The keyboard trio, American Tears, is back with their vintage prog sound/approach (and lyrics that prove quite relevant in today’s headlines) on their fifth album overall, ‘White Flags’ – released on July 26th via Escape Music in association with 12:12 Records.

With influences from his earlier work, tipping an occasional hat to ELP, Moody Blues and even Deep Purple, this new album shows the daring, and pure emotion, that can be ripped out of those instruments. In fact, the band may be the only band on the planet playing exclusively keyboard rock! American Tears defies the term “generic” as this purely original music, and scathing lyrics, have few if any standards for comparison – as evidenced by such standout tracks as the nine minute-plus ‘Fire Down Below‘,  the epic title track, the synth/organ-heavy album opener, ‘Turn U On‘, and the space age ‘Waltz of the Angels‘. The album along with a bundle that includes American Tears t shirt can be purchased via this link – https://dekomusic.weebly.com/american-tears-sales.html.

American Tears released its first record, ‘Branded Bad‘, on Columbia Records in 1974 and its second, ‘Tear Gas‘, in 1975.  Formed in the fertile musical environment of Long Island, New York, the band was initially made up of Gary Sonny, on bass, Tommy Gunn on drums and Mark Mangold on keys and vocals. For the second record, Greg Baze took over the bass duties.  The band was a power keyboard trio, using keyboards of the day, Hammond organ, synths, mellotron, clavinet, electronic melodica and playing progressive music which showed the bands stellar musicianship.  Eclectic in their approach, their heartfelt music ranged from aggressive keyboard based extravaganzas to beautiful lush melodies circling pop of the day.

The band was fortunate to have toured major venues with such bands as Peter Frampton, J. Geils, Alvin Lee, Gentle Giant, Gary Wright, John McLaughlin and many others. They reached a wide audience and had an impressive show, topped off by Mangold doing handstands on his Hammond. Mark, surrounded by 12 keyboards, Tommy being almost invisible behind a huge battery of drums, with Gary, and later Greg, showing their bass virtuosity in front of a wall of amps, the band stressed musicianship and musicality, while exploring new sounds, and always pushing the envelope.

The third American Tears album, ‘Powerhouse‘, added the guitarist and singer, Craig Brooks, and the band evolved into the critically acclaimed band Touch…but that is another story. The fourth American Tears album ‘Hard Core‘ heralded the return by Mark to this keyboard based approach, using instruments only available in the 70’s when the band made its first foray.

And now, American Tears has offered arguably their best release yet, ‘White Flags‘ – proving that vintage prog sounds featuring keyboard and challenging song structures is still alive and well!

Track Listing:
1 Turn U On
2 Wake Up City
3 Hell Or High Water
4 Waltz Of The Angels
5 Fire Down Below
6 Give Me More
7 Love Is Love
8 Turn The Page (Blue Dog)
9 Pitch Black
10 Keep On Movin’
11 White Flags

 

Hurricane consisting of guitarist Robert Sarzo, bassist Tony Cavazo, drummer Mike Hansen and lead vocalist Chad Cancino has released a cover of the Queen / David Bowie classic track Under Pressure.

Hurricane  formed in the 1980s, originally featuring current Foreigner lead vocalist Kelly Hansen (vocals/rhythm guitar), Robert Sarzo (guitar), Tony Cavazo (bass), and Jay Schellen (drums). Cavazo and Sarzo are the younger brothers of Quiet Riot‘s Carlos Cavazo and Rudy Sarzo.

Hurricane released four albums: Take What You Want (1985), Over The Edge (1988), Slave To The Thrill (1990), and Liquifury (2001).

Since Hansen‘s departure from the band in 2003 and the group reforming back in 2010, the lead vocals have been handled by different singers consisting of Andrew Freeman (2010-2012), Jason Ames (2014-2015), Michael O’Mara (2016-2018) and now Chad Cancino.

The iconic group is scheduled to co-headline The Rainbow Bar and Grill Backyard Bash in West Hollywood, California, USA on Sunday, September 1, 2019 along with Steven Adler formerly of Guns N’ Roses.

Robert Sarzo states:

“I saw Queen at a very early age with all of the founding members – meaning Freddie Mercury. I always loved them from the first moment I heard any of their songs. When I owned the recording studio in Sherman Oaks, I was doing work with different movies creating music. This was one of the songs I was commissioned to do a cover of for a movie. It never got used because of licensing issues, but I did have Hurricane perform it with a different singer. So I’ve had it in my vault. And about a couple of years ago, I started listening to it again. And I said, You know what? I’m going to do some changes, I’m going to do some new vocals on it, and I added some guitars. I made it a little heavier and more like Hurricane – because the original approach was more of a cover. So I did the changes and I finished the production of it. I had Chad Cancino sing on it and I loved what he did to it. He really added that texture that I wanted to hear. You have to remember that it was Bowie and Freddie – two of the legends – and it was one of my favorite Queen songs. So I was very excited to work on it. When I listen to it, it puts a smile on my face for a couple of reasons – that I was able to release it as and I’ve had it in my vault for five years. It’s just been sitting there and I’m a fan of Queen and I wanted the public to hear it.”

In addition to being a founding member of Hurricane, Robert Sarzo is also active as the lead guitar for Orange County-based band Diane & The Deductibles. Robert Sarzo unleashes his legendary skill and verve to the band, bringing his years of experience and shred in such outfits as Geoff Tate’s Queensryche and Hurricane to the highly original Diane & The Deductibles sound.

A female fronted classic rock band that fans of Heart and Bonnie Riatt are sure to enjoy, Diane & The Deductibles has just unveiled their second album TWO. In addition to the trademark guitar work of Robert Sarzo, also included within the members of Diane & The Deductibles are Diane Adams on lead vocals and guitar, Cliff Rehrig (formerly of Air Supply) on bass, Keith Lynch (music director for the Bill Ward Band) on guitar, and Ronnie Ciago (formerly of Riverdogs and Brand X) on drums.

Diane & The Deductibles will be playing two shows supporting The Motels in Southern California. The dates and venues are:

October 18th – The Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, CA

October 19th – The Canyon Montclair in Montclair, CA

Discount tickets may be purchased here: www.DianeandTheDeductibles.com

Black Stone Cherry return with another riotous, rip roaring tribute to their blues heroes on ‘Black To Blues Volume 2‘, which will be released on October 18th via Mascot Label Group/Mascot Records.

The first instalment of the series, Black To Blues, was released in October 2017 and crashed straight into #1 in the Billboard Blues Chart and reached the top 30 UK album chart with a wave of praise from both the press and fans.

Following the reaction to the release Chris Robertson said; “We could have never dreamed of the reaction we got from “Black to Blues”. It was amazing to have such a positive reaction to our take on some of our biggest influences in music. Now we are back for round two and we have added our great friend Yates Mckendree on organ/keys and he also makes an appearance on guitar! We kept a couple artists in the line-up from last time and introduced a few others into the mix as well! We can’t wait for everyone to hear and feel how much fun we had recording this project!!”.

Since the last blues EP the band released their latest studio album ‘Family Tree’ (2018), which reached the Top 10 UK Album Chart (their 3rd in a row) and Billboard Top 10 Hard Rock Albums. The band spent the time following that touring Europe extensively; including a 2018 UK Arena Tour with Monster Truck, a mainstage sub-headline performance at Download Festival – under Guns ‘n Roses – plus performances at Graspop, Rock am Ring and stand out sets this summer at Wacken Open Air, a sold out Caerphilly Castle (Wales) and an explosive headline slot at Ramblin’ Man Fair. They have also criss-crossed their way around the US including shows with Gov’t Mule, Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown, Three Doors Down and Lynyrd Skynyrd. In amongst all of this, they still found time to record a hip-shaking new record and once again produced by the band themselves, they recorded it at Monocle Studios in Sulphur Well, KY.

The EP kicks off with Robertson introducing McKendree on the organ as they launch into Freddie King’s ‘Big Legged Woman.’ It’s wild, raucous and has their own unmistakeable groove woven through the song as has their unrelenting take on Howlin’ Wolf’s ‘Down In The Bottom’ – both legends covered on the previous record. Talking about King and Wolf, guitarist Ben Wells says; “Those are some of our absolute favourites. We always identify with those guys ‘cause they had grooves and riffs like we would put in our tunes. So we are naturally drawn to that.”

This is where the link between the blues and Black Stone Cherry weaves in so perfectly, the groove and heart of those early songs embody the essence and beginnings of Kentucky’s favourite rockers. “Muddy Waters, Freddie King, Howlin’ Wolf, and the like,” Wells explains, “we used to listen to that constantly growing up, and still do.  It’s what we grew up playing and learning together. It’s the DNA of what our band is. It’s not just us covering songs. It’s about doing our own version of each song.”

Fans that have seen the band grow over their ascent to arenas will have often seen their love for the blues with songs regularly making into the live set. This time around they bring in Robert Johnsons’ howling ‘Me And The Devil Blues’, the sultry slow burning ‘All Your Love (I Miss Loving)’ originally performed by Mississippi legend Otis Rush, and Elmore James classic ‘Early One Morning,’ one of the wildest stand out songs from the one the links between traditional Delta and Chicago blues.

The album closes with their take on ‘Death Letter Blues’ by Son House, which long-time fans will be familiar with from the band’s live set and also featured on 2014 live album ‘Thank You: Livin’ Live Birmingham‘.Talking about the reaction of the fans Wells enthuses; “It’s incredible!! The coolest part is hearing young fans say they never listened to these artists until we made them aware of them. That’s amazing for us!”

Once again, Black Stone Cherry stamp their own unmistakable personality on these deep cut classic. The torch of the blues has been passed on from generation to generation and Kentucky’s favourite sons are lighting that torch to be seen even further to pass on these gems.

The band will be coming back to Europe to support Alice Cooper in September as well as heading back to the US for shows with Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Lacs before heading over to Australia with Halestorm.

Track Listing:
1. Big Legged Woman
2. Me & The Devil Blues
3. All Your Love (I Miss Loving)
4. Down In The Bottom
5. Early One Morning
6. Death Letter Blues

Robert Randolph and the Family Band have just revealed the insatiably funky new song ‘Don’t Fight It‘ from their upcoming studio album, ‘Brighter Days, which is out this Friday via Provogue/Mascot Label Group.

The Family Band‘ is not just a name meant to evoke connections of togetherness. They are an actual family; the group that supports Randolph is anchored by his cousins, bassist Danyel Morgan and drummer Marcus Randolph and his sister, vocalist Lenesha Randolph.  The album was produced by Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Brandi Carlile, and Jason Isbell
 
Rolling Stone Magazine
voted Randolph as one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists and they have earned three Grammy nominations along their journey. It’s no wonder they have picked up an incredible list of artists who have featured on their albums such as; Eric Clapton, Dave Matthews, Ben Harper, Leon Russell, Doyle Bramhall II, Trombone Shorty, Carlos Santana and T-Bone Burnett.

A prolific touring schedule has seen them hit the road with; Gregory Porter, Carlos Santana, John Scofield, Gary Clark Jr, Trombone Shorty, Buddy Guy, Living Color, The Sheepdogs, Tedeshi Trucks and| Dave Matthews Band amongst others.

They have played Clapton’s Crossroad Festival at Maddison Square Garden three times as well as major festivals across Europe such as Hyde Park Calling (UK), BluesFest (UK), Cognac Blues (France), Festival de Jazz (France), Blues ‘n’ Jazz (Switzerland), RAWA Blues (Poland) and Randolph has also taken on the hugely popular Experience Hendrix Tour with Eric Johnson, Bootsy Collins, Robby Krieger, Taj Mahal and Steve Vai.

“When you think about Stax music and a lot of music from the 70s, especially like the Staples Singers, it was inspirational and you danced you had a good time. That’s what we really wanted to hone in on here: let’s sound good and have a natural good time that will bring listeners along. All of the music that we played in the beginning was what we would play in church. We just turned it into long jams,” says Randolph.
The band are currently on tour in the US, more info here: http://www.robertrandolph.net

After the success of debut single ‘My World‘, which saw them crack the US Top 40 Radio Charts and debut week of release at #2 behind Metallica! Three-piece Texan rockers Empty Trail have now released their next single and first for Golden Robot Records, ‘Lost‘.

Lost is a bonafide arena rock smash, with its epic chorus and brooding verses building to something best experienced live but still designed to blow up your stereo. Frontman Rick Lambert describes the song as a search for a missing piece. It may seem like anger, but it’s really loss. The Grief for something you can’t find anymore. It’s a cathartic release that everyone can relate to.

Listen to ‘Lost‘ now on Spotify

Having been groomed on the riffs of Metallica and Megadeth and the dark emotions of Soundgarden and Alice In Chains, Empty Trail distil the best parts of these most iconic heavy hitting bands while maintaining authenticity. Catchy as hell and even poppy at times, each song on Lost stands alone as well as complimenting the other tracks.

In a world where singles are once again at the forefront over albums, Empty Trail have got an arsenal of songs to appeal to everyone. From the strained emotions of opener ‘Wait Around‘, the driving groove of ‘Every Toll‘, to the slower, brooding ‘Reality‘ and the soaring stadium sounds of the EP’s anthemic title track, this is definitely all killer and no filler.

The ‘Lost‘ EP will be released on October 18!

Pre Order now!

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Review: Wicked Stone – Devil In Me (EP)

Factory Music (September 13th 2019)

Reviewer: Dan Mann

Okay let’s start by placing my cards on the table. Wicked Stone, yes I’m a fan!

I first saw them supporting RavenEye at Leo’s Red Lion and when I was booking bands to play the second Fibrofest, Wicked Stone instantly came to mind as a band we needed back at Leo’s.

It’s been a bit of a wait for new material since the band’s release of ‘Ain’t No Rest‘ in 2017, but with everyone working and with other commitments it’s more than understandable.

So, was it worth the wait, a wait that seems longer being an inpatient fan?

Two words……….damn right!

One thing I like about Wicked Stone‘s releases is they capture the full on intensity of the band’s live shows. Fat riffs and a pounding bass & drumline help propel the tracks deep inside your earlugs.

From the opening onslaught of ‘Couldn’t Take Anymore‘ to the last track on the EP, ‘Devil In Me‘ you don’t catch a breather, the infectious, foot stomping assault gives no quarter.

This is a ‘no brainer’, add ‘Devil In Me‘ to your music collection.

After receiving the promo came news of line up change. I hope the band manage to get onto that illusive next rung and get the attention they justly deserve.

 

The Wildhearts are proud to announce the release of the ‘Diagnosis‘ mini album on October 4th through Graphite Records. This six track mini album, features five brand new songs and is released as a limited edition special white vinyl with pale blue powder splatter 10’’ (to look like a pill) and as a regular black vinyl 10” and CD.  All 3 physical formats will also include an exclusive bespoke inner gatefold comic strip illustrated by the award winning Hunt Emerson, who last worked with the band on the Earth Vs’ cover and their classic logo.

The ‘Diagnosis‘ mini album follows the success of ‘Renaissance Men, their first full-length studio album in 10 years, which gave the band’s classic line up of Ginger, CJ, Ritchie and Danny, their highest chart entry since 1994’s ‘P.H.U.Q‘, when it debuted at number 11.

To coincide with the ‘Diagnosis‘ announcement The Wildhearts have unveiled a new video for ‘Renaissance Men‘:

Well fuck me we dropped our first new album in 10 years back in May and blow me down if we didn’t drop a humdinger of an album full of monster riffs and razor sweet melodies. Well, we’ve not only gone back in to the studio to record 5 new songs that will be released as the Diagnosis mini album in October, we’re hitting the road too. We have some great supports confirmed already, The Professionals and Janus Stark and I know there are some other amazing bands to be added to the rest of the tour.  

You’re going to love the new mini album and the surprises we have on there and the tour is going to be one you should not miss. You can’t keep a good band down.” – C.J Wildheart.

The lead track Diagnosis is about “mental health institutions and the medical health profession in this country, and about how it’s letting people down. How the system is broken, and how the suicide rate is not getting any less. 

Depression and mental illness isn’t an issue that attacks any one type of person. Whether you’re homeless or if you’re rich,  this illness is taking people out on a regular basis. The government has pulled most of the funding into mental health research, and as a result people are still ignorant about it.

Education is everything. And the more people talk about depression, the more need there’ll be for education, and the more people will want educating about an issue that doesn’t just affect the people suffering from it, but it affects everyone around them. 

And when someone is in a desperate position and their hope is taken away, then they’re at the mercy of an illness that wants them dead. There’s nothing more important in the world than education on mental health issues.” – Ginger Wildheart 

Track listing:

  1. Diagnosis.
  2. God Damn.
  3. A Song About Drinking.
  4. The First Time.
  5. That’s My Girl.
  6. LOCAC.

To pre-order the ‘Diagnosis‘ mini album go to: https://ffm.to/wildhearts-diagnosis

To coincide with the release of ‘Diagnosis‘, The Wildhearts’ play a10 date UK tour. This tour will start in Brighton at the Concorde 2 on Saturday 5th October and concludes at Booking Hall in Dover on Tuesday 22nd October.

Can’t wait to get back out on tour. I’m one of those people that could live in a tour bus” – Ginger Wildheart

Creatively brilliant, The Wildhearts play a distinctive fusion of hard rock, perfectly complimented by contemporary melodies. With a career spanning 30 years The Wildhearts helped change the landscape of British rock through the 90’s, and to this day they haven’t shown any sign of slowing down. Miss these shows at your peril.

The Wildhearts Renaissance Men tour part 2

with special guests The Professionals and Janus Stark on the shows marked *

October

Sat  5th  Brighton – Concorde 2 *

Sun  6th Reading – Sub 89 *

Mon 7th Chester – Live Rooms *

Tue 8th Hull – Welly *

Thur 10th  Holmfirth  – Picturedrome

Tue 15th  Cambridge – Junction

Wed 16th Bath – Komedia

Thur 17th  Southampton  – Engine Room

Mon 21st Wolverhampton – KK’s Steel Mill

Tue 22nd Dover  – Booking Hall

November

Fri 29th  Buckley – Tivoli

European shows 

October

Fri 11th Helsinki, Finland – Virgin Oil and Co.

Sat 12th Stockholm, Sweden – Fryhuset

Sun 13th Oslo, Norway  – Pa Bryn   Sold Out

Thu 24th Amsterdam, Netherlands – Q Factory

Fri 25th Essen, Germany – Turock

Sat – 26th Paris, France – Backstage

Sun 27th Ooestende, Belgium – Manuscript

November

Sat 30th Madrid, Spain – Sala

Tickets and ticket bundles with new album pre-orders are available at: https://www.omerch.eu/shop/thewildhearts

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Review: Hands Off Gretel, Humber Street Sesh 2019 August 2nd & 3rd August

Reviewer / Photographer: Paul Saripo

Hands Off Gretel have been touring extensively during festival season and with the foresight of Alen Raw, from Humbers BBC introducing, he talked his counterparts in south Yorkshire to get these guys up and over to Hull and play on the Humber Street Sesh, BBC Introducing Stage for 2019

Hands Off Gretel arrived in good time and mingled in the crowds soaking up the Sesh’s unique City Festival atmosphere before delivering a stela performance on the Introducing Stage.

A worthy crowd assembled to take delivery of Gretel’s alternate rock set, opening up with One Eyed Girl, it wasn’t long before the classic SASS and Milk showed just how lyrically strong and poignant the HOG quartet are.

The vocal range of Lauren draws you in with a smoothness that turns wildly into a growling rasping whip and back again with a backlash of calm.

A broken 6th string on Laurens guitar made for a quick change to a sparkly pink axe, it seemed at this point energy amongst the willing crowd turned into small pools of mosh, then up from the masses a crowd surfer emerged and was aloft for a few seconds then brought down back to safety by vigilant event staff.

Sean on lead makes playing guitars look deceptively easy, churning out the complexity with ease alongside Beckie on the Rickenbacker bass, who plays fast, precise and with personality that resonates with the hefty strings, whilst at the back Sam is on drums keeping the time and driving the beats out as sure as an artillery strike.

Review: Three Day Millionaires – Humber Street Sesh August 2nd & 3rd August 2019

Reviewer / photographer: Paul Saripo

Three Day Millionaires have played the Humber Street Sesh before, including headlining the almighty Rock Stage, however this year the three piece hard hitting Punk rock ’ n‘roll power house hit the Main Stage for 2019’s two day festival which takes over the City and far beyond.

It was the first time the Main Stage at the Humber street Sesh, has scheduled a punk band to have the signature stage of the festival and at a prime time on Saturday.

Speaking briefly with the lads before the set, it was clear these guys had a plan and oh boy did they deliver a stunning performance.

Not only did they pull in large crowds filling the Marina, they rocked, kicking out some serious energy to an enthusiastic and eclectic ordinance who may not have anticipated the thrust of power laden riffs of ‘The Snub’.

These guys play hard, tight and fast energy punk that do not hold anything back. Another first for the main stage at the Sesh, was a bust snare head that warranted a quick change out and on with the well-received onslaught of sheer head on punk delivered in true Hull spirit.

The Three Day Millionaires, announced that this maybe one of their final gigs as two of the trio are expectant fathers and will soon be taking time out with their respective families.

Time will tell what happens during this sabbatical, these guys have been around gigging for about 4 years with gigs up and down the Uk, in places such as Camden, Manchester, Leeds, Bristol and Lincoln to mention a few just this year alone as well as been part of the Hull’s rich musical family.

All photographs copywrite© Paul Saripo & Paul Saripo Photography and may not be used without express permission