Music News

90’s Heavyweights Live and Candlebox retooling in 2012

Video screen of Live’s 1995 hit “Lightning Crashes”

For alt. rock fans of the 1990s, 2012 will being some exciting (if not nail-biting) events.

I say “nail-biting” because the band Live (known for still-rotating radio hits like “Lightning Crashes” and “I Alone”) have officially reformed after a few years’ haitus… but without singer Ed Kowalczyk. This news is exciting, but also makes many of us classic Live fans a bit nervous.

No, Live was not simply “Ed Kowalczyk and Friends” (if you want that, browse your local record store’s “used” bins to find his solo effort, Alive) but regardless how strong your instrumental section is, the singer of any band is the figurehead and the element that listeners associate with the band name. Simply looking at statistics, the vast majority of bands that replace singers tend to see the end of their career soon afterwords. Some have done it successfully however (see: Genesis or AC/DC… or arguably Van Halen), but most acts are better off leaving their name alone and rebooting as a new group.

In fact, Live had recently done just that with the 90’s supergroup The Gracious Few… a band which contains all remaining members of Live, plus singer Kevin Martin and guitarist Sean Hennessy of Candlebox.

The Gracious Few performs in San Francisco. Photo by Clay Lancaster.

CLICK HERE to listen to our chat with The Gracious Few on!

Nevertheless, 2012 will see an international tour from the newly re-tooled Live, and time will tell if the new vocal addition will have sustainable impact. But even if the yet-unannounced replacement is the greatest vocalist of our time, it’ll still irk classic Live fans just a bit to hear “I Alone” sung by someone other than Ed Kowalczyk.

In a more true-to-form appearance, Candlebox has set a release date for their 5th studio album (yet-untitled) as March 13th, 2012. Their last effort, Into the Sun (2008), was their first studio release in over a decade and went over favorably with fans. I don’t see why this newest offering will be any less pleasing.

With all the news though, The Gracious Few is still active and still a separate entity. You will see/hear from them in 2012 as well, although it could be 2013 by the time we get a new TGF record.

Best of luck to all personnel involved! We’re eagerly awaiting.

-Clay Lancaster (

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