Black Stone Cherry to Release Sixth Studio Album Titled “Family Tree”


BLACK STONE CHERRY is set to release their sixth studio album, Family Tree via Mascot Records/Mascot Label Group on 20th April 2018. Burnin’, the first musical taste of the new collection is available today, along with the ability to pre-order the release in various physical and digital formats. Check out the lyric video for Burnin’ here: and pick up your digital version here. Physical album formats, including a UK exclusive clear vinyl option limited to just 1500 copies are available here.

Family Tree is the much-anticipated follow up to 2016’s Kentucky, which debuted at #5 on the Official UK Album Chart. Like Kentucky, BLACK STONE CHERRY opted to self-produce and track Family Tree at David Barrick’s Barrick Recording in Glasgow, KY, the same studio where the four-piece recorded their eponymous debut. BSC also opted to not over-rehearse upfront of the album sessions, instead preferring the immediacy and spontaneity of in-the-moment takes. The band also entrusted frontman Chris Robertson to mix the songs, which perfectly fit the loose, creative process that birthed Family Tree.

Family Tree boasts BSC’s tried-and-true lucky number with its 13 songs, and like all BSC releases, features songwriting contributions from each member. Drummer John Fred tells us, “Family Tree showcases all of our collective musical influences and how we have taken those to create something that is truly our own unique Southern American rock ‘n roll sound.” Two special guests appear, one bringing the concept of family full circle. Chris’ 5 yr old son contributes backup vocals on the swaggering You Got The Blues, while the other, revered jam-band musician Warren Haynes (Allman Bros/Gov’t Mule) offers a guitar cameo and vocals on the delta stomp of Dancing In The Rain. The band first met Warren 17 years ago as freshly-signed youngsters on their first visit to New York City.

The concept of family looms large in the world of BLACK STONE CHERRY’s four band members. Sticksman John Fred Young’s father Richard and his uncle Fred, are founding members of the Grammy Award-winning country rock n’ roots band, The Kentucky HeadHunters. BSC’s four high school-aged friends – Young, plus frontman/guitarist Chris Robertson, guitarist Ben Wells and bassist Jon Lawhon – grew up honing their craft in the Headhunters’ Practice House, an abandoned property on the Young family’s farmland. John Fred says, “We grew up in the Kentucky Headhunters’ rehearsal space, looking up at posters of Cream, Led Zeppelin, Uriah Heep, the Stones, Montrose, and the Faces. We were like kids someone took in a time capsule and put in the woods,”

Family Tree’s tracklisting runs as follows:

Bad Habit
New Kinda Feelin
Carry Me On Down The Road
My Last Breath
Southern Fried Friday Night
Dancin’ In The Rain (featuring Warren Haynes)
Ain’t Nobody
James Brown
You Got The Blues
I Need A Woman
Get Me Over You
Family Tree

BLACK STONE CHERRY’s first visit to UK shores in 2018 will be as direct special guests to Guns n’ Roses at Download Festival ( on Saturday 9th June. The band’s honest, gutsy, no-nonsense approach to their live show has allowed them to rock 12,000-cap arena dates across the UK for a number of years. Expect this to be their modus operandi for the foreseeable future in the wake of the release of Family Tree.

Product Review “Cracker Barrel: LED Village with Animated Tree”

I think it is official that Cracker Barrel is my official favorite store for Christmas decorations. I walked into the store while going for breakfast recently and came out with a list of outstanding products that became must-owns for our house. The LED Village with Animated Tree is easily the most impressive of the bunch. I love any Christmas decoration that is animated and plays music. This one does both and is just amazing to watch. Let’s just say I have a lot of jealous family members ever since we added this to our collection.

Official Product Description: Bring wonder and joy to your home with our 12.75″ LED Christmas Village with Animated Tree. Santa greets a youngster on the streets below a magnificent, animated Christmas tree, while smatterings of snow create the perfect touches to this beautiful Christmas scene. This tabletop Christmas decoration is an excellent addition to any Christmas village collection, and makes a great gift for anyone who loves the Christmas season.

This decoration is quite large and definitely stands as a solid centerpiece for your collection. The lights are beautiful and very bright. The tree in the middle is lit and also spins. There is a lot going on here when this bad boy is plugged in and I found myself just staring at how beautiful it is. The music is my favorite and it extremely clear and nice and loud (but not too loud). This also comes with an AC adapter in order to power it up. I love this village and this will get a great spot on our shelf this Christmas season and many more to come after that.

Product Review “Cracker Barrel: LED Christmas Tree with Music”

I am a very big fan of Christmas and the wife and I go all out with decorations etc. It is rare but when you see a decoration in a store and just know that you need it. Well we were in The Cracker Barrel store a few weeks ago and they are all decked out for the holiday season already. We came across the LED Christmas Tree with Music and stopped dead in our tracks. This became our must own decoration for the year.

Official Product Description: When you decorate for Christmas this year, make sure to include our 18.5″ LED Christmas Tree with Music. Santa has never looked cozier, seated in his favorite chair and telling stories in front of a warm fire. This cute and festive tabletop accent is the perfect addition to your holiday decorations.

The tree itself is a nice size and looks absolutely amazing. The detail is fantastic. The colors are so vibrant and the music sounds amazing. I love that fact that it comes with an AC adapter as well to plug in also with the option of batteries as well. This is going to have a nice prominent place in our house this year. If you are looking for a very sharp addition to your collection, I recommend this.

Blu-ray Review "Joshua Tree"

Actors: Dolph Lundgren, George Segal, Kristian Alfonso, Geoffrey Lewis, Beau Starr
Directors: Vic Armstrong
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Shout! Factory
DVD Release Date: February 26, 2013
Run Time: 101 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

I am a big fan of Dolph Lundgren but I have to say that “Joshua Tree” was not really on my radar prior to this Blu-ray release. The film is also known by “Army of One”. Nonetheless, who doesn’t love Dolph Lundgren kicking ass and taking names. This film is really action packed, great stunts and fights and even though it screams 90’s action, it is very fun and worth checking out for sure. Shout! Factory is behind this release and did a great job with this Blu-ray release.

Official Premise: It’s high-caliber action from start to finish when exotic car runner Wellman Santee (Dolph Lundgren The Expendables) goes gunning for his money and running for his life after his partner is killed during a botched heist. Sensational stunts and spectacular special effects push the action into overdrive as he captures a beautiful hostage (Kristian Alfonso) and takes off across the desert in a high-speed chase. Six thousand square miles of sand and dozens of turbo-charged super cars set the stage for a bloody, bullet-riddled showdown with a ruthless killer.

Shout Factory has delivered an impressive Bluray release for this obscure film. Firstly it comes with a nice widescreen presentation and an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, which is a real improvement over last full screen DVD release from 1999, under the title “Army of One”. The colors are a little flat but the action looks nice. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track is impressive, especially with the non-stop action, fighting and explosions.

The special features are worth checking out if you are a fan of the film. There is an audio commentary track with Director Vic Armstrong and Producer Andy Armstrong. It is a nice balanced track which covers a lot of ground for the production. “A Look Back at The Joshua Tree” is a newly product feature with cast and crew chatting some fun behind-the-scene stories. Lastly there is an alternate ending included and a trailer rounding out the extras.

DVD Review “The Hanging Tree”

Directed by: Delmer Daves
Starring: Gary Cooper, Maria Schell, Karl Malden, George C. Scott, Karl Swenson
Distributed by: Warner Archive
Release Date: August 16, 2012
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 107 minutes

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

When I think of westerns, two people should come to mind, John Wayne and…Gary Cooper.  This movie was beautiful filmed during the later days of Gary Cooper’s career. “The Hanging Tree” is based of a prize winning novel and is well represented in the film. The scenery is also quite epic in this film, courtsey of the mountains west of Yakima, WA. Thanks to Warner Archive for finally releasing this classic on DVD. The newly remastered transfer looks fantastic.

For a film released back in 1959, it sure looks good.  The colors are really vibrant and sharp.  The film is also nicely presented in 16 X 9 letterbox with its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The audio is also quite satisfying with its mono track.  It showcases the dialogue and the film’s score very well. The only special feature included in a trailer, like most Warner Archive releases. This film is really well-presented  and is sure to make happy any fans of Cooper’s work.

Premise: Many stars saddled up and rode into Technicolor sunsets during the great Western revival of the 1950s, but only a few would be forever associated with the rugged individualists of the West. Among them are John Wayne, Randolph Scott and the start of The Hanging Tree, Gary Cooper. The story takes place in Skull Creek, an 1870s Montana gold camp. Dr. Joseph Frail (Cooper) arrives, setting out his shingle near the camp’s boom-or-bust hubbub of adventurers, ladies of fortune, mountain men and just plain decent folks. As skilled with a six-gun as with a scalpel, Frail will need both. A tragic past shadows his days. The treachery of the mob clouds his future. A determined immigrant (Maria Schell), a shifty-eyed miner (Karl Malden) and a hellfire preacher (debuting George C. Scott) figure prominently in Frail’s showdown with fate. Prominent, too, is the breathtaking countryside. Here the mountains are imposing. And a man alone looms ever taller.

DVD Review “The Halloween Tree”

Directed by: Mario Piluso
Narrated by: Ray Bradbury
Starring: Annie Baker, Alex Greenwald, Edan Gross, Andrew Keegan and Leonard Nimoy.
Distributed by: Warner Archive
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 70 minutes

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

I remember growing up and looking forward to seeing this film each Halloween.  I have always been a big fan of Hanna-Barbera animated style. I am not sure what it is about animation but you can just tell that this is from the 90’s.  The fun little film also features the great voice talent of Leonard Nimoy (“Star Trek”) as Moundshroud. One thing that is a little bit disappointing about this release is that unlike most Warner Archive films, this film has not be remastered or restored. It was taken from the best-quality video master currently available, so it doesn’t look terrible but it could look MUCH better.

The film is presented in full frame with it’s original aspect ratio of 1.37:1. The animated is almost 20 years old and it shows its wear a little. The colors seem a little dull and could have used a little sprucing up. The audio included is a typical Warner Archive mono track and sounds good enough. The only special feature included on this release is the film’s trailer. If you are looking for a trip down memory lane and something to get you in the holiday mood (and don’t have high expectations) then this film is for me.

Synopsis: Sit on the edge of your seat and enjoy master storyteller Ray Bradbury’s classic adventure of four youths who try to save the spirit of their friend Kip from the ghosts of Halloween past. The four encounter a mysterious character, Moundshroud who takes them on a magical journey that sweeps them back as far as 4,000 years and touches down in exotic places all over the world like Egypt, England, France and Mexico. Along the way they discover the magic and meaning of Halloween – and friendship. This enchanting adventure features the voice talents of Leonard Nimoy as Moundshroud and the animation wizardry of Hanna-Barbera. It’s a story as timeless as Halloween itself – a bubbling cauldron of thrills and suspense that will stir the imagination of the entire family. Bradbury’s popular story is destined to become a perennial Halloween favorite.

Robin Hardy talks about his return to directing with “The Wicker Tree”

Robin Hardy is probably best known for his directing of the classic 1973 film “The Wicker Man”. Robin is back directing and is set to release the second film in the Wicker series titled “The Wicker Tree”. Media Mikes was very fortunate to be able to talk with Robin recently about the film.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about your return to directed?
Robin Hardy: Over the years I have been directing everything from documentaries to television commercials. I think I have made over 1000 commercials and have been very successful with those. Directing is something that I really enjoy doing. Having been trained as an artist I am able to illustrate everything I want. As a writer I like to introduce music whenever I can. I suppose that comes from commercials. Music is such an important part for those. These things have tended to blend leading me to use them in the features I have made.

AL: What was it like returning to the Wicker series some 40 years after the first one being made?
RH: It was good. I even had some actors in the new film who were in the first one. The little girl who is watching the beetle go around and around the nail in the first film reappears as a cook in the new film. There are some others who returned as well. It was really fun returning to the genre. To revive this genre is what really drew me to this project. It was great fun working on the songs.

AL: What do you think is the biggest difference between the two films?
RH: In many ways I don’t think they differ all that much. I think the second movie brings in some relative sub-plots that were not used in the first film. The question of being able to enlarge on the idea of the Sun as an object of worship turns up in this second film. I liked doing this in the second film because it brings the whole idea of the current state of religion down to us as a more understandable present day interest or preoccupation. In the first film there were a lot of pagan clues which were ultimately leading a Christian man to his death.

AL: How do you think your book “Cowboy’s for Christ” compares to the film?
RH: I think it’s pretty faithful to it. I made a much bigger deal of the police. It seemed to me when I read the book that in order to keep the sense of disbelief in the whole story and to believe in the police man was getting quite close to understanding what was going on we had to expand on that. This had to be the tail to the film because it was too much of a red hearing and it would have spoiled the flair of the story.

AL: Can you tell us about Christopher Lee’s involvement in the film?
RH: In the case of the first film we were all Hammer film fans. We thought that the Hammer films all though tongue and cheek in their way didn’t begin to do justice to the whole pagan background. We thought it would be a wonderful idea to take someone who was an icon of those films and turn the whole story on its head by making this guy the pagan lord.

AL: Can you tell us about your work on the third film in the series “The Wrath of Gods”?
RH: I wanted to make that film in Iceland because I thought it would be sort of fun to try and make this sort of saga theme park in Iceland. I couldn’t raise the money to make the film there because of the terrible economic shape that the country is in. I chose to shoot in the Shetland Island because originally they were Scandinavian. It was perfectly logical to set this saga there. They also have a most wonderful Fire festival there which is featured in the film. I would like to think this film will be out within the next four years.


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Brittania Nicol talks about her role in “The Wicker Tree”

Brittania Nicol stars in the film “The Wicker Tree” which is the sequel to the classic 1973 Robin Hardy film “The Wicker Man”. Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Brittania recently about her work on the film.

Adam Lawton:  What can you tell us about the film?
Brittania Nicol: This film is the sister film to the 70’s film “the Wicker Man”. It is sort of in the same genre as the previous film and has the Christian vs. Pagan battle going on. The first film was more of a creepy film and this film is more of a comedy. It looks at the lighter side of things.

AL: What is your role in the film?
BN: I play Beth Boothby. She is a teenage pop star who has left the business to explore her faith as a born again Christian. She and her fiancé decide to give a year of their lives to the church in order to preach the message across the world.

AL: What was it that interested you about this role?
BN: When I read the script I really identified with this character. I knew her and grew up with girls that were like her. I knew I could play the part and was attracted to the role in that way.

AL: What was the audition process like?
BN: We had several auditions. I went in to read first and then they had to find out if I could sing. I had a singing audition with the composer to see if he could get the voice he wanted out of me. I then had a final audition with the guy who was going to play my fiancé just to see if there was any chemistry between us. It was during the final audition that they told us we had gotten the parts. It was a very exciting day.

AL: Was there anything difficult about the role?
BN: I found it difficult to make the character likeable. A lot of people are very turned off by religion. You need to love this character. I had to make sure that while the character was preaching and pushing religion on people that she was still someone that you wanted to win.

AL: Will the DVD/Blu-Ray release of the film include any bonus material?
BN: I know we did a lot of filming of on-set interviews and behind the scenes stuff. There were also some interviews done with the films composer as well as with Robin and the other actors. You will also get to see the Wicker Tree being built.

Blu-ray Review “The Wicker Tree”

Directed by: Robin Hardy
Starring: Brittania Nicol, Henry Garrett, Christopher Lee, Graham McTavish
MPAA Rating: R
Distributed by: Anchor Bay
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Running Time: 96 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Alright so let’s place this film where it belongs. It is not a sequel to the 2006 remake of “The Wicker Man” with Nicholas Cage. This is a direct follow-up to the 1973 cult classic, though it is more of a re-imagining.  It is even directed by the same person, Robin Hardy, who did the original. When it comes to classic film like “The Wicker Man”, it is hard to try and improve on it. I did enjoy this film overall just was missing the spark that the original laid out. Also it claims to have a special appearance from original “Wicker” star Christopher Lee, but don’t blink or you will miss it.

This film follows two young missionaries (Brittania Nicol, Henry Garrett), who head to Scotland to spread the good word.  They end up in the small town of Tressock, where the locals seems to have their own secrets.  The couple agrees to become the local Queen of the May and Laddie for the annual town festival. Of course they have no idea of what they are getting into and their stay in Tressock might have just been made permanent.

The Blu-ray presentation does not disappoint though. The video looks sharp and clear into 1080p transfer. The audio is also spot-on and delivers an impressive Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track, which pops with the film’s music and effects. The special features are short and sweet overall. There is a brief behind-the-scenes featurette called “The Making of The Wicker Tree”. There are a few deleted scenes, nothing that would have saved the film. Lastly there is the theatrical trailer, though do not think this film has much of a theatrical release.


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