Rock Picks of the Week: Rival Sons, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Richie Kotzen, Michael Monroe, AWOLNATION
Up first is another great track from who are probably my favorite break-out band of the year, Rival Sons. It's been a great 2011 for the Los Angeles rockers, with the kick ass first title track from the album "Pressure and Time," and now the follow up, "All Over The Road". The guys are currently on a European tour after a successful stint in North America opening up for Evanescence. The rock Rival Sons bring harks back to a time before contrived, corporate rock. Rival Sons bring in your face, straight ahead, no bullshit Rock N' Roll, and I hope these guys keep progressing and break out in a major, major way. All music lovers need to know about Rival Sons.
The band is: Jay Buchanan (vocals), Scott Holiday (guitar), Robin Everhart (bass), Michael Miley (drums).
Jay recently said: “Just like in the last video, there was no green screen used for this one. We actually did drive a Cadillac through outer space with a bunch of hot, naked chicks in the backseat. I haven’t seen a final edit yet because they’re trying to lower it to at least an ‘R’ rating. We’ll see if that actually happens.”
It looks like the final edit was approved, and even without the nudity, the track and video kick ass!
The second single off the Red Hot Chili Peppers latest album "I’m With You," is "Monarchy Of Roses." This track has yet to grow on me as quickly as "Adventures Of Rain Dance Maggie", but the video is amazing. Directed by Marc Klasfeld, it is all in black and white, with the only splash of color coming from the roses mentioned in the title, that fly around on the screen. The vid was inspired by the work of artist Raymond Pettibon, who is the younger brother of Black Flag’s Greg Ginn and is known for his comic-book like scribblings and ambiguous text. This is a video that garners more than one viewing, as there is so much going on it's hard to catch it all in a single look.
The Chili Peps are on the road in te U.K., followed by Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and Spain. That carries them up to Dec. 17th. Expect an announcement of a full North American tour in early 2012 soon.
Former Poison and Mr. Big guitarist Richie Kotzen makes Rock Picks of the Week with the title from the new album "24 Hours.". It's Richie's 21st solo album, and showcases his reputation as one of the great modern day guitarists. Richie can play anything from rock, blues, jazz and fusion to pop and soul. Richie may be known most for his stints in Poison and Mr. Big here in America, but he has been a part of Jazz/Fusion groups like Vertu with Jazz legends Stanley Clarke and Lenny White, and his guitar mastery is embraced all over the world.
Kotzen is one of the few artists to be honored by Fender Guitar with not one, but two signature model guitars. The Kotzen Telecaster guitar has repeatedly been the #1 selling signature model guitar for Fender Japan. Cornford Amplification also honored Kotzen with his own signature series guitar amp (the RK 100). In 2009, Zoom released the Richie Kotzen Signature Edition effects pedal (the G2R), providing a diverse range of tonal solutions programmed by Kotzen himself.
Richie was recently the headliner at the Second Annual Humanity Thru Music fundraiser on Nov. 13 in benefit of the Fur & Feather Animal Sanctuary, a non-profit organization dedicated to the safety and welfare of animals.
Upcoming gigs include November 30th at 'Baked Potato' in Studio City, California, January 21st at the Key Club in Hollywood, California, (NAMM JAM 30 minute set 8PM) and January 22nd in Ramona, Ca. at Ramona Main Stage. Check out Richie live if you get the chance!
Congratulations to former Hanoi Rocks frontman Michael Monroe, as his album “Sensory Overdrive” won The Best Album of The Year award at the Classic Rock Awards last week. Other nominees included Foo Fighters, Motörhead and Whitesnake to name few.
The 7th Classic Rock Awards ceremony was hosted by the legendary Gene Simmons at Roundhouse in London. There were Deep Purple, Scorpions, Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister, Steel Panther, Jeff Beck, Queen’s Brian May, Jimmy Page, Pete Townshend, Chrissie Hynde and other big stars of the rock world all in attendance. The award was handed by Duff McKagan who praised the band, saying that Monroe deserves all the world’s attention.
After a busy year touring around the world, performing in numerous festivals and television programs, arranging a charity concert for the victims of the catastrophe in Japan and working on his own biography released in October, there is still more to come: a mini tour in the UK is kicking off November 24th, and the new video and single "Trick of The Wrist!"
Monroe has also been invited to Finland's annual President's Independence Day reception, set to take place on December 6. The event, which is one of the main features on the country's social calendar, is broadcast on television and many of Finland's best known politicians, executives, academics, artists and others who have had significant achievements during the year can be seen formally greeting the president before taking a twirl on the dance floor.
Commented Monroe: "[This is] a great honor and very exciting!" He added, "Like I've said before, I think our President is the coolest — she likes rock 'n' roll! Last time I met her was at the John Fogerty concert at the Pori Jazz Festival in Finland". The first reception at the president's palace was held in 1919.
Michael's latest album, "Sensory Overdrive", features guest appearances by Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister and three-time Grammy-winning country/folk singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams. The album was recorded in Los Angeles with legendary producer Jack Douglas (Aerosmith, John Lennon, Clutch, Slash's Snakepit, New York Dolls).
Monroe in June recruited Dregen (real name: Andreas Tyrone Svensson) of Swedish sleaze rockers Backyard Babies to be the guitarist of Monroe's solo band following the departure of Ginger (The Wildhearts).
"Trick Of The Wrist" is a great track from a legendary and underated rocker!
I have liked this track for quite awhile, and figured I better get it in the rock picks before the band's new track moves up the charts. AWOLNATION have had a great 2011, and are currently winding down the Fall Harvest Tour with Middle Class Rut and Twin Atlantic. The top 10 rock track "Sail" has taken the band to a new level. The song was written with a nod to the Styx song "Come Sail Away" as is evident in the video and lyrics, as vocalist and band leader Aaron Bruno talks of extraterrestrial beings coming for him. The track comes from AWOLNATION's debut album "Megalithic Symphony."
The name AWOLNATION is derived from Aaron Bruno's high school nickname. In an interview with Kristin Houser of the LA Music Blog, he stated that he "would leave without saying goodbye because it was just easier, so that's where the name Awol came from".
The current band lineup:
Aaron Bruno - Vocals
Christopher Thorn- Lead Guitar
David Amezcua - Bass guitar, Backing vocals
Hayden Scott - Drums
Check out the video, it's an interseting piece of film making: