Tuesday, March 29, 2016

CD Review: New Music From Singer/Songwriters Janiva Magness, Lee Aaron, Ben Mauro, Kathryn Pallakoff, Noam Weinstein & Andrew Thomson

Soulful singer/songwriter Janiva Magness will be releasing her 12th studio album on April 8th titled "Love Wins Again." Janiva won the Blues Music Award for "Best Contemporary Blues Female Artist" for her previous album "Original," but Janiva heads in a more R&B direction on this latest release. Beginning with the title-song, "Love Wins Again," she allows her soul to swing on this gospel-toned opener. She gets a slight funk groove going with "Real Slow," before slowing down for the smooth bluesy ballad "When You Hold Me," along with the angelic feel of "Doorway." Janiva revisits the spirit of James Brown on the funky, uptempo "Your House I Burnin'" and covers Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Long As I Can See The Light" with grace and respect. She closes the album with her plea of "Who Will Come For Me" as Janiva's voice soars along with the choir. To find out more about Janiva Magness and her latest release "Love Wins Again," please visit her Facebook page at facebook.com/JanivaMagness.

From Canada comes the latest release from singer/songwriter Lee Aaron titled "Fire And Gasoline." The album will be released this month on her own record label, Big Sister Records and it is her return to straight-up rock music in almost two decades. The new eleven-song release begins with guitars a-blazing for the up-tempo romp of "Tom Boy" and continues with the big beats of the title-song "Fire And Gasoline." She takes the music up a notch with the punk-like fury of "Wanna Be" and hopes that the addictive "Popular" puts her on the charts. She blazes a trail with the slow burn of "50 Miles," before showcasing her edgier sound with the big guitars of "Bad Boyfriend." The album closes with the country rock of "If You Don't Love Me Anymore" and the power ballad "Find The Love." To find out more about Lee Aaron and her latest release "Fire And Gasoline," please visit leeaaron.com.

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Ben Mauro is following up his debut album, "To L.A." with another short, exciting piece of music titled "From N.Y." It features nine-songs of bright, sunshine rock that makes you feel good. Beginning with "I Look Around," he will definitely lift your spirits. Ben has fun with the groove and chorus of "Making Out In Traffic" as he peels off guitar riffs wherever space allows. He visits the Roots/Americana side of his songwriting with the hand-clapping rhythms of "Down By The River," then tackles the seventies, California rock sound of "Romeo & Juliet." Ben gives an island vibe to "Complicated," before closing with a great, light-hearted unplugged version of "Happily Ever." To find out more about Ben Mauro and his latest release "From N.Y.," please visit benmauro.com.

From Los Angeles comes the latest release from singer/songwriter Kathryn Pallakoff titled "Proud And Heavy Dreamer." The new album features eleven songs, beginning with the acoustic folk of "Hard Down In This Hole." Her voice sounds so sweet and innocent when she shoots for the stars in "American Astronaut." The ballad of "Psyche And Eros" is the perfect setting for the warming touch of her voice. She places her wonderful poetry into the gentle touch of the music of "Big Bang," before her music builds into the modern folk appeal of "Sorry For The Way." The album finishes up with the Jewel-like folk/pop of "Unicorn Scars" along with the slow, dreamlike sway of "Liquid Sound." To find out more about Kathryn Pallakoff and her latest release "Proud And Heavy Dreamer," please visit kathrynpallakoff.bandcamp.com.

Boston-born singer/songwriter Noam Weinstein recently released his latest album "Waves" back in February. It has garnished rave reviews from across the world and deals with the subject matters of birth, death, love and healing. The new fifteen song release begins with pop/soul groove of "Last Reincarnation" and the uptempo rock of "Mother." Noam's light-hearted delivery of "Through Your Eyes" and the jazzy feel of "He Will Be" showcases his songwriting, pouring his emotions into the words he sings. He pulls off a modern day Bee Gees sound with "If I Had Feelings" and mixes together jazz and soul for the big jam sound of "Over." The album finishes with the simple heartfelt ballad "I Do" and the gentle touch of "It Comes In Waves." To find out more about Noam Weinstein and his latest release "Waves," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/NSongs.

Canadian singer/songwriter Andrew Thomson will be releasing his latest album "Live At Apartment 2B" on April 15th through Blacktop Records. It features Andrew returning to a venue he performed at before, but this time acoustically. The short four song EP beings with "Stoya" as Andrew seems like he is getting adjusted to the acoustic setting. He picks up the energy with "Please," before closing this short release with the interactive folk delivery of "Bad Catholics/Parade." To find out more about Andrew Thomson and his latest release "Live At Apartment 2B," please visit blacktoprecords.bandcamp.com.

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