Saturday, April 20, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, April 19, 2019

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

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

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

Thursday, April 18, 2019

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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

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


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


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

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

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

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

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

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

Monday, April 15, 2019

New Releases From The Janitors, Los Mundos and Wasted Cathedral

A trio of new releases are on the horizon from the Cardinal Fuzz music label. First up is the celebration of one of Sweden's premier independent rock bands, The Janitors. Their new release titled "15 Years Of Fuzz And Folkol" is a collection of some of their work that has been featured on the band's 3 full length albums and 5 EPs. The album will be pressed on 180-gram yellow vinyl that features only nine of the band's top tracks, but a download card includes an additional 80 minutes of music from The Janitors. The band's raw, rock side is heard on the energetic tracks "Firefly" and "Epileptic City," while they also showcase their softer side on the ballad "Oh Lord" and the psychedelic tale of "City."

Another new Cardinal Fuzz label release arrives from the Mexican band, Los Mundos. Their new 6-song EP titled "Calor Central" is based on the Jules Verne story "Journey To The Center Of The Earth." Their new release begins with the tribal drums of the title song, "Calor Central," as a sonic trip awaits you. The guitar buzz of "Sin Vertigo" and the nine-minute rock epic "Subterraneo Mar Jurasico" showcases the passion that Los Mundos put into their music, as their music demands your attention.

Next we arrive at the latest release from Wasted Cathedral. Their new album titled "Atmospheric Hangover" has been limited to only 200 vinyl copies. It features the latest work of Saskatoon-based artist Christopher Laramee, who has been working on this music for the last couple of years. This new four-song release begins with the wildly chaotic soundscape of "MeanStreets Dub," before delivering the more atmospheric melody of "Revenge On The Highway." Laramee closes out his new album with the twenty-minute sound experiment "Winnipeg Noir." To find out more about these and other new releases from Cardinal Fuzz, please visit facebook.com/CardinalFuzz

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Lee "Scratch" Perry Continues His Legacy With New Album

Jamaican producer Lee "Scratch" Perry was one of the pioneers of the "dub" sound, back in the early seventies. He worked with such artists as Bob Marley & The Wailers, Junior Byles and even the Beastie Boys, just to name a few. He has also released over fifty albums, both as a solo artist and with his band, The Upsetters. On May 10th, at the age of 83, Lee "Scratch" Perry is ready to release his new solo album titled "Rainford."  The album was produced by Adrian Sherwood (Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails), who Perry has had a friendship with since the mid-eighties.

It features nine songs, beginning with "Crickets On The Moon," as Perry recites poetry over a modern, reggae "dub" sound. Sherwood lets Perry's personality shine through on the dance rhythm of "Let It Rain," while "House Of Angels" carries that classic island vibe. Perry experiments more with the musical layers of "Makumba Rock," before taking off on the steady flow of the "African Starship." Lee "Scratch" Perry wraps up his new album with the seven-minute story of his life during the "Autobiography Of The Upsetter." To find out more about Lee "Scratch" Perry and his latest release "Rainford," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/perryscratch

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Time To Remember The Power Of Pearl Harbor And The Explosions With New Re-Issue

On April 12th, Blixa Sounds will reissue the debut album from the San Francisco new wave band, Pearl Harbor and the Explosions. This new release features the band's only studio effort, remastered with seven bonus tracks. The band found moderate success with their debut single "Drivin'," and with the promise of an album that helped usher in the New Wave sound into the U.S. The band was short-lived, as Pearl Harbor left the band to move to England and married The Clash's Paul Simonon.

The album also incorporated the band's love for jazz and rockabilly as heard in the songs "Don't Come Back" and "Keep Going," while still keeping the punk aspect with "Shut Up And Dance." To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the album, Blixa Sounds dug into the vault to uncover the rare, high energy "Busy Little B-Side" and a trio of live tracks. They really showcase their youthful energy and talents on the live versions of "Black Slacks" and "I Can Feel The Fire." The new release closes with a one-minute radio spot for band in 1979. A 16-page booklet accompanies this release and features a bunch of unreleased photos and new essay by Bay Area music critic Joel Selvin. To find out more about this new re-issue of Pearl Harbor and the Explosions debut album, please visit blixa.com/pearl-harbor-the-explosions

Friday, April 12, 2019

New Record Store Day Releases Arriving From Craft Recordings

April 13, 2019 is national Record Store Day. This is a day when music labels release rare vinyl to independent record stores, in order to draw consumers to their shops. This will be the eleventh year of Record Store Day festivities and every year its seems the event gets bigger and even better, as the sales of vinyl records continues to grow.

The Craft Recordings label is preparing to release half-a-dozen new and exclusive vinyl this year. Three of them are various artists releases that have been remastered for this occasion, along with a re-issue of Albert King's "Born Under A Bad Sign" album in Mono, a green-colored vinyl release of the Violent Femmes for the album "Hallowed Ground" and a rare live album from the obscure band, Bingo Hand Job.

The first thing you are probably asking is, who is Bingo Hand Job and why do they have a live album coming out on Record Store Day. Well, Bingo Hand Job is actually the band, R.E.M., who performed a couple of shows at London's Borderline club back in 1991. The double vinyl set titled "Bingo Hand Job - Live At The Borderline 1991," features 19 songs that capture R.E.M. performing an "unplugged" type show following the release of their hugely successful album "Out Of Time." The quality on this release sounds like a soundboard-like bootleg, without any clean-ups or overdubs. Michael Stipe's vocals are clear and strong as the band has a bit of a distant sound, but fits this release perfectly. Songs like "Half A World Away," "Low" and "Losing My Religion" may be well-known in this acoustic setting. The band also performs some oddities like "Jackson/Dallas" and "Disturbance At The Heron House," along with some other covers like,"Love Is All Around" and "Moon River." It's great to hear this band in a raw, more laid-back live setting.

Albert King's classic and hugely influential album "Born Under A Bad Sign" will be reissued on 180-gram vinyl. This album featured Booker T & The MGs as King's backing band, and created such classic songs as "Born Under A Bad Sign," "The Hunter" and "Crosscut Saw." Another album in need of a reissue is the Violent Femmes' second effort "Hallowed Ground." Originally released back in 1984, a new dark-green colored vinyl will be available as part of Record Store Day. The band took on a more southern acoustic vibe on this release with songs like "Jesus Walking On The Water" and "Country Death Song." This album is often overlooked by the popularity of the band debut release, but it did help solidify the Violent Femmes as one of the premier folk-punk bands in the industry.

Craft Recordings also has a trio of various artists releases to get excited about. The first one titled "Poppies: Assorted Finery from the First Psychedelic Age" is a thirteen-song set that captures the essence of the psychedelic movement during the underground folk/rock scene in the late-1960s. The songs on this release will instantly transform you back to when music was extremely experimental and focused on the effects of the mind. The sound on this album swings between the heavy rock approach of Jefferson Lee's "Sorcerella" and Circus Maximus' "Bright Light Lovers," to the folk music of Buffy Sainte-Marie's "Poppies" and Erik's "Why Come Another Day." This new compilation will be released on Record Store Day in red translucent vinyl and on CD on April 19th.

The two other compilations are seeing vinyl for the first time in fifty years. The "Boy Meets Girl: Classic Stax Duets" was originally released in 1969 and features a who's-who of Memphis soul, as singers like Mavis Staples, William Bell and Eddie Floyd sing love songs especially for the Stax Records label. These special duets will be released on Record Store day as a 2-LP set. The other compilation, "Stax Does The Beatles," will be released for the first time as a double-LP set that includes fifteen Beatles' classics sung by some of the biggest names in soul music. Highlights include Otis Redding singing "Day Tripper" and Isaac Hayes performing "Something," along with four Beatles' anthems delivered by Booker T & the MGs. To find out more about these Record Store Day Releases, please visit craftrecordings.com.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Check Out The Latest Releases From Heavy Metal Bands Myrath and Parting Gift

Arriving May 3rd, is the new studio album from Tunisian progressive metal band, Myrath. Their new release titled "Shehili" features a dozen tracks that certainly incorporates their heritage into their music, as the short "Asi" chant leads into the powerful "Born To Survive." On the song "You've Lost Yourself," Myrath combine classic heavy metal riffs with a Tunisian rhythm in order to make their music sound more worldly. The symphonic sound of "Dance" and "Monster In My Closet" gives Myrath's music an extra boost of energy and power, which makes them one of the most fascinating bands in heavy metal music. They deliver a nostalgic eighties metal sound with the mainstream appeal of "No Holding Back," before finishing their new album with the power ballad "Stardust" and the Middle Eastern influence of the title-song, "Shehili." To find out more about Myrath and their latest release "Shehili," please visit myrath.com . 


Back in 2017, singer Zac Vernon built a new band from the loose ends of many other former projects. Thus, Parting Gift was created as a way for him to fully express the passion for music he had building inside. Along with guitarists Peter Vybiral and Jack Dutton, drummer George Barnes, Parting Gift released their first music in 2018, with the double A-side "Vein & Rensing." Now, the band unleashed their first EP titled "Ensom." It contains only five tracks, but is a great introduction to the band, beginning with the sonic attack of "Pale." Next, they settle down for the more melodic tones of "3:07 (Moonlight)," before quickly picking the energy back up for the progressive metal appeal of "Without Sin." Parting Gift close out their new album with the aggressive, emotional outburst of the title-song "Ensom." To find out more about Parting Gift and their latest release "Ensom," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/partinggiftband . 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

New Music On The Horizon From Carousel Kings, Gabriel And The Apocalypse and Sister Shotgun

Arriving May 31st, is the brand new studio album from Carousel Kings titled "Plus Ultra." It features eleven new songs that were written on the road during the band's 2018 tour. Beginning with the title-song "Plus Ultra" looks to build upon 2017's album, "Charm City," a high mark for the band. The youthful energy and punk-like rawness comes blasting through right from the beginning. Carousel Kings move on with the addictive pop tones of "Shellshocked" and the guitar frenzy of the album's lead single "Code Breaker (Smile)." The band look to develop their songwriting with the built-up chorus of "Ghost" and the wonderful pop melody of "Lock Meowt." The energy just radiates from the Carousel Kings on this new album with the great riffs of "Truth Seekers" and "Monarch." To find out more about Carousel Kings and their latest release "Plus Ultra," please visit the band's Facebook page at facebook.com/carouselkings.


Next, from Minnesota comes the new studio album from Gabriel And The Apocalypse titled "Alpha Bionic." It will be released on April 12th through Pavement Entertainment and features ten new industrial rock anthems, beginning with the sonic blast of "Systematic Chaos." The band continues to blur the lines of hard rock and electronic dance music with "Sonic Bionic" and "Cellophane Nation," as vocalist Lindy Gabriel holds the chaos together. Gabriel And The Apocalypse step away from their edgy rock vibe for the more pop aspects of "pointTHREE," and "Bleed Me An Ocean." They finish up their new album with a new goth-like rock anthem cover of Midnight Oil's "Bed's Are Burning" and the dark, steady rhythm of "Disgraceful Bliss." To find out more about Gabriel And The Apocalypse and their latest release "Alpha Bionic," please visit gabrielandtheapocalypse.com


From Birmingham, England comes the full-length debut album from the heavy metal band, Sister Shotgun. Their new album titled "Fragments" features eleven tracks, beginning with the intense delivery of "Sacred Heart," as you will easily be drawn in to the band's accessible power metal sound. They keep the energy flowing with the shredding guitar riffs of "She Lives" and the bashing rhythm of "From The Ashes." The album's title-song "Fragments" has a progressive feel as lead vocalist Chloe Ozwell lets loose on this sonic masterpiece. They slow the pace down for the more melodic tone of "For The Love Of Hate," before returning to the aggressive sounds of "Kill The Lights." Sister Shotgun wrap up their new album with addictive, mainstream hard rock delivery of "Mourning Iris" and the final energetic blast of "Scorn." To find out more about Sister Shotgun and their latest release "Fragments," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/SisterShotgun

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

New Albums Arriving From Indie-Artists Highest Intention and Josh Hyde

From the San Francisco Bay Area comes the debut album from reggae/pop band Highest Intention. Their new album titled "Universal Light" features thirteen tracks, beginning with the addictive groove of "Morning Light." As you listen to this album, Highest Intention draws similarities to the likes of Sublime and 311, with a heavy influence of Bob Marley and the Wailers. Singer/songwriter/guitarist Ben Lowe began forming this band back in 2012 and has shared the stage with other reggae bands, performing at world-famous festivals like the Mavericks Challenge surf competition and the Bay Area Vibez Festival. The album continues with the sunny island rhythm of "Vibes" and "Dive In," which features the backup work of Lindsay Stubblefield. One of the album's first singles is "Sky," a mix of R&B and reggae to help calm your tensions. Highest Intention finishes their new album with the uplifting vibe of the title song "Universal Light" and the more moody feel of the album closer "Time So Slow." To find out more about Highest Intention and their latest release "Universal Light," please visit highestintention.reverbnation.com

Fellow singer/songwriter/guitarist Josh Hyde is preparing to release his sophomore solo effort "Into The Soul" on April 26th. It features eleven tracks, beginning with the guitar boogie shuffle of "Rocking Chair" and the more up-tempo swinging rhythm of "Smile." He lets up for a moment to deliver the gentle ballad "For You I Ache," but builds the tempo back up with the blues of "The Edge Of Love." Josh delivers the loving emotions of "Down On Bourbon Street," before wrapping up his new album with the Tom Petty-inspired rock of "All You Need Is Soul" and the gentle strumming of "Reasons Why." Josh Hyde has a few shows lined-up in his home state of Louisiana to celebrate the release of his new album. To find out more about Josh Hyde and his new release "Into The Soul," please visit joshhyde.com.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Discover The Genius Of John Coltrane With A New Box Set "Coltrane '58" From Craft Recordings

Legendary jazz saxophonist, John Coltrane had a very short solo career (1957-1967). He began his musical adventure only ten years before that and performed along side such jazz greats as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis. Coltrane's sound during the mid-fifties was unlike anything else in jazz music at the time. After recording the string of Davis' albums, "Cookin'," "Relaxin'," "Steamin'" and "Workin'," for Prestige Records, Coltrane worked on his first solo albums for the label. In 1957 and 1958, Coltrane recorded a flurry of songs for what would end up becoming his first solo albums, "Coltrane," "Dakar" and "Blue Train."

In 2019, the Prestige label celebrates its 70th anniversary, and what better way to kick off the celebration, than with a release of one of the label's premier artists, John Coltrane. On March 29th, Craft Recordings released a new box set titled "Coltrane '58: The Prestige Recordings." It features 37 recordings that Coltrane made for the Prestige label in 1958, before rejoining Miles Davis. This new 5-CD or 8-LP box set brings together some of Coltrane's earliest work as a band leader. All of the tracks were remastered from the original analog tapes, in order to be given the best quality sound available.

The set begins with the extended jams of such standards as "Lush Life" and "Come Rain Or Come Shine," as Coltrane's sax leads the way. Also early on in the set are some of the songs that were used for his album "Soultrane," like the wildly energetic "Russian Lullaby" and the bluesy feel of "Theme For Ernie." John Coltrane had no trouble capturing your attention, whether is was with the energy of "Freight Trane" or the delicate touch of "I See Your Face Before Me." As you listen to these songs, you get a sense that Coltrane was on the verge of stardom. Songs like "Rise 'N' Shine," "Black Pearls" and "Lover Come Back To Me" are perfect examples of how well Coltrane led his group of musicians. He also knows how to make such classics like "Spring Is Here" and "Stardust" all his own, by putting the listener in the perfect frame of mind with his sound.

As you make your way through these outstanding recordings, be thankful that such classic jazz pieces like these are still around and are still relevant in today's musical world. This set comes in a beautiful linen-wrapped, portfolio-style book with each disc housed in its own sleeve, along with a 40 booklet that contains many rare photographs and new line notes from music historian Ashley Kahn. To find out more about "Coltrane '58: The Prestige Recordings," please visit concord.com.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Will Kimbrough Sings About The South With "I Like It Down Here"

Singer/songwriter Will Kimbrough returns to his solo career, after spending the last five years keeping busy with super-groups and producing. He is preparing to release his new studio album "I Like Down Here" on April 19th, through Soundly Music. The songs revolve around Kimbrough's love of the South and his fascination with roots music.

The new 10-song set begins with the bluesy swagger of "Hey Trouble," before slowing down for the storied stomp rhythm of the title song, "I Like It Down Here." His sound gets darker, on the raw, acoustic strumming of "Alabama (For Michael Donald)," as Will describes this truthful tale to us. He picks the energy back up with the classic rock and roll swing of "I'm Not Running Away," before wrapping up his new album with the laid-back, relaxing vibe of "Salt Water & Sand" and the beautiful, simple melody of "Star."

Will Kimbrough is hitting the road on April 6th to begin his spring tour. For a complete list of dates and to find out more about his new album "I Like It Down Here," please visit willkimbrough.com . 

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Omnivore Recordings Prepares New Releases For Record Store Day

Record Store Day (April 13th) is a day for music labels to release exclusive material and special editions of albums, usually on vinyl, to local record shows in order to drum up business and recognition. Each year, the list seems to grow larger and larger with these special releases. Four of these so-called "special releases" will arrive from the Omnivore Recordings label, with two of them also being released on CD for the first time.

Eighties country rock band Lone Justice made an impact on the music charts with their self-titled debut album and the singles "Ways To Be Wicked" and "Shelter." The flame burned out quickly with the release of the second album "Shelter," as the band parted ways. Prior to the release of their debut album, Lone Justice was a staple on the L.A. club circuit and one of their early shows was recorded and will be released on April 12 on CD and April 13 on vinyl.

Lone Justice performed "Live At The Palomino" in 1983 and quickly ran through their 12-song set with the classic country sounds of "Drugstore Cowboy" and "Dustbowl Depression Time." Many of these songs did not appear on the band's debut album, as Lone Justice were engulfed in the cowpunk scene in the early eighties. They swiftly ran through the songs "Cotton Belt" and "I See It," before reaching their energetic cover of Merle Haggard's "Working Man's Blues." They wrap up their show with the stomp rhythm of "Working Late" and their super-sped up cover of "Jackson."

Another special release comes from legendary reggae band, Culture. This new release features the band's earliest recording of their song "This Time," which was originally only available on an obscure Jamaican single. Also included on this new seven-track EP are songs that were featured on the 1982 Nighthawk compilation "Calling Rastafai," as well as couple of Culture recordings that have stayed in the Nighthawk vaults for over 35 years. Omnivore Recordings have gathered together these hard to find tracks for this new release and simply titled it "The Nighthawk Recordings." It will also be released on April 12 on CD and April 13 on vinyl for Record Store Day.

Two other Record Store Day releases arriving from Omnivore Recordings include the original recording of Woody Guthrie's song "I Don't Like The Way The World's A-Treatin' Me," along with a  new accompanied version from Wilco's Jeff Tweedy. The flipside of this new 10" vinyl features two versions of Guthrie's song "Beech Haven Ain't My Home," performed by U.S. Elevator and another with Ani DiFranco featuring Tom Morello. The other release is a vinyl edition of Dennis Quaid & The Sharks' album "Out Of The Box," which was originally released on CD back in November 2018 (review: jpsmusicblog.com) To find out more about this four special releases for Record Store Day, please visit omnivorerecordings.com.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Mike + The Mechanics Revisit Their Past With New "Out Of The Blue" Release

The English rock supergroup, Mike + The Mechanics came together in 1985 by Mike Rutherford, as another outlet for his music apart from Genesis. Past members have included Paul Young, Paul Carrack, Adrian Lee and Peter Van Hooke. They amassed three "top 10" singles," two "top 40" albums and five Grammy nominations in only five years. Their first two albums went Gold in the U.S., with the help songs like "Living Years" and "All I Need Is A Miracle."

Now the band's current line-up returns for their third studio album together (the band's 9th overall) titled "Out Of The Blue." It is a mixture of some of their classic hits, reworked, alongside three brand new compositions. Mike + The Mechanics start off their new album with one of those new songs, "One Way," as their music still has that classic sound that was perfected in the late-eighties. Another new song is the more, up-tempo, pop-oriented "What Would You Do," which expands the band's sound beyond the melodic ballads they are known for.

Speaking of songs they are known for, the rest of their new album features new versions of their classics like "The Living Years," "All I Need Is A Miracle" and "Silent Running." A deluxe version of this album features an additional six acoustic versions of some of the tracks that appear on this new release like "Beggar On A Beach Of Gold" and "Over My Shoulder."

Mike + The Mechanics are currently on tour in Europe through the end of April. They will then join Phil Collins on his tour in June. For a complete list of shows and to find out more about Mike + The Mechanics and their latest release "Out Of The Blue," please visit mikeandthemechanics.com . 

Thursday, April 4, 2019

More Heavy Metal Music From Ceremony Of Silence, West Of Hell, Chevalier and Smoulder

As we begin April, there are some new exciting heavy metal releases to put on your radar. At the beginning of the month, we get the debut release from the Slovakian band, Ceremony Of Silence. This is the brainchild of guitarist Vilozof and drummer Svjatogor, who have both made a name for themselves in the Slovakian underground metal scene. The duo's new album titled "Outis" will be released on April 5th through Willowtip Records and contains seven, aggressive, hard-hitting juggernauts, beginning with the growls of "Invocation Of The Silent Eye." The band push their music to the limits with the shear force of "Trance Of Void," before slowing down for the dark melody of "Upon The Shores Of Death." Ceremony Of Silence finish up their new album with shredding guitar riffs of "Arising Of No Man" and the bashing, neck-breaking rhythm of "Into The Obscure Light." To find out more about Ceremony Of Silence and their latest release "Outis," please visit the band's Facebook page at facebook.com/ceremonyofsilence.

Also arriving on April 5th, is the self-released sophomore effort from the independent Canadian metal band, West Of Hell. Their new album titled "Blood Of The Infidel," features seven tracks, beginning with the sonic blast of chugging guitars on "Hammer And Hand." Next, they speed the tempo up even more with the intense speed of "Chrome Eternal" and "Infidels." West Of Hell deliver a more progressive metal sound on the nearly nine-minute epic "Dying Tomorrow," before wrapping up their new album with the aggressive nature of "The Dark Turn" and the more technical melody of "Mankind Commands." West Of Hell will also be hitting the road in April for a month-long tour of Canada. To find out more about West Of Hell and their latest release "Blood Of The Infidel," please visit westofhell.ca .

As we head toward the end of the month, we get the debut album from the Finnish thrash metal band, Chevalier. Their new album titled "Destiny Calls" will arrive on April 26th, through the Gates Of Hell label and features ten tracks, beginning with a short introduction, before the flood gates open. Chevalier look to blow you away with their speed, as they blast through the opening song "The Immurment" at a neck-breaking pace. They also showcase a more progressive side to their music with the back-to-back epic pieces "The Curse Of The Dead Star" and "Road Of Light." Once again, Chevalier look to blow you away with the quick pace of "Stormbringer," before finishing their new album with the intense pounding rhythm of "A Warrior's Call" and a short "Outro" to close the album. To find out more about Chevalier and their latest release "Destiny Calls," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/Chevaliermetal . 

Last, but not least, we arrive at the full-length debut album from Cruz Del Sur artist, Smoulder. Their new album titled "Times Of Obscene Evil And Wild Daring" features six tracks that will make you an instant fan of this power metal band. The album begins with the chugging guitars and battle cry of "Ilian of Garathorm" and "The Sword Woman." Smoulder speed up the intense pace of "Bastard Steel," before closing out their new album with the nine-minute doom metal epic "Black God's Kiss." To find out more about Smoulder and their latest release "Times Of Obscene Evil And Wild Daring," please visit the band's Facebook page at facebook.com/SmoulderDoom . 

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

New Heavy Metal Music From Whitechapel, AntropomorphiA, Exumer, Fractal Universe, Allegaeon and Ketzer

Here's a list of some upcoming new releases from Metal Blade Records artists, Whitechapel, AntropomorphiA, Exumer, Fractal Universe, Allegaeon and Ketzer. First up is the March 29th arrival of the seventh studio album from hardcore, death metal band, Whitechapel. This new release titled "The Valley," features ten tracks, beginning with the sonic blast of aggression in the form of "When A Demon Defies A Witch." The band just keeps the petal to the metal on the swift attack of "Forgiveness Is Weakness" and "Black Bear." Whitechapel also showcase their more mainstream heavy metal sound with the slow-down of "Hickory Creek," before quickly returning to the intense growls of "The Other Side" and "Lovelace." To find out more about Whitechapel and their latest release "The Valley," please visit whitechapelband.com .

Next up, the latest album from deathcore metal band, AntropomorphiA, titled "Merciless Savagery." The new nine-track release kicks off right away with the aggressiveness of the title-song "Merciless Savagery," quickly followed by the buzzing speed of "Requiem Diabolica." The chugging guitars and growling vocals lead to the seven intense minutes of "Cathedral ov Tombs." Then, only a couple of minutes is all they need for the sonic blast of "Apocalyptic Scourge," before closing with the dark, doom metal appeal of "Unsettling Voices." To find out more about AntropomorphiA and their latest release "Merciless Savagery," please visit the band's Facebook page at facebook.com/AntropomorphiA .

Fellow label mates Exumer will also be releasing an album of brand new music on April 5th. Their new release titled "Hostile Defiance" features ten tracks of thrash metal glory, as they pound their way through the song "Raptor," before blazing a path of destruction with "King's End." Exumer will simply make your ears bleed with the shear force of "Trapper" and Vertical Violence," before closing their new album with the classic thrash metal appeal of "Splinter." To find out more about Exumer and their latest release "Hostile Defiance," please visit exumer.de .

Next up is the sophomore effort from the French death metal band, Fractal Universe. Their new album titled "Rhizomes Of Insanity" features ten tracks that bleed with passion as the opening track "Oneiric Realisations" mixes up the tempo between a whisper and a scream. They deliver a more mainstream metal sound on "Rising Oblivion" and "A Reality Of Foreclose," before returning to the more aggressive nature of "Masterpiece's Parallelism." Fractal Universe finish up their new album with the progressive metal build-up of "Madness' Arabesques" and "Chiasmus Of The Damned." To find out more about Fractal Universe and their latest release "Rhizomes Of Insanity," please visit fractaluniverseband.com .

Progressive, melodic and technical; those are words that would best describe the latest release from death metal giants, Allegaeon. Their new album titled "Apoptosis" could be a defining moment in the band's short ten year career. The album kicks off with the two-minute instrumental "Parthenogenesis," before blasting through the sonic wall with the aggressive nature of "Interphase/Meiosis." Allegaeon take it up a notch with the swift pace of "Extremophiles" and "Exothermic Chemical Combustion," as the growling vocals and shredding guitar riffs motor the songs energy. They deliver a more progressive metal sound with the six-minute "Tsunami And Submergence," before closing out their new album with the quiet, acoustic instrumental "Colors Of The Currents" and the ten-minute epic wonder of "Apoptosis." To find out more about Allegaeon and their latest release "Apoptosis," please visit the band's Facebook page at facebook.com/Allegaeon .

Finally we arrive at Germany's own Ketzer (which means "heretic" in German) and their latest album titled "Cloud Collider." Their new release features ten tracks, beginning with "The Machine" and "Keine Angst," as they lead you into the world of intense, aggressive, hardcore metal music. The screams of "The Wind Brings Them Horses" will be ringing in your ears, while the shear power of "No Stories Left" will blow you away. Ketzer close up their new album with final sonic sendoff of "Light Dies Last," as you feel the need for more from this German metal giant. To find out more about Ketzer and their latest release "Cloud Collider," please visit ketzer-official.de .