Saturday, October 21, 2017

CD Review: The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Makes "Beautiful" Music With Roy Orbison

On November 3rd, the wonderful, iconic voice and music of Roy Orbison returns with a new album titled "A Love So Beautiful: Roy Orbison With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra." It features 15 of Orbison's classic hits, back by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and also his sons, Alex, Wesley and Roy Jr. This new album was produced by Don Reedman and Nick Patrick, who also produced the hugely successful "In Dreams: Elvis Presley With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra."

The new release kicks off with the lush, new string arrangement on the Orbison ballad, "In Dreams." Listening to these songs, you notice how perfect Orbison's voice was for this orchestral setting. His whole family joins in on his most popular hit "Oh, Pretty Woman" as his sons and grandson recreates to music of this timeless hit. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra adds an element of grace to the songs, filling up his sixties singles like "Dream Baby" and "Blue Angel" with beautiful arrangements that seemed destined to be a part of these songs.  Roy Orbison's "Only The Lonely" and "Running Scared" felt like they were written specifically for this orchestral treatment, while his later hits like "I Drove All Night" and "You Got It" seem a little more forced into these grand remakes. The album closes with the emotional ballad "A Love So Beautiful," which showcases the amazing music of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra as they become the perfect setting for Roy Orbison's vocals. To find out more about this new release, "A Love So Beautiful: Roy Orbison With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra," please visit royorbison.com.

Friday, October 20, 2017

CD Review: Lindsey Stirling Wants You To Feel "Warmer In The Winter"

Award-winning musical artist Lindsey Stirling is definitely a "go-getter" and has a wonderful work ethic as she has risen from YouTube star to one of the biggest pop acts in the world. Her last two studio albums topped the U.S. Dance and Classical charts and her theater shows have been attended fully by her legion of fans. On October 20th, she is preparing to release her first holiday album titled "Warmer In The Winter." The new 13-song release features covers of some Christmas classics along with a few new originals.

The album kicks off with Lindsey showcasing her skills as a violinist during the instrumental "Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy." Next she works with actress/singer Sabrina Carpenter on the high-energy, jazziness of "You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch," then incorporates the help of Becky G on the pop original "Christmas C'mon." Once again Lindsey displays her violin skills on the instrumentals "Carol Of The Bells" and "Angels We Have Heard On High," before teaming up with Trombone Shorty on another holiday original, "Warmer In The Winter."  She finishes up her new Christmas album with the fun, playfulness of "All I Want For Christmas" and the beautiful serenade of "Silent Night."

Lindsey Sterling will be on her holiday tour beginning November 8th, which runs all the way to December 23rd. For a complete list of dates and to find out more about her new holiday album "Warmer In The Winter," please visit lindseystirling.com.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

CD Review: New Prog-Rock Music From BangTower, Cairo And Podd

Progressive rock legends BangTower recently released a new digital-only EP titled "Hey, Where'd Everybody Go?" Guitarist/singer Neil Citron began writing more songs right after the release of their 2016 album "With N With Out" and he didn't want those songs to get stale so BangTower found time early in the year to get into a studio and record these 7 new songs. Citron was once again joined by his fellow bassist Robert Pagliari and also returning was drummer Frankie Banali (Quiet Riot). The new release begins with the hard rock groove of "She Don't Care" as each member makes their presence known on this exciting opening track. The trio begin to stretch out their sound on the nearly seven-minute instrumental "Lazy Afternoon," before returning to the hard rock of "Frankie's Silver Hammer." After a pair of epic rock pieces, the album closes with the driving force of "Right Hand Drive" and the short, relaxed piece "Ali's Midnight Wish." To find out more about BangTower and their latest release "Hey, Where'd Everybody Go?," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/Bangtower.

From The UK comes the debut album "Say" from progressive rock band Cairo. The band is led by Touchtone founder Rob Cottingham as he creates a sonic trip with the band's new 13-track release. The album begins with the Middle Eastern sounds of "Cairo," before the storied, spoken word of "Shadow's Return Prologue." The album continues with the quick-moving rock of "Wiped Out," featuring Lisa Driscoll on vocals. The centerpiece of the album is the nine-plus minute progressive rock epic "Nothing To Prove," followed immediately by its reprise. Driscoll's vocals float along the ballad "Katrina," before Cairo closes out the album with the atmospheric soundscape of "Random Acts Of Kindness Part 1" and the built-up rock melody of "Dancing The Gossamer Thread." To find out more about Cairo and their latest release "Say," please visit cairorocks.com.

Instrumental progressive rock band Podd recently released their debut studio album titled "Cosmic Forces." It features 10-tracks, beginning with the slow build-up of "Beyond Beyond" as the floating, melodic tones get taken over by the bursts of guitar frenzied riffs. The album continues with atmospheric feel of "There And Back" and the exciting musical movements within "Starseed." Next comes three epic pieces ("The Spark," "Impact" and "Ultimate Reality") as Podd showcases their musical talents on these songs. They finish up their new album with the beautiful acoustics of "Abraxas" and the sonic, jamband build-up of "Transmission." To find out more about Podd and their latest release "Cosmic Forces," please visit poddmusic.com

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

CD Review: New Heavy Metal/Punk Music From Winds Of Plague, The Professionals & Like Moths To Flames

October 27th marks the return of California metal band Winds Of Plague with their brand new studio album "Blood Of My Enemy." It has been 4 years since their last album and in that time they have recruited a trio of musicians to take their music to the next level. Their new 12-song release begins with a short orchestration, before getting blown away by the shear force of the deathcore metal attack of "Nameless Walker." They showcase the band's power on the intense "Kings Of Carnage" and their unity and musicianship with the battle cry of "From Failure, Come Clarity." Winds Of Plague deliver the extreme metal of "Blood Of My Enemy"  and "Snakeskin" as they make a claim for the top death metal band in the nation. They speed things up with the swift pace of "Never Alone," before finishing up their new album with the heavy hitting thunder of "A Walk Among The Dead" and the epic piece "Dark Waters." To find out more about Winds Of Plague and their latest release "Blood Of My Enemy," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/windsofplague.

English punk-rock band The Professionals have returned to release their first album in 35 years. The band was created out of the ashes of the Sex Pistols and had some chart success in the their home country in the early eighties. The honeymoon would only last a couple of years, before the break up of the band. In 2015, The Professionals reunited for some shows in celebration of the band's box set "The Complete Professionals." Now on October 27th, bandmates Paul Cook and Steve Jones reunite in the studio to release their new album "What In The World." The album also features a load of special guests like Mick Jones (The Clash), Duff McKagen (Guns N Roses) and Phil Collen (Def Leppard) to name few. The new ten-song release begins with the raw, garage-rock sound of "Good Man Down" as Billy Duffy from The Cult lends a hand. Their punk roots come shining through with Phil Collen on the high-energy of "Let Go" and "Rewind," along with Mick Jones adding his iconic touch to "Extremadura." The Professionals finish up their new album with the power punk attack of "Monkeys" as Duff McKagen and Phil Collen team up to close the album out strong. To find out more about The Professionals and their latest release "What In The World," please visit cookandjones.co.uk.

Hardcore metal band Like Moths To Flames is preparing to release their fourth studio album titled "Dark Divine." Their new 11-song release kicks off with the atmospheric introduction of "New Plagues," before the screaming vocals and shredding guitar riffs take over. The album continues with the high-energy, mainstream metal appeal of "Nowhere Left To Sink" and the adrenaline blast of "Dark Divine." They settle down for the more hard rock melody of "Empty The Same," before the pace picks back up for the hardcore attack of "From The Dust Returned." Like Moths To Flames finish up their new album with the great radio single "Glimpse" and the chugging rhythm of "False Idol." Like Moths To Flames will be hitting the road at the beginning of November for a 2-month U.S. tour. For a complete list of shows and to find out more about their new album Dark Divine," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/likemoths.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

CD Review: New Music From Pekka Tegelman, Mark Vickness, Peter Galperin, Jimmy Detalente & Jim Vegas

Finish guitarist Pekka Tegelman recently released his fourth studio album titled "Pekka Tegelman & Quartegel." It features 9-tracks of exciting jazz-rock fusion, beginning with the calm, gentle flow of "All Folks" as Pekka eases you into his new album as he works his magic on the guitar. Pekka and his band pick the tempo up for "Do Ra Mi," before the relaxed acoustics of "Two Towns." The second half of the album gets bookends by "Song 1: The Dawn" and "Song 2: The Twilight" as saxophonist Manuel Dunkel is featured on both tracks. To find out more about Pekka Tegelman and his latest release "Pekka Tegelman & Quartegel," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/pekka.tegelman.

Guitarist/pianist/composer Mark Vickness recently released his new acoustic guitar instrumental album "Places." Vickness has worked in the music industry for over two decades, writing and performing film scores and also as one-half of the acoustic fusion duo, Glass House (with David Worm). The new 9-track album is his first to feature a modern finger style and is a relaxing journey to simply just get lost in. Right from the opening notes of "A Thousand Islands," you will find yourself immersed in the beautiful way Mark strums the notes on his guitar. He adds a little more energy to "New York City"  and masterfully moves his fingers around the fret board on "Bishop Pass." His album closes with the eight-plus minute epic piece "Wonder Lake Suite" and the uplifting feel of "I Must Tell Jesus." To find out more about Mark Vickness and his latest release "Places," please visit markvickness.com.

From New York City comes the latest release from singer/songwriter Peter Galperin titled "This Burning Sun." His new 8-song release begins with the wonderful melody of "Normal To You" as Peter has perfected his craft at songwriting. Next comes the tale of "King Of You And Me" and the acoustic folk strumming of "On Higher Ground" as you find yourself amerced in Peter's vocals and stories.  He finishes up his new release with the guitar boogie shuffle of "Don't Look Back" and the acoustic ballad "One More Smile." To find out more about Peter Galperin and his latest release "This Burning Sun," please visit petergalperin.com.

Next, from Indiana comes the debut release from Jimmy Detalente and the Electric Revival titled "Where We Begin." The new 6-song release begins with a classic bluegrass introduction that gets blown away by the country/rock of "Sometimes We Bleed." The album continues with the weekend anthem "Where We Begin" and the up-tempo, sing-along chorus of "Fences." Their new short release closes with the emotional ballads "For A Few" and "Spark Into A Flame." To find out more about Jimmy DeTalente and the Electric Revival and their latest release "Where We Begin," please visit sparktherevival.com.

Colorado native Jim Vegas is ready to release his fourth studio album titled "Soul Shattered Sister" on December 1st. After honing his craft on songs by Bob Dylan, Tom Waite and Leonard Cohen, Vegas is ready to unleash his new release of all original material. His new 11-song album begins with the title-song "Soul Shattered Sister," which is soaked in blues/rock. Jim Vegas delivers a strong, Stray Cats vibe on the nostalgic sounds of "Bad Fruit In The Yard" and "Not That Strong." His album moseys on with the country/rock tones of "Love Is Coming Back Around," then he digs in for the blues/rock rumble of "Far From You," before closing with slow sway of "Suns Is Gonna Smile." To find out more about Jim Vegas and his latest release "Soul Shatters Sister," please visit jimvegasmusic.com