SweetKenny" Sutton will release his fifth original solo album "Doo Hickey" on March 31st! (Well, his sixth if you count last year's best-of compilation.) As revealed on his various online pages, including the album's page on his website, the album will see Ken teaming up with Detroit-area guitarist Scott Schroen (of The Ugly Radio Rebellion), who he has worked with on past material, but Ken will handle some guitar parts along with all other instruments. Sound-wise, Ken revealed that this will have "the Detroit rock sound", the sound of Sammy Hagar meeting The Doors, and a progressive rock feel, which all sounds intriguing added up! Scheduled to be released through his independent label Waterfall Records in just under two weeks, the full album (which is of EP length with only 6 songs) can be heard for free at this location, but it WILL be available for sale on the 31st through online music sites such as CD Baby, iTunes, and Amazon, presumably for 99¢ a track or $5.94 for the full release.
With a streaming copy available online (and with Ken sending me an advance copy), I'll confirm right now that "Doo Hickey" will be the subject of this month's CD review at the SMS! It'll be our first Sault Michigan review since last summer, and as a result, I've tentatively bumped our review of Woods of Ypres' "Independent Nature 2002-2007" to next month, likely close to the Juno Awards for obvious reasons. Stay tuned by March 31st for our review of SweetKenny's newest album, and for more updates soon!
Next up, here's the latest updates for next month's Rockstar Bar Battle of the Bands! Firstly, a fifth band has announced their participation in the battle, that being newer local punk trio The Northern Tragedy, as per their Facebook page last week! No strangers to The Rockstar Bar, they were most recently there on February 1st, but how will they do in their first ever battle? Singer/drummer Terrence Gomes is no stranger to local battles of the bands either, as he competed at the Algoma University Battle in 2009 with Creedon & The Animal Detectives, and at last year's Battle For The Blood with the recently-dormant Changing Waves. Can he build on their finishes with The Northern Tragedy next month? They'll join the previously confirmed Bear Hunters, Giwakwa, Haggith, and Suicide Kings on the lineup, along with four or more bands to be announced, but if your band hasn't registered yet, time is ticking, as the deadline to register is TODAY. There are still limited registration forms available at The Algonquin Hotel/Rockstar Bar and The Rad Zone, so if you've been stalling, undecided, or busy, you have limited hours to register your band! For full details on entry fees, sign-up details, and more, click here, and ENTER A.S.A.P. BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!!
Within the next two weeks, full information on the competitors and schedules should be announced, and for attendees, remember that tickets cost $3 a night, $10 for the finals on April 24th, and prizes include studio time, cash, and opening slots at some big summer concerts! Check the above links for more details, and for undecided band members, REGISTER TODAY!!!!!!!
Finally for today, here's NINE recent shorter news stories and updates, which we did on a similar scale in November due to a build-up of smaller news items. As usual, these are in alphabetical order by band, artist, group, venue, newspaper, or photographer name:
- Local photographer Brian Tremblay is doing another installment of his "So You Want To Be A Rock 'n' Roll Star" photo series, and he's looking for local musicians to be featured. Yes, the series has included hard rock artists in the past, including alumni of Late & Loud, Turner Up, and That's Chester, examples of which you can see at this link. If you're interested in taking part, contact Brian at (705) 942-5419!
- A status on Central Algoma death metal band For All That Is Lost's Facebook page that indicated that they'd split with bassist Ben Deslauriers was posted last week, but as far as I can tell, that has since been quietly retracted. I figured I'd mention it in case anyone read the same, but regardless, it's good to know he hasn't left F.A.T.I.L.!
- Local grunge quartet Haggith have announced that they have new t-shirts available to buy through their online store, and to that end, they're hoping fans will be decked out for their Rockstar Battle of the Bands appearance(s) next month! Plus, they're hyping a special set prepared just for the battle, so visit their store above for more information and to buy some new band merchandise!
- A Facebook group named "Juno Beards" was recently started by local photographer Chris Cartwright, with the aim being to grow your beards out until the Juno Awards on April 20th-21st in honour of late Woods of Ypres frontman David Gold, as they're of course nominated for Best Metal/Hard Music Album this year, and David was known for growing giant beards during tours and long band activity. Sounds like a great idea, and I'll take part! Hopefully it picks up steam!
- Local progressive rock quartet Machines Dream (featuring ex-Gates of Winter keyboardist Brian Holmes) are the first confirmed opening band for Toronto alternative hard rock quintet The Rabid Whole's headlining date at The Rosie on April 11th! My source is the show's Facebook event page. This may seem a bit odd at first, but Machines Dream are loaded with talent, and they don't play live much, so don't miss them next month, and stay tuned for more show updates!
- Monkey's Uncle bassist Nathan Switzer uploaded a new guitar riff idea onto his personal Soundcloud page three weeks ago, and it's a very cool 25 second technical snippet that calls to mind his older original projects! No word yet on if this is part of a relaunch of his full solo project, but I'll keep you guys posted, and check out the riff sample above!
- I've changed the link for The Rockstar Bar in our Sault Ontario concert venue links, as their old website was closed at some point (I think) last year, though I'm not sure if it was closed intentionally or had an expired domain name. In it's place, I changed the link to their still-active Facebook group, so join up for updates at bar events & concerts!
- This might just be needless speculation, but last week's issue of the Sault This Week newspaper did not have a Hot Spots section, which is generally where bars & concert spots can advertise events, shows, and specials. It has shrunk in recent years, but I hope they haven't axed it permanently (or I just misplaced a page), as it can be a valuable resource for citing concerts and weekend 19+ events, but we'll have to see if it's in today's issue!
- Prolific local metal musician Jonathan Tiberi's solo project The Soviet Space Program has uploaded a new track to their Reverbnation page! Named "Cold Shot", it's a classic metal instrumental, and it mixes some solid riffs and melodies, but it does feel unfinished, Good stuff though, so give it a look at the above links!
That's all for today, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews tomorrow, including at least one new show announcement! Thanks everyone!