Saturday, January 30, 2021

Let Your Mind Get Lost In The Progressive Rock Music Of Illuminae and Sonus Umbra

On February 12th, Gonzo Multimedia with be releasing the debut album from the progressive rock ensemble, Illuminae, which is the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Ian Jones and singer/composer Agnieszka Swita. The new release titled "Dark Horizons" will also features guest appearances by Steve Hackett (Genesis) and John Helliwell (Supertramp) just to name a couple. The album begins with the nearly ten-minute epic piece "The Lighthouse," which finds Illuminae fueling Jones' symphonic rock side with this high-powered musical number, before delivering a more melodic feel to their song "Edge Of Darkness," which centers around the unique vocals of Agnieszka. The duo take a step back for the pop/rock tone of "Twice," before finishing their new album with the graceful power ballad "Sign Of Infinity" and the adventurous, eleven-minute closer "Dark Horizons," as Ian Jones and Agnieszka Swita form the perfect musical bond on this exciting prog-rock piece. To find out more about Illuminae and their latest release "Dark Horizons," please visit illuminae.net.

Fellow progressive rock ensemble Sonus Umbra also recently unleashed a new studio album titled "A Sky Full Of Ghosts." This veteran rock band lays it all out for you to enjoy on their new nine-track release, which begins with the amazing instrumentation of the seven-minute opener "Antidentity." Sonus Umbra deliver the perfect combination of melody and hard rock edginess with "Bleary-Eyed People," as you begin to notice that the music is the main appeal of this band on songs like "Hidden In The Light" and "The Last Menagerie." Sonus Umbra wrap up their new album with the beautifully elegant acoustics of "Time Is Running Out" and the nostalgic touch of "Apogee." To find out more about Sonus Umbra and their latest release "A Sky Full Of Ghosts," please visit shadowsmadeofsound.com.

Friday, January 29, 2021

An All-Star Line-Up Of Musicians & Singers Are Featured On The New Album From Prog Collective

The progressive rock supergroup, The Prog Collective (led by Yes' Billy Sherwood) have returned with a new studio album titled "Worlds On Hold." Each album features an amazing line-up of special guests, and this one is no exception with Todd Rundgren, Geoff Tate and Joe Lynn Turner and Steve Hackett lending a hand, with others, on this new release. The new thirteen-song album begins with Rundgren and L. Shankar teaming up with the members of The Prog Collective on the title track, "Worlds On Hold," as everyone sounds like they are at the top of their game, giving their all to this project. The album is split with side one featuring all original compositions and side two filled to the brim with cover songs. Geoff Tate (formally of Queensryche) and Ron "Bumblefoot" Thai (formally of Guns N Roses) come together on the slow-building track "Two Trajectories," as Tate's iconic vocals perfectly fit alongside Thai's masterful guitar solo. The guitar work from Steve Hillage on "Brave New World" is exceptional, along with vocal support from Sonja Kristina (Curved Air). 

The album continues with more than half-a-dozen cover songs, as Billy Sherwood performs a stellar, spot-on version of Peter Gabriel's masterpiece "Solsbury Hill," with help from Swedish guitarist Roine Stolt. Keyboardist Derek Sherinian teams up with the amazing vocals of Graham Bonnet for the bluesy ballad "A Whiter Shade Of Pale," before the closing the album with a light, airy pop version of The Beatles' "Penny Lane," sung wonderfully by the late John Wetton, along with a raw, eerie-sounding version of The Doors' "People Are Strange," with the perfect vocals supplied by New York Dolls' David Johansen. To find out more about this new release from The Prog Collective supergroup, please visit cleorecs.com.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Romance Is In The Air With The Mastelottos' Versions of King Crimson Classics

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, let's dive into the romantic side of one of the pioneering bands of progressive rock, King Crimson. The husband and wife duo of Deborah and Pat Mastelottos have taken on the task of reworking a dozen King Crimson classics for their latest release "A Romantic's Guide To King Crimson." The project began in 2019, before being put on hold for Pat's one and only live show in Japan with his band, Stick Men in early 2020. The following COVID-19 lock down allowed the duo to finish up the King Crimson project in their home studio, with a release date of February 12th.

The Mastelottos start the album off  with the gentle sway of "Two Hands," which carries a smooth, R&B vibe, while their version of "Matte Kudasi" is a more experimental sounding piece, which sticks close to the original. One of the most elegant, original King Crimson tracks, "Moonchild" is the perfect addition to this set, as Deborah's vocals give the song a dark, more mysterious feel to the song. The Mastelottos then add a samba groove to "One Time" giving the musical piece a different identity. The fragile motion of strings in "Book Of Saturday" is perfectly executed and "Exiles" carries that progressive vibe that King Crimson has been known for all these years. The Mastelottos finish their new album with the all-out rock assault of "People" and "Sleepless," ending their new release with a bolt of energy. To find out more about The Mastelottos and their latest album "A Romantic's Guide To King Crimson," please visit patmastelotto7d.bandcamp.com.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Check Out New Music From The Wildroots and Feverseed

Music artists Victor Wainwright and Stephen Dees have been a solid team for more than sixteen years and after six-year break since their last album "Boom Town," the duo rejoined forces as The Wildroots with their new album "Wildroots Sessions, Vol. 1." Not only did Victor and Stephen invite Patricia Ann Dees to join them on this latest release, but they also invited an all-star line-up of singers and musicians to join them. Their new sixteen song album begins with a stellar, soulful version of Wilson Pickett's "634-5789" and the blues chant of "Something In The Water 2020, led by the vocals of Billy Livesay. The Wildroots get down and dark in shadows of "Our Last Goodbye" with John Oates' weathered vocals laying out the perfect setting for these emotional lyrics. Patricia Ann Dees' voice will lift your spirits on the simple, sultry jazz romp of "Easy Chair" and Nick Black injects energy into the swinging, soulful sound of "Memphis Queen." The back-porch acoustics of "King Snake Crawl Revisited" brings it all back to the beginning, when the blues was all their was. The Wildroots wrap up their new album with the big rock and roll chords of "Misty Morning In New Orleans" and the gospel-like soul recollection of "I'm Yours." To find out more about The Wildroots and their latest release "Wildroots Sessions, Vol. 1," please visit wildrootsrecords.com.

The New York-based band, Feverseed is preparing to release their debut EP titled "Let Yourself Down" on February 1st. This new four-song release may be short on songs, but it's big on riffs, as displayed in the opening hard rock track "Let Yourself Down." The best friends' duo of George Panagakos and Chris Crosby are also joined by lead guitarist Wibbus and drummer Drew Bertrand to create a a big, loud sound like "Beat Me." They add more classic rock melody to their song "Imprint," before finishing with a radio edit, censored version of their single "Beat Me." To find out more about Feverseed and their latest release "Let Yourself Down," please visit feverseed.com.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Revisit The Waterloo Ice House With The New Live Reissue From Uncle Walt's Band

One of the best kept secrets to come out of Austin, Texas in the eighties was Uncle Walt's Band. Their simplified sound and three-part harmonies had a nostalgic appeal during a time when music was being slicked-up and overproduced. For the past few years, Omnivore Recordings has been reissuing Uncle Walt's Band's catalog with new, expanded versions of their albums. The newest in this set is their 1982 release "Live At Waterloo Ice House," which features the best of the threesome's four-night performance at this Austin venue. It was originally released as a private pressing, which quickly went out of print and included only fourteen tracks. This new expanded edition was remastered and includes 21 total tracks (7 from original release, 4 alternate versions and 10 previously unissued performances).

Every song is a delight to listen to, whether it's your first time hearing Uncle Walt's Band or your a long-time fan. These songs display how good of a live act this trio was. The simple acoustic strumming of "If I Don't Stop Crying" is the perfect backdrop for the meshing of their voices on this opening track. A seventies folk/rock vibe is certainly felt in "Mock, Mock, Mockingbird," along with the blues of "Stagger Lee." The energy keeps swinging with the country rock groove of "Honest Papas Love Their Mamas Better," before belting out the blues once again on the ballad "Bye, Bye Baby." The harmonies they project during "The More I See You" showcases how well their voices worked together, as well as in the up-tempo strumming of "I Gotta Know." Uncle Walt's Band is pure country on the early, classic sounding "I'm Gonna Break My Heart In Two," while "Georgia Rose" has that special nostalgic touch of a simpler time in music. The restoration and remastering by Grammy-winning engineer Michael Graves for this set is amazing, as each song perfectly compliments the next. A new twelve-page booklet is also included in this new release, which includes photos and liner notes from Austin music writer Peter Blackstock. To find out more about Uncle Walt's Band's new release "Live At Waterloo Ice House," please visit omnivorerecordings.com.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Celebrate The Mama's And The Papa's Debut Album With A Pair Of New Vinyl Releases

In celebration of the 45th anniversary of the release of the debut album "If You Can Believe Your Eyes And Ears" from singing sensation, The Mama's & The Papa's, Geffen/UMe will unveil a new vinyl edition of this album on black vinyl and exclusive opaque yellow vinyl. This twelve-song album was filled to the brim with hit singles like "Monday, Monday," "Go Where You Wanna Go" and "California Dreamin'," and also showcases the group's beautiful harmonies on their cover version of The Beatles' "I Call Your Name" and Bobby Freeman's "Do You Want To Dance." The Mamas & Papas would break-up only three years after the release of this album, but not before producing a couple more top-selling albums and a handful of hit singles.

The Mama's & The Papa's were major part of the California Valley musical movement that was shown in the documentary "Echo In The Canyon" and songs from this album were featured in the Quentin Tarantino film "Once Upon A Time In Hollywood." After being out of print for years, this new vinyl release also restores the album's original cover, which was censored due to the exposure of a toilet in the picture. This new vinyl edition of The Mama's & Papa's album "If You Can Believe Your Eyes And Ears" will be available on January 29th. For even more information, please visit udiscovermusic.com.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

New Music From Indie-Artists Reality Anonymous and AJ Rosales

Arriving this month is the debut album from alternative, melodic/psychedelic rock band, Reality Anonymous. The band is the brainchild of Lyn Vaus, a thirty-year veteran in the music industry, who was inspired to make music again by working on the films "The Darien Gap," "Next Stop Wonderland" and "Temptation." The new album titled "The Ghost Host, Vol. 1" features sixteen tracks, each with its own framed picture on the cover of the album. Reality Anonymous begins with the gently told story of "Penny," as the music simply floats along, while "I Love Her Everywhere" carries a sixties psychedelic-pop vibe. The music gets slightly more aggressive with the raw, grunge-style sound of "New Fire," while the music of "Bathhouse Frieze" swirls around, almost unnoticeably. Reality Anonymous keep flashing back to sixties with the nostalgic tones of "Out Of Nowhere" and "Neti Neti (I Lost My Context Lens)." They take a shot at the former president with "Orange Explosion," before finishing the album with the uplifting pop of "Happy Moments" and the dark, alt-country melody of "The Rest In Peace." To find out more about Reality Anonymous and their latest release "The Ghost Host, Vol. 1," please visit facebook.com/realityanonymous.

Also new this month is the fifth solo album from singer/songwriter AJ Rosales titled "Manifestations." Rosales has toured with world-renown acts like Modern English and Vertical Horizons. His new album features a dozen tracks, beginning with the high-energy instrumental "Summoner" and the passionate folk explosion of "Disengage." The energy continues to flow through the alternative-pop strumming of "Tear It Apart," before finally slowing down for the bluesy ballad "Heaven," which flashes some of AJ's stellar guitar work during the song's solo. AJ Rosales closes out his new album with the addictive melody of "If Not Today" and the beautifully, elegant delivery of the instrumental "Snowflakes." To find out more about AJ Rosales and his latest release "Manifestations," please visit ajrosales.com.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Celebrate The Masterful Songwriting Of Syd Barrett With New "Love You" Tribute

For Syd Barrett's 75th birthday, Gonzo Multimedia released a two-disc tribute to the artist titled simply "Love You." It features artists from around the world paying homage to the music of this rock icon. Most of the songs in this set are taken from Barrett's two solo albums following his departure from Pink Floyd, but there are also a couple of Floyd gems sprinkled in this set.

The first disc begins with the loving, acoustic-based "Terrapin," delivered beautifully by Italian artist Andrea Achilli, and on the flip side you have the raw, guitar-driven frenzy of "No Good Trying" by France's Luna Park. The dark overtone of "No Man'd Land" is executed perfectly by Mexico's Humus, while the psychedelic folk sound of "Octopus" by Sherpa (Italy) brings you right back to the sixties, along with In The Labyrinth's (Sweden) nearly eight-minute version of "Golden Hair." The edgy, hard rock approach of "She Took A Long Cold Look" and the sweet balladry of "Late Night" showcases the diversity in Barrett's songwriting, pulling out every emotion he was feeling at that moment. The first disc closes with a collaboration between the Italian duo of Boris Savoldelli and Umberto Petrin on the early Pink Floyd classic "Astronomy Domine."

Disc two starts off with the swirling psychedelic rock of "Baby Lemonade" from ST37 and the playful, innocent sound of "Love Song" by Italy's La Forma Delle Nuvole. One Of Syd Barrett's most masterful pieces of art, "Dominoes" is a sonic trip delivered by Germany's Sula Bassana, while "Waving My Arms In The Air/I Never Lied To You" is an acoustic folk tale from Italy's Luca Raio. The hard sounds of "Wolfpack" is executed perfectly by the USA's Keeper Of Atlantis, before the odd sound experiment "Birdie Hop" takes over your musical mind. This new set finishes with U.K. singer/songwriter Joss Cope filling in the role of storyteller for "Bob Dylan's Blues" and Nick Bensen (USA) mellowing out to the Pink Floydian "Vegetable Man." To find out more about this new collaboration "Love You - A Tribute To Syd Barrett," please visit gonzomultimedia.co.uk.

Friday, January 22, 2021

New Music From These Two Ladies Of Song, Melbreeze and Sue Maskaleris

Turkey-born artist, Melbreeze has been calling Los Angeles her home when she began collaborating on songs with Grammy-winner Jimmy Haslip and Alan Pasqua. She released her debut album "Solitude: A Dream In Green Minor" almost a decade ago and has been on a role, releasing new music nearly every year since.  Her latest album titled "I Love Paris" is her first in the producers chair, as she co-produced the album with fellow artist, Scott Kinsey. Melbreeze's new ten track release features her re-imagined version of classic, traditional pop songs like "Autumn Leaves," "Sentimental Journey" and the title-song "I Love Paris." You will definitely appreciate the way she take a song like "I Fall In Love Too Easily" and makes it her own, by changing the tempo and delivering her vocals in a unique style. The way Melbreeze turns Oscar Brown Jr.'s "Dat Dere" into a swinging jazz/pop anthem is simply magical. Her singing style perfectly matches the sultry melody of "What Lola Wants," turning the song into one of the greatest musical pieces of her catalog. Melbreeze wraps up her new album with an elegant version of Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly With His Song." To find out more about Melbreeze and her latest release "I Love Paris," please visit melbreeze.com.

Singer, songwriter, musician Sue Maskaleris recently released her new studio album titled "Love Is The Key." It features eleven tracks that showcase the many different styles of music that Sue simply loves and will have you falling in love with also. The album begins with the ticking rhythm of "Procrastination," which takes off with Sue's vocal excitement. The tempo slows down for the gentle flow of "Bliss," which wraps you up like a warm blanket on cold winter night. I feel that a musical is in her future, as she sings in Portuguese on "March Of The Refugee (Dire)," the choir sings in English and you can picture this big stage number. Sue delivers a swinging jazz vibe for "Love Is The Key," which appears again at the end of the album in edited form. She returns to singing in Portuguese once again during the samba-movement of "Voce Pra Mim," before finishing with a loving duet with Luiz Simas on "Summer" and the elegant jazz of "Flay Away," as the music is the featured guest on this closing number. To find out more about Sue Maskaleris and her latest release "Love Is The Key," please visit suemask.com.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Discover New Music From Musicians Bill DiCosimo & Edgar Pagan, Along With Composer Wayne Alpern

New York City composer/arranger Wayne Alpern recently released a new full-length album titled "Jukebox." This new twenty-song set gathers many well-known tunes together to be performed by Wayne's five-piece band. The album begins with the the gentle, classical touch of "Accustomed To Her Face" and the waltz of "All The Things You Are." He mixes in some very well-known movie tunes like "Beauty And The Beast," "Do-Re-Mi" and "Over The Rainbow," giving them a subtle makeover. Other tracks featured in this set are new, classical renditions of pop/rock classics like "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Penny Lane," as Wayne Alpern's rendition turns these into new classical standard pieces of art. The mood picks up with the swinging tempo of "Have You Met Miss Jones" and the well-known holiday instrumental "Nutcracker Suite." The album closes with the up-tempo melody of "Surrey With The Fringe," from the musical "Oklahoma!" and an almost unrecognizable version of James Taylor's "You've Got A Friend." To find out more about Wayne Alpern and his latest release "Jukebox," please visit facebook.com/pages/category/Artist/Wayne-Alpern.

Musicians Bill DiCosimo and Edgar Pagan have been performing music together for over twenty years, backing up artists like Dave Valentin, Bela Fleck and Wayne Newton just to name a few. Now, the duo decided it was time to release their own album titled "Con Moto" (meaning 'forward movement'), which features an all-star line-up of musicians, including 3-time Grammy winning producer Jimmy Haslip. The new release features seven tracks (5 originals, 2 covers), beginning with the smooth, jazz flow of "So It Begins," as you instantly feel the chemistry between these artists. The album continues with an exciting, rock infused version of "Magic Carpet Ride," before delivering the Latin flair of "Samba Pagan." The duo add a bit of funk to their sound with "Blues Clues" and their cover of War's "Cisco Kid," before finishing with the inspirational, healing sounds of "Show The World." To find out more about this latest collaboration between Bill DiCosimo and Edgar Pagan, please visit edgarpagan.com/news.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Check Out The International Sounds of Dwiki Dharmawan and Vasko Atanasovski

Pianist extraordinaire Dwiki Dharmawan recently released a new studio album titled "Hari Ketiga," which means "The Third Day." This new song suite is spread across two CDs and focuses on the documentation of alien terrain that protagonists have encountered. Dwiki delivers the spirit of those findings with melodic soundscapes and experimentation, with the help of Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis and Boris Savoldelli.

The first disc consists of only three tracks titled "The Earth," "The Man" and The Event Horizon." The first two musical pieces equal over an hour in length and take you on a musical journey of exploration, as Dwiki's piano leads the way, with Markus' guitar and Boris' vocals adding power and energy, while Asaf's drum add strength to these classical sounding improvisations. The six musical endeavors on disc two continue the journey with the spaced-out, jazz fusion of "The Loneliness Of The Universe," along with the beautiful piano piece "You'll Never Be Alone." Dwiki adds some of his Indonesian influence onto to energetic and spiritual delivery of "The Perpetual Motione," before closing his new album with the subtle musical movements of "The Memory Of Things." To find out more about Dwiki Dharmawan and his latest release "Hari Ketiga," please visit dwikidharmawan-moonjune.bandcamp.com.

Next, European maestro Vasko Atanasovski has gathered some of the best studio musicians from across Europe to create his Adrabesa Quartet. Together, this five-piece quartet recorded and released a new album in a matter of two months. The new release titled "Phoenix" features nine instrumental tracks, each of which highlights the many talents that this Adrabesa Quartet have to offer.

The album begins with the waltz-style melody of "Meeting," before slowing the tempo down to embrace the loving, classical flow of "Green Nymph." The eleven-minute suite of "Liberation" takes you on a musical journey, featuring hills and valleys of notes played perfectly by this ensemble. Vasko Atanasovski delivers the jazz fusion of "Balet" with shear force, before wrapping up his new album with the up-tempo, cabaret feel of "Concerto Epico" and the gentle climb of the closing track "Outro." To find out more about Vasko Atanasovski and his Adrabesa Quartet's new album "Phoenix," please visit vaskoatanasovski-moonjune.bandcamp.com.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Expand Your Musical Palette With New Releases From Soft Works and Stick Men

Back in December, Moonjune Records officially released the only live album from the Soft Machine spin-off band, Soft Works. This line-up of the band, which consisted of Elton Dean on sax, Allan Holdsworth on guitar, Hugh Hopper on bass and John Marshall on drums only existed for a couple years and released one studio album titled "Abracadabra." The foursome did tour in America, Japan, Italy and Mexico, before the untimely passing of Elton Dean in 2007 closed out that chapter of Soft Works.

This new release titled "Abracadabra In Osaka" features one of Soft Works only known live recordings, which was never officially released, until now. The show was carefully restored, enhanced and mastered by Mark Wingfield, who does an exceptional job bringing the music to life. This new two-disc set is highlighted by the interweaving of notes, as the band support each other on songs like "Alphrazallan" and "Baker's Test." Their progressive rock side shows up on the eight-minute "Kings & Queens," along with the aggressive jazz fusion of "Has Riff," which sounds like each instrument is fighting for the right to be heard. Soft Works closes the show with a wildly exciting, energetic version of the Soft Machine original "Facelift." To find out more about this new release from Soft Works titled "Abracadabra In Osaka," please visit softmachine-moonjune.bandcamp.com.

Another newly released live album documents the only show performed by the Stick Men in 2020. What was supposed to be a ten-date Far East tour, turned into one show at the the Blue Note Nagoya in Japan, due to political unrest and the rapidly spreading COVID-19 virus. So members, Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto, Markus Reuter and Gary Husband performed and recorded their one and only show, which was tiled simply "Owari" (which translates to "the end") and was released in October of last year.

This eleven track release showcases the Stick Men prepared to takeover with their unique brand of progressive rock/jazz music. The music explodes during the hard rock edginess of "Hide The Trees," as Gary Husband's keyboard work adds another dimension to their sound. The addition of the King Crimson classic "Larks' Tongue In Aspic, Part II" really brings the band's musical talents to the spotlight, as the looseness of their performance only adds to the band's identity. Stick Men pick up the energy with the quick moving "Schattenhalt," before taking you on a slow-moving, ambient journey with "Crack In The Sky." They experiment with the spontaneity of "Owari," before finishing with the floating melody of "Swimming In The T" and the sixteen-minute, spaced-out bonus track "The End Of The Tour." To find out more about Stick Men and their latest release "Owari," please visit stickmen-moonjune.bandcamp.com.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Celebrate 30 Years Of Sting's "The Soul Cages" Album With A New Digital Expanded Edition

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Sting's third solo album "The Soul Cages," A&M and UMe have teamed up to release a digital-only expanded edition of the album, back on January 15th. The original nine-song album gets more than doubled in size with the addition of thirteen bonus tracks, over half of which have never appeared in digital format. The album topped many charts around the world in 1991 and featured the hit singles "All This Time" and "Mad About You." This is also the first solo Sting album to include his long-time guitarist Dominic Miller, along with Branford Marsalis, David Sancious and the late, great Kenny Kirkland.

The bonus tracks start off with the lovely piano instrumental "I Miss You Kate" and the previously unavailable (digitally) Elton John track "Come Down In Time." It's great to hear a younger Sting have fun performing a live version of the Squeeze hit "Tempted," I only wish that more live tracks were added as a bonus. You can hear Sting working on a melody in the studio for a song titled "Oo La La Hugh," which features some mean guitar chords from Dominic Miller. This set also features different remixes of the singles "Mad About You" and "Why Should I Cry For You," including "Mad About You" sung in Italian and "Why I Should I Cry For You" sung in Spanish, showcasing Sting's diversity with language. This new digital-only expanded version of "The Soul Cages" album is a nice gathering of available tracks from that era. Here's hoping that A&M and UMe go forward with a colored vinyl version of this release, maybe for Record Store Day 2021. To find out more about this new release, please visit sting.com.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Iggy And The Stooges Return "From KO To Chaos" With A New Box Set Full Of Gems

Back in December 2020, Skydog International unleashed an eight-disc box set from Iggy Pop & The Stooges titled "From KO To Chaos." The set centers around the final live gig for Iggy & The Stooges, which was originally issued back in 1976 as "Metallic KO." This new box set includes that original seven-song "Metallic KO" release on CD, along with two other "Metallic KO" sources of the full show that have been cleaned-up and pitch-corrected, giving the music a grittier, more punk sound that helped make The Stooges one of the premier punk bands of the seventies. The new versions of the full shows also include the addition of their more popular tracks like "Search And Destroy" and "Open Up And Bleed," along with versions of "Heavy Liquid" and "Gimme Danger."

This new set also includes The Stooges 2003 reunion show, which was recorded live in Japan and originally released as "Telluric Chaos." The sound of this set is much better than expected, as you listen to Iggy Pop And The Stooges perform these classic tracks from their back catalog like "I Wanna Be Your Dog" and "1969." Their performance is timeless, as you can hear Iggy Pop working up the crowd into a frenzy for songs like "TV Eye" and "Fun House."

Two compilations of rare studio and live tracks are also featured in this box set. The release "We Are Not Talking About Commercial Shit" includes some great, one-of-a-kind versions of some classic songs like "Louie, Louie," "Hang On Sloppy," "96 Tears" and even the "Batman Theme." Most of these cover songs were taken from live performances and are not necessarily presented in the best sound quality, but the rarity factor of hearing Iggy Pop perform these songs more than makes up for that. The sound quality on the other compilation "Wake Up Suckers!!!" is slightly better at times, but remember that these tracks were never mastered for a final album and have remained left-overs from recording sessions. Songs like "Gimme Danger" and "I Got Nothing" show Iggy Pop trying to recapture that raw, reckless glory of his days with The Stooges.

The highlights of this new box set have to be the "Acoustic KO" CD and DVD, which shows Iggy Pop in an unusual quiet and controlled setting. You will hear a side of Iggy Pop that is rare, and dare I say emotional, as he delivers the ballads "Foolish Dreams" and "Starry Night" with an elegance. He can also rock out with an acoustic guitar, as displayed in tracks like "Think Alone" and "Nightclubbing." The DVD is a nice addition, watching Iggy Pop perform these tracks in a live setting, but it's almost better to imagine him singing these songs on a dark, bare stage with a single spotlight and only an acoustic guitar to accompany him, as he plays these songs as if his life and career depended on it.

A 48-page booklet featuring detailed notes from Iggy Pop biographer, Paul Trynka is a nice addition to this set, which only adds more insight into the life of Iggy Pop, the man and the performer. Also included in the booklet are many rare and unseen photos. Skydog International has done a nice job bringing all these releases together in one concise box. To find out more about Iggy And The Stooges' "From KO To Chaos," please visit the YouTube page at youtube.com.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

New Music From Indie-Rock Artists Sometimes Julie and Twiggy Branches

Back on New Year's Eve, indie-rockers Sometimes Julie released their fourth album titled "Where Are You?." It features a dozen new tracks that supports the full band's effort, beginning with the hard, edgy rock of "She Can't Kiss You," as singer Monica Sorenson's vocals add a revenge-type feel to the song. The album continues with the blues of "Knew It All Along" and the beautiful ballad "As Good A Day As Any," before delivering the southern swagger of "Walk Among The Dead." The band's stellar sound supplies the perfect rock and roll backdrop for Monica to strut out the lyrics of "Counterpart" and "Arachne's Pride -Minerva." Sometimes Julie finish up their new album with the nostalgic-sounding, street-style blues of "Love Me Gently" and the upbeat, alternative country vibe of "Counting My Lucky Stars." To find out more about Sometimes Julie and their latest release "Where Are You?," please visit sometimesjulie.com.

Also released just last year is the full-length debut album from Twiggy Branches titled "Hello From Sunny Sigils." The album was recorded live at Thunderdome Studios and features eight blazing tracks, beginning with the punk fury of "The Patient Twiggy Branches" and the raw energy of "Am I Going Sane?." The music smolders during "Runt Of The Litter," before letting loose with a precise sonic attack. Twiggy Branches deliver a spot-on, classic punk sound with "Therapeutic Drag, before wrapping up their new album with the addictive chorus of "Be My Babylon" and the chugging guitar riffs spewing vocals of "Dr. Dealer." To find out more about Twiggy Branches and their latest release "Hello From Sunny Sigils," please visit facebook.com/twiggybranches69.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Omnivore Recordings Complete The "Destiny Street" Album From Richard Hell & The Voidoids For It's Anniversary Release

On January 22nd, Omnivore Recordings will be releasing a new compilation from Richard Hell & The Voidoids titled "Destiny Street Complete." This new 2CD set features four different versions of the "Destiny Street" album, which was originally released in 1982, following the success of the band's debut release "Blank Generation." Richard Hell has stated that he was never satisfied with the original release of the album, so this new set corrects that with not only a new remastered version of the original album, but also a newly remixed version, a raw, stripped down version and an album's worth of recorded demos for the album.

The new remastered version of the original "Destiny Street" album sounds ages better and returns it to its former glory and rightful place in the Richard Hell & The Voidoids catalog. Not only will fans be happy about that, but the second half of the first disc includes a stripped down version of the album, using the original two-guitars, bass and drum tracks. This actually gives songs like "I Gotta Move" and  "Lowest Common Denominator" a bit more punch, along with that perfect rough sounding punk edge that gave life to the punk music of late-seventies. This set of songs also include additional add-ons like some guitar solos and vocal adjustments recorded between 2008-2009. The length of the title song that closes out the "Destiny Street" album is almost doubled on the reimagined version of the album, as the band lay down a lengthy jam to finish things off.

The second disc starts off with a brand-new remix version of the "Destiny Street" album. Richard Hell had always wanted to redo the album, but the record company told him that the 24-track masters were lost. Then, in 2019 the masters to four of the album's song were discovered and this idea to remix the album was reborn. Richard Hell, along with Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeah), work to remake the album in the image that Hell finally felt satisfied with. You can hear a clarity to songs like "Downtown At Dawn" and "Staring In Her Eyes," as now this album has a timeless quality to it. A previously unissued bonus track, "Don't Die" has been added to the end of the album, which was discovered during the uncovering of the album masters.

A dozen bonus tracks made up of demos, single versions and a live take close out this second disc. Highlights include a pure adrenaline-fueled demo version of a song called "Crack Of Dawn," as well as raw, energetic rocker titled "Funhouse" and a nostalgic, sixties-sounding track called "Smitten." A live version of the song "Time," which was performed at the Robert Quine memorial in 2004, is the perfect final note in this chapter of the "Destiny Street" album. To find out more about this new two-disc set "Destiny Street Complete" and a vinyl-only version of "Destiny Street Remixed," please visit omnivorerecordings.com/richard-hell.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

New Music To Discover From Crack The Sky, Christopher Shayne and Walking Papers

Arriving January 15th is the new studio album from the American progressive rock band, Crack The Sky. It has been 45 years since the release of their self-titled debut album and their new thirteen track release titled "Tribes" is some of the band's best work in decades. They begin with the hard rock assault of the title-song "Tribes," as the words feel even more relevant in these troublesome times. The political charge continues with the funky bass/drum breaks of "Another Civil War," before the high-powered energy explodes with "Blowing Up Detroit." Crack The Sky's progressive side shines on the epic rock journey of "Quick," while "Another Beautiful Day" has a timeless, nostalgic quality to the music. Their sound take on a modern vibe with "Stranger In A Strange Land" and the electronic beats of "We Don't Know," before Crack The Sky finish their new album with the pounding drum and thick blues riff of "Boom Boom," along with the new wave funk of "The Lost Boys." To find out more about Crack The Sky and their latest release "Tribes," please visit carryonmusic.com/artists/crack-the-sky.

Then, next week we have the new seven-song EP from southern rocker Christopher Shayne titled "Ten High." Only six years have passed since his independent debut release, but Shayne has found the perfect hard edged, southern rock charm with this new set of tracks, beginning with the high-energy of "Pour The Bottle." The country rock with the blues backdrop of the title song "Ten High" features the perfect formula for chart success, as Christopher Shayne has the perfect remedy music to just let loose to. His sound takes a turn toward country with the guitar swagger of "Any Given Sunday," before getting down and dirty with the swampy blues of "Burn Me Down." Christopher Shayne closes out his new album with the hard rock attack of "Give A Damn" and the flipside acoustic strumming of "Just Get Drunk." To find out more about Christopher Shayne and his latest release "Ten High," please visit christophershaynemusic.com.

Now, let's fast-forward to February for the latest release from Seattle rockers, Walking Papers. Their new album titled "The Light Below" features a dozen new tracks, beginning with the buzz of "The Value Of Zero," as the music simmers with raw smoldering rage. The modern, mainstream sound of "What Did You Expect" feels influenced by newly inducted Rock And Roll Hall Of Famers Depeche Mode," while Walking Papers take you on a sonic rock journey with the eight-minute epic piece "Divine Intervention." They find truly find divine intervention with the southern gospel-like appeal of "Going Nowhere," then dig deep into the electronic "grunge" sound of "Creation Reproduction And Death." Popularity awaits the discover of "Rich Man's War," which rings through your speakers with the rawness of The Black Keys. Walking Papers wrap up their new album with the quiet touch of "Where Did I Go Wrong" and the melodic flow of "California (One More Phone Call)." To find out more about Walking Papers and their latest release "The Light Below," please visit facebook.com/walkingpapersmusic.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Deacon Blue Ride "The Tide Of Love" & A Scent Like Wolves Become "Triumphant"

Arriving early next month is the new full-length studio album from the Scottish rock/pop band, Deacon Blue. Their new release "Riding On The Tide Of Love" is a companion-piece to last year's top album "City Of Love." This new eight-song album was written and recorded during the 2020 lockdown and brings a joy to their music that is much needed in the world today. Deacon Blue kick things off with the fun, light, airy sounds of the title-track "Riding On The Tide Of Love," which should certainly lift your spirits during these dark times. They continue with a beautiful, gentle melody of "She Loved The Snow" and "Look Up," which keeps things simple, but emotional. The energy returns with striking lyrics and pulsating rhythm of "Time," before Deacon Blue finish off their new album with the bluesy-style ballad of "Send A Note Out" and the quiet touch of "It's Still Early," highlighted by the song's amazing harmonies. To find out more about Deacon Blue and their latest release "Riding On The Tide Of Love," please visit deaconblue.com.

Also arriving in February is the latest release from the American metal band, A Scent Like Wolves. Their new album titled "We Are Triumphant" features ten tracks that find the band focusing on the instrumentation of these tracks, to give their sound a deeper connection with the listener. A short instrumental gives way to the energetic attack of "Eastern Lights," as A Scent Like Wolves wastes no time delivering a addictive high-powered chorus and melody. The new album also features some special guests, like JT Cavey from Erra on the epic sounding "Bloom," which floats between mainstream rock and hardcore aggressiveness. They take their time on "Poison" leading up to the song's explosive crest of screaming vocals and chugging guitar riffs, while "Midnight Eyes" is an ambient guitar solo that sets up the second half of the album. The addition of Brian Wille of Currents on "Death Effect" gives the song an extra sonic blast of hardcore energy, before A Scent Like Wolves close out their new album with the gentler, more melody tone of "Dissolve" and the final explosive chorus of "Aquamarine." To find out more about A Scent Like Wolves and their latest release "We Are Triumphant," please visit aslwofficial.com.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

New Heavy Metal Music Arriving From These Colors Fade, Crawl Below and Cortege

Arriving January 29th is the latest release from the one-man, hardcore metal act, These Colors Fade. This is the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Keelan Donahue and his latest album "Contemporary Tragedy" features ten tracks, beginning with the three-part "Contemporary Tragedy Suite." Keelan lays it all out for you to enjoy on these first few tracks, as he combines soft classical sounds with raw, grunge and hardcore screams in order to get his message across. It's hard to completely categorize his sound, with each song including many different musical elements, as displayed in "Clarity" and "Beginning/End." The industrial buzz of "The Art Of A Burning Memory" and the ballad "Disappear" are a couple of his strongest pieces on this album, before finishing with part four of the "Contemporary Tragedy Suite," which keeps you listening until the final note. To find out more about These Colors Fade's latest release "Contemporary Tragedy," please visit facebook.com/TheseColorsFade.

Next month, we get the latest release from another one-man army, Crawl Below with his new album "9 Mile Square." This Connecticut artist focuses his new album on the history and legends of Norwich, CT. Crawl Below is the moniker of the multi-talented artist, Charlie Sad-Eyes and his new six song release kicks off with the slow-moving, doom metal sounds of "Feed The Towers Above The Trees" and "Fire Burning," as the music takes over the vocals in these songs. The rawness of "Kingdom Of The Ruined" gives the song a darker, "grunge" like tone, while "Tarnished The Name" mixes in a softer guitar sound, along with a chugging guitar riff, which gives the music more depth. Crawl Below finishes his new album with the seven-minute doom metal buzz of the title song "9 Mile Square." To find out more about Crawl Below and his latest release "9 Mile Square," please visit facebook.com/crawlbelow.

Another February release arrives from the Texas doom metal duo, Cortege. Their new two-song EP titled "Chasing Daylight" features this sixteen-minute song broken up into two parts. The deep, dark tones of "Chasing Daylight, Part 1" has a progressive quality to the music, as you follow every note and drumbeat that brings you along on this journey. The second part continues the song's slow-moving pace, but with glimpses of louder, chaotic instrumentation. To find out more about Cortege and their new album "Chasing Daylight," please visit facebook.com/cortegeatx.

Monday, January 11, 2021

New Releases From Metal Blade Records Artists Dread Sovereign, Demon Head and Tribulation

Irish metal band, Dread Sovereign are ready to release their new studio album titled "Alchemical Warfare" on January 15th, through Metal Blade Records. The band combines a doom and death metal sound, as featured on the ten minute opener "She Wolves Of The Savage Season." The intensity of the song continues to climb during each verse, before pulling back the reigns to display a dark, dooming sound. Dread Sovereign continue with the storied lyrics and Viking calls of "The Great Beast We Serve," along with the slow-building aggressive heavy metal attack of "Nature Is The Devil's Church." The thrash metal guitar riffs of "Devil's Bone," continues to deliver the energy, before Dread Sovereign close out their new album with the nine minute mystical doom metal appeal of "Ruin Upon The Temple Mount" and the chaotic frenzy of "You Don't Move Me (I Don't Give A Fuck)." To find out more about Dread Sovereign and their latest release "Alchemical Warfare," please visit facebook.com/DreadSovereign.

Also arriving this January from Metal Blade Records is the latest release from Demon Head titled "Viscera." It continues the bands consistency of releasing a new album every couple years and this new ten track release delivers a different type of metal experience, using mostly acoustic and brass instrumentation, along with mellotrons and church organs. They begin with the gothic-metal sounds of "Tooth And Nail," while "The Feline Smile" has a worshipping quality to the singing, while the music combines many different elements. Demon Head deliver the doom metal sounds of "Magical Death" with masterful experience, while the epic dark metal appeal of "Black Torches" will turn you into an instant follower of the music of Demon Head. To find out more about the band's new album "Viscera," please visit facebook.com/Demoncoven.

Swedish metal band, Tribulation also get in on the action with their latest release titled "Where The Gloom Becomes Sound." It features ten new death metal anthems, beginning with the chugging guitar riffs and growling vocals of "In Remembrance," as you are drawn into Tribulation's musical world. The energy explodes with the addictive mainstream metal melody of "Hour Of The Wolf," along with the pounding doom metal rhythm of "Dirge Of A Dying Soul." Then, Tribulation flex their thrash metal muscle with the sonic attack of "Daughter Of The Djinn, before finishing off their new album with the amazing musicianship of "Elements" and the progressive metal touch of the album closer, "The Wilderness." To find out more about Tribulation and their latest release "Where The Gloom Becomes Sound," please visit facebook.com/TribulationSweden.

Friday, January 8, 2021

Come And Spend Time In "The Parlor" With Bluesman Alabama Slim

Veteran blues artist Alabama Slim is ready to release a new studio album titled "The Parlor" on January 29th, through Cornelius Chapel Records in association with the Music Maker Relief Foundation. Alabama Slim's music history dates back to the fifties and sixties, playing in juke joints in Alabama, before moving to New Orleans and teaming up with his cousin, Little Freddie King. Fast forward to June 2019 and Alabama Slim, Freddie King and drummer Ardie Dean recorded tracks for a new album in only four hours. During post production for the album, Jimbo Mathus (Squirrel Nut Zippers) and Mike Patton (Drive-By Truckers) added keyboards and bass to the album to create a timeless blues masterpiece.

The new ten track release begins with the John Lee Hooker-style boogie-woogie of "Hot Foot," as you can hear the raw, spontaneity in the recording. Freddie King sings lead on the classic, up-tempo swinging blues tempo of "Freddie's Voodoo Boogie," before the mood slows down for the deep New Orleans blues of "Rob Me Without A Gun," as you can't help but get lost in the melody. Not only will you simply fall in love with Alabama Slim's timeless vocals, but the beautiful interweaving of his and Freddie King's guitars on "All Night Long" is like a dance where both partners want to take the lead. The energy picks up with the toe-tapping rhythm of "Midnight Rider" and the steady guitar romp of the traditional feel of "Rock Me Baby." Alabama Slim and his band close out the album with the southern groove of "Someday Baby" and the slow, passionate performance of "Down In The Bottom." To find out more about this new album from Alabama Slim, please visit corneliuschapelrecords.myshopify.com.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Matthew Sweet Will Electrify Your Musical Soul With His New Album "Catspaw"

Legendary power pop/alternative rock artist Matthew Sweet returns with the release of his 15th studio album "Catspaw" on January 15th, through Omnivore Recordings. It features a dozen direct, guitar-driven anthems that were recorded just prior to the pandemic hitting the U.S. last year, but the music carries the perfect tones for letting loose from the everyday pressures of what's happening now in the world. The album kicks off with the hard edge of "Blown Away, as Sweet's vocals are so iconic that you can't mistake them for anyone else. The simplicity and honesty of the music is what injects the energy to move and feel empowered by song's rhythm. The swaying melody of "Give A Little" has a nostalgic touch, while "Challenge The Gods" carries a southern rock swagger, highlighted by some amazing harmonies. The chugging guitar riffs of "Best Of Me" lays down the perfect alternative rock vibe, while "Hold On Tight" feels like a modern rock version of classic Beach Boys, with stellar harmonies and easy to follow lyrics that stick in your head. Matthew Sweet wraps up his new album with the powerfully energetic rocker "At A Loss" and the steady pace of "Parade Of Lights," which features streaks of guitar riffs to give a raw sound. To find out more about Matthew Sweet and his latest album "Catspaw," please visit matthewsweet.com and omnivorerecordings.com.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Check Out New Music From The Melvins' Dale Crover, Rockers Vajra & Chester Bennington's Band Grey Daze

Arriving January 15th from Joyful Noise Recordings is the sophomore effort from Melvins drummer/bassist Dale Crover titled "Rat-A-Tat-Tat!" Crover wrote the album while on the road and this time around, assembled a band to help with the recording, beginning with the backwards sound experiment "Moclips." Things finally get underway with the addictive, mainstream alternative rock sound of "I Can't Help You There," along with the pounding rhythm and guitar frenzy of "Tougher." Dale Crover injects a nostalgic sounding sixties vibe into "Shark Like Overbite," while "Supine Is How I Found Him" is one of his sound experiments that keeps you guessing his every step. He returns with the raw, blues-style delivery of "Unture Crime," before closing out his new album with the exciting layered instrumental "The Bowie Mix" and a flashback to his Northwestern early days with the "grunge" tones of "Kiss Proof World." To find out more about Dale Crover and his latest solo album "Rat-A-Tat-Tat!," please visit joyfulnoiserecordings.com.

Another new arrival on the 15th features the return of the female fronted hard rock band, Vajra and their new six-song EP titled "Irkalla." It has been over eight years since we last heard from this New York-based band and their extensive touring schedule behind the success of their debut album has allowed the band to now focus on new music. The album kicks off with a short instrumental that leads into the lead-single "Maya," which displays a harder edge to their sound along with the strong, solid vocal delivery from Annamaria Pinna. The music rises and then subdues during the powerful output of "Crown Or Crucify," before finishing their new short release with the explosive touch of "Sever The Tie" and the sound collage instrumental "Wind." To find out more about Vajra and their latest release "Irkalla," please visit thevajratemple.com.

At the end of the month, Grey Daze will release the follow-up to their 2020 compilation "Amends," titled simply "Amends... Stripped." This five song EP features acoustic versions of tracks from the "Amends" compilation that uses Chester Bennington's original vocals with the music supplied by the original members of the band along with some special guests. The power of Bennington's vocals are still present and stands-out even more among the acoustic strumming of "Sometimes" and "What's In The Eye." Grey Daze actually display a more pop oriented sound with the softer tone of "Soul Song," before closing with the insightful, amazing piano demo of "The Syndrome." To find out more about Grey Daze and their new compilation "Amends" and the follow-up EP "Amends... Stripped," please visit greydazemusic.com.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Century Media Artists Frozen Soul and Asphyx Ready New Heavy Metal Albums

New from Century Media Records is the debut album from the Texas death metal band, Frozen Soul. Their new ten track release titled "Crypt Of Ice" is a chugging onslaught attack of dark metal riffs and pounding, marching rhythms. They begin with the mystical opening of the title track that just break down the gate with it growling vocals and buzzsaw like guitar riffs. The intensity of "Arctic Stranglehold" and "Hand Of Vengeance" deliver a one-two punch to the eardrums, as the music is a solid blast of energy. The song "Mericless" is the perfect explanation for the type of music that Frozen Soul delivers, as their aggressive hardcore sound hits you with waves of power and chaos. They wrap up their new album with the quick-hitting, thrash metal delivery of "Beat To Dust" and "Faceless Enemy," along with the powerful doom/death metal combination of the album closer "Gravedigger." To find out more about Frozen Soul and their latest release "Crypt Of Ice," please visit facebook.com/frozensoultx.

Fellow Century Media Records' artists, Asphyx is releasing their tenth studio album titled "Necroceros" on January 22nd. This death metal juggernaut shows no signs of slowing down since their formation back in 1987. Their new ten track release is a mixture of aggressive, hard-hitting tracks like "The Sole Cure Is Death" and "Botox Explosion," along with a heavier doom metal appeal as displayed in "Molten Black Earth." Asphyx show us that they are more that chugging guitar riffs and speed metal pounding during their nearly eight-minute doom/progressive metal highlight "Three Years Of Famine." Hop on board and let Asphyx take you on an epic, sonic escape from the mundane. They finish off their new album with the high-powered attack of "Yield Or Die" and thunderous doom metal delivery of the title song "Necroceros." To find out more about Asphyx and their latest release "Necroceros," please visit facebook.com/officialasphyx

Monday, January 4, 2021

Bite The Bullet Rise Up Once Again With New "Black & White" Album

Arriving January 22nd is the return album from Bite The Bullet. It has been over thirty years since the release of their debut album, but a canceled opening slot on the Electric Light Orchestra tour found the band going into hiatus. In 2019, Bite The Bullet's debut album was reissued for it's 30th anniversary and the two founding members, Mick Benton and Graham Cowling decided to enter the studio once again to create a new album titled "Black & White."

The new twelve track release begins with the big guitar riffs of "Rocks To Stones," which highlights Bite The Bullet's nostalgic, pure, straight-up rock sound. The duo add a touch of mainstream classic rock melodies to the title song "Black & White," while "Falling" is pure eighties power ballad gold. The energy picks back up with the addictive tones of "I'll Go" and "You Never Knew," which are perfectly manicured for adult rock radio success. Their sound gets a little edgier with the chugging guitar chords and electrifying solo of "More Thank This," before Bite The Bullet finish off their new album with the hard rock jolt of "Bring It On" and the Foreigner-sounding "Last Chance Radio." To find out more about Bite The Bullet and their latest release "Black & White," please visit escape-music.com.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Fairport Convention Return With New Version of "Fame And Glory" Compilation

The British folk/rock band, the Fairport Convention are still going strong, since forming back in 1967. Their latest release is a collection of songs that the band created for a string of Alan Simon's rock operas over the years, including "Excalibur: The Celtic Rock Opera." Now, fans can appreciate having all of their collected work on one release titled "Fame And Glory." This was originally released back in 2009, but has recently been updated with the band's work on "Excalibur III," including a previously unreleased track, "Goodbye My Friends."

Highlights of this compilation includes live versions of the Fairport Convention songs "Celtic Dreams," "Morgane," "Behind The Darkness" and the title-track "Fame & Glory," which also appears in its studio version as well. The stellar musicianship that Fairport Convention display are present in the instrumental tracks "Beltaine" and "Dragon Breath." The final track on the album is the previously unreleased studio recording of the sing-along style ballad "Goodbye My Friends." To find out more about Fairport Convention and their latest release of "Fame And Glory," please visit fairportconvention.com