Saturday, April 20, 2019

Dead Kennedys Celebrate 40th Anniversary With New Live Triple Disc Set

In the mid-seventies, a rebellious brand of music was born and named "punk." It was the anti-music establishment that went against ever other type of music that was ruling the airwaves at the time. This raw, quick and energetic brand of sound was ruled by some of the biggest bands in the world, like the Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Ramones and Black Flag. But one particular punk band from the seventies has continued to keep the spirit of punk alive. In 1978, from San Francisco, came the Dead Kennedys and their hardcore sound that would rival the punk music coming from Europe. They released only four studio albums before disbanding in 1986, but in 2001, the Dead Kennedys would reform and continue to perform live across the world.

To celebrate the band's 40th anniversary, Manifesto Records is preparing to release a 3-CD set of live music titled "DK 40." This live set will showcase the full power of Dead Kennedys during their initial run through the eighties. Each disc contains it's own separate live performance, with two of shows from 1982, and another one from 1985.

In 1982, the Dead Kennedys were one of the premier punk bands in the world, as they showcased their explosive sound with a tour through Europe. Highlights of these sets include the fury of "Riot" and "Chemical Warfare," along with their well-known classic "Holiday In Cambodia." The band seemed to still have chip on their shoulder as they continued to carry the torch for punk music. While  some punk bands went on to achieve commercial success, the Dead Kennedys stuck to their roots and built up their following with their shows. The sound on these first couple discs is nice and loud and in-your-face, as if you were in the crowd during these performances.

The third disc of the set features the band in their home city of San Francisco, performing at The Farm in 1985. This 16-song set featured songs like "Jack-O-Rama" and "MTV Get Off The Air," from their most recent album "Frankenchrist." The sound on this disc seems the most polished of the three, as if it was professionally recorded for a possible release one day. They seem the most comfortable performing for their home crowd, as the band would split up less than two years later. 

The Dead Kennedys are keeping their 40th celebration going with a dozen live shows lined-up in Mexico, Brazil and Germany over the next couple of months. To find out more about their new live release "DK 40," please visit manifesto.com/dead-kennedys.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Steve Rodgers Keeps His "Head Up High" On His Solo Debut Album

Singer/songwriter Steve Rodgers has received rave reviews for his debut album "Head Up High," from fellow musicians like Roger Taylor (Queen) and Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin). He has been called "fantastic" and "blessed," and has performed with the likes of Bad Company, Joe Perry and Joe Walsh.

His new 11-song release begins with the the emotions of "I Will Grow" and the more energetic pop melody of the title song "Head Up High." Steve draws you in with the build-up energy of "So High" and the stripped-down acoustic strumming of "Your Eyes," which allows you to place your complete focus on his voice and his words. Steve Rodgers finishes up his debut album with the quiet piano ballad "Haunted" and the gospel-like delivery of "Norah." Steve Rodgers is already working on his follow-up album and is planning on touring the US and UK later this year. To find out more about Steve Rodgers and his latest release "Head Up High," please visit steverodgersmusic.com.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Rich Aucoin Is Ready For His New "Release" & Revisit Silkworm's "In The West" 25 Years Later

Canadian-based artist Rich Aucoin has once again created his own soundtrack to a famous well-known tale. He first accomplished this feat in 2014 with his album "Ephemeral" for the story of "The Little Prince." Now, he returns once again with his new album "Release," which centers around the story of "Alice In Wonderland." He begins his new 11-track album with the spoken-work introduction of "The Base," followed by the psychedelic rock of "The Dream." He continues with the synthesizer-based, pop melody of "The Middle," before reaching the addicting dance/pop chorus of "The Other." Aucoin showcases his more experimental side during the electronic beats of "The Past," while "The Feat" is alt-pop gold, just waiting to be discovered. He wraps up his new album with atmospheric, space-like adventure of "The Mind" and the seven-minute, playful pop melody of the title-song, "Release." To find out more about Rich Aucoin and his latest "Release," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/richaucoinmusic.

The American, indie-rock band Silkworm was the very definition of underground success. They developed a cult following in Seattle in the early nineties, which lead to engineer Steve Albini (Nirvana) recording the band's 1994 album "In The West." To celebrate the album's 25th anniversary, the album is being released on vinyl for the very first time, limited to only 1,500 copies worldwide. The new re-issue was remixed by Albini from the original 2" tapes and has been remastered with over a dozen bonus tracks. The original ten song release has never sounded better, as this new version of the album feels more relevant to today's alternative rock sound.

Fans of the band will definitely enjoy the bonus tracks that feature the rare, single-only tracks "Incanduce California" and "In The Bleak Midwinter," as well as a live performance of The Dream Syndicate's "Halloween." Speaking of live music, the new reissue includes a download code for an additional 80-minutes of live music from Silkworm. A full 50-minute set, recorded at the Lounge Ax on March 20, 1993 is included, as well as six additional previously unheard live recordings of songs from "In The West." This new reissue boats over two and a half hours of music and new liner notes from Silkworm's founding member Tim Midyett on what this album has meant to him and the band. To find out more about the 25th anniversary release of Silkworm's "In The West" album, please visit skwm.bandcamp.com

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

New Music From Indie-Artists Kelly Hunt, J.K. Matthews and Racket Man

On May 17th, Kansas City-based singer/songwriter Kelly Hunt will be releasing her debut album titled "Even The Sparrow." It features a dozen tracks of folk wonderment, as Kelly uses her talents for songwriting by painting the perfect pictures with her words. The album begins with the gentle folk roots delivery of "Across The Great Divide" and the soaring vocals of the title song "Even The Sparrow." She picks the tempo up for the country/bluegrass strumming of "Back To Dixie" and "Fingernail Moon," as the sounds of the roots-based music supports her strong, operatic-like vocals. The simpleness of "Bird Song" and the passion of "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou" are a couple of the highlights of the album with their descriptive lyrics and emotional presentation. Kelly finishes with the gospel-like "Gloryland," as her music is aged beyond her years. To find out more about Kelly Hunt and her latest release "Even The Sparrow," please visit kellyhuntmusic.com


Singer/songwriter J.K. Matthews recently released his new album titled "Young EP." He describes the songs as a "snapshot" of his music up to this point in his life. The new five-track release begins with the upbeat rocking rhythm of "Thick Skin," as he sings about the tales of growing up in Toronto. He keeps the energy flowing with guitar riffs of "The Blue," then takes a turn toward the blues with the pounding beat of "Fool Outta Me." Matthews quiets down for the emotional ballad "Young," before finishing his new album with the raw, quiet acoustics of the pleading of "Workman's Blues." To find out more about J.K. Matthews and his latest release "Young EP," please visit jkmatthewsmusic.com.


Finally from Cleveland, Ohio comes the latest release from the musical foursome, Racket Man. Their new album titled "Recreational Magic" features only five tracks, beginning with the airy pop/rock melody of "Burt Sleeves" and the more upbeat dance vibe of "Independence." The energy continues with the strumming up-tempo of "Scaredformore," before finishing their new album with electronic flow of "A Bit More Obscure." To find out more about Racket Man and their latest release "Recreational Magic," please visit racketman.bandcamp.com.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

New Music From Storytellers Simba Baumgartner, Willard Gayheart and Pinto Bennett

French-based guitarist Simba Baumgartner is preparing to release his new album titled "Les Yeux Noirs" on April 26th. Simba is the great-grandson of the legendary jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, as Simba incorporates his great-grandfather's sound into his own music. Simba Baumgartner's new album begins with the up-tempo swing of "Blues Clair," as you are instantly draw into his classic sounding guitar work. The album continues with the ballad "Nuages" and the exciting energy of "All Of Me." The album was recorded with a group of musicians based out of New York City, led by fellow French guitarist Stephane Wrembel. Simba embraces the musical legacy of Django Reinhartdt with the nearly eight minute jazz band jam "Dark Eyes," while "September Song" delivers that nostalgic vibe that will bring you back to simpler times. He finishes his new album with the swinging rhythm of "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" and the playful guitar/clarinet duet of "Song D'automne." To find out more about Simba Baumgartner and his latest release "Les Yeux Noirs," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/simba.baumgartner.

At 87 years old, local artist Willard Gayheart is known for his wonderful pencil drawings around Galax, Virginia. Willard also dabbled in music, performing as part of a local bluegrass band. Now on May 24th, Willard Gayheart will be releasing his debut solo album titled "At Home In The Blue Ridge," with the help of his granddaughter Dori Freeman and her husband Nick Falk. Willard's new album features eleven tracks, beginning with the sweet, truthful strumming of "The Workin'," as you will simply adore his gentle vocals. He sings about what he knows best like "Appalachian Hills" and "Kentucky Memories," where he was born and raised. The playful, swinging tone of "Coney Island Washboard" and "Ern & Zorry's Sneakin' Bitin' Dog" are just a simply, classic sound that is almost unheard of with today's technology. Willard wraps up his new album with the sweet harmonies and beautiful tale of "The Salet Song." To find out more about Willard Gayheart and his latest release "At Home In The Blue Ridge," please visit willardgayheart.com

Country artist Pinto Bennett wanted to release one more album, as a cherry on top of his illustrious career. Drummer Jason Beek approached Bennett about the possibility of recording an album of some of his former songs, but Bennett noted that he's got "draws full of new songs" to record. So the two struck up a friendship that resulted in Pinto Bennett's latest studio album "The Last Saturday Night." It features ten songs, beginning with the early, country chords of "Don't Get Me Started." Bennett's aged vocals fit the words of the songs perfectly, as if he was gathered among friends, telling his tales of love and loss. Bennett can still belt out the energy of songs with the best of them as in "I Like Singin' The Blues In A Honky Tonk" and "Lady Wisdom," while also keeping that classic country vibe, as in "The Band Plays Songs I Wish I Could Forget." Pinto Bennett closes his new album with the swinging rhythm of "Crespo" and the wonderful eulogy of "Old Dog." To find out more about Pinto Bennett and his latest release "The Last Saturday Night," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/pintobennettmusic