Wednesday, March 8, 2017

CD Review New Music From Indie-Artists Jason Andrew Brown, Daphne Willis, Race To Neptune, Natalise, Howard Simon And DocFell & Co.

First from Indianapolis comes the latest self-titled release from singer/songwriter Jason Andrew Brown. After fronting a number of bands for the last two decades and performing alongside such artists as Neil Young, Counting Crows, Bush and Widespread Panic; Brown thought that it was time to re-invent himself as a songwriter. His latest five-song EP digs deep into his soul to deliver the most truthful album of his career. Beginning with "Shine Sun Shine," Brown definitely has a knack for writing an addictive chorus and music riffs to get the energy flowing on this fun, care-free opener. He gets more serious with the wonderful classic rock tones of "Stranger" and the emotional acoustic strumming of "Emptiness Is Forever." His maturity and experiences in the business have definitely shown through on this latest release, which closes with the folk-style, storied words of "Icarus." To find out more about Jason Andrew Brown and his latest self-titled EP, please visit jasonandrewbrown.com.

Next from Nashville comes the latest release from singer/songwriter Daphne Willis titled "Freaks Like Me." It follows quickly on the heels of her Beatles tribute "Come Together" and features songs that she has held on to for quite a while. The opening track, "Freaks Like Me," was originally written for use in Tim Burton's "Alice In Wonderland" movie back in 2010. The song carries a bluesy feel that fits in perfectly with the world of Tim Burton as Willis' vocals are sweet and seductive. She rolls out the lyrics of "Dopamine" like a Jason Mraz prodigy, as the song moves along its modern pop rhythms. She continues with the up-tempo, addictive dance beats of "Out Of The Black" and the island-clap swing of "Keep On Keepin' On." Her new 9-song release finishes with the funky backdrop of "Just A Little Bit" and the smooth R&B groove of "The Letter." To find out more about Daphne Willis and her latest release "Freaks Like Me," please visit daphnewillis.com.

From Colorado comes the alternative indie-rock band Race To Neptune with their debut album "Oh Contraire." Their sound derives from the early days of grunge as the music become more truthful and raw. Their new nine-song release begins with the guitar buzz of "Wanderlilly" as heart, emotion and desire drip from the music's youthful, energetic delivery. They keep the pace flowing with the steady rhythm of "Cigars And Celebrations" as the rage of guitars take the song to another level. The energy continues with the alternative mainstream radio sound of "Bulletful Of Piss" as Race To Neptune control their music with such maturity. Their new release finishes with the dark tones of "Constant Collapse," the fast, punk-like guitar fury of "Bayou Brew" and the steady, alternative rock of "Waterspout." To find out more about Race To Neptune and their latest release "Oh Contraire," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/RaceToNeptune.

From the California bay area comes the debut album "Glimpses Of The Sun" from the pop/rock band Natalise + The Sunset Run. Singer/songwriter Natalise has performed live all over the world, performing at over 150 different venues and has had some original songs featured on MTV, VH1 and the CW. Their new album begins with the wonderfully addictive, radio-friendly sound of "Abandon" as Natalise's voice is easy to get used to as she showcases her vocals on the gentle piano-based "See Me." Natalise + The Sunset Run are a hidden treasure for pop radio just waiting for their big break with the pop swing of "Headphones." Their new 5-song EP closes with the emotional, piano ballad "The Lucky Ones." To find out more about Natalise + The Sunset Run and their latest release "Glimpses Of The Sun," please visit natalisemusic.com.

Also from the California bay area comes the sophomore release from singer/songwriter Howard Simon. His new album titled "Visitors" features 14-tracks, beginning with the gentle, acoustic folk storytelling of "Three Horses." The tempo picks up with the swift paced rhythm of "The Librarian's Garden" and the jazzy swing of "Antonia." Simon uses his influence of another Simon (Paul) for the poetic lyrics of "Sweet Words And History" as he continues to draw comparisons to the folk leaders of the seventies. His warming vocals highlight "Christmas Day," while the title-song "Visitors" has a Celtic-feel attached to the song's melody. The album finishes up with Simon's slowed-down, re-imagined version of Bob Dylan's "Tomorrow Is A Long Time" and the up-tempo, lively strumming of "Albion." To find out more about Howard Simon and his latest release "Visitors," please visit howardsimonmusic.com.

Finally from the small town of Tahlequah, OK comes the latest album from Red Dirt band, DocFell & Co titled "Dust Bowl Heart." Having formed only five years ago, the band immediately entered the studio to create their debut album "Scissor Tail." As the band's sound continued the grow, they entered the studio once again to capture the country, bluegrass, Americana, folk style of "Dust Bowl Heart." The new release features 10-tracks, beginning with the knee-slapping, quick-pace of "Lonesomeville" as DocFell tells of the ghostly tales. They keep the energy flowing with the country rock of "The Less I Know" and the classic rockabilly flavor of "Love Sick." They dedicate a love song to their home state with the ballad "Oklahoma Lady," before the big modern country sound of "Dandelions" becomes the album's highlight. The album finishes up with the honky-tonk of "Tumbling Dice" and the country-folk storytelling of "This Machine." To find out more about DocFell & Co and their latest release "Dust Bowl Heart," please visit docfellmusic.com.

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