John Fred Young and Casper had a great chat about everything from Kentucky Headhunters, Home Life but more importantly BLACK STONE CHERRY new EP BLACK TO BLUES.
On the heels of their well-received 2016 album ‘Kentucky, US rockers Black Stone Cherry issue their long awaited 6-song EP, Black To Blues – a collection of blues classics and obscurities reimagined with the meaty moxie of classic BSC.
“I know it’s crazy for four rock n’ roll dudes to make a blues EP, but it’s us sharing with everyone the music that’s been our DNA from day one,” vocalist and guitarist Chris Robertson says.
‘Black To Blues’ pays homage to the fertile 1960s era of electric blues where the masters pushed boundaries with both experimentation and volume. The EP includes legendary songs made famous by some of the finest names in the history of the blues – Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Freddie King, and Albert King.
Before their five critically acclaimed albums, the 12,000-cap arena shows, topping the UK charts, and sharing the stage with superstars like Def Leppard, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bad Company, Alter Bridge and Shinedown, the guys in the Kentucky-based active rock powerhouse were just teenagers finding their way jamming on the blues.
“A defining moment for me was realizing all the rock n’ roll that I loved came from the blues,” Chris says.
With Mascot Label Group home to some of the finest blues icons of their generation such as Joe Bonamassa, Beth Hart, Walter Trout, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Eric Gales, Jonny Lang, Robben Ford, Bernie Marsden, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Sonny Landreth and more, it seemed the perfect time for Black Stone Cherry to release ‘Black to Blues’.
As a lead vocalist, Chris honed his burly pipes studying the power of the Texas Tornado himself, Freddie King, who they cover on ‘Black to Blues’ and, throughout their career, the group has always sprinkled in a few blues evergreens in their live set.
“The blues is such honest music. When you hear it, it’s like ‘I’m down on my luck, and, damn, that guy gets just how I feel.’” Chris shares. “I hope by sharing this music we have the beautiful opportunity to expose a new generation to the blues.”
The EP was recorded this past spring (US) at David Barrick’s Barrick Recording, the same studio where BSC recorded its recent album ‘Kentucky.’ Self-produced and tracked in two days, the band favoured a raw, in-the-moment production aesthetic to capture the inspired sessions.
Chris adds: “Our approach was to do these songs as if we had written them, with attitude and heavy guitar.”
Black To Blues opens with the Howlin’ Wolf classic ‘Built For Comfort.’ Here, they harness the song’s dark energy with foot-stomping burly riffage, impassioned whiskey and honey vocals, and a peaks and valleys arrangement that features virtuosic bursts of bluesy guitar brilliance, smoky quiet passages, and mountains crashing down climaxes. Throughout the EP, the imaginative arrangements, soulful vocals, and subtle band interplay evoke the halcyon days of heavy blues acts such as Free and Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac.
On ‘Champagne & Reefer’ they mesmerise with deft slide guitar playing and powerful contrasting haunting and hefty dynamics. Other standouts include a raucous take of Muddy Waters version of ’ ‘I Want To Be Loved,’ complete with jaw-dropping blues-rock guitar solos, and a clever rendition of Freddie King’s ‘Palace Of King”, there they “moved one note to make it more dark,” Chris reveals.
The blues is always a sage teacher, and making the ‘Black To Blues’ EP was a transformative experience for Black Stone Cherry.
Chris says: “It was humbling and freeing at the same time. It reignited our passion for this music, and it will definitely have an effect on our next album.”
Black To Blues was released September 29.
Presales available HERE
and through JB HIFI
Thank you for taking the time out to talk with us here at Silver Tiger Media. Only days away and everyone can enjoy the fruits of your labour. We are super excited about the upcoming release of Red Hands Black Deeds. I am sure you can’t wait to get the new music into everyone’s hands?
First off, the table is a challenge: can you in one short paragraph, sum up the history of Shamans Harvest from birth to the current day?
It’s been a long road for the band. High School talent shows to outdoor field parties to regional clubs to national arena stages… We’ve played them all. I guess we’re a 22 year overnight success story haha.
Yeah, I dig it too! It represents all the “scavengers” out there. All those who constantly take and never give anything in return.
Red Hands Black Deeds, intriguing album title. Where did this come from?
It stems from the natural push and pull of good and evil with little to no remorse.
(Side-Note) The opening prelude of the same title, I couldn’t help but have an almost foreboding feeling of doom, kind of imagery was a Game Of Thrones style film with an army of thousands marching out to certain death.
Yeah man, that was what we were trying to capture.
Smokin’ Hands & Broken Guns was such a massive album for you guys, did you feel any pressure going into the making of this one to match or better the result?
Not really. We really just wanted to make a new record, free of expectations. We didn’t want to make SHBG 2.0… so we didn’t.
I won’t ask you to give us a track by track run down, however there are a few stand outs for me on this album.
I was interested and listened a few times to “ The Come Up ”, which touches on a few subjects including social media, and the effects it has on the small frail human brain … I know my own interpretation of this song; however, I am wondering if you could tell us a bit about this track?
The Come Up is a groovin’ track that has a fun vibe. Quite the contrast to the subject matter. Honestly, it represents keeping your head up when in hard times. “Come on you gotta run, don’t you crawl anymore”
The Broken Ones?
The Broken One’s is about the people who are left in the aftermath of tragedy. Picking up the pieces while in turmoil.
My second favourite from the album, Off The Track?
Haha… just a good ole break up song. Knowing it was all your fault.
Lastly, my favourite, Tusk & Bones, an acoustic change to the album.
Tusk & Bone relates to the way mankind has treated mother earth. Musically, we kept it very naked and organic. Lots of earthy tones and heartfelt soul. Lyrically, it takes you through a conversation a little girl is having with her grandfather about the things that no longer exist due to the greed of mankind.
In Blood Trophies and a few other songs on this killer album you use the little known Latin American instrument, Chapchas (Goats Toes), very distinct sound too. Who introduced chapchas to the band initially?
Keith Armstrong, our producer, had all sorts of unique instruments. We’d have an idea for a particular sound, and he’d pull something out of his tool box. It was a lot of fun experimenting and coming up with our own sounds.
Are there any other interesting, weird, instruments we should be keeping an ear out for?
Well, there’s a mountain dulcimer, some sand paper, a rotary phone, and some airplanes flying overhead. and that’s just the tip of the iceberg
You will be touring alongside Nickelback (the band everyone loves to hate) and Cheap Trick (the band everyone loves to love) till October, how has that been? Any crazy stories you can share with us? (fyi Nickelback are very special to STM)
This has been the best tour ever! From the fans to the bands… it just doesn’t get any better.
Other than that… you know what they say about vegas… haha
What I find just fascinating about this album is that it takes the listener through such a wide range of emotions. Too much of today’s music has a theme to it, the emotion is clear throughout. Not with Red Hands Black Deeds… There is such a great variety of emotions that you go through if you listen to it from start to finish the way it was intended. Was your intention to leave your listeners emotionally drained by the end track?
Actually, yes we did. That’s life isn’t it? We have zero interest in making a record with 10 versions of the same song. We appreciate a more artistic approach.
I must admit to listening while working away on my computer and at the final song I was just getting lost in the final moments as the music fades out. Album done, what a killer album, but then BOOM … you guys aren’t done yet, and I was rudely jolted out of my sweet afterglow and wondered what the hell had started playing… HAHAHAHA what is the meaning behind your hidden track?
Haha! It’s a sorbet of sorts. A little something to wake you from the musical trance. Just something to lighten the mood…
Congratulations and thank you again for your time, and hope to see SHAMANS HARVEST on our shores in the near future.
Likewise! It’s in the works and we are looking forward to it!
FOLLOW SHAMANS HARVEST
Last month one of the most influential pioneers of the groove, BOOTSY COLLINS announced that his 1st studio album in 6 years “World Wide Funk” would be released on October 27 via Mascot Records.
Now Bootsy has unveiled the video for Ladies Nite, a synth fuelled number fusing hip-hop swagger, funky rhythms and hydraulic bounce basslines. It’s vintage Bootsy. Ladies Nite also features guest spots from the BlvckSeeds creative collective and MC Eiht – the legendary Compton MC whose career saw a renaissance when he featured on Kendrick Lamar’s seminal album Good Kid, M.A.A.D City.
The animated video for Ladies Nite features the iconic Funkadelic bassist drifting into outer space, grooving on a golf course, levitating over his bed and hanging out in a laundromat of all places. Hit below to check it out.
MORE ABOUT WORLD WIDE FUNK
The funk runs deep and rich on ‘World Wide Funk,’ Bootsy Collins’ first studio album since 2011’s Tha Funk Capital of the World. Populated with musical friends old and new, and recorded in his Cincinnati home’s Bootzilla Re-hab studio, ‘World Wide Funk’ marks both a reckoning and significant reboot, if you will, for the Rhinestone Rock Star Monster of a doll baby baba!
Blue-chip rappers like Doug E. Fresh, Big Daddy Kane, DJ Quik, Dru Down, and Chuck D, along with guitar shredders Buckethead and Eric Gales, join a Bootsy-curated posse of fresh new artists on a record that embraces everything from the classic P-Funk sound Bootsy pioneered to the closest Collins has ever come to radio-active, boots on the ground, friendly fire in a musical-P-rated-adventure.
Along with X-Zact and BlvckSeeds, who supply gorgeous harmonies throughout ‘World Wide Funk,’ other guests include rapper MC Eiht, the late Bernie Worrell, along with singers Kali Uchis, Tyshawn Colquitt, Musiq Soulchild, and October London who adds feminine appeal alongside a shoe-infatuated Bootsy on “Hi-On-Heels,” a slow-groove collaboration with Snoop Dogg.
But World Wide Funk is more than just a party – it’s also a call to activism. “Bootz on the ground, baby!” Collins declares on the title track. “The whole concept,” Collins explains, “was not only about playing music or being current on this album, but about teaching people how to funk for themselves so they can bring some funk to get some. We bring them hope like dope, so not one Funkateer chokes. Unity in the community is a part of this plan and when the Mothership lands there’s nothing but helping hands.”
WORLD WIDE FUNK is out October 27 on Mascot Records
Pre-orders available HERE
Raised By Eagles announce headline tour, proudly presented by Creative Victoria, Rhythms Magazine, The Music & PBS 106.7FM
Sydney l Maitland l Geelong l Melbourne l Brisbane l Mullumbimby l Oakleigh l Torquay l Adelaide
Acclaimed new album I Must Be Somewhere out now on ABC Music
Video for second single ‘Heartbreaker’ released
With their new album I MUST BE SOMEWHERE receiving unanimous widespread acclaim, and the completion of a run of shows supporting Mick Thomas & The Roving Commission, the time has finally come for RAISED BY EAGLES to announce their own long-awaited run of headline dates, presented by Creative Victoria, Rhythms Magazine, The Music – and in Melbourne – PBS FM. Tickets to all shows on sale now – details below or at https://raisedbyeagles.com/
Taking in Sydney, Maitland, Geelong, Torquay, Melbourne, Brisbane, Mullumbimby and Adelaide, the band are delighted to be able to deliver their full live show for friends both old, and hopefully new.
To celebrate the tour announcement – the band prepared a little video for the 2nd single from the album ‘Heartbreaker’. The song is about insecurity and wasting time. Somebody trying so hard to protect himself from heartache that he eventually creates it.
And I missed all the signs
Sleeping in the back seat like a fool
You can’t fix a broken wheel, honey
If you ain’t got the right tools
Hit below to check the video out
RAISED BY EAGLES ALBUM LAUNCH TOUR DATES
Presented by Creative Victoria, Rhythms, The Music and PBS FM
Friday August 11
42 King St, Newtown
Ph: 02 9557 7992
With special guest Charles Jenkins*
Tickets $10 presale / $15 @ door. Tickets available here
Doors 6pm, music from 8pm.
Saturday August 12
88 Church St, Maitland
Ph: 02 4933 5242
With special guest Charles Jenkins
Friday August 18
The Workers Club
90 Little Malop St, Geelong
Ph: 03 5222 8331
With special guests TBA
Tickets $10 + bf presale / $15 @ door. Tickets available here
Saturday August 19
The Croxton Bandroom
607 High St, Melbourne
Ph: 03 9480 2233
With special guests Neil Murray** and Freya Josephine Hollick***
Tickets $20 + bf. Tickets available here From 8pm
Friday August 25
Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall
15 Caxton St, Brisbane
With special guest TBA
Saturday August 26
Mullumbimby Ex-Services Club
58 Dalley St, Mullumbimby NSW
Ph: 02 6684 2533
With special guest TBA
Tickets $20 presale / $25 at door. Tickets available here
Saturday September 16
Caravan Music Club
95-97 Drummond St, Oakleigh
Ph: 03 9568 1432
With special guest Charles Jenkins
Reserved Seat Presale $30 +bf / General Admission Presale $23 + bf / $25 @ door
Tickets available here
Sunday September 17
Torquay Bowls Club
47 The Esplanade, Torquay
Ph: 03 5261 2378
With special guest TBA
Tickets $25. Tickets available here . From 3pm
Monday October 2
Semaphore Music Festival
Main Stage, Foreshore Reserve
Tix avail from July 30.
Gates open 12noon, RBE on-stage 5pm.
* Charles Jenkins is thrilled to announce he’s heading back on the road, this time as a special guest of the brilliant Raised By Eagles, and with a brand new album The Last Polaroid in his merch bag! Don’t miss this opportunity to witness Jenkins, described by The Age as “A songwriting artisan of the highest calibre” performing a multitude of what he calls his “nonstop chart toppers – depending upon which charts you follow”.
** Neil Murray is a maverick song man with a three-decade plus career and a string of remarkable albums behind him. He is best known for such iconic songs as “My Island Home”, “Blackfella Whitefella” and “Good Light In Broome”. He was a founding member of the pioneering 1980’s indigenous group the Warumpi Band and has since become an influential, award winning songwriter -(1995 APRA song of the year, 2017 Port Fairy Folk Festival Artist of the Year).
***Freya Josephine Hollick is an Old-Timey, Country, Folk singer/songwriter. Her voice has been described as haunting, as both powerful and fragile – truly a voice unlike any other and one that is of another time.