Darrell P. Finley







    Lita Ford, a former member of the pioneering '70s all-female rock band The Runaways, was asked by Guitars Exchange if she now has any new perspective on why the band broke up. She responded: "We weren't happy with what we were doing. We weren't a team. Joan [Jett] and Cherie [Currie] were very much a team and Joan and I tried but we really didn't click musically. I wanted to play heavy metal and Joan wanted to play… Well, her first hit was 'I Love Rock 'N' Roll', which was very pop rock and it took off and did great; whereas I released 'Out For Blood'. We were going in different musical directions."
    Ford also addressed the inevitable question of a possible Runaways reunion, saying: "Cherie and I tried to get Joan to work with us. We had dinner, we called her and we sent her e-mails, but we never really never got any response. I think most likely it was her manager who didn´t want her to do it."
    Lita added that she would take part in a Runaways reunion "in a heartbeat. I'd love to do it," she said. "We miss Joan."
    Currie told the "White Line Fever" podcast last year that Runaways came close to re-uniting more than two decades ago. "Lita had reached out to us to convince us, me and Joan, to do a Runaways reunion. And we did, with Kenny Laguna [Jett's manager, co-producer and co-songwriter for the past three and a half decades] basically at the helm, he secured a tour and Lita, she just basically doesn't get along with Kenny and she just walked away from that."
    In a 2015 interview with with the WHMH (Rockin' 101) radio station, Lita explained that she decided against a possible Runaways reunion in the early '90s because "Nirvana was just kicking in, and it was really bad timing; it wouldn't have worked. People would have just turned their nose up at it."
   A movie about The Runaways brief history, starring Dakota Fanning as Currie and Kristin Stewart as Jett, came out in 2010.


    Kentucky rockers Black Stone Cherry have released another track from their upcoming blues covers EP, ‘Black To Blues’, due out on September 29 via Mascot Records/Mascot Label Group. Here their version of Albert King's "Born Under A Bad Sign" below.


Speaking about why the band decided to pick this track for the EP, Black Stone Cherry bassist Jon Lawhon said: "We wanted to do that song because CREAM did that song, but we were looking for songs that were 'obscure,' but not so obscure that people hadn't maybe heard them before and have some familiarity with it. It was tough to pick some stuff; I'll be honest with you. And, too, we had to think about the arrangement — how could we alter the riff a bit and make it ours. So it was a deep process."

    Before releasing five critically acclaimed albums, playing 12,000-capacity arena shows, topping U.K. charts and sharing the stage with bands like Def Leppard, Lynyard Skynyrd, Bad Company, Alter Bridge and Shinedown, the guys in the Kentucky-based active rock powerhouse were just teenagers finding their way jamming on the blues.
‘Black To Blues’ is a collection of blues classics and obscurities reimagined with the meaty moxie of classic Black Stone Cherry.
"I know it's crazy for four rock 'n' roll dudes to make a blues EP, but it's us sharing with everyone the music that's been our DNA from day one," says Black Stone Cherry vocalist and guitarist Chris Robertson. "Blues is the music we listen to when we sit around on the bus with a bottle of bourbon."
"A defining moment for me was realizing all the rock 'n' roll that I loved came from the blues," Chris adds.

    As a lead vocalist, Chris honed his burly pipes studying the power of the Texas Tornado himself, Freddie King, whom they cover on ‘Black To Blues’ and, throughout their career, the group has always sprinkled in a few blues evergreens in their live set. "The blues is such honest music. When you hear it, it's, like, 'I'm down on my luck, and, damn, that guy gets just how I feel." Chris shares. "I hope by sharing this music we have the beautiful opportunity to expose a new generation to the blues."
‘Black To Blues’ pays homage to the fertile 1960s era of electric blues where the masters pushed boundaries with experimentation and volume. The EP includes covers by Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Freddie King and Albert King. The album was recorded in a burst of fevered inspiration this past spring at David Barrick's Barrick Recording, the same studio where the band recorded their recent album, ‘Kentucky’. It was produced by the band, which tracked the music in two days and favored a raw, in-the-moment production aesthetic to capture the inspired sessions. Chris adds: "Our approach was to do these songs as we've written them, with attitude and heavy guitar."

    ‘Black To Blues’ opens with the Howlin' Wolf classic "Built For Comfort". Here, they harnesses the song's dark energy with foot-stomping burly riffage, impassioned whiskey and honey vocals, and a peaks and valleys arrangement that features virtuosic bursts of bluesy guitar brilliance, smoky quiet passages, and mountains crashing down climaxes. Throughout the EP, the imaginative arrangements, soulful vocals, and subtle band interplay evoke the halcyon days of heavy blues acts such as Free and Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac. On "Champagne & Reefer" they mesmerize with deft slide guitar playing and powerful contrasting haunting and hefty dynamics. Other standouts include a raucous version of Muddy Waters's "I Want To Be Loved", complete with jaw-dropping blues-rock guitar solos, and a clever rendition of Freddie King's "Palace Of King", there they "moved one note to make it more dark," Chris reveals.
The blues is always a sage teacher, and making the ‘Black To Blues’ EP was a transformative experience for Black Stone Cherry. Chris says: "It was humbling and freeing at the same time. It reignited our passion for this music, and it will definitely have an effect on our next album."
‘Black To Blues’ track listing:
1.) “Built For Comfort”
2.) “Champagne & Reefer”
3.) “Palace Of The King”
4.) “Hoochie Coochie Man”
5.) “Born Under A Bad Sign”
6.) “I Want To Be Loved”




    The song "Bridge Of Broken Lies" from SWEET & LYNCH — the band featuring guitarist/vocalist Michael Sweet of Stryper, legendary guitarist George Lynch (Dokken, Lynch Mob), bassist James LoMenzo (Megadeth, White Lion, Black Label Society) and drummer Brian Tichy (The Dead Daisies, Whitesnake) — can be streamed below. The track is taken from SWEET & LYNCH's sophomore album, ‘Unified’, which will be released on November 10 via Frontiers Music Srl.
    Says Sweet: "George and I couldn't be more excited about this album! We've worked very hard to bring you the best of both worlds — a throwback of the chart-topping Stryper/Dokken days yet with a modern production that fits right in with anything out there now in the rock world today.
    "We couldn't be more proud than to be working with Brian Tichy and James LoMenzo again as they are the best rhythm section you'll ever hear.
    "If you liked SWEET & LYNCH ‘I’, you're going to love 'Unified'."

‘Unified’ track listing:
1.) “Promised Land”
2.) “Walk”
3.) “Afterlife”
4.) “Make Your Mark”
5.) “Tried & True”
6.) “Unified”
7.) “Find Your Way”
8.) “Heart Of Fire”
9.) “Bridge Of Broken Lies”
10.) “Better Man”
11.) “Live To Die”


    Michael previously said that SWEET & LYNCH was formed when Frontiers president Serafino Perugino approached him "to sing and write for what [Serafino] was referring to as a 'supergroup' project — (one of the first) that Frontiers would be putting together and releasing. I was, of course, not only intrigued by the idea but also humbled that he would ask me! Jon Levin (Dokken) was suggested as the possible guitarist and I suggested to Serafino getting the man himself, Mr. Scary [George Lynch] involved. Serafino was, of course, excited about the idea. Frontiers has told me how happy they are with my production on the new STRYPER albums, so I immediately suggested producing as well. Serafino also agreed. I contacted George [as soon as possible] and he quickly agreed to be a part of this exciting project. It was decided that he and I would co-write everything together and that I would produce."
Sweet, who is a devout Christian, also talked about his working relationship with George, who considers himself to be a freethinker/atheist.

    "You may ask how does an atheist and a Christian work together in a band situation? The answer is respect. Although I don't agree with George's spiritual/religious views (and he doesn't agree with mine, assumedly), we respect each other as musicians, friends and human beings.
"I'm free to do many things with the hope that maybe, just maybe, my life might have a profound effect on people I come in contact with.
"I've spoken with George many times over and he always strikes me as a genuine soul and someone who cares for and loves people. Bottom line? He's a great guy and I'm proud to be a part of this with George.
"Although we don't see eye to eye in our beliefs, we respect each other enough to not let that come between us."

    Lynch concurred, telling Antihero Magazine: "There could potentially be a conflict there between Michael and I, and we've talked about that. I'm sort of a freethinking atheist, and he's a born-again Christian. I've been through that in my life; I was a born-again Christian at one point. I was the guy knocking on your door handing out tracks. I played in a Pentecostal charismatic band that did revivals… tent revivals in black neighborhoods in South Central L.A. — yeah, all kinds of stuff. I definitely have something to say about all that, but I don't know how effective I am at it. I'm not RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE. I wish I was."
SWEET & LYNCH's debut album, "Only To Rise", was released in January 2015 via Frontiers Music Srl.




    "Tightrope", the new video from Vandenberg’s Moonkings, can be seen below.


    Four years after Adrian Vandenberg made a spectacular comeback with Vandenberg’s Moonkings, the band returns with a sophomore album, simply titled ‘MK II’. Due on November 3 via the Mascot Label Group, the disc has all the qualities of the debut: once again the four-piece band manages to create a perfect mix of vintage seventies hard rock and current styles of heavy rock. Adrian Vandenberg shines as a bonafide guitar virtuoso, while the rest of the band also delivers in spades. Yet ‘MK II’ has even more to offer than the highly praised first album. It shows how the band grew into a strong unit during the world tours of the recent years.
    "The last few years have been very important indeed," confirms Adrian Vandenberg, who previously gained world fame as the guitarist and songwriter of Vandenburg and Whitesnake. "We just got to know each other when we recorded out debut album. I think we all exceeded each other's expectations. But you really get to know each other while on the road. It was then that I really became impressed by the abundance of energy that this band has. We tried to capture this on our new album. At the same time, we all grew individually. I am really amazed by the way Jan Hoving has grown even more in his role as a singer and as a frontman. I've played with the best bass players and drummers in my extensive career, but, with all respect, I dare to say that Sem Christoffel and drummer Mart Nijen Es form the best rhythm section I ever had the pleasure of working with."
    The comeback gets a worthy follow-up with ‘MK II’. It was (partly) recorded in the famous Wisseloord Studio in Hilversum, Holland, where the band also worked on the debut album. Once again produced by Adrian Vandenberg, engineer/ soundmixer Ronald Prent used his magic again and the mastering was done by Darcy Proper.
    "The fantastic response to our debut received also gave us a major boost," said Adrian. "We felt confident to loosen things up quite a bit. Sem and Mart really go for it of at the end of 'The Fire'. Previously, I would have called for a fade-out in the mix, but this time we decided to keep it and put it on the record. It somehow reminded me of the '70s Cream and Led Zeppelin jam sessions that nobody seems to do anymore these days. I allowed myself to rip all over the end section of 'If You Can't Handle The Heat'. I've always found that as a guitar player you should be able to tell a story in about twenty seconds, so this time it was great to break this rule for a change and let myself go completely. Never before in my career I have done this on an album. All in all, working on this album was a wonderful experience. The notorious 'second album syndrome' never reared its ugly head."
    The release of ‘MK II’ will be supported with club tours and appearances on festivals worldwide. "I've been a professional musician for over forty years, but I am still as eager as I have always been and still have the feeling that I'm just getting started,
" added Adrian. "I am convinced that we have many good years ahead with this band."
‘MK II’ track listing:
1.) “Tightrope”
2.) “Reputation”
3.) “Angel In Black”
4.) “The Fire”
5.) “Walk Away”
6.) “All Or Nothing”
7.) “What Doesn't Kill You”
8.) “Ready For The Taking”
9.) “New Day”
10.) “Love Runs Out”
11.) “If You Can't Handle The Heat”


Blast Fragments:
Matthas Jabs says “The Scorpions deserve a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Original Every Mother’s Nightmare has re-joined the group.
Queensrÿche will be begin recording ‘Eclectic’ in October 2017.
Ex-White Lion vocalist Mike Tramp states he has no interest in ever recording with ex-White Lion guitarist Vito Bratta.
The Norwegian heavy metal band TNT are currently in the studio.  Original lead vocalist Tony Harnell will be fronting the band.