“Sudden Signs of Grace” is the fourth solo album from songwriter/guitarist Tom Guerra, following the success of “American Garden” (2018), “Trampling out the Vintage” (2016) and “All of the Above” (2014). After a recent experience crafting music for The Yardbirds, Guerra got back to writing songs for himself.
According to Pete Prown, music editor for Vintage Guitar magazine, “With his previous albums, Tom established himself as a fine rock and roll guitarist… ‘Sudden Signs of Grace’ shows his growth and new direction as a songwriter steeped in the Laurel Canyon school of songwriting.“
“Sudden Signs of Grace” contains nine new original tunes including the single "Lover's Time," and two covers: “Streets of Baltimore” as popularized by Gram Parsons, and “Gimme Some Water,” an early Eddie Money composition.
Said Guerra about his late friend Money “When I heard Eddie was sick, I recorded one of my favorite tunes of his and sent him a copy.” Former MTV VJ Martha Quinn, Money's longtime friend, also gave Tom's version a thumbs up.
Longtime collaborator Kenny Aaronson (bassist for Bob Dylan, George Harrison, etc.) said "Tom is a great songwriter. He has great pop sensibilities, and I really like his way of crafting a melody. He is a sensitive and keen observer of the human condition as one will hear in his lyrics."
Several tracks on the new album are tight, 3-minute songs recalling the lyrical and melodic creativity of Tom Petty, one of Guerra’s favorite songwriters. “I always loved Tom Petty’s economical approach to writing and try to live by his mantra of ‘Don’t bore us, get to the chorus’ on these songs.”
Other tracks, including “It’s All in the Skies” and “Just Like the Sun” were inspired by Guerra’s love of nature. “Just Like the Sun” (featuring former Queen/Mott the Hoople pianist Morgan Fisher) begins as a ballad then blasts off into a powerful rocker. The title track, a compact stunner, was written after Guerra heard a preacher proclaiming, “we’re all looking for sudden signs of grace.” They may just find it in this song and in this album.
Recorded prior to the Covid-19 worldwide pandemic, Guerra felt compelled to release it now because “people need music, especially during times like these.” - Peter Gerstenzang, Writer, NY Times
A rock legacy spanning forty years came to an end in 2015 when Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister passed away, having been the legendary front-man of Motörhead and only constant member of the band during all that time.
It’s a legacy that might never have happened, were it not for Lemmy being kicked out of his previous band, Hawkwind, having been arrested on the USA/Canada border for drug possession charges.
That controversy was ultimately the final straw for the other band members and their management, which led to Lemmy being fired from Hawkwind in 1975. He later revealed there were also differences of opinion, both personally and musically, during a 2011 interview with Chicago Tribune: "I did like being in Hawkwind, and I believe I’d still be playing with them today if I hadn’t been kicked out", he admitted in the interview, adding that "It was fun onstage, not so much offstage. They didn’t want to mesh with me".
His new band was formed with former Pink Fairies guitarist Larry Wallis and Lucas Fox on drums. Nevertheless, choosing "Bastards" as their name wasn’t the best idea, according to their manager, who suggested they would never get a slot on UK chart show, Top of the Pops, with such a name. As such, "Motörhead" was chosen instead by Lemmy, as this was also the title of the last song that he’d written with Hawkwind.
Wallis returned to the Pink Fairies and Fox would also depart, making way for guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clark and drummer Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor before any notable success began to arrive over the following years. However, it was undoubtedly the guttural vocals of Lemmy and his individual bass-playing style that provided Motörhead with a distinct and unique sound in rock at the time, even though that style would inevitably be copied during the emerging era of punk rock during the late 1970s.
Straddling the niches of hard rock, speed metal and punk brought increased popularity, which Lemmy and the band embraced.
With a growing army of fans packing concert venues, the band gradually developed a cult following of their own. "Overkill" became their first track to break into the top 40 of the UK Singles Chart, with the album of the same name being their first to find its way into the top 40 UK Albums Chart. "Bomber" was the next single to achieve commercial success, along with the subsequent album and tour of the same name, which brought recognition and new fans from Europe and the US. Motörhead was fast becoming one of the most unmissable rock music acts to see live, packing venues wherever they toured.
Ace of Spades Amongst the greatest hits released by Motörhead over the years, the lyrics covered a wide range of themes, from war to the battle of good versus evil and from abuse of power to the abuse of substances.
However, perhaps the most famous theme was that of gambling, which made Ace of Spades such a timeless and iconic hit around the world and a true crowd favorite at their gigs, with the raw sound matched by a devil-may-care attitude of taking chances in life.
Fans of this track will already be familiar with the Ace of Spades lyrics, which are undeniably an ode to gambling and the thrill of playing card games. In this particular song, it’s specifically the quickfire game of blackjack and hands being dealt, given the terminology used in the lyrics.
Reading up on such terms associated with this most popular of card games, which are covered in the Betway online blackjack guide, will help you understand what Lemmy means by "Double up or quit, double stake or split", with it becoming clear that he’s referring to staking terms in blackjack as he waits for that elusive ace of spades to be dealt.
Released in October 1980, the Ace of Spades single reached 15 in the UK Singles Charts and the album, again of the same name, reached number 4 in the UK Album Charts, providing Motörhead with their greatest commercial success to date.
Now in great demand, the subsequent Ace Up Your Sleeve tour was accompanied by numerous TV appearances, including the iconic British comedy classic, The Young Ones.
Detroit and Back Again Given that Motörhead and Lemmy had originally been inspired by Detroit-based band MC5, it’s inevitable that they too would form a strong bond with the American city, regularly performing concerts over the years at numerous venues.
At the very peak of their worldwide fame, their first show in Michigan was supporting Ozzy Osbourne during his US tour at the Wendler Arena in Saginaw. Three days later, the band made their first appearance in Detroit at the Masonic Temple.
Such was their popularity amongst rock fans in the city, Motörhead made a memorable second appearance at the iconic Harpo's in May 1982, headlining during an American tour of their own. That would be the first of many returns to Harpo's over the years, leaving veteran staff with many fond memories.
On September 12, 2015, Motörhead played their final Detroit gig at The Fillmore, with Anthrax and Crobot as supporting acts, as part of the Bad Magic tour.
Bomber was played for the first time at any live concert since 2012, while Ace of Spades and Overkill were amongst the closing trio on the setlist. Those who attended were treated to another unforgettable show from one of the most prolific touring bands in rock history.
Lemmy departed this earthly plane just a couple of months after that concert, but those who got to see him perform with Motörhead over the years will cherish the memories they have. His influence in the world of rock and the great sound that he left behind as his legacy is sure to be enjoyed by generations of fans to come.
RELOAD, REWIND & RECALL ROCK N ROLL - Swedish glam boogie blue-eyed soul rockers DIAMOND DOGS are back to set things straight!
After the loss of saxophone player and longtime band member Magic Gunnarsson (who died in a drowning accident 2014) Sulo and the rest of DIAMOND DOGS called it a day. They released the album “Quitters & Complainers” in 2015 and went on a farewell tour ending in Oviedo in October together with Iggy Pop.
Since then Sulo’s been releasing 3 solo albums, working with Chris Spedding, Paul Young, The Crunch and the rest of the members been busy with other projects. During this time a lot of DIAMOND DOGS gig requests been dropping in from all over the world and when they found out that 4 of the 10 previous studio albums been out of stock for a long time and wasn’t available as download they started to make a plan.
Sulo & Honk (Henrik Widen), the remaining original members thought it was time to set things straight and release “that” compilation they’ve been talking about for many years. One thing led to another and soon they had a plan and even some new tracks to blend up the compilation with.
“RECALL ROCK & ROLL” (Cargo Records) will be a double album including 30 tracks. 25 old and 5 brand new songs. At the same time Cargo Records will re-release 4 previous albums on Vinyl/CD & download.
DIAMOND DOGS 2019 are:
Sulo - Lead vocals
Lars Karlsson - Guitars
Martin Thomander (ex Electric Boys) - Guitar, Backing vocals
Henrik “Honk” Widen - Keys, Backing vocals
Stefan Bellnäs - Bass
Thomas Broman (ex Glenn Hughes) - Drums
Members of Diamond Dogs also have associations with such fine artists as The Hellacopters, Johnny Thunders, The Solution, The Dogs D’amour, The Nomads, Lisa & the Lips, Ian Hunter and The Crunch.
The Black Irish name comes from a movie called Lady from Shanghai made in 1948 . A film Noir starring Orson Welles ,and his than wife Rita Hayworth . His character Michael O’Hara, nicked names Black Irish , falls for the wrong woman . Salvador Dali did the set designs. A great flick.
BLACK IRISH LINE UP
Paul Barning - lead vocal and Hammond
Matt La Pinta - Bass -vocals -piano - organ
Elliott Moses- vocals - Guitar
Matt Hamann - Guitar - Pedal Steel - Banjo - vocals
James Dylan McCarty -Drums
Steve (Staires ) Nowicki percussionist
As far as the band’s music is concerned , our influences are Americana, Blues, Folk, and from the boom of all that generation and we try to write great songs infusing all that to have a unique sound that comes from a combination of all that and our own musical stamp . Writing is something we all share a great passion for.
I (Elliott Moses) have been playing in bands in Detroit since age 16 , “I’ve seen a lot of crazy things musically happen and been in few bands but this is hands down the best group of musicians I’ve ever had the pleasure to be in the company of .
Thanks to Skip who introduced me to Matt La Pinta and Matt Hamann.“ We started to dig on each other musically, started having writing sessions at La Pinta’s house, and songs just started pouring out!
Elliott Moses with our pal Chris Taylor: Fuzz Fest Promoter
It got to moving so fast that we decided to try to put a band together . So we could play them live. I asked Paul who since the original line up had broke up a few years ago to come in and put some vocals down and everything just started falling in to place.
Dylan McCarty has been my go to for skins for 10 years. He’s a beast on drums but even more so then that is his attention to detail. Steve Nowicki finishes up the on percussion.
Maybe Tomorrow is title of the Black Irish EP and is the title of one of our songs. We are looking for a local label to work with but haven’t found one yet. We are still hoping to find one here instead of out of town . Detroit really needs a fresh Kick in the Ass and we’re that Band!
Heavy hitting blues-infused rock with a Detroit twist! Black Irish celebrates the release of their brand new album at the Magic Bag on Friday, September 28. The doors open at 8pm and tickets are $12 in advance. The Black Drops and Dude kick off the festivities.
Radio Birdman used to mean something...used to stand for something! The band attached concepts like “brotherhood”, “honour”, “loyalty”, and “integrity” to itself while slowly but surely disappearing into the kind of vanity driven and posturing black hole that we used to disdain.
I had just been instructed that I “was not invited to participate” in the upcoming tour to promote the band’s “definitive boxed set” and I was certainly not interested in facilitating the ongoing personal fantasy that the band’s history had been relegated to.
However, the filmmaker Jonathan Sequeira assured me that no one was calling the shots on this project except him! No one had the power of veto…there was no one (and the emphasis was on a particular “one”) running interference.
So, I thought sure…if I’m going to make an asshole of myself at least I’ll be in good company!
Jonathan was circumspect. He never let on what the other guys had to say. He was letting us all reveal ourselves for who we were despite ourselves. He was assiduously objective.
It was crazy timing! Like I said…I had only just “officially” fallen out of favour. It was inevitable and a long time coming and a relief when it finally did. In that culture you’re a bully or you’re a sycophant or you’re simply not in the gang.
I didn’t miss it.
But, it reminded me that it was great being in the gang in the old days. We were comrades, fighting a real and (we truly believed) noble fight. We were different and my new teachers and role models and heroes were patient and tolerant and kind to their young and naïve bandmate.
We were champions of a music that no one else knew about. I learned about all this stuff through the guys and because of my more formal musical training, I had something to give back.
I think that this documentary will capture a sense of that early unity and the genuine excitement that we felt for our music.
I know that the audience felt that, too! I had been in the audience and knew what it was like to be swept along on a tsunami of sound and energy.
In later years I would meet and play with some of the guys who we admired and who we helped introduce into the culture. Ron and Scott from The Stooges, Wayne and Dennis from the MC5. God, I even played in a band that blew Iggy and his band offstage night after night on his first tour of Australia!
I related to them like normal people. It felt like we were friends at the time.
I don’t know if they ever realised how much Radio Birdman did for them. Even before Birdman, Warwick, Ron, and Younger were playing their music in The Rats. I mean…who did that in those days?!
I didn’t really hear any of that stuff until I started hanging out with the guys, even though I’d seen the Raw Power ads and reviews in Time magazine and seen The New York Dolls album covers in record stores back in Canada.
Back at the Birdman “clubhouse” we were always listening to The Stooges, The MC5, The New York Dolls, Alice Cooper, The Velvet Underground, The Rolling Stones and surf music. The Blue Oyster Cult helped up the ante just that little bit!
It was a real education. We were filtering all that stuff through our collective hands and making new music in the process. Those were thrilling times!
And, we were a gang. No one else could join. Everyone wanted to.
We were a gang and an alchemical reaction. I think that the documentary will finally make that clear. I think everyone’s getting a bit tired of that tired lone gunman's attempts at re-imagining the band’s history.
I've been representing Sheldon Kay and his radio show for several years now and I feel like I've know him forever. Our relationship is nearly telekinetic. I try to anticipate his needs... or help him find the words he's looking for... or sometimes we just look at each other and know what we're thinking. It's an ideal business relationship because nothing is more important than communication.
The Rock and Roll Lawyer Show, which celebrates the rockabilly, roots, and other various musical realms, airs every Friday at 6 PM EST on WCXI 1160-AM -- which can be heard on terrestial radio in some areas and streaming worldwide using www.tunein.com or the TuneIn App for mobile devices.
Sheldon Kay is really a lawyer and he's gotta work sometime....
Cheri Clair is the Creative Director and Publicist for Sheldon Kay, The Rock and Roll Lawyer... in addition to being a contributing editor here, booking bands and doing promotion. Episodes of one season of Cheri's own radio show with her husband, 'The Shagg & Cheri Radio Blast', can be heard at www.mixcloud.com/cheridetroit