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Artist News: November News Nuggets - Pt 1

Posted on Saturday, December 10 @ 20:15:00 UTC by nightowl

Since we were on an unexpected "sabbatical" for the last month, as your dear old editor was sucked into a "work-vortex" (as I posted to Twitter and Facebook) and having broken free from its gravitational pull*only yesterday (though happy to admit still employed)... here's a round-up of some news items that reached us in the latter half of November ... sort of a news bits deluxe, as it were.

Guitar virtuoso, composer and producer Steve Vai will be presented with the prestigious Les Paul Award at the 27th annual Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards, to be held Friday, January 20, in the Pacific Ballroom of the Hilton Anaheim during the 2012 NAMM show. Co-presented by the TEC Foundation For Excellence In Audio and NAMM, the TEC Awards recognizes outstanding achievement in professional audio production and product design. [Source: Blabbermouth.net]


The Who, Scorpions, Deep Purple, and Jethro Tull were among the honorees at the seventh annual Classic Rock Roll Of Honour, which was held Wednesday, November 9 at the world-famous Roundhouse in Camden, England. The ceremony was hosted by KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons. Guitarist Jeff Beck was awarded the highest accolade of the evening, The Living Legend Award, presented by Roger Taylor from Queen.

The full list of winners is as follows:

* The Living Legend Award: Jeff Beck
* Event Of The Year: Roger Waters' The Wall Live Tour
* Breakthrough Act Of The Year: Black Country Communion
* The Spirit Of Prog: JETHRO TULL
* The Innovator Award: DEEP PURPLE
* Musicians' Union Maestro Award: Steve Winwood
* Tommy Vance Inspiration Award: Steve Marriot
* Classic Songwriter: Manic Street Preachers
* Outstanding Contribution: Bob Zrin
* Metal Guru Award: SCORPIONS
* Classic Album Award: THE WHO - Quadrophenia
* VIP Award: Baron Wolman
* Best New Band: Vintage Trouble
* Album Of The Year: Michael Monroe – Sensory Overdrive
* Reissue Of The Year: Queen reissues package of their five albums
* Film/DVD Award: Lemmy
* Band Of The Year: Foo Fighters [Source: Blabbermouth.net]


2011 has turned out to be quite a big year for Australian rock guitarist Joe Matera. Both his solo instrumental single "Face Off" and his guest solo spot on UK metal legends Atomkraft's Cold Sweat release, brought Matera's highly energetic, melodic and tasteful guitar playing to a wider international audience. Taking note of Matera's guitar prowess was European based label W.A.R Productions whom quickly signed Matera to a deal which sees Matera's new all electric solo instrumental EP Slave To The Fingers receiving a European CD release.

Slave To The Fingers features four brand new studio tracks, all showcasing Matera's six string talents at its best. The EP begins in bombastic fashion with a brief balls to the wall rocking interlude before Matera's tasteful melodic playing takes center stage on the title track "Slave To The Fingers." Underscored by some eclectic styling, the track also features a special guest appearance by guitarist Mick McConnell from legendary rock band Smokie who contributes a breathtaking guitar solo on the track. "Cruise Control", leads the charge as the EP's first single and is a soaring melodious affair, peppered by harmony guitars and a spirit recalling the halcyon days of 1970's classic guitar rock. "Out Of The Blue" shifts things into overdrive, with Matera's harder rocking elements coming to the fore, for an all out sonic ear assault before "Face Off", Matera's first all electric instrumental single from earlier this year, and here being issued for the first time on CD, closes the EP majestically. The tight, rocking rhythm section backing Matera on Slave To The Fingers is comprised of Englishman Tony "Demolition" Dolan (Venom, Atomkraft) on bass and American James Strickler (Angellic Rage) on drums.

Slave To The Fingers was officially released November 28th through W.A.R Productions (Europe) and Mercury Fire Music (Australia).

Listen to MP3s | Facebook | YouTube | W.A.R. Productions @ Facebook [A.W. PR]


For some reason, the thought "too much bling on my neck" comes to mind. Legendary rockers Styx -- Tommy Shaw, James "JY" Young, Chuck Panozzo, Lawrence Gowan, Ricky Phillips and Todd Sucherman -- have teamed up with jewelry designer Diana Warner (www.dianawarnerstudio.com) to create the "Diana Warner for Styx" jewelry collection, which was made available exclusively on the band’s official website on November 11, just in time for holiday shopping.

Each piece is hand-made in Diana Warner’s New York City studio, with prices ranging from $55-$200. The first items available are eight dog tag necklaces made of 30 inch chains of gunmetal, antique gold or antique silver plate over brass. The charms are made of pewter and rose gold, gunmetal, antique gold or antique silver. They’ll also be selling guitar pick earrings available in 4 finishes: gunmetal, rose gold, antique gold and antique silver, as well as antique gold and silver charms with one of the band’s well-recognized lyrics, "Come Sail Away With Me."

This is only the first part of the "Diana Warner for Styx" collection. Multiple styles of limited edition charms will be created in 2012, which will be sold in a small number and will be considered collector’s items. A full line of "Diana Warner for Styx" jewelry will be made available in 2012. This is the first collection Diana has designed for a band and collaborated on this project with singer/guitarist Tommy Shaw’s wife, Jeanne Shaw.

"The second we saw Diana’s pieces, we knew we wanted to work with her," says Jeanne. "We’re so thrilled to be able to offer something very special to Styx’s fans that’s worlds different than anything we’ve done before. We hope they love the collection as much as we do."

In touring news, Styx is continuing to criss-cross the U.S. in support of Regeneration, Volume I & II, a double-disc collection of re-recorded classics that was released on October 4 via Eagle Rock Entertainment. In addition to thirteen Styx classics and a brand new song "Difference In The World," Regeneration, Volume I & II also includes interpretations of "High Enough," and "Coming Of Age," originally recorded by Damn Yankees, which featured Tommy Shaw, along with Night Ranger’s Jack Blades, Ted Nugent and drummer Michael Cartellone. The band had originally re-recorded these acclaimed anthems to sell only at their live shows, as they continued to tour the globe and introduce a new generation of fans to their chart-topping hits. Now, for the first time, this music has been made commercially available.

Check them out at any of the following stops (with more being added in the coming weeks):

12/16/11 -- Johnny Mercer Theatre -- Savannah, GA
12/17/11 -- Montgomery Performing Arts Center -- Montgomery, AL
1/25/12 -- The Grove -- Anaheim, CA
1/27/12 -- Pechanga Casino -- Temecula, CA
1/28/12 -- Silver Legacy Casino -- Reno, NV
2/10/12 -- Green Valley Ranch/Grand Events Center -- Las Vegas, NV
2/11/12 -- Peppermill Concert Hall -- Wendover, NV
3/9/12 -- Magic City Casino Amphitheater -- Miami, FL
3/10/12 -- Twin Oaks Amphitheatre -- Silver Springs, FL [Source: ABC Public Relations]


Apocalypse Yesterday - A Musical Project by Teddy Presberg. An always surprising and original music chameleon takes us once again on a new journey. The latest release from recording artist Teddy Presberg is a dark thematic project released December 2nd and enters a completely new musical realm for the musician.

This time around the music began along the Saint Francois River in Southeast Missouri. In a cabin with some friends, Presberg utilized a four-track cassette recorder to record old drum machines, dusty synthesizers, and whatever else happened to stop over for dinner (tablas, trumpet players, etc.).

Presberg ended up recording an entire cassette of one large, spontaneous, electronic jam. "When I reached my goal of filling up a cassette of original music, I decided it was time to start editing the jams into songs and to put a theme together," says the music producer. "With all of the talk about the Apocalypse coming soon, according to many ancient civilizations, I just started toying with the concept that we had already eclipsed the Apocalypse."

The result is a 7-track EP of songs that contain lyrics with a strong political message. This is not your usual album, as songs don’t follow traditional songwriting formats and genres are mashed together without rules or limitations. Lyrics are succinct and hooks are avoided.

"The message is in the music and the performance," says Presberg. "I composed and sang all of my vocal parts on the fly in one evening. Going with a flow of consciousness, I just delivered a message without thinking, ‘Oh, I better have a chorus to make it come together.’ When rules are broken and fun is had, you get really interesting results."

The album has its own dedicated website at www.apocalypseyesterday.com. The album is available as a free download and a limited CD release through the artist's website: www.teddypresberg.com. [Source: Outright Music


Bassist Tom Murphy has announced his departure from the Maryland-based experimental, progressive metal band Periphery. He says in a statement, "I have had so many unforgettable experiences and have met so many wonderful people while playing with the band and just want to say thank you to all the fans for making that possible. I am leaving to pursue something new."

The remaining members of Periphery add, "We're very saddened by this, but wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors. Fortunately, this will not affect our upcoming touring plans as [Adam "Nolly" Getgood of Red Seas Fire] will be filling in on bass and Mark Holcomb will take up his position as full-time guitarist."

Holcomb previously had a project with Misha Mansoor called Haunted Shores and was the fill-in guitarist on the recently completed "Frak The Gods" tour.

Periphery will be direct support for Dream Theater throughout Europe from January 23 through February 26. [Source: Blabbermouth.net]


Legendary bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Trapeze, Black Sabbath, Black Country Communion) will spend December and January writing material for his next solo album. He says, "There is a fire inside like never [before]."

In a recent interview with IHeartGuitarBlog.com, Hughes stated about his forthcoming solo CD, "I'm really thinking about making a Glenn album early next year. It's been four years since I entered the studio for F.U.N.K., but my hat now has been very much thrown into the rock ring. What I will do on the next Glenn album, is portray the image of the Glenn Hughes on the Black Country Communion albums. Because it's the same Glenn that was in Deep Purple, really. The classic rock iconic Glenn that, let's be clear, the majority of the fans want. The 'F.U.N.K. album was very well recorded and I love the songs, but that's for a cultured audience and a different kind of audience. It's more of a cult audience, if you will. But my audience now with Black Country Communion and a lot of my fans are rockers, man, so it's time to rock. So the next album will be a rock record." [Source: Blabbermouth.net]


Even briefer bits: UFO's forthcoming album has a new title, Seven Deadly (and not Last Of The Bone Riders, as was previously announced in the media. The CD is currently being recorded with producer Tommy Newton and is due out February 27, 2012 via SPV/Steamhammer. A tour of the UK and Ireland is planned for March and April. ... ... Weightless, the second full-length album from progressive instrumentalists Animals As Leaders, sold 6,100 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 92 on The Billboard 200 chart.[Source: via Blabbermouth.net]

Pt 2 to come later (but soon)

*whether the science of that is currect or not. In my best McCoy voice: I'm an English major, dammit, not a scientist." (Though ya'll might have thought "it's dead, Jim" during our hibernation.

Posted in Band News (tours, comings/goings, etc)

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Album Release News