Friday, May 26, 2017

Rikard Sjöbloms Gungfly - He Held An Axe

You might know Rikard Sjöblom as the mutli-instrumentalist madman behind the microphone of the now-legendary BEARDFISH, who sang about everything from personal loss to dreams of sneaking into the backstreets of some sleazy '70s disco club. Wielding his keyboard like an 88-key progressive rock machine gun and a shoulder-slung guitar much in the same manner, Sjöblom truly was the face of the band. BEARDFISH came to an end in 2016, leaving room for new solo endeavors for Sjöblom.

With the same array of musical appendages, Sjöblom has carried on as a solo artist under the moniker GUNGFLY once more with his 2016 album “The Unbendable Sleep”, now followed by the new 2017 release "On Her Journey To The Sun", was released on InsideOutMusic on May 19th. Just like “The Unbendable Sleep” before, “On Her Journey To The Sun” features Sjöblom's incredible vocal range, intensely personal lyrics, signature sense of complex-yet-catchy keyboard melodies, and guitar work that spans the spectrum of folksy to downright face melting. Sjöblom comments:

“GUNGFLY was born out of necessity; songs came to life whenever there was downtime with BEARDFISH or if a song didn't quite fit within BEARDFISHs (otherwise quite broad and eclectic) frame of styles. I basically started recording songs, mainly pop-oriented material, but being the type of songwriter and musician I am some prog slipped through under the radar as well. With the break-up of BEARDFISH all of the prog-related material I write needed to go somewhere and GUNGFLY was ready and able for this step! Some background: I recorded what was to become the first GUNGFLY album between 2007-2008 and it was released in 2009. The name GUNGFLY is a Swedish word meaning unsecure ground, it came from a novel I read where it was used to describe that someone didn't have grounds to back up their statements, so I liked it and chose to call the project that! I've always been writing and recording lots of music and when I formed the live band to perform these songs for the first time I got to pick some of my oldest friends to play with and thankfully they wanted to be part of it! Petter and Rasmus Diamant (yes, they're brothers) on drums and bass have always been the backbone foundation in this line-up and sometimes we actually do gigs as the GUNGFLY trio. Sverker Magnusson has been behind the keys since the start and was recently joined by Martin Borgh too to be able to cover all of the keyboard work on the albums, so sometimes we do three keyboard players on stage at the same time! This is made possible by the fact that guitarist David Zackrisson (BEARDFISH) is in the band as well. Me then? I do what I've always done; sing, play guitars and a bunch of vintage keyboards (mainly Hammond organ) - and I have lots of fun :)” In addition to his solo work, Sjöblom is the most recent addition to English progressive titans Big Big Train, having performed keyboards, guitars, accordion, and backing vocals on the band's 2016 album “Folklore”.

Lineup on "On Her Journey To The Sun":

Rikard Sjöblom - vocals, acoustic and electric guitar
Petter Diamant - drums
David Zackrisson - lead guitar
Sverker Magnusson - piano
Rasmus Diamant - bass
Martin Borgh - Crumar organ

Today's tune "He Held an Axe", taken from the album "On Her Journey To The Sun". Written by Rikard Sjöblom. The Video was directed and produced by Peter Callow.

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Sturgill Simpson - In Bloom

Sturgill Simpson makes one small but significant addition to the lyrics in his soulful cover of NIRVANA's "In Bloom" — after each "don't know what it means," he chimes in with his own "to love someone." While that idea may be implied in Kurt Cobain's original, it's a distinction made all the more poignant by the fact that Simpson recorded the song and his new album A Sailor's Guide to Earth especially for his young son.

"I'm never going to make anything other than a country record," says Simpson about his album "A Sailor's Guide to Earth". "I wanted a song on the album to capture that awkward stage in every young boy's life where they are searching for their place in the world," Simpson tells Rolling Stone Country. "One night while discussing the album with my wife, she asked, 'Well, what were you listening to when you were 13?' I remember in seventh or eighth grade, when "Nevermind" dropped, it was like a bomb went off in my bedroom. For me, that song has always summed up what it means to be a teenager, and I think it tells a young boy that he can be sensitive and compassionate — he doesn't have to be tough or cold to be a man."

The video for "In Bloom" depicts that loneliness and confusion of youth with the same stylish animation that powers Simpson's "Brace for Impact" video. While a dagger-toothed, hairy monster swirls below, a young man (with a cannon barrel where his head should be) tentatively tries to navigate a rowboat across this troubled sea. As the song explodes into an optimistic cascade of horns, the boy discovers the way to vanquish the monster is not with angry cannon fire but by radiating love. It's a realization as transformative as Simpson's rendering of the song — beneath all Nirvana's hormonal agitation, there's a hopeful resolution.

John Sturgill Simpson (born June 8, 1978) is an American country music and roots rock singer-songwriter. To date he has released three albums as a solo artist. He released two albums independently, High Top Mountain in 2013 and Metamodern Sounds in Country Music in 2014. His second album is notable for being nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Americana Album. His third studio album, "A Sailor's Guide to Earth", was released on Atlantic Records and was Simpson's first major-label release, later earning him Best Country Album at the 59th Grammy Awards while also being nominated for Album of the Year.

Today's tune "In Bloom" is taken off Sturgill's new album - A Sailor's Guide To Earth. Directed By: Matt Mahurin. Written by NIRVANA frontman Kurt Cobain, the song addresses people outside of the underground music community who did not understand the band's message. Enjoy today's Thursday cover.

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Official Sturgill Simpson Web

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

In Flames - Here Until Forever

The Swedes metalheads IN FLAMES have released a new absolutely stunning video "Here Until Forever" taken from the latest album "Battles".

Anders Friden coments the tune:

"Here Until Forever" was written for my son. He's eight years old. I have this piece here, "Come Clarity", which I wrote for my daughter when she was two. And he's seen that, and he asked all the time, 'Daddy, where's my song?' And I don't think I'd been ready to write something that would make him justice. But now… yeah, I was ready. So that one is, obviously, the most personal one, because it's very directed towards one person, for me. But I think the lyric is open for interpretation; it could be for anyone — someone that you love, or someone that you missed, or someone that you have a special bond with."

Asked if his son has heard "Here Until Forever" and what he thought of it, Anders said: "He heard it. I think he cried the first time [he listened to it], 'cause he was so proud: 'This is about me.' And it's an important track, because we… You know, we are away [from each other] many months a year, and we have a little thing, me and him, for how we connect… If he feels sad and he wants to contact me, then we have a certain thing that I taught him to… so he feels safe."

He continued:
"I think he's super proud of that song. And then he can tell his friends, 'This is my song.' Stuff like that."

Today's tune "Here Until Forever" from In Flames newest album "Battles". This stunning animated clip, directed by award-winning Mexican filmmaker Luis Téllez (Jacinta, La Noria and Fusilaron a la Virgen), is a masterclass in stop motion animation

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Official In Flames Web

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Dan Reed Network - Save the World

DAN REED NETWORK’s latest record “"Fight Another Day”" marks the anticipated return of one of the most infectious and gifted bands to come out in the Melodic Rock World in the second part of the 80’s!

Formed originally in Portland, Oregon, the band began packing out local clubs from late 1984 through 1986 with their infectious mixture of hard rock, funk and soul. After releasing their EP ‘Breathless’ and having a top ten single on local radio, ‘Steal Me’, DRN signed to Polygram/Mercury Records. In the winter of 1987, the group released their self-titled debut album which was produced by Bruce Fairbairn (BON JOVI, AEROSMITH) and engineered/mixed by Mike Fraser in Vancouver, Canada. The first single, “Ritual” peaked at number 38 on the US Billboard Charts and became a staple of what became known as the ‘Funk Rock’ genre. The debut album received a wealth of positive reviews, not the least of which was a four-star write-up from the notoriously hard-to-please Rolling Stone Magazine.

DAN REED NETWORK’ went over to Europe to support the album and had legendary performances at the Marquee Club in London and the The Melody Club in Stockholm, which are still talked about to this day. While attending the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum induction ceremony in January 1989 in New York, Dan Reed met up with producer Nile Rodgers (Duran Duran, Madonna, David Bowie) which led to the creation of the second album “Slam”. Produced by Rodgers, it better represented the DAN REED NETWORK’ live sound and accelerated the band’s growing status in Europe. DAN REED NETWORK’ opened the European leg of BON JOVIs ‘New Jersey Tour’ in 1989 and THE ROLLING STONES’ European ‘Urban Jungle Tour’ in 1990. The DAN REED NETWORK’s third album ‘The Heat’, produced by Bruce Fairbairn in 1991, was their biggest success in the UK, mostly due to the single ‘Lover’ which was accompanied by a live video from Wembley Stadium filmed when they opened for THE ROLLING STONES’. Despite some success and disillusioned with the record business and all it’s trappings, the band eventually disbanded, much to the dismay of their supporters around the globe.

Fast forward to the 21st century and DAN REED NETWORK’ played their 25th anniversary reunion show on New Years Eve 2012 in their home town of Portland, Oregon, with all the original band members: Dan Reed, Dan Pred, Brion James, Melvin Brannon II and Blake Sakamoto. The members found it was incredibly fun being back together and consequently DAN REED NETWORK’ decided it was a good time to bring the band and the music back to Europe and performed three sold out shows in Stockholm at Debaser, outside of London at the Enchanted Festival and at the Diamond Rock Club in Northern Ireland in 2013.

Dan Reed says: “It's been 25 years since our last studio album "The Heat" was released, and to be honest, I never envisioned making another DAN REED NETWORK’ album despite countless people throughout the world encouraging us to do so. But with a mixture of fate and a collective of trusted friends and supporters in the business coming to the table, I am excited to say we are poised to release a brand new record entitled "Fight Another Day" in 2016 on Frontiers, home of many artists that we in fact admired back when we were first hitting the scene and before. Finally the stars aligned perfectly to have it all come together and make this album, and to have Derek Shulman, who originally singed DAN REED NETWORK’ to Polygram in 1987, once again being in our lives as our co-manager and A&R man, brings us full circle. As for the sound and approach of the album the band and I thought it would be a great experiment and interesting challenge to revisit what endeared the band to so many back in the day and deliver a rock record with funk and soul elements, strong melodies, but this time around incorporate even edgier lyrics while not losing sight that this release needed to be uplifting, infectious, and most of all, powerful when performed live. The title "Fight Another Day" represents the fact that after 25 years we were able to gravitate back to the passion we discovered playing together all those years ago, and battle once more!“ The band looks forward to the world's response to this new labor of love, and this testament to the bonds of friendship and musical chemistry!

Today's tune "Save the World" is taken from the latest album "Fight Another Day"

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Official Dan Reed Network Web

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