Evanescence, Of Mice & Men + Granny 4 Barrel Members Unite as LeRoi XIII for Dio Charity Cover
If there's one big takeaway from 2020 and new music, it's that the rock and metal world has been blessed with a litany of all-star collaborations — lineups that only existed in imagination until now. The latest, a cover of Dio's "Stand Up and Shout," comes from LeRoi XIII, a new group featuring members of Evanescence, Of Mice & Men and Granny 4 Barrel.
Spearheaded by Granny 4 Barrel visionary Terry LeRoi, the singer recruited Will Hunt (drums, Evanescence), Troy McLawhorn (guitar, Evanescence) and Aaron Pauley (bass, Of Mice & Men) and Sammy Boller (guitar) for their collective take on the Holy Diver opening track.
Endorsed by Ronnie's widow and longtime manager, Wendy Dio, who said, "I am so pleased with this cover of ‘Stand Up and Shout’ and I know Ronnie would be so honored," LeRoi XIII delivered a turbo-charged cover with some added flair.
The song begins with some pyrotechnic guitar work from Boller before LeRoi officially kicks off "Stand Up and Shout" with a sky-cracking scream, which playfully brings to mind Dio's roaring opening to another Holy Diver favorite, "Gypsy."
Listen to the LeRoi XIII version, which was produced by David Bendeth (Of Mice & Men, Breaking Benjamin, I Prevail), toward the bottom of the page. All of the proceeds from the cover will benefit the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund.
Each member had a lot to say about their impact Ronnie left on their life as well as the timeless message behind "Stand Up and Shout."
“I had the privilege of performing this song live for Wendy Dio last November at the Whisky A Go-Go with Granny 4 Barrel," said Terry LeRoi. "'Stand Up and Shout' is one of my favorite Ronnie James Dio songs to sing and so timely with what’s happening in the world right now. I love the positive message of self-empowerment, taking control of your destiny and speaking your inner truth. It’s truly an honor to have this opportunity to support Wendy and the SUAS Cancer Fund. I’ve always been inspired by R.J.D’s voice and music!"
Hunt enthused, "Man, Ronnie just embodied what the spirit of hard rock and metal was about to me. He understood it represented a togetherness and made it known that’s what it was about for him. He sang with a spirit and ferocity that spoke to peoples souls and brought us together. As an artist what I took from him was I had to pour every ounce of my soul into my craft if I wanted the world feel it. Thats certainly what he did."
For Pauley, Dio's music takes him back to early childhood as he stated, "I remember watching the 'Holy Diver' music video on Headbangers Ball at my neighbor's house when I was maybe 6 or 7 years old. I remember thinking the swords were super cool and really wanting one — haha!"
“I’ve been a fan of Dio for as long as I can remember," added Boller. "To play on this cover with such amazing musicians was a real honor."
For McLawhorn, Ronnie's music inspired him to begin taking music more seriously.
"Dio had a huge impact on me as a kid because it was right around the time that I started to pick up the guitar that Ronnie James Dio went solo and started Dio. The video for 'Rainbow in the Dark' was so cool back then and seeing Vivian Campbell playing that guitar solo and looking super cool in a long black leather coat gave me a reason to get serious about guitar," he said.
"I watched the live concert on video for one of the tours," continued McLawhorn, "I forget which, and Vivian did a long solo playing a guitar that lit up and it was really inspirational to me as a kid! Dio’s voice was incredible live and the rest of the band were really tight! Dio is definitely one of the Metal Gods, along with Judas Priest and Black Sabbath."
Keep up with LeRoi XIII here and throw the horns up in Ronnie's memory as you listen to the cover below.
LeRoi XIII, "Stand Up and Shout" (Dio Cover)
LeRoi XIII, "Stand Up and Shout" Cover Art
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