Video footage of former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted and his THE CHOPHOUSE BAND performing the song “Blackbird” at the Norton Sculpture Garden in West Palm Beach, Florida can be seen below (clip filmed by Michelle Pariseleti).
Named after Jason‘s four recording studio facilities around the U.S. and featuring a fluid roster of players, THE CHOPHOUSE BAND began in 1992 when Newsted founded The Chophouse Records Studio in San Francisco.
Following the success of METALLICA‘s 1991 Black Album, The Chophouse Records Studio was conceived by Newsted to assemble friends and comrades from other established acts and groups, to have a special place to enjoy chasing ideas and sounds, having fun playing pure and wild music on breaks and downtime, mixing up wicked musical soup away from rigorous touring schedules and agendas.
THE CHOPHOUSE BAND is led by Newsted, playing acoustic guitars and performing lead vocal, accompanied by close friends/musicians of all walks and styles, sharing some great American songs from familiar and unfamiliar heroes.
The members of THE CHOPHOUSE BAND reside from coast to coast, including Chris Barnett, Mike Hughes, Tom Jordan, Joe Ledesma, David Lopez, Jesus Mendez, G.E. Perez, Mike Ramos, Brian Sagrafena, Angeline Saris, Chris Scianni, Amir Tal and Rob Tucker.
“Blackbird” was written by Newsted and Tal.
THE CHOPHOUSE BAND in the clip below consists of the following musicians:
Jason Newsted – lead vocals, guitar
Joe Ledesma – bass
Robert John Tucker – percussion, backing vocals
Amir Tal – lead guitar, backing vocals
During an appearance on the SiriusXM satellite radio show “Eddie Trunk Live”, Newsted explained how his mother’s illness and eventual passing inspired his current acoustic-based projects. He said: “What transpired was I had to keep playing, and she knows I had to keep playing. So I picked up the acoustic and started doing what I was able to do when I was just hanging around her, and started learning my cowboy chords and started collecting my songs. This was about the beginning of summer of 2014. So I would play certain songs for her, kind of choking through ’em — a bass player playing heavy handed on the acoustic guitar and just banging these cowboy chords out and learning Johnny Cash and Neil Young and George Jones and some more popular things like that. And by now, I’ve dug in a lot deeper than that, but it was originally inspired by that thing, where I’d play mom songs. And she wouldn’t necessarily remember, the next day or the next couple of days, which ones I’d played for her, and so she would react to certain songs the same way each time she heard them as if she was hearing them the first time. And so that kind of showed me which ones to chase, that showed me which ones had the groove, which ones my voice fit with, and all that. That’s how I started collecting my songs. I had to keep playing music, of course, but the way and the form that it had to take was me with an acoustic, one voice, working through those songs as I had to put everything else on hold.”
Jason left METALLICA back in 2001 but was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, along with Ulrich, guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield, guitarist Kirk Hammett, and the man who replaced him, bassist Robert Trujillo, in 2009.