Rock Picks of The Week are back! It’s been a bit, so I’m bringing some tracks that have been out for a hot minute. First up is the latest track from Chevelle ‘Take Out The Gunman.’ It comes from their upcoming album ‘La Gargola,’ which was just released yesterday (Apr. 1). Brothers Pete Loeffler (lead vocals and guitar), Sam Loeffler (drums and percussion) along with Pete and Sam’s brother-in-law, Dean Bernardini bring another quality lead track that is already Top 5 on the Active Rock charts. After the success of their last album ‘Hats off to the Bull,’ Chevelle recorded their seventh album once again with Producer Joe Barresi. Another great track from Chevelle that looks destined to go to #1 on the Rock charts!
Chevelle will begin a Spring U.S. tour on Apr. 4 with special guests Middle Class Rut on select shows.
Apr. 4 – Indianapolis, IN – Egyptian Room
Apr. 5 – St. Louis, M) – The Pageant
Apr. 7 – Lincoln, NE – Bourbon Theatre
Apr. 8 – Springfield, MO – Gillioz Theatre
Apr. 10 – Houston, TX – Bayou Music Center
Apr. 12 – San Antonio, TX – St. Mary’s University
Apr. 14 – Oklahoma City, OK – Diamond Ballroom
Apr. 15 – Wichita, KS – The Cotillion
Apr. 17 – Chicago, IL – House of Blues
Apr. 19 – St. Paul, MN – Myth
Apr. 21 – Grand Rapids, MI – Orbit Room
Apr. 22 – Nashville, TN – Cannery Ballroom
Apr. 23 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore
Apr. 25 – Tampa, FL – 98 Rock Fest
Apr. 26 – Jacksonville, FL – Welcome to Rockville
May 17 – Columbus, OH – Rock on the Range
The Winery Dogs were my number one album for 2013, and they are set to release two new special versions of that same self-titled and self-produced debut album on April 15. ‘The Winery Dogs Special Edition’ will be comprised of two CDs. Disc 1 is the standard album and Disc 2 is the live ‘Unleashed In Japan 2013’, with 10 songs recorded live in Japan during their tour this past July, The track ‘Criminal,’ previously unavailable in the U.S., along with a 16-page booklet of live photos and lyrics will also be a part of the release.
‘Dog Treats: The Winery Dogs Deluxe Special Edition’ will be sold in a box resembling a box of dog treats, a DVD featuring four music videos with interview footage, demos from the original recording sessions, a studio diary written by Mike Portnoy, and some unique merchandise unavailable elsewhere.
‘Time Machine’ comes from the original and special versions of the album, and while the video has been out for some time, it deserves to be recognized and receive significant rock radio airplay. Request this track and this band on your local rock stations!
The Winery Dogs just got off the boat on the Monsters of Rock cruise and will continue to tour the U.S. through June, followed by a seven date European tour that includes a set at the Sonisphere Festival. The Winery Dog Dog Camp will follow all that on Jun. 21-25 in Big Indian, New York. Get all the details on the upcoming camp here. You can also look for The Winery Dogs to perform on The Arsenio Hall Show this June 23.
Zakk Wylde and Black Label Society are back with their stellar new track and video for ‘My Dying Time.’ It comes from the new album ‘Catacombs Of The Black Vatican,’ the first all new album from the band since ‘The Order of the Black’ was released in 2009. The new album will be out on April 8.
Zakk and the band have a full slate ahead in 2014, with the project already off to a great start with this well received track. There are a variety of different bundles behind the album here: www.shop.blacklabelsociety.com. Watch for BLS headlining the Revolver Golden Gods Tour starting April 16 in Seattle with special guests Down, Devil You Know and Butcher Babies. Zakk will be presenting the Dimebag Darrel “Best Guitarist” Award along side new label-mate and 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Ace Frehley. The award show will take place on April 23 at Club Nokia in Los Angeles.
BLS – Revolver Golden Gods Tour
Apr. 16 – Seattle, WA – Showbox Sodo
Apr. 17 – Portland, OR – Roseland
Apr. 18 – Boise, ID – Knitting Factory Concert House
Apr. 19 – Missoula, MT – Wilma Theater
Apr. 21 – Billings, MT – Shrine Auditorium
Apr. 25 – Milwaukee, WI – The Rave
Apr. 26 – Nashville, TN – Marathon Music Works
Apr. 29 – Ybor City, FL (Tampa) – The Ritz
Apr. 30 – Lake Buena Vista, FL – House of Blues
May 2 – Birmingham, AL – Iron City
May 4 – Silver Spring, MD – Fillmore
May 5 – Clifton Park, NY (Albany) – Northern Lights
May 7 – Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory
May 8 – Worcester, MA – The Palladium
May 9 – Sayreville, NJ – Starland Ballroom
May 10 – New York, NY – Best Buy Theater
May 12 – Norfolk, VA – Norva
May 13 – Stroudsburg, PA – Sherman Theater
May 15 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE
May 17 – Ft. Wayne, IN – Piere’s
May 19 – Sioux Falls, SD – The District
May 20 – Chicago, IL – House of Blues
May 21 – St. Paul, MN (Minneapolis) – Myth
May 23 – Grand Prairie, TX (Dallas) – Verizon Theater
May 27 – New Orleans, LA – House of Blues
May 28 – Houston, TX – House of Blues
Jun. 1 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theater
Jun. 2 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex — Rockwell
Jun. 4 – Tempe, AZ – Marquee Theater
Jun. 5 – Las Vegas, NV – Brooklyn Bowl
Jun. 6 – San Francisco, CA – Regency Ballroom
Jun. 7 – Los Angeles, CA – Fonda Theater
Blackberry Smoke – ‘Shakin’ Hands With The Holy Ghost’
Atlanta, Georgia’s own Blackberry Smoke have been around for over 13 years now perfecting their brand of country-rock and doing it right. Their latest album, ‘The Whippoorwill’ was recorded in just five days in an old Methodist church in Ashville, North Carolina and is full of great southern vibed rock and country tinged tracks. The band are signed to Zac Brown Band’s record label Southern Ground, and have done extensive touring supporting the Zac Brown Band. They are currently on a headlining U.S. tour that will take them into August. The U.S. tour includes stops at the Bonaroo Festival in June, and The Peach Music Festival in August. They’ll head over to Europe in October and November, before wrapping up their touring year on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Simple Man Cruise from Nov. 16-20.
Blackberry Smoke shot a video for their track ‘Shakin’ Hands With The Holy Ghost’ in London last year, after playing the Classic Rock Awards after-show party. Watch the kick ass results. These guys are the real deal and deserve to break big in the U.S.
Jake E. Lee’s Red Dragon Cartel – ‘Deceived’
It is good to have Jake E. Lee back. Let me repeat…it is good to have Jake E. Lee back. His new project’s self-titled debut album has been out for a bit on Frontiers Records, and it really is a quality collection with many different guest vocalists as well as main man DJ Smith.
Big-name guests on the album like Paul Di’Anno (ex-Iron Maiden), Rex Brown (Kill Devil Hill, ex-Pantera), Todd Kearns and Brent Fitz (Slash), Scott Reeder (ex-Kyuss), Maria Brink (In This Moment), Jeremy Spencer (Five Finger Death Punch), Robin Zander & Tom Petersson (Cheap Trick) and Sass Jordan (SUN) help make it an interesting album to listen to, but it comes down to the core band. Bassist Ronnie Mancuso and drummer Jonas Fairley join Jake and Smith on this pick, and this may just be the best song on the album.
Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band – ‘Just Like Fire Would’
One of the better tracks on the ‘High Hopes’ album from the Boss, who will be inducting his own E Street Band into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next week. The album was panned a bit by critics for not being a completely evolved project, as most of the tracks were left over from his previous album. The addition of Tom Morello to the band has added a new dynamic, but I would to hear what more new music with his involvement will sound like, as I hope he can bring Bruce a little more rage with the next project. Morello will also be a part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, as he has been tapped to induct KISS.
Bruce and The E Street Band will be back on the road in the U.S. starting April 6 in Dallas. The tour will continue through May and include a stop at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on May 3.
HBO will premiere ‘Bruce Springsteen’s High Hopes,’ chronicling the making of his 18th studio album, tomorrow night (April 4) at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT.
The half-hour documentary by Grammy and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Thom Zimny delves into the making of ‘High Hopes,’ which reached the No. 1 position in 20 countries after its January release. The film features rare behind-the-scenes studio and rehearsal segments, exclusive E Street Band tour footage and revealing interviews with Springsteen and album collaborator Tom Morello, guitarist for Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave. The two discuss their artistic choices for the project and how Morello brought a distinctive twist to Springsteen’s material.
Dream Theater – ‘The Enemy Inside’
This great Dream Theater cut comes from the band’s self-titled 12th studio album. It’s the second record to feature Mike Mangini on drums after Mike Portnoy’s departure in 2010, and the first time Mangini has had the contributed as a writer, since the material for 2011 album ‘A Dramatic Turn Of Events’ was already completed before he joined the band.
Guitarist John Petrucci says about the album, “This is the first self-titled album of our career and there is nothing I can think of that makes a statement of musical and creative identity stronger than that. We’ve fully explored all of the elements that make us unique, from the epic and intense to the atmospheric and cinematic.”
The latest track and video highlights the epidemic of returning U.S. war veterans suicide rates. More U.S. military personnel and returning veterans have died by suicide since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began than have died fighting there. The video includes actualities from actual returning vets, and shows the difficulty of adjusting back onto society after dealing with the atrocities of war. The video concludes with an update on the soldiers featured, and the www.saveawarrior.org webiste link, which you can go to and find out how you can help.
Dream Theater are currently on a U.S. tour until April 20, with dates continuing in Mexico, with European and South American dates keeping them busy until the end of July.
Lynam – ‘Cold’
The Birmingham, Alabama rockers Lynam, led by frontman and songwriter Jacob Bunton, were originally formed in 2001, and have released multiple albums over the years. The band released 3 albums independently from 2002 – 2004 (White Trash Superstar, Bling! Bling!, and Life In Reverse), then in 2005, Lynam signed a deal with DRT/Universal Records and released the critically acclaimed album ‘Slave To The Machine’ in 2006. This album peaked at #21 on Billboard’s Top Independent Albums chart and #19 on the Heat- seekers chart. The first single ‘Tanis’ went to #1 on both the active rock independent and main-stream rock independent charts. The band’s album ‘Tragic City Symphony’ (Megaforce/Mascot Records) featured the radio singles ‘Save My Soul’, ‘Lindsay Says’, and ‘Porn Star’. All three singles reached the top 10 on the active rock independent chart with ‘Save My Soul’ reaching top 5 with over 10 million in audience. Several of the album’s songs also were used in motion pictures, MTV, VH1, HBO, and video games. A Live album entitled ‘Thank You Goodnight!’ was released in November 2010 through Island Def Jam/New Ocean Media.
Bunton branched out, recording and joining Steven Adler’s lastest project, Adler, but that project is in limbo for the moment. Jacob’s Adler band mate Lonny Paul has since joined Lynam, along with returning bassist Mark Dzier. Their newest E.P. ‘Halfway To Hell,’ includes the blistering rock track ‘Cold.’ Lynam will be on the road all Summer long and into the Fall. Check out the band’s facebook page for all the upcoming dates and check them out if they will be rocking near you!
Heaven’s Basement – ‘Nothing Left To Lose’
The UK rockers already made some inroads in the U.S. with their first track ‘Fire, Fire’ from their debut album ‘Filthy Empire,’ and now they have ascended even further up the charts with ‘Nothing Left To Lose.’
The band consists of Aaron Buchanan (Vocals), Sid Glover (Guitar), Rob Ellershaw (Bass) and Chris Rivers (Drums). They are currently on their first major headlining tour of Europe, after touring the U.S. at the tail end of last year and earlier this year with the likes of Alice Cooper, Papa Roach, Bullet For My Valentine, Pop Evil and The Pretty Reckless. The band will follow the Europe tour with gigs in Latin America, then return to the U.S. starting May 6 in Pittsburgh for a slate of shows that will include Rock On The Range in Columbus, OH. and Rocklahoma in Pryor, OK.
Heaven’s Basement’s high octane brand of rock is certain to carry them even further in U.S. popularity. Their latest album is full of potential radio tracks and I can see Heaven’s Basement headlining U.S. gigs at some point in the near future.