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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Jeff Scott Soto - Eternal Faith

JSS03By the time he reached his mid-30’s, Jeff Scott Soto had already spent twenty years splitting his time between recording studios and concert stages around the world. Whether performing before an arena full of thousands of fans, or among peers at an intimate industry event, Soto has earned the respect of everyone within earshot of his voice. From heavy metal and funk to AOR and pop, Jeff has done it all.
In late 1984, Jeff Scott Soto answered an open call for audition tapes by former Alcatrazz guitarist Yngwie J. Malmsteen. The tape he sent was nothing to write home about, but in Jeff’s voice Yngwie imagined his songs, as they should be sung. Arrangements were made for Jeff to meet Yngwie, and to audition in person. During a three-week period of rehearsing and recording demos, Jeff won over Yngwie and his band, and his major label debut, ‘Yngwie J. Malmsteen’s Rising Force’, was released on Polydor that year. In 1985, Jeff returned to the recording studio to record Malmsteen’s ‘Marching Out’, which was also to feature Marcel Jacob, a key figure later in Soto’s recording career. The band hit the road to support the album. They made quite a stir in Japan;JSS02 the Tokyo concert was filmed and later released on video as ‘Chasing Yngwie: Live in Tokyo, ‘85’. But as quickly as it had all begun, it ended – Jeff was out of the band. Vocalist Mark Boals was brought in to finish out the tour, as well as to appear in the video for the hit song “I’ll See the Light Tonight” – lip syncing to Soto’s vocals! Ouch.

By May of 2004, Jeff and Neal had fleshed out the Soul SirkUS lineup with bassist Marco Mendoza (Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy) and Journey drummer Deen Castronovo. Jeff’s 2004 calendar filled up fast, and included a return to both the UK and South America, and for the first time Jeff extended his reach around the globe with a visit to Australia. December, 2004, saw the release of 'World Play', the debut CD by Soul SirkUS. January, 2005, saw a shuffle in the Soul SirkUS lineup as Castronovo exited the band and was replaced by Virgil Donati. Coinciding with the European release of a remixed version of 'World Play', Soul SirkUS hit the road in the Spring of 2005, embarking on an ambitious tour of North America, Europe and Scandinavia. (A DVD release of the band's electrifying show at the legendary Fillmore West is planned.) Around the same time, Talisman's long awaited double-DVD 'World's Best Kept Secret', and sister JSS05CD 'Five Men Live', saw release. Both the DVD and the CD go a long way toward documenting the Talisman legacy thus far. May, 2005, brought the bittersweet news that JSS bassist Gary Schutt was leaving the band. His replacement was announced as Chris McCarvill, formerly of Jeff's group Slam. Chris is slated to join Jeff on a European tour scheduled to kick off in August, 2005. Looking forward to the end of 2005 and the beginning of 2006, there are numerous intriguing prospects in the works. Jeff will spill the beans about those when the time is right.

Jeff Scott Soto – Live in Madrid 26/08/03


Tracking down covers and setlist at the moment


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