|Mid-Atlantic Rock Reviews-May Edition|
The Idol Irony
One of the reasons I am not a huge American Idol fan is that the rockers on the show don't seem to stand a chance of getting all the way through. However a number of talented rockers have made it through, but seem to have trouble breaking through to stardom status in the rock and roll world. Somehow, it almost seems like their success on Idol sends a message to rock radio stations not to play them. Clearly there are three artists who have fallen victim more than any others to the Idol Irony factor.
Coming in at #3 in my rankings is David Cook. David's last release in March was an acoustic EP that was a decent effort that showed off his singing abilities in general more than it highlighted his ability to play decent rock music. We have had the chance to see David perform live and he can definitely rock a crowd. He may not be the ideal show for those in the mood for a little head banging, but for a nice evening of rock and roll, he's pretty solid. David will be in the area in Washington D.C. on May 5 and 6 if I have sparked your curiosity.
Best former Idol Rocker #2 is James Durbin, the phenomenal rock singer from last years' contest. James quietly released his debut in November 2011. Just as with the other two singers on this list, the guy seems to be getting the cold shoulder from the rock radio world. James' debut release "Memories of a Beautiful Disaster" is an unbelievably strong debut effort. This is not a pop star trying to create a rock image after Idol. This album is the real deal for rock music fans. James has a big opportunity to make a splash in the realm of live rock and roll as he plays at Rock on the Range which is one of the nation's premier rock festivals. We haven't seen James live yet, but he will be at Ram's Head Live in Baltimore on May 17 with Steel Panther.
Chris Daughtry is by far the best thing that American Idol has spawned. Suffering from the same lack of airplay that James Durbin is suffering from, Chris Daughtry may be one of the most underrated rock acts out there period. We've caught Chris live numerous times and the best advertisement I can give him is to tell you that we continue to see him at every opportunity. Daughtry's 2011 release "Break the Spell" was a last minute nominee for our Mid-Atlantic Rock Reviews Album of the Year category in our annual Golden Horns Awards. The late release date hurt Chris in the voting, but I would suggest that it was among the best releases of 2011 without hesitation.
So did Idol make or break these guys? The Idol Irony is that the very show that catapulted their careers may be the cloud that hangs over them and brands them as not "real rockers" to the rock and roll community in some sense. We have to wonder if the departure of Colton Dixon from the show this year will add him to the list of Ironic Idols. So let this be a lesson to you aspiring rockers. Beware of the Idol...it may make you and it may break you.