Hot News – Doogie White & La Paz: debut album out in February

Metal Mind Productions is proud to announce the release of an unique album in early 2012 – “Granite” by Doogie White & La Paz.

La Paz were formed in Lanarkshire, Scotland in the summer of 1984 by Chic McSherry (guitars), Doogie White (vocals) and Alex Carmichael (bass). They had all been playing in the local music scene for a number of years and had run across each other often enough but the time hadn’t been right to work together until then. At the first rehearsal together they hit it off immediately on a personal level – they also liked the same music and they had the same influences and heroes (Purple, Rainbow, Journey, Gary Moore) so they started to recruit other members to try to form a band and go do some gigs. They decided to add keyboards right away as, at that time, the “classic” guitar/keys combination had declined from favour and it immediately made them different from the other all-guitar bands that dominated the circuit at that time. Andy Mason joined the trio and he fitted in from the start, even though he was still at school when he joined and his middle-class parents were not at all happy about him hanging out with a bunch of rockers from the wrong side of the tracks. Drummers were always a problem and, over the life of the band, La Paz went through almost as many as Spinal Tap, although none of them died in bizarre gardening accidents or spontaneously combusted. Unquestionably the loudest and the most accomplished was/is their current drummer, Paul McManus.
La Paz played live regularly, sometimes playing up to a hundred gigs in a year. They played the world-famous Marquee Club in London as well as at some festivals in Milton Keynes and they were featured regularly in Kerrang! (Derek Oliver becoming a big fan of the band) and attracted interest from a number of UK and US record companies, finally agreeing terms with one of them for a three album deal. But it was not to be – for reasons which were never explained by the record label the deal fell through at the very last minute. These things happen in the music business but after five or six years of hard graft it was a real blow and sadly the band didn’t survive for very long after that. They did their last gig on 15th October 1988 and then Doogie moved to London to join Midnite Blue, Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, Cornerstone, Yngwie Malmsteen and now the mighty Tank. That was pretty much that for La Paz, apart from a single reunion gig about a year after the split and a brief appearance at a Glasgow rock club on Chic’s 40th birthday.
And then legendary DJ Tom Russell of 96.3 Rock Radio called Doogie and asked him if he would do some acoustic numbers at The Garage in Glasgow for Rock Radio’s Birthday Bash in January 2008. Doogie agreed and asked Chic to play guitar. It was a big ask after 20 years: almost 1000 people, Doogie singing alone and Chic with one flamenco guitar! “We had such a blast though and it woke up so many great memories in both of us that we decided to give it a go with the full band for my 50th birthday” said Chic.

Doogie White & La Paz – photo by Billy Hepburn_MusicPro (UK)

And so the full band started to rehearse and it was clear that they could still play a bit. Three dates were booked and Doogie flew in from London the night before the first show to rehearse with everyone for the first time. The band just gelled: just like old times and the gigs were a terrific success. And so the notion of re-recording some of the favourites from the set that had never had a proper production job was floated by Paul: “What if we just gave it a try…”

Chic: “Recording started in early 2011 and culminated in ‘Granite’, the album that we should have made back in the day. It has six of the live favourites:
Too Good To Lose
This Boy
Lesson in love
What Do You Say
Still In Love
as well as three brand new tracks:
Just For Today
Young And Restless
Shame The Devil”

Production was by Doogie and Chic with mixing and mastering by the renowned Rolf Munkes gave it a final injection of adrenalin.

“Granite” is an album with its roots in the past but its energy in the present. Metal Mind Productions will release “Granite” on 13th February 2012 in Europe and 6th March 2012 in USA (via MVD).

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