Thursday, April 28, 2016

CD Review: New Music From The Refusers, Hillbilly Vegas, Stewart Francke And Scott Smith

Politically charged rockers The Refusers are releasing their new eight-song EP titled "Born To Rock." It begins with the energized, guitar driven title-song, which has a classic eighties, hard rock sound. The bluesy feel of "Wake Up America" and the jazzy feel of "New York Times," showcases the diversity of their songwriting. They return to rock with a call to arms for "Hang The Bankers," before finishing with the same way the album began, with guitars blazing for "Information Junkie." To find out more about The Refusers and their latest release "Born To Rock," please visit

Country-rockers Hillbilly Vegas return with their new EP titled "76." After their debut album, "Ringo Manor" sold over 10,000 copies right out of the gate, Hillbilly Vegas became one of the hottest rising bands in country music. Their new six-song release continues their lucky streak with the up-tempo rocker "Can't Go Home" and the country gold of "Long Way Back" that should find it's way to the music charts this summer. Hillbilly Vegas know how to keep their music fun with the country grit of "Shake It Like A Hillbilly" and the quick, energetic pace of "2 Gun Town." To find out more about Hillbilly Vegas and their latest release "76," please visit

Next, from Detroit comes the new self-titled EP from singer/songwriter Stewart Francke, which also features a guest appearance by Bruce Springsteen. The eight tracks that make up his new release are songs taken from his 2015 greatest hits compilation "Midwestern: The Very Best of Stewart Francke." Bruce Springsteen, a fan of Stewart's work, lends his vocals to the chorus of the anti-war anthem "Summer Soldier." Stewart showcases his wonderful knack for storytelling with the regional hit single "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" and dabbles with the R&B sound of "Sam Cooke's On The Radio." The songs "House Of Lights" and "Heart Of A Heartless World" dig deep into emotional times as Stewart delivers the words and music with such grace and power. To find out more about Stewart Francke and his latest release, please visit

Finally from the Bay Area comes the debut album, "The Sum Of Life" from singer/songwriter Scott Smith. Smith invited some legendary musicians to help him accomplish his goal of producing a timeless album. Beginning with the title-song, "The Sum Of Life" is a gentle, acoustic instrumental that invites you in to experience the full range of what Smith has to offer. He picks the tempo up with the bluesy rocker "Eclipsing Moon" and the country swing of "Payday" to showcase his musicianship. The old school, Americana sounds of "Bad Dreams" and "The Best Gift" are highlighted by David LaFlamme (It's A Beautiful Day) on violin, who gives the songs an authenticity. The new eleven-song release finishes up with the guitar/piano boogie of "The World Is Strange" and the dirty blues rock of "Messing With Reality." To find out more about Scott Smith and his latest release "The Sum Of Life," please visit

No comments: