Thursday, 12 April 2012

Black Stone Cherry - Secret Session

This Black Stone Cherry acoustic set is the fourth Secret Session that I have been fortunate enough to attend and the first I've been to since Rock Radio became Real XS. It is also the first that I've been to where I was already a serious fan of the band before going to the session.

All four of Black Stone Cherry by DavidDMuir
All four of Black Stone Cherry, a photo
by DavidDMuir on Flickr.
I have been a bit snowed under with work recently and it has taken me too long to get around to writing a review.In fact, it has been so long that the details have already begun to fade from my aged brain, so I'll start with the clearest abiding memory - it was outstanding!

They only played four tracks, the first of which was (I think) In my Blood and I'm pretty sure they also played Blame It On The Boom Boom as well as White Trash Millionaire but as I say, my recollection is a bit hazy so I'm willing to be corrected. Update: I have consulted with Daughter Number 3 and she assures me they only played three tracks. The second was Like I Roll and the third is described below. See told you my memory was going!

I am absolutely sure about what they finished with though - a cover of Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash. It is a track I have attempted to learn to play myself as I struggle on with my guitar lessons and the band did it fairly straight. At least the did so for the first couple of sections until the music began to morph... At first, I thought they were going to segue straight into one of their own songs. But when the vocal came in, it became clear that what they had done instead was get all Black Stone Cherry-esque on Folsom Prison Blues. Rather than just doing a straight cover version of a Cash classic, what they did was take the song and make it sound like one of their own. As I describe it here, it sounds terrible but trust me, it sounded great at the time!

I have posted some of the pictures I took on Flickr but you'll see a much better set on the Real Radio XS website. (I'm fairly sure they took video of the session too, but if they have posted it online, I certainly can't find it.)

And, in the "Isn't that just the way it goes..." category, this is the first Secret Session I've been too where I already CDs by the band, so I took one along to get it signed. But it's also the first Secret Session I've been to where they weren't signing stuff, they were just posing for pictures. Curses!

To finish on a more positive note though, they seemed to be a really great bunch of chaps and handled comments and questions in almost impenetrable (to them) Galswegian accents with good humour. So thanks to all at Real XS and more importantly, thanks to Black Stone Cherry for a great acoustic set.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Free Download Friday #125: Roadrunner Records goes to Download

I've been too busy of late to update this blog but I'm back this week with a link that will net you not one, but thirteen tracks! But first a slight diversion.

For the last couple of Christmases, I've posted links and downloads for Christmas songs from a variety of Pop, Blues and Rock artists. I thought that, since this is Good Friday, I should look for an Easter related song to offer as a download. The problem is, there are next to no Easter Pop, Blues and Rock songs at all... let alone free downloadable ones. At least, I couldn't find any. I guess that Easter is just not seen in the same light as Christmas by the music industry. If any of you can think of Easter songs, I'd be interested to hear your suggestions. The best I could come up with is this YouTube video of Larry Norman singing Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music? which contains the lines: "Jesus is the Rock and he rolled my Blues away." :-)

So, what about the promised thirteen track download? Well, it comes courtesy of Roadrunner Records - probably my favourite record label. Not only are they currently the home of the greatest band in the world but they also give away a ton of free tracks!

And once again, as they did last year, they are giving away a Download Festival sampler. I think this is a brilliant idea and I don't know why more bands/record labels don't do it. There are so many bands at a festival, how do you choose who to go and see? In general, I suspect most people will go to bands they've heard of, bands where they already have at least a couple of tracks in their music collection. So Roadrunner Records gives you a sample track from each of their artists that will be appearing at the festival. As I said, brilliant!

This year, the tracks on offer are:
1. Black Stone Cherry - White Trash Millionaire
2. Soulfly - World Scum
3. Lamb of God - Ghost Walking
4. Revoker - Stay Down
5. Royal Republic - Tommy Gun
6. Kids in Glass Houses - Gold Blood
7. Trivium - In Waves
8. DevilDriver - You Make Me Sick
9. Periphery - Icarus Lives
10. Theory of a Deadman - Lowlife
11. Machine Head - Locust
12. Megadeth - Public Enemy No 1
13. Opeth - The Devil's Orchard  
A really good mix of tracks. My favourite is Black Stone Cherry but there's a really good mix of styles there - pretty much something for everyone. Just go to the Roadrunner Records facebook page, enter your details, sign up for a mailing list and you'll be sent a link to the download page.

So, what's your favourite track?