Friday, July 21, 2017

CD Review: The Return Of Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Artists Shattered Sun, For The Win, Rex Brown And Owl Company

American heavy metal band Shattered Sun return with their new sophomore album titled "The Evolution Of Anger." It will be released on July 21st through Victory Records. The band is currently on tour as part of the Vans Warped Tour, before headlining their own shows this fall. Their new 10-song release comes blasting right out of the gate with the speed and aggression of "Keep Your Eyes Shut." The screaming vocals of "Blame" and the buzzing guitars of "Declassified" will show you that this band has the energy to keep the mosh pits moving when they perform these songs live. They keep up the energy flowing through "Hollow Chains" and the hardcore edge of "Burn It Down," before finishing their new album with the speed and destruction of "Like Gasoline" and the thunderous rhythm of "Hope Dies" as screams will continue the ringing in your ears. To find out more about Shattered Sun and their latest release "The Evolution Of Anger," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/ShatteredSunBand.

From San Diego comes the Victory Records debut album from For The Win titled "Heavy Thoughts." It features 10-tracks of high energy, quick-moving, aggressive hard rock that is the perfect recipe for mainstream success. They begin their new album with the chugging guitars of "Us Verses Them" as the drums and vocals motor the song's intense pace. They continue with the fast pace rhythm and hardcore harmonizing vocals of "G Series" and the punk-like energy of "All Or Nothing" and "The Weight Of The World." They deliver the arena rocker "Dancing Shoes," before finishing up their new album with rock anthem "Crash And Burn" and the emotional, acoustic ballad "Until The End Of Time." The new album "Heavy Thoughts" will be released on August 25 through Victory Records. To find out more about For The Win and their latest release, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/forthewinsd.

Rex Brown, former bassist for Pantera, is preparing to release his debut solo album "Smoke On This" on July 28th through eOne Music. After the success of his memoir "101 Truth, 101 Proof: The Inside Story Of Pantera" and his supergroup, Kill Devil Hill, Brown took some time off to figure out what he wants to do next. On his new 11-song release, Brown invited his old-friend Lance Harvill to help him out with the hard rock feel of the new album. He begins with with the straight-forward classic rock of "Lone Rider" and the big guitar riffs of "Crossing Lines" as Brown works his influences into his original music. The energy and buzz of "Train Song" has a great, heavy vibe that would have worked on a later day Pantera album. Rex Brown and his band deliver an edgier, psychedelic vibe with "Get Yourself Alive," then slow down for the southern rock ballad "Fault Line." Brown wraps up his new release with the mellow, addictive feel of "Grace" and the Floydian touch of "Best Of Me," before closing with the freedom of "One Of These Days" as Brown showcases his talents. To find out more about Rex Brown and his latest release "Smoke On This," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/rexbrownband.

From Sao Pablo, Brazil comes the debut album from heavy metal band Owl Company titled "Horizon." It feature 10-tracks, beginning with a chaotic "Intro," which leads into the intense delivery of "Celebrate And Kneel." The pounding groove of "Ain't Time For This" will have you banging your head to song's rhythm, while "Riddles" takes on a more mainstream metal sound as the song sound like a call to arms. The tempo speeds up with the aggressive feel of "Deathrow" and "Black 'N' Blue," before closing their new album with dark tones of "Caged Emotions" and grunge/metal appeal of "Underdog." To find out more about Owl Company and their latest release "Horizon," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/corujaofficial.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

CD Review: New Music From Independent Heavy Metal Artists These Streets, Slope & Fxss

Arriving in August is the latest release from California hardcore metal band These Streets titled "Unfinished Business." After their last release, These Streets have a new look on their career as they deliver hard-hitting melodies that they have become known for. Their new 9-song release begins with the pounding rhythm of "Unfinished Business" as These Street pull no punches. They continue with the aggressive attack of "Wasting Away" and the intense, hardcore/trash metal of "Bite The Hand." They continue the onslaught with the growling vocals of "Can't Be Saved" that deliver a truth to the lyrics, before finishing their new release with the quick, punk-like fury of "Life From The Gutter." To find out more about These Streets and their latest release "Unfinished Business," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/Thesestreetscv.

Next, from Germany comes the new release titled "Losin' Grip" from hardcore metal/punk band Slope. Their new seven-song album begins with the pace changes of "95," before delivering "Movino Losino," which sounds like the early punk days Red Hot Chili Peppers. They quicken the pace with the funk-like hardcore groove of "Buzz Off!" and "The Void," before finishing their new release with the band's instrumental build-up "Straight To Nowhere." To find out more about about Slope and their latest release "Losin' Grip," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/slopehc.

Norwegian heavy metal band Fxss return with their sophomore release titled "Second Coming." It has been 5 years since the band's debut album and they have taken all those experiences and created an outstanding underground metal album. Their new 9-song release begins with the classic metal appeal of "Make A Life" that sounds like a combination of early Iron Maiden and Tesla. They deliver a thrash metal feel to "Peace & Love," before slowing down for the power ballad "Dear Lucy." They close out their new release with the heavy metal guitar riffs of "Heathen" and the outstanding musicianship of the six-minute closer "Fall Away." To find more about Foss and their latest release "Second Coming," please visit fxsstheband.com.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

CD Review: New Heavy Metal Music Arriving From Canyon Of The Skull, Casket Robbery & Argus

Returning from the desert plains of Texas is the doom metal guitar duo Canyon Of The Skull with their new 37-minute instrumental track, "The Desert Winter." Make sure you clear some time to get lost in this epic piece of music as it takes you down into the caverns of your mind. The drums motor through the buzzing guitars of this slow-moving piece of doom metal. Their new self-released album will be available on August 19th. To find out more about Canyon Of The Skull and their new sonic adventure, "The Desert Winter," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/canyonoftheskull. 
 
Also arriving August 19th is the new self-released EP from death metal band Casket Robbery titled "The Ascension." Their new 3-song release is a vicious attack on your ears as the music comes blasting right from the opening track "Pockets Lined With Flowers." The title-song, "The Ascension" is not for the weak as screaming vocals and dark metal guitar riffs with have you feeling the full-force of this new death metal band. To find out more about Casket Robbery and their latest release "The Ascension," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/casketrobbery.
 
Rising heavy metal band Argus will be releasing their brand new studio album "From Fields Of Fire" on September 8th through Cruz Del Sur Music. Their new 9-song progressive metal album begins with a short instrumental before arriving at "Devils On Your Time." The music is filled with classic heavy guitar riffs as vocalist Brian 'Butch' Balich leads the way. The energy flows through the intense build up of "216" as the musicianship with Argus is amazing. The band takes you on an epic, 11-minute journey with "Infinite Lives Infinite Doors" as you can't help but get lost in this adventure. Argus also display their  dark, doom metal side with tones of "No Right To Grieve" to close out their new album. To find out more about Argus and their latest release "From Fields Of Fire," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/argusmetal.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

RJ Podcast: Styx keyboardist/singer Laurence Gowan Discusses Their New Album, "The Mission"

Lawrence Gowan, singer and keyboardist for the band Styx, discusses the band's new album "The Mission" and what went into recording their first album of new material in 14 years. He also talks with us about their summer tour with REO Speedwagon and Don Felder and tries to explain why Styx are not in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame after being around for over 45 years.

CD Review: New Music From Metal Blade Records Artists Goatwhore, Bloodclot & Execration

There is a trio of new hardcore death metal albums from Goatwhore, Bloodclot and Execration that recently were released from Metal Blade Records. Over the last two decades, Goatwhore has developed quite a following along the death metal circuit that has established the band as huge concert draw when on tour. They recently released their seventh studio album titled "Vengeful Ascension" back in June and looked to capture the raw emotions of the songs by recording them live in the studio. They begin their new 10-song release with the grinding guitars and quick-paced drumming of "Forsaken" and the howling vocals of "Vengeful Ascension" as Goatwhore settle into their role as one of the premier death metal bands around. They come blasting out of your speakers with the intense adrenaline rush of "Chaos Arcane" and the swift pace of "Drowned In Grim Rebirth," before finishing their new release with classic thrash metal feel of "Mankind Will Have No Mercy" and the final burst of speed with "Those Who Denied God's Will." Goatwhore will begin their U.S. tour on September 1st. For a complete list of shows and to find out more about their new album "Vengeful Ascension," please visit goatwhore.net.

The new albums from Bloodclot and Execration both arrived on July 14th and look to add another layer to the hardcore metal community. Bloodclot features ex-members of bands like Danzig and Queens of the Stone Age, who got together to play the music they've always wanted to perform. Their debut album "Up In Arms" features a dozen tracks that showcase their love for hardcore metal music. The new release begins with the title song as "Up In Arms" carries a classic heavy metal sound that will get your blood pumping. They keep the energy flowing full blast on the quick, 90-second romps of "Fire" and "Kill The Beast." Bloodclot comes out screaming with the New York hardcore/thrash metal of "Soldiers Of The New Babylon" and "Kali," before finishing with the punk-like fury of "Slipping Into Darkness" and the sonic attack of "You'll Be The Death Of Me." To find out more about Bloodclot and their latest release "Up In Arms," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/bloodclotofficial.

Finally we have the latest from Norwegian death metal band, Execration titled "Return To The Void." It is the band's fourth full-length release and features 9-tracks of hard-hitting death metal that will make you stand up and take notice of Execration. The new album begins with the guitar driven, howling vocals of  "Eternal Recurrence" and the aggressive blast of "Nekrocosm." They deliver a progressive, hardcore metal sound with the seven-plus minute epics "Cephalic Transmissions" and "Unicursal Horrorscope," before closing with "Det Uransakelige Dyp," a song in their native language. To find out more about Execration and their latest release "Return To The Void," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/execrationnorway.

Monday, July 17, 2017

CD Review: Calvin Harris Invites Friends To Bounce Along To His New Album

Multi-platinum, Grammy Award winning artist Calvin Harris recently released the most star-studded studio album of the summer. His new studio album titled "Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1" was released on June 30th through Columbia Records and features names like Pharrell Williams, Ariana Grande, Future, Frank Ocean, Young Thug and that's just in the first four songs on the album.

Harris begins his new 10-song release with "Slide" as Frank Ocean and Migos team up on the summer hit. The classic disco-like beats and Ocean's iconic vocals gives the song a smooth, laid-back groove. ScHoolboy Q declares "party like its 1980" on "Cash Out" as the classic, nostalgic sound will have you moving, before Ariana Grande and Pharrell Williams work alongside Young Thug on the sweet vocals and undeniable beats of "Heatstroke." Hip-hop legend Snoop Dogg works with John Legend and Takeoff on the R&B groove of "Holiday" as Harris lays the perfect groundwork for these artists to excel. Nicki Minaj lends her talents to the Latin beats of "Skrt On Me," before Williams returns, this time with Big Sean and Katy Perry on the addictive tones of "Feels." The album closes with Jessie Reyez's sweet, smoky vocals on the jazzy vibe of "Hard To Love." To find out more about Calvin Harris and his latest release "Funk Wav Bounces Vol 1," please visit calvinharris.com.

Friday, July 7, 2017

CD Review: Celebrate 50th Anniversary Of The Beach Boys' "Wild Honey" With "Sunshine Tomorrow"

This year has marked the 50th anniversary of some iconic albums like The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," The Doors' self-titled debut album and The Jimi Hendrix Experience "Are You Experienced?" Another band that was riding a high in the studio was The Beach Boys. After the success of their 1966 album "Pet Sounds," The Beach Boys, especially Brian Wilson, were ready to raise the bar with a project called "Smile." While recordings of the album went on for almost a year, the other members of The Beach Boys, as well as their record company, wanted to release a new album as soon as possible. So, The Beach Boys used what they could salvage from the "Smile" sessions for their new album "Smiley Smile" and the follow-up "Wild Honey."

While "Smiley Smile" retained that classic early Beach Boys' sound, "Wild Honey" was a more mature rock album that absorbed the sound of the psychedelic sixties. To celebrate the 5oth anniversary of the "Wild Honey" album, Capitol/UMe recently released a 2CD set titled "1967 - Sunshine Tomorrow," which features 54 previously unreleased studio sessions and live tracks. The original album was remastered with a brand new stereo mix that will also be released separately on 180-gram vinyl.

The first disc features the new "Wild Honey" stereo mix with 15 bonus session highlights and alternative versions, plus 5 live versions of songs featured on the album. Highlights of the first disc include early versions of "Cool Cool Water" and "Can't Wait Too Long" as you can hear the song's taking shape in the studio. Live versions of "Country Air" and "How She Boogalooed It" are also great additions to this first disc.

The second disc kicks off with studio sessions for the "Smiley Smile" album. Backing tracks and alternate versions of well-known songs like "Heroes And Villains" and "Vegetables" take up the first half of the disc, but the second half is a treasure-trove of live music. It includes the previously unreleased "live" album "Lei-d In Hawaii" recorded September 11th. It features classic Beach Boys hits like "Help Me Rhonda" and "California Girl" as well as a version of The Beatles' "With A Little Help From My Friends," which was released less that 4 months prior to this recording by The Beach Boys. The second disc wraps up with 5 songs recorded live in Hawaii in August 1967 as well as more live songs from their "Thanksgiving Tour" in Washington D.C. and Boston. Closing out the set is an early version of their song "Surf's Up" and an A Capella version of their early hit single "Surfer Girl." To find out more about this new release from The Beach Boys, please visit thebeachboys.com.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

CD Review: New Movie Soundtracks Bring Back Nostagia Through The Music

At the end of June, we saw two new soundtrack releases from Columbia Records. First is a mix of musical genres that make up the movie "Baby Driver" and the other is a return for Pharrell Williams to the "Despicable Me" franchise. The movie "Baby Driver" centers around a talented getaway driver that falls in love and wants to start a clean way of living after one last heist. The 2CD soundtrack touches upon every genre of music you can think of.
 
Most of the first disc contains hidden gems like the original version of "Harlem Shuffle" by Bob & Earl and one of the few Beach Boys' instrumentals "Let's Go Away For Awhile." The energy blows up with The Damned "Neat Neat Neat" and goes all out funk with the Incredible Bongo Band's "Bongolia." The second disc features some well known classics like "Nowhere To Run" by Martha & The Vandellas and "Baby Driver" by Simon & Garfunkel. The lead in of Barry White's "Never Never Gonna Give Ya Up" to Young MC's "Know How" to Queen's "Brighton Rock" showcases how well the crossover of musical genres feel on this new soundtrack. To find out more about the "Music From The Motion Picture Baby Driver," please visit BabyDriver.
 
Hip-hop artist Pharrell Williams returns to the movie franchise that gave him a Grammy Award winning smash single with "Happy." Williams is the main artist on the new "Despicable Me 3" soundtrack as the new release mixes together original tracks with 80's classics like "Take On Me" and "99 Luftballoons." The new 16-song soundtrack begins with the overly addictive pop beats of "Yellow Light" as Pharrell does what he does best. Trey Parker (South Park), who voices the new villain Balthazar Bratt, sings "Hug Me" as if it was recorded three decades ago. Both Michael Jackson and Madonna get in on the action with some of their past hits, but Pharrell might have the share the spotlight this time around with the Minions as they sing "Papa Mama Loca Pipa" and "Malatikalano Polatina." To find out more about the newly released "Despicable Me 3" soundtrack, please visit DM3Soundtrack.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

CD Review: New Heavy Metal Music Arriving From KillSET & From Phear

From southern California comes the latest album from hardcore metal band KillSET titled "S.T.F.U." It was produced by Eddie Wohl (Fuel) and showcases the band's growth in their songwriting and musicianship. The new 10-track album begins with "Get Up" as they mix modern rock melodies with hardcore guitar riffs. They display a harder edge to the their music in "Bully," before delivering the new mosh pit anthem with "Killers In The Pit." They slow down for the emotional delivery of "Broken Angel," then try their hand at turning Kris Kross' hit single "Jump" into nu-metal fun. KillSET finish their new album with the adrenaline shot of "Animal" and the aggressive blast of "Don't Let Me Die." To find out more about KillSET and their latest release "S.T.F.U.," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/killsetofficial.

From Toronto, Canada comes the new album from thrash metal band Phear titled "The Curse Lives On." Their new 5-song EP follows quickly on the heels of their debut album "Reagan's Dream" and contains live version of songs from that album along with a cover song and one more original piece. The album begins with an electrifying 15-minute cover of Iron Maiden's "Rime Of The Ancient Mariner" as Phear really dig in to display their musical talents. They add a grunge-like feel to the song "Dirty Work," before diving into the live versions of "Don't Scream," "Heaven" and "Regan's Dream." Performing live gives the band an extra jolt of adrenaline as you can hear them motor through the songs, pushing "Heaven" and "Regan's Dream" past the 9-minute mark. To find out more about Phear and their latest release "The Curse Lives On," please visit phearband.com.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

CD Review: New Music From Iconic Indie-Artists Andy Hall & Roosevelt Collier, Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters And The War & Treaty

Country and Bluegrass music meet up in this new release from Andy Hall (The Infamous Stringdusters) and Roosevelt Collier (Lee Boys) titled "Let The Steel Play." It was released back in June and showcases both of their love for slide guitar. The new 10-song instrumental displays their backgrounds in music through their finger picking, and slide steel guitar work. They add a jolt of energy to their cover of "This Little Light" as you can picture yourself driving down Route 66 just blasting this song doing 90mph. The duo take on the classic "A Maiden's Prayer," trying to add a little extra to the already iconic song. They sound like the second coming of Duane Allman and Eric Clapton on "Singing Steel" and they mesh their sounds perfectly on their cover of the Grateful Dead's "Crazy Fingers." They finish their new album with the up-tempo swing of "Remington" and they invite fellow bluegrass performer, Anders Beck to help them out on the original track, "Colfax Boogie." To find out more about Andy Hall and Roosevelt Collier's new release "Let The Steel Play," please visit their Facebook pages at facebook.com/andyhalldobro and facebook.com/RooseveltCollier.

Country roots band The Honeycutters have made a decision to add lead singer Amanda Anne Platt's name to the front of the band's name. They also recently released their new album titled "Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters." After four albums as The Honeycutters, the music still brings out the best of country music and Amanda's vocals are still undeniable. Their new 13-song release begins with the laid-back, country swing of "Birthday Song" as Amanda sings about how fast time flies, which everyone can understand. They continue with the steady rhythm of "What We've Got" as Amanda's vocals are timeless. The band plugs in for "Diamond In The Rough" giving an edgier feel to their country music, while "Eden" is a fun-filled, energetic and quickens the pace of the album. Amanda finds her way to your heart with the ballad "Learning How To Love Him," before slowly building the tempo back up with "Late Summer Child." Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters wrap up their new album with the country swaying love song "Rare Thing" and the acoustic country/folk appeal of "The Road." To find out more about Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters new release, please visit honeycutters.com.

The soulful roots duo The War & Treaty have recently released their new album titled "Down To The River." It has been a couple years since their last album and in that time, the duo have added mandolins, banjos, guitar, bass and drums to help give their music as big a sound as their voices portray. The new 8-song release begins with the title song as lead singer Tanya Blount will instantly grab your attention with her powerful, gospel-like vocals. When her musical partner Michael Trotter Jr. joins in on the vocals, the two have a bond that makes their music a force to be reckon with. They bring out the sound of the bayou on the stomp rhythm of "Hi Ho," before traveling out to the country with the storied lyrics of "Florida." Their new album continues with the soulful blues of "Hit Dawg Will Holla," before finishing with the burning jazz of "Set My Soul On Fire" and the up-tempo soul shot of "Wanna Get Outta Here." To find out more about The War & Treaty and their latest release "Down To The River," please visit thewarandtreaty.com.

Monday, July 3, 2017

RJ Podcast: Oliver Wood (The Wood Brothers) Discusses The Band's Upcoming Tour & New Live Album

Oliver Wood, of The Wood Brothers, talks with us about their "Wheels Of Soul" tour with Tedeschi Trucks Band and Hot Tuna. We also discuss the band's new live album "Live At The Barn" and what is was like to perform with Levon Helm before his passing at his barn in Woodstock, NY. The Wood Brothers will be in Simsbury, CT as part of the "Wheels Of Soul" tour this Sunday, July 9th.

CD Review: New Music From Singer/Songwriters Jennifer Saran & Tyler Edwards, Plus Indubious Returns "From Zero"

American singer/songwriter Jennifer Saran is preparing to release her third studio album in three years. Her new release features guests like Carlos Santana and Ladysmith Black Mombazo and is titled "Wake Up." Saran mixes together originals with covers songs, done her way. The new 15-song album begins with the wonderful harmonies of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, highlighted by the lead guitar of Carlos Santana on the island flavor of "Wake Up." She pays tribute to the recently departed George Michael with a smooth, gentle cover of his song "Jesus To A Child" and also pays tribute to Billy Paul with a cover of "Me And Mr. Jones." The energy picks back up with the African rhythm of "You Are My Star" as Saran duets with members of Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The tributes continue with her nostalgic cover of "Old Cape Cod" as a tribute to Patti Page and then an emotional delivery of "Lean On Me" as a tribute to Bill Withers. The album finishes with the beautiful ballad "My Love And Devotion" for Doris Day and the soulful prayer "Aad Guray." To find out more about Jennifer Saran and her latest release "Wake Up," please visit jennifersaran.com.

From Portland, OR comes the island/reggae sound of the new album from Indubious titled "From Zero." The band has collected a following by performing at festivals like Wakarusa and Gathering Of The Vibes and have been influenced by current artists like Michael Franti and Stephen Marley. Their new 14-song release begins with their mix of pop and reggae on "He Who Has Ears" as the beats keep the energy flowing, while "Rocketship" uses a more laid-back, island vibe. Dancehall artists Sizzla and Vaughn Benjamin lend a hand to the dubstep/dance sound of "Gold Ones" and "Don't Lose Sleep." The reggae/pop energy flows through "If You Follow," before reaching the love song of "Perfect." R&B singer Zahira lends her vocal talents to the smooth rhythm of "Root Down," before Indubious close their new album with the hip-hop movement of "Sky High." To find out more about Indubious and their latest release "From Zero," please visit indubiousmusic.com.

From Seattle comes the latest release from singer/songwriter Tyler Edwards. The new album titled "A Few Good Hearts" may be one of the best independent Americana, folk/rock albums of 2017. His new 11-song release begins with the short, quiet, acoustic introduction "Before The Question," before Tyler plugs in for the southern, country rocker "Hazy Goodbye." He continues with the steady flow of "Don't Rush Me" as his vocals will easily find their way into your soul. The folk appeal of "A Few Good Hearts" allows you to hear how good his songwriting is, while "Southern Belle" has a quiet, majestic tone that makes Tyler seem experienced beyond his years. Tyler plugs in one more time for the fun, up-tempo rocker "Talk So Tough," before closing his new album with the wonderful, Americana touch of "Plain And The Valley" and the slow blues of "As You Need." To find out more about Tyler Edwards and his latest release "A Few Good Hearts," please visit tyleredwardsmusic.com.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

CD Review: Moonjune Records Releases New Music From Machine Mass, Dusan Jevtovic, Talinka & Dialeto

We have four new releases arriving from Moonjune Records artists. First up is the latest from the musical trio Machine Mass. They are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Jimi Hendtrix's debut album, "Are You Experienced" with a 9-song tribute to the late-guitarist. All of the music on this new album was recorded live in the studio and gives off an impulsive jam feel. The album begins with the jazzy feel of the nearly 8-minute opener, "Third Stone From The Sun" as keyboardist Antoine Guenet and guitarist Michel Delville make their presence known as drummer Anthony Bianco steadies the rhythm. They come stumbling into "Purple Haze" as the iconic guitar riff begins to take shape about 2-minutes into the song. Machine Mass turn "Spanish Castle Magic" into a jazz-fusion/rock assault, before taking "Voodoo Chile" to another level of intense music. The album finishes with an 11-minute, wildly chaotic version of "You Got Me Floatin'" and "The Wind Cries Mary," which features quotes from Hendrix laid on top of the music.

Next up is the latest release from the jazz-fusion guitarist Dusan Jevtovic titled "No Answer." It features the work of Vasil Hadzimanov on keyboards and Asaf Sirkis on drums, delivering a sound that combines the jazz and progressive rock worlds. The new 9-song release begins with the grunge-like delivery of "Al Aire/Soko Bira" and the prog-rock of "Frusci." The intensity slows down on the airy jazz feel of "Yo Sin Mi," before erupting during the build-up of "No Answer." The new album wraps up with the King Crimson-type delivery of "Lifetime" and the light-treading of "Prayer," before closing with the atmospheric, space-rock of "The Place With A View."

From across the pond comes the new, self-titled album from the British band Talinka. Each of the four members of the band are "distinguished" in their own field and their collaboration on this new album allows them to showcase each of their skills. The new 10-song release begins with the light, jazz-feel of "Talinka" as vocalist Tali Atzmon uses her voice as an instrument, along with saxophonist Gilad Atzmon to make the melody just glide. Tali's angelic vocals float along on the inspirational sound of "Baroque Bottom," before the  band pick the tempo up slightly for the smoky, jazz lounge of "Invitation." They experiment with their sound in the six-minute "Four 2 Tango," while the smooth jazz of "You Don't Know What Love Is" will put your worries at ease on this mellow piece of music.

Finally we arrive at the latest release from the Brazilian progressive rock band Dialeto. Their new album "Bartok In Rock" pays tribute to the Hungarian composer Bela Bartok as this trio add an element of rock to these compositions. This album was originally released on CD in Brazil only and features King Crimson violinist David Cross on the opening track "Mikrokosmos 113." The tempo at the beginning of the album is swift and fast paced, it slows down during the quieter experiment of "An Evening In The Village." Dialeto showcase their talents on the six different "Hungarian Folk Dances" as the band work as a cohesive unit on these tunes. The album closes with the hard rock build-up of "The Young Bride" as Dialeto lead to the edge of chaos and back.

To find out more about these new releases and other MoonJune Records' artists, please visit moonjunerecords.bandcamp.com.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

CD Review: New Music From Singer/Songwriters Korby Lenker, Allen Hinds & Andrea Stray

Singer/songwriter Korby Lenker has traveled this beautiful country to be inspired for his latest album "Thousand Springs," which will be released on July 14th. Lenker left his Nashville studio to write and sing about his journey from Boston to Los Angeles and everywhere in between. He also invites some of today's best independent folk talent to help out on his new album. He begins with the gentle acoustic strumming of "Northern Lights" as you follow every word. Singer Molly Tuttle helps out writing and singing on the addictive chorus of "Friend And A Friend." He continues with the bluegrass feel of "Nothing Really Matters" and the country rock of "Last Man Standing." Korby Lenker sounds like Jack Johnson on the quiet tone of "Uh Oh," before picking the tempo up with the island vibe of "Father To The Man." Lenker closes his new album with the beautiful lyrics of "Mermaids" and the solo prayer of "Wherever You Are." Korby Lenker is currently on tour supporting his new album. For a complete list of shows and to find out more about "Thousand Springs," please visit korbylenker.com.

Guitarist/composer Allen Hinds returns with two new releases for 2017. First we have his new solo CD, "Fly South," which showcases the talents of Hinds as a rock-driven guitarist. The new 10-song release begins with the freeing sounds of "Springs Eternal" as Hinds keeps the music fresh and exciting, while drummer Vinnie Colaiuta (Sting) keeps the energy moving. Keyboardist Matt Rohde trades solos with Hinds on "Buckley," before moving on to the bluesy sound of "Joni." The energy picks back up with "Little White Lies" as Hinds' guitar work takes you on a sonic journey and you'll begin to feel elevated by the sound. The album finishes with the acoustic, country setting of "Old Mill Pond" and the six-minute "Blues For O.K. Tarpley."

Allen Hinds second release features his full-time band, Wonderland Park with their new album "Just Get In." This jazz-fusion trio create some exciting music that will allow you to really lose yourself in. They begin their new 7-song release with the nearly seven-minute guitar driven rock jam "All Due Respect." They get more funky and expand their sound on the eight-minute sonic adventure of "Just Get In." The band continues to funk out with their groove on "Barron's Crossing," before finishing with the electrifying jazz fusion of "Spittin' Image" and the slower, ambient feel of "A Far Cry." To find out more about Allen Hinds and his new releases, please visit allenhinds.com.

Finally, we finish up with the latest release from singer/songwriter Andrea Stray and her new EP "Into Blue." The new album begins with the country blues of the title song as her vocals carry a nostalgic, classic country sound. She delivers more attitude on the slow-moving rocker "Don't Cry" and lets her voice lead the way on "Little Word," before finishing her short new release with the acoustic country strumming of "You're The Kind." To find out more about Andrea Stray and her latest release "Into Blue," please visit andreastray.com.