Category: REVIEWS

CD and DVD reviews

Mariami is Turning ON the “Foglights”

Mariami is an artist with many layers and dimensions as she digs deep to find her distinct sound. As the listener digs into Mariami’s latest single, “Foglights”, he or she will notice right away the vast amount of substance embedded here. The musical soil is rich and abundant as Mariami is turning ON “Foglights” and…

‘To the River’ by Dorsten

Anyone who thinks that the Arizona scene doesn’t know how to produce bold and brilliant songcraft anymore needs to make a point of listening to “To the River,” the new song by Dorsten, if for no other reason than to be educated as to how ignorant such a notion is. Dorsten has been around for…

Jackson Reed and The Silverbirds New Single “In My Head”

Jackson Reed and The Silverbirds go for a powerful slice of catchy 80s neon-hued splendor with “In My Head.” Close attention is paid to the arrangement, as a great deal of instrumentation is brought into the fray. He balances the many elements effortlessly, and the sound has a lighter-than-air quality. Lyricism feels perfect, letting the…

Little King New Single ‘Amber Waves (Goodbye)’

The melody to Little King’s “Amber Waves (Goodbye)” sounds a little bit like John Cougar’s “Jack & Diane.” However, it greatly differs rhythmically, in that it’s an upbeat, acoustic guitar strummed recording. It also contrasts with Little King’s other recorded output, in that it is a romantic song of “Sweet self-indulgence,” as the band puts…

Ruby Rose Fox with “A Carpetbagger’s Ode to Rocky”

Ruby Rose Fox is an award-winning songwriter and powerful singer with an exciting, new single titled “A Carpetbagger’s Ode to Rocky”. That level of mystique surrounds Ruby Rose Fox and this new song as the listener will be entranced by the style. From start to finish, “A Carpetbagger’s Ode to Rocky” plays out like a…

Les Fradkin with “Together” for ONE and ALL

Les Fradkin is a producer and composer/multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and one-man band and he is a pioneer of the MIDI guitar. Not to mention, Les is an Akademia 2023 Hall of Fame Inductee and was an original cast member of the smash hit production “Beatlemania”. Fradkin’s latest single titled “Together” is featured on the full album…

Gideon King & City Blog Release “Skunks Misery Road”

A supple percussive intro is followed by a searing vocal ala Ms. Ashley Hess as we enter “Skunks Misery Road,” King’s white-hot single performed alongside the City Blog, but these first few strands of melodic gold are only a taste of what’s about to come pouring out of the speakers over the next five minutes.…

Marc Miner Presents ‘Last Heroes’

Marc Miner’s tough-minded brand of Americana has deep country music roots, but there’s ample room for blues and rock as well. Particularly blues. There’s scorching blues guitar scattered throughout the eleven songs of his new album Last Heroes without ever pulling the collection entirely in that direction. Instead, Miner’s music and songwriting chops incorporate blues as an…

Fist of Five New Album ‘Sparrow Road’

Sparrow Road is a six-song EP from Fist of Five that delves into pained emotions through hard rock grooves. The project opens with “The Dance,” a song that sounds like it is about separation from a loved one. If this song sounds familiar, it was originally a hit for Garth Brooks. Yes, this is actually…

Alex Lopez’s New Album ‘Looking for a Change’

A blues-rock harmony is waiting to come alive with passionate indie sizzle in the title track of Alex Lopez’s new album Looking for a Change, but if you think for a second that the acclaimed singer and songwriter is limiting the potent output in this record to the titular tune alone, you’re in for quite the…

Sarah Burton New Album ’64 Magic Queens’

Sarah Burtan may be from Toronto, Canada, but her album 64 Magic Queens sure shows how she’s settled into her adopted home of Austin, TX. Her musical style falls under the large umbrella of Americana. Although “How To Run” features the sort of electric guitar solo one might hear in a country song, it wouldn’t…

Saurian Present New Single ‘Gobstopper’

A Gobstopper is a hard candy that is better known in the U.S. and Canada as a jawbreaker. Candy witha a name that describes breaking a body part, sounds dangerous. However, the kids love ‘em. They seemingly take forever to eat, too. This song is, indeed, ear candy for rock music fans. The New Zealand…

Lucas Jay Releases a Ray of “Sunshine”

If you like pop music, you’re probably already aware that there hasn’t been a generation of up-and-coming players like the emerging one in quite a long time if ever in history before now. Artists like the unmatched upstart indie player Lucas Jay are changing the game for pop music and removing creative control of the…

Slow Burning Car Present New Album ‘Vicarious Disclosures’

Slow Burning Car’s album, Vicarious Disclosures, closes with two songs so different from the ones that come before it, you may be tempted to check your streaming service to see if it might have continued with a different artist without you even knowing it. The band is listed as post punk, stylistically, but edgy progressive…

Santa Barbara Records Presents ‘CaliAmericana Vol. 2’ (A Compilation Inspired by the Legacy of Kenny Loggins)

Kenny Loggins has lived many musical lives, which range from his gentle side (“Return to Pooh”), to the rocker heard on “Danger Zone,” from the film Top Gun. For the most part, though, this Santa Barbara Records tribute to the man’s musical career, leans decidedly to his folkier sonic side. However, even some of Loggins’…

Tim Raybon Band Present “I Could Get Used To This”

Coming to life like the rays of the sun in the early morning, Tim Raybon Band’s I Could Get Used To This hits us in the face with a blistering beat courtesy of “Leaving Cleveland” that instantly makes any melody-lover want to move. In this opening cut, Raybon’s voice is cushioned by a velvety harmony…

Jude Gwynaire New Album ‘The Mechanics of Moth Light’

Jude Gwynaires offers a fluid take on its electronic tenor with “The Mechanics of Moth Light.” The cryptic title describes the music contained within quite well. Mysterious to its utter core, the songs feel alive. Rhythms forgo prominent percussive elements for a subtler hue. By letting the looping effects and slow evolution take the place…

“Arise Together – Children of the World” is an Epic Charity Album

Arise Together – Children of the World is an epic charity album designed to assist children throughout the world and encourage the practice of inclusion, recognizing the particular gifts of the disabled youth among us, and bolstering recognition of diversity as well. The album’s organizers have recruited marquee talent from across the globe to contribute to…

Sylvia Brooks Presents ‘Sylvia Brooks LIVE with Christian Jacob’

This live jazz album from Sylvia Brooks was made with help from pianist Christian Jacob, who is also her musical director. It’s an album of mostly familiar vocal standards and features Brooks strong singing voice. While Brooks shines on these many times well known songs, her live group also covers Jacobs’ composition “The Red Pig…

Tom Ciurczak’s new album “I Ain’t Ever Growing Up”

Tom Ciurczak titles his album I Ain’t Every Growing Up, Vol. 1, so with at least more volume still on the way, Ciurczak is clearly serious about avoiding adulthood. With that said, though, this eight-song part one is very much a mature set of rock and roll tunes. https://tomciurczak.bandcamp.com/album/i-aint-ever-growing-up-volume-i Ciurczak also enjoys creating videos to…

PRETTY AWKWARD Charms With New Album “Get Weird”

I haven’t heard many bands in recent memory that are as ready for mainstream success as PRETTY AWKWARD. Anchored by the creative partnership between Austin Held and Nicholas Wiggins, they have a ready-made sound for the 2023 musical landscape that announces itself with a bold attitude and enormous skillfulness. Their bandmates complement their vision for…

Becky Wiles New Album ‘Free Kind of Me’

Becky Wiles opens her Free Kind of Love album with the spunky bluegrass workout, “Call Me Crazy.” However, if you think this is an indicator of what the rest of this album sounds like, well, you would have guessed incorrectly. Instead, this 13-track release is quite a ballad-heavy affair. Fortunately, Wiles is as adept at…

OF LIMBO Strike A Faustian Bargain With A “California Demon”

Australian-born brothers Jake and Luke Davies have lived in the United States, specifically Southern California, for more than ten years and are thoroughly Americanized. Their American journey, however, began in Boston when Beantown’s famed Berklee School of Music accepted Luke and he went there to study.  Jake moved to the U.S. and settled in Long Beach, California. Luke…

Matt B Shines On New Album ‘ALKEBULAN’

Some musical artists are content releasing products and cashing checks. They may be good at what they do, even talented, but their work never rises above a certain level of engagement – for them or their audience. Other artists, however, aim for more. They aren’t looking to remake the musical wheel, per se, but they…

Rob Alexander Releases ‘The Soul or the Skin’

With a distant echo that allows for a cold sustain of the rushing guitar strings to linger in the air well into the song, Rob Alexander begins “The Soul or the Skin,” his latest single, with a stamina that is deceptively muted and representative of only a glimpse into what the next few minutes will…

Harry Hochman New Album ‘Inside Out’ Coming October 6th, 2023

There are moments when Harry Hochman sounds like a cross between James McMurtry and Gordon Lightfoot. His songs come off as serious singer/songwriter stuff, much like these aforementioned artists. His eleven songs are hard, lyrically, but much softer sonically. In other words, they’re lot like a lot of folk music. Stylistically, however, these songs can…

Brian Doucette New Single ‘Day Drinkin’

Brian Douscette’s single begins quietly with an acoustic piano intro. You might think this is going to be a tender ballad. It’s not. After about twenty seconds of lovely piano, Doucette’s vocal comes in. And it comes in like a bull in a China shop, too, with full force. Here begins Doucette’s drinking song. Doucette’s…

David Gelman Releases ‘Dusty Highway’

Dusty Highway, the 2023 LP from David Gelman, begins out humbly with an easygoing, melody-led beat in “Lay Me Down” that, while only offering us a glimpse into the majestic melodies that await in the next ten songs, is enough to set the stage for everything we’re soon to encounter. The moodiness of the harmonies…

Bill Abernathy – ‘More’ Album Review (Out September 29th)

Bill Abernathy’s latest album, “More,” is a compelling and diverse exploration of the roots rock genre that takes listeners on a heartfelt journey through a range of emotions. Laden with personal anecdotes and a mixture of folk and rock styles, this album stands as a testament to Abernathy’s artistry and his ability to create a…

The One Eighties Release New Music

Hitting us with a lot of tonality that most bands would be too intimidated to work with, The One Eighties’ “Dead Star Light” doesn’t let us get comfortable with its forward strut before unleashing a complicated deluge of warmth that can seemingly destroy that gets in its path. In this track, and all of those…

The Saul Ayotte Project new single “Meant For You”

Saul Ayotte embraces a classic slice of Americana on the soulful stereo sound of “Meant for You.” This is the sort of song played in a moment of reflection, driving through wide-open spaces thinking about those moments long since passed. A nostalgic pining permeates the track. Lyrics emphasize a lovelorn, tender tenor that helps to…

Vili V Presents “Tupelo Rhythm” (SINGLE)

Canadian singer/songwriter and roots rock artist Vili V serves up a delightful musical ride with his latest single. He steeps “Tupelo Rhythm” in the blues and summons up the sights and smells prevalent south of the Mason-Dixon line with off-handed ease. It belies the hard work necessary for such magic to take hold. It’s another…

Mark Adams Band New Album ‘California Bound’

It follows that Mark Adams stocks his California Bound-titled album with plenty of California-related sounds, whether these be the Byrds-y guitar jangle that appears and then disappears on opener, “She Was Crying,” or some of the more California-esque country music that follows on this satisfying 10-song release. You’ll find sonic pleasure wherever you land on…

Leo Sawikin’s New Single “The Same Mistakes”

New York City native Leo Sawikin’s new single “The Same Mistakes” continues in the same intelligent and introspective vein defining his 2021 debut album Row Me Away. It represents a rekindling of his creative energies, as well, after dipping in the aftermath of the pandemic. He’s working with Seattle-based producer Phil Ek, a gifted sound…

BRYNN ANDRE PRESENTS NEW ALBUM ‘HONEYMOON’

“Honeymoon,” the title track to Brynn Andre’s album, is applied differently from the way we normally use the popular term. In the marital tradition, a ‘honeymoon’ is a sort of one-time event, celebrated after the wedding ceremony and the start of a marriage. It’s that space where a couple can finally get away from all…

June Bisantz & Gordon Morrell with ‘It’s Been A Long, Long Time’

‘It’s Been A Long, Long Time’ is a fitting title for this new album by June Bisantz & Gordon Morrell because it’s commemorating a 50th anniversary. Back in 1971, June and Gordon met for the first time kicking off a newfound friendship and musical partnership that has now surpassed 50 years. To celebrate this special…

Tim Foley Group with ‘Stop Along The Way’

Tim Foley is a songwriter, vocalist and guitarist who runs the gamut when it comes to musical styles. With elements of blues, jazz, folk, classical and funk, Tim Foley is not pigeonholed to one specific genre or category. Tim is original to the bone, and he proves it on the new release titled ‘Stop Along…

Mae Simpson presents new single “Chandelier & Bloom”

Listening to Mae Simpson’s soulful singing voice, it’s nearly impossible to believe this Minneapolis, MN artist is originally from that Midwestern state. Turns out, she’s not. She’s originally from South Carolina, which makes a whole lot more sense, and she’s sure one talented bluesy singer. The are parts of her single “Chandelier & Bloom” where…

Esphyr Present New Single “Fighter”

Esphyr is from Ukraine, but you might not catch this fact while listening to her bright new single, “Fighter.” It begins with sweet electric guitar chords, before its danceable percussion kicks in. What follows is just under three minutes of extremely sugary pop. Granted, the song is titled “Fighter.” However, this lyric has more to…

Charu Suri Delivers ‘RAGS & RAGAS’

Charu Suri is a highly distinguished pianist/composer AND award-winning journalist who is originally from South India.  Charu’s latest release is titled ‘RAGS & RAGAS’ and she is literally revolutionizing music.  This quite possibly could be the very first album to combine Indian ragas and New Orleans-style jazz.  Charu is no stranger to thinking outside the…