Some of the writers managed to send in their list of the top ten live shows they went to in 2019.  they attended hundreds of shows all over the place via trains, planes and automobiles.  On another day I’m sure these lists would change many times over.  RPM Online supports Rock and Roll and loves a live show and as you browse through the lists there are many genres covered as well as some familiar suspects there are many new entries this year.  We’d love to take this opportunity to thank all the bands who toured and played shows all over the UK and continue to do so, All the festivals that supported independent music from Rebellion Festivals and Camden Rocks to Steelhouse Festival in South Wales and all the festivals around Europe and wider thank you.  Continue to look after independent Rock and Roll and help it thrive and reach a wider audience if you want to get involved get in touch we always welcome fresh eyes and ears to spread the word: rpmonlinetcb@yahoo.com

 

 

Leigh Fuge 


John Mayer –  02 Arena London

Ryan Roxie –  The Asylum, Birmingham

Michael Monroe –  The Fleece, Bristol

The Cult –  University Great Hall, Cardiff

Kenny Wayne Shepherd –  City Hall, Salisbury

Kiss –  The Arena, Birmingham

Alice Cooper –  Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff

Paul Gilbert –  The Fleece, Bristol

The Wildhearts  – The Tramshed, Cardiff

FM & The Quireboys  – The Globe, Cardiff

Nev Brooks 
Pulled Apart By Horses – Newport Le Pub (Reviewed Here)

Primal Scream –  Great Hall Cardiff

Alice Cooper, MC50, The Stranglers – Motorpoint Arena Cardiff

Nick Cave – Millenium Centre Cardiff

Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Bar Stool Preachers – O2 Bristol

The Hip Priests, DC Spectres, Deathtraps – Le Pub Newport

The Wildhearts, Towers Of London – SWX Bristol

Wonk Unit – Drogonfly Pontypool

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – Sin City Swansea

Holy Holy – Tramshed Cardiff

 

 Gareth Hooper
Duncan Reid, Cyanide Pills, Bruno – Louisiana Bristol

Ginger & The Sinners – St John’s church Cardiff

Clowns, BBSC – The Exchange Bristol

Amyl And The Sniffers – Louisiana Bristol

Rich Ragany & The Digressions, The Speedways, More Kicks, The Spangles – The Blackheart London

The Wildhearts, Janus Stark – Komedia Bath

The Hip Priests – Le Pub Newport

Bar Stool Preachers, Rich Ragany & The Digressions – Clwb Ifor Bach Cardiff

Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind – Jacs Aberdare

The Stray Cats, Selector, The Living End – Hammersmith Eventime London

Johnny Hayward
Bar Stool Preachers, Rich Ragany & The Digressions, Social Experiment –  Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff (Reviewed Here)

The Hip Priests, Rotten Foxes, Flash House, Glitter Piss –  The Pipeline, Brighton

Rebellion Festival 2019 – Winter Gardens, Blackpool

Jim Jones & The Righteous Minds, Heavy Flames, Deathtraps –  Jacs, Aberdare

Death By Unga Bunga, Seek Warmth –  Hy Brasil, Bristol

Dboy, The Vega Bodegas, Nigel –  Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff

The Stray Cats, The Selector, The Living End –  Hammersmith Apollo, London

Grave Pleasures – The Fleece, Bristol

Pulled Apart By Horses, Baba Naga, Dactyl Terra –  Le Pub, Newport

Clowns, Broken Bones Gentleman’s Club, Glug – The Exchange, Bristol

Fraser Munro
Adam Ant – St Davids Hall Cardiff

Kiss – Kiss Kruise, Miami

Michael Monroe, Electric Eel Shock – The Fleece, Briatol

The Hip Priests – The Drippers, Deathtraps – JT Soar, Nottingham

Alice Cooper, MC50, Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff

Turbonecro, The Hip Priests – The Chameleon, Nottingham

Dboy – Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff

The Damned – KK’s Steel Mill. Wolverhampton

Skidrow, Backyard Babies – The Forum, London

the Wildhearts, Towers Of London – Tramshed, Cardiff

Ben Hughes
Michael Monroe – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds (Reviewed Here)

Duff McKagan/Shooter Jennings – Academy 3, Manchester

The Wildhearts – Stylus, Leeds

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Low Cut Connie – The Fulford Arms, York

Amyl & The Sniffers – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Ryan Hamilton Songs & Stories Show – Bloomfield Square, Otley

Tyla’s Dogs D’amour – The Fulford Arms, York

Levellers – The Minack Theatre, Cornwall

Hands Off Gretel – The Fulford Arms, York

Nigel Taylor 

The Stray Cats – O2, Birmingham

Saint Agnes – Plymouth Junction, Plymouth

The Wildhearts – Cavern, Exeter

Motörgoblin (Orange Goblin plays Motörhead) – St Moritz Club, London

Ginger Wildheart – St Johns Church, Cardiff

Queensryche – Islington Assembly Hall, London

Mother Vulture – End of the World Festival, Plymouth

Uriah Heep – Steelhouse Festival, Wales

Cradle of Filth – London Palladium, London

Ghost – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff

Blaze Bayley – The Junction, Plymouth

Dom Daley
Rebellion Festival – Winter Gardens, Blackpool (Reviewed Here)

The Damned – London Palladium, London

Michael Monroe, Electric Eel Shock – The Fleece, Bristol

Duncan Reid &The Big Heads, Cyanide Pills, Bruno – Louisiana, Bristol

Amyl & The Sniffers – Lousiana, Bristol

Ginger & The Sinners – St Johns Church, Cardiff

Clowns – The Exchange, Bristol

Rich Ragany & The Digressions, The Speedways, More Kicks, The Spangles – Black Heart Camden, London

New Model Army – Tramshed, Cardiff

The Wonder Stuff – O2, Bristol

RPM Online Album Of The Year

Well, we’ve reached that time of year again where the writers of RPM were forced into the voting both given a blunt pencil and forced to vote for their album of the year.  Unlike a certain General Election result this time I don’t think people were too disappointed with the final result and by a landslide rock and Roll won.

 

Interestingly this years winner didn’t win any single writers vote but featured very heavily throughout the writers lists more than any other artist or artists so its a fair cop guv and, to be honest, had the live show count been anything to go by it was a landslide and another good year all around. With writers coming from several continents and five different countries there might be a few miles between us but we all have some things in common and one of those is a love for Rock and Roll. I’m sure had it been a Top 20 people would have still had a headache as to what to put in.  Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s been a shit year for new music as there were plenty of records released and many of them reviewed on RPM Online and with over 50 albums getting a mention from the team of writers (that’s just their top 10!).

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank not only all the artists who’ve released new records in 2019 and to all the excellent press departments and Labels especially the independent ones who’ve worked tirelessly to bring us the music and obviously to the songwriters and musicians whose work we’ve had many many hours of enjoyment listening to and raving about you know who you are many of whom it’s been a pleasure to get to know throughout the year.

What we’ll do is give the top ten a rundown in reverse order then each individual writers ten albums in no particular order so here goes.

Number 10

Duff McKagan – ‘Tenderness’ (UMC)

Review 

 

Number 9

Jim Jone & The Righteous Mind – ‘Collectiv’ (MaSonic Records)

Review

 

Number 8

Jesse Malin – ‘Sunset Kids’ (Wicked Cool Records)

Review

 

Number 7

Redd Kross – ‘Beyond The Door’ (Merge Records)

Review 

 

Number 6

Rich Ragany & The Digressions – ‘…Like We’ll Never Make It!…'(Glunk Records)

Review

 

Number 5

Andy McCoy – ’21st Century Rocks’ (Ainoa Productions)

Review

 

 

Number 4

Hunt Sales Memorial – ‘Get Your Shit Together’ ( Big Legal Mess Records)

Review

 

Number 3 

The Hip Priests – ‘Stand For Nothing’ (several independent labels)

Review 

 

Number 2

The Wildhearts – ‘Renaissance Men’ (Graphite Records)

Review 

 

Number 1

Michael Monroe – ‘One Man Gang’ (Silver Lining Music)

Review 

 

 

So congratulations to all the bands who made the RPM Online top ten.  Especially Michael Monroe for taking top spot in the hotly contested category as well as all the ones that didn’t there were dozens and dozens of albums released in 2019 that we reviewed.  We managed to catch up with a few of the bands who made it onto the pages of RPM Online in 2019 to find out what made it onto their turntables this year and to find out any highlights they might have had.  Here is some beginning with Jeff from The Brothers Steve…

 

Jeff Whalen (Guitar /Vocals – The Brothers Steve)

“I don’t think I listened to any records that came out in 2019!  So I picked my top 5 records that were new to me in 2019!”

 Tiny TimGod Bless Tiny Tim
The BeaglesHere Come the Beagles
White ReaperThe World’s Best American Band
The SpeediesYou Need Pop
The MillenniumBegin
Rich Jones Guitarist (Michael Monroe/Black Halos)
Pup – Morbid Stuff
The Wildhearts – Renaissance Men
Jeff Rosenstock – Thanks, Sorry! / Sorry, Thanks!
Berlin Blackouts – Nastygram Sedition
The Menzingers – Hello Exile
BEST RE-ISSUE: The Replacements – Dead Man’s Pop
Duncan Reid – Duncan Reid & The Big Heads
Starcrawler – ‘Devour You’ (especially the track No More Pennies)
2 Albums which spoke to my Country Side:
The long Ryders – ‘Psychedelic Country Soul’ (especially Greenville)
Kim Lenz – S’lowly Speeding’
Not an album but the single ‘Fire Ready Aim’ by Green Day which was superb
And The Baby shakes  ‘Cause a Scene’  (especially the title track)
As for Highlights, there were Many highlights of 2019 especially Rebellion which went superbly for us and I’m really looking forward to the release of our new album early 2020 as well as playing the Kubix Festival.
Steve Coulter – (Drums) The Brothers Steve 
The Gold—T’he Gold’
The Armoires – ‘Zibaldone’
The Cutthroat Brothers – ‘Taste For Evil’
The Coolies – ‘Uh Oh! It’s…The Coolies’
The New Pornographers – ‘In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights’
As for the highlights of 2019 it has to be making the Brothers Steve ‘#1’ & The Go All The Ways as well as writing about music ‘Go All The Way A Literary Appreciation Of Power Pop!

Lee Love (The Hip Priests)

Clowns – ‘Nature/Nurture’

TV Crime – ‘Metal Town’

Bitch Queens – ‘City Of Class’

The Drippers – ‘Action Rock’

Schizophonics – ‘People In The Sky’

 

Melchior Quitt (Bitch Queens)

Clowns – ‘Nature / Nature’

Amyl & The Sniffers – ‘Amyl & The Sniffers’

The Hip Priests – ‘Stand For Nothing’

Saint Agnes – ‘Welcome To Silvertown’

The Schizophonics – ‘People In The Sky’

As for the Highlight of 2019, There are several. Two for Bitch Queens were to put out our brand new album ‘City Of Class’ and to finish our new recording studio to keep on doin’ what we are doin’ far away from the big business.

The Best event this year was Sjock. “What could be better than hanging out with my boys from The Hip Priests and seeing the best Action Rock bands from all around the world! I am looking forward to touring with Bitch Queens in Europe next year and to record a shitload of new singles and split 7“ And of course, there are two of the probably best records 2020 in the pipeline – The Good, the Bad & the Zugly and Kvelertak. 2020 is gonna be good!

Mathius Engelbrekt Carlsson – “Demons”  – 
 All right. My top picks for 2019.
Jeff Dahl – ‘Electric Junk’
Guitar Wolf – ‘Love & Jett’
Amyl & The Sniffers – ‘Amyl & The Sniffers’
The Hip Priests – ‘Stand for Nothing’
Bitch Queens – ‘City of Class’
The Drippers – ‘Action Rock’
Dead Furies – ‘Stay Gold Ponyboy’
“One of few highlights of 2019 was getting ‘Kiss Off’ off the ground. This has been one of those years. For music it has been a great year though and especially for Rock’n’Roll.
Next year it’s the 25th anniversary for “DEMONS” and we hope that we can tour as much as possible starting with Japan in January. A new record will be out as well as some old stuff. Hopefully our first unreleased album and possibly a Demonology II. See you on the other side.”

Duff McKagan releases a video for ‘Cold Outside’. A great song with a greater message.

Take Action – Enter To Win A Signed Fender Bass – Share/Volunteer/Donate today via Propeller: Here

Follow Duff: Facebook  Instagram Twitter

Seeing as its Christmas why not enjoy a couple of Christmas choons starting with Michael Monroe and his inclusion on this Crimbo classic from Saara Aalto

Finally to get you all in the mood here’s a banger from The Breakdowns ‘Christmas Time Alone’

If you feel, as I do, that ‘Tenderness’ is one of the best albums of the year, then this European tour (including just three UK dates) from Duff McKagan is an essential event. Why? Well, the band that Shooter Jennings has behind him, the cool cats who helped lay down the album, are a fuckin’ machine! These guys are so tight live you couldn’t wedge a sheet of paper between them.

Imagine The Band, The Stones at their peak, or even early 90’s The Black Crowes. It’s no coincidence that Duff hooked up with his long time friend Shooter and his band to sprinkle magic on a rootsy, laid back record full of emotion, and for want of a better word… tenderness.

On this tour, the band will be doing 2 sets every night. I’ve seen them do this before, at an album release show for Hellbound Glory at The Whisky-A-Go-Go a couple of years ago. First, they are opening with Shooter, then a full set with Duff. Who knows if they will do this again? This could be the only tour these guys do, and even though the tickets were a hefty £40, I felt it was an experience that I could not miss.

Academy 3 apparently holds 950 punters, although it certainly looks smaller. It is dark, rectangular and has a great atmosphere. You could call this an intimate show for a man who has been playing stadiums with Guns n’ Roses. But for Shooter Jennings and his band, this is probably about average.

The band open with ‘Bound Ta Git Down’, a boogie-woogie, barroom blast. The ever cool Shooter, shades permanently glued to his head, tinkles some ivories as his band jam out behind him.

The likes of ‘Denim & Diamonds’ and the epic ‘All This Could’ve Been Yours’ build on piano and mournful fiddle courtesy of Aubrey Richmond. You almost forget that bad ass bassist Ted Russell Kamp and guitarist John Schreffler Jr are there until it’s time for the guitar solo, then the pair take centre stage to shine. The rhythm section of Russell Kamp and powerhouse drummer Jamie Douglass are surely one of the best in the business and keep it all together. Pure, laid back 70’s rock ‘n’ roll at its finest, these songs are far removed from the rootsy, country that Shooter may well be known for.

The Guns n’ Roses fan base lap it up. Maybe the band intentionally chose a more rock ‘n’ roll based set for this tour, but the likes of ‘Steady At The Wheel’ and the grungy, riff heavy ‘Don’t Feed The Animals’ certainly bring the rock tonight. Aubrey and Shooter bring the sentiment and duet on a few of the more balladic numbers, but hell, this band are even better than I remember them being a couple of years back.

 

It’s packed by the time the band return to the stage with Duff at the helm. Dressed in black shirt and jeans, his tousled blonde hair framing his weathered face to perfection, Duff looks every inch the LA rock star. He plays a low slung acoustic for the majority of the set. As Shooter plays the opening piano chords to Gn’R’s ‘You Aint The First’ Duff asks us of we are ready to sing. The response is a resounding yes!

Having never seen him with Loaded live, I must say being the frontman comes naturally to Duff. He cracks jokes and swigs from a flask between songs. Laid bare on these emotionally charged tunes, his gravelly tones are spot on.

The ebb and flow of the set is perfect. A carefully chosen set mixes up mainly album cuts with ‘Use Your Illusions’ era Guns tunes and a few choice covers. The sound is fantastic; we can hear every word, every breath.

The countrified, hickey ‘Breaking Rocks’ is suitably ramshackle, Shooter takes a verse and shares vocals harmonies on the chorus, lap steel guitar and fiddle give a proper authentic feel.

As Shooter plays the piano refrain to ‘Tenderness’, Duff explains the idea behind the songs with passion and creates a feeling of camaraderie with his audience. It’s a beautiful moment and the crowd are deadly silent as he sings the verses, just with piano accompaniment, his voice on the edge of breaking, the vulnerability shining through.  At that very moment, this gig has become the gig of the year for me. In this setting, with this band, these songs give so much. I must admit to being blown away. “C’mon Manchester!” Duff shouts as we sing the chorus in unison, the euphoria builds to a crescendo. So, so good.

I mentioned the ebb and flow. The Stonesy rock ‘n’ roll vibes of ‘Chip Away’ follows , Hammond organs play out as Duff dedicates ‘Feel’ to Scott Wieland, Chris Cornell, Prince… the list of lost friends goes on. The band plays to perfection. Never overplaying they are there to back up Duff and his acoustic, to add colour and flair to the songs where needed. As before, you forget the bassist and guitarist are actually there, until they come stage front for a solo.

“Some friends of mine from Seattle wrote this song” sparks up Duff before breaking into Mad Season’s ‘River Of Deceit’. That opening little riff he trades with John is sublime, and the feel of the song fits the set perfectly. He gets some crowd participation going too. Duff straps on a telecaster and they take things right up with ‘Dust n Bones’. High energy rock ‘n’ roll, just what the doctor ordered, we sing every word and it sounds utterly fantastic. A killer solo and the crowd out-singing a cortisone-fuelled McKagan makes it a highlight.

Elsewhere this evening, ‘Last September’ and ‘Parkland’ are truly moving and about as relevant as you can get. Chillingly, Duff changes the words in ‘Parkland’ to include the most recent shootings, one that happened just a few days ago. The Clash’s ‘Clampdown’ is suitably ace, and the following ‘Dead Horse’ is downright amazing. Aubrey gets stage front to take the second verse, it’s chaotic. I’ve never heard it live before, I feel privileged.

It’s a rollercoaster of a set to be fair. The more fragile moments of ‘Tenderness’ are played out perfectly and when the band rock out, they are on fire. A final one-two and the band bows out. ‘Don’t Look Behind You’ sounds beautiful, full of sentiment, just like the goddamn record! And the closing cover of Mark Lanegan’s  ‘Deepest Shade’ sees our hero take off his guitar, jump into the pit and scale the barrier to get up close and personal with those at the front.

I knew tonight was going to be good, but I never imagined it would be this good. What I expected to be a laid back, acoustic affair turned out to be a full on rock ‘n’ roll show by a band who play like they have been on the road for years.

While ‘Tenderness’ is one of those ‘late night, stoner’ sort of albums rather than a ‘blast at full volume in the car’ sort of albums, it transfers very well in a live environment with a full band. Good songs are good songs, and coming from the heart and from the soul, Duff has an album full of them.

The tour may have just begun but Duff McKagan and his band have the camaraderie of a well seasoned touring band already. £40 well spent I say.

Author: Ben Hughes

With summer fading fast its time to cwtch u to your stereo or however you currently listen to your music and check out the RPM Spotify Playlist to hear who are the movers and shakers at RPM Towers.  From the albums, we’ve reviewed and are reviewing and the shows we’re attending to the interviews we have coming up.  Here is a playlist to accompany your reading.

 

This month we feature the following bands who have new albums or are playing live shows.

Hollywood Brats, Andy McCoy, The Bar Stool Preachers, Cock Sparrer, Jim Jones and the Righteous Minds, Duff McKagan, Jesse Malin, Queen Zee, Subhumans, Black Star Riders, Strung Out, Dead Shed Jokers, Pardon Us, Paradise Alley, Dead Furies, The Chuck Norris Experiment, TSAR, New Model Army, Ginger Wildheart

 

This month on RPM we have plenty of awesome albums to review as well as celebrating important players who’ve had an impact on us all.

 

We’ve put together another playlist championing some of the records we’ve covered or will be covering as well as tipping the hat to some of our brothers who’ve passed away and people we won’t forget and if it makes you go investigate a back catalogue or discover new music then Awesome! that’s our job done.  Tell your friends – tell us – buy music and keep Rock and Roll Evil oh and stay sick!

Californian Singer-songwriter Jordan Jones has a record coming out via those good people at Beluga Records (Swe) and Spaghetty Town Records (USA) here is the first track taken from it and if it’s on those two labels then that’s good enough for us. 

Coming this week we have the fantastic new long player from The Satanic Overlords Of Rock And Roll reviewed by Gerald the record will be available from Savage Magic Records – Get in touch and let em know who sent you!

Whilst there is some fantastic new music coming at you this month we also tip the hat and pay tribute to some of our musical heroes who are no longer with us – the brilliant Nick Marsh, Stiv Bator and Dee Dee Ramone, Ronnie Lane and Roky Ericson who passed this month. Lives well worth celebrating I’m sure you’ll agree. What better way to remember them than to indulge in their music.

Back to new records released one of the best albums to hit the shops in June and a shift of gears from the day job, Duff McKagan released ‘Tenderness’ this month and Ben reviewed it for RPM. Whilst he rightly noted it won’t sell like GnR it’s right up there with the likes of Izzy Stradlin and the JuJu Hounds for quality so we’ve picked the title track to go in our playlist but think you should check out the whole record.

We also carried an interview with Birchy from Black Bombers who of course aren’t on Spotify neither are Gunfire Dance (both would be on our playlist if they were) so we’ve included another band he plays with currently and The Godfathers and their classic ‘Birth School Work Death’.

 

Back to the newer bands you might not have come across yet and for your listening pleasure, we have the stunning new album from The Sweet Things reviewed on RPM so we include one of the best songs on the album.  Coming up we have the review of Dangers Of Love have a listen in our playlist then order the record – you know it makes sense.  There is also a choice cut from the Bat!  June seems like a good minth to review a few compilation albums so we give you the tribute to Dead Moon out on Ghost Highway Records and it seemed like as good an opportunity to play one of the original tunes so we included Dead Moon ‘Walking On My Grave’.  Seeing as this week marks the passing of Stiv Bator and also the release on DVD of the movie ‘Stiv’ we’ve put ‘A Million Miles Away’ in this month.

With the sad news of the passing of Roky Erickson, we thought it would be fitting to include one of our favourite tracks from the guy so ‘If You Have Ghosts’ makes the cut  Rest In Peace Roky!

Before we sign off we thought we’d leave you with another banger and one to watch out for.  From the Spaghetty Town compilation record, we include RMBLR  and their epic tune ‘Next Time’ so until next time go check out some Rock and Roll via our playlist but better than that we hope you discover a new favourite band and go search out the record and support Rock and Roll buy buying off the bands and labels who are keeping Rock and Roll alive. Over and out.

So click the Spotify link give us a follow and spread the word.  Maybe we’ve missed someone you think should be making our playlist why not get in touch on social media or email us at rpmonlinetcb@yahoo.com

 

 

There was always more to Duff McKagan than just being the punk dude bassist from Guns n’ Roses. That much was evident on ‘Believe In Me’, his first solo album, released way back in 1993.

That album was recorded on downtime during the massive ‘Use Your Illusions’ world tour. Similarly, ‘Tenderness’ was written and recorded during Guns recent ‘Not In This Lifetime’ world tour. The difference? 25 years of sobriety, 25 years of losing friends to addiction and depression, and 25 years of life experiences and raising a family in a world that is increasingly dangerous and more fucked up by the day.

 

As the title suggests, ‘Tenderness’ is a much more sombre and reflective body of work than anything Duff has ever recorded. Observations of life on the road during Guns world tour gave the inspiration, and musically, it’s stripped bare. A rootsy, rock record, more akin to Exile-era Stones than the sleazy, Sunset Strip that made the band (and the man) famous.

Hooking up with Shooter Jennings to produce and shape his first solo album since those hedonistic days was a masterstroke. Like he did a couple of years back with Leroy Virgil from Hellbound Glory (check out the marvelous ‘Pinball’ album), Shooter used his own backing band to help sprinkle Nashville style magic all over the album.

Now, this backing band is like a modern day version of The Band, proper cool cats. I saw them perform 2 sets in a night at The Whisky-A-Go-Go, one with Hellbound Glory and then another with Shooter. They will be doing the same on Duff’s forthcoming European tour. When this rhythm section of bassist Ted Russell Kamp and drummer Jamie Douglass get together with fiddle player Aubrey Richmond and John Schreffler Jr on guitar, some sort of magic happens. It’s no surprise they are Shooter’s go-to guys. He knows what sound he needs and they deliver.

 

The title track opens the album and sets the scene. “Blackened days, we’ve lost our way” sings Duff over Shooter’s haunting piano, it sets the scene for the next 45 minutes. The country-tinged arrangement is perfection and the sentiment delivered with sincerity. The sparse musicianship never overplayed, just enough in all the right places to accentuate the melodies and the vocals.

By the time the last chorus is played out, you already have the desire to gather the ones you love and sing along in unison. Moving stuff indeed.

The social commentary Duff is laying out is perfect for these trying times and it’s something we can all relate to. “Turn off the screen, take a long walk and meet your fellow man…it’s not too late’ he sings on the following ‘It’s Not Too Late’, delivered with sincerity over mournful pedal steel and heartfelt violins.

The juxtaposition of the sweet music and the honest lyricism is on point and Duff is not afraid to tackle any subject, from addiction and homelessness to school shootings and abuse. Take ‘Last September’, a hard-hitting, yet beautifully delivered countrified look at the ‘#metoo’ movement.  A lone acoustic breaks the silence like a ‘Nebraska’ outtake, before haunting, choral backing vocals join the lead vocals. Fragile, almost to the point of breaking. “She said no, he said yes, he held her down and choked her neck”. The hard-hitting lyrics are brutal and to the point, sung over laid-back, bare-bones Americana.

 

On a personal highlight, Shooter teases out Duff’s Johnny Thunders influences on ‘Wasted Heart’. The soaring vocals and sweet brass courtesy of The Suicide Horn Section (featuring Duff’s brother Matt McKagan on trombone) is sublime to these ears.

The hard-hitting ‘Parkland’ name-checks the schools affected by shootings and highlights the crazy US gun laws. It could have easily come across as being cheesy, but it’s handled in just the right way by someone who has bought up daughters in that environment. The more upbeat ‘Chip Away’ has a killer Rolling Stones vibe, as Duff drawls about smoking crack over Hammond organ, skiffle beats and handclaps that take us to church…divine.

Elsewhere, the hickey, hard luck story of ‘Breaking Rocks’ is brilliant in its simplicity. It fits the bill nicely, as Duff’s wavering vocals meet in a great duet with Shooter himself. Mental wah-wah guitars seal the deal. A song to sit on the porch and drink moonshine too.

The album closes with the reflective ‘Don’t Look Behind You’. Riding on acoustic and sparse accompaniment, before veering into almost lounge territory as the brass section are left to their own devices, with even a saxophone solo for good measure.

 

Duff McKagan has nothing to prove. He’s been there and done it all. He’s been (right next door) to hell and back and survived to become a better man. But every great musician needs to create and right now Duff has something to say and recording this album is the best thing he could’ve done.

For me, it’s as good as, if not better than Izzy’s Ju Ju Hounds, and it’s up there with Gilby’s ‘Pawnshop Guitars’.

As with past Guns n’ Roses members solo albums, ‘Tenderness’ will go largely unnoticed by the music buying (or streaming) public, which is a crying shame, as it is one of the finest releases this year and probably the best thing the man has put his name to since ‘Appetite For Destruction’.

Buy ‘Tenderness’ Here

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Author: Ben Hughes

 

Ahead of the release of his new solo album Duff has announced a string of tour dates in support of ‘Tenderness’.

GUNS N’ ROSES’ DUFF McKAGAN ANNOUNCES EUROPEAN TOUR

AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2019

Thursday 30th May 2019​​TLA, Philadelphia, PA USA

Friday 31st May 2019​​​City Winery, Washington, DC USA

Saturday 1st June 2019​​City Winery, Boston, MA USA

Monday 3rd June 2019​​Irving Plaza, New York, NY

Thursday 6th June 2019​​Thalia Hall, Chicago, IL USA

Saturday 8th June 2019​​Cannery Ballroom, Nashville, TN USA

Monday 10th June 2019​​Historic Scoot Inn, Austin, TX USA

Thursday 13th June 2019​​El Rey, Los Angeles, CA USA

Friday 14th June 2019​​​Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, CA USA

Saturday 15th June 2019​​Aladdin Theater, Portland, OR USA

Sunday 16th June 2019​​Showbox Presents, Seattle, WA USA

Thursday 22nd August 2019​​Stodola, Warsaw POLAND

Friday 23rd August 2019​​Astra, Berlin GERMANY

Saturday 24th August 2019​​Blue Moon Festival, Amsterdam HOLLAND

Monday 26th August 2019​​Gloria, Cologne GERMANY

Tuesday 27th August 2019​​Alte Feurwache, Mannheim GERMANY

Thursday 29th August 2019​​Islington Assembly Hall, London UK

Saturday 31st August 2019​​Electric Picnic Festival, Dublin EIRE

Sunday 1st September 2019​​Manchester Academy3, Manchester UK

Tuesday 3rd September 2019​​Le Trabendo, Paris FRANCE

Wednesday 4th September 2019​Ancienne Belgique, Brussels BELGIUM

Friday 6th September 2019​​Dynamo, Zurich SWITZERLAND

Sunday 8th September 2019​​Santeria Club, Milan ITALY

European headline dates go onsale at 9am GMT Friday 26thApril, 2019.

For tickets please see www.livenation.co.uk

TOUR WILL SEE McKAGAN BACKED BY SHOOTER JENNINGS + BAND

Pre Order Duff McKagan ‘Tenderness’ Here

Duff McKagan is giving fans another sneak peek launching “Don’t Look Behind You” – click HERE to listen.

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Los Angeles, CA (23rd April 2019) – “People are going to herald this as one of the best albums of the year.” That’s what SiriusXM radio host Larry Flick said about TENDERNESS, the upcoming solo album from Guns N’ Roses Duff McKagan. “This is Americana-Duff McKagan,” says Flick. “It’s not what you expect.”

 

Produced by (and featuring) recent Grammy winner Shooter Jennings, TENDERNESS (UME) is released on the 31st May 2019. McKagan is giving fans another sneak peek at the much-anticipated record with the release of its closing track, “Don’t Look Behind You” – click HERE to listen.

 

“’Don’t Look Behind You’ was truly inspired by a sense of peace that washed over me after a few months of turning off the TV and social media,” says McKagan. “It was also inspired by the sense of real community I felt while traveling and talking to people around the world on tour during this somewhat tenuous time. This period of sturm und drang will indeed pass. The song seemed to be the final summation that rang loudly from the topics on Tenderness.”

 

“The recording sessions for this album also saw us re-assemble, for the first time since the Use Your Illusion recordings, The Suicide Horn Section, featuring my brother Matt McKagan on trombone, the great Chuck Findlay on trumpet, and the impossible Brian Scanlon on sax,” he adds. “On the very last day of recording, they came down to the studio and laid down the amazing horn lines for ‘Don’t Look Behind You.’ I’ll never forget the culmination of Matt and The Suicide Horns mixed with the Waters singing group sending this song and album out, as Shooter and I just watched it all with goosebumps.”

 

“Don’t Look Behind You” follows previously released songs “Chip Away” and title track “Tenderness” and all three are available as instant downloads by clicking HERE to pre-order TENDERNESS ahead of its 31st May release.

 

TENDERNESS sees McKagan reflecting on his experiences traveling the globe over two and a half years on Guns N’ Roses’  Not In This Lifetime tour.  Encountering heartbreak, anger, fear, confusion and divide on his travels during this tumultuous time in our world history, McKagan channeled a collective hurt into songs of monolithic power.

 

“We’re becoming divided at a time when we need each other most,” says McKagan. “When huge industries get replaced because of modernization, it’s time to retrain and bolster up those who get swept aside. Homelessness and drug addiction are avoidable in this country if we come together and get private and public cogs turning together in a positive direction. We can at least try to tackle mental illness while we’re at it. But alas, we stump and lie, point fingers and divide. We’re way better than this.”

 

With that in mind, McKagan has created a campaign that puts the album’s themes into action and he’s inviting fans to join him in an effort to give support to organizations doing great work. Those include Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission320 Changes Direction, and To Write Love on Her Arms, among others. For more information, please visit propeller.la/duff.

 

McKagan, backed by Shooter Jennings and his band, will be taking these songs on the road for a North American tour that kicks off on 30th May at TLA in Philadelphia. Announced today is a full European tour, below in red, that begins on the 22nd August in Poland. Tour dates are as follows:

DUFF McKAGAN

FEAT. SHOOTER JENNINGS

 

Thursday 30th May 2019​​TLA, Philadelphia, PA USA

Friday 31st May 2019​​​City Winery, Washington, DC USA

Saturday 1st June 2019​​City Winery, Boston, MA USA

Monday 3rd June 2019​​Irving Plaza, New York, NY

Thursday 6th June 2019​​Thalia Hall, Chicago, IL USA

Saturday 8th June 2019​​Cannery Ballroom, Nashville, TN USA

Monday 10th June 2019​​Historic Scoot Inn, Austin, TX USA

Thursday 13th June 2019​​El Rey, Los Angeles, CA USA

Friday 14th June 2019​​​Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, CA USA

Saturday 15th June 2019​​Aladdin Theater, Portland, OR USA

Sunday 16th June 2019​​Showbox Presents, Seattle, WA USA

Thursday 22nd August 2019​​Stodola, Warsaw POLAND

Friday 23rd August 2019​​Astra, Berlin GERMANY

Saturday 24th August 2019​​Blue Moon Festival, Amsterdam HOLLAND

Monday 26th August 2019​​Gloria, Cologne GERMANY

Tuesday 27th August 2019​​Alte Feurwache, Mannheim GERMANY

Thursday 29th August 2019​​Islington Assembly Hall, London UK

Saturday 31st August 2019​​Electric Picnic Festival, Dublin EIRE

Sunday 1st September 2019​​Manchester Academy 3, Manchester UK

Tuesday 3rd September 2019​​Le Trabendo, Paris FRANCE

Wednesday 4th September 2019​Ancienne Belgique, Brussels BELGIUM

Friday 6th September 2019​​Dynamo, Zurich SWITZERLAND

Sunday 8th September 2019​​Santeria Club, Milan ITALY

 

European headline dates go onsale at 9am GMT Friday 26thApril 2019.

For tickets please see www.livenation.co.uk

 

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