Godsmack Good Times, Bad Times Greatest Hits, Sully Erna + watch video

Sully Erna from Godsmack - drawing by Milek

For years, I had heard of the band Godsmack, but never really knew much about them. A friend of mine here in England recently read Godsmack frontman/founder Sully Erna’s autobiography, The Paths We Choose – and it was funny to find out that Sully comes from Massachusetts and now lives in New Hampshire – my old state…

Sully Erna from Godsmack - drawing by Milek

For years, I had heard of the band Godsmack, but never really knew much about them. A friend of mine, here in England, recently read Godsmack frontman/founder Sully Erna’s autobiography, The Paths We Choose – and it was funny to find out that Sully comes from Massachusetts and now lives in New Hampshire – my old state. The band was pretty much in my backyard the whole time, but it took someone in England to turn me on to them.

Sully Erna seems like a cool guy. I watched a couple interviews with him on YouTube and I like his open mindedness towards life and music. When I listen to Godsmack I can’t help but think of Metallica and Alice In Chains, so I’m glad that Sully’s up front about them being his influences – along with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.

Originally a drummer, there’s also footage on YouTube of Sully Erna and Godsmack drummer Shannon Larkin’s drum battle “Batalla De Los Tambores” from Godsmack’s DVD “Changes”. You’ve gotta love the way the drums slide onto the stage. They sound great – and it’s good to hear the Rush segment at the end. (You can also find that video on Shannon Larkin’s Yamaha page.)

Click here for more Godsmack videos

“I Stand Alone”, the first single off of Godsmack’s third studio album, ‘Faceless’ was featured on the soundtrack for The Scorpion King and is also in the video game, Prince of Persia: Warrior Within (Watch video), along with “Straight Out of Line”. They’ve had other songs in movies, and I think it’s always good to see bands getting their music in movie soundtracks. I wonder if Godsmack will do more with video games? I think they should.

Godsmack - Good Times, Bad Times

To celebrate 10 years as a band, Godsmack released their Greatest Hits album, ‘Good Times, Bad Times… Ten Years of Godsmack’ December 4th, 2007 on Universal.

The Greatest Hits album includes most of their commercially released singles along with a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times, Bad Times”. The video for it is fun to watch, but seeing the opening shots of Boston like the bridge, the infamous Citgo sign and the fan wearing the Red Sox shirt makes me feel a little homesick!

Watch Godsmack – “Good Times, Bad Times” video on Yahoo

Good Times, Bad Times – 10 Years Of Godsmack on amazon.com

Good Times Bad Times: + DVD on amazon.co.uk (UK release – December 10th, 2007)

Track listing:

1. Good Times, Bad Times
2. Whatever
3. Keep Away
4. Voodoo
5. Bad Religion
6. Awake
7. Greed
8. I Stand Alone
9. Straight Out of Line
10. Serenity
11. Re-Align
12. Running Blind
13. Touche
14. Speak
15. Shine Down
16. The Enemy

+ 75 minute DVD acoustic performance filmed in Las Vegas (check listings).

Musicians on album:

Sully Erna – vocals, guitar, drums
Tony Rombola – guitar, backing vocals
Robbie Merrill – bass, backing vocals
Tommy Stewart – drums
Shannon Larkin – drums

For more information, go to:

Godsmack on Myspace
Godsmack Official Website

Drawing of Sully Erna credit: Milek Jakubiec

By: Jenny May – Band Weblogs

Rock Band game, song list + watch video demo review

Rock Band

The Rock Band video game has been released and for some gamers, Christmas has come early. Developed by Boston based video game company Harmonix (Go Red Sox), and acquired by MTV in 2006, Rock Band is all the rage. Some people are saying it’s the best music video game they’ve ever played and god forbid, that it’s even better than Guitar Hero …

Rock BandThe Rock Band video game has been released and for some gamers, Christmas has come early. Developed by Boston based video game company Harmonix (Go Red Sox), and acquired by MTV in 2006, Rock Band is all the rage. Some people are saying it’s the best music video game they’ve ever played and god forbid, that it’s even better than Guitar Hero. It’s also being reported that sales of music genre games like Rock Band could help save the “flagging” music industry.

Strictly from an observers point of view, I must admit I am curious. It’s hard not to be from all of this excitement. To be able play a video game where up to four players can play instrument-based peripherals – guitar, bass, drums, and a microphone for the singer seems like fun. However, as a singer and musician, I would be interested to know if musicians really can have fun playing Rock Band without getting bored quickly. After all, what’s better than experiencing the real thing? Then again, after a few drinks…

Hats off to the developers, though. Rock Band does seem like it could be a great party game and it is quite the innovative idea.

I’ve been growing more fascinated with the use of music in video games. They’re a great platform for music and will continue to create more opportunities for bands and artists in the years to come.

Now that MTV is involved, it will be interesting to see where we go from here. Rock Band is opening up the playing field and breaking independent bands alongside major artists within the game. I think that’s a great idea and I’m all for it (even with the inclusion of some of the Harmonix staff who are in bands like Freezepop and Bang Camaro!).

The song list is impressive. Just looking through the set list, there are some standout tracks that would be fun to sing and play along to like “Ballroom Blitz”, “Creep”, “Dani California”, “Don’t Fear the Reaper”, “Foreplay/Longtime”, “Tom Sawyer” and a few others.

It was announced at one point that Steven Van Zandt, a.k.a. Little Steven (Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band) was going to “head up the board as the chairman with a select group of celebrity musicians and industry experts to select songs.” I’m not sure who was responsible for the band Boston being included, but it’s funny to see, considering Rock Band was created by a Boston based company.

I can imagine there will be many people out there wondering why certain bands and artists aren’t included yet. Like, where’s Jimi Hendrix? I know that Experience Hendrix (Janie who handles his estate) can be strict with his music but if anything, this would be a great platform for his music. Better than having his image printed on golf balls, but I digress.

The song list is also lacking in female singers. Heart (“Barracuda” would be a rockin’ number to sing) and Pat Benatar would be fun additions, but maybe they’ll add more in time. Little Steven certainly has his hands full, and I’m sure will be getting requests for bands on a daily basis.

When or if I do end up playing Rock Band, I’ll be sure to include a full review of my experience with the game here on Band Weblogs.

Watch the Rock Band video demo review by IGN:

Rock Band Song List:
(In alphabetical order)

Are You Gonna Be My Girl – Jet
Ballroom Blitz – Sweet
Black Hole Sun – Soundgarden
Blitzkrieg Bop – Ramones
Celebrity Skin – Hole
Cherub Rock – Smashing Pumpkins
Creep – Radiohead
Dani California – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Dead on Arrival – Fall Out Boy
Detroit Rock City – Kiss
(Don’t Fear) The Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult
The Electric Version – The New Pornographers
Enter Sandman – Metallica
Epic – Faith No More
Flirtin’ with Disaster – Molly Hatchet
Foreplay/Long Time – Boston
Gimme Shelter – The Rolling Stones
Go with the Flow – Queens of the Stone Age
Green Grass and High Tides – The Outlaws
The Hand That Feeds – Nine Inch Nails
Here It Goes Again – OK Go
Highway Star – Deep Purple
I Think I’m Paranoid – Garbage
In Bloom – Nirvana
Learn to Fly – Foo Fighters
Main Offender – The Hives
Maps – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Mississippi Queen – Mountain
Next to You – The Police
Orange Crush – R.E.M.
Paranoid – Black Sabbath
Reptilia – The Strokes
Run to the Hills – Iron Maiden
Sabotage – Beastie Boys
Say It Ain’t So – Weezer
Should I Stay or Should I Go – The Clash
Suffragette City – David Bowie
Tom Sawyer – Rush
Train Kept A-Rollin’ – Aerosmith
Vasoline – Stone Temple Pilots
Wanted Dead or Alive – Bon Jovi
Wave of Mutilation – Pixies
Welcome Home – Coheed and Cambria
When You Were Young – The Killers
Won’t Get Fooled Again – The Who

13 bonus tracks by established bands and independent artists that can be unlocked as you play the game:

Song List:

29 Fingers – The Konks
Blood Doll – Anarchy Club
Brainpower – Freezepop
Can’t Let Go – Death of the Cool
Day Late, Dollar Short – The Acro-Brats
I Get By – Honest Bob and the Factory-to-Dealer Incentives
I’m So Sick – Flyleaf
Nightmare – Crooked X
Outside – Tribe
Pleasure (Pleasure) – Bang Camaro
Seven – Vagiant
Time We Had – The Mother Hips
Timmy and the Lords of the Underworld – Timmy and the Lords of the Underworld

Downloadable song packs will also be available.

Rock Band is currently available for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3 consoles. PS2 in December 2007.

Rock Band on amazon.com

Rock Band IGN video review link

For more information, go to:

Rock Band Official Website

By: Jenny May – Band Weblogs

Kemp Harris Edenton review

Kemp HarrisKemp Harris titled his new album after his home Edenton North Carolina. It makes sense to me, use your “home is where the heart is” philosophy, and turn it into music and lyrics that come from the very core of your soul. Harris sings about much more than his former hometown (he resides in Boston now) but I cannot help feeling that was the foundation for everything else that happened on this recording.

This CD has continued to grow on me with the passing of time. I liked it when I first heard it but the more I listen to the music and words, the more it permeates my senses in every way. Harris reminded me of Robert Cray at times with his vocal style. He is very expressive and emotional when he sings a song and the 11 tracks on this recording benefit from those feelings and thoughts projected through the music. Harris uses his ears and heart to lead him on this recording session. He also gets some help from the Holmes Brothers with backing vocals for some extra depth and soul on tracks 2, 3, & 10.

I like the way Harris mixes up the blues with gospel and combines the two effectively. The album opens up with a 57-second intro called “Sometimes” then launches into “Sweet Weepin Jesus,” a blues-gospel burner. It is not too hard to figure out which tracks are gospel injected when you look at the titles. My favorites were “Tryin Times,” one that befits the days we live in, and this could apply to so many things depending on who you are, and the gospel track “Didn’t It Rain,” which sounds like an old time spiritual that you would hear ringing out from a church in the deep south somewhere. It really touched me and gave me a feeling of hope and desperation all at the same time. “Edenton” sounds like it could be a single earmarked for radio play; it would be a logical choice for a crossover hit that would lead to a lot of interest in this artist.

That is my take on what I heard now it is up to you to check it out for yourself. If you enjoy the blues or gospel this is a spot on independent release that you will find great joy in hearing until that day comes when the rain begins to fall and it never ends.

Artist: Kemp Harris
Title: Edenton
Genre: Blues-Gospel
Label: Righteous Mischeif LLC
Website

Tracks:
01. Sometimes (0:57)
02. Sweet Weepin Jesus (4:45)
03. Day After Day (4:38)
04. Tryin Times (5:03)
05. Ruthie’s (3:32)
06. Didn’t It Rain (3:13)
07. Mother Earth (3:15)
08. Miles Between Us (5:25)
09. Nightlife (3:02)
10. Edenton (4:41)
11. Sometimes (reprise) (1:09)

Musicians:

Kemp Harris: Vocals & Piano
Jim Lucchese: Drums
Josh Stoltzfus: Guitar
Brian Verrochi: Bass

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Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck