Classic Rock News

Elton John guitarist Davey Johnstone to release new solo album in January; check out lead single, "Melting Snow"

Spirit of Unicorn Music

Longtime Elton John guitarist Davey Johnstone will release his first solo album in nearly 50 years, Deeper than My Roots, on February 4.

The project was a true family affair, as Johnstone's youngest son, Elliott, sings lead vocals on most of the album, his son Charlie recorded many of the basic tracks at his home in California and contributed keyboard and backing vocals, and his son Jesse played drums on some of the songs.

In addition, Davey collaborated with his oldest son, Tam, and Jesse to write, record and produce the two instrumental tracks that are featured on the album: "Black Scotland" and "Walt Dizney."

Johnstone has premiered the lead single from Deeper than My Roots, the melancholy "Melting Snow," which is sung by his son Elliott and features Davey's longtime Elton John band mate Nigel Olsson on drums. The song is accompanied by a lyric video that debuted at the Spirit of Unicorn Music label's official YouTube channel.

Former Paul McCartney and Wings drummer Denny Seiwell also lent his talents to three songs. The album includes a pair of bonus tracks, including a cover of The Beatles' "Here, There and Everywhere."

Johnstone recorded Deeper than My Roots while Elton's Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour was forced off the road because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The trek is scheduled to relaunch on January 19 in New Orleans.

Davey's only other solo album, Smiling Face, was released in 1973. You can pre-order Deeper than My Roots on CD now at CherryRed.co.uk.

Here's the album's full track list:

"Go Easy on My Heart"
"One Look in Your Eyes"
"Meh Amour"
"Walt Dizney"
"Melting Snow"
"You Lied to Me"
"Deeper"
"Boxer in the Corner"
"Black Scotland"
"The Final Quarter"

Bonus Tracks
"Here, There and Everywhere"
"All the Time in the World"

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Dave Grohl & Greg Kurstin celebrate night six of 'The Hanukkah Sessions' by covering Billy Joel

Medios y Media/Getty Images

Dave Grohl and Greg Kurstin have released a cover of Billy Joel's "Big Shot" for night six of their Hanukkah Sessions series.

"While he claims a secular Long Island upbringing (and has songs full of Catholic and Italian imagery), Billy Joel remains one of the great Jews of musical scripture," Grohl says of the Piano Man.

You can watch the "Big Shot" cover streaming now on YouTube. Is there a kazoo solo? You'd better believe it!

Grohl and Kurstin launched The Hanukkah Sessions in 2020 with covers of eight different Jewish artists for each night of the holiday. This year's series has so far included Lisa Loeb's "Stay (I Missed You)," the Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop," Barry Manilow's "Copacabana," Van Halen's "Jump" and Amy Winehouse's "Take the Box."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


50th anniversary reissue of The Doors' 'L.A. Woman' released today; "Riders on the Storm" video premieres

Rhino

The deluxe 50th anniversary reissue of The Doors' classic 1971 album, L.A. Woman, got its release today.

As previously reported, L.A. Woman: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition is available as a three-CD/one-LP set featuring a newly remastered version of the album on CD, two bonus CDs of unreleased studio outtakes, and the new stereo mix of the original album pressed on 180-gram vinyl.

To celebrate the reissue's release, the first-ever official music video for the Doors hit "Riders on the Storm" has premiered at the band's official YouTube channel.

The clip, directed by the award-winning team of Brendo Garcia and Adriano Gonfiantini, combines live-action footage with digital animation and follows a mysterious woman as she takes a surreal, psychedelic journey on a motorcycle through the California desert and into Los Angeles.

The video features a number of Easter eggs alluding to aspects of Doors history, including a woman tied crucifixion-style to a streetlight, a reference to the image that appears inside L.A. Woman's original gatefold sleeve; Barney's Beanery, one of Jim Morrison's favorite LA-area bars; and the Alta Cienega Motel, where Morrison once lived.

Other classics songs featured on L.A. Woman include the hit "Love Her Madly," the title track, and "The Changeling."

Among the unreleased tracks is the original demo of "Riders on the Storm," and covers of Junior Parker's "Mystery Train," John Lee Hooker's "Crawling King Snake," Big Joe Williams' "Baby Please Don't Go," and Lee Dorsey's "Get Out of My Life Woman." Also among the bonus tracks are multiple consecutive takes of "The Changeling," "Love Her Madly," "Riders on the Storm" and "L.A. Woman."

In related news, L.A. Woman has just been RIAA-certified triple-Platinum for album equivalent sales of three million copies in the U.S.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Styx, REO Speedwagon and Loverboy teaming up for the Live & Unzoomed Tour in 2022

Todd Gallopo; Randee St. Nicholas

Styx and REO Speedwagon will sail away together next year on a U.S. co-headlining tour, and they're taking Loverboy with them as their special guest.

The Live & Unzoomed Tour kicks off on May 31 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and is plotted out through an August 21 concert in Wantagh, New York. The trek, which currently features 35 dates, includes one show in Canada, an August 16 event in Toronto.

To announce the tour, a hilarious video has premiered on YouTube featuring Styx's Tommy Shaw, REO Speedwagon's Kevin Cronin and Loverboy's Mike Reno chatting via Zoom about what they've been up to at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tickets for various dates of Live & Unzoomed Tour will go on sale to the general public on Friday, December 10, at 10 a.m. local time at LiveNation.com. Styx and REO Speedwagon will be making available VIP packages and exclusive pre-sales starting Monday, December 6, at 10 a.m. local time at StyxWorld.com and REOSpeedwagon.com.

Citi cardmembers will be able to buy pre-sale tickets for the U.S. shows beginning Tuesday, December 7, at 10 a.m. local time; visit CitiEntertainment.com for more details.

"I can't think of a better way of touring the USA next year than with good friends we've known for years and performed with on many a stage," Shaw says in a statement. "What a great night of music this will be!"

Adds Cronin, "Tommy and I have done a number of Zoom performances together during the pandemic, and REO and Styx are ready to go get UnZoomed, and out on the road for our fifth U.S. tour together. Add our great friends Mike Reno and the Loverboy guys, and I am totally psyched."

Meanwhile, Reno declares, "Best tour of the summer…guaranteed."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Greg Lake's widow, Regina, relaunching late ELP frontman's Manticore Records label

Credit: Alfred Ligammari

Manticore Records, the record label founded by late Emerson, Lake & Palmer frontman Greg Lake, is being relaunched by his widow, Regina Lake.

"It was always Greg's wish to reinstate the Manticore Records Label," Regina reveals in a statement. "Greg's idea, in his own words, was to give new, talented musicians the chance to be heard, when other doors might have been closed to them for being different. Greg was once one such young Musician."

She continues, "He had put everything in place for Manticore Records to start up again, but as we know, it wasn't possible for Greg to be there to realise his vision. Just a few days before Greg died, he asked me if I would like to carry on with Manticore Records, after he had gone."

Regina points out that Greg had set the label up in her name in case she was interested in keeping it going, while telling her it was entirely her decision.

"I told him, as I am sentimental about Manticore, having been there in the early days, I would give it my best," she says, "with a lot of help from my friends and advisers."

Regina adds, "On reflection I would like this label to be devoted to Greg Lake Music and Songs to keep his legacy alive for us all in years to come."

According to a press release, the first new Manticore project will be "a definitive collection" of Lake's solo work. To celebrate the label's relaunch, a rare video of Greg performing his classic holiday song "I Believe in Father Christmas" in 2005 has been posted on YouTube.

Lake died of cancer on December 7, 2016. He was 69.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Listen to new Slash feat. Myles Kennedy & the Conspirators song, "Fill My World"

Credit: Austin Nelson

Slash has released a new song with his solo band, Myles Kennedy & the Conspirators.

The track, titled "Fill My World," will appear on the group's upcoming album, 4, due out February 11, 2022. You can download "Fill My World" now via digital outlets.

4, the fittingly titled fourth Conspirators effort, also features the lead single "The River Is Rising."

In addition to recording a new Conspirators record, Slash has spent much of 2021 on the road playing live with Guns N' Roses. The "Welcome to the Jungle" rockers have been touring pretty regularly since reuniting in 2016, which, as Slash tells CNN in a new interview, wasn't necessarily the original plan.

"Everybody got along great," Slash says of his GN'R band mates. "That's actually why the tour has kept going, because initially it was just going to be a couple of shows."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Elton John and Ed Sheeran step into a "Merry Christmas" with new holiday single

Atlantic Records

Elton John and his pal U.K. pop star Ed Sheeran are making sure fans ring in the holidays with a little extra cheer with their new single, "Merry Christmas."

The song, which they co-wrote and released on Friday, sees the two powerhouse British singers explaining why it's important to enjoy the season with those you love.

Sheeran begins the festive song by encouraging listeners to appreciate the season's wonders by singing, "So kiss me under the mistletoe/ Pour out the wine, let's toast and pray for December snow/ I know there's been pain this year, but it's time to let it go/ Next year, you never know."

Sir Elton adds, "We've both known love, but this love we got is the bеst of all/ I wish you could see it through my eyes, then you would know."

If that wasn't enough to help bring some joy back to the holidays after another stressful year, Ed and Elton also released the official and ultra-campy music video for "Merry Christmas." The two are decked out in several of their best holiday outfits, from sequined tuxedos to very short Santa-like robes, as they rotate through various Christmas-like scenes.

"Merry Christmas" is available to stream and purchase now across all platforms. Proceeds from the single will benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the Ed Sheeran Suffolk Music Foundation.

The track also appears on the "Christmas Edition" of Sheeran's latest studio album, = (Equals).

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Foo Fighters reveal sneak peek behind upcoming 'Studio 666' movie

Open Road Films

Foo Fighters have shared a sneak peek behind their upcoming horror-comedy film, Studio 666.

The 43-second clip offers a brief preview of the supernatural hijinks that befall Dave Grohl and company in the movie. You can watch it now streaming on YouTube.

Studio 666, which stars all six Foo Fighters members, was filmed at the same house where the band recorded their newest album, this year's Medicine at Midnight. While the movie is, of course, fictional, Grohl repeatedly said in interviews leading up to the record's release that the house was haunted.

You can buy tickets to Studio 666 now via Studio666Movie.com. The film premieres in theaters February 25, 2022.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Street Survivor: Lynyrd Skynyrd's guitarist Gary Rossington turns 70 this weekend

Scott Dudelson/Getty Images for Stagecoach

Founding Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington, the last surviving original member of the legendary Southern rock band, celebrates his 70th birthday this Saturday, December 4.

The band that became Lynyrd Skynyrd formed in 1964, when Rossington teamed up with singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Allen Collins, drummer Bob Burns and bassist Larry Junstrom.

After undergoing a few name changes, in 1969 the band settled on Lynyrd Skynyrd, partly a mocking tribute to their high school gym teacher Leonard Skinner.

A number of lineup changes and additions followed, and in 1973 Lynyrd Skynyrd released its debut album, (Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd), the first of five successful and memorable albums.

During Lynyrd Skynyrd's heyday, Rossington co-wrote several of the band's most popular songs, including "Sweet Home Alabama," "Simple Man," "Gimme Back My Bullets" and "What's Your Name."

Tragedy struck Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1977, when a plane crash claimed the lives of Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines -- who'd joined Skynyrd in 1976 -- and Steve's sister, backing vocalist Cassie Gaines.

Following the accident, Gary and Allen went on to form the short-lived Rossington Collins Band. The group's lead singer, Dale Krantz, went on to marry Rossington in 1982, and later became a Skynyrd backing singer.

Gary and Dale also led The Rossington Band during the late 1980s.

In 1987, Lynyrd Sknyrd reunited, with Ronnie's younger brother Johnny Van Zant taking over as frontman. Since then, the group has undergone many lineup changes, with Rossington and Van Zant remaining the two constants. 2018 saw Skynyrd launch a planned farewell tour that has been extended multiple times, partly because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rossington has experienced serious health issues in recent years, and in July of 2021 he underwent emergency heart surgery that forced him to sit out most of the band's recent tour dates.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles, Queen land in top 10 of year-end 'Billboard' Top Rock Artists chart

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images; Mark and Colleen Hayward/Getty Images

Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles, Queen and AC/DC are among the top 10 rock artists of 2021, according to Billboard.

The publication has unveiled the 2021 edition of its annual year-end charts, which determine the biggest acts in a variety of different genres using combination of factors including airplay, sales and streaming data for songs and albums, as well as touring revenue and social media activity.

Fleetwood Mac is #4 on Billboard's Top Rock Artists chart, followed by the Fab Four at #6, Queen at #7 and AC/DC at #10. Other veteran rock artists ranked high on the tally include Creedence Clearwater Revival at #11, the Eagles at #12, Elton John at #13, Foo Fighters at #15, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at #16, Nirvana at #17, Journey at #18, Guns N' Roses at #19, and Metallica at #20.

Contemporary rock act Glass Animals is #1 on the chart.

Meanwhile, the Top Rock Albums chart, which is based on sales data, is dominated by best-of compilations and classic studio albums by veteran artists.

The list is topped Queen's Greatest Hits, and also features Fleetwood Mac's Rumours at #3, Elton's Diamonds at #4, Creedence Clearwater Revival's Chronicle at #5, Journey's Greatest Hits at #6, AC/DC's Back in Black at #7, Petty and the Heartbreakers' Greatest Hits at #8, and The Beatles' 1 at #10.

No album released in 2021 made the chart's top 10.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Violet Grohl joins dad Dave & Greg Kurstin for 'Hanukkah Sessions' cover of Amy Winehouse

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for DG

Dave Grohl and Greg Kurstin were joined by a special guest for night five of The Hanukkah Sessions.

Violet Grohl, daughter of the Foo Fighters frontman, handles lead vocals for the series' latest cover: Amy Winehouse's "Take the Box."

"Despite this song's mention of a 'Moschino bra you bought me last Christmas,' it's common knowledge that the amazing woman behind the song was actually Jewish," Dave says.

You can watch the "Take the Box" cover streaming now on YouTube.

Grohl and Kurstin launched The Hanukkah Sessions in 2020 with covers of eight different Jewish artists for each night of the holiday. This year's series has so far included Lisa Loeb's "Stay (I Missed You)," the Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop," Barry Manilow's "Copacabana" and Van Halen's "Jump."

(Video contains uncensored profanity.) 

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Who's buying? Megadeth announces own cryptocurrency

Chiaki Nozu/WireImage

Peace may sell, but what about Megadeth-branded cryptocurrency?

Dave Mustaine's certainly hoping it will with the launch of $MEGA, described as the "official cryptocurrency of Megadeth and our community."

"By buying, holding, and transacting with $MEGA, fans will gain access to exclusives and premium benefits," reads a statement. Members of the Cyber Army fan club will also be able to "unlock additional exclusives, access, and offers."

For more info, visit Megadeth.com.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Concert featuring Chrissie Hynde performing Bob Dylan songs to premiere on Veeps.com this month

Joseph Okpako/WireImage

A streaming event focusing on a recent concert by Pretenders frontwoman Chrissie Hynde showcasing her 2021 Bob Dylan covers album Standing in the Doorway will premiere December 26 on the Veeps.com platform.

The show, Chrissie Hynde & Co. Sing Bob Dylan (and Other Songs), was recorded during a three-night engagement Hynde played this past July at London's Royal Opera House. The concert featured renditions of all nine Dylan songs Chrissie recorded for Standing in the Doorway, as well as a couple of classic Kinks tunes, selections from The Pretenders' 2020 album Hate for Sale, and more.

Hynde was accompanied at the shows by Pretenders guitarist James Walbourne -- her main Standing in the Doorway collaborator -- along with Carwyn Ellis on keyboards and Danny Williams on upright bass.

Tickets are available now at Veeps.com for $22.

The show debuts at 3 p.m. ET on December 26. Anyone purchasing tickets will be able to re-watch the concert until January 3, 2022, at 2:59 a.m. ET.

Standing in the Doorway: Chrissie Hynde Sings Bob Dylan was released in May, coinciding with the folk-rock legend's 80th birthday. The album came together over the course of 15 weeks in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, and includes renditions of nine Dylan songs that Hynde recorded remotely with Walbourne.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Gimme All Your Presents: ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons debuts music video for new holiday tune "Jingle Bell Blues"

Concord Records

ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons is a sharp-dressed Santa in a new animated video for his recently released holiday tune "Jingle Bell Blues," which premiered today on his official YouTube channel.

The clip features a cartoon Gibbons donning a Santa Claus outfit as he embarks on a snowy adventure to deliver presents in a hot rod that's been converted into a flying sleigh. Along the way he rocks out on his new Christmas tune with help from a harmonica-playing snowman.

"The animators put me in a hot rod that looks suspiciously like our very own '34 Ford-based 'Whiskey Runner' though they've made some few seasonal adjustments," Billy explains of the video. "There's considerable snowfall so the wheels are replaced midway by a set of skis and now there's a pickup bed in the back so gifts can rain down from it. They have me doing a header into a chimney but it's not clear if I get to to enjoy any cookies and milk for my efforts."

As previously reported, "Jingle Bell Blues" is 12-bar-blues-infused version of the Christmas classic "Jingle Bells" that's available now as a digital download and via streaming services. A limited-edition seven-inch vinyl single pressed on red-translucent vinyl will be released on December 10.

The disc, which you can pre-order now at Gibbons' official online store, comes with an old-school vinyl center hole adapter with "Billy F Gibbons" written on it. The single's flip side features an etching of a whitewall tire.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Carlos Santana undergoes heart procedure, cancels Las Vegas shows

ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP via Getty Images

Carlos Santana has canceled all the December shows of his Las Vegas show at the House of Blues, because he's recovering from what's described as an "unscheduled heart procedure."

The 74-year-old guitar legend posted a video on YouTube and his Twitter feed in which he explains that last Saturday, he asked his wife to take him to the hospital because "I had this thing happening in my chest."

"We found out that I need to take care of it, so I am," Carlos goes on. "So I'm gonna be taking time out for a little bit to make sure that I replenish and I rest....so that when I play for you, I will play the way I'm used to and give you 150%. I wouldn't show up unless I can do that."

Santana will resume his shows in January of 2022.  A statement from his manager further explains that Santana's "procedure" "impacted his performance," but adds that Carlos is "doing fantastic and is anxious to be back on stage soon."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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