01 June 2020

New Age Instrumental Review: Bernward Koch-Becoming

Release Date: May 15, 2020
Label: Myndstream
Website

Bernward Koch is a German multi-instrumentalist and Becoming is his fourteenth proper recording.

On Bernward’s website, he says "Music gives wings to a brighter life“ That statement is so true especially with what the year 2020 has brought the world. With all the pain and suffering on this planet, we are desperately in need of more artists like Bernward to keep making music that heals.

I also found something else noteworthy on his website that touched my soul. The US organization "Massachusetts Fallen Soldiers" uses his music to heal suicide-prone soldiers who have come back from crisis areas in different places in the world and often suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I am from Massachusetts; I am a vet, and my father served in WWII so this means so much to me. Thank you Bernward.

This music is graceful, filled with beauty, and ultimately a wonderful tool for relaxing, meditation, contemplation, or simply listening enjoyment. That is without a doubt the entire reason this man makes his music. I am sure every time he records it is a process but a labor of love at the same time. He gives away sheet music on his website for two of his albums! I find that so generous of him to do that. Aspiring piano players can learn and play his music. So, the fact he gives us such beauty and peace through his music is one thing, then to give his actual sheet music away, well that is just amazing. May all of that good karma come back to you tenfold sir!

Listening to this music really helped me today. I had to walk away from the news that has been coming across our TVs and step back and take a breather. We all need it, especially now. I personally need to know that there are still loving and giving people out there and Bernward is surely one of them.

“Sparkling Eyes” was one of my favorites and I added it to my NAMR Spotify Playlist. It reminded me of my wife when I first met her and she still has that sparkle to this day. It is a gift to listen to this music and go through so many feelings, memories, and at times, sadness is coaxed out of me but I still feel good when the music finishes. This is music that puts me in a place that is not of this earth, we call it heaven. Maybe there is some truth that we choose our parents and start in heaven and return once we leave our bodies. It is possible, anything is if you believe.

Becoming
is a very significant word. It can mean any number of things dependent on who you are and what frame of mind you are in when you are listening to this music. For me, it is about being me with no mask or wall to protect me, just me taking all of the sounds, textures, and colors in, then processing it all. What I get in the end is something very special, spiritual if you will, whatever one can call it, it is a blessing that I receive with a lot of gratitude. Every second of my life I am Becoming who I am, evolving, learning, growing, and sharing my experience, strength, and hope with everyone I know and meet.

I hope each and every listener can find a road to take within this music that allows healing. You just never know where Becoming is going to take you but that is exactly what makes it so intriguing. Every listener will find their way through this music, whether it is intentional or not, I am guaranteeing that these tracks are going to affect in you in a prolific manner, but you must let it happen, just listen and Benward, he will take you there.


Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
May 30, 2020 


Track List: 
01. A Magical Dream
02. Lavender Fields
03. Moments of Love
04. Sparkling Eyes
05. Alone on the Way
06. Becoming
07. Mysterious Afterglow
08. The Bright Spring
09. The Harvest  
10. A Swan Dream
11. Floating Leaves
12. September Impressions
13. Long Long Time Ago



Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews


Iconic '60s American Garage Band THE LIMITS Release New Single "I WON'T TELL"


Los Angeles –THE LIMITS, who formed in the mid sixties in Allentown, Pennsylvania, have been called “the quintessential American Garage Band” by the late, legendary Alex Chilton. Recently two collections, GARAGE NUGGETS 65-68 (highlighting their earliest teen efforts) and the more sophisticated SONGS ABOUT GIRLS ('80s compilation) have been reissued on all digital musical platforms courtesy of a licensing arrangement with Garage Masters, a division of Cleopatra Records, Inc.

“I WON’T TELL,” penned by RICK LEVY, is the new single from THE LIMITS. Levy is currently manager and guitarist/vocalist with Memphis Music Hall of Fame legends, THE BOX TOPS, and said, “interviewers, fans, and some radio folk really heard something great in 'I WONT TELL,' so we decided to drop it as a single to test the waters…and THE LIMITS' popularity. Making a rare guest appearance is Stan Lynch (original member of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) on drums.” Levy adds, “I played slide, as well as using the great Keith Richards open G guitar tuning to keep a melancholy vibe going throughout the song.” Levy's memoir, “HIGH IN THE MID 60s - How To Have A Fabulous Life in Music Without Being Famous,” (Crossroad Press) is available at amazon.com and www.ricklevy.com in print, digital, and audio formats.



To stream / purchase THE LIMITS “I WON'T TELL”:
https://orcd.co/the_limits_i_wont_tell

To purchase Rick Levy’s Memoir: https://www.amazon.com/High-Mid-60s-Fabulous-without-Famous/dp/194991464X

Listen to Garage Nuggets ’65-’68: https://orcd.co/the-limits-garage-nuggets
Listen to Songs About Girls: https://orcd.co/the-limits-songs-about-girls

Limits cover photo courtesy of zohre-nemati

Press inquiries: 
Glass Onyon PR
Billy James
PH: 828-350-8158
glassonyonpr@gmail.com


CLEOPATRA RECORDS, Inc.
11041 Santa Monica Blvd #703
Los Angeles CA 90025
www.CleopatraRecords.com
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Dailymotion @Cleopatrarecords
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Spotify  @cleopatra_recs
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Linkedin @cleopatra-records
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29 May 2020

New Age Vocal Review: Prem Vidu-Encounter – Medicine Songs from Ma

Release Date:  June 4, 2020
Label: Independent
Website

Prim Vidu and his newest offering Encounter – Medicine Songs from Ma was a pleasant surprise for my new age tastes. Normally the vocals I hear on releases are some background embellishments. This however is all vocals with the traditional instrumentation you would come to expect from a new age release.

I had no idea what I was in for with this album, I just trusted that Prem was a new age artist looking for an opinion on his music. Well he asked the right person and everything does happen for a reason. This is Prem’s first release and everything was composed and performed by him and his team. Besides singing he plays a multitude of instruments. It is quite impressive as this album is his first and an independent release. This is about belief in your life, love, gratitude and the pureness of one enlightened soul.

Some of the instruments used are nylon guitar, shakers, kit acoustic guitars, electric guitars, mandolin, piano, synths, fretless bass, flugelhorn and trumpet. And that is the short list!

To create an album with all vocals and to have that new age color, depth, and meaning, you need all the right instruments. Based on what I heard, things were done properly and Prem and his fine team of musicians pulled out all the stops and present one beautiful recording.

The one and most important instrument is Prem’s vocals. I found an immediate attraction to his warmth and flowing vocalizations. The lyrics are from the heart and soul of a man that has found his true path through the music and spirituality. Prem says “"There is no shorter umbilical to your soul than singing!" How that rings so true for me and I am sure countless others that will enjoy Encounter – Medicine Songs from Ma.

At this particular moment in time I feeling some back pain and, in the music, and words of Encounter – Medicine Songs from Ma I found comfort and healing sounds. Although I must admit some of the lyrics are not understood because they are not in English, however that did not matter. Prem’s voice is so inviting and smooth that you just go with all the flow. The instrumentation is certainly quite excellent, which helps to get you at your comfort zone.

There is plenty of variety musically which keeps your interest besides the digging down deep lyrics presented on this amazing group of tracks. Anyone that can appreciate our humanity, spirituality, a variety of instruments, and incredible vocals, well, that about says it all doesn’t it. This is thoughtful words set to a magnificent array of instrumentation! You need to hear Encounter – Medicine Songs from Ma.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
May 27, 2020


Track List:
 1. Holy Divine Mother
2. May I Have The Strength
3. Cancel The Show
4. Oh Your Glory
5. Mighty Presence
6. Floating
7. Your Love Heals Me
8. Everything That Is Here

 


Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

28 May 2020

Modern Rock Icon MATTHEW SWEET Joins Classic Rock Legends BADFINGER For A New Version Of "Baby Blue!"


Los Angeles, CA - One of the rock world’s biggest stars is set to appear on a brand new 2020 update of the timeless classic “Baby Blue.” Matthew Sweet, best known for his 1991 smash hit album and single “Girlfriend,” joined the members of Welsh rock band Badfinger for a thrilling new take on the 1971 Pete Ham-penned tune that originally appeared on Badfinger’s Straight Up album. The band’s guitarist and vocalist at the time, Joey Molland, continues as the only surviving member of the original line-up today! “Baby Blue” was a huge hit at the time of its release but has since skyrocketed in popularity again thanks to its use in the series finale of Breaking Bad. This new version finds Sweet adding his bold creative energy which fuses nicely with Molland & Co.’s experienced musicianship. Fans are in for a real treat with this fantastic recording!

Stream the single: https://orcd.co/badfinger_matthew_sweet_baby_blue

Press inquiries: 
Glass Onyon PR
Billy James
PH: 828-350-8158
glassonyonpr@gmail.com


CLEOPATRA RECORDS, Inc.
11041 Santa Monica Blvd #703
Los Angeles CA 90025
www.CleopatraRecords.com
Facebook @Cleopatrarecords
https://www.facebook.com/CleopatraRecords/
Instagram @cleopatrarecords
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27 May 2020

Rock Review: Airborne Toxic Event - Hollywood Park

Release Date: May 22, 2020
Label: Rounder Records


Being a sucker for what I'll coin as Literary Rock, I eagerly anticipated this latest Airborne Toxic Event release, Hollywood Park. The album is a soundtrack to founder Mikel Jollett's recently released memoir focusing on his experiences growing up in an infamous cult and subjected to a childhood filled with poverty, addiction, and emotional abuse. If the book is as powerful as the soundtrack, we're in for a great read.
It's worth noting that the band takes its name from a 1985 postmodern novel called White Noise, which centers around a chemical spill that forces the citizens to face their mortality and learn to appreciate the beauty of the natural world around them. 


The sonic experience involves a back-and-forth between propulsive anthems and subtle, evocative piano ballads. "Come on Out" is one of the album's real treasures. With a driving rhythm and deep, resonant vocals, it captures the thrill and angst of youth, all the while steering the listener boldly toward a new future.

As the album progresses, the songs slowly become stripped of their production and presumption. They become more personal. "The Common Touch" features Jollett in a folksy singsong number, which feels as if he's about to lighten the mood and then heads in a different direction.

With our heads soaked up in alcohol, one hand on a cigarette. I swear I still got some good moves left. I've been fifty-eight since I was twenty-three. I got sixty-nine problems but one ain't me.

In addition to "Come on Out," the standout track to me is "All These Engagements." The lyrics are rife with veiled allusions of deep and dark childhood trauma, which has followed the protagonist has carried with him all his life. It starts slow as a remembrance and rolls along forcefully building toward an ultimate crescendo of rage. "Common Touch" adds a folksy singalong number to the equation to lighten the mood.  

All in all, The longing, anger, and regret are palpable on Hollywood Park. Yet after a close listen, one feels a sense of earned wisdom, a that which does not kill me makes me stronger feeling. What Airborne Toxic Event delivers is a powerful collection of songs that blends rock music with a well-told coming of age story. The result is a highly gratifying listening experience.  

- Tom Endyke | Guitar & Pen | www.tomendyke.com




25 May 2020

Contemporary Instrumental Review: Masako-Hidden Flowers

Release Date: May, 25, 2020
Label: Independent
I appreciate having a history with an artist, especially one that I can fully appreciate. This is the third Masako recording I have had the honor of covering.

Before the latest Hidden Flowers, I can reach back to 2017 with Piano Sanctuary and to 2019
with Underwater Whisperer.Knowing how much I enjoyed the previous of this talented piano player, it was just a matter of letting the music play. Then once it begins the process of it melting into my soul comes easy and naturally.

Hidden Flowers has twelve tracks of Masako leading the way with her flowing and concise piano style. Once again, the chemistry of recording at Will Ackerman’s studio comes through with the artist going from strength to strength. All production was by Ackerman, Tom Eaton, and Masako.

I think what I always admire the most with Masako is that she handles each composition as an individual piece of art. And even though the approach is that singularly focused, it comes together as one cohesive recording.
 
Tracks like “Observing M31” are light and airy featuring some lovely vocals and some rolling rhythmic piano playing along with some EWI from Premik Russell Tubbs (it sounds like a nice woodwind flute) to give it that extra layer of spice and texture. It is one of the many stand out tracks you will hear on Hidden Flowers.

Then with tracks like “Southbound Flyway,” which are filled with colorful and lively rhythms, which endeavor then succeed to paint a picture. Then you have Jeff Oster’s flugelhorn enhancing the mix to help create that scenery within the mind’s eye. It is undoubtedly the piano that always leads the way however the additional instruments make the tracks more whole and adventurous for potential listeners.

Tracks of beauty are perfected through the ivory keys and presented beautifully on Hidden Flowers. I think the title of the recording my suggest that flowers are hidden within in each song for you, the individual listener, to discover. I stopped to smell their fragrance and elegance once again through the talented fingers of Masako.


Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
May 18, 2020

Track List:

01.  Harajuku Memoir
02.  Age of Flowers
03.  Acadia
04.  Remember the Rainy Day
05.  Blossom River
06.  Observing M31
07.  Forgiving
08.  Eternal Bliss
09.  Southbound Flyway
10. Suddenly Cherry Blossoms
11.  Winter People
12. Central Park Retreat 


Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

24 May 2020

Singer/Songwriter Review: Peppino D’Agostino -Connexion

Release Date: April 03, 2020
Label: Peppino D’Agostino Music

Peppino D’Agostino, an Italian-born guitarist, with more than 40 years under his belt. Having left Italy, more than 30 years ago, he has revolutionized the works of the guitar. He mastered the technique of fingerpicking and as such has been labeled, “a giant of the acoustic guitar.” With no sign of slowing down, having toured over 30 countries so far, and each work D’Agostino releases being an upgrade from the last; this guitar-guru-turned-instructor can do almost anything when it comes to music. Connexion is his most recent release.

As though you are walking through villas of Italy themselves, Connexion wakes up with a smooth, sultry sound that gently caresses the listener’s ear bringing them to a place of pure happiness and is sure to place a smile upon their face. The incremental triple or quadruple strumming sets offer hints of excitement on the opening track “High Plains Guitarra.” The constant back and forth. Between tremendous eventful highs and build-ups, and few but sudden, melodic and mellow lows, the artist entices the listener for what’s to come.

Coming off the highs of “High Plains Guitarra,” “Dancing with Shadows” is perfect somber ear-play to trick the listener not to expect the same result from every track. With the very short, but playful back-and-forth of the song, it is a relaxing piece that makes D’Agostino look like he was trying to weave a musical web.”Head Case,” with its more staccato-like structure is a fun, quick piece in which the artist plays with the listener. “Buster” is more complex. The song is layered in such a way that it has hints of a dark brooding sound while trying to come to a struggling resolution.

“Mara’s Sleeping Song,”  (if not for the title alone), is a lullaby that makes peace with the listener. Amid the song, the guitar transforms somewhat into a heightened cry for peace as the musician climbs a white, cloud-covered staircase. “Mexican Sunrises,” continue that calm and serene sounding tone. D’Agostino is capable, in a way, to cause the mind to drift off into such a place. “Liam’s Song” is hard to describe. It starts off very melodramatic and mysterious, and yet by the end, it is finishing off at a rushed, stimulating tempo, only to fall back to an eery ending.

“Stammi Vicino” translates to “Stay Close to Me.” It plays a love song that only wishes to keep on playing into eternity. The song plays like a longing calling card for one’s partner to remain side by side, to complete all of the goodness within his or her life (depending on if this is personal to the musician himself or written from a friend or onlooker’s perspective). “Jenny’s Goodbyes” with its carrying constant one-note undertone, offers a simple yet appealing lead-up to the final number. With only a minute and a quarter, the final track “Beauty in the Abyss” is an alluring ending to an album that offers up so many twists and turns with only a guitar at the helm.

Who could’ve guessed an acoustic guitar could wield so much power. Well, Peppino D’Agostino captivates emotion to its core, exploring all avenues of depth and rhythm within the confines of possibly an amp or not and just one sole instrument. When you combine Connexion with his masterful, musical history, Peppino D’Agostino is hard to overlook.

Gregg Keniston- MuzikMan.net Staff
May 22, 2020

Track Listing:
1. She Was Young
2. Falling Grace
3. Porsmouth Figurations
4. Awful Coffee
5. Eiderdown
6. Hullo Bolinas
7. Away
8. In F
9. Radio