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Top Live Performances of 2016

Joe Lynn Turner - Revolution - Amityville, NY - 2-27-16 - Hard Rock Daddy

By Adam Waldman

The calendar has finally flipped to 2017, but the scars of 2016 remain.  2016 may be remembered for the deaths of several musical icons, but there were some truly memorable live performances that proved that rock and roll is very much alive and well, most notably, Joe Lynn Turner’s stellar solo show.

As rumors swirled that Ritchie Blackmore was ready to step back into the rock arena for a “Rainbow reunion,” JLT seemed like a slam dunk to take center stage once again.  Not only was he the frontman featured on some of the band’s biggest hits, but he also is the only singer to have also fronted Deep Purple.  If Blackmore was ready to rock again, the first call should have gone to JLT.  Inexplicably, it didn’t.

JLT didn’t let Blackmore’s misguided decision stop him from giving the people what they wanted.  His show at Revolution on Long Island is everything that you could have asked for in a Rainbow show (even without the enigmatic guitarist present).  Not only did JLT deliver brilliant performances of the songs that he made famous with Rainbow, he also did so with the songs that pre-dated him joining the band (while throwing in Deep Purple and Yngwie Malmsteen classics for good measure).

JLT didn’t get nearly the hype that Blackmore got for his Rainbow/Deep Purple live performances, but he deserved it.  Amazingly, JLT’s vocals are as strong today as they were over three decades ago when he rose to fame.

CLICK HERE to read the full concert review.




Jeff Scott Soto has a tremendous resume, but he still manages to fly under the radar.  In an intimate show on a cold winter night, JSS and his band SOTO delivered an inspired performance, showcasing chemistry that you usually find in bands that have been together for decades.

CLICK HERE to read the full concert review.



The first time that I heard “Baptized In The Rio Grande” on SiriusXM’s Octane, I was instantly hooked.  With a seasoned sound that goes well beyond their years, the boys from a small Texas town near the Mexican border live up to the saying…“everything’s bigger in Texas.”  One of the best newcomers onto the hard rock music scene, Sons Of Texas showed that they are going to be a force to be reckoned with for many years to come.

CLICK HERE to read the full concert review.



Anthrax’s inclusion on this list comes with an asterisk because it wasn’t actually a concert, rather a four-song, show-stealing performance at the recent Epiphone Revolver Music Awards.  It’s a testament to the band’s greatness that the crowd was as enthusiastic about the two new songs (“Breathing Lightning” and “Monster At The End”) as they were about the classics (“Caught In The Mosh” and “Indians”).

CLICK HERE to read a full recap of the event.



Top Live Performances of 2015

Top Live Performances of 2014

Sons Of Texas Concert Review

Written by Adam Waldman

On Friday, September 16, 2016, Sons Of Texas took to the stage at The Chance in Poughkeepsie with no fanfare.  If you didn’t know who they were, you would have thought that the guys tuning the instruments were part of the road crew.  For some odd reason, the band wasn’t even announced.  When they were ready, Sons Of Texas just launched into a music assault that, by all rights, should have brought the crowd to an immediate fever pitch.

Having been on the Sons Of Texas bandwagon since hearing “Baptized In The Rio Grande” on Octane when it first came out, I just assumed that others would be familiar with them as well.  However, because radio has inexplicably dropped the ball on Sons Of Texas since their debut single, the boys from McAllen, TX were fighting an uphill battle for crowd enthusiasm for most of the night.  That is an indictment of the audience, NOT the band.

On a late summer night, Sons Of Texas was an up-and-coming opening act in a club that holds around 1000 people.  However, the sound and performance that they delivered was worthy of an arena headliner.  And though hard rock and metal arena shows have become something of a dinosaur these days, if this was 30 years ago, Sons Of Texas would eventually be headlining arenas.  They’re that good!

With a precision live sound and incredible chemistry, you would think that Sons Of Texas is a band that has been playing together for many years.  In reality, however, this is a band of all-stars from a small Texas town on the Rio Grande that has only been together since 2013…a testament to their talent and dedication to be the best that they can be.

Sometimes, a lower energy crowd can bring down even the most veteran acts, but Sons Of Texas never took their foot off of the gas pedal from the opening note to the last.  Bursting with energy, frontman Mark Morales continuously worked the crowd, encouraging them to “make some noise.”  While he never got the full-throated response that he was looking for, you didn’t see even a hint of frustration, the sign of a true professional.

Throughout the evening, Sons Of Texas delivered a sound that was so powerful, that you could feel it coming at you like a freight train.  The dual guitar attack of Jes De Hoyos and Jon Olivarez, combined with bass player Nick Villarreal, was visually reminiscent of classic Judas Priest, albeit with a lot more groove.

With a guitar duo like De Hoyos and Olivarez, you might expect Villarreal to have a difficult time getting noticed, but like Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris, you can’t help but fixate on his dynamic playing, which combines the metal elements of Harris with the funkier, slap elements of Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers).  Perhaps he is able to be front and center and still lock in perfectly with the intense drumming of Mike Villarreal because of their brotherly connection.

In a live setting, Sons Of Texas delivers the intensity of bands like Pantera and Hellyeah, the groove of bands like King’s X and Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the blistering dual guitars of bands like Megadeth and Lamb Of God.  Morales showed that he can growl with the best of them, but also sing with the hauntingly melodic, southern flavored style of Zakk Wylde.  He was perfectly complemented by the backing vocals of De Hoyos, who knows just when to infuse shredding solos and when to pull back and stay in the pocket.

Even if you didn’t know any of Sons Of Texas’ songs, you couldn’t help but be blown away by their performance.

From “Baptized In The Rio Grande” (the song that turned me on to the band), to “September” (a deep-meaning track that was recently featured on Music Discovery Monday), to “Blameshift” (a vastly underrated single that was featured on HRD Radio Report back in April), Sons Of Texas showed a versatility and professionalism that rivals the most well-established bands in hard rock today.

Although Sons Of Texas is a high-intensity band, they also know how to tap into the more debaucherous side of rock and roll that is synonymous with Buckcherry (the evening’s headliner).  The band showed a more lighthearted side with their two closing songs, “Slam With The Lights On” and “Texas Trim.”  It was during the two closing songs that the band finally got the enthusiastic response from the crowd that was deserved throughout the performance.

As impressive as Sons Of Texas was on stage, equally as impressive was the true gratitude that the band showed to everyone who came to meet with them at the merch table after the show.  This is particularly true of Morales, who seemed to go right from the stage to the merch table (the perk of not having to load out equipment).  Not only did he hug every fan that came up to him and thank them for their support, he also happily took pictures with anyone who requested.  What really stood out though, was the care that Morales took after signing autographs, literally blowing the ink dry for each person to make sure that it didn’t smudge.  Gestures like that will go a long way towards creating lifelong fans.

Don’t wait to hear Sons Of Texas on the radio before going to see them perform live.  Radio is a political game that (often times) doesn’t favor the truly deserving.  Make sure to catch them when they come to your area.  Someday, you’ll look back with pride at having been one of the early adopters of one of the most kickass bands in rock today.

Music Discovery Monday – 9/5/16

Music Discovery Monday - Sons Of Texas - September

Music Discovery Monday – 9/5/16

Music Discovery Monday shines a light on artists that are not getting the radio attention that they deserve, while also showcasing new singles by established bands that are likely to get airplay in the future.

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



 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

SONS OF TEXAS – “September”

“September reminds her of how things used to be…”  This slower, more melancholic side of Sons Of Texas, tackles the struggles that define the lives of many single parents.  The lyric highlighted above struck a chord with me, even though I am not a single parent.  September also reminds me of how things used to be (before September 11, 2001).

Although I suffered a painful loss just before that date, I didn’t become a single parent as a result of 9/11.  I didn’t suffer the loss of anyone close to me that day, but I know many who did.  On that day, I suffered a loss of innocence forever, having watched the tragic events unfold right in front of my eyes (see full story).  Many people became single parents on that fateful day.  Many others have joined those ranks in less publicized, more personal ways since then, but it doesn’t lessen the pain or make the void any smaller.

Years ago, John Cougar Mellencamp famously sang…“oh yeah, life goes on…long after the thrill of living is gone.”  Sons Of Texas has poignantly brought that concept to life with “September.”  Perhaps there is no more telling lyric in the song about what life is like for struggling parents than…“I’ll take the pain to preserve their joy.”  No matter the heartbreak and challenges that any loving parent faces in life, we all do what we can to take away the pain for our children.

In this song, “September” is a reminder of how things used to be, but it is really just symbolic of any trigger that reminds you of a painful loss, or makes you long for days gone by.  Between the guitars that seem to cry out in pain, and Mark Morales’ emotionally stirring vocals, this thought-provoking song will deeply touch those who can relate to the story in any way.

PRETTY MAIDS – “Face The World”

American metal fans have had very little exposure to Denmark’s Pretty Maids.  Aside from the title track to the band’s sophomore album, Future World, a good portion of American metal fans are unfamiliar with the band’s storied career and lengthy discography.

This November, these Danish rockers are going to be releasing their 15th studio album, Kingmaker.  Admittedly, I am among the American metal fans who was unaware Pretty Maids’ longevity, but thanks to Frontiers Records (the Italian metal label that bridges the ‘80s to today), I discovered the band’s most recent single, “Face The World.”

Nearly 30 years have passed since the band’s sole American hit, so it’s understandable that they would be coming from an entirely different “world” (so to speak) this time around.  “Face The World” is rooted in ‘80s metal, but isn’t quite as in your face as “Future World.”  It’s more along the lines of the melodic AOR sound of bands like Night Ranger and Whitesnake.

Although they have understandably had lineup changes throughout their history, founding members Ronnie Atkins (vocals) and Ken Hammer (guitar) have stayed together since 1981.  A pretty amazing feat given the splits that seem to happen with most bands with any kind of staying power.



 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout


One of the hardest working (and most talented) musicians is back with a new album entitled Transcendence. “Failure” is the first single from the album.  If the rest of the album is anything like this song, fans are in for a real treat.  Known for his extreme, heavy, death metal overtones in his other band (Strapping Young Lad), the Devin Townsend Project is much more ambient and progressive hard rock that showcases his songwriting composition and guitar wizardry.  The guitar solo tones are reminiscent of Steve Vai, while the rest of the song boasts complex keyboard compositions, as Townsend wails and sings with emotion and finesse.  This is an album not to be missed!



This experimental metal band from Australia is back with “Invincible” from their new album, Outlier.  How do you describe a band like Twelve Foot Ninja?  You can’t.  These guys are labeled experimental for a reason.  Their song compositions are all over the place, ranging from hard rock and jazz one second, to extreme screaming death metal the next, and then back to a progressive metal feel.  Despite the eclectic musical compositions, their songs are oftentimes catchy.  Listening to Twelve Foot Ninja is like a box of chocolates…you never know what you’re gonna get.




POWER QUEST – “Face The Raven”

British power metal band Power Quest returns with a new vocalist, Ashley Edison (Dendera), and a new guitarist, Dan Owen (ex-Hunted). They merge well with the rest of the lineup, firing on all cylinders on this first single from their upcoming three-song EP (due out September 10th).



This progressive metal band out of Detroit lives up to the expectations stirred up by its intriguing name.  The band glides easily from tip-toeing keyboards to pounding riffage and a sense of doom. This driving, complex arrangement is from their just-released sophomore album, Triumphia.




EARTHSIDE – “The Closest I’ve Come”

Earthside’s self-described “Cinematic Rock” style exudes coolness, mixing ethereal themes with heavy rhythms and chords that blend together seamlessly.  Bordering on progressive metal, this instrumental piece highlights the band’s musical skills.  “The Closest I’ve Come” is the lead track from the band’s debut album, A Dream In Static.


DRAGONHARP – “Eternal Moon”

DragonHarp is a unique symphonic power metal band from Italy.  The band was founded by harpist Rossina Monico, who incorporates the harp into their songs (in a subtle way, akin to keyboard accompaniment).  Nicole Masselli’s excellent vocals lead “Eternal Moon,” a hard-rocking track from their just-released debut album, Let the Dragon Fly.  You’ll also hear heavy drums (Andrea Lentini) and rich, powerful chords with excellent bass (Roberto Como) and lead guitar work (Paolo Albergoni).



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

HRD Radio Report – Week Ending 4/30/16

HRD Radio Report- Sons Of Texas


The HRD Radio Report showcases the weekly Active Rock Mediabase Charts (compiled by, and appears every Tuesday on  The HRD Radio Report digs deeper into the weekly Active Rock charts, providing commentary, reviews, recommendations and predictions.  It also features opinion pieces on chart action and the music business in general.

Many of the artists featured on the Active Rock charts have already been reviewed on

Click on the hyperlinked song titles to read song reviews, and the hyperlinked artist names to read album reviews.

 2016 Active Rock Radio / Octane Quarterly Report: Q1

The following is the Active Rock Mediabase Chart for the week ending 4/30/16.  All exclusive HRD content is featured below the chart:

1 1 RED SUN RISING “Emotionless” 1828
2 3 BRING ME THE HORIZON “Happy Song” 1730
3 5 VOLBEAT “The Devil’s Bleeding Crown” 1695
4 4 FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH “My Nemesis” 1663
5 2 DISTURBED “The Sound Of Silence” 1620
6 6 SIXX: A.M. “Rise” 1530
7 9 PAPA ROACH “Falling Apart” 1222
8 10 DEFTONES “Prayers/Triangles” 1136
9 8 3 DOORS DOWN “In The Dark” 992
10 7 MUSE “Reapers” 956
11 12 GHOST “From The Pinnacle To The Pit” 883
12 11 HALESTORM “Mayhem” 834
13 14 HELLYEAH “Human” 756
14 13 ADELITA’S WAY “Bad Reputation” 685
15 15 A DAY TO REMEMBER “Paranoia” 629
16 25 SHINEDOWN “Asking For It” 611
17 16 FOALS “Mountain At My Gates” 584
18 19 SICK PUPPIES “Stick To Your Guns” 578
19 17 ASKING ALEXANDRIA “Here I Am” 572
20 18 DEVOUR THE DAY “Lightning In The Sky” 502
21 20 KILLSWITCH ENGAGE “Hate By Design” 407
22 21 KALEO “No Good” 382
23 28 ROB ZOMBIE “Get High” 345
24 22 CHEAP TRICK “When I Wake Up” 320
25 27 THOUSAND FOOT KRUTCH “Running With Giants” 312
26 26 AVATAR “The Eagle Has Landed” 303
27 23 MONSTER TRUCK “Don’t Tell Me How To Live” 301
28 24 BLACK STONE CHERRY “In Our Dreams” 261
29 30 THROUGH FIRE “Stronger” 246
30 29 BARONESS “Shock Me” 243
31 51 POP EVIL “Take It All” 240
32 33 SEVENDUST “Death Dance” 227
33 38 TWENTY ONE PILOTS “Ride” 210
34 34 HOLY WHITE HOUNDS “Switchblade” 210
35 50 CHRIS CORNELL “Nothing Compares 2 U” 185
36 32 ANTHRAX “Breathing Lightning” 184
37 31 CANDLEBOX “Vexatious” 180
38 35 SMASHING SATELLITES “Gamblin’ Man” 173
39 37 LIKE A STORM “Break Free” 156
40 36 CILVER “I’m America” 152
41 39 ONE LESS REASON “Where Were You?” 142
42 41 TRIVIUM “Dead And Gone” 140
43 44 TREMONTI “Dust” 136
44 40 SUNFLOWER DEAD “It’s Time To Get Weird” 117
45 42 RIVAL CITY HEIGHTS “Take It Back” 104
46 56 ESCAPE THE FATE “Remember Every Scar” 100
47 43 HANDS LIKE HOUSES “Colourblind” 99
48 45 OTEP “In Cold Blood” 97
49 69 BEARTOOTH “Aggressive” 88
50 107 BREAKING BENJAMIN “Ashes Of Eden” 82




SONS OF TEXAS – “Blameshift”

Sons Of Texas burst onto the Active Rock scene with their hit debut single, “Baptized In The Rio Grande.”  It has taken much too long for their follow-up single, “Blameshift,” to be pushed to radio, and yet, the band has become recognized as one of the best new artists in the genre, having done extensive touring with no single on the radio.  It makes you wonder a few things. First of all, what took so long for this single to get pushed to radio?  Second of all, is airplay becoming more about bragging rights than an important piece of the puzzle to break a band?  The answer to the first question is one that can only be answered by the band’s label.  The answer to the second question is…it depends.

Sons of Texas’ label mates (Red Sun Rising) have certainly benefited (at least in name recognition) by having their second single rise to the top of both the Active Rock charts and the Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown simultaneously.  To be fair, their current single also felt like it a long time to get pushed to radio.  Ultimately, like all bands in the genre, touring seems to be a bigger determining factor in a band’s success than radio.  That being said, Active Rock radio should be putting “Blameshift” into heavy rotation (if outstanding music and format fit are the criteria). It’s hard to figure out why Octane made this one of the songs in their new “Test Drive” segment. There is nothing to “test.”  Simply stated, this song should be vying for the same lofty status that Red Sun Rising has achieved, not fighting for airplay.  It’s that damn good!

Some of the most memorable lyrics of the song are…“I’ve sold my soul.”  Let’s hope that Sons Of Texas won’t have to resort to that to get the airplay that they so richly deserve.



HRD SPIN CONTROL (by Adam Waldman and Jon Loveless)

Each week, we will share the songs that we think should be added to rotations, alongside the songs that we feel should be dropped from rotations, either because they are a bad fit for the format, or because they have run their course and it’s time for a new single from the artist.


SONS OF TEXAS“Blameshift”

UGLY MELON“Dead Or Alive”

HUDSON“Cast Out”






Holy White Hounds“Switchblade”

Foals“Mountain At My Gates”

Twenty One Pilots – “Ride”

Adelita’s Way“Bad Reputation”





THE BREAKDOWN by Jon Loveless


Week number two atop the Mediabase Active Rock Airplay Chart for Red Sun Rising, but there are certainly challengers eyeing the spot.  Bring Me The Horizon gains a little ground and moves up to #2, but the real threat for an extended run now appears to come from Volbeat, who shot past Five Finger Death Punch for #3.




No changes in the composition of the Top Ten this week, just some shuffling of the order…

Shinedown’s “Asking For It” is the only new arrival in the Top 20…

No new entries crack the Top 30 this week…

Pop Evil is the high debut for the week, coming in strong at #31 with their latest single, “Take It All.”  In addition to Pop Evil, debuting in the Top 50 are three new songs, including the latest single from Escape The Fate and a ballad from format powerhouse, Breaking Benjamin.





Volbeat – “The Devil’s Bleeding Crown”

Five Finger Death Punch – “My Nemesis”

Shinedown – “Asking For It”



Disturbed“The Sound Of Silence”

3 Doors Down – “In The Dark”

Muse – “Reapers”




Is 2016 shaping up to be another good year on radio for established artists?  The hot start for Volbeat certainly suggests that possibility.  Red Sun Rising appears to be tabbed as the next Nothing More (in terms of reception from radio), but otherwise, the top spots appear to be largely the domain of some of the format’s most entrenched acts over the past year.  There may not be much reason to think that 2016 will see a bumper crop of breakthroughs.  It’s hard to have many of those acts if radio sticks to the tried and true.



That’s all for this week.  Tune in to every Tuesday for the HRD Radio Report. \m/

HRD Radio Report – Week Ending 6/14/15

HRD Radio Report - Red Sun Rising


The HRD Radio Report showcases the weekly Active Rock Mediabase Charts (compiled by, and appears every Tuesday on  The HRD Radio Report digs deeper into the weekly Active Rock charts, providing commentary, reviews, recommendations and predictions.  It also features opinion pieces on chart action and the music business in general.

Many of the artists featured on the Active Rock charts have already been reviewed on

Click on the hyperlinked song titles to read song reviews, and the hyperlinked artist names to read album reviews.

The following is the Active Rock Mediabase Chart for the week ending 6/14/15.  All exclusive HRD content is featured below the chart:

1 1 BREAKING BENJAMIN “Failure” 2198
2 2 THEORY OF A DEADMAN “Angel” 1873
3 4 THREE DAYS GRACE “Human Race” 1602
4 5 ROYAL BLOOD “Little Monster” 1591
5 3 ZAC BROWN BAND (f. Chris Cornell) “Heavy Is The Head” 1443
6 6 HALESTORM “Amen” 1352
7 7 NOTHING MORE “Jenny” 1189
8 8 SEETHER “Nobody Praying For Me” 1181
9 11 MUSE “Dead Inside” 910
10 13 HIGHLY SUSPECT “Lydia” 871
11 12 HELLYEAH “Hush” 852
12 14 GODSMACK “What’s Next” 827
13 22 POP EVIL “Footsteps” 792
14 16 DEVOUR THE DAY “Faith” 677
15 18 10 YEARS “Miscellanea” 562
16 31 PAPA ROACH “Gravity” 561
17 19 AWOLNATION “Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)” 561
18 17 FOO FIGHTERS “Congregation” 556
19 26 SAINT ASONIA “Better Place” 538
20 15 TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT “Take It Back” 559
21 20 OFFSPRING “Coming For You” 489
22 24 OF MICE & MEN “Never Giving Up” 474
23 30 SLIPKNOT “Killpop” 434
24 25 ARANDA “Don’t Wake Me” 428
25 29 IN THIS MOMENT “Sex Metal Barbie” 419
26 28 KILL IT KID “Blood Stop And Run” 410
27 33 ALL THAT REMAINS “For You” 403
28 32 FALLING IN REVERSE “God If You Are Above” 369
29 21 THOUSAND FOOT KRUTCH “Unraveled Road” 365
30 23 APOCALYPTICA “Cold Blood” 343
31 34 STARSET “Halo” 292
32 37 MUSE “Psycho” 251
33 36 BEARTOOTH “In Between” 237
34 44 MUMFORD & SONS “The Wolf” 232
35 38 CROBOT “Legend Of The Spaceborne” 225
36 40 DANKO JONES “Do You Wanna Rock” 221
37 39 TREMONTI “Another Heart” 211
38 49 THE STRUTS “Could Have Been Me” 198
39 48 SHAMAN’S HARVEST “Dirty Diana” 197
40 43 YOUNG GUNS “Rising Up” 187
41 45 RED “Darkest Part” 183
42 46 I PREVAIL “Blank Space” 180
43 56 RED SUN RISING “The Otherside” 177
44 42 AC/DC “Rock The Blues Away” 168
45 51 SHATTERED SUN “Hope Within Hatred” 123
46 50 ART OF DYING “Rise Up” 117
47 41 SONS OF TEXAS “Baptized In The Rio Grande” 113
48 55 NICKELBACK “Get ‘Em Up” 112
49 54 WITHIN REASON “Here Comes The Light” 94
50 58 MOTIONLESS IN WHITE “Unstoppable” 87




RED SUN RISING – “The Otherside

Far too often, SiriusXM’s Octane jumps on a track, gives it some spins, and then it inexplicably dies on the vine before having the chance to make an impact at Active Rock Radio.  All the while, songs that are clearly not a good fit for the format stake their claim on the chart and enjoy a lengthy run.   In last week’s new segment of the HRD Radio Report (HRD Spin Control), we pushed for spins for Red Sun Rising’s debut single, “The Otherside.”  This week, the band enjoyed a huge jump in spins and shot all the way up to #43.  Thankfully, Active Rock programmers got this one right!  While many recent additions to the chart have trouble gaining traction when they sneak into the Top 50, Red Sun Rising’s strong debut should have them poised to enjoy success similar to the debut single from their label mates, Sons Of Texas.  “The Otherside” blends the grunge influence of Alice In Chains with the soaring melodies of Shinedown on this killer track from the band’s upcoming debut album, Polyester Zeal (dropping August 7th).





HRD SPIN CONTROL (by Adam Waldman and Jon Loveless)

Each week, we will share the songs that we think should be added to rotations, alongside the songs that we feel should be dropped from rotations, either because they are a bad fit for the format, or because they have run their course and it’s time for a new single from the artist.




FULL DEVIL JACKET – “Valley Of Bones”


EVERLIT“Break Away”



Awolnation“Hollow Moon”

Mumford & Sons“The Wolf”

In This Moment“Sex Metal Barbie”

Zac Brown Band“Heavy Is The Head”

Muse“Dead Inside”



THE BREAKDOWN by Jon Loveless


It’s six weeks at #1 for Breaking Benjamin on the Mediabase Active Rock Airplay chart, but there are signs of change on the horizon.  “Failure” remains basically flat week-to-week, while Theory Of A Deadman managed a double-digit percentage growth as they remained in the #2 spot.  Three Days Grace and Royal Blood both essentially tread water while waiting their turn, but both may find themselves challenged by Halestorm by the time that the #1 position is within reach.





Muse and Highly Suspect both arrive in the Top 10, aided by the descent of a couple of extremely aged songs that finally fall off of the chart…

Movement in the Top 20 section this week as well as Pop Evil, Papa Roach and Saint Ansonia all quickly break into the upper half of the chart…

New to the Top 30 this week are songs that took different approaches to getting there.  The latest from All That Remains enjoys a decent increase in spins to ascend, while Falling In Reverse climbs four spots with virtually no change, the beneficiary of other tracks that are falling…

Major position moves elevate three songs into the 30-40 range with 25%+ spin growth for each…

With all of the movement, it’s really no surprise to see no less than five songs enter (or re-enter) the lower reaches of the Top 50.  Red Sun Rising is the highest of the group as they more than doubled their spins, while Nickelback appears, but with one of the slower beginnings for a single of their’s in recent memory.





Theory Of A Deadman“Angel”

Halestorm – “Amen”

Pop Evil“Footsteps”




Zac Brown Band “Heavy Is The Head”

Temperance Movement – “Take It Back”

Thousand Foot Krutch“Untraveled Road”



A close two-song race for the #1 spot is taking shape for next week, with the margin getting slimmer for contenders to be next in line after that.  The whole situation could go week-by-week and give multiple bands at least one week at the top, OR we could see songs suffer a near miss if they don’t get some intentional help from radio to make it so.



That’s all for this week.  Tune in to every Tuesday for the HRD Radio Report. \m/

Interview with Sons Of Texas’ Jes De Hoyos

Photo courtesy of Bobby Villareal/Nazvil Photos

Photo courtesy of Bobby Villareal/Nazvil Photos


In early February, when Sons Of Texas was the featured artist on Hard Rock Daddy’s Music Discovery Monday, guitarist Jes De Hoyos shared the inspiration behind the band’s debut single, “Baptized In The Rio Grande.” The album of the same name was released on March 3rd, and immediately rocketed into the Top 10 on the Billboard Hard Rock Album Chart. Check out the rest of the interview with De Hoyos below to learn more about this band on the rise!



You guys come from an area that is not exactly a musical hotbed.  How did you manage to put together such a powerful lineup in such a small area?

Because it is such a small area, it wasn’t hard to find musicians that we liked. The first band that our singer (Mark Morales) was in was with our drummer and bass player (brothers Mike and Nick Villareal).  The band was put together for the sake of a talent show, and then Mark left to pursue music on his own. Nick and Mike continued Lay In Ruins, and gained momentum through the years on the local circuit.

Jon Olivares (guitar) and I were in a band together with former members of Texas.   Lay In Ruins was looking for a second guitarist, so Jon joined at that point, and I jumped in because they needed a bass player.  Eventually, I worked on another project called Machete with Mark because I wanted to go back to guitar.  We went through a long list of trial and error before finalizing the lineup that eventually became Sons Of Texas.



So is it fair to say that you guys came together naturally by being on the scene together?

Yes, but we were playing in different genres of music though.  Machete was more straight-up metal, and Lay In Ruins was heavier and darker, closer to death core.  I’ve always wanted to do something that had a more rock and roll feel to it, but with the liberty to add in metal and blues.



Since you and Mark worked together in Machete, did you bring any of that material to Sons Of Texas? 

No, it’s all fresh material.



You guys are living proof that location is less important than writing great songs.  Despite living in an area not known for its music scene, the band was actually discovered pretty quickly.  How did your label (Razor & Tie) discover you?

We had gone up to play SXSW in 2012 with our original lineup (as Texas) which had two other guys on bass and drums.  We were approached by someone from a different label who liked the music and asked us for a CD.  He pitched it to his label and there was interest. He kept tabs on us for a while, but I guess it didn’t work out.

A while later, the head of A&R for that label had lunch with our current attorney who said that he was looking for a band with a certain “sound.”  She told him about us, and gave him our EP. Fast forward to me in bed with my wife at 11 fucking PM, when I receive what I can only describe as a strange phone call from an L.A. number.  I answered the call and he goes…

“Hi, I’m looking for someone from the band Texas.”

I thought to myself…“Who the fuck is this!?  I’m about to go to bed and you’re calling me now?” (laughs)

He told me that his name was Eric German, and said…“I fuckin’ love your music!”

We were having this long conversation, so as we’re talking, I had my wife Google him to see if he was legit.  When she told me who he was, I thought to myself…holy fuck!  This guy’s the real deal!

He said… “I want to represent you.  I’m going to get you a record deal.”

Mike Gitter from Razor & Tie was in Eric’s office one day when he was playing our stuff, and he said…“what is this!?”

So, Eric calls me while Gitter is in his office, and Gitter yells in the background “I love your music!”  Sure enough, a few months down the road, we had a record deal.



I agree, the whole album kicks ass!  I was drawn to you guys right away when I heard “Baptized In The Rio Grande” on Octane.  About 10 seconds in, I knew that it was going to be a killer track.  And, the album has no filler whatsoever, which is amazing considering that none of you really had studio recording experience outside of making your own demos.

The whole experience was fucking amazing!  I don’t know what we would have done if we didn’t have our producer (Josh Wilbur) and his wife taking us in and helping us out while we were out in California recording the album.  We actually breezed through the entire fucking album in like a month.  Although it had its ups and downs, it didn’t feel like work at all.  I loved every minute of it!



It sounds like it came naturally to all of you.  The album has a really cool, live vibe that doesn’t sound overproduced at all.  Josh did a great job of capturing your sound, which I’m sure will translate really well in concert.

The thing about the live experience is, like I mentioned before, we don’t really have a lot of recording experience, so we’ve always focused on being as tight as we can be when performing live.  I think that translated to the recording experience.



You guys definitely have your own distinct sound, but if I had to pick a couple of influences that I hear on the record, I’d say Sevendust and Black Label Society…

That’s fuckin’ awesome!



What bands would you say have the most influence on you as musicians and songwriters?

Definitely those two (Sevendust and Black Label Society).  Mark was influenced by Zakk Wylde, vocally, as well as a few others. As far as the rest of us, we all meet in the middle at Pantera.  That’s my personal poison of choice.  I fucking love them!  Our bass player (Nick) and Mark are also heavily into Mudvayne.  We have a little bit of a ZZ Top influence in there, and we fuckin’ love Stevie Ray Vaughn!



So, basically, anybody that comes from Texas, right?

(laughs)  Pretty much.  That’s one of the reasons why we feel the name Sons Of Texas fits us so well.



And you definitely have a big sound, so you did Texas proud…

Thank you.



You have a modern hard rock sound, but your shredding dual guitars are kind of a throwback to 80s metal. You’ve talked about your overall influences.  Can you talk about some of the guitar duos that have inspired you?

Pretty much any heavy guitar duos, but I’d say that the major one would be Willie Adler and Mark Morton from Lamb Of God, just because they were so tight from the very beginning.  It was different than a lot of the 80s stuff that I listened to when I was growing up.  It wasn’t just the leads; the riffs and everything they did was tight.

Jon and I both followed them on our own before we met, and we actually did some Lamb Of God covers when we first started playing together.



Do you have any other personal guitar influences that are specific to your style of playing lead?

I’d say that it boils down to four guys…

Dimebag Darrell – I still try my ass off to play with his style and soul.  That ties into Stevie Ray Vaughn, who also has a lot of soul, and could just manhandle the guitar.  It was amazing watching him play.  And, the other two would be Zakk Wylde and Paul Gilbert.



I think that your influences might be why you guys have such a seasoned sound already, despite your age and this being your first album…

Thank you.  Mark is an old soul too.  He listens to older stuff like Bob Seger and old Marshall Tucker Band, and he’s a HUGE Beatles fan!



You describe “Baptized In The Rio Grande” as an album about raising hell and surviving hard times.  Can you talk about what that means?

The song is gospel from the south, no doubt, but it’s got nothing to do with religion.  We come from a place way down at the southern tip of Texas called the Rio Grande Valley.  It’s not exactly known as a hotbed for rock/metal music.  There are some highly talented musicians and acts that are from here, but you don’t come here to get discovered.  We were told by a lot of people that we had to move to a place like Austin or L.A. if we wanted to make it in music.  The mentality that we had is that it shouldn’t matter where you’re from; you should be able to expose yourself to the world no matter where you live.  Ultimately, the song is really an homage to where we’re from.



Do you feel like being an all-Hispanic band made things more challenging because that isn’t very common in hard rock?

I kind of felt like it might have been an issue at one point.  I thought that to be in a band, you had to be from a music hotbed (like Austin or L.A.)  That’s why the song “Baptized In The Rio Grande” is kind of a big thing for us.  It’s where we’re from, and it’s where we were “baptized” musically.  It has nothing to do with being baptized in a river. (laughs)



One of my favorite tracks on the album is “Texas Trim.”  I’d say that song is also about “hard” times, but not necessarily enduring difficulties if you know what I mean….

(laughs) A lot of times we hear people who come from other areas tell us that we have some of the best looking women that they’ve ever seen.  That’s what “Texas Trim” is all about, kind of paying tribute to the ladies from our great state.



So, are you guys married or single?

Two of us are single and two are married.  I’m married, and I have a daughter and a son on the way.



Is it going to be hard for you to go on the road with two little kids at home?

Absolutely!  And the crazy part is that we’re expected to hit the road right after my son is born.  It’s going to be kind of shitty, but there really isn’t any alternative.



Is your wife supportive of you going out on the road?

Oh yeah.  She’s always been supportive of everything I do musically.  She does everything that she can to help promote us.  She’s a sweetheart, and I don’t know what the fuck I’d do without her!



What are your touring plans to support the album?

We’re going to be doing some of the festivals, and getting on some kind of tour in late April, but the details haven’t been confirmed yet.  We also did some dates with our label-mates, All That Remains.



I could definitely see you guys opening up for Black Label Society one day…

Thanks man.  That would be a huge honor!



Thanks for taking the time to talk, Jes.  I wish you the best of luck with the album and your new baby. Definitely looking forward to checking out the live show when you guys are in my neck of the woods!

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums – 3/21/15

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums

Billboard Hard Rock Albums Chart for the week ending 3/21/15.  Top 15 albums ranked by sales data and compiled by Nielsen SoundScan. ***Click on the hyperlinked titles to read full album reviews***


      1. RED – Of Beauty And Rage
      2. FALLING IN REVERSE – Just Like You
      3. AC/DC – Rock Or Bust
      4. NICKELBACK – No Fixed Address
      5. ALL THAT REMAINS – The Order Of Things
      6. MARILYN MANSON – The Pale Emporer
      7. SLIPKNOT – .5: The Gray Chapter
      8. FOO FIGHTERS – Sonic Highways
      9. SONS OF TEXAS – Baptized In The Rio Grande
      10. PAPA ROACH – F.E.A.R.
      11. THE PRETTY RECKLESS – Going To Hell
      12. IN THIS MOMENT – Black Widow
      13. OF MICE & MEN – Restoring Force
      14. UFO – Conspiracy Of Stars


Top 100 Hard Rock Songs of 2014

Billboard Top 50 Hard Rock Albums of 2014

Sons Of Texas – “Baptized In The Rio Grande”: Hard Rock Daddy Review

All That Remains – “This Probably Won’t End Well”: Hard Rock Daddy Review

Papa Roach – “Face Everything And Rise”: Hard Rock Daddy Review

Billboard Top 50 Hard Rock Albums of 2013

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums Archives

HRD Radio Report – Week Ending 2/8/15

HRD Radio Report - Sons Of Texas


The HRD Radio Report showcases the weekly Active Rock Mediabase Charts (compiled by, and appears every Tuesday on  The HRD Radio Report digs deeper into the weekly Active Rock charts, providing commentary, reviews, recommendations and predictions.  It also features opinion pieces on chart action and the music business in general.

Many of the artists featured on the Active Rock charts have already been reviewed on

Click on the hyperlinked song titles to read song reviews, and the hyperlinked artist names to read album reviews.

The following is the Active Rock Mediabase Chart for the week ending 2/8/15.  All exclusive HRD content is featured below the chart:

1 1 THREE DAYS GRACE “I Am Machine” 2064
2 2 SEETHER “Same Damn Life” 1722
3 5 PAPA ROACH “Face Everything And Rise” 1434
4 3 FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH “Wrong Side Of Heaven” 1424
5 6 ASKING ALEXANDRIA “Moving On” 1230
6 9 HALESTORM “Apocalyptic” 1215
7 8 PRETTY RECKLESS “Follow Me Down” 1168
8 4 FOO FIGHTERS “Something From Nothing” 1101
9 7 ROYAL BLOOD “Figure It Out” 948
10 16 MARILYN MANSON “Deep Six” 908
11 12 SIXX A.M. “Stars” 905
12 14 AC/DC “Rock Or Bust” 882
13 11 NICKELBACK “Million Miles An Hour” 879
14 10 NOTHING MORE “Mr. MTV” 866
15 17 YOUNG GUNS “I Want Out” 763
16 13 GODSMACK “Something Different” 761
17 18 ARCTIC MONKEYS “R U Mine?” 659
18 20 ALL THAT REMAINS “This Probably Won’t End Well” 653
19 29 FOO FIGHTERS “Congregation” 643
20 19 STARSET “Carnivore” 624
21 22 BRING ME THE HORIZON “Drown” 589
22 21 SLASH “Bent To Fly” 543
23 25 KID ROCK “First Kiss” 452
24 23 MOTIONLESS IN WHITE “Reincarnate” 452
25 62 OFFSPRING “Coming For You” 399
26 26 BLACK KEYS “Weight Of Love” 396
27 28 ISLANDER “New Wave” 374
28 31 CAGE THE ELEPHANT Cigarette Daydreams 323
29 27 OF MICE & MEN “Feels Like Forever” 313
30 24 CHEVELLE “An Island” 313
31 30 LIKE A STORM “Wish You Hell” 297
32 50 AWOLNATION “Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)” 248
33 36 SLIPKNOT “Custer” 241
34 32 3 YEARS HOLLOW “For Life” 219
35 35 BEARTOOTH “Beaten In Lips” 192
36 46 WE ARE HARLOT “Dancing On Nails 183
37 42 THOUSAND FOOT KRUTCH “Unraveled Road” 176
38 38 AMARANTHE “Drop Dead Cynical” 174
39 37 WE AS HUMAN “Bring To Life” 171
40 45 10 YEARS “Miscellanea” 170
41 41 HINDER “Hit The Ground” 169
42 48 YELAWOLF “Till It’s Gone” 162
43 39 MOTLEY CRUE “All Bad Things” 155
44 54 OTHERWISE “Coming For The Throne” 147
45 44 BLACK VEIL BRIDES “Goodbye Agony” 147
46 49 SONS OF TEXAS “Baptized In The Rio Grande” 140
47 57 FALL OUT BOY “Uma Thurman” 122
48 51 YOU ME AT SIX “Forgive And Forget” 112
49 53 CHARM CITY DEVILS “Karma” 105
50 0 INCUBUS “Absolution Calling” 104




 SONS OF TEXAS – “Baptized In The Rio Grande”

In recent months, Active Rock radio has proven that it is willing to jump all over new singles by established artists, particularly those who have a successful track record in the format.  While this approach does somewhat play into the desires of the listening audience, it fails to cater to those whose desire is to discover new artists.  However, every once in a while, a new artist comes along with a single that is simply too good to ignore.  Enter newcomers Sons Of Texas with their killer debut single, “Baptized In The Rio Grande.”  As the saying goes…”everything is bigger in Texas,” and these rockers from McAllen, TX are proving with their sound that those are not empty words.  It’s early in the game, but it’s a very positive sign that the song has already cracked the Top 50, and continues to rise.  In a perfect world, Sons Of Texas will make their bones with “Baptized In The Rio Grande,” and then start to receive the preferential treatment that is given to proven Active Rock artists with their follow-up singles (of which there could be many from their equally impressive forthcoming debut album).



THE BREAKDOWN by Jon Loveless


Make it three weeks and counting at the top of the Mediabase Active Rock Airplay chart for Three Days Grace’s “I Am Machine.”  Seether’s “Same Damn Life” remains at #2, followed by Papa Roach’s “Face Everything And Rise,” which climbs to #3, but remains quite a bit behind the leaders.




Halestorm continues their chart assault with “Apocalyptic,” narrowly missing the Top 5 (a mark that seems assured next week, but it feels like a matter of time before the band is celebrating another #1 song) …

Marilyn Manson arrives in the Top 10 with what is likely the most successful rock radio single of his career (“Deep Six”)…

The Offspring leads six new songs into the chart with an impressive debut at #25 with “Coming For You”






Foo Fighters – “Congregation”

The Offspring – “Coming For You”



Five Finger Death Punch“Wrong Side Of Heaven”

Foo Fighters – “Something From Nothing” 

Chevelle“An Island”





Next week, we’ll see if Three Days Grace extends their streak at the top, if Halestorm can overtake a couple of heavyweights that stand between them and another #1, and whether the sanity slowly begins to creep back into the process that determines what songs are added to the playlist, or if the descent into the madness of mediocrity continues.




That’s all for this week.  Tune in to every Tuesday for the HRD Radio Report. \m/

Music Discovery Monday – 2/2/15

Music Discovery Monday - Sons Of Texas

Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 2/2/15.

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.

Some of this week’s songs appear on the recently published Top 100 Hard Rock Songs of 2014.

This week’s Music Discovery Monday features an exclusive interview with Jes De Hoyos, lead guitarist of Sons Of Texas.


 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

SONS OF TEXAS – “Baptized In The Rio Grande”

For the moment, Sons Of Texas is still a bit below the radar, but I don’t expect that to last much longer.  The band’s first single – “Baptized In The Rio Grande” (the title track from their forthcoming debut album) – is an instant attention-grabber. Hailing from McAllen, TX, this local all-star lineup was solidified in 2013, although their seasoned sound would lead you to believe that they have been together for much longer.  With an intense rhythm, shredding guitars and soulful vocals, the huge sound of these up-and-comers is just another example of everything being bigger in Texas.  (see full Hard Rock Daddy review).


Hard Rock Daddy is proud to have been the first one to interview the band (aside from local radio).  During my conversation with Jes De Hoyos, he shared the inspiration behind “Baptized In The Rio Grande”

“The song is gospel from the south, no doubt, but it’s got nothing to do with religion.  We come from a place way down at the southern tip of Texas called the Rio Grande Valley.  It’s not exactly  known as a hotbed for rock/metal music.  There are some highly talented musicians and acts that are from here, but you don’t come here to get discovered.  We were told by a lot of people that we had to move to a place like Austin or L.A. if we wanted to make it in music.  The mentality that we had is that it shouldn’t matter where you’re from, you should be able to expose yourself to the world no matter where you live.  Ultimately, the song is really an homage to where we’re from.”

The full interview with Jes De Hoyos will be featured in the near future on Hard Rock Daddy, in addition to a lot more coverage on Sons Of Texas.  Stay tuned!



As mentioned above, everything is bigger in Texas, and no better example exists in hard rock than THC frontman, Big Dad Ritch.  He describes the band’s sound as “Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top had a child, and Pantera ended up raising it.”  One listen to “Monster In Me,” and you will see that this is one cool kid.  Featuring a gritty groove tailor-made for exotic dancers to showcase their moves, “Monster In Me” is a great introduction to these rockers from Denison, TX. (see full Hard Rock Daddy review).





LEVEL 10 – “Cry No More”

Sometimes the names might explain things best:  Russell Allen (Symphony X, Adrenaline Mob), Matt Sinner (Primal Fear, Sinner, Voodoo Circle), Roland Grapow (Helloween), plus more members of Primal Fear and Voodoo Circle.  Definitely on the heavier side of melodic, this is a song that deserves exponentially more attention in mainstream rock circles than it’s likely to receive from an album that will likely find its way onto a number of “Best Of” lists when 2015 comes to a close.


WITHIN TEMPTATION – “Covered By Roses”

Symphonic metal frontrunners, Within Temptation, enjoyed perhaps their biggest year ever in the U.S. with increased sales and increased airplay.  There’s more to the album Hydra than the hit single “What About Us,” which generated the most attention.  While not every song on the album is likely to suit the tastes of every hard rock fan, this particular track brings together Sharon den Adel’s remarkable vocal ability with a musical sound that brings to mind some of the Scorpions more melodic work.





ECLIPSE – “Stand On Your Feet”

Eclipse will return in late February with their newest album, Armageddonize, and if the first single is any indication, it’s going to be another hard-hitting melodic rocker with driving beats and heavy hooks. “Stand On Your Feet” showcases the powerful vocals of Erik Martensson, and the killer guitar of Magnus Henriksson.  This band out of Sweden got everything right on their 2012 album, Bleed and Scream, and they’re off to a strong start on this one.


WHITE WIDDOW – “Caught In The Crossfire”

Australian rockers White Widdow deliver the goods with “Caught in the Crossfire,” from their second album released near the end of 2014.  It features prominent keyboards and heavy harmonies with an 80s vibe that compares favorably to bands like Night Ranger and Giuffria.





ANTHEM – “Love Of Hell”

Anthem are Japanese metal veterans who have been around since the 80s.  Former members include greats like Graham Bonnet and Don Airey.  “Love of Hell” is great melodic metal that hits you from the opening chords.  The sound is a throwback to heavy metal from 20 years ago, but still sounds fresh and new. Yukio Morikawa, who is back for a repeat tour, delivers solid and impassioned vocals.


ELECTRO NOMICON – “Do You Remember”

Great emotion and power in this song of remembrance from Electro Nomicon’s Unleashing the Shadows.  Terrific rhythm line gives way to fantastic vocals from Diego Valdez – who, very fittingly, is reminiscent of Ronnie James Dio.  This band is cut from the same cloth with heavy, driving, rhythmic metal.  Juan Jose Fornes delivers great guitar licks throughout, with some really good, fast fretwork on the brief solo.  Check out the rest of the album as well.





ZAKK WYLDE – “What You’re Look’n For” (1996)

In between the launch of Black Label Society and Pride & Glory (Zakk Wylde’s first post-Ozzy project), Wylde released a solo record entitled Book Of Shadows.  This incredibly underrated album is much more about Wylde’s distinct, soulful, southern style vocals than his guitar playing.  While the whole album is brilliant, “What You’re Look’n For” is a standout track that combines powerfully emotive southern rock vocals with a musical style that is reminiscent of Led Zeppelin’s “Hey, Hey What Can I Do.”


CHRIS CORNELL – “Sunshower” (1988)

Featured on the soundtrack of 1988 film, Great Expectations – and included as a bonus track on the Japanese release of Chris Cornell’s first solo album, Euphoria Morning“Sunshower” is a departure from Cornell’s signature Soundgarden sound.  “Sunshower” offers a more subdued, soulful side of Cornell, although there are moments when he uses his power to provide a nice accent to the song and capture the emotion of the lyrics.





TERRORHAWKS – “You Can’t Take This” (2012)

It’s a little hard for me to believe that it’s been nearly three years since I first stumbled across this unsigned band from New Zealand that made such a good first impression.  Then again, it’s probably harder to believe that when their debut album releases later this year, it’ll be a band from New Zealand (by way of Sweden) where the two original members relocated, adding three European bandmates in the process.  Having top-notch assistance in the studio is a plus for the forthcoming album, but it’s the high quality and enthusiasm of this initial indie release that has me most looking forward to hearing more.


THE SLAM – “Tears In The Rain” (2011)

It’s not everyday that most of us run across a Serbian-based band with a Canadian-raised singer, but that’s the unpredictable nature of rock n’ roll; you never known where the good stuff will come from.  The production quality of “Tears In The Rain” immediately jumped out at me as among the best I’ve ever heard from an unsigned band (or from most signed bands for that matter).  Add in the standout voice of Serge Simic, and you end up with one of the most promising songs and bands in recent years that didn’t really crack the mainstream consciousness.





ILIUM “Fragmented Glory” (2009)

“Fragmented Glory” is a great piece of power metal that will get your adrenaline pumping.  From Australian band Ilium, this battle song boasts shades of Helloween and Iron Maiden. Mike DiMeo (Riot, Masterplan), who almost sang for Deep Purple in the early 90’s, provides the vocals.





AIRTIME – “Liberty” (2007)

Airtime was a terrific project from Rik Emmett (Triumph) and Mike Shotten (Von Groove) that gave us back some of the sound that we loved and missed from Triumph over the years.  However, this not simply some repackaging.  You get the familiarity of melodic, edgy, inspiring arrangements with great complexity that includes hard-driving overtures and classical interludes.  “Liberty” is a mature, polished anthem that features great musicianship and vocals.


BRAZEN ABBOT – “Godforsaken” (2005)

Nikolo Kotzev organized Brazen Abbot in the early 2000s.  Progressive, power heavy metal that’s got some excellent DNA: Tony Harnell, Joe Lynn Turner, Goran Edman (Yngwie Malmsteen), Erik Martensson (Eclipse).  “Godforsaken,” off of the My Resurrection album, is as powerful and rebellious as the title suggests.  Tony Harnell belts out the vocals as only he can with perfect tone and power.  Definitely check out the rest of the album as well.



To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to…

Sons Of Texas – “Baptized In The Rio Grande”: Hard Rock Daddy Review

Sons Of Texas Band Photo

Supergroups are all the rage nowadays in the hard rock music genre, but they usually consist of long-established artists.  Formed in 2013, Sons Of Texas is a new breed of “supergroup.”  A world away from Austin – the lone star state’s music hotbed – this powerful quintet, comprised of local all-stars from McAllen, has just burst onto the scene with their first single, “Baptized In The Rio Grande.”

Like a Texas tornado, “Baptized In The Rio Grande” grabs you from the first note with shredding guitars and an intense rhythm.  Displaying dynamics that go well beyond their years, Sons Of Texas dial back the intensity during the soulful verses before taking it to another level when the chorus kicks in with heavy, melodic harmonies.

If you didn’t know any better, you might think that Zakk Wylde had made a guest appearance on the song, but the bending of notes and shredding solos actually come courtesy of lead guitarist, Jes De Hoyos.  Because of the incredibly tight rhythm section consisting of guitarist, Jon Olivares, and the Villarreal brothers (Mike – drums, Nick – bass), De Hoyos is afforded the freedom to showcase his immense guitar skills.  The impressive musicianship on “Baptized In The Rio Grande” provides an ideal backdrop for the soulful, gritty, impassioned vocals of frontman, Mark Morales, to bring the song to life.

Listening to “Baptized In The Rio Grande,” you are left wondering how a relatively inexperienced band of guys in their mid-20s could have a sound as seasoned and mature as bands with a decade or more under their belts.  With their debut single, Sons Of Texas have proven that they are band poised to make their mark on the hard rock scene.