Four Corners Motorcycle Rally is proud to announce that they have teamed up with legendary rock band Avenged Sevenfold for the Ride Now and Rock On The Road Sweepstakes. Participants can donate for a chance to win a VIP rock and roll vacation for two to see Avenged Sevenfold at a future concert in the continental US (side stage access, backstage tour, lodging, and transportation) PLUS a customized 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide from Durango Harley-Davidson, or $20k in cash. Donations will benefit Building Homes For Heroes, who will build a mortgage-free house for a veteran. Sweepstakes ends March 28th. Four Corners Motorcycle Rally happens annually over Labor Day Weekend in Durango, Colorado; 2021 event dates are Friday, September 3rd – Sunday, September 5th.

Watch the Four Corners Motorcycle Rally sweepstakes information video here.

Visit here to learn more about those who will be generously affected by your donation through the efforts of the nonprofit organization, Building Homes For Heroes.

“I’m honored to have the support of M. Shadows from Avenged Sevenfold with our efforts to raise money for Building Homes For Heroes. In the middle of the craziness of the past year with concerts being canceled this is an amazing experience to give everyone who joins us an opportunity to look forward to when concerts return,” says John M. Oakes, managing partner of Four Corners Motorcycle Rally.

Fans can visit www.FourCornersMotorcycleRally.com to make a donation benefitting Building Homes For Heroes. Donations can be made in denominations of $10, $25, $50, up to $100 – the higher the pledge, the exponential increase in entries*. Entries will close on March 28th. One winner will be chosen at random to win the grand prize.

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Whitesnake celebrates the blues sound that helped inspire its multi-platinum career on a new collection that features remixed and remastered versions of the group’s best blues-rock songs. The Blues Album is the third and final release in the band’s Red, White And Blues trilogy, a series of compilations organized by musical themes that began last year with Love Songs(red) and The Rock Album (white).

The official music video for a remixed version of the song Whipping Boy Blues can be seen below.

Coverdale says the music reflects how blues artists like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and the three Kings (Albert, B.B. and Freddie) continue to inspire him. In the album’s liner notes, he writes, “It’s hard to find the words to show how profoundly they connected with my soul. But ‘blues’ to me is a beautiful word that describes emotional expression… feelings, be it feelings of sadness, loneliness, emptiness… but also those that express great joy, celebration and dance, sexiness and love!!!”

Read more about The Blues Album, here.

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On April 30th, Mascot Label Group/Provogue will issue a new album featuring previously unreleased material from legendary guitarist Gary MooreHow Blue Can You Get contains a total of eight songs — four original tracks plus four tunes which were previously recorded and made famous by classic bluesmen like Elmore James, Sonny Thompson, Memphis Slimand B.B. King.

Says the label, “It’s our hope that current and future generations of music fans discover and re-discover Gary Moore, reveling in the artistry of not just a great guitarist, but a supremely talented musician. Back to the future with Gary Moore.”

How Blue Can You Get track listing:

1. I’m Tore Down 
2. Steppin’ Out 
3. In My Dreams 
4. How Blue Can You Get 
5. Looking At Your Picture
6. Love Can Make A Fool Of You
7. Done Somebody Wrong
8. Living With The Blues

Moore enjoyed a spectacular career with bands such as Skid Row [Dana’s note: not the NJ band], Thin Lizzy and G-Forece, and predominately as a solo artist during which time he effortlessly switched from heavy rock to blues, taking his denim-clad fans along for what would be a hugely successful journey.

Moore’s guitar mastery saw him collaborate with stars like B.B. King and Albert King, Peter Green, Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton.

Gary Moore died on February 6, 2011 after suffering a heart attack in his sleep, aged just 58.

Earlier this month, the campaign to erect a statue of Moore in the guitar legend’s native Belfast received a boost ahead of the tenth anniversary of his passing.

A statue recognizing Moore in Belfast could become a feature of the city’s plans for a major cultural celebration in 2023. 

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Greta Van Fleet presents a brand new music video for the song Heat Above, from the band’s upcoming sophomore album, The Battle at Garden’s Gate, due April 16th.

“‘Heat Above‘ is theatrical, eloquent, and exaggerated.  This is a dream in the clouds, a moment of peace in the storm.  Thematically, we are dead center in the cult of Heaven, surreal, strange and free.”

See the band’s first video for Age of Machine, here.

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Marty Friedman will release the new studio album Tokyo Jukebox 3 though The Players Club/Mascot Label Group on April 16th. The record is the third in a series that began with Tokyo Jukebox in 2009, and then Tokyo Jukebox 2 following in 2011.  The trilogy presents Friedman’s inspired performances to Japanese repertoire he’s chosen to cover. He shares, “I’ve been playing stuff from the first two Jukebox albums live all over the world, and it’s taken on a life of its own.  Especially in places like North and South America, Australia, Italy, France and even India.  My fan base is very dedicated, and what I have found is that lots of new fans have been introduced to Japanese music and culture through me, which is very gratifying. On the tours it seems like aside from the dedicated guitar fans, the Japan fanatics have been noticeably growing, so now felt like the right time to do Tokyo Jukebox 3.”

On this announcement, he presents a new music video for the song Makenaide which can be screened below [Dana’s note: If video will not play, refresh the browser]. Friedman offers, “I feel so incredibly fortunate and grateful for the love and support of wonderful people from so many countries and cultures around The World. With this video, I tried my best to share that unique feeling with you, and what better way than to have those cool folks jam for us. A huge thank you to everyone who took the time and energy to learn this song and make this video so fun to look at.”

Friedman put a lot of energy into selecting the right songs to cover for the album, He shares, “In Japan, you have to get permission to record and release cover versions, and that can be a very tricky and long process. So, the last thing I wanted to do was to ask permission to do a song, only to wind up not recording it for whatever reason. That would be very impolite. I spent several weeks choosing songs and demoing them to see whether I could create versions that I could get pumped up about, before I even approached any publishers. I came up with a short list of 20 songs, and from this chose about 15 that I knew I could really score with.”

Friedman has also included The Perfect World, which he wrote, recorded and originally released in 2018. This is the only track on the album with vocals.  He reflects, “Back then I did the song with Jean-Ken Johnny from Man With A Mission on vocals, and that was used as the main theme for the Netflix series B: The Beginning. On the day of release, the song went straight to the top of the Japanese iTunes chart.” This recording is a new, fresh interpretation with Alfakyun, one of Japan’s premier female J-Pop singers performing the vocals. As Friedman offers, “It’s really a self-cover, so it fits in with the idea of this being a covers album.”  Listen below.

Friedman has also included Japan Heritage Theme Song, another of his own compositions on which he worked with the Tokyo Philharmonic orchestra. He reflects, “I was asked by the Japanese government to compose an official song to be played at government sponsored events which celebrate Japanese heritage. This was a huge honor, and it was wonderful to be able to work with such a prestigious orchestra which, rather conveniently, my wife plays cello in. Doing this was a little different from what I am used to, because instead of playing a completed track to record company people I had to face Japanese government officials. I recall looking at their stony faces after they heard it and sweating anxiously awaiting their reaction. Thankfully, they liked what I’d done. I felt this was a great, uplifting way to close the album.”

Much of the recording process was done at Power House Studios in Tokyo, with Friedman, who was also the producer on the project, joined by bassist Kiyoshi and drummer Anup Sastry.  He shares, “Kiyoshi has been in my band for about six years now doing all my tours and recordings. She is a powerhouse, and I honestly have never seen anyone hit the bass as hard as she does, especially while keeping up with my kind of challenging music. Anup was a member of Skyharbor (an Indian/American progressive metal band) and has been on my last three albums. He is just plain phenomenal as well.”

The recording process started in January, 2020 and was due to end in March with a release in May. Then the pandemic struck, and everything was pushed back. Friedman had no firm deadline to finish the album within, and he took advantage of the time, reflecting on executing his vision without limitations. He offers, “I kept reworking the music, and improving everything.  In the end it took several months to get the album completed, but it was time well spent. I believe the music turned out so much better because I wasn’t under any deadline pressure.”  The mixing was handled by Jens Bogren at his own Fascination Studios in Sweden. He’s a resource Friedman has the utmost confidence in offering, “Jens has mixed my last three albums and he’s one of the best in the business. He knows what I want, and I know he’ll get it for me.”

Friedman’s remarkable attention to detail on this album goes beyond the music. The cover image presents the guitarist dressed in a traditional Japanese kimono, with make-up that honors authentic tradition.  He offers, “I have to admit that getting this done was a hellish process. It could easily have just looked like a dude in drag and therefore rather stupid. It does take a very serious attitude and approach to pull this off properly. If you look at the covers for the first two Jukebox albums, I had on kabuki make-up. There was no photoshop used at all and that’s precisely why they came out so well. This time I brought on the absolute top professionals in the unique field of wardrobe and make-up, and I believe we’ve hit the bullseye. I am actually wearing two kimonos in the photo, as well as padding to fill me out a little like a sumo wrestler. You’d never believe I am this skinny rock dude from the East Coast of America.” 

The latest incarnation of Marty Friedman`s long-selling signature model guitar, Jackson`s MF-1, will be released this month. It is a brand-new Purple Cracked Mirror model, with a stunning design and ultramodern construction.  For more information click here.

Friedman staged a live streaming concert on New Year’s Day 2021 to celebrate the Jukebox’ series.  Plans to tour worldwide are in his sights sharing, “Obviously, we have to wait and see what happens with international travel protocol. But I cannot wait to get back on the road again. I have really missed it terribly.”  In the interim, he hopes The World enjoys the fruits of his labor of love on Jukebox 3‘ where Friedman takes J-Pop hits and offers his own charismatic interpretations of contemporary repertoire that includes LiSA’s Gurenge and Official Hige Dandism’s Shukumei, alongside Da Pump’s dance track U.S.A., Sekai No Owari’s ballad Sazanka, and the vocaloid hit Senbonzakura. Japanese old school standards, Zard’s Makenaide and Every Little Things’s Time Goes By are also given Marty`s modern overhaul to round out the album’s track list to cover the full scope of his take on the Japanese music scene.  In closing Friedman offers, “I am so happy with the way this turned out. And I am also grateful for how it’s been received so far. The reaction has been fantastic. It was joyful and cathartic to record, and I am delighted it’s now giving people such a fun diversion.”

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Internationally acclaimed guitarslinger, vocalist, songwriter, Damon Johnson will debut his new band, The Get Ready, with the release of Battle Lessons, out tomorrow – February 19th via Double Dragon Records. The collection available for pre order, here, was made possible with the assistance of  an Indiegogo pre-order helping to support the recording of Johnson and his new trio, The Get Ready (Jarred Pope on drums and Robbie Harrington on bass joining Johnson). Battle Lessons was recorded in Damon’s adopted hometown of Nashville, The title track and debut single from the project was a smash on the Classic Rock Chart for several weeks climbing to lucky  #13 on that chart. 

Listen to the first single Battle Lessons below [Dana’s note: If the video does not play the first time, refresh your browser] or stream here.

Rock fans know Johnson’s name from his years of scorching stages worldwide as lead guitarist in the Alice Cooper band, and later with Thin Lizzy and the Lizzy-offshoot Black Star Riders in addition to fronting the potent ‘90s Southern rock band Brother Cane. Johnson’s songs have been recorded and sung by stars like Stevie Nicks and Steven Tyler.

With Battle Lessons, Johnson returns to his original hard-rock sound, feeding that fire he first discovered as a teenager playing Van Halen and AC/DC covers while in garage bands.  Featuring nine newly written songs, the tracks are just as much about clever lyrics and sticky melodies as eyelash-searing guitars. “These are as good of songs as I’ve been a part of creating, ever in my whole career,” Johnson says.  And that’s saying something – as singer/guitarist, and frontman of Brother Cane, the Birmingham, Alabama rock band who notched a string of ’90s rock hits, including That Don’t Satisfy Me,  Got No Shame, I Lie In The Bed I Make and chart-topper And Fools Shine On.

Battle Lessons is anchored by a searing title track. The song casts Johnson’s gutsy vocals and razor riffs over presto grooves by The Get Ready drummer Jarred Pope (Tom Keifer) and bassist Robbie Harrington (Steve Vai.) Expectedly, there’s a supersonic guitar solo ripping through the cut. Johnson elite six-strings supercharge the entire Battle Lessons album. But the guitars always serve the songs and never just for flash.

Battle Lessons track listing:

1.     Battle Lessons

2.     Can’t Clap Any Louder

3.     Talk Yourself Into Anything

4.     Shadow Country

5.     Let the Healing Begin

6.     Brace For Impact

7.     Lightning Bolt

8.     Love is All You Left Behind

It all started for Johnson when he became an instant fan of Thin Lizzy after attending a concert back in 1979 in his home state of Alabama. At 15 years old, he had gone to the concert to see Ted Nugent, he didn’t even know who the opener was. Immediately after the show, Johnson bought the entire catalog and learned every song he could. Fast forward to 2011, while on tour as Alice Cooper’s guitarist, Johnson received a call from Thin Lizzy founding guitarist Scott Gorham, inviting him to replace their temporary guitarist on their current tour. A dream job, and with Cooper’s blessing, Johnson leapt at the chance.

In 2019 Johnson released Memoirs of an Uprising, a solo project that is both fierce and diverse. The first single, Shivering Shivering became an instant Top 10 Rock track. Immediately following that albums release Johnson spent the remainder of the 2019 on a series of dates crossing North America  including several shows with The Winery Dogs (a supergroup of rockers featuring Richie Kotzen, Mike Portnoy and Billy Sheehan), a run of shows supporting Clutchand the U.S. leg of the UFO tour.

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