Tuesday, January 31, 2017

CD Review: Surfdog Records Collects The "Greatest Licks" From Dan Hicks

Music pioneer Dan Hicks combined elements of jazz with country to create a swinging time when backed by his band the Hot Licks. He produced over a dozen studio albums during his career, before passing away last February at the age of 74 from cancer. To celebrate his music, Surfdog Records has compiled a new tribute to Dan Hicks with the twelve-song release "Greatest Licks - I Feel Like Singin'."
It begins with the up-tempo country rumble of "Strike It While It's Hot!" as Dan Hicks'  vocals find a special place in your heart for his delivery style. His live performances were legendary as some appear on this new release, including the swing of "Where's The Money?" and bluegrass strumming of  "How Can I Miss You When You Don't Go Away?" He showcases his songwriting talents with the hipster jazz/pop tones of "I Scare Myself" and the waltz of "I Don't Want Love." The compilation includes the Tom Waits cover of "The Piano Had Been Drinkin," with a little pre-story given ahead of it. The album closes with the energetic build-up of "Hey Bartender" and the wonderful classic jazz appeal of "The Blues My Naughty Baby Gave Me."
The release date of "Greatest Licks - I Feel Like Singing," is February 24th. To find out more about Dan Hick and this new release, please visit danhicks.net.

Monday, January 30, 2017

CD Review: Austin Hanks Is Joined By Billy Gibbons On New "Alabastard" Album

Singer/songwriter Austin Hanks recently released his brand new studio album titled "Alabastard." It is his first album of new material in over a decade, but Hanks has kept himself busy, performing songs for the FX series "Sons Of Anarchy," writing music with Gibbons for ZZ Top's latest album "La Futura" and making an appearance in the Hillary Swank movie "You're Not You." The new album was produced by Grammy winner David Bianco and features the sweet guitar work of Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top.
Hanks' new 13-song release begins with the slow country blues of "Toughest Part Of Me" as his music and words find there way into your heart. Then he displays the great, emotional song-writing of "Delta Torches" as the music carries on that huge, classic country/rock feel. The Texas boogie-shuffle of "I'll Go Crazy" and the electrifying guitar solos on "Bone, Muscle & Blood" showcase the excitement that Hanks pours into his music with help from a star-studded support cast, which includes members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Heartbreakers and Jeff Beck's band.
A​ustin Hanks will be opening for ZZ Top on their latest U.S. tour which runs from February 18th to March 17th. For a complete list of live dates and to find out more about his new album "Alabastard," please visit austinhanks.net.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

CD Review: Singer/Songwiter Colin Hay Opens Up On "Fierce Mercy"

Singer/songwriter/actor Colin Hay might be best known as the lead singer of the Australian pop/rock band, Men At Work. He recently became a U.S. citizen in 2016 and is preparing to release his 13th solo album titled "Fierce Mercy." It will be available on March 3rd through Compass Records and deals with many personal subject matters including love and loss.

The new 13-song release begins with the wonderful, Americana-feel of "Come Tumblin' Down" as some of Hay's best songwriting appears on this album. He digs deep into his soul for "Secret Love" as his words express exactly what is being felt by the uplifting orchestral music. He strums away "The Best Of Me" as Hay's seems to have found the perfect mix between words and music on this heartfelt ballad. The amazing harmonizing on "The Last To Know" gives strength to his words as Colin Hay deals with a subject of urgency on this new release. The album gets very personable with the loss of "Two Friends" and the emotional poem "She Was The Love Of Mine," which was written for his mother, who passed away three years ago. The three bonus songs featured on the CD are the up-tempo pop tones of "I'm Inside Outside In," the island sway of "Blue Bay Moon" and the gentle rock swing of "Love Don't Mean Enough."

Colin Hay is currently on tour, promoting his new release, which runs into April and he is also completing a documentary film about his career titled "Waiting For My Real Life." For a complete list of dates and to find out more about his new album "Fierce Mercy," please visit colinhay.com.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

CD/Vinyl Review: Vivian Cook Reaches For "The Long Shot" & Peter Holsapple Releases A New 45 Single

From Los Angeles, CA comes the debut album from singer/songwriter Vivian Cook titled "The Long Shot." It was released on January 27th, through Omnivore Recordings and was produced by R. Walt Vincent (Pete Yorn, Liz Phair). The new eleven-song release begins with the wonderful poetic lyrics of "Know-It-All" as the music demands your attention on this acoustic/rock opener. She add some her theatrical swagger to "Whatever," before delivering the addictive sounds of "Hazy." She slows down for the sweeping melody of "Take Me To The Water" and the heartfelt "Truth." Vivian shows her youth on the energetic tale of "Down To Frat," before finishing with an ode to her city in "Farewell L.A." To find out more about Vivian Cook and her latest release "The Long Shot," please visit viviancook.com.

Singer/songwriter Peter Holsapple, who is best known for his work with the dB's and Continental Drifters, felt the urge to record a new solo 45 record. It is his first solo project in over 20 years. The A-side is titled "Don't Mention The War" and is a six-minute story of trying to deal with post-traumatic stress syndrome. The politically charged single has a classic, Neil Young vibe flowing through it. The flip-side is a song called "Cinderella Style," which is a soft, flowing acoustic gem, highlighted by Skylar Gudasz on flute. To find out more about this latest release from Peter Holsapple, please visit holsapplestamey.com.

Friday, January 27, 2017

CD Review: New Music From Independent Artists Joe Goodkin, Sarah Beatty & Guido Voza

Singer/Songwriter Joe Goodkin is preparing to release part two of his trinity of EPs. Following the heels of "Record Of Life," which was a very personable album; his new album, "Record Of Loss" features six-songs dealing with the tough emotional state of losing loved ones. Beginning with the story of "Nothing To Lose," Goodkin's lyrics are easy to follow as he sings about this difficult topic. The gentleness of "Never Come Back" and the comfort strumming of "Sarah And Julie" tell personal tales that everyone listening can relate to. His new short album closes with the deep emotional, personal delivery of "For The Loss" as Goodkin finds therapy singing about his own loss. To find out more about indie-folk artist Joe Goodkin and his latest release "Record Of Loss," please visit joegoodkin.com.

Canadian singer/songwriter Sarah Beatty will be releasing her sophomore album, "Bandit Queen" on February 3rd. The album's theme revolves around the mythology of a 19th-century horse thief named Belle Starr. The new 13-song release begins with the storied folk-strumming of "Slaves And Kings" as Sarah's harmonizing vocals are simply beautiful. She plugs in for the horn-infused rock of "We Will Never Be The Same," before getting a jazzier groove flowing through "Dig Before You Sow." She goes all out country on the up-tempo swing of "Prehistoric Sludge" and "Wild Rose" as her good time vocals become very infectious. She finishes her album with two versions of the title song "Bandit Queen" as she pours her soul into the bluesy, acoustic version that closes the album. To find out more about Sarah Beatty and her latest release "Bandit Queen," please visit sarahbeatty.ca.

Italian musician Guido Voza recently released his latest album titled "Circle." The new 14-song release deals with the metamorphosis of your inner spirit. All of the instruments on this album are performed by Voza, as well as mixing and producing the songs. Beginning with "Metamorphoses: Child," the mellow tones lead into the rhythm-heavy beats of "A New Beginning," before heading into discovering parts 1 & 2 of "A First Movement." Voza gets his rock groove going for the intense guitar instrumentals "Lordship In Wilderness, Pt 1 & 2." He delivers the uplifting tones of "I Will," then builds up the excitement on "What Is Heavy?," before finishing with the appropriately titled "The End," which brings back the mellow tones of the opening song. To find out more about Guido Voza and his latest release "Circle," please visit youtube.com.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

CD Review: New Music From Rock Acts Everywhere, The Unlikely Candidates & Moon Hooch

From the U.K. comes the latest release titled "Fiction Act" from alternative pop/rock band Everywhere. The new four-track album begins with the addictive chorus of "Shades At Night," which will have you singing along after only a couple listens. The album's lead single "Some Other Dude" reached over a million streams on Spotify with it's dance beats and youthful energy. Everywhere's new album continue with that winning formula in "Let It Go," which closes their new short EP release. To find out more about Everywhere and their latest release "Fiction Act," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/everywheretheband.

From Forth Worth, TX comes the debut album on Another Century Records from alternative rockers The Unlikely Candidates. The new release titled "Bed Of Liars" features six-tracks, including their Alternative Radio Top 40 single "Ringer." The new album begins with the infectious groove of "Best Things In Life Aren't Free" as the pounding rhythm keeps the energy flowing. Their hit single "Ringer" is fun, youthful and easy to follow as you will find yourself singing along to chorus. Their new short release finishes with the thunderous electronics of "Violence" and pop anthems of "Reaction." Their new EP arrives on February 17th. To find out more about The Unlikely Candidates and their latest release "Bed Of Liars," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/TUCBAND.

From Brooklyn comes the new studio album, "The Joshua Tree" from the alternative jazz/funk/rock band Moon Hooch. They will be performing at The Ballroom at the Outer Space on February 12th. Their new nine-song album begins with the exciting horn-fueled, Zappa-like experiment titled "Sandstorm." They develop their sound into the more structured delivery of "Mountain Lion," before getting funky with the rhythm of "Jiggle." They finish up with the wildly chaotic "Improv," the smooth jazz feel of "Ballad" and the fun, upbeat delivery of "Outer Urge." To find out more about Moon Hooch and their latest release "The Joshua Tree," please visit moonhooch.com.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

CD Review: New Music From Independent Metal Bands Temptation's Wings & Curses

From North Carolina comes the latest release from independent thrash metal band Temptation's Wings titled "Skulthor Ebonblade." Their new eight-song release begins with the short doom-like, build-up instrumental "Burning Of Hjalmar," before exploding with the thrash metal appeal of "I Destroyer." They work in a more progressive-metal sound with "Into The Maelstrom" and "To Forge A Legend." Their energy comes pouring out of the "Lair Of The Gorgon Queen" with its classic metal riffs and headbanging rhythms. The album finishes with the nine-minute storied journey of the "Witches Of Dredmoor" and the slower, doom metal appeal of "My Name Was Skulthor." To find out more about Temptation's Wings and their latest release "Skulthor Ebonblade," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/twbandwnc.

From West Virginia comes the metalcore band Curses with their full-length debut studio album, "Chapter 1: Introspect." The band has received praise from Revolver Magazine for their single "Fortune Collapse" and they received a slot on the Vans Warped Tour. Their new ten song release, begins with the thunderous, heavy metal attack of "Death Adder" and the chugging guitars of "The Abandoned." The metalcore vocals of "Outlast" and the energetic juggernaut of "Fortune Collapse" showcase the youthful energy this band puts into each of their songs. They continue their assault on your ears with the adrenaline pounding of "The Lowest Level Of Loyalty" and the battle cry of "Hollowed Eyes," before finishing the album with infectious rhythm of "Nightmare" as the vocal mix is perfect on this closing song. To find out more about Curses and their latest release "Chapter 1: Introspect," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/officialcurses.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

RJ Podcast: We Banjo 3's Martin Howley Talks With Us About The Growth Of The Band And Their Success

Martin Howley of We Banjo 3 gives us some insight into the writing and recording of their new Billboard #1 album "String Theory," as well as what it was like to perform for President Barack Obama. Martin also discusses with us their plans after their winter tour ends, which runs from the end of January into mid-March. We Banjo 3 are also performing in Hartford, CT on March 8th.

CD Review: Armored Saint Gathers Iconic Line-Up For New Live Album

Heavy metal band Armored Saint are celebrating their 35th year of existence with a brand new live album titled "Carpe Noctum." It will be released through Metal Blade Records on February 24th and features the iconic line-up of John Bush, Joey Vera, Phil Sandoval, Gonzo Sandoval and Jeff Duncan. It will be the band's first live album in almost 30 years and includes recordings of their shows from 2015's "Wacken Festival" and their headlining show in Germany.
The new eight-song release begins with "Win Hands Down" from Armored Saint's most recent studio album of the same name. Then they dive back to their early days with the intense pace of "March Of The Saint" and "Stricken By Fate." The thunderous rhythm of "Mess" and the electrifying guitar riffs of "Left Hook From Right Field" still shows a band hungry for success. The album closes with the audience singing along to the classic thrash metal sound of "Reign Of Fire." To find out more about Armored Saint and their latest release "Carpe Noctum," please visit armoredsaint.com.

Monday, January 23, 2017

CD Review: Thievery Corporation Invite You To Visit "The Temple Of I And I"

The Washington D.C.-based group, Thievery Corporation return with their new album titled "The Temple Of I And I." They have gathered a cult following, without the success of a hit single, which is due to their live shows and rich, vast influence of music. Their latest set of songs carry an island sound as Thievery Corporation set up camp at Geejam Studios in Jamaica.
The new 15-song release begins with the deep bass groove of "Thief Rockers," before heading into the dance beats of "Letter To The Editor," which features the debut of newcomer Racquel Jones. Thievery Corporation gets funky with the seventies vibe of "Strike The Root," then bring in the smooth hip-hop tones of "Ghetto Matrix." The band reverts back to the island groove of "The True Sons Of Zion" and delivers the silky R&B-flavored "Love Has No Heart" and "Lose To Find." The album finishes up with Racquel Jones returning for the reggae movement of "Road Block," before closing with the up-tempo island vibe of "Drop Your Guns."
Thievery Corporation have a 14-date European tour coming up in February, before returning to the U.S. this summer for a few festivals. The new album will be released on February 10th through ESL Records. To find out more, please visit thieverycorporation.com.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

CD Review: Otis Taylor Is "Fantasizing About Being Black" On His New Album

American blues musician/singer/songwriter Otis Taylor is preparing to release his fifteenth studio album on February 17th. His new album titled "Fantasizing About Being Black" is a historical look at the minority, which echoes back to modern day events happening in our world. The album is being released on Taylor's own Trance Blues Festival record label.

The new eleven-song release begins with steady electric blues of "Twelve String Mile" as Taylor sings about being passed over because of the color of his skin. Lap steel guitar player, Jerry Douglas guests on the album, performing some amazing guitar work on the opening and closing numbers. Taylor straps on the banjo for the slave song "Banjo Bam Bam," then Taylor tells the tales of retired World War II General Jack Watson during the steady rhythm of "Jump Jelly Belly." The slow sonic blues of "Tripping On This" carries a classic John Lee Hooker feel, while "D To E Blues" is a quiet, battle cry of hope for freedom. The album finishes with the emotional true love of "Just Want To Live With You" and facing the crossroads of making the right decision with the storied blues of "Jump To Mexico." To find out more about Otis Taylor and his latest release "Fantasizing About Being Black," please visit otistaylor.com.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

CD Review: Omnivore Recordings Presents Art Pepper's "West Coast Sessions!"

American jazz musician Art Pepper had an amazing 35 year career in music. Beginning, at age 17, with the Benny Carter Orchestra, then moving on to the Stan Kenton Orchestra, before going solo in the early fifties. He is known as one of the premier jazz musicians of the West Coast jazz movement. His life was cut short when his died from a stroke at the age of 56. During his career, he released over 50 albums and Omnivore Recordings is more than happy to add two more releases to his legacy. On February 4th, two new CD sets will be released covering Art Pepper's 1980's "West Coast Sessions!"

Volume one of this new set features Art Pepper working alongside fellow saxophone player Sonny Stint. Omnivore Recordings took the two albums that Art Pepper recorded with Stint and combined them into this new release, along with four bonus tracks. Disc 1 features the original album "Groovin' High: Sonny Stint And His West Coast Friends." This high energy session produced some exciting jazz numbers, including the nearly nine-minute jams of "Bernie's Tune" and the blues of "How High The Moon." Three of the four bonus tracks on this release are two previously unreleased takes of "Bernie's Tune" (which sound just as good as the released take) along with a high spirited run through Charlie Parker's "Wee." The disc finishes with another take of Dizzy Gillespie's "Groovin' Time" as Pepper and Stint share the spotlight.

The second disc in this set features the original album "Atlas Blues: Blow ! & Ballade." Both albums in this set have been digitally remastered as the sound is fantastic. Disc two begins with the epic numbers "Atlas Blues" and "Lester Leaps In" as the entire band gets their moments to shine. The band also delivers some amazing renditions of "Autumn In New York" and "My Funny Valentine," before closing with the gentle tones of "Imagination."

Now, volume two is a single CD that features the album "Strike Up The Band" featuring pianist Pete Jolly and his West Coast Friends. The album features exciting covers of George Gershwin's "Strike Up The Band" and Cole Porter's "Night And Day." The Art Pepper original, "Y.I. Blues" mixes up the rhythm and delivers a be-bop tone to the song. The song is also featured in the two additional bonus tracks that were added on to this new release. One is an alternative take of "Y.I. Blues," which delivers more swing to the song and the other bonus track is a previously unreleased take of the song as the band are still finding there way through the song. To find out more about these two new Art Pepper releases from Omnivore Recordings, please visit omnivorerecordings.com

Friday, January 20, 2017

CD Review: The Wood Brothers Revisit "The Barn" For New Live Release

One of thepremier Americana-folk bands in the U.S. are The Wood Brothers. They have slowly risen to the top of the genre since their first release in 2005. Their latest studio album "Paradise" topped the Billboard Heatseekers chart and reached #12 on the Billboard Country charts. They continue that success with their new live album "Live At The Barn." It featured The Wood Brothers performing at the "Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble" on August 19, 2016 for the first time since Helm's passing in 2012.
The new nine-song album was released on January 13, 2017 through the band's own record label, Honey Jar Records. The show begins with the country swing of "Mary Anna" from their album "Smoke Ring Halo." They get their groove on with the fun, sing-along lyrics of "I Got Loaded," before delivering the blues of "Tried And Tempted," along with their cover of "Trouble In Mind." The Wood Brothers plug in for their funky, folk/rock shuffle of "Who The Devil," then close with the wonderful, up-tempo sounds of "Honey Jar" and their beautiful cover of The Band's "Ophelia."
The Wood Brothers are heading out on tour at the beginning of February. For a complete list of live dates and to find out more about their new album "Live At The Barn," please visit thewoodbros.com.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

CD Review: New Releases From eOne Music Artists Unwill And The Wild!

New York rockers, Unwill will debut their new album "Past Life" on February 10th through Lifeblood Inc. and eOne Music. Their new 11-song release begins with the dark tones of "Doubt" as the music feels fresh and alive with youthful energy. They pick the tempo up with the raw, punk-like aggression of "Bitter Truth" as lead singer Rocco Sylvio shreds his vocals for the song's emotional chorus. Unwill also show their passion in "The Way" as they mix tempos to create an exciting and passionate delivery of their music. Their sound simmers, then explodes during the chorus of "Back Again," before heading into the mainstream, alternative sound of "You Wanted Out." Unwill finish their album with the screams of "Drifting," the hardcore alternative metal of "Soul" and the six-minute build-up of "Go." To find out more about Unwill and their latest release "Past Life," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/unwillband.

Canadian rockers, The Wild!, return with their sophomore effort titled "Wild At Heart." It will be released on February 17th through eOne Music and features ten hard-rocking numbers that carry that classic formula for multi-national success. Beginning with "Ready To Roll," lead singer/guitarist Dylan Villain and the rest of the boys draw up immediate similarities to southern U.S. rockers, Jackyl. The Wild! know how to make their music loud and exciting with the shout along chorus of "Livin' Free" and they keep the energy flowing through the addictive sounds of "Another Bottle." They pick the tempo up with the quick-hitting "Best In The West," then add an edgier, southern rock groove to their repertoire with the guitar boogie of "Six Hundred Sixty Six." The album finishes up with the bluesy tones of "Run Home" and the punk-like energy delivered with "Kansas City Shuffle." To find out more about The Wild! and their latest release "Wild At Heart," please visit thewildrocknroll.com

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

CD Review: New Music From World Renowned Artists Tohpait & Wingfield Reuter Stavi Sirkis

Indonesian guitarist Tohpati returns with his band, Ethnomission, after six years with his new studio album titled "Mata Hati." After coming off one their best critically acclaimed albums "Save The Planet," Tohpati is prepared to continue with the diverse progressive rock feel of his new release. The album begins with the Indian tones of "Janger," which features the Czech Symphony Orchestra. Tohpati and his band lead the listener on an epic journey, while the rhythms of "Pelog Rock" will shake things up on this Eastern-influenced tune. Tohpati's guitar glides along the jazz-infused "Mata Hati" as his band guides the way through this six-and-a-half minute song. Tohpati delivers a bluesy solo within "Berburu," before lifting the mood with the folk-rock experiment "Rancak." The album finishes with the intense delivery of "Pangkur" and the hard rock thunder of "Amaran." To find out more about Tohpati Ethnomission and their latest release "Mata Hati," please visit tohpati.bandcamp.com.

Two of the leaders of cutting edge electronic guitar techniques (Mark Wingfield & Markus Reuter) have teamed up with two outstanding, experienced studio wizards (Yaron Stavi & Asaf Sirkis) to create a new album titled "The Stone House." The band just joined together, in the studio without one single note written down. All the music performed on this new release is live, with no overdubs. The six songs featured on "The Stone House" are journeys through sound as each one takes the listener for a ride into the mind of these four musicians. Beginning with "Rush," the song takes unknowing turns as this space rock gems perfectly introduces how skilled the band members are with their instruments. The Pink Floydian sounding "Four Moons" and the hard rock, guitar driven "Silver" are the two shortest songs on the album (5:13 and 8:33 respectively), but both deliver a complete idea from start to finish. The ten-minute "Tarasque" is also a complete adventures experiment, as all the different ingredients work together on the jazz-infused number. The album finishes with the tempo-changing, progressive-rock feel of "Bona Nit Senor Rovira." To find out more about Wingfield Reuter Stavi Sirkis and their latest release "The Stone House," please visit markwingfield-moonjune.bandcamp.com.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Digital Review: Fellow Artists Pay Tribute To Eleni Mandell With New "Unsung Heroes" Release

L.A. singer/songwriter Eleni Mandell will receive a well-deserved tribute on January 20th, when some of her fellow singer/songwriters release the benefit album "Unsung Heroes: Songs Of Eleni Mandell." This new release will only be available digitally and co-insides with a benefit show on January 25th which features many of the artists appearing on this album. This album is to benefit the "Plastic Pollution Coalition."
The new 17-song release begins with the most widely known artist on the album, Jackson Browne, performing the slow blues of "My Twin." All of the songs on this release were written by Mandell and range from the silky, slow jazz of "Beautiful" by Lera Lynn to the acoustic folk-pop of "Girls" performed by Priscilla Ahn. The songs cover Mandell's entire career as Benji Hughes turns "What Love Can Do" into a dark-toned, alternative-pop revelation, which seeps into Mike Andrews' waltz-like delivery of "Ferris Wheel." The sultry vocals of Inara George for the song "Yellow Light" just wraps around your head and doesn't let go. The wonderful folk tones of "I Can See The Future" by Philip Little showcases Eleni Mandell's beautiful songwriting. Eleni then joins Milo Jones on the album closer "Empty Locket" which harks back to the early days of folk duos. 
The new digital-only release of "Unsung Heroes: Songs Of Eleni Mandell" will be available on January 20th, through Yep Roc Records. To find out more about this new release, please visit yeproc.com.

Monday, January 16, 2017

CD Review: Pink Fairies Return After 30 Years To Bring Us "Naked Radio"

English rockers the Pink Fairies return with their first album of new material in 30 years. The new album titled "Naked Radio" was inspired by the band reforming back in 2013 for two years worth of festival gigs. The Pink Fairies deliver their new album with the same line-up that released "Kill'em And Eat'em" back in 1987.

Their new 14-song release continues to deliver their message of psychedelic rock as the music will transport you back to the sixties. The new album begins with "Golden Bud," a raw rocker that instantly proves that this 45 year old band still has the energy to electrify your speakers. They pick the tempo up with "The Hills Are Burning," then delivery the loud, pounding rhythm of "Runnin' Outa Road." The Pink Fairies deliver the punk-like energy of "I Walk Away," before developing the blues of "Stopped At The Border." The album finishes with the guitar driving tones of "Down To The Wire," the six-minute psychedelic flashback of "Naked Radio" and the sixties, Chuck Berry-inspired "Deal Deal."

Included with this new release is a bonus DVD that features the Pink Fairies live at the 100 Club in London on May 17, 2014. The video shows the band performing five songs from their set that night. Also included on the DVD are the band's rehearsals and interviews in Brighton in August 2015 and new promotional videos for the songs "Naked Radio" and "Golden Bud." To find out more about the Pink Fairies and their latest release "Naked Radio," please visit pinkfairies.net.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

CD Review: Dualtone Records Gathers The Best Of Guy Clark For New Compilation

Texas singer/songwriter Guy Clark led a successful 40 year career in music before passing away in May 2016. He has had numerous albums featured on the country album charts, with his 2013 album "My Favorite Picture Of You" reaching #12. In March 2017, Dualtone will release a brand new 19-song, 2CD compilation titled "The Best Of The Dualtone Years" from Guy Clark. It covers his three most recent studio albums and one live release, which has revived Clark's musical legacy.

The new two-disc set begins with the acoustic strumming of "Rain In Durango" off his last studio album as his weathered voice gives the storied lyrics some authenticity. The addition of the live tracks "The Cape," "L.A. Freeway" and "The Randall Knife" on the first disc showcase how Clark's popularity had blossomed among the younger generation. One of the only cover songs to appear on this compilation is Clark's version of Townes Van Zandt's "If I Needed You" as Clark delivers the tune with such grace and pride for his fellow songwriter.

The second disc begins with the wonderful, gentle, warm tones of "Magdalene" and the playful lyrics of "Homegrown Tomatoes" performed live. After the fan favorite "Dublin Blues," this new compilation features three unreleased demos. The first is a short acoustic tale "Just To Watch Maria Dance" and both "The Last Hobo" and "Time" feature Marty Stuart on these two final recordings from Guy Clark. To find out more about the new, soon to be released "Best Of The Dualtone Years," please visit dualtonestore.com.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Book Review: New Book Reminds Us Of The Power Of The New Barbarians

Back in 1979, a new supergroup emerged from the English bands' The Rolling Stones, Faces and The Meters. What started out as a backing band to promote Stones' guitarist Ronnie Wood's new solo album, became a cult hit on the concert circuit. Lead by Wood, the band included fellow Stones' Keith Richards, Bobby Keys and Stanley Clarke, along with Ian McLagan (Faces) and Zigaboo Modeliste (The Meters). The band only performed 20 shows during it's existence, but played such an important part in the history of rock that 35 years later, a new book has recently been published on the band titled "Outlaws, Gunslingers And Guitars."

Author Rob Chapman does an amazing job telling the tales of the New Barbarians through interviews and recollections from band members and those closely tied to the band. The other great thing about this book is the 300-plus photos and memorabilia sprinkled throughout the book. The story begins with a brand new record contract for The Rolling Stones, which included four studio albums and a live album. The book revolves around Wood's 1979 solo album "Gimmie Some Neck," which included members of the Stones and sparked a tour of his new backing band, the New Barbarians.

The book dives into a number of stories involving the band, including members from Saturday Night Live sitting in on their sessions and the excessive drug use during the rehearsals for their tour. According to the book, the New Barbarians' live show was not to be missed. It features a mix of songs from Wood's solo album, Stones' classics and blues standards. The tour was a saving grace for Keith Richards, who was dealing with an insurmountable amount of legal trouble from years prior.

Rob Chapman discusses the band's live setlist and how each song was chosen for their sets, as well as their tiring schedule of 20 shows in a one month span. The beautiful pictures throughout the book, help tell the story of the New Barbarians. The group also found time during their touring schedule to record a solo album for keyboardist Ian McLagan. The pinnacle of their existence came when the New Barbarians opened for Led Zeppelin at the Knebworth Festival in 1979 for over 80,000 people.

Now, 35 years later, some of the members of the New Barbarians have passed on, but through this amazing new book, their tales will live on. As a bonus, this new book includes a CD featuring ten previously unreleased tracks from their 1979 rehearsal and live shows. To find out more about "New Barbarians: Outlaws, Gunslingers and Guitars," please visit quartoknows.com.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Smithsonian Channel Debuts New "Rock 'N' Roll Inventions" Six-Part Series

On January 16th, the Smithsonian channel is premiering a six-part series titled "Rock 'N' Roll Inventions." The series discusses the rise of instrumentation and sound within the growth of the music genre. The first 45-minute episode titled "This Damn Music," looks at the growth of devices that were able to produce the growth of music to the masses of fans.
As classic footage and newly recorded interviews tell the story of how the recording of music was first invented and how it has grown into today's streaming world. Recording artists like The Kinks' Dave Davies and Graham Nash discuss, along with music experts like Bob Harris and Greg Milnerand, about the growth of the jukebox and the 45 rpm single. The full LP movement in the U.S. in the fifties, began with Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry, but music critics like Bob Stanley mark  Lonnie Donegan's "Rock Island Line" as one of the most important song's in British music history, that may have inspired the birth of The Beatles.
One of the most important inventions for music was the transistor radio in 1954. It allowed young music fans to listen to music wherever they went, without the need for a plug and cord. The episode also dives into the use of stereo effects in music verses monotone recordings. Then it moves on to discuss the movement from albums, to cassettes to compact discs and the associated listening device, from ghetto blasters to Walkman to the CD player. The episode closes with the latest revolution of streaming music on the smallest devices ever created.
Other upcoming episodes discuss the birth of the electric guitar, the rise of keyboards in music and the technology behind live rock concerts. To find out more about this new six-part series "Rock 'N' Roll Inventions," please visit smithsonianchannel.com.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

CD Review: Musician Rick Wakeman Performs "Piano Portraits" Of Classic HIts

English keyboardist/pianist, Rick Wakeman has sold over 50 millions albums as a solo artist. He is also known as one of the earliest members of the progressive rock band Yes, who will be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame this coming April. On January 13th, Rick Wakeman will release his latest solo album titled "Piano Portraits" through the Universal Music Group.
The album features fifteen, piano-only covers of some of the most well-known songs in rock music history. Wakeman was inspired to create this album due to the success of his piano-only performance of David Bowie's "Life On Mars," following the singer's death last year. The album begins with a mellow version of The Beatles' "Help!" as the melody plays more to the song's meaning, before Wakeman leads us gently into "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds." Led Zeppelin's "Stairway To Heaven" is treated with grace as Wakeman's skills give the song heart-filled emotion. He delicately delivers the lullaby "Berceuse," before the inspirational rendering of "Amazing Grace." Wakeman paints the perfect picture with Cat Stevens' "Morning Has Broken" as this rendition is a perfect layout for this classic folk-rock gem.
One of only two artists appearing twice on this new release is the late-David Bowie, as Rick Wakeman pours his soul into this wonderful, piano-version of "Space Oddity." Wakeman finishes the album with the patriotic English hymn "I Vow To Thee, My Country" and an up-tempo, waltz-type rendition of The Beatles' "Elanor Rigby." To find out more about Rich Wakeman and his latest release "Piano Portraits," please visit rwcc.com.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

CD Review: New 3CD Set Celebrates 30 Years Of "Turbo" From Judas Priest

The year was 1986 and hard rock music was beginning to make it's way to the mainstream, as bands like Motley Crue, Poison and Van Halen were heating up the singles charts. Also, the synthesizer was being introduced into heavy metal music as bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden were looking to streamline their sounds. After the hard-edged album, "Defenders Of Faith," Judas Priest polished their sound with the release of the their tenth studio album "Turbo." It would reach #17 on the Billboard album chart, sell over a million copies and would become one of their biggest selling albums.
On February 3rd, Sony Music will be releasing a 3CD deluxe edition of the album. It will feature a newly remastered version of the "Turbo" album. The sound of guitar synthesizers shine through on songs like "Turbo Lover" and "Private Property" as Judas Priest searched for mainstream commercial success. The addictive chorus of "Parental Guidance" became the battle cry for fans to fight against the government for censoring heavy metal music. They would introduce a more electronic sound with "Out In The Cold," before showcasing their musical muscle with "Hot For Love."
Judas Priest fans will want to pick up this new deluxe edition of "Turbo" because of the previously unreleased "Live In Kansas City" live recording from the band's "Fuel For Life" tour. Discs two and three feature the complete show. Five the of 20 songs from the show are from the "Turbo" album, while others include such Judas Priest classics as "Breaking The Law," "Living After Midnight" and "You've Got Another Thing Coming." The sound of the show is great, professionally recorded and the songs have that harder, heavy metal edge when fatured in this live setting. A much-welcomed addition to the "Turbo" album. To find out more about the new deluxe edition of Judas Priest's "Turbo," please visit judaspriest.com.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

CD Review: Carousel Kings Visit "Charm City" With Victory Records Debut

The alternative/punk/rock band, Carousel Kings return with their Victory Records debut album titled "Charm City." After receiving a huge response on the 2015 Vans Warped Tour, Carousel Kings entered the studio with their most sturdy line-up, ready to create some new exciting music.

Their new thirteen-song release begins with the the mainstream, garage-rock delivery of "Grey Goose," which is powered by a punk-like rhythm. Their youthful energy continues to flow through the excitement of "Glory Daze" and "Bad Habit" as the music become more and more contagious. They pour their emotions into the lyrics of "Something Isn't Right," as the music explodes with punk-rock fury. They hit the alternative mainstream with the sound of "Charm City," before finishing with the speedy guitars of "Fractals" and the punk/pop energy of "You Never Will." To find out more about Carousel Kings and their latest release "Charm City," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/carouselkings.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Book Review: Photographer Shimpei Asai Captures A Moment In The Beatles History

In 1966, The Beatles were on tour behind the recent release of their album "Rubber Soul" and they would visit Asia for the first time in their short touring career. On June 29th, The Beatles were scheduled to perform at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo. The Budokan was build strictly for martial art, so when The Beatles went on to perform at this sacred hall, protests erupted. They would perform three shows in Tokyo, which were filmed for Japanese television, but was never officially released on video. Segments of their performance appear in the new Ron Howard documentary "The Beatles: Touring Years."

Now, for the first time we get an even closer look at their appearance in Tokyo with a brand new book titled "Hello, Goodbye: The Beatles In Tokyo, 1966." It features over 200-pages of photos by award-winning photographer Shimpei Asai, who was given exclusive access to The Beatles during their stay in Tokyo.

Shimpei covers everything from their arrival at the airport, to the Fab Four relaxing in their hotel rooms, to the press conference, to them onstage at the Budokan. The wonderful photos in this book are not only of The Beatles themselves, but also the surrounding sights that will give fans a deeper insight into the pressure that was felt during their performances. Shimpei gives us an artistic look at what The Beatles were like on tour as he captures aspects of their hotel rooms that other photographers would bypass. Not only are emotions by John, Paul, George and Ringo captured perfectly through his lens, but he also brings in the emotions of the fans at their shows in Tokyo.

Shimpei gives us written details to his photographs in both English and Japanese. Looking back, he gives us an idea of were his inspirations came from and what The Beatles were feeling during their short visit to Tokyo. He describes how he was unsure how good his photographs were as he had revisited them 50 years later, knowing that he did capture an important piece in The Beatles history.

This limited edition book features a hand-crafted leather bound cover and is personally signed by the author. To find out more about this outstanding look into the The Beatles visit to Tokyo in 1966, please visit genesis-publications.com.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

CD Review: Shinyribs Deliver "Your Medicine" On Latest Release

Coming February 24th is the latest release from Shinyribs titled "I Got Your Medicine." This Austin-based band brings out the sounds of New Orleans on this latest twelve-song release. Lead by singer/songwriter/guitarist Kevin Russell, Shinyribs brings together a nine-piece band, which also includes Jimbo Mathus on guitar, as they create some of the most entertaining music you will hear in 2017.

The new album begins with the R&B/Soul delivery of "I Got Your Medicine" and the funky horns of "Don't Leave It A Lie," which should get your body grooving. Shineyribs flashes back with the retro-style cover of Ted Hawkins' "I Gave Up All I Have," then try their hand at the honky-tonk rock of "Trouble, Trouble." The blues come pouring in for "I Knew It All Along" as Russell's vocals fit the genre perfectly. Shinyribs sound right at home on the New Orleans flavor of Allen Toussaint's "A Certain Girl" and the original "Hands On Your Hips," which carries a Fats Domino vibe. The album finishes with the up-tempo romp of "Ambulance" and the exciting gospel/blues groove of "The Cross Is Boss." To find out more about Shinyribs and their latest release "I Got Your Medicine," please visit shinyribs.org.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

CD Review: Curtis McMurtry Delivers A Retro-Sounding Release With "The Hornet's Nest"

From Austin, TX comes the new album from singer/songwriter Curtis McMurtry titled "The Hornet's Nest." It will be released in February 2017 and uses a chamber ensemble to create a new avenue for folk/Americana music. The new thirteen-song release begins with the starkness of "Hard Blue Stones" as McMurtry's poetic lyrics work along a single strumming banjo. The music of "Smooth As Thorns" begins to fill your speakers as the song features a gospel-like quality. He delivers a retro sound on the up-tempo, jazziness of "Love Me More" and the stomp-rhythm of "Wrong Inflection" become very addictive.
The softness of "Bayonet" allows you follow his wonderful, storied lyrics as the music enhances the song's emotions. McMurtry uses the blank spaces in "Coward" to deliver is passion for his words. The album finishes with the short ballad of "Together For Now," the wonderful mainstream Americana feel of "Shot At The Title" and the dark tones of "Silver World." To find out more about Curtis McMurtry and his latest release "The Hornet's Nest," please visit curtismcmurtrymusic.com.

Friday, January 6, 2017

CD Review: New Live Release From Dennis Coffey Comes From Detroit In 1968

American guitarist Dennis Coffey has worked alongside such greats as Del Shannon, Diana Ross and The Temptations. He discovered folk/rock singer Sixto Rodriguez, the subject of the film "Searching For Sugar Man," and introduced a hard rock guitar sound to Motown Records. His last self-titled studio album was released in 2011, but Resonance Records is reviving his career with a live album from the Motown guitar legend on January 13, 2017.
The new album titled "Hot Coffey In The D" was recorded live at the Morey Baker's Showplace Lounge in Detroit, Michigan in 1968. It predates his debut solo album by one year and features the trio of Coffey on guitar, Lyman Woodard on Hammond B-3 organ and Melvin Davis on drums. The new seven-song release begins with the eight-minute original titled "Fuzz" and showcases Coffey's amazing guitar work as he leads the Lyman Woodward Trio on a sonic journey of solos. This live recording includes smooth instrumental jazz renditions of Burt Bacharach's "The Look Of Love" and Herbie Hancock's "Maiden Voyage." The set closes with Coffey's guitar leading the way on the southern blues rock of "Casanova (Your Playing Days Are Over)" and the funk-fueled "Wade In The Water," highlighted by Woodard's organ performance. 
This new release comes with a 56-page, full-color booklet that includes a new essay from Zev Feldman and a few Q&As with Dennis Coffey and Melvin Davis from July 2016. The cover art is an original drawing from Detroit native Bill Morrison, who is best known as an illustrator for The Simpsons cartoon. To find out more about Dennis Coffey and his latest release "Hot Coffey In The D," please visit denniscoffeysite.com.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

CD Review: Hard Rockers Killer Bee Return With Their "Eye In The Sky" Album

Swedish rock band Killer Bee have been flying under the radar for almost a quarter of a century. They have played at numerous festivals throughout their 25 year career and have performed along side such greats as Elton John, Page & Plant, Megadeth and R.E.M. After peeling off three albums in four years in the late-nineties, the band took a twelve year hiatus before returning in 2012 with their newly inspired hard rock album "Hell And Back." Since then, Killer Bee have released four more albums over the course of the last five years. Their latest album "Eye In The Sky" was unleashed just prior to the new year and features ten brand new songs that should finally help Killer Bee fly onto the hard rock radar.
The new album took most of 2016 to record and begins with the high-energy rocker "Eye In The Sky." Guitars come out blazing on this classic-sounding opener and continues with the power rhythm of "Shout It Out." Two of the albums early singles, "Higher And Higher" and "Joystick Warrior" have given Killer Bee new life as their sound mixes together a classic hard rock, Motley Crue-sound with the electricity and energy of The Scorpions. The album's latest single, "Get On Board" (video: www.youtube.com) is the band's new "battle cry," as Brian "Bee" Frank's vocals are outstanding and demand recognition. The album finishes with the screams of "Right Between The Eyes" and steady drive of "By My Side." 
The Killer Bee will be performing a couple of shows in California at the end of the month, before heading over to Europe for a dozen shows in March. To find out more about their latest album "Eye In The Sky," please visit killerbee.se.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

CD Review: The Traveling Ones Will "Meet Me There" & Roger Gomez Comes Up "Behind Cloud Nine"

From Austin, TX comes the debut album from the Americana band, The Traveling Ones. Their new release, "Meet Me There" will be available in February 2017 and features nine, feel-good tunes. This new duo are ready to make an impact on the music scene. Beginning with "Wildfire Heart," you begin to compare The Traveling Ones to 10,000 Maniacs as the music floats by the strong vocals of Emily Villareal. They move into a more pop direction with "Your Tonight," which again features the wonderful vocals of Emily along with her singing partner Justin Ahmanson. The quietness of "Red Lights" builds upon this country ballad as it pushes past the six-minute mark. The fun, folk feel of "Baby When It Rains" and the beautiful delivery of "Here In The Light" will place The Traveling Ones as an early contender for best new band of 2017. To find out more about their new album "Meet Me There," please visit travelingones.com.

From Australia comes the debut album, "Behind Cloud Nine" from pop/rock singer Roger Gomez. He kicks off his new release with the up-tempo pop tones of "Mondays Guide" and the more rocking beats of "She's Always Landing On Her Feet." His keeps the energy flowing with "Slipping Into Suburbia," before showcasing his great songwriting on the up-lifting ballad "Fall Into Grace." He returns to the addictive pop sounds of "Only Lovers Count," before finishing with the punk-like tones of "Tragic Little Girl" and the inspirational, acoustic strumming of the "I Will Call Heaven Home." To find out more about Roger Gomez and his latest release "Behind Cloud Nine," please visit youtube.com/user/rogergomez1.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

CD Review: Blues Artists Popa Chubby Delivers "The Catfish" For His Latest Release

Blues guitarist, singer, songwriter Popa Chubby recently released his new studio album titled "The Catfish." It falls in-line with the other 20-plus studio and live albums he has released over the course of the last twenty years. His latest release mixes together ten new original songs with two classic covers. Popa Chubby adds a bit of funk and R&B to his blues style on the openers "Going Downtown See My Old Gal Sue" and "Good Thing." He turns the Buddy Holly classic "Bye Bye Love" into a bluesy, reggae instrumental, before returning to the pure, slow blues of "Wes Is More" as Popa Chubby gets to show-off the talents of his band. 
Popa Chubby pay homage to the late, great Lemmy Kilmister with the up-tempo rocker "Motorhead Saved My Life." While the song may feel out of place in Popa's catalog, it's a great energy builder, before slowing back down for the "Blues Of Charlie." The album finishes with the guitar-boogie shuffle of "The Catfish" and an acoustic cover of Robert Johnson's "C'mon In My Kitchen." To find out more about Popa Chubby and his new album "The Catfish," please visit popachubby.com.

Monday, January 2, 2017

CD Review: Introduce Some "Fresh Cream" Into Your Fresh New Year

On January 27th, Universal Music is releasing a four disc, deluxe edition of Cream's debut album "Fresh Cream." It features 72-songs spread across 3-CDs along with a Blu-Ray audio disc that features both the U.S. stereo and mono versions of the album in Hi-Resolution Audio. The set also includes a 64-page hardcover book with new album notes written by Rolling Stone writer David Fricke.
The band Cream featured three of the biggest rising talents in Britain during the sixties music boom. Guitarist Eric Clapton was a member of The Yardbirds, before moving on to become a side member of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, drummer Ginger Baker recently departed from the Graham Bond Organisation and bassist Jack Bruce just left Manfred Mann. All three were hungry for bringing the blues back to the mainstream.
The new box set features the original mono version of the album, which featured classics like "Spoonful" and "I'm So Glad." The original album ends with Ginger Baker showcasing his skills on the drums with "Toad," which became a concert staple for the band throughout their career together. The first disc also includes the studio outtake "The Coffee Song," along with the A-sides and B-sides to Cream's first three singles. Then, it closes with eight songs from from a couple of French EP's that were originally released in 1966.
The second disc in the set features the album's stereo mix, with Cream's first three singles mixed in stereo. The prize of the second disc are the new seven newly mixed stereo versions of songs from the album, which have never been previously released. The third disc in box set contains all the treasures that fans have been waiting for. The first eleven songs on the disc are early versions and studio outtakes that have been previously unreleased. Three different mixes of "I Feel Free" showcases the development of the song in the studio, and the song "Beauty Queen" is available officially for the first time. To round out the disc, Universal Music added 14-songs from their BBC sessions between November 1966 to January 1967. Highlights include the previously unreleased "Sleepy Time Time" and "Steppin' Out," which features an amazing guitar solo from Eric Clapton. To find out more about this new amazing deluxe version of Cream's "Fresh Cream," please visit facebook.com/Cream-Band.