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Saturday, April 27, 2019

2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony now available via HBO

courtesy: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony is currently airing on HBO. Here's my rundown of the program's edited highlights...

For the most part, this year’s honorees – Stevie Nicks, The Cure, Roxy Music, Radiohead, The Zombies, Def Leppard and Janet Jackson – were the strongest in recent memory. As a result, I couldn’t wait to see it. Unlike some past ceremonies, I wasn’t bored with certain aspects or disappointed with the result. Sure, there were some minor quibbles, like a few songs by my faves (Roxy, Cure) that were cut for broadcast. But then the whole thing would’ve been longer than just under three hours.

Stevie Nicks kicked the whole thing off with a strong four-song performance that included “Stand Back,” “Leather & Lace” (with Don Henley), “Stop Draggin' My Heart Around” (with Harry Styles) and “Edge of Seventeen.” Nicks, with her trademark her black shawl, spun around a bit. The duet with her former boyfriend Henley was comfortable and sweet, while the duet with Styles was only passable. It made me miss the late, great Tom Petty even more.

Styles’ induction speech touched upon how Nicks was one of the first singers he heard and enjoyed as a kid. Memorable lines: “On Halloween, 1 in 7 people dress as Stevie Nicks…Stevie Nicks is both an adjective and a verb.” During her acceptance speech, Nicks said she hoped the honor would be an inspiration for young female musicians and told a few quick anecdotes about producer Jimmy Iovine and manager Irving Azoff.

The Cure was inducted by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, who spoke about the band providing an outlet that made him “feel connected and not so alone in the world” while growing up. He said The Cure defined the 1980s with an “undiminished power,” influenced many bands today “including my own” and “created a completely self-contained world…they are one of the most unique bands in the world.” Nine members got onstage with Smith to accept, but none of the former musicians performed.

As for The Cure’s set, the Brits sounded as tight as ever on an ominous “Shake Dog Shake,” “Love Song,” “Just Like Heaven” and “Boys Don’t Cry” [Not broadcast: “A Forest”].

Janet Jackson was given a fiercely passionate induction speech by Janelle Monae. Jackson said, after seeing her brothers success in the Jackson 5, that she “always wanted to stand on my own two feet” and addressing them, said, “tonight, your baby sister has made it.” There was no performance.

David Byrne gave Radiohead a short introduction, praising the band for being “innovative, creative and smart…They changed the idea of what popular music can be." Drummer Phil Selway and guitarist Ed O’Brien accepted on the group’s behalf. Selway gave a stirring speech. There was no performance.

Roxy Music were inducted by Simon Le Bon and John Taylor of Duran Duran. Taylor told a humorous story about seeking out the band at their hotel with other teenagers before a gig in England, while Le Bon enthused about the impact of seeing them on TV for the first time as an impressionable kid.

Said Taylor: “Bryan Ferry was synonymous with cool…I knew my destiny…I can say with certainty there would be no Duran Duran without Roxy Music." Ferry gave props to a long list of former members, then the current lineup of his solo touring band were joined by Roxy guitarist Phil Manzanera and sax man Andy Mackay for six songs. Three were broadcast: a seductive “Out of the Blue,” “Avalon” and “Editions of You” [Search YouTube for fan shot footage of “Love is the Drug,” “More Than This,” “In Every Dream Home a Heartache”].

The Bangles’ Susanna Hoffs did an enthusiastic induction speech for The Zombies. She said the music never failed to “inspire me…and lift me up when I’m down.” Once The Zombies accepted, keyboardist Rod Argent – who I had the honor of interviewing last year – told how the band started and that he was honored to be cited by younger musicians as an influence. The solid set included “Time of the Season,” “Tell Her No” and “She’s Not There” [not aired: “This Will Be Our Year”].

Queen guitarist Brian May, a longtime friend of Def Leppard, gave the Sheffield rockers a heartfelt induction speech, telling anecdotes about meeting them on an early tour, guesting at an LA Forum gig and how the current guitar tandem of Phil Collen & Vivian Campbell are frighteningly good. Singer Joe Elliott talked about surviving all the ups and downs throughout the years, especially drummer Rick Allen who lost his arm and persevered. Allen was visibly touched.

Def Leppard played “Rock of Ages,” “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and “Photograph” with abandon (the latter should be off limits with the original song’s insanely high vocals). Finally, Elliott’s inspiration Ian Hunter of Mott the Hoople joined Def Lep for his own hit “All the Young Dudes” and was joined by a few inductees, presenters and others to end it all ["Hysteria" was not aired].

Friday, April 26, 2019

Collective Soul returns with album, tour

Collective Soul's silver anniversary year will be a celebration of their ongoing legacy in all-out style with a little bit of the classic and a lot of the new.

Not only have they already announced their Summer “Now’s The Time Tour” with Gin Blossoms, but in keeping with the Atlanta band’s theme of 2019, “now’s the time” to also let fans know that their 10th studio album, Blood will be released June 21 on Fuzze-Flex Records/ADA. Pre-orders of the album as a download, CD, and vinyl are available today on any of these digital retailers. Digital pre-orders include a download of the first single, "Right As Rain," while downloads of "Good Place To Start" and "Them Blues," will be available May 17 and June 7, respectively.

Fans can check out the lyric video for “Right As Rain” on the band’s official YouTube page and the song on all digital outlets here.

“’Right As Rain’ is a phrase I had for a while,” says singer/guitarist/keyboardist E Roland. “It was one my grandmother used to tell me about--one of those old Southern things, you know? ‘C’mon, I’m gonna spank you right as rain!’ I never really knew what it meant (laughs). While I was writing it, Peter Stroud (Sheryl Crow’s lead guitarist and musical director) was home one day in Atlanta, and we invited him over to play the slide-guitar solo on the song for us. We all just sat around together and jammed it out.”

The album’s final track — “Porch Swing” — features background vocals and dobro from Styx guitarist/vocalist Tommy Shaw.

“I’ve always been a fan of E Roland and Collective Soul’s recordings,” Shaw says. “I thought about adding more parts than what Ed asked me to do, but as someone wiser than me once said, ‘Don’t paint over the masterpiece!’”

Blood is the culmination of a quarter-century of the band -- E Roland (vocals/guitar), Dean Roland (rhythm guitar), Will Turpin (bass/background vocals), Jesse Triplett (lead guitar/background vocals), Johnny Rabb (drums/background vocals).

“I think 'Blood' expresses where we’ve been on this life journey,” observes E Roland. “And we’ve done so with songs featuring piano and strings to those with a lot of guitar riffs. Blood is an accumulation of all the different styles we’ve used over the years, but it’s still Collective Soul. I think it’s the best we’ve ever done. I know you should think that, but I really do think it’s the best. It’s a good, consistent record. We’re just so proud of it.”

While the album title, Blood, maybe evoke many different thoughts and ideas, for the band, it all comes down to one word: family.

“So much of it is based on the camaraderie-ship of the band,” Roland explains. “All of us basically have children, and my brother Dean just had a baby girl. Jesse’s the only one who doesn’t have kids, but he’s basically a baby, in age anyway. My brother’s in the band so there’s blood there, but the five us — it’s a family.”

From the very beginning of the band’s career, Roland always had his eye on the prize. “When ‘Shine’ came out, we got asked, ‘What’s your goal with this band?’ I said, ‘I want to have a whole row of Collective Soul recordings on the shelf.’ That was my goal,” he recounts. “Me, I always wanted to see the full body of work. That’s all I ever wanted. I knew I could write, and as the band progressed and got better, that’s why we wanted to keep going. I don’t think we ever doubted it. We, as the artists — we had no fear. The guys in the band have enough faith in my songwriting, and I have faith in them.”

In touring news, Collective Soul will continue their celebration throughout the year with headlining U.S. shows which should last through the end of the year. Later this summer, they’ll embark on their “Now’s The Time Tour” with Gin Blossoms starting May 25 in Atlantic City, NJ at the Hard Rock Café – Sound Waves. COLLECTIVE SOUL and Gin Blossoms are offering their own VIP packages available now, which include band meet and greets, exclusive merchandise, and much more. Tickets are available now, and more information can be found at www.collectivesoul.comand www.ginblossoms.net.

“For us, we want to play the hits as we always do, but I think we also want to share the new record with our fans,” E Roland explains. “At 25 years later, we want to say, ‘Hey, we’re still making the best that we can do.’ Right now, I’ve got seven of the new songs in the setlist, and hopefully, on some nights, we can play the whole thing from start to finish. I mean, it’s our 25th anniversary. We’re going at it hard, everyone! We’re going hard.”

Track listing:

1. Now’s The Time
2. Over Me
3. Crushed
4. Right As Rain
5. Them Blues
6. Good Place To Start
7. Observation Of Thoughts
8. Changed
9. Big Sky
10. Porch Swing

Tour dates:

Fri 5/10 Shawnee, OK The Grand Casino Resort
Sat 5/11 Dallas, TX Kaboo Festival
Sun 5/12 New Orleans, LA The Fillmore at Harrah’s New Orleans

With Gin Blossoms, “Now’s The Time Tour”:

Sat 5/25 Atlantic City, NJ Sound Waves @ Hard Rock Atlantic City
Sun 5/26 Oxon Hill, MD MGM National Harbor
Tue 5/28 Simpsonville, SC CCNB Amphitheatre at Heritage Park
Wed 5/29 Greensboro, NC White Oak Amphitheatre at Greensboro Coliseum Complex
Fri 5/31 Baltimore, MD Pier 6 Pavilion
Sat 6/1 Springfield, MA MGM Springfield
Sun 6/2 Big Flats, NY Tag’s Summerstage
Tue 6/4 Morristown, NJ Mayo Performing Arts Center
Wed 6/5 Glen Allen, VA Innsbrook After Hours
Fri 6/7 Bethlehem, PA Sands Bethlehem Event Center
Sat 6/8 Hampton Beach, NH Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
Sun 6/9 East Providence, RI Bold Point Park
Tue 6/11 Northfield, OH MGM Northfield Park - Center Stage
Thu 6/13 Huber Heights, OH Rose Music Center at The Heights
Fri 6/14 Mt. Pleasant, MI Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort
Sat 6/15 Columbus, OH Express Live!
Sun 6/16 Rockton, IL Old Settler’s Park (“Old Settlers Days”)

Collective Soul:

Thu 6/27 Windsor, ONT. The Colosseum at Caesar’s Windsor
Fri 6/28 Milwaukee, WI Summerfest
Sat 6/29 Brainerd, MN Lakes Jam
Thu 7/11 Stayner, ONT. ROXODUS Festival
Fri 7/12 Ft. Wayne, IN Foellinger Theatre – Outdoor
Sat 7/13 Greenville, WI Greenville Lions Park
Thu 7/25 Caldwell, ID Canyon County Fair
Sat 7/27 Great Falls, MT Montana State Fair
Wed 7/31 Redmond, OR Deschutes County Fair
Sat 8/3 Minnedosa, MB. Rockin’ The Fields of Minnedosa
Mon 8/5 Sturgis, SD Sturgis Buffalo Chip
Wed 8/7 Roseburg, OR Douglas County Fair
Fri 8/9 Ventura, CA Ventura County Fair

With Gin Blossoms, “Now’s The Time Tour”:

Tue 8/13 Phoenix, AZ Comerica Theatre
Wed 8/14 San Diego, CA Humphrey’s
Thu 8/15 Costa Mesa, CA Pacific Amphitheatre
Fri 8/16 Lancaster, CA Antelope Valley Fairgrounds
Sat 8/24 Vancouver, BC TBA
Sun 8/25 Ridgefield, WA lIani Casino
Tue 8/27 Sandy, UT Sandy City Amphitheatre
Wed 8/28 Denver, CO The Mission Ballroom
Fri 8/30 Council Bluffs, IA Harrah’s Council Bluffs Hotel & Casino
Sat 8/31 Maryland Heights, MO Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
Sun 9/1 Irving, TX The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory

Collective Soul:

Sat 10/5 Huntersville, NC Hops and Hogs Festival

Out now: Don Felder's 'American Rock 'n' Roll' album

Don Felder - singer/songwriter, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, best-selling author, and former guitarist of the Eagles - has released his second solo album, American Rock 'n' Roll, on BMG. Purchase it on all digital formats here.

The album includes a guest list of contributors who comprise a veritable who’s who of modern rock music, including Sammy Hagar (vocals on “Rock You”), Slash (guitar solo on the title track), Richie Sambora and Orianthi (dual guitar soloists on “Limelight”), Peter Frampton (guitar and background vocals on “The Way Things Have to Be”), Joe Satriani (guitar solo on “Rock You”), Mick Fleetwood and Chad Smith (trading off drumming duties on the title track), Bob Weir (background vocals on “Rock You”), David Paich (keyboards on “Hearts on Fire,” piano on “The Way Things Have to Be”), Steve Porcaro (keyboards on “Falling in Love”), Alex Lifeson (acoustic and electric guitar on “Charmed”), and more.

“On my last solo album, I had only one guest on guitar--Steve Lukather (Toto)--and I played every other guitar part on every other song,” Felder points out. “I didn’t want to do that this time. I wanted to have people come in and light it up. My goal was to play with them and have a good time. It was a ball!”

His debut solo album, Road to Forever was released October 9, 2012 and debuted on Billboard’s “Heatseekers” chart at #27. "Girls In Black," the album’s first single, reached the Top 30 on the Mediabase Rock chart, while “Wash Away” reached #4 on the Mediabase Classic Rock chart. It was co-written by Felder and Styx’s Tommy Shaw, which also features Shaw’s vocals.

Not only is Felder a proud, longstanding member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, having been inducted with the Eagles back in 1998, he was also inaugurated into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville in 2016 and the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 2017. Felder spent 27 years with the Eagles, who own the fine distinction of recording the top-selling album of all time--THEIR GREATEST HITS (1971-1975), which has sold over 38 million copies (and counting).

“I’m blessed enough to have contributed to and been a part of a very talented mixture of voices, writing, guitar parts, and production. I’m very proud of that,” he says of the group.

Meanwhile, his legendary double-neck Les Paul guitar is on display as part of the “Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll,” exhibit presented by New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame which opens April 8 and closes October 1. Felder was in attendance along with Jimmy Page, Steve Miller and Tina Weymouth to celebrate the opening of the vast collection of some of Rock’s most celebrated instruments, including Jimi Hendrix’s guitar that he played at Woodstock and Ringo Starr’s drum kit that he played on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

It’s the first major exhibition in an art museum dedicated entirely to the iconic instruments of Rock & Roll. Through more than 130 instruments dating from 1939 to 2017—played by artists such as Chuck Berry, Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crow, Bob Dylan, Don Felder, Kim Gordon, Jimi Hendrix, James Hetfield, Wanda Jackson, Joan Jett, Lady Gaga, Steve Miller, Joni Mitchell, Jimmy Page, Kate Pierson, Elvis Presley, Prince, Keith Richards, Patti Smith, Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, Eddie Van Halen, Stevie Ray Vaughan, St. Vincent, Tina Weymouth, Nancy Wilson, and others—“Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll” will explore one of the most influential artistic movements of the 20th century and the objects that made the music possible.

A 2019 headlining tour will continue through the end of the year. 

Tour dates:

Sat 4/27 Dubuque, IA Diamond Jo Casino
Sun 5/5 Orlando, FL Walt Disney World/Garden Rocks Concert Series
Mon 5/6 Orlando, FL Walt Disney World/Garden Rocks Concert Series
Tue 5/7 Orlando, FL Walt Disney World/Garden Rocks Concert Series
Sat 6/22 Murphys, CA Ironstone Amphitheatre
Sat 7/6 Ellicottville, NY The Summer Music Festival
Fri 7/12 Burnsville, MN Buck Hill Ski & Snowboard Arena
Fri 8/9 Reno, NV Nugget Event Center

www.donfelder.com

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Bruce Springsteen solo album on the way in June

Bruce Springsteen’s first new studio album in five years takes his music to a new place, drawing inspiration in part from the Southern California pop records of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s.

The album was recorded primarily at Springsteen’s home studio in New Jersey, with additional recording in California and New York. Columbia Records will release Springsteen’s 19th studio album on June 14. Western Stars will be available for pre-order on Friday, April 26.

“This record is a return to my solo recordings featuring character driven songs and sweeping, cinematic orchestral arrangements," says Springsteen. "It's a jewel box of a record."

The 13 tracks of Western Starsencompass a sweeping range of American themes, of highways and desert spaces, of isolation and community and the permanence of home and hope. "Hello Sunshine" and a video will be released just after midnight ET tonight.

Ron Aniello produced the album with Springsteen and plays bass, keyboard, and other instruments. Patti Scialfa provides vocals and contributes vocal arrangements on four tracks. The musical arrangements include strings, horns, pedal steel and contributions from more than 20 other players including Jon Brion (who plays celeste, Moog, and farfisa), as well as guest appearances by David Sancious, Charlie Giordano, and Soozie Tyrell. The album was mixed by Tom Elmhirst.

Bruce Springsteen’s recording career spans over 40 years, beginning with 1973's ‘Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ’ (Columbia Records). He has garnered 20 Grammys, won an Oscar and a Tony, been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, received a Kennedy Center Honor, and was MusiCares’ 2013 Person of the Year. Springsteen’s memoir ‘Born to Run’ (Simon & Schuster) and its companion album ‘Chapter and Verse’ were released in September 2016, and he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in November 2016. His historic 236-show run of ‘Springsteen on Broadway’ at Jujamcyn’s Walter Kerr Theatre from October 2017 to December 2018 also yielded an accompanying soundtrack album and Netflix special.

Track listing:

1. Hitch Hikin’
2. The Wayfarer
3. Tucson Train
4. Western Stars
5. Sleepy Joe’s Café
6. Drive Fast (The Stuntman)
7. Chasin’ Wild Horses
8. Sundown
9. Somewhere North of Nashville
10. Stones
11. There Goes My Miracle
12. Hello Sunshine
13. Moonlight Motel

'Originals' coming from the Prince vault

The Prince Estate, in partnership with Warner Bros. Records and TIDAL, will release Originals, a 15-track album featuring 14 previously unreleased recordings that illuminate the vital, behind-the-scenes role Prince played in other artists' careers. The tracks were selected collaboratively by Troy Carter, on behalf of The Prince Estate, and JAY-Z.

Starting June 7, Originals will stream exclusively on TIDAL for fourteen days. In the spirit of sharing Prince's music with his fans as he wanted, the album will be available to stream in Master quality via TIDAL's HiFi subscription tier. Members will be able to hear the recordings just as the Artist intended the tracks to sound.

On June 21, Warner Bros. Records will release this extraordinary body of work, sourced directly from Prince's vast archive of Vault recordings, via all download and streaming partners and physically on CD, while 180 gram 2LP and limited edition Deluxe CD+2LP formats will follow on July 19th. Pre-order the album here.

By the mid-1980s, Prince was dominating the charts even as a writer/producer with songs he'd composed and recorded for others. In addition to releasing nine of his most commercially successful full-length albums, he also wrote and recorded endless reels of material for proteges The Time, Vanity 6, Sheila E., Apollonia 6, Jill Jones, the Family, and Mazarati. Occasionally, Prince's original demo recordings would be used as master takes on their albums, with only minor alterations to the instrumentation and a replacement of the vocal tracks. Other times, artists would rely on his demos to guide them through their own recording process, with Prince's initial take informing their final version of his song. The aggregate effect was a complete saturation and transformation of the pop music landscape, with Prince both leading and subverting mainstream culture.

Several of the iconic songs found on Originals were considerable hits for the artists who recorded them. Sheila E.'s "The Glamorous Life" reached #1 on the dance charts in 1984, while the enormous success of "Manic Monday" propelled the single and its accompanying album, The Bangles' Different Light, to the #2 spot on the pop charts. The Time's Ice Cream Castle, featuring the top 20 "Jungle Love", spent a whopping 57 weeks on the Billboard 200. And in 1991, Martika enjoyed international success with "Love... Thy Will Be Done", a top 10 hit in France, Australia, the UK and the USA.

Originals pulls back the curtain to reveal the origins of these familiar songs, in addition to deeper album cuts such as Vanity 6's "Make-Up," Jill Jones's "Baby, You're a Trip," and Kenny Rogers' "You're My Love." The album also features Prince's majestic original 1984 version of "Nothing Compares 2 U," released in 2018 as a standalone single.

Track listing:

1. Sex Shooter
2. Jungle Love
3. Manic Monday
4. Noon Rendezvous
5. Make-Up
6. 100 MPH
7. You're My Love
8. Holly Rock
9. Baby, You're a Trip
10. The Glamorous Life
11. Gigolos Get Lonely Too
12. Love... Thy Will Be Done
13. Dear Michaelangelo
14. Wouldn't You Love to Love Me?
15. Nothing Compares 2 U

A new archival live album from Neil Young slated for June

Neil Young will release TUSCALOOSA, from his ongoing live archival series, on June 7.

The previously unreleased, 11-track recording features Neil Young with The Stray Gators recorded live at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa on February 5th, 1973. The album can be pre-ordered beginning today and is available on vinyl, CD and digitally. A very limited edition bundle will also be available through NYA only and will contain the album along with a Joel Bernstein autographed color litho print of the band live on stage. Click here to pre-order. Those who pre-order the album will receive and instant download of album track "Don't Be Denied." Click here to listen and share the song.

In-between tours with Crazy Horse or solo, Young would switch up his sound to suit the material he would focus on when touring with The Stray Gators between 1971 through 1973. Comprised of Tim Drummond (bass), Kenny Buttrey (drums), Jack Nitzsche (piano) and Ben Keith (steel guitar) this lineup, most notably, would go onto record Harvest and Times Fades Away. Tuscaloosa features live versions of songs from Young's self-titled 1969 debut ("Here We Are In The Years") plus classic songs from his two most commercially successful album of his early career, After The Goldrush (1970) and Harvest (1972).

The album also contains a version of the title track from the live album Time Fades Away that would not surface until later in 1973, as well as songs from the seminal classic Tonight's The Night that would eventually be released in 1975.

TUSCALOOSA was produced by Neil Young, Elliot Mazer and mixed by John Hanlon and mastered by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman from the original analogue tapes. The resultant audio sounds as immediate and present as it did the moment it was performed as you hear it. Photographs by Joel Bernstein complete the packaging. TUSCALOOSA will be available as a double album over 3-sides with etched artwork on side 4. The album will also be available on single disc CD and on high resolution digital audio by Young's X-Stream via NYA. Young performs the first two songs solo before being joined by The Stray Gators.

Track listing:

A side:
Here We Are In The Years (3:56)
After The Gold Rush (4:42)
Out On The Weekend (5:29)
Harvest (4:14)

B side:
Old Man (4:17)
Heart Of Gold (3:48)
Time Fades Away (6:10)
Lookout Joe (4:59)

C side:
New Mama (3:01)
Alabama (3:50)
Don't Be Denied (8:09)

D-side:
Etched artwork

Paul McCartney's expanded 'Egypt Station' due next month

Paul McCartney has confirmed a May 17 release for Egypt Station – Explorer’s Edition on Capitol Records. This expanded version of Paul’s #1 charting Egypt Station will arrive barely a week prior to the start of the U.S. leg of Paul's Freshen Up Tour—his first extended stateside run since the One On One Tour that played to some two million fans around the world.

Egypt Station was released September 7, 2018 to stellar reviews. Rolling Stone raved, “Macca keeps adding new gems to his songbook, with nothing to prove except he’s the only genius who can do this… And, oh yeah — in his spare time, he happens to still be the greatest live performer on Earth,” while Entertainment Weekly described the album as “the still-vital life force of a superstar who has been there and everywhere and is glad just to be here now.”

Egypt Station – Explorer’s Edition is comprised of the original record plus a second album, Egypt Station II. The bonus disc collects all songs released during the Egypt Station voyage, from studio tracks including the surprise single “Get Enough” to live performances captured at stops such as Abbey Road Studios, The Cavern and Grand Central Station.

Track listing:

Get Started
Nothing For Free
Frank Sinatra’s Party
Sixty Second Street
Who Cares [Full Length]
Get Enough
Come On To Me [Live At Abbey Road Studios]
Fuh You [Live At The Cavern]
Confidante [Live At LIPA]
Who Cares [Live At Grand Central Station]

Tour dates:

May 23 – New Orleans, LA – Smoothie King Center
May 27 – Raleigh, NC – PNC Arena
May 30 – Greenville, SC – Bon Secours Wellness Arena
June 1 – Lexington, KY – Rupp Arena
June 3 – Fort Wayne, IN – Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
June 6 – Madison, WI – Kohl Center
June 8 – Green Bay WI – Lambeau Field
June 11 – Moline, IL – TaxSlayer Center
June 14 – Arlington TX – Globe Life Park
June 22 – San Diego CA – Petco Park
June 26 – Phoenix, AZ – Talking Stick Resort Arena
June 28 – Las Vegas, NV – T-Mobile Arena
June 29 – Las Vegas, NV – T-Mobile Arena
July 6 — Vancouver, BC — BC Place
July 10 – San Jose, CA – SAP Center
July 13 – Los Angeles CA – Dodger Stadium

Ride unveils new album track listing













Oxford, England four-piece Ride has shared 
"Future Love," the first single from This Is Not A Safe Place, due Aug. 16 via Wichita Recordings. Once again produced by Erol Alkan (2017's reunion effort, Weather Diaries), it is fourth of the band's albums mixed by Alan Moulder.

The musicians came together at the end of 2018 and start of 2019, gathering influences from the Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibition at London's Barbican Centre and the post punk sound of The Fall and Sonic Youth, for an album rich in their trademark shoegaze atmosphere. 

Track listing:

1. R.I.D.E.
2. Future Love
3. Repetition
4. Kill Switch
5. Clouds of Saint Marie
6. Eternal Recurrence
7. 15 Minutes
8. Jump Jet
9. Dial Up
10. End Game
11. Shadows Behind the Sun
12. In This Room

ABBA reissue news

Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, ABBA’s Voulez-Vous will receive a multi-format reissue on June 14, 2019.

The album that saw the band say goodbye to the decade they dominated with style, Voulez-Vous was their fifth consecutive No.1 in Sweden, a chart-topper around Europe and a U.S. Top 20 album. Powered by classic singles, including the title track, and “Chiquitita,” Voulez-Vous was at the heart of one of the group’s most successful years to date.

Marking one of the longest gaps between new albums, Voulez-Vous was recorded across an entire year, with Benny and Björn refining their precision song writing, and Agnetha and Anni-Frid providing some of their finest vocals across a diverse set of songs that ranged from contemporary disco classics to ballads that explored Sweden’s rich musical past.

To celebrate the album’s original April 23, 1979 release, Polar Music (via UMe) will be releasing a number of anniversary reissues:

A 2LP half-speed master on 180g vinyl, mastered at Abbey Road and cut at 45rpm.

A colored-vinyl 7” singles box set, collecting the singles “Voulez-Vous,” “Summer Night City,” “I Have A Dream,” “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight),” “Does Your Mother Know,” “Chiquitita” and the extended dance mix of “Voulez-Vous.”

Each single released as a limited-edition standalone picture disc.

All products will be released June 14, 2019.

Track listings:

Side A
As Good As New
Voulez-Vous

Side B
I Have A Dream
Angeleyes
The King Has Lost His Crown

Side C
Does Your Mother Know
If It Wasn't For The Nights

Side D
Chiquitita
Lovers (Live A Little Longer)
Kisses Of Fire

Voulez-Vous – The Singles
7 x colored 7” singles released from the era of the Voulez-Vous album:

SINGLE 1 - Summer Night City / Medley: Pick A Bale Of Cotton • On Top Of Old Smokey •
Midnight Special
SINGLE 2 - Chiquitita / Lovelight
SINGLE 3 - Does Your Mother Know / Kisses Of Fire
SINGLE 4 - Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) / The King Has Lost His Crown
SINGLE 5 - I Have A Dream / Take A Chance On Me
SINGLE 6 - Voulez-Vous / Angeleyes
SINGLE 7 - Voulez-Vous (Extended Dance Remix) / If It Wasn’t For The Nights

Voulez-Vous – Picture Discs
Each single released as a limited-edition standalone picture disc:

SINGLE 1 - Summer Night City / Medley: Pick A Bale Of Cotton • On Top Of Old Smokey • Midnight Special
SINGLE 2 - Chiquitita / Lovelight
SINGLE 3 - Does Your Mother Know / Kisses Of Fire
SINGLE 4 - Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) / The King Has Lost His Crown
SINGLE 5 - I Have A Dream / Take A Chance On Me
SINGLE 6 - Voulez-Vous / Angeleyes
SINGLE 7 - Voulez-Vous (Extended Dance Remix) / If It Wasn’t For The Nights

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival 2019 (Weekend 2) review

photo: Robert Kinsler
For the past two decades, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has been among America's best barometers of the current music climate as well as a fine showcase of the past. Although rock music didn't have a strong presence like the other 17 Coachellas that I've attended, I had no problem finding some new and old favorites among the 20 full or partial sets I witnessed (out of 175+ acts across seven stages).

Here's my rundown:

photo: George A. Paul
Friday night at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif., The 1975’s spectacular 55-minute set featured multiple phrases that flashed across large screens flanking the main Coachella Stage. One stated “rock ‘n’ roll is dead,” but the Manchester, England alt-rock band proved otherwise, especially with Adam Hann’s excellent guitar work. It was most prominent during the upbeat hit singles “Give Yourself a Try,” “Chocolate,” “Sex” and “It’s Not Living (If It’s Not with You).” A tenement building scene served as a backdrop for the Broadway-styled presentation of the soulful and jazzy “Sincerity is Scary.”

Front man Matt Healey briefly reverted back to what he might've looked like as a teenager by putting on a rabbit eared hat, backpack and headphones. He sang it while walking across a treadmill placed along the stage edge. Majestic ballad “I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)” - one of seven played from 2018's A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships - had a dramatic uplift akin to early Radiohead, was a standout and saw Healey display a rare serious side. Infectious final song “The Sound” had fans loudly singing along.

Earlier Friday, Let’s Eat Grandma kicked off all the Gobi tent action. Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth, friends since childhood from England, put on a performance like no other. They played keyboards and took turns playing each one during the 40-minute experimental pop set.

Opening with the jarring “Hot Pink, the gals moved into electro territory on “It’s Not Just Me,” both from second album I’m All Ears. At times, they harmonized like Tegan & Sara, but the electronic sonic terrain encompassed saxophone, recorder, electric guitar, cheerleader-styled handclaps and vocals. Sometimes, the pair would get out from behind the keys to frolic around the stage, run into the crowd, lay on the floor and do some dance moves. The 11-minute-long “Donnie Darko” served as a finale.

photo: Robert Kinsler
Following Let’s Eat Grandma was Hooray for the Riff Raff, a compelling Americana/rock vehicle for Puerto Rican singer Alynda Segarra. Clad in a shiny blue leather outfit, she possessed a fierce and sultry stage presence and was definitely a force to be reckoned with. “Living in the City” had a Lou Reed vibe, while politically-leaning songs such as “Rican Beach” and “Pa’lante” boasted thought-provoking lyrics about “politicians building walls to keep us out” on the former and Milagros on the latter as Segarra called for female and trans power.

Beach Fossils drew a good-sized afternoon crowd to Gobi. Arriving onstage to a shrewdly-filmed sendup of SNL’s intro, the Brooklyn indie rock band went down a storm. They enraptured the crowd with atmospheric tunes such as set opener “This Year” and “Sugar” (off 2017’s Somersault) reminiscent of prime 1990s shoegaze and alt-pop (think: Ride, Ocean Blue). Front man Dustin Payseur said the dreamy “Sleep Apnea” was about “existential dread on a sunny day.” Later, he joked about wanting to see a mosh pit and teased the crowd with an Oasis snippet. Elsewhere, “Sleep Apnea” and the jangly “Adversity” fared well live.

The fully enclosed, air-conditioned Sonora tent stage provided a welcome respite from the heat. Designed like a hip, small Los Angeles club, it had a separate bar, couches and murals. Here, The Frights had balloon sculpture towers next to their instruments and several twisted balloons were thrown into the audience. Several of the alt-rock band’s songs veered toward the whimsical punk side (like fellow San Diego area native Blink-182) and a few young, obviously inexperienced stage divers tried their luck, often with poor results. A hard-hitting “All I Need” made the most impact, while “Over It” prompted pogoing en masse.

Listening to Kacey Musgraves and watching the country music performer makes you feel good about life. Her 45-minute set on the Coachella Stage primarily concentrated on 2018’s award-winning Golden Hour album. Since it tends to lean more into pop than country territory, the songs went over well – especially with a huge silver disco ball positioned behind Musgraves.

photo: George A. Paul
“Slowburn” was a hypnotic opener and “Wonder Woman” had a luxurious texture. Before the love song “Butterflies,” she admitted it was her first time at Coachella and noted how she loved seeing “a million types of people in the crowd…we all can find common ground.” Several LGBTQ fans near me cheered. The breezy “Lonely Weekend” was a standout and the album’s title track - another luxurious sounding tune - was gorgeous.

Switching to a stripped-down band configuration for “Family is Family” (off 2015’s Pageant Material), Musgraves talked about “weird as hell” family members from her “itty bitty” hometown in Texas. Then, as at an equally excellent Stagecoach Festival appearance last year on the same stage, she prefaced the pleasant “Love is a Wild Thing” by saying “Love is a beautiful organic thing. You can’t crush or vote it out. It’ll always trump hate.” Loud cheers erupted in the crowd.

Also providing comfort to fans in attendance facing some kind of adversity, Musgraves told “anyone with a weight on your shoulders, you’re not alone” and launched into the electric piano only take on her ballad “Rainbow.” Finally, the band – still wearing matching brown attire, but the bassist was wrapped in a rainbow flag – rejoined for the disco-fied “High Horse."

The Coachella art installations never disappoint. They’re always a wonder to behold when you’re relaxing, grabbing food or a drink and serve as the perfect spot to take photos – especially in our current social media obsessed society.

photo: George A. Paul
One of the best art pieces was Hazardous Interstellar Professional Operations (H.I.P.O.), designed by Dedo Vabo, which revolved around hippos preparing to launch a rocket. At night, people could peer into windows and see the “hippos” busily scrambling around.

Colossal Cacti, by Office Kovacs, were bright and eye-catching, especially after sunset. Everybody seemed to love the revamped return of Overview Effect (AKA the giant roaming astronaut) from Poetic Kinetics. A half dozen large paisley patterns comprised the Mismo installation by Sofia Enriquez. Sarbale ke - a dozen colorful hut-type structures – were patterned after baobab trees in West Africa. Also making a return engagement was Spectra, the seven-story spiral translucent observation deck of various hues.

Early Saturday afternoon, Wallows played the Mojave tent and drew a large crowd. Led by singer/guitarists Dylan Minette and Braeden Lemasters (who are also actors - no wonder there were so many screaming female teens around), the young LA alt-pop band was like a breath of fresh air.

photo: Robert Kinsler
Several strong songs from the just-released debut album Nothing Happens, such as the jaunty, trumpet-enhanced “Ice Cold Pool” (segueing into a snipped of Arctic Monkeys’ “Do I Wanna Know?”), “Remember When” (and its Peter Hook-inspired bassline) and the racing set closer “I’m Full,” variously recalled The Strokes and ‘80s UK act Orange Juice. The recent sprightly rock radio hit “Are You Bored Yet” received the loudest response. Clairo guests on the studio version and was scheduled to play Coachella the next day, but apparently wasn’t available to reprise her singing role in person.

After constantly hearing the top five alternative hit “She’s Kerosene” on heavy rotation at KROQ/106.7 FM last year and raves about gigs from colleagues, I was eager to see if The Interrupters lived up to the hype. Performing on the Outdoor Theatre stage, the Los Angeles ska-punk band didn’t disappoint. Lead singer Aimee Allen and guitarist Kevin Bivona were balls of energy and all over the stage. They always kept the proceedings interesting.

At various points, Bivona thanked event promoter Goldenvoice for doing its part to keep punk rock alive in LA over the years, joked while introducing his brothers in the band (I'm the one who's been to the most Coachellas") and described the inspiring ska-tinged “Title Holder” as being about “fighting addiction and PTSD – you’re not alone.” Fans near the stage skanked right along.

A small mosh pit developed during the vigorous chant-worthy, fist pumping anthem “Take Back the Power,” which Bivona said was a “protest and unity song…there’s no room for racism or homophobia.” Allen, whose voice resembles Joan Jett, was constantly smiling. Other set standouts included “On a Turntable,” a cover of Operation Ivy’s “Sound System” (former member Tim Armstrong regularly works with the group), “She Got Arrested” and a supercharged “Kerosene.”

Bob Moses set the perfect mood on the Outdoor Theatre stage with an alluring 50-minute set around sundown. Backdrop imagery of storms and fire shrewdly elevated the atmosphere. The Grammy-winning electronic duo from Canada played several songs from its impressive latest album Battle Lines, including the Noel Gallagher-esque “Back Down,” “Enough to Believe,” “Nothing but You” and others. The guys paid tribute to the recent death of The Prodigy’s Keith Flint with a fitting “Breathe” cover. They capped it off with the seductive “Tearing Me Up,” a top 20 alternative chart hit.

photo: George A. Paul
Weezer bore the distinction of having the longest history with Coachella of anyone on the festival bill (it appeared in 2001, which I also attended). The LA alt-rock band was also the biggest, most recognizable name to fly the “rock” banner here in ‘19. It just put out two albums and already scored big hits off each one (Toto’s “Africa”; “Can’t Knock the Hussle”).

With a prime evening slot on the main stage Saturday night right before headliner Tame Impala, Rivers Cuomo and company delivered a solid hourlong set with selections dating back to the 1994 debut album.

Talk about fun: Huddled together at one microphone stand near the side of the stage, Weezer opened with an a capella version of their first big hit “Buddy Holly” dressed as a barbershop quartet. That was followed by a homage to the song’s “Happy Days” series-themed music video with Bill Haley & the Comets’ “Rock Around the Clock” and actor Al Molinaro’s introduction. After a brief mistake, the actual song’s performance sounded strong. “My Name is Jonas” and “Hash Pipe,” accompanied by fire plumes, were brawny as ever. Cuomo even stuck out his tongue, KISS style, on the latter. The guys joked around amid the popular “Pork and Beans.”

Surprisingly, a cover of The Turtles’ “Happy Together” (heard on the new “Teal” album) led into a quick snippet of Green Day’s “Longview” and back again. The crowd really went crazy for “Island in the Sun” and “Beverly Hills,” paired with archival video footage of the city. Brian Bell even did some tasty guitar box action. Another cover, this time A-ha’s “Take on Me,” was pure jubilation. Even with the hot and windy weather, Cuomo still managed to nail that seemingly impossible high vocal note at the end. Finally, Weezer concluded with the hard rocking “Say it Ain’t So” as fans fist pumped their fists in unison.

Also noteworthy on Saturday: New Jersey electro-pop band Arizona, which occasionally verged into Depeche Mode musical territory during an afternoon set on the Coachella Stage with “Freaking Out,” “Find Someone” and “Oceans Away.”

Thousands of Coachella attendees flocked to Kanye West’s special Easter Sunday service, but only a few hundred seemed interested in sticking around when the gates opened to see the day’s early performances.

Mansionair defined the term “calm, cool and collected” at the Mojave tent. Playing songs from its new album Shadowboxer, the Aussie trio were entrancing on chill synth-pop songs like a delicate “Alibi,” the subtle, popular “Easier” and “Falling.” Later, Jack Froggatt’s delicate vocals got more dominant during the guitar-driven “Violet City” and danceable “Astronaut (Something About Your Love.”

photo: Robert Kinsler
Singer/guitarist Nicolas Munoz, who records under the name Boy Pablo, brought his band to Coachella for a very entertaining Gobi tent set featuring everything from soccer-type chants (some of the musicians originally hail from Chile) and dance moves to a bit of 1970s pop hit “Afternoon Delight” by Starland Vocal Band, done a capella style.

Based in Norway, Munoz recent won a prestigious music prize in that country. The group’s blissful jangle-pop impressed most on the Belle & Sebastian-ish “WTF,” “Losing” (bearing shades of Aztec Camera) and breezy 2017 viral video hit “Everytime.”

photo: Robert Kinsler
Alice Merton rocked the Gobi tent with authority, coming across like Garbage’s Shirley Manson and Gwen Stefani at times. Her tight backing band definitely elevated songs like opener “Learn to Live,” the intense drama of “Speak Your Mind,” the funky “Trouble in Paradise” and “Funny Business” - all from the new album MintChildhood tale “Homesick,” a Stonesy “Lash Out” (where Merton owned the stage) and the tribal hit closer “No Roots” were all highlights. 

Elsewhere on Sunday, indie rocker Soccer Mommy (the nom de guerre of leader Sophie Allison) held court in the Sonora tent. Her low-key set included tracks from last year’s critically-acclaimed album Clean such as “Last Girl,” “Cool” and the laconic “Wildflowers.” Possessing an onstage vibe akin to a more laid-back Liz Phair, her fans were very attentive; some even swayed along while Allison and the other two electric guitarists locked into a sleepy groove.

Chvrches closed out the festival for this writer on a strong note in the packed Mojave tent. The Scottish synth-pop trio’s impressive 2018 album Love is Dead was represented by powerful renditions of “Graffiti,” “Miracle” and “Get Out” (the last two went top 20 at alternative radio) as Lauren Mayberry spun around in her fluffy “Black Swan” dress. The singer’s self-deprecating humor between the songs was memorable. Yet the loudest crowd reaction came from the final selection – propulsive 2012 hit “The Mother We Share.”

A version of this review appeared at rockcellarmagazine.com

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Coastal Country Jam review feat. Tim McGraw, Jake Owen, Chase Rice, Dylan Scott in Huntington Beach, Calif.

photo: Kelly Swift
The first Coastal Country Jam of 2019 presented its biggest headliner to date on Saturday at Huntington State Beach. That would be one Tim McGraw, who performed alongside Jake Owen and six others. The sold-out, 8 1/2 hour event was held on the sand before an estimated 20,000 concertgoers.

Between watching live music on this sunny, yet breezy day with temperatures staying in the 60s, attendees rode a Ferris wheel, played Cornhole, sampled Twisted Tea and frozen Otter Pops and browsed retail vendor wares (funniest T-shirt slogans spotted: “Hide Your Crazy & Act Like a Lady”; “Cowboy Butts Drive Me Nuts”).

There were long lines at the booze and food areas, where people chowed down on barbeque and ribs from various places and washed it all down with Firestone and Golden Road brews.

Unlike the smaller CCJ toplined by Chris Janson last June, there weren’t any of the controversial bean bag chairs that accidentally spilled polystyrene foam debris all over the beach, raising the ire of local environmentalists.

Tim McGraw was the consummate entertainer. Taking the stage to Queen’s “We Will Rock You” and promising to “kick it in the (butt),” the veteran singer did exactly that with an excellent eight-piece band. The frequently electrifying 75-minute, 16-song set contained a slew of chart-toppers dating back to 1994, each delivered with vigor or gravitas. Kicking off with a fist-pumping “Truck Yeah,” standouts included the rocking singalong “Felt Good on My Lips,” a wicked harmonica-fueled “Southern Voice,” the rambunctious “I Like It, I Love It,” plus the ultra-dramatic twofer of “Humble and Kind” and “Live Like You Were Dying.”

Before a cover of Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer,” McGraw talked about how grateful he was to have “this job and this life.” Despite warning that the wind and dust might have an adverse effect on his vocals, there was no trouble whatsoever. Fans wildly sang along throughout.

photo: Kelly Swift
A beach setting is where Jake Owen thrives. Returning to CCJ after a 2017 appearance, the party-hearty Florida singer devoted a good chunk of his spirited 70-minute set to material from his just-released new album “Greetings from … Jake.”

Opening with his latest top 10 country single “Down to the Honkytonk,” Owen was all over the stage, mixing it up with fans (signing autographs, taking selfies) and at one point, he went out into the crowd, headed toward the soundboard and hiked up a lighting platform to sing. Giving a nod to Sublime, Owen recalled how the band had influenced him as a teenager and did a steel guitar-infused take on “What I Got” (Chase Rice’s band also paid tribute to local band Lit with a bit of “My Own Worst Enemy”). Elsewhere, the closing stretch of “One That Got Away,” “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” and closing nostalgic hit John Mellencamp interpolation “I Was Jack (You Were Diane)” fared best.

Chase Rice (pictured below) helped christen Coastal Country Jam in 2016. His songs often leaned more heavily on the hard rock side than country. Midtempo ballads such as the sensual “Gonna Wanna Tonight,” the earthy “Three Chords and the Truth,” sexual R&B-styled hit “Ride” (Rice apologized to parents with young kids in the crowd) and Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” (which Rice co-wrote) got the loudest reactions. A time-killing medley comprising Blink-182, 2 Pac, Garth Brooks and Neil Diamond could’ve been used more wisely.

photo: Kelly Swift
An emotional moment was repeated when both Rice and Owen held up a concertgoer’s banner that read “Route 91 Harvest Festival Survivor.” Owen, in Vegas during the 2017 shooting, said, “I was there with you that night and will be with you every night.”

Dylan Scott was all smiles and a totally engaging presence, notably during “Nothing to Do Town,” “Can’t Take Her Anywhere,” an exuberant “Hooked” and upbeat hit “My Girl.” Earlier in the afternoon, Mason Ramsey, the 12-year-old singer/acoustic guitarist from Illinois that became a viral video sensation last year with his yodeling version of Hank Williams’ “Lovesick Blues,” did a charming, well-received 40-minute set.

Although he seemed dwarfed on the large stage alongside just two other musicians, Ramsey possessed a remarkable amount of professional maturity — snapping his fingers, walking the stage extension, waving to teenager girls holding signs, talking briefly between songs and mentioning an upcoming album.

Besides the aforementioned Williams tune, Ramsey covered the country legend’s “I Saw the Light,” “Lovesick Blues,” “Hey Good Lookin’” and “Jambayala (On the Bayou).” He did a solid take on a “Ring of Fire” cover. Originals like the earnest 2018 hit “Famous” and upbeat, catchy “Puddle of Love” (both co-written by Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard) proved strong in their own right.

There were two SoCal contestants from NBC’s “The Voice” on hand. Brennley Brown, who made Top 10 on Season 12 and was raised in Apple Valley,opened the event with a sprightly performance including serviceable Carrie Underwood, Dixie Chicks, Dolly Parton and Waylon Jennings covers.

Presley Tennant, from Norco, was on the TV show’s Battle Rounds last week. She held court on the line dancing area stage with some mildly interesting pop, R&B numbers like Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings” and Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.”

My review originally appeared at ocregister.com

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Coachella '19 news: YouTube Livestream; KROQ House

Once again, YouTube will present the livestream of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which takes place April 12-14 & April 19-21 in Indio, California. Confirmed acts include Kacey Musgraves, The 1975, Weezer, Wallows, Alice Merton, Bob Moses, Chvrches, Janelle Monae, Mac DeMarco, Mansionair and two dozen others.

For Weekend 2, Coachella Curated includes three days of original content, full Yuma Tent sets, performances and more. View the full list here:

The KROQ/106.7 FM House live performances and interviews on Weekend 1 (listen via radio.com) include The Interrupters, The 1975, Greyson Chance, Dillon Francis, Chvrches, Bob Moses, Wallows, Alice Merton, Bazzi and more. Get the full list and win tickets here: me.getheartbeat.co/campaign/976

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Long wait for new Steel Pulse album ends in May; on tour now

Sacks Co. PR
U.K. reggae legends Steel Pulse's first new studio album in 15 years, Mass Manipulation, is due out May 17 via Rootfire Cooperative/Wiseman Doctrine. The lead single is “Cry Cry Blood.”

Recorded over the course of several years on three continents, the track can now be streamed/shared HERE. The full album can be pre-ordered/pre-saved HERE with deluxe bundles available HERE.

Comprised of 15 new, original songs and two mystic interludes written and arranged by lead vocalist David Hinds and co-produced by band mates Sidney Mills and David Elecciri, Mass Manipulation marks Steel Pulse’s twelfth studio album—and a timely return to the band’s signature message of social justice and bridging the racial divide through the power of music.

While many of the actors and details of the world’s socio-political landscape have changed in the four decades that Steel Pulse has been committed to bettering mankind through music, the band continues to engage controversial topics of human rights on a global scale. “We cannot abandon the future that our ancestors have struggled for,” asserts Hinds.

After a long legacy of major label releases with Universal, Elektra and Island Records, for Mass Manipulation Steel Pulse made a calculated decision to partner with the unique nonprofit label Rootfire Cooperative. Formed in 2016 as a partnership with Ineffable Music Group, Billboardreports, “Rootfire Cooperative is a label services program designed to provide interest-free loans for the production and marketing of recorded music. The artists maintain 100% ownership of their music throughout the entire process.”

The band is set to tour widely throughout Europe and the United States in support of Mass Manipulation. See below for current U.S. tour dates, with many more to be announced.

Track listing:

1. Rize
2. Zem Dem
3. Stop You Coming and Come
4. Thank The Rebels
5. Justice In Jena
6. Human Trafficking
7. Cry Cry Blood
8. Don’t Shoot
9. Trinkets and Beads?
10. No Satan Side
11. Natty
12. Mass Manipulation
13. World Gone Mad
14. Black and White Oppressors
15. The Final Call
16. Higher Love (Rasta Love)
17. Nations Of The World

Tour dates:

April 3 /// Revolution Hall /// Portland, OR
April 5 /// McDonald Theatre /// Eugene, OR
April 6 /// Knitting Factory /// Spokane, WA
April 7 /// Vogue Theatre /// Vancouver, BC
April 9 /// Showbox SoDo /// Seattle, WA
April 11 /// The Wilma /// Missoula, MT
April 12 /// Pink Garter Theatre /// Jackson, WY
April 13 /// Spring Back to Vail /// Vail, CO
April 14 /// The Depot /// Salt Lake City, UT
April 16 /// Rialto Theatre /// Tucson, AZ
April 17 /// Brooklyn Bowl /// Las Vegas, NV
April 19 /// Belly Up Aspen /// Aspen, CO
April 20 /// Red Rocks Amphitheatre /// Morrison, CO
May 2 /// Belly Up Tavern /// Solana Beach, CA
May 3 /// Beach Life Festival /// Redondo Beach, CA
May 24 /// California Roots Music & Arts Festival /// Monterey, CA
July 14 /// Levitate Music and Arts Festival /// Marshfield, MA
August 25 /// LOCKN’ Festival /// Arrington, VA
August 30 /// Dry Diggings Festival /// Placerville, CA
September 1 /// Dry Diggings Festival /// Placerville, CA