Tag Archives: holiday hard rock

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra Winter 2015 Tour Dates Are Here

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra has unveiled their Winter 2015 Tour Dates and considering there are two respective companies to the enterprise along with an afternoon and evening performance there are a LOT of them to choose from depending on your location. The graphic below gives you some insight as to this year’s spectacle and then I’ll speak about it a little more.

Photo - TSO - Tour 2015

The tour premise this year is “The Ghosts Of Christmas Eve” and for those who are unaware of this aspect of the TSO, this was a television special that aired just around the release time of “The Christmas Attic” and features music from that album along with the eventual classics on “Christmas Eve and Other Stories”. The show featured Ossie Davis and a young Allie Sheridan who eventually became one of the backing singers in the touring company. It was a charming film for sure and its now on DVD for all to enjoy but better yet, this time we get to see its magic right up in front of our faces as this and other TSO classics are performed with perfection. I’m keeping this part brief since the tour dates will continue on for a time and believe me my fingers still hurt from the editing  Please make a note if you are in our own Creative Command HQ vicinity that there is NO show at Nassau Coliseum this year as that arena has closed but according to reports will return in a few years. That means the Prudential Center show in Newark are your only chances. Hey next time around Barclays Center in Brooklyn alright? It will rock, okay here we go.
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“The Stocking Song” by Steel Panther

Artist: Steel Panther
Title: “The Stocking Song”
Label: Universal Music
Release Date: 12/9/2014
Genre: Glam Rock/Satire Metal/Holiday Hard Rock
Rating: 4/5

I’m pretty sure that you know what you get when it comes to those raunchy bad boys of Glam Rock n Roll in Steel Panther at this point and with that being said, the guys have just unleashed a charming little Christmas ditty for the whole family to enjoy. Well, the family that is 18 years of age and above preferably since just like their material on albums such as “All You Can Eat” and “Balls Out”, “The Stocking Song” is loaded with double entendre and pseudo sexual innuendo. Done acoustically in terms of guitar with accompaniment on bongo, the tune is enhanced by some kazoo and jingle bells which bring the holiday spirit to a larger than big hair life. Lyrically Michael is singing about stuffing his partners stocking again and again and treating her to his homemade non alcoholic eggnog. Sorry, I am NOT explaining that one any deeper but somehow I think that I don’t need to. It’s a fun track and will only run you about a $1.25 via the legal downloading mediums and if you have been following the band for awhile now, you will likely want to add this to your collection and add the track to your own Holiday Rock and Metal playlists. It’s catchy enough that you will find yourself humming along after the first listen. “Ho, Ho, Ho” (or is that “Hoe”?).
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“Not So Silent Night: Christmas with REO Speedwagon” (Special Edition) by REO Speedwagon

Artist: REO Speedwagon
Title: “Not So Silent Night: Christmas with REO Speedwagon” (Special Edition)
Label: Sony Music
Release Date: 8/17/2010
Genre: Holiday Hard Rock
Rating: 4.5/5

Back in the Fall of 2009 the band REO Speedwagon offered up their own take on many holiday classic tunes and I had to admit that the end result was something very enjoyable. This year the band has re-released the album with three additional tracks and since its holiday vibe still rings the same for the original recording, I am re-presenting my views to you about it and then briefly discussing the new additions. Please find a comfortable chair, light a holiday scented candle and enjoy a little eggnog while we revisit those seasonal thoughts.

When I learned that REO Speedwagon was planning on releasing their own album of Christmas material I was unsure of what to expect and this made sense based on the surprising hit that the Twisted Sister became and just how good the Rob Halford “Winter Songs” release was. I’ve always loved what REO was capable of as a band but admit that my favoritism begins and pretty much ends with their juggernaut recording “Hi Infidelity”. Of course there were a few scattered tracks over the years they have been together that I enjoyed but I had gotten into the very heavy stuff not long after that 1980 release so it took a little more to get a rise out of me. Now older and somewhat wiser, I had to say that I was incredibly curious to see how the bands classic sound would be mixed with time honored holiday classics and I am happy to report that the end result is one of the warmest releases of its kind to come along. It’s not at all sarcastic like the Twisted Sister piece nor does it give you a smiting like the Halford one does at times but instead fills you with the spirit of the season on track after track. It begins with the softly delivered “The First Noel” that finds Kevin Cronin in terrific form and from here it launches into a very fun version of “Winter Wonderland”. “Silent Night” is slower and that song works best when done in this fashion and with “Deck The Halls” we see just how rocking this tune can be. So far so good I was thinking as I made sure these songs were on the Holiday Stuff playlist in my music player.
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“Merry Christmas & Happy New Year” by Jimi Hendrix

Artist: Jimi Hendrix
Title: “Merry Christmas & Happy New Year”
Label: Legacy Recordings
Release Date: 11/16/2010
Genre: Holiday Rock
Rating: 3.75/5

In an age where popular musicians are releasing holiday themed albums by the dozen it was nice to find this little surprise being released from an era where such an occurrence was a very special rare feat and not something one did on a regular basis. The CD single by the legendary Jimi Hendrix had been recorded in 1969 as a special treat to his fans and this was done with his band of Gypsy’s players Billy Cox and Buddy Miles. The liner notes explain how this was recorded while the musicians were preparing for Fillmore East appearances. We get two versions of the tune and one is the extended version which I feel is the better track since it is more encompassing. It obviously has Jimi’s signature flair to it and while he most likely put a healthy amount of thought into it, the whole tune seems to just be a flowing jam that calls to mind these three classic holiday numbers. I never owned the original of this but was told it was released on a 45 many, many years ago. We also get “Three Little Bears” which is performed by the members of The Experience (Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding) and this charming little tale by the master guitar player has not been available anywhere in more than twenty five years. It was originally recorded in 1968 as a part of his “Electric Ladyland” sessions.
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“Not So Silent Night: Christmas With REO Speedwagon” by REO Speedwagon

Artist: REO Speedwagon
Title: “Not So Silent Night: Christmas With REO Speedwagon”
Label: CMG Records
Release Date: 11/3/2009
Genre: Holiday Hard Rock
Rating: 4/5

When I learned that REO Speedwagon was planning on releasing their own album of Christmas material I was unsure of what to expect and this made sense based on the surprising hit that the Twisted Sister became and just how good the Rob Halford “Winter Songs” release was. I’ve always loved what REO was capable of as a band but admit that my favoritism begins and pretty much ends with their juggernaut recording “Hi Infidelity”. Of course there were a few scattered tracks over the years they have been together that I enjoyed but I had gotten into the very heavy stuff not long after that 1980 release so it took a little more to get a rise out of me. Now older and somewhat wiser, I had to say that I was incredibly curious to see how the bands classic sound would be mixed with time honored holiday classics and I am happy to report that the end result is one of the warmest releases of its kind to come along. It’s not at all sarcastic like the Twisted Sister piece nor does it give you a smiting like the Halford one does at times but instead fills you with the spirit of the season on track after track. It begins with the softly delivered “The First Noel” that finds Kevin Cronin in terrific form and from here it launches into a very fun version of “Winter Wonderland”. “Silent Night” is slower and that song works best when done in this fashion and with “Deck The Halls” we see just how rocking this tune can be. So far so good I was thinking as I made sure these songs were on the Holiday Stuff playlist in my music player.
Continue reading “Not So Silent Night: Christmas With REO Speedwagon” by REO Speedwagon