Category Archives: Get it or Forget it

Get it or forget it – The Elwins, Tout, John LaFayete Ramey, Noon

Happy Friday the 13th.  Hope you have a spooky good time today.  We have four reviews for your today, two of which are instrumentals courtesy of Trestle Records, which specializes in that genre.  We are proud to welcome them to our family of music enablers.  We hope these albums put you in the weekend mode.  Since we are going out on tour with Jerad Finck, this may be our last Get it or Forget it for a few weeks, but we will do our best to continue to enlighten you on the amazing indie artists we meet.

Artist NameThe Elwins

Album NameBeauty Community

Label:  Hidden Pony

Genre:  Indie Pop/Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Hey! Ya, You; 2.  Don’t Walk Away From Me; 3.  OMG; 4.  Hocus Pocus; 5.  Dreamgirl; 6.  Looks Like You’re Hiding; 7.  Never Felt so Good; 8.  Your Very own Beauty Community; 9.  How do you Feel; 10.  Watercolour; 11.  Grind you Down; 12.  C’mon C’mon; 13.  This is It

Publicist:  Auteur Research

Review:  The album kicks off with “Hey! Ya, You,” which is also their first single.  It is a powerful pop/rock song that will play well on the radio, with its cool beat, hooky lyrics and impressive sound.  The album delivers hit after hit, all of which deserve serious industry consideration.  Our favorite tracks include “Don’t Walk Away From Me,” “OMG,” “Dreamgirl,” “Never Felt so Good,” “How do you Feel,” and “Grind you Down,” as well as the superb first single.  We have been seeing some impressive Canadian acts recently, and The Elwins top the list.  The band is headed out for a tour of the northern United States and Canada, and we only wish we had known they were just down the road in Bozeman last weekend.

Recommendation:  This one is super catchy and fun, and belongs in your music library.  Get it.

Artist NameTout

Album NameLive

Label:  Trestle Records

Genre:  Instrumental

Track Listing:  1.  Have set the Trees A’Sobbin; 2.  Tis Munny in his Purse; 3.  I Pictured Him; 4.  My Condition Can’t be Worse; 5.  So Here I’ve Stood

Publicist:  Trestle Records

Review:  Tout brings us prog rock instrumentals that are interesting and complex, with a steady beat and impressive guitar work.  They provide an excellent background for your daily life, with music that will keep your ears and mind alert.  This live album follows their first three studio albums, which have garnered industry praise and created a huge fan base for this thoughtful and reflective tunes.  All five tracks are noteworthy and unique.  Take time to be reflective – just add these songs to your daily routine.

Recommendation:  If you love prog rock and instrumentals, take these tunes for a test drive.

Artist NameJohn Lafayette Ramey

Album NameExposition Lines

Label:  Self released

Genre:  Roots Rock/Americana

Track Listing:  1.  Cheap Rent (Move On); 2.  Guadalupe; 3.  Amelia; 4.  Jenny; 5.  Troubled Soulful Mama of the Deepest Blue; 6.  Parnell; 7.  Let me Down Easy; 8.  Sad Song, Sad Town; 9.  I Don’t Believe You; 10.  Still with Me

Publicist: KB Music Press

Review:  John Lafayette Ramey is a multi-talented Americana artist that brings the total package to the genre.  His songs can be rocky, like “Cheap Rent” or heartfelt and sincere, like “Guadalupe” and “Amelia.”   He even throws in his own version of the blues with “Troubled Soulful Mama of the Deepest Blue.”  His album shows a firm understanding of the many facets of Americana music, and Ramey has the chops to make it in this very competitive marketplace.  He also shows a healthy respect for classic rock with a pair of songs that feel heavily influenced by the Beatles (“Parnell”) and Tom Petty (“Let me Down Easy”), as well as the country feeling “Sad Song, Sad Town” and “I Don’t Believe You.”

Recommendation:  Check this one out if your love the variety of sounds incorporated in the Americana genre.

Artist NameNoon

Album NameDisquiet

Label:  Trestle Records

Genre:  Instrumental

Track Listing:  1.  Use on Floor; 2.  Wow Ashen; 3.  Imani’s Call; 4.  Living Above Visions; 5.  Disquiet; 6.  Plastic White; 7.  Llangrannog; 8.  Obviously Having it Believers; 9.  London Swims

Publicist:  Trestle Records

Review:  The album is aptly named as this album is chock full of discordant notes, eerie and spooky undertones and an overall feeling of unease, making it the perfect soundtrack for the horror movie industry.  Amazingly, it was recorded live at conversational levels during their show at Netil House.  The band incorporates a myriad of styles and tones in creating their unique sound.  This one is not for the faint of heart, but the audiophile in search of something totally different.

Recommendation:  Check it out, if you dare.

 

Get it or forget it – Curtis Peoples, Lydia Loveless, Standing Before Kings, The Oxford Coma

Time is quickly running out and there is still so much to do.  Spent all morning going through my emails and found a ton of review requests.  Unfortunately, they will have to wait until I return from tour with Jerad Finck.  We should have time for one or two more articles before then, so here we go with four more reviews.

Artist NameCurtis Peoples

Album NameFive-Nine

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Indie Pop/Rock

Track Listing:  1.  All Hands; 2.  Love on Fire; 3.  Last Night my Favorite Band Broke Up; 4.  Damage Control

Publicist:  None

Review:  Curtis Peoples has been a favorite of this reviewer since he first saw him perform at the Roxy on Sunset when he was signed to Maverick Records.  Peoples has been spending most of his time recently penning hit songs for others (including Pierce the Veil), and it is with much joy that we have received this latest offering, even if it is only four songs.  Lucky for us all four are amazing and ready for radio.  Peoples has a strong smoky baritone that lifts his carefully crafted lyrics to new heights.  His musical accompaniment is first rate and shows further signs of the growth of this artist.

Recommendation:  If you love great music, then you must Get this EP.  Hopefully we’ll have a full-length CD soon :).

Artist NameLydia Loveless

Album NameBoy Crazy and Single(s)

Label:  Bloodshot Records

Genre:  Indie Rock/Americana

Track Listing:  1.  All I Know; 2.  All the Time; 3.  Lover’s Spat; 4.  Boy Crazy; 5.  The Water; 6.  Mile High; 7.  Blind; 8.  Come Over; 9.  Falling out of Love; 10.  I Would die 4 U; 11.  Alison

Publicist:  Bloodshot Records

Review:  Lydia Loveless has been making a name for herself, both as an individual artist and a collaborator on such project’s as Earwig’s award winning hit, “Wasted on You.”  Her latest project combines new songs with re-releases of previous material, and is a wonderful addition to this year’s indie offerings.  She has a country-tinged voice that reminds us of Martina McBride, mixed with a rock and roll flavor that is perfectly suited to her music.  From the first notes of “All I Know,” it become quickly obvious that we are in the presence of greatness, witnessing the rise of indie music’s next big star.  On top of her originals, she delivers a stunning cover of Prince’s hit, “I Would Die 4 U.”  While we love every track, we were especially drawn to “All I Know,” “Lover’s Spat,” the title track, “The Water,” and “Falling Out of Love.”

Recommendation:  This one is a requirement for all serious music lovers – Get. It. Now.

Artist Name Standing Before Kings (SBK)

Album Name: Standing Before Kings

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Euro Alternative Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Intro (Explosions); 2.  Explosions; 3.  In Your Eyes; 4.  Your World

Publicist:  None

Review:  Standing Before Kings, formerly known as SIKA, is an alternative rock band begun in Russia and perfected in North Hollywood, California.   They have a heavy but pure rock sound that resonates with the conviction of their faith-based lyrics, similar to the sound of Christian rock bands Skillet and P.O.D.  We can feel the anguish in their song “In Your Eyes” as well as the power in their other tracks.  We would definitely love to hear more from this band and look forward to the release of a full-length album.

Recommendation:  If you love rock, and positive lyrics, then definitely check them out.

Artist NameThe Oxford Coma

Album NameEverything Out of Tune

Label:  Siggy Records

Genre:  Psychedelic Grunge

Track Listing:  1.  Trauma (Maybe I’m Forgetting Something); 2.  Inflatable Patriots (Touching People in their Sleep); Patterns of Though; 4.  Cartoons; 5.  Junkies & God; 6.  Everything is out of Tune My Only Victories are Other; 7.  Reciprocal Damage; 8.  Smack & Temporary Enlightenment; 9.  Good Job Boys

Publicist:  The Syndicate

Review:  The Oxford Coma is frustrated with the current state of our country, and that frustration and angst comes through loud and clear on every dysfunctional track of their new album.  They wanted to create an album that would be the auditory soundtrack for a psychedelic hallucination, and they have achieved that goal.  They are also planning to release a feature film that will provide the visionary aspect of those hallucinations.  We think they definitely have the talent to pull off this multi-media project.

Recommendation:  If grunge and psychedelic music is your thing, then definitely check them out.  For the rest of us, just Forget it.

 

Get it or forget it – The Rasmus, Kele Okereke, Becca Richardson, Harper Grae

It’s been very busy this week preparing to take my client, Jerad Finck, on tour.  So much to do gathering merchandise, making last minute logistical runs and finalizing everything.  In addition to that, we have 21 new releases for the month of October to review, as well as eight more through the end of the year.  We will do our best to get all of the October reviews done before the end of the month, but that may be difficult being on tour.  Nevertheless, we will get them done and will start with four reviews for you today.

Artist Name The Rasmus

Album NameDark Matters

Label:   Playground Music Scandinavia

Genre:  Indie Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Paradise; 2.  Something in the Dark; 3.  Wonderman; 4.  Nothing; 5.  Empire; 6.  Crystalline; 7.  Black Days; 8.  Silver Night; 9.  Delirium; 10.  Dragons into Dreams

Publicist:  Guerilla Music Promotion

Review:  The Rasmus have previously released eight studio albums between 1996 and 2012, and are making their comeback with Dark Matters.  The sound is indie rock meets anthemic heavy metal, and is worthy of serious consideration.  Recorded and mixed in Sweden and produced by The Family, Dark Matters arrives at a time when the USA market desperately needs new rock music.  This album hits the ground running and never lets up.  It is the type of album you want to hear again and again, especially “Something in the Dark,” “Nothing,” “Empire,” “Silver Night” and “Delirium.”

Recommendation:  This one rocks – Get it Now!

Artist NameKele Okereke

Album NameFatherland

Label:  BMG

Genre:  Indie Singer/Songwriter

Track Listing:  1.  Overture; 2.  Streets Been Talking; 3.  You Keep on Whispering his Name; 4.  Capers; 5.  Grounds for Resentment (ft. Olly Alexander); 6.  Yemaya; 7.  Do U Right; 8.  Version of Us (ft. Corinne Bailey Rae); 9.  Portrait; 10.  Road to Ibadan; 11.  Savannah; 12.  The New Year Party; 13.  Royal Reign

Publicist:  The End Records PR

Review:  British artist Kele Okereke of the band Bloc Party has been working on his acoustic release Fatherland for quite a few years, and the resulting album was definitely worth the wait.  The album shows the singer/songwriter side of Okereke, and we are impressed with the finished product.  The sound is definitely international with insightful lyrics that offer a rare glimpse inside this amazing artist.  He even throws in a couple of duets:  “Grounds for Resentment” with Olly Alexander and “Version of Us” with Corrine Bailey Rae.  Best songs include “Streets Been Talking,” “Capers,” “Yemaha,” “Do U Right,” “Portrait,” and “Savannah,” as well as the aforementioned duets.

Recommendation:  If you like acoustic music with an international flavor, then this is your lucky day.  We recommend you Get this one.

Artist NameBecca Richardson

Album NameWe are Gathered Here

Label:  Pink Mirror Records

Genre:  Indie Pop

Track Listing:  1.  Wanted; 2.  My Father’s Daughter; 3.  Stronger; 4.  Right Now; 5.  Dig; 6.  Killing all the Beautiful; 7.  Before the Chorus; 8.  Crooked Hearts; 9.  Rise; 10.  Are you Ready?

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  We fell in love with this artist when we first heard her single “Wanted” and couldn’t wait for her to release her album.  OMG – this one is a definitely keeper that should find a lot of repeat time on your music player, and belongs on your local radio station.  Her voice is crisp and clear, soaring above the music as only those few special artists can.  The songs are well crafted with intelligent lyrics, a steady beat, and just the right instrumentation to support Richardson’s amazing voice.  Besides the killer first single, “Wanted,” we also love “Stronger,” “Right Now,” “Dig,” “Crooked Hearts,” and “Rise.”

Recommendation:  This one’s a keeper.  We think once you’ve heard it through you’ll want to hear it over and over again.  Get this one Now!

Artist NameHarper Grae

Album NameBreak Your Crowns

Label:  Oliver Ann Records

Genre:  Pop Country

Track Listing:  1.  Young Blood; 2.  Dear Daddy; 3.  Blame it on You (ft. Corey Bost); 4.  Thunder Rolls; 5.  7 Years; 6.  Good with your Goodbye; 7.  Break Your Crowns; 8.  True Love; 9.  Free; 10.  Where my Heart has Been (ft. Rand)

Publicist:  Alliance Media Relations

Review:  Harper Grae is a product of the awesomeness that was Glee, and was a contestant on the Glee Project 2.  Break Your Crowns is her debut album, and what a debut it is.  Grae contributes most of the tracks and adds an impressive cover of Garth Brooks’ classic hit, “Thunder Rolls.”  This album deserves serious radio air play, as well as consideration for placements in television and movies.  Our favorite tracks include “Young Blood,” her duets “Blame it on You” and “Where my Heart has Been,” “Good in your Goodbye,” “the title track and “Free.”

Recommendation:  Don’t even think about it, just Get it!

 

Get it or forget it – Chris Pierce, Raleigh, Chris Rea, Fool Heavy

Enjoying my final day in Oklahoma before heading off to the Durango Songwriters Expo in Wellington, Colorado this weekend.  It’s been an exciting week of reconnecting with my brother, Maj Charles Leggett, an Army chaplain who just returned from his third deployment to Iraq, as well as spending time with my father, who turned 85 in May.  Gonna be sad to leave them, but so glad I had the opportunity to visit.

Here are four more reviews that should complete all the September releases.  It’s been a very busy month.

Artist Name:  Chris Pierce

Album Name:  You’ve got to Feel It

Label:  Calabama Records

Genre:  R&B/Soul

Track Listing:  1.  Cry to Me; 2.  Slip Away; 3.  The Dark end of the Street; 4.  You Better Move On; 5.  Don’t Fight It; 6.  I’m a Ram; 7.  Trouble Man; 8.  Stop; 9.  That’s how Strong my Love Is; 10.  Is it Something You’ve Got; 11.  You Haven’t Done Nothin’; 12.  Many Rivers to Cross

Publicist:  Rogers & Cowan

Review:  Chris Pierce is considered to be one of the treasures of Los Angeles, and this album of covers will only cement that reputation even more.   Pierce traveled to Alabama to the famed Muscle Shoals Studio to record this tribute to some of the greatest songwriters in R&B and soul, including Wilson Picket, Clarence Carter, Al Green, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder.  The album was recorded using original members of The Swampers, the Muscle Shoals Horns and the Shoals Sisters, and ranks in the top 5 of all cover albums we have heard.  Pierce has the same powerful voice as the aforementioned greats, and knows how to bring out the emotion in any song.  His sound is a combination of Van Morrison and Otis Redding, among others, with the ability to channel the energy and power of these greats.  He even closes out the album with a song by one of our favorite reggae singers, Jimmy Cliff.  This album is sheer perfection to anyone who loves the golden age of soul.  Thank you Chris Pierce for your beautiful homage.

Recommendation:  This is a must have album for your collection and a worthy addition to your desert island collection.  Get. It. Now.

Artist Name:  Raleigh

Album Name:  Powerhouse Bloom

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Indie Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Just Kids; 2.  Dead in Tracks; 3.  Smoke in our Eyes; 4.  Wake up Evangelist; 5.  Costume Party; 6.  We met in Alcatraz; 7.  Tithing, 8.  Nice Mistake; 9.  Acid Tongue

Publicist:  The Syndicate

Review:  Raleigh has a wonderfully raw sound that sets their music apart from many other indie artists.  The lyrics resonate over skillfully crafted musical accompaniment, allowing the power of the words to shine through.  There is no bravado in the album’s title, as “powerhouse” is an apt description of this band and their sound.  It is the perfect album to turn on and let it run from start to finish.  Our favorite tracks include “Just Kids,” “Smoke in our Eyes,” “We Met in Alcatraz,” and “Nice Mistake.”

Recommendation:  A most worthy addition, we recommend you take a chance on these guys and Get this album.

Artist Name:  Chris Rea

Album Name:  Road Songs for Lovers

Label:  BMG

Genre:  Pop/Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Happy on the Road; 2.  Nothing Left Behind; 3.  Road Songs for Lovers; 4.  Money; 5.  Two Lost Souls; 6.  Rock my Soul; 7.  Moving On; 8.  The Road Ahead; 9.  Last Train; 10.  Angel of Love; 11.  Breaking Point; 12.  Beautiful

Publicist:  The End Records PR

Review:  For those of us who have been around music a long time, the name “Chris Rea” brings back memories of a super hit from 1978 – “Fool (If you Think It’s Over).”  Rea has stayed active in the music industry over the past almost 40 years, making a total of 22 studio albums, releasing four other singles, and amassing sales of more than 30 million albums.  All of that experience pays off on this new album, which should once again make Rea a household name.  From rootsy rock songs like “Happy on the Road” to the laid back sound of the title track, this album has something for every music lover.   Check out the horns and keys on “Money.”  We are in awe of this album, and Chris Rea.  At a time when we are losing so many of our musical legends, let’s rally behind Rea and support his return.  He will be touring Europe and the UK for the remainder of 2017.

Recommendation:  If you love great music by a legend of guitar, check out this one.  You should definitely Get it.

Artist Name:  Fool Heavy

Album Name:  Gusto

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Alternative

Track Listing:  1. Pulp Fiction, 2.  Dude Quest; 3.  Orange Dracula; 4.  Canada Dry; 5.  Lil’ Brains; 6.  Avant Garbage; 7. Bruise; 8.  Homebody

Publicist:  Behind the Curtains Media

Review:  Vocalist/guitarist Taylor Berke and vocalist/bassist Sam Coughlin combine to form Fool Hardy, mixing garage, punk and alternative rock into their own sound that is full of energy.  On their debut album Gusto, they show that they have much to contribute to the indie music community.   This album will get your juices pumping to a steady beat and amazing riffs, with the vocals rising to the top like fine cream.  Our favorite tracks include “Orange Dracula,” “Canada Dry,” “Lil’ Brains,” and “Avant Garbage.”

Recommendation:  If you love rock, especially grunge and/or punk, then this is the group for you.  Run out and Get it – you’ll thank us later!

 

Get it or forget it – Great Willow, After Hours Radio, Nick Ferrio, Five of the Eyes

Happy Friday, the final one for September.  It’s been a busy month, and we’ve reviewed a lot of albums, 43 of them to be exact, and we still have eight more to do before the end of the month.  Here are the first four of those, with four more tomorrow, giving us 51 for the month – not bad indie artists!

Artist Name:  Great Willow

Album Name:  find yourself in Los Angeles

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Roots/Americana

Track Listing:  1.  Many Things; 2.  Petaluma; 3.  Rear View Mirror; 4.  Find Yourself in Los Angeles; 5. The new Normal; 6.  With Care From Someone; 7.  Time Bombs; 8.  Secretly Happy; 9.  No City can Cure Me; 10.  Love Will Finally Find You

Publicist:  None

Review:  Perfect harmonies make any type of music sound better, and Great Willow has some of the finest harmonies we have reviewed in quite a while.  The perfectly combined voices of James Combs and Erin Hawkins is the stuff legends are made of, rising above the musical harmonies of the instruments in the band.  The lyrics are well crafted, creating a confluence of sounds that quiet the mind and ease the soul of the listener.  Best tracks include “Many Things,” the title track, “With Care From Someone,” and “Love Will Finally Find You.”

Recommendation:  This is an incredible addition to any Americana library.  Definitely Get it.

Artist Name:  After Hours Radio

Album Name:  What Happened?

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Alternative

Track Listing:  1.  Shifting Standards; 2.  Nobody’s Home; 3.  Maryland; 4.  Wronged

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  Noisy Ghost brings us another unique act in After Hours Radio.  Their four-song EP is too short to adequately represent the level of potential for this band.  That potential screams out through every note, beginning on the first track, “Shifting Standards,” with its amazing keys.  In fact the keys are one of the best features of this EP, underscoring the intelligent lyrics and thoughtful arrangements.  This group is definitely worth checking out, especially the final track, “Wronged.”

Recommendation:  Although not well known, we think they are worth taking a risk for.  Grab your copy now.

Artist Name:  Nick Ferrio

Album Name:  Soothsayer

Label:  Self released

Genre:  Power-pop

Track Listing:  1.  Quit Acting; 2.  Squeeze the Breeze; 3.  That’s not how I Remember It; 4.  Soothsayer; 5.  Are you Listening to Me; 6.  Last Night; 7.  Everybody Talks; 8.  Food Court; 9.  Heart to Heart; 10.  Crow Song

Publicist:  None

Review:  If 70’s power pop is your thing, and you love Elvis Costello, then you should enjoy the sound of Nick Ferrio.  His tunes are upbeat in a way that brings back fun memories of a time when music truly reigned.  They also capture the feel of the 70’s, with its focus on the beat and the sheer joy of music.  It’s hard to go wrong with this collection of songs.  We really love “That’s not how I Remember It,” the title track, “Are you Listening to Me,” “Everybody Talks,” and “Heart to Heart.”

Recommendation:  We think this one will grown on you and become one of your favorite old school indie artists.  Give it a go, and see if you like it.

Artist Name:  Five of the Eyes

Album Name:  The Venue Transit

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Prog Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Atmosphere; 2.  Wasteland; 3.  Mirrors; 4.  Space Is; 5.  Passenger; 6.  Lust to Dust; 7.  Oblivion; 8.  Monsoon; 9.  Delta

Publicist:  Behind the Curtains Media

Review:  Their sound is a mixture of Rush meets U2, with screaming guitars, soaring vocals, intelligent lyrics, and a rocking beat that will capture your mind as you ears absorb the energy and power of this band.  The album hits the ground rocking, and never lets up as they take us on a musical journey that would not be complete with the requisite headbanging and air guitar of the listener.  This is an album to put on, sit back, and take it all in as the music swells around you and the lyrics creep into your consciousness, freeing you from the cares of the world.  Best tracks include “Wasteland,” “Mirrors,” “Passenger,” “Oblivion,” and “Monsoon.”

Recommendation:  Run, don’t walk and Get this one.  It is a must have!!

 

Get it or forget it – Stacy Jones, Space4Lease, Amber Run, Pam Taylor

After nearly 23 hours of driving, I have arrived in Oklahoma where I will be visiting with my Dad and younger brother for the next week before heading to the Denver area for the Durango Songwriters Expo next weekend.  My brother just returned from his third tour of Iraq, and it has been nice catching up with him.  Family aside, we still have a few more CDs being released this month, so here are four more reviews for your consideration.

Artist Name:   Stacy Jones

Album Name:   Love is Everywhere

Label:   Self-released

Genre:   Blues/Americana

Track Listing:   1.  Mojo Potion 61 49; 2.  Wait for Heaven; 3.  Can’t Find Love; 4.  Stomp Jump Boogie; 5.  Can’t you be Mine; 6.  I Fell in Love; 7.  Love is Everywhere; 8.  One Stoplight; 9.  Gotta get Over You; 10.  Tough Girls Never Cry; 11.  I’ll be on my Way

Publicist:   None

Review:  Stacy Jones is another Seattle-based blues artist with a killer band.  Her music has drawn critical acclaim, including awards from the International Music and Entertainment Association and the Washington Blues Society.  Her latest offering not only features her award winning songs and band, but also a guest appearance from the one and only Lee Oskar on harmonica.   Jones incorporates roots, country and Americana into her blues regimen, and the result is a sure-fire sound that is sure to please all types of music lovers.  On this album she takes her listeners on a musical journey through the ups and downs of love, and what a journey it is.  Our favorite tracks included “Can’t Find Love,” “Stomp Jump Boogie” (which features those prolific harmonica licks), “Can’t You be Mine,” “One Stoplight” (with its upbeat rhythm, legendary harmonica and sax, and enough sass for an entire album), and “Gotta Get Over You.”

Recommendation:  If you love the blues, roots or Americana music, then you simply must Get this album.  If you love music, then you must Get this album.  In other words, Get it.

Artist Name:  Space4Lease

Album Name:  Drifting

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Indie Pop/Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Must be Something; 2.  Drifting; 3. Lately; 4.  If it’s True; 5.  I Tried Calling

Publicist:  Behind the Curtains Media

Review:  Oklahoma based quartet Space4Lease has an airy sound that entice their listeners to give them full attention.  Their indie pop/rock sound with hints of psychedelica is a soothing respite from your crazy day, making their music a necessary part of your daily chill down.   We only wish there were more than five songs on the release.  We think you will enjoy it as much as we do.  We especially like the title song and “If it’s True.”  They are heading out on tour next month.  It would be worth your time to get out and see them if you live near where they’re playing.

Recommendation:  Give this one a try – we think you’ll enjoy it.

Artist Name:  Amber Run

Album Name:  Alaska

Label:  Dine Alone Records

Genre:  Acoustic

Track Listing:  1.  No Answers; 2.  Higher & Higher, 3.  Fickle Game; 4.  Alaska

Publicist:   Auteur Research

Review:   Amber Run has released an acoustic EP featuring two songs from their album “For a Moment, I was Lost, which was released in March, plus two cover songs – the classic Jackie Wilson song “Higher & Higher” (heard in the original Ghostbusters movie) and Maggie Rogers “Alaska.”  The band known for their tight harmonies and thoughtful arrangements, truly leave their mark on these two covers, especially “Higher & Higher,” which has a sound like Snow Patrol meets Chris Isaak meets OneRepublic.  The only drawback is that their covers kinda suck all the energy from the original versions, as their focus more on the songwriting than the vibe of the original songs.  On the other hand, their acoustic versions of their own “No Answers” and “Fickle Game” have their own unique sound and make Amber Run a band to definitely add to your collective musical universe.

Recommendation:  Although not our favorite acoustic EP, it is a worthy effort and worth the risk.

Artist Name:  Pam Taylor

Album Name:  Steal Your Heart

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Blues

Track Listing:  1.  House of Cards; 2.  Squeeze Me; 3.  It Ain’t Right; 4.  Already Alright; 5.  Mountain; 6.  Ordinary; 7.  The Rain Song; 8.  Make you Mine; 9.  Tangled Up; 10.  Witches Ball; 11.  Nirvana; 12.  SnakeButt

Publicist:  ABIK Promotions

Review:  There is nothing like the sound of a female-fronted blues band, especially when she knows how to wail and has a rocking rhythm section to back her up.  Pam Taylor is such an artist and her third release, Steal Your Heart, is one of the best blues records this year.  From the roots rocking “House of Cards” to the dirty blues of “It Ain’t Right” and “Already Alright,” Taylor brings us amazing songs that belong in the musical library of all true music lovers.   Other songs we love include “Squeeze Me,” “Ordinary,” “The Rain Song,” “Make you Mine,” and “Tangled Up.”

Recommendation:  Add this one to get your music library to the “gifted” stage.

 

Get it or forget it – The Persian Leaps, Surf Rock is Dead, Jon Langford, RVBY MY DEAR

We’re winding down through the September releases, with only 12 more after this batch,  We have four very eclectic bands for you today.  Hope you enjoy reading them as much as we enjoyed reviewing them.

Artist Name:  The Persian Leaps

Album Name:  Bicycle Face

Label:  Land Ski Records

Genre:  Indie Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Picture my Reaction; 2.  On the Downside; 3.  Even Less; 4.  About the Lions; 5.  Pushpins

Publicist:  Behind the Curtains Media

Review:  The Persian Leaps release an EP every year, and Bicycle Face is their fifth.  It contains five high energy rocking songs that will help get the cobwebs from between your ears as they deliver their well-written lyrics in a perfect indie rock/power pop package.  Their previous releases have received critical acclaim, and their latest one will surely earn more of the same.  Their publicist pointed us to focus on tracks 1 and 3, and we would tend to agree, although we personally enjoyed track 3 more than track 1.  All in all this is a worthy effort, and we look forward to what next year brings.

Recommendation:  Just released on September 22, you can Get this one now.

Artist Name:  Surf Rock is Dead

Album Name:  We Have no Friends?

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Dream Pop

Track Listing:  1.  In Between; 2.  As If; 3.  Everything They Said; 4.  White Salsa; 5.  Fitting the Mold

Publicist:  The Syndicate

Review:  Their music definitely has a new wave feel as they bring us their version of Dream Pop enveloped in an 80’s vibe, like A Flock of Seagulls meets Howard Jones.  The result is music that brings back memories for those of us who lived through the 80’s, and creates fond memories for those who didn’t.  All five songs are worthy of attention, but we really love “As If.”  The band will be celebrating with an EP release party on October 6 at Rough Trade NYC, so if you happen to be in the Big Apple then, we recommend you check them out live.

Recommendation:  The EP was just released on September 22, so Get it now so you’ll know all the songs before the Release Party.

Artist Name:  Jon Langford

Album Name:  Four Lost Souls

Label:  Bloodshot Records

Genre:  Folk Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Poor Valley Radio; 2.  Natchez Trace; 3.  I Thought he was Dead; 4.  In Oxford Mississippi; 5.  Mystery; 6.  Half way Home; 7.  Fish out of Water; 8.  What’s my Name; 9.  Masterpiece; 10.  Snake Behind Glass; 11.  I Felt my Courage Fail; 12.  Indestructible; 13.  Waste

Publicist:  Bloodshot Records

Review:  Jon Langford has a sound that marries country with folk rock, reminiscent of Cat Stevens.  His songs are well crafted with witty lyrics, incredible harmonies, and a simple musical accompaniment that highlights his vocals.  The pedal steel adds a unique depth to the music that further complements the songs, especially on “Poor Valley Radio.”  The music revs up a bit with “Natchez Trace,” before returning to the slow and steady rhythm of “I Thought he Was Dead,” with its bluesy feel and amazing female lead vocals.  Langford shows his love for his hometown in the song “In Oxford Mississippi.”  “Mystery” reminds us of those girl group ballads of the 60’s.  Other sounds that caught our interest include “Fish out of Water,” the rocking “What’s my Name,” the soft and dreamy “Masterpiece,” “I Felt my Courage Fail,” and “Indestructible.”

Recommendation:  You should definitely Get this one, as it will bring back memories of days gone by, while creating memories of the future of indie music.

Artist Name:  RVBY MY DEAR

Album Name:  Cycles

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Alt Pop

Track Listing:  1.  10-17; 2.  Try; 3.  Cycles; 4.  Draw

Publicist:  The Syndicate

Review:  RVBY MY DEAR aka Gabbi Cosnen comes to America via Perth, Australia, and we are sure glad she has arrived.  Her music is dreamy and radio-friendly pop, with a voice that hasn’t been on American radio since Dido.  The first track, “10:17,” which is also her first single, leaves no doubt that this young artist has come to capture the hearts of her new home.  The remaining three songs are just as sweet, and leave us wanting much more.  We can only hope that a full-length album will arrive soon.  Until then, just put Cycles on repeat and find your happy place in her succulent voice and sweet sound that envelopes you with hope and love.

Recommendation:  This one is a no-brainer – you had better Get it or you will truly miss out.

 

Get it or forget it – Vattnet, Elephant Stone, Halladay Quist, Christian O’Connor

TGIF – welcome to another weekend. The Griz play their first league game when arch-rival Eastern Washington comes to Missoula for a night game, just as the temperature is turning cold.  Should be an interesting match-up.  In the meantime, let’s check out these four new artists, including Montana’s own Halladay Quist (daughter of Rob Quist, who lost to Greg Gianforte in the last election).  Let’s hit it!

Artist Name:  Vattnet

Album Name:  Vattnet

Label:  New Damage Records

Genre:  Hard Rock/Metal

Track Listing:  1.  Spun; 2.  Dark Black; 3.  Sugar; 4.  Better Ghost; 5.  Sister; 6.  Chains; 7.  Time Will Prove Everything; 8.  Funeral

Publicist:  Earshot Media

Review:  What sets this album apart from its peers is the fact that this band is good, really really good, and is not ashamed of that.  They sing, not scream, while amazing music lays the foundation for those songs, much like STRYPER in their heyday.  The songs are well written and easy to understand, while the guitar is hot and tireless, and the drum beat is wicked.  This is a band that, like Metallica, could cross over to other rock fans and actually become popular, not stuck in a heavy metal niche where others are afraid to go.  We are truly impressed with this band and would love to see them perform live, as we are sure that they would bring it home.  Best tracks include “Dark Black,” “Better Ghost,” “Sister,” and “Funeral.”

Recommendation:  You don’t have to be a fan of metal to like this band, but it helps.  We definitely think you should Get this one.

Artist Name:  Elephant Stone

Album Name:  Remix of Fools

Label:  Elephants on Parade/Burger Records

Genre:  Psych Rock Dance remix

Track Listing:  1.  The Devil’s Shelter (Young Galaxy remix); 2.  Silence can say so Much (Dominic TOY remix); 3.  Where I’m Going (Pick a Piper remix); 4.  Cast the First Stone (Al Lover remix); 5.  Love is Like a Spinning Wheel (Xavier Boyer remix)

Publicist:  Auteur Research

Review:  This EP features dance remixes of five songs from the band’s previous release Ship of Fools.  Most of the tracks are upwards of nine minutes in length, so get your dancing shoes on before listening.  On the first track, the sound is decidedly house and has garnered a lot of interst, while the second track features a more Bollywood, rave kind of vibe.  Track three returns to the more house dance groove, while the fourth track combines the two styles with a steady beat.  The final track is our favorite, and could actually find a radio home outside of the club with its consistent beat, great vocals and good grove.

Recommendation:  This is our first review of a remix album, and it is decidedly different.  If you are into remixes, and like a psych rock undertone, then definitely Get this album.

Artist Name:  Halladay Quist

Album Name:  Halladay Quist

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Blues/Americana/Roots Rock

Track Listing:  1.  The Ballad of Pretty Mae; 2.  What’s Coming Down; 3.  Fly Away; 4.  Let it Burn; 5.  Whirlwind; 6.  Go With You; 7.  Harvest Moon; 8.  Meteors; 9.  Love Come In; 10.  Just a Little Love; 11.  Mermaid Song

Publicist:  None

Review:  We first met this intriguing artist at the Flathead Lake Blues and Music Festival last month.  She is a multi-instrumentalist with a truly unique style that mixes portions of country, bluegrass, folk, Americana and good ole rock-n-roll to form her music.  Her voice is pure and smooth, like fine wine, and her songs are well-crafted with intelligent lyrics and just the right instrumentation to fit the song’s mood.  This is definitely one of those albums you put on and just sit back and listen, as every track is worthy of attention.  Nevertheless, we truly dig “The Ballad of Pretty Mae,” “Fly Away,” “”Let it Burn,” “Go With You,” “Meteors,” and “Love Come In.”

Recommendation:  Don’t even think about it – just Get it!

Artist Name:  Christian O’Connor

Album Name:  Wine Over Water – Blood Over Wine

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Pop/Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Something to Believe In; 2.  Down; 3.  Who I Want to Be;  4.  Yearn to Fly; 5.  Love Steps; 6.  Never Going Back; 7.  All That’s Dead and Gone; 8.  Believe; 9.  Friday Night Rocks

Publicist:  Inferential Management & Direction

Review:  This young man is getting a plethora of industry interest in his music, which has been used by such diverse entities as the NFL, NASCAR, NCAA Final Four Basketball, MLB and the Boys and Girls Club.  Just a casual listen to his new album and it becomes quickly apparent why.  From the hard-hitting “Something to Believe in” to the latest single, “Who I Want to Be,” O’Connor delivers music that has mass appeal.  He is chock full of talent, and knows how to share that talent through his intelligent lyrics, great vocals, and just the right amount of instrumentation to complement his song.  His groove is similar to that of John Mellencamp and Ryan Adams, and should serve him well in the long run.  We fully expect O’Connor’s music to last for many years to come.

Recommendation:  Don’t miss your chance to get onboard this fast-moving train.  Get his album, which is being released today, and be the envy of all your friends.

 

Get it or forget it – JunkYardFieldTrip, The Empty Pockets, Luke Dowler, Arro

Happy Thursday.  Getting ready to hit the road again on Tuesday to head down to Oklahoma to visit my brother who just returned from a year in Iraq.  After that it’s off for a three-week tour with Jerad Finck.  Life is exciting right now.  We wanted to introduce you to four new artists, so sit back and check them out.

Artist Name:  JunkYardFieldTrip

Album Name:  JunkYardFieldTrip

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Americana

Track Listing:    1.  2 a.m.; 2.  Blind; 3.  Dusty Radio; 4.  Mercy; 5.  Collide; 6.  Lucky One; 7.  Sometime Never; 8.  Why not Me; 9.  We’re all Here

Publicist:  Working Brilliantly

Review:  A lot of bands today are labeling themselves as Americana, when what they are is more 70’s folk rock.  Such is the case with JunkYardFieldTrip.  While they have some elements of Americana, such as amazing fiddle work, their sound is more closely akin to that of 70’s groups like The Eagles and the Little River Band.  The closest they come to a true Americana song is “Collide”   On the other hand, their sound is very soothing and a true breath of fresh air in what can sometimes be a very stale indie market.   Their harmonies, well-crafted lyrics and overall sound place them squarely head-and-shoulders above the majority of their peers.  We really love the upbeat rocking sound of “Dusty Radio.”  Other songs that stand out include “Blind,” “Mercy” (with its Daughtry vibe), “Sometime Never,” and “Why Not Me.”

Recommendation:  If you’re looking for Americana, then this is not the band for you.  But if you want great music and a sound all their own, we highly recommend you Get this album.

Artist Name:  The Empty Pockets

Album Name:  Voices

Label:  MT Pockets Music

Genre:  Americana/Roots Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Voices in my Head; 2.  I’ll Follow You; 3.  I am Strong; 4.  You be the High; 5.  The Bubble; 6.  Need to Know; 7.  Reprise; 8.  Built to Last

Publicist:  None

Review:  Just listening to the first note of this album, and it quickly becomes evident why they are currently charting on seven different Billboard charts and touring with the legendary Al Stewart.  Their music is incredibly well written and performed and the vocal harmonies are outstanding, especially the voice of Erika Brett, which soars heavenward every time she opens her mouth.  This is true Americana.  We can only imagine how wonderful this band would be in concert, and can’t wait until we get the chance to see them live.  There are no weak songs on this album, but we really love “I’ll Follow You,” “I am Strong,” “The Bubble,” and “Reprise.”

Recommendation:  This is a definite no-brainer.  Get it and enjoy.

Artist Name:  Luke Dowler

Album Name:  South

Label:   JED Records

Genre:  Indie Rock

Track Listing:  1. For God’s Sake; 2.  Mercy! Mercy! Mercy!; 3.  A Good man Loves Somebody Else; 4.  Honey Don’t Leave; 5.  Out of my Hands; 6.  Hemingway Romance; 7.  Everything’s Gonna Work out Fine; 8.  Baby, We’re all Monsters

Publicist:  None

Review:  We met this artist at the 2014 Zootown Music Awards, and were impressed with his songwriting and stage presence.  He has now released a new album, and we are pleased as punch to be asked to review it.  Dowler’s music shows his Montana roots and determination as he brings those qualities to the indie music scene.  We will be showcasing his music video for the first track, “For God’s Sake,” in an upcoming Monday Mashup.  His vocals soar over the music, with its steady drums and well performed accompaniment, including a beautiful string arrangement on that first track.  Our favorite tunes include “For God’s Sake,” the rocking “Mercy! Mercy! Mercy!,” “Hemingway Romance,” and “Everything’s Gonna Work Out Fine.”

Recommendation: Definitely take a chance on this Montana indie artist and Get his new album.

Artist Name:  Arro

Album Name:  Freak Show Collaborations

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Indie Pop/Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Circus (ft. Bo Power; 2.  Maze (ft. Josey Marina); 3.  She’s the City (ft. G.R.I.M.); 4.  Keep Moving (ft. Joe Gorman)

Publicist:  Vision Music Promo

Review:  Arro has been making a name for themselves in the UK, resulting in their single “Fever” being chosen by Best of British Unsigned.  They have crafted this short four-song EP with collaborative efforts from other UK bands.  The result is a finely crafted appetizer that leaves you wanting much much more of this tastiness.  We especially love the sound of “Circus,” with its hints of Maroon 5 setting the foundation for a great collaborative effort, as well as “She’s the City.”

Recommendation:  Another artist worthy of your attention, we recommend you Get this EP now.

 

Get it or forget it – Michele D’Amour and the Love Dealers, Helen Culver, JD & the Straight Shot, The Black Hand

We made it to another hump day, which just happens to be the first day of fall.  We love this time of year as the seasons change and we prepare for the winter.  What are your favorite memories of this time of year?  Hopefully some of them will be great music, as we have four new artists to introduce today.  Grab your coffee and let’s get started.

Artist Name:  Michele D’Amour and the Love Dealers

Album Name:  Lost Nights at the Leopard Lounge

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Blues and Funk

Track Listing:  1.  No Good; 2.  Trouble; 3.  Leopard Lounge; 4.  Move on Down the Line; 5.  Lost my Mojo; 6.  All I do is Work; 7.  When the Blues Come Calling; 8.  I Didn’t Know; 9.  Blue as Blue can Get; 10.  What the cat Dragged In; 11.  Last man Standing; 12.  Black Cat Boogie

Publicist:  Broads 4 Blues

Review:  There is nothing like a good solid blues rhythm coupled with an amazing female voice that understands the true sound of the blues.  Michele D’Amour and the Love Dealers have definitely learned those lessons, and turn in a worthy performance on this song of solid tunes that should be a case study for anyone interested in studying the art of the blues.  They understand that there are different grooves for great blues music, and they have mastered all of those styles on this album.  From the upbeat style of “No Good” to the slow sexy groove of “Trouble” and “All I do is Work” to the funky sound of “Leopard Lounge,” this band brings us some of the best blues we have heard this year.  This is a band that should be the house band for any television show that features the blues, as they bring an authenticity to their sound not normally heard by today’s modern blues bands.  Besides the aforementioned songs, we were also digging the sound of “Move on Down the Line,” “When the Blues Come Calling,” and “What the Cat Dragged In.”

Recommendation:  If you love the blues, you will love this album.  We strongly urge you to Get it.

Artist Name:  Helen Culver

Album Name:  Seven Year Glitch

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Alt-Pop/Electronica

Track Listing:  1.  Ctrl-Alt-Delete; 2.  Drink by Myself; 3.  Red Light; 4.  Selfish Lover

Publicist:  None

Review:  Helen Culver creates the kind of music that house DJs love – a steady beat, great vocals and a catchy chorus that will stick in your mind long after the song has ended.  Her four- song EP is more like an appetizer, leaving us hungry for more.  She provides us with a myriad of alt-pop sounds that stimulate the senses, creating an urgency and desire for additional tasty morsels.  Although short, the EP is packed full of intelligent lyrics, great grooves and enough diversity that most listeners will find something they like.  No two songs sound the same, giving Culver a number of ways to continue delivering great music.  We will be here patiently waiting for the next chapter of this amazing artist.

Recommendation:  You should definitely Get it.  It shows great promise for what is yet to come.

Artist Name:  JD & the Straight Shot

Album Name:  Good Luck and Good Night

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Americana

Track Listing:  1.  Redemption Train; 2.  Ballad of Jacob Marley; 3.  Moonlight; 4.  I Know you Know I Know; 5.  Run for Me; 6.  Shambala; 7.  Good Luck and Good Night; 8.  Tonight; 9.  It’s Your World Now; 10.  Never Alone

Publicist:  Publicity Please

Review:  OMG – Americana will never be the same with the release of the latest from JD & the Straight Shot. Composed of vocalist and guitarist Jim Dolan, bassist Byron House (Robert Plant, Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton), violinist/fiddler Erin Slaver (Martina McBride, Rod Stewart) and guitarist Marc Copely (B.B. King, Rosanne Cash), they pack so much experience into a tight package that it has to be good – and it is.  In fact it is so good that they are currently supporting The Eli Young Band, The Doobie Brothers and Chicago on their respective tours.  The chemistry and harmony between Dolan and Slaver is the stuff of Hollywood movie magic, and the musical accompaniment this band of experts puts together puts them at the top of the Americana genre.  Slaver’s fiddle work is also above and beyond, as she brings a quality not heard in many years, reminiscent of Charlie Daniels.  There isn’t a weak song on the CD, but we really love “Ballad of Jacob Marley, “Moonlight,” their amazing cover of Three Dog Night’s “Shambala,” the title track, “Tonight,” and “It’s Your World Now.”

Recommendation:  Get it while it’s hot.  These guys will make a memorable and lasting addition to your musical library.

Artist Name:  The Black Hand

Album Name:  The Black Hand

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Electro-metal

Track Listing:  1.  Every; 2.  Easy to Hate; 3.  Disappear; 4.  Daydreamer; 5.  Where are you Now?  6.  The Thickening; 7.  The American Pastime; 8.  Clarity; 9.  Bliss; 10.  Chosen

Publicist:  Earshot Media

Review:  Los Angeles is often considered to be a difficult town for a musician to shine in as there is so much talent and so much variation in the indie music scene.  The Black Hand hails from Southern California, and has decided to stand out by being hard in a town where soft sells.  Their music is reminiscent of Death Pool, with the requisite sreaming intact, but it is their musical sound that stands out from the plethora of other metal bands.  Absent the screamo vocals, the music is hardcore, well written and even better performed.  Their music could very well be a soundtrack for numerous films and television shows, minus the vocals.  When the lead vocalist does decide to sing, he has a good voice, but looses all credibility (to this reviewer, at least) when he decides to scream instead.

Recommendation:  Unless you are an avid lover of death metal/ screamo music, you’d best Forget this one.