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Showing posts from May, 2015

Concert Review: America At The Colonial Theater

Rock Review: Points North-Self Titled

Release Date: 21stApril 2015 Label: Magna Carta Records Website
Points North is a band that has just released their second, and self-titled album, following on from their debut album released in 2012, Road Less Traveled.

Influences for the band comes from the likes of Rush and Joe Satriani, and although I really dislike trying to put bands styles into little boxes, the best description of Points North sound would be melodic guitar driven rock. Album No1 was an instrumental album, but Points North have stepped up to the mic with album No 2 and added some vocals.

The band is a 3 piece outfit comprising Eric Barnett (guitars), Uriah Duffy (bass) and Kevin Aiello (drums) who are all experienced musicians and between them have tutored, been session musicians, played in a well-known band (Whitesnake) and shared the stage with Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Etta James.

Points North, the album, contains 11 tracks and has around 53 minutes of music on offer. The longest and shortest tracks on the a…

New Age-Celtic-World Review: Mary-Kathryn-Wonders In The Deep

Release Date: May 15, 2015 Label: Rhythm House Website
Some artists in today’s contemporary top 40 simply blend into the background, but not Mary-Kathryn. She takes a spiritual approach to music, singing about faith, angels, and the oneness of us all. Humanity is all the peoples of the world and with her New Age and world music slant she manages to pull it off. There is an emotional depth to this album that reaches across all borders and gets to the center of what it means to truly be human - the uncertainty, the faith and the love.
Guest musicians on this album include Carl Albrecht (percussion) Fergus Marsh (Chapman stick & bass), Mario Sangermano (stand-up bass), David McKay (piano), Benjamin Wolaver (cello) and Michael Lewandowski on mandolin. Five-Time Grammy Award winning audio engineer Paul Salveson mixed the project. Paul Buono and Mary-Kathryn co-produced the album making this a star studded cast of artists and music professionals. I knew when I started listening I was in for…

British String Quartet Salutes The Legendary Manchester Scene With A New Album Of Chamber Rock Interpretations!

Los Angeles, CA - They are one of the most sought after chamber quartets in the UK, even earning the praise of Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker, and now The Manchester String Quartet are proud to announce an exciting new tribute to their namesake, the city they call home, and a place that has birthed some of the most renowned musical acts in British rock history! From Oasis to New Order, The Smiths to The Buzzcocks, The Stone Roses to Elbow, Manchester England saw an explosion of groundbreaking musical acts starting in the mid 1970s that continues to this day, making it a true mecca of the artistic world. With their new album Classic Manchester, this group of 4 extremely talented classical musicians celebrate the city and its most memorable musical offerings, dramatically reinventing such classics as “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” “Wonderwall,” “This Charming Man,” “Blue Monday” and others. The album is available now on CD and digital download courtesy of a joint venture between UK outfit Gluc…

Audio Fidelity To Release B.B. King & Eric Clapton “Riding With The King” On Limited Edition Numbered Hybrid SACD

Two Masters Produce a Contemporary Blues Gem!

Camarillo, CA - In honor of the recent passing of blues guitar legend B.B. King, Marshall Blonstein's Audio Fidelity will be releasing B.B. King & Eric Clapton “Riding With The King” on Limited Hybrid SACD. This SACD should satisfy fans of King, Clapton and blues purists alike. “Riding With The King” was Eric Clapton's and B.B. King's first collaborative recording and it went on to win the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album. The album reached #1 on Billboard's Top Blues Albums.

They first performed together in 1967 when Clapton was 22 and a member of Cream. Clapton looked up to King and had always wanted to make an album with him. At the time of recording Clapton was 55 and King 74. Clapton arranged the session using many of his regular musicians, picked the songs, and co-produced with his partner Simon Climie. While this would appear to be a Clapton album recorded with King, Clapton gave King center-stage…

New Age Instrumental Review: David Franklin-Playing With Shadows

Release Date: March 1, 2015 Label: Indie Website
David Franklin is a musician and therapist that spent close to three years recording his most recent effort Playing With Shadows. This is his seventh recording.

The instrumental new age album has 18 tracks of acoustic piano and guitar pieces that include some special guests that include Michael Manring (fretless bass on 10 tracks), Rick Corrigen (accordion) and Alex Franklin (electric guitar). It was mixed and mastered by Warren Kahn

One of the main ingredients that take a part of the success on this album for Franklin is the addition of Michael Manring on bass. Michael's basses are custom made to his specsHe plays a 4-string fretless Zon bass and he often plays with an ebow.He creates a unique sound that compliments Franklin’s guitar and piano playing. A note of interest is that Franklin plays in about 25 different tunings on his guitar. Certainly these attributes are one of the main reasons the album has such a large palette of sound…

Legendary Narada Michael Walden Produces Third Release by Lauded Bay Area Songstress Jordan Hurwitz Titled “Here I’ll Stand” on Tarpan Records

Redwood City, CA - Jordan Hurwitz, an American singer/songwriter born and raised in Redwood City, California, is announcing the release of her new EP, Here I’ll Stand, digitally and physically worldwide on June 23rd, 2015. This brand new release features six original songs written by Jordan and produced and arranged by the legendary Narada Michael Walden on his label, Tarpan Records.

Here I’ll Stand is Jordan’s third release, and her first with Narada. “Working with Narada is an incomparable and invaluable experience,” she says. “His talent and artistry take my music to a whole new dimension and continue to be nothing less than amazing.” 

When asked about working with Jordan, Narada says: “If you love Billy Joel, his chord changes and his melodies, if you love Broadway, if you love Lady Gaga and her dramatic sense of theatrics in music, Jordan brings a lot of that to her music. She is a wonderful keyboard player and singer, who is humble and has a lot of heart and care, and she is very …

Rock Review: Von Hertzen Brothers-New Day Rising

Release Date: March 24, 2015 Label: Spinefarm Website
If you are looking for a band with a fresh and exciting sound, then look no further than Finland’s Von Hertzen Brothers or VHB.Based out of the country’s capital of Helsinki, Von Hertzen Brothers consist of Mikko Von Hertzen (vocals, guitar), Kie Von Hertzen (guitar, vocals), Jonne Von Hertzen (bass, vocals), Juha Kuoppala (keyboards), and Mikko Kaakkuriniemi (drums).More than your average rock group, they showed plenty of progressive and psychedelic influences on their previous album, Nine Lives, and they have turned up their game for their latest release, New Day Rising.
New Day Rising goes above and beyond what you would expect from a typical rock album.They are not afraid to mix things up and veer off the established trail, which plays to their advantage.The turns and surprises along the way are fantastic and enriching.If there is a band that you take chance on, then let it be Von Hertzen Brothers, and if there is an album to take…

Progressive Metal Review: Native Construct-Quiet World

Release Date: 21st April 2015 Label: Metal Blade Records Website
This is another release by a band that this reviewer hadn’t heard of, and consequently would not have come across. The band is called Native Construct and the title of their debut album is Quiet World.

The band is a collaboration between students started in 2011 at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, where I’m informed, a certain Dream Theater, also originated. The album, Quiet World, is a concept album dealing with the tale of Archon and The Silence, the inhabitants of the Quiet World. The style of the band hints at Dream Theater, Pain of Salvation, Queen, Between The Buried and Me, and should suggest what is to be found on Quiet World. There is a musical amalgamation of classical with musical theater via prog metal.

Native Construct is made up of three members, Myles Yang (guitar, programming), Robert Edens (vocals) and Max Harchik (bass).

The album, Quiet World, clocks in at around 48 minutes, with 7 tracks i…

R&B Guitar Legend Shuggie Otis Hits The Road For An Extended Summer Tour!

Los Angeles, CA - After the recent release of his first-ever live album, Live In Williamsburg (available on CD, vinyl and DVD), R&B legend Shuggie Otis is once again bringing his talents to the stage for a 20+ date, coast-to-coast tour starting July 5th. Nobody brings as much soul, style, and swagger to a live performance as Shug with his signature red Gibson SG, and fans who have followed this multi-talented performer’s tumultuous career know that a Shuggie Otis concert is not an event to be missed. Whether it be the fabulous grooves of “Inspiration Information” or the funkdafied rhythm of the all-time classic “Strawberry Letter 23,” Shuggie’s songs have a magical sway over audiences, both young and old, guaranteed to get them on their feet and dancing in the aisles!

The son of renowned bandleader and musician Johnny Otis, Shuggie Otis began his incredible career at the tender age of 15, playing as a session guitarist alongside Al Kooper before releasing his first solo album Here …

Sharon Hendrix, Talented Back-Up Singer for Bob Dylan, Elton John, Tom Jones, Barry Manilow, Grace Slick & Starship, Olivia Newton-John and Others, Steps to Center Stage with Her Solo Debut

Sharon Hendrix has performed in over 8,000 shows and it’s only the beginning!

Los Angeles - After years of working just 20 feet from stardom Sharon “Muffy” Hendrix is stepping into the spotlight. Throughout her successful career Sharon has been singing backup on recording sessions and performing on stages across the world with top names including Bob Dylan, Elton John, Tom Jones, Grace Slick & Starship, Olivia Newton-John, George Duke, Dusty Springfield, Freddie Hubbard, Natalie Cole, Harry Chapin, Jermaine Stewart, Mac Davis, Billy Cobham, Michael White, Shirley Bassey and so many other notable musical talents.

Sharon Hendrix began her career as "Muffy" Hendrix singing in the church and school choirs and by the time she reached her teens she became part of The Young Americans, an international touring company of 30 singers from all across the country. Over the next two years Sharon toured the Far East twice, performed on the Ed Sullivan Show and the Kraft Music Hall and w…

Progressive Metal Review: At War With Self-Circadian Rhythm Disorder

Release Date: 11thMarch 2015 Label: Digital release Website
At War With Self is a project led/conceived by Glenn Snelwar, a multi-instrumentalist, best known, although not by this reviewer, as one of the guitarists on the Giordian Knot debut which featured members of King Crimson, Cynic, Watchtower and Dream Theater.

At War With Self has previously released three albums, Torn Between Dimensions (2005), Acts of God (2007) and A Familiar Path (2009), and now, album No 4 has landed on The Ancient Ones’ desk for review. The title of the newest release is Circadian Rhythm Disorder.

To quote the press release that accompanies this album release, “Circadian Rhythm Disorderis the culmination of four years of writing, recording, re-writing, analysis, re-analysis, discarding, rebuilding, e-evaluation and final culmination of compositions based on the framework of a 51 minute drum solo performed in a single take by Marco Minneman (drummer, composer, multi-instrumentalist with Steven Wilson Band and J…