HARDY The Mockingbird & The Crow Released – Jan 20th 2023 Universal Music – Big Loud Records
Philadelphia Singer-songwriter (Michael)HARDY made a name for himself in 2020 with his debut album A ROCK, which showcased his genre-blending ability. In this new era of HARDY music, HARDY continues to prove why he is one of the best songwriters in the country music genre and one of the most entertaining performers. While Sold Out set the stage, Wait In The Truck (feat. Lainey Wilson) further proved that the singer-songwriter has what it takes to go the distance.
CODY PARKS & THE DIRTY SOUTH Thunder Cash 69 Released – 20th Jan 2023
This is a raucous mash-up of White Zombie’s Thunder Kiss 65 and Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues, which on any regular analysis of current musical trends, should not work at all.
Cody Parks & The Dirty South style themselves as a “country metal” band from Nashville, that literally blends both genres in their music. Sometimes they like to do unique versions of cover songs for their live set, and Cody told me that he’s always played Folsom, but one day when they were rehearsing it, they figured we needed to make it more unique, because everyone plays the same ol’ version of that song. One of the guys started playing the Zombie riff and the rest was history. It started poppin’ at shows and on the socials, so they figured what the hell…let’s record it!
JARED JAMES NICHOLS – JJN Released – 13th Jan 2022 Black Hill Records
Singer, guitarist, songwriter and Gibson Guitars brand ambassador Jared James Nichols has announced his self-titled new album will be released on January 13th via Black Hill Records. Jared James Nichols, his third full-length offering, features the new single Down The Drain as well as the previously released Hard Wired. The collection showcases every side of the Nashville-based multi-talent and the various genres he grew up listening to, whether it was grunge or blues, that have influenced his authentic sound.
HEROES & MONSTERS Heroes & Monsters Released – 20th Jan 2023 Frontiers Music
There is a significant volume of hard and melodic rock released under the Frontiers label, and a fair share of it leaves me unmoved, lacking any real spark of originality, and often seeing inter-changeable players and producers involved.
However, I am in no position to criticise the intent and dedication to releasing music, so can only comment on what resonates with me.
Every so often, something pops up that appears outside the normal Frontiers genre and the Heroes and Monsters project, formed by three rock n’ roll lifers and friends, bassist/vocalist Todd Kerns, guitarist Stef Burns, and drummer Will Hunt, seems to be one of these gems.
TEN SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES Released – Jan 20th 2023 Frontiers Music
British hard rockers TEN have an outstanding history of releases in their lengthy back-catalogue. Starting out as a solo project built around singer and songwriter Gary Hughes, TEN found their audience playing a hard rock sound influenced by such classic / prog rock giants as UFO, Thin Lizzy, Magnum, Giant, and Whitesnake, in a time when playing this particular sound was considered commercial suicide.
The band’s early records such as The Name Of The Rose, The Robe, Spellbound, and Babylon established the band as mainstays in the melodic hard rock genre, which has continued throughout their now 26 year career.
Kings of Leon Set The Town of Mildura on Fire 29th October 2022 Mildura Sporting Complex, Victoria Australia
Mildura, located in rural Victoria, was the venue for Kings of Leon’s opening show on their long-awaited 2022 Australian tour. Over 10,000 people filled the newly opened complex to hear the band, natives from Tennessee. Comprising of brothers Caleb, Jared, Nathan Followill, and their cousin Matthew Followill. The band played a 25-song set that featured songs from their impressive 20-year career and eight-album catalogue.
Announced at 2 days notice, and sold out within 5 minutes, local boy Morgan Evans took a couple of days out of the current hectic CMC Rocks and Brad Paisley tour to head home for a one-off show at the Mayfield pub and live music venue the Stag & Hunter Hotel. Initially planned to be just Morgan doing a solo set, landlord Mick was a bit surprised when a truck turned up with drums, amps and keyboards, and then the whole band rocked up to check out the venue having been onstage at Rod Laver arena 18 hours earlier, and at the airport at 4am to make it happen! “We’ll make it work” was the phrase when they realised the stage was smaller than their normal drum riser!
TROY REDFERN Wings of Salvation Released – September 23rd
Blues-rock guitarist, singer- songwriter and
dubbed Britain’s “King of Slide Guitar” Troy Redfern has followed up the
excellent 2021 release The Fire Cosmic with a new record in The
Wings of Salvation. This record
was crowd-funded through a Kickstarter campaign, and I am happy to say I added
my name to the supporting cast for this.
DEAD CITY RUINS SHOCKWAVE Released – Sept 16th AFM Records
Melbourne hard rockers Dead City Ruins had developed a reputation in that City in particular as a full-on, flat-out, classic rock band in the Casanovas / Airbourne / AC/DC mould, and released their first album in 2011 which had more of an Ozzy / DIO-era Sabbath feel to it, and instantly broadened their appeal!
WAYWARD SONS SCORE SETTLED EP Released – 17th June 2022 Frontiers Music
UK rockers Wayward Sons have announced the release of a special new EP, Score Settled. The EP follows the release of their latest studio album, Even Up The Score which came out in October 2021. The EP features three new, unreleased songs that were recorded during the sessions for Even Up The Score as well as three tracks that were previously only released on a physical format, and a live studio version of a track previously released as a studio bonus track in Japan.
SIMON McBRIDE – THE FIGHTER Released – 27th May 2022 EarMusic
Northern Ireland native, Simon McBride is currently on the road with Deep Purple filling in for Steve Morse and has released what he is calling his debut solo album The Fighter, via EarMusic. There were three prior albums released, the last of them 10 years ago, so this is a fresh start in recording terms at least.
FOZZY – Boombox Released – 6th May 2022 Mascot Records / Mascot Label Group
This is the first studio album in 5 years for Fozzy, the powerhouse rock band fronted by the larger than life Chris Jericho, one-time professional wrestler and vocalist for the band for over 20 years now.
CASEY BARNES / JOSH SETTERFIELD The Cambridge Hotel – Newcastle, NSW 6th May 2022
The Cambridge Hotel is a legendary rock’n’roll pub on the outskirts of Newcastle, black painted walls, sticky carpet, signed drum-heads on the walls from some of Australia’s best-known bands, and was once a regular touring stop for international bands when they used to play shows in more than just Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.