Tuesday, August 22, 2017

CD Review: Revisit Bill Nelson's "Chance Encounters In The Garden Of Lights" With New Deluxe Edition

English singer/songwriter/musician Bill Nelson gained fame early as a member of Be-Bop Deluxe. He released his first solo album in 1971 and was awarded the Visionary Award at the 2015 Progressive Music Awards. Back in July, Cherry Red Records re-issued his 1987 album "Chance Encounters In The Garden Of Lights" as an expanded 2CD set.

The new set features 63-tracks that combines the original 2-disc set with 8-songs from the bonus 7-inch EP that came with the original release of the album, plus an additional 14-tracks that did not appear on the original album or cassette. The first 24-tracks come from "The Angel At The Western Window" release and carries a Avant garde sound that just floats along. The remaining bonus tracks on the first disc have a more stark feeling. Songs like "The Piano Room" and "Aching Heart" still sound as if they are in their development stage, while the darker tones of "Female Nebula" and "Realm Of Archons" looks to inject a different feeling into Nelson's overall sound on this album.

The second disc includes the 17-track album "The Book Of Inward Conversation" as Nelson seems to experiment more with his electronic instrumentation. Songs like "Calling Heaven, Calling Heaven, Over" has a space-like tone, while "Evocation Of A Radiant Childhood" seems years ahead of its time as a complete work of art. The 8 bonus tracks that finish off the second disc have a very atmospheric feel and could be considered as one 13-minute epic piece of music. To find out more about this new re-issue of Bill Nelson's iconic piece of experimental, Avant garde album "Chance Encounter In The Garden Of Lights," please visit cherryred.co.uk.

Monday, August 21, 2017

CD Review: New Americana/Country Music From Herd Of Main Street & The Roseline

From Baltimore, MD comes the latest release titled "Heyday" from the Americana/country band Herd Of Main Street. Their new album features a dozen tracks, beginning with the upbeat country stomp of "Dream About Fire," which leads into the wonderfully penned story of "Meeting At The Creek," which carries a nostalgic, classic country sound. Herd Of Main Street captures the full essence of country music with "Feels Like Works," highlighted by some sweet slight guitar work. The boogie-woogie train arrives at the station with the up-tempo rhythm of "Train Station Blues," then Herd Of Main Street find their home with the country rock of "Never Look Back." The album wraps up with the mellow ballad "Redbird (for annE)" and the uplifting lyrics of "The One Who Cares." To find out more about Herd Of Main Street and their latest release "Heyday," please visit herdofmainstreet.com.

From Kansas comes the mellow country tones of The Roseline with their brand new album titled "Blood." It will be released in October and features beautiful melodies and relaxing tones that will simply make you fall in love with this band. Their new 12-song release begins with the up-tempo, country swing of "Hurry Up And Wait," which easily draws similarities to Whiskeytown. They slow down for the gentle waltz of "Moving In A Dress" and mosey on with the classic country feel of "A Destination." The gentle acoustic touch of "Tennis Tan" and the quiet lullabye of "Nocturnal" will surely ease your worries as you find yourself in a more peaceful place than when you first started listening to this album. The alt-country vibe of "Maze Of Glass" and the Americana backdrop of "Distance" showcase the experience within the band as they deliver timeless quality on this new album. To find out more about The Roseline and their latest release "Blood," please visit roselinemusic.com.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

CD Review: Bash & Pop Reform Behind Deluxe Edition Of "Friday Night Is Killing Me"

American rock band The Replacements was one of the pioneers of alternative rock music in the 1980's. As their popularity grew throughout the decade, so did the troubles within the band and they disbanded in 1991. Bassist Tommy Stinson still had that hunger for performing in a rock band and assembled his new group named Bash & Pop from the ashes of the Replacements. They released only one album in 1994 before disbanding two years later. Stinson would go on to become a permanent fixture in Guns N Roses for the next two decades.

Since his tenure ended with Guns N Roses, Tommy Stinson is looking to reassemble Bash & Pop for a new album and a tour. In association, Omnivore Recordings is re-issuing the band's 1994 album "Friday Night Is Killing Me" as a 2CD set. The first disc features the original 11-track album, which featured fellow Replacements' drummer Steve Foley, bassist Kevin Foley and guitarist Steve Brantseg, along with help from members of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers and members of Wire Train. The album still feels relevant today as when it was released over 20 years ago. The raw, pure feel of the music gives it that timeless quality.

The second disc in the set features 18-tracks of home demos, alternate versions of songs on the album and few songs that were recorded during the sessions for other projects. The first four tracks features home demos of the songs "Never Aim To Please," "First Steps," "Hang Ups" and "Tiny Pieces," which do not stray far from the final original versions. Stinson and the band seemed to have everything worked out before recording any versions of their music. The disc includes the song "Making Me Sick" from the "Clerks Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" and 10 alternative versions of nearly every song that appeared on the original album. The songs vary slightly from the final released version, but it's still great to have all of the band's other ideas for their songs.

​Bash & Pop will be on tour in September and October and look for their new album to arrive before the end of the year. For more information about Bash & Pop, please visit tommystinson.com.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

CD Review: The Raspberries Reunite For New "Pop Art Live" Release

American band, The Raspberries had a run of success in the early 70's with singles like "Go All The Way" and "I Wanna Be With You." They drew their influences from the British invasion of the sixties and structured their songs after the hits of The Beatles and The Hollies. After breaking-up in 1975, their influence expanded into the music of Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and even Kiss. The Raspberries' singer/songwriter Eric Carmen had a successful solo career in the 80's and the remaining members of the band (minus Carmen) reunited in 1999 to record a new album titled "Raspberries Refreshed." A full on band reunion would not happen until 2004 when a new House Of Blues opened in Cleveland. The show was recorded for VH1 Classic and XM Satellite Radio, but not officially released until August 18th when a new 2CD set will become available from Omnivore Recordings.

The new two-disc, 28-song set mixes many of the band's favorites like "I Wanna Be With You," "Don't Want To Say Goodbye" and "Overnight Sensation (Hit Record)" with covers from The Who and The Beatles. The music still sounds timeless as the band injects some electric energy into songs like "Party's Over" and "Tonight." The years just melt away as their signature sound comes shining through on songs like "Last Dance" and "When You Were With Me." The Raspberries still know how to bring out their best in this live setting. The show closes with the guitar-driven "I'm A Rocker" and their classic hit "Go All The Way." To find out more about The Raspberries and their latest new live album "Pop Art Live," please visit omnivorerecordings.com.

Friday, August 18, 2017

CD Review: New Music From C.K. Flach, Soles Of Passion, Ryan Joseph Andersen & Patrick Ames

From upstate New York comes the debut album from singer/songwriter C.K. Flach titled "Empty Mansions." It was released earlier this year and features ten tracks that blurs the lines between Americana/folk and alternative pop music. He begins his new release with the strong emotions of "Lazarus." The music grows with each verse as you hang on each word of C.K.'s lyrics. He delivers his songwriting beautifully in the heartfelt ballad "Tranquilized" and then strikes power into the slow bluesy feel of "Munich." He showcases his folk side with the wonderful imagery of "Calamity," before finding the modern acoustic/rock groove of "The Officer." He finishes his new album with the protest folk hymn "Machine Gun" and the poetry reading of "Firmament." To find out more about CK. Flach and his latest release "Empty Mansions," please visit ckflach.com.

The duo of Steven Wolfe and Myla Snow recently released their new 4-song EP titled "Land Of The Big Blue Sun." The duo goes by the name of Soles Of Passion and their new release certainly showcases their passion for using music to create a better world. They begin with the eighties-style pop melody of "Turned It All Around," which sounds a cross between Human League and Michael Jackson. Then they head out to the country with the bluesy title song, "Land Of The Big Blue Sun." Their new short release finishes with the light-hearted pop tones of "I'm Beggin' You Now" as this duo look to change the world one song at a time. To find out more about Soles Of Passion and their latest release "Land Of The Big Blue Sun," please visit solesofpassion.com.

From Chicago comes the sophomore release from singer/songwriter Ryan Joseph Anderson titled "City Of Vines." It features ten tracks, beginning with the country/Americana groove of "Molly The Flood," which fits in perfectly right next to Wilco and Ryan Adams. Ryan Joseph Anderson stays rooted with "The Ragged Kind" and showcases his softer side with the gentle acoustics of the title song, "City Of Vines." He picks the tempo back up, slowly, with the country sway of "16 Lovers" and "Diamonds," before finishing his new album with the acoustic folk storytelling of "Cherokee Rose" and the steady rhythm of "July" as Ryan Joseph Anderson delivers a timeless album for the ages. To find out more about his new album, "City Of Vines," please visit ryanjosephanderson.com.

Earlier this year, singer/songwriter Patrick Ames released an EP of new songs titled "Four Faces." Now he returns six months later for his follow up EP titled "Like Family." The new 5-song EP begins with the comforting, up-beat pop tones of "I Know What It's Like," before the smooth flow of "Like Family" as Ames' vocals match perfectly to the music. He finishes his new short release with the steady pace of "Push The Door Open," which strives with its driving rhythm, and the beautiful harmonizing of "Robert Mondavi." To find out more about Patrick Ames and his latest release "Like Family," please visit patrickames.com.