top of page

Dokken "Still Rokken" on "When Heaven Comes Down"

Updated: Jan 30

Welcome back to the "Rock Blog" and after writing about it and talking about it we finally got to hear it the new album from "Dokken" arrived last week and judging by the 100K

plus people who listened to the interview and commented after seems most of you are loving it as well and perhaps surprising is that the track that most of you are picking as the album's best track is the melancholy laid-back acoustic final track "Santa Fe".

Don is nothing if not honest in talking about vocals, and let's be honest here who at 70

sounds as they did at 30, simple answer to that is no one so instead of trying to recreate the 80s we have a Dokken album and sound for now part of the credit for that apart goes to Bill Palmer the producer here's what Don had to say about Bill and the production including his vocal approach.

Don Dokken (19:08.686)

That's where I got lucky with Bill Palmer because Bill, which is interesting because Bill's not a rock guy.

He's more... he's a musician too and he's more like country and stuff like that. Folk kind of music. So doing the Dokken album was a whole new experience for him. So that was kind of a trip.

tim caple (19:57.163)

You worked yourself long and hard on these vocals and said that you actually did these three times before you got it right. I don't know who it was that said it, but I remember that great quote which was, perfection is unattainable, but if you chase it and put the work in, then you'll catch excellence.

Don Dokken (20:20.702)

Yeah, you have to chase it. And I was making some mistakes on the Heaven Comes Down record, where I was trying to sing like the fans expect me to, hitting all those really high notes and just what they know me for. But I just have to face reality that, you know,

My voice is not what it used to be, you know, I can't sing that high anymore. Some singers can. I mean, Ronnie James Dio the last album he did, he was already going through cancer treatment and they recorded that live album at Radio City Music Hall in New York. And he sounded just like he did 40 years ago. So some people are blessed, you know, but I, uh, I just, a lot of wear and tear in my vocal cords. So I had to, had to come to that thing.

Don Dokken (21:16.992)

It's wear and tear.

tim caple (21:18.606)

You said that this has got the classic Dokken Sound. In other words, these are great songs that should be blasting out of your car when you're driving down the highway.

Don Dokken (21:36.438)

absolutely, but you know, I'm just singing. I had to find my comfort spot, you know? Like I have nothing to prove anymore after all the records I've done. This will be number 13. So, you know, a lot of these bands, they put a record out every year. But like I said, I had a lot of problems and then the voice and you know, I had surgery on my voice 30 years ago. Had some polyps removed

like Klaus did, but I know where I can sing nice without being too husky. And I just had to realize, as Bill said to me, goes, just as long as you emote your sentiment in these songs, you don't have to sing it way up at the top of your range. What's the point? You're just straining yourself and you're raspy. And I said, yeah, you're right. So he was right. So I just found my sweet spot.

And that had a lot to do with the songs. I wrote them in keys that were off the scale, you know, comfortable keys, you know, uh, a and E the low lower registers.

So the proof is in the listening here is the track everyone is talking about "Santa Fe"

The full interview is available in the podcast or you can watch video clips here on the website as well.

Elsewhere this month some great live performances by a varied roster of performers and for all the doom-mongers preaching the death of rock music all I can say is perhaps it is time to get off the sofa and get out there so far then this month "SilverRoller" There's something timeless about that '70s rock vibe—it's got the groove, the attitude, and that undeniable swagger. Who's your go-to band when you need that good ol' rock and roll fix? well SilverRoller could be it, great name as well.

SilverRoller by the way were on the bill with DeWolff now some of you may know them some may not they have a big following around Europe hailing from Southern Netherlands they are described as a psychedelic southern rock band and whilst some of that is true it undersells what else is o offer here notably the soul, funk and blues infused in the sound and live the sound is huge the organ sound brings back memories of Deep Purple in the early days when audiences used to sit cross-legged on the floor just absorbing the music the band are back in the UK early next year and the US in the agenda as well and here's what you can expect ...

What did I tell you great band! and there is more because if you haven't seen the video yet then go to "Backstage Confidential" on the website and there is a video interview with the band prior to a live performance a week or so ago,

And finally on the live front those of you who saw Samantha Fish and Jesse Dayton had a great night which began with "The Commoners" set all I can say here is shame they didn't start 15 mins earlier as this is another band with a significant future, coming out of Toronto

the music is fizzing with big riffs lots of vocal harmonies and choruses that worm there way into your subconscious without you knowing there was a teaser for the new album due

in 2024 "Devil Teasin Me"

Samantha Fish and Jesse Dayton gave us one of the best gigs of the year unsurprising after they delivered one of the best albums of the year in "Death Wish Blues" Samantha Fish's vocals regale you with every emotion as she takes on blues, country, jazz, punk and rock, to go with the vocals Jesse Dayton whose playing is akin to a musical firework show exploding with creativity and originality as they both spin the blues into this proto version

of a genre that is no longer on life support and relying on its historical roots, whether he is tearing it up with fiery riffs or weaving intricate melodies to blend with Samantha's vocals you can just feel the passion they have in every note.

If you missed the show earlier in the year with Samantha then it is still available here on the website during the show we talk about the collaboration with Jesse and whether we can expect more in the future here is a clip from the interview .

What else is coming up well next on the show two 70's legends and I am not throwing around the term legend here between these 2 guests their respective ban have produced 9 Gold, 5 platinum and 1 2x Platinum albums in the US from 1969 through to 1978 they are Grand Funk Railroad and Foghat and we will be talking to founder members of both firstly Don Brewer who looks back on 50 years of "We're an American Band" and Roger Earl looks back on his 6 decade career and the new album "Sonic Mojo" which is being released this coming week.

Thats it for today but before we go do listen in to the recent show with Kim McAuliffe from Girlschool who recently released "WTF45" album which is as good as anything they have released in 3 decades we talked not only about the album but the origins of the band in the early 70's the friendship with Lemmy and the boys in Motorhead and headlining Reading Festival if you were growing up in the late 70's early 80's this will bring back many great memories and to give to a taste here's a few clips from the feature.

Thanks for stopping by and look forward to you joining us for the new show ..

Recent Posts

See All


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page