In a year of great classic, hard rock and heavy metal, it was tough to eliminate many worthy releases from the Marshall of Rock Top 30 albums of 2012, but after much deliberation, we have come up with what we think is a representation of quality rock for the year. See what you think:
30. Testament - Dark Roots of Earth
A fine return by the San Francisco bay area thrash giants. With guitar interaction between Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson, definitive vocals from Chuck Billy, bass from Greg Christian, and a reunion with Gene Hoglan, who last played drums for the band on their 1997 album 'Demonic,' Testament have delivered an album that stands up to all of their past releases. "Dark Roots of Earth' debuted at #12 on the Billboard 200, which was the band's highest debut in their history.
29. ZZ Top - La Futura
The band's first new album in 9 years brings back some true Texas blues rock ZZ Top style. Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, and Frank Beard were itching to get this album out after production delays with Rick Rubin, so they four new tracks: 'I Gotsta Get Paid,' 'Chartreuse,' 'Consumption,' and 'Over You' in June of 2012 as an iTunes-only collection titled 'Texicali.' The band's 15th studio album is truly "the future" for ZZ Top. Good to have the boys back.
28. Aranda - Stop The World
The Oklahoma City, Oklahoma band's second album 'Stop The World' yielded three charting tracks, 'One More Lie', 'Undone' and 'Satisfied.' Dameon Aranda, Gabe Aranda, Mike Walker and B Webb have created a sound that is original and lasting. I expect more from this band in the future, and look for them to become a mainstay on the rock charts.
27. Lynyrd Skynyrd - Last Of A Dyin' Breed
Lynyrd Skynyrd is on top of their game once again with their latest release, which is full of solid tracks. The 12th studio album from the band and first with bassist Johnny Colt (Black Crowes), also features additional guitar from the great John 5. Great songs like 'Homegrown,' 'Good Teacher, 'Ready To Fly,' and the title track, make this release a must for fans of southern rock and all rock fans in general.
26. Jack White - Blunderbuss
The always innovative and original Jack White has delivered an album that may very be his best work yet. His debut solo album was written, recorded and produced entirely by White in 2011. I appreciate everything White stands for, as he is a true music historian, has a plan for not only his Third Man Records, but everything he does musically. When promo copies of the album were distributed to reviewers and radio stations, they were sent as vinyl records to prevent leaks. A leader in today's world of music.
25. Overkill - The Electric Age
Band leaders and original members Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth (vocals) and D.D. Verni (bass) have crafted an epic return to glory with The 16th studio album from the New Jersey thrash legends. 'The Electric Age' lives up to the epic releases in the 80's from the band and has brought them back to prominence in the metal world. Overkill will be touring in early 2013 with Testament and Flotsam and Jetsam, bringing more exposure to this release that really deserves it.
24. Europe - Bag Of Bones
A great album from a band that sounds better than in their 80's heyday. Vocalist Joey Tempest has described Europe's 9th studio album as "a hardcore classic rock record with the blues knocking on the door," and I'd have to agree. The album debuted at #2 in their native Sweden, where they were recently named the #3 all time favorite band. 'Bag Of Bones' has not yet garnered the attention it deserves in the U.S., but hopefully that will change in 2013. Kevin Shirley produced, mixed and engineered this great album, and he must be my producer of the year, as he has at least two other albums on my Top 30.
23. KISS - Monster
The 20th and latest KISS studio album delivers musically, with the production from Paul Stanley and guitar work from Tommy Thayer as standouts. The band used old analog equipment instead of digital recording gear while recording 'Monster.' Gene Simmons said about the recording of 'Monster': "Technology is a seductive bitch, she will seduce you. You press this button, you don't have to do anything. But analog is the love of your life. You can push real hard and it always gives back. For the new album, the actual recording process was 24-track tape and an old Trident board. And as many tubes as possible. You need tubes, electricity and thick wood to make that thick sound." We are glad they did, as this is the best KISS album in years.
22. Stone Sour - House of Gold & Bones Part 1
Corey Taylor delivers with Part 1 of the two part House of Gold & Bones. Stone Sour can ride the line of serious hard rock to lyrically touching mid tempo tracks and pull it off like no other band can. Part II will be out in 2013, and I'm sure that one of rock's men of the year will keep his band innovative, original and relevant.
21. Dead Sara - Dead Sara
A compelling and engaging debut from the Los Angeles based band. Vocalist Emily Armstrong and her bandmates show on this album that they are a force that will be recognized in the world of rock and won't be ignored.
20. The Treatment - This Might Hurt
The U.K. boys remind me of a young Def Leppard, with some AC/DC and UFO thrown in. With great tracks like 'The Doctor,' 'Nothing To Lose But Our Mind', 'Shake The Mountain' and more, this album rocks from start to finish. Coming off some U.S. exposure as the openers on 'The Tour' with KISS and Motley Crue, these guys are ready and willing to take their career to the next level, and I think they will.
19. Soundgarden - King Animal
One of the seminal bands in the creation of grunge, Soundgarden broke up back in 1997, but reunited in 2010, making concert festival and some TV appearances, as well as releasing a special 7" on Black Friday Record Store Day. 2011 brought the live album 'Live On I-5', and that all let up to the recording and release of their 6th studio album in 2012. The album is heavy, the album is fast, the album is true Soundgarden music.
18. Gary Clark Jr. - Blak and Blu
Guitar great Gary Clark Jr. has released independent albums and E.P.'s before, but 2012 brought Clark's major label album debut, and a stunning piece of work it is. Clark's music has elements of blues, rock, funk, soul and country, and he says he is even influenced by jazz and hip hop. Already playing clubs in his hometown of Austin, Texas as a kid, he met promoter Clifford Antone, proprietor of the Austin music club Antone's. Antone's was the launching pad for fellow Texans Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughan. That propelled him to eventually sharing the stage with music greats B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger Buddy Guy, Steve Winwood, John Mayer, Sheryl Crow, Jeff Beck, ZZ Top, Doyle Bramhall II, Sheryl Crow and more. He has performed at the White House, and just last month was a part of the Rolling Stones New Jersey shows. The album is a true showcase of his talent and includes a version of the Jimi Hendrix classic 'Third Stone From The Sun'. Gary Clark Jr. is just starting his amazing ride to greatness.
17. Tremonti - All I Was
The first solo album from the Alter Bridge/Creed guitarist, it is what he wanted it to be - a pure metal album! Crunchy tracks, awesome riffs, and outstanding vocals from Tremonti himself. A must for all metal fans.
16. Pop Evil - War Of Angels
These Michigan rockers were a touring machine in 2012, playing many of the cuts from their fantastic album 'War Of Angels'. With four singles released from the record: 'Last Man Standing,' 'Monster You Made,' 'Bosses Daughter,' and 'Purple,' the band maximized the album's potential after delays caused by record company issues with Universal had kept it from it from it's initial release date. The guys moved onto a new label (eOne Music), who have backed the band and album to the fullest and the band is now primed to move into the future with even more success.
15. The Black Keys - El Camino
Akron, Ohio's Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney released their 7th studio album'El Camino' in December of 2011, and 2012 brought the brought massive sales and success for the release. They have etched out a dedicated and loyal following not only by their fans, but by critics, and it looks as though the Black Keys are going to be one of those bands that will be around in 10 to 15 years, as long as their material holds up. With #1 rock tracks 'Lonely Boy' and Gold On The Ceiling', as well as the top 5 cut 'Little Black Submarines,' it was hard to escape the band. 'El Camino' and 'Lonely Boy' were nominated in five categories for the 2013 Grammy Awards, where they are sure to win a few, if not all five they are nominated for.
14. Kill Devil Hill
Hard rock at it's best on the debut album from the band named after the small town of Kill Devil Hill, North Carolina. Drummer Vinny Appice, bassist Rex Brown, guitarist Mark Zavon and lead vocalist Dewey Bragg, bring the rock heavy and modern on a release that deserved more acclaim and recognition in the world of hard rock and metal. The band are planning their second release and I'm sure we'll see growth and more exposure for this great new hard rock band!
13. Heart - Fanatic
Ann & Nancy Wilson returned in 2012 with not only a box set 'Strange Euphoria,' but a fantastic album on new material called 'Fanatic.' Great songs, great hooks, and above all great guitar and vocals from the first ladies of rock. They are now Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, and are still putting out quality new music that will stand the test of time.
12. Halestorm - The Strange Case Of...
Halestorm put out an awesome album in 2012 that continued the growth and respect that the band have garnered from just about everyone in the hard rock world. Lzzy Hale is a dynamic frontwoman and musician, and will continue to lead Halestorm into the future as one of the great rock acts to be reckoned with.
11. Charm City Devils - SINS
Baltimore Maryland's own Charm City Devils released their 'SINS' album in January of 2012, and lead by singer/songwriter John Allen, the band crisscrossed the country, gaining new fans at every stop. Two singles have been released from the album so far, 'Man Of Constant Sorrow,' and the anthemic 'Unstoppable,' which is now a go to track at sports events nationwide. Hopefully Charm City Devils will release at least one more track from the album, as it is full of great tracks. I really like their brand of rock, and the fact that they are all about their fans. Congrats on a great 2012 to Charm City Devils!
10. Rush - Clockwork Angels
Rush returned with their highly anticipated album 'Clockwork Angels' in 2012, and it lived up to the expectations. Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart are the epitomy of rock musicianship and year after year. After initially releasing the album tracks 'Caravan' and 'BU2B' were to radio and for online digital purchase in June of 2010, and playing those tracks on the 'Time Machine' tour, the band finished up the album and have since released 'Headlong Flight' and 'The Wreckers' and subsequent singles. The album debuted at #1 in their home country of canada and at #2 in the U.S.
9. Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball
Springsteen released his 17th studio album in March of 2012, and it came at a time we needed it most. An idealistic and angry album, it addresses enonomic injustice, the lack of accountability he sees in government, the 'American Dream' and includes the late E Street band member Clarence Clemons with saxophone solos on 'Land of Hope and Dreams' and backing saxophone rhythms on the title track, which was originally written about the then-pending demolition of Giants Stadium in New Jersey from the stadium's point of view. Bruce is still bringing the protest message that is sorely needed from more musicians and artists.
8. Joe Bonamassa - Driving Toward The Daylight
An epic release from one of our generation's guitar virtuosos, it bleeds emotion and takes the listener on a fantastic musical journey. I really like Kevin Shirley's production work, who Bonamassa also worked with on the Black Country Communion album. A guitar masterpiece, that will be hard to top, but I know Joe will figure out how to do that.
7. Shinedown - Amaryllis
Shinedown had a lot to live up to after the success of their last album 'The Sound Of Madness' spawned 5 singles and spent an amazing 120 consecutive weeks on the Billboard 200, but it looks like they are doing it. 'Amaryllis' was released in March of 2012 and to date has yielded the hit tracks 'Bully,' 'Unity,' and 'Enemies.' The band may go five deep on the album, and if so, look for the title track and/or 'Miracle' to be the next singles. In November of 2012 vocalist Brent Smith announced that the band had already completed their next album, so we may get to hear that before the end of 2013. In February, Shinedown will get back on the road with Three days Grace and P.O.D. for one dynamic triple bill. It looks like 2013 is going to be just as successful as 2012 was for Jacksonville, Florida's Shinedown!
6. Aerosmith - Music From Another Dimension!
After some delay in the release date (originally in May) for 'Music From Another Dimension!', it was released this past November and peaked at #5 on the Billboard charts. While I am not a fan of all the tunes on the band's 15th studio album, there is enough of the old-school feel of early Aerosmith with production by Jack Douglas to satisfy. Expect more touring and tracks to be released in 2013.
5. Black Country Communion - Afterglow
Black Country Communion continue to crank out great rock in minimal time. When Glenn Hughes, Joe Bonamassa, Jason Bonham and Derek Sherinian come together in the studio with producer Kevin Shirley, there is a magic that is undeniable. Already the band's third studio album since their inception in 2009, we can hope it isn't their last. Glenn Hughes has continually talked of touring behind the releases, but with Joe Bonamassa's extensive spring/summer solo touring schedule every year and his reluctance to sacrifice that for BCC. Let's hope that all works itself out, and we get more great material and some touring from this fantastic rock band!
4. Led Zeppelin - Celebration Day
Led Zeppelin releases a live album of their 2007 reunion show at the O2 Arena in London as part of the Ahmed Ertegun tribute, you know it has to be on my list. I just wish Robert Plant would re-consider never playing more shows as Led Zeppelin. I know he can't hit all the high notes like he once could, but I don't care, I want to see him share the stage with Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones again. I guess this release will have to do.
3. Rival Sons - Head Down
The Long Beach, California based rockers return with their second album 'Head Down,' which continues the modern retro rocking vibe of their 'Pressure and Time' album. Already two singles in, the band continually sells out shows in Europe and hopefully 2013 will bring the band the level of success they deserve in their own country. One of my favorites, I just can't get enough of their music or their vibe.
2. Slash - Apocalyptic Love
Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators have firmy etched out their place in the world of rock. I knew by the collaborations on Slash's previous solo album that featured Myles on two cuts, that when it was announced that the 'Apocalyptic Love' album would feature Kennedy and the band, that it would kick ass. Upon first listen of my #1 track of the year 'You're A Lie,' it was obvious that this release would be special. I'm looking forward to more releases from Slash and his great bandmates!
1. Van Halen - A Different Kind Of Truth
A triumphant return to glory for most of the original lineup of Van Halen, with David Lee Roth's animated vocals, the Van Halen brothers contributing blistering guitar and drum work, and Wolfgang Van Halen more than holding his own on bass. I was like many others who wasn't completely feeling the first single 'Tattoo', but ironically it is probably the weakest track on the album, but it did go to #1 on the mainstream and classic rock charts. Standout tracks like 'Stay Frosty,' You and Your Blues,' 'China Town,' 'Bullethead,' and more, the album is worthy of #1 for 2012 on the Marshall of Rock Top 30 albums!!
Some albums that just missed my Top 30:
Joe Walsh - Analog Man
Red Hot Chili Peppers - I'm With You
Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Psychedelic Pill
Linkin Park - Living Things
Lita Ford - Living Like a Runaway
Theory Of A Deadman - The Truth Is
L.A. Guns - Hollywood Forever
The Cult - Choice Of Weapon
Chevelle - Hats Off To The Bull
Adler - Back From The Dead
Papa Roach - Time For Annihilation
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!!
Rock Picks of the Week: Alice In Chains, Gary Clark Jr., Heart, Papa Roach, Big Wreck, Lynyrd Skynyrd
Alice In Chains have released their new track 'Hollow' and it lead off on Rock Picks of the Week. The clip for the song includes photos fans have taken or created that were inspired by the track's lyrics after the band post lyrical phrases from the song via Instagram and asked fans to contribute.
The band has finished recording its fifth studio album and second without original vocalist Layne Staley. The new disc is the second from the band with vocalist/guitarist William Duvall and the follow up 2009's 'Black Gives Way To Blue.' There is no official release date yet for the new album, but it should be expected in the spring of 2013. 'Hollow’ will be available for purchase on iTunes beginning Jan. 8th.
Add me to the list giving glowing reviews to the great Gary Clark Jr. for not only his latest album, 'Blak and Blu,' but his career in general. The man is more than well on his way to being one of this generation's guitar greats and if you don't know his name now, you definetely will!. Many are comparing Austin, Texas' Clark Jr. to Jimi Hendrix. Clark Jr. just played with the Stones on their '50 and Counting' tour, and he will be joining many other legends on stage as his potential seems limitless right now. In fact, after his current European tour, Clark will be back in the states for Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival at New York's Madison Square Garden on Apr. 12 & 13. It is an amazing lineup of guitar talent, and Gary will be there! Congrats to him on all his accolades! Check out some of these amazing reviews:
"He consolidates Hendrix, Stevie Ray, '90's grunge, hip hop, soul and R&B into a cool mix that makes your jaw drop. He can out groove and out play any (one) on earth, but he's into songs, not showmanship"-
San Antonio Current
“When Gary Clark Jr's right hand hits the strings of his electric guitar, it's almost always a downstroke, as if he wants gravity on his side… the notes fall off his guitar like raindrops." -
This singer-guitarist may be the next Hendrix... churning his distorted strings into a euphoric moment of psychedelia" -
New York Times
"Austin resident Gary Clark Jr., who may be the city's next big music star flashed his blend of blues, soul and rock, mixing fluid, muscular guitar with rootsy bark or a falsetto croon" -
The Wall Street Journal
"Gary Clark Jr. a young force steeped in old sounds.... Ten years in the making, Gary Clark Jr., is about to become an overnight sensation"-
"Every generation has its chosen one and right now, this is Clark's time" -
I think he'll live up to it all! Check out his latest track 'Ain't Messin' Round.' I want Gary Clark Jr. to play my house party someday! Below that is the clip of Gary and John Mayer absolutely rocking with the Stones!
Heart have released their next track and video from their amazing 'Fanatic' album. Ann and Nancy Wilson grew up in a military family, and they pay tribute to all of our armed forces in the new clip for the song. Congrats to Ann & Nancy for their so well desrved and overdue induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. The ladies and their band changed rock n roll, been a positive for music in general, and have influenced generations of rockers, female and male!! Love you ladies!
Papa Roach have released their second track 'Where Did The Angels Go,' from the new album 'The Connection.' The Vacaville, California rockers are on the road in Europe with Stone Sour for the band's first extended tour since singer Jacoby Shaddix had surgery on his vocal cords in September. The band has overcome that scare and are at full force for the latest tour, which will continue on a co-headlining tour with Stone Sour in the U.S. statrting in early 2013. The tour kicks off on January 20th in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Canada's Big Wreck are up next with their track 'Albatross', which conveys feeling and emotion not found in many rock records anymore. Big Wreck are definite survivors of the music biz and in it for the love. The band was formed in 1994 at the esteemed Berklee College of Music in Boston, and subsequently signed to Atlantic Records. But after releasing two albums, 1997's 'In Loving Memory Of...' and 2001's 'The Pleasure and the Greed' albums, the four-piece band had a messy break up that was not amicable to say the least.
Frontman/guitarist Ian Thornley is considered one of Canada's top guitarists, and the band still gets significant airplay at rock radio there for tracks such as 'The Oaf (My Luck Is Wasted),' 'That Song' and 'Blown Wide Open.' Thorney carried on with his band 'Thornley', which was on Chad Kroeger's of Nickelback's 604 Records. Thorney released two albums, 2004's 'Come Again' and 2009's 'Tiny Pictures.' During that time he also shared the same management as Rush.
In late 2010, Thornley reconnected with Big Wreck's guitarist Brian Doherty and they toured Canada under the banner "An Evening with Thornley and Big Wreck." In 2011, Thornley left 604 and decided to put out albums via his management's label, Anthem. He, Doherty, guitarist Paula Neta, bassist Dave McMillan and session drummer Chris Henry (Brad Park is live drummer) entered the studio with Thornley producing alongside engineer/mixer Eric Ratz (Billy Talent, Cancer Bats). Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Death Angel) executive produced.
Under the name Big Wreck again, 'Albatross' was released in Canada this past March and it will come out in the U.S. on Rounder this Feb. 19th. A great track, that I hope brings the band the recognition they deserve in America.
Lynyrd Skynyrd have had great success with their latest album 'Last Of A Dyin' Breed', which is great from start to finish. The band have released a lyric video for 'Good Teacher', and it's our last rock pick of the week. The Skynyrd road machine will continue into 2013, with tour dates on the east coast kicking off on Jan. 15th at the Beacon Theater in New York City. Also look for The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson to re-air Lynyrd Skynyrd’s 'Last of a Dyin’ Breed' Performance on December 27th. Skynyrd....still kicking ass!!
Heart News: Sept. 16th CBS Sunday Morning and other TV appearances, Hollywood Walk of Fame Induction, ‘In The Studio: Little Queen’ streaming online (video)
It's a busy time for Heart's Ann and Nancy Wilson, as their fantastic new book 'Kicking & Dreaming: A Story Of Heart, Soul & Rock & Roll' will be released this week, and they have numerous TV appearances scheduled. You can pre-order the book now at amazon.com. Their new album 'Fanatic' will also be released on Oct. 2nd, and you can watch a new 'making of' video clip that was just posted below. On top of that, the rock legends will be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Wilson sisters' star will be unveiled in front of the Musician's Institute (6752 Hollywood Boulevard). "This location is a coveted spot for many Rock n' Rollers. and these ladies will join the likes of bands Journey and Motley Crue who also have stars on that property," said Ana Martinez, Producer of the Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremonies. "We are thrilled with this latest star addition as many young, aspiring female rockers look up to these legendary ladies of Rock n' Roll."
According to a press release: “Sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson first showed the world that women can rock when their band, Heart, storming the charts in the 70s with hits like ‘Crazy On You’, ‘Magic Man’, ‘Barracuda’, ‘Straight On’, and so many more. Not only did the Wilson sisters lead the band, they wrote the songs and played the instruments, too, making them the first women in rock to do so. Heart continued topping the charts through the 80s and 90s with huge hits like ‘These Dreams’, ‘Alone’, ‘What About Love’, ‘If Looks Could Kill’, ‘Never’, and a string of other hits that showcased the sisters’ enormous talents as musicians and singers. Nearly 35 years after their first big hit, Ann and Nancy Wilson were back in the Billboard Top 10 in 2010 with Heart’s Red Velvet Car album, and a Top 5 DVD Night At Sky Church.”
The Hollywood Walk Of Fame ceremony takes place September 25th. Guest speakers will include great friends Jerry Cantrell and Mike Inez of Alice In Chains, and actress Rita Wilson. Ann & Nancy will receive the 2,481st star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The ceremony takes place at 11:30AM PT and will be live streamed at www.WalkofFame.com.
Heart Mongers time to show Heart some love! Create a 30 second video congratulating Heart for their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Videos will be combined to create a special congratulatory video from the fans. Please send all videos to Heart@mileshighproductions.com. Hurry, because submission deadline is September 20th at 2pm PST.
Ann & Nancy have some TV apperances slated to promote the upcoming book and album including tomorrow (Sept. 16) on Sunday Morning on CBS, Sept. 18th on CBS This Morning, Sept. 29th on VH1 Classic's That Metal Show, and Sept. 30th on 'Heart Fanatic Live' from Caesars Collisseum on HD NET. Some great Heart TV programming! Set the DVR's!
Here's a great making of the 'Fanatic' video just posted by the band. Check it out!!
North American syndicated Rock radio show InTheStudio: The Stories Behind History's Greatest Rock Bands celebrates the 35th anniversary the classic million-seller HEART Little Queen. After scoring a Top 10 album with their indie debut Dreamboat Annie, Heart launched their follow up Little Queen in 1977 which demonstrated Heart's musical diversity, from hard rockers “Barracuda”, “Little Queen” and “Kick It Out” to acoustic numbers like “Love Alive” and “Dream of the Archer”. Ann and Nancy Wilson explain to show host Redbeard.
“You can't keep those folky roots away. Nancy and I are such folkies, It's really amazing. I say that in a good way.” (Nancy): “I think if there is anything we brought to Rock'n'Roll it is the blending of acoustic stylings with heavy rock.” Ann and Nancy Wilson also preview some of the personal stories from their forthcoming memoir, Dreaming and Kicking: a Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock & Roll, plus share new Heart music from their upcoming album Fanatic. Hear both parts of this special only available online at inthestudio.net
Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart release new autobiography this Tuesday, ‘Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul and Rock & Roll’
Ann & Nancy Wilson are legendary figures in the world of rock, who undoubtedly have some more than interesting stories to share of their over four decades in the music business. This Tuesday (Sept. 18) their book 'Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul and Rock & Roll' hits shelves (Harper Collins) and tells the stories behind their ascent in the world of rock, the inspiration and making of their classic tracks, and shares juicy details about some of the connections with other artists they've made over the years. Here's a full description and some of what you can expect to find in the book:
The mystery of "Magic Man." The wicked riff of "Barracuda." The sadness and beauty of "Alone." The raw energy of "Crazy On You." These songs, and so many more, are part of the fabric of American music. Heart, fronted by Ann and Nancy Wilson, has given fans everywhere classic, raw, and pure badass rock and roll for more than three decades. As the only sisters in rock who write their own music and play their own instruments, Ann and Nancy have always stood apart—certainly from their male counterparts but also from their female peers. By refusing to let themselves and their music be defined by their gender, and by never allowing their sexuality to overshadow their talent, the Wilson sisters have made their mark, and in the process paved the way for many of today's female artists.
In Kicking and Dreaming, Ann and Nancy, with the help of critically acclaimed and bestselling music biographer Charles R. Cross (Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain), recount a journey that has taken them from a gypsy-like life as the children of a globe-trotting Marine to the frozen back roads of Vancouver, where they got their start as a band, to the pinnacle of success—and sometimes excess. In these pages, readers will learn the truth about the relationship that inspired "Magic Man" and "Crazy On You," the turmoil of inter-band romances gone awry, the reality of life on the road as single women and then as mothers of small children, and the thrill of performing and in some cases partying with the likes of the Rolling Stones, Stevie Nicks, Van Halen, Def Leppard, and other rock legends. It has not always been an easy path. Ann struggled with and triumphed over a childhood stutter, body image, and alcoholism; Nancy suffered the pain and disappointment of fertility issues and a failed marriage but ultimately found love again and happiness as a mom. Through it all, the sisters drew from the strength of a family bond that trumps everything else, as told in this intimate, honest, and uniquely female take on the rock and roll life.
Throughout their career, Ann and Nancy have never found an answer to the question they are most frequently asked: What is it like to be a woman in rock and roll?" Kicking and Dreaming puts that question to bed, once and for all.
Rollingstone.com has posted some of the stories found in the book, and by all indications, it looks like it will be an amazing read:
During Ann's junior year in high school, their parents became aware that their daughters were regularly smoking pot. Having hit a bit of a counterculture experimental phase, one night after dinner, the Wilson parents suggested that the whole family toke together. Ann recalls it being rather embarrassing: "It wasn't the best pot, but I wasn't about to share my connection with my parents."
"Crazy On You" was inspired by Ann's first serious romance, with Michael Fischer, who would soon become Heart's iron-fisted manager. The pair shacked up on a hippie commune in Canada. Wilson writes that while the lyrics "were straight out of the scenes of wild sexuality that went on in the cottage," they were also about her feminist awakening and finding empowerment through her music.
During Heart's earliest incarnation they were primarily a cover band, cementing their reputation in the Vancouver club scene with their set of Led Zeppelin songs. In March 1975, Heart was onstage performing "Stairway to Heaven" when Zeppelin themselves walked in, fresh from their show at the Pacific Coliseum. Wilson writes that the foursome seemed oblivious, disappearing into the club's inner-sactum, where Jimmy Page was tended to by "his doctor" before promptly passing out.
When Nancy was on location with her then-husband (and former Rolling Stone scribe) Cameron Crowe while he was directing the 2001 bomb Vanilla Sky, the film's star, Tom Cruise, gave the couple a personally guided tour of Scientology's Celebrity Centre.
The early radio success of "Magic Man" was paid for with hookers and cocaine. The band's publicist would ferry the Wilson sisters to radio appearances where they would meet the DJ, do a station ID and then be told to go wait outside. According to Nancy, "When we were out of the way, he'd pass the DJ a gram of cocaine or the number of a hooker he'd lined up and say 'She's yours, on Heart.' It wasn't until years later that the Wilson sisters found out about the shady dealings that had gone on behind their backs.
The photo negative for a topless picture of Ann Wilson, taken surreptitiously by Annie Leibovitz, is rotting in a safe deposit box. When a shoot with the photographer for the band's Bebe Le Strange-era Rolling Stone cover went south, the band demanded the famed rock photographer destroy her copy; when she refused, Heart took her to court. The judge ordered the negative to be kept in a safe deposit box that could only be opened with two keys – one belonging to Wilson and the other to Leibovitz – insuring it would never see the light of day.
In the fall of 1982, Heart had a brush with the legendary ego of John Cougar Mellencamp. The young singer was opening the band's tour behind Private Audition, Heart's first album that wasn't an immediate million-seller, when Mellencamp's "Jack and Diane" went to number one. He came to the band with a proposition: "Seeing as your album is a turkey and mine is a hit, care to swap places?" The Wilson sisters declined, reminding him that the tour had sold out before he'd even been announced as the opening act.
While Heart was on tour with Van Halen, Alex and Eddie, in their own fumbling, wasted way, suggested a four-way-of-sorts between them. The sisters declined, but later that night, when Nancy learned that Eddie didn't own an acoustic guitar she was incredulous, and she gave him one of her own before sending him on his way. The next morning, after a night-long binge, he called her hotel room and serenaded her over the phone.
Order your copy of 'Kicking & Dreaming' at amazon.com
Ann & Nancy have the upcoming book signing appearances scheduled:
Sept. 17 - 7pm - Barnes & Noble(Union Square) - New York, NY
Sept. 18 - 7pm - Book Revue - Huntington, NY
Sept. 27 - 7pm - Barnes & Noble (The Grove) - Los Angeles, CA