These vocalists are top notch and they should be in your ears!!!

The power and swagger of a vocalist are often times what makes up your first impression of a band. I want to bring several of the vocalists to your attention just in case you might have missed them.

Let’s get started with a vocalist near and ear to me, Jeffery Sandoval.

photo by the Hellion Rocks

photo by the Hellion Rocks

I first saw Jeffery singing in a cover band in Albuquerque, NM. I have since seen him grow and expand into several projects including: Of The Earth, Frank Hannon, and more recently his new endeavor with guitarist Mike Araiza. Jeffery is the kind of vocalist I grew up loving. Power, emotion, and soul all live within the voice of Jeffery. As a front man he is the quintessential party host who welcomes you to the show and makes damn sure you are having the time of your life. Be sure to check him out on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/JeffandMikeMusic

We next move on to John Fitterer.1798522_10201276796633232_1089893525_n      Crowned By Fire hit me like a steamroller driven by a driver on acid. Vocalist John Fitterer brings a certain uniqueness to the table. The lyrics and style of John are straight out of another world. When John sings it’s like nothing you have heard before. His lyrics are deep and at sometimes seem as if from another world. On record his voice is powerful and compelling, live it is thunderous and hypnotic. As a front man he grabs you by the hand and drags you into a world of musical wonder in which you never know what is hiding around the corner to grab you. John and Crowned By Fire can be found on Facebook right here: https://www.facebook.com/CrownedByFire

 

And then there is Dellacóma Rio.

photo by the Hellion Rocks

photo by the Hellion Rocks

Over the last few years Dellacóma has become near and dear to my heart. The first time I saw Del he was singing for the now defunct Sunset Riot. I was so blown away by his “RockStar” performance. A powerful stadium rock voice full of emotion is what Del brings to the table.  Not only was he an outstanding vocalist, he was a showman extraordinaire. I knew from the get go that no stage could contain the kinetic energy of Del Rio. He has since moved on to his new project  simply named, Dellacóma. Del continues to work his ass off by getting out and hustling up show after show. Del has so much class and style and definitely knows how to bring the audience into an enraptured state of well being and happiness. I often look around and see that almost everyone in the crowd is smiling and enjoying the music and performance Del Brings. Love ya my brother! This is where you can find Del on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dellacoma/timeline

 

The Appalachian Apostle…Adam Joad

photo by the Hellion Rocks

photo by the Hellion Rocks

Ahh Adam…we go back a few years now and I am still wowed every time I see Adam and his band Scattered Hamlet. Adam sweats swagger and pisses pure testosterone. Full of cock sureness and reckless hillbilly attitude, Adam delivers it all with not only a one-two punch but a kick to the groin as well. While his voice is far from perfect and full of prettiness, I can’t imagine Scattered Hamlet sound any other way. Moonshine and razor-blades are the closest thing Adam has to a sound.  Full of mountain wisdom, philosophy, and words Adam gives Scattered Hamlet a style unto itself. Imagine that band that used to play the keg parties you used to hang out at amplified to 100 and you can just begin to imagine  a Scattered Hamlet show. I have become close to Adam and am very proud to consider him family. Believe you me, this is a Facebook page worth liking: https://www.facebook.com/ScatteredHamlet?ref=br_tf

 

There you have it, a variety of frontmen who should be heard everywhere!

it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL!!!

the Hellion

 

 

 

Guitarist Mike Araiza and why you should be listening to him

photo credit: Jeff Serpa

photo credit: Jeff Serpa

 

Guitar face, we have all seen it and loved it, but do we really understand it. I have seen that face on Mike Araiza many times. Mike and I have discussed it at great length on many occasions. This is my take on it and why it pertains to Mike.

The first time I saw Mike perform live was at a small bar with an even smaller stage. My wife and I were told about this great cover band called Surface that people were raving about. Mike happened to be one of the guitarist in the band. I was drawn to his playing style like a moth to a flame. Here was this bespectacled bald guy and he was playing like he was performing at the LA Forum, or Madison Square Garden. The raw emotion and soul went from Mike to his guitar, out of his amps and into my musical soul. I was FEELING every note that he was bleeding out. If he could impart that much into the songs of others I could only imagine what his original music would sound like.

I got the chance when Mike along with his musical partner Jeff Sandoval released the powerful Of The Earth EP. Mike continued to bring music that was jam packed with feeling and emotion and yet remained simple and enjoyable. This continued with the subsequent Frank Hannon Six String Soldiers release and the current Jeff Sandoval Mike Araiza Project tracks.

I grew up listening to the now iconic guitar players like EVH, Randy Rhoads, Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix….the list goes on and on, and they all had great guitar faces. I am proud to list Mike Araiza among those icons, and even prouder to call him brother.

Mike has a rougher time now days with the music industry being a shambles as it is. It is harder for a quality player like him to be heard on a wide scale. Trust me though, you should be listening to him and his music. It takes me back to those simpler times when you picked up your friends, cranked up the radio, and drove around getting lost in the music and good times. It’s all there again in the music Mike makes.

Do yourself a favor and listen to his music and share it with a friend, they will love you for it.

https://www.facebook.com/JeffandMikeMusic?ref=br_tf

     Check out the guitar face on Mike right here:

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     Thank you for the music Mike, love ya my brother!

     It’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s Mike “Guitar Face” Araiza!!!

     -the Hellion

 

 

Pop Evil, a great show, a great friend, and an interview with Matt DiRito

popevilphoto

Pop Evil rolled into Albuquerque, NM this Monday and kicked some serious ass. It had been a bit since I had last seen them so it was an event I was looking forward to. It was even better because this go around I was going to get to shoot their set AND get to interview bassist Matt DiRito. When I found out about scoring the interview I remembered my very good friend guitarist Mike Araiza (Of The Earth, Frank Hannon Band, the Jeff Sandoval and Mike Araiza Project) telling me about getting to hang with them the last time they were in NM. I called him up and asked him to co-host the interview with me.

We met Matt at the tour bus and it was good to see Matt and Mike great each other like old friends. It was then down into the basement of the iconic Sunshine Theater to have our candid conversation with Matt. After some “mood lighting” adjustments we got around to our raw, unedited, casual conversation with Matt which you can check out right here:

     Very cool, very relaxed, friends and musicians talking amongst themselves. After a few more minutes of friendly talk we snapped a few pics and walked Matt back out to the tour bus and said our “see you laters”.

Matt DiRito and the Hellion

Matt DiRito and the Hellion

Matt DiRito and Mike Araiza

Matt DiRito and Mike Araiza

After the interview Mike and I went for a quick bite and some stimulating conversation. A brief walk back to the venue and the Rock N’ Roll merriment was on. We enjoyed sets from Glamour Of The Kill, Avatar, and Escape The Fate. The evening, however, was owned by Pop Evil. From the minute they took the stage to the minute they walked off of it it was a 100 miles per hour adrenaline rush. A blistering set of songs from a set designed to give the fans a maximum Pop Evil experience filled our ears. Here is the setlist:

“Flawed”
“Hero”
“100 in a 55”
“Behind Closed Doors”
“Divide”
“Monster You Made”
“Boss’s Daughter”
“Last Man Standing”
“Goodbye My Friend”
“Sick Sense”
“Torn To Pieces”
“Deal With The Devil”
“Trenches”

Leigh Kakaty

Leigh Kakaty

Matt DiRito

Matt DiRito

Chachi Riot

Chachi Riot

Dave Grahs

Dave Grahs

Nick Fuelling

Nick Fuelling

Pop Evil is a band on the move, in all of the right ways. They present an image, a sound that pays homage to their influences and yet remains original, they deliver a live show worthy of seeing. If Pop Evil roll into a venue near you make sure you go and see them.  Thanks guys!

it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s Pop Evil!

the Hellion