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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Tenacious D debut to a No. 8 in the US album charts with the soundtrack to their film "The Pick of Destiny." The album sold 81,000 copies, nearly double the 42,000 the group's self-titled debut sold in its first week in 2001. That album has since sold 987,000 copies.

VELVET REVOLVER are in pre-production on their new album.

The Killers have recorded a brand new track called A Great Big Sleigh which they will release a download single on December 5th.

Steve Negus will re-join SAGA for the band’s current European tour.

SHAW/BLADES covers album ‘Influence’ gets a European release via Frontiers on 16th Feb.

PRESS RELEASES

John Mellencamp has unveiled the track list for "Freedom Road," his first album of original material since 2001. The set is due Jan. 23 via UMe/Universal Republic and includes the single "Our Country," which is featured prominently in a Chevrolet commercial. The track recently earned Mellencamp his first appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 in nine years and just the third of his career on Hot Country Songs.
The 10-track set was recorded over the past year at Mellencamp’s Belmont Mall studio in Bloomington, Ind. "It sounds very 1966, but it sounds now," he told Billboard.com recently. "'Our Country' is the most John Mellencamp-sounding record on it. I think people are gonna go, 'Wow!,' or they're gonna go, 'What is he trying to do?'"
"We tore apart ... every song from 1966, 1965," he added. "We listened to all that music, then we learned it, we listened to it, we examined it -- 'How did they do that?' We were inspired by it, we copied it, we stole it. We did everything we could from that era." Joan Baez duets with Mellencamp on the track "Jim Crow."
"Freedom Road" is the follow-up to 2003's "Trouble No More," an album of blues and folk covers. Mellencamp’s last original album was 2001's "Cuttin' Heads."
Here is the track list for "Freedom Road":
"Someday"
"Ghost Towns Along the Highway"
"The Americans"
"Forgiveness"
"Freedom’s Road"
"Jim Crow"
"Our Country"
"Rural Route"
"My Aeroplane"
"Heaven Is a Lonely Place"

GIG NEWS

BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE
Wed 3 Jan - Newcastle Academy
Thursday 4 Jan - Manchester Apollo
Fri 5 Jan - Birmingham Academy
Sun 7 Jan - Cardiff University
Mon 8 Jan - Hammersmith Apollo

INCUBUS
March
31 Birmingham NEC
April
1 Manchester MEN Arena
2 Cardiff CIA
4 Glasgow SECC
8 Bournemouth BIC
9 Nottingham Arena
12/13 London Brixton Academy

JUDIE TZUKE
8TH FEBRUARY - ASHCROFT THEATRE FAIRFIELD - CROYDON
11TH FEBRUARY - CITY HALL - SHEFFIELD
12TH FEBRUARY - CITY VARIETIES - LEEDS
15TH FEBRUARY - THE HOVE CENTRE - HOVE
17TH FEBRUARY - THE ANVIL - BASINGSTOKE
26TH FEBRUARY - ST GEORGES - BRISTOL
27TH FEBRUARY - QUEEN ELIZABETH HALLS - LONDON
28TH FEBRUARY - HUNTINGDON HALL – WORCESTER

JOHN MARTYN
21ST JANUARY - CORN EXCHANGE - CAMBRIDGE
22ND JANUARY - ST DAVIDS HALL - CARDIFF
25TH JANUARY - SYMPHONY HALL - BIRMINGHAM
27TH JANUARY - THE LOWRY - SALFORD QUAYS

DAMIEN RICE
27TH MARCH - APOLLO HAMMERSMITH - LONDON
29TH MARCH - THE CIVIC HALL - WOLVERHAMPTON
30TH MARCH - APOLLO - MANCHESTER
31ST MARCH - USHER HALL – EDINBURGH

BEN FOLDS
23RD JANUARY - APOLLO HAMMERSMITH - LONDON
25TH JANUARY - CITY HALL - SHEFFIELD
27TH JANUARY - APOLLO - MANCHESTER
28TH JANUARY - THE CIVIC HALL - WOLVERHAMPTON

REVIEWS

FRANK TURNER ‘Vital Signs’ (CDS 2006) www.frank-turner.com

Former singer with Million Dead releases this single on Christmas Day! You can request the download via santa@frank-turner.com In this multimedia age you don’t need shop anymore to
get your tunes and this acoustic song could do well in the post-Christmas lull that the music industry goes through. The addition of strings halfway through the song lifts it up and you have a damn fine tune. The demo on here ‘Heartless Bastard Mother F**ker’ is not one however to play at your family Christmas dinner…

****
Jason Ritchie

THE RIPPS ‘Vandals’ (CDS 2006) www.myspace.com/theripps

Spiky pop rock with a punk edge is how you’d classify this band. Doubtless if you have not heard many songs like these two you’d be impressed but bands like the Buzzcocks did it so much better! Not bad but nothing here to make you want to check them out more.

***
Jason Ritchie

VIA VOCE ‘Faster Than A Dead Horse’ (CDS 2006)

Husband and wife team who take that 60’s psychedelic sound and add in some neat drums and harmonies. Add to this some screeching feedback guitar – it is like the Beachboys meets MC5 at times! This band are good and a cut above many bands out there wanting to be heard.

****
Jason Ritchie

NIGHT RANGER ‘Seven Wishes’ BGO Records (2006) www.bgo-records.com

A real ‘must have’ melodic rock gem gets a re-release here. Sadly no bonus material but it is re-mastered with sleeve notes (although these hardly sing the praises at times of this glorious album!). Released back in 1985 this was the band’s third album and the follow-up to their first big hit album ‘Midnight Madness’. Although never big here in the UK not helped by the fact their albums rarely got released domestically), in their native US and Japan they were big news, especially in the live arena where the band excelled.
Of the ten tracks on here only one real duffer for me in the rather lame rocker’ Night Machine’ but then you do get certifiable classics like the ballad ‘Sentimental Street’, the duelling guitars of Brad Gillis and Jeff Watson let fly on ‘This Boy Needs To Rock’ and the air keyboards intro to ‘Interstate Love Affair’ – superb stuff. With two top draw vocalists in Jack Blades and Kelly Keagy the band really excel at harmony fuelled choruses and with two guitarists they keep the rock quota high. Album closer ‘Goodbye’ is possibly one of the band’s best songs and is still played live today by the band, who have a new studio album due out next year via Frontiers.
If like me you only have the vinyl copy of this album go get this CD now and if you missed out first time add this CD pronto as Night Ranger are one of the best US hard rock bands period.

****1/2
Jason Ritchie

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