Tag Archives: Rival Sons

Thunder Bay Arena Rocks Top 10 Music Picks for 2019!

This year I thought I would post my Best of Lists a little early. When I think back to the last 12 months of music it was the year of massive reissues of bands like R.E.M/STP/Whitesnake with 2 Reissues!!/Sloan/Def Leppard/Skid Row and the list goes on and on.


Some bands and artists put out some new cool quality stuff so hopefully, you may check out some of these acts and artists to see what I dug in the year 2019. Feel free to post your picks in the comments below!

Here we GO!

1-Tom Keifer-RISE: Well looky, looky here. Is it 1989? No way folk’s it’s 2019 and who saw this coming? Tom Keifer shakes it and doesn’t break it as he delivers a solid blast of  CinderRock over 11 tracks that fuse all the old school elements of Cinderella while cementing a future in a really cool current sound that I hope the Keiferband will continue to follow. My favorite release this year, Congrats Tom! You have no idea who the Hell I am but I dig your album.

2-Big Wreck- …but for the sun: Guitar wizard Ian Thornley is back in a big way Folk’s as he cranked up the amps and cuts loose over the 12 tracks on this album.  Ian’s singing/guitaring and writing on this album is phenomenal as well as the two other fellas who helped him out on this as well! Kudos to Dave MacMillian and Chuck Keepling. Locomotive is one unbelievable track!

3-Rival Sons- Feral Roots: Rival Sons basically took over crap rock radio in Thunder Bay with the single Do Your Worst and on this album, the band, and producer Dave Cobb stepped up and kicked down the walls on this opus. Big Loud Fuzz Guitar Rock! How about the drums on Back In The Woods!

4-Carl Dixon- Unbroken: You want a straight-ahead hard rock album with a throwback sound to the roaring ’80s with some fantastic catchy driven rock. Than Unbroken is for you! 11 songs in the Hard Rock AOR spectrum that are pure Gold! Carl’s the definition of Rock n Roll survivor!

5-Jared James Nichols-Black Magic: Jared showed up one night this past April here in Thunder Bay opening for John5 and sizzled mine and Tbone’s brains into mush! JJN is a must-see live as he nails that heavy blues power trio format to a T. This guy is that good live and Black Magic is a stellar album that features all the fine trimmings that Mr. Nichols possess. Watch for this dude in 2020!

6-Page 38-Burning The Midnight Oil: These 4 young fella’s hail from my hometown Thunder Bay and this 5 song EP kicks serious ass. Page 38 came across my radar when they opened for and kicked to the curb ‘Cranky’ Anvil back in May of this year. I quickly scooped up the EP from iTunes as you should do as well! Love the tune Mama June! Click the video below and support our local Boy’s.

‘At Mama Junes, back door liquor store
She got what you want, couldn’t ask for more
Knock three times, 20 under the door, forget what you know
At Mama Junes, back door liquor store ‘

7-Whitesnake- Flesh and Blood: An album I had zero interest in until Ladano and John Snow got into my noggin about how good it was. They were right. Coverdale wrote a batch of tunes with Reb Beach and together they slid out 14 good rock tracks especially Hey You (You Make Me Rock) Plus add the two reissues this year of Slide It In and Slip of the Tongue.  Cov has been one busy dude! All hail the old guy!

8-Sammy Hagar & The Circle- The Space Between: Speaking of an old guy. Crazy to think that Sammy is 71 and has been doing the Rock thing for 5 Decades! That’s longevity in the truest sense. Sammy  with his good pal Micheal Anthony along with Vic Johnson and a drummer whose last name is Bonham released a pretty decent rock record in 2019. Concept album none the less about Greed and Corruption. Trust Fund Baby is a great track and as well the production on this album is old school sounding. No Polish and that’s a good thing.

9-Motley Crue- The Dirt: Never been big on soundtracks but The Dirt soundtrack interested me for some reason or maybe I was bored that week it came out. Dunno but when Tricky Sixx and Tommy muster up some new songs with Bob Rock I’m onboard. 4 new songs 3 of which are originals are ok but the cover tune of Madonna? Ummm. Whatever, still though when you dump a bunch of tracks off the first two albums (Too Fast For Love and Shout At The Devil) the sucker in me will always bite!

10-Sean Kelly-Touch Me: All round Great Canadian Fella Sean Kelly when not playing guitar/singing/songwriting in a bunch of bands (Coney Hatch/Alan Frew/Lee Aaron to name but a few) reactivated his old band Crash Kelly and put out a doozie of a track titled Touch Me which is a Glam Rockers delight. Think Cheap Trick mashed up with The Sweet.  This is Ear Candy. I think we need a full album, Mr. Kelly!

Check back here in a couple of days for another Best OF list with a twist!

dEKE’s Top 5 Studio Album’s Of 2016…



Special New Years Day Post On What I Consider The 5 Best Albums of 2016……

1- THE CULT/ Hidden City…Hidden City was released in Feb of 2016 and what can you say but that Ian Astbury/Billy Duffy/John Tempsta and Bob Rock (Producer) put out a Masterpiece of Epic proportions! 12 Songs of Excellent Craftmanship where you find the King Of Street Rock  Riff’s Mr Duffy plying his trade of excellent Guitarmanship molded with Ian and his lyrical mysticism driven forward by  the Rhythmic Antics of Tempsta on the drums! Rock in the producers chair Let’s The Music Do The Talking! Have to add that Avalanche Of Light is in my estimation the Best Rock Track Not to released as a single this year! Travesty! Of course Wolfchild and Duffy showing up to play this past July in Thunder Bay also helped matters as they went 5 Tracks deep from Hidden City Live proving that if you call Wolfchild and The Cult  an Nostalgia Act. Ian will punch you in the Fuckin Throat! Ya-Yuh!

2-METALLICA/Hard Wired To Self Destruct…Too be honest I did not see this one coming in at Numero 2! I bought into the Hype and preordered it through iTunes and they quickly dropped 3 tracks Stat! I listened to them but I’m still old school as I like to hear the album in its entirety! Once it was released Hard Wired was an absolute beast of an album as Metallica did it the right way. The studio tracks to me harken back to Tallica’s And Justice For All period mixed with a blend of Sabbath at some point. The  Deluxe Edition is superb as well. They included cover song’s(Rainbow/Deep Purple/Maiden) and  a live show this past year where they only play tracks from the first two albums in their career ( 1983’s Kill Em All and  1984’s Ride The Lightening) James Hetfield man on this live recording inner channels his early 20’s and his singing is so good its crazy. Also if you are looking for a Crash Course on  James  rhythm guitar playing look no further than the live tracks on the left side of your headphones!  The blog community went nutso with same day release reviews by Mikey/Aaron and Bop! That’s how pumped with excitement people were. Even though Metallica are multi millionaires at least they still have their ear to the street and can give all us Blue Collar Peeps an album worth the money!

3-ALTERBRIDGE/ The Last  Hero….Myles Kennedy is one of my favourite rock singers under the age of 50! Haha! Everyone talks about his vocals but the man can play the 6 string as well. Speaking of the 6 string Mark Tremonti plays Metal Riffs and mixed with Myles vocals AB put out stellar product that charges out of the gate with opener The Last  Hero and doesn’t let up! Alterbridge shift all kinds of musical horizons but don’t puss out as the album can go head to head with anything out there currently! Just read that Myles and Mark recorded a bunch of this album playing 7 string guitars to give a bit more of a punch sonically ! Punch I got!

4-MONSTER TRUCK/Sittin Heavy… Reader HMO will be glad to see some CanCon in here and it’s by Monster Truck which is band that can rock a Hammond organ like no other  mixed with a dose of Heavy Devy Rock. Big Rock Riffs/Slick Songs/Great Vocals all blended  with the best elements of Skynyrd/Alice In Chains/Sabbath and you have a winner! Caught these guys Live here in Tbay back in March along with Tbone and our Asses were kicked. Even Tbone opened his wallet and shelled out for Sittin Heavy(That’s saying Something)! Anyone reading this that has the Truck come through their town Catch Em Live! You will not be disappointed! Don’t Fuck With The Truck! M.T say that…not me! But I wouldn’t mess with these guys!

(Two way tie for )5th-RIVAL SONS/Hollow Bones…..For sure they are going to be here! Why not? Rival Sons add 70’s Fused out Blues rock and mix it up with a current sound. It helps when you have Scott Holiday on guitar who is an absolute beast on the 6 string and you want a ton of Fuzzed up cool riffs? Look no further than Mr Holliday! Jay Buchanen has a real smooth rock voice which at certain times reminds me of Paul Rodgers! Ok. Jay and Myles are my two fav singers under the age of 50! Rival Sons keep putting out solid product. They have never let me down!

5TH- Toque/Toque….Crazy that I would include an album filled with cover versions by Canadian Artists! Toque rock’s  as they toss out 12 Canuck fav’s from yesteryear and update the sound with a singer(Todd Kerns) who delivers along with players who can play(Corey Churko and Brent Fitz). These song’s I grew  up with and with an updated sound as I have already mentioned. Living in a world of seriousness  these tunes are just plain out fun!

There ya go Folks! I have reviewed all these albums except for the Metallica album. Feel free to surf the site for  reviews of the other albums…

Don’t fret I will review Hardwired at some point but its a huge mountain of music. It took me a year almost to review my favourite album of 2015- Iron Maiden’s Book OF Souls…..

As always thanks for reading…..

Happy New Year!






Rival Sons/Hollow Bones(2016)


June 6th 2016 and  Rival Sons drop yet another Fantastic Slab O Rock! As  you readers of Stick It In Your Ear  already know how much I dig these Fella’s as it takes this Ol Buzzard a lot to stand up and take notice to new Sonics Of Rock!

Well stand up and notice I did and this album to put it bluntly is Brilliant! Producer Dave Cobb has magically weaved the Sonic Wand from the 70s and has given Rival Sons the  production to keep it sounding retro like, yet with an eye on the current and future!

Smart play I say and why not. This is indeed an album made by a band that like a few others out there that are not going to make the same album twice or three times in a row!

The Dudes that created this Epic Piece of Rock are..

Jay Buchanan — vocals
Scott Holiday — guitar, string arrangement
Dave Beste — bass guitar
Michael Miley — drums

The songs from the album are below….

Writer(s) Length
1. “Hollow Bones Pt. 1” Scott Holiday, Jay Buchanan, Michael Miley, Dave Cobb 2:52
2. “Tied Up” David Beste, Buchanan, Holiday 3:27
3. “Thundering Voices” Holiday, Buchanan, Cobb, Miley 2:53
4. “Baby Boy” Buchanan, Holiday 3:37
5. “Pretty Face” Buchanan, Holiday 3:23
6. “Fade Out” Holiday, Buchanan 4:50
7. “Black Coffee” Ike Turner, Tina Turner 5:34
8. “Hollow Bones Pt. 2” Buchanan, Holiday, Miley, Beste 6:50
9. “All That I Want” Buchanan 3:39
Total length:

Don’t you just love it!  Just under 38 Minutes  long enough  for everyone not  to lose their attention span especially mine!

The songs are brilliantly crafted. Hollow Bones PT 1 squashes your brains within  the opening 10 seconds of the song  as Miley/Beste and Holiday crush it and Cobb adds the winning touches sonically while Jay throws it down vocally. Seriously he is the real deal vocally while Holiday on guitar is a genius with his Riffs O Rock. Scott is not a showboater on the 6 string as he knows his place in the Sons and this is what makes them unique. As a whole there all equals as no one is trying to show the other guy up!

Tied Up features Miley playing a Zep Bonzo like groove and take about a real cool fade out at the end of the track as the boys go off into Jam Land. I do not as a listener want it to end!

Many of these tracks are like that built up from jams and Black Coffee being the cover tune on the album but by the way the Sons do it you think they wrote it!

Other Gems like Baby Boy are straight ahead Rival Rock Tracks with Miley keeping the beat moving while Holiday zips in and zips out with his Riffing Bolts Of brilliance!

Fade Out is perhaps my fav track at the moment! It continuously builds up and Jay lays down one of the many great vocal tracks throughout this album, The shift of the gears of the band at the end is just so brilliant! Holiday is soooo good on this track……

All That I Want features Holiday on acoustic and the smooth vocal delivery of one Mr Buchanan! The Sons just strip it down to the bare essentials here folks!

Jay/Scott/Dave and Michael go beyond the call of duty in their writing and arranging on this album while Dave Cobb delivers the final touches at the recording and mixing console!

Hollow Bones continues the path of the Rival Sons of moving forward yet staying true to their roots!

I cannot stop listening to this album……

Rival Sons/Hollow Bones.Pt 1(2016)

Yeah Man! Hollow Bones Pt 1 is the lead off single and  lead album track from the forthcoming album titled ….drumroll please….HOLLOW BONES due to be released June 10 2016! I’m stoked and ready for it as it was a no brainer when this album went on preorder on iTunes it was a quick click! Hollow Bones Pt 1 was sent to my iPod stat as a result and it was a quick listen as I don’t to often listen to the preorder songs that are released at the time as I prefer to hear the album as a whole upon first listen. Sometimes there are exceptions and The Sons are the exception!

Scott Holiday(guitar) Jay Buchanan(vocals) Dave Beste(bass) and Micheal Miley (drums) lay down some serious Rock! Lemme explain!

Hollow Bones Pt 1 just blitzes out of the gates with drums and cymbals smashing along with some serious bass action! Think a thrashy version of The Who’s  Keith Moon(RIP) and John Entwistle(RIP) just rippin it up!. Along for the ride though is Master Of The Distorted Rock Guitar Mr Scott Holiday who friggin doesn’t strum the guitar he fucking assaults the guitar like a Sonic SledgeHammer and smashing brian cells along the way! Lead Vocalist Jay B delivers through all this crazy riff rock his smooth power rock voice and rolls it up and shoots it up all under 3  minutes!

Cool thing is track 9 is Hollow Bones Pt 2 …..my prediction is they go chill with Part 2… What do you as my friends think?

Wowzers! These guys are Beasts!

Just so all of you don’t think I’m talking out of my arse I posted the video sooooo Crank It! Better Yet….Order It!

Hurry up June 10th!

SONIC WAVES…Rival Sons/ Great Western Valkyrie

So since it’s officially 2015 now and lotsa people are doing fav lists in music/movies/books etc  I’m gonna throw down my top 5 of which I posted over at mikeladano.com yesterday but left #3 blank to which it now can be revealed is this Sonic Wave review of Rival Sons/Great Western Valkyrie!

Arena Rocks Top 5 for 2014

1-Slash World On Fire- 17 tracks no filler! Slash and crew rock it to the top with solid well written performed songs and Myles Kennedy further proves on this that he is becoming one of the rocks top vocalists!

2-Tragically Hip/Fully Completely- the bonus show added from the Horseshoe Tavern from 1992 is absolute Gold! The Hip have never sounded better and more importantly Gord Downie is totally off the rails with his in between stage banter! Great stuff!

3-Rival Sons/Great Western Valkyrie-read review below!

4-AC/DC/Rock Or Bust-35 minutes of just good Ol riffs n roll! What’s not to like!

5-Bryan Adams/Reckless Deluxe Edition-Adams steps up and pulls out all the stops on this mid 80s AOR masterpiece! The full Reckless album plus 7 unreleased studio tracks also a full show from the Reckless tour of 1985 from London England is included! Ladies and gents that’s how Ya do a Deluxe!

Since I’m kinda like becoming a bit of an old geezer it takes a lot for me to get into some new musical acts and dig  but my buddy at work Metal Todd( who has since upped and moved to Oregon) introduced me to The Rival Sons and boy I’m I glad he ever did!  Metal Todd ended up giving me a copy of Rival Sons Head Down album and it’s a very good release which I will have to tackle here as well at some point  but Metal Todd dug these guys so much that he took his wife Nic and flew from Tbay to Chicago to see the Sons play infront of a sold out crowd of like 200 people for like $15 a ticket! And hey brother thanks again for the Tee!

This blog is for Metal Todd and Nic!

2014 and Rival Sons release a very solid followup…

Ummm. Let’s go  Rockin with Jay Buchanan/ Scott Holiday/Dave Beste/Micheal Miley

ELECTRIC MAN-ok the first thing I dig about these guys is there sound! I mean this is the first song and the guitars are fuzzed up big time and Scott Holiday plays some catchy sounding riffs wheras his foil lead vocalist Jay Buchanan I hear some Paul Rodgers in his voice and man for me that’s a great thing! The sonics on this the first song are awesome and man when Jay lays down the “whoa hey,heeeeey,hey sexy lady” the dude has got the vocal chops no doubt! Also they make use of the keyboards on how they should make use of keyboards! In other words just filling out the sound and thats the way I like it! Also check out the vid above its the Sons playing live at the studios of Q-107 in T.O! Crank it!

GOOD LUCK- ahh yeah man….Scott rips the fuzz out of the box and jams some real cool guitar and man the hook in this tune is so catchy! Also of note the drummer Micheal Miley and Dave Beste rock and hold down the fort and man these cats can all play! No slouch amongst any of em! I love this tune! Good luck baby getting on without me! That ain’t me saying it that’s Jay laying down the Law! Hey there Ya go! Remember Paul Rodgers band from about say 25 years ago The Law? Naa I didn’t think so…I’m just trying to impress Ya with my rock knowledge!

SECRET-this song shows that the Sons can jam it up and drop in and make some cool time changes mid stream and keep it all in check! Actually the keyboard drives this tune but than Scott whacks out some more cool riffage and man what a great guitarist! Holiday does not play his guitar by the rules he kinda goes all over the place with his style But keeps himself and his 6 string in check! But yeah man..he’s got real good guitar style! Dave Cobb (producer)also must get a round of applause! He brings this album to life!

PLAY THE FOOL-Scott lays down the riff and is the driver of the bus on this song! The drums and bass drive it as well and Jay drops down some more cool vocals and its becoming apparent that these dudes love to jam and it shows!

GOOD THINGS- somewhat slows the pace a bit! Not to much though this song has a different kind of groove,more kinda like if your in the middle of the field somewhere and well your baked! Good Things will happen to you and Jays the preacher man on this tune.

OPEN MY EYES- Micheal lays down the drum beat and the boys all chip in and rock this the first single from the album and man it’s a catchy little rock ditty! This song tells us the listener that the Sons are crashing the party and aren’t leaving! Call the cleanup crew Metal Todd!

RICH AND POOR- Micheal slams the drums and the boys join him and man there’s that sneakey little keyboard riding along to the gig with the band! Big chorus/Big Riffs man it’s all in this song! Jay steps up once again with the singing! He’s gotta start topping some peoples lists soon I mean guys with deadly rock voices don’t come along too often! Case in point- when Seattle and the grunge rock noises came along and destroyed everything in its site,here comes this dude named Chris Cornell who easily caught my ear and to this day has to be in my top 5 all time vocalists! Shit man…he always sounds like he’s gonna toss up a lung ….Cornell he’s the man! Anyways Mr Buchanan though he’s making noise at the door of Chris Cornell!

BELLE STAR- cool song number ?? I’ve lost track it’s all good! This song the 4 musos strut there rock knowledge and keep it real! Love the looseness of the middle part of the song ! This is jam song number ?? Who knows and who cares …keep it going Sons!

DESTINATION ON COURSE- ha, so the Sons think your leaving party in a few minutes? Nope make that 7 minutes! What a way to close a album this song just plain trips out kinda like a mash up of mellow Zep slamming into something spacey by Pink Floyd! It’s out there man and for me this is a good chill for 7 minutes! Multilayered instruments on this add to the fire! What a way to end easily in my top 5 albums of 2014! Ok,now I got the munchies!

IN CONCLUSION- some people and myself earlier on would call these guys retro/ throwback rock but after listening to them now for a few years there just forging into some new sonic niches that haven’t been tapped and when they do borrow ..who fuckin cares! Like no one ever borrows musically from no one? Ha! The production and the sonics on this are wickedly brilliant!(take a bow Dave Cobb) This album now don’t laugh at me does totally remind me of U2s last great record Achtung Baby not in the songs but the sound! U2 1991 was making sounds that I had never heard sonically(Edges guitar)and here we are 2015 and Rival Sons are doing it to me again sonically!(Holidays guitar) Congrats fellas for messing with a ol buggers noggin!