Friday, March 31, 2017

CD Review: Musician Richie Kotzen Plans On "Salting Earth" With His New Album

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Richie Kotzen is preparing to release his new solo album "Salting Earth" on April 14th through his own label, Headroom-Inc. It was written and recorded following the successful tour of his band The Winery Dogs as Kotzen looks to rev-up his solo career once again. This album follows only two years after the success of his last studio album "Cannibals."
 
The new 10-song release begins with what fans would expect from this guitar virtuoso as "End Of Earth" is a hard rocker. Kotzen's iconic vocals shine on this album opener as he screams the chorus along to some intense guitar riffs. He continues with the insane delivery of "Thunder," before switching gears for the power ballad "Divine Power," which features some of Kotzen's bluesiest guitar licks on this album. Kotzen then shows off his R&B side with the swing of "My Rock" and "This Is Life" as he pulls off his best Al Green impression. The album finishes with the up-tempo, southern, swamp rock of "Make It Easy" and the acoustic pop of "Grammy."
 
Richie Kotzen has lined-up a U.S. tour this spring running from April 21 to May 25, before heading down to South America and over to Europe this summer. To find out more about his new album, "Salting Earth," please visit richiekotzen.com.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

CD Review: New Music From Metal Blade Artists Blood Divisions, Cut Up, Harlott & Trial

Heavy metal band Blood Divisions recently release their latest album titled "Cardinal One." It features six tracks and follows closely to the band's self-titled debut release. This heavy metal supergroup, led by Chris Jericho (Fozzy), David Austin (Nasty Savage) and Ed Aborn (Intersonic Cyber Symphony) features a rotating cast of characters that help flesh out this latest mix of cover songs and new material. The new release begins with the original tune "The Morgue" as Chris Jericho's vocals easily draw similarities to modern-day Rob Halford. The nine-minute progressive metal number has to make enough room for five different lead guitarists to have their time to shine. The instrumental "March Of The Machine Elves" showcases the amazing musicianship within the band with friends like Ken Andrews (Obituary), Todd Grubbs and Andy Wallace lending their talents. One of the cover songs that appear on this release is The Scorpions classic "Top Of The Bill," which allows Jericho to use his upper register, with screaming vocals. The other cover song is a spot-on rendition of UFO's "Hot 'n' Ready." The album finishes with the Nasty Savage original "No Sympathy," which Blood Divisions updates with it's extra jolt of heavy metal talent. To find out more about Blood Division and their latest release "Cardinal One," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/Blooddivisions.

While still considered newcomers to the death metal genre, Cut Up are returning to claim their throne as the top hardcore death metal band around. In 2015, the band released their Metal Blade Records debut titled "Forensic Nightmares," then quickly entered the studio to record their follow-up "Wherever They May Rot." They delivered their new album on March 24th, filled to the brim with aggressive, hard-hitting, grinding death metal anthems. Right from the opening notes of "From Ear To Ear," you get pounded with the onslaught of drums and guitars as Erik Rundqvist and Andreas Bjornson tag-team their attack on the vocals of "Behead The Dead." The crunching guitars of "Vermin Funeral" and the machine gun drumming of "Hatred Bound" are the perfect candidates to lead Cut Up to the top of the hardcore, death metal genre. To find out more about Cut Up and their latest release "Wherever They May Rot," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/cutupofficial.

Australian thrash metal band Harlott are preparing to release their third studio album titled "Extinction" on April 7th. The new 12-song release begins with the high-powered, quick-paced title-song as Harlott looks to dominate you with their energy. They mix tempos for "First World Solutions" and "The Penitent," but never let up on their attack with the blistering speed of "No Past." They double the efforts on "Better Off Dead" as they look to make your head spin with the shear force of the band's sound. Harlott develop a progressive metal sound on the seven-plus minute epic "And Darkness Brings The Light," before finishing with the screams of "Parasite" and the classic thrash metal appeal of "Epitaph." To find out more about Harlott and their latest release "Extinction," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/HarlottOfficial.

Swedish metal band Trial (swe) will be celebrating their 10th anniversary this year with the release of their third full-length studio album, "Motherless." There new 8-song release will continue the band's underground popularity as they deliver a complex sound with a progressive edge. Their new album begins with the epic feel of the title-song "Motherless," which leads into the tempo changes of "In Empyrean Labour." Guitars come out blazing for the energetic delivery of "Cold Comes The Night" as singer Linus Johansson lets his vocals soar. Their sound takes a more progressive feel with the six-plus minute, storied build-up of "Aligerous Architect," before closing with the experimental piece titled "Birth" and the nine-minute journey of "Embodiment." To find out more about Trial (swe) and their latest release "Motherless," please visit trialheavymetal.storenvy.com.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

CD Review: New Heavy Metal Music Arriving This April From Nervochaos, Beast Modulus, Epi-Demic, Moonlight Prophecy And Cry My Name

There are a handful of new independent heavy metal albums arriving in April that you will need to check out. First up, arriving April 7th is the latest studio album from the Brazilian metal band Nervochaos titled "Nyctophilia." Their new release is the seventh in the band's history and it features thirteen, new, extreme, aggressive black metal hymns to bang your head to. Highlights include the chugging rhythm of "Ritualistic," the energetic blast of "The Midnight Hunter" and the thunderous pounding of "Stained With Blood." To find out more about Narvochaos and their latest release "Nyctophilia," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/NervoChaos. 

Also arriving April 7th is the new self-released EP from New York hardcore metal band Beast Modulus. Their new album titled "Being" features six, groove-based blasts of energy that should certainly get them the recognition they deserve on the metal circuit. Songs like the guitar-blazing attack of "Barnburner" and the grunge-like appeal of "Skeleton Key" showcase the hunger this band has for success. To find out more about Beast Modulus and their latest release "Being," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/beastmodulus.

The following week, we get the return of Epi-Demic with their latest release "Malformed Conscience" on Horror Pain Gore Death Productions. Their new 11-song release will hit you like a ton of bricks as they come blasting out of the gate with the quick-hitting pace of "Rotting In Plain Sight." They pound the chorus of "Ruthless Ambition" into your skull, while "Hatred" quickens the pace even more as it almost spirals out of control. The album closes with the dark heavy metal groove of "Breaking Your Mind" and the tempo changes of "Mortal Kind." To find out more about Epi-Demic and their latest release "Malformed Conscience," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/theplaguebegins13. 

Another April 14th release arrives from Moonlight Prophecy. Their new 3-song EP titled "Eternal Oblivion" showcases the band's progressive metal sound with only a taste at what they have to offer. Their latest release begins with the intense instrumental "Spellbound," which displays the amazing musicianship within the band. The vocal version of "Eternal Oblivion" seems to get cut short as you'd wish the song would continue on, but they finish with the powerfully, quick-hitting sounds of "Witch Hunt." To find out more about Moonlight Prophecy and their latest release "Eternal Oblivion," please visit moonlightprophecy.weebly.com.

On April 21st we get the latest release titled "Reflections," from German hardcore metal band Cry My Name. Their new 10-song album begins with the machine-gun drumming of "Patience" and continues the onslaught with screaming vocals of "Changes" as the music will certainly get your adrenaline pumping. They've perfected their mainstream, hardcore sound with "Backbone" and "Castles," before finishing the new album with the addictive tones of "Relentless" and the frenzied build-up of "Awaking." To find out more about Cry My Name and their latest release "Reflections," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/crymynamemetal.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

CD Review: New Music From Indie-Artists The Big East, BJ Wilbanks & Foxpalmer

From Toronto, Canada comes the latest release titled "Hungry Ghosts" from 70's-style rockers The Big East. Their new 11-song album begins with the quick, country rock of "The Wild Life," as the band sounds like the second-coming of The Eagles. They keep the energy flowing with the exciting guitar riffs and sing-along chorus of "Too Far Gone," before slowing down for the folk/rock ballads "What Dreams May Come" and "Across The Water." They deliver the smooth seventies soft rock of "Scarecrow," before picking the tempo back up with the youthful, garage rock of "Love Monkey." The new album finishes with the warm vocal tones of "Muskoka Times" and wonderful harmonizing of "Here To Now (Down, Down Down)," as The Big East will bring you back to a simpler time in music. To find out more about The Big East and their latest release "Hungry Ghosts," please visit bigeast.ca.

Southern soul-man BJ Wilbanks is preparing to release his new self-titled album on April 28th. Inspired by the rhythm 'n' blues of the 60's, BJ Wilbanks is following in the footsteps of other modern artists like Leon Bridges and Nathaniel Rateliff. His new release begins with the horn-infused, gospel-like delivery of "Healin' My Blues" as Wilbanks' vocals steal the show. His sound gets that Allman Brothers Band feel during "Tied Up & Twisted" and "Change Your Mind" as he funks up the music. He used his Al Green influence on the soulful blues of "I Can't Help It," before finishing with "Livin' Off The Land," which could have very well been an outtake from the famous "Basement Tapes" as BJ delivers the goods in this instant Roots-music classic. To find out more about BJ Wilbanks and his new self-titled release, please visit bjwilbanks.com.

London-based singer/songwriter Foxpalmer is preparing to release her debut album "Locked In Memory" on April 28th. The new six-song release begins with the alternative, acoustic rock of "End" and the quiet, bluesy ballad "Where Do You Sleep Tonight?" as you instantly get lost in her vocals. She plugs in for the dark tones of "Alone," before wrapping up her short new release with the acoustic build-up of "Pieces" and the up-tempo alternative rock of "In My Head." Both songs will remind you of the early days for alternative, folk/rock band, 10,000 Maniacs. The new release also includes bonus acoustic versions of "Alone" and "Fault," which allow you to concentrate more on Foxpalmer's songwriting in a more laid back setting. To find out more about Foxpalmer and her new release "Locked In Memory," please visit her Facebook page at facebook.com/foxpalmer.band.

Monday, March 27, 2017

RJ Podcast: Singer/Songwriter Ruthie Foster Chats With Us About Her New Album & Her Upcoming Tour

We got a chance to talk with Ruthie Foster about her upcoming tour and and what she does to prepare for the trek, as well as about her new album, "Joy Comes Back." She gives us some insight into why she decided to cover Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" and how much fun she had performing with guitar virtuoso Derek Trucks. Her new album was released on last Friday on March 24th and she will be making her way to the East Coast in mid-April, performing April 23rd at Infinity Hall in Norfolk, CT.

CD Review: New Music From Singer/Songwriters Myke Clements, Nick Nace, Frank Migliorelli & Brett Newski

Singer/songwriter Myke Clements was laid off from his day job late last year. For three months he was unsure what to do with his life, but the one thing that kept him sane was his music. The result of that time time of frustration and tension is heard on his new album "The Layover," which will be released on April 6th. The new ten song release begins with the up-tempo, call-to-arms rocker "The King Is Here" as this sets the stage for some of Myke's most meaningful tunes. The pop tones of "The Redwoods" and the punk-like energy of "Can't Stop Now," showcases his youthfulness as his music is very addictive. He slows down for the emotional ballad "Sting," then gets the energy flowing again in "Roots Run Deep, before finishing his new album with the simple, uplifting spirit that runs through "Going Home." To find out more about Myke Clements and his latest release "The Layover," please visit mykeclements.com.

Canadian singer/songwriter Nick Nace is preparing to release his new 5-song EP titled "Canadiana Americana." The album was recorded at The House of Miracles in Cambridge, ON and delivers a classic country/folk sound that transports you back to seventies when song's had stories that had a message. His new release begins with "Dead Ends" as Nick's voice has that deep, strong presence that demands your attention to every word. The stories continue with "The Pursuit Of Loneliness" as Nick's words are poetry amongst the backdrop of acoustic country. His new short release finishes with the guitar rumble of "Your Dad's Old Car" and the slow country blues of "The Gift OF Goodbye." To find out more about Nick Nace and his new release "Canadiana Americana," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/Nicknaceinyourface.

From New York comes the latest release from Frank Migliorelli and The Dirt Nappers titled "Bass, Drums, Guitars and Organs." They are a Roots/Americana band that injects elements of classic rock into their music to give it a pulse. Their new 10-song release begins with "When She's Walking By Your Side" as their sound has a nostalgic feel, like the early days of rock and roll. They deliver a flashback with the the swing of "It All Falls Down On Me" and "Baby Put A Dress On" as their sound follows the groundwork of days of AM radio rock. The album finishes with the west coast surf rock of "Wound Up Woman" and gentle, acoustic ballad "Former Femmes Fatales and Romeos." To find out more about Frank Migliorelli and The Dirt Nappers and their latest release "Bass, Drums, Guitars and Organs," please visit frankmigliorelli.com.

Singer/songwriter Brett Newski is preparing to release his new collection of songs titled "Brett Newski: Songs To Sink The American Dream." It features some of Newski's best writing that touch upon politics, the music industry and the state of the world today. Beginning with the up-tempo, acoustic strumming of "Dead To Me," his new 12-song release starts off with a bang, before continuing with the cowboy strumming of "Bro Country" as he displays his opinion on a number of topics. Then the tempo picks back up with the energetic garage rock of "I'm Paranoid" and the quick-hitting "Crusty Adventures," before he wraps things up with the folk storytelling of "Black Friday Totally Sucks" and a censored version of "Dead To Me." To find out more about Brett Newski and his latest release "Songs To Sink The American Dream," please visit brettnewski.com.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

CD Review: Universal Music Collects The Best Of Marc Almond For "Hits And Pieces"

English music artist Marc Almond celebrated 40 years in the music industry last year. To celebrate this accomplishment, Universal Music is releasing a 2CD set titled "Hits And Pieces," which covers Almond's work with the 80's electronic-pop band Soft Cell as well as his solo career. Almond was a founding member of Soft Cell, who are best known for their chart topping hit "Tainted Love," before going on his own in 1984, recording over 20 solo albums.

The new 2CD release begins with nine of Soft Cell's most well-known songs, including the original 12" mix of "Tainted Love," "Bedsitter" and "Say Hello, Wave Goodbye." The set also includes the rare single, "Black Heart" from Marc Almond's other 1980's output Marc & The Mambas. The disc wraps up with the chart topping U.K. single "Something's Gotten Hold Of My Heart," which Almond performs with the legendary Gene Pitney and "A Lover Spurned" from Almond's 1990 album "Enchanted."

The second disc kicks off right where disc one left off with "The Desperate Hours" the second single off the "Enchanted" album. He definitely delivers the energy with "Jacky" and "Adored And Explored," while also making his music sound large and epic with "The Days Of Pearly Spencer." Almond's last charting single "Tragedy (Take A Look And See)" showcases his talent for songwriting as he has always found a way to capture the listeners full attention. The set closes with Almond's Broadway rocker "Variety," the nostalgic pop gem "A Kind Of Love" and a jazzy, live version of "Tainted Love," when Marc Almond performed with Jools Holland and the Rhythm & Blues Orchestra. Check out Marc Almond's "Hits And Pieces - The Best Of Marc Almond and Soft Cell," which will be released on April 14th through UMe. To find out more, please visit marcalmond.co.uk.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

CD/DVD Review: Paul McCartney Digs Deep Into The Vaults For New "Flowers In The Dirt" Box Set

Universal Music, in association with Capitol Records, continue their roll-out of the "Paul McCartney Archive Collection" with their latest release "Flowers In The Dirt." It is the tenth archive release and it centers around the Grammy nominated album. Originally released in 1989, this album brought Paul McCartney back into the mainstream with the singles "My Brave Face" and "Figure of Eight." Also, this album was developed out of the writing and recording sessions that McCartney did with Elvis Costello, which becomes the main focus of the bonus material on this new deluxe special release.

The original "Flowers In The Dirt" album was remastered at Abbey Road Studios, supervised by McCartney himself, and features a new stellar sound. The harmonizing on "My Brave Face," sound smooth and the beats of "Rough Ride" are strong and will certainly make an impact on your speakers. David Gilmour's guitar solo on "We Got Married" is striking as he brings in elements of later-day Pink Floyd into the world of this Beatle. The strings on "Put It There" are beautiful and the McCartney/Costello collaboration is felt in the R&B tones of "That Day Is Done." The cassette-only bonus track "Ou est le Soleil?" is also featured here with its remastered, electronic sound.

The second and third discs in the special deluxe edition feature the original demos that McCartney and Costello worked on at Paul's home studio in 1987. The quality of these demos are the best they've ever been, since they were only available in bootleg form prior to this release. The songwriting is amazing in this pure form as the harmonizing between Costello and McCartney will remind you of the early days of The Beatles. Only a few of the tracks featured on these discs in demo form made the final album, with some of the songs sprinkled on Costello's next studio album "Mighty Like A Rose" and even McCartney's next album "Off The Ground." You will instantly fall in love with these raw, loose demo recordings.

The DVD included in the deluxe special edition version of "Flowers In The Dirt" features the memorable music videos for 7 of the albums 13 songs, plus a video for the non-album single "Party Party." The DVD also includes a wonderful hour-long documentary on the making of the album and tons of unreleased footage of McCartney in the studio with his band and Elvis Costello. McCartney always has an uncanny sense of humor around the camera and it certainly shows in the home video like footage. There is also a short documentary into the making of the music video for "This One," which was groundbreaking for its time.

The new box set also contains 4 books. One book details the making of the album with 112-pages of essays and new interviews with Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello and others. It includes quite of bit of unpublished photos from the sessions and also artwork from the album and singles. The second book features Paul McCartney's hand written notebook of lyrics and notes of songs from the album and demo sessions. The third showcases the amazing photography of Linda McCartney and her photo shoot for the cover of the album. The final book includes 64-pages of images used for the "This One" music video.

Every CD included in the set is included as a digital download along with exclusive B-sides, remixes and edited single versions. Fans will not mind spending the extra cash for all this material, which has been made available for the first time in this box set. To find out more about this new deluxe special edition of Paul McCartney's 1989 album "Flowers In The Dirt," please visit paulmccartney.com.

Friday, March 24, 2017

CD Review: Depeche Mode Show Some Political "Spirit" With New Album

It has been a long four years since Depeche Mode reached out with their last top 10 selling album "Delta Machine," but now they have returned with their most innovative album titled "Spirit." The album does have some large shoes to fill when it is released on March 17th, but critics are already calling it Depeche Mode's "most energized album in years." They are also following the release of their new album with a world tour.
 
The new 12-song release begins with the nearly six-minute build-up of "Going Backwards" as Depeche Mode touches upon the problems of today's society. The album continues with their latest single "Where's The Revolution" as the music's dark rock tones is a "call-to-arms" as they begin their trail to political freedom with the song's marching rhythm. Vocalist Dave Gahan delivers the perfect emotion for the ballad "The Worst Crime," before bringing back the electronic beats of "Scum" and "You Move." Depeche Mode experiment with their sound on the short sonic landscape of "Eternal," before returning with a bluesy delivery of "Poison Heart." The album finishes with the pulsating rhythm of "Poorman" as Gahan tells us a story, then "Fail" closes the album with the meaningful mellow tones that Depeche Mode are known for.
 
Their world tour kicks off  May 5th in Sweden, before making its way to the U.S. in August. For a complete list of dates and to find out more about their new album "Spirit," please visit depechemode.com.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

CD Review: 2Cellos Take You To The Movies With "Score" & Taarka New Release Is A "Fading Mystery"

What began as a fun YouTube video has grown into one of the most exciting duos to ever clash together classical and pop music. Croatian duo 2Cellos recently released their fourth studio album titled "Score." They re-imagine some of the most well-known themes from cinematic history. Although their new 14-song release begins with one of the most well-known television theme songs for "Game Of Thrones," the grand sound they put together matches up perfectly with the other songs on this new release. They continue with the gentle interlude of "May It Be" from "The Lord Of The Rings," before keeping with the lush, heartfelt delivery of "Love Story." The duo of Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser shed new light on some well-known classics like "Moon River" ("Breakfast At Tiffany's") and "My Heart Will Go On" ("Titanic"), while also spinning some magical sounds for the themes from "Rain Main" and "Schindler's List." Their new release finishes with the inspirational, uplifting tones of "Titles From Chariots Of Fire" and soul-searching melody of "Now We Are Free" from "Gladiator." 2Cellos are currently on a world tour which will hit the U.S. in July. For a complete list of dates and to find out more about their new album "Score," please visit 2cellos.com.

From Lyons, CO comes the latest release titled "Fading Mystery" from the old-fashion, Americana-style band Taarka. Their music has been described as Gypsy-Jazz, folk and even Celtic as this foursome produce some of the most meaningful music of the year. Their new ten-song release begins with "Carried Away" as the tempo is swift, while singer Enion Pelta-Tiller tells this darken tale through her wonderful delivery of the lyrics. The music takes on a lighter feel with "Polyamorous Polly" as David Tiller takes over the lead vocals on this love story. Their talents are heard on the amazing instrumental "What My Darl'n Says," before they try to capture the Americana mainstream sound of "I Could Really Use You Now." The album continues with the high-energy instrumentals "Retreat" and "Finn McCool Crosses The Rocky Mountains," before finishing with the gentle, folk melody of "Fading Mystery." Taarka have a handful of shows lined-up in April and May. For a complete list of shows and to find out more about their new album"Fading Mystery," please visit taarka.com.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

CD Review: Security Project Give Us A High "5" And Billy Valentine Showcases His "Brit Eyed Soul"

The Security Project has definitely enjoyed performing the music of Peter Gabriel and Genesis to sell-out crowds all over the world. The musicians involved with the band are a little more experienced than your typical tribute band as some have played with Peter Gabriel and other prog-rock bands like King Crimson. The Security Project have released two former albums simply titled "Live 1" and Live 2." Now the band skip ahead to release a new album titled "Five" which features for the first time, the voice of singer/songwriter Happy Rhodes.
 
The new five-song release, features four Peter Gabriel originals and one song from Kate Bush. The album begins with one of Gabriel's most popular solo hits "Games Without Frontiers" as Rhodes' vocals mimic the song's originals, while the music sweeps you away as it pushes past the 8-minute mark. The new short release continues with "No Self Control," which originally featured Kate Bush's vocals, as Rhodes handles the vocal duties with ease. The Kate Bush original "Mother Stand For Comfort" fits in perfectly among the other Gabriel classics, before finishing with the pounding beats of "Rhythm Of The Heat." To find out more about Security Project and their latest release "Five," please visit securityprojectband.com.
 
Soulful vocal artist Billy Valentine recently released a new album of cover songs titled "Brit Eyed Soul." Valentine is best known as the voice of songs on "Sons Of Anarchy" and "Boston Legal." Now he dives into a dozen well-known tracks from some of Britain's biggest hit makers, beginning with the Rolling Stones' "Beast Of Burden," which carries an R&B/funk groove that fits Valentine's style perfectly. His vocals set the mood with the sultry ballad, "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me" and the smooth delivery of "More Than A Woman." He turns John Lennon's "Watching The Wheels" into a seventies funk gold, then pays true respect to The Beatles with an beautiful soulful rendition of "Here, There and Everywhere." The album finishes with the perfect match-up of Billy Valentine's vocals on Elton John's "(I Guess That's Why) They Call It The Blues" and the cool jazz/funk rhythm of "(What's So Funny Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding." To find out more about Billy Valentine and his latest release "Brit Eyed Soul," please visit billy-valentine.com.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

RJ Podcast: Kinky Friedman Discusses His Upcoming Tour, Music And New Books On Our Latest Podcast

Legendary Texas singer/songwriter Kinky Friedman talks with us about hitting the road again on his upcoming "Resurrected Tour." He also explains some of his inspirations for some of his new songs like "Jesus In Pajamas." He also gives us some insight into the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch, which he helped start and about the new books arriving soon about his career and about his life-long friendship with Bob Dylan. Kinky Friedman will be performing at Cafe Nine in New Haven on April 13 and at Bridge Street Live in Collinsville on April 14 & 15.

CD Review: New Progressive Rock From EchoTest, Light Freedom Revival, Dazed Marrow & Carptree

The progressive rock trio EchoTest are ready to release their third studio album titled "From Two Balconies." The new concept album features the work of world-renown bassists Julie Slick (Adrian Belew Power Trio, Crimson ProjeKct) and Marco Machera, along with their latest member Alessandro Inolti on drums. The new nine-song release begins with "Supercell" as the band deviate slightly for their mostly instrumental albums to a more mainstream rock sound as Marco handles most of vocal duties on the album. Not to worry their fans too much, their is still a strong progressive rock element as in the experimental atmosphere of "Confirmation Bias" and the exciting musical journey of "Beats In The Brain," featuring the exceptional guitar work of Tim Motzer. All of the elements come together for the seven-and-a-half minute sonic adventure of "The Plight," before wrapping up the new album with the mainstream ballad "Pity" (with vocals and piano by Claire Wadsworth) and the energetic, hard rock attack of "Radio Sayonara." To find out more about EchoTest and their latest release "From Two Balconies," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/slickmachera.

Canadian progressive rock band Light Freedom Revival are preparing to release their debut studio album titled "Eterniverse Deja Vu." Singer/songwriter John Vehadija assembled a cast of some of the best progressive rock musicians including Billy Sherwood (Yes), Oliver Wakeman (Yes), and Eric Gillette (Neal Morse Band). The new 13-song release begins with the up-tempo, progressive-pop/rock of "New Lightspace Age" as the vocals are addictive, while the music is amazing. Light Freedom Revival deliver "An Idea Of Freedom" with a Sting-like presence to the rhythm, while "Dream Again" takes you on a mystical sonic journey with its slower tempo. Light Freedom Revival returns to the pop/rock tones of "Eternaiverse Deja Vu," before delivering the hard rock attack of "They Fit You In." The album finishes with the steady, progressive feel of "Starting Over," the keyboard-heavy sound of "Place Of Power" and the slow, bluesy ballad of "Enjoy The Now." To find out more about Light Freedom Revival and their latest release "Eterniverse Deja Vu," please visit lightfreedomrevival.com.

From South Korea comes the latest release from ambient, electronic instrumental artist Dazed Marrow. The new album titled "Gaeseki Dream Machine" features sixteen cuts of layered sonic soundscapes that will just make your mind drift. The music entices moods, like the eerie opening "Intro" or the exploratory "Venturing Into Etherea," while the lush, sweeping tones of "Insomnia Euphoria" with ease your worries. The nearly 9-minute richly textured melody of "Feel Better My Friend" takes you on a journey with its ambient layers of music. The sounds of "A Short One" and "Binary Brain" will keep you locked into the movements of the music as Dazed Marrow continues to expand your mind. The experimental "Glass Jar" shows that Dazed Marrow are not afraid to step outside the normal boundaries of music and create new melodies. The album wraps up with the subtle, thought-provoking hints of sound on "Daeseki Gream Machine" and the electronic groove of "Outro," remixed by JackCote. To find out more about the latest release "Gaeseki Dream Machine" from Dazed Marrow, please visit cleorecs.com.

From Sweden comes the latest release titled "Emerger" from progressive rock ensemble Carptree. It features the work of the symphonic rock duo Niclas Flinch and Carl Westholm with help from the No Future Orchestra. Their new 8-song release begins with the amazingly intense rock piece "The Fleeting Deep." It invokes the classic progressive music of Genesis and Yes with an edgier hard rock sound. They continue with the nearly nine-minute sonic adventure of "Between Extremes" which changes tempos and melodies a number of times throughout their performance of the song. They display a more ambient, mystical sound with the mellow tones of "The River," before the big hard rock sound of "Never To Return And Never To Leave." The album finishes with the acoustic build-up of "Porous" and the intense, remixed version of "Dwindle Into Greatness," which originally only appeared as a B-side. To find out more about Carptree and their latest release "Emerger," please visit carptree.com.

Monday, March 20, 2017

CD Review: Former Police Guitarist Andy Summers Take A More Abient Approach On "Triboluminescence"

Andy Summers, former guitarist for The Police, is preparing to release his 14th studio album titled "Triboluminescence" on March 24th. This album will continue in the new direction Summers started in 2015 with his last album "Metal Dog." The album has a much more ambient reflection than his past releases as Summers keeps the music fresh with multi-layered instrumentation and rhythms that provide the perfect backdrop for his guitar work.
 
The new 9-song release begins with the ambient tones of "If Anything" as Summers' guitar solo highlights the opening track. The music gets much more interesting with the layered sounds of the nearly ten-minute instrumental, "Triboluminescence." He gets the feeling of jazz fusion flowing through "Adinkra" and the worldly tones of "Shadowland," before reaching "Haunted Dolls," which sounds like a long lost outtake from The Police era. The album closes with the funky beats of "Gigantopithecus" as Summers ignites the energy of his solo, then the gentle, psychedelic, backwards guitar of "Garden Of The Sea" finishes your adventure. To find out more about Andy Summers and his latest release "Triboluminescence," please visit andysummers.com.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

CD Review: Omnivore Recordings Reminds Us That Bobby Darin & Johnny Mercer Were "Two Of A Kind"

American singers/songwriters Bobby Darin and Johnny Mercer had long-standing careers that have turned them into vocal icons. Bobby Darin was one of the most popular singers of the early sixties as his singles "Mack The Knife" and "Beyond The Sea" controlled the singles chart. Johnny Mercer created some of the most well-known songs in history including "Fools Rush In," "That Old Black Magic" and "Summer Wind." In 1961, these two popular American vocalist teamed up, with the Billy May Orchestra, to record the album "Two Of A Kind."

To celebrate the album's 55th anniversary, Omnivore Recordings is releasing an expanded version of the album on CD. The album features the two singers joining forces, singing many American classic standards, including "East Of The Rockies" and "Mississippi Mud." It also included the originals "Two Of A Kind" and "Lonesome Polecat" as Mercer and Darin shared the vocals duties. The album was a homage to the artists of Tin Pan Alley.

For this new expanded re-issue, Bobby Darin's long-time manager Steve Blauner hired Grammy-winning producer Cheryl Pawelski to remaster the original album and dig through studio sessions for the seven added bonus tracks included on this new release. Two songs that were recorded, but not issued on the original album, "Cecilia" and "Lily Of Laguna" lead off the bonus tracks. The other five songs featured are alternate takes that show how much the two singers admired each other's talents. To find out more about this newly re-issued, expanded edition of Bobby Darin & Johnny Mercer's "Two Of A Kind," please visit omnivorerecordings.com.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

CD Review: Bassist Derrick Anderson Goes Off Into "A World Of My Own"

You may not have heard of the name Derrick Anderson, but he has been the backbone of some of rock's most popular, iconic artists. He has worked with The Kink's Dave Davies on his solo albums, as well as Matthew Sweet and most notably The Bangles. Now Derrick Anderson is venturing off on his own with his debut solo album titled "A World Of My Own." It will be released on April 7th through Omnivore Recordings.

The new 13-track release begins with the up-tempo, alternative-pop of "Send Me Down A Sign" as Anderson's vocals are strong and inviting. Anderson also helps out on percussion for the classic southern rock groove of "You Don't Have To Hurt No More," before slowing down for the ballad "Something New," which included background vocals supplied by The Bangles. His friend Matthew Sweet helps out on the short rocker "Happiness," before picking the energy up for the fast-pace of "Checking Out." His music takes on a nostalgic tone during "My Prediction," before delivering a live, raw, punk-like version of "Stop Messin' About." The album wraps up with some members of The Bangles lending a hand to the addictive pop sound of "When I Was Your Man" and Anderson's re-working of The Beatles' "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" with a "Come Together" type rhythm. To find out more about Derrick Anderson and his latest release "A World Of My Own," please visit derrickandersonmusic.com.

Friday, March 17, 2017

CD Review: The Shins Return With Their Latest Album, "Heartworms"

American indie-rock band The Shins just released their fifth studio album titled "Heartworms." The first tease of new music came last Halloween when The Shins released "Dead Alive" to the delight of fans since it has been five years since their last full-length album. "Heartworms" is also the first release since their debut album to be produced by lead singer/guitarist James Mercer.
 
Their new 11-song release begins with the up-tempo, pop tones of "Name For You," which hit #2 on the Adult Alternative Singles chart because of it's addictive rhythm and nostalgic feel. The Shins experiment with the driving beats of "Painting A Hole" and the electronics of "Cherry Hearts," before slowing down for the amazing, acoustic folk/rock of "Mildenhall." They continue with the sixties vibe of "Rubber Ballz," before switching gears for the album's first single "Dead Alive," which has a darker, acoustic tone that showcases another side to Mercer's songwriting. The album finishes with the gentle sway of "The Fear" as the song's music glides through your mind. The Shins have a few dates lined-up in Europe before returning to the U.S. this summer. To find out more about their new album "Heartworms," please visit theshins.com.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

CD Review: Ozomatli Cover Latin Classics Traveling "Non-Stop Mexico To Jamaica"

The Grammy-winning, Latin-fusion band Ozomatli recently released their new studio album "Non-Stop Mexico To Jamaica." They will kick-off the album's debut with a live show at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, CA. This is the band's 8th studio album and it features some special guests including Herb Albert, Juanes and G-Love to name a few. The album also included re-imaged versions of some famous Latin-based songs.
 
The new 14-song release begins with the reggae-infused "Eras" as the rhythm begins to grab hold of you. They deliver a ska-like versions of Selena's "Como La Flor" and Mana's "Oye Mi Amor." Herb Albert then steps in to help with the island-flavor of "Besame Mucho." Juanes lends a hand on the Juan Gabriel classic "Noa Noa," before Kyle McDonald (Slightly Stoopid) works with Ozomatli on the west-coast vibe of Richie Valens' "La Bamba." They turn Santana's "Evil Ways" into a dance club hymn, before finishing up with G-Love and Chali 2Na helping out on the addictive groove of "Land of 1,000 Dances" and fun electronic swing of Redbone's "Come And Get Your Love." To find out more about Ozomatli and their latest release "Non-Stop Mexico To Jamaica," please visit ozomatli.com.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

CD Review: Revisit The Music Of The Bill Evans Trio And John Lee Hooker With Two New Releases

Jazz pianist Bill Evans might best be known for his work on the Miles Davis' masterpiece "King Of Blue." He only worked with Davis for a year before going on his own to lead the Bill Evans Trio. The trio had a number of line-up changes throughout the years, but a specific live performance from 1976 is the subject of a new Bill Evans Trio release titled "On A Monday Evening."
 
The trio featured Bill Evans on piano, Eddie Gomez on bass and Eliot Zigmund on drums. The performance took place on November 15, 1976 at the Madison Union Theater on the campus of the University of Wisconsin. The new 8-song release was recorded by two student DJs who archived the concert for prosperity. The music that night was magical as Evans lead the way on the opening track "Sugar Plum." The gentle Evans original "Time Remembered" and the more up-tempo swing of "T.T.T. (Twelve Tone Tune)," leads the way to the audience favorite "Someday My Prince Will Come," which Evans used to perform with Miles Davis. The new live album finishes with the nearly ten-minute jam of "All Of You," which allows the band to let loose, before the quieter "Some Other Time," as Evans always leaves you wanting more from this musical genius. For more information about the new release "On A Monday Evening" from the Bill Evans Trio, please visit concordmusicgroup.com.
 
It would be hard to argue that John Lee Hooker is not one of the greatest bluesmen of all-time. His boogie-shuffle guitar style is uncanny and his deep vocals delivered his messages with a purpose. He has penned some of the most iconic blues songs of all time in his nearly 60 year music career. To kick off the celebration of what would have been John Lee Hooker's 100th birthday, Vee-Jay Records in association with Concord Bicycle Music, has gathered 16 of Hooker's most well-known tunes on the newly released compilation "Whiskey & Wimmen."
 
Beginning with "Boom Boom" you instantly feel that you are in the presence of greatness as the simply 1-2-3 rhythm, the shuffle guitar solo and memorable lyrics spelled out success for the 80 year old bluesman. The album continues with the storied lyrics of "Boogie Chillin'" and the burning guitar boogie of "Dimples." The title song, "Whiskey & Wimmen" gallops along as Hooker tells us tales of his addictions, before his pleads of "I Need Some Money." The new release includes Hooker's fascination with "Big Legs, Tight Skirts," the acoustic blues gems "No More Doggin'" and Crawlin' King Snake," before finishing with the slow, chugging of "It Serves Me Right" and the howling harp of "Time Is Marching." To find out more about the newly released "Whiskey & Wimmen: John Lee Hooker's Finest," please visit facebook.com/JohnLeeHookerofficial.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

RJ Podcast: James McMurtry Discusses His Upcoming Tour & Some New Music

Singer/Songwriter James McMurtry talks with us about his upcoming solo tour and performing at this year's SXSW festival. He also gives us some insight into the recording of his last studio album "Complicated Game" and about his new political single "Remembrance." James McMurtry will be performing at the Infinity Hall in Norfolk, CT on March 30th.

CD Review: New Music From Indie-Pop Artists J. Sutta, J-Bella, Omeri & Jazz Band E-Life 7

Former Pussycat Dolls singer J. Sutta recently released her full-length debut album on March 3rd. Her new album titled "I Say Yes" was produced by multi-Grammy winner Rico Love and features guest appearances from Pitbull, Liam Horne and Will Peters. The new 15-song release begins with the high-energy dance beats of "Reign" and addictive, electronic pop of "Distortion" as her voice is the highlight of any song she sings on. The R&B flavor of "Feel Like Making Love" and her duet with Rico Love in "I Say Yes" showcases her seductive vocals. Her song "Forever" hit #1 on the independent singles chart as the beats are strong, while she rolls out the lyrics. The soulful electronic pop of  "Inches Away" is where her vocals soar as she is able to let loose. She finishes up with Fuse ODG lending a hand on the high-energy, remix of "Special" and the laid-back R&B vibe of "Sunday Island." To find out more about J. Sutta and her latest release "I Say Yes," please visit jsutta.com.

From New York comes the debut album from R&B/pop singer J-Bella titled "All For Nothin'." It is one of the first releases to arrive on the brand new independent music label Three 2 Go Music. J-Bella grew up a fan of Mariah Carey and was influenced by Alicia Keys as she allows her vocals to soar on the opening track "Shine Remix." Her new 8-song release continues with her soulful delivery of "I Choose You" as J-Bella duets with the equally talented Roger Gossom on this ballad. She showcases her wonderful vocals in the soulfulness of "All For Nothin'," before bringing back the energy of "Game" and "Up Down." Her new album finishes with the return of "Shine" and a special bonus remix of "Shine" that displays how her vocals can accommodate many different music genres. To find out more about J-Bella and her latest release "All For Nothin'," please visit j-bellamusic.com.

Also from New York comes the debut album "Day Dream'n" from pop singer/songwriter Omeri. His new album will be released on March 24th through the Three 2 Go Music label and features a diverse array of music from pop to R&B to soul to rock. Beginning with the title song, Omeri instantly becomes accessible with the pop infused rock swing of  "Day Dream'n." The soulful delivery of "Guess I'll Be Waiting" and the light-hearted, fun, up-tempo pace of "Read Your Mind" will have Omeri on your playlist as you discover the talents of this young musician. His soulful vocals during the ballad "Don't Look For Me" will warm your soul, before he finishes his new 8-song release with the R&B delivery of "One Night" and an extended version of the title-song. To find out more about Omeri and his latest release "Day Dream'n," please visit omerimusic.com.

Finally we arrive at the debut album from E-Life 7 featuring Michael Pennick on bass. The new album titled "Miked Up" is also being released on March 24th through Three 2 Go Music. The new 14-track release begins with Pennick making a statement with his bass as he trades licks with guitarist Ronald Walker on the instrumental "Sunday Night." Pennick leads the way through the funky rhythm of "Choas" and delivers a "Smooth Ride" with the jazz tones of saxophonist Ken Whitman. E-Life combines the elements of rock and funk for the high energy of "That Girl," before Michael Pennick digs deep down for the bluesy bass solo of "Tony Rome." They introduce vocals into the R&B backdrop of "Feelin' You," before slowing down for the six-minute jazz of "Before The Storm." The album finishes with the bright, up-tempo pace of "Beautiful Day" and two radio edits of the songs "Tony Rome" and "Feelin You." To find out more about E-Life and their latest release "Miked Up," please visit e-life7.net.

Monday, March 13, 2017

CD Review: St. Patrick's Day Gets A Boost From The Tossers While We Ride Deliver Victory Records Debut

The punk band, The Tossers have become the elder statesmen of the genre, having been performing for over 24 years. Their Celtic/punk style have placed them on the same line as Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly. The Tossers have recently released their new album titled "Smash The Windows," just in time for St. Patrick's Day. It is the band's sixth release through Victory Records.

The new 17-track release begins with the quick-paced swing of "Erin Go Bragh" as they get the energy flowing. The Tossers know how to get you involved with their music by singing along to the simple, fun, exciting chorus of "Smash The Widows" and clap your hands or stomp your feet to the energetic rhythm of "Drinking All The Day." They slow the tempo down for the serious tale of "Resurrection Mary" and the traditional Irish hymn "Danny Boy." They pick the energy back up with the quick pace of "Whiskey," before slowing down once again for the wonderful harmonies of "My Love." The album continues with the instrumental "Lots Of Drops Of Brandy," which will make you feel like your are in a pub in Ireland drinking a pint of your favorite beer. They finish with the short sing-along "Fare You Well" and the dark story of "The Foggy Dew." The Tossers have one show line-up for St. Patrick's Day in Chicago, but they will provide the perfect soundtrack for the one day that everyone is Irish. To find out more about their new album "Smash The Windows," please visit thetossers.com.

Also arriving from Victory Records on April 14th is the label debut of We Ride's new album titled "Empowering Life." This hardcore punk band started out on the streets of Spain in 2009, before catching worldwide notice with their 2012 release "On The Edge." Their new 10-song release begins with the Rage Against The Machine-type attack of "Voices."  The screaming vocals of "Self-Made" and the chanting chorus "What You Are," match the frenzied musical attack supplied by the band. They take their energy up a notch with the intense delivery of "Do It All Again," before the chugging guitar rhythm of "Summer" will have you banging your head along to We Ride's hardcore sound. The album finishes with the thrash metal appeal of "Endless Hopes" and high-powered, high-energy closer "Hands Off." To find out more about We Ride and their latest release "Empowering Life," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/werideband.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

CD Review: Rock Candy Records Resurrects 80's Rockers King Kobra For New Releases

As the 1980's approached, there was a change in the air musically. The disco scene was getting old and hard rock music was ready to make it's move. The decade began with the release of such classic albums as Ozzy Osbourne's "Blizzard Of Ozz," Judas Priest's "British Steel" and AC/DC's "Back In Black." Then came the next wave of hard rock artists like Motley Crue, Quiet Riot and Def Leppard and in the middle of all this high-quality music was drummer Carmine Appice. He brought Rod Stewart's sound into the 80's and toured with Ozzy before creating his own 80's metal band, King Kobra.

The band featured members from Bulletboys, W.A.S.P. and Unruly Child and their look become the flipside of Motley Crue as all the members were blonde except for Appice's brunette hair color. Their debut album "Ready To Strike" was released in 1985 through Capitol Records and caught the attention of critics and fans everywhere. The drumming was hard and intense as in "Shadow Rider" and the music blurred the lines between heavy metal and mainstream rock as Mark Free's vocals demanded your attention in songs like "Breakin' Out" and "Dancing With Desire."

Unfortunately, the band's follow-up was not able to capture the same attention their debut album received as "Thrill Of A Lifetime" was released only one year later. Their second album did feature the song "Iron Eagle (Never Day Die)," which was featured in the movie of the same name, but songs like "Dream On" and "Feel The Heat" sounded was too polished and less rocking and their record label dropped the band due to poor album sales.

Now, for the band's 30th anniversary, Rock Candy Records has resurrected King Kobra's first two albums for new release. Both albums were remastered and feature a 16-page booklet with new interviews and rare photos as the music still sounds powerful and timeless. The band showcased their muscle on "Ready To Strike," then adapted too much to the technology of the eighties with "Thrill Of A Lifetime." To find out more about "Ready To Strike," please visit rockcandyrecords.merchnow.com and to find out more about "Thrill Of A Lifetime," please visit rockcandyrecords.merchnow.com.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

CD Review: The Numero Music Label Collects The Creation For New "Action Painting" Box Set

The mid-sixties were a booming time for British rock bands, with the success of The Beatles, The Kinks and The Who. Every band had stars in their eyes, with many of them never hitting that perfect note for success, even though their music was as good as what was on the music charts. One such band that found local success, which never carried over to the U.S. was The Creation.

The Creation formed from the ashes of The Mark Four, who recorded four uncharting singles. For The Creation's first album, their management incorporated the help of producer Shel Talmy who worked with The Who, The Kinks and The Easybeats. The Creation's first single "Making Time," cracked the top 50 British singles chart. Their second single "Painter Man" cracked the top 40 in Britain and the top ten in Germany in 1966. The following year, The Creation released both singles in the U.S. without any chart success. After multiple line-up changes, including the departure of guitarist Eddie Phillips and singer Bob Garner and the return of Kenny Pickett, the band could not repeat the success of their first two singles and broke up in 1968.

The Creation did have an impact on many British bands, including The Sex Pistols, Paul Weller and Ride. Even Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin incorporated the use of a bow on his guitar, which was introduced by Eddie Phillips. To celebrate the band's 50th anniversary, the Numero Group record label collected The Creation's recordings between 1965-1968 for the band's definite career compilation. The new release titled "Action Painting" was released on March 17th as a two CD box set which contains 46-tracks housed in a CD sized hardcover case. The book features 80 full color pages that tell the history of the band and includes many rare photos, along with singles and album artwork.

The music has been remixed with many songs receiving their debut on CD. Disc one features 23 tracks, beginning with The Creations' most well-known hits "Making Time" and "Painter Man." All of the band's issued singles and B-sides are represented along with tracks from their only 1967 album "We are Paintermen." The second disc features the four issued singles as The Mark Four, along with 15 new stereo mixes of the Shel Talmy produced singles. The set closes with the backing tracks of their songs "Making Time" and "How Does It Feel To Feel," along with an instrumental jam and the full length version of their B-side "Sylvette."

Just as impressive as the collection of songs, is the hardbound book which contains new essays from music historians Dean Rudland and Alec Palao. Together they tell the tale of The Creation during the late-sixties and how close they were to becoming one of the iconic classic British rock bands of the sixties. To find out more about this new release from the Numero Group label, please visit numerogroup.com.

Friday, March 10, 2017

CD/DVD Review: The Neal Morse Band Showcase Their Energy In New "Morsefest 2015" Release

The Neal Morse Band recently released their longest, most involved, mind-expanding album late last year titled "The Similitude Of A Dream." It has received rave reviews from critics everywhere, with many saying it is the band's best album to date. Now, The Neal Morse Band dive back in time to celebrate "Morsefest 2015" with a soon to be released 2 Blu-ray or 2 DVD set with an additional 4CDs which cover both nights of the band's live performances.
 
The band ran through 30 songs from throughout Neal Morse's career over the course of two nights and invited 38 musicians on stage with them to create a special prog-rock orchestra. The first video covers the band's first night as they kick things off with "The Call." The video quality is amazing as you are right on stage with The Neal Morse Band, watching these musical magicians at work. Songs like "Go The Way You Go" and "MacArthur Park" easily push past the 13-minute mark as you just become in awe of the amazing musicianship within the band. Morse introduces songs from his solo career with the Christian rock appeal of "New Jerusalem" and "Temple Of The Living God," as the additional choir gives the music a gospel-like quality. The additional singers and musicians bring songs like "Solid As The Sun" and "12" to bigger heights as they sound even better in this live setting than their studio versions. The first video (first night) closes with the emotional build-up reprise of "The Temple Of The Living God."
 
The second night features a much shorter set list with only eight songs as most of them last between 7 and 17 minutes. The night begins with the epic piece, "The Door" as the band expands upon the live setting with their iconic progressive rock sound. Neal Morse delivers this Cristian rocker to an audience that adores and expects only the best from this band. He gets right up to fans, displaying his guitar talents on "The Conflict My Heart" and drummer Mike Portnoy leads the band through the intense playing of "At The End Of The Day." Morse invites fellow Spock's Beard member Nick D'Virgilio to join him for the classic prog-rocker "Wind At My Back," before the night closes with "The Wirlwind Medley" from Morse's other band Transatlantic.
 
The Neal Morse Band are heading back out on the road in Europe at the end of the month. For a complete list of live dates and to find out more about "Morsefest 2015," please visit nealmorse.com.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

CD/DVD Review: Tedeschi Trucks Band Deliver New "Live From The Fox Oakland" Release

Since the winning combination of Susan Tedeschi and the Derek Trucks Band formed in 2010, they have helped carry the torch for classic southern soul/rock music. Both Tedeschi and Trucks are well educated in blues and both certainly know there way around a guitar. After three award-winning studio albums and one live album, the Tedeschi Trucks Band (TTB) are preparing to release their second live album titled "Live From The Fox Oakland." It will available on March 17th through Fantasy Records and will be presented in a 2CD/Blu-ray or DVD format, featuring the first official full-length concert video from the band. 
 
The show was recorded on September 9, 2016 with the entire 12-piece Tedeschi Trucks Band along with a couple of special guests. The set list from that evening featured a mix of originals and covers that have made the TTB one of the biggest draws on the concert circuit. The show was filmed with 12 cameras and mixed by Bob Ludwig on a vintage Neve counsel to give the music that extra warm appeal.
 
In between some of the songs, the film breaks away from the show to give fans a behind the scenes look at the band. It features interview footage of Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi discussing the workings of the band and about the songs they choose to perform together. After an amazing 10-minute version of "Keep On Growing," the band dives into a couple of cover songs featuring the work of Leonard Cohen ("Bird On A Wire") and George Harrison ("Within You Without You"). Sarod artist, Alam Khan joins the TTB for an interesting version of "These Walls," before Trucks explodes during his solo of "I Want More," which includes segments of Santana's "Soul Sacrifice." It's tough to include all the great moments of this show as you will surely be hooked after having watched this video of their live performance. They close the show with a stellar performance of "Let Me Get By," then former Black Crowes singer Chris Robinson joins the band for cover of Bob Dylan's "You Ain't Going Nowhere" during a dressing room jam.
 
The Tedeschi Trucks Band "Live From The Fox Oakland" will be released as a special edition 2CD/Blu-ray or DVD set, as well as on vinyl and as a stand-alone CD, Blu-ray or DVD. The TTB will be following the release of their new live album with a string of shows in Europe, before returning to the U.S. for their summer "Wheels Of Soul Tour." For a complete list of tour dates and to find out more about their brand new live album, please visit tedeschitrucksband.com
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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

CD Review: New Rock/Metal Music From Emperors And Elephants, Nox Vorago, Death Therapy, The Grandfather & Goresoerd

First from Chicago comes the latest release from hard rockers Emperors And Elephants. The new album titled "Moth" will be released on March 17th through Pavement Entertainment and features a dozen tracks that were completed prior to the passing of founding member/guitarist Jeff Windisch. Windisch is heard all throughout the album as he delivers a stellar solo on the opening track "Hidden." The music combines elements of heavy metal with alternative grunge to give the music a darker tone as displayed on "Not Today" and "Poison." They sing about the dark part of "Chicago" in this addictive rock number, before picking the tempo up for the guitar frenzy of "Give Away The Sun." The album finishes with the powerful guitar riffs of "Trigger" and the out-of-place, acoustic delivery of Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game." To find out more about Emperors And Elephants and their latest release "Moth," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/EmperorsandElephants.

Swedish death metal band Nox Vorago recently released their sophomore album titled "Al Chem" on February 24th. The album features seven new tracks that help develop the band's hardcore metal sound mixed with orchestration. Beginning with "Elena Tiamatu," the energy gets unleashed with the growling vocals and thunderous rhythms. Their sound is fleshed out by the use of keyboards as they look to keep a sense of mysticism within their music as they develop a more progressive metal delivery on seven-minute "Devourer Of Dreams." Nox Vorago find the perfect opportunities in "The Hissing Sound Of Ouroboros" to change tempos and make the synthesizers a vital part of their hardcore sound. The album closes with the evil screams of "Daughters Of The Sun" and the aggressive, energy-infused "At The Feet Of Ereshkigal." To find out more about Nox Vorago and their latest release "Al Chem," please visit noxvorago.com.

Industrial/electronic metal duo, Death Therapy recently released their debut album titled "The Storm Before The Calm." The band is the latest musical vision of Jason Widom (Becoming The Archtype), who describes Death Therapy as "capturing a mood and a bass groove and just experiment from there." They begin with the quieter, two-minute piano-based opener "Until Then," which leads into the intense metalcore appeal of "Self Mind Dead." Death Therapy bring together the aggressive screams of "The Lie" with the industrial metal buzz of "Prodigal." The heavy pounding of "Slow Dance (With Death)" gives the song a Rob Zombie-vibe, while "Everything Burns" combines elements of funk with nu-metal to make for a wildly, energetic experiment. The album closes with the two-part instrumental "The Belmont Family Curse," which feels like the soundtrack to an eighties horror film. To find out more about Death Therapy and their latest release "The Storm Before The Calm," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/deaththerapy.

Hardcore/metal band The Grandfather are releasing a trio of EPs this year. The releases with feature the concept of the journey of a man trying to find out who he really is. Each EP will be one chapter in the story, beginning March 3rd with "Absent." It feature five songs, beginning with the title-song as the slow pounding and guitar buzz lay the foundation for vocalist Dillon Schiel to scream out the lyrics. Bassist Cory Lanza calls this release their "heaviest and darkest" as the songs deal with depression and anxiety. The Grandfather pick up the energy with the aggressiveness of "Koresh" and the quick blast of "Chikatilo," before finishing their new short EP with the intense deathcore grind of "Shipman." To find out more about The Grandfather and their latest release "Absent," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/thegrandfatherband.

Finally from Estonia comes the latest album "Antikeha" from the heavy metal band Goresoerd. It is their fourth full-length release and the lyrics are sung in their native language of Estonian, but the sound of heavy metal is universal. The new album is made up of 9-tracks, beginning with the intense attack of "Pohjast" as the music pounds away your mind. The screaming vocals of "Neetud" and the speed of "Antikeha" will turn you into an instant fan, without understanding one single word of what is being sung. They deliver their most mainstream metal song with "Raamat" and then turn up the progressive metal sound of "Loikus," before closing the album with the aggressive growl of "Elajas." Goresoerd has some live dates lined-up in March and April. To find out more about their latest album "Antikeha," please visit goresoerd.com.

Monday, March 6, 2017

CD Review: Modern English Return To "The Trees" & Flamingods Become The "Majesty" Of World Music

British punk/new wave band Modern English hit it big in the U.S. and U.K. with their 1982 single "I Melt With You." After contractual problems with their record label, the band split up in 1991. Singer Robbie Grey would revive the band five years later to release the album "Everything's Mad." After touring the U.S. in 2002, the original members of Modern English reformed to re-record their hit single "I Melt With You" for the movie of the same name. Now Modern English are ready to release their 8th studio album titled "Take Me To The Trees."

The album was funded by PleadgeMusic and was released on February 24th through Kartel Music Group. The new ten-song release brings the band's iconic 1980's post-punk sound to modern day. The album begins with the classic appeal of "You're Corrupt" as you are instantly transported to punk revolution of late-seventies Britain. They still capture the pop essence of their music with addictive hooks and sing-along choruses as in "Trees" and "Moonbeam," while "Sweet Revenge" recalls the band's early days with it's edgier, new wave style. The album wraps up with the undeniable pop tones of "I Feel Small" and the darker, gloomier feel of "It Don't Seem Right." Modern English are hitting the road in March for two months worth of live shows. For a complete list of dates and to find out more about their new album "Take Me To The Trees," please visit modernenglish.me.

The London based five piece band Flamingods recently released their new studio album titled "Majesty." It is their first album on Soundway Records and their fourth overall. It features a worldly sound as the opening title-track carries a Middle-Eastern rhythm as lead singer/founder Kamal Rasool reads through the lyrics. The pop-feel of "Jungle Birds" dives head-first into Bollywood territory, while the up-tempo rhythm of "Taboo Grooves" and the gentle garden walk through "Majestic Fruit," will have you listening intently to hear every sound. Flamingods take you on a sonic journey with the six-minute instrumental "Anya," before the energetic beats and electric guitars of "Gojira." The album finishes with the authentic sounds of India in "Sarangi" and the progressive rock instrumental "Mountain Men." To find out more about Flamingods and their latest release "Majesty," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/flamingodsmusic.