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Archive for April, 2011

BTD&TDBS Album Artwork

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

by Black Stone Cherry

Roadrunner Records
Produced by: Howard Benson

In Stores: May 31, 2011

Kentucky-natives Black Stone Cherry has taken their shirts off for their junior release via Roadrunner Records. While extending their traditional heart-felt southern style of rock n’ roll, they’ve finally flexed their lyrical muscle with occasional salaciousness and plenty of blunt statements.

After five years of canvassing the U.S., Canada & Europe with bands like Black Label Society, Buckcherry, Nickelback, Def Leppard and Hinder, Black Stone Cherry now shows some of their tour-mates semblance.

On “White Trash Millionaire” you’ll hear some Zakk Wylde-esque guitar chops and bold Buckcherry-ish lyrical decrees like “…Ain’t got much and I don’t care, count your cash and kiss my ass, this whole damn world gonna know I been here, I got two zig-zags and you know I’ll share…”

Their once southern-darling adolescence begins to bolt with songs like “Let Me See You Shake,” and “Blame It On The Boom Boom”, where BSC firmly plants their flag of sexual appreciation for the opposite sex.

They also introduce their first recorded cover song of Marshall Tucker Band’s “Can’t You See,” with plenty of their own influence added, and do manage to stay true to their polite Kentucky-boy roots on “Like I Roll,” where you get heart-felt admissions of “…I roll to the hills of my old Kentucky home, back to the place where my heart belongs…”

**This review also posted at Louisville.com

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Ratterman in the studio

Wax Fang’s Kevin Ratterman is a busy man in the music business these days. So busy that he never really got around to pursuing his family’s business of operating funeral homes in the Louisville area. Instead, he picked up on another family trait; music.

From the time he was a child he would aspire to his older brother Blaine, an “excellent drummer” as described by Ratterman, and his father’s band, The Epics’ drummer as well. So, growing up he essentially had ready access to full drum kit in his basement. No surprises that he too would learn to play drums. Led Zeppelin and Mötley Crüe were two bands he cited that he learned to play to growing up.

Today, not only is he Wax Fang’s animated drummer, but he’s started to take on a new endeavor in the world of music; album production. Some of his first two projects: My Morning Jacket’s Circuital and The Broken Spurs’ Natural Disaster, both of whose albums he played an integral role in developing the sound for. Not to shabby for a production-newbie, right?

“I essentially put the studio together,” Ratterman explained when talking about the make-shift studio he built in a church gymnasium to record Circuital, the new My Morning Jacket album due out May 31 on ATO Records.

“We were recording everything live, which means you have to automatically – when you’re doing stuff like that – ‘accept’ a lot of things you wouldn’t normally accept,” he explained about the sound output from the live recording process as compared to a studio. I can’t help but to think, at this point, that he must be a perfectionist, because when you listen to Circuital’s title track (released last week by MMJ) you can barely tell it was recorded live, in my opinion. They’re a few subtle hints, but nothing that the average listener will really notice. Just us music junkies.

Currently Ratterman has no future production plans with MMJ, but he described the experience with recording with the band as “one of my crowning achievements in my life.”

As for his own band, Wax Fang, Ratterman announced that they have recorded a new album and EP, and that they would probably be out later in the fall of 2011 once they have wrapped up the label shopping process. Apparently they have options. For more updates on Wax Fang, check the band’s website at WaxFang.com

Here is the raw video from my interview:

** This interview also posted at Louisville.com

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Photo courtesy of Rolling Stone.

Despite moving to a smaller location last year, Louisville’s Ear X-tacy is still one of our nation’s best record stores, as declared by Rolling Stone magazine. Hopefully they’ll be around to make next year’s list again….

This is also posted at Louisville.com

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If you’ve lived here in our beloved Derby-city for a long time, then there is a good chance that you’re probably already over Thunder Over Louisville. It’s just a bunch of fireworks, right? Or maybe because it essentially generates Louisville’s biggest annual city-wide traffic jam, and packs the Jefferson County Detention Center to near capacity. Something of the sort.

But, hey, it’s also the kick-off of the Derby Festival here in the bluegrass state; our little annual tradition and time to shine, right? And, on the flip side it creates one of the city’s best few weeks of the year for live music and concerts across almost every conceivable musical style.

Friday night’s 
Thunder-eve celebration will bring us Louisville’s own Wax Fang at Zanzabar in Germantown. This wildly powerful psychedelic rock band produces a lot of sound for being a just a trio, and will be in the midst of a short mini-Kentucky tour hitting Bowling Green, Louisville and Lexington in a three-night stretch.

Still being a fairly young band by Louisville standards, Wax Fang has come a long way, and made a pretty bold statement about themselves as musicians. Led by Scott Carney on guitars and vocals, Kevin Ratterman on drums, and Jacob Heustis on Bass, you’ll surely get an intense and aggressive dose of guitars, while Carney’s impressive tenor will at-times bring a euphoric sense to their music, much like Pink Floyd did, a band Wax Fang has been often compared to.

Wax Fang landed an opening slot with fellow Louisville-counterparts My Morning Jacket on their fall tour, and then were basically handpicked by Spoon for another opening performance, and then received the opportunity to perform at SXSW, which eventually landed them their first record deal with Absolutely Kosher Records. 

They don’t play out that often, so this Friday’s show may be the last in Louisville for another 6-7 month stint. That is unless you can catch Scott Carney out playing a random solo acoustic gig, something that happens with a little more frequency than the entire band.

Wax Fang / The Features
Friday, April 15
Zanzabar
2100 South Preston Street
9:00
$10
21 and up

Checkout this Wax Fang performance of “Majestic”:

** This preview also posted at Louisville.com

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"Circuital" album artwork

Almost three years since their last release of Evil Urges in 2008, My Morning Jacket is giving away the album’s title track Circuital, via the band’s website. Circuital is due out in stores on May 31st, via ATO Records. The band has been gearing it all up by releasing songs from each of their five live shows at NYC’s Terminal 5 this past October.

Circuital was laid down almost entirely live in a Church gymnasium here in Louisville. MMJ’s honest spirit and human spontaneity are felt throughout the song, a seven minute musical epic, and yet another near-reinvention of their sound.
If this song is but a hint of what the rest of the album will be like, we’re in for another musical masterpiece from Louisville’s greatest musical export.

Check back at Louisville.com, or here on my blog at LouisvilleScuttlebutt.com for a complete album review on Circuital as soon as I get my hands on it.

Don’t forget to catch them live next time they’re in your area. There is still no Louisville show yet announced, but I can’t imagine them not debuting the release of Circuital at ear x-tacy or somewhere else in their hometown.

04/17:  Lexington, KY @ Memorial Coliseum
05/20:  Gulf Shores, AL @ Hangout Festival
05/31: Louisville, KY @ The Palace
06/02-06/05:  Ozark, AR @ Wakarusa Festival
06/05:  Hunter, NY @ Mountain Jam
06/09-06/12:  Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo Festival
06/17:  Chicago, IL @ Auditorium Theatre
06/22:  Los Angeles, CA @ Pantages Theatre
06/24: Oakland, CA @ Fox Theatre
06/26:  Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre
06/28:  Portland, OR @ Edgefield
06/29:  Vancouver, BC @ Orpheum
06/30-07/03:  Quincy, CA @ High Sierra Music Festival
07/11:  Toronto, ON @ Kool Haus
07/12:  Montreal, QC @ Metropolis
07/16: Southwold  @ Latitude Festival
07/17: London  @ Somerset House
08/04:  Denver, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre

** This preview also posted at Louisville.com

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