Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Ripple Conversation with Wes Ford

They blew us away at the last Heavyfest in Dallas.  Wes Ford and the Foundry we're talking about, who came out with all barrels blazing a molten stew of Texas doom and blues.   So let's talk with Wes and see what makes him tick.

When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkel, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphany's since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears.

What have been your musical epiphany moments?

The first real musical epiphany I ever remember having was when I was about 12 and I was listening to Metallica. I had heard Metallica's music my whole life, because it's what my brother and his friends were into in the early and late 80's. Then at about 11 or so I got into Metallica when a family member bought me my first of 6 copies of the

Black Album that I've owned over the years for my birthday. I thought every other band was crap after hearing it. I was alone in my room one night and I actually "listened" to what they were doing, and then Kirk Hammett started his solo and I said to myself "I'm going to be able to do that one day. I want to play guitar!" There have been many more moments, but I think that's the most important's what made me pick up the guitar.

Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?

Songs for us generally come from me or Scott throwing a riff out there at the start of practice, and ten minutes later we have a song. We've been known to write two or three new songs at practice, 3 hours before a show, and play them all live that same night. We hardly ever come in to practice and say, "alright, lets write some new stuff." It's almost always spontaneous with us.

Who has influenced you the most?

That's definitely a tough one to answer. There are too many bands for me to even begin to write a list, so I'll give you a few people that have. Kirk Hammett-the man made me wanna pick up the guitar in the first place. Jerry Cantrell-one of the best hard rock/metal songwriters I've ever heard, and tasteful as tasteful can be. My Cousin, Jeff Sweet-he was our band leader when I was in school. Instead of a marching band, we had a rock band. He pushed me into becoming better (and could be a real horses ass about it sometimes, haha), and gave me confidence in my abilities as a guitar player. Kris Grimes-he pushed my abilities as a guitar player to the absolute limit when I played in a band with him. I literally had to change the way I thought about the instrument when we would write and play together. The guitar player I am today is largely because of him.

Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?

I never set out, really, to find something to inspire me, it just happens on its own. I rarely ever look at things or people and say to myself, "I'm going to write a song about that. During the writing process, the lyrics that come out will basically depend on whats going on in my life, and the style of riff will depend on the mood I'm
in that particular day.

We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?

We are based out of Dallas, which is a pretty good ways from where I live and grew up. I'm a small town guy. But the North Texas area has a way of getting to people....Maybe it's the heat, haha. I think there's a bit of that "Texas" sound in our music, we can't help it. That ZZ Top on steroids kinda thing.

Where'd the band name come from?

We were throwing around the idea of including my name in the band name, and to be honest I wasn't sure about it...then somebody said Wes Ford And The Foundry, and it stuck.

You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?

This is actually something I'm interested in doing. I would have to say anything that Rob Zombie does, I like his style of film making, and he always has really good soundtracks. Either that or a good old fashioned western movie.

You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?).  You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why?

I think it would be one of our songs, "Can't Tell". The subject matter of the song is pretty dark. The video we released for it is every bit as dark. It's about heroin abuse. Addiction is not always pretty, and there is plenty one can write about it.

What is you musical intention? What are you trying to express or get your audience to feel?

I want to make people think. That's why I tend to write about what's going on in my life. If you write about things that are personal, people tend to gravitate more to it because it's about something real. I want people to get lost in it the way I do when I play it.

Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?

There have been many. One of my favorites was about ten years ago I was playing at a club in Denison, Texas. I was using my wireless that night for some reason. I thought it would be a good idea to jump out in the crowd while I was playing a solo. I jumped off the stage fine, it was the coming back onto the stage part that got me. Instead of walking around the side and getting onstage the "normal" way, I tried jumping from the front. I went down on stage, fell into my amp and into the drums and couldn't get back up. So there I am on stage half on my amp and half on the drums. My bass player Tony would not stop laughing and ended up walking over to me as I'm laying there helpless in this awkward position and starts to dry hump my leg! Everyone in the crowd was pointing and laughing at me.....I never used my wireless again after that night, haha.

Tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans?

Playing live is what it's all about for me. It's a very liberating feeling. My mind races a thousand miles per hour before a show, but the second I walk on stage and put my guitar on, everything else goes away except for the music and the fans that are there for us. They can tell we have a blast playing our music, and it makes it more fun for them, gives them a little bit more to connect to.

What makes a great song?

There's that old saying, "less is more." You can always tell when someone really overthought during the songwriting process. Keeping it simple is often times the best way to get your point across without beating the hell out of the listener. Tone is another big thing. You can have a great song, and if you've got shitty guitar tone, it will ruin the song.

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

"The first song I ever wrote on my own was a sappy love song that I wrote for my first girlfriend. It was your typical three chord same rhythm over and over again kind of thing. I was 15. Eventually I added a few parts to it when I started playing acoustic guitars with my best friend Tony (the same Tony that humped my leg). He loved that song for some damn reason and made me promise to sing it at his funeral for his wife....unfortunately I had to do just that a few months back when he passed away.

What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

"I'm proud of all of it, really. My favorite at the moment would have to be "Can't Tell". It's just a brutal song, with a really cool groove that's a bit different than our other stuff.

Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?

Jerry Cantrell, hands down, is my favorite songwriter. He has never released anything that I don't like. Like I said before, he's so damn tasteful with his playing, and has a great voice.

Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?

Vinyl all the way! You can't beat that sound. I'm glad vinyl is making a comeback. That reminds me...I gotta get a new belt for my turntable!

Whiskey or beer?  And defend your choice

I would have to go with beer. I've drank plenty of whiskey as well, It's just a different kind of drunk. Beer makes me laid back, whiskey makes me want to do stupid shit, haha.

We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?

Well, in my hometown of Savoy, Texas there are no record stores...We have a gas station and a flashing light, that's pretty much it. Population of about 600 I believe. I didn't actually live in town. I lived about ten miles away in the middle of nowhere. Playing guitar or going out in the woods and snake hunting was about all there was to do, until I got my drivers license. But, when in the Dallas area, you can't go wrong with Bills Records and Tapes. I've lost entire afternoons in that place. Nothing like a good old fashion record store.

What's next for the band? 

We've got some new music to go in and record and work on in the next few months. We love playing live, but it's also fun being in the studio and throwing around new ideas. After that, we'll be out playing them live and getting a good read on how people are reacting to the new stuff. After that, sky is the limit, you never know what the hell we are going to do.

Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?

I just gotta say thank you to you guys at Ripple Music for taking an interest in Wes Ford And The Foundry. We are looking forward to what the future brings!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ripple Reggae Round-up- Featuring Midnite, Christos DC, and 10 ft Ganja Plant

It's been quite a while since I did a Ripple Reggae Round-up, but my last article was one of the most popular ever on Ripple.  Seems lots of folks dig themselves a little reggae.  I know I do.  I love the rebellion in the music, the intelligence, and passion, all the while laying over a beat and riddim that allows my ears to cool down after too much metal.

So without further ado, let's look at some of the latest reggae releases that are skanking through the Ripple office.

 Midnite - Kings Bell

As a musician and producer,  Andrew "Bassie" Campbell has been working the Midnite sound  for nearly a decade. In this time of toastmasters, videos, and ballroom rap, the art of the true roots reggae album is at times a lost path. That's not the case here.

Kings Bell is assembled with inspiration over high-energy, well-developed tracks. Vaughn Benjamin's voice channels stellar, melodic vocal trills, with a very cool breath, raspy tone.  Crisp intros with wah-wah pedaled guitar, clean piano, strpng kick drum, and the endearing cymbal crash all combine to make this a true roots reggae burner.  Smooth and melodic, languid and intense.

Reggae in the classic vein and worthy of standing next to the classics.  

Christos DC - Long Road

Born and raised in Washington DC, Christos DC, aka Christopher Vrenios, creates a warm blend of downtempo, Jamaican reggae, R&B, and urban grooves that are ready to entice the ears of  listeners seeking for something more than standard reggae fare.

The fourteen-tracks on this CD feature some down-tempo grooves, jazzy bass-lines, and hip-hop inspired elements, taking the traditional sound of reggae and updating it for a new generation of fans. The album is dripping with groove-induced hooks, like those found on "Lovely Lady," "Just Talk To Me," "Another Day," and many others. Christos has a laid back, breathy vocal style with some strong reggae-ish co-singers fleshing out the sound.

A laid back musical interlude, perfect for the ending days of summer.  Long Road is a sweet musical journey worth taking.

10 FT. Ganja Plant  - Skycatcher

Damn, is this one sweet!

Straight-up, dub-style reggae reminiscent of the glory days of Black Uhuru or even some of the better stuff from Sugar Minott.   Purists, in the best sense of the word, the members of "The Plant" have completed captured the original spirit of 70's roots reggae like few other bands that I've heard.  This album stacks up perfectly next to my best Sly and Robbie's or Israel Vibrations. 

But best of all, 10 Ft. Ganja Plant doesn't just ape the od-school style, they embody it, infusing each song with a damn fine groove and rhythm and top it all off with some excellent musicianship and vocals.  Whether jamming out on some instrumental dub groove like "In the Garden" or bringing it home old school with the smoky vocal "Collect the Trophy" (even jamming some sax into the dub of "Sounding Zone") 10 FT Ganja Plant do it real. 

As authentic 70's dub reggae as it gets and one definitely worth checking out.


Friday, August 29, 2014

A Whovian Tale


Doctor Who is a rock star

Because a girl can't live on rock n' roll alone....

I'll admit it – when it comes to Doctor Who, I'm a bit of a geek.  I read the online synopses of episodes, have animated conversations with friends about who was the best Doctor (For me – Jon Pertwee) worst companion (Peri IMO) and generally sound like a bitter old fuck by repeating, “This isn't the show I grew up with,”

A lot of people following me on social media are surprised at the sudden Doctor Who spam on my twitter and Facebook, being used to romanticized posts about Fast Eddie Clarke.  The truth is, I've been a lapsed Doctor Who fan for awhile, but I first started following the show in the mid 80's.  When they “rebooted” the show in 2005, I very loudly refused to watch it.  There was a younger man in a leather jacket dashing around with over the top special effects and costumes.  Part of the fun in watching the original show was pointing out when an “alien's” wig was falling off or the Dalek tipping over.  Long story short, eventually I caved in, fell in love with the re-vamp but still did the bitter old “back in my day...” mumbling.  (“Christopher Eccleston  was great – dark moody and Northern  – but really, do all the companions have to fall in love with the Doctor?”)

Right now, August 2014 there is a shit-ton of publicity for the new series of the show.  There is a new actor, Peter Capaldi, playing the lead role, and all reports suggest the tone will be darker and closer to the style of the original program.  To introduce the new Doctor and to spark interest in the already hugely popular show, the BBC sent the lead actors on a “world tour” to promote and meet fans ...well..sort of...but I'll get to that.    BBC announced the dates and cities for the World Tour, and slowly gave out information about the technical details, like where  in each city the event would be.  New York was the only American date and I was going berserk waiting for tickets to go on-sale.  They didn't announce the venue until 3 days before the event, and through a series of bad timing and lack of information, I wasn't able to snag a ticket.  Then again, neither were thousands of other Who fans who like me, took to the internet to voice their displeasure.  (My “this is fucking bullshit” tweet got re-tweeted quite a few times!) The tickets to the 1,000 + seat theater sold out in less than 8 minutes. I couldn't even flex my Ripple muscle and reach out for a press pass because I could not find out who to contact.  I'm not here to complain or say anything negative because everything else BBC America has done regarding the show has been fantastic – and I'm sure next time they do something like this it will be a more appropriate venue, like Madison Square Garden!

Day of the event, my friend PM and I take the subway out to the Ziegfeld theater on 54th street.  We got there around 5, about 2 hours before the doors were due to open and there were already hundreds of people lined up outside the venue.  The non-ticket holders like us were relegated to standing across the street and hurling mean epithets at those who did snag tickets. I will say this right now – anyone who is REALLY into something, to the point where they dress up in costumes or get tattoos related to the thing – SCARE THE LIVING FUCK OUT OF ME.  Maybe it's hypocritical given my groupie history, but I didn't dress up like the band members!! And I never got a band tattoo because – not my thing – to each his own – but I always found that level of devotion a little creepy - personally.  You know what though, god bless those fanatics because they keep the entertainment industry going.  So yesterday there were chicks in TARDIS dresses, girls dressed like the Doctor's assistant Clara, and more than one person dressed up like various Doctors.  Almost everyone around us were wearing Doctor Who related t-shirts- like at a concert where you wear the band tee.  At first I was a little intimidated, but I had a nice group of families around me, and we all started talking and they realized I was a little infatuated with the actor playing the new Doctor.  I guess I'm not known for my subtlety. 

A presenter from BBC America came over to us and started asking on camera some routine questions, “What do you think the new Doctor will be like?”, “How do you feel about an older Actor playing the role?” Capaldi is 56, his predecessor Matt Smith is 31.  He interviewed a few kids, then at one point, said “Would anyone else like to be interviewed?” while looking dead at me.  I shook my head, while I obviously had a lot to say, I was too self-conscious about my lazy eye.  But I think I photo-bombed the people who were on camera because I just could not get out of the way. 

About a half hour later, a checker cab pulled up a few feet away from where we were standing and everyone went ape-shit.  It took awhile for me to see what was going on, but it was Capaldi and actress Jenna Coleman who plays Clara, and the show's executive producer Stephen Moffat.  Phones were out, people were screaming, and I could have sworn I was outside a concert venue when the rock stars showed up, not a posh theater where a bunch of actors came for a screening.  If this WERE a rock show, I would have had a clue how to react, who to talk to , how to con my way would have been perfectly acceptable to throw myself at the 6 foot tall gray-headed Scotsman waving at us.

I watched from afar as the actors posed for professional photos across the street and had microphones shoved in their faces.  The crowd around me grew, and my friend PM who at one point was behind me but still in eye-shot, was behind a wall of people five deep.  All of a sudden I felt that warm fuzzy feeling that I was surrounded by people who “got it”.  All we wanted was maybe a photo op with the actors or at the very least, autographs.  The people on the opposite side of the street, the ticket holders, were treated to that, the actors did a walk by and posed for pics and signed a few things.  I got a “PETER” chant started, to get the actor's attention, but he barely glanced at us.  The woman next to me yelled, “We have brownies!” and I said if he came over and she didn't produce brownies, it was on her.  At one point, they tried bargaining for tickets, using me as a sort of sacrifice, “We'll trade you this lady for tickets...” not saying I was totally against that.  I want to say a huge THANK YOU to the woman who handed me a “WHOVIAN” wristband because she was so impressed with my allegiance to the show. 

 Right before the cast went inside, they did do a walk-by on our side of the street.   This was it, my big moment...So what did I do? Screamed “I LOVE YOU!” While jumping up and down like a teenage girl at a one-direction show.  Capaldi looked at me and said “I love you too!”  I got hi-fived and patted on the back by the people around me.  I couldn't help myself.  He totally looked like a rock star, dark sunglasses, skinny leg trousers and doc martens....  But let me just say this, when Peter Capaldi was announced as the new Doctor last year, I went back and did my research on the man.  He is a very prolific actor, probably best known to Americans as the Scottish dude at the CDC towards the end of the Brad Pitt movie “World War Z”.  My favorite Capaldi role is as the foul-mouthed Malcolm Tucker on the British TV show “The Thick Of It” AND....the US made movie of the show, “In the Loop” - which features a brilliant battle of wits between Capaldi and the late James Gandolfini.  Yes Doctor Who arguing with Tony Soprano is PRICELESS. (video below)  Oh – and Capaldi IS a musician of sorts – he was the singer in a punk rock band with Talk Show host Craig Ferguson back in their native Glasgow.  SO THERE.  Rock n' roll connection!  Plus he's been quoted as saying he wants a Marshall stack in the TARDIS so....there you go.

Eventually the actors went inside, the crowd who weren't going in went on our separate ways.  I contemplated schemes to get PM and myself inside the theater but I'm too old for wacky adventures, plus I had to get my sixth cup of coffee for the day and eventually something to eat. But for that one afternoon in New York, Peter Capaldi, Doctor Who, was a rock star, and like many other “WHOVIANS” - I'm really looking forward to his TV debut in the TARDIS on August 23 on BBC America.

Doctor Who on BBC America:

- Rys

Thursday, August 28, 2014

ORANGE GOBLIN's New Album Coming This October; Track Streaming At Loudwire

Candlelight Records today confirms October 7th as the North American release date for ORANGE GOBLIN's new album, Back From The Abyss. Recorded earlier this year in London, the album reunites the band with producer Jamie Dodd. It was mastered at Turan Audio in late July. Back From The Abyss will be available for preorder via iTunes and Amazon beginning August 26th. Fans can begin to preorder the CD today via Candlelight's official webstore and Bandcamp page. is celebrating the announcement with an exclusive North American stream of the album's first single, "The Devil's Whip." Vocalist Ben Ward says, "This song is a real old-school banger stuffed full of riffs, sleaze, filth, and speed... just like the best metal should be! It's Motörhead-style, outlaw-biker rock in all its glory, destined to get heads banging, fists pumping, drinks flowing and asses shaking. If you don't find yourself breaking the speed limit to this song, desperate to find the roughest bar in town, start a fight and spending the night in a cell, then you are quite clearly already dead. Let's ride, let loose, let's rip... that's right, you can't escape 'The Devil's Whip.'" 

Listen now HERE.

Back From The Abyss follows the band's most successful release, 2012's A Eulogy For The Damned, and the recent reissue of their 2007 album Healing Through Fire. Featuring twelve new songs, it delivers the quartets now internationally respected heavy metal. Decibel Magazine calls the band's sound, "maximum riffage and turbo doom." Blabbermouth dubs them, "a big burly bag of rock goodness." Rocking hard as fans have come expect, Back From The Abyss shows not only the band's tried-and-true blues and doom but the high caliber of their musicianship.

ORANGE GOBLIN will kick off the Autumn with a European tour alongside doom legends St. Vitus. Set to begin in France on October 9th, the tour will work its way through thirteen countries before concluding in Germany on November 14th. On the tour's announcement Ward said, "We are extremely excited to be going on tour with our good friends and long-time heroes St. Vitus. Vitus are one of the bands that inspired us to form ORANGE GOBLIN all those years ago and to be able to promote our new album and celebrate their thirty-fifth anniversary at the same time just blows my mind."

American dates in support of Back From The Abyss are anticipated to start early in the new year. Details to be announced shortly.

Together since 1995, ORANGE GOBLIN has released seven full-length studio albums. A Eulogy For The Damned was the band's first for Candlelight Records and closed a five year recording hiatus. The album was supported with the most live dates by the band in their history; touring that saw the band on North America soil first alongside Clutch then on a full-scale headline tour that found them on thirty-eightstages across the US and Canada. Two videos were filmed and released for the album, including "Red Tide Rising" and the special Scion A/V video for "Acid Trials."

Back From The Abyss Track Listing:
1. Sabbath Hex
2. Ubermensch
3. The Devil's Whip
4. Demon Blues
5. Heavy Lies The Crown
6. Into the Arms of Morpheus
7. Mythical Knives
8. Bloodzilla
9. The Abyss
10. Titan
11. Blood Of Them
12. The Shadow Over Innsmouth

ORANGE GOBLIN is vocalist Ben Ward, guitartist Joe Hoare, bassist Martyn Millard, and drummer Christopher Turner. The band are endorsed by Marshall Amplification, Orange Amplification, Fender Bass Guitars, Natal Drums, Meinl Cymbals, Vater Sticks, Remo Skins, Vans, Volcom, Boss Pedals, Rotosound Strings, and Jagermeister.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Interview With The Harp Twins

The Harp Twins are twin ladies who know how to rock! They have played for heads of state and celebrities around the country. But they are true music fans as well as fans of metal! They  perform a variety of Television theme songs as well as covers by such notable classic metal acts like Iron Maiden, Ozzy, and even AC/DC. Not only does their music sound amazing but their videos are equally fantastic visual representations of their passion. 

1. Your cover of Iron Maiden's "Fear Of The Dark" is excellent. It is what led me
to discover your music. Are there any plans to do more Maiden songs?

Thanks so much! “Fear of the Dark” is our favorite Maiden song and we had a
ton of fun covering it! We also recently posted a video for our arrangement of
“Dance of Death” – which was our most elaborate music video to date! We have
gotten a lot of requests to cover more Iron Maiden, so you can definitely expect
more in the future. We have yet another Maiden song on our “to arrange” list that
we think our fans will love.

2. Obviously the two of you are fans of metal music as well as other forms. Name
your top five metal acts.

That’s really difficult, because we have a lot of favorite songs from a lot of
different groups. However, some metal acts that make the top of our current list
are Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbourne, Eluveitie, Angra, and Metallica.

3. Are there any bands that you would like to record with? And perhaps perform
on stage?

Oh goodness, yes! It would be a huge honor to play with any of the bands and
artists we’ve covered!

4. The current wave of metal bands from Europe are Symphonic and female
fronted. Do you ever see The Harp Twins perhaps fronting your own symphonic
style metal band?

We find it awesome that there are so many female fronted European symphonic
metal bands! It would be fun to perform with a rock or metal band some day, and
being able to rock out with a band backing us would be a dream come true. :) :)

5. Playing for presidents and people from all manner of life, do you have any
crazy stories that may have happened backstage or during a show?

One of the things that we most love about performing is that every audience and
show is different. When we’ve played for huge political events, our harps have
always been “swept” by the Secret Service. It was amusing to see the dogs
sniffing around our harps and equipment. One time a few years ago, we were
playing for a church service and the pastor tripped and fell on K during
communion. She and the harp were almost knocked over and there were
communion wafers all over the floor and us. Luckily, we didn’t miss a beat and
the pastor was fine. However, thankfully we haven’t had anything too crazy ever.

6. The Harp seems a little out of reach for the average student in school. Do you
think The Harp Twins could help to change this? Maybe tour some schools to
inspire the younger generation?

We think that the only reason that harps seem “out of reach” is that people tend
to not think outside of the box. Since there are so many people that play the
piano, or violin, or guitar, people can see the potential of those instruments. We
are trying to show the world that the harp can rock just as much as any
instrument and it isn’t necessarily any more expensive than learning any other
instrument. In fact, we recently partnered with Harpsicle Harps to show what can
be done with small, affordable harps. Our most recently video is our arrangement
of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train”, which we arranged specially for our Harpsicle
Harps! ( When we first
wanted to learn the harp in middle school, we worked a lot of jobs to earn money
for our instruments and lessons. We had to show our mom that we were serious
about learning the harp. We didn’t have a lot of money, but we didn’t let anything
stop us from following our dreams. We didn’t believe (and still don’t believe) that
anything is out of reach for someone who is willing to put in the time and effort to
pursue their dreams. We’ve played for quite a few schools for kids of all ages and
that is always a lot of fun! It is awesome to see the reactions of kids to what we
can do with our harps. We definitely think our music is starting to reach a new
audience and we would love to inspire a new generation of musicians. We love
taking the harp where it has never been before!

7. Future plans for The Harp Twins

We’re not sure what the future holds, but world domination by the Harp Twins
Revolution is a definite possibility. ;) ;) We would love to continue to perform on
our harps and act. We love traveling, so we hope our work will allow us to see
the world. The future is full of exciting possibilities and we can’t wait to see what
life has in store.

8. Although twins, each of you has your own unique personality. Name
something about each other that people might never guess...

K: Camille can trill really, really, high. Like ear-shatteringly high in pitch.
C: Kennerly can whistle and I can’t whistle worth beans. It seems like I should be
able to since we are the same genetically!

9. Anything you would like to say to your fans.

Our fans are the BEST and we wouldn’t be where we are today without them!
The support of our fans means the world to us and we are so grateful for each
and every person who supports our music and us. We try to show that
appreciation every day by spending as much time as possible interacting with
them on our Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

That's about it. I know you are busy so take your time. Personally I think your
music and versions of classic covers are excellent. Keep up the fantastic music

Thank you so much for your interest in our Duet Harp Revolution! We would love
to connect with your readers on our
Facebook (
YouTube (
Twitter (
Google+ (
and Instagram (

- Metalrising

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

MOTHERSHIP Confirmed For Brooklyn's UNINVITED Festival

Dallas, Texas-based riffers Mothership have announced a headline slot on the first night ofUNINVITED, Brooklyn's first annual 4-day festival of art, bikes, music and skateboarding that will take place at at Nihil Gallery September 18-21, 2014.

Other bands for the weekend include The Skull, Bloody Hammers, Sasquatch, Lo Pan, Orchid, The Shrine, Electric Citizen, Mount Salem, Lecherous Gaze, Weedeater, Elder, and many more.

This monster 4-day event will turn an empty lot in Brooklyn into a micro community of metal music, motorcycle enthusiasts, skateboarders, and art lovers enjoying the last of the summer wine, and creating a platform for an annual street event set to become a Brooklyn legend.

For tickets to this monster event, head to THIS LOCATION.

For all other info about UNINVITED, head HERE.

Supersonic intergalactic heavy rock trio Mothership based out of Dallas, Texas give a real sense of hope that all is well in the universe, and that pure honest rock and roll has once again returned to this planet on a mission to unite true believers. Consisting of brothers Kyle Juett on bass/lead vocals, Kelley Juett on guitar/vocals, and Judge Smith on drums, these guys have created a unique sound that satisfies like a steaming hot stew of UFO and Iron Maiden, blended with the southern swagger of Molly Hatchet and ZZ Top, paired with a deadly chalice of Black Sabbath. Mothership’s goal from the beginning has been to carry on the tradition of the classic rock style of the ’70s, updated and amped up for the modern day. The band has been non-stop road warriors since the release of their debut album in February 2013 on Ripple Music successfully invading the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Europe playing either on festival stages, night clubs, or outdoors under the sun at motorcycle parties.

The band is set to release their sophomore album, Mothership II, in November 2014 on Ripple Music, and one can only expect more of the same unrelenting onslaught of heavy riffs, head-banging grooves, and mind-melting solos. This heavy rock juggernaut has only just begun their tear across the universal cosmos and have no plans of ever slowing down. Do not miss your chance to hop on board and join Mothership.

For all press inquiries, please contact

Four Quickies

Kap Kap - Flux of Solace

This is a damn good record. One of the best this year. Really. I mean it. It's crazy, it's fresh sounding, it's fun to listen to, it spins and makes circles in the air. Maybe they used magic to make it? If you listen close, you can hear the screams of the innocents used as sacrifices during the recording. But really, I don't want to spoil the fun by trying to describe this, just find out for yourself. DO IT.

White Reaper -

These guys are just a tidal wave of sound. It is fantastic. I've been listening to these dudes for about a week now, and it just puts a smile on my face every time. A couple favorite tracks are "Conspirator" and "Funn." To me, Funn almost sounds like "She's the One" by The Ramones. That's a good thing, even the Gabba Gabba men didn't make this much noise. It's a short album, well worth your time.

Pillar Point -

I get into these moods where I like chill synth pop. During such times I often turn to bands like Suicide (so, maybe synth pop wasn't the right word, or chill, but who's keeping score?), Neon Indian, Kaskade, Portishead, Grouper, and the boys over at Webbed Hand Records. But, lately, I've been keen on Pillar Point. Who is Pillar Point? No idea. I don't tend to do a lot of research on the bands, I just accept things that come to me. Lazy? Sure. This is solid stuff though, nonetheless. Check out the song's "Cherry" and "Black Hole", you'll get me.

Alvvays -

This is a little out of my norm. It's a little on the cheery pop side of things I don't usually go for, but I'll be damned if "Archie, Marry Me" isn't catchy as hell. The singer hits notes in an interesting sort of way. She has a really unique voice. This is probably one of those "you need to listen to the lyrics" albums, but I'm bad at that because words are just music for me. So, maybe there's a lot more to this than just cool songs and good music, but this is one pop album that hits me just the right way.

- Headshot

Monday, August 25, 2014

LEAVE A SCAR: LIVE IN NORTH CAROLINA, the brand new live album from southern rockers BLACKBERRY SMOKE, is out now in Europe


Known as one of the most hard-working bands around, BLACKBERRY SMOKE regularly play up to 250 shows a year and are now bringing one of their phenomenal live performances to their fans around the world to watch and listen to over and over again.

LEAVE A SCAR: LIVE IN NORTH CAROLINA is available now on double CD, featuring 22 live tracks spread across 2 discs and accompanied by a bonus 18-track concert DVD stuffed with extras, including interviews and exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of the band at home and on the road.  The album is also available on 22-track double vinyl LP in a range of limited edition colours exclusively from the Earache Webstore.


The album is also available now on iTunes at

Watch the official LEAVE A SCAR: LIVE IN NORTH CAROLINA trailer at

Don't miss your chance to witness BLACKBERRY SMOKE live in the flesh on their upcoming European tour this October and November:

Oct. 15 - Dublin, Ireland - The Academy
Oct. 16 - Glasgow, UK - O2 ABC
Oct. 17 - Manchester, UK - The Ritz
Oct. 19 - London, UK - O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire
Oct. 21 - Cambridge, UK - Junction
Oct. 22 - Birmingham, UK - The Institute
Oct. 24 - Paris, France - Alhambra
Oct. 25 - Cologne, Germany - Kantine
Oct. 26 - Hengelo, Netherlands - Metropool
Oct. 27 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Melkweg
Oct. 29 - Leuven, Belgium - Depot
Oct. 30 - Mannheim, Germany - Alte Seilerei
Oct. 31 - Zurich, Switzerland - Komplex Klub
Nov. 02 - Nuremburg, Germany - Hirsh
Nov. 03 - Berlin, Germany - C-Club
Nov. 04 - Esbjerg, Denmark - Tobakken
Nov. 06 - Malmö, Sweden - KB
Nov. 07 - Gothenburg, Sweden - Tradgarn
Nov. 08 - Oslo, Norway - John Dee
Nov. 09 - Stockholm, Sweden - Tryol

Get your tickets now at
Get more BLACKBERRY SMOKE news and info:
Official site -
Facebook -
Twitter -

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Ripple Field Trip: Dirt Fest 2014


With more than a decade under it’s belt, Dirt Fest has established itself as one of America’s premiere metal festivals and must-see Summer music attractions in the region. The 2014 iteration sported more than 50 hardcore bands on six stages and was so well run that it was damn near perfect.

Thousands braved the fairly intense heat and humidity to attend, and all of them were rewarded with a well organized, day-long extravaganza of metal, mosh, mayhem and monstrosities. National Rock Review did an amazing job with their involvement and with more merchandise booths, dunk tanks and plushy jousting matches than you could count, there was plenty of fun to be had traveling from stage to stage amongst the attendees.

Heavy hitters like Kill Switch Engage, Gemini Syndrome and Tantric gave energetic, high-quality performances as expected, but for me it was some of the lesser known, intensely hungry bands that really stole the show and personified the spirit of the entire Dirt Fest experience.


1876, a local, Flint, Michigan band was my first stop on the festival map and they exceeded any expectation I might have had going in. Fueled by a raging  youthful attitude and inspirations which include bleeding and bourbon, these guys threw down a barrage of hyper punk ugliness that easily got the early morning crowd jacked up well before most of the acts even had a second cup of coffee. Seek them out.


Next, I had a chance to hang out with Murder FM vocalist and frontman, Norman “The Gnar” Matthew before their performance. Norman is a fun guy. He’s the type of person everyone wants to be around. His eyes grow big and his face lights up with every thought, making you feel special and genuinely connected, and that carries over intuitively into the band’s fiery live show which gets the crowd involved, howling along wildly and experiencing the same kinetic connection that Norman provides personally.

Growing up on the music and showmanship of legendary performers such as Guns N’ Roses and Motley Crue gave “The Gnar” a huge thirst for big drums, big shows and big entertainment, and Murder FM clearly strives to explode with those larger than life concepts every time they hit the stage.

Touring with bands like Korn and the Deftones and hooking up with the iconic Rob Zombie have done nothing but grow the band’s love of the arena atmosphere, and with a string of sexy, rock-metal singles and videos under their spiked belt, it’s not hard to see why fans are eagerly awaiting their new album, “We The Evil”.

Labeling yourself Murder Fucking Music may seem a little brazen, but these guys use their charisma and flair for the dramatic to intimately connect with the crowd to form an organic, moshing mob of blood thirsty accomplices that might very well destroy today’s generic music status-quo right alongside them.

Get in on the bloody action yourself by catching these guys on tour or checking out their latest video on Revolver.


As the sun finally departed and gave way to a nice breeze, I wandered over to see the Dirt Fest finale on the National Rock Review stage from Beast In The Field. Beast is another local Michigan band, and they are well known for their earsplitting, outrageously loud sound and mind crushing, megalithic tone.

I arrived to watch in stunned amazement as cab after cab of 4x12 insanity was artfully arranged to create a veritable wall of silence-damning audio power. 14 cabs in total, forming an epic pyramid of woofer Valhalla that was clearly designed to serve the growing crowd a memorable near deaf experience.

Eventually, Beast In The Field began their set in what I can only describe as an eruption of gargantuan stoner might that choked the night air into submission and throttled the crowd down into head bobbing doom mode.  It’s hard to believe that a mere duo can produce that insane volume of raw sound, but when you see the determination and malice that goes into bludgeoning the drum set and the passionate torturing of the guitar, it starts to make some sense.

Along the way, you get an acute realization that all that raw power is being maniacally crafting into something beautiful and rare and blatant intensity eventually just cannot mask it. Although I wouldn’t dare call it delicate, I would hazard to say that there’s quite a lot of beauty to go along with this beast, and ultimately that beauty gets through- and it's glorious.

Beast In The Field is the only group of the three that has a vinyl release, and, indeed, they have several of them on the Saw Her Ghost label. Each features very impressive occult artwork and each is undoubtedly “holy shit" heavy. Their latest release on vinyl, Lechuguilla, will be available later this year.

Heading out for the night, I couldn’t help thinking back on just what a truly delightful experience Dirt Fest 2014 had been. It was truly a fun and unique experience filled with amazing people and memorable performances from start to finish. I know I will be back, and I hope you will plan to join me there for Dirt Fest 2015.


Photo credits Gerfupelspat, Oldfatbroke

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Revenge of the Quick Ripple Bursts - Featuring Mexico City Blondes, Catatonic Society and the Casket Crew

A quick look at what's been spinning in the Ripple office of late.

Mexico City Blondes - S/T

To my knowledge, only the single "Fade" has been released to the public, but guitarist/songwriter Greg Doscher was kind enough to send me the whole album and let me tell you . . . if you like the laid-back downtempo vibe of "Fade" you're gonna love what's still to come.

Mexico City Blondes is the work of Santa Barbara musicians Allie Thompson and Greg Doscher.  Last time we heard from Greg he was part of the indy-rockers Tripdavon who blew Ripple away several years back.  With that band on hiatus, he's teamed up with angelic, smoky voice Allie to release these stunning compositions of downtempo chill.  Combining Allie's soaring yet languid vocals over perfect beats and instrumentation, MCB have crafted an infinitely listenable downtempo delight.  There was a time when I was really deep into the downtemp world of bands like Kruder and Dorfmeister or Si*Se.  MCB would sit beautifully upon the same shelf as those accomplished artists.  Simplicity and beauty hallmark each song, and when Greg digs into his guitar like on the inspired solo during "Watery Dreams" it's simply a treat.   Allie is a comfortable vocalist with an unmistakable timeless quality to her singing.

If you're waiting for your next favorite downtempo album of the year, it's coming soon.  Meanwhile, check out facebook for updates.

Catatonic Society - Demo-nology

 Rude, raw, and crass.  And damn fucking good.

Ok, enough with the downtempo, let's rev things up, and to do just that we'll start with this blast of old-school thrash/NWOBHM/Hardcore madness from SF Bay Area's own Catatonic Society.  Playing gigs with Ripple favorites Blackwulf, it's damn encouraging to see the East Bay heavy rock scene growing and gaining some serious traction. 

Only four songs here, but there's absolutely no let-up from start to finish in the intensity, power and primal energy of these cats' metal.  Riffs fly like birdshot blasting from a shotgun in hunting season.  Drums explode.  Bass pounds.  And on top of it all are some seriously cool, histrionic vocals that always seem on edge of tipping over into insanity.  

Fans of early thrash and the heavier NWOBHM should take note.  This is just their demo EP, but a full -length is coming soon.  Definitely worth watching.   Free download of EP below.

The Casket Crew - Coercion

While we're on the topic of exploding eardrums.  From Denver, these death and rollers, The Casket Crew have unleashed a monster of metalic mayhem with their CD, Coercion.  Vocals that recently decended to the depths of Hades empire combine with metalic riffing and good-ol rock roots to create one ungodly bastard of terrorizing rock n roll.

One thing I really love is the lack of overusing the blast beats and double kick drum.  Instead, the band riffs with manic intensity but actually creates a groove and let's the song breathe.  Damn, I wish more metal bands would learn to do that.  They're also not afraid to mix things up a bit.   "Bones" kicks off with some very nice neo-prog sequences before the metal bludgeons all within earshot.  Even then, the riffs stay mighty and the groove stays heavy. 

This is my kind of metal.  Heavy as fuck, but still has the soul of rock.   Jump in. 


Friday, August 22, 2014

Blackwolfgoat Set To Release Drone Maintenance

Progressive drone project, BLACKWOLFGOAT, is the solo vessel of guitarist Darryl Shepard (Black Pyramid, The Scimitar, Hackman, Milligram, Roadsaw) specializing in looped guitar movements, building and layering upon each other to create compositions of dense distortion and delicate lines, as well as purely ambient pieces. Shepard's BLACKWOLFGOAT will unleash a brand new full-length entitled Drone Maintenance later this month via Small Stone.

As a precursor to its unveiling, Cvlt Nation is currently streaming second track, "Notausgang." Comments Shepard, "'Notausgang' is a psychedelic guitar freak-out, definitely different from anything BLACKWOLFGOAT has done before. It was inspired by bands like Guru Guru and Ash Ra Tempel, German bands from the late '60s and early '70s who had lots of crazy guitar stuff going on in their songs. And Jimi Hendrix too, there's definitely some Hendrix influence in there as well. It's basically just a straight up guitar freak-out."

Adds Cvlt Nation, "Drone Maintenance invites us into an alternate, futuristic dimension, where we see life through the eyes of a drone repairman, and the music invokes a strange feeling, one of being the last human job on a mechanized planet, but not necessarily in a dystopic way."

Turn up and trip out at THIS LOCATION.

Engineered and mixed by Glenn Smith (Tired Old Bones Ehnahre, Ichabod et al) at his Amps vs. Ohms studios in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the ten-track Drone Maintenance is a quasi-concept album that sends Shepard into the future as a drone repairman, fixing and servicing rogue drones. Musically, BLACKWOLFGOAT's palette has expanded to include acoustic guitar and judiciously applied vocal parts, but the main focus remains the electric guitar itself - without any other instrumentation or ulterior motives, and frequently captured live in one take with minimal overdubs of carefully considered embellishments added to the base layer. Inspired by early-'70s fusion, Krautrock, (Randy Holden's Population II) and suffocating doom, each song could serve as a soundtrack for an as-yet-unrealized film, yet they stand on their own and transduce their own moods. Drone Maintenance urges listeners to leave all preconceptions of traditional music at the door and take an audio journey to places both bathed in sunlight and cloaked in darkness. Additionally, Drone Maintenance boasts another otherworldly creation from renowned artist Alexander von Wieding (Karma To Burn, Monster Magnet, Trouble, et al).

BLACKWOLFGOAT's Drone Maintenance will be released via Small Stone Recordings August 26th, 2014. Preorder your copy today at THIS LOCATION where you can also sample closing track, "Cyclopian Utopia."

Thursday, August 21, 2014

SkyAcre - Sacred Ground

Every once in a while a totally random album strikes a nerve. With me it's usually something that is slightly abnormal yet possesses bits and pieces of several styles that I enjoy to a satisfying level. SkyAcre became that band early last month after I discovered them on Bandcamp.

Sacred Ground hits that sweet spot by combining grungy desert groove, indie rock flair and punky psychedelic rhythm. They didn't send a promo. They weren't asking for attention per say, but the music absolutely demands it. This is seriously invigorating stuff here folks. I've wanted to write up a little some'n some'n for a while but just hadn't yet found the words. Nor did I really, just a bit of rambling here….

The songs typically start out a little easy going from the smooth bass, gentle precise riffs and soft vocals veering into a rather angular post-punkish/mathy direction which scenically captures a panoramic soundscape accessible to even the most audibly handicapped. A heavy western flair lurks within the majority of the record pairing comfortably with the soothingly gruff vocal cries. Mild guitar distortion flashes like heavy eyes baking in a shadeless haze during the mid 1990's. The instruments all come together full circle keeping the band from falling victim to any sort of genre pigeon-holing. The vocals have a convincing tone with a variable volume that keeps listeners at bay.

Songs like "Steps on Sacred Ground" are a perfect example of what I'm getting at. Smooth and sexy opening with a gentle vocal whisper morphing into a haunting fetish of grunge laced fuzzorama.
The band lists a variety of influences on their Facebook profile which are definitely evident including Sonic Youth, Pixies, Nirvana, The Beatles and Black Sabbath. I could argue throw equal parts in the blender; add a little lemon zest and you have yourself a SkyAcre cocktail. Pretty potent stuff and goes down smooth. I'm a fan, bought the CD which came with some swag including a fridge magnet of the cover art, which I have on my fridge right now next to a couple other band magnets I've randomly collected. That says quite a bit right there. Only the best sounding bands are worthy of holding up pics of the kids on the fridge. If they sucked they would not be on my fridge; the band’s magnet that is.

Let us know how you liked it. You did go straight to the link to push play correct? Well, it'd be a lot cooler if you did.

-The Huntsman

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