Slash announces S.E.R.P.E.N.T. Festival and new album on the heels of Oscar performance

Ryan Gosling was joined by Slash for a memorable performance of "I'm Just Ken" at the Oscars.
96th Annual Academy Awards - Show
96th Annual Academy Awards - Show / Kevin Winter/GettyImages

Guns N' Roses GRAMMY-winning guitarist Slash made headlines for his team-up performance of "I'm Just Ken" with Ryan Gosling at the 96th Academy Awards ceremony on March 10. The song was featured in the Barbie movie, in which Gosling starred as Ken. Just days after the performance, Slash unveiled the dates and lineup for the first S.E.R.P.E.N.T Festival and the release date of his debut blues album, Orgy of the Damned.

The S.E.R.P.E.N.T. Festival, which stands for Solidarity, Engagement, Restore, Peace, Equality N’ Tolerance, is described as a celebration of the blues. But it is so much more. The event is all about making a difference, with a portion of ticket sales proceeds donated to The Equal Justice Initiative, Know Your Rights Camp, The Greenlining Institute, and War Child Charities.

SlashsSerpentFestival_AllDates_FINAL Poster
Slash's Serpent Festival Final Poster /

The lineup includes blues legends Warren Haynes Band, Keb’ ‘Mo, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Robert Randolph, Samantha Fish, Eric Gales, ZZ Ward, Jackie Venson, and Larkin Poe, who are joined by blues veterans for a memorable event. Slash will be joined by his blues band featuring bassist Johnny Griparic, keyboardist Teddy ‘ZigZag’ Andreadis, drummer Michael Jerome, and singer/guitarist Tash Neal.

"So come join us at the S.E.R.P.E.N.T Festival, where the music is soulful, the vibes are electric, and the impact is profound. It's more than just a music festival; it's a movement towards a better, more inclusive world."

All about Slash's new album Orgy of the Damned

Slash with his Gibson ES-335 - Photo credit Gene Kirkland
Slash with his Gibson ES-335 - Photo credit Gene Kirkland /

Orgy of the Damned is Slash's sixth solo album which will release on May 17. The new album features a long list of guest vocalists, including Gary Clark Jr, Billy F. Gibbons, Chris Stapleton, Dorothy, Iggy Pop, Paul Rodgers, Demi Lovato, Brian Johnson, Tash Neal, Chris Robinson, and Beth Hart.

The first single, "Killing Floor," features AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith on harmonica. The new version of Howlin' Wolf's 1964 Chicago Blues song is "an electrifying, raucous and gleefully unbridled take." Check out the music video below.

Orgy of the Damned features 12 dynamic songs, including a rowdy version of Robert Johnson's "Crossroads" and a twang rendition of T. Bone Walker's "Stormy Monday." Other titles include Steppenwolf’s “The Pusher,” Charlie Segar’s “Key to the Highway,” and Albert King’s “Born Under a Bad Sign.

Pre-order/Pre-save the album here.

Tickets for S.E.R.P.E.N.T. Festival go on sale on Friday, March 15, with pre-sales and limited VIP packages available on the website. The festival tour begins in Bonner, Montana, on July 5 and concludes in Grand Prairie, Texas, on August 17.

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