Tag Archives: Rock

Quick Artist Profile: Reignwolf

Jordan Cook sounds like an average name. You could probably open up the phone book and find multiple Jordan Cooks (do People even Have Phone Books anymore.) But Jordan Cook has an alter ego, and that is Reignwolf the name of his sometimes one man sometimes three piece band. Reignwolf is definitely an artist to keep an eye out for, as he takes the garage rock thing and makes it his own using amazing showmanship and musicianship to create a sonic brew that can only be described as mesmerizing.

I found about Reignwolf while cruising the internet last week, and started watching his videos and was sucked into my computer screen for hours watching his performances of him. I was stunned by the level of talent and the awesomeness of the music that just came from one man and a bass drum. Truly amazing.

Checkout Reignwolf NOW!

-B. Harlow

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Black Label Society Release New Single, “My Dying Time”

If you play guitar then there is one man who stands out when talking about modern guitar playing, and that man is none other than former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist, Zakk Wylde. Wylde fronts his own band, Black Label Society who have a large following, that they refer to as the “Black Label family.” Think about a  motor cycle club cross pollinated with the Kiss Army and that would be the “Black Label Family.”

Recently Wylde has been hunkered down in his home studio, The Black Vatican working on new music for the follow-up to 2010’s  Order  of The Black. Last week we got a first taste of this new music which will be released April 8th and be titled Catacombs of The Black Vatican. This new track is entitled “My Dying Time,” and let me tell you, it does not disappoint.

“My Time of Dying” starts with a very atmospheric type riff, and then a chugging guitar gets introduced. After this the rest of the band comes in and this track really takes off nicely. The vocals are very reminiscent of older Black Label Society Material, in fact they sound a lot like Wylde’s southern rock side project, Pride & Glory. The guitar playing in this song is spectacular, it is shredding, but is also melodic and most importantly fits the song well.

I can’t wait to see what Zakk and his crew have up their sleeves, but I’m sure of one thing, and that is that Black Label Society will put out a fantastic album.

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The Rolling Stones Rock Boston 6/14/13

On Friday June 14th The Rolling Stones took to the stage at the Boston Garden for the second night of their two night stand on their 50 & Counting Tour. You could tell that everyone was excited for the festivities that night, as almost everyone outside of The Garden was decked out in Rolling Stones merchandise. As our party entered the stadium our intensity level went even further through the roof, as we realized we were only eleven rows from the stage.

At about 8:50 the house lights went down and the band’s intro video came on, and that’s when the crowds intensity skyrocketed. The whole Garden was clapping, whistling, and waiting not so patiently for the show to begin. Then, The Rolling Stones Appeared. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, and Ronnie Wood in the flesh, and that’s when the place erupted, and the band launched into the first chords of “Get Off My Cloud.”

The band sounded tight on their first few numbers, but on the fourth song of the night, “Gimme Shelter” you could tell that the band was on fire, and it would be a great night of some of the Stone’s best material. They played “All Down The Lane” and for Boston’s fan voted song they played, “Memory Motel” which coincidentally features the lyric “When I asked her where she headed for ‘Back up to Boston I’m singing in a bar.’”

“When The Whip Comes Down” a classic cut from 1978’s Some Girls was up next, and that was followed by one of my least favorite Stones’ tracks, “Emotional Rescue.” The band then launched into the two new tracks which they recorded for their latest greatest hits album Grrr! which was released last November. “Doom and Gloom,” a political rocker was one of these new songs and that went over well, but you could tell that by the time they got into “One More Shot” people were using these new tracks as an opportunity to use the bathroom. I dig the new tracks, especially “Doom and Gloom,” and I felt I was one of the few people in the audience that new the track.

Keith Richards then busted into the riff for “Honkey Tonk Women” which brought the crowd back into the action. The band then did introductions, and after that Keith Richards took to the microphone performing two of my favorite Stones’ songs “You Got The Silver” and “Happy.” These two tracks went over well especially “Happy” which had a great number of fans singing along.

“Midnight Rambler” was up next and this was when Mick Taylor joined the band. Taylor looked happy to be there, but his playing was really not up to muster. In fact it felt like they buried his guitar in the live mix to cover any mistakes. Watts and Richards really held the band together on this track especially the very loose last part of the song at the end.

The band played “Miss You” and “Start Me Up” which both received enormous hands from the crowd who went up another notch when the band launched into the intro of “Start Me Up.” The band finished off their set with “Tumbling Dice,” “Brown Sugar,” and “Sympathy For The Devil.” These songs were all excellent especially “Sympathy For The Devil.”

The stage went dark, and the crowd called for an encore, and their wishes were granted when B.U.’s choir came to the stage with the band and performed a haunting rendition of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” The band closed the night with the two crowd pleasers, “Jumping Jack Flash” and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”

The Rolling Stones were amazing and if you get the opportunity to see them, you definitely should not let that opportunity pass you by.

-B. Harlow
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NEVER SAY DIE: Black Sabbath Return With First Album Featuring Ozzy Osbourne in 35 Years, ’13’

Black Sabbath. These two words say so much. They conjure images of Ozzy Osbourne peace signs swinging in the air hoping up and down like a coked up Richard Nixon. Of Tony Iommi standing in place playing the evilest riffs that can be conjured. And Geezer Butler, whose bass tone and style is the gold standard for all of heavy metal.  These three titans have come together with the help of producer, Rick Rubin to release their first new album in 35 years, 13.

13 starts off with the ominous opening riff to the album’s first track “End of The Beginning.”    “End of The Beginning” has a very slow ominous feel to it that is very reminiscent of the band’s eponymous song “Black Sabbath.”  The song eventually picks up and the listener gets bludgeoned by another one of Iommi’s signature riffs.

13’s second track is entitled “God is Dead?” which starts off with a slow instrumental section that sets the mood for the song. This then gets interrupted by another one of Tony Iommi’s signature riffs. You can hear how tight the band is on this riff especially bassist Geezer Butler and session drummer, Brad Wilk. The slow meandering riff comes back again and with it we hear Ozzy’s vocals which sound excellent. Rick Rubin did a great job polishing Ozzy’s voice on this song, as it is spotless in performance. Butler’s bass is super punchy during the verse too, which gives the song a certain movement that is different from Iommi’s guitar playing which is very smooth. The chorus comes in and this is when we hear Black Sabbath as it is meant to be heard with extremely loud riffs. Around the 5:55 the song hits a bridge and this is by far my favorite song as it fits in with the band’s older material like “Hole in the Sky.”

“Loner” is the next track on the album, which is a track about pure alienation, which lyrically is interesting because many of Sabbath’s early songs were about that same topic. The riff in this song is very standard and simple, but it gets the job done.  But where the song really is stunning is towards the middle where it slows down for a short period, but then the band kicks in, and they’re full speed.

“Zeitgeist” is the albums fourth track, and is one of my favorite tracks on the record. The song has a great feel reminiscent of their great track, “Planet Caravan.”  It’s a beautiful track, and Rubin did a great job on the mixing allotting each instrument the correct space in the mix. If there’s anything that would be the polar opposite of “Zeitgeist” it would be the next track, “Age of Reason” which is a riff driven track about the end of the world, but what I love about it is it’s riff which sounds like a number of my favorite Black Sabbath songs got shoved into a blender, and the end result was this track. Tony Iommi’s guitar playing is also something that should be noted, as he provides a very heavy mechanical feel, but still makes the track groove. Wilk’s drumming is also great on this track.

“Live Forever” is another one of those tracks that you just want to bang your head to. The riff has so much groove. It’s a tremendous song, and the lyrics on the track are spectacular too. “Damaged Soul” is the seventh track on the album, and this song sounds like it came straight from 1971. The production on this song isn’t as spectacular as the rest of the album, but the unpolished feel adds to the rustic and true image that Black Sabbath has always portrayed.

“Dear Father” is the last track on the album, and this song is as heavy, as anything I’ve heard even though it’s a slower song in parts, I would say it’s one of the heaviest tracks I’ve ever heard. I love it.

13 is a collection of eight great tracks that bring one back to the 70’s. Rick Rubin said he wanted the album to sound contemporary, but also have a vintage feel, and with this record he definitely captured that vibe. Sabbath is back!

-B. Harlow

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Boston Strong

Today on Musically Diversified I’d like to focus my thoughts on an event that is happening in Boston this evening. The Concert For Boston featuring Aerosmith, Jason Aldean, Boston, The Drop Kick Murphys, and many more is set to take place at the Boston Garden tonight, and all of the proceeds from the night will go towards The One Fund. You can Donate HERE 

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John Fogerty Releases Collection of Re-Recorded Classics with Great collaborations

If there was a man who summed up the perfect mix of grit and charm it was definitely Creedence Clearwater Revival’s John Fogerty. Fogerty’s voice and lyrics summed up a whole generation;s feelings, and have resonated throughout the ages, and now at age of 68 Fogerty has released a collection of some of his most known tunes re-recorded with some of today’s biggest artists spanning many genres and sub-genres. Some guests include: Foo Fighters, Jennifer Hudson, and Kid Rock. The album was  released on May 28, 2013 Fogerty’s 68th birthday, and is a fitting celebration of Fogerty’s back catalogue.

The first track of Wrote a Song for Everyone is a re-recording of CCR’s most famous song and politically driven song, “Fortunate Son” and it features a great collaboration with Dave Grohl and the rest of the Foo Fighters. It’s great to hear a more modern recording of this song, but the lyrics are still accurate as the day they were written.  Keith Urban provides a great performance on the next track, “Almost Saturday Night” which is a more obscure song, but was perfect for both Urban and Fogerty, as their voices synced in a very cohesive manner.  “Lodi” is the third track on the record, and this is where Fogerty’s two sons, Shane and Tyler, come into the picture, and they provide great performances.

One of the album’s two new songs was up next, and I found this song, “Mystic Highway” to be a great track, not only is it classic Fogerty, but it also feels very modern, and sing songish. It may be campy, but it works.

Zac Brown Band makes an appearance on the album’s rendition of “Bad Moon Rising.” The band’s music works perfectly when it comes to the track, as it’s a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll. Musically ZBB holds up their end well, while Fogerty does his thing perfectly on guitar and vocals. Arrangement wise the song is excellent, and exceedingly fresh. “Born on The Bayou” featuring Kid Rock was the next track that I fell in love with. Kid Rock’s voice works so well in the country rock genre, and also compliments Fogerty’s voice with stylistic ease.

Wrote A Song For Everyone is a hybrid greatest hits and tribute album that works great. Fogerty picked artists that complimented his talents, and added a new twist to the record. The dude Abides.

-B. Harlow

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Stone Temple Pilots Release New Song “Out of Time” Featuring Their New Vocalist, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park

On the list of things I thought I’d never say, I’d rank my next statement up high. Chester Bennington is a perfect fit for Stone Temple Pilots, and the new song they just released entitled, “Out of Time” is one of the best hard rock song that’s been released in a long time. Stone Temple Pilots who have been taking a break since firing original singer, Scott Weiland in February, are now back, and believe me when I say that they’re better than ever with this new track.

The new track sounds a lot like old school Stone Temple Pilots and Bennington’s voice sounds like it was modeled after Weiland’s, but it also sounds new and fresh, and more importantly it sounds incredibly raw opposed to when he’s singing in Linkin Park which his voice is heavily over produced. This sounds raw and ballsy. Dean DeLeo’s riffs sound great throughout this track and besides the vocals are the most notable thing on the song.

Definitely give this track a listen, as you can download it for free HERE

-B. Harlow

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Ghost B.C.’s Amazing Performance At The Royale, Boston 5/10/13

On Friday May 10th Papa Emeritus II and his band of nameless ghouls took over the Royale in Boston, MA, and put on one of the best live shows that I have ever seen. The band is all about theatrics, but unlike many other bands that have a theatrical side, Ghost’s music stands up both live and on record, and works perfectly with the bands live show.

“Infestissumam” started off the bands set, and when the band hit the stage the Royale was in the bands hand for the rest of the night. They then went into “Per Aspera ad Inferi” which kept the audience head banging away.  The band then launched into three tracks from their 2010 debut album, Opus Eponymous. Of these tracks, “Elizabeth” got the best crowd response. Ghost then launched into the first single, “Secular Haze”   from their latest album, Infestissumam.  This was one of the best songs of the night, and got a huge crowd response.

“Body and Blood” another favorite from the new album came up next, and this was performed quite nicely by the band, as it is a more delicate song with a very late 60’s vibe. The band took it up a notch for the next track “Stand By Him” which is one of my favorite tracks from Opus Eponymous. The Guitars on the track were magical and were executed with great skill live. “Death Knell” and “Satan Prayer” were up  next, and these two tracks also went over well with the crowd.  The band then showed off their musicianship with “Genesis” which was followed by “Year Zero,” the band’s second single from, Infestissumam.

The band then played “Ritual” one of their better known songs, and this brought the show up another notch above what was thought possible. But the best performance of the night came on the last song “Monstrance Clock.” Before Papa Emeritus and his band of nameless Ghouls started the song he stated that it was time for the people of Boston to sing together as one and they did, and it sounded awesome, and it was a great way to end the night.

Ghost B.C. took the Royale by storm and put on a masterful performance that left everyone in the audience wanting more.

-B. Harlow

Check out some video Highlights of The Show HERE

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Artists You Should Hear: Tak Matsumoto

Tak Matsumoto is one of the most amazing musical minds that is out there today. He is a Grammy Award-winning Japanese guitarist, producer, arranger, composer, singer and songwriter. But you’ve probably never heard of him, and that’s because he plays in a band that mostly plays Japan. In Japan, Tak and his band B’z, which aslo features singer Koshi Inaba are extremely successful. To date they’ve released 46 consecutive No. 1 singles, 25 No. 1 albums, and sold more than 80 million records worldwide! Tak is also a true virtuoso with a very successful solo career.

Tak started out as a session musician, but would soon find himself playing in one of Japan’s biggest bands, B’z. B’z was formed in 1988 as a duo featuring Koshi Inaba on vocals. Together they’ve released 19 studio albums including their most recent, 2011’s C’mon. Stylistically the band has changed many times, but consistently they put out an excellent product focused around Tak’s excellent guitar playing.

Tak as a solo artist has released 13 albums. Most recently Tak released his album Strings of My Soul which came out in June of 2012. He has also done some amazing guest spots including appearance with the Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra.

Tak is an amazing guitar player who you should hear! Check him out!

-B. Harlow

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Lights Re-arranges Her Hit 2011 Album, ‘Siberia’ with new Album ‘Siberia Acoustic’

In 2011 Lights released her second studio album, Siberia which was a very dirty and dark electronic influenced record with some great tracks that were produced by Tawgs Salter and Canadian electronic band Holy Fuck. In summer of 2012 Lights announced via twitter that she was re-recording and re-arranging songs from Siberia. Now we have the finished product and we are impressed.

The re-recording features 10 tracks and includes contributions from Coeur de Pirate, Owl City and Max Kerman from Arkells. The songs on the album have been tastefully re-arranged and feature great performances by Lights who sounds excellent vocally. Some songs feature great string arrangements while others feature a more atmospheric vibe, but Lights and her acoustic guitar are ever-present.

Key tracks on the collection are “Banner” which is the first track on Siberia Acoustic. Honestly this song lyrically works better in this type of acoustic arrangement especially because of the potency of the lyrics.  Another key track is my favorite from the original, “Toes.” The new arrangement of “Toes” definitely catches the listener’s attention with the very down-trodden arpeggiated  notes that leads into a nicely strummed chorus. But vocally is where the track really catches your attention especially during the chorus section. “And Counting…” is my favorite track though. Its haunting piano part mixed with Lights’ spectacular vocals is just a winning combination.

Siberia Acoustic is a great album which stands next to the original work, Siberia, and makes its own unique statement.

-B. Harlow

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