Winger’s new CD, Better Days Comin’ gets released in the United States today (April 22nd!) This Friday night, at the M3 Rock Festival in Columbia, MD, you will have an excellent opportunity to hear Winger perform some of their new songs live.
Winger – Midnight Driver of a Love Machine
Winger – Rat Race
Winger – Tin Soldier
One of the most misunderstood Hard Rock bands to come out of the 80’s is returning with their first new album in 5 years. Winger is releasing Better Days Comin’ on April 18th in Europe and April 22nd in North America via Frontiers Records. The notorious band comprised of members Kip Winger on vocals/bass, Reb Beach on guitar, John Roth on guitar and Rod Morgenstein on drums, are back with their latest album. The album is available for pre-order on Amazon.com in a standard (http://smarturl.it/WNGR_AmzCD) and deluxe configuration (http://smarturl.it/WNGR_AmzDLX). The deluxe edition comes in a glossy digipak and includes the bonus track “Another Beautiful Day” and a DVD including a Making of the Album documentary as well as videos for the first single “Rat Race” and title track “Better Days Comin’.” An iTunes pre-order will be available soon. The band has always been known for their incredible musicianship and the trend continues on Better Days Comin’.
“On Better Days Comin’ we drew from our past to elaborate on our future. The band is stronger than ever and very excited about the music on this record,” explains front man Kip Winger. “We feel this album exemplifies the true sound of the band in every way.“
From the opening riff of album opener “Midnight Driver of a Love Machine” to the final outro lick of “Out Of This World,” it is clear Winger is back and better than ever. Hard rocking songs like “Queen Babylon,” progressive rock movements like “Tin Soldier,” and touching ballads like “Ever Wonder” show the band’s diversity while always centering on great songs. The debut single from Better Days Comin’ is the adrenaline fueled rocker “Rat Race” that showcases some of the band’s best work of their 25 year career.
The track listing for Better Days Comin’ is:
1) Midnight Driver of a Love Machine
2) Queen Babylon
3) Rat Race
4) Better Days Comin’
5) Tin Soldier
6) Ever Wonder
7) So Long China
8) Storm In Me
9) Be Who You Are, Now
10) Another Beautiful Day (Deluxe Edition Bonus Track)
11) Out Of This World
Winger formed in the late 1980’s and soared to immediate success with their 1988 self-titled release. The album spawned the hit singles “Seventeen” and “Headed For A Heartbreak” and achieved platinum sales status. Winger also stayed on the Billboard Top 200 chart for over 60 weeks where it peaked at #21. Their next album, In The Heart Of The Young, also achieved platinum status behind the singles “Can’t Get Enuff” and “Miles Away.” The change in musical climate of the mid-90’s, compounded with unprovoked ridicule on MTV’s popular Beavis and Butthead, led the band to go on hiatus in 1994. In 2001, the band reunited and have not looked back since. Winger has made a name for themselves with relentless touring, while winning back fans and critics alike because of their exceptional musicianship, Kip Winger’s powerful vocals and the band’s incredible songwriting.
Kip Winger – bass guitar, vocals
Reb Beach – guitars
Rod Morgenstein – drums
John Roth – guitars
Check out the latest clips “Midnight Driver of a Love Machine”, “Rat Race” and the classic clip “Down Incognito” below.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with Winger at the M3 Rock Festival. The last time I saw Winger perform a few years ago, it was in support of their album IV. I don’t know if it was the small crowd at my local venue, the blazing set that was done by Frank Hannon beforehand, or just an off night, but Winger was just OK that night. I was hoping for more at M3 and I got it! I don’t know if it was the unspoken competition between bands, but Kip Winger and company were great at M3. They put on a great set, and were much more lively than the last time I saw them.
I have seen Reb Beach play several times in the past, not only with Winger, but also with Dokken & Whitesnake. He never disappoints, and was quite fun to watch. Winger’s second guitar player John Roth got his chance to strut his stuff too, and he proved to be a very good player as well. Kip Winger’s voice is still in fine form after all of these years, and he still sounds great on all of those classic Winger tunes. Winger’s set included the songs, “Seventeen”, “You are the Saint, I am the Sinner”, “Headed for a Heartbreak”, “Down Incognito”, “Deal With the Devil”, “Can’t Get Enough” and more. I truly enjoyed Winger’s set, and I hope they return to another M3 Rock Festival in the future! Check out the video clip and pictures from the show below.
In 2009, Winger released one of their strongest albums to date with Karma. I am excited to see Winger perform some of the new songs at the M3 Rock Festival this weekend. “Deal with the Devil” and “Stone Cold Killer” are two of the new songs off of Karma that the band has performing in their live sets. Both songs are some of the hardest songs that Winger has done in recent years.
UPCOMING USA TOUR DATES SCHEDULE
Featuring FRONTIERS RECORDS BANDS & ARTISTS
Aug 02 Zeiterion Performing Arts Center New Bedford, MA
Aug 03 Birchmere Alexandria, VA
Aug 05 Penn’s Peak Jim Thorpe, PA
Aug 06 Theatre at Westbury Westbury, NY
Aug 07 Showboat Atlantic City NJ
Aug 08 Ridgefield Playhouse Ridgefield CT
Aug 10 Bergen PAC Englewood, NJ
Aug 12 Market Block Party Syracuse, NY
Aug 13 House of Blues Cleveland, OH
Aug 14 Armory Rochester, NY
Aug 15 Carnegie Hall of Homestead Pittsburgh, PA
Aug 17 Memorial Auditorium Raleigh, NC
Aug 18 Variety Playhouse Atlanta, GA
Aug 20 House of Blues Dallas, TX
Aug 21 House of Blues Houston, TX
Aug 22 Paramount Theatre Austin, TX
Aug 23 Majestic Theatre San Antonio, TX
Aug 25 Celebrity Theatre Phoenix, AZ
Aug 26 Veijas Casino at DreamCatcher Alpine, CA
Aug 27 Club Nokia Los Angeles, CA
Aug 28 The Grove Anaheim, CA
Aug 29 The Uptown Napa, CA
Sep 01 Laxon Auditorium Chico, CA
Sep 02 Fox Theatre Bakersfield, CA
Sep 03 Ovation at Green Valley Resort Henderson, NV
Sep 04 Peppermill Casino Wendover, NV
Sep 05 Nugget Casino Sparks, NV
Sep 07 Aladdin Theatre Portland, OR
Sep 08 Moore Theatre Seattle, WA
Aug 11 Keswick Theatre Glenside, PA
Aug 12 The State Theatre Falls Church, VA
Aug 15 Ramshead Tavern Annapolis, MD
Aug 17 B.B. King’s Blues Club and Grill New York, NY
Aug 19 Kent Stage, Kent OH
Aug 20 Syndicate Dinner Theatre Newport, KY
Aug 21 Lake Clementia Amphitheatre Rancho Murieta, CA **Sold Out**
June 12 Kissimee Bike Fest Kissimmee, FL
June 25 Joplin Memorial Hall Joplin, MS
June 26 Salina Bicentennial Center Salina, KS
June 30 Inner Harbor Syracuse, NY
July 03 Hogan Park Rancho Cordova, CA
July 18 Clay’s Park Rockin Resort N. Lawrence, OH
July 22 Bike Night at Stearns Square Springfield, MS
July 30 Lucas Co. Fairgrounds Maumee, OH
Aug 06 Speidie Fest Binghamton, NY
Aug 07 7 Flags Event Center Clive, IA
Sept 04 Montbleu Casino Resort Lake Tahoe, NV
Sept 18 Lake Ozark Expo Center Osage Beach, MS
July 24 Zoo Amphitheater Oklahoma City, OK
July 28 Altar Bar Pittsburgh, PA
July 29 Starland Ballroom Sayreville, NJ
July 30 Jaxx Springfield, VA
July 31 The Filmore New York, NY
Aug 1 Crazy Donkey Farmingdale, NY
Aug 2 The Hideout Binghamton, NY
Aug 4 Scatz NightClub Middleton, WI
Aug 6 Club Vegas Salt Lake City, UT
Aug 7 The New Oasis Sparks, NV
Aug 8 Tower Theatre Fresno, CA
Aug 11 Studio Seven Seattle, WA
Aug 12 Dante’s, Portland, OR
Aug 13 Last Day Saloon – Santa Rosa Santa Rosa, CA
Aug 14 Sky City Amphitheater Pueblo of Acoma, NM
June 18 Penn’s Peak Concert Hall Jim Thorpe, PA
June 19 Merriweather Post Pavilion Columbia, MD
June 20 BB King’s Blues Club New York, NY
June 24 Cowboys Concert Hall Colorado Springs, CO
June 25 Grizzly Rose Denver, CO,
June 26 Waterworks Park Des Moines, IA
July 23 Halfway Jam Royalton, MN
July 24 Midwest Rockfest Wichita, KS
Aug 7 Brat Days Sheboygan, WI
Aug 9 Ocean City Music Pier Ocean City, NJ
Aug 14 Sky City Casino Pueblo of Acoma, NM
Aug 25 Twin River Casino Event Center Lincoln, RI,
June 9 The Canyon Club – Vibe Tribe All-Star Jam Agoura Hills, CA
Sept 10 Tarry Town Music Hall Tarrytown, NY
Sept 11 Zoellner PAC Bethlehem, PA
Kip Winger has announced several tour dates where he will perform solo, and with Winger. Check below for dates!
May 01 – 5th Quarter, Little Chute, WI (Kip Solo)
May 02 – Roadhouse, Elgin, IL (WINGER)
May 08 – Clearfield County Fairgrounds, Clearfield, PA w/FireHouse (WINGER)
May 14 – Lucky Brew Grille, Mission, KS (Kip Solo)
May 15 – The Swanky Goat, Chillicothe, OH (Kip Solo)
Jun 16 – Fate Lounge, Pittsburg, PA (WINGER)
Jun 18 – Penn’s Peak Concert Hall, Jim Thorpe, PA w/April Wine (WINGER)
Jun 19 – M3 Rock Festival, Columbia, MD (WINGER)
Jun 20 – BB King Blues Club, New York, NY (WINGER)
Jun 24 – Cowboy’s, Colorado Springs, CO w/April Wine (WINGER)
Jun 25 – Grizzly Rose, Denver, CO w/April Wine (WINGER)
Jun 26 – Waterworks Park, Des Moines, IA w/Dokken (WINGER)
Jul 16 – Hayloft, Mt. Clemens, MI (Kip Solo)
Jul 17 – McHale Performing Arts Center Logansport, IN (Kip Solo)
Jul 18 – The Cove Nightclub, Geneva on the Lake, OH (Kip Solo )
Jul 23 – Halfway Jam, Royalton, MN (WINGER)
Jul 24 – Midwest Rockfest, Wichita, KS (WINGER)
Aug 07 – Brat Days, Sheboygan, WI w/Trixter (WINGER)
Aug 09 – Ocean City Music Pier, Ocean City, NJ (WINGER)
Aug 14 – Sky City, Pueblo of Acoma, NM (WINGER)
Aug 28 – Steel Mill Bar & Grille, Martins Ferry, OH (Kip Solo )
Sep 19 – Oneida Casino, Green Bay, WI (Kip Solo)
Sep 20 – Oneida Casino, Green Bay, WI (Kip Solo)
Sep 21 – Oneida Casino, Green Bay, WI (Kip Solo)
Sep 25 – Twin River Casino Event Center, Lincoln, RI w/SteelHeart & Danger Danger (WINGER)
Camping spaces are now on sale for the 2nd annual Midwest Rockfest. The festival will feature a variety of camping options and VIP packages to make this Rock n’ Roll weekend an unforgettable experience for everyone. Midwest Rockfest is slated for July 23-24, 2010 at the beautiful Lake Afton, in Wichita, Kansas and is produced by DEA Entertainment Group, of Arkansas City, Kansas.
Due to the excitement and success of last year’s concert series, we have made the MWRF into a multi-day event. Come SHAKE AND BAKE ON THE LAKE July 23rd & 24th at Lake Afton in Sedgwick County, Wichita, Kansas!
Bands already announced include CLASSIC ROCK sensation STYX and TWISTED SISTER, who is bringing their new show to the US. WE HAVE THE DATE! Also on the bill Pop Evil, Y&T, Winger, Kix and many more to be announced soon. VERY SOON! Check our website for at www.midwestrockfest.com for updates and to win great prizes!!
Winger has announced the following tour dates for 2010. More dates are coming soon!
with April Wine – http://www.grizzlyrose.com – (303) 295-1330
Show Time: TBA – VIP Packages Available – http://www.midwestrockfest.com
WINGER announced the second leg of the European tour dates :
19/03/10 Leknes, Norway – Lekneshallen (small sports arena)
20/03/10 Norway/Denmark – Rock the Boat
22/03/10 Bristol, England – Academy 2
23/03/10 Portmouth, England – Wedgewood Rooms
24/03/10 Manchester, England – Academy 3
26/03/10 Dudley, England – JB’s
27/03/10 Belfast, Northern Ireland – Spring & Airbrake
28/03/10 Glasgow, Scotland – Cathouse
30/03/10 Newcastle, England – Academy 2
31/03/10 Leeds, England – Rio’s
02/04/10 Sheffield, England – Corporation
03/04/10 Nottingham, England – Rock City
04/04/10 London, England – Islington Academy
06/04/10 Bochum, Germany – Matrix
07/04/10 Berlin, Germany – Columbia Club
08/04/10 Munich, Germany – Backstage
10/04/10 Achaffenburg, Germany – Colos Saal
In related news Kip Winger and Reb Beach have recently recorded their participation to THAT METAL SHOW on VH1. The show will be aired on April 3rd 2010 at 11.00 PM.
2009 was a pretty good year for Kip Winger. He released not one, but two great CDs with Blackwood Creek and Winger’s Karma, he was honored by the U.S. Government, and recently had one of his compositions performed by the Tucson Symphony. Kip took a few minutes to talk with Hard Rock Hideout about his current projects, as well as little of the history of his music career. Enjoy!
HRH: I recently listened to the Blackwood Creek CD, and thought it had a very cool 70′s kind of vibe to it.. What you can you tell us about your band Blackwood Creek.
Kip Winger: That is exactly it. We were together in the 70′s. When we got back together to jam, it sounds like the 70′s basically. My oldest brother Paul was in and out of the band. The main guitar player was Peter Fletcher. He was my first song writing partner. We just got back together. We were really just going to jam, but some of the stuff came out really cool, so I decided to finish making the album. It has an updated feel, but it sounds a lot like what we used to sound like when we were playing Grand Funk and stuff. We worked on it on for a while in the off time of Winger. I thought it sounded unique enough and the chemistry was still there to do the record.
HRH: Are you going to play live with Blackwood Creek?
Kip Winger: We don’t know what our touring schedule is. We have to work around Winger. We are trying to figure that out right now. We will probably play at some point.
HRH: Let me ask you a couple of questions about your new CD Karma. This record seems much heavier than the previous Winger albums. Was it your intention to record a heavier record?
Kip Winger: It is actually the same as all of our other records. I just turned the guitars up basically. Honestly, Reb and I take the same approach on everything we do. We write riff oriented tunes. If you listen to any of them, you will hear a guitar riff, we will write the melody over them. I recorded the guitars a little bit different this time. I really wanted to crank them in the mix and give them more of an edge. I think this is what is working in our favor for the heavier kind of vibe. It seems like a moot point, but I used a different microphone on my voice that I nomally use. It has a much grittier sound to it. I really was happy with the way it came out. This album and Pull is really what the band sounds like. If you go see us live, it really sounds a lot like Karma. I was really wanting to do an up tempo heavy record for us to play live. A lot of our songs are in the mid tempo range, and doesn’t rock the house as much as I would have liked. Now we can do four of five tunes from the new record. It is a much more up set, and it really is more representative of who we are as a live band.
HRH: I noticed that PJ had some song writing credits on both the Karma and Blackwood Creek albums. What was the song writing process like for the records?
Kip Winger: It is really simple. If I am stuck for lyrics, I will hand it to my wife and ask her to finish the songs from me. She is an amazing song writer. She knows the exact elements I need to finish a song. She wrote “Supernova”. I will handle her the lyrics when I am stumped. I passed out the lyrics to a few guys on this. Donnie Purnell from Kix, and Bobby Huff is a song writer here in Nashville, and is really talented. I think the result is really good. I think it is the best elements of the band combined. I think in many ways it is our best album just in terms of who we really are. We have had a lot of songs that I am really proud of. I think people forget that we have written a lot of decent songs.
HRH: How did Reb Beach have time to do this album with all of the time he spent in Whitesnake in 2008 – 2009?
Kip Winger: We wrote the ten songs in ten days. Reb came back to do rhythms, and then came back to do solos. Reb spent about a month on it. It took me about eight months to finish it.
HRH: What are your touring plans for the album?
Kip Winger: Yeah, we just got back from Europe. We are going back in March. We are hoping to get some summer stuff happening in the States soon.
HRH: I noticed on your touring schedule that your music”Ghosts” is going to be performed by the San Francisco Ballet in February. What can you tell me about that?
Kip Winger: I have been working on classical music my whole life and finally wrote a big piece of music. It was performed by the Tucson Symphony last month and now. The premiere will be in February, and their will be seven performances of that. You can see it on the website at SanFrancisco Ballet.org.
HRH: You have to be pretty excited about that.
Kip Winger: This is the hugest thing in my life. I have been working on that for years. I am really excited about it.
HRH: I watched the trailer for the movie Four Months, and I immediately recognized your voice in the song they are playing on the trailer.
Kip Winger: Yeah, I don’t really have anything to do with that movie. They are using “Nothing” (from Kip’s solo album, From The Moon To the Sun) on the trailer. They bought the rights to use the song in the movie. It looks cool.
HRH: Back in February you were honored by the U.S. Government with a plaque and a flag for your song “Blue Suede Shoes”. What is your feeling about that? That had to be a pretty incredible experience.
Kip Winger: It was absolutely amazing. I was initially writing it from the idea of a soldiers perspective. Blue Suede Shoes is a song why someone would enlist. Not the stupid version, the real heartfelt version of why. Certain people who I have talked to applying it on a military basis over the years have talked to me about their experience. I did a TV show called Legends & Lyrics, and they presented that to me on that show. It was a great honor and very humbling.
HRH: Do you feel like this was a little vindication against all of the people that were targeting Winger in the 90′s? It seems like Winger was the butt of a bunch of bad jokes., from the Beavis & Butthead show etc. This seems to have taken you full circle.
Kip Winger: Music was always the thing that I was concentrating doing the best job I could do. The Beavis & Butthead show & Metallica, they all took the first punch. Whatever. I have never met any of them. My whole world has been to write better music. Having a ballet done by the San Francisco ballet, or getting an award by the U.S. Government, I guess yes it is vindicating. It is all a by product of me trying to do what I do best, which is write music. I am not writing music to sell a t-shirt, I am writing music to write the best music I can write. What I do for myself is to try do the highest art I can do. I don’t dig the name slagging and cutting other bands down. That happened to us for whatever reason. You just deal with it. People have asked me that for twenty years. Someone should call Mike Judge and ask him why (laughs).
HRH: I have to ask you about your time with Alice Cooper. What was that experience like to go out with Alice on tour and to play on his records so early in your career?
Kip Winger: That was a dream come true as a kid. I was a big Alice Cooper fan, huge actually. I was really lucky to get that gig. That was really special. I learned a lot from him. He is an amazing celebrity. He is more than a rockstar. He has this whole world un to himself. For me I was 24, I was a waiter before that. I was very lucky. Right place at the right time. You have to give credit where credit is due. Kane Roberts was very influential in me getting that gig. I still talk to Kane a lot. I haven’t talked to Alice in a while.
HRH: What has Kane Roberts been up to? He has been out the music business for a while.
Kip Winger: He does a lot of different stuff. He is a computer artist. He has written a couple of screen plays. He is an incredibly talented dude. He is one of the smartest people I have ever met.
HRH: A few years ago you produced the album for The Mob that Reb Beach played on.
Kip Winger: Yeah, that was a fun project. They brought me in to help finish the album for them. There is some great music on that album. Dug Pinnick, he is a great singer, I love him.
HRH: Is The Mob something that you and Reb would like to revisit sometime?
Kip Winger: The record company is begging us to do another one, but I don’t think it will happen any time soon.
HRH: Where is the best place for your fans to find your new Winger and Blackwood Creek albums?
Kip Winger: 400 Best Buys just picked it up, you can also download it off of iTunes.
HRH: Thank you for taking the time out to do this interview.
Kip Winger: Thank You!
Starting out over 40 years ago when they were just kids, Blackwood Creek could hold the record for longest amount of years passed before a reunion. Theirs was longer than even the Eagles. However, it’s a good thing for the fans that the band waited so long to get back together, because it gave one of their members a chance to become famous and form a great hard rock band in Winger. Now known (unofficially) as Kip Winger’s side band, Blackwood Creek is releasing their debut album here in the states on January 12th.
After coming off a great record in Winger’s Karma, it’s questionable whether Kip could put together two great albums in a 6 month span. Well, after listening to the record there’s no doubt that he can. Blackwood Creek rocks! The disc has a little of the new Winger sound, blended with some southern rock (ala Lynyrd Skynyrd). Blackwood Creek combines the high power charges of party rock and roll and mixes them with simple free style guitar riffs, easy steady drum beats, and a lot of fun.
Blackwood Creek opens with Out In Outer Space, which sets the tone immediately and makes you sit up and take notice. After the first spin of this song, you just know there are good things coming. The opening guitar chords and drum beats throw a warning punch, the first verse announces their presence, but the chorus has you hooked. If you’re not singing along to this song by the third listen, you may not be a rock music fan.
Nothing But The Sun continues where Out In Outer Space left off. Kip’s voice sounding bold and clear and the musical melody holding steady with foot tapping, enjoyable rhythms. Love Inspector is a good time party song about babes and beer, something that any healthy male can enjoy and sing along too.
The great songs continue with “Your Revolution”, “Dead Stung”, and “Albatross”, just to name a few.
Kip’s voice continues to have that blend of former Kip Winger and David Coverdale that stood out on Winger’s last CD, Karma, but just as then, he makes it work to his advantage. While he may not be able to hit the high notes of Madeline anymore, he doesn’t need to, because he has great current songs that are well within his range. His grainy, grungy vocals give his new music a rougher age that is very appealing to older music fans. The squeaky clean high vocals of the glam era are gone and the grittier, throaty vocals are fronting the songs now.
Blackwood Creek is amazing in its simplicity. The guitar playing is straight forward, three chord rock. The drums are simple 1-2-3-4 beats, with not a lot of rolls or changes. There are few guitar solos, there are no crazy bass lines, and there’s no screaming or wailing glam metal vocals. And that’s why this record is so amazing. A stripped down, easy feeling, good time, bar band rock and roll. Kip Winger and the band focused on the product (in this case the music as a whole) more than the packaging (glitzy guitar solos or musical tricks). This is down to earth rock for fans that have been musically starved for too long.
Rating: Out of 10
- Out In Outer Space
- Nothing But The Sun
- Your Revolution
- Dead Stung
- After Your Heart
- Jimmy and Georgia
- Rack of Greed
- Love Inspector
- Joy Ride
- Wooden Shoe
Blackwood Creek Is:
Kip Winger – Lead Vocals and Bass Guitar
Nate Winger – Drums
Peter Fletcher – Guitars
It seems like every year I put together a top list at Hard Rock Hideout, it becomes a harder task. In 2009, there was a crazy amount of excellent releases, and choosing the best ten was a daunting task to say the least. It was too hard to pick ten, so of course, I had to add some additional releases to my top list. The following releases are my top of 2009. All of these are worth picking up, and I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase any of these a second time. Check them out and see what you think!
#13 Shake City – S/T
Eonian Records has released quite a few undiscovered gems in 2009. Their best release of 2009 is easily Shake City. Shake City features the original singer of Warrant, Adam Shore. I don’t know why Adam left Warrant, but the fates should have been kinder to his band Shake City. If this CD would have been released twenty years ago, this disc could have easily gone platinum. It is better than many of the hair metal releases of the late 80′s. It is a crime that this band didn’t get the mainstream success of their peers. If you are a hair metal fan, you need to find this CD now. You wont be disappointed.
#12 Papa Roach – Metamorphosis
Papa Roach started introducing songs from Metamorphosis into their live sets in 2008, and as a result, I was familiar with several of the tunes by the time this CD was released. In my opinion, this is the strongest Papa Roach CD to date, with several hit worthy tunes. A worthy pick up for the modern rock fans out there.
#11 Cheap Trick – The Latest
I must admit that I have never been the biggest Cheap Trick fan over the years, but I can not deny how good their latest CD, The Latest is. While this may not be the most rocking CD of 2009, it does have some fun rockers, and is quality music all the way through. Robin Zander still sounds great after all of these years. This is a must own CD for Cheap Trick fans, all others ought to give it a shot.
#10 Chickenfoot – S/T
This is another CD that I didn’t really know what to expect. Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony have been playing together in Van Halen for years, but how would this new band work out with Joe Satriani and Chad Smith? Satriani’s playing on this CD is great, and when he does cut loose, he doesn’t over shadow the rest of the band. Overall, Chickenfoot is a supergroup that could have some legs. I hope these guys stick around for a few more releases. Van Halen’s other half still delivers.
#9 The Answer – Everyday Demons
The Answer’s debut CD Rise was one of my favorites of 2007. I had high expectations for their U.S. Debut, Everyday Demons. Luckily, it did not disappoint me in the least. Everyday Demons is powered by Zeppelin influenced rockers “Demon Eyes”, “On and On” “Walkin’ Mat”. The band couldn’t have asked for a bigger tour to be on in 2009. Opening up for AC/DC has gained them a ton of new fans. I can’t wait to see what the band has in store for us next. The only thing I didn’t like about Everyday Demons was cover art.
#8 Steel Panther – Feel the Steel
Steel Panther could be the greatest hair metal parody band of all time. Feel the Steel is packed full of tongue in cheek lyrics that many folks may find offensive. You can’t deny the stellar musicianship of these California rockers. I had the opportunity to see the band play at M3 earlier this year, and they did not disappoint. When is the U.S. Club tour guys?
#7 Charm City Devils – Let’s Rock N’ Roll
Who would have thought that drummer John Allen would front a new kick ass rock and roll band in 2009? I didn’t at all. I have been rockin’ with CCD’s debut CD since its release. This is quality hard rock all the way through. In case you missed it, Charm City Devils had a pretty big year with their opening slot on the 2009 Cruefest. I am still hopeful that they will do a club tour, (and break out some Child Play tunes in their set).
#6 KISS – Sonic Boom
Sonic Boom is the first KISS CD in a long time that I have been able to listen to, all the way through without skipping a song. While I don’t consider this CD their best, it is definitely in their top ten, if not top five CD’s of all time. I didn’t expect this CD to be much. Sonic Boom was one of 2009′s biggest surprises.
#5 Coldspell – Infinite Stargaze
When I first heard the demo tracks from Coldspell in 2008, I about crapped myself. I couldn’t wait to hear Coldspell’s debut CD. I have played this CD over and over again in 2009, and will continue to do so for years to come. This is melodic rock at its finest.
#4 Winger – Karma
Holy Crap?! I get the feeling that Kip Winger and Reb Beach were pissed off when they wrote this record. This is easily the heaviest Winger album to date. Reb Beach unleashes his fury on his six strings, and Karma shines as a result. The songs aren’t all heavy, but they are all top quality. I am hopeful that Kip and company will tour for this album in 2010. Great Stuff, and worthy to be in anyone’s collection.
#3 Black Robot – S/T
Black Robot – I had no expectations when I first heard Black Robot’s self titled effort. I figured any band with former Buckcherry members would probably rock, but I had no idea that I would enjoy this CD as much as I have. “Cocaine” is easily the best cover song I have heard in 2009. Black Robot
gets the nod for best new band of 2009. If you missed this CD when it was released earlier this year, you will have to wait to grab this in 2010. The original pressing is out of print, but Black Robot will be re-releasing this CD next year with bonus tracks !!
#2 Paul Gilbert & Freddie Nelson – United States
United States has been my feelgood CD of 2009. Paul Gilbert’s guitar work is quite impressive, and Freddie Nelson’s mimicry of Freddie Mercury is pretty incredible. Once I started playing this, I couldn’t stop. Absolutely fantastic music!
#1 The Last Vegas – Whatever Gets You Off
The Last Vegas has been rocking hard since 2003, but their 2009 CD, Whatever Gets You Off is easily their breakthrough release. It didn’t hurt that they had a little help from Nikki Sixx, and DJ Ashba who produced this disc. I still don’t understand why this band didn’t get the nod for Cruefest last summer. They seemed tailor made for that festival but the promoters didn’t ask for my advice. Whatever Gets You Off is crazy good. Apologize might be the biggest power ballad of this decade (no I am not kidding). This is another great party CD, and easily my favorite of 2009.
For more great top lists for 2009, please check out the following websites:
All Metal Resource — http://allmetalresource.com/
Bring Back Glam — http://bringbackglam.squarespace.com/
Hair Metal Mansion — http://hairbangersradio.ning.com/
Heavy Metal Addiction — http://heavymetaladdiction.com/
Heavy Metal Time Machine — http://metalmark.blogspot.com/
Imagine Echoes — http://www.imagineechoes.com/
Layla’s Classic Rock — http://laylasclassicrock.blogspot.com/
Metal Excess — http://metalexcess.com/
The Metal Minute — http://rayvanhornjr.blogspot.com/ (Ray posted his list on 12/4)
Metal Odyssey — http://metalodyssey.wordpress.com/
Rock Of Ages — http://rockofages.wordpress.com/
The Ripple Effect — http://www.ripplemusic.blogspot.com/
This week at Hard Rock Hideout we give you not one, but three Top 10 lists for 2009. We will post one each day this week, as well as our top 10 of the decade later this week. Ryo Vie joined HRH’s merry team of rockers this year, and has reviewed some fantastic music for us. Today I give you Ryo’s Top 10 of 2009.
So here we are – at the close of another year. Rob has graciously asked me to put together my top 10 releases for 2009 and I was more than happy to comply. The rock and roll fan got a TON of great music released this year, from Bon Jovi to Winger to Lynch Mob, it was a great year to be into hard rock. However, not everything can make the list (that’s why it’s a top 10) and since this is HARD ROCK HIDEOUT, I kept this list to my ten favorite hard rock records of 2009. If you’d like to see my list of general favorites for 2009, feel free to visit my blog at http://rockandrollguru.blogspot.com
Now without further adieu, here are Ryo Vie’s Top 10 hard rock albums for 2009 !
#10: House of Lords – Cartesian Dreams
Considering that I left this band for dead years ago, I had no expectations whatsoever when House of Lords released Cartesian Dreams. Perhaps that’s why I had an unbiased mind when I first spun this disc. After one play, I was hooked. Holy hell what an exceptional offering this band turned out. Slick with their euro-metal sound, House of Lords came back in a big way this year. I’m hoping that they team up with other hair metal acts to tour, or at least show up at the major festivals. To hear songs like Bangin’ live would be excellent!
#9: Flyleaf – Memento Mori
A sophomore effort that was worth the wait is the best way to describe Flyleaf’s Memento Mori. They were able to overcome the dreaded sophomore jinx by releasing an incredible record that showcases the talent of lead vocalist Lacey Mosley. As I mentioned in my recent review, she sings with emotion that sweeps through the listener, pulls them in, and doesn’t let go. It is her pure energy that makes Memento Mori such an excellent record. Combined with the talents of her other band members, 2010 should be a huge year for this band. As it is, 2009 landed them at number 9 on my list of best rock albums of the year.
#8: Winger – Karma
Winger surprised everyone this year, including their most die-hard fans, by releasing an incredible rock and roll record. Although Kip Winger sounds like David Coverdale on some songs, Karma is a beautiful disc immersed in a thick grunge sound that gives the record power. The ballads are incredible, and the heavier tracks are quality rock songs that will have you shaking your ass (if you’re into that sort of thing). Karma is an absolutely incredible record that any rock and roll fan should own.
#7: U2 – No Line On The Horizon
Shocked. That’s how I was when I listened to No Line On The Horizon. I was skeptical of the new U2 disc. How could they possibly release another great disc after All That You Can’t Leave Behind and How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb? Well, somehow, they made it happen again. Another near perfect album came out this year from the Irish rockers beloved the world over. With incredible songs like the title track, Breathe, and Moment Of Surrender U2 continues to dazzle and show us just why they are one of the greatest rock bands in existence.
#6: Chickenfoot – Chickenfoot
Rock supergroups can be hit or miss especially when there are high expectations. (Case in point: Them Crooked Vultures – awful miss). Fortunately for rock fans (and Van Halen fans) Chickenfoot was a huge hit. Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony have been working together for years, so there was no doubting their chemistry, but when you add in two other super players (guitarist Joe Satriani and drummer Chad Smith) it’s a wild card. These four pulled it off. Satriani showcases some of his best guitar work ever, and Sammy sounds as happy as when he first joined Van Halen. Chickenfoot wins the award for feel good record of the year, and they land in my top 10 for 2009.
#5: Bon Jovi – The Circle
The bad boys from Jersey have grown into the gentle men from New Jersey, but even after all these years they still know how to rock! The Circle delivers the goods in every way imaginable and is more than you’d expect from a Bon Jovi album. Straying away from the country tinged themes of their previous album (Lost Highway), Bon Jovi returns to the rock and roll with this year’s release. Gearing up for a 2010 tour, I can’t wait to hear The Circle live. In the meantime, I’ll be playing this record on a constant loop.
#4: HURT – Goodbye to the Machine
Stunned. That’s a good word to use that describes how I felt after the first few times I listened to this record. I had no expectations going into my review, and after a few listens to Goodbye To The Machine, I was smitten. This record is simply amazing! A heavy, grunge type rock, Hurt delivers exceptional songs backed by intense rhythm, strong lyrics, and a highly talented lead singer. Goodbye To The Machine was probably the best surprise I heard all year, and I’m proud to add it to my top 10.
#3: Pearl Jam – Backspacer
In September, Pearl Jam released their long awaited album Backspacer to the delight of many fans (cousin Ryo included). It had been a long time since their last record (2006’s Pearl Jam) and the new songs were something that fans were crying to get their ears on. Well, the wait was worth it and the time between records paid off. Pearl Jam delivered another fantastic record, and while not quite as good as their self titled previous effort, Backspacer is certainly a worthy disc. A well crafted, well thought, beautifully arranged work of art.
#2: Lynch Mob – Smoke And Mirrors
I’ll be honest, when I heard that this album was coming out featuring original vocalist Oni Logan, I didn’t have much hope for greatness. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited and I wanted the album to do well and sound incredible. However, I’m a realist, and with Logan being MIA for so long, and George being out of the spotlight, I wasn’t sure if they still had that magical chemistry. Am I ever so glad that they erased any doubt that I had. Smoke And Mirrors is a metal classic!
#1: KISS – Sonic Boom
Those who know me will scream bias for picking KISS as my number 1 hard rock record of 2009, but that is not why they are being chosen. Yes, Kiss is my favorite band, but Sonic Boom is a worthy contender for record of the year. Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley went into the studio with Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer and put together one incredible album. Sonic Boom is so much more than a great Kiss record – it’s a great record. If you played it and had no idea what band it was, you’d still like it. It’s their best work in decades, it’s a strong rock record, and it is the best release of 2009.
For more great top lists for 2009, please check out the following websites:
Winger is back with a brand new album, Karma and they are ready to kick your ass. While they may have been the butt of some heavy metal jokes back in the day (thanks Beavis & Butthead), Karma is no laughing matter. I don’t know what Kip and the band have been doing over the last couple of years, but I know this, they’ve worked hard to put out an incredible new record.
Karma opens with the hard hitting “Deal With The Devil”. The drums and guitars kick in immediately, and then Kip launches into the vocals. The first thing noticeable about Kip’s voice is that it sounds eerily like David Coverdale’s. This happens throughout most of the record. Kip is older now, so his voice probably changed over the years, but the high notes are no longer his friend.
“Big World Away” is a heavy rock song with a touch of grunge and a lot of grit. Beach’s stand out guitar is felt immediately, and Kip’s “David Coverdale” voice really gives this song a Whitesnake feel with a Winger chorus. It’s a song that gets your feet tapping and will have you listening over and over again. “Big World Away” will definitely hook you on Karma and have you proclaiming what an excellent record this is.
The guitar work on this record is nothing short of fantastic. Even the songs that aren’t spectacular (fortunately that’s just a couple) are saved by the guitar solos. It’s amazing the amount of work that went into the guitar playing for this record. Reb Beach should be celebrated for the amazing work he has done. His guitar licks are all over this record and every one of them sounds incredible. Beach really makes this disc shine.
“After All This Time” is a great power ballad, part of the 1-2 set of ballads to close the album. This is a slow, melodic rocker with balls. The heavy blues influence can be felt in this song about still being in love after many years have passed. Once again, Beach’s guitar solo is fantastic and inspiring. If I was a teenager hearing this for the first time, it would force me to get a guitar and learn how to play.
Karma closes with the absolutely stunning “Witness”, an amazing power ballad with the emphasis on power. Witness is a closer that leaves you wanting to hear more. This is one of the few songs on Karma where Kip Winger’s voice shines through. The feature guitar solo to close the track is one of the greatest I’ve heard in a long time. Simply breath taking and it totally fueled my desire to hear this song live.
With incredible guitars, solid lyrics, and well written, beautifully crafted songs, Karma is poised to thrust Winger back into the spotlight and the center of the mainstream. If they team up with another 80s hair metal act for a summer tour, expect sellout crowds at most stops along the way. Winger is back, let the party resume!
Karma will be released on October 27th in the United States.
Rating: Out of 10
- Deal With The Devil
- Stone Cold Killer
- Big World Away
- Come A Little Closer
- Pull Me Under
- Always Within Me
- Feeding Frenzy
- After All This Time
Kip Winger (bass and vocals)
Reb Beach (lead guitars)
Rod Morgenstein (drums)
Cenk Eroglu (keyboards, rhythm guitar)
John Roth (rhythm guitar)
Frontiers Records proudly announces the release of WINGER’s fifth studio album entitled “Karma” on October 16th in Europe and October 27th in the USA.
WINGER reunited after more than a decade in 2006 for the release of the successful come back album entitled “IV” a record that pushed forward the boundaries of WINGER classic sound to new heights. Dealing with the concept of the military life and what it was like to be a soldier, from a soldier’s perspective, leaving politics at the door. “After Winger IV we toured the United States, Europe, Australia and Japan during which made a live record” says Kip Winger. “When the chance came up to do a new Winger record, I envisioned a upbeat totally rocking record that was a cross between the 1st Winger album and Pull. So Reb and I sat down and wrote all the music in a month or so. I worked for 6 months to finish it in the classic Winger style”.
The result is an amazing new record where the four band members: Kip Winger (bass and vocals), Reb Beach (guitars now also in Whitesnake), Rod Morgenstein and John Roth shine with an incredible instrumental and vocal prowess at the service of superb Hard Rock songs but with an uncanny sense of melody. The title itself “Karma” represents Winger completing its full musical circle as Kip Winger explains “We were discussing the very interesting path the band has had and we have all been through so much together. So we went for “Karma” as this is a word that truly sums up the experience of being in the band”.
WINGER debut album in 1988 on Atlantic achieved platinum status in the United States, and gold in Japan and Canada sporting such hits as “Madalaine“, “Seventeen” and “Headed For A Heartbreak“. In 1990, the band was nominated for an American Music Award for “Best New Heavy Metal Band”. Shortly after, WINGER released its second album “In the Heart of the Young“, which went platinum in the U.S. and gold in Japan. The album included WINGER’s biggest hit “Miles Away“, who topped at #12 of Billboard charts in the USA. Their third and last studio album, “Pull“, was recorded in 1992/93 as a three-piece band, following the original keyboard / guitar player Paul Taylor’s departure. Produced by Mike Shipley, on the following tour John Roth was called in to replace Paul Taylor.
“Usually Winger fans don’t “expect” anything because they know we do what we feel like doing artistically” explains Kip. “It is not a commercially driven band. I can say that the songs are very upbeat”. Reb Beach adds: “It’s a very up-tempo riff driven rocking record. It has the elements of vintage Winger from ‘89 but has the blood, sweat and tears of years 20 years of writing, recording and touring!”
“Karma” will be released with the first pressing in limited digipak edition and includes the following songs:
Deal With The Devil; Stone Cold Killer; Big World Away; Come A Little Closer; Pull Me Under; Supernova; Always Within Me; Feeding Frenzy; After All This Time; Witness; First Ending (Bonus Track). Also included there will be an Electronic Press Kit, with footage filmed in the studio during the recording sessions, that is playable on all computers as an interactive bonus.
Winger also announced their forthcoming European tour in support to the new album’s release
20-Nov ITALY – Roma, Crossroads
21-Nov ITALY – Pinarella di Cervia (RA), Rock Planet
22-Nov ITALY – Pavia, Thunder Road
24-Nov FRANCE – Paris, Maroquinerie
25-Nov BELGIUM – Verviers, Spirit of ’66
26-Nov HOLLAND – Weert, Bosuil
27-Nov RUSSIA – Moscow, Plan B
28-Nov RUSSIA – Ufa, Rock Club
30-Nov GREECE – Ioannina, n.a.
1-Dec GREECE – Athens, Gagarin/tbc
3-Dec GREECE – Thessaloniki, n.a.
4-Dec DENMARK – Copenhagen, The Rock
6-Dec POLAND – Warsaw, Progresja
7-Dec CZECH REP. – Prague, Exit/tbc
8-Dec AUSTRIA – Wien, tbc
9-Dec HUNGARY – Budapest, A38
11-Dec SWITZERLAND Worblaufen, Tibis
12-Dec SPAIN Madrid, Ritmo y Compas
More dates will follow in 2010 in Europe, USA and elsewhere !
A couple of days ago, I stumbled upon the “Who’s The One” video from Winger. I wasn’t aware that any videos were released for the Pull album. This one dates back to 1993, but is worth checking out. It is a good song, and cool video to boot!
Kip Winger posted an update on the Winger blog yesterday:
Sorry for all the confusion about Winger news. As for touring i have not received confirmed dates and until I do i wont post anything. Yes I’m almost done mixing the new Winger Record. And it will come out in Oct. I still have not heard from the label about the exact release date for Blackwood Creek. As soon as i confirm the actual information I will post it.
Kip Winger and company are set to hit the road in February. Here are the up and coming tour dates!
Date City Venue
Thu 02/14/08 Pittsburgh, PA Rex Theatre
Fri 02/15/08 Toronto, CAN Lee’s Palace
Sat 02/16/08 Depew, NY Rock N’ Roll Heaven
Sun 02/17/08 Allentown, PA Crocodile Rock Cafe
Tue 02/19/08 Mechanicsburg, PA Hardware Bar
Wed 02/20/08 Hartford, CT Webster Theatre / Underground
Thu 02/21/08 Wantagh, NY Mulcahy’s
Fri 02/22/08 Asbury Park, NJ Stone Pony
Sat 02/23/08 Cambridge, MA Middle East Restaurant & Nightclub
Sun 02/24/08 New York, NY B.B. King’s Blues Club
Thu 02/28/08 Chicago, IL House Of Blues
Fri 02/29/08 Columbus, OH Al Rosa Villa
Sat 03/01/08 Detroit, MI Harpo’s Concert Theatre
I have seen quite a few live shows in 2007. The following are my favorites from 2007.
5. Vains of Jenna, RATT, Poison
VOJ put on a good show, RATT was a little disappointing, and Poison was the best I have ever seen them live. This show was well worth the money.
4. Jani Lane
I wasn’t sure to expect when I saw Jani Lane’s solo band perform last summer. Jani’s voice was in top form, and he sounded great. The star of the show in this concert was 17 year old wunderkind, Dario Lorina. This young guitarist is going to be a force to be reckoned with before long.
3. Frank Hannon and Winger
Frank Hannon opened up for Winger with his solo band back in February. I gained a whole lot of new respect for Frank on this day. His set consisted primarily of Tesla tunes, and a few songs off of his solo CD. It was an amazing set, and quite frankly (no pun intended), him and his band, blew Winger off the stage. Winger was pretty good too, but Frank Hannon in my eyes stole the show on this night.
2. Black Stone Cherry and Jackyl
Black Stone Cherry has been one of my favorite bands for a while now, and getting to see them for free is always a bonus. With Jackyl being on the same bill, this became a must attend event. The boys from BSC delivered the goods, but their performance was surpassed by Jackyl.
I have seen Jackyl several times, but I have never seen the band put on a show like this. Jesse James Dupree was in rare form, as it was his birthday, and the whole band was killer on this night.
1. Megadeth and Heaven and Hell
I have seen Megadeth several times over the years, but this was my first experience seeing Black Sabbath live in any incarnation. Dave Mustaine and company were great, but simply got blown off the stage by Black Sabbath. Ronnie James Dio proved once again why he is one of the best singers in Metal today. A fantastic show that I would pay to see again!
2008 is already proving to have a very busy concert schedule.
The following acts are heading my way, and this is only through March.
Z02 and L.A. Guns (Phil Lewis Version)
Cinder Road with Tesla
It is going to be another great year of rock in 2008!
In 2006, Twisted Sister released their Christmas Album, and now in 2007, the fine folks at Razor & Tie Records have released a Christmas Compilation CD with some of the biggest stars of the 80′s Hard Rock Era.
Monster Ballads XMas is a tasty feast of reworked Christmas classics, and a song with a unique twist from Danger Danger. Every song on this disc is highly enjoyable, at least until you get to Faster Pussycat’s Silent Night, which is awful.
If you need a disc to get you in the mood for the holiday season, this is the one to pick up. There are only 23 shopping days left before X-Mas. Don’t miss out on this record!
1. Jingle Bells - Skid Row
2. Happy Christmas (War Is Over) - Winger
3. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Jani Lane Of Warrant
4. I’ll Be Home for Christmas - Twisted Sister with Lita Ford
5. White Christmas - Queensryche
6. Run Rudolph Run - L.A. Guns
7. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree - Firehouse
8. Naughty Naughty Christmas - Danger Danger
9. Blue Christmas - Tom Keifer of Cinderella
10. Jingle Bell Rock - Nelson
11. Silent Night - Faster Pussycat
12. Twelve Days of Christmas - Dokken
13. Happy Holiday - Enuff Z’Nuff
14. Winter Wonderland - Stryper
15. Christmas Love - Billy Idol
I hesitated picking up Winger – IV based on some other comments I have read regarding this disc. I have always like Kip Winger’s voice and Reb Beach’s guitars, so I figured I may as well give this a chance.
If you pick up IV thinking you are going to hear songs similar to Seventeen, and Madalaine, you will be greatly disappointed. This release is a more modern sounding rock record. The bubblegum pop metal goodness of past Winger releases is gone. This a more of a more melodic/AOR rock album.
This disc starts off with a heavy yet melodic track Right Up Ahead. I have listened to this track a few times and have grown to like it more. Blue Suede Shoes is an acoustic driven track with a great vocal by Kip. This is one of those songs that needs to grow on you. Four Leaf Clover is a more upbeat modern rock style track. I am not crazy about this song.
I expected a song with a name like M16 to blow me away. The rhythm to this track is unmistakably Winger. I have grown to like this track with time.
Your Great Escape is an upbeat rocker. Reb’s guitars shine on this track. This is my favorite track from this disc.
Disappear is an interesting track with a moody sounding keyboard synthesizer to start the track off with, but flows into a sound that is more reminiscent of, In the Heart of the Young Era Winger. I like this track alot.
On A Day Like Today is a low tempo number. Kip’s vocals sound good, but this is a track that doesn’t stick with you for very long.
Living Just to Die is a heavier up tempo number. This is another track that has grown on me quite a bit. Short Flight to Mexico continues on a heavy pace, and is another enjoyable track.
Generica is one of those tracks that grow on you with time. I didn’t like this track the first couple of times that I heard it, and have grown to like this one too.
Can’t Take it Back is a low to mid tempo number that sounds better LOUD!
You can hear some of the songs at Winger’s my space page at www.myspace.com/wingertheband.
I have updated my review as of 2/14/07. Hearing some of these songs live has changed my perspective completely. I don’t think my initial review was fair, so I made some updates.
Rating: Out of 10
- Right Up Ahead
- Blue Suede Shoes
- Four Leaf Clover
- Your Great Escape
- On A Day Like Today
- Living Just To Die
- Short Flight to Mexico
- Can’t Take it Back