Tag Archives: album reviews

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.


Get it or forget it – Emma Cairo, Steve Azar & The Kings Men, Life Lessons, Jordana Talsky

It’s the last day of summer, and winter is knocking at our door here in Montana.  There is snow on the mountaintops and the night time is already getting cold.  Seems like the perfect time for another edition of Get it or Forget it.  We have four artists for you today, two of which are new to us, and one of which was a country legend.  We hope you enjoy these reviews and will heed our advice when it comes to great music to check out.  Let’s get started.

Artist Name:  Emma Cairo 

Album Name:   In East & West

Label:   North South Sounds

Genre:   Pop/Rock

Track Listing:  1.  In it for the Money; 2.  Stalker; 3.  L.A.; 4.  Muse; 5.  Dirty Dishes; 6.  Colors of the Forest; 7.  Britney Wannabe; 8.  Sandstorm; 9.  Be With Me; 10.  I Don’t Understand; 11.  Monique Says; 12.  Intuition; 13.  Who am I

Publicist:   None

Review:  Emma Cairo hits the ground running on the first track of her new CD, In East & West, and never lets up, as she, very tongue-in-cheek, lets us know she’s “In it for the Money.”  Cairo mixes her Nordic heritage into her indie pop/rock sound to create her own unique musical manna.  We love the piano on the second track, “Stalker,” and the semi-serious conversation within the lyrics between a stalker and his victim.  The third track features an homage to her adopted home of Los Angeles, and also resulted in her first music video for this album.  Suffice it to say that every track of her latest project is worthy of attention, and should help her be able to “stay in L.A.”  Although the album was released in March, Cairo has only recently begun to promote the album due to a myriad of personal reasons.  Regardless of the delay, we are thankful to be able to add this album to our musical library.  Our favorite tracks include “In it for the Money,” “L.A..,” “Muse,” “Colors of the Forest,” “Britney Wannabe,” and “Sandstorm.”

Recommendation:  Get it now and support this amazing transplant.  We are so glad you decided to stay.

Artist Name:  Steve Azar & The Kings Men

Album Name:  Down at the Liquor Store

Label:  Ride Records

Genre:  Delta Soul

Track Listing:  1.  Rena Lara; 2.  Start to Wanderin’ my Way; 3.  Tender and Tough; 4.  Wake me From the Dead; 5.  Down at the Liquor Store; 6.  She Just Rolls With Me; 7.  I Don’t Mind (Most of the Time); 8.  Chance I’ll Take; 9.  Over it All; 10.  The Road Isn’t There Anymore; 11.  The Crossroads; 12.  Ode to Sonny Boy; 13.  Greenville

Publicist:  Play it Loud Music

Review:  Most of you will remember Steve Azar’s huge hit back in 2001, “I Don’t Have to be me til Monday,” but you’ve never heard him like this.  He has returned to his Mississippi roots and added The Kings Men, a group of musicians that have backed such legends as B.B. King, Bobby Bland, Little Milton, Albert King and others.  The result of this musical union is Azar’s first album in five years, and the first album ever recorded at Club Ebony, now part of the B.B. King Museum.  Azar combines elements of blues, country, Americana and R&B to create what he dubs “Delta Soul.”  It is an amazing combination which should return Azar to the lofty heights he once inhabited.  It is packed with hit songs from start to finish, and is the perfect Saturday night party album.  We especially love the horns and the vibe of “Wake me From the Dead,” as well as the genuine down-home goodness of “Rena Lara.”  Other notable tracks include “I Don’t Mind (Most of the Time),” “Chance I’ll Take,” “Over it All,” “The Road Isn’t There Anymore,” and “Greenville,” his homage to his hometown.

Recommendation:  This is the album to Get.  We guarantee there will be no regrets.

Artist Name:  Life Lessons

Album Name:  Best When in Motion

Label:    Triple Crown Records

Genre:  Indie Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Control; 2.  Attention to Detail; 3.  Collapse; 4.  Without Looking Back; 5.  Bury It

Publicist:  Earshot Media

Review:  And now for something completely different, we turn to Life Lessons, aka the boys of Oklahoma.  With elements of punk added to blistering guitar riffs and a pounding beat, they strive to be our go to band for rock nirvana.   Their music will get your head to banging while your toes are a tapping.  They definitely have a radio friendly sound, with thoughtful lyrics for the intellectually inclined.  The only drawback is that just when the beat and the rocky groove have taken root, this five-song EP is over.  Thankfully, we can put it on repeat and listen again.  We look forward to hearing more from these future rock superstars.

Recommendation:  If hard rock with a strong drumbeat is your cup of tea, then this is a must have for your collection.  Get it now before they become so well known that you won’t be able to find it.

Artist Name:  Jordana Talsky

Album Name:  Neither of Either

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Pop

Track Listing:  1.  Run; 2.  Around you all the Time; 3.  Ways; 4.  Sick; 5.  Bitter Sweet Heart; 6.  Spark; 7.  Wave of Emotion; 8.  Neither of Either; 9.  Don’t Know; 10.  You Oughta Know; 11.  You Oughta Know (clean version)

Publicist:  Last Tango Productions

Review:   Jordana Talsky is a voice to be reckoned with and a sound reminiscent of Enya meets Dido, with a healthy dose of Marina V.   Her music has a jazzy vibe that works well with the lilting quality of Talsky’s voice.  In addition, her scatting abilities remind me of Ella Fitzgerald.  Her background of opera and musical theater adds to the dynamic nature of her sound, making her music go down easy like fine wine.  She could easily become your “go-to” sound for your weekly (or daily) chill time.  It may be cliche’ but Talsky is definitely one of those voices who can sell albums by just singing the phone book.  Her voice will take you on a magical aural journey that will leave you with a peaceful, easy feeling.  Just put this one on repeat, relax and enjoy.  Our favorites include “Run,” “Around you all the Time,” “Bitter Sweet Heart,” “Spark,” and her brilliant cover and arrangement of Alanis Morissette’s masterpiece, “You Oughta Know.”

Recommendation:  Definitely Get this one – it will make chill time easier to attain.


Get it or forget it – Rusty Young, Calico the Band, Andrea Harsell & Luna Roja

It’s Friday again, and time for the release of new albums from two of our indie favorites as well as the solo debut of a rock legend.  Please grab a cup of joe and let’s review these sure to be classic albums.

Artist Name:  Rusty Young

Album Name:  Waitin’ for the Sun

Label:  Blue Élan Records

Genre:  Roots Rock/Americana

Track Listing:  1.  Waitin’ for the Sun; 2.  My Friend; 3.  Honey Bee; 4.  Sara’s Song; 5.  Heaven Tonight; 6.  Hey There; 7.  Seasons; 8.  Innocent Moon; 9.  Down Home; 10.  Gonna’ Let the Rain

Publicist:  None

Review:  Rusty Young was the former lead singer for Poco, and has signed with Blue Élan Records as a solo artist.  He and Poco have reunited for several shows, including a few at this week’s AmericanaFest in Nashville.  His debut solo album, Waitin’ for the Sun, is being released today,   Stylistically, Young’s solo album fits like a continuation of the Poco legacy, and reminds us why Poco is still as popular in 2017 as it was when it emerged from Buffalo Springfield in 1969.  It reminds this writer of the amazing country rock music that sprang forth in the early 70’s from bands like The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, Loggins and Messina and the Little River Band.  Although it features the simpler sounds of music without all the added layers, it comes from such a pure place that it makes the listener feel at peace in the world.  We love every song on the CD, but especially the title track, “Honey Bee, “Sara’s Song, “Heaven Tonight,” and “Hey There.”  We also love the instrumental track, “Seasons.”  Welcome back Rusty – we simply love your solo effort.

Recommendation:  If you’re in Nashville, definitely get over to the Blue Élan showcase on September 15 at the Filming Station to check out this amazing artist, and run to your nearest music outlet and Get this album.  You won’t regret that decision.

Artist Name:  Calico the Band

Album Name:  Under Blue Skies

Label:  California Country

Genre:  Americana/Country

Track Listing:  1.  Fine Line; 2.  Cold Cold Love; 3.  The 405; 4.  Roll Away the Stone; 5.  The Leaving Kind; 6.  California Dreamin’; 7.  Free Man (ft. Jason Charles Miller); 8.  Under Blue Skies; 9.  Fly me Away; 10.  Love Gets in the Way; 11.  Come to Me; 12.  Into the Unknown; 13.  Ladies of the Canyon

Publicist:  MSO PR

Review:  One thing that has always set Calico the Band apart from their peers is the incredible harmonies of founding members Manda Mosher and Kirsten Proffit.  That trend continues on the sophomore release, Under Blue Skies, which will only strength their position as one of the premier Americana bands in the world.  It doesn’t hurt that the duo has created their own label, California Country, which supports not only their music, but their vision as well, with the addition of such amazing acts as the Alice Wallace Band, who, like Calico, are multi-LA Music Critic Award winners.  Two of the songs have already been released as videos, “The 405” and “Cold Cold Love,” and the band is showcasing their talent in Nashville this week at AmericanaFest.  This is an album you listen to from start to finish, and never need to skip a track – every single one sets the Americana bar high, allowing Calico to lead by example.  Besides the first two singles, we really love “Roll Away the Stone,” their dynamic cover of “California Dreamin’,” “Free Man,” “Fly me Away,” and “Ladies of the Canyon.”

Recommendation:  If you are in Nashville, definitely check out one of their three showcases at AmericanaFest.  We also strongly encourage you to Get their album and put it on perpetual repeat.

Artist Name:  Andrea Harsell & Luna Roja

Album Name:  Something for the Pain

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Blues/Roots-Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Didn’t do It; 2.  Oh Boy; 3.  Singles; 4.  Singing Angel; 5.  Something for the Pain; 6.  Hush Little Baby; 7.  Teenage Girl; 8.  Hard Times; 9.  Hearts Were Made to Mend; 10.  Like we Used to Do; 11.  Medicine and Chains; 12.  Born in the Valley

Publicist:  None

Review:  When we first moved to Missoula, Andrea Harsell was one of the first local indie artists we met.  We have loved her solo material, but had not had a chance to see her perform with a full band until the recent Flathead Lake Blues and Music Festival.  Her band, Luna Roja, gives her the dynamic edge she needed to add to her amazing voice and incredible songwriting chops.  With the band, she adds a strong roots rock vibe to her bluesy songs, creating a sound that lifts the spirits and gets the toes first to tapping and then onto the dance floor.   Their debut album is a fabulous collection of songs that should serve to elevate Harsell & Luna Roja into the elite ranks of great musical bands.  We especially love “Oh Boy,” “Singing Angel (with its gentle reggae sound),” the title track, “Hush Little Baby,” and “Hard Times.”

Recommendation:  We can hardly wait to attend the CD release show on September 15 at Missoula’s Top Hat Lounge.  If you are anywhere in the Pacific Northwest, we encourage you to join us and to grab a copy of her CD.  It is the perfect culmination to any musical library.


Get it or forget it – My Girl My Whiskey & Me, Marina V, John Brownlow, MUTTS

Getting closer to that weekend, so we’re bringing you more great artists to get you ready.  We are pleased to present these four to you, which include multiple LA Music Critic Award winner Marina V.  We hope you enjoy the music and will continue to support indie acts.

Artist NameMy Girl My Whiskey & Me

Album NameIn the Ground

Label:  Other Southern

Genre:  Progressive Bluegrass/Americana

Track Listing:  1.  When I Die; 2.  Olive Branch Silhouette; 3.  Last Night I Dreamt I was a Ghost; 4.  Carolina Reel; 5.  Eye; 6.  Lucy; 7.  Cake & Wine; 8.  In the Ground; 9.  Petrichor; 10.  Last Night I Dreamt I was a Ghost (reprise)

Publicist:  None

Review:  Florida natives George William Beardsworth and Kelly Colyer form the nucleus of MGMWAM, a truly progressive Americana band that includes elements of Depression era bluegrass with the more progressive sounds of bands like The Punch Brothers, The Decemberists and The Civil Wars to create a wholesome family-friendly. sound that should appeal to most listeners.  They have embarked on a one-year tour of all 50 states, and we hope that they can accomplish their mission.  If this debut release is any indication, they will be selling out venues before the tour is done.   Their diversity is best shown in the songs “Last Night I Dreamt I was a Ghost” (with the amazing harmonies of Beardsworth and Colyer), “Carolina Reel” (showing off the amazing mandolin chops of Beardsworth, “Eye” (with its perfect marriage of mandolin and violin), current single “Lucy” and “Cake & Wine” (which feels like it would fit perfectly in the soundtrack of O Brother Where art Thou?  All in all, this is one of our favorite bluegrass albums to review, and a necessary addition to our library.

Recommendation:  We highly recommend this amazing CD.  Get. It. Now.

Artist NameMarina V

Album NameBorn to the Stars

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Soft Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Born to the Stars; 2.  I am Iron; 3.  Be my Light; 4.  Together Alone; 5.  Fire in the Sky; 6.  Beautiful Forever; 7.  Good; 8.  Bring it On; 9.  Autumn Song; 10.  Imagine

Publicist:  None

Review:  We have been fans of Marina V almost since she first set foot in California from her native Moscow, and have enjoyed watching her career and influence rise within the world-wide music community.  With the arrival of her new album Born to the Stars, she has brought us her best effort to date, and which has already spawned an LA Music Critic Award for the video to the title track.  Anyone who has seen her perform live knows that she always brings light into the room, and songs like “I am Iron” exemplify that fact.  It is an inspirational song that should find easy placement in television or film.  Other songs that stand out include “Together Alone” (with its amazing string background), “Fire in the Sky,” “Beautiful Forever” (with its simple guitar and vocals), and her cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine,” one of the best homages to this song we have ever heard.  Truth be told, there is not a weak song on the album, and we believe it will appeal to most, if not all, music aficionados.

Recommendation:  This is one of the best indie music albums we have reviewed this year.  We strongly urge you to Get it and support this artist.  If you live anywhere near where her tour takes her, you would be remiss not to attend.

Artist NameJohn Brownlow

Album Name The Summertime

Label:  Chromopop

Genre:  Britpop

Track Listing:  1.  Burn Hollywood Burn; 2.  Live Forever; 3.  Asteroids; 4.  Government Work; 5.  God Willing (and the Creek Don’t Rise); 6.  Already Gone; 7.  Baby got a Gun; 8.  Don’t Walk Away; 9.  Get yr Groove On; 10.  Gonna Have to let you Down; 11.  Let the Feeling Go; 12.  Man in the Mirror; 13.  On my Way; 14.  Bullet to the Head; 15.  Kingdom Come; 16.  Occupy my Heart; 17.  Rip it Up; 18.  You Slipped Through my Fingers; 19.  Shame the Devil; 20.  Sunshine on the Radio; 21.  Where my Mind Goes; 22.  Radiation; 23.  Let’s not and say we Did; 24.  The Pink Raincoat; 25.  Shalala Says I Love You; 26.  Where Does Love Go; 27.  Storm Coming; 28.  One Fine Day; 29.  Song for the Ferryman

Publicist:  Last Tango Productions

Review:  Veteran Hollywood screenwriter and former music journalist John Brownlow brings new life to the Britpop sound with his debut double album containing 29 original songs.  He wastes no time with the upbeat rocking “Burn Hollywood Burn” and proceeds to give us a dynamic musical journey with a colorful narrative that lasts through all 29 songs, almost two hours of non-stop entertainment.  This double album should be listened to several times in order to absorb all that Brownlow has to offer.  His songs have great lyrical content as well as incredible musical accompaniment that will keep his listeners engaged and coming back for more.  There is so much to this album, but we really like “Asteroids” (with its jazzy guitar), “Government Work” and “Baby Got a Gun (for their rockabilly/surf rock feel), “God Willing” (for its 60’s sound reminiscent of the Monkees), “Already Gone” (for its Smoky Robinson soulful feel), “Gonna Have to let you Down” (for its dynamic bass line); and “Let the Feeling Go (for its overall laid-back and groovy beauty.  All in all this album will keep you company for a long time, so make sure you make time to enjoy it,

Recommendation:  Brit pop is alive and well and we’re so glad we discovered this amazing artist.  This one should be one of your “desert island picks.”  Don’t delay – Get it today.

Artist NameMUTTS

Album NameStick Together

Label:  8eat8 records

Genre:  Indie Rock

Track Listing:  1.  I’ll be Around; 2.  Neighbor; 3.  Let’s Go; 4.  Tin Foil Hat; 5.  Don’t Touch It

Publicist:  Perpetual Media Relations

Review:  Critics are already hailing this Chicago-based band as the successor to Tom Waits, and we tend to agree with their assessment.  The music would make the Blues Brothers proud, with its almost gospel choir feel and its feel-good musical accompaniment.  If you are a Cubs fan, you’re probably already familiar with the band, as their song, “Let’s Go” was used extensively by the club during last season’s World Series run.  This band has the power and the spunk to make a huge name for themselves.  Check out “Tin Foil Hat” as proof.  Don’t be surprised to see them continue to break down the walls that separate indie from mainstream.  We expect these guys will go far in this business, and set a precedent that will enable other great indie bands to also bust out.  As the Cubs (through MUTTS) like to say, “Let’s Go.”

Recommendation:  Be the first in line to Get this one when it is released on September 12.  Pre-order it now.


Get it or forget it – Fire Chief Charlie, The Slants, The Jerry Douglas Band, The Khourys

Happy hump day!  We’ve got a couple of older releases from earlier this year that we just received, so we’re bring them to you now, along with new releases from The Jerry Douglas Band and The Khourys.  Hope you enjoy them all.

Artist NameFire Chief Charlie

Album NameChances Are

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Indie Folk/Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Celery Green; 2.  LaGuardia; 3.  Boris; 4.  Bull-Hammer; 5.  Let’s be Happy; 6.  Animals; 7.  Chip Chirp; 8.  Dictionary Red; 9.  We on the Radio; 10.  Elephant Box; 11.  Redford; 12.  Fast Trade 500

Publicist:  None

Review:  Fire Chief Charlie is an indie band which draws its inspiration from the music of Cat Stevens and Buddy Holly to create a musical sound that is truly unique, sort of the Stray Cats meet the B-52s.  The result is an intriguing sound that keeps the listener engaged, as the music radiates in all directions as it shifts between genres at the speed of light.  Their first single, “Let’s be Happy,” is already getting airplay on several of LA’s biggest stations, in advance of their upcoming performance at The Satellite on September 21.  We only wish we could be there for what promises to be a great show.  At least we have this superb album to give us a taste.  All of the songs are fun and make the album a perfect candidate for repeated listens.

Recommendation:  If you live in LA, then you definitely should head over to the Satellite on September 21 to check out Fire Chief Charlie.  In the meantime, Get their latest album.

Artist NameThe Slants

Album NameThe Band who Must not be Named

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Indie Rock

Track Listing: 1.  From the Heart; 2.  Fight Back; 3.  Endlessly Falling; 4.  Level Up; 5.  Sutures (acoustic)

Publicist:  In Music we Trust

Review:  The Slants, an Asian American band out of Portland, Oregon, have been trying to trademark their name for years.  This past June, they finally won their case when the Supreme Court sided with them.  Their new EP and tour are in celebration of that victory.  The first song “From the Heart,” sums it up perfectly – “We won’t become complacent.  We’re a rock and roll nation.  We sing from the heart.”  In fact, all five songs are amazing and make this a band we definitely want to check out live.  They will be playing a show at Spokane’s The Big Dipper on October 3, and we intend to be there.

Recommendation:  Believe the hype – this band is worthy of serious consideration.  We strongly advice you to Get their EP and check them out live when they come to your area.

Artist NameThe Jerry Douglas Band

Album NameWhat If

Label:  Rounder Records

Genre:  Bluegrass

Track Listing: 1.  Cavebop; 2.  Unfolding; 3.  2:19; 4.  What If; 5.  Hey Joe; 6.  Battle Stick; 7.  Go Ahead and Leave; 8.  Butcher Boy; 9.  Freemantle; 10.  The Last Wild Moor; 11.  Hot Country 84.5

Publicist:  MSO PR

Review: Jerry Douglas has made quite a name for himself as one of America’s premier bluegrass dobro players, and most recently toured as a featured soloist with Allison Krause and Union Station.  He has now formed his own band and is releasing an album and heading out on tour.   His sound mixes elements of swing, blues, soul and rock and jazz with bluegrass and country to form his own unique blend that will further cement his place in American music, where he has already won multiple Grammys, as well as being a winner in the International Bluegrass Music Awards.  His cover of Tom Waits’ “2:19” adds new elements to this classic gem.  Other memorable songs on this collection include “Cavebop,” the title track, “Hey Joe,” “Battle Stick” (which has a reggae feel), and “Freemantle.”

Recommendation:  This one is a no-brainer – rush out and Get your copy of “What If.”  You will want to play this one non-stop.

Artist NameThe Khourys

Album Name Good Stuff

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Indie Pop

Track Listing:  1.  I Do; 2.  Good Stuff; 3.  I’m Sorry; 4.  (We’re) Only Human; 5.  Face Me; 6.  Don’t Think Twice

Publicist:  None

Review:  The Khourys, composed of sisters Jahnna and Giulia from Massachusetts, combine elements of R&B, soul, jazz and and funk to form their own brand of pop music that defies the standard genre barriers.  From the first notes of “I Do,” it becomes quickly obvious that these ladies have come to rock, and the listener is the beneficiary of their soulful and rocking tunes.  The joyous sonic journey continues with the title track, and doesn’t stop until the final note of “Don’t Think Twice.”  We were especially impressed with the stand-out jazz sound of “I’m Sorry.”  Overall, these ladies bring some of the best music this reviewer has ever heard, and which deserve serious industry attention.  They are truly the real deal and we believe they will shortly become a  household name.

Recommendation:  Run, don’t walk and GRAB this EP before it is gone.  This is one bandwagon you’re gonna want to be on.


Get it or forget it – San Cisco, Chuck McDermott, The Raft, Loka

We hope you had a wonderful holiday yesterday and that you’re ready to get back into discovering great indie music.  We have four very different artists for you today, so grab your coffee and let’s dig in.

Artist NameSan Cisco

Album NameThe Water 

Label:  Embassy of Music/Island City Records

Genre:   Indie Pop

Track Listing:  1,  Kids are Cool; 2.  Sunrise; 3.  That Boy; 4.  The Distance; 5.  Hey, Did I do you Wrong?; 6.  Waiting for the Weekend; 7.  SloMo; 8.  The Water; 9.  Did you get What you Came For; 10.  Make me Electrify

Publicist:   Guerilla Music Promotion

Review:  If you’re ever feel down, then we  have the perfect remedy for you – just pop in San Cisco’s latest album The Water and you’ll feel better in no time.  With a sound reminiscent of fun. meets Echosmith, this band will wow you with their upbeat songs, wholesome lyrics and memorable melodies.   Their first single, “SloMo,” has an impressive beat, delicious harmonies and an infectious melody that make it the perfect cure to the blahs.  Other impressive songs include “Sunrise,” “Hey, Did I do you Wrong?” “Waiting for the Weekend” and the title track.  This band is a joy to listen to and we are sure they are just as entertaining in their live performance.  San Cisco proves once again that some of the best indie bands hail from Australia – we can only hope they get to America soon.

Recommendation:   If you need a pick-me-up, then we are proud to prescribe this record as the cure.  Rush out and Get it now.

Artist Name:   Chuck McDermott

Album Name:   Gin & Rosewater

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Country/Americana

Track Listing:  1.  Belvedere; 2.  A Thousand Cuts; 3.  The Girl From St. Lucy; 4.  Irresistible Targets; 5.  Gin and Rosewater; 6.  Red Betty; 7.  James Foley Diaries; 8.  Hold Back the Water; 9.  Everything; 10.  Downtown Bus; 11.  I Walk the Line; 12.  Tryin’ to Keep the Wheels on the Road; 13.  Don’t let me be Misunderstood; 14.  People are Weak (ft. Stephen Stills)

Publicist:   HyPR Media

Review:  Chuck McDermott doesn’t have a pretty voice, but he has a voice that reflects the heartland – the grit and grime of a hard-working blue collar employee that is the backbone of our country.  When he sings, you feel the commitment, the struggle and the joy of someone who has been through the fire and come out the other side.  We love how he turns the pain of a bad relationship into knowledge gained in his song “A Thousand Cuts,” how he shows his love of storytelling in “The Girl From St. Lucy” and the title track.  His covers of John Stewart’s “Irresistible Targets,” Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line,” and The Animals’ “Don’t let me be Misunderstood” bring a new perspective to these time-tested classics.  He even brings another icon, Stephen Stills, in on his closing song.  All in all this is a collection of great songs that belongs in every music library.

Recommendation:  Please welcome Chuck McDermott to the fold of American musical icons who continue to share our heritage through their music.  Please don’t wait to Get this one.

Artist NameThe Raft

Album NameA Lullaby

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Indie Pop/Dream Pop

Track Listing:  1.  I’m so High; 2.  O No She’s Alive; 3.  O A Lullaby/Nobody’s Daughter

Publicist:  None

Review:  Phil Wilson aka The Raft is no stranger to our Blog.  We reviewed his previous effort back in July.  We are proud that he continues to exemplify the best of the indie music world with three more amazing songs that add additional depth to this persona.  The music brings us back to a simpler time when we were not so stressed out, and is uplifting and soothing.  We could easily keep this EP on continuous repeat.  We are proud to add The Raft to our list of artists we can count on to deliver great music.

Recommendation:  Get your buns over to the Bandcamp website and buy this one – you’ll thank us later.

Artist Name Loka

Album NameNorthern Oscillations

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Unconventional

Track Listing:  1.  Herculean Rock; 2.  Silver Chain; 3.  Better Dimension; 4.  The Oldest Lights; 5.  The National Mistrust; 6.  6th Happiness; 7.  Jacob’s Ladder; 8.  Everything Exploded; 9.  Yes is not No; 10.  A Remembered Remedy

Publicist:  Neon Tetra

Review:  The music of Loka defies genre, with elements of rock, jazz, pop, psychadelica and more.  This is their third album, released six years after their last album.  It is obvious that the band has taken that time to grow their music, making it appealing to a myriad of fans.  Their first single, “Herculean Rock,” the first track of the album demonstrates that commitment, while the second and third tracks take you back to the LSD trips of the 60’s, with a sound reminiscent of The Beatles meets Jimi Hendrix.  The rest of the album vacillates though multiple musical styles.  If their intention was to keep the listener from getting bored, then they have succeeded brilliantly.

Recommendation:  We recommend you Get this album.  We can almost guarantee that you don’t have anything like it in your current music library.


Get it or forget it – Riley Smith, The Grascals, Istanbul Hippodrome, Gabe Dixon

Welcome to September.  We have a special edition of Get it or Forget it, featuring the debut EP from one of our favorite actors, Riley Smith, star of Nashville and Frequency.  In addition, we have the latest from The Grascals, as well as LA Music Critic Award winner Gabe Dixon.  Have a wonderful Friday, and let’s get cracking.

Artist Name:   Riley Smith

Album Name:   Riley Smith

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Country/Pop /Rock

Track Listing:  1.  I’m on Fire; 2.  I Can’t Keep on Missing You; 3.  Break Somethin’; 4.  Mad Love; 5.  Selfish; 6.  Change of a Season

Publicist:   Chloe Robinson

Review:  With a soulful voice over country tinged pop music, Riley Smith bursts forth on the indie music scene with “I’m on Fire,” the first single off his latest EP.  Smith has the kind of sound that is truly radio ready and is perfect for both country and pop/rock formats.  He has chosen a strong group of songs that showcase his voice and bring out the best possible sound.  Every song on this EP is amazing, and worthy of repeated listens.  We are pleased to welcome Smith to the club of artists with amazing voices, including the entire cast of Nashville, Lukas Haas, Minnie Driver and others.

Recommendation:  You simply must add this one to your musical library.  We think that Smith will become a very important member of the exclusive club of actors that can sing.  Get it now!

Artist Name:  The Grascals

Album Name:  Before Breakfast

Label:  Mountain Home Music

Genre:  Bluegrass

Track Listing:  1.  Sleepin’ with the Reaper; 2.  Demons; 3.  Delia; 4.  I’ve Been Redeemed; 5.  Lonesome; 6.  Beer Tree; 7.  Pathway of Teardrops; 8.  Lynchburg Chicken Run; 9.  He Took Your Place; 10.  Lost and Lonesome; 11.  There is You; 12.  Clear Corn Liquid

Publicist:  So Much Moore Media

Review:   The Grascals have earned their reputation for quality bluegrass music by choosing the right songs and arrangements.  Since they were introduced by Rounder back in 2005, they have thrilled bluegrass fans around the world.  On this collection, they have chosen to cover some of the classic songwriters of bluegrass and country music, like Bill Anderson, Jon Randall, Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs, Paul Overstreet and Tim Stafford, while also showing their skills at writing (“Lynchburg Chicken Run”).  Composed of John Bryan (guitar, clawhammer banjo and vocals), Terry Eldredge (guitar and vocals), Terry Smith (bass and vocals), Adam Haynes (fiddle), Danny Roberts (mandolin) and Kristin Scott Benson (banjo and guitar), this dynamic sextet take bluegrass to h\new heights, thrilling old fans and creating new ones.  The Grascals continue to set the bar high, and every song on Before Breakfast only strengthens their position as one of the premier bluegrass bands in the world.

Recommendation:   Lucky for you, this album is being released on September 1.  We strongly recommend that you Get it before it sells out.

Artist Name:  Istanbul Hippodrome

Album Name:  No Way Home

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Electronica/instrumental

Track Listing:  1,  Overlord; 2.  No Way Home; 3.  Servovar Vent; 4.  Diet of Worms

Publicist:  Neon Tetra

Review:   Istanbul Hippodrome is a British band with an entirely different sound.  Their music is not so much songs but soundscapes, with a cinematic sound you would expect from your favorite movie soundtrack.  Their music is eerie and ethereal, encompassing all your senses.  It is music that you feel even more than just hear, as the unique yet cohesive sounds envelop you from head to toe, transforming your environment and setting your mind free to wander through the vast possibilities set forth in the notes.  Their music is perfect for your solitude and meditation, when you want your thoughts to wander free.

Recommendation:  This unique blend of sounds and moods is a perfect addition to your musical library.  We recommend you pre-order it so that you will have it when it is released on September 8.

Artist Name:  Gabe Dixon

Album Name:  Live in Boston

Label:  BirnCORE

Genre:  Indie Pop

Track Listing:  1.  Holding her Freedom; 2.  Crave; 3.  If I Love You; 4.  Flow Like Wine; 5.  Five More Hours; 6.  Last Fool; 7.  Find my Way; 8.  All Will be Well; 9.  Till You’re Gone

Publicist:  Berklee College of Music

Review:  This live album was recorded on the independent label of Berklee College of Music in Boston from a performance by Gabe Dixon, who is no stranger to indie music lovers.  Dixon won Best Single for “Crave” and Best Male Pop/Rock Artist in the 2016 LA Music Critic Awards, and has been nominated for Best CD (Male) and Best Video (Live).  We also reviewed his last album, Turns to Gold, and interviewed him after his LAMCA win.  In this stellar live performance, Dixon shows his major piano chops as he brings to life nine of his best songs.  He has that mastery of the ivory that was previously exhibited by the legendary Bruce Hornsby, as well as an uncanny ability to capture emotions in his songwriting.  If you’ve never had the opportunity to attend one of his live shows, then this is the next best thing to experience Dixon’s brilliance.  It is obvious even from this live album why he was chosen to appear on the Carson Daly show last year.  Although every song is amazing, we simply love his live arrangements of “Holding her Freedom,” Crave,” “Flow Like Wine,” and “Find my Way.”

Recommendation:  If you love great music, then this one must be included in your musical library.  We strongly suggest you pre-order it so that you will be among the first to have it when it is released on September 8.  You can find it here.


Get it or forget it – Broken Bellows, Chelsea Williams, Kim DiVine, The Band of Heathens

With today’s four reviews, we have finally caught up on our submissions for albums released through August 31, 2017.  We have a special feature coming up tomorrow before getting back to some live performance reviews.  Enjoy today’s offerings.

Artist Name:  Broken Bellows

Album Name:  The Card Table 

Label:  Fervor Records

Genre:  Alt-pop

Track Listing:  1.  Magic in a Gaze; 2.  Misery; 3.  In the Deep; 4.  Waiting; 5.  Steady Steps

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  Broken Bellows bring us dreamy pop with incredible harmonies on their debut EP, The Card Table.  Their sound is truly smooth and their lyrics are thought-provoking and relatable, especially “Misery.”  This band has the goods to make a serious impact on today’s pop music scene, and deserve radio airplay.  “In the Deep” has a great upbeat feel that house DJs could play with to make a great dance track.  All in all, a very worthy first effort with five great songs.  Can’t wait to see what else they have in store for their fans, which we’re sure will be many.

Recommendation:  This is a great release for lovers of pop music.  Just released on August 25, we recommend listeners not waste any more time, but just Get it.

Artist Name:  Chelsea Williams

Album Name:  Boomerang

Label:  Blue Élan Records

Genre:  Pop/Rock/Alt-Country

Track Listing:  1.  Angeles Crest; 2.  Lonely Girl; 3.  Fool’s Gold; 4.  Anything Worth Saving; 5.  Rush; 6.  Six Bottles of Wine; 7.  Little Halo; 8.  Out of Sight, Out of Mind; 9.  Toyota Song; 10.  Don’t Want to die Alone; 11.  Dreamcatcher; 12.  Boomerang; 13.  Angeles Crest Postlude

Publicist:  None

Review:  Chelsea Williams has created quite the legacy in her career.  After seven years of playing the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, she was signed to Interscope Records.  Five years later, she is now with Blue Élan Records, and is releasing her first album on that label.  Although previously known for her simple guitar and vocals, she branches out on this album to include hints of country, blues and Americana in her sound, with an emphasis on smartly written lyrics and impressive musical accompaniment.  Her first single, “Lonely Girl,” is sheer perfection, with screaming guitar riffs and a simple drum beat.  “Anything Worth Saving” has that lilting pop feel of Lenka, while “Rush” reminds us of the incredible Katie Costello. We  really love the swing feel of “Six Bottles of Wine” and the bluesy “Out of Sight, Out of Mind.”  All in all, this is an album full of great songs from start to finish, and worthy of repeated listens.

Recommendation: As with most of the Blue Élan catalog, this one is a keeper.  We strongly encourage you to Get it now.  If you’re lucky enough to be in the Los Angeles area, you can grab one at her CD Release show August 29 at the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena.

Artist Name:  Kim DiVine

Album Name:  This Time Around

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Pop

Track Listing:  1.  Maybe Tomorrow; 2.  This Time Around; 3.  Broken Bird; 4. By Your Side; 5.  Stay; 6.  Fancy Things; 7.  Where I am you Are; 8.  Broken Bird Remix

Publicist:  None

Review:   Kim DiVine is a fiery ball of energy masquerading as a singer-songwriter.  Her songs reflect her beliefs, and are uplifting, thoughtful and introspective.  She keeps her music simple so that the message does not get lost in the melody.  That doesn’t mean her songs don’t have depth, because she is not afraid to use layers when necessary.  It just means that she prefers to let her lyrical content be the focus of her songs by using just the right amount of musical background.  Check out the title track of her latest album, which is further proof that DiVine is one of the best singer-songwriters in the indie community today.   Further evidence is in the form of “Broken Bird,” a soulful song about relationships and knowing when it is time to move on.  We also love the upbeat “By Your Side.”  The rest of the album is just as good, so we’re putting this one on repeat.

Recommendation:  If you like music that inspires you, then This Time Around is one of the best.  Run, don’t walk to your nearest outlet and Get this one now!  If you’re in Los Angeles, she’s having a CD Release show at The Hotel Cafe on August 30.

Artist Name:  The Band of Heathens

Album Name:  Duende

Label:  BOH Records

Genre:  Alt-Country/Roots Rock

Track Listing:  1.  All I’m Asking; 2.  Sugar Queen; 3.  Last Minute Man; 4.  Deep is Love; 5.  Keys to the Kingdom; 6.  Trouble Came Early; 7.  Daddy Longlegs; 8.  Cracking the Code; 9.  Road Dust Wheels; 10.  Green Grass of California; Bonus Track 1.  Out on Each Other; Bonus Track 2.  DC9; Bonus Track 3.  Carry Your Love; Bonus Track 4.  Bessie Smith

Publicist:  Missing Piece Group

Review:  We had heard of this group peripherally, but it wasn’t until we saw them at the River City Roots Festival that we knew we had to review their album.  We secured it on vinyl, which has the same 10 songs that are on the CD, plus four additional tracks.  The release of Duende marks the 10th anniversary of the band, and their fifth studio album.  The word “duende” is defined as a quality of inspiration and passion, and definitely sums up this band, both in their recorded music and their live performance.  They combine elements of Americana, bluegrass, country and rock to create an impressive sound, with well-crafted lyrics that keep the listener engaged.  Their sound is worthy of serious radio air play, as well as placement in television and film.  In other words, this band has it all, and we listeners are the beneficiary of that greatness.  Take our advice, put this one on repeat and dance, dance, dance!

Recommendation:  You must Get this one.  We recommend you go with the vinyl edition so you get 40% more of The Band of Heathens’ greatness.


Get it or forget it – The Sherlocks, Channel 3, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Jack Tempchin

It’s another beautiful weekend in Missoula, and we’ve been enjoying the River City Roots Festival.  Yesterday we had the pleasure of hearing amazing reggae from Taj Weekes and Adowa, rocking country from Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band, and traditional bluegrass from John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band.  Watch for our review of the festival, but first, here are four more great artists to check out.

Artist Name:  The Sherlocks

Album Name:  Live for the Moment

Label:  Infectious Records/BMG

Genre:  Indie Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Will you be There?; 2.  Live for the Moment; 3.  Escapade; 4.  Chasing Shadows; 5. Blue; 6.  Nobody Knows; 7.  Was it Really Worthy It?; 8.  Turn the Clock; 9.  Last Night; 10.  Heart of Gold; 11.  Motions; 12.  Candlelight

Publicist:  The End Records PR

Review:  British band The Sherlocks have released their debut album, and it is a rocking masterpiece.  With swirling guitar riffs, a steady beat and incredible vocals, these guys have come to rock.  From the first note of the first track, they bring their brand of indie rock to bear, and show that they mean business.  The music gets better with every track, resulting in an album that will definitely keep their listeners tuned in and engaged.  Their music would make a fine addition to the airplay lists of American radio, and gives a glimpse of the awesomeness that is sure to come on their upcoming UK tour.  Hopefully they will cross the pond soon, because America needs this level of music.  Best tracks include “Will you be There?,” the title track, “Chasing Shadows,” “Blue,” and “Nobody Knows,” although the entire album is worthy of repeated listens.

Recommendation:  Check out the latest amazing British band, and be the first to Get it in America.  You’ll be glad you did.

Artist Name:  Channel 3 (“CH3”)

Album Name:  Put ‘Em Up

Label:  TKO Records

Genre:  Punk

Track Listing:  1.  Model Citizen; 2.  Water & Time; 3.  Put ’em Up; 4.  She Never Wanted it This Way; 5.  Half the Day; 6.  Not That it Matters; 7.  The God That you Deserve; 8.  Blue Skies; 9.  All the Night; 10.  Take me to Your Leader

Publicist:  Earshot Media

Review:  The latest album from veteran Los Angeles punk band CH3 is a concept album focusing on post-election America, and is heralded as a career-defining album.  This band has something to say about the state of Trump America, and uses the angst of punk music to tell their story.  The band will be coming off their It’s Not Dead Festival appearance to release this album before heading out on a national tour this fall.  Their message is timely, and told in a manner that should help them spread that message.  The album is reminiscent of The Ramones and the Dropkick Murphys but presented in a manner that will entice most music lovers to check them out.  This album needs to be experienced from start to finish, and then reheard again and again.  Some of the strongest tracks include “Model Citizen,” the title track, “She Never Wanted it This Way,” “Half the Day,” and the rousing final track, “Take me to Your Leader.”

Recommendation:  This album has the goods, both lyrically and musically, and simply must be added to your musical library.  Get it now!

Artist Name:  Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver

Album Name:  Life is a Story

Label:  Crossroads/Mountain Home Records

Genre:  Bluegrass

Track Listing:  1.  Kids These Days; 2.  Little Girl; 3.  Life of a Hard Workin’ Man; 4.  Life to my Days; 5.  I see a Heartbreak Comin’; 6.  Guitar Case; 7.  What am I Looking For; 8.  Bluegrass Blues; 9.  Derailed; 10.  Love Lives Again; 11.  Cry Across Kansas; 12.  Drivin’ it Home

Publicist:  So Much Moore Media

Review:  With a sound reminiscent of Alabama meets Nickel Creek, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver take us on a musical journey through life.  The songs are well crafted, with lyrics that tell a story, and the perfect blend of banjo, fiddle, mandolin and vocals that immediately get the listener’s attention, appealing to both the musically and lyrically inclined audience.  From the upbeat opening track, “Kids These Days,” through the end of the album, every song delivers a part of the story of life.  Their cover of John Michael Montgomery’s “Little Girl” is phenomenal, capturing all the beauty of the original with that perfect blend of fiddle, mandolin and banjo.  In fact every song is worthy of your attention, putting this album firmly into consideration for best Bluegrass album of 2017.

Recommendation:  One of the best bluegrass albums we have reviewed this year, and will appeal to most music lovers.  We strongly recommend you Get this album – your collection is lacking without it.

Artist Name:  Jack Tempchin

Album Name:  Peaceful Easy Feeling (The Songs of Jack Tempchin)

Label:  Blue Élan Records

Genre:  Pop/Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Peaceful Easy Feeling; 2.  Part of me, Part of You; 3.  Slow Dancing (ft. Rita Coolidge); 4.  The one you Love; 5.  Soul Searchin’ (ft. Janiva Magness); 6.  Already Gone (ft. Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen); 7.  Privacy; 8.  Everybody’s Gonna Love Someone Tonight; 9.  Party Town; 10.  It’s Your World Now (ft. Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen); 11.  Somebody; 12.  I Found Somebody (ft. Janiva Magness); 13.  I did it for Your Love; 14.  You Belong to the City

Publicist:  GBL Media Management

Review:  Who doesn’t love the Eagles?  Jack Tempchin is the songwriter behind some of their greatest songs, and he shares his version of several of those hits on his latest release.  From the dreamy classics “Peaceful Easy Feeling” and “Already Gone” to the Glenn Frey hits “You Belong to the City,” “The One You Love, and “Soul Searchin’,” Tempchin shows why those songs have become so timeless and well-loved.  He also includes the rocking and previously unreleased song,” Privacy,” the last song he wrote with Glenn Frey before he passed.  This is an album chock-full of some of the greatest ballads every written, and even includes a beautiful duet with Rita Coolidge on Johnny Rivers’ hit “Slow Dancing.”  Other artists that share songs with Tempchin on this masterpiece include Grammy-nominated blues artist Janiva Magness, The Byrds’ Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen.  We also love the bluegrass sound that Pedersen adds to “Already Gone.”

Recommendation:  If you buy only one album this year, then this is the album to buy.  It is an instant classic and you need to Get it now!