Iconic Entertainer Joins GOP in Tampa to Help Show America is “Back in the Game”
You can still rock in America — and with his blend of common-sense conservatism and rock n’ roll credentials, Jack Blades is out to prove it. The songwriter, bassist, lead singer and front man of Night Ranger and Damn Yankees is in Tampa, Florida this week to participate in the 2012 Republican National Convention, where he’ll perform “Back in the Game,” the lead track from his latest solo effort, Rock ‘n Roll Ride, and make appearances in support of Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and other GOP candidates.
“This country was built on the hard work of individual Americans who took a chance and pursued a dream,” says Blades, who has sold more than 25 million albums throughout his remarkable career and performed in front of millions of fans worldwide. “Too often today I see that sort of initiative being discouraged and punished. We can do better. That’s why I’m honored to have been asked to be involved in the convention.”
Blades’ music has long had a patriotic flavor, evident in Night Ranger’s classic 1983 hit “(You Can Still) Rock in America” and emerging more recently in his solo hit “Back in the Game,” the video for which made its debut earlier this year on radio and TV host Sean Hannity’s website. Night Ranger also performed for U.S. troops stationed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2008, an experience Blades found deeply inspiring.
With a career spanning three decades, Blades has recorded with, penned songs and produced albums for some of the music industry’s biggest names, including Aerosmith, Cher, Ringo Starr, Alice Cooper, Roger Daltrey, Journey, Vince Neil, Ozzy Osbourne, Styx, Ted Nugent, and Motley Crue.
Blades has brought his common-sense conservatism and passion for America to television, appearing as a guest on Fox News’ “Hannity” and “Red Eye” programs.
Blades’ music has been featured in films such as Armageddon, Oscar-nominated Boogie Nights, Tommy Boy; television shows such as South Park and American Dad, the wildly successful Rock Band and Guitar Hero video games; and the Rock of Ages hit Broadway musical and feature film.
To my ears, and eyes, Night Ranger was the greatest surprise out of all of the bands at the M3 Rock Festival. From the opening moments of Night Ranger’s set where Jack Blades, Brad Gillis and Joel Hoekstra stood ready for attack over the the band’s stack of EVH Amps, I knew that this was going to be a rockin’ show. I had no idea that Night Ranger would be this good! I don’t know if being televised on HDNET had anything to do with it or not, but Night Ranger definitely brought their “A” game to the M3 Rock Festival.
Night Ranger’s set was awesome, and to me, they were easily one of the best bands on either day of the M3 Rock Festival. By the time Night Ranger finished their set which included the songs “Lay It On Me”, “Sing Me Away”, “Rumors in the Air”, Growin’ Up in California”, “Secret of My Success”, “Touch of Madness”, “Sentimental Street”, “Eddie’s Coming Out Tonight”, “High Enough”(Damn Yankees), “Four in the Morning”, “When You Close Your Eyes”, “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me”, and after a brief intermission, an encore with the songs “Sister Christian” and “(You Can Still) Rock in America”. I haven’t listened to Midnight Madness for a while, so getting to hear “Touch of Madness” live was a real treat!
Brad Gillis was an absolute monster on guitar. He is a tremendously under rated player that deserves more respect. I love how Kelly Keagy came off of the drum kit to sing a couple of songs. Jack Blades is a fantastic front man with great energy, and a voice that is absolutely perfect! Kelly Keagy still sounds great too. Joel Hoekstra is a lot of fun to watch. He looked like he was having a great time!
At the end of the set, I found myself upset and embarrassed that I had never seen Night Ranger live before. After their M3 performance, I will gladly drive out of my way to see Night Ranger play. I hope they get a chance to return to M3. They easily could have been the headliner Friday night. They put on an excellent show, and I won’t ever forget it!
Have you check out Jack Blades’ new CD Rock ‘N Roll Ride yet? Jack has released a new EPK for the CD. Check it out! You can pick up Rock ‘N Roll Ride at this link!
Jack Blades is back with his second solo CD, and to my ears, one of the greatest surprises of 2012. I have been a fan of Jack Blades for a long time, but to be honest, I didn’t expect his solo CD to be much. I can gladly say, I was wrong. Rock ‘N Roll Ride is a stronger album, in my opinion, than the latest Night Ranger CD, Somewhere in California. This CD has a good collection of classic rock numbers, with a few hard rock numbers sprinkled in for good measure.
For you hard rockers out there, Rock ‘N Roll Ride has plenty of music for you to check out.
The hardest numbers are “Back In The Game”, “Rock ‘N Roll Ride”, “Love Life”, “Say You Will” and “Rise and Shine”. All of these songs are excellent.”Love Life” sounds like it could have been a left over Night Ranger song. I like this better than anything off of Night Ranger’s recent album, Somewhere in California.
“Hardest Word To Say” is an acoustic guitar based number that gets better and better with every listen. This is another great song!
When I first heard “West Hollywood” I did a double take. Jack Blades almost sounds like Tom Petty in parts of this song. I thought the same thing about the song “Don’t Give Up” as well. They both have that classic Tom Petty style. The music is great, and Jack’s voice has never sounded better.
“Rise and Shine” might just be the catchiest song on Rock ‘N Roll Ride. I wish I could use this song as an alarm on my alarm clock every morning.
The album closes out with the song “Hey Now”. This song has a cool Rolling Stones type of vibe to it. This is one of my favorites on Rock ‘N Roll Ride.
Overall, Rock ‘N Roll Ride has been one of 2012’s great surprises. I love this album, and I think you will too!
You can pick up Rock ‘N Roll Ride at this link. Don’t miss this!
Rating: Out of 10
01. Back in the Game
02. Rock N Roll Ride
03. Hardest Word To Say
04. Anything For You
05. Love Life
06. West Hollywood
07. Born For This
08. Don’t Give Up
09. Say You Will
10. Rise and Shine
11. Hey Now
Jack Blades: Bass, guitar, acoustic guitar, lead and background vocals
Joel Hoekstra: Guitars and solos
Will Evankovich: Acoustic guitars, mandolin, add. guitars, Coral Sitar guitar, background vocals
Kelly Keagy and Brian Tichy: Drums
Eric Levy and Christian Matthew Cullen: Keyboards
Check out the brand new video “Back In The Game” from Jack Blades!
The song is the first single from Jack Blades’ forthcoming album ROCK N’ ROLL RIDE. The video imparts a strong patriotic message of the debt of gratitude owed to the military of this nation. Blades, a longtime fan of talk show host Sean Hannity, recently appeared on the “Hannity” television show and an instant bond was established melding the political world with the rock music world. Jack Blades commented, “Sean’s a great guy but he needs work on his onstage rock moves…I’m just the guy to teach him!”
ROCK N’ ROLL RIDE is due out on March 27th in North America via Frontiers Records and features contributions from Blades’ Night Ranger bandmates Brad Gillis, Kelly Keagy, Joel Hoekstra and Eric Levy, as well as a special guest appearance by Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander. Click here to download the cover art. Click here to pre-order the physical album on Amazon and here to pre-order the digital album on iTunes.
Jack Blades is a frontman, lead singer, bassist, songwriter, and producer as well as a founding member of the highly-successful arena rock band, Night Ranger and supergroup Damn Yankees (along with Ted Nugent and Tommy Shaw from Styx) and the highly-regarded Shaw/Blades. Throughout his remarkable career Blades has sold over 25 million albums, performed in front of millions of fans worldwide and collaborated with some of rock’s most legendary artists. With a career spanning three decades, Blades has recorded with, penned songs and produced albums for some of the music industry’s biggest names including Aerosmith, Cher, Ringo Star, Alice Cooper, Roger Daltrey, Journey, Ozzy Osbourne, Styx, Ted Nugent, Motley Crue and Vince Neil. His music has been featured in movies such as Armageddon, Boogie Nights, Tommy Boy, television shows such as “South Park” and “American Dad,” the hit Broadway musical (and soon-to-be released major motion picture) Rock of Ages and the wildly successful videogame series “Rock Band” and “Guitar Hero”. With Blades’ songwriting, driving guitars, stage antics and on the strength of Night Ranger’s songs “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me,” “Rock in America,” “Sister Christian,” “When You Close Your Eyes,” and “Sentimental Street”, along with the Damn Yankees hits “High Enough” and “Coming of Age”, Blades’ legacy continues to inspire generations while still being written.
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Hole in the Sun is the first new album from Night Ranger in nine years. On Hole in the Sun, the band has returned to their hard rocking roots.
The lineup of Night Ranger has changed since this album was released. Michael Lardie has returned to Great White, and was replaced by Christian Matthew Cullen. Jeff Watson was replaced with Joel Hoekstra.
I must admit that I had low expectations for this disc. I like Night Ranger, but the last couple of releases were just on the o.k. side for me. Hole In the Sun is easily the best record they have done in a long time.
Jack Blades and Kelly Keagy trade off on the lead vocals on this disc. Both singers do a pretty fine job, especially Jack Blades who sings backup to Keagy’s tracks.
Before this disc was released, Jeff Watson was fire by Night Ranger. I do not know the reasons why, other than some squabling over the direction of this album. Judging from the sounds on Hole In the Sun, it couldn’t have been due to his playing ability. The guitar work of Watson and Gillis is superb on this disc.
Some of the songs on Hole in the Sun are of the hard rock variety, and some fall more into the melodic rock/aor vein. The mix of songs on Hole In the Sun is pretty good, which gives the album a very balanced feel to it. Their really isn’t a bad song on this disc.
The first three tracks are amongst the heavier cuts on the album. You’re Gonna Hear From Me is one seriously rocking tune, and quite possibly one of Night Ranger’s best songs ever.
My favorite cuts are Tell Your Vision, You’re Gonna Hear From Me, What Happened, and Wrap It Up.
Europe has had their hands on this disc since 2007 (although it has a different cover). I am not sure why it took so long for Night Ranger to secure a U.S. deal, but I am glad they did. If you have ever considered yourself a Night Ranger fan, you need to check out Hole in the Sun. This may not be their best record, but it is a very solid effort, and worth checking out.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Tell Your Vision
2. Drama Queen
3. You’re Gonna Hear From Me
4. Whatever Happened
5. There Is Life
7. Hole In The Sun
8. Fool In Me
9. White Knuckle Ride
10. Revelation 4AM
11. Wrap It Up
13. Don’t Tell Me You Love Me [Acoustic Version]
14. Sister Christian [Acoustic Version]
Night Ranger is:
Jack Blades – Bass and LeadVocals
Brad Gillis – Guitars and Backing Vocals
Jeff Watson – Guitars and Backing Vocals
Kelly Keagy – Drums and Lead Vocals
Michael Lardie – Keyboards and Backing Vocals
Frontiers Records is pleased to announce the European release of NIGHT RANGER latest double live album “Rockin’ Shibuya 2007” on September 19th 2008.
Night Ranger is a band that left an indelible mark with a string of best-selling albums that sold more than 16 million copies worldwide. The band’s popularity was fuelled by an impressive string of instantly recognizable hit singles and signature album tracks, including “Sister Christian”, “(You Can Still) Rock In America”, “When You Close Your Eyes”, “Sentimental Street”, “Goodbye” and “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me”. Harnessing the frenetic drive of heavy metal to hook-laden rock songs, throwing in a stunning twin lead guitar team and melodic radio-friendly power ballads, Night Ranger inspired new descriptive phrases such as “melodic metal” and “metal power pop”.
Following a seven-year absence, Night Ranger reunited in 1996 for a tour of Japan and a summer US tour. Fans proved that they still loved the music and the band. Also that year, the band released “Neverland”, and the following year, “Seven”, studio albums that set the standard for the 80s rock revival. Nearly every summer since, Night Ranger has toured across the country, sharing stages with such acts as REO Speedwagon, Styx, Journey, Bad Company, Pat Benatar, Loverboy, Poison, Cinderella, Boston, Heart, Sammy Hagar, Cheap Trick and Kansas.
2007 proved to be another busy year for Night Ranger with a successful new studio album, “Hole In The Sun” released in Europe in April 2007. The band also embarked on a new Japan tour with Reb Beach filling in for long-time member Jeff Watson on guitar. The result is this exciting brand new Live album release which includes audio from the band’s June 2007 show at the C.C. Lemon Hall in Shibuya, Tokyo on two CDs. The tracklisting includes all the classic hits from the band plus a handful of songs taken from the newest album “Hole In The Sun” and a driving rendition of Deep Purple’s “Highway Star” incorporated in the concert opener “This Boy Needs To Rock”.
Full tracklisting includes:
Cd1: This Boy Needs To Rock / Highway Star; Tell Your Vision; Sing Me Away; Touch Of Madness; Drama Queen; Rumours In The Air; Seven Wishes; The Secret of My Success; There Is Life; Eddie’s Comin’ Out Tonight.
Cd2: Sentimental Street; Forever All Over Again; Goodbye; Whatever Happened; Four In The Morning; When You Close Your Eyes; Don’t Tell Me You Love Me; Sister Christian; You’re Gonna Hear From Me; (You Can Still) Rock In America.
The bright lights and rock ‘n’ roll nights never end for Night Ranger. You can still Rock in America!