Thursday, August 30, 2012

Jon Bon Jovi debuts new songs in Napa Valley

Jon Bon Jovi (backed by Bobby Bandiera and Lorenza Ponce) performed an acoustic fan club gig at the Castello di Amorosa in California's Napa Valley on August 28, 2012. He talked about writing songs for the upcoming Bon Jovi album as well as the soundtrack of a movie called Stand Up Guys (starring Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin) and played some of these new songs. Here are videos of The Fighter, Running, and Old Habits:

The Fighter - from the new Bon Jovi album

Not Running Anymore - from the Stand Up Guys soundtrack

Old Habits Die Hard - from the Stand Up Guys soundtrack (I wasn't expecting that opening line, haha)

So... What do you think of the songs?

I also haven't been able to find a set list for this show but from what I've managed to quickly piece together from different sources online, it was reportedly something like this:
  • Superman Tonight
  • (You Want To) Make a Memory
  • Born to Be My Baby
  • Running
  • Old Habits
  • The Fighter
  • Livin' on a Prayer
  • Santa Fe
  • Hallelujah

Can anyone confirm what was played?

Here's Santa Fe for good measure:

London added to Richie Sambora tour

Richie Sambora has confirmed a London date on his upcoming Aftermath of the Lowdown tour:

So, the announced tour dates so far are:
  • October 9, 2012 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - The Melkweg
  • October 12, 2012 - Munich, Germany - Circus Krone
  • October 13, 2012 - Berlin, Germany - Huxleys
  • October 16, 2012 - London, UK - O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Richie Sambora is touring Europe

Richie Sambora's long-awaited third solo album Aftermath of the Lowdown is set for official release in less than a month, and for far longer than that fans have been wondering about an accompanying tour.

Well, some dates have now started to filter through in the last few days, straight from the king's mouth... The Aftermath tour will kick off on October 9 in the Netherlands!

He will be playing at the Melkweg in Amsterdam.

For German fans, Richie also announced shows in Munich and Berlin on October 12 and 13...

The gigs are at the Circus Krone in Munich and Huxleys in Berlin.

Luke Ebbin tweeted that we should "be patient" for more dates, which is always hard... but hopefully Richie is headed to your part of the world! And mine, for that matter, although I guess Australia is pretty far away...

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Aftermath of the Lowdown: Q&A with Richie Sambora

Rolling Stone interviewed Richie about his forthcoming solo album Aftermath of the Lowdown... Here's an extract:

The lyrics are very heartfelt. You have, "Every heartache's a blessing/ Every knockdown was a start." I know you touched upon this with the album title, but did you intentionally set out to make a record that was so intensely personal?
What I found, interestingly enough, through the ups and downs of my life over the past decade since I made my other solo record, and all the stuff that I've gone through in my life over the past decade – this record is basically about my stuff. And what I really found out is that my stuff is pretty universal. The stuff that I've gone through isn't that alien. The stuff that I've gone through, anybody can go through in their lives and they probably will. Ups and downs and things like that. So I really felt like everybody can relate to these lyrics and make them their own. At the end of it, when I looked back on it, that's really what I've found.

You're exactly right except, perhaps, for "Seven Years Gone" because of the specific number of years. That one's about your ex-wife?
About seven years ago, life for me started to take kind of a little bit of a dip. I was getting divorced, my father was dying of cancer at that point in time, so things were definitely at a transformative period in my life. And then all of the sudden, I looked up, when I started writing this record, and I said, "Wow! Seven years gone!" It really went by very quickly. I started to think about the transference of time. My God, it's like, all of the sudden, I've been in this business for 30 years now and all the amazing stuff that's happened to me. So I guess it was kind of a reflection on all that kind of stuff, and I think anybody can relate to that.

You know what else I found during the making of the record? Pain and struggle are necessary, and challenging situations like that are necessary, for you to actually find your freedom and move on. The essential message of this record is freedom. A song like "Taking a Chance on the Wind" – about "Raising my flag/ And taking my chance on the wind" – it's all about risk. But, it's like, people ask me, "Why'd you make this record, Richie? Wasn't it a risk to make such a record?" And I say, "It would've been a risk not to make this record." I had to get this stuff out. It was a cathartic thing for me to do this album. And also, just to express my individuality away from the band.

I think that's probably why I went with an independent record company. That's why I went with Dangerbird. All this about "raising my flag" – independence. That's what I wanted, you know? I wanted independence from stuff that I knew before.
Read the full interview here.

Interestingly, Richie was also asked if Hugh McDonald was now part of the "brotherhood" and (not surprisingly) towed the Jon Bon Jovi line.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Big & Rich Born Again with Bon Jovi

Hillbilly Jedi, the new album from country duo Big & Rich is available for pre-order. This is relevant to the blog because they collaborated with Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora on a track called Born Again. And if you go to their Hillbilly Jedi site and put your email address in the space provided, you can listen to the song.

The link is here:

(Of course, this means subscribing to their newsletter, but you should be able to unsubscribe later if you wish... or else, just wait for the track to pop up somewhere else for free.)

EDIT: Someone has recorded the streaming audio and uploaded it here.

I'm not familiar with the Big & Rich back catalogue, but Born Again sounds like something off Lost Highway to me -- There are serious shades of We Got It Goin' On (which isn't surprising) and Put the Boy Back in Cowboy on first listen.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Will Black covers Every Road Leads Home to You

Independent Canadian rock musician and Bon Jovi fan Will Black has done an acoustic cover of Richie Sambora's new song Every Road Leads Home to You. Check it out...

What do you think of this version?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Blackstar Artist Spotlight: Richie Sambora

A video of Richie Sambora talking about Blackstar amplifiers.

I don't play guitar and know nothing about amps so I guess I'll take his word for it. ;)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

David Bryan on being a rock 'n' roll theatre composer

Arguably the forgotten man in Bon Jovi (out of the four "official" members anyway), David Bryan has forged another career in musical theatre, which he spoke to the LA Times' music blog about. Here's a snippet:
Musicals take years to get to the stage. Was that frustrating, especially for someone coming from the rock world?

It took us eight years to get to Broadway, and [that span of time is] two rock 'n' roll careers (laughs). It's such a long, painful road. Every time you put up the production you learn from it. You make it better.

You're currently working on another musical?

Our next one, about the '60s and the Brill Building songwriters, is called "Chasing the Song." We've started that process which is, once again, a long one. Hopefully, it's a little shorter because I have three Tonys on my mantelpiece.

Read the full interview here.

He also contributed a feature to Broadway Buzz:
Before Memphis, I had never considered working on a musical. But when Joe DiPietro sent me the script, I heard the entire score in my head. I love the Memphis sound. When I was 16-and-a-half, with my driver’s permit, I was playing New Jersey clubs in a 10-piece band; we had a horn section and would play great, great songs like “Hold On! I’m Comin’” and “Knock on Wood” and “Midnight Hour.” I read Joe’s script and thought, “This is not just entertainment, it’s entertainment that matters.” It had such a strong, important message, I knew I had to be a part of it.

I don’t find writing for the theater that different from writing a rock song. A song is always a character’s journey; it’s just in a different format when it’s played on the radio, with a chorus that has a repeating lyric and everything leads back to that. With Memphis, I knew right away with that we could tell this story in song in a way that wouldn’t be boring.
Read the full article here.