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News:
Gearing up for a busy musical 2015
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

» See more SOUND CHECK

2014 has moved on in a wave of Taylor Swift appearances, Justin Bieber arrest reports and Nicki Minaj tweets.

Now bring on 2015.

We do know for sure there will be plenty of music in the new year; that's the easy part. There are surely plenty of surprises ahead, but there's already plenty of potential highlights on the docket. Here's what we're buzzing about as we gaze into the next 12 months...

Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band are headed back to -- or at least close to -- the D, bringing his Ride Out Tour to town on March 26 at the Palace of Auburn Hills. So far only one show is scheduled, but Seger's never played fewer than two, and he's also talking about a possible summer run, his first since 1996, that we bet would include something outside in these parts.

Hard to believe, but we went a full calendar year without a Kid Rock concert in the Detroit area during 2014. That will undoubtably change in the new year, with Rock set to release his 10th studio album, "First Kiss," on February 24 -- he previewed the new track "Jesus and Bocephus" on NBC's "The Tonight Show" in November -- and to be on the road much of the year, including an all summer long run with Foreigner apparently opening.

Speaking of Kid Rock, Twisted Brown Trucker keyboardist Jimmie Bones is stepping out with his first solo album in 2015, which he's been recording for Royal Oak's Funky D Records between touring commitments with Rock. Label co-owner and Howling Diablos frontman Martin "Tino" Gross is producing, and plenty of fellow Detroit music luminaries will be featured.

A new Madonna album would be a big deal in and of itself, but "Rebel Heart," due out March 10, has become an unintentional drama. Demos of 13 of the album's tracks leaked online last month, prompting Madonna to claim "artistic rape" and release six of the songs for authorized digital downloads. Collaborators include Nicki Minaj (on the track "Bitch, I'm Madonna"), Alicia Keys, Diplo, Billboard, Avicii and Kanye West (production on "Illuminati").

After revisiting his Ghetto Tech roots with Jaded Inc. in 2014, Ann Arbor-raised soul-pop singer Mayer Hawthorne is putting on a Tuxedo this year. That's the name of Hawthorne's funky new collaboration Seattle hip-hop producer Jake One; the duo releases Tuxedo's self-titled debut on March 3 after releasing a first single, "Do It," and a rendition of Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime" in December. Here's hoping they take it to the stage, too.

Jack White always has a few surprises in store, but this year he looks set to release the third album by Dead Weather, the all-star group with the Kills` Alison Mosshart, Royal Oak's Dean Fertita (the Waxwings, Queens of the Stone Age) and White's Raconteurs bandmate Jack Lawrence. White has acknowledged the group has been recording at his Third Man Studios in Nashville, while Fertita and Mosshart joined White during his July concert at the Masonic Temple.

How does Taylor Swift top her 2014? By going on the road in 2015. Swift's tour promoting her mega-selling "1989" album, which promises to be another stadium-sized spectacle, begins May 5 in Tokyo, while her May 30 show at Detroit's Ford Field will be Swift's fourth U.S. date.

Garth Brooks returned to the road with a vengeance in 2014, and the new year brings him to Detroit for six shows -- Feb. 20-21 and 27-28 -- at Joe Louis Arena. He's bringing new music from his November release "Man Against Machine," as well as a wide-ranging set list that includes plenty of covers and two shows per Saturday, at 7 and 10:30 p.m. The man IS a machine, apparently.

AC/DC fulfilled one wish in 2014, with the new "Rock Or Bust" album -- its first in six years. The the next, and probably more important craving will be addressed this year when the group takes to the road -- with new guitarist Stevie Young in place of uncle Malcolm Young and with or without legally embattled drummer Phil Rudd. Tour dates currently start May 5 in the Netherlands, with North America looking ripe for late summer.

There have been vague rumblings about Rihanna pulling a Beyonce and surprise-releasing her eighth album. Nothing's surfaced yet, but we do know she's been working with DJ Mustard, David Guetta, Kiesza, Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins and others. She's also slated to release a concept album based around the 3D animated film "Home," in which she voices a main character alongside Steve Martin and Jennifer Lopez.

Ariana Grande will be on the hot seat and under the microscope during The Honeymoon Tour, her first worldwide trek. Playing arenas may be ambitious for someone with just two albums (then again, Iggy Azalea is doing it with just one), but Grande is banking that her five Top 10 hits are enough to carry the night. We bet there's a good chance Detroit rapper Big Sean, her boyfriend and guest on the song "Best Mistake," might just be in the house March 7 when she plays at Joe Louis Arena.

Anyone who saw John Fogerty breathe fire opening for Jimmy Buffett during July at Comerica Park will be happy to hear he's coming back -- this time with the show focusing on Creedence Clearwater Revival's landmark 1969 (three Top 10 albums, four Top 5 singles) that rocked Canada during the fall. Fogerty will be publishing a memoir and releasing a box set as well for a busy 2015.

Want more from the classic rock/baby boom universe? Ringo Starr has a new album coming, likely during the first half of the year...Eric Clapton has been working on material for a new album and is making noise about a farewell tour (where have we heard that before?) this year...Brian Wilson is expected to release at least one of the three album projects he's been working on, which include collaborations with Jeff Beck...Bryan Adams has been recording new material with Jeff Lynne (who, in turn, is promising more Electric Light Orchestra shows this year)...And Foreigner founder Mick Jones expects the group to have a new album out this year.

Who knows if Metallica will finally get its act together to record a follow-up to 2008's "Death Magnetic," but bassist Robert Trujillo is planning to finish and release "Jaco," the documentary he's producing about the late bass great Jaco Pastorius. He previewed the project at California's Mill Valley Film Festival during September and launched a PledgeMusic campaign -- which runs through Jan. 7 -- to raise the remaining funds, with an eye towards a premiere at this year's South By Southwest Film Festival during March in Austin, Texas. A companion/soundtrack album is in the works as well.

After a blitz of music memoirs throughout 2014 and particularly during the fall, get ready for "Punk Rock Blitzkrieg," a revealing and entertaining autobiography from Ramones drummer Marky Ramone. Publication date is January 13. and we advise you to reserve your copy now.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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