Thursday, February 23, 2017

RJ Podcast: Anthrax Bassist Frank Bello Talks With Us About Upcoming Tour And More

Frank Bello, bassist for the trash metal band Anthrax, took some time to discuss with us about their upcoming U.S. tour with Killswitch Engage and what fans can expect from the band. Bello also gives us some insight into the band's new beer label "Wardance" and what to expect for the 30th anniversary of the "Among The Living" album. Anthrax will be performing at the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, CT on April 4th.

CD Review: Stephane Wrembel Pays Tribute To Django Reinhardt With Two New Albums

French-born guitarist Stephane Wrembel was inspired by famous French guitarist Django Reinhardt to study jazz and contemporary classical music. Wrembel is best known as one of the premier Gypsy Jazz guitarists in the world. He pays his respect to Reinheardt by issuing two new studio albums titled "The Django Experiment I & II." 
 
Both albums will be released simultaneously on March 3rd through Water Is Life Records and each carries a dozen tracks mixing many of Django Reinhardt originals together with other modern tracks that carry the same vision as Reinhardt's. Volume 1 begins with a couple of up-beat Reinhardt classics "Nuages" and "Gin-Gin," which carry a jazzy swing. The nostalgic feel of "Dinette" allows Nick Driscoll to showcase his talents on the clarinet. The first of three Wrembel originals is "Windmills," which fits perfectly among the other Reinhardt numbers as he follows the blueprint laid down by the master of jazz guitar. Wrembel continues his display of appreciation with "Djangology" as his guitar work is stunning. He finishes "The Django Experiment I" with the eight minute addictive, quick-pace of "Minor Swing" lead by drummer Nick Anderson, as Stephane Wrembel leaves the best for last. 
 
Volume 2 begins with the nine-minute jazz swing of "Douce Ambiance," which features Wrembel and Driscoll trading solos. Wrembel continues the album with the rockabilly flavor of "Viper's Dream" and the more worldly, European feel of "Valse de Bamboula." The tempo slows down for the blues of "Boston," featuring Ari Folman-Cohen on bass and Thor Jensen on guitar. Wrembel gives his fingers a work-out on the Reinhardt original "Tears," before diving into the nine-minute steady pace of "Minor Blues," which allows everyone to step into the solo spotlight. The album finishes up with the smooth Reinhardt original "Anouman" as the music simply glides along. To find out more about Stephane Wrembel and his latest releases, "The Django Experiment," please visit stephanewrembel.com.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

CD Review: New Music From Singer/Songwriters Lawrence Morrill Glass And Scott Nolan

Singer/songwriter Lawrence Morrill Glass returns after giving us a glimpse into his latest project "Neanderthal." In November of 2016, Glass released the five-song "Extended Play" album which featured selections from his forthcoming, full-length album "Neanderthal," which was released on February 7th. The new 11-song release begins with the steady blues-rhythm of "The Habit Of You" as Glass' lyrics hit home and can relate to everyday life. He delivers a love letter to "Tina Fey" and then gently delivers the depression of "No Christmas This Year." He pays tribute to one of his idols in "Lou Reed Died," then rocks out on the guitar driven "Mary Contrary." The album finishes with the gentle, classic waltz of "Jukebox" and the uplifting, country sounds of "Believe." To find out more about Lawrence Morrill Glass and his latest release "Neanderthal," please visit lawrencemorrillglass.com.

Canadian singer/songwriter Scott Nolan recently released his latest studio album titled "Silverhill." If features 13-songs that find their way to your heart and warms the soul. The wonderful harmonies on the opener "Forever Is A Long Time" will make you an instant fan. The album's lead single, "Fire Up" is an Americana gem that showcases Nolan's lyrical poetry amongst a gentle, acoustic backdrop. He gets his blues groove going during the chugging of "Shake It Loose" and then visits the back porch swing with the country sway of "Curls & Curves." Nolan quietly delivers the prayer of "Silverhill," before finishing with the country duet sing-along of "Twister" and the mellow strumming of "You Leave Alone" as you follow Nolan's storied folk lyrics down the dusty path to greatness. To find out more about Scott Nolan and his latest release "Silverhill," please visit scottnolan.ca.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

CD Review: Hullabaloo Collects The Best Of Their Most Recent Albums For "Volume Two"

The kid-folk duo of Steve Denyes and Brendan Kremer, better known as Hullabaloo, are celebrating the number 13. They have been performing together for 13 years and have 13 albums. On February 24th, they will release the "Best of Hullabaloo: Volume Two," just before the duo perform their 3,000th show on February 26th in Solana Beach, CA.

The new release will not be a surprise to their fans, but it will collect three of their favorite songs from each of their last five albums. The album begins with the up-tempo, fun, bluegrass feel of "Sleep Well Tonight" and continues to keep the energy flowing with the swinging rhythm of "It's All Gonna Be OK" and the bluesy howls of "Dog Song." The country two-step of "I'm Hungry" will have you singing along and clapping your hand to this quick pace, while "Favorite Day" moseys along with the help of Molly Ledford on vocals. Hullabaloo brings together the fun, gospel-style "365 Days On Earth" with the emotional touch of "Best Friends Forever," before finishing their new release with the accapella and acoustic delivery of "You Are Loved."

Hullabaloo have quite a few shows lined-up for the next five months. For a complete list of live shows and to find out more about their new release "Best Of Hullabaloo: Volume Two," please visit hullabalooband.com.

Monday, February 20, 2017

CD Review: Legendary Artists Robby Krieger And Neville Staple Release New Solo Albums

Guitarist/songwriter Robby Krieger is one of the founding members of the iconic sixties rock band The Doors. He wrote the band's hit single "Light My Fire" and has become an influence on many of today's rock/blues guitarists. Since the end of The Doors in 1973, Krieger has kept busy lending a hand as a session guitarist, before forming Doors Of The 21st Century with fellow Doors' keyboardist Ray Manzarek. After Manzarek's passing in 2013, Krieger along with drummer John Densmore are the only two surviving member's of The Doors. Krieger also recently released his brand new studio album titled "In Session." It features ten cover songs and one bonus live track of Robby Krieger and his band performing the blues standard "Back Door Man."

Robby Krieger invited some friends along to help him flesh out these well-known tunes as Jackson Browne and a children's choir provide the vocals for The Beatles classic "Across The Universe." Nik Turner lends a hand on the instrumental "Hypernova" as Krieger unleashes his guitar skills. Krieger showcases his fondness for Pink Floyd as he covers "Empty Spaces" (with Billy Sherwood), "Don't Leave Me Now" (with Tommy Shaw) and "Brain Damage" (with Geoff Downes). Krieger expands his sound on "Deep Down" as William Shatner recites poetry among the backdrop of Kreiger's modernized guitar sound. The album closes with the late-John Wetton singing beautifully on The Beatles "All You Need Is Love." Robby Krieger will be hitting the road in April. For a complete list of tour dates and to find out more about his new album "In Session," please visit robbykrieger.com.

Jamaican-born singer Neville Staple is best known as a founding member of Fun Boy Three and the two-tone ska band The Specials. He has been called the "Original Rude Boy" and has continued a solo career that has lasted almost two decades. His latest solo release titled "Return Of Judge Roughneck" features re-workings of classic Jamaican songs, along with some brand new originals. The album features 12 tracks, plus 9 dub specials, beginning with the title-song that keeps a steady, up-beat rhythm with Staple delivering a political charge through his music. He brings a reggae-based groove to "Bangarang," then unleashes the horns for the ska mix of "Down My Street." Staple reworks the Fun Boy Three hit single "Lunatics" into a jazzier piece of music and revives the Peter Tosh classic "Maga Dog" with its thick bass groove and reggae tone. The regular album finishes with the mostly instrumental, island flair of "Run," a slowed-down version of the Jimmy Soul hit "Be Happy" and the sing-along chorus of "Enjoy Yourself," which includes Jessy Greene.

This new release also includes 9 Dub versions of some of the new songs on "Return Of Judge Roughneck" album. Beginning with "Maga Dub," this new remix features a thicker bass line which gives the song a dance-able quality. The vocals in "Crime Dub" get mixed around with the rhythm to give the song a different feel. The nearly six-minute "Dub Street" is almost unrecognizable compared to the original as this remix adds some electronics to the song's quick-paced rhythm. The album finishes with the dub-step, reggae groove remix of Peter Tosh's "Legalize It." The new album was released on February 17th through Cleopatra Records. Neville Staple his hitting the road in the U.K. during March and April. For a complete list of dates and to find out more about his new album, "Return Of Judge Roughneck," please visit originalrudeboy.co.uk.