Rock Picks of the Week: Alice In Chains, Gary Clark Jr., Heart, Papa Roach, Big Wreck, Lynyrd Skynyrd

Rock Picks of the Week: Alice In Chains, Gary Clark Jr., Heart, Papa Roach, Big Wreck, Lynyrd Skynyrd

Dec 21, 2012

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." -
Washington Post

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"-
Boston Globe

"Every generation has its chosen one and right now, this is Clark's time" -
Entertainment Weekly

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!!

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