Category Archives: In Memoriam

Paying tribute to hard rock icons.

Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 12/29/16: RIP 2016 – A Tribute to Artists Lost

hard-rock-music-time-machine-greg-lake-rip-2016

Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 12/29/16

Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s, the ’80s (the glory days of hard rock), hidden gems of the ’90s and hard rock/metal songs of the new millennium (as recent as a few years ago).

Whenever possible, it will also contain interviews from featured artists discussing the inspiration and meaning behind their songs.   On the last Thursday of each month, we will be doing special themes that feature songs based on specific categories or years.

The final theme of the year is, unfortunately, very fitting – RIP 2016…A Tribute To Artists Lost This Year.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
 

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER – “Lucky Man” (1970)

And so it goes.  We end 2016 the same way that it began, and for that matter, carried throughout the year.  Another rock legend gone too soon.  This time, we say goodbye to ELP singer/bassist/producer Greg Lake, who passed away recently at the age of 69.  To fully acknowledge Lake’s brilliance, “Lucky Man” was chosen as the ELP song to feature to honor him.  Not only is it one of the most popular songs from this virtuoso progressive trio, it goes all the way back in time to the band’s debut album (although the song was written many years before the band’s formation).

Lake started playing guitar at the age of 12.  Using the first chords that he learned, he wrote an acoustic version of “Lucky Man” that same year.  Using improvised arrangements by the band, this signature song has more than stood the test of time.

Some of the most well-known/popular songs have been late additions to an album, “Lucky Man” included.  The rest of the band didn’t like the childhood version of the song, and it was only worked on with Carl Palmer when another track was needed for ELP’s debut album.  The lyrics of the song tell a story of a man who had everything, went to war, and then died…pretty deep for a 12-year old.

Having lost Keith Emerson earlier this year, Palmer is the lone living member of this legendary band.  After learning of the passing of Lake, Palmer stated…

“It is with great sadness that I must now say goodbye to my friend and fellow band-mate, Greg Lake.  Greg’s soaring voice and skill as a musician will be remembered by all who knew his music and recordings he made with ELP and King Crimson.  I have fond memories of those great years we had in the 1970s and many memorable shows we performed together.  Having lost Keith this year as well, has made this particularly hard for all of us.”
 

 
KING CRIMSON – “The Court Of The Crimson King” (1969)

A year before forming ELP, Greg Lake was a part of the original incarnation of King Crimson, one of the most influential bands in progressive rock history.  The band’s debut album, In The Court Of The Crimson King, incorporated elements of jazz, classical and symphonic music, a departure from the blues-based influence of most other rock bands at the time.  Although Lake didn’t compose this song, his haunting, charismatic vocals made it incredibly powerful and moving.  The mood of the song was always tinged with sadness.  That feeling is greatly magnified when you listen to it today knowing that Lake is no longer with us.
 

 

 

 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

THE BUSINESS “Blind Justice” (1983)

Thrash metal, speed metal and a lot of metal genres would have sounded very different if it weren’t for the influences of punk rock and hardcore.  One of the pioneers of Oi! (a subgenre of the punk movement) was a band formed in 1979 in London.  The Business was fronted by Micky Fitz.  Their songs were loud, political and chaotic.  Throughout the years, the band continued to record and tour until the death of Fitz on December 1, 2016.  The punk, hardcore, and Oi! movement has lost an innovator and a pioneer in the genre.

 

MEGADETH “Hangar 18” (1990)

Another great musician we lost in 2016 was Megadeth’s Nick Menza.  As a member of the band from 1990 to 1997, Menza recorded four albums with Megadeth, and was one of the best drummers in the band’s history.  His unique playing style helped to shape and complement Dave Mustaine’s songwriting.  He hit hard, was technical when he needed to be, and in a way, formed the image of a thrash metal drummer.  I have played along with Menza’s drum tracks for 26 years; he was a big influence in my own drumming.  The world will miss one of the best metal drummers in history.
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

Y&T – “Mean Streak” (1985)

Leonard Haze was the original drummer for Y&T, from 1972-86, and again from 2002-2006. He also contributed vocals (both lead and backing) on some songs, and co-wrote some of the band’s biggest hits.  He suffered in his later years from COPD.  Still, he managed to stay active on the live music scene with his band Hazel Experience.  Haze took the stage with his old bandmates in Y&T in both 2015 and 2016 when their tour passed through San Francisco.  Hazel Experience had actually been scheduled to open for Y&T when he died.

This talented man co-wrote and performed on “Black Tiger,” “Hurricane,” “Forever,” “Rescue Me,” “Dirty Girl,” and perhaps the band’s biggest hit, this one – the title track from their fifth studio album.

 

BLUE OYSTER CULT – “Flaming Telepaths” (1974)

Rock producer Sandy Pearlman helped to found the band Blue Oyster Cult, and contributed heavily to many of their albums with both production and lyrics.  He also worked with The Clash and many other bands, garnering 17 platinum and gold records.  He was a poet, and on this song, as well as several others from Blue Oyster Cult’s third studio album, Secret Treaties, verses come to life from his 1967 collection of poems, “The Soft Doctrine of the Immaginos.”

 

Rock and Roll Cover Songs…1955 – 1964: A Journey Back in Time

Rock and Roll Cover Songs - 1955-1964

By Adam Waldman

Hard Rock Daddy was launched in March of 2013 (the month of my dad’s birthday), but the foundation for the site was actually laid long before I became a dad myself.

In my youth, my family would pile into our yellow Cadillac Coupe De Ville on Long Island and head towards New York City to visit my grandmother on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.  We didn’t have smartphones or iPods to entertain ourselves.  Hell, we didn’t even have Walkmans yet, so we listened to the music that my dad chose, which was always WCBS-FM (a NYC “Oldies” station).  Listening to another station was not up for debate.  The only debate that took place back then was between my two siblings and me fighting not to have to sit on “the hump” in the middle of the back seat.

For my dad, WCBS-FM was the last bastion of “real music” (which he defined as anything from the mid ‘50s-mid ‘60s).  I vividly remember him telling us that there was no good music made after 1964.  Of course, I didn’t agree, but his passion for “real music” was passed down to me. During the ride home from the city, we usually listened to Don K. Reed’s Doo Wop Shop.  With no other choice but to listen to the music in the car, I developed an appreciation for Doo Wop music.

My dad painted such a vivid picture about life in the ‘50s, and the soundtrack of his youth, that it made me nostalgic for a time period that I never experienced (at least not firsthand).  I felt like his descriptions came to life when I watched the movie Grease, and even more so when I watched my favorite childhood television show, Happy Days.

My dad tragically passed away 15 years ago today, but he left an impression on me that will last a lifetime.  Today, as I mourn his loss, I am also mourning the loss of Garry Marshall, who passed away yesterday at the age of 81.  Like my dad, Marshall also left a lasting impression on me by helping to shape the nostalgic moments of my youth with his television shows (including Happy Days).

To honor my dad, on what is always a somber day reflecting upon what might have been if he wasn’t taken from us before my children were born, I have put together a playlist of songs from his era that were covered by artists of my era.  The YouTube playlist below features both the original and rock and roll cover versions of each song.  Enjoy this nostalgic journey back in time…

{Scroll down to see list of songs}

“Ain’t That A Shame”Cheap Trick (1979) / Fats Domino (1955)

“Summertime Blues”The Who (1979) / Eddie Cochrane (1958)

“Johnny B. Goode”Judas Priest (1988) / Chuck Berry (1958)

“Sea Of Love”The Honeydrippers (1985) / Phil Phillips (1959)

“Dancing In The Streets”Van Halen (1982) / Martha Reeves & The Vandellas (1964)

“(Oh) Pretty Woman”Van Halen (1982) / Roy Orbison (1964)

“Remember (Walking In The Sand)”Aerosmith (1980) / The Shangri-Las (1964)

“The Leader Of The Pack”Twisted Sister (1985) / The Shangri-Las (1964)

 

When Doves Cry Purple Rain:  Memories of Prince

RIP Prince - 1958-2016

By Adam Waldman

You never know how much someone is truly loved and admired until they pass away.  It is the sad reality that everyone deals with to some degree, but even more so for once-in-a-lifetime, transcendent talents like Prince, who touched the lives of people of all walks of life.  We saw a massive outpouring of emotions like this when David Bowie passed away earlier this year.  At the time, it felt like there would never be a reaction like that for anyone else, but Prince’s untimely passing has evoked an even more pronounced response.

Like Bowie, Prince’s music and fan base could not be pigeon-holed into a narrow category.  His music touched the lives of a generation that grew up watching him on MTV.  The pinnacle of Bowie’s career took place before MTV, so it’s understandable why the reaction to Prince’s passing has been even more overwhelming.

You would expect fans of pop, R&B and funk music to feel the huge impact of losing Prince, but the outpouring of emotions from numerous hard rock and metal artists was somewhat unexpected.  In an interview with Larry King on CNN that was being replayed on the day of Prince’s passing, when asked to describe his style of music, he simply replied…“inspirational.”  From others, that response may sound a bit self-serving, but from Prince, it came across as a truly genuine and accurate assessment of his music and its place in the world.

Hard rock and metal acts typically don’t cite Prince as an influence, but since his passing, it is clear that his music was not only inspirational to fans, but to fellow musicians as well, most of whom marveled at his immense talent.  There’s a saying that goes… “jack-of-all-trades, master of none.”  It may be cliché, but it is also true for most people.  Prince was the exception to the rule.  He was, quite simply, a master of all trades: singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist.  Most of all, he was a master performer.

The year was 1999, a number that is more synonymous with Prince than Y2K.  I was attending a music industry conference.  For those who have ever worked in the industry, it is common knowledge that “industry crowds” are not favored by most artists.  They can be jaded, and rarely show the type of enthusiasm as an audience filled with exuberant fans.  However, sometimes an artist can deliver such an amazing performance that an “industry crowd” becomes indecipherable from a crowd filled with die-hard fans.

The one chance that I got to see Prince in a live setting was just such an occasion.  His performance on that night was jaw-droppingly brilliant.  Prince was the ultimate showman, who seemed to effortlessly bounce all over the stage while singing perfectly and shredding on the guitar like few others that I’ve ever seen in my decades of concert-going.  He was magical.  He was electrifying, and you couldn’t help but feed off of his energy.

Prince touched people with his music, and made people care about lyrics in a way that few others could.  From the poetry of “When Doves Cry” to the haunting insight foreshadowing what “1999” would be like long before Y2K was even a concept, Prince made you think…he made you feel…he made you celebrate life.  Perhaps the greatest example of his impact is found in the opening lyrics to “Let’s Go Crazy”…

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life.  Electric word, life.  It means forever, and that’s a mighty long time.  But, I’m here to tell you, there’s something else…the afterworld…a world of never-ending happiness.  You can always see the sun…day or night.”

These lyrics are especially poignant today as generations of people reflect back on the life of another icon that left us way too soon.  For all of the happiness that he gave to so many, we can only hope that Prince finds never-ending happiness in the afterworld.

Thank you for the music and memories, Prince.  RIP!

Music Discovery Monday – 1/18/16

Music Discovery Monday - RIP Bowie

Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 1/18/16.

Each week, the HRD team shares songs that fly below radio’s radar, ranging from lesser-known artists to deeper cuts from both up-and-coming and established artists.

In addition to exposing the Hard Rock Daddy audience to new music that isn’t getting the attention that it deserves from radio, Music Discovery Monday also features a segment called “Hard Rock Music Time Machine,” which showcases older songs (from the ’70s to today) that hard rock music fans may have missed at the time of release.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlists beneath each section, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles.

Sadly, just like the first Music Discovery Monday of 2016, the second one also features a special tribute to a fallen rock legend, David Bowie.

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

DAVID BOWIE – “Lazurus”

David Bowie was an artist who created masterpieces.  Because of his penchant for imagery and theatrics, the video for “Lazurus” would likely have been accepted at face value, if not for his subsequent passing three days after its release.  The song itself (like much of Bowie’s work), wouldn’t be classified as “hard rock,” but the influence that he had on so many artists in the genre is the reason for a tribute in this forum.

Bowie transcended genres, radio formats and classification of any kind.  His work blazed trails for others to travel.  Countless artists cite him as an influence.  None ever came close to being called “the next Bowie.”  There was no such thing.  He truly was one-of-a-kind.

The music and lyrics of “Lazurus” are brought intensely to life by Bowie in the video for the song.  It is mesmerizing and disturbingly real on its own.  Knowing now that the song was foreshadowing his impending death – and offered as a parting gift to his fans – makes watching it painfully bittersweet, but also  makes you appreciative of his passion to be a creative force until his dying day.

Bowie could have spent his limited time left on earth with the ones that he loved.  He had already given the fans a lifetime of memories.  He owed us nothing, but gave more just the same.  Listen to the lyrics as you watch the video.  It is not art imitating life.  It is life and art intertwined.  None did it better than Bowie.

 

Please see the Hard Rock Music Time Machine segment (below) for a continuation of the tribute to the timeless work of David Bowie…

 

 

 

 JON LOVELESS – HRD Music Scout

WE ARE HARLOT – “One More Night”

Rowdy tune, with influences all over the place.  I first thought of Motley Crue, then felt more Faster Pussycat…and then, the short burst of scream/growl vocal kicked in out of nowhere.  Thankfully, that wasn’t overdone and they ended up with an energetic track that seems like something that would fare even better live.

 

VANILLA FUDGE – “I’m A Believer”

Yes, it’s THAT Vanilla Fudge.  Yes, it’s THAT “I’m A Believer.”  Yes, it’s new.   Somehow, it all seems to work.   Having three quarters of the original lineup surely helps keep the sound on point and tightly knit.  Think of it as “new old-school” or whatever works for you.  The band did a fine job on this unexpected track.

 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

DARK SARAH – “Hunting The Dreamer”

After leaving symphonic metal band Amberian Dawn in 2012, Finnish lyric soprano Heidi Parviainen moved on to her own solo project, Dark Sarah.  The band’s debut album, Behind The Black Veil, is a concept album about a woman whose darker half awakens after she is abandoned at the altar.  On this track, driving bass and playful rhythms are set off brilliantly against the band’s orchestral elements.  Elsewhere, watch for guest appearances by Tony Kakko (Sonata Arctica), Inga Scharf (Van Canto), and Manuela Kraller (Xandria).

 

DARKYRA BLACK – “Of Fools And Gold”

From Australia, Darkyra Black delivers stunning vocals against a symphonic, often progressive, metal backdrop.  The songs on this newly released sophomore album are beautifully orchestrated, boasting full string and woodwind sections.  They consistently opt for authentic (sometimes ancient) instruments, over synthesized knockoffs.  There is a superficial comparison to be made to other metal bands fronted by females with operatic prowess (Nightwish, Within Temptation), but the compositions here are decidedly different.

 

 

 

   CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout

DIVINER – “Kingdom Come”

Diviner is a Greek metal band that formed in 2011.  “Kingdom Come” comes from the band’s debut album (Fallen Empires), which was released last year.  This track has an old school, lower tech sound that will grab you from the first notes.  It’s reminiscent of “Holy Diver” by DIO, whose influence you can hear in Yiannis Papanikolaou’s vocals, as well as the guitar work of George Maroulees and Thimios Krikos.

 

ELDRITCH  “The Face I Wear”

Italy’s Eldritch has been around since 1991.  They are a progressive/power metal outfit named after Watchtower’s “The Eldritch” (which was among their favorites songs at the time).  “The Face I Wear” is really well done, with a thick rhythm and riffs leading up to a terrific bridge and the dramatic chorus (which is the crux of the song).  All-around great performances on this track.
 

 

SUBMISSIONS

To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to – submissions@MusicDiscoveryMonday.com

 

 

HARD ROCK MUSIC TIME MACHINE

 ADAM WALDMAN

DAVID BOWIE – “Heroes” (1977)

Back when MTV first launched, it was as revolutionary to members of Generation X as social media is to today’s younger generations.  For the most part, the videos that appeared on MTV were reflective of the times…colorful, upbeat, and often-times, kind of campy.  And then, there was David Bowie’s “Heroes,” a hauntingly beautiful song that used lyrics and melody to paint a mental picture with a video that simply featured the emotive rock icon passionately delivering the song as only he could.  Its beauty lied in its simplicity.  It’s hard to say if this was the song that turned me on to Bowie, but it was the one that left the most indelible mark on me.  It wasn’t until his recent passing that I realized just what a hero Bowie was to so many people from such different walks of life.  His influence will last well beyond his time on earth.

 

 

DAVID BOWIE – “Ziggy Stardust” (1972)

It’s not an exaggeration to say that without David Bowie, glam rock may never have existed, or even “hair bands” for that matter.  What eventually killed the glam/hair movement was a cultural change happening around the same time that a number of bands focused more on style than substance.  The final nail in the coffin was when a good portion of the genre morphed into a parody of itself.

Bowie did glam with substance and a flair for theatrics.  Perhaps there is no better example than the alter ego that he created in the form of Ziggy Stardust, which was much more than a classic song from a concept album.  Bowie became Ziggy Stardust, and not only made gender-bending and androgyny acceptable; he made it cool.

If you’re a fan of glam rock and ‘80s hair metal, you owe a debt of gratitude to Bowie / Ziggy Stardust for paving the way for numerous bands.

 

 

DAVID BOWIE – “Space Oddity” (1969)

With a plethora of hits and lesser-known tracks to choose from, the decision to include “Space Oddity” was made easy after seeing a throng of Bowie fans singing the song in its entirety at a tribute in the streets of New York City after learning of their hero’s passing.  The video does more justice than words describing it ever could (click here to view).  There were some in the crowd that weren’t even born when the song was released, and many more who were too young to have appreciated it at the time.  It’s hard to think of many songs in rock history that are capable of creating such powerful theater of the mind.  That was the brilliance of Bowie.  He was more than a singer or songwriter.  He was an artist with a unique ability to tell stories and make you feel things in a visceral way.  There will never be another one like him.

 

RIP David Bowie!  Thank you for sharing your creativity with the world, and serving as a tremendous inspiration for so many.

 

 

 

JON LOVELESS

SIXX A.M. – “Deadlihood” (2011)

A song that just, well, “sounds like Sixx A.M.” to me.  Tempo and intensity changes weave you through the story.  With a new album (or is it albums, plural?) reportedly being mixed this month, it should be sometime later this year that we’ll find out if this is still what the band sounds like.  I lean toward hoping that it is.

 

CONEY HATCH – “Blown Away” (2013)

An under-hyped reunion album that brought the original lineup together for the first time in nearly 30 years.  Coney Hatch is a band that could probably be referred to as under-appreciated (both the first time around AND the second as well).

 

 

 

  ROB DELL’AQUILA

SOLAR FRAGMENT – “Inside The Circle” (2011)

With roots in the German power metal underground, Solar Fragment stormed the international scene in 2011 with In Our Hands.  On this hard hitting track, vocalist Robert Leger, who has often been compared to Hansi Kursch, is actually joined by the Blind Guardian vocalist, for a tour de force of bombastic harmonies.

 

NEVERLAND – “To Lose The Sun” (2008)

There are a dozen bands, past and present, called Neverland.  This favorite began as a collaboration between Turkish melodic metal band Dreamtone, and Greek vocalist Iris Mavraki. Blind Guardian’s Hansi Kursch appeared as a guest vocalist on their debut album in 2008, and crushes all hope on this powerful, heartbreaking track.
 

 

 

 CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH

MORIFADE “The Enemy Within” (2002)

Morifade is a Swedish prog/power metal band with mystical themes.  The band has been around since the late ‘90s.  “The Enemy Within” is from their 2002 release, Imaginarium.  It features tight, competent musicianship all around, with a really good melodic refrain and chorus.  Standouts are Kristian Wallin’s vocals and the dualing/harmonic guitar work of Robin Arnell and Mathias Kamijo.

 

DARKWATER – “Why I Bleed” (2010)

Darkwater takes you on an epic prog metal trip with “Why I Bleed.”  True to the genre, complex time changes and various styles abound in expert fashion behind the outstanding vocals of Henrik Båth.  Together since 2003, this track is from their 2010 album, Where Stories End.
 

Music Discovery Monday – 1/11/16

Music Discovery Monday - RIP Lemmy

Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 1/11/16.

Each week, the HRD team shares songs that fly below radio’s radar, ranging from lesser-known artists to deeper cuts from both up-and-coming and established artists.

In addition to exposing the Hard Rock Daddy audience to new music that isn’t getting the attention that it deserves from radio, Music Discovery Monday also features a segment called “Hard Rock Music Time Machine,” which showcases older songs (from the ’70s to today) that hard rock music fans may have missed at the time of release.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlists beneath each section, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles.

The first Music Discovery Monday of 2016 begins on a bittersweet note with a special tribute to Lemmy Kilmister

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

MOTORHEAD – “Sympathy For The Devil”

On December 13th (two weeks before Lemmy Kilmister’s 70th birthday), a celebration took place on the Sunset Strip at the Whisky a Go Go, with fellow rock and roll brethren coming to pay tribute to one of the most influential and revered figures in the history of metal.  During the celebration, Zakk Wylde joked on stage about what kind of world the rest of us are going to leave for two seeming indestructible rock legends – Lemmy and Keith Richards.  Little did he know that the world would say goodbye to this larger-than-life figure just a few short weeks later.

Lemmy died just days after turning 70, but he died doing what he loved after living life on his own terms.  What more can anyone ask for?  Bad Magic, the final Motorhead studio album to ever be released, features an inspired cover of the Rolling Stones classic, “Sympathy For The Devil,” one that Richards must have surely appreciated.  Musically, the song doesn’t stray too far from the original, but Lemmy’s cool, gruff, signature vocals make the song unique.

He was one-of-a-kind, irreplaceable, and his loss will leave an unfillable void in the metal world.  It’s hard to think of anyone else that could have made a Mick Jagger song any cooler than Lemmy did with “Sympathy For The Devil.”  RIP Lemmy! \m/

(as featured on the Top 135 Hard Rock Songs of 2015)

 

 

MOTORHEAD – “Ace Of Spades”

Lemmy was a larger-than-life rock star who looked intimidating, but was beloved by those who knew him.  Not an easy line to walk, when you consider that he lived by his own rules without regard for what others thought.  I mention this because the appearance of “Ace Of Spades” on Music Discovery Monday is puzzling in its own right, much less in the section that is usually reserved for songs that have been released within the past year or so.  However, in honor of Lemmy, this week Hard Rock Daddy says…”F**k the rules!”

“Ace Of Spades” is the quintessential Motorhead song that features everything that made Lemmy into the irreplaceable part that he was to the band.  There are only a handful of other people who would cause a band to call it quits on the day of their passing, perhaps none more than Lemmy.  To not include his most widely-known song in this tribute would have been an insult to his legacy.  It deserved top-billing on the tribute, which one of the reasons that it wasn’t featured in the Hard Rock Music Time Machine segment below (which also pays homage to Lemmy).

 

 

 

 JON LOVELESS – HRD Music Scout

3 PILL MORNING – “Bottom Of The Barrel”

The first sounds from 3 Pill Morning’s forthcoming album are promising.  This Minnesota band has experienced some success in the past, and based on this early track, there’s reason to believe that their success could continue in the coming year (as long as radio will respond as well as audiences seem to be).

 

ALMOST TAKEN – “Ashes”

While this Missouri band is relatively new to the national scene, do not make the mistake of limiting them based on their initial success being found on the Christian Rock charts.  The sound of their current single makes it clear that they’re a legitimate prospect to find mainstream success as well (whether with this song or one somewhere down the line).

 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

CLOUDSCAPE – “All For Metal”

Here comes something different for 2016. Progressive power metal band Cloudscape experiments with new sounds and techniques on their fifth album, Voice of Reason (set for a January 8th release).  This Swedish band delivers speed and heaviness, but with some clever nuances, all set against melodic refrains.  It’s a great album to start the new year with, and this particular track gets off to a rip-roaring start.

 

RESURRECTION KINGS“Who Did You Run To”
DIO guitarist Craig Goldy spearheads the newest supergroup, which includes vocalist Chas West (Red Dragon Cartel, Tango Down), bassist Sean McNabb (Dokken, Great White) and drummer Vinny Appice (Dio, Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell). With their album set to debut this month, the riffs and songwriting are very reminiscent of DIO, while the vocals are quite different, but excellent in their own right.

 

 

 

   CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout

REACH – “Tell Me”

Sweden’s Reach debuted with Out To Rock in March of 2015.  They are another really good melodic rock/metal outfit that has played with other great acts in the genre, yet this is their first studio album.  “Tell Me” is a well-produced track that has a terrific, memorable refrain and chorus, brilliantly sung by Alex Waghorn, and supported by the solid guitar work of Ludvig Turner.

 

ODYSSEA PROJECT – “No Compromise”

Here’s a kick-ass, locomotive of a song by the Odyssea Project from Genova, Italy.  “No Compromise” features masterful work from guitarist Pier Gonella, who leads the way with a tremendous rhythm section (comprised of Anna Portalupi on bass and Andrea Ge on drums), plus the distinctive vocals of Roberto Tiranti.
 

 

SUBMISSIONS

To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to – submissions@MusicDiscoveryMonday.com

 

 

HARD ROCK MUSIC TIME MACHINE

 ADAM WALDMAN

MOTORHEAD AND OZZY OSBOURNE – “Hellraiser” (1991/1992)

You might be wondering why there are two dates listed for this collaboration between Motorhead and Ozzy Osbourne.  It’s because this song (written by Lemmy, Ozzy and Zakk Wylde) was actually featured on two different albums (Ozzy’s 1991 No More Tears and Motorhead’s 1992 March or Die).  While the dual vocals of Lemmy and Ozzy made it clear that both had a hand in “Hellraiser,” what many may not realize is that Lemmy also helped to write three other songs on Ozzy’s 1991 release:  “I Don’t Want To Change The World,” “Desire” and the most popular song on the album, “Mama I’m Coming Home.”  Ozzy’s version of “Hellraiser” is  featured in the 2004’s Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Motorhead’s in the movie Hellraiser III: Hell On Earth.

Ozzy and Lemmy were more than just great writing partners; they were also great friends.  When hearing of Lemmy’s passing, Ozzy shared his thoughts on his fallen comrade…

“Lost one of my best friends, Lemmy, today.  He will be sadly missed.  He was a warrior and a legend.  I will see you on the other side.” 

 

 

PROBOT (f. LEMMY KILMISTER) – “Shake Your Blood” (2004)

A day after hearing of Lemmy’s passing, Dave Grohl went out and got a Motorhead “Ace Of Spades” tattoo on his forearm to pay tribute to the heavy metal icon.   Along with Slash, the two had performed the song together live during the 2010 Revolver Golden God Awards.  Grohl also worked with Lemmy on Probot’s only release in 2004 on a song called “Shake Your Blood.”  The album features instrumentals by Grohl and his favorite metal singers as guest vocalists.  The one musical exception was Lemmy’s bass playing.  According to an article in Rolling Stone, Lemmy said that he wrote the lyrics to the song in about 10 minutes, and spoke about it a very matter-of-fact manner…“It’s rock and roll, you know.  It’s not one of those complicated things.”  The quote speaks volumes about the essence of Lemmy, a highly intelligent and well-read man who took a simple, straight-forward approach to rock and roll.  It’s safe to say that there will never be another one like him.  RIP Lemmy! \m/

 

 

 

JON LOVELESS

PRETTY RECKLESS “Absolution” (2014)

Despite four hits from their highly-successful album, Going To Hell, there was probably still more that could have been mined for radio (including this track).  It came to mind this week as I wondered whether Pretty Reckless’ forthcoming album will be able to live up to the standard that they set with their last release.  Going To Hell showed as much musical progression of a band between albums as I can ever recall.  I’m trying to be…hopeful, while waiting for the follow-up album.

 

BLACK ‘N BLUE“Hold On To 18” (1984)
“Hold On To 18” was featured on Black ‘n Blue’s debut album (released in August of 1984).  I wouldn’t actually turn 18 for another seven months, so I had a little extra time to identify with it, and sing along (badly) with gusto.  The irony that I may identify with the lyrics more NOW – some three decades later – than I did THEN, isn’t lost on me.

 

 

 

  ROB DELL’AQUILA

AT VANCE – “You Will Never Take My Soul” (2003)

In 2003, At Vance had just lost founding member and frontman Oliver Hartmann. Replacement Mats Leven did an amazing job, filling some pretty big shoes on the band’s fifth album.  The band dishes out power metal with a heavy neoclassical influence. This amazing song was released only as a bonus track on limited editions of the album.

 

DESTINATION’S CALLING – “Disconnected” (2008)

This German progressive metal band plays a lot of songs at a fast pace, but this is the ballad from their debut album, Invisible Walls.  It meanders along with a beautiful acoustic guitar, moving vocals, and some chilling harmonies.
 

 

 

 CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH

KOTIPELTO – “Around” (2004)

“Around” is a powerful track off of Kottipelto’s 2004 release (Coldness).  Timo Kottipelto’s project (when he’s not leading Stratovarious) has darker themes, but a similar sound to go along with his signature vocals.  This song also features the excellent guitar work of Symphony X’s Michael Romeo.

 

DOKKEN – “Kiss Of Death” (1987)

“Kiss of Death” set the tone for Dokken’s fourth studio release (Back For the Attack) when they were at the height of  their popularity almost 30 years ago.  George Lynch’s screaming guitars and haunting riffs made this track one of the great lead-off songs of metal albums from the ‘80s.
 

 

Music Discovery Monday – 12/14/15

Music Discovery Monday - Radio Exile

Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 12/14/15.

Each week, the HRD team shares songs that fly below radio’s radar, ranging from lesser-known artists to deeper cuts from both up-and-coming and established artists.

In addition to exposing the Hard Rock Daddy audience to new music that isn’t getting the attention that it deserves from radio, Music Discovery Monday also features a segment called “Hard Rock Music Time Machine,” which showcases older songs (from the ’70s to today) that hard rock music fans may have missed at the time of release.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlists beneath each section, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles.

In a Hard Rock Daddy exclusive, Radio Exile frontman Chandler Mogel discusses the band’s debut single, “No Pity On The Highway.”

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

RADIO EXILE – “No Pity On The Highway”

As the bands of the ‘70s and ‘80s age along with their fans from back in the day, you have to wonder what will become of classic rock in the future.  What if there was a next generation of classic rock that featured all of the elements of this beloved genre without having the decades of experience as a band to go along with it?  Enter Radio Exile to prove that it doesn’t have to be old to be classic.  And though the members of the band – (Charlie Calv, Jimmy Leahey, Kenny Aronson and Dave Anthony) – are rooted in classic rock, what makes Radio Exile so unique is the infusion of youthful energy that frontman Chandler Mogel brings to the table.  That energy is in full-force on the band’s first single, “No Pity On The Highway,” an upbeat, blues rock track where Mogel captures the essence of legendary vocalists like Ray Gillen (Badlands) and Dennis DeYoung (Styx) and soars.  Formed in 2015, the bio describes Radio Exile as a “hard rock project,” but the chemistry is so good between these five rockers, that you have to believe that this will be a band with staying power, not a one-off project that tantalizes fans and then leaves them wanting more.

 

In a Hard Rock Daddy exclusive interview, frontman Chandler Mogel shared the meaning and inspiration behind “No Pity On The Highway”

“The inspiration for ‘No Pity On The Highway’ came from the music that Charlie (Calv) had come up with and sent to me.  It just had this feeling as if you were rolling down the highway, so the lyrics kind of developed out of that, but kind of taking on life as being the highway that you are travelling down.  It’s about going from down-in-the-dumps and dealing with addiction, to the ‘high road’ and the journey in between.  The only person who will get you there is you!  Sometimes it’s a long hard road to get to where we need to be in life, and you can’t expect pity from anyone else for the choices that you’ve made. You just have to take responsibility for anything that may have happened in the past and move forward.”

 
STRIKEFORCE – “All About The Money”

Strikeforce’s career spans over three decades.  Through the years, they’ve shared the stage with some big names in hard rock, but have still remained under the radar by and large.  Founding member and guitarist Duke Jackson cites legendary guitarists Michael Schenker, Yngwie Malmsteen and Ritchie Blackmore as his influences.  Jackson’s gritty, in-your-face riffs and shredding on “All About The Money” show that he is a force to be reckoned with (even if he doesn’t have the name recognition to match his talent).  “All About The Money” is an anthem of the working man that will (lyrically) appeal to those who live their lives stretching a dollar from paycheck-to-paycheck.  “All About The Money” is in the same wheelhouse as another song with similar subject matter – “For The Love Of Money” by Bulletboys, albeit with an edgier, raw sound in the vein of classic Skid Row.

 

 

 

 JON LOVELESS – HRD Music Scout

SAVING ABEL – “Fifteen Minutes Of Fame”

The third single from their late-2014 album hasn’t quite gotten the traction that the previous tracks did, but it’s a solid piece of work from one of the more reliable bands in the business today.  Definitely on the list of groups that I recommend seeing live if the opportunity arises.

 

SAXON – “Battering Ram”

Title track from the 21st studio album by British heavy metal icons, Saxon.  The classic sound remains intact, and that’s a plus, since few have done it better in the past or the present.

 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

NORDIC UNION – “When Death Is Calling”

Denmark’s Ronnie Atkins (Pretty Maids), teams with Sweden’s Erik Martensson (W.E.T., Eclipse) to form Nordic Union, a new melodic hard rock band.  This is the first release from their upcoming eponymous album.  Atkins provides the vocals, and Martensson provides the guitar, bass, keyboards and songwriting.  Add in Magnus Ulfstedt on the drums, and a few other guest Norwegians, and you have layers of rich sound and compelling music.

 

STATION – “Are You Sleeping Alone?”

This New York band will time warp you back to the ‘80s with this moving rock ballad.  The lead singer’s impressive range, matched with strong backing vocals and a yearnful guitar solo, sets up a nostalgic piece that will stay in your head long after the last note fades away.

 

 

 

   CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout

INGLORIOUS – “Until I Die”

Inglorious will be dropping their debut album in 2016.  Ahead of their debut, the band has released “Until I Die,” a gritty, sultry hard rock tune complimented by the fantastic power vocals of Nathan James (Chris Cornell fans take note).  The band members are talented, yet relatively unknown. James has had some exposure touring with TSO over the past three years, and performing alongside Jeff Scott Soto and Steve Vai (among others).  This track looks like a sign of very good things to come from these newcomers.

 

IMPELLITTERI – “Face The Enemy”

“Face the Enemy” is another great track from this year’s album, Venom.  Chris Impellitteri’s signature wailing, lighting-fast riffs and Rob Rock’s effortless power on vocals lead the way. James Pulli (Bass) and Jon Dette (Drums) provide the driving force of the rhythm line.

 

SUBMISSIONS

To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to – submissions@MusicDiscoveryMonday.com

 

 

HARD ROCK MUSIC TIME MACHINE

 ADAM WALDMAN

EVERY MOTHER’S NIGHTMARE – “Love Can Make You Blind” (1990)

The history of Every Mother’s Nightmare dates back to 1987, a time when power ballads were as much a part of the hard rock music landscape as big hair, leather pants and larger-than-life rock stars.  For some, power ballads helped to launch a career.  Others, like Nashville’s Every Mother’s Nightmare were never able to ride a wave of momentum from songs like “Love Will Make You Blind” into rock stardom.  Though frontman Rick Ruhl is the last remaining original member, the band is still around today.  They’ve stayed true to themselves and never chased the latest trend.  Perhaps if this classic power ballad had been released a few years earlier, the band would have had enough time to rise into the upper echelon of the genre before being cast aside by the grunge movement.  Though they are far from a household name, they have managed to remain relevant, even bridging the gap between yesterday and today with their latest EP (which features guest appearances by Zach Myers of Shinedown and Wayne Swinny of Saliva).

 

DANGEROUS TOYS – “Scared” (1989)

From the band’s eponymous 1989 album, “Scared” brings you back to when the world was a much simpler place and hard rock was all about feeling good.  Unfortunately for Dangerous Toys, their career never really took off, which may be partially due to the series of lineup changes that plagued the band early on (starting before their album was even released).  This song has one of the most catchy choruses of the late-’80s/early ’90s era.  If you’re like me, you’ll find yourself involuntarily singing in it in your head for hours after you hear it.  Most people don’t like to be scared, but this song is sung from the viewpoint of those who do like it.  Similarly, most people don’t like a song being stuck in their head all day long, but for some reason, this ear-worm is the exception to the rule.

 

 

 

JON LOVELESS

LANSDOWNE  “One Shot” (2011)

Some bands just have “it” – the combination of musicianship, songwriting, delivery and personality – that makes everything that they do enjoyable.  For me, this Boston band fits the description to a tee.  New music is expected in 2016, but in the meantime, this a chance to revisit a song from their 2011 album, Blue Collar Revolver.

 

EMPHATIC – “Do I” (2011)

Another band with new music coming in 2016, however, in this case, it will be with a new name. Last week, these Nebraska rockers took to social media to formally announce a name change to Through The Fire, citing member changes and various ups and downs as Emphatic as the impetus for the switch.  Whatever the name, there’s enough talent on board for the new work to be among the more promising releases of the coming year.  For now, check out “I Do,” a track that I think could have easily been a fourth single from their 2011 album, Damage.

 

 

 

  ROB DELL’AQUILA

ENDEVERAFTER – “From The Ashes Of Sin” (2007)

In 2004, singer/guitarist Michael Grant founded Endeverafter.  In 2007, they released their first full-length album, Kiss Or Kill.  With plenty of bluster, and a full, melodic sound that drifts at times towards thrash, they put out some compelling tunes.  Grant has since gone on to play guitar and contribute backing vocals for L.A. Guns.

 

DREAMSTEEL – “The Flight Of A Butterfly” (2008)

Combining power metal with progressive rock, and incorporating some symphonic touches, Italian band DreamSteel crafted a powerful piece with this 2008 tune.  The shifting tempos and climbing vocals create a sense of motion, as they contrast tranquility with frantic need.

 

 

 

 CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH

FIRES OF BABYLON – “Castles Are Burning” (2008)

Fires Of Babylon is yet another Rob Rock project, one of the many bands that he’s fronted.  “Castles Are Burning” takes off from the first note with well-structured power-metal progressions and a thunderous rhythm.  Notable guitar work from Lou St. Paul and Carl-Johan Grimmark.

 

TESSERACT – “Nocturne” (2012)

Tesseract is a British prog metal band formed back in 2003.  “Nocturne” was the first single released off of Altered State, the second of their three studio albums to date.  The rhythm section is very impressive, percussion in particular (Jay Postones) and the vocals of Ashe O’Hara are first-rate.

Music Discovery Monday – 12/7/15

Music Discovery Monday - Scott Weiland

Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 12/7/15.

Each week, the HRD team shares songs that fly below radio’s radar, ranging from lesser-known artists to deeper cuts from both up-and-coming and established artists.

In addition to exposing the Hard Rock Daddy audience to new music that isn’t getting the attention that it deserves from radio, Music Discovery Monday also features a segment called “Hard Rock Music Time Machine,” which showcases older songs (from the ’70s to today) that hard rock music fans may have missed at the time of release.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlists beneath each section, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles.

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

The rock world was dealt another blow this week with the death of Scott Weiland.  The immensely talented singer/songwriter’s untimely demise sent waves of sadness through countless fans and bandmates (past and present).  Looking at the reactions to his passing, it seems that virtually everyone saw this day coming.  Although he was constantly battling his demons, he managed to create music that will live on long past his time on earth.  My selections this week showcase his talent on his lesser-known works and one of his most popular.  RIP Scott…\m/

 

SCOTT WEILAND AND THE WILDABOUTS– “20th Century Boy”

Scott Weiland rose to fame during the grunge era, but his talent, style and influences go well beyond grunge.  It’s hard to think of another singer that straddled the fence between grunge and glam, but if there are any out there, none were in the same league as Weiland.  His cover version of T. Rex’s “20th Century Boy” – with his latest solo project, Scott Weiland & The Wildabouts – showcases his unique ability to blend genres that are seemingly the polar opposite of each other.  His melancholic, melodic style transcended sub-genres.  His charisma made you forget that there was an ever-present inner battle going on between a brilliant artist and a tortured soul.   His latest solo project has largely flown under the radar, but that is more indicative of the current music climate, not diminishing talent.  Talent was something that Weiland had in spades; his inability to stay clean was his only downfall.

 

ART OF ANARCHY – “Death Of It”

One of the more peculiar stories in recent times is the confusion surrounding Scott Weiland’s role with Art Of Anarchy.  While the supergroup (which includes GNR’s Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal and Disturbed’s Johny Moyer) considered Weiland a member of the group, the enigmatic lead singer claimed to have been a hired gun.  Based on the music, and the chemistry between the members, Weiland certainly seemed to be a part of the group.  Just as he battled addiction throughout his career, Weiland also had his share of challenging moments with the bands that he fronted.  However, his undeniable talent covered a multitude of sins, and made others want to work with him.  We’ll never know what may have come of this collaboration now, but it will be a memorable chapter just the same.

“Death Of It” begins with chilling vocals highlighted by Spanish guitar before dialing up the intensity, and vacillating between dynamic moments throughout.  The song is beautiful, angst-ridden, haunting and tormented all at once.  That Weiland delivered such a powerful performance while thinking that he wasn’t even a part of the band speaks volumes about his talent.  That there was confusion surrounding his role with another in a long line of recent supergroups speaks volumes about his troubles.  Sadly, this song will likely never get the attention that it deserves.

 

NOTE:  Please make sure to check out the Hard Rock Music Time Machine segment below for more of Weiland’s vast contributions and the parting words from his former bandmates.

 

 

 

 JON LOVELESS – HRD Music Scout

ARCSIN – “Nowhere To Hide”

It’s been quite a while since I’ve heard a new band display as much diversity in one song as I hear in the debut of this Miami, FL group.  That might not work for most bands, but it feels organic enough here that it comes across as impressive, rather than disjointed.  The song opens as relatively traditional metal but winds its way through prog, modern, and power metal territory over the next six minutes.  A solid enough showing that I’m interested in hearing more from them in 2016.

 

DIRTY GLORY – “Sticks And Stones”

From Brazil, comes a bit of sleazy glam metal that stands up very well beside the work of their largely Scandinavian contemporaries.  There’s plenty of Guns N’ Roses influence here, but I also pick up a bit of Faster Pussycat as well, a bit of broadening of their sound versus when I first heard them over three years ago.  The band recently released a new full-length album (Mind The Gap), which is definitely worth checking out for fans of the niche.

 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

MYSTERY – “Wall Street King”

Canadian prog rockers Mystery have a new album, Delusion Rain, and a new lead singer to go with it (Jean Pageau).  With impressive range and finesse, he blends in beautifully with their smooth, but sophisticated, sound. “Wall Street King” in particular has all of the atmosphere and just enough edge for a compelling piece that remains true to that sound.

 

AXEL RUDI PELL – “The King Of Fools”

German guitar virtuoso Axel Rudi Pell returns next month with a new album called Game Of Sins.  This first single suggests that the band will remain true to form, delivering melodic power metal with heavy riffs, ambient keyboards, and the soulful vocals of Johny Gioeli.
 

 

 

   CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout

SHAKRA – “High Noon”

Swiss metal band Shakra has seen a lot of action on tour with many notable groups: Great White, Iron Maiden, Hammerfall and Stratovarious.  “High Noon” – the title track of their upcoming 2016 release – is a good, traditional hard rock/heavy metal composition that’s melodic and carries a good rhythm from start to finish.

 

GUARDIANS OF TIME – “Iron Heart”

Guardians Of Time is a power metal outfit from Norway.  Machine gun bass drums from Øivind Vågane drive this mystical/glory-themed track with the requisite wailing guitars from Paul Olsen, and power vocals of Bernt Fjellestad.  “Iron Heart” is from their fifth studio album, Rage and Fire.
 

 

SUBMISSIONS

To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to – submissions@MusicDiscoveryMonday.com

 

 

HARD ROCK MUSIC TIME MACHINE

 ADAM WALDMAN

STONE TEMPLE PILOTS – “All In The Suit That You Wear” (2003)

At the time of his death, there were hints that Scott Weiland may have been looking to rekindle the on-and-off relationship with the band that helped launch his career.  Before Stone Temple Pilots broke up in 2003, they released a compilation album (Thank You) that featured their greatest hits and “All In The Suit That You Wear,” a previously unreleased track that was originally intended to be on the soundtrack to 2002’s Spider-Man.  The song was ultimately pulled from the soundtrack when it wasn’t used as the lead track, but did eventually appear on an episode of CSI: NY.

“All In The Suit That You Wear” is a song that probably would have been a hit if it had been released during the band’s heyday.  It features the quintessential sound that made STP a household name when they burst onto the scene with their debut album, Core.

Stone Temple Pilots eventually reformed for an extended tour in 2008, and a self-titled album in 2010.  Weiland’s final departure from STP in 2013 ended up in a lawsuit (an all-too-common occurrence these days with acrimonious band splits).  Despite their differences, the remaining members of Stone Temple Pilots felt the pain of his loss…

 

“Dear Scott,

Let us start by saying thank you for sharing your life with us.  Together we crafted a legacy of music that has given so many people happiness and great memories.  The memories are many, and they run deep for us.  We know amidst the good and the bad you struggled, time and time again.  It’s what made you who you were.  You were gifted beyond words, Scott.  Part of that gift was part of your curse.  With deep sorrow for you and your family, we are saddened to see you go.  All of our love and respect.  We will miss you brother.” – Robert, Eric, Dean

 

 

VELVET REVOLVER – “Fall To Pieces”(2004)

All of my previous Scott Weiland selections showcased his lesser-known work.  There was a temptation to do the same with Velvet Revolver, but since “Fall To Pieces” is my favorite Weiland song of all-time, I decided to include it here.

This supergroup was something to behold musically, but they were bound by more than talent.  Like Weiland, Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum had all battled heroin addiction.  In fact, Weiland met Sorum in rehab.  What separated them was the ability to stare their demons down.

“Fall To Pieces” is an incredible song filled with the best that Weiland ever had to offer, highlighted by the signature sound of Slash’s “singing” guitar, which conveys emotions like few can.  For my money, this was the most perfect song of Weiland’s illustrious career.

As much as I love this song, it’s the video that really resonated with me the most after learning of Weiland’s passing.  When it was filmed, it was art imitating life in a very convincing way.  Watching it since Weiland’s passing makes it look more like a documentary that was foreshadowing his inevitable demise.  It’s the beautiful, sorrowful reality of talent destroyed by addiction.

As was the case with other bands, Weiland’s musical work with Velvet Revolver was stellar, but marred by internal strife.  Yet, his tragic passing still dealt an emotional blow to his former bandmates who shared their thoughts on social media…

 

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the loss of our old friend and bandmate, Scott Weiland.  We experienced a good chunk of life with Scott, and even in his darkest times, we all had hope and love for him.  His artistry will live on, of that, there is no doubt.  Deepest condolences and sadness are for his children, Noah and Lucy.  We all travelled around this world together on tour; our band, wives, and kids…and we grew to a big family that still remains to this day.  It’s just so sad and brutal from any perspective. Rest In Peace Scott.” – Slash, Duff, Matt, and Dave

 

 

 

JON LOVELESS

DIRTY GLORY“Mr. Jack” (2012)

I don’t often “double up” on artists in this space, but I thought that it was interesting to hear the evolution that I mentioned in the new release by this band from Sao Paulo, Brazil.  This particular track seems to be the first one that I heard from them and, at least to my ear, the growth that has taken place over three years time is evident.  Don’t misunderstand; by no means was the previous work bad.  To the contrary; it was good enough to catch my attention and remain memorable through literally thousands of songs that I’ve heard in between.  Still, I think that the maturation of their sound, with additional nuances, is interesting to hear side-by-side.

 

 

 

  ROB DELL’AQUILA

SKANSIS – “I Don’t Believe In You” (2011)

Skansis is a hard rock band hailing from Switzerland. They released this melodic rocker in 2011 from the album Leaving You, filling it with equal measures of angst and groove, all set within a wall of sound.

 
NORWAY – “Anything At All” (2007)

In 2007, this hard rock band out of New Jersey released their third album, Rising Up From The Ashes.  Filled with melodic rock, it included this personal favorite.  Dave Baldwin’s smoothly defiant vocals really bring home the theme of the song: that he won’t feel…anything at all.
 

 

 

 CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH

VOLBEAT – “Still Counting” (2008)

I’ve always admired Volbeat’s clean, powerful sound and Michael Poulsen’s vocals.  “Still Counting” is a great introspective track off their 2008 album, Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood.  I love the energy of the tune, especially how it starts from a low key electric strum to full-on power; the arrangements fit together seamlessly.

 

BURNING POINT – “Night Games” (2003)

One of my favorite Alcatrazz songs covered expertly by Finland’s Burning Point.  “Night Games” was featured on the band’s 2003 release, Feeding the Flames.  Pete Ahonen shows a good rasp in his vocals (which is necessary for any Graham Bonnet tribute).  Jukka Kyrö did a great job of covering the original Yngwie Malmsteen guitar parts.
 

A Tragic (but Predictable) Farewell to Scott Weiland

Scott Weiland
By Adam Waldman

 
After learning about the tragic (but predictable) passing of Scott Weiland, my thoughts took me back to the summer of 1994 and the Jones Beach Theater on Long Island. The setting is so perfect there, that the stage itself can become something of an afterthought.
 
When I reminisce about the shows that I’ve seen at Jones Beach through the years, the picture in my mind’s eye features the large stage, the beautiful view of the water surrounding it and the cool breeze in the air. Very few stage shows can compare to the natural beauty of the surroundings.
 
On August 25, 1994, Stone Temple Pilots drew your attention away from the majestic view, and turned an open-air theater into an intimate, cozy experience with the unique living room setting on stage. It’s hard to remember all of the details of the night over two decades later, but the everlasting memory is one of happy nostalgia. Those moments were few and far between in the ‘90s for many hard rock music fans.
 
For one evening, led by one of the most talented and charismatic frontmen in the genre’s history, there was no resentment of the grunge movement that laid waste to many of the bands that formed the soundtrack of my youth. Scott Weiland stole the show like few others could.
 
Though Stone Temple Pilots were classified as “grunge,” the label seemed like a convenient way to pigeon-hole the band into the trend of the moment. It was always surprising to hear someone refer to them (inaccurately) as a Pearl Jam rip-off. Whereas Eddie Vedder was a frontman indicative of the times, Weiland was engaging, entertaining and loaded with charisma. He was the epitome of cool, but he was also tortured, and haunted by demons that he could only elude for so long before they caught up to him again.
 
On a cold Minnesota evening, those demons were too much to overcome, and Weiland was gone. A tragic tale that is far too commonplace in rock and roll. Tragic, but sadly predictable.
 
In the day and age of social media, the news of Weiland’s passing spread like wildfire. Few expressed shock; most expressed sadness, but none have questioned the cause of death. There was no benefit of the doubt given to Weiland. No wait-and-see approach to find out what took a rock legend way before his time. Only remorse that the demons finally finished the job that has seemed inevitable for many years.
 
Scott Weiland left an indelible mark on many with his music, and a void in the lives of those who loved him. He was a tortured soul that lost a battle that many others lose. It is the same battle that has taken the lives of countless young people in recent years…an epidemic that has spun out of control.
 
History will remember Weiland as another tragic rock star lost to addiction. Sex, drugs and rock n’ roll. They go hand-in-hand, so we mourn the loss and accept this reality.
 
As a parent of school-aged children – one who grew up at the same time as Weiland – my thoughts today go beyond the stage and the musical legacy that he leaves behind. My thoughts are with the real legacy that he leaves behind…his two children, whose lives will be forever changed.

Quiet Riot – “Thunderbird”: A Special Throwback Thursday Tribute

RIP BJ

By Adam Waldman

Rock and roll history is rife with stories about rock stars that passed way before their time.  The only silver lining is that they leave behind a legacy that lives on long after their passing.

If you’re a heavy metal fan from Generation X, you will never forget the tragic loss of legendary guitarist Randy Rhoads.  After beginning his career with Quiet Riot, he took the rock world by storm as the guitarist on Ozzy Osbourne’s classic solo albums (Blizzard Of Ozz and Diary Of A Madman).  “Thunderbird” (at least in part) is a tribute to Randy Rhoads and the legacy that he left behind.

Fast forward to today, and the rock and roll funeral that took place to say goodbye to BJ Taylor (a member of Generation X).  He wasn’t a rock star in the traditional sense, but made a huge impact with the work that he did behind the scenes with his company, Blitzcreek.  Like Rhoads, he leaves the world much too soon.  And though he leaves with a legacy in the rock world, his greatest legacy is the difference that he made as a friend, husband, and most importantly, as a dad to three beautiful daughters.

Hard Rock Daddy only acknowledges Throwback Thursday every once in a while.  Today seemed like the perfect time to reflect back on a song that has always had the feeling of a rock and roll sendoff to a friend.  BJ and I had only met through social media in recent months, but he and his wife, Jennifer, made an impact on me with their story.

We are planning a tribute to celebrate BJ’s birthday on 11/21/15.  Logistics may delay the tribute, but it is going to happen as soon as possible.  Until then…”fly on ‘Thunderbird’ fly…spread your wings to the sky.” RIP BJ.

Black Label Society – “Angel Of Mercy”: Hard Rock Daddy Review

Zakk Wylde - Black Label Society - Angel Of Mercy

There are two distinct, yet complementary, sides to Zakk Wylde and the music that he creates.  I’ve always appreciated his signature heavy guitar sound, but through the years, I think that I’ve grown to love his more emotive, slow-tempo songs even more.  As much as I love his guitar playing, there is something about his unique, southern-style, raspy vocals that I am drawn to, which is why his 2013 release, Unblackened, was a great album for me.  Sadly, the Hard Rock Daddy album review of Unblackened was never completed…

On this day last year, I received a very anxious, almost panic-stricken phone call from my mom.  The time was 3:24pm.  I only know the exact time because when I went to look at the partially completed album review this morning, I saw the last time that the file was updated.

For those of you who were looking for a typical song review, I apologize for veering off course a bit, but I’m sure that many of you can appreciate the power that music has on you in times of sorrow.  This is one time where a personal story seems appropriate.

I met Zakk a few months after he joined Ozzy (see full story), and then again years later while working for Billboard Magazine.  He had just re-issued Book Of Shadows on Spitfire Records.  It is a lesser-known album that is arguably my favorite of his to this day.  Along with two of my friends who ran the label, my wife and I joined Zakk (after he came up to Billboard Magazine) for a side-splitting Mexican dinner in Times Square (a story for another day).

Getting back to the album review that was never completed…

Needless to say, I was thrilled to see four tracks from Book Of Shadows featured on Unblackened, because I am a huge fan of anything that Zakk does live.  When I got the call from my mom, I had just written the following paragraph…

“Although many fans may not realize it, Wylde has revealed his gritty, stripped down, southern rock side before with his 1996 solo album, Book Of Shadows.  A number of songs from the album appear on Unblackened (“Sold My Soul,”“Road Back Home,” “Throwin’ It All Away,” “I Thank You Child”).”

That is as far as the review went.  The last words that I typed (after speaking to my panic-stricken mom) were “I Thank You Child.”

I had no idea at the time, that a phone call that ended somewhat abruptly because of a bad connection, would be the last time that my mom and I would ever speak.  The test that she feared taking forced her into emergency surgery that led to complications.  Less than a week later, she was shockingly gone from our lives, and I couldn’t bear the thought of finishing the review that was interrupted during our last conversation.

In some ways, a year feels like a long time, but in other ways, it feels like it went by in the blink of an eye.  I remember my last phone call, and all of the heartbreaking moments that followed, as if it happened yesterday.

As fitting as it seems that the last words written of an unfinished album review (during my final conversation with my mom) were “I Thank You Child,” it is equally fitting that I actually complete a review for a Zakk Wylde song entitled “Angel Of Mercy” on this sad anniversary, so here goes…

The powerful, black and white video begins with some appropriately haunting images as the melancholic guitar introduction is played, before Zakk’s beautiful vocals reach into your soul.

It’s been nearly two decades since the release of Book Of Shadows.  For the most part, Black Label Society’s music is much heavier than that album, but “Angel Of Mercy” feels like it could be a lost track from 1996.  The first time that I heard it, I was brought back to happier times of yesteryear, even though the song is actually very sad.

“Angel Of Mercy” features the best of everything that Zakk Wylde has to offer, and for very personal reasons, it will always be one of my favorite songs of his.  His unique singing style captures the dark emotions of the lyrics, as does his shredding solo where he makes the double neck guitar sing like few others can.

On this day, you would think that the last thing that I would want to see in a music video is an evocative, black and white cemetery scene, but the beauty of the song has an unexplainable cathartic quality to it.

The poignant lyrics to “Angel Of Mercy” appear below the video.  They have brought me comfort in a time a great pain, and for that, I will always be thankful to Zakk Wylde.  And while the moment has clearly passed for a timely album review, I would highly recommend Unblackened to all Zakk Wylde fans.

“ANGEL OF MERCY” LYRICS

I woke alone today
For all the birds have flown
Inside this empty house
Which no longer feels like home

No angel of mercy
Is gonna hear my call (lord no)
No angel of mercy
To dry the tears that shall not fall

I woke alone today
Admidst life’s killing fields of war
Door of memories
Closed forevermore

No angel of mercy
Is gonna hear my call (lord no)
No angel of mercy
To dry the tears that shall not fall

No angel of mercy
Is gonna hear my call (lord no)
No angel of mercy
To dry the tears that shall not fall