Happy Halloween!! October was not a good month for me. It was mostly Tricks and few Treats! The tricks were that I was recovering from an appendectomy and after two weeks of that, I caught a virus and then a bacterial infection and was sick for 2 more weeks. My motivation is now at all time low and I have no desire to write or even buy as my energy level is completely wiped. I haven’t written much at all this past month and don’t know when I will get back in to a full time mode, if I ever do. It was hard enough to even put this simple post together, but I am trying.
This month might be my smallest number of purchases in quite some time, but doesn’t mean it doesn’t have what I think are some really sweet Treats! I did get to one record store during the month on the sole day in between recovery and illness where I felt good. It didn’t last that long because by the afternoon, it all went down hill. Noble Records was having their 3rd Anniversary Drop and what a drop it was. I picked up a Kiss Bootleg. More to come on this one down the road, but this is a 1981 reissue of a 1978 bootleg of Kiss My Axe 1978.
While there I picked two albums I had reviewed in my You Pick It Series that won for albums I had never heard before. I grabbed Frank Zappa’s Hot Rats and George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass which was the owners personal copy. It is so clean and even includes the poster!!
The day before you and I have a bunch of treats and absolutely No Tricks!! We have around 30 new releases for you this week! Tell me that is not a Treat!! The time changes this weekend as well so you will have a whole extra hour to listen to music. Am I looking out for you or what!!! I have a handful of items I want to hear and they are highlighted in Blue. Let me know what you want to hear and if there was anything I may have missed. Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful, safe, and socially distanced Halloween and great weekend. Until next week!
Black Stone Cherry – The Human Condition – (Mascot Label Group): Now I’m not a massive Black Stone Cherry Fan, but they do put out consistently great material. For that, I will give this a listen as I do love that heavy, southern rock sound. I am kind of a sucker for it so they will be first up this morning.
Thin Lizzy – Rock Legends Box Set – (Universal UK): Now here is a box set you need to get. I believe there are 99 songs and 74 have never been released. Yeah, that is sort of sweet!! Plus, it is Thin Lizzy so what other reason do you need to buy this…maybe a cheaper price as currently this is cost prohibitive. If the price drops, so will my cash.
Bryan Adams is coming in concert to Charlotte, NC on May 4th, 2019. I thought this would be a great date night for my wife and I so bought 2 tickets. With each pair of tickets you buy, you get a copy of the new Bryan Adams album ‘Shine A Light’. I hadn’t bought any new Adams stuff in quite some time so I was glad to get this and I thought, why not review it. So, here is that review.
The first thing I noticed is that Bryan is more Easy Listening than he is rock now and I guess that comes with age. And getting through those first two tracks was not easy to listen to at all. The first song is the title track, “Shine A Light”, and was written by both Bryan and Ed Sheeran. Yes, the Ed Sheeran. It is a catchy enough song, but it is pure pop dribble. And the second track is no better as it is a duet with Jennifer Lopez called “That’s How Strong Our Love Is”. Yes, the J-Lo herself. Now if you can make it through those tracks, it will get better, I promise.
“Part Friday Night, Part Sunday Morning” is probably my favorite song on the album. It is a fun, good old-fashion rock song that Bryan is really good at it. Great tempo and great rhythm and all around good time. Not to be out done is “Driving Under the Influence of Love” written with his long time writing partner, Jim Vallance. Another rocker that takes me back to Bryan in the 80’s. These are the two songs that should have kicked off this album rather than that crap before it. It is uptempo and has a guitar solo. What more could you want.
Alright, we are going to shake things up this time on The Original Vs. The Cover. We are going to actually look at two Cover versions of the same song and let them battle it out. The song is “Whiskey in the Jar” and the bands are Thin Lizzy and Metallica.
Yes, the Thin Lizzy version was a cover and not an original. “Whisky in a Jar” is actually on old Irish traditional song that was called “The Highwayman and The Captain”. The lyrics were altered and the name changed to “Whiskey in the Jar” by the Beasley Brothers some time in 1967. The song was later made famous by the Irish band the Dubliners in 1968.
The story behind the song is that this traveller (or highwayman) stole money from Captain Farrell. He took it to his woman who betrays him (however, it doesn’t say what the betrayal is). He later sees Captain Farrell again and ends up killing and winding up in prison. It is such a happy song!!
‘Heavy Fire’ is Black Star Riders third album in just 4 years and they keep getting better. For those that don’t know Black Star Riders, the band is really made up of the current members of Thin Lizzy. They wanted to release some new songs, but they didn’t want to release them as Thin Lizzy so they created Black Star Riders.
I think I understand why they did it. If you think about it, was anyone looking to hear new music from Thin Lizzy…No, probably not. This was actually a brilliant move as it caused a lot of buzz around the original release and here they are 4 years later getting better and better.
The band members are as follows:
Ricky Warwick – vocals
Scott Gorham – lead guitar
Damon Johnson – lead guitar
Robbie Crane – bass
Jimmy DeGrasso – drums
The album is a guitar heavy, hard rock release and you wouldn’t expect anything less when you have two lead guitarists. The opening track and title track, “Heavy Fire”, comes screaming in with the guitars and a nice heavy sound. Ricky sounds fantastic and they deliver a shot that resonates throughout the album.
The first single, “When the Night Comes In”, keeps up with the opening track and now you are completely invested in this album. I love guitar rock and they bring it even more on this song. “Dancing With the Wrong Girl” is a little more pop sound, but that doesn’t take away from anything, but actually adds to its charm. Jimmy’s drums on this one are perfect. They aren’t over powering and just enough that set perfectly in the song.
The heaviest and baddest song on the album is “Who Rides the Tiger”. The song is a full on attack of your senses and even the lyrics are a blast. They guitar solo was amazing and I don’t think I will ever tire of this duo of Scott & Damon. This is probably my favorite song they have ever done.
“Cold War Love” is next up, but this is one song that I could never connect with. It is a nice slow ballad, but I wasn’t feeling it. Hopefully you can connect with it and enjoy it. Luckily, the next song was their current single, “Testify or Say Goodbye”. The song picks the tempo back up and gives us more of the what you love from this album. The classic rock sound, the vocals and all around musicianship make it another standout on the album.
“Thinking About You Could Get Me Killed” gives us a little more darker sound and is a nice change of pace for the album without losing the flow of the album. “True Blue Kid” is another song that misses the mark for me. I can’t pinpoint what it is about the song, but I found myself skipping it which is never a good sign.
“Ticket to Rise” brings me back to the enjoyment with another solid guitar heavy song with a great solo. Keep it coming and I won’t tire of it. “Letting Go of Me” is the only song on the album not co-written by Damon Johnson and yet it is still a great song. This one was a fun song with a faster tempo.
The final track, “Fade”, is considered a bonus track but it is too good and fits nicely with the overall album. It doesn’t have the bonus track feel. It is a slower song and actually kept my interest. I usually like albums to end with a bang, but this worked for me nonetheless. A nice way to end the album.
“Heavy Fire” – Keeper
“When The Night Comes In” – Keeper
“Dancing With the Wrong Girl” – Keeper
“Who Rides the Tiger” – Keeper
“Cold War Love” – Delete
“Testify or Say Goodbye” – Keeper
“Thinking About You Could Get Me Killed” – Keeper
“True Blue Kid” – Delete
“Ticket to Rise” – Keeper
“Letting Go of Me” – Keeper
“Fade” – Keeper
9 keeper out 11 songs – 82%(4.1 out 5 stars). The Black Star Riders are killing it on this album. I always talk about how rock today seems to be missing the guitar rock sound and these guys are not missing anything. The guitars are outstanding and take me back to when guitars were king. Nobody wanted to be a DJ, they wanted to play guitar. For that alone this album is worth it, but it has so much more to offer. Go grab a copy and get ready to have your ears blasted with what rock should sound like.
I will be honest, I am not a big drinker. Doesn’t mean I won’t drink. I choose not too most of the time as I never got a taste for it; however, Mondays make me want to drink. Since I do love alcohol related songs, I figured this Monday needs a playlist of booze drinking songs. There are so many which makes it hard to choose the best ones.
Here is my list of booze related songs that will hopefully help me make it through Monday.
Emphatic – “Put Down the Drink” from the album Damage
Hellyeah – “Alcohaulin’ Ass” from the album Hellyeah