Chris Ousey


THE FLOOD – Hear Us Out (Album Review, 2023)

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Escape Music

Surely this is the heaviest project I have heard Heatland/The Distance vocalist Chris Ousey front to date?

Some furious drumming from Saxon’s Nigel Glockler and the heaviest guitar work I’ve heard from FM’s Jim Kirkpatrick leads the sonic assault. Add in Bass supremo Billy Sheehan, who delivers his trademark sound and keys from former FM man Didge Digital and you get a truly accomplished lineup at work.

With the material all composed together by Chris Ousey and Jim Kirkpatrick, this is a true band project. The only way to have a natural mixing of minds and styles, is to have those involved write their own material and that’s exactly what you get here.

Fans of Ousey’s unique writing style will see the usual rewards come with repeated listens. He’s never been someone to make hooks and melodies obvious or over the top – instead he embeds them within the songs and choruses. And as usual, patience brings them all to the fore.

The opening ‘Dangerous Dawn’ and ‘The Devil He Don’t Care’ showcase the hard rocking approach, while ‘Can I Call It Home’ is a classic Ousey style heartfelt ballad.

The sheer pace of the album is almost unrelenting. It has that The Distance meets Mr. Big vibe, just with added punch.

This is nothing short of essential for fans of Ousey and FM – a glorious slice of high energy British melodic hard rock.


Heartland - Chris Ousey (1997)


How are you mate?

Not bad. I haven't been out of bed long, I take a while to run on all cylinders, you know!

How's things?
Okay, not bad. We've done a couple of weeks in Germany. It has taken me a week to get over that, we did a lot of travelling. It has been great.

And you are just resting in between projects right now?
We are going to start the next Heartland record in the studio in mid January. I have just got maybe one more tune to write.
Apart from that I am not flogging it at the moment.

How has the Distance project faired up?
I am really pleased with it actually. It's gone a hell of a lot better than I thought it would. Not that I didn't think the songs were good to begin with, but I was kind of nervous to start a new project.
I hadn't met the guy before.

Yeah, I knew very little about Kenny before hand. The thing just came about, because I was half way through writing the next Heartland record with Steve Morris and Steve had to break off for a little while to be in Ian Gillan's solo band.
So I had a kind of dead period, and I didn't want to stop writing because I find it difficult once I have stopped to get started again.
Escape music here wanted to know if I fancied doing a sort of solo record. And I thought that is a little unfair, as I always work with somebody else, and the idea of putting it out as a solo record when it is pretty obvious it is a joint project seemed to me a bit unfair.
I heard the Pokerface record, which I really liked, and I just fancied the change.
To get out of the country for a little while and do something different gave me a new slant on the Heartland stuff as well. It is good to do something else.

I have enjoyed the Heartland records. But as soon as I played this record I was blown away. The power, the guitar. It was a lot more in your face.
Yeah, there was definitely a change. I think it even has a little of the Canadian sound. It is a little bit more basic, and gave me a lot more scope to get a lot more attitude into it.

It is a rocking album!
We are definitely going to do another one.
Apart from everything else, I really enjoyed working with Kenny.
You always hope that everything you work on will be a commercial success, and it seems to be doing well, but when it comes down to it, it's whether you enjoy doing it, and I had a great time.

You sound like you are enjoying it.
Absolutely. I went over (to Vancouver) for 10 days to do the vocals and it was great to walk into the studio and have everything ready for you.
I don't particularly like studio's. For me going into the studio is like going to the dentist!
It is just not a very creative place for me. I like to have everything completely finished before I go in, so I can go strait for it.
Kenny has a nice little ranch up in the hills, so there are no disturbances.

Hard for some I guess!!!
Actually it pissed down most of the week.

Ha ha.
Yeah, it rained something rotten. But I live in Manchester, which is known as the rainy city, but Vancouver can take some beating!

Has the album been received well?
Yeah, I shouldn't really be surprised, but it has.
I took Kenny over to Germany for two weeks; we did an acoustic thing over there.
I went with Steve and Kenny so we could do some of each band acoustically.
It was great to go from one to the other.
We did some TV spots which were good.
I think with AOR, you have to try and keep the standard up. There are a lot of albums kicking about that aren't great, but aren't bad either. It is hard to keep up the standard.

Something I am curious about. You along with fellow UK rockers TEN have been pumping out new material at an awesome rate. Do you keep yourself busy recording all the time?
Yeah, I think a lot of that is that we are working with a smaller label.
With my last deal at A&M, the wheels grind really slowly. It's not that bands don't have enough material, or don't want to put records out, it's more the fact that when you have a major deal - because there is so much investment in each record, things grind forward so slowly.
With an independent record company the whole thing just moves much quicker. You get on the phone and ask for something, and it is done.

That must be enjoyable.
Yeah it's great. Escape have a great deal of enthusiasm.

How about Virginia Wolf?
I always enjoyed working with Nick Bold. He was incredibly prolific.
You would leave him in a room for a couple of hours and come back, and he would have four songs ready for you.
He was one of those guys that didn't seem to sleep.
I miss working with him.
I have not spoken to him for about three years. He was madly keen on learning the piano when I saw him last. He loves a challenge.
I hope he is still in the business.

That first record is one of my all time favourites.
Right, the first album as a good live album also. It was good to play live.
I think if anything, that was one of the problems. When we put the first record out and did some touring, it felt really good.
The record company were right behind us, Atlantic in America.
We put the second album out, and although it was a great studio record, it was hard to put over live. It didn't have the same easy flow as the first record.
I think at that time, what we needed was another really good live record.
We stumbled a bit around then.

What happened after that?
We lost the deal with Atlantic, and that was back I the days when none of us were particularly experienced, we thought once we lost the deal, that that was it.
Which looking back was really stupid!
A band is a band, and you go from deal to deal, you know.
We took it as a bit of a blow and Nick took it bad, as he felt he has worked really hard on the second album, and I think he was just very very disappointed.

And from there, a couple of years later, Heartland was formed.
Yeah, I was friend with a guy for years called Gary Sharpe, and I knew he had a home based studio.
He was one of the first guys into that. We kind of juts naturally drifted together.

It was a pretty soft album. Great soft AOR.
Yeah, I think you have to be critical of it, a lot of people say it is over produced, which is fair enough.
It is difficult to get hold of now, people are now looking for it.
A&M had an open wallet when it came to that one, they really liked the songs, and were looking for a band like us at the time, and went for it.
I actually got a lot of satisfaction at the time when the second record Wide Open came out, which was just working demo's anyway.
People were kind of saying the second album, that had absolutely no money thrown at it, and we were getting the same sort of reviews.
It just taught me that it is the songs that matter.
What I am trying to say is that you can throw as much money at a record, but a bad record is always going to be a bad record, no matter what how much money is involved.

How about Virginia Wolf on disc then?
It is possible. I was asked that in Germany. At the moment Escape are looking into that. I will keep you posted!

And the next Heartland record?
Yeah, I would like the next album to have even more depth to it. It will sound well produced, and I always want to put a little more into the songs. More going on.
That will keep going in the same direction as the last one.

Maybe we can talk again when the next Heartland comes out.
For sure mate. Good luck with the web page.

Thanks Chris for calling.
No worries. Bye.




TUG OF WAR Debut 'Soulfire' Out Feb 22

Friday, February 22, 2019
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Release date 22 February 2019\
TUG OF WAR 'Soulfire'
BK Morrison - Lead vocals
Tommy Denander - Guitars & keyboards
Billy Orrico - Drums
George Hawkins Jr Bass
Brian Anthony - Bass
Chris Ousey - Backing vocals
Bill Champlin - Backing vocals
Joseph Williams - Backing vocals
Once in a while a new epic voice comes into the world of rock and roll! Let us introduce you to BK Morrison.
Canadian singer BK Morrison has been a well kept secret from the world and only once he started posting some videos on Youtube of himself singing to various tracks in his living room did he attract the attention of Swedish guitarist, song writer and producer Tommy Denander.
The two quickly became friends and Tommy felt that this amazing voice must finally be heard to everyone so he actually wrote a whole album of great songs.
BK flew over to Stockholm and recorded all vocals at the famous old EMI/Abbey Road Stockholm studio where Tommy worked.
Tommy played the album for Khalil Turk at Escape Music who really liked it and a deal was done. The plan in the future is to build a new band around BK so they chose the band name Tug Of war instead of doing a solo album. The album is solely written by Tommy Denander who plays guitars and keyboards plus also produced it together with Khalil Turk.
It features a great list of people like Chris Ousey, Bill Champlin (Chicago) and Joseph Williams (Toto) on backing vocals, Billy Orrico on drums and Brian Anthony on bass plus mix and mastering.
Get ready for a new favourite singer in the style of David Coverdale, Bob Seger, Richard Marx and Lou Gramm.

KINGDOM OF MADNESS Finds Former MAGNUM Alumni Reunited

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Fans of classic MAGNUM are in for a surprise, with old and recently departed members coming together to form KINGDOM OF MADNESS, a group dedicated to performing classic Magnum tracks from the era 1978-1994 and includes recently deposed keyboardist Mark Stanway and popular drummer Mickey Barker.
The group features musicians who have either toured or recorded with Magnum, with the addition of bass supremo Neil Murray and his Snakecharmer band mate, vocalist Chris Ousey (Heartland, Virginia Wolf).
Stanway: “There is an extensive catalogue of great songs from the classic years of Magnum which have not been performed on stage in many years and which audiences have constantly requested. Having said that, I should state that we by no means consider ourselves a Magnum ‘tribute’ – how can it be when five of the members have a shared legacy with the band?
I’m delighted to be working with Richard Bailey, Mickey Barker, Laurence Archer and Mo Birch again, and in bassist Neil Murray and vocalist Chris Ousey, we have two musicians with their own distinct history who will obviously bring their personal musical identity to the project.
In addition, with our focus being firmly on the music from the earlier period, we do not perceive ourselves as being in ‘competition’ with the current Magnum. There is more than enough music to keep both bands busy – a fitting testament to the song-writing of Tony Clarkin.”
Kingdom Of Madness will make their live debut at Newhampton Arts Centre, Wolverhampton, on Friday December 21.

SNAKECHARMER - Second Skin (Review)

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Produced By: 
Release Date: 
Musical Style: 
Classic Rock
Friday, May 12, 2017
Well it’s a lot better than the one-paced and rather bland debut, that’s for certain. Tighter production, clearer mix and much better songs. And the band has moved away from the Whitesnake heritage, swinging into a more straight up classic rock vibe. Maybe because Neil Murray is the only snake left after Mickey Moody departed.
Chris Ousey as usual sings his heart out, belting out his best on tunes such as the rocking opening Sounds Like A Plan and the sweeter feel good That Kind Of Love and the fast moving Follow Me Under, which continues a more varied tempo than the debut.
The blues kick in with some hard edged riffing on Hell Of A Way To Live, continuing into the slow burning ballad Fade Away.
The acoustic driven pop/rock ballad Punching Above My Weight is a tail end highlight amongst a few songs that don’t carry their weight.
I’d still much prefer Chris Ousey fronting The Distance, or teaming again with Mike Slamer like he did for his debut solo album. Still, it’s always good to hear his voice.
Snakecharmer have lost a little of their ‘snake’ and gained a little more ‘charm’, but they are still a ways off a classic album. More work on hooks and choruses next time – everything else seems to be in place.



SNAKECHARMER Deliver 'Second Skin' May 12

Friday, May 12, 2017
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Frontiers Music Srl is pleased to announce the release of Snakecharmer’s sophomore album, “Second Skin” on May 12.
The British hard rock supergroup Snakecharmer was originally founded in 2011 by former Whitesnake/David Coverdale members Micky Moody and Neil Murray along with the perfect mix of high calibre musicians including Laurie Wisefield (Wishbone Ash), Harry James (Thunder, Magnum), Adam Wakeman (Ozzy Osbourne), and Chris Ousey (Heartland).
The band’s debut self-titled album was released in 2013 and musically the record showed a finely crafted hard rock style mixed with blues and melodic overtones, akin to Micky and Neil's former band and Bad Company, with hints of early Foreigner as well.
Snakecharmer played live shows regularly in support of the album’s release and built a solid fanbase in the UK and Europe. In 2016, Moody left the band and was replaced by the Irish-born Simon McBride on lead guitar. Simon was hailed “among the best blues-rock players anywhere in the world” by Guitarist Magazine and has built up an impressive resume playing with outstanding rock, soul, and blues artists.
“Second Skin” is the hotly anticipated second effort from Snakecharmer and brings the listener straight back to the good old days of real rock n' roll played with heart and soul. Slightly harder edged compared to the debut, but with roots still firmly planted in the classic hard rock vibe with a hint of late '70s AOR, this new record sounds fresh and crisp.
Bassist Neil Murray says “It’s been a rather long journey, but finally I’m very pleased to announce that Snakecharmer are soon to release our new album, Second Skin. The band has now found its own unique musical identity and in particular Laurie Wisefield and Chris Ousey have contributed some very powerful and melodic songs, which still have the Snakecharmer blues-rock distinctive trademarks. The band works in a very democratic and collaborative way, which means that sometimes there is a lot of discussion before decisions are finally made, and it was great to have a more objective viewpoint from producer Gary Stevenson, who also fired the band up with his ideas, enthusiasm and sonic skills. We can’t wait to get out on tour and play some of the new songs, together with the best of our established classics, both Snakecharmer and Whitesnake, and showcase our new virtuoso guitarist, the brilliant Simon McBride.”
Strong, passionate, rocking, and blues-laden, “Second Skin” is quality British hard rock at its very best!
1. Sounds Like A Plan
2. That Kind Of Love
3. Are You Ready To Fly
4. Follow Me Under
5. I'll Take You As You Are
6. Hell Of A Way To Live
7. Fade Away
8. Dress It Up
9. Punching Above My Weight
10. Forgive & Forget
11. Where Do We Go From Here
Chris Ousey - vocals
Laurie Wisefield - guitar
Simon McBride - guitar
Adam Wakeman - keyboards
Neil Murray - bass
Harry James - drums
May 05 Cardiff, The Globe
May 07 Bingley, Bingley Arts Centre
May 10 Hull, Fruit
May 12 Sheffield, The Plug
May 13 Tavistock, The Wharf
May 14 London, O2 Academy Islington
May 18 Glasgow, 02 ABC2
May 19 Newcastle upon Tyne, 02 Academy
May 20 Alva, Scotland
May 24 Preston, Guildhall
May 25 Milton Keynes, The Stables
May 26 Frome, Cheese And Grain
May 27 Holmfirth, Picturedrome



CHRIS OUSEY - Dream Machine (Review)

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Produced By: 
Lars Chriss
Release Date: 
Musical Style: 
Melodic Hard Rock
Friday, April 22, 2016
Veteran British vocalist Chris Ousey already has a wealth of impressive material to his name with such acts as Virginia Wolf, Heartland and The Distance.
His debut solo album was a long time coming, but was everything a Chris Ousey fan could possibly wish for, made even better with the production and musical nouse of the great Mike Slamer.
For his anticipated sophomore solo release, there’s no Slamer, but there is drummer/producer Lars Chriss and he has done a very good job maintaining the big punchy sound of the debut.
That album was truly outstanding, so I wasn’t expecting as much from this album, but still hoped it would come close. It does.
While the guitar playing and overall production style isn’t as impressive, the sound is still intact and the voice of Ousey makes it all worthwhile.
And there are several more absolutely fabulous songs on offer here. A couple of fillers too, but for the most part, this is a high energy, uptempo melodic rock must-have.
Opening with the Deep Purple-ish barnstormer This Is The Life, Chris shows he is still the vocalist we’ve loved since the 80s.
Another Runaway is a classically 80s sounding anthem, with a tasteful moody verse before one of the best choruses of the album.
War is possibly the most aggressive track on the album – fast, furious and packing a powerful punch.
Dream Machine continues the fast pace of the album with a funky twist. Not a favourite, but it depends on my mood how much I enjoy it.
Tearing It All Down is yet another fast flowing track with another great chorus. Classic Chris Ousey/Heartland here.
The fun continues with Into Your Dream, featuring another strong melodic AOR chorus over a solid groove.
Moment of Madness continues the blistering pace of this album with another great song. A less impactful chorus, but it still does the job.
Gone Long Gone is one track that fails in the chorus department for me; the verse is more impressive as far as vocal melodies.
Better Time to Come kicks the album back into overdrive, with a fast moving melodic rocker featuring another great vocal and chorus.
The slower rocking Eager To Please is perhaps another track that doesn’t have the immediate catchiness of other songs.
Return To Me makes up for that with enough melodies for two songs. Another fast and furious rocker.
Flesh On The Bone is a bonus track that wasn’t serviced to media, so I can’t comment on this one.

What strikes me above all else is the quality of Chris Ousey’s vocals. He truly is a wonder and anyone that appreciated Heartland or The Distance needs this album. Fans of the last album might miss Mike Slamer in the same way I am, but the quality of the songs and vocals ensures that the album repeats the ‘must buy’ status of the debut.



CHRIS OUSEY Launches New Solo 'Dream Machine' April 22

Friday, April 22, 2016
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Heartland/Ozone vocalist CHRIS OUSEY will release his second solo album 'Dream Machine' via Escape Music April 22.
Track list: This Is the Life / Another Runaway / War / Dream Machine / Tearing It All Down / Into Your Dream / Moment Of Madness / Gone Long Gone / Better Time To Come / Eager To Please / Return To Me / Flesh On The Bone (bonus track)
Chris Ousey: Lead vocals and backing vocals
Chris Green: Lead Guitars
Adam Wakeman: Keyboards
Andy Loos: Bass Guitars
Lars Chriss: Drums
Backing vocals: Ged Rylands and Paul Hume
Tommy Denander: Lead Guitars, Rhythm Guitars and Keyboards
Produced by Lars Chriss and Khalil Turk
Mixed and Arranged By Lars Chriss
Mastered by Mike Lind
Executive Producer Khalil Turk
All songs by Chris Ousey and Tommy Denander except track 9; Better Time To Come by Chris Ousey, the late Christian Wolf and Tommy Denander.
Chris Ousey has had an excellent singing career that goes way back to the times of Monroe, Virginia Wolf, the fantastic Heartland an outstanding solo recording and more recently Snakecharmer. He is nicknamed The man with the golden tonsils and that is a fine accolade indeed for he has earned it. His effortless vocal range has gained him a top spot in the world of classic UK hard rock.
Chris has already delivered us a fine solo album in 2011 called Rhyme and Reason with Mike Slamer at the production helm. It was very warmly received by fans and critics alike and featured some fantastic songs.
The New CD Dream Machine is an extension of the foundations laid down four years ago: we have huge choruses, great songs and a production second to none. Chris further cements his reputation as one of the UK's greatest vocalists with an effortless performance that will attract new fans to his already strong fanbase. With guests such as Tommy Denander, Adam Wakeman and Lars Chriss the scene is set for a great melodic rock album which will be a prime contender for album of the year. Chris is like a mature wine, his voice gets better with age…

OZONE - Self Defense (Review)

information persons: 
Produced By: 
Mike Slamer
Running Time: 
Release Date: 
Musical Style: 
Melodic Rock
Release Year: 
Friday, September 25, 2015
The pairing of the great Mike Slamer and Heartland/Virginia Wolf vocalist Chris Ousey produced one of 2011’s best albums in Rhyme And Reason.
Why it has taken 4 years for the pair to work together again I’m not sure, but Ozone is the result.
The “O” zone of course is “O”usey working alongside Steve “O”verlandFM vocalist and fellow British AOR crooner.
This album is everything I expected – super slick Slamer production and guitar playing, pristine mix and the “O’s” absolutely killing it on vocals. And you know the sound already – fans of Production-by-Slamer will get another dose of his production magic and layers upon layers of harmony vocals – even bigger here given the vocalists involved.
So as expected I played this album to death in the first couple of weeks. But something I did not expect – a certain disconnect with a few songs that have failed to draw me in for the long haul.
Ousey’s album I still play today – it’s just superb.
But I think the songwriting here is a little safe, a little predictable and for that reason there are patches in the album that haven’t ignited my passion such as albums like Seventh Key, Steelhouse Lane and Terry Brock/Slamer had.
In the superb category come the opener Tiger By The Tail; the big ballad So Blind (positioned too early in the album though); the fast moving Save My Soul and Evolve and the equally fast moving but even better Self Defence and Smile Before You Lie and perhaps the best track of all, the anthemic rocker Practice What You Preach.
In the “oddly not that compelling” category are the tunes Let The Good Will Out, Destiny and Lifeline (all a bit one-paced); Shadow On The Sun (annoying chorus) and Visionary Man which rocks, but just doesn’t blow me away.
Interestingly, while this is credited to both vocalists, it is Chris Ousey who has the most dominant role throughout the album.
I’m hoping the songwriting isn’t spread too thin for is long awaited follow-up solo album due in the next several months.

Another great sounding album for all involved and another production winner for Slamer, but not quite the musical home run I was expecting as far as songwriting goes. Still a lot to like though.



OZONE Offer 'Self Defense' September 25

Friday, September 25, 2015
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Escape Music is pleased to announce the release date for the much anticipated OZONE debut album, titled Self Defence.
Release Date: 25th September 2015

Track List: 1-Tiger By The Tail 3:38 / 2- Let The Good Will Out 4:11 /  3- So Blind 5:31 / 4-Destiny 3:50 /  5- Shadow On The Sun 3:32 / 6- Save My Soul 5:02 / 7- Evolve  4:27 / 8- Self Defence 3:42 / 9- Smile Before You Lie  4:21 / 10- Lifetime 4:05 / 11- Practice What You Preach  4:06 / 12- Visionary Man 4:34

Chris Ousey - Lead Vocals and backing vocals.

Chris Ousey has had an excellent singing career that goes way back to the times of 'Monroe', 'Virginia Wolf', the fantastic 'Heartland' an outstanding solo recording and more recently 'Snakecharmer'. He is nicknamed 'The man with the golden tonsils' and that is a fine accolade indeed for he has earned it. His effortless vocal range has gained him a top spot in the world of classic UK hard rock.

Steve Overland - Vocals and backing vocals.

Steve Overland is a legend in his own lifetime. Is there anyone out there who is not familiar with his name? He has a history that goes way back into the late seventies, his first major recording was with the band 'Wildlife' in 1980. After the demise of 'Wildlife' Steve went on to form the cult British melodic rock band 'FM', a band that released many great albums throughout the eighties and nineties and right up to 2015. Their popularity has always been at the forefront of British Hard Rock. Steve has also fronted many great bands in recent years, such as 'The Ladder', 'Shadowman' and of course he has recorded three fine solo albums.
Mike Slamer - Guitars / B3 Organ / Keys / Bass
Ronnie Platt - Backing vocals
Billy Greer - Backing vocals
Kerry Denton - Drums
The Late and sadly missed our dear friend Christian Wolff  - Guitars and Keys on 'Evolve'
Erik Sabo - B3 organ
All songs written by Chris Ousey, Steve Overland, Mike Slamer.
Recorded and Mixed at Shattered Studios Valencia CA except for Steve Overland vocals recorded at Tremolo Recording Studio in Cheshire, UK.
Produced and mixed by Mike Slamer
Mastered by Mike Lind at Masterplant
Executive Producer: Khalil Turk for Escape Music Ltd.
The two 'O's' have joined forces on a collaboration that has been whispered for years now and the rumours have all been true as this great union is about to be unleashed on the world. This is just beyond a dream, even the thought that two of the finest melodic rock vocalists in the UK would come together and record an album.
We all know the work of Mike Slamer (City Boy, Streets, and Seventh Key) and his amazing production expertise, well here he outshines all of his previous work with a razor sharp explosion of talent. Mike has a knack of making great music sound even better and this is all the evidence we need. Check out songs like 'Smile before you lie' and 'Practice what you preach' for superb examples of melodic hard rock. On top of it all you get some great backing vocals from Kansas members Ronnie Platt and Billy Greer just like icing on the cake!
This album is dedicated to Christian Wolf R.I.P.


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