Los Angeles - The RAZ Band have been toiling in the rock and roll vineyard for longer than you might think. Dedicated to the coolest place to ever grow up, the release of Madison Park introduces The RAZ Band to a wider mainstream audience and is their breakout album. Band leader Michael Raz Rescigno says: "I'm excited to get our newest album, 'Madison Park' out. It's a diverse collection of music from the last few years of our lives. With the tremendous production of band members Joey Molland and Joe Vitale, we are looking forward to sharing our music with the world."
The album is dedicated to the New Jersey town where Raz and his musical partner Hutch grew up. Raz recalls, "Madison Park was a great place to grow up and we have many happy memories from that time of our lives. With that in mind we created an album that when someone hears it for the first time, the music already feels familiar. Songs that make you smile. Music that you'll want to listen to over and over."
This is the first Raz album created with music legends Joey Molland (Badfinger) & Joe Vitale (Joe Walsh/Crosby, Stills & Nash/The Eagles) as full band members. While they've been recording together for years, this is the first album that was planned to be a RAZ Band album and not a RAZ album, hence, "The RAZ Band".
The catalyst that led to the Madison Park album was a RAZ show at The Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood. Their guest performers were Joey Molland,(Badfinger), Gary Duncan,(Quicksilver Messenger Service) & Carla Olson, (The Textones). Raz recalls, "Whenever Joey Molland came to LA we would record RAZ songs. This time we recorded Joey's great song, 'Love Me Do' from the amazing Badfinger album 'No Dice'. To add to the fun, Gary Duncan was able to join us for this recording session.
"When Joe Vitale came back to LA, RAZ went into the studio to record. "We recorded a new song that we wrote, '$1.50 For Your Love'. After cutting the back tracks with scratch vocals, Vitale said, 'This song is a hit song, and let me tell you, I know what a hit song is'. And of course he does, he co-wrote 'Rocky Mountain Way' with Joe Walsh.
"A couple days later we went back into the studio with Vitale and recorded another one of our favorite songs, 'Shoot 'Em Up'. This is from Joe Vitale's great album, 'Roller Coaster Weekend'.
"Fast forward a couple of years and we recorded many other songs I had been writing, including a very cool new version of 'Time Marches On' from the album ,'The Best of Los Angeles 1987'. We recorded some oldies that Hutch & I loved as kids. We recorded twenty five songs in all. 'Madison Park' shows many sides of the RAZ musical spectrum and it was made with lots of love and laughs and aha moments."
"I met the Raz almost 40 years ago and he's been knocking me out ever since, the truth is in the songs, I don't think he ever had an idea outside of that idea, so I started playing on his sessions like a lot of other people, we've done gigs separate and together for all those years and here we are with our first record deal, thanks Gonzo, hello world, will anything ever be the same? sure it will, 'cept you'll have the RAZ band to make sure." - Joey Molland
"Raz came to some of the Joe Walsh shows and my solo shows I did as far back as the early 70's....we've been friends ever since...both personally and musically! We've recorded a ton of GREAT Raz originals and yes...miracles can happen....in this century....A RECORD DEAL! Well, being a couple of devoted Beatles' fans, we have a similar sense of 'song'....the RAZ catalogue is massive, current and rockin'! They are ALL fun grooves and great lyrics!! It's GREAT to introduce the RAZ band to the world!" - J Vitale
The RAZ Band features Michael Raz Rescigno on vocals & guitar, Jeff Hutch Hutchinson on drums & vocals, Jim Manzo on bass and vocals, Joey Molland on guitar & vocals, and Joe Vitale on drums, keyboards & vocals.
These musicians have played on RAZ's albums, at RAZ shows or Raz has been a part of projects with them: Joey Molland (Badfinger), Joe Vitale ,(Joe Walsh, C,S,N & Y, Frampton, Eagles), Gary Duncan,(Quicksilver Messenger Service), Gilby Clarke (Guns & Roses), Stu Cook (Creedence Clearwater Revival/Revisited), Randy Castillo (Ozzy), Marc Droubey (Survivor), Rick Bozzo (Meatloaf, The Frost, Sabu), Carla Olson (The Textones, Mick Taylor, Gene Clark). Preston Epps (Bongo Rock, Bongos, bongos, bongos), Steve Gunner (Belinda Carlisle, Creedence Clearwater Revisted), Mark Healy (Joey Molland's Badfinger), Randy Anderson (Joey Molland's Badfinger), Joe Vitale Jr (solo artist), Gordon Copeley (Lita Ford Band), Ed Cassidy (Spirit), Buddy Miles, Billy Cox (Hendrix), Barry Goldberg & Harvey Mandel.
RAZ has opened for Badfinger, Missing Persons, Berlin, Marky Ramone, Bill Ward, Iron Butterfly and others. Raz co-wrote songs with Bobby Hayden that appear in the 2015 bio movie, "The Life, Blood & Rhythm of Randy Castillo".
Raz was musical director for the Universal Wrestling Federation professional wrestling league, and wrote theme songs for the wrestlers and music for the TV show.
What people have said about RAZ:
"Put RAZ on MTV & they would be immediately elevated to the rock-star position & would be on every FM station." - Airton Diniz Roadie Crew Magazine
"If you are looking for some good rock and roll, I suggest you check out RAZ. These guys play really good, Real rock music." - Mark Rasmussen, No Cover Magazine
"Jerseyan Raz Goes West, gets Fans." - Paul Bubny, The East Coast Rocker
"…from the depths of New Joisey, it's street-wise rocker RAZ!" - L.A. WEEKLY
"Nasty fun with rocking RAZ!" - Tom R Miller, Los Angeles Herald Examiner
"Punk That Goes Pop, RAZ rocks, with a nod to the Beatles and Creedence Clearwater Revival." - James E. Fowler, Los Angeles Times
"Let me tell ya, some good stuff here. I really enjoy RAZ!" - Kelly Cox, KLOX 95.5 FM L.A.
"RAZ is a band with unique artistic vision that has something to say!" - Tramp X-Press College Radio Consultant
"No Explanation could describe them!...They Rock, They Roll, They Rule!!" - Greg Calkins, Full Blast Studios
"The influence of Badfinger can also be seen on Rescigno's musical style: Bright and catchy Pop as pure as it comes." - Jay Lustig, The East Coast Rocker
"RAZ is moving up the charts…A RAZ is a RAZ is a RAZ!" - Variety Magazine
"It's been said that Los Angeles is the musical capital of the world-no arguments here. Well if you have any doubts, check out 'The Best of Los Angeles 1987, Produced by Michael Raz Rescigno'" - Kevin Coogan, Cashbox Magazine
In early 2016 Gonzo MultiMedia will be releasing "The Best of RAZ". Followed by the release of "Razfinger" in the spring. The RAZ Band with Joey Molland & Joe Vitale are planning to perform in England and elsewhere in 2016 and record a live CD and DVD.
In closing Raz has this to impart, "Live your life. If you truly believe it, you can accomplish whatever it is that you want to accomplish. Only you can stop you. Have fun, time marches on, so enjoy it. Even when it's hard to do, look for something uplifting, something positive. Try to be giving. Like John Lennon said, 'All You Need Is Love'."
$1.50 For Your Love 4:44
What Love Can Do 3:10
The Road of Love 3:43
Say Ya Love Me 3:01
Time Marches On 2:58
You're My Love 3:15
Searching Forever 3:41
You're The Magic 3:38
The Paths That We Take 5:19
Start Your Engines 3:27
You Don't Know A Thing 2:32
Barbara Operator 4:50
High School Reunion 2:40
Love Me Do 3:00
Shoot Em Up 3:25
When Dogs Fly South 5:13
For more information:
Progressive Rock & Progressive Metal - E-Zine