When you think of “white trash,” you usually don’t think of millionaires, but Kentucky’s Black Stone Cherry has blended the two worlds brilliantly with their new song “White Trash Millionaire.” The song is the first single from their upcoming album “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea,” which will be released at the end of May.
The raw, dirty guitar sound is the perfect backdrop for the message being delivered in “White Trash Millionaire,” a song that seems destined to become a modern-day rock anthem.
Money has a tendency to change people, especially those who seek out material possessions for status as much as for need or desire. But it doesn’t change everyone, and it doesn’t buy happiness. Since the economy crashed, many people have learned to live with less while focusing on the things in life that really matter to them. Some may call it simple. Others may call it practical. Either way, “White Trash Millionaire” shows that wealth is in the eye of the beholder.
It has been nearly three years since Black Stone Cherry released their sophomore album “Folklore and Superstition,” which featured their hit song “Blind Man,” so BSC fans are undoubtedly anxious for the new album to hit the streets.
Black Stone Cherry will be hitting the road in April as the supporting act for Hinder, and will also be doing shows with Alter Bridge. They are one of the many bands slated to play Carolina Rebellion on May 7, 2011 in North Carolina.
After just one listen to “White Trash Millionaire,” the song was already stuck in my head. Check out the video below, and you’ll see why.
This morning, Ozzy Osbourne posted the following message on Facebook…“29 years ago today I lost my best friend, business partner and the greatest guitar player I have ever worked with. Loss is meant to get easier with time, it doesn’t.” Considering the talented guitarists who have played with Ozzy since Randy Rhoads’ untimely death in 1982, his message speaks volumes about what an incredible guitar player the world lost on that tragic day.
Over the years, Ozzy has put out numerous albums with a variety of different musicians, and while they were all memorable in their own way, none have come close to the legendary status of the two albums featuring Rhoads on guitar – “Blizzard of Ozz” and “Diary of a Madman.”
Because he died so young, Rhoads is not always mentioned as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, but even with his limited body of work, he belongs in the discussion. There is no doubt that he would be right up there with every other guitar hero if he were still alive today.
Rhoads could play shredding solos with the best of them, but that isn’t what made him unique. His songwriting ability and infectious riffs are the reasons why “Blizzard of Ozz” and “Diary of a Madman” are a level above all of Ozzy’s other solo records. The chemistry between Ozzy and Rhoads is something that is nearly impossible to duplicate.
By combining the beauty and elegance of classical music with the power and energy of heavy metal, Rhoads created a sound so unique that it has never been captured again. Many have learned to play the guitar parts that he created, but none have been able to create his magical sound in all of the years since his passing.
In an interview with Ozzy on the anniversary of Rhoads’ death a few years back, he talked about what it was like to hear him play guitar for the first time. “It was so good that I thought that I was dreaming” said Ozzy.
After only three years and two albums together, Ozzy’s dream turned into a nightmare. On March 19, 1982, a plane carrying Rhoads from Tennessee to Florida crashed into Ozzy’s tour bus. The crash took the life of the rising star at the age of 25 and deprived music fans around the world of the chance to see him evolve into one of the greatest guitarists of all time. No one knows for sure what Ozzy and Rhoads would have created over the years, but there is no doubt that it would have been legendary.
Although Rhoads died long before his time, his work still lives on today, and will continue to do so for many years to come…
In the mid 90’s, I discovered Iced Earth, quite possibly the most underrated band in hard rock history. It took less than one listen to their album “Something Wicked This Way Comes” for them to become one of my favorite bands. Shortly thereafter, I went back into their catalog to discover what I had been missing, and every album was exactly what hard rock fans look for in a band.
Unfortunately for Iced Earth, their career began just as grunge came to the forefront on the heels of Nirvana’s success. Had they been around in the early 80’s, they would undoubtedly be mentioned today as one of the top bands of the decade.
Although Iced Earth never rose to the level of stardom in the United States, they have always been a tremendous draw overseas, most likely because hard rock and metal always remained popular outside of the United States, even during the grunge movement.
In July of 1999, Iced Earth released a live, 3-record set called “Alive in Athens.” Quite an achievement for any band, but an even bigger one for a band that remained relatively unknown in their native country despite tremendous success in other countries.
Aside from founding guitarist, Jon Schaeffer, no other band members have been in the band for every album. But one member, in particular, has put an indelible stamp on the signature sound that the band has created over the years.
Matt Barlow, Iced Earth’s singer from 1994-2003 and 2007 – 2011, announced yesterday that he is officially retiring from the band so that he can commit more time to his family.
When Barlow rejoined the band, he did so under the premise that the touring schedule would not require him to be away from his family for extended periods of time. However, in today’s music industry, the only bands that can survive as musicians are the ones who are constantly touring.
“Since 2007, Jon and I have always had the best intentions for the future of Iced Earth,” stated Barlow in his parting announcement to the fans.
Much to the dismay of Iced Earth fans, Barlow continued, “However, given the band’s projected touring schedule, Iced Earth’s future and mine must now take separate paths.”
Barlow further explained, “On my departure from Iced Earth in 2003, I made a commitment to my wife and to the idea that we would start, and raise, our family together. Two years later, my first child was born and two years after that, my second. My youngest son was born about a week before Jon asked me to return to Iced Earth. It was a very exciting and emotional time for all of us, but we were all clear on our intentions. It is apparent to us now that regardless of our belief at that time, time can change an intended outcome. In this instance, I hope that change will not be regarded as a bad thing, but rather as a necessary part of evolution.”
Jon Schaeffer, while saddened by Barlow’s departure, understands why the decision was made. “I knew Matt wrestled with this for a long time. It wasn’t an easy decision for him. But I love him dearly and I can’t fault his reasons. I wish Matt well, respect him greatly, and I ask everyone else to do the same.”
Iced Earth will forge ahead, albeit with a new singer fronting the band. According to Schaeffer, the band will not be looking for a “Matt Barlow clone.”
Sadly for Iced Earth fans in America, it seems as though they have seen the last of Iced Earth with Matt Barlow, unless they plan on catching the band at one of their European festival dates this summer.
Even though I only got to see Iced Earth one time, it is a night that I will never forget. After all, how often do you get to see a band built to play stadiums inside of a small club in the East Village of New York City?
It’s hard to say how many people packed into the club that night, but it couldn’t have been more than 300 or so. And yet, Iced Earth played with the intensity that you would expect from a band playing further uptown at Madison Square Garden.
Words cannot truly capture how amazing Barlow and Iced Earth sounded that night at Coney Island High. In speaking to them at length after the show, I can tell you that they are one of the most appreciative bands that I’ve ever been around.
As a fan of the band, I hate to see Matt Barlow leave. But as parent whose life has drastically changed since my children were born, I understand and respect his decision to spend more time with family.
I will continue to support the band in any way that I can, and look forward to hearing any other projects that Barlow is involved in.
For now, I leave you with one of my favorite Iced Earth songs (“Melancholy”), which seems lyrically-appropriate given the news of the day…
In an attempt to escape from terrorists, Marty McFly (played by Michael J. Fox) put the pedal to the metal of Doc Brown’s DeLorean / time machine and ended up thirty years back in time. While McFly was fighting back his mother’s advances in an effort to ensure that his parents got together in the future, hard rock music was thriving in the real world.
Hard rock artists sang about sex, drugs and rock-n-roll because it was what they knew. For better or worse, it was how they lived their lives both on and off the stage.
Excess was the norm for hard rock artists back in 1985, as evidenced by the flamboyant wardrobes, the heavily-teased hair, the over-the-top stage shows and the sheer multitude of groupies who wanted to get close to these rock gods, if only for a night.
They were living the dream. All of the girls wanted to be with them, and all of the guys wanted to be like them. But most importantly, their music provided a great escape from the pressures of the real world.
W.A.S.P. brought out the “Wild Child” in all of us as we experienced “Crazy Nights” with Loudness.
Accept had us “Screaming For A Love Bite” while KISS took it a step further by encouraging us to “Uh! All Night.”
“In My Dreams,” I thought that Dokken had us all “Under Lock and Key,” but I was wrong. Somehow, we had lost our way. We thought that we had found Nirvana, but it turned out to be something else entirely.
It took a number of years, but we were finally able to wash the grunge off of us to once again become Dio’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll Children.”
After an extremely long journey, it seems only fitting that Motley Crue is at the forefront of welcoming hard rock music back to “Home Sweet Home.”
In January of 2008, Nikki Sixx came up with the idea for a summer tour called Crue Fest.
Dubbed “The Loudest Show On Earth,” Crue Fest featured a number of bands that Motley Crue felt “embodied the spirit of rock and roll.”
Motley Crue headlined the tour which featured four other hard rock artists: Buckcherry, Papa Roach, Trapt and Sixx: A.M. (Nikki Sixx’s side project).
In April of 2009, Nikki Sixx and DJ Ashba (Sixx: A.M.’s guitarist) produced the major label debut for a band called The Last Vegas, entitled “Whatever Gets You Off.” The album was released on Sixx’s Eleven Seven Records.
The Last Vegas represents everything that hard rock should be. They’re dirty and sleazy enough to sound right at home on a dive bar stage, but their glam image, confident swagger and incredible songs make them ideally suited to one day fill arenas as a headliner.
The resurgence that hard rock music is currently experiencing will only be enhanced and accelerated by up-and-coming bands like The Last Vegas working with hard rock music icons like Motley Crue.
Once you’ve checked out The Last Vegas’ video for the song “Apologize” (below), you’ll realize that the only thing that they have to apologize for is not arriving sooner to help launch the next phase of the hard rock music revolution.