Palestine Magazine October 2018 - Page 19

ROCKING PALESTINE ...Blacktop Mojo continued The album has been a catalyst for the group breaking into a hard- to-crack Texas rock scene and heading outside the state lines to tour. “To get our music out there, we have had to go to places where fans want to hear rock music,” Gillis said. “There have been people there from the beginning that have believed in us. Some have given us their last dollar to help us. There are people who will travel to see us no matter where we are. Those individuals will always be special to us. I will never forget them.” Last year was a been a big year for the band. In February, the band won a contest to open for Bon Jovi in Dallas at American Airlines Center. Bon Jovi’s team conducted a national search to find opening acts for this tour. “Ten bands were initially selected, and then Bon Jovi made the final selection,” Gillis said. In the last five years, the band has opened for Bon Jovi, Whiskey Myers, and Candlebox; played gigs across the United States, including performances in Florida, Kansas, and New York; and generated a growing fan base in Europe. They also preformed with Sammy Hargar on Hagar’s hit show Rock & Roll Road Trip. Aside from getting more national exposure by opening for Bon Jovi, the band released its sophomore album, “Burn the Ships.” “Many times in history, when a group of soldiers sailed to the enemy’s country, they would unload the soldiers and equipment and then burn the ships, so there was no retreat — the only choice was to win or perish,” Gillis said. “When we were writing this album, we were at that point — quitting our jobs to go full-time. It was time to burn the ships and Photo by Katarzyna Cepek see what happens. That’s how the song came about and ultimately became our title track.” The new album also includes “Where the Wind Blows,” a fantastic cover of Aerosmith’s “Dream On,” and 10 other band originals. The group traveled to Nashville to work with Jimmy Johnson. According to Gillis, “He’s amazing,” Gillis said. “He has been very complimentary of Philip Mosley’s recordings for us and said of Mosley, ‘This is your guy.’ Of our music, he said, ‘You guys are killing it.’ ” Now that the tour is over, the band is set to work on its third full- length record, which band members hope will be out in Spring of 2019. While they are busy writing and putting together songs for the new album, fan are hopeful that they might also include some more covers including Black Sabbath’s “Changes” that is performed so brillantly by James. “We could not be more blessed with the opportunities we’ve been given this past year and can’t wait to see what the future holds,” James said. The band is currently hosting a pledge campaign to help raise funds to put out its third album. From fishing trips to golden concert tickets, the band has an array of gifts that fans will be awarded for pledging at various levels for the album. To make your pledge log onto mojo-new-alb.../updates. For more information about Blacktop Mojo, or to hear their music, log onto or visit them on Facebook at