Steel Mill Retro Releases Springsteen Gems In: The Dead Sea Chronicles

Greasy Lake, 2005-10-29, by: Maureen Shames
Here?s my latest rockin? riddle:

What CD recently debuted with something old, something new, something borrowed and something very, very Br-u-u-u-ce?

The answer is? The Dead Sea Chronicles released by Steel Mill Retro in September.

I believe this CD is not just a gem, it is a diamond! There isn?t a bad tune in the batch, and it R-O-C-K -S unbelievably!

Legendary rock star Bruce Springsteen wrote these jangling jams that sometimes meander like the Grateful Dead, while oozing its creator--- the one and only-- Springsteen, who was quite young at that time in the ?60s.

Steel Mill Retro is onto something very big. They are on the brink of filling a void in the music industry. Where has all the classic rock gone?

Vini ?Maddog? Lopez knew just how to handle this rock and roll emergency.

Lopez realized he would like to devote his energies to recording the old Steel Mill songs. Once upon a time, Lopez and Springsteen were band mates together in the original Steel Mill group, but it only lasted one brief year beginning in 1969. Those Steel Mill songs were unique and rocked, according to Lopez.

So?Lopez popped the question to Springsteen. May I have and record the Steel Mill songs you wrote back in the late ?60s? Yes, replied Springsteen. This agreement went down in history at a Springsteen concert held at Giant Stadium in 2003. (Records show, Lopez was even invited and participated in drumming with the E Street Band on the famed song, Spirit In The Night that very evening.)

The Dead Sea Chronicles were born in September.

It is an apropos title for this CD because the music was hidden for decades below the rocks and mud where it aged to perfection, according to Lopez.

The CD gives a historical perspective of how far Lopez and Springsteen have come: a long, long way, baby!

The Dead Sea Chronicles is simply excellent and a refreshing must-hear for all classic rock fans, especially lovers of live music.

The band is comprised of seasoned musicians who breathe life into each and every song.

Maddog started the band in 2004. He infects the music with a highly energetic feeling given his awesome rich vocals and wild drumming. Lopez is especially incredible! He rocks!

And his history is interesting, as most fans know.

Lopez is the first drummer of the E Street Band who performed on a couple of Springsteen?s most magical albums of the ?70s, such as the highly acclaimed, Greetings From Asbury Park and The Wild, The Innocent and The E Street Shuffle.

Think Thunder Road, Born To Run and 4th of July Asbury Park Sandy!


One day, people will have the same reaction to Steel Mill Retro.

The band is comprised of John Luraschi, bass and vocals, Rick DeSarno, guitar and Bill Kacerek, keyboards.

After recording the first CD, DeSarno left the band for unknown reasons. He will be replaced by Bernie Brausewetter, a longtime musician in Asbury Park.

Richard Blackwell makes a guest appearance on the CD, and increases the positive energy vibes from red hot straight to sizzling. Blackwell and Lopez have both recorded on Springsteen?s early albums and their history and longtime friendship warm this CD. Blackwell plays some mean congas.

Though Springsteen does not make an appearance, he wrote all of the music with the exception of a clever song entitled, Asbury Park.

The entire CD is accessible on first listen, so fans are likely to enjoy it immediately and consider it a find. Each song is different on The Dead Sea Chronicles and this varied compilation is a delight to the ears.

Close your eyes and open your mind because the influences seem endless. Hints of the Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Steppenwolf and Tom Petty seem obvious.

The American Song is a stand-out tune that looks at the American experience during war and some of the lyrics seem like a nod to Dylan?s famed, Chimes of Freedom. The melody of this timeless classic is quite catchy.

Goin? Back To Georgia tells a simplistic story with a touch of the blues. It has an opening lick that is similar to the Grateful Dead tune, Franklin?s Tower. Maddog provides strong vocals here as always and the jams punctuate this great song.

The future is bright for Lopez and his band mates as they review the possibilities. Springsteen is allowing them to record and perform a total of 30 of his old Steel Mill songs, and a second CD is currently under consideration.

I want to personally thank The Boss because he showed some heart when he threw a proverbial bone to Maddog. We are hungry for this kind of rock! I think Springsteen realized Lopez was the right talent to successfully bring such ancient treasures alive.

Right on!

I predict The Dead Sea Chronicles will be the salt of the rock world. It is certainly a spa for the minds of all classic rock fans and it comes with my highest recommendation.

For a copy of Steel Mill Retro?s, The Dead Sea Chronicles contact: Vini Lopez at: