Tuesday, September 19, 2017

CD Review: New Music From Chris Barron, Chip Ratliff, Mike Blakely & Marcus Singletary

The American rock band, the Spin Doctors found success early with their debut album reaching the top 5 in many countries. Their music was iconic, led by the vocals of singer Chris Barron, who had a certain swagger in how he delivered the lyrics. The Spin Doctors released their last album over 4 years ago, but lead singer Barron returns with a new solo album titled "Angels And One-Armed Jugglers." It will be released on October 20th through Chrysanthemum Records and features 11-tracks that will remind you of the early days of the Spin Doctors as the music and vocals are able to breathe on their own. He begins with the grand sounding blues ballad "Angels And One-Armed Jugglers" as Barron's vocals fit perfectly into this musical setting. The tempo picks up with the steady rock rhythm of "April And May," before finding he finds his way into your heart with the acoustic ballad "Gonna (Need Someone)." He has fun with the zombie love story "In A Cold Kind Of Way" and turns on the classic folk charm of "Still A Beautiful World," before wrapping up with the slow, jazzy waltz of "Till The Cows Come Home" and the steady rock of "Too Young To Fade." To find out more about Chris Barron and his latest release "Angels And One-Armed Jugglers," please visit thechrisbarron.com.

From Chicago comes the return of Chip Ratliff (grandson of blues guitarist Herman Ratliff Sr.) with his first album in ten years titled "Resilient." This new funk-fueled 8-song album begins with the spoken-prayer of "Resilient," before Chip gets your body up and moving with the seventies funk of "Dance! Dance! Dance!" He continues with the horn-infused "Back When We Were Funky," then lays down the smooth R&B of "Somewhere Else Not Thinkin' (About You)." Chip Ratliff wraps up his new album with the blues/rock of "WhyDoYouDoWhatchaDo" and the spaced out jazz/funk of "DirtyBlu." To find out more about Chip Ratliff and his latest release "Resilient," please visit chipratliff.net.

Americana singer/songwriter Mike Blakely returns after a six year absence to release his new studio album titled "Keepsake." It will be his 12th album in 25 years and features ten beautifully delivered tunes of love, hope and redemption. He begins with the gentle acoustic love story of "A Town Called Paradise" and continues with the steady pace of the folk story of "My Same Old New Mexican Dream." Mike showcases his country side with the twang of "Easy Ramblin'," then brings in an island vibe with the acoustic strumming "I Am Nobody." He finishes up his new album with the country blues of "Miranda's Warning" and the heartfelt plea of "Don't Send Flowers." To find out more about Mike Blakely and his latest release "Keepsake," please visit mikeblakely.com.

Marcus Singletary, the musical chameleon, returns once again with a new album titled "Daydream Station."  This 14-song, 20 minute comedy album showcases Marcus' more comedic side was these short parodies of interviews ("The I.R.S." and "Attack Of The Record Men"), commercials ("S.P.I.T. 909") and public service announcements. While Marcus does not play any music on this new album, it is worth a listen for the tongue-in-cheek political comedy that we all have come to know in this day-in-age. His new release closes with a great 5-minute stand-up where nobody laughs or even notices his jokes. To find out more about Marcus Singletary and his latest release "Daydream Station," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/MarcusSingletaryMusic.

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