Liberty n' Justice was founded in 1991 by Justin Murr and Patrick Marchand. Just out of high school, they recorded their first album, 'Armed With The Cross', in 1992 on independent label Glory Rock Records. With the music of one and the voice of the other, they embarked on a six month tour to support it. 'Armed with the Cross' went on to sell 5500 units. Along the way, Liberty n' Justice added new band members Robert Sliger, Angie Beckett, James Beckett, Sarah Day, Bob Bacon and Kim Todd. The band members thought they were building momentum and decided to go back into the studio in 1994. The album they recorded, 'Big Guns', was over budget, had no musical direction, and lackluster production. It only sold 900 units. Many national and local magazines and newspapers wrote LnJ off, so the band withered away. In 1996, Murr and Marchand went into the studio to work on 'Forever Till The End' and they recorded 28 tunes. By this time, every major label had passed on Liberty n' Justice, and the band was drawing very few people to its shows. Just as Murr was about to trash the project, a long-time recording buddy and co-writer of most of LnJ's songs said he would sing leads on the project. Gregg Clemons (former CBS recording artist) took the project to the next level. At this time LnJ was just a studio group, but the songs caught the attention of a publishing company in Nashville. At dinner they offered a very "bad deal" which Murr turned down. He gave up on music. In 2000, Marchand called Murr and the two got together. After talking, they decided to record a fourth album, 'Bargain Bin', for Innate Records. Marchand, Murr, along with Holly Jones and Murr's wife Sharon, went on the 2000 "Karaoke Live" tour. At the end of our tour, Murr started planning a tour for 2001, but things fell apart. Efforts were made in 2002 by Murr to record what he thought would be a solo album. But soon he found himself calling Jamie Rowe (Guardian/London Calling) and Dale Thompson (Bride) and asked them to sing on two different songs for the album. To his surprise, they agreed. From there, things snowballed and the album finally got direction. Murr formed a partnership with Bill Tate and Gary Manuel called 3 Chord Records. They decided to use the band name Liberty n' Justice for the new album, which is titled 'Welcome to the Revolution'. The album features 18 known singers, including Lou Gramm of Foreigner and Michael Sweet of Stryper.

SOUNDTRACK OF A SOUL (2006) LNJ

  1. Intro
  2. Kings Of Hollywood (Ez Gomer)
  3. Another Nail (Sebastian Bach)
  4. State Of Grace (Russell Arcara)
  5. Malice In Wonderland (Jamie Rowe)
  6. Grenade (Dale & Troy Thompson)
  7. Show Me the Way (Oni Logan)
  8. Sight Unseen (Leif Garrett)
  9. Up That Hill (Josh Kramer)
  10. Serreal (Scott Wenzel)
  11. Flinch (Tony Harnell)
  12. Thy Will Be Done (Mark Slaughter & Pete Loran)
  13. Killer Grin (Stepehn Pearcy)
  14. If The World Could Be Mine (Joe Cerisano)
  15. Always Tomorrow (Ted Poley)
  16. Hope & Pray / Ballad Of King David (Phil Naro)
  17. Make Believe (Mike Lee)
  18. Outro

Line-up:

Lead Vocals: See track list

Guitars: Mike Layne, Troy Thompson, Jamie Rowe, Tommy Denander, Scott Heberer, Torontali, Dave Tsien, Sayit, Mike Maino, Stephen DeAcutis, Drive, Aurelien Barbolosi, Mark Slaughter

Bass: Mike Layne, Justin Murr, Ez Gomér, Tim Gaines, Steve Curtsinger, Tim Bushong, Mark Arbour, Ed Avila, John "JD" DeServio, Micha

Drums and Percussion: Mikkey Dee, Michael Loy, Tim Bushong, Roger Banks, John Hummel, Shawn Szoke, Michael Ulvsgärd, Shannon Woulfe, Bryan West, Dave Anthony, Gary Horrie

Keyboards: Tommy Denander, Charlie Calv

Backing Vocals: Mike Layne, Justin Murr, Steve Curtsinger, Michael Loy, Alex Thompson, Jamie Rowe, Ez Gomér, Ed Avila, Mary Jacobsen, Mike Maino, Stephen DeAcutis, Drive, Sebastian Bach, Mark Slaughter, Pete Loran

 

I was made aware of this band because of the Christian Metal Realm board. Justin Murr pimped his 'Welcome To The Revolution' release there, and he caught my interest with all the famous names participating on that album. But for some reason I hesitated buying it, and when the reviews for the album turned out to be quite lukewarm, I didn't bother to further look into this band. But then Justin started talking about his new album, and the many artists he got to guest on it. And this time it was no way around it; I just had to buy 'Soundtrack Of A Soul'! And I'm glad I did. OK, so the biggest selling point of this album are all the celebrity singers who guest on it. But I honestly think that this album has such strong song material, it would be just as enjoyable with only 1 singer too (provided the singer in question would be a good one, of course). Justin did a great job with the writing part this time, and getting Mike Layne to produce was another great move. The music is high quality melodic hardrock/metal, not unlike the main bands of most of the participating artists hereon. The album opens with a sound clip from the movie "School Of Rock", and it is most fitting. Nearly every tune are bull's-eyes, and the album as a whole grows on you with each new listen. Justin has not tried to imitate any of the bands he has borrowed musicians from, and that proves to be a wise decision. Because it's really nice to hear Sebastian Bach (ex-Skid Row), Josh Kramer (Saint) and Drive (Mike Lee from Barren Cross) sound quite different from what you'd expect. The album is very dynamic, balancing between ballads and more heavy songs. Liberty N'Justice are not in the music business just for the fun of it. Justin has a message he wants to share with the listener. And I think it is great to get to hear so many excellent secular artists who have said yes to guest on this album. The result is outstanding!

Killer tracks: Kings Of Hollywood, Another Nail, Malice In Wonderland, Flinch, If The World Could Be Mine

INDEPENDENCE DAY (2007) LNJ

  1. Doubting Thomas (John Corabi)
  2. Monkey Dance (Jack Russell)
  3. Soldier (Kelly Keagey & Mark Slaughter)
  4. My Sacrifice (Shawn Pelata)
  5. Phoenix (Pete Loran)
  6. Independence Day (Kelly Keeling)
  7. Meet My Monster (Tony Mills)
  8. Praying For A Miracle (Ted Poley)
  9. Fade (Jamie Rowe)
  10. Bullet, Train, Breakdown (Jamie St.James)
  11. Addiction (Jani Lane)
  12. Wake The Dead (Ez Gomér & Tony Carey)
  13. Snake Eat Snake (David Raymond Reeves)
  14. A Little Bit Of Love (Mark & Shannon Hovland)

Line-up:

Lead Vocals: See track list

Guitars: Mike Layne, Tommy Denander, Jack Frost, Sayit, Alby Odum, Nikki Dimage, Dave Tsien, Mark Hovland, Shannon Hovland, Mike Biggs, Drrk McCoy, Ryan Marsh

Bass: Mike Layne, Justin Murr, Jerry Dixon, Ez Gomér, Scot Strickland, Brian Bridenthal, Mark Hovland, Shannon Hovland, Dave Tsien, Eric Nelson

Drums: Mike Layne, Michael Ulvsgärd, Terry Russell, Timmy Higgins, Mark Hovland, Shannon Hovland, Ron Sivulich Jr., Cory McKown

Keyboards: Mike Layne, Tony Carey, Charlie Calv, Chuck Giacinto, Mark & Shannon Hovland, Robert Hartwig

Background Vocals: Mike Layne, Justin Murr, Kevin Chalfant, Ex Gomér, Tony Carey, Dale Toth, Denny Rockey, Joe Galvan

Liberty N' Justice are back, with the same winning concept. But this time they are back with a twist. The formula is the same; you take a bunch of profiled lead singers, and let them sing songs written by two very competent hard rock song writers. But this time, instead of performing pretty standard hard rock tunes, Murr and Layne have created a semi-acoustic effort! And you know what? It works perfectly! The list of singers reads as any hair metal fans wet dream come true. But I urge everyone to try to notice the songs first. Never mind that names such as John Corabi (ex-Mötley Crüe, Union, ex-Ratt), Jack Russell (Great White) and Tony Mills (TNT, ex-Shy), amongst many others, delivers some great singing, outside of their everyday fields here. It really is the catchy songs that make this album what it really is; namely a great hard rock album! Named after the Whiteheart tune they so eloquently cover on the CD, this album took me by surprise, even though I had pretty high expectations for it, and it keeps climbing on the top 20 of 2007 releases list. And even though this is a mostly acoustic instrumented album, that doesn't not mean that we get any sub par playing. Everything is handled great by the respective artists, and to round it all off, the production is top notch too. Also look out for another stellar cover art job by Rex Zachary.

Killer tracks: All of them!

4 ALL: THE BEST OF LNJ (2008) VERSAILLES

  1. We Have A God (Derrick LeFevre, Larry Worley, Richard Kendrick)
  2. Rage (Dug Pinnick)
  3. Devil In The Details (Steve Brown)
  4. Author Of The Flame (Dale & Troy Thompson)
  5. Blind Man's Bluff (Michael Sweet)
  6. Noise (Jamie Rowe)
  7. Shed My Skin (Lou Gramm)
  8. Another Nail (Sebastian Bach)
  9. Sight Unseen (Leif Garret)
  10. Flinch (Tony Harnell)
  11. Thy Will Be Done (Mark Slaughter, Pete Loran)
  12. Killer Grin (Stephen Pearcey)
  13. Doubting Thomas (John Corabi)
  14. Monkey Dance (Jack Russell)
  15. Soldier (Kelly Keagey, Mark Slaughter)
  16. Independence Day (Kelly Keeling)
  17. Praying For A Miracle (Ted Poley)
  18. Addiction (Jani Lane)

Line-up:

Lead Vocals: See track list

Guitars: Mike Layne, Richard Kendrick, Steve Brown, Troy Thompson, Michael Sweet, Gary Manuel, Jon Gilbert, Keri Kelli, Scott Heberer, Tim Bushong, Sayit, Tommy Denander, Dave Tsien

Bass: Justin Murr, Steve Brown, Troy Thompson, Rich Creadore, Mathew Martin, Tim Gaines, Ez Gomer, Eric Nelson

Drums: Mike Laney, Steve Brown, Patrick Doody, Derek Sorrells, Gary Horrie, Shannon Woulfe, Michael Ulvsgärd, Cory McKown

Keyboards: Troy Thompson, Jeff Oakley, Mike Laney, Charlie Calv

Background Vocals: Mike Laney, Justin Murr, Steve Brown, Bill Tate, Gary Manuel, Michelle Lynn, Steve Davies

Liberty N' Justice was given worldwide attention because of their last 2 all-star CD's. Thus, in 2008 they decided to release a compilation album, so that new and old fans can check out what they are all about. This 18 track overview delivers songs from the band's last 3 all-star albums, but omits adding tracks from the first independent albums.

It's no secret that much of the success Liberty N' Justice have gained during the last years is due to the all-star line-ups featured on the last records. Having everyone-and-their-mother as guests created a buzz amongst those in love with melodic hard rock. Still, for me personally, the more I listen to Liberty N' Justice, the more it hits me: It's the songwriters who are the real stars here. You can have all the famous names in the world on your album, and it would still stink if the songs weren't good. And listening to the 18 songs they put on this compilation CD it is no doubt that Liberty N' Justice have always written great melodic hard rock! If you haven't checked out any of their other releases so far, this is a great place to get to know them. And if you, like me, already own the bands back catalogue, you still want to by '4 All: The Best of LNJ' for the 4 brand new tracks. They are all great songs, and I especially loved "Rage", featuring Dug Pinnick of King's X on vocals. I've never been a fan of his main band, King's X, but the track here is phenomenal. "We Have A God" is actually a Fear Not song, and Larry Worley was the lead singer for this band. In this cover version he is joined by Derrick LeFevre (Lillian Axe) and Richard Kendrick. The liner-notes gives you information about every singer featured on the CD.

LIGHT IT UP (2009) RETROACTIVE RECORDS

  1. Light It Up (Phil Lewis (LA Guns), JK Northrup)
  2. The Other Thief (Dale & Troy Thompson (Bride))
  3. Blink (Lynn Louise Lowrey (Vixen), Eddie Ojeda (Twisted Sister))
  4. Do What You Believe (CJ Snare & Bill Leverty (Firehouse))
  5. Man vs. Mother Nature (Ted Poley (Danger Danger), Vic Rivera (Crunch))
  6. Treading On Serpents (Les Carlsen (Bloodgood), Oz Fox (Stryper, Bloodgood))
  7. Uncle Sam (Sheldon Tarsha (Tarsha, Adler’s Appetite), Jeff Pilson (Dokken, Foreigner))
  8. Every Reason To Believe (Kelly Keeling (Baton Rouge, TSO), Kerri Kelli (Alice Cooper))
  9. Wrestling With God (Pete Loran & Steve Brown (Trixter), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Guns 'N’Roses, Lita Ford))
  10. Best Time You Never Had (Chris Jericho (WWE Wrestler, Fozzy), Phil Collen (Def Leppard))
  11. Beautiful Decision (Harry Hess & Pete Lesperance (Harem Scarem))
  12. Drunk Dead Gorgeous (Marq Torien (BulletBoys), Chris Holmes (W.A.S.P.))
  13. Greed (Robert Mason (Warrant, Lynch Mob), Jerry Dixon (Warrant))
  14. For Better Or Worse (Shawn Pelata (Oracle, Line Of Fire), Stephen Chesney (Frontiers, Waking Jonah))

Justin Murr, and his Liberty N' Justice, are back with another all-star album. The line up of guests is as impressive this time around as it was on the last 3 effort. So 'Light It Up' is sure to please the already converted, and hopefully open some new ears to this excellent constellation in the process.

Liberty N' Justice signed up with Retroactive Records for this release. In addition to changing the title from 'The Cigar Chronicles' to 'Light It Up' (??) and the song "Bastard" to "The Other Thief", they also asked to have the intended cover art changed (I added the original above, as I liked it better). Oh well, it is the music that counts. And, as usual, the music is awesome! This is melodic hard rock/metal at it's very best. If you are familiar with any of the guests main bands, you know what you are getting on this CD. Justin is an unsung master in writing songs for the hard rock genre. He has once again hired a little help from Shawn Pelata (Line Of Fire etc). I really hope he gets the attention he deserves with this release. Just listen to what he does for the Thompson brothers, of Bride fame. Their track, "The Other Thief", could have been on many a Bride album. However, this song is so much better that anything Bride themselves have been doing for ages!

'Light It Up' consists mostly of up-tempo rockers, but you know you'll also get some slower number on a CD like this. And what is a melodic hard rock album without some beautiful ballads? "For Better Or Worse", featuring Shawn Pelata and Stephen Chesney of Waking Jonah, and "Do What You Believe", with Bill Leverty & CJ Snare from Firehouse, are both incredible songs. However, I keep changing favorite tracks every time I listen to the CD. So that means the album has longevity. All in all I find 'Light It Up' to be yet another perfect album from Liberty N' Justice. I cannot say enough good things about this band/project, so do yourself a favor, and check them out for yourself.

Oh, and why isn't Chris Jericho singing on the song "Wrestling With God"? LOL

Killer tracks: All of them!

CHASING A CURE (2011) ROXX PRODUCTIONS

  1. Say Uncle (Paul Shortino (Quiet Riot, Rough Cutt), Ron Keel (Keel), Eddie Ojeda (Twisted Sister))
  2. Throwing Stones (Donnie Vie (Enuff Z Nuff), JK Northrup)
  3. Paige's Song (Philip Bardowell (MAGDALEN, Unruly Child, The Beach Boys), Tony Palacios (Guardian))
  4. Playing God (Terry Ilous (XYZ), Jeff Paris & Richard Kendrick (Near Life Experience))
  5. Chasing A Cure (Benny Mardones, John Pine & Bill Leverty (Firehouse))
  6. Black Or White (Terry Ilous (XYZ), Alton Hood (D.O.C), JK Northrup))
  7. Quicksand Jesus (Kelly Keeling (Baton Rouge))
  8. Snake Eat Snake (Electric Version) (David Raymond Reeves & Don Webster (Neon Cross))
  9. Butterface (Mark Allen Lanoue (Biloxi), Joshua Perahia (Joshua))
  10. When Mullets Ruled The World (Philip Bardowell (MAGDALEN, Unruly Child, The Beach Boys))
  11. Ground Zero (Kelly Keeling (Baton Rouge) Kerry Livgreen (Kansas, Protokaw), Carmine Appice (King Kobra, Blue Murder))
  12. Eve (Tommy Denander)
  13. Damascus Road (Tommy Denander)

Justin Murr and his daughter, Paige

Justin's oldest daughter, Trinity Paige Murr, was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 7. For the past five years she has battled through daily medication, hospital stays, cluster seizures, induced comas, three weeks in the ICU - and finally even under going brain surgery. Liberty 'N' Justice are trying to create awareness of epilepsy and raise money for research to find a cure, so in 2010 Justin Murr teamed up with Vic Rivera, and recorded and released a digital only 5 track EP, entitled 'Chasing A Cure'. A year later Roxx Records helped to release a limited edition 13 track full album.

'Chasing The Cure' is yet another all-star effort, as we have gotten used to from Justin Murr and his co-horsts. The 5 songs originally featured on the download EP are all great tunes, with a message. Naturally, 'Paige's Song' hits you in the heart with it's honesty and loving feeling. Musically we're still talking melodic hard rock, perhaps with an emphasis on ballads this time around. Stars featured include members of Keel, Twisted Sister and Firehouse, to name but a few. Of the 8 added tracks on the album version, I think the cover songs stick out the most, and perhaps not because they are so great? Personally I did not like the rendition of Michael Jackson's "Black Or White". However, both Skid Row's "Quicksand Jesus" and Kerry Livgren's (Kansas) "Ground Zero" are great! The latter also features Kerry Livgren himself as guest. The song "When Mullets Ruled The World" is another highlight, a ballad tribute to the days of hair metal and hard rock! They even made a music video for his song, and pictures of hair metal bands were gathered via members on various message boards to help create it. Also noticeable is the electric version of "Snake Eat Snake" a track that originally appeared acoustic on 'Independence Day'.

The only downside to 'Chasing A Cure' is that it seems to be a step down production wise, compared to the last 2 or 3 Liberty 'N' Justice albums. I am not sure why, but I get a sense that many of the songs here are unfinished demo tracks, or rough mixes. This is a minor complaint though, and I find myself enjoying so many of the songs on 'Chasing A Cure'. And when you know that this album was released for a good cause, then it's all the better!

The L.P. version has a slightly different running order, and of course the 8 bonus tracks, compared to the EP. But it features the same artwork created by Rex Zachary, only with the word "E.P." crossed out, and "L.P." added. Sadly the 1 panel digi-pack packaging doesn't add much information, besides the track list (listed in the wrong order on the back of the CD, but correctly inside). Still, kudos to Roxx Records for releasing this as a physical album, so CD collector's (like me) can get a proper copy too. I don't want to spend money on downloaded songs, though I bought this particular EP to donate to the cause. Still, this proper CD release is preferred, and I got to contribute to raise money for 'Chasing A Cure' once more. I suggest you all do the same!

Killer tracks: Say Uncle, Throwing Stones, Paige's Song, Chasing A Cure, When Mullets Ruled The World

HELL IS COMING TO BREAKFAST (2012) ROXX RECORDS

  1. Hell Is Coming To Breakfast
  2. Madhatter
  3. Whack A Mole
  4. Thankful Heart
  5. Nakatomi Plaza
  6. Stretch Armstrong
  7. Get Down
  8. Your Memory Just Won’t Do (Previously unreleased on CD)
  9. Thy Will Be Done (Demo)
  10. What Do You Believe? (Original demo of "Do What You Believe")
  11. Monkey Dance (Alternate Mix)
  12. Sin (Original Acoustic Demo)
  1. Seann Nichols (Adler’s Appetite, Tarsha), JK Northrup (King Kobra, XYZ)
  2. Donnie Vie (Enuff Z’ Nuff), JK Northrup, Chris Dickens (Mission Of One), Tommy Denander
  3. Johnny Lima, JK Northrup, Jerry Johnson (Saint), Richard Lynch (Saint)
  4. Philip Bardowell (Unruly Child), Lynn Louise Lowrey (Vixen, Testify), Anthony Gravley (Windup Rocket)
  5. JK Northrup, Greg Bishop (X-Sinner), Scott Weisenborn (Testify)
  6. Louis St August (Mass), JK Northrup, Keri Kelli (Alice Cooper)
  7. Tony Mills (TNT, Shy, Siam), Mark Allen Lanoue (Chasing Karma, Bilioxi), Anthony Gravley
  8. David Cagle, Alex Grossi (Quiet Riot, Hotel Diablo), CJ Snare (Firehouse, Rubicon Cross)
  9. Jamie Rowe (Guardian)
  10. Mike Ledesma (FarCry), Vic Rivera (Crunch)
  11. Jack Russell (Great White)
  12. Jani Lane (Warrant)

'Hell Is Coming To Breakfast' was supposed to be an EP, released to hold the fans over with some new tunes, until Liberty 'N' Justice's next full length album comes out. But with 12 songs (7 brand new, 1 previously unreleased on CD, 3 demos and 1 alternative mix), it is one loooooooooong EP! Most of these tracks were recorded for L 'n' J's magnum opus, the upcoming 'The Cigar Chronicles Volume 1 & 2'. But for different reasons Justin didn't see them fit for said project, so he decided to team up with Roxx Records to release them here instead. This also marks the 20th anniversary for the band.

Even though Justin stated that he didn't think these songs would fit on the upcoming album, they should not be regarded as throwaway songs! As usual from Justin and company, it's quality from start to finish. Also as usual, you get a who's-who of melodic hard rock and metal presented on one CD, with guests from such diverse bands as Saint, Vixen, Alice Cooper and TNT, to name just a few. From the opening title track it's clearly evident that Justin's brain is working on memorable melodic metal overload! He has this knack for writing songs that sticks to my brain, like super glue. I'm singing along on the very first listen, and that is not something my thinner fried brain does too often these days. "Hell Is Coming To Breakfast", "Madhatter", "Whack A Mole" and "Thankful Heart", I love 'em all! Still, I think my favorite is "Nakatomi Plaza", if not for anything else because of the weird fact the they wrote a song named after the building from the original Die Hard movie!! Another favorite is "Stretch Armstrong". Louis St August (Mass) has such a charismatic voice, I think I'll love just about anything he puts his voice to.

Of the 5 "bonus tracks" here, I really like the original demo version of "Do What You Believe". The acoustic version of "Sin" is also a nice addition, seeing it got to be the last song Jani Lane (Warrant) recorded, before his untimely death. A regular version will be released on 'The Cigar Chronicles'. 'Hell Is Coming To Breakfast' is so schlock full of great songs, it will definitely rank high on my top 20 list of 2012 releases.

The 3 panel digipack that this CD comes in is a bit on the cheap side. It does feature comments from Justin Murr, some fun collage of pictures from people who have been involved wit the band over the years, as well as pictures of all the releases from Liberty N' Justice, so far.

Killer tracks: I like them all!

THE CIGAR CHRONICLES VOLUME 1 & 2 (Digital Download) (2012) INDEPENDENT

VOLUME 1 (THE COVERS)
  1. Ice Ice Baby (Vanilla Ice)
  2. I Can’t Dance (Genesis)
  3. Pride (In The Name Of Love) (U2)
  4. Stayin’ Alive (The Bee Gees)
  5. YMCA (The Village People)
  6. Iris (The Goo Goo Dolls)
  7. You’re So Vain (Carly Simon)
  8. Queen Of The Night (Whitney Houston)
  9. Blame It On The Rain (Milli Vanilli)
  10. Bye Bye Bye (N’Sync)
  11. Dancing On The Ceiling (Lionel Ritchie)
  12. Stuck In The Middle With You (Stealers Wheel)
  13. Mmmbop (Hanson)

 
  1. Seann Nicols (Adler’s Appetite, Tarsha), Eddie Ojeda (Twisted Sister)
  2. Stevie Rachelle (TUFF)
  3. CJ Snare (Firehouse, Rubicon Cross), George Lynch (Dokken, Lynch Mob), Jeff Pilson (Dokken, Foreigner)
  4.  Kip Winger (Winger)
  5. Kelly Keeling (Baton Rouge, Trans-Siberian Orchestra), Chris Dickens (Mission Of One), Neil Zaza
  6. Tony Harnell (TNT, Westworld), Alex Grossi (Quiet Riot, Hotel Diablo)
  7. Phil Lewis (LA Guns), Chris Green (Rubicon Cross, Furyon)
  8. Selena McVey & Brooke St. James (Tyketto)
  9. Andrew Freeman (Hurricane, Offspring, 30 Stones), Pete Fry (FarCry), Eric Ragno
  10. Chas West (Bonham),  Jeff LaBar (Cinderella)
  11. James Christian (House Of Lords)
  12. Larry Worley (FearNot), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Guns N’ Roses), Andy Robbins (Holy Soldier), Anthony Gravley (Windup Rocket)
  13. Jamie Rowe (Guardian), Anthony Gravley (Windup Rocket), Roxx Hunter
VOLUME 2 (THE ORIGINALS)
  1. Devil His Dues
  2. The Greatest
  3. Cupids Gonna Bleed
  4. Under Construction
  5. Been There Done That
  6. Grace
  7. Sucker Punched
  8. Broken Bones
  9. Sin
  10. Give Em’ A Light
  11. Daddy Long Legs
  12. Cut Me Mick
  13. Tomorrow
 
  1. Derrick LeFevre (Lillian Axe), Vic Rivera (Crunch), Michael Feighan (Whitecross), Barry Graul (Mercy Me, Whitecross)
  2. David Cagle, Mark Allen Lanoue (Chasing Karma, Bilioxi), Brad Stetler
  3. Gunnar Nelson (Nelson), Steve Brown (Trixter), Barry Carl (Rockapella)
  4. Eric Dover (Slash’s Snakepit, Jelly Fish), Mark Kendall (Great White), Ian Keith Hafner (Jaguar Blaze), Eric Ragno
  5. Ted Poley (Danger Danger), Richard Kendrick (Straitjacket Smile)
  6. Michael Bormann (Jaded Heart, Rain, Charade), Phillip Bardowell (Unruly Child, Beach Boys), Mark Slaughter (Slaughter)
  7. Rick Stitch (Hotel Diablo), Jerry Dixon (Warrant) & Xander Demos
  8. Giancarlo Floridia (Faithsedge), Greg Martin (The Kentucky Headhunters), Chad Stewart (Faster Pussycat)
  9. Jani Lane (Warrant), Bill Leverty (Firehouse), Keri Kelli (Alice Cooper)
  10. Paul Shortino (King Kobra, Quiet Riot, Rough Cutt),  Dave Henzerling (King Kobra, Steelshine)
  11. Louis St August (Mass) & Tim Gaines (Stryper)
  12. Ron Keel (Keel), Michael Phillips (Deliverance, The Sacrificed)
  13. Terry Ilous (Great White, XYZ), Ron Wikso (Foreigner, David Lee Roth, Cher), Alessandro Del Vecchio (Hardline, Glenn Hughes, Eden’s Curse), PK Mitchell

    additional background vocals by Richard Kendrick, Giancarlo Floridia, Phil Vincent, Michael Stover, Frankie Cleaver, Bryan Cole

Justin Murr must be one of the most hard working individuals in the hard rock circuits. Here he is back, together with JK Northrup, with yet another Liberty 'N' Justice release. This is the second release from them in 2012, and on top of that, it's a double album as well! This particular release has been in the making for quite some time, and finally the world is ready for 'The Cigar Chronicles Volume 1 & 2'.

If you have been paying attention to this band, or if you've read my write-up's on Liberty 'N' Justice earlier efforts, the name (and cover art) for this release might look familiar. Yes, 'The Cigar Chronicles' was intended to be the title for the album Liberty 'N' Justice released in 2009. I'm glad Justin finally got to use the title, and the awesome cover art, created by Rex Zachary. I can no longer remember if the original intention was to do this as a 2 part double album, but the result is just that, a 26 song mastodon!

Disc 1 is a covers album, however done with just the slightest of twists. Usually when bands release covers album they do it to pay homage to their influences and roots. If you take a look at the track list, and the original artist covered here, you'll see that Justin did not pick 1 song that you'll naturally associate with a melodic hard rock band! What I think they did was to take songs with great hooks, and turned them into hard rocking tunes! This proves that a great song is a great song, no matter the way you "dress" it. OK, so one might argue that "Ice Ice Baby" is not exactly Beethoven or The Beatles, but if you listen to the remake done here there is no denying that it is in fact a very catchy pop song! So don't be fooled by the fact that Liberty 'N' Justice did their own versions of songs originally recorded by Milli Vanilli, N' Sync or Hanson, because I assure you these boys have re-done them in a way that sounds Liberty 'N' Justice all the way. My personal favorites are Tony Harnell singing The Goo Goo Dolls' "Iris" and Andrew Freeman singing Milli Vanilli's "Blame It On The Rain". And, yes, I also love what they did with "Ice Ice Baby"!

Disc 2 delivers 13 original tracks. And as much as I appreciate the covers disc, this is the real reason to buy 'The Cigar Chronicles'. I started this write-up by stating that Justin must be the hardest working man in the hard rock business. Not only has he come up with enough material for 3 full albums during a 2 year time span, the quality of the material is inconceivably strong too! There are seldom fillers on a Liberty 'N' Justice album, and I'd be hard pressed to find any here either. "Devil His Dues", "The Greatest", "Sin", "Daddy Long Legs", "Tomorrow", it's one long hit parade. I know it is easy to get "blinded" by all the famous guests that are featured on 'The Cigar Chronicles', which might be one of the reasons why this is going to be the last all-star album from Liberty 'N' Justice, but I have always credited the quality of L 'n' J's albums to the song writers! And now that Justin and JK Northrup have teamed up with even more band members, I'm already looking forward to hear what more is hiding up their musical sleeves.

I really can't understand why Liberty 'N' Justice haven't hit it big yet. It just goes to show that quality doesn't always equal guaranteed success. Record companies should take note and sign this incredibly talented band. And if you consider yourself a fan of hard rock and melodic heavy metal, then buying 'The Cigar Chronicle' is a must! It is definitely one of the best albums of 2012!

Killer tracks: No fillers, all killers!

Liberty 'N' Justice also appear on:

V/A - 'Thorns Of Redemption: The Christian Metal Realm Compilation - Volume 1'

V/A - 'The Narrow Path: The CMR Compilation - Volume II'