Saturday, July 24, 2010

John Corabi Live July 22nd

John Corabi Live July 22nd at America's Pub in Wichita, KS.

John Corabi recently hit the road on his first ever solo tour as part of the 'Triple Threat' tour featuring The REAL L.A. Guns (my opinion, my website, if you don't like it, complain to Phil Lewis or Steve Riley) and Faster Pussycat. Most dates feature all three bands others just two. On July 22nd I had the pleasure of catching John Corabi on the fifth stop of the tour in Wichita Kansas at America's Pub. John's band features Topher Nolen on bass, Troy Patrick Farrell on drums, and Kevin Hunter on lead guitar.

I was scheduled to interview John at the venue but by mutual agreement we postponed the interview. It will however take place after the tour finishes up the second week of August. John's set is a virtual "Greatest Hits" set from his days in The Scream, Motley Crue and Union. Being that he is the opening act on the bill, which is, in my opinion, is a crime (more on that later), he only plays 45 minutes to an hour but he makes the best of every second. Stay tuned for that but in the meantime here is my review of the show.
After a pre-show meet and greet, John Corabi & Co. took the stage and never let up on the sonic assault. The band kicked off their ten song set with "Do Your Own Thing" and instantly had the crowd hooked. I've seen or heard countless bootlegs from his days with The Scream & Motley Crue, and witnessed Union live in person at least ten times but have never seen or heard any of those bands that John was with play with the fire that this band has. They are out to prove something! The rhythm section of Topher Nolen and Troy Patrick Farrell really lock into a tight groove that allows for John and Kevin to add embellishments to their parts and solos. Of all the bass players that John has played with, I feel that Topher is hands down, THE BEST OF THEM ALL!


"Everything's Alright" took the crowd on a little trip through Strawberry Fields while the Walrus was singing to fools on the hill. If ya don't catch that, they are lyrics to the song which serves as a tribute to The Beatles. The crowd really seemed to get into "Love (I Don't Need It Anymore)". Must be the infectious wah-wah riff!! Up next was a double shot from John's Crue days (or was it daze, sorry John, couldn't resist!), starting with a wickedly intense version of "Uncle Jack" and concluding with an equally intense version of "Power To The Music".


The crowd was just as into the band as the band was playing the material. John has always been an excellent frontman, interacting with the audience and providing laughs between songs with some of the things he says. At one point between songs a lady in the front row was trying to get John to face her so she could snap a good picture of him, he agreed but only if she captured his good side and promptly turned around backwards and bent over with his ass facing her. The crowd busted out laughing. Always the sweetheart for the ladies, John invited her up onstage to take a picture with him. I was front row the entire set jamming out with my bud Travis from Point Blank Tattoo. Both Travis and I are HUGE John Corabi fans so there was no way we were missing this night. Horns Up T-Rav.
Six songs into the set, John slowed it down just a bit with a classic from his The Scream days, "Father Mother Son". This song is an emotionally driven and heartfelt number and for those who paid attention to the lyrics, they were speechless. One lady commented to me that she about cried at the end when she realized what the lyrical twist was. The fact he played it was well worth the price of admission for me as it has always been a favorite of mine. From there the band gave the crowd a double shot of Union with the inclusion of "Dead" and "Who Do You Think You Are" (affectionately otherwise known as "Motherfucker" to those who know the song, see YouTube clip to understand why) into the set. The band really fattened up the song, slowly down the tempo of it just slightly with Topher and Troy Patrick thickening up the bottem end. It really took a heavy song and made it HEAVY!! Well done lads!

***This was filmed in 12/2009, only John & Topher remain from this line-up, the version on this clip isn't as 'mean' as what they played in Wichita!!!***

The biggest responces of the night came during the final two numbers. "Man In The Moon" from The Scream days really showcased the band in full on jam mode while "Hooligan's Holiday" whipped the crowd into a fevered frenzy.
Kevin Hunter had big shoes to fill as he is in the position once occupied by Bruce Bouillet, Mick Mars, and Bruce Kulick. I was thoroughly impressed with how well he played Mick Mars' leads, he stayed true to the original while adding his own flare to them.


John and the band made the material they played that much better. The riffs were heavier, the groove was locked in super tight and the harmonies were choice!! I really hope this is a permanent lineup for John and that he records an album with them. No offense to any of John's past projects but if these guys can handle the old material as amazingly as they did than there is no telling what they can do as a band writing and recording new material!!

  1. Do Your Own Thing
  2. Everything's Alright
  3. Love (I Don't Need It Anymore)
  4. Uncle Jack
  5. Power To The Music
  6. Father Mother Son
  7. Dead
  8. Who Do You Think You Are
  9. Man In The Moon
  10. Hooligan's Holiday
Here is the rest of John Corabi's tour dates!

Appearing with L.A. Guns Only
Sun 07/25/10 Merriam, KS Aftershock

Appearing with Faster Pussycat/LA GUNS (TRIPLE THREAT)

Wed 07/28/10 Bay City, MI The Vault
Thu 07/29/10 Green Bay, WI The Club at Tom, Dick and Harry's
Fri 07/30/10 Detroit, MI Harpo's Concert Theatre
Sat 07/31/10 Glendale Heights, IL Shark City
Sun 08/01/10 Pittsburgh, PA The Altar Bar
Tue 08/03/10 Montreal, QC Cafe Campus
Wed 08/04/10 Toronto, ON The Rockpile
Thu 08/05/10 Foxboro, MA Showcase Live
Fri 08/06/10 West Springfield, VA Jaxx
Sat 08/07/10 Farmingdale, NY The Crazy Donkey
Sun 08/08/10 Philadelphia, PA Whiskey Tango
Mon 08/09/10 Myrtle Beach, SC Planet Hollywood
Tue 08/10/10 Johnson City, TN Scully's
Wed 08/11/10 Buford, GA 37 Main

*****Excuse Me While I Jump Up On My Soapbox*****

I DO NOT understand why John Corabi is the opening act on this tour! Not to slag on the other bands but I feel it is bullshit!!! I will admit I'm a fan of L.A. Guns (the REAL version of the band which happens to be the version you will see on this tour) and not-so-much a fan of Faster Pussycat. I will admit that I was somewhat impressed with what I heard of FP's set (too busy chatting w/ Crabby in the upstairs lounge to pay much attention) but I never really got into them. I feel that John Corabi's catalog of music and even mainstream success is bigger and stronger than that of L.A. Guns and Faster Pussycat. Hell, he fronted The Scream, Motley Crue, and Union. He has written and recorded with some of the best. I probably wouldn't be so pissed that he was the opener if all three bands played for the same amount of time but I doubt that is the case!! This is just my two cents, John Corabi SHOULD NOT be the opening act for either one of these two bands, let alone both....EVER!!!!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Texas Hippie Coalition "Rollin" Album Review

Big Dad Ritch:Vocals
Randy Cooper:Lead Guitarist
Crawfish:Rhythm Guitarist
John Exall:Bassist
Ryan 'The Kid' Bennett:Drums

01. Intervention
02. Flawed
03. Rollin'
04. Jesus Freak
05. Pissed Off And Mad About It
06. Groupie Girl
07. Saddle Sore
08. Cocked & Loaded
09. Back From Hell
10. Beg

David Prater

THE UNDISPUTED KINGS OF RED DIRT METAL ARE BACK!! Texas Hippie Coalition returns with their second album entitled "Rollin" on July 6th via Carved Records. THC 's newest slab of whiskey fueled aggression picks up right where "Pride Of Texas" left off. Having spent the past couple of years traveling all over the world and playing to rabid crowds hasn't caused this 'Band Of Outlaws' to go soft in any way. Quite the contrary in fact, this album shows growth not only within its lyrical and musical content but the addition of Crawfish on Guitars and Ryan Bennett has made THC tighter musical entity all-the-while maintaining and expanding upon their brutal foundation of head splittin' riffs and that undeniable Texas power groove.

The album kicks into overdrive from the first seconds of John Exall's bass intro on 'Intervention'. One thing I've always dug about Big Dad Ritch's vocals is his ability to go from a bottom-of-the-pit growl to classic metal vocals all within one song. He does that here while Randy Cooper rips an Dimebag-inspired fret burning solo that leads into a monstrous double kick drum exhibition from 'The Kid' before Big Dad Ritch reaches into the bowels of vocal hell to end the cut. 'Flawed' is anything but flawed with a sickening groove that is right in the pocket throughout. The title track is up next and after living with the album over the past few days, it is my favorite track on this album at this point. It has that unmistakable Texas power groove complimented with anthemic and autobiographical lyrics about the band.

'Jesus Freak' is one of the more interesting tracks on the album. I especially dig the breakdown section after the first chorus, it really takes the tune in a different direction before slowing down than heading back into the main riff. Longtime THC fans will rejoice with the re-working of their best known track 'Pissed Off And Mad About It'. It is just a tad more brutal than before without losing the magick of the original. The riff is like a turbo-charged Sherman tank barreling down on your ass. Crawfish and Ryan really breathed new life into it.
HOLY SHIT......This band of outlaws have written this generations own "Dream On" or "Sweet Child O' Mine" with the inclusion of 'Groupie Girl'. Big Dad Ritch really shines vocally on this track, reaching into his arsenal and going places he hadn't gone to before vocally. Well done!! Not a band to go too soft for too damn long, THC fires the brutality back up with 'Saddle Sore'. Big Dad Ritch really lays on the badass swagger vocally, kind of takes me back to hearing "Clenched Fist" off the first album. 'Cocked & Loaded' takes you through several moods musically while doing Sabbath proud.
Ryan Bennett sets the tone for 'Back From Hell' with his work behind the kit. I can't help but think of Shannon Larkin or Joey Jordison when I hear footwork and chops like that. We are talkin' take your head clean off with machine gun precision here. Can't wait to see them live with 'The Kid'!! The final track, 'Beg' will leave you begging for more. In conclusion, the album is how an album should be, all killer, no filler. Having been through several lineups over the years, I really feel that THC has found their definitive lineup and it is all-too-evident with "Rollin"!! If you like Pantera or Black Label Society with a healthy dose of Southern Piss n' Vinegar than Texas Hippie Coalition is right up your alley.

I've had the pleasure of seeing the band live on several occasions and they have yet to disappoint. In this day and age, most bands may deliver the goods on record but suck live, THC is the exact opposite, they deliver both on record and even more so live.


Saturday, May 29, 2010

My Nashville Vacation

On Thursday, May 13th, I flew to Nashville Tennessee as part of my vacation. After checking into my hotel and getting settled in I caught a cab to Mercy Lounge on Cannery Row. The Mercy Lounge is located above the Cannery Ballroom in Downtown Nashville.

As I stepped out of the cab I was met by my friends Brit Turner (drums) and Charlie Starr (lead vocalist/guitars) of Blackberry Smoke. After exchanging hellos and catching up on everything I was introduced to their "road guru" David. David kept me entertained with some amazing stories from his time on the road with Blackberry Smoke.

I than made my way up to Mercy Lounge to scope out the venue. The club features a good sized stage where the crowd is at eye level with the performers. The high ceilings and hardwood architecture really compliment the top notch PA system. The club is by far one of the best to catch a live show that I've ever been in as far as sound and the fact that there isn't a bad view in the house. I must also mention that everyone who works at Mercy Lounge are very friendly and accomidating. A top notch venue all the way around!!

Looking back, I can't think of a better way to ring in my birthday than by catching my buds in Blackberry Smoke tearing it up on stage. It was one helluva night to say the least and it began with former Shooter Jennings & The .357's guitarist Leroy Powell along with his band "The Messengers" opening up. Here is my review........


I've been a HUGE fan of Shooter Jennings since his days in Stargunn so I was more than aware of Leroy Powell but had no idea how he was as a solo artist. Was I ever in for a pleasant surprise. Backing up Leroy in "The Messengers" is Dean Tomasek on Bass & Scott Easley on Drums. The hard rockin' power trio hit the stage just after 8pm and delivered an hour long high energy set of Southern flavored rock ranging from ZZ Top-esque down n' dirty boogie to Jimi Hendrix inspired psychedelia. I'll definitely be keeping a closer eye on Leroy's solo career as well as purchasing his previous solo albums but first I must emmerse myself with his latest album with The Messengers entitled "Atlantis". Look for a review of it next week, until than check out Leroy at


I've been an avid follower of Blackberry Smoke since being introduced to them via an interview with Jesse James Dupree of Jackyl back in 2002. After many failed attempts at catching them live, I finally was able to see them when they opened up for ZZ Top in Wichita Kansas in September 2008. They surpassed my expectations that night! Fast forward to May 13th, 2010, and the fact that they would be playing into my birthday (14th) made the show that much better. It also marked the first time I'd seen them since Brandon Still came into the band to play piano and keyboards. I wasn't sure if a piano would positive or negative addition to the already stout brew that is Blackberry Smoke but I left loving what Brandon has added to the mix!


Blackberry Smoke hit the stage rippin' through a raucous version of the Bluegrass classic "Memphis Special" and rarely let up through the 17 song/90 minute set. The set included two newly written tracks, "One Horse Town" and "Everybody Knows She's Mine". They also did a cover of Willie Nelson's "Yesterday's Wine" which the band recently hit the studio with Jamey Johnson and George Jones to record for their upcoming re-re-release of their sophomore album 'Little piece Of Dixie', due out June 9th on BamaJam Records. A few of the highlights of the set for me was their medley of "Let A Sleeping Dog Lie" and the Allman Brothers classic "Midnight Rider", their rev'd up rendition of "Man Of Constant Sorrow" and the inclusion of, as I like to call it, MY LIFE STORY with "Son Of A Bourbon". I can never get enough of that song and it is that much better live!

The band are true road dogs. They average at least 200 shows a year around the globe. They're musically as tight as they come yet bust out some amazing free-form jams throughout their set. The past two weeks, their first single from their new album, "Good One Comin' On" has been the #1 on video on CMT's Pure 12 Pack Countdown. The fact these cats can write some amazing tunes and are not afraid to work their asses off for their love of music only insures this will be the first of many #1's to come their way.

Memphis Special
Like I Am
I'd Be Lyin'
Good One Comin' On
One Horse Town
Bottom Of This
Let A Sleeping Dog Lie/Midnight Rider
Up In Smoke
Sanctified Woman
Ain't Much Left Of Me
Everybody Knows She's Mine
Yesterday's Wine
Son Of A Bourbon
In A Livin' Hell
Man Of Constant Sorrow
Freedom Song



Look for Part Two of "My Nashville Vacation" Coming Up with all the news from the Richie Kotzen Guitar Clinic, RK concert, and my first time meeting Richie Kotzen with a 'special appearance' by JOHN CORABI!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

"When Moonshine and Dynamite Collide"
Album Review

Jesse James Dupree:Vocals & Guitars
Roman Glick:Bass
Jeff Worley:Guitars
Chris Worley:Drums

01. Loads Of Fun
02. I Can't Stop
03. She's Not A Drug
04. My Moonshine Kicks Your Cocaine's Ass
05. Get Mad At It
06. The Overflow Of Love
07. When Moonshine And Dynamite Collide
08. Just Like A Negro
09. Deeper In Darkness
10. Freight Train
11. Mercedes Benz
12. Full Throttle


Jesse James Dupree

Well, 'rock me... roll me... Jackyl me off'! Those crazy, long-haired, sleazy rockers from Atlanta are back with another 'goes to 11', balls to the wall album chocked full of all things dirteee (misspelling intentional, see their 1992 song "Dirty Little Mind" if you don't get it) and fun. So fire up that BBQ, grab a 12 pack of Pabst or a Mason jar of your best home brew, and sit back for a run through what I feel is the best album Jackyl has made to date.

We kick off this twelve song, forty minute slab of Southern hospitality with the appropriately named "Loads Of Fun". The song kicks into high gear from the get-go and never lets up. Complete with a stanky chugging riff and gang vocals, I can see this cut being the opener to a Jackyl live show in the very near future. While we are here, I have to wonder if someone wasn't getting in touch with their inner Chuck Berry during the solo? One thing I've always loved about Jackyl is the fact you know their songs are autobiographical, not only do they give you the blueprint to a good time but you know damn well these cats live it up if you've ever been to one of their shows. Which brings us to "I Can't Stop", another party inducing anthem that carries on that tradition. "She's Not A Drug", the first video released from this CD, and "My Moonshine Kicks Your Cocaine's Ass" have both been available via the band's MySpace page for awhile now. The later has been a staple of Jackyl's live shows for a few years and is a barn burner. Chris Worley's breakneck drumming sets the pace for the song and it never lets up. "Get Mad At It" finds Roman Glick laying down a sweet groove throughout while Jeff Worley rips one hell of a solo -- I can envision this track making a very nice stripper anthem. "The Overflow Of Love" continues the long Jackyl tradition of celebrating all the things we love about the female species.

I was really thrown a curveball when the title track came out of the speakers, as I fully expected a song with a name like that to be a hyper frenetic hell-raiser of epic proportions -- however it is an introspective and mellower piece complete with a soulful guitar solo. But don't dare call it a ballad even though I can picture the crowd turning the venue into a Bon Jovi video with Zippos ablaze when it is played live. "Just Like A Negro" is sure to raise some eyebrows because of its title, and I can even see some idiots trying to claim that since Jackyl is from the South that they're being racist, but if that were to happen it would prove their ignorance as this one is actually a cover of a song by the multi-racial band Mother's Finest. Jesse James Dupree adds his stamp to this rocker which is a sweet grooved lil' ditty -- and it too has been a staple of the live show over the last few years.

The highlight of When Moonshine And Dynamite Collide, for me, comes with the inclusion of "Deeper In Darkness". This song first graced my ear drums when I saw Jackyl back in 1994 and it also made an appearance on their 1996 import-only live album Night Of The Living Dead. The band FINALLY laid down a studio version and it lives up to all my expectations -- I guess sixteen years was worth the wait. "Freight Train" picks the pace back up like a Moonshine fueled locomotive screaming down the tracks with Jesse James Dupree's hands free of the controls. Up next sees the second cover from this helping of Southern sleaze rock with an odd choice in Janis Joplin's "Mercedes Benz" -- clocking in at 1:39, this rendition finds Jesse, dare I say, singing a-cappella. This CD ends, appropriately enough, "Full Throttle", which is a nice tie-in/plug for Jesse's TV show that airs on Tru TV, and it makes for an even better song which is saying a lot considering I love the hell outta that show. This cut is for all of those who like to 'put it in the wind' as Jesse says.

Jackyl, in my opinion, have never sounded better all the way around. This is, without a doubt, a result of being the road dogs they are -- on stage is where these guys are at home, but it was nice that they took the time to hit the studio as their last effort, Relentless, appeared back in 2002. When Moonshine And Dynamite Collide showcases the band doing what they do best, writing anthemic, hook-laden songs to make you forget about everything but having a good time. As always, the band really has a fire under their ass to provide you with the soundtrack to life's party and with this CD they do not disappoint. I can't wait to see them live again on June 3rd in Wichita, Kansas.

In closing, all I have to say is 'Puh-Pow' and crank this mofo all the way up!

left to right:
Roman Glick, Jesse James Dupree, Chris and Jeff Worley