Just last month we saw the arrival of the debut album "Bury Me By My Family" from the alternative country band, Starpainter. Their sound draws strong similarities to Ryan Adams' late-nineties band, Whiskeytown, as they find that space between rock and country music that make their music cross genres. Starpainter start off their new ten-song release with the addictive, mid-tempo flow of "Mark Of Cain," before heading into nostalgic country territory with "Strange Corridors." They add a bit blues into their sound with the steady pace of "Slammin' On The Brakes," while the uptempo, roots-rock combo of "Windowsill" certainly shows the band finding the right sound to grow into something special. Starpainter wrap up their new album with the dark country tones of "Cemetery" and the laid-back Americana vibe of "County Line." To find out more about Starpainter and their latest release "Bury Me By My Family," please visit facebook.com/StarpainterBand.
Next up is the latest release titled "Stream Of Youth/Blank World" from the Alabama pop/rock band Wray. Their new nine-song release are two-records in one, beginning with the futuristic, electronic pop melody of "Jogging." The ambient flow of "Neon Forming" has a subtle touch of music, as you calm down to song's mellow vibe, before the energy picks up with the pop/rock delivery of "Limelight." The blues/jazz touch of "Nebulous" takes you on a seven-minute journey of relaxation, before Wray dive back into the pop elements of "Blank World." They finish up their new album with the gentle musical path of "Good Time" and the New Wave approach of "Superior." To find out more about Wray and their latest release "Stream Of Youth/Blank World," please visit facebook.com/wraymusic.
Musical artist Chris Bell has taken his years of experience as a member of the band, Wintersleep and working as a sound engineer for others like Broken Social Scene and Arkells. Bell's new album titled "Division Street" features ten tracks, beginning with the alternative folk experiment "Central Nervous System" and the gentle strumming of "Searching In The Dark." The energy picks up with the addictive alt-pop melody of "Effoff A G," before the simply acoustics of "A Plain Name" shines a light on to Chris Bell's stellar songwriting. He closes new album with the shuffle rhythm of "Empty Row Boat" and the alternative rock approach of "Whispering Town." To find out more about Chris Bell and his latest release "Division Street," please visit facebook.com/chrisbellsongs.
After a long legal battle, the full-length film "Street Survivors: The True Story Of The Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash" will finally be released on DVD, Blu-ray and to video-on-demand on June 30. The movie tells the shocking story of the plane crash that killed several members of the band during the height of their popularity in 1977. Also recently released was a soundtrack to accompany the movie, featuring various artists performing some original songs in the classic Lynyrd Skynyrd style, along with a surprise cover song.
Singer Marshall Pyle starts the soundtrack off with an emotional, heartfelt ballad "Southern Feeling (Last Day)," before Lorenzo Green comes blazing his own southern rock trail with the blues rock appeal of "Wish." The southern rock band Pyletribe rip through a trio of high-energy rock numbers ("Black Creek," "Curse" and "Rattlesnake") to keep the adrenaline flowing, while country artist Scott Raines delivers the raw, guitar-driven title track "Street Survivors." The soundtrack wraps up with classic rock guitarist/singer Pat Travers performing a cover of J.J. Cale's song "Call Me The Breeze," which was made famous by Lynyrd Skynyrd, along with some of the movie's instrumental musical score. To find out more about the soundtrack to the movie "Street Survivors: The True Story Of The Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash," please visit cleorecs.com.
Another recently released soundtrack comes from the movie "She Who Must Be Loved," directed by Erica Glynn about her mother, a 78-year old Aboriginal woman who co-founded the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA). The film won the "Best Documentary" award at the 2019 Sydney Film Festival. Australian composer/musical director AJ True composed the touching soundtrack to this documentary and helped give the images on the screen an emotional touch. The music on this soundtrack simply glides along quietly and will simply drawn you in with their vulnerable melodies. Just listening to the music by itself will melt your troubles away, but added to the visuals of the movie give the songs a more striking and meaningful appeal. To find out more about AJ True and his latest release, the soundtrack to "She Who Must Be Loved," please visit ajtrue.bandcamp.com.
Arriving in the early days of July is the latest release from world-renown violin player Jason Kao Hwang. He has teamed up once again with Andrew Drury on drums and Ken Filiano on bass to create six new unique jazz compositions. Hwang's new album titled "Human Rites Trio" begins with the experimental, two-part instrumental piece "Words Asleep Spoken Awake." As each musician seems to be performing to their own rhythm, it all works together in a common theme. The bluesy bass line and finger picking of strings gives "Conscious Concave Concrete" a stellar, jamming groove, while "2 AM" has a more elegant touch to the main structure of the song. Jason Kao Hwang finishes his new album with the quiet build up of "Defiance" which closes with a stellar drum solo. To find out more about Jason Kao Hwang and his latest release "Human Rites Trio," please visit jasonkaohwang.com.
Jazz guitarist Noshir Mody is preparing to release his latest studio album titled "An Idealist's Handbook: Identity, Love And Hope In America 2020" on July 3rd. The new ten song release begins with the uplifting melody of "Radha," highlighted by Mody's guitar work and the addition of the flugelhorn. Vocalist Kate Victor simply warms the heart during the luscious ballad "Illusions Grow," while the tempo picks back up during the swaying horns of "Ol' Splitfoot." Noshir Mody closes his new album with the rising volume of the modern jazz number "Under A Starlit Sky (2020)" and the beautiful return of the folk-sounding ballad "Illusions Grow (Reprise)." To find out more about Noshir Mody and his latest release "An Idealist's Handbook: Identity, Love And Hope In America 2020," please visit noshirmody.net.
The trio of Ron Oswanski (hammond b3 organ), Christian Fabian (bass) and Bernard "Pretty" Purdie (drums) have teamed up for a new album titled "Move On!" It features nine track that mix in some well-known cover along with the band's original numbers. The album kicks off with the uptempo, funky groove of "The Red Plaza," before slowing down for the gentle, swaying jazz appeal of "BPP Blues." The energy rises once again on the seven-minute jam-friendly vibe of "Got Groove (pt.2)" and then the trio locks into the beautiful ballad cover of Duke Ellingston's "Love You Madly." Purdie, Fabian and Oswanski wrap up their new album with a heartfelt cover of the traditional "The Battle Hymn Of The Republic" and the smooth jazz delivery of Miles Davis' "So What." To find more about this trio and their latest release "Move On!," please visit christianfabian.com.
Musical genius Frank Zappa put together his first band, The Mothers Of Inventions, back in 1964. It was mainly an R&B combo that Frank turned into his rock band, performing any odd or irregular song that was concocted. The original line-up lasted for about five years, before Zappa reassembled The Mothers Of Inventions in 1970. By this time, they were just called "The Mothers" and the new line-up consisted of George Duke, Ian Underwood, Jeff Simmons, Aynsley Dunbar and members of The Turtles (Mark Volman, Howard Kaylan and Jim Pons}. This line-up would only last a couple of years, but created some of the most highly regarded albums in the Frank Zappa catalog ("Chunga's Revenge" and "200 Motels").
In honor of the 50th anniversary of this line-up of The Mothers, Zappa Records and UMe have teamed up to release the new 4-CD box set "The Mothers 1970." This set gathers together about an hour's worth of studio outtakes and three discs worth of live highlights that were recorded by Frank's own tape machine. The twelve tracks that make up the first disc feel like a "fly-on-the-wall" recording, as you hear the band working through the instrumental sounds of "Item 1" and "Envelopes." Some of the tracks have multiple versions, like "Wonderful Wino," as you can see the progress in the different presentations of the song. Highlights from these studio sessions include an amazing nine-minute guitar work-out by Frank on "Red Tubular Lighter" and the solid jazz fusion instrumental of "Giraffe."
Discs two and three contain highlights from the band's shows in June, August and September 1970. I wouldn't say that the recordings sound professionally recorded, but they certainly display an aura about them. The fact that they are not over polished fits perfectly into the sound that The Mothers were creating on this tour. Some of their songs were short and concise pieces of art ("Concentration Moon" & "Mother People"), while epic numbers like "Call Any Vegetable" and the "King Kong" medley showcased how these amazing musicians melded their sounds together to create some outstanding live music. These discs also include a couple of well-known classics, like the Mothers Of Invention's single "Trouble Every Day" and The Turtles' hit "Happy Together."
The final disc in this set includes songs from Frank Zappa's own tape recordings of The Mothers' 1970 tour. These twenty tracks capture a feeling, whether listening to the band talk to the audience or performing some amazing instrumental pieces like "Portuguese Fenders" and "Turn It Down." These recordings have been cleaned-up some and have been overseen by Zappa vault master Joe Travers and produced by Ahmet Zappa, to give you the best sound possible, while also keeping that bootleg feeling that these original recordings are meant to have. While not every Frank Zappa fan will be pleased with the sound, I feel that that they are doing an outstanding job digging through the vaults and giving fans new glimpses into the genius of Frank Zappa. To find out more about the newly released box set "The Mothers 1970," please visit zappa.com/news/mothers-1970.
Back in late-eighties and early-nineties, the Australian rock band INXS were on top of the world. They were riding a wave of success that was unmatched at that time, with back to back top five albums ("Kick" and "X"). The band's hit singles were everywhere on the radio and on MTV. To prove how big their popularity has grown, INXS performed a sold-out show at London's Wembley Stadium on July 13, 1991. It was the largest crowd that the band had ever performed for and it was captured in its entirety for the concert video "Live Baby Live." It was released on home video (VHS) and as a live album later that same year. Now, for its nearly 30th anniversary, Eagle Vision released a newly remastered version of the concert on DVD, Blu-Ray and 4K Ultra High Definition Blu-Ray for the first time.
The band specifically filmed this show for their first live release and both the band and the audience did not disappoint. It is certainly hard to top the intensity of the crowd during this 90+ minute performance. Not only will this new video release remind you how good this band was and how many hit singles they had, but it also shows how great of a frontman Michael Hutchence was. He stirs up the 70,000 plus audience with his elaborate, emotional stage antics during such classics as "Suicide Blonde" and "What You Need." The original video was cleaned up nicely for this new release, as close-ups and onstage camera work makes you seem that you could not get any closer to the band. The sound from the audience almost drowns out the band during the encore of "Never Tear Us Apart," before the night closes with the energy of "Devil Inside." A couple of nice additions to this video release is the lost footage of INXS' performance of the song "Lately" has been restored and also the studio track "Shining Star" plays during the credits.
If you need to remember how good INXS was, then this is a great place to start. They may be only second to Queen in demanding that size of an audience at the word famous Wembley Stadium, and this new video release proves it. To discover more about this newly released live video from INXS titled "Live Baby Live," please visit eagle-rock.com/inxs-live-baby-live.
Sevendust co-founder and vocalist Clint Lowery recently snuck out a new five-song EP titled "Grief & Distance" through Rise Records. The album's lead-off track "Distance" displays a quieter side to what fans may expect from Lowery, as he concentrates more on the song's melody, instead of the powerful energy that we usually find him delivering in Sevendust. The entire new EP follows that same path, with the emotional delivery of "I'm Wrong" and acoustic versions of "What's The Matter" and "Kings," which allows you to focus more on the song's lyrics and Lowery's amazing vocals. To find out more about Clint Lowery's new album "Grief & Distance," please visit clintlowery.net.
Issues vocalist Tyler Carter has also toned down his sound for his latest release "Moonshine." It features eight acoustic tracks, which allows you to focus more on his songwriting and stellar vocals. He begins with the graceful melody of "Drown" and emotional delivery of "Escape My Love," as Tyler shows us another side to his musical talents. He delivers a gentle touch to Stevie Nicks' "Landslide," while "Glow" carries a pop sound that becomes very addictive. Tyler Carter closes out his new album with the uplifting hope of "Good Things" and the R&B flavor of "Focus." To find out more about Tyler Carter and his latest acoustic release "Moonshine," please visit tylercarter.merchnow.com.
Also earlier this month featured the arrival of the new album from the Australian metal band, Make Them Suffer. Their new album titled "How To Survive A Funeral" includes ten new songs that will certainly turn you into a fan of the band, if you are not one already. The opening instrumental "Step One" begins with a gentle melody, before flipping the switch to the band's signature hardcore metal sound. The energetic blast of music continues right through "Falling Ashes" and "Bones." Make Them Suffer add more melody to the chugging guitars and screaming vocals of "Drown With Me" and "Soul Decay," while "How To Survive A Funeral" features the perfect combination of aggressiveness and lush harmonies. The band wrap up their new album with the quieter approach of "The Attendant" and the final hardcore metal attack of "That's Just Life." To find out more about Make Them Suffer and their latest release "How To Survive A Funeral," please visit makethemsuffer.com.au.
San Francisco metal band, Lightworker recently released their full-length debut album "Fury By Failure." Born out of the ashes of former west coast metal bands, Lightworker's new release is a breath of fresh air in the hardcore metal community. They begin with the intensity of "Empyre," which kicks the album off with an addictive and equally energetic new metal anthem. They turn the tempo up another notch with the aggressive attack of "The Willing Martyr" and "Words Dissolve." Lightworker then add a more melodic backdrop to the modern metal energy of "Losing Ground," before adding more emotion to the more mainstream appeal of "Cholera." They finish off their new album with thunderous pounding rhythm of "Remove The Earth" and the solid, six-plus minute closer "Dissonance." To find out more about Lightworker and their latest release "Fury By Failure," please visit facebook.com/Lightworkerband.
From Canada comes the new self-released album from the death metal/speed metal band Torrefy. The band's new release titled "Life Is Bad" features nine tracks, beginning with the intense, piercing vocals and thunderous rhythm of "Sarcophony. As you are taken along the song's nine minute journey, you discover the musical depths that this band deliver at every turn and chord change. The melodic beginning of "Eye Of The Swarm," simply explodes into the song's hardcore, machine gun drumming attack. Torrefy hit you with the quick, thrash metal bashing of "GFYD," while "Arborequiem" takes you on another nine-minute journey of intense, hardcore death metal music. They finish up their new album with speedy chaos of "Cells" and the final juggernaut of "Plague Of Empires." To find out more about Torrefy and their latest release "Life Is Bad," please visit facebook.com/Torrefy.
Also arriving at the beginning of July is the new self-release from one of Florida's premier underground metal bands, Northern Crown. Their new album titled "In a Pallid Shadow" features only five tracks, but displays a maturity in their sound that is well beyond their seven year career. They begin with the epic, progressive metal appeal of "Leprosarium," as Northern Crown delivers their iconic nostalgic metal sound. Their musicianship is stunning on the follow-up "The Last Snowflall," before they wrap up their new album with the chugging metal riffs of "8 Hours" and the grand, intense delivery of the adventurous nine-minute closer "Observing." To find out more about Northern Crown and their latest release "In A Pallid Shadow," please visit facebook.com/NorthernCrownDoom.
Arriving July 10 on Dark Descent Records is the third full-length release from Finnish death metal band, Lantern." Their new album titled "Dimensions" features six tracks, beginning with the seven-minute attack of "Strange Nebula." Instead of simply trying to pound their message into your brain, they deliver a more melodic metal sound, as displayed in the follow-up track, "Beings." Lantern pick-up the energy with the intense, thrash-metal blast of "Cauldron Of Soul," before finishing their new album with a fourteen-minute progressive metal piece "Monolith Abyssal Dimensions," which shows that Lantern are more than just your average death metal band. To find out even more about Lantern and their latest release "Dimensions," please visit facebook.com/lantern666.
Then, at the end of July we see the arrival of "Stargazers" from the Russian melodic, death metal band, Drops Of Heart. This is the band's second full-length release and features a dozen tracks that display another side to the death metal genre. They begin their new album with "Echoes," which features a grand opening melody that leads you down the path of screaming vocals and pounding drums that will surely quicken your heartbeat. Next, Drops Of Heart come blasting down the walls with the intense attack of "Frost Vice," before showcasing their best attempt at a more mainstream metal sound with "Lull." They continue with the sonic blast "Modern Madness" and the thunderous rhythm of "Exodus," before wrapping up their new album with their quieter, more melodic touch of "Death Lover" and the addictive closer "Stargazers." To find out more about Drops Of Heart and their latest release "Stargazers," please visit facebook.com/dropsofheartmetal.
The classic extreme heavy metal band Alcatrazz are preparing to release their first studio album in almost thirty-five years, titled "Born Innocent." The new twelve-track release will not only show that this band is still one of the greatest melodic heavy metal bands of all time, but will also ask the question "what took so long?" Alcatrazz, lead by singer Graham Bonnet, along with fellow founding members Jimmy Waldo and Gary Shea are back with a vengeance to reclaim their throne as the one of the premier heavy metal bands of the last four decades.
The band kick off their new album with their iconic hard-hitting sound in the title-track "Born Innocent." Alcatrazz showcase one of their newest members, guitarist Joe Stump with an exceptional solo on the follow-up song "Polar Bear." Drummer Mark Benquechea gets the adrenaline pumping with the intense rhythm of "Finn McCool" and also on the powerful delivery of "London 1666." Alcatrazz displayed some youthful energy with the premier sounding rockers "I Am The King" and "Paper Flags," before finishing their new album with classic sounding chugging guitar riffs of "Body Beautiful" and the progressive metal of "Warth Lane." To find out more about Alcatrazz and their latest release "Born Innocent," please visit facebook.com/grahambonnetmusic.
Swedish metal band, Falconer are preparing to release their new studio album "From A Dying Ember" on June 26th through Metal Blade Records. This is the band's ninth album of their nearly twenty year career. This latest release from Falconer features eleven tracks, beginning with the epic, thunderous blast of "Kings And Queens" and the swift pace of "Desert Dream," which continues to showcase the band's European heavy metal sound. They take a step back for their hardcore attack with the Viking-sounding melody of "Bland Sump och Dy," before returning to the metal forefront with the pounding rhythm and chugging guitar riffs of "In Regal Attire." Falconer wrap up their new album with the soft, emotional delivery of the piano-led ballad "Rejoice And Adored" and the progressive, Viking-metal adventure of "Rapture." To find out more about Falconer and their latest release "From A Dying Ember," please visit facebook.com/falconermetal.
Finnish metal band, Ensiferum are also preparing to release their new album "Thalassic" on July 10th through Metal Blade Records. This band is also preparing to take the heavy metal world by storm with their latest nine-track studio release. The slow-building, three-minute opener "Seafarer's Dream" feels like the calm before the storm, as the grand theme leads you to the aggressive, hardcore metal attack of "Rum, Women, Victory." Next, the screaming vocals tell us the tale of "Andromeda," while the guitars and drums power you through the song's sonic energetic blast. Ensiferum take their death metal sound to another level with the intense delivery of "Run From The Crushing Tide," before slowing down for the more melodic flow of "One With The Sea." They finish their new album with the energetic, folk-metal sing-along "Midsummer Magic" and the nearly nine-minute progressive metal epic "Cold Northland (Vainamoinen Part III)," which showcases their exceptional musicianship. To find out more about Ensiferum and their latest release "Thalassic," please visit facebook.com/Ensiferum.
French electronic artist Zanov returns with another new album titled "Chaos Islands." It's his third album in the last decade, but only his sixth full-length since his debut in 1977. His new full-length release features seven tracks, beginning with the energetic beats of "Edge Of The Chaos Island." It's seven minutes of mind-expanding electronics, as you follow Zanov's music into the rabbit hole for a unique instrumental journey. The music of "Inception Island" simply glides along as you drown in Zanov's ambient delivery. Subtle changes in sound during "Three Body Island" keeps you on alert, following whatever direction the music takes you. Zanov closes out his new album with sonic atmospheric trek of "Phase Space Island" and the steady flowing pace of "Emergence Island." To find out more about Zanov and his latest release "Chaos Islands," please visit zanov.net.
Next, Norwegian guitarist Steinar Karlsen recently released his latest studio effort titled "Destination Venus." Karlsen may be best know as a surf-guitar instrumentalist, but on his new twelve-track release, he lays down a more earthy, blues tone as displayed in the opening track "The Goodbye." He picks the energy up with the fiery, blazing guitar instrumental "Night Flight," while "Weightless" has a slinky, sultry way of reaching out and grabbing your rock and roll soul in less than a minute. Steinar adds a bit of surf-style guitar work into "Space Camel," while "The Trip" is an exciting, energetic instrumental to get the body moving. He finishes up his new album with the jazzy flow of "A Billion Stars" and the spaced-out, sonic build-up of "Acid Rain." To find out more about Steinar Karlsen and his latest release "Destination Venus," please visit steinarkarlsen.no.
Israel-based, multi-instrumentalist Pablo Embon dives into the genres of jazz, funk, blues, rock and Latin music for his latest release "Harmony Tales." The album features twelve tracks, beginning with the graceful, jazzy melody of "Vintage Lover" and the more upbeat, bluesy-touch of "Calling Out." His music quietly glides along the natural sounds of "Nothing Left Behind," before displaying a more exciting, worldly flow to "Song Of India." The Latin flair of "Taste Of Freedom" showcases many of Pablo's musical talents," as does the elegant touch of "My Little Magic Box." He closes his new album with the funky rhythm of "Our Time" and solo piano piece "The Best Of Me." To find out more about Pablo Embon and his latest release "Harmony Tales," please visit pabloembon.bandcamp.com.
Finally, we arrive at the sophomore effort from the Colorado duo, Moon Over Mountain. Their new album titled "Champagne & Brass" features twelve tracks, beginning with the full-on synthesizer instrumental "Champagne & Brass." The elegant vocals of "The First Snowfall" gives their music an ambient, floating melody, which adds another dimension to their electronic-based music. The spiritual feel of "Close To My Heart" has an inspired sound, while "Kyoto 21" has a pop beat that doesn't match the angelic singing of Megan Buness. Moon Over Mountain wrap up their new album with the beautiful sounds of "Passing Sacred Ground" and the electronic dance beats of "AOC." To find out more about Moon Over Mountain and their latest release "Champagne & Brass," please visit facebook.com/MoonOverMountain.
Arriving just last month on CD and limited edition vinyl is the debut album from the Chicago glam/punk band, Tiny Bit Of Giant's Blood. Their new album titled "Gigantosaur" features fourteen tracks, beginning with the title-track, the guitar-driven instrumental "Gigantosaur," which leads you into the up-and-down chord changes of "Girl Over Here." They pick the energy up with the steady hard rock pace of "To Be Is Beautiful," before flexing their raw, punk muscle on the energetic blast of "Five Foot Heels." Tiny Bit Of Giant's Blood showcase their softer, more melodic side with the Queen-inspired "Little People" and then take on the AC/DC anthem "If You Want Blood (You've Got It)," adding their own special touch to this classic rock song. The band wrap up their new album with the straight-up punk rock assault of "There Is Always More" and the relaxed, floating melody of "I'm A Big Deal." To find out more about Tiny Bit Of Giant's Blood and their latest release "Gigantosaur," please visit tinybitofgiantsblood.com.
Next, we travel to Italy for the debut release from the premier, independent Italian progressive-rock band, Silver Nightmares. Their new EP is titled "The Wandering Angel" and it contains six tracks that sound like this band has been around for decades in the classic rock community. Their sound has a nostalgic, classic rock appeal, as displayed in the melodic harmonies of the opening title track, "The Wandering Angel." They pick the tempo up with the more intense, hard rock delivery of the instrumental "D.D.(Dick Dastardly)," before reaching the grand, epic presentation of "David The King." Silver Nightmares finish up their new EP release with the explosive, harmonic, progressive delivery of "Dame Nature" and a radio edit of the album's lead single "The Wandering Angel." To find out more about Silver Nightmares and their latest release "The Wandering Angel," please visit facebook.com/SilverNightmaresband/.
Finally, from New York City comes the new self-titled release from hard rockers Between The Rain. The history of this trio dates back quite a few years, but they finally have their first release through Pavement Entertainment. Even though it only features two songs, Between The Rain have their finger firmly on the pulse of modern rock sound. They begin with the aggressive, hard-hitting attack of "Mudroom," show how heavy their music can get, before slowing down for the more melodic alternative grunge of "Fox." If this is only a taste at what the band have to offer, I cannot wait to hear their full-length debut release. To find out more about Between The Rain, please visit facebook.com/betweentherainband.
Back in 1980, the Canadian rock band Rush were entering a new phase of their career. The epic songs of earlier albums ("2112" and "Hemispheres") were given a trim to create a more addictive, radio-friendly sound to their progressive nature. They released their seventh album "Permanent Waves" in January 1980 and it has since gone on to sell over a million copies in the U.S. alone. Songs like "The Spirit Of Radio" and "Freewill" have become staples both on classic rock radio and in their concerts for the years that followed.
On May 29th, UMe/Mercury/Anthem labels teamed up to release a brand new 40th anniversary version of the "Permanent Waves" album. It features the Abbey Road Mastering Studios 2015 remastered version of the album, along with highlights from Rush's "Permanent Waves World Tour 1980." This new 40th anniversary edition arrived in a number of different formats, including a two-CD deluxe edition, a three-LP vinyl edition and a super deluxe edition which includes both sets of CDs and vinyl along with a 40-page hardcover book.
This 2015 remastered version of the album is simply stunning. The electricity that flows through "The Spirit Of The Radio," and the keyboard wizardry of "Entre Nous" are grand displays of how evolved their songwriting has become. Rush also keeps a little bit of their past with the nine-minute closer "Natural Science." The acoustic chords that start out the song are clear and precise, before the steady drumming and driving bass line deliver another epic masterpiece for the band.
The eleven bonus tracks that make up the second CD or the second and third LPs are live versions of songs from throughout Rush's career to that point. Even though a complete show is not present, like Rush fans may have hoped, it does contain many highlights, like a beautiful version of "The Trees," with Alex Lifeson's short, but sweet acoustic introduction. A couple other pieces that may grab your attention are "Cygnus X-1" and "Cygnus X-1: Book II," which equal over twenty minutes of progressive rock heaven. With so many great sounding songs included as a bonus, a full-show would have been a real treat from this era of the band. So, no matter how you prefer to listen to your music, there is a version of Rush's "Permanent Waves" 40th anniversary edition for everyone. To find out even more about it, please visit rush.com/permanent-waves-40th-anniversary.
Progressive rockers Pinnacle Point are returning July 17th with a brand new studio album titled "Symphony Of Mind." The band's 2017 debut release "Winds Of Change" turned many fans onto the band and this latest set of eleven tracks will certainly spread their music to a larger audience.
They start things off with the highly energetic instrumental "Ascent To The Point," which is exciting, rocking and very well structured. Pinnacle Point continues with the melodic rock of "So Alive," that ranks the band up there with some of classic rock's greatest like Styx and Asia. Next, they inject a shot of adrenaline into the swift pace of "Weight Of The World," before pulling back the reins for the emotional power ballad "Hero." The beautiful violin solo during "Shadows Of Peace" adds a symphonic element to their hard rock sound, along with the high-powered rock attack of "Prodigal." Pinnacle Point finished their new album with an epic, seven-minute progressive rock masterpiece titled "Symphony Of Mind." To find out more about Pinnacle Point and their latest release "Symphony Of Mind," please visit facebook.com/pinnaclepointtheband.
Legendary Alice Cooper Group drummer Neal Smith recently released a new album of retro-sounding pop songs titled "POP 85/95." It features a period between the late-'80's and early-'90's in which Neal wrote some pop songs for the era, that were never released, until now. Fast-forward two-and-a-half decades later and Neal dusted off these nostalgic gems and polished them up for this new release.
He starts the album off with the up-tempo, new wave rock sounds of "If I Only Had You," along with the mellow power ballad "Dying To Love You." Next, Neal brings the energy back with the addictive melody of "Secret Eyes" and "I Want To Be Good, But I Don't Know How." Some of his songs sound timeless like the slow burn of "Distant Drum" and the inspirational touch of "Fly Home Sweet Angel." Neal Smith finishes up his new album with the classic rock sound of "I Love You To Death" and the uplifting power of "All My Eyes Can See." To find out more about Neal Smith and his latest release "POP 85/95," please visit nealsmithrocks.com .
One of New York City's premier swing orchestras, Swingadelic is back with their fourth studio album titled "Bluesville." It features fourteen tracks that cover some of the biggest names in music like Duke Ellington, Ray Charles and Willie Dixon. The album begins (and ends) with the undeniably smooth, big band jazz of "The Late, Late Show," before adding a swinging melody to the blues of "I Love The Life I Live." The classic Ray Charles shuffle of "Mary Ann" is present in Swingadelic's version of the song, while continuing their new album with the classic boogie-woogie style of Mose Allison's "Parchman Farm." Swingadelic get deeper into the blues with the steady rhythm of "Lonely Avenue," before adding a little Latin flair into the vibe of "El Blues Esa Mujer." The orchestra wrap up their new album with the energetic, up-tempo instrumental "Riff'n On McGriff'n" and the final blues romp of "You're Humbuggin' Me." To find out more about Swingadelic and their latest release "Bluesville," please visit swingadelic.com .
Saxophonist extraordinaire Julio Botti recently released his new studio album titled "Pure Tango." It is his fourth release on the Zoho label and his first with pianist Matias Lanfranco, who helped bring out that tango vibe to Botti's more modern jazz sound. The new eleven track release begins with the swinging rhythm of "Taquito Militar," before introducing vocalist Maria Jose Rojas to lend her talents to the tempo changes of "Cualquiera De Estas Noches." Botti and Lanfranco each get their moment in the spotlight during the gentle ballad "El Dia Que Me Quieras." The pace picks back up with the Latin flair of "Oro Y Plata," before Julio Botti closes out his new album with the slow-burning passion of "Zamba Del Chaguanco" and the uplifting, hopeful melody of "Nunca Tuvo Novio." To find out more about Julio Botti and his latest release "Pure Tango," please visit juliobotti.com.
On June 26th, New York based trumpeter and composer John Lake will be releasing his debut studio effort titled "Seven Angels" on the Outside In Music label. John has played in a number of large jazz ensembles, but is now ready to break-off on his own (with the help of a handful of fellow rising jazz musicians). Lake's new eleven song release is a mixture of contemporary originals and modernized versions of some traditional jazz classics.
The new album begins with the exciting build up of "The Bet," which feels like the perfect introduction to John Lake and his band. The music continues to build and crest with each solo. The album continues with the graceful melody of "Nightwatch" and the energetic, swinging rhythm of "Whelmed." Contemporary composer/pianist Steven Feifke lends a hand with his magical working of the key on "Intro To Pearls," which leads into "Pearls Of The Tartar," which is a wonderful collaboration between the two artists, respecting each others outstanding talents. Another jolt of energy arrives with the pulses of rhythm and brass during "A Shade Of Jade," before John Lake finishes his new album with classic sounding solo runs of "Signal Changes" and the gentle, sweeping flow of "Everything I Love." On June 26th, there will also be a live stream of John Lake's "Seven Angels" album release. To find out more, please visit johnlakejazz.com.
Arriving June 19th is the debut studio album from Darlin' Brando titled "Also, Too..." Darlin' Brando is the pseudonym for singer, songwriter and drummer Brandon Goldstein, who also self-produced the album. Brandon, while recording in Nashville, invited The Streise Bar Band to help him flesh out most tracks on this honky-tonk country release.
The album begins with the nostalgic country duet between Brandon and his wife Edith Freni on "When You Don't Fight," which feels like it has the perfect chemistry of energy and harmonies to start things off with a fun, exciting song to sing along to. Darlin' Brando delivers even more southern swagger with the steady pace of the country rocker "Therapy," while "Weeds & Flowers" is a sweet, gentle, folk-sounding ballad. Brandon's friend, A.J. Croce (son of Jim Croce) lends a hand on the classic Sun Records sounding, early rock and roll vibe of "Last Call," before Darlin' Brando finish up his new eight-song album with the strumming acoustic tale of "The Old Man And The Kid." To find out more about Darlin' Brando and his latest release "Also, Too...," please visit brndngldstn.wixsite.com/darlinbrando.
On June 12th, Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne released his latest studio album titled "Go, Just Do It!" Kenny was recently inducted into the Boogie Woogie Piano Hall of Fame back in 2017 and has assembled an electrifying band to help present his latest group of songs. The new thirteen song release begins with the funky rhythm and soulful delivery of the title track "Go, Just Do It!," before Kenny Wayne showcases his "boogie woogie" skills during the energy thriving through "You Did A Number On Me." His new album also features a few cover songs, like the slow blues of Percy Mayfield's "You're In For A Big Surprise," sung wonderfully by Grammy Award-winning artist Diane Schuur. Kenny covers another one of Percy Mayfield's songs, the more energetic, R&B/modern funk of "I Don't Want To Be The President." Another great cover song that Kenny Wayne makes his own is J.J. Cale's "Call Me The Breeze," which carries that classic swagger that makes Kenny the true "Blues Boss." He closes out his new album with the beautiful jazz horns of "Bumpin' Down The Highway," along with the high-energy swinging piano instrumental "Let The Rock Roll." To find out more about Kenny Wayne and his latest release "Go, Just Do It!," please visit kennybluesboss.com.
Legendary rock violinist Lakshminarayana Shankar, better known as L. Shankar is preparing to release his latest studio effort titled "Chepleeri Dream." For some, the name L. Shankar may not be commonly known, but he has worked with an all-star cast of artists like Frank Zappa, Peter Gabriel, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna and many more. His latest album finds L. Shankar working along side Korn's Jonathan Davis, bassist extraordinaire Tony Levin, Scott Page of Supertramp and Toto, along with many others. The album begins with Davis handling the vocals, on the ambient flow of "In My Heart," which is also the album's lead single. The song's melodic body is a relaxing, electronic progressive rock piece, which introduces you to L. Shankar's all-star band. The album picks up a little more energy with the steady beat of "Faith," highlighted by Page's exciting saxophone solo. World renowned vedic chanter P.N. Sivarama Krishnan introduced us to a deeper, worldly sound with his vocal chants at the beginning of the album's title song "Chepleeri Dream," before returning to the straight-up rock of "Suppose." L. Shankar wraps up his new album with his stellar violin work on the contemporary pop/rock feel of "Ocean Waves" and the gentle floating melody of the instrumental "Emotions." To find out more about L. Shankar and his latest release "Chepleeri Dream," please visit lshankar.com.
The Intelligent Music Project V recently released their new all-star studio album titled "Life Motion." The album features members of Toto, Rainbow, Asia and the River Hounds. It kicks off with the steady climb of classic rock music, as the opener "A Kind Of Real Life" is addictive and energetic and full of progressive excitement. The music gets even more intense with "Don't Let Them Win," with the perfect combination of guitar riffs, harmonies and powerful drumming. The band's rock and roll passion burns on "Letting Me In," before taking the energy up another notch with the aggressive, hard rocker "We Keep On Running." The members grab hold of your heart with the emotions of "By The Side Of The Minute" and "The Final Act," before closing out their new album with the swagger of "Rising" and the graceful power ballad "The Things In Your Mind." To find out more about the Intelligent Music Project V's latest release "Life Motion," please visit intelligent-music.com.
Arriving June 12th, is the latest release from heavy metal trio Oracle. Their new album titled "Hindsight 2020" is the band's fifth full-length release in four years, and their first through Pavement Entertainment. It features nine tracks that will shake your skull, beginning with the raw, aggressive pounding of "We Won't Go Down Without A Fight," which just may have become the band's battle cry, fighting for every bit of recognition they rightfully deserve. Oracle's high-powered attack continues with the screams of "The Crow" and chugging guitar riffs of "Breaking Down The Walls." The band display a dark, more melodic side with the mystical flow of "Pandora's Box," before finishing their new album with the intensity of "Dear Friend" and the progressive metal nature of "Infinite Black." To find out more about Oracle and their latest release "Hindsight 2020," please visit facebook.com/oraclemetalband.
Two weeks later, we have the debut release from the Florida hard rock band New Dilemma. Their new album titled "Is Your Story Over" features only six tracks, but introduces you to another dimension of hard rock music. They kick things off with "Don't Lose Control," an electronic, new wave sound that crashes the rock party with an addictive chorus and intense pounding rhythm. Their sound get more aggressive on the dark metal approach of "Bury My Demons," before mixing their metal side with more melodic, electronic tone of "Playing Victim." New Dilemma finish up their new album with the pounding rhythm of "Is Your Story Over" and chugging guitar riffs of the energetic closer "It's Time To Move On." To find out more about New Dilemma and their latest release "Is Your Story Over," please visit newdilemma.com.
Just last month, Grammy nominated composer John Finbury released his latest studio album "Quatro." It features a Spanish/Latin American flair of vocal and instrumental tracks among its seven songs, beginning with slow, sultry jazz of "Llegara El Dia." The song is highlighted by the beautiful voice of singer Magos Herrera and an exciting piano solo from Chano Dominquez. Passions burn on "La Madre De Todos Los Errores," before the rhythm picks up with the Latin swing of "Comenzar." John Finbury's new album finishes with the fun, upbeat instrumental "Romp," which not only includes Chano on piano, but also John Patitucci on bass and Antonio Snachez on drums. To find out more about the new "Quatro" album, please visit greenflashmusic.com.
Next up, the 8-piece jazz ensemble Madre Vaca recently released a new album of songs based on the work of Franz Schubert's "Winterrreise." The new ten track release begins with the New Orleans-jazz flavor of "Good Night," followed by the waltz of "The Weathervane." A Latin flair gives "Loneliness" an extra jolt of energy that will make your hips swing, while the melodic tone of "The Gray Head" just floats along on a cloud, carrying your worries away with it. Madre Vaca wrap up their new album with the electrifying chaos of "Last Hope" and the southern swagger of "The Stormy Morning," before closing with the blues romp of "The Hurdy-Gurdy Man." To find out more about Madre Vaca and their latest release "Winterreise," please visit facebook.com/MadreVacaMusic.
Arriving July 3rd is the new release "Oxygen" from Detroit artist Custard Flux. This is his third release and was recorded during the first few weeks of the "Great Quarantine of 2020." It features ten tracks that carry a similar vibe to his other band, The Luck Of Eden Hall, but with a more earthy, stripped down sound. The album begins with the eight minute opener of "Oxygen/Gelatinous Mass," which still brings in a psych-pop sound, with elements of early Frank Zappa and The Mothers, as a great blues jam closes out the song. The tempo and excitement picks up with the steady drumming of "You Can't Get Away," before the acoustic, psych-folk ballad "Quarantyne," about being stuck inside, alone during this pandemic. Custard Flux delivers a nostalgic sixties-rock vibe with "Monster Island," then floats down a psychedelic trip with the gentle melody of "Innocence And Peppermints." Custard Flux finishes his new album with the nearly nine-minute guitar-driven rocker "Capacity Overload," along with two bonus tracks, an alternate version of his song "She Opens Her Eyes" and the high-energy of "I'm Feeling So Much Better." To find out more about Custard Flux and his latest release "Oxygen," please visit custardflux.bandcamp.com.
Next, from New Jersey comes the latest release from the alternative rock/punk band Dinosaur Eyelids. Their new album titled "Sticker Famous" features eleven tracks, beginning with the dark, raw, grunge tone of "Shake" and "Nogward Spiral." They display their punk side with the high-energy attack of "Never Gonna Be Your Woman," which draws upon elements of The Stooges and that seventies punk vibe. The pounding rhythm of "Faded" becomes very addictive, while "Munchausen By Proxy" is soaked in all its nineties alternative-rock/grunge glory. Dinosaur Eyelids close out their new album with the intense, simple, short aggressive feel of "Dead Celebrities" and the raw, guitar buzz of "Shot To Shit." To find out more about Dinosaur Eyelids and their latest release "Sticker Famous," please visit dinosaureyelidsnj.com.
Finally, we travel to Tel Aviv for some new music from the pop/rock band Bish Bash. Their latest releases are a three song EP titled "Live At The Turkish House" and a new single called "Loop." The song has a gentle flowing melody, which continues to build into a loop. Their new live album is a blast of energy, as you get the full effect of their music, beginning with the new wave rock appeal of "Doctor." Next, they take on "Trump" with a more aggressive, alternative rock approach, which suites the song's political message. Bish Bash finish their new short live EP with the punk like fury of "Social Skills." To find out more about Bish Bash and some of their new music, please visit facebook.com/BishBashBand.
Singer/songwriter John McCutcheon emerged from his recent quarantine with an album's worth of new material that he wrote and recorded in a matter of three weeks. The prolific folk artist released his new album "Cabin Fever - Songs From The Quarantine" digitally just last month and it features some of McCutcheon's most truthful and honest work to date.
His new eighteen track release begins with the song "Front Line," singing about the heathcare workers that had to overcome obstacles to tackle this virus head-on. Next, he lays his heart on his sleeve, showing us his feelings for his fellow folk artist John Prine and hearing about his death from the Coronavirus with the telling of "The Night John Prine Died." McCutcheon's words paint the perfect picture with the descriptive tale of "In Bristol Bay" and also adds a bit of fun with the romance of "Six Feet Away." John's voice is so warm and inviting that you hang on his every word, thoroughly enjoying the stories of "That's All" and "My Talking Dog Blues." He wraps up his new album (maybe the first entire album about the pandemic) with the promises of what to do "When All This Is Over" and the classic folk strumming of "Traveler's Rest." To find out more about John McCutcheon and his latest release "Cabin Fever - Songs From The Quarantine," please visit folkmusic.com.
During the 1970's, one of the premier vocal groups was The Staple Singers. They had 13 hit singles on the U.S. Pop charts and 20 hit singles on the U.S. R&B charts during this decade. The Staple Singers were featured on number of motion picture soundtracks like "Wattstax" (1972), "Let's Do It Again" (1975) and "The Last Waltz" (1976) and they also released three studio albums before the end of the decade. In celebration of The Staple Singers' lifetime accomplishment, Omnivore Recordings is reissuing four of the groups late-70's albums on CD, with bonus tracks.
The first wave arrives June 5th with the newly remastered, reissues of the Curtis Mayfield-produced albums "Let's Do It Again: Soundtrack" and "Pass It On." The "Let's Do It Again" movie starred Sidney Poitier, Bill Cosby and Jimmie Walker, but the thing that stood the test of time is the soundtrack, featuring the soulful voices of The Staple Singers. The title song "Let's Do It Again" is pure seventies gold and topped the U.S. R&B chart in 1975. Also amazing on this soundtrack is the beautiful harmonies of "A Whole Lotta Love" and "After Sex." The new reissue contains three bonus tracks, which are all the single edits of the tracks "Let's Do It Again," "After Sex" and "New Orleans."
After appearing in The Band's "The Last Waltz" film, their music started to gather a more rock-oriented audience with their next album, "Pass It On." The sound still carried that seventies funk as displayed in the songs "Take Your Own Time" and "Making Love." The Staple Singers nearly cracked the top ten once again with the stellar, sultry single "Love Me, Love Me, Love Me," while also showing they can deliver a soulful anthem with "Sweeter Than The Sweet." This new reissue of the "Pass It On" album features a couple of single edits for "Sweeter Than The Sweet" and "Love Me, Love Me, Love Me" as bonus tracks.
The second wave of reissues from Omnivore Recordings arrives on June 26th, with the albums' "Family Tree" and "Unlock Your Mind." Their "Family Tree" album started bringing in elements of disco with the songs "What You Doing Tonight" and "Let's Go To The Disco," while hitting the R&B charts once again with the Olivia Newton-John pop hit "I Honestly Love You." Their sound was also blurring the lines of funk and rock with songs like "Hang Loose" and "Boogie For The Blues." The new reissues includes the single edits for "I Honestly Love You" and "Let's Go To The Disco."
The last of these new reissues centers around their 1978 album "Unlock Your Mind." The title song was a major hit for The Staple Singers, cracking the top 20 on the R&B charts, while "Chica Boom" also made the charts and featured some great horn work by the Muscle Shoals Horns. Other highlights of the "Unlock Your Mind" album are the uptempo, addictive chorus of "(Sho-doo-pa-poop-poop) Love Being Your Fool" and their take on the traditional blues track "Mystery Train." This new reissue only features one bonus track, which is the single edit of "Chica Boom." To find out more about these four new reissues from The Staple Singers, please visit omnivorerecordings.com.