Thursday, November 27, 2014

Looking For Some New Vinyl On Black Friday? Get Ready For Record Store Day!

Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year, but let's not forget that Small Business Saturday is where many of us find those unique gifts from local shops. Music collectors will need to flock to their local records shops on Black Friday for "Record Store Day" to find those special vinyl releases. "Record Store Day" is when music labels release rare, one-of-a-kind, special vinyl that is only available on that day and in limited amounts. Many of these record stores use these days to promote other specials and one Connecticut local music shop Redscroll Records (in Wallingford, CT) is holding their 8th Annual "Blackout At Sunrise" Sale. It begins Friday at 6am in the morning and runs all weekend.  Redscroll Records will  have some of the best deals of the year on hard to find items, including 15% off new vinyl, 25% off used vinyl and used CDs for only $1.To find out more about this special event including hours and DJ schedule, please visit facebook.com.


Speaking of new vinyl, American blues musician Alvin Youngblood Hart is releasing his debut single "Helluva Way (For A Man To Make A Living)" b/w Watchin' Brian Jones" on Big Legal Mess Records. The single brings backs the seventies garage rock of the MC5's with its up-tempo rhythm and blazing guitar riffs. The flip-side sounds like a blues classic with a modern flair as Hart shows his almost two decades of experience on these amazing new tracks. This 45 r.p.m. leaves you wanting and waiting for more from this New Orleans native. To find out more about Alvin Youngblood Hart his latest release, please visit biglegalmessrecords.com.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

CD Review: New Independent Music That Needs Your Attention

Singer/songwriter Patrick Ames started his music career latter in life. He first worked on his first love of owning a vineyard in the Napa Valley and then using that to influence the creation of his latest album "Oakville Ontology." The new nine-song release is an independent folk gem with a dash of rock flair for good measure. He begins with the stark sounding "Arm Yourself With This Song" as he lays out his opinions while using only an acoustic guitar for the melody and rhythm. He plugs in for the nine-minute, folk/rock storied lyrics of "How To Kill A Protest Song," and then brings his lyrics to the forefront of "I Could Be Mistaken" as if the music is almost non-existent. He sings from the heart on the emotional delivery of "Time Opens All Wounds," before closing with the smooth Americana delivery of "On The Yellowstone." To find out more about Patrick Ames, please visit patrickames.com.


Denver trio, Heart & Soul Radio recently released their fourth full-length album "Thieves" back in September. Heart & Soul Radio was created from the ashes of two other local Denver bands. Heart & Soul Radio have struggled through band breakups, drug addiction and record deals that fell through, but their new album shows a new sense of purpose with twelve powerfully addictive songs. The new release begins with the high energy pop/rock of "Ain't No Life Like The Low Life" as they sound like a well-oiled music machine that definitely belongs on the charts. The guys show a little more of a rock edge on "Kochheads," while their harmonizing takes center stage in "Can't Face Home."  The album seems loaded with potential singles including "Roll With The Hunches" and the comical "I Slept With Justin Bieber And All I Got Was This Stupid Shirt." To find out more about Heart & Soul Radio and their latest album "Thieves," please visit hsrrocks.com.


India native Rhett May was heavily influenced by the sound of the sixties psychedelic era. His latest batch of singles have a pop feel that brings you back to era or peace and love. Songs like "Jenny" and "Insatiable" dig deep into your soul with a laid back acoustic vibe, while "Cocktails and Cannabis"  and "Heaven Of Hell" have a more dream-like, atmospheric rock feel. To find out more about Rhett May's music, please visit rhettmay.com.


Southern California singer/songwriter Karen Reed returns to music after a 25 year absence with her debut solo album "True North." The eleven songs that make up the new album are very earthy and based upon her passion of the ukulele. The album begins with just Karen and her favorite instrument on the light-hearted "Stuck On You" and continues, treading lightly, to the interesting "A Better Day," which adds an operatic rock backdrop to her repetitive lyrics. Her sweetness in her vocals shines through on "Sugar Pie," before bringing on blues with "Bad Girl." The album closes with a quick instrumental cover of Don McLean's "Vincent," which she renames "Starry, Starry Night." To find out more about Karen Reed and her new album "True North," please visit her Facebook page at facebook.com/kreed007.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

CD Review: One Direction Quickly Heats Things Up With "Four"

British boy band One Direction have become one of the biggest groups in the world. Their posters hang one the walls of millions of girl's rooms and their brand has graced everything from dolls to Christmas ornaments. On November 17th, Columbia records released the band's fourth album aptly titled "Four." The album leads off with the band's latest single "She's My Girl," which has a pounding beat and a contagious chorus that's hard to resist and any age. Their music continues to find their way into the hearts of young girls with the passionate vocals of "18" and "Fool's Gold," while "Girl Almighty" and "No Control" are the new pop anthems for this generation. The album closes with the shout out chorus of "Clouds" that is showing a maturity in the band's songwriting. A deluxe edition of the album adds another four songs for a total of sixteen new tracks. To find out more about One Direction's latest release "Four," please visit onedirectionmusic.com.

Monday, November 24, 2014

CD Review: Newcomers Siena Root And Shae Create Amazing Debut Albums

First, from Sweden comes the debut album from the rock band Siena Root. Their new release entitled "Pioneers!" was released on November 18th through Cleopatra Records. The band digs deep into the root of classic British rock music as they deliver blistering solos, but also giving their music substance and atmosphere. The new nine-song release begins with the big riffs of "Between The Lines" as the guitar solo and the addition of the organ gives a Deep Purple feel to the music. Siena Root sound straight from the 70's rock era with "7 Years" and bring that organ to the forefront with the amazingly electrifying solo of "Roots Rock Pioneers." The album's first single "The Way You Turn" sounds almost 40 years too late, but carries that true rock feel. The album finishes with the nine-minute, bluesy feel of "In My Kitchen" and the loose jam of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love." Siena Root will be sticking close to home with their live shows which run into March 2015. To find out more about their new album "Pioneers!," please visit sienaroot.com.

From the Northwest corner of the U.S. comes the debut album from singer/songwriter Shae. Her new album "Can You Feel The Music," was produced by Grammy Award winner Narada Michael Walden (Whitney Houson, Mariah Carey) and was also released on November 18th through Walden's label Tarpan Records. Shae has become a staple on the west coast music scene as lead singer of the band Rogue Suspects and in Craig Chaquico's (Jefferson Starship) band. Shae has also performed alongside such well-established modern artists as Jack Johnson. Her new eleven song release has a modern dance/pop feel that is sure to introduce Shae to the mainstream. She begins the album with the big rhythm of "Shooting Star" as her vocals perfectly fit this pop genre. She showcases an edgier side to her music with "Addicted" and then shows her sensuality with "Wanna Be By Your Side (Forever)." The dance floor opens up for the club beats of "Take Me To The City," before slowing down for the R&B flavor of "I'll Be There." The album closes with the dream-like feel of the slow-paced "Have Faith." To find out more about Shae and her new album "Can You Feel The Music," please visit her Facebook page at facebook.com/Shaeceline.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

CD Review: Veteran Musicians Swamp Dogg And Willie Nile Produce Some Of Their Best Work

American soul/R&B singer Jerry Williams first hit the music charts in 1966 with the hit single "Baby, You're My Everything." Shortly after that, he reinvented himself and continued to record under the name "Swamp Dogg." He released twenty albums throughout his forty year career and has earned the accolades of "musical genius" and "one of the great cult figures of the 20th century." Jerry "Swamp Dogg" Williams recently released his latest album "The White Man Made Me Do It" on November 18th through Alive Records. It features fourteen compositions that could have easily been released in the seventies as the songs carry a strong funk/R&B sound, beginning with the title song. The song "Hey Renee" has a very contagious rhythm as Swamp Dogg also showcases his skills on the piano. The album does contain a few covers, including the sixties sway of Sam Cooke's "You Send Me" and the soulful blues of The Clovers' "Your Cash Ain't Nothing But Trash." You can feel the emotions in Swamp Dogg's delivery of the soulful vocals of "What Lonesome Is" and he gets funky with his tribute to Sly Stone in "Where Is Sly." The album finishes with his opinions on prejudice in the storied lyrics of "Prejudice Is Alive And Well" and the Southern groove of "If That Ain't The Blues Nothing Is." To find out more about Jerry "Swamp Dogg" Williams' latest release "The White Man Made Me Do It," please visit swampdogg.net.

Veteran rocker Willie Nile is releasing some of his best work these days. His last album "American Ride" made many critics "best of" lists of 2013 and he returns with the intimate "If I Was A River." The new release features Nile amongst a backdrop of piano with the occasional acoustic guitar or violin. The piano he performs on was the same one that he was playing on the night John Lennon was shot as Nile was making his second album in the studio next door to Lennon. The songs on this album showcase Nile in the stark setting as he sounds vulnerable on the opening title song, "If I was A River." His lyrics in "Lost" are some of the best of his career as the song shows grace and emotion, while "Lullaby Loon" is a rock song slowed-down and turned into singing drinking song. The grand feel of "Gloryland" and the folk styling of "Goin' To St. Louis" has Nile in a comfortable setting allowing his lyrics to become the focus of these songs. The album closes with "Let Me Be The River," which could easily have Nile be measured alongside legendary songwriters like Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. This new release is only available on CD at live shows and from willienile.com and digitally through music distributers. To find out more about this new album, please visit jsrdirect.com.