Tag Archives: album reviews

Get it or forget it – Kevin Fisher, Johnny Tucker, Barren Womb, Viv and the Revival, Thrillchaser

Happy Hump Day!  It’s beautiful here in Montana, although a little cold, but that is not keeping the crowds away from the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival.  We are having a blast presenting these documentaries, and can hardly believe that the Festival is almost over.  At least we have some more indie artists to review, so here we go with five more.

Artist NameKevin Fisher

Album Name Beer Me

Label:  37 Records

Genre:  Country

Track Listing:  1.  Beer; 2.  Beer Me; 3.  Dog Beers; 4.  I Wish you  Were Beer; 5.  Better Beer; 6.  To Beer or not to Beer; 7.  I Like Beer; 8.  Beer in the Fridge; 9.  Beerly Beloved; 10.  Beer Thirty; 11.  Beer Blue Sky; 12.  Last Call

Publicist:  McJames Music

ReviewBeer Me was released last October.  Since then, Kevin Fisher has released a couple of singles.  His current single, “Beer Thirty,” is currently sitting at #1 on the Hot Disk UK charts for the third week in a row.  The album contains a 12-pack of songs about beer with titles that are tongue in cheek, and feature co-writes on seven of the tunes.   Fisher has that perfect voice for country music, and the songs are truly radio ready gems for die-hard country fans that love their beer.  Our favorite cuts are the title track, “Dog Beers,” “Better Beer,” “Beer in the Fridge,” “Beer Thirty,” and “Last Call.”

Recommendation:  If you love country music, or beer in general, you will get a kick out of this CD.  Get it before “Last Call.”

Artist NameJohnny Tucker

Album Name Seven Day Blues

Label:  Highjohn Records

Genre:  Blues

Track Listing:  1,  Talkin’ About you Baby; 2.  Tired of Doing Nothing; 3.  Why do you let me Down so Hard; 4.  Love and Appreciation (to Georgia); 5.  Seven Day Blues; 6.  Come on Home With Me; 7.  Tell you All; 8.  Something I Want to Tell You; 9.  Gonna Give you one More Chance; 10.  I Wanna do It; 11.  Do Right Man; 12.  One of These Days; 13.  I Can’t Wait; 14.  Listen Everybody; 15.  You can Leave my House

Publicist:  Blind Raccoon

Review:  Johnny Tucker broke into the business back in 1964, hooking up with Phillip Walker and singing James Brown.  He later became the drummer for Walker’s band and began touring the world for the next 34 years.  This is his second album since returning to music in 2006, and he has not lost a step.  This time around, he collaborates with such monumental blues players as Big Jon Atkinson, Bob Corritore and Kid Ramos in creating this perfect 15-song disc that celebrates the beauty of traditional blues.  His voice brings back memories of some of his peers, like Muddy Waters, BB King and Fats Domino.  This is an album to relish and savor.  Just put it on, sit back, and reminisce about the return of the glory days of the blues.

Recommendation:  If you are a music historian, or simply love the blues, you simply must Get this one.  It is a national treasure.

Artist NameBarren Womb

Album NameOld Money / New Lows

Label:  Spartan Records

Genre:  Metal

Track Listing:  1.  Crook Look; 2.  Mystery Meat; 3.  Theory of Anything; 4.  Slumlord Millionaire; 5.  Cave Dweller; 6.  Drive-Thru Liquor Store; 7.  Mad 187 Skills; 8.  Russian Hankerchief

Publicist:  Earshot Media

Review:  Norwegian rockers Barren Womb have returned with a new album, nearly three years after the last project, and are planning an extensive tour of Europe and Scandinavia to promote their music.  They call their music “Noise Rock,” and the description is apt.  It is a cross between metal and Beastie Boys, with the lyrics more spoken than sung, and a heavy metal/rock musical score.  This music is not for everyone, but true metal-heads will dig it, especially the current single, “Mystery Meat.”

Recommendation:  If you are a lover of metal and/or hard rock, then you should definitely check out Barren Womb.   If not, then you should probably forget it.

Artist NameViv and the Revival

Album NamePerfect High

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Pop/Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Perfect High; 2.  Stop my Heart; 3.  Lost in the Fire; 4.  Cannonball; 5.  Nikki

Publicist:  Self-promoted

Review:  Viv and the Revival have a perfect radio sound that is missing from current programming.  From the amazing title track through the final notes of “Nikki,” this band gives us incredible music, with an indie rock sound that is perfect for Top 40, as well as serious consideration by music supervisors looking for hot tunes to incorporate into television and film projects.  We really love the rocking “Stop my Heart,” with its killer guitar riffs, but all five songs are hot.  We can’t wait to hear what they come up with next.

Recommendation:  This one is a keeper.  Get it now.

Artist NameThrillchaser

Album NameA Lot Like Love

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Pop/Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Emptiness; 2.  Out of our Minds; 3.  A Lot Like Love; 4.  Like That; 5.  Wildflower; 6.  Hold on to the Night; 7.  fivetwentyfive; 8.  Invisible; 9.  Still got a Hold on Me; 10.  Juliet

Publicist:  Right Angle PR

Review:  Thrillchaser, formerly known as American Wolves, have returned to bring us incredible pop/rock tunes.  As American Wolves, they had a hit single with “Part of Me,” which went viral on YouTube and Spotify, and their new tunes as Thrillchaser will surely exceed that high bar they set.  Thrillchaser has released a lyric video for their first single, “Wildflower,” which has gained them 10.1K Facebook fans in only three weeks.  Clearly this band is on to something, and radio programmers and music supervisors need to stand up and take notice of their music.  This is pop music that appeals to all ages, and is just what our stale Top 40 stations need to perk up their listeners.  “Hold on to the Night” is already being featured on idobi radio.  Don’t be surprised to see this one on the list of Grammy nominees next year.  If the Academy overlooks this band, they are doing everyone a disservice.

Recommendation:  If you love music, then this band MUST be on  your radar.  Drop everything and Get it now.

 

Get it or forget it – Susan Williams and the Wright Groove, Sly and Robbie meet Dubmatix, Ann, Cvltvre, The Reverend Shawn Amos

Greeting from the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival!  We are actively engaged in the Festival, but taking time to bring you review of five new artists.  We hope you enjoy them.

Artist Name Susan Williams & The Wright Groove

Album NameIt’s About Time

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Blues

Track Listing:  1.  Tell me you Love Me; 2.  Love What U Do; 3.  Loving U From a Distance; 4.  Shame on You; 5.  I’m Sorry; 6.  Meet me in the Middle; 7.  Another Thing Coming; 8.  One Way Street; 9.  Please Come Back to Me; 10.  Keep Moving On; 11.  Too Little Too Late

Publicist:  ABIK Radio Promotions

Review:  Susan Williams is an iconic Chicago-based blues bassist who, along with her band The Wright Groove, is releasing their debut album.  They also competed in this year’s International Blues Challenge.  The album is chock full of amazing blues riffs, dynamic keys and kick-ass progressive and traditional blues featuring the soulful voice of Williams, who penned nine of the album’s eleven tracks.  They have definitely set the bar high for their next project, and we fully believe that they will continue to excel.  Our favorites include “Tell me you Love Me,” “Love What U Do,” “Love U From a Distance,” “I’m Sorry,” “Another Thing Coming,” “One Way Street,” “Please Come Back to Me,” and “Keep Moving On” – practically the entire album.

Recommendation:  Don’t even hesitate, just Get this one.

Artist NameSly & Robbie meet Dubmatix

Album NameOverdubbed

Label:  Echo Beach

Genre:  Dubstep, Triphop/Electronic, Reggae

Track Listing:  1.  Dictionary; 2.  Smoothie (ft. Prince Alla, Screechy Dan, Megative); 3.  Riding East; 4.  Great Escape; 5.  Great Wall

Publicist:  RDX Promo

Review:  Jamaican’s Sly Dunbar (drummer) and Robbie Shakespeare (bassist) have combined with Canadian Dubmatix to produce this interesting dance mix.  The tracks range from dubstep to reggae to breakbeat, triphot, Afro-Brazilian and electronic, but all of them are fun to listen and dance to.  We are still amazed at the level of talent in the international indie community, and are so happy to be part of spreading this music to America.  This album should be of interest to every dance DJ out there looking for great mixes.

Recommendation:  If you are a DJ, we strongly encourage you to check out this collaboration.  If you just love reggae music, then this is the one for you.

Artist NameAnn

Album Name Let Go

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  R&B/Soul

Track Listing:  1.  Try (ft. Will Gittens); 2.  Todd’s Song; 3.  So Familiar; 4.  Let Go

Publicist:  Camp Entertainment Worldwide

Review:  Ann was born in Nairobi, Kenya but now calls Worcester, Massachusetts her home.  She has competed on such shows as X-Factor and American Idol, and has interestingly enough decided to release her four track EP as a series of audio only tracks on YouTube.   She has also chosen to forego Facebook and instead base her social media through Instagram and Twitter.  Please be advised that these songs are rated Mature (language).  The first track is a duet with Will Gittens that is slow, sexy and steamy.    The second is a slam at a former boyfriend.

Recommendation:  This one deserves to be checked out simply because of its uniqueness.  We think the voice will grab you and keep you.

Artist NameCvltvre

Album NameAll Life Is // Act 1:  An Act of Letting Go

Label:  Standby Records

Genre:   Alt Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Blame; 2.  Birthday Song; 3.  Progression; 4.  Drown; 5.  Pour These Words

Publicist:  Self-promoted

Review:  Cvltvre is an Inland Empire (California) based rock band releasing their second EP, the first of a four-part series dealing with self-purpose and identity.  “Drown,” the fourth track is the first single off the EP,  They have also released a music video for the second track, “Birthday Song,” a rocking ballad.  In fact, the musical diversity of this EP is what sets it apart from its peers, and make Cvltvre a band worthy of industry attention.

Recommendation:  If you love rock, definitely check this one out.

Artist NameThe Reverend Shawn Amos

Album Name The Reverend Shawn Amos Breaks it Down

Label:  Put Together Records

Genre:  Blues/Gospel

Track Listing:  1,  Moved; 2.  2017; 3.  Hold Hands; 4.  The Jean Genie; 5.   Freedom Suite – Uncle Tom’s Prayer; 6.  Freedom Suite – Does my Life Matter; 7.  Freedom Suite – (We’ve got to) Come Together; 8.  Ain’t Gonna Name Names; 9.  (What’s so Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding

Publicist:  Blind Raccoon

Review:  This is an interesting effort, delivering a message of freedom and the search for civil rights in the form of the blues, including a three-song “Freedom Suite” that includes an acapella reading of Uncle Tom’s Prayer before expounding on the words of Booker T. Washington and Martin Luther King.  The album plays like a passion play, and needs to be listened to in its entirety without skipping around.  All we can say is “Preach it.”

Recommendation:  If you are at all concerned about civil rights, then this one is a must for you.  Hopefully it will empower change in this world.

 

 

Get it or forget it – Jeremy Romeo, Marty O’Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra, The Crowleys, Earwig, Kyler England

We made it to Friday and the weekend.  It’s gonna be a busy one for us with opening night of the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival tonight.  The opening night movie is Dark Money, the story of how Montana stopped the influx of corporate money in state and local political campaigns.  Governor Bullock will be among the dignitaries attending tonight’s screening, so it should be an interesting evening.  In the meantime, we have five more artists to review, including a couple of our favorites.  Let’s get started.

Artist NameJeremy Romeo

Album NameAll You’re Meant to Be

Label:  A&R Records

Genre:  Pop/Rock/Country

Track Listing:  1.  This is Home; 2.  Lights of Boston; 3.  Here With You; 4.  Said and Done; 5.  All You’re Meant to Be; 6.  See you Soon

Publicist:  The A&R Department

Review:  Aussie Jeremy Romeo is a rising star in his own country and ready to expand his musical reach to America.  He has a sound similar to Keith Urban meets the Plain White T’s, a mixture of pop, rock and country.  His songs are well crafted and his unique soaring voice is perfectly suited to this type of music.  All six songs are great and deserve attention for American radio station managers.  Don’t be surprised to see Romeo become the latest Aussie musician to make it in America.

Recommendation:  We highly recommend you check out this rising star before he becomes too big and  Get his EP.

Artist NameMarty O’Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra

Album NameStereoscope

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Roots

Track Listing:  1.  Firmament; 2.  Southern Road; 3.  Ghost; 4.  Fish in a Rut; 5.  Come and go Heartbeat; 6.  Hard Time Killing Floor Blues; 7.  Stereoscope; 8.  Off and on Again; 9.  Let the Wind In; 10.  Battlefields; 11.  Spacehorse

Publicist:  Big Picture Media

Review:  Just when you think you’ve heard everything possible within the roots/Americana genre, a group like Marty O’Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra reinvent the genre.  Mixing elements of blues, swing, country and traditional Americana into their own unique style is what makes this group a driving force in the Americana community, and this album a preview of what is yet to come to one of the most interesting and diverse genres in American music.  With raspy vocals, often discordant strings, a driving rhythm section, songs that tell a story and the accompanying soundtrack to vividly paint the picture, we are impressed with the quality and foresight of this album.  We love this album, but our favorites are “Southern Road,” “Ghost,” “Fish in a Rut,” “Off and on Again,” “Battlefields,” and “Spacehorse.”

Recommendation:  This album is great for those music lovers that like to be on the cutting edge.  We recommend you Get this one.

Artist NameThe Crowleys

Album NameColours Change Their Tones

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Pop

Track Listing:  1.  Pink Rainbows; 2.  Midnight Blue; 3.  Stargazer; 4.  Girl What; 5.  L.A. Sunset; 6.  Pansy Party Extravaganza

Publicist:  Self-promoted

Review:   The Crowleys bring us cosmic electronic pop, with airy sounds that soar above the music, creating an audio and visual picture that is all too vivid.  We only wish there were more than six songs to enjoy.  These songs would be excellent placement material for television and movies, and music supervisors would be wise to check out their entire catalog of musical treasures.  For music lovers, the uniqueness of their sound will make a welcome addition to your personal music library.

Recommendation:  Definitely Get this one.  It will grow on you.

Artist NameEarwig

Album NameGibson Under Mountain

Label:  Lizard Family Music

Genre:  Indie Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Trees; 2.  Star Cross’d; 3.  Not About You; 4.  Her Heart; 5.  Lovesong Cockroach; 6.  Sleepyhead; 7.  Next Christmas; 8.  Glorious & Gloom; 9.  Wicked; 10.  Shiny Morning; 11.  Rumplestiltskin

Publicist:  Self-promoted

Review:  This album was originally released back in 2011, but the band has decided to remix it and release it again this month, in anticipation of a brand new album to be released later this year.  It was originally mixed and produced by Mike Landolt, who has also done great work with Maroon 5 and the Spin Doctors, and contains several tracks that are radio-ready, reminiscent of the Gin Blossoms and the Spin Doctors.  Earwig has always been an underground favorite, and maybe the attention that is sure to come will help elevate them to a more recognizable and household band.  The band’s high intensity rock is evident from the beginning of the first track, “Trees,” and continues throughout this album.  Our favorites include “Star Cross’d,” “Not About You,” “Sleepyhead,” “Next Christmas,” “Wicked,” and “Shiny Morning.”

Recommendation:  This is the indie rock band of the future, available now.  Don’t miss this opportunity to Get one of their best offerings.

Artist NameKyler England

Album NameThe Wilderness

Label:  Gypsy Rock Records

Genre:  Pop

Track Listing:  1.  Best is yet to Come; 2.  Little Light; 3.  Holding up the Sky; 4.  Never Gonna get Over You; 5.  Give up the Ghost

Publicist:  Self-promoted

Review:  Kyler England has been a successful singer-songwriter in Los Angeles long  before she joined up with two of her friends, Gabriel Mann and Adrienne Gonzales to form The Rescues.  The release of this new EP about heartbreak and healing comes on the one year anniversary of finding out she was going to have a baby.  She transparently discusses her infertility and pregnancy loss on the way to having her son.   All five songs are incredible, as we have come to expect from England.  The songs would also easily translate into the three-part harmonies of The Rescues.  As England so aptly says in the first track, “The Best is Yet to Come.”  We can hardly wait for her next inspired tracks.

Recommendation:  Don’t think twice.  Get this one now!

 

Get it or Forget it – Ruby Boots, Laurie Morvan, Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys, Flood County, Pink Tea

We hope you survived Valentine’s Day and are ready for President’s Day weekend.  Here in Missoula, the annual Big Sky Documentary Film Festival kicks off tomorrow, so that will be taking a lot of our time for the next 10 days.  In the meantime, we have five more reviews for your today, so let’s get started.

Artist NameRuby Boots

Album NameDon’t Talk About It

Label:  Bloodshot Records

Genre:  Country/Rock/Blues

Track Listing:  1.  It’s so Cruel; 2.  Believe in Heaven; 3.  Don’t Talk About It; 4.  Easy way Out; 5.  Break my Heart Twice; 6.  I’ll Make it Through; 7.  Somebody Else; 8.  I am a Woman; 9.  Infatuation; 10.  Don’t Give a Damn

Publicist:  Bloodshot Records

Review:  Donny & Marie used to joke about her being a little bit country and him being a little bit rock and roll.  Even a casual listen to Ruby Boots, and you can say that she is definitely both, with a little blues thrown in for good measure.  Like Keith Urban, she is Australian born and Nashville based, and appears to be ready to make her mark with this debut album.  The Texas Gentlemen provide the musical backing, which perfect suits the vocal abilities of Boots, and allow her to expand outside of the traditional country sound.   We really love the slow country goodness of the title track and “Don’t Give a Damn,” as well as “Easy Way Out,” “Break my Heart Twice,” “I’ll Make it Through,” and “Infatuation.”

Recommendation:  If you like your country with a little bit of grit, rock and blues, then this is the perfect combination for you.  We highly recommend you Get this one into your musical library.

Artist NameLaurie Morvan

Album NameGravity

Label:  Screaming Lizard Records

Genre:  Blues

Track Listing:  1.  My Moderation; 2.  Twice the Trouble; 3.  Stay With Me; 4.  Money Talks; 5.  The Extra Mile; 6.  Gravity; 7.  Dance in the Rain; 8.  Gotta Dig Deep; 9.  The Man who Left Me; 10.  Shake Your Tailfeathers; 11.  I Want Answers; 12.  Too Dumb to Quit

Publicist:  Blind Raccoon

Review:  We first heard of Laurie Morvan quite a few years back when we caught her act at a little bar in Huntington Beach called Martini Blues.  She has obviously spent the time between then and now refining her craft and becoming one of the premier blues bands in Southern California.  Morvan brings the traditional blues to life with amazing vocals and well-crafted lyrics, set on a bed of rocking blues.  All the songs are her original compositions.  Listening to Morvan, it quickly becomes clear that the future of the blues is safe as long as artists like her continue to be a part of this great genre.  Her songs would also fit comfortably on many radio stations, including NPR, as this is just great music.  The keys, especially on the first two tracks, “My Moderation” and “Twice the Trouble,” are second to none, and set this music apart from many of her blues peers.  There isn’t a bad track on the album, so just sit back and enjoy it from start to finish.

Recommendation:  If you love the blues, then this album belongs at the top of your musical library.  Get it now.

Artist NameReverend Raven & the Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys

Album NameMy Life

Label:  Nevermore Records

Genre:  Blues

Track Listing:  1.  Handyman; 2.  Bee Hive Baby; 3.  Creature of Habit; 4.  Bad Little Girls; 5.  I Want to Love You; 6.  Once the Women Start Talking; 7.  My Life; 8.  Here Comes my Baby; 9.  Praying for a Princess; 10.  Big Bee; 11.  Looking for Love; 12.  Slow Burn; 13.  Someday When I’m Dead and Gone; 14.  I can do you Right; 15.  She’s Moving On; 16.  I’m Your Honeyboy

Publicist:  Blind Raccoon

Review:  Milwaukee-based Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys have been playing Chicago-style blues for the past 20 years, and their new album is a tribute to that career.  It contains remixes of some of their greatest hits.  With a mixture of blues, swing, rhumba, roadhouse, delta and jump blues, their sound is as unique as their line-up, featuring the smooth baritone voice of Reverend Raven as well as the musicianship of Cadillac Pete Rahn, Madison Slim, Benny Rickun, Big Al Groth, Mickey Larson, Danny Moore and Westside Andy.  You can’t go wrong with this amazing collection of original songs.  Like Morvan, simply put this album on and groove.

Recommendation:  This amazing collection belongs in your library, regardless of your musical tastes.  Get it before it’s gone.

Artist NameFlood County

Album NameWe’ll be Fine

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Country

Track Listing:  1.  Tumbling Down; 2.  Most of the Time; 3.  Easter Monday; 4.  Start Swinging; 5.  World Come Undone; 6.  That Old Famous Smile; 7.  Easier That Way; 8.  Kris & Rita; 9.  We’ll be Fine; 10.  The Road

Publicist:  Self-promoted

Review:  This dynamic duo create traditional country music with a Tejano edge, perfect harmonies and toe-tapping musical background.  The fiddle and pedal steel are smoking, and those vocals will have you drooling in no time.  Add to that the horns and guitar and you have the makings of some of the finest country music you have ever heard, perfect for two-stepping and waltzing around the dance floor.  Our favorite tracks include “Tumbling Down,” Most of the Time,” “Start Swinging,” “That Old Famous Smile,” “Kris & Rita,” and “The Road.”

Recommendation:  If you love your country traditional, then you simply must Get this one.

Artist NamePink Tea

Album Name Pink Tea

Label:  A&R Records

Genre:  Alt/Indie Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Smoko; 2.  Atlantis (Sick City); 3.  Old Vines Don’t Make the Best Wine; 4.  Tea Party Nadine; 5.  Social Graces & Melted Faces

Publicist:  The A&R Department

Review:  Indie rock comes in many forms, and this latest from Aussie Tom Murphy aka Pink Tea is some of the best we’ve heard.  These songs should do very well on American radio, and deserve the attention of every college and major rock station.  The album is all about growing up into a mature adult while realizing you little you still know.  The album shares his personal story while presenting the problems along with the positive solutions he has discovered.  We just wish there were more than five tracks, cause we could listen to his voice all day long, very reminiscent of Tom Petty.

Recommendation:  Don’t miss out on the opportunity to add this artist to your musical collection.  Get it today and spread the Aussie love.

 

Get it or forget it – Bonsai Universe, New Row, Adrian Underhill, Steven Casper and Cowboy Angst, Fernando Perdomo

Happy Valentine’s Day!  We are proud to share the love of great indie music, and have five more reviews for you today.  We have previously reviewed releases by Adrian Underhill, Steven Casper and Cowboy Angst and Fernando Perdomo, but the other two are new to us.  We hope you enjoy checking them out as much as we have.

Artist NameBonsai Universe

Album NameMoonstream

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Electric Folk

Track Listing:  1.  Moonstream; 2.  Am I Good Enough; 3.  Walking with my Eyes Closed; 4.  Summertime; 5.  Why are my Dreams?; 6.  Sweet Exaggeration; 7.  Should I Believe you; 8.  A lot of Nerve; 9.  Once Upon a Dream; 10.  Too Real; 11.  Everything; 12.  Astrotonic; 13.  Starstream

Publicist:  KG Music Press

Review:  Bonsai Universe is the brainchild and creation of multi-talented musician Woody Aplanalp.  Prior to the creation of his new project, Apanalp spent his time as a recording and touring guitarist with such notable acts as Grammy-winning artist Lauryn Hill, Boby Womak, Aloe Blacc, Trilok Gurtu and Thomas Mapfumo, as well as collaborations with Nels Cline, Banyan with Stephen Perkins and Old Californio.  He had help on this new album from Anthony Logerfo (Neil Young), Paul Lacques (I See Hawks in LA, Jason Chesney and Justin Smith from Old Californio and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, among others.  This is our first time reviewing electric folk, and we are impressed.  This album seems to take the folk music of the 60’s and infuse it with electric instrumentation, such that it becomes folk music for a new and more sophisticated age.  We think Aplanalp has hit upon a novel idea that should help him find a new niche in today’s indie music marketplace,

Recommendation:  We like the unique sound of Bonsai Universe and are proud to highly recommend this one.  We suggest you go out and get it.

Artist NameNew Row

Album NameWaging War

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Alternative Rock/Pop

Track Listing:  1.  Binary; 2.  Belong; 3.  The Day that Never Ends; 4.  Waging War; 5.  Male Order; 6.  Home; 7.  Sandslide; 8.  Our Song; 9.  Dreamtime; 10.  Falling Forward; 11.  Halflife; 12.  Let Go; 13.  X File 1; 14.  In a Perfect Circle; 15.  The Things you Say; 16.  Stars

Publicist:  Self-promoted

Review:  Toronto, Canada-based alternative rock-pop band New Row have brought us something different.  The message is hook laden with a pop mentality, but with a hard rock edge.  Each song brings a new dynamic to this unique vision, and we can’t stop listening.  These songs are so good, they deserve serious radio airplay.  We think they are heading for the top of the charts, and encourage station managers in the alt rock genre to reach out and add them ASAP.  Sure-fire hits include “The Day that Never Ends,” the title track, “Our Song,” “Dreamtime,” “In a Perfect Circle,” “The Things you Say” and “Stars.”

Recommendation:  Welcome these lads from up north to America.  We believe they are coming to take the country by storm and encourage you to be one of the first to Get their new album and help them in their mission.

Artist Name Adrian Underhill

Album Name C U Again

Label:  Indica Records

Genre:  Electronic Pop

Track Listing:  1.  Not Good Enough; 2.  C U Again; 3.  Holding Out; 4.  Cruel; 5.  I Want it All; 6.  Weather; 7.  As I Think of Something Different; 8.  How to Make a Life Count; 9.  I Could; 10.  Carry On

Publicist:  Auteur Research

Review:  Canadian native Adrian Underhill is no stranger to readers of this blog, as we shared two of his songs with you last year via our Monday Mashup column.  He has finally completed his debut album, and we are proud for the privilege of reviewing it.  His music is smooth, soulful and laden with pop hooks, just the thing for American radio.  From the first song, “Not Good Enough,” to the last one, “Carry On,” Underhill brings us a fresh new sound that is ripe and ready for American ears.  We also love his songs “C U Again,” “Cruel,” “I Want it All,” “As I Think of Something Different,” and “How to Make a Life Count.”

Recommendation:  This one belongs in your music library.  Get it.

Artist Name Steven Casper & Cowboy Angst

Album Name Sometimes Jesse James

Label:  Silent City Records

Genre:  Country/Americana

Track Listing:  1.  Down; 2.  The Best Day of Our Lives; 3.  My Wrecking Ball; 4.  They Call it Love; 5.  Born to Lose Blues; 6.  Mi Sueno, Mi Dolor

Publicist:  KG Music Press

Review:  Since the last time we reviewed Steven Casper and his band, they have gotten tighter with their musicianship and vocal harmonies.  On Sometimes Jesse James, they kick off the six-song EP with some rocking country that will get your toes tapping and compel you out to the dance floor.  We really love the Hammond B3 on the first track, especially because it is not your typical country band instrument.  The second track is a lovely and haunting ballad that features the amazing pedal steel of John McDuffie, who also contributes electric and classical guitar and lap steel.  The band shows their creative prowess on their cover of Ryan Adams’ “My Wrecking Ball,” which also features a couple of other instruments not normally associated with a country band – dulcimer and cittern.   On “They Call it Love” and “Born to Lose Blues,” the band tries their hand at the blues, with amazing results.  They close the EP with an instrumental number, a Casper tradition.  This one has a Spanish flair and feature McDuffie on a nylon string Spanish guitar.

Recommendation:  You simply must add this EP to  your collection.

Artist Name Fernando Perdomo

Album NameOut to Sea

Label:  Forward Motion Records

Genre:  Instrumental Prog Rock

Track Listing:  1.  The Architect (tribute to Peter Banks; 2.  Out to Sea; 3.  De Boerderij (tribute to Focus); 4.  Roses Spread all Over the World; 5.  The Future According to Royce (tribute to Roye Albrighton); 6.  The Dream; 7.  Sonja (tribute to Sonja Kristina and Curved Air); 8.  Dreaming in Stereo Suite

Publicist:  ACR Management

Review:  We were so impressed with Perdomo’s last album, The Golden Hour, that we couldn’t wait for his next project.  His excellent work earned him a nomination for an LA Music Critic Award, as well as our respect.  On Out to Sea, he takes an entirely different musical approach, turning in an impeccable instrumental album in the Prog Rock style.  Perdomo played all the instruments on the album, with the exception of the drum track on “The Dream.”  That alone merits Perdomo respect, as well as the fact that this album simply rocks from start to finish.  It is perfect for a musical background for your end of day chill or your Friday night party.  If you enjoy the beauty and simplicity of great music, then this album is definitely for you.

Recommendation:  Don’t wait or hesitate – Get this album while you can.  It is a must for every serious audiophile.

 

 

Get it or forget it – I Think Like Midnight, Angel Forrest, Ashley Cleveland, Adan Jodorowsky, Ebb & Flow

Happy Tuesday – hope you’re all having a great day.  We’re back with another edition of Get it or Forget it, and another five artists for you to check out.  Let’s get started.

Artist Name I Think Like Midnight

Album NameThis Land is Your Mind

Label:  Quadrapuss Records

Genre:  Instrumental Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Daychord; 2.  Next Door Everywhere; 3.  Lozenge; 4.  Acolyte; 5.  Fierce Majesty; 6.  Tuned Mass Dumper; 7.  Shelter in Place; 8.  Riverwards; 9.  Postdrome; 10.  Miner Pocket Draft Gear

Publicist:  Self-promoted

Review:  Finding a rock band that just plays instrumental music is very rare today, but could be very lucrative for the band.  Instrumental music is so much easier to place in television, film and commercial applications because it can be used anywhere without having to worry about lyrics getting in the way of the story or commercial message.  The quality of the music being created by I Think Like Midnight is first rate, making their music even that more desirable by music supervisors and advertising firms.  Besides the placement opportunities, their music is just plain great for background music for chilling, partying, and relaxation.  For that reason alone, we are very impressed with This Land is Your Mind and proud to add it to our musical library.

Recommendation:  This one is a must-have.  Get it now.

Artist NameAngel Forrest

Album NameElectric Love (Live)

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Blues

Track ListingDisc 1:  1.  All the Way; 2.  Spoil me Up; 3.  Piece of my Heart; 4.  Walkin’ Blues; 5.  House of the Rising Sun; 6.  How you Do; 7.  Move On; Disc 2:  1.  Goodbye; 2.  Roll on Down; 3.  Hold on Tight, Mr. I’m Alright; 4.  Crucify; 5.  Mother Tongue Blues; 6.  Turtle Blues; 7.  Me and Bobby McGee; 8.  Mama – Whole Lotta Love

Publicist:  ABIK Radio Promotions

Review:  We don’t know how you feel about live albums, but we love them, especially for artists we may be unable to check out in person.  This amazing live double album makes us feel like we’re sitting in a huge blues venue and catching the show of our lives.  Angel Forrest has a voice like Janis Joplin and is not afraid to wail.  Her band is dynamic, especially that blues guitar, and provides the perfect musical backdrop to that voice.   And we are not the only ones to think that, as this Canadian singer has won the “Female Vocalist of the Year” category of the Maple Blues Awards for the past five years.  Nowhere does it become more evident than on her cover of “Piece of my Heart.”  You can almost picture Ms. Joplin looking down and smiling that her mantle has been passed to another generation.  Forrest is also amazing on her other cover songs, especially
“House of the Rising Sun” and “Me and Bobby McGee,” as well as on her originals.  You cannot go wrong with this one.

Recommendation:  Don’t even think about it.  You simply MUST Get this one!

Artist NameAshley Cleveland

Album NameOne More Song

Label:  Koch/204 Records

Genre:  Blues/Americana/Gospel

Track Listing:  1.  Way out of no Way; 2.  Down by the Riverside; 3.  Crooked Heart; 4.  Lily Grown Wild; 5.  Take me to the Water; 6.  Cool Down by the Banks of Jordan; 7.  Halfway Down; 8.  To be Good; 9.  Ezekial 2; 10.  One More Song; 11.  Walk in Jerusalem; 12.  Born to Preach the Gospel

Publicist:  Modern Management/All the Buzz

Review:  Ashley Cleveland has been nominated for four Grammy awards and has taken home the prize three times.  Her gospel message is contained in multiple genres, and this time comes couched in a bluesy Americana style that highlights her voice, reminiscent of Bonnie Raitt.  This collection of original and public domain songs arranged by Cleveland is a worthy reflection of her career and makes this tenth career album very special.  She also adds a cover of Jim Lauderdale’s “Halfway Down,” and definitely knows how to pick the perfect musical accompaniment for her song, allowing her to  shine on each and every one.  We especially like “Way out of no Way,” “Lily Grown Wild,” “Cool Down by the Banks of Jordan,” “Halfway Down,” “Ezekial 2” (which she co-wrote with legendary guitarist Phil Keaggy, and “Walk in Jerusalem.”

Recommendation:  This one definitely deserves a place in your musical library.  Get it today!

Artist NameAdam Jodorowsky

Album NameEsencia Solar

Label:  Cosmica Records

Genre:  Alternative Latino

Track Listing:  1.  Mi Fe; 2.  Vivir con Valor (ft. Natalia LaFourcade); 3.  Color Cafe; 4.  Amor de da y Noche; 5.  Hasta la Aurora; 6.  Alion; 7.  Vagabondos de Otro Mundo (ft. Leon Larregui (Zoé)); 8.  Solo Falta lo Mejor; 9.  Todo lo mas Bello; 10.  Que Bello es Envejecor; 11.  El Cantor;; 12.  Noche del Alma; 13.  Abre tus Corozones; 14.  Yemanju

Publicist:  Locamotive

Review:  Chilean Adan Jodorowsky (Adanowsky) has released a new album and is currently touring the United States with his brand of alternative Latino music.  He has previously received critical acclaim from American radio, including NPR, and this new album should add to his appeal.  In addition, he has joined up with Natalia LaFourcade and Leon Larregui (Zoé) to further add to his legacy.  Although the music is sung in another language, the music is universal and can be felt in any language.  The feel of the music reminds us of the Gipsy Kings, another band that has a huge American following even though they do not sing in English.  In fact, this album is different enough to warrant a place in your musical library.  The smooth acoustical soundtrack and the amazing Latin percussion, along with Jodorowsky’s extraordinarily smooth voice should make this one an instant classic.  We especially love the Latin jazz feel of “Amor de da y Noche.”

Recommendation:  Give this one a chance.  We highly recommend you Get it and give it a special place in your musical library.

Artist NameEbb & Flow

Album NameEdge of the World

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Soul/Electro-Pop

Track Listing:  1.  Polaroids; 2.  +1; 3.  Dancing (on the Grave of my Dreams); 4.  Touchstone; 5.  Behind Enemy Lines; 6.  Silver Tongue; 7.  Fury; 8.  One Track Mind; 9.  Edge of the World

Publicist:  Self-promoted

Review:  Ebb & Flow is an LA-based band, although its three members arrived from different corners of Europe.  Our first impression of the band was Pentatonix with musical accompaniment.  The harmonies are heavenly, and the musical backing brings out both distinct voices like a blue velvet backing highlights the Hope Diamond.  It is no surprise that this band was included in the recent Music Connection Magazine‘s annual list of the “Hot 100 Live Unsigned Artists and Bands.”  DJs need to check out these tunes because they would make great dance tracks.  We love every song.  Ebb & Flow is easily becoming one of our brightest discoveries this year.  Don’t be surprised to see them do well in the next round of the LA Music Critic Awards.

Recommendation:  Drop whatever you’re doing and Get this one NOW!

 

 

Get it or forget it – diVA, Amyjo Doh and the Spangles, The Cravens, Camp Hope, The Cabin Fever

Well, we’re getting closer to the weekend, and we’re almost caught up with reviews.  We’ve already done 57 reviews this year and should be caught up by next Friday.  That will give us 87 reviews in 2018.  Wow – so much great music.  Here are today’s five artists for your consideration.

Artist NamediVA

Album Name Sol

Label:  Division Records

Genre:  Trip-hop

Track Listing:  1.  Mercure; 2.  Venue; 3.  Terre, 4.  Lune; 5.  Mars

Publicist:  Viral Propaganda PR

Review:  Swiss trip-hop trio diVA, composed of guitarist Pierre-Emmanuel Collin, vocalist Lisa-Marie Boux and Marc Sturniolo, have released Sol, the first half of a two part project dedicated to the planets.  What is most unique about this album is that absent the eerie and discordant trip-hop soundtrack, there lies underneath a beautiful song featuring the voice of Boux, with lyrics specifically written about the planet in the title of the song.  The lyrics are full of beautiful metaphors, sometimes dark but always rich, that make the songs interesting.  This is not music for casual listening or to provide background.  This music requires active listening to grasp what the creators have envisioned in their project.  Make sure you listen to this one when you can dedicate your ears and mind to the content.

Recommendation:  Strange but inviting, give this one a chance.

Artist NameAmyjo Doh and the Spangles

Album NameCalle de the Spangles

Label:  Sweepland Records

Genre:  Indie Rock

Track Listing:   1.  Paranoid Sun; 2.  You Wouldn’t; 3.  Two Night Stand; 4.  Gin de Semana; 5.  Pirates; 6.  I Love You; 7.  Shake It!; 8.  Who, What, When, Where, Why; 9.  Sorry; 10.  Rainbow Chord; 11.  Coracao

Publicist:  Sweepland Records

Review:  This Madrid-based band could give lessons to some American bands on how to be a genre-bending band that impresses in every one.  The album starts off like a good old fashioned rock album, morphs into Americana/Rockabilly on the third track, and then back to rock and roll on the fourth track.  On “Pirates,” they again change gears to Celtic punk with a song that could as easily have come from the likes of Flogging Molly.  “I Love You” is a sweet folky love song.  “Shake It” is a rocking tune in the style of the B-52’s, while “Who, What, When, Where, Why” is like a throwback to the 60’s beach tune melodies like Dick Dale and would have fit perfectly in the soundtrack of Pulp Fiction.   They continue in that vein on “Sorry.”  They slow things down to an indie rock rhythm on “Rainbow Chord” before closing out with the rocky punk Spanglish sound of “Coracao.”

Recommendation:  Definitely Get this one.  It’s an amazing debut.

Artist NameThe Cravens

Album NameOn the Line

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Indie Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Highway; 2.  Road to Reason; 3.  Stay Standing; 4.  Endless Heart; 5.  Hard Times; 6.  Blood Flows; 7.  Message; 8.  What Would you Say?

Publicist:  Self-promoted

Review:  The Cravens are our new favorite Indie Rock band.  They have a radio ready sound that deserves airplay, as well as serious consideration by Music Supervisors everywhere for placement in television and film.  “Highway” gets the party started with awesome guitar riffs and a smart sound with intelligent lyrics.  That incredible groove continues with “Road to Reason,” before shifting to a slower ballad style on “Endless Heart.”  “Hard Times” has a distinct southern rock edge and is definitely one of our favorite tracks.  “Blood Flows” is an old fashioned blues rocker, while “Message” is an acoustic gem that brings back memories of the Allman Brothers Band.  They close out the album with another ballad that leaves the listener with a powerful question – “What Would You Say?”

Recommendation:  This one definitely deserves a place in your musical library.  Get it and you’ll see.

Artist NameCamp Hope

Album NameMichael

Label:  InVogue Records

Genre:   Hip-hop

Track Listing:  1.  Exist (Freestyle); 2.  Ready to Fall; 3.  Home to Myself; 4.  Your Love is Musical; 5.  Forever Stay; 6.  Lover’s Death; 7.  Ordinary Home; 8.  Feed my Soul; 9.  Take you There; 10.  Outrage Freestyle; 11.  Te Casarias Conmigo; 12.  Don’t Crash Yet

Publicist:  Earshot Media

Review:  The album starts off with a freestyle rap about existing in the world today, very reminiscent of Toby Mac.  In fact, DC Talk is listed as one of the songwriter’s influences, and the influence is strong in this album.  These are songs with a purpose, and this band has something to say, so listen up, yo.  Cam Smith of Hotel Books, Jonathan Sherer and Nick Ingram combine to create not just a wonderful musical album, but also a social statement that needs to be heard.  These songs belong on the radio, not just because they are great music but because the world needs to hear these words.  Every song is powerful – put this one on repeat because you’re going to want to hear this positive message over and over.

Recommendation:  Don’t waste another moment – Get this one today!

Artist NameThe Cabin Fever

Album Name Exercise the Demon

Label:  self-released

Genre:  Alternative

Track Listing:  1.  B-L-S-H; 2.  Simon Says; 3.  Trucrime; 4.  His People; 5.  Exercise the Demon; 6.  Tony’s Song (bonus track)

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  This one was a surprise.  Considering this band dresses in animal heads for their live performances, we were unprepared for the incredible indie rock sound of their music.  They have been compared to groups like Jesus and Mary Chain and Sonic Youth, and we think those comparisons are spot on.  These songs would sound great on alternative radio, and would make good placement choices for television and film.  We especially love the strings on “B-L-S-H.” which by the way is the shortcut for “Buy Low, Sell High.”  Every song delivers, and we think this band has a strong and successful future ahead.

Recommendation:  Don’t judge a book by its cover.  Get this one now.

 

 

Get it or forget it – URUK, Laura Benitez and the Heartache, Mark Erelli, Matthew Stubbs and the Antiguas, Eric Benoit

Happy hump day.  Hope you’re ready for more great new music because here we come with five more artists for you.

Artist NameURUK

Album NameI Leave a Silver Trail Through Blackness

Label:  Consouling Sounds

Genre:  Instrumental/experimental electronica

Track Listing:   1.  I Leave a Silver Trail Through Blackness

Publicist:  Viral Propangada PR

Review:  URUK is a collaboration between Massimo Pupillo from Zu and Triple Sun and Thighpaulsandra from Coil.  What makes this album unique is that it contains just one song which is 38 minutes long.  The band takes you on an audio journey through electronica, ambient and discordant sounds and percussion.  While not the type of music you will hear on the radio, it’s instrumental nature could be useful for placement in television, film and commercials.  It’s an interesting concept, to be sure.  The jury, though, is still out on this one.

Recommendation:  If you like the unusual and unique, then this one is right up your alley.  Otherwise, you may just want to forget it.

Artist NameLaura Benitez and the Heartache

Album NameWith all its Thorns

Label:  Copperhead Records

Genre:  Country/Americana

Track Listing:  1.  Something Better Than a Broken Heart; 2.  Easier Things to Do; 3.  Our Remember Whens; 4.  In Red; 5.  Whiskey Makes me Love You; 6.  Almost the Right One/Casi mi Cielo; 7.  Ghostship; 8.  The Fool I am Right Now; 9.  Secrets; 10.  Why Does it Matter; 11.  Nora Went Down the Mountain

Publicist:  KG Music Press

Review:  Laura Benitez has such a pure country voice, similar to Mary Chapin Carpenter.  Her band, the Heartache, has an eerie similiarity to The Mavericks, with that cajun sound of accordion, steel and fiddle.  Composed of Bob Spector on acoustic and electric guitar, Mike Anderson on electric and upright bass and Steve Pearson on drums, the Heartache provide the perfect soundtrack for the sweet voice of Benitez and the intelligent lyrics she has crafted, including her co-write with Doug Tieman on the first track.  Joining the mix for this album are Billy Wilson on accordion, Steve Kallai on fiddle and Jim Goodkind on harmony vocals.  Benitez also contributes harmony vocals and acoustic rhythm guitar.  The result of the combination of these amazing artists is an album of pure enjoyment for those of you who think no one does country or roots music right any more.  We truly expect Laura Benitez to soon be the queen of country radio.  Best tracks include the cajun influenced sounds of “Something Better Than a Broken Heart” and “Secrets” the tantalizingly sweet “In Red,” the rockabilly masterpieces “Whiskey Makes me Love You” and “The Fool I am Right Now,” the soulful “Almost the Right One/Casi mi Cielo,” the haunting “Ghostship” with its amazing fiddle, the old-fashioned waltz “Why Does it Matter,” and the bluegrass sound of “Nora Went Down the Mountain.”

Recommendation:  Don’t waste any time – Get this one now!

Artist NameMark Erelli

Album NameMixtape

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Mixed acoustic covers

Track Listing:  1.  Brokedown Palace (Grateful Dead); 2.  The Boys of  Summer (Don Henley); 3.  I Feel so Good (Richard Thompson); 4.  Ophelia (The Lumineers); 5.  Against all Odds (Take a Look at me Now)(Phil Collins); 6.  Deep Red Bells (Neko Case); 7.  Don’t Give up on Me (Solomon Burke); 8.  Tony (Patty Griffin); 9.  My Body is a Cage (Arcade Fire); 10.  Crying (Roy Orbison)

Publicist:  The Syndicate

Review:  Mark Erelli has created this amazing mixtape of great and influential cover songs, drawing from his 13 years of “Under the Covers” shows at Boston’s Club Passim.  These events, held every December,  feature Erelli and his friends performing their favorite cover songs.  He has compiled quite the collection, and adds his own personal touches to his respectful homages to these great cover songs.  You can really feel the emotion of the songs and we could not be prouder of an album of covers.  From the opening notes of The Grateful Dead’s “Brokedown Palace” to the final lingering sound of Roy Orbison’s “Crying,” Erelli delivers a stunning tribute.

Recommendation:  If you love music, and appreciate tributes to great songs, then this is the album for you.  Get it soon.

Artist NameMatthew Stubbs and the Antiguas

Album NameMatthew Stubbs and the Antiguas

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Instrumental Psych Rock/Acid Blues

Track Listing:  1.  Fistful; 2.  Bastille Day; 3.  El Segundo; 4.  Dub Stubbs; 5.  John Doe; 6.  Unwinder; 7.  Del Diablo; 8.  Dancing with the Bull; 9.  Death Grip; 10.  Tarantino

Publicist:  The Syndicate

Review:  This is the type of music Jimi Hendrix would have made had it lived a bit longer.  It is raw, fierce and groovy, just the kind of musical backdrop you need for your after hours festivities.  Charlie Musselwhite’s guitarist Matthew Stubbs and his band have created a dynamic instrumental package of great jams.  They would also be perfect for placement in a myriad of television, film or commercial applications.  Put this one on repeat – you’re gonna love it.

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

Artist NameEric Benoit

Album NameHeartrender

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Alternative Electronica/Folk Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Passion; 2.  Taos; 3.  Wait; 4.  Dragonflies; 5.  Aristotle; 6.  Dream (ft. Cat Fugue); 7.  Heartrender

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  This seems to be the day for strong musicianship, as we have had a lot of great music.  Eric Benoit is likewise a strong musician who is not afraid to experiment to find the perfect vehicle for his song.  The first track, “Passion,” is pure electronica, while “Taos,” the second track brings in his singer-songwriter background to create an impressive folk song that is also his first single.  Make sure you listen to the whole song, because something magical happens about four minutes into the song.  All in all, we love the way these songs build and soar, making each one special.  We loved every song, but especially “Taos,” “Aristotle,” “Dream” and the haunting title track.

Recommendation:  This one is unique enough that we’re sure you don’t have anything like it in your collection.  Get this one then.

 

 

Get it or Forget it – Robbert Fossen Band, Caught with Candy, The Bush League, Peter Kaukonen, Sara Morgan

We were in Spokane last night for the Beth Hart concert at the Bing Crosby Theatre.  LA Music Critic Award winner Marina V opened the show.  Watch for our review shortly.  We’re back in Missoula today and ready for another edition of Get it or Forget it.  Here are five more artists for you to check out.

Artist NameRobbert Fossen Band

Album Name Get Off on It

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Blues

Track Listing:  1.  Don’t Ever let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down; 2.  All Those Evil Words; 3.  Katrina; 4.  Woman Across the River; 5.  Did Somebody Make a Fool Outta You; 6.  All that Bluesmen; 7.  I Feel so Bad; 8.  Make it Rain; 9.  Still Called the Blues; 10.  I Believe to my Soul; 11.  Can’t no Grave Hold my Body Down; 12.  Get off on It; 13.  Midlife; 14.  Thirty Years

Publicist:  Self-promoted

Review:  This album screams traditional blues.  Its authenticity and quality place it among the best that blues has ever offered, and makes the Robbert Fossen Band peers with the likes of Skip James, Muddy Waters, BB King and Ledbelly.  The guitar playing on “Katrina” would have made BB King proud.  We love this traditional blues sound.  We also love the horns and keys on “Woman Across the River.”  All in all, this one is a keeper and a true necessity for all blues lovers.

Recommendation:  We highly recommend that you Get this one.

Artist Name Caught With Candy

Album NameA Breath Away

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Pop

Track Listing:  1.  A Breath Away; 2.  Up to my Sky; 3.  Still Here; 4.  Only With You; 5.  One Last Dance; 6.  You Ain’t got me Fooled; 7.  Run for the Sun; 8.  Looking Glass; 9.  Back to You; 10.  This is Where it Starts; 11.  Hold Me; 12.  Ruby; 13.  Hide & Seek; 14.  You Ain’t Comin’ Round no More; 15.  Forget Her; 16.  Swallow my Pride

Publicist:  Self-promoted

Review:  This entire album was recorded by individuals on different continents via Skype Jams, and pieced together by the producer to create the album.  Matt Brabender is an Australian musician who played all the instruments and put the album together, while the vocals came from Sela Hafoka-Houser from Switzerland.  The result is an amazing album that seamlessly flows together.  The chemistry between these two is very noticeable, as if they were standing in the studio together.  Every song has serious potential for radio airplay and placement in film, television and commercials.  Our favorites are “A Breath Away,” “Only With You,” “One Last Dance,” “Run for the Sun,” “Back to You,” “Ruby,” “Hide & Seek,” “You Ain’t Comin’ Round no More,” and “Swallow my Pride.”

Recommendation:  This band is more than a novelty act.  They have shown what can be done when indie artists work together.  We highly recommend you add this one to your collection.

Artist NameThe Bush League

Album NameJames Rivah

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Blues

Track Listing:  1.  River’s Edge; 2.  Kokomo me Baby; 3.  Say Yes; 4.  Show you Off; 5.  Catfish Blues; 6.  Kick up yo Heels; 7.  Long Gone; 8.  Hearse; 9.  Tuxedo Blues; 10.  Moonshine; 11.  Cold Shower; 12.  What’s Wrong With you

Publicist:  Blind Raccoon

Review: While the Robbert Fossen Band was the epitome of the perfect traditional blues band, The Bush League takes it in a more progressive manner, in the style of Stevie Ray Vaughan and other modern blues bands.  Recorded in Memphis, these college friends from Virginia are out to make a name for themselves in the music business, and this album will definitely get them started in the right direction.  Their sound combines elements of funk, soul, gospel and rock to form their own variety of progressive blues.  They just know how to make it sound so good, especially that blues guitar, and the keys, especially on “Show You Off.”  Their loving treatment of Fred McDowell’s standard “Kokomo me Baby” and Muddy Waters’ classic “Catfish Blues,” as well as their 10 originals created quite a special blues album for all ages to enjoy.

Recommendation:  This one is a definite keeper.  Get it ASAP.

Artist NamePeter Kaukonen

Album Name Crazy Quilt

Label:  Floating Records

Genre:  Folk Rock

Track Listing:  1.  (Drifting) Cozumel; 2.  The Ballad of Sarah Palin; 3.  The Ballad of Sadam Hussein; 4.  Maria Full of Grace; 5.  Ghost Music; 6.  Lullabye; 7.  Sleep Deprived; 8.  What Goes Around (Comes Around); 9.  Paqui; 10.  Twilight Revisited; 11.  Bobby Gets Old; 12.  The Nature of the Beast; 13.  That’s a Good Question

Publicist:  Doug Deutsch Publicity Services

Review:  Peter Kaukonen has made quite a name for himself as guitarist for Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna, Jefferson Starship, Johnny Winter and Link Wray, as well as in his own band, Black Kangaroo.  He learned to play in the Bay Area folk music scene in northern California that gave birth to so many bands, including Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service and the Grateful Dead.  He kicks off with the amazing instrumental, “(Drifting) Cozumel” that makes you want to grab a Corona and sit on the beach.  His tongue-in-check protest songs about Sarah Palin (tune of “Davey Crockett”) `and Sadam Hussein are oldies but goodies, not safe for work but very humorous attacks on these two individuals.  Kaukonen is not afraid to add cursing to his flavorful language, so if that offends you, you may not like this album.  For the rest of us, the overall creativeness far outweighs the occasional bad language.

Recommendation:  If you like creative protest songs, incredible musicianship, and a performer who is not afraid to tell it like he believes it is, then Get this album.

Artist NameSara Morgan

Album NameAverage Jane

Label:  River Delta Records

Genre:  Country/Americana

Track Listing:  1.  The Boots; 2.  Boy Don’t Get the Girl; 3.  More Than one Horse; 4.  That Kind of Man; 5.  Instead of Drinkin’; 6.  Never Been to Nashville; 7.  Thrown; 8.  Sick of Sayin’ Goodbye; 9.  Have to Have it All; 10.  Proud; 11.  Average Jane

Publicist:  Self-promoted

Review:  Sara Morgan is a no-nonsense, country-music singing, southern belle who brings a freshness to country music that hasn’t been there since the debut of Reba, Shania Twain and Carrie Underwood.  Her songs will have you laughing out loud as you tap your cowboy boots and boot scoot around the dance floor.  We love the twang in her voice and the sass in her words.  We see a very long career ahead for Ms. Morgan and can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.  Our favorites include her first single, “The Boots,” “More Than One Horse,” “Instead of Drinkin’,” “Never Been to Nashville,” “Have to Have it All,” “Proud” and the title track.

Recommendation:  If you like sass and attitude in your country music, then we highly recommend you check out Sara Morgan and Get this one now.

 

 

Get it or forget it – Tommy Emmanuel, Maria Schafer, Carolyn Gaines, Lex Grey and the Urban Pioneers, Frank Hannon

Since the winners of the LA Music Critic Awards for the second half of 2017 will be announced tomorrow at 6 p.m. MST, today will be our final Get it or Forget it for the week.  We have five more reviews today and then we’ll be back next Tuesday.

Artist NameTommy Emmanuel

Album Name Accomplice One

Label:  CGP Sounds

Genre:  Americana/Bluegrassd

Track Listing:  1.  Deep River Blues (w/Jason Isbell); 2.  Song and Dance Man (w/Ricky Skaggs); 3.  Saturday Night Shuffle (w/Jorma Kaukonen & Pat Bergeson); 4.  Wheelin’ & Dealin’ (w/J.D. Simo & Charlie Cushman); 5.  C-Jam Blues (w/David Grisman & Bryan Sutton); 6.  (Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay (w/J.D. Simo); 7.  Borderline (w/Amanda Shires); 8.  You Don’t Want to get you one of Those (w/Mark Knopfler); 9.  Keepin’ it Reel (w/Clive Carrol); 10.  Looking Forward to the Past (w/Rodney Crowell); 11.  Purple Haze (w/Jerry Douglas); 12.  Rachel’s Lullaby (w/Jake Shimabukuro); 13. Djangology (w/Frank Vignola & Vinny Ranioio); 14.  Watson Blues (w/David Grisman & Bryan Sutton); 15.  Tittle Tattle (w/Jack Pearson); 16.  The Duke’s Message (w/Suzy Bogguss)

Publicist:  MSO PR

Review:  Tommy Emmanuel is a one of a kind musician who has consistently received critical praise.  We just reviewed his last CD with David Grisman last December, which earned him an LA Music Critic Award nomination.  He’s back already with an incredible album of duets with some of the elite members of the Bluegrass and Americana community.  From Jason Isbell to Rodney Crowell, Emmanuel plays with the best because he is the best.  This is an album you put on and just sit back and relax.  You cannot go wrong with this set of 16 amazing genre spanning songs.  Especially impressive are the covers of some very well known songs, like “(Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay,” the amazing fiddle and vocals of Amanda Shires on Madonna’s “Borderline,” and Jimi Hendrix’ “Purple Haze” with the one and only Jerry Douglas, another nominee for an LA Music Critic Award and a recent Grammy nominee.

Recommendation:  This one belongs in the music library of every music lover.  Get it now!

Artist NameMaria Schafer

Album NameTo Know Love

Label:  Marsch Music

Genre:  Jazz

Track Listing:  1.  You Don’t Know What Love Is; 2.  The More I see You; 3.  Estrada Branca; 4.  I Fall in Love too Easily; 5.  Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered; 6.  In Summer (Estate); 7.  You’d be so Nice to Come Home to/Alone Together; 8.  Body and Soul; 9.  It Could Happen to You; 10.  Almost Like Being in Love; 11.  Lush Life; 12.  S’ Wonderful/They Can’t Take That Away From Me

Publicist:  Self-promoted

Review:  This unbelievable debut album shows so much maturity for a young vocalist.  To tackle these jazz standards and deliver says a lot about her talent and potential.  This is the sound you would expect from a seasonal veteran, not someone just releasing their first album.  As an avid jazz lover, this album will definitely go into our top tier of jazz greats.  We love the concept of an entire album full of love songs, just before Valentine’s Day.  This album will make a great soundtrack for your celebration, especially her rendition of the Loewe and Lerner classic “Almost Like Being in Love.”

Recommendation:  Don’t hesitate – Get it now!

Artist NameCarolyn Gaines

Album NameBeware of my Dog

Label:  Polka Dot Records

Genre:  Blues

Track Listing:  1.  Beware of my Dog; 2.  I’m Your Cat, Baby; 3.  Stone out Your Raggly Mind; 4.  Catch That Train; 5.  Hoochie Coochie Woman; 6.  Done got Old; 7.  I Want Your Money, Honey; 8.  Mr. Dill Pickle; 9.  Jerry Rice “Busy Man;” 10.  Charlie Mae & Chicago; 11.  Something on Your Mind

Publicist:  Blind Raccoon

Review:  Another amazing debut album and it quickly becomes apparent that this lady can definitely sing the blues.  Her husky register is custom built for the blues, and floats effortlessly on the incredible musical accompaniment, highlighted by bursts of incredible tenor sax, harmonica, organ and guitar.  Check out her sexy raspy voice on “I’m Your Cat, Baby” and even though her voice is unique, her style shows that she has spent considerable time studying the blues vocalist that have come before her.  This is down and dirty blues, and we couldn’t be happier.  This album will make all the traditional blues lovers feel the same.  Put this on as a musical backdrop for your weekend celebration.

Recommendation:  Don’t think twice – just Get up and Get it!

Artist NameLex Grey & the Urban Pioneers

Album NameUsual Suspects

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Blues Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Usual Suspects; 2.  Chow Down; 3.  Dirty Secret; 4.  Srv; 5.  Warrior Squaw; 6.  Sunshine and Blue; 7.  Cheap Thrills; 8.  My Jelly Roll; 9.  Renegade Heart

Publicist:  Frank Roszak Promotions

Review:  Listening to Lex Grey is almost like listening to Janis Joplin playing the 1960’s style of Rolling Stones, with a healthy mix of rock, jazz, and blues, and those smoky vocals that grab your attention and never let go.  From the first notes of the title track until the final note of the album, Grey gives notice that she has come to rock the blues.  Quite frankly, we can’t get enough of this artist, and can’t wait for the opportunity to see her and her amazing band perform live.  Our favorite cuts were “Usual Suspects, “Chow Down,” “Srv” (her rocking homage to Stevie Ray Vaughan),  “Warrior Squaw” (because it’s just so different from everything else on the album), “Cheap Thrills,” “My Jelly Roll,” and “Renegade Heart.” (I know – basically everything.)

Recommendation:  If you love the blues, you definitely need this one in your collection.  Get It.

Artist NameFrank Hannon

Album NameFrom One Place . . . to Another Vol 1

Label:  Red Hawk Records

Genre:  Americana/Roots Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Blue Sky; 2.  Call me the Breeze; 3.  Under the Milky Way; 4.  Jim Dandy to the Rescue; 5.  You’re my Best Friend; 6.  Garden Party; 7.  Sunrise in Texas; 8.  I Hear you Knockin’; 9.  Joy to the World; 10.  Four Letter Word

Publicist:  The Syndicate

Review:  This is the first of three albums to be released in 2018 by Tesla guitarist Frank Hannon, consisting of cover songs that have influenced his life.  His guests on this album include Paul Jackson (Blackberry Smoke), Duane Betts (son of The Allman Brothers Band member Dickey Betts, Matthew and Gunnar Nelson (sons of Ricky Nelson and Roger Fisher (Heart), among others.  It is only fitting that The Allman Brothers Band’s classic “Blue Sky” be the first song on this album, which captures the essence of what made them so great.  The artists covered on this album include JJ Cale, The Church, Black Oak Arkansas, Queen, Ricky Nelson, Blackberry Smoke, Fats Domino, Three Dog Night and Lukas Nelson.  Every song brings back memories, and we love Hannon’s arrangements.

Recommendation:  Make sure you Get this one and the other two as soon as they come out.