AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: TONIGHT ALIVE/UNDERWORLD

 
Tonight Alive hail from Sydney, Australia. As they celebrate the 10th Anniversary of their formation, the band unleashes their fourth full-length platter, UNDERWORLD! The album is filled with shimmering Punk Pop anthems wrapped up in candy coated gloss –  the audio equivalent of summer romance even when it is cold and rainy outside!

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: CINDY ALEXANDER/NOWHERE TO HIDE

For two decades,  singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Cindy Alexander has been crafting albums of emotional strength and delicate beauty. Thankfully, the string of albums that she has released over the years have not gone unnoticed. In 1998, she was named Songwriter of the Year and nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Music Awards. Her debut album SEE RED was nominated for Independent Pop Album of the Year. Since then, she’s received many more awards and nominations including Songwriter of the Year –JPF Music, Best Female Rock Vocalist – All Access Music Awards, and Special Achievement Pop Artist – Los Angeles Music Awards. She was offered a major label recording contract thanks to her appearance on NBC’s Star Tomorrow but she chose to have more control over her career and rejected the offer.

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AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: INGRAM/NIGHT STALKERS

     
     NIGHT STALKERS, originally released in 1984, was Ingram’s third and final album. And before you jump to conclusions, this band of Ingram siblings was not related to Grammy-winning singer/songwriter James Ingram although there is a member of this act who goes by the named James/Jim! This album features the multi-talented former basketball player Norman AKA Butch Ingram (bass and trumpet) joined by his siblings James (vocals, keyboards, sax, flute), Barbara (vocals), Billy (guitar, bass, trombone), John (lead vocals, drums, tuba), Timmy (drums, percussion, trumpet) and Francis, Edith, and Virginia (vocals).  Unlike most other family bands at that time, Ingram was a self-contained unit – writing, arranging and producing their own material.

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AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: BLACKTOP MOJO/BURN THE SHIPS

     Palestine, TX-based hard rock band Blacktop Mojo returns with their sophomore album BURN THE SHIPS. This blistering potpourri of power was recorded at Sound Emporium Studios in Nashville, TN, FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL, and Audioworx Studios in Palestine, TX. Blacktop Mojo’s blend of Metal, Southern Rock, Hard Rock and Grunge ensures that they will appeal to heavy music lovers across the board.

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AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: THE GUESS WHO/AMERICAN WOMAN (DELUXE EDITION)

 On the surface, it is slightly ironic that “American Woman,” one of Rock’s most memorable hit singles of the ‘70s, was written and recorded by a Canadian band – The Guess Who. Unbeknownst to some, “American Woman” was, according to guitarist Randy Bachman, an anti-Vietnam War protest song! Regardless, The Guess Who’s Blues-based Rock workout became a fist-pumping anthem and remains a staple on terrestrial and satellite Rock radio… and rightly so!

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AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: KEITH HARKIN/IN THE ROUND

     IN THE ROUND is an intimate and personal live album recorded by Keith Harkin, best known as a founding member and lead soloist of Celtic Thunder, the Irish sensations who have sold over a million albums worldwide. Prior to the release of IN THE ROUND, Harkin released two solo studio albums – KEITH HARKIN (2012) and ON MERCY STREET (2016) – plus the Christmas album NOLLAIG (2016), which debuted at #1 on the Billboard World Music Chart. While Celtic Thunder’s theatrical live performances are the stuff of legend, Harkin’s live performance on this release is stripped down to acoustic guitar and vocals. IN THE ROUND lets Harkin’s voice and the songs’ melodies do the talking.

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AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH/A DECADE OF DESTRUCTION

     
 
Music genres come and go (and come back again) but Heavy Metal has never left us. For nearly 50 years, the Metal genre has continued to smash its way through the music industry like the Incredible Hulk smashes through a brick wall. Over the years, it has morphed into many different subgenres but straight-ahead Metal remains the most popular form of heavy music. It all started in 1968 with Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. (Led Zeppelin has long been associated with Heavy Metal but, in hindsight, the band was an entity unto itself and shouldn’t be classified as a Metal act.) Now, at the dawn of the genre’s 50th Anniversary, Five Finger Death Punch is one of the most popular Heavy Metal bands in the land. Formed in 2005, the Los Angeles/Las Vegas-based band has certainly made their mark in the music business, building a fan base of dedicated followers that continues to grow a decade after they released their debut album THE WAY OF THE FIST (2007).

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SCOTTY BAKER: Introducing The Band

     When one thinks of Australian music, Rockabilly is not the first musical style that comes to mind. People outside of Oz may initially think of AC/DC’s Hard Rock riffage or Men At Work’s breezy New Wave/Pop but very few know about the Land Down Under’s affection for Country and Roots music. While many Aussie artists are influenced by traditional Australian Roots and Folk alongside ‘foreign’ sounds from the UK and America, there are those that go straight for the jugular and delve into the musical roots of American Country and Rock ‘n’ Roll. Singer/songwriter Scotty Baker is one of those artists.
     Somewhere between the time Country & Western Music became a phenomenon in the early 1950s and the birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll at the midpoint of that decade, Rockabilly was born. Essentially a combination of the sounds of Rock and Hillbilly music (hence the name), Rockabilly became the breeding ground for hundreds of artists including Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and other artists signed to Sun Records (and other independent labels across the U.S.). These are the artists that inform the music of Scotty Baker and his fabulous new album LADY KILLER, an emotionally charged slice of Rockabilly that feels authentic, passionate and full of energy. Like his first two albums – JUST LIKE THAT (2010) and I’M CALLING IT (2014) – LADY KILLER is filled with fantastic songs straight from the pen of Baker himself. While most would compare him to early Johnny Cash (and rightly so), his music also possesses the emotional depth of Roy Orbison, which is perhaps the most important aspect of his recordings. Scotty Baker doesn’t just play Rockabilly or Country – he lives within the music he creates. He is an artist that adds his own stamp to the tried and true Rockabilly formula and truly shines in the process. LADY KILLER is a Rockabilly treasure that comes from the heart and that is what makes it special.
     Stephen SPAZ Schnee was able to send off some questions to Scotty, who graciously took the time to answer them.

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AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: AWAKENING BEYOND

     Tina Turner has been a crucial piece of pop culture since the late ‘50s when she began working with Ike Turner. Throughout the ‘60s, she was an electrifying performer, touring around the world and recording hit records. Her career calmed down in the ‘70s but by 1984, when she released the album PRIVATE DANCER, she became the worldwide superstar that she was always meant to be.  By the dawn of the millennium, she stepped out of the limelight and has not released a full-fledged Pop or Soul album since 1999’s TWENTY FOUR SEVEN.

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