A RIDE WITH THE COWBOY
What a year 2018 has been! It's been quite the musical ride this year. We've gained great music, we've lost great musical legends, and we've made memories with loved ones and new family at some great concerts. Here is a list of my favorite albums, live shows, and what I'm looking forward to in 2019.
Before I get to running my mouth to much, let me touch on my favorite cover/single release of the year and a tribute to their injured brother. The outlaws in Scattered Hamlet released the best cover song ever and a soul shaking tribute to the "Irish Thunder" Jake Delling Le Bas. Their rendition of Twisted Sister's "Stay Hungry" is absolute musical genius. They took a great song and in my opinion kept it true to the original, but they put that Honky Tonk Metal "stank" (ask the guys if you don't know what stank is) all over it! The guitar playing by Adam Newell is blistering, Adam Joad sings from the soul, Richard Erwin (have you guys really payed attention to this man play, besides being active on stage he is an incredible bass player, the other guys are incredible musicians too, but I'm a bass player and the man can play the strings off a bass). Sorry, you guys know I can be easily distracted. Dave Vandiggity pounded the skins like a madman in honor of his friend. We are still praying for you Jake!!
This brings us to my Top 5 Albums of 2018. At #5, Megadeth's, Killing is My Business Reissue. Yeah, yeah, I hear the grumbles, "This isn't a new album" (now read that again in a whiny voice). Megadeth is one of my favorite bands so yes a reissue of a definitive thrash metal album in an anniversary year makes the list. Yes I just made fun of some of you, this is my list so hush and keep reading so you can grumble some more. Coming in at #4, John 5 and the Creatures, It's Alive. What can I say John 5 is a fantastic and creative guitarists and is backed by an incredible band. Sliding in at the #3 spot is Sunflower Dead's, Coma. I admit I hadn't heard of them until the Outlaw Queen asked me to interview Michael, and I was hooked. A heavy band with a frontman that has a spectacular set of pipes. My #2 album of the year is Avatar's, Avatar Country. If you have the opportunity to see Avatar live, do it you won't be disappointed. This album proves they deserve to be a headliner. My Top Album of 2018 is Dee Snider's, For The Love of Metal, hands down. I knew as soon as I was asked, with no hesitation. Dee brings maybe his best work to the album with an incredible band, that is a perfect fit for Dee. It is a masterpiece of metal mayhem.
My Top 5 Live Shows of 2018 was a lot of fun and starts with Avatar and Trivium at the Diamond Ballroom. Avatar blew everyone off the stage with a Masterful performance. We also caught former Killswitch Engage frontman Howard Johnson, fronting Light the Torch which was a bonus. Let's just say I wasn't impressed with Trivium and leave it at that. Brothers and sisters of the Coalition take a deep breath and finish my list list you'll understand, I promise. At #4 Texas Hippie Coalition at the Diamond Ballroom. This was my first experience of Rado Romo playing bass with the Band of Outlaws and I loved what I saw! I've seen Cosmic Wool so I had high expectations for him. I met several new brothers and sisters that night and Kaleb became more of a rockstar than his old man could ever dream of being. A trip to the infamous Gas Monkey Bar and Grill to see Texas Hippie Coalition comes in at #3. The Oklahoma Chapter of the Coalition showed us true southern hospitality, much love and respect for y'all! I also had my 2nd face to face with the Outlaw Queen and her husband, the pleasure was definitely mine. What an honor it was to meet Brother Biscuit and his family! Funny, I never met Ray, could it be we are both like little kids that got loose from our parents and are into everything, maybe. We got to hang out for soundcheck and payed our respects to Dime and Vinnie in true Outlaw fashion more thanks again to our Oklahoma brothers and sisters! So what could possibly top that show is what your thinking. I know I would've thought the same thing a year and half ago. I love Scattered Hamlet, they are without a doubt my favorite band.
They are true Outlaw Gentleman and have always been extremely gracious with me and my family. My boys are extremely proud of guitars and drum heads signed by Scattered Hamlet. It broke our hearts when we learned of Jake's accident and I still pray for him daily. To be honest I thought that was the end of the band, and who could blame them if it had been. The day I heard they wanted suggestions for a tribute cover and whispers of a tour, I did the Snoopy dance. My #2 show of 2018 was a 420 Scattered Hamlet show at City Limits in Oklahoma City and the boys stomped a mudhole in me and then kicked it dry. Grant Jenkins seems to be a heaven sent perfect fit. The only thing that could top that is living musical legends sharing the stage. My #1 Live Show of 2018 is John Fogerty and ZZ Top. John Fogerty played the rig he played at Woodstock and a guitar he played there as well. He also played the baseball bat guitar and sounded just like he does on the albums, and his band was phenomenal! He and Billy Gibbons shared the stage and played Billy's new solo album single and I shared this with my sons and brother. The ZZ Top did what they always do and RULED! Seriously is there anyone cooler than these guys on the planet? STOP don't answer, cause there isn't! Texas has an Official ZZ Top Day, which, coincidentally is also my birthday, I do accept ZZ Top gifts on my birthday, just throwing that out there, cough, cough, wink, wink. Come on Brothers and Sisters you know I've got "No Shame".
Looking forward to 2019 I'm excited for all kinds of things that are in the works. At #5 me and the boys are going to catch Metallica on tour and me and my wife are celebrating our anniversary with KISS tickets, (damn that woman loves me). Next at #4 hopefully a Dee Snider show in my area. Coming in at #3 is, there is word that a Megadeth follow up album to Dystopia is in the works.
I can't wait to hear Dave snarl again! At #2 every single family member of the Coalition is awaiting the upcoming Texas Hippie Coalition album after being teased with "License to Kill" and "Moonshine". I can't wait to get my hands on it and headbang with Kaleb. The #1 thing I am looking forward to is the moment I get my outlaw hands on the Scattered Hamlet album they've been teasing work on lately. If anybody knows those guys, PLEASE I need some more Honky Tonk Metal! Also I work cheap as a roadie and security. I'm just kidding or am I......Hey Sweetheart, I'll be back in a couple of months.