Monday, March 31, 2014

CD Review: Classic Rock Artists Peter Hammill, Gary Lucas and Jeremy Spencer Return With New Music

English singer/songwriter Peter Hammill became one of the founding members of the late-sixties progressive rock band Van Der Graaf Generator. He released his first solo album in 1971 (Fool's Mate) and continued as a solo artist while also keeping alive Van Der Graaf Generator in the seventies.

American guitarist/songwriter/composer Gary Lucas had a very successful solo career. He has over thirty solo albums and has worked with countless artists including Captain Beefheart, Lou Reed and Jeff Buckley. Lucas also created the soundtrack to silent films from the 1920s and 30s.

One evening in 1973, a chance encounter happened between Hammill and Lucus began the ball rolling for a collaboration between the two artists. It was not until 2012 when the two decided to enter a studio together to record their first collaboration entitled "Otherworld."

The fourteen song album showcases the talents of both artists as Hammill's vocals and Lucas' guitar compositions bring out the very best of each one. The acoustic opener "Spinning Coins" sound like a lost folk ballad from the sixties, while "Some Kind of Fracas" has Hammill pulling off his best David Bowie (pre-Ziggy Stardust) impression. Lucas displays his guitar skills on the exploratory feel of "Built From Scratch," before the duo experiment with their sound on the seven-minute "Reboot." Hammill brings up the ghost of Lou Reed in his vocal delivery of "The Kid" and then closes with Lucas' ambient touch on "Slippery Slope."

The two musicians had so much fun recording together that they plan on heading out on the road in 2014. For more information on the album "Otherworld," pleas visit www.sofasound.com/.

British musician Jeremy Spencer recently released his sixth solo album, "Coventry Blue." For those who may not know who Jeremy Spencer is, here is a little background information. He was one of the founding members of Fleetwood Mac to which he would help give the band worldwide fame as a blues band. He released his first self-titled solo album in 1970, which included members of Fleetwood Mac on the album. He left the band abruptly in 1971 and joined the religious group "Children of God." His next two solo albums would include musicians from the "Children of God" religion, before disappearing from music. He returned with his first commercial album in 2005 and received rave reviews. It would take another six years for him to enter the studio, but he would end up recording over 32 songs, half of which appeared on his 2012 album "Bend In The Road" and the rest would be used to create his latest release "Coventry Blue."

The album begins with the light blues of "Happy Troubadour" which showcases Spencer's amazing slide guitar. His song "Got To Keep Movin'" sound as if it came from one of Eric Clapton's seventies masterpieces as Rachel May lends her vocals talents to help flesh out the chorus. The songs "Dearest...umm, yah" and "Open The Door" sound as if they are flashbacks from an earlier (and simpler) time as the music sways behind Spencer's smooth guitar licks. Spencer's slide guitar playing on "Letting Go Of The Past" deserves your full attention as May's vocals lead the way. The title-song plays out like old Chicago blues gem, while "Durango" belongs in an upcoming Quentin Tarantino movie. The album closes with "Endlessly," a song that Spencer begun writing over 40 years ago that carries an Elvis Presley vibe to it.

Tot find out more about Jeremy Spencer, please visit jeremyspencer.com.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

CD Review: New Album From The Monochrome Cherubs Is Sure To "Sparkle" With A Classic Rock Feel

From New York comes the latest album from The Monochrome Cherubs entitled "Pure Grinding Sparkle." The origins of The Monochrome Cherubs date back to the mid-eighties when lead guitarist/singer Tim Lacy began as a studio musician. Tim and producer Paul O'Neil began working together on O'Neil's latest project for Atlantic Records, the progressive metal band Savatage's "Hall Of The Mountain King" album. From there, Tim would help out on the debut album from Badlands (Jake E. Lee, Ray Gillen, Eric Singer, Greg Chaisson) as his talents flourished at SIR studios. Dissatisfied with much of the music being played on the radio and on MTV, he decided to put his own band together to get back to the roots of rock music. The Monochrome Cherubs released their debut album in early days of the new millennium and have been shifting members on almost every album since.

Now, Tim has put together a line-up that deserves recognition as this new album brings back the early hard rock of the seventies with a modern flair. Beginning with the chugging rhythm of "The Whole Truth," you'd almost think you were hearing a long lost Aerosmith album as Tim's vocals mirror a younger Steven Tyler on "Save Yourself" and "My Lie In Pieces." The band picks up the pace on the attractive hard rock of "Four Day Burn" that features some exceptional guitar playing. Their music gets a little heavier on the title-song, before closing the album with funk-groove of "The Conversation" and the straight-up pounding rock of "Broken Smile."

To find out more about The Monochrome Cherubs, please visit the band's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TheMonochromeCherubs.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

CD Review: Look Out For New Music From Dinner Music For The Gods, Ogre, Invertia And Jupiter Zeus


From both ends of the country comes new metal music from Dinner Music For The Gods, Ogre and Invertia as well as new music from Australia's Jupiter Zeus. The Las Vegas instrumentalists, Dinner Music For The Gods have just released their new album entitled "Beautiful And Treacherous." It features eight songs that showcase the band's excellent musicianship, beginning with the full-on metal assault of the title song, "Beautiful And Treacherous." Matt Muntean adds a little extra rhythm to "Sophia," while Darrin Pappa and Andy Heilman electrify with duel guitar attack. Dinner Music For The Gods takes on Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" turning it into one big solo fest, without keeping the signature drum/guitar riff. The band lets loose on their "Game Of Thrones" tribute, "Winterfell," before slowing down for the more progressive rock feel of "Wind Through The Trees." The album closes with a metal tribute to The Highwaymen's "Ghost Riders In The Sky" with their version "Ghost Troopers In The Sky." To find out more, please visit dinnermusicforthegods.com.

Next up, from Maine come the doom metal band Ogre with their fourth album "The Last Neanderthal." It was released in North America on March 7th through Italian music label Minotauro Records. While they may be categorized as a doom metal band, their music contains the classic rhythm of Black Sabbath as in the opener "Nine Princes Of Amber" and the heavy progressive rock of "Bad Trip." They perform a cover of 70's bar band, Ogre's "Soulless Woman" as their music feels more lose and free. The album finishes up with the eight-minute release of "Warpath" and the dark ten-minute dark tones of "The Hermit." To find out more about Ogre, please visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Rockogre.


New from Ohm Resistance Records is the latest release from Industrial Metal band Invertia entitled "Another Scheme Of The Wicked." This album is the follow-up to their 2013 self-titled release and tacks on five remixes onto five newly recorded blistering hymns. The five new songs continue Invertia's introduction to their brand of metal music, beginning with the steadiness of "The Sidewinding" that is set out to attack your hearing. Their aggressiveness comes through on "Cross Eyed Christ" and the blistering speed of "Void Of Community" and "Hourglass Without Sand" will make your head spin. The remixes are from Ohm Resistance Records veterans Justin K. Broadrick (GODFLESH, JESU), End.user (THE BLOOD OF HEROES), and Submerged (METHOD OF DEFINANCE, THE BLOOD OF HEROES) as well as newcomers TranZi3nt and R3TRD. The remixes showcase another side to these thunderous songs with the closing remix of "They're Everywhere" sounding quite disturbing with a preacher's voice calling all children to follow him.
To find out more about Invertia and their new album "Another Scheme For The Wicked," please visit inv3rtia.com.


 
From Australia comes the latest release from Jupiter Zeus entitled "On Earth" It is the band's full length debut album on Magnetic Eye Records and was released on March 11th. Their music ventures to the heavier side of rock with only a touch of progressive metal. The eleven song album begins with the loud buzzing of guitars before the band locks into a classic metal rhythm on the opener "Waves." Their music feels like the heavier, hard rock brother of Pink Floyd ("Cosmic Rays") with a strong influence from Mastadon ("Divinity"). The band show their more aggressive side with "Co-Creators," before closing with the spacey, acoustic rock of "State Of Mind." To find out more about this band from down under, please visit their website at jupiterzeus.com

Friday, March 28, 2014

CD Review: New Indie Music From Across The Globe

First, from the Republic of Ireland comes the new three song EP from singer/songwriter Laura Bonner, better known Tangled. Her new album entitled "Lost And Found" was released on March 25 and showcases her talents for writing lyrics that are very personal, but can also be related to other people's feelings. The new release begins with the acoustic folk of "Unattainable," which carries a very pop like feel. She continues with the darker tone of "Medicate Me," before closing with the inspiring sound of "Demon Within."

To find out more about Tangled, please visit her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/laurabmusic3


Next we have the debut solo album from English singer/songwriter John Bassett entitled "Unearth." He is mostly known as the critically acclaimed produced of the English Prog-Rock band KingBathmat. Bassett's new acoustic album was released on March 31 through Stereohead Records. It takes Bassett's knack for producing progressive rock and stripping away any of the excess to bring the music back to its core sound.
The ten-song album begins with "Stay Away From The Dark," which hearkens back to the early days of progressive rock with elements of folk added to it. The gentle flow of "Survival Rate" and the lyrical delivery of "Unearth" displays elements from King Crimson, while "Pantomine" follows the perfect prog-rock formula to take you on a musical journey. The album shows some mainstream appeal with "TV Is God," before closing with the light airiness of "Comedian."

To find out more about John Bassett's new album "Unearth," please visit johnbassettmusic.com.

Finally we some new music from "down under" with the latest EPs from instrumentalist Tabi Sari and newly appointed solo rocker Jack to Lightspeed. Australian musician Tabi Sari recently released his latest batch of songs entitled "The Instrumental EP." He mixes his time between his music and his art, with both of his talents growing and receiving critical praise. The five song album has an eclectic, acoustic laid back feel that allows Tabi to control the mood. Whether its the more aggressive rhythm of "Outcome Report" or the gentle flow of "Day Dreaming" Tabi allows the listener to get lost in his music. The highlight is the jazzy two-minute "Try Again" that really deserves your attention.

To find out more about this talented artist, please visit tabisari.com.

Also from Australia is the electronic rocker Jack Preston, better known at Jack to Lightspeed. His latest release "Applied To Modern Life" contains four songs that find Jack spreading his musical talents to more pop territory. The beats of "Decimated" are club ready, while Jack's voice is ready to rock whenever the moment calls for it. His music also reflects the retro-eighties pop in "Don't You Recall" as if is came from Prince's early songbook.

To find out the latest from Jack to Lightspeed, please visit his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/jacktolightspeed.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

CD Review: New Metal Music Rising From The Underground

One of the hottest new metal bands to arrive on the scene is Dead End Sky, lead by former Fiver Finger Death Punch vocalist Kyle Zemanek. The band is preparing to release their debut album and already received praise on the album's first two singles "Always" and "When You Fall."

The song "Always" maintains a great hard rock groove lead by some masterful guitar work from Rich Abronson, while Zemanek vocals give the song an edgier sound. The follow-up single, "When We Fall" hits harder, but also finds a more mainstream appeal with its pounding rhythm supplied by Dan Bartlett on bass and Masa Oishi on drums.

If these two songs are any indication of what's to come from Dead End Sky, then look for these guys to takeover the hard rock/metal airwaves. To find out more, please visit deadendsky.com.

From Brazil comes the debut release from heavy metal band Hellbenders. The new album is entitled "Brand New Fear" and was originally released in December of last year. This album has been two years in the making as the band divided their time between the studio and the road, performing alongside such bands as Exodus and Kyuss Lives. The band have also made their American debut at this year's SXSW festival.

The ten song release instantly shows the strength of the band's aggressive sound on the opener "Brand New Fear" as they are a new force to reckon with. Hellbenders showcase some classic eighties southern California metal swagger on "Whorehouse Murder," before getting the adrenaline pumping with "Hurricane." The duel guitar attack, pounding drums and screaming vocals of the "Escape Song" showcases exactly what this band is out to prove as an unstoppable force in metal music. The album finishes up with the head-banging motoring rhythm of "Holy Whiskey" and the vocal ripping attack of "Smashing Cars, Chasing Stars."

To find out more about Hellbenders please visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/hellbendersbr.


Nu-Metal band Apparitions are finally releasing the long-awaited follow-up, "Part 2: The Inferno." The album was delayed a few months, but was finally released on March 18 through Infamous Empire. It follows the strong debut album, "Kiss Me Sleeping" and is also a return to form following their acoustic EP.

The six song release comes out swinging with the hard-hitting vocal attack of "Where My Body Lies" as lead vocalist Alex Lee mixes in some melodic tones to balance the song. They continue with this formula as the chorus of "... For The Sake Of Breathing" is perfect for mainstream metal radio. They blast through "Picnic Basket Full Of Hand-Grenades" with punk-like fury, before heading to the close of the album with aggressive, machine-gun metal drumming and soaring vocals of "Animus Anonymous" and the re-make of "There's So Much Blood."

To find out more about Apparitions and the new album "Part 2: The Inferno," please visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/weareapparitions.


From Cleveland, OH comes the debut EP from the death metal thrash band Treeweaver. The three-song album shows promise in the music, especially in the energetic, slightly chaotic romp of "Silencing Void Dweller." The vocals are almost none existent on this release, but they are not needed to feel the shear metal force of the closer "Ethereal Mountains."

To find out more about this new independent metal band, please visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/treeweavermetal
.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

CD Review: The Doors Get Tripped Out With New Psychedelic Tribute Album

LA rock band The Doors were on the edge of the psychedelic movement as their self-titled debut album ruled the "summer of love" in 1967. They would go on to become one of the biggest band's in music history, thanks to Jim Morrison's poetry-type lyrics, Robbie Kreiger's unforgettable bluesy guitar licks and the unstoppable rhythm section of John Densmore and Phil Manzarek (who also added his unmistakable organ into the mix). Now, indie record label Cleopatra Records is bringing together some of today's cutting-edge psychedelic rock artists to pay tribute to the one and the only The Doors.

The thirteen-song album begins with fuzzed rock of "L.A. Women" done masterfully by Elephant Stone. The Black Angels follow with their eerie, but tripped out, version of "Soul Kitchen," which will make you never listen to the original song the same way again. The Dark Horses turn The Doors' pop single "Hello, I Love You" into a mind-expanding adventure down the rabbit hole. One of the high points of the album is the eight-and-a-half minute adventure of "The Soft Parade" by the Sons of Hippies, which puts you back into the sixties psychedelic era. The Wall of Death turn "Light My Fire" into a Gothic anthem, while Clinic make "Touch Me" sound like Nine Inch Nails covering The Doors. The album closes with Danish rockers The Raveonettes putting their special brand on a shortened version of "The End."

To find out more about this new release, "A Psych Tribute To The Doors," please visit cleorecs.com/store/shop/a-psych-tribute-to-the-doors-cd/.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

CD Review: Black Label Society, More Than A Thousand And Assassins Make It Worth The Wait

New from eOne Music are a couple of hard-hitting albums from More Than A Thousand and Assassins. Also, the long awaited return of Black Label Society with their brand new studio album "Catacombs Of The Black Vatican."

It's been five years since the last studio album from the metal band Black Label Society and frontman Zakk Wylde is ready to "get the band back together." On April 8th, Black Label Society will release their ninth studio album entitled, "Catacombs Of The Black Vatican" on the eOne Music label. The album gets its named from Wylde's home studio (The Black Vatican) to where he produced the new album himself.

The album begins with the one-two punch of "Fields Of Unforgiveness" and "My Dying Time" as Wylde's vocals never sounded better. The duel guitar attack of Wylde and newcomer Dario Lorina (Lizzy Borden) gives the songs some grit as they get pounded into your mind. Wylde throws in the power ballad "Angel Of Mercy," which showcases the growth of his songwriting, before bursting out with the heavy metal attack of "Heart of Darkness." The album finishes up with the Sabbath sounding "Empty Promises" and the gentle feel of "Shades Of Gray," which allows Wylde to once more show off his vocal talents.

Black Label Society will be hitting the road in mid-April to begin their U.S. tour in support of the new album. For a complete list of dates and to find out more about "Catacombs Of The Black Vatican," please visit blacklabelsociety.com.

Portuguese metal band More Than A Thousand are continuing their story with "Vol. 5: Lost At Home" which was released on February 18th. The fourteen songs that make up the new album just come at you full throttle as the opening song, "Heist" looks to split your head open with it sharp metal hooks. They also look to conquer the mainstream hard rock market with the quick pulsating rhythm of "Lost At Home" and the guitar frenzy of "I Am The Anchor." The band's creative aggressiveness comes pouring out on "Dear Friend" as they keep the adrenaline pumping with "No Mercy For The Weak." The album finishes up with the band slowing down for the dark, moodiness of "Midnight Calls."

More Than A Thousand will be wrapping up their European tour this week and they are also scheduled to appear a this year's Nuerborn Open Air Festival in Germany in August. To find out more, please visit mtat.tumblr.com/.

We also get the latest album from American metal band Assassins entitled "War Of Aggression." They continue their rise to hardcore metal dominance with new great music like "The United," which finds them firing on all cylinders. They lock into a groove on the mainstream hardcore appeal of "Waking Up" and their metal tendacies pulsate through the tempo changes of "A Hidden Demon." The album finishes with blasting away your pain with the screams of "In God You Trust" and "Thy Kingdom Come."

Assassins are just wrapping up their U.S. tour as part of the "Die Without Hope Tour." To find out more about their new album "War Of Aggression," please visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Assassinsband.

Monday, March 24, 2014

CD Review: Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" Gets Expanded For 40th Anniversary

It has been over 40 years since Elton John released his blockbuster album "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" and to celebrate, the Universal Music Group are pulling out all the stops on this new deluxe reissue of the album. There will be no less that six different releases, including a five CD/DVD box set and an HD Audio Blu-Ray of the album.

The original seventeen-song double-album was newly remastered by Bob Ludwig from the original analogue tapes in HD and for iTunes. The eleven-minute opener "Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding" has never sounded better and sets up the listener for a new journey into this classic album. It's almost like listening to the album again for the first time as you notice little things that have been missed or hidden in previous releases of the album. You can feel the build-up of the title-song as it sways along the chorus, while "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting" is the hardest rocking song in Elton John's catalogue. The songs that really benefit from this new remaster are the lesser known tracks like the open air of "Sweet Painted Lady" and the uptempo, sixties California rock feel of "Your Sister Can't Twist (But She Sure Can Rock 'n' Roll)."

To enhance this release, a second disc offers nine, newly recorded cover versions of some of the classic singles from this album. Artists like Ed Sherran performing a countrified version of "Candle In The Wind" and Emeli Sande turning "All The Girls Love Alice" into an burning R&B pop number are a couple of reasons not to pass this over. The disc is rounded out with the best of the "Live At Hammersmith," which will see it's full-length debut on the deluxe version.

Huge fans of the album will be the most interested in the 5CD/DVD box set which contains the newly remastered album, the nine cover songs along with ten demos, outtakes and b-sides. The real treasure is the complete two-disc "Live At Hammersmith" and a DVD of the 1973 film "Elton John And Bernie Taupin Say Goodbye To Norma Jean And Other Things." The concert shows Elton John in top form renewed by the success of "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" as he performs half of his new album mixed with classics like "Your Song" and "Daniel." Also included is a 100-page illustrated hardcover book full of rare photos and memorabilia along with new essays from Elton John and Bernie Taupin.

Plus, to celebrate this release, the album will be released in standard 12" vinyl and limited edition yellow vinyl available exclusively through the eltonjohn.com store. To find out more about this outstanding new release, please visit www.eltonjohn.com/music/goodbye-yellow-brick-road/recording/.


On March 26th Elton John's latest concert film "The Million Dollar Piano" will be shown in theaters in the US. The film features Elton John's amazing show at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas as he takes hold of the the custom-made Yamaha piano worth $1.4 million. The show covers John's entire career, performing hits like "Rocket Man" and Philadelphia Freedom" alongside lesser performed classics like "Indian Sunset" and "Circle Of Life." Look for a release on Blu-Ray and DVD later this year through CinemaLive. For more information on this film, please visit cinemalive.com/index.php?p=view&id=103.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

CD Review: Metal Blade Records Marches Into Spring With New Music

We have a trio of new releases coming from Metal Blade Records, beginning with the latest release from Flotsam And Jetsam. As the band's thirty year career continues to motor on, they heard the cries from fans to remix their highly acclaimed second album "No Place For The Disgrace." As the band found it difficult to get a hold of the master tapes, instead they decided to re-record the album in its entirety.

So for the album's 25th anniversary, Flotsam And Jetsam recorded their classic 1988 album "No Place For Disgrace" with the exact same musicians, plus the addition of Tory Edwards on violin and mandolin. It feels as if no time had past since the original release of the album, except that the band are sounding better than ever. They can still bring the energy and sheer force to songs like "Dreams Of Death," "Hard On You" and "P.A.A.B." They inject Elton John's "Saturday Night (Alright For Fighting)" with enough adrenaline to turn it into a hard rock anthem and electrify their sound with the dual guitar attack of Edward Carlson and Michael Gilbert on "I Live You Die."

Next we move to Italy for the new release from Distrage entitled "Are You Kidding Me? No." It is the band's third album and was released on March 4th. The ten-song release showcases the band's youth with its speed, energy and creativity as in the opener "Destroy, Create, Transform, Sublimate." Distrage look to blast you away with their hard-hitting sound on "My Green Neighbor" then light up their guitars for "G.O.D.," which sounds like AC/DC on speed. The album closes with the title song, "Are You Kidding Me? No" and it features Guns N Roses guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal.

Last, but not least, we have the debut album from Chicago metal band Mount Salem. Having been together only two years, the band are still feeling their way around their doom metal/seventies hard rock sound.

The album opens with "Good Times" as you instantly hear the band's Black Sabbath influence comes pouring out of the speakers. They do a great job mixing tempos on "Lucid," keeping the songs interesting and not sludgy. The slow build-up of "Mescaline" is worth the payoff of "Mescaline II," before the album closes with the appropriately titled "The End" that brings to life the psychedelic hard rock of the sixties.

To find out more about these releases and others, please visit metalblade.com.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

CD Review: Moody Blues' Mike Pinder Keeps "The Promise" To Release "Among The Stars"

English musician Mike Pinder was one of the founding members of the British rock band The Moody Blues. In the early years of the band, Pinder and leader guitarist/singer Denny Laine became the primary song writers for the band before Laine left the band in the late sixties. Mike Pinder recorded his debut solo album "The Promise" in 1976 during a break from The Moody Blues, which led to his exit from the band in 1978.

After the mild success of "The Promise," Pinder moved away from music to work for the Atari computer corporation until the mid-nineties. He would return to music to release his second solo album "Among the Stars" almost twenty years after his first album. Since then, he has become one of the most sought after studio musicians and has received praise for his spoken word album for children.

Now, Mike Pinder is once again receiving recognition with the newly released box set entitled "The Promise/Among The Stars." It was released near the end of last year in Europe and is now available in the U.S. through Esoteric Recordings. The set includes a remastered version of Mike Pinder's debut solo album "The Promise." The sound is amazing as you would never know the album was almost 40 years old. Songs like "You'll Make It Through" and "Someone To Believe In" show Pinder's talents in front of the mic. The six-minute album closer "The Promise" showcases his keen sense to write great songs.

Also included in the set is Mike Pinder's second solo album "Among The Stars," which was only previously available as mail order only release. Now the album is presented here with three new bonus tracks by Mike and The Pinder Brothers. The three bonus tracks were produced by the late Tony Clarke (Moody Blues). While twenty years may have passed between recordings, Mike Pinder still sings with a passion to prove his talents as in the ballad "You Can't Take Love Away." He incorporates a little jazz into his sound on "Hurry Home" and gets a little funky on the album closer "The World Today." The three bonus tracks are some of the real treasures in this set. The mellow rock of "If She Came Back," which sound like a lost opportunity at a hit single, and "Waves Crash" and "Empty Streets" are performed by The Pinder Brothers and feature Ray Thomas on the flute.

Finally included in this set is a DVD of an interview with Mike Pinder from June 2012. Mike talks about his time in the Moody Blues, as well as his solo career. Also included are solo performances, as well as a bonus interview from 2008. Rounding out the set is a 16-page full color booklet with information and lyrics from the two albums and a newly written message from Pinder himself. To find out more about this great set from Moody Blues keyboardist Mike Pinder, please visit www.cherryred.co.uk/shopexd.asp?id=4389

Friday, March 21, 2014

CD Review: Audio Fidelity Brings To Life Classic Albums From Jon Anderson And Alice Cooper

It's very exciting when you can listen to an album over and over again and you continually hear things that you may have missed before. The leader in high quality audio discs, Audio Fidelity, continues to select certain albums from the past and master them in a way that makes your speakers come alive.

A couple of the newer releases from Audio Fidelity include albums that were long overdue to be upgraded to Hybrid-Super Audio (SACD). One is from the founding father of shock rock, Alice Cooper with his break-through album, "Billion Dollar Babies" and the other is from the masterful musical genius Jon Anderson of Yes with his solo debut album "Olias of Sunhillow."

As an original member of the progressive rock band Yes, Jon Anderson became one of the lead songwriters and vocalists in classic rock. His musical skills were overshadowed by other members of the band, until he released his debut solo album in 1976 entitled "Olias of Sunhillow." The album was entirely written and performed by Anderson and tells the story of an alien race and their journey to a new world. The album's theme was inspired by the cover of the 1972 Yes album "Fragile" as it shows earth cracking with a winged-glider leaving the planet.

The new SACD lets Anderson's amazing musicianship to take flight as you feel the opening build-up of the "Ocean Song" phase into the Yes-like rock of "Meeting (Garden Of Geda)/Sound Out The Galleon." Each pluck of the harp in "Dance of Ranyart / Olias (To Build The Moorglade)" rings with innocence as if Anderson created this music to be heard in the highest quality. The big closing numbers are spectacular sounding, during the 12-minute collage of sound on "Moon Ra / Chords / Song of Search" and layered vocals of "To The Runner" with its glorious finish.

To find out more about the SACD version of Jon Anderson's album "Olias of Sunhillow," please visit www.audiofidelity.net/content/jon-anderson-olias-sunhillow.

Now finally, the essential Alice Cooper album gets the respect it deserves with the release of "Billion Dollar Babies" on Hybrid SACD. It was the band's first album to hit #1 and contains many of the songs that have defined Alice Cooper like "Elected" and "No More Mr. Nice Guy." Original Alice Cooper Band drummer Neal Smith stated that "other than being elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011, our second biggest achievement was when 'Billion Dollar Babies' went #1."

The original album was produced by the famous Bob Ezrin and sounds as good today as it did back in 1973. This new Hyper SACD allows you to hear every instrument in its own individual space like the horns on "Elected," the acoustic guitars of "Generation Landslide" and the jazz piano of "Mary-Ann."

This latest release from Audio Fidelity is available now and the CD comes with the original reproduced album artwork, including a highly collectible replica of the "Billion Dollar Bill." To find out more, please visit www.audiofidelity.net/content/alice-cooper-billion-dollar-babies

Thursday, March 20, 2014

CD Review: Great New Music From Switchfoot, Young The Giant And Bad Things

California rock band Switchfoot recently released their ninth album on Atlantic Records entitled "Fading West." The album debuted at #6 on the Billboard Album Chart upon is release back in January and the album's first two singles ("Love Alone Is Worth The Fight" and "Who We Are") quickly burned up the single chart. The album became a soundtrack to the surfing documentary of the same name that also included footage of the band "behind the scenes."

The album begins strong with the two lead singles as the album quickly takes flight with the addictive chorus of "Who We Are." Songs like "When We Come Alive" and "Let It Out" have the arena rock feel, while the band experiment with a more pop sound on "Slipping Away." The album closes with "Back To The Beginning Again" that showcases Switchfoot's classic alternative rock appeal.

Switchfoot are currently on a U.S. tour that will last almost the entire summer. For a complete list of live dates and to find out more about the new album "Fading West," please visit switchfoot.com.

American Indie-Rock band Young The Giant return after a four year absence with their sophomore follow-up album "Mind Over Matter." The album was released back in January and debut at #7 on the Billboard Album Chart, topping their self-titled debut. It is also the band's first release on the Fueled By Ramen via Warner Bros. Records.

The new thirteen song release begins with the powerfully attractive rock of "Anagram" that has the band showing a maturity to their songwriting. The album's lead single "It's About Time" is just a blaze of rock goodness as their garage rock sound gets a little more polished. The album's second single "Crystallized" carries an aggressive pop rock sound while the band also show a more electronic feel to their music in "Mind Over Matter." Young The Giant feel their way through the ballads "Firelight" and "Camera," before rocking out on the post-punk of "Teachers" and the funkiness of "Paralysis."

Young The Giant are currently on tour, promoting the new album "Mind Over Matter." The tour includes a stop in Connecticut in June at The Dome at the Toyota Presents The Oakdale Theatre. For a complete list of live dates and for more information on the new album, please visit yountthegiant.com.

Also new on the Warner Bros. Records label is the debut album from California rock band Bad Things consisting of Olympic gold-medalist, snowboarder Shaun White on guitar and former Augustana bassist Jarod Palomar. The band released their first single ("Anybody") back in August of 2013, following their live performance at Lollapolooza and released the album in January of this year.

The eleven song release begins with the album's lead-single, "Anybody" that shows elements of punk and alternative rock mixed with pop to create an attractive sound. The pulsating beat of "Haunting" and the dance floor feel of "Saturday Night" shows diversity on this album as they continue to hone their skills as a young new band. The album's second single "Caught Inside" shows a softer rock side to their side as they can easily capture the mainstream rock audience. The album finishes up with the irresistible ballad of "Bury," surrounded by the up-tempo rock of "Lonely Eyes" and "Say It Again."

To find out more about Bad Things and their new self-titled album, please visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/badthings.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

CD Review: There Are "27 Ways" To Listen To Desert Noises

From Utah comes the SQE Music label debut album from Desert Noises entitled "27 Ways." The band consists of four former Mormons that have distanced themselves from that religion, hoping in a van and honing their skills on the road. Critics began taking notice of their performance at last year's Austin City Limits Festival and are now ready to tackle their latest full-length album.

The twelve song release begins with the classic, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers-type rock of "Grandma Looks." Desert Noises continue to knock on the door of mainstream rock with "Out Of My Head" and draw influence from the south on the swampy blues of "Run Through The Woods." They slow down for the gallop of "Follow You Out" which allows their voices and music to flourish. Their guitars get aggressive on the hard rock jaunt of "Elephant's Bed," before closing with the pinnacle of "Angel" and the acoustic backwoods appeal of "Dime In My Pocket."

To find out more about Desert Noises and their new album "27 Ways," please visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/desertnoises.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

CD Review: Amy Lynn & The Gunshow Display Glitz And "Glitter" On Debut Album

Meriden, CT native Amy Lynn has worked hard at becoming the performer she is today. Working her way through Broadway, she released her first solo EP in 2008 almost without notice. Then in 2009, Amy Lynn teamed up with future husband Alex Hamlin to create Amy Lynn & The Gunshow. They released their critically acclaimed EP "Clearly" in 2012 (review: http://jpsmusicblog.blogspot.com/2012/10/cd-review-amy-lynn-gun-show-are-clearly.html) and are preparing to release their full-length debut album "Don't Trip On The Glitter" on April 29th though Chipsnip Records.

The nine-song album begins with the first single, a cover of the Shangri-Las' "Remember (Walking In The Sand)." Right from the first note she sings, you instantly notice that Amy Lynn's voice is as smooth and powerful as any of today's top female performers. The jazziness that The Gunshow adds to the song makes it feel like an original. To show that they are no "one-trick-pony," the rest of the album solidifies them a one of the new bands to watch in 2014. They show their power on the title-song "Don't Trip On The Glitter" and lay their hearts on the line in the ballad of "West Village Blues." They also have a vintage feel with "Last Call" and have breakthrough single written all over "Dirty Mouth" as you can't help but feel the song's sultry groove. The album closes with the up-tempo, classic sound of "When I Meet You Someday," which could easily be a part of Bruno Mars' repertoire.

Following the release of the new album, Amy Lynn & The Gunshow have a handful of live dates on their schedule, including stops in New York, Boston, Bridgeport and Cape Cod. They will also be appearing, for the first time, at this year's Meriden Daffodil Festival in April. To find out more about their new album, "Don't Trip On The Glitter," please visit www.amylynnandthegunshow.com/.

Monday, March 17, 2014

CD Review: Pharrell Williams Sings About A "GIRL" And Glee's Lea Michele Gets "Louder"

One of today's hottest music artist has got to be Pharrell Williams. It seems like everything he touches turns to gold. In the last two years, he has been a part of the #1 singles "Blurred Lines" and "Get Lucky." He won a Grammy Award for "Producer of the Year" and received an Oscar nomination for his highly contagious single "Happy" from the movie "Despicable Me 2." To top it all off, Pharrell just released his second full-length solo album entitled "G I R L" which debuted at #2 on the Billboard Album Chart.

The new release is Pharrell's version of respect to the female species, beginning with a tribute to the ultimate pin-up girl "Marilyn Monroe." The song is the second single released from this album and contains Pharrell's signature thumping pop bass line and jazzy beat. Singer Justin Timberlake helps out with the high vocals of "Brand New," but the album doesn't fully take off until about midway through when the irresistible chorus of "Happy" gets you out of your seat to sing and dance along to. Pharrell receives more help from friends Miley Cyrus on the dance/funk of "Come Get It Bae" and Daft Punk lend their talents to the seventies sound of "Gust Of Wind." One of the highlights of the album is the eight-minute "Lost Queen," which showcases Pharrell's songwriting talents, simplifying the lyrics to match the slow, shuffle rhythm. The album closes with Alicia Keys giving strength to the R&B flavor of "Know Who You Are" and the light airiness of "It Girl."

To find out more about the new album "G I R L," please visit pharrellwilliams.com.

 
American singer/actress Lea Michele has enjoyed huge success as the female lead on Fox's TV show "Glee." Now she is venturing out into the pop world with her debut solo album "Louder." The album was released in February through Columbia Records and debut at #4 on the Billboard Album Chart.

The eleven song release starts things off quickly with the hit single "Cannonball" which has a very infectious beat and lyrics that play perfectly to mainstream radio. She keeps the tempo up with the dance floor beats of "On My Way," before displaying her vocal talents on the gentle approach of "Battlefield." At times Lea loses her place between pop newcomer and Broadway star as heard in her performance of "Thousand Needles," but finds her audience once again on the song "Louder."

To find out more about Lea Michele and her new album, please visit her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/leamichele.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Book Review: Author Alan Paul Gives The Allman Brothers Band "One Way Out"

For fans of the Allman Brothers Band, this is an exciting, but also sad year. This year is the band's 45th anniversary and they are celebrating first with a string of live shows at their usual March stop at the Beacon Theatre. After wrapping up those dates, the band will head out on the road this summer, but it will be the last performances of the double-guitar attack of Warran Hayes and Derek Trucks, who announced their retirement from the band.

While a new album is nowhere in the future plans of the band, they have not forgotten about new music as they recently released a double live CD set ("Live at the Beacon Theatre 1992") and a live DVD ("Live At Great Woods"). Also, one of the most exciting things to come out this year is "One Way Out: The Inside History of The Allman Brothers Band" book. It was published back in February through St. Martin's Press and features the complete history of band as told by the past and present members of the band.

Author Alan Paul does an excellent job covering every aspect of the band's career, beginning with the studio sessions of original guitarist Duane Allman and the uncomfortable first meeting of the legendary rhythm section of Butch Truck and Jaimoe. The book plays out like a "round table" discussion with everyone who has been a part of the history of the band, including past producers and fellow musicians like Eric Clapton.

The book touches upon the recording sessions for almost every album as well as touchy subjects like the deaths of Duane Allman and Barry Oakley; and the exit of Dickey Betts. Alan Paul brings together his discussions with over 60 people and organizes it to make it sound like they have all sat down together to discuss the history of this wonderfully amazing band.

The book comes in at well-over 400 pages and also includes never before scene photos, letters and memorabilia. Also, those that are not that familiar with the band will enjoy 'The Appendix" at the end of the book that recommends further listening from the Allman Brothers Band. To find out more about one of the "must reads" this year, please visit www.hittinthenote.com/cart/p-1603-one-way-outbrthe-inside-history-ofbrthe-allman-brothers-band.aspx.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

CD Review: Riley Etheridge Jr. Puts His New Music On "The Straight And Narrow Way"

Singer/songwriter Riley Etheridge Jr. will be releasing his latest album "The Straight And Narrow Way" on March 18 through Rock Ridge Music. The album finds Etheridge feeling loose and free with the support from friends like Sara Watkins (Nickle Creek), Shane Theriot (Dr. John), Johnny Neel (Allman Brothers Band), Jim Keltner (Traveling Wilburys) and others.

The album begins with Americana rock of "Song For Amy" that shows Etheridge in a different light as he plugs to show off his live band. He heads into country territory on "Another Time, Another Place" as Sara Watkins' harmonies just match perfectly to the song's darker tone. Etheridge gets a little bluesy on the swampy sound of "Roll Away The Stone," before slowing down for the heartfelt ballad "The Maze (Of My Own Creation)." The album gets a little funky with the rhythm of Jim Keltner on drums and Calvin Turner on bass that allows Etheridge to explore another attractive musical avenue. The album closes with a return to the blues on "Down To My Last Twenty Dollars" as Etheridge solidifies his expertise with writing songs in any genre.

After a CD Release party on April 19 in New York, Riley Etheridge Jr. will be hitting the road with Leon Russell. For a complete list of live dates and for more information on the new album, please visit rileyetheridge.com.

Friday, March 14, 2014

CD Review: Marcus Singletary Throws His Favorite Songs "In The Mix"

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Marcus Singletary is looking back on his last five years in the music industry with a 'greatest hits' release entitled "In The Mix." It takes some of his favorite performances and places them together in one area for all to enjoy.

The ten-song release starts and ends with a couple cover songs that Marcus holds close to his heart, "Proud Mary" (Creedence Clearwater Revival) and "Muleskinner Blues" (Jimmie Rodgers). But, it's his original compositions that we find the best of Marcus Singletary. He shows off his funky side with "Get The Dance Gene" and flashes back to the disco-rock of "Start Something." The southern rock of "Farmer" and heaviness of "Can It Be Real" showcases Marcus' guitar skills as well as his vocal skills. One of the highlights of the album has to be the acoustic-shuffle of "You Could Be Lucky," that feels like a missed opportunity for Lenny Kravitz.

The new album was released back in January through Aviation Records. To find out more, please visit Marcus' Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MarcusSingletaryMusic.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

CD Review: New Indie-Rock Comes From Hard Rocker Royal Bliss and Brotherly Duo The GoArounds

From Salt Lake City, UT comes the 8th album from the hard rock band Royal Bliss entitled "Chasing The Sun." The new album was released on February 18th through Air Castle Records. The band has honed their skills, performing on the road alongside Buckcherry, Candlebox, Kid Rock and others and this new album has the band performing at their best.

The ten-song release begins with the aptly titled "Welcome" that has the band firing on all cylinders. The heavy drumming and crushing guitar solos is what gives the album's lead single "Cry Sister" that metal edge that Royal Bliss have become known for. They find that classic California, Sunset-strip hard rock groove with "Rock You All Night Long," before slowing down for the power ballad "Dreamer." Royal Bliss gets angry with "Alive To See" as their sound rocks hard. The album finishes up with the modern metal influence of Buckcherry with "Turn Me On" and the heartwarming acoustics of "Home."

The Royal Bliss have just wrapped up a quick tour with Bobaflex, and they still have a few headlining dates in their home state of Utah. To find out more about Royal Bliss, please visit royalbliss.com.

From Pennsylvania comes the brotherly duo of Alexander and Anthony Saddic, better known as The GoArounds with their latest album, "Restating The Question." The band has received local praise for their music and the video for the album's first single, "Her Love Is Like Glass" is making waves on YouTube.

The new twelve-song album begins with the acoustic strumming of "Make It Loud" which rises in volume as the song progresses. Then the brothers plug in for the rocker "When I Hit The Bottom," which showcases the strong vocals of Alexander. The radio-friendly pop of the single "Her Love Is Like Glass" shows the great songwriting and their knack for pulling you in with their warm sound. But, that's only one side of their music as they show a more aggressive side with "Fooled." The album closes with another possible pop single, the up-tempo rock of "Amber Skies."

The GoAround have a couple of live shows scheduled in their home state. To find out more about their new album "Restating The Question," please visit thegoaround.com.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

CD Review: Big Head Todd And The Monsters Bring Out The Blues On "Black Beehive"

Colorado rockers Big Head Todd And The Monsters return with their tenth studio album of original material entitled "Black Beehive." The album was released back in February through Shout! Factory and band co-founder Todd Park Mohr states that the new album “allows us to truly reach our audience through the language of the blues.”

The new eleven-song album begins with the up-tempo shake of "Hey Delia" as the band gets down on funky on this opening track. They bring up the dirty blues of "Seven State Lines," before heading into the album's lead single "Josephina." The song carries a classic seventies rock vibe with that "live take" feel. The band slows things down for the title-song before ramping up the guitars for the hard blues/rock of "We Won't Go Back." They visit the south with the New Orleans swamp blues of "Fear Greed And Ignorance," then head up-north for the flashback Chicago-blues of "Hubert's Dream," before closing with the acoustic shuffle of "Travelin' Light" and the gentle touch of "Forever Bonnie."

Big Head Todd And The Monsters just wrapped up the first leg of the tour and are heading back out on the road March 21 with a string of dates along the west coast. To find out more about their new album "Black Beehive," please visit bigheadtodd.com.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

CD Review: LA Band DTCV Look To "Heaven" For Breakout Album

From Los Angeles comes the alternative pop/punk of DTCV (pronounced "detective") with their latest album "Hilarious Heaven." It was released back in January through Xemu Records and was engineered/produced by Steve Kille (Dead Meadow) and features the songwriting of James Greer (Guided By Voices) and Guylaine Vivarat (Useless Keys).

The 26-track release interweaves little soundbites along with full-length songs to create a unique, but complete listening experience. Beginning with "I Was Where Were You," DTCV sound like a younger, more punk-like version of The Pretenders, before heading into the more mainstream sound of "Improving Ground." The band experiments on the 11-minute journey of "How Not To Be" as they bring up glimpses of classic progressive rock. They find the perfect formula for a hit single with the upbeat, alternative pop of "Electrostatic Inc.," then show their softer side on the smooth sway with the French/English lyrics of "Contre Jour." They finish up with some quick-hitting post-punk, energetic songs like "Creative Class Dismissed" and "Gone 1 Quickly."

DTCV will be starting their tour with a stop a the 2014 South By Southwest (SXSW) Festival, before making their way up to the Northeast. They also have plans to be a part of this year's Coachella Festival. To find out more about DTCV and their new album "Hilarious Heaven," please visit dtcvband.com.

Monday, March 10, 2014

CD Review: Social Distortion's Jonny Two Bags Visits "Salvation Town" On Solo Album

From Southern California comes the debut album from Jonny Two Bags entitled "Salvation Town." Many people may know Jonny Two Bags as Jonny Wickersham, the lead guitarist for the punk-rock band Social Distortion for the past fourteen years. His new album consists of tens songs that he has written that didn't quite fit into Social Distortion's music genre and he figured it was about time these songs see the light of day.

The album carries an outlaw country vibe, beginning with the guitar shuffle of "One Foot In The Gutter." Wickersham invites some guest along on this album, including Latin Grammy Award winner Gaby Moreno on "Avenues," which is one of the only songs on this release that could have been on a future Social Distortion album. Legendary singer/songwriter Jackson Browne shares the vocals with Wickersham on the seventies, California-rock sound of "Then You Sand Alone." Social Distortion drummer David Hidalgo Jr., his brother Vincent and his father Los Lobos multi-instrumentalist David Hidalgo Sr. help out on the rebellious, slow-jaunt of "Wayward Cain." Wickersham's songwriting comes alive on the acoustic, Country/Americana story of "Ghosts," before wrapping up the album with a return to the classic, mellow, California rock of "The Way It Goes."

The new album, "Salvation Town" will be released on April 1st through Isotone Records via the Thirty Tigers label. Jonny Two Bags will be hitting the road shortly after the release of the album. For a complete list of tour dates and to find out more about his new album, please visit jonnytwobags.com.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

CD Review: Blues Legend Bobby Rush Teams With Dr. John On Making "Decisions"

Louisiana blues legend Bobby Rush will be releasing his 27th album, his first on Silver Talon Records, on April 15th. The album entitled "Decisions" teams Rush with New Orleans music legend Dr. John and California blues band BlindDog Smokin'. Rush met Dr. John back in the early sixties when both men were traveling the R&B circuit, but have never recorded together until this album.

The lead song "Another Murder In New Orleans" starts thing off hot and heavy as Rush and Dr. John trade verses on this seventies sounding R&B/blues number. The song, as well as the rest of the album, is sprinkled with Dr. John's classic piano sound. The funk comes pouring from the speakers in "Bobby Rush's Bus" and "Funky Old Man" highlighted by the horn section which gives Rush's vocals a timeless quality. The thumping blues of "Love Of A Woman" and jam session feel of "Skinny Little Women" showcase the blues at their purist. The album takes a slight turn off-track with the electronic beats of the hip-hop feel of "Dr. Rush," before returning to close the album with the storied acoustic blues of "Too Much Weekend."

The new album also comes with a bonus DVD that contains the music video for "Another Murder In New Orleans." Also included are interviews with Bobby Rush and Dr. John as well as behind-the-scenes photos from the video shoot. To find out more about the new album "Decisions," please visit www.conqueroo.com/bobbyrushwblinddog.html.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

CD Review: Moot Davis Gets "Hot" On His New Album

Country crooner Moot Davis returns with his fourth album "Goin' In Hot," which will be released on April 15th through Crow Town Records. This album when through it troubles and tribulations of being made. Just days after Davis completed the final mixes for the album, the studio where he recorded the album and housed the music had burned to the ground. Luckily his music was not completely lost as the album's engineer was about to recover the songs from a melted computer's hard drive. Also, this album reflects Davis' recovery after the end of the a long-time relationship.

The thirteen song album beings with the title song which finds Davis continuing right where he left off as his strong, smooth vocals showcase a countrified version of Chris Isaak. He has fun with his songwriting on "Food Stamps" as the chorus becomes irresistible not to sing along to. His sound gets a little more aggressive on the country-blues of "Made For Blood" and gets personal on the relationship ending "Used To Call It Love." The uptempo rockers "Midnight Train" and "Ragman's Roll" is where Davis and his band have the most fun performing as his voice fits the music perfectly. The album closes with the warmth of the acoustic slide-guitar gold of "Wanna Go Back" and the guitar buzzing "25 Lights."

Moot Davis is currently on the road promoting the new album "Goin' In Hot." He will be heading to his home state New Jersey in mid-April, before continuing his U.S. tour. For a complete list of live dates and to find out more about his new album, please visit mootdavis.com.

Friday, March 7, 2014

CD Review: Great New Music From Indie-Bands From Across The U.S

From Washington state come the full-length debut album from independent alt-rockers Pastel Motel entitled "Subject Is Subjective." The album was released in December of last year and is considered a concept album as the band work in their knack for great melodies along soundscapes of music.

The album begins with the smooth, gentle flow of "Stay," which leads into the band plugging in for the post-punk rawness of "Get Away." The return to the quietness of "Dream" as their music puts your mind at ease. They get into a swinging, up-tempo rock groove with "The Room," then Pastel Motel move slowly with the chugging-beat of "Moment of Disarray." The album closes with the passionate acoustic rock of "K.I.A." and the feel-good, folk-storytelling of "Zebras."

To find out more about Pastel Motel and their new album "Subject Is Subjective," please visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pastelmotel.


From Virginia comes the latest album from "jammy" rockers The Duskwhales. The new album, "Swim" was self-released back in February and showcases the band's maturity since their beginnings over four years ago.

The new eight-song release starts out with them locking into a hard rocking electric groove on "Lemmingway" as the tempo changes from southern rock to bubblegum pop. They slow down for the spacey feel of "New Soldier" as they continue to mix-tempos. The beginning bass line of "Dance Of The Spiders" sets the stage for five minutes of musical bliss as their musicianship leads the way. The album finishes up with the California acoustic beach rock of "Painted Hero" and the playful sounds of "Cold But No Snowfall."

To find out more about The Duskwhales and their new album "Swim," please visit theduskwhales.com.

From the Florida pan-handle comes the debut album from Americana band The Currys. The new album entitled "Follow" will be self-released in April. The band has recently performed with country star Billy Dean at the Florida Folk Festival this past year as they honed their sound for this new release.

The album begins with the uptempo, Americana pop feel of "Wreaking Ball," before moving on to the laid-back, acoustic country sound of "Water From The Well." They look to breakthrough onto the mainstream charts with "You're Getting Smaller" and showcase their song-writing talents on the country sound of "Rule Of Desire." Their harmonzing on the title-song is outstanding as they continue to feel their way their the Americana/country music of "Inches From You" and "Nothing Good."

To find out more about The Currys and their new album "Follow," please visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/The-Currys/255648751144180.


From Fayetteville, AR comes the full-length debut album from the Little Chiefs entitled "Lion's Den," released March 10th. The new ten song release shows a gentleness to their sound, especially in the five-minute opener "Mountain Song" and the quiet instrumental, "Prelude." The are following the path lead by The Lumineers and Of Monsters And Men with the Americana/pop feel of "Gold In The Morning" and "Lion's Den." Dallas artist Elle Turner lends her soft, angelic voice to the heartfelt country ballad, "Bonfire," before closing with the up-tempo, stomp rhythm of "Brothers," in which you can fully appreciate the wonderfully harmonizing.

The Little Chiefs have shows scattered along the south through to the beginning of May. To find out more about the band and their new album "Lion's Den," please visit www.littlechiefband.com/.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

CD Review: New Independet Releases Looking To Make An Impact On The Music Scene

From Chicago comes the latest release from the garage rock trio North By North. The new album entitled "Something Wicked" is available digitally and as a limited edition double-vinyl. It is the band's full length debut as they feel their way around the 18 songs that make up this new release.

Beginning with the quick 35-second grunge of "Run," the album takes off with the punk-like rawness of "Burn It Down" that has North By North tapping the vein of The Black Keys. They experiment with their sound adding a sixties-style organ riff to "Blood & Glitter," then come out swinging on the hard-hitting rhythm of "Hex X.O." North By North have a mainstream radio single in "Marshall Hawthorne" and find a great funky alternative rock groove with "Pitter Patter." The album closes with the big beats and big guitar riffs of "Eye Of The Storm" and the classic grunge-feel of "The Terror."

To find out more about North By North, please visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/northbynorthchicago.



British singer/songwriter Stoney has taken up residence in Austin, TX to put the finishing touches on his latest album "More Than Animals." The album was released in January and Stoney is looking to build upon the success his music has found over the course of the last few years. His music has been featured in film and television including "Falling Overnight" and "American Idol" and was the runner-up for "Best New Band" at the 2012/2013 Austin Music Awards.

The new twelve song release begins with a little homage to his European home with the combination of choirs singing and industrial dance beats on "Sweet Release." Stoney shows a bit a swagger with the electro-funk of "The Score," before quieting down to a whisper for "We Belong." Stoney returns to rock out on the big beat of "Devil On My Back," then slows down for the gentle feel of "Albatross." The album closes with the fragile beginning of "Round Here," which gets taken over by hip-hop beats to give the album an energetic close.

To find out more about this unique singer/songwriter, please visit stoney.mu.


From Seattle, WA comes the new album from progressive alternative rockers Gumshen. Their latest release entitled "Progtronica" is exactly that, a combination of prog-rock and electronica music to create some interesting songs.

Beginning with the seven-minute "Bell Ringer," Gumshen tries to modernize their Pink Floydian sound with dance beats and spaced out keyboards. They change directions to a beats-filled, Weezer-type vibe on "Stipulation," before returning with acoustic guitars in tow, to a more Americana/rock sound with "Fine To Talk To." The album closes with Gumshen stretching out their music with the eight-minute experimental "Fragile We Are Castles."

To find out more about this band and their new album "Progtronica," please visit gumshen.com.