1 of 3

With the onslaught of new bands and music coming, some older and established bands have found themselves at the wayside.

If an older band isn't the Rolling Stones or U2, chances are it won't find a lot of radio play. Even then, when was the last time a new Rolling Stones tune was heard on a station other than the ones in Satellite Radio?

And with the way radio has treated instrumental music in the past decade, it seems that the only way people can hear great contemporary instrumental composers is to rummage through their own personal collections.

Sometimes people forget how good a band or artist is because of the lack of radio play.

However, three recent DVD releases aim to get the audience back.

And before anyone disses these older musicians, they need to watch, listen and learn.

FIRST UP IS REO SPEEDWAGON. Yep, the band from the '70s who hit the charts with "Ridin' the Storm Out," "Keep On Lovin' You" and "Roll With the Changes" is still making albums and touring the world.

The Illinois-based rock band took time out to film a show for the Chicago-based "Soundstage" PBS program.

The band's "Live in the Heartland" episode is now on DVD, released by Koch Vision.

And the DVD contains the full concert that shows the band — lead singer Kevin Cronin, bassist Bruce Hall, keyboardist Neal Doughty, drummer Bryan "the Hitt Man" Hitt and guitarist Dave Amato — pushing it up a few notches with energetic performances of the aforementioned songs. The only complain is the fact that sometimes the camera ignores the musicians playing solos.

Also on the list is "Keep Pushin'," "Take It on the Run," "Time for Me to Fly" and "157 Riverside Avenue."

One highlight is "Golden Country," which Cronin said he originally wrote after the fall of Saigon, that still is pertinent today.

Among the older hits, the band throws in four songs from its most recent CD, "Find Your Way Home." And if those songs are any indication, the band still has the hooks, the chops and the energy to continue rocking in the future.

NEXT IS HEART. The band, formed in Seattle in the early 1970s and fronted by vocalist Ann Wilson and her guitarist/sister Nancy, has reinvented itself throughout its 30-year career.

With the "Soundstage" release "Heart Live," also released by Koch Vision, it's evident why the band has continued to rock.

Sure there have been lineup changes throughout the years, but the Wilson sisters have kept focused, leading the charge.

Familiar hits such as "Magic Man," "Straight On," "Even It Up," "Bebe Le Strange" and the breakthrough "Barracuda" are still as energetic as they were back in the day. The moody "Alone" and "Dog and Butterfly," performed along with Nancy's vocals on "These Dreams," are as heartfelt as ever.

And the band tips its hat to the Wilsons' main musical influence, Led Zeppelin, with renditions of "The Battle of Evermore," "Black Dog" and "Misty Mountain Hop."

Still, it's the new works from the most recent album, "Jupiter's Darling," that shows the group can still write and play good and empowering music.

"Oldest Story in the World," "The Perfect Goodbye," "Lost Angel," "Things," "Enough," "Make Me" and "Fallen Ones" are the tracks that represent "Jupiter's Darling."

DAVID ARKENSTONE made a name as one of the pioneers in New Age music some 20 years ago. His sweeping compositions — and even his name — bring to mind worlds of magic and fantasy. As of late, Arkenstone has found himself working with renowned musicians — multi-instrumentalist and Gemini Sun executive Nicholas Gunn, classical/jazz guitarist Johannes Linstead and pianist Loren Gold.

The supergroup has released a CD/DVD set called "Live!" on Gemini Sun Records. The audio on the CD is identical to the DVD set list, all the way down to the snippets of pre-recorded interviews scattered throughout the set. And the live banter by Gunn guides the audience through the sometimes otherworldly set list.

The musicians seem to find solace in their union as they perform compositions inspired by world-music, jazz and classical. Each gets his own solo in the spotlight and works well together in a study of inspiring interaction.

Works include the exotic and picturesque "Desert Crossing," "Earth Bones," "Elves' Chasm" and "Gypsy Camp."

Intimate pieces include the piano/flute highlighted "Falling" and the mystical "Earth Bones."

When the celebratory, Latin-inspired flash of "Djunga" closes the show, it's tempting to hit the repeat button. And when listeners do it, it's most satisfying.

E-mail: [email protected]