Dee Calhoun Confirms European Tour Dates; Posts “Dry Heaves and Needles” Video

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 19th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Following the March 30 release of his second solo album, Go to the Devil, the man who might possibly have Maryland’s most powerful set of pipes,
Dee Calhoun — seriously, I can’t listen to the new Judas Priest record without thinking about Dee singing on those tracks — will embark on a European tour with his (former) Iron Man bandmate/regular accompaniment Louis Strachan along for the trip. To my knowledge, it’s the first time Calhoun has toured in Europe, though he went to the UK with Iron Man a few years back to play a Rise Above anniversary party. Still, no minor happening either way to do it essentially as a solo heavy metal singer-songwriter.

To herald the record’s March 30 arrival via Argonauta, the new video “Dry Heaves and Needles” has been posted. You probably don’t have to work too hard to guess what it’s about, what with he opioid crisis and all — though I hear meth is making a comeback too. In any case, there’s a good chance that if you’re reading this, you know someone affected by addiction (I know I do) and it fucking sucks, but the song’s right on anyway, so dig in and enjoy.

From the PR wire:

dee calhoun and louis strachan

DEE CALHOUN new single + European tour dates

DEE CALHOUN, voice of legendary doomers IRON MAN, releases the second single from his highly anticipated second solo album “Go to the Devil”.

“My ode to what has happened in the city of my birth, as well as countless other places across the USA.” – Dee Calhoun

“Go to the Devil” will be released by ARGONAUTA Records and available from March 30th, 2018. Preorders run here:

Dee Calhoun and Louis Strachan will tour Europe from April 19th to April 29th.

“THE DEVIL OVER EUROPE – Spring Tour” tour dates:
April 19, Aalborg, Denmark, 1000FRYD
April 20, TBA, Netherlands/North West Germany
April 21, Freiburg, Germany, WHITE RABBIT CLUB
April 22, Prague, Czech Rep., MODRA VOPICE
April 23, Budapest, Hungary, S8 UNDERGROUND
April 24, Maribor, Slovenia, DVORANA GUSTAF PEKARNA
April 25, Saint-Maurice, Switzerland, MANOIR PUB
April 26, Milan, Italy, BLUE ROSE SALOON
April 27, Turin, Italy, TBA
April 28, Nancy, France, THE RIVETER
April 29, TBA, North Germany/Denmark

Dee Calhoun – voice, guitar, percussion, keyboards
Louis Strachan – bass

Dee Calhoun, “Dry Heaves and Needles” official video

Dee Calhoun, Go to the Devil album teaser

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Mangog Working on Second Album; New Drummer Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 20th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

So, it would seem the masked dude in the Mangog photo you see here is their new drummer, Dao Yu. Why is he wearing a mask? I have no idea. None whatsoever. Unless Dao Yu isn’t his real name, it’s not like he’s keeping his identity a secret, and call me crazy, but I wouldn’t think as a drummer having your entire face covered by a mask makes your life any easier, so yeah, I’ve got nothing on this one. Guy’s just wearing a mask.

Whenever I run into something like that, I like to think it’s because the person involved actually has a really good job or something and doesn’t want his colleagues to know he’s in a rock band on the side. Like Dao Yu is actually the superintendent of schools for Baltimore County, or the top real estate agent in Frederick or whatever. He owns a chain of daycare centers. Something like that. Mind you I don’t know if any or all of that — if it’s all of it, he’d be awfully busy — is true in the slightest, but it’s fun to pretend.

The mystery will just have to remain for the time being, but the good news is that, with Yu in tow, Mangog have started prep work on their sophomore full-length, which will be the follow-up to last year’s Mangog Awakens (review here). Here’s the latest info:


MANGOG – working on the new album

After recently completing a run of gigs that included the band’s 50th overall lifetime show, MANGOG is currently hard at work at its rehearsal facility arranging, rehearsing and preparing to record a follow up to “Mangog Awakens” with the new lineup that debuted in September 2017. With close to an hour of new material, the band is preparing a monolithic slab of music that will make the debut cd sound like a warm up!

MANGOG also started working on a new video, the group assembled on the first of three sets for the performance section of the clip. Additional filming is expected over the next several weeks concurrent with rehearsal of nearly a dozen new songs to be recorded for a follow up to “Mangog Awakens.”

The band, including vocalist Myke Wells, guitarist/vocalist Bert Hall, Jr., bassist Darby Cox will resume recording the disc with the group’s newest member Dao Yu on drums during early 2018, to be released via ARGONAUTA Records.

Myke Wells – Vocals
Darby Cox – bass
Bert Hall – Guitar/Vocals
Dao Yu – Drums

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Dee Calhoun Posts “Jesus, the Devil, the Deed” Video; Go to the Devil out March 30

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 24th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

dee calhoun and louis strachan

Swamp blues mysticism, metallic devilry and Americana folk balladeering meet head-on in the new single from Dee Calhoun. Even as the Iron Man vocalist reels from the recent passing of that outfit’s founding guitarist, “Iron” Alfred Morris III, earlier this month, he’s preparing as well to issue his second solo album for Argonauta Records, titled Go to the Devil, on March 30.

The new record’s been a while in the making — it was recorded last winter and details began to emerge not so long thereafter — but as Calhoun gets closer to unveiling the follow-up to 2016’s Rotgut (review here), he starts to reveal a little bit more about his creative process in the interim. For example, the new single “Jesus, the Devil, the Deed” would seem to tell a similar story as a novella Calhoun put out last summer, with a narrative brought to bear in bayou-style darkly Christian themes, told as ever through his powerful voice, ready to soar at a moment’s notice.

I haven’t heard the entirety of Go to the Devil as yet, so can’t necessarily speak to how “Jesus, the Devil, the Deed” interacts with its surroundings in that context, but with the active participation of Iron Man bassist Louis Strachan as a stage and studio partner accompanying Calhoun, the sound of “Jesus, the Devil, the Deed” is full in tone and would seem to offer a sense of breadth expanded from Rotgut just two years ago. Again, that may or may not be the case all the way around, but it’s certainly nothing to complain about as regards a first impression from the new long-player.

While we continue to wait for specifics on Calhoun‘s impending European tour dates, you can check out the clip for “Jesus, the Devil, the Deed” here, followed by more info from the PR wire.

Please enjoy:

Dee Calhoun, “Jesus, the Devil, the Deed” official video

Go to the Devil, the second solo album from IRON MAN vocalist DEE CALHOUN is going to be released by ARGONAUTA Records on March 30th, 2018.

“A very cold, very rainy autumn night. An unnamed man walks the barren streets, at the end of the line and at the end of his rope. His life has gone awry, and he seeks the one man who can perhaps remedy it. That man’s name is Jesus Christ.”

“When the man finds Jesus, he won’t ask for help or mercy; he’ll instead ask for the return of his soul, a soul that he pledged as a child, but now wants repossession of. A new buyer has come along, you see; a buyer in a top-dollar black suit, and whose malevolent presence has guided this man’s quest, every tormented step of the way…”

DEE CALHOUN “Go to the Devil” CD is available here:

DEE CALHOUN, with the accompaniment of bassist LOUIS STRACHAN (both in studio and on stage), will tour Europe next Spring, with gigs in Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, France, Belgium, Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, Switzerland. Details to follow soon.

Dee Calhoun website

Dee Calhoun on Thee Facebooks

Argonauta Records webstore

Argonauta Records on Thee Facebooks

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The Obsessed Premiere Acoustic Performance of “Freedom” Live at Gibson Guitar Studio

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the obsessed (Photo_by_Susie_Constantino)

You have to love the casual nature with which The Obsessed founding guitarist/vocalist and singular US doom figurehead Scott ‘Wino’ Weinrich drops the factoid that he wrote this song when he was 12 years old and was, ‘fixing to be incarcerated for being a little bit out of control.’ If there was ever any doubt as to the direct lineage between the blues and doom, let it be dispelled once and for all.

“Freedom” indeed goes a ways back. In addition to earlier demos, it appeared as the opener of side B on The Obsessed‘s self-titled debut, originally released in 1990 and reissued last year in getting-its-due deluxe form via Relapse Records, which also in 2017 stood behind the band’s first new studio outing in the form of Sacred (review here), which highlighted a short-lived version of the Wino-fronted trio with Brian Costantino on drums (he’s still there) and Earthride/Spirit Caravan‘s Dave Sherman on bass — since replaced by Reid Raley of Rwake. In the video below, it’s Costantino banging on a percussive box while Weinrich plays “Freedom” on an acoustic, filmed live at Gibson Guitar Studio as part of a series of clips that have been unveiled. Of course, the man himself is no stranger to unplugged performance, as one might recall he made his solo debut back in 2010 with the hey-this-could-really-use-a-follow-up Adrift (review here) and has collaborated with Conny OchsScott Kelly and others in that modus.

The Obsessed just got off a stint alongside Clutch and The Devin Townsend Project as part of the former’s annual holiday tour, and will no doubt be on the road again in short order throughout 2018. Wino still does periodic acoustic shows as well, and if you can catch one, I’d highly recommend it. You just might get a little bit of story before he launches into a song like “Freedom,” and sometimes that’s all the more fun.

PR wire info follows the video premiere below.

Please enjoy:

The Obsessed, “Freedom” Live at Gibson Guitar Studio

Originally released in 1990 and out-of-print for almost two decades, the now-iconic debut album from THE OBSESSED comes completely remastered with previously unreleased bonus tracks, including the highly-sought after four-track Concrete Cancer demo (1984), expanded artwork, never-before-seen photos, and extended liner notes from frontman Scott “Wino” Weinrich. This is a true piece of doom history! The deluxe 2xCD version of the record includes a bonus disc containing the Concrete Cancer demo as well as a full live set from 1985 in Washington, D.C.. The Concrete Cancer demo is also available separately as a limited-edition LP.

The Obsessed is available on 2xCD, LP, 2xLP, and digital formats via Relapse Records. Physical bundles and digital orders are available via Relapse Records HERE and streaming services at THIS LOCATION.

The Obsessed on Thee Facebooks

The Obsessed on Instagram

The Obsessed on Twitter

Relapse Records website

Relapse Records on Bandcamp

Relapse Records on Thee Facebooks

Relapse Records on Twitter

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R.I.P. “Iron” Alfred Morris III, 1957-2018

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 10th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

iron man (photo by JJ Koczan)

Devastating news out of a Maryland doom community already reeling this afternoon. The passing of Iron Man founder, songwriter and guitarist “Iron” Alfred Morris III has been confirmed by the band:

It is with profound and immeasurable sadness that we let you know that Alfred Morris III passed away this morning. There are no other words at this time.

Morris, who would have turned 61 on March 9, had been dealing with declining health effects from an ongoing battle with diabetes over the last several years, and reportedly had an extended hospital stay in 2017 following the amputation of his left leg. While it is unknown as of this writing if this directly contributed to his death, Morris’ issues had been a major contributing factor to a stretch of inactivity on the part of the band following the release of their last full-length, South of the Earth (review here), in 2013.

Issued by respected UK purveyor Rise Above Records, that album represented a pinnacle for the long-running and influential Maryland doom outfit. With Morris’ riffs and solos ever at the center of their approach, Iron Man — founded as a Black Sabbath tribute band following Morris’ time in proto-doomers Force — issued their first demo 30 years ago in 1988 and would follow it in the subsequent years with four LPs prior to their final one: 1993’s Black Night (discussed herereissue review here), 1994’s The Passage (discussed here; reissue review here), 1999’s Generation Void (reissue review here) and 2009’s comeback outing, I Have Returned (review here), as well as a slew of EPs and other limited offerings along the way.

In addition to bringing Iron Man to a new level of prestige in terms of its release, South of the Earth also gave the band their first opportunity to play internationally, at Rise Above’s 25th anniversary celebration in London in December 2013. The band continued to make regular appearances thereafter at Maryland Doom Fest and other regional events, but would never embark on wider touring in support of the album, and word of a follow-up through Rise Above or any other label never materialized.

What the loss of a figure of Morris’ status means to the Maryland doom community can hardly be overstated. One of the longest and most loyal practitioners of the Chesapeake region’s particular brand of downtrodden riffing, in his tone and construction, Morris has served for decades as a blueprint for others to follow. To watch his smooth-grooving presence on stage and bask in the warmth of his guitar tone was to know a singular joy of traditional doom in its finest Sabbathian spirit.

On behalf of myself and this site, I wish condolences to the family, friends, current and former bandmates and fans of Alfred Morris III. He brought something special to Maryland doom that, to put it simply, will never be replaced and will be deeply missed.

“Iron” Al Morris. 1957-2018. The Riff.

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Lineup Announced for Rev. Jim Forrester Benefit Dec. 29

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 21st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

As the details have surfaced over the last 24 hours regarding the tragic death of Rev. Jim Forrester outside the Fells Point, Baltimore, tattoo/piercing shop where he worked, the portrait they’ve drawn has only seemed more senseless. The former bassist for Sixty Watt Shaman, currently of Foghound and Serpents of Secrecy, on the mend from ongoing health issues, finding sobriety, married, getting through, and then shot in the chest outside his place of employment? You’d have a long, long way to go before you ever managed to convince me that makes any fucking sense whatsoever.

One thing Maryland heavy has always done, however, is rally together when the situation calls for it, and yeah, I’d say this situation calls for it. Two stages in Frederick, Maryland, will run benefits next Friday, Dec. 29, with proceeds going to Jim‘s funeral costs and honestly whatever else who the hell cares what they do with the money take all the money just take it please take it and take lasagna too. I’ve heard rumblings about more benefit shows to come and something brewing for Maryland Doom Fest 2018 as well next June, so stay tuned for more and I’ll update as much as I can because Jesus tapdancing Christ, some asshole shot Jim Forrester.

Fucking devastating.

Lineups for the shows at Cafe 611 and Guido’s Speakeasy follow here. If you can’t make it, there’s also a GoFundMe set up linked below that you should donate to. Hell, even if you can go you should donate, because again, just take all the money please take all the money.


rev jim benefit show

Rev Jim Benefit Concert – Dec. 29

Cafe 611 & Guido’s Speakeasy
N Market St, Frederick, Maryland

This event will feature 13 killer bands on 2 separate stages. Both Cafe 611 & Guido’s next door will be hosting this remembrance of Rev Jim’s life and fundraiser. Bands will be revealed soon. All proceeds go to his family. We will celebrate your existence forever Jim.

This wonderful, gental, kind man was tragically taken from us by a senseless act. All proceeds are to help alleviate the financial strain on his family:

Show time is 6pm-12:30 pm Friday Dec 29th.


Cafe 611:
King Giant
The Age of Truth
Thousand Vision Mist
Thonian Horde
Faith in Jane
Dee Calhoun & Louis Strachan

Guido’s Speakeasy:
The Druids
Et Mors
Seasick Gladiator
Thee Iron Hand
Lifetime Shitlist

Foghound, The World Unseen (2016)

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R.I.P. Rev. Jim Forrester, 1974-2017

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 19th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

rev jim forrester photo shane gardner

UPDATE 1:00PM: According to the Baltimore Sun, Jim Forrester was shot outside Baltimore Tattoo Museum, where he worked. Tina Giles Forrester also elaborated on the situation:

I know that there are many questions. I will not keep this private. I want everyone to know that Jim was murdered. He was shot to death by a gutless coward. This may seem harsh to put out there, but this piece of fucking shit is still out there. I will continue to tell each and every person until this waste of a fucking life is caught and has to look me in my eyes. I want justice. I will not stop until I have justice.

6:00AM Details are few and far between at the time of this writing, and it seems likely that one way or another some sort of memorial fund or benefit will be set up in his honor, so this post may be updated in the near future, but word has been made public about the passing of Rev. Jim Forrester, current bassist for Foghound and Serpents of Secrecy and a co-founder of Maryland-based heavy rockers Sixty Watt Shaman.

Born Dec. 5, 1974, Forrester, with his body covered in tattoos all the way up to the top of his shaved head — bandanna-clad, of course — his piercings and his wide smile, cut a figure that was both larger than life and deeply human. His wife, Tina Giles Forrester, made the announcement on social media:

Tina Giles Forrester:

I cannot convey the amount of sadness in my heart as I type this post. Tonight.. my husband was tragically ripped from my life, from all of our lives. I cannot express the amount of love he had for the music, his fellow artists, and fans. I am left with tragic sadness and a searing rage. I will use my last breath to make sure the animal who did this will be caught and held accountable for this senseless atrocity. I love you Jim Forrester my sweet dark prince.

While the exact circumstances of his death remain unknown — and from the statement above, it would seem some outside party was involved one way or another — the veteran heavy rocker had suffered numerous health problems over the course of this past year stemming from a blood clot in his liver, which he detailed here in an interview just over a week ago:

Jim Forrester on health issues:

Over Memorial Day weekend, the Sunday to be exact, I awoke from a dead sleep to the most abhorrent abdominal pain I’ve ever experienced… I had a blood clot in my portal vein (liver) that was cutting off blood flow to my liver, pancreas, intestines, and various extremities… Blood thinners saved my ass, but also caused esophageal varices to burst, resulting in me puking up half my blood supply, intubation, and a three-day medically induced coma in which I almost checked out a few times as well… Three days later I awoke to what I thought was a heart attack. Returned to the hospital to find a pulmonary embolism, and a grouping of blood clots behind my right knee. Another week in the hospital, and back home with increased blood thinners (self-administered stomach injections, very metal)…

I had liver issues back in 2012 that I had worked through, I thought pretty successfully… It’s no secret I previously was a drink and drug enthusiast (no hard drugs for years now I will note) as cliche as it is, and I managed to do some significant damage to myself over the years. At various points I’ve been a bit of a mess, and have a lot of regrets regarding that aspect of my time. That aside, I lived a pretty hard life for an extended spell, pushed myself physically in ways that have consequences, and some of that is a factor as well… (read more here)

Forrester was also waiting to undergo hip surgery in the New Year after dealing with long-term damage due in part to a past ACL tear, though again, whether or not any of this was a factor in his passing is unconfirmed.

After cutting his teeth in the mid ’90s and early ’00s in Sixty Watt Shaman, Forrester moved to from Maryland and took part in a band called Angels of Meth before eventually relocating to West Virginia and rejoining his Sixty Watt Shaman bandmate Chuck Dukehart in Foghound and Serpents of Secrecy. In 2014, Sixty Watt Shaman got back together to play Desertfest Berlin and a few other limited engagements to celebrate their three albums — Ultra Electric (1998), Seed of Decades (2000) and Reason to Live (2002) — but the reunion would be short-lived as old personal issues resurfaced and the band once again split.

In 2016, he added low-end charge to Foghound’s second album, The World Unseen, fueling a more aggressive take from that band as they made their debut on Ripple Music. The debut single from Serpents of Secrecy was released earlier in 2017 through an alliance with Salt of the Earth Records, and both groups had or have new material in progress for issue in 2018. His last performance was an acoustic set with Foghound on Dec. 17 at the Baltimore Tattoo Museum’s annual holiday party.

On behalf of this site and on behalf of myself, I send condolences and strength to Rev. Jim’s many friends, fans and of course his family. As a personal note, even aside from this recent interview, he and I have been in touch for years and I know he was excited to get his health problems behind him, get back on stage full-boar and get back in the studio to make new music with bandmates he truly loved. He was someone second to nobody in passion for what he did, and his death is a significant loss. As much as I’ve enjoyed his work over the years, I will remember more the sincerity of his character and the wholesome spirit beneath his gruff exterior, and like all who were lucky enough to know him during his time, I will miss Jim.

Rest in Peace Jim Forrester, 1974-2017.

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Maryland Doom Fest 2018 Announces Full Lineup with The Obsessed, Windhand, Weedeater, Earthride and Many More

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 1st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Invariably there will be some change between now and next June, and there’s the tradition of the pre-show to consider the night before, but right out of the gate, Maryland Doom Fest 2018 impresses with its scope of heavy rock and doom, cross-country reach and loyalty to its core mission. With The Obsessed, Windhand and Weedeater set to headline, the fourth edition of the fest curated by JB Matson and Mark Cruikshank will welcome return appearances from the likes of Castle, Earthride, Thousand Vision Mist and Foghound, while reaching out to bring first-timers from afar like Texas’ Doomstress and Duel and Switchblade Jesus, Kansas rockers The Midnight Ghost Train, Connecticut’s Curse the Son, New York’s Geezer, and — I believe traveling the farthest — Disenchanter, from Portland, Oregon.

It’s a killer assemblage, and I think the three headliners do a lot in summarizing the whole idea behind the fest in the first place: The Obsessed are among the founders of what we think of as “Maryland doom.” Windhand are the forerunners of the modern scene. And Weedeater bring a riotous sludge party like no one else on the planet. What more could you possibly ask of three bands in terms of expressing what Maryland Doom Fest 2018 is all about?

I’ll have updates as I see them, but in the meantime, mark your calendars for June 22, 23, and 24 at Cafe 611 in Frederick, MD, and I’ll do the same, because this looks absolutely awesome.

Dig it:

maryland doom fest 2018 poster

Maryand Doom Fest 2018

A 3 day weekend of Doom in its purest form.

June 22, 23, and 24

Cafe 611 Restaurant
611 North Market Street
Frederick, MD 21701

Full lineup:
The Obsessed, Windhand, Weedeater, Castle, Unorthodox, Duel, The Watchers, Zed, Switchblade Jesus, The Midnight Ghost Train, Lightning Born, Earthride, Geezer, Disenchanter, Bedowyn, Cavern, Doomstress, Caustic Casanova, Hawkeyes, Curse the Son, Las Cruces, Horseburner, Shadow Witch, Foghound, Witchhelm, Book of Wyrms, Thousand Vision Mist, Molasses Barge, Backwoods Payback, Bailjack, Electropathic, Gateway to Hell

The Obsessed, Live at Maryland Doom Fest 2016

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