Ellefson Debuts New Compilation’s Lead Single; Unveils Initial Track Listing

Courtesy: Combat Records

Audiences got their first preview of Megadeth bassist David Ellefson’s new eponymous rock project this week.

The band — Ellefson (bass), Thom Hazaert (vocals), Andy Martongelli (guitar), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (guitar), and Paolo Caridi (drums) — released the song ‘Wasted‘ Friday.  The song, a cover of the Def Leppard song, is the lead single from the group’s debut record, No Cover.

Ellefson’s cover of ‘Wasted’ features guest appearances from Frank Hannon (Tesla), Jacob Bunton (Mick Mars, Lynam), and Dave McClain (Ex-Machine Head, Sacred Reich).

The famed names featured on ‘Wasted’ are just some of well-known musicians and performers who make appearances on this record.  Also lending their talents to the album are equally well-known figures, such as Charlie Benante (Anthrax), Al Jourgensen (Ministry) and Gus G. (Firewind).

Along with debuting its lead single, Ellefson has also unveiled the initial track listing for No Cover.  The initial listing opens with a cover of Judas Priest’s timeless hit song ‘Freewheel Burning’ and also features covers of songs such as AC/DC’s ‘Riff Raff,’ Queen’s ‘Sheer Heart Attack’ and Billy Idol’s ‘Rebel Yell.’

The album’s initial track listing is noted below.  Two tracks are still TBA. Pre-orders are open now.


1. Freewheel Burning (Judas Priest) ft. Jason McMaster, Gus G, Andy James, Dave McClain
2. Tear It Loose (Twisted Sister) ft. Eddie Ojeda, Dave McClain
3. Love Me Like A Reptile (Motorhead) ft. Doro Pesch, Greg Handevidt, Chuck Behler
4. Holiday in Cambodia (Dead Kennedys) ft. Charlie Benante
5. Rebel Yell (Billy Idol)
6. Wasted (Def Leppard) ft. Frank Hannon, Jacob Bunton, Dave McClain, Bumblefoot
7. Riff Raff (AC/DC) ft. Jason McMaster, Dave Lombardo
8. Nailed To The Gun (Fight) ft. Andrew Freeman, Russ Parrish, Jimmy DeGrasso
9. Not Fragile (Bachman-Turner Overdrive) ft. John Aquilino
10. Say What You Will (Fastway) ft. Troy Lucketta, Mark Slaughter
11. LOVE Machine (W.A.S.P.) ft. Dirk Verbeuren, Dave Alvin
12. Love Hurts (Nazareth) ft. Brandon Yeagley, Chuck Behler, Tyson Leslie
13. Sheer Heart Attack (Queen) ft. Bumblefoot, Doro Pesch, Charlie Benante
14. Sweet FA (Sweet) ft. Todd Kerns, Bumblefoot, Shani Kimelman
15. TBA
16. TBA
17. Auf Wiedersehen (Cheap Trick) ft. Al Jourgensen, Brandon Yeagley, Charlie Benante

Bonus Tracks
18. Eat The Rich (Krokus) ft. Dead By Wednesday


No Cover was co-produced by Ellefson, Hazaert, and Martongelli.  The record was engineered by Alessio Garavello, Matt LaPlant (Nonpoint, Lil Jon, Skindred) and John Aquilino.  Alessio and Garavello mixed the album alongside Randy Burns and others.

Ellefson talked about the record’s genesis in a recent interview.

“Before any of us started writing our own songs, we all began playing cover songs by our heroes during our formative years as musicians,” said Ellefson.  “So, it’s fun to go back in time and revisit those songs which helped us to become the artists we are today, especially when, ironically, many of those artists have now become peers and friends. During the process of recording some covers for B-Sides and bonus tracks for the upcoming Ellefson solo LP, Thom and I just said, “This is a blast, let’s just do a whole album of covers!” Literally, within 2 weeks, we had the songs recorded, and began calling our friends to join us, many of whom we had just performed with on the MEGA-Cruise back in October. From there, the album just fell into place.”

“A lot of our buddies have been playing covers and quarantine jams on the Internet during the pandemic, so this is really just an extension of that, but we took it the next level and actually recorded a full studio album,” he added.” We’ve been working remotely anyway, as we’re all over the Globe, so it was easy to incorporate some guests jumping in with some outstanding performances of their own. It’s been a really fun nod to making great music with our friends, who are kick-ass players, and many legends in their own right, which is the whole reason we got into this in the first place!”

Hazert expanded on Ellefson’s comments with his own thoughts.

“It’s all songs and artists that really mutually influenced both myself and David, especially a lot of early “Metal” and harder Classic Rock,” he said. “Some stuff I picked, some stuff he picked, but for the most part is was all artists that we both loved. What’s funny, as there’s a bit of an age gap, we were sometimes more influenced by different eras of the same bands. But it was really him saying, “Let’s do this song”, and me saying, “Yes!!! And let’s do this song.” And before we knew it, we had over 15 songs. And it’s a lot of album tracks, deep cuts, early tracks, stuff people might not expect, which was what was so fun.”

“It was also great that we were able to work in a lot of nods to David’s [Ellefson] history, getting Chuck Behler to play with us, bringing in original Megadeth guitarist Greg Handevidt to play on “Love Me Like A Reptile”, a song they used to play in cover bands together before they moved to LA (which we wrote about in More Life With Deth), and Randy Burns is going to mix a track or two,” added Hazert.  “As a singer, these are literally bands I’ve listened to, and covered all my life, and for me, getting to play with Eddie Ojeda, the Tesla guys, Charlie Benante, Jason McMaster, Mark Slaughter, etc, and sing these songs that mean so much to me. I mean, literally, the entire record is my bucket list of people I’d love to play with, and some of my favorite bands. So, it’s truly an honor to put together something so fun, and really as effortless as this was. It truly is a love letter to Rock N’ Roll, an homage to what made us, musically, who we are today.”

Ellefson resurrected Combat Records in 2017 as part of the EMP Label Group family.

Combat Records was a seminal punk and thrash record label in the 1980s.  Its doors closed in the mid-2000s after its catalog was absorbed by Sony Music.  Combat Records’ official relaunch took place in 2018.

Ellefson said in an interview in 2017, Combat Records would handle only new music because Sony has control of the label’s back catalog.

“…And to clarify, we do not own any rights to the Combat Records back catalog,” Ellefson stressed. “That is owned and controlled by Sony, and they have done a great job of curating it through other imprints. Combat Records will solely focus on new releases under the Combat banner. As always, thank you for your support and stay tuned for more details!”

More information on Combat Records, along with its latest news, is available online now






Ellefson is scheduled to release its debut full-length studio recording in spring 2021.  More information on Ellefson is available along with all of the group’s latest news at:






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BPMD’s ‘American Made’ Covers Collection Is Entertaining, But Hardly Memorable

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Covers collections are among the most peculiar releases that musical acts of any genre can release during their careers.  Unlike singles compilations, which in their own way, actually serve a purpose – that purpose being that they could lead new audiences to pick up an act’s albums in whole – covers compilations serve little if any purpose.  They are just collections of songs that acts put together to “pay tribute” to other acts and make money in the process.  They are really just space fillers that acts use in order to satisfy contractual obligations for album release numbers.  Keeping that in mind, one can’t help but wonder why respected and talented musicians, such as Bobby Blitz (Overkill), Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater, The Winery Dogs, Transatlantic, Sons of Apollo, Liquid Tension Experiment, etc.), Phil Demmel (ex-Machine Head, Vio-lence) and Mark Menghi (Metal Allegiance) would come together just to create a compilation of cover songs for what is right now its first and only release.  The 10-song compilation, titled American Made, is scheduled for release Friday through Napalm Records.  It does delve into music from some notable bands who have come before this hard rock supergroup dubbed BPMD.  That dichotomy of the bands whose music is covered versus the band performing said songs does make for at least some interest at best.  This item will be addressed a little later.  The specific arrangements of said songs is certain to be its own discussion point.  They will be discussed later, too.  Each item noted here is important in its own right to the whole of this compilation.  All things considered, American Made proves itself to be a record that while worth hearing at least once, is sadly anything but memorable.

Hard rock super group BPMD’s debut recording American Made is a recording that is worth hearing at least once, but sadly not much more than that.  One of the record’s only saving graces is the contrast of the bands whose works are covered to the band performing said covers.  The bands whose works are covered throughout this roughly 37-minute collection include, but are not limited to Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top, and Grand Funk Railroad.  Even Mountain gets its own recognition here.  Simply put, the bands whose works are covered here are in a realm that is completely opposite of the bands from which BPMD’s members have come.  Blitz is front man of the veteran thrash metal outfit Overkill.  Portnoy spent the majority of his professional career keeping time for the famed prog-metal outfit Dream Theater.  Even the other projects in which he has taken part have been in genres directly opposite of that of the covered bands.  Much the same can be said of Demmel and Menghi.  Considering the contrast of the resumes of BPMD’s members and the bands that they cover here, that in itself is worth at least engagement for audiences.  It shows that the band was willing to go out on a limb and do something different than what they normally do in their dayjobs.  One could also argue that maybe it is a display of the acts that influenced the band’s members.  If that’s that case, then the group has definitely gone far from those influences over the years, again making for its own share of discussion for listeners.  To that end, that contrast of the band’s collective background and the bands that this group covered does at best a little bit for the collection.  Directly tied to those discussions is the discussion on the collection’s one unavoidable negative, the very fact that it is a covers collection.

It has already been noted here that the members of BPMD have decidedly outstanding resumes.  So to that end, it is just baffling that considering the band members’ pedigrees, the group’s first impression of sorts would be a collection of songs that have been covered time and again by so many other acts.  These men are elite figures within the hard rock and metal communities.  It made audiences hope for something original right out of the gate so to speak.  Instead, the group opted to essentially phone it in and put out a covers compilation.  Had the group gone that route of releasing a debut loaded with original content first and then this record later, it would have made the compilation easier to accept. What’s more, unlike the case of Fozzy, which also started off with a collection of covers so long ago, it has to be assumed that BPMD is just a one-off project for its members.  At least in the case of a band, such as Fozzy, it was known that said band’s debut was just the beginning for that act.  This knowledge detracts from the draw of American Made.  It essentially makes the compilation come across as little more than a cash grab for the band and nothing more.  Keeping that in mind, this unavoidable aspect of American Made makes it difficult to call this record memorable.  While this aspect cannot be ignored, it does not make the album a complete failure for the group.  BPMD’s take on the record’s songs makes for its own share of engagement.

One of the most interesting updates that the band features in American Made is that of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Saturday Night Special.’  BPMD’s update does largely stay true to its source material by and large.  The amped up re-imagining also gives the song a new identity and feel, needless to say.  It gives the song more of a 1980s hair metal type of sense.  Whether fans love or hate this one will be left to them, but it is definitely an interesting take, needless to say.  BPMD’s update of Aerosmith’s ‘Toys in the Attic’ is another key addition to the collection.  As with the band’s cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Saturday Night Special,’ this cover also stays largely true to its source material.  It just once again gives the cover an amped up remake.  The song even goes so far as to include Joe Perry’s guitar solo from the original work.  It’s just weird hearing Bobby Blitz’s gritty vocals and the full-on hard rock re-imagining here.  That aside, this update actually works almost as well as the original.  BPMD’s cover of Grand Funk Railroad’s ‘American Band’ is another important addition to this compilation.  The band’s take once more does strive to stay true to its source material, and it is certain in its own right to create a lot of discussion among listeners.  That’s because while it does stay true to the source material, it seems to have trouble balancing its attempt to echo the song’s classic rock sound and the band members’ own hard rock and metal leanings.  It is definitely going to have listeners talking.  That is not to say that the song is a total loss or that any of the compilation’s works are losses.  The songs will certainly leave listeners talking, though.  Between the discussions insured through the musical updates and the very lineup of featured bands, which could actually lead some listeners to embark on musical journeys into catalogs of bands to which they otherwise might not have listened, the compilation proves itself worth hearing at least once.  To that end, the compilation is not a total failure.  However, one cannot ignore the fact that considering the resume of each of BPMD’s members, this just seems like little more than a cash grab.  To that end American Made makes itself worth hearing at least once, but anything but an American classic itself

BPMD’s covers collection American Made is a headscratcher of a record.  The first release from the hard rock super group, it will potentially lead some listeners to take their own journeys into the catalogs of the record’s featured bands.  The songs that are covered here play even more into that potential musical journey of discovery, as the covers will definitely lead to lots of discussion among audiences.  For all of the positives that the record’s featured bands and songs generate, one still cannot ignore the very issue that the band’s members are among the music industry’s elite figures.  To that end, coming together for potentially just one record and making said record a covers collection will leave a somewhat bitter taste in many listeners’ mouths, so to speak.  It leaves one feeling like this was just a rushed, phoned in work that was little more than a cash grab for the band’s members.  Keeping all of this in mind, the record proves itself worth hearing at least once, but sadly not much more than that.  American Made is scheduled for release Friday through Napalm Records.  More information on American Made is available along with all of BPMD’s latest news at:




Website: http://bpmdmusic.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BPMDofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/bpmdofficial




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Buckcherry Announces “Warpaint Tour 2019” Leg 2 Dates

Courtesy: Century Media

Buckcherry announced a new slate of live dates this week.

The band announced it will launch the second leg of its Warpaint Tour 2019 on May 18 in Waco, TX.  The almost four-month run is scheduled to run through Aug. 31 and to feature performances in cities, such as Greensboro, NC; Spokane, WA and Ottawa, ONT.  The schedule is noted below.

May 18, 2019-Waco TX-The Backyard Bar
May 19, 2019-Amarillo,TX- Hoots Pub
May 21, 2019-Lubbock,TX-Jake’s Backroom
May 22, 2019- Odessa, TX- Dos Amigos
May 24, 2019- Pryor, OK- Rocklahoma *
May 25, 2019- Mobile,AL- Soul Kitchen
May 26, 2019- Blackshear, GA- Moccasin Creek Off Road Park *
May 27, 2019- Cape Coral, FL- Dixie Roadhouse
May 29, 2019- New Orleans,LA- House Of Blues
May 31, 2019- Columbia,MO- Rose Park
Jun 1, 2019- Peoria,IL- Peoria Riverfront *
Jun 2,2019- Lincoln, NE- Royal Grove
Jun 4, 2019- Billings,MT- Pub Station
Jun 5, 2019- Boise, ID- The Knitting Factory
Jun 7, 2019- Garberville,CA- Richardson Grove Compound *
Jun 8, 2019- Reno, NV- Virginia Street Brewhouse
Jun 9, 2019- San Francisco, CA- Slim’s
Jun 11, 2019- Portland, OR- Hawthorne Theatre
Jun 12, 2019- Seattle, WA- El Corazon
Jun 14, 2019- Spokane, WA- Knitting Factory Concert House
Jun 18, 2019- Des Moines, IA- Wooly’s
Jun 20, 2019- Eau Claire, WI- The Metro
Jun 21, 2019- Clear Lake, IA- The Surf Ballroom
Jun 22, 2019- Madison, WI- Majestic Theater
Jun 23, 2019-Battle Creek, MI-The Music Factory
Jun 25, 2019- Indianapolis, IN- Deluxe at Old National Centre
Jun 26, 2019- Flint, MI- The Machine Shop
Jun 28, 2019- Drakesboro, KY- Gregory Lake ATV Park *
Jun 29, 2019- Champaign, IL- The City Center
Jun 30, 2019-Lafayette, IN-Lafayette Theatre
Jul 2,2019- Rochester, NY-  Platform 21
Jul 3, 2019- Montreal, QC- Fairmont Theatre
Jul 5, 2019- Point Pleasant, WV- Peck Fest *
Jul 6, 2019- Barrie, ON- Mavrick’s Music Hall
Jul 7, 2019- Oshawa, ON- The Musical Hall Concert Theater
Jul 9, 2019- Kingston, ON- Ale House
Jul 10, 2019- Waterloo, ON- Maxwell’s Concerts and Events
Jul 12, 2019- Taylorville,IL- Black Swan Mud Park *
Jul 13, 2019- Mansfield, OH- Mansfield Reformatory – INKcarceration *
Jul 17, 2019- Baltimore, MD- Baltimore Sound Stage *
Jul 19, 2019- Shakopee, MN-    Canterbury Park^
Jul 20, 2019- Poland, NY- Maximum Power Park *
Jul 2, 2019- Lancaster, PA- The Chameleon
Jul 23,2019-Greensboro, NC-The Cone Denim Entertainment Center
Jul 24, 2019- Newport News, VA- Boathouse Live *
Jul 26, 2019- Salisbury, MD- Wicomico Youth and Civic Center *
Jul 27, 2019- Philadelphia, PA- Theatre of Living Arts *
Jul 28, 2019- Bangor, ME- Darling Waterfront Pavilion *
Jul 30, 2019- Binghamton, NY- Touch of Texas
July 31,2019- Ottawa, ONT- Barrymore’s Music Hall
Aug 2, 2019- Leamington, ONT- Seacliff Park
Aug 3, 2019- Sault Sainte Marie, MI- Kewadin Casino
Aug 4, 2019- TBA
Aug 6, 2019- Toronto, ONT- Phoenix Concert Theatre
Aug 7, 2019- Peterborough, ON- The Venue
Aug 9, 2019- Neptune, NJ – Headliners
Aug 10, 2019- Uncasville, CT- Wolf Den – Mohegan Sun Casino
Aug 11, 2019-Clifton Park, NY-Upstate Concert Hall
Aug 13, 2019- Highland Park, IL- Ravinia Festival #
Aug 14, 2019- Highland Park, IL- Ravinia Festival #
Aug 15, 2019- Kansas City, MO- The Truman
Aug 29, 2019- Birmingham, AL- Iron City *
Aug 30, 2019- Florence, SC- River Neck Acres*
Aug 31, 2019- Waynesboro, TN- American Rebel Mud Park *
*Joyous Wolf do not appear
     # Opening for Nickelback
     ^ Opening for Aerosmith

Joyous Wolf will serve as support on select dates along.  Other dates on Buckcherry’s upcoming tour schedule will be opening dates for Aerosmith and Nickelback.  VIP packages for Buckcherry’s tour are available here.

Warpaint Tour 2019 is in support of Buckcherry’s latest album Warpaint, which was released March 8 through Century Media Records.  The album has so far produced the single ‘Bent.’

More information on Buckcherry’s new tour dates, single, album and more is available online now at:


Website: http://buckcherry.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/buckcherry

Twitter: http://twitter.com/buckcherry


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Blacktop Mojo Debuts ‘Prodigal’ Video

Courtesy: High Road Publicity/TAG Publicity

Blacktop Mojo debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band premiered the video for its new single ‘Prodigal‘ on Tuesday.  The song is taken from the band’s most recent full-length studio recording, Burn The Ships (2017).  Musically speaking, the song presents a power ballad style composition that is familiar to a wide range of listeners.

In regards to its lyrical content, front man Matt James explained in an interview that the song centers, lyrically, on that drive that everyone has to get out and explore the world.

“We had fun making this video with some of our good friends from our hometown acting out the main parts,” James said.  “We felt like the father-son dynamic in the video  really reflected the song’s theme.  The song is sort of autobiographical.  It’s about the experience of growing up in a small town and always talking about ‘getting out’ one day.  No matter where or how far you go, though, you always have a little bit of where you came from that you take with you.”

‘Prodigal’ is just the latest single that the band has released from Burn The Ships.  The album has also produced the singles ‘Where The Wind Blows,’ ‘Underneath‘ and ‘Dream On‘ (Aerosmith cover).  Burn The Ships is streaming online now here.  The album’s full track listing is noted below.

Burn The Ships Track Listing:
1. Where The Wind Blows
2. End Of Days
3. Burn The Ships
4. Prodigal
5. Shadows On The Wall
6. Sweat
7. Pyromaniac
8. 8000 Lines
9. Dog On A Leash
10. Make A Difference
11. Chains
12. Dream On
13. Underneath

Blacktop Mojo announced late last year that it had launched a PledgeMusic campaign to fund the creation of its third as-yet untitled full-length studio recording.  In the time since that announcement, the band reached its goal.

More information on Blacktop Mojo’s next album, its latest video and single, and more is available online now at:


Website: http://www.blacktopmpjo.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BlacktopMojo

Twitter: http://twitter.com/blacktopmojo


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Perry Recovering Following Medical Emergency

Courtesy: MSO PR

Officials with former Aerosmith and current Hollywood Vampires guitarist Joe Perry have released an update on the guitarist’s condition after he was transported to the hospital last night following a performance with fellow veteran musician Billy Joel.

The statement that follows is the latest update on Perry’s condition.  It states that at last report, he was still in the hospital this morning and recovering.

“Following a guest performance during Billy Joel’s show last night at Madison Square Garden, Joe Perry experienced shortness of breath and was treated backstage by paramedics who gave the guitarist oxygen and used a tracheal tube to clear his airway before taking him to a hospital. This morning Perry remains in the hospital where he is alert and responsive. The Aerosmith guitarist will be unable to appear today at Rock And Roll Fantasy Camp in Florida and apologizes to those attending. Perry is expected to return to the road later this month.”

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Blacktop Mojo’s New LP Is Set To “Burn” Up The Mainstream Rock Radio Realm

Courtesy: High Road Publicity

Courtesy: High Road Publicity

This time next week, Blacktop Mojo and its fans will be only a week away from the release of the band’s latest full-length studio recording Burn The Ships.  For those unfamiliar with the Palestine, TX-based band, it is a good fit for anyone that is a fan of Alter Bridge, Black Stone Cherry, Theory of a Deadman, Zakk Wylde and all of his various projects.  From start to finish, this record is set to *ahem* burn up the mainstream rock radio realm with its infectious, guitar-driven arrangements and equally interesting lyrical content.  The record’s hard rocking second song ‘End Of Days’ is just one of the songs included in this record that supports that statement.  It will be discussed shortly.  The much more reserved, yet heavy in its own right ‘Prodigal’ supports that statement in its own right.  The band’s own take on Aerosmith’s timeless classic ‘Dream On’ even serves to support that statement, too.  Between these songs and the album’s other ten songs, the whole of this record shows Blacktop Mojo to have great potential.  They show in whole that given the right support from mainstream rock radio, Blacktop Mojo could be one of the realm’s next big names.  They also show this album to be one of the year’s top new hard rock records as well as one of the year’s top new independent albums.

Blacktop Mojo’s new album Burn The Ships, its sophomore release, is one of this critic’s choices for the year’s top new hard rock records and new independent albums.  That is thanks to its mainstream accessibility, even being an independent act. Independent here, should be clarified, to mean not signed to a major label.  It does not necessarily mean independent in the unsigned sense.  From start to finish, it proves to be an album that is primed to “burn” up the mainstream radio realm.  ‘End of Days,’ the record’s second song is a strong example of what makes this album such a “hot” (yes, that awful pun was intended, too) new effort from Blacktop Mojo.  That is due in part to the song’s arrangement.  The hard-hitting, guitar-driven composition instantly conjures thoughts of Theory of a Deadman’s heavier works.  That is only one part of what makes the song so interesting. The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note here as the song’s musical arrangement. Front man Matt James sings in the song’s lead verse, “Has it all been an empty gesture/Has it all been a waste of time/World’s spinning into certain disaster/We never figured out the meaning of life/Don’t wait/To say/What’s on your mind/Don’t take/It with you/Leave it behind.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s chorus, “There’s a fire in the sky/There’s chaos in the air tonight/Stay with me…sit back and watch the end of days.”  Taking this all into consideration, one can’t help but interpret the song, lyrically, as a statement of the world’s current state of affairs.  The song’s second verse proves that just as much as James clearly sings about the events of September 11, 2011.  It should be noted here, too, that his statements in the second verse are not meant to do anything but add to the statement of the direction this world—not just America—is taking.  When such content is set against the driving energy in the song’s musical arrangement, the pairing of the two elements makes this song stand out clearly among BTS’ other songs.  They join to prove the song to be a clear example of what makes this record such a worthwhile new effort from Blacktop Mojo.  It is just one of the songs included in this record that exhibits what makes the record so impressive overall.  ‘Prodigal’ serves just as much to show what makes BTS stand out in this year’s field of new rock and hard rock records.

‘End of Days’ is a clear example of what makes Blacktop Mojo’s new record Burn The Ships an impressive new effort.  That is due to the combination of the song’s driving, guitar-centered musical arrangement and its thought-provoking lyrical theme.  The combination of the two elements makes it just one example of what makes the song (and album) stand out.  It is just one of the songs that so clearly shows where this record gets its *ahem* fire (yes, that awful pun was intended, too).  ‘Prodigal,’ with its far more reserved, yet still heavy arrangement and lyrical theme, stands on its own merits.  The song is a deeply contemplative work that harkens back to similar works from both Theory of a Deadman and Black Stone Cherry.  This is especially true in examining the song’s musical arrangement.  The song’s lyrical theme seems, at least to this critic, as a coming-of-age story of sorts.  That interpretation was made through James singing in the song’s lead verse, “Don’t call me/The prodigal son/Cause I ain’t comin’ back/I’ll make it/On my own/Let me walk my own path/And don’t worry/About me/I’ve got everything I need/I’m gonna see the world/through my own eyes/Climb the mountain, see the sky/Across the stars on the other side.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s chorus, “One of these days I won’t be around/I’ll rip my roots up from the ground/With wings of feathers…I’ll fly toward the sun/’Till they melt from my back.”  James continues on in similar fashion in the song’s second half, singing from the vantage point of a figure striking out on his or her own.  It is not one of those standard “oh woe is me” sort of songs, either.  But the mixed emotion of a person wanting and needing to grow and be one’s own person is there.  It is especially illustrated through the song’s musical arrangement.  When that emotionally powerful arrangement is coupled with the song’s deeply moving lyrical theme, the two elements together make this song heavy without being heavy.  That heavy without heavy presentation makes the song stand out from its counterparts just as much as ‘End of Days.’  It also serves to show even more why this record stands out in this year’s field of new rock and hard rock entries.  It shows the band’s ability to entertain audiences while not just sticking to one style of song.  It is just one more song that shows the band’s breadth of talent and influences.  The band’s take on Aerosmith’s timeless classic ‘Dream One’ is one more of the album’s inclusions that shows what makes this record stand out.

‘End of Days’ and ‘Prodigal’ are both prime examples of what makes Blacktop Mojo’s new record Burn The Ships stand out as one of this year’s top new hard rock records and one of its best new independent albums.  They show the band’s range in terms of its talent and influence—one song is heavy both musically and lyrically while the other is heavy musically without being heavy, and is also heavy lyrically.  While both songs show in their own ways what makes this album stand out, they are only two out of so many songs that show how much the band and album have to offer.  The band’s cover of Aerosmith’s timeless classic ‘Dream One’ is just one more of the songs included in this record that serves to show how much the band and album offer listeners.  The arrangement presented by the band here is one of the most powerful renditions that any band has presented to date.  It boasts the same moving vibe evident in the original rock ballad, but also infuses its own hard rock edge into the song here to add even more to the song’s impact.  That harder edge even gives the song’s lyrical theme its own new identity.  That in turn makes the song all the more powerful of a composition, showing once more just how much this new record from Blacktop Mojo has to offer audiences.  Between this cover of a true classic, the other songs noted here and the album’s other 10 tracks, this album in whole proves to be one that hard rock fans everywhere should hear at least once.  In doing do, those fans will agree that this record is indeed set to “burn” up the mainstream rock radio realm given the right support.  They will also agree that this record is an easy pick for one of this year’s top new hard rock records as well as one of the year’s top new independent recordings.

Blacktop Mojo’s latest full-length studio effort Burn The Ships is an easy pick for any critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock records and one of the year’s top new independent albums.  That is exhibited both through the record’s musical arrangements—which conjure thoughts of Fuel, Alter Bridge, Theory of a Deadman, Zakk Wylde and Black Stone Cherry just to name a handful of more well-known acts—and the record’s lyrical themes.  From start to finish, both elements will keep listeners engaged in every song.  That includes the band’s cover of Aerosmith’s ‘Dream On.’  After taking in the 13 songs that make up the record’s body, listeners will agree, once more, that Burn The Ships is an easy pick for any critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock records and the year’s top new independent albums.  They will also agree in taking in this album that given the right support, Blacktop Mojo is primed to be one of mainstream rock radio’s next big names.  Burn The Ships will be available March 10 in stores and online.  More information on Burn The Ships is available online now along with all of Blacktop Mojo’s latest news and more at:




Website: http://www.blacktopmojo.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BlacktopMojo

Twitter: http://twitter.com/blacktopmojo




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Perry: “No Truth” To Recent Aerosmith Rumor

Courtesy:  MSO PR

Courtesy: MSO PR

Rumors have allegedly been running rampant around the fate of veteran rock band Aerosmith.  The alleged rumors have centered on whether or not the band has been looking to replace long-time front man Steven Tyler.  It would seem that the rumors likely heated up upon the announcement of Tyler’s upcoming “Out On A Limb Tour.’  It isn’t the first time that rumors have swirled surrounding the band’s fate, either.  Tyler’s stint on Fox’s American Idol stirred rumors, too as did events both before and after.  In response to the latest rumors Tyler’s band mates have spoken out.

Joe Perry outright denied the rumors saying, “There’s absolutely no truth to a story circulating that Aerosmith is looking for a new singer.”  He added, “Any rumor out there about us looking for another singer is completely untrue. All five of us were just on the phone together talking about how excited we are to go to South America and Mexico City.” These tour dates run from September 29-October 27.


More information on the situation is available online now along with more news and more from Aerosmith at:



Website: http://www.aerosmith.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/aerosmith

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Aerosmith



Aerosmith’s latest studio recording is 2012’s Music From Another Dimension.  Late last year the band released its latest live recording Aerosmith Rocks Donington via Eagle Rock Entertainment.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Veteran Acts Dominate 2015’s Top New Live DVD/BD Recordings List

This week marks the last full week of 2015. It’s a little tough to grasp that there are only eleven days left in the year. But it’s almost time to bid a fond farewell to this year. And even as the year’s final days tick away, there is still plenty of work left to do in turns of examining the top titles from the entertainment world. Phil’s Picks has already done quite a bit of that, delving into the top titles of the music world’s top titles. There’s still some ground to cover in that realm while beginning to transfer over into the year’s top new DVDs and Blu-rays in each of their different own areas. Keeping that in mind, what better way to start making that transfer than to look today at the year’s best new live DVDs and Blu-rays. The year’s best new live CDs have already been tackled. And as previously explained, in many cases, some DVDs and Blu-rays are actually released separate from their audio-only counterparts even today, and vice versa. That justifies a separate category for the year’s top new live DVDs and Blu-rays. That being the case, here, for your reading pleasure dear readers, is the Phil’s Picks 2015 Top 10 New Live DVDs and Blu-rays. As always, the Top 10 titles make up the main body of the list while the bottom five are no less important. They each receive honorable mention for a total of fifteen titles. Enough rambling. Here, again, is the Phil’s Picks 2015 Top 10 New Live DVDs and Blu-rays.
































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Lady A’s Latest Live Recording Will Have Fans’ Hands Up And Clapping

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

This past October, superstar country music act Lady Antebellum wrapped its “Wheels Up Tour.” The tour, which was in support of its latest full-length studio recording, 2014’s 747, spanned a total of sixty-six dates, eight countries including the United States, Canada, and select European nations, and garnered a total revenue of more than six million dollars. That means that thousands of fans across the world got to see this platinum-selling and Grammy Award-winning country act. However, just as many fans didn’t get to see the trio. That is because as many did get to see the trio perform, its global tour only visited a select group of nations. Its North American tour was far more far-reaching. Last month though, the band teamed up with Eagle Rock Entertainment to give even more fans the chance to see the band perform with the release of its new live recording Wheels Up Tour. There is plenty for fans to appreciate about this performance, originally recorded at the band’s June 27th performance in Irvine, California beginning with the concert’s overall presentation. Audiences get here more than just another run-of-the-mill concert recording. Audiences get to see the band’s concert as well as vignettes featuring fans in attendance and the band’s interaction with said fans before the concert. The show’s set list is just as important to the whole of the recording if not more so. The band’s stage presence is one more important part of the recording’s whole but hardly the last. The concert’s production values are also an important part of the recording’s presentation. Together with the previously noted elements, the presentation of Wheels Up Tour shows in whole to be yet another impressive live recording from Lady Antebellum and more proof of why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings.

Eagle Rock Entertainment has shown time and time again why it is the leading name in live recordings. It has done so with the release of live recordings from a number of different acts that span the musical universe and with recordings that give audiences the best seat in the house whether or not those audiences were able to be in attendance at the concerts featured in the given recordings. Now with the release of Lady Antebellum’s latest live recording, Wheels Up Tour, it has continued to hold that mantle with strength and pride. The third full-length live recording that the band has released via Eagle Rock Entertainment, this recording is another impressive piece from the two parties first and foremost through its general presentation. The concert presented here is not just a standard, run-of-the-mill concert recording. Instead of just giving audiences the concert, the recording also features vignettes featuring the band’s fans as well as the band and its interaction with its fans outside of the concert. Audiences will be interested to learn of the dedication of some fans. One group of fans, audiences will discover, drove about three days just to see the band’s show. That’s dedication. In another vignette, audiences see the band invite a young lady “up on stage” in a pre-show performance in which the young lady gets to actually perform on her own for both the audience in attendance and for the band. This isn’t just a performance with the band but actually by herself as the band and audience watch. There’s a certain genuine vibe from the band that audiences will appreciate in seeing that genuine respect for fans from the band. At the same time, the love that the fans have for the band is just as pleasant to see. The solid editing between the band’s performance and the recording’s companion vignettes makes the presentation in whole one that entertain audiences from beginning to end and in the same vein will keep them just as engaged.

The general presentation of Lady A’s Wheels Up Tour is in itself plenty of reason for the trio’s fans to add this latest recording to their home music libraries and DVD/Blu-ray collections. It is just one reason that audiences will enjoy this recording. The show’s set list is another important part of the recording’s presentation. The twenty-song set list covers all five of the band’s current albums. Yes, there are six total releases, but one of them is a holiday collection, thus leading the count to actually be five if that makes any sense. What is really interesting about this is of those twenty-songs, the band’s 2010 sophomore album Need You Now is most heavily represented with a total of five tracks. Those tracks are: ‘Perfect Day,’ ‘Hello World, ‘Need You Now,’ ‘Our Kind of Love,’ and ‘American Honey.’ 747, which the tour was supporting, is represented here by four songs. The band’s 2008 self-titled debut is represented with only three songs as is 2011’s Own The Night. Golden gets two nods for a total of eighteen songs. There are also three covers–Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud,’ ‘Aerosmith and Run DMC’s ‘Walk This Way,’ and Shania Twain’s ‘Any Man of Mine’–included in the show for a total of twenty songs. Considering the spread of songs featured in this recording audiences will appreciate just how much of the band’s catalogue is covered here. Add in the mix of covers included in the set, it shows that the band listens, obviously, to more than just other country acts. In turn it might even get audiences that might otherwise not listen to those acts into said acts. To that effect, the set list featured in Wheels Up Tour proves to be just as important to its overall presentation as the band’s performance. It still is not the only remaining important element worth noting in this recording. The band’s stage presence is just as important to note.

The set list that makes up the body of Wheels Up Tour and the overall presentation of the recording contained therein are both equally important to the whole of the recording. While both elements are equally important in their own right to the whole of the recording they are just not all that should be noted. The band’s stage presence couples with the concert’s production values to round out the recording’s most important elements. Audiences will be impressed by the band’s stage presence because of its energy throughout. The trio and its backing musicians give their all throughout the show. And it shows quite well even on the small screen. That clear translation of said energy is thanks to the work of those behind the concert’s cameras and audio boards. The venue’s rather large size allows for plenty of great shots. And the camera crew utilized every one of them, capturing every bit of the band’s energy and the love and energy given by the audience in return. The audio is just as impressive considering the venue’s size. The concert’s audio engineers expertly handled the challenges presented by the venue’s size. They captured the venue’s size by balancing the sound of the trio singing without losing the trio’s vocals in all of its echoing through the concert hall. Also balanced within that element was the crows noise. It complements the audio not just from the trio but its backing musicians, too. The end result of the expert camera work and audio engineering is a concert that captures Lady Antebellum’s enjoyable stage presence quite well. And together with the show’s set list and general presentation of the concert in all of its facets, Wheels Up Tour shows in the end to be yet another must have for any of the trio’s fans. It also proves to be yet an impressive companion to the trio’s previous pair of recordings released via Eagle Rock Entertainment as well as more proof of why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings.

Lady Antebellum’s Wheels Up Tour live recording is another impressive recording released by the partnership between the trio and Eagle Rock Recording. The third of the band’s live recordings to be released via Eagle Rock Entertainment, it features a concert that is more than just a concert. It actually takes audiences behind the scenes before and during the concert showing why the trio’s fans are so dedicated to the group and why the connection between the two parties is so strong. The set list, which covers all five of the group’s albums so far adds even more reason for fans to add this recording to their respective music libraries and DVD/Blu-ray collections. The combined stage presence by Lady Antebellum and its clear translation via the work of those behind the lenses and audio boards rounds out the presentation, showing once more why any Lady Antebellum fan will appreciate this new recording from the superstar country act. Wheels Up Tour is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EalgeRockNews

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Chad Smith Lends His Talents To SAD’s Upcoming Debut LP

Photo Credit: Thierry Brouard

Photo Credit: Thierry Brouard

Independent rock band Screaming at Demons recently introduced itself to the world in a big way when it partnered with the nationally known charity group Homeless Rock Stars. The band combined the video for its new song ‘Rock Star’ with footage from a Homeless Rock Stars event to make an emotionally moving and powerful to help raise money for the organization and introduce itself to the music community at large at the same time. Now the band has taken another huge step in getting its name out there. The band has enlisted the help of one of the most talented and respected drummers in the music community today to help record a pair of songs for its upcoming debut record.

Screaming at Demons announced this week that it has enlisted famed drummer Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chickenfoot) to record the drums for two of the songs to be included in the band’s upcoming album. Those songs are ‘Our Time’ and ‘All Of Me.’ Smith’s inclusion on the album, which currently has no set release date, is rooted in his friendship with AD bassist Chris Clemmence. Having previously performed live with Smith, Clemmence had a first hand understanding of and appreciation for Smith’s work behind the kit, leading to Clemmence asking Smith to lend his talents to the band’s new record. When asked about those talents, Clemmence responded telling reporters, “Chad is a legend and phenomenal powerhouse of a drummer. We are beyond honored to have him play on our two new upcoming singles. His feel and groove have brought our songs to a new level. We are so lucky to have him as well as an all-star team working on our music.”

Photo Credit: Thierry Brouard

Photo Credit: Thierry Brouard

Currently, Screaming at Demons is hard at work on its upcoming album. The album is being mixed by five-time Grammy Award-winning producer Chris Lord-Alge. Alge is no stranger to the music community and obviously to success within that community having those awards to his name. The roster of bands with which he has worked over the course of his career says plenty of his expertise behind the boards. That list includes the likes of: Eric Clapton, Tina Turner, Cher, Bon Jovi, Seal, Meatloaf, Three Days Grace, Aerosmith, Shinedown, Deftones, and countless others.  Alge was asked by reporters his thoughts on working with SAD.  his response showed just how excited he is to work with front man Shimon Moore and fellow SAD band mates Russell Ali and Chris Clemmence.  He had only positive things to say of working with the band, noting of the group, “A new level of excitement is coming from these boys and they are giving back to people in need and making music that instantly makes you wanna be a part of it!”  While fans wait for Alge, and the members of SAD to finish the band’s new album, they can check out the band’s video for its inspirational and infectious song ‘Rock Star.’ It can be viewed online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0g7QiwkAe4&feature=youtu.be. Audiences can also keep up with all of the latest updates from the studio and all of the band’s latest news online at:

Website: http://screamingatdemons.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/screamingatdemons

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.