Woody’s Round Up – Melodic Rock / AOR round up – April 2013


Stuff by Woody

It is with deep sadness that I report the passing of band manager Michael Sunden who passed away after a tragic accident at Rock City in Nottingham. Michael tripped on a few steps and banged his head on a brick wall whilst at the venue watching Saxon; he later died in hospital from his injuries. Michael was currently managing Crashidet and would have been with the band on their current UK tour; he is well known in his native Sweden and has worked with a whole host of melodic rock bands over the years including Houston, Vega, Degreed and Coldspell.

R.I.P Michael.


Tickets are available now for HRH AOR 2! The festival has moved to a new location, which offers bigger venues and more accommodation. So the HRH team have moved the event to the Pwllheli, Hafan y Mor site, which has become the base of many of the organisations Festivals and events. The Festival will now span three days with a small pre-festival warm up on the Thursday evening.


ROARage of Angels have just announced a warm up show prior to their European Tour which includes a headline slot at the first Skyfest Festival in Mansfield. It takes place at Lucy’s Bar in Hednesford on the 12th September. The Rage Of Angels live line-up includes principal song writer Ged Ryalnds (Ten) on Guitar, Al Barrow (Magnum/Pulse) on Bass, Paul Hodson (Bob Catley/Ten) on Keyboards, Neil Fraser (Ten) on Guitars, Joao Colaco on Drums and Danny Vaughn (Tyketto) on Vocals. Support on the night will come from Brummies Daylight Robbery and local Tribute act Journey 2 Toto. Tickets are £10 and are available from Lucy’s



Here are some more details about the Rockageddon melodic rock festival I reported about last month. It takes place at Lucy’s Bar in Hednesford on Sunday 17th November, from 2pm till 10.15pm. The full line-up is still yet to be confirmed be headlining is Shotgun formerly known as Shotgun Messiah, the band features original members Zinny J Zan on Vocals and Stixx on Drums. They are joined by Rob Marcello (Danger Danger) on Guitars and Chris Laney on Bass. Also confirmed are Escape, Chase the Ace and Curran. Tickets are priced at £20 and can be purchased from the Rockageddon website.



One of my favourite acts from the ‘90’s Amaze Me are set to release a brand new album this coming May via the AOR Heaven record label. The Swedish duo of vocalist Conny Lind and multi-instrumentalist Peter Broman released three great albums during the dark days of the 90’s making them extremely popular with the melodic rock faithful and it’s great to hear they are returning to the music biz with Amaze Me! This is definitely high up on my must buy list!


Current Whitesnake guitarist Doug Aldrich’s other band Burning Rain return after a lengthy hiatus with Epic Obsession which is set for release in May via Frontiers Records. They have just released a video for ‘My Lust Your Fate’ and you can view it below.


Brazilian AOR’sters N.O.W who released their latest album Bohemian Kingdom last month on Escape Music have just released a new video. Their video for ‘Leon’s Gone Soft’ can be viewed below; the song was inspired by Luc Besson’s action/drama flick ‘Leon’ – which starred young Natalie Portman and Jean Reno.


After a few delays the new album by Afterdreams Wildfire should be available in May. Check out the YouTube video for their song ‘Mystery’ featuring Prophet front man Russell Arcara below.


The re-issue of the very hard to get hold of Teri Tims album is finally going to get released in May! And it’s about time too, as this has been pencilled in for release for a long time now!


The debut album from Israeli rockers, Chase The Ace’s album Are You Ready has been delayed slightly and will now be released on May 7th. The band has just released a new video for their song ‘California’. Check it out below.


British melodic rockers Escape have just released their new album Borderline. It’s even better than the debut and I can’t recommend it highly enough, check out the album preview below to see what you think!


Unfortunately it has just been announced that Escape singer Stevie K has left the band to concentrate on other projects. He is to be replaced by Rick Chase who has worked previously with Vince in Alibi. A third album is been worked on and the current tour dates are to be rescheduled along with some Festival appearances for later in the year.

There is no rest for the wicked it seems as former Escape front man Stevie K is set to go on a comprehensive solo tour of the UK. No dates are confirmed at the moment, but shows should be expected in August or September. These shows will be intimate one man and his acoustic guitar and will showcase songs from Stevie’s back catalogue and also hopefully some new solo tracks! Stevie had announced a while back he was hoping to have a solo album out in the Autumn and stated it would be full on melodic rock in the vein of W.E.T.


Magnus Karlsson the guitar genius behind the Allen/Lande albums and Bob Catley’s last solo album is set to return for a solo project of his own Free Fall. The album will be release via Frontiers Records in June. It will feature a whole host of guest musicians including Karlsson’s Primal Fear band mate Ralf Scheepers, Russell Allen, Tony Harnell, Mark Boals and David Readman.


Midlands melodic rock legends Magnum are yet again back in the studio recording a brand new album with an early 2014 release date in mind. Magnum are hitting the Festival road for live shows in 2013, but expect the usual full and extensive tour in 2014 to support the new album. In the meantime us midlanders will get to experience a festival season warm up show for Bob, Tony and co at The Robin in Wolverhampton on the 25th July!


French female duo Chasing Violets have their second album out in June entitled Jade Hearts. The ladies caused a real stir in AOR circles with their debut album and I’m not alone in very much looking forward to this new one from them which is also set to include lots of well known guest from the world of melodic rock!


Not technically melodic rock but with it coming out on Frontiers I thought I’d mention the latest Blackmore’s Night album Dancer and the Moon is out in June. The band of course feature’s it’s a namesake’s guitarist Richie Blackmore (Rainbow) and vocalist Candice Night. Also the band is set to play The Grand theatre in Wolverhampton on the 1st of July.


House of Lords guitarist Jimi Bell has a new band and a new album due to drop later this year. Breakwall will have their yet to be titled debut album out later this year on Kivel Records.


Bill Leverty a guitarist we best know from Firehouse is working with a new Classic Rock band called Flood The Engine. You can find details on how to get your hands on their debut album via their pledge page amongst with a whole host of other goodies! www.pledgemusic.com/projects/floodtheengine


Popular Swedish vocalist Jorn will return with a new album in June, Traveller will be released via Frontiers Records. This album see’s Jorn working with Guitarist Trond Holter of Wig Wam for the first time.


Night by Night have just announced they will be supporting Y&T on their upcoming September tour. This includes a show at The Robin in Wolverhampton on the 17th!


The Rock Candy record label have another quartet of re-issues getting the full on re-master treatment. These April releases include Blue Murder’s self titled album, Head East Live, Chevy The Taker and Dark Star’s self titled album.


Houston who caused major ripples with their debut album which saw them tour the UK, play Download and win a whole host of fans with their brand of pure AOR. The Classic Rock AOR darlings will be releasing their second album II via Livewire/Cargo Records at the beginning of September.


Ozzie sleaze rockers De La Cruz have announced lead guitarist Casey Jones will be leaving the band here’s what he had to say about his departure…

“Over the last few months tensions have risen in the DLC camp. Not between any of us as friends, but on a business level due to the growing need for us to spend 95% + of our time on the management side of things rather than engaging with our music, fans and creating new and exciting tunes. I never got into music to make money, get free stuff (although that’s kinda rad), or for the business side of the music industry. Whilst I have learnt a lot about these areas and have gained a lot of skills, I just don’t have fun like I used to. The music has gone. I can now understand why bands fall apart, not due to friendships or rivalry within the band, but because of the immense pressure, stress and somewhat disheartening cutthroat nature of the music industry, the culture and the way it is run by the powers that be. I would rather sit in my bedroom like I did when I was 17 and play guitar for hours on end, having the most fun anyone could in the world. That to me is what music is about, self-satisfaction, creative expression, enjoyment and a sense of escape. I will still continue to make music, I will always be a life long learner and teacher of music. This isn’t a goodbye, its just a new chapter for me, or perhaps an old chapter re-written.” – Casey Jones.”


Following a successful tour with FM and a slot at the first HRH AOR Festival VEGA show no signs of slowing down as they promote their latest album What The Hell. The guys are currently in the process of shooting their next video, which will be for the title track ‘What The Hell’ and there is talk of possible further live shows in June/July.


Anglo-American rockers Legion are hard at work on their fifth album ingeniously entitled ‘V’! The band features the constantly busy Black Country guitarist Vince O’Regan and American vocalist Phil Vincent.


Progressive melodic metal act Royal Hunt have extended their contract with Frontiers Records and a new album is due in October/November.


It seems that when on tour boredom on the road can cause insanity! Here is Jeff Scott Soto and his band mates having a bit of fan creating their own parody of a US show SNL clip ‘I’m On A Boat’, of course the JSS band version is called ‘I’m On A Bus’ – be warned this video contains explicit language…..I’m On A Bus Mother Fooker!


In shocking news over in the Survivor camp it seems Frankie Sullivan has now got two vocalists at his disposal! As we all know a rejuvenated Jimi Jamison was back fronting Survivor and now we learn Dave Bickler, the voice of worldwide smash hit ‘Eye Of the Tiger’, is to back in the fold as well! Oh very intriguing!


corvusCorvus are a new AOR band from Brum, they have just completed their debut album ‘Chasing Miracles’ which they recorded at Arkham Studio’s which is part of the Madhouse Rehearsals complex owned by Shy Bassist Roy Davies. They have also filmed a promo video which I hope to include in next month’s round-up, but for now check out some sound samples on their sound cloud page..


And check out their Facebook page



Hard working British melodic rockers Lost Weekend have a new album out in June entitled Evermore, I have no details at the moment but an album launch live show should be happening in Halifax. The band has just recorded their very first music video for the song ‘Reach For The Sky’ another video I hope to have for you amongst next month’s round-up!


Swedish glam rockers The Poodles have just released ’40 Days and 40 Nights’ as a digital single and it’s available from all the usual outlets. The new album Tour De Force is out on May 17th on Frontiers Records.


You can check out a new album trailer for Laneslide’s recently released album Flying High below. The band feature’s Frank Vestry on vocals and the album is out now via Avenue Of Allies.


Popular British vocalist Doogie White and his band La Paz have a new album The Dark & The Light out on May 27th.


That’s all from me this month, come back next month for more moving and shaking in the world of melodic rock…