Sunday, December 10, 2017

New Music From Steven Casper & Cowboy Angst And Also Bonsai Universe

Arriving in early 2018 is the brand new album from Steven Casper & Cowboy Angst titled "Sometimes Jesse James." In the past five years, the band has received accolades from Country Music Television (CMT) and Music Connection Magazine and continue to gain prominence with their 8th studio album. This new 6-song release begins with the guitar boogie shuffle of "Down" as the music is sure to get your blood pumping. Steven Casper & Cowboy Angst showcase their softer side with the country ballad "The Best Day Of Our Lives," then they bring on the blues with "The Call It Love." The album heads toward the end with the steady pace of "Born To Lose Blues," which according to Casper has been the writing board for about "four or five years" and the Mexican ballad "Mi Sueno, Mi Dolor." To find out more about Steven Casper & Cowboy Angst and their latest release "Sometimes Jesse James," please visit caspermusic.com.

From the far out reaches of space comes the latest release from Bonsai Universe. The band is the brainchild of musician Woody Aplanalp and his new album "Moonstream" is performed, produced and mixed by himself. Aplanalp has worked with well-established artists like Bobby Womack, Lauryn Hill and Aloe Blacc, and he has taken those experiences into his new 13-song release. The album begins with the steady electronic folk output of the title-song "Moonstream." His songs take on a more mainstream vibe with the country tones of "Am I Good Enough" and the folk rock appeal of "Walking With My Eyes Closed." He goes back to the more experimental, keyboard-filled music of "Why Are My Dreams?," then  he gets an acoustic, island-flair going with "Sweet Exaggeration." The album finishes with the gentle-touch of "A Lot Of Nerve," the atmospheric drifting of "Too Real" and the electric folk appeal of "Starstream." To find out more about Bonsai Universe and the new release "Moonstream," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/BonsaiUniverse.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Fellow Artists Pay Tribute To The Music Of Dan Fogelberg With New Release

American singer/songwriter Dan Fogelberg was an artists' artist. He made music that other musicians fell in love with and this latest release proves that, as some of the biggest names in country/pop music gathered together pay tribute to Fogelberg. The new 14-song release titled "A Tribute To Dan Fogelberg" was released on November 17th through BMG and follows the singer's induction into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, which took place back in August.

The set kicks off with Garth Brooks injecting a blast of energy into a rocking version of "Phoenix" and then Train delivers a stellar version of the seasonal classic "Same Old Lang Syne." In between we get the inspiration of "Nether Lands" from Donna Summer and Vince Gill teams up with Amy Grant for an emotional delivery of Fogelberg's hit single "Longer." Legendary singer, Dobie Gray lends his style to "Don't Lose Heart" and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, along with Richie Furay perform the country ballad, "Run For The Roses." This new tribute closes with fellow singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffet's folk version of "There's A Place In The World For A Gambler" and a live version of the Zac Brown Band delivering an acoustic rendition of "Leader Of The Band" as a tribute to his Zac's father. To find out more about "A Tribute To Dan Fogelberg," please visit danfogelberg.com.

Friday, December 8, 2017

New Music From Robbing Johnny, The US Americans, Caroline Ferrante, Ryan Zimmerman And Surreal Nation

First from New York City comes the new full-length release "Cold March" from folk/hip-hop/rock band Robbing Johnny. Their new 9-song release begins with the gentle, acoustic harmonies of "Sylvia," before the band dives into a Celtic/punk-swinging rhythm. They roll through the title-song "Cold March" delivering lyrics like a hip-hop artist, then find the perfect groove in "Red Bird In The City" to showcase their modern alt-rock groove. Their songwriting shines on the inspirational "Highbridge Park" as the vocals and melody build up on this powerful piece of music. Robbing Johnny finish up their new release with the laid-back, mellow folk tones of "Summer Sux" and the excitingly, energetic sing-along, "Worms In The Soil." To find out more about Robbing Johnny and their latest release "Cold March," please visit robbingjohnny.com.

Next up is the debut release from indie-punk/rock band The US Americans titled "Greatest Hits." This new 12-song release kicks off with the high energy of "Playtime" and the heavier rock groove of "Money In America." They deliver a Red Hot Chili Peppers sound on "Dance Song 17," before experimenting more with their sound on the dark, moody feel of "Movies." The US Americans showcase their skills on the seven-plus minute epic "Fade Out," then finish up their new release with the funky beats of "Lazy Suzy" and the blues ballad "Dentist Street." To find out more about The US Americans and their latest release "Greatest Hits," please visit theusamericans.com.

From Washington, D.C. comes the latest release from Americana/country artist Caroline Ferrante. Her new 4-song EP titled "Sky" showcases Caroline's exceptional vocals, beginning with the up-beat swing of "Feels Like A Holiday." Her sound becomes bigger on the stomp-rhythm, country rock of "Better Angels," before returning to pop aspects of "Great Big Beautiful World." She finishes up her new short release with the empowering sound of "Symphony" as her vocals soar. To find out more about Caroline Ferrante and her latest release "Sky," please visit carolineferrante.com.

Next, is Ryan Zimmerman, a singer/songwriter from New Jersey, who recently release his new 4-song EP titled "Ephemeral As A Kiss." The album begins with the acoustic, island, reggae groove of "The Reason" as he fuses together different music genres to suit his songwriting. He tells us the tale of "Lola And John" as his warming vocals will settle your nerves. Ryan wraps up his new release with the thick reggae vibe of "For The Meek" as he gets his groove on. To find out more about Ryan Zimmerman and his latest release "Ephemeral As A Kiss," please visit ryanzimmermanmusic.com.

Lastly we arrive at the latest release from Surreal Nation titled "I Know Better." This five-piece band from Delaware are full of energy, combining elements of alternative rock, ska, punk and jazz to create a unique, but very addictive sound. Their new 5-song EP begins with the swinging, up-tempo rhythm of "Would You Do Me The Honor Of Becoming My Mexican Divorce?," before the alt-pop tones of "I Can Feel The Night" are sure to get you excited for this new band. Their new short release wraps up with jazzy ballad "Hangtime" and the steady climb of "Spirit Is Silent." To find out more about Surreal Nation and their latest release "I Know Better," please visit the band's Facebook page at facebook.com/surrealnation.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

New Music From Indie-Artists LEF, Eraldo Bernocchi, Lucille Furs And Two Sets Of Eyes

Italian vocalist Lorenzo Esposito Fornasari (LEF) has gathered together a "superband" for his debut album, "HyperSomniac." The album is a soundtrack to the online comic that is drawn by Nana Octopus Dalla Porta and features LEF's brand new score featuring the support of Eiviand Aarset, Niles Petter Molvaer, Rebecca Sneddon, Bill Laswell, Stale Stroiokken and Kenneth Kapstad. The new 12-song release begins with the two-minute "Opening," which leads into the industrial hard rock attack of "Parallel Powers." The short instrumentals, break up the songs as LEF and his band set the mood with the dark tones of "Aran Has Changed" and the ambient feel of "A Glimpse Of Emma." The album finishes with the King Crimson-like, jazz fusion of "Therapy" and the quieter, orchestral build-up of "Let The Sun Fall Apart." To find out more about LEF and his latest release "HyperSomniac," please visit lefmusic.com.

Italian electro-producer/guitarist Eraldo Bernocchi is teaming up with percussionist FM Einheit and cellist Jo Quail on his latest release "Rosebud." The album comes out on December 8th and features six tracks of modern, electronic, ambient music, which kicks off with the nearly 11-minute opener "Bloom." Bernocchi's music at times is very peaceful, before being broken up by experimental pulses of shrieking guitar and sonic buzzing. The album continues with FM Einheit getting into the act with the rhythm infused "Ministry Of Disinformation" and Jo Quail lending a dark, eerie tone to "Xanadu." The band comes together for the up-beat, yet odd, groove of "Kangoo," before wrapping up the album with the nine-plus minute gentle soundscape feeling of "The Inquiter." To find out more about Eraldo Bernocchi and his latest release "Rosebud," please visit eraldobernocchi.com.

The British invasion is back. When you listen to the self-titled debut album from psychedelic rock band Lucille Furs, you would never have guessed that this band is from Chicago and that this is a newly recorded album. The band's new 12-song release will certainly have you reminiscing about the psychedelic sixties as their music sounds as if it came straight from that time period. The opening tracks "The Fawn Of Teal Dear" and "Thoughts & Words" will have you wanting to dive in further into this band's debut release. You can hear their influences in the songs "Sunset Moon" and "Alabaster Crayon." while "Please, Give Her This Letter" may have hit the singles chart fifty years ago. The album delivers the perfect nostalgic trip for fans of music from that era. To find out more about Lucille Furs and their new self-titled debut album, please visit lucillefurs.com.

Finally from Chicago comes the debut release from the progressive rock trio Two Sets Of Eyes. Their new 5-song release combines elements of punk-rock, jazz fusion and emo styles to create some unique sonic journeys, beginning with "Sunshine, You're Standing In My Sunlight." They showcase an up-tempo, alt-pop sound with "For The Last Time" and then display the funk infused groove "No Simple Words," before closing their new short release with emo tones of "Waiting/Reacting." To find out more about Two Sets Of Eyes and their latest self-titled release, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/twosetsofeyes.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The New Soundtrack To "Excalibur IV' And New Music From The Strawbs

In 1998, the first chapter in the "Celtic rock opera," "Excalibur" premiered live on stage, followed a year later by the soundtrack album. The story was written and directed by award-winner Alan Simon and after releasing part 3 of his original trilogy in 2012, Simon decided to revisit "Excalibur" with a fourth chapter in the story titled "The Dark Age Of The Dragon." The new 19-track album was released on November 10th and the music features members of Jethro Tull, Supertramp and Uriah Heep just to name a few. The new story of songs surrounds the tale of Merlin being freed from Morgana's spell, only to find the world he's known in decay. Merlin then frees the dragon in order to bring back to order the virtues of King Arthur's knights of the roundtable.

The "rock opera" was performed live in Germany in 2016 and now, following the release of the new album, "Excalibur IV - The Dark Age Of The Dragon," the show will tour again in 2018. To find out more about the newly released chapter four of Alan Simon's "Excalibur" rock opera, please visit cherryred.co.uk.

Legendary English rock band the Strawbs recently released their new album titled "The Ferryman's Curse." It is the band's first album of new material in over eight years and is considered the epic sequel to their 1970 song "The Vision Of The Lady Of The Lake." Their new 10-song release begins with a 2-minute introduction instrumental simply titled "In The Beginning," before heading into the progressive rock feel of "The Nails From The Hands Of Christ." The gentleness of "The Song Of Infinite Sadness" and "The Familiarity Of Old Lovers" allows you to focus on the storied lyrics, before the Strawbs bring in the blues for "The Ten Commandments." They wrap up their new release with the epic, 9-minute storied adventure of "The Ferryman's Curse" and the keyboard driven rocker "We Have The Power." To find out more about the Strawbs and their latest release "The Ferryman's Curse," please visit strawbsweb.co.uk.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Omnivore Recordings Collects "The Sire Recordings" For New Compilation Of The Searchers

One of the forgotten bands of the British Invasion was The Searchers. During their sixties heyday, The Searchers topped the U.K. singles chart three times and had a top 5 hit in the U.S. with "Love Potion No. 9." Their album sales slowed during the seventies, as The Searches perfected their live sound and developed a cult following with their newly developed modern rock vibe. In 1979, The Searchers would release their first album of new material since 1965 and quickly followed that up two years later with "Love's Melodies," before the band went on hiatus. Those two albums were released all over the world with different song line-ups and B-sides, and now Omnivore Recordings is correcting the issues with the newly released "Another Night: The Sire Recordings 1979-1981."

This new 2CD set collects all of the songs from those two albums and dedicates each disc to its own album, along with bonus tracks from the recording sessions for the albums. The Searchers 1979 self-titled album featured covers by Tom Petty ("Lost In Your Eyes") and Bob Dylan ("Coming From The Heart") as the band were still transitioning their sixties pop melodies into more meaningful representations of their music. The album also contained the original song "Switchboard Susan," which became a hit for Nick Cave. The first disc adds three bonus tracks, an alternate version of the album song "It's Too Late" and two alternate mixes of songs that would appear on the band's follow-up album "Love's Melodies."

The Searchers would continue with the same formula on their 1981 album "Love's Melodies" as they continued to deliver strong harmonies and an addictive pop sound that still carries that nostalgic sixties sound. This album would also contain covers by John Fogerty ("Almost Saturday Night") and Alex Chilton ("September Gurls"). The original 12-song album gets an additional four bonus songs that were recorded during the album sessions, but left off the original album. The song "Sick And Tired" carried and up-tempo rockabilly flair, while "Changing" once again showcases the band's Merseybeat sound. The set finishes with a couple of John Hiatt covers, "Back To The War" and "Ambulance Chaser." To find out more about this new compilation from The Searchers titled "Another Night: The Sire Recordings 1979-1981," please visit omnivorerecordings.com.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Jeff Lynne's ELO Showcases Classic Rock Anthems On New Live Album "Wembley Or Bust"

In 2015, English singer/songwriter/composer/producer and musician, Jeff Lynne reformed his band Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) and recorded an album of new material titled "Alone In The Universe." The response he received was overwhelming, when he took Jeff Lynne's ELO out on the road, performing at sold out arenas around the world. One of the last stops on the band's 2017 tour was recorded and was released on November 17th through Columbia Records.

Jeff Lynne's ELO performed a sold-out show to over 60,000 fans at Wembley Stadium in his home country on June 24, 2017. The show was filmed and released in a number of different formats, including a 2CD/Blu-ray set, a 2CD/DVD set, as simply a 2CD set and also 3 disc vinyl. The live set includes a mix of classic ELO songs like "Evil Woman," "Telephone Line" and "Don't Bring Me Down." Jeff Lynne makes sure to cover his entire career by performing "Do Ya" from his early 1970's band The Move and "Handle With Care" from the supergroup, the Traveling Wilburys. He also fits in his latest single "When I Was A Boy" along side other ELO classics like "Xanadu," "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" and the crowd favorite "Mr. Blue Sky." He wraps up the show with a six-minute version of one of his earliest hits, a cover of Chuck Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven."

Jeff Lynne's ELO will be hitting the states with new dates in August 2018. For a complete list of shows and to find out more about his new album "Wembley Or Bust," please visit jefflynneselo.com.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Bret Michaels Keeps The Music Of Poison Alive With Solo Show At The Wolf Den At Mohegan Sun


Bret Michaels, frontman for the rock band Poison, is in the midst of a solo tour, which made a stop in Connecticut last Saturday night at the Wolf Den at the Mohegan Sun Casino. He was a kingpin in getting Poison to tour this past summer with Def Leppard and Tesla, as Poison celebrated their 30th anniversary together. Michaels' solo show would rely heavily on his Poison songbook with a few scattered cover songs to flesh out his 70-minute show.

Bret Michaels and his 4-piece backing band kicked off the night with a duo of old-school Poison hits, "Talk Dirty To Me" and "Look What The Cat Dragged In." He kept the energy of the Wolf Den flowing with covers of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" and Loggins & Messina's "Your Mama Don't Dance" as the audience sang along to the chorus of every song performed this evening. Michaels, who is a big advocate for military personal and veterans, dedicated the power ballad "Something To Believe In" to members of the armed forces.

Members of the Bret Michaels band got their moment to shine as each got to perform a short solo after their introductions, with bassist Eric Brittingham (from the band Cinderella) leading the party anthems "Unskinny Bop" and "Nothin' But A Good Time." Sandwiched between the two classic Poison rock hits is the #1 single, "Every Rose Has It's Thorn" as the entire Wolf Den sang along.

The night closes with Bret Michaels and his band performing one of his all-time favorite songs by one of his favorite bands as they kicked off a fun, high-energy version of KISS' "Rock And Roll All Nite." As the setlist consisted of only nine-songs, for Bret Michaels, its more about delivering and keeping the music of Poison alive and kicking, until the band's next reunited tour.

Setlist: Talk Dirty To Me, Look What The Cat Dragged In, Sweet Home Alabama, Your Mama Don't Dance, Something To Believe In, Unskinny Bop, Every Rose Has It's Thorn, Nothin' But A Good Time
Encore: Rock And Roll All Nite

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Dr. Dre & Jimmy Iovine Become "The Defiant Ones" In New 4-Part Documentary

Music moguls Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine were part of one of the biggest deals of all time in the music industry when they sold their company, beats to Apple for 3 billion dollars, yes billion. Dr. Dre became the first billionaire west coast rapper/producer and Jimmy Iovine began looking for his next task. The story of these two lives, that would both leave footprints through the history of music, is told in the new 4-part documentary "The Defiant Ones."

It originally aired during the summer of 2017 on HBO covering four consecutive nights and is now being released on Blu-ray/DVD on November 28 through Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The four-and-a-half hour long series explains the history of both Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine and how that came together as business partners and eventually billionaires.

Director Allen Hughes ("Menace II Society") does a masterful job interweaving between their two backstories. Hughes includes newly recorded interviews with everyone from Ice Cube to Puff Daddy to Eminem to help tell Dre's story, and Bruce Springsteen, Bono, Tom Petty, Patti Smith and more help describe the life of Jimmy Iovine. Both men came from 2 totally different backgrounds with only one thing in common, music. Both Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine can appreciate good music and both men worked hard to achieve their goals in the music industry.

The film is a must see to fully appreciate the untold stories and see the respect that each artist gave to these two individuals when they are asked about the impact Dr. Dre or Jimmy Iovine had in their life. With a soundtrack that boast some of the biggest songs and albums of all time, you will easily find yourself immersed in this documentary and you may even look at tackling life's problems a little differently to achieve your goals as Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine did with their merger with Apple. To find out more about "The Defiant Ones," please visit uphe.com.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Rush Adds Live Show & New Cover Songs To 40th Anniversary Release Of "A Farewell To Kings"

In 1977, the Canadian rock band Rush could do no wrong. They baffled music executives with their progressive rock suite "2112" and were now ready to continue the trend with their follow-up album "A Farewell To Kings." Almost similar to "2112," the "Kings" album contained two epic pieces, the 11-minute "Xanadu" and the ten-minute "Cygnus X-1" as well as the radio-friendly single "Closer To The Heart." This album made Rush into a household name and gave the band their first gold-selling album. To celebrate the album's accomplishments, Universal Music and Anthem will release the 40th anniversary edition of "A Farewell To Kings." It will be released in a number of formats, including a 3CD Deluxe Edition, a 4LP Deluxe Edition, a Super Deluxe Edition and a Digital Deluxe Edition.

The Deluxe Edition of the album contains the original "A Farewell To Kings" on disc 1. Discs 2 and 3 feature a complete show of Rush performing at the Hammersmith Odeon on February 20, 1978. Also included in the set are 4 cover songs (similar to the "2112" anniversary edition) done by Dream Theater, Big Wreck, The Trews and Alain Johannes with an added outtake from the recording sessions titled "Cygnus X-2 EH." The song is a 4-minute, atmospheric introduction that might have been inserted to the beginning of the original "Cygnus" song.

Rush fans will want to get their hands on the Super Deluxe Edition, as it contains the same 3CD set as the regular Deluxe Edition, as well as the 4LPs and a Blu-ray Audio disc. The Blu-ray audio contains a brand new 5.1 surround mix of the album, along with 3 promo videos for the album from 1977. The box set will also include other items like a "King's Ring," neck chain, 2 lithographs of original artwork from Rush designer Hugh Syme, a turntable mad and a reproduction of the 1978 "A Farewell To Kings" tour program. To find out more about the new 40th anniversary release of Rush's "A Farewell To Kings," please visit rush.com.