When you hear some of the stuff on major labels that passes for rock, you despair.
So many of the majors hitch themselves to rickety, no-talent bandwagons in a desperate attempt to connect with the next big thing.
Yet, multi talented bands like the unglamourously titled T.Clemente Band have to release independently.
Outstanding guitar man, Clemente wrote all the songs here.
Helping him out in the studio were the legendary Robert (Hush, GTR, 3) Berry on bass, guitar, keys and bgvs, David Lauser on drums and Thom (Google him and be impressed) Duell on lead vocals and guitar.
Berry, Duell and Clemente produced the album.
There's so much to like about this recording.
First, Clemente and Berry have arranged Clemente's melodic, keenly crafted songs in a rich variety of musical styles, none of them straying outside rock'n'roll parameters, but with enough contrast to keep things interesting.
Second, Duell's voice is a wonder to behold, an amalgam of Chris Thompson, John Farnham and Chris Farlowe, you can see why he's been so much in demand by the music biz cognoscenti over the years.
He tweaks his vocal cords to suit the music and the moment, zipping up and down through the gears, and he sings like he means it, like the music alone is enough.
The first couple of tracks - 'Illusion' and 'Life' - fit firmly into the melodic rock category, very Night Ranger, very Triumph. Powerful, tuneful heavy hitters, with Clemente's barbed, biting axework often threatening to steal the show.
Then, fascinatingly, we're off down the yellow brick road into progrock territory with 'Children And Their Future', a plaintive social commentary that spins on a thundering, bass heavy riff, and 'Voice Out', an exciting, red blooded mix of classic rock and contemporary tech prog that closes with a fabulous, pulse quickening, lead guitar outro.
So far, so unfashionable. And so lovingly old school. The passion being generated and channelled into the music here is nothing short of breathtaking.
'Come Fly Away' captures strands of AOR, Beatle-esque pop and Wurlitzer propelled prog and weaves them into one short, singularly inspired burst of melodic rock.
If the energy ever seems to flag, Clemente utilises a huge dose of clanging, soaring guitar like an adrenaline shot to the heart, or Berry wheels in a stadium sized fill or frill on the keyboards, like a rock'n'roll defibrillator that brings the music back to larger than life.
Elsewhere, 'Rock All Night' does exactly what you'd guess it says on the tin, or tinnies for that matter. Vividly evoking good times, in another place, another era.
Lyrically, 'Prisoner Of War' is a little heavy handed, but the track is rescued by the neatly crafted, simplified progrock arrangement.
Clemente closes his album, appropriately, appositely, with a cracking instrumental, 'In My Mind'. Vaguely reminiscent of sixties legend, Mason Williams, starting out tentatively, acoustically, before cranking up into electric action, ultimately being joined by the whole band.
There's no doubt that 'Illusions' is a labour of love. Clearly, the whole band put their heart and soul into this record.
We should hope it leads to something a little more lasting than a "one off" project.
Written by Brian
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
T Clemente Band: Press
Imagine you’re listening to some of your favorite tunes or albums the way they did sound were originally rehearsed to get approval and make it to the recording studio. What? You think the polished sound you get in the final product is what the band storms in to jam to a new melody? OK, thing again, or recall some demo takes added as bonus goodies in some of your beloved special CD editions. The beauty of music, for many, is widely spread the time the sound is raw, pure and un-overdubbed. That’s why enough ‘private’ recordings attract the interest of major labels in order for the deal to be inked, anyway, but – and most of all – that’s what naked beauty probably stands for: purity and implicit splendor.
Quite a dramatic description, huh? Nah, it’s just that T CLEMENTE BAND’s CD made me go back to the ‘neighborhood’ roots of Rock ‘n’ Roll, where a good riff and harmony solo was enough to set an amateur outfit’s ass on fire in order to work hard and come up with a collection of songs making them kings for a day. T CLEMENTE BAND holds Teddy as the mainman and - possibly – basic composer and truth is they’ve laid down some pretty good-looking music over here, just plugging in and playing. With a style ranging from Prog/Pomp Rock to AOR/melodic Rock and guitar-oriented metallic Hard Rock, T CLEMENTE BAND show inspiration and true passion is the ‘key’ fact to create a personal style in a band, even if Rock music in general sees more than 50 years in general gathering a typhoon of artists and styles.
Yes, OK, some references are possible to be brought to mind but as long as that’s an easy way for the band’s style to be described that’s fine for me! The total result in “Illusions” is a set of songs with melodic yet powerful guitars that are built in inspiring tempos and some great backing keyboards transmitting rocking, traveling/wandering, poetic or I-don’t-know-what-else vibes to the listener, dressed in some fine lyrics themes about life, human rights, children, our world, world leaders etc. The music is quite hardhittin’ at times, while more lunar moments are equally present. The solo work is good – could be more accurate, though – and the vocals of Thom Duell end up being quite unique with a harsh yet familiar tone.
Names in reference can sum it up to the more arty works of bands like URIAH HEEP, QUEEN, DEEP PURPLE, SANTANA, RAINBOW/DIO, BOSTON, TRIUMPH and JOURNEY. It shall be noted though that most of the tracklist is not commercial enough, and I’m not referring to the demo sound but mostly to the 70s-inspired songwriting patterns. Still, “Illusions” – in strict musical terms – is impressive and convincing since it does not rely on some shiny production or fat sound but brings to the table nothing less than good personal music. A really original ‘private’ album,no questions asked!
Guitarist Teddy Clemente immigrated to the United States from his native Philippines in 1981 when he was twenty years old. Introduced to the sounds of classic rock when he was still a young boy he began writing music in the early 80's but soon decided to put his music career on the backburner. The San Francisco based musician eventually rekindled his passion for creating music at the start of the new millennium and has been at it ever since.
For his latest indie release entitled Illusions he's brought along some Bay Area veterans to help him out, notably multi-instrumentalist's Robert Berry and Thom Duell, who also handles the lead vocals, as well as Sammy Hagar drummer David Lauser. The record which in Clemente's own words "is all about life, our children, our government and our world" does pack a socially conscious message as the lyrics of "Illusion", "Life" ,"Children and their Future" and "Prisoner of War" are all politically tinged and serve as a wakeup call to the powers that be that things need to change before it's too late.
Illusions is a supercharged, classic rock affair that puts Clemente's superior skills as a player directly in the spotlight. The guy sure knows how to rock as he fires off a full arsenal of meaty riffs and scorching solos overtop the funky programming and Lauser's powerhouse drumming on "Rock All Night" and "O For Satisfaction". Clemente's real secret weapon on this record though turns out to be Duell who sings the hell out of these songs with an alarming amount of passion and conviction. His voice definitely comes pretty damned close to Geoff Tate especially on the epic eight minute "Voice Out" and "Come Fly Away". The disc concludes with the tender, yet scorching instrumental "In My Mind" in which Clemente plays a nice acoustic melody and then proceeds to let rip a gut wrenching solo for the ages overtop of it.
He might be flying under the radar as an indie artist, but after one listen to what this brother is throwing down on Illusions, I have to say that if the stars manage to align themselves in the right way, Teddy Clemente certainly has what it takes to get his music and his message out on a much larger scale.
T. CLEMENTE BAND 'ILLUSIONS' (CLEMENTE MUSIC)
Here we have a really high quality independent recording from a band out of
San Francisco, USA. They are called the T. CLEMENTE BAND, formed around
excellent guitarist TEDDY CLEMENTE (a la RICHIE BLACKMORE), who is also the
songwriter of all 10 songs on this album. THOM DUELL (a la IAN PARRY and
JEFF FENHOLT) takes care of the vocals and he happens to be blessed with a
superb voice, so we are talking about something really interesting here.
Musically taking a bit of RAINBOW, URIAH HEEP, ZENO, Q5 and especially
QUEENSRYCHE meets JOSHUA meets TRIUMPH with some Metal riffs added, mixing
this all together with awesome vocal- and guitarwork, you basically end up
with this awesome CD titled 'Illusions'. Especially the songs "Life", "Come
fly away" and "Prisoner of war" are very impressive tunes to check out asap
if your heart belongs to quality Progressive Rock/Metal with a Classic
Hardrock vibe like a mix of mentioned acts and you want to hear beautiful
melodies in all arrangements as well. The CD has a huge sound, partly thanks
to the legendary GEORGE HORN (a Soul/Funk/Jazz legend!), who mastered the CD
and also a special mention also needs to made for ROBERT BERRY (3, HUSH,
solo, etc.) who played guitars, keys, did back-up vocals and took care of
the recording and sound/mixing/engineering of the record, thumbs up to both
for doing a great job here! More info at: http://www.tclemente.com/home.html
and e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
T. CLEMENTE BAND 'Illusions' www.tclememte.com
Guitarist Teddy is the 'T' in this band which also features the multi-talented Robert Berry (Three/Alliance) who is not the lead vocalist as you'd expect, Thom Duell takes this spot. On drums is David Lauser, who has worked extensively with Sammy Hagar and his bands plus he is also a member of Alliance along with Robert Berry. Given the musical pedigree of this band the music is of a high standard with a nice musical mix. There are some party rockers like 'Rock All Night', then there are more reflective and slower tempo songs like 'Children & Their Future'. Quite a few bands come to mind whilst listening to this album including Triumph, Rainbow and Uriah Heep on the title track, mainly for the harmonies and slight prog rock feel to the music.
Hopefully this album will manage to make a splash as the music on here is very enjoyable plus you have some top draw musicians involved. With any luck this won't be the last we hear from Teddy Clemente and friends.
Craven tagged you in a post.
Craven wrote: "So I have been rapidly becoming a fan of local original music. Bands like Gundacker Project and Finding Stella have opened my eyes to the wonderful original songs of these talented writer/performers.
The latest to leave me wanting more is the T. Clemente Band. They played Saturday night at Neto's and blew me away. The amazing voice of Amanda Dieck , mind blowing guitar work and writing of Teddy Clemente and seemingly impossible drum work by Jesus Garcia have me hooked. Solid backup by Mark Crissman on vocals, stellar bass by my buddy, Harold Lee (Martin), and innovative keyboard work by Bryan H Yoshida make this band a must watch. If you have not seen them you are missing out. In fact Harold had been trying to get me to come see them all year and only recently have I been able to.
The attached video is long. 13 minutes, but it is awesome. Set your preferences to 720p HD, turn up the volume and prepare to smile! The drum solo by Jesus Garcia absolutely is worth the wait at the end. Enjoy!
Craven wrote: "My apologies to Jeff Mayer for not mentioning his terrific guitar playing. I've been a fan of his for years....sorry buddy."
Band : T. Clemente Band
Album title : Illusions
Label : Own release
Distributor : /
Release date : 2008
Release : CD
Born on the Philippine Islands, Teddy Clemente immigrated to the USA at the age of 20 in 1981. Thanks to the US military base and community in his then hometown of Cavity City, he had however come in contact with western music at an early age, making Deep Purple's Machine Head the first album he ever bought, because he was hugely impressed by Ritchie Blackmore's skills on the guitar!
Later discoveries including Santana, Van Halen, Yngwie Malmsteen, John Petrucci, Joe Satriani and others, Teddy started writing his own music back in the '80s, and even joined a band that never went anywhere. Concentrating on the throws of life, he then stopped playing music altogether, even selling all his equipment. It's a colleague and friend of his whom, wanting to d something special for the Y2K New Year's Resolution, eventually inspired Teddy to resurrect his passion for music, get his ass over to a Guitar Center to buy new equipment, and start practicing again. Slowly but certainly, Teddy's skills came back...and possibly improved as well, and he founded the T Clemente Band, with which he plays live a first time in Feb. 2007 at the occasion of the band's first CD release, issued in Oct. 2006. In the beginning the band only came out occasionally (5 shows in 2007 and an equal amount in 2008), but nevertheless Teddy gathered a decent technical crew around himself and his live band (consisting of rhythm & lead guitarist David Basuil, singer & keyboardist Butch Basuil, bassist Silas Parian, and drummer Mark Galbadores), and in the latter two years the band has doubled it live appearances, becoming “regulars” at San Francisco's Rock It Room. In 2008 Teddy had the opportunity to work with a couple of music industry veterans from the San Francisco area for the recording of this second album of his. To begin with, there was Robert Berry (known from the bands 3, Hush, Alliance and solo outings), whom not only got involved as recording & mixing engineer, but also contributed to the album by playing all keyboards and part of the rhythm and bass guitars, and added part of the backing vocals. On lead vocals (but also part of the rhythm and bass guitar, acoustic guitars, and mandolin) the choice fell on Thom Duell (a voice that stands its own among the greater voices in the Melodic Rock scene) , and on the drums we find none other than David Lauser (has worked extensively with Sammy Hagar and his bands, and is also in Alliance with Berry). Guesting on the album are backing vocalist Mark Crissman, and Chris Jackson (of SF's Kfox radio station) played lead guitars on the track “Life”. Hum, put quite simply, with all the people involved in the project, it's hard to conceive that the album did not end up on a respected label!
With the album out for quite a while now, there's already plenty of descriptions been tried out on the album...not all of which I can readily agree with...but I agree with the statement that Duell has a voice reminiscent of Ian Parry (but then I also agree with another reviewer whom put his voice as a blend of Chris Thompson, John Farnha, and Chris Farlowe). Musically, I'd have to say the music falls into two categories, namely those songs which are more reminiscent of Deep Purple and Rainbow (make those Classic Rock), and then those songs which are more reminiscent of the early to mid '80s Arena Rock (thinking of such great bands as Nightranger and Triumph – honestly, because reading some reviews already done on the album reminded me of that). In between the more straight-forward Hard Rock tunes, you'll nevertheless also find some more introvert songs, such as “Children And Their Future” and “Prisoners Of War” (the latter still with a nice bombastic second part), and the very, very nice album closing instrumental “In My Mind”. With all music and lyrics written by Teddy, this is as good a moment to tell you that the album Illusions is all about life, caring for our children, our environment, our world...and how we really feel about political & corporate powers' lies and how we are just numbers to them.
All songs on the album, and many more, are posted as downloadables in the music section of Teddy's own website (www.) tclemente.com, and I'm sure you can listen to 'em before purchasing 'em there as well. I don't even think there's a MySpace page on this dude (I checked, certainly?), but why bother when áll the goodies on this fine guitarist are already available. Of course, the more sites his music can be heard on, the more promotion the band would get. Great stuff, and I hope to be hearing more work by Clemente's hand pretty soon. I mean, it's been more than two years since this album was released, now wasn't it!?
CD REVIEW TSM/ SLW
Nick Baldrian here from Fireworks Magazine/Two Side Moon Promotions in the UK
I am a very interested in writing about your music for my feature column 'The Music Is Out There' and we cover all styles of rock/pop music. Fireworks sells between 4 and 5,000 copies per issue.
Would it be possible if you could forward a promo.
Also who is releasing your CD for the UK market?
Fireworks Magazine/TSM Promotions.
We were at the other outdoor stage, when we heard you guys play, we all went to the main stage where you guys are playing. Next time we know, there are all kinds of people came to watch. Great music & they rock! Love the 12 string acoustic too!
Rock It Room did a great job of having your band as the headliner. You guys rock that place. What a way to celebrate St. Patricks weekend. 7 bands that night & you guys definetely stands out. I'll be keeping an eye on you guys. Awesome CD, great lyrics & music. Looking forward to your upcoming CD.
Great job on the CD that was featured in the Guitar World Magazine, Oct 2006 Issue. Your music rocks! Awesome lyrics & guitar work
We love going to the Rock It Room, once in a while we get to hear great bands. Your band rocks! That song "lost in time" is awesome, kind of like Stair way to heaven in a harder version. That last song "retaliate" definetely a Metallica influenced, what a way to end your show with that one. By the way, we love your CD, we listen to it at work.
For a CD Release Show you guys put up a great show. Love the music! They really rock. Great to see Chris Jackson of KFOX FM supporting your band & jamming with you guys on stage. By the way Great T Shirts.
I am bartending on the main room when I heard your band play at that private party last night, myself & other crew that was working that night had to stop what we are doing & check you guys out. I cannot believe they are original songs by your band, they sounded really great. You guys rock that place last night. Thanks for the CD!
My friends & I wanted to go see a live band & we saw your Show Poster. We decided to check you guys out. Men, you guys rock! I even called some more of our friends, they showed up at your last set & felt bad about not seing the entire show. Keep up the great work guys!
Thank you for dedicating the song "Let It Shine" to our troops & our country. That means a lot to us. That's a beautiful song, we also love the song "So Far Away", words just hits us right, especially with our love ones in the Middle East & we miss them so much.
We were so tired of those DJ techno stuff that all sounds alike that they play around the clubs lately. We did not expect to see a live rock band playing at CJ's. We can tell the heavy influence of the 70's & 80's rock group in your music. We grew up with that stuff. We love it, great job!
We saw your video & heard the song "Let It Shine" before they play the movie World Trade. That was very touching, we have close friends who lost their lives during that tragic day. Great for your band to dedicate that beautiful song. We love your music. Can't wait to see the band perform live in the near future.
I love this CD!
I love Clemente! they are my favorite band! I love the bass guitar the best!! yaaay daddy!!
Reviewer: Tyler (click for website)
This Cd Rocks!!!!
Listened to this great CD at About Time Barber Shop.
Reviewer: D. Braun
This CD really rocks! Clemente's new CD Take the Shot is great listening for any music lover's ear. Clemente's influences are clear with subtle hints of Carlos Santana and Hendrix, to name a few! Very well-rounded, well-recorded, enjoyable CD from beginning to end! I heard this CD at the newly opened About Time Barber Shop at 2485 De La Cruz Blvd. in Santa Clara! Visiting About Time Barber Shop is a delightful experience all its own! If you want a great haircut, great surroundings and great music, I would really recommend the About Time Barber Shop and ask them to put on Clemente! Rock on!
Rock n Roll
I actually heard a few tracks from a cd-rom my friend let me borrow. It is straight up rock w/ no bullsh*t in between. Guitars are powerful and the the lead parts fit. With all the crap that is "popular" now in the music world, this album delivers straight ahead rock w/ no BS. Awesome!!