Thursday, December 30, 2010

What’s New For 2011

The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to see what some of the rumors are for new albums to be released in 2011. Here is a list of some of the most anticipated albums of 2011:

U2Song of Ascent” (Produced by Danger Mouse) is rumored to contain songs that were left-over from the 2009 album “No Line On The Horizon.”

R.E.M.Collapse Into The Now” features guest appearances from Eddie Vedder, Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye and more.

Foo Fightersuntitled album” (Produced by Butch Vig) is supposed to be one of the heaviest Foo Fighters’ album yet. Album includes guest appearances from Krist Novoselic and Bob Mould.

Crosby, Stills & Nashuntitled covers album” (Produced by Rick Rubin) this album is two years in the making and will hopefully see the light of day in 2011.

Beastie BoysHot Sauce Committee Pt. 2” was supposed to be released early in 2010, but was put on hold because of Adam Yauch’s throat cancer. The album has been reworked and remixed for a 2011 release.

Lady GagaBorn This Way” is anticipated to be a bigger selling album than her last couple releases.

Paul SimonSo Beautiful Or So What” is to be Simon’s return to storytelling through his songs. Instead of starting his songs with a beat, he used more melody to create the music for this album.

Van Halenuntitled album” will be the first to feature lead singer David Lee Roth in over 26 years. Who knows what to expect for this album.

Social DistortionHard Times and Nursery Rhymes” returns one of the biggest names in punk music back to the mainstream.

Red Hot Chili Peppersuntitled album” (Produced by Rick Rubin) will be the group’s tenth studio album and the first to feature new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer.

These are only ten of the many albums that will be making their way to your CD players, ipods, and computers in 2011. Do yourself a favor and rediscover some new music, you may just like what you hear.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Favorite Albums of 2010

1. Ray LaMontagne and the Pariah Dogs – God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise

Ray LaMontagne has hit the high mark with his fourth album “God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise.” His bluesy, folk voice and Americana music style is blended perfectly on this album. His band, The Pariah Dogs, perform the perfect backdrop on the songs “Repo Man” and “Like Rock & Roll Radio.” Do yourself a favor, pick up this album and you too will fall in love with his voice and musical style.



2. Dead Weather – Sea of Cowards

With "Sea of Cowards," Jack White and company released the type of album that you look forward to listening to again and again. Multiple plays reveal something new that may have been missed upon early listens. This album reminds me of what is like to listen to a complete album, just waiting to hear what was coming next. “Sea of Cowards” is one of Jack White’s best collaborations so far.



3. Kings Of Leon – Come Around Sundown

What else can be said about the King of Leon? I’ve bragged about them since their second album and finally, the musical world is realizing how talented this Followill clan is. While “Come Around Sundown” isn’t the best album this band has made, it still has great sing-along choruses and a southern rock groove.




4. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Mojo

After an eight-year hiatus, Tom Petty rejoined with the Heartbreakers to create a blues-rock masterpiece. This album was the band’s highest music chart debut since “Damn The Torpedoes.” Guitarist Mike Campbell lets loose on his guitar during “I Should Have Known It” and “Good Enough” and the rest of the songs just follow suit. Hopefully the band won’t wait another eight years to release their next album.



5. Johnny Cash – American VI: Ain’t No Grave

“American VI: Ain’t No Grave” was the last volume in the American legacy. Produced by Rick Rubin, this album brings Johnny Cash back from the grave to perform some of his most fragile, heartfelt songs. While these songs were considered left-overs from the #1 selling “American V” album, they end up carrying a different tone and purpose on this album.




6. Jakob Dylan – Women + Country

Even though this is only Jakob Dylan’s second solo release, his songwriting has grown tremendously. Producer T-Bone Burnett brings out the Americana flavor to Dylan’s country-folk songs. After a couple of listens, you’ll begin comparing this album to some of his father’s classic albums.




7. Carolina Chocolate Drops – Genuine Negro Jig

The Carolina Chocolate Drops is one group that needs to be noticed for their unique style of African-American Bluegrass sound. Their use of simple string instruments gives them a sound that is different from anything else out there. The band’s fifth album “Genuine Negro Jig” brings together traditional blues songs with a few original compositions and seems them together perfectly.



8. Neil Young – Le Noise

Neil Young loves to experiment on his albums and go against the grain of popular music. His latest release “Le Noise” features the 65-year old godfather of grunge alone with a guitar. Don’t make the mistake and think that this is an acoustic album, because then you’d miss all that is going on when Young decides to plug-in and takes songs like “Love And War” to another level of enjoyment.



9. Zac Brown Band – You Get What You Give

Country jamband rockers the Zac Brown Band hit it big with their debut album “The Foundation.” Trying to follow-up a platinum selling album is no small task, but the album “You Get What You Give” is just what the doctor ordered. They don’t leave the country roots behind, in fact they enhance it with a couple guests (Jimmy Buffet, Alan Jackson) along with some jams that Dave Matthews only wished he thought of. This album has fun songs (Whiskey’s Gone) heartfelt ballads (Martin) and great music that just keeps going (Who Knows).

10. Elton John & Leon Russell – The Union

The combination of Elton John and Leon Russell would make one wonder if this collaboration of great pianist would actually work. Not only did it work, it gave both legends a new life. Don’t overlook this album, even though it was released late in the year, give it time and the album will grow on you the more time you listen to it.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Book Review: Whole Lotta Led Zeppelin

“Whole Lotta Led Zeppelin: The Illustrated History of the Heaviest Band of All Time” is a book that every classic rock fan should own. It contains 288 pages of full color tour posters, ticket stubs and many unseen photos of the band live in concert.

The book follows the journey of Led Zeppelin from their beginnings as The New Yardbirds up until their disbanding after the death of drummer John Bonham. It contains stories and write-ups by some of the biggest names in music including Peter Frampton, Ann & Nancy Wilson from Heart and David Fricke senior editor of Rolling Stone magazine. What is also great about this book is the complete tour schedule from 1968 to 1980. Each album gets an in-depth write-up on the recording and thought process that went into each classic album.

This book will be in order for multiple reads and will be a great gift for any Led Zeppelin fan. The book was published back in September and comes in hardcover ($35 retail) and paperback ($19.99 retail). For more information on this book and many other excellent music books, please visit voyageurpress.com.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Book Review: 101 Guitars The Rocked The World

If you’re looking for a last minute gift to get your music fan, I have just the thing. The hardcover book entitled "Star Guitars: 101 Guitars That Rocked The World" is a must have. First off, the book contains 288 pages of information about the most influential guitarist and their instruments and includes 700 pictures of album covers, concert posters, ticket stubs and more.

Author Dave Hunter has put together a masterpiece for not only guitar aficionados, but also a book for the casual music fan. The book is set up alphabetically by the guitarist last name, so it is easy to find a specific artist and their favorite axe.

Not only do you get to read about some of the most famous guitars by Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, B.B. King and more, but there are many artists who are not as well known for making such influential music. Some of the lesser known guitars in this book feature Mother Maybell Carter’s 1928 Gibson L-5, Cliff Gallup’s 1955 Gretsch Duo Jet and Son House’s National Duolian and Style O. It also includes a Forward by ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons.

With all these great pictures and valuable, easy-to-read information, this book has to be in every music fan’s library. This book was published back in October of this year and retails for $35. For more information, please visit voyageurpress.com.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

CD Review: Halestorm Rocks "Live In Philly"

Hard-rockers Halestorm have recently released their first live album entitled simply “Live In Philly 2010.” The Pennsylvania band headlined their first tour this past year and wanted to capture the show in front of their home-state fans. The band is known for its excessive touring, performing over 200 shows a year. Plus, Halestorm’s debut album cracked the Top 40 last year upon its release.

The new live album definitely rocks hard with most of the songs being sped up slightly because of the live setting. The drumming of Arejay Hale especially on the songs “Love/Hate Heartbreak” and the solo “Boom City” really motors this band’s energy. Lead singer Lzzy Hale works with the crowd on the chorus of the ballad “I’m Not An Angel.” The songs “Dirty Work” and the Top 20 single “I Get Off” find the band as a complete unit, capable of conquering any crowd.

The CD also comes with an accompanying DVD of the show. The DVD includes an extra live track from the show (What Were You Expecting) as well as 4 music videos from the band. Halestorm are currently on tour, including at stop at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut on December 30. For a complete list of tour dates and up-to-date information visit the band’s website halestormrocks.com.

Friday, December 17, 2010

CD Review: This One's "For Colored Girls"

The soundtrack “For Colored Girls” contains some of the biggest names of women performers in the music business. The soundtrack places songs performed by legends (Gladys Knight & Nina Simone) along with songs performed by some of today’s hot artists (Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings & Estelle).

Beginning with the “Main Title” a piano interlude plays in the background as the actresses in the movie recite lines from the movie. Then the music lifts-off with the funk of Sharon Jones with “Longer & Stronger” and the R&B flavor of Estelle’s “All Day Long (Blue Skies).” Laura Izibor brings a ‘70s vibe with “What More Can They Do”, while Zaki Ibrahim gives an updated dance beat to the song “Ansomnia.” The operatic “La Donna In Viola” seems a bit out of place on this soundtrack, but the album gets back into the groove with Macy’s Gray’s “Stand Up.” The album reaches a creative peak with “Four Women” that includes vocals by Nina Simone, Simone, Laura Izibor and Ledisi before finishing with the angelic voice of Leona Lewis in “I Know Who I Am.”

The soundtrack was released on Atlantic Records at the beginning of November and the movie is still in select theaters.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

CD Review: The Volcano Diary Release Electroacoustic Debut

The debut album from indie artists The Volcano Diary was released this past fall and was produced by acclaimed producer Steve Fisk (Nirvana, The Posies, Low). The Volcano Diary is the brainchild of singer/songwriter Alicia Dara. She released a solo album 2 years ago, but was looking for something different in her musical venture.

Her voice captures you right from the beginning with the song "Revival." You get swept up as she sings softly against an acoustic guitar and tapping beat. The music departs briefly from the gentle flow during "Freezerburn" but slows back down for the ballad "Cloud Cover." Alicia's voice goes a bit country during "Lightning Seed" but it is always the centerpiece the songs. The album closes with the 6-minute soft heart-tugging vocals and acoustics of "Volcano."

The Volcano Diary hail from the Seattle, WA area and perform there regularly. Check the band's website (thevolcanodiary.com) for show dates and album information.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

CD Review: Barlow Girls Are On A "Journey"

Christian rockers Barlow Girl have released their first greatest hits CD entitled “Our Journey So Far.” The album pulls together tracks from each of the four albums released by this group of sisters. It even includes the Christmas song “Hallelujah (Light Has Come)” and a remix of “I Need You To Love Me.”

The album plays out chronologically beginning with their break-through songs “She Walked Away” and “Mirror.” Both songs were both Top 40 singles on the U.S. Christian charts. The album does a great job mixing the rockers like “Let Go” with the ballads like “Surrender.” The album does include one of the group’s biggest hits “I Need You To Love Me,” but leaves off the group’s highest charting single “Enough.” The sisters definitely know how to rock in “Million Voices,” but it’s their harmonizing that captures your attention.

The Barlow Girls have a handful of scattered dates over the next few months. Check out their website, barlowgirl.com for a complete list of tour dates and song samples from the new album.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

CD Rerview: The Sleep-Ins Sing "Songs About Girls & Outer Space"

New band, The Sleep-Ins released their debut album this past fall entitled "Songs About Girls & Outer Space." The album has cracked the CMJ Top 200 earlier this month and is moving up the chart. Their hard rocking alternative sound has been compared to fellow rockers The Shins and the Pixies. The Sleep-Ins managed to capture the different sounds of the different locations and studios they used to create this album.

The music on the album ranges from the very tight sounding, well performed songs (Angelina, Desertsong) to the experimental, roughness of "Chrome Skull Cap & Matching Codpiece." The grunge sound that the band tries to capture shines through on "Running Out Here." But just when the band hit their stride with the short "Astro-not" and up-tempo "Bug On My Face", the album ends. With left-over songs from the sessions for this album, look for another release sooner than later.

The Sleep-Ins have a handful of live dates at the beginning of the year in some the southern United States. For a complete list of tour dates and album information, please visit sleep-ins.ingotrock.com.

Monday, December 13, 2010

CD Review: Seafarer Show You Their "Hiding Places"

Seafarer is a new trio out of Chicago that is finally spreading their music to the masses. The hard working band produced a self-released EP this year entitled "Hiding Places" that has received praise from critics on their raw, almost punk style.

The up-tempo music from the opener "Translation" matches the output singer Patrick Grzelewski gives to his vocals. The bands seems to "trip out" on a soundscape of feedback during "Sound It Makes" before returning to the song's pop lyrics. The band mixes tempos on "Watch It Flooood" to go with it's story-telling lyrics. The moody sounding "Functional" captures the true essence of the band's words and music. The album closer "Noise Fllor" stretches toward the 6-minute mark showing the instrumental talents of the band.

Seafarer has two shows in the Chicago area on their schedule. For more information, please visit their myspace page (www.myspace.com/seafarerchicago).

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Concert Review: Cyndi Lauper Brings The Blues To The MGM Grand Theater

What did she wear? What color was her hair? Did she sing “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”? These are some of the questions that arise when people hear that you are attending a Cyndi Lauper performance. Everybody remembers Cyndi Lauper as the pop ‘80s icon that had wild hair, an outrageous wardrobe and unforgettable pop lyrics, but when she visited the MGM Grand Theatre Saturday night, she brought nothing but the blues.

Her new album “Memphis Blues” was the primary focus of her set. She was in full enjoyment performing songs that she fell in love with almost a decade ago. Beginning with “Just Your Fool,” Cyndi Lauper gave the spotlight over to her guest harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite, whose solos really brought out the blues. Cyndi told stories of when she met B.B. King and how she fell in love with one of the first female rock stars from the ‘50s, Big Mama Thorton. Her performances of “Shattered Dreams” and “Romance In The Dark” gave Cyndi the opportunity to visit with the audience, standing on chairs singing. Cyndi played her dulcimer only briefly during “Rollin’ and Tumblin’” before finishing her hour-long set with the powerful “Don’t Cry No More.”

Her encore started much the same way her regular set went with a slavery blues number called “Here Is My Hand.” Then, the Cyndi Lauper that the audience knew for so many years shined through. Beginning with the song “Change of Heart,” Cyndi got the audience on their feet continuing with “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and “She Bop.” A messy version of “Merry Christmas Baby,” in which Cyndi had to read the words, lead to two other Christmas songs “I Saw Three Ships” and an acapella version of “Silent Night.”

After Cyndi’s last blues song “Mother Earth,” her band left the stage leaving her alone with her dulcimer. She explained how easy it is to make a difference in someone else’s life if you just stand-up and lend a hand, which lead to a meaningful version of “True Colors.” Her voice was strong throughout the performance, but it was her message of equality that won the hearts of the audience.

Setlist:
Just Your Fool
Shattered Dreams
Early In The Mornin’
Hound Dog
Romance In The Dark
Down Don’t Bother Me
Down So Low
Crossroads
Rollin’ And Tumblin’
Don’t Cry No More
Encore:
Here Is My Hand
Change Of Heart
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
She Bop
Merry Christmas Baby
I Saw Three Ships
Time After Time
Silent Night
Mother Earth
True Colors

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Concert Review: The English Beat Party In Connecticut

Connecticut got a taste of British ska music as The English Beat visited The Fairfield Theater Friday night. They performed the first of their two sold out shows at the small, but quant venue. Dave Wakeling, lead singer, guitarist and the only remaining original member of The English Beat, had some huge hits in the ‘80s with their signature combination of rock and reggae music. Up and coming bands like R.E.M. opened for The English Beat during the height of the group’s popularity. The English Beat also has a new album in the works for a 2011 release to help spark their comeback.

The conclusion of a brief spoken introduction brought The English Beat to the stage as the audience waited in anticipation to get up dance. The reggae grooves of the openers “Whine and Grine” and “Stand Down Margaret” brought some people to their feet. A cover of The Staple Singers’ song “I’ll Take You There” turned the theater in one big dance floor as everyone surrendered their moves to the music. The Beat stretched out songs “I Confess” and “Hand’s Off … She’s Mine” before finishing the first set with a new song “The Love You Give Last Forever.” Wakeling also informed the audience that an acoustic version of the song was available on iTunes to benefit Autism.

A 50-minute intermission concluded with The Beat returning to the stage with “Rough Rider” and a Smokey Robinson cover “Tears Of A Clown.” A fan invited herself on stage to dance finding the seated area too crowded to move during “Save It For Later.” She returned to the seats after only a few minutes, finding no room on stage to dance either. Wakeling even included the General Public song “Never You Done That,” to which Wakeling wrote and sang as also a member of that late ‘80s band. The Beat finished their hour-long second set picking up the tempo with “Rankin’ Full Stop” and their biggest hit “Mirror In The Bathroom.”

The Beat returned for the encore performing the appropriately titled “End Of The Party” before finishing the evening’s music with “Jackpot.” The band wished everyone a good night as they shook hands and hoped to see everyone again when they return to the Fairfield Theater in January.

Set 1: Whine And Grine>Stand Down Margaret, I'll Take You There, I Confess, Hand's Off...She's Mine, Best Friend, Twist & Crawl, Can't Get Used To Losing You, The Love You Give Lasts Forever

Set 2: Rough Rider, Tears Of A Clown, How Can You Stand There, Doors Of You Heart, Save It For Later, Never |You Done That, Tenderness, Two Tone Music, Rankin Full Stop>Mirror In The Bathroom

Encore: End Of The Party, Jackpot

Thursday, December 9, 2010

New Sounds From Down Under

Australian imports Montpelier and Abbie May have both released new singles that have made their way over the ocean to our airwaves. Both performers are also releasing new albums in 2011.

Montpelier's single "Last Boat" is the first song from their forthcoming EP that will be release in April 2011. The song contains the perfect blend of lyrics, harmonies and melodies that are hard to resist. Their sound carries a mellow alternative rock sound with a dash of 80's modern rock to give it a very accessible pop feeling. Montpelier also has a video for the single. More information can be found on this new Australian band at their website, montpeliermusic.net.

Abbie May's new single "Mammalian Locomotion" shows us a dark rock sound that is different from the modern rock on today's radio. Her subtle singing makes you focus more on her voice as the music's beat puts you in a trance. More information on her new single and upcoming appearances can be found on her myspace page www.myspace.com/abbemay.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

CD Review: Colorado's Ironwood Rain Return With "Ships"

The members of Colorado band Ironwood Rain are not new to the music scene. After years of disappointing musical ventures, the group finally came together to fill the void that each other was looking for. They released their debut album entitled “Trio” in 2008 and they just released their sophomore album “Burn The Ships” this past year. Ironwood Rain have took giants steps forward in perfecting their sound and have finally began to get noticed in the Colorado music scene.

The new album begins with the acoustic guitar strumming country rocker “Ages”. The cleverness of the lyrics with the highlights of violin gives you a feeling of real, true “down to earth” music. The harmonizing of “Fly To You” compares Ironwood Rain to their influences Crosby, Stills & Nash. The title song “Burn The Ships” tells of life lessons with a chorus that just wraps you up until your singing along. The power of Scotte Burns’ songwriting is felt in the soulful ballad “Where A Man Would Stand.” The band does their best Jethro Tull impersonation on the album closer “The Attic” with its combination of mystical lyrics and simple, but meaningful music.

The band will be performing this weekend at the D-Note in Arvada, CO on Saturday and at Buffalo Rose in Golden, CO on Sunday. Check out Ironwood Rain’s website (ironwoodrain.com) for upcoming shows and more information on their latest release.

Monday, December 6, 2010

New Sounds Of The Season

Well, the Christmas season is upon us once again and that means it's time for some of the biggest names in entertainment to release some new holiday music for fans to buy.

This Christmas season has been dominated by the ladies. New releases by Mariah Carey (Merry Christmas II You), Annie Lennox (A Christmas Cornucopia), Jessica Simpson (Happy Christmas), Wilson Phillips (Christmas Harmony), Indigo Girls (Holly Happy Days), Katherine McPhee (Christmas Is A Time To Say I Love You) and Shelby Lynne (Merry Christmas) have been near the top of the holiday album charts since their releases.

One of this year's most anticipated releases for this holiday could only be found at one store. Target received the exclusive rights to the Christmas album by country superstars, Lady Antebellum. After a hugely successful new studio album earlier this year, Lady Antebellum thought it would be the perfect time to release their Christmas CD entitled "A Merry Little Christmas". The 6-song EP debuted in the Top 20 upon its release.

But, it seems that the must own albums of the season are by a former talent show finalist and a television high-school quire group. Singing sensation Susan Boyle released her new holiday album "The Gift" back in November. It debuted at #1 on the Billboard album charts and has sold over one million copies in only one month. Her voice on this album seems to capture the hearts of people during this joyful season.

One of the biggest surprise acts of the past year is the tuneful singers of the hit television show Glee. Their Christmas album entitled "Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album" put the voices of the cast to a dozen Christmas classics as they add their own little spin to the songs. So, make this season bright with some shiny new discs in your CD player.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

CD Review: Pearl Jam's Live Album Has "Ten" Legs This Time

Pearl Jam is celebrating their 20th Anniversary with the release of “Live On Ten Legs” on January 18. The live album is the sequel to their platinum-selling 1998 live album “Live On Two Legs.” The album covers songs performed on tour during 2003-2010. All of the songs were recorded by John Burton and have been remixed and remastered by long-time Pearl Jam engineer Brett Eliason.

The album begins with a great energetic cover of Joe Strummer’s “Arms Aloft.” The slow build of Mike McCready’s guitar strumming and Eddie Vedder’s vocals gets pushed along by the rest of the band’s urge to rock. They keep the energy going with “World Wide Suicide” and “Animal” which features some audience participation. The album does feature four new songs from the band’s last studio album (Got Some, Unthought Known, The Fixer, and Just Breathe). The songs are set up like the ideal set list to a Pearl Jam show. The album carries a jamming version “Rearview Mirror” while the band sounds tight on “Nothing As It Seems”, but they seem to have more fun performing the cover song “Public Image” than some of their latter hits. 18 live tracks from Pearl Jam are definitely worth the purchase of this disc.

“Live On Ten Legs” will be released as a standard CD version, digital download and a deluxe version that included the CD, double-vinyl package, four mini-poster reprints, five live photos and a tour laminate. The album is available now for pre-order from Pearl Jam’s website pearljam.com. It will only be available for purchase through Pearl Jam’s Ten Club and select digital and independent music retailers.

“Live on Ten Legs” Tracklisting:
1. Arms Aloft
2. World Wide Suicide
3. Animal
4. Got Some
5. State of Love And Trust
6. I Am Mine
7. Unthought Known
8. Rearview Mirror
9. The Fixer
10. Nothing As It Seems
11. In Hiding
12. Just Breathe
13. Jeremy
14. Public Image
15. Spin The Black Circle
16. Porch
17. Alive
18. Yellow Ledbetter

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

CD Review: Brian Huber's "Imaginative" Debut Album

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Brian Huber is releasing his debut solo album, "Imagination of Ourselves" on December 14. This album has been about 12 years in the making and all his hard-work has paid off.

The album's overall pop-rock sound shines on "Talk Without A Word." Brian concentrates more on lyrics than the music as the sound to his songs are very simple. The music of "My Cure" sounds like a carbon copy of Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" as Brian's passionate lyrics are more powerful with the harmonizing of singer Victoria Patchen. Brian's storytelling lyrics find a home in "Shipwrecked," while he has fun with his song "Snuggies." The gentleness of "Semaphore" and the folkiness of "Yellowstone Lake" is where we find Brian's lyrics the most meaningful.

A creative video for "Snuggies" can be viewed at brianhubermusic.com as well as album and tour information.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

CD Review: The Boat People Remix The "Antidote"

Australia's newest indie band, The Boat People are releasing a remix EP entitled "Antidote & Dance To My Pain: The Remix EP." The album is a double A-side with two of the band's newest singles plus 3 remixes of those two singles. The Boat People released their latest album back in June entitled "Dear Darkly."

The alternative rock sound that the band is known for shines through on "Antidote." The lyrics and chorus just mesh so well with the band's music. "Dance To My Pain," the EP's second single carries more of a "get up and dance" vibe which is the perfect invitation to get the remix treatment. The two remixes for their single "Antidote," do little to help the song's overall appeal. The remix of "Dance To My Pain" will be received better with the right combination of beats and rhythms.

The Boat People have just wrapped up a tour in their home country of Australia. For more information on this indie band visit their myspace page (www.myspace.com/theboatpeople).

Friday, November 26, 2010

CD Review: The Dysfunctional Family Jazz Band Want To "Come Over"

Patty Carpenter and the Dysfunctional Family Jazz Band is anything but dysfunctional. The group has made beautiful music together for the past decade and their latest release "Come Over" is a new high-point for the band. The album is the first to feature all original music and also gets a helping hand by some special guests, including Tony Garnier (Bob Dylan) and James Wormworth (The Tonight Show). Grammy winner Rob Fraboni (The Last Waltz, Bonnie Raitt, Bob Dylan) mastered the recording at Real Mastering studios in Connecticut. The music on this new album does a nice job complimenting the vocals of Patty and her daughter Melissa Shetler.

The album begins with the gentle flow of "Waterfalls." The song has a familiar folk sound with Patty's vocals gentle carrying the song. The band takes a "u-turn" on the album's next song with the experimental ranting of "Come Over." The rest of the album just falls into place with the reggae sounds of "Love Bound" and "Hunker Down." The Dysfunctional Family Jazz Band show off their funky-side with "Mixed Message", but it the smoothness of Patty' voice in "Solace" and "Nancy" where the album shines bright.

The album was released this past summer on Hand Made Recordings and is available through the band's website dfjbmusic.com along with their other albums. Patty Carpenter and the Dysfunctional Family Jazz Band will be performing at the MetroTech Tree Lighting on November 30 and at Adagio's in Brattleboro, VT on December 10.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Bright Side of Black Friday

This Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is considered the biggest shopping day of the year. But, who says you have to buy stuff for other people. Two of Connecticut's premier independent music stores are having a huge sale and giveaways this weekend.

Redscroll Records, located in downtown Wallingford, are having their 4th annual "Blackout at Sunrise Sale." The store opens at 6AM on Friday morning and everything in the store is 25% off. They have $1 bins marked down to only 10 cents and they will have free snacks by Little Monster Cakes and free coffee. So, there is not excuse that you have to stop for breakfast and coffee before you make your way to Redscroll Records. The sale will be going on throughout the weekend, but you'll want to get there early to get the best selection. Redscroll Records has the largest selection of new vinyl in the northeast and every order over $200 gets a free t-shirt. Visit redscrollrecords.com for more information.
Another somewhat independent record store looking to get into the holiday buying spirit is Newbury Comics. while most of their stores reside in Massachusetts, there is one Connecticut location in Manchester at the Buckland Mall. Newbury Comics will feature 10% off your total purchase on Black Friday only. They will also have a bunch of exclusive releases by Metallica, U2, Slayer, Bruce Springsteen and George Harrison just to name a few. For information on this sale and a list of exclusive releases, please visit newburycomics.com.

So do yourself a favor and take advantage of some of these one-time offers that you will not be able to get anywhere else. Spread a little Christmas cheer to some of your local music stores.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Book Review: AC/DC: High-Voltage Rock ‘N’ Roll

AC/DC High-Voltage Rock ‘N’ Roll is the first complete illustrated history of the band. The 224-page book is filled with many rare photos, rock posters, memorabilia and more. Author Phil Sutcliffe does a wonderful job telling us the history of the band chronologically through both pictures and words.

Some of the highlights include past tour recollections, stories of how each album was recorded and a first hand look at how the band made it through the highs and lows of stardom. The story begins all the way back with Angus and Malcolm Young’s father, when he was a member of The Easybeats and finishes with the “Black Ice” World Tour. It even includes an Afterword from Def Leppard lead singer and AC/DC fan Joe Elliott. One of my favorite things about this book is the discography which tells you everything, including songwriters, singles, chart positions and more about every album the band recorded.

This book is a must have for any AC/DC fan or a fan of classic rock music. The book was released back in October and was published by Voyageur Press. For more information, please visit voyageurpress.com.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Book Review: The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones

If you need something new to get your Beatles or Rolling Stones fan for Christmas, this book needs to be at the top of your list. The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones: Sound Opinions On The Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Rivalry is a great easy read with tons of rare pictures.

The book is basically a conversation between music critics Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot and you’re essentially a fly on the wall. The two compare and discuss everything between The Beatles and The Stones. They argue and agree about who had the best guitarist, bassist, drummer and even the best epic double album (Beatles’ “White Album” vs. The Stones “Exile On Main St."). This 194-page, hardcover book is filled to the brim with many great pictures. There is even a historical timeline from 1962 to 1972 that highlight what each band did during this time.

This book is the perfect addition to your Beatles or Rolling Stones collection, the only question is whose side are you on? The book was released back in October and was published by Voyageur Press. For more information, please visit voyageurpress.com.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Terrible Things Return To Connecticut!

The power rock trio of ex-Taking Back Sunday's Fred Mascherino, Coheed and Cambria's Josh Eppard and Hot Rod Circuit's Andy Jackson will return to Connecticut this Saturday, November 27. If you missed them back in October, don't make the same msitake twice. They will be performing at the Webster Theater in Hartford, CT.

Their self-titled debut album has made an immediate impact on alternative rock radio since it's release at the end of August. It also debuted at #25 on the Billboard Heatseekers music chart. The album carries a heavy weight with its subject matter, but lives up to the expectation. The songs range from the hard rockers "Revolution" and "Not Alone" to the more radio-friendly sounds of "Up At Night" and "Conspiracy." The song "Been Here Before" shows a softer side to the group's overall sound. The lyrics and acoustics capture the true feelings of the song's meaning. The album's concept comes shining through on the closer "The Arsonist's Wife," which shows off the band's song-writing talents.

For a complete list of tour dates and album information, please visit their website weareterribelthings.com.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Final Cromwell Record Riot of 2010!

This Sunday will be the final Cromwell Record Riot of 2010. It will be held at its usual spot, The Crowne Plaza in Cromwell, CT, exit 21 of I-91. The show will run from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm and admission is only $3. There will be an early admission available for those wanting the first crack at all the goodies available. The early admission price will be $10 and might come in handy if you're looking some special, hard-to-find items. The last Cromwell Record Riot saw a ton of vinyl with a scattering of CD's and DVD's and I'm sure this one will be just as full of vendors.

So if your looking for something to get your sweatheart for Christmas or just looking to treat yourself this holiday, the Cromwell Record Riot might be your only chance to find that perfect gift. The next Cromwell Record Riot will not be until after the holidays, so take advanage of this one.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Concert Review: Allman Brothers Band Fall Tour Stops In Connecticut

The Allman Brothers Band is one of the most consistent touring bands in music today. With only three original members still in the band, one could argue that the band is tighter and better than ever with the additions of Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks on guitar. Since the break-up of the Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers Band have been proudly carrying the flag for the jamband community as they visited the MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods Tuesday evening.

Allman Brothers Band lead singer/pianist Greg Allman looked noticably thinner since his liver transplant surgery earlier this year. His bluesy-style lead vocals were scarce, less than past performances, but his voice was still strong. The band was definitely in jamband mode with Haynes and Trucks trading solos on "Leave My Blues At Home" and on the firey instrumental "Hot 'Lanta". Haynes stepped into the vocal duties on the songs "Who's Been Talkin'" and his signature cover of Van Morrison's "Into The Mystic". But is was his solo and backing vocals during "Revival" that got most of the crowd on their feet dancing.

The band may have seemed lost at times, without a musical direction, but would slowly come together for the set closer "Mountain Jam". The song bookended a cover of Howlin' Wolf's "Smokestack Lighting" featuring some of Haynes' best blues vocals. Bassist Oteil Burbridge, drummers Butch Trucks and Jaimoe along with percussionist Marc Quinones each displayed their talents before bringing the band together to close out the song's 30 minute jam fest.

Fans waited impatiently, hoping that the Allman Brothers Band would return to perform one of their classic live songs to close out the show. They would not be disappointed as they band took the stage for the encore to perform "One Way Out" with the audience helping Greg Allman sing the chorus. It was only fitting that the theater emptied to the sounds of the late Duane Allman's acoustic guitar flowing from the speakers.

As Greg Allman readies a solo album release, let's hope that the Allman Brothers Band will return to carry that flag proudly for the jamband community.

Setlist:
Don't Want You No More
It's Not My Cross To Bear
Leave My Blues At Home
Done Somebody Wrong
Hot 'Lanta
Soulshine
Who's Been Talkin'
Revival
I Can't Be Satisfied
Don't Keep Me Wonderin'
Into The Mystic
Mountain Jam>Smokestack Lightning>Bass/Drum Solo>Mountain Jam reprise

Encore: One Way Out

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

CD Review: "Making Monsters" With Combichrist

Industrial, heavy-metal rockers Combichrist are on tour promoting their latest release "Making Monsters." They will be performing this Friday at the Webster Theater in Hartford, CT. They also recently announced that they will be opening for Rammstein's first U.S. show in ten years on December 11 at Madison Square Garden.

The new album has it's moments of greatness. The pulsating beats of the album's first single, "Never Surrender" give way to an energetic anthem-like chorus. Lead singer Andy LaPlegua screams the lyrics to the opener "Follow The Trail Of Blood" which also features Brendan Schiepatti of Bleeding Through. "Throat Full of Glass" sounds like old-school Nine Inch Nails, while "Just Like Me" shows the band's harder edge to their sound. "Slave To Machine" carries an industrial, dance-hall beat as the band slows down the tempo for "Through These Eyes of Pain."

Combichrist released "Making Monsters" at the end of September on Out of Line/Metropolis Records. Visit the band's website (combichrist.com) for a complete list of tour dates and album information.

Monday, November 15, 2010

CD Review: Jarrod Gorbel "Made A New Friend"

Singer/songwriter Jarrod Gorbel is finally getting recognized by a wider audience as he tours the country with pop idols Hanson. Jarrod's new album called "Devil's Made A New Friend" is available now on Burning-house Records in association with Gorbel Music.

Jarrod's smooth vocals are the main focus of the album, which is the way it should be. The acoustic-filled "Extraordinary" and the alternative pop sounds of "Each Breath" shows Jarrod's diversity in style. His vocals fit perfectly into the gentle sounds of "Impressions" and "Devilish Ways." The power of his voice finally shines through on the slow-sway of "Need For Control."

Jarrod Gorbel will be making a stop in Wallingford, CT on November 20, performing at The Dome inside the Oakdale Theater. For a complete list of tour dates and album information, please visit jarrodgorbelmusic.com.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

CD Review: Albert King & Stevie Ray Vaughan Play The Blues

In December 1983 at CHCH Studios in Ontario, Canada, an established blues legend and a rising blues prodigy met and performed together for the In Session television show. Blues legend Albert King influenced everyone from the Rolling Stones to Eric Clapton with his guitar playing and song-writing. While Stevie Ray Vaughan was becoming a big musical star with his break-through blues album "Texas Flood" and his guitar work on David Bowie's "Let Dance." Now, 27 years later, this meeting was released November 9 in a deluxe edition CD/DVD package on Stax Records.

The DVD is a major up-grade from the VHS release and even the original television show. Many of the songs performed for the show were cut during the broadcast for commercial interruptions, but on this DVD you get the full version of all the great songs performed during the show. It just magical to watch Albert King pass the torch to his disciple Stevie Ray Vaughan as he gives him bits of knowledge to help him out in his career. The video quality is a major improvement and the bond that these two share is unmatched. I hope that more musicians take note of this release and copy the idea.

The CD starts off with T-Bone Walker's "Call It Stormy Monday" with King on vocals. Stevie Ray Vaughan wastes no time showing what he's made of as the two trade solos that play throughout the CD. The wonderful thing about this disc is conversions the two have between and during songs. It is almost like being there at this jam session. Vaughan gets his spotlight to shine on vocals during his song "Pride and Joy", but sadly that is the only song on the CD in which Stevie gets to sing on. It's great to hear King talk about his new recording of the BB King classic "Ask Me No Questions" and how he wrote and recorded "Blues At Sunrise" with Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. The CD does contain songs that were not in the broadcast, such as "Overall Junction" and "Blues At Sunrise." The only problem I have with the CD is that it is not in order of the session as shown on the DVD, but that is minor compared to all the great music on this set.

The sad thing is that this would be the only time that these two would meet because of the untimely death of Stevie Ray Vaughan. But, it is releases like this where Stevie Ray Vaughan's and Albert King's spirits come alive and you remember just how good these musicians were. For more information on this release, please visit concordmusicgroup.com.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

CD Review: The Great Affairs Return With "Ricky"

The Great Affairs are back with their brand of good old-fashion Rock & Roll. This band does not need any gimmicks or to follow any styles to get noticed, their music says it all. The new album entitled "Ricky Took The Wheels" is available now on Faragon Records.

The band comes right out of the gate with their straight-forward rock on "Feels Like Home" and "Inside Your Head." The ballads "My Apologies" and "You'll Never Know" carry an acoustic Wilco-type sound with some great lyrics that touch the heart. The band returns to their roots with the southern rocker "So Damn High" and "You're Not Funny." The Great Affairs have so many great songs on their new release that a major label needs to stand-up and take notice of this latest band to come from Nashville.

The Great Affairs have a few shows on their schedule and their new album is available now on iTunes. For more information, visit thegreataffairs.com.

Friday, November 12, 2010

CD Review: Introducing The Duo Of Hank & Cupcakes

Pop duo Hank & Cupcakes have released a new EP last year and are touring the east coast this fall. Beginning this weekend, Hank & Cupcakes will be performing live at The Space in Hamden, CT.

The New York duo have a dance/pop sound that's hard to resist. Cupcakes vocals on "Roses" draws you in with her sweet sound, but that's only one dimension of the band. Hank's bass beat gives the songs their dance energy. The songs "Ain't No Love" and "Pleasure Town" could be and should be playing at clubs across the country. Cupcakes does her best Meg White impression with a simple, but very effective drum beat in "She's Lost Control."

The EP was produced by Mark B. Christensen (50 Cent) and is beginning to take-off on New York radio stations. Check out this video of Hank & Cupcakes performing live in New York's Break Thru Radio station following their appearance on MTV's show "The Seven." For more information and tour dates, check out their myspace page (www.myspace.com/hankandcupcakes).

Thursday, November 11, 2010

CD Review: Fort Wilson Riot "Predator/Prey"

Fort Wilson Riot return with their sophomore release "Predator/Prey." The album finds the duo continuing on the success of their debut release "Idigaragua."

Singer Jacob Mullis' vocals gets highlighted wonderfully by Amy Hager's harmonies on the album's opening track "Forgotten Language." The music that these two produce is magical and at times you forget it's made by only two musicians. One of the most mainstream songs on the album is "Gold-Flecked Morning." It contains the right mix of storytelling lyrics with a comfortable acoustic sound. The duo does like to experiment with styles as noticed on the broadway sounding "Diamond Blues" and "Lately." Jacob's folksiness shines through on part one of the two-part album closer "Pieces Of The War." The second part shows that band does like to let their hair down and rock.

Fort Wilson Riot are currently on tour and will make their way to the east coast at the beginning of December. Look for them to visit your area at fortwilsonriot.com.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

CD Review: Matt White Shows Us "It's The Good Crazy"

Singer/songwriter Matt White returns with his sophomore follow-up "It's The Good Crazy." The album is filled with piano riffs and hook-filled vocals. Matt's song-writing has definitely grown on his new album as he seems to "hit the nail on the head" with his pop-friendly sound.

Don't make the mistake of writing off Matt White as another pop singer. His melodies are catchy and his lyrics are thought-provoking stories. He introduces you to his new album with the up-tempo "And The Beat Goes On" which just grows on you the more you listen to it. Matt tries to portray his feelings of passion on "She's On Fire" and "When I Fall." He seems to have fun and enjoy performing and that gets echoed through his songs "Colorblind" and the Paul Simon sounding "Honeymoon Phase." The album's lead single "Falling In Love (With My Best Friend)" draws similarities to Jack Johnson with his song-writing talents shining through.

Matt White has dates scheduled for the next month including a date in Connecticut on November 13. Visit Matt White website (mattwhitemusic.com) for a complete list of tour dates and album information.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

CD Review: Connecticut's Make Do And Mend's Punk Debut

Connecticut's newest punk-rockers Make Do And Mend have released their debut album "End Measured Mile" at the end of October. The album came out on Paper+Plastick/Panic Records which is owned by Less Than Jake drummer Vinnie Fiorello. Make Do And Mend will be performing on Friday, November 13 at the Cheshire Masonic Temple. The show is one of two CD release shows this weekend, the other is in Cambridge, MA on November 12.

The album hits you right from the opening guitar chords of "Unknowingly Strong" while the lyrics are shouted out of the speakers. You can almost feel lead singer shredding his vocal chords on the lyrics to "For A Dreamer" and "Stand/Stagger." Make Do And Mend find their energy on "Oak Square" and "Ghostal" as they mix tempos. The most mainstream alternative rock song on the album is "Thanks" with its mellow beginning and pop sounding lyrics. But, that comes to a crashing end with the hard-hitting album closers "Firewater" and "Night’s The Only Time Of Day."

Look for Make Do And Mend's full-length debut album is sure to leave its mark in the punk rock community. The band also has a holiday show scheduled on December 18 at Webster Hall in New York, NY. For more information on one of America's newest premier punk bands, check out their myspace page (www.myspace.com/makedoandmend).

Monday, November 8, 2010

CD Review: "Blood/Candy" Is The Right Formula For The Posies

Nineties alternative rockers The Posies return with a new album entitled "Blood/Candy." It's the band's first studio album in the last five years and their second album released on Rykodisc.

The sound from the album's lead-off song "Plastic Paperbacks" put you right back to The Posies 1990's heyday. The combination of strong lyrics sung by guest vocalist Hugh Cornwell and a Smashing Pumpkins-type vibe works to The Posies advantage. The album's first three songs contain a "little help from friends" on vocals. The addition of Kay Hanley's vocals turns "The Glitter Prize" into an alternative-pop masterpiece. Continuing the trend, "Licenses To Hide" features the guest vocals of Lisa Lobsinger, as the band expands their song-writing to show their growth over the last half-decade. The Posies finally settle into their up-tempo groove with "So Caroline" and "Take Care of Yourself." Without a weak song on the album, a full listen is in order to appreciate how far this band has grown.

The Posies returned to the states after a month-long tour of Europe. They will be hitting the east cost around the middle of November. For a complete list of tour dates and album information, please visit theposies.net.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

CD Review: Travis Singer Released Debut Solo Album

Fran Healy, lead singer of the Scottish band Travis, has finally got around to releasing his debut solo album "Wreckorder." The album was recorded at the end of 2009 with some finishing touches added early this year. It also features contributions from Paul McCartney and Neko Case. The album was released last month on the Ryko/Wreckord Label.

The album carries a mellow sound, concentrating on Fran's gift for song-writing. The song "Anything" just comes and sweeps you up and carries you on an adventure in storytelling. The addition of vocals by Neko Case adds another dimension to Fran's lyrics in "Sing Me To Sleep." "Fly In The Ointment" and "As It Comes" get brought along by a consistent drum/bass line which gives a more alternative sound to some of Fran's songs. But he gentleness of "Rocking Chair" and the moodiness of "Moonshine" helps balance the overall sound of the album.

Fran Healy will be joining The Killers' front man Brandon Flowers for a two-week tour that runs mostly along the west coast. Fran's new album is available now, for more information please visit franhealy.com.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Concert Review: Fans Experience Hendrix At The MGM Grand Theater

The music of Jimi Hendrix is alive and well as the latest ensemble of the Experience Hendrix tour stopped in Connecticut Thursday night. Experience Hendrix is an ongoing tour of some of today's elite guitarists performing the songs of the late-great Jimi Hendrix. The MGM Grand Theatre at Foxwoods was the place to be if you are a fan of Jimi Hendrix's music or just a fan of great guitar playing.

As a video montage showed on the screen, fans took to their seats for the beginning of 2 straight hours of some of Hendrix's most well-known songs as well a few obscure ones. The live music began with Billy Cox, the original bassist for Hendrix's Band of Gypsys, providing the vocals and bass duties for "Stone Free." The stage became like a rotating door for guitarists and musicians to grab the spotlight during some of their personal Hendrix favorites. Living Colour woke up the crowd with an energetic version of "Crosstown Traffic" as lead singer Corey Glover and bassist Doug Wimbish visited the audience. The two ran through the aisles encouraging everyone to shout out the song's chorus. Guitarist Eric Johnson performed a thunderous verison of "Are You Experienced?" with three drummers providing the song's rhythm.

The tempo picked up with Jonny Lang and Aerosmith's Brad Whitford providing the energetic solos on one of Hendrix's most covered songs "Fire." But, the evening definitely belonged to 33-year old Kenny Wayne Shepard. His jamming solo on "Voodoo Chile" channelled the spirit of Jimi Hendrix. The guitarist ran his fingers up and down the fret-board more times than one could count, also performing behind his head as if it was second nature for him. His well-deserved standing ovation was followed by the evening's final special guest, the guitar wizard Steve Vai. He displayed his talents on the Hendrix instrumental "Midnight" from the posthumos release "War Heroes." Living Colour returned to support Vai on "Foxy Lady" which once again had the audience in a pandemonium, shouting the chorus back to the performers.

The night's events finished with Billy Cox returning to the stage to provide the vocals to one of Hendrix's favorites "Red House." Guitar solos by Kenny Wayne Shepard, Mato Nanji of the band Indigenous and The Slide Brothers gave fans hope that Hendrix's influence is alive and well. A live recorded version of Jimi Hendrix performing "Wild Thing" played through the speakers as all the members of the 2010 Experience Hendrix tour collected onstage for one last bow. Only the music of Jimi Hendrix could gather guitar talents of this caliber year after year for the sole reason of celebrating Jimi's legacy.

Setlist:
Stone Free (Ernie Isley & Billy Cox)
Message To Love (Ernie Isley & Billy Cox)
Manic Depression (Ernie Isley)
Crosstown Traffic (Living Colour)
House Burning Down (Eric Johnson)
Burning Of The Midnight Lamp (Eric Johnson)
Are You Experienced? (Eric Johnson)
All Along The Watchtower (Jonny Lang, Brad Whitford, Mato Nanji)
Fire (Jonny Lang & Brad Whitford)
Spanish Castle Magic (Jonny Lang & Brad Whitford)
Come On (Let The Good Times Roll) (Kenny Wayne Shepard & Noah Hunt)
Voodoo Child (Kenny Wayne Shepard & Noah Hunt)
Voodoo Chile (Kenny Wayne Shepard & Noah Hunt)
Midnight (Steve Vai)
May This Be Love (Steve Vai)
Foxy Lady (Steve Vai & Living Colour)
Red House (Billy Cox, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Mato Nanji, The Slide Brothers)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

CD Review: Will Hoge Slows Down With "Living Room Sessions"

Country music artist Will Hoge is not one to sit around and wait for fame to find him. He's released 5 full-length studio albums, 7 live albums and 2 EPs all within the last decade. His latest release is an EP entitled "The Living Room Sessions" and it features six songs recorded in Will Hoge's living room.

The songs have a very relaxed feeling with most of the focus on Will's lyrics. The up-tempo "Long Gone" is missing the punch of electric instruments, but the rest of the EP picks up from there. The fragile, gentleness of "Too Late Too Soon" is felt through Will's vocals as no overdubs or retakes were done during the recording. The standout tracks is the country-pop of "Favorite Waste Of Time" and the EP closer "All Night Long" which plays perfectly to the lyrics on this fan favorite.

Will Hoge will be joining Shinedown on tour starting November 4 as the tour makes its way up the east coast. For album information and tour dates, visit willhoge.com.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

CD Review: ReVoltReVolt Debut With "Chordata"

The trio of Chris Bock, Ben Brunn and Jasin Serna have been together for three years now under the name ReVoltReVolt. They recently released their full-length debut album entitled "Chordata" on Spark & Shine Records.

The album carries a Radiohead-type vibe with a very heavy sounding bass and guitar. The band pays tribute on "Black Horse" to some of their musical heroes including Kiss. The trio also disguise a cover of Eddie Money's "Baby Hold On To Me" in "Dead Christmas." The band seems to enjoy performing the music, more so than singing, as they jam on "Farewell Address." ReVoltReVolt know has to rock as shown in the up-tempo "All Alone" and "Discordia" which is a nice break as some of the songs seem to lose the energy and feel of the lyrics.

ReVoltReVolt are wrapping up their West-coast tour this month with Built To Spill. Check out the band's myspace page (www.myspace.com/revoltrevoltmusic) for more information.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

CD Review: El Ten Eleven's Music Is "Still Like A Secret"

Instrumental rock duo El Ten Eleven are returning with their forth album "It's Still Like A Secret," which is exactly how the band's sound gets made. Bassist Kristian Dunn and drummer Tim Fogarty have perfected their sound with the help of effects pedals, looping and other studio wizardry. The album will be self-released on November 9 on their own Fake Record Label.

The album's sound crosses many barriers of music. From the alternative rock of "The Sycophants Are Coming," El Ten Eleven mostly experiments on the new album with electric drum beats as in "Indian Winter" and "Falling." They try to expand their sound on "Marriage Is The New Going Steady" to help you visualize the notes being produced as they float out of the speakers. Their music does get grungier for a moment on "83," but then returns to the comfortable pop flow of "Tomorrow Is An Excuse For Today."

El Ten Eleven has one upcoming show for the moment in Dallas, TX on New Year's Eve. For more information about this indie-duo, visit elteneleven.com.

Monday, November 1, 2010

CD Review: Zion I Gives Us The "Atomic Clock"

Legendary hip-hop act Zion I will be performing Tuesday, November 2nd at Toad's Place in New Haven, CT as part of their Atomic Clock tour. I admit, I haven't listened to a lot of hip-hop lately, but the new Zion I album "Atomic Clock" has a nice 70's funk sound with some Tribe Called Quest vocals laid over the beats.

The vocal stylings of Baba Zumbi on the opener "Always" reflects those of Q-Tip, while the rock guitars in "4U" add an extra boost to the song's beats. The duo hit their groove on "The Sealing" and "Sign Of Light" will classic hip-hop beats provided by MC AmpLive. Zion I's new album also features special guests Macklemore & Locksmith, Martin Luther and Rebelution. The album's title "Atomic Clock" gets repeated in many of the songs, tying the album together. The album closes with some smooth lyrical rhyming on "Infatuation" and big beats on "The History."

Zion I's seventh album "Atomic Clock" will be released on November 9 on Gold Dust Records. The duo is currently on tour. Visit their website zionicrew.com for a complete list of tour dates and album information.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

CD Review: Zac Brown Band Gets "What You Give"

The Zac Brown Band has returned with a new album entitled “You Get What You Give.” It is the follow-up to their platinum selling debut album "The Foundation." “The Foundation” garnished 5 singles including 2 "Top 10” singles and a Grammy nomination for “Best Country Album.” So you may ask, how do you follow-up on the success of such an album. Well, the answers easy…make a better, stronger more complete album which is exactly what “You Get What You Give” is.

The album starts off with the up-tempo “Let It Go,” a country rocker that runs along the same vein as the songs from their debut album. The new album deals with some more serious subjects like the conflict of leaving your family behind when you go on tour in “I Play The Road.” “Colder Weather” is almost an autobiography about Brown’s gypsy-like urge to be on the road while his love stays home. The album also contains some fun moments like “Whiskey’s Gone” and the Caribbean flavor, "Settle Me Down.” Also, a couple of well-known guests stop by to put their stamp of approval on the album, Jimmy Buffett on “Knee Deep” and Alan Jackson on “She’s Walking Away.” Even though, the Zac Brown Band is mainly a country act, they also keep their “jamband” endeavors on the ten-minute romp "Who Knows.”

The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard album back in September and is on route to match the success of their debut album. The band has six dates scheduled, including a New Year’s Eve show at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, GA. For a complete list of tour dates and information, visit zacbrownband.com.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

CD Review: 20 Years for Pantera's "Cowboys From Hell"

Heavy metal band Pantera has just released a 20th Anniversary edition of their breakthrough album “Cowboys From Hell.” The album is considered one of the most influential heavy metal albums of all-time.

The original 12-track album gets digitally remastered and you hear all the outstanding guitars by the late Dimebag Darrell, as well as the powerful drumming of Vinnie Paul. Philip Anselmo’s vocals and Rex’s bass also benefit from the clarity of these songs. But, that’s not only reason to buy this new release. The second CD is made-up of two live appearances around the time of the original album’s release. The first 7 songs are recorded live at the Foundation Forum Metal Convention in 1990. It features a Pantera band hungry to prove why they should be considered one of the best heavy metal acts in music. The last five songs on the disc are from the Monsters in Moscow music festival in 1991. The band performed along side the likes of Metallica and AC/DC and held their own with these other heavy rock giants. There is even a 3CD set which also includes a CD of demos that were recorded for the album, as you hear the songs go from glam metal to hard and heavy hitters.

The album is available is available now in 3 different versions (single CD – album only, double CD – original album/live album, triple CD set – original album/live album/demos). Lead singer Phil Anselmo is appearing on the October 30th episode of VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show and has also been featured on the cover of Decibel magazine. Visit the band website (pantera.com) for up-to-date information from the band.