Black Stone Cherry (Mascot)

It was my ubercool English friend, Steve Dalton of the Black Vines, who originally introduced me to Black Stone Cherry–a band that makes me realize that rock is not only not dead, but it’s breathing like mad!  And, I’m quite partial to Mascot, too!

Exclusive ‘Kentucky’ CD+DVD with alternate cover
Available from the MLG US store!

We got a hold on the last few copies of the limited edition CD+DVD of Black Stone Cherry’s 2016 album “Kentucky”. This version, with an alternate rusty brown cover, was previously only available at Best Buy stores.

It can be yours for the incredible low price of $9.99 (plus shipping). We have BSC’s other Mascot Records albums in stock as well, so why not treat yourself to a truckload of Black Stone Cherry!

Kentucky (CD/DVD) – Alternate cover


Buy Now
Family Tree

Available on CD and vinyl

Buy Now
Black To Blues EP

Available on CD and vinyl

Buy Now
Copyright © 2018 Mascot Label Group, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in at our website, or through a free song or album download or you purchased an item from our shop.

Our mailing address is:

Mascot Label Group

PO Box 231

Berkel, 2650AE


Black Vines – The Return of the Splendid Bastards

Since moving to South Yorkshire around 10 years ago, it’s been good to discover the great musical heritage that abounds here. Of note must be the great Joe Cocker and one of Mike’s former Mechanics, Paul Carrack. The Classic Rock Society has two great venues here too, at Maltby and Wath-upon-Dearne, and within popular music of various genres the county has given birth to Human League, Heaven 17, Def Leppard, Pulp and Arctic Monkeys among many others.

To that list we can also add The Black Vines. They may seem like an odd band to be reviewing on this site, but as Brad has mentioned them in an earlier post maybe I can get away with it.


This is the second album by this Barnsley four-piece, and the 10 tracks take up just over 41 minutes of your time, ranging from 2:40 to an almost epic 8:00 for the album closer. This is not ‘prog’ as we would understand it: this is honest, stripped-down, bluesy rock; “a hard-hitting dirty riff-based dirge, full of soul and dark matter” as the band’s own Bandcamp page proclaims. There’s nothing unnecessary or pretentious here: this is music taken down to the bare essentials and delivered with power and panache as only guitar, bass, drums and voice can.

That said, there are some quirks to this recording that give it a certain edge: for goodness’ sake, they use a mandolin on ‘Another Second Chance’! A number of the songs use audio clips of old radio shows in polished English accents as introductions. The opening song ‘Come With Us’ has the time signal (the ‘pips’) near the beginning, which is echoed at the end of the penultimate track ‘Wolves’, giving the impression that the ‘long song’, ‘In From The…Reign’, is some kind of coda, or even a summary of the whole collection. The clip that opens it speaks of ‘listening to Britain’ and urges us to ‘hear that heart beating’, and perhaps that’s what the rest of the songs have been seeking to help us to do.

If it is the heartbeat of Britain, then it is a frenetic one! A pounding beat pervades the music, driven by bass and drums that feature quite high in the mix in many places, though without completely overpowering the riffing of the guitar and the calm but powerful authority of the vocals. This album put me in mind (in places) of Black Country Communion, Wolfmother, Bad Company and The Temperance Movement, and even of some of Hendrix’s bluesier pieces.

There are some wonderful crowd-pleasing moments here, and I have no doubt that these guys will rock in the live setting (I’ve not seen them live, but can imagine that something like ‘Black Boots on Red Dirt’ would go down particularly well). If you like your rock ‘down and dirty’, and on the whole bite-sized, then this may be a band for you: this is what the band themselves call – in good Yorkshire style – “mucky Rock”.

Here She Comes: April 5 Progarchy News

Just when I thought spring might have sprung in Michigan, vernal verities hit hard. Upon arising from my heavy slumbers, I have looked out the window to discover there’s a fresh layer of snow upon everything. Old Tom was right: April is the cruelest month.

Some great things happening in the world of music, especially as interests the citizens of progarchy. So, in no order discernable to me:

Bassett, contemplating immensity.

John Bassett, Integrity’s Minstrel, continues to receive nothing but excellent reviews for his solo album, Unearth.  Not surprisingly.

Mischievous progger, Andy Tillison.
Mischievous progger, Andy Tillison.

Andy Tillison reports the first version of the new The Tangent album is done and will be released early next year by Insideout Music.

Also, don’t forget that Andy is selling much of his excellent back catalogue through his online website.  To purchase, go here: [navigate through a couple of pages; it’s worth it]

Leah, Metal Maid.
Leah, Metal Maid.

Our own lovely metal maid, Leah McHenry, has just raised the full $25,000 of her Indiego campaign. And, even three days early of her goal. Congratulations to Leah! We’re extremely proud of her. And, of course, we’re looking forward to the followup to her spectacular Otherworld.

Mike Kershaw, Wakefield's progger.
Mike Kershaw, Wakefield’s progger.

The ever-interesting Mike Kershaw is about to release his next album.  We very much look forward to it as well.

Edited by everyone's favorite Master of Fate, Jerry Ewing.
Edited by everyone’s favorite Master of Fate, Jerry Ewing.

PROG magazine, edited by the incomparable Jerry Ewing, will now be distributed in physical form throughout North America.


The Black Vines, heavy rockers, from the Sheffield area of England, have just released their second album, Return of the Splendid Bastards. It’s some great, great rock. To download or purchase the physical CD, go here:

Dr. Rachel Cohen, lead singer of The Reasoning.  Photo by Tim Hall.
Dr. Rachel Cohen, lead singer of The Reasoning. Photo by Tim Hall.

The Reasoning is offering some really nice bundles at their online webstore:

You may also have noticed that our website has been updated. We have had a clear-out, done a major restructure and completely rebuilt the shop. Rob, our ivory tickler, has done a splendid job and we here at Comet HQ are extremely grateful to him. You will find the new shop stocked to the hilt with a bunch of wonderful new discounted “bundles” plus new individual items and, of course, the usual shop fair. There may even be some copies of CDs that have not been available for a very long time (wink, wink). Your shopping experience is now going to be quicker AND simpler. Win! Have a look at what’s available and treat yourself… because you’re worth it.

To check out the bundles, go here:

Lego Arjen.
Lego Arjen.

From a few hints offered, it appears that Arjen Lucassen is deep into his next project. His legions of fans can collectively sigh, “amen.”

Stunning album cover.  A progged version of Dolby's GOLDEN AGE OF WIRELESS.  Brilliant.
Stunning album cover. A progged version of Dolby’s GOLDEN AGE OF WIRELESS. Brilliant.

The new Cosmograf, Capacitor, is done, and from the trailer, it looks nothing short of spectacular. Indeed, when it comes to watching this video, I might have an addiction problem. “Hello, my name is Brad Birzer, and I’m a Cosmografaholic.” Righteously ominous.  To watch (and you should, repeatedly), go here:

New progarchy editor, Craig Breaden.
New progarchy editor, Craig Breaden.

I’m very happy to announce that within the quasi-anarchical structure of progarchy, Craig Breaden has achieved the rank of editor! This comes with a Vorpal Blade and an additional 17 hit points. Craig has been a close friend of mine since 1990, and he first introduced me to some of the greatest music of the late 1960s and 1970s, especially to much of the best rock not found in what’s typically called progressive or new wave. From Spooky Tooth to Richard Thompson to Newspaperflyhunting and everything in between, Craig throws himself into reviewing, always revealing equal depths of intellect, humanity, and grace in his articles. He is a real treasure in the world of music. He’s also, importantly, a professional sound archivist, as well as a devoted father and husband. He’s a hard guy not to love and respect.

The elusive Nemo Dre.
The elusive Nemo Dre.

Nemo Dre finally revealed to me his real name.


One of Suzanne Vega's best albums, Nine Objects of Desire.
One of Suzanne Vega’s best albums, Nine Objects of Desire.

Burning Shed is now selling Suzanne Vega’s music. This is very cool and speaks well of both Vega and Burning Shed.

One of the best albums of all time, The Colour of Spring.
One of the best albums of all time, The Colour of Spring.

Finally, it’s April 5, International Talk Talk Day.  Make sure you listen to your favorite Talk Talk album today to celebrate.