22 December 2014

Progressive Rock Review: Corvus Stone II

Release Date: 20th Oct 2014
Label: Melodic Revolution Records

Corvus Stone is a multi-national project which came together in 2012, ostensibly as an accidental meeting up on social media sites. There was initially a core trio forming Corvus Stone, but soon more people became involved and their self-titled debut album in 2012 (digital release followed by a physical CD) involved no less than 8 people. Fast forwarding to the release of album No 2, called Corvus Stone II, sees the original core trio expanding to 4 and another 8 guests contributing.

The original members of Corvus Stone were Colin Tench (guitars), Petri Lemmy Lindstrom (bass) and Pasi Koivu (keyboards), with Robert Wolff (drums and percussion) joining the band just after album No 1 had been recorded. The guest musicians include Blake Carpenter, Sean Filkins, Phil Naro, German Vergara, Andres Guazzelli, Timo Rautiainen and Stef Flaming, all contributing to the vocals on various tracks, with Sean also adding percussion and harmonica and Stef adding guitar and keyboards. Victor Tassone also was involved, contributing drums and percussion.

Corvus Stone II is a 16 track album with a running time of 79 minutes, which is certainly value for money with 80 minutes being deemed the longest time available on CD without compromising the quality of the recording. Four tracks have playing times of 2 minutes or less, with track 4, “Sneaky Entrance into Lisa,” the shortest at only 30 seconds. The penultimate track, “Moaning Lisa” is by far the longest track on offer at a touch over 14 minutes. (14:08)

Corvus Stone literally defy musical description in that the range of directions the music moves off in means that any attempt at a definition is meaningless. One moment you are in blues mode, then rock, ballad, heavy rock and then back again. The band themselves, on the sleeve notes (showing my age with that comment), state “This album is extremely varied. It does not follow any imaginary rules. It is not genre safe!”

The opening track to II is “The Simple Life” (2:00) which is almost a “feel good” song, with gentle harmonies and a delicate undulating vocal (Phil). This is an interesting short track which leads into “Early Morning Call” (3:52) with great organ/guitar interplay. Another track which epitomizes the same “what a great day to be alive” feeling. Midway through the track, the piano and bass get a little spotlight and the track meanders along with more guitar passages (Colin) and at times moves towards the film soundtrack border.

“Boots for Hire” (8:58) is a more bluesy based track which allows more guitar string bending and there are subtle “string” appearances. Vocals are very clear (Stef) and almost delivered in a chanting style around the 2 minute mark and the track takes a slight swerve around 2:45 minutes into a more keyboard driven mode. This allows some more guitars to interplay with the keyboards, all the while retaining that bluesy feel to proceedings. There is a little passage of “random noise,” before the vocals reappear above an excellent band workout. The track moves steadily to its finale with some superb bass being heard as the overall sound is stripped away, leaving the bleeping of a “heart monitor” and then it is gone.

“Purple Stone” (3:22) is a little tilt towards Deep Purple and is a slice of out and out rock, with vocals by Blake and Andres. Beauty and a pastoral feel exude from the start of “A Stoned Crow Meets The Rusty Wolff” (7:37) and when the band all pitch in after about a minute, there is still a feeling of gentleness, albeit with some out of kilter drumming. The soundscape continues to shift time patterns, enveloping the listener in the music, as the track moves into a guitar and keyboards passage. Edging past the 5 minute mark there is a hint of space rock about the proceedings which still seems to fit seamlessly within the track. This is an excellent example of a band of excellent musicians working well together, while at times have their tongues firmly in their cheeks and don’t seem to be taking things too seriously.

With “Mr Cha Cha” (4:50), track 8, we have the fourth “guitar rock” orientated track with Colin showing an amazing variety of styles. The other tracks fitting into this quartet thus far are “Boots For Hire,” “Purple Stone” and “A Stone Crow Meets The Rusty Wolff.”

“Dark Tower” (1:48) although short has a superb piano, some more delicate guitar and great vocals (Blake), before leading into the samba styled “Scandinavians In Mexico” (5:06), with a tribute to one Carlos Santana, as Colin’s guitar playing reminds the listener of the sweet sound of Santana, ably backed by the brilliant keyboards of Pasi.

Acoustic guitar leads into another Deep Purple sounding work out on “Mystery Man” (6:37) with organ and the characteristic slow heavy guitar associated with Deep Purple. Certainly there has not been any point at which the listener has any time to drift from the music on display. Blake again takes on the vocals and there is also an amazing instrumental break with melodic, then sawing, guitars over a burbling reverberating organ.

“Camelus Bactrianus” (8:42) is a very somber dramatic soundscape and sounds almost like the background music to an execution or at the very least, generates a feeling of foreboding. This is a stunning slow grower of a track, with vocal, in Finnish, by Timo adding to the overall mysterious atmosphere.

The tour-de-force of the album is “Moaning Lisa” (14:08) and is another switch in style and sound. Some wonderful acoustic guitar backed by unobtrusive bass and the voice of Sean all adds up to a sea shanty/folk styled track. Around the halfway point, there is a marked change of style with a harder rockier sound taking over. The gentler folksier side of the Stone then resumes before some violin adds a different element. The final track is a simple acoustic number sung in Finnish, again by Timo.

Corvus Stone II is an excellent follow up album and again highlights the difficulty in trying to put the band into a specific genre. The album gets both stickers and my simple advice is…..”Go and buy this album, at once.”

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Dark Tower, Camelus Bactrianus,  Moaning Lisa

Tracks:The Simple Life
Early Morning Call
Boots For Hire
Sneaky Entrance In To Lisa
Purple Stone
A Stoned Crow Meets The Rusty Wolfe
Lisa Has A Cigar
Mr Cha Cha
Dark Tower
Scandinavians In Mexico
Mystery Man
Camelus Bactrianus (Tuolla Tuonnempana)
Uncle Schunkle
Eternal Universe
Moaning Lisa
Campfire (Tulen Luona)

Jim “The Ancient One” Lawson-Sr. Reviewer Prog Rock Music Talk

December 22, 2014

Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk

21 December 2014

Rock Review: David Bowie-Nothing Has Changed (3 CD Deluxe Set)

Release Date: November 17, 2014
Label: Indie

I love the title of this album. It is a statement that would likely come from a legendary music figure like David Bowie. The cover of Nothing Has Changed (3 CD Deluxe Set) shows Bowie today and the reflection of his image does show a man that has changed and aged over the years. If you open up the tri-fold case you see pictures of him at various stages of his career. But other than that what has changed? He is asking the question and it’s definitely something to ponder and see how it applies to the world around you and your personal life. Nothing has changed and then again a lot has, it is contradictory and fact all at the same time. Then again, this is David Bowie and he always leaves the door open for you to figure out what it means.

Bowie says things for a reason and makes music to reflect a consciousness, emotions, and life itself. He has had a storied career and within these 3 CDs you get a glimpse at 50+ years of music and all the transformations he has made during that time. As far as I can remember Bowie has never made music that did not matter. He spawned a culture and took it to another level; he pushed the limits of creativity without setting boundaries and was successful doing it. He is a champion for all walks of life on a worldwide basis and continues to make relevant creative statements to this day. Who else that is in the public eye could go into retirement then record and album without it being leaked? Bowie did it last year with The Next Day.                         

There have been a lot of greatest hits and compilations released over the years covering Bowie’s career however I would have to say this is the best one yet. Of course the package could always be better, like including a DVD of some of the videos he made for tracks over the years. What I found interesting was the running order of the set. Usually with this kind of release you start at the beginning and work your way to the present, this is just the opposite. In fact the entire proceedings kick off with a new track from the Thin White Duke titled “Sue.” The song sounds nothing like Bowie musically. It is a rock-jazz-fusion mix that comes as a big surprise. But this is Bowie and when has he not surprised us over the years? He single-handedly created genres over a long stretch of time by taking risks and experimenting. How many artists can claim they did that?

I love the tracks assembled in this package but first let me say my three top albums from the Bowie catalog are Station to Station, Ziggy Stardust and Low. When I first heard Low I thought it was very strange and did not particularly like it. As the years passed it has grown on me and now I play it quite often. This is not unusual at all for a longtime music fan or Bowie fan, generally speaking. Bowie was so different for every album he released you had to brace yourself for change and sometimes it took repeated listens for an album to really sink in. It never takes too long to realize his brilliance.

I think it’s only fair to pick a key track from each disc. “I'm Afraid Of Americans (V1) (clean edit)” for disc one, “Absolute Beginners (single version)” disc two and then “Rebel Rebel” for disc three. This is a very difficult choice for anyone that enjoys the Bowie catalog indeed but please keep in mind this is my personal preference.

Invariably there will be listeners wondering where certain tracks are and that is par for the course but in the end this is an excellent collection of tracks so enjoy it all in one glorious sitting. Interesting enough even those who have not been fans of Bowie’s music may perk their ears up and begin to listen. My son did just that, he asked what was playing and genuinely liked what he heard. So there is always room for new fans to come aboard and be part of the Bowie nation. Fans that go back to the 60s or 70s may also realize some things they missed along the way giving this set a spin. It all serves all lot of different purpose but mainly it celebrates one of the greatest entertainers of the past 50 plus years.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Absolute Beginners (single version), I'm Afraid Of Americans (V1) (clean edit), Rebel Rebel

Disc: 1

1. Sue (or In A Season Of Crime)
2. Where Are We Now?
3. Love Is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix by James Murphy for the DFA Edit)
4. The Stars (Are Out Tonight)
5. New Killer Star (radio edit)
6. Everyone Says 'Hi' (edit)
7. Slow Burn (radio edit)
8. Let Me Sleep Beside You
9. Your Turn To Drive
10. Shadow Man
11. Seven (Marius De Vries mix)
12. Survive (Marius De Vries mix)
13. Thursday's Child (radio edit)
14. I'm Afraid Of Americans (V1) (clean edit)
15. Little Wonder (edit)
16. Hallo Spaceboy (PSB Remix) (with The Pet Shop Boys)
17. Heart s Filthy Lesson (radio edit) 18. Strangers When We Meet (single version)

Disc: 2

1. Buddha Of Suburbia
2. Jump They Say (radio edit)
3. Time Will Crawl (MM remix)
4. Absolute Beginners (single version)
5. Dancing In The Street (with Mick Jagger)
6. Loving The Alien (single remix)
7. This Is Not America (with The Pat Metheny Group)
8. Blue Jean
9. Modern Love (single version)
10. China Girl (single version)
11. Let's Dance (single version)
12. Fashion (single version)
13. Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) (single version)
14. Ashes To Ashes (single version)
15. Under Pressure (with Queen)
16. Boys Keep Swinging
17. 'Heroes' (single version)
18. Sound And Vision
19. Golden Years (single version)
20. Wild Is The Wind (2010 Harry Maslin Mix)

Disc: 3

1. Fame
2. Young Americans (2007 Tony Visconti mix single edit)
3. Diamond Dogs
4. Rebel Rebel
5. Sorrow
6. Drive-In Saturday
7. All The Young Dudes
8. The Jean Genie (original single mix) 9. Moonage Daydream
9. Ziggy Stardust
10. Starman (original single mix)
11. Life On Mars? (2003 Ken Scott Mix)
12. Oh! You Pretty Things
13. Changes
14. The Man Who Sold The World
15. Space Oddity
16. In The Heat Of The Morning
17. Silly Boy Blue
18. Can't Help Thinking About Me
19. You've Got A Habit Of Leaving Liza Jane
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Write A Music Review Founder

December 21, 2014

Review Provided By Write A Music


19 December 2014

New Age Instrumental Review: Lawrence Blatt-Emergence

Release Date: March 11, 2014
Label: Independent

Produced by Will Ackerman of the incomparable Imaginary Road Studios and written by Lawrence Blatt, Emergence is an album that will keep you company for many long hours. It is an album filled with images of the natural world in all of its wonder. Patterns. Diverse and seemingly simple, they can create masterpieces of form and function. Such is the case with Emergence. Artists involved in this project are: Lawrence Blatt (guitar, accordion, mandolin), Charlie Bisharat (violin), Lila Skylar (viola, violin), Eugene Friesen (cello), Sam Bevan (double bass), Jill Haley (English horn) and Richard “Gus” Sebring (French horn).

“Emergence” is the title track to the album. It features violin and guitar movements that evoke images of a new seedling bursting forth from the cocoon of mother earth. The trembling growth of a frail tulip as it stands straighter each day and turns its face to the light. One day at a time it grows stronger until it stands tall away from the green stems and leaves, bursting into burgeoning crimson glory. Violin and guitar dance as the repeating majesty of life and finally death and renewal comes again and again. Beauty. Grace. Life.

“Gar Du Nord” is the third piece on the album and it struck me utterly when first I heard it. Double bass, cello, viola, violin and guitar twist and undulate in chord progression and scale theory to craft a spiral of thought provoking effervescence. 

“Poloyne” is a pulse pounding dance that could be the background to a well-crafted romantic drama. Eyes meet across the room. Hands join as two flames connect on the ball room floor. Sweeping movements bent on seduction win the increasingly rapid beating heart as the tempo increases. Violin and guitar create passion with flamenco influences. A powerful piece filled with evocative imagery.

“Green Corn” is the last piece on the album and has a combination of French horn, guitar and violin. Truly artful, this is a tale that unwinds into wide open spaces and the freedom of land and prosperity. Jaunty and full of life, this track is as regal as it is masterful. The American Dream of land, independence and prosperity. This is our land. Green corn and fields of plenty…

Lawrence Blatt has succeeded in comforting the savage beasts in my household. Even as the thunderstorm rages outside, the soothing tones of Emergence have brought the canine residents of my abode into happy slumber. (Thank goodness for small miracles!) The exploration of patterns and progression of chords has truly crafted each work into a snowflake like accomplishment. I find it amazing that no written music was given to individual performers, letting them rely on music theory and the talents that come from deep within. This is a project all the participants should be very proud of and is one that will be in my collection for a very long time to come. 

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Emergence, Gar Du Nord, Poloyne, Green Corn

01. A Promise in the Woods
02. Emergence
03. Gar Du Nord
04. Walking Among Tulips
05. Passing Up Bridges
06. Entering the East Gate
07. The Place Where Monarchs Go
08. Poloyne
09. Where the Pines Once Stood
10. Say Hello Again
11. Illuminations
12. Green Corn

DanaWright, Sr. Staff Writer

December 19, 2014

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

18 December 2014

Rock-Folk Review: Dave Matthews Band-Under The Table and Dreaming

Release Date: November 24, 2014
Label: Legacy

It’s been an exciting year for Dave Matthews Band fans. There have been 4 Live Trax albums, a reissue of Remember Two Things on both CD and 180-gram vinyl, and a reissue of DMB’s major label debut, Under the Table and Dreaming on CD and vinyl as well. Although there has been quite an uproar as to when the vinyl will be arriving on people’s doorsteps (as of now, the DMB store says December 16th), the CD has arrived and listeners have had plenty of time to dig in.

One thing that continuously amazes me when I listen to the Dave Matthews Band is how they have crafted their own unique sound right from the beginning. This album doesn’t sound old or dated, simply because there is nothing else quite like it and there is not much else to compare it to. The album has a theme that shifts back and forth between the typical carefree style of DMB (“The Best of What’s Around”, “Jimi Thing”) and the tense (“Typical Situation”, “Rhyme and Reason”). The lyrical content seems to sway between the serious, the reflective and the borderline foolishness, which gives enough variety to keep things interesting.

One thing that really draws me into reissues is bonus tracks. Reissues are a great opportunity to hear some unreleased content from the old days, but this the album doesn’t deliver on this opportunity as much as I would have expected it to. Yes, “Granny” is one of my favorite DMB tracks and I’m glad to finally have a studio version of it. However, the other two acoustic tracks are slightly underwhelming. I do love the intimate feel of the acoustic renditions of “The Song That Jane Likes” and “Dancing Nancies,” but I can’t help but feel like I have heard these versions in some shape or form. It probably would have been much more enticing to include other studio outtakes, like “Get in Line” or “Kind Intentions (#32).” Of course, I can find them on YouTube, but I would much rather have them on CD or vinyl.

There isn’t a huge difference between this remastered mix and the original. When listening to them side by side, nothing really pops up as noticeably different. The guitars may sound a little “wider’” for lack of a better term, or my ears are just playing tricks on me. The point is the new mix isn’t a good selling point. Another thing I would like to mention is I, along with the rest of the DMB fanbase, can’t seem to understand why they would use an alternate version of “Jimi Thing,” which omits the outro solo by the phenomenal LeRoi Moore. It sounds downright empty to anyone who has heard the original, not to mention it is insulting to the late saxophone player, being such a huge part of the signature DMB sound.

If you haven’t already heard UTTAD, there is no better opportunity than now. Newer fans have a chance to hear the album with a few extra cuts that are by no means bad. However, for diehard fans hoping for something new, this reissue is a bit disappointing. Aside from “Granny,” there is nothing to really make this worth another purchase for those who own the original. For a 20thanniversary release, this landmark album deserves far better.

3/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Dancing Nancies, Ants Marching, Granny

01. The Best of What's Around
02. What Would You Say   
03. Satellite   
04. Rhyme & Reason   
05. Typical Situation
06. Dancing Nancies   
07. Ants Marching
08. Lover Lay Down   
09. Jimi Thing
10. Warehouse   
11. Pay for What You Get
12. #34    5:00   
13. Granny   
14. Dancing Nancies (Acoustic Version)   
15. The Song That Jane Likes (Acoustic Version)

Austin Hannaleck-Write A Music Review Contributor

December 18, 2014

Review Provided By Write A Music Review

17 December 2014

Cleopatra Records Signs Alternative Folk Rock Heroes 10,000 Maniacs!

Los Angeles, CA - With nearly 10 million albums sold, 10,000 Maniacs are one of the most successful bands to emerge out of the college alternative rock explosion of the mid-‘80s. For over 30 years, they’ve watched their musical influence pass from generation to generation of neo-folk upstarts who, like the Maniacs themselves, sought out the warm organic soul of rock music amidst a cold, cacophonous digital mainstream. Now the group has just signed with a new label, L.A.-based indie Cleopatra Records, and is about to release the most ambitious album of their career, a full-length collection of their interpretations of traditional British Isles folk songs, titled Twice Told Tales. Scheduled for release in April of 2015, this new project digs deep into the historical roots of not just the Maniacs’ own sound but Western music generally, and finds the band at the very top of their musical, melodic game.

Founded in beautiful Jamestown NY in 1981, 10,000 Maniacs quickly coalesced around keyboardist Dennis Drew, bassist Steve Gustafson, drummer Jerry Augustyniak, guitarist Robert Buck, guitarist/vocalist John Lombardo, and a young soon-to-be superstar vocalist Natalie Merchant. The group released a series of critically-acclaimed albums through the ‘80s but catapulted into the rock stratosphere with the major hit single “These Are The Days” from the multi-platinum selling album Our Time In Eden. When Merchant departed after the equally well-received 1993 release, MTV Unplugged, the group continued on with violist Mary Ramsey on lead vocals and John Lombardo, who had left the group in 1986, returning to the fold. Through the rest of the ‘90s and into the new millennium, the band remained very active performing live shows with a variety of line-ups, most notably with a new guitarist Jeff Erickson replacing founding member Robert Buck, who passed away in 2000. In 2013, the Maniacs finally returned to the studio for their first album of new music in 14 years. Buoyed by the success of that album, the group once again saw founding member John Lombardo return, and together they conceived the Twice Told Tales project, which has already gained a considerable buzz among the 10KM fanbase. Cleopatra Records is proud to be partnering with such an enduring and beloved band, and hopes to see this important project usher in a new era of success for these well-deserving Maniacs.

Press inquiries:
Glass Onyon PR
Billy James
PH: 828-350-8158

11041 Santa Monica Blvd #703
Los Angeles CA 90025

Blues Rock Review: Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble-The Complete Epic Recordings Collection

Release Date: October 27, 2014
Label: Legacy

How much does the world miss Stevie Ray Vaughan? I would venture to say a whole lot considering the state of affairs the music industry is in. Stevie was a shooting star burning ever so brightly before his light was so abruptly extinguished by an ill-fated helicopter crash. Unlike some of the guitar legends that came before him he stopped living life by the drop and was in recovery before he died. This is what made it so much harder to take when the news arrived of his fatal accident. SRV certainly made an indelible impression on us all when he was recording music. Those of us that remember his meteoric rise harkens back to another time when a great guitar player named Hendrix did the same thing. Further proof of SRV and Double Trouble’s relevance is the upcoming induction into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

The Complete Epic Recordings Collection is 12 CDs housed in a clam shell box with each CD in its own single sleeve and a booklet is included. 

I think it’s safe to say that Stevie and his band Double Trouble were most comfortable performing live where they could cut loose and improvise, much to the delight of their audiences. Half of the CDs in this set are live recordings so that should put those thoughts into a proper perspective going forward.

The key studio recordings released prior to his passing are present of course, Texas Flood, Couldn't Stand The Weather, Soul To Soul and In Step.Those four studio releases stand as classic renderings of blues rock to this day, in fact now more than ever. Artists like Stevie come along once in a while and he wasted no time in making sure we knew he had arrived. It is unfortunate the iconic artists such as this continue to gain momentum even though they are not here to enjoy it. The best part about music is that it lasts forever and we can listen any time we like, which on the flip side is very fortunate for those of us that remain.

Besides the obvious, the fantastic and clearly relevant studio releases, it is all the live recordings that make such a stunning impact on the set. Stevie Ray Vaughan (guitar), Chris Layton (drums), Tommy Shannon (bass) and Reese Wynans (keyboards) had their mojo workin’ in a live setting; there is no question about that on any of the recordings. The first revelation comes at you like a runaway truck on the first disc in the set In The Beginning (KLBJ-FM radio broadcast). This is when people where just starting to discover SRV and his band. It was recorded at the band’s home base in Austin Texas on April 1, 1980. 

What I found amazing about this introduction was that once you listened you just knew that Stevie was destined for immortality. I was watching a video clip of him at a sound check, wiping the sleep out of his eyes and yawning yet strapping on that guitar like it was his first cup of coffee in the morning. Some people are just destined to play the guitar and they find their way to greatness in short order, well most of the legends the general public is aware of did anyway.

I appreciated this box set for many reasons and first because I have always been a SRV fan. Blues can be a predictable and sometimes repetitive genre, reworking a lot of the same licks over and over again but Stevie was innovative and fresh at all times. I do love the blues and always have but there are times it does not hold my attention long enough, with Stevie it was always different. An added bonus is the two discs titled Archives. That is one of the special extras you get with a box set.

After revisiting his studio releases and hearing all of the fantastic live material it reconfirmed my belief that he was one of the blues greats and will always be in the upper echelon of guitar players when discussing the best that ever strapped on a six string. This one came just in time to be a stocking stuffer for your favorite blues fan so doesn’t miss out!

5/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Write A Music Review Founder

December 17, 2014

Review Provided By Write A Music 


Disc 1: In The Beginning (KLBJ-FM radio broadcast produced by Wayne Bell

Recorded April 1, 1980; Austin, Texas
In The Open
Slide Thing
They Call Me Guitar Hurricane
All Your Love I Miss Loving
Tin Pan Alley (aka Roughest Place In Town)
Love Struck Baby
Tell Me
Shake For Me
Live Another Day

Originally released as Epic 53168, 1992 / Peak chart position: #58

Disc 2: Live At Montreux 1982 (July 17, 1982; Montreux International Jazz Festival)

Hide Away
Rude Mood
Pride And Joy
Texas Flood
Love Struck Baby
Dirty Pool
Give Me Back My Wig
Collins Shuffle

Originally released as Epic/Legacy 86151, 2001 / Peak chart position: #178

Disc 3: Live At Montreux 1985 (July 15, 1985; Montreux International Jazz Festival)

Scuttle Buttin'
Say What!
Ain't Gone 'N' Give Up On Love
Pride And Joy
Mary Had A Little Lamb
Tin Pan Alley (aka Roughest Place In Town)
Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)
Texas Flood
Life Without You
Gone Home
Couldn't Stand The Weather

Originally released as Epic/Legacy 86151, 2001 / Peak chart position: #178

Disc 4: Texas Flood

Love Struck Baby
Pride And Joy
Texas Flood
Tell Me
Rude Mood
Mary Had A Little Lamb
Dirty Pool
I'm Cryin'

Produced by Stevie Ray Vaughan, Richard Mullen and Double Trouble / Executive Producer: John Hammond / Originally released as Epic 38734, 1983 / Peak chart position: #38

Disc 5: A Legend In The Making—Live At The El Mocambo (recorded Toronto, Canada, July 20, 1983, originally released for radio broadcast only)

So Excited
Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
Pride And Joy
Tell Me
Mary Had A Little Lamb
Texas Flood
Love Struck Baby
You'll Be Mine
Hug You, Squeeze You
Little Wing/Third Stone From The Sun
Rude Mood

Disc 6: Couldn't Stand The Weather (1984)

Scuttle Buttin'
Couldn't Stand The Weather
The Things (That) I Used To Do
Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
Cold Shot
Tin Pan Alley (aka Roughest Place In Town)
Honey Bee
Stang's Swang

Produced by Stevie Ray Vaughan, Chris Layton, Tommy Shannon, Richard Mullen, and Jim Capfer / Executive Producer: John Hammond / Originally released as Epic 39304, 1984 / Peak chart position: #31

Disc 7: Live At Carnegie Hall (Recorded October 4, 1984; New York City)

Intro--Ken Dashow/John Hammond
Scuttle Buttin'
Love Struck Baby
Honey Bee
Cold Shot
Letter To My Girlfriend
Dirty Pool
Pride And Joy
The Things That I Used To Do
Iced Over
Rude Mood

Produced by Stevie Ray Vaughan / Originally released as Epic 68163, 1997 / Peak chart position: #40

Disc 8: Soul To Soul (1985)

Say What!
Lookin' Out The Window
Look At Little Sister
Ain't Gone 'N' Give Up On Love
Gone Home
Change It
You'll Be Mine
Empty Arms
Come On (Part III)
Life Without You

Produced by Stevie Ray Vaughan, Double Trouble and Richard Mullen / Executive Producer: John Hammond / Originally released as Epic 40036, 1985 / Peak chart position: #34

Disc 9: Live Alive (Recorded July 16, 1985, Montreux International Jazz Festival; July 17-18, 1986, Austin, Texas; July 19, 1986, Dallas, Texas)

Say What!
Ain't Gone 'N' Give Up On Love
Pride And Joy
Mary Had A Little Lamb
I'm Leaving You (Commit A Crime)
Cold Shot
Willie The Wimp
Look At Little Sister
Texas Flood
Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
Love Struck Baby
Change It
Life Without You

Produced by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble / Originally released as Epic 40511, 1986 / Peak chart position: #52

Disc 10: In Step (1989)

The House Is Rockin'
Let Me Love You Baby
Leave My Girl Alone
Travis Walk
Wall Of Denial
Love Me Darlin'
Riviera Paradise

Produced by Jim Gaines & Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble / Recorded in Memphis, Tennessee and Los Angeles, California /
Originally released as Epic 45024, 1989 / Peak chart position: #33

Disc 11: Archives/Disc One

Tin Pan Alley (aka Roughest Place In Town)
Empty Arms
Come On (Part III)
Look At Little Sister
The Sky Is Crying
Hide Away
Give Me Back My Wig
Boot Hill
Close To You
Little Wing
Stang's Swang

Disc 12: Archives/Disc Two

May I Have A Talk With You
The Sky Is Crying
Shake And Bake
So Excited
Slip Slidin' Slim
Chitlins Con Carne
Little Wing/Third Stone From The Sun
Boot Hill
Life By The Drop

Archives/Disc One, Track 1 produced by Stevie Ray Vaughan, Richard Mullen and Double Trouble; Executive Producer: John Hammond
Archives/Disc One, Tracks 2-12 produced by Stevie Ray Vaughan, Chris Layton, Tommy Shannon, Richard Mullen, and Jim Capfer; Executive Producer: John Hammond
Archives/Disc Two, Tracks 1-8 produced by Stevie Ray Vaughan, Double Trouble and Richard Mullen; Executive Producer: John Hammond
Archives/Disc Two, Track 9 produced by Jim Gaines & Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble
Archives/Disc Two, Track 10 produced by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jim Gaines

16 December 2014

Contemporary New Age Instrumental Review: Michael Dulin-My Beloved

Release Date: January 20, 2015
Label: Indie

Michael Dulin has released several recordings over the years but never one as personal as My Beloved. It is his special ode to his wife.

Dulin’s style is flowing and purposeful and it always has been on all of his releases. He is an extremely talented pianist that is adept at translating his feelings through the ivory keys.

Each track focuses on an enduring love and the beauty and passion that it can bring in a couple’s life. Relationships are a work in progress and too many people run away at the onset of difficulties. This is a testament to his commitment to marriage and his wife.

“Beloved” is the most poignant and meaningful to the artist and as a listener I can understand why. Its sheer beauty and magnificence transcends all barriers and time becomes merely a concept to ponder.
“Devotion” has a title alone that supports the meaning of holy matrimony. It is the perfect follow up to “Beloved.” It goes hand in hand with the meaning and purpose of this recording.

The album closer “Rhapsody” exudes clarity and beauty with a definite accent on the different colors a musician such as Dulin can create within the music. The pace creates joy and peace but it maintains an energy and buoyancy that closes out the album with strength and definition.

Michael Dulin has produced a brilliant palette of tasteful instrumentals that brings one instrument to the forefront without a single distraction. The only focus is the piano and I found it very enjoyable and quite amazing how one remarkable instrument can convey so many emotions and a lifetime of love and devotion.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Beloved, Devotion, Rhapsody

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder

December 14, 2014

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

15 December 2014

Featured Track: Michael Dulin-My Beloved

Michael Dulin's new album My Beloved is set for release in January of 2015. The title track is most impressive and puts the album into proper perspective while delivering the intended message.

Dulin's piano expertise brings forth images of what commitment and love should be. Without words you would think that would be difficult to express however he gets it done through his nimble fingers.

Sit and back and listen to "My Beloved" now.

MuzikMan Rating-5/5

More About Michael Dulin:


Michael Dulin is a native of Brookside, Alabama. From the age of two, it was apparent that he had an exceptional gift for music. After attending Alabama School of Fine Arts, he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance at Birmingham-Southern College, where he was twice awarded the Alys Robinson Stephens Piano Prize. He completed his musical studies at The Juilliard School in New York, working with master teacher and concert pianist Adele Marcus.

He was a finalist in the Carnegie Hall International Piano Competition, and was awarded the Silver Medal in the Second Annual International Audio-Video Competition in New York. In addition to performing his original music throughout the United States, Michael appears both solo and with orchestra in performances of classical music. He has also toured as keyboardist with the legendary Motown group, the Temptations.

Michael’s albums of original music have twice been awarded the prestigious Lifestyle Music Award. Three of his albums have reached the #1 spot on NAR World Airplay Charts. His music has been licensed for release in South America, Korea, Japan and Malaysia.

Dulin and business partner Daniel Whiteside own and operate PSI Studios, a digital recording facility in Birmingham, Alabama. Michael is president of Equity Digital and Equity Digital Music. In addition to being an award-winning composer of music for radio, television, theater and film, he is in demand as session musician and producer.

Michael Dulin is a Christian, and is happily married to the woman of his dreams, with whom he shares a spoiled chocolate Lab named Riley. His hobbies are languages, hiking, travel, and tennis.

13 December 2014

Rock Review: The Beatles-The White Album 180 Gram Vinyl LPs

Release Date: September 9, 2014
Label: Capitol/Parlophone

The Beatles made some giant leaps in progressing as a band with their sound with certain key albums. Specifically Rubber Soul, Sgt. Pepper and The White Album are the recordings that stand out.

The series of reissued albums in 180 gram vinyl this year were timed perfectly this to fall in line with the resurgence in vinyl sales that continues to gather steam.

The White Album is definitely one of my favorites from The Beatles catalog. What sounds so incredible to this day is the fact that this was a double album and every song was an eye opener. There was not an album more diverse in their catalog that can compare in showing off the band’s multitude of talents in such a spectacular way.

It has been many years since I had opened the vinyl version of this album and was surprised and very pleased to see a poster and a set of 8x10 color photos of the band members, suitable for framing I might add. This is a package that was worthy of the release. I have to hand it to the label as they did it all right, top shelf all the way just as they did on this entire series of releases.

The one thing I have never had a problem with concerning 180 gram vinyl releases is that they are too thin and become warped or unplayable. It has never happened since I started collecting vinyl again 14 years ago.

What is there to say about this album that others have not at this point? Well that is not the point of this review at all. I like to think what I write is a reminder of the brilliance of the greatest band that was every assembled. It is a masterpiece of rock music with enough diversity to keep any listener interested for the entire run of all 4 sides. That is a challenge for any band and The Beatles made it look like a walk in the park, as they always did. 

“Revolution 9” is hands down most unusual track they ever recorded. It sounds like LSD induced cacophony and it stands out as one of the songs that people remember most on the album oddly enough. It was so different it was hard to forget! The one song that gives me the creeps now is “Happiness Is A Warm Gun” because John sang lead. A touch of irony indeed and a sad reminder of the way he left us.

You cannot argue with the way they open the album with a rockin’ “Back in the U.S.S.R.” It is always a difficult task selecting key tracks on any Beatles album; now tell me did they ever record a bad song? There is not one I can think of. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is another highlight and it shows how strong George Harrison was and highly underrated in his role with the band. Certainly he should have had more opportunities to contribute songs during the Beatles reign of the charts but it never happened as John and Paul were the dominate forces in the band. Perhaps they would have lasted longer if each member had equal opportunities to contribute. We will never know, but we all do understand one thing, there will never be another band that created such a buzz that continues to this day with no end in sight. The White Album was and still is a stellar release.

5/5 + Stars

Key Tracks: Back in the U.S.S.R, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Birthday, Revolution 1, Helter Skelter

Side 1:
1. Back in the U.S.S.R.
2. Dear Prudence
3. Glass Onion
4. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
5. Wild Honey Pie
6. The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill
7. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
8. Happiness Is A Warm Gun

Side 2:
1. Martha My Dear
2. I'm So Tired
3. Blackbird
4. Piggies
5. Rocky Raccoon
6. Don't Pass Me By
7. Why Don't We Do It In The Road?
8. I Will
9. Julia

Side 3:
1. Birthday
2. Yer Blues
3. Mother Nature's Son
4. Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey
5. Sexy Sadie
6. Helter Skelter
7. Long, Long, Long

Side 4:
1.Revolution 1
2. Honey Pie
3.Savoy Truffle
4. Cry Baby Cry
5. Revolution 9
6. Good Night
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Write A Music Review Founder

December 13, 2014     
Review Provided By Write A Music

Progressive Rock: Lunatic Soul-Walking on a Flashlight Beam

Release Date: October 13, 2014
Label: Kscope

There is a magical quality to music and some musicians know how to tap into the magic.  Lunatic Soul is a band that knows how to do this.  Walking on a Flashlight Beamis a phenomenal experience to behold and it is because of this magical quality, which can paint pictures in the listener’s mind that can rival those hanging on the walls on the world’s museums and affect the emotions the way lines from a poem can.  It makes for an experience that lingers.    

Formed in 2008, Lunatic Soul is the side project of Mariuz Duda, the vocalist and bassist for the Polish progressive rock band Riverside.  Duda (vocals, bass and acoustic guitars, ukulele, keyboards, percussions) is accompanied by Wawrzyniec Dramowicz (drums) on Walking on a Flashlight Beam, Lunatic Soul’s fourth release.  This nine track album is a work of great art.  The music is dark, intricate, intense, harmonious, and much more, while the vocals are soulful, sparse, and powerful. 

Walking on a Flashlight Beam is a wondrous album that gets off to a grand start and never lowers the bar.  The haunting “Shutting Out the Sun” lures the listener with its sounds of waves crashing onto a beach.  Its slow, brooding build-up creates a great, dark atmosphere.  There is a sense of tension and foreboding that is heightened every time a new sound is introduced, exquisitely building on each other, and behind it all is a portrayal of tragic beauty.  With its great energy and soothing vocals, “Cold” starts out with a dark atmosphere reminiscent of the previous song, but morphs into a lighter and less foreboding one.  The song has a magical quality to its music that will keep you coming back for more. 

“Gutter” is a sprawling epic of a song.  The vocals are absolutely top notch, and probably the best on the album.  There is a sense of the mystery running throughout the song, and there is a sense of being on an adventurous journey. “Star Sellotaped” is a short, spacey interlude that calls to mind visions of the cosmos. “The Fear Within” enriches and expands upon the atmosphere of the previous songs. The music is creepy and unsettling, making for an all-around haunting song.

Showing off a lighter side, “Treehouse” is a brilliant, emotional, and understated.  Breaking with the dark atmosphere of the previous songs, “Treehouse” is has a hopeful air about it and the music is calm and embodies images of joy.  Nothing short of being a grand song, “Pygmalion’s Ladder” is a progressive rock masterpiece.  The music is intricate and complex, displaying the wide range of influence and creativity that Lunatic Soul brings to the table.  It is poetry in the form of music.  “Sky Drawn in Crayon” is an ethereal and ambient song.  It definitely sends out positive vibes and a warm, comforting atmosphere.  

Capping the album off is the title track, “Walking on a Flashlight Beam.”  It reveals in its majestic atmosphere and it is a thing of beauty. 

Lunatic Soul’s Walking on a Flashlight Beamis an absolute gem of an album.  Once again, the progressive rock genre proves itself to be at the forefront of making outstanding music.  This album is nothing but top notch quality and is easily one of the top albums of the year for me.  I think that once you listen to it that you will agree too. 

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Shutting Out the Sun, The Fear Within, Pygmalion’s Ladder

1.Shutting Out the Sun
4.Star Sellotaped
5.The Fear Within
7.Pygmalion’s Ladder
8.Sky Drawn in Crayon
9.Walking on a Flashlight Beam

Brian McKinnon

December 13, 2014

Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk

10 December 2014

Holiday Music Review: Patty Mattson-All The Wonders of This Holiday

Release Date: November 1, 2012
Label: Indie

I thought of Patty Mattson as a Country singer but shame on me, she does so much more! She released the Holiday EP in 2012 titled All The Wonders of This Holiday. And here we are back for another round of good cheer.

What I heard in 5 tracks was four separate genres packaged up just for Christmas. What this music proved to me was the great diversity this vocalist commands. 

The opener and title track sounds like a traditional warm up by the fireplace Xmas tune with a big band beat then “I’m Heading Home” gets Patty back to her country roots.

“Santa and Me” is another more traditional track that brings back fond memories of being a child waiting with impatience and anticipation for the morning that everyone loves so much. This track literally gave me chills and brought a wave of sadness over me thinking of love ones lost. That was for me though and don’t misunderstand that thought, I believe this is a beautiful song and Patty’s voice is amazing and magical.

“It’s Christmas” is a rocker with a funky twist. It pops and crackles with energy like the hot burning embers glowing below the hearth. Then “Jing A Jing” is a chunk of rockin’ funk to close out the show.

In just 5 tracks Ms. Patty Mattson captured the true meaning of Christmas by offering a cross section of listeners something to enjoy and take away with a smile. I loved every minute of it and that is from a guy that doesn’t get into Holiday music all that much. You turned me around on this one Patty!

5/5 Stars

Key Track: All The Wonders of This Holiday

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Write A Music Review Founder

December 10, 2014

Review Provided By Write A Music