Tuesday, November 30, 2010

CD Review: Brian Huber's "Imaginative" Debut Album

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Brian Huber is releasing his debut solo album, "Imagination of Ourselves" on December 14. This album has been about 12 years in the making and all his hard-work has paid off.

The album's overall pop-rock sound shines on "Talk Without A Word." Brian concentrates more on lyrics than the music as the sound to his songs are very simple. The music of "My Cure" sounds like a carbon copy of Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" as Brian's passionate lyrics are more powerful with the harmonizing of singer Victoria Patchen. Brian's storytelling lyrics find a home in "Shipwrecked," while he has fun with his song "Snuggies." The gentleness of "Semaphore" and the folkiness of "Yellowstone Lake" is where we find Brian's lyrics the most meaningful.

A creative video for "Snuggies" can be viewed at brianhubermusic.com as well as album and tour information.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

CD Review: The Boat People Remix The "Antidote"

Australia's newest indie band, The Boat People are releasing a remix EP entitled "Antidote & Dance To My Pain: The Remix EP." The album is a double A-side with two of the band's newest singles plus 3 remixes of those two singles. The Boat People released their latest album back in June entitled "Dear Darkly."

The alternative rock sound that the band is known for shines through on "Antidote." The lyrics and chorus just mesh so well with the band's music. "Dance To My Pain," the EP's second single carries more of a "get up and dance" vibe which is the perfect invitation to get the remix treatment. The two remixes for their single "Antidote," do little to help the song's overall appeal. The remix of "Dance To My Pain" will be received better with the right combination of beats and rhythms.

The Boat People have just wrapped up a tour in their home country of Australia. For more information on this indie band visit their myspace page (www.myspace.com/theboatpeople).

Friday, November 26, 2010

CD Review: The Dysfunctional Family Jazz Band Want To "Come Over"

Patty Carpenter and the Dysfunctional Family Jazz Band is anything but dysfunctional. The group has made beautiful music together for the past decade and their latest release "Come Over" is a new high-point for the band. The album is the first to feature all original music and also gets a helping hand by some special guests, including Tony Garnier (Bob Dylan) and James Wormworth (The Tonight Show). Grammy winner Rob Fraboni (The Last Waltz, Bonnie Raitt, Bob Dylan) mastered the recording at Real Mastering studios in Connecticut. The music on this new album does a nice job complimenting the vocals of Patty and her daughter Melissa Shetler.

The album begins with the gentle flow of "Waterfalls." The song has a familiar folk sound with Patty's vocals gentle carrying the song. The band takes a "u-turn" on the album's next song with the experimental ranting of "Come Over." The rest of the album just falls into place with the reggae sounds of "Love Bound" and "Hunker Down." The Dysfunctional Family Jazz Band show off their funky-side with "Mixed Message", but it the smoothness of Patty' voice in "Solace" and "Nancy" where the album shines bright.

The album was released this past summer on Hand Made Recordings and is available through the band's website dfjbmusic.com along with their other albums. Patty Carpenter and the Dysfunctional Family Jazz Band will be performing at the MetroTech Tree Lighting on November 30 and at Adagio's in Brattleboro, VT on December 10.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Bright Side of Black Friday

This Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is considered the biggest shopping day of the year. But, who says you have to buy stuff for other people. Two of Connecticut's premier independent music stores are having a huge sale and giveaways this weekend.

Redscroll Records, located in downtown Wallingford, are having their 4th annual "Blackout at Sunrise Sale." The store opens at 6AM on Friday morning and everything in the store is 25% off. They have $1 bins marked down to only 10 cents and they will have free snacks by Little Monster Cakes and free coffee. So, there is not excuse that you have to stop for breakfast and coffee before you make your way to Redscroll Records. The sale will be going on throughout the weekend, but you'll want to get there early to get the best selection. Redscroll Records has the largest selection of new vinyl in the northeast and every order over $200 gets a free t-shirt. Visit redscrollrecords.com for more information.
Another somewhat independent record store looking to get into the holiday buying spirit is Newbury Comics. while most of their stores reside in Massachusetts, there is one Connecticut location in Manchester at the Buckland Mall. Newbury Comics will feature 10% off your total purchase on Black Friday only. They will also have a bunch of exclusive releases by Metallica, U2, Slayer, Bruce Springsteen and George Harrison just to name a few. For information on this sale and a list of exclusive releases, please visit newburycomics.com.

So do yourself a favor and take advantage of some of these one-time offers that you will not be able to get anywhere else. Spread a little Christmas cheer to some of your local music stores.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Book Review: AC/DC: High-Voltage Rock ‘N’ Roll

AC/DC High-Voltage Rock ‘N’ Roll is the first complete illustrated history of the band. The 224-page book is filled with many rare photos, rock posters, memorabilia and more. Author Phil Sutcliffe does a wonderful job telling us the history of the band chronologically through both pictures and words.

Some of the highlights include past tour recollections, stories of how each album was recorded and a first hand look at how the band made it through the highs and lows of stardom. The story begins all the way back with Angus and Malcolm Young’s father, when he was a member of The Easybeats and finishes with the “Black Ice” World Tour. It even includes an Afterword from Def Leppard lead singer and AC/DC fan Joe Elliott. One of my favorite things about this book is the discography which tells you everything, including songwriters, singles, chart positions and more about every album the band recorded.

This book is a must have for any AC/DC fan or a fan of classic rock music. The book was released back in October and was published by Voyageur Press. For more information, please visit voyageurpress.com.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Book Review: The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones

If you need something new to get your Beatles or Rolling Stones fan for Christmas, this book needs to be at the top of your list. The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones: Sound Opinions On The Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Rivalry is a great easy read with tons of rare pictures.

The book is basically a conversation between music critics Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot and you’re essentially a fly on the wall. The two compare and discuss everything between The Beatles and The Stones. They argue and agree about who had the best guitarist, bassist, drummer and even the best epic double album (Beatles’ “White Album” vs. The Stones “Exile On Main St."). This 194-page, hardcover book is filled to the brim with many great pictures. There is even a historical timeline from 1962 to 1972 that highlight what each band did during this time.

This book is the perfect addition to your Beatles or Rolling Stones collection, the only question is whose side are you on? The book was released back in October and was published by Voyageur Press. For more information, please visit voyageurpress.com.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Terrible Things Return To Connecticut!

The power rock trio of ex-Taking Back Sunday's Fred Mascherino, Coheed and Cambria's Josh Eppard and Hot Rod Circuit's Andy Jackson will return to Connecticut this Saturday, November 27. If you missed them back in October, don't make the same msitake twice. They will be performing at the Webster Theater in Hartford, CT.

Their self-titled debut album has made an immediate impact on alternative rock radio since it's release at the end of August. It also debuted at #25 on the Billboard Heatseekers music chart. The album carries a heavy weight with its subject matter, but lives up to the expectation. The songs range from the hard rockers "Revolution" and "Not Alone" to the more radio-friendly sounds of "Up At Night" and "Conspiracy." The song "Been Here Before" shows a softer side to the group's overall sound. The lyrics and acoustics capture the true feelings of the song's meaning. The album's concept comes shining through on the closer "The Arsonist's Wife," which shows off the band's song-writing talents.

For a complete list of tour dates and album information, please visit their website weareterribelthings.com.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Final Cromwell Record Riot of 2010!

This Sunday will be the final Cromwell Record Riot of 2010. It will be held at its usual spot, The Crowne Plaza in Cromwell, CT, exit 21 of I-91. The show will run from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm and admission is only $3. There will be an early admission available for those wanting the first crack at all the goodies available. The early admission price will be $10 and might come in handy if you're looking some special, hard-to-find items. The last Cromwell Record Riot saw a ton of vinyl with a scattering of CD's and DVD's and I'm sure this one will be just as full of vendors.

So if your looking for something to get your sweatheart for Christmas or just looking to treat yourself this holiday, the Cromwell Record Riot might be your only chance to find that perfect gift. The next Cromwell Record Riot will not be until after the holidays, so take advanage of this one.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Concert Review: Allman Brothers Band Fall Tour Stops In Connecticut

The Allman Brothers Band is one of the most consistent touring bands in music today. With only three original members still in the band, one could argue that the band is tighter and better than ever with the additions of Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks on guitar. Since the break-up of the Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers Band have been proudly carrying the flag for the jamband community as they visited the MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods Tuesday evening.

Allman Brothers Band lead singer/pianist Greg Allman looked noticably thinner since his liver transplant surgery earlier this year. His bluesy-style lead vocals were scarce, less than past performances, but his voice was still strong. The band was definitely in jamband mode with Haynes and Trucks trading solos on "Leave My Blues At Home" and on the firey instrumental "Hot 'Lanta". Haynes stepped into the vocal duties on the songs "Who's Been Talkin'" and his signature cover of Van Morrison's "Into The Mystic". But is was his solo and backing vocals during "Revival" that got most of the crowd on their feet dancing.

The band may have seemed lost at times, without a musical direction, but would slowly come together for the set closer "Mountain Jam". The song bookended a cover of Howlin' Wolf's "Smokestack Lighting" featuring some of Haynes' best blues vocals. Bassist Oteil Burbridge, drummers Butch Trucks and Jaimoe along with percussionist Marc Quinones each displayed their talents before bringing the band together to close out the song's 30 minute jam fest.

Fans waited impatiently, hoping that the Allman Brothers Band would return to perform one of their classic live songs to close out the show. They would not be disappointed as they band took the stage for the encore to perform "One Way Out" with the audience helping Greg Allman sing the chorus. It was only fitting that the theater emptied to the sounds of the late Duane Allman's acoustic guitar flowing from the speakers.

As Greg Allman readies a solo album release, let's hope that the Allman Brothers Band will return to carry that flag proudly for the jamband community.

Don't Want You No More
It's Not My Cross To Bear
Leave My Blues At Home
Done Somebody Wrong
Hot 'Lanta
Who's Been Talkin'
I Can't Be Satisfied
Don't Keep Me Wonderin'
Into The Mystic
Mountain Jam>Smokestack Lightning>Bass/Drum Solo>Mountain Jam reprise

Encore: One Way Out

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

CD Review: "Making Monsters" With Combichrist

Industrial, heavy-metal rockers Combichrist are on tour promoting their latest release "Making Monsters." They will be performing this Friday at the Webster Theater in Hartford, CT. They also recently announced that they will be opening for Rammstein's first U.S. show in ten years on December 11 at Madison Square Garden.

The new album has it's moments of greatness. The pulsating beats of the album's first single, "Never Surrender" give way to an energetic anthem-like chorus. Lead singer Andy LaPlegua screams the lyrics to the opener "Follow The Trail Of Blood" which also features Brendan Schiepatti of Bleeding Through. "Throat Full of Glass" sounds like old-school Nine Inch Nails, while "Just Like Me" shows the band's harder edge to their sound. "Slave To Machine" carries an industrial, dance-hall beat as the band slows down the tempo for "Through These Eyes of Pain."

Combichrist released "Making Monsters" at the end of September on Out of Line/Metropolis Records. Visit the band's website (combichrist.com) for a complete list of tour dates and album information.

Monday, November 15, 2010

CD Review: Jarrod Gorbel "Made A New Friend"

Singer/songwriter Jarrod Gorbel is finally getting recognized by a wider audience as he tours the country with pop idols Hanson. Jarrod's new album called "Devil's Made A New Friend" is available now on Burning-house Records in association with Gorbel Music.

Jarrod's smooth vocals are the main focus of the album, which is the way it should be. The acoustic-filled "Extraordinary" and the alternative pop sounds of "Each Breath" shows Jarrod's diversity in style. His vocals fit perfectly into the gentle sounds of "Impressions" and "Devilish Ways." The power of his voice finally shines through on the slow-sway of "Need For Control."

Jarrod Gorbel will be making a stop in Wallingford, CT on November 20, performing at The Dome inside the Oakdale Theater. For a complete list of tour dates and album information, please visit jarrodgorbelmusic.com.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

CD Review: Albert King & Stevie Ray Vaughan Play The Blues

In December 1983 at CHCH Studios in Ontario, Canada, an established blues legend and a rising blues prodigy met and performed together for the In Session television show. Blues legend Albert King influenced everyone from the Rolling Stones to Eric Clapton with his guitar playing and song-writing. While Stevie Ray Vaughan was becoming a big musical star with his break-through blues album "Texas Flood" and his guitar work on David Bowie's "Let Dance." Now, 27 years later, this meeting was released November 9 in a deluxe edition CD/DVD package on Stax Records.

The DVD is a major up-grade from the VHS release and even the original television show. Many of the songs performed for the show were cut during the broadcast for commercial interruptions, but on this DVD you get the full version of all the great songs performed during the show. It just magical to watch Albert King pass the torch to his disciple Stevie Ray Vaughan as he gives him bits of knowledge to help him out in his career. The video quality is a major improvement and the bond that these two share is unmatched. I hope that more musicians take note of this release and copy the idea.

The CD starts off with T-Bone Walker's "Call It Stormy Monday" with King on vocals. Stevie Ray Vaughan wastes no time showing what he's made of as the two trade solos that play throughout the CD. The wonderful thing about this disc is conversions the two have between and during songs. It is almost like being there at this jam session. Vaughan gets his spotlight to shine on vocals during his song "Pride and Joy", but sadly that is the only song on the CD in which Stevie gets to sing on. It's great to hear King talk about his new recording of the BB King classic "Ask Me No Questions" and how he wrote and recorded "Blues At Sunrise" with Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. The CD does contain songs that were not in the broadcast, such as "Overall Junction" and "Blues At Sunrise." The only problem I have with the CD is that it is not in order of the session as shown on the DVD, but that is minor compared to all the great music on this set.

The sad thing is that this would be the only time that these two would meet because of the untimely death of Stevie Ray Vaughan. But, it is releases like this where Stevie Ray Vaughan's and Albert King's spirits come alive and you remember just how good these musicians were. For more information on this release, please visit concordmusicgroup.com.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

CD Review: The Great Affairs Return With "Ricky"

The Great Affairs are back with their brand of good old-fashion Rock & Roll. This band does not need any gimmicks or to follow any styles to get noticed, their music says it all. The new album entitled "Ricky Took The Wheels" is available now on Faragon Records.

The band comes right out of the gate with their straight-forward rock on "Feels Like Home" and "Inside Your Head." The ballads "My Apologies" and "You'll Never Know" carry an acoustic Wilco-type sound with some great lyrics that touch the heart. The band returns to their roots with the southern rocker "So Damn High" and "You're Not Funny." The Great Affairs have so many great songs on their new release that a major label needs to stand-up and take notice of this latest band to come from Nashville.

The Great Affairs have a few shows on their schedule and their new album is available now on iTunes. For more information, visit thegreataffairs.com.

Friday, November 12, 2010

CD Review: Introducing The Duo Of Hank & Cupcakes

Pop duo Hank & Cupcakes have released a new EP last year and are touring the east coast this fall. Beginning this weekend, Hank & Cupcakes will be performing live at The Space in Hamden, CT.

The New York duo have a dance/pop sound that's hard to resist. Cupcakes vocals on "Roses" draws you in with her sweet sound, but that's only one dimension of the band. Hank's bass beat gives the songs their dance energy. The songs "Ain't No Love" and "Pleasure Town" could be and should be playing at clubs across the country. Cupcakes does her best Meg White impression with a simple, but very effective drum beat in "She's Lost Control."

The EP was produced by Mark B. Christensen (50 Cent) and is beginning to take-off on New York radio stations. Check out this video of Hank & Cupcakes performing live in New York's Break Thru Radio station following their appearance on MTV's show "The Seven." For more information and tour dates, check out their myspace page (www.myspace.com/hankandcupcakes).

Thursday, November 11, 2010

CD Review: Fort Wilson Riot "Predator/Prey"

Fort Wilson Riot return with their sophomore release "Predator/Prey." The album finds the duo continuing on the success of their debut release "Idigaragua."

Singer Jacob Mullis' vocals gets highlighted wonderfully by Amy Hager's harmonies on the album's opening track "Forgotten Language." The music that these two produce is magical and at times you forget it's made by only two musicians. One of the most mainstream songs on the album is "Gold-Flecked Morning." It contains the right mix of storytelling lyrics with a comfortable acoustic sound. The duo does like to experiment with styles as noticed on the broadway sounding "Diamond Blues" and "Lately." Jacob's folksiness shines through on part one of the two-part album closer "Pieces Of The War." The second part shows that band does like to let their hair down and rock.

Fort Wilson Riot are currently on tour and will make their way to the east coast at the beginning of December. Look for them to visit your area at fortwilsonriot.com.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

CD Review: Matt White Shows Us "It's The Good Crazy"

Singer/songwriter Matt White returns with his sophomore follow-up "It's The Good Crazy." The album is filled with piano riffs and hook-filled vocals. Matt's song-writing has definitely grown on his new album as he seems to "hit the nail on the head" with his pop-friendly sound.

Don't make the mistake of writing off Matt White as another pop singer. His melodies are catchy and his lyrics are thought-provoking stories. He introduces you to his new album with the up-tempo "And The Beat Goes On" which just grows on you the more you listen to it. Matt tries to portray his feelings of passion on "She's On Fire" and "When I Fall." He seems to have fun and enjoy performing and that gets echoed through his songs "Colorblind" and the Paul Simon sounding "Honeymoon Phase." The album's lead single "Falling In Love (With My Best Friend)" draws similarities to Jack Johnson with his song-writing talents shining through.

Matt White has dates scheduled for the next month including a date in Connecticut on November 13. Visit Matt White website (mattwhitemusic.com) for a complete list of tour dates and album information.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

CD Review: Connecticut's Make Do And Mend's Punk Debut

Connecticut's newest punk-rockers Make Do And Mend have released their debut album "End Measured Mile" at the end of October. The album came out on Paper+Plastick/Panic Records which is owned by Less Than Jake drummer Vinnie Fiorello. Make Do And Mend will be performing on Friday, November 13 at the Cheshire Masonic Temple. The show is one of two CD release shows this weekend, the other is in Cambridge, MA on November 12.

The album hits you right from the opening guitar chords of "Unknowingly Strong" while the lyrics are shouted out of the speakers. You can almost feel lead singer shredding his vocal chords on the lyrics to "For A Dreamer" and "Stand/Stagger." Make Do And Mend find their energy on "Oak Square" and "Ghostal" as they mix tempos. The most mainstream alternative rock song on the album is "Thanks" with its mellow beginning and pop sounding lyrics. But, that comes to a crashing end with the hard-hitting album closers "Firewater" and "Night’s The Only Time Of Day."

Look for Make Do And Mend's full-length debut album is sure to leave its mark in the punk rock community. The band also has a holiday show scheduled on December 18 at Webster Hall in New York, NY. For more information on one of America's newest premier punk bands, check out their myspace page (www.myspace.com/makedoandmend).

Monday, November 8, 2010

CD Review: "Blood/Candy" Is The Right Formula For The Posies

Nineties alternative rockers The Posies return with a new album entitled "Blood/Candy." It's the band's first studio album in the last five years and their second album released on Rykodisc.

The sound from the album's lead-off song "Plastic Paperbacks" put you right back to The Posies 1990's heyday. The combination of strong lyrics sung by guest vocalist Hugh Cornwell and a Smashing Pumpkins-type vibe works to The Posies advantage. The album's first three songs contain a "little help from friends" on vocals. The addition of Kay Hanley's vocals turns "The Glitter Prize" into an alternative-pop masterpiece. Continuing the trend, "Licenses To Hide" features the guest vocals of Lisa Lobsinger, as the band expands their song-writing to show their growth over the last half-decade. The Posies finally settle into their up-tempo groove with "So Caroline" and "Take Care of Yourself." Without a weak song on the album, a full listen is in order to appreciate how far this band has grown.

The Posies returned to the states after a month-long tour of Europe. They will be hitting the east cost around the middle of November. For a complete list of tour dates and album information, please visit theposies.net.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

CD Review: Travis Singer Released Debut Solo Album

Fran Healy, lead singer of the Scottish band Travis, has finally got around to releasing his debut solo album "Wreckorder." The album was recorded at the end of 2009 with some finishing touches added early this year. It also features contributions from Paul McCartney and Neko Case. The album was released last month on the Ryko/Wreckord Label.

The album carries a mellow sound, concentrating on Fran's gift for song-writing. The song "Anything" just comes and sweeps you up and carries you on an adventure in storytelling. The addition of vocals by Neko Case adds another dimension to Fran's lyrics in "Sing Me To Sleep." "Fly In The Ointment" and "As It Comes" get brought along by a consistent drum/bass line which gives a more alternative sound to some of Fran's songs. But he gentleness of "Rocking Chair" and the moodiness of "Moonshine" helps balance the overall sound of the album.

Fran Healy will be joining The Killers' front man Brandon Flowers for a two-week tour that runs mostly along the west coast. Fran's new album is available now, for more information please visit franhealy.com.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Concert Review: Fans Experience Hendrix At The MGM Grand Theater

The music of Jimi Hendrix is alive and well as the latest ensemble of the Experience Hendrix tour stopped in Connecticut Thursday night. Experience Hendrix is an ongoing tour of some of today's elite guitarists performing the songs of the late-great Jimi Hendrix. The MGM Grand Theatre at Foxwoods was the place to be if you are a fan of Jimi Hendrix's music or just a fan of great guitar playing.

As a video montage showed on the screen, fans took to their seats for the beginning of 2 straight hours of some of Hendrix's most well-known songs as well a few obscure ones. The live music began with Billy Cox, the original bassist for Hendrix's Band of Gypsys, providing the vocals and bass duties for "Stone Free." The stage became like a rotating door for guitarists and musicians to grab the spotlight during some of their personal Hendrix favorites. Living Colour woke up the crowd with an energetic version of "Crosstown Traffic" as lead singer Corey Glover and bassist Doug Wimbish visited the audience. The two ran through the aisles encouraging everyone to shout out the song's chorus. Guitarist Eric Johnson performed a thunderous verison of "Are You Experienced?" with three drummers providing the song's rhythm.

The tempo picked up with Jonny Lang and Aerosmith's Brad Whitford providing the energetic solos on one of Hendrix's most covered songs "Fire." But, the evening definitely belonged to 33-year old Kenny Wayne Shepard. His jamming solo on "Voodoo Chile" channelled the spirit of Jimi Hendrix. The guitarist ran his fingers up and down the fret-board more times than one could count, also performing behind his head as if it was second nature for him. His well-deserved standing ovation was followed by the evening's final special guest, the guitar wizard Steve Vai. He displayed his talents on the Hendrix instrumental "Midnight" from the posthumos release "War Heroes." Living Colour returned to support Vai on "Foxy Lady" which once again had the audience in a pandemonium, shouting the chorus back to the performers.

The night's events finished with Billy Cox returning to the stage to provide the vocals to one of Hendrix's favorites "Red House." Guitar solos by Kenny Wayne Shepard, Mato Nanji of the band Indigenous and The Slide Brothers gave fans hope that Hendrix's influence is alive and well. A live recorded version of Jimi Hendrix performing "Wild Thing" played through the speakers as all the members of the 2010 Experience Hendrix tour collected onstage for one last bow. Only the music of Jimi Hendrix could gather guitar talents of this caliber year after year for the sole reason of celebrating Jimi's legacy.

Stone Free (Ernie Isley & Billy Cox)
Message To Love (Ernie Isley & Billy Cox)
Manic Depression (Ernie Isley)
Crosstown Traffic (Living Colour)
House Burning Down (Eric Johnson)
Burning Of The Midnight Lamp (Eric Johnson)
Are You Experienced? (Eric Johnson)
All Along The Watchtower (Jonny Lang, Brad Whitford, Mato Nanji)
Fire (Jonny Lang & Brad Whitford)
Spanish Castle Magic (Jonny Lang & Brad Whitford)
Come On (Let The Good Times Roll) (Kenny Wayne Shepard & Noah Hunt)
Voodoo Child (Kenny Wayne Shepard & Noah Hunt)
Voodoo Chile (Kenny Wayne Shepard & Noah Hunt)
Midnight (Steve Vai)
May This Be Love (Steve Vai)
Foxy Lady (Steve Vai & Living Colour)
Red House (Billy Cox, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Mato Nanji, The Slide Brothers)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

CD Review: Will Hoge Slows Down With "Living Room Sessions"

Country music artist Will Hoge is not one to sit around and wait for fame to find him. He's released 5 full-length studio albums, 7 live albums and 2 EPs all within the last decade. His latest release is an EP entitled "The Living Room Sessions" and it features six songs recorded in Will Hoge's living room.

The songs have a very relaxed feeling with most of the focus on Will's lyrics. The up-tempo "Long Gone" is missing the punch of electric instruments, but the rest of the EP picks up from there. The fragile, gentleness of "Too Late Too Soon" is felt through Will's vocals as no overdubs or retakes were done during the recording. The standout tracks is the country-pop of "Favorite Waste Of Time" and the EP closer "All Night Long" which plays perfectly to the lyrics on this fan favorite.

Will Hoge will be joining Shinedown on tour starting November 4 as the tour makes its way up the east coast. For album information and tour dates, visit willhoge.com.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

CD Review: ReVoltReVolt Debut With "Chordata"

The trio of Chris Bock, Ben Brunn and Jasin Serna have been together for three years now under the name ReVoltReVolt. They recently released their full-length debut album entitled "Chordata" on Spark & Shine Records.

The album carries a Radiohead-type vibe with a very heavy sounding bass and guitar. The band pays tribute on "Black Horse" to some of their musical heroes including Kiss. The trio also disguise a cover of Eddie Money's "Baby Hold On To Me" in "Dead Christmas." The band seems to enjoy performing the music, more so than singing, as they jam on "Farewell Address." ReVoltReVolt know has to rock as shown in the up-tempo "All Alone" and "Discordia" which is a nice break as some of the songs seem to lose the energy and feel of the lyrics.

ReVoltReVolt are wrapping up their West-coast tour this month with Built To Spill. Check out the band's myspace page (www.myspace.com/revoltrevoltmusic) for more information.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

CD Review: El Ten Eleven's Music Is "Still Like A Secret"

Instrumental rock duo El Ten Eleven are returning with their forth album "It's Still Like A Secret," which is exactly how the band's sound gets made. Bassist Kristian Dunn and drummer Tim Fogarty have perfected their sound with the help of effects pedals, looping and other studio wizardry. The album will be self-released on November 9 on their own Fake Record Label.

The album's sound crosses many barriers of music. From the alternative rock of "The Sycophants Are Coming," El Ten Eleven mostly experiments on the new album with electric drum beats as in "Indian Winter" and "Falling." They try to expand their sound on "Marriage Is The New Going Steady" to help you visualize the notes being produced as they float out of the speakers. Their music does get grungier for a moment on "83," but then returns to the comfortable pop flow of "Tomorrow Is An Excuse For Today."

El Ten Eleven has one upcoming show for the moment in Dallas, TX on New Year's Eve. For more information about this indie-duo, visit elteneleven.com.

Monday, November 1, 2010

CD Review: Zion I Gives Us The "Atomic Clock"

Legendary hip-hop act Zion I will be performing Tuesday, November 2nd at Toad's Place in New Haven, CT as part of their Atomic Clock tour. I admit, I haven't listened to a lot of hip-hop lately, but the new Zion I album "Atomic Clock" has a nice 70's funk sound with some Tribe Called Quest vocals laid over the beats.

The vocal stylings of Baba Zumbi on the opener "Always" reflects those of Q-Tip, while the rock guitars in "4U" add an extra boost to the song's beats. The duo hit their groove on "The Sealing" and "Sign Of Light" will classic hip-hop beats provided by MC AmpLive. Zion I's new album also features special guests Macklemore & Locksmith, Martin Luther and Rebelution. The album's title "Atomic Clock" gets repeated in many of the songs, tying the album together. The album closes with some smooth lyrical rhyming on "Infatuation" and big beats on "The History."

Zion I's seventh album "Atomic Clock" will be released on November 9 on Gold Dust Records. The duo is currently on tour. Visit their website zionicrew.com for a complete list of tour dates and album information.