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Category Archives: Noteworthy: CD Picks

Reviews of Artists and Bands that I deem worthy of note. See what I did there? (With a tip of the headband to Don Giller)

Sol Driven Train Keeps It On Track With “Watermelon”


By Brian M. Howle

Music is one of those things that, no matter how magnificently written, arranged, performed and produced, will always be subject to abject interpretation.  Which is why those who can master the fine art of establishing their chosen genre into the much-sought-after world of “crossover” essentially have achieved the Holy Grail of success.

So, it’s fair to say that Sol Driven Train has that puppy safely tucked away in their formidable cache of accomplishments.

(L-R): Wes Powers on drums; Rusty Cole on bass and vocals; Ward Buckheister on guitar, trombone, and vocals; Russell Clarke on saxophones and vocals; Joel Timmons on guitar and vocals.

The band’s sonic schizophrenia absorbs songwriting influences like Jon Prine and Paul Simon, and afro-caribbean rhythmic explorations, into honest songs of life, love, loss, and long johns. The 5-piece band, based in Charleston, S.C., features rotating lead vocalists, and multi-instrumental talent spread across horns, strings, and percussion. The band members share a musical history dating back to childhood, and their music and live shows are filled with a spirit of positivity and joy, even while traversing subjects of suffering and death.

Sol Driven Train is a band in motion. Perpetually piling on and off the bus, the momentum of their hard work and heart-felt music propels the group in front of growing crowds across the country. At shows, the band members bounce to the pulse of the music along with the crowd. Stylistically the band seamlessly mixes Allmanesque Southern rock, languid world-beat, swampy funk and downright catchy melodies as they swap lead singers and instruments. And the horns … ah, the horns will call to you.

Since the fall of 2005, “the train” has been touring full-time, averaging 150 shows per year at festivals, theaters, and bars. In the spring of 2010, they celebrated their 1,000th live show and ten years together as a band.  In those ten winding years they have shared stages and bills with a diverse array of artists including Micheal Franti, Richie Havens, Keller Williams, Arlo Guthrie, and Blues Traveler. Despite the pace, the band takes time on the road to enjoy outdoor activities such as whitewater rafting, surfing, rock climbing, and cloud gazing. The tour schedule has begun to resemble the nomadic wanderings of a raft guide, ski bum, and itinerant surfer racing between the mountains and the beach. Blatant sponsor plug: Sol Driven Train enjoys Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka as a tour sponsor and over ice with a splash of water and a lemon wedge. (If you haven’t tried Firefly, well, this local lowcountry libation leaves lackluster life loquaciously behind.)

A Review: Watermelon

Sol Driven Train’s latest EP, “Watermelon.”

The first track on this 5-track EP is the title track (As Todd Rundgren pointed out, in the tradition of Motown), “Watermelon.”  Beginning with a nice, easy groove nestled in a subtle funkiness – that gets you doing that involuntary little head-bob thing – it lets you know before you hear verse one, this is a song you’re gonna like.  The austere, compact spectrum of instrumentation perfectly complements the very tasty vocals, as the tune begins a sojourn that culminates with a rap-scented changeup to close it out.

Track 2 is the impishly playful “Vampire.”  I really like songs such as this one, beginning with a samba-soaked bass line that has a hint of mariachi and old-world overtones of accordion tossed in for good measure. It’s all Sol Driven Train, but it does remind me  – albeit 20 years removed – of Chapel Hill’s fabled Squirrel Nut Zippers’ “Hell,” only much better and without the annoying clutter of overproduction.

Track 3 explodes out of your speakers with a no-bones-about-it, hard-core, old-skool, lead-snare drum steam-enginetrain cadence, and wrapped up in “if that ain’t country, I’ll kiss your grits” pickin’ … and appropriately enough, it’s entitled “Romp.”  Music is all too often so deep and ethereal and depressing; this would be a textbook example of “antonym” to that affect.

Next to last on this neat little EP, “Consume” examines the fringe of paranoia in a tune that reminds one of Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention and The Tubes in their creative heydays.  The neat trick to a well-written jam tune is losing the structure in the jam part; making it sound like it’s all thrown together on the fly.  But it’s got some tasty fret burners laced in all the nifty syncopation.  As with all the tracks on this CD, it’s just really well arranged and produced. The recurring thought while listening to this track (and, really, all of them) is, “These guys are from my state? Seriously? Chucktown and everything? Wow.”

And of course, to throw you completely off kilter, the final track “For Old Time’s Sake” immediately conjures up traditional churchy blues and hymnal charts.  Great simplicity wrapped in rich vocal harmonies that just sound so much bigger than they are, with a mixture of N’awlins tribute and Southern Baptist blues in a ballet of horns and piano riffs. A nice, slow, reflective ending to a really eclectic musical ride, perhaps it helps to be a native of the lowcountry, or the Palmetto State, or the Old South.

Or maybe it’s just great music.  Yeah, that’s probably it.

And after all … it would explain all these black seeds and green rinds laying around my stereo in a pool of sticky, sweet musical refreshment.

There are a bunch of reasons it would make a great Christmas gift, too, kids. It’s good, it’s affordable, and it’s available.  Wraps easily, mails perfectly.  Brings smiles to the face and soothes the soul.

Get a nice, juicy slice of your own at http://www.soldriventrain.com .

 

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Black Stone Cherry’s Newest, “Between The Devil and The Deep Blue Sea” Out May 31


By Brian Howle

Black Stone Cherry (L-R): John Fred Young, Jon Lawhon, Chris Robertson, Ben Wells. (Courtesy RoadRunner Records)

The debut effort was stunningly amazing.  The sophomore follow up kept true to the first.  And now, Roadrunner Records is pleased to announce the third Black Stone Cherry Album, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, is due out May 31st, 2011 … which means for all of you rockers out there who’ve been waiting on good ‘ole kick-ass to come back around, your wait is over.

Kentucky’s Black Stone Cherry, comprised of vocalist Chris Robertson, guitarist Ben Wells, bassist Jon Lawhon and Drummer John Fred Young, is a band adept at creating both timeless rock ‘n roll and new, innovative sounds.  While the band’s last record, Folklore and Superstition, was a compelling tribute to brotherhood and history, the new album is the summation of a year in the life of the band—every emotion, triumph, loss, romance and everything in between—it’s all here on Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.

This is the first time Black Stone Cherry has not recorded in the South, this time taking up residence in Los Angeles to work with famed producer Howard Benson (Theory of a Deadman, Daughtry, Three Days Grace).  The new surroundings allowed them to strengthen their relationships as both band members and friends, ultimately a detail that sets Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea above previous recordings.  The raw intensity that pervades the music on this album harkens back to the early days of Black Stone Cherry, when they were a bunch of blue-collar guys just making music together for the hell of it.  The band admits “When we first began writing music, we hadn’t traveled very far out of our home state of Kentucky.  Now, ten years later, we’ve traveled the world and experienced things we never imagined we would.”

First single “White Trash Millionaire,” set to hit airwaves in April, pairs Robertson’s soulful delivery with the urgent and infectious rhythms of his fellow players.  Sure, this is Southern rock at heart; but the concept is universal: just take what the world gives you and make that work. “This album is the culmination of all of the everyday ups and downs life throws at you,” says the band.  “Sonically, you’ll hear some of the meanest sounding guitar riffs we’ve ever laid down, and at the same time, you’ll find ballads that will tug on your heartstrings.  We wanted the album’s intensity to match that of our live show.  We’re very proud of this album and excited for our fans to hear it!”

To celebrate the release of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, Black Stone Cherry is participating in an ongoing partnership with Evan Williams Kentucky Bourbon.  The promotion brings 450,000 Black Stone Cherry branded bottles to shelves nationwide through June, including special mp3 offers and a chance to win a trip to meet the band at one of their shows.

Black Stone Cherry is set to have quite the busy spring, with tours with Hinder and Alter Bridge on the horizon:

4/8 @ Lucky Star Casino- Clinton, OK (with Hinder)4/9 @ St. Mary’s University – San Antonio, TX (Fiesta Oyster Bake w. Hinder, Saving Abel)

4/12 @ Ogden Theatre – Denver, CO (with Hinder)

4/13 @ The Great Salt Air – Salt Lake City, UT (with Hinder)

4/15 @ Showbox SoDo – Seattle, WA (with Hinder)

4/17 @ Knitting Factory Concert House – Spokane, WA (with Hinder)

4/19 @ Knitting Factory Concert House – Boise, ID (with Hinder)

4/21 @ Roseland Theater – Portland, OR (with Alter Bridge)

4/22 @ Knitting Factory – Reno, NV (with Hinder)

4/23 @ House of Blues – Las Vegas, NV (with Alter Bridge)

4/24 @ The Regency Ballroom – San Francisco, CA (with Alter Bridge)

4/26 @ SLO Brewing Company – San Luis Obispo, CA

4/27 @ The Grove – Anaheim, CA (with Alter Bridge)

4/29 @ The Great Salt Air – Magna, UT (with Alter Bridge)

4/30 @ Ogden Theatre – Denver, CO (with Alter Bridge)

5/2 @ House of Blues – Chicago, IL (with Alter Bridge)

5/3 @ House of Blues – Chicago, IL (with Alter Bridge)

5/7 @ Metrolina Expo – Charlotte, NC (AVALANCHE 2011 w. Avenged Sevenfold, Godsmack, Theory of a Deadman)

5/8 @ NorVa – Norfolk, VA (with Alter Bridge)

5/10 @ Valarium – Knoxville, TN (with Alter Bridge)

5/11 @ Cannery Ballroom – Nashville, TN (with Alter Bridge)

5/12 @ Piere’s Entertainment Center – Ft. Wayne, IN (with Alter Bridge)

5/15 @ The Machine Shop – Flint, MI

5/17 @ The Palladium – Worcester, MA (with Alter Bridge)

5/18 @ Northern Lights – Albany, NY (with Alter Bridge)

5/19 @ Best Buy Theatre – New York, NY (with Alter Bridge)

On a personal note, these guys have showed up at the merchandise table after every show I’ve ever seen them play (and it seems to be their M.O. for all shows, here in the States and around the world) and they honestly appreciate each and every person who shows up to support them and enjoy their music.  They’ve got the years on the road now; they’re honed to the ways of the world and what full-time touring requires of a band.  And I find this to be a good harbinger, because they have reached that point where one person will hear a song on this CD, and suddenly, BSC will be another “overnight sensation.”

And when they are, I’ll be grinnin’ like a ‘possum, knowing that I had them pegged correctly back when these great young musicians first hit the dusty trail.  If they play a venue near you, do yourself a bigass favor … take the night off and treat yourself to real rock & roll.  And tell Ben that Brian sent you.

About Roadrunner Records

Originally founded in 1980 in the Netherlands, Roadrunner Records earned its place as one of the most prominent international independent record labels.  Established primarily as a hard rock label, Roadrunner now boasts depth and variety in its artists.  The label has experienced unprecedented success with multi-platinum artists Nickelback and Slipknot, near-platinum Theory of a Deadman, gold-certified Stone Sour and Killswitch Engage, as well as modern heavy hitters Korn, Dream Theater, Megadeth, Trivium and Opeth.  Roadrunner’s current roster also includes Lenny Kravitz (via a partnership with Atlantic Records), plus such diverse acts such as up and comers Young The Giant, The Parlor Mob, Black Stone Cherry and Airbourne.  Loud & Proud Records, a label joint-venture with Roadrunner, is home to established rock acts including Rob Zombie, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, The Steve Miller Band and KISS (Europe and select territories).  Roadrunner catalog includes now-classic albums from seminal artists such as Type O Negative, Sepultura and King Diamond. For more information about Roadrunner, visit: www.roadrunnerrecords.com.

 

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Kenny Wayne Shepherd To Release Live Album “Live in Chicago” Out September 28th


Kenny Wayne Shepherd

By Amy Sciarretto

One of the wonders of the world.” – James Brown

Roadrunner/Loud & Proud Records is excited to announce that latest signing Kenny Wayne Shepherd is releasing Live in Chicago, available on 9/28/10.

Recorded in Chicago’s House of Blues during the critically acclaimed 10 Days Out: Blues From The Backroads tour, Live in Chicago showcases Kenny and his band, Noah Hunt, Chris Layton, Scott Nelson and Riley Osbourn, along with special guests, Hubert Sumlin, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Buddy Flett, Bryan Lee and Tommy Shannon (of Double Trouble). Though an illness nearly kept Kenny from performing that night, his heartfelt commitment to the music (and quite a lot of adrenaline) ensured that he took the stage, sharing with the audience one of the most spectacular performances of his career, and one that fans can now hear onLive in Chicago.

A genuine guitar hero, Kenny has been playing since childhood, when he learned Muddy Waters licks by listening to his father’s record collection. By 16, Kenny had a deal with Giant Records, and recorded his first album while still in high school. Since then, Kenny has enjoyed two platinum and one gold albums, six Top 10 singles, and his album Trouble Is holds the distinction of being the longest running album on the Billboard Blues Charts, hitting the 2 year mark. Over the course of his storied career, Kenny has amassed four Grammy nominations, two Billboard Music Awards, two Orville H. Gibson Awards, the Blues Foundation’s “Keeping the Blues Alive” award and a Blues Music Award. In 2008, Fender released the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Signature Series Stratocaster. 2007’s CD/DVD 10 Days Out: Blues from the Backroads was nominated for two Grammy Awards, aired on PBS television nationwide and has been certified RIAA Gold as a Long Form Video.

Track listings:
1. Somehow, Somewhere, Someway
2. King’s Highway
3. True Lies
4. Deja Voodoo
5. Sell My Monkey
6. Dance For Me
7. Baby Don’t Say That No More
8. Eye to Eye
9. How Many More Years
10. Sick and Tired
11. Feed Me
12. Rocking Daddy
13. Blue on Black
14. King Bee

The Guests:
HUBERT SUMLIN
A living legend, Hubert Sumlin is a hero to all of our guitar heroes. Growing up playing his guitar with harmonica great James Cotton, it was not long until, in 1949, at the young age of 18, he became Howlin’ Wolf’s lead guitarist, a position he held for the next twenty-five years, intercut only by a brief tenure in Muddy Waters’ band. Hubert has also played with Pinetop Perkins, Willie Dixon, The Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry and countless others.

WILLIE “BIG EYES” SMITH
As the longtime drummer for the incomparable Muddy Waters, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith has suffused his trademark “shuffle” style into the heart and soul of Chicago-style blues. At 17, he ventured to Chicago from Arkansas to see his first Muddy Waters performance. Instantly hooked, he stayed in Chicago, joining Muddy Waters in 1957. After his time with Waters, Willie found his niche in the Delta Blues sound, co-founding the Legendary Blues Band with Pinetop Perkins, Louis Meyers, Calvin Jones and Jerry Portnoy. The band went on to win six Grammy awards, record four critically acclaimed albums and have played with Buddy Guy, Howlin’ Wolf, Junior Wells, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton.

BRYAN LEE
Born in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, Bryan Lee had completely lost his eyesight by the age of eight. His early penchant for rock and blues was fostered through the 1950’s by listening late night to Nashville’s WLAC AM, where he first encountered the sounds of Elmore James, Albert King and Albert Collins. Bryan remembers not understanding the music, but knowing that’s what he wanted to play. By January 1982, he was headed south to New Orleans, landing a steady gig at the Old Absinthe House. Lee performed there for 14 years alongside his Jump Street Five, becoming a treasure of the city’s French Quarter, a claim he cherishes to this day.

BUDDY FLETT
Currently residing In Shreveport, LA, Buddy Flett began his career in 1975 at the legendary Lake Cliff Roadhouse and the infamous Bossier Strip, where Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, Sr. and Hank Williams, Jr. all performed. He has written for John Mayall, Percy Sledge, and was featured in the new documentary, Robert Mugge’s Rhythms n’ Bayous. Flett’s band, the Bluebirds, backed Kenny on his first public performance when Kenny was only thirteen.

For more information, check out these links:
http://www.kennywayneshepherd.net/
http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/artists/KennyWayneShepherd/
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Los Lobos’ New Studio Album Tin Can Trust To Be Released Aug. 3 On Shout!Factory Label


los lobos
East L.A.’s Los Lobos

By Carrie Lombardi

The Grammy-winning East L.A. band celebrates the release of Tin Can Trust with a very special performance at New York City’s Bowery Ballroom on August 3. WFUV Public Radio will be on site in NYC to record the show and stream back in its entirety at a later date. In the meantime, get a sneak listen of the band’s new material: download a free track from the album at http://www.LosLobosTinCanTrust.com

With Tin Can Trust – Los Lobos’ first release for Shout! Factory and first collection of new original material in four years – the venerable quintet once again redefines itself and expands its scope, while never losing sight of where they come from. And, like so much of Los Lobos’ previous work, Tin Can Trust is an album that speaks to the time and place in which it was conceived; the album’s title can be traced back more than a century, but for the band, it’s apt for the rickety state in which so many of us find ourselves – and our world – today.

The 11 tracks on Tin Can Trust offer the perfect balance of Los Lobos’ parts: the band’s lineup has remained uninterrupted since 1984, when saxophonist/keyboardist Steve Berlin joined original members Louie Pérez (guitar, drums, vocals), David Hidalgo (guitar, violin, accordion, percussion, vocals), Cesar Rosas (guitar, vocals) and Conrad Lozano (bass, vocals), each of whom had been there since the beginning in 1973.

Seven songs on the album are distinguished and genius Hidalgo-Pérez collaborations, including the opening track “I’ll Burn It Down,” which features a guest vocal harmony from blues-rocker Susan Tedeschi. Three others were written in whole or in part by Rosas – including the album’s two Spanish-language numbers: the cumbia “Yo Canto” and the norteño “Mujer Ingrata” – and display Los Lobos’ signature seamless infusion of Mexican folk songs into rock music. Also included in Tin Can Trust – a cover of the Grateful Dead’s “West L.A. Fadeaway” – offering a nod to the bands’ shared history that extends back into the 1980s when the Angelenos befriended and opened shows for their northern peers.

As with every new recording Los Lobos makes, Tin Can Trust moves Los Lobos into yet another new dimension while simultaneously sounding like no one else in the world but Los Lobos. Los Lobos’ unified vision and strong work ethic are evident throughout the self-produced album, but so is something even greater: “an intuitiveness,” says Los Lobos songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Louie Pérez, “that happens only from being in a band for so long.” As Rolling Stone once wrote, “This is what happens when five guys create a magical sound, then stick together for 30 years to see how far it can take them.”

Early reviews of Los Lobos’ forthcoming studio release are in, and critics are already hailing Tin Can Trust as one of the band’s very best.

“Five Stars. A masterful album from a great American band, at the peak of its considerable powers.” – Uncut UK

“A return to the straightforward, rootsy sound of their earliest albums.” – SoundSpike

Visit http://www.loslobos.org for up-to-minute information.
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This article was also published in Alternatives NewsMagazine, July 29, 2010.

 

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“Rock ‘N Roll” – 1977



Artist: 1977
Album: Rock ‘N Roll (2008)
Info: http://www.1977theband.com
Label: Play It Again Records, LLC
Genre: KISS Tribute Rock

(Editor’s Note: As of July 26, 2009, 1977’s Rock ‘N Roll was listed on http://www.cdbaby.com at #8 in the Classic Rock category; #3 in the ‘70s Rock category, and – TA DA! – Number 1 in the Tribute Band category.)

For any self-respecting KISS fan, it pretty much has to be 100%, undiluted KISS to make your world go ‘round. An while the boys gave us many great albums, it has been awhile since they cranked out anything approaching the raw allure of Love Gun or the like. Actually, it’s been awhile since they cranked out anything.

Well, fret no more, my face-painted little friends. Because here is an album that will blow you away, and make you swear that Gene, Paul, Ace and Peter “got the band back together, man!

The culmination of a lifetime of admiration and immersion into the world of all things KISS, 1977’s Rock “N Roll is one slick release. From the dead-on designs and packaging that slyly mirrors the style of the ‘70s iconic rock legends to the delightfully innovative replication of the beloved “vinyl” album (you have to see the CD – has the oldstyle label, and is black with actual grooves!). The coup de grace is the enclosed extra goody when you open it up – this is a must-have addition to any rockologist’s collection.

There are ten killer tracks on this album, and the attention to detail is stunning. It’s one thing to put together a tribute band, learn to play the KISS catalogue, put on the makeup and costumes and play. But it takes a special, not-readily-available talent to reproduce the music-writing styles that were instantly recognizable as the KISS signature sound of those first few years. It really is a truly remarkable achievement by the genius behind the production of this CD … and a huge hit for any KISS fan, young or old.

And kids, the word is out. 1977 officially entered The MySpace Music Top 100 Artist Chart at No. 92 during the week of Sunday, March 1st 2009. Since then, they have been ranked as high as No. 68 on the chart and have currently settled in the No. 85 position. (NOTE: This ranking is based on a field of 153,111 artists in the genre of Classic Rock in the category of Independent Label Artists.)

This little gem is 100% locally produced – written, recorded, packaged and shipped from somewhere deep within the bowels of Myrtle Beach. Order a Limited Edition of 1977 Rock “N Roll CD by sending $19.77 plus $5.00 U.S. shipping ($8 outside U.S.), in check or money order to: A. Coin Management, LLC, c/o Alexander Coin, P.O. Box 2825, Myrtle Beach, SC 29578.

Oh, and by the way … although Gene (Simmons) had been on record as saying they would never be recording new material again, I find it rather interesting – if not suspiciously coincidental – that he has announced they may soon crank out another album of original music … an announcement made not very long after this album was released in July of 2008!

Reviewed by Brian M. Howle
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The previous article was originally published February 23, 2009

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2009 in Noteworthy: CD Picks

 

Folklore and Superstition – Black Stone Cherry


Black Stone Cherry

Artist: Black Stone Cherry
Info: http://www.blackstonecherry.com
Album: Folklore and Superstition (2008)
Label: RoadRunner Records
Genre: Rock

I first saw this band in 2007 at House Of Blues, opening for Hinder. Their debut CD made them one of the best new rock bands I had heard in a long, long time … but I often have found that slick, heavily-produced studio work can sometimes mask poor or weak live performances.

Ummm … not with these boys.

Distinctive vocals, aggressive, ball-busting guitars, and a dominate rhythm section combine to build a sound that is both clear and sonic … but their songwriting is equally masterful. No small feat in and of itself; but you see, this Kentucky-based band is young – and mature beyond their years on every level.

Their path from wide-eyed-but-extremely-talented first-timers to savvy, quick-learning veterans has been meteoric. They followed up a very powerful debut album with a well-crafted second release that completely obliterated any thought of “sophomore jinx” – if anything, this effort may surpass the self-titled offering. From the retro, hippie-trippy “Please Come In” (check out the video at http://www.blackstonecherry.com/notes/Please_Come_In) to the introspective, common-thread-for-everyone-tear-jerker “Things My Father Said” (want to see if you have a heart that can break? Listen carefully to the lyrics when you check out this video at http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/video/view.aspx?songID=2468), their hard driving edge is tempered with great hooks, great riffs, and great lyrics. It’s a killer beginning-to-end 13-track CD that leaves you hungry for more – and if you missed their self-titled debut, I strongly recommend that you check it out, also.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know; bad economy has cut your music budget .. well, buy these and do your part to stimulate the economy – and get a personal reward with a new attitude in return!

With Chris Robertson on Lead Vocals/Guitar, Ben Wells on Guitar, Jon Lawhon on Bass, and John Fred Young on drums (son of Kentucky Headhunters’ guitarist Richard Young), this is a band that exemplifies all that can be good in rock. A relentless touring schedule has honed their repertoire to a fine, hot edge of perfection that will renew your spirit and soothe your soul. This is one of those bands that give you double your money’s worth at a live show, so check their website for their touring schedule and drive, fly, swim, run (well, you get the idea) to their nearest tour venue and REALLY give yourself a treat by experiencing these boys live. Whatever expense you incur will be more than worth it – they are that good.

Best of all, their parents did a dang fine job of raising them .. besides their apparent talent, you won’t find a nicer, more decent or humble group of guys.

Reviewed by Brian M. Howle
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The previous review was originally published February 26, 2009.

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2009 in Noteworthy: CD Picks

 

Collective Soul Appearing At House Of Blues July 13; New Album Collective Soul (Rabbit) Due Out August 25th


Collective Soul Rabbit
By Brian M. Howle

Perennial favorites, Collective Soul, will be performing at House of Blues in N. Myrtle Beach, SC – along with Gavin DeGraw and Green River Ordinance – on July 13, 2009. Led by prolific songwriter/singer/guitarist Ed Roland, these boys have an approachable casualness for their fans but a frenetic edge to their performances. Over and over again, when I attend a Collective Soul concert, I hear those around me exclaiming, “Man! I forgot they did this one!” or “I didn’t realize they did this one, too!”. Their body of work is extensive and deeply varied – which helps to explain their wide range in fans, noting age to genre differences do not deter anyone from being drawn into their appealing brand of music and storytelling.

Globally known for mega-hits such as “Shine,” “December” and “The World I Know,” Collective Soul hails from Atlanta, GA and has produced 7 #1 singles and sold over 10 million records. The band broke into mainstream popularity with their 1993 debut album Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid. The group’s self-titled second album arrived the following year and logged a 76-week run on the Billboard Top 200. 1999’s critically acclaimed Dosage saw Collective Soul further its run as rock radio superstars. The first single “Heavy” set a new high mark for 15-weeks at #1 on the Mainstream Rock chart. “Tremble For My Beloved” also appears on the gold-certified soundtrack for the hit film Twilight.

I interviewed Ed a few years back, and it has always remained one of my most favorite interviews bar none. He is at once affable, relaxed and yet readily responsive and responsible; the son of a Baptist minister, he admits to having strong differences but even stronger, instilled values and lifestyle that have served him well in his musical endeavors. The best part is that these things come through clearly in his writing style, and many have become signature songs and generational anthems to their hordes of fans.

Also, multi-platinum rockers Collective Soul have revealed the title and track listing to their upcoming Loud & Proud/Roadrunner Records debut album, Collective Soul (Rabbit). The album, which is scheduled for an August 25th release date, was recorded at frontman Ed Roland’s Lake House studio and is self-produced. The first single, “Staring Down,” shipped to Hot A/C and Triple A formats on June 8, followed by the rocker “Welcome All Again,” which will ship on July 6 to Rock formats.

Collective Soul (Rabbit) track listing is as follows:
1. Welcome All Again
2. Fuzzy
3. Dig
4. You
5. My Days
6. Understanding
7. Staring Down
8. She Does
9. Lighten Up
10. Love
11. Hymn For My Father

Collective Soul recently announced a co-headline summer tour alongside platinum recording artist Gavin DeGraw. Be sure to catch them July 13, 2009 at House Of Blues, N. Myrtle Beach, SC (843-272-3000) with Gavin DeGraw and Green River Ordinance; and August 28, 2009 at The Fillmore, Charlotte, NC (704-549-5555) with Black Stone Cherry and Safety Suit. Tickets for all dates are currently on sale. A US headline date in August and September will follow.
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