Tuesday, March 31, 2020

New Pulse-Pounding Metal/Punk Music From Lovebites, Trivium, Armored Dawn and Franck Racket

Japanese, all-female heavy metal band Lovebites has been heralded as the "Best New Band" at the 2018 Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards show and their much anticipated new album "Electric Pentagram" will be released on April 24th. The new twelve track release comes bursting right from the start with the intense, head-banging speed of "Thunder Vengeance" and "Holy War." Their voices are just mind-blowing, as they balance the intense heavy metal attack perfectly in songs like "Raise Some Hell" and "Today Is The Day." Their sound takes a progressive metal turn with the more melodic feel of "A Frozen Serenade." The album's lead single "Signs Of Deliverance" is a sonic blast of adrenaline, as the music just comes pouring through your speakers. Lovebites finish their new album with more of the high-powered attack of "Set The World On Fire" and the pounding rhythm of "Swan Song." To find out more about Lovebites and their latest release "Electric Pentagram," please visit facebook.com/LovebitesTheBand

Another highly anticipated release arriving soon, comes from heavy metal rockers Trivium. Their new album titled "What The Dead Men Say" is Trivium's ninth studio release and features ten tracks, beginning with the hypnotic opening melody of "IX," followed by the extreme thrash metal pace of the title-song "What The Dead Men Say." They keep the energy flowing through the intense, six-minute arena shaker "Catastrophe" and the deep, dark bass groove and explosive chorus of "Bleed Into Me." The shear speed of "Sickness Unto You" will make your neck snap, while "Scattering The Ashes" is pure metal radio gold with its addictive melody. Trivium close out their new album with the sonic blast of screams for "Bending The Arc To Fear" and the adrenaline pumping "The Ones We Leave Behind." To find out more about Trivium and their latest release "What Dead Men Say," please visit trivium.org. 

Brazilian Viking metal band, Armored Dawn recently released a new deluxe version of their album "Viking Zombie" back on March 20th through The Orchard/Sony label. It features fourteen tracks (11 original album tracks and 3 new songs) that will make you stand up and take notice of this heavy metal band. The song "Ragnarok" appears twice on this new deluxe release of the album, first as the original head-banging rocker and again later on as an unplugged version. Both appear great in their own way and display the stellar songwriting within the band. Another track that appears twice is "Animal Uncaged." This pounding track is amazing and even more intense on the live version that closes out this new release. The one other new track included on this new deluxe edition of the "Viking Zombie" album is "Skydiver Of The Light." It is filled with chugging guitar riffs, a motoring rhythm and growling vocals that make this one epic Viking metal piece of music. To find out more about Armored Dawn and their deluxe release of the "Viking Zombie" album, please visit facebook.com/ArmoredDawn

Finally, from France comes the latest release from the garage punk duo Franck Racket. Their new album "Screaming Skull" features ten tracks that are a raw blast of energy, beginning with the grunge-rock delivery of "Lost And Found" and the swift pace of "Artificial Intelligence." The duo bring a nostalgic, early-era punk sound to songs like "Fight Back" and "Tuff Luv," while also looking to knock you back in your chair with the shear-power of "Sick Sad World" and "Plastic Souls." To find out more about Franck Racket and their latest release "Screaming Skull," please visit franckracket.com

Monday, March 30, 2020

Traditional Irish Band Clannad Celebrate 50 Years With New "In A Lifetime" Box Set Release

Celtic, folk-rock band Clannad are celebrating 50 years with a new career spanning anthology due April 3rd from BMG. The new release titled "In A Lifetime" features five discs of music covering all sixteen of the studio album that the band has released over the course of five decades. Clannad are also planning on a U.S. and Canadian tour this fall to support this new release.

The set begins with the traditional Irish folk sounds of "Thíos Cois Na Trá Domh" and "An Mhaighdean Mhara" from their self-titled debut album. Most of the early tracks of this 86-song set is sung in the band's native Irish Gaelic language, but there are the occasional English sung songs, like the wonderful folk melody of "Two Sisters" and the beautiful ballad "The Last Rose Of Summer." Clannad became more well-known worldwide when they recorded the "Theme From Harry's Game" for the three-part TV drama, which also appeared on the band's 1983 album, "Magical Ring."

The following year, Clannad won a BAFTA award for the music they created for their soundtrack to the television series "Legend." Four of the tracks from that album appear on this new anthology, "Robin (The Hooded Man)," "Heme," "Together We" and "Lady Marian." At this time in their career, Clannad's sound also absorbed the electronic music of the 80's. The title song for this set "In A Lifetime" comes from a song on the band's 1985 album "Macalla," which was a duet with U2's Bono giving their music a much more pop sound. This song also opened the door for other guest musicians (Bruce Hornsby, Steve Perry, J.D. Souther, Paul Young) to be featured on songs like "Second Nature," "White Fool" and "Something To Believe In."

In the nineties, Clannad would mix in some of their traditional Celtic music along with pop gems like "Why Worry" and "Mystery Game." They would be nominated twice for the Grammy Award for "Best New Age Album," before finally winning the award in 1999 for their album "Landmarks." The four studio discs of this set finish with the appropriate lush ballad "Who Knows (Where The Time Goes)." The fifth disc in this set is where we find the rarities, like the many remixes of songs like "I Will Find You" and "Crói Cróga." Also included is their holiday hymn "Christmas Angels" and a special, live, A capella version of "Gaothbearra."

This set will be available as a deluxe 5CD/3LP/7" single release with a hardcover book, poster and postcards. There is also a 2LP set pressed on smokey colored vinyl along with a 2CD set and a U.S. only exclusive single CD of their "greatest hits." To find out more about "In This Lifetime," the new anthology release from Clannad, please visit clannad.ie.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Joni Mitchell's "Shine" Album Gets New Vinyl Release Through Craft Recordings

Arriving April 3rd from Craft Recordings is the vinyl debut of Joni Mitchell's critically acclaimed 2007 album "Shine." Joni Mitchell may be best known for her popular songs "Big Yellow Taxi," "Woodstock" and "Coyote," along with her best-selling album "Blue." Her more recent album "Shine" was a return to music, after nearly a decade away. Mitchell was inspired by the Iraq war to write original compositions once again and critics have compared this album to some of her early work that focused on political and environmental issues.

The album kicked off with the mellow piano piece "On Week Last Summer," which ended up winning a Grammy award for Mitchell for "Best Pop Instrumental Performance." The beautiful acoustics of "This Place" and her updated version of "Big Yellow Taxi" have a warming feel on this new vinyl release, along with the lush ballad "If I Had A Heart." The beats of "Hana" will certainly give your speakers a workout along with the jazz groove of the album closer "If." As Mitchell's musical influences where coming from every angle, this new vinyl version will remind you of just how great she was at capturing all those amazing emotions into this one album. To find out more about this new vinyl release of Joni Mitchell's album "Shine," please visit craftrecordings.com .

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Celebrate The 50th Anniversary Of Jimi Hendrix "Band Of Gypsys" Album With New Vinyl Release

This past week celebrated the 50th anniversary of the release of Jimi Hendrix's live album "Band Of Gypsys." This was the final album released during Jimi Hendrix's lifetime and included six brand new tracks that have never before appeared on a Hendrix studio album. To celebrate this accomplishment, Capitol/UMe have teamed up to release a new 50th anniversary vinyl version of this landmark album.

This new 180-gram, Audiophile vinyl release includes the 2010 remaster of the "Band Of Gypsys" album, which was never released on LP in the U.S. It will be available on March 27th in standard black vinyl and as a special translucent cream, red, yellow and green swirled vinyl (available exclusively through authentichendrix.com). 

Late last year, Sony Legacy (in association with Experience Hendrix) released a new box set "Songs For Groovy Children" which was the most intense coverage of the famed Fillmore East concerts on New Year's Eve 1969 and New Year's Day 1970. These four shows would produce the tracks that eventually became the famous "Band Of Gypsys" album. This new vinyl release was mastered from the original analog stereo tapes by Eddie Kramer and sound amazing. The dead-quiet vinyl pressing allows for you to hear (and sometimes feel) every note from Hendrix's guitar, Billy Cox's bass or Buddy Miles' drums. The quiet parts of "Who Knows" are clear and pure, while the thunderous attack of "Machine Gun" will certainly rattle your speakers.

The funk/pop groove of "Changes" sounds fuller on this new vinyl edition, along with the sweet harmonies on "Message To Love" and energetic solo of "We Gotta Live Together." You will not be disappointed with the updated sound of this new remastered version. To find out more about this newly released, 50th anniversary vinyl edition of Jimi Hendrix's "Band Of Gypsys" album, please visit jimihendrix.com.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Brian Tarquin Invites Fellow Musicians To Help With His Latest Project, "Vegas Blue"

Back in October of 2017, Law Vegas, Nevada suffered a horrific event when a deranged gunman opened fire on a crowd of people attending a concert. These events have not been forgotten and Emmy-winning guitarist and producer Brian Tarquin has dedicated his latest release to helping the families of the victims of that mass shooting. Tarquin's new album is titled "Vegas Blue" and features eleven tracks that Brian felt the need to write to order to help cope with the pain from that evening. Brian Tarquin also invited some of his close friends to help with the music on this new release.

He begins with the dual blazing guitar attack of "Distant Light," which features the work of Steve Morse (Deep Purple) and Hal Lindes (Darling). Next, the band lock into the hard rock groove of "Lights Of Las Vegas" which deals head on with the tragedy with Phil Naro on vocals and Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (Guns 'N' Roses) on some stellar guitar. Bassist Trey Gunn (King Crimson) locks into the dark tones of "Demonic," before musician Tony Carey (Rainbow) lends a hand on the more upbeat, energetic instrumental "Evil In Men's Hearts." Phil Naro returns for the emotional ballad "Forgiveness" and Trey Gunn gives us a another spin with the intense rhythms of "Hallowed Ground." Brian Tarquin closes out his new album with the frantic, hard rock delivery of "Run For Cover" and a vocal version of the opening instrumental track "Distant Light," which certainly showcases the artists' passion for this project. To find out more about Brian Tarquin and his latest release "Vegas Blue," please visit bohemianproductions.net.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

April Brings New Heavy Metal Releases From Khôra, Dark Forest, Traveler, The Wizr'd, Road Warrior & Solicitor

First up is the debut full-length release from the Swedish extreme metal band Khôra. Their new album titled "Timaeous" features eleven tracks that showcase depth to their music, since beginning as a one-man project by the band's mainman Oleg. After going all-out with the intense attack of "Noceo," Khôra gives us a more melodic metal tone to songs like "I'Annihilateur" and "De Vetus Ad Novum." The band's thunderous pace quicken during sections of "Roe Too Noo (Flow Of The Mind)," as the growling vocals keep pace. Khora close out their new album with the aggressive vocals and pounding rhythm of "The Purge" along with the dark, mystical feel of the much more serine "Void." To find out more about Khôra and their latest release "Timaeous," please visit facebook.com/KHORA.Official.

Next, is the return of British metalers Dark Forest with their first set of new material in over four years "Oak, Ash & Thorn." It tells of England's storied past along nine, extreme/progressive heavy metal tracks, beginning with the high-powered sonic blast of "Wayfarer's Eve." Their sound get more aggressive with the chugging of guitars during "The Midnight Folk" and continues to build with the dramatic, surging melody of "Avalon Rising." The album's highlight is the epic, twelve-minute journey of the title-song "Oak, Ash & Thorn," which showcases the band's stellar musicianship. Dark Forest finish their new album with the explosive, energetic attack of "The Woodlander" and the grand, epic sounding instrumental "Heart Of The Rose." To find out more about Dark Forest and their latest release "Oak, Ash & Thorn," please visit facebook.com/Darkforestuk.

Next, we get the new eight-song release titled "Termination Shock" from the Canadian metal band, Traveler. This is the band's second album in two years, as they keep the energy rocking with the opener "Shaded Mirror," which has that classic heavy metal appeal. Traveler quicken up the pace with the more intense pace of the title-song "Termination Shock" and will simply blow you away with the prog-metal build-up of "Diary Of A Maiden." They slow down the pace for the more melodic opening of "After The Future, which explodes with shredding guitars and pounding drums, before closing their album with the high-powered attack of "Terra Exodus." To find out more about Traveler and their latest release "Termination Shock," please visit facebook.com/travelerheavymetal.

Australia's The Wizr'd returns with their fourth studio effort titled "Subterranean Exile." It features seven songs that remind you of the early days of heavy metal when bands sang about the occult to add an extra layer of fright to their music. The Wizr'd begin with the steady pace of the title song "Subterranean Exile," as you begin your journey to the dark side. The classic metal riffs of "Master Of The Night" and the praise of Lucifer during "Long Live The Dead" will certainly turn you into a fan and follower of the occult. The Wizr'd wrap up their new album with the energy of "Evil In My Heart" and the seven-minute doom metal pace of "Dark Fortress." To find out more about The Wizr'd and their latest release "Subterranean Exile," please visit facebook.com/arcanemetalmagick.

Also coming from Australia is the second album titled "Mach II" from the traditional heavy metal outfit Road Warrior." They kick off their new eight song release with the sonic blast of chugging guitars motoring through the opener "Tonight's The Nightmare," before taking the energy up another level with the high-powered attack of "Fox Devils Wild." Road Warrior deliver that classic metal sound with "Thunder n' Fighting," while "Wired" is an exciting, electrifying assault on your ears. Road Warrior finish their new album with the pounding rhythm of "The Diamond Forge" and the adventurous, guitar driven closer "Rest For The Wicked." To find out more about Road Warrior and their latest release "Mach II," please visit facebook.com/RoadWarrior1986.

Finally, we arrive at the upcoming April release from Solicitor titled "Spectral Devastation." It is the band's first full-length release and features eight high-powered blasts of aggressive power, beginning with the quick-hitting "Blood Revelations" and the neck-breaking attack of "Betrayer." Solicitor keep up the speed with the swift pace of "Leather Streets," which feels like an early thrash metal anthem. They continue to deliver a nostalgic tone to their heavy metal sound with "Night Vision," before wrapping up their new album with the energetic clash of "Spectres Of War" and the Judas Priest-sounding "Grip Of The Fist." To find out more about Solicitor and their latest release "Spectral Devastation," please visit facebook.com/solicitor.speedmetal.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

New Heavy Metal Music From Metal Blade Records Artists Master Boot Record, Igorrr and Riot

Metal Blade Records is looking to close out March with a trio of new releases, beginning with the latest full-length album from Master Boot Record titled "Floppy Disk Overdrive." The music on this new twelve-track release feels like the perfect soundtrack to a heavy metal video game for Atari 2600 or the Commodore 64. The album begins with the high-energy attack of "Ansi.sys" which has a chugging guitar riff, fueled by an eighties, electronic rhythm section. Then things get even more weird with the hardcore metal riffs of "edit.com," which just explodes into a quieter keyboard melody, before reaching the intensity of the heavy metal attack once again. The music seems to become even more grand with the extreme metal appeal of "Display.sys" and the eight-minute build-up of "Ramdrive.sys," which ends up reaching the perfect balance of keyboard frenzy and swift, solid pounding rhythms. Master Boot Record closes out the new album with the naturally progressive sounding "Diskcopy.com" and the nearly ten minute epic sonic blast of "Himem.sys." To find out more about Master Boot Record and the latest release "Floppy Disc Overdrive," please visit facebook.com/masterbootrecordmusic.

Next, is the latest release from the French heavy metal artist who goes by the name Igorrr. His new album "Spirituality and Distortion" features a sound that is unlike any else in heavy metal music right now. He kicks off his new fourteen-track release with the heavy pounding of "Downgrade Desert," which also incorporates elements of Middle Eastern flair, while "Nervous Waltz" clashes the world of thrash metal and classical music. The sonic, rhythm blast of "Very Noise" is crazy good and the death metal attack of "Parpaing" will simply blow out your eardrums. Igorrr speeds things into overdrive with "Musette Maximum," before taking a step back and slowing down for the progressive metal appeal of "Lost In Introspection." He cruises to the finish of his new album with the electronic, industrial metal collage of "Paranoid Bulldozer Italiano" and the collaboration between traditional French music and the heavy metal assault of "Kung-Fu Chevre." To find out more about Igorrr and his latest release "Spirituality and Distortion," please visit igorrr.com.

Last, but certainly not least we get a new compilation from the American classic hard rock act, Riot. Their new Metal Blade Records release features fifteen tracks titled "Rock World (Rare & Unreleased 87-95)." Some of the gems of this new release are alternate versions of songs like "Bloodstreets" and "Buried Alive (Tell Tale Heart)." Four songs on this new compilation feature former Riot lead singer Tony Moore singing lead on tracks like "Killer," which originally featured guest vocals Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow). The new set also includes never before released outtakes of the deep hard rock groove of "Good Lovin" and the early stages of a high-powered instrumental titled "Creep." The new Riot compilation closes with a pair of tracks ("Medicine Man" and "Magic Maker") that were recorded during the Tyrant sessions and eventual ended up on the band's 1993 "Nightbreaker" album. To find out more about "Rock World (Rare & Unreleased 87-95)" release from Riot, please visit metalblade.com/riot.

New Jazz Arriving From The Paul Shaw Quintet, J.C. Hopkins Biggish Band and Schapiro 17

Jazz drummer Paul Shaw is preparing his latest studio effort "Moment Of Clarity" for its March 27th release date. The new seven-track release is entirely written by Paul Shaw and performed by the Paul Shaw Quintet. The album begins with the perfect introduction piece "Heartland," which allows space for everyone to get in a solo. The swinging rhythm of "Shapeshifter" opens the door for an amazing trumpet solo from Alex Sipiagin, while "Song For Everyone" brings the energy tone down and allows pianist Gary Versace to take the lead. The nine-minute bluesy jazz appeal of "Peekaboo" will certainly find its way into your musical heart with its undeniable melody. The Paul Shaw Quintet finish off the album with the wildly exciting jazz romp of "Showdown," as everyone gets in one last solo to showcase their stellar skills. To find out more about the Paul Shaw Quintet and their latest release "Moment Of Clarity," please visit summitrecords.com.

Next, we move to the big band music of J.C. Hopkins Biggish Band and their new upcoming release "New York Moment," which will be released on April 10th. This new eleven song set gets the energy moving right from the first notes of the opening song "Beguiled." The music has that showtune feel with the big band blues of "One Of Those Days," while "We Can Change The World" quickens the pace back up with its swinging rhythm. J.C. Hopkins Biggish Band slows everything down for the slow, swaying ballad "Oh, Kitty!" and the sultry style of "Sublime Beauty." The band wrap up their new release with the fun, exciting sounds of "Lulu" and a return to the blues with the steady beat of "The Children Will Lead Us." To find out more about J.C. Hopkins Biggish Band and their latest release "New York Moment," please visit jchopkins.com.

Also arriving April 10th is Schapiro 17's tribute to the landmark jazz album, Miles Davis' "Kind Of Blue." The new two-disc release titled "New Shoes: Kind Of Blue At 60" is a mix of originals and reinterpretations of songs from Davis' "Kind Of Blue" album. Composer/conductor John Schapiro leads his 17-piece orchestra through a dozen tracks that not only makes Schapiro 17 one of the premier jazz acts in the world, but will also make you appreciate the influence of the "Kind Of Blue" album.

Schapiro 17 kick things off with the nearly twelve-minute, exploratory sound of "Boiled Funk," which allows the music to just find it way, without the need of expectations. Their first Davis composition is the classic "So What," which they extend past the fourteen-minute mark, as the full orchestra gives the music an extra punch of power and energy. The original "Boiled Funk 2: Dark Of Night" showcases a more graceful side to the orchestra, before finishing the first disc with the mild, floating melody of "Blue In Green."

The second disc kicks off with the quick, swift pace of "Boiled Funk 3: Worth Your While," before reaching the equally exciting movement of Davis' "All Blues." The full 17-piece orchestra brings to life "Flamenco Sketches" with a fuller, more lush arrangement of this "Kind Of Blue" album closer. The final chapter of "Boiled Funk 5: A Smile" brings together a stellar piano piece that gets highlighted with support from all sides, before John Schapiro and his orchestra close out the album with a return to the first track "Boiled Funk: Theme" with the song's remarkable melody to finish off the album. To find out more about Schapiro 17 and their latest release "New Shoes: Kind Of Blue At 60," please visit facebook.com/Schapiro17.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Discover New Music From Violinist Darryl Way, Keyboardist David Sancious and Goth/Jazz Artist Bryson Cone

Rock violinist and composer Darryl Way (founding member of the English progressive rock band, Curved Air) recently released his new solo album "Destinations." It feature ten instrumental tracks that take you on an exotic trip to far off places with sounds from around the world. Darryl begins his new album with "Downtown LA," which moves at a swift pace and introduces Darryl in the lead guitarist role. Not to worry though, he jumps right back to his well-known instrument, the violin with the soaring soundscape of "Metropolis," as the rhythm keeps the song moving quickly. Darryl also includes a classic edge to the nostalgic, ambient flow of "The Stars" and "The Wild West," before picking the energy back up with the intense, hard rock flow of "The Restless City." Darryl Way closes out his new album with the bright, flowing sound of the Italian coastline with the wonderful guitar work of "Riviera Blue" and the elegant violin work of "Mystic Mountain." To find out more about Darryl Way and his latest release "Destinations," please visit darrylway.com.

Next, is the latest release from keyboardist David Sancious titled "Eyes Wide Open." David has worked along side a number of artists including Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel, Sting and Eric Clapton. Now, David delivers his new eight-song set, which he describes as "the best work I've ever done." The album begins with the title song "Eyes Wide Open," which has a funky backdrop for David to let loose on his keyboards to explore different sounds on this opening upbeat, rock number. He ventures into jazz fusion territory on the follow-up track "In The Middle Of The Night" and then delivers the exciting adult pop contemporary groove of "If," which fully displays the songwriting talents of David Sancious. He finishes his new album with the ambient, modern jazz vibe of "The Treehouse" and the rhythm infused melody of "War In Heaven." To find out more about David Sancious and his latest release "Eyes Wide Open," please visit davidsancious.com.

Lastly we arrive at the full-length debut album from Pastel Gothic jazz artist Bryson Cone. His new album titled "Magnetism" features ten songs, beginning with addictive flow of "Devotion" and the equally exciting "Color Of Love," which makes you wonder where Cone has been hiding all this time. The album's lead single "The Mirage" delivers a darker tone to Cone's music, as he incorporates a more Gothic feel to his overall sound. The flowing jazz sound of "Basiphobia" is the perfect background for his lyrical style. Bryson Cone wraps up his new album with the slow-moving ballad "Nothing Is Real" and the nostalgic build-up of "Black Sand." To find out more about Bryson Cone and his latest release "Magnetism," please visit brysoncone.bandcamp.com.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Check Out New Jazz Great Releases From Vito Dieterle, Joel Forrester, Suzanna Ross and John DiMartino

Tenor saxophonist Vito Dieterle started the month of March off with two new releases, "Anemone" and "Status Sphere," with pianist Joel Forrester. Vito's "Anemone" is an album of swinging jazz covers (with one original track), beginning with gentle, ballroom waltz of "Dream Dancing," followed by the bebop infused energy of "You Said It." Vito and his band slink on by with the upbeat swing of "Minor Chant," before slowing down for the emotion-filled ballad "Lush Life." The band picks the energy back up once again with the bossa nova groove of Thelonious Monk's "Work," before finishing with the wildly exciting pace of "Just In Time" and the sweet sounds of the original ballad "Anemone."

Also released the same day (March 1st) is the new collaboration between Vito Dieterle and Joel Forrester. Their new album titled "Status Sphere" finds the two artists mixing together the work of Thelonious Monk with Joel Forrester originals. They begin the new twelve-song release with the their version of Monk's "Work." While its not as swinging as Vito's version with his band, it still has a jazz pulse that will certainly grab your attention. Joel allows Vito to lead the way on the original "Mock Time," while Joel takes control with his piano of the playful Monk original "Ruby My Dear." The duo keep the energy flowing through their version of "Let's Call This," before the lush ballad "About Francoise" will have you fall in love with their mellow jazz tone. Joel and Vito wrap up their new album with the bossa nova feel of "Don't Ask Me Now" and the slow waltz of "Crepuscle With Nellie." To find out more about these two releases from Vito Dieterle, please visit vitodieterle.com.

Just last week we saw the arrival of singer Suzanna Ross with her debut album "Bewitched - Not Bothered, Not Bewildered." Her new fifteen-song release begins with the fun, playful, upbeat jazz swing of "Haven't We Met" and her version of the TV series theme song from "Bewitched." A little sultry, Latin flair is added to "Dreamer," while "Mr. Wonderful" is a loving, gentle ballad that allows Suzanna's vocals to soar. The energy picks up with the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic "My Favorite Things" and the French jazz standard "For Me, Formidable." Suzanna's version of "Over The Rainbow" is filled with emotion, as she pours all her feelings into her French/English performance of the song. She finishes her new album with the light-hearted pop touch of "There's A Kind Of Hush" and the quiet, uplifting ballad "Live For Life." To find out more about Suzanna Ross and her latest release "Bewitched - Not Bothered, Not Bewildered," please visit suzannaross.com.

Then next month we get the latest release titled "Passion Flower" from pianist John DiMartino. DiMartino and his all-star quartet cover the music of the great jazz composer Billy Strayhorn, who was a vital member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra. The new fourteen-song set begins with the upbeat, energetic romp of "Johnny Come Lately," which continues into the swinging rhythm of "Rain Check" and "Isfahan (Elf)." John DiMartino and his band play around with the time signature of "Daydream," as you are swept away by its willingness to not conform to standards. The title song "Passion Flower" carries a sweet, beautiful melody, along with the loving ballad "Blood Count." John closes his new album with his modernized version of the Ellington classic "Take The A Train" and the touching piano piece "Lotus Blossom." To find out more about John DiMartino and his latest release "Passion Flower," please visit johndimartino.com.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Discover The "Early Years" Of Def Leppard With Their New Box Set

British rockers Def Leppard dug deep into their vault for their latest release, the five-CD box set "The Early Years 79-81," which was released on March 20th through UMe/Virgin. Instead of releasing two individual deluxe editions of their first two albums ("On Through The Night" and "High 'N' Dry"), they packaged it all up in this nice, concise set. These two early albums showcase a different side to Def Leppard, before they became megastars with the release of the "Pyromania" album in 1983.

Fans of the band's first two albums will surely love this new box set. The "On Through The Night" and "High 'N' Dry" albums have both been remastered and sound simply amazing. The "On Through The Night" album has a deeper bass sound and feel more in-tune with the rest of the band's catalog. The "High 'N' Dry" album always sounded good in my opinion and may have only needed some slight adjustments. Both of these albums have also been released (in their remastered form) on colored vinyl for the very first time. This is the perfect addition to any Def Leppard vinyl collection.

Now, for the really good stuff. This new box set contains a concert recorded live at the Oxford New Theatre on the band's first U.K. tour in 1980. First off, it sounds amazing, especially given the fact that it was recorded over 40 years ago and has never been professionally touched, until now. Every song from their debut album is played live and this show single-handedly proved why Def Leppard were considered one of the premier bands of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal in the early eighties. The show includes an early version of "Let It Go," which was originally called "When The Rain Falls" with an entirely different set of lyrics. They also perform "Lady Strange," which will also be featured on their follow-up album "High 'N' Dry."

Another disc in this set is made up of single edits, B-sides and rarities, beginning with Def Leppard's debut, 3 song EP, which included "Ride Into The Sun," which never appeared on a full-length Def Leppard album. Other exciting gems on this disc are early versions of "Hello America" and "Rock Brigade" which were produced by Nick Tauber. What some of these early singles and original versions show is how good the new remastered versions of the albums sounds, as some of these songs contains less punch. One of the personal highlights is the original versions of "Me And My Wine," which just feels raw and more aggressive than the remixed version that appeared on later versions of the "High 'N' Dry" album.

The final disc in this set has a couple of early BBC sessions from 1979 that show a band ready to explode onto the music scene. Their live, in-session version of "Wasted" is filled to the brim with punk-like energy. The set closes with a five-song set from the 1980 Reading Festival, which also sounds great given its age. Def Leppard blast through their set at a whirlwind pace and once again show what they were on the verge of becoming. The only thing missing from this set is a full show from their "High 'N' Dry" tour. Keep your fingers crossed for a possible future release. To find out more about the new Def Leppard "The Early Days 79-81" box set, please visit defleppard.com.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Alex Dixon (Grandson Of Willie Dixon) Delivers The Blues Of "The Real McCoy"

One of the founding members of the Chicago blues scene following World War II was the late great Willie Dixon. Both him and Muddy Waters became icons of the blues genre, but now lets fast-forward to the present with the new release from Alex Dixon, grandson of the late Willie Dixon. Alex, known as a producer, bassist and pianist returns to his family's roots with his new album "The Real McCoy." This new release also features the outstanding vocal work of Lewis "Big Lew" Powell, who grew up in Chicago and has been playing in bands since he was 19 years old.

The album kicks off with the classic blues romp/stomp of "Nothing New Under The Sun" with some stellar harmonica that flows into the follow-up track "Spider In My Stew." The energy continues to swing with the groove of "The Real McCoy," while "Howlin' For My Darling" has a certain nostalgic feel that will have you appreciating the Chicago blues heyday of the 1950s. Alex Dixon wraps up his new album with the guitar boogie-shuffle of "10,000 Miles Away" and the sweet sound of "I Want To Be Loved," as you wish the music would just keep on chugging. To find out more about Alex Dixon and his latest release "The Real McCoy," please visit vintagedixon.com

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Liar Finally Releases Lost Album From 1978 & Compass Gives Insight To "Our Time On Earth"

U.K. band, Liar will finally have their unreleased 1978 album see the light of day. On March 20th, Escape Music Ltd., will release the long lost Liar album titled "Sunset Plaza Drive." Liar formed in 1975 and released two studio albums in two years and toured alongside bands like Slade, Styx and UFO. For their third album, Liar was flown to Los Angeles to record at Stevie Wonder's Crystal Studios. After contract negotiations broke down between the band's management and record labels, the album was eventually shelved and the group disbanded. Now, 42 years later we get to hear this unreleased gem, along with one brand new track that Liar recorded when they regrouped last year.

The eleven-song release begins with the band's energy on overdrive during "Judy Teens," as they seemed to have their finger on the pulse of mainstream hard rock music in the seventies. The band's wonderful harmonies are spread all throughout "Delaney," while "You Ain't No Fighting Man" finds the perfect balance of hard rock groove and burning power ballad. Liar gets into the blues on the slow, sway of "I Got A Feeling," before picking the energy back up with the solid rock rhythm of "Too Rich" and their raw, powerful cover of The Kinks' "Tired Of Waiting." Liar close out the new release of their "Sunset Plaza Drive" album with the new recording of the song "Woman," which still finds the band firing on all cylinders and fits perfectly along side their classic rock sound. To find out more about this new release, please visit escape-music.com

Another new release arriving from Escape Music Ltd., is the debut effot from Compass. The new album titled "Our Time On Earth" features eight tracks, beginning with the nearly nine-minute, progressive rock track "Skies Of Fire," which showcases the band's stellar musicianship. Another epic piece is "Our Time On Earth Pt. 1," which begins with a floating keyboard melody that explodes with energy, as singer Ben Green leads the sonic journey. The band's intense sound continues to excite the senses with the hard rock attack of "Caught In A Frame," before slowing down for the more melodic tone of "The Preacher And The Pigeon Feeder." Compass close out their new album with the nearly eleven-minute classic sounding rock attack of "A Warning From History" and then finishing with the aggressive guitar work of "Our Time On Earth Pt. 2." To find out more about Compass and their latest release "Our Time On Earth," please visit escape-music.com

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Missing Persons Featuring Dale Bozzio Is "Dreaming" About The Eighties Again With A New Album

The 1980's new wave band, Missing Persons are preparing to release their new studio album "Dreaming" on March 20th. It is the band's first release in over six years and features a dozen tracks of mostly cover songs with a few originals added to it. Missing Persons may be best known for their hit singles "Walking In L.A.," "Words" and "Destination Unknown," but now they put their own spin on classics by The Rolling Stones, The Cars and the opening track "California Dreamin'" by The Mamas & The Papas. 

Next, comes a couple of the band's new original tracks, the keyboard-heavy, moody feel of "Lipstick" and the early eighties pop sound of "Dreaming," which sounds like it would be featured on a soundtrack to an iconic eighties movie. Missing Persons take on The Rolling Stones' "Play With Fire," without adding much, keeping it close to the original, while their version of The Cars' "Just What I Needed" is an experiment with electronic music that went excitingly well. Dale Bozzio takes the lyrics and turns them into her own industrial goth-rock number. They keep the dark overtones flowing through their rendition of The Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart," before returning to the lighter, pop sounding "Images Of Heaven." The album's lead single is the iconic psychedelic sixties hit single "Incense and Peppermints," which still has that hallucinating feel to it. Missing Persons finish up their new album with their final original track, "This Time," which finds the band switching gears once again to offer a darker feel to their music. To find out more about Missing Persons featuring Dale Bozzio and their latest release "Dreaming," please visit cleorecs.com

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The Lovetones Return With "Myrid" & The Folsom Project Debuts "The Wolf & The Skull"

The psychedelic rock band, The Lovetones have returned with their first new album in over ten years. The new release titled "Myrid" became available at the end of February through Cleopatra Records and features eight tracks that tell the next chapter of the band's history. The album begins with the slow-moving build up of "The Circle Turns," as The Lovetones slowly re-introduce you to their matured, modern sounding music. The sound on "About A Girl" has a nostalgic feel to it, while "The Milkman Of Human Kindness - Caylus 74," carries an adult contemporary pop tone that is also very inviting. The Lovetones deliver the perfect mixture of tempo and chorus to make "Rescue" overly addictive, before finishing their new album with the classic sounding sixties pop vibe of "Walk Away" and the darker plea of "I'll Never Be That Guy." To find out more about The Lovetones and their latest release "Myrid," please visit cleorecs.com.

Also recently released was the debut album from multi-instrumentalist Romsam Malpica, who goes by The Folsom Project. His new five chapter, fifteen-song release is a concept album titled "The Wolf & The Skull." Romsam has used his experience of film scoring to tell a story through his songs. We are introduced to his "audible action thriller" with "Chapter 1 - The Wolf & The Woods," which begins the story with more questions of what comes next. The modern orchestral sounding instrumental "Awaken" brings you further into the story, before meeting "Dr. Schmidth" in this exciting, alternative-pop gem. The Folsom Project story continues to delivery great, cross-genre music, like the addictive beats of "Chapter 2 - The Lady In The Water" and the acoustic strings of "The Wolf." Romsam's The Folsom Project closes the album with the dark, marching rhythm of "Chapter 4 - The Ballad Of Death" and the ever-growing, intense sound of "Chapter 5 - Year Zero." To find out more about the complete story behind The Folsom Project's "The Wolf & The Skull" release, please visit thefolsomprojectmusic.com.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Omnivore Recordings Close-Out Game Theory Reissue Campaign With Unreleased Gems

On March 20th, Omnivore Recordings will close out their latest reissue campaign on the 80's rock band, Game Theory with a brand new compilation titled "Across The Barrier Of Sound: Postscript." It features a collection of 25 unreleased recordings of the final line-up of the band between 1989-1990. Only 14 of the tracks appear on a new LP version of this release, while all 25 will be available on CD.

The songs range from home demos to live recordings to studio session work that have never been available to fans of Game Theory until now. Many of the tracks are in different stages of completion, like a nearly finished, band version of "Free Ride" to a raw, grunge-sounding run through "The Second Grade Applaud." The sound that this band capture with songs like "Idiot Son" and "Rose Of Sharon," showcase that they still had more great music to offer, before members of the band decided to move on to other projects. Some of the special gems in this new collection is a home demo of The Beatles' "All My Loving," a live version of Naked Eyes' "Door Into Summer" and what sounds like a spontaneous run through of  a song titled "Scott Back Of A Car." The new Game Theory release finishes with a short, post-punk sounding live version of "Sword Swallower" and a bonus, rough recording of an alternate version of "When She's Alone." To find out more about the closing word on this chapter in the history of Game Theory, please visit omnivorerecordings.com.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Check Out New Music From Sass Jordan, Rory Block and David Clayton-Thomas

Former JUNO award winner Sass Jordan recently released her new studio album "Rebel Moon Blues" on March 13th. Sass and her band take on classic blues tracks from greats like Willie Dixon, Elmore James and Gary Moore and add their own special touch to the songs. Her raw, raspy vocals are the perfect pitch for the opening track "Leaving Trunk," which just burns with blazing guitars and harmonica solos. The band swing with the blues melody of "My Babe," while "Am I Wrong" has a country stomp rhythm that just won't quite. Sass Jordan slathers her sultry vocals on the classic "One Way Out," while "The Key" (an original song) has a modern touch of electricity that will get the heart pumping. Sass Jordan closes out her new album with the front-porch acoustic blues of "too Much Alcohol" and an emotional rendition of the late Gary Moore's masterpiece "Still Got The Blues." To find out more about Sass Jordan and her latest release "Rebel Moon Blues," please visit sassjordan.com

Fellow female blues artist Rory Block is also preparing to release her latest album titled "Prove It To Me" on March 27th. It continues her series of paying respect to the ladies of blues who came before her. Rory's 2018 album "A Woman's Soul" was a tribute to the great Bessie Smith and this new album spreads the love to nine more deserving women in music. She starts off her new album off with a trip back to the roaring twenties to cover Helen Humes' "He May Be Your Man," in which Rory adds a bit more swagger on the guitar. The sweet southern blues of Madlyn Davis' "It's Red Hot" and the strong, assertive delivery of Gertrude "Ma" Rainey's "Prove It On Me" showcases the respect Rory has for these ladies, as she pours all her emotions into these songs. The one original track "Eagles" is especially personal, as she wrote from experience and felt the time was right to be vulnerable with her music. Rory Block finishes up her new album with the slow, steady acoustic blues of Memphis Minnie's "In My Girlish Days" and the quiet, emotion-drenched rendition of Elvie Thomas' "Motherless Child." To find out more about Rory Block and her latest release "Prove It To Me," please visit roryblock.com.

Grammy-award winning artist David Clayton-Thomas is ready to release his new studio effort "Say Somethin'" on March 20th though Linus Records. His new ten track release of originals begins with the sweet, slow-moving blues of "Burwash," before switching gears to the truthful lyrics of the emotional ballad "The System." David sings to the former president on "Dear Mr. Obama" about social injustice, while next telling us about the problems of being "King Midas." He delivers a gentle, country sound to "This Town," before closing his new album with the politically charged energy of "The Circus" along with "A Bright Shinning City" and then pours his heart and soul into the piano ballad "God's Country." To find out more about David Clayton-Thomas and his latest release "Say Somethin'," please visit facebook.com/davidclaytonthomasofficial.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Circles Around The Sun Take You On A Cosmic Journey With Their New Album

Just recently released (March 13) is the third full-length album from the instrumental jam band, Circles Around The Sun. What began as a small request to produce some intermission music for the Grateful Dead's 2015 "Fare Thee Well" shows in Chicago has turned into one of the most exciting and adventurous musical en devours of the last decade. This new album from Circles Around The Sun is also bittersweet, because it is the band's final album to feature guitarist extraordinaire Neal Casal, who passed away in August of last year.

The Circles Around The Sun's new self-titled, seven-song release shows the band traveling in a different direction on these latest pieces of music. The album opens with the funky, cosmic-jazz flow of "Babyman," which finds keyboardist Adam MacDougall (Black Crowes) and Casal co-piloting this sonic trip through spaced-out psych grooves. The melody of the follow-up track "You Gotta Start Somewhere" is much more laid-back, as Circles Around The Sun bring you along for the ride of their seven-minute blues-infused soundscape. They take a step back to the seventies with the sound of "Leaving (Rogue Lemon)" and the disco beats of "Landline Memories," before finishing their new album with the short (by their measure), up-beat dance track "Money's No Option."

Circles Around The Sun have tour dates beginning at the end of the month, with guitarist Scott Metzger filling in for the late Neal Casal. For a complete list of shows and to find out more about their new self-titled album, please visit circlesaroundthesun.com.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

New Music From Pavement Entertainment Artists A Lost Asylum, ZombieKing and Ravenscroft

Just last month, we saw the arrival of the full-length debut album from the female-fronted, West Coast metalcore band, A Lost Asylum. Their new self-titled release features ten tracks, beginning with the growling vocals and swift pace of "Whore! No More!," which also includes a melodic chorus. They deliver a more mainstream metal sound with "Call Of The Void 2," while "Broken Beyond Repair" is a high energy rocker, which features a collaboration with vocalist JT Tollas. A Lost Asylum take a step back from the aggressive nature of their music to showcase their softer side with the emotional ballad "Misery." They close out their new album with the high-powered intensity of "One Little Piece At A Time" and the thunderous conclusion of "Safe In Pieces." To find out more about A Lost Asylum and their new self-titled debut release, please visit alostasylum.com.

Arriving on Friday the 13th, is the Pavement Entertainment debut from ZombieKing. Their new five track release, titled "Dead To Life" carries a modern hardcore metal vibe, as they come blasting down the door with the opening song "Dead At The Scene." The music is intense and powerful, while also keeping you drawn in to song's lyrics and message. They keep the energy flowing right through the battle-cry of "Kings," before finishing off their new short release with the southern, hard rock groove of "Texas Sky." To find out more about ZombieKing and their latest release "Dead To Life," please visit facebook.com/ZombieKingOfficial.

The following week on March 20th features the arrival of the new album from Ravenscroft. Their new eight track release titled "See Through" features five new original tracks, one cover songs and a couple of remixes. They begin with the big, hard rock sound of "Always Falling," which brings together elements of nu-metal and alternative rock to create a very addictive sound. The album continues with the more radio-friendly delivery of "Anything," before flexing their metal muscle with the intensity of "Vengeance Is Mine." Ravencroft cover NIN's "Head Like A Hole," which keeps the song's edginess, while also delivering the song's original hard-hitting, aggressive nature. Ravencroft finish up their new release with electronic dance remixes of a couple of the album's tracks ("Anything" and "See Through"). To find out more about Ravencroft and their latest release "See Through," please visit ravenscroftofficial.com.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

New Highly Anticipated Releases From In This Moments, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Bury Tomorrow and August Burns Red

The female-fronted hard rock band, In This Moment are preparing to release their new studio album "Mother" on March 27th through Atlantic/Roadrunner Records. The new fourteen-track release starts you off on your adventure with a 90-second interlude titled simply "A Beginning," which builds with anticipation, before arriving at their rhythm-fueled cover of Steve Miller Band's "Fly Like An Eagle." The next 45-second interlude leads you to the album's first single "The In-Betweens," which burns with aggression and energy. Lzzy Hale (Halestorm) and Taylor Momsen (Pretty Reckless) join singer Maria Brink for the female rally cry of "We Will Rock You," as this trio of powerful singers deliver a "take no prisoners" mentality to the song. The quietness of "Mother" allows you to fully appreciate the vocal talents of Brink, while "As Above So Below" displays the shear force of the band's hard rock sound. In This Moment close out their new album with the high-powered duet between Brink and Joe Cotela (Ded) during "Hunting Grounds," which is fueled by passion, before finishing with the melodic prayer of "Into Dust." In This Moment are beginning their U.S. tour on March 24th at the House Of Blues in Orlando, FL. For a complete list of shows and to find out more about their new album "Mother," please visit inthismomentofficial.com.

One of the oddest names in the hard rock community is Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, but their new album "Viscerals" is no joke. The new eight-track release comes blasting out of the gate with the aggressive opener "Reducer." Their sound gets a little more melodic on the follow-up track "Rubbernecker," as you can hear the band's Black Sabbath and early grunge influences. They head into doom metal territory with the seven-minute, slow-pounding rhythm of "New Body," while "World Crust" carries a more energetic, raw metal sound. Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs finish their new album with the nine-minute classic metal romp of "Halloween Bolson" and the sounds of Sonic Youth ringing through "Hell's Teeth." To find out more about Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs and their latest release "Viscerals," please visit facebook.com/PigsPigsPigsPigsPigsPigsPigs.

Arriving in early April is the latest studio effort from the British metalcore band, Bury Tomorrow. Their new album titled "Cannibal" features eleven tracks that just grab you by the throat and doesn't let go until every note is completed. They begin with the chugging guitars and growling vocals of "Choke," which kick things off in overdrive. Bury Tomorrow mix in a more melodic tone to "Cannibal," while "Imposter" speeds up the tempo for this hardcore, energetic metal anthem. They keep the pedal to the floor with the high intensity of "The Agonist," before showcasing the shear force of the band with the swiftness of "Voice & Truth." Bury Tomorrow close out their new album with the spastic, thrash metal attack of "Dark Infinite. To find out more about Bury Tomorrow and their latest release "Cannibal" please visit bury-tomorrow.com.

Another early April release comes from the Grammy-nominated metal band August Burns Red. Their new album titled "Guardians" arrives April 3rd through Fearless Records and features eleven tracks that just hit you in the face, beginning with the aggressive blast of "The Narrative" and the thunderous pounding of "Bones." August Burns Red showcases depth in their songwriting with the progressive tempo changes of "Lighthouse," while "Bloodletter" is an intense attack on your sense of hearing, as they continue to deliver a hardcore metal sound. They wrap up their new album with the most mainstream track on the album, the melodic "Extinct By Instinct," before putting their stellar musicianship on display during the album closer "Three Fountains." To find out more about August Burns Red and their latest release "Guardians," please visit augustburnsred.com.