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After hearing positive “buzz” from friends and enjoying her recent interview with Eddie Trunk on the Sirius XM Radio show Trunk Nation, I made sure to catch rising rock goddess Dorothy perform at Music Box in San Diego. I knew Dorothy (full name Dorothy Martin) could sing, but what truly touched me was her inspiring story and message.  Although she struggled with addiction, abusive relationships, and other lowlights, she had the resilience to channel that pain and anguish into music that was inspiring and positive.  On Trunk Nation, Dorothy was very honest about her past, “I don’t mind telling my story because, I feel like if don’t, I miss out on the opportunity to inspire people or help someone who might be struggling”.

Signed with Jay-Z label Roc Nation and recognized by Rolling Stone Magazine in their list of 50 Best New Artists of 2014, Dorothy has enjoyed increased success and growing popularity over the course of two full-length albums and a few EPs.  A few select standouts tracks include “Wicked Ones” from her 2015 debut studio album Rockisdead and the uplifting “Flawless” from her second album 28 Days in the Valley.  Now Dorothy is about to unveil her third full-length album, Gifts from the Holy Ghost, to be released April 22nd.  The first single “Rest in Peace” is incredible – a moody, dark, intense, heavy anthem celebrating newly found freedom from an evil force.  

You can't hang your chains on me
When your six feet deep
This heart ain't yours to bleed
Now that yours no longer beats
Hallelujah, I'm over you yeah
I buried you, oh Lord, you're dead to me

The powerfully emotional lyrics seem to suggest an unremorseful celebration of an evil person’s death.  But understanding Dorothy’s story, I’m thinking this song is an inspired self-reflection about defeating past personal demons.  Truly brilliant tune both musically and lyrically.  Apparently, I’m not the only one impressed as “Rest in Peace” made the Top 20 at Active Rock Radio charts in March and scored four million streams worldwide according to

Music Box was impressively packed with mostly young music fans excited to witness Dorothy kick off her Gifts from the Holy Ghost tour. The band erupted into a frenzied funky heavy instrumental guitar shred jam for several minutes to send a clear message - Dorothy was coming to rock your asses off!  With a beaming smile, Dorothy emerged and got the show rocking with the catchy swamp stomping “Down to the Bottom”. Dorothy’s live voice was such a treat, wow!  It was so refreshing to hear a female vocalist sing so powerfully and effortlessly over the top of loud hard rocking music. 

Dorothy seemed to have as much fun on her tour’s opening night as the fans.  With her long black hair flying wildly, Dorothy sang beautifully and danced gracefully all over the stage, joyfully laughing and interacting with bandmates and fans alike.  She truly delivered an entertaining rock show.  Now we eagerly await the release of her new album April 22nd!

I must also mention one of the opening acts, the hard blues rockers Joyous Wolf.  These guys have all the key elements in place to be bigtime successful.  Signed to Roadrunner Records, the band out of Orange County, CA band has enjoyed some radio love with a great cover of “Mississippi Queen” and the single “Mother Rebel” (from their 2019 EP - A Place in Time).  The quartet’s debut album should be out soon, but for now check out the first single “Fearless”.  Joyous Wolf’s ferociously entertaining and enthusiastic live performance genuinely won the fans over.  Charismatic lead singer Nick Reese was an epic showman possessed by a rock ‘n roll demon.  The night’s highlight was Nick signaling the crowd to form a small gap down the middle of the floor, where he proceeded to jump off stage and execute somersaults, splits, and dance his way up and down the gap as the band jammed.  A modern rock version of Moses parting the Red Sea!  Now that’s rock ‘n roll. 

Rock on and be well!   Greg Vitalich


Greg Vitalich

Photojournalist - San Diego

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