Saturday, April 30, 2011

Cromwell Record Riot – Round Two

This Sunday, May 1, is the return of the Cromwell Record Riot. This is the third Record Riot of the year in Connecticut and only the second one in Cromwell. If you don’t know by now, the Record Riot is one of the best places to find rare vinyl and great deals on new and used records, CDs and more. The room is packed with over 20 vendors with prices as low as a $1 a record. Early admission begins at 8am for $10, while general admission begins at 9:30am for only $3. The Cromwell Record Riot is located at the Crowne Plaza, 100 Berlin Rd, exit 21 off I-91. Whether you’re looking for old music or some new music, do yourself a favor and check it out this Sunday.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Meriden's Daffodil Festival 2011

Meriden’s 2011 Daffodil Festival is one of the top gatherings of local musicians in Connecticut. Past years have featured headlining acts like Eric Burdon & the Animals, Gary Burr and The Turtles. This year will showcase a wide range of musical interests, along with many returning acts as well as a few new ones.

There are three stages set up to choose from, with music flowing all day Saturday, May 30. The day starts off at 10:30, with Chico & Friends performing acoustic cover songs on the Food Tent stage. Some other acts appearing throughout the day at that stage are River City Slim & the Zydeco Hogs and Caravan of Thieves. The Welcome Stage kicks-off with the young indie band Freshly Squeezed. The music just flows on with The Furors, Connecticut punk legends The Stratford Survivors and New London punk rockers The Reducers among others. Kicking off the live music at the Bandshell will be Surge Chamber performing hard rock cover songs. The Frank Critelli Band and The Manchurians return once again to the Daffodil Festival performing their mix of covers and originals. Also appearing on the Bandshell on Saturday is the teen Disney-pop sensation Kicking Daisies.

Don’t forget to return Sunday for even more great live music beginning with Tommy Lourdes’ acoustic cover songs at the Food Tent stage. Also appearing their on Sunday is The River Street Band with their set of wonderful rock cover songs. The Welcome Stage will feature first time Daffodil Festival performers Plume Giant and The Heirlooms bringing their neo-folk sound to Meriden. The Zambonis will close-out the Welcome Stage with their brand of hockey rock. The Bandshell opens with the Motown sounds of 691, then just takes-off from there. The stage will feature original rock from The Michael Clearly Band, then Beatles’ covers by Ticket To Ride and a closing set from one of the fastest growing Connecticut bands The McLovins.

With over 30 bands performing over 2 days, there is plenty of music for you to take in. Admission is free, so make the trip to Meriden this weekend and enjoy the sights and sounds of on of Connecticut’s premier festivals. For a complete list of musicians at this year's event, please visit daffodilfest.com.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

CD Review: Sharks Attacks America With Debut Album

British rockers the Sharks are hitting the US shores this summer as a member of the Vans Warped Tour. They will also be touring this spring with Social Distortion and Chuck Ragan. The band's debut album "The Joys of Living 2008-2010" was released on April 5 on Velvet Scene and Rise Records.

The band mirrors their English punk forefathers, The Clash, with their explosion in sound on "The Joys Of Living". Lead singer James Mattock's vocal delivery on "Trains" is as powerful and raw as you'll find in punk music. The ghost of Joe Strummer has taken over his voice as he delivers the perfect pitch for these songs of rebellion. The band just keeps the throttle on in "Three Houses" and "Capital Youth". Songs like "Common Grounds" and "Fallen on Deaf Ears" is exactly the energy that alternative radio needs to grasp in their daily rotation.

Visit the Sharks facebook page (facebook.com/sharksuk) to hear the band's new single "Sweet Harness". Also check out their complete list of tour dates that run to the middle of August.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

CD Review: Chris Marshall Shows Us The "August Light"

Singer/songwriter Chris Marshall released his national debut album on April 26 entitled "August Light". At only 29 years of age, Chris' lyrics carry a very mature feel as shown in his song-writing. The album's lead track "Every Time The Wind Blows" talks about life lessons with a sound that is just irresistible. His pop aspects shine bright on the alternative country sounding "Look Out Your Window". Marshall tries the keep the flame alive with his Ryan Adams type delivery of stories waiting to be heard. The heartfelt sounding "For Too Long Now" comes from an artist wise beyond his years. Marshall also knows how to rock with the southern guitar sounding "We'll Carry On (My Love)" and "All Roads Lead To Atlanta". The country acoustics of "I Found You" just mesh so well with Chris' voice to create a sound soon to be noticed by radio.

Chris Marshall has a few dates scheduled in May in Oregon, but visit his website (chrismarshallmusic.com) for more detailed information. Also, while your their grab a copy of Chris' new album, one of the best new independent artists of 2011.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

CD Review: LA's Still Spark Debut With New Album

The Los Angeles duo of Seth Freeman and Dan O'Leary are the backbone behind rock's newest hit makers, Still Spark. There self-titled album was produced by Kay Hanley (Letters to Cleo, Miley Cirus) and Chris Zerby (Helicopter Helicopter, Hello Dragon) and features performances from members of Letter To Cleo, Our Lady Peace, Mighty Might Bosstones, Five For Fighting and more.

The album's first single, "Love Comes Calling" is a perfect introduction to this guitar driven pop/rock band. The chemistry between Seth and Dan is evident on the songs "The Way I Am" and "Best Times". Just the way their voices and guitars mesh is a formula for success. The band goes a little bluesy on "Careless Thing", but lyrics about relationships shine bright in the songs "Still On Your Side" and "The Limelight".

Still Spark's new album was released back in March and is available through the band's website (stillspark.com). You'll also be able to see videos and find out about the band's latest tour dates.

Monday, April 25, 2011

CD Review: The Water Tower Bucket Boys Have "Sole"

The Water Tower Bucket Boys are ready to release their national debut album entitled "Sole Kitchen". The new album is country, folk with a twist of punk rock, but the band sticks close to their bluegrass roots.

The opening track "Crooked Road" is a slow acoustic, fiddle jaunt until the chorus where the Water Tower Bucket Boys perform their instruments at a backbreaking pace. Instead of trying to push the limits on every song, they choose their opportunities. The mellowness of "Telegraph" and laid back style of "Tequila With Lime" are the perfect remedy for the perfect up-tempo stompers "Bread" and "London Breakdown". The right combination of music and lyrics comes together for "Numb" while the band does have a good time performing "Blackbird Pickin At A Squirrel" and the album closer "Heaven".

The Water Tower Bucket Boys have been featured on BBC Radio as well as on NPR and have performed with Old Crow Medicine Show, Mumford And Sons and Wilco. Check out their myspace page (myspace.com/watertowerbucketboys) for song samples and information on this new folk band to break onto the music scene.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

CD Review: Miles Davis, Bill Evans and Albert King Get "Definitive" Releases

The Concord Music Group recently released their latest additions to its “Definitive” series. This round of releases includes jazz greats Miles Davis and Bill Evans along with blues legend Albert King. Each set consists of over 20 songs spread along two discs and a full-color, 20-page booklet with newly written liner notes and song information.

First up is “The Definitive Miles Davis on Prestige”, it displays some of Davis’ finest work as a band leader between the years of 1951 to 1956. The first song on the collection, “Morpheus” is an introduction to the trumpet of Miles Davis. It also features some quick solos by Sonny Rollins on tenor sax and John Lewis on piano. The songs just take off from there. The first disc shows some of Davis’ lesser known compositions as he was just at the beginning of his career. Some highlights include “Four” featuring Horace Silver on piano and Art Blakey on drums as the song carries a very light, up-tempo groove as the whole band gets locked in together. Davis opens up on his more traditional sound on “I’ll Remember April” with some nice brush-work by Kenny Clarke. The songs that really capture Davis as a band leader in the early 1950’s are the extended jams of “Walkin’” and “Bag’s Groove (Take 1)”.

Disc two features some of Davis’ more well-known songs as he expanded his band to a quintet which included at times the great John Coltrane. The songs on this CD were all recorded during one of Davis’ most influential time periods of his career. Highlights include covers of Dizzy Gillespie’s “Salt Peanuts” and Thelonious Monk’s “Round Midnight”. The soft touches of “It Never Entered My Mind” and “My Funny Valentine” are welcome breaks from Davis’ trumpet of fire. The set closes with “The Theme (Take 1)” which was recorded just before Miles Davis signed with Columbia Records.

Next up is “The Definite Bill Evans on Riverside and Fantasy”, which comprises over twenty years of some his best recordings. The set begins with the Bill Evans trio on the solo-filled “Speak Low”. Bill Evans always let the spotlight shine on the members of his band that deserved it; he never kept it strictly to himself. Disc one covers his first six years on the Riverside label. Highlights included the gentle piano of “Peace Piece” and the live renditions of “My Foolish Heart”, “Waltz for Debby”, and “Gloria’s Step”.

The second disc gives us a couple of Bill Evans’ solo pieces, “Spartacus Love Theme/Nardis” and “The Touch of Your Lips”. He also gives us a couple of wonderful live covers, “Isn’t Romantic” and “On Green Dolphin Street”. The mid-1970s found Bill Evans on a new record label and also a new found inspiration in his music. His trio now consisted of Eddie Gomez on bass and Marty Morell on drums which gave new life to Evans’ piano playing. The only track on the set that includes vocals is “Young and Foolish” which features the smooth voice of Tony Bennett amongst the backdrop of Evans’ piano. This set is a nice glimpse into the talents of Bill Evans.

Finally one of the most influential bluesmen to ever play guitar, “The Definitive Albert King on Stax” is a must-have for any blues collection. The first disc covers King’s recordings from 1961 to 1970. These songs feature some of the most well-known sidemen in blues music including Ike Turner, Donald “Duck” Dunn”, Booker “T” Jones and bunch more. The set really starts to heat up with one of his classics, “Born Under A Bad Sign” and just keeps going from there, with an electrifying live version of his original “Blues Power”. ”The Sky Is Crying” sounds like the perfect blueprint that would later be covered by his apprentice Stevie Ray Vaughn. Pop Staples lends his vocals to the John Lee Hooker penned “Tupelo (Part 1)” which gives the song a sound of despair while King’s guitar dances in the background. Albert King shows his appreciation on covers of Elvis Presley’s version of “Hound Dog” and the Rolling Stones’ “Honky Tonk Woman”.

Disc two of this set is really where Albert King gets engulfed in the blues beginning with “Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven”. The song “Tell Me What True Love Is” has the blues guitarist teaming up with blues pianist John Mayall. A live version of “Match Box Blues” shows us the power in King’s performance in front of an audience. King gets his funk-blues on in the songs “I Wanna Get Funky” and “Playing On Me” which feature the Memphis Horns. Also included is his Christmas single “Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin” which just shows how well-rounded Albert King was at playin’ the blues.

The sound on this latest batch of releases is great, with some minor variations depending on the year recorded. It’s great to have all of these early recordings together in one package, instead of just another rehashed “greatest hits” set. These sets give you get a glimpse at these artists at their most influential time. A must have for any collection.

Friday, April 22, 2011

CD Review: Redline Addiction Writing "Letters"

One of the newest band’s to come from Washington D.C. is Redline Addiction. The band released their debut album in the spring of 2008, receiving great reviews in the D.C. area. The band returned last year with their follow-up album, “Letters” released on Counterpoint Records.

Redline Addiction was planning on releasing an acoustic EP, when inspiration struck and the band decided on making it into a full-length LP. Some of the songs kept the acoustic-only sound while others received the full-band treatment. The lead song from the album, “Sadie” has a nice gentle flow to the lyrics along with the band’s laid-back sound. The first song to appear acoustic-only is “He’s Not A Bad Friend, Just A Lousy Lover”. A great sounding song with radio-pop friendly lyrics, but you can’t help wonder what the potential of the full-band would bring to the song. The band never really explodes with their sound, but the early 90’s grunge influence shines through on the Candlebox sounding “Shelter”. The softness of the acoustic guitars works great with the addition of some wonderful lyrics for the song “12.30.06”. The band returns to their alternative rock sound in “Fractal”, but only for a moment before returning to the soft, folk storytelling of “Head Over Heals” and “22nd & Long”.

Redline Addiction are currently preparing their third album for a fall of 2011 release. Also watch for the band to tour behind their new release. Visit redlineaddiction.com to stay up-to-date with the band’s happenings.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

CD Review: Former Celtic Woman, Orla Fallon Releases "My Land"

Singer/harpist Orla Fallon, formerly of Celtic Woman recently released a new album entitled “My Land”. The album is the soundtrack to her show of the same name. Orla filmed the recording for this album at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Dublin, Ireland. She mixes in her solo material along with Irish and American favorites.

Her voice stands out beautifully on the simple “Distant Shore” and shows us innocence in “Morning Has Broken”. The acapella version of “Down To The River to Pray” is so wonderful that you wish she did the entire album like this with the Dublin Gospel Choir. But they are not the only guests to appear on her album. The traditional “Red Is The Rose” features Tommy Flemming adding his award winning vocals to this duet. Orla puts her heart and soul into all of these performances, but you feel her dedication to Irish music in the title track, “My Land”. The album closes with a couple of fun live songs, “Spanish Lady” and “I’ll Tell Me Ma” featuring the legendary Irish band the Dubliners.

Orla Fallon’s “My Land” premiered on public television back in February, but has been repeated a number of times. Viewers that make a donation to their local public television station during broadcasts of “My Land” will receive either tickets to her upcoming tour, a DVD of the show or a copy of the soundtrack to the show. For a complete list of tour dates and information on obtaining a copy of her new release, visit Orla Fallon’s website at orlafallon.com.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

CD Review: Within Temptation Are 'The Unforgiving"

Dutch rock band Within Temptation have just recently released their newest album “The Unforgiving” on Roadrunner Records. The band has won numerous TMF (The Music Factory) awards since 2002 and has garnished gold and platinum status in their home country on past albums. Within Temptation are looking to break out big in the U.S. with this new album.

The album’s first single, “In The Middle of the Night” is the combination of a hard rock and symphony music clashing together with lead singer Sharon den Adel leading the way with her powerful vocals. The atmospheric “Fire and Ice” gets lost between the heavy hitting energy of “Faster” and “Iron”. The song “Sinead” get a heavy dose of keyboards among a backdrop of drums and dance beats. The gentle beginning of “Lost” highlights the power behind Adel’s vocals in this heartfelt power ballad. Within Temptation come roaring back with the vicious, grinding guitars of “Murder” and “A Demon’s Fate”.

Within Temptation will be visiting the U.S. in early September. Please visit the band’s website (within-temptation.com) for a complete list of tour dates and well as up-to-date information on this amazing band.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

CD Review: The Joy Formindable Let Out "The Big Roar"

A new Welsh trio known as The Joy Formidable has just released their debut full-length album entitled “The Big Roar” back in March. After two years on the road and releasing two EPs in as many years, The Joy Formable were signed to Atlantic Records. According to bassist Rhydian Dafydd, the album “covers a lot of emotional range. It's captured the battle between the eternal optimist and the manic depressive."

The smooth rawness of Ritzy Bryan’s vocals are accented nicely by her equally loud grunge guitar on the album opener “The Everything Spectrum of A Lie”. The album just takes off into the punk atmosphere with the quick bashing of drums provided by Matt Thomas on “The Magnifying Glass”. The album’s first single, “I Don’t Want To See You Like This” is a great introduction to the band’s overall sound and appeal of raw energy. The song “A Heavy Abacus” is just carries a big, in-your-face sound with Bryan’s vocals ranging from an almost quiet whisper to a full out vocal delivery of the song’s chorus. The band expand their sound on the 7-minute epic ”Whirring” showing-off their talents of performing together.

The Joy Formidable will finish out the month of April with some east coast dates before heading overseas to perform in Europe. Look for the band to return to the states for the Outside Lands Festival in mid-August. For more information on this new Welsh rock trio, please visit thejoyformidable.com.

Monday, April 18, 2011

CD Review: Lupe Fiasco Returns With “Lasers”

Hip-hop artist Lupe Fiasco is looking to build on the success of his 2007 sophomore effort “The Cool” with his new 2011 release “Lasers”. The album was released in March after a wait of almost a year. The album was on hold from his record company while a petition featuring over 32,000 signatures help to get the new music released. “Lasers” debuted at #1 on the Billboard Album Charts. The album also features guests like Trey Songz, Skylar Grey, and John Legend.

Lupe Fiasco’s lyrical playing switches from hardcore rap in “Words I Never Said” to a more R&B approach in “Till I Get There”. Artist MDMA helps out on the futuristic sounding song “I Don’t Wanna Care Right Now” before returning to the more pop oriented “Out Of My Head”. The album’s first single “The Show Goes On” is the perfect combination of dance beats and Fiasco’s lyrical delivery with a chorus that you can’t help but get drawn in to. The way Lupe Fiasco combines a simple beat with a jazz piano makes the song “Coming Up” hard to resist. Then Lupe takes it a step further with the rap/rock of “State Run Radio” which also features Matt Mahaffey. The album closes with the rap/R&B combination of Lupe Fiasco and John Legend on the old-school R&B sounding “Never Forget You”.

Lupe Fiasco will be touring the states through the end of May. He’ll be performing April 26 at Yale University in New Haven, CT. Check out his website (lupefiasco.com) for a complete list of tour dates as well as videos and more.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

CD Review: The Morning Birds Pile On "The Quickening"

The duo of Jennifer Thorington and Samuel Markus have created one of the most creative independent music groups of the last two years. The Morning Birds' debut album, "Inspiration Point" garnished them as one of the NRG Theory "Artist Picks Of The Week". The duo have been extra busy readying their new release "The Quickening" which features 22 songs ranging from acoustic pop to folk hip-hop.

The Morning Birds seem to feel most comfortable with the acoustic strumming of "De Light" and "It's Then You'll Know", but the duo does experiment a bit more. The duo capture the feeling of solitude on the opener "Blue Moon" with gentle flowing beats and keyboards to back-up Jennifer's innocent vocals. The dance beats of "Resonance" and "Rose Horses" show another side to the band's song-writing. The album features little snippets of music and voice combinations that show the duo having fun in the studio. The album also features some guest vocals by Trevor Hall on "Oh Yeah!" and Kieran Blake on "Sunset Drive". Samuel gets in on the vocal action in the alternative hip-hop sounding "Take Control", but the band excels when Jennifer's lyrics are free to roam.

The Morning Birds are also releasing a CD entitled "B-Sides" featuring more songs from "The Quickening" album sessions. The Morning Birds are also set to play the Kohouteck Festival at Pitzer College on April 23. Visit themorningbirds.com for more information on their new release and how to order your own copy.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

CD Review: Holly Golighty Finds "No Help Coming" On New Release

Singer Holly Golightly has spent the last two decades in the music industry trying to find the right formula for success. First as a member of the girl band Thee Headcoatee in 1991, then releasing her first solo album in 1995. She continued mostly solo, releasing 14 albums over the next 15 years. Her latest release entitled "No Help Coming" will be released on April 26 through Transdreamer Records.

The simplicity of the instruments helps us to focus more on Holly's vocals. Her voice in the opener "No Help Coming" reflects a young Wanda Jackson with her rockabilly flair. The lyrics and sound of "The Rest Of Your Life" turn dark with the subject of stalking former lovers. Bandmate Lawyer Dave can be heard backing-up Holly's vocals on "Burn O' Junk Pile Burn" before his turn at the lead vocals on "Under Arrest". The rawness and energy of "Get Out My House" gives the Americana feel of the album a little boost, before the slow romp of "The Only One". Holly's vocals in that song carry a 60's girl group vibe. The gentle flow of "River of Tears" is just the perfect collaboration of words an music.

Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs were former winners of the Independent Music Awards for best Americana album for "Dirt Don't Hurt". Holly and her band will begin their tour at the end of April. Please visit her website (hollygolightly.com) for a complete list of tour dates and album information.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Record Store Day 2011

Tomorrow, April 16th, is the fourth annual Record Store Day. It is a day were the small “Mom & Pop” record stores come together to celebrate music. Many of these stores throughout the world will be selling exclusive Record Store Day items by some of the biggest names in music. Not only that, but these stores will also have some massive sales to entice you.

Bands such as the Foo Fighters, Beastie Boys, Jimi Hendrix, R.E.M. and tons more will be releasing special, one-time only releases on vinyl, CD or both. Some of these items are very limited and may not be at every store, but I’m sure there will be plenty to choose from at your local record store. For a complete list of releases, please visit recordstoreday.com/SpecialReleases. Plus, this year, Ozzy Osbourne was selected as ambassador of Record Store Day.

Wallingford’s Redscroll Records is also celebrating their 4th anniversary along with Record Store Day. They will be having a ton of free giveaways along with 20% off everything in the store. Be sure to show up early if you want the best selection. Another Connecticut store with some huge Record Store Day deals is Newbury Comics in Manchester. They will be featuring 20% off all of their vinyl as well as 30% off their entire selection of used CDs and DVDs.

Tomorrow is the perfect opportunity to build up your record or compact disc collection. Even if you are not a big music collector, tomorrow is the day to celebrate your local record store and show them just how important they are to be around.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Adam Cohen Follows In His Father's Footsteps

Singer/songwriter Adam Cohen has some big shoes to fill being the son of Hall of Fame lyricist Leonard Cohen, but is ready to step up for his opportunity to shine. Adam was uneasy at first with the pressures of being the son of a famous musician, but has since embraced his name and heritage. Since his first release, Adam Cohen has tried to find his place in music, but has only gathered minor success.

With a new album (Like A Man) to be released this year, Adam is ready to become a leading figure in music. The album's first single "What Other Guy" is a gentle acoustic ballad that shows Adam's talent of song-writing. His warm voice gets highlighted in the soft-sounding title song, "Like A Man", while the song "Out of Bed" reflects a younger version of his father's folk ballads.

Adam just finished a successful appearance at this year's SXSW festival and is in the process of booking more upcoming live appearances. Please visit adamcohen.com for tour date announcements. For a sample of his new music, visit http://www.spinner.com/2011/03/14/adam-cohen-like-a-man/

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

CD Review: Paper Thick Walls Debuts "A Thousand Novels"

One of the brightest new acts of 2011 is Paper Thick Walls. The group has 150 shows lined up this year after a successful 2010. Last year they performed at the South By Southwest Festival as well as the North By Northeast Festival and the CMJ Music Marathon. Their full-length debut album entitled "A Thousand Novels" will be released on May 3rd and was engineered by Maik Hagler (Wilco, Neko Case).

Right from the opening track, "Old Weathered Wooden Dock", Kate Schell's vocals and Eric Michaels' harmonies give you sense of pop enjoyment. The music and song-writing reflects that of Sufjan Stevens with a touch of Americana to give it an honest sound. The two vocalist are playful with the lyrics of "Orange Tree," but show a darker feeling to their music in "NyQuil" and "A Thousand Novels". The folk sounds of "Portrait" is the perfect blend of music to fit the gentle flow of their harmonies. The pop sounding "Overgrown" is a welcome break from the haunting sounds of "Master of the Sea" and "Infinite", but lacks that punch to make it more memorable.

Please visit paperthickwalls.com for two free songs from the new album before its release. Also check back for updates on live performances.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

CD Review: Richard X. Heyman Doubles His Effort On "Tiers"

Singer/songwriter Richard X. Heyman returns with a brand new double-album. The two new releases entitled "Tiers" and "And Other Stories" could be thought of as two separate albums. "Tiers" is considered a concept album with all of the songs referring to an autobiographical story of Richard meeting his wife and the hardship he had to deal with. The second disc, "And Other Stories" is made up of brief stories set in New York City.

The grand introduction of "Tiers" begins with Richard's wonderful high voice amongst an orchestra of sound in the song "Hot On The Trail of Innocence". The album takes a more pop-sound with the songs "Golden In This Town" and "Fire In the Country". Richard's voice in "Good To Go" can easily be mistaken for Elvis Costello in this laid-back country setting. Richard's song-writing excels on "Yellow And Blue" and "One Thing I Still Have" as his music sets the mood for his stories. The overall feel of this album is that of a musical with his songs painting such a vivid picture in your mind.

The second part of this double-album is full of different music genres. Richard X. Heyman tackles the opera with the Sting-like sound of "Agnostic's Prayer", while "Birds" is folk storytelling at its best. Richard comes to life with the modern rocker "Branded In the Sky" before returning to his piano for "No Time To Rest On Sunday". The lyrics and songs are so well done that you can picture the stories unfolding in you mind as in "When Willy Played Guitar" and "The Finish Line". With so many different types of music on this album, it's tough to grasp the overall feeling that Heyman is trying to portray.

Don't pass up the opportunity to hear all these wonderful stories and great music. Please visit Richard X Heyman's website (richardxheyman.com) to get a copy of this album for yourself.

Monday, April 11, 2011

CD Review: Now Introducing Mark's Midnight Carnival Show

The trio of Mark Bush, Scott Bein and Gavin Straub make up the acoustic, pop rock band Mark's Midnight Carnival Show. This indie band has been together for only 18 months, but their sound captures a more mature feel to the song structure of a bond that they have been playing together forever.

The sound this band portrays is more in-depth than just your normal pop band. The songs are a wonderful collaboration of musicianship and song-writing. The band doesn't stray far from this winning formula. The song "Have You Seen My Girl" feels like a band on the verge of exploring different musical avenues. The band sticks close to home with the familiar acoustic strumming of "Dancing" and "Day Dreamer" with an open, airy feeling to their songs. They also expand on their song-writing with the addition of horns on "The Moon Song", but still carry a very "jamband" sound.

Mark Midnight Carnival Show has a bunch of dates booked through April in the Colorado area. Check out the band's myspace page (myspace.com.themidnightcarnivalshow) for more information on this indie rock band.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cassette Review: Jesse Carsten's Rough Demo "To Be Done"

Singer/songwriter Jesse Carsten has recently released a new cassette entitled "What's To Be Done While We Stay" through Intellectual Bird Records out of New York. Jesse experiments with a load of different sounds to see which flows best with his lyrics. "Franny" is a bit of a distorted mess, but the simplicity of "Something Inside Of Me" draws up similarities to early Dead Milkmen or Violent Femmes demos. One of the problems with this recording is the sound quality lacks the input of a professional. Carsten seems to have fun with his lyrics as in "Find Joy In Running", but relies too much on the distortion. The 4-minute album closer "White Sky Companion" is the most complete song in this offering.

Jesse Carsten and his band currently have one date lined-up on April 13 at the Silent Bar in Brushwick, New York. For tour date information and videos, please visit myspace.com/jessecarsten.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

CD Review: The Waifs Draw You In With Their "Temptation"

Australian band The Waifs released their new album on March 4 entitled "Temptation". The band has garnished numerous platinum albums and awards in their 19 years together and their newest album reflects that. It is just the perfect folk album to have in your collection.

The album leads off with the slow jaunt of "I Learn The Hard Way" with Vikki Thorn's voice drawing similarities to The Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde. The songs strum along softly with the gentle touch of "Buffalo" and "Sometimes", but the band does open up with the quick-step of "Falling". The band enwraps you with their music then takes you on a journey with their lyrics as displayed in "Drifting Dreaming". The Waifs also show us their masterful storytelling on the 7-minute folk epic "Temptation" while their harmonizing on the closer "Goodbye" is just wonderful.

The Waifs just finished a two month tour, but look for them to be back out on the road this summer. Check out their website, thewaifs.com for album information, tour dates and more.

Friday, April 8, 2011

CD Review: Australian Songwriter, Israel Cannan Shows Off His "Walk"

Australia's newest indie song-writer Israel Cannan just released his new debut album entitled simply "Walk". The album title refers to his way of recording his album. The 19 year old grabbed his guitar and toured the country, writing and recording songs whenever inspiration hit.

The album begins with the acoustic friendly "Set Me Free" which is a nice introduction to Israel Cannan deep voice and capturing lyrics. The album plays out as Israel tries to capture his adventures in song. Israel plugs-in his guitar for the up-tempo rockers "To The Left" and "One Fine Day", but quickly shifts back to his comfort of acoustics. The storytelling lyrics of "Where The Story Unfolds" and "Rise" brings the listener on a special journey as Israel puts his heart and soul into every note.

Israel Cannan is wrapping up his Australian tour on April 15. His new album is available on iTunes as well as his own website israelcannanmusic.com.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

CD Review: The Bell Bring "Great Heat"

From Sweden comes The Bell, rock's newest post-punk/modern pop band to release their album in America. The album "Great Heat" comes out on April 12 through Badman Recording Co. The Bell use a modern/industrial dance beat to motor the song's energy. The song "Holiday" is a step back to the eighties, when keyboards and electronic beats ruled the charts. The trio expand on their modern sound with the catchy chorus of "Today". If the music doesn't pull you in, the memorable lyrics definitely will. Lead singer Mathis Stromberg channels Depeche Mode's Dave Gahan on the vocal delivery of "Tell Us You're Sorry". The light tones of "The Sound" and "Dope Makes You" quickly change to the darker industrial beats of "I Can't Change" and the simple sounding "23 Seconds" closing the album.

The Bell have been featured on TV's "No Ordinary Family" and on MTV's "Jersey Shore". Check out the band's website (thebell.se) for song samples, videos, tour dates and more.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

CD Review: Baby Teardrops Remarks "X Is For Love"

The trio, Baby Teardrops, is ready to release their new album "X is for Love" on April 12. The band's sound on the new release combines the fuzz guitar sound of Nirvana with the alternative-punk drumming of The Pixies with the vocal delivery of The New Pornographers. They combine the attitude from the streets of New York City with lyrics of love and hope giving their songs a punk-rock edge.

The Baby Teardrops find the right combination of harmonizing over the sonic blast of guitars in the memorable "Smooth Sailing Ahead". The song "Lucky 7" takes a page from the Violent Femmes with its rawness and simplicity. The band's sound fluctuates between light-hearted pop  of "Still Singing The Same Songs" to the dark grunge of "Let It Roll". The band's true identity shines on the album closer "Think It Look It Act It Become It" with every band member's talent on display.

Visit Baby Teardrops' website (babyteardrops.com) for song samples as well as information on the band's new release "X is for Love."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

CD Review: Gerren Fish's Solo Debut Album

Right from the beginning, you would think this was a new album from Elvis Costello as Gerren Fish's voice reflects the same tone as Costello's. The Atlanta native is finally releasing his solo debut album entitled "Can't Always Recover". The album carries a very laid back feeling as displayed in the title song "Can't Always Recover" and "Georgia Don't Know", but it works. The album won't blow you away, but again that's not the point. Songs like "Hazard Lights" and "Sarasota" just give you enough to want to keep attentive to Gerren's lyrics.

The album was recorded and produced by Ben Sanders along with Cory Henderson. Gerren Fish and his band have a handful of dates in the Georgia area. Visit his website at gerrenfish.webs.com for more information on his new release as well as future shows.

Monday, April 4, 2011

CD Review: Concord Music Remasters Ray Charles "Live"

On April 5, Concord Music is reissuing a wonderful, re-mastered, complete recording of "The Genius" Ray Charles "Live In Concert". The album was recorded at the Shrine Civic Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA on September 20, 1964 at the height of Ray Charles popularity. The album was originally released in 1965 as a single vinyl album, but now this new mastered version adds 7 more songs that did not make the original version.

The two instrumentals that begin the show (Swing A Little Taste, One Mint Julep) is a nice introduction to Ray's band. He slows the tempo down for an almost bluesy feel on a couple of his classics "I Got A Woman" and "That Lucky Old Sun". The organ in "Georgia On My Mind" adds a more gospel feel to his soulful ballad. Charles gets on a roll, tickling the ivories on the previously unreleased "In The Evening (When The Sun Goes Down)" and gleefully playing around with the audience on "Making Whoopee". The Raeletts get the spotlight, especially Lillian Fort, on the song "Don't Set Me Free", but the inclusion of the unreleased numbers (Busted, Two Ton Tessie, My Baby) help flesh-out Charles' entire performance.

The sound on this re-mastered album is almost like being in the front row. Also included are new liner notes by music historian Bill Dahl as well as a couple of snapshots from the performance. This new release is well worth the upgrade from the previously released album. Visit concordmusicgroup.com for more information on this release.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

CD Review: Andy Friedman Shoots Us With "Laserbeams and Dreams"

Singer/songwriter Andy Friedman will release his latest batch of storytelling on April 5. The new album called "Laserbeams And Dreams" also features producer/guitarist David Goodrich and producer/bassist Stephen Crump. Friedman's newest batch of songs are very laid-back and they let you soak in his wonderful storytelling.

Andy Friedman is a wizard with his storys and lyrics. In the songs "Motel On The Lake", "Quiet Blues" and "Down By The Willow", Friedman just sets up the backdrop with his in-depth descriptive lyrics and gentle-deep vocals. His voice on "Nothing With My Time" reflect a younger Lou Reed with his talking-style singing. Friedman and his band go a little country with "Oh Pennsylvania", while "Roll On, John Herald" shows us his more experimental side. You hardly notice the absence of drums as Friedman's voice against the acoustic instruments is the perfect blend.

Andy Friedman just finished up an east coast tour, but will be back on the road beginning April 9th. Check out andyfriedman.net for a complete list of tour dates as well as more information on his new album.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Record Riot Returns To New Haven This Sunday

This Sunday marks the first New Haven Record Riot of 2011. If you missed the Cromwell Record Riot at the end of January, here is your chance to check out all the goods. It will be held at the Annex YMA, 554 Woodward Ave., New Haven, Exit 50 off I-95. There will be over 40 tables of LPs, 45s, CDs, DVDs and more with many $1 and $2 bins for vinyl. The Riot begins a 9:30 with admission only $3. There is also an early 8am addmission price of $10 for those that want the first crack at all the stuff on sale.

If you are unable to make it to this Record Riot, the next Cromwell Record Riot will be the first Sunday in May. Check back for more details as that date approaches. Also don't forget to sign-up for the mailing list to receive information on upcoming shows throughout the year. Do yourself a favor and grab some new music, you deserve it.

Friday, April 1, 2011

CD Review: Jacob's Ladder Come "Back To Life"

Florida's own Jacob's Ladder have been on the music scene for almost a decade now and have been making a name for themselves by their outstanding live performances. The band is releasing their new EP "Back To Life" on April 1 and are offering fans a little more with this release. The new album was produced by Carlos de la Garza (Neon Trees, Reel Big Fish).

The trio comes out strong with the title track showing off the band's experience in creating songs that express the energy that put into every song. "Enchantment" slows down the tempo to express the song's heartfelt lyrics. The groove of "The Silence" gives the song a rock-funk sound that the band seems to have fun with.

Jacob's Ladder has a EP release show lined up for April 8th down in Miami, FL, but look for them on to go on a full-fledge tour soon. In the meantime, visit their website, jacobsladdermusic.com for more information.