19 October 2019

Rock Review: Jesse Colin Young-Dreamers

Release Date: February 15, 2019
Label: Kani Kapila Music, LLC


Before we take a deep dive into this record, I would just like to state that the album artwork on this one is great. It has a very traditional art style to it, and the winged heart instantly makes me think of the Bon Jovi logo. Young also has a nice looking website where you can not only buy his albums, but you can also pick up a pound of 100% Kona coffee. Rock music and Kona coffee? I’d say it’s the perfect equation for a morning on island time.

Now let’s talk about music. Dreamers is the kind of album that is good for listening to dockside, with a cold drink in hand. The songs range from folk-rock to blues-rock, to a 60’s rock. This album is definitely for people who like an older style of rock ‘n’ roll. “One More Time” gets the closest to that classic rock sound. From first listen, it has a similar beginning to Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On A Prayer,” and so it comes full circle.

“Look Over Yonder” has more of a blues root to it. He has incorporated horns and keys into the song, which give it that classic blues sound. It reminds me of the Sonny Boy Williamson II song “Help Me.” Young’s rock vocals give an edgier sound to the otherwise soulful blues rooted song. We also hear this blues-tude in the song “Cruising At Sunset.” The undeniable walking blues bass line kicks in right after the intro. If I had to guess, I would say that “For Orlando” is a tribute to the horrific shooting that occurred at the PULSE nightclub in 2016. With lyrics like “How do we face disaster? Bitterness, what comes after” and “We need to love each other, every sister/brother,” it seems that Young is sending the message that we cannot let another tragedy, like the one that occurred in Orlando, happen ever again.

There are only a few things that I would have changed about the album. In the mixing process, the vocals could have been made clearer and brought forward as the main focus. I think the lyrics are a little difficult to understand, but to be fair, I don’t typically listen to this type of rock music for the lyrics. Some of the songs are kind of slow for being a rock song, and an increased tempo would have given the songs a better groove, in my opinion. A lot of the songs are four to five minutes long, which is pretty long for a standard song in the modern world of production. Lastly, I think the rock songs were stronger than the blues songs on the album, and I would have loved for Young to end with these instead.

There is a good variety of genres and topics covered on the album. If you like rock music, this album is probably going to be up your ally. Or if you are going out for a day on the lake, I would pick up Dreamers, and maybe a pound of coffee, for an enjoyable escape.

Lily Clark – Berklee College of Music Intern
October 13, 2019

Tracks: 
01. Cast A Stone
02. Shape Shifters
03. Walk The Talk
04. For Orlando
05. Take Me To The River
06. They Were Dreamers
07. Cruising At Sunset
08. Lyme Life
09. Here Comes The Night
10. For My Sisters
11. While Texas Is Drowning
12. One More Time
13. On And On
14. Look Over Yonder


Reviews Provided By:

Art Tawanghar-: Buddha Lounge 3 Chill New Age California

Release Date: June 13, 2019
Label: Majorhitrecords

Art Tawanghar runs his label with a stable of artists and he also creates a lot of his music under the roof of Majorhitrecords. The Buddha Lounge series is one of his many projects.

I have not heard the 1 and 2 series releases.  I came into this musical celebration on Buddha Lounge 3 Chill New Age California. I refer to it as a celebration because it truly is. 

You can call it New Age, chill, world or a combination of them all. I prefer to take the all-encompassing route as all of those genres are covered under the one roof of the Buddha Lounge 3 experience.

Art is a very gifted artist with the knack for mixing so many of the new age elements into one nice package. “Divine Chemistry” is one of the tracks with vocals. With its breathy and sedative female vocals putting you under a spell, it provides the magic ride that takes you to wherever you want to go.

Then “Conscious Dream” becomes everything with a coloring book world flair, you have the crayons to color in all the empty images in your mind. You will get a very welcomed assist from the splashes of new age and world that live and breathe in the track.

“Crystalline Grid” has a middle eastern essence to it complete with the rapid rhythm section along with succinct percussion and even a jazzy piano segment that comes marching in towards the end, just to give you something different to think about.

Those are some of the highlights I experienced on this incredible musical journey. It was quite enjoyable and uplifting from beginning to end for this music lover. Good musicianship, productive and a massive variety is what you will get on Buddha Lounge 3 Chill New Age California. If variety is your spice in life you will not get enough of this recording and it will end all too soon. I would recommend listening several times as I am sure you notice something you did not before. It is a sure thing with everything happening from track to track. This will be a delight to all new age, chill and world music fans alike.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
October 19, 2019

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:
1. In To the Unknown
2. Divine Chemistry
3. Love Is the End
4. Ocean In a Drop
5. Conscious Dream
6. Crystalline Grid
7. Storyteller Instrumental version


18 October 2019

THE FINAL ON VINYL PODCAST: Interview With Todd Mosby - New Age, Jazz, Instrumental Artist

Art Rock/Post PunkReview: The Pull of Autumn-Afterglow

Release Date: July 25, 2019
Label: RBM Records

Less than a year removed from their debut release, The Pull of Autumn is back with Afterglow, a rich infusion of varied post-punk influences that take the listener to new places, feeling all-the-while like they’ve been there before. The Pull of Autumn is a Boston-based collective of members from Throwing Muses, Hood, Seasurfer, Orange Cake Mix, Hood, and Nick and the Bad Seeds. 

Arrangements are lush, and textures are as varied as the band’s contributors. Traces of influence from these artists’ former groups are unashamedly in the forefront. The fusion of talent evokes a vibe from decades ago when the punk rock attitude embraced by skilled musicians gave birth to post-punk and neo-psychedelia and modern new age. 

Reminiscent of Richard Butler of the Psychedelic Furs, Mark Campbell of the Nails, and David Bowie during his Berlin trilogy, Luke ‘Skyscraper’ James’ vocals are brazened if not melodramatic. On tracks such as “Trouble Time,” “Not Coming Down,” and “Hey America” there feels like an impedance mismatch between James’ vocals and the driving sonic currents flowing below. 

The most compelling parts of Afterglow are the more layered and atmospheric songs where James is not bellowing theatrically to the heavens. These are the tracks with their synth fuzz undertones and layered guitar and piano, which feel like Autumn itself. “Distance,” “They Went Up,” and “Wallow” are lo-fi works of art. “Crack the Red” sounds something from Neutral Milk Hotel while “Sitting by the Window” sounds like a lost track from Love’s “Forever Changes.” 

For me, dropping the needle on any ten seconds of Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures stirs memories from a slice of time when the future felt frightening, yet full of possibilities. Similarly, The Pull of Autumn’s Afterglow emanates eerily into the present, bringing forth reverberations from a bygone age when fearless experimentation combined with post-punk narcissism evoked a haunting trepidation of the future. Through its highs and lows, darkness and light, and twists and turns, the end result of this listening journey is nothing short of exhilaration. 

Tom Endyke-MuzikMan.net Staff
October 16, 2019

Reviews Provided By:
Rate The Tracks

Tracks:
01. Injure the Swallow
02. Trouble Time
03. Distance
04. They Went Up …
05. Haunted by the Rain
06. Coming Down
07. The Stars or The Jungle
08. Crack the Red
09. Sitting by the Window
10. Sacred Ground
11. Equinox
12. Colder House
13. Stained Glass Windows
14. Hey America!
15. Wallow 


17 October 2019

Alt-Rock-Prog-Pop Review: Sharon Lia Band-Beyond Wonderland

Release Date: August 22, 2019
Label: Sharrick Records

Sharon Lia leads from the front in the epic and emotive, Beyond Wonderland, the debut album from the Philadelphia-based band of her namesake. The ever-versatile Sharon chaperones us through the album’s varying themes with her compelling lead vocals and adept piano performances. The singer is at once soulful and candid on this collection, which is an ethereal meeting point of joy and nostalgia, of a past to be forgotten and a future to be fought for. The luscious instrumentation provided by guitarist Rick Jannotti and drummer Howie Fallon bolster the touching, thought-provoking message of this work. While the trio hasn’t struck gold with this debut, it’s clear they’re not far off.

After a brooding beginning, “Sick Addiction” explodes into a badass crescendo of electrifying guitar and thumping percussion. The tormented lyrics showcase Sharon Lia Band’s talent for creating sensational, melodic rock with a twist of poignant tenderness. On the aptly named “Anomie,” Sharon’s harmonious, gentle vocals paint the portrait of a woman let down and misunderstood by her society. Over a celestial arrangement, the defiant singer highlights the power of determination, self-realization, and grit.

“Why Can’t We Pretend?” is a gorgeous, sentimental and dreamy track. It boasts a blissful string section, a triumphant drum kick, and Sharon’s vocal prowess is given the space and backing to fully flourish. On “Hanging by a Thread” the singer similarly wows with an immaculate vocal performance. This track immediately grabs attention with a cadenced organ, crisp drums, and bluesy bass. Despite the smooth, polished sound of this track, the lyrics allude to a tense precarity, an uncertain danger, an imminent threat. This sensitivity is what adds layers of meaning to the band’s particular alternative-rock sound.

The tracklisting is masterful here as the band follows the melancholic end of “Hanging by a Thread” with the confident, sexy, strutting opening of “Free to Fall.” The beat oozes tenacity made up of a quivering electric guitar, a celestial synth, and a rapping drumbeat. The singer’s soaring voice proclaims fearlessness, boldness, and freedom. Then, Sharon Lia Band gifts us their unique take on a rock ballad in “Hunter and Slayer.” It’s tinkling piano and soft string section elicit a mysterious, fairytale feeling. While Sharon’s graceful singing evokes images of a somber, smoky bar-room performance one could only find in a black-and-white film.

On the album’s finale, “Beyond Wonderland.” a lurking bass line is joined by cracking drums while an electric guitar looms in the background, waiting to emerge noisily for the sensational climax. The brazen lyrics deal with the voyage of life, creativity, and self-discovery. It generates a feeling of harmonious completion, as the outro begins, we hear birds chirping and the soft sound of rainfall.  

The ambition and confidence needed to actualize this debut album’s grand vision show Sharon Lia Band has the attributes for a bright future in music. Beyond Wonderland is sure to leave you looking forward to this band’s next adventure.

Key Tracks Include: “Hanging by a Thread”, “Free to Fall”, and “Hunter and Slayer”

Nicholas Lane-MuzikMan.net Staff
October 17, 2019

REVIEWS PROVIDED BY:

Tracks:
1. Sick Addiction
2. Anomie
3. Why Can’t We Pretend?
4. Hanging by a Thread
5. Free to Fall
6. Hunter and Slayer
7. Beyond Wonderland

Rick Wakeman "Box Of Boots: Set of 10 Live CDs: Official Bootleg Series" Now Available For Pre-order!


The box set will be released Dec 2, 2019

Giving an official release to some wonderful historic concerts previously only available to a few people, keyboard legend Rick Wakeman is releasing Box Of Boots: Set of 10 Live CDs: Official Bootleg Series on December 2, 2019. This is a response to these concerts being heavily bootlegged throughout the years and continuing the trend of Frank Zappa, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Pearl Jam... Rick has decided to make stand against the bootleggers and supply official bootlegs which have been cleaned up in the studio, packaged in a great way at a fraction of the price saving fans from buying them off the black market!

The box set is a limited edition of 1,000 units. Each contains a signed and numbered certificate.

The box set contains:

Boston USA 1974 Live At Boston Music Hall, Boston, MA October 5th 1974

Osaka Japan 1975 Journey To The Centre Of The Earth Koseinekin Hall, Osaka Japan, 21st January 1975

Vienna, Austria 1976 Vienna Ensemble 1976 Live In Vienna Kurhalle, Oberlaa

Preston UK 1981 Live at Guildhall Preston, November 16th 1981

Sheffield UK 1981 Live at the City Hall Sheffield, UK November 21st 1981

Daphne Du Maurier Festival UK 2001 17th January 2001

Tokyo Japan 2008 Solo Performance in Tokyo 2008

Rick Wakeman and the English Rock Ensemble Cropredy, UK 2010 Live at Cropredy Festival, Oxfordshire, UK, 2010

Tokyo Japan 2014 International Forum Hall, Tokyo 1st July 2014

Osaka Japan 2014 Sankei Hall 30th June 2014

Release date 2nd December 2019

Keyboardist, songwriter, producer, television and radio presenter, and author, Rick Wakeman is best known for his work with progressive rock band YES, which spans across five tenures between 1971 and 2004 and for his solo albums released in the 1970s. Wakeman's discography includes over 90 solo albums that range from several musical styles. He has made many television and radio appearances; in recent years he became known for his contributions to the BBC comedy series “Grumpy Old Men,” “Watchdog” and his radio show on Planet Rock that aired from 2005 to 2010. Wakeman has written three books; an autobiography and two memoirs. In 2017, Wakeman was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of YES.

To pre-order Rick Wakeman Box Of Boots: Set of 10 Live CDs: Official Bootleg Serieshttps://www.musicglue.com/rick-wakeman-emporium/products/box-of-boots-set-of-10-live-cds-official-bootleg-series

Rick Wakeman's official website: http://www.rwcc.com/

Press Inquiries: 
Glass Onyon PR
PH: 1-828-350-8158 (US)
glassonyonpr@gmail.com

16 October 2019

Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Review: Quayde LaHue-Love Out of Darkness

Release Date: November 8, 2019
Label: Adult Fantasy Records


If you're looking for a record that speaks to the current struggles of society, look no further than Quayde LaHue’s Love Out of Darkness

Love Out of Darkness is an awesome record that focuses on themes of love, oppression, darkness, and the never-ending quest to feel part of something. 

Quayde’s lineup boat members from numerous metal and hardcore bands, most notably, Christian Mistress. While Quayde’s sound differs from Christian Mistress, their sound as a whole echo that of the new wave of British heavy metal movement of the late 1970s and early 1980s. 

The first song on the album, “Give Me Your Love,” sets the tone for the ensuing album with loud power chords, complex structures, and an all-around sense of hard rock in its truest form. The song’s lyrics mirror the instrumental track of the song. Jenna Fitton, the lead vocalist, sings earnestly and honestly about the confusion that surrounds falling in love. She asks, “Is it worth a shot? Because you think she’s hot? Then why the hell not and I can tell he likes what he sees. It’s worth a shot.” The lyrics invite the listener into the world of Fitton, one that is confused at the process of courtship. 

The rest of the album follows suit, as all the songs provide a raw sense of rock with vibes of heavy metal. On “Warrior,” Fitton belts, “I am a warrior” as the rhythm guitar provides a consistent grungy sound. The following track, “Before the Storm” continues the sound of the late 80s and early 90s grunge, reminiscent of Alice In Chains. 

For someone who is not in tune with the sounds of hard rock, heavy metal, and/or grunge, Love Out of Darkness may be a difficult album to listen to or even understand, but the beauty of Love Out of Darkness is that it is an incredibly accessible album. The lyrics are extremely relatable and the instrumental track mirrors the confusion surrounding our society right now. It’s almost as if the lyrics and the instruments are in a constant battle to properly convey the themes of love and darkness that are the backbone of this great record. 

Key Tracks Include: “Give Me Your Love”, “Warrior”, “Before The Storm”, and “Widowmaker.”

Guillermo M. Berrizbeitia
October 10, 2019


Reviews Provided By:

Tracks: 
1. Give Me Your Love
2. Man In The Purple Robe
3. Heart Of Stone
4. Warrior
5. Before The Storm
6. Widowmaker
7. Fallout
8. It Still Burns
9. Right To Rock

 

15 October 2019

Concert Review: Eric Gales Live At The Stationery Factory In Dalton, Massachusetts

Eric Gales In Concert At The Stationery Factory In Dalton, Mass.
With The BTUs
October 13, 2019


Dalton, Massachusetts got to witness one of the best guitar players on the planet cut loose last night. Eric Gales (AKA Raw Dawg), was on stage at the Stationery Factory, one of the newer venues in the Berkshires that I have become very grateful for. Now we have another old mill repurposed for many different uses. The building holds more than just a stage, it actually has five stages. They have performances in the Gallery, the North Room, Honor Roll Studios and at the Shire. The concert was on the main stage this evening. It also includes several businesses including a restaurant and distillery where they make Vodka and provide the concert with a nice jug of pristine water for its patrons. Which is free by the way.

The night opened with local band the BTUs to warm up the crowd. They provided an excellent set of blues-rock. You could tell they were a seasoned band that had their chops down straight away. They feature two slick guitar players that can sing up a storm and an animated keyboard player that can sing as well. To round off their band there is a decidedly younger member behind the drum kit that is always smiling. The keyboard player provided the bass with the bottom tier of his keyboard and the actual keyboard sounds with the top tier. That is quite the trick I must say!

After a short break and breakdown of the first act, we all got ready for Eric Gales. I remember getting Eric’s very first release back in the early ’90s. From that point, I did not pursue his output, a big mistake on my behalf. He now has 18 albums out! The latest release is titled Bookends. Seeing him lived showed what I was missing all these years! 

Eric is a new man. With the help of his dedicated wife LaDonna he battled his demons and kicked a long-standing drug addiction. He is very upfront about his life and feelings and man does it ever come pouring out of him through his music! He has a killer rhythm section, a bass player and two percussionists, one being LaDonna, who has a beautiful voice by the way. It is a family united, as their lovely daughter attends the merch table as well.

The venue and stage are very personal and up close, there is not a bad seat in the house, with comfortable chairs provided of course. The capacity is 500 although there was not that many in attendance. Regardless of how many folks attended there was enough of us to make some noise in response to Eric’s amazing performance. The crowd was well behaved, appreciative, and respectful of each other. I had to mention that because it's not always that way. 

Eric is a very animated and energetic performer and he plays a guitar left-handed with upside-down strings, just like that other great six-string bender named Hendrix. I have heard people say he is like a cross between Hendrix and Stevie Ray, which I could not argue. He is making a lot of headway to superstardom with his album Bookends debuting at #1 on the Billboard charts when it was released on Mascot Records (one of my favorite labels). And with Joe Bonamassa (another great blues guitarist) backing him and playing the album on his Sirius radio channel, he is finally getting some well-deserved attention.

Any good music, rock, in particular, is blues-based. Eric takes a little bit of everything - blues, rock, jazz, funk, and that creates his sound. He has a definitive harder edge to his faster moving songs and an excellent voice to match. I thought of the great Albert Collins more than once while listening to him. That is a great compliment, as Albert was the master of the telecaster.

Eric played many of the tracks off his new release including “Southpaw Serenade,” “How Do I Get You” and the matter of fact “It Just Beez That Way,” which everyone on stage was wearing on their T-Shirts, and available at the merch table. Eric got the crowd chanting that phrase as well. He owns that stage and the audience loved him.

The other thing I appreciated besides the great music was the interaction of the band members with Eric and how they watched all his cues. In particular, was the husband and wife exchanges, you can tell they really love each other and are enjoying every second of their time together on stage.

If you take a look at where Eric has performed this year it is a list of Blues Festivals all over the world. That does not surprise me in the least. He is one of the top guitar players of the genre in the world today and it was a pleasure to see him perform live and meet with him after the show.

Eric Gales is a premier act that is a must-see if you either love the blues or can appreciate a great guitar player. If that is the case, then you need to get your tickets and catch a show.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
October 14, 2019

Founder of:

Review Provided By MuzikMan.net

Rodney Matthews and Jeff Scheetz with Oliver Wakeman To Release "Trinity" Feat. Rick Wakeman


Gonzo Multimedia is releasing the highly anticipated debut studio album from Rodney Matthews and Jeff Scheetz with Oliver Wakeman titled “Trinity” and is now available for pre-order.

World renowned British fantasy artist and drummer Rodney Matthews and American rock guitarist and Director of Education at TrueFire Jeff Scheetz, along with British award-winning composer and former Yes keyboardist Oliver Wakeman are to release a prog rock album inspired by Matthews’ fantastical images.

Having illustrated over 140 rock album covers Matthews knew who to call upon to play across the ten eclectic tracks composed and arranged by himself, Scheetz, Wakeman and TV/film composer and multi-instrumentalist Pete Coleman. The stellar line-up also includes none other than legendary Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman on the title track, three bass players – Asia FJP’s John Payne, Magnum’s Tony Clarkin and in-demand jazz/blues/rock session player Steve Amadeo – and world class saxophonist Charles McNeal, plus vocals by Sarah Prothero and narration by Mark A. Williams.

The distinctive styles and diversity of contributions from these musicians lends perfectly to the largely instrumental album, encapsulating in music, images both familiar and new, from the thunderous ‘Heavy Metal Hero’ and dramatic ‘Night on the Bare Mountain’ to the majestic ‘Mirador’ and ethereal ‘Trinity’ (and everything in-between).

The album will be available on CD and double Vinyl with bonus tracks. Also, for collectors, both will be included in a lavish limited-edition boxed set, accompanied by Matthews’ illustrated guide to the artwork, two giclĂ©e prints and a set of eleven postcards.

Of the album, many years in the making, Matthews says: “I’ve waited all my life to record an album, to do so with this group of high calibre musicians was beyond my wildest dreams - and trust me, being a fantasy artist, I can dream pretty wild!”



To pre-order:
www.trinityalbum.com
www.diggersfactory.com/fr/vinyl/227027/rodney-matthews-and-jeff-scheetz-with-oliver-wakeman-trinity

For more information:
Web: www.rodneymatthewsstudios.com
Facebook: @RodneyMatthewsStudios
Twitter: @RodneyMStudios
Instagram: @rodneymstudios

Press Inquiries: 
Glass Onyon PR
PH: 1-828-350-8158 (US)
glassonyonpr@gmail.com

12 October 2019

Country Review: Willie Nelson-Ride Me Back Home

Release Date:  June 21, 2019
Label:  Legacy Recordings
Website 
When Willie Nelson sings, people listen. Throughout his storied 60-year career, The Redheaded Stranger has become a genre unto himself. His mastery lies in the poetic, heartfelt expressions of romance, loneliness, and the exploits of an outlaw’s life on the road.

Willie’s 69th studio album Ride Me Back Home thematically does not wander far from home. Yet there are echoes of melancholy, remorse, and gravity, which force the listener to sit up and take notice. In late-stage releases from Bob Dylan (Tempest), Johnny Cash (American series), and Leonard Cohen (You Want It Darker), one hears underlying themes of the wrath of time, the futility of existence and death. These undercurrents serve as haunting reminders of what is to come and serve a warning for all to live every moment as if it were your last. In Willie Nelson’s inimitable style, Ride Me Back Home follows suit.

The title track is classic country fare serving a double-metaphor signifying a returning to his roots and a longing for a time when the world was a bigger place. “Come on Time” follows by pleading with the powers that be to give him more, and an acceptance that in the battle of Willie vs. Time, Time will ultimately prevail.

Willie’s cover of Guy Clark’s “My Favorite Picture of You” is a standout track. Heartbreaking lyrics layered on soft and subtle country chords is Willie at his finest. Reminiscent of his 1998 masterpiece, Teatro, the spacing between the lyrics and notes in this song is used to dramatic effect, proving what is left out can be as important as what is put in. “Just a moment in time that you can’t have back. You never left, but your bags were packed.”

Willie’s commonsensical wit is at the forefront of the upbeat “Seven Year Itch,” and “Hard to be Humble” while “Nobody’s Listening” and “Maybe I Should Have Been Listening” ride a rueful tone of sadness and remorse.

The sole misfire on the album is “Just the Way You Are,” a compulsory cover of the Billy Joel classic. The iconic Hammond organ sounds of the original do not port well to Willie’s country guitar jangling. When Willie sings, “I said I love you.” I couldn’t help envision him shouting this to his wife because she couldn’t hear him the first time. 

In Ride Me Back Home, Willie Nelson packages a set of covers, retreads, and new material co-written with Buddy Cannon to form a dark, yet delightful whole. As the last part of a trilogy beginning with 2017’s God’s Problem Child and 2018’s Last Man Standing, Ride Me Back Home is ironic as well. After being on the road so long, it is hard to imagine Willie ever turning back.

Key Tracks Include: “Ride Me Back Home”, “My Favorite Picture of You”, “Seven Year Itch”, “Nobody’s Listening”

Tom Endyke-MuzikMan.net Staff
October 9, 2019

Reviews Provided By:

Tracks:
01. Ride Me Back Home
02. Come on Time
03. My Favorite Picture of You
04. Seven Year Itch
05. Immigrant Eyes
06. Stay Away from Lonely Places
07. Just the Way You Are
08. One More Song to Write
09. Nobody’s Listening
10. It’s Hard to Be Humble