Sunday, April 30, 2017

CD Review: British Artist Wilko Johnson Keeps The Best For Himself On New Release

English singer/songwriter/guitarist Wilko Johnson has had a quiet 40 year career in music. He was a member of the British blues band Dr. Feelgood for a few years, before going solo in 1978. He released his last album in 2014, a collaboration with The Who's Roger Daltrey, which hit #3 on the U.K. charts. Now through the Chess label, Wilko Johnson is releasing a 2CD set titled "I Keep It To Myself - The Best Of Wilko Johnson." It features 25 tracks recorded between 2008 and 2012, which includes re-workings of some Dr Feelgood favorites, as well as songs from throughout his solo career.

The new two-disc set begins with new versions of the Dr Feelgood singles "Roxette" and "She Does It Right." He delivers a punk-like energy on "I Keep It To Myself" and produces some undeniable pop tones with "Ice On The Motorway" as Johnson showcases his guitar skills. Wilko Johnson gives off a reggae vibe on "Dr Dupree," before returning to his punk roots with "Living In The Heart Of Love." He keeps the energy of the original Dr Feelgood version of "Twenty Yards Behind," then displays the big, fat guitar riff of "The Hook," before finishing up with the six-minute blues rocker "When I'm Gone" and the British, new wave, post-punk rawness of "I Really Love Your Rock 'n' Roll." To find out more about Wilko Johnson and his new compilation "I Keep It To Myself - The Best Of Wilko Johnson," please visit wilkojohnson.com.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

CD Review: New Music From John Mayer, Alexandra Savior And COIN

Singer/songwriter/guitarist John Mayer became so inspired by his involvement with members of the Grateful Dead during their summer tour as Dead & Company that Mayer wrote and recorded a brand new album titled "The Search For Everything." He released the album digitally in two waves, featuring eight of the albums twelve songs prior to it's physical release on April 14th.

The music mixes elements of pop, blues and jazz as Mayer's iconic vocals bring it all together. Beginning with "Still Feel Like Your Man," Mayer continues to sing about relationships as he has become the voice of lost love. His soulful delivery of "Emoji Of A Wave" and the blues guitar solo of "Helpless" displays how Mayer brings together all these different aspects of music to create an addictive blend of elite music. He captures the elements of emotions perfectly with the simplicity of "In The Blood" and "Never On The Day You Leave," before closing his new album with the country tones of "Roll It On Home" and the nostalgic sounding "You're Gonna Live Forever In Me." John Mayer is currently on his world tour which runs into September. For a complete list of dates and to find out more about his new album "The Search For Everything," please visit johnmayer.com.

Portland, OR native Alexandra Savior recently released her debut album "Belladonna Of Sadness" on April 7th through Columbia Records. Her singles "Shades" and "Risk" received grand attention, gathering positive reviews. Her new album features 11-songs, beginning with the sultry, jazz-pop of "Mirage" as Alexandra's vocals lead the way. The sound of "Shades" is very addictive and carries an alternative-pop sound different from anything on the radio today. The beats are strong on "M.T.M.E." and the gentle flow of "Cupid" will get you hooked on to her sweet sounding vocals. The album finishes with her latest single "Vanishing Point" which features a Tex-Mex sound and dark tones of "Mystery Girl." Alexandra Savior has some live dates lined-up in Boston and in Europe. For a complete list of shows and to find out more about her new album "Belladonna Of Sadness," please visit alexandrasavior.com.

From Nashville comes the sophomore release from the rock band COIN titled "How Will You Know If You Never Try." It quickly follows the success of their debut album as the band was named Amazon's 2017 Breakthrough Artist of the Year. Their new album was released back on April 21st through Colombia Records. Beginning with the addictive alternative pop/rock of "Don't Cry 2020," COIN continues right where they left off as a quickly rising force is music. Their new 11-song release continues with the up-tempo swing of "Boyfriend" and the alternative radio hit single "Talk Too Much" as you find yourself singing along to the chorus. Their youthful energy just flows through the entire album as songs like "Are We Alone?" and "Feeling" are undeniable hits, before closing with the mellow ballad "Malibu 1992." COIN are currently on the road promoting their new album. For a complete list of live dates and to find out more about their new album "How Will You Know If You Never Try," please visit thisiscoin.com.

Friday, April 28, 2017

CD Review: The Chris Robinson Brotherhood Whip Up A New Batch Of "Betty's Self-Rising Southern Blends"

Lead singer and songwriter for the Black Crowes, Chris Robinson has one of the most iconic voices in rock music. Since the demise of the Black Crowes, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood has fulfilled the void left by the southern blues jam band. Along with members Neal Casal, Adam MacDougall, Tony Leone and Jeff Hill, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood have become one of the must see touring acts covering the U.S.

Back in 2013, the band entrusted the work of Betty Cantor-Jackson to record their live shows in San Francisco for a live album. Betty was a former record producer for the Grateful Dead, so she knew exactly how to record this jam band in a live setting and thus the "Betty's Blends" live series was born. The Chris Robinson Brotherhood are preparing to release their third volume in the series on May 5th, through Silver Arrow Records. The new release titled "Betty's Blends, Vol. 3: Self Rising, Southern Blends" captures the work of the band during their fall run of live shows along the southern east coast in 2015. The set will be released on vinyl and CD.

The new release begins with the Black Crowes original "I Ain't Hiding" and jamming blues cover of Slim Harpo's "Got Love." The CRB dive right into their spacey, country original "Clear Blue Sky & The Good Doctor" as the boys sound more comfortable with their own material as they look to experiment more on some of the album's cover songs like "I'm A Hog For You" and "Get Out My Life Woman." The CRB open up their sound on the 14-plus minute musical journey of "Ride," before closing their new release with the slow sway of "Girl I Love You" and a sonically charged version of Bob Dylan's "She Belongs To Me."

The Chris Robinson Brotherhood are currently on tour through the end of May. For a complete list of live dates and to find out more about their new live album "Betty's Blends, Vol. 3: Self-Rising, Southern Blends," please visit chrisrobinsonbrotherhood.com.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

CD Review: Jaco Pastorius Provides The Code Of "Truth, Liberty & Soul" With New Live Album

Bassist Jaco Pastorius (Weather Report) is seeing a revival in his music, thanks to the film "JACO," which was produced by Metallica's Robert Trujillo. The film dove into the life of Jaco Pastorius like never before, reminding us what a great musician his was. Now, to celebrate more of his music, Resonance Records is releasing a newly discovered live recording from Jaco Pastorius from 1982.
 
This new live album was released as a limited deluxe 3-LP edition on April 22nd (Record Store Day) and will be available as a 2-CD set on May 19th. The deluxe edition also includes a 100-page book filled with new essays by Trujillo, producer Zev Feldman and Jaco Pastorius authority Bill Milkowski, just to name a few. The book also includes many rare, unpublished photos. The show was captured for NPR's "Jazz Alive!" broadcast, but this new version features over 40 minutes of extra material not aired on the original broadcast.
 
The set begins with the high-energy of the 13-minute "Invitation" as Jaco and trumpet player Randy Brecker trade solos. You can almost feel the love Jaco Pastorius has for performing live with his funk-jazz delivery of "The Chicken," before stretching out to expand his sound on the jazz fusion of "Donna Lee." Jaco and his band do an outstanding job with their versions of "Sophisticated Lady," featuring harmonica icon Toots Thielemans and "I Shot The Sheriff," featuring Othello Molineaux on steel pans.
 
Percussionist Don Alias gets his time to shine on "Okonkole Y Trompa" and on the 14-minute presentation of "Bass And Drum Improvisation," which includes elements of Jim Hendrix, before closing out the set with "Fannie Mae." To find out more about the new Jaco Pastorius release "Truth, Liberty & Soul - Live In NYC: The Complete 1982 NPR Jazz Alive! Rcording," please visit resonancerecords.org.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

CD Review: New Music From Singer/Songwriters Sam Nicolosi, Paul Bergman, Wes John Cichosz, Eric Matthews And Blindman

From Los Angeles, CA comes the latest release from singer/songwriter Sam Nicolosi titled "Origins." The new 5-song release begins with the pounding beats of the album's first single, "Caught Up." He mixes a dance groove with soulful lyrics to create an addictive sound for pop radio. He continues his new album with the up-beat tempo of "Realign" as Sam's vocals sound right at home among this pop setting. His new short release finishes with the hip-hop sounds of "Patience" as his lyrics are an inspiration to create your own future, and the smooth R&B flow of "Fiction." To find out more about Sam Nicolosi and his latest release "Origins," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/samnicolosi.

Next, from Manitoba, Canada comes the latest release, "Anthropology" from singer/songwriter Paul Bergman. It was released last year and features a truthful, folk sound, without the need for extra instruments. His new ten-song release begins with the short, acoustic tale "Down The Dirt Road" and the storied lyrics of "Creeping Charlie." The slow sway of "Night Is Falling" and the gentle Americana tones of "Home Fires" eases your troubles away as you listen and relax to the wonderful songs of Paul Bergman. The album reaches it's pinnacle with the 7-plus minute story of "Albert Johnson" and the folk gem "Sundogs," before finishing with the up-tempo strumming of "In The Cellar" and the quiet send off "Happy Trails, Sad Camper." To find more about Paul Bergman and his latest release "Anthropology," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/paulbergmanmusic.

From Chicago comes the latest release from singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Wes John Cichosz titled "The Moon Threads A Needle." After performing regularly with members of Wilco and Tortoise, Cichosz is now ready to delivery his new full-length album. The new 13-song release begins with the jazz-funk groove of "Everybody Says" as the melody is sure to get you moving. The beautiful acoustics of "Kittens And Ice Cream" and the R&B tones of "The Birds Of November" showcases the diversity in Cichosz's songwriting as he captures the mood of song. He wraps up his new album with the soulful delivery of "Bottle Made Of Twine" on this blues number and the acoustic rock of "When Molly Got Lost." The album also includes 4 radio edits of the songs "Everybody Says," "Bottle Made Of Twine," "The Only Day" and "When Molly Got Lost." To find out more about Wes John Cichosz and his latest release "The Moon Threads A Needle," please visit wjcmusic.com.

Singer/songwriter Eric Matthews returns with a new solo album titled "Too Much World." It was released back in March and features a dozen tracks, beginning with the David Bowie-vibe of "Pink." The low-key, acoustic strumming of "Dragonfly" carries a classic Pink Floyd sound as Matthews delivers the perfect recipe for progressive-pop success. He includes the 2016 single "Exactly Like Them," which has a dark, alt-rock sound as Matthews vocals are supported by the music's steady rhythm. The music continues its dark, moody tone in "Shadows Fall," before picking the tempo up slightly for the folk-rock of "Never Mind Now" and the alternative guitar rock of "Ten More Masters." He finishes his new album with the beautifully delivered, quiet acoustics of "Your Mom's At Midnight" and the alt-pop of "Too Much World." To find out more about Eric Matthews and his latest release "Too Much World," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/EricMatthewsOfficially.

From New Jersey comes the latest album "See With Your Heart" from reggae artist Blindman. The new album features seven tracks, beginning with the up-tempo reggae-pop groove of "Irie Soul Uprising." The single "Feels Good" delivers a positive message as Blindman receives help from back singer Rica Newell on the undeniable groove. He slows the tempo down for the songs "Lonely Road" and "Hope," which are lead by it's deep bass groove and ska horns. Blindman wraps up his new album with the short, politically charged anthem "No Babylon." To find out more about Blindman and his latest release "See With Your Heart," please visit blindmanmusic.com.