50 years ago marked the beginning of a great band’s legacy: America. This folk-rock trio is undoubtedly one of the most iconic bands from the era. Their hits, including “A Horse With No Name,” “Sister Golden Hair,” and “I Need You” have topped charts and travelled the world. Now, half a century later, the band is taking some time to reflect on their career.

There wasn’t any contrivance in what we did. We didn’t start out with some grand plan — it just turned into a soundtrack for so many people’s lives. That’s something that I treat with great respect.

Gerry Beckley, America’s 50th Anniversary Release

To celebrate their massive impact, the band has departed on their 50th Anniversary Tour and released an accompanying album. Titled 50th Anniversary: The Collection, the nearly three hour long album includes all of their best, plus live recordings, rarities, and demos, making this the perfect album for superfans and newcomers alike. To catch them on their anniversary tour or learn more about the album, head to their official website.

America uses Ernie Ball RPS Super Slinkys.

Dive deep into 50 years of America down below.

Blue October

The Texas-based alternative rock group, Blue October, has remained completely honest in their career. Since 1995, the band has had incredible ups and downs, from multiple lineup changes and internal struggles, to consistently topping charts with hit after hit.

I believe [“I Hope Your Happy” is] my first work of art. Some people won’t understand it. You gotta listen and feel it… It’s my job to give back. I find the enjoyment in my life is helping others and that’s where “I Hope You Are Happy” comes from.

Justin Furstenfield, New Transcendence

Though the band has faced its hardships, Blue October persevered. This year, they released their latest album: Live From Manchester. The full set was recorded to the album, and it even includes a bonus track from soundcheck, “Blue Sunshine.” Check it out down below. Or, you can hear them live for yourself by heading to their official website.

Blue October uses Ernie Ball Cobalt Power Slinkys and Hybrid Bass strings on the low end.

Breaking Benjamin

After a killer year, Breaking Benjamin is understandably thankful for 2019. The Pennsylvania natives are known for their hard rock sound, with their unmistakable crunchy guitar riffs and emotional vocals. But, this year, they have shown their sentimental side with their ‘thank you’ video of recapping the year set to their track “Rain.”

You guys have made 2019 an absolutely incredible year for us, and we are forever grateful to you all. We look forward to an amazing 2020, none of which we could fathom accomplishing without our fans worldwide. Much love to you all!

Breaking Benjamin on 2019

Their latest release is their new single, “Far Away.” It is a teaser for their upcoming album, Aurora. Featuring Scooter Ward from fellow Ernie Ball band Cold, the track is a powerful ballad that will inspire a look back on all that has transpired this decade. For Breaking Benjamin, that look back includes two full albums and plenty of great tours. If you want to catch them in the next decade, head to their official website.

Breaking Benjamin uses Ernie Ball Not Even Slinkys, Beefy Slinkys, and Skinny Top Heavy Bottoms on guitar. On the bass, they use Power Slinky 5 String Bass strings.

Check out the best of Breaking Benjamin down below.

The Red Pears

This pair from El Monte is an up and coming staple to the Los Angeles indie scene. They are called The Red Pears, and they are a dynamic duo; just drums and guitar is all they need. Their bright, jangly guitar riffs evoke that beach-day carelessness, but they are far from that mentality — they pour their heart into their tracks.

Words that are very powerful and tell a story, describe an emotion, describe a feeling, describe an experience. That’s the music that I love to listen to. That’s what we try to model our music after. I always tell Henry, ‘If you’re gonna say something, say it with your heart; write something down, mean it and I’ll do the same.’ That’s the most we can do and have it come from the heart. That’s all we can do, whatever happens after, happens.

Jose Corona, Girl Underground Music

With two full releases under their belt, the band has gathered some serious momentum and a dedicated fanbase. Just this month, they released Alicia, a five song EP with some of their best tunes yet. Check it out below. If you want to catch them live, keep an eye on their tour dates on their official website.

The Red Pears rock out with Ernie Ball Skinny Top Heavy Bottom Paradigm and Regular Slinky Bass.


The California-based rockers, Lagwagon, are an essential piece to the skate punk scene, especially in 2019. Their latest album came out this fall, and it is a perfect evocation of their ’90s sound. Of course, all of the lyrics and themes are modified for the modern era, but Lagwagon knows how to nail their sound.

I really specifically tried to make it feel and sound like an old Lagwagon song, so I borrowed a lot from early records for it. And then from there, I just kept thinking that the rules have to be that Railer feels like something Lagwagon might have done in the old days.

Joey Cape, on Railer and “Bubble”

The album is called Railer, and it contains twelve tracks and thirty five minutes of pure classic Lagwagon. If you want to check it out, you can listen below. To hear it in person, head to their official website and try to catch them live.

Lagwagon depend on Ernie Ball Burly Slinky strings on guitar and use Regular Slinky Bass strings on bass.

Listen to the latest from LagwagonRailer, down below.

Featured image credit: Eric Halvorsen

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