Friday, May 26, 2017

CD/DVD Review: The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" Turns 50!

Released exactly 50 years ago today (in the U.K.) was an album that would change the course of popular music. The Beatles made magic in the studio with their 1967 album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and to celebrate its 50th anniversary, Universal Music in association with Capitol and Apple Corps is releasing a six-disc box set on May 26th. This is the beginning of what fans have been waiting years for. Finally, we get the outtakes, studio chatter and multiple versions of songs that have been examined time and time again for the last 50 years.
 
This new luxurious box set contains 4CD/DVD/Blu-Ray/hardcover book/2 posters/cutouts housed in a sturdy black cardboard box with a slipcover that contains a 3D collage of the original album cover. The posters and the cutouts are a nice touch and the 144-page hardcover book covers everything about the album. Each song has its own detailed write-up as to how it was recorded in the studio as well as historical content from authors, composers, producers and journalists. The book also contains many rare photographs and illustrations that will even surprise the biggest Beatles fans.
 
Now, lets get into the music. The 4 CDs, DVD and Blu-Ray are kept in a replica of the "Sgt. Pepper" vinyl album cover, but when you open it, it contains each disc housed in it's own thin cardboard case with a outtake from the cover photo shoot on the front and the songlist for each disc on the back. The first CD features a brand new stereo mix of the album done by Giles Martin (George Martin's son). He brings the music back to life by lifting the music from the instruments and harmonies that were buried in the original stereo mix. The singing in "She's Leaving Home" has more truth in the vocals, while the music of "Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!" and "Within You Without You" has room to breathe as you can hear every instrument involved.
 
The exciting part for fans will be CDs 2 & 3, which contain 33 outtakes from the studio sessions. You'll be able to follow the structure of "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "A Day In The Life," as they each begin with early acoustic takes. A special treat is when you hear The Beatles talking in the studio, discussing the vocals for "Penny Lane" or ideas behind "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds." All of the music that appears on these two discs were placed in the chronological order of when they were recorded in the studio.
 
The 4th CD contains the original mono version of the album with six bonus tracks, including newly discovered mono mixes of "A Day In The Life," "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" and "She's Leaving Home." The Blu-Ray and DVD mirror each other as both contains a newly created 5.1 surround sound mix of "Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band." Also included is a newly restored version of the 1992, 25th anniversary documentary "The Making Of Sgt. Pepper," as well as promotional films for "A Day In The Life," "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane." It's nice to relive the making of the album through the eyes of those directly involved with it.
 
This new anniversary edition of The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" will also be available as a singe CD (containing the new stereo mix), 2CD set (containing the new stereo mix and a compilation of the outtakes) and deluxe vinyl, 180gram double LP (contains the new stereo mix and compilation of outtakes in the same running order as the album). To find out more about this amazing new release, please visit sgtpepper.thebeatles.com.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

CD Review: New Music Arriving From Calico The Band, Tomten, Project Grand Slam And AV Club

California country founders and leaders Manda Mosher and Kristen Proffit are preparing to release their sophomore effort under the name Calico the band. Their new album titled "Under Blue Skies" will be released on July 21st on the duo's own label, California Country Records LLC. The band has won numerous awards for their debut release as they look to recapture that success with this latest release. Their new 12-song album begins with the steady, country strumming of "Fine Line" as the harmonies will surely capture your attention. They deliver a classic country/bluegrass sound with "Cold Cold Love" and the soulful, inspiration of "The 405." The duo pay homage to their musical influences with a beautiful, country/pop version of the Mamas & the Papas' "California Dreamin'." They deliver the sweet, country blues lullaby of "Under Blue Skies," before picking the tempo back up with the country swing of "Fly Me Away." Calico the band finish up their new album with the sweet serenade of "Love Gets In The Way" and the dark, storied lyrics of "Into The Unknown." Calico are currently on the road, along the west coast with dates sprinkled through out May and July. For a complete list of shows and to find out more about their new album "Under Blue Skies," please visit calicotheband.com.
 
Seattle folk/rock trio Tomten are preparing to release their new full-length studio album, "Cremation Songs" on July 7th. The new 13-song album follows the trio as they've grown and developed since the release of their debut album 5 years ago. Their new release begins with the mellow, piano-led, slow pop of "Grand Guignol" and the light, soft rock of "Cloud Man Calling." Tomten's beautiful songwriting is felt in the wonderful presentation of "Laurent's Tomb" and the lush, grand sound of "For The Worse." They experiment with their sound on sixties-inspired "King Of Viridia," before finishing their new album with the quiet, "dream pop" of "Leaving Joyous Gard" and the steady, soft rock tones of "Still Life With Sylvie." To find out more about Tomten and their latest release "Cremation Songs," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/TomtenMusic.
 
American bassist/composer Robert Miller is the brainchild behind Project Grand Slam and the band is preparing to release their 5th album titled "The PGS Experience." The album is a combination of new studio tracks and live performances. The new 9-song release begins with the jazz fusion feel of "Metro Shuffle," which features guest saxophonist Mindi Abair. The album continues with the first of four cover songs, a sweet reworking of Phish's "Free," lead by singer Ziarra Washington. Mindi Abair returns for the smooth, island feel of "Fishin," before taking on Cream's "I'm So Glad." Project Grand Slam kick off the live section of the new release with a Miller original, the steady rock of "Gorilla." They also perform a funky cover of The Kinks' "You Really Got Me" and a slinky, swinging version of Jimi Hendrix's "Fire." Project Gram Slam have some shows coming up in June, including an appearance at the International Jazz Festival in Kingston, Jamaica. For a complete list of shows and to find out more about Robert Miller and the new release from Project Grand Slam, please visit projectgrandslam.com.
 
From Chicago comes the self-titled, debut album from jazz/funk band AV Club. Their new 8-song album was released back in March and they are led by bassist/composer Andrew Vogt. They begins with the six-plus minute groove of "Stevland," in which everyone gets a chance to shine with their own solo. They quicken the pace for the swinging rhythm of "Grill Sergeant," then lock on to an R&B vibe with "Peachofjax." The AV Club uses elements of "Duck Hunt" to give their sound an electronic sound as the band find their way through the chaos of "Shack Dog." They finish their new release with the spirited delivery of "Yam Of Lotus" and the up-beat, jazz-fusion of "Godfather, Pt. II." To find out more about the AV Club and their debut album, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/theavclubchicago.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

CD Review: New Music From Singer/Songwriters Sarah Lassez, Kylie Odetta And Layla Frankel

French singer/songwriter Sarah Lassez is following in her grandfather's footsteps on her new EP "Paris In Tears." Her grandfather used to compose songs for singer Edith Piaf and Sarah has composed her new 5-track release as a simple, but playful exercise in music. She begins with the slow-waltz of the title song "Paris In Tears" as Sarah's vocals are perfect for this gentle flow of music and words. She adapts beautifully to the jazzy tone of "Mermaid Serenade" and "Ziegfeld Girl" as Sarah's vocals acts out the role delivered in the songs. Her new short release finishes with the smooth, dream-like poetry of "Time Killer." To find out more about Sarah Lassez and her latest release "Paris In Tears," please visit sarahlassez.com.

Indie-singer/songwriter Kylie Odetta recently released her new album titled "Undertow." This 19-year old soul singer displays her maturity on the jazzy opener "Sunny Day" as Kylie's vocals are warm, sultry and sweet as they get wrapped around your head. Her vocals become the main attraction on the slow piano ballad "Undertow," before adding a soulful, R&B sound to "Stress." Kylie wraps up her new short, 7-song release with the up-beat, pop feel of "You Cannot Have Your Way" and the country backdrop of "Battleground." To find out more about Kylie Odetta and her latest release "Undertow," please visit kylieodetta.com.

From Chicago comes the debut EP from singer/songwriter Layla Frankel. Her new release titled "Tame The Fox" features five original tracks and one cover song. She begins with the soulful strumming of "To Disregard" and "Tenderly." She adds a folk/rock vibe to the up-tempo rhythm of "Creature Of Habit," before slowing things back down for the storied lyrics of "Alamosa." She finishes her new album off with a slow, spiritual cover of The Cure's "Just Like Heaven," To find out more about Layla Frankel and her latest release "Tame The Fox," please visit laylafrankel.com.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

CD Review: New Music From Indie-Bands Kaleido, Ten Foot Pole, Grands Pricks, Polarnecks, Hot Kids And Dolly Spartans

Detroit hard rockers Kaleido recently released their new debut album "Experience" on May 19th through Luxor Records. The band is also currently on tour, opening for fellow rockers Seether, before joining Rob Zombie in July. This five-piece band is a stadium act ready to unleash their music on the masses. Their new album begins with a fake radio station intro, which leads into the big guitar sound of "Blue Collar Delight" as singer Christina Chriss will have you following her every word with her intense vocals. They continue with the rhythm fueled eruption of "No More Little Miss Nice Bitch" and the battle cry of "Die Tryin'" as Kaleido deliver an experienced rock sound as if they've been around for years. They experiment with their hard rock sound with the island rhythm of "Trouble In Paradise," but come roaring back with the high energy of "Love & War." Kaleido finish their album with the power ballad "All Together" and the slow, steady build-up of "The End." For a complete list of shows and to find out more about their new album "Experience," please visit kaleidoband.com.

From Southern California comes the latest release from pop-punk band Ten Foot Pole. Their new album titled "Setlist," features new recordings of some of the band's previous songs with Dennis Jagard taking over the lead singer role. Their new 13-song release contains 10 of the band's previous songs with a cleaner, more energetic, up-to-date sound; and a couple unreleased songs "Scars" and " I Don't Wanna Go." The final track on the album is an acoustic version of "Old Man." Ten Foot Pole kick things off with the buried treasure "Scars" as they will certainly capture your attention right from the first note. They kick it up a notch with the intense punk-like speed of "My Wall," before delivering the up-beat pop tones of "I Don't Wanna Go." Their music is definitely fun to sing-along to, especially "Kicked Out Of Kindergarten" and "Never Look Back." They finish with the build-up of "Closer To Grey" and the acoustic strumming of "Old Man." To find out more about Ten Foot Pole and their latest release "Setlist," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/tenfootpole.

Arriving July 13th on Gold Mold Records is the split EP titled "PolarPricks." It features the U.K. bands, Grand Pricks and Polarnecks as they each place their best effort on this upcoming release. The first two songs feature Grand Pricks who have an alternative, new wave sound as they look to capture their nineties influences with "En Flique" and "Don't Vote." Polarnecks deliver a raw, grunge-like feel to "Pretty," before the reckless punk attack of "Dogs." To find out more about this unique split-release, please visit the Gold Mold Records Facbook page at facebook.com/GoldMoldRecords.

Canadian trio, HotKid recently released their full-length debut album "Late Night Mornings." It features ten tracks as the band were allowed to experiment more in the studio with this new release. The album begins with the deep bass groove of "Need A Friend" as you are introduced to the wonderful vocals of Shiloh Harrison. They expand upon their sound with the alternative buzz of the title-song "Late Night Mornings" and deliver a raw, new wave sound with "Little Mess." The up-tempo, pop-punk feel of "Caught In The Light" and "Wasting Time" showcase the energy this trio have to deliver to their fans, while they also touch upon the alternative grunge of the 90's in "Jealous." HotKid wrap up their new album with the classic new wave rock sound of "This Time." To find out more about HotKid and their latest release "Late Night Mornings," please visit hotkid.ca.

From New York comes the latest release from alternative rockers the Dolly Spartans. Their new 5-song EP is titled "Time Sides With No One" and features one of the top indie-rock bands of the east coast. They begin their new album with the steady build-up of "When The Wheels Stopped Moving" as their sound contains mature, well-written melodies that definitely has a timeless quality.  They pick the energy up with the up-beat pop/rock of "Hanging Out" and reach their pinnacle on the sing-along chorus of "I Hear The Dead." They finish up their new short release with the youthful, high energy appeal of "Time Sides With No One" as Dolly Spartans leave you wanting more from this band. To find out about the Dolly Spartans and their latest release "Time Sides With No One," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/dollyspartans.

Monday, May 22, 2017

CD Review: New Anticipated Albums From Kwame Binea Shakedown, Tony Natale & John Haesemeyer

Arriving June 16th is the debut album titled "Roots Rock 'N' Universal Love" from soul rocker Kwame Binea and the Kwame Binea Shakedown. He brings together a great soul vibe which is felt through his rock 'n' roll/funk backdrop. His new 10-song release begins with the blues-rock of "Ain't Your Woman" as you are first introduced to the amazing vocals of Kwame Binea. The horns come out blazing for the funk-fueled rhythm of "Far Away," before guest guitarist Vernon Reid (Living Colour) lights up "Love Surreal" with an electrifying guitar solo. Kwame quickens the pace with "In Your Eyes" as he looks to establish his signature sound combining his love for rock music with his outstanding soulful vocals. The album closes with the thunderous funk groove of "John James Poe" and the gospel-like, soulful delivery of Jimmy Cliff's "Universal Love." To find out more about the Kwame Binea Shakedown and their latest release "Roots Rock 'N' Universal Love," please visit kwamebineashakedown.com.

American musician/songwriter Tony Natale recently released his highly anticipated new album titled "The Camden Promise." Natale has worked alongside such great artists as John Fogerty and Jaco Pastorius, and has also shared a stage with bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Violent Femmes. His new 9-song release begins with the up-beat, pop rock of "What If You Did?" as his new album is intended to inspire and enlighten the listener. He delivers a southern rock vibe on "Your Love Takes Me Home," before the grunge-like sound of "Promiseman" with an unforgettable chorus. He works up the Santana-like sound of "3 Days On The Road" as his smooth, classic rock sound becomes very addictive. Tony closes his new album with the guitar-driven hard rock of "Insanity" and the sweet, soft rock, seventies melody of "The Way You Walk." To find out more about Tony Natale and his latest release "The Camden Promise," please visit tonynatale.com.

American singer/songwriter John Haesemeyer recently released his new EP titled "Maybe If I Try." The album was recorded in both California and Buenos Aires, Argentina as Haesemeyer and his recording partner Nauhuel Brozini worked with musicians from the Mar del Plata Philharmonic Orchestra in order to get that authentic, international sound. The new, short five-song EP begins with the steady, Americana rock sound of "Big Balloon." Some of the Argentinian influence is felt in the inspirational rock of "Maybe I Try," before his reverts back to the acoustic-based, Americana sounds of "Room For Two." John closes his new album with the sweet, gentle flow of "Theory" as you fully appreciated his songwriting. To find out more about John Haesemeyer and his latest release "Maybe If I Try," please visit haesemeyer.com.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

CD Review: The Dustbowl Revival Bring Together Their 8-Piece Band For A New Album

From Los Angeles, CA comes the new self-titled album from The Dustbowl Revival. Their music is drenched in New Orleans' French Quarter history as they follow the blueprint laid out by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, but with their own flair added to the music. Their new album will be released on June 16th through the Signature Sounds label and showcases the power of this 8-piece band.

Their new 11-song release begins with the rhythm/horn duel of "Call Me Name" as singers Liz Beebe and Zach Luptin share the lead vocal duties on this funk fueled number. They continue with the jazzy-pop feel of "If You Could See Me Now" and the dynamic, quick pace of "Good Egg." The Dustbowl Revival deliver the gospel-soul infused "The Story," before slowing the tempo down for the mellow country tones of "Debtor's Prison." The album's first single, "Busted" is a slinky, soulful song that allows Beebe to take control of the spotlight with her vocals. Grammy-winning blues artist Keb' Mo duets with Beebe on the bluesy feel of "Honey I Love You." The Dustbowl Revival finish up their new release with the quiet, acoustic folk of "Got Over" and the seven-minute, slow-moving, Americana sound of "Don't Wait Up."

The Dustbowl Revival are currently on their U.S. tour which runs through to September. For a complete list of live shows and to find out more about their new self-titled studio album, please visit dustbowlrevival.com.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

DVD/CD Review: Revisit Punk/Rock With The "Plasmatics Live!" & "The Sound Of The Furys"

The new release titled "Plasmatics Live! Rod Swenson's Lost Tapes 1978-81" features live video clips of the band performing some of their most well-known songs from different venues in the U.S. Since the Plasmatics were originally a New York band, the first couple videos feature the band as new wave/punk act at the famed CBGB's. While the video footage is nowhere near high-definition, the historic value alone is worth it to see the band grow and develop into the rebellious, controversial band of the eighties that made lead singer Wendy O. Williams a star in the heavy metal/punk music genre.

You see the band develop their stage show and their sound in 1980 with their performance at the Calderone Theatre in Long Island as Williams begins to showcase herself as a sex-symbol. The band continue to grow their sound and their look, as they try to make their look as outrageous as their sound. As the video continues through the band's live anthology, their sound takes on a more thrash metal feel in the early eighties with songs like "Living Dead" and "Nothing." Plus the Plasmatics continued to develop and revolve their stage show around destruction as Williams smashes television sets and blows up cars as she has the audience eating out of her hand. The amazing part is how much their sound and stage show grew and changed in only three years.

The hour-long video is a great reminder as to how innovative a performer Wendy O. Williams was and how she seduces every audience into become fans of the band. If you love the band, then this video is a great snapshot of their early days and if you are new to the Plasmatics, then this video will open your eyes as to what you may have missed from the band's heyday. To find out more about the new video release of "Plasmatics Live! Rod Swenson's Lost Tapes 1978-81," please visit mvdb2b.com/s/PlasmaticsLiveRodSwensonsLostTapes197881.

The classic new wave/punk band The Furys have returned with a new 9-song compilation titled "The Sound Of The Furys." It features a mix of old and new material, beginning with the raw, punk-like energy of "Wicked White," which captures the nostalgic sound of the late-seventies. The one cover song that appears on this release features The Furys' injecting new wave/pop sound into The Walker Brothers version of "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore." The compilation includes the band's 1978 indie-radio hit "Say Goodbye To The Black Sheep" and their 1979 single "We Talk We Dance." Their new release wraps up with a pair of fan favorites from their eighties output, "Gotta Be" and "What's Done Is Done." To find out more about The Furys and their latest release "The Sound Of The Furys," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/The-Furys.

Friday, May 19, 2017

CD Review: CKY Rises With "The Phoenix" & Broadside Finds "Paradise" On New Release

The hard rock trio, CKY return with their 5th studio album, "The Phoenix," which will be released on June 16th through eOne Music. CKY have continued to grow and evolve with each album and after almost 8 years between releases, we truly notice the full potential of the band. Their new 8-song release begins with the thunderous rhythm of "Replaceable" as the rawness of the trio is felt in this recording. Guitars come out blazing on "Days Of Self Destruction," before the boys get dark and dirty on the grunge-like metal appeal of "The Other Ones." Their new release wraps with the powerful, hard-hitting attack of "Wiping Off The Dead" and the classic, mystical metal of "Better Than Get Even." CKY are currently on the road in Europe before returning to North America for a tour of Canada and then joining the Vans Warped Tour this summer. To find out more about their new album "The Phoenix," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/ckyalliance.

Back in 2015, Virginia punk band, Broadside released their Victory Records debut album "Old Bones." Now the band returns with their follow-up release titled "Paradise." After spending the summer of 2016 on the road as part of the Vans Warped Tour, Broadside headed into the studio to record their 11-song follow-up. Their new album kicks off with the alternative pop-rock of "Hidden Colors" as Broadside will continue to attract fans with their youthful energy. They inject summer fun into their songs "Paradise" and "Lose Your Way," before returning to their punk roots with "Disconnect." Broadside deliver a new high school anthem with "Who Cares," before finishing with the sing-along chorus of "Miss Imperius" and the ukulele-pop strumming of "I Love You, I Love You, It's Disgusting." To find out more about Broadside and their latest release "Paradise," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/broadsideva.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

CD/Vinyl Review: Will Ackerman Returns On Vinyl & The Jon Stickely Trio Wants You To "Maybe Believe"

Grammy award winning guitarist Will Ackerman may be best known as the founder of Windam Hill Records, but his album "Returning" is the latest vinyl to be produced by Audio Fidelity. In 2004, Ackerman decided to re-record some of his most well-known instrumentals for prosperity, but instead created a timeless album that can certainly find a home with anyone.
 
Audio Fidelity has taken the album and made it available on 180g vinyl for the first time. The clarity that Audio Fidelity delivers is unprecedented as you can almost feel the plucking of the strings as in the gentle opener "The Bricklayer's Beautiful Daughter." You can hear Will fall in love again to his early compositions "Pictures" and "Barbara's Song" as you follow along to every single note that is being played. His music tells a story as in "Processional" and will relax your mind and take your troubles away for the "Last Day At The Beach." The album was produced by Ackerman and was mastered by Kevin Grey for this new timeless release as Audio Fidelity continues to raise the bar on these amazing sounding albums. To find out more about this new vinyl version of Will Akerman's album "Returning," please visit audiofidelity.net.
 
American guitarist Jon Stickley recently released his new album with the Jon Stickley Trio titled "Maybe Believe." It features a dozen tracks that find the group diving back to their roots, as in the gentle flow of the opening song "Jewels." They pick the tempo up with the bluegrass feel of "Playpeople" and incorporate some gypsy jazz into "Almost With You." The first of the album's 3 cover songs is a twist on Bill Monroe's "Jerusalem Ridge," which the band has already been performing live. The Jon Stickley Trio find solace in their gentle cover of the Aphex Twin cover "Avril 14th," before picking up the pace with a frantic delivery of "Cecil." The album finishes with the punk-like energy of "Mt. Sandia Swing" and the gypsy jazz guitar picking of "Lady Time." The Jon Stickley Trio are currently on the road with a string of dates that run through to September. For a complete list of dates and to find out more about their new album "Maybe Believe," please visit jonstickley.com.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

CD Review: New Music Froms Established Artists Wayne Olivieri, Gentleman Jake & Cornell Carter

Singer/songwriter Wayne Olivieri has had a steady career in music. He formed his first band at age 17, performed steadily at CBGB's and Max's Kansas City and hopped on stage with bands like The Ramones, Talking Heads and Blondie. His band, The Rockids, became one of the biggest draws along the east coast, before he went on to form Oliver's Twist. Now, it's time for Wayne Olivieri to release his debut solo album titled "Eclectic Mind."
 
His new release features 13-tracks, beginning with swinging rock of "She's My Girl" as Wayne's vocals lay down the perfect setting for this fun, up-beat song. The pounding rhythm of "Music Man" and the quick pace of "Glory" bookends the emotional ballads "So Bad To You" and "Never Made A Stand." The classic days of CBGB's is heard through the punk-like sing-along of "You Gotta Work," before Wayne pours his experiences into the inspirational piece "This Is How It's Supposed To Be." The album wraps up with the waltz of "Then We Danced" and the power rock ballad "In The Heart Of A Man." To find out more about Wayne Olivieri and his latest release "Eclectic Mind," please visit wayneolivieri.hearnow.com.

Gentleman Jake may be the "black sheep" of the musical community as he has been a part of local musical communities in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, New Orleans, Miami, London, Paris and many more. While he has also been a part of major labels, he seemed better off as an independent artists, which allows him to be his own person. Gentleman Jack recently released his latest album titled "Black Sheep," which best describes the type of music found on this release. His new 12-track album begins with the steady flow of "Runaround," which is highlighted by a set horns as Jake's sing-along lyrics will be embedded into your memory as in "Vacation." He talks through the lyrics of "The Fossil Blues," before rocking out to the steady guitar riff of "Bicycle Thief." He takes a page out of David Bowie's songbook with the bass groove of "I Kiss You Everywhere" and experiments with the beats of "Rock The Box." The album closes with the raw, grunge-like appeal of "Jersey Job." To find out more about Gentleman Jake and his new album "The Black Sheep," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/BLACK-SHEEP.

Musical artist Cornell "CC" Carter has been entertaining fans for years. He released his first album, "Let's Go Back" in 1996 and has performed with the greats like James Brown, Ray Charles and worked with Carlos Santana on his most recent album "Santana IV." CC's latest album, "Vindicated Soul" is a tribute to great artists of Soul music. He begins with the Shaft-like "Intro," before finding his groove on the smooth delivery of Marvin Gaye's "All The Way Around." The R&B flavor of "I Choose You" represents the 1973 movie "The Mack," which also inspired CC at a young age. CC's vocals fit perfectly into soulful funk of "Next To You," before finishing his new release with the wonderful, gospel-like soul of Al Green's "Look What You've Done For Me." To find out more about Cornell "CC" Carter and his latest release "Vindicated Soul," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/Cornell-CC-Carter.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

RJ Podcast: Middletown's Damiano Christian Gives Us Some Insight Into His New Music

Guitar and piano virtuoso, Damiano Christian discusses his musical influences with us, as well as the release of his new 5-song EP titled "Built In Good Value" and performing on the road with Sacred Oath.

CD Review: Cowbell Deliver A "Haunted Heart" While Wendy & DB Make The World Greener With "HomeEarth"

From London, U.K. comes the musical duo of Jack Sandham and Wednesday Lyle, better known as Cowbell with their new album "Haunted Heart." It will be released on June 2nd through Damaged Goods and features a feel-good, down-home Americana sound that will get your hips moving. Their new 11-song release begins with the rockabilly rhythm of the titled song "Haunted Heart" as they pull a page out of the Stray Cats songbook. They continue with the slinky blues/soul of "None Of Your Business" and the up-tempo garage rock of "Downlow" as Wednesday's vocal lead the way. They slow the tempo down for the sway of "Something's Gotta Give," before bringing the congregation together for the raw, rocker "Nothing But Trouble." Cowbell wrap up their new album with the slinky, sixties-pop of "New Kinda Love" and the slow-blues of "No Wrong." To find out more about Cowbell and their latest release "Haunted Heart," please visit damagedgoods.co.uk.

Family folk duo Wendy & DB recently released their new album titled "HomeEarth." The duo from Chicago are "going green" with this new album, sending the message of working together to better their environment. Their new 13-song release kicks off with the up-tempo, fun, bop tempo of "HomeEarth" as Wendy's vocals are bright and enjoyable. They bring in a funk backdrop for the instructional "Water Song," then tell the folk tale of "Olly Orca." They pick the tempo back up with the up-beat rocker "Plant A Seed" as DB takes on the lead vocal role. Wendy & DB pay homage to their insect friends with "Buzzin' Bee Be Happy," "I Like Bugs" and "Bugs That Give Hugs." Wendy belts out the lyrics of "Girl Superhero" as she calls for all girls to become a hero in their own way. The album closes with the acoustic country sounds of "It Takes All Kinds Of Trucks" and the pop tempo of "People Are People." To find out more about Wendy & DB and their latest release "HomeEarth," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/wendyanddb.

Monday, May 15, 2017

CD Review: Celebrate 60 Years Of "The Art Pepper Quartet" & John Pizzarelli Pays Tribute To Frank Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim

Sixty years ago, 1957 was a landmark year for jazz musician Art Pepper. Her released two monumental albums, "Art Pepper Meets The Rhythm Section" and "The Art Pepper Quartet." For it's 60th anniversary, Omnivore Recordings revisited the latter album for a new release on April 22nd. The original 7-song album has almost doubled in size thanks to five bonus tracks from the sessions for "The Art Pepper Quartet" album.

The album featured five Art Pepper originals and two cover songs. The band played tight and safe on the opener "Art's Opus" as Pepper wove his way around his rhythm section. The band seems most excited about performing the cover songs "I Surrender Dear" and "Besame Mucho" as they sound like they add an extra jolt of energy to their delivery of these two songs. The bonus tracks deliver alternate takes of Art Pepper's originals "Pepper Pot" and "Blues At Twilight," but the greatest addition to this new release are the first six takes of "Val's Pal." You feel as if you are in the studio with the band as they work up this great, energetic tune. To find out more about the newly released "The Art Pepper Quartet," please visit omnivorerecordings.com.

American Jazz guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli is paying homage to two of his greatest influences with his new studio album. The new release titled "Sinatra & Jobim @ 50" showcases Pizzarelli's love for Frank Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim, who joined forces fifty years ago to record an iconic album together. John's new 11-song release begins with the bossa nova groove of "Baubles, Bangles And Beads" as John invites Jobim's grandson to duet on the classics "Agua de Beber" and "Dindi." John does an amazing job combining the Cole Porter original "I Concentrate On You" with Jobim's song "Wave" as the vocals are so smooth and flowing. John includes his tribute to the Jobim and Stan Getz collaboration of "The Girl From Impanema" at the end of "Antonio's Song," before John wraps up his new album with the medley of "If You Never Come To Me/Change Partners," which leads to the bossa nova rhythm of "Canto Casual."

The new album will be released on July 28th through the Concord Music Group's Concord Jazz label. He is currently on the road, promoting his new album with shows running into October. For a complete list of his live dates and to find out more about his new album "Sinatra & Jobim @ 50," please visit johnpizzarelli.com.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

CD Review: Lea Michele Brings Her Music Many "Places" & Ruth B. Finds Her "Safe Haven"

Lea Michele, former star of the Fox television show "Glee," is returning with her sophomore album titled "Places." Her debut album "Louder" cracked the top 5 on the Billboard album chart and she just wrapped up a short, six-date "Intimate Evening" tour. Her new 11-song release begins with the grand piano ballad "Love Is Alive" as her voice is strong and pure. Her album continues with the orchestral pop-tones of "Heavy Love," before you realize the full-potential of Lea's vocals in the emotional song, "Proud." The quietness of "Run To You" and the powerful pounding beats of "Anything's Possible" showcases the range of Lea music as she can tug on your heart strings at any moment and then get you on the dance floor the next minute. To find out more about Lea Michele and her latest release "Places," please visit her Facebook page at facebook.com/leamichele.

Canadian singer/songwriter Ruth B. recently released her Columbia Records' debut "Safe Haven." The album includes her breakthrough hit single "Lost Boy," which has been certified multi-platinum in five different countries, including the U.S. Her new album begins with the beautiful piano ballad "Mixed Emotions" as Ruth's vocals are pure angelic. Her music takes on a pop vibe on "Dandelions" and "Superficial Love," before the top-selling single "Lost Boy" will find its way to your heart with Ruth's wonderful lyrics and sweet vocals. She perfectly captures the mood with her emotionally filled vocals during "If By Chance," before finishing her new album with the lush piano ballad "In My Dreams" and the more up-tempo beats of "First Love." Ruth B.'s tour kicks off on May 14th in Nashville, TN and runs through the entire month of May. For a complete list of live dates and to find out more about Ruth B. and her new release "Safe Haven," please visit ruthbofficial.com.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

CD Review: Russ Features Debut With "A Wolf" & DMX Joins Blackburner For "Dog Eats Rabbit"

From Atlanta comes the major label debut album from DIY rapper Russ. His new album titled "There's Really A Wolf" was released on May 5th through Columbia Records. His new 20-song release begins with a simple piano chord and the big beats of "I'm Here" as Russ introduces his style to the world. The addictive rhythms lay the perfect groundwork for Russ' rhymes in "The Stakeout" and "Cherry Hill." He adds an R&B-vibe to "Ride Slow," while the dance/pop tones of "Don't Lie" are undeniable. The album also includes his two break-through hit singles "What They Want" and "Losin Control," before finishing the album with the mellow beats of "Back To You" and autobiographical lyrics of "MVP." T0 find out more about Russ and his latest release "There's Really A Wolf," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/russtheone.

Hip-hop icon DMX recently worked with Dubstep artist Blackburner on his latest release "Dog Eats Rabbit!" It was released back in April through Hypnotic Records, a division of Cleopatra Records. The new 21-track release features the powerful vocals of DMX as if they were thrown down the Dubstep rabbit hole as Blackburner mixes them to his liking. Songs like "Shut Em Down" and "How We Roll" have a great balance of beats and lyrics, while "Let It Go" showcases Blackburner's skills with mixing rhythms. DMX takes the spotlight with his message on "Get Back On My Feet," while "Dog Eats Rabbit" and "Chains In Your Brain" display Blackburner's talents switch tempos and beats. To find out more about this team up of DMX and Blackburner, please visit cleorecs.com.

Friday, May 12, 2017

CD Review: New Music From Canadian Artists The Velveteins And Kurt Swinghammer

From Edmonton, Canada comes the debut studio album, "Slow Wave" from alternative rockers The Velveteins. Their new nine-song release begins with the short acoustic intro of "First Wave," before the guitars come out buzzing for the up-tempo, indie-rock feel of "Strange Side Of The Street." They continue with the alt-pop melody of "Spanish Wine," then float on by with the dreamy, atmospheric soundscape of "Midnight Surf." They finish their latest release with the acoustic, addictive pop of "Don't Yah Feel Better?" and the slow, cosmic tones of "Slow Wave." The Velveteins have a handful of live shows in May. To find out more about their new release "Slow Wave," please visit thevelveteins.com.

Canadian singer/songwriter Kurt Swinghammer will be releasing his latest album "Another, Another" on May 12th. It will be Swinghammer's 13th studio effort and it features a dozen tracks that continue the evolution of his music. Beginning with "Dear Old Soul," the steady beat allows you to concentrate on his poetic lyrics, while "Another Another Green World" keeps you focused on the layers of music used to create the song's unique background. The experiments continue with the sounds of "She Needed More Loops," before the folk-pop appeal of "Jack Layton And Grace Appleton" and the gentle flow of "Another." His new album closes with the peaceful instrumental "Waltz For Wilf" and the electronic gadgetry of "The Random House." To find out more about Kurt Swinghammer and his latest release "Another Another," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/KSwinghammer.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

CD Review: New Heavy Metal Music From Legionnaire, Insanity, Bury The Machines And Walpyrgus

Here are some new heavy metal releases arriving at the end of May and the beginning of June. First up is the full-length, debut album from Finnish band Legionnaire titled "Dawn Of Genesis." Their new 8-song release kicks off with the high-energy of "Clairvoyance" and the dual guitar attack of Aku Tiensuu and Petri Ranta, which electrifies the song's thrash metal sound. The album continues with the chugging rhythm of "Shadow Upon The Metropolis" and the extreme metal delivery of "The Guardian." Their new release wrap up with the story of the "Black Harbinger" and the swift pace of "Olympian Aegis." To find out more about Legionnaire and their latest release "Dawn Of Genesis," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/legionnairemetal. 
Also arriving on May 26th is the sophomore release from Switzerland hardcore metal band Insanity. Their new album titled "Toss A Coin" follows the blueprint laid down by past New York hardcore bands as they kick things off with the hard-hitting "No Tolerance For Intolerance." The call to arms of "Find A Way" and "With My Friends" will turn you into an instant fan of Insanity and their music. The shout along chorus of "Down" and "One Day" will make you feel part of a larger hardcore metal community as Insanity continue to grow with each new album. To find out more about their latest release "Toss A Coin," please visit bastardized.net.
Coming in June is the latest release from doom metal band, Bury The Machines titled "Wicked Covenant." Bury The Machines is the work of Chicago native John E Bomher, Jr. as his new 3-song EP kicks off with the 11-minute epic "Beneath My Wrath." He masterfully turns the song's dark journey into exciting progressive-metal wizardry. The album's other two songs, "A Victim's Tears" and "Waterweapon," continue Bury The Machines' doom metal conquest as the songs buzz with guitars and deep bass grooves. To find out more about Bury The Machines' latest release "Wicked Covenant," please visit burythemachines.com.
Finally we arrive at the full-length debut album from Walpyrgus. The band is made up of heavy metal veterans from bands like Twisted Tower Dire, Viper and Daylight Dies. Their first EP was released back in 2014 on cassette and CD and their new album "Walpyrus Nights!" will be released on June 9th on CD and vinyl with a 56-page comic book with lyrics. Their new 8-song release begins with the high-energy of "The Dead Of The Night"as they capture the essence of their heavy metal influences. Their sound carries a nostalgic metal sound with a modern element that bring you back to the early days of classic hard rock in songs like "Dead Girls" and "Palmystry." Walpyrgus also throw in a cover of "Light Of A Torch" by the Danish heavy metal band Witch Cross." To find out more about Walpyrgus and their latest release "Walpyrgus Nights," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/Walpyrgus.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

CD Review: New Live Albums From Metal Blade Artists Fates Warning And Between The Buried And Me

The legendary progressive metal band Fates Warning is celebrating 35 years together as a band this year. Another milestone the band recently celebrated was the 30th anniversary of their break-through album "Awaken The Guardian." It was the last Fates Warning album to feature founding vocalist John Arch and their first album to enter the Billboard album chart. In honor of this album's achievement, Fates Warning assembled the album's original line-up and performed the complete album live in Germany last year at the Keep It True festival. On April 28th, Metal Blade Records is releasing "Awaken The Guardian Live," a new live recording of the album from that festival. 
 
The classic line-up injects a renewed energy into the music as the show begins, the same way as the album with "The Sorceress." The music sounds timeless as Fates Warning motors through "Valley Of The Dolls" and still take you down the heavy metal rabbit hole with the eight-minute musical journey of "Prelude To Ruin." They close out their album portion of the show with the nine-minute juggernaut "Exodus" as the crowd helps out with the chorus. They finish their show with a flashback to their first two albums as the songs "The Apparition" and "Epitaph" continue to showcase how great this band has evolved over the last 35 years. 
 
Fates Warning are hitting the road in June with a homecoming date on June 30th at the Webster Theater in Hartford, CT. Their new live album will be released on CD, DVD, Blu-ray and double gatefold vinyl. To find out more about "Awaken The Guardian Live," please visit fateswarning.com.
 
Fellow progressive metal band Between The Buried And Me are also releasing a new live album titled "Coma Ecliptic: Live." It features the band performing their most recent studio album "Coma Ecliptic" in its entirety. It was filmed and recorded live at The Observatory North Park in San Diego, CA last October and will be released on CD, DVD and Blu-ray.
 
The new 11-song release mirrors the same song list as the studio album, but you can certainly feel the extra shot of energy that Between The Buried And Me put into their live presentation. Songs like "The Coma Machine" and "Famine Wolf" make the most of their time as the band works its way between thrash and hardcore metal movements. The energy builds during the seven-minutes of "King Redeem/Queen Serene," while the band showcases their skills during the eight minute jam of "Turn On The Darkness." Their new live album wraps up with the back to back epic musical journeys of "Rabid Calm" and "Memory Place," before closing with the mainstream alt-rock of "Life In Velvet." To find out more about Between The Buried And Me and their latest release "Coma Ecliptic: Live," please visit betweentheburiedandme.com.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

CD Review: New Music From Top Instrumental Artists Jamie Saft, Mumpbeak And Charles Brown

Composer/musician Jamie Saft has led a 30 year career in music. He's collaborated with music icons like the Beastie Boys, Bad Brain, The B-52s and Donovan and is preparing to release his latest studio album "Loneliness Road." Saft works with his trio which includes Steve Swallow on bass and Bobby Previte on drums as they move along swiftly to the swinging jazz of "Ten Nights." The shuffle of "Little Harbor" and the graceful waltz of "Bookmarking" lead up to a rare appearance by Iggy Pop. Pop's vocals in "Don't Lose Yourself" reminds us of the deep, soulful delivery Leonard Cohen as Pop takes a page out of Cohen's lyrical songbook. The tempo slows down for the bluesy-jazz of "Pinkus," before the steady beat of "The Barrier." Iggy Pop returns to close out the album with the mellow, pop gem "Loneliness Road" and the dark, quiet poetry of "Everyday" as Saft and band fill the vocal gaps with beautiful music. To find out more about this new release, please visit rarenoiserecords.com.

Progressive rock instrumentalists Mumpbeak are following up their 2013 self-titled debut album with a new adventure titled "Tooth." Led by keyboardist/composer Roy Powell, their new 7-song release blurs the lines between rock and jazz making this avant garde trio into one of the promising underground instrumental acts in the world. They get the energy flowing with the exploratory tones of "Boot," before taking you on a sonic adventure with the tempo switches of "Brick." The drumming of Torsteain Lofthus will blow you away at the start of "Saw," while bassist and longtime collaborator Lorenzo Feliciati steadies the drive on "Cot." The album closes with the epic 9-minute "Caboose" and the 7-minute jazz/funk collage "Stone." To find out more about Mumpbeak and their latest release "Tooth," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/mumpbeak.

One of the top independent progressive guitarists around is returning with a new album. Charles Brown recently released his new instrumental album "Explorer Of Life," which combines elements of progressive rock with jazz fusion to keep the music exciting without the need for words. His new 9-song release begins with the title-song "Explorer Of Life." The song carries a new wave rock vibe as Brown changes up the tempo. He builds up the intensity of "Parallel Journey" as he blasts the sonic landscape with his quickness on the strings. He dives further into his song structure with the progressive feel of the "Ecliptic Voyage," before slowing everything down to deliver the beautiful "Prelude" from Johann Sebastian Bach's "Cello Suite." Then he delivers his own atmospheric suite with the futuristic sounds of "Wind Of Darkness," before closing his new album with spacey blues/rock of "Spectral Voyage" and the gentle acoustics of "When The Sun Rises." To find out more about Charles Brown and his latest release "Explorer Of Life," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/CharlesBrownGuitarist.

Monday, May 8, 2017

RJ Podcast: Guitarist Andy Summers Talks About His New Album, His Memoirs & His Love For Photography

Guitarist Andy Summers (The Police) discusses the creation of his new solo album "Triboluminescence" and how "Surviving The Police," based on his memoirs, allowed Andy to revisit the history of his former band. Summers also tells us a little about his passion for photography in this latest Record-Journal podcast.

CD Review: New Music From Singer/Songwriters Russ Tolman, Ben Bostick & Jackie Lee

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Russ Tolman has had an exceptional 35 year career in music, which began back in 1981 as a founding member of the west coast, psychedelic rock band True West. After four years, he left True West to begin his solo career, which yielded seven albums. To celebrate his 30th anniversary as a solo artist, Russ Tolman is releasing an anthology of his work titled "Compass & Map." It features 20-tracks from throughout his solo career and will be released on May 26th on Lost Records.

The new release begins with a couple of up-tempo, rock gems ("Marla Jane" & "Hollywood Holiday") from his 1990 album "Goodbye Joe." He dives back to the beginning with the new wave/punk-like energy of "Looking For An Angel," before displaying his Lou Reed-like folk poetry in "Palm Tree." As grunge took over the airwaves in the early nineties, Tolman kept things simple with the acoustic folk/rock of "Something About A Rowboat" and "Sleepin' All Alone." His beautiful songwriting shines on the mellow tones of "The Best Is Yet To Come" and the seventies-style west coast rock of "Stuck Like Glue." His music hits the perfect groove with the "jamming" feel of "Monterey" and "I'm Alive" as his music and lyrics are undeniable. The album finishes with the country/folk tempo of "Quadraphonic Highway" and the digital-only single "Los Angeles," which was recorded in 2013 and features the last recording of his partner Dave Drewry, who passed away last year. To find out more about Russ Tolman and his latest release "Compass & Map," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/RussTolmanBand.
 
From California comes the debut album from singer/songwriter Ben Bostick. His new self-titled release captures the classic essence of country artists as he allows the storied lyrics to control the song. His new 10-song release begins with the Americana build-up of "Independence Day Eve" and the mellow country swing of "Cost Of Mexico." Ben quickens the pace with the two-step shuffle of "Paid My Dues," before slowing things down for the poetic lyrics of "Paper Football." He delivers a nostalgic feel with "The Juggler" and quiets the mood with the gentle, acoustic, country folk of "Sweet Thursday." He finishes his new album with the slow, country blues of "I Should Have Been Her Man" and the deep, dark tones of "Erin Is Blue." To find out more about Ben Bostick and his new self-titled release, please visit benbostick.com.
 
Gonzo Multimedia recently released a new compilation for 1960's Irish pop singer Jackie Lee. The new 18-song released is named after her most famous single "White Horses" and features an unreleased song, "The Busker" from the album "Calendar," which was also never released. The new compilation begins with the classic sounds of "White Horses" as Jackie had an innocence to her vocals. The gracefulness of her voice is heard on the gentle flow of "I Can Sing A Rainbow" and "I Think I Like You." She delivers her version of "Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf?" and lets her vocals soar during "I Cry Alone," before the compilation closes with the addictive pop of "The Locomotion" and the well-known country/pop gem "The End Of The World," which fits Lee's vocal range perfectly. She cut her career short when she retired from music in 1972, citing vocal complications and throat trouble. To find out more about Jackie Lee's new compilation "White Horses," please visit gonzomultimedia.co.uk.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

CD Review: New Music From Singer/Songwriters Peter Rowan And Chris Price

American bluegrass/folk artist Peter Rowan recently released his new studio album "My, Aloha!" on May 5th. It features the musical legend taking a trip to Hawaii to record the region-specific album using local instruments. With a storied career like Peter Rowan, this album is a nice gentle break that allows you fall in love with, slowly. His new 11-song release begins with the light-hearted love story of "My Blue Hula Girl." He tells us some wonderful stories as in "Jerry In The Deep Blue Sea" and "My Aloha (Appalachian Mountain Home)." He uses his famous yodeling technique during the gentle sway of "Lotus Flower" and "Tsuki-Chan" as the music simply melts your troubles away. He finishes his new album with the beautiful melody of "A Man Of Time And Tides" and the undeniable folk masterpiece "Sunny At Sunrise (Reprise)." To find out more about Peter Rowan and his latest release "My, Aloha!," please visit omnivorerecordings.com.


Singer/songwriter Chris Price is returning after a five year absence to release his sophomore solo album "Stop Talking." Recorded over a 3 year period, Price has been busy producing albums and performing in Tal Wiklenfeld's band, who open for The Who. Now Chris Price is concentrating on his solo career with his new 14-song release. He begins with the addictive pop/rock chords of "Stop Talking" and showcases how he's developed his songwriting on the gentle acoustics of "Hi Lo." The folk style of "Father To The Man" is the perfect setting for his warm vocals, which leads to the wonderful harmonies of "You And Me (And Everyone Else)." He plugs in for the burst of space-rock with "Algebra In The Sky," then captures the seventies soft rock with "Darkness." He finishes up his new album with the pop tones of "One Of Them" and the gentle folk delivery of "Anhedonia." To find out more about Chris Price and his latest release "Stop Talking," please visit omnivorerecordings.com.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

CD Review: Omnivore Recordings Collects The Best Of The Sneetches For New "Retrospective"

West coast, alternative-pop band The Sneetches were a touring force from 1985 to 1994, but their concert attendance did not equal album sales, so they disbanded following the release of their 1994 album "Blow Out The Sun." While they may have been an underground sensation, Omnivore Recordings collected the best songs from The Sneetches for their first ever career compilation titled "Form Of Play: A Retrospective."

The new 22-song release goes through the band's history in 17 tracks with 5 previously unreleased bonus tracks. The band was less about the new wave pop scene taking over mainstream 80's radio and felt their music needed texture and layers as demonstrated on the opener "Over Round Each Other." Their music was fun, up-beat and very contagious as displayed in "...And I'm Thinking" and "What's In Your Mind." This release includes 3 live songs to demonstrate the band's wonderful timing and harmonizing while performing on stage. When they slowed the tempo down as in "Behind The Shadow" and "A Good Thing," you appreciate the talent of their songwriting that perfectly captures the mood of lyrics. The compilation closes with the rare home demo of "How Does It Feel" and displays the way their voices mesh perfectly.

This new release includes brand new liner notes by Grammy-nominated producer and band member Alec Palao, as well as unpublished photos of the band. To find out more about this new compilation from The Sneetches, please visit omnivorerecordings.com.

Friday, May 5, 2017

CD/Book Review: Franky & The Band Pay Homage To Austin, TX With A New "Rock Opera"

From Austin, TX comes the latest release from Franky And The Band titled "Austin, Texas The Rock Opera." Released back in April, lead singer/songwriter Fehmi Nuhoglu has put together this love story for the city of Austin. It has been released as an album and a book as it dives further into the songs and the meaning behind the lyrics as each chapter is dedicated to a song on the new album.
 
The new album features 13-songs, beginning with the piano-ballad tale of love titled "Austin I'm Flying" as Brian Leach delivers the song's lyrics with grace and emotion. The tempo picks up with the country hoe-down "Austin Rodeo" as you are given no excuse to not have good time, dancing the Texas two-step to this number. Then the guitars come out for the quick-paced rocker "Live Music Capital," before Franky (Fehmi Nuhoglu) showcases his love for the blues with "Texas Weather (Shadow Queen)" lead by the vocals of Lynne Jordan. The fun, up-beat country swing of "Dance With Me Mom" is highlighted by the sweet vocals of Jennifer Williams, before Franky's lyrics deliver a special love story in "Austin Holds A Place." The rock energy builds back up with the guitar-driven "Austin Save My Love," then the marching rhythm of "Austin Marching" may become the city's new theme songs. The "Rock Opera" closes with the southern-rock swing of "Austin Where I Want To Be" as Franky's words and Lynne Jordan Back's vocals make this song undeniable fun.
 
The accompanying book, titled "A Love Like Texas Weather" came about as Franky was writing the album and had more to say about the city that has inspired his latest release. The book expands upon the "Rock Opera" album with the characters of Travis and Texy, using their love story to portray Franky's love for the city of Austin. A musical play is also in the works, but has not been completed at this time. To find out more about Franky And His Band and their latest release "Austin Texas The Rock Opera - A Texas Love Story," please visit frankyandtheband.com.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

CD Review: New Music From Rising Artists Greta Van Fleet, A Killer's Confession And The Classic Crime

As you begin to listen to the song "Highway Tune," you'd instantly think that this new four-song EP was a lost Led Zeppelin album from 1969. Instead, it is the debut release from the Michigan-based rock band Greta Van Fleet. The band contains 3 brothers and their friend and all have been inspired by the British-based blues rock of The Yardbirds, Cream and The Who. Lead singer Josh Kiszka delivers his vocals almost identical to a youthful Robert Plant and the band follow suit with the blueprint laid down by Led Zeppelin. Their new short 16-minute EP has all the fire and soul of a band breaking out of the mold that many rock bands have unfortunately followed. The shuffle-rhythm of "Highway Tune" lays the perfect groundwork for Josh's vocals to let loose and just take over. Guitarist Jack Kiszka comes out blazing for "Safari Song" to match the intensity of the rhythm section of drummer Danny Wagner and bassist Sam Kiszka. Their new short release wraps up with "Black Smoke Rising," as the lyrics carry a mystical vibe as the song's shuffle rhythm leaves you wanting more from this young new band. Greta Van Fleet will be on the road for half-a-dozen shows in May. For a complete list of dates and to find out more about their new release "Black Smoke Rising," please visit gretavanfleet.com.

Former Mushroomhead singer Waylon Reavis recently released the debut album of his new band A Killer's Confession. The new album titled "Unbroken" was unleashed on April 28 through EMP (label founded by Megadeth bassist David Ellefson). The new 9-song album comes blasting through your speakers with the deathcore metal opener "Awakening," which leads into the grinding rhythm of "Spawn Of 7." Korn's Brian "Head" Welch is the first guest to show up on new album. Welch lends his talents to the electronic, nu-metal appeal of "A Killer's Confession," while Kimberly Freeman (One Eyed Doll) delivers a goth-like presence to the slower tones of "Sympathy." In between, the band lets out their aggression out on "1080P" and "L.O.L." A Killer's Confession are heading out on tour at the end of the month. For a complete list of dates and to find out more about their new album "Unbroken," please visit akillersconfession.com.

Seattle rock band, The Classic Crime are touring behind their new studio album "How To Be Human." They will be performing at The Space in Hamden, CT on May 9th. Their new 12-song release begins with the energetic, alt-rocker "Holy Water" (video: https://youtu.be/w0jsZQKBAyk) and the slower, darker tones of "Ghost" (video: https://youtu.be/mAZONyBQ9ZY). Their song "Driftwood" was built for modern rock radio, while the build-up of "Spare Time" showcases the songwriting talents of the band, delivering an impact, without the need for overpowering the music. The album wraps up with the high-powered chorus of "More" and the acoustic ballad "Black & White." Their currant tour runs until mid-May. For a complete list of shows and to find out more about their latest release "How To Be Human," please visit theclassiccrime.com.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

CD Review: New Music Arriving From Bobby Kimball, The Loft Club And Chrome

American rock singer Bobby Kimball returns with a new studio album titled "We're Not In Kansas Anymore." Kimball was the original lead singer for the band Toto, who's hits include "Rosanna" and "Africa." His new solo album was released on April 21st through Purple Pyramid Records and features the production work of John Zaika. The new 11-song release begins with the rocker "Too Far Behind" as Kimball belts out the lyrics with youthful energy. He gets the horns going on the funk/rock delivery of "On My Feet," before picking up the pace for the hard rock pace of "Hey It's Me." His voice sounds timeless on the ballads "One Day" and "Hold On" and feels right at home on the epic feel of "Met Her For." The album finishes with a return to the funk groove of "Some They Do" and the up-lifting, inspirational piece "You're Not Alone." To find out more about Bobby Kimball and his latest release "We're Not In Kansas Anymore," please visit bobbykimball.com.

From Britain comes the latest release from the indie-rock band The Loft Club. Their new 5-song EP is titled "Heart's Desire" and is finally making its way to the U.S. after six months of release. The title-song kicks off their new release as the band follows the blueprint laid down by Fleetwood Mac. They settle into their own with the steady pace of "Flicker" and the slinky, bluesy tones of "I'm Just A Man." Their new short release closes with the Americana feel of "Stick & Stones" and a full-length remix of "Heart's Desire." To find out more about The Loft Club and their latest release "Heart's Desire," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/theloftclubband.

Chrome is an American rock band founded by Damon Edge and Helios Creed. They formed Chrome over 40 years ago in San Francisco, utilizing the experimental period of rock music and becoming one of the prime bands of the industrial rock music sound. The band found underground cult success early on their careers as they continued to roll through the eighties. As tension broke the two founding members apart, talks about re-uniting came to a halt when Edge was found dead of an apparent heart attack. Creed decided to go on with the band, as a tribute to the work that him and Edge had started. After a short hiatus, Creed released the band's first album in 13 years back in 2014 with "Feel It Like A Scientist." Now, continuing the legend of Chrome, Creed and his latest band have released a new album titled "Techromancy!" It features a dozen tracks, beginning with the industrial buzz of "Administer The Treatment." They rectify the post-punk energy of "Black Diamond" and "Death Is A Pusher" as they seem primed to become the leaders of the underground industrial rock scene once again. They finish up their latest release with the experimental electronic delivery of "The Mandela Effect Pedal" and classic, alternative, goth-grunge sound of "Just For You." To find out more about Chrome and their latest release "Techromancy!," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/chromechronicles.