Thursday, August 14, 2014

CD Review: Independent Singer/Songwriters Shine With New Music

Nashville guitarist Mike Valeras recently released his latest album, "Abbott St." with his jazz fusion guitar trio. Valeras is also an instructor at Belmot University where he has built up the reputation as one the most respected musicians/composers in Nashville. The new nine song release begins with the funky rhythm of the title song, before the band lock into the great smooth jazz groove of "Lucky 13." The album really gets going with the relaxing seven-and-a-half minute "The Face Of My Father" and the gentle flow of "Mill City," before reaching its peak with "Sisters," which features help from Stephen Davis, Chip Henderson & Bryan Clark. The album closes with a drawn-out cover of Glen Campbell's "Wichita Lineman," which pushes past the seven minute mark and allows Valeras to showcase more of his talent. To find out more about the Mike Valeras Trio and his latest release "Abbott St," please visit mikevalerasmusic.com.
 
Next, from Scotland comes the latest album from singer/songwriter Colin Clyne entitled "The Never Ending Pageant." It is his first album released through Fat Hippy Records and was produced and engineers by Grammy Award Winning Engineer Alan Sanderson (Rolling Stones, Elton John, Ryan Adams). The album was released back in July where it hit the "top 10" on the iTunes country charts and the first single "Merry Go Round" hit the top 50 on the UK singles chart. The new release begins with the lead single, which carries a country shuffle rhythm and an Americana feel to the lyrics. He rocks a little harder on "This Blue Town," while still keeping that country feel to his music. His early folk roots come shinning through on the acoustic strumming of "I'd Rather Do," and in the troubadour style of "Top Of The Mountain." The album finishes with "Dunnottar Skies" as Colin paints a picture in your mind with his words and the quiet country sway of "My Bonny Valentine." To find out more about Colin Clyne and his latest release "The Never Ending Pageant," please visit colinclyne.com.
 
Finally, from the hills of North Carolina comes the latest offering from singer/songwriter Jay Brown entitled "Beginner Mind." Influenced by bluegrass guitarist Doc Watson, Brown's fourth album looks to capture the truth in music, as with the opener "New Lovin' Mother." His voice is so warm and inviting as you feel welcomed by the laid-back Americana feel of the opening sound. With songs like "Two Hearts Keepin' Time" and "Old Rebels," Jay Brown should be mentioned in the same category with fellow singer/songwriters Ryan Adams, Jeff Tweedy and Ray Lamontagne. He showcases a Jim Croce-quality to his voice with "Get Your Fill Of Feelin' Hungry" and in the gentle touch of "Rarely Touch The Heart." The eleven-song album closes with the acoustic, feel-good memories of "Childhood Friends."
Jay Brown has a handful of shows in the Carolinas in the next couple months. To find out more about his new album "Beginner Mind," please visit jaybrownmusic.com.

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