Tuesday, August 22, 2017

CD Review: Revisit Bill Nelson's "Chance Encounters In The Garden Of Lights" With New Deluxe Edition

English singer/songwriter/musician Bill Nelson gained fame early as a member of Be-Bop Deluxe. He released his first solo album in 1971 and was awarded the Visionary Award at the 2015 Progressive Music Awards. Back in July, Cherry Red Records re-issued his 1987 album "Chance Encounters In The Garden Of Lights" as an expanded 2CD set.

The new set features 63-tracks that combines the original 2-disc set with 8-songs from the bonus 7-inch EP that came with the original release of the album, plus an additional 14-tracks that did not appear on the original album or cassette. The first 24-tracks come from "The Angel At The Western Window" release and carries a Avant garde sound that just floats along. The remaining bonus tracks on the first disc have a more stark feeling. Songs like "The Piano Room" and "Aching Heart" still sound as if they are in their development stage, while the darker tones of "Female Nebula" and "Realm Of Archons" looks to inject a different feeling into Nelson's overall sound on this album.

The second disc includes the 17-track album "The Book Of Inward Conversation" as Nelson seems to experiment more with his electronic instrumentation. Songs like "Calling Heaven, Calling Heaven, Over" has a space-like tone, while "Evocation Of A Radiant Childhood" seems years ahead of its time as a complete work of art. The 8 bonus tracks that finish off the second disc have a very atmospheric feel and could be considered as one 13-minute epic piece of music. To find out more about this new re-issue of Bill Nelson's iconic piece of experimental, Avant garde album "Chance Encounter In The Garden Of Lights," please visit cherryred.co.uk.

Monday, August 21, 2017

CD Review: New Americana/Country Music From Herd Of Main Street & The Roseline

From Baltimore, MD comes the latest release titled "Heyday" from the Americana/country band Herd Of Main Street. Their new album features a dozen tracks, beginning with the upbeat country stomp of "Dream About Fire," which leads into the wonderfully penned story of "Meeting At The Creek," which carries a nostalgic, classic country sound. Herd Of Main Street captures the full essence of country music with "Feels Like Works," highlighted by some sweet slight guitar work. The boogie-woogie train arrives at the station with the up-tempo rhythm of "Train Station Blues," then Herd Of Main Street find their home with the country rock of "Never Look Back." The album wraps up with the mellow ballad "Redbird (for annE)" and the uplifting lyrics of "The One Who Cares." To find out more about Herd Of Main Street and their latest release "Heyday," please visit herdofmainstreet.com.

From Kansas comes the mellow country tones of The Roseline with their brand new album titled "Blood." It will be released in October and features beautiful melodies and relaxing tones that will simply make you fall in love with this band. Their new 12-song release begins with the up-tempo, country swing of "Hurry Up And Wait," which easily draws similarities to Whiskeytown. They slow down for the gentle waltz of "Moving In A Dress" and mosey on with the classic country feel of "A Destination." The gentle acoustic touch of "Tennis Tan" and the quiet lullabye of "Nocturnal" will surely ease your worries as you find yourself in a more peaceful place than when you first started listening to this album. The alt-country vibe of "Maze Of Glass" and the Americana backdrop of "Distance" showcase the experience within the band as they deliver timeless quality on this new album. To find out more about The Roseline and their latest release "Blood," please visit roselinemusic.com.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

CD Review: Bash & Pop Reform Behind Deluxe Edition Of "Friday Night Is Killing Me"

American rock band The Replacements was one of the pioneers of alternative rock music in the 1980's. As their popularity grew throughout the decade, so did the troubles within the band and they disbanded in 1991. Bassist Tommy Stinson still had that hunger for performing in a rock band and assembled his new group named Bash & Pop from the ashes of the Replacements. They released only one album in 1994 before disbanding two years later. Stinson would go on to become a permanent fixture in Guns N Roses for the next two decades.

Since his tenure ended with Guns N Roses, Tommy Stinson is looking to reassemble Bash & Pop for a new album and a tour. In association, Omnivore Recordings is re-issuing the band's 1994 album "Friday Night Is Killing Me" as a 2CD set. The first disc features the original 11-track album, which featured fellow Replacements' drummer Steve Foley, bassist Kevin Foley and guitarist Steve Brantseg, along with help from members of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers and members of Wire Train. The album still feels relevant today as when it was released over 20 years ago. The raw, pure feel of the music gives it that timeless quality.

The second disc in the set features 18-tracks of home demos, alternate versions of songs on the album and few songs that were recorded during the sessions for other projects. The first four tracks features home demos of the songs "Never Aim To Please," "First Steps," "Hang Ups" and "Tiny Pieces," which do not stray far from the final original versions. Stinson and the band seemed to have everything worked out before recording any versions of their music. The disc includes the song "Making Me Sick" from the "Clerks Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" and 10 alternative versions of nearly every song that appeared on the original album. The songs vary slightly from the final released version, but it's still great to have all of the band's other ideas for their songs.

​Bash & Pop will be on tour in September and October and look for their new album to arrive before the end of the year. For more information about Bash & Pop, please visit tommystinson.com.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

CD Review: The Raspberries Reunite For New "Pop Art Live" Release

American band, The Raspberries had a run of success in the early 70's with singles like "Go All The Way" and "I Wanna Be With You." They drew their influences from the British invasion of the sixties and structured their songs after the hits of The Beatles and The Hollies. After breaking-up in 1975, their influence expanded into the music of Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and even Kiss. The Raspberries' singer/songwriter Eric Carmen had a successful solo career in the 80's and the remaining members of the band (minus Carmen) reunited in 1999 to record a new album titled "Raspberries Refreshed." A full on band reunion would not happen until 2004 when a new House Of Blues opened in Cleveland. The show was recorded for VH1 Classic and XM Satellite Radio, but not officially released until August 18th when a new 2CD set will become available from Omnivore Recordings.

The new two-disc, 28-song set mixes many of the band's favorites like "I Wanna Be With You," "Don't Want To Say Goodbye" and "Overnight Sensation (Hit Record)" with covers from The Who and The Beatles. The music still sounds timeless as the band injects some electric energy into songs like "Party's Over" and "Tonight." The years just melt away as their signature sound comes shining through on songs like "Last Dance" and "When You Were With Me." The Raspberries still know how to bring out their best in this live setting. The show closes with the guitar-driven "I'm A Rocker" and their classic hit "Go All The Way." To find out more about The Raspberries and their latest new live album "Pop Art Live," please visit omnivorerecordings.com.

Friday, August 18, 2017

CD Review: New Music From C.K. Flach, Soles Of Passion, Ryan Joseph Andersen & Patrick Ames

From upstate New York comes the debut album from singer/songwriter C.K. Flach titled "Empty Mansions." It was released earlier this year and features ten tracks that blurs the lines between Americana/folk and alternative pop music. He begins his new release with the strong emotions of "Lazarus." The music grows with each verse as you hang on each word of C.K.'s lyrics. He delivers his songwriting beautifully in the heartfelt ballad "Tranquilized" and then strikes power into the slow bluesy feel of "Munich." He showcases his folk side with the wonderful imagery of "Calamity," before finding the modern acoustic/rock groove of "The Officer." He finishes his new album with the protest folk hymn "Machine Gun" and the poetry reading of "Firmament." To find out more about CK. Flach and his latest release "Empty Mansions," please visit ckflach.com.

The duo of Steven Wolfe and Myla Snow recently released their new 4-song EP titled "Land Of The Big Blue Sun." The duo goes by the name of Soles Of Passion and their new release certainly showcases their passion for using music to create a better world. They begin with the eighties-style pop melody of "Turned It All Around," which sounds a cross between Human League and Michael Jackson. Then they head out to the country with the bluesy title song, "Land Of The Big Blue Sun." Their new short release finishes with the light-hearted pop tones of "I'm Beggin' You Now" as this duo look to change the world one song at a time. To find out more about Soles Of Passion and their latest release "Land Of The Big Blue Sun," please visit solesofpassion.com.

From Chicago comes the sophomore release from singer/songwriter Ryan Joseph Anderson titled "City Of Vines." It features ten tracks, beginning with the country/Americana groove of "Molly The Flood," which fits in perfectly right next to Wilco and Ryan Adams. Ryan Joseph Anderson stays rooted with "The Ragged Kind" and showcases his softer side with the gentle acoustics of the title song, "City Of Vines." He picks the tempo back up, slowly, with the country sway of "16 Lovers" and "Diamonds," before finishing his new album with the acoustic folk storytelling of "Cherokee Rose" and the steady rhythm of "July" as Ryan Joseph Anderson delivers a timeless album for the ages. To find out more about his new album, "City Of Vines," please visit ryanjosephanderson.com.

Earlier this year, singer/songwriter Patrick Ames released an EP of new songs titled "Four Faces." Now he returns six months later for his follow up EP titled "Like Family." The new 5-song EP begins with the comforting, up-beat pop tones of "I Know What It's Like," before the smooth flow of "Like Family" as Ames' vocals match perfectly to the music. He finishes his new short release with the steady pace of "Push The Door Open," which strives with its driving rhythm, and the beautiful harmonizing of "Robert Mondavi." To find out more about Patrick Ames and his latest release "Like Family," please visit patrickames.com.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

CD Review: New Releases Arriving From World Music Artists Paul McCandless And Mister G

Legendary musician Paul McCandless will be releasing a new anthology recording titled "Morning Sun: Adventures With Oboe." It features 16-recordings of McCandless with the award-winning Paul Winter Consort over the course of the last 45 years. McCandless was a member of the Paul Winter Consort from 1968 to 1972 and has also performed with Wynton Marsalis and Pat Metheny. This new release gathers together some of the best recordings, including the swiftness of "Bright Angel" as you can just imagine the music gliding along the sky. Other highlights include the call of the "Whooper Dance" and the beautiful flow of "Witchi Tai To," which includes lead vocals by Native American singer John-Carlos Perea along with the spiritual energy of "Um Abraco (A Big Hug)." The music takes you on the wings of "Eagle" and aboard the emotions of "The Last Train," before closing with the quiet rise of the "Morning Sun." To find out more about Paul McCandless and his new collaboration with the Paul Winter Consort on "Morning Sun: Adventures With Oboe," please visit paulmccandless.com.

Latin Grammy award-winner Mister G returns with his new album "Mundo Verde/Green World." It will be released on September 15th and features 11-songs about saving the environment. The songs are sung in both Spanish and English languages as the music is pure Latin with it's rhythms and melodies. Mister G hooks you in right from the opening title-track as you become part of his movement to save the planet, singing along to the song's addictive chorus. Even when most of the lyrics are in Spanish as in "Patas en el Aire/Paws In The Air" you still get moved by the song's jungle groove as you find yourself learning Spanish by singing along. The pop tones of "Cuantos Peces/How Many Fish" and fun flavor of "Gozar/Enjoy" will have your body moving to the music. Mister G finishes up his latest release with the wonderful harmonies of "Pachamama/Mother Earth" and the gentle acoustics of "Las Estrellas/The Stars." To find out more about Mister G and his latest release "Mundo Verde/Green World," please visit mistergsongs.com.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

CD Review: New Experimental Music Arriving From Gary Wilson and From Blue Stahli

Avant Garde music artist Gary Wilson recently released his tenth studio album titled "Let's Go To Outer Space." It features 14-tracks that take you into the mind of this experimental musician as he sings about sci-fi themes and alien romances. The album begins with Wilson reciting his brand of poetry about meeting his outer space girlfriend in "Back To Where I Belong." He develops his new wave sound with the pop tones of "Gary Kissed A Mannequin" and "Gary Feels Cool." He showcases his more experimental side with the jazzy feel of "Weird World 1" and "Weird World 2," but in between those two songs, Gary continues his encounter with aliens with "Let's Go On A Walk Tonight" and "I Want To Cry." He finishes his new "sci-fi" album with the waltz of "My Beautiful Wife Walked Away" and the spacey groove of "My Pretty Little Space Girl." To find out more about Gary Wilson and his latest release "Let's Go To Outer Space," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/Gary-Wilson. 

Arriving August 25th is volume four of Blue Stahli's "Antisleep" series for film, TV & Video Games. It features a dozen electronic, alternative, dance instrumentals for brands to use to promote their shows/products. The new release begins with the EDM beats of "Sunset Neon," which quickly changes gears for the intense, nu-metal blast of "Headshot." As you listen to each track, you can almost imagine what video game or film that these glimpses of music would be perfect for as most of the tracks average around 2 minutes. All of the music is very addictive, especially the dance rhythm of "Red Carpet Rush," the swinging beats of "Three Piece Suit" and the grinding alternative rock approach of "Rumbleshaker." To find out more about Blue Stahli and his latest release "Antisleep, Vol. 4," please visit bluestahli.com.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

CD Review: New Music From Heavy Metal Artists Psy:code, On Top & American Wrecking Company

There's new heavy metal music arriving this August from Psy:code, On Top and American Wrecking Company. The first Friday of the month saw the Pavement Entertainment debut from Psy:Code titled "Morke." It features 13-tracks of hard-hitting heavy metal, beginning with the screams of "Leech." The music motors through the song while Schou's vocals glide over the top to inject you with adrenaline. The energy picks up with the hardcore assault of "Ghost Of You" and "Riven" as Psy:Code examine the dark side of hardcore metal. They step back from their attack on your ears for the more melodic, goth-like tones of "Paralyzed," before the buzzsaw guitar riffs of "Introspective." They finish up their new release with the hardcore metal blast of "The Monument" and then the emotional-fueled screams of "The Strain" as the music chugs along in the backdrop. To find out more about Psy:Code and their latest release "Morke," please visit psycode.info.

Next up is the new EP from the hardcore rockers from Philadelphia, On Top. Their new album "Top Dollar" will be released on August 18th and features four songs that will certainly grab your attention. Their sound on this latest release grittier than their past releases as they feature a mix between classic Dokken and Rage Against The Machine. They open the album with the up-tempo rocker "Lovin' The Devil" led by guitar wizard Ric Haas' solos. The new release continues with "Walk The Walk" as singer/bassist Jaron Gulino rolls out the lyrics of the song like Zack De La Rocha from Rage Against The Machine. They finish up their new release with "This Way" as drummer Danny Piselli powers the song's intense, hard rock rhythm. To find out more about On Top and their latest release "Top Dollar," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/ONTOPOFFICIAL.

Last, but not least we get to the latest album from Washington's premier metal band American Wrecking Company. Their new album titled "Everything And Nothing" rings the alarm in your head with the onslaught of hardcore vocals and the twin guitar attack of Randy Bebich and Ben Reynard on the opening title track. The chugging rhythm of "From Grace" and the blazing speed of "Health For Wealth" will have you raging along with lead singer T.J. Cornelius. Founding member Jeff Bloomfield powers the rhythm of "The Burning" with his bass grooves as drummer Dylan Hickey keeps the pace of the intense delivery of "Enemy." They finish up their new album with the final hardcore blast of "Mad By Design" and "Day Of Shame." To find out more about American Wrecking Company and their latest release "Everything And Nothing," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/americanwreckingcompany.

Monday, August 14, 2017

RJ Podcast: Alex Shillo Talks About Performing Live & Writing New Music For Upcoming Album

Guitarist/singer Alex Shillo talks with us about his new release "Had It All" and about performing at this year's Durham Fair and Norwalk Oyster Festival. Shillo also gives us some insight into his solo band and his Bruce Springsteen tribute band, Badlands.

CD Review: New Music From Metal Blade Records Artists Byzantine, Crimfall And Portrait

Here are a few new albums arriving from Metal Blade Records that you need to know about. First up is the latest release from the muscular, thrash metal band, Byzantine. Their new album titled "The Cicada Tree" was released back in July and features the band's most accessible music to date. The new 11-song release begins with the hard-hitting thrust of "New Ways To Bear Witness" as lead singer/guitarist Chris Ojeda injects a renewed energy into the music. The addition of Matt Bowles on drums adds an extra jolt of youthfulness to band along with bassist Sean Sydnor and lead guitarist Brian Henderson. They continue the new album with the chugging rhythm of "Vile Maxim" and the mystical, Iron Maiden-type epic "Dead As Autumn Leaves." Once again they flex their heavy metal muscle with the hardcore delivery of "Trapjaw" and "Incremental," before finishing their new album with the 9-minute progressive metal feel of "Verses Of Violence" and the classic metal of "Servitude," which gives us a reminder of Byzantine's earlier days. To find out more about Byzantine and their latest release "The Cicada Tree," please visit byzantinemetal.com.
Next up is the latest release from the Finnish metal band Crimfall. After six years of preparations, their new album titled "Amain" will finally be released on August 25th. Their new 10-track epic album delivers grand melodies and orchestration that will bring you back to the early Roman days of war among nations. A short two-minute introduction piece titled "Eschaton," leads into the grand delivery of "The Last Stands." The four part "Ten Winters Apart" showcases the depth of this band's songwriting and musicianship as the story plays out over this 15-minute epic piece. Crimfall finish up their new album with the emotion-fueled power ballad "It's A Long Road" and the sonic adventure of the nearly eight-minute closer "Until Falls The Rain." To find out more about Crimfall and their latest release "Amain," please visit crimfall.com.
Last, but not least we arrive at the latest album from Portrait titled "Burn The World." It will also be released on August 25th and features 10-tracks, beginning with a short instrumental introduction that leads into the blazing fast extreme metal of the title-song "Burn The World." The thunderous drumming of "Likfassna" and the swift guitar riffs of "Mine To Reap" shows the continuous growth in the band's sound as they continue to capture a classic heavy metal sound with their modern releases. Portrait wrap up their new album with the gentle acoustics of the instrumental "Further She Rode," which leads into the intense, power of "The Sower's Cross" and the epic, prog-metal piece "Pure Of Heart." To find out more about Portrait and their latest release "Burn The World," please visit portraitmetal.com.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

CD Review: Thor Finds Strength "Beyond The Pain Barrier" With A New Album

The self-proclaimed heavy metal god of thunder, Thor returns with a new studio album titled "Beyond The Pain Barrier." The album was released on August 4th through Dead Line Music, a division of Cleopatra Records. Thor will also be hitting the road for a 30-date North American tour.

The new 12-song release begins with the heavy metal motoring of "Tyrant" and the thunderous pounding of "The Calling" as the music will certainly get your adrenaline pumping. Thor muscles through the power ballad "When A Hero Dies," before picking the tempo back up with the chugging guitars of "On Golden Sea" and the thrash metal speed of "Twilight Of The Gods." The new album finishes with the mystical metal of "Deity In The Sky" and the 7-plus minute epic adventure of the "Quest For Valor."

Thor also has a new documentary film being released later this year titled "Return Of The Thunderhawk," which is a sequel to last year's "I Am Thor" documentary. For a complete list of live dates and to find out more about his new album "Beyond The Pain Barrier," please visit thorcentral.net.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

CD Review: Omnivore Recordings Re-Issues Alex Chilton Solo Album

Singer/songwriter Alex Chilton (lead singer of the Box Tops & co-founder of Big Star) had a mildly successful solo career from 1979 to 1999. He released 8 solo albums during that period and Omnivore Recordings is reissuing his 1995 album "A Man Called Destruction" on CD and for the first time on vinyl.

The original 12-song album gets bumped up to 19 songs with the previously unreleased bonus tracks that were added to this new re-issue of the album. Of the 12 original tracks, 6 are penned by Chilton and the other 6 are cover songs, featuring many different genres that Chilton wanted to expand into. The rockabilly opener "Sick And Tired" breathed new life into Chilton's catalog as his vocals fit perfectly into the song's swinging rhythm. He injects energy into the album with the garage rock cover of "Il Ribelle" and the classic sixties style rock instrumental "Boplexity." The original album wrapped up with the blues of "Don't Know Anymore" and the Big Star sounding "Don't Stop."

The 7 bonus tracks added the to this new release, features four songs that were recorded during the same sessions, but did not appear on the album. Songs like "You're My Favorite" has the raw, rocking appeal, while Chilton's cover of "(I Don't Know Why) But I Do" still seems like it's in the early stages of being worked on. The other 3 bonus tracks feature alternate takes and rough mixes that give a glimpse into Alex Chilton's love for making music. To find out more about this new re-issue of Alex Chilton's "A Man Called Destruction" album, please visit omnivorerecordings.com.

Friday, August 11, 2017

CD Review: Fellow Hitmakers The Force M.D.'s & The Romantics Return With New Music

Eighties vocal group The Force M.D.'s are returning with their first new album in 17 years titled "Our Favorite Joints." It features covers of classic R&B songs by Marvin Gaye, Al Green, The Temptations and more. The Force M.D.'s had a huge hit on the charts in 1985 with "Tender Love" and have been looking to recapture that success, following their 2000 release "The Reunion." Their new album contains a dozen tracks, beginning with the classic sounds of The Delfonics' "La La Means I Love You" as their voices sound timeless. The Force M.D.'s bring back the sounds of the seventies with The Stylistics' "People Make The World Go Round" and the popular "Let's Get It On." They pay tribute to their fellow soulful vocalists Boyz II Men with a spot on, emotional version of "End Of The Road," before jumping back in time once again to deliver amazing covers of Al Green's "Love And Happiness" and The Temptations' "Just My Imagination." To find out more about The Force M.D.'s and their latest release "Our Favorite Joints," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/ForceMds.

Fellow eighties rock stars The Romantics are celebrating their 40th anniversary with a string of live dates that run through July and August and the newly released singles "Hush" and "I Fought The Law." The Romantics may be best known for their hit songs "What I Like About You" and "Talking In Your Sleep." The band has been busy in the studio, producing their first original song in over a decade with 2015's "Coming Back Home," but cover songs are where the band's heart lies now. After the 2016 success of their covers of "Daydream Believer" and "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place," they continued with the theme with a thunderous cover of Deep Purple's "Hush" and a punk-like version of "I Fought The Law." For a complete list of shows and to find out more about their two new singles, please visit romanticsdetroit.com.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

CD Review: New Music From Award Winning Children's Artists Laurie Berkner, Randy Kaplan & Twinkle

Famous award-winning children's artist Laurie Berkner returns on September 22nd with a new album titled "The Dance Remixes." This album features 14 of Berkner's more well-known songs and were given an electronic dance makeover. This is the perfect soundtrack for a kid's dance club. Many of the songs sound totally different than their original form with only Berkner's voice the known factor in all these songs. This album will also expand beyond the borders of kids as fans of EDM music will also enjoy these new remixes of Berkner's classics like "We Are The Dinosaurs," "I'm Gonna Catch You" and "Victor Vito." To find out more about Laurie Berkner and The Laurie Berkner Band and her latest release "The Dance Remixes," please visit laurieberkner.com.

Award-winning children's singer/songwriter Randy Kaplan will be releasing his sixth studio album titled "Trippin' Round The Mitten." His new 18-song release begins with the addictive beats of "Honk Honk" as he teaches about noses, while he spills out rhymes. Randy picks up the tempo with "Beach Song" as he tells us his least favorite things about the beach, then delivers a perfect rendition of Johnny Cymbal's "Mr Bassman." He sings about his broken refrigerator with the folk-like storytelling of "My Refrigerator Broke" and channels Adam Levine on his version of the Maroon 5 hit "Sugar." He continues with the stories of "Comb Your Ears" and "Cat & Mice," before arriving at the fun, bluegrass romp of "The Komorns." He closes his new album with the #1 children's single "Mr. Spaceman," which is similar to "Mr. Bassman" and the very cute "Mommy Love Song" as he captures the wonderful mind of children on this short finishing number. To find out more about Randy Kaplan and his latest release "Trippin' Round The Mitten," please visit randykaplan.com.

Finally we arrive at the children's answer to Lady Gaga, as Twinkle will release her new album "Just Dance" on September 15th. It features 9-tracks, beginning with the up-beat, dance floor energy of the title song as her music is very contagious. Twinkle slows the beats down for the swinging melody of "Better Than You Know," before returning to the dance floor with the electronics of "Music" and the punk-like energy of "We Got Good Manners Too." The album closes with two version of her song "Kidz Rock" featuring Mista Cookie Jar as she keeps the beats flowing right through to the last note. To find out more about Twinkle and her latest release "Just Dance," please visit twinkleandfriends.com

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

CD Review: New Progressive Rock Music Arriving From Kotebel And Impuritan

First from Spain comes the 7th studio album from European progressive rock legends Kotebel. Their new album titled "Cosmology" was released back in July and it is the band's first studio album in five years. The new 9-track album features the 4-part "Cosmology Suite," which takes up the heart of the album. Before that, we get re-introduced to Kotebel with the adventurous, 8-plus minute "Post Ignem." Then it's time to sit and relax with the nearly 33-minute "Cosmology Suite," which will take you on a sonic journey that you'll want to experience again and again. Their new album wraps up with the bluesy feel of "A Bao A Qu" and the quiet, piano piece "Paradise Lost." To find out more about Kotebel and their latest release "Cosmology," please visit kotebel.com.

From the west coast comes the latest release titled "Altered Statues" from the experimental rock trio Impuritan. It was recorded back in 2016 and features 4-tracks, beginning with the spaced-out, psychedelic landscape of "Spruce." The song carries a dark rock tone with Pink Floydian elements presented throughout. They follow that up with experimental instrumental "Strange Swim" that builds up with the buzzing of guitars. After the quick one-minute punk-like blast of "Poison Candy," Impuritan finish their latest release with the sixties feel of "Death Trippers" as they settle in to their sound to close out the album. To find out more about Impuritan and their latest release "Altered Statues," please visit impuritan.net.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

CD Review: Arcade Fire Deliver "Everything Now" & Matt Lande Un-"Boxes" His New Album

Canadian rock band Arcade Fire have returned after 4 years with a brand new studio album titled "Everything Now." It is the band's first release on Columbia Records and features 13-tracks that look to continue the band's rising success in the U.S. The new album begins with "Everything_Now (Continued)," which bookends this new release as immediate replays of the new album make it feel like one continuous loop of music. The album continues with the title song, which carries a modern pop/rock flair with a dance-able rhythm that is super-addictive. The music within "Signs Of Life" carries a disco beat, while "Creature Comfort" is an intense arena rocker highlighted by the song's chorus. The strong vocals and pounding rhythm of "Chemistry" will have your singing this song to yourself, well after only a couple of listens. Arcade Fire get funky with the groove of "Electric Blue," before finishing up their new album with the mellow ambient flow of "We Don't Deserve Love" and the aforementioned "Everything Now (Continued)," which leads you back to the beginning of the album.
Arcade Fire will be hitting the road in September with a few dates in Canada first, before hitting the U.S. at Madison Square Garden in New York on September 12th. For a complete list of shows and to find out more about their new album "Everything Now," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/arcadefire.
From Portland, OR comes the latest release titled "Boxes" from rocker Matt Lande. His new 11-song release begins with the modern rock of "Underground" as the music's driving melody and up-tempo rhythm combine to create this addictive pop/rock gem. He picks up the intensity with the guitar-driven rocker "All In Your Sleep," then he works on the pop side of his music with the wonderful melody of "Boxes" as Matt lets his vocals take center stage. He delivers the emotional power ballad "You Can't Love Me," before the grittier rock of "Gun." The album closes with the nostalgic sounding pop/rock of "Come Back Again" and the soaring melody of "You Turn Me On." To find out more about Matt Lande and his latest release "Boxes," please visit mattlandemusic.com.

Monday, August 7, 2017

RJ Podcast: Dr. Fink Of The Revolution, Talks About The Band's Current Tour & Working With Prince

Matt Fink, aka Dr. Fink, keyboardist for The Revolution chatted with us about performing together again with the band, since the death of Prince. He also talks with us as to what it was like to work along side the masterful musician on such great albums as "Purple Rain," "1999" and "Around The World In A Day." Dr. Fink and The Revolution will be performing one of the band's last shows of the year at the Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun on August 12th.

CD Review: Vixen's Janet Gardner Still Rocks On Her Debut Solo Album

Since the band Vixen blasted onto the hard rock music scene in 1988, this all-female rock band showcased a sound that could definitely hang with the boy bands. Led by the strong vocals of singer Janet Gardner, Vixen found success right away with their hits "Edge Of A Broken Heart" and Cryin'." The band still tours, but Gardner needed another output for her music and teamed up with musician/producer Justin James (Staind, Collective Soul) to release her self-titled debut solo album through Pavement Entertainment.
Her new 10-song release begins with the hard-edged attack of "Rat Hole" as her vocals sound as strong as ever. She continues with the even stronger rocker "Hippycrite," then showcases some of her early Vixen days with the high energy of "If You Want Me" and "Your Problem Now." Gardner experiments with her sound, adding a pop/rock tone to the build up of "Let It Be Over," before returning to the chugging hard rock of "The Grind." She closes out her new album with the emotional ballad "Best Friend" and the explosive "The Good Or The Bye." To find out more about Janet Gardner and her latest self-titled release, please visit her Facebook page at facebook.com/Janet-Gardner.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

CD Review: Paul Kelly Preaches That "Life Is Fine" With New His New Release

Australian singer/songwriter Paul Kelly is preparing to release his new studio album "Life Is Fine" on August 11th. He will then follow that up with a U.S. tour, his first in 13 years. Kelly also returns to performing live with a backing band on this new release as the energy of these twelve new songs spill over with excitement and emotion.

He begins with the shuffle of "Rising Moon" as the music grows larger with each verse. He continues with the high-energy of the pop/rock melody of "Finally Something Good," then delivers the guitar boogie of "Firewood And Candles." Vika Bull lends her strong vocals to the classic, Bessie Smith-style jazz of "My Man's Got A Cold" and Linda Bull sings lead on the contemporary rock piece "Don't Explain," which was written over 25 years ago by Kelly. He wraps up his new album with the piano-led "I Smell Trouble" as it builds with intensity and the acoustic folk poetry of "Life Is Fine."

Paul Kelly will begin his U.S. tour on September 17th in Washington D.C. For a complete list of live dates and to find out more about his new album "Life Is Fine," please visit paulkelly.com.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

CD Review: Brian Tarquin Assembles A "Band Of Brothers" For New Compilation

Award-winning guitarist and composer Brian Tarquin is featuring a new project titled "Band Of Brothers." It features singer Phil Nero (Talas, Peter Criss Band) and drummer Reggie Pryor (Albert King), along with a host of guitarists to create new songs that pay homage to the military. Partial proceeds from the sale of "Band Of Brothers" goes to the Fisher House Foundation.

The new CD contains 10-tracks of classic hard rock, beginning with the song "Eastern Front," which features guitarist Joel Hoekstra (Whitesnake). The song's intense driving force is a great way to start off this new guitar driven album. Former Guns 'N' Roses guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal lets his expertise fly on "Pull The Trigger On PTSD" as he electrifies the song with his amazing solo. The chugging build-up of "Sands Of Time" showcases the guitar work of Jeff Scott Soto (Journey, Trans-Siberian Orchestra) on this modern hard rock gem. Brian Tarquin, who also produced the album, steps in on "Clutches Of Vietnam" to inject energy into the grunge-like rocker. The album finishes with bassist Tony Franklin (Blue Murder) flexing his musical muscles on the straight-up rocker "Love & War" and the funk/rock groove of the instrumental "Alpha Bravo" with Trey Gunn, formally of King Crimson. To find out more about the new "Band Of Brothers" compilation, please visit cleorecs.com.

Friday, August 4, 2017

CD Review: The Chris Robinson Brotherhood Keep Rolling Out Albums With New "Barefoot In The Head"

The Chris Robinson Brotherhood continue to roll out quality music at a steady pace. Just last year they released a full-length studio album, a follow-up studio EP and earlier this year they released a new double-live album. They continue the trend with their brand new studio album titled "Barefoot In The Head." It was released on July 21st through Silver Arrow Records and features 10-tracks that keep the music down-to-earth with their signature rootsy, jamband sound.
The new album begins with a shuffle rhythm, funky bass groove and some outstanding blues guitar riffs that lead the way for singer Chris Robinson's iconic vocals on the opener "Behold The Seer." The CRB slow down for the roots ballad "She Shares My Blanket," before Robinson spills out lyrics like a hip-hop artist during the story of "Hark The Herald Hermit Speaks." The band showcase their jazzier side on the New Orleans flavor of "Blue Star Woman," then travel out to the country for the genuine acoustic-based songs "High Is Not The Top" and "If You Had A Heart To Break." They finish their new album with the gentle acoustic strumming of "Glow" and the seventies slow rock vibe of "Good To Know."
The Chris Robinson Brotherhood are currently in the midst of their U.S. tour which runs until the end of the year. For a complete list of live shows and to find out more about their new studio album "Barefoot In The Head," please visit chrisrobinsonbrotherhood.com.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

CD/Vinyl Review: New Music From Sinners & Saints, Birdseed, John Lafayette Ramey, James Parenti, Heather Kenney & Rising Appalachia

The duo of Perry Fowler and Mark Baran recently released their second full-length album as Sinners & Saints, titled "On The Other Side" and they will be heading out on the road beginning August 1st. Their 2-month tour crosses the U.S., but not before hitting all their stops in New England. The new 10-song release begins with the slow-moving, country-folk ballad "Up Like The Sun Down Like The Rain" as the harmonizing between Fowler and Baran draw similarities to The Avett Brothers. The tempo picks up with the knee-slapping rhythm of "Whiskey Drinking" as their music carries a classic, nostalgic feel. They fill their music with the fun and swinging lyrics as in "Old Bones" and "Music Man." They album finishes up with the steady pace of "The Way" and the campfire sing-along of "Ready To Go" as you can't wait for more from Sinners & Saints. For a complete list of live dates and to find out more about their latest release "On The Other Side," please visit sinnersandsaintsmusic.com.

The American rock band Birdseed recently released a new 10" vinyl EP titled "Not Out Of Time." The band will be touring this fall and they wanted to get more music out to their fans. This new 5-song EP begins with the up-tempo title song as lead singer Kerry Landreth leads the band on this mainstream gem. They continue with the smooth, horn-infused melody of "Trip Around The Sun," which sounds like it came from the 10,000 Maniacs catalog. Their new short release wraps up with the fun, youthful positiveness of "We Can Do It," which features Kerry's daughter on vocals and southern blues-rock groove of "More Than I Needed To Know." To find out more about Birdseed and their latest vinyl-only release "Not Out Of Time," please visit birdseedband.com.

Arriving October 20th is the new studio album from singer/songwriter John Lafayette Ramey titled "Exposition Lines." Ramey has become very familiar with the Los Angeles music scene and played sideman to the likes of country artists Austin Hanks and Grant Langston. His new solo release features 10 songs, beginning with the punk-like energy of "Cheap Rent" that shows off Ramey's more rocking side. Then he slows down for the acoustic folk ballad "Guadalupe," before the build up of the sixties-type pop gem "Jenny." He wraps up his new release with the country blues of "Sad Song Sad Town" and the Willie Nelson inspired ballad "Still With Me" as he pulls off his best classic country vocals. To find out more about John Lafayette Ramey and his latest release "Exposition Lines," please visit johnlafayetteramey.com.

Singer/songwriter James Parenti returns with his new studio album titled "You Look Like Hell." It features a dozen tracks, beginning with the quiet, melodic tone of "Brownout" as Parenti's vocals are up front for you to easily follow. He picks the tempo up for the steady pace of "Drove All Night" as his words are poetry among the folk/rock backdrop. He treads slowly with the gentle touch of "I Know" and "Nothing Again" as his vocals deliver strong emotions. His new release finishes with the melodic tones of "You Do, You Can," the ambient, later-day Pink Floydian feel of "What Are We Gonna Do" and the slow, bluesy music of "Hope That You Know." James Parenti has an album release party on August 16th in New York. To find out more about his new album "You Look Like Hell," please visit jamesparentimusic.com.

From North Carolina comes the debut release from singer/songwriter Heather Kenney. It features 3 tracks of acoustic-based country/folk music, beginning with the quick strumming of "Whole Life Of You" as you instantly notice Heather's sweet, angelic vocals. The addition of the ukulele on "Real World" allows Heather's vocals to soar once again, before finishing her new short release with the quietly relaxed acoustic feel of "Enough." To find out more about Heather Kenney and her debut EP, please visit heatherkenney.com.

The sister-led roots band Rising Appalachia is releasing their first live album simply titled "Alive" on September 29th. It was culled together from two years of shows and gives us a raw, natural insight into the meaningful, folk/Americana music that sisters Leah and Chloe create onstage. Their new 11-song album begins with the beautiful harmonizing of "Lean In" as you instantly hear the chemistry between the two. They start off "Cripple Creek" with the quick, bluegrass strumming, before changing tempos to a grinding shuffle rhythm. They sing about earthy remedies during the nearly nine-minute "Medicine," then they get your hips shaking with the Latin rhythm of "Closer To The Edge." They use their wonderful harmonizing to strike emotion in "Mississippi," before finishing their new release with the funky beats of "Occupy" and the bluegrass/folk appeal of "Stromboli," which includes lines from "Amazing Grace," as their fans show their appreciation." Rising Appalachia are heading over to Europe for shows in August and September, before returning to the States for a string of shows in October. To find out more about their new album "Alive," please visit risingappalachia.com.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

CD Review: New Music From Indie-Artists Ryan Cassata, Elliot Knapp, Evacuate The Earth & Andy Pratt

From Long Island comes the latest release from singer/songwriter Ryan Cassata titled "Virginia, Pick Up The Phone." It features 6-tracks recorded live in the studio as Cassata strips everything away and just adds an acoustic guitar. The new release begins with the plea of "Oh Girl" and the wonderful storied lyrics of "The Race" as Ryan's songwriting sounds mature for this new rising artist. The new too short EP wraps up with the sweet innocence of being "Just A Kid" and the classic country/folk strumming of "Alcatraz." To find out more about the latest release from Ryan Cassata, please visit ryancassata.com.

From Seattle comes the latest release from instrumental artist Elliot Knapp. The new album titled "Prismatic" feature only 4 tracks, but is filled with new sonic landscapes for you to explore. The opening track clocks-in at over 21-minutes and has an ambient tonal beginning that gets taken over by Knapp's guitar work as if he is bouncing sounds off the walls in your mind. He continues with the built-up melody of "Reflected (Again)" and the soft, gentle rise of "Roy G. Biv" as Knapp is an expert craftsman with his layers of sound. To find out more about Elliot Knapp and his latest release "Prismatic," please visit elliotknapp.com.

The trio from Milwaukee/Chicago area known as Evacuate The Earth recently release their self-titled sophomore album. Their new 8-song album begins with the spaced out, electronic rock of "Contact" as an urgent message is presented along with the intense music. They continue their new release with the jazz/funk instrumental "Interplanetary," then tread lightly with the atmospheric tones of "Arrival," before the sonic blast of sound and spiritual voices of "The Eyes." They finish up their new album with the six-plus minute "Evacuation Suite" as Evacuate The Earth plow their way through a number of different genres, showcasing the amazing musicianship within the band. To find out more about Evacuate The Earth and their latest self-titled release, please visit evacuatetheearth.net.

From Chicago comes the debut album from jazz/folk artist Andy Pratt. His new release titled "Horizon Disrupted" features 8-tracks of nostalgic glow that will have you thinking of simpler times. Beginning with "Will You Be The One Tonight?," Pratt and his band deliver this slow waltz to get you in the mood for a relaxing album. The jazzy lullaby of "She's Gotten Into My Dreams" shows swagger in Pratt's vocal delivery, before slowing down for the gentle tale of "Rocket Ship." The album finishes with the sweeping melody of "I Saw You That Evening" and the incredibly descriptive lyrics of the slow jazz ballad "Through The Rain." To find out more about Andy Pratt and his latest release "Horizon Disrupted," please visit andyprattmusic.com.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

CD Review: New Music From Foster The People And Newcomer Declan McKenna

On July 21st, Columbia Records released two eagerly awaited albums from Foster The People and newcomer Declan McKenna. Foster The People have continued to grow with each new album since their debut back in 2011. Their latest release titled "Sacred Hearts Club" features a dozen tracks that have a modern rock/pop flair. The new album begins with the dance beats of "Pay The Man" and "Doing It For The Money" as the smooth vocals balance well with the song's electronic sounds. The energy picks up with the up-beat, rhythm of "SHC" and the funky bass groove of "I Love My Friends." Foster The People finish their new album with the addictive psychedelic vibe of "Static Space Lovers," the grunge rock of "Lotus  Eater" and the sonic experimental soundscape of "III." Foster The People will be hitting the road in September for a two month U.S. tour. For a complete list of dates and to find out more about their new album "Sacred Hearts Club," please visit fosterthepeople.com.
From England comes the stateside arrival of singer/songwriter Declan McKenna with his debut studio album "What Do You Think About The Car?" It was recorded in London and Los Angeles and carries a modern pop/rock vibe highlighted by the amazing songwriting of McKenna. He begins his new 11-song release with the lead single "Humongous" as he balances his love for experimenting with sound and his addictive songwriting skills. He dives into the pop melody of "Brazil" and the quick moving rhythm of "Isombard," which should get you moving to his music. He finds influence in the singers/songwriters of the sixties in "I Am Everyone Else" and the acoustic ballad "Bethlehem," before finishing with the soulful "Listen To Your Friends." Declan McKenna is currently on tour in Europe, but will be making his way to the U.S. in August with an appearance at this year's Lollapalooza festival. To find out more about his new album "What Do You Think About The Car?," please visit declanmckenna.net.