Archive for the classic southern rock Category

METAL ODYSSEY’S TOP TEN HARD ROCK ALBUMS OF 2009

Posted in 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1970's southern rock bands, 1980's hard rock bands, 1990's hard rock bands, Album Review, best of album lists, best of hard rock albums list, best of rock list, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic southern rock, cool album covers, current hard rock albums, current hard rock bands, current hard rock music, current hard rock songs, essential hard rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock albums 2009, hard rock bands 2009, hard rock music, hard rock music 2009, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, heavy metal music, lists, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, rock & roll, rock album reviews, rock and roll, rock music, rock music reviews, top ten album lists, vintage hard rock bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 26, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Welcome to Metal Odyssey’s 1st Annual Top Ten Hard Rock Albums list! This list is for Hard Rock albums released in 2009. These albums are my favorites that I listened to most consistently this past year, while hearing the best in overall musicianship and songs. For sure there are Hard Rock albums released in 2009 that I have passed over, (time and money plays a factor). *Please note the links throughout this list, navigating you to a more detailed review, that I have written for past Metal Odyssey posts during 2009, regarding the respective album.

#10 – CHICKENFOOT – CHICKENFOOT

The more I listened to this Supergroup lineup of Sammy Hagar (lead vocals), Joe Satriani, (lead guitar), Michael Anthony, (bass guitar) and Chad Smith, (drums), the more it dawned on me… I was probably more star struck at the initial release of this album, (June 5, 2009), than I am in December, 2009. Don’t get me wrong, I really, really like Chickenfoot. This album takes me back to the late ’80’s Hard Rock vibe of Van Hagar, uh, Van Halen, plus the songs remind me of good time Summer days. For me not to have these guys in my Top Ten of Hard Rock Albums for 2009 – would be an insult to myself. This Chickenfoot album I will without question, listen to time and again… especially during the Summer months. For more stuff I wrote about Chickenfoot on May 1, 2009, click on the heading below:

Watch out Metal & Hard Rock fans – Chickenfoot is coming!

#9 – MADINA LAKE – ATTICS TO EDEN

Yeah, sure, there is some slight Pop in the music of Madina Lake, with an overlying style of Alternative Rock, still… the hard edge heard inside the inner linings of the songs, on Attics To Eden, is what still lures me in. Madina Lake convinced me, that they give a damn about song writing and lyrics, not caving in to being too hard or too soft at the same time. Call me corny, Madina Lake created one heck of an inspiring album, with Attics To Eden. My detailed review I posted on August 13, 2009, can be yours by clicking you know where – below:

MADINA LAKE – “Attics to Eden” is an Alternative Rock detour to take

#8 – PAPA ROACH – METAMORPHOSIS

Jacoby Shaddix makes this album so appreciable for me, with his vocals not overpowering the band, instead they distinguish the individual songs heard on Metamorphosis. Papa Roach is not a band trying to be something they are not… instead Papa Roach mixes Rock styles into a menagerie of hard and at times, heavy songs on this album. Papa Roach may have given a nod to some decades old, retrospective melodic heaviness, yet still kept the relevancy factor at full throttle. O.k., I’m guilty of calling the most accessible song on Metamorphosis my favorite… Lifeline more than rivets me, it lifts my spirits high. I posted just how much this album thrilled me, on April 7, 2009… click below to see what I blabbed.

Papa Roach “Metamorphosis” – leave your stress behind!

#7 – DOMMIN – EP

Sure, this is just an EP from DOMMIN, subsequently titled – EP, nonetheless, it had such an impact on me that it made my Top Ten Hard Rock Album List. Kristofer Dommin has quite the vocals and can write some catchy, moody and dark songs. There are four songs on EP, in my Metal opinion they are dynamite. I am really looking forward to the complete studio album from DOMMIN, Love Is Gone, to be released on February 10, 2009. On October 19, 2009, I let everyone in the world know, just how thrilled I am about EP… check out what I ranted and raved about by clicking below:

DOMMIN – “E.P.” Has Me Hooked

#6 – FOREIGNER – CAN’T SLOW DOWN

The album title for this 2009 version of Foreigner is extremely fitting for founding member Mick Jones. Kudos to Mick for not slowing down at all. The Foreigner brand and band is at the top of their Hard Rock game musically, making an album that should not only catapult this current Foreigner lineup but spotlight the Hard Rock history of this band as well. Foreigner has been a mainstay band for me since the late 1970’s, following my heart is not what I am doing here… this is a very good album. Kelly Hansen fits right in with Foreigner, he even sings the bands classics like they were intended for him. I could never compare him to Lou Gramm, there forever will only be one Lou Gramm. It doesn’t hurt that Jeff Pilson is the bass guitarist with Foreigner either. I definitely recommend this album, Foreigner 2009 is not an anomaly, they are for real… just as they ever were.

#5- WOLFMOTHER – COSMIC EGG

Yes, I am a Wolfmother believer, one who could not wait for them to release their sophomore album. Cosmic Egg is NOT a carbon copy of the debut Wolfmother album, instead the songs take on a more melodic and streamlined sound. There is definitely MORE happening on this second album from Wolfmother, with song structure and production seeming to take on a prominent role. The songs on Cosmic Egg sound beefier than that of it’s predecessor. Wolfmother carries on with their psychedelic whomp on Cosmic Egg, carrying over the Old School riffs and chops that remind me of the early to mid 1970’s Hard Rock world. I may never know for sure, if there are those Old School Hard Rock influences coming into play with Wolfmother, regardless, this album never ceases to send sensory shock waves of heavy glee through me, with each listen. Simply, a super all around Hard Rock album.

#4 – THE MARS VOLTA – OCTAHEDRON

Call it my insatiable appetite for Progressive Music… Progressive Hard Rock 101 = The Mars Volta. There are layers and whirlwinds of musical innuendo to be heard on Octahedron. Could anyone familiar with The Mars Volta have expected anything substandard? Never. It will most likely take me another fifty listens to this album, to finally come close in hearing every piece of music, that radiates from within it’s unreal great core. The Mars Volta could go into a time machine and make relevant Rock and Roll, Rock or Hard Rock in any of the past six decades. Octahedron is not math Rock… it is genius and Progressive Hard Rock. The Mars Volta have done their homework in Progressive Rock history and appreciation, now I am forever appreciating this band and Octahedron. Oh, yeah, I did praise The Mars Volta up and down, on July 7, 2009. Just do a quick click below to read what I mean:

The Mars Volta “Octahedron” – A Progressive Hard Rock mind pill

#3 – CHEAP TRICK – THE LATEST

Cheap Trick. I became a lifelong fan of this band a long time ago, in a very expensive state called Connecticut, far, far, away. The album opener Sleep Forever is what grabbed me emotionally from the onset, a somber intro/prelude to a Cheap Trick bevy of Rock and Roll delight. Cheap Trick has maintained their elite status in the history of Rock Music… for me and I’m convinced many others as well. The Latest is just that – the latest great blend of Rock and Hard Rock Music from a band that DESERVES TO BE IN THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME. On July 26, 2009, I was blogging away as to how enormously great this new Cheap Trick album is… lookie below and click away to read it!

Cheap Trick “The Latest” is their latest great album

#2 – CKY – CARVER CITY

During the early half of 2009, I found it easy to slap the Metal label on CKY. Then, upon my listening to Carver City on numerous occasions, I decided this band is in fact, a Hard Rock Band to my ears. I never professed to be a music genre genius… just a music genre blabber. Yes, CKY can and has proven the excellent ability to play very, very, heavy, (Old Carver’s Bones, for example), yet songs such as A #1 Roller Rager and The Era Of An End solidifies my belief as CKY being Hard Rock. Carver City is as muscular with great songs and invitingly macabre as any album I could possibly wish for. I willingly became a CKY fan in 2009, prompted by this unreal great album. I really laid it on thick as to why CKY and Carver City made me so ecstatic… yes I did… on May 21, 2009 and if you want to, check out the details I blabbed by… uh, huh… clicking the heading below.

CKY “Carver City” is diverse, macabre Metal at it’s finest

Here is the front cover to CKY – CARVER CITY… spooky scene there, one of my favorite covers of 2009.

Here is the back cover of CKY – CARVER CITY… again, very spooky, this stuff I can’t get enough of.

#1 – LYNYRD SKYNYRD – GOD & GUNS

Upon my very first listen to Lynyrd SkynyrdGod & Guns, I realized I was listening to something very special. An American Rock Music icon… survivors, Southern Rock legends… Lynyrd Skynyrd. When choosing a #1 album, for me, it is all about total song quality. ALL 12 songs are a journey into a world of Southern Hard Rock musicianship at it’s upmost finest. Yes, this album does dabble in Country Rock with Unwrite That Song and That Ain’t My America… and why shouldn’t Lynyrd Skynyrd go in that direction if they so choose? This great band is deserving of creating any damn song they want, they have earned it. Trust me, this is an album that will be appreciated by skeptics and critics more for it’s total sum than it’s parts… ten, maybe twenty years from now. The Hard Rock parts are all there to be heard, with Southern Rock and Country Rock roots swirled into the mix. God & Guns is patriotic and I am proud to be an American. Long live Lynyrd Skynyrd. Metal Odyssey applauds this band for creating God & Guns.

Don’t hesitate to read my fully detailed review on God & Guns, I bellowed through my blog just how much this album means to me on October 2, 2009:

LYNYRD SKYNYRD – “GOD & GUNS” IS ALREADY A SOUTHERN ROCK CLASSIC

Thank you for visiting Metal Odyssey and checking out my Top Ten Hard Rock Album List for 2009!

*Be sure to also check out these fellow Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Music blogs for their Best Of Lists for 2009, they are fabulous blogs all… believe me, it is worth the time, plus it’s darn good fun:

Heavy Metal Addiction — http://heavymetaladdiction.com/

All Metal Resource — http://allmetalresource.com/

Bring Back Glam — http://bringbackglam.squarespace.com/

Hair Metal Mansion — http://hairbangersradio.ning.com/

Hard Rock Hideout — http://hardrockhideout.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/

Rock Of Ages — http://rockofages.wordpress.com/

The Ripple Effect — http://www.ripplemusic.blogspot.com/



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BLACKFOOT – “Highway Song” was there when I needed it

Posted in 1970's southern rock music, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's rock music, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's rock music, 1980's southern rock music, 1980's classic rock music, 1980's southern hard rock, 1980's southern rock, classic hard rock, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic southern rock, everyday experiences, everyday social experiences, family, feel good stories, highway traffic stories, old school southern rock music, road trip stories, rush hour traffic stories, southern hard rock, southern hard rock albums, southern rock, southern rock 1979, southern rock albums, southern rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 23, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

6085149Blackfoot has always been one of my favorite Southern Rock Bands, their songs and sound flat out Rock for me. The history of Blackfoot includes a long list of musicians, this is one band that has seen it’s share of lineup changes over the years. My favorite years of Blackfoot Southern Rock were definitely 1979 through 1981. The Blackfoot albums released during those years were “Strikes”, “Tomcattin'” and “Marauder”. The CD “Blackfoot Greatest Hits”, (pictured here), contains ten songs representing these three albums, which was at Walmart a couple of years ago… for five bucks I bought it without question. Admittedly, I do not own any other Blackfoot albums, so picking up a Greatest Hits of Blackfoot was essential sooner or later. I really get into this Blackfoot CD during the Spring through Autumn months… probably due to the fact I always equate Southern Rock to warmer weather. Go figure. The first track on this CD is  “Highway Song”, my favorite Blackfoot tune ever. This CD I played in my car recently, the timing of listening to “Highway Song”, on this particular small road trip, could not have been any better, here is how it all unfolded…

My family wanted to go shopping, (for back to school clothes), at the very large mall… this is the big one, the biggest mall in the area where we live. It is not a problem at all for me to join them… this oversized shopping mecca has a Hot Topic, therefore I can have a store of interest to check out. We embarked on our mall trip at around 5:30 p.m. – rush hour on the highway. I have never been a huge fan of rush hour congestion on the roadway, especially the highway. I spent too many years, like millions of others, wasting away hours on end, inside of a car, due to the rush hour creep. Thank heaven for the inventive mind or minds that decided to put stereo systems into cars decades ago. Having a CD player in the car has become an accepted necessity for me, music can not just entertain during a rush hour debacle, it can get me through psychologically during a highway traffic jam. We sure enough, didn’t even get onto the highway before realization set in… the traffic ahead of us was moving slower than we could walk. Step in “Highway Song”, as this Blackfoot CD played, It finally hit me that this was the best song to have playing, while stuck in a sea of cars moving at 3 mph. 

What should have been a fifteen minute trip down a straight highway became a forty minute stop and go. It appeared that there was no traffic accident, no highway construction, nor was there any debris in the roadway causing this delay, nope. The rush hour tie up seemed to be, in my Metal opinion, the one word that traffic reporters have used for many years now… phenomenon. You know, when traffic will slow down to a crawl for no apparent reason at all. It is like a domino affect, once the first car slows down, the rest in line have no choice but to follow suit. I have been involved in many, many, many, worse and longer rush hour scenarios throughout my life, this was definitely not the end of the world. Still, it was cool that the one CD I decided to listen to, even before our car reached the highway, was this Blackfoot Greatest Hits with “Highway Song” just getting started. What were the odds of this moment coming together? My listening to this song and the entire CD on our rush hour adventure to the mall, made the trip feel like the fifteen minutes it usually takes to get there. The bottom line is, Blackfoot and “Highway Song” made this rush hour jam easier to take.

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38 Special “Rockin’ Into The Night” – 1980 album keeps Rockin’

Posted in 1970's southern rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock music, classic southern rock, cool album covers, essential hard rock albums, essential southern rock albums, hard rock vocalists, Music, old school southern rock music, Rock, rock album reviews, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, southern hard rock, southern hard rock albums, southern rock, southern rock 1979, southern rock albums, southern rock music, southern rock music legends, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 19, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Back in 1980, I was enthralled by 38 Special. That year, I went to the Caldor Department Store and bought the 45 rpm of the hit single – “Rockin’ Into The Night”. I was in eighth grade with not too much cash in my pocket, still I always held onto enough dough to buy my 45’s. My parents were on an extremely fixed budget, therefore, I could not coax too many higher priced albums from them back then. That was fine, I was always grateful for what my parents could afford to give me. Besides, I more often than not, earned my records from doing yard work and cleaning up the house. That 38 Special 45 rpm was played by me continuously. “Rockin’ Into The Night” was my song back in 1980, no one else’s, (or so I thought). The truth of the day is, I did not buy the actual album “Rockin’ Into The Night” until decades later. Man, what was I thinking? The 45 rpm I had from 1980 had been worn down from repeated play, eventually tossed away. Yet, as I write this post, this Classic Southern Hard Rock album, (really it is a CD now), is a permanent fixture in my music collection. 

To call this album a gem is not adequate enough. “Rockin’ Into The Night” is a Southern Hard Rock accomplishment that in my opinion, (excuse the clique’), stood the test of time. This is an album that did not even need to have a hit single, all nine songs are true Southern Rock, played hard, with a determined grit and emotion by 38 Special. The liner notes for this album says it all… “This One’s For You Ronnie!”. Ronnie Van Zant, the founder and lead singer for Lynyrd Skynyrd, had passed away in a plane crash, (on October 20, 1977) and 38 Special had dedicated this album to him. Donnie Van Zant is the younger brother of Ronnie, his vocals have always gone straight through me, especially on this album. I always sensed, no matter how many times I listen to this album, that Donnie sang with extra vigor and emotion in dedication to his brother. (This is my interpretation anyways). After all of these years… decades… I still come to the conclusion that “Rockin’ Into The Night” Rocks just as bad ass as it did in 1980. 

You would probably think that “Rockin’ Into The Night” is my favorite song off of this album. Would it be a shock to admit to all, that it is not? After the years have gone by, well, “Turn It On” is actually my favorite track off of this album, with “Rockin’ Into The Night” being a very close second. “Turn It On” just has that right beat that rivets me, the song is upbeat and true Southern Rock. The Southern Rock piano does have a substantial influence over me, especially when it is heard on “Turn It On”.  “Stone Cold Believer”, “Take Me Through The Night” and “You Got The Deal” are for me, as consistent you will ever hear, when it comes to top tier Southern Hard Rock. “Robin Hood” is the instrumental song on this album, I do consider this song as a centerpiece, if you will, for it plays out as one of the finest examples of Southern Rock music as you could ever ask for. “Money Honey” is a song that I have hit the repeat button for without hesitation. This song is just a good old Southern Rocker that spills over with Southern Rock vibe and goodness.

I always like to write about the albums, songs and the bands that create them. I also write about the bands that have made my life memorable, both past and present. 38 Special is one of those bands that has instilled in me, the appreciation for both the quality of the song and quality of the musicianship. 38 Special introduced to me, in 1980, a song that has been with me now for the majority of my life. “Rockin’ Into The Night” will be enjoyed by me for the rest of my years as well. My nine year old twin daughters have given their thumbs up to this album, this solidifies the importance of passing along great music, from legendary bands of the past, to younger generations to enjoy. It makes me feel darn cool and good, when my young twin daughters say they like 38 Special and their upbeat music.

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Toy Caldwell and Andy’s Tavern – reflecting on a great night of Southern Rock

Posted in 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's southern rock music, 1970's Rock, 1980's rock albums, 1980's southern rock music, 1990's southern rock music, classic rock, classic rock music, classic southern rock, live rock music, live southern rock music, rock music, southern rock music, southern rock music legends with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150-1For some reason or another, tonight I had the image of Toy Caldwell in my mind, playing guitar and singing his heart out with Heard It In A Love Song”“. I just could not seem to shake loose this image or song from my mind, therefore I decided to write about it here. I was very fortunate enough to see Toy Caldwell, live onstage, standing merely feet away from me. Toy Caldwell was touring at the time as a solo act… it did not matter, for Toy Caldwell was The Marshall Tucker Band, in my opinion. The year was 1993, the venue was Andy’s Tavern, Toy Caldwell was jamming out song after song, just months, (if that), before his untimely passing away. Toy Caldwell was vintage that evening, his voice and guitar playing at that moment were bigger than life. I remember staring up at this large man, thinking to myself, this guy is a Southern Rock Legend and he is here… at Andy’s Tavern in good old Terryville, Connecticut.

Man, what a great time everyone had at this show, all of us sandwiched together, with beer soaked work boots and the smell of all things foul in the air. That is what made Andy’s Tavern so darn cool, it was a place where you could catch a famous national/world renowned band in an intimate, blue collar setting, without a sliver of anything upscale. This was a place where you checked in your troubles at the door, walked in, drank beer and had a good time. That’s it. For Toy Caldwell to travel to Terryville, Connecticut and jam out for an evening with a bunch of local fans at such a small venue like Andy’s Tavern, well, that sums up what type of person he was. Forget about stardom getting to Toy Caldwell’s head, he had Southern Rock in his soul to share with everyone that evening. Toy Caldwell is that vocalist, that guitarist and song writer, that you talk about and say… they just don’t make them like that anymore.

What made that evening extra special was the fact, (based on my recollection and interpretation), that Toy Caldwell gave off every hint that he wanted to be there that night and was enjoying himself as much as the fans were. Toy Caldwell’s voice and guitar exemplified just how comfortable he was with all of us at Andy’s Tavern that night. As I look back on it now, Toy was truly in his own backyard at Andy’s Tavern. My wife to be was with me that evening, I had won tickets to this show from a local radio station. We both look back on that great night of Southern Rock, courtesy of Toy Caldwell and his band, our memories only grow more fonder.

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Ean Evans – Thank you for the music

Posted in classic rock, classic southern rock, Hard Rock, Music, Rock, rock music, southern hard rock, southern rock, southern rock bass players with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

14462976I heard the news on May 6, 2009, that Ean Evans, the long standing bass player for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member & Southern Rock Legends Lynyrd Skynyrd, passed away from a battle with cancer. Ean’s quality bass playing and backing vocals will surely be missed. Ean’s music will forever be heard and enjoyed by fans worldwide, an everlasting gift he has left us all. Metal Odyssey pays tribute to Ean Evans and gives condolence to all of his family and friends. May God Bless You, Ean Evans, rest in peace in Rock N’ Roll heaven.

Molly Hatchet debut album from 1978 – Rocks heavy to this day

Posted in 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1980's hard rock, 1980's southern hard rock, 1980's southern rock, Album Review, classic rock, classic southern rock, cool album covers, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock guitarists, hard rock songs, Music, rock music, rock music vocals, southern hard rock, southern hard rock albums, southern rock, southern rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

In 1978, Molly Hatchet, the Southern Rock legends to be, released their debut album “Molly Hatchet” – this album still rocks today. I was just embarking on my teen years back in 1978, Kiss, Foreigner, The Electric Light Orchestra and Cheap Trick were my four main bands that I listened to constantly. (I was not into the real heavy music until I entered high school, heck, I was still green and learning fast about the huge world of Rock music). One band, however, that turned my head and gave me instant goose bumps as soon as I heard their tunes was Molly Hatchet. Man, I was amazed at the sound of this band. I was going on fourteen when I first heard the guitar jamming, the muscular feel and Southern Rock energy coming from Molly Hatchet. The vocals of Danny Joe Brown sounded so bad ass to me, (they still do), I thought I was bad ass when I spoke of Molly Hatchet to my grammar school buddies. The rebellious sound, vocals, lyrics and super cool album cover won me over in 1978 and has never waned for three decades. I never forget or stop listening to those bands that got me into music as a kid, these bands including Molly Hatchet I am forever grateful for.

“The Creeper” in and of itself is good enough reason to chase this album/CD down. The seven minute and brilliant “Dreams I’ll Never See” for me, makes for one of the greatest cruisin’ tunes I have ever heard. “Bounty Hunter” and “Gator Country” just kick start this album into a Hard Southern Rockin’ rebellious ride that I enjoy taking. I realize a couple of  posts ago was about Molly Hatchet as well, I am stoked recently over this band forgive me please. This debut album from Molly Hatchet blows away thousands of other debut albums that are out there – how often I find myself not buying a bands first album due to it’s blandness. Hey, this is my Metal opinion. Sure, the debut from Molly Hatchet is “old school” – only remember that this is an album that helped pave the way for Southern Hard Rock to flourish and receive it’s due respect and credibility. I hope my posts on Molly Hatchet can lure new fans to this legendary band and to the genre of Southern Rock. Veteran fans of Molly Hatchet and Southern Hard Rock already know what I am talking about.

Here is the original lineup of Molly Hatchet, as they appeared on their debut album “Molly Hatchet” – Danny Joe Brown – lead vocalist, Duane Roland – lead guitar, Dave Hlubek – lead guitar, Steve Holland – lead guitar, Banner Thomas – bass guitar and Bruce Crump – drums.

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