Jan 292014

Another band bites the dust: after more than three decades together, MÖTLEY CRÜE announced The Final Tour, to be followed by the band’s  retirement. The announcement was solidified when the band signed a formal Cessation Of Touring Agreement, effective at the end of 2015, in front of global media in Los Angeles. Before quitting, however, they will do complete The Final Tour, which includes a stop at The KFC Yum! Center on October 14. Tickets for that show will be  $20.00, $45.00, $75.00 and $125.00 (plus applicable fees)  and  will go on sale to the public beginning 10am on Saturday, February 1 at LiveNation.com.

More details and the full list of stop on the REALLY BIG FINAL TOUR are at http://www.motley.com

Jan 092014

Hailing from Huntington, West Virginia is Zeroking, a four-piece original rock band that does really well. Zeroking is Andy Haught on vocals, Shane Day on guitar, Paul First on bass and Chris Webb on drums. They have opened for such artists as Bobaflex, Drowning Pool, Soil, Pop Evil, Nonpoint, Black Stone Cherry and others. I know this band because I used to be in a band called Sideshow with the singer Andy Haught, formerly known as Andy Christ of the band Sick World. a band who played Louisville frequently back in the late Nineties. Zeroking has done well for themselves, fan wise, and at getting national gigs. Andy has a very melodic voice when he wants to and that is his strong point. Former Louisville metal radio pioneer Black Frank (whom I hear is managing bands or scouting for bands) has taken an interest in these guys and I can see why. The band just put out a video for the song “Dead Rockstar” (which debuted on Revolvermag.com) and I’m checking it out now. I’m impressed with Andy’s vocals. He sounds better than ever. The quality of the recording is darn good, too. A good amount of money was spent here on this. This is a bit more commercial, musically, than what I’m used to hearing Andy sing, but it’s still good. Andy has always had good range and projection in his voice, and he’s always been a good charismatic frontman. You don’t see many singers like Andy these days. The guitars of Shane Day cut through very nicely. Awesome solo! Nice guitar effects implemented. Great tone and playing by all members, really. The drums sound great. The video looks pretty good, sounds good, and was filmed good too. You can’t really ask for much more from an up-and-coming band like Zeroking. The studio they went to is really good! There aren’t a lot of rockin’ bands around the Huntington area I would guess, but Zeroking is looking to expand to bigger and better things, and with music and video like this, I would say they are off to a damn good start.

I really need to get these guys a gig here in Louisville. Until then, check out “Dead Rockstar” right here!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuJSqszl17Y

Jan 082014

Lately, my Bogner guitar head, which is a tube amp, has been kind of weak. My tubes were at least three-and-a-half years old, and you could tell. My sound wasn’t bad mind you (it’s a Bogner!), but it was noticibly less crisp, less, punchy, and less loud as it usually is with new tubes. And rather than pay close to $300 to take it to a music store to have it retubed and biased by God knows who, I decided to go with a guy recommended by Tom Dawson, bassist of The Olivia Henken Band and Thunder Tribe. The guys name is Steve Yocum (the singer for the cover band Redline), and he comes to your house and biases your tube amps for you! Steve has been doing tubes for 10 years! No need to haul heavy gear back and forth to and fro, and have to wait days for your amp to be completed. Steve does your tube work right in front of you, and even explains what he is doing so you see he is doing things right! This was sooo much better than taking my amp to a music store. As long as Steve is around, I’ll never do that again. His price was surprisingly cheap! About a third the cost of a music store! His work was flawless. My Bogner head came back to life and was more crisp, more tight, louder and had way more balls than before. So if you have a tube amp of some kind and need to fix it up to where it has “balls” again, or if your tubes blew out, be sure to give Steve Yocum a call at 502-321-3325 or hit him up on Facebook. Save big bucks and get it done by a pro. Oh yeah, if you need new tubes, buy them from Eurotubes.com. That company comes highly recommended and that’s why I tried it out. All went well and my amp has new life now, so give Eurotubes and Mr Yocum a shout and they’ll fix you up nicely.

You’re welcome!!!

Jan 072014

Rust N’ Bones has had a pretty darn good year, indeed. Coming from out of nowhere and playing shows all the time must have been grueling, but I don’t think band founder and one of the coolest guys in the scene, Justin Spicer, minds much. In fact, I know the man lives to play his music. He is like me, he doesn’t care if 15 people like his music, he is going to do his thing his way and that’s all there is to it. I respect that totally.</P>
<p>The band just recorded some tunes at two different locations. “The Things You Do” has some lovely, bluesy lead work starting out, though I’m not sure I like the rhythm guitar tone very much. Sounds a bit too fuzzy, kind of like a Crate amp of the Eighties. The lead sound works, well though. Justin’s vocals have a bluesy feel to it and sound pretty good in a Billy Gibbons sort of way. A raspy, Gravelly, gruffy soulful endeavor, but actaul singing, nonetheless. He’s like an old black man down South singing the blues in a Blind Lemon Jefferson sort of way, which makes Justin an original around these parts. I’m not into the drum sound on this recording, though. They are a bit weak to be effective. I have to admit I’m kind of spoiled on studio quality recordings, and I do pick at anything less than what the music deserves. The studio quality is not terrible, but it could be better. I like this band because they don’t care about trends or stupid crap like that. They have their own sound and be damned to everything else! This song reminds me of old ZZ Top or something other South Texas rock! Justin’s leads are rockin’. “Bad Love” is a love song of hurt and betrayal. The guitar tones sound a little better in this one. The use of the wah pedal is cool. The songs are a bit simplistic but who cares, it isn’t about how hard of stuff you can play, its about feeling and soul. And Rust N’ Bones have both. Yeah, they don’t sound like the cookie monster on vocals (thank god), nor do they play lightning fast, ridiculous death metal riffs, but what they do is play music with soul, from the heart. I like this song much better. It’s a good bluesy tune with a good rockin groove. If you like bluesy no nonsense rock n’ roll, then Rust N’ Bones is just what the doctor ordered! Seek them out at www.reverbnation.com/rustnbones</P>

Jan 062014

Wow, these guys do not give up. I totally respect their dedication and persistence. Having been through several lineup changes, you think they would give up and start anew, but giving up is not in these guys vocabulary, apparently. The band parted ways with singer Billy Burton (There’s a fargin’ surprise. Not! I hate to say “I told ya so” but I just can’t resist.) and guitarist Tony Henry a few months back but have announced a new lineup coming your way soon. The band has enlisted Troy Hendrix on vocals and James Toler on guitar. Two guys I haven’t heard of before, but that means nothing, as there are lots of undiscovered talent out there just waiting to be heard. These new dudes could be awesome. And knowing Troy and Nick for as long as I have, I’m sure they jam pretty good to even be considered. We will find out on February 7 at Phoenix Hill Tavern when they play one of their first shows back! So be out to support the guys and their new members.

Jan 052014

Billy Youngblood is a very busy individual, indeed. Aside from being an incredibly talented guitarist and singer, Mr Youngblood has his own indie record label called Smokin Gorillas Records. Billy mostly does acoustic shows these days, but also does the full rock band thing when the time is right. Billy has quite the resume, having played with Louisville breakout stars Days Of The New and short stints with Tantric and Modern Superstar. Billy currently resides in Fort Wayne, Indiana but loves Louisville and plays here when ever he can. I’m so glad Terry Harper turned me on to this guy, because not only is Billy a ridiculously good guitar player, but he is one great guy as well, and I think a lot of Louisville musicians could learn a lot from a guy with his experience. Billy is seriously thinking of moving to Louisville soon, and I hope he does. We need more people like Billy in this town. “Too Much Pain To Cry” is an odd acoustic rocker of a tune. There is some kind of stringed orchestra instrument playing with the acoustic guitar that sounds really cool. The acoustic tone is awesome. This reminds me a lot of Days Of The New. Billy’s voice is one of confidence and classic influence. He has a great classic singing voice that mixes well with the laid back guitar vibe. This kind of reminds me of Hendrix a bit too. Neil Young meets Hendrix! This is some good stuff. Acoustic rock with a serious classic rock vibe. Very nice alternate picking technique. I would have liked to have heard more effect on Billy’s voice in this recording, though, it’s a bit oo dry for my taste. Other than that it, sounds really good. I bet Billy knows every guitar chord in existence. He puts off that kind of vibe. A guy that knows guitar like the back of his hand, and probably knows more about guitar than any 100 average guitarists, including me! It’s very good songwriting, lyrically and musically. “No Romeo” is the song that was released in Europe last year through an European distribution deal, and later released in the USA through a deal with Viacom Media (MTV). This song is different. I love the lead guitar work Billy does. Sounds excellent. It’s hard to describe the music in this song. It’s jazzy, funky, energetic and original. Santana meets Eric Johnson! Clean guitars, jazzy leads, and funky clean rthythms, this song has it all. Heck, it even has a South American feel about it a little. The sound quality of the recording is good. I’m not even sure what category of music this would be in! It’s rock, but a different sort of rock. Hard to catagorize. I’ve been scrolling through a few of Billy’s songs and dude is very good on guitar. His leads shred! He does covers as well. I was checking out a cover of Zeppelin’s “No Quarter” live and his leads were killing. He did a cover of Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady” and his vocals sound like Jimmy. A killer cover! This really sounds good! 2014 should be a good year for The Smokin Gorillas, especially if these distribution deals Billy made pan out the way they should.

Lately though, Billy has used his music to spread a far more important message. Billy’s son David has been the target of bullying and the authorities have done nothing about it, so billy has launched a campaign against bullying through his music. It’s a touching story and no child should be bullied, especially one with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), like his son David has. I myself was bullied a lot growing up and it is not a cool thing to live in fear. It only stopped for me when I took Tae Kwon Do and started cracking ribs with kicks. Alas, violence is not the answer these days, so I hope Billy can make some headway battling this situation with his music and music connections. Check out Billy and his son’s story. http://thejunglevine.wordpress.com/

I’m going to try to bring Billy back down here in a few months so you mofos can get a taste of the Smokin Gorillas in action once again. Until then, check out Billy’s unreal playing online at http: //www.reverbnation.com/smokingorillas/songs

Jan 042014

Well, after two years of lollygagging, Louisville’s Year Of The Gun has just finished recording five new tracks at EarlyGrayce Studios with studio engineer Jordan Haynes. In case you haven’t been paying any attention whatsoever, I play guitar in this band. I have heard about Jordan Haynes forever, about how good he is in the studio and how as a musician, you’ve got to get in there and record with him at all costs. Well, all that was true. The guy is awesome. These days, I’m pretty picky about studios and who records me, but everything worked out really good for our band at Earlygrayce Studios. Jordan was easy to work with. Fast at getting the music back to us. And he didn’t rush us like some engineers tend to do. This was the first time I had ever used a click track in a studio and to be honest, I was scared to death. I’m used to playing with the band and getting drum tracks first, and laying instrument tracks over that, but this way was very good. I ended up playing first to a click track by myself to a room full of people, which was stressful, but it ended up being much easier than I thought. I flew through it like poo through a goose! The end result is pretty awesome. I’ve been posting it like crazy. I’m a ham, what can I say! I’m proud of what the YOTG guys and myself have made. If you are in a band and are wanting to record soon, you should try to get in there with Jordan. He is booked a lot and turns away work a lot because of how busy he is, but if you are lucky you can get sqeezed in. The best part is that you will sound good, regardless. It doesn’t matter who you know, or if you are not real good friends with Jordan. He does his best every time. I’ve noticed some studios do you up better if you are good friends with them. With Jordan, you get the full service regardless. I like that.

As a long-time musician in Louisville, I highly recommend Jordan Haynes and another great engineer, Michael Sanders, to handle all of your recording needs. Both are really good and have a great ear for capturing what needs to be captured.

As for our five song CD? There are at least three singles that can be played on the radio “That Mouth Of Yours” “She Dreams” and “Beautiful.” Our singer, Steve Sawyers, killed and you can easily see why (in my opinion) he is one of the premier vocalists/songwriters in Louisville. Great lyrics and melodies are abundant in every song. It’s the best recording I’ve done. I’m pretty happy with how it came out. Of course there are always a few things you would like to change, and maybe we might spend some more cash down the road to fix things up a bit, but for now we are good to go.

Check out our brand new music at https://soundcloud.com/year-of-the-gun/that-mouth-of-yours and you can see us next on Friday, February 7 at Phoenix Hill Tavern with Popkiss Chainsaw and Some Kind Of Saint.

Jan 032014

My favorite Louisville cover band Scary Uncle is calling it a day after their New Year’s Eve gig. There is no drama or bad blood, just life catching up to the guys with family, jobs, kids and stuff like that. This blows, because I loved the variety of covers that Scary Uncle played over these last several years. How many band can play Guns N ‘Roses and make it sound good? This band played a lot of songs that most cover bands do not do, that is why I loved seeing them compared to other cover bands who always play the same crap over and over. (If I hear “Bulls On Parade” one more time, I’ll frikkin’ barf.) I wish more bands would be like Scary Uncle and mix that chit up a bit and throw your own personality in there. Vocalist Chuck Weber has a frikkin’ great voice and it will be a loss to the scene if he gives it up for good. I hope not! I do know that guitarist Frank Campbell and drummer from hell Danny Murphy are talking about putting together an Eighties cover band. That would be super cool, as I love Eighties rock. So good luck to those guys, who BTW, are awesome dudes all around, and a credit to the Louisville rock scene!! I hate to see you fellers go, but I understand.

I’ll keep you folks updated on the Eighties tribute when I hear more.