Friday May 14th brought the release of Myles Kennedy‘s highly-anticipated second solo album The Ides of March via Napalm Records. Utilizing the downtime from the pandemic and not being able to tour, Myles was able to use current events to build the framework for song ideas and push himself both as a writer and musician. Playing electric, acoustic, slide and lap steel guitars, Myles is joined on this project by manager/bassist Tim Tournier, drummer Zia Uddin, and producer/keyboardist Michael “Elvis” Baskette, all veterans of his first solo release Year of the Tiger from 2018.
Myles brings a diverse performing background to the table; having six chart-topping albums as the lead vocalist with heavy metal band Alter Bridge, three studio albums and several live albums as lead vocalist with Slash and The Conspirators and the subsequent tours that went along with those releases, Myles is not one to sit still for long. When you add his background as a guitar instructor to his abilities on multiple instruments and a stunning vocal range across multiple genres, it’s no wonder he is in such high demand.
The new album ranges from hard rock tunes with heavy power chords to beautifully rendered acoustic ballads with layers of intricate guitar parts. The first single, “In Stride” lyrically encourages everyone to relax a little more…
“CHILL OUT! That pretty much sums it up,” explains Myles Kennedy about the first single released off the new album. “The lyric paints a picture of a survivalist preparing for an impending zombie apocalypse. It was inspired by the first wave of lockdowns as everyone was buying vast amounts of toilet paper and supplies. I started to ask myself if it might be wise to try and gain some perspective and not overreact…keep calm and carry on.”
The track “Wake Me When It’s Over” speaks to the stress and isolation that the pandemic brought about both personally and globally. “Love Rain Down” features an acoustic intro that segues into a much more aggressive chorus of electric power that never overwhelms the acoustic strumming underneath – much like the legendary Jimmy Page, Myles and producer Baskette seem to understand the power and dynamic range of the acoustic guitar when layered with distorted electric guitars in hard rock music. The swamp-boogie drums and super raunchy lap steel licks of “Tell It Like It Is” sound to me like a modern version of a lost Elmore James classic while the track “Sifting Through the Fire” features some very melodic guitar soloing reminscent of the late, great Duane Allman.
All in all, this album has something for everyone. If you’re a fan of powerful vocals and solid guitar work combined with insightful lyrics you should definitely check this album out. It is currently available in: Digital Format, 1 CD Jewel Case, 1 CD Digipack (Napalm mail-order, limited to 500 worldwide), 2 LP Gatefold Black Vinyl, 2 LP Gatefold Gray Vinyl, 2 LP Gatefold Bottle Green Transparent Vinyl (Napalm mail-order, limited to 400 worldwide), Die Hard Limited Edition: 2 LP Gatefold Clear Splatter Mint/Violet/White Vinyl + Aluminum Print (Napalm mail-order, limited to 300 worldwide), Limited Deluxe Box: Glow in the Dark Vinyl + Cover Artwork + 7″ Glow in the Dark “A Thousand Words” Vinyl Demo Single + Pendant + Slipmat (Napalm Mail-order, limited to 700 worldwide).
Track Listing: The Ides of March
- Get Along
- A Thousand Words
- In Stride
- The Ides of March
- Wake Me When It’s Over
- Love Rain Down
- Tell It Like It Is
- Wanderlust Begins
- Sifting Through The Fire
- Worried Mind