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Showing posts from March, 2014

Alternative Rock Review: Afghan Whigs-Do to the Beast

Release Date: April 15, 2014 Label: Sub Pop Website
It’s been 16 years, but Cincinnati’s Afghan Whigs are back with a new album, Do to the Beast. The band returns to previous label Sub Pop for the album that will be released on April 15th.
For those of you that never got into the Whigs before, or missed them entirely, I must recommend you give them a listen. When buzz about them began in the 90’s they were a band on a Seattle-based label during the grunge era. However, they were most certainly not a grunge band and such factors likely didn’t help the band reach a bigger audience despite releasing multiple excellent albums.
What made the Afghan Whigs different than other bands at the time was the influence of soul on their rock sound. It worked in large part because of singer/rhythm guitarist Greg Dulli’s vocals and lyrics full of relationships gone bad and angst. He had a swagger and arrogance that few could pull off when trying similar styles. The result led to much critical acclaim and…

Hard Rock Review: D-A-D 30 - Years 30 Hits: The Best of D-A-D 1984-2014

Release Date:March 18, 2014
Label: AFM Records Website


Longevity is something that is noteworthy, especially in the music business where fads come and go and audiences can be fickle. For a band to last for decades is an achievement in itself, but to continue to produce quality music year after year is something else. It is a testament to the bond and dedication between the members and, of course, to their talent as musicians.  


Formed in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1984, D-A-D has been producing their brand of rock music for 30 years. Originally known as Disneyland After Dark, they were forced to change their name after being threatened with a lawsuit from the Disney Company. The band consists of Jesper Binzer (vocals, guitar), Stig Pedersen (bass, vocals), Jacob Binzer (guitar), and Laust Sonne (drums). Impressively, they have had only one line-up change in their history together.   

30 Years 30 Hits is a two disc compilation album that spans from 1986’s Call of the Wild to 2011’s DIC·NII·LAN…

Pop Review: Roxanna-Hello, Close Your Eyes

Release Date: March 11, 2014, (Hello) and February 25, 2014 (Close Your Eyes)
Label: Roxart, Inc. Website
An artist reminiscent of Gloria Estefan and Celine Dion, Roxanna brings her own brand of soulful song to the table with her two new singles Close Your Eyes and Hello. These solo releases are paving the way for her first full length album, Exotica. Due out after two years of work, the artist has much to be proud of. Her work with industry leaders is a testament to her devotion to her craft. 

After becoming an RN in Toronto, Roxanna saw firsthand how music can make a difference as she encountered a man with cancer. Each day she sang to him. With every lilting turn of phrase and soaring vocalization, she healed him and he was released from the hospital, much to the joy of his family. That was all Roxanna needed as proof and she has since worked to share her love of song with those in need. 

“Close Your Eyes” is a song that captures the dark night of the soul. The world closes in and the …

Underrated Bands: Black Sun Ensemble

Black Sun Ensemble has been making great music for over three decades now. They are perhaps one of the most underrated bands in the world! Listen to their music and let them know they are appreciated!

Get Band email for free at ReverbNation.com

Concert Review: Rick Springfield Stripped Down…Well Almost

Rick Springfield In Concert at the Colonial Theater
Pittsfield, Mass.- March 26, 2014

On a frigid and blustery evening Rick Springfield rolled into the Berkshires to entertain us at the beautiful Colonial Theater. Things were about to warm up very shortly though.

Every time I step into that venue I feel immense appreciation for its restoration. It is one of the best decisions Pittsfield has ever made. Bringing in acts like Springfield is one of the many joys of having the theater available to the local audience. People do come from all over for the shows however, last night there were folks from Boston, Vermont, Rhode Island and Connecticut.

As I was walking into the theater I was seeing a lot women filing in. Could this 80s heartthrob still have the following of females he did back then? Probably not but those girls that followed him back then are now in mid-life and there was a lot of them there screaming and hooting over this legendary pop icon. At this point I was asking myself if I …

Manfred Mann's Earth Band Vocal Legend Chris Thompson Releases Eagerly Awaited New CD 'Toys & Dishes' – March 17, 2014

London, UK - Esoteric Antenna is pleased to announce the release of the new album by CHRIS THOMPSON. Known for his work as the vocalist and guitarist on many hits with Manfred Mann's Earth Band, including “Blinded By The Light”, “For You” and “The Mighty Quinn”, as well as featured on the classic Jeff Wayne concept album 'War of the Worlds', Chris is also a noted songwriter (penning among other songs the smash hit “You’re the Voice” for John Farnham). His new studio album, 'Toys & Dishes', is his first in over ten years and draws on all the musical elements that make Chris's songs and voice so instantly recognizable.

Of his new album, Chris reflects; “I'm very proud of the result. The songs really mean a great deal to me, mostly inspired by my daily life, a couple of forays into the past and a story or two! Hopefully they’re accessible to both my very loyal fans and to everybody struggling to find time and money to do what they really want to with the pe…

PledgeMusic and Cleopatra Records Join Forces to Re-issue Van Morrison's The Complete 1967 Bang Sessions

The Double LP Limited Pressing in a Velvet Cover on Red Splatter Vinyl includes the colossal hit “Brown Eyed Girl”

PledgeMusic, the leading direct-to-fan company and Cleopatra Records, an independent L.A. based record label with an eclectic roster of artists, have announced a pre-order for the re-issue of the legendary album of Van Morrison, The Complete Bang Sessions. Cleopatra Records is pressing a strictly limited edition of 1,000 numbered copies of this 180 gram Red & Black Spatter vinyl in a luxurious black velvet gatefold cover, an exclusive for fans only available through PledgeMusic’s platform.

Look up the phrase “blue-eyed soul” in the dictionary and there you will find a picture of Van Morrison. But in 1967 Van Morrison was finished with the record industry, after disbanding Them and exiling himself away in Belfast. Producer Bert Berns managed to convince Van Morrison to return to the states and record for Bang. It was these early sessions which would mark the beginning of…

Blues Review: Johnny Winter-True To The Blues - The Johnny Winter Story (Box Set)

Release Date: February 25, 2014
Label: Legacy Website
Johnny Winter has been True To The Blues for a lifetime. Blues rock fans have been the fortunate recipient of his burning desire to play that style of music for five decades.

True To The Blues - The Johnny Winter Story is 4-disc box set that does a nice job of encapsulating an amazing career. Winter pushed the limits of his capabilities and life itself and has somehow defied all odds to survive artistically and in a literal sense. He always comes out the other side a success. Now 70 years old and still burning the flame of the blues, his is truly a miracle of music. This Winter should have been in a box a long time ago due to his drug abuse but here we are celebrating his 70th birthday this year and his incredible contribution to the blues with a different type of box.

This definitive box set offers a booklet with quotes from music legends regarding Winter and several pictures during the course of his career. This is the first career sp…

Progressive Rock Review: Panic Room-Incarnate

Release Date: 18thMarch 2014
Label: Firefly Music Website
Incarnate is the 4th album from the Welsh Band, Panic Room, since their formation back in 2007. The band was formed by former members of the band Karnataka and released the debut album, Visionary Position in 2008, followed at regular intervals by Satellite (2010), Skin(2012) and now Incarnate (2014).

The best description of the music of Panic Room is probably under the umbrella of crossover prog or a female fronted progressively influenced band in the vein of Magenta and The Reasoning.

Panic Room is currently a 4 piece band, comprising Jonathan Edwards (keyboards), Gavin Griffiths (drums), Anne Marie Helder (vocals, flute, guitars, keyboards) and Yatim Halimi (bass), although for the recording of the album, Incarnate, Adam O’Sullivan was responsible for the lead guitar role.

Incarnate is a 10 track album, clocking in at around the 61 minute mark with the penultimate track, “Close The Door,” the shortest on offer at 5:10 minutes and t…

Gear Reviews: Sound like The Edge for Under $1000

In light of the new The Edge section in Gear Guides, I think it is appropriate to write an article about sounding like Edge on a budget. We'll set the budget at $1000, and I'll show you that it is pretty easy to get his core sound with a relatively small budget. Granted, we won't be able to cover everything, because the amount of required pedals alone would surpass $1000, but the following rig is one that I have personally used and have had great success with. READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE NOW

Alternative Hip Hop Review: Young Fathers-Dead

Release Date: February 4, 2014
Label: Anticon Website
Young Fathers is a group that isn’t the easiest to label. I mean this in a very good way. What I most often see them labeled as is “Alternative Hip-Hop” so I guess we will go with that, but they remind me of artists like Tricky/Massive Attack, TV on the Radio, and Shabazz Palaces, just to name a few. They have released a couple of EPs up to this point, 2011’s Tape One and 2013’s Tape Two, and now release a full-length, Dead.
Part of what makes Young Fathers so interesting lies in their diversity. The trio is based in Edinburgh, but only ‘G’ Hasting has spent all of his years in Scotland. Alloysious Massaquoi is Liberian, while Kayus Bankole has Nigerian parents and spent several years in both the U.S. and Nigeria before returning to Edinburgh. The uniqueness of its members clearly has influenced Young Fathers sound and makes them distinctive because of it. While hip-hop tends to be the easiest way to define the group, elements of trip…

UK Prog Legends Curved Air Featuring Sonja Kristina Release Eagerly Anticipated New CD 'North Star'

“CURVED AIR, with a real band attitude and a zest for life; this is a band you want to see live for the sheer artistry of how to deliver the musical goods.”- Lee Dorian, Classic Rock

London, UK – Much to the anticipation of press and music fans worldwide, UK progressive rock legends Curved Air, featuring iconic vocalist Sonja Kristina, released a new CD 'North Star' via Cherry Red Records on March 17, 2014! 'North Star' is the band's first album featuring new studio material since 1976! The full-length CD features a mixture of re-recordings, cover songs and seven new original compositions, all housed in a lavish digi-pack.

Says Sonja, “I am proud to release into the world Curved Air's 'North Star'. The North Star is the fixed point in the sky about which all the stars seen from the Northern Hemisphere rotate. A star linked to the celestial magnetic energies of the North Pole. Following its light, the lost, the wanderer, the explorer and the warrior have …

Prog Rock Music Talk Featured Artist: AISLES - 4:45AM

4:45 AM is about pain, blood, resilience, and strength. The most extreme hour of the day, the time in which you either get up or get completely lost, an hour shared by a soul in decline and one ready to rise.

4:45 AM by AISLES

Book Review: Supplement No. 1 to Connecticut Rocks! The History of Connecticut Rock 'N' Roll

Title:Supplement No. 1 to Connecticut Rocks! The History of Connecticut Rock 'N' Roll
Author:Paul Bezanker Details: 257 Page Supplement to 1998 Connecticut Rocks! Publication
Author Paul Bezanker is a music historian and author. He published Connecticut Rocks! – The History of Connecticut Rock ‘N” Roll In 1998 and most recently he has released the first volume of supplements to the reference guide of bands located in Connecticut. The significance of these volumes is that no author has ever documented a half century of the recorded works of an entire state before.

I never had the opportunity to check out the first volume however while looking through this supplement I found it to be jam packed with facts, notations, dates, label names and reviews, to mention a few points.

It did not come across as just a reference guide because of all the different information offered in the 257 pages. I was impressed with the scope and breadth of this guide.

I think every state should have their own …

Instrumental Review: Bob Ardern-Craftsman

Release Date:March 2014
Label: Independent Website
Bob Ardern is a guitar master whose music reaches across many genres. If you listen, you can hear a sampling of roots music with a dash of Celtic, Jazz and Americana thrown in for good measure. His unique sound arose from English folk music and the finger style guitar playing has stayed with him. In Craftsman we see a lot of old style instrumentation blended with the best of modern technology. Guest musicians include Alyssa Wright (cello), Don Bray (engineer), Dave Findlay and Kev Corbett (percussion, bass). The vast arrays of instruments used are: guitar, cello, trumpet, Glockenspiel, bodhran, pipe organ, Celesta, Spider Capo, Dragon’s Breath, bells, Synth pad, percussion and bass. The album features a special bonus track of “Paso Doble Solo Guitar” that is sure to whet any Classical guitar aficionado’s appetite.


“Tiddlywinks” is the opening track for the album and features Kev on percussion and Dave on the Hi Hat. It is a merry little t…

Progressive Rock Review: Ayreon-The Theory of Everything (Deluxe 2 CD/DVD)

Release Date: October 29, 2013
Label: Inside Out Website
When prog rock fans listen to music they expect a great storyline, complex music, and atmospheres that encourage that story. One artist that has had a proclivity for doing that his entire career is Arjen Anthony Lucassen, otherwise known as Ayreon. 

When The Theory of Everything came out last fall there was a lot of anticipation that his masterful concepts would continue along with all the incredible guest musicians. He did not disappoint, he never does. A dream came true for Arjen on this musical sojourn. Three major players joined in on all the proceedings, each one a legendary keyboard player. Rick Wakeman, Keith Emerson and Jordan Rudess made their contributions count on the session. Another legend, John Wetton, provided vocals as the character The Psychiatrist. 

I found myself all wrapped up in this story while listening. In short it’s about a boy and his mother that are not getting enough attention from the scientist father who …

Progressive Rock Review: RPWL-Wanted

Release Date: 1stApril 2014
Label: Gentle Art Of Music Website
I picked up on the band RPWL when I caught a few tracks from the album, Beyond Man And Time, the album prior to this new release, Wanted, back in 2012. The music was an extension and an evolution from their birth as a Pink Floyd tribute band back in 1997, and I was hooked and then listened to much of their back catalogue. When Wanteddropped through the ether for review, I smiled with anticipation.

RPWL, so named after the four original members, (Rissettio, Postl, Wallner and Lang) have released 10 albums since 2000, and Wanted becomes release No 11. Currently RPWL is a 5 piece band with Yogi Lang (vocals, keyboards), Kalle Wallner (guitar), Markus Jehle (keyboards), Mark Turiaux (drums) and Werner Taus (bass), and Yogi and Kalle are original band members.

There is a concept within the album Wanted, that of, “the liberation of the spirit.” The band tells the story that was discovered in an analysis of Hippocrates work in a diary…