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
After a long delay which precipitated the release of an iTunes only 4 song E.P., ZZ Top will release their new full-length album titled 'La Futura' on Sept. 11th through American Recordings.
The album is said to be a return to the trademark raw sound of the band’s formative years via the electric blues/roots approach that typified its earliest work, while looking forward at the same time. ZZ Top’s last new studio album, 'Mescalero,' came out in 2003.
ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons produced the album along with Rick Rubin. Gibbons said in a press release, "We thought long and hard about what this album should be. We wanted to recall the directness of our early stuff but not turn our backs on contemporary technology. The result of this melding of the past and the present is, of course, ‘La Futura.’"
The Spanish album title, meanwhile, maintains an early band tradition, manifested in previous albums including including 'Tres Hombres' (1973), 'Fandango!' (1975), 'El Loco' (1981) and 'Degüello' (1979).
The first four tracks from the new album: 'I Gotsta Get Paid,' 'Chartreuse,' 'Consumption' and 'Over You' were part of the digital 4 track release last month called 'Texicali.' 'I Gotsta Get Paid' was performed by the band in an prmotional ad for Jeremiah Weed bourbon and malt beverages, and was inspired by the 1990’s underground Houston rap song '25 Lighters' by DJ DMD with Lil' Keke and Fat Pat.
The track 'Flyin' High' was originally unveiled as a still unfinished track on the Soyuz spacecraft at the time of its launch 13 months ago. It was requested by NASA astronaut Mike Fossum, a long-time ZZ Top fan who was on board—and knew of the recording from a conversation with the band’s bassist/vocalist Dusty Hill. Another album cut, 'It’s Too Easy Mañana,' is a cover of a song by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings.
ZZ Top, which is now in its 42nd year with the same line-up, are currently on a tour that will take them to Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, France, Switzerland and Norway. The band will return to the U.S. for a North American tour that kicks off in Bakersfield, CA. on August 14th. Look for a special rare performance at the Beacon Theatre in New York City on September 11th.
'La Futura' Track Listing:
1. I Gotsta Get Paid
4. Over You
5. Heartache in Blue
6. I Don’t Wanna Lose, Lose, You
7. Flyin’ High
8. It’s Too Easy Manana
9. Big Shiny Nine
10. Have a Little Mercy
Rock Picks of the Week Ketchup: Aerosmith, ZZ Top, L.A. Guns, The Offspring, Charm City Devils, Dead Sara
Here I am, still playing ketchup on my rock picks of the week, with Aerosmith kicking things off with their number one rock track 'Legendary Child.' The song was originally written and recorded in 1991 during the early sessions for the group's 1993 album 'Get A Grip' but had remained unreleased. I really like the new track, but it didn't hit me as hard as I hoped by the buildup to its release. It is a quality cut, but one that I think could have been taken to an even more rocking level. I know it is a radio track however, and must play to the masses as it toes the line between long time fans and a new generation being exposed to Aerosmith.
The group's upcoming studio effort, 'Music from Another Dimension!' was originaly scheduled for an August 28th release, but has now been pushed back to November 6th. Steven Tyler said of the delay, "Too many [other notable acts] are releasing [their new albums] those weeks. We don't wanna step on their release dates. So we said, 'You know what?! We've got the goods…ain't no doubt about it. We'll wait another couple of months.'"
Aerosmith's North American leg of the band's 'Global Warming' Tour with Cheap Trick is well underway having kicked off a couple of weeks ago in Minneapolis. Bass player Tom Hamilton recently told Billboard that fans attending the shows likely will get treated to a preview of the new album. "It's gonna be, like, a 14-song album, so it's got a lot of range. I think it just kind of reflects all the eras of our career, everything we've learned over the centuries -- the 70s era, just all-out riff rock songs, and then the later stuff that's more melodic, ballady stuff so that we can have girls in our audience. It's all there."
Hamilton reveals that while the initial plan was for Aerosmith not to perform any new tunes save for lead single "Legendary Child" on the trek, he says, "We're probably going to say 'To hell with it' and play 'em because they're fun. We're chomping at the bit to play a bunch of these live," while noting that having new material to introduce in concert "really makes you feel like you're walking out there with a loaded weapon."
Hamilton also shared some details about the upcoming album: "I think it just kind of reflects all the eras of our career, everything we've learned over the centuries," he maintains. "The 70s era, just all-out riff rock songs, and then the later stuff that's more melodic, ballady stuff so that we can have girls in our audience."
Hamilton says 'Music from Another Dimension!' will include "songs that have been written over the course of our lifetimes," as well as a rendition of the vintage R&B number 'Shakey Ground,' which was a 1975 hit for the Temptations though Aerosmith based its version on Etta James' rendition. "We needed extra songs for Japan and Europe," Hamilton said, "and we thought, 'OK, we're struggling to get all our own songs written. Maybe we should cover a couple of songs.' I forget who brought ('Shakey Ground') in, and we tried it out and in the course of recording we just had so much fun with it that we wanted to put it on the album. We like to show off our funk roots and show we can get people's butts shaking."
'Music From Another Dimension' track listing:
1. What Could Have Been Love
3. Street Jesus
4. Legendary Child
5. Oh Yeah
6. We All Fall Down
7. Another Last Goodbye
8. Out Go the Lights
9. Love Three Times a Day (Hello Goodbye)
11. Shakey Ground
12. Lover A Lot
13. Freedom Fighter
14. Up On The Mountain
Texas rock legends ZZ Top are back with their first new studio recordings in nine years, as the group have recently released the four-track teaser digital E.P. The four-song EP features all new tunes, and was produced by Rick Rubin, who also helmed the sessions for the band's as-yet-untitled new album, which is due out in late summer/early fall. Check out 'Consumption,' 'I Gotsta Get Paid' (which premiered last month in an ad campaign for Jeremiah Weed) and 'Chartreuse' below:
Listen to 'Chartreuse' on rollingstone.com here
'Texicali' is available at itunes and all digital retail outlets. ZZ Top just wrapped up their 'Gang of Outlaws' tour with 3 Doors Down and Gretchen Wilson on June 29th, and are now will play gigs in Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, France, Switzerland and Norway for during July. The band returns to the U.S. for headlining dates starting August 14th at Bakersfield's Fox Theater, followed by co-headlining dates later this summer with Lynyrd Skynryd.
L.A. Guns are back with their first new studio album in seven years, 'Hollywood Forever,' which features the awesome new track, 'You Better Not Love Me.' The track brings forth the best of that sleazy, dynamic L.A. Guns sound we all know and love. The album is the fourth L.A. Guns record produced by the legendary Andy Johns (Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Van Halen, and many more), and he definitely brings out the best in the boys on this one.
Former L.A. Guns member Kelly Nickels makes a special appearance on the album, playing bass on 'Venus Bomb' and providing backing vocals on other tracks. Phil Lewis, Steven Riley, Stacey Blades and Scott Griffith are poised to make this L.A. Guns offering a big success. Order the new album here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/preorder/hollywood-forever/id524457881
'Hollywood Forever' Track List:
You Better Not Love Me
Vine St. Shimmy
Dirty Black Night
Underneath The Sun
I Won’t Play
Requiem (Hollywood Forever)
Araña Negra (originally recorded by The Bicicletas)
L.A. Guns U.S. tour dates
Jul. 7 - Enfield , CT - 4th of July Town Celebration
Jul. 14 - Howland, ME - Sebois Stream Campgrounds/ MudRun Concert Series
Jul. 15 - Portland, ME - Asylum
Jul. 20 - Tuscon, AZ - AVA Ampitheater- Casino Del Sol (w/Warrant & Skid Row)
Jul. 21 - Tempe , AZ - 910 Live (w/Forming Stories, Ethan 103 & Sunset Strip)
Aug. 17 - Ramona, CA - Ramona Mainstage
Aug. 18 - Santa Ana, CA - Malone's
Aug. 24 - Englewood, NJ - Begen Performing Arts Center (w/Skid Row)
Aug. 25 - Amityville, NY - Ollies/Revolution (w/Skid Row)
Oct. 13 - Centerville, MD - Island Bay Day
Huntington Beach, CA. rockers The Offspring are up next in Rock Picks with their great new track 'Days Go By.' It's the title track from their new album, which was released on June 26th. The track has that distinct Offspring sound, with a party vibe video behind it. It's good to have the guys back in a big way, as this new track is already top 10 on multiple rock charts. The band will be hitting the road starting with a couple of Canadian dates starting July 14th, then will continue through the summer in North America, wrapped around a lone date in Russia on August 5th. Offspring will also be a part of the Sunset Strip Music Festival in Hollywood on August 18th, which this year pays tribute to Sunset Strip legends The Doors. Check out these interview clips with Dexter and Noodles. They'll give you all the lowdown on what's happening with the Offspring.
Offspring Tour Dates:
Jul. 14 - Quebec, CA - Festival d'ete International de Quebec
Jul. 15 - Sarnia, Canada - Bayfest
Jul. 17 - Cleveland, OH - House Of Blues
Jul. 18 - Columbus, OH - Columbus Commons
Jul. 20 - St. Louis, MO - Fair St. Louis
Jul. 21 - Milwuakee, WI - Eagles Ballroom
Jul. 23 - Indianapolis, IN - Egyptian Room at Old National Centre
Jul. 25 - Hampton Beach, NH - Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
Jul. 26 - Atlantic City, NJ - House Of Blues
Jul. 28 - Rochester, NY - Bonzai 2012 at Highland Bowl Amphitheatre
Jul. 29 - Syracuse, NY - WKRL's K-Rockathon
Aug. 5 - Anapa, Russia - Kubana Festival
Aug. 10 - Del Mar, CA - Del Mar Thoroughbred Club - Seaside Stage
Aug. 18 - West Hollywood, CA - Sunset Strip Music Festival
Aug. 31 - Detroit, MI - The Fillmore
Sep. 9 - Asbury Park, NJ - Stone Pony Summer Stage
Sep. 14 - Chicago, IL - Riot Fest
Sep. 16 - Charlotte, NC - Live Nation
Sep. 29 - Auburn, WA - KISW's Pain in the Grass
Baltimore, Maryland's Charm City Devils are up next with a cover of a track that is a rocking version of a traditional American folk song first recorded by Dick Burnett, a partially blind fiddler from Kentucky. It became well-known in the 2000 film 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?,' with that version by The Soggy Bottom Boys. 'Man Of Constant Sorrow'
Charm City Devils were originally formed in 2007 by singer/song writer and former SR-71 drummer John Allen. Besides Allen the band includes Anthony Arambula (bass), Jason Hesier (Drums), Victor Karrera (Guitar) and Nick Kay (Guitar). After signing with Eleven Seven Music, Mötley Crüe bassist and Eleven Seven Music chairman, Nikki Sixx, suggested the band's current name Charm City Devils. Their debut album 'Let's Rock-N-Roll' was released in 2009, and two singles from it, 'Let's Rock n' Roll (Endless Road)' and 'Best of the Worst' garnered airplay around the country. They were named best new rock band by iTunes for 2009. Now, the band will release their sophomore album "Sins" on new label Fat Lady Music this July 31st. The band worked with Grammy-winning producer Skidd Mills (Saving Abel, Egypt Central) on this new offering, and you can pre-order from Newbury Comics and get a limited autographed CD Booklet with your purchase!
While working on the new album, Charm City Devils were discussing classic songs and if they should incorporate something into their set. Frontman John Allen explains, "There were many ideas kicked around, but which one? 'Man of Constant Sorrow' came up and we decided to give it a try. It’s an incredibly powerful song, but it was a challenge to develop and arrange it in a way that captured the essence of the song but would also ROCK! We all loved the version from 'O Brother Where Art Thou?' Skidd and I built a foundation and with much tweaking and editing, and I think we delivered a great version of the song. The song transcends generations. It’s a timeless classic and it’s been around a long time. I’m excited to bring it to a whole new group of rock fans."
I'm looking forward to seeing these guys in San Luis Obispo on August 8th, and hope to lineup an interview as well.
Charm City Devil 'Sinner's Ball' Tour 2012:
Jul. 14 - Chesaning Showboat RockFest - Chesaning, MI
Jul. 16 - The Machine Shop - Flint, MI
Jul. 19 - L'Auberge Casino Resort - Lake Charles, LA
Jul. 20 - Club La Vela Gulfside Amphitheatre - Panama City Beach, FL
Jul. 21 - Carlisle Bike Fest - Carlisle, PA
Jul. 22 - Rams Head Live - Baltimore, MD
Jul. 25 - Theatre of Living Arts - Philadelphia, PA
Jul. 26 - Station 7 - Laurel, DE
Jul. 27 - David Ulrich City Courtyard - Lockport, NY
Jul. 29 - Bogart's - Cincinnati, OH
Jul. 31 - The Brick - Minneapolis, MN
Aug. 1 - Bourbon Theater - Lincoln, NE
Aug. 3 - The Black Sheep - Colorado Springs, CO
Aug. 5 - Boomer's Garden - Lewiston, ID
Aug. 7 - Modesto Centre Plaza - Modesto, CA
Aug. 8 - SLO Brewing Company - San Luis Obispo, CA
Aug. 10 - Senator Theatre - Chico, CA
Aug. 11 - Knitting Factory - Reno, NV
Aug. 13 - In the Venue - Salt Lake City, UT
Aug. 14 - Summit Music Hall - Denver, CO
Sep. 1 - Rock Allegiance 2012 - Hershey, PA
Sep. 22 - Pier Six Pavilion - Baltimore, MD
Oct. 13 - Island Bay Day Festival - Centreville, MD
John Allen taped a Musicians Opposed to Bullying PSA during their recent tour stop at Rocklahoma. Courtney Campbell of Earplugs Required conceived the idea for Musicians Opposed to Bulying to help spread a message of tolerance, understanding and inclusion. Get more info here: www.musiciansopposedtobullying.com
Los Angeles' own Dead Sara's are up next with their track 'Weatherman.' Fronted by singer Emily Armstrong and guitarist Siouxsie Medley, the band are carrying the torch for female fronted rock bands, which we need more of. The ladies have garnered praise from female rock legends including Jefferson Airplane singer Grace Slick, who was recently asked by the Wall Street Journal which female rock singers she admired, Slick namechecked Armstrong, citing her "strong, urgent sound."
Rounded out by also bassist Chris Null and drummer Sean Friday, Dead Sara are rocking on the Vans Warped tour through August 5th in Portland, Oregon. They are also slated to perform on the main stage at this years Sunset Strip Music Festival in Hollywood, CA. on August 13th. The festival honors Sunset Strip legends The Doors, so there is a possibility we will see Dead Sara covering a song from the L.A. rock legends.
Texas rock legends ZZ Top are back with their first new studio recordings in nine years, as the group have just released the four-track teaser digital E.P. The four-song EP features all new tunes, and was produced by Rick Rubin, who also helmed the sessions for the band's as-yet-untitled new album, which is due out in late sumer/early fall. Check out 'Consumption,' 'I Gotsta Get Paid' (which premiered last month in an ad campaign for Jeremiah Weed) and 'Chartreuse' below:
Listen to 'Chartreuse' on rollingstone.com here
'Texicali' is availablw at itunes and all digital retail outlets. ZZ Top continue their 'Gang of Outlaws' tour with 3 Doors Down and Gretchen Wilson until June 29th, then head to Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, France, Switzerland and Norway for shows during July. The band returns to the U.S. for headlining dates strating August 14th at Bakersfield's Fox Theater.