Category: REVIEWS

CD and DVD reviews

Junk Parlor – ‘Mick Jagger’s Heart’

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This single by Junk Parlor is definitely a keeper. For all of who are into Alternative-Americana and Indie-Rock music, or even just know the song “Dear Doctor” by the Rolling Stones, you would very much appreciate this song. It’s somewhat dark with a meaning that’s just unclear to me as this genre is definitely not…

Jonnie & Joy – ‘Running Home (EP)’

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Jonnie & Joy consists of Jonnie Rockwell (keyboards and backing vocals) and Joy Tolbert (lead vocals), two old-timers that were once part of 80s Bangles-esque all-girl band Starchild. After spending nearly two decades apart, Rockwell (who attended med school and became a family medicine doctor before returning to music) and Tolbert (who recorded and toured…

Something Like Sound – ‘Mortails’

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Something Like Sound weaves together elements of rap, grunge, and folk into a flawless whole on “Mortails”. Impossible to pigeonhole Something Like Sound seemingly does it all and does it well. Over the course of “Mortails” Something Like Sound show off their impressive chops from the commanding rhythms to the soulful vocals. Tying all of…

Jordan Bennett – ‘Outcasts and Untouchables’

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Full of heart and soul, Jordan Bennett’s “Outcasts and Untouchables” is a perfect kind of pop. With emotive vocals the songs simply soar. Lyrics are highly articulate akin to conversations with cared-for friends. Arrangements serve as the ideal accompaniment hitting the right kind of vulnerability. Stripped down to the absolute essentials everything works from the…

Gesso Mysticeyes – “Love Vibrations”

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Gesso Mysticeyes creates an effortlessly stylish groove with “Love Vibrations”. Funky to its very core everything about “Love Vibrations” works wonders. The guitar work is magnificent going from mere support of the infectious rhythm to its absolutely exquisite soaring into the sky. Strong vocals serve as the center of the song as all else revolves…

Bruce Lev – ‘The Declaration of Independents’

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Tapping into rock n’ roll’s heart and soul, Bruce Lev’s “The Declaration of Independents” is pure fun. With a wide variety of styles the pieces are woven together impeccably. Vocals are sung straight from the heart, the arrangements flawless, and with the right amount of passion. From the rollicking swagger of “LIVE On Alabama Drive”…

Bucky Hayes and The Commonwealth – ‘100 Miles to Macon’

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Bucky Hayes and the The Commonwealth create a true classic with “100 Miles to Macon”. Sung with absolute honesty, “100 Miles to Macon” is a gentle kind of joy. With soulful delivery, Bucky Hayes creates a sense of wonder with his poetic lyricism. Accompanying him is just the perfect mixture of Americana, country, rock, all…

Charles Wright – “She Don’t Believe In Love”

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Charles Wright is a Mississippi boy, seasoned musician, with a musical career that spans over 50 years. I like this guy, he’s groovy, funky and cool; funking it up all over the place. Fun FUN and just when you think you’ve had enough fun he goes and makes you have even more fun.   Wright…

Michael Todd – “Crashland”

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Sung straight from the heart Michael Todd’s “Crashland” presents the best of Americana. “Crashland” serves as a series of short stories, exploring what it means to alive in the world. Thus what results is a sense of humor, tragedy and introspection coming together into a satisfying whole. By weaving together such a wide variety of…

Dwen – “One More Drank/Ridin High”

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Dwen’s sound is positively dominating. With a sense of celebration throughout the two pieces Dwen creates an undeniable sense of joy. Rhythms positively bounce. Volume is an absolute must as the songs work best at an almost physical amount of sound. By far the highlight of the pieces is Dwen’s impeccable flow which is the…

Tinsley Ellis – ‘Red Clay Soul’

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Tinsley is another of the well traveled bluesmen. He’s shared the stage with numerous blues legends. This is his 19th release to accompany yet another tour. All I Think About is a moderate shuffle paced song, about himself. Givin’ you Up is a nice cut that has a certain Motown feel. Don’t Cut It is…

The Jelly Jam – ‘Profit’

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The Jelly Jam is made up of Ty Tabor (King’s X) on vocals, keys, and guitar, John Myung (Dream Theatre) on bass, and Rod Morgenstein (Winger, Dixie Dregs) on drums. Ty either wrote or collaborated on the songs. Care is a medium paced metal influenced song. Stain On The Sun is a ballad paced song…

Jeff Healey – ‘Heal My Soul’

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Jeff was definitely a solid force in the blues/rock field for quite a while before his untimely passing in 2008. This offering is comprised of previously unreleased material written by Jeff during the period of 1996-98. He is well remembered for his unique ability to easily crank out riffs with his “Axe-on-the-lap” playing style. Recently…

Eleanor Tallie – ‘No Turning Back’

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Eleanor Tallie’s Israeli upbringing and classical musical training isn’t the usual pedigree for a soul singer, but Tallie isn’t your usual pop performer. Her debut EP No Turning Back introduces the world to much more than just a great singer – her songwriting skills and talents as a multi-instrumentalist set her far apart from many…

Jay Brown – ‘Can’t Help But Wonder Disc 1’

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Sung straight from the heart, Jay Brown’s “Can’t Help But Wonder Disc 1” harkens back to the proud tradition of the solitary singer-songwriter. With a sound that teems with life, Jay Brown’s work feels completely honest. Lyrics guide these rustic piece all the way through, with the just right mixture of storytelling and poetry. Arrangements…

Sasha’s Bloc – “Runaway Blues”

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Sasha’s Bloc Band is Alex Gershmann and features guest vocalists, Jane Monheit and Alvin Chea. Gershmann brings the airy feel of big band and jazz with a splash of R&B that puts you right in the groove. This single, Runaway Blues is a perfect blend that accomplishes what this band set out to do, make…

Cooper Phillip – “Silence”

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Angelic in tone is the grandeur of Cooper Philip’s “Silence”. Sung straight from the heart her vocal delivery is phenomenal with light accompaniment done via the strong and expressive piano work. The song unfurls ever so gently with her story serving as the beating heart of the piece. Her voice simply soars as she reveals…

Ashley J – “Dare Ya”

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Ashley J, a lovely young lady out of Orlando, FL. She is not only a pretty face, but a black belt, dancer and singer/songwriter, triple threat. She is celebrating her latest Pop goodness, Dare Ya. It has the same vivacious charisma we’re used to hearing from this budding new artist. She is fearless and puts…

Natalie Jean – “Please Don’t”

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Defiant in tone is the rebellious, independent-minded sound of Natalie Jean’s “Please Don’t”. Cleverly framed in a tragic story, the song expresses how exactly to overcome deep loss. Lyrics express exactly one becomes sick of a bad relationship, of how a bad relationship can poison a life. With lyrics cowritten by Natalie Jean and Michael…

Natalie Jean – “Now I See”

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Sly and seductive, Natalie Jean’s “Now I See” offers a luxurious inviting sound, one perfect for the summer. With a dubstep affect to it the piece feels ever so clear. At times reminiscent of James Blake’s careful approach to song craft the piece positively shimmers in tone. Downright glorious the build of the song results…

Bongo Boy Records Backroom Blues Volume Three

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With a nice mixture of the blues and classic rock is the stylish sound of Topham McCarty’s “All Your Love”. Romantic to its very core Topham McCarty plays with tempo to great effect. Incredible guitar riffs abound throughout the piece showing off their impressive chops. Plainfield Slim utilizes a playful approach with the giddy work…

The Lowest Pair – ‘Fern Girl and Ice Man’

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The duo of Kendl Winter and Palmer T. Lee, collectively known as The Lowest Pair, has followed an idiosyncratic path since their 2013 formation. Few performing and songwriting units embody the idea of “following the songs wherever and whenever they come” as completely. Like any professional musical act, The Lowest Pair understand the value of…

Sasha’s Bloc featuring Take 6 – ‘Runaway Blues’

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Formed in 2012, the Los Angeles based big band Sasha’s Bloc has been wowing audiences worldwide with their own particular brand of Americana music – a chops-laden, full on invocation of popular jazz from the early through mid 20th century. This isn’t intended as a purely academic, retro-fitted tribute to past forms. Instead, this is…

Norwood – ‘Notes To My Blood’

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Norwood’s “Notes To My Blood” is valentine to the downtrodden and wanderers of the world. All their strengths, all their faults are laid bare. Small snapshots of people, little stories, are peppered throughout the album. Tying it together is Christopher Norwood’s passionate performance and impeccable arrangements. From the slow and steady to the absolute frenzied…

Sarantos – “Hero Falls”

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Lush and languid, Sarantos creates an introspective atmosphere with “Hero Falls”. Sensitive to its very core, “Hero Falls” explores what love can do with a person, of how it can carry a person forward. Through this strength a person is able to continue onwards, more powerful in knowing they are truly cared for, together with…

Marissa Lauren – ‘Now & Forever’ EP

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With a true twee sensibility is the satisfyingly sweet sound of Marissa Lauren’s “Now & Forever EP”. Light and airy the songs have a summery feel to them. Structurally sound Marissa Lauren explores a variety of different styles and settings throughout the EP, from the subdued to the bombastic. Throughout all of these many variations…

Tehon – “Burning Alive”

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With a sense of grandeur, Tehon’s “Burning Alive” is one that effortlessly weaves together elements of rap, hip-hop, and rock into a satisfying whole. Tehon’s flow is done just right as his lyrics emphasize a nightmarish atmosphere. Helping to further add to the mood is the gargantuan beat which keeps everything fully centered. Flourishes of…

Bongo Boy Rock n’ Roll TV Show No. 1084

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The Bongo Boy Rock N’ Roll TV Show is proud to present the latest episode in their Rock N’ Roll TV Show Series “ Rock n Roll All The Way”, featuring 7 talented independent international recording artists in 1 special ½ hour TV show. This latest Bongo Boy TV produced episode premieres this Saturday June…

Karen Willough – “World Without You”

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Sensitive and stylish, Karen Willough’s “World Without You” duet with Michael Jones is a brilliant beautiful song. Romantic to its very core the song unfurls ever so slowly. The soft, gentle arrangement works wonders with her clear, careful vocals. Lyrically the song focuses on relationships, on what they mean, and how their dissolution can result…

Rachael Sage – “Choreographic”

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Rachael Sage returns to the music scene with her new album “Choreographic”. Sage is a talented vocalist and a well-seasoned musician with a long list of credits to her name. Her work has been on MTV, HBO, the movie “Fame”, and on the TV show “Dance Moms” , just to name a few. Sage is…

J’Moris – “Moris Better: The Hangover”

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“MorIs Better: The Hangover” shows off J’Moris’s impressive lyrical flow and strong sense of storytelling. Throughout the collection J’Moris peppers the pieces with lots of pop culture references. Keeping this centered are little snapshots of a life, anxiety of parenthood, loving people, etc. By doing this he is able to go for a playful nimble…

The Jess Novak Band – “Rat a Tat (Remix)”

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The Jess Novak Band create a funky soulful sound on Rat a Tat (Remix). Full of energy the song explodes into beautiful color. Playful to its very core everything simply works from the smooth vocals to the infectious bass line. How the song evolves ever so gracefully is particularly fine, throwing together elements from so…

Inbokeh – ‘Into the Sun’

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Midwestern alternative rock doesn’t wield the same artistic or commercial clout it did during the halcyon days of the nineties or early 21st century, but its lowered profile certainly doesn’t equate to an exhausted musical genre. Inbokeh didn’t get the memo. The three piece from the Columbus, Ohio area first formed in 2015, but the…

Mortinus – ‘Evening at the Marketplace’

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Mortinus is a new artist coming to the scene with his own version of the musical expression. His sound is more of a New World meets electronic feel. Throughout his songs, you can also hear influences from many parts of the world, as well as some pop music. All of his songs so far are…

SakkieFTW – “Experiment 1.3.2”

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SakkieFTW’s “Experimental 1.3.2” takes the best pieces of EDM and dubstep transforming them into an irresistibly catchy whole. Energetic to its very core the songs are pure adrenaline. Moving at incredible speed SakkieFTW shows incredible skill at weaving together layer upon layer of sound. Rhythms are relentless with the melodies bouncing off of them iridescently.…

Reverist – ‘Dreaming Onward’

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The kinetic force crackling through the five songs on Reverist’s debut EP Dreaming will find its ultimate express on a full length effort, but this abbreviated introduction to the band will send them straight into the spotlight with ease. The band hails from the Orlando, Florida area and has been working as a quartet on…

Ashley J – “Dare Ya’”

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Ashley J is a new recording pop artist trying to make her mark. Hailing from Orlando, Florida, her beachy, sunny sound is reflected in her music. Before she became an artist, Ashley had an extensive writing career in Nashville, TN. While she was there, she solidified herself as a songwriter in the country music industry.…

Junior and the Rude Mood – “Trust and Happiness Are Gone”

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Bluesy to its very core, Junior and the Rude Mood taps into a timeless sound with “Trust and Happiness are Gone”. With lyrics that focus on feeling outright rejected the song moves along lazily, looking for little glimmers of hope. The slow dirge-like tempo further emphasizes the tragic, introspective mood that dominates the piece. Gradually…

Jeri Silverman – ‘Leaflike’

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South African born singer/songwriter Jeri Silverman is cut from familiar cloth. The texture of her multi-faceted talents, however, differ enough that she deserves consideration as more than just another competent member of a particular musical school. She is working well within the same traditions established by iconic trailblazers like Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks, but her…