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Day in Rock Report for 01/16/2018

Today's Day in Rock Stories

The Cranberries' Dolores O'Riordan Dead At 46

(Gibson) In some sad news today, another of rock's finest has tragically left us. News outlets are reporting the death of Dolores O'Riordan, lead singer with Irish rock act The Cranberries.

A brief statement from her publicist has been issued: "Irish and international singer Dolores O'Riordan has died suddenly in London today. She was 46 years old. The lead singer with the Irish band The Cranberries was in London for a short recording session."

Unfortunately, there's no information yet as to what caused the singer's death, with the statement simply saying, "No further details are available at this time. Family members are devastated to hear the breaking news and have requested privacy at this very difficult time." O'Riordan was forty-six.

The Irish rock band became one of Ireland's most recognizable musical exports in the Nineties with multi-million selling albums Everybody's Doing It, So Why Can't We? (1993) and No Need To Argue (1994) and anthemic hits like 'Linger' and 'Zombie.' The band went on hiatus in 2003 and O'Riordan would go on to release two solo albums, before the Cranberries reunited in 2009. Read more here.

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Motorhead Stars Reuniting For Lemmy Tribute Shows

(hennemusic) Motorhead guitarist Phil Campbell has revealed that he and drummer Mikkey Dee plan to regroup with a lineup of special guests to perform a series of tribute concerts in honor of the band's late founder Lemmy Kilmister.

"It's on the cards, but it's just gonna be a few select shows. We're not gonna be touring with it," Campbell tells Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon. "We're gonna get these people involved and [we have to allow for] their schedules as well. We'll just do some special shows worldwide, which will be good - a tribute to Lem and to the band maybe, yeah. But it wouldn't be an ongoing thing. Everyone's too busy. But [we want to] do something special. We're still trying to work on that now."

Lemmy died in December of 2015 from prostate cancer, a cardiac arrhythmia, and congestive heart failure at the age of 70, a few months after the release of the group's 22nd studio album, "Bad Magic."

"What I have said since Lemmy's passing is, 'Of course'," Dee told Billboard last fall about the concept of tribute shows while promoting the group's "Under Cover" collection, which featured Motorhead's take on classics recorded by The Ramones, Metallica, Judas Priest, The Rolling Stones and more. "There is a possibility of doing that when the time is right to do it. If you love New York pizza and you haven't had any New York pizza in several years, you're going to crave that. One day there is maybe going to be a craving for something like this and when there is a craving for it, we have to do it in a proper way." Read more here.

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Guns N' Roses' Long Delayed Album A Masterpiece Says Guitarist

(Gibson) While the Guns N' Roses reunion tour continues to span continents and sell tickets by the truckload, it's worth remembering some of the musicians who held down the fort in the band through the years that founder members Slash and Duff McKagan weren't there.

Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal is one such musician. The guitarist was part of the Axl Rose-led Guns N' Roses for eight years from 2006 to 2014 and played on the now infamous Chinese Democracy album. Speaking in a recent radio interview, Thal described the last Guns N' Roses album as a "masterpiece" and that "if you really break down everything that is going on in that record, there is so much. It's such a fragile balance of so many parts that works just right."

When asked what the greatest virtue for a rock guitarist is, Thal had a pretty simple answer: "Being on time. [Laughs] That's a tough one. The greatest virtue of any guitarist, I would say, is really just their ability to play well with others in a band and be a part of something where there's a machine that's bigger than any of us." Read more here.

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Black Country Communion Release 'Wanderlust' Video

(hennemusic) Black Country Communion are premiering a video for "Wanderlust" from their fourth album, "BCCIV." Clocking in at over 8 minutes, the longest track on the supergroup's latest record mixes some of the band's influences, which bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes says grew out of a jam with guitarist Joe Bonamassa.

"We're always jamming, Joe and I," Hughes tells the Blues Rock Review, "and I may have been tuning my bass up and he starts playing (hums riff) and I'm going, 'Don't stop! Carry on, what key is this?' I found out we were in B and I'm, like, this is great and then I started to sing, 'Oh, when I come around.'

"I know what's coming. I know when there's going to be a pre-chorus and when the chorus hit, I started to play these Beatle kind of chords in a rock version and we just knew this was a song. Of course, the Fleetwood Mac part is Joe being Joe, but as you know, Joe will say to you he's just borrowing from somebody else as I borrow from X, Y or Z. Trust me, we all borrow from each other."

Recorded in Los Angeles with producer Kevin Shirley, "BCCIV" sees the lineup of Hughes, Bonamassa, keyboardist Derek Sherinian and drummer Jason Bonham reunite following a split in 2013. Watch the video here.

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Singled Out: Gyasi's Sugar Mama

Nashville rocker Gyasi is turning heads with his new single "Sugar Mama", both with the old school composing and recording in one take but also with the explosive sound. We asked Gyasi to share the story behind the track:

Sugar Mama is a bit of a take on a Howlin Wolf thing. I love some of the riff based songs of his that have such a raw power about them. Those recordings are alive! You can feel the room. I wanted to capture that raw energy in my own way. Those are the tunes that people would be getting down to at juke joints and they have that boogie. I love to write from riffs like that and I find those are usually the quickest songs I write. There's nothing like a powerful guitar riff.

This was actually the last song I recorded for the EP, and I wasn't planning on adding another song to it. I thought five was enough. It's funny that it happens to be the first single that I've released, so I'm very glad it made it on the EP. The recording happened very naturally. The core of the song was composed and recorded in one take, which is what you hear on the record. I had my studio all set up from a previous session and my 12 year old neighbor Chris stopped by on his bicycle, as he often does. He plays drums every week at his church and is an incredible drummer. He's got a long career ahead of him. I asked him if he wanted to jam and he went and hopped on the drum set and I hit record on my tape machine. What you hear is us just freely playing together. I was very happy to have a song with him playing on the record as I believe it's the first recording he's ever done. I just started playing that riff and it galloped off after that. I made up some lyrics on the spot and later went back and re-tracked the vocals and added some more guitars and the bass, and that's it. When I replaced the middle section electric guitar with acoustic it really opened up and I realized I wanted to put it on the album.

I love recording in that way, keeping everything spontaneous. It's raw and unpredictable and you can hear it. Songs are very fragile things, and often for me they can lose their original inspiration if too much time is spent trying to make them perfect or overly thought out. Learning to allow that spontaneity and uncertainty has been crucial to my recording process and I think produces more exciting recordings. I kept the lyrics very direct and simple so as to draw as much power out of them and my voice as possible. At the end of the day it's really a blues tune.

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

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Slash's Son Not Following In His Father's Footsteps

(Gibson) Pretty much everyone in the world knows Slash as the guitarist who inspired a generation of guitar players from the late Eighties all the way up to present day. Playing the intro to 'Sweet Child O' Mine' or the riff to 'Paradise City' are rites of passage for every budding guitar player. The image of Slash from the 'November Rain' video, hair flying in the wind as he solos on his Gibson Les Paul is one of rock's most iconic moments ever.

As it turns out, all of the above reasons are why Slash's son London Hudson doesn't play guitar. The fifteen year-old plays drums in the The Classless Act and along with his bandmate Nico Tsangaris, gave his first interview to the Appetite For Distortion podcast.

During the interview, Hudson was asked when he realised how famous his dad was and in the process, he revealed why he chose drums over guitar: "Since I was little, especially with the Velvet Revolver stuff, because that was the most I toured with him, was for the Velvet Revolver stuff. Seeing that many people at the shows was kind of crazy, and how they all just worshipped. Then going on the last GNR tour, and seeing all those people who still like him for much older stuff….is when it really clicked, going on that tour. But it never really hit me until this summer, where I was like, I don't want to live in his shadow, when I started playing in the band. That's the main reason I don't play guitar or stringed instruments."

Hudson recalled getting into the drums a while ago saying, "It was years back, for me it was around 5th or 6th grade...I played bass for a year then, and I was just getting sick of it, and just bored, and I wanted to do something different. I was at Guitar Center with my Dad, and I started playing on the drum kit and really liked it." here.

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Steve Hackett Reveals His Supergroup Plan

(Gibson) These days, a "supergroup" usually consists of a guest rap here or there. (Or Chickenfoot.) Back in the '70s and '80s, it was all the rage and ex-Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett says he had very real plans to form a band featuring ELP's Keith Emerson, Cream's Jack Bruce and renowned session drummer Simon Phillips (Toto, Judas Priest, Jeff Beck and more). The quartet even made demos.

Hackett has told Ultimate Classic Rock, "Keith Emerson and I were going to form a band with Jack Bruce and Simon Phillips. Of course, two of those guys have passed on now, but what talent, what drive. Irreplaceable. I have enormous respect and love for their work.

"It was the early '80s, before Keith reformed ELP with Cozy Powell. We had a band there for about five minutes, and it all seemed like it might be very good. But I think Keith and Jack had their differences, and afterwards Keith said to me, 'Well, Jack's gone now, but how would you feel about being the singer?' I said, 'Whoa, in no way do I consider myself to be in Jack's league as a singer."

Although there are demos of the in-progress songs, Hackett recalls, "I think they were at a point where they didn't have lyrics or what have you. But that stuff does indeed exist. It was a lot of work-in-progress. That's a particular baton I could be running with, but I haven't so far. It's what you prioritize in life, isn't it?" here.

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Sleater-Kinney Star's Memoire Being Made Into TV Series

(Gibson) In addition to her guitar work with seminal Olympia, Washington rock act Sleater-Kinney, Carrie Brownstein's also been a major player in television over much of the last decade. Portlandia, the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning TV show she stars in and co-writes with Fred Armisen is sliding into its eighth and final season this year. She's also essayed a role in the critically-acclaimed drama Transparent as well as made appearances on The Simpsons, and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Now, as Portlandia wraps up, Brownstein's set to begin work on her next TV project, a half-hour pilot for Search and Destroy. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the series is "loosely inspired' by Brownstein's 2015 memoir Hunger Makes A Modern Girl and is "about a young woman, a band and a community learning how to be unafraid of their own noise."

In addition, Brownstein also revealed, in a recent interview with Billboard, that Sleater-Kinney were back in the studio, working on new material. However, she wouldn't specify a timeline, saying, "we're going to do this very slowly". (Remember, the last two Sleater-Kinney albums - 2005's The Woods and 2015's No Cities To Love came out a decade apart. Read more here.

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Hawkwind Guitarist Looks Back On Eric Clapton Friendship

(Gibson) British space-rock band Hawkwind has been around since 1969 and guitarist Dave Brock's been there right from the start. Through the years, the British rock legends have released thirty studio albums and counted iconic musicians like Motörhead's Lemmy Kilmister and Cream's Ginger Baker as members.

In a recent interview with Music Radar, Brock spoke about those early days in London in the Sixties, when he and Eric Clapton used to hang out: "It would've been about '63 or '64. Quite early on. We used to sit around plonking away on guitars. We used to hang out in Richmond because it was a really nice place, and go down Eel Pie Island and meet up in L'Auberge coffee bar. Eric lived in Cobham in Surrey, which isn't far from there. That's where everybody used to hang out. We used to sit there and play guitar and swap around - each one of us would have a go."

He also recounts his relationship with Ginger Baker (of Cream and Blind Faith fame) who played with Hawkwind in the Eighties: "Later on, Ginger Baker ended up playing with [Hawkwind], which was strange because when I used to go busking down Portobello Road - this was when he was in Cream - he had a flat just round the corner and after I finished busking I used to pop round for a cup of tea." Read more here.

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Small Town Titans Pays Tribute To Late Mother With 'Dragonfly'

Small Town Titans have released the music video for their track "Dragonfly", which was special significance for the band as is was inspired as a tribute to frontman Phil Freeman's mother.

Phil had the following to say, "This song was written for my mother. She passed away in February of 2017 after a three-year battle with cancer. She loved dragonflies which happen to have deep spiritual significance in many traditions and cultures, representing love, freedom of spirit and compassion.

"She embodied all of these qualities...The intent of this song is to celebrate her life and bring a little light and love to anyone who may be dealing with the grief of losing someone to illness. She was and is an amazing soul, and I hope this song captures a tiny glimmer of her spirit for the person listening to it." Watch it here.

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Alter Bridge Singer Myles Kennedy Announces Solo Tour

(hennemusic) Alter Bridge singer Myles Kennedy will launch his debut solo release, "Year Of The Tiger", with a newly-announced UK tour. Due March 9 via CD, LP and digital formats, the concept record was inspired by the loss of the rocker's father when he was a child.

Kennedy recorded the album last year with producer and longtime Alter Bridge associate Michael "Elvis" Baskette. The singer's six-date UK run will open in Birmingham on March 17, and see stops in Nottingham, Glasgow, Manchester and Bristol before wrapping up in London on March 26.

A series of ticket pre-sales will begin Wednesday, January 17 at 9 a.m., with general pubic seats available Friday, January 19 at 9 a.m. via LiveNation.co.uk, venue box offices and via regular ticket providers.

Kennedy is previewing "Year Of The Tiger" with a video for the for the first single and title track. Watch the video and see the tour dates here.

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Royal Blood Set To Rock Late Night TV

(hennemusic) Royal Blood will perform on CBS-TV's The Late Late Show with James Corden on Tuesday, January 16. The duo of bassist/singer Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher are appearing on the program to promote their latest album, "How Did We Get So Dark?"

Recorded in Brussels, Belgium with producer Joylon Thomas and London, UK with co-producer Tom Dalgety, the project debuted atop the UK charts upon its release in June to duplicate the success of the band's 2014 self-titled record, the fastest-selling British rock debut album in their native country in three years.

Royal Blood streamed a live performance at the House Of Vans in London last month after more than 10,000 fans applied for free tickets to the intimate event.

The group will open for Queens Of The Stone Age at The Cosmopolitan Of Las Vegas, NV on February 16 before heading out on a tour of Australia and New Zealand in late April. Watch video of their video of "I Only Lie When I Love You" performance from the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge here.

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Metallica, QOSTA and Mastodon Lead Rock Grammy Nominations

(Radio.com) Which album rocked 2017? We're about to find out as music's biggest night is right around the corner. The list of nominees for Best Rock Album at the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards features some of music's brightest young stars. Specifically, Mastodon, Metallica, Nothing More, Queens of the Stone Age, and The War on Drugs are all in the running to take home the category's GRAMMY.

In order to qualify under the Best Rock Album category, more than half (at least 51%) of an album's playing time must be dedicated to 'new rock, hard rock, or metal recordings." Below, explore each record that's up for a Best Rock Album GRAMMY!

Emperor of Sand - Mastodon: Rolling Stone ranked Emperor of Sand #4 on its list of the 20 Best Metal Albums of 2017, and not only is it up for Best Rock Album but its track 'Sultan's Curse" is up for Best Metal Performance. The record is a metaphor for cancer and the trail of destruction it leaves behind, giving the album an emotionally raw finish. Mastodon previously mentioned that vocal improvement was a huge focus in creating their 7th LP, and hard work clearly pays off, as the band now has 2 chances to take home a GRAMMY.

Hardwired' To Self-Destruct - Metallica: By the summer of 2017, Metallica's 10th studio album, Hardwired' To Self-Destruct, had already sold over 1 million copies in the US. If Metallica were trying to capture the grit of their early years, they succeeded. Rolling Stone ranked it #1 on its list of the 20 Best Metal Albums of 2016. And while the band already won 8 GRAMMYs, they have a shot at winning two more: in this category and Best Rock Song ('Atlas, Rise!" ).

Villains - Queens of the Stone Age: Queens of the Stone Age's 7th album, Villains, is the one to earn them their 7th GRAMMY nom. The band enlisted top-40 producer Mark Ronson for the album's production, leaving many longtime fans scratching their heads. Still, the album delivers, oozing both old-school QOTSA and experimentation, as seen on songs like 'The Way You Used to Do," which frontman Josh Homme has unabashedly called a dance track. And besides, doesn't that we-don't-care-what-you-think attitude define the band? Read about the other nominees here.

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