Year Of The Tiger – Myles Kennedy


Released                      9 March 2018

Label                              Napalm Records

Producer                      Michael “Elvis” Baskette


Highlights                     Love Can Only Heal

The Great Beyond



Lows                              none (honestly)


Best Lyric                      “I know you’re steadfast in your ways

Never compromise your faith

But is it worth it in the end

To never see my face again”

Blind Faith


“Your conviction, your belief

How could you choose that over me

I still miss you now

God damn, I miss you now”

Nothing But A Name


This solo debut album from Myles Kennedy, Year Of The Tiger, has been eagerly awaited by fans for a very long time. And believe me, it was well worth waiting for.

This solo debut album from Myles Kennedy has me lost for words and over flowing with emotions.

Every time I listen to it, I hear something else that hits home.

Throughout the twelve tracks of Year Of The Tiger, Myles uses his music to channel the emotions he has carried with him for over forty years surrounding the death of his father. (His father was a devout Christian Scientist and his faith in the power of prayer saw him pay the ultimate price for his beliefs when he died   from an illness that medicine could have treated in 1974 – the Chinese Year of the Tiger.)

However, this isn’t a record filled with death.  This is a record bursting with love and hope.

I’m no musician. I’m a music fan and I’m not about to insult the majesty of this record by dissecting it track by track.

Words that have come to mind while listening to these twelve songs are: love, uplifting, beauty, soulful, hope, heartfelt, honest, raw, powerful, poignant and true.

It’s masterpiece. It is also the first record to move me to tears at several points on it’s passionate musical journey time and again.

Don’t listen to me. Listen to Year Of The Tiger for yourself then listen again and again and again…… you won’t regret it.




(images sourced via Google – credits to the owners)



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Brian Fallon and the Howling Weather @ O2 ABC Glasgow 22/02/18


For the first time in 2018, I boarded the 525 to Glasgow last Thursday, chaperoned by Boy Child. We were heading into the city to kick start our musical year at my favourite venue, the O2 ABC.

So, to whom did the honour fall of being my first live band of 2018?

Brian Fallon and the Howling Weather. (Technically, it was support act Dave Hause)

Dave Hause took to the stage at 7.30pm accompanied by his brother Tim Hause and opened his forty minute set with Shaky Jesus. There was nothing shaky about this performance. Dave followed this with C’mon Kid, one of my personal favourites. Both brothers showcased their versatility throughout the eight song set. While Dave primarily played his acoustic guitar, he treated the fans to a display of his keyboard skills during We Could Be Kings. Brother Tim demonstrated his prowess on mandolin and keyboards as well as on guitar and backing vocals.  Together the brothers from Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, delivered a solid support set, rounding things off with a cover of the Tom Petty song, I Won’t Back Down and With You. This energetic set closer had the capacity crowd ready to dance and ready to sing and more than ready to welcome Brian Fallon.

DH collage

Brian Fallon and the Howling Weather ( yes, Ian Perkins is still there as Brian’s right hand man) stepped out on stage to deafening welcoming cheers. Before they’d even played a note Glasgow was showing its love for the boy from Asbury Park, NJ.

The eighteen song set opened with A Wonderful Life from Brian’s debut solo record Painkillers. It was swiftly followed by the even popular Rosemary then the awesome Forget Me Not from the latest album Sleepwalkers. A powerful opening trio that really got the party started.

There are no surprises at a Brian Fallon show. Time after time he plays a solid rock’n’roll show and does what it says on the tin. The set was a wise mix of Brian’s solo songs, a few from The Horrible Crowes, a couple of Molly and the Zombie songs, a U2 cover and one Gaslight Anthem classic. What varies every time are the stories and conversation.  A highlight of the show is watching and listening to Brian interact with the fans. This evening was no different and he seemed particularly relaxed and chatty between songs. Even Ian Perkins, usually silent on stage, spoke!

Highlight songs in the main set were Forget Me Not and Come Wander With Me from Sleepwalkers plus Smoke from Painkillers. Boy Child was delighted that the soulful Etta James made the set. I was slightly disappointed that none of the acoustic favourites made the cut- no Steve McQueen, no Honey Magnolia….. next time, Brian, please.

Glasgow was treated to a premiere performance of Watson from Sleepwalkers. Beautiful song live.

Brian had joked earlier in the evening about encores and basically about how they seem pointless. He said that he’d rather keep playing than walk off stage for a few minutes but if he does that then the fans feel cheated out of an encore. So, to keep everyone happy Brian promised to walk off and back on at an appropriate moment.

After Watson, that moment came and the whole band left the stage. A few seconds later, Brian returned alone and took a seat at the piano. A slight hush of expectation fell over the sell out crowd as they waited with bated breath to hear what was coming. The 59 Sound! What a performance! Stripped back and raw and simply stunning. Truly the highlight moment of the night.  Equally incredible was the crowd’s singing. Beautiful!

How to follow that! Well Brian followed it with a solo performance of See You On The Other Side. Another gorgeous song from Sleepwalkers.

A few moments later the band returned to the stage and were joined by Tim Hause on piano for the final number of the night- a cover of U2’s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For. By the time Brian reached the first chorus, Dave Hause had joined the party and the two vocalists traded verses and choruses through to the end of the song and the end of the show.

Sadly all good things have to come to an end.


An amazing show to start my musical year.

Hurry back, guys!

BF collage 1BF collage



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Sleepwalkers- Brian Fallon


Released              9 February 2018

Label                     Island Records/Virgin EMI

Highlights            Forget Me Not, Etta James and Proof Of Life

Lows                      Her Majesty’s Service and Watson

Best Lyric             “So gimme all your troubles, Gimmer all the spiders in your brains” from Proof of Life


I’ve been listening to Brian Fallon’s second solo record all week waiting to fall in love with it….. and so far it hasn’t happened. That doesn’t mean for a second that this is a bad record. It’s not. It’s a really good listen but it’s a “grower” and I’d say, nine days in, I’m very fond of it but the love I have for Painkillers, his solo debut, just isn’t there …yet.  I think what’s frustrating me here are the numerous British references throughout the lyrics of various songs on this album. It’s like an English tourist board commercial. Yes I get there’s an element of respect being paid to the likes of The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and The Clash but it just doesn’t sit well with me. I miss the “American dream”….. sorry, Brian.

Highlight song for me is Forget Me Not but I wish that the acoustic version had been included as a bonus track option. The acoustic version showcases this song’s versatility and is truly beautiful.

All of this said, I’m really looking forward to seeing Brian Fallon and the Howling Weather later this week and then to seeing him again in July with the Gaslight Anthem for the 10th anniversary of The ’59 Sound.

 Rating                   8/10


(images sourced via Google – credits to the owners)

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My 2017 Musical Highlights….

As 2017 draws to a close it’s time to look forward to great gigs yet to come in 2018 and also to reflect on some of the musical highlights of this year….. there have been a few.

2017 525 12017 525 22017 525 32017 525 42017 525 52017 525 62017 525 72017 52582017 525 82017 525 92017 525 102017 525 11

Happy New Year to you all when it arrives and may 2018 ROCK \m

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Mastodon @ Barrowlands, Glasgow 7 Dec 2017

On Thursday evening I boarded the 525 to Glasgow for the final time this year, suitably chaperoned by Boy Child and FB Son.

And who were we going to see?

Well, we were heading for the “iconic” Barrowlands to see Mastodon. (Sorry, it really is a bit of  a dump)

I have to admit the walk from the Central Station through the city centre was very pretty. Very festive! Lots of twinkling lights and the occasional giant reindeer but the twinkling lights we sought were the huge neon sign at Barrowlands. You really can’t miss it!


After a chilly half hour of queuing, we were all relieved to see the doors open and, after a very thorough security search, were finally allowed up the stairs to secure our rail spot for the evening.

First band to appear onstage were Russian Circles, an instrumental trio based in Chicago. They had obviously brought a small core group of fans along. To our left, there were about a dozen guys totally absorbed in the entire half hour of metal shoe-gazing musique. They were like a row of dipping birds, which prompted an uncontrollable fit of the giggles from yours truly . ( Watch this and you’ll get the idea  )

As for Russian Circles…..well, I’m going adopt the Thumper Principle here “If you can’t say nuthin’ nice, don’t say nuthin’ at all.”

Russian Circles Collage

Red Fang were up next. Again, another new band to me but sadly again they missed the mark for me. Don’t get me wrong, these four guys from Portland Oregon played a solid support set and were an immense improvement on Russian Circles but it just didn’t cut it for me. Boy Child described them as “Dad Rock”. Wiki describes them as “stoner metal”. In reality, they are most likely a mix of both. Check them out if you’re curious. In their favour, they got the capacity crowd wakened up and eventually revved up ready for the arrival of Mastodon.

Red Fang collage

Mastodon took to the stage shortly after 9:15 amid a sea of pulsating green lights. Almost instantly a huge chant of “Mastodon! Mastodon!” went up as the band eased into their seventeen song set with The Last Baron, from their 2009 opus Crack The Skye. Brent Hinds obliged with the opening vocal chores. The tempo was swiftly upped by Sultan’s Curse, from their current album Emperor Of Sand, and Divinations, also from Crack The Skye.

I’m going to be honest here, I’m not overly familiar with Mastodon’s earlier albums but I do like Emperor Of Sand. In total, six songs from it found their way onto the set list.

Ancient Kingdoms, from Emperor Of Sand, was up next and if nothing else showcased Mastodon’s stage set up and lighting. Six tall narrow LED pillars stood like ancient columns across the width of the stage. Together with the multitude of spotlights, this made for an impressive backdrop. The spotlights also highlighted the constant stream of crowd surfers being passed out from the huge mosh pit. (Yes, Boy Child and FB Son had by now disappeared in that direction)

Mastodon are somewhat unique in that all members of the band fulfil their fair share of vocal chores. It’s also the first time I’ve known the drummer to be the main vocalist. Nice job, Brann Dailor.  All four members have a distinctly different style and stage presence.  There’s Brent Hinds who wouldn’t look out of place in The Hobbit or Game of Thrones and the military sergeant look of Bill Kelliher. For me, I think my vote goes to bassist Troy Sanders. Loved his performance all night.

Highlight song of the set for me personally was Show Yourself. Perhaps a little more commercial than some of the music on offer but it sat well  and held its own in one of the heaviest sets I’ve heard.

Another highlight was Roots Remain. Hard and heavy and loud!

Here, have a listen for yourself

Mastodon rounded off the evening as hard and heavy as it gets with Mother Puncher (quite apt as it was shortly before that that drunk in the crowd caused a bit of aggro and I unfortunately found myself on the receiving end of a punch), Stormbreather and finally Blood And Thunder.

Brann Dailor emerged from behind his drums to thank the fans for coming out. He stood chatting to the crowd long after his band mates had departed, then tossed his used sticks into the crowd and bade us good night.

Less chat and perhaps we could’ve had a short encore…..just saying….

A great night of LOUD music to end the year on.

Mastodon collage 1Mastodon collage 2Mastodon collage3


I do need to give a shout out here to the security guys at Barrowlands. I’ve never seen so many security guys lining the front of the stage but those guys did a great job all night. Crowd surfers were being passed out from the audience all night thick and fast and they handled the brilliantly. When the guy caused the minor spot of aggro beside me, one of the security guys came over afterwards to check I was ok, a gesture that I really appreciated. (I was perfectly fine) For the first time at the end of a gig, I called one of them over and thanked him for their efforts. Sweat was pouring off them all. He smiled and thanked me, promised to pass it on to the others and commented that it was rare for fans to acknowledge the effort they put into keeping everyone safe. Just proves a simple thank you goes a long way.

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The Cadillac Three at the O2 ABC Glasgow, 20 November 2017


For the second last time this year, I boarded the 525 to Glasgow on Monday night, chaperoned by a somewhat reluctant Boy Child. We were headed to my favourite venue, the O2 ABC, and, much as he loves it too,  the prospect of an evening of country/southern rock wasn’t really doing it for him.

The fact it was raining didn’t help….

So, who were we braving the elements to see? The Cadillac Three from Nashville, Tennessee.

We joined the rapidly growing queue outside the venue (gotta love Boy Child’s O2 Priority) around 6.30 and we waited….and waited. Doors were due to open at 7pm….. 7pm arrived and the doors remained tightly shut. So we waited…and waited. A few minutes later a member of the venue’s staff came out to apologise for the delay, explaining that they were running behind schedule and were still finishing off sound checking.  Didn’t these guys realise it was cold and wet out there!

Eventually we were allowed to enter..hallelujah!

There was only one support act for the evening – The Brothers Osborne from Deale, Maryland. Accompanied by their touring musicians ( not sure it’s fair to say backing band), TJ and John Osborne almost instantly had the growing (damp) crowd on side. It was clear that a lot of their fans had braved the rain to arrive early to hear their set. Personally, I felt they suffered a little from a lack of interaction with their fellow musicians. Don’t get me wrong, their seven song set delivered the goods and they did a sterling job as a support act but there was something missing for me.

John Osborne cuts a striking figure in his Stetson and the pair share the spotlight fairly. There’s a lovely warm tone to TJ’s vocals but the lack of warmth on stage detracted from it for me.

The Brothers Osborne rounded their set off with It Ain’t My Fault from their album Pawn Shop and had achieved their objective for the evening – everyone was singing and clapping along.

TBO collage

Suitably warmed up and dried off (there was a distinct whiff of dampness in the air), the capacity crowd patiently waited for TC3 to take to the stage.

The sell out show was the final date in their Long Hair Don’t Care tour and their final show of 2017.

The lights dimmed, blue light swathed the stage and their “Pulp Fiction” intro tape played as TC3 took to the stage. With a little flourish, TC3 paused then opened their set with fan favourite Peace Love And Dixie. Every toe in the room was tapping and, by the first chorus, the fans were in fine voice.

There’s no frills with these boys from Tennessee. No tricks. Nothing fancy just good honest, live, southern/country rock and beer! First time I’ve seen mic stands with cupholders for beer. Brilliant!

I also don’t think I’ve ever seen a front man change guitars as often as Jaren Johnston does. It’s an impressive collection!

TC3’s twenty one song set covered almost their entire catalogue of music.

They pulled out all the stops for this final show of the tour, playing a brilliant version of Hank And Jesus from their current album, Legacy, Bury Me In My Boots and Drunk Like You.

Mid-set, Jaren slowed things down a little, explaining to the fans that he was really looking forward to getting home to his wife and baby son, before dedicating the beautiful Running Red Lights to her. Love this song!

TC3 followed this with the fantastic I’m Southern and I’m Rockin’. We sure were!

Next it was lap steel maestro Kelby Ray’s turn to shine as he played an impressive solo, including the intro to ACDC’s Thunderstruck. Stunning playing! What struck me as nice here was that his band mates didn’t stray too far off stage at this point but hung about watching him. Jaren, beer in hand, wandered back on stage and sat down at the side to listen. It was heart warming to see this show of TC3 brotherhood.

A couple of songs later, TC3 slowed the mood down to deliver a solid version of the sultry Take Me To The Bottom. Smouldering…

One of the highlights for me was Dang If We Didn’t, also from Legacy. I’ll confess, this song has been my guilty “in the car alone singalong song” for the past few weeks. From the passionate singing by the Glasgow fans, I’ve perhaps not been alone in this! Great live party song. Awesome stuff!

White Lightning and Days of Gold rounded out the main body of the set.

After a short break, TC3 were back out for a two song encore comprising of American Slang and The South.

By the time TC3 left the stage for the final time for 2017 we were all from   The South at heart.

TC3 col 1TC3 col 3TC3 col2

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The Kentucky Headhunters at the O2 ABC2, Glasgow 10 Oct 2017


Last Tuesday evening, I boarded the 5:25 to Glasgow accompanied by a new victim…sorry chaperone…. Let’s call him Mr A.  Much to my amusement, he commented several times that he was “scared, very scared.” I’ve no idea why! Lol

We were headed to perhaps the smallest show in my gig calendar this year. We were off to see The Kentucky Headhunters at Glasgow’s O2 ABC2, the tiny wee room.

When we arrived at the venue…have I mentioned before that the O2 ABC is my favourite venue?… there were two distinctly different queues forming. To the left was the longer queue for Gary Numan. To the right was the shorter more eclectic queue for the Kentucky Headhunters.

Shortly after seven the doors opened and we headed upstairs and into the dimly lit ABC2. Maybe Mr A was right to be afraid? Hee hee….

There were three bands on the bill for the evening. The first up were The Swamp Born Assassins, a local Glasgow band. These guys apparently have a loyal following of “Swampers” and the room was already filling up rapidly. They delivered a “swampy” set. The sound wasn’t the best to be honest. I’m not sure whether they were trying to channel their inner Delta blues vibe or where they thought they were going. It all seemed a little sloppy and rough around the edges for my personal taste but the “Swampers” behind me seemed to appreciate it. We’ll chalk this one up to experience.


Next up were Bad Touch. I’d seen these boys from Norfolk support the Headhunters last year so had high expectations.

Bad Touch didn’t disappoint! This quintet sound so much better live than they do on CD and they sound pretty damn good on there too. They delivered a solid support set, encouraging the fans to cheer for the headliners and politely thanking the Headhunters for having them out with them again.

Highlights for me personally were 99% and Wise Water. Front man, Stevie Westwood, revealed that the Headhunters had asked that they add a song back into their set for the evening. Curiosity aroused, I waited with bated breath to hear what was coming next. Cue an awesome rendition of Whole Lotta Love before Bad Touch rounded things off with The Mountain. Eargasmic!

Almost as an afterthought, Stevie announced that it was guitarist, Seeks’ birthday, prompting a roudy rendition of Happy Birthday to the grinning birthday boy. Where was the cake???

Great set! Loved it! And, yes, Stevie, I still have complete hair envy!


It might have taken the Kentucky Headhunters some thirty plus years to reach Glasgow, Scotland as opposed to Glasgow, Kentucky but these guys are making up for lost time. The four Southern rock giants may be older than your average band playing only their second UK tour but boy do they pack a punch! From the smile on Greg Martin’s face and the impish grin displayed by Dan Phelps, they were enjoying their return to the ABC2 almost as much as the fans.

Their all too short set (circa 80 minutes) covered tracks reaching back to their early days. Wearing his omnipresent shades, Richard Young told tales of how most of the songs came about, reminisced about their late friend Johnnie Johnson whose songs featured on the Meet Me In Bluesland album and, of course, reminded the crowd of just how proud they were of those youngsters, Black Stone Cherry. (Richard Young is the very proud daddy of one John Fred Young)

Watching Headhunters’ drummer Fred Young execute his drum solo, its clear to all  just who taught John Fred Young all he knows! Where does this man get his energy from? He’d put drummers half his age to shame with the energy and power of his performance. Superb!

Fans enjoyed Headhunters favourites Dumas Walker and Wishin’ Well amongst many others. They were treated to rousing renditions of classic tracks Davy Crockett, House Of The Rising Sun and my personal favourite, Spirit In The Sky. Love it!

Sadly all good things have to come to an end. To bring the evening to a close, the Headhunters were joined on stage, same as last year, by the boys from Bad Touch to bring the evening to a climax with a crowd-pleasing version of Hey Jude. Na na na, nananana, nananana, Hey Jude!

Hurry back, boys! And, judging from the smile on Mr A’s face and the twinkle in his eyes, he may be back on the rail with me next time too!



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