Ann Wilson, of Heart, has released her second solo EP, The Ann Wilson Thing! #2 – Focus, on Rounder Records. Featured tracks on the EP include live recordings of Jimi Hendrix’ “Manic Depression” and Peter Gabriel’s “Don’t Give Up”, as well as two Wilson-penned tracks, the folk-inspired “Fightin fer Life” and the bluesy “Anguish.” Guitarist Craig Bartok co-wrote both of these original songs with Wilson.
Four By Fate, the killer new hard rock band started by Tod Howarth and John Regan of Frehley’s Comet, is releasing its debut album, Relentless, on June 3. Howarth and Regan are steeped in rock and roll history. These two rock veterans have worked with some of the biggest names in the business over the past 30 years, including Ace Frehley, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Cheap Trick, John Waite, Billy Idol, and Davide Lee Roth, just to name a few. The group is rounded out by Patrick James Gasperini (Pound, Flywheel) and former Skid Row drummer Rob Affuso. Other contributors include Stet Howland (drummer for WASP), Sean Kelly (guitarist for Helix and Nelly Furtado) and celebrated Twisted Sister drummer AJ Pero, who recorded six tracks on the album before his untimely passing in 2015. The drum tracks that Pero recorded for Relentless are thought to be his last recordings.
The Blue Sky Riders, a wonderful country-rock group with Kenny Loggins at the helm, just announced a new docuseries, All Access Pass, providing fans with an inside look at the creative process behind their upcoming album, Why Not, which is officially coming out in 2016.
Stay tuned because when Why Not is release in 2016, I’m going to interview Kenny Loggins, Georgia Middleman and Gary Burr. In the meantime, the full press release announcing the details of the Blue Sky Riders’ All Access Pass is below, as well as the band’s latest tour dates and a video.
While summer doesn’t officially start until June 21, the rock concert touring season kicked off on May 14 when Foreigner, Styx and Don Felder embarked on what’s being billed as “The Soundtrack of Summer” tour. I don’t know about you, but I love the music of Foreigner, Styx and the Eagles, so I’m looking forward to when this hits-filled show comes to my neck of the woods.
Night Ranger’s 11th studio album, High Road, comes out June 10 and I’ve been listening to an advance copy for the past couple days. I’m happy to report that Night Ranger fans, and those who enjoy great rock music, will love this album. In addition to having a gorgeous album cover, High Road is full of upbeat, guitar-driven rock songs, along with a few ballads and an instrumental track for good measure.
David Bowie hasn’t released a new album for nearly 10 years, so you could say he’s under pressure (I couldn’t help myself) to deliver the goods. He’s done exactly that with The Next Day; it’s a slickly-produced collection of music that stayed with me after the final song, “Heat,” faded. Like many rock icons, Bowie’s voice has matured and become richer with age, and the music he now sings is more mellow. That said, my two favorite songs on The Next Day are upbeat pop/rock songs: “(You Will) Set The World On Fire” and “Valentine’s Day.” This album is filled with haunting vocals, funky grooves and expert musicianship. But don’t take my word for it; check out the videos below for Bowie’s first two singles, and stream the album for free, for a limited time, on iTunes.
Joe Cocker is one of the most enduring artists in the music industry, and one of my favorites. His last album, Hard Knocks, was fantastic. It was filled with well crafted pop/rock songs that fit Cocker’s gravely voice like a glove.
Cocker is following up Hard Knocks with Fire It Up. Similar to his last album, it’s initially being released internationally and it was produced by Matt Serletic. The lead single is the title track “Fire It Up,” and it sounds great. I can’t wait to hear the rest of the album when it’s released in the U.S., more than likely, sometime next year.
Below you’ll find two videos: the official lyrics video for “Fire It Up” and the album’s electronic press kit (i.e., EPK).
This week KISS released its 20th studio album, Monster. As expected, it’s filled with the signature sound the band is known for – memorable guitar riffs, thunderous drums, funky bass, and unforgettable lyrics. Below are two tracks from the album: The lead single, “Hell or Hallelujah,” and my favorite, “All for the Love of Rock & Roll.”