On May 23rd HighVolMusic recording artists ASPHALT VALENTINE and NATIVE SONS gave Baltimore a dose of rock n roll. Both bands performed at the BLE Sunday Showcase Series in Hanover, Maryland at the Cancun Cantina. Sleaze Roxx was on hand to cover the show and our artists performances. Both bands are out in support of their new releases Twisted Road and The Natives Are Restless. The even also featured Kick Valentina, Steel City, and Stairway to Halen.
Here is what they had to say: Courtesy of Sleazeroxx.xom
Kentucky’s Native Sons were involved in a car accident the day before the show and nearly had to cancel their performance. The collision resulted in their vehicle being badly damaged, and this unfortunate twist left them stranded several hours from the venue. But as the saying goes, the show must go on…. and it did. Their label president, Bill Chavis of HighVolMusic, travelled several hours to pick up the band and deliver them to Hanover, Maryland just in time for the show. Props to the band and Mr. Chavis for rising to the occasion and overcoming this unexpected adversity. Those in attendance were treated to a stellar showing by the recently re-configured line-up of the band, who are currently out in support of their debut album The Natives Are Restless.
Native Sons’ album was originally recorded by frontman Ashton Blake and other members, only to be shelved until HighVolMusic brought it to the light of day. Based on their Sunday night performance, I wouldn’t have guessed that this was a new line-up of the band. Their run through the setlist was tight and the band members gelled as a cohesive unit onstage. Blake’s soulful vocals soared over the band’s dirge of guitars and heavy grooves, at times reminding me of Oni Logan. Native Sons sound nothing like Lynch Mob, but I did draw a slight comparison to Shinedown and even detected a hint of Southern rock in the vein of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Quite a few songs in their set stood out for me, notably “Monster”, “Master of My Fate” and “Peacemaker”. I was so impressed by the band that I picked up a copy of their album from their merch booth and highly recommend it.3
Atlanta’s Asphalt Valentine had just returned from a hiatus and released their new album, Twisted Road, when the pandemic was about to hit. The original date for Brad Lee Entertainment’s Ballroom Blitz event would have been the kickoff of their promotional efforts in support the disc. Subsequently, the band is trying to make up for lost time and give the album the legs that it deserves. Despite what felt like record heat inside the club, the guys were true professionals onstage and played relentlessly throughout their eleven-song performance. For me, the true surprise of Asphalt Valentine’s set was their rousing rendition of “Ooh La La” by Rod Stewart. It fit in well with their original material and also brought a bit of levity to their show. The recorded version appears on Twisted Road, and they put a cool spin on the song by ditching the sultry feel of the original by upping the tempo and with Joe Flynt’s more passionate vocal sound. Asphalt Valentine are a killer live band, and seeing their show has me interested in backtracking to check out the earlier releases in their catalogue.
Asphalt Valentine’s setlist:
01. Livin’ Dreams
02. The Only
03. Something More
05. Ooh La La
07. I Don’t Care
09. City of Halo
10. Love and Gone
11. Twisted Road