SOME LEVITY FOLKS: COW BEARS STRIKING RESEMBLENCE TO KISS’ GENE SIMMONS

A Texas calf born July 28 bears an uncanny resemblance to KISS frontman Gene Simmons, and tourism officials joked on Facebook that the rock star may be the dad, The Sun reported.

“Gene Simmons, where were you on about November 25, 2016?” Hill Country Visitor cheekily posted Saturday, along with a photo of the newborn cow, who looks like she could break out into Rock and Roll All Nite at any moment.

The calf — aptly named Genie — was born in Kerrville on the ranch of Heather Taccetta, who works at Cowboy Steakhouse.

Taccetta immediately recognized that Genie looks like the tongue-wagging rocker and sent a photo to her local tourism board, telling it that KISS songs were being played when the calf was conceived.

In addition to the black and white markings on the calf’s face, she is sticking out her long tongue — mimicking the trademark appearance of the rocker, who also is known for his “devil horns” hand gesture.

Simmons was once rumored to have had a cow tongue grafted onto his own.

Taccetta said she won’t serve Genie to customers and will keep her as a mascot for the steakhouse.

Simmons noticed his doppelgänger and exclaimed on Twitter: “This is real, folks!!!”

“Calf called Genie is born on Texas ranch and looks EXACTLY like Kiss rocker Gene Simmons,” read his post.

additional source: nypost.com

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BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION RELEASE VIDEO FOR NEW SONG, “COLLIDE”

As previously reported, Black Country Communion, the band featuring vocalist/bassist Glenn Hughes, drummer Jason Bonham, Derek Sherinian and blues-rock guitarist/vocalist Joe Bonamassa, will be releasing their new album, BCCIV, on September 22nd.

The band has now released a video for the first single, Collide, watch it below.

To read more about BCCIV, and to pre-order the release, please click here.

BCCIV track listing:

1. Collide
2. Over My Head
3. The Last Song For My Resting Place
4. Sway
5. The Cove
6. The Crow
7. Wanderlust
8. Love Remains
9. Awake
10. When The Morning Comes
11. With You I Go (bonus track on vinyl edition only)

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IN CELEBRATION OF ITS 30TH ANNIVERSARY, DEF LEPPARD GUITARIST PHIL COLLEN DISCUSSES “HYSTERIA”

Greg Prato of Bravewords spoke with Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen about the 30th anniversary of the band’s multi platinum selling album, Hysteria. Highlights from the interview appear below.

BraveWords: Was there any point during the recording of Hysteria that it got a bit maddening or frustrating working with Mutt Lange?

Phil Collen: No. All the stuff with Mutt was a joy and totally inspirational. It was all the stuff that we did prior to that. Jim Steinman and different kind of engineers and doing all of that stuff – that was the frustrating part. You’ve got to understand – we wrote all the songs with Mutt, and the vision of the album, and the whole concept of it, was his. And when other people were around, they couldn’t do that, because they had no clue. But when he was involved…he had to do a Cars album [1984’s Heartbeat City], he was committed to doing it, and had to disappear for like a year. So, when he came back, that was a joy, I’ve got to say. Because all of a sudden, it all started flowing, and it was so inspiring. And we were doing something we had never done before – or anyone has. It’s almost like creating a new genre of music. It was like a rock band, but it had all these different elements in it. Elements from new wave, punk, funk, rap music – Pour Some Sugar On Me was almost like a rap lead vocal kind of meter…It was a wonderful hybrid. And when Mutt was around, he could be part of that thing. It was enthusiastic, it was totally inspired. Yeah, it was a lot of hard work obviously, and I’d been there the whole time. It was grueling, but like I said, with Mutt at the helm, it was great – because you had this faith in this guy. It was really cool.

BraveWords: After all the tragedy, drama and studio time, when Hysteria was unleashed upon the world, it fell flat – the lead-off single/video, Women, seemed to go over people’s heads. Was the band worried out of the gate?

Phil Collen: What happened was our record company in America wanted to release Animal [as the first single]. But Cliff Burnstein – our manager at the time – was scared that it was such a departure from Pyromania and everything else that we’d done, that we would need a bit of credibility. So, he said, “I think we should release a rock song first.” Hence, Women came out. It was great in that respect – keeping the credibility. But from a commercial point of view, yeah, it wasn’t the best move. It ended up working great, anyway, because obviously, the single that eventually followed, Pour Some Sugar On Me, changed the whole scenery. Completely. So, it wasn’t a worry – it was disappointing for us. Y’know, playing half-empty arenas after we’d just done the Pyromania tour three years prior, and we were jam-packing them out. That was a struggle – we had to claw our way back up. But when the fourth single came out, Sugar, it all changed. And then all of a sudden, everyone is loving us. It’s an interesting portrayal of human behavior and how people react to that. It’s a very interesting thing.

BraveWords: How different would you say the rock scene was, from say, the end of the Pyromania tour to when Def Leppard started touring behind Hysteria?

Phil Collen: Ironically, all the stuff that came out after Pyromania – to me – sounded directly influenced by that album. All of a sudden, you had bands…everything from the Scorpions, Bon Jovi, Ratt – everything was influenced by that. Drum sounds, all the engineers and producers were trying to recreate that. When we started to do Hysteria, Mutt said, “Look. Everybody else is doing Pyromania Part II – we have to do something drastically different. But it’s going to take a lot of hard work. And it means we’re going to have to do more than we normally do, the songs have got to be better, and it’s going to be some different kind of music.” That’s really what we did. And I think you could hear that. You could hear that on other albums – as you did after Hysteria. After it broke, then everyone is trying to do that. There were a million Pour Some Sugar on Mes, there was a million Love Bites, there was a million Hysterias, there was a million Women. The snare sound and the kick – all of that. I even heard my voice sampled on other records. From the “Step inside, walk this way…” – all of that stuff, you could hear it on other records. “Hey!” – all of that stuff. It was like, “Wow, I’m on this album, I’m on that album. This is interesting!”

Read more at Bravewords.

In celebration of the 30th anniversary, Def Leppard will re-release Hysteria on August 4th. It will be come in various formats-Super Deluxe Edition, Deluxe Version, 1 CD Vanilla Version, 2-LP Black Vinyl Version, & limited edition 2-LP Colored Vinyl Version. The reissue boasts B-sides and live tracks, plus the audio for In The Round In Your Face (Live) on CD for the first time.

To read more about this special release, please click here.

source: bravewords.com

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UFO TO RELEASE COVERS ALBUM, “THE SALENTINO CUTS” ON SEPTEMBER 29TH

UFO will release their first-ever covers album, paying homage to a dozen of their personal favorites. The Salentino Cuts includes several unexpected choices such as Mad Season’ River Of Deceit, John Mellencamp’s Paper In Fire and Bill Withers’s Ain’t No Sunshine alongside more traditional but nonetheless thrilling versions such as The Yardbirds’ Heartful Of Soul, ZZ Top’s Just Got Paid” and lots more.

UFO’s current lineup features original members Phil Mogg on vocals and Andy Parker on drums. Keyboardist/guitarist Paul Raymond joined the band in 1976. Lead guitarist Vinnie Moore has been a permanent member of the group since 2003, and American bassist Rob De Luca joined the fold in 2012.

Vinnie says, “Making this covers record was a blast for me. I thoroughly enjoyed putting a little of my own spin on these tunes that I grew up with. I played ZZ TOP and Robin Trower songs about a gazzilion times onstage over the years. it was great to actually get to record some of my old faves.”

The Salentino Cuts will be released on September 29th and will be available on both CD and two limited vinyl pressings, one splatter vinyl and one white vinyl.

The Salentino Cuts track listing:

1. Heartful Of Soul
2. Break On Through (To The Other Side)
3. River Of Deceit
4. The Pusher
5. Paper In Fire
6. Rock Candy
7. Mississippi Queen
8. Ain’t No Sunshine
9. Honey-Bee
10. Too Rolling Stoned
11. Just Got Paid
12. It’s My Life

In September & October, UFO will embark on a tour of North America with Saxon, click here for tour dates.

UFO last studio release was 2015’s A Conspiracy Of Stars. Additionally, the band released, Live Sightings, a four-CD box set featuring vintage live performances from the early ’80s, on February 5th, 2016.

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SONS OF APOLLO FEATURING EX-MEMBERS OF DREAM THEATER, GUNS N’ ROSES AND JOURNEY DEBUT ALBUM, “PSYCHOTIC SYMPHONY,” DUE OUT OCTOBER 20TH

For the past few months, rumors have been circulating about a new secret project including former Dream Theater members Mike Portnoy and Derek Sherinian. Now, the time has come to make the grand and highly anticipated introduction to their new band, Sons Of Apollo.

Reuniting to form Sons Of Apollo, Portnoy and Sherinian have joined forces with Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (ex-Guns N’ Roses), Billy Sheehan (The Winery Dogs, Mr. Big, David Lee Roth) and Jeff Scott Soto (ex-Journey, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force). Their debut album, Psychotic Symphony, will be released October 20th on InsideOutMusic/Sony Music. An album teaser can be seen, below.

Psychotic Symphony was produced by the dynamic production duo of Portnoy and Sherinian, also affectionately known as “The Del Fuvio Brothers,” which is the nickname given to them over 20 years ago during their time together in Dream Theater.

Sons Of Apollo got together very organically, as Portnoy explains, “Derek and I reunited shortly after I left Dream Theater in 2010 and we put together an all-instrumental touring band with he and I, Billy Sheehan, and Tony MacAlpine. That was my first time working with Derek since the ‘90s when he was in Dream Theater and it was just great to be working with him again. Ever since that tour, which was really just a one-off live thing, he has been nudging me to start a real, original, full-time band. The timing just had never been right, because I had too many other things on my plate. Long story short, the time was finally right to take the bait and put together a band.”

“Mike and I work at a relentless pace in the studio,” continues Sherinian. “The music is modern, but we have an old school soul. What is unique about Sons Of Apollo is that we have true rock n’ roll swagger along with the virtuosity– a lethal combination!”

But what to call the next great supergroup? “Derek was mainly the one behind the name,” says Portnoy. “I have a list that I keep on my phone of about a hundred different band names, which I constantly have to refer to every time I have a new band every year (laughs). So, I pulled up the list and Apollo was one of the names on the list. It was a word that both of us really liked. We started fiddling with different variations of the word. One of the original band names we were working with was Apollo Creed, the character from the ‘Rocky’ movies, but after lots of different discussions on different variations, Derek suggested Sons Of Apollo and it seemed to stick. Apollo is the God of Music so with that in mind it seemed like a fitting name.”

Mike Portnoy, Derek Sherinian and Billy Sheehan previously toured together in 2012 and 2013 as PSMS (along with guitarist Tony MacAlpine), playing all instrumental versions from each of their previously recorded music. Sons Of Apollo is the next logical progression by adding a vocalist and creating all-original material. The band incorporates the progressive style and individual technical prowess that Portnoy & Sherinian shared together in Dream Theater combined with the swagger and groove of Van Halen, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin.

“I have known Mike and Derek for a long time, so when they came to me with Sons of Apollo, I jumped on this straight away,” says Thomas Waber, Label Manager/A&R International of InsideOutMusic. “However, the album they ended up recording exceeded my already high expectations by a long mile! We couldn’t be happier about it!”

Sons Of Apollo will hit the road in 2018 for their first worldwide tour.

“This is a real band,” Portnoy declares. “This is going to pick up for me and Billy where The Winery Dogs left off, in terms of this being the next logical full-time thing for us. I’m not saying The Winery Dogs have broken up, because we haven’t, we’re just on a break. Sons Of Apollo is absolutely going to be a full-time band and we plan on touring all over the world all throughout 2018 and, honestly, it is the priority for all five of us.”

Sherinian agrees, “We will go on a worldwide crusade in 2018 to bring Sons Of Apollo to as many people as possible. Apollo was the God of Music, and we are his mighty offspring!”

For more information on Sons Of Apollo, please visit facebook.com/SonsOfApollo1 or twitter.com/SonsOfApollo1.

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BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION TO RELEASE “BCCIV” ON SEPTEMBER 22ND

Black Country Communion the Anglo-American rock group comprising vocalist/bassist Glenn Hughes, drummer Jason Bonham, Derek Sherinian and blues-rock guitarist/vocalist Joe Bonamassa, will release their long awaited and highly anticipated fourth album, BCCIV, through Mascot Records on Friday, September 22nd. Pre-order the release at shop.jbonamassa.com.

Just like its three predecessors, “BCCIV was overseen by Kevin Shirley. Shirley, who originally had the idea of putting Hughes and Bonamassa in a band after seeing them jamming together onstage in Los Angeles back in November 2009, is the group’s unofficial “fifth member.”

Black Country Communion is an earth-shattering combination of American and British rock influences — a bona fide super group that conveys to the world a simple but important message: classic rock is alive and well, and in good hands in the 21st century. Their communion together forms something that is greater than the sum of its parts, creating a legacy being cemented within the halls of music history.

The initiative for the new album came from Joe Bonamassa, who contacted the band in 2016 to see if they would be up for going back into the studio to write and record a fourth album.

Says Joe, “I just felt the time was right for Black Country Communion to go back into the studio and write and record a new album. When I contacted Glenn, Derek and Jason, they immediately agreed to give it shot. The timing was right.”

During October 2016, when news first broke about the band getting back together, things on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, started blowing up and fan reaction was overwhelming. It was clear to see that BCC fans were hungry for another album. BCCIV is destined to become one of the biggest hard rock albums of 2017.

Black Country Communion’s inception took place when frontman and bass guitarist Glenn Hughes and Joe Bonamassa fused their styles on stage in Los Angeles in November 2009 for an explosive performance at Guitar Center’s King Of The Blues event. With the help and guidance of producer Kevin Shirley, they further added to their rock lineage by recruiting drummer Jason Bonham and keyboardist Derek Sherinian.

Taking their name from the industrial area in Britain, and the birthplace of both Hughes and Bonham, BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION released their self-titled debut album in 2010, and with that, unleashed their brand of take-no-prisoners hard rock to a world thirsting for music with substance.

Following the release of another two studio albums, 2011’s well-received “Black Country Communion 2” and 2012’s equally impressive Afterglow, plus a smoldering live CD released in 2011, Live Over Europe, the band has firmly established themselves as one of hard rock’s premier acts. The band took a hiatus in 2013 and focused on their successful solo careers.

Black Country Communion has cultivated a reputation not only as amazing songwriters, but as a powerful live act, is only exceeded by their dedication to their craft, and a willingness to challenge and motivate each other to make the best music they can.

Now, seven years on from its inception, Bonamassa feels the time is right to bring the original lineup back for album No. 4.

“We had around four months to write this album, and I think the results speak for themselves,” comments Glenn Hughes. “All four of us wanted to make a record that stood up to the first three albums. However, the new album is more of a progression, as we wanted to be careful not to repeat the previous albums. A lot has happened since we last recorded the ‘Aferglow’ album in 2013, so, in many ways, the new album shows Black Country Communion with a much harder, riffier and bigger and bolder sound. If you’re looking for a folk album, this ain’t the one.”

The band assembled to record BCCIV at Cave Studios in Los Angeles in December 2016. The album was mixed at Cave Studios in Sydney in March 2017. The songs on BCCIV will appeal to all fans of high quality hard rock, also those that admire singers of distinction. Hughes is not known as The Voice of Rock for nothing.

In terms of content, BCCIV expands upon the progression that took place between the first three albums. With an abundance of heavy riffs, undeniable hooks, melodic flair and infectious choruses, BCCIV is a spectacular album that gets bigger and bolder with repeated spins.

“I wanted the new album to physically shake your soul. It’s a wake-up call.” explains Hughes.

All songs on the new album were co-written by Glenn Hughes and Joe Bonamassa. Glenn wrote all the lyrics on the album except for the song “The Last Song For My Resting Place”, which was written by Joe.

BCCIV track listing:

1. Collide
2. Over My Head
3. The Last Song For My Resting Place
4. Sway
5. The Cove
6. The Crow
7. Wanderlust
8. Love Remains
9. Awake
10. When The Morning Comes
11. With You I Go (bonus track on vinyl edition only)

The first single taken from the new album will be “Collide.”

Black Country Communion has announced two exclusive concerts in Europe during January 2018 to support of BCCIV. The band will play Wolverhampton Civic Hall on Tuesday, January 2nd and London Hammersmith Apollo on Thursday, January 4th.

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