Clutch Sets Oct. 24 For ‘The Obelisk’ Vinyl Collection

Courtesy: Weathermaker

The members of Clutch are hoping that the third time will be the charm for its long-awaited The Obelisk box set.

The band is scheduled to release the collection of vinyls Oct. 24. The box set, which contains all of the band’s albums released through Weathermaker Music on vinyl, was originally scheduled for release on Record Store Day in April, but plans changed, forcing the set’s release to March. That release was then delayed again until this week.

The band’s Weathermaker Music catalog is composed of the albums Full Fathom Five, Live at the Googolplex, Jam Room, Pitchfork & Lost Needles, La Curandera, Strange Cousins From The West, Blast Tyrant, Robot Hive/Exodus, From Beale Street To Oblivion, Earth Rocker, Psychic Warfare, and Book of Bad Decisions.

Most of the records noted will spread across 2 discs. Live at the Googolplex and Jam Room will each present on a picture disc platform.

More information on Clutch’s new LP box set and more is available online along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:




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Soul Asylum Announces Release Date, Cover Art For New EP

Courtesy: Blue Elan Records

Soul Asylum will release its next record this fall.

The band is scheduled to release its new digital EP Born Free Oct. 16 through Blue Elan Records.  The record featured acoustic re-imaginings of songs from the band’s latest album Hurry Up and Wait.  The album was released April 17 through Blue Elan Records.

The songs featured in the forthcoming recording were produced shortly after the release of Hurry Up and Wait while front man Dave Pirner and his band mates were forced to stay indoors due to the “safer at home” orders passed nationwide.  Pirner and Soul Asylum guitarist Ryan Smith’s streaming quarantine sessions, which took place live from Pirner’s living room, were what led to the creation of the acoustic takes.

One of the acoustic takes featured in the forthcoming EP, ‘If I Told You‘ is streaming now.

Pirner talked about the creative process in a recent interview.

“After I get the main idea for the song and have roughly figured out how to play it I show it to Ryan and then we play it together,” he said. “So, in a way, this is kind of showing how the songs were before we added the rhythm section. It’s fun to cut live in the studio; there’s no going back and you can’t fix it. It’s unembellished, therefore hopefully interesting.”

In other news, Pirner and Smith are scheduled to perform live at 9 p.m. ET tonight on American Songwriter’s Instagram.  Additionally, the band will take part in this year’s rescheduled Record Store Day, which is scheduled to take place Oct. 24.

The band will re-issue Hurry Up And Wait on a 2LP vinyl set with bonus 7-inch vinyl that features two previously unreleased songs — a cover of the timeless country song ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’ and an acoustic take of the band’s hit song ‘We 3.’  That song originally appeared on the band’s 1990 album And The Horse They Rode In On, and then later on the soundtrack for the 1997 movie Chasing Amy.

More information on Soul Asylum’s new album, tour and more is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:










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The Moody Blues To Celebrate Record Store Day With New LP Single

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

The Moody Blues is releasing a new 12-inch single Saturday to celebrate Record Store Day.

‘Say It With Love’ will be released Saturday via Eagle Rock Entertainment.  The live performance, originally recorded during The Moody Blues’ 2017 performance at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto, Canada, is just one of three total live performances included in the limited edition, double-sided LP.

Also included are live performances of ‘The Story in Your Eyes’ and ‘Steppin’ In A Slide Zone’ as b-sides.  Along with being released on the heels of the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, this new blue and white vinyl will also come almost a month after the release of the band’s most recent live recording, Days of Future Passed, which was released March 23 via Eagle Rock Entertainment.

More information on ‘Say It With Love’ is available online now along with all of The Moody Blues’ latest news and more at:






More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:






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‘The Secret Sessions’ Will Hopefully Be Anything But A Secret After Record Store Day

Courtesy: Rouge Records

Record Store Day is almost here, and this year’s celebration of all things vinyl offers audiences plenty to applaud from one genre to the other.  Friday Music is releasing a special Jeff Beck vinyl titled Truth.  Sundazed Music has a new singles compilation record titled 16 All-Time Greatest Hits.  For rap fans, Nature Sounds is releasing a special 2-LP recording titled Can I Borrow A Dollar?  This is just the very tip of the proverbial iceberg in this year’s Record Store Day releases.  Verve Records has a new Ella Fitzgerald vinyl on the way for jazz fans while Capitol Nashville has a special vinyl recording on the way from Lady Antebellum for country music fans.  While there are plenty of releases scheduled for release this Saturday from plenty of really big acts, there are also some impressive releases from some lesser-known acts.  One of the best of those lesser-known releases is The Secret Sessions, from a band by the name of Pompeii.  Originally formed by Corky Laing, the rock super group also includes Ian Hunter, Andy Fraser, Steve Hunter (The Alice Cooper Band), Lee Michaels – and eventually Mick Ronson and Felix Papalardi – the group recorded the album between 1976 and 1978.  The result of that work sadly never saw the light of day.  Enter Rouge Records this year.  The independent label will release The Secret Sessions this Saturday for the first time.  The 14-song recording offers plenty for classic rock aficionados to appreciate, not the least of which is those songs.  This will be discussed shortly.  The record’s production is just as important to note as its songs.  It will be discussed later.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later.  Each element is important in its own right to the whole of the record.  All things considered, they make The Secret Sessions a record that with any luck will become anything but a secret this Saturday.

One-time rock super group Pompeii’s album The Secret Sessions is, without argument, one of the best of this year’s lesser-known Record Store Day offerings.  Limited to only 1,000 copies it is a record whose secret definitely deserves to be spread among classic rock aficionados.  This statement is supported in part through the 14 songs that make up the record’s body.  The actual physical LP features 10 songs recorded in the initial sessions between 1976 and 1978.  As an added bonus, three other songs recorded during those sessions were re-recorded for this special, limited release and made available only as digital downloads that come with the LP’s purchase.  One more new song is also included with that trio of re-recorded compositions.  The very presentation of the songs in both digital and physical platform, when coupled with the fact that LPs can nowadays so easily be transferred to CD and digital – and the fact that they have never before been made available in any format – makes these rarities truly special.  Of course that availability is only part of why the songs are so important to the album.  Their arrangements are important to discuss, too.

The songs’ arrangements are important to discuss because of their accessibility.  From one song to the next, it is so easy to compare these works to those of Pompeii’s contemporaries.  Case in point is the album’s opener, ‘Easy Money.’  This piano-driven arrangement, which is strengthened by its rhythm section, conjures thoughts of Foreigner, Kansas, Styx and other similar acts.  That is of course this critic’s own interpretation.  Other listeners might hear other similarities, and that’s perfectly fine.  ‘I Ain’t No Angel’ leaves this critic making comparisons to works from the likes of The J. Geils Band, The Allman Brothers Band and others.  ‘On My Way To Georgia’ lends itself, at least to a point, to classic Eric Clapton while the bluesy arrangement at the heart of ‘Silent Movie’ can be compared to works from Foghat, Cream, Taste and other similar acts.  Again, these are comparison from this critic’s own interpretation and should not be taken as the only interpretations.  The point of all of this is to point out the similarity of these songs’ arrangements to those from Pompeii’s more well-known counterparts.  At the same time that these comparisons can be made, it should also note that the arrangements presented here are not just blatant rip-offs of the noted bands’ works.  They merely exhibit the noted similarities.  Keeping this in mind, these songs, if only musically, prove themselves easily accessible to classic rock fans everywhere.  In regards to their lyrical content, there is just as much that can be said.

‘Easy Money’ would seem to be centered on…well…a prostitute, while ‘The Outsider,’ whose musical arrangement conjures thoughts of The Who and Pink Floyd, seems to center simply on a drifter figure, going from one place to another and always being a loner type of figure.  Once again, this is only this critic’s interpretation.  ‘Just When I Needed You,’ with its soft title and equally soft musical arrangement is another interesting addition to this record.  That’s because despite those noted elements, it is in fact a song centered not on love found, but on love lost.  That musical arrangement, by the way, conjures thoughts of Don Henley and his Eagles band mates.  So, both lyrically and musically, audiences have yet again, more variety exhibited here.  That variety is essentially what makes the albums’ songs so important to the record.  Neither the arrangements nor the lyrical themes repeat themselves at any one point throughout the album.  That being the case, there is no doubt as to the importance of the album’s songs.  That having been noted, the songs are, collectively, not the album’s only key element.  Its production is important to discuss, too.

The album’s production is so important to discuss because of the impact that it has on the record’s general effect.  Thanks to the time and effort put into the album’s production, the songs sound just like they came right from the late 1970s.  Initially, one might say that they’re supposed to sound like that.  The rebuttal, though, is that many times, classic songs are re-worked for releases such as that, and that old school sound is, in turn, lost.  Luckily, that didn’t happen here.  Obviously, painstaking efforts were taken to make sure these songs didn’t lose their original sound.  The end result is an album that – even with its re-worked digital downloads – sounds like a musical time capsule that has been freshly opened for a whole new generation of audiences.  That general effect goes such a long way toward making this album enjoyable.  When it is coupled with the enjoyment offered through the songs, the two together make for plenty of reason for classic rock fans to hear this rare record.  The whole of those elements, while it does so much for the record’s presentation, is still not the last of the album’s most important elements.  The sequencing puts the finishing touch to the record’s presentation.

The album’s sequencing is so important to discuss here (as with any album) because it plays just as much into the album’s general effect as the record’s production.  From start to finish audiences will note that the sequencing exhibits a solid balance of energies in the songs.  That refers both to the songs’ tempos and their feel.  The record’s first four entries are solid, mid-tempo compositions that are sure to keep listeners engaged.  What’s interesting here is that within that frame, the songs’ feel goes from somewhat serious to more playful, ensuring again, listeners’ engagement and entertainment.  From there, the record’s mood turns a bit in ‘The Outsider’ before picking back up again in the more light-hearted ‘Silent Movie.’  ‘Growin’ Old With Rock & Roll,’ with its seemingly Doobie Brothers/Grateful Dead-esque style arrangement, is another happy song, yet is also slightly laid back.  That change-up in tempo and feel keeps the album fresh and engaging.  As noted previously, the next song – ‘On My Way To Georgia’ – easily conjures thoughts of classic Eric Clapton (and to a lesser extent, The Allman Brothers Band).  It is laid back in its own right in its arrangement, yet in a different way than its predecessor.  Again, that continued variety keeps the album interesting because it keeps the album moving.  The album slows down even more as it moves into its penultimate song, ‘Just When I Needed You Most’ before picking things back up once last time in ‘Lowdown Freedom’ to close out the album.  Looking back at the whole of the album’s sequencing, it becomes clear just how much thought and time was put into lining up these songs.  It paid off greatly, too.  Keeping this in mind, when that thought and time is considered along with the work put into the album’s production and the songs themselves, the whole of those elements comes together to make The Secret Sessions a record that hopefully will be anything but a secret after Record Store Day this year.

Rock and roll super group Pompeii’s upcoming Record Store Day offering The Secret Sessions is a record that deserves to be anything but a secret among classic rock fans.  That is because it offers so much for said audiences to appreciate.  From its songs, with their musical and lyrical content to the general effect of the record’s production to its well-thought-out sequencing, there is plenty for audiences to appreciate.  Each element is key in its own way to this album’s overall presentation, as hopefully has been made clear here.  All things considered, they make The Secret Sessions an album that hopefully will no longer be a secret after this Saturday.  More information on The Secret Sessions and other titles from Rouge Records is available online now at:










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Rouge Records “Unearths” Musical Treasure For Record Store Day

Courtesy: Rouge Records

Rouge Records is set to unearth a new musical treasure next month.

The fledgling Detroit, Michigan-based independent label will release the never before released record The Secret Sessions from rock super group Pompeii on April 21, 2018, Record Store Day.  The record was originally recorded by the one-off act between 1976 and 1978 after drummer Corky Laing revealed they were going to drop him. Through much time and effort, Ian Hunter, Andy Fraser, Steve Hunter (The Alive Cooper Band) and Lee Michaels were brought on board to help record the record.  Bob Ezrin was tapped to produce.

During recording, some of the band members left due to other commitments, leading Mick Ronson and Felix Pappalardi to replace the departed members and help finish the record.  Fast forward to the 21st Century, and a new deal to have Rouge Records release the never before released songs.  In anticipation of its release, three of the 10 songs featured in the original recording — ‘Easy Money,’ ‘Silent Movie’ and ‘Growing Old With Rock & Roll’ — were re-recorded by Laing’s current band, which includes Chris Shutters and Mark Mikel. Those songs, along with the new song ‘Knock Me Over’ (also recorded by Laing and company) have been included as bonus tracks.

The bonus songs aren’t the only bonuses on this record.  Guest appearances by the likes of Eric Clapton (Cream), Leslie West (Mountain), Dickey Betts (The Allman Brothers Band), John Sebastian (The Lovin’ Spoonful), Todd Rundgren and others add even more to the record’s presentation.  It’s full track listing is noted below.

Track Listing:
1 Easy Money (Corky Laing, Ian Hunter)
2 The Best Thing (Corky Laing)
3 I Ain’t No Angel (Corky Laing, Ian Hunter)
4 I Hate Dancin’ (Corky Laing)
5 The Outsider (Ian Hunter)
6 Silent Movie (Corky Laing, Ian Hunter)
7 Growin’ Old With Rock N’ Roll (Corky Laing)
8 On My Way To Georgia (Corky Laing, Leslie West, Mick Jones)
9 Just When I Needed You Most (Randy Van Warmer)
10 Lowdown Freedom (Billy Joe Shaver)

BONUS TRACKS included on digital download card:
Easy Money (2017 Re-Record)
Silent Movie (2017 Re-Record)
Growing Old with Rock & Roll (2017 Re-Record)
Knock Me Over (New Song by Corky Laing, Chris Shutters, Mike Mikel)

The record will be available exclusively on vinyl for Record Store Day.  More information on this and other titles from Rouge Records is available online at:




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Slayer Confirms New Album Complete, Coming This Year; Announces Tour Dates

Photo Credit: Andrew Stuart

Photo Credit: Andrew Stuart

It has been four long years since the members of Slayer last released any new material. But that long wait is about to come to an end.

Four years after the release of its Grammy-nominated record World Painted Blood and two years removed from the passing of Jeff Hanneman, the current members of Slayer–Tom Araya (bass, vocals), Kerry King (guitar), and Paul Bostaph (drums)–have announced that the band will release its twelfth full-length studio release later this year via the band’s own label through Nuclear Blast Records. No title or official release date have yet been confirmed for the album. However, it is known that famed producer Terry Date (Miss May I, Smashing Pumpkins, Pantera) manned the boards for the record. And guitarist Gary Holt (Exodus) will handle guitar duties alongside King. The record marks the first time that Date has ever worked with the band. It is also the first time since the release of the band’s 2001 album God Hates Us All that Bostaph has recorded with his band mates. Audiences will be just as interested to note that there is at least one song penned by Hanneman included on the band’s upcoming record.

Nuclear Blast America General Manager Gerardo Martinez had nothing but good things to say of the upcoming album, saying essentially that it is some of the band’s best work to date. “Tom’s vocals are probably the best I’ve heard in two decades, and Kerry, Paul and Gary are playing their asses of with powerful, intense performances and riffs and beats that are absolutely lethal,” he said. Fans have already gotten to sneak peeks of Slayer’s upcoming album, the most recent being the Record Store Day release of the song ‘When The Stillness Comes.’ That song was released in a very limited quantity of only 500 copies s worldwide. It was released on a special seven-inch vinyl picture disc exclusively for Record Store Day but can be heard online now via Rolling Stone at The other sneak peek came in the form of the song ‘Implode.’ ‘Implode’ was offered as a free download last year following Slayer’s studio sessions last March. Audiences can hear the song now for free online via YouTube at

In anticipation of its new album, the members of Slayer have also announced that the band will embark on an extensive tour including dates on a number of major summer festival tours and its own “An Evening With…” Slayer-only dates. The band’s current confirmed tour schedule is listed below. It all begins this Friday in Birmingham, Alabama.

Confirmed Slayer tour dates:

24 Iron City, Birmingham, AL*
25 Monter Energy Welcome to Rockfille, Metropolitian Park, Jacksonville, FL
26 Civic Theatre, New Orleans, LA*

1 Lunatic Luau, Farm Bureau Live, Virginia Beach, VA
3 Carolina Rebellion, Charlotte, NC
22 Rocklahoma, Pryor, OK
23 Socorro Casino, El Paso, TX*

13 Bonnaroo, Manchester, TN
16 Paramount, Huntington, Long Island NY*
17 Paramount, Huntington, Long Island NY*
19 State Theatre, Portland, ME
20 Amnesia Rock, Montebello, Montreal

(Mayhem headline dates):
26 Sleep Train Amphitheatre, San Diego, CA
27 San Manual Amphitheatre, San Bernardino, CA
28 Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA
30 White River Amphitheatre, Seattle, WA

1 Idaho Center Amphitheatre, Boise, ID
3 Ak-Chin Amphitheatre, Phoenix, AZ
4 Isleta Amphitheatre, Albuquerque, NM
5 Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Denver, CO
7 Harrah’s Council Bluffs, Council Bluffs, IA
8 Eagles Ballroom, Milwaukee, WI
10 Kilpsch Amphitheatre, Indianapolis, IN
11 DTE Energy Amphitheatre, Detroit, MI
12 First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre, Chicago, IL
15 Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, Toronto, ON CANADA
17 Susquehanna Bank Arts Center, Camden, NJ
18 First Niagara Pavilion, Pittsburgh, PA
19 Xfinity Theatre, Hartford, CT
21 PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ
22 Meadowbrook (Bank of NH Pavilion), Gilford, NH
24 Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow, VA
25 Xfinity Center, Boston, MA
26 Nikon at Jones Beach, Wantagh, NY
29 Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood, Atlanta, GA
31 Whitewater Amphitheatre, San Antonio, TX

1 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Houston, TX
2 Gexa Energy Amphitheatre, Dallas, TX

* “An Evening with…” headline dates

More dates are likely to be announced. When those dates are announced, they will be posted online along with all of the latest news on the band’s album at:



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Garbage Premieres Video For Record Store Day Release


Record Store Day 2015 is this Saturday, April 18th. In honor of the annual celebration of all things vinyl, Garbage has released the video for a song that will be included on its own Record Store Day release.

Garbage has debuted the video for its song ‘The Chemicals’ online via YouTube. The video, directed by Sophie Muller, places the song over footage of a small punk rock club. In its own way, the homage to the punk rock clubs of days past is a link to the small indie record shops that are still peppered (albeit seemingly less and less) across America. As Garbage front woman Shirley Manson explains of the reason for the footage, “”We’ve always been talking about the beauty of small punk clubs. We were sort of rueing with the loss of a lot of those clubs that Sophie and I grew up in – that sort of sweaty excitement and the sensuality that comes when you cram people in such a tiny space.”

‘The Chemicals’ is one of two songs that Garbage will release on a special fluorescent orange 10” vinyl this Saturday. The disc will be released via the band’s own label Stunvolume at select independent record stores across the country. Fans can see a full list of independent record stores in their area online at More information on Garbage’s new Record Store Day release is available online now along with all of the latest news from the band at:





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Slayer To Release Ltd. Ed. Vinyl 7″ Picture Disc For Record Store Day

Courtesy:  Nuclear Blast Records

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Slayer will release its first new song in nearly a year when it releases ‘When The Stillness Comes’ this spring.

Slayer recently announced that ‘When The Stillness Comes’ will be part of a special, limited edition 7” vinyl picture disc that will be released on April 18th, 2015—Record Store Day. The song will be accompanied by a live performance of ‘Black Magic,’ which was included in the band’s 1983 album Show No Mercy. The performance in question was taken from the band’s performance at the 2014 Wacken Open Air Festival.

Courtesy:  Nuclear Blast Records

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Only 5,000 copies of the special double-sided disc will be available worldwide. That means that not every indie record store taking part in Record Store Day will be lucky enough to get copies. A full listing of stores taking part in Record Store Day this year is available online at Slayer is currently putting the final touches on its eleventh full-length studio release, which is set for release in stores and online later this year. More information on that album is available online along with all of the latest news from the band at:





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Metallica Celebrating Record Store Day With Special Cassette Recording

Courtesy:  BBGun PR

Courtesy: BBGun PR

Record Store Day is creeping up on the country yet again. For those that don’t know, Record Store Day is April 18th this year. And as the countdown to the big day ticks down, more news is coming out about how different acts will celebrate. The latest piece of news comes from veteran rock band Metallica.

Metallica announced this week that unlike most other acts, it will not celebrate Record Store Day with a special vinyl release but with a limited edition cassette tape. Yes, a cassette tape. No Life ‘Til Leather will feature seven tracks. The tracks were originally recorded in 1982 at Chateau East Studio in Tustin, CA with the original lineup of James Hetfield (guitar), Lars Ulrich (drums), Dave Mustaine (guitar), and Ron McGovney (bass). The songs have been re-mastered specially for the upcoming release, which has never been released until now. It will be available both in independent record stores nationwide and via the band’s official website, The band released the following statement in regards to its upcoming release:

A note from Metallica:


This year we decided to celebrate Record Store Day with our friends at independent retail by taking a huge leap back in time to our humble beginnings with that little rectangle of plastic known as the “demo tape.”  In 1982 we recorded seven songs that became our initial calling card known as No Life ’til Leather and it led us to our first record deal . . . the rest, as you some of you may know, is history!  We hope you enjoy this little walk down memory lane with us and that you will continue to join us in supporting independent record stores around the world. 


The track listing for No Life ‘Til Leather is noted below.




Hit The Lights

The Mechanix


Seek & Destroy

Metal Militia

Jump In The Fire

Phantom Lord


More information on Metallica’s upcoming Record Store Day cassette is available online along with all of the latest updates from the band at:






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Courtesy:  BBGun Pr

Courtesy: BBGun Pr

Rhino Records Re-Issuing R.E.M. MTV Unplugged Vinyls

Curtesy:  Rhino Records

Curtesy: Rhino Records

Rhino Records will re-issue R.E.M.’s classic MTV Unplugged performances this Tuesday.

R.E.M. is gone.  But the landmark Georgia-based band is certainly not forgotten.  That is evident in the upcoming re-issues of the band’s 1991 and 2001 performances on MTV’s live acoustic performance series.  The performances were originally released earlier this year on Record Store Day as a limited four-LP vinyl set.  That set sold out almost instantly.  Now R.E.M. fans that weren’t lucky enough to get their hands on a copy of the recordings this Tuesday, September 2nd via Rhino Records.

Unlike the previously released 4-LP set released earlier this year, this re-issue of the performances will make the 1991 show and the band’s 2001 performance available on two separate 2-LP sets.  Each set will retail for SRP of $39.98.  The complete track listing for both performances is noted below.

             Track Listing

1991 Unplugged

Side One

1.”Half A World Away”

2.”Disturbance at the Heron House”

3.”Radio Song”


Side Two

1.”Perfect Circle”

2.”Fall on Me”


4.”Love Is All Around”

Side Three

1.”Its The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)”

2.”Losing My Religion”

3.”Pop Song 89″


Side Four


2.”Swan Swan H”*

3.”Rotary 11″*

4.”Get Up”*

5.”World Leader Pretend”*

2001 Unplugged

Side One

1.”All The Way To Reno (You’re Gonna Be a Star)”


3.”At My Most Beautiful”


Side Two

1.”So. Central Rain (I’m Sorry)”

2.”Losing My Religion”

3.”Country Feedback”


Side Three

1.”Imitation of Life”

2.”Find the River”

3.”The One I Love”*


Side Four

1.”Beat a Drum”*

2.”I’ve Been High”*

3.”I’ll Take the Rain”*

4.”Sad Professor”*

* Not included in original television broadcast


This week’s vinyl re-issues are not the only new R.E.M. releases due out this year.  Another landmark R.E.M. recording tied in to MTV will be released before the year is out.  Audiences can keep up with news on the release and more news from the band 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