is top class, and the tandem rock like hell with a kickin' brand of old-school, classic, bluesy heavy guitar rock on "Journey To The Stars". This powerhouse of an album opens with the uptempo title track powered by Onesko's and Andersen's sharp twin guitar attack that immediately draws the listener in. From there on its one smoking track right after another.

Highlights include 'Calling My Name', 'Rock N' Roll Is My Life', the rattlesnake rocker 'Freight Train', 'Fly On High', 'Rolling Down The Highway', and the fun closer '79 Cent Blues', dedicated by Onesko to Mike Varney of Shrapnel Records for the 79 cent royalty check he sent him after 24 years (he recorded with Shrapnel many years ago).

All eleven songs offered up in "Journey To The Stars" are absolutely killer and the band plays each song with a hunger that you don't hear often enough in today's rock music. It's bad-ass heavy blues / bluesy hard rock with flesh & blood, powerful, fueled by superb riffage, classy vocals and a terrific rhythm section. Crank it to 10! Highly Recommended!

0DayRox Blogspot (July 2016)
 


'Journey To The Stars' is yet another mind blowing album by the Blindside Blues Band, featuring some of the best songs the band has written to date. Mike Onesko on vocals and guitar, Martin J. Andersen (Blindstone) on guitar, Steve Evans on bass and Jeff Martin on drums. This powerhouse of an album opens with the smoking title track powered by Onesko's and Andersen's guitar work that immediately draws the listener in. From there on its one smoking track right after another. Highlights include, "Rock N' Roll Is My Life", "Calling My Name", the rattlesnake rocker, "Freight Train", "Fly On High" and "Rolling Down The Highway". All eleven songs offered up are absolutely killer and the band plays each song with a hunger that you don't hear often enough in today's music. The guitar tandem of Onesko and Andersen are a match made in heaven. Both are amazing players. Each bringing their individual six string skill set to the table making for one hell of a listening experience. One thing is for certain they held nothing back in the guitar department. These guy's are monsters! Not to be outshined are the tight rhythm of bassist Steve Evans and drummer, Jeff Martin (X- Badlands/Racer X). The thing about, 'Journey To The Stars' and the Blindside Blues Band in general is that it brings you back to what was truly great about driving blues rock before it got taken over by the hair bands of the 80's. This is rock and roll that is reminiscent of the past but never imitative and not revisionist. Rock on Blindside Blues Band!

Tony Sison / The Dedicated Rocker Society (July 2016)
 



 


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