The epic battle months in the making finally went down last night, as Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chickenfoot) and Will Ferrell staged their 2014 drum-off on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Watch the battle with some surprise special guests below.
Back in February, Chad Smith was participating in a Reddit chat and was told he looked like Will Ferrell. That set off a verbal battle between the two that culminated with the drum-off last night.
So funny and such a great cause as the drum-off benefits two charities. Little Kids Rock, for Chad, the largest free instrumental music program in the U.S. public schools, having enriched the lives of more than 300,000 schoolchildren, as well as Cancer For College for Will, which provides financial aid to cancer survivors in the form of college scholarships. Go to the charities pages to find out more and support the cause buy purchase some official drum-off merch, including t-shirts and even a cowbell at these links : www.represent.com/drumoff or www.gumroad.com/drumoff
It was sure to be another night of great rock at the California Central Coast's newest venue, The Vina Robles Amphitheatre in Paso Robles with the arrival of the Four Decades of Rock tour from Sammy Hagar. Sammy always delivers, so you knew it was going to be a great night in wine country. The addition of openers and fellow California band Rival Sons just pushed the anticipation for the show up more than a few notches.
The retro quality rock sound of Rival Sons kicked off the night, and I was highly anticipating their set. The Long Beach based band brings an energy and vibe to their music that is felt, with the amazing musicianship of guitarist Scott Holiday, drummer Michael Miley and newest band addition and bass player David Beste. Beste has taken over the bass duties on the band's latest tour, which wrapped at this gig in Paso Robles. The band is rounded out by dynamic frontman Jay Buchanan, whose vocals, energy and sincerity shine through on every song the band performs. (click on photo to enlarge)
Rival Sons have made inroads all around the world, with their popularity in Europe and elsewhere exceeding that in their home country. That has to change, as Rival Sons are the real deal and deserve to be recognized on a massive scale here. The band delivered, exceeding all my expectations and I hope to see them many more times as we all watch their continued ascent in the rock world. I wish this band all the best and look forward to many years of fantastic music from them. For more Rival Sons photos give the Marshall of Rock facebook page a like at: https://www.facebook.com/marshallofrock
Sammy Hagar showed his generosity before the show to a local charity as he has on each stop of the current tour, with a contribution to the SLO County Food Bank. Then he showed his generosity on stage with a set that chronologically rocked from the music of Montrose through Sammy's career up to today.
Sammy and The Wabo's made their way through the early years of Sammy's amazing career with a medley of classic Montrose tracks, that set the tone and raised the energy level up with each track. That was followed by the early Sammy rocker 'Red,' and other solo mainstays.
The set continued with 5 Van Halen tracks, and the not previously billed addition of fellow Chickenfoot bandmate and bassist Michael Anthony. Anthony had been announced as appearing on other stops on this current tour, just not this one, so it was a rush to have him come out for the Van Halen era Sammy tracks.
The set followed with the Wabos party anthem 'Mas Tequila,' and encores of 'Eagle Fly,' followed by tracks from the upcoming new 'Sammy Hagar & Friends' album, due on September 24. For more Sammy Hagar photos from the show go to the Marshall of Rock Facebook page.
It was a fantastic night of music at the beautiful new Vina Robles Amphitheatre. For the upcoming shows in the remainder of the season check out www.vinaroblesamphitheatre.com
Sammy Hagar's set list:
1. Space Station #5/Rock Candy/Bad Motor Scooter (Montrose medley)
3. I Can't Drive 55
4. There's Only One Way To Rock
5. I'll Fall In Love Again
6. Three Lock Box
7. Right Now (Van Halen song)
8. Why Can't This Be Love (Van Halen song)
9. Best Of Both Worlds (Van Halen song)
10. When It's Love (Van Halen song)
11. Finish What Ya Started (Van Halen song)
12. Heavy Metal
13. Mas Tequila
14. Knockdown Dragout
15. Eagles Fly
16. Bad On Fords and Chevrolets
Joe Satriani has let his guitar do the talking for 40 plus years, but in April 2014, he’ll do the speaking in a new autobiography.
Titled 'Strange Beautiful Music: A Musical Memoir,' the book has been compiled through hours of new interviews between Satriani and co-author Jake Brown, and will delve into his long career as a solo artist, sideman and session player and member of CHICKENFOOT. Strange Beautiful Music is also set to include photos from Satriani’s personal archives, interviews with some of the many musicians and producers he’s worked with and a foreword written by Brian May of QUEEN.
Calling Satriani “arguably the Mozart of his generation,” Brown enthused in a press release, “Millions of guitar players around the world have been influenced by the super-human techniques he pioneered behind the six string, and this is the story behind those songs, from "Surfing With the Alien" to "Summer Song" and beyond, through 2013's Unstoppable Momentum.”
Added Satriani, “I’m excited for my fans, through this musical memoir, to get a deeper look inside my creative process in the studio and the stories behind the songs … I look forward to the book hitting shelves next year!”
Rock Picks of the Week: Pop Evil, Joe Satriani, Tom Keifer, Airbourne, Charm City Devils, Spiritual Beggars
"Trenches", the new single from Grand Rapids, Michigan rockers Pop Evil is up first in this edition of Rock Picks. The top 10 track comes from the band's album, "Onyx", which was just released on May 14th. The band is back with another album of kick ass rock ready for the masses, and looking to build on the base they already have after the success of the last album "War Of Angels" and the constant touring behind it.
According to the band, the message of "Trenches" applies to the world of art as well as the world of sports, the military, or anyone struggling with the economic downturn, like Pop Evil's home state of Michigan.
"It's about our battles," Pop Evil frontman Leigh Kakaty says. "Not focusing on the things we can't control, if we really want to be a band that stands the test of time we have to write the music that connects. We have to dig our way out of the trenches."
During a slump in the music industry, Pop Evil is living proof that you can still make a living following your dreams. "It's a matter of time before rock and roll is in the forefront again and we want to be part of that," Kakaty says.
Pop Evil have dealt with quite a bit of adversity in this cutthroat world of music and record labels, but have come through like champions and truly appreciate their place in the music business today. I appreciate what they do and wish them continued success as they embark on the next phase of their careers.
Joe Satriani is back with another album of guitar mastery called 'Unstoppable Momentum' and the first great track from it, 'A Door Into Summer.' One of the hardest working guitarists in music, after much of 2012 with Chickenfoot and touring with his G3 entity, Joe has recently released another stellar album full of great music.
Joe assembled a new studio band for the record, with Mike Keneally on keyboards, Chris Chaney on bass and Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, recording 16 tracks with engineer/producer Mike Frasier at Skywalker Sound. Joe will be on the road all summer playing tracks from the record and all of the best of his solo stuff with a touring band consisting of Mike Keneally on keys and guitar, Bryan Beller on bass, and Marco Minnemann on drums. Currently touring in Europe until mid June, the band will start a U.S. tour on August 29th in San Diego, California. Get all the dates here: www.satriani.com/road .
Cinderlla frontman Tom Keifer has released his solo effort 'The Way Life Goes', with 14 tracks showing a diversity musically, with organic, acoustic tracks to driving hard rock, blues, and country influences. Tom recently told HuffingtonPost.com, "The idea for a solo record started in the nineties when the band parted ways and we left Universal," he said. "There was just a changing of the guard in the industry at that time and I started thinking about a solo record. I wrote for it for many years and the songs just kept going on the pile and I never got around to actually making a record...We started cutting tracks for this record in 2003 and I went to the pile of songs that had been building up and picked some that I liked and I've just been working on it ever since. It was produced independently of a label, because the idea from the beginning was to just work and record until I was happy with it. I wrote with a lot of different people--my wife, Savannah, who's a great writer, co-wrote a lot of the songs on the record and also co-produced the record with me, and a good friend of ours, Chuck Turner who's a great engineer and producer. So from the beginning, the attitude was, 'Let's have fun and just make a great record and it'll be done when it's done.' Little did we know it'd be nine years later…it's done and we went through some crazy stuff and mixed and remixed and reworked things over and over and probably made a lot of mistakes along the way, but finally got it where we were all happy with it, so here it is."
The solid rocking track 'Solid Ground', has a modern Cinderella feel, continuing the evolution and showcasing the talents of an artist thriving and surviving in the world of music today. Tom is currently on the road with his solo band, making their way through the U.S., before wrapping up in Chicago on June 14th. Get all the dates and hear samples from the album on Tom's site here: www.tomkeifer.com
Australian rockers Airbourne are back and ready to 'Live It Up', from their new album 'Black Dog Barking', which will be released on May 21st. If you want party rock at its best, with adrenaline and attitude to spare, Airbourne will bring it.
The guys continue to make inroads in America, and that continues with the slot on the Rock Allegiance tour later this summer with Volbeat, HIM, and All That Remains. Before that, Airbourne will be making multiple major festival appearances across Europe and the UK before they return to Australia, including slots at Rock Im Park, Rock Am Ring, Sonisphere, Metalfest, Novarock and Download. The Rock Allegiance Tour kicks off Aug. 24th in Twin Lakes, WI. Get all the dates here: www.rockallegiance.com
Baltimore, Maryland's Charm City Devils have released another track and video from their fantastic 'SINS' album.
'Devil Is a Woman' showcases vocalist John Allen's vocals, along with the stellar work of Vic Karrera and Nick Kay on guitar, Anthony Arambula on bass, and Jason Heiser on Drums.
After touring behind the album for much of 2012 and the early part of 2013, the band have a few live dates coming up this summer before beginning work on their next album. It is going to be interesting to hear the next album from these super talented guys who deserve all the success they have gotten and more!
'No Money, No Love' is the new track from the new Heaven & Earth studio album 'Dig', which is out now on Quarto Valley Records. Bassist Chuck Wright (Quiet Riot, House of Lords, Giuffria), who has played with many, many illustrious artists over his career, says about the new album: "If you love rock like it used to be, you’ll love this album!" I love it and I think you will too. I am truly excited about the band and their future.
With many comparing the sound to classic Deep Purple, Rainbow and Paul Rodgers, the album surely has a classic 70's rock feel. Band leader and originator Stuart Smith was mentored by legendary Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, has played in bands with iconic ELP keyboardist Keith Emerson, and, more recently was the guitarist with an American version of 1970s glam-rockers The Sweet. Smith played in the Sweet with Heaven & Earth vocalist Joe Retta, who replaced Joe Lynn Turner in the current incarnation of the band. The band then found industry veteran Chuck Wright on bass, and were joined by Richie Onori on drums (who Smith played with while in a band with Keith Emerson), and Arlan Schierbaum on keyboards. Ed Roth will join the band on keys for their upcoming tour, as Schierbaum was only available for the recording of the album.
The band are currently rehearsing, with hopes to line up an opening slot for a major act this summer. The band had a fantastically produced showcase on April 10th in Los Angeles at the Henry Fonda Theater, with the video recap for your viewing pleasure below.
The CD was produced by Dave Jenkins, who's worked with everyone from Metallica to Tower Of Power, and features special guests Howard Leese (Heart, Paul Rodgers), Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi), and David Paich (Toto).
Stuart Smith says this about 'Dig': "I feel that with the crafting of the songs on this album, the incredible band we've put together, especially with powerhouse vocalist Joe Retta and the unwavering support of Quarto Valley Records' president, Bruce Quarto, we really have a shot at getting Heaven & Earth the attention it deserves. This album is by far, the best thing I have ever done in my life. All the pieces are in place. We're ready to make this our year."
I hope it is, as the music is just phenomenal!
'Dig' track listing:
2. No Money, No Love
3. I Don’t Know What Love Is
4. Man & Machine
5. House of Blues
6. Back In Anger
7. Waiting For The End Of The World
8. Sexual Insanity
9. Rock & Roll Does
10. A Day Like Today
11. Good Times
12. Live As One
Sweden's Spritual Beggars wrap up this weeks Rock Picks with 'Turn The Tide'. The latest lineup of the band features Arch Enemy guitarist Michael Amott and bassist Sharlee D'Angelo, along with vocalist Apollo Papathanasio (ex-Firewind) have released their eighth studio album, 'Earth Blues', via InsideOut Music.
In regards to the album cover, Amott said: "I had the idea for this artwork from my time as a child, seeing posters of two young lovers watching a romantic sunset on the beach — just your typical tacky bedroom art in the '70s, really... Also, growing up in what is now referred to with some nostalgia as the Atomic Age — the threat of nuclear war was always looming over our heads it seemed. I wanted to combine these two images of my youth in one paradoxical image and Per Wiberg of Hippograffix (and Spirtual Beggars keyboardist) really managed to capture the melancholic feeling perfectly. Earth Blues, indeed."
Regarding the making of "Earth Blues", Amott said: "We started the recording process of 'Earth Blues' with an eight-day-long session at Fat Guitar Studios (Sweden) with knob-twiddler Roberth Ekholm, a truly great dude who really knows how to capture a band jamming live, sadly a rare quality in recording engineers nowadays! We continued with some overdubs at various studios in Sweden, and it's all come together super easy this time. Sonically, I think this might be our finest hour yet. It's a raw, heavy and honest record."
Spiritual Beggars have yet to announce any plans for U.S. dates behind the latest album, but will be playing Mexico City on May 25th, and have a slot on the Hellfest Festival on June 23rd in Clisson, France.
Spiritual Beggars 2013 are:
Michael Amott (Arch Enemy, Carcass) - Guitar
Ludwig Witt (Firebird) - Drums
Per Wiberg (Opeth) - Keyboards
Sharlee D'Angelo (Arch Enemy, Mercyful Fate) - Bass
Apollo Papathanasio (Firewind) - Vocals
Happy New Year! Here's to a kick ass 2013 to all of you! I continue with my countdown of my Top 50 tracks of 2012 with numbers 25 to 1. Thanks to all these great artists for all the music in 2012, and thanks to YOU for finding your way to Marshall of Rock in 2012. We all appreciate it!
25. Halestorm - Love Bites (So Do I) - Lzzy Hale and Halestorm have firmly established themselves as a major force in American rock. Lzzy is in my opinion, one of the most dynamic and relatable vocalists in rock! The band's latest album 'The Strange Case Of...' is full of kick ass potential radio tracks, and the band is really a tight unit, hitting their full stride. 2012 kicked ass for the band, and 2013 looks to be even bigger for them!
24. Gary Clark Jr. - Ain't Messin' Around - This Austin, Texas guitarist is primed to take his cult following mainstream and become known as the next guitar legend. Playing shows with the Rolling Stones this year, being featured on 'Austin City Limits', and being part of the upcoming 'Crossroads Guitar Festival' again in 2013 with Eric Clapton and every other guitar legend imaginable will only add to his legend. Funky, bluesy and rocking, Gary Clark Jr. will be a name that has the potential to go down in history!
23. Adelitas Way - Criticize - These Las Vegas rockers had hit track after hit track from thier 'Homeschool Valedictorian' album, but this one had to be my favorite. Adelitas Way are a band who have done it right, with quality musicianship and songwriting, and the emotion delivering a track that grabbed me from the first listen. This band will continue on an upward arc!
22. Chevelle - Hats Off To The Bull - The second track on my Top 50 for 2012, 'Hats Off To The Bull' pulls no punches as it smacks you hard all the way through and never lets up. Chevelle had one hell of a 2012, and are primed to elevate their success in the future. What a kick ass track!
21. Rival Sons - Until The Sun Comes - The first entry into my Top 50 from Rival Sons, the Los Angeles based band that not many people realize are from L.A. 'Until The Sun Comes' is the second single from their second album 'Head Down' and continues the passionate retro rock vibe the band is already known for. 'Head Down' has already been released in Europe, and will soon be out in the U.S. Rival Sons have layed a solid base in the U.K. and Europe, and I know they are poised to duplicate that success in 2013 in the U.S., blowing away audiences and hopefully getting some radio airplay with their brand of rock.
20. Shinedown - Unity - The second Shinedown track on the Top 50, the vocals from Brent Smith on 'Unity' convey hope with an uplifing spirit. A great track from a great band!
19. The Black Keys - Gold On The Ceiling - Another band with their second track on my Top 50, this to me is the definitive Black Keys track of 2012. As much acclaim as Black Keys received in 2012, if they can continue on this level, they potentially could one day be one of the few current bands worthy of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame consideration.
18. Heart - Fanatic - Speaking of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, here is one of the latest inductees: Heart! Their latest album 'Fanatic' is quality from start to finish and leads off with this rocking title track. Ann & Nancy Wilson haven't lost anything vocally or musically over the years and this is proof. Looking forward to a 2013 of recognition for the great leaders of female rock! Heart rules!
17. Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators - Standing In The Sun - The second single from the 'Apocalyptic Love' album from Slash and his band, it is probably my second favorite song from the album as well! Slash has always done it right and delivered musically in his post Guns N' Roses career, but with Myles Kennedy on vocals and the other superior musicians in his latest band, he really has outdone himself. It's good to know that this current band will be all getting together to do another album in the future!
16. Aerosmith - Lover Alot - The second Aero track from 'Music From Another Dimension', 'Lover Alot' harks back to the early days of Aerosmith. I really like the production on the track from Jack Douglas, it's raw and gritty and I dig it!
15. Joe Bonamassa - Driving Toward The Daylight - My favorite Bonamassa track from his fantastic album with the same title. Joe continues to gain more and more fans every day, and for those that haven't been exposed to the emotion and feeling that Joe brings in his guitar playing and vocals, once you hear it, you will be hooked. Kevin Shirley's production work with Joe is a perfect combination.
14. Black Stone Cherry - Like I Roll - BSC have their second track in the Top 50 with 'Like I Roll.' Black Stone Cherry are true American Rock and Roll! Can't wait to see what's next for the band - they will be writing and getting ideas together for their next project in 2013.
13. Europe - Not Supposed To Sing The Blues - This isn't the 'Final Countdown' Europe you may remember. When I mentioned to others how great the new Europe is, they always mention 'Countown', but after hearing this fantastic track, their image of the band has changed. This was another of the tracks in 2012 that when I first heard it, it blew me away. I had to listen to it over and over. Joey Tempest is one of the most appreciative and humblest frontmen in rock, and the band deserves all the success it has received. Europe was recently named the #3 all time band in their native Sweden. The band played some shows in Europe in 2012, but hopefully 2013 will bring Europe to America for a tour. I want to see this track played live!
12. Black Country Communion - Confessor - BCC do it old-school, cranking out albums in succession in minimal time and delivering every time. Their was some discord between band members this year, as Glenn Hughes really wanted to tour behind BCC's latest album 'Afterglow,' even mentioning that if that didn't happen, this could be the last release from the band. I hope not. Guitarist Joe Bonamassa is committed to his solo career, which I understand, but time must be made to play live with what in my opinion is one of the best band's in the last 10 years. This is Rock!
11. Kill Devil Hill - Strange - The supergroup featuring drummer Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath, Dio, Heaven & Hell), bassist Rex Brown (Pantera, Down), guitarist Mark Zavon and lead vocalist Dewey Bragg (former Pissing Razors), bring hard rock back in a big way. Named after the town of Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, a location renowned from pirating days, they sound like hard rock pirates, attacking their music in a way few new band's can. Kill Devil Hill's self-titled debut album was released this past May, and I really felt they didn't get the acclaim or recognition they deserved with it. It will happen with their second album, which hopefully we will hear in 2013.
10. The Rolling Stones - Doom and Gloom - One of the two new tracks from The Rolling Stones 'Grrr!' greatest hits release, 'Doom and Gloom' impacts immediately. It is completely relevant in both message and musically. I wish the Stones would put out an entire new album of material, as by all indications from this track it would be the right time for it. Great track from the musical legends!
9. Pop Evil - Bosses Daughter - The West Michigan rockers have had many ups and downs in their musical career, but they are definitely ending 2012 on a high note, rocking at a gig in Las Vegas where they are sure to play this track from the 'War Of Angels' album. Co-written with Mick Mars of Motley Crue, 'Bosses Daughter' is a high energy kick ass rocker with a video to go along with it. Not only is Mars featured prominently in the clip, so is Playboy Playmate Jessa Hinton and other amazing beauties. This is the kind of video we really don't see anymore. It reminded me of the old MTV Headbanger's Ball days, where eye candy was a prerequisite for every clip. Thanks for bringing it back Pop Evil!
8. Chickenfoot - Different Devil - A cut from the Chickenfoot III album that garned a majority of its airplay in 2012, 'Different Devil' has feeling and emotion lyrically and musically. If you think there's someone better: RUN AWAY...Into the arms of something new...YOU CAN STAY...If you think he'll treat you better than I do...Turn around babe...I'll be right here waiting for you. Chickenfoot will be on hiatis for 2013, with Chad Smith fully committed to Red Hot Chili Peppers and Joe Satriani to solo gigs, but Sammy Hagar will be playing shows with the Wabos, and has talked of another possible project with bandmate and buddy Michael Anthony.
7. Foxy Shazam - I Like It - I went to 'The Church of Rock and Roll' and it was all good! This was another one of those 'first listen' cuts that you initially knew would do really well. These white boys obviously love big black asses, sing about it, and invite everyone else along for the party.
6. Redlight King - Comeback - An inspiring track with a message of redemption. Originally on the 'Avengers' soundtrack, this track is uplifting and gives hope, at least it did to me. I "Felt" this track this year. If you have had a bad 2012, don't worry in 2013 you too will make a 'Comeback.' Thanks Redlight King
5. Rival Sons - Face Of Light - The second Rival Sons track in my Top 50. 'Face Of Light' is from the Rival Sons album "Pressure In Time'. With a multitude of emotion, Jay Buchanan (vocals), Scott Holiday (guitar), Michael Miley (drums) and Robin Everhart (bass), bring music that takes you to a different place. Listen to the track with eyes closed first, then watch the video second. I can't say how glad I am that Rival Sons are making music in 2012 and beyond.
4. Charm City Devils - Man Of Constant Sorrow - Baltimore, Maryland's own Charm City Devils get the #4 spot on my Top 50 with their remake of the American folk song originally recorded by Dick Burnett. The song's popularity was rekindled with the Soggy Bottom Boys version of it from the 'O' Brother Where Art Thou' motion picture. Charm City Devils decided to record a rocked up version of the song, made it the first single from their 'Sins' album, and let the ass kicking begin! I can't wait for the next album from these talented guys.
3. Van Halen - Stay Frosty - My favorite track from the 'A Different Kind Of Truth' album, 'Stay Frosty' sounds to me like it should have been blasting out of radios this summer. It's a fun jam with awesome guitar licks from Eddie and the party filled vocals from David Lee Roth. There are many great tracks on 'A Different Kind Of Truth', but this one lands at #3 for me.
2. Rival Sons - Keep On Swinging - The first single from the 'Head Down' album, and the third track from Rival Sons in my Top 50. Labeled a Los Angeles band, they actual originate from Long Beach, California. Rival Sons bring a dynamic retro rock vibe without sounding dated or nostalgic! This nearly made it to #1, but three cuts in my Top 50 shows how legitimate Rival Sons are to me. They should be to you too!
1. Slash - You're A Lie - My #1 track of the year goes to Rock and Roll and Hollywood Walk of Famer Slash. Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators are primed to take on the rest of this decade with fury and authority. When I first heard Myles Kennedy would be recording an entire album with Slash, I knew it would be great because of their previous collaborations. That continued with 'You're A Lie', one kick ass track from a legend of rock and his great band! Congrats Slash!!