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Book Review: 108 Rock Star Guitars by Lisa S. Johnson

Welcome to the new holy grail of guitar books 108 Rock Star Guitars. The size of the book alone is breathtaking, 396 pages with 486 photos and a forward by the legendary Les Paul. Lisa S. Johnson received the right of passage and approval from the man himself...READ MORE...

Michigan Rockers Black Note Graffiti Release Self-Titled Indie Album

Ann Arbor, Michigan-November 12, 2013- Black Note Graffiti is made up music veterans Rick Ortiz on vocals and guitar, Adam Nine bass guitar, Kurt Keller percussion and Kris Keller guitar and vocals. Previous incarnations of the band include Krescent 4 however Ortiz is the most recent addition to the lineup....READ MORE...

Jazz Fusion Review: Ivan Verrastro-Sentience

Artist: Ivan Verrastro
Title: Sentience
Genre: Jazz Fusion
Label: Independent
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Ivan Verrastro is a true master of his craft. Every second is as important as the other on every song. Not a second is wasted. Sentience is clearly a labor of love that he has poured everything he has into making this album..READ MORE...

Hard Rock Review: Black Note Graffiti-Volume One

Artist: Black Note Graffiti
Title: Volume 1
Genre: Hard Rock
Label: Independent
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Some of the highlights of an album chock full of them are the opener “Revanche.” It hits you in the head like a sledgehammer of sound. The rhythm section leads the way and Keller’s chunky Sabbath like riffs bring it all home. “Monkey” is another good track and it comes at you with a little more diversity and less heaviness..READ MORE...

New Age Celtic Review: Shauna Burns-Violet

Artist: Shauna Burns
Title: Violet
Genre: New Age/ Celtic
Label: Red Rock Music LLC
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If you are a fan of Sarah McLachlan, you will find a lot of similarities in sound, Celtic flair and deeply emotive vocals in this album on the whole. In particular, the song “Vienna” gouged at my heart with a spoon...READ MORE...

European Singing Star Eric Van Aro Is Back With A Captivating New Jazz Album

Lugano, Switzerland-October, 8, 2013- Singer/songwriter/producer Eric Van Aro’s Obsession EP is scheduled to be released on October 18, the latest in dozens of recordings Van Aro has released, many on his Switzerland-based record company, Eraki...READ MORE...

Lance Reegan-Diehl Introduces The Player Signature Swing Guitar Line

Seoul-Korea-October, 8-2013- When Lance Reegan-Diehl met the owner of Swing Guitars a partnership was born. Lance was asked to provide a design of a guitar that he would like to play. After his many experiences modifying
guitars he found it natural to sit down and sketch out some designs....READ MORE...

Pop/Soul Review: Thelma Houston & JANITOR-fortytwo

Artist: Thelma Houston & JANITOR
Title: fortytwo
Genre: Pop/Soul
Label: Mp3MusicOutlet
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Multiply Grammy Award winner Thelma Houston began her career in Motown in the 1960’s and hasn’t looked back. Her work as an activist and international performer drives her forward and she has no intention of stopping. Her newest release, fortytwo, is collaboration with multi-instrumentalist and producer JANITOR. The album is an exploration of soul...READ MORE...

Woody Russell Releases an Instant Classic Titled Delicious Days

Austin, Texas-October 2, 2013- Woody Russell has a catalog of excellent releases. With each release he gives the listener a new adventure to dive into. Delicious Days is not an exception. Although the new release is filed under pop, it is far more deep and eclectic than one word or genre can express. Russell takes a deep dive into the well of his musical ancestors and pulls out all the stops to come up with a consistently outstanding outing. The recording is a melting pot of his influences, taking elements of jazz, blues, country, Americana and pop, to give it an overall crossover appeal that is hard to ignore...READ MORE...

Solo Piano Review: Tim Neumark-Opus Four

Artist: Tim Neumark
Title: Opus Four
Genre: Solo Piano
Label: Independent
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Tim Nuemark's Opus Four is Neumark’s newest release and it is entirely a solo piano album. Simple and inspirational tunes make this listening experience pleasant and a great way to end a hectic day at the office....READ MORE...

Pop Review: Woody Russell-Delicious Days

Artist: Woody Russell
Title: Delicious Days
Genre: Pop
Label: Cuts Music Group
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I listened to it four times before I even put my shovel in the dirt. Having heard most of his previous work, I thought I was familiar with Woody. His last vocal album, Up Against It, was a classic Texas blues and soul masterpiece that I still listen to on a regular basis. But, Delicious Days is an entirely new level on the house that Woody built and it sounds like a man who has truly found his sweet spot...READ MORE...

Folk Review: Marc Platt-Brand New Day

Artist: Marc Platt
Title: Brand New Day
Genre: Folk
Label: Dream Wild
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Marc Platt is a singer-songwriter based in Los Angeles. He is a strong musician and a music aficionado. This shows in his songwriting as well as his previous releases, which have shown his ability to write songs in multiple genres. His latest release is Brand New Day, a ten song folk album...READ MORE...

New Age Review: Sonaljit Mukherjee-Dreaming the Afterlife

Artist: Sonaljit Mukherjee
Title: Dreaming the Afterlife
Genre: New Age
Label: Independent
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Sonaljit Mukherjee hails from India and currently resides in Massachusetts as he pursues a Ph.D. for physics at Dartmouth. Growing up in a family that was musically inclined, Mukherjee learned how to use home sound recordings to his best advantage at an early age...READ MORE...

Pop-Rock-Country Review: Sheila Swift-The Striving is Over EP

Artist: Sheila Swift
Title: The Striving is Over EP
Genre: Pop-Rock-Country
Label: Independent
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I have not listened to any new Sheila Swift music since 2007. If her upcoming EP The Striving is Over is any indication of what direction she is headed then it all points to eventual stardom...READ MORE...

Pop/Rock Review: Leah Jee-The Rest is Ours EP

Artist: Leah Jee
Title: The Rest is Ours EP
Genre: Pop/Rock
Label: LRT Music Group
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The Rest is Ours EP is the debut release from Southern California’s Leah Jee. Jee is a singer/songwriter with Pop/Rock style with a punk spin on it, and her mantra is, “I’m Leah Jee, and I am here to rock you out!” Does she fulfill this mantra on her debut?...READ MORE...

New Age Review: Peter Sterling-Twilight Serenade

Artist: Peter Sterling
Title: Twilight Serenade
Genre: New Age
Label: Harp Magic
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Peter Sterling is a world renowned new age harpist who has touched millions of people with his healing and spiritual music. Sterling began his musical career after experiencing some life-altering visions while he was living in Sedona, Arizona’s Red Rock canyons...READ MORE...

Symphonic Metal Review: Crimson Chrysalis-Crimson Passion Cry

Artist: Crimson Chrysalis
Title: Crimson Passion Cry
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Label: Ravenheart Music
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Rene van den Berg who goes by simply van den Berg, heads up the impressive symphonic metal band Crimson Chrysalis. Their maiden voyage is aptly titled Crimson Passion Cry...READ MORE...

Audio Fidelity Releases James Taylor and CSN Classics on 24kt Gold CD

Culver City, CA-August 20, 2013- Marshall Blonstein’s Audio Fidelity imprint has released more classic recordings from their vaults. The 24 Karat Discs immortalized on this run are James Taylor’s superb Gorilla coupled with the Crosby, Stills and Nash self-titled debut CSN... READ MORE...

Instrumental Rock Fusion Review: Arjun-Space

Artist: Arjun
Title: Space
Genre: Instrumental Rock Fusion
Label: Pheromone Records
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Since rock and roll’s early days, there have been instrumental artists. In 2003, an instrumental rock band was formed in New York. This band, known as Arjun, takes inspiration from rock and improvisational jazz, and fuses them together to create music that is a work of art...READ MORE...

Folk Rock Review: James Taylor-Gorilla 24kt Gold

Artist: James Taylor
Title: Gorilla (24 Karat Gold)
Genre: Folk Rock
Label: Audio Fidelity
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James Taylor is a world renowned name in the folk community. In 1975 Taylor released Gorilla. The album spawned the two monster hits “How Sweet It” and “Mexico.”...READ MORE...

Folk Rock Review: Crosby, Stills & Nash-CSN 24kt Gold

Artist: Crosby, Stills & Nash
Title: CSN (24kt Gold)
Genre: Folk Rock
Label: Audio Fidelity
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In a word CSN is a striking folk rock masterpiece. It displays three of the most perfected voices in rock history and served as a stunning debut. Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and David Crosby together sounded like they could lead you to the gates of heaven...READ MORE...

Audio Fidelity Releases Vangelis Blade Runner Soundtrack On SACD

Culver City, CA-July 23, 2013- Marshall Blonstein’s Audio Fidelity label has just released the classic Ridely Scott 1982 science fiction film soundtrack to Blade Runner on SACD. Performed by the legendary Vangelis, the music and film formed a magnificent partnership that sounds fresh and exciting to this day...READ MORE...

Progressive Rock Review: KingBathmat-Overcoming the Monster

Artist: KingBathmat
Title: Overcoming the Monster
Genre: Progressive Rock
Label: Stereohead Records
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Progressive, alternative, and psychedelic are just some of the few ways that the sound of KingBathmat can be described. Nevertheless, they make it all work to produce their genre bending and, sometimes, defying music.....READ MORE...

Guitarist Eric Mantel Signs On With Steve Vai’s Digital Nations Label

Chicago, IL, CA-July 12, 2013- Legendary Chicago guitar virtuoso/songwriter/vocalist/tone master/eclectic stylist Eric Mantel is internationally acclaimed as a musician of the highest order. Mantel is proud to announce inking a deal with Digital Nations, the all-download arm of guitar icon Steve Vai's Favored Nations record label...READ MORE...

Original Soundtrack Review: Vangelis-Blade Runner OST (SACD)

Artist: Vangelis
Title: Blade Runner OST (SACD)
Genre: OST
Label: Audio Fidelity
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Ridley Scott’s 1982 Sci-Fi classic Blade Runner had an equally memorable soundtrack provided by Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou, a Greek composer known worldwide as Vangelis. His electronic, progressive, ambient, jazz, pop, rock, and orchestral scores are recognized as more than an addition to a movie or background music....READ MORE...

Jazz Review: Terence Blanchard-Magnetic

Artist: Terence Blanchard
Title: Magnetic
Genre: Jazz
Label: Blue Note Records
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Born in New Orleans, LA, Terence Blanchard is a Grammy Award winning jazz trumpeter and bandleader. Blanchard started his career as a trumpeter in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. Along with saxophonist Donald Harrison Blanchard co-led a quintet that released five albums...READ MORE...

Country Review: Linda Lundqvist- A Piece of Me

Artist: Linda Lundqvist
Title: A Piece of Me
Genre: Country
Label: Musik and Film
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Linda Lundqvist hails from the fair land of Sweden. In an environment that is full of talented musicians, Lundqvist is an example of talent that stretches across boundaries and genres. For almost twenty years she has been engaging audiences through music and theater, both as an instructor and performer...READ MORE...

R & B/Soul Review: LaGaylia Frazier-That Girl EP

Artist: LaGaylia Frazier
Title: That Girl EP
Genre: R&B/Soul
Label: Billberg Entertainment
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Despite her being from Miami, you are probably not all that familiar with LaGaylia Frazier. She is rather accomplished in her current home of Sweden however, to which she moved in 2001. Frazier comes from a musical family and began playing the piano at age five, but decided to stick with singing as a teenager....READ MORE...

Rock Review: Sons of the Radio-The Delicate Machinery

Artist: Sons of the Radio
Title: The Delicate Machinery
Genre: Rock
Label: Independent
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There are still some bands out there trying hard to keep rock from dying, and Baltimore’s Sons of the Radio is one such band. Back in 2012 Muzikreviews.com named their debut album, Heartstrings & Heresies, a Pick of the Week. Now the quartet is back with their follow-up album The Delicate Machinery...READ MORE...

Garage Rock Review: Rick Shaffer-Stacked Deck

Artist: Rick Shaffer
Title: Stacked Deck
Genre: Garage Rock
Label: Tarock Music
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It seems like it is becoming a yearly occurrence for me to review Rick Shaffer’s latest album. In fact, it is pretty much 12 months to the day that I reviewed his third album, Idiot Flats. Shaffer’s latest is entitled Stacked Deck, and it picks up right where Flats left off...READ MORE...

Arek Religa Releases New Instrumental Rock Album Warrior

Chicago, Illinois-May 28, 2013- Arek Religa came to America from Poland in the year 2000 and he has honed his skills as a guitar player since the age of 16....READ MORE...

Rock Review: Ed Hale and The Transcendence-The Great Mistake

Artist: Ed Hale and The Transcendence
Title: The Great Mistake
Genre: Rock
Label: Independent
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Ed Hale is a man that certainly likes to keep himself busy. He began his career at the age of 17 as Eddie Darling, and hasn’t really slowed down since. Be it as a singer/songwriter, author, or activist, he is always up to something. He speaks six languages, and records both as a solo artist, and in his group, Ed Hale and The Transcendence...READ MORE...

Alternative Rock Review: Ravens Ballroom-Rain Dance

Artist: Ravens Ballroom
Title: Rain Dance
Genre: Alternative Rock
Label: Independent
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Ravens Ballroom is the trendsetting New York based band that has been playing in local venues and electrifying fans with songs from their new EP. The band is comprised of Matthew Ravens (songwriter, vocals, lyricist, producer, and guitar), Simi Ravens (bass, vocals, songwriter, and guitar) and Jon Rosenbaum (drums, percussion). This spring brings the long awaited EP Rain Dance to fruition and as the first notes glided out of my speakers I’m pretty sure my eyes rolled back into my head out of sheer bliss....READ MORE...

Instrumental Rock Review: Arek Religa-Warrior

Artist: Arek Religa
Title: Warrior
Genre: Instrumental Rock
Label: Independent
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In Memory Of the Greatest was the first Arek Religa release I covered back in 2007. He impressed me so much he was chosen as our Weekly Featured Artist. Now 6 years have flown by and once again we have the opportunity to listen to this guitar virtuoso hailing from Poland. His instrumental tribute to some of the masters of the six-string was compelling and promising so now how would he follow that release up?...READ MORE...

Audio Fidelity Releases Nat “King” Cole and Harry Belafonte Classic Recordings on SACD

Culver City, CA-April 24, 2013- Marshall Blonstein’s Audio Fidelity is once again heating up the SACD coffers with two amazing classic releases from the 50s...READ MORE...

Jazz Review: Nat "King" Cole-Welcome To The Club (SACD)

Artist: Nat “King” Cole
Title: Welcome To The Club (SACD)
Genre: Jazz
Label: Audio Fidelity
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Nat “King” Cole had a voice as smooth as silk with deep rich intonations that could mesmerize a listener. As with many great artists of the past his music lives and continues to gain notoriety with new audiences...READ MORE...

Audio Fidelity Releases Scorpions and Elton John Classics on 24kt Gold CDs

Culver City, CA-April 9, 2013- Marshall Blonstein’s Audio Fidelity has had a very busy year. We are already into the second quarter of 2013 and the new releases just keep coming. Most recently two rock releases have been added to their massive library of classic recordings...READ MORE...

Classic Metal Review: Scorpions-Virgin Killer (24kt Gold)

Artist: Scorpions
Title: Virgin Killer (24kt Gold)
Genre: Metal
Label: Audio Fidelity
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The Scorpions are bonafide heavy metal legends and in 1976 one of their more iconic releases came roaring out the gate. Virgin Killer is now remastered in Audio Fidelity’s 24kt Gold numbered and limited edition version and presented in their well know window slipcase cover with a CD booklet....READ MORE...

Rock Review: Elton John-Rock of the Westies (24kt Gold)

Artist: Elton John
Title: Rock of the Westies (24kt Gold)
Genre: Rock-Pop
Label: Audio Fidelity
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In 1975 Elton John was in the middle of a highpoint of his career releasing one hit single after another. The 70s was indeed the most successful decade for Sir Elton. Rock of the Westies had a hard act to follow as the previous album, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy was a huge success...READ MORE...

New Age Instrumental Review: Grant Michael Allport-Imagine This

Artist: Grant Michael Allport
Title: Imagine This
Genre: New Age Instrumental
Label: Independent
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Grant Michael Allport is a musician and composer from down under. His blend of pop and New Age Instrumentals is one that will keep you guessing what tricks he is hiding up his sleeve...READ MORE...

Rock Review: Marshall Young Band-November

Artist: Marshall Young Band
Title: November
Genre: Rock
Label: Independent
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Marshall Young Band is a very talented young band from Fort Worth, Texas. The band is Marshall Young (guitar/ vocals), Caleb Anderson (guitar), Chuck Gasser (drums) and Clark Nowlan (bass). The bands boys grew up together in Fort Worth and were all friends however separated by being in rival bands when they were very young...READ MORE...

Folk-Blues Review: Mike McGuire-Kentucky Morning

Artist: Mike McGuire
Title: Kentucky Morning
Genre: Folk/Blues
Label: Independent
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Mike McGuire is a singer-songwriter that sings folk songs with a blues edge. His thoughtful, often witty, lyrics blend together with his music and put him a notch above a lot of his peers. After a couple of years away he is finally ready to release some new music; a six-song collection called Kentucky Morning...READ MORE...

Audio Fidelity Releases Two Classic Progressive Rock Albums-Yes and Rush Kick off Reemergence of SACD Collectors Series

Culver City, CA-March 19, 2013- Marshall Blonstein and his reissue label Audio Fidelity have reignited interest in the Super Audio Compact Disc (SACD) format...READ MORE...

Roots Rock Review: Ten Ton Man

Artist: Ten Ton Man
Title: Ten Ton Man
Genre: Roots Rock
Label: Ten Ton Man Records
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Ten Ton Man is a roots rock trio consisting of Paul Livornese (vocals/guitar), Paul Triff (drums), and Paul Dugan (bass) from New York City. Formed in 2011, Ten Ton Man has been making a scene, playing the New York City venues with their bluesy roots rock sound. Born in Brooklyn, Paul Livornese is a Parson School of Design graduate...READ MORE...

Classic Progressive Rock Review: Yes-Close to the Edge (SACD)

Artist: Yes
Title: Close to the Edge (SACD)
Genre: Progressive Rock
Label: Audio Fidelity
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Yes is a legendary progressive rock band that does not need an introduction. Their mark on music is well documented and with the release of Close to the Edge in 1972 their immortality was assured. The previous release Fragile was also a classic 5 star progressive rock masterpiece. Audio Fidelity is now introducing their SACD numbered and limited version of this cornerstone of prog rock...READ MORE...

Jazz/Americana Review: Jude Johnstone-Shatter

Artist: Jude Johnstone
Title: Shatter
Genre: Americana/Jazz
Label: Bojak Records
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Jude Johnstone began her musical career at the young age of eight and by sweet sixteen was playing in a band. Discovered by E Street saxophonist Clarence Clemmons, she has since blossomed into a fiery songwriter that has captured the attention of and been covered by greats such as Bonnie Raitt, Bette Midler, Johnny Cash and Trisha Yearwood....READ MORE...

Progressive Rock Review: Rush-Counterparts (SACD)

Artist: Rush
Title: Counterparts (SACD)
Genre: Progressive Rock
Label: Audio Fidelity
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Progressive rock in the early 90s was not the place to make it and pay the bills. There were a few bands that were able to flow with the times and record relevant music regardless of what the public taste was at the time. Rush was one of those brilliant bands that have fans that saw them through the changes and supported them through thick and thin...READ MORE...

Jazz Review: Sweet Honey In the Rock-A Tribute - Live! Jazz At Lincoln Center

Artist: Sweet Honey In the Rock
Title: A Tribute- Live! Jazz At Lincoln Center
Genre: Folk/ Jazz/ African
Label: Appleseed Records
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Sweet Honey In the Rock was founded in 1973 at the Black Reparation Theater Company in Washington D.C. Since then, the group has become an international symbol of hope, faith and love. The group is comprised of Ysaye Maria Barnwell, Nitanju Bolade Casel, Aisha Kahlil, Carol Maillard, Louise Robinson, and Shirley Childress Saxton (Sign Language Interpreter). On some of the songs, you can find the trio called “The Honey Men” Stacey Wade (musical director/piano/keyboards), Parker McAllister (bass), Jovol Bell (drums, percussion).Their sound can best be described as a blend of gospel, African spiritual, hip hop, rap, reggae, blues, ancient lullabies and jazz improvisations....READ MORE...

Latin /Jazz/ Pop Review: Alexandra Legouix & The Sunflowers-This One’s For You

Artist: Alexandra Legouix & The Sunflowers
Title: This One’s For You
Genre: Latin /Jazz/ Pop
Label: This One’s For You
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Listening to Alexandra Legouix & the Sunflowers, the first thing that pops into your mind is the sassy and sexy voice of vocalist Alexandra Legouix. If you look a little deeper, you will hear the inner workings of the lyrics and the hidden bite to most every song on the album. The band is comprised of Alexandra Legouix (lead vox/writer), Nero (guitar/writer), Lizzie Sambrook (sax), Tracey Ayer (bass) and James Argyle (guitar)...READ MORE...

Pop/Rock Review: Luke Potter-One Day: The Bleu Session

Artist: Luke Potter
Title: One Day: The Bleu Session
Genre: Pop/Rock
Label: Palm 55 Music
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England’s Luke Potter is a young singer-songwriter with a pop/rock sensibility. His songs are reminiscent of artists like Keane, Jason Mraz, and Fountains of Wayne. Potter cites “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls as the song that made him want to be a songwriter...READ MORE...