Monday, June 30, 2014

CD Review: Progressive Rockers Collaborate On New Instrumental Albums

Former Supertramp touring guitarist Marty Walsh recently released his new instrumental album "The Total Plan." It features contributions from a load of fellow musicians including bassists Billy Sheerwood (Yes) and Abe Laboriel, drummer John Robinson, keyboardist Nick Manson and many more, as well as students from Berklee College of Music. Walsh's past  contributions have been to albums by artists ranging from Leann Rimes to Neil Diamond and he has also released three earlier solo albums. The new ten-song release begins the spacey, prog-rock feel of "Like A Rock" as Marty Walsh takes the lead, but allows everyone to contribute to the song's overall energy. The music get a little jazzier with the "Groove Mechanics" as John Pena's bass keeps the rhythm and Michael Ruff's keyboard are allowed to soar. Marty slows the tempo down for the relaxed "Coast To Coast" as the excitement builds with each member's solo. Marty lays down a blues groove with his guitar solo on "The Duke" that is sure to catch your attention, before the album finishes with smoothness of "Now Is The Time." To find out more about Marty Walsh and his new album "The Total Plan," please visit martywalsh.com.


Progressive rock drummers Pat Mastelotto and Tobias Ralph have combined their talents for the unique album "Toparama." Both have had a hand in the development of the "prog-rock" sound, performing with such bands as King Crimson and the spin-off band The Crimson ProjeKCt. Now with the help of bassists Lorenzo Feliciati and Tony Levin, touch guitarist Markus Reuter, and keyboardist Roy Powell, the album looks to explore the rhythm heavy side of rock/jazz fusion. The new 13-song release begins with the firework exploding shuffle of "Willie" as the two drummers quickly exchange solos. The quick modern feel of "NY5" allows the musicians to stretch out and expand as the song pushes past the eight-minute mark. The momentum really gets going on the pulsating beat of "BaBaBoom," before closing the album with the experimental, spacey feel of "Bad Ass Van Man." Mostelotto and Ralph will be on tour this summer in Europe as part of The Crimson ProjeKCt. To find out more about the new album "Toparama," please visit 7dmedia.com/news.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

CD Review: Reggae Superstars Third World Remake Classics "Under The Magic Sun"

It's amazing to think that Jamaican reggae band Third World have been together over 40 years and June 10th, the band released their 21st album entitled "Under The Magic Sun." The album features the final studio recordings of lead singer Bunny Riggs, who passed away from cancer earlier this year. Beginning in 1973, the band tasted success with their third album "Journey To Addis," which spawned the hit single "Now That We Found Love." Third World had another hit record in 1982 with their Columbia Records release "You've Got The Power." Now, with their first release through Cleopatra Records, "Under The Magic Sky" is filled with cover songs and re-recordings of their highest charting singles.

The fourteen song release features covers of songs the you would have never guessed would sound good with a reggae-vibe behind it. REO Speedwagon's "I Can't Fight This Feeling" and The Eagles' "Best Of My Love" are injected with a rhythm that gives the songs a pulse that you can dance to. They do not stray too far from the original of Benny Mardones' "In The Night," but really get into performing Marvin Gaye's ghetto anthem "Inner City Blues." Their hit singles 'Try Jah Love" and "Now That We Found Love" get injected with new life and a new feel, but still keeps that timeless classic reggae/pop sound.

Third World are currently on a summer tour which runs until the end of August. For a complete list of dates and to find out more about the new album "Under The Magic Sun," please visit thridworldband.com.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

CD Review: Peter Himmelman Brings Us New Music By "The Boat That Carries Us"

American singer/songwriter Peter Himmelman returns with his 12th studio album entitled "The Boat That Carries Us." It will be released on July 15 through his own record label, Himmasongs Recordings. Peter Himmelman enlisted the help of some very talented special musicians like Jim Keltner (drums), Lee Sklar (bass), David Steele (guitar) and Will Gramling (keys) for this amazing new album.

The new thirteen song release begins with the acoustic strumming of the title song as we ease into the musical world of Peter Himmelman. The tempo picks up for the rocking boogie-shuffle of "Afraid To Lose" and Peter's lyrics have your ears glued to his story during "Green Mexican Dreams." He returns to his folk-styling on the slow-moving "Mercy On The Desolate Road" as his words become more powerful than the music. The album's hardest rocking song is the rhythm-fueled "Angels Die," before he brings the melody down for the piano blues of "Tuck It Away." The album closes with how it all began with the acoustic strumming of the gospel-like, sing-along chorus of "Hotter Brighter Sun."

Peter Himmelman currently has only a few dates on his tour schedule. To find out more about his new album "The Boat That Carries Us," please visit peterhimmelman.com.

Friday, June 27, 2014

CD Review: Newcomers Royal Southern Brotherhood And Royal Blood Look To Make Good On Their Names

On June 10th, we got "Heartsoulblood," the second album from this royalty supergroup of blues rock, the Royal Southern Brotherhood.  For those that may not be familiar with the members of the band, let me introduce them to you. On guitar is Devon Allman, son of Gregg Allman and nephew to the late-great Duane Allman. Next is Cyril Neville, who is the fourth brother of the legendary Neville Brothers band and also featuring blues guitarist/singer Mike Zito along with drummer Yonrico Scott (Derek Trucks Band) and bassist Charlie Wooton.

The band received rave reviews with their 2012 self-titled debut album, which hit #5 on the Billboard Music Blues Album chart. Their new album "Heartsoulblood" debut at #6 on the Blues Album chart as the band look to hit the road in the U.S. with dates in July and August. The new twelve song release showcases each member's strengths as they all come together for the opener "World Blues." They pick up the pace for the adrenaline shot of "Rock And Roll" and add a little funk to their fury in "Here It Is." The dirty blues of "Ritual" is a great contradiction to the R&B/gospel feel of "Shoulda Known" and the Soul ballad "She's My Lady." The album closes with more roaring guitars for the sing-along song of "Love And Peace." To find out more about the Royal Southern Brotherhood, please visit royalsouthernbrotherhood.com.


Newcomers Royal Blood recently released their first EP, "Out Of The Black" to introduce themselves to North America. This British duo has been making waves over the last couple years with their hit singles "Out Of The Black" and "Little Monsters." So, to help promote the band during the summer touring season, Warner Brothers Records gathered the bands early singles for this latest release. The thumping beat of the title song and the energetic hard rock appeal of "Little Monsters" shows a maturity this duo has even before the release of their full-length debut album. The only new song on this album is the big guitar sound of "Hole" as they indirectly pay tribute to The White Stripes and The Black Keys.

Royal Blood have a few festivals in Europe before hitting the U.S. in July. For a complete list of tour dates and for more information about the band, please visit royalbloodband.com.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

CD/Blu-ray Review: The "Legend" Was Born 30 Years Ago And It Now Arrives On Blu-ray

One of the biggest selling albums of all-time, Bob Marley's "Legend," gets a well-deserved upgrade for its 30th anniversary. Since it release in 1984, "Legend" has sold over 27 million copies worldwide. In 2002, the original album was remastered and released as a deluxe edition by the Universal Music Group, adding the bonus tracks, "Easy Skanking" and "Punky Reggae Party." Also, a second disc was released with the set that included ten of the songs from the "Legend" album remixed and extended. Now on July 1st, Universal Music will release "Legend 30th Anniversary Edition."

Why do we need another version of this album? The main reason is because for the first time, this album will be released as a high quality 5.1 Blu-ray Pure Audio Disc. This disc will be included with the remastered version of the CD. The Blu-ray disc also includes the studio version of the classic "No Woman No Cry," as well as previously unheard alternate takes of "Easy Skanking" and "Punky Reggae Party." The music sounds crystal clear on this latest format and fans will definitely want to seek out this latest version of the album. You'll discover things in many of the songs that you may never noticed before.

Included in this two-disc set is a 28-page full color book with extended liner notes, unpublished photos and newly written forwards by fellow artists Sir Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder. The album will also be made available as a double gatefold, tri-colored (yellow, red, green) vinyl LP. To find out more about this amazing new release, please visit bobmarley.com/music-news/legend-30th-anniversary/.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

CD Review: Summer Begins With New Releases From Metal Blade Records

Metal Blade Records is kicking off their summer with some exciting new releases from Channel Zero, Allegaeon and Goatwhore. Channel Zero returns with their sixth, and most powerful album "Kill All Kings." Recording for this album began last year, when drummer Phil Baheux was found dead from a ruptured artery. What seemed like the apparent end of the band, instead became the next chapter for Channel Zero, beginning with this latest release. The new twelve song album was released on June 24th and features a band with a renewed sense of purpose. Beginning with aggressive attack of "Dark Passenger," one wonders why this band ever called it quits in 1997 as the energy they inject into their music is so addictive. The album's lead single "Electronic Cocaine" is a chugging arena rocker that proves that this is a people's band. Franky's vocals are strong throughout the entire album, especially during the screaming chorus of "Burn The Nation." Filling in on the drums is Ray Mayorga (Stone Sour, Soulfly) and he does not disappoint as proven in "Crimson Collider" and "Mind Over Mechanics." The album closes with the Soundgarden-like, mainstream feel of "Heart Stop." To find out more about Channel Zero, check out channel-zero.be.
 
Next comes the new album from Allegaeon entitled "Elements Of The Infinite." This band has always given 110% to their music as each album showcases their growth in songwriting. This album also features new drummer Brandon Park and guitarist Michael Stancel, who replaced founding member Ryan Glisan. The new 10-song release comes blasting out of the gate with the grand, epic feel of "Threshold Of Perception." The machine gun drumming and graveling vocals of Ezra Haynes gives this death metal band the perfect ingredients for success with "Tyrants Of The Terrestrial Exodus." The speed and power of this five-piece band is felt by the sheer force of "1.618" and in the darkness of "Our Cosmic Casket." The album closes with the epic, twelve-minute progressive-metal journey of "Genocide For Praise - Vals For The Vitruvian Man." To find out more about Allegaeon, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/allegaeon.
 
Now if speed is what you're looking for, then check out the latest album from Goatwhore entitled "Constricting Rage Of The Merciless." This new release will make your ears bleed, beginning with the aggressive attack of "Poisonous Existence Of Reawakening" and keeping the pedal to the metal for "Unraveling Paradise." Guitars come out blazing for the punk-like furry of "FBS," before heading to the end with the more mainstream death metal of "Schadenfreude" and the final mind-blasting speed of "Externalize This Hidden Savagery." To find out more about Goatwhore and their latest release "Constricting Rage Of the Merciless," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/thegoat666.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

CD Review: Get Your Rocks Out With New Music From Stars In Stereo, '68, And The Drip Effect

L.A. band Stars In Stereo have wasted no time releasing the follow-up to their debut album. The band's latest release "Leave Your Mark" was released on June 17th through Hundred Handed Inc., less than twelve months after the release of their last album. The new eleven-song album begins with the recognizable vocals of one of the newest premier female singers in metal, Bec Hollcraft on the heavy pounding of "Not A Shot." The songs on this release continue to hit hard, as with the amazingly addictive "Echo" and the screaming vengeance of "Fair Weather Friend." Hollcraft pours on the passion during the emotional delivery of "Fall Forward," before finishing with that heavy metal assault of "Vacancy." To find out more about Star In Stereo's new album "Leave Your Mark," please visit starsinstereomusic.com.
 
From Atlanta, GA comes the duo of Josh Scogin on vocals/guitar and Michael McClellen on drums, also known as '68. They will be releasing their debut album "In Humor And Sadness" on July 8th through eOne Music/Good Fight Music. Not very much effort went into naming their songs as they are laid-out as "Track One" through "Track Ten." The album begins with the grunge-like energy of early Nirvana on "Track One" as their sound has a very raw, garage-rock appeal. The duo keep it interesting by mixing tempos as in "Track Three," but they don't let up on accelerator as they scream their way through "Track Six." They slow up for a moment on the spacey sound of "Track Nine," before finishing with the feedback frenzy of "Track Ten." To find out more about '68, please visit theyare68.com.
 
From West Palm Beach, FL comes the new album from the hard rock band The Drip Effect entitled "Dinosaw." It is the band's full-length debut and it takes you by surprise at how experienced their sound is as they come out swinging with the heavy metal assault of "State Of The Art." They proceed to counter that energy with the slugging hardcore metal feel of "Through The Right Kind Of Eye," then showcase their latest single "Color Me Happy." The song hits you right in the mouth with its screaming vocals and a buzzing guitars. The seven-song release closes with the album's earlier single, the six-and-a-half minute "Burn The Haystack." Beginning with screaming solos, the song finishes the album with a great hard prog-rock epic piece of music. To find out more about this exciting new hard rock band, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/TheDripEffect.

Monday, June 23, 2014

CD Review: New Releases From Rockabilly Wonder Jason D. Williams And Country Rocker Billy Ray Cyrus

From the birth place of rockabilly comes the latest release from classic country rocker Jason D. Williams entitled "Hillbillies And Holy Rollers." The album was released on June 10, 2014, but could have very well been release on June 10, 1954. The album's rockabilly sound is due to Williams being possessed by the ghosts of legends passed who recorded at the legendary Sun Studios, which is were this album was also recorded. On this new release, Williams mixes a couple originals with classics by Johnny Cash and Hank Williams done in his special piano-fueled, Jerry Lee Lewis-style. Jason D. Williams turns "Folsom Prison Blues" into a light-hearted country hop and speeds up "Sweet Georgia Brown" to deliver a shot of punk-like energy straight to your soul. The highlight of the album is slow-duet of "You Win Again" between Williams and honky-tonk vixen Sarah Gayle Meech. The album closes with the gospel injected rockabilly of "I'll Fly Away" as you feel baptized by the fire of Williams' performance on the piano.

Jason D. Williams has live shows scheduled all the way through to November. Check out rockinjasondwilliams.com for a complete list of dates and for more information on his new album "Hillbillies And Holy Rollers."
 
Now, with Miley Cyrus receiving all the attention these days, let's not forget about dear ol' dad. As part of the "ICON" series, Universal Music gathered together eleven of Billy Ray Cyrus's biggest country hits for "The Distance."  This new "greatest hits" collection became available on June 3rd and spans Cyrus' 22-year career. The set begins with the brand-new recording of "The Distance" as Cyrus explains is a "song is about going full circle in my life both personally and professionally." The other ten songs mix some lesser known duets and deep cuts with some of his more current hit singles like "Busy Man" and  "Some Gave It All." The incredible duets include "Stand" with his daughter Miley and the timeless feel of "Country Music Has The Blues," which was performed with the late George Jones and the lovely Loretta Lynn." The album ends where it all began with his first #1 single "Achy Breaky Heart." This compilation is a great addition to the 2011 "ICON" release from Billy Ray Cyrus, which is filled with all his highest charting singles.

To find out more about "ICON: The Distance," please visit Billy Ray Cyrus' Facebook page at facebook.com/BillyRayCyrus.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

CD Review: Two Legendary Prog-Rock Bands Return With New Albums

One of the earliest progressive rock bands to have a hit record on the charts is the Dutch rock band Focus. Their song "Hocus Pocus" cracked the "top 10" singles chart in 1973 and brought the band a whole new set of fans. After disbanding in 1978, the band has reunited numerous times and their song "Hocus Pocus" found a new life during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The song was used by Nike in their commercials and helped the song jump back on the U.K. singles chart. Now 45 years after their first album, Focus are looking to remind the music community on how they laid the groundwork for what would become modern progressive rock music. They recently released their 11th studio album "Golden Oldies," which features re-recorded versions of their classic songs with their most current line-up.

Of course, the album begins with the famous song "Hocus Pocus" as original member Thijs van Leer can still yodel the song's only lyrics. The album also features long time Focus drummer Pierre van der Linden who rejoined the band during the recording of this album. His jazz-like drumming takes centerstage during the funky-feel of "Sylvia." Guitarist Menno Gootjes leads the way with his solos during the seven-plus minute re-creation of "Focus 3 & 2" and bassist Bobby Jacobs keeps pace on with the time changes of "Neurotika." The album closes with dark vocals of Thijs van Leer as Gootjes guitar solo turns this into a prog-rock masterpiece. Focus will on the road this fall in Europe. To find out more about their new album "Golden Oldies," please visit focustheband.com.

British progressive rock band Curved Air recently released their ninth studio album entitled "North Star," which features the first new music from the band since 1976. The new album consists of seven brand new songs, four reworked songs and a few cover songs. The band has a renewed energy since reforming in 2008 as they show they can still write pop hits like the opener "Stay Human," while also showcasing their prog-rock side with "Time Games." Curved Air go back to revisit the "Second Album" with re-recordings of "Puppets" and "Young Mother," but stay away from one of their biggest hit singles "Back Street Luv." Curved Air also show their appreciation for fellow English band The Police with a unique cover of "Spirits In The Material World," which seems to use the music of "Wrapped Around Your Finger" as the backdrop. They also perform a gentle, airy cover The Beatles' "Across The Universe" as lead singer Sonja Kristina's voice is the song's bright light to follow. The band still creates great new music as shown in the songs "Interplay" and "Magnetism" and I hope this is the beginning of a renewed appreciation for this classic prog-rock band to make more new music for their fans to enjoy. To find out more about Curved Air and their latest album "North Star," please visit curvedair.com.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

CD Review: John Wetton And Richard Palmer-James Team Up For "Jack-Knife" and "Monkey Business"

Progressive rock fans will finally be rewarded for their patience as Cherry Red Records is releasing the long, out-of-print solo albums from King Crimson/Asia frontman John Wetton. The new double-disc set features the 1979 album "Jack-Knife" (originally titled "I Wish You Would") which has not be issued on CD in over 20 years and the re-issue of the outtake album "Monkey Business." Both albums have been remastered and feature the guitar work of Richard Palmer-James (Supertramp). This release shows two friends enjoying each other's company in the studio feeding off their individual talents.

The nine-song album "Jack-Knife" mixes Wetton/Palmer-James originals with cover songs done in the vein of King Crimson. Beginning with "Wish You Would," the two wastes no time soloing through the entire song, not even needing words to make the song outstanding. They get their rock/funk groove going on "You Can't Judge A Book By Looking At The Cover," before spacing out on The Who's "Eyesight To The Blind." They turn on their progressive rock charm on the pop/rock appeal of "Walk On Heaven's Ground," then finishing up with the six-minute blues of "Adoration."

King Crimson fans will truly enjoy the second disc, "Monkey Business 1972-1997" as it features many outtakes of the Crimson era when Wetton and Palmer-James were the primary songwriters of many of their classic songs. One minute snippets of "Easy Money" and "Starless" give peeks at the early stages of these epic masterpieces. Also sprinkled throughout the disc are amazing live versions of "The Night Watch" and "Book Of Saturday," but it's the songs like "Cologne 1977" and "The Laughing Lake 1977" that make you appreciate the talents of these two amazing musicians.

To find out more about this "must have" new release by John Wetton and Richard Palmer-James, please visit cherryred.co.uk.

Friday, June 20, 2014

CD Review: Newly Discovered Indie-Music Look To Make An Impression

From Cleveland, OH comes the latest release from The Modern Electric entitled "Original Motion Picture Soundtrack." It has been five years since their self-titled debut began turning heads and they are returning with their new album produced by Mike McCarthy (Spoon, Heartless Bastards). The album's first single is the contagious modern pop appeal of "All We Have Is Now." The song fits in perfectly with today's "top 40" radio. They keep the momentum going with "(Try To) Pretend" and "Slow-Motion Jeans," which sounds like a hit with its David Bowie-like lyric progression. The Modern Electric are currently on tour and will be wrapping up this summer tour at the Fashion Meets Music Festival in Columbus, OH. To find out more about this band, please visit themodernelectric.com.

From Boston, MA comes the sister string, folk duo of Ari & Mia with their latest album "Land On Shore." They have been performing live all across New England with upcoming shows in Maine and Massachusetts. Their latest 11-song release begins with the gentle folk approach of "Turn Me Around." Their voices just float on by as the instrumentation is reduced to what is only necessary. The pace quickens for the fiddle-led instrumental "Turtle," but quickly returns to the quiet, sounds of "Glad You Came By." The duo show some pep in their step for the fun, sing-along "Starry Crown," before closing the album with relaxed instrumental "The Dirty Bog." To find out more about this sister duo, please visit ariandmiamusic.com/.
 
From the islands of the Pacific Ocean comes Hawaiian native Meghann Wright with her latest 3-song EP. Now residing in New York City, Meghann displays both sides to her songwriting with the acoustic, Americana folk of "Can't Carry Water," which allows her vocals to soar. The other side of her songwriting is her latest single, "Cocaine," which displays a punk-like energy when plugging in to rock. The third song returns Meghann to the appeal of her acoustic folk-rock side with "Left My Heart In Brooklyn," which has her performing some of the best new underground music of the New York folk scene. To find out more about Meghann Wright, please check out her Facebook page at facebook.com/MeghannWrightMusic.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

CD Review: Cleopatra Records Releases Newly Discovered Iron Butterfly Show

California rock band Iron Butterfly has been quoted as being one of the founding fathers of the "heavy metal" genre. They are best know for their 1968 hit song "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida," but not because of the wonderful songwriting but for the shear length of the song.  Clocking in at over seventeen minutes, it was one of the first popular songs to break the 3-minute radio barrier. The band's name has been around in some form since 1966, but they only released six studio albums, their last being in 1975.
 
 
Now, Cleopatra Records along with Purple Pyramid are releasing the band's latest live album entitled "Live At The Galaxy 1967." This performance is significant, because it was the show that a representative from Atlantic Records was present at and decided to sign the band. Shortly after this show, Iron Butterfly would release their debut studio album "Heavy," which featured some of the songs from this performance at The Galaxy. Songs like "Possession" and "Iron Butterfly Theme"  showcase the excellent musicianship within the original members of the band as Doug Ingle's keyboards and Danny Weis' guitar burns holes in your speakers. The psychedelic movement was in full effect for this show as they sped up the tempo for the spaced-out rocker "Evil Temptation" and the heavy metal blueprint "Gentle As It May Seem." The night closes with the straight-up sixties rock of "You Can't Win" as they put everything they had into their amazing performance.
 
The recording is a little raw by today's standards, but it only adds to the show's authenticity. The audience is pretty-much non-existent on this album and it could be considered the first glimpse into the world of heavy metal. To find out more about this newly released live documentary of this great sixties band, please visit cleorecs.com/store/shop/iron-butterfly-live-at-the-galaxy-1967-cd/.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

CD Review: Cherub And First Aid Kit Are Ready For The Big Time With New Albums

Two new debut albums from Columbia Records are ready to make ripples in the music world. This exciting new music comes from the electro-pop duo of Jordan Kelley and Jason Huber, better known as Cherub and the Swedish sister duo of Klara and Johanna Soderberg, known as First Aid Kit. Both of these band's stock has risen since signing with Columbia Records and their tours are selling out like crazy. Cherub's latest single "Doses & Mimosas" is hard to resist. The dance beats and Justin Timberlake-like singing is the perfect formula for today's radio youth and the song is quickly burning up the charts. The other song on this album that demands your attention is the slow jam of "Freaky Me, Freaky You." Its a modern day R&B hit with the big beats and silky smooth lyrics. Their song "Lifesaver" carries an eighties, keyboard-heavy vibe that seems almost thirty years too late. The album closes with the light pop tempo of "Chocolate Strawberries" as they sweeten their sound with their dance club appeal.

Cherub are currently on "The Blow'd Tour" with dates running until the end of the month with the final dates appearing at the Firefly Music Festival and the Electronic Forest Festival. To find out more about this rising new band, please visit cherublamusica.com.


Another newly released album, that is beginning to make waves on the chart is "Stay Gold," from the duo First Aid Kit. The album's first single "My Silver Lining" showcases their mash-up of modern Americana/pop/country sound as they capture your attention with their words.  Their voices sound so fresh and pure on the shuffle rhythm of "Master Pretender" and display their folk innocence on the storied lyrics of "Cedar Lane." The album just has a magical flow from start to finish that demands your attention, especially the gentle flow of "Fleeting One" and the fun up-tempo feel of "Heaven Knows."

The new album was produced by Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Monsters of Folk) and was released on June 10th. First Aid Kit just wrapped up their month-long tour with a date at this year's Bonnaroo Music Festival. To find out more about this exciting new duo, please visit thisisfirstaidkit.com.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

CD Review: New Indie-Rock Music Blasting Through From Coast To Coast

After ten years of gigs and garages, Connecticut band BoneThrower have finally released their debut album entitled "Loud & Dirty." The duo of James Darling and Dan Persaud (who make up the band) have mastered how to achieve their huge sound with only two band members; and the songs on this album can certainly testify to that power. Beginning with dirty guitar buzz of "Wagon," you feel as if this duo is special as they inject their energy into your body. The beat is so infectious with "Ink" that you easily find yourself rocking out to the raw, garage rock rhythm. BoneThrower blast you away with the sheer power of "Get Mine" and "On The Rocks," as Darling gets possessed by the soul of Jack White. BoneThrower will be performing in New York City on July 25th at Otto's Shrunken Head Tiki Bar and August 1st in Meriden, CT at the newly renovated concert spot, The Reserve. To find out more about this amazing powerful rock duo, please visit bonethrowermusic.com.

Also from the east coast, from Worcester, MA, comes the latest release from punk/ska/jazz band Speaker For The Dead entitled "Ballad Of The Undercrust." Their sound is very hard to pinpoint. At times they sound like Weird Al's backing band ("And The Ghost Said!") and other times they could be the next coming of the Violent Femmes ("Saint Peter Part Two"). The band experiment with the pirate-like sing-along of "The Troll," before create the enjoyable sound of "Song So Sad." The album closes with the six-minute mini-musical of "Contract." To find out more about this funky new band, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/speakerforthedeadus.
 
Moving to other coast, California progressive metal band, The Approach & The Execution releases their latest album entitled "Kings Among Runaways." The band are looking to build upon the success of their independent debut album "The Blood March." The new nine-song release begins with the quick pace of "The Warrior's Psalm" as the energy becomes contagious as it runs through the entire album. They become aggressive on the battle cry "Hymn Of Victory," before exploding with the mainstream metal of "Kings Among Runaways." The album closes with the six-minute metal journey of the "Ghost Pilot" as their sound darkens to old Iron Maiden standards. To find out more about The Approach & The Execution, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/TheApproachandTheExecution.
 
Sticking with the west coast comes the latest EP from the California death metal band Death Switch. The new four-song album is a quick rush of adrenaline as the songs "Echoes Of Dissolution" and "Reborn In Death" look to blow your ears out with their aggressive lyrics and fast-paced rhythm. The album closing song is a lightning quick cover of Vampire's "At Midnight I'll Posses Your Corpse." To find out more about this new underground death metal band, please check out their Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/Dead-Again-Productions-and-Distribution
 
Finally, coming from College Station, TX is the debut EP from alternative rockers King And Nation. Their new album entitled "Spaces" is available now through iTunes and Spotify. The five-song release has a very raw, garage rock appeal to its sound. Beginning with "Hot Air Balloon," the band's energy is put into their music as their music becomes very addicting. They bring on the Seattle grunge of "Waylon Jennings," before finishing up with the post-punk-fury of "Words Spinning Around." To find out more about King And Nation, please visit kingandnation.flavors.me/.

Monday, June 16, 2014

CD Reivew: Indie-Artists Showcase Their Best Work With New Music

From Chicago comes the debut solo album from The Luck of Eden Hall bassist Mark Lofgren. The new release entitled "The Past Perfect" was written, performed and produced by Lofgren and was released on May 27th. The new twelve-song album must feel exciting to Lofgren, after being a part of the success of The Luck of Eden Hall for over twenty years. The album begins with the smooth modern rock of "Roosevelt" as Lofgren establishes himself as one of the premier indie-rock voices of Chicago's underground music scene. His gentle vocals on "A Life Electric" puts you at ease, before letting  in some of the influences of his old band on the sixties folk vibe of "Flying Bird." He receives some help on the guitar from Curvey for the dreamlike acoustics of "One London Ontario Night" and also on the drums for the post-punk energy of "A Pocket Full Of Bliss." The album wraps up with experimental, spaciness of "Undertow." To find out more about Mark Lofgren and his new album "The Past Perfect," please visit markalanlofgren.com/.
 
The latest album from indie-rocker A Bad Think arrives this week through Windmark/The Orchard label. The new release entitled "Sleep" is the work of sole member Michael Marquart. The album was recorded in Marquart's own studio, which he bought from the funk duo Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis back in 2012 and mixed by Jason Elgin (Collective Soul, Creed). The new 12-song release begins with bluesy alternative rock of "Don't Leave Me Out" as Marquart plays a double-roll using two different voices to portray the song's message. He has a softness to his vocals in the dreamy feel of "Photographs," before rocking out to "We All Fall." His voice amongst the gentle acoustics of "On And On" are the perfect backdrop for his lyrics as his voice just floats on top of the music. Marquart plugs in for the electrifying guitar-led "Loyalty," before finishing with the slow, mellow acoustics of "The Salesman." To find out more about A Bad Think and the latest release "Sleep," please visit abadthink.com.
 
From California, comes the sophomore release from Lyonn entitled "Promenade." Lyonn is the stage name of singer/songwriter Tyler Gelrud and his music combines dance beats with alternative acoustics and pop lyrics to create an attractive combination. The new 4-song EP was released back in May and begins with the powerfully moving "Dancing Machine." He has a knack for writing pop choruses that sticks to your memory and keeps you wanting more. His song "Just Say Hello" draws comparison to acoustic pop of Jason Mraz as Lyonn belts out the memorable chorus. The album closes with Lyonn showcasing his gentler side with the ballad "Sing You To Sleep." To find out more about Lyonn and his latest release "Promenade," please visit lyonnmusic.com.
 
Connecticut native J Chance recently released his latest EP entitled "Tell The Dark A Secret" through Obscure Me Records. He brings together the purity of the folk singer/songwriter and swirls it around with psychedelic acoustic rock to create new music that is meant for a different time period. Beginning with "Roll Over," J Chance slowly gets the movement of the song's dreamy sound to relax your senses. The highlight of the album is the song "Go" which is a layered gem with simple, but affective songwriting. To find out more about J Chance's new album "Tell The Dark A Secret," please visit obscuremerecords.com.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

CD Review: European Experimental Rock Makes Its Way To U.S. Shores

Award-winning singer, songwriter and producer Chris Braide returns with his third full-length solo album entitled "Fifty Dollar Planets And Twenty Cent Stars." After writing songs for Britney and Beyoncé, Braide thought that it was time to release this set of songs that he as been working on. Braide said that he "channeled my inner Marc Bolen (T. Rex)" for this album as he kicks things off with the raw, guitar driven title song. He showcases his talent for writing pop songs with the adult contemporary feel of "Fascinating," before switching gears for the electronic rock of "Beautiful." His best moments on this album are when Braide plugs in and rocks as in "It's Not Too Late" and "What's Going On In Your Head." He closes with the album's most interesting song, "Agent Wilde & The Speedway Dancers" as Braide tells the stories of Agent Wilde amongst a pop/dance backdrop. To find out more about Chris Braide's latest release "Fifty Dollar Planets And Twenty Cent Stars," please visit www.cherryred.co.uk.
 
British violinist Darryl Way released his ninth solo album last month entitled "Children Of The Cosmos." It is Way's first progressive rock album in twenty years and it showcases his vocal skills as well as his incredible rock violin abilities. As a founding member of the British rock band Curved Air, Way wanted to give his long-time fans a reminder of the prog-rock movement that he help pioneer. The new twelve-song album begins with the title-song as the soaring keyboards and Way's vocals pave the way for a modern prog-rock masterpiece. Way's sound on "Nature's Way" could be a mainstream hit, while "Summer of Love" gives off a psychedelic vibe. Way incorporates some of his love of classical music with "Pachelbel's Canon" appearing in the song "Don't Look Back" and the amazing instrumental "Lagan Love," led by Way's outstanding violin. After the prog-rock trilogy of "A Winter's Tale," "A Modern Tale" and "An American Tale," the album closes with the gentle classical display of "Sergey." To find out more about Darryl Way and his new album "Children Of The Cosmos," please visit darrylway.com.
 
Space rock band Spirits Burning invited vocalist/flutist Bridget Wishart to return for her third outing with the band. Spirits Burning includes members of the seventies rock band Hawkwind experimenting with their jazz fusion side. Bridget Wishart is a British vocalist who had worked with Hawkwind on some of their late-eighties, early nineties albums. Now the two return after five years to create some truly unique music with their latest release "Make Believe It Real," which is the band's first double-CD. Disc 1 features 11 new compositions as their music looks to move you with the electronic beats of "Cyber Space" and the deep bass groove of "Skyline Signal." The band brings back some of the rock from the past on the heavy attack of "Demonkind," before showcasing the pure ambient feel of Spirits Burning's music with "Embers." The first disc closes with the fourteen-minute epic suite "Reflections" as they dig deep into their progressive rock past. The second disc features six songs (30 minutes) of music that was only previously available on compilations. Beginning with "Always (Spirited Away)" you get a sense of their rock roots as they explore a more modern progressive rock sound. Spirits Burning along with the vocals of Bridget Wishart explore the depths of space rock with the synth/rhythm battle of "Iceflow (Icetalk Mix)." The second disc finishes with the King Crimson-like rock orchestra epic "Chain Of Thought." to find out more about these amazing musicians, please visit spiritsburning.com.
 
From Germany comes the experimental rock band Amon Duul II with their latest release "Duulirium." It was originally released back in 2010 and is the band's first studio album in 28 years. It is also the first album not to feature drummer Peter Leopold, who passed away in 2006. The new four-song album continues to showcase the band's experimental side, as they are easily compared to the early days of Frank Zappa and The Mothers. The songs easily push pass the eight-minute mark as the progressive rock sound of "On The Highway" take you on a storied journey. The highlight of the album is the 26-minute epic piece "Back To The Rules/Walking In The Park" as the band look to jam at every opportunity. To find out more about Amon Duul II, please visit amonduul.de/main.html.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Blu-ray Review: "Quadrophenia" Turns 40 As The Who Perform This Modern Classic Live

Last year, British rockers The Who celebrated the 40th anniversary of their 1973 landmark double-album "Quadrophenia" with a U.S./European tour. At each show, the band performed the entire mini-rock opera from start to finish and included a greatest hits set for the encore. The Who only featured two original members (Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend), but through archival video footage, brought back the spirits of bassist John Entwistle and Keith Moon for their signature parts. Joining Daltrey and Townshend on this journey was Townshend's brother Simon on guitar, Ringo Starr's son, Zak Starkey on drums (later to be replaced by Scott Devours) Pino Palladino on bass, John Corey on piano, Loren Gold on keyboards and the brass section of J. Greg Miller and Reggie Grisham.


The final night of the tour was filmed in high-definition for newly released "Quadrophenia Live In London," available June 10th from the Universal Music Group. The concert was released in a number of different formats including Blu-ray, DVD, 2-CD set and digital download. The show looks stunning in high-def Blu-ray as you feel as if you are up on the stage with the band as they perform. The cameras mainly stay attached to Daltrey and Townshend during the performance. The audience is never shown, except for a complete stage shot, but you hardly notice their absence. The videos on the screen are the basis for the story and are shown at every opportunity. One of the clever camera tricks is to  incorporate the images on the screen whenever they show the band members performing live. The two highlights of the show is during the extended jam of "5:15" as they use the video screen to show past member John Entwistle performing his signature bass solo along with the live band. The other highlight is when Keith Moon appears on screen to become the "Bell Boy." He sings his parts, just like he did in 1973, as an old concert clip is shown above the band. The encore performances are added as a bonus and can be viewed on their own without having to watch the entire "Quadrophenia" performance. The touching moment comes during the closing song, "Tea & Theatre" as Daltrey and Townshend are alone on stage as the final two warriors wondering what's left to accomplish.


Fans of The Who will be on the search for the 5-Disc Limited Collector's Edition Metal Box version that contains the Blu-ray, DVD, 2CD soundtrack and for the first time the original 1973 album in 5.1 Surround Sound on a Blu-ray Pure Audio. Other extras include a 6" Mod headlight sticker, a Mod headlight button and a slick, 32-page full color booklet and housed in a round metal container embossed with the movie-inspired iconic Mod bullseye.


As this year is the band's 50th anniversary, what better way to celebrate than with an unforgettable performance of their iconic masterpiece. To find out more information about The Who's new release "Quadrophenia Live In London," please visit thewho.com.

Friday, June 13, 2014

CD Review: Soundgarden Ventures Into The "Superunknown" For 20th Anniverasry Release

It's hard to imagine that it has been 20 years since Soundgarden released their blockbuster album "Superunknown." To celebrate, Universal Music/A&M Records will be re-releasing the album in three different formats on June 3rd. The album pushed Soundgarden and Seattle's grunge movement into the mainstream, exposing a more heavy metal aspect to their sound. The album hit #1 on the Billboard Album chart, garnished five "top 20" singles and has been certified 5x Platinum status by the American Recording Industry. The original album gets a much needed remaster as the new version of the album sounds less grungy and more hard rock/metal as the instruments are cleaner and Chris Cornell's voice just electrifies. While the differences may not be as noticeable in the hit singles that have been heard thousands of times before, songs like "Head Down" and "Fresh Tendrills" sound clean and renewed. The new release also adds the non-album track "She Likes Surprises," which gives a glimpse to their earlier days.


But, Soundgarden fans will be drooling over the "Deluxe" and "Super Deluxe" editions of the album. Beginning with the "Deluxe" version, the original album is joined by a second CD filled with demos, rehearsals and rare b-sides. The stripped down versions of their hits "Black Hole Sun" and "The Day I Tried To Live" shows the band's process in layering sounds as they are in different forms of completion. The really enjoyable tracks on the second disc are the hard-to-find b-sides, the punk-like appeal of "Kyle Petty, Son Of Richard" and the experimental "Jerry Garcia's Finger."


Die-hard fans will want to splurge for the "Super Deluxe" edition that contains 4CD/1 Blu-Ray. The four CDs consist of the original album, remastered, a CD of b-sides and live songs, a CD of just the demos and a CD of just the rehearsals. The entire "Super Deluxe" set consists of 54 songs and over four hours of music. The Blu-Ray contains the 5.1 Audio Mix of the album in the highest quality possible. Also included with the five discs is a hardbound book with new and original artwork and liner notes from David Fricke (Rolling Stone). The album will also be available in a double-LP gatefold pressed on 200-gram vinyl for all the record collectors out there.


Soundgarden, along with Universal Music and A&M Records have spared no expense paying proper homage to one of the greatest albums of the nineties rock era. To find out more about this amazing new release, please visit soundgardenworld.com.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

CD Review: R.E.M. Visits The Vault For "Complete Unplugged" Release

American rock band R.E.M. called it quits in 2011, mutually deciding to go their separate ways. Lucky for us, "the vault" is filled with unreleased material that dates back to their beginnings. The first official post break-up release is the two disc set "R.E.M. The Complete Unplugged 1991 And 2001 Sessions." R.E.M. is the only band to headline the "Unplugged" show twice. This release was first featured as a an eight-sided vinyl set, released on Record Store Day through the Rhino Records label. Then it was followed by a 2CD set a month later. The album debuted at #21 on the Billboard Album chart upon its release.


The first disc captures R.E.M.'s first appearance on MTV's "Unplugged" show just as the wave of success was beginning to peak. The unplugged session was recorded just one month after the release of their multi-platinum selling album "Out Of Time." Five of the seventeen songs recorded were not featured during the 1991 broadcast.  Songs were culled from the band's previous five studio releases, relying heavily on their latest release. Right from the beginning of "Half A World Away," you notice that singer Michael Stipe's voice perfectly fits this quieter setting, while the rest of the band support his words with the perfect melody. The highlight of the set is a gentle cover of The Troggs' "Love Is All Around Me" sung by Mike Mills.


The second disc features their 2001 performance in support of their latest album at the time, ("Revel") which was the not as well received as their previous releases. Six of the sixteen songs recorded were not feature during the broadcast, including classics like "The One I Love" and "Sad Professor," which were stored away until this release. R.E.M. do a better job mixing newer hits like "All The Way To Reno (You're Gonna Be A Star)" with earlier classics like "So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry)." But knowing they have done this earlier in their career gives the band a sense that they have mastered the gentle acoustic setting.


Bassist Mike Mills has been quoted as saying "We have a lot of stuff in the vaults, a fair amount of stuff that’s never been released. We just want to put them out in a way that makes them as special as possible." R.E.M. also recently released a 131-track batch of B-sides, non-album tracks and live cuts from their Warner Bros. period and this might only be the beginning. So, R.E.M. fans, don't lose hope that someday your favorite concert or rarity may one time see the light of day.


To find out more about this latest release from R.E.M., please visit remhq.com.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

CD Review: The Summer Is Heating Up With A New Soundtrack From Styx And Foreigner

This summer, classic rockers Foreigner and Styx are teaming up for a summer tour along with former Eagles' guitarist Don Felder. The "Soundtrack Of Summer" tour as it is called will feature full sets by both of these 70s and 80s rock giants. Both of these acts combined have sold over 200 million albums worldwide and are bringing their biggest hits to the road. The tour began in May and runs through the summer, ending July 27 in California. The tour will hit the Northeast at the end of June, with stops at the Foxwoods Resort Casino on June 27th and Nikon at Jones Beach Theater on June 28th.


To help promote the tour, the two bands combined for a Walmart exclusive release entitled "The Soundtrack Of Summer." It features 8 re-recorded classics of each of the band's biggest hits including "I Want To Know What Love Is" and "Renegade." The 17-song release finishes with a newly recorded collaboration between Foreigner and Styx along with Don Felder performing the Eagles' hit song "Hotel California." The album was released on May 6th and is a great way to prepare for what's to come from these legends of classic rock.


If only one "soundtrack" is not enough, also available from Styx is the two volume release "Regeneration." It features 16 re-recorded classic Styx and Damn Yankee songs split into two separate releases. Also available is the recently releases "Road To Forever: Extended Edition" from Don Felder. It was originally released back in 2012 and debuted at #27 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart. The "Extended Edition" includes four bonus songs that did not appear on the original release and includes a collaboration with Tommy Shaw from Styx on the single "Wash Away."


To find out more about the "Sounds Of Summer" tour or the newly released "soundtrack," please visit soundtrackofsummer.com

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

CD Review: New Indie-Jazz From Jeppe Zeeberg And The Joe Baer Magnant


From Denmark comes the award winning pianist Jeppe Zeeberg with his latest album, "It's The Most Basic Thing You Can Do On A Boat." It was released back in May through Barefoot Records and it was his first album to be released under his own name. The new seven-song release starts out with the experimentation of "Excursions" as Jeppe looks to stretch his boundaries beyond the walls of classic jazz. Jeppe and his band lock into a groove led by his quick fingers running across the piano in "The Best Chinese Food Eat On Or Take Out." The "avaunt garde" feel of the title-song showcases another side to Jeppe's composing talents. To find out more about Jeppe Zeeberg and his latest release, please visit jeppezeeberg.com.



From San Francisco, CA comes the latest album from the Joe Baer Magnant Group entitled "Traces." This jazz band quartet combines elements of folk, rock and funk to modernize their sound. Their new eight-song album begins with "High Noon," which features the delicate guitar picking of Joe Baer amongst a classic jazz backdrop to give it a laid-back appeal. The up-tempo rhythm of "Armchair Train" and "Chocolate Stout" showcases their funkier side before giving in to their rock urges with a jazzy rendition of Tom Waits' "Swordfishtrombones." The album finishes with the smooth great classic jazz feel of "Scratchpost." To find out more about the Joe Baer Magnant Group, please visit joebaermagnant.com.

Monday, June 9, 2014

CD Review: New Debuts From The Music Stylings Of Rickity And The Everydays

New from Hyperspace Records come the debut album from Rickity entitled "Greatest Hits Volume 1." This rock/soul band features classic rock bassist/harpist Randy Pratt (Vanilla Fudge, The Lizards, Cactus) as well as the powerful vocals of Perrita Kitson. The new nine-song album comes out blasting your blues away with the heavy rock attack of "Out Of Bounds" and the rumbling rhythm of "She's The One." Perrita's vocals injects some soul into the hard rock appeal of "Maverick Lover," before getting funky with the beat of "Electric Kiss" that features Teddy Rondinelli peeling off some exciting guitar solos. The album closes with the six-and-a-half minute prog-rock journey of "Black Limousine" as Pratt's bass line keeps the song on track.

Rickity have one date on their schedule, opening for Black Oak Arkansas on July 3rd. To find out more about their debut album, please visit rickity.net.
 
From North Carolina comes the Americana/folk duo of Tim Marsh & David Zoll, known as The Everydays. Their new self-titled debut album was released back in March. The ten-song release showcases how well their voices mesh amongst a stark acoustic backdrop as in "So I Leave It To You." Their musicianship is also amazing on the up-tempo country feel of "Sound Of The Truth," before heading into the campfire sing-along appeal of "It's Nothing New." The album closes with Everly Brothers sounding "Joanie" and the appropriate strumming of "Time To Go."

To find out more about this new indie-folk duo, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/The-Everydays.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

CD Review: Renew You Appreciation For Dave Van Ronk And Captain Beefheart With New Live Releases

Omnivore Recordings recently released a lost folk gem, a previously unreleased recording from Dave Van Ronk entitled "Live In Monterey." The album was culled together from a live performance of Van Ronk performing solo at Carleton Hall in Monterey, CA in 1998. Dave Van Ronk was an American folk icon who never received the attention he deserved, but his music had made an uncredited impact on the folk music world. With the recently release of the Coen Brothers' movie "Inside Llewyn Davis," which was loosely based on the life of Dave Van Ronk, Omnivore Recordings found this the perfect time to release this lost live gem.

This sixteen song release mixes his originals with some folk classic as Van Ronk delivers them with such strength and passion. The album begins with the ragtime, finger picking story of "You've Been A Good Old Wagon But You Done Broke Down." He proudly displays his own songs, moving slowly through "Blood Red Moon" and "Losers," before mixing in some of the more well-known traditional folk hymns like "Cocaine Blues" and "Spike Driver Blues." He tells stories of some songs including how "Candy Man's" arrangement came to be and shows his passion for "He Was A Friend Of Mine" and "Four Strong Winds."

To find out more about this great, newly released live recoding, please visit omnivorerecordings.com/music/live-in-monterey/.

One of music's most experimental musicians, besides Frank Zappa, was Captain Beefheart. His music stretched the boundaries of rock, adding elements of blues, jazz and psychedelia to create a unique experience in sound. While never hitting it big in the U.S., Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band carried a cult-type following, selling out venues across the country. Back on April 28th, Gonzo Multimedia released a rare, recently discovered live album "Live From Harpos 1980."

The eighteen-song release features Captain Beefheart during his resurgence period of popularity and near the final years of The Magic Band. The recording is very rough sounding with the in-between banter by Beefheart almost unrecognizable. The show featured songs from his latest album at the time "Doc At The Radar Station," like the heavy pounding of "Hot Head" and the tempo changing shuffle of "Ashtray Heart." His chaotic nature shines on "Dr. Dark" as the band tries to keep up with Beefheart's storied lyrics. The modern rock/punk sound of the eighties may have been brought up by Captain Beefheart as "My Human Gets Me Blues" leads the way with its control energy. The most experimental part of the show comes during the seven-minute, "Sheriff Of Hong Kong," before the night closes with the slow-build up of "Big Eyed Beans From Venus."

Even though the recording is very raw, fans will appreciate having this piece of the Captain's live history to add to their collection. To find out more about this new release, please visit gonzomultimedia.com.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

CD Review: Singer/Songwriters Tom Freund And Jim Mize Return With New Albums

American folk singer/songwriter Tom Freund returns with his first album of new material in six years as he releases "Two Moons" on June 17th. After jumping into the music industry right from college, Tom recorded his first album with Ben Harper in 1992 ("Pleasure And Pain"). After releasing a children's album in 2007 ("Hug Trees") and a Christmas EP in 2008 ("Xmas In Texas"), Tom was ready to revisit his folk storytelling side with strong lyrics and gentle acoustics. The new 11-song album begins with the Randy Newman-sounding "Angel Eyes" as Tom Freund looks to re-introduce himself to you. The wonderfully fragile "Heavy Balloons" and the Americana feel of "Lemme Be Who I Wanna Be" shows the amazing songwriting talents that are spilled across this album. The ukulele becomes Tom's best friend on the island sway of "Next Time Around," before visiting the dark side of his songwriting on the bluesy "Weekend Guy." The album finishes with a return to the gentle acoustics of "Sugar Pie" as Tom finds his way into your soul.

Tom Freund has a couple shows lined up for July, but look for more dates once his new album is released. To find out more, please visit tomfreund.com/.

Fellow singer/songwriter Jim Mize will also be releasing his new self-titled studio album on June 24th through Big Legal Mess Records. The music on his latest release has that raw, roots rock appeal as on the opening track "Rabbit Hole" as Mize pulls off Springsteen-like vocals. Mize gets help from a couple of fellow southern artists as guitarist John Paul Keith pulls off some amazing solos on "I Won't Come Back Again" and Jimbo Mathus displays some slide guitar on the slow boogie of "Bleed." Mize slows down for the meaningful lyrics of "Eminence Kentucky," before closing with stark storytelling of "Empty Rooms."

To find out more about Jim Mize and his new album, please visit biglegalmessrecords.com/artists/jim-mize/.

Friday, June 6, 2014

CD Review: After 40+ Years Together NRBQ Get Down To "Brass Tacks" On New Album

Classic rockers NRBQ (New Rhythm and Blues Quartet) arrive with their third album since their return in 2011. The new release entitled "Brass Tacks" joins over forty other albums that the band has releases throughout their 47 year career. With only one original member still in the band, they continue to crank out quality rock music that is missing from today's radio.

This latest twelve-song release begins with the sixties boogie-shuffle of "Waitin' For My Sweetie Pie," which leads into the up-tempo, psychedelic rocker "Greeting From Delaware." The sixties pop-feel of "Sit In My Lap" and the acoustic folk-style of "It'll Be Alright" showcases the diversity in their songwriting and passion for performing many different genre's of music styles. The full force of NRBQ is heard in the rockabilly attack of "This Flat Tire" and "I'm Not Here," before finishing with the stripped-down piano-led stomp of "Love This Love We Got."

NRBQ show no signs of slowing down with over a dozen live shows over the course of the next two months, beginning with Hygienic Art Park in New London, CT on June 12th. To find out more about their new album "Brass Tacks," please visit nrbq.com.