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