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Photo by Manjari Sharma

This Friday, March 4th, alternative-roots-jam-band Railroad Earth will bring an array of stringed and air-based instrumentation to Headliners Music Hall. This sextet is known for bringing and playing anything from a sax, to a banjo, to a penny whistle, which is representative of their Celtic flavor, although they’re Jersey boys. That being said, you’ll also hear a strong blue-collar rock-n-roll sound, something the Jersey area is known for producing.

Their latest self-titled album, which was released in 2010, debuted at #5 on Billboard’s Heatseeker chart.

So, in the spirit of comparing Railroad Earth to other better know acts – for those who’ve never heard them- Railroad Earth almost sounds as if Jerry Garcia was singing for a band consisting of various members from Wilco, Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers, and maybe even Ryan Adam’s Cardinals, and with a few random Irish orchestra players as well. You decide. Here is a cool video of their song “Hard Livin”

Railroad Earth
w/ special guest
Friday, March 4th
Headliners Music Hall
1386 Lexington Road
9 pm
18 +
$20

** This story also published at Louisville.com

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I’ve got one thing I’d like to say upfront about the Jägermeister Music Tour, which brought The Damned Things, All That Remains, Hellyeah, and Buckcherry to Louisville on Wednesday, February 9th: “I’m glad it came, and I’m even more glad it’s over!” And I could careless if I ever see another metal show again, but I’m sure this won’t be the last because I just love observing the debauchery that goes along with these shows, just as much as you love reading about it.

And while the rest of the throngs of fans who packed in Expo 5 to near capacity, I’m sure they were praying to porcelain gods come the next morning. Jägermeister’s biggest contribution to the tour I suppose. Me? I’m just glad to have made it out alive, in one piece, not physically assaulted, with my camera in-hand, memory in-tact, and coherent enough to sum up the experience. No Jägermeister for me. Been there. Done that. No thanks.

One thing about metal shows these days is that you get an overdose of virtually anything you’d expect to get an overdose of. It’s a complete f**king annihilation and assault on all of your sensory preceptors, your liver, and sometimes your patience. There is too much booze, too little free space, too many decibel level breaches, too much visual stimulation (you know what I mean), too much temptation, too many incomprehensible vocal onslaughts, and too many crazy neanderthals running around acting like drunken monkeys. But that’s OK. That’s what makes it a metal show to begin with and that is exactly what everyone came here to engage in on this night. Speaking of which, Chad Gray, lead vocals for Hellyeah, while onstage, declared “This sh*t is f**kin therapy.” My guess is he wasn’t talking about Jägermeister in this instance, but then again you never know.


The Damned Things – Photo by Jason Ashcraft

Leading off the night was The Damned Things, a hard rock super-group consisting of members from Every Time I Die, Fall Out Boy, and Scott Ian from Anthrax. They’ve got an interesting sound, which isn’t as metalish as some might expect, but definitely a summation of who is in the band. While their set wasn’t necessarily aw-inspiring, given the talent within the band, it definitely wasn’t anything to grumble at either, although I think they will continue to get better if time allows it. It’s gotta be hard to keep a band together like this with all the other projects they may or may not be involved with.


All That Remains – Photo by Jason Ashcraft

All That Remains, an intense death metal act was up next. Now, I admit, I missed most of their set. But for good reason. The University of Louisville basketball team was in OT with Notre Dame on the road. And when Louisville Basketball is on TV, nothing else much exists. Sorry folks, I would’ve liked to have caught more of the musical ferocity that ATR demonstrated in their opening song, but the timing was just bad.


Hellyeah – Photo by Jason Ashcraft

Next came, what would turn out to be, the climax of the entire night – another supergroup – Hellyeah. Now for those of you that have lived in a cave the last four or five years, Hellyeah is a masterful concoction of former members from Pantera, Mudvayne, Damage Plan, Rebel Meets Rebel, and Nothingface.

Once Hellyeah took the stage, they owned it. The crowd responded to almost every note and word coming lead vocalist Chad Gray’s voice. Drummer Vinny Paul also took a moment to make a memorial shout-out to former bandmate, the late “Dimebag” Darrell Abbot, much to the audience’s appeasement.


Chad Gray of Hell Yeah – Photo by Jason Ashcraft

Hellyeah electrified the audience – most of which spent the entire time moshing and crowd surfing – with their southern-metal style of rock-n-roll. They only slowed the musical pace down once with their hit single and sing-a-long favorite “Alcohualin Ass.”

Hellyeah, hands-down, no questions asked, gave the best performance of the night. They basically proved that they should be headlining the damn Jägermeister Music Tour if you ask me.


Josh Todd & Jimmy Ashhurst of Buckcherry – Photo by Jason Ashcraft

So, by the time Buckcherry made it to the stage, they had big shoes to fill with what Hellyeah just brought before them. The bar was definitely raised, and I’m not talking about the one that the Jägermeister was coming from. On top of that, Expo 5, for some reason, had a noticeably smaller audience by the time Buckcherry made it to the stage. But, Buckcherry brought out their classic high-energy unique style of hard rock-n-roll to what was still a large crowd that hung around for them, and delivered a much-anticipated and sought-after performance.


Buckcherry – Photo by Jason Ashcraft

Josh Todd and company spent the entire set dancing around on stage and shedding another article of clothing as each song concluded. They took their audience on a ride through most of the music that made them who they are including “Sorry,” “Lit Up,” “All Night Long” and closed out the night with a rendition of “Crazy Bitch” mixed with some sampling of a few cover songs. No encore song though after that once the stage went dark.

In a recent interview before the show, I asked Josh Todd what Louisville should expect from a Buckcherry show. His response: “High energy. Low I.Q.” Well, Josh. Mission accomplished.

This review also posted at Louisville.com

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Louisville’s newest original music showcase made its debut Saturday night to a packed house at Zazoo’s. Hunter Embry, the event’s founder, who is also a musician and journalist himself, featured his own band The Bad Reeds, along with Scott Carney from Wax Fang, and Cougar Express.

As Embry promised, the venue offered an intimate setting with stellar sound production. 

While all of the artists who performed were talented musicians who know how to write songs, the night went to Cougar Express and their arsenal of Gibson guitars, a vibrant stage presence and just some good ole’ dirty and loud rock-n-roll that was almost Led Zeppelinish in it’s delivery at times.

The New Vintage will take place weekly on Saturday nights at Zazoo’s and is sure to deliver some of Louisville’s best original artists given Embry’s close connection to the music industry. Next week you can catch a youthful band that made me appreciate the eclecticism of bluegrass music, The Whiskey Bent Valley Boys.

Meanwhile, here are some clips from last nights performances.

This review also posted at Louisville.com

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Photo from myspace

The Bowling Green, Kentucky-based Cage The Elephant is previewing their up coming new album “Thank You Happy Birthday” for FREE on their myspace site. No word how long this will last leading up to the album’s January 11th worldwide release.

From listening to it today I can tell you they’ve added a little more straight rock into their sound, with a touch of punk on occasion, compared to their 2008 self-titled debut. But, they also remain loyal to their funk style roots.

I’m just wondering when the hell they’re gonna schedule a Bowling Green or Louisville, Kentucky show that being said. Hmm. Once they remember they’re from the bluegrass state, I’ll hit this website back up with some better news. It’ll probably be roadtrip to Bowling Green for all you die hard fans that want to go.

In the meantime, catch the new album while you can or check out their video “In One Ear” now

This review also posted at Louisville.com

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The Ravenna Colt, a southern-alt-country rock band from Louisville, Kentucky debuted a video for “South of Ohio,” the first release from their debut album Slight Spell. The band features one of the founding members of My Morning Jacket, Johnny Quaid on vocals/guitars, who seems to be the creative force behind the music.

The Ravenna Colt has been slightly reclusive when it comes to touring and live shows, only playing a handful of gigs earlier in the year. One live performance that I caught came over the summer at the Forecastle Festival, their last gig of the year to date. Hopefully there will be more to come and more to see in the future from this band, so keep your eyes peeled for new show dates on the band’s website.

Meanwhile, enjoy the video…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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