Posts Tagged ‘Lynyrd Skynyrd’

Rain, rain and more rain.  It rained today.  That was actually a song by Crossfyre that we didn’t end up recording for our new Iron Horse album, in support of which we are touring all throughout the summer this year.  After the nice, sunny weather on our Estonia-Poland-Germany tour a couple of weeks back, the wet and cloudy Finnish summer just ain’t cutting it thus far.

Nonetheless, festival season is on here in Finland, and we are hitting and playing a few vacation stops along the way as our Crossmobile tour van makes its way down those miles of road.  This weekend, we played the Rockin’ by the River rockabilly festival in Iisalmi on Friday (which is funny considering we southern gentlemen were the only non-rockabilly act on hand), and Kolisewa MC’s 20th anniversary bash last night.  We got to meet some cool folks, enjoy the sights and sounds of the other acts on hand, and breathe the open air.  That’s already a good deal in and of itself.

Iisalmi was a long way from Helsinki and I got up early-squirly to join the boys, as we drove out of Porvoo along the eastern route highway to head up north.  Once we got to Iisalmi, we stopped off at our second guitarist Jay Jay’s mother’s place, as she had cooked up some traditional cabbage casserole that is famous from that part of Finland.  Off to the gig we went, placed into the opening timeslot to kick things off on Friday evening.  Event organizer Timo Pelkonen of Timba Oy had a nice stage set-up and the sound was good all around.  We cut out most of our bluesier and slower numbers, opting to go for more of a rocking set, taking into consideration the nature of the event that we were playing at.  All in all, it worked out rather dandy and the people out there dug it.  The cream on the cake was the fact that we got featured in the local Iisalmen Sanomat newspaper with a big-assed photo of the band, giving us a hell of a lot of focus.

Crossfyre taking care of business at Rockin' by the River

Crossfyre taking care of business at Rockin’ by the River

Iisalmen Sanomat

A stay at Sokos Hotel Koljonvirta and one morning later, we set off for Karkkila, back down south.  Arriving at the Kolisewa MC’s headquarters in the middle of the woods, I noted that there were bikers from far and wide attending the 20th anniversay bash.  Members of the Hell’s Angels, Cannonball MC, Diablos, Red Devils and many others had dropped in to extend their support to the local Karkkila Kolisewa gang, and there was a slew of bands on the menu for the bikers to groove to.

bikes lined up

As we arrived, The Dusty Beaver Band started their set of cover songs, all the musicians of which were members of a local MC out of Vihti.  I have to say, that The Dusty Beaver Band has one of the best names EVER!  It’s like a cross between the iconic cartoon character Bucky Beaver and pro wrestling legend “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes.  On top of that, the band was right as shizzat, and had both a male and female vocalist duetting throughout, who sounded absolutely great!  I highly recommend checking these guys out.

The Dusty Beaver Band

The Dusty Beaver Band

We jammed through a 90-minute set of originals and classic covers, having a blast while doing so.  Once we finished up, Kolisewa MC president Harri pleaded that we play one more song, as they enjoyed the Crossfyre live experience so much.  We pulled Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Simple Man out of the hat, which really seemed to move a lot of folks on hand.

Rocking the Kolisewa MC 20th anniversary gig

Rocking the Kolisewa MC 20th anniversary gig

Best burgers in the land

Best burgers in the land

There was also a BBQ on Wheels stand on hand, which bears mention, as they quite possibly served up the best beef hamburgers that I have ever passed down my gullet to this date in Finnish history.  Turku’s Pikku Torre and Snacky’s Iso Monsteri are close to the top slot, too, but this little BBQ wagon takes the cake in my book!

Next weekend, it’s off to Mossala, off the coast of Turku, to play Saariston Lomakeskus, a vacation resort on the beautiful little islands off the western coast of Finland.  Join Crossfyre’s Iron Horse on tour, as it rolls through a town near you!

Well, folks: after a couple of years of bated wait, after the ups and downs and all the in betweens, my southern rock band Crossfyre’s sophomore album release, Iron Horse, is finally here!

Iron Horse CD sale

I personally did the layout and cover artwork for this slab, and I have to say I am damn proud of the end result.  It looks as killer as it sounds!  And I dare say, we are the equivalent of Finland’s Lynyrd Skynyrd without trying to intentionally sound like them, with Iron Horse.

The album features 10 orginals and two covers: Bob Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower and The Rolling Stones’ Jumpin’ Jack Flash.  Produced by Hannu Leiden at Helsinki’s Seawolf Studios (Hanoi Rocks, Michael Monroe, Dr. Feelgood, Leningrad Cowboys, Amorphis), Iron Horse is as top-notch of a production as it gets in modern days.  It’s also organic in sound: no drum grids, no auto-tuning, no bullshit.  In other words, it has the old school human element to it, which is largely missing from over-produced and clinically-sanitized recorded music these days.  Think of the organic vibe on Guns ‘n Roses’ Appetite For Destruction album and you will get my point.

This spring and summer, we have a slew of gigs upcoming with Crossfyre in several European markets, so mark these down and make sure to come out and see the band when we are in your area or near you:

Crossfyre tour dates:
May 8 On The Rocks, Helsinki FI (Iron Horse album release party — 6e tickets at the door!)
On The Rocks Crossfyre
May 17 Motorcafe Suviranta, Turenki FI
May 24 Seurahovi Night, Porvoo FI (w/Skinny Molly & The Slidemobile)
June 7 FH-DCE Super Rally, Tallinn Estonia
June 10 Alchemia, Bialystok, Poland
June 11 5 Sztuk, Siedlce, Poland
June 12 Alligator, Poznan, Poland
June 13 Free Blues Club, Szczecin, Poland
June 14 Barnaby’s Blues Bar, Braunschweig DE
June 15 TBA Hamburg DE
June 27 Rockin’ by the River festival, Iisalmi FI (www.rockinbytheriver.info)
June 28 Kolisewa MC, Karkkila FI
July 5 Saariston Lomakeskus, Mossala FI
Aug 8 Hullu Poro, Levi FI
Aug 14 TBA, Oulu FI
Aug 15 Jänkhällä Jytisee, Saariselkä FI
Aug 16 TBA, Ylivieska FI
More dates are being added to the tour schedule as we speak, so be sure to check for updates at www.reverbnation.com/crossfyre
crossfyre_promo

Crossfyre Iron Horse promotional photo by Jarmo Katila (www.jarmokatila.fi)

Well, now almost everything is in the proverbial can for my southern rock band Crossfyre‘s follow-up album to Southbound from 2010.  We had a very intense recording jaunt at Seawolf Studios, located off the coast of Helsinki at Suomenlinna sea fortress, with engineer Hannu Leiden (some of you might know him from his own band, Havana Black) over this past week.

Hannu Leiden (left) says I sound like Jim Mangrum from Black Oak Arkansas! (photo by Jarmo Katila)

From Tuesday to Saturday, we recorded all of the drums, guitars, bass and keyboards for our new Iron Horse album, which will be out next year.  We simply ran out of time before I could lay down all of the lead vocals, but I was able to amass an amazing total of eight songs yesterday … and considering the fact that I have been suffering from an extremely aggressive influenza virus for the past four weeks, it is an irrevocable miracle of Almighty God that my voice somehow sounded better than ever yesterday.  Even engineer Leiden had to admit that I did a helluva job, and Hannu really made sure that my best material made tape.  Think about that, folks — eight songs in one day!  Just like Leiden said, the most that any vocalist will reasonably perform in one studio day is four songs.  I did double that.

StarBuck lays down some of the best vocal tracks of his life for Iron Horse

The title track – music and lyrics – were written by Yours Truly, and overall this new album will be honest, classic southern rock in the vein of Lynyrd Skynyrd and Molly Hatchet.  Whereas the music for Southbound was written by and in large prior to my joining the band in 2010 – with much more in the way of raw blues – the material for Southbound was written for my vocal approach and in light of my strengths as a rock vocalist.  That said, I can honestly say that the material on Iron Horse does not take a back seat to the latest Skynyrd album Last of a Dyin’ Breed in any way, shape or form.  A bold statement, yes, but I am 110% certain that we can back that up, as everyone will hear once Iron Horse is officially released.

Jay Jay Asikainen lays down his solos while Jaakko Kinnari awaits his turn

Iron Horse was supposed to be released last year, in time for Crossfyre’s jaunt aboard the Rock Legends Cruise with ZZ Top and George Thorogood in December 2011, but we only made a limited edition pressing of the demo tracks for the new album to be sold at that gig.  The band decided to up the ante and hire Hannu Leiden, who in all honesty is the number one studio man for southern rock in Finland, to record the official Iron Horse album, which carries a slightly different tracklisting as compared to the Rock Legend’s demo version of the album.  However, I painted the cover art for Iron Horse last year, and this cover will be the one used for the official release of the new album also.

We are now headed next week on a tour of Germany, and our tour dates are as follows:

26/9 Meisenfrei Blues Club – Bremen, DE @ 20:00
27/9 TBA (updates at www.myspace.com/thecrossfyre)
28/9 UrBar – Magdeburg, DE @ 21:00
29/9 Barnaby’s Blues Bar -Braunschweig, DE @ 19:00
30/9 Rockkneipe Jungfer – Arnstadt, DE @ 22:00
2/10 Barnaby’s Blues Bar – Braunschweig, DE @ 21:00

Crossfyre’s German tour line-up (l-r): Jay Jay Asikainen, Jaakko Kinnari, Danny Cross, JJ Hjelt (filling in for Dan Rönnbacka) and StarBuck

Photographer extraordinaire Jarmo Katila (www.jarmokatila.fi) came out to Suomenlinna sea fortress to shoot the band line-up for Iron Horse, and below is one of the great shots from the photo set.

Crossfyre’s Iron Horse album line-up 2012 (photo by Jarmo Katila)