American Rocker is Joe Bouchard’s new album, and it tells a number of stories relating to Joe’s past with Blue Oyster Cult, in particular – ‘the golden age’ of the ’70s rock era (see video in links). The album’s cover features stands out with a ’70s-period portrait of Joe, created by American artist Alan Ayers, who is better known for book covers (see the link to his website below). The album’s typeface was created by artist Wallace McBride (aka Unlovely Frankenstein). who also designed those classic looking book covers that appear in the videos for American Rocker. JB: “I did the videos, but I edited a lot of his art into the videos. He also did the typeface for the album cover. He’s very creative. I love his nostalgic approach.” The latest video is for the song “Deadly Kisses”, one of my favorite tracks on the album. Check it out, and check out the links below!
Below, Alan Ayers tells us about his work on the cover for American Rocker, as well as his favorite BOC tunes, and what else he has been involved in.
How you got involved with American Rocker
I was thrilled when Joe contacted me and asked if I would do the cover art for American Rocker. I met Joe through Joan Levy Hepburn, who has been a dear friend for 30+ years.
As an experienced illustrator, and being of the same generation as Joe, he and Joan felt I would be able to recreate the wonderful energy of ‘70s art.
Your background, and artwork you’re also known for
I’ve been illustrating professionally since 1979. My early career was as an advertising illustrator, but I transitioned to publishing in 1987. My work now is primarily novel covers. Occasionally I will work on a non-fiction title. I recently completed the cover for Bill O’Reilly’s latest book, Killing the Legends. I’m still managing multiple deadlines and have no plans on retiring.
Familiar with Joe’s and BOC’s music, favorite songs
I have very fond memories of early Rock and have been a fan of BOC for many years. There are so many BOC classics, it’s hard to pick a favorite. Don’t Fear The Reaper and Burning For You are two of my absolute favorites. I am nuts for all the tracks on American Rocker, but if I had to pick a fav it would be Deadly Kisses.
How you created the American Rocker cover art
Although I was trained traditionally and created images in acrylic and oil for many years, I’ve been working digitally since 1995. I am very comfortable working with a tablet, and often forget I’m not “pushing paint around”. The American Rocker cover was “painted” digitally, combining reference photos provided by Joe. The trip back to the 1970s style was great fun! My main visual influences were the great Daniel Maffia, with a touch of Warhol’s playful style.
You were involved in a Rolling Stones’ cover
Yes, I did work on the Stones Bridges To Babylon insert — mostly on the interior desert scene with Gerard Howland. I did do the final adjustments on Kevin Murphy’s wonderful lion painting for the cover.
My more recent work is on Instagram — traditional illustrations, far different from the wonderful, crazy art of the 70s!
CROSSOVER is a British band of veteran rockers put together by guitarist Paul Gaskin (Gaskin) and drummer Gary Pearson (Vardis) in 2017. Originally, the band also featured singer Mike Starrs (ex Lucifer’s Friend, Colosseum II). Kevin Riddles (Angelwitch, Tytan) on bass and Martin Howells on keyboards. Following a couple of years of major health issues, and a few members moving and leaving the band regrouped with a few new faces, and Gaskin & Starrs writing new songs together. Ken Lorenz joined on bass in early 2020, just as the pandemic kicked in. From then the band was limited in their activities – “We literally could do nothing, except write new songs on our own, or Mike would send me lyrics, and I’d come up with the music. As things were easing in 2021, I decided we should get into the studio and start recording some of the songs, so at least we’d have something to work at and aim for. “ recalls Paul Gaskin. As Ken Lorenz left for a bit, Neil Murray (a friend of Mike Starrs) came in to play on a few songs. There are a few clips of the band on youtube, but at present the band has released a very limited (signed) CD single “Shangri-la” & “Gypsy Blood”. “We are currently looking for a label that suits us. In the meantime, I thought it would be a good idea to bring out a limited edition single to get some airplay. I chose a “radio friendly” number, and it’s one of those that Neil plays on.” PG.
The band: Mike Starrs – vocals Martin Howells – keyboards/vocals Ken Lorenz – bass/vocals David Pick – drums/vocals Me – guitars/vocals Guests; Neil Murray – bass Gary Pearson – percussion Kevin Riddles – bass *The single has Neil on bass and Gary on percussion on “Shangri – la”, and the regular band on “Gypsy Blood”.
The BEATLES Revolver is being issued next month in a box set, with loads of extra material and a new mixes. Originally released in August of 1966, Revolver featured the hits as “Taxman” and “Eleanor Rigby”, and was #1 (almost everywhere). Read on for press details and tracklistings.
GET THE BEATLES’ REVOLVER INTO YOUR LIFE WITH THE NEWLY MIXED AND EXPANDED SPECIAL EDITION
– AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE OCTOBER 28, 2022 –
Revolver Album Presented in New Stereo and Dolby Atmos Mixes + Original Mono Mix;
Expanded with Never Before Released Session Recordings and Demos + “Paperback Writer” and “Rain” EP
Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream…
On 28th October, ‘Revolver’ will be released worldwide in a range of beautifully presented, newly-mixed and expanded Special Edition packages.
Revolver: The Beatles’ 1966 album that changed everything. Spinning popular music off its axis and ushering in a vibrant new era of experimental, avant-garde sonic psychedelia, Revolver brought about a cultural sea change and marked an important turn in The Beatles’ own creative evolution. With Revolver, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr set sail together across a new musical sea.
On October 28, Revolver will be released worldwide in a range of beautifully presented, newly mixed and expanded Special Edition packages by Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe. The Special Edition’s new stereo and Dolby Atmos mixes of the album’s opening track “Taxman” make their digital release debuts with today’s announcement and preorder launch.
Revolver’s 14 tracks have been newly mixed by producer Giles Martin and engineer Sam Okell in stereo and Dolby Atmos, and the album’s original mono mix is sourced from its 1966 mono master tape. Revolver’s sweeping new Special Edition follows the universally acclaimed remixed and expanded Special Editions of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (2017), The BEATLES (‘White Album’) (2018), Abbey Road (2019), and Let It Be (2021).
All the new Revolver releases feature the album’s new stereo mix, sourced directly from the original four-track master tapes. The audio is brought forth in stunning clarity with the help of cutting edge de-mixing technology developed by the award-winning sound team led by Emile de la Rey at Peter Jackson’s WingNut Films Productions Ltd. The physical and digital Super Deluxe collections also feature the album’s original mono mix, 28 early takes from the sessions and three home demos, and a four-track EP with new stereo mixes and remastered original mono mixes for “Paperback Writer” and “Rain”. The album’s new Dolby Atmos mix will be released digitally.
Across all the configurations, Revolver’s Special Edition showcases the GRAMMY-winning original album artwork created by The Beatles’ longtime friend, German bassist and artist Klaus Voormann. The Super Deluxe CD and vinyl collections’ beautiful book features Paul McCartney’s foreword; an introduction by Giles Martin; a thoughtful, enlightening essay by Questlove; and insightful chapters and detailed track notes by Beatles historian, author, and radio producer Kevin Howlett. The book is illustrated with rare and previously unpublished photos, never before published images of handwritten lyrics, tape boxes, and recording sheets, as well as 1966 print ads and extracts from Voormann’s graphic novel, birth of an icon: REVOLVER.
Following the December 1965 release of their groundbreaking album, Rubber Soul, and after wrapping up that year’s tour dates, a late decision to cancel shooting plans for a third Beatles film, A Talent For Loving, would have a significant effect on the creation of Revolver. The time allocated for filming and recording songs for a soundtrack was removed from the band’s schedule, allowing the group to take a four-month break before the Revolver recording sessions began. “One thing’s for sure,” John said a few weeks before the band’s return to the studio, “the next LP is going to be very different.”
On April 6, 1966, The Beatles gathered in Studio Three at EMI Studios (now called Abbey Road Studios) for their first Revolver recording session. With their producer George Martin flanked by recording engineer Geoff Emerick and technical engineer Ken Townsend, they went in blazing, starting with “Tomorrow Never Knows”. John’s ethereal vocals (fed from his mic through a rotating Leslie speaker), innovative tape loops – including Paul saying ‘ah, ah, ah, ah’, which when sped up produced a sound similar to a seagull’s screech – converge with Ringo’s thunderous drum pattern, George’s tambura drone, and a backwards guitar solo. “Tomorrow Never Knows” propelled The Beatles and popular music into exciting new terrain. In an interview before Revolver’s August 5, 1966 release, Paul explained to NME, “We did it because I, for one, am sick of doing sounds that people can claim to have heard before.” Revolver’s Special Edition also features The Beatles’ first take of “Tomorrow Never Knows” from the April 6 session and a mono mix that was issued on a small number of records before the LP was recut with the correct version.
The next day, The Beatles returned to Studio Three, completed most of their “Tomorrow Never Knows” recording, and started work on the first version of “Got To Get You Into My Life”. As heard on the Special Edition’s Sessions One, this recording sounds very different from the released track. Revolver’s Special Edition also spotlights two more stages of the finished track’s evolution: an unreleased mono mix and a special mix highlighting the overdubs of three trumpets and two tenor saxophones.
One of George’s most important songwriting influences is heard in “Love You To”. The previous year, his deepening interest in Indian music and learning how to play sitar had brought him together with Ravi Shankar, who became his close friend and occasional musical collaborator. The Beatles began recording “Love You To” in Studio Two on April 11, the third anniversary of the UK release of “From Me To You”. Taken with the whole of Revolver, the short three-year span between these songs illuminates the band’s astonishing creative progression.
“It was one of the first tunes I wrote for sitar,” George later recalled. “This was the first song where I consciously tried to use the sitar and tabla on the basic track.” With George on sitar and vocals, Paul on tamboura and vocal harmony, and university student Anil Bhagwat on tabla, the song’s intricate arrangement began to take shape over several takes. Overdubs included an additional harmony vocal by Paul, omitted from the released version but now faded up in a mix of Take 7. Revolver’s Special Edition also features Take 1 and a previously undocumented and only recently discovered rehearsal for the song with George playing sitar and Paul on tambura.
Between April 13 and 16 in Studios Two and Three, The Beatles recorded their chart-topping “Paperback Writer” single (with layered harmonies, riffing guitars, and Paul’s booming bass lines) and its B-side “Rain” (achieved with tape machines slowed down for the recording and mixing processes). Prior to the single’s release on June 10 (May 30 in the U.S.), The Beatles spent a couple of days away from recording to shoot several promotional films for both songs with director Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who would later direct the Let It Be film. In addition to the songs’ new stereo mixes and original mono mixes, Revolver’s Special Edition features “Paperback Writer” Takes 1 and 2 – Backing track and two versions of “Rain” Take 5: one at the actual speed The Beatles played it and the other, a slowed down evolutionary mix used to create the master tape.
The album’s opening track, “Taxman”, was recorded across three Studio Two sessions in April and May. One of three songs on the album by George, in “Taxman” he expresses his frustration with the UK’s ‘super-rich’ tax rate at the time (90%), with a vocal wink to the “Batman” TV theme song. In a 12-hour session on April 20, The Beatles recorded and mixed the first version of “And Your Bird Can Sing” (for this song, the Special Edition features two Version One/Take 2 recordings and Version Two’s Take 5), then began recording “Taxman”. They returned to the song the next day, laying down George’s foundational guitar, Paul’s bass and his dynamic, raga-style guitar solo, and Ringo’s drums and cowbell. Revolver’s Special Edition also features Take 11, with falsetto backing vocals by John and Paul with different words from the released version.
“Yellow Submarine” was recorded on May 26 and June 1 in Studios Three and Two, respectively. The iconic, sunny rite of singalong passage for children everywhere and a favorite for the young-at-heart began quite differently than it finished. Parts 1 and 2 of the Special Edition’s songwriting work tape for “Yellow Submarine” reveal the song’s evolution from a rather sad verse sung by John over acoustic guitar – “In the town where I was born / No one cared, no one cared…” – to its adaptation by John and Paul to suit the jollier subject matter of the chorus. Revolver’s Special Edition also includes “Yellow Submarine” Take 4 and highlighted sound effects (a complex and merry sonic seascape, including Mal Evans’ sand-shoveling and Brian Jones’ glass-clinking) for listeners to journey with The Beatles through the song’s progression. “We were really starting to find ourselves in the studio,” Ringo explained later. “The songs got more interesting, so with that the effects got more interesting.”
The Beatles’ final Revolver recording session took place in Studio Two on the evening of June 21, 1966 into the wee hours of June 22, just one day before the band traveled to Munich to start their international summer tour. The lyrics for “She Said She Said” drew upon the memory of a disorienting day of misadventure The Beatles had experienced in Los Angeles. Having received George’s help to create a whole new song from some unfinished fragments, John led the group through the rehearsals and recording while the clock ticked away the last remaining session time. Revolver’s Special Edition also features John’s home demo for the song and Take 15 – Backing track rehearsal, with its introductory speech revealing convivial banter between The Beatles as they worked out the arrangement (later praised by composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein as “remarkable” with “real inventions”).
By 4am on June 22, The Beatles finished “She Said She Said”, wrapping up their Revolver recording sessions. The album’s final mono and stereo mixes were completed that evening, and the next day The Beatles were once again off and running on tour. They would next return to Abbey Road in November 1966 to begin recording Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Released on August 5, 1966, Revolver spent seven weeks at number one on the UK albums chart, and a double A-side single with “Eleanor Rigby” and “Yellow Submarine” topped the UK singles chart for four weeks in August and September. In the U.S., Capitol released an 11-track version of Revolver, which spent six weeks at number one on Billboard’s albums chart. “I’m Only Sleeping”, “And Your Bird Can Sing”, and “Doctor Robert” had been previously plucked from the sessions for Capitol’s North American release of the Yesterday And Today compilation album in June. That album’s sleeve was originally printed with the infamous “butcher cover” before pre-release controversy resulted in Capitol recalling and re-covering well over one million mono and stereo LPs with an innocuous photo of The Beatles gathered around a trunk.
Revolver: Special Edition:
SUPER DELUXE [5CD + 100-page hardbound book in slipcase | digital audio collection]
CD1: Revolver (New stereo mix)
1. Taxman (2022 Mix) 2. Eleanor Rigby (2022 Mix) 3. I’m Only Sleeping (2022 Mix) 4. Love You To (2022 Mix) 5. Here, There and Everywhere (2022 Mix) 6. Yellow Submarine (2022 Mix) 7. She Said She Said (2022 Mix) 8. Good Day Sunshine (2022 Mix) 9. And Your Bird Can Sing (2022 Mix) 10. For No One (2022 Mix) 11. Doctor Robert (2022 Mix) 12. I Want To Tell You (2022 Mix) 13. Got To Get You Into My Life (2022 Mix) 14. Tomorrow Never Knows (2022 Mix)
CD2: Sessions One 1. Tomorrow Never Knows (Take 1) 2. Tomorrow Never Knows (Mono Mix Rm 11) 3. Got To Get You Into My Life (First Version / Take 5) 4. Got To Get You Into My Life (Second Version / Unnumbered Mix 5. Got To Get You Into My Life (Second Version / Take 8) 6. Love You To (Take 1) 7. Love You To (Unnumbered Rehearsal) 8. Love You To (Take 7) 9. Paperback Writer (Takes 1 & 2 / Backing Track) 10. Rain (Take 5 / Actual Speed) 11. Rain (Take 5 / Slowed Down For Master Tape) 12. Doctor Robert (Take 7) 13. And Your Bird Can Sing (First Version / Take 2) 14. And Your Bird Can Sing (First Version / Take 2 / Giggling)
CD3: Sessions Two 1. And Your Bird Can Sing (Second Version / Take 5) 2. Taxman (Take 11) 3. I’m Only Sleeping (Rehearsal Fragment) 4. I’m Only Sleeping (Take 2) 5. I’m Only Sleeping (Take 5) 6. I’m Only Sleeping (Mono Mix Rm1) 7. Eleanor Rigby (Speech Before Take 2) 8. Eleanor Rigby (Take 2) 9. For No One (Take 10 / Backing Track) 10. Yellow Submarine (Songwriting Work Tape / Part 1) 11. Yellow Submarine (Songwriting Work Tape / Part 2) 12. Yellow Submarine (Take 4 Before Sound Effects) 13. Yellow Submarine (Highlighted Sound Effects) 14. I Want To Tell You (Speech & Take 4) 15. Here, There and Everywhere (Take 6) 16. She Said She Said (John’s Demo) 17. She Said She Said (Take 15 / Backing Track Rehearsal)
CD4: Original Mono 1. Taxman (Mono) 2. Eleanor Rigby (Mono) 3. I’m Only Sleeping (Mono) 4. Love You To (Mono) 5. Here, There and Everywhere (Mono) 6. Yellow Submarine (Mono) 7. She Said She Said (Mono) 8. Good Day Sunshine (Mono) 9. And Your Bird Can Sing (Mono) 10. For No One (Mono) 11. Doctor Robert (Mono) 12. I Want To Tell You (Mono) 13. Got To Get You Into My Life (Mono) 14. Tomorrow Never Knows (Mono)
REVOLVER – SPECIAL EDITION SUPER DELUXE VINYL BOX SET 180g 4LP/1EP (Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe)
LP One: Revolver (new stereo mix) Side 1 1. Taxman 2. Eleanor Rigby 3. I’m Only Sleeping 4. Love You To 5. Here, There And Everywhere 6. Yellow Submarine 7. She Said She Said
Side 2 1. Good Day Sunshine 2. And Your Bird Can Sing 3. For No One 4. Doctor Robert 5. I Want To Tell You 6. Got To Get You Into My Life 7. Tomorrow Never Knows
LP Two: Sessions One Side 1 1. Tomorrow Never Knows (Take 1) 2. Tomorrow Never Knows (Mono mix RM 11) 3. Got To Get You Into My Life (First version) – Take 5 4. Got To Get You Into My Life (Second version) – Unnumbered mix – mono 5. Got To Get You Into My Life (Second version) – Take 8 6. Love You To (Take 1) – mono 7. Love You To (Unnumbered rehearsal) – mono
Side 2 1. Love You To (Take 7) 2. Paperback Writer (Takes 1 and 2) – Backing track – mono 3. Rain (Take 5 – Actual speed) 4. Rain (Take 5 – Slowed down for master tape) 5. Doctor Robert (Take 7) 6. And Your Bird Can Sing (First version) – Take 2 7. And Your Bird Can Sing (First version) – Take 2 (giggling)
LP Three: Sessions Two Side 1 1. And Your Bird Can Sing (Second version) – Take 5 2. Taxman (Take 11) 3. I’m Only Sleeping (Rehearsal fragment) – mono 4. I’m Only Sleeping (Take 2) – mono 5. I’m Only Sleeping (Take 5) – mono 6. I’m Only Sleeping (Mono mix RM1) 7. Eleanor Rigby (Speech before Take 2) 8. Eleanor Rigby (Take 2)
Side 2 1. For No One (Take 10) – Backing track 2. Yellow Submarine (Songwriting work tape – Part 1) – mono 3. Yellow Submarine (Songwriting work tape – Part 2) – mono 4. Yellow Submarine (Take 4 before sound effects) 5. Yellow Submarine (Highlighted sound effects) 6. I Want To Tell You (Speech and Take 4) 7. Here, There And Everywhere (Take 6) 8. She Said She Said (John’s demo) – mono 9. She Said She Said (Take 15) – Backing track rehearsal
LP Four: Revolver (original mono master) Side 1 1. Taxman 2. Eleanor Rigby 3. I’m Only Sleeping 4. Love You To 5. Here, There And Everywhere 6. Yellow Submarine 7. She Said She Said
Side 2 1. Good Day Sunshine 2. And Your Bird Can Sing 3. For No One 4. Doctor Robert 5. I Want To Tell You 6. Got To Get You Into My Life 7. Tomorrow Never Knows
Revolver EP (7-inch) Side 1 1. Paperback Writer (New stereo mix) 2. Rain (New stereo mix)
Finnish blues rock slide guitarist and singer songwriter Erja Lyytinen is pleased to announce the release of “Last Girl”, the second single taken from her upcoming ninth studio album Waiting For The Daylight.
The single, released Wednesday September 7th, is available to stream and buy on Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, and Amazon Music via https://ffm.to/ylyrxan. Watch the Last Girl music video
In November, Erja heads out on a co-headline UK tour with the award-winning Belfast-based blues guitarist Dom Martin. Tickets are available from https://erjalyytinen.com/tour and www.dommart.in/tour. Dates include Southampton, The 1865 (Nov 7), Bilston, The Robin (Nov 8), London, The Grace (Nov 9) and Grimsby, Yardbirds (Nov 10).
“Last Girldeals with the subject of bullying in schools and the feeling of being left out of a friendship group, says Erja. “This song is for those who feel as if they are outsiders, which is a current topic as the new school year is about to start. A lot is happening in the song, and it is quite intense and energetic, just like the school world is.”
“Continues Erja, “Making the music video for ‘Last Girl’ felt essential because it’s such an important topic to me. A young girl features in the music video, and at the end, she is playing an electric guitar with me as part of the group and having a good time. The song speaks out on many levels.”
“It was fascinating to create guitar parts for ‘Last Girl’. It has some vibes from rock bands like Iron Maiden, but I also wrote twin-part guitar harmonies to the C – part in the style of an Allman Brothers Band. I wanted to create a song with an old classic rock feel but executed with modern sounds and techniques.”
“The intro has pull-offs and some fast licks and flute notes combined which creates the main guitar theme for the whole song. This song has probably one of the most challenging guitar parts I have written so far.”
For musicians, the last two years have been a period of reflection and soul searching. What to do with oneself in the absence of life on the road? And would live music ever be able to return to the way it was pre-pandemic? Artists and music fans alike waited for that glimmer of hope and the return of some semblance of normality. Written largely during the pandemic era Erja Lyytinen’s new studio album Waiting For The Daylight encapsulates these emotions.
With time on her hands, Lyytinen was able to pause, dig deep and fully process her feelings. Some of which she had been carrying for a long time. This journey of self-exploration proved to be a source of inspiration for the artist’s latest offering. Carrying on from the gifted guitarist’s last two studio albums, Stolen Hearts, and Another World, respectively, Lyytinen continues to explore themes such as love, loss, heartbreak, and sometimes even revenge. Events transpiring around the world occasionally fed into the storyboard of Lyytinen’s songwriting.
The album was recorded during the first half of 2022, between Erja’s hectic touring schedule, with the bulk of the sessions taking place at The Hollywood House in Helsinki, Finland. Lyytinen was joined in the studio by long-standing bass player Tatu Back and drummer Iiro Laitinen. Having played on every one of Lyytinen’s albums since 2008, Harri Taittonen features once again on Hammond and keyboard. Waiting For The Daylight illustrates a new chapter in Erja’s musical and artistic trajectory. The album was proudly produced by Lyytinen herself. Subsequently, Erja simultaneously explored sounds on the periphery of the blues-rock genre. She fearlessly pushed herself and the band further than previously before.
During her formative years, Erja was schooled on the sounds of the ’60s and 7’0s by her mother, and with her latest offering, she pays homage to rock greats such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and Uriah Heap. With its heavy groove, atmospheric textures, and passionate delivery the title track is a testament to this. The song Waiting For The Daylight also features perhaps one of the artist’s most mesmerizing and emotive solos to date. Lyytinen further showcases her chops during the album’s hook-laden opening number and lead single, “Bad Seed”.
The artist pours her heart and soul into the cathartic number “Last Girl”. Erja describes the latter a cross between Satriani meets Iron Maiden. Says Erja, “The song talks about bullying in schools and how you can be left out of a friendship group. I always put something of my own in the songs as well, so it became a very important song on many levels.”
Just as the title dictates, at approximately seven minutes long, “The End of Music”concludes the release to great effect. “The song talks about missing being back on stage and the audience, as many of us musicians did during the pandemic,” explains Erja.
For Erja and her fans alike, the new studio album and her return to touring the UK is worth the wait.
Bad Seed (5:13) Last Girl (5:28) Run Away (5:00) Waiting For The Daylight (6:12) Never Really Had You (5:15) Diamonds On The Road (4:25) You Talk Dirty (6:17) Love Bites (3:58) The End of Music (6:55)
Erja Lyytinen – Vocals, Guitars, Violin, Keyboards Harri Taittonen – Keyboards, Hammond Tatu Back – Bass Iiro Laitinen – Drums
Recorded and mixed by Matias Kiiveri at Hollywood House in Helsinki Finland 2022 .
Produced by Erja Lyytinen Executive producer Erja Lyytinen for Bluesland Productions Photographer and digital design by Antti Karppinen, Alias Creative Graphic design by Jan Yrlund, Darkgrove Design . All songs, lyrics, and music by Erja Lyytinen
The God Of Hellfire ARTHUR BROWN Invites You To His MONSTER’S BALL, Releases New Single LUCIFER SAM With DEEP PURPLE’S IAN PAICE & STEVE HILLAGE!
Features performances by James Williamson, Ian Paice, Mark Stein, Nik Turner, Shuggie Otis & More
Los Angeles, CA – Fans of dark and ghoulish rock & roll are all cordially invited to attend what is sure to be the biggest party of this year’s Halloween season, Monster’s Ball, the new album from the one and only God Of Hellfire and theatrical rock visionary, Arthur Brown! For his latest macabre-themed masterpiece, Brown is joined by a murderer’s row of talented co-conspirators including the album’s producers Alan Davey, who also co-wrote several of the songs, and Fernando Perdomo, all of whom have helped Brown craft one of the most energetic and thrilling albums of his long and distinguished career. From The Stooges’ guitarist James Williamson, who brings the heat on a new version of Brown’s iconic 1968 hit “Fire” to the killer collaboration with Vanilla Fudge’s Mark Stein on “Zombie Yelp,” Monster’s Ball promises to be one hell of a good time!
Today, Brown is proud to share another song from the album, the psychedelic opener to the album “Lucifer Sam,” penned by none other than Syd Barrett and featuring ripping performances by Gong guitarist Steve Hillage and Deep Purple drummer Ian Paice. Brown had this to say about the song, “As a prelude to the album launch on October 21st here’s a mysterious track by the enigmatic Syd Barrett. Fernando Perdomo’s bold production, the song’s adventurous structure, and the input of Steve Hillage and Ian Paice make this a delight of spooky fun. Shadows flickered and felines howled as I sang this portrait – Happy Halloween!”
Track List: 1. Lucifer Sam feat. Ian Paice & Steve Hillage 2. Screamin’ Ball (At Dracula’s Hall) feat. Alan Davey 3. I Feel Free feat. James Williamson & Rat Scabies 4. Bucket O’ Blood feat. Nik Turner 5. Zombie Yelp feat. Roye Albrighton & Mark Stein 6. Whistlin’ Past The Graveyard feat. The Sinclairs 7. Fire feat. James Williamson, Brian Auger & Carmine Appice 8. The Monster Hop feat. Shuggie Otis 9. Curse Of The Hearse 10. Mad Witch 11. The Vampire feat. The Coffin Daggers 12. Late Last Night feat. Steve Hillage, Roye Albrighton, Gilli Smyth & Joel Vandroogenbroeck BONUS TRACK [CD ONLY] 13. Karn Evil #9 feat. Jordan Rudess
Canadian classic roots and blues rock band The Commoners release “Too Much”, the second single from the forthcoming album Find A Better Way on Friday August 26th. The single is available to buy and stream from https://lnk.fu.ga/thecommoners_toomuch. The “Too Much” music video can be streamed on You Tube .
The band describe the Too Much single as follows – “Erupting with the growling vigour of an old Beaumont, Too Much drives The Commoners to the brink of surrendering their dreams for the comforts of home. A high horsepower performance peels out with rowdy riffs and lively organ in tow, delivering a relatable sentiment that never proves to be too much.”
Possessing a sound tapped from the oaken belly of a whiskey barrel, The Commoners are a four-piece Roots/Blues Rock band from Toronto, Canada.
Described as “a classic rock and roll affair,” the nine songs take the listener on a sonic voyage through the lives of the band, from the dusty back roads of rural Ontario to the bright lights of the big city. Offering their own blend of rock and roll, southern blues, and roots music, the Toronto-based four-piece band are known for their high-energy riffs, soulful vocals, and rich harmonies. The result is an authentic Southern-style rock experience.
The group was cobbled together over the course of a decade, adapting through numerous obstacles to form the unit as it exists today: Chris Medhurst (vocals/guitar), Ben Spiller (bass), Ross Hayes Citrullo (lead guitar), and Adam Cannon (drums). Often joined by their friend, organist Miles Evans-Branagh, The Commoners unite under a shared dream: to write, perform, and share music that is an authentic nod to the greats who paved the way before them.
“The new album authentically embodies the rock and roll, soul, and blues rock experience,” says the band’s lead singer, Chris Medhurst. “That’s something we really wanted to bring back. That’s the roots. That’s what we listen to.”
“The Black Crowes are a considerable influence for us,” says Medhurst. “Derek Trucks, Marcus King, Led Zeppelin, and The Allman Brothers Band, too. These are the bands that we wear on our sleeves as we aspire to create our own music and sound.”
Find A Better Way is an album that demands attention from the first note. The opening lines “If I scream at the top of my lungs, and stamp my feet, ’til the floor comes undone,” immediately inform that a wild ride lies ahead. The album was recorded and produced at RHC Music in Toronto by the band’s guitarist Ross Hayes Citrullo. Ross collaborated with executive producer Renan Yildizdogan to strike the perfect balance of new and old recording treatments. The goal was to create something that felt new and original, yet still familiar to their target classic roots rock and blues rock audience.
“The vision from the beginning was to marry old and new southern rock together in a way that was unique to the band’s Canadian roots,” explains Citrullo. “By adding the soul and rock elements of the Black Crowes, and the southern blues rock undertones of the Allman Brothers to a production style akin to Blackberry Smoke and Rival Sons, I think we developed an authentic sound that compares sonically to some of our favorite records across all of those music genres.”
The album’s lyrical themes drill into the essence of humanity: love, regret, ambition, and fear. Circling the forever challenge of doubt vs. desire, The Commoners place themselves into the shoes of the everyman. The result? Nine tracks that function as a comfort and companion through all of life’s trials and tribulations, with melodic solos, soaring organ, and a punchy rhythm section to drive the messages home.
Drummer Adam Cannon says – “Music, like so much in life, is about the exchange of energy.” and The Commoners make more than a fair trade. Striving to present an impactful, memorable, and downright exhilarating live experience that accurately represents their recorded works, the band carries the listener over spirited choruses and group chants, before returning them back to earth in need of a shot of something smooth. You can expect to leave fully satisfied, sweat drenched, and heart racing, a good time guaranteed—just what we all need.
The Commoners enlisted a handful of Toronto’s finest musicians to help bring their record to life. On the title track Find A Better Way, the band brought on keyboardist Jeff Heisholt (The Trews) to lay down an iconic organ track. For the rest of the album, keyboardist Miles Evans-Branagh performed organ, piano, and Rhodes.
To accompany Ben and Adam on backup vocals, The Commoners called upon three of Canada’s top backup singers. Tash Lorayne and Shezelle Weekes (The Arkells), and Chantal Williams joined in to arrange vocal parts and enliven the mix with their vivacious voices resulting in a spine-tingling performance.
The Commoners also invited local legend Michael Eckert to lend his pedal steel talents on I Won’t and Alive. Adding the final cherry on top, renowned multi-instrumentalist Ben Healey treated Deadlines to a guitar solo worthy of the world’s greatest stadiums. Though these songs were all written by The Commoners, the contributions of these amazing guest musicians make the album something special.
“Every time we brought an outside player into the studio, they would offer their own unique instincts and interpretations of each song. This helped the album grow into a collaborative art piece that continues to surprise us with every listen.”
A rock anthem to its core, the title track, “Find A Better Way” carries a message that encapsulates the entirety of the record. With growing uncertainties, society faces challenges previously unseen, leaving the collective in a perpetual state of questioning, with doubt directed towards governments, public leaders, and our neighbors. From the aftermath of COVID-19, the increasing mental health crisis in North America, war crimes in Ukraine, and the explosion of social movements and protests, one thought unites us all—we need to find a better way to co-exist on this planet. Find A Better Way takes an inward look at confronting our tumultuous past and accepting personal accountabilities to uncover the strength needed to seek a solution.
“Find a Better Way” is the only track on the record to mixed outside of Canada. The band worked with legend Producer/Mixer Kevin Shirley (the Black Crowes, Joe Bonamassa, Led Zeppelin) at Caveman Studios in Sydney, Australia. Kevin’s mix helped set the perfect tone for the album, which Ross Hayes Citrullo was then able to follow for the rest of the record. Kevin’s involvement set The Commoners on the right path with this epic title track.
Mastering was also an important consideration for the band and their label. For this stage, the team sent their record all the way to Nashville, Tennessee toPete Lyman (Tedeschi Trucks, Blackberry Smoke, Chris Stapleton, Rival Sons) at Infrasonic Sound. Pete’s specialty for mastering southern rock made the mixes come alive, making them sonically competitive to the band’s influences.
As a collective, we find ourselves emerging into a changed society, with uncertainty looming and shadowing the future. In their upcoming release The Commoners remind us that music has a unique ability to heal, a medicine of extraordinary merit, and balm for the soul during dark times. Every major movement in history gave rise to change makers, and The Commoners are taking their stand, here to lead and inspire us all to Find a Better Way.
FIND A BETTER WAY FILL MY CUP MORE THAN MISTAKES TOO MUCH NATURLLY I WON’T DEADLINES HANGIN’ ON AGAIN ALIVE
Chris Medhurst – Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar Ross Hayes Citrullo – Lead Guitar Ben Spiller – Bass, Vocals, Piano (5, 9) Adam Cannon – Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Miles Evans-Branagh – Organ, Rhodes, Piano | Jeff Heisholt – Organ (1) Michael Ekhart – Pedal Steel (6, 9) | Ben Healey – Lead Guitar (7) Chantal Williams, Shezelle Weekes, Tash Lorayne – Backing Vocals
All songs written by The Commoners Produced by Ross Hayes Citrullo and The Commoners Executive Producer – Renan Yildizdogan Recorded at RHC Music, Toronto ON
Album Photography by Lindsay White Album Design by Emily Goguen
THE COMMONERS 2022 Tour Dates:
12/08/22 Toronto-Canada @ The Horseshoe Tavern 23/09/22 London-Canada @ Eastsides 12/10/22 Norderstedt-Germany @ Music Star 13/10/22 Hoganas-Sweden @ Garage Bar TBC 14/10/22 Varberg-Sweden @ Maja’s 15/10/22 Avesta-Sweden @ Kulturgaraget 16/10/22 Stockholm TBC 18/10/22 Malmo-Sweden @ Folk & Rock 19&20/10/22 Hamburg-Germany @ Cowboy und Indianer TBC 21/10/22 Asendorf-Germany @ Break Out 22/10/22 Singwitz-Germany @ Kesselhaus 23/10/22 Burglengenfeld-Germany @ RockStürbl 24/10/22 Bratislava-Slovakia @ Muzeum Ochbodu 26/10/22 Bremen-Germany @ Meisenfrei 27/10/22 Köln-Germany TBC 28/10/22 Rimsting-Germany TBC 29/10/22 Fiesch-Switzerland @ Inch Bar 30/10/22 Switzerland TBC 31/10/22 Solothurn-Switzerland TBC 03/11/22 Barcelona-Spain @ Sala Textil 04/11/22 Castellon-Spain @ Sala Because 05/11/22 Orihuela-Spain @ La Gramola 06/11/22 Valladollid-Spain @ Puerta Caeli 07/11/22 Leon-Spain @ Babylon 08/11/22 Ourense-Spain @ Cafe Auriense 10/11/22 A Coruna-Spain @ Sala Mardi Gras 11/11/22 Cangas-Spain @ Salason 12/11/22 Valles-Spain @ Bocanegra 13/11/22 Vitoria-Spain @ Urban Rock 15/11/22 Chambery-France @ Brin de Zinc 16/11/22 Besançon-France @ Bar De L’U 17/11/22 Metz-France TBC 18/11/22 Krefeld-Germany @ Kulturrampe 19/11/22 Ostend-Belgium TBC
Kings of Mercia, the new group formed by acclaimed rock/metal guitarist Jim Matheos (Fates Warning, Arch/Matheos) and powerhouse rock vocalist Steve Overland (FM) have announced the release of their self-titled debut album on September 23rd, 2022 via Metal Blade Records. Accompanying the duo on the upcoming album are Matheos’ Fates Warning bandmate Joey Vera on bass, and legendary drummer Simon Philips.
Kings of Mercia are now pleased to share the new single “Liberate Me”.
Steve Overland says this about the track: “’Liberate me’ is another great example of what the Kings of Mercia album represents, a high energy, hard rock song about someone who has lived life selfishly and done many wrongs, but as the years take their toll, they begin to regret their past and want to make things right. Once again, it shows off the great individual talents in the band with great performances by all.”
TRACKLIST: 1.Wrecking Ball 3:54 2.Humankind 4:13 3.Sweet Revenge 4:38 4.Set the World on Fire 4:16 5.Too Far Gone 6:07 6.Liberate Me 4:18 7.Nowhere Man 4:20 8.Everyday Angels 3:59 9.Is It Right? 4:03 10.Your Life 6:07
Best known as the founding guitarist for Fates Warning, but with countless other projects under his belt – including Arch / Matheos and most recently Tuesday The Sky – Jim Matheos is incapable of stifling his creativity. In early 2021, he started working on the songs that would become Kings Of Mercia’s self-titled debut album, bringing his distinct style yet doing something a little different. “I started writing without any real idea of what direction I wanted to go in or what I was going to do with the material. The first few songs came together quickly and were a bit more straightforward than I’m used to, and I really liked that idea, kind of going back to my early heavy/hard rock roots.” Not having any pre-conceived ideas of what the record should or would end up sounding like, at least early on, certainly helped, “as did the fact that it’s our first record, so there was nothing to measure it against or expectations to live up to, even if only in my own head.”
Churning out songs, Matheos’ next concern was to find the musicians who would help him realize the material, and his first priority was a vocalist. It was his friend Jeff Wagner who suggested FM’s Steve Overland, and another friend, rock journalist Dave Ling, who put them in touch with each other. “Jim had asked Dave for my contact details, we talked about his idea for mixing the two styles, his heavier background, with my melodic/bluesier direction,” says Overland. “We decided to try a collaboration on one song and see how it worked, we came up with the track “Humankind”, and we both loved it.”. Having already settled on this hard rock direction, it was only once Matheos got the first couple of songs back from Overland that it became all the way clear of the shape the record would take, with the vocalist sending over his parts every few weeks, everything gradually coming together.
Behind the kit for the record is the legendary Simon Phillips (ex-Toto, Derek Sherinian), one of Matheos’ favorite drummers. “I decided to contact him on a whim, not really expecting that he’d be available or interested in this project. But, to my surprise, he liked the music and was able to fit some recording into his schedule. It’s an honor to share a credit with him and I couldn’t be happier with what he added to the record.” Rounding out the group is bassist Joey Vera – Matheos’ Fates Warning bandmate – who brings his trademark style and professionalism to the table. “My old friend and co-worker Joey Vera was a natural choice for bass. Not only did I know he would deliver performance-wise, but it was nice to have a familiar face among the new personalities.” With these players involved it was an easy, stress-free process throughout, making music for the love of it, and coming up with something that sounds familiar yet new, expanding the repertoire of all involved. This means songs like the half-acoustic ballad, half-swaggering “Too Far Gone” or the beautiful “Everyday Angels”, and the soaring “Wrecking Ball”, which opens the record on a high note, all brought to life in dynamic style. Jim Matheos – Guitars Steve Overland – Vocals Joey Vera – Bass Simon Phillips – Drums
When the Intelligent Music Project started, the first albums featured the late John Lawton on them, and they were fantastic. As each album has come along new singers and players have come along as well. My initial interest in the band was John, as I was a fan of what he had did throughout his career. Thus, I kinda didn’t totally keep up with each subsequent release. But the latest (and 3rd) with Ronnie Romero (Blackmore’s Rainbow, Michael Schenker, Lords of Black…) I am nicely reminded that I.M.P. is about well written and produced tunes, regardless who’s exactly in it; this is really good from start to finish. I was not sold on the singer as part of Rainbow, but here Romero is more involved that just doing someone else’s material or a band with a set style. With Unconditioned (released July 27), Romero takes on something new and different, less ‘metal’, and really makes this his own thing. Also on here is Nazareth’s Carl Sentance and legendary drummer Simon Phillips. Plenty of great rock tracks, from the cool riff of “Intention”, “Wait For The Night”, and the more aor-ish “And Stars Never Fall” (dig the drum/slide intro). And as with I.M.P, there’s a good variety of tracks, and use of acoustic guitars, piano, harmonies, etc.. , so you get interesting and excellent songs like “Soulmate”, “Madness”, “New Hero”, and “Sunshine Boulevard” (great heavy solo). I see this is Romero’s 3rd album with the project, so I’ve got some back-tracking to do. Contains 14 tracks, so a bit long (10 tracks is long enough for me for almost any album). But a solid collection of songs.
*For more info check out the press release and links below
Superstar Rock Band Intelligent Music Project To Release 7th Album “Unconditioned” Feat. Members of TOTO, Rainbow & Nazareth
Featuring Simon Phillips (TOTO, Mike Oldfield, Pete Townshend), Ronnie Romero (Rainbow, MSG), Carl Sentance (Nazareth)
The superstar rock band Intelligent Music Project will release its seventh studio album entitled “Unconditioned” in July – just two months after their biggest adventure, called Eurovision Song Contest.
The legendary Simon Phillips (TOTO, Protocol) returns as percussionist and musical co-producer of the new album, while the lead vocalist on this release will again be one of the most popular names in rock music today: Ronnie Romero (Rainbow, MSG). This will be Romero’s third album with Intelligent Music Project, and for the first time the group has expanded its compositional approach: two of the songs and their arrangements are entirely the work of Ronnie, Biser Ivanov and Ivo Stefanov. For the first time on “Unconditioned,” the band’s lead singer shows off his skills as a lyricist, having penned the words to those two songs. All the other songs and lyrics are once again the creation of Intelligent Music Project’s founder and producer, Dr. Milen Vrabevski.
In honor of the tenth anniversary of the band’s first album, “The Power Of Mind,” the seventh album follows its format and also begins and ends with instrumental tracks written by Dr. Milen Vrabevski in collaboration with Biser Ivanov and Ivo Stefanov.
“‘Unconditioned’ is an album dedicated to unconditional love as a deciding factor in normalizing our modern life. This love has to be focused above all on our children, because they are the future, while we are the ones who need to show them the way and teach them to make bold decisions and to live for the people around them. Only with more such people will the world become a better place” – Dr. Vrabevski about the new album
One hit track from “Unconditioned” is “Intention” – the song the band played as Bulgaria’s representative to Eurovision 2022 in Torino. Besides the Eurovision version, the album will also include the original, longer take, which sticks to Intelligent Music Project’s signature melodic progressive style, as well as a backing track version.
“Intention” was the first single from Intelligent Music Project’s seventh album. At the moment, the song has more than two and a half million views/listens on both YouTube and Spotify. The song raises the question of every individual’s personal, internal battle with outdated models of belief and behavior that hold them back. Starting from the title itself, the author underscores the simple fact that it is never too late to start down the right path – the path of your own personal growth, of dignified existence and of life with a mission. The song calls us to turn away from our ego, selfishness and a consumerist attitude on life and instead to live for the people around us.
“Finding the right path, however, often turns into a battle with one’s self, so you need a serious intention to truly make a change!” – Dr. Milen Vrabevski, the author of the music and lyrics of “Intention” notes.
The album’s second single, “New Hero,” came out in early May. The song was accompanied by a striking video that recreated a military atmosphere, where, in sync with the idea behind the album, the main characters were children. In the video’s narrative, it is precisely the children who turn out to be the brave heroes who bring about change.
“Effective action in the present, despite difficulties, is the key to progress. It is crucial for us to know that pretty words get us nowhere. It is easy to stand silently and do what you’re told. The harder but only effective thing is for a person to have their own opinion, their own method of resisting injustice, even if this means they often find themselves alone and misunderstood,” Dr. Vrabevski explains.
In addition to Simon Phillips and Ronnie Romero, the album also includes Carl Sentance (Nazareth), Biser Ivanov on guitar, Ivo Stefanov on keyboards, Slavin Slavchev, Lina Nicole, and Borislav Mudolov-Kosatkata on backing vocals; Dimitar Sirakov on bass; Samuel Eftimov on piano
Guitarist Peter Hesslein of legendary German band Lucifer’s Friend has finished a new collection of instrumental tracks for his Night Drive 3 album, to be released on October 14.
Night Drive 3 features 16 tracks, and will be the last in this solo trilogy.
Following the reformation of Lucifer’s Friend in 2015, a live album and 2 new studio albums, Peter released his first solo album titled Night Drive in 2020 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Lucifer’s Friend, followed by Night Drive 2 in ’21. Sadly, Lucifer’s Friend singer John Lawton passed away on June 29 of last year, putting an end to the band, with a compilation titled The Last Stand being issued later in the year.
Night Drive 3 features singer Mike Starrs (who replaced Lawton in Lucifer’s Friend in the late ’70s), who ‘guests’ on the album’s last track. Starrs has recently recorded an album with the band Crossover. I am looking forward to hearing his voice on Night Drive 3, and ‘hope’ their may be more to come.
1 This Way Home 2 Sunset Drive 3 At A Crossroads 4 Driving All Night 5 Going South 6 In The Fast Lane 7 Road of Dreams 8 On The Horizon 9 A Few More Hours 10 No Backseat Driver 11 A Warm Day’s Night 12 Faster Than a Slug 13 Exit Number 9 14 Sunrise Pit Stop 15 A Gnat In My Life 16 Chapters Of My Life
UK blues rocker Troy Redfern, hailed as “the king of slide guitar” recently released “Gasoline” — the second single from Troy Redfern’s forthcoming album The Wings Of Salvation. As mentioned, the slide guitar summer anthem was officially released Friday August 19th. The upbeat heavy cut comes across as a cool, positive summertime rocker, with a catchy chorus, and filled with Redfern’s trademark slide work.
“With Gasoline I wanted to write a positive, uplifting, good-time rock ’n’ roll tune,” says Troy. “Right now, we’re bombarded with a lot of negative news in the media. Lyrically, I wanted to put something out there that was the opposite to that. The groove of this tune is in 7/8, which isn’t a typical rock ’n’ roll rhythm, but I really love the flow and feel of riffing in this time signature, especially playing slide using the National resonator in a low tuning. The combination sounds huge.”
The single features Dave Marks on bass guitar and Paul Stewart (The Feeling) on drums. “Gasoline” follows the excellent hard hitting anthemic “Come On” single (see below). Both tracks sound like they will be great live numbers. Redfern has amassed a large discography of recordings since 2015’s Back Door Hoodoo, including 6 albums recorded over the past couple of years of lockdown, and notably the critically acclaimed The Fire Cosmic! So, plenty of classic slide guitar driven rock to get into.
Fans can pre-save the “Gasoline” single (released Friday August 19th) from this link – https://bit.ly/3Pofyuc.
Wings Of Salvation features 10 tracks, and will be released September 23rd. Available for pre-order on CD & Vinyl (as well as digital) at – www.troyredfern.com/shop.
Troy is special guest on DARE’s UK tour in October (12 shows).