RockWired Voters Name Rick Shaffer November ARTIST OF THE MONTH

rockwiredartist-ofthemonthThe polls closed for RockWired’s November 2016 ARTIST OF THE MONTH campaign. Voters made their vote count and Rick Shaffer is RockWired’s 72nd ARTIST OF THE MONTH.

Back in 2011, guitarist Rick Shaffer perked our ears at RockWired with the release of his solo album “HIDDEN CHARMS” and it’s reliance on the very fuzzy, distorted guitar sounds that made Link Wray legendary, the swagger that made The Stones the big deal that they’ve been for fifty some odd years, and Shaffer’s purring vocals that recall Stooges-era Iggy Pop, and Velvet Underground-era Lou Reed. Trust us when we say that no charms were hidden on that album. It was all audible and the perfect antidote to much of the over-production that had come to typify a lot of rock music that year.

Hell, over-production still typifies much of the rock n roll that’s out there now and thank God for Shaffer’s album “OUTSIDE OF TIME.” Shaffer’s gritty rock ‘n roll approach is put to good use on material that speaks to life’s highs and lows (mostly lows) such as the stomping first single “Going Down Slow” accompanied by a mesmerizing music video.

∎October 31, 2016 — Brian Lush — RockWired.com

WATCH THE VIDEO ► http://www.tarockmusic.com/going_down_slow_video/



“Shake Appeal” by The Reds® Re-released Worldwide

SA_Front_600x600SHAKE APPEAL, by The Red®, originally released in 1984 by Sire Records, has been re-released by Tarock Music in the USA, and in all other worldwide territories by Warner Music Group.

Shake Appeal was the first album released by The Reds® after bass player, Jim Peters, and drummer, Tommy Geddes, left the band leaving founding members, Rick Shaffer and Bruce Cohen, to go forward as a duo.

Shake Appeal, is named after the track on the Raw Power album, recorded by one of their musical influences, Iggy Pop.  The results are best exemplified on tracks Laughing, Waiting For You, and the closer Beat Away which has a booming Joy Division feel propelled by Shaffer’s haunting vocals and disturbing lyrics.

Waiting For You was in the Tri-Star film, Band Of The Hand, as well as being included on the film soundtrack album, released by MCA Records.  Director, Michael Mann, used three tracks in his ground breaking show, Miami Vice, because Shake Appeal was then, and still is, the definitive sound and atmosphere of the 1980’s.

It’s time to listen to Shake Appeal again with today’s ears.







Tarock Music’s 2012 Review



HAPPY NEW YEAR!  We hope 2013 will be the best year ever for all of us.  Everyone at Tarock Music was busy throughout 2012.  We had lots of activity with ventures completed and started to pave the way into 2013, and following are a few of the highlights.

We started off the year with Rick Shaffer’s video, Buy And Sell, from his Hidden Charms album, being nominated for a Rock Wired Radio Music Award.

Universal Music Group digitally re-released two Reds albums – The Reds and Green With Envy.  As well, as soundtracks that Rick Shaffer and Bruce Cohen wrote songs and score for, Manhunter, directed by Michael Mann, and Band Of The Handdirected by Paul Michael Glaser.

Shaffer also released a new album, Idiot Flats, that immediately became Indie Music Critic’s Pick Of The Week, along with great reviews by Devon Jackson, James Moore, Chairman Ralph, Chris West, and lots more.  To read all the reviews visit our Tarock Music web site, and click on the Idiot Flats tab and sub-tabs at the top of the page.  A video of track 2, “One More Heartache,” was also released,  directed by David N. Donihue (Super Rad Motion Picture Group).  While British director, Peter McAdam, started work on a video of track 3, “Remember,” using his patented iCoda software, that will debut in 2013.

Director Steve Balderson (Dikenga Films) licensed Bruce Cohen’s instrumental, “Saturn Night,” for his film The Far Flung Star, that’s scheduled for release in 2013.  And, Pump Audio licensed  tracks from Cohen’s solo album, Two BC.

Director John Lawrence licensed Shaffer and Cohen’s tracks, “Big Town” and “Dark As Night,” for his feature film debut, Peloton.  The film was the official selection of the Heartland Film Festival, Napa Valley Film Festival, and Lucerne International Film Festival.

Tarock Music signed  with Los Angeles based Chris Brown and Jeff Johnson’s Natural Half Note Songs,  to license our catalog for TV and film.

Tarock Music joined the effort to save the United Kingdom’s 99-year-old Twickenham Film Studios.  The fight is still on and their petition currently has 4,866 signatures, with 5,000 needed ASAP.  Take a minute to support Twickenham by adding your name . . . Save Twickenham Studios Petition.   And, we continue to support Yoko and Sean Lennon’s Artist’s Against Fracking in New York.  You can still add your name to this ongoing cause that will eventually terribly affect all of us in every state if we don’t protest now.

We also steered you to noteworthy directors from the Once A Week Film Festival and we hope you enjoyed watching their unique indie films.

Now, we’re happily going forward into 2013 ready for new ventures and opportunities, and hope you’ll all be doing the same.


Super Rad Motion Picture Group was formed by writer, director, post production wiz David N. Donihue to create attention getting commercials, bold feature films, and inventive music videos.

Donihue’s unique eye for visuals and award winning knack for story allows him and his teammates at Super Rad to continue to churn out amazing work on reasonable budgets. Whether in need of a full production or simply post-services, Super Rad is here to turn visions into realities.

Tarock Music experienced Donihue’s expertise when he directed Rick Shaffer’s video, ONE MORE HEARTACHE, from his album, Idiot Flats.

Check out the Super Rad Motion Picture Group’s new site ► http://www.superradfilms.com/

Rick Shaffer’s Searchin’ For The Thing That’s Got No Name


Long story short: this record burns with a wicked swagger that most artists in today’s marketplace would feel hard-pressed to match, let alone top.
We need some kind of rock ‘n’ roll highwaymen to wipe away those social ills that the original ’77 punks hoped to blot from the landscape – yet continue to bubble over with a noxious fever that makes every cardboard ’80s Steeltown movie landscape seem like paradise, by comparison.

Double-digit unemployment?  Check.  A never-ending drought that turned the most well-manicured lawn to brown?  Double-check.  The serpentine wind of consumer debt used to gut the American Dream, as in, “Keep the plebs quiet through interest rates that go up, up and away?”  Triple-check . . . hell, the only missing ingredient is a royal jubilee (don’t worry, somebody’s probably got that scenario fleshed out in a drawer somewhere) . . . so this is what bowling alone got us, I guess.

With its repeated calls to flout conformity and convention, Idiot Flats makes the perfect soundscape for this social-Darwin-on-steroids-mess that we take for current culture.  When I interviewed Rick for this site in the fall of 2010, he’d just released his first solo album, Necessary Illusion, which moved me to joke with him: “When the Rolling Stones finally figure out how to get their ’64-era mojo back, it’s gonna sound like this stuff.”

Those tendencies grew even further pronounced on Rick’s second solo album, Hidden Charms, and burst gloriously to the fore here – wrapped around fuzz guitars, psychedelic drones and hill country blues, goosed along by shaker, or tambourine-driven backbeats (courtesy of Les Chisholm and the colorfully-named Boo Boo Spencer).  Except for a few extra bass bits from Leon Wingfield, Rick’s carrying the musical load here (guitar, bass, lead vocals and percussion).

And carry it, he does, from the opening bell of “Unforgiven Man,” a driving, ’60s-ish slice of Beat manifesto that throws down (“get deep inside his naked eyes, he’s got nothing to hide”), capped by some ad-libbed howls near the end: “Well, C’MON!  Well, C’MON!”  That’s the perfect setup for “One More Heartache,” whose spaghetti western twangs can’t mask its darker, freakbeat-tinged undercurrent, one born of convention-bustin’ aggression (“Well, it’s so bad/you don’t know/end up doing just what you’re told”).

Nostalgia-mongers don’t fare any better here on “Around The Bend,” which clangs along a fuzz-guitar-laden R&B groove (You keep on askin’ me about the good old days/But I’m sorry, man, they’re comin’ to an end). The same story goes for “Getting Low,” another declaration of intent (“Take it or leave it were words I often heard/Why are you so stressed and so disturbed?”) that marries its fuzzy chunk-a-chunk to some tastefully twangin’ guitar leads, plus a six-pack of attitude (“I ain’t wastin’ time, just waiting on you/I’m getting busy, just seein’ this through”).

That makes two more standouts in an album brimming with ’em, which is all down to Rick’s strengths as an arranger – and is truly the secret weapon here.  Just when you think it’s impossible to wring anymore mileage from this brew of ’60s garage, hill country blues and freak beat pysch, you get surprises like “Remember” – basically, an uptempo cocktail of the above-detailed elements, held together by a highly-mixed tambourine, one of many subtle textures put to good use here.

On “Idiot Flats,” Rick lets his Southwestern blueswailin’ side hang out, over an understated, mid−tempo funky bed of drums and tambourine – as he recalls his chance encounter, Marquee Moon-style, with an old, been-there-done-that sage who warns him about the ways of the straight world (“This world gets too unkind/If you don’t live/If you don’t do/If you think now, brother, like they want you to”), and its never-ending encroachments on your life, but not in this particular company, where no tune breaches the four-minute mark – a welcome alternative to this age of CD and DVD bloat.

I could go on forever, but you get the idea.  As I mentioned at the beginning, whether it’s the state of rock ‘n’ roll, or our increasingly sorry,  Soviet-style culture, we’re way overdue for some changes – and Idiot Flats will give you the conviction to lead that charge.  If you only know Rick from his New Wave pioneer era in The Reds®, you’ve heard half the story – the rest of it’s here, and the contents will make you a believer out of you in a hurry.  Here’s to the real hissing of summer lawns!

Highlights: Unforgiven Man, One More Heartache, Idiot Flats, Around The Bend, Getting Low.

Lowlights: None, dammit!

Rating: 5 out of 5

● Chairman Ralph – Ministry Of Truth

(Ralph Heibutzki is the author of “Unfinished Business: The Life & Times of Danny Gatton.”  His articles have appeared in Bass Player, DISCoveries, Goldmine, Guitar Player, Vintage Guitar, and is a regular contributor to the All Music Guide.)


Visit Canada’s ORANGE COUNTRY REVERB to enter their contest to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of RICK SHAFFER’S new album, IDIOT FLATS.