Thursday, April 29, 2010

This Weekend...The 2nd Cromwell Record Riot

The second Cromwell Record Riot will take place this weekend at the Crowne Plaza in Cromwell, CT. The first Cromwell Record Riot of 2010 saw an overflow of vendors selling everything from LPs to CDs, from DVDs to t-shirts and more. So, get there early to grab some amazing deals and hard-to-find items. Show hours are from 9:30am to 3:30pm this Sunday, May 2nd. There is also an early admission that will cost you only $10 and will get you in at 8am, an extra 90 minutes before the regular paying collectors show up. The Crowne Plaza is located off exit 21 from I-91. Don't forget to sign up to the mailing list to receive emails on future Record Riots.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

CD Review: Everest Try To "Approach" The Top

Los Angeles band Everest are on the verge of releasing their sophomore album “On Approach” and are already on tour in support of it. The band currently joined Minus The Bear for a 28-date tour that kicked off in Spokane, WA on April 19 th. The tour will make stops along the east coast on April 30th at the Webster Theatre in Hartford, CT and on May 5th at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston, MA. The tour will conclude at the Bonnaroo Festival on June 13th.

The lead-off single, “Let Go” from the band’s new album carries a thumping beat that becomes the backbone of the song. The lyrics are simple and catchy enough to make an impact on alternative radio. Everest dive right off into the deep blues with “I’ve Had This Feeling Before” as the bass lines of Elijah Thomson jumps all around Dave Latter’s drumming. The band sways between radio friendly hits like “Keeping The Score” and “Tall Buildings” and the experimental rocker, ”House of 9’”. The songs “Dots” and “Unfortunate Sea” show a lighter side to Everest’s sound. The former song give off an almost a lounge-feel to the melody, while the latter’s acoustic harmonizing is a nice addition to the album. “Fallen Feather” shows another dimension to the band’s overall songwriting and how it's progressed since their debut album. The hidden gem on the album is the song “The Rush” with its storied lyrics and relaxed sound. The album closes with the pounding drums of “Catalyst” highlighted by some slide guitar.

“On Approach” will be released on May 11th. Vist everestband.com to find where to pick up the new album and for a complete list of tour dates so you can check this rising band when they visit in your area.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

CD Review: Sevendust Return With "Memory"

Hard rockers’ Sevendust have just released their new album entitled “Cold Day Memory” on April 20th. Recorded by Grammy nominated producer Johnny K (Disturbed, Staind, 3 Doors Down), the album took over 8 months from start to finish and is the bands most complete work to date.

Sevendust come roaring right out of the gate with the album’s lead-off track “Splinter.” The heavy drumming and hard, crunching guitars prove why Sevendust is considered one of the best metal acts in music today. In the song “Forever,” Lajon Witherspoon’s vocals get pushed along by the drumming of Morgan Rose. The duel-guitar attack provided by John Connolly and the newly returned Clint Lowery along with it’s sing-along chorus and harmonizing is why “Unveiling” became the band’s highest charting single debut ever. The song “Last Breath” continues the formula that works so well for these hard rockers who have broken through to the mainstream. The power that Sevendust puts out is felt through the speakers during the songs “Ride Insane” and “Hear and Now.” Once again Lajon’s vocals shine through on the songs, “Confessions” and “A Better Place.” The closing song, “Strong Arm Broken” bookends the album with one of Sevendust’s heaviest songs.

Sevendust are currently on tour promoting their new album and are making their way up the east coast. “Cold Day Memory” is available now and comes with a DVD that includes some behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the album. For more information on Sevendust’s new album and tour, please visit www.sevendust.com.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Weekend Music At The Daffodil Festival

The weather is getting warmer, the grass is growing and the flowers are blooming, which means it's time for the 32nd annual Meriden Daffodil Festival. Each year the city of Meriden puts on a great festival at one of the area's landmarks, Hubbard Park. It's a weekend filled with crafts, food, fun and of course, MUSIC.

The weekend will be filled with over 30 bands performing on three different stages over the course of two days. Many bands are returning guests at the festival with a few new bands invited to keep the music scene growing. See the full schedule of bands performing below.

Also, tune in to Homegrown (WESU - 88.1 FM) this week as Rob DeRosa will be playing songs from many of this weekend's performers. Go to www.wesufm.org for a live webcast of the show. For full coverage of the weekend's events, please visit myrecordjournal.com and daffodilfest.com. Go out and support your local music.

Saturday April 24, 2010

The Jeff Crooms Welcome Stage

11:00-11:45 Big Fat Combo
12:15-1:00 Forrest Harlow
1:30-2:15 The Peacock Flounders
2:45-3:30 Dog Bite
4:00-4:45 The Down Fi
5:15-6:00 Kicking Daisies
6:30-7:15 The Seth Adam band
7:45-8:30 The Mold Monkies

The Food Tent Stage

10:30-11:30 Chico & Friends
12:00-1:30 The Gonkus Brothers
2:00-3:00 The Key West Trio
3:30-4:30 River City Slim & The Zydeco Hogs
5:00:-6:00 The Shiny Lapel Trio
6:30-7:30 The Michael Greenberg Band

The Bandshell Stage

12:30-1:15 Boxxcutter
1:45-2:30 The Frank Critelli Band
3:00-3:45 The Manchurians
4:15-5:15 Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez
5:45-6:30 River Street
7:00-8:30 The Bernadettes

Sunday April 25, 2010

The Jeff Crooms Welcome Sage

11:00-11:45 Baby G
12:15-1:00 The Jenn Hill Band
1:30-2:15 Closely Watched Trains
2:45-3:30 James Velvet & the Mighty Sparrows
4:00-4:45 The McLovins

The Food Tent Stage

10:00-11:00 The Citizen Spy
11:30-12:30 I.N.I.T.Y.
1:00-2:00 Jazz The Ripper featuring Sideways Jaye
2:30-3:30 After All
4:00-5:00 Sean, Kelli & Wayne

The Bandshell Stage

11:30-12:15 DuNovo
12:45-1:30 Pnut Butter Jam
2:00-2:45 Last Years Deal
3:15-4:00 The Zambonis

Monday, April 19, 2010

CD Review: Jonny Lang Comes Alive at "The Ryman"

At 29 years old, Jonny Lang is veteran artist. He released is first blues album when he was 14 years old and hit it big with his multi-platinum album "Lie To Me" when he was 16 years old. Jonny Lang won his first Grammy award last year and has toured with such legends as the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Buddy Guy, B.B. King and others. On April 20, Lang will release his first live album entitled "Live at the Ryman" recorded on his 2008 summer tour.

On "Live at the Ryman," Jonny Lang comes roaring out of the gate with three songs from his Grammy winning album "Turn Around." The songs don't stray much from their studio versions, but Lang's voice gives off more passion for the lyrics in this live setting. His five-man backing band polish off the songs nicely with their harmonizing background vocals. Lang settles into the deep blues on "A Quitter Never Wins", before slowing things down with the 10-minute run through "Red Light." Chants of "everything's gonna be alright" provoke an electrifying solo from Lang. The funk sound of "Don't Stop (For Anything)" brings the tempo back up and continues into "Thankful" as Lang trades vocals with percussionist Jason Eskridge. The gentle acoustics of "Breakin' Me" show off Lang's softer side before finishing with an fiery version of his hit song "Lie To Me."

Jonny Lang just finished a month of shows in March on the Experience Hendrix Tour, playing along side Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson and Kenny Wayne Shepherd. His live album will be released on Concord records and will be available in online and in stores on April 20. Visit www.jonnylang.com for more information.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Record Store Day 2010

Once again, it’s that time a year, time for the 3rd annual Record Store Day. It will take place this Saturday, April 17th at your local independent record store. If you’re not sure what Record Store Day entails, then it’s about time you check it out.

Record Store Day takes place once a year when all of the independent record stores in the country have sales and offer special releases. Some of these releases are rare, one-of-a-kind items from bands like the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and many more. You’re probably thinking, so what, I can get my music cheaper at Wal-Mart, Best Buys or even online, but Records Store Day is more than that. It’s a day for music fans to interact with other music fans, it’s a day to pick up some new virgin vinyl or to scoop up some of those ”one-time” goodies, but most importantly it’s a day to support your local record shop.

Two record shops in-particular to this area are Redscroll Records in Wallingford, CT and Newbury Comics in Manchester, CT. Redscroll Records is already celebrating its 3rd anniversary with a 20% off everything sale. Their doors open at 10am on Saturday so come early if you want to get your hands on some free goodies. While, Newbury Comics will be offering 30% off all their used CDs & DVDs and 20% off their vinyl throughout the day.

If you’re looking to participate in Record Store Day as a consumer, but not sure what stores are in your area, check out www.recordstoreday.com to find a store in you. Support your local independent record store today.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

CD Review: Welsh Singer Steff Adams Gives Us His "Pathway"

Singer/songwriter Steff Adams just released his solo debut album titled "Blue Pathways". This unsigned solo artist is no stranger to the music industry. His bands have toured across the U.K., opened for The Sterophonics and performed at the Glastonbury Festival. But as Steff Adams ventures on his own, you'll hear strong references to many of his influences including James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Elliot Smith and of course The Beatles.

The album does not stray far from his comfort of an acoustic guitar, overdubbed harmonies and minimal drums. His songwriting is the key ingredient that makes these songs more than just a one-off listen. "Misunderstood" follows in the footsteps of Crosby, Stills & Nash, while "Gonna Have To Last" shows some signs of influences from The Kinks. You can feel the gentleness in his voice in the songs "Too Long Losing" and "A Little Bit Of Something Else". The songs "Into Orbit" and "That I Have Found" show off Adams' talent for portraying the different moods of his lyrics.

For more information on Steff Adams, please visit www.steffadams.net.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

CD Review: The Greening Arrive With "Midnight"

Indie-rock band The Greening return with their latest release "The Last Tibetan Midnight" which came out in February on Zai Records. Last year, the band released an EP to bridge the gap between albums that caught the attention of fans and critics alike. A video was also produced for the single "Sunday Afternoon."

The overall sound of the new album reflects what Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys were attempting to achieve with their experimental sounds and harmonies. On the album's opener "Black Lotus", the band tries to throw in everything they know to play to see what sticks. The song seems more like just a collage of sounds to grab the listeners attention. The aspirations of "Belong With Me" sound like a valid attempt of a timeless love song. The Greening's strongest talents are their clever song-writing (The Tangerine Floating In Ink) and their strong harmonies (Winter Sunshine). It's unfortunate that their best songs are near the end of the album. The single "Sunday Afternoon" has all the makings of a radio hit, with its steady beat and catchy lyrics. "(She's So) Electric" is the best rock song on the album. The lyrics and music just blend perfectly together. The album closes with the slow moving, 11-minute "Thought I Told You" which displays a Pink Floydian sound. Another great song, but seems a bit out of place on this mostly pop album.

For more information on The Greening and their new release, visit the band's website (www.thegreening.com) and myspace page (www.myspace.com/thegreening).

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Concert Review: David Gray Returns To The Oakdale Theater

David Gray returned to the Oakdale Theater Tuesday night after a seven year absence to perform songs off his latest release "Draw The Line." Gray's voice was strong beginning the evening with "Fugitive" and "Draw The Line." Gray had no problem mixing in new songs with his older hits. "You’re The World To Me" and "Sail Away" drew the audience in early. His backing band was tight as Gray would switch between piano and guitar for whatever the song called for. His breakthrough hit "Babylon" faired well with a slower tempo as "Be Mine" and "Stella The Artist" got the people on their feet.

The acoustic rarity "From Here You Can Almost See The Sea" was a welcome addition, but it was the outstanding, epic version of "Nemesis" that stole the show. Gray himself said that this song "grew bigger" as the tour went on. Closing his set with "The Other Side" brought the crowd to their feet hoping for more.

The encore was near-perfect, beginning with "Life In Slow Motion" which started softly before the full band raised the volume. The addition of "We’re Not Right" from Gray's album "White Ladder" pleased long-time fans. David Gray finished the evening with a powerful version of "Please Forgive Me" as Gray conducted the audience to clap along. Hopefully the warm reception will entice Gray to return again sooner than another seven years.

Setlist:
Fugitive
Draw The Line
You're The World To Me
Sail Away
Full Steam
Now And Always
Harder
The One I Love
Nemesis
From Here You Can Almost See The Sea
This Years Love
Jackdaw
Babylon
Be Mine
Stella The Artist
The Other Side

Encore:
Life In Slow Motion
We Ain't Right
Please Forgive Me

Sunday, April 4, 2010

CD Review: White Dice Return With "Better Than Wednesday"

English rockers White Dice have released their second album "Better Than Wednesday." Songs from the band's first album "What We Left Behind" have appeared in a number of Adult Cable TV movies and on Radio Station compilations. The band hopes that their new album will capitalize on that foundation.

This 3-piece band from South Wales seem to have the right formula for success. The album begins with a couple of modern rockers "Good Enough" and "3:24". Right from the beginning, you'll get hooked to their pop sound. "Silver" is a radio hit just waiting to be discovered. The album closer is a gentle acoustic song appropriately titled "Grand Farewell." All the songs on White Dice's new album fit together perfectly to keep the listener's focus on their music.

White Dice are currently on tour in the U.K., but you can check them out online at www.whitediceonline.com. Both of their albums are available on their website as well as on iTunes.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

CD Review: I Yahn I Arkestra Start Their "Love Mission"

Newcomers I Yahn I Arkestra are on a mission, a mission to spread love through their music. Their debut album (released in 2007) appropriately titled "Love Mission" has a very heavy reggae beat mostly provided by keyboards of Ras Jah-D and Michael Kordish. Ras Jah-D deep vocals give off the impression as if he's preaching in the songs "Symbol of the Most High" and "Love Mission". The horns in "All Right" and "Warriors" is a nice touch as Kasiopia takes over the lead vocals on the latter song. "Conscious Revolution" and "Collie Weed" come off like songs that were created from live jams and "My Tribe" puts you right at the center of their mission.

The band has a great reggae sound, I only wish more of the music was heard without any vocals as the vocals seem to overtake the song's vibe. I Yahn I Arkestra are currently promoting their music around the Philadelphia, PA area. Check out the band's website www.iyia.com for more information on upcoming shows and music.