Day in Rock Report for 07/02/2015

Breaking Benjamin Score Their First No. 1 Album

Breaking Benjamin rocked the Billboard 200 Album Chart, scoring their very first chart-topping album after their new effort "Dark Before Dawn" debuted at No. 1.

The band released "Dark Before Dawn," their fifth studio album, last week and during its first week in stores is sold over 140,000 copies to land at the top of the charts. It follows their 2009 release "Dear Agony" which debuted at No. 4.

"Dark Before Dawn" is the first release from the band's new lineup lead by Benjamin Burnley and which also features Jasen Rauch (Red), Keith Wallen (Adelitas Way), Aaron Bruch and Shaun Foist (Picture Me Broken).

Burnley had this to say about the album's big debut, "We all want to say a huge thank you to all of our amazing fans, everybody at radio and other media outlets for continuing to support Breaking Benjamin.

"We are all so very thankful and extremely grateful for everything your love and support has allowed us to achieve. We'd be nothing without you! Thank you all so very much from the bottom of our hearts for getting us to No. 1! We'll see you all out there on tour!"

That tour kicked off last night in Asheville, NC last night (July 1st) and the band has announced dates that last until October 24th when they will perform at the Aftershock Festival in Northern California.

Their current North American summer tour's first five dates feature special acoustic performances including the Asheville kick off show and the upcoming stops in North Carolina (tonight in Wilmington), Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky. The trek wraps up on August 29th in Atlantic City, NJ. See all of the dates here.

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Rush Want Movie Based On Their Concept Album

(Classic Rock) Rush drummer Neil Peart says he's surprised no one has approached the band to make a movie based on their 2012 album Clockwork Angels. The lyrics chronicle a young man's journey across a steampunk world filled with pirates, anarchists and exotic carnival performers.

And although a comic book and novel based on the album have been released in conjunction with author Kevin J. Anderson, Peart would like to see a bigger project emerge.

He tells Rolling Stone: "To me, it would make an amazing movie and I thought it would happen organically - that by now somebody would've been at my door with a big bushel of dollars saying, 'Let's make this happen!' And it hasn't.

"But we've got the graphic novel done and we're building the world and the vision of it. It's astonishing to me, really, that somebody hasn't come to me wanting it."

He continues: "I thought, 'What a great semi-retirement project for the three of us,' because Geddy loves cinema, Alex for the soundtrack, and me for the story. But I was hoping that's a project that the three of us would undertake at some point." Read more here.

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Why Van Halen Are Launching Outdoor Tour

(Gibson) For the guys of Van Halen, putting together this summer's tour of outside amphitheaters was a no-brainer. When asked why the group decided to do outdoors shows as opposed to arenas, manager Irving Azoff said it was the right time and season.

"Summer, summer, summer," Azoff told Billboard. "Van Halen has not performed many outdoor shows, so this is something new for them." The tour is projected to be one of Live Nation's biggest outdoor tours of the 2015 summer season. Van Halen's last run in 2012 was the highest-grossing tour in the band's history, pulling in more than $76 million according to Billboard.

Back in 2012, Van Halen were expected to add 30 dates to their run, but never announced the shows. Azoff insists those concerts were never confirmed, and adding those shows would have put the boys over the edge.

"The last 30 dates were not cancelled, they were never 'officially announced,' and the guys were dead, beat, exhausted," Azoff said. Read more here.

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Slipknot's Clown Wants Band To Make Concept Album

(TeamRock Radio) Slipknot's Shawn 'Clown' Crahan wants the band to follow in the footsteps of The Beatles and Pink Floyd and record a concept album. The percussionist is keen on recording a double album and has told his bandmates that they should consider coming up with their own interpretation of the classic concept record.

He tells the BBC: "I've been on Jim Root, and I'm just, like, 'Man, we've gotta write an art record. We've gotta write our Wall, our Sgt Pepper's.' I'd love it if we could do a double album with interludes.

"Have a concept, maybe make a movie. Things that have all been done before, but our way, our interpretation. That would be a grand slam for the Clown. Don't get me wrong, we'd still do our thing. We're still gonna be Slipknot." Read more here.

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Queensryche Releasing New Album This Year

(hennemusic) Queensryche guitarist Michael Wilton has revealed the band will release a new album this fall. The project marks the group's first release since a public split and two-year legal battle over the Queensryche brand with former singer Geoff Tate.

New vocalist Todd La Torre joined in 2012 was on board for the band's 2013 self-titled effort and live shows, while Tate went on to form Operation: Mindcrime - named after Queensryche's 1988 album.

"The next album from Queensryche is hopefully coming out the first week of October," Wilton tells Rock By Wild. "We are doing a worldwide release, and very much expected. And the record label, Century Media, is the one that will be putting it out, and they have the demos right now and are very positive and happy about it. I know that a lot of people are really anticipating this, so stay tuned and you won't be disappointed."

Wilton says the new version of Queensryche is energized and focused. "Well, there's a new unity," he explains. "There's a bond between the band, and everyone is on the same level. Everyone is participating as musicians, and things are moving along really great, and the songwriting is very cohesive. And you'll see the energy in the stage show and you'll just see the difference.

"As far as the members of the band Queensryche, it's always been about pushing the creativity and evolving as a band, and we haven't changed in that aspect of writing. We just kind of more defined it in the last few years." Watch the full interview here.

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Iron Maiden Make Complete Departure On New Epic Song

(Classic Rock) Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris has called Empire Of The Clouds a "masterpiece" and says it's a complete departure from their previous material.

The 18-minute track was penned by frontman Bruce Dickinson and will feature on their 16th record The Book Of Souls. Their first-ever double album will be released worldwide on September 4.

Harris tells Kerrang: "I think it's a masterpiece, actually - I think I can say that because I didn't write it! It sounds like Maiden but it's totally different from what we've done before.

"Eighteen minutes sounds like a long time, but it's actually such a journey that… well, it's best just to leave people to listen to it and see what they think. But it's very interesting. It's certainly not boring."

He continues: "I think you'll see on this album that there's a lot going on. There's a hell of a lot to take in. I think there'll be bits and pieces that will hit people initially but I think they're going to need a few listens." Read more here.

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Soulfly Release New Song 'We Sold Our Souls To Metal'

(Classic Rock) Soulfly have released a lyric video for their track We Sold Our Souls To Metal. It's lifted from 10th album Archangel, which is released on August 14 via Nuclear Blast.

Mainman Max Cavalera says: "I feel it is my most mystic album since Prophecy. The guest collaborations have always been a trademark of Soulfly and Archangel is no different. We can't wait to play this live for the worldwide tribe."

Cavelera previously said Archangel would be a departure from 2013's Savages, but would still be "heavy as hell." Bassist Tony Campos quit in May to join Fear Factory and Cavalera's sons Zyon and Igor have joined the band for their upcoming run of live shows, which include six UK dates later this month.

Archangel will be issued as a standard release along with a special edition containing three additional tracks, including a cover of Napalm Death's You Suffer, along with a live show from last year's Hellfest on DVD. Check out the new song and read more here.

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Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett The Subject Of New Documentary

(Gibson) Pink Floyd fans who want to learn more about Syd Barrett should note that a documentary about the late frontman is scheduled to arrive later this summer.

The movie, called Have You Got It?, takes its name from a Pink Floyd track that Barrett wrote for the band before leaving the group. The film will feature interviews by surviving members of Pink Floyd.

Director Roddy Bogawa tells MOJO that the movie "is truly unique and has an intimate quality that the other films about him haven't been able to capture."

Barrett formed Pink Floyd with bass guitarist Roger Waters, drummer Nick Mason and keyboardist Rick Wright in 1965, but left the group in 1968. He passed away in 2006. Read more here.

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Dee Snider Says Twisted Sister Redefined Music Videos

(Classic Rock) Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider says the video for the band's 1984 smash We're Not Gonna Take It redefined the music video genre. Directed by Marty Callner, the clip for the lead single from the band's Stay Hungry album was issued in the early days of MTV and its heavy rotation on the station played an important role in raising the group's profile.

We're Not Gonna Take It delivered Twisted Sister their only US Top 40 hit, while landing Top 10 status in Canada, Sweden and New Zealand. Snider notes the difference between the song's appeal and the video's impact in the music industry.

He tells Behind The Vinyl: "The video is inspired from events in my own life. I thought I was sharing a personal story of my father tearing me a new one, as he often did, screaming the famous line, 'What are you going to do with your life?'

"When the video came out, it was the first time someone had taken the format and put a story to it, because that didn't really exist before that… videos tended to be performance videos.

"What I thought was a personal story to me turned out to be a story that every kid in the world was dealing with - Dad giving them crap for their lifestyle or not really knowing where they were going or what they were doing, and people identified with this. They loved the story, they loved the video, and the video was a game-changer." Read more and watch the full interview here.

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Spock's Beard Stream New Song 'Tides Of Time'

(Prog) Spock's Beard have released a stream of the track Tides Of Time. The track comes from their 12th album The Oblivion Particle which is out on August 21 via Inside Out.

Bassist Dave Meros said about the track: "I think Tides Of Time is classic Spock's in terms of arrangement and style, but everything else is fairly different."

The band will head out on a European tour in September, with support from Synaesthesia and Special Providence. Check out the dates and stream the new song here.

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Seether Frustrated By The Lack Of Rock On Rock Radio

(TeamRock Radio) Seether frontman Shaun Morgan says rock bands are finding it more difficult to get their music played on radio in the US. The South African vocalist says many rock stations have switched their focus to "alternative" acts, leaving many groups sidelined.

Morgan tells Sticks For Stones: "Here in the States, it's becoming more difficult. Alternative radio stations just don't want to play songs with guitarists. They play 90s alternative bands like Alice In Chains and Nirvana, but they don't play new bands with guitar.

"They're, like, 'That's not alternative anymore.' That's just how it is now. If we're lucky enough to get played on radio, we'll get played right after a Lorde song, which is fine. I like Lorde, but I don't think she's a goddamn rock artist. She's not alternative. I think she's more pop."

He continues: "I think there's a weird sort of grey area about what is rock music and what is alternative. It seems like alternative stations think they're the cool kids of the radio world. They can make and break careers.

"There's a lot of bullsh*t bands coming out and a lot of bands being ignored because they play guitar. We used to be one of the five or 10 bands they'd play all the time. If we put out a single, they'd play it because we'd done so much for them. But now they've switched and we don't get played at all." Read more here.

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Buddy Guy Streaming Title Track To New Album 'Born To Play Guitar'

(The Blues Veteran guitarist Buddy Guy has released a stream of the title track from his forthcoming album. Born To Play Guitar will be released on July 31 via Silvertone/RCA Records - and he's also made the tracklist available for the follow-up to 2013's Rhythm & Blues.

Guy, 78, has collaborated with several performers on the record, including Van Morrison who appears on the track Flesh & Bone - a song dedicated to the late B.B. King.

Other guests are Fabulous Thunderbirds leader Kim Wilson, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, and English songstress Joss Stone. Check out the album's track details and stream the new song here.

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Riverside Reveal More Details About New Album

(Prog) Riverside have revealed more details about their sixth album Love, Fear And The Time Machine. It'll be released on September 4 via InsideOutMusic and features 10 tracks. It's the follow-up to 2013's Shrine Of New Generation Slaves.

Frontman Mariusz Duda says: "I wanted to combine the 70s and the 80s. The 80s were a decade of musical growing up for me. On the new album we don't sound as retro and 70s as before. We moved forward and sort of demolished the previous foundations and build new ones.

"Despite the huge dose of melancholy and nostalgia, there is a new space, the songs are arranged with more flow and at the same time they have never been so concise and to the point before." Read more including the tracklisting and upcoming tour dates here.

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The Rolling Stones Announce Exhibitionism

(hennemusic) The Rolling Stones will host their first ever major exhibition at London's prestigious Saatchi Gallery next spring. Set to open April 6, 2016, "Exhibitionism" will see the band display items from their 50-year career and feature more than 500 important and unseen artefacts from the group's personal archives, embracing all aspects of art & design, film, video, fashion, performance, rare sound archives, and the musical heritage that took them from a hard working London blues band in the early 1960s to iconic worldwide status.

"Exhibitionism" presents an interactive tour through the Rolling Stones' history, including original stage designs, dressing room and backstage paraphernalia, rare guitars and instruments, iconic costumes, rare audio tracks and unseen video clips, personal diaries and correspondence, original poster and album cover artwork, and unique cinematic presentations.

Collaborations and work by a vast array of artists, designers, musicians and writers will be included in the exhibition - from Andy Warhol, Shepard Fairey, Alexander McQueen and Ossie Clark to Tom Stoppard and Martin Scorsese.

"We've been thinking about it for quite a long time," explains Mick Jagger, "but wanted it to be just right and on a large scale just like planning our touring concert productions. I think right now it's an interesting time to do it."

"While this is about the Rolling Stones," adds Keith Richards, "it's not necessarily just about the members of the band. It's also about all the paraphernalia and technology associated with a band, like as well as the instruments that have passed through our hands over the years, that will make the exhibition really interesting." Read more and see the promo videos here.

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Kirk Windstein Explains Crowbar's Longevity

(Classic Rock) Crowbar mainman Kirk Windstein is sharing his recipe for longevity after more than 30 years in the music business. Windstein helped put New Orleans on the metal map when he formed Crowbar in 1989 and Down in 1991, with both bands continuing to create new music and play live shows.

The singer left Down in 2013 to focus on Crowbar's 25th anniversary last year, which was marked with the release of their 10th album, 2014's Symmetry In Black.

Nearing the end of an extensive North American tour, Windstein tells National Rock Review that he built his career from the outset with one goal in mind.

Windstein says: "It's forever ago when I think back to the very beginning. I actually played my first gig in 1980 - 35 years ago - at an old fair or something. In a way it's forever ago but, at the same time, my goal was always to have longevity, not to have huge success. I'm much happier being on the journey that never ends than being hot for a couple of years and then your career is done.

"My biggest fear of becoming a musician has already come true, which is the way the business is these days with no one selling records and illegal downloading. It really has changed: bands that once were really successful are literally falling off the map, falling off the face of the earth. It's like bands will get popular and then - boom - they're gone."

He continues: "We've been so fortunate to survive that but I think a lot of the reason we have survived and continue to thrive and continue to go forward is that we never did have a huge amount of success and we never were the hot flavor of the month. We never fit into any genre. We're just Crowbar." Read more here.

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Anthrax Announce Limited-Edition Bourbon

(hennemusic) Anthrax have launched The Devil You Know, a new line of limited-edition bourbon produced by Kentucky-based Knob Creek. It's the second Anthrax-sponsored brand of bourbon following 2014's Indians line.

"If we find something we really like and that we actually drink ourselves, we think maybe our fans might like it too, so we want to make it available for them," says Scott Ian. "We really enjoyed Indians, the bourbon we produced last year, and obviously our fans did as well as it sold out really quickly."

Anthrax teamed with Knob Creek to produce two barrels of the small batch, high-end bourbon; both barrels were aged for nine years, a process that results in a much richer more distinctive taste. Read more here.

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Warren Haynes Discusses The End Of The Grateful Dead

(Radio.com) This weekend, the Grateful Dead will end their career with a trio of shows on July 3, 4 and 5 at Chicago's Soldier Field. There's a lot of people who have a lot of feelings about this; one of them is guitarist/singer Warren Haynes. Haynes, of course is a long time member of the now-retired Allman Brothers Band, he's the frontman of Gov't Mule and a solo artist.

But he's also spent a lot of the time with the members of the Grateful Dead; he's been an on-and-off member of bassist/vocalist Phil Lesh's different bands over the years, and also played in the ad hoc reunion band simply called The Dead in the mid 2000s. So he has, perhaps, more insight into the band than most.

During an interview for a forthcoming feature on his upcoming solo album, Ashes and Dust, we spoke about his feelings about the end of the Dead. "Well, I'm glad that they are doing final shows," Hayes said. "I thought it was important for them to do something for the 50th anniversary. I - probably like everyone else - wish it had been a little bit more."

For these shows, Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio is playing lead guitar and singing Jerry Garcia's songs. Was Haynes asked to participate in the Fare Thee Well shows, given that he's filled that role in the past?

"It's not something we talked about, but I've got a lot of my own stuff going on at the moment. I'm curious to see the whole thing, I'm glad Bruce Horsnby is doing it. I wish I could be there to see it, I'm sure it will be great."

Does he have any advice for Anastasio, given his experience? "Well, I think any time somebody steps into that sort of position, what's required of you is that you inject your own personality into the performance. And if you're the right person for the job - which Trey is - that's what the band expects of you and that's what the audience expects of you. And whatever minority of the audience doesn't want that, I think they are just that: a small minority of the audience. I was very lucky when I joined the Allman Brothers Band: no one wanted me to play more like Duane Allman. Or less like Duane Allman. It was, 'You be yourself.'" Read more here.

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Rob Zombie Announce Limited Edition Pinball Machines

(hennemusic) Rob Zombie will release the Rob Zombie Spookshow International pinball game, produced by Spooky Pinball, LLC, in January. Only 300 games will be made - 250 Pro models and 50 LE versions.

The limited-edition game will include 10 classic Zombie songs and custom speech by the singer himself. "The Devil's Rejects" actor Sid Haig will also lend his voice to the machine.

Among the classic Zombie tracks featured are "Dragula", "Living Dead Girl", "American Witch", "Superbeast" and "House Of 1,000 Corpses." Read more here.

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Judas Priest Are 'Roaring Right Now' Says Halford

(Classic Rock) Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford says the band are playing some of the best metal of their career. The band are currently on the road across Europe ahead of a series of US dates and a return to the continent - and the Metal God is raving about the live experience.

Halford tells Full Metal Jackie: "I think the point that we're at now with this band is, it seems like every show is an event, to some extent. The fact that this is the umpteenth double-digits studio album, hundreds of songs later, these are just moments that we cherish more than ever, I think. And there's a little bit of that now each time we walk on stage. This show, the next show… they're all vital to the band in a lot of different ways.

"We're roaring right now. Any band will tell you when you've been on the road for a while, you know internally what you've gotta do. All your bandmates are thinking it. You don't have to talk about it. You know instinctively what you've gotta do when you get dressed and you walk to that stage.

"So I think that what we're doing right now is some of our best metal, quite frankly. And we're all really, really proud of what we're pouring out through the speakers." Read more here.

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Cradle Of Filth Announce European Tour

(TeamRock Radio) Cradle Of Filth have announced a run of seven UK winter dates as part of a wider European tour. The British metal outfit hit the road in October on the Inquisitional Tourture trek in support of 11th album Hammer Of The Witches, which is released on July 10 via Nuclear Blast.

Frontman Dani Filth says: "Cradle Of Filth are extremely pleased to be hitting the European road, even more so now that British dates have been indelibly grafted onto the beginning.

"The band is sounding better than ever and are exhilarated to be starting our world tour here in England, at Rottingham Knock City nonetheless, the proverbial hub of heavy metal.

"We have an amazing setlist prepared already and everyone, including our infamous Crewdle Of Filth, are chomping at the bit to get out there and start levelling cities with our unique brand of raucous, hellish music and stage production." Read more including the upcoming tour dates here.

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The Mars Volta Singer Overcomes Expensive Drug Habit

(Radio.com) As marijuana creeps ever closer to being legalized across America, one former stoner has come clean on his past life spending $1000 a week on weed: ex-The Mars Volta and At the Drive-In (and current Antemasque) frontman, Cedric Bixler-Zavala.

"I was a total monster," Bixler-Zavala admits during a self-penned essay for Vulture. "There's so much stupid behavior caused by weed, but I always had that cliche: I needed it for creativity. I've come to realize that at the end of the day, it's only you yourself that creativity comes from. It doesn't come from weed."

The singer/guitarist goes on to talk about how modern marijuana has been unnaturally altered to amp up its effects, and feeling bad for "buying in bulk but I didn't really need it," alongside AIDS and cancer patients who use weed to alleviate chronic pain.

While he says that getting high had become "part of his identity," Bixler-Zavala now concedes that smoking marijuana impeded his ability to communicate ("I was…just being long-winded and trying to be difficult for the sake of being difficult").

The singer ends the essay by reeling off the benefits of his new sober lifestyle, and a renewed appreciation for his career in music. Read more here.

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Singled Out: Jocelyn Arndt's Here To Stay

Today Jocelyn Arndt and her brother and lead guitarist Christian tell us about their new single "Here To Stay" which features Danny Louis of Gov't Mule. Here is the story:

Jocelyn Arndt on the Lyrics of Here to Stay: Here to Stay is a song about relationships. I wrote the lyrics as a way to share my feelings about the makings of a "forever" kind of connection. The lyrics are quirky; they have some medical terms including amnesia and anesthesia which I added to give the song a sophisticated edge, even with its traditional, jazzy/blues feel. Elements within the lyrics speak to the comfort we all get when we are in that thing with someone we love: the feeling of warmth, of fitting together. "I'm weathering the storm, my feet are staying warm..." paints the picture of ease even in the face of trouble. I wanted the lyrics to just show that perfect fit, that feel of belonging. I also needed them to convey that sense that everything is magnified, is better, when you know it's for keeps. It's that secure feeling that really transcends the actual words for me with this song. It's what I value, what I want for the rest of my life, once the right guy comes along.

Christian Arndt on the music of Here to Stay: As far as the chord structure is concerned, it actually started out as a rhythm I would put into my loop pedal to practice lead with. The moment I heard it, I knew we could turn it into a badass song. When Jocelyn sang some of the lyrics I was immediately inspired to run with this. A few minutes later, the verse and chorus structures were finished. The bridge took a little finagling, but eventually we figured it out.

When we were finally satisfied that it was fully finished, we were actually very nervous about showing it to our producer; it's certainly a niche song, unlike a lot of our other music. But as soon as David Bourgeois heard it he fell in love. He knew exactly what needed to be done to make it the best it could be, and did just that. For the guitar, I got to play the studio's Gretsch White Falcon, which was perfect for the feel of this track. Then we found an awesome horn section and some very high powered players of other instruments too: the amazing Tony Micelli played some sick vibes, and Government Mule's keyboardist Danny Louis dropped in with some Hammond and even a harpsichord. It was exactly what we imagined when we first wrote it, from the barry sax and toms in the bridge to the epic jam-style solo to the classic breakdown at the end.

The music of the song really fits with our jam-band writing style. We took a "kitchen sink" approach with it, and as a result you get the feeling you're in an alley in New Orleans listening to a bunch of talented jazz cats just jamming out a beautiful improvisational piece. The brass of this song is a prominent feature and squarely drops the listener into a smoky, jazzy time, maybe during the 50s. I wanted the guitar to be prominent too, however, because to me it was a way of making the sound of the piece relevant today, even if its themes and many of its other musical elements are very traditional.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself here and learn more about Jocelyn Arndt right here!

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