PictureHouse to release summer hit “Sunburst” this July

PictureHouse have announced plans to release their smash hit single “Sunburst” internationally on their PHRC label in the summer of 2017.

For two years in a row this summer song was the most played song on Irish radio, used in a national TV advertising campaign for a major retailer and was used in the soundtrack to a film. It propelled the band to stardom and brought them on tours with the likes of The Corrs, Meatloaf, The Divine Comedy, Mel C from Spice Girls, Texas, Ronan Keating, their own tours and festivals which saw them headline Dublin’s Big Day Out in Marley Park to 35,000 people.

A dispute with their then record company ultimately contributed to the band breaking up, meaning the track never got released properly in the UK. They reformed, releasing 2014’s “Evolution” (which spawned the hit single “Rules of Science” which was playlisted on BBC Radio 2 as well as countless other stations across Europe.)

PictureHouse have now digitally remastered a number of their songs in a package that’s not meant to be a greatest hits – but instead be a “best bits” including some previously unreleased material. The record is called “How Can I Explain How This Came To Be?” and is due for release in August 2017. More details to follow.

The band hope to confirm a tour in Winter 2017.

New music…ANIMAL DRIVE

Frontiers has had an ongoing successful working relationship with the one and only Jeff Scott Soto for many years now, so when JSS put a band in front of them and told them they HAD TO HEAR IT, they turned up the volume, leaned back, and awaited what would soon wash over their ears. What immediately stood out was the way the singer had such a commanding presence of the hard rock songs that were being performed. So, a conversation was started and a deal has been struck. Frontiers Music Srl is now very pleased to introduce the world to ANIMAL DRIVE, a young and driven hard rock band founded in Zagreb, Croatia in 2012 by singer Dino Jelusic, who is the primary writer and driving force behind the band’s sound. Dino was chosen by the late, great Paul O’Neill to tour as a featured vocalist on Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s most recent U.S. tour, which is how he crossed paths with Soto and which would ultimately lead to them becoming labelmates.

ANIMAL DRIVE’s line-up is completed by guitarists Ivan Keller and Alen Luke (who unleash a ferocious twin guitar attack on the listener), Damjan Milekovic on bass, and Adrian Boric on drums. Influenced by legendary bands such as Whitesnake and Skid Row with progressive rock and metal elements from Dream Theater thrown in the mix, Animal Drive take their listeners on a wild ride of hard rock bombast.

Dino says: “I am more than delighted and excited to be part of Frontiers’ machine, the label that Animal Drive’s music can relate to in so many aspects, from classic rock, progressive metal, heavy metal, hard rock… Our music contains everything that Frontiers holds right now, and some of the bands that are our biggest influences are signed to the label, which makes us even more excited. Can’t wait to share material we have been working on for almost a year now, and can’t wait to kick ass!”

The band’s debut album is expected to be released in late 2017/ early 2018 with a tour in support of the release to follow.

Weblink: https://www.facebook.com/AnimalDrive69/

Video sample: https://www.facebook.com/frontiersmusicsrl/videos/1413822088673838/

Gig review: MATT ANDERSEN – Borderline, London, May 25 May 2017

My first time at the Borderline since its recent refurbishment and it was looking impressive, with trendy seating and bar. Luckily it keeps the same atmosphere for live gigs with the audience crowded round the small stage area.

William the Conqueror was the support act and he took to the stage with his acoustic guitar and bass drum. He did mention he normally toured with a full band but tonight he joked they were replaced by said bass drum. He had an easy going style, both in the music – a mix of blues and Americana – and between song chat – he thought the revamped venue looked like the set of ‘Blake’s Seven’ (I’d wager this refit cost more than that creaky old set!). His new album is due out on August 4 and will be one to investigate further based on tonight’s impressive performance which went down well with the crowd.

Matt Andersen is a Juno Awards nominated Canadian blues guitarist/singer, and tonight’s gig was his final date on his UK leg of his current European tour. Where to start? Let’s just say you need to see Matt Andersen live to fully appreciate him as his acoustic guitar playing is stunning and then there is his voice. I have rarely seen a singer pour so much passion into his singing, a real joy to behold and reinforces why live music is good for your soul and well-being. Take ‘Make You Stay’, he was all over his guitar, his head thrown back, eyes closed as he got into his own groove and took the audience along with him. Amazing to watch and hear.

He has a very laid back, friendly on stage presence and can even slip in some unexpected fun as could be heard on ‘Have You Got The Blues’, where midway through he started playing the theme tune ‘The Pink Panther’. There was audience participation on his version of the classic ‘People Get Ready’, as he has the “guys and gals” singing different backing parts and it made for a one of the evening’s highlights. Needless to say Matt had the audience on his side from the moment he walked onto the stage. Interestingly the audience was made up of a younger crowd than I expected with a few hardened blues fans dotted around the crowd, proof that good blues music and musicians, like folk and country, has the timeless sound and appeal to carry on through generations.

Go see Matt Andersen play when he is town near you as you won’t be disappointed.

Review by Jason Ritchie

DON BARNES Lost Solo Album ‘Ride The Storm’ Comes To MRR

MelodicRock Records is thrilled to announce one of the biggest releases for the label thus far! How else could you describe an album featuring Dann Huff, Alan Pasqua, Jeff & Mike Porcaro, Jesse Harms and Denny Carmassi?
MRR will be the label finally able to extract one of the best “lost” albums of all time for an official release. Plenty have tried over the years, but timing is everything!
Nearly 30 years ago, what would have been an instant classic was relegated to storage thanks to the old story of record label machinations. Of course, we are talking about the classic AOR masterpiece DON BARNES solo album ‘Ride The Storm’.
MelodicRock Records started a conversation with the legendary 38 Special vocalist nearly 12 months ago to the day, suggesting that more than enough time has passed and that this record deserves its time to shine. So it is with great pleasure that MRR announces that DON BARNES ‘Ride The Storm’ will be released worldwide June 30.

And even better news for fans and collectors that have had this record in its various MP3 forms over the years, what you have isn’t the main record you’re about to hear.

In searching for the original masters for ‘Ride The Storm’, after being lost for two decades, Don found the only existing copy of a ‘rock mix’ that was commissioned back in 1989 to take a look at how the songs would sound, remixed for a bigger ‘rock’ impact.

Ever the completist, MRR’s Andrew McNeice insisted that both mixes of the classic album were included in the release – as well as the three individual, heavily traded, solo demo tracks that were recorded but not included on the original album.

The complete ‘Ride The Storm’ release will therefore be a 2CD set, featuring the album in its intended form, plus the second ‘alternate mix’ disc, on which the three additional bonus tracks are added at the end.

As there was no original artwork yet conceived for ‘Ride The Storm’, so regular MRR artist extraordinaire Nello Dell’Omo was commissioned to come up with something amazing. And that he has. In collaboration with Don, who drove the vision and MRR, the end result might just be one of his best album covers yet! Two individual sets of remastering also serve the album well – it sounds as fresh, punchy and as amazing as it ever has. Thanks to JK Northrup (Rock Mix) and Brian Foraker (Alt. Mix) for their vital work.

It’s time Don himself jumped in with the story behind this amazing solo album:

“Over two decades ago, with years of success as lead singer and guitarist with 38 Special, I was given an opportunity by A&M Records to create a side solo project as an artist.  A&M suggested putting several top-rated musicians in the studio with me and I would write and co-produce the project. I set about co-writing songs and was honored to have some of the industry’s top musicians join me in the recording.

All of these players were extraordinary talents in the music business; the great Jeff Porcaro along with his brother Mike, respectively the drummer and bassist from the band Toto – and the best ‘bottom-end foundation’ for any session – came on board to help forge a great rock record.

We also had the masterful veteran drummer Denny Carmassi from the band Heart, noted session keyboardist and composer Alan Pasqua from the band Giant on keyboards…along with another music titan, virtuoso guitarist and now-producer Dann Huff, all of whom brought such excellence and talent to the sessions that I just can’t find enough words of praise and appreciation for them.

Additionally, I was privileged to work and collaborate with two extremely talented producers – Martin Briley and Brian Foraker – both of whom brought a wealth of experience and cool vibe to our sessions. We had always felt that the combination of these powerhouse players together created a very special album, a unique ‘rock classic.’ Many who have heard the album say that description still remains true today.

Unfortunately, unexpected situations arose in the record business at that time and corporate transitions got in the way of the release date. The album was finished, mixed, and ready to go, but what started out as a great rock record turned into a series of disappointing twists and turns.  Just as it was ready to be released, A&M Records was sold through a huge global acquisition and the company changed hands several times over the years. The new company and staff had their own difficulties getting accustomed to the transition and my project was put aside without a release date.  My solo album became one of those music stories of a great rock record that started in one direction but had corporate business dealings move it to some other outcome.

I’m proud to finally present my solo album, complete with extras like the 3 additional recordings in demo form left off of the original group of songs, along with a second full CD of alternate mixes.

We had a great time recording these big, explosive songs, all presented here with newly re-mastered technology.  You’ll hear the intensity and spirit of the songwriting, the excellence and power of talented players, and the absolute force we delivered on the recordings.

This album and these songs made it through a rough storm and they rock stronger than ever today. Turn it up and enjoy a great ride.”
– Don Barnes, May 2017

MASON HILL sign with Frontiers

Another good signing by Frontiers, as Mason Hill sound impressive and will sit nicely with fellow label mates Inglorious and Big Foot. Some good classic hard rock bands in the UK right now with the aforementioned bands plus Bad Touch and the more bluesy Albany Down & Broken Witt Rebels,

Frontiers Music Srl is excited to announce the signing of Glasgow based hard rockers Mason Hill for a multi album deal!

The band are truly a hot property right now! From winning the Highway To Hell UK battle of the bands competition, appearing at Ramblin’ Man Fair, Hard Rock Hell and supporting Inglorious – this is a group very much in demand! Speaking of Inglorious, Mason Hill will open for them at their Inglorious “II” album release show at Islington Assembly Rooms next Friday, May 19th. This will be Mason Hill’s first appearance in London.
The Scottish quintet’s blend of classic meets modern hard rock results in a batch of uncompromising riffs accompanied by anthemic sing along choruses and stadium friendly ballads. Their high energy live shows impress wherever they play, and they display the swagger and confidence of a band that has being doing it for decades.
The band was originally formed in 2013 by two school friends, vocalist/guitarist Scott Taylor and lead guitarist James Bird, with drummer Craig McFetridge being the first to join the ranks. After a few personnel changes, bassist Matthew Ward settled into the role in 2015, with guitarist Marc Montgomery completing the current line-up in 2016 – allowing Taylor to concentrate solely on vocals.
Mason Hill spent the next few years “learning their craft” on stages up and down the UK touring circuit. This included some high profile shows supporting the likes of Graham Bonnet (ex Rainbow), Snakecharmer (feat. ex-Whitesnake, Thunder, & Wishbone Ash members), Toseland and Marco Mendoza (Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy, Ted Nugent, Dead Daisies).
In December 2015, the band released their debut E.P, the self titled ‘Mason Hill’, featuring four tracks that highlighted exactly why this band are turning heads – outstanding songs that demonstrate a maturity far beyond their years. Recorded at The Foundry Music Lab with Sandy Jones (Wet Wet Wet) in the producer’s chair, the E.P has been critically acclaimed amongst the music press and fans alike.
The band says, “We are so happy to announce this record deal with Frontiers and we can’t wait to share in the opportunities that it will present us. We are absolutely thrilled to be hitting the studio later in the year to begin recording our debut album.”
You can get a taste of the band via this live video of “Out Of Reach”:
And via the single “Now You See Me”:
Expect the new album to be available in the first half of 2018!

HONEYJACK – 8 Track

www.honeyjackband.com

Honeyjack are a duo of Mark Summerlin (vocals/guitars) and T.J. Scarlett (guitars). Mark Summerlin has been the guitarist and musical director for Seal and he was planning this to be a solo album until he hooked up with T.J. Scarlett and Honeyjack was born.

This is an assured debut album that delves into southern rock, albeit the more AOR/melodic rock end of it similar to bands like .38 Special and Lynn Allen. Listening to the melodic rock of ‘Hated Being Right About You’ you’d think it was .38 Special. A really classy song and indeed all eight songs on here stand up to repeated plays, with a good mix of styles. The personal lyric on  the ballad ‘Show You Arkansas’ takes the pace down a little.

‘Know How To Pick ‘Em’ has a humorous lyric and a fast paced country picking style in the guitars, making for another stand out track. Speaking of guitars the playing throughout is top draw and includes some sublime slide guitar.

Highly recommended for lovers of southern rock with an AOR edge, hopefully a start of something big for Honeyjack.

AXEL RUDI PELL New BALLADS V Album Released April 21st on SPV

German virtuoso heavy metal guitarist Axel Rudi Pell, who has been a leading light on the European melodic metal scene for well over three decades and sold more than 1.5 million albums, is proud to announce the release of a brand new digital single (and video), ‘Love’s Holding On’, featuring special guest star Bonnie Tyler, on Steamhammer/SPV, on March 31st.

‘Love’s Holding On’, containing a stunning duet between Bonnie and long-time Axel Rudi Pell band singer Johnny Gioeli, is one of four new recordings included on ‘Ballads V’, part five of his successful ongoing ballad compilation album series, due out on April 21st. Axel states that “Bonnie Tyler only records songs she personally likes, so I wrote this tune just for her and she really loved it. She came to the studio and we recorded it within a couple of hours; the result is amazing!”

‘Ballads V’ follows on from his most recent studio album ‘Game Of Sins’, which charted high in the national album charts in Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria and The Czech Republic, plus breached the UK’s Rock and Metal chart, (for the first time) when released in January 2016.

‘Ballads V’ also contains a sublime new 8-minute-long song, ‘On The Edge Of Our Time’, as well as Axel’s rocking cover version of Ed Sheeran’s composition ‘I See Fire’, the theme track of ‘The Hobbit’ movie; “I always liked that tune, but I wanted to hear it Pell-style, so we took a piano instead of the acoustic guitar and added a beautiful solo at the end.” A previously unreleased live recording of ‘The Line’, from the Rock Of Ages Festival in Germany, which Axel co-headlined at the end of July last year, is also included.

Among many other highlights are a live cover of Deep Purple’s mighty ‘Mistreated’, recorded during Axel’s monumental 25-year anniversary show in Balingen in July 2014, with Doogie White (ex-Rainbow, MSG) on vocals and erstwhile Rainbow keyboard legend Tony Carey also performing; “It was a 14-minute emotional ride for everybody involved on that stage that night,” recalls Pell. Mention must also be made of Axel’s atmospheric take on Neil Young’s ‘Hey Hey My My’, inspired by the legendary TV series ‘Sons Of Anarchy’.

‘Ballads V’ will be available as a Digipak CD (with poster), double purple 180 gram vinyl gatefold LP (with printed inner sleeves + CD in a cardboard sleeve), and limited (1,000) edition Boxset (containing Digipak CD, CD single, 5,000 mAh ARP branded powerbank, sticker and photo postcard).

Track listing Digipak
1) LOVE’S HOLDING ON 5:06
2) I SEE FIRE 6:02
3) ON THE EDGE OF OUR TIME 7:42
4) HEY HEY MY MY 5:02
5) LIVED OUR LIVES BEFORE 6:31
6) WHEN TRUTH HURTS 6:46
7) FOREVER FREE 8:27
8) LOST IN LOVE 6:05
9) THE LINE (live) 7:31
10) MISTREATED (live) 13:55

Track 1: New song, guest: Bonnie Tyler
Track 2: New song, Ed Sheeran cover
Track 3: New song
Track 9: Live, previously unreleased

Line Up:
Johnny Gioeli – Lead and Backing Vocals
Axel Rudi Pell – Lead, Rhythm and Acoustic Guitars
Ferdy Doernberg – Keyboards
Volker Krawczak – Bass
Bobby Rondinelli – Drums