Monday, December 30, 2019

Get Ready To "Bounce" With Michael Wolff, While Cary Grace Becomes The "Lady Of Turquoise"

Jazz pianist Michael Wolff is preparing to release his new album "Bounce" on February 7th. It features ten tracks, beginning with the upbeat, swinging rhythm of the title song, which just gets you in the mood for a good time. The album continues with the gentle sway of "Chill" and the sweet island vibe of the "Caribbean Rain Dance." Just as Michael slows the tempo down completely with the quiet ballad "Long Lost," his son Nat Wolff gets into the action with the smooth vocals of "Cool Kids." The action picks back up quickly with the swift pace of "You And The Night And The Music," before closing out the album with the bopping bass line of "Picasso" and the exciting touch of keys on the grand appeal of "Omar Sharif." To find out more about Michael Wolff and his latest release "Bounce," please visit michaelwolff.com

British artist Cary Grace is preparing to release her new album "Lady Of Turquoise" in January. It features thirteen tracks, beginning with the gentle, swaying groove of the instrumental opener "Khepera At The Dawn," before delivering a dark, folk/rock vibe to "Letterbox." Her music has a three-dimensional feel, as she displays a bluesy tone with "Into Dust" and a layered synthesized sound to "Afterglow" in order to showcase her songwriting diversity. Cary Grace takes you on a sonic trip with the twelve-minute "Costume Jewelry," as the intensity of the song continues to build with the clash of guitars and keyboards. Her skills on the guitar are on full display during the blues of "Moonflowers (Fade To Black)," before she finishes her new album with the quiet, progressive jazz fusion of "Castle Of Dreams" and the eleven-minute, ambient, electronic rock of "Lady Of Turquoise." To find out more about Cary Grace and her new album "Lady Of Turquoise," please visit carygrace.com

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Storm Force Rev Up The "Age Of Fear" With Highly Anticipated Debut Album

Canadian hard rockers Storm Force will unleash their debut studio album "Age Of Fear" on January 24th. The band is led by Canadian rock legend and Brighton Rock founder, guitarist Greg Fraser and vocalist Patrick Gagliardi (Surface Tension), as they bring their classic rock influences to this new release. The album begins with the grand keyboard opening of "Because Of You," which quickly kicks up the energy with the song's nostalgic rock vibe. The band's powerful hard hitting sound is felt in the electrifying tone of the title song "Age Of Fear," as Gagliardi's vocals are pure hard rock gold. Storm Force develop the perfect classic rock melody with "Breathe," while "Ride Like Hell" and "Dirty Vegas" are aggressive assaults on your ears with their chugging guitars, pounding rhythms and addictive chorus.

The band wrap up their new album with the burning power ballad "More Than You Know," followed by the powerfully raw hard rocker "Marshall Law" and the sonic blast of "Ringside," which leaves you wanting a repeat listen of this amazing new album from Storm Force. To find out more about the band and their latest release "Age Of Fear," please visit escape-music.com.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

The New Year Features New Releases From Amber Weekes, Carol Albert and Ellen Edwards

On January 3rd, jazz vocalist Amber Weekes will release her new album titled "Pure Imagination." The thirteen-track release includes some of Amber's favorite jazz and vocal standards that she covers, adding her own special style to these well-known tracks. Amber kicks things off with her jazzy interpretation of the children's classic "Pure Imagination," which finds her performing with her longtime teacher Sue Raney. Next, Amber picks up the pace with the swinging rhythm of "It's All Right With Me" and "Gotta Be This Or That." One of her favorite artists to cover is Oscar Brown Jr., as she does so with a trio of songs ("The Snake," "Brown Baby" and "Mister Kicks") and another artist must be the smooth melodies of Johnny Mercer ("When October Goes") which she performs twice on this new album. She closes out her new release with the beautiful ballad "The Way He Makes Me Feel" (duet with Mon David) and the upbeat, New Orleans-style of "Gone At Last." To find out more about Amber Weekes and her latest release "Pure Imagination," please visit amberweekes.com.

Then we fast forward to the end of January, where pianist, composer and singer Carol Albert will be releasing her new studio album "Stronger Now" on January 31st. It features ten new compositions, beginning with the uplifting instrumental title song "Stronger Now." The melody of the keys is so perfect that there is no need for vocals. The album continues with the shake and swagger of "Love Again," while "Perfect Sunday" carries a jazzy vibe that simply energizes the song's groove. Carol Albert and her band add a little Latin flair, which brings some excitement to the rhythm of "Femme Flight" and "Sun's Out," before finishing her new album with an appearance of her vocals on the poetic ballads "I Am Fine" and "'Til We Meet Again." To find out more about Carol Albert and her latest release "Stronger Now," please visit carolalbertmusic.com.

Hopping over to February we find the new five-song EP from award-winning singer-songwriter Ellen Edwards. Her new album titled "Ellen Edwards, A New York Session" finds her teaming up with some New York studio musicians to deliver her latest batch of songs in a slightly different setting that what Ellen is used to. The album kicks off with the swift, waltz of "Over There," before slowing down for the bluesy tone of "Let The Fire Grow." The gentle piano ballad "Blue And Green" allows her wonderful vocals to soar, before closing out her new release with the fun, upbeat groove of "The Queen's Bridge." To find out more about Ellen Edwards and her latest release "A New York Session," please visit ellenedwardsmusic.com.

Friday, December 27, 2019

New Music Arriving From North Of The Border From Keith Mosfet and Pink Leather Jackets

Canadian rock artist Keith Mosfet grew up playing in punk bands around the Brantford and Hamilton, Ontario areas, before using this new release to showcase his solo talents. The new album titled "Superficial Hypocrite" features ten tracks that display Keith's playful songwriting, surrounded by an addictive, indie-pop melody. The opening title-track "Superficial Hypocrite" carries that addictive chorus, which makes you stop caring about what everyone else thinks. The tempo picks up with the British-sounding vibe of "Where Love Will Grow," right before an influencial cover of The Kinks' "I'm Not Like Everyone Else." Keith desperately pleads to "Set Me Free" on the growing alt-pop song, along with the fun, upbeat melody of "Let Me Go" overtakes the song's dark, obsessive lyrics. To find out more about Keith Mosfet and his latest release "Superficial Hypocrite," please visit facebook.com/keithmosfetmusic

Canadian punk/alternative rock band, Pink Leather Jackets recently released a new six-song EP titled "Good Love." It helps solidify the band's party attitude with the wildly energetic opening track "Shed." They dive into the nostalgic tone of the title song "Good Love," which features buzzing guitars, along with a garage rock vibe. Before you know it, Pink Leather Jackets wrap up their new album with the reckless, fun punk rock attack of "Call You When I'm Drunk" and the rough, acoustic run-through of "Evening Medicine." To find out more about Pink Leather Jackets and their latest release "Good Love," please visit facebook.com/PinkLeatherJackets

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Arriving In February Is New Music From We Sell The Dead and Kvelertak

On February 21st, earMUSIC will release the sophomore effort from hard rockers We Sell The Dead. Their new album "Black Sleep" features ten electrifying tracks that shows the band's growth since their debut release in 2018. They start off with the wonderful mix of heavy drumming, acoustic interludes and strong, attention-grabbing vocals of "Caravan." We Sell The Dead find the perfect formula for rock radio success with the addictive chorus and aggressive sound of "Across The Water." A classic Deep Purple-vibe runs through the title song "Black Sleep," while "The Light" displays the band quieter side with its beautiful harmonies. The rawness of "Hour Of The Wolf" finds the band flexing their hard rock muscle, before closing out their new album with the arena anthem "Nightmare And Dream" and the slow burning power ballad "Shallow Grave." To find out more about We Sell The Dead and their latest release "Black Sleep," please visit wesellthedead.com

With the quick arrival of a new year, Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and that is when we get the latest release from the Norwegian metal band, Kvelertak. Their new album titled "Splid" is only the band's fourth full-length release in ten years and features eleven tracks sung in their native language. While the lyrics may be unrecognizable, the music is intense and pulse-pounding, as displayed in "Necrosoft" and "Bratebrann." Following the punk-like fury of "Uglas hegemoni," Kvelertak expand upon their sound with the eight-minute epic rocker "Delirium tremens," before finishing their album with the explosiveness of "Ved bredden av Nihil." To find out more about Kvelertak and their latest release "Splid," please visit kvelertak.com.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Celebrate The New Year With New Live Music From Mrs. Henry As They Rock "The Casbah"

After tackling the massive task of recreating The Band's "The Last Waltz," jamband rockers Mrs. Henry are preparing to unleash a brand new live album "Live At The Casbah." It will be released on January 24th (almost exactly one year from the date of the performance) through the Blind Owl label. The band have chosen to release this show to celebrate the San Diego venue's 30th anniversary, which has played host to many rising bands like the Melvins, The White Stripes and The Alabama Shakes.

Mrs. Henry's five-song set showcases this quartet's amazing instrumental skills, as they push the melody of every song to it's edge, beginning with the nine-minute epic "All I Can Do." Mrs. Henry pick up the energy with the punk-like fury of "Peace," before delivering the mellow, burning blues of "Lovin' You, Baby." They close out their nearly 40-minute release with the soulful, classic rock appeal of "The River," which puts an exclamation point on this stellar live performance. To find out more about Mrs. Henry and their new release "Live At The Casbah," please visit mrshenry.com.

Monday, December 23, 2019

New Compilation Collects Sly Stone's Early Work With The Doo-Wop/Gospel Group, The Viscaynes

Before Sly Stone became a household name with his group The Family Stone and hit mega-stardom with the singles "Dance To The Music," "Everyday People" and "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)," he was a doo-wop and gospel singer. The Strictly Limited Edition Vinyl Record Company recently released a limited-edition blue, 180-gram audiophile vinyl collection of nineteen songs of Sly Stone performing with The Viscaynes. The new set title "Sly Before The Family Stone" features Sly's earliest work, prior to forming The Family Stone in 1966.

The set kicks off with gentle, R&B flow of "Honest," and a live cover version of "Searchin'," which has great energy and power as Sly works his magic on the crowd. The energy continues to flow through the swinging rhythm of "Ain't That Lovin' You Babe" and "Every Dog Has Its Day." Sly gets his swagger working on the funky beats of "Nerves," while the wonderful horns and swift  melody of "I Can't Turn You Loose" is pure early sixties pop magic. After The Viscaynes' sweet instrumental works "Watermelon Man" and "Rock Dirge," they finish off this new release with the rising emotions of "Life Of Fortune And Fame," which feels like the perfect segue to forming Sly And The Family Stone. To find out more about "Sly Before The Family Stone," please visit diggersfactory.com.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Two New Documentaries That Helped Explain The History Rock Music & The Birth Of Heavy Metal

Earlier this month Cleopatra Entertainment released two new documentaries centered around the history of rock music. The first new video titled "Come On Feel The Noize: The Story Of How Rock Became Metal" features interviews some of the biggest artists and bands in the hard rock/heavy metal community. The 90-minute film centers around some of Britain's biggest bands, like Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, who've had a helping hand in the creation of what would become heavy metal music. The film features interviews with Jimmy Page, Ozzy Osbourne, James Hetfield, Dee Snider, Scott Ian and many, many more, as they guide you through their influences. The documentary centers around many of the rock bands that performed on the British television show "The Old Grey Whistle Test" and Germany's "Musik Laden" show. It features tons of great archival footage, as the film moves from early hard rock to the formation of punk to what became thrash metal and theatrical metal music. While most of the documentary follows the formation of metal through the eyes of the British, "Come On Feel The Noize" does touch upon America's impact with certain bands, and how conquering the American crowds meant success for certain bands. To find out more about "Come On Feel The Noize: The Story Of How Rock Became Metal," please visit mvdb2b.com.


Another new documentary about the history of rock and roll centers around the rise and fall of the British music newspaper, the Melody Maker and its impact on making or breaking the success of many up-n-coming bands. The new video titled "Melody Makers: The Bible Of Rock 'n' Roll" revolves around the paper's amazing, "priceless" photos and the ability to be on top of what was happening in the world of music throughout the sixties and seventies. Photographer Barrie Wentzell is the heart of this documentary, as he explains his approach to capturing some of the most iconic images in the history of rock music. Artists Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) and Eric Burdon (The Animals) are also interviewed as to what the "Melody Maker" newspaper meant to them as musicians and as fans. Some of the inside stories about touring with Led Zeppelin or Keith Moon's antics are told with such love, as these memories may live on forever in the pages of the "Melody Maker." To find out more about this new film "Melody Makers: The Bible Of Rock 'n' Roll," please visit mvdb2b.com,

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Paul Kelly Collects Over 40 Songs For New Greatest Hits Compilation

One of Australia's greatest songwriters, Paul Kelly, will have his first career-spanning release titled "Songs From The South 1985-2019." It will be released on January 10th on CD (43 tracks) and as a double LP (26 tracks) through the Gawd Aggie/Cooking Vinyl label. The set begins with the acoustic folk strumming of "From St. Kilda To Kings Cross," before quickly kicking the tempo up with the pop rock of "Before Too Long" and the grungier, rawness of "Darling It Hurts." The addictive swinging rhythm of "To Her Door" and wonderfully thought-provoking lyrics of "From Little Thing Big Things Grow," showcases the diversity in Paul Kelly's songwriting that has given him a career that has lasted over three decades.

The nearly eight-minute story of "Bradman" is a classic tale, while "Nothing On My Mind" is pure hard rock fun that also fits in perfectly into Kelly's repertoire. He soothes your worries away with songs like "You Lovin' Is On My Mind" and the graceful ballad "You're 39 You're Beautiful And You're Mine." The set closes with Paul Kelly collaborating with Dan Sultan on the alt-pop vibe of "Every Day My Mother's Voice" and with Kasey Chambers on the previously unreleased track "When We're Both Old & Mad," as she compliments Kelly's vocals perfectly. To find out more about Paul Kelly's new compilation "Songs From The South 1985-2019," please visit paulkelly.com.au.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Dave Kerzner Covers 24 Years Of Music With New "Breakdown" Compilation

Progressive rock artist Dave Kerzner recently released a career retrospective titled "Breakdown: A Compilation 1995-2019." It contains almost two hours of music that Kerzner has created for one of his two studio albums, as well as gathering songs from some of his live releases to deliver an overview of his amazing talents. Along with songs that have been previously released on his albums, are alternate versions of "Ocean Of Stars," "My Old Friend" and "Into The Sun," which gives these songs a more meaningful perspective. Some of the more special tracks on this new compilation are the epic live songs like the nearly eight-minute, Pink Floydian-sounding "The Truth Behind" and "New World," with special guest Francis Dunnery on vocals.

This set also includes some previously unreleased tracks, like "Breakdown," an outtake from his solo album "Static" and "Only Breathing Out," which was originally written and recorded for his early band, Sound Of Contact. Dave Kerzner also included his collaborations with prog-rock giants like Steve Hackett (Genesis) on the progressive melody of "Crash Landing" and Jon Davidson (YES) on the electronic wizardry of "All That Is." The set closes with a couple more live tracks, the intense delivery of "Omega Point" and the more flowing soundscape of "Not Coming Down." To find out more about Dave Kerzner and his latest release "Breakdown: A Compilation 1992-2019," please visit davekerzner.com

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Mark Hummel Jumps On To The "Wayback Machine" & Robert Connely Farr Delivers Some "Dirty South Blues"

Grammy-nominated artist Mark Hummel will be releasing his new studio album "Wayback Machine" on January 17th. The Harp Ace incorporated a stellar cast of musicians to help him out on his new sixteen-song release that has the artist adding his own touch to some Chicago blues classics. The set kicks off with the swinging rhythm of "Flim Flam," before diving head first into the thick blues of "Hello Stranger" and "So Much Trouble." Hummel throws in one of his originals, the nostalgic, "juke joint" style of "Road Dog," which fits perfectly next to the boogie-woogie piano of "Play With Your Poodle." Mark Hummel and his band, The Deep Basement Shakers keeps the energy flowing through "Rag Mama Rag," before Mississippi blues guitarist/singer Joe Beard takes over and adds his amazing style and swagger to "Five Long Years," "Say You Will" and "Mean Old Frisco." To find out more about Mark Hummel and his latest release "Wayback Machine," please visit markhummel.com

Speaking of the blues, the latest release from singer/songwriter Robert Connely Farr needs to be on your must hear list for 2019. His new album titled "Dirty South Blues" features ten tracks soaked in swampy, southern blues that deliver a certain swagger that gives his music an authentic vibe. Farr begins his new release with the stomp rhythm, rolling keys and truthful vocals of "Ode To The Lonesome," followed by the sweet slide guitar of the title song "Dirty South Blues." Robert Connely Farr takes his time, with the help of his backing band, The Rebeltone Boys, on the slow, backporch jam of "Blue Front Cafe." Farr also pays tribute to some of his idols with covers of Skip James' "Hard Time Killin' Floor Blues" and Jimmy "Duck" Holmes' "Just Jive." He wraps up his new album with the  southern strut of "Cypress Tree Blues" and the slow burn of "Hey Mr. Devil." To find out more about Robert Connely Farr & The Rebeltone Boys, along with their latest release "Dirty South Blues," please visit robertconnelyfarr.com.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Chantel McGregor Gets "Bury's Alive" & Kailey Nicole Takes Another Step With Her New EP

British blues/rock guitarist Chantel McGregor recently released her first official live album titled "Bury'd Alive." It was recorded at The Apex in Bury St. Edmunds, U.K. back in March of this year and features eleven tracks that give you a glimpse into Chantel's live show. The set begins with a blistering rendition of her song "Take The Power," followed by the even more intense, rock assault of "Killing Time." She takes her foot off the pedal for a moment to display her softer side, with the mellow blues of "Like No Other" and "Eternal Dream," before blowing you back into your seat on the hard rock strut of "Lost Control." After the twelve-minute blues of "Inconsolable," Chantel McGregor and her band finish off the night with electrifying build-up of "April," as you truly are amazed by her guitar playing along with the sonic blast of the closer "Freefalling." To find out more about Chantel McGregor and her new live album "Bury'd Alive," please visit chantelmcgregor.com

Country-rock artist Kailey Nicole is preparing to release her new self-titled, six-song EP on January 24th. Following the release of her album "Nashville Stick-up," Kailey took some time off to study music at the University of Southern California, before returning with a bold new album. She kicks things off with the stomp and swagger of "Brand New Day," which was originally intended for Kenny Chesney, but fit Kailey's southern style perfectly. She quickens the pace with the single "Diamonds And Coal," which carries a nostalgic, Tex-Mex vibe, before pouring her heart into the country ballad "Save Me For A Rainy Day." Kailey Nicole closes out her new album with the swift pace of the revenge-fueled "Tennessee" and the wonderful, radio-crafted gem "Country Love Song." To find out more about Kailey Nicole and her latest self-titled EP, please visit kaileynicole.com

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

French Composer JJ Chardeau Begs The Question "In Terra Cognita?" With His Latest Release

French musician and composer JJ Chardeau recently released his latest rock opera titled "In Terra Cognita? The Music Of The Rock Opera - Magical Music Man." The album includes a load of special guests from some of the biggest bands in the industry like The Rolling Stones, Jethro Tull, Chicago, Santana and the Doobie Brothers among others. The center of the story is about the Magical Music Man crash landing on Earth which is inhabited by Degenerates.

The new fifteen-song set begins with wonderful harmonies of the opening track "Evolution (MMM Overture)," which leads into the eight-minute all-out rock assault "Dream In Moscow." JJ Chardeau helps you travel the world with the exotic sounds of "Black Taj Mahal" and "Frisson Nippon," while elevating the energy with the French-sung "Les larmes du Pacifique." The swinging island vibe of "Pablo Tequila" and progressive rock of "Tchad" showcase the diversity in JJ Chardeau's songwriting, before closing with the rhythm-fueled swing of "The End (MMM Final)." To find out more about JJ Chardeau and his latest release " In Terra Cognita? The Music Of The Rock Opera - Magical Music Man," please visit cherryred.co.uk

Monday, December 16, 2019

Dive Deeper Into Frank Zappa's "Hot Rats" Album With New 6-Disc Box Set

Arriving December 20th is the latest release from the Frank Zappa vault, "The Hot Rats Sessions." This release co-insides with the album's 50th anniversary, which was originally released in October of 1969 and was Zappa's first album after dissolving his former band, the Mothers Of Invention. This new six-disc box set contains everything you could want from the recording sessions, as you can follow the songs from their conception to near completion.

This first disc of the set finds Frank working with pianist Ian Underwood on the melody for "Peaches en Regalia," before Zappa conducts the rest of the band through the early stages of the song. The ten minute "Peaches En Regalia (Section 1, In Session)" is a great starting point, with Frank finding the right sound for the song, as they perform different segments of this instrumental. Equally as great on the first disc is the two-part "Peaches Jam - Part 1 & 2," which just allows the band to let loose and explore the studio during these recording sessions.

You will also find hidden gems of songs that were first conceived during these sessions like "Arabesque," "Dame Margret's Son To Be A Bride," "Natasha" and "Bognor Regis." Disc two finds Frank working with Ian Underwood once again on the beginning stages of "It Must Be A Camel," but the highlight of this disc has to be the unedited 15-minute version of "Willie The Pimp." The band comes together magically on the delivery of this song, which is also one of the highlights of the original album and the only song that featured vocals from Captain Beefheart.

The first half of disc three features the rehearsals of many of the different sections to the jazzy piano medley of "Transition." Also included on this disc are the unedited master versions of the bluesy "Directly From My Heart To You" and the complete twenty-eight minute jam of "Another Watlz." Portions of both of these songs would show up again on future Frank Zappa albums.

During the second half of this new box set is where we begin to see the master takes and full versions of the songs "Son Of Mr. Green Genes" and "Arabesque." The epic, 32-minute "Big Legs" unedited master take finds the band feeling their way through the song, as they quickly lock into a jazz fusion jamming groove that just continues to climb with excitement and held together by the rhythm section of Max Bennett on bass and Paul Humphrey on drums.

Discs five and six is where the 1987 digital remix of the album resides, which was overseen by Frank Zappa. Also included are many radio adverts for the "Hot Rats" album and single mixes of "Peaches En Regalia" and "Little Umbrellas," which are noticeable different than their album versions. The set closes with a trip back to 1969 with some original mixes of album outtakes like "Dane Margret's Son To Be A Bride" and "Bognor Regis."

This set also includes new essays by Matt Groening (The Simpsons), Andrew Nathanson and Joe Travers, along with never before published photos of Frank in the studio and outtakes of the classic cover shoot. In celebration of the "Hot Rats" album's 50th anniversary, Zappa Records is releasing a translucent hot pink vinyl edition of the album. To find out more about the newly released "The Hot Rats Sessions" 6-CD box set, please visit zappa.com.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Drummer Bill Bruford Expands Upon Earthworks "Heavenly Bodies" Compilation

Former Yes and King Crimson drummer Bill Bruford recently released an expanded version of his 1997 Earthworks' compilation "Heavenly Bodies." Bruford describes it as "the ideal beginners guide for newcomers to the band." Earlier this year, Bruford's Earthworks band released the 24-disc box set that feature the band's complete discography (Review: jpsmusicblog.com) and now he delivers a condensed "best of" set, "Heavenly Bodies - The Expanded Collection." It features 23 tracks that gives a complete overview of the band's twenty year history.

This new set was hand-picked by Bill Bruford, as he tries to showcase the band's jazzy side with tracks like "Making A Song And Dance," "Nerve" and "No Truce With The Furies," while the band always looked to push the boundaries of the genre. This new compilation also displays Earthworks more emotional side with the gentle flow of "It Needn't End In Tears" and "Dewey Eyed And Dancing," while the controlled frenzy of "Bridge Of Inhibition" allows the band to let loose and explore. Bruford also liked to make sure the drums were also one of the featured instruments, as he leads the way in songs like "Thud" and "Blues For Little Joe." To find out even more about this new double-disc compilation of Earthworks' "Heavenly Bodies," please visit cherryred.co.uk.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Celebrate The 50th Anniversary Of The King Crimson Masterpiece "In The Court Of The Crimson King"

Back in 1969, an English rock band would create an album that would change the face of rock music forever. That band is King Crimson and the album they released back in October of 1969 was "In The Court Of The Crimson King." While this album may not be as well known as The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" or The Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds," "In The Court Of The Crimson King" was a huge inspiration for artists looking to break the mold of what was being projected of how rock music should be. In celebration of the album's 50th anniversary, King Crimson released a new 3 CD/Blu-ray edition of the album that includes a brand new 2019 mix of the album, along with outtakes and original mixes of the album.

The first disc features the new 2019 stereo mix of the album, which sounds stunning. You can hear every instrument, without one instrument overpowering the other, which allows the strings and flute to flow fluidly through songs like "I Talk To The Wind" and "Moonchild." The masterpiece recording of "The Court Of The Crimson King" is fully appreciated, allowing you to take in everything that King Crimson poured into their performance of this song. The disc closes out with new instrumental mixes of the songs, which allows you to simply get lost in the music, especially during "Epitaph."

The second disc is where most of the outtakes and studio session work resides, including an early raw take of the monumental opener "21st Century Schizoid Man." Alternate takes of the songs "I Talk To The Wind" and "Epitaph" display subtle hints, as you will enjoy pointing out the differences that you may come across. Another great addition is hearing an early take of "In The Court Of The Crimson King," which lacks the punch of the final version, but still showcases the grace and beauty of the music.

Disc three of this set features the album's original 1969 mix, along with the mono, single version of the title song that is broken up in two parts. All the songs in this set sound great and definitely improves upon the 40th anniversary edition of this album. The Blu-ray disc includes everything that is on the 3 CDs, along with video fragments of King Crimson performing at Hyde Park in 1969. Plus, there is also a new double-vinyl edition of this release which includes the new 2019 mix of the album, along with many of the studio outtakes and rarities that were remastered for this new release. To find out more about the new 50th anniversary edition of the iconic King Crimson "In The Court Of The Crimson King" album, please visit schizoidshop.com.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Pink Floyd Releases New Massive Box Set Of "The Later Years" On CD, DVD & Blu-ray

Just three years ago, Pink Floyd dug into their vault to release the massive 33-disc box set titled "The Early Years 1965-1972." It extensively covered that first period of the history of the classic rock icons Pink Floyd with tons of previously unreleased and remastered material. Now, fast forward to December 13, 2019 and Legacy Recordings, along with Pink Floyd Records, return once again to delivery a new 18-disc box set titled "The Later Years," which covers the band's period between 1987-2019. This set centers around the band's existence without co-founder Roger Waters and centers around remaining members guitarist/singer David Gilmour, drummer Nick Mason and singer/keyboardist Rick Wright.

Let's begin with the audio segment of this new box set, which features five (1 studio & 4 live) CDs worth of music. The one lone studio CD included in this set features a newly remixed and updated version of Pink Floyd's 1987 album "A Momentary Lapse Of Reason." This new edition restores all the contributions of keyboardist Rick Wright and includes new contributions by drummer Nick Mason, in order to balance the creative input by the three members of Pink Floyd. You will notice the subtle differences in songs like "The Dogs Of War," "One Slip" and "Terminal Frost," as a cleaner sound is heard throughout the album. The balance of power is felt in the album closer "Sorrow," as Gilmour's guitar work is fully supported by the pounding rhythm of Nick Mason and atmospheric elegance of Rick Wright's stellar keyboards.

The other four CDs feature Pink Floyd live with a newly remixed and restored version of the concert classic release "Delicate Sound Of Thunder." This set takes the original fifteen-song release and reinstates the songs that were also recorded, but were left off the album. The new 23-song release of this live album sounds amazing and features some of the best live performances by the band, as they toured to support the "A Momentary Lapse Of Reason" album by performing every song on the album.

Another full show included in this set is Pink Floyd's appearance at Knebworth in 1990. They performed a seven-song set, which featured a condensed version of their two-hour plus concert. The treasure to many fans will be fourth CD in the set which includes a handful of rare live recordings from 1987 and 1994, along with unreleased studio recordings from "The Division Bell" sessions. This disc also includes my personal favorite version of "On The Turning Away (Live, Atlanta 1987)," which features a gospel-like harmony chorus that gets overtaken by some of David Gilmour's best live guitar work. These five live recordings have been included as B-sides to many singles from this era of the band. The additional seven tracks hat are included on this disc are from "The Division Bell" sessions. This set of mostly instrumental songs seem to bridge the gap between the rock album, "The Division Bell" and the ambient, mostly instrumental follow-up, "The Endless River." The songs represented the transition that Pink Floyd displayed at the time, where the music was what mattered and there was no need for lyrics.

The second half of "The Later Years" box set is where the visual content lies on DVD and Blu-ray. What may seem like a redundancy, by including the new "A Momentary Lapse Of Reason" album is actually a new 2019 remix of the album in 5.1 surround sound. Also included is the 2014 remix of of "The Division Bell" album presented in 5.1 surround sound, along with the seven previously unreleased studio sessions, mixed in 5.1 surround sound.

This set also includes four filmed concerts, "Delicate Sound Of Thunder" (restored and remixed for Blu-ray), "Pulse" (restored and re-edited in dts Master audio 5.1 surround sound), the 1989 Venice Concert and the 1990 Knebworth Concert. All of the short concert films that were created for the "A Momentary Lapse Of Reason" concerts and "The Division Bell" concerts are also included in this set, as well as tour rehearsals from 1994. A 5.1 dts Surround Sound version of "The Endless River" (which was released in 2014 on Blu-ray) is featureed in this set, along with loads of footage of the band promoting their releases between 1987-2014. 

This new "Later Years" box set should keep fans busy dissecting every phase of the band during these last thirty years. All of the film footage has been cleaned-up and presented in its best form possible and with the best sound possible that will certainly give your speakers a work out. If this massive 18-disc box set is too much for you to behold, there is also a condensed single CD version featuring some of the highlights from this box set, which is also available as a double-vinyl set. To find even more about the new Pink Floyd "The Later Years" box set, please visit thelateryears.pinkfloyd.com

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Spread Some Holiday Cheer With These New Christmas Themed Releases

Arriving just in time for Christmas is the newly released "Prog Rock Christmas" compilation, featuring a mix of classic versions and new renditions of some holiday themed songs. We begin with Yes vocalist Jon Davison singing lead on the Chris Squire original "Run With The Fox," which is the perfect way to start off this thirteen-song set. Guitarist Steve Morse puts his skills on display for a rocking version of "Carol Of The Bells," while Billy Sherwood and Patrick Moraz team up for the Paul McCartney Christmas classic "Wonderful Christmastime." One of the highlights of this new compilation is the duet of "Fairytale Of New York" by Leslie Hunt & Robin McAuley, who sing perfect together. Another highlight is actor Malcolm McDowell getting into character with his performance of "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch." This new "Prog Rock Christmas" album wraps up with Nik Turner and Simon House delivering a spaced-out version of "Silent Night," along with the late-John Wetton pouring all his emotions into "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)." To find out more about this new Christmas compilation, please visit cleorecs.com

Next is jazz guitarist Dave Stryker's recently released holiday album titled "Eight Track Christmas." Stryker and his Eight Track Band cover ten holiday favorites on this new release through Strikezone Records. The album begins with the swinging groove of "This Christmas," followed-by the equally enticing jazzed-up version of the Christmas ballad "What Child Is This?." Dave Stryker and the Eight Track Band slow down for the wonderful warming mellow tones of John Lennon's "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)," before picking the energy back up with the strut and swagger of "Soulful Frosty," a mash-up of the songs "Soulful Strut" and Frosty The Snowman." The album finishes with the soulful, blues-infused rendition of "Blue Christmas" and a swinging closer "O Tannenbaum," featuring a guest appearance by Steve Nelson on the vibraphone. To find out more about Dave Stryker and his new holiday album "Eight Track Christmas," please visit davestryker.bandcamp.com

Punk Rock Christmas returns with their second volume of holiday favorites performed by some of today's biggest independent punk bands. The new 26-track release follows on the heels of the successful 2015 release and is sure to get you in a festive mood. The set kicks off with the energetic blast of Tsunami Bomb's version of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town," while The Rumjacks bring you Christmastime in Ireland with the Celtic punk sing-along of "Christmas In Killarney." Pulley adds a pulse to "O Holy Night" with their classic, raw punk sound and The Queers give us a good ol' "Ramones Christmas." There are also the non-traditional tracks like The Vibrators' "Santa Had To Go Into Rehab" and "Who Put The Gum In Santa's Whiskers" by Ship Theives. This new compilation is a nice escape from the same Christmas classics you hear every year, as Walter Etc. turns "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" into this groovy, surf-style version. The new "Punk Rock Christmas 2" closes out with the sonic blast of energy added by Chief State to "All I Want For Christmas" and a live version of Johnny Thunders performing a loose, bluesy rendition of "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer." This release is available in stocking stuffer-sized CD and in under the tree red-colored vinyl. To find out more about the new "Punk Rock Christmas 2" compilation, please visit cleorecs.com

Just in time for Christmas, we get the new holiday-themed single "I Think About You" from country music artist Patsy Thompson. This is the first release from her new album "Fabulous Day," that is arriving in February 2020. This Canadian-born singer/songwriter has planted her roots in Texas with the new, nostalgic-sounding single, that centers around the subject of not being with the one you love on Christmas. On the flip side of her new single, we get the slow waltz of "Dreamin'," which showcases Patsy's early influences on this heartfelt ballad. To find out more about Patsy Thompson and her new music, please visit patsythompsonmusic.com

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Ease Into New Releases From The Folk Band String Machine and Guitarist Steve Eulberg

As a new year quickly approaches, so does a new opportunity for String Machine, as they recently signed on to the Know Hope Records roster. The label will reissue the band latest studio album "Death Of The Neon," which was originally self-released back in August. The album's nine-song release begins with the strum of  acoustics, which flows in the soaring melody of "Engine/It's Time." String Machine keep things simple on the Americana sound of "Old Mack," while the beauty of "Rattle On The Spoke" is simply magical and your ears will thank you for it. They experiment with their sound, switching tempos, on the nearly six-minute title song "Death Of The Neon," before finishing off their album the folk-rock of "Pit Of The Peach" and the quiet flowing chorus of "Comforts." To find out more about String Machine and the new reissue of "Death Of The Neon," please visit facebook.com/stringmachinemusic


Guitarist Steve Eulberg recently released a new album of all instrumental songs titled "Between The Tracks." The new thirteen-song set features a relaxed setting as Steve and his guitar soothe your worries away. The beautiful finger-picking of "Habits" and the gentle flow of "For Emily" will simply put your mind at ease as you listen to his comforting guitar playing. The title-song "Between The Tracks" carries a classic, nostalgic country vibe, while "Charlie's Wrinkle" has an island melody that sways just enough to feel the groove. Steve becomes more playful with "The Guitar Twiddle" and "Traded My Thyroid In," before closing out his new album with the wonderful classical guitar play of "Guitar Etude No. 3" and the folk strumming of "Walking Down The Trail." To find out more about Steve Eulberg and his latest release "Between The Tracks," please visit steveeulberg.com

Monday, December 9, 2019

New Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Releases From Clint Lowery, Drev, The Alchemy and Downpresser

Singer, songwriter, guitarist and co-founder of Sevendust, Clint Lowery is preparing to release his debut solo album next month. The new ten-track release titled "God Bless The Renegades" features Lowery's signature guitar sound and vocals, as he allows the songs to breathe and flow from his experiences and inspirations. He kicks off the album with the chugging rhythm of the title-song "God Bless The Renegades," as Lowery incorporates the help of Wolfgang Van Halen. The album's lead single "Kings" is carried by the song's pounding rhythm, while maintaining it's hard rock edge, while "You Go First" has a pop/rock glaze on it, which is built for mainstream rock radio. Clint Lowery closes out his new album with the arena-sized, sing-along anthem "Silver Lining" and the emotional break-through of "Do We Fear God." To find out more about Clint Lowery and his new solo album "God Bless The Renegades," please visit facebook.com/clintlowerynet


On November 15th, Labile Records released the sophomore effort, "Hollow Loss" from Drev, the musical outlet from Boston artist Jess Hewitt. The new nine-song release combines the hardcore aggressive nature of heavy metal with the perfectly timed rhythms of industrial music to make a new landscape in sound. Drev begins with the clash of drums and buzzing electronics of "Welcome Back" and the dark, industrial rock clash of "Crossover." The rhythmic pattern of "Drifting" lays the groundwork for the song's more accessible electronic rock sound. Drev wraps up his new album with the energetic sonic build-up of "Catch" and the simpler, subtle, mainstream flow of "Carefree." To find out more about Drev and his latest release "Hollow Loss," please visit drevmusic.bandcamp.com


British rock band, The Alchemy recently released their full-length debut album, "Chemical Daydream" back on November 8th. The new ten-song release kicks off with the powerfully, aggressive nature of "Diamond Bones," which will shake your speakers. The Alchemy craft the perfect arena rocker with "Take Me Alive," while "Gateway Drug" contains all the elements of mainstream, modern rock success. They slow things down with the atmospheric flow of "Intertwined" and the burning emotions of "Give Me The Sky," before closing their new album with the passionate electronic rock approach of "Chemical Daydream." To find out more about The Alchemy and their new album "Chemical Daydream," please visit the band's Facebook page at facebook.com/thealchemyuk


Before the end of the year closes out the decade, we get the latest release from the hardcore metal band, Downpresser. Their new album titled "The Long Goodbye" is the perfect send off for this decade of chaos. They kick the door down with the aggressive attack of the title-track "The Long Goodbye," as pounding rhythms and screaming vocals will get your adrenaline pumping. The energy of these songs just keep hitting you with their titanic waves of sound, as in "Death Instinct" and "Two Stood Last (See You Around)." Downpresser turn it up a notch with the swift, hard-hitting "Right To Profit," before finishing their new album with hardcore rhythmic attack of "Crisis Of Faith" and the heavy metal bashing of "Endgame." To find out more about Downpresser and their latest release "The Long Goodbye," please visit facebook.com/downpresser

Sunday, December 8, 2019

The Niro Team Up With Gary Lucas and Bernie Mora Works Again With Tangent On New Releases

Italian rock band, The Niro recently release their new album "The Complete Jeff Buckley & Gary Lucas Songbook." The Niro were inspired to dive into the early nineties collaboration between the two artists, as Buckley and Lucas wrote about a dozen songs together to be featured on the next Gods And Monsters' album (Gary Lucas' band). Now, fast forward to 2019 and Gary Lucas has teamed up with The Niro to record all of the songs written during that session with Jeff Buckley. The new twelve-song set begins with the nearly ten-minute, high energy rocker "No One Music Find Your Here," highlighted by the amazing guitar work of Gary Lucas. The music takes on a more Americana/Folk-Rock approach with "Story Without Words," while "Distortion" is a full-on, alternative/grunge rock assault. The mellow flow of "Mojo Pin" (one of only two songs that Buckley recorded for his "Grace" album) showcases The Niro's softer side, along with the acoustic strumming of "She Is Free." The set closes with Gary Lucas taking the lead on the rockabilly/punk-like fury of "Malign Fiesta (No Soul)" and the beautiful touch of "Grace." To find out more about The Niro and their collaboration with Gary Lucas on "The Complete Jeff Buckley & Gary Lucas Songbook," please visit facebook.com/theniroofficial

Back in October, the Rhombus Records label released a stellar collaboration between guitarist Bernie Mora and the jazz-fusion band Tangent. The new album titled "No Agenda" features nine amazing tracks that blends together the musical worlds of jazz, funk and rock. The band kick things off with the up-tempo, give-and-take of "Mon Cheri," as sort of an introduction as to what this team-up has to offer. Mora and Tangent continue with the much more intense, high-energy rock delivery of "Commando Roll," before the funky breaks of "Later Daze" will make you want to get up and shake your hips. Bernie Mora's long-time drummer, Doc Anthony passed away during the recording of this album, and as a tribute, the song "Doc The Clock" features some of the last work of the late-musician. Mora and Tangent wrap up their new collaboration with the swift, progressive rock pace of "Cup A Joe" and the beautiful, relaxing island vibe of "It's A Honu World." To find out more about Bernie Mora and Tangent's new release "No Agenda," please visit facebook.com/tangentdandelion