Category: REVIEWS

CD and DVD reviews

Natalie Jean – “Red Room” – The Remix

Positively giddy with energy is the EDM remix of Natalie Jean’s “Red Room”. The remix keeps Natalie Jean’s sultry vocals intact. With every additional layer the sound grows ever more mysterious. Lyrics allude to this cryptic quality. Over the course of the song the sound grows in scope. Building up the entirety of the sound…

Brent Daniels – ‘Every Road Has A Turn’

Brent Daniels, like many great musicians, fell in love with music at an early age. Subsequent turns in his journey led him away from music for many years, but his debut album Every Road Has a Turn burns with the same passion to perform powering his youthful desires. Respected producer Robyn Robins heard Daniels through…

Nick Dakota – ‘Vision’

The debut album from Michigan native Nick Dakota, entitled Vision, is a fun and often quite soulful collection. He’s drafted some of Nashville’s elite sidemen to contribute to the twelve songs on Vision and the wide skill set possessed by talented professionals like Steve Hinson, longtime steel guitarist for Randy Travis, and Eric Church’s bass…

J-Anthony – “It’s Official”

Sung with true love and compassion is the spirited performance of JAnthony’s “It’s Official”. Offering a nice mixture of R&B, funk, and alt rock the song absolutely astounds. By far the highlight of the piece are the lyrics which focus on the concept of relationships. The encouragement of bringing a relationship to the next level,…

Quinn Hedges – ‘Slightly South of Stormy Clouds’

Quinn Hedges delivers an ornate arrangement of chamber pop on the cautiously optimistic “Slightly South of Stormy Clouds”. Instrumentations glistens over the course of the album with each piece playing off the last. Possessing a true knack for lyricism Quinn Hedges tells a story throughout the album. Over the course of the album Quinn Hedges…

Gar Francis – “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35”

Bob Dylan, if you have not heard of this namesake before, then as of right now, you have, because Bob Dylan wrote and recorded a single way back when, and in 1966 that said single and song titled “Rainy Day Women ♯12 & 35”, was released. It reached high numbers on the charts, Number 7…

Kyla – “Don’t Ya Worry about Me”

Canadian singer/song writer Kyla Lynn Vezina or “Kyla” as her stage namesake portrays her as, has gone forth to write and record all new material, in the form of a new song turned single called “Don’t Ya Worry ‘about Me”. This song released through record label Bongo Boy Records, produced by John Lovaghy, with song…

D Clak – ‘Trap Again’

Pittsburgh born D Clak’s music speaks about life on the streets of a major American city in an idiosyncratic way that doesn’t smack of anyone else working on the scene today. The lyrics for “Trap Again”, the first single from his debut album The Dime Piece, are individualistic and make no apologies for their point…

Shallow Side – ‘One’

Shallow Side’s “One” is a fiery tour de force of rock at its most anthemic. Deserving to be absolutely blasted volume works wonders for their expansive expressive sound. The rebellious rollicking nature feels perfectly suited for them as the vocals positively soar above the busy blistering arrangements. Vocals serve front and center of each piece…

The PondHawks – ‘Blue Light’

The PondHawks delve into a classic psychedelic pop sound on the spirited “Blue Light”. Attention to detail is of the utmost importance as these songs positively teem with life. Possessing a great ear for melody these songs are filled with infectious hooks. Vocals serve front and center of each of the arrangements. Playfulness defines the…

Bongo Boy Rock n’ Roll Season 6 Episode 1

Bongo Boy Rock n Roll TV Show series Season 6 episode 1 “Chosen” airing January 2017 on National TV across The USA. Music Video Television for Indie Musicians. Opening things up with a sense of the theatrical is Kristine Mirelle’s “Freakin’ Mess”. Sung with true grace and style the song has a playful quality to…

Stephen Wrench – ‘Sex, Drugs, and Rock n Roll’

  Stephen Wrench has done it all in a long musical career that’s seen him work with a wildly diverse group of performers like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet, Rick Springfield and Tommy Tutone , Missing Persons among many, many others. He’s carved out a respected reputation as one of the most naturally gifted songwriters working…

IVANNA – ‘Leaving Town’

Sung with true passion, IVANNA’s “Leaving Town” is a defiant, exuberant album. Vocals soar above tapping into a sense of wonder with the world. Effortlessly tying together folk, rock, and pop into a singular whole the album is simply stunning. Best taken altogether the songs display IVANNA’s potent storytelling abilities. Over the course of the…

April Martin – “In the Blink of a Life”

April Martin offers a fresh lovely take on the singer-songwriter tradition with the folk-infused loveliness of “In the Blink of a Life”. The arrangements are flawless delivered with a stately grace. Elements of Vashti Bunyan and the Decemberists float into the mix. What results is something uniquely hers. By bringing together classical, country, and rock…

The Gods Themselves – ‘Be My Animal’

The Gods Themselves, a three piece from the Pacific Northwest, have been involved in the area’s music scene since the early 2000’s, but they have found a creative spark together that’s only grown over the course of three full length albums. Their third release, Be My Animal, follows up 2015’s Pink Noise with another scintillating…

John Wesley Coleman III – ‘Microwave Dreams’

Texas-bred John Wesley Coleman, a self-identified “trash poet”, has tirelessly worked at building a reputation for himself as one of the preeminent performers/songwriters on the indie scene since the 1990’s. He’s, arguably, made his deepest impact on the scene thanks to his role with the popular garage rock band The Golden Boys, but numerous solo…

Andriana Lehr – ‘Artifacts’

South Dakota native Andriana Lehr moves the goalposts with her second album Artifacts. Influenced by songwriters as diverse as Brandi Carlisle and Conor Oberst, the ten songs on her sophomore release represent a significant leap forward in her skills as a singer, composer, and lyricist while retaining the spark of inspiration lighting up her debut.…

Brooks Maguire – ‘Comeback King’

Brooks Maguire’s fourth full length album, Comeback King, follows up on his first Nashville recording for A.C.T. Music, 2014’s The Road I Never Chose. The Maui-based musician, singer, and songwriter recently won Radio Airplay/Jango.com’s Grand Prize for their 2016 Holiday Song context and originally hails from the Gulf Coast area. Strains of gospel, rock, country,…

A Cunning Man – EP ‘Practical Applications Of Theurgy’

Sung with pure passion is the emotionally moving metal of A Cunning Man’s “Practical Applications of Theurgy”. Everything simply works from the gorgeous mixture of classical, metal, and folk into a satisfying whole. By far the highlight of the collection are the highly articulate, poetic lyricism that adorns each of the pieces. Arrangements are immaculate…

Savannah Philyaw – ‘Love Remains’

Sung with true gentleness is Savannah Philyaw’s tender love ballad “Love Remains”. With a delicate arrangement, the way the song unfolds gives it an earnest, intimate spirit. By opting for such a soft-spoken approach the lyrics carry great power. The unifying moment of the track is Savannah Philyaw’s articulate storytelling, one which serves as the…

Chris Murphy – ‘The Tinker’s Dream’

2016 has been an insanely productive year for musician, songwriter, and singer Chris Murphy. He released two full length studio albums between May and August and now follows those substantial efforts up with his third full length album in nine months. It is natural to assume that Murphy’s latest release might be the weakest of…

Brad Absher & Swamp Royale – ‘Lucky Dog’

The recent release from Brad Absher & Swamp Royale, Lucky Dog, contains a dozen songs that bring listeners back to a style of music too many bands and performers treat with academic kid gloves. One of the keys to this music is that it plays and sounds lived in – if things are too studied…

Little Diamonds – ‘New Orleans Bound’

The sophomore album New Orleans Bound from Minnesota born Americana singer/songwriter Little Diamonds is a twelve song collection highlighting the young performer’s facility with a variety of traditional forms and his capacity for lyrical invention. He wears his influences without any ambiguity, but Little Diamonds possesses enough artistic wherewithal that he’s able to filter those…

Trey Connor – ‘While Everything Is Now’

Detroit born and bred singer, songwriter, and guitarist Trey Connor began performing publicly at the age of thirteen and debuted with the band Bulletproof Snow in 2012. The outfit won numerous local competitions before Connor, in 2015, was among the one hundred or so singers chosen from over forty thousand auditions for the popular network…

Grynd Seazon & Noah Archangel – ‘Grynd Seazon’

Texans from the city known as Screwston best known as Houston, had 3 young brothers come together to create a project, that would develop and expand over the years. As those years progressed so did the project, ending up to being called by the likes of The Band of the Hawk, Noah Archangel, Grynd Seazon…

Delilah Latina Princess – ‘Party Till We Drop’

Delilah Latina Princess’s “Party Till We Drop” is the sound of a wild rambunctious celebration that never stops. The sound deserves to be blasted at the loudest possible volume to truly appreciate its physicality. Effortlessly merging together electro, pop, and house into a satisfying whole the song truly resembles a force of nature. By balancing…

Erica Sunshine Lee – ‘Elixir’

The seventh album from Erica Sunshine Lee, Elixir, is another scintillating entry in the Georgia-born singer/songwriter’s growing catalog of Deep South musical achievements. The best thing about Lee as a performer and recording artist, oddly, isn’t her intense identification with her heritage and regionalism – instead, it’s that she can retain these important personal qualities…

Rev Peter Unger – ‘You’re Not Alone’

Rev Peter Unger sings a song for the downtrodden on “You’re Not Alone”. With a light airy feel to the arrangement the honest heartfelt message rings true. Small snapshots of those less fortunate, the ones who require great help through their moments of difficultly, are presented throughout the piece. Over the course of the piece…

Mayve – ‘Motion’

With a summery 80s vibe is the Mayve’s joyful and jubilant “Motion”. Choruses are positively infectious as the songs unfold revealing a true ear for melody. Songs nicely play off each other making the album work best as a whole. The sequencing feels particularly fine as the attention towards sleek, stylish sound creates luxuriant fields…

Ronnie Allman Jr – ‘Rise Up’

Inspirational to its very core is the sunny message of Ronnie Allman Jr’s “Rise Up”. Downright infectious the song a radiant joy. The warmth of the piece is undeniable just as its glistening melody unforgettable. By opting for such a rich, luxuriant sound Ronnie Allman Jr taps into a timeless sound. Quite beautiful the message…

StonerPop

Maudie Michelle and Jimmie Maneuva, otherwise known as StonerPop, are an electro pop duo hailing from the Deep South whose five song debut EP has its own unique take on electronica utterly distinct from similar works in this vein. The duo eschew any overt experimentation in favor of a musical approach that challenges tweaks listener’s…

Jesse Eplan – ‘Dreams’

The latest single from Jesse Eplan, “Dreams”, is the current culmination of a path the young artist has pursued since first discovering his talent and passion for music at the age of seven. The New York City native isn’t just a pretty face – he’s a multi-instrumentalist with the rare gift of perfect pitch and…

Go Time! – ‘VI’

The sixth release from Chicago’s Go Time! is their first release following the January 2015 unleashing of Ratsel. Many bands opting to unveil two massive collections of material in one year would likely experience some drop off in overall quality, but not this three piece. Led by singer/songwriter and lead guitarist Scott Niekelski, Go Time!…

JahkR – ‘Catharsis’

JahkR’s “Catharsis” is EDM at its absolute best. With a cinematic scope the beats positively slam. Everything feels large scale from the epic grandeur of the grooves to the giddy melodies that adorn each piece. The amount of energy that the album provides is downright delectable. By opting for such an approach JahkR provides a…

turn turQuoise – ‘StormBrides’

Sounding akin to a modern take on Nico’s regal performance, turn turnQuoise’s “StormBrides” is an elegant timeless collection. Over the course of the album turn turQuoise brings together elements of folk, classical, and pop together anchored by a loose jazzy structure. The beating heart of the album are the passionate vocals of VEra Joppig. Nearly…

Bongo Boy Records – ‘Volume X’

Starting things off on a high-energy note is Esquille’s infectious dance anthem “Sweet Harmony Feat. Keisha Renee”. Esquille’s song deserves to be pumped up as loud as possible. A sense of pure celebratory spirit radiates from the piece. Tenderness defines the soulful work of Colette Kavanagh’s “Last Kiss”. Delivered with a passion the song unfolds…

Billie Davies – ‘On Hollywood Boulevard’

“On Hollywood Boulevard” is a glamorous, gorgeous mixture of jazz and funk displaying Billie Davies’s deft skill. Luxurious textures dominate the collection as Billie Davies draws from a wide variety of sources. Everything simply glistens as the attention to tone and texture are of the utmost importance. Bass works wonders alongside the rather loose, careful…

Big Tribe – ‘In This Together’

In the larger scheme of things, the Washington D.C./Baltimore based Big Tribe is every bit as much of a musical collective as their name implies. The core of the group, however, is a three piece unit consisting of Bonnie Eyler, Joe Heutte, and primary songwriter Peter Panyon. They’ve enlisted the aid of thirty-two different guest…

The Cavalry – ‘Build Your Own Empire’

The burgeoning lovechild of pop, mainstream rock, and traditional county, lately dubbed Nashville Rock, has produced popular success the likes of which Music City hasn’t experienced in many years. Many of the acts have a decidedly commercial edge and look to do little more than entertain their target audience while others have coupled these commercial…

OMUMO Records Sampler

OMUMO Records Sampler’s lovely collection has a twee pop sensibility that is dazzling behold. Full of infectious energy the way the songs unfold is quite gorgeous. Throughout the collection the many differing pieces are unified by a collective gentle spirit. Stylistically OMUMO Records Sampler explores a wide swath of genres, from rap to indie to…