Feb 042014
 

I have been complaining about this for a few years, that all these Toy Tiger Reunions were all based around Fire Dept (whom I love) and the Eighties crowd that revolved around them, when there was three decades of live music that happened at the Toy Tiger. My point is, there was so much more to The legendary Toy Tiger than Fire Dept.

My generation was the Nineties original metal scene at Toy Tiger. Bands like My Own Victim, Faceplant, Shattered Reality, Rathbone, Shapeless Matrix, Flaw, Drunk Monkey, Luther, Psycho Soul, Inhuman, Paglina, Incursion, and a ton of other bands as well. We had some rip-roaring shows in the mid-to-late Nineties. My goal is to reunite some of the bands for one reunion show. Yeah, I know it will be hard to do, getting bands to reform after 15 years, but I’m willing to give it a try to see if it can be done. I have some doubts because it’s been many many years, and people have kids, careers, wives, or don’t even live here anymore. But if I can set up a decent lineup of these bands, this will happen. I really want to make this reunion happen. It would be one really cool party. But … if bands are lazy and indecisive, then it probably won’t happen. I will be contacting bands very soon to see if it is a possibility to play the reunion, so some of you might be contacted soon!

I plan on having people in the music scene at the time, there to help run/host the show too, people like Black Frank, Louie The Local Guy, Jeff Vernon, Toy Tiger’s Mary Powell, etc..

All the proceeds will go to MERF so we’ll have more money to help people with. And yes, even hardcore, super-fast, brutal metal musicians can apply for assistance! There’s a new MERF in town, and we aim to help all you scalawags, from bluegrass to death metal. I’ll have more news later.

Dec 062013
 

I love these southern Kentucky/Cave City/Glasgow guys. I’ve known Andrew and Stephen since 1995 (and played many a great show with those fargers), and it’s great to see them back in action and in two bands, no less! They got the Luther reunion going on, and another project called Old School Mining Company that rocks. For those of you who don’t know or weren’t around, Stephen and Andrew were in a band called Luther in the mid- to late- Nineties. Luther was an odd mixture of redneck rock/metal, and Seventies rock combined to powerful effect. They had a good following and had many a great show. On to the new project, though!

I’m about to listen to the Old School Mining Company demo. On this project, they have singer Stephen Cleveland on guitar as well as vocals. Hell, I didn’t even know he played guitar. I recently saw them for the first time in this project and it was rockin’. I hadn’t seen the guys play in many years! This music is similar to Luther, with the redneck, raspy, awesome vocals of Cleveland. And Andrew is one badass on bass guitar. There is something special about these guys. Somehow they come up with some serious grooves and soul in their music. It was like that with Luther, and now its that way with Old School Mining Company. Cleveland isn’t a guitar showoff, but he gets the job done just fine, all the while singing at the same time. I’ve always loved his voice, and the melodies he comes up with. I’m an old Luther fan from way back! I’m listening to “Nipper” and the guitar tone is kinda grungy in a Luther sorta way. Cleveland is in fine vocal form these days, sounding like Lee Dorian of Cathedral on this track. It’s straightforward rock/metal with no frills or ridiculous guitar sweeping that so many death metal bands overdo nowadays. “Move Me” is a bit more up tempo and reminds me a little of Rob Zombie somehow, only much better vocals. The lyrics of Cleveland have always been a good thing as well. I would have liked to have heard a few more guitar changes and solos, or maybe a breakdown, but its fine the way it is really. “Toohey Ridge” is a bit more redneck and groovin’ as they show their southern Kentucky roots. Stephen Cleveland’s growling, redneck vocals and syllable placements are so cool. Imaginative and creative. Dude is like Jim Morrison meets Lee Dorian meets Rob Zombie meets Danzig. But from the hills of Kentucky! It’s quite a compliment, vocally.

This music is more straight forward than Luther and a bit more laid-back it seems, but the skills are there, and it may take a little time to get the ball rolling on this project, because they don’t play out as much. I suggest adding a smokin’, bluesy, lead guitarist, add some wicked breakdowns and make the songs a bit more diverse. Maybe I’m still hung up on former and late Luther guitarist Tommy Yates’ crazy guitar style. That guy is hard to forget even after all these years. The guy would get beyond drunk and still play awesomely! The way he got that wild, whacked out badass feedback out of his old ancient tube amp was crazy. But dude was one of a kind. I miss Tommy. But Luther has a great guitarist in Jason Williams, so that’s a good thing. Either way, check out Andrew and Stephen’s bands, Old School Mining Company and Luther! You can thank me later!

Oct 032013
 

Promoter Allen Ashbaugh is back with another Cancer Benefit Concert for metal lovers. His 5th Annual Cancer Benefit MF5 will be held at Bullit County Fairgrounds on October 25 and 26. MF5 (formerly Metal Fest) is an annual music festival to support the cure, research, and treatment of cancer. Donations will be going to http://www.jimmyv.org/ which gives 100% of its donations to research or treatment. Every year for the past four years, Allen and several bands from Louisville, Kentucky and the surrounding regions have come together for two nights of rockin’ music and friendship. Allen and friends are back for MF5 in 2013 to do the same!!

Friday night features Kyzer, Billtown Road, One For The Doc, Underwater, Moonlight Theory, Yesterdays Diary, The Lost River Cavemen, The Lonesome Cowboys, My Addiction and Second Nature.

Saturday night features Luther, The Stonecutters, 6 to the Third, Slit Throat Vendetta, Granshaw, Devil And The Darkness, Great Floods, They Left Her Body In The Woods, Sons Of Medusa, Chigger, Two Pump Chump and Bury The Wicked. Also two huge bounce houses, one pink ambulance that we can sign, vendors, food vendors, a movie outside both nights (weather permitting), costume contest, pumpkin painting contest, and pumpkin chunkin’. Should be a good time.

Sep 062013
 
MF5

Promoter Allen Ashbaugh is back with another Cancer Benefit Concert for metal lovers. His 5th Annual Cancer Benefit MF5 will be held at Bullitt County Fairgrounds on October 25 and 26. MF5 (formerly Metal Fest) is an annual music festival to support the cure, research on and treatment for cancer. Donations will be going tohttp://www.jimmyv.org/ which gives 100% of its donations to research or treatment. Every year for the past four years, Allen and several bands from Louisville, Kentucky and the surrounding regions have come together for two nights of rockin’ music and friendship. Allen and friends are back for MF5 in 2013 to do the same!!

Friday night features; Kyzer, Billtown Road, One For The Doc, Underwater, Moonlight Theory, Yesterdays Diary, The Lost River Cavemen, The Lonesome Cowboys, My Addiction, Second Nature.

Saturday night features; Luther, The Stonecutters, 6 to the Third, Slit Throat Vendetta, Granshaw, Devil And The Darkness, Great Floods, They Left Her Body In The Woods, Sons Of Medusa, Chigger, Two Pump Chump and Bury The Wicked. Also two huge bounce houses, one pink ambulance that we can sign, vendors, food vendors, a movie outside both nights (weather permitting), costume contest, pumpkin painting contest, and pumpkin chunkin’. Should be a good time.

Jul 232013
 

Ahhhhh, the good ole days. I remember this band well. Why do I remember this four-piece band so well, even though it has been many years since they existed? The year was 1995 or 1996 and I invited these guys up from Glasgow, Kentucky, to come play some shows with my band Inhuman. The result was way cool. I had several cool new friends and their music was straight-up awesome. People loved Luther. Loved them more than my band! That’s okay though, the truth is the truth. We had some very memorable and legendary shows together in several cities through the late Nineties. Luther’s sound was like The Doors meets Black Sabbath meets Clutch. It was hippie redneck, doomy, non-trendy blues metal, and I flat out loved those guys! They were soooo country. Guitarist Tommy Yates was tall and had a huge afro and he wore big old coal mining boots. He was a country boy to the max and was one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. When he played guitar, it was a sight to behold, because he would get so drunk that had it been anyone else but Tommy, they would have been unable to play properly. Tommy used the alcohol to enhance his performance and somehow it worked, he had control of insane psychedelic feedback and worked that guitar/amp rig like a blacksmith forging steel. It was never boring to watch Tommy play. Vocalist Steven Cleveland was a vocal monster: Jim Morrison meets Elvis meets, um, well….heck, I dunno. Dude is a growl-y gruff singing MF. He has a great and powerful voice that sticks in your head. Think Jim Morrison, but heavier and from the back hills of Kentucky! The drumming of Richard Bybee is wicked and perfecta and you got bassist Andrew Smith, who is a quiet guy until he gets onstage, also plays great, and he creates wooden objects by sawing things out of logs with a chainsaw! He made me a wooden skull that I have to this day! These guys are characters for sure.

Unfortunately, Tommy Yates passed away several years ago and that almost destroyed the band, but the guys eventually soldiered on with new guitarist, Jason Williams from Louisville. I really missed Tommy, though, and it was hard for me to see Luther after that, even though Jason is a darn good guitarist and a cool guy. But after a few breaks over many years, the band Luther is back!!! They just started booking shows, and they will be with Stonecutters in Bowling Green on August 16 at The Spillway. I’ll see about bringing those guys back to Louisville like I did way back when, I already got a monster of an idea in mind, muaaahhh haaaa haaaahhhhhhh (cackling like a mad scientist)!