Year Of The Bull Tour
Texas Hippie Coalition
Kobra And The Lotus, Granny 4 Barrel, Brand Of Julez, Relentless Souls
124 Market Place
Baltimore, Maryland, 21202
Doors 6:00 PM / Show 6:30 PM
This event is all ages
Watch & Listen
Texas Hippie Coalition
There are two paths you can take in life. You can choose to fall in line and be a follower, always fifth or sixth back, lagging behind others. Or you can make your own line and live as you choose, with everyone else landing behind you, while you create your own thing. Want to guess which line Texas Hippie Coalition have chosen?
That's right. The purveyors of their own patented Red Dirt Metal sound are designing their own line in life and in music. For them, there is no other way.
Texas Hippie Coalition are committed to crafting a unique, original and thoroughly raucous brand of music that's born of both life experience and a respect for rock 'n' roll's forefathers. What exactly is Red Dirt Metal? Take outlaw country, toss in a dash of Southern-fried classic rock and mix it with some potent Texas power grooves and you've got a combustible sonic cocktail on your hands. Texas Hippie Coalition's third album Peacemaker is a textbook example of Red Dirt Metal, which is the sound the band has been honing and cultivating for its entire existence.
THC's frontman Big Dad Ritch, known as the "Godfather" of the RDM sound and an individual with a laser-like focus and vision when it comes to his music, believes that the band has hit its stride on Peacemaker, capturing the spirit of rock 'n' roll outlaws like Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. He declares, "The outlaw spirit is still alive today. That is our goal: Bring it back."
THC, who were the first band signed to their label Carved Records back in 2009, want fans of classic rock bands to know that they are carrying the torch and that they want to be the keepers of the genre's keys. There will be no extinction of this beloved genre if THC have anything to say about it. "We want the people that love Molly Hatchet, ZZ Top, .38 Special, the Van Zandts and those bands that are growing older to know that somebody else out there is already waving the flag high," he declared. The band, in essence, is ensuring that the style continues to have new and noteworthy additions, such as itself.
But Texas Hippie Coalition aren't simply about making sure the outlaw rock style that they pretty much worship stays alive. They want it to evolve, infusing it with a modern edge and energy, thanks to the new tools (or is that weapons?) of the trade. Having also been surrounded and influenced by the likes of Black Label Society and Pantera –with Ritch proudly proclaiming to having seen the latter between 50 and 75 times live- Texas Hippie Coalition are turning in something fresh and fierce with Peacemaker. They aren't just paying homage to Southern rock's cultural milemarkers. They are proceeding with the intent to add to its canon.
The process of making the album was at first bolstered by levels of familiarity and comfort. "Me and [bassist] John Exall have been together a long time, and we're soldiers always ready to go into battle no matter what," Ritch said about his bandmates. The lineup is now rounded out by [drummer] Gunnar Molton and [guitarist] Cord Pool.
But there were also some changes and shifts, which also add to the album's heft and helped the band to expand. Texas Hippie Coalition recruited producer Bob Marlette (Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper) to work his magic and to help the band to further explore what it was capable of with an already established, branded sound. "We have a new producer and we already know who we are and what our brand is, so with this album, we decided that the boundaries we set for ourselves [are] in the past. We would cut that barbed wire and explore beyond those fences" Ritch said.
Exploring beyond those fences and cutting that barbed wire meant creating what the band calls "heart songs." Rather than saddle them with a generic term like "ballad," Texas Hippie Coalition chose to call 'em "heart songs" because they touch the listener's ticker. "They take you even deeper into the heart and soul, and into the deeper darkness," Ritch admitted. He even referenced his biggest musical hero's ability to vacillate between the dark and the light. "Johnny Cash could still let you inside and see the darkness of the man," Ritch pointed out. "Johnny Cash was not just wearing black on the outside. There are parts of him that are black, and that same idea comes across on this album for us."
Even with "heart songs," Ritch issues a Surgeon General's warning of sorts. "This album here takes you on a harder, longer drive, right into a brick wall. Strap yourself in." Isn't that the best type of rock 'n' roll there is?
Speaking about specific songs on Peacemaker, he said that the visceral "'Damn You to Hell' is maybe the heaviest song we've written. It has such drive and intensity that it's like a mixed martial arts event, like UFC pay per view, like someone being grounded and pounded on." You may emerge feeling like you've been administered a beating, but as evidenced in Fight Club, you can come out the other side cleansed and stronger from the catharsis.
"Think Of Me" is admittedly "the closest thing to a love song that this band would ever do. It is a great song. It goes beyond those boundaries." Other songs that typify Red Dirt Metal include "8 Seconds" and "You Ain't Seen Me," which Ritch admits is "as southern-fried as Lynyrd Skynyrd and Molly Hatchet."
The title song is a brilliantly written tune, told from the perspective of a gun. Ritch said, "I thought, 'What would that gun say to people?'" That's not something you come across every day in rock music, and it's further evidence of how Texas Hippie Coalition are rewriting the rule book. The song boasts the lyrics, "I just whooped the devil's ass / And you ain't seen nothing if Jesus asks / It wasn't nothing for him to see / This is all between God and me." See what we mean about the outlaw spirit? It's wholly present in every note, riff and lyric of Peacemaker.
Essentially, Peacemaker, which follows the previous albums The Pride of Texas and Rollin', is like one of those out-of-control parties that will find you without a girlfriend and with pissed off family members the very next day, but you'll be gawking over your killer new tattoo while nursing an awful hangover. It's the stuff of life, the good time ingredient that you can't manufacture or fake. It comes from a very real place, thanks to Texas Hippie Coalition's ability to understand their influences and mine them into something wholly unique.
Kobra And The Lotus
Launched in 2009, Kobra And The Lotus is the lifeblood and passion of Canadian vocalist Kobra Paige. Eight years into their journey, the band has gone through significant changes in sound and personnel to the point that they were able evolve and create what is easily the strongest album in the Kobra And The Lotus catalogue. In fact, the aptly titled Prevail is such a show of strength that Kobra and her bandmates chose to make a double album to be released in two parts over the next year; a venture very few artists have the backbone to attempt.
Hailing from Calgary, Alberta, Kobra And The Lotus garnered immediate attention in Canada and the US with their debut album, Out Of The Pit, in 2010. The release of their self-titled second album in 2012 and High Priestess in 2014 enabled the band to tour worldwide both as a headliner and support act, which included a North American tour with KISS and Def Leppard. Sadly, Kobra was forced to take an eight month break from music due to a battle with Lyme disease, but Kobra And The Lotus regained much needed momentum with their Words Of The Prophets covers EP in 2015. In fact, the EP played was an integral part in the birth of Prevail in that it cemented the working relationship between Kobra and guitarist Jasio Kulakowski, who joined the band in 2012.
The idea of making a double album was introduced by Kobra's father, who suggested they do it because the vast majority of younger generation metal artists don't have the drive. Kobra admits she thought he was insane and that it was a surefire way to commit career suicide.
"A week later, I couldn't get the idea out of my head because I didn't see any reason why we couldn't push ourselves to do it," says Kobra. "We could at least try, and in that way make a bold statement that Kobra And The Lotus is still hanging in there."
When the band signed with Napalm Records, who were 100% supportive of the double album concept, the label opted to split Prevail into two parts because they felt it was too much material all at once that would go over people's heads. Twenty-one songs in all (including a cover), Prevail I and II share outstanding and diverse material due to the fact the songs were all written at the same time. Not only that, they wrote and recorded together in the studio with producer Jacob Hansen. According to Kobra, the band went to Denmark almost completely empty-handed and had very little material prepared. She calls it an "amazing experience" in that all the writing happened in one place, where the band members could bounce ideas off each other and encourage one other. They also benefitted from Hansen's considerable knowledge and experience.
"I'd say about 85% of Prevail happened in the studio on the spot," says Kobra. "Once we saw how much more colour was added to the songs by working that way we started to feel comfortable with the process. There were some unique things that happened because we were all there together. There was a whole new, whole different vision for this album. I didn't know how this was going to turn out; a lot of it came from my intuition. Jasio is my writing partner and he's a creative force. We lock in with one another when we write, it's amazing. I'm really proud and overjoyed with how the album turned out."
Prevail marks Kobra And The Lotus' debut as members of the Napalm Records roster, but for Kobra the collaboration is a first on many levels for the band.
"It's one of those amazing things that happens and I feel so blessed that Napalm were still interested in us. Every time we were getting ready to release something they were always there looking at us. We always went somewhere else and it was never a good choice (laughs). Okay, it was a good choice in how we needed to grow, but Napalm is the best label we could have hoped for because they're dedicated and they work really hard. There's a lot of young energy at the label and that's a blessing compared to other deals we've had. I don't think we ever knew what it meant to be supported by a label until we signed with Napalm."
In the months prior to the release of Prevail, fans were treated to three singles: "Trigger Pulse", "Gotham" and "You Don't Know". It comes as no surprise they are reminiscent of some of the material on High Priestess thanks to Kobra and Jasio's partnership, but they also attest to Kobra And The Lotus' massive growth as songwriters and musicians since the last record. On paper it sounds like lip service to say the band has become heavier, more dynamic and adventurous, but your ears don't lie.
Bottom line... Kobra And The Lotus are fearless as they move forward with Prevail, and with good reason.
Granny 4 Barrel
Imagine if Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, and Alice Cooper had a grandmother that fronted a rock band...enter Granny 4 Barrel! A Neo-Victorian steampunk shock rock nightmare - she is the Matriarch of Metal! The rocker “Freak Flag” is the first single/video of many to come (released via Mighty Loud Records and produced by Jeff Tomei), a song about being true to yourself. And the band’s singer (who goes by the name Granny) is a true original - “She represents freedom of expression, no limits on a person, and I channel her rage and insanity. In society, there are these stereotypes based on age, sex, race etc. Granny just shatters the mold! Her mantra is unleash your true self...make your own rules, anything is possible.” Be prepared to be shocked and rocked, by Granny 4 Barrel.
Brand Of Julez
When you think of the South Bronx, you don’t think of modern, melodic rock anthems, passionately aggressive vocals, heavy guitars, ripping solos, driving bass lines or pounding drums fills. However, that is exactly what Brand of Julez delivers night after night.
Formed by brothers Julez Zamora(vocals/guitars) and Brandon Zamora(bass/backing vocals) in 2011 at the ripe old age of 16 and 13, Brand of Julez have raged their way up the NYC ranks with a passion and fury that cannot be denied. With the release of their debut EP in September 2012, Brand of Julez have relentlessly worked to bring their brand of heavy rock to the masses with incendiary performances at legendary venues like Webster Hall (The Studio, The Marlin Room & The Grand Ballroom), The Gramercy Theatre, The Bowery Ballroom, Mercury Lounge, Irving Plaza and Starland Ballroom. Their powerful performances have brought them to share the stage with recording artists like Pop Evil, Red Sun Rising, Ace Frehley, Drowning Pool, Adrenaline Mod, Burn Halo, Orianthi, Alice Cooper and Full Devil Jacket.
.In 2016, Brand of Julez began working on recording new tracks. Working with the engineering talents of Joey Z (guitarist for Life of Agony), the mixing talents of Mike Ferretti at Architekt Music (Sevendust) and mastering perfection of Andy Van Dette at Engine Room Audio (Sevendust, Muse, Rush) led Brand of Julez to their self produce debut album FORWARD, which is currently being planned for June 3rd 2018 release.
In the winter of 2017 brand of Julez would find its missing piece to complete the four band line up, drummer Frankie D'esposito from Ronkonkoma Long Island. Frankie brings energy, power, style, showmanship, and family that's been missing from the band. Now with Brand of Julez complete they move FORWARD into the national spot light.
Brand of Julez are ready to deliver their heavy rage of rock that will have you banging your head, with your horns raised and leave you with songs that you'll be singing long after the show has ended.
$15 ADV $18 DOS
General admission, standing room only. Box Office is open Wednesday-Saturday 12-6pm and All Show Nights, 410-244-0057. Unless otherwise noted Maryland State's 10% Admissions and Amusement Tax is included in the ticket price