One of the front runners for the Oscar award for the movie of the year is eye-opening "12 Years A Slave" starring Chiwetel Ejiofor. The movie is based on the amazing true story of one man's fight for freedom from slavery. The accompanying soundtrack is also a great feat within its self. The sixteen-song album brings together some of the greatest names in music today including John Legend, Alicia Keys, Gary Clark Jr., Alabama Shakes and others.
The music has a very stripped down, authentic feel as portrayed in the opening songs "Roll Jordan Roll," which finds Legend out of his R&B comfort zone and the acoustic "Freight Train" from Gary Clark Jr. Newcomers Alabama Shakes fit in perfectly with their chant of "Driva Man," before Alicia Keys steals the show with her smooth vocals and heartfelt rendition of "Queen Of The Field (Patsey's Song)." Soundgarden's Chris Cornell is joined by the Civil War's Joy Williams for some wonderful harmonizing on the bluesy feel of "Misery Chain." The album closes with the up-tempo, gospel choir of "What Does Freedom Mean (To A Free Man)" by Cody Chesnutt.
The "12 Years A Slave" soundtrack was released on November 19th through Columbia Records. To find out more about the movie and the music inspired by the movie, please visit www.12yearsaslave.com.
Monday, December 9, 2013
Sunday, December 8, 2013
From Minneapolis, MN comes the fresh alternative hard rock of Vaudeville with their latest album titled "Vendetta." They just wrapped up a massive tour in support of the album and are currently on a break in order to work on their follow-up album.
The eleven-song release begins with the guitar driven introduction of "Tainted Passerby." Their music has a polished hard rock sound with a bit of a sharp edge to it as shown in the title song "Vendetta." They add some electronics to their sound in "Treason" and pull back the reigns on "The Messenger" in order to give them a more mainstream appeal, but when they rock as in "Bitter Prophecy" is where the band's strength lies. With the way their music is growing in terms of sound and songwriting, the band will be quickly moving on from opening band to headliner in no time.
Look for a new album by Vaudeville possibly as early as next year. To find out more, please visit vaudevillemusic.com.
Also, is some new exciting music from singer/songwriters Ryan Cassata and Taylor Alexander. Both lay their souls out their as they perform acoustically (with little instrumentation for Alexander), using the raw emotions of their voices to portray their feelings.
Ryan Cassata's latest EP entitled "Jupiter, It Won't Be Long" is an eight song adventure of teenage emotion. His lyrics in the opener "I Don't Really Wanna Go To College," is sure make a connection with others trying to find their way, while "Liberation" sounds very mature for his age. Songs like "Dear Lucas" and "Sobering Up" are great starts and would benefit from input from a band, but the strong base is in place on these songs.
Ryan performed a show at this year's Vans' Warped Tour in June and is a motivational speaker for civil rights. To find out more about this amazing young person, please visit www.ryancassata.com.
We also have the new three song EP from Taylor Alexander entitled "Art." His smooth vocals reflects that of Dave Matthews while his sound on the opening song "Deadly" has little jazz flair in it. The harmonizing on "Dream Boy (& Song Girl)" is just amazing, while the lyrics are just exciting to follow the story. The album closes with the gentle, emotionally filled "Emiline."
To find out more about Taylor Alexander, please visit his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TaylorAlexanderSound.
Posted by JP's Music Blog
Saturday, December 7, 2013
From Omaha, NE comes singer/songwriter Matt Whipkey with his latest release "Penny Park: Omaha, NE: Summer 1989." The album follows the story of being a teenager, spending the summer at Peony Park and how it influenced Whipkey's songwriting.
The sounds of summer are perfectly executed with "Waterslide" as surf guitar riffs and fun rock lyrics just melt your troubles away. How could a song called "Cliff Burton" not be good? The gentle sway of "Been Waiting" plays out like a laid back summer night, while "Tornado Watch" has a darker folk story to tell. Singer Tara Vaughn lends her voice for the too short "Long Distance Dedication," before Whipkey moves on to the raging guitars of "83rd and Center St." His sound returns to the pop/rock of "Sunburnt Lips" and gives off his best attempt at a classic country song with "Given To The Night," which features Rebecca Lowry on vocals. The double-album finished up with the guitar instrumental "High Heel And The Sneekers" and the full-circle closure of "Sunshine."
Matt Whipkey's new album "Penny Park: Omaha, NE: Summer 1989" is available now on iTunes and in pink, double-vinyl. For more information, please visit mattwhipkey.com.
Posted by JP's Music Blog
Friday, December 6, 2013
The successful writing duo of Mitch Kaneff and Jake Hertzog recently released their new digital album "Coalition" as The Young Presidents. The new release features a load of special guest voices including Living Colour's Corey Glover, The Neville Brothers' Ivan Neville, Blondie Chaplin and Adam Ezra. Also helping out are Anton Fig and Rich Crowley on the drums. The new album was also produced by Grammy award winner Rob Fraboni (Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton).
The album begins with the R&B groove of "Time" with Ivan Neville lending his timeless voice to song's uplifting sound. Corey Glover is sprinkled all over this album with the hard rock of "Stand Up For Love" and the funky "Universal Pain." The highlight of the album is the complete collaboration of all these iconic voices on a cover of Edwin Starr's "War." Blondie Chaplin's weathered voice lends to the authenticity of "Love You Forever," while Adam Ezra's vocals gives "Grey Space" that nineties alternative rock feel. The album closes with the gentle sway of "You Will Be On Your Way" as Blondie Chaplin brings it all back home with his passion for singing.
The physical copy of the album will be available in February. To find out more about "Coalition," please visit theyoungpresidents.com.
Grammy nominee Karrin Allyson just released her new holiday album entitled "Yuletide Hideaway." It's filled with new Christmas originals as well as some holiday classics.
We begin with the jazzy sounds of the title-song "Yuletide Hideaway," as Allyson's vocals just warms your heart on these cold winter nights. It's easy to get into the holiday spirit with another original "Christmas Bells Are Ringing," before Karrin Allyson heads to the classics like "Winter Wonderland" and "Let It Snow." Her vocals on "Christmas Time Is Here" is silky smooth with her gentle delivery, while she peps up the tempo a bit on the Bill Evans' unknown jazz holiday classic "It's Love, It's Christmas." The album closes with Karrin showing off her vocals talents on the timeless tale of "The Christmas Song."
Karrin Alliyson is bringing her holiday cheer to the road with a number of dates, including Northampton, MA on December 14. Her tour will last all the way into the new year, be sure to visit karrin.com for more information.
Posted by JP's Music Blog
Thursday, December 5, 2013
From New York comes the latest album from the underground electronic rock/pop of Grouplove. Their new album "Spreading Rumours" debuted at #21 on the Billboard Album chart when it was released back in September. Their sound is very new and fresh with hints of eighties modern rock and bits of garage rock grunge to give their music an edge.
The album begins with the up and down tempo of "I'm With You" lead by a rapid, almost electronic drumbeat and keyboard overtones. The grungy guitars come out blazing on the alternative pop of "Borderlines And Aliens" as their music keeps the tempo going on "Schoolboy." The album's lead single "Ways To Go" draws upon the past as it carries very retro electronic eighties sound. The band also shows off their modern side on the folk-rock of "Sit Still" and the Weezer clone "What I Know." The album closes with the Violent Femmes' sounding rocker "Raspberry" and the feel-good relaxation of "Save The Party."
Grouplove will be finishing the year on tour in the U.S. before heading over to Australia at the beginning of 2014. To find out more about Grouplove and their latest album, "Spreading Rumours," please visit grouplovemusic.com.
Posted by JP's Music Blog