Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

2021 – The 50/50 List I’m Still Investing Time In

Sometimes albums don’t capture me in their entirety but there is something there that keeps me going back.

Tremonti – Marching In Time

The debut album, “All I Was” from 2012 caught me by surprise because of its slant towards Classic Heavy Metal and Speed Metal.

“Dust” and “Cauterize” from 2016 and 2015 are my favorite albums, especially the song “Dust”, it’s a masterpiece.

“A Dying Machine” from 2019 brought a concept story to the mix and now we have “Marching In Time”. In between Mark Tremonti also did Alter Bridge, so no one can question his work ethic.

I listened to this a lot the week it came out and while each song has a section or a riff which floors me, I only press “like” on four songs, “A World Away”, “Now And Forever”, “Under The Sun” and “Marching In Time”.

It doesn’t mean the other songs are crap.

Far from it. I just need to find the connection.

KK’s Priest – Sermons Of The Sinner

I heard it once and I was impressed.

KK Downing is still a beast on the guitar and we all know that Tim Ripper Owens has an awesome set of pipes on him and is technically better than a lot of the vocalists doing the rounds including his idols.

Before all the JP fans tear me apart, this isn’t meant to be a slight on Halford at all, it’s just progression that people surpass their idols in technicality. Halford is still the “Metal God”.

I remember a Bruce Dickinson interview in which he said, he was floored when he heard Ian Gillian signing “Child In Time” and he started practicing like crazy in his bedroom to mimic what Gillian did on the recording, without knowing that Gillian’s vocals were dubbed in and recut a lot of times and heavily delayed. But Bruce was doing it all naturally. Progression.

For a bit of backstory, K. K. Downing got the idea of forming KK’s Priest after doing a one-off show billed as MegaPriest in 2019 with David Ellefson (my, my, how far has he fallen since his sex scandal) on Bass. As a band, KK’s Priest is somewhere between a solo project of Downing and a reunion with his former Judas Priest bandmates Tim “Ripper” Owens and Les Binks. However, Binks left the band just before the making of “Sermons of the Sinner” because of health issues.

So joining K.K Downing and Tim “Ripper” Owens is A.J. Mills on Guitars, Tony Newton on Bass and Sean Elg on Drums.

And I was a fan without even hearing a track.

My favourite track from JP is “The Sentinel” and when I saw that the last track is called “Return Of The Sentinel” I was sold. Even though the songs sound nothing alike, the nod to a classic sealed the deal.

Blacktop Mojo – Blacktop Mojo

They won a competition to open up for Bon Jovi who at the time were picking local acts from each city to open for them. Thats how they came to my attention.

And they do a mean cover of “Dream On” from Aerosmith and a drunken YouTube cover of “In The Air Tonight” from Phil Collins.

From Texas, so they have this blues southern rock vibe happening but there’s also a Soundgarden and Alice In Chains vibe as well.

Actually Black Stone Cherry comes to mind here as well.

This is album number 4 and it’s slowly growing on me.

Check it out.

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12 thoughts on “2021 – The 50/50 List I’m Still Investing Time In

    • I could listen to a Tremonti album, not skip a song and not remember a song title.
      I do like his guitar playing and he definitely brings something different to each song.

      Plus he’s really pushing the boundaries of different turnings. It pisses me off when I’m trying to learn the songs because I hate alternate tunings.

  1. Bubba says:

    Saw Blacktop Mojo live in Brooklyn pre-pandemic, maybe 2019, (at a great live music/metal bar, one of the last of it’s kind actually here in NYC) at Saint Vitus. They were phenomenal, they’re Texas heavy, dual guitarists who both rip, soulful & can do the dual harmony lead thing, & the lead singer is phenomenal. Their 2019 album, “Under the Sun” is the one that got me into them & I play them pretty regularly on my show here. Don’t really know their most recent self titled album that well yet but do like the song “Wicked Woman”. I can see the Seattle Alice/Soundgarden connection but I think Blacktop spotlight the guitar solos a little bit more.

    I also recently saw Black Stone Cherry, who you compared Blacktop with, a few months ago here in a small club in NJ with maybe 100 – 150 people at best, after they had just played the Royal Albert Hall, capacity 5,000+, in London. Kind of a shame that they were playing to so small a crowd but they certainly didn’t show any disappointment & were fantastic live. It’s funny here in the US, being a “Southern’y” hard rock band is much different than being a band from Texas. Texas just has their own thing & vibe here (ex: the Pantera, ZZ Top, Stevie Ray Vaughn different genres but still the Texas thaaang). So there ya go, just some thoughts from here on the other side of the world…

    • Thanks for the comment. You are right when it comes to Texas and Southern Rock. The style is a bit different if it’s from Texas.

      Black Stone Cherry is a favorite of mine and I’m digging their blues rock vibe they have going now which morphed from their Audioslave influenced sound on their debut many years ago.

  2. I could never wrap my head around the Tremonti stuff. I still need to wrap my head around the latest AB album as I never even gave it a spin. Weird as I always preordered there other albums…

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