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Archive for the ‘Southern Rock’ Category

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The VilleBillies 2011

To say the eight-member hip-hop-alt-country-rock band the VilleBillies are busy these days would be a drastic understatement, especially for two of the band’s most prolific members, Demi Demaree and Dustin “Tuck” Tucker, who are also in the midst of debuting and promoting their new hip-hop project called BassDrumAliens.

As for their self-proclaimed mothership of all projects, the VilleBillies are heating up once again after a two-year stint with a new album titled Appetite For Dysfunction (due out this summer) along with a few high-profile shows recently announced. The first will come Derby-eve on Friday, May 6th at The Vernon Club , and also the following Friday, May 13th, where they’ll be kicking off the Paddock Concert Series at Churchill Downs. At the Derby, on Saturday, May 7th, the VilleBillies will have a booth in the infield where they’ll be passing out free tickets to the May 13th show in the Paddock inside Churchill Downs.  No plans yet confirmed on whether they’ll be hitting the road for a tour to celebrate the release for Appetite for Dysfunction.

VilleBillies on the red carpet at Churchill Downs' opening night

‘Talk To Me’ is the album’s first single, and was debuted during their HullabaLou performance last summer, along with a video that followed shortly thereafter. If you haven’t yet seen the song’s video, it will more than likely leave you scratching your head once you do.

“The song is a dark song. It’s not happy like it sounds,” Tuck commented on the subject of ‘Talk To Me.’

Demi also added, “It goes through the emotions of love, from the most beautiful purest piece of it, to the darker side of it.”

Aside from the VilleBillies, other members of the band are also involved with a number of side projects like BassDrumAliens, Plan of Man, Gentlemen Hounds, Million Dollar Records, and Melted Clock Studios. Melted Clock Studios is a video production company that shoots and produces music videos for artists – including all the VilleBillies’ own music videos – along with a number of comedy skits that both Demi and Tuck are sometimes featured in. Just google “Melted Clock Studios” and let yourself be entertained.

As for what’s next for the VilleBillies, the focus right now is for the band to concentrate on finishing and releasing Appetite for Dysfunction this summer.

“We just have a lot of fun with this stuff, you know? Anyway we can be creative is what we’re going to do. We’re not stuck to one thing,” Demi commented on the band’s various side projects. “There is just so much creativity in us, and so many goals, and so many things we want to accomplish that if we weren’t working on new stuff, then we’d be depressed.

Tuck went on to say, “I’m happy where I’m at right now because I can make, record, and listen to my own music. If I couldn’t do that, then I’d be really depressed. All the other stuff is just bonuses. But I’m not going to lie. I’d really like to take it to that next level.”

**Please note this video was recorded prior to a recent venue change announced for the Derby-eve show on Friday, May 6th.

Churchill Downs Paddock Concert Series
The VilleBillies  


Friday, May 13th 

Churchill Downs

700 Central Ave.

8 pm 

All Ages

FREE

** This story is also published at Louisville.com

Photos: Courtesy of the VilleBillies

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BTD&TDBS Album Artwork

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

by Black Stone Cherry

Roadrunner Records
Produced by: Howard Benson

In Stores: May 31, 2011

Kentucky-natives Black Stone Cherry has taken their shirts off for their junior release via Roadrunner Records. While extending their traditional heart-felt southern style of rock n’ roll, they’ve finally flexed their lyrical muscle with occasional salaciousness and plenty of blunt statements.

After five years of canvassing the U.S., Canada & Europe with bands like Black Label Society, Buckcherry, Nickelback, Def Leppard and Hinder, Black Stone Cherry now shows some of their tour-mates semblance.

On “White Trash Millionaire” you’ll hear some Zakk Wylde-esque guitar chops and bold Buckcherry-ish lyrical decrees like “…Ain’t got much and I don’t care, count your cash and kiss my ass, this whole damn world gonna know I been here, I got two zig-zags and you know I’ll share…”

Their once southern-darling adolescence begins to bolt with songs like “Let Me See You Shake,” and “Blame It On The Boom Boom”, where BSC firmly plants their flag of sexual appreciation for the opposite sex.

They also introduce their first recorded cover song of Marshall Tucker Band’s “Can’t You See,” with plenty of their own influence added, and do manage to stay true to their polite Kentucky-boy roots on “Like I Roll,” where you get heart-felt admissions of “…I roll to the hills of my old Kentucky home, back to the place where my heart belongs…”

**This review also posted at Louisville.com

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Kentucky’s Black Stone Cherry is a band who knows how to create timeless rock ‘n roll music while introducing new and innovative sounds, and the Edmonton-natives are at it again, announcing a new record titled “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea,” which is set to hit stores on May 31. This marks their 3rd release on one of rock ‘n roll’s premiere record companies Roadrunner Records.

While the band’s last record, “Folklore and Superstition,” was a compelling tribute to brotherhood and history, the new album is the summation of a year in the life of the band. Every emotion, triumph, loss, romance and everything in between was the inspirational backdrop for “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.”

This marks the first time Black Stone Cherry has not recorded in the South, this time taking up residence in Los Angeles to work with famed producer Howard Benson (Theory of a Deadman, Daughtry, Three Days Grace). The new surroundings allowed them to strengthen their relationships as both band members and friends, ultimately a detail that sets “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” above previous recordings.  The raw intensity that pervades the music on this album harkens back to the early days of Black Stone Cherry, when they were a bunch of blue-collar guys just making music together for the hell of it.

The band admits “When we first began writing music, we hadn’t traveled very far out of our home state of Kentucky.  Now, ten years later, we’ve traveled the world and experienced things we never imagined we would.”

The album’s first single White Trash Millionaire, set to hit airwaves in April, pairs Robertson’s soulful delivery with the urgent and infectious rhythms of his fellow players. Sure, this is Southern rock at heart; but the concept is universal: just take what the world gives you and make that work. You can preview the song now:

Play White Trash Millionaire by Black Stone Cherry

“This album is the culmination of all of the everyday ups and downs life throws at you,” says the band.  “Sonically, you’ll hear some of the meanest sounding guitar riffs we’ve ever laid down, and at the same time, you’ll find ballads that will tug on your heartstrings.  We wanted the album’s intensity to match that of our live show.  We’re very proud of this album and excited for our fans to hear it!”

To celebrate the release of “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea,” Black Stone Cherry is participating in an ongoing partnership with Evan Williams Kentucky Bourbon. The promotion brings 450,000 Black Stone Cherry branded bottles to shelves nationwide through June, including special mp3 offers and a chance to win a trip to meet the band at one of their shows.

Black Stone Cherry is set to have quite the busy spring, with tours with Hinder and Alter Bridge on the horizon:

4/8 @ Lucky Star Casino- Clinton, OK (with Hinder)
4/9 @ St. Mary’s University – San Antonio, TX (Fiesta Oyster Bake w. Hinder, Saving Abel)
4/12 @ Ogden Theatre – Denver, CO (with Hinder)
4/13 @ The Great Salt Air – Salt Lake City, UT (with Hinder)
4/15 @ Showbox SoDo – Seattle, WA (with Hinder)
4/17 @ Knitting Factory Concert House – Spokane, WA (with Hinder)
4/19 @ Knitting Factory Concert House – Boise, ID (with Hinder)
4/21 @ Roseland Theater – Portland, OR (with Alter Bridge)
4/22 @ Knitting Factory – Reno, NV (with Hinder)
4/23 @ House of Blues – Las Vegas, NV (with Alter Bridge)
4/24 @ The Regency Ballroom – San Francisco, CA (with Alter Bridge)
4/26 @ SLO Brewing Company – San Luis Obispo, CA
4/27 @ The Grove – Anaheim, CA (with Alter Bridge)
4/29 @ The Great Salt Air – Magna, UT (with Alter Bridge)
4/30 @ Ogden Theatre – Denver, CO (with Alter Bridge)
5/2 @ House of Blues – Chicago, IL (with Alter Bridge)
5/3 @ House of Blues – Chicago, IL (with Alter Bridge)
5/7 @ Metrolina Expo – Charlotte, NC (AVALANCHE 2011 w. Avenged Sevenfold, Godsmack, Theory of a Deadman)
5/8 @ NorVa – Norfolk, VA (with Alter Bridge)
5/10 @ Valarium – Knoxville, TN (with Alter Bridge)
5/11 @ Cannery Ballroom – Nashville, TN (with Alter Bridge)
5/12 @ Piere’s Entertainment Center – Ft. Wayne, IN (with Alter Bridge)
5/15 @ The Machine Shop – Flint, MI
5/17 @ The Palladium – Worcester, MA (with Alter Bridge)
5/18 @ Northern Lights – Albany, NY (with Alter Bridge)
5/19 @ Best Buy Theatre – New York, NY (with Alter Bridge)

Here is a short video of BSC in the studio:

** This press release also posted on Louisville.com

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It was almost 46 years ago when Merle Haggard released his first album, “Strangers” on Capitol Records. And now, Haggard, 76 studio albums, 73 years, 48 compilation albums, 38 #1 singles, and who-knows-how-many live performances later, will make his Louisville-area return Friday, March 4th at Horseshoe Casino. Joining Haggard, will be another country music great – and former HighwaymenKris Kristofferson. You should probably expect a few duets between the two at some point during the night.

Now when you talk about Merle Haggard, you almost have to note the word legend somewhere in the conversation, considering his countless accolades, infamies and how he essentially initiated the whole outlaw country movement of music back in the late 60’s and 70’s. So that being said, this country music legend, and former San Quentin inmate, will roll into town for yet another shindig, but this time an acoustic one.

So, for those of you who got your tickets before they sold out, knock the dust off your boots, put on as much leather as you own, break out those jeans with holes in them, grease your hair a little, don’t worry about shaving, and just cut loose. Once you get to Horseshoe, make a pit-stop at Legends bar, hit up a bottle of whiskey, crack open a few burley-pops, smoke your favorite smoke, and work on achieving an authenticity for the night, because Merle and Kris are gonna treat you to some of the greatest outlaw country music that those very substances influenced the creation of.

Merle Haggard
Kris Kristofferson
Friday, March 4th
The Showroom at Horseshoe Casino
Elizabeth, IN
7:30 pm
SOLD OUT

** This preview is also published at Louisville.com

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“Natural Disaster”
by The Broken Spurs
SonaBLAST! records
Produced by Kevin Ratterman & The Broken Spurs

This album is raw. And when I say raw, I mean it sounds almost as if they plugged all their instruments directly into a tape deck, pressed record, and recorded it all in one take. But this is no discredit to album’s producer, Kevin Ratterman of Wax Fang, who seemingly captured the band’s true essence from the lack of overproduction.

You may just do a double-take on the opening track, Shackles Down, thinking you just came across a never-released Rolling Stones recording. That is as soon as you hear lead singer Adam Kramer’s Jaggerish vocal style. 

But as you venture through this album, you’ll soon understand that The Broken Spurs have created a truly original sound of their own, primarily defined by a barrage of guitar-fueled-cock-n-ball-straight-up rock-n-roll. No wonder they were asked to open for AC/DC in Freedom Hall with songs like these.

The peak of “Natural Disaster” comes right at the album’s midway point, with Jawbanger, a down-right raw and dirty rock-n-roll song that starts with a banging bass line and then whose vocals and guitars start rivaling one another for supremacy. At the song’s bridge, Kramer belts out an in-your-face riding of his Gretsch Firebird guitar’s “E” chord that may just make your own jaw drop, as you realize what Louisville rock-n-roll sounds like. 

Not one of the songs really seem to disappoint or stray away from the high-energy, guitar-laden spirit the album carries. Other impressive tracks is Shackles Down, Natural Disaster, Runnin, and Steal Your Thunder.

So, for those out there who try to proclaim that “rock-n-roll is dead,” well, here is recorded proof that maybe you should quit with that bullsh*t. 

And for all you real rock-n-roll junkies, here your soundtrack for the whole “rock-n-roll ISN’T dead” campaign.

** This review is also published at Louisville.com

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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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