The Dead Daisies’ New LP Is A “Shining” New Rock Record

Courtesy: SPV Steamhammer

Late last month, rock band The Dead Daisies released its latest album, Radiance through SPV Steamhammer.  The band’s sixth album, it came a little more than a year after the band’s then latest album, Holy Ground.  It is a welcome follow-up to that record and an equally welcome new addition to the band’s catalog, too thanks to its musical and lyrical content alike.  The musical arrangements feature a nice blend of neo classic rock (for which the band has come to be known over the years) and some more modern sounds and styles.  The lyrical content that accompanies the record’s musical content offers some easily accessible material that is certain to resonate with audiences.  One of the most notable of the record’s entries comes halfway through its 10-song run in the form of ‘Born To Fly.’  The song will be discussed shortly.  ‘Courageous,’ which comes later in the album’s 36-minute run time, is another example of how the record’s overall content comes together to make the album engaging and entertaining.  The album’s title track, which comes just ahead of its midpoint, is yet another example of what makes Radiance so enjoyable.  It will also be examined later.  Each song noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  When they are considered alongside the rest of the album’s entries, the whole makes Radiance a shining new offering from The Dead Daisies that shows this band is still alive and kicking.

Radiance, the latest album from rock band The Dead Daisies, is a strong new offering from the band that will appeal equally to the band’s established audience base and to rock fans in general.  That is proven through its musical and lyrical content alike.  ‘Born to Fly,’ which serves as the album’s midpoint is just one of the songs that does so well to exhibit the album’s appeal.  The song’s musical arrangement forms the foundation of its appeal.  The steady accented beats on the drums performed by drummer Brian Tichy that open the song immediately make it infectious because of the groove that they create.  Guitarist Doug Aldrich’s riff soon enters, making for even more punch alongside bassist David Lowy’s low end.  The richness created through that overall instrumentation makes for so much modern rock heaviness that will keep listeners engaged and entertained throughout.  Front man Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple) adds his own powerful punch through the control of his vocals throughout the song, too.  The juxtaposition of his work to that musical content makes the song’s overall musical arrangement reason enough to take in this song.

The lyrical content that accompanies the hard rocking punch from the song’s musical content adds even more to the song’s impact.  That is because of the seeming positive message that it presents.  The seeming theme is presented as Hughes sings in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “Gonna leave today/In the great skyway/Climbing in the sonic air/Vibration in my blood/Elation understood/It’s a Mother Earth affair/And I wander like a bird/In my tranquility/’Cause I was born to fly.”  Hughes continues in the song’s second verse, “Here in the openness/Relive a dream, confess/A prophecy, some time ago/I take the long way home/No matter where I roam/High above into the glow.”  This just sounds like a theme of positivity and feeling free of so much.  It comes across as deeply metaphorical language, but the overall message remains.  It is a message of so much joy and freedom from the constraints of the world that would otherwise tie one down mentally and emotionally.  This is all just this critic’s interpretation.  That overall joy, together with the power in the song’s musical arrangement makes for so much enjoyment just in this song alone. 

Another song featured in this record that makes the album so positive comes later in the presentation in the form of ‘Courageous.’  The musical arrangement featured in the song is another heavy, driving composition.  Aldrich’s blues-infused guitar riff forms the song’s foundation while Hughes’ vocals pair with the bass and drums to flesh out the arrangement even more and make it so infectious throughout.  The energy that is exuded through the group’s collective performance makes the arrangement just as powerful as any of the album’s other entries.

The infectious impact of the song’s arrangement pairs with the seeming message of encouragement and empowerment to make for even more interest.  The seeming message is inferred as Hughes sings in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “Arc light/I do rely/You try so hard/But you can’t let go/You hear a word my friend?/You breathe/You let in/I hear you callin’/Now you got to believe/When you give and receive/It’s courageous/Now you’re breaking away/Got to live for today/It’s courageous.”  The seeming message continues in the song’s second verse, which finds Hughes singing, “What will become of you?/Sweet little bird in June/You try so hard/But you can’t let go/And now you testify/It’s time to purify/Under the skin/Sanctify yourself/Sit tight/Hold back again/You breathe/You let it in/I hear you callin’.”  It is as if this is someone addressing a person who will not let himself or herself go and be free.  Again, this is just this critic’s interpretation.  The thoughtful nature in which this seeming message of being true to one’s self and become empowered makes for plenty of interest in itself.  When it is paired with the song’s equally infectious, positive musical arrangement, the whole makes ‘Courageous’ all the more engaging and entertaining and just one more example of how much Radiance has to offer audiences.

Radiance’s title track is just one more of so many examples of what audiences will find enjoyable about the album.  This song’s arrangement stands out among its counterparts due to its sludge rock approach a la Black Label Society.  What’s even more interesting here is how Hughes’ vocals pair with the instrumentation to make the overall arrangement comparable to not only works from Black Label Society, but also to those from Alter Bridge (which also has recently released its latest album).  The arrangement overall will resonate with ease among audiences.

The musical depth presented in ‘Radiance’ is just one part of what makes the song stand out.  The uplifting lyrical theme featured in the song makes it all the more interesting.  The theme here is similar to that featured in ‘Courageous’ or so it seems.  That seems the case as Hughes sings apparently from the vantage point of someone trying to get another person to let that radiance glow.  This is inferred as he sings in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “You wanna leave the grey/You can’t find a way/The pull of gravity/There lies your destiny/Your karma legacy/Where is the harmony?/No peace of mind/And your eyes won’t let you see/In the radiance/Underneath the skyline/In the radiance/I can see your star shine.”  That mention of being able to see one’s star shine even though that person won’t let his/her eyes see makes the inferred theme stronger in its presentation.  It is strengthened even more in the song’s second verse as Hughes sings, “I see the majesty/Deep in the tapestry/You are so blind/I hear your rhapsody/White light above the sky/No need to wonder why/So let it shine.”  Again, here is that person seemingly telling another person to let his/her positive side show through.  He is trying to get that person to see the positive in himself or herself just like the rest of the world sees.  It is a message that is certain to resonate with so many listeners.  Add in the somewhat contemplative nature of the song’s arrangement and the mood is set even more for the song’s impact.  The whole makes this song yet another powerful addition to the album that further shows how much Radiance has to offer audiences.  When it is considered alongside the other songs examine here and with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole makes Radiance yet another welcome addition to this year’s field of new rock albums.

Radiance, the latest entry from The Dead Daisies, is another impressive offering from the band that is certain to appeal equally to the band’s established audiences and to rock purists alike.  The record’s combined musical and lyrical content alike makes that clear, as is evidenced through the trio of songs examined here.  When that trio of compositions is considered alongside the rest of the album’s entries, the whole makes Radiance a shining addition to this year’s field of new rock albums.

Radiance is available now through SPV Steamhammer.  More information on the album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:




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Satriani Leaves Listeners Asking “What Happens Next?” In The Best Way With His New LP

Courtesy Epic Records

Guitar great Joe Satriani has done seemingly everything that can be done by an artist of his caliber and experience. He has built quite the successful solo career. He has served as a member of the famed rock band Deep Purple and as the rock super group Chicken Foot as well as so much more. Considering how much Satriani has done and how much success he has had throughout the course of his decades-long career, one is left asking after each of his releases, “what happens next?” Thus we get the title of his latest album, What Happens Next. Released Jan. 12 via Epic Records, this 16th full-length studio recording from the virtuoso guitarist is everything that audiences have come to expect from Satriani. That is due to the continued growth exhibited throughout the album’s 51-minute run time. That growth is exhibited both in the songs that throw back to Satriani’s established albums and to those that show his continued abilities. That growth is just one part of what makes this album stand out Its sequencing plays its own important part in the album’s overall presentation, too. This element will be discussed later. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements. When it is set alongside the record’s sequencing and clear growth exhibited within the songs’ arrangements, the whole of the elements noted here makes this record a work that will leave listeners asking once again, “What happens next?” in the very best way.

Joe Satriani’s latest full-length studio recording What Happens Next is easily one of this year’s top new rock records. The 12-song record shows yet again over the course of its 51-minute run time why Satriani remains today one of rock’s elite musicians. This is due to the continued growth exhibited throughout the course of the album’s run. Right from the outset, fans familiar with Satriani’s body of work are transported to his 2004 album Is There Love In Space? in ‘Energy.’ the aptly titled song is a straight-forward, up-tempo piece that harkens back to ‘Hands In The Air,’ the third of the album’s offerings. What’s really interesting to note here is that while the songs bear a stylistic similarity in their sounds and energies, it’s obvious that Satriani didn’t just rehash that earlier song. This completely contradicts the statements of so many who have claimed that this album is more of the same from Satriani. One could argue that the album’s second song, ‘Catbot’ also throws back to some of his older works, too. Even with that comparison possible, one has to admit that the song’s arrangement, with its fuzz effect on the guitar bears more similarity to recent works from Royal Blood than anything that Satriani has composed before. The album’s third song, ‘Thunder High on the Mountain’ presents a run that would make Zakk Wylde and Tom Morello proud. It’s the kind of run that Satriani has not composed before, but instantly conjures thoughts of his aforementioned counterparts. Again, it shows that continued growth that has been mentioned so many times already. That display of growth doesn’t end here, either. Rather it continues on throughout the rest of the album. ‘Cherry Blossoms,’ with its contrasting “A” and “B” sections also takes listeners back in time, conjuring thoughts of perhaps works from Satriani’s 1998 album Crystal Planet while also changing things up considerably. The changes come in the form of the string arrangements in the “A” sections and the more reserved guitar line in the “B” section. The song gets even more lively in its bridge, with Satriani just letting go. ‘Headrush,’ with its uptemp guitar lick instantly conjures thoughts of ‘Satch Boogie,’ from Satriani’s 1987 album Surfing With The Alien. Deep Purple bassist Glenn Hughes’ walking bass line in this song adds a nice bluesy touch that helps in its own way the growth, as does Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith with his polyrhythmic patterns. It’s yet another way in which this record reaches back in time while also looking clearly forward. As if that wasn’t example enough, ‘Super Funky Badass’ reaches back to Satriani’s ’06 record Super Colossal thanks to its arrangement. Yet again though, as much as it bears similarities to songs from that record, it also establishes its own identity, thanks again to its arrangement. There is some material here that is slightly more intense than the music on Super Colossal. That contrast and comparison once more proves that this record is in fact not just more of the same from Satriani. It shows that while yes, there are some similarities between songs here and his established works, there is just as much new to appreciate from start to finish. Much the same could be argued of every one of the other songs not noted here. That being the case, when those songs are joined with the works directly discussed here, the arrangements featured here form a solid foundation for the record’s presentation. They are not the album’s only important collective element either. Its sequencing is important to discuss, too.

The sequencing at the heart of What Happens Next is important to its whole because of the general effect that it creates through the song’s energies. The album starts off rather upbeat, as has already been noted. Even with the momentary reservation in energy in ‘Thunder High on The Mountain,’ that decline is only momentary. The same can be said of the energy in the album’s fourth track, ‘Cherry Blossoms.’ The song’s energy feels slightly reserved at times, but even in that reservation, it doesn’t necessarily slow down per se. It’s something that must be heard to be fully understood and appreciated. It’s just a nice solid balanced up and down of energies within the very context of the one song. That balance is just as evident in ‘Righteous.’ As the album enters its midpoint in ‘Smooth Soul,’ the album does markedly slow down, but it’s in a good way. That pullback gives listeners just enough time to breath before Satriani launches into the much more up-tempo ‘Headrush,’ which again is another throwback composition that shows a certain growth from the professor. The album’s energies vary even more as the album makes its way through its second half from contemplative to playful to gentle and reserved to close things out. Simply put, from one song to the next, the album’s energies remain stable without fault. That being the case, it shows plenty of thought was put into the album’s sequencing, proving once and for all why the album’s sequencing is so important to the album’s whole. It is not the last of the album’s important elements, either. The album’s production rounds out its most important elements.

The production at the center of What Happens Next is important to discuss because of the general effect that it has on the album’s overall presentation. Just as the album’s energy is balanced from start to finish in this record, ensuring listeners’ maintained engagement, so are each of the trio’s parts in each song. Satriani, Hughes and Smith each shine throughout the record thanks to producer Mike Fraser’s work. This should come as no surprise considering that Fraser has worked with Satriani for so many years. The pair’s friendship and understanding of one another comes across clearly throughout this record as not only Satch gets plenty of time, but he also gladly gives up the spotlight so many times in favor of teamwork from his fellow musicians. Because each member of the group gets his own time to shine (and plenty of it at that), the end result is a record that sounds great and new from beginning to end even with its comparisons to its predecessors. When this is considered alongside the expertly balanced energies exhibited throughout the record’s sequencing and the impressive and enjoyable arrangements at the heart of each song, the whole of those elements shows without doubt why this record will indeed leave listeners asking “What happens next?” in the best way possible.

Joe Satriani’s 16th full-length studio recording What Happens Next is, while maybe not one of his landmark offerings, still an enjoyable record that is certain to leave listeners asking “What happens next?” in the best possible way. That statement is proven in part through 12 musical arrangements that take listeners through Satriani’s past, present and even future. The sequencing of those songs strengthens the record even more thanks to the balance of energy from one song to the next. The record’s production puts the final touch to its presentation. Each element is important in its own right, as has been pointed out. All things considered, this record is another impressive and enjoyable offering from one of the true masters. It is a work that once more will leave listeners asking “what happens next?” in all of the best ways possible. More information on What Happens Next is available online now along with all of Satriani’s latest news and more at:




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Eagle Rock, E.A.R. Music To Release New Archived Deep Purple Concert

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/E.A.R. Music

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/E.A.R. Music

Eagle Rock Entertainment and E.A.R. Music will release another archived live Deep Purple this summer.

Eagle Rock Entertainment and E.A.R. Music will release Deep Purple: Graz 1975 on Tuesday, September 23rd. The recording, which is part of Deep Purple’s “(Overseas) Live Series,” was recorded at the Liebenauer ice rink. The rink is located just outside of the city of Graz, Austria. Graz is the second-largest city in Austria just behind Vienna. The concert features the classic MK III lineup of Richie Blackmore (guitar), David Coverdale (vocals), Glenn Hughes (bass/vocals), Jon Lord (keyboards), and Ian Paice (drums). He show was dubbed by the local press as being the “rock event of the year” at the time of the event.

The band’s eight-song performance opens with a rousing performance of its hit song ‘Burn.’ The show’s set list consists largely of songs from the band’s earlier days in which Ian Gillan handled vocal duties and Roger Glover played bass. It includes iconic songs such as ‘Smoke on the Water’ and ‘Space Truckin.’ After the band’s performance in Graz, it would go on to perform only two more shows together before guitarist Richie Blackmore would leave the band. He would later go on to form the equally iconic rock band Rainbow. American guitarist Tommy Bolin took over guitar duties after Blackmore’s departure from the band.

Deep Purple: Graz 1975 has never before been released in its entirety in any form. Its release later this month will mark the first time ever that the recording has been released in its entirety. It will be available on CD, two-disc gatefold LP, and digital audio. The show’s set list is noted below.

Track Listing:

  1. Burn
  2. Stormbringer
  3. The Gypsy
  4. Lady Double Dealer
  5. Mistreated
  6. Smoke On The Water
  7. You Fool No One
  8. Space Truckin’


More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at and More information on this and other releases from E.A.R. Music is available online at and To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at

This Is Your Life Is Not Just Another Throw-Away Tribute Album

Courtesy:  Rhino Records

Courtesy: Rhino Records

Tribute albums are a dime a dozen. So many tribute albums are released each year that one can’t help but feel that the labels that release them care more about their bottom line than about actually celebrating said artists being given tribute. That being the case, one can’t help but wonder why This Is Your Life, the new tribute album to iconic rock front man Ronnie James Dio, would be any different from those records. The answer to that is not a simple one. One reason that this tribute album stands out is the list of performers and bands that recorded songs for the compilation. It’s a who’s who of hard rock from the past, present, and even future of the genre. Another reason that this compilation stands out is its track listing. This record boasts some of the most beloved songs of RJD’s career. And last but definitely not least important to consider in this record is the fact that it isn’t just a means for the label distributing it to make money. It actually doubles as a fundraiser for RJD’s Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund. So it’s actually a record crafted to essentially help give back. How many bands, artists, groups, etc. can say that they have crafted an entire album simply to raise funds for charity? That–along with the list of songs and performers, bands, etc. on this album–makes This Is Your Life an album that stands well above the rest of the otherwise throw-away albums claiming to be tribute albums.

Courtesy:  Rhino Records

Courtesy: Rhino Records

The primary aspect of This Is Your Life that makes it stand out against all of the other tribute albums out there is the list of performers drafted to record songs for the record. The list of performers drafted for this record is a who’s who of hard rock’s past, present, and even future. It wasn’t just a mish-mash of bands, artists and groups tossed together. Everybody tapped to record for this tribute record is either a counterpart to RJD or someone that grew up idolizing him and his talents. Veterans such as Anthrax, Motorhead, Scorpions, Biff Byford, and Rob Halford perform alongside younger acts such as Adrenaline Mob, Killswitch Engage, and Halestorm over the course of the record’s fourteen total tracks. That collection of bands and artists singing Dio’s hits is in itself a musical history lesson. It introduces younger audiences that might be more familiar with the latter grouping of bands and artists to the veterans and to the music of Dio. To that extent, This Is Your Life quickly earns major points. Even more points come from the sampling of Dio’s music in question chosen for this compilation.

The list of bands, artists, and groups tapped to record RJD’s music for This Is Your Life is in itself a major boon for the record. As noted, it isn’t just a mish-mash of bands, artists, and groups. It is a collection of bands, group, and artists that played alongside Dio during his career, and those that have come since, growing up with the music of Ronnie James Dio. In short, it’s a collection of individuals that have the utmost respect for Dio and his music. Speaking of that music, the songs chosen to be included on this record are another part of the whole that makes it so enjoyable for listeners. Every song on this record is a classic in its own way. From the more well-known pieces such as ‘The Mob Rules’, ‘Neon Knights’ and ‘Holy Diver’ to slightly lesser known songs such as ‘Straight Through The Heart’, Egypt (The Chains Are On’, and ‘Temple of the King’ This Is Your Life does quite the job of chronicling the career of a man that was and is still even in death, one of the greatest vocalists and performers in the history of hard rock.

The music and performers chosen for This Is Your Life are both key components of the success of the album. As important as they are to the success of the record, there is still one central aspect of the recording that makes it so worth picking up. That aspect is the fact that a certain portion of the sales of the album will go to benefit Dio’s Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund, which was established by Dio’s wife Wendy Dio. Bands, groups and artists go out on tour every year or they take part in fundraising concerts. How many artists can say they were part of a recording project that was also meant as a way to pay tribute to one of their own, too? It’s just like bringing home a hard rock festival without having to pay the exorbitant prices for tickets, souvenirs, sodas and more. And at the same time, audiences that purchase the album will actually be helping to fund an organization that works to research and promote awareness of cancer, as well as educate people about early detection in hopes of one day stopping it.

This Is Your Life is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online via Amazon at and can be downloaded via iTunes at

More information on Ronnie James Dio, This Is Your Life and other RJD releases is available online at and To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at