Today is a sad day for fans of the legendary rockers Y&T, as long time founding bassist Phil Kennemore has passed away after a short battle with cancer. He was 57 years old. He is a musician that will be missed by many. An official statement has been made by his long time band mate and Y&T co-founder Dave Meniketti which can be read on the main page of the bands website HERE. Kennemore and Meniketti were the only original members in the group which was brought to Hard Rock life in 1974. They were briefly called Yesterday and Today, but shortened it to the classic “Y&T” which like their material, has withstood the ever shifting musical times.
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: Icarus Witch
Label: Frontiers Records
Whatever the occasion might be, you always can be rest assured that when you go to see a Y&T show, that you are in for a rocking good time. The funny thing for me is that even though I have known about their music for a very long time, it was not until I picked up the role of Music Scribe that I began to catch them in action and this would be long after their initial heyday and short hiatus. Since their inception in 1974 the band has gone through some lineup changes but remained active in the Hard Rock scene despite a few years of hiatus before getting back to business. For the last few years we’ve been catching what appears to be the lineup for the duration as joining founder Dave Meniketti and bassist Phil Kennemore would be drummer Mike Vanderhule and guitarist John Nymann. Truth be told as long as we had Dave and Phil working together up there the rest would fall into place. Sadly, the news about Kennemore requiring back surgery and pulling off of the tour would come shortly before this gig would take place and filling in for him for the rest of the tour while he gets treated and recovers would be bassist Brad Lang. The show would feature only one opener in Icarus Witch and here is how the night went down for those who didn’t manage to attend.
Continue reading Y&T @ B.B. King Blues Club (8/7/2010)
Title: “Best of ’81 to ‘85”
Label: A&M Records
Release Date: 8/21/1990
Genre: Hard Rock
If you’re looking for a worthy representation of the catalog of the band Y&T then there is no better place to start than with the bands very first collection of “hits” that goes under the moniker “Best Of ’81 to ‘85”. Please understand that my use of quotes with the word hits is because despite the bands level of underground popularity and overall importance to the Hard Rock scene on the whole, you would be endlessly waiting for no reason if you were expecting any number of these incredible tunes to be played on the conventional Rock radio of the time. Granted there were a few select stations and DJ’s who realized the bands relevance but outside of songs like “Summertime Girls” or “Lipstick and Leather” it would be a rare occurrence. I know that I never remembered hearing more than these on the airwaves. This album is special to my own Y&T beginnings as I was one of those fans who was schooled on their vintage catalog even though I had never caught them live back in their original heyday. Oddly enough it would not be until around 2005 that this would happen. Despite this being the case, I always had more than a handful of songs that I found to be amazing. The collection takes material from “Earthshaker”, “Black Tiger”, “Meanstreak”, “In Rock We Trust”, “Open Fire” and “Down For The Count” which is a great amount of musical territory to pull resource from. The ardent fans might feel that there is not enough taken into account but I still think that if you are looking for a door to walk into to educate yourself on the band that this is a fine path to take.
Continue reading “Best of ’81 to ‘85” by Y&T
Title: “Yesterday and Today – Live” (re-issue)
Label: Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 8/11/1998
Genre: Hard Rock
If you are one of the smart legacy Hard Rockers out there then you already know about the powerhouse outfit that goes by the name of Y&T and if not, this particular live recording is a release that amounts to a great education in their material. Originally released in 1991 and re-issued in 1998, the live recording of “Yesterday and Today Live” presents the bands “final” roster of Dave Meniketti, Phil Kennemore, Stef Burns and Jimmy DeGrasso as they tour the world one last time and support their album “Ten” together before choosing to call it a day. The bands original fan base knows full well how the group was once rounded out by Leonard Haze on drums and Joey Alves on guitar but those members had been replaced for a few years by DeGrasso and Burns who really do a commendable job at the end of the day. The album starts of strong with “Meanstreak” and right into “Hurricane” but absent is the often incendiary “Open Fire”. Oh well, I guess you have to change the set list around every once in awhile. There is only one tune from the bands “Contagious” which is an instrumental and only one from the “Ten” album with “Hard Times”. Even though we get some standards like “Black Tiger” and “Forever”, I did find a little surprise that songs like “Lipstick And Leather” and “Summertime Girls” were omitted from this particular live set. The latter song most of all since this was effectively the biggest song Y&T ever had in the larger public eye.
Continue reading “Yesterday and Today – Live” (re-issue) by Y&T
While I have enjoyed the music of Y&T for a number of years I never ever got around to seeing them during their earlier years but of course since their popularity has not waned I have tried to make up for lost time. The band was once again in NYC and hitting B.B. King’s so I made sure to be on point to bring you the full scoop that went down. The night was a blast from beginning to end and there were a lot of good people having a great time. Scroll past the logo below to item and all of the concert photos.
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: School Of Rock All-Stars
Label: Independent Artist
Having missed the gig that Y&T did at this venue in 2007 based on a scheduling conflict of me being somewhere else prevailing for the Metal way, I knew that I had to be inside the club tonight to see them perform especially since I couldn’t recall their even doing a show in 2008 in this region. Y&T is pure Old School Hard Rock the way it is meant to be and while I love bringing news about their appearances to the masses whenever possible, tonight was one of those nights that I was also planning on having a little fun at. The gig would be at the obvious choice of venues for such a band and that was none other than B.B. King Blues Club and the opening group for the night would be the School Of Rock All-Stars (you know whom I am talking about, they are those incredibly talented younger generation of musicians that are led by Paul Green). I’ve seen some configurations of these kids play on a few different occasions and am continually blown away by what they can do. If the future of Metal and Progressive Rock is in their hands then I will honestly say that the genres will both be around for a long, long time. Having just seen many of these young players perform a couple of weeks ago with lead guitarist and creator of “Metalocalypse” Brendan Small, I opted to pass on their set this evening to check out some of the pre-game meetings that were going on outside of the venue. We will talk about that a little later.
Continue reading Y&T @ B.B. King Blues Club (4/17/2009)