Monday, December 26, 2016

Mitch Hayes - Rockwired Radio Profiles #679

With the losses that we have suffered in music in the past year and a changing of the guard in terms of the U.S. Presidency, it is ROCKWIRED's theory that music with meaning will be making  comeback. That isn't to say that such music didn't exist. It was just slightly under the radar and featuring on the pages of this website if we may toot our own horn. We can hear such a music maker in singer songwriter MITCH HAYES on his latest album HEROES. While immersed in music as a youngster and as a young man playing in numerous bands, HAYES eventually took to the respectable route and sought a career in healthcare but the muse came calling at retirement age and HAYES has been chasing it ever since. HEROES marks a change in HAYES in a reach for wider recognition  and maybe even broader appeal. The song ALL FALL DOWN speaks of a society that has came undone by indifference and it's just one of the songs on this fine album that go form matters of the human condition to the intricacies of the human heart in a moment's notice. 


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Joey Stuckey - Rockwired Radio Profiles #678

There is this school of thought out there that suggests that music these days is a visual experience and should appeal to the eyes as well as the ears. But that argument never meant much to a guy like JOEY STUCKEY. Blind since the age of two, STUCKEY got lost in a world of sound which led him to a career in sound, music production and eventually - his own music. With eight albums behind him, it is indeed a rich experience to see STUCKEY set his song BLIND MAN DRIVIN' to a music video and funny one at that. In it our protagonist is in a dilemma. He's got to get some place, his UBER ride (we're assuming) flakes on him and he has to to resort to carjacking an SUV and from there hijinx ensues. Personally, I think he the woman could've given the guy a ride. Apart from the video, BLIND MAN DRIVIN' and is a punchy, driving blues rocker and is just one of the gems to be heard and felt on STUCKEY's new EP SIX STRING SOLDIER. STUCKEY's musicality and songwriting chops are right on point and puts him on the level of JOHN BONAMASSA and JOHN HIATT, especially on the mood, jangly rocker 10,000 MILES. 


Saturday, December 17, 2016

K.P. Wolfe - Rockwired Radio Profiles #677

Musically and culturally we're due for music that uplifts in a blunt and honest way and if we add a strong, raw, sultry voice to the equation then I'd have to say it's a bout damned time. K.P. WOLFE is just full of surprises on her debut EP EXODUS and believe us when we say that both the music and it's chanteuse sound just as epic and biblical as the title. WOLFE's voice is of the bluesy, soulful variety with a bit of a rock n roll bite. JANIS JOPLIN maybe the obvious comparison but  the woman's tendency to stick up for herself and stick it to a man who has done her wrong has more in common with the approach that has been paved by the likes of PINK and PAT BENATAR. The glorious title track is a proud march toward independence with one's head held high and WOLFE's soulful wail floating effortlessly above the proceedings. The song TAKE BACK THE RING is a power ballad that doesn't go for sentimentality but for self preservation. A little girl power never hurt anyone.


Alzara & Brother Spellbinder - Rockwired Radio Profiles #676

It's every band or artist's dream to be seen as something different and difficult to categorize but few acts - despite the seemingly infinite number of music acts that are out there - deserve to be seen in such a light as ALZARA & BROTHER SPELLBINDER. The unearthly combination of lead singer ALZARA GETZ's ethereal serenading and BROTHER SPELLBINDERS' acoustic charged folk-jazz approach is an alluring one. GETZ's musical tales of love, life and people in oh-so delicate stages and predicaments truly shine on the band's debut EP WHEN THE EARTH WAS STILL FLAT but then again such musicality on GETZ's part should come as no surprise given the fact that the woman was born into rock n roll. Her father - DAVE GETZ - was the drummer for BIG BAND AND THE HOLDING COMPANY. When you're a little girl who sleeps under "...her father's drum kit" as ALZARA said to us in our interview with her, then music clearly becomes something that you simply can't shake off. For years, ALZARA performed in a variety of bands in the Bay City Area  for years but eventually sense her own musical voice emerging. With the help of guitarist JAMIE WILSON to lend a little yang to GETZ's ying, BROTHER SPELLBINDER was born in 2012 and the band's artistry has been going strong ever since. 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Rockwired Magazine's Editor's Choice Podcast Special | Part One

The first edition of ROCKWIRED MAGAZINE'S EDITOR'S CHOICE podcast series features music and interviews with SILVERTUNG, SHALLOW SIDE, ETHAN 103, BAD MARY and LOVE & A .38.To help drum up some excitement for ROCKWIRED MAGAZINE'S EDITOR'S CHOICE issue on December 16, 2016, the magazine will be getting the fun started early with the production of a five part podcast series celebrating all 27 of the bands and artists who made 2016 so damn memorable. The five part podcast series will be hosted by ROCKWIRED MAGAZINE's Editor-In-Chief BRIAN LUSH and will feature music and exclusive interview excerpts with the artists who made the year rock. The limited-run podcast special will run from December 12 - 16 and will be available exclusively through ROCKWIRED.COM and i-TUNES. What a year it's been with a crazy election and everything else that is happening in the world. It's been an eventful one for ROCKWIRED MAGAZINE as well with our recent shift from being a monthly magazine to a publication that will be released once every two months. The first  issue of this new  release cycle will be issued on December 16, 2016 and will feature our eagerly anticipated EDITOR'S CHOICE list where ROCKWIRED MAGAZINE gives it up for  27 of the bands and artists who made the 2016 editorial calendar something to experience. A lot of love and care was put into this list and - as the editor - I feel that not a space was wasted. A truly exciting year has come to a close and we here at ROCKWIRED are anxious to celebrate the close of the year with  you in what is sure to be a truly exciting issue and podcast series.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Float Like A Buffalo - Rockwired Radio Profiles #675

It’s been a crazy couple years since the summer of 2014, when CORY PEARMAN (lead vocals, rhythm guitar) and GARRET ACHTEN (percussion, backing vocals) - founders and core members of Denver based rock-funk-blues-folk powerhouse FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY - jammed out a few of CORY's acoustic tunes with a djembe and guitar in CORY's apartment. After countless creative differences, resulting personnel changes and stops and starts, they solidified their lineup in January 2016 with the addition of drummer PHIL PLECKHAM. This past year, they’ve become a non-stop machine, rocking their home region and beyond with the stylistic diversity of JACK WHITE and the fiery live energy of THE FOO FIGHTERS. With the release of their perfectly titled EP, the band - which also includes EVAN CRABDREE (lead guitar) and JASON CLUKIES (bass) from the band SHREDDING HEIGHTS – invites the world to follow their wild musical adventures and ENJOY THE RIDE. 
The band recorded the five tracks of ENJOY THE RIDE in two days at DECIBEL GARDEN STUDIOS in Denver, helped along by engineers SILAS MERA THOMASEN and EVERETT OKLAR. CORY penned the raucous title track in response to his girlfriend, who moved to Colorado from Southern California to be with him but was having second thoughts. It's crafty rhymes need a bit of clever deciphering but his core message makes for a great life philosophy: "You can let it go and enjoy the ride while there’s still time." Inspired by a botched attempt to tell her he loved her before midnight on New Year's Eve, the likewise spirited THIS MOMENT offers a similar seize the day philosophy: "When it feels just right, don’t let it slip away." Drawing on Cory’s acoustic roots, he was in full on retro MARTY ROBBINS mode when he wrote the bar-soaked singalong WHISKEY DREAM. The band's balance of harder rock edges and lush vocal harmonies is perfectly reflected on GARRETT'S jamming DR. ORDERS. 


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Scattered Hamlet - Rockwired Radio Profiles #674

SCATTERED HAMLET is honky tonk metal mixed with enough octane to drive in an 18 wheeler.  Created to capture the essence of growing up in the country while giving nods to the original classic rock and outlaw country pioneers, SCATTERED HAMLET is one part LYNYRD SKYNYRD and MOLLY HATCHET and one part MOTORHEAD and DOWN, featuring a sleazy southern influence laced with heavy rock elements. SCATTERED HAMLET’s influences range from southern rock to groove metal to doom metal with the attitude of punk rock.  With humble origins all across the US and a relentless touring schedule of 100+ shows all across America, the band makes no apologies for the equal love of HARLEY DAVIDSONS, honky tonks, LES PAULS, MARSHALLS, shotguns and classic American symbolism. Their debut full length album, SKELETON DIXIE, was produced by two time Grammy nominated producer JASON DONAGHY(ROB ZOMBIE, JOHN 5, THE MURDER DOLLS) and mastered by legend HOWIE WEINBERG (PANTERA, SLAYER, WHITE ZOMBIE, DANZIG). The band has amassed a strong underground following called “Hell Riders” who maintain their own “chapters” (fan clubs) independent of the band. The band’s new album SWAMP REBEL MACHINE has been released through BUCK MOON PRODUCTIONS. The album was produced and mixed by JASON DONAGHY and JAKE RODENHOUSE and contains 11 supercharged anthems. 


Monday, November 28, 2016

City Of The Weak - Rockwired Radio Profiles #673

Readers may not share in our nervousness and apprehension in what a TRUMP presidency has to offer and that's fine but this is where we're at as a publication right now. The number of things that have us excited these days a minimal outside of the release of ROGUE ONE - A STAR WARS STORY and new music from one of our favorite bands in the past couple of years - CITY OF THE WEAK. Fronted by the enigmatic and most-definitely-photogenic front woman STEF WITH AN F, CITY OF THE WEAK is a band that has stood out form the crowd with their not-so-subtle approach to a brand of pop rock that one finds themselves banging their heads.  The band set the public up for some pleasant surprises with the release of their 2014 EP DISCLOSURE which had yielded the singles WHITE FIRE ALARM, JUST ANOTHER EULOGY and THE BLAME GAME (all packaged lovingly with some top notch music videos proudly displaying Ms. WITH AN F's undeniable charisma and star power). In the spring of 2017 STEF and the boys will be releasing their first ever LP. Preceding this release is another anthemic stomper CENSOR THIS with a music video that winks  at the electoral process  that is coming into question. Seriously, we're not trying to make this political. 2017 is going to be huge year for CITY OF THE WEAK. All you've got to do is give CENSOR THIS a listen and realize this band has the pop smarts to make rock n roll great again. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Native Beats Water Is Life Benefit Concert - Rock Is Red #26

On Sunday, November 20th at the Student Union Building of the University of New Mexico Campus, the university Native American student group THE KIVA CLUB presented the WATER IS LIFE BENEFIT CONCERT FOR THE STANDING ROCK LAKOTA TRIBE in an effort to raise money for the men and women protesting the DAKOTA ACCESS PIPELINE. The six hour show featured talent that has been featured here on rock is red before such as FRANK WALN, INNASTATE and RADMILLA CODY but also some new voices with some surprising messages and sounds. We were in attendance and we managed to score some interviews with the likes of FRANK WALN, the punk band WEEDRAT and Navajo hip hop artist DEF-I. You'll be hearing all of those interviews in this latest edition of ROCK IS RED. The band INNASTATE got the crowned going with their infectious live set but before they did they presented their brand new music video for the song WATER IS LIFE featuring EMMET SHKEME GARCIA of NATIVE ROOTS, rapper DEF-I and the spoken words and saxophone of JOY HARJO. 


Monday, November 21, 2016

Indigenous Comic Con 2016 - Rock Is Red #25

As a child who attended pow wows and various Indian-themed conferences thanks to my mother working for the NATIONAL CONGRESS OF AMERICAN INDIANS (NCAI), I would often retreat into fantasy and play with my STAR WARS action figures with some of the other children while the adults did their thing. Now, at the age of 41, I have attended the first ever INDIGENOUS COMIC CON at the HISPANIC CULTURAL CENTER in Albuquerque, NM and to call the experience "surreal" was an understatement. It had all of the elements of a pow-wow, an Indian art show, a conference and sci-fi convention complete with cosplayers. It was the childhood pow wow experience complete with droids, DARTH VADER and some storm troopers. No event with COMIC CON in it's title would be be complete without any of these elements, but this one was different. This event was all about Native people creating imagery and stories that define them as people. One of those people is ARIGON STARR - the creator of SUPER INDIAN - whom ROCK IS RED has profiled previously. At this event we also got to meet Mdewakanton Sioux writer Z.M. THOMAS - the owner of TREPIDATION COMICS and creator of SIOUX FALLS - a steampunk comic inspired by the DAKOTA UPRISING of 1862. Since iconography is essential in comic art the subject of mascots and taking charge of the imagery that defines us as native people made all the sense in the world to be included in this event and the presence and wisdom of SUZAN HARJO was most welcomed. Accompanying HARJO were Standing Rock Sioux filmmakers JOHN and KEN LITTLE to discuss their upcoming film MORE THAN A WORD: MASCOTS AND POP CULTURE REPRESENTATION.  


Monday, November 14, 2016

Seasons After - Rockwired Radio Profiles #671

To say that the new SEASONS AFTER record MANIFESTO is an evolution would be an understatement. The album set to release in November 11th, 2016 is a brash declaration of the policies, goals, and opinions of a band that has weathered the storm and come back with a vengeance. Building on past radio success with three Top 40 singles and over 3.5 million YOUTUBE views, the band has grown, matured, endured, and developed a chip on their shoulder that results in a blistering array of songs that will satiate the tastes of both rock and metal music fans alike. Guitarist JIMMY BEATTIE states, "This album was written with nothing but the truth in mind. It's about the unspoken realities that a lot of us live with, and some of the hard truths we all face at one time or another. The idea is to let listeners know that they are not alone, and that someone understands. We can find each other in the dark." Listeners can expect to experience a variety of emotions ranging from rage to bliss and everything in between. The band has truly arrived in thunderous fashion with this record and successfully bridged the gap and improved on their already vast catalog of songs. The desperation and longing for something more truly translates on this record. Having toured coast-to-coast multiple times, the band is primed and ready to do it again to further grow their already rabid fan-base, and showcase what their hard work and dedication have brought forth in the form of their newest release, MANIFESTO.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Tim Houlihan - Rockwired Radio Profiles #672

Given ROCKWIRED's penchant for the heavy stuff in terms of music and in light of the all that has happened with this country's electorate in the past couple of days, it feels good when we get a chance to turn down the volume and easy into something as satisfying at singer songwriter TIM HOULIHAN's newest album ANOTHER ORION. HOULIHAN's heartfelt Americana approach is given some extra gravitas thanks to KEVIN BOWE's ace production but the songs are where its at on this catalog of material that speaks eloquently on life and love and all of the whimsy that is attached to it. The opening track and first single I GET LONESOME TOO is a plucky number filled with instrumental charms here and there. It could almost be a country radio hit (not that we have a true grasp of what was popular in country today, but we'd rather hear this than anything from BLAKE SHELTON). On SOMEBODY TALK TO JESUS, HOULIHAN gets political and in this post election haze the song probably has more resonance than ever.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Jay Katana - Rockwired Radio Profiles #670

The best music out there is the music that tells a story. Even if there are no words involved. Russian-born guitar virtuoso JAY KATANA has a story to tell through music and images in his new EP release BLEEDING BOYFRIEND VOL.1. It's all here! The ups and downs of love on the nightclub scene gone right and completely wrong and illustrated in stark black and white and punctuated with a sound that marries electronic dance music with heavy metal guitars. BLEEDING BOYFRIEND VOL. 1 is indeed a stylish offering from a talent that will have everyone asking for KATANA's business card. A rock n roll visionary has been born and we are almost certain there will be an enthusiastic audience along for the ride. 


VYCES - Rockwired Radio Profiles #669

Rock n roll is a driving force that will not be denied. Just ask front man and guitarist DAVE NARUSZEWICZ. After making his musical presence known with the band HEART-SET SELF DESTRUCT and their two LP's, NARUSZEWICZ felt it was time to move on and chase that musical muse that could potentially lead to a wider audience and even wider appeal. After not finding what he was looking for in his native Chicago music scene he went to Los Angeles and reached out to drummer RUSSELL RAY formerly of OLD FASHIONED BEATDOWN. Along with former OLD FASHIONED BEATDOWN guitarist SHAWN PATTERSON, the three began to lay down the foundation of what would form the potent sound of VYCES. Eventually the band filled out to include MARK JAMES KLEPASKI on bass and EVAN SEIDLITZ to round out the band's hard edged sound on keyboards and synths. Tons of songs have been written by this unit which explore the darker side of human emotions and now an unsuspecting public is getting it's first taste of all that this band has to offer with the bands debut EP DEVILS. The guitar-driven, aggressive approach of the band is balanced the SEIDLITZ's nuanced approach to the keyboards making this first offering from VYCCES something to pay attention to. 


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

When The Clock Strikes - Rockwired Radio Profiles #668

The marriage of punk and pop has often made for a potent blend of music - one that we don't hear too often these days unless you happen to catch an old BLINK 182 song on the radio spun for some retro purpose. Giving the dearth of punk music on the market it is safe to assume that the ground is right enough for a band like WHEN THE CLOCK STRIKES to come in and make the form respectable again on the strength of their new EP THE BETTER FRIENDS. Based in Oklahoma, DANIEL BASDEN (bass), STEVEN WALKER (guitar) and BLAKE WESTERBY (drums) have formidable opposition when it comes getting on stage in a market where cover bands and country bands rule the roost. But worry not for these punk rock troubadours. They've got us by the ear with such tracks as TOO MANY COOKS, the slamming title track and FAIR WEATHER and if it takes people getting comfortable with the band through their cover NO DOUBT's SPIDERWEBS so be it. It's all coming from the right place.


Monday, October 24, 2016

One Way Ride - Rockwired Radio Profiles #667

What's made us nervous about this whole "indie" rock business is it's need to go the acoustic path and throw in an accordion and foot stomping and hand clapping in lieu of drums. We don't understand the apprehension that exists within the scene to crank up the guitars or to find a fellow to get behind a drum kit and neither do the guys and gal from ONE WAY RIDE. The Colorado-based band has eschewed the very delicate sensibility of much of what indie rock has to offer these days in favor of a heavy guitar sound, heavy percussion and a soulful groove and listeners can hear this in abundance on the band's debut album PUT ME ON.  Chemistry is everything when it comes to keeping a band together and the line up for ONE WAY RIDE almost seems feels as if it were written in the stars. It goes all the way back the time that lead singer LYLE WORK and guitarist MARVIN BRAKES got onstage and performed a rough rendition of SWEET CHILD O' MINE for a high school talent show. PUT ME ON is a satisfying listen punctuated by such bombastic moments as the unrelenting groove rockers DEVIL EYES and LIE TO ME and the epic ballad WAITING.


Peach & The Almost Blues Band - Rockwired Radio Profiles #666

Ten years ago, when ROCKWIRED.COM was in it's infancy, blues artist PEACH made one hell of an impression upon us with the release of her album THE REAL THING. Any woman who picks up an electric guitar is cool with us and this was the case with PEACH who not only knew her way around the six string but could also navigate her way around matters of the heart on that fine debut recording featuring well crafted and well played songs plus a guest appearance by the legendary TAJ MAHAL. THE REAL THING went on to earn PEACH some serious accolades (not to mention the first ever ROCKWIRED READER'S POLL AWARD for BEST FEMALE ARTIST back in 2006) and one would've believed that this was one hell of a starting point for an artist. Unfortunately, THE REAL THING was the only offering from PEACH for many years, until now. PEACH has found her muse and "the performer" that was always inside of her in Copenhagen of all places as well as a band of merry men known as THE ALMOST BLUES BAND. The two forces have come together for an intimate and raw live recording entitled A NIGHT IN COPENHAGEN. The singer and guitarist is at the top of her game with her heartfelt performances of both her original material and some choice covers (with the stand out being LOVE-ITIS). PEACH's power as a live performer can not be denied. We can't wait to see this blues treasure return to recording in a bigger way. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Crawl - Rockwired Radio Profiles #665

Much like DALI VAN GOGH on the previous edition of ROCKWIRED RADIO PROFILES, CRAWL is another Canadian hard rock band that has come back with a fine new release but the story here is one that spans decades and some startling changes in the music industry. In the early nineties CRAWL hit it big in Canada with the release of two albums 300 YARDS OF FACE and FEED which featured singles STORM, DRY and NOT THE WAY IT SHOULD BE. The first of these two singles ended up earning nominations for the MUCH MUSIC VIDEO AWARD ( Canada's version of the MTV MUSIC AWARDS) for BEST HARD ROCK PERFORMANCE in 1994 and 1995 respectively. When ROCKWIRED took notice of these guys, the band had reformed with bassist SCOTT CLARK, guitarist STUART GREEN and drummer TOM GRONDIN taking over the creative reins while new vocalist MICHAEL DAVID WOLF was front and center on the 2014 EP release ANTICIPATE THE FALL. Now the band is back with THE CROCKFORD FILES - a five song collection of the sort of blistering rock n roll that we've come to expect from CRAWL as evidenced by the tracks MINE and DEAD.


Dali Van Gogh - Rockwired Radio Profiles #664

Over four years ago, DALI VAN GOGH was one of the first bands to be featured in the pages of ROCKWIRED MAGAZINE. The Halifax, Nova Scotia-based hard rock band had endeared themselves to us with their D.I.Y. ethic, their ability to create a beautiful noise while being far away from anything that one would consider "music industry" and guitarist and founder ISAAC KENT's drive to stick with the dream of rock n roll glory despite DALI VAN GOGH's numerous line up changes up to that point. Eventually the band had come apart due to the usual things that keep a band apart and ISAAC KENT unopened up a recording studio and launched a record label also nicked DALI VAN GOGH and turned his attention toward being a producer and music entrepreneur.  His DALI VAN GOGH label went on to sign numerous artists and KENT's  road to being a musical giant seemed like it had survived those initial shaky steps until a fire had destroyed both his home, studio and livelihood. Losing everything in the fire forced KENT to take a long hard look at his life and where it needed to go next and making DALI VAN GOGH a band once again. Now, ISAAC KENT and DALI VAN GOGH are back. Even if the all of the members - with the exception of KENT - are new there is something incredibly familiar while being new at the same time. Like the old FORD slogan went "The Pride is Back!" and you can hear it loud and clear on the bands glorious new single GOD HELP ME (I LIKE IT) released on their own HOUSE FIRE RECORDS (get it?). This is more than mere brand recognition or a comeback of sorts. This is a band that has found it's way home and we can't wait to hear more. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Soles Of Passion - Rockwired Radio Profiles #663

In the days following the first Presidential Debate of this most brutal election year the good ol' U.S. of A seems to be on more shakier ground than ever and what better music to serve as a soundtrack to these delicate times than the progressive country rock stylings of SOLES OF PASSION. Sure their stance is a little harder than what we favor but what excites us about the music of this dynamic duo is a need to shake things up. When was the last time rock n roll ever did that. BUMP  ME UP is the duo's latest offering and the driving rhythms that propelled their previous release ESCAPE FOR JURISDICTION B a few months ago pound even louder herewith ecclesiastic guitar licks and symphonic flourishes which add finesse and pop smarts to such songs as the title track, HOLD ON and ON MY OWN. This this new release SOLES OF PASSION sound more committed than before and musicians with a message. 


Monday, September 26, 2016

Sonic Syndicate - Rockwired Radio Profiles #662

When the latest release in a long catalog of music comes off like a new lease on life, it's almost more exciting than a debut album. This is the case with SONIC SYNDICATE and their forthcoming album CONFESSIONS due out October 14, 2016 on DESPOTZ RECORDS. the band is back after a long period of silence. The successful band from Falkenberg, Sweden was unexpected;y dropped by the label NUCLEAR BLAST and was forced to reconsider their situation. The crisis forced the band to change it's course significantly and they took the chance to record their most daring album yet. This time the band members took a deeper look into themselves which has led to some changes in their sound. Ont he new album SONIC SYNDICATE lets the listener take par tint heir vulnerability through total uncompromising honesty in their songwriting and sound. Aware that the band's "new start" may cause listeners to raise their eyebrows the band does not fear the changes nor the future. 

Rick Shaffer - Rockwired Radio Profiles #661

Back in 2011, guitarist RICK SHAFFER perked our ears at ROCKWIRED with the release of his solo album HIDDEN CHARMS and it's reliance on the very fuzzy, distorted guitar sounds that made LINK WRAY legendary, the swagger that made THE STONES the big deal that they've been for fifty some odd years now and SHAFFER's purring vocals that recall STOOGES-era IGGY POP and VELVET UNDERGROUND-era LOU REED. Trust us when we say that no charms were hidden on that album. It was all audible and the perfect antidote to much of the over-production that had come to typify a lot of rock music that year. Hell, over-production still typifies much of the rock n roll that's out there now and thank God SHAFFER is back with a brand new album OUTSIDE OF TIME. SHAFFER's gritty rock n roll approach gets put to good use on material that speaks to life and lows (mostly lows) such as the stomping first single GOING DOWN SLOW accompanied by a mesmerizing music video. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Angus Crowne & The Family Jewels - Rockwired Radio Profiles #660

Anyone who can pen a song damning the "man bun" is all right with us and ANGUS CROWNE and his band THE FAMILY JEWELS serves up such vitriol on his band's self-titled debut album. Aside from attacking a hairstyle that makes men look like "...a girl named Chloe" ANGUS and his band take on the trials and tribulations that go along with wanting to be who you are in a world that seems to overlook individuality or the need for self-expression as demonstrated on the tracks PAYCHECK, LOUNGE DOG, PUKING and a delightful take on HOAGY CARMICHAEL'S HEART AND SOUL. A man of many talents, CROWNE came to music following a multi-faceted creative career that included work as an author, screenwriter, playwright, theatrical producer, concert producer (BOY GEORGE, QUEEN), ran two prominent Los Angeles clubs, founder of the vaudeville inspired SEEDLING ACTING COMPANY in Rhode Island and performing in over 500 theatrical shows across the country. With his band THE FAMILY JEWELS, CROWNE has created sound that marries the melodic, amiable sounds of the ukelele with punk music. “Blend those two together and it emerges naturally as rockabilly with a little country in it,” Angus says. “It’s a new genre – mine. My music is ultimately about honesty and truth. And if I get to piss a few people off along the way, then my work here is done! The album is about where I am in my life right now. It’s about getting older, wiser, but at times feeling frustrated and bitter.”

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Crooked Eye Tommy - Rockwired Radio Profiles #659

BUTTERFLIES & SNAKES - the debut album from CROOKED EYE TOMMY is garnering some favorable press as well as  nominations for the  DOC'S BLUES AWARD for BEST BAND and from the 2016 INTERNATIONAL BLUES CHALLENGE for BEST SELF-PRODUCED CD. Sure the accolades are as blues-based as the sound but there is something more to  CROOKED EYE TOMMY than blues rooted rock n roll. It's brotherly love. Siblings TOMMY and PADDY MARSH were entranced by the sounds of RAY CHARLES and MUDDY WATERS as kids in the San Joaquin Valley. Artists such as these provided the foundation and the building blocks for the musical path that the brothers MARSH travel both separately and together. BUTTERFLIES & SNAKES is a culmination of years in music and going through all of the life's ups and downs - the very shit you just can't make up and CROOKED EYE TOMMY has the musicality and the know-how to make these tales of love and life transcend mere genre. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Todd Apfel | Rockwired Radio Profiles #658

Any story arc having to do with chasing the rock n roll dream usually ends in glory, tragedy or simply fading into obscurity and if fame and fortune weren't the things the hero of the story was able to walk away with then at least he or she had a bunch of memories they could share with whoever is kind enough to listen. TODD APFEL got on that road to rock n roll glory as the lead of a band that had toured much of the Midwest. His band had even shared the stage with CHEAP TRICK. While APFEL experienced the highs of performing in front of large crowds and rubbing elbows with folks more famous it wasn't long before the grind of a life on the road caught up with him and his band mates and the rock n roll life was ditched in favor or Corporate America. Upon retirement from the corporate world, APFEL settled in the small town of VINING with a populations of 50. While this sounds like the denouement of some rock n roll tale, it is actually where the story gets interesting. It is the small town setting where APFEL has found the very thing that has eluded him for years - inspiration. We first became acquainted with him on his debut EP REFLECTIONS and now his music takes a more biographical turn with the aptly titled EP ONE HORSE TOWN.


Shallow Side | Rockwired Radio Profiles #657


Rockwired Radio Profiles #657 - Shallow Side

For years SHALLOW SIDE has been a favorite here at ROCKWIRED with a tough-as-nails sound that has never had a problem going over well on any active rock radio format. They've managed to make a name for themselves on a sound that one can bang their head to while walking away a with a melody that can be hummed at the office cubicle or on the road but their new single REBEL is something else. Yes this one won't have any problems getting the airplay needed to take it and the band to where they need to go but something is different in the execution and delivery. After speaking with the band's front man ERIC BOATRIGHT, it's clear that the notion of rebellion and shaking things up is where the band is at with this new single and their upcoming album. And if anything needs shaking up these days, isn't it rock n roll - which everyone from GENE SIMMONS or that other schmuck from KISS is writing off as "dead". With much of the rock n roll audience firmly entrenched in playlists from  twenty years ago SHALLOW SIDE is taking a proactive stance in proving to the masses that rock n roll is still a force to be reckoned with. And so is SHALLOW SIDE.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Rockwired Radio Profiles #655 - The Ormewoods

Despite much of the hard rock and heavy metal that comes our way here at ROCKWIRED we have to admit that THE BEDROOM SESSIONS has got to be the most provocative title for an album that we have seen in a long time. And it comes to us from a folk duo in Atlanta. The debut release from THE ORMEWOODS was recorded in a bedroom proving once and for all that great albums can be recorded anywhere. In speaking with CLAIRE PEARSON and DON McCOLLISTER it was clear that when the production of the album shifted to an actual studio something would be lacking in both songwriting and performance. Thankfully they chose to keep it in the bedroom with this fine collection of songs that examine the highs and the lows of a romantic relationship. In particular the relationship between PEARSON and McCOLLISTER. THE ORMEWOODS is an exciting coming together of talent. CLAIRE PEARSONS' soul searing lyrics and delivery send the music to dizzying heights while the production smarts of  McCOLLISTER packs the very punch that has served acts such as SISTER HAZEL and SHAWN MULLINS so well and earned him two GRAMMY's for his handiwork behind the recording console. 


Rockwired Radio Profiles #654 - Jonathan Cavier

One doesn't think of a word like "refinement" when it comes to today's pop music but it was every where you looked back in the early half of the eighties with artists such as DURAN DURAN, BRYAN FERRY and SPANDAU BALLET. We could call it je ne sais quoi but the truth is we know exactly made artists such as these leap off of the TV screen and the stereo - style and pop smarts. JONATHAN CAVIER is an artist who has taken his queue from the chops of the artists that we have mentioned but don't think for a moment that his debut solo album PREMIER is some sort of obvious exercise in nostalgia. It isn't. In fact the former half of the atmospheric pop duo EYE TALK ( who used to go by the name ALAN CLARK) goes to great lengths to carve out his own musical identity starting with a new name and pop songs that eschew the obvious pop psychological heartache but instead embrace themes such as change and rebirth as he does on the album's shimmering first single JANUARY. so yes, JONATHAN CAVIER is refined as hell and PREMIER showcases a signature sound from an artist who will certainly go the distance.


Friday, July 29, 2016

Rock Is Red #23 - Ethan 103

A punk band  coming out of Indian Country is certainly no novelty anymore and the guys form ETHAN 103 ain't not novelty act either. Their in-you-face punk sound packs all of the punch that made bands like BAD RELIGION and THE MISFITS the big deals that they were but ETHAN 103 brings something else tot he table other than the typical white boy errancy that has marked much of the genre. These guys use the straight-forward approach of punk to address issues of American Indian survival and resistance against oppression as they had on their 2011 single 500. What would punk be without an eye-catching, raucous live set? Well these guys have made their presence known throughout much of the Southwest. They even got our attention at a show in Albuquerque not too long ago and front man MASTER WAYNE has enough stage presence and charisma to put the band on the map. Their new single PUNK ROCK FASHION POLICE is a jab at the hypocrisy of  punk scene that puts posing above being genuine. Given the fact that we feel these guys are the real thing, their observations are definitely worth listening to and taking as gospel. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Rock Is Red #22 - Susan Aglukark

In speaking with Inuk singer songwriter SUSAN AGLUKARK, it is surprising to learn that her resolve as an artist and a musician was never truly solidified in her mind until after the release of her fourth album THIS CHILD. The 1995 album went three times platinum in Canada and earned her two JUNO AWARDS yet AGLUKARK maintains that her role as singer songwriter felt undefined until the follow up album UNSUNG HERO.  "On that album is a song called STAND UP written around 1997 or 1998." says AGLUKARK. "I remember having this moment of realization . I was the artist the EMI RECORDS had signed. I'm the center of this thing. I am the focus. I have to lead this. If I'm the writing the songs I'm directing he story and with  that knowledge came this profound peace. I needed to stop writing hit songs and just answer the call of the song. I fell inn love with being a conduit using the music as a tool to share the culture. That was when I knew that I had to commit to this musical career. That was when I knew."  And commit she has! AGLUKARK's musical career has been beautifully cataloged on nine albums over the span of twenty-five years. Her sound marries Inuk folk music traditions with contemporary pop and country flourishes. Now she is in the midst of putting together a brand new album with songs that speak to and for her Inuk culture, the wrongs of the past and the frailty of the human condition. While these themes are nothing new to AGLUKARK's music, she maintains that there will be a few surprises.  As she progresses in her life as both a musician and a spokesperson for numerous non-profit organizations working with Aboriginal and Inuit youth AGLUKARK has never lost sight of the importance of her music and it's message.  "Sometimes we (as Native people) feel like we begin when the government says we begin. Our identity comes from an institutional organization and they say this is what you are and this is what you do. When I got into this career it was all too easy to let everyone else make choices and decisions for me. That was how I had been conditioned . The more I engaged art and the more I wrote, the more I was empowered and realized that I had  the opportunity through music, singing and songwriting to share my views and my culture. This is mine but I had to come to that place first. At the core of all of the problems with our youth is this identity crisis." 


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Rockwired Radio Profiles #653 - One Less Reason

History has proven that a lot of time some of the best rock music is fueled by a single. solitary vision and not so much compromise. Early on in his career CRIS BROWN saw the detriments of working as a group and seeing the music suffer due to line up changes and whatever the hell else that gets thrown in front of a band these days. In 2003 he began recording as ONE LESS REASON. Setting his music apart from most active rock fare is BROWN's approach to telling an engaging story through song with his assured delivery, musicality and know-how when it comes to working the recording console. For five albums now ONE LESS REASON has garnered some impressive sales with all five albums in their impressive catalog and BROWN is on the verge of releasing ONE LESS REASON's sixth album THE MEMORIES UNINVITED and to paraphrase BROWN -"...if this were to be my last album I would be so happy with it!"  While we hope to hear more from ONE LESS REASON in the future we must agree that THE MEMORIES UNINVITED is definitely something to feel proud of. It's meaningful approach to hard rock never comes off heavy-handed and BROWN cleverly shows the world that he's got something. Check out the single WHERE WERE YOU?.


Rockwired Radio Profiles #652 - 18th & Addison

KAIT DIBENEDETTO and TOM KUNZMAN are a dynamic duo in every sense of the term. DIBENEDETTO first experienced fame through MTV's TOTAL REQUEST LIVE with her band JUST KAIT and has maintained her chops as the guitarist for the band WHAT'S EATING GILBERT. KUNZMAN was formerly in the band A CRIMINAL RISK. 18TH & ADDISON was born out of two guitarists wanting to get their yah-yahs out creatively and results of their decision to join forces was the 2015 EP LITTLE PARASITES. Now they have released their brand new album MAKESHIFT MONSTER. "We're so excited!" exclaims DIBENEDETTO. "It's funny because we were super proud of the EP that we released a couple of years ago but we've had all of these songs that we've written since that release. These songs have been brewing in our brains and have kind of been sitting for a while so it's great to finally bring those songs to life on this album and record them and finally make something of them. That is super-exciting for us.  We got a lot off of our chest with this album. It's a step up from what we used to do."


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Rockwired Radio Profiles #651 - The KC Sisters

Having shared their dynamic, harmony driven vocal and instrumental excitement in hundreds of performances throughout their home state of Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York, the multi-talented fivesome THE KC SISTERS are putting a fresh new spin on the term "Sister Act." Harkening back to the heyday of family groups, with a rootsy, Americana sound that incorporates folk, country, gospel, R&B and jazz, the Casey siblings are now emerging as recording artists with the release of their debut EP featuring the original vocal ballad DADDY CAME HOME the inspirational TOUCH THE SKY, and the lively, multiple violin driven instrumental HOW THE IRISH WON THE WEST. What sets The KC Sisters apart from any other group of musical siblings or indie bands is their musical diversity, transcendent ease with three and four part harmonies, and the fact that each sister is a multi-talented vocalist and musician skilled in a variety of instruments. DEANNA (19) and NOELLE (17), who wrote DADDY COME HOME with their father, the group’s producer and arranger CHRIS CASEY, play violin, piano, drums, guitar and bass. Their younger sisters are 15 year old TASHA (violin, drums, piano, bass) and 12 year old ELISE (violin, cello, bass, piano, drums) and KATHLEEN (violin, bass, drums, piano). Their shows include multi-harmonized vocals, instrumentals, country fiddling, a cappella hymns, pop, jazz, standards and country music. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Rockwired Radio Profiles #650 - Sweet Sweet

We've never been the type of people to put a great deal of stock in what ROLLING STONE has to say about anything but in a recent issue they cited that the folk sounds of bands such as MUMFORD AND SONS and THE LUMINEERS went the way of OBAMA's first term as President. Trust us, the movement - if we can call it that - is still very much alive. If you don't believe us just look at the majority of acts that fins their way onto THE VOICE or AMERICA'S GOT TALENT but if you're looking for something a little more refined or even elegant, look no further than the aptly titled folk duo SWEET SWEET out of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina whose whimsical spirit and musicality are on full display on their brand new EP IN TANDEM. JEREMY DUNHAM (guitars and vocals) emerges as a truly distinctive and formidable vocal talent and KERRIN GIFFORD's virtuosity with the cello gives DUNHAM the pitch perfect accompaniment. The first single TO THE STARS  has the potential to take this duo to some fantastic heights. 


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Rockwired Radio Profiles #649 - Moxy & The Influence

High energy Rock and Roll, best when played at full volume. With ages ranging from just 13 to 21, MOXY AND THE INFLUENCE are four young Southern California rockers who bring it with power and drive to every performance. Their female-fronted sound is a modern mix of all that was great in the 80’s hard rock scene, and all that continues to move audiences today. Performing mostly original material, now and then they feature a cover with their own energy and style. Bursting onto the Southern California rock scene in late 2013, this young band surprised audiences with hit-worthy original rock songs combined with a high-energy stage performance complete with headbanging and crowd interaction. Catchy lyrics infused with a message of individualism span generations. Currently the band's musical smarts and charm can be heard loud and clear on their latest EP THE BEST REVENGE and their cracking new single STOMP YOU DOWN.


Monday, June 27, 2016

Rockwired Radio Profiles #648 - Red Tide Rising

There was a time when rock n roll was a dream that guys strove for  but now it's all about survival and the band RED TIDE RISING wears the survival on their sleeve proudly. And you thought that MAD MAX-styled figure on the cover of their latest EP VOICES was just them being cute but for music that's all about surviving a world that's on the brink of coming apart, the sleeve is all the more purposeful for what ends up being a five-song concept album. The hard and heavy sound and the subject matter have even made a strong impression on the band's recent live shows with lead singer ANDREW WHITEMAN taking to the stage in ROAD WARRIOR get up. Produced by MIKE LUCE of DROWNING POOL, VOICES is a step in the right direction creatively and given the recent chart action the EP has seen - commercially. This is indeed a classic case of survival of the fittest.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Rockwired Radio Profiles #647 - Another Lost Year

My how times have changed! Back when the AMERICAN IDOL juggernaut was piping hot there were concerns by some who felt that the massive spectacle was no way to discern true musical talent but time has proved that to be baseless and largely fueled by folks who haven't made much of a dent in the music world themselves.  The AMERICAN IDOL phenomenon had shined a light on a tremendous amount of talent and a lot of it came our way to the pages of ROCKWIRED. One of them was CLINTON CUNANAN and his band ANOTHER LOST YEAR. In 2012, they were one of the band's that gave ROCKWIRED MAGAZINE it's big push and all of that was on the strength of their album BETTER DAYS and it's lead single WAR ON THE INSIDE. CUNANAN's knack for commanding a stage as well as a studio have truly come in handy in leading ANOTHER LOST YEAR to being one of active rock's most highly regarded bands.  Two years later was the EP THE REVOLUTION PART ONE - THE OTHER SIDE and now ANOTHER LOST YEAR is back with the ultra-ambitious LP ALIEN ARCHITECT where CUNANAN's songwriting and vocal performance goes up a couple of notches and the extra kick is proudly displayed on the albums first single WE ALL DIE ALONE accompanied by a gritty music video.


Rockwired Radio Profiles #646 - Cage9

Sure, a six-minute song titled EVERYTHING YOU LOVE WILL SOMEDAY DIE doesn't sound like anything that will conjure up images of sun and fun this sweltering Summer but it is the first single from CAGE 9's new CD ILLUMINATOR - the latest release from DAVE ELLEFSON's EMP label. Sure the track ain't about singing in the sunshine but what you hear is a band that is willing to take things a step further with their instrumentation and song craft. Everything that makes this song work can be heard and felt everywhere else on ILLUMINATOR with the band slamming the metal down like nobody's business and front man EVAN RODANICHE acting as the narrator through these tales of love and life gone wrong and then on an upturn once again. The albums message of hope in a world gone mad is a refreshing one given some recent tragedies of late and a contentious election year. When we spoke with RODANICHE the band was getting set to take the stage in Idaho with the likes of ASKING ALEXANDRIA and BOBAFLEX. Given the promise we hear in ILLUMINATOR, it's only a matter of seconds before people realize that CAGE 9 is something worth holding onto.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Rockwired Radio Profiles #645 - Bucky Hayes and The Commonwealth

It's got to be the season for troubadours here at ROCKWIRED. First there was the plaintive folk leanings of MICHAEL TODD and the soul searching wanderings of singer songwriter JORDAN BENNETT and now you have the plucky mixture of soul, country and rock with BUCKY HAYES and his band of merry men aptly named THE COMMMONWEALTH ( two of the guys in the band are from the State of Virginia). While the southern born and reared HAYES is based in Brooklyn these days there is no denying the southern charm that rings through loud and clear on the songs that make up the bands forthcoming CD 100 MILES TO MACON. Even though he is actually a thousand miles from Macon these days there is not denying the honesty and earnestness of the music here. While the album isn't going to see an official release until September, BUCKY HAYES AND THE COMMONWEALTH have given us some easygoing summertime jams to kick out when we're on the porch with that cold can of FOSTERS. You thought we were going to PABST BLUE RIBBON, didn't you?


Rockwired Radio Profiles #644 - Jordan Bennett

We've got to be honest. It wasn't likely that a Christian punk rock band with a name like ZANZHIMINT was going to have much of a shot in the same way that a band like BLINK-182 did. Singer songwriter JORDAN BENNETT - the former lead singer of said band - was kind enough tell us that ZANZHIMINT was a curiously flavored ice cream and at the time of us writing this piece, we can't for the life of us remember but ZANZHIMINT (the band anyway) is simply water under the bridge and BENNETT is embarking on a solo career marked by reflective, biographical lyrics and a stripped down acoustic sound that should have not trouble resonating with folks who don't go to church on Sunday. OUTCASTS AND UNTOUCHABLES is a bold artistic statement and a statement of life aims to be true and righteous despite hard times and some rather complicated relationships. BENNETT has mined some gold with these cathartic tunes and we can see form hear that a great musical talent has been born. 


Rockwired Radio Profiles #643 - Michael Todd

You can't make up a story like MICHAEL TODDs' career in music. The guy has been a professional musician since the age of eight along wit his brother in a touring musical act called - quite expectedly - THE TODD BROTHERS. The two siblings traveled alongside a magician which only adds magic to this already magical and musical life . Music has taken this guy all over the world whether the gig was by a campfire or a subway platform in New York City or with his band THE WILD FRONTIER opening for such acts as STARSHIP, BJ THOMAS, PAM TILLIS and LORRIE MORGAN. All of the passion and romanticism that goes  with the territory of being a dyed in the wool troubadour finds it's way onto TODD's first ever solo album CRASHLAND. These songs of longing and and searching are given that little something extra  with TODD's soulful rasp and the albums sparse acoustic instrumentation. Intimacy and heart are in abundance on this album  and in a time where music is more about grand sonic splashes, MICHAEL TODD proves that less is indeed more. Hell, it's downright beautiful.


Saturday, May 28, 2016

Rockwired Radio Profiles #642 - Candlebox

The polls have closed for ROCKWIRED.COM's recent ARTIST OF THE MONTH campaign. Voters from all over the U.S. and the world made their vote count and grunge rock legends CANDLEBOX   are ROCKWIRED.COM's newest ARTIST OF THE MONTH. When you're as old as I am 22 years feels like it goes in a flash and because of that the debut album from CANDLEBOX feels like it was a released just yesterday. Memories of it come back to me in the form of that album's singles CHANGE,  FAR BEHIND and YOU and for the fact that the band was signed to MADONNA's MAVERICK RECORDS - a proposition that probably helped the album attain multi-platinum status. I seem to remember a few grunge folks being puzzled by the signing and leery of the success. Ah fuck them and fuck the nineties. CANDLEBOX deserved every bit of their success.Two more albums would follow on the MAVERICK label (1995's LUCY and 1998's HAPPY PILLS). After a ten year hiatus CANDLEBOX reunited for the 2008 album INTO THE SUN (SILENT MAJORITY GROUP) and 2012's LOVE STORIES & OTHER MUSINGS (AUDIONEST). Now after four years CANDLEBOX has signed to PAVEMENT ENTERTAINMENT and has now released the curiously titled DISAPPEARING IN AIRPORTS. Having worked with producers CARSON SLOVAK and GRANT McFARLAND (AUGUST BURNS RED, EVERCLEAR) CANDLEBOX now embraces a modern sound that is more immediate and visceral than any they've issued in the past - a taste of which could be provided in the albums first single VEXATIOUS. 


Friday, May 27, 2016

Rockwired Radio Profiles #641 - Bruce Mountain Band

It's hard to dismiss rock n roll has being dead when you've got a band based out of Inland Empire issuing the fattest, most unapologetic rock n roll sound that we've heard in a while. The band is BRUCE MOUNTAIN BAND and their debut album ANOTHER LOST DAY is a big album with some pretty big ambitions in a time when five-song EPs and digital singles are all the rage. Comprised of Southern California music scene veterans, the band is releasing this 16-song opus on 2-disc vinyl - the kind of release that their big rock n roll sound deserves. The album is catalog of love and life gone wrong and right without a riff or a lyric wasted. The moments to remember here are the  blistering rock anthem SHINE ON, the slow-burning WOMAN and the closing acoustic ballad (more of a gentle headbanger) LONG WAY HOME. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Rockwired Radio Profiles #640 - The Rye Brothers

The unofficial rule here at ROCKWIRED is that country music doesn't figure into the sort of listening experience that we want folks to have when tuning into our podcast but when the "country music" is actually good it leaves us having to explain ourselves. This is the case with the fledgling band THE RYE BROTHERS. We first became acquainted with RYE BROTHERS co-founder JUSTIN FOUTZ fives years ago when he was a solo country rock artist with the kind of magnetism that should've made him a bigger and better deal than that goober BLAKE SHELTON but we're happy to see his resurface with this project along with friend and singer-songwriter PAUL JUSTIN. At the moment the band has a sturdy set of songs available through SOUNDCLOUD which can be accessed through their site. It's not exactly an official release but if you ask us these are top notch country rockers that are ready to roll thanks to so some rather fine production work by producer TIM HUTTON. In a time when rock has been largely country-fied and and country music has take on more pop and rock characteristics this should be an arrangement that should work out well for both FOUTZ and JUSTIN. 


Monday, May 9, 2016

Rockwired Radio Profiles #639 - Soles Of Passion

The pursuit of rock n roll is a precarious one with twists and turns with everybody from parents to society in general telling you that you need to get a real job. Well STEVEN WOLFE and MYLA SNOW both had real jobs in the mortgage industry and being based in Southern California who the hell could blame them? After years of climbing the corporate ladder things came to screeching halt with the stock market crash of 2008 where two found themselves with front row seats to witness the deadening of the American Dream with the foreclosures displacing and disenfranchising millions. If the mortgage industry was shaky, the need for playing music felt stronger than ever and the two set out to form SOLES OF PASSION. There was to be nothing escapist about this new musical endeavor. The duo set out to release music that spoke to life and the hopes and despairs  that come with it in a world full of classism and inequality. Displacement - an issue that hit close to home for both of them was a theme addressed in their 2012 album BUMP YOU UP and it's single GOT ME SURROUNDED . Now they are back with the single TAX SLAVES which precedes the forthcoming album ESCAPE FROM JURISDICATION B. The funky track combines elements of rock with rap and highlights the absurdity of a tax code that is designed to keep the poor struggling. Creating music that speaks to the struggles of people is the only business there is for SOLES OF PASSION and we are eternally grateful. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Rockwired Radio Profiles #638 - Athena

Los Angeles is city that gets a bad rap and a lot of times for good reason but for some it's a chance to pursue a better life and maybe even get your name in lights. That is certainly the case for singer-songwriter ATHENA ANDREADIS (who simply goes by ATHENA) but the Greek-born, London-raised artist has already known acclaim and chart success on her native continent with her three previous releases. A year ago, the rising star set up shop in Los Angeles and found herself  blessed with inspiration and under the tutelage of producer ETHAN ALLEN (BEN HARPER, SHERYL CROW, BETTER THAN EZRA). An expansive catalog of songs was filed down to thirteen tracks which will be released as a trilogy comprised of two EPs and on LP. Recorded at  THE VILLAGE the forthcoming EP READY FOR THE SUN is a five-song recording that showcases an artist ready to reach out to a broader audience. ATHENA and ALLEN have brought such rousing songs to life such as the plucky opening track YOU BRING ME LUCK and the soaring ballad AUTOPILOT. So far, the City of Angels agrees with this rising talent and it's only a matter of time before ATHENA's brand of heartfelt, soul-searing pop rock finds it's way into the consciousness of a public that wants something deeper to listen to. 


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Rockwired Radio Profiles #637 - Ray Goren

RAY GOREN has a musical talent that is beyond comprehension and beyond his sixteen years of life. At the age of three after tinkering away on an electronic keyboard he came to the realization that TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR and the ALPHABET SONG were the same bloody tune.  Almost immediately he was given the building blocks for playing and composing music. His early years (it sounds strange putting it that way) were marked by virtuosity on the piano but his love for the six string was stoked when he accidentally came upon a performance by the legendary BB KING on line. From there a love for blues, soul and rock n roll was cultivated as well an ear for whatever passes as new these days and all of it can be heard on his brand new EP SAVE MY SOUL. The guitar playing is seasoned, the vocal delivery is confidant and assured and the songwriting is brash but that can happen when one of your songwriting mentors is the legendary LEON RUSSELL. With songs such as the blistering title track, the irresistible pop rocker STOP and and pleading blues/gospel rocker RISE TOGETHER, GOREN proves that he is in this for the long haul and we are happy to be seeing this potentially legendary career unfold from the beginning.


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Rockwired Radio Profiles #636 - Sometimes Julie

You never think that anything good can come of doing karaoke but in the case of MONICA SORENSON the great American past time ended up changing her life. While singing what was more than likely an ALANIS MORRISETTE tune according to the press release, MONICA's voice and soulful phrasing caught the ear of guitarist RICK WALKER - a man whose musical past goes back to the halcyon days of the Chicago scene of the early nineties which was filled to the brim with artists such as LIZ PHAIR, SMASHING PUMPKINS, HUSKER DU and URGE OVERKILL. At this point int he story he was looking for words to put to his musical arrangements and it just turned out that the the woman singing karaoke not only had a voice but dabbled in a little bit of verse as well. Before long the two began swapping ideas and eventually songs were born and was the act they curiously dubbed SOMETIMES JULIE. By 2014 they made their presence known with their award-wining debut HEAD FIRST and now they're back with a brand new EP BRIGHT SIDE OF THE LINE. TO call a five song EP an emotional rollercoaster sounds like a bunch hyperbole but in this case it ain't hyperbole. SOMETIMES JULIE's songsmithing marries stomping grooves and funky, bluesy flourishes with dark and edgy subject matter that is given extra heft  thanks to SORENSON's  buoyant vocals and emotional delivery. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Rock Is Red #21 - JUQ

Much of the music coming out of Indian Country these day is marked by entrepreneurship as well as musicality and in these D.I.Y. times those two things are going hand in hand more than ever. For years ROCKWIRED has gotten to know Yankton Sioux hip hop artist and entrepreneur BRANDIS KNUDSEN for his own series releases and the promotion of his own label DAKOTA SOUTH RECORDS. Now, we're excited to get to know one of the artists on his fledgling label. Oglala Lakota pop artist JACOB SCREAMING EAGLE goes by the moniker JUQ (pronounced "juke") and finds himself at a rather exciting junction in his life. This is the very beginning of his career as a recording artist with the release of his debut EP OGP.  On it, JUQ has swagger and groove to spare on this collection of slow burning R&B numbers of which the lead single CALLING BULL stands out by a mile. There is no doubt here that JUQ loves the Indian ladies and the track's clever mix of modern slow burn with  the sort of unabashed, positive message that elevates the tune above everything else that's out there. It's my sincerest hope that the girl mentioned in the song who is "so in touch with what our people should be" will look this guy's way. OGP is just a slice of things to come. Apparently a full length album will be dropping in the Fall of 2016 and we're all too anxious to hear how JUQ's musical journey plays out. 


Friday, April 22, 2016

Rockwired Radio Profiles #635 - Love And A .38

When I lived in a Los Angeles years ago I couldn't find four musically inclined guys who weren't concerned with trends and obscure sub genres of music. Now that I'm far away from the City of Angels I've now become acquainted with LOVE AND A .38 - four guys who are all about keeping this rock n roll thing pure, simple and direct. In this day and age doing so almost comes off as a trailblazing effort and it's one that folks will get lost in when they play the band's new release NOMAD. The album is a testament to the staying power of rock n roll. We would've said anthemic rock n roll but that would've been a sub genre. Kind of. More importantly the album showcases LOVE AND A .38 as a leading force in what could very be the re-emergence of the very music and attitude that got us through the Cold War. The songs OH MY GOD and I WON'T WAIT crackle with the very urgency that made music of this kind "dangerous" when we was kids and the haunting ABRE LOS OJOS is the only thing close to a ballad on NOMAD but the track is guaranteed to hit home for just about anyone who longs for the days when ballads had balls. Over the years we've seen so many take on the mantle of bring rock n roll back to the forefront. Here's hoping that these lads can stay the course. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Rockwired Radio Profiles #634 - Conquest

It's always great to welcome back a band that has been featured on the pages and the sound waves of ROCKWIRED and to see and hear what changes (if any) have taken place since the last time we got them on the phone. In the Spring of 2014 CONQUEST has just released their album THE WAR WE RAGE and had shown that after twenty six years of rocking out the band fronted by DERRICK BRUMLEY, the band showed no signs of middling or slowing down. Once rock n roll gets into the bloodstream it apparently sticks around. Two years later, the band is back with a brand new album but this time original compositions are put aside in favor of covers and do these guys have some covers for you! The aptly dubbed new album UNDER THE INFLUENCE is a band giving it up for the heavy metal architects that  gave DERRICK and the gang a baseline to work with back when CONQUEST was forming in 1988 and while the interpretations of anthems from the likes of JUDAS PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN, MOTORHEAD and BON JOVI (Yes, BON JOVI with a smoldering rendition of WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE) are performed with due reverence don't expect the proceedings to be all stuffy as it's only rock n roll. UNDER THE INFLUENCE is an unrelenting party to be turned up at full blast. In a time when rockers past a certain age look to the American Songbook for inspiration, it's great to see a band opening peoples eyes and ears to metal music's own deep well of classic performances. Nothing more inspired than that.

Rockwired Radio Profiles #633 - Stewart Franke

I will first address the fact that BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN himself makes an appearance on the opening track of STEWART FRANCKE's self-titled EP. The song is SUMMER SOLDIER (HOLLER IF YOU HEAR ME) and if no one could imagine THE BOSS himself making some magic out of this gloriously stomping rocker on life on the pointlessness of war than I don't know what I can say to convince you but SPRINGSTEEN isn't the point. It's STEWART FRANCKE's lyrical narrative and parched delivery that anchor this SPRINGSTEEN-esque tale.  FRANCKE's self-titled EP is an eight song collection that truly tells a story of the Detroit singer songwriters own musical journey over the years. An informal greatest hits if you will where the FRANCKE and company sway with balladry, stomp with rockers such as KISS KISS BANG BANG and rolling to an R&B groove like he does on the HALL AND OATES-ish splendor of SAM COOKE'S ON THE RADIO.


Rockwired Radio Profiles #633 - Stewart Francke

I will first address the fact that BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN himself makes an appearance on the opening track of STEWART FRANCKE's self-titled EP. The song is SUMMER SOLDIER (HOLLER IF YOU HEAR ME) and if no one could imagine THE BOSS himself making some magic out of this gloriously stomping rocker on life on the pointlessness of war than I don't know what I can say to convince you but SPRINGSTEEN isn't the point. It's STEWART FRANCKE's lyrical narrative and parched delivery that anchor this SPRINGSTEEN-esque tale.  FRANCKE's self-titled EP is an eight song collection that truly tells a story of the Detroit singer songwriters own musical journey over the years. An informal greatest hits if you will where the FRANCKE and company sway with balladry, stomp with rockers such as KISS KISS BANG BANG and rolling to an R&B groove like he does on the HALL AND OATES-ish splendor of SAM COOKE'S ON THE RADIO. 


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Rockwired Radio Profiles #632 - The Refusers

Oh the delicate and desperate situation that America has found herself in! On one end you have a maniacal supposed billionaire with  woman, Arab and a Mexican problem making a mockery of the Grand Ol' Party and on the other side you have an elderly socialist crying revolution versus the embodiment of a career politician linked to this word "Benghazi" that gets bandied about by people who hate the woman. And while all of this is going on that fat guy in North Korea is positioning his nukes just so, Brussels has been attacked and we're all like "When can we get to Mars?" Everyone's got an opinion and they're willing to throw down for it and I find it strange that none of this kind of thinking ever finds it's way into our music. In comes THE REFUSERS fronted by former Wall Street wizard-turned-whistleblower on American greed  MICHAEL BELKIN with a punchy, guitar-driven punk rock sound that calls out the crooks and calls for the heads of the infidels and two-bit bandits who call themselves bankers. Does the song HANG THE BANKERS need any explanation? In an age where music moves products in order to move units we've gotta give it up for THE REFUSERS whose heart and balls are in the right place. BORN TO ROCK indeed.