EVENT RECAP: Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund Commemorates 10th Anniversary with Awards Gala and Concert

The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund, founded in memory of the late rock music legend, commemorated the 10th anniversary of his passing and the formation of the charity with its 10th Anniversary Memorial Awards Gala held on February 20, 2020 at the Avalon Hollywood. Hosted Eddie Trunk (That Metal Show, SiriusXM Trunk Nation), the organization recognized honorees in eight categories—each named after songs written by Ronnie James Dio–who have played a role in either Dio’s legacy or that of the charity. Live entertainment was provided by Ronnie James Dio’s live band Dio, featuring vocalists Tim “Ripper” Owens and Oni Logan, and band members Simon Wright, Craig Goldy, Scott Warren and Bjorn Englen, and highlighted by the vocals and visuals of Ronnie James Dio. Los Angeles comedian Brian Posehn, in addition, his comedic duties, performed a song from his upcoming GRANDPA METAL album accompanied by Scott Ian (Anthrax) and Joey Vera (Armored Saint, Fates Warning), while local rockers Sadie & the Tribe opened the festivities with their set. Check out these EXCLUSIVE photos by Tyler Kanode of Brilliant Reverie Photography. Continue reading

Black Star Riders- Heavy Fire

 

Back in 2013 when Black Star Riders (BSR) released their début album, All Hell Breaks Loose (Nuclear Blast) there was plenty of excited interest in a band with former members of Thin Lizzy. Throw in vocalist Ricky Warwick who had not only done a sterling job as stand-in vocalist for the late, lamented Phil Lynott but had regularly proved himself as one of the most productive working rock musicians and expectations for BSR were understandably high.  Continue reading

Black Star Riders Confirm Upcoming April Shows

Black Star Riders. L-R: Robbie Crane • Damon Johnson • Ricky Warwick • Jimmy DeGrasso • Scott Gorham

Black Star Riders. L-R: Robbie Crane • Damon Johnson • Ricky Warwick • Jimmy DeGrasso • Scott Gorham

Black Star Riders have confirmed five US tour dates in late April. The band features guitarist Scott Gorham (Thin Lizzy, 21 Guns), vocalist Ricky Warwick (Thin Lizzy, The Almighty), guitarist Damon Johnson (Thin Lizzy, Alice Cooper, Brother Cane), drummer Jimmy DeGrasso (Y&T, Megadeth), and bassist Robbie Crane (Ratt, Lynch Mob). They are supporting their new album The Killer Instinct, which was produced by Nick Raskulinecz (Rush, Foo Fighters, Alice In Chains, Mastodon)

Apr 24: Potawatomi Casino – Milwaukee, WI (with Europe)
Apr 25: Rascals Live – Moline, IL
Apr 26: Granada—Lawrence, KS
Apr 28: House of Blues – Chicago, IL (with Europe)
Apr 30: Irving Plaza – New York, NY (with Europe)

Black Star Riders on Facebook
Black Star Riders on Twitter

Black Star Riders – The Killer Instinct

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There’s a hoary old rock n roll cliché about “notoriously difficult second albums”. You’re already familiar with it. Band makes decent debut. Becomes popular. Drinks or snorts their advance. Makes lazy follow up. Career blown. On The Killer Instinct (Nuclear Blast) the second album from Black Star Riders, the post Thin Lizzy band of rock ‘n’ roll troubadours, the notion of difficult second album is not so much challenged as it is kicked to the ground with disdain. The Killer Instinct is ten tracks of solid, top drawer, feisty rock ‘n’ roll. It’s craftier than a cask of well brewed beer; it is the aural equivalent of a night on the town with your mates just after pay day. It’s absolute class.

Kicking off in glorious, swaggering style with the title track, it is rock business as usual for Ricky Warwick and co. Black Star Riders have a knack of finding a groove and melody with something approaching effortless ease. ‘Bullet Blues’ is even better: a carousing, hustling number, primed and ready for the storming of the barn. ‘Finest Hour’ is an absurdly catchy singalong that will doubtless become a solid addition to the encore part of their live setlist.

It doesn’t let up for a second. The celtic sounds that underscore ‘Soldierstown’ are welcome and infectious while ‘Charlie I Gotta Go’ feels ridiculously familiar even on first listen, a sure sign of supreme song-writing craftsmanship. And, you know what? It’s ALL like this, all the way through. Riffs and choruses are strewn about like confetti at a wedding; it’s not that they don’t care, rather the contrary; you get the sense that they are hitting a creative stride, a purple haze patch, if you will.

This might sound like an odd thing to say but Black Star Riders are an immensely likeable band. There are no airs and graces, no top lip curling arrogance, no I-will-not-tidy-my-bedroom tantrums. It’s not that they are too old for this sort of stuff (they self-evidently are) but actually they understand that the relationship between band and audience is one that should be fostered and never taken for granted. The Killer Instinct is an effortless slice of rock n roll abandon. At the end of the day, the thing about Black Star Riders is they still believe in the fable of being the Last Gang in Town; it’s a gang you want to join too.

Absolute class.

 

8.0/10

Black Star Riders on Facebook

 

MAT DAVIES

Pragmatic Professionals: An Interview With Black Star Riders

Black-Star-RidersBlack Star Riders have made one of the best pure rock `n roll albums in a long, long time with All Hell Breaks Loose (Nuclear Blast). Made up of the most recent lineup of Thin Lizzy, the band opted to create a new band identity to move forward with new music, while acknowledging the history of the players and the sounds they created. We caught up with drummer Jimmy DeGrasso to talk about joining the band, the changes the band has undergone and the making of the album among several topics. Continue reading