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Showing posts from August, 2006

Uplift-Nothing Left Behind

Artist: Uplift
Title: Nothing Left Behind
Genre: Metal-Rock
Label: Mohawk Recording Group

I always say there is nothing like some bone crunching metal cranked up all the way to give you the energy you need. There are days that I need that extra kick in the pants desperately and when I do, I like to reach for a CD like the new Uplift album Nothing Left Behind.

In eight rousing tracks Uplift makes a statement, they leave their mark, kind of like the territorial pissings of wild animals. I know that does not sound all that appealing but this is in your mug crash and burn guitars, courtesy of Garrett Bird with the juggernaut rhythm section of Michael Marino and Alex Fuller followed by the finishing touch of singer Jason Arigoni, who does a great job keeping up with all of that activity. And the dude does not growl or scream, he actually sings, how about that?

I think most people that enjoy some good loud and hard rock and/or metal will get off on this CD. I listened to it for one week st…

John Fogerty-The Long Road Home-In Concert

Artist: John Fogerty
Title: The Long Road Home-In Concert
Format: DVD
Label:Concord Music Group

I like what John Fogerty says to the audience at the beginning of this concert. He states his music is simple straight-ahead rock ‘n’ roll. I always said the same thing about Fogerty and that is the strongest reason why I continue to enjoy his music-solo and CCR tracks.

The Long Road Home-In Concert is the follow up to his greatest hits compilation, the CD that finally put together the best of CCR and his solo work.

Fogerty is a first class entertainer however; this DVD does not do him complete justice. The camera work is horrendous at times, some of the shots come from the audience’s vantage point, shaking up and down, as if the person running the camera was just as excited as everyone else there. Other than the rollercoaster ride camera work at times, this is a great DVD.

Fogerty has a magical connection to his audience-it is so obvious. The man has a lot of history behind him n…

Nickels & Dimes-Midnight Overdrive

Artist: Nickels & Dimes
Title: Midnight Overdrive
Genre: Blues-Rock
Label: Camelback
CD Baby Link

When is the last time you heard a band from Norway that sounded like the Jimi Hendrix Experience playing blues-rock as if they came from suburban America? Nickles & Dimes is that band. The have released albums every three to four years since 1993. So they do have a record of accomplishment as a veteran recording band.

Midnight Overdrive was my introduction to this smokin’ electric blues trio. Even if it’s obvious, that the Hendrix worship is all over the place here, I really enjoyed the CD. The fact that I love Hendrix does not hurt a bit either.

Right at the outset of the opening track “ 3 2 Get Ready” when you hear a scream you know something is up. It is the sign that you are about to have your soul rocked, and by god they do a good job of it. “Trampoline” is their ode to the masters of the past, three minutes and twenty-seven seconds of pure rockin’ bliss; blues-rock energy ju…

The Knights Release Rock Instrumental Gem


Albuquerque, New Mexico--August 26, 2006-- The Knights (a.k.a. King Richard and the Knights) had their beginnings in 1961 in Albuquerque, New Mexico during a time when instrumental rock ruled with great bands like The Ventures and The Fireballs. Those days seem light years away now, but Dick Stewart is still going strong releasing classic rock instrumental albums year after year.

The most recent release is King Richard's Red Hot New Mexican Chile Stew – Art and it’s now available on the Stewart family owned Lance Records. It is a spicy concoction of New Mexico culture, rock, country, instrumental, and surf music. Stewart has his longtime bass player Gary Snow, drummer Steve Hudgins, and his two sons, Jason on lead guitar, and Richard on bass to make the Knights a unit that is hard to compare.

Stewart’s ongoing love affair with the Southwest continues with each Knights release and the influence of the area is all over King Richard's Red Hot New Mexican Chile…

Jam Camp Live! Debuts at Dogstock Music Festival


Seattle, Washington-August 26, 2006-- Jam Camp is an accomplished jazz-rock-fusion band based in the Seattle area. After releasing two critically acclaimed studio albums, Jam Camp and Black Hills Jam-Preserves Volume 2, the band has selected 11 tracks from recent live performances for Jam Camp Live!, which will be a limited release Dogstock Special Edition.

The live recording will be available this upcoming Labor Day at the Dogstock Music Festival in Melvern, KS. The four-day festival is for the benefit of The Akita Adoption & Rescue Foundation. The band hopes supporters of the cause and their music will attend to enjoy a great festival weekend. Everyone in attendance will have an opportunity to purchase this fine souvenir of the Jam Camp live experience.

Jam Camp Live! consists of tracks from performances in April, June, and July of this year, all masterfully mixed for optimum listening pleasure.

Fans of jazz, jam, and progressive rock will find continual enjoy…

Cactus Returns Strongly With New Release V!

Artist: Cactus
Title: V
Genre: Blues-Rock
Label:Escapi Music

Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice are one of the greatest rhythm sections in rock music history there is no denying that. They helped to put Vanilla Fudge and countless other bands on the map over the last 40 years. Cactus was one of those bands that came and went rather quickly with little notoriety, and unjustly I might add. I remember how I discovered them, I was in a used bookstore that carried old scratched up LPs and I grabbed the Cactus album Restrictions, and that was my introduction. As I recall their rough blues-rock and the wailing of lead vocalist Rusty Day did nothing for me. Like many bands, I found an appreciation for them years later. Now I am finding all the Cactus music I can get my hands on, I love it. Its funny how perceptions and priorities change as life goes by.

All original members, Bogert, Appice, and guitarist Jim McCarty, are back with lead vocalist Jimmy Runes, who is a perfect fit for their blues b…

Bluessmyth Makes Their Mark With Self-Titled Blues-Rock Release


August 21, 2006-- Calgary, Alberta--Bluessmyth may be Canada’s answer to ZZ Top after the release of their sizzling new album Bluessmyth. In the tradition of that little old band from Texas, they are a power trio with the drive and authority that makes people stand up and take notice. In addition to the compelling musical onslaught the band so veraciously pumps out, the trio of Chris (guitar and vocals) and Jason Yaholkoski (bass) with Calvin Becker (drums) has a few things to say along the way.

This is not your typical blues about drinking, sex, and other sundry subjects, this band uses their time in the spotlight wisely to pound home a message to anyone within earshot. The primary objective of the recording is to shed light on “The Story of Emmett Till,” a true story about racism and cold-blooded murder that took place in the 1950s.The song is a three part composition that fits snugly at the mid point of the release.

The vocal style of Chris Yaholkoski is that…

Laura Day Is Sweet On RC


Madison, Wisconsin--August 21, 2006-- Back when Laura Day was a young woman working in a grocery store as an office-girl, (the girl you’d see in that cage next to the check lanes), those were the days when soda came in bottles and folks brought their empties back for refunds. Everyone loves a great love story, and this love story is about an RC Cola truck driver who delivered soda to Laura’s grocery store, and in the process, delivered her the most thrilling crush of her lifetime. It was a heart racing, palms sweating, weak-in-the-knees pure infatuation.

Day was so in love that she had to write a song about her sweet delivery man. Aptly titled “RC,” the song is a country-folk flavored tune that is bound to turn some heads at the RC Cola Company, and encourage them to contact Laura and begin a new advertising campaign. After all, when was the last time you saw an advertisement on TV or heard a jingle on the radio for RC soda?

With verse after verse as sweet as th…

Jam Camp Live!- DogStock Special Edition

Artist: Jam Camp
Title: Jam Camp Live!- DogStock Special Edition
Genre: Rock-Jazz-Fusion
Label: Independent

The Dogstock Music Festival in Melvern, KS, which supports The Akita Adoption & Rescue Foundation, has an upcoming Labor Day event that features bands such as Jam Camp. If you have not had the pleasure of an introduction to this fine band yet, they are a jazz-rock-fusion machine that you must hear.

Jam Camp Live! is a limited edition release consisting of tracks from performances in April, June and July of this year, mixed down to remove the crowd noise for optimum listening pleasure, giving the tracks a clean and crisp sound from top to bottom. Keep one thought in mind, crowd noise is something you get in addition to the music so it does not really matter if you are a true lover of music. You will soon forget about the fact that they are actually playing on stage and find yourself immersed in the music in no time. With two studio albums already behind them, Jam Camp and

Patrick Yandall-Samoa Soul

Artist: Patrick Yandall
Title: Samoa Soul
Genre: Instrumental Jazz
Label:Zangi Records
CD Baby Link

Patrick Yandall continues to improve with each successive release. Samoa Soul is his seventh album. Yandall is talented in many ways musically however his instinct for applying the rudiments of jazz outweighs everything else. That is the one most important aspect of his makeup as a performing artist that lands him right at the top of the heap for jazz indie artists.

There is something very relevant about being in the right ‘mood’ to listen to certain music. I woke up with a splitting headache and decided to listen to some high-energy noisy guitar oriented rock after I took some aspirin; I figured in an hour that the dose of medication would make it go away, it did help, but it came roaring back with a vengeance once I started to listen to the music. What I really needed was to give Samoa Soul another spin. I know from experience how soothing and relaxing the music of Patrick Yandall …

Neil Carswell-Good Man’s Journey

Artist: Neil Carswell
Title: Good Man’s Journey
Genre: Southern Rock-Blues
Label: East Winds Records

Neil Carswell has shed his skin from the days of his band Copperhead like a Cobra ready to mesmerize old and new fans alike. Good Man’s Journey is a great southern blues-rock album in the tradition of the Allman Brothers and bands that make similar music.

Carswell has that roughly hewn southern whiskey vocal style that makes all the words come across with maximum impact. I mean you can really ‘feel’ it when he sings. He has a little help from his friends too. Johnny Neel (keyboards, Allman Bros.), Barry Goudreau (guitar, Boston), Stu Kimball (guitar, Bob Dylan), and Chris Anderson (guitar, The Outlaws), lend their experience and tasteful playing to the mix. If you look at the all people involved, they have the necessary background, styles, and resumes to help Neil perfect this recording. Carswell and Anderson also combined their efforts to produce the CD.

“The Cain Preacher” kick star…

Independent Artist Sue Merchant Releases Classic Folk Album Fool


London, England--August 14, 2006--UK based Sue Merchant is a product of her environment. While living in the South West of England, she received plenty of exposure to music and poetry through her father. That turned out to be a good influence as a lifetime of love for the arts found its place and meaning through a culmination of 10 tracks on her new release Fool.

Sue Merchant is a self-professed poet with a guitar, as many people in folk music are. Legendary performers inspire most artists that find themselves driven to succeed and Sue is no exception. She has found motivation and insight into her craft through legendary performers such as Joni Mitchell, Melanie, Joan Baez, and others cut from the same cloth.

The new release Fool is destined to receive accolades from the media sector and most importantly from current listeners eager to listen, which in turn will create awareness in a large potential audience waiting to discover her distinct art form. The album is al…

Jaci Rae to Co-Host New Show Concerts In The Sky With Jesse Dylan


Los Angeles, CA--August 14, 2006--Jaci Rae’s grit and determination brought her from a poor childhood to a successful singer and author who tours around the world. She is the recipient of the "Female Vocalist of the Year" award at the Golden Music Awards in Nashville, TN as well as a #1 Best selling author. She is the author of The Indie Guide to Music, Marketing and Money, as well as Winning Points With The Woman In Your Life One Touchdown At A Time, she is on the dating team of, and serves as a relationship advisor for

Now to add to her every growing resume Jaci Rae is proud to announce that she will be co-hosting a new show with Jesse Dylan called Concerts In The Sky. It will broadcast live around the world, check Jaci's website for information on how you can tune in. You will be able to hear all of the acts performing then sitting down and telling their stories. It promises to be a real treat…

The Knights-King Richard's Red Hot New Mexican Chile Stew – Art

Artist: The Knights
Title: King Richard's Red Hot New Mexican Chile Stew – Art
Genre: Rock-Instrumental
Label: Lance Records
CD Baby Link

One of the progenitors of surf instrumental music, Dick Stewart, and his band The Knights have returned in 2006 with a new release titled King Richard's Red Hot New Mexican Chile Stew – Art. I knew the band’s previous release, In Progression was going to be hard to top; it is my personal favorite, and I do not think The Knights will ever come up with anything better than that album. It stands alone in uniqueness for the instrumental genre. That does not take anything away from this new release, however, which is destined to be a classic as well. This great CD will find its way into the hearts of the true instro fans that have been waiting for a new release from the Stewart camp.

You may recognize some of the tracks on this new album from the band’s 1998 CD release, Surfin’ the Web. This CD is no longer available, so hang on to your copy if …

Variant-Beyond Jargon

Artist: Variant
Title: Beyond Jargon
Genre: Progressive Rock-Metal
Label: Independent
CD Baby Link

The cover of the new Variant CD suggests that what they have to offer inside is Beyond Jargon. As I found out rather quickly, it lives up to its title. Jargon, defined as vocabulary of a group, is something every group has, in a musical reference. A sound or way of communicating is the best frame of reference concerning the new Variant CD.

There was a reason I was instantly attracted to this music, the lead singer Jerry Wengert has a similar style and tone to Andy Powell of Wishbone Ash. The music itself has some similarities as well with sound and subject matter. A good case in point would be “March To War” and “Deeds.” Some deeply emotional subjects close to many people in war torn countries gets some good coverage in the tracks.

Musically this band is very strong, vividly pounding home their lyrics with a mixture of rock, progressive, and metal. Since I enjoy listening to all three …

Magenta-Home (Special Edition 2 Disc)

Artist: Magenta
Title: Home (Special Edition 2 Disc)
Genre: Progressive Rock
Label: F2 Music

Magenta reminds me of one my favorite progressive rock bands, Mostly Autumn. They have a great female lead singer backed by fine musicianship. Christina Booth leads the band with her warm dreamy vocals and every track comes delivered to your ears via the tasteful guitar work of Martin Rosser, Chris Fry, and the many instruments manned by Rob Reed. Reed plays bass, guitar, piano, and mandolin to name a few select pieces of equipment. He is a versatile gent if I do say so myself. On the bottom end, Allan Mason-Jones sits behind the drum kit whilst Dan Fry keeps good time with his battery mate on bass. This is the core group. There are many other key contributors to this project that help to shape the sound as well (see credits).

Magenta’s music is appealing yet effective, not always aggressive, but it invites you to jump in and become engrossed in the entire package. Home offers an array of ve…

Foxy Moon Baby-Dreamer

Artist: Foxy Moon Baby
Title: Dreamer
Genre: Jazz-Rock-Fusion
Label: Bigway Productions
CD Baby Link

Foxy Moon Baby kicks off their new album Dreamer with the title track, an upbeat jazz mover that focuses on their instrumental prowess. Then no sooner, you are in the instrumental frame of mind and the next track “Velma in the Shade” kicks in, offering some more jazz with pop overtones and the pleasant vocals of Dennis Lippe, who also mans the guitars along with his sibling Chris.

So straight away you are wondering how this CD is going to develop as it moves deeper into the eight tracks. The third track “Native Land” reverts to the purer jazz that this band offers however, this time with some Latin flair embodying some tangy percussion and snappy trumpet along with some guitar that is more rock oriented, kind of like something Santana would do. I loved it, all of the components with red-hot Latin rhythms weaving their web in the song and the resolute prevailing percussion that always …

Particle-Transformations Live

Artist: Particle
Title: Transformations Live (DVD) & Transformations Live For The People (2 CD Set)
Genre: Rock-Fusion-Jazz-Blues-Techno-Jam Band
Label: Shout Factory

Since 2000, Particle has been bringing their extraordinary musicianship and instrumental jazz-rock-blues-fusion techno-flavored jams to sold-out shows across the country. They have one studio album that was released in 2004 titled Launchpad and have literally transformed into another band recently by adding two guitarists, Eric Combe and Steve Metzger. Metzger unfortunately had to leave the band recently due to a family illness.

Transformations Live (DVD) & Transformations Live For The People (2 CD Set) gave their fans a window into their new live show for the first time at the Henry Fonda Theater in Hollywood on February 24, 2006. The new members of the band have breathed new life and a different kind of element into their music. They take many new roads and side streets during a performance highlighting these…

Stream Of Passion-Live In The Real World

Artist: Stream Of Passion (Featuring Ayreon)
Title: Live In The Real World
Format: DVD
Genre: Progressive Rock
Label:Inside Out

Stream Of Passion felt they needed to silence their critics by releasing a live performance of their new music. Some people thought that the band was suspect because the first studio release Embrace The Storm came together by exchanging files over the internet. Arjen “Ayreon” Luccassen and the rest of the band are all over the globe so there was no other way at the time to make the recording happen. The results were fantastic and the album garnered some great reviews and it continues to gather momentum, the critics be damned! This is a common practice these days and many great albums have resulted by using the available technologies to eliminate the logistical nightmares that previously killed many great projects before their birth, leaving just a thought or an idea on the table, never to be revisited again. Welcome to 2006 and all the wonderful mediums at …

Sue Merchant-Fool

Artist: Sue Merchant
Title: Fool
Genre: Folk
Label: Bandit Records
CD Baby Link

Sue Merchant has released an acoustic folk masterpiece called Fool. The simplicity of the instrumentation, beautiful melodies (notably on the opening title track) and Merchant’s clear and atmospheric voice, at times classically influenced with a definitive English accent, along with her descriptive and thoughtful lyrics, make for a nice journey for listeners.

I always said that if given the choice I would prefer to rock out, even though my tastes are broad in scope. However, folk music has a way of spinning a tale and relaxing me if it is exceptional. This album got my attention straight away and provoked me to listen several times to absorb the storylines found between the notes. Amongst other subjects, Merchant sings of lovers, friends, and family on this release. I do not think she could be more up close and personal and real than what you will hear on this CD.

Merchant gets some help from her friends …


Artist: Bluessmyth
Title: Bluessmyth
Genre: Blues-Rock
Label: Arges Records
Indie Pool Link

Canada’s answer to ZZ Top has arrived. They are a raw and energy fill trio called Bluessmyth. This killer blues rockin’ trio is the Yaholkoski brothers, Chris and Jason, and Calvin Becker. Chris leads the way with his beefy lead guitar chops, a deep voice (that sounds like Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top) that snarls. Jason sings backup vocals and thumps away on bass laying down a bottom end for the other half of the rhythm section, Becker, who plays drums, keyboards, and provides backing vocals. The band likes to call it blues metal and I can relate to that in some ways but when it’s all said and done its blues-rock.

Rocking blues comes out sounding its very best this way and it’s all because there are no complications with the song structures, they crank it out with passion and fire to make it feel real. On the lyrical side, it gets a little heavy and complex with the three-part track “The Story o…