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Showing posts from May, 2019

The Heavy - Sons

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7 out of 10
Once in a while you take a flyer on a record and it turns out to be really good. That was the case with Sons, the new record from British band The Heavy.  The Heavy have been around since 2007, Sons is their fifth record.  They are probably best known for their 2009 hit "How You Like Me Now" which was used in TV and movies including Suits, Ted and Horrible Bosses.
I wasn't very familiar with the band at all when the record came across my desk but I gave it a try.  What I heard kind of took me by surprise, the first word that comes to mind is funk.  The eleven songs on Sons are nothing if not funky.  There are horns, slapping bass and crunching guitar.  The more I listened I was reminded of a small scene that grew in the early 1990's of bands that blended funk, soul and rock into a unique combination.  Think of Stevie Salas' Colorcode record or the criminally underrated Hands of Faith record from Circle of Soul.   Heavy For You Vocalist Kelvin Swaby so…

A Conversation with Chuck Garric and Calico Cooper of Beasto Blanco

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It's no secret that Alice Cooper has one of the most talented bands in rock.  Two members of that band, Chuck Garric and Calico Cooper, have joined forces with Brother Lathem, Jan LeGrow and Sean Sellers to form Beasto Blanco.  Chuck and Calico took some time while on their tour bus to talk about the band's new record, We Are, on the eve of it's release.  There may be a few phone issues as the bus was going through some bad weather but this was a fun interview with two great musicians and cool people!
Press Play below to hear my interview with Chuck & Calico:
On the concept that started Beasto Blanco -  (Chuck) says "I want to do this thing called Beasto Blanco and I want it to be like Sonny and Cher from Hell, I want it to be like Natural Born Killers" and I said "Ok, I got it". 1:00
I've been on stage my whole life and something was different, it was really special. 1:50
On the Beasto mantra - The record is called We Are and it's really a …

New Music Showcase - Josh Newcom

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In this New Music Showcase we spotlight an artist that didn't just release one new record, Josh Newcom released ten new records over the course of 18 months.  Oh, and each release was a different genre ranging from traditional country to blues to down-tuned heavy rock.  I had the chance to chat with Josh about all of these releases.  Press Play below to hear that chat: Although each of Josh's releases is centered on a different genre (to be fair, 2 releases Everybody's Wrong and Tattooed on my Heart are multi-genre releases) there is a common feel that goes through them all.  That's probably because Josh has done everything on these records.  Over the course of 105 songs, Josh wrote, produced and with the exception of fiddle and steel guitar, played every instrument on all the songs.
Josh refers to his prolific release schedule as a "Netflix Approach" in that the streaming service tends to just drop content and may not always announce new programming in adva…

A Conversation With Tail Winds Music Fest Organizer Matt Cavaliere

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We are firmly in the age of the music festival.  Every week a new festival line-up is announced and most have become a scatter of different genres.  The Tail Winds Music Fest has it's roots firmly planted in rock.  The event, being held on June 29 in Wappingers Falls, NY, is headlined by the Chris Robinson Brotherhood and features Black Stone Cherry, Geoff Tate's Operation: Mindcrime, Kings X, Sass Jordan and others.  I caught up with festival organizer Matt Cavaliere and talked about how a lineup like this comes together and, in a time when some high profile festivals are crashing down, what it takes to put on a festival in 2019.
Please press Play below to hear the MisplacedStraws.com Conversation with Matt Cavaliere:
On putting a lineup together - We felt it was important to bring something fairly diverse. Bringing in Chris Robinson and Black Stone Cherry...those were two bands that mesh together well. Being a person that grew up in the 80's...I felt that Geoff Tate'…

New Music Showcase: The Sweet Things - In Borrowed Shoes, On Borrowed Time

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If you long for the days when rock music had a swagger to it, the days of Exile on Main St., the days of the New York Dolls, then The Sweet Things are for you.  They are about to emerge from NYC with an amazing record that combines everything you love about the Stones, the Dolls, Hanoi Rocks, the Quireboys, the Georgia Satellites and the Ju Ju Hounds and turns it into a thoroughly modern rock n' roll sound that you didn't realize you needed.
The Sweet Things are made up of Dave Tierney, lead vocals/rhythm guitar; Lorne Behrman, lead guitar/vocals; Sam Hariss, bass/vocals; and Darren Fried, drums/vocals and have been on the New York city scene for about four years.  Their full-length debut, In Borrowed Shoes, On Borrowed Time, comes out on May 24th.  I recently had the chance to talk with bassist/vocalist Sam Hariss about the record, the band, Don Rickles, Jesse Malin and all things rock n' roll. Press Play for my conversation with Sam Hariss
While In Borrowed Shoes is wit…