This week we feature another local, and another out of town band…
Lupe Guru, Bucks County, PA
Catch these shape shifters of modern music as they bring their brand of riveting blues based progressive rock to the stage. Reaching international exposure with 2011 CD release “First Bite” featuring hit “Come To See Me Fall”. In addition to their original repertoire, they do justice to some of the best of rock/blues/jam music. Check the band out at lupegaru.comfor shows, music, live videos, more biographical information etc. and “Keep On Howling”.
Black Dawn Carleplace, NY, USA
Black Dawn has been performing live music of the metal / heavy rock genre in the Long Island / New York City area since 1996. Black Dawn has consisted of the same four members for all eighteen years of live performances: Matt Kotten (Lead Guitar / Vocals), Tom Kelly (Rhythm Guitar), James Lane (Bass Guitar), Enzo DiPaolo (Drums). Black Dawn’s most direct musical influences include Alice In Chains, Black Sabbath, Disturbed, Down, Fight, Godsmack, Korn, Life of Agony, Metallica, Mudvayne, Soil, Soundgarden, Staind, Stone Temple Pilots, Tool, Volbeat, and White Zombie.
Black Dawn’s discography consists of the EP “Black Dawn (1996), the live CD “Live at CBGB’s (1998), two full-length CD’s “Absence of Time” (1999) and “Age of Reason” (2004), and the EP “Until We Meet” (2014). Selected tracks from all of these releases have been included in rotation on hundreds of various college / internet radio stations and podcasts worldwide. All five tracks from “Until We Meet” are currently available for free download on www.reverbnation.com/blackdawnband among other websites.
Black Dawn has performed / participated in numerous shows, festivals, competitions and conferences from New York City to Los Angeles and has opened for acts such as Kings X, Daisy Berkowitz, LA Guns, Biohazard, and Michale Graves (ex Misfits vocalist). Black Dawn has performed in many famous venues in New York City including Webster Hall, CBGB’s, the Continental, and the Hard Rock Cafe.
Perhaps the best thing that could be said about Black Dawn is that, even after all this time, the band has no intention of slowing down. The band is writing new songs all the time so creatively, there is still pleanty of gas left in the tank. Still pleanty more shows to perform.
Basically, a band like Black Dawn is what you get when you combine four metal / rock musicians who are able to work together over the long term through thick and thin to continue to bring their act to the stage.
Iron Cowboy do most of their shows in the Northeastern Pennsylvania area as a cover band doing a lot of country and Southern rock covers, but they also have made the effort to record a few CDs of original music. One DJ that heard one of their CDs described them as “a cleverly disguised rock band with a steel guitar” – which to most fans of traditional or outlaw country would come off as a remark not much different from Tom Petty’s famous dismissal of bro-country as “hair metal with cowboy hats”. Iron Cowboy, however, have taken that DJ’s description and accepted it as 100% accurate. Since the release of the album from which we are highlighting cuts tonight, 2011’s Tattoo Of You, the band has expanded their sound a little with the addition of a second vocalist in Cathy Paty, who has graced their most recent releases, including a one-off cover of The Eagles’ “Seven Bridges Road”. The tracks we are highlighting this week from Tattoo Of You don’t have Ms. Paty or the pedal steel, but the idea of a rock band disguised as country still seems to fit – or could they be a country band disguised as rock? You decide as we listen to the following songs from Tattoo Of You: “I’m Thinking ‘Cause I’m Drinkin’”, “Please Believe Me”, and “Dead Man Walkin’”.
Durango Dogs are a hard rock band from San Francisco, California with an interesting history as to how their debut release, Raw Doggin’ Love, came to be. Band leader, singer, guitarist, and songwriter Eric Durango had taken his then-lineup of the group into the studio in April of 2014 with only three hours of time to cut as many songs as possible, only getting five tracks finished. Eric spent much of that summer adding overdubs to the existing songs, and then mixing and mastering them, only to declare the results nothing more than an expensively produced demo. He went back into the studio a year later with local legend Ed Jones, and together the two recorded ten songs, including new takes on the songs from the original demo, with both gentlemen taking on multiple instrumental duties. After the songs were recorded and mixed, the perfectionist part of Eric Durango’s personality decided that all of the guitar parts needed to be rerecorded from top to bottom – which they did… twice. Surprisingly, the finished album sounds more like a full band slogging it out in the studio in a couple of takes apiece, yet still sounds like a lot of time and energy went into it. Go figure! Representing the Raw Doggin’ Love album are the tracks “Devil Dog”, “Leviathan”, and “Yoga Pants Woman”.
Harpo have been in existence since 1974, initially as a cover band back in the days when you could play bars up and down the East Coast and into Canada and make a decent living doing it. (Yeah, there was a time when that was possible.) Their Facebook page’s biography displays a litany of all the trials and tribulations the band has gone through over the past 44 years going on 45 – personnel changes, car accidents that sidelined their singer for over a year, breakups, reunions, and a few independently released albums. Chances are, if you lived in Pennsyvania, you’re familiar with the name even though you may have never heard a single note of the music. When the band was originally making records in the Eighties, they would have fit in very well with the string of hair bands that dominated MTV back in the day – but no major label ever picked them up. This week we highlight cuts from their album Harpo Live: Go Heavy Or Go Home, originally released in 1997 and reissued over a decade later by the Italian label Time Warp Records (supposedly a grey-market “bootleg” label if Discogs.com is correct). Songs like “Chain Reaction”, “Tuff Love”, and “Tumblin’ Down” give good indication of how radio-ready Harpo was determined to make their music throughout their long career.
Highlighted Tracks: Tuff Love, Too Much Is Just Enough, Hearts Cold.
FALL OF MAN
Fall Of Man are a relatively new band from Los Angeles, CA. They formed in the early 2000’s and first rehearsed as an instrumental trio while they seeked out a frontman for their band. Enter, ironically, a frontwoman in Erica Barile, who had been hanging out with the band at their rehearsals since day one (she was friends with most of the band at the time), then started filling in at band practice while they searched for a permanent singer. Not long afterward, she ended up being the defacto vocalist. Imagine Evanesence without the piano, the ego, and the penchant for mopey goth ballads, or even Flyleaf without the preaching, and you’ll have a decent idea of what Fall of Man sounds like. Or better yet, you could listen to the highlighted tracks we present from their most recent release, the 2016 EP Hallways And Doors. The band is presently working on their third full length album.
Highlighted Tracks: Hallways And Doors, Lullaby, Breathe
Another episode Kickazz is MIA only 9 more days kids. This week we put blues, metal and hard rock all in the same episode
This week we introduce the new format. That’s right! Because of the overwhelming support. You asked for it you got it!!!!
Continue reading Up Close and On Fire Ep 13 – Robert Hunter and Eye On Attraction – CD Review
By CJ Marsicano
Dustin Douglas is a veteran guitarist/singer/songwriter from Wilkes-Barre, PA who has already racked up quite a few musical miles, both as one-third of the power trio Lemongelli, and as a guitarist with the Badlees after a personnel shift in 2009. Continue reading Up Close and On Fire Ep 12 – Dustin Douglas – CD Review
CORNERS OF SANCTUARY
The band for this week’s episode of Up Front And On Fire left me in a bit of a conundrum. I was presented with five of their releases to go through for this week’s episode of the show. Unfortunately, two of them were not properly tagged, so they couldn’t be reviewed. Bands, please double-check your ID3 tags in your mp3 files before you send them to radio stations, podcasts, and blogs, and submit your track listings to Gracenote as well if you’re sending CD copies to stations – it only takes five minutes to do this in iTunes. (ten if you’re careful with your typing!)
While the close of 2015 saw the departure of the relentless Mötley Crüe, their spirit carries on in the form of all-woman tribute group Girls Girls Girls. Formed in 2007, these women first got their start performing at a strip club in New Jersey. Over the next two years they would open for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs at Webster Hall, NYC, play a mixed media show with Chuck Klosterman at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, appear on VH1’s “That Metal Show”, and play Shamrockfest at RFK Stadium. Continue reading Girls Girls Girls: The Crüe Lives On