2018 Summer Throwdown Fueled by Monster Energy – Country Music and Miles of Trails Add Up to an Amazing Festival!
The first annual Summer Throwdown at Mines and meadows ATV/RV Resort in Wampum, PA was a huge event of country music!! This family friendly festival had everything you’d expect and so much more, four days might not be enough time to explore it all!
While our focus is the music there was so much going on that there really was something for everyone. From the big stage to the bike jumps, vendors, woods, mines and trails, there was music, laughter and a great time was had by all. Many came to camp while others came for the day, even the rains on Friday did nothing to dampen the spirits or those who were a part of this four day festival. Folks stayed in the shade when possible during the warm day as they relaxed but couldn’t be kept from the stage area when Township Road started with their feel good sound and came out in droves to see John King hit the stage when the sun went down Friday night.
Saturday I caught a mixed bag of delights, with the music playing between freestyle motocross jumps and an announcer from Froggy FM letting everyone know more about the bands and what was going on that day, the crowds easily moved to and from the trails and across the large open field. Perfectly blended times meant not racing from one thing to the next and this was a first for me, watching mid air action as riders performed stunts high above the crowd. One of the amazing men flying through the air was 2017 X-Games Gold Medalist, Destin Cantrell and all three stunned the crowd with their feats.
Some of the bands I caught during my time there were:
Township Road – Country, Rock
John King – Country
The Hills and The Rivers – Post-Apocalyptic, Street Folk
Molly Alphabet – Country, Folk, Rock
Bindley Hardware Co. – Americana
North of Mason-Dixon (NOMaD) – New Country, Rock
Fueled by Monster Energy this festival was a highlight of my summer with friendly people, amazing food vendors (there is such a thing as portabella mac and cheese and you need to try this!!) and taking my time checking out just some of the 85 miles of trails for riding over the over 870 acre area. This is going to be a mainstay in my summer festival stops and hopefully next time I get to try out a mine tour as well!
Photo and article credit: Jana Lee Macheca/First Angel Media
Here is a video from Rock for Life 19’s Friday night line up. This video was taken by their bassist, Garry Simmons. For those of you who are not familiar with the band’s history between us and Amber Alexis, They used to come to every Pennsylvania Rock Show broadcast and hang out and support the band. We love every opportunity that we get to support them. With that being said, check out the video below featuring their original songs Pushed Me and A Good Laugh.
Just over 23 hours ago, Xfactor1 was finishing their set on the Iselin Community Ball field and skell was back stage getting themselves ready to headline the show. As usual, skell came out and provided the people in the field with exactly what they wanted, METAL! This band never ceases to amaze us. We got to witness solos from Mikey Palone on guitar, Mike Ekis on bass, and Cam on the drums. We were provided with everything that we were expecting and then some things that we never imagined. At the end of their set, skell debuted 4 brand new songs. One was a tribute to Wally Wrights daughter called Stone. They followed that up with A track dedicated to their beloved former drummer Keith Kweder, and then finally a song that is dedicated to all those that have lost someone. This last track included the debut of Wally on keyboards with the band. Wait, you said 4 songs… the encore was a track called Sinister. Instead of trying to explain all of this to you, I’ve borrowed the video below that was shot by Reina Peli Art & Photography. Speaking of Reina, you can see her amazing photos of the event on her Facebook page.
On Saturday May 5, 2018, John Lane and I made our way out to the Latin American Club in Ford City, PA. Featuring a great line up of local talent and a deserving benefactor.
We arrived a tad bit late, but caught a couple of the songs that Steve and Jen played. They were on point, as was expected. They were followed by David Hipchen who played a great acoustic set and even covered the Foo Fighters (he looks like Dave Grohl so I found this to be funny). Up next was the high energy and first electric set of the evening for a relatively new act in our scene, Ezekiel. This is the second time that I have seen them perform and I thoroughly enjoyed their set. The band that drew me to this event was up next, sundog. I know,WHO? sundog was one of the first bands that I was introduced to in the scene. They played a one off reunion tonight in honor of their bass player’s father, Karlie Righi. I wouldn’t have missed this reunion for anything and my wish to hear their originals was accommodated. They played only one cover and nailed 2 of my favorites, Change in Me & Silverback. Their set wasn’t without issues, BJ’s guitar decided it didn’t want to participate part way through. The band persevered and made my weekend. After sundog, Houseband was up next. They played a great set of covers that filled my childhood and made me smile. This brings us to our last act, 2KD. 2KD is also cover band, that played a heavier set than Houseband and really covered the scope of my musical tastes with their set. They also had many musicians join in on the fun, including the American Hilljack.
This night really brought me back to the beginning of my dealings with the local music scene. I was hanging out with members of bands such as Step 11, (kaj), Tooth and Nail, Hybrid, Stratega, sundog, and more! I left the LA Club in such a nostalgic mood and very pleased with my evening.
Dieselbeast is a heavy metal band out of Denton, Tx – and when I say Heavy Metal, this is the unapologetic classic sound of Heavy Metal from the days when sorcery and metal mixed! Chris Morehead has the right kind of vocals to pull off the sound of their self titled CD, that mix of tones that brings in energy and the type alto vocals that it seems you don’t get to hear often these days. Don’t be mistaken, riffs from guitarist Jason Rochester and Wyatt Williams are as good as they come and the baritone backing vocals make the lyrics feel very full. This is exactly what you expect from a band who begins their bio with a tale from “Another world, another time…”
The Deilselbeast album tells tales, something I miss from much of the heavy metal music I hear today. “One Thousand Bloody Nights” is a great example of this. “They ride tonight, with fires burning bright, as they set ablaze the woods across the glen” tells the story of a warrior taking matters into his own hand to fight against the enemy. Driven by beats from Rogan Naples, that are simply on point, to bring this song from what could be just a dark tale to something that keeps you banging your head along with the story.
“When Madness Walks the Streets” displays the bass played by Carrek Coleman in an intense way, as well as an addition of the evil laughter that begins the story with elements of melody and screams. This was one of my favorites from the album. It starts slow but quickly changes and it was over before I was ready for it to be. It’s a full length song, I just enjoyed the “dance in the Chaos dream” too much to want it to stop.
A well put together album, I was impressed by the craft and imagery put into the songs. Often you hear bands talk of putting their stories and experience into the music but Dieselbeast creates a new world for their listeners, and escape from normal experience, weaving short stories and imagination into power chords and dangerous sounding riffs, filled with drums that don’t just keep a time but take us down a path through dark and glorious woods of fiction and mystery. It’s all about the journey and this one is filled with sorcery, heroes and gods. This is a world we all need to visit from time to time and I plan on going back. If you miss those bands of old whose theatrical stories kept you going, you need this in your life, and if you’re too young to remember those times… You need this in your life.
Check out the music yourself, as well as other goodies, at their Online Store and see what I mean. Meet me in the “Realm of the Space Queen” and heed the “Call of the Sorceress” along with those who already know them. If you’re anything like me, with a flair for the fun and fictional, you can also follow their story on Facebook to see what they’re coming up with next!
Often the challenge of instrumental music is that, with a lack of vocals, the music must tell the entire story with feeling rather than images. The musician has to put together their music in a way that will bring their soul to the front of everything they play in order to bring the audience to the brink of the message and allow them to add their own variation of what they have experienced. Victor Gann does this well enough to create a soulful journey with the use of guitar, bass and drums.
At times soaring, at times hard rock style riffs, but always great music would be the quick way to sum up these tracks, however, I’d like to point out that it was done without the types of sounds often found in instrumental music. There’s always that sweet scrape of electric guitar sound, hard drum sounds backing it up and, while “Evie’s Smile” is a great representation of a lighthearted melody that includes the singing, happy squeals, and laughter of a child and family, there are no super special effects or keyboards… Just outstanding music that takes the listener on an emotional rollercoaster. At times reaching in to those darker recesses of the mind, at others a flight of fancy.
“Another Migraine” seems to be a poetic journey; Starting soft it has a dreamlike quality to the sound that takes on an edge, like that moment in a dream when you feel it turning into a nightmare but hope you can wake up before it does. Not to be simply set aside the ‘nightmare’ kicks in halfway through to let you know this insanity has you in it’s grip and it’s not letting go. Not good for a dream but for this music, it does wonderful things.
Another track I’d like to mention is “Never Forget”. This song makes me feel like I’m standing still in those moments of reliving good times from my past. It honestly amazed me that this song made me think about my own ‘good old days’ while listening to it. It takes some serious talent to bring a person to their own memories as you play a soundtrack to your own. My hat is off to you, Victor Gann, for pulling those sweet moments and kick ass times out of the recess of my mind and into the front of my thoughts on a bleak morning over coffee.
In all, this is a notable collection of music that I’d recommend to anyone out there. Well written, amazing performance and quality stuff all around. You can find this on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/victorgann/ (Don’t forget to hit that like button while you’re there) or simply go online to http://www.victorgann.com. For those of you who are “Insta” lovers, look up victor_gann and see what is going on next!
Great music, good times and as always….
Coming out of Lisbon Ohio, we have the trio three vultures with their new album “Rebirth”. Members Dustin Cutright (Lead vocals/Guitar), Austun Dunnington (Bass/Vocals), and John Lane (Drums/Vocals) have come up with a new way to bring you an old sound. The record is produced in a way that it sounds like a throwback to the days of Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains and the like with a heavy twist. Three vultures describes their sound as “The result of coming up in the angst filled small towns that litter the fallen Steel Valley. Dark and brooding, but vicious.” I’d have to say this album reflects that well.
The eight tracks begins with “Circus Clowns” and gives a real impression on the listener. The softer intro and raw vocals begins the ride through the roller coaster like ups and downs of their music. The entire CD is rather edgy, found in the guitar and in the sharp drum sound. I enjoy the sound of a drum that has almost an ammunition type of blast to it. It catches the heart between beats and takes it with the music.
The entire collection swings between harsh rock verging on a metal sound and a softer feel without losing the forward motion of music. “Black Mirror” begins really soft, and almost melodic in a sense, before rolling hard. I admit the song “Glass Houses” had me listening hard to the purposeful tin quality you might find in some Stone Temple Pilots songs because it’s not so often used but that was the part that stuck with me the most after hearing it. The song has a very rough quality to it that draws the listener in. It almost has a more live experience to it than I’m used to on most produced music but I was hooked by the second time I listened to it and it’s become one of my favorite songs off the CD.
As the final offerings are given they bring in a heavy acoustic in “Wasteland” that breaks up some of the heavier music before and “Ghosts of Enemies” begins the climb back up to heavy and hard in the same way fireworks begin to build to the end of the show. It leads well into “Rebirth”, which owns it’s dramatic qualities as well as tying the whole CD together with its varying sounds and separate feel.In all, this CD is certainly something that people who enjoy the grunge type of rock should check out. It’s got that old fashioned vibe in many ways that modern music doesn’t really bring to the table anymore and it’s really a raw and emotional collection that is also easy to listen to all the way through.
Check out more of Three Vultures on Facebook, don’t forget to hit the like button to show your support while you’re there, at https://www.facebook.com/threevultures and be sure to not only check out the CD but their live shows as well!