30 September 2006

The Ridgerunners Band Keep-Ur-Runnin’ With New Release


Boise, ID--October 2, 2006-- Jimmy Trip and David Miller (AKA Buttons Magoo) crossed paths one day and found that they were kindred spirits meant to create music together. Having similar backgrounds and tastes was the start for the duo then when they ventured into the studio, one thing led to another, and now they have a new recording ready for release titled Keep-Ur-Runnin’. If it sounds down home and country…well, if the shoe fits wear it. These gents have their walkin’ shoes on and are ready to take their show on the road.

The duo offers simple folk based traditional country for those that enjoy kicking back and can appreciate some good picking and down to earth vocals with heart and soul.

The Ridgerunners provide eclectic music for their listeners. Everything from country, rock, bluegrass, folk, and beyond gets coverage in their compositions. This wide range of genres allows them to touch many fans and cross over into territories other musicians cannot. Their lighthearted approach and commonality with the everyday individual is what inspires them to write music and record on a regular basis.

This band is as do-it-yourself indie as it gets. Their website is very straightforward with no frills and Keep-Ur-Runnin’ is available right at their home on the web by downloading each track separately or by buying the entire CD, whatever you preference is, the choice is yours.

Jimmy and David invite you right into their backyard with Keep-Ur-Runnin’ and the music and lyrics do all the talking for them. You will find who they after hearing just a few tracks. Country fans can rejoice as independent musicians creating that type of music are flourishing online just as other genres are today. So sit back, grab a cold one, sit on the porch, and give their new CD a spin, its sure to Keep-Ur-Runnin’ all night long.

Visit their website for more information, updates, live dates, and downloads.

Company: Trails End Studio
Contact: Jimmy Trip
Address: 950 W 42 South, Mountain Home, ID 83647
Telephone: (208) 587-2196

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29 September 2006

Bob Seger-Face The Promise

Artist: Bob Seger
Title: Face The Promise
Genre: Rock
Format: CD/DVD
Label: Capitol

Eleven years is very long time between albums but some people can get away with it and pick up where they left off, like Bob Seger.

Face The Promise is a fantastic new album from Seger. This is the deluxe set with a DVD. What I learned about Bob in the DVD, besides watching some choice archive videos and concert footage from his storied career, is that there was a reason why he took an eleven year lay off. He decided to start a family at the tender age of 47. He stayed home to bring up his children with his wife, and continue to write songs. I am so glad he kept writing because if he had not continued we would not be enjoying this new album.

Here we are some 50 million album sales later and this one is sure to bump that number up by millions. There are 12 tracks on this recording, everyone a potential single. The Silver Bullet Band still has it going on, they are cookin’, and Seger’s voice is just as good now as it was during his heyday. It’s like the past eleven years was a bat of the eye lash and Bob is back in the saddle pumping out working class rock ‘n’ roll all over again.

Face The Promise is about leaving small town USA and going to the big city to realize your dreams. Guys like Seger lived it and came back alive to tell the tale; others are not so lucky and come back defeated or not all. Life in the big city forces you to grow up and learn new survival skills. I have been through it myself and became a much better person, well equipped to be a success no matter where my feet landed. That has always been Seger’s mass appeal, the songs he writes are about you and me, the guy next door, it’s real, it’s all about life set to some of the best music you will ever have the pleasure to hear, period. Seger’s sound is a hybrid of rock, pop, blues, and country, truly a signature sound that is unmistakable.

Besides some of the best tunes Seger has ever recorded, he sweetens the pot with a few special guests. Kid Rock showed up and told him that they needed to crank up the volume and intensity on the country tune “Real Mean Bottle.” It turned out great; they form an effective duo and the song rocks. “The Answer’s In The Question” features Patty Loveless trading phrases with Bob. This turns into another successful collaboration because of a perfect meshing of counterparts.

I can tell you for certain, if you are a Seger fan, you will love this album. I promise you that once you hear it, you will not be able to stop listening to it. Some of the tracks that are shakers and movers for my taste are the title track, “Simplicity,” and “Between.” They are all real smokin’ rockers with hooks, grooves, and a beat that does not die for a second during the entire run of the song. Then for a total switch to other side of the musical tracks, the longing country-rock duo with Patty Loveless “The Answer’s In The Question,’ which is sure to be a huge crossover hit, is one of the best tracks of Seger’s career. It reminds me of what Kenny Rogers did for his successful run on the charts as a solo artist.

Watch this album shoot to the top of the pops in a heartbeat, it is a sure bet.

© Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

September 14, 2006

CD Tracks:

01. Wreck This Heart
02. Wait For Me
03. Face The Promise
04. No Matter Who You Are
05. Are You
06. Simplicity
07. No More
08. Real Mean Bottle (with Kid Rock)
09. Won’t Stop
10. Between
11. The Answer’s In The Question (with Patty Loveless)
12. The Long Goodbye


BONUS DVD includes career retrospective and a "making of Face The Promise" interview segment with studio footage. Includes previously unreleased historical concert performances of Still The Same and Hollywood Nights recorded live in San Diego in 1978. Also features the classic music videos for Like A Rock and The Fire Inside.

28 September 2006

Kansas-Works In Progress

Artist: Kansas
Title: Works In Progress
Genre: Progressive Rock-Metal
Format: DVD/CD
Label: Intersound Records

Not too long, after the release of this Kansas set, long time violinist and vocalist Robbie Steinhardt left the band again and David Ragsdale replaced him, again. The release of Works In Progress is ironic in that it documents a configuration of the band with Ragsdale on violin. The reason that the band decided to release this archival material is that the live performances contained herein were tight as the band ever was. According to the band, it was one of the best Kansas lineups to set foot on stage. After listening and watching I have to agree, they were hitting on all of their cylinders and sounded red-hot.

Music from the underrated album Freaks Of Nature and the incredibly ambitious Device Voice Drum DVD, which in my opinion is one of their greatest achievements, and Live At The Whiskey with a special guest appearance of Kerry Livgren on select tracks are included on this set. You will not hear any rarities; it is the same tracks you have probably heard over and over again accept with the energy kicked up a few notches. If you are a Kansas fan, this is a no brainer, get it because you will enjoy it immensely.

Its disappointing that Steinhardt left again as I was looking forward to another Kansas studio recording at some point featuring most of the original lineup, however Ragsdale does a fine job on violin, he just cannot replace Robbie’s signature vocals. This documentation is solid proof of Ragsdale’s capabilities.

Time will tell how things work out for the band. In the meantime, we have plenty of great Kansas music to enjoy; all remastered in glorious sound and now this fine release to add to that collection.

Of particular interest to fans will be the compelling stripped down versions of “Dust In The Wind” and “Hold On.” Its Kansas unplugged if you will and yet another enticement to get this double disc set.

© Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

September 11, 2006

01. Mysteries & Mayhem (8:25)
02. Portrait (5:38)
03. Down the Road (5:51)
04. Black Fathom (5:54)
05. Freaks of Nature (4:07)
06. Under the Knife (5:00)
07. I Can Fly (5:21)
08. Peaceful and Warm (6:47)
09. The Wall (5:30)
10. Cheyenne Anthem (7:30)
11. Hold On (4:15)
12. Dust in the Wind (3:57)
13. Intro
14. Belexes [DVD]
15. Icarus II
16. Icarus I
17. Mysteries & Mayhem
18. Portrait
19. Down the Road
20 Hold On
21. Dust in the Wind

Louise Setara-Still Waters

Artist: Louise Setara
Title: Still Waters
Genre: Pop
Label: Coast Records
Amazon Link

Louise Setara is a very mature looking 18-year-old female. When I discovered this after reading about it on her website, I was stunned. The first picture I saw of her was very different, her hair was down, and actually, she looks like a different person. This picture was on a special three-song sampler I received prior to this full-length release. It is amazing how much different a woman looks when they put their hair up and pull it back tight. Those were my initial observations. So what does this have to do with the music? There are some parallels here.

Now on to the music…Her vocals are incredibly good, once again, far beyond her years and experience. She sounds like a polished veteran not a young lady recently out of high school. Louise definitely has a head start on her contemporaries and the future looks bright.

Still Waters do indeed run deep and this maiden voyage into the world of music is quite impressive. When she sings Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love,” you can really ‘feel’ it deep down. This lady can get across a message in an authoritative and moving way. In fact, this is a commonality throughout the run of this CD, which in my estimation puts her in a special group of entertainers. Although I classify this as pop, I feel guilty doing so, there is so much more to this music and voice than one word could possibly describe. When it all boils down and you get to the core of the mix this is very adult oriented contemporary pop-the kind that has some substance and meaning behind it. You will hear elements of soul, gospel, R & B, and blues, everything under the sun wrapped into one tune. What a novelty that is these days! And I must say it was a welcome addition to my ears and senses every step of the way.

Other tracks that got my attention because of their depth and emotive essence were “I Can Hurt” and the striking opener “Love Me Still.” Louise sounds like she has been training and preparing for this album for years. What a way to kick off a career. For a debut album, this has to be beyond expectations anyone could have, and that puts her in a very good position to deliver the next effort.

© Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

September 28, 2006

01. Love Me Still (3:19)
02. By The Time (3:58)
03. Make You Feel My Love (3:31)
04. Homeless (4:22)
05. Wrong Again (4:27)
06. Too Soon (4:19)
07. Circle (3:49)
08. Can't Stop The Rain (3:53)
09. Sylvie (2:12)
10. Let It Be Me (3:44)
11. I Can Hurt (3:58)
12. If I Should Fall (4:40)
13. Ain't Gonna Let You Break My Heart Again (2:44)

26 September 2006

Ed Maly-Walking Shoes Blues

Artist: Ed Maly
Title: Walking Shoes Blues
Genre: Blues-Rock
Label: Hot Texas Tunes
CD Baby Link

Texas is a breeding ground for the blues and Ed Maly is an integral part of that community. Walking Shoes Blues, his fifth album, is a tribute to his talent for playing the blues and at the same time, he pays tribute to one of the legends Jimi Hendrix on the tracks ‘While His Guitar” and “Guitar Burn.” It never is a surprise for an artist to give the nod to Jimi. Many artists have been paying tribute to the late great one recently. This music lover welcomes these tributes. Where would rock-blues music be without the contributions Hendrix made?

You get plenty of Maly and his band on the 17 tracks offered on this CD. I heard some smokin’ guitars and a tightly knit rhythm section pounding and thumping away behind all of those stinging guitar lines from Ed and Keith Cannon. The opening title track is a great way to kick off this recording. It is the perfect blues-rock song, it chugs along with a lot swagger, cooks with the heat of emotion, and burns with sarcasm. I just loved it. If there is one tune I can see people downloading by the thousands, it is this one. If Ed and his mates are looking for a great hook to get people interested in this entertaining album, they have their tonic right in front of them.

A lot of this music was nostalgic for me, not just because of the Hendrix references, it was songs like “Telepathic Love,” which was blues-rock straight away yet it had that 60s hippy summer of love feel to it. “Candy Cane” was prototypical blues rocker with all the right lyrics sandwiched in between slices of Ed and Keith’s guitar licks. Candy is sweet but naughty too, just listen to the lyrics, it will not take long to get it. I have always enjoyed the innuendo of the blues.

I had a great time listening to this CD; this is party music, recorded in the spirit of the blues for all to have a good time so check out.

© Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

September 26, 2006

01. Walking Shoes Blues (3:00)
02. Blue (2:47)
03. While His Guitar (3:01)
04. Susan Jones (2:44)
05. Telepathic Love (1:58)
06. Wheels (2:12)
07. Identity Theft (3:18)
08. Bad Girl (2:37)
09. Guitar Burn (2:32)
10. Something Going Wrong (2:35)
11. Trophy Man (2:27)
12. Rock My World (2:48)
13. Party Tonight (2:21)
14. Candy Cane (2:31)
15. Next Time, Hurt Me (3:22)
16. Statesboro Blues (1:54)
17. Gasoline (2:15)


Ed Maly: vocals & guitars
Keith Cannon: lead guitar
Don Irby: bass & vocals
Mike Snelling: drums & vocals

25 September 2006

The Monkees Reissues

Artist: The Monkees
Title: The Monkees, More Of The Monkees
Genre: Pop-Rock
Label: Rhino

Hey, hey it’s the Monkees! How many of you remember that tagline? Thanks to my older sister, I was introduced to the pop kings at very young age. I was only 8 years old back then and it was a very impressionable age for me, growing into the prepubescent stage searching for idols to look up to. I remember my sister getting all of her rave magazines like 16 Magazine and Tiger Beat and pulling out the pictures of the band, spraying them with perfume and hanging them on her wall, man I thought she was so weird. A few years later, I would be doing the same thing with sports idols, minus the perfume of course, and then eventually I would gravitate towards rock stars in my early teens.

Hearing all of this music now is an absolute joy because not only is it good music, it brings my childhood right back to me. Those feelings are becoming more sweet and precious with every year that passes. Rhino digs down deep again and reissues The Monkees and More Of The Monkees, two albums that made history. This was an entertainment breakthrough, much like full-length movies by bands like The Beatles. It caught everyone off guard including the creators and it turned into a huge win for the music industry. The brainchild of Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider came to be by advertising for band members in Variety. Don Kirshner was also a key component in the band’s recorded output. The TV show was about a bunch of guys taking you on their madcap adventures and in between singing you their songs. If you watch the shows today you realize just how cornball it all was, but at the time, it was brilliant and it all worked.

The albums are remastered on two discs, both mono and stereo versions (both versions sounded great to me) with bonus tracks, including interesting booklets telling the story of the band with archival photos. Not only did I get an education on what really happened all those years ago, I heard many tracks that may have never graced my ears.

This band was a true phenomenon and they actually outsold the Beatles of all things for a few years! I found that astounding. The one song that I loved and remembered clearly was Mike Nesmith singing the catchy "The Kind Of Girl I Could Love." There were many more songs that were unforgettable as well-"(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone," "Last Train To Clarksville," and “She,” come to mind. After listening to Nesmith sing lead I wondered why it did not happen more often but now I know why after reading the informative liner notes. This was the classic situation of everyone else being in control but the band. Later on, the Monkees would prove they could do it on their own and play their instruments. When it all began, the boys came in as hired actors, not musicians, so professional session people would come in and lay down all the tracks, and then they would come in to sing. Primarily Mickey Dolenz and Davey Jones would step up to the microphone, on occasion Mike Nesmith, and on that very rare instance, Peter Tork would as well. All of that and many other interesting tidbits of information come packed away in the booklets of each of these fine sets. Both recordings helped to shape pop music just as the Beatles and Rolling Stones had before them.

For me this was all about the joy of my youth and the fond memories of a time so different from what we live in today. There is nothing like great music to help you to remember times you can never recapture. These two albums certainly did the trick for me.

© Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

September 7, 2006

Matthew Fogg & Nicole Hajj-Live At The Azure Cafe

Artist: Matthew Fogg & Nicole Hajj
Title: Live At The Azure Cafe
Genre: Jazz
Label: Independent
CD Baby Link

Matthew Fogg & Nicole Hajj had a history before this album came together. They met and found a mutual admiration and respect for one thing, the art form of jazz.

It is unusual to release a debut album as a live recording, but the duo decided this was the best way to present their music at the time. Live At The Azure Café was released in 2005 and received with open arms from the jazz community.

The mixture of jazz standards and originals is as compelling as it is enriching for the casual listener or connoisseur. Music like this has a particular audience, one that can appreciate good music and the changes it can go through in a live setting. It is quite simple actually, if you have a love for good music, this CD will find a way into your heart.

Besides the beautiful tones and elegant vocal style produced by Nicole, Matthew provides fresh arrangements via his exemplary piano playing. They get plenty of assistance from their friends too. Shawn Boissonneault (drums, percussion) is a long time friend and collaborator of Fogg’s, Brad Terry (clarinet), Andy Rice (acoustic & electric bass), and Lucas Cantor (guitar), round out the sound and form an ensemble that would rival any other band out playing jazz music today in a public venue. I would go far beyond that, actually, and say that this is several notches above any typical nightclub performance. This is a group of musician’s right in the middle of their creative element.

A select group of people provided the necessary audience ambiance, and the live sound resonates clearly and crisply throughout this recording. There is not any other idiom that flourishes more in a live setting than jazz, I can attest to that fact. After seeing countless concerts over the years there are a few jazz shows that I cannot seem to forget, and I know why. Improvisation breathes new life into songs you have heard a hundred times before. Take “My Funny Valentine” for instance. You instantly recognize the tune, however, the musicianship puts a different spin on the standard and brings it right into the new millennium by giving due respect to the past and adding bits and pieces of today for a sound that is unforgettable.

Fogg & Hajj have a special chemistry and the music that they make will give you the sense of being there, you can feel the creative energy and sparks flying. That is quite convincing since I was not there to witness the performance.

© Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

September 25, 2006

01. Cry Me a River (7:01)
02. It Never Entered My Mind (5:06)
03. Twisted (5:12)
04. The Nearness of You (4:38)
05. Estate (4:39)
06. Night and Day (4:51)
07. Mood Indigo (5:39)
08. Summertime (6:49)
09. Ghost of a Chance (4:38)
10. Centerpiece (9:39)
11. My Funny Valentine (5:05)

24 September 2006

Soupy Sales DVD In Living Black & White Released On Morada Vision


Ventura, CA--September 25, 2006-- The Soupy Sales 3 DVD Box Set Collection was such a great success that Morada Vision was overwhelmed with emails and phone calls for the early black & white Soupy Sales shows. They had to dig into the archives and unearth the early Soupy shows to produce the Collector’s Edition Two-Soupy Sales In Living Black & White to meet the demand for the great comedy of yesteryear and satisfy baby boomers and collectors everywhere.

There are over 2 1/2 hours of Soupy and all his zany friends at their very best in the black and white episodes that made him a household name. This is the first time that this footage has been available on VHS or DVD. Highlights of the film include Soupy doing the Mouse, Pookie sings the blues, and Fang retrieves an arm.

For fans of comedy this is good news, having two names you know and trust before you commit your hard-earned dollars to acquiring this classic DVD, makes it a lot easier to a make decision.

In these complicated times its nice to kick back your feet, grab some popcorn and watch a good DVD that will bring a smile to your face and soul in the most innocent natural way. Its so easy to forget that once there were easier simpler times and comedians like Soupy Sales remind us that we all need to laugh and let go once in while.

Contact: Marshall Blonstein
Company: Morada Vision
Address: 870 East Front Street, #3 Ventura, CA 93001
Telephone: (866) 203-0647
Fax: (805) 648-7552

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Wabi Sabi Productions Brings Multimedia Theater To Broadway With Katrina: A Whole Lotta Water


New York, NY--Sept 25, 2006-- Wabi Sabi Productions, a non-profit organization that produces shows, videos, events, and performances dealing with social, health and political community issues, have focused on the ongoing tragedies of hurricane Katrina.

Producer, writer, and director, Emmitt Thrower and Hip Hop Artist/Activist "Shakka" have teamed up to undertake the psychological and emotional issues around Katrina with a multimedia production on Broadway called Katrina: A Whole Lotta Water.

Emmitt Thrower is a former NYC Police officer who utilizes art and theater for social expression and change with his company Wabi Sabi Production Inc. Thrower has produced over 11 plays on and off Broadway during the past 16 months. His plays address social, health, and political issues. The other half of the team is Shakka, a Harlem resident whose family is from Baton Rouge. He also uses art for social change, namely the Shakka child abuse project. The partnership made sense and blossomed into creative expressions on stage through music and acting.

The opening of the hip-hop multimedia musical Katrina: A Whole Lotta Water is Nov 9, 2006 at 8 PM at the Producers Club II located at 616 Ninth Ave, New York City. Five performances have been added for November 10 through November 12, 2006: Friday 8 PM, Saturday 2 PM & 8 PM, Sunday 2 PM & 6 PM. Tickets are available at www.theatermania.com and by calling 212 352-3101. Groups can call 917 716-6635 for tickets. The cost of admission ranges from $20- $30.

Company: Wabi Sabi Productions
Contact: Emmitt Thrower
Address: 890 Trinity Ave, Bronx NY 10456
Cell: 917 716-6635

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22 September 2006

Honest Touch-Memories From A Dream

Artist: Honest Touch
Title: Memories From A Dream
Genre: Instrumental-Classical-New Age
Label: Independent
CD Baby Link

Honest Touch is from across the pond in Athens Greece. The duo of Samy Elgazzar (composer, keyboards) and Fofi Maniadaki (acoustic piano) combine their talents to record Memories From A Dream. Some fine talent backs them as well on the recording. A five-piece band and the Amadeus Orchestra add their special touch to give the duo a solid base to build upon.

The music befits the title as it creates many images while listening. It is all at once cinematic, breathtaking, and a slice of heaven. The orchestral segments set the tone, whether it is fast paced and dramatic or sad and reflective. The keyboards come delivered upon a layer of sweeping orchestration in each track.

The couple is interested in provoking thoughts from its audience, and there are many subjects covered even though there are not words attached to the music. Their music is so powerful that words are not needed, just look at the titles; they are suggestive enough to engage you and compel you to develop your own storyline while listening. It was easy for me as I can relate much better to instrumental music than compositions entangled with words, which are frequently difficult to understand to begin with on most recordings. This CD starts you off with a clean slate as a perspective listener and each composition is an aural landscape, an adventure that will transport you away to another place in time very quickly. It is easy if you let the music take you. With good instrumentals, it is my choice to immerse myself in the sounds and land wherever it takes me. That is what makes an instrumental track so exciting and special.

I was very impressed with this music and the sound is very good as well. Music so delicate and complex needs top-notch engineering and mixing. It is obvious to me after several listens that there was a job well done in all the important aspects of producing a quality recording. Do not be surprised if you hear this music in the background of a film someday.

© Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

September 21, 2006

01. Prologue: Let Love Soar
02. A Lonely Ride
03. Dancing Under The Moon
04. Moments With You
05. Like The Wind, The Wave & The Sand
06. Autumn Tear
07. And A Time For War..!
08. Luce Lontana
09. Withering Wish
10. Memories From A Dream
11. Then You Came
12. A Promise Forever
13. Epilogue: Lay All Your Love On Me

21 September 2006

Pete Teo-Television

Artist: Pete Teo
Genre: Alertnative-Folk
Label: Redbag
CD Baby Link

Pete Teo plants a seed then it steadily germinates with the warmth of his music, just like the sun and the rain help a flower to grow. This is the best way to explain how this music made me feel. I loved Rustic Living For Urbanites, Teo’s previous release that came out in 2004, and the new release Television, is an exceptional follow up album.

His voice is a soft vibrato that gradually pulls you into his reflective, deep, and sometimes pensive storytelling. I think the best way to put this music into a specific genre would be to say that it is an entertaining form of alternative-folk. This is an art form expressed from an individual’s soul; I could feel that in this music. As I mentioned in my first review, the man is a poet, a true artisan developing his craft in every composition.

The packaging for the CD is impressive, it comes in a glossy cardboard slipcase with another cardboard sleeve that holds the CD, along with a thick (yes, glossy) booklet that has many pictures of the contributing musicians and the lyrics (which are so damned small I don’t think I could read them before I got glasses!). Packaging is always secondary to the music but a well conceived CD usually comes wrapped up in some sort of attractive packaging, it really does make a difference, especially if the music matches the packaging it comes in, and in this case, it does.

The one track that stood out the most for my ears was “Shine,” although every track had its merits and stood up as individual pieces of work. I loved the middle of the song when the rolling piano comes in; it is so rhythmic and catchy, a real foot stomper. Pete’s voice never seems to go up or down; it is steady throughout regardless of the subject…his inflection changes to emphasize certain lyrics but you never hear anything switch up dramatically (i.e. from soft to screaming). Consistency is the name of the game in any work you do and Pete Teo is one consistent recording artist that you can count on to deliver the goods. All 11 tracks served their purpose well for me; I enjoyed the music, lyrics, everything offered. I must mention that the outstanding musicianship was very apparent on this album, and the production quality, which Teo was a part of, was above average as well.

© Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

September 21, 2006

01. Lost In America (4:47)
02. Shine (4:20)
03. Hide Your Gun (4:51)
04. Carnival Hall (4:04)
05. Sunday Best Shoes (4:33)
06. Laura Nelson's Bridge (5:55)
07. The Infidel (4:44)
08. Tom (5:06)
09. Blow (4:40)
10. Into The Storm (6:24)
11. Who For You? (3:33)

Pete Teo - guitar & vocals
Nick Lee - Guitars
Justin Lim - piano
Ren Takada - Pedal Steel
Andrew Tan - Organ
Nguyen Hai Phuong - Dan Bau
Chan Kum Loong - Erhu
Hayakawa Takeharu - Bass
Lewis Pragasam - Drums
Yagi Nobuo - Harmonica
Steve Thornton - Tambourine
Angelita Li - Backing Vocals

19 September 2006

Kellylee Evans-Fight or Flight?

Artist: Kellylee Evans
Title: Fight or Flight?
Genre: Jazz
Label: Enliven! Media
CD Baby Link

Kellylee Evans decides to take flight rather than fight on her new recording Fight or Flight? The title of the CD will have different interpretations by each individual listener no doubt. I see it as an artist deciding to do what comes natural-sing her heart out and record one fine album filled with jazz and emotion. Evans has a lovely warm delivery expressed through the twelve tracks on this CD.

Ms. Evans surrounds herself with a cache of excellent musicians and it becomes apparent rather promptly when “What About Me” begins, that this is the foundation of her ultimate success. Although the most important instrument on the album is her voice…what would any great set of pipes be without a backing band that can get the job done? Evans’ voice sounds like it was designed for jazz and there is no question about it once you hear the entire album. Kellylee sounds like she has the jazz vibe and groove running through every fiber of her being. This natural feeling and down to earth style comes through brilliantly on all twelve tracks.

My favorites are the opener “What About Me?,” which is so good you get to hear it again at end of the CD as a bonus track only this time it’s a saucier slow burner version. “Rapunzel” is a great showcase for Kellylee’s versatile vocal chords. The Latin beats suit her well and the way she controls the words and the inflection of her voice is just superb throughout the track. You will get right into the story instantly and start picturing what the fair maiden that drives all the men wild looks like. “How Can You Get Along Without Me?” is a classic. It is an original Evans track that I could see Sinatra or Bennett singing, snapping their fingers, and tapping their feet from start to finish.

This CD comes filled with great music accompanied by fine vocals, essentially everything that you would love about a favorite album. For all of the reasons mentioned above, this CD has become one of my favorite jazz vocal albums of 2006. Thank god, there are still people making great jazz albums these days, it gives me hope, it gives indie music as an entity hope, and that is a good thing.

© Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

September 19, 2006

01. What About Me?
02. Lead Me Closer
03. I Don’t Want You To Love Me
04. Hooked
05. Fight of Flight? (Help Me, Help You)
06. I Don’t Think I Want To Know
07. Let’s Call a Truce Tonight
08. Rapunzel
09. How Can You Get Along Without Me?
10. Enough
11. Who Knows
12. What About Me? (Bonus Track)


Kellylee Evans: vocals, bass programming (2)
Carlos Henderson: bass (1,2)
Jon Cowland: keyboard (2)
Carl Burnett: acoustic guitar (1,2)
Rocky Bryant: drums (1,2)
Lonnie Plaxico: bass (3-12)
George Colligan: keyboard (4-7, 9-12)
Marvin Sewell: acoustic guitar (3, 5, 8), electric guitar: (4, 6, 7,9-12)
Steve Hass: drums (4, 7, 9-12)
Kahill Kwame Bell: percussion (3-9, 11, 12)
Alexander Norris: trumpet (3)
Rachelle Garniez: accordion (8)

18 September 2006

Additional Moog-Lost Engines

Artist: Additional Moog
Title: Lost Engines
Genre: Alternative-Rock-Pop-Country
Label: Lost Cat Records

Lost Engines gives you a grand tour of the Additional Moog sound. This band sounds like many bands you have heard before yet they put their own particular twist on everything.

16 tracks is a lot of music to take in, but it’s all very enjoyable and that’s a good thing. I thought about the Velvet Underground more than once while I was listening to it. The band likes to call itself lo-fi alt country, in some cases I can agree with that, particularly on one of my favourite tunes, “Soul Star.” A lot of the time I heard some good basic rock-pop comparative to Big Star and the like, partly because vocalist James Williams reminded me of Alex Chilton.

If you want to rock, this is not your CD. If you like nice melodies, sweet vocal harmonies, and jangling guitars this will be exactly what the doctor ordered. I found it very pleasant and unusually relaxing for music with so much rhythm and substance. The lyrics are clear and have some purpose; there really are not any nonsensical forays that have you scratching your head. Yes, Additional Moog cuts right to the chase: it is simple, clean, and good music. Sometimes it’s what I need and other times it makes me yawn, it just depends what kind of mood I am in and what my energy level is. But that goes without saying no matter I listen to. All in all, this is an album worth checking out; they are an interesting and different band that caught my ear several times while listening to this CD.

© Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

September 18, 2006

01. Avalanche Days (3:22)
02. Country Singer (3:09)
03. Harmonica Fuel (3:02)
04. Eurovision Failure (2:19)
05. Silver Diver (3:22)
06. Trout Thing (3:34)
07. Throat Kung-Fu (1:52)
08. High Lounge (3:07)
09. Alaska (3:41)
10.Kicking Static (2:36)
11. Soul Star (5:17)
12. Queen Of The D (2:18)
13. El Guiro! (2:28)
14. Mexicans (2:36)
15. Signs On 54 (4:15)
16. Rope-Trained (2:58)

James Williams vocals, guitar
Ian Powell drums, backing vocals
Alex Reynolds bass, additional guitar
Mark Rose guitars, additional moogs, bass, keys, songs

17 September 2006

Uplift Releases Rock-Metal Standout Nothing Left Behind


Boston, MA--September 18, 2006-- After a successful gig at Locobazooka, Uplift is poised to take their new music to the masses. Nothing Left Behind is quickly receiving recognition by a growing fan base and when 2006 is over the album looks as if it will fall snugly into the top of the indie rock-metal charts.

Uplift has shared the stage with Alice in Chains, Social Burn, Days of The New, Ra, Wicked Wisdom, PM5K, Buckcherry, Black Stone Cherry, and Bipolar. There is no doubt that soon they will be right up there amongst the headliners with the strong momentum that will carry them right into the New Year.

Uplift is part of the new wave of bands that know how to utilize the tools available to reach music fans. They have secured performance dates through the fall of this year and continually update their website, while building profiles on community based sites like My Space. This proactive approach is making things move at the speed of light for the band and everyone involved is very excited.

Endorsements from Krank Amps, GHS Strings, a major distribution initiative through Trans World’s Localeyez program and a college radio campaign combines to pack a powerful media punch for the band. The band will have a chance at earning major retail placement based on their reported online sales, tireless promotion, and their spot on business acumen.

Uplift features the vocals of Jason Arigoni aka Jsin, their fiery leader, and owner of the band’s label Mohawk Recording Group, a full-service independent record label catering to independent musicians, Dan Zavadil (bass), Dave Mason (guitars), and Alex Fuller (drums). They have found a chemistry that works well and the result is their incredible success. Their music and energy is compelling, electrifying, and reflected on Nothing Left Behind.

The band looks forward to touring and meeting their audiences wherever they land. With an endless flow of power, stage presence, and charisma, Uplift is ready to take on the world and blaze a path for other indie bands to follow.

Contact: Jason Arigoni
Company: Mohawk Recording Group
Address: PO BOX 346, North Adams MA USA 01247
Telephone: 413-652-9440

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Natalia Nazarova Releases Independent Dance-Electronica CD Fashion


Silver Spring, Maryland--September 18, 2006-- The dance-electronica scene is ready to embrace another rising star. Singer/actress Natalia Nazarova has a new album set for release October 2, 2006 titled Fashion that is poised to take its place on the international dance charts. Natalia’s voice is simply spellbinding throughout the recording.

Natalia’s many talents and diverse range of influences allows her to record in several genres. Previous releases featured her singing jazz tunes and clearly that strong background has helped her to transition over into the more upbeat energetic world of dance and electronica.

Fashion features the trademark alluring international vocal style that has forged a singular and distinctive path for the Natalia. Her sophisticated and sexy vocals permeate each track, making it a perfect fit for the music on the CD.

The haunting and powerful “No Excuse” opens the album up and each succeeding track offers various atmospheres with chill out grooves that spark rhythmic non-stop beats. Two versions of the title track are on the CD with the Global Domination Mix sure to wet the appetites of DJs and dancers everywhere. The track has a well-built electronica groove that never lets go. Other standout tracks include “Love and Loyalty,” a smooth, direct, alluring, and sexy invitation and “At the Matinee,” where Natalia sounds like Annie Lenox with a European accent, her delivery is powerful, like a cinematic soundtrack with emotive vocals.

Natalia Nazarova has an international appeal and reach that is undeniable and Fashion is certain to garner critical acclaim and new listeners from every corner of the globe.

Fashion samples are available by visiting the Natalia Nazarova website or CD Baby.

Contact: B. Elliot Grysen, Esq.
Company: Riverstreet Gang Productions
Address: 806 River Street, Spring Lake, Michigan 49456
Telephone: 800-727-1470
Fax: 616-847-6208
CD Baby Link

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11 September 2006

Kansas-Works In Progress

Artist: Kansas
Title: Works In Progress
Genre: Progressive Rock-Metal
Format: DVD/CD
Label: Intersound Records

Not too long, after the release of this Kansas set, long time violinist and vocalist Robbie Steinhardt left the band again and David Ragsdale replaced him, again. The release of Works In Progress is ironic in that it documents a configuration of the band with Ragsdale on violin. The reason that the band decided to release this archival material is that the live performances contained herein were tight as the band ever was. According to the band, it was one of the best Kansas lineups to set foot on stage. After listening and watching I have to agree, they were hitting on all of their cylinders and sounded red-hot.

Music from the underrated album Freaks Of Nature and the incredibly ambitious Device Voice Drum DVD, which in my opinion is one of their greatest achievements, and Live At The Whiskey with a special guest appearance of Kerry Livgren on select tracks are included on this set. You will not hear any rarities; it is the same tracks you have probably heard over and over again accept with the energy kicked up a few notches. If you are a Kansas fan, this is a no brainer, get it because you will enjoy it immensely.

Its disappointing that Steinhardt left again as I was looking forward to another Kansas studio recording at some point featuring most of the original lineup, however Ragsdale does a fine job on violin, he just cannot replace Robbie’s signature vocals. This documentation is solid proof of Ragsdale’s capabilities.

Time will tell how things work out for the band. In the meantime, we have plenty of great Kansas music to enjoy; all remastered in glorious sound and now this fine release to add to that collection.

Of particular interest to fans will be the compelling stripped down versions of “Dust In The Wind” and “Hold On.” Its Kansas unplugged if you will and yet another enticement to get this double disc set.

© Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

September 11, 2006

01. Mysteries & Mayhem (8:25)
02. Portrait (5:38)
03. Down the Road (5:51)
04. Black Fathom (5:54)
05. Freaks of Nature (4:07)
06. Under the Knife (5:00)
07. I Can Fly (5:21)
08. Peaceful and Warm (6:47)
09. The Wall (5:30)
10. Cheyenne Anthem (7:30)
11. Hold On (4:15)
12. Dust in the Wind (3:57)
13. Intro
14. Belexes [DVD]
15. Icarus II
16. Icarus I
17. Mysteries & Mayhem
18. Portrait
19. Down the Road
20 Hold On
21. Dust in the Wind

09 September 2006

Neil Carswell Releases Good Man’s Journey


Nashville, Tennessee--September 10, 2006-- Southern rock icon Neil Carswell has put together some of his best work to date with a new album titled Good Man’s Journey. Carswell had previously headed up the enormously successful band Copperhead. Carswell did not have too look far to find his roots in blues and classic rock waiting for a resurgence of energy to bring it all back to life in the recording studio again. Like a breath of fresh air, it all came rushing back and an instant classic was born.

Good Man’s Journey is a down to earth, bluesy, richly colored southern flavored classic rock album that shares equal time with rockin’ and slower tracks. Neil Carswell is a man with many talents musically and his ability to sing a song that you will never forget is a gift that he uses on every track on the album.

Prominent musicians are part of the sessions such as Johnny Neel (keyboards, Allman Bros.), Barry Goudreau (guitar, Boston), Stu Kimball (guitar, Bob Dylan), and Chris Anderson (guitar, The Outlaws. Carswell and Anderson also combined their energy and efforts to produce the CD.

Good Man’s Journey is on target to appeal to classic rock fans, longtime listeners, and gain new ones along the way. It is an archetypal rendering of Carswell’s talents as a vocalist/ songwriter/musician. The recording focuses on deeply emotional subjects with moving blues-rock music that superbly counterparts the personal subjects that the artist touches upon during the course of the album.

Carswell’s place in musical history as one of the most versatile and enduring artist is secure with his past work however he will not rest on his past laurels. This new output of music is fresh, full of life, expressive, and it features a distinctive vocal style we have come to respect over the years. Neil’s deep abiding love for traditional blues along with his ability to sing, write songs, and play an instrument, puts him in a category that few rarely achieve in a lifetime of toiling in the studio and playing countless live gigs.

Visit Neil Carswell’s website for the latest news, tour dates, and releases.

Contact: Doug Jones
Company: Eastwinds Records Inc.
Address: PO Box 599, Ashland City, TN 37015
Tel: 615-279-0322

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06 September 2006

Alice In Chains Joins Forces With Full Circle Licensing


Los Angeles, CA--September 7, 2006-- Alice In Chains – Jerry Cantrell, Mike Inez and Sean Kinney- have joined forces with music industry veteran Toni Profera of Full Circle to handle their publishing placement. While Sony BMG has control of the Alice In Chains masters, Profera and her team will be working to seek placement for the music.

Full Circle is committed to working with both Sony BMG and Alice In Chains to find choice projects for these songs”, Profera says. “We’re all working together with a pro-active approach. The Alice In Chains songs speak to an entire generation and there’s a vast untapped market out there. We will be seeking quality uses that build on the licenses Alice has approved in the past, including films and soundtracks for The Perfect Storm, Clerks, Black Hawk Down, Singles and Spider-man; on TV, Cold Case”; and in video games Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Guitar Hero II.”

Alice in Chains has a catalog that has sold well in excess of 14 million in the US. Some of their most iconic songs include Man In The Box, Rooster, Nutshell, No Excuses, Them Bones, and Angry Chair. Having defined the Seattle Grunge sound of the early ‘90’s, they have recently re-launched and are currently on a worldwide tour getting rave reviews.

Profera founded Full Circle after spending 25 years working in the ranks of the major record label and distribution systems as a retail specialist and marketing executive with a marketing company under the Hits Magazine umbrella, of which she was a principal. In 2003, she left to form a new venture that uses a pro-active effort of promoting both the writers and the artists, through an artist development approach to the film and TV community. She has a varied roster of catalogs, producers, and composers.

Contact: Toni Profera
Company: Full Circle
Address: 4804 Laurel Canyon Blvd, Suite 817
Valley Village, California 91607
Phone: 818-788-8930
Fax: 818-788-9023

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05 September 2006

Bonnie Raitt And Friends-Decades Rock Live

Artist: Bonnie Raitt And Friends
Title: Decades Rock Live
Format: CD/DVD
Genre: Blues-Rock
Label: Capitol

It was gratifying to hear what Bonnie Raitt’s peers had to say about her. I hold the deepest respect for her. What she has accomplished personally and musically is monumental by any standard. She is the grand old lady of the blues now, well, she is not that old, like the grizzled old bluesmen of yesteryear. Raitt is in a league all by herself, and obviously, she has made tremendous strides for woman getting the respect they deserve in the music industry. The odds were against her when she got started but being the smart cookie that she is Raitt decided to go on a blues soul-searching mission to learn and play with all the masters. She learned her lessons well. Since she first hit the scene, her recordings have been critically acclaimed and it certainly does not look like there is any end in sight.

Bonnie Raitt And Friends- Decades Rock Live is a double shot of vintage Riatt with a guest list that anyone would envy. When asked whom she would want to play with at a live event, she submitted her list and low and behold, everyone said yes. This came as a surprise to her because of the humble and respectfully attitude towards her contemporaries in the industry. Everyone was honored to be on the same stage as Bonnie and if you watch the DVD portion of this set, you can see how the interaction fosters a mutual feeling of warmth and appreciation from everyone. It all comes pouring out of the ladies soul through every track.

Keb Mo, Allison Krause, Ben Harper, Norah Jones, and John Cleary lend their special talents to the mix and it proves to be a workable configuration for each guest. Raitt is all aglow with pride and positive energy on this performance. This DVD is one of the best concert videos I have ever witnessed. I say that without a doubting bone in my body. Everything about it rates five stars. The production, sound, and camera work are extraordinary, and the stage setting fits each number beautifully. The CD is excellent as well, a fine warm up to your front row seat that the DVD provides. The DVD offers five more tracks than the CD including personal interviews with all of Bonnie’s guests and a nice talk with the lady of the evening herself.

This is a great follow up to the critically acclaimed Souls Alike, Riatt’s latest studio triumph.

© Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

September 5, 2006


1. Introduction
2. Unnecessarily Mercenary (featuring Jon Cleary)
3. I Will Not Be Broken
4. God Was In The Water
5. Gnawin’ On It
6. You (featuring Alison Krauss)
7. Love Letter (featuring Keb’ Mo’)
8. Two Lights In The Nighttime (featuring Ben Harper)
9. Well, Well, Well (featuring Ben Harper)
10. Something To Talk About
11. I Don't Want Anything To Change (featuring Norah Jones)
12. Love Sneakin' Up On You (featuring All Special Guests)

DVD Track Listing:

1. Unnecessarily Mercenary (featuring Jon Cleary)
2. I Will Not Be Broken
3. God Was In The Water
4. Gnawin' On It
5. You (featuring Alison Krauss)
6. Papa Come Quick (featuring Alison Krauss)
7. No Gettin' Over You (featuring Keb’ Mo’)
8. Love Letter (featuring Keb’ Mo’)
9. Crooked Crown
10. Trinkets
11. Two Lights In The Nighttime (featuring Ben Harper)
12. Well, Well, Well (featuring Ben Harper)
13. Something To Talk About
14. Hear Me Lord
15. I Don't Want Anything To Change (featuring Norah Jones)
16. Tennessee Waltz (featuring Norah Jones)
17. Love Sneakin' Up On You (featuring All Special Guests)