I don't need a reason to talk to Jim Peterik! This guy is so cool, interesting and full of great stories about his life in music. Despite his many accomplishments like writing and co-writing two songs that will outlive all of us (Vehicle by Ides Of March and Eye Of The Tiger by Survivor), Jim is humble and still feels the passion to write, create and entertain. Yesterday, we had a great chat (that you will hear very soon) where we discussed his new project being a return to his past.
On August 16th, Ides Of March will celebrate 55 years together with their latest album, PLAY ON. Featuring 14 new songs and a re-release of their classic Vehicle, PLAY ON is a fun and lively listen that captures the many styles of the band's past, but with producer Fred Mollin they create a sound and an experience that isn't dated at all.
The album starts out with the title track, a song that welcomes the listener in and gets you ready for the ride. Swagger features Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad) and sounds like he and the band just plugged in and recorded... because according to Jim, that is what they did! There is sticky sweet pop like Song About Mary, a song that has become today's ear-worm. My favorite song on the album is Friends Like You, a beautiful 70's style slower one that features a soul grabbing horn solo from Mindi Abair. If you want straight ahead rockers you have a lot of those... but Rule Of Three, Too Far To Turn Around and She are traditional IOM songs that have a driving beat, great melodies and impressive horns.
There are a lot of guests on the album; the above mentioned and Bo Bice, Paul Shaffer, David Pack (Ambrosia), Cathy Richardson (Jefferson Starship), Tom Doody (Cryan' Shames) and one of my favorite guitarists, the legendary Joe Bonamassa. But never does the guest overshadow the song or have to cover up any weakness, they just make it more special especially Bonamassa on The Cover Up.
One of the most impressive things about the band and this album is the fact that the core/founding members of Ides Of March line-up are still together. Back in 1964, Jim Peterik (lead vocals, lead guitar and piano), Larry Millas (guitar, bass, and vocals), Bob Bergland (bass, saxophone, and vocals), and Mike Borch (drums and vocals) formed the Shon-Dels, the band that turned into Ides Of March. Over the past 30 years the band has been rounded out by Scott May (Hammond organ and vocals), Steve Eisen (woodwinds and percussion), Tim Bales (trumpet and Flugelhorn), and Henry Salgado (trombone). What band can claim that?
With so much music out there requiring something from the listener, this disc is the perfect pallet cleanser. If you are looking for great songs, inspired performances and a fun attitude and music that you can just put on and enjoy, PLAY ON is the perfect album.
Matman Rating: 4.5 out of 5
The bands official website - https://theidesofmarch.com/
Pre-order on Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07T3NQ9PH/
The Power Chords Podcast is a twice-monthly podcast celebrating rock and metal music of the '70s, '80s, '90s and beyond. The show is co-hosted by Matt Herring and Brian LeTendre.