Monday, April 30, 2012

CD Review: Roxi Copland Tells "Pretty Lies" On New Release

Jazz singer/songwriter/pianist Roxi Copland will be releasing her new solo album entitled "Pretty Lies" on May 1st. This is her fourth album and its shows how she has grown as an artist and performer. Armed with just a piano, Roxi pours heart heart into each performance on this new release.

The album begins with "Heavy Load" which introduces you to Roxi and her piano. I wish that there were more instrumentation to this song as well as some of the other songs on this album to really give it more impact. The album gives a lounge feel to her overall sound, but does highlight Roxi's knack for songwriting. Her voice is so pure on "Youthful Indiscretion" that you instantly become hooked on her jazzy vocals. The highlight of the album is the ballad "Straightaway," as you can feel the vunerability in her voice. She rearranges The Offspring's "The Kids Aren't Alright" enough to make it interesting and almost unrecongnizable, then finishes with the upbeat "One More Time."

Following the release of "Pretty Lies," Roxi Copland has shows scheduled all across the U.S. For a complete list of dates and more information on Roxi's new album, please visit roxicopland.com.

CD Review: Jodi Shaw Spends Her Time "In Waterland"

Canadian singer/songwriter Jodi Shaw is preparing to release her third full-length album entitled “In Waterland.” This album has been three years in the making and it seems that the time Jodi put into this new album has paid off.

The opening track, “Swim” sounds like it came from the 10,000 Maniacs’ heyday when Natalie Merchant sang lead. Jodi’s voice is gentle and times, but can also be very powerful and compelling. The fragility in her voice during “The Witch” echoes that of songstress Tori Amos. Jodi’s songwriting excels in the album’s first single “The Mystery of Love” as her lyrics wrap you up while you listen for the subtle hint of instrumentation. Her folk-storytelling shines on “To The Country (We Go)” as you can picture the scenes she describes in your mind. The album’s title song, “In Waterland” gets two tracks, as the song also appears in demo form. You can fully appreciate Jodi’s vocals as they float above the simple keystrokes of the piano and violin. Her voice becomes a bit haunting during “Hell’s Bells,” but finishes strong, with the pleading vocals of “Fellas.”

Jodi Shaw has performed to standing room only audiences across Europe and has a handful of dates scheduled in New York, beginning with her CD Release Party on May 15. For a complete list of show dates and information on her new album, please visit jodishaw.com.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Digital Review: Marcus Singletary Shows Off On "Holy Guitar!"

After releasing his album “Smokin’” last year, Marcus Singletary wasted no time getting back in the studio to bring together some of his favorite moments for his follow-up album “Holy Guitar!” This is the first digital-only album to be released from Aviation Records. It collects some of Marcus Singletary’s best guitar solos on one album. The concept is perfect, especially when you have someone as talented as Marcus performing the licks.

The album begins with “Boys of Summer,” a “balls to the wall” blazing instrumental that sounds like it could have been taken from a live Jimi Hendrix concert. Then Marcus settles down with a bit more funk along with the full-band sound of “Chicago Stomp,” before expanding his sound (and mind) on the spacey “Echo Park.” The full-band instrumentals seem to work better as with the jazzy “Friends” and “Man of Steal,” but you can really hear his talents on all the different genres that Marcus covers, including the album closer “The Pennsylvania Pull.” The main focus of the album is the trippy, 17-minute instrumental “Occupy,” which also includes a brief interview with the musician.

For more information on Marcus Singletary, be sure to check out his blog at http://marcussingletary.blogspot.com/.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

CD Review: Ryan David Orr Revives "Mordred" For New Album

Singer/songwriter Ryan David Orr has a love for classic literature, which comes through in his music, especially on his newly released fourth album “Mordred The Quarter Known.” While the album is not considered a concept album, the theme of removing the evil in our lives and making things better for ourselves is heard throughout the album. Ryan’s sound on this album brings us back to the mid-nineties alternative rock scene with its mix of folk-rock with a hint of grunge.

The album starts off with “If You Want Love,” which begins with a funky guitar lick that almost seems out of place with the rest of the album. Ryan settles into his own on the up-beat acoustic rock of “Hope & Fire” and “Scream at the Clouds.” His strengths lay in his delivery of the gentle folk ballads “Carry Me Home” and “Woman” and he even tries to impersonate Dave Matthews on “Write It On The Wall.” The album closes with Ryan pouring his feelings into the simple “Buttlerfly.”

Ryan David Orr has some shows lined-up in Arizona and New Mexico. Check out ryandavidorr.com for a complete list of shows, as well as information on his new music.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

CD Review: The Jamie McLean Band Come A "Live At Gibson"

Guitarist/singer Jamie McLean was one of the musicians in the well-known Dirty Dozen Brass Band. He toured the world, performing at Madison Square Garden, the Bonnaroo festival and even at Japan's Fuji Rock festival, but there seemed to me something missing. In 2006, he left that band to create his own band simply called the Jamie McLean Band. Now six years and three studio albums later, the Jamie McLean Band are releasing their first live album on CD & DVD entitled "Live At Gibson."

Recorded live at the Gibson Showroom in New York City, Jamie McLean and his band perform as if it was their last live show together. They begin with the up-tempo, country rocker "Country Living" off last year's "Sunday Morning" album. The song features American Idol winner Taylor Hicks on vocals. Hicks returns later on in the set for a spot on cover of the Allman Brothers Band's "Midnight Rider," which features some amazing guitar work from McLean. The band goes bluesy on "Crazy About You," before returning to the country for "Summertime On Main Street," which features guest musician Jason Crosby on fiddle. The band also perform covers from Otis Redding and Tom Petty and close with a blazing version of "Holy Water," pulling out all the stops.

The Jamie McLean Band will be performing this Friday at the Ridgefield Playhouse in Connecticut along with special guest Taylor Hicks. The new "Live At Gibson" will be released on May 8 on CD & DVD through eOne Music. For more information, please check out jamiemcleanband.com.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

CD Review: Little Richard's Debut Album Gets Remastered

Many historians and fellow musicians date the beginning of rock ‘n’ roll to the release of Little Richard’s debut single “Tutti Frutti” back in 1955. The song only hit number 17 on the singles chart, but paved the way for rock music. The song is one of seven singles released off of Little Richard’s debut album “Here’s Little Richard.” The original album is finally getting remastered and re-release along with three bonus audio track and two bonus videos.

The track list for the original album plays out like a Little Richard greatest hits album with such well-known songs as “Ready Teddy,” “Long Tall Sally” and “Rip It Up.” All the songs were remastered by Joe Tarantino and have never sounded better before on CD.

Along with the original album, you get demos for the songs “Baby” and “All Night Long,” which wouldn’t be released until Little Richard’s third album. Also, with “Baby,” you also get some studio chatter as Little Richard introduces the song. The final audio track on this newly released CD is an interview with Specialty Records founder Art Rupe who signed Little Richard and released his first three albums. Also included are two screen test videos of Little Richard performing the songs “Tutti Frutti” and “Long Tall Sally.”

This wonderful collection was released on April 17 through the Concord Music Group. For more information, please visit concordmusicgroup.com.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Digital Review: Eddie The Gun Goes Digital For The "Kids"

The pop duo of Camilla Romestrand and Charlie Aksun are better known in the U.K. as Eddie The Gun. They are preparing to release a new digital only album in the U.S. entitled "Kids." The duo are hoping that this new release continues the success they found with their #1 MTV.com video for the song "Don't Be Afraid."

The 15-song album begins with the powerhouse, up-tempo alternative rocker "700." Once Camilla begins to sing, you instantly notice a comparison to No Doubt's lead singer Gwen Stefani. Camilla's vocals are bold and edgy, sexy and seductive as displayed in "Never" and "My Love." The title song "Kids" is an arena-type rocker that combines great pop lyrics with a catchy alternative dance beat. The perfect formula for a hit song. Camilla gets to stretch out on the powerful vocals of "Maybe," then punks-out on the quick-paced "9988." The album closes with the built-up, grand finale, "Hate Today" that leaves you wanting more.

For more information on Eddie The Gun, please visit their website at eddiethegun.com.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

CD Review: Lost In The Trees Welcomes You To "The Church"

From North Carolina comes the folk-rock band Lost In The Trees with their sophomore album “The Church That Fits Our Needs.” The album was released back in March on Trekky Records and combines the worlds of folk with pieces of orchestration.

The band uses simple beats in order to make their vocals and instrumentation more noticeable as in the opener “Neither Here Nor There.” The album’s first single, “Red” has a more pop approach to their sound, but their music shines on the more delicate sounds of “Golden Eyelids” and “Icy River.” The band’s orchestration plays a big part in “Tall Ceilings” and in “Villain (I’ll Stick Around)” as those songs become a grander piece of music then some of their simpler songs like the album closer “Vines.”

Lost In The Trees has one live show scheduled for April 20 in their home state of North Carolina. For more information on their new album, “The Church That Fits Our Needs,” please visit http://lostinthetrees.tumblr.com/.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

CD Review: Anya Marina Finds Her Residence At "Felony Flats"

Singer/songwriter Anya Marina recently released her third album entitled “Felony Flats” back in March through Chop Shop Records/Atlantic Records. Her music has been featured all over with songs on Grey’s Anatomy, Castle, MTV’s The Real World as well as a song on Twilight’s “New Moon” Soundtrack. Now Anya is looking to find more recognition with new album to promote.

Her voice at times is soft and comforting as in “Notice Me” and can also be loud and rocking as in the album opener “Body Knows Best.” Her songs switch from the electronics of “Believe Me I Believe” to the soft jazzy sounds of “Hot Button.” Anya opens up on the alternative rocker “Flinty,” but her voice seems more attractive during the seductive dance beats of “You Are Invisible.”

Anya Marina has about a dozen live dates scattered throughout the Northeast. Please visit anyamarina.com for a complete list of shows and information on her new album.

Friday, April 20, 2012

CD Review: All Get Out Find "The Season" To Tour

South Carolina's All Get Out released their second full-length album entitled "The Season" last year and are currently headlining their own spring tour of North America. The band's latest release shows them moving in the right direction as their song-writing has grown from experimental modern rock to alternative pop gems.

Some of the songs on this album date back to the band's early days, but they mix the new and old songs together very well. The album begins with the face-paced, punk-rock edginess, attention-grabber  "My Friends." The flow of the album changes between the more melodic songs like "Lucky Bastard" and "Son of Mine" and the aggressive alternative rockers "Subject To Change" and "Me And My Lovers." All Get Out stretch out on the six-minute "Let Me Go" before finishing with gentle flow of "Come And Gone."

The band is currently on tour and will be heading to the east coast at the end of April. For more information and a complete list of tour dates, please visit http://favoritegentlemen.com/fgrecordings/all-get-out/.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

CD Review: Fall From Grace Hit Their "Romance Years"

Seattle rockers Fall From Grace released their first album in four years back in January. The album entitled "The Romance Years" finds the band at their best after a long break. Their song-writing has matured as well as their musicianship. The first single "18 & Out" is already hitting the airwaves on MTV and VH1.

The album begins with the "in your face" punk-rocker "Your Majesty," which makes you stand up and take notice of this band. They continue with the youth revolt of "18 & Out"  and "Heart Attack Road" as their knack for writing pop anthems finds the perfect hard rock backdrop. Fall From Grace soften their delivery, but only a little with the power ballad "Fade 2 Gray," before returning to blast your eardrums with more hard rocking licks. The band slows things down once again with the acoustic driven "Great Expectations," before returning with their big sing-along finish "So Long For Now."

Fall From Grace have shows booked in New York, beginning in May and are busy the entire month, performing live almost everyday. For a complete list of dates and information on the new album, please visit fallfromgrace.us.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

CD Review: Exumer Rise From The Ashes, While Job For A Cowboy Become A Metal Powerhouse

Metal Blade Records recently released two highly anticipated heavy metal albums. One is from a thrash metal band that has not released an album in over 24 years; the other is from a rising death metal band that is making a name for themselves in the genre. Both album were released back on April 10th.

The band Exumer became a cult thrash metal band in the late eighties with albums like “Possessed By Fire” and “Rising From The Sea.” With a number of line-up changes, the band performed live only a handful of times before disbanding. They re-joined again briefly for a show in 2001 at the Wacken Open Air Festival. Then, in 2008, original members Mem V. Stein and guitarist Ray Mensh decided to resurrect the band from the ashes to make a new album entitled “Fire & Damnation.”

Beginning with the title song, you instantly notice that the band has not lost their touch after 20 plus years. Their thrash metal roots run deep as they bring their songwriting experiences to the pulse pounding “Vermin In The Sky” and “Waking The Fire.” The band brings an evilness to their music with “A New Morality” and “Fallen Saint,” but the musicians that Stein and Mensh surrounded themselves with are at the top of their game. The album closes with the brutal assault of “Tribal Furies,” which leaves you to wonder why it took so long for this band to make their comeback.

Exumer are hitting the shores of South America in June, but hopefully more dates will announced in other parts of the world. For more information and a complete list of tour dates, please visit the band’s myspace page (http://www.myspace.com/exumerwakingthefire).

American death metal band Job For A Cowboy is hoping that their new album “Demonocracy” continues the band’s rise to success that their first two albums began. The new nine song album should please long time fans, as well as making new fans notice Job For A Cowboy as one of the premier death metal bands in the world.

The album begins with the quick, “in your face” attack of “Children Of Deceit” that lays it all out as to what this band represents in the music industry. The band on “Nourishment Through Bloodshed” puts all they can into three and half minutes as they display some of the best playing on the album. Jonny Davy’s vocals become the focus of songs like “Imperial Wolves” and “Black Discharge” as he steps up his talents on this album. The album finishes with the six-plus minute dark, gloom metal sound of “Tarnished Gluttony.”

Job For A Cowboy are just wrapping up their 10-month, 30 date tour on the 2012 Metal Alliance Tour. They have a couple of appearances scheduled in Puerto Rico and Canada. For a complete list of tour dates and information on the new album, check out the band’s facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/jobforacowboy).

Monday, April 16, 2012

CD Review: Eve To Adam Exploding Onto The Music Scene, Opening For Creed

New York rockers Eve To Adam (ETA) are finally getting some of the recognition they deserve. Their latest album, "Banquet For A Staring Dog" has been receiving very positive reviews, the album's first single "Run Your Mouth" hit #26 on The Modern Rock charts and the band are ready to head out on tour opening for veteran rockers Creed on their current tour.

ETA start off the album with the heavy pounding guitar blazing "Run You Mouth" and continues the assault with "My Vanity" and the dark tones of "Fault Line." ETA slow the tempo down for "Stay" and "Banquet For A Barking Dog," but their sound is more geared for the heavy attack of "Ransom." The album closes with the pop rock feel of "Glasses High," which seems soft next to rockers "Little Says" and "Reach."

Eve To Adam are currently on the road opening for Creed, including an appearance at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT on April 21. Their tour runs to the end of May with stops at "Rock on The Range" in Ohio and "Rocklahoma" in Oklahoma. For a complete list of tour dates, check out evetoadam.com.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

CD Review: The Trews Begin "Hope & Ruin" Tour In Connecticut

Canadian rockers The Trews are kicking off their U.S. Spring tour with a show in Bridgeport, CT on April 17. The tour will run mostly along the east coast and will wrap up in mid-May. The tour is in support of their 2011 album "Hope & Ruin." The album made the Top 10 album chart in Canada, but has failed to make a dent on the U.S. charts. This tour will hopefully change that as The Trews have the perfect mixture of rock and pop to become a big hit.

The album begins with the shout out loud chorus of "Misery Loves Company." Then the band switches gears to their more acoustic side with "One By One" as they instantly show their diversity. The album's first single "Hope & Ruin" is a great introduction to the The Trew's overall sound and appeal, but "If You Wanna Start Again" shows the true potential the band have with rocking down the walls. The band finishes the album with the mellow, but moody "You Gotta Let Me In."

For a complete list of tour dates and information on this latest album from The Trews be sure to visit their website at thetrewsmusic.com.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

CD Review: Lower Lands Find Out About "Growing Pains"

British rockers Lower Lands have recently singed with I Am Mighty Records and are releasing their new EP entitled "Growing Pains" on April 14th. In less than two years, the band have conquered their little slice of the U.K. and are heading on to bigger horizons.

The EP has a smooth, but aggressive sound with some elements of punk thrown in. The lead track, "Wide Eyes" already raises the bar as their sound is very polished along with a young energy that is hard to portray at times in the studio. The songs "Idle Hands, Empty Pockets" and "Why Don't We Just Build A Catherdral?" have the alternative rock radio sound that shows a maturity to their song-writing. The album closes with the pulse-pounding, punk-rock driven "Growing Pains" that also displays some great harmonizing between the band.

For more information on this young and rising band, check out either their facebook page (facebook.com/lowerlands) or their myspace page (myspace.com/lowerlands).

Friday, April 13, 2012

CD Review: "Some Nights" We Have The Music Of FUN.

The American trio of Nate Ruess, Andrew Dost and Jack Antonoff came together after Ruess’ band, The Format disbanded in 2008. The trio known as FUN. released their debut album back in 2009 and broke into the Billboard Top 100. These past three months have see FUN. reach all-time highs in their career. The first single (“We Are Young”) off their new album (“Some Nights”) hit #1 on the Billboard Top 100 singles chart and has become the biggest selling single of 2012. Their album, “Some Nights” debuted at #3 on the Billboard Albums chart and has sold over 140,000 copies in its first two weeks of release.

The album begins with the “Some Nights Intro,” a Broadway show number that throws in elements of Queen and Electric Light Orchestra. The big theatrical sound continues into the album’s second single, “Some Nights.” The band’s motto seems to be “bigger is better,” which is exactly what the sound of their hit single “We Are Young” becomes as the simple pop beginning turns into this grand production. The song “Carry On” is the perfect generational theme song to never give and keep moving forward. The FUN. turns on the electronics for “It Gets Better” and “All Alone,” but goes overboard on the album closer “Stars” as it ends up taken over the song’s emotional theme.

The FUN. have dates scheduled throughout the U.S. until mid-June with over half of them sold out. For more information on this rising band, please check out their website at ournameisfun.com.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Two Of Europe's Newest Pop Artists Arrive On The Scene

European pop music has two rising artists that are looking to make a name for themselves on the charts.

First is the sibling duo known as the Rooftop Runners that expand their pop sensibilities to a more exploratory sound. Their new four-song EP entitled "We Are Here" is beginning to gather new fans. Songs like "Streets" and "Energize" carry a very slow moving, melodic pace that makes their vocals stand our above the music. The moody "Bang Bang" is great seductive, trace-meditation song that could just go on for hours. THe EP closes with "She Devil," the most complete song on the set.

Look for Rooftop Runners to release their full-length debut album later this year. Please visit rooftoprunners.com for more information on this band.

British pop-rock artists Mike Moss released his debut album this past January entitled "Cold World Plastic Dream." At times, his voice sounds like a young Bono as in the album's electronic opening track "It's Time" and the slow building acoustic rock of "Morning Call." The album carries a few highlights, including the heartfelt piano ballads "Only Lies" and "Be The Way." Mike Moss dips back to the eighties with the dance pop sound of "Higher You Climb," before finishing the album with the jazz-flavored "Too Early For This."

For more information on this artist, please check out his website (mikemoss.co.uk).

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

CD Review: British Musician Chris Barber Shows Us His "Memories"

English born trombone player and band leader Chris Barber is celebrating his 80th birthday with a two-disc anthology entitled “Memories Of My Trip.” The set is made up of some of Barber’s classic performances, as well as some unreleased collaborations with Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Marc Knopfler and more. His 60 year career in the music business is heard all over this set as he covers jazz, blues and gospel classics as well as a few outstanding original compositions.

The first disc begins with the Brownie McGhee original “Memories of My Trip,” which actually does not feature Chris Barber on the track. The song was written as a tribute to Barber’s first world tour with Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry. The disc shifts between the classic blues of “When Things Go Wrong” and the newly recorded blues of “Weeping Willow,” which features Eric Clapton on guitar and vocals. One of the special things about Chris Barber is that he can float between the blues, jazz and even gospel as shown in “I’ll Be Rested.” Many of the songs in this collection have not been released before on CD, which is also makes this collection unique.

On the second disc you get classic live recordings like “St. Louis Blues” with Ottilie Patterson on vocals recorded in 1962. Then on the same disc you get a 2010 version of “Winin’ Boy Blues” featuring the Jools Holland band. The collection closes with three songs (“Blues Stay Away From Me,” “Dallas Rag,” “’Til The Next Time I’m In Town”) performed alongside Marc Knopfler that also features some Chris Barber vocals. While the sound quality of the songs ranges from fair to excellent, the quality of the musicianship is supreme, no matter what era it is.

Chris Barber’s “Memories Of My Trip” will be released on May 7 through Proper American Records. For more information on this release, please visit chrisbarber.net.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

CD Review: The Charm City Devils Tell Us About Their "Sins"

Hard rockers Charm City Devils are ready to release their sophomore album entitled “Sins.” The album’s first single, a cover of “Man Of Constant Sorrow” has been burning up the Active Rock charts and this album is one of the most anticipated hard rock albums of 2012.

The band burst out of the gate with the hard-hitting, edginess of “Spite” that gets dragged into “Unstoppable.” Their time on the road has helped them shape songs like “Walk Away” and “Start It Up” into live songs that will blow away the crowds. The energy of “Love N War” and “Blame” keeps the music at such a high level that you’ll become hooked after one listen. The album closes with the arena-sounding sing-along power ballad, “All You’ll Every Need.”

The Charm City Devils will be hitting the road for the next two months and are currently updating their website (charmcitydevils.com). Also make sure to check out their new album “Sins” when it’s released on April 10 through Fat Lady Music.

Monday, April 9, 2012

CD Review: Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band Has Fun "Doin' It Hard"

Every once an awhile, a band comes a long with a name that just screams “FUN!” and Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band just happens to be one of those bands. This six-piece band is celebrating their 10 year anniversary with a new album entitled “Doin’ It Hard.” They won the Home Grown Music Network’s Album of the Year and Band of the Year awards for their debut release “Now You Know” and The Booty Band are ready to reclaim those titles in 2012. The new album was also recently featured on music.aol.com’s “Listen Party.”

The album starts off with a funky, 70’s style rocker “True Battle,” which is the perfect way to introduce the band to new listeners. Then the fun kicks in with “@$$,” a song that has a great bass groove that is sure to get your body moving as you find yourself singing along to the chorus. Then the band transports you to the disco era with “Lovin’” and “Lucky,” while the instrumental “Horn Star” and “Chaos” sound straight from Parliament Funkadelic’s songbook. The album continues with “Hot Pizazz,” a song that seems like it belongs more with the jamband community then on Top 40 radio. Then “Shadows & Sunshine,” finishes the album with the band pulling out all the stops on this funky, but spooky song.

Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band is currently touring the southern U.S. through mid-June, so be sure to check them out if you’re looking to enjoy yourself and have a good time. Be sure to check out their website at bootyband.com for more information.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

CD Review: The Music On Slim Loris New Album Is Very "Down To Earth"

After only a few years together, Swedish indie-folk band Slim Loris released two albums. The first was their self-titled debut album which made very little noise outside of Stockholm, Sweden. Last year, the band released their sophomore album entitled "Down To Earth," and have been receiving positive reviews from all over the world. The new release mixes a sixties pop sound with bits of Americana and alternative rock, with a result that is very addicting.

The up-tempo beginning of the opener "Low" clashes with the mellowness of "Waiting For Something," but bounces back again with the pure folk sounds of "Into The Stillness." The album flows nicely between the fun pop sounds of "Break Even Or Lose" and "Light Come Shining," and the gentle heartfelt ballads of "Ain't Nothing Like It Used To Be" and "At The End Of Our Tears." The album closes with the guitar infused rocker "Useless" and the acoustic jaunt of "She Won't Believe."

Check out the band's facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Slim-Loris/214253388610637) for more information.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Couple Of East Coast EPs From Two Great Musicians

From Connecticut comes multi-instrumentalist Jayson Munro and from New York City comes singer/songwriter Jon Moodie. Both artists are looking to take that next step in their careers with a full-length album, but until then we get just a taste of the talents these two musicians have to offer.

First up, with his latest 4-song EP entitled "Meteor Tears" is Jayson Munro This album was completed back in 2007, but was shelved until 2012 when Munro thought it was the right time to release his music.

The two beginning songs "Illinoize" and "18 Stops To Go" have a great alternative sound to them, but almost feel incomplete without the addition of vocals. The almost seven-minute "Cyan Tail-lights" is a very exploratory song that doesn't force the listener to judge the music involved. The EP closes with a fragile piano chord background and sounds of grunge-guitars and keyboards highlighting "Dew Drop Ambulance."

For more information on this Connecticut native, please visit his facebook page (facebook.com/jaysonmunromusic).

Next up is singer/songwriter Jon Moodie with a collection of acoustic songs called "Bare Bones." The EP is Jon's first attempt to get these songs heard by the general public. He is currently developing these songs with a full band for his full-length album debut sometime in 2013.

Jon's voice on "Take It Slow" echos that of fellow singer/songwriter Ray Lamontagne with his rough, but warm vocal delivery. Jon takes a more folk-protest approach to "I'm Right," before turning on the blues in "Gypsy." He can also turn on the charm with his storytelling lyrics in "Get Loved." It will be interesting to her some of these songs with a full-band behind them. I just hope these songs don't lose their uniqueness.

For more information on Jon Moodie, please check out his website at jonmoodie.com.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Digital Review: Steve Katz's Songwriting Comes Alive On Digital Releases

New York singer/songwriter Steve Katz currently has five singles available through major outlets Amazon, iTunes and CDbaby. His sound ranges from the Cat Stevens-sounding, acoustic folk of “Crazy” to the jazzy ballad “Barricades.” Katz is at his best when it is just him and an acoustic guitar as in “For The First Time” and “Where Do I Belong” as you can almost feel the tone in his voice as he lays his heart into his words. Katz seems to have more fun with the addition of a band as in “Kathmandu” and “Thrive” as his songs seem to grow into a life of their own.

To find out more about Steve Katz and to hear samples of his songs, please check out his website, stevekatzmusic.com.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

CD Review: The Shins Finally Pull Into "Port"

Indie rockers The Shins recently released their fourth full-length album entitled “Port of Morrow.” It is the band’s first album in five years and their first album on lead singer/guitarist James Mercer’s label Aural Apothecary in association with Columbia Records. As Mercer is the only original member, the new album is a very slick, polished piece of work. The new band seemed to use a more pop music approach to their sound on this new release.

The album begins with the dance, pop sounding “The Rifle’s Spiral,” in which you instantly notice the use of more electronic instrumentation. The album’s first single, “Simple Song” is an up-tempo song about conquering things together as a team, instead of trying to tackle these tasks on your own. The album’s second single is “It’s Only Life” which is a slow building, Beatlesque ballad with some great background harmonies. Mercer goes all acoustic on the folk-ballad “September,” but quickly returns to the pop beats of “No Way Down.” One of the highlights of the album is the slow waltz of “For A Fool” which shows us glimpses of Mercer’s earlier songwriting. The Shins finally step away from their comfort zone on the album’s closing song “Port of Morrow” in which they stretch-out their sound to a more psychedelic atmosphere.

The Shins recently performed at this year’s SXSW festival and will begin a headlining tour in a couple weeks. For a complete list of dates and more information on the new album, please visit theshins.com.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

CD Review: Blues Guitarist, Tab Benoit Lets His "Legacy" Speak For Itself

American blues guitarist Tab Benoit is ready to release his first ever “Best Of” collection. Beginning in 1992, Tab Benoit recorded over 17 albums and has performed alongside fellow musicians like Charlie Musselwhite, Jimmy Thackery, Billy Joe Shaver and Stevie Ray Vaughn’s band Double Trouble. Featured on this new release are 14 songs ranging from early originals ("Muddy Bottom Blues") to exceptional covers ("I Put A Spell On You"). The album will be released on April 3 through The Concord Music Group.

The compilation begins with “Shelter Me,” a song from Tab Benoit’s highest charting album “Power of the Pontchartrain.” You instantly find Benoit’s groove for the blues with his song “Night Train” and his cover of Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth.” The duel guitars of “Nice And Warm” and “Comin’ On Strong” show how well Benoit’s playing locks in with his fellow musicians. One of the highlights is the down and dirty guitar solo in “Medicine” as Benoit and Anders Osborne trade licks. The album closes with two live songs, the gentle blues of “New Orleans Ladies” and the fun blues romp of “Bayou Boogie.”

Tab Benoit is beginning his tour next week in the Louisiana area before heading out west. He will be hitting the New England area in June for a couple of dates and then return again in August. For a complete list of dates, be sure to visit tabbenoit.com.

Monday, April 2, 2012

CD Review: Eric Hutchinson Is "Moving Up" With New Album

Singer/songwriter Eric Hutchinson is ready to release the follow-up to his Warner Bros. Records breakout hit album “Sounds Like This.” On April 17, Eric Hutchinson will release “Moving Up, Living Down.” It will be the first album of new material from Hutchinson in almost five years. The new album was produced by Mike Elizondo (Eminem, Regina Spektor) and Marin Terefe (Jason Mraz, James Morrison).

The album begins with the reggae-flavored “Talk Is Cheap” which displays Hutchinson’s vocals wonderfully as the music moves you. Hitchinson’s pop sensibilities can’t help but shine through on the dance-beats of “Best Days” and “The Basement.” He breaks out some soul for “The People I Know,” before getting a little funky with “Living In The Afterlife.” You can just tell that he pours his heart and soul into the album’s first single “Watching You Watch Him,” which put Hutchinson near the top of the singles chart. The album closes with the fun, island sounding sing-along “Not There Yet.”

Eric Hutchinson begins his 2012 spring tour of North America in Denver, CO on April 17. He will heading to the east coast in the beginning in May with stops in Boston, New York and Danbury CT. For more information on his new album “Moving Up, Living Down” and for a complete list of tour dates, please visit erichutchinson.com.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

CD Review: Naga Valli Combines Two Worlds Of Music In "Eastern Soul"

From Austin, TX, by way of Mumbai, India comes Naga Valli with her debut album “Eastern Soul.” She combines the roots of Indian/Middle Eastern classical music into today’s Latin/American pop music. Songs like “Clarity” and “Chaotic” have a unique spin on them combining American instrumentation with Middle Eastern rhythmic themes. Naga’s voice takes control of “Fear” and the East-Indian influenced “Damadam Mast Qalandar.” The highlight of the album is the emotional “If I Don’t Sing” which finds Naga pouring her heart into this performance. The album closes with the Latin-jazz flavored “Search (Kabir),” in which you can feel the true soul of the album.

Naga Valli will be performing an album release show on April 14th at the Cactus Café in Austin, TX. To find out more about Naga Valli, please visit her website (http://www.nagavalli.com/).