Thursday, October 31, 2013

CD Review: Up The Chain Sows The "Seeds" Of A New Album

From Philadelphia comes the latest release from folk artist Reed Kendall with his second album as the leader of Up The Chain. The new album "Seeds & Thorns" was released October 15 and features production by Bill Moriarty (Dr. Dog). The album is already making noise in his home town and earned Up The Chain an opening slot on 10,000 Maniacs' FAF festival show.
 
The music on this new release is very relaxing as you just get lost in Kendall's vocals in "Same Story." He adds a bit of soul music to his sound in "Take Me Talking" and "For To Give Away" as his approach mirrors the seventies output of Paul Simon. Up The Chain could be ranked with fellow singer/songwriters Amos Lee and Shawn Mullins with outstanding songs like "A Ground" and "No Sweeter Sound." The album closes with the storied lyrics of "Names of Ghosts" as you will instantly put the album on repeat to enjoy his songs once again.
 
Up The Chain has been on the road since the beginning of October, but still has dates scheduled until mid-November, including a performance at Daytrotter Session on November 7. For more information on this new release from Up The Chain, please visit his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/UptheChain.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

CD Review: '77 Reach "Maximum" Potential With Their New Album

Spanish rockers '77 return with their third full-length album "Maximum Rock n Roll" through Listenable Records. The bands influence resides in early AC/DC and seventies hard rock, which shows in the band's sound on this latest release.
 
The album leads off with the title song which has a raw, very electric feel that shows that this band uses no studio tricks to gain their appeal. Lead singer Armand Valeta mirrors his vocals after the late AC/DC singer Bon Scott, while the rest of the band follows suit on "Down And Dirty." The band find a great classic Aerosmith-type rock groove on "Jazz It Up" then turn the dial to eleven on the guitar riff-fueled "Stay Away From Water." Guitarist LG Valeta lays down his first ever recorded lead vocals on "You Bore Me," which has the most modern rock appeal on this new release. The album closes with the riff-heavy, adrenaline pumping "16 Year Old King."
 
The new release will be available November 20. For more information, please visit listenable.net.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

CD Review: New Prog-Rock Music Goes For Days Between Stations

Progressive rock musicians Oscar Fuentes and Sepand Samzadeh have teamed-up once again to release the latest album from Days Between Stations. It has been five years since their debut album and this time they brought along some friends to create "In Extremis." Produced by Billy Sheerwood (Yes) the album includes guest spots from Tony Levin (King Crimson), Colin Moulding (XTC) Peter Banks (Yes) and Rick Wakeman (Yes).
 
The album begins with the introduction of "No Cause For Alarm," which ends way too early, but leads nicely into the Pink Floydian "In Utero." They turn on the electronics as Samzadeh and Fuentes trade solos at the beginning of the ten-minute "Visionary," which also features some lead vocals provided by Billy Sheerwood. Colin Moulding lends his vocals to the eighties pop sound of "The Man Who Died Two Times," before the band shows their full-potential on the prog-rock masterpiece "Eggshell Man." The album closes with the 21-minute, six-part suite of "In Extremes" that brings up the early progressive rock days of King Crimson and Genesis.
 
To find out more about this outstanding, unique album, please visit daysbetweenstations.com.

Monday, October 28, 2013

CD Review: Independent Jazz Artists Perfom Some Classic Sounds On New Releases

There have been two independent jazz albums that deserve your attention. One is from jazz pianist, composer, producer Sasi Shalom and the other is from singer/pianist Tony DeSare. DeSare's latest album strips everything away except for his Yamaha acoustic piano and his voice, while Shalom puts together a classic jazz band with Donny McCaslin (Saxophone), Antonio Sanchez (Drums) and Desmond White (bass).
 
Sasi Shalom has dedicated his new album "Moments of Eternity" to the children and heroes of the Sandy Hook Elementary School. All of the proceeds from the sale of this album are going to the Sandy Hook Promise (www.sandyhookpromise.org/) organization. For those that may not know Shalom's work, this album is the perfect opportunity to get introduced to this very talented musician.
 
As I stated earlier, this seven-song album has a very classic jazz feel, as if it was recorded back in the club days of John Coltrane and Art Blakey. The band begins to open up on the eight-minute "Raging Bull" as McCaslin's sax and Sanchez' drums become the highlight of the song. The heart of the album is felt during Shalom's smooth piano of "Moments of Eternity" and the gripping sound of "My Sons My Soul." The album closes with the ten-minute, storied feeling of "Watch Your Back."
 
Sasi Shalom's latest album is available now. For more information on it, please visit sasishalom.bandcamp.com/.
 
Jazz/pop pianist/vocalist Tony DeSare decided to tackle songs from the "Contemporary Songbook" along with a few originals, including the pop feel of the opening song "A Lot To Say." The cover songs range from the classic, old-fashion sound of Cole Porter's "Just One Of Those Things" to the rearranged rock of Bon Jovi's "You Give Love A Bad Name." He fits his original songs like "Chemistry" and "Christmas For You And Me" with a very attractive sound next to piano standards like "Autumn Leaves" and "I Love A Piano."
 
Tony DeSare is performing his last date in October in California, before making his way to the east coast, including a Christmas show at Seven Angels Theatre in Waterbury, CT. To find out more about Tony DeSare's new album "Piano," please visit tonydesare.com.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

CD Review: Latest Wave Of Jazz Remasters From The Concord Music Group

Last month the Concord Music Group rolled out their latest wave of titles in the Original Jazz Classics Remasters series. This set commemorates the 40th anniversary of the Pablo record label. The Pablo label was home to such jazz greats as Count Basie, John Coltrane, Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald just to name a few. The label was active from 1973 to 1987, when it was sold to Fantasy Records which then merged with Concord Records in 2004.
 
The titles in this latest wave of releases contains a couple piano greats stepping outside of their comfort zone (Art Tatum, Duke Ellington) and a some outstanding collaborations that would stand the test of time.
 
Pianist Art Tatum was a classic jazz pianist in the 1940s and 50s who took his inspirations from Fats Waller and James P. Johnson. He worked along side other jazz greats like Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday until his untimely death in 1956. One of his greatest set of albums was "The Art Tatum Solo Masterpieces." The lonely 1953 recording sessions spawned 69 master recordings that would create an eight volume set. The first of this set was released as part of the Jazz Classics Remasters series and shows Tatum in a vulnerable, but inspiring position in his career. Nearly all of the songs were first-takes with no overdubs and included such well-known classics as "Moonglow," "Too Marvelous For Words" and "I'm In The Mood For Love." The original nine song album was expanded to sixteen which gives a more complete idea as to feeling of these cold December days back in 1953. The liner notes were also expanded with a newly written essay by Jazz Archivist Tad Hershon.
 
Another great pianist who is featured in this series is the immortal Duke Ellington. The album that was selected was "The Ellington Suites," which features three of Ellington's self-produced suites. The suites were recorded at three different times in Ellington's career ("The Queen's Suite" in 1959, "The Goutelas Suite" in 1971 and "The Uwis Suite" in 1972). Duke Ellington would bring his orchestra into the recording studio and stock-pile recordings at his own expense. Then sell them to labels that were willing to pay his asking price. Norman Granz, owner of Pablo Records, bought the three suites and combined them into one complete album. The album has definitely benefited from be remastered as the drums and bass  sound so rich and deep while the horns lead the way, while Ellington's piano makes subtle appearances when the time calls for it. This new release also features the never-before-released track entitled "The Kiss." It was recorded during the sessions for "The Uwis Suite," but was left out of the final song listing. The booklet contains the entire original essay written by Stanley Dance, as well as new writings by Jazz author Ashley Kahn.
 
The other three titles in this series feature some of the most amazing collaborations in jazz music. Saxophonist Zoot Sims teamed up with Oscar Peterson, Joe Pass, George Mraz and Grady Tate to being the music of the Gershwin Brothers to life. The album "Zoot Sims and The Gershwin Brothers" seems like the perfect match as Sims' sax gives the songs "The Man I Love" and I Got Rhythm" a special quality that is unmatched. The original ten-song album includes three great bonus tracks including "They Can't Take That Away From Me" and two previously unreleased alternate take of "Oh, Lady, Be Good" and "I've Got A Crush On You," which both appear in other forms on the album. Author Doug Ramsey lends his talents with newly written liner notes.
 
Another great collaboration between two of the top artists in their selective fields is Oscar Peterson and Stephane Grappelli. Their live album "Skol" was recorded in 1979 and features musicians from all different ethnic backgrounds. Their collaboration on this album features some uniquely wonderful solos as in the opening song "Nuages" and the classic, well-known "Making Whoopee." Also included as bonus tracks for the first time are the standards "Honeysuckle Rose," "Solitude" and "I Got Rhythm." The booklet features new liner notes from Jazz Archivist Tad Hershorn, as well as the albums original write-up by Norman Granz.
 
Finally, we get the jam session that went so right with "Dizzy's Big 4." The album features Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Pass, Ray Brown and Mickey Roker at the height of the bebop movement in jazz music. Each artist brought their a-game to the recording and you can definitely hear it and feel it as in the opening song "Frelimo" and in the standards "September Song" and "Jitterbug Waltz." The other great thing is that each musician got his moment to shine with anyone stepping on each other's toes to become the star of the album. The newly remastered edition of the album includes two unreleased alternate takes as bonus tracks. Writer Willard Jenkins adds new liner notes to the album, which also includes the original liner notes from Benny Green.
 
These newly remastered discs were released on September 17 through the Concord Music Group and continue upon the success of prior releases in the series. To find out more information about these releases, please visit www2.concordmusicgroup.com/labels/label.php?Label_Name=Original-Jazz-Classics.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Concert Review: Pearl Jam Performs Epic Show For Hartford

It was three years ago that the fab five of Pearl Jam took over downtown Hartford as fans swarmed to the XL Center to see one of their favorite bands. Now, with a new album and a new sense of purpose, Pearl Jam once again called Hartford their home, if only for one night.
 
The XL Center arena filled to capacity in no time, with the area in front of the stage designated to a General Admission, standing room only audience. The lights went out at precisely 8:30, signaling the start of a three hour performance by one of the premier rock bands of all time, Pearl Jam.
 
Lead singer Eddie Vedder walked to the front of the stage with his trusty notebook and a bottle of wine in hand to begin the night with the mellow tones of "Pendulum" and "Long Road." The tempo began to pick up with the addition of new songs "Lightning Bolt" and the punk-like fury of "Mind Your Manners." From that point on, Pearl Jam could do no wrong in the eyes of their fans. Songs like "Last Exit" and "Even Flow" had the audience bouncing and singing along to every word. Their newest single, "Sirens" lowered the excitement for only a moment, before picking things back up with "Unknown Thought" and "Do The Evolution." The first set closed with an extended jam of "Better Man," in which the audience sang the beginning verses to the band.
 
After a short break, Pearl Jam returned to the stage for the sit down/acoustic part of the show, beginning with "Yellow Moon." One of the songs, not on the original set list (according to Vedder), was the rare gem "Come Back" from the band's 2006 self-titled album. After a short explanation of new song "Future Days," the band proceeded with a couple of cover songs, including the fan-favorite "Chloe Dancer/Crown Of Thorns" and a repeat cover from their 2010 appearance, Van Halen's "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love." The band turned the audience into a wave of people with "Given To Fly," before mellowing the mood with Vedder inspiring many with his words on gun control and the Newtown tragedy that took place last year. A fun, energetic version of "Porch" found Vedder swinging from the lights as guitarists Mike McCready and Stone Gossard locked into their solos.
 
After another quick break, Pearl Jam returned to perform "Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In a Small Town," for the audience in the back the stage. Keyboardist Boom Gaspar got into the act with an amazing solo on "Crazy Mary," before the band decided to flip the house lights on during the adrenaline fueled "Go." The evening ended with the audience singing along to "Alive" and "Indifference."
 
At just before midnight, Pearl Jam stood arm in arm at center stage to a roaring applause. The overwhelming response showed the band how appreciated their fans are that they continue to be one of the best live bands in music today.
 
First Set: Pendulum, Long Road, Sometimes, Corduroy, Lighting Bolt, Mind Your Manners, Last Exit, Immortality, Even Flow, Sirens, Alone, Unknown Thought, Records Play, Save You, Do The Evolution, Better Man
 
Second Set: Yellow Moon, Come Back, Future Days, Chloe Dancer/Crown Of Thorns, Eruption/Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love, Given To Fly, Got Some, Wasted Reprise/Life Wasted, Porch
 
Encore: Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town, Crazy Mary, Go, Alive, Fuckin' Up, Indifference

Imagine Dragons Stroll "Into The Night" With New Tour Dates

One of the greatest stories in the music industry this year is the rise of alternative rockers Imagine Dragons. Their debut studio album "Night Visions" climbed up to #2 on the Billboard Album chart and the single "Radioactive" hit the top three on multiple singles' charts. Finally, the band are hitting the road, headlining their own tour entitled "Into The Night Tour."

The tour kicks off February 8th in Boise, ID before making it way to the east coast. The 21-date tour includes a stop at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT on March 1. For a complete list of tour dates, please visit imaginedragonsmusic.com and for ticket info check out http://bit.ly/_ImagineDragonsTIX.

Friday, October 25, 2013

CD Review: Wild Child Return With New Music From "The Runaround"

From Texas comes the indie-folk/rock of Wild Child with their second album "The Runaround." The album was produced by Ben Kweller and the band was voted "Best Indie Act" and "Best Folk Act" at the 2013 SXSW festival.
 
The album is a breath of refreshing Americana music with elements of rock, jazz, and folk infused in it. The lead single "Crazy Bird" has a great beat and whistle chorus that is hard not to hum along to. The song runs along the same vein as the band, Of Monster And Men's hit single "Little Talks." They sound antique on the acoustic sway of "Coming Home," before the big drum comes along to bang away the blues. The gentle comfort of "Stitches" and the pop feel of "Anna Marie" shows the maturity within the band. The album closes with the interesting experimentation of "Rillo Talk" and the momentum building "Left Behind."
 
The new album was released on October 8 through The Noise Company. To find out more about this amazing young band, please visit wilchildsounds.com.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

CD Review: Close Your Eyes Cross The "Line" With New Album

Hardcore metal band Close Your Eyes will be releasing their new album "Line In The Sand" at the end of the month. Since their Victory Records debut back in 2010, their fan base continues to grow with each tour. Their latest string of live dates will end on in their hometown of Abiline, TX in November.
 
This is the first album not to feature founding member Shane Raymond on vocals, but the band did a tremendous job filling the spot with the throat-bleeding screams of Sam Ryder Robinson. The songs "Days of Youth" and "Frame And Glass" have mainstream metal potential, while still keeping that edginess that makes their music stand-out. The adrenaline is pumping full-speed in "Sleeping Giant" and "No Borders" as you can just imagine a huge mosh pit listening to these songs. One of the album's highlights is "The End" with its contagious chorus and high powered musicianship. The album closes with the big sweeping sound of the 80-second song, "Follow The Sun."
 
To find out more about Close Your Eyes' latest release "Line In The Sand," please visit closeyoureyesmerch.com.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

CD Review: Singer/Songwriter Jay Stolar Gives "More Than We Think"

New York singer/songwriter Jay Stolar released his debut album earlier this month entitled "More Than We Think." He started to turn heads with a cover of Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" and the album's lead single, "Like You Do" was featured in the more recent "90210" hit TV show.

The ten song album begins with Stolar slowly building up the tempo of "Fall Apart." His vocals sound like a cross between the island vibe of Jack Johnson and the up-beat pop of Bruno Mars. He draws a strong resemblance to Daryl Hall on "Like You Do," then adds a little R & B flavor to his sound with "The Break." Jay shows great control over his voice in "Leading Me Down," making the softer vocals sound comforting, while also belting out the chorus with authority. Jay closes the album reaching back to his storytelling roots with the gentle acoustics of "Wondering If."

Jay Stolar has some headlining shows, including at stop at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT on November 9th. For more information on his new album "More Than We Think" and for a complete list of tour dates, please visit jaystolar.com.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

CD Review: Omnivore Recordings Brings Together The Complete Live Performance Of Humble Pie

What started out as a band of young, up-and-coming musicians lead by former Small Faces frontman Steve Marriott, turned into one of the best live hard rock bands of the seventies. Humble Pie came together by chance after Marriott left his band the Small Faces to create a more powerful live act. He recruited a young, barely-known Peter Frampton, Spooky Tooth bassist Greg Ridley and 17-year-old session drummer Jerry Shirley.
 
As expectations grew upon the new band, Humble Pie would not disappoint. Many consider them one of the founding fathers of "heavy metal" as their live shows were a sight to see. The twin guitar attack of Marriott and Frampton created some of the best jams ever heard. The band's only live album "Performance Rockin' The Fillmore" was one of there best selling albums in the U.S. and in the U.K. even though it only featured seven-songs from the bands four sold-out shows. Now a new four-disc box set from Omnivore Recordings includes every show in its entirety from the four Humble Pie shows that took place on May 28 and 29, 1971.
 
The set starts out with the complete previously never released first show. The sound on these new releases are amazing as you instantly feel like you were at the Fillmore in 1971. Each shows features a twenty-six-plus version of "I Walked On Gilded Slinters" that showcases the true musicianship within this band. While the set list pretty much stayed the same, the band would include a cover of Muddy Waters' "Rolling Stone" and a one time performance of "Stone Cold Fever." Each disc presents the shows in the correct running order at they were performed.
 
The new "Performance: Rockin' The Fillmore - The Complete Recordings" deluxe box set was produced by Frampton and Shirley with A&R coordination from Bill Levenson and Cheryl Pawelski. It will be available on October 29th. For more information, please visit omnivorerecordings.com/humble-pie/.

Monday, October 21, 2013

CD Review: Metal Blade Records Unleash New Music In October

October is the month to stock up on new releases, especially from Metal Blade Records, who have released four new releases in the last couple weeks. From the bone-crushing sound of Rivers of Nihil to the quickly rising Swedish metal band Noctum to the Viking metal of Ereb Altor, Metal Blade Records has some new music to please every metal genre.
 
American death metal band Rivers of Nihil released their debut album "The Conscious Seed of Light" on October 15. The band worked with famed metal master Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal, Morbid Angel) to bring together their raw sound and hone their brand of death metal. The machine gun drumming of "Rain Eater" and the tempo changes of "Soil & Seed" have Rivers of Nihil firing on all cylinders. The screaming vocals and screaming guitar solo of "Central Antheneum" are a perfect match, while the album closer "Airless" has the most appeal with the band locked-in on a thrash metal groove.
 
To find out more about Rivers of Nihil, please visit www.metalblade.com/us/artists/rivers-of-nihil/.
 
Speaking of thrash metal, we get the debut release from the European thrash metal band Kill Division. Their album, "Destructive Force" was released on October 15. The band is not new to the genre, appearing in other forms as the three members have come from other metal bands, but feel refreshed by this new freedom. The album begins with that all-out assault of "Mechanic Domination" and speeds things up with "Fear of Life" before settling into the more thrash-friendly "Made Of Lies."
 
To find out more about Kill Division, please visit www.metalblade.com/us/releases/kill-division-destructive-force/.
 
Sticking with the new metal music coming from Europe, we get the latest release from Swedish rockers Noctum and their Metal Blade Records debut, "Final Sacrifice." They have dark, evil lyrics like early Black Sabbath, but with a more mainstream sound like Blue Oyster Cult. The song "Void Of Emptiness" features some great instrumentation, while "Liberty Of Death" shows the energy this band puts into their performances. The sound of Sabbath comes bleeding through on "Resurrected In Evil," before the band heads out on their epic journey with "Azoth."
 
To find out more about Noctum, please visit www.metalblade.com/noctum/.
 
One final new release to discuss is the epic, Viking metal of Ereb Altor. Their latest release, "Fire Meets Ice," was released on October 15 and features music created to summon the Norse Gods. The nine-minute opener "Fire Meets Ice" brings the listener on a quest as the tempo changes keep things interesting. Erab Altor put the pedal to the metal on the speed drumming of "The Chosen Ones," but bring out the Viking lore in the follow-up song "Nifelheim." The album closes with the album's most accessible song for new fans with the chanting chorus of "The Deceiver Shall Repent."
 
To find out more about Ereb Altor, please visit www.metalblade.com/us/artists/ereb-altor/.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

CD Review: The Sixxis Breathe New Life Into Progressive Hard Rock

From Atlanta, GA comes The Sixxis, one of the most exciting new progressive bands of hard rock. The band received some positive buzz in their opening slot on The Whinery Dogs most recent European tour and their latest album has been catching fire worldwide. The self-titled album was released with an eight-song CD and DVD showing the band's outstanding live output.
 
Their sound on the five studio tracks sound like the resurrection of King's X with an edgy, but very contagious sound. Their song "I Wanted More" has the perfect formula for mainstream success, while the heavy metal sound of "Believe (Russian)" showcases a band on the verge of stardom. The three live songs ("Nowhere Close," "Home Again" and "Farewell To Everything") appear as the last three songs on the CD and also in video form on the DVD. While the songs are performed live, there is no audience for the band to interact with, which would have made the DVD a little more exciting, but the songs still have that great, fresh hard rock/progressive sound.
 
The Sixxis still have about a dozen more dates for them opening for The Whinery Dogs as the tour makes its way to New England. For more information on this indie-rock band, please visit their Facebook page www.facebook.com/TheSixxiS.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

CD Review: Celtic Rock Band Irish Moutarde Want You To "Raise 'Em All" For Their Debut Album

From Canada comes one of the most uniquely addicting bands you will ever hear. Irish Moutarde is a Celtic rock band full of high-energy rock and lyrics that you'll be singing along to after only a couple listens. Their debut album "Raise 'Em All" was released in September in a number of different packages. I can almost guarantee that once you hear this album, it will be on your playlist for St. Patrick's Day.
 
The dozen songs that make up this album are divided into a "Side A" and a "Side B," but it makes no difference because the music is just a full shot of adrenaline for forty minutes. Some songs like "Farewell To Drunkeness" and "The Wearing Of The Green" are full of great lyrics that attract you like a magnet. When the band is firing on all cylinders like in "The Cabin," they sound like Metallica performing at an Irish pub. The bagpipes go full blast on the punk sounding "OLAF" and the instrumental "LLL" before going all-out metal on "D.O.E." The album closes with an Irish-style folk story about "A Lad And A Hag."
 
Irish Moutarde has a show scheduled this evening in St-Jean-Sur-Richelieu before performing at Bolt Fest, November 1 at UQAC. To find out more about this truly original, but attractive new band, please visit irishmoutarde.com.

Friday, October 18, 2013

CD Review: William Shatner Brings You Along To "Ponder The Mystery" Of His New Album

If there was any actor who would define progressive rock music it would be William Shatner. Boldly going where no man has gone before, Shatner breaks through once again with his latest album entitled "Ponder The Mystery." The album brings together the poetry of William Shatner with the music of Billy Sherwood (Yes) along with help from over a dozen well-known musicians including Steve Vai, Rick Wakeman, Robbie Krieger, Edgar Winter and Vince Gill, who are just some of the outstanding cast of supporters on this album.
 
The 15-song album has Shatner reciting some "far out" poetry amongst a backdrop of progressive rock that seems like a match made in heaven. Clash guitarist Mike Jones goes unnoticeable on "Where It's Gone...I Don't Know," while Steve Vai makes his presence known on "Ponder The Mystery." Rick Wakeman and William Shatner seem like the perfect match in "Change" as Shatner sounds like an aged Jim Morrison against Wakeman's keys. Shatner's good friend Vince Gill steps out of his comfort zone to lend a hand with some soothing acoustic guitar, while The Doors' Robby Krieger mixes in some classic rock guitar and a little experimental sitar music on "Deep Down." The one thing this that holds this album together is the thought-provoking lyrics from the mind of William Shatner that keep you pondering.
 
Shatner will be performing his new album in its entirety on only a few dates at the end of the month. To find out more about this release, please visit williamshatner.com.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

CD Review: "CBGB" Gets Immortalized With Movie And Soundtrack

From the mid-seventies to the mid-eighties, New York City was the punk mecca of the world. A country, bluegrass, blues bar named CBGB was the host to loads of underground bands that became huge international sensations. Some of the bands that got their start at CBGBs include The Talking Heads, Blondie, The Ramones and The Police just to name a few.
 
In 2006 the club closed its doors forever and a chapter in music history was finished. Now, this year we get the first official movie entitled "CBGB" about how this iconic place got its start and all the people involved with making it what it eventually became known as to other generations. In association with the movie, we get one of the greatest soundtracks every compiled. "CBGB Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" was released on October 8th through Omnivore Records and complies 20 songs, some of which were signature hits for the bands that once graced the stage of CBGBs.
 
The soundtrack starts out with a couple of well-known songs from the Talking Heads ("Life During Wartime") and the MC5s ("Kick Out The Jams"). Then the album dives into some of the more underground punk bands of the late-seventies including the New York Dolls ("Chatterbox") and The Flamin' Groovies ("Slow Death"). This soundtrack, and movie, reminds you of how many iconic bands got their start there on their way to become some of the biggest bands in history. It's great hearing The Velvet Underground and The Stooges next to The Count Five and Dead Boys (who appear twice on the soundtrack). Also included is a newly recorded version of Blondie's "Sunday Girl." The album closes with the crossover pop/punk hit "Roxanne" by The Police and one of the newer recordings on the album by CBGB club owner Hilly Kristal.
 
The movie, "CBGB" was released in select theaters on October 11 and the soundtrack is available now on CD, digital and in translucent pink vinyl. For more information, please visit omnivorerecordings.com/cbgb-original-motion-picture-soundtrack/.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

CD Review: Paul D'Adamo Channels Genesis On "Tell Me Something"

From Dallas, TX comes the multi-talented musician/vocalist/teacher Paul D'Adamo with his latest release "Tell Me Something." The album finds Paul teaming up with members of Genesis and Phil Collins' solo band, performing some of the lesser known hits of the Genesis catalog. Phil's live resume lists his performances with these bands along with Peter Gabriel, Elton John and Paul McCartney. Paul D'Adamo is currently in charge of the D'Adamo School Of Performing Arts, and also has had one of his dreams come true by making this album.
 
The ten-song album features three original songs including the meaningful vocals on "Miss You" and the jazzy-rock of "Tell Me Something." The rest of the album is made up of such Genesis classics as the outstanding "Entangled" and the mellow pop of Phil Collins' "Please Don't Ask." Paul can also rock as on "Like It Or Not," before closing with acoustic, Barry Manilow-sounding "Constant Change" and the accapella "Guide Vocal."
 
Paul's album, "Tell Me Something" is available now. To find out more, please visit www.facebook.com/pages/Paul-DAdamo/143447657480.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

CD Review: Feral Conservatives Take Their "Breaks" On The Road

From Virginia Beach comes the latest release from the independent rock band Feral Conservatives. Their latest self-released album, "Breaks And Mends" was originally released last year, but the band is finally bring their new music to the New England area with a mini seven-date tour.
 
The sound on this latest release has a very modern Americana sound as if Mumford & Sons were fronted by Dolores O'Riordan of the Cranberries. The album starts off with the uptempo, pop feel of "Control," before heading into a more experimental folk/rock sound on "Golden Coast." They come back to the gentle acoustics of "Brighter Dawn" and "Haven't Give Up," but seem like they want to rock as in "Friends Bail Always." Lead singer Rashie Rosenfarb proudly displays her vocal talents amongst a soft piano on "Captivated," before the album closes with the mainstream uptempo-pop of "Hourglass (Take The Time)."
 
The tour started on October 11th and runs through to the 21st, including a stop at The Room in Brookfield, CT. To find out more about this underground folk-rock band, please visit their facebook page at facebook.com/feralconservaties.

Monday, October 14, 2013

CD Review: "Just Desserts" Offers The Complete Recordings From The Waitresses

The 1980s pop/new wave movement could be considered just a fad, but one of the iconic female-fronted bands to find success with that fad was The Waitresses. Their music will forever live on with the holiday staple "Christmas Wrapping" and now Omnivore Recordings will release a 2CD set that includes the complete recordings of The Waitresses.

Their first album "Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful?" was a mild success, hitting #41 on the Billboard album charts and included the hit single, "I Know What Boys Like." But the album also showcases a band that was ready to take over with their perfectly executed pop beats and punk-like attitude. Songs like "Wise Up" and "Pussy Strut" were a little too edgy for mainstream radio in the eighties, but the ska sound of "Redland" would have been a great followup to "I Know What Boys Like." The first disc also contains the holiday classic "Christmas Wrapping," the theme song to the show "Square Pegs" and the hard-to-find, rare recording "Hangover 1/1/83."

The second disc covers The Waitresses' only other studio release, "Bruiseology." While this album did not fair as well as their previous one, it does contain a couple of glimpses of greatness. The lead single from the album "Make the Weather," failed to make a dent on the charts, but shows that the band still had all the elements to make a pop single. It seems like the freshness of their sound just wore off as the songs "Bruiseology" and "They're All Out Of Liquor, Let's Find Another Party" sound like cookie-cutter attempts at pop hits that never found the right audience. The second disc closes with a couple of updated remixes of "Bread & Butter" to show that their sound was something special.

To find out more about this great new release, please visit omnivorerecordings.com/the-waitresses/.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Concert Review: Nine Inch Nails Bring "Tension" To Mohegan Sun

One of the most iconic bands to burst onto the music scene in the nineties is the industrial hard rock band Nine Inch Nails led by multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire Trent Reznor. His albums have defined a generation of followers as his music brought industrial rock to the mainstream with hits like "Head Like A Hole" and "Hurt."
 
While his albums are a musical escapes, including the most recent Nine Inch Nails album, "Hesitation Marks." A Nine Inch Nails live show have become some of the most eye-opening concert experiences that one can hope to be a part of. Saturday night, Reznor and his band brought his latest live experience to the Mohegan Sun arena.
 
As the lights dimmed, a low-lite, smoke-filled stage became the setting for the opening song "Copy Of A," the first of eight new songs the band performed. The lighting on the stage would come from everywhere including the two huge screens that where lowered from the ceiling (one in front of the band and one behind). Images and different effects where used on these screens during the songs "Disappointed" and "Came Back Haunted" in order to hide the band and make them a living part of the stage's effects. While the crowd looked in awe at the amazingly inventive light show, if was the older songs like "Terrible Lie" and "March Of The Pigs" than got fans shouting along to the chorus. The tour debut of the song "Repitle" drew a huge applause, before Reznor and the band slowed things down with the piano instrumental "The Frail," before returning to the explosive sound of "The Wretched." The new song "In Two" made it's live debut before the band closed out their 100 minute set with fan favorites "Burn," "Hand That Feeds," and "Head Like A Hole."
 
As the feedback filled the speakers, the band returned for the five song encore, beginning with the mellow "The Day That Went Away" and the slow-build up of "Even Deeper." The night closed with a must see rendition of Reznor's most meaningful song, "Hurt" as the final blast of music signaled the end of a truly unique, but must see show.
 
As his music and stage shows continue to grows and stretch the boundries, Trent Reznor and his band will always be considered one of the innovators of modern heavy metal music.
 
The night began promptly with a 40-minute set by Canadian post-rock band Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Their feedback-fused set sounded like a horror movie soundtrack as multi-layered film clips were shown on a giant white sheet covering the back of the stage.
 
Setlist: Copy Of A, 1,000,000, Terrible Lie, March Of The Pigs, Reptile, All Time Low, Disappointed, Came Back Haunted, Find My Way, The Frail, The Wretched, In Two, Survivalism, Running, A Warm Place, Somewhat Damaged, Wish, Burn, The Hand That Feeds, Head Like A Hole
Encore: The Day The World Went Away, The Deeper, While I'm Still Here, Black Noise, Hurt

Saturday, October 12, 2013

CD Review: System 7 And ROVO Prepare For The "Phoenix Rising"

One of the most anticipated progressive rock albums of the year was released on October 8th. It features guitar legend Steve Hilliage's band, System 7 collaborating with Japanese jam band ROVO to create some of the most unique, but technically exciting music. The new album entitled "Phoenix Rising" came together after the two bands toured Japan together in 2011.
 
The seven-song studio album begins with a new recording of System 7's live staple "Hinotori." The song is also the first single from the album and features some amazing live drum work interwoven with techno beats as guitarists Steve Hillage and Seiichi Yamamoto feed off each other's talents. The atmosphere turns more electronic on the club beats of "Love For The Phoenix" and "Unbroken." The two bands combine forces for an exceptional cover version of the Mahavishnu Orchestra song "Meeting Of The Spirits," then let their imaginations fly on the heavy progressive experimentation of the ROVO song "Cisco." The album closes with Hillage's partner Miquette Giraudy taking the lead on the calming, ambient sounds of "Unseen Onseen."
 
The two bands are joining forces once again performing songs from this album for two shows in London taking place in March 2014. For more information on this release, please visit www.facebook.com/System7page.

Friday, October 11, 2013

CD Review: The HAIM Sisters Feel Their Way Through Their Debut Album

From Los Angeles, CA comes the sister trio of Este, Danielle and Alana known by their last name HAIM with their highly anticipated debut album entitled "Days Are Gone." The album was released on September 30 through Columbia Records and features the fan favorites like the club beats of "Falling" and the eighties pop of "Forever."
 
The album's first single is "The Wire" as the sisters harmonize over a Katy Perry-type contagious beats, while spreading pop lyrics around to grab the attention of mainstream radio. HAIM continues down the eighties road with the Prince-like "Honey & I" and the synthesizer fueled "Don't Save Me." They step outside their comfort zone, working in different beats on the experimental "My Song 5," before closing the album with the atmospheric aerie sound of "Running If You Call My Name."
 
HAIM have performed with the likes of Florence And The Machine and Mumford & Sons and are currently headlining their own U.S. tour. For more information on this rising young trio of siblings, please visit haimtheband.com.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

CD Review: Indie-Rock Band 2 a.m. Orchestra Are "Working" With New Music

From New Zealand comes the independent, alternative rock band 2 a.m. Orchestra with their latest album "Working To Divide." Their sound has a very raw, garage rock feel with some great harmonies and catchy hooks.
 
The album starts out with the up-tempo, pop-punk of "Heads and Tails" and the slightly hectic "Ain't Got the Fight." They slow the tempo down for the more accessible mainstream music of "Believe In Me." The 2 a.m. Orchestra bring back the grunge of the nineties with "Six Lines of Ash" and "Have It Your Way," before trying out the folk-rock of "Fire Escape" and "Living Longer." The album closes with the band expanding on their sound with the nine-and-a-half minute epic "Working To Divide."
 
To find out more about this underground band, please visit 2amorchestra.com.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

CD Review: Pistol Day Parade "Burn" With A Passion On New Album

From Detroit comes the rising indie hard rock band Pistol Day Parade with their latest release "Burn." The album was released back in September through Goomba Records and features the hit internet single "Not Today."
 
The album comes bursting through the speakers with the hard-hitting edginess of "Rockstars Girlfriend" as the song showcases Pistol Day Parades' modern metal sound. They move on to the slow beginning of "Where I Lay," before letting loose on the guitar buzzing "New Life." The lead single "Not Today" is the highlight of the album with its slithering vocals and powerfully strong, sing-along chorus. Another hidden mainstream hit is the uptempo rocker "Even When," before the power ballad "Get Over You" slows things down. The album closes with the dark, revengeful sound of "Down On Me."
 
Pistol Day Parade have six dates left on their currently tour, but watch for more dates to be added soon. For more information about the band's new album, "Burn," please visit pistoldayparade.com.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

CD Review: Burnside & Hooker Sing The Songs Of The "Rail Yard"

From Chicago comes the acoustic, earthy, Americana sounds of Burnside & Hooker with their debut album "Rail Yard Hymns." The album was released in September and masterfully showcases singer Rachel Bonacquisti's vocal abilities amongst a stark, but effective backdrop of acoustic instruments.
 
The album leads off with the slave chant of "Seasick Woman" as the rattle of chains keeps the rhythm. They speed things up with the aggressive "Ophelia," then head into a more edgier, rock direction with "Mistaken." The old-fashion jazzy sound of "Red Betty" is a breath of fresh air as the music and vocals are a perfect match. The songs "Myth" and "Logan Square" should catch the attention of today's folk-rock revival, which has become mainstream music.
 
Burnside & Hooker will be performing at the Chilifest in Chicago in November. To find out more about this growing underground band, please visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BurnsideandHooker.

Monday, October 7, 2013

CD Review: Glee Takes On The Beatles With Success

Season 5 of Fox's hit TV show, "Glee" begins with the cast performing songs from the ultimate music catalog, The Beatles. In association with the beginning of a new season, Columbia Records released (back in September) the soundtrack, "Glee Sings The Beatles." It features 14 recreations of such Beatles' classics as "Drive My Car" and "I Saw Her Standing There."

The album begins with Rachel Berry performing a heart-wrenching rendition of "Yesterday" that seems more like a tribute to the recently departed cast member Cory Monteith, than a rehearsal for a Broadway show. Many of the songs are spot on renditions like "Got To Get You Into My Life," while the entire cast gives their all to a rocking version of "Help." The highlight of the album is Blaine Anderson taking the lead on the perfect cast recreation of the classic "All You Need Is Love." Sam Evans does an outstanding job with George Harrison's "Something," before the album closes with the one-two punch of "Hey Jude" and "Let It Be" as the cast pour all they have into their best performances of these two songs.

The album debuted at #34 on the Billboard album chart and is sure to stick around on the charts while the show is airing new episodes weekly. To find out more about this release and about the new season of "Glee," please visit www.fox.com/glee/ and www.gleethemusic.com/us/music/glee-sings-beatles.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Book Review: Even A Band's "Worst Gig" Makes For A Good Book

New from Sourcebooks is one of the most unique books about music that you will ever read over and over again. "The Worst Gig" by Jon Niccum is a first hand account by some of the biggest names in music on the worst live concerts that they can recall ever performing.
 
The book is a very easy read as Niccum gathers 14 years of interviews that allow the musicians to tell their story in their own words when asked "What is the worst show you've ever played?". The book is categorized in chapters like "Insane Fans," "Mother Nature's Wrath" and "It's All Good," which includes stories by John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), Def Leppard, John Mayer, Tool and load of others. The musicians tend to look back and laugh, like Alice Cooper performing to a bunch of lackluster college students or Rush performing at the wrong type of gig for the wrong type of audience. With over 75 artists telling their side of the story, the book gets pretty interesting in finding out that not everything goes as planned.
 
At only 240 pages, the book is an easy read that doesn't require your full dedication as you can read and re-read chapters in very little time. The book is like a documentary without the cameras as you can picture the situations in your mind as the musicians describe some of their outrageous stories to you.
 
"The Worst Gig" was published at the beginning of October and more information on this book can be found at worstgig.com.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

CD Review: Tony Grey Aims For A New "Elevation" On New Album

The name Tony Grey is very well known in the jazz music world, that is if you read the liner notes. He has, at one time or another, supported some of the biggest names in music like Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Branford Marsalis and lots more. On October 15, Tony Grey will be releasing his fourth solo album entitled "Elevation" through Abstractlogix. The new album features some of Tony's friends and fellow musicians including John McLaughlin (The Mahavishnu Orchestra), Reb Beach (Winger, Whitesnake), Tomoyasu Hotei, Mike Stern (Blood, Sweat And Tears) and others lending a hand in creating some of the best music in progressive modern jazz today.
 
The album begins with the eight-plus minute "Guiding Light" as guest guitarist Nir Felder performs some blues/jazz licks intertwined with Grey's bass solo to create smooth rock/jazz greatness. Next, we get a truly special song written by John McLaughlin for Chick Corea, but was never performed or released until now as drummer David Throckmorton as a little Latin flair to his drum rolls. The album ventures in the progressive rock territory with Tomoyasu Hotei handling the guitar duties on "Galactic Samuri" and Reb Beach flexing his fingers on the title-song, "Elevation." Nir Felder returns for the slow pace of "Dil Chahata Hai", before Grey closes his album with a reworked rendition of the classic "Someday My Prince Will Come."
 
For more information on Tony Grey's new album, "Elevation," please visit his website at tonygrey.com.

Friday, October 4, 2013

CD Review: Hard Rock Hits Its Mark With New Music From The Everyday Losers And Chaos Plague

From Indiana comes the alternative hard rocker band, The Everyday Losers with their latest release "Social Paradise." The EP was released last year and has caught the attention of radio as well as opening slots on tour with Puddle Of Mudd, Saliva and Black Stone Cherry.
 
The six-song album starts out with the hard-hitting "Hate You" as they bring a little nineties grunge into their sound with influences of Nirvana and Alice in Chains. The band has a great, edgy sound as showcased in "Queen Of The World" and "Here We Are Now." They close the album with the blazing guitars of "Let Me Die" which was featured on a 2012 world-wide released Indie-Rock compilation.
 
The Everyday Losers have a handful of dates lined-up in their home state. For more information on this rising independent rock band, please visit their website at theeverydaylosers.com.
 
From Italy comes the Progressive Death Metal band Chaos Plague with their debut EP. The three-song album contains blazing guitar riffs, machine-gun drumming and tempo changes between speed metal and progressive rock and that's all in the seven-minute opening song "Chirality." The growling vocals of "In Death I Trust" and the aggressive attack of "Sinner's Regret" are sure to draw new fans as their music is a blast of adrenaline to the brain.
 
To find out more about this underground metal band, check out their website at chaosplague.it.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

CD Review: Independent Music Comes Alive With A Load Of New Releases

The month of October is starting off with a load of new independent music that might have slipped past your fingers while searching for some new tunes.
 
First up is the Doug MacDonald Band, with their latest release "Mr. Bones." After receiving huge college airplay around the Boston area with their debut album "Give Me My Guitar," the duo of Doug MacDonald and Patty Short are looking to build on that success with this latest release.
 
The eight-song release starts off with the up-tempo rock of "Honk Your Horn," as the chorus becomes very contagious to sing along to. Their sound on "Social Outcast," is what it would sound like if Neil Young played surf guitar music, while "Shady Avenue" shows a more pop-rock sound to the band. The album closes with garage rock rawness of "Don't Turn Around."
 
The Doug MacDonald Band have a couple shows scheduled at the moment in the New England area. For more information, please visit dougmacdonaldband.com.
 
Next up is the debut album from The Bullbuckers entitled "When Push Comes To Shove." The album has received great acclaim from fellow music critics upon its release this past summer. Their combination of soul music with ska is sure to attract new fans with each listen.
 
The album is like a 30-minute party as the pop-ska of "Otis (Man's Best Friend)" and the soul-reggae groove of "Remedy" will get you out of your seat and moving. The highlight of the album is the horn-driven, up-tempo feel of "Appreciation," before the band moves on to the Latin flair of "Miss Constance." The album closes with the classic ska/hip-hop sounds of "Don't You Know."
 
The Bullbuckers have a couple shows lined up in November. To find out more about this new underground band, please visit bullbuckers.com.
 
From the Washington, D.C. area comes the husband and wife singing/songwriting duo of Anne And Steve Sidley. Their latest release is the 14-song set entitled "Bittersweet." Steve handles all but a few of the instruments on the album, while they both trade off on the vocal duties of the songs.
 
Beginning with the title-song, you get introduced to Anne's strong vocal delivery and her way of taking control of the song and making it memorable. Husband Steve gets to lets his voice loose on the heavy rocker "Hear Me Out," while Anne returns for the more pop-oriented "Play It Down." Anne voice really soars on the smooth R & B sounding "Nothing Else Remains" as Steve returns on the eighties rock of "Ordinary Way" and then they close the album harmonizing on "Diamond In The Snow."
 
The Sidleys' new album, "Bittersweet" is available now. For more information, please visit thesidleys.com.
 
Last, but not least we get new music from the jazz fusion band The Dream Logic. Their latest self-titled release is the full-length debut album from this New York trio of multi-instrumentalist/singer/songwriter Charles Compo, bassist Jerry Brooks and drummer Camille Gainer.
 
The album starts off with the jamming sound of "Quietly Freaky" as the band introduce their talents to you. They slow things down for the mellow jazz of "Boing The Dreamer," before picking the tempo back up with "I'll Be Right Back" and the guitar driven instrumental "The Lost." The Dream Logic get a little funky on the Lenny Kraviz sounding "The Decision" and hit the bebop jazz of "Mustafa Sunrise." They close the album with the rock fueled jam of "Bad Deal."
 
To find out more about this rising underground jazz fusion band, please visit thedreamlogic.com.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

CD Review: The Wild Feathers Bring Us Their Brand Of Roots Rock

From Nashville, TN we get the self-titled debut album from The Wild Feathers. The album was released back in August through Warner Bros. Music and produced by Jay Joyce (The Wallflowers, Eric Church, Little Big Town). Their sound combines all the elements of classic rock from the seventies and eighties and puts a southern rock spin on it.
 
The album opens with the barn burning, up-tempo country-stomp of "Backwoods Country" as they add a little Led Zeppelin guitar flair to their sound. The southern funk of "I Can Have You" and the back-porch rock of "The Ceiling" sound as if The Wild Feathers injected a shot of adrenaline into today's country music. They attack their instruments on the Petty-esque feel of "I'm Alive" and carry laid-back seventies rock vibe on "If You Don't Love Me," before closing with the Americana-pop of "How."
 
The Wild Feathers are currently on tour in the Northeast, before continuing on along the U.S. Their tour runs to the end of November, so please visit thewildfeathers.com for a complete list of dates and for more information on their debut album.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

CD Review: The Staves Follow The Pattern On Debut Album, "Dead & Born & Grown"

British folk trio The Staves have released their debut album back in July through Atlantic Records. The Staveley-Taylor sisters have been performing together since 2010, playing host to Tom Jones, Bon Iver, The Civil Wars and being invited on "Later...with Jools Holland" just last year. The new album, "Dead & Born & Grown" was produced by the father and son duo of Glyn and Ethan Johns, making the album a big family affair.
 
The sisters show off their wonderful harmonizing on the introduction to the album with "Wisely & Slow" as instruments are gently used, allowing their voices to become the main focus. The Staves draw strong similarities to The Civil Wars with "Gone Tomorrow," but have a special bond in their voices that is just so warm and comforting. The slow sway of "Pay Us No Mind" and the ukulele-led "Facing West" are perfect examples of how their sound crosses over to pop-folk, while their angelic voices are hard to resist. The album closes with "Snow," which sounds like the female version of Mumford & Sons and the stories lyrics of the "Eagle Song."
 
The Staves have some dates lined-up for the end of October and the beginning of November in their home country of the U.K. For more information, please visit the staves.com.