Mayhem, murder, and music: Altamont turns 50

The Altamont Speedway Free Festival, held Dec. 6, 1969, has been immortalized in the Rolling Stones concert film ‘Gimme Shelter’ and is widely considered  the end of the ‘Summer of Love.’ The Stones headlined and are often thought to have organized it as their own Woodstock, having not appeared at the festival held that summer in Bethel, NY. An alternative narrative, however, credits Jefferson Airplane members Jorma Koukonen and Spencer Dryden, in cooperation with the Grateful Dead, as the event’s catalysts.

In either case, poor organization dogged the festival from the beginning. Altamont, 50 miles east of San Francisco, was chosen just two days before the event after plans to use first Golden Gate Park and then Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma collapsed. Traffic backed up for 20 miles trying to reach the speedway as an estimated 300,000 people made their way to the site. Wine, marijuana, and other drugs were openly available and used. One concert-goer on LSD jumped from a freeway overpass and was seriously injured. Another drowned. Multiple assaults and widespread property damage occurred, two other people died accidentally, and one person (Meredith Hunter) was murdered by Hell’s Angels.

The Grateful Dead, scheduled to play immediately before the Stones, dropped out of the show and left the site as security deteriorated.

Given the way everything went down, Hell’s Angels were understandably defensive about post-show characterizations that they had been hired to provide event security. Details of how they became involved and what their role was intended to be vary with almost every recounting. Their behavior as captured on film, however, is nothing if not that of a security force gone mad.

Santana kicked the music off, followed by Jefferson Airplane, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and the Rolling Stones.

The scene surrounding snippets from Santana’s set is remarkable. Even if one didn’t know the history, the sense of menace is palpable. This was not a good time—notwithstanding the stage announcer’s hopeful suggestion that it “could be the greatest party of 1969 that we’ve had”—and it had only just begun.

Jefferson Airplane’s performance ground to a halt as violence erupted down front and a slow-motion stage invasion occurred. Hell’s Angels tried to clear the throngs, but having struck the Airplane’s Marty Balin and knocked him out in the process, their authority to do was openly challenged. Grace Slick took the mic to try to get the show back on track: “You gotta keep your bodies off each other unless you intend love. People get weird and you need people like the Angels to kind of keep people in line. But the Angels, you know, you don’t bust people in the head for nothing.”

Stage announcements before the Flying Burrito Brothers tried to brighten the mood, and FBB succeeded in lifting the gloom to a degree, but nothing could be done to mitigate the claustrophobic conditions. Altamont’s tiny, low stage at the bottom of a geographic bowl now looked like the center of a refugee camp as opposed to a place where some of the world’s greatest bands were playing.

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young played a six-song set and split, having their own gig that night at Pauley Pavilion on UCLA’s campus.

From Graham Nash’s 2013 autobiography: “We got a bad vibe from the moment we arrived. Electronic music blared over the PA that was loud, obnoxious, and irritating as hell. That put us in an itchy and distracted mood. More than two hundred thousand people were packed into that track, most of them ripped on amphetamines and LSD. The Hells Angels were drunk and unruly. It was an ugly scene, and unpredictable.

“The only reason we did Altamont was because Jerry Garcia had called Croz and prevailed on their friendship. But by the time we got there, the Dead had refused to go on after Marty Balin, lead singer of the Jefferson Airplane, got punched in the head. That left it to Santana, the Flying Burrito Brothers, the Stones, and us to keep a lid on that crowd. Woodstock had been our gig, and we were cool with that. The Stones were headlining; we’d be long gone by the time they went on.

“Our set went down smoothly and was incident-free, but Stephen was freaked out from the moment we went on stage. He took the temperature of that crowd and sensed the danger in the air. Later, he said he feared that some nut was going to try to shoot Mick, which distracted him from the get-go. And, of course, during the Stones’ set a fan was fatally stabbed by a Hells Angel a short distance from the front of the stage, which more of less signaled the end of the Woodstock era. The minute we finished, we grabbed our guitars and took off for the helicopter at a dead run. We were out of that scene before the applause died down. We flew down to LA and appeared that night at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion, where Stephen fainted from exhaustion.” (Nash, Graham; Wild Tales: A Rock & Roll Life; pp. 177-178.)

I’ll leave the Rolling Stones set to “Gimme Shelter,’ but urge you to take some time this weekend to watch the movie. Aside from capturing Altamont in all its grime and tragedy it serves as a perfect encapsulation of all that is both glorious and hideous about the music industry in general.

 

 

Set lists [from Wikipedia]:

Santana

Jefferson Airplane

The Flying Burrito Brothers

  • “Lucille”
  • “To Love Somebody”
  • Six Days on the Road
  • “High Fashion Queen”
  • “Cody, Cody”
  • “Lazy Day”
  • “Bony Moronie”

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

  • “Long Time Gone”
  • “Down by the River”
  • “Sea of Madness”
  • “Black Queen”
  • “Pre-Road Downs”

The Rolling Stones

 

 

Listen to dUg Pinnick!

The first new King’s X music in 12 years will be released in February-March 2020. Only the tiniest snippets have emerged so far, but they suggest a modern, varied, expansive album that could well be the band’s crowning glory.

Personal and health issues have limited touring in second-half 2019. The band has cruises scheduled in February (Monsters of Rock) and March (Cruise to the Edge), and a half dozen US dates scheduled for April, but until then fans of all things Doug Pinnick will have to content themselves with his prodigious back catalog.

The man almost literally never stops making music. Sometimes it’s one-off covers for compilation albums, sometimes solo records, other times heading into the studio with any one of a number of non-King’s X bands he’s formed over the years, the most recent version of the last being KXM’s ‘Circle of Dolls,’ released Sept. 13, 2019.

Sometime before it came out, and building on the fun had crowning ‘Over My Head’ the most beloved King’s X song ever, I created a bracket pulling songs from Doug’s album-length outside projects. It was intended to include at least one track from each of his outside bands and almost hit the mark. The Mob (also feat. Reb Beach, Kip Winger, Kelly Keagy, and Timothy Drury) came up short. Even when choosing 64 Doug songs outside King’s X, the options were so deep that there just wasn’t room for a track from the project’s 2005 release.

There were, however, entries from Supershine, Poundhound, Tres Mts., 3rd Ear Experience, KXM, Razr 13, Pinnick Gales Pridgen, Grinder Blues, and dUg Pinnick himself.

Of the 16 still standing, five came from Poundhound, five were released under dUg’s name, and another five came from KXM (Ray Luzier, George Lynch, and dUg). Pinnick Gales Pridgen nailed down the final slot with ‘Hang On, Big Brother’ from its self-titled debut.

Poundhound’s debut, ‘Massive Grooves from the Electric Church of Psychofunkadelic Grungelism Rock Music,’ released by Metal Blade on Aug. 11, 1998, snared four spots on its own, ‘Music,’ ‘Friends,’ ‘Love,’ and ‘Jangle’ all making the final 16.

 

 

Excerpt from ‘What You Make It: The Authorized Biography of Doug Pinnick’:

Doug welcomed the return to a small, independent vibe. Metal Blade knew and liked its niche. It didn’t take many risks and ran its business smoothly, comfortable with what it was. The band felt safe and liberated from Atlantic’s rock star obligations. “That world was so engulfing,” Doug reflects. “We weren’t ourselves. We were the band everybody thought was going to make them millions of dollars. They put us in a little bubble and fucking hand fed us.”

Daniels believed the singer of an established band, being the focal point, should get his own record deal in addition to the band’s. Metal Blade agreed. The deal gave Doug money for the first time. Doug built his home studio, Poundhound, with the advance for his first solo record and made a down payment on his house as well. The second record paid off the credit cards he filled putting furniture in the house. It allowed him to move into suburbia and finally get what he wanted: a house and a studio of his own.

After all the years on Atlantic it took a solo side-deal from a metal indie to give Doug a place to call his own.

Poundhound’s ‘Massive Grooves from the Electric Church of Psychofunkadelic Grungelism Rock Music,’ Doug’s first solo record, excited him musically. He’d become increasingly frustrated with the way his songs were turning out in King’s X. He didn’t think they were bad. They just didn’t sound the way he heard them in his head. With ‘Massive Grooves….’ Doug set out to write a bunch of songs for himself, play them himself, do exactly what he wanted. He performed all the instruments except drums, which Jerry played, and was pleased with the outcome: a no frills record of Doug straight-up singing his songs and sharing his heart.

King’s X recorded ‘Tape Head,’ its Metal Blade debut, at Poundhound Studios as well. Doug was so happy with the ‘Massive Grooves….’ songs that, rather than trying to make lightning strike twice, he suggested the band write its new record together.

 

 

It will be interesting to see what song ends up taking the top spot. My bet’s on something from ‘Massive Grooves…’, but the choice is up to you, the reader, and the love out there is also strong for both ‘Strum Sum Up’ and KXM.

You can vote at https://www.facebook.com/dUgPinnickBio/ and pick up a copy of ‘What You Make It’ here.

Experience Hendrix: Power trio fantasy

From the first date of Experience Hendrix 2019 there was one point of consensus: the regular-set closing trio of dUg Pinnick, Joe Satriani, and Kenny Aronoff stole the show. The songs? ‘Crosstown Traffic,’ ‘Manic Depression,’ ‘I Don’t Live Today,’ ‘3rd Stone From the Sun,’ and ‘Voodoo Child.’ Not enough for you? Try Buddy Guy, Billy Cox, Taj Mahal, Jonny Lang, Dweezil Zappa, Doyle Bramhall II, Eric Johnson, and Chris Layton applying their skills to Hendrix as well.

Covering the eastern US in the spring, Experience Hendrix is now making its western run. Fall dates start Oct. 1 at the famed Paramount Theatre in Seattle and wrap up Oct. 22 in San Antonio.

Californian’s will be getting their second recent dose of dUg live in action, his having completed a late-summer trio of dates with 3rd Ear Experience, the desert jam collaboration led by long-time friend Robbi Robb. The two first met when both were on Megaforce and have had overlapping musical journey’s ever since (as chronicled in ‘What You Make It’).

dUg is also fresh off recording the first King’s X record in 11 years. Golden Robot Records will be releasing the still-untitled album worldwide, most likely in 2020. The band recorded at Blacksound Studio in Pasadena, Calif., with ‘Strum Sum Up’ producer Michael Parnin.

Only the tiniest snippets of music have emerged via the band’s social media pages but based on these the album sounds poised to exceed all expectations, offering both a throwback to the depth of King’s X earliest work and perhaps the band’s most modern, accessible, and varied album ever.

King’s X dates follow Experience Hendrix, starting Oct. 31 in Indianapolis (with Tommy Baldwin Band) and running through a Nov. 16 homecoming in Houston (with Karim K). New material has yet to be performed live, but it will debut sometime!

Enjoy the rock! Enjoy the read!

Experience Hendrix dates and ticket info below.

==

 

Dates:

Oct. 1, Seattle, Paramount Theatre

Oct. 2, Portland, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

Oct. 3, Eugene, Ore., Hunt Center For the Performing Arts

Oct. 4, Oakland, Paramount Theatre of the Arts

Oct. 5, Reno, The Expo at Silver Legacy Resort & Casino

Oct. 7, Davis, Calif., Jackson Hall at the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts

Oct. 8, Santa Rosa, Calif., Luther Burbank Center for the Performing Arts

Oct. 9, Anaheim, Calif., City National Grove of Anaheim

Oct. 11, Indio, Calif., Fantasy Springs Resort Casino Event Center

Oct. 12, Funner, Calif., The Events Center at Harrah’s Resort Socal

Oct. 13, Mesa, Ariz., Ikeda Theatre at the Mesa Arts Center

Oct. 15, Denver, Paramount Theatre

Oct. 16, Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak Center

Oct. 18, Newkirk, Okla., First Council Casino Hotel

Oct. 19, Tulsa, The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Oct. 20, Houston, Revention Music Center

Oct. 21, Austin, Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater

Oct. 22, San Antonio, Tobin Center for the Performing Arts

 

Tickets available here.

 

‘What You Make It: The Authorized Biography of Doug Pinnick’ available here.

Texas International Pop Festival, 1969

Two weeks after Woodstock, the Texas International Pop Festival occurred outside Dallas at a speedway in Lewisville. Among the notable acts available for a $6.00 ticket (but absent in New York) were Led Zeppelin, a brand-new act from Flint, Mich., called Grand Funk Railroad, and Chicago Transit Authority. Zeppelin’s set is generally considered one of the best from the band’s early US tours. Grand Funk made the most of the opportunity by opening the main stage on each of the festival’s three days.

Led Zeppelin performed the second night, wrapping up a five-week string of 23 US dates before returning to the UK the next day. They played five songs, starting off with ‘Train Kept A-Rollin’ and ‘I Can’t Quit You Baby’ before launching into extended jams of ‘Dazed and Confused,’ ‘You Shook Me,’ and ‘How Many More Times’ (two parts and more than 22 minutes!). An encore of ‘Communication Breakdown’ followed.

Zeppelin and Janis Joplin were the festival’s two highest-paid acts, pulling in $10,000 each. Grand Funk, by contrast, played for free and paid its own expenses.

Camping was not allowed on the festival grounds, but The Merry Pranksters ran a nearby camp site and free stage. Hijinks were rampant but peace ruled the day, with no violent incidents reported. Hog Farm commune leader Wavy Gravy, there running festival security, got his name over the weekend. In addition to security, the Taos, NM,-based commune provided free food.

Participants who had also been at Woodstock, where this festival was promoted, found the “vibrations” better in Texas. “Things have been real smooth,” agreed Lewisville police chief Ralph Adams on the first day of the event. That night, a patrolman watched from a distance as 25 or so festival-goers swam nude at the camp site’s lake. “I don’t care what they do as long as they don’t hurt anybody else,” he said.1

Despite the tranquility, however, Lewisville’s Mayor held a press conference a few days afterwards to say he didn’t think there’d be another such event, explaining that “this type of thing just does not fit into our mode of living in this area.”2

An estimated 120,000 people attended the event. About one-quarter of 85 arrests made were for drug violations. No arrests were made at either the festival site or the campground.

Grand Funk had released its debut album, ‘On Time,’ via Capitol Records earlier in August 1969. Produced by Terry Knight, it went Gold, peaking at #27 on the Billboard charts and kicking off Grand Funk’s multi-platinum, stadium-headlining career. Knight (former bandmate of Brewer’s in Terry Knight and the Pack) produced the band’s first seven albums, through 1972’s greatest hits compilation, ‘Mark, Don, and Mel: 1969-71.’ The band self-produced ‘Phoenix,’ released later that year, before turning the reins over to Todd Rundgren for ‘We’re An American Band’ (1973) and ‘Shinin’ On’ (1974).

 

LINEUP

Saturday, Aug. 30, 1969

Grand Funk Railroad
Canned Heat
Chicago Transit Authority
James Cotton Blues Band
Janis Joplin
B.B. King
Herbie Mann
Rotary Connection
Sam & Dave

Sunday, Aug. 31

Grand Funk Railroad
Chicago Transit Authority
James Cotton Blues Band
Delaney & Bonnie & Friends
The Incredible String Band
B.B. King
Led Zeppelin
Herbie Mann
Sam & Dave
Santana

Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 1

Grand Funk Railroad
Johnny Winter
Delaney & Bonnie & Friends
BB King
Nazz
Sly and the Family Stone
Spirit
Sweetwater
Ten Years After
Tony Joe White

 

‘Got No Shoes, Got No Blues’ festival film

 

Grand Funk Railroad

 

Led Zeppelin

 

King’s X – ‘Closer/Captain’ cover – Cardi’s, Houston, 1996

 

References

  1. Kifner, J., “Texas Pop Fans Don’t Have Bethel’s Problems,” New York Times, Aug. 31, 1969, p. 46.
  2. “Pop Festival The Last, Mayor Says,” Reading Eagle, Sept. 5, 1969, p. 3.

King’s X hits the road as ‘Gretchen…’ turns 30

Buy ‘What You Make It’ here to read it before the show.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, King’s X has been working hard on its first album since ‘XV’ (2008). The band recorded at Blacksound Studio in Pasadena, Calif., with ‘Strum Sum Up’ producer Michael Parnin. Details have been kept very close to the vest, but to a person the band seems very pleased with both the process and the results.

One thing did emerge, thanks to the keen eyes of an Aussie King’s X fan, an in-studio whiteboard list of potential working song titles:

New Joys for The World
Basically Saints
She Called Me Home
Flood Pt. 1
Sister Geno
The Whole World Is Crying
Unfiltered Luv
Welcome
Take the Time
All Gods Children
Company
Festival
Give It Up
Watcher
Holidays
Jesus He Don’t
Keep on Goin’
Let It Rain
Nothing But The [illegible]

Roy Turner was in town, gathering footage for the King’s X documentary he’s making. Along the way he captured these in-studio progress reports. Yes, they’re from Week 1, but Turner promises he’ll release another installment once this one reaches 1,000 views

And now the road beckons. The first leg, detailed below, hits the northeast US. Who knows, maybe they’ll perform some of the new material. And you’ll definitely hear songs from ‘Gretchen Goes To Nebraska,’ which turns 30 today! Europe follows in the fall.

6/28 – Starland Ballroom – Sayreville, NJ
6/29 – Tail Winds Music Fest – Wappingers Falls, NY
6/30 – The Gramercy Theatre – New York, NY

7/9 -@- The Vault Music Hall & Pub at Greasy Luck New Bedford, MA
7/11 -@- Wally’s Hampton Beach, NH
7/12 -@- Aura Portland, ME
7/13 -@- Granite State Music Hall NH, Laconia, NH

*Sound & Shape will be support on these shows!

7/18 – Turnbuckles – Dayton, OH *
7/19 – The Token Lounge– Westland, MI *
7/20 – The Odeon – Cleveland, OH*

7/30 – Sharkey’s Bar & Grill, Syracuse, NY
8/1 – The Queen, Wilmington, DE *
8/2 – Sellersville Theater & Washington House Hotel & Restaurant, Sellersville, PA *
8/3 – The Newton Theatre, Newton, NJ *

Buy ‘What You Make It’ here to read it after the show.

 

‘What You Make It’ turns 1!

‘What You Make It: The Authorized Biography of Doug Pinnick’ is 1-year old today! And what a year it’s been. Without doubt, the highlight was getting to experience more directly than ever the ardent devotion of dUg’s fans. It’s never-ending.

But passion will only get you so far, and one of the biggest things dUg’s fans have in common with the man himself is kindness. Add a good dose of fun on both sides and a special bond is formed. It’s been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity being along for the ride.

 

More importantly, since ‘What You Make It’s’ release, King’s X signed with Golden Robot Records and has been in Pasadena, Calif., at Blacksound Studio, with Michael Parnin making its first album in 11 years.

Once its final touches are in place, King’s X hits the road, crisscrossing the northeast US during the summer before heading to Europe for the month of September. A trio of Texas dates already scheduled for mid-November could coincide with the new record’s release, but that is just this writer’s speculation.

Between Europe and Texas, dUg heads out for the second leg of the Experience Hendrix tour, having garnered rave reviews during the first leg for his show-stealing set with Joe Satriani and Kenny Aronoff.

 

With this much action ahead, I want to take advantage of the current calm to thank you all for buying ‘What You Make It,’ telling your friends about it, posting about it…everything.

It’s been beyond anything I expected.

If you haven’t taken the plunge yet, you can buy ‘What You Make It’ here. And fittingly enough, given that we’re on the cusp of what could end up being King’s X biggest year in decades, there’s a band biography available as well. Read ‘em both!

See you out there.

Chris

Review: Machete, Willbringer (by Trevi Biles)

I’ve never reviewed a children’s book. But there’s never been one that moved me the way this one did. Appropriate to the genre, I’ll keep it short and sweet.

Each children’s book has three essential components: a message, a story, and pictures. I’ve ranked ‘Machete,…’ for each. It did very well. I’ve also attempted to summarize what you and your child will take away from the book.

 

Scores: 1-5 scale

Message – 6

Narrative – 6

Illustrations – 6

 

Bottom line: Deep human contact is more needed than ever.

 

Discussion:

The important themes touched on by ‘Machete,…’ include proper behavior in group settings, finding music in nature, the importance of both the arts and determination, leading a simple life, and the fulfillment found in following one’s passions. Biles has triumphed on debut by crafting these lessons without either lecturing or beating the reader over the head. Visually, the use of crayons and colored pencils throughout creates a relatable environment for the younger reader. Bonus points for trusting these readers to be excited about expanding their vocabularies.

 

Machete bio (2)

 

[In addition to what’s shown on his bio, Trevi plays bass guitar (And Darkness and Decay, Whorehound, Venomous Maximus), runs an award winning hot sauce company (Big Daddy’s Hot Sauces) with his wife, Becky, and teaches calculus.]

dUg, Satch, and Aronoff highlight Experience Hendrix

From the first date of Experience Hendrix 2019 there has been one point of consensus: the regular-set closing trio of dUg Pinnick, Joe Satriani, and Kenny Aronoff steals the show. There is no recreating Hendrix’ alchemy (and everybody involved in the Experience tour seems to realize this) but the sheer rock joy with which these three attack their portion of the set has an affirming power all its own.

The songs? ‘Crosstown Traffic,’ ‘Manic Depression,’ ‘I Don’t Live Today,’ ‘3rd Stone From the Sun,’ and ‘Voodoo Child.’

It’s also been great seeing Doug gush over finally meeting and hanging with Band of Gypsys’  bassist Billy Cox. Mutual respect seems to abound between them. And why not? As Doug put it on social media:

“I remember back when Band of Gypsys live was released. I was a beginning bass player, I learned the bass on the whole record. And now we got bass rigs side by side!!! And he’s buying the DPX3 [pedal], talk about full circle…what an honor!!!!”

Experience Hendrix continues across the eastern US through an Apr. 6 stop in Wallingford, Conn., so get out and shake that thing!

More good news? Once the tour’s done, recording of the NEW KING’S X RECORD gets underway in Los Angeles. The band’s management company “will be making an announcement soon” regarding studio and producer.

And finally, King’s X leaps back into live action with a string of northeast dates at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ; NYC’s Gramercy Theatre; the Tail Winds Music Fest with The Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Black Stone Cherry, Geoff Tate’s Operation: Mindcrime, and Sass Jordan; Wally’s Pub in Hampton, NH; Aura in Portland, Maine; and Granite State Music Hall in Laconia, NH.

Buy ‘What You Make It: The Authorized Biography of Doug Pinnick here!

Enjoy the rock! Enjoy the read!

Doug Pinnick bio ‘What You Make It’: heavy metal cruise reading

(you know, for the all that time you’ll be spending in your cabin!)

Click here to buy!

Doug has earned a vacation, right? He’s been working in one band or another for as long as most of us have been listening to music. And he’s done nothing but pick up the pace of late, writing, recording, and touring in multiple acts over the course of any given month.

Well good news! In nine days (Feb. 24) Doug leaves from Miami on a cruise to Jamaica.

No. It’s not quite a vacation. He and King’s X are one of the featured bands on the Monsters of Rock Cruise (MORC) 2019. But still, I’m sure it’ll be nice.

This isn’t his main band’s first performance as part of a floating festival either. Back in 2016 King’s X was part of KISS Kruise VI, joining Whitford/St. Holmes, Skid Row, The Dead Daisies, and others on the featured act’s undercard.

Tesla is headlining MORC. Skid Row is part of the festivities again. New to sharing a boat with King’s X, but familiar to all dUg fans, is Richie Kotzen.

Also new for this voyage is the perfect onboard reading material: ‘What You Make It: The Authorized Biography of Doug Pinnick.’ You can download it for Kindle or buy a hardcopy in case you get a chance to grab an autograph from the man himself.

Either way, if you’re going on this cruise you’re in for a treat. Just look at the lineup!

 

Tesla, Tom Kiefer, Extreme, Queensryche, Saxon, Skid Row, Y&T, UDO, Kix, Danger Danger, Richie Kotzen, D∙A∙D, Pat Travers Band, The Quireboys, The Wildhearts, Rose Tattoo, Killer Dwarfs, Vain, Bullet Boys, Faster Pussycat, Jetboy, and the list goes on…

 

More good news? Even if you’re not on MORC you’re going to have plenty of chances to see dUg in action this year. And recording of the NEW KING’S X RECORD gets underway.

The boat returns to Miami on Mar. 1. Two days later Doug takes the stage in Pompano Beach, Fla., as part of the 2019 Experience Hendrix tour, wrapping Apr. 6 in Wallingford, Conn., at which point he rejoins Ty and Jerry in the studio to begin making their first new music together in more than a decade.

dUg takes a brief intermission in the first part of May from crafting new King’s X to roll with 3rd Ear Experience from New Orleans (May 1) through Texas, Arizona, and California. 3EE is a desert jam collaboration led by dUg’s long-time friend Robbi Robb. The two first met when both were on Megaforce and have had overlapping musical journey’s ever since (as chronicled in ‘What You Make It’).

And finally, King’s X leaps back into live action with a string of northeast dates at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ; NYC’s Gramercy Theatre; and the Tail Winds Music Fest with The Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Black Stone Cherry, Geoff Tate’s Operation: Mindcrime, and Sass Jordan.

 

Enjoy the rock! Enjoy the read!

Komatsu – ‘A New Horizon’

The super massive mothersludgers from Eindhoven returned last year with their latest full-length offering on Argonauta Records.  The album titled “A New Horizon” is a fantastic slab of stoner rock heaven.  Mo Truijen’s (guitar/vocals) voice is majestic and powerful as it soars over dense layers of massive groove.  The instrumental track – “Surfing A Landslide” is a moody psychedelic number that takes the listener on a hazy and heavy ride of epic proportions.  The track sequencing alternates beautifully between mid-tempo stompers (“Infected”, “Komatsu”, “I Got Drive”) and slower doomy songs (“10-4”, “Love Screams Cruelty”, “A New Horizon”).  Arrangements are clever and captivating.  Great melodies and memorable hooks that keep the listener engaged.  The tones are thick and heavy yet capturing an astral airy vibe at the same time.  In a genre that can seem over-saturated at times, KOMATSU offers the right amount of character, grit, musicianship, and song writing prowess to distinguish themselves.  All killer and no filler.  Crank this record to 11 and rock the fuck out. – Aamir Hydari

I agree fully with Aamir and would add that every one of these songs is a multi-layered feast for the ears. Little weirdnesses abound but never intrude (or get hokey), pulling you in further the longer you listen. Sometimes it’s spooky. Sometimes it’s spacey. But it’s always HEAVY.

Check the album out here.

And the rest of Aamir’s list here.