Tuesday, August 31, 2021

New Music From Independent Artists Laura Mihalka and Air Cool Jenny

Arriving September 17th is the sophomore effort from singer, songwriter and cellist Laura Mihalka titled "Feels Electric." Laura is also a member of Channel Islands Chamber Orchestra and was a former member of the 90's rock band Liquid Sunshine. Her new eleven-song release combines these two musical worlds, beginning with the dreamy, floating melody of "Feels Electric," which continues to rise and deliver on the high expectations from this artist. Laura's vocals have a calm, soothing tone during the ballad "Falling Apart," before shifting gears to the darker, alternative-pop of "The Pineapple Man," which showcases a different side to her music. She shines on the gentle touch of "Forgiven," which closes with a stellar solo piece. Laura returns to the dreamy-pop tones of "Out For The Night" and the soaring sounds of "Sacred Sky," before finishing off her new album with the quiet musical layers of the album closer "Looking Back." To find out more about Laura Mihalka and her latest release "Feels Electric," please visit lauramihalka.com.

Another new arrival comes from the singing duo Air Cool Jenny. Their new four-song EP titled "First Flight" arrives September 10th. It is the first EP released by Air Cool Jenny (Helen Rose and Kramer Sanguinetti), who met only two years earlier at a live event and haven't looked back. The album kicks off with the wonderful folk harmonies of "Pelican," before the song builds with volume and intensity, which allows Helen's rock-style vocals to take flight. They return with the softer, bluesy Americana-feel of "When I Rise," before picking up the tempo with the fun, quick, bluegrass-romp of "Pissin' On The Moon." Their sound is perfectly captured on the poetic touch of the album closer "When The River's Gone." To find out more about Air Cool Jenny and their latest release "First Flight," please visit aircooljenny.com.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Iron Maiden Are Ready To Deliver The "Tactics & Strategy" Of Their New Album "Senjutsu"

The era of "Senjutsu" is about to begin this Friday, September 3rd for heavy metal icons, Iron Maiden. The release of their 17th studio album signals a new chapter in the band's illustrious history. The new ten-song set was produced once again by Kevin Shirley, with co-producing credits from bassist Steve Harris. It has been six years since their last studio album "Book Of Souls" and the stoppage of touring due to the global pandemic allowed the band to finish their new album, which they began writing and recording in 2019. Similar to "Book Of Souls," this album clocks in at nearly 82-minutes, making this the second longest Iron Maiden album and it will be released as a double-CD set and a triple vinyl set.

The album begins with the eight-plus minute title track "Senjutsu," led by the tribal drumming of Nicko McBrain. Singer Bruce Dickinson sounds amazing, hitting the high notes, as he delivers the storied lyrics of the opener. Iron Maiden quicken up the pace with "Stratego," which was one of two songs that were released as a prelude to the album. The other previously released track was "Writing On The Wall," which fits the Iron Maiden mold perfectly with undeniable guitar riffs and an unforgettable chorus sung by one of the strongest voices in heavy metal. The band take their time with the slower opening of "Lost In A Lost World," before the classic sound of chugging guitars gives that song an energy boost, before Iron Maiden showcase their progressive side by switching tempos once again.

The final three songs on the album average over 11-minutes in length, as each one takes you on a musical journey. Iron Maiden were never ones to shy away from a history lesson, in which they give with "Death Of The Celts." The musicianship during the song's ten-plus minutes is stunning, as you just have to sit back and admire how cohesive a unit Iron Maiden are in the recording studio. The longest song on the album is the nearly 13-minute length of "The Parchment," which explodes with every guitar solo, while the steady drums and bass keep a steady pace throughout the song. The album closes with "Hell On Earth," which builds into another iconic Iron Maiden classic with its gallop-style rhythm and chugging guitar riffs, as Bruce's vocals lead the way along with a more noticeable keyboard section. The song's 11-plus minute length seems to go by in a blur of classic heavy metal. To find out more about Iron Maiden and their latest release "Senjutsu," please visit ironmaiden.com.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Bob Marley And The Wailers "Capitol Session" From 1973 Finally Gets Released

Arriving September 3rd from Tuff Gong and Mercury Studios is new rare glimpse at Bob Marley and The Wailers during their rare 1973 studio session in Hollywood, CA. The new release titled "Bob Marley And The Wailers: The Capitol Session '73" will arrive in a number of different formats, including a CD/DVD set, standalone CD, multi-colored vinyl and digitally. The backstory of this unique release dates back over 20 years, when all of the original footage from these sessions with Marley and the band had been lost or destroyed. Then, a freelance researcher discovered a few frames of the filmed footage and throughout the past two decades enough footage from these sessions were discovered to create this unique film.

After a few shows with Bruce Springsteen and Sly And The Family Stone, Bob Marley and The Wailers made their way to Hollywood to record a closed door session with producer Danny Cordell. The film was mixed "on the fly" for a possible future release, but the band was gaining so much success so quickly that there was a big demand for new music and live shows. Now, nearly fifty years later with get to see them in top form, in the studio, performing live and loose during this hour-long session.

The film footage has been painstakingly restored and looks great, considering its history. Bob Marley and The Wailers look and sound very professional, sticking to a certain set list, wasting no time in-between songs. Peter Tosh takes the lead on some of the tracks like "You Can't Blame The Youth" and "Stop That Train," with his stoic demeanor. Without an audience present, its a great insight to see the band play off each others energy, keeping the music loose, but I wish the band would jam out to some of the songs, but they seemed like all business when in the studio. It's also nice watching a video that doesn't cut to a different camera angle every two seconds, instead letting the feeling of the music control the filming, instead of the other way around. Hearing alternate version of some of Bob Marley and The Wailers' biggest hits like "Stir It Up" and "Get Up Stand Up" is a blessing, as they all pour all their emotions into this performance. To find out more about the newly released "Bob Marley And The Wailers: The Capitol Session '73," please visit shop.bobmarley.com.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Check Out New Music From The Supergroup PAKT and Drummer/Composer Asaf Sirkis

The progressive rock supergroup PAKT (featuring Percy Jones, Alex Skolnick, Kenny Grohowski and Tim Motzer) recently released a new self-titled studio album through MoonJune Records. Throughout this twelve track set, you can instantly feel the chemistry between these four musicians, especially in the twelve-minute opener "Emergence." As the song's structure builds and reseeds, you will notice the band's loose, freeform paying style, which seems to work wonders together. On the follow-up track "Over Strange Lands," one band member will take a turn on directing the song's course with everyone else following suit. The extended jams within each song keep the listener guessing on which direction the song is headed. The guitar really sear-through the experimental rhythm of "The Mystery," while "Brothers Of Energy" feels like a spacey, psychedelic trip. PAKT get a little funkier with the rhythmic breaks of "The Sacred Ladder," as each band member is on-point to execute the song's energetic and intense melody. They wrap up their new studio album with subtle notes of "Nigh Crossings" and the final energetic, sonic blast of "Cosmic Fire." MoonJune Records is also releasing each of PAKT's live shows digitally on the band's Bandcamp website. To find out more about PAKT and their latest releases, please visit pakt-moonjune.bandcamp.com.

Also just released through MoonJune Records is the latest album from Israeli-born drummer/composer Asaf Sirkis titled "Solar Flash." It features support from drummer/keyboardist Gary Husband, bassist Kevin Glasgow and guitarist Mark Wingfield. Sirkis' new eight-track album begins with the energetic run of "Kinship," which only slows down for a moment during Glasgow' bass solo. The music gets a little more bluesy with the stellar guitar work of Mark Wingfield, while "Polish Suite" parts 1 and 2 just glide along softly to put you in a relaxed state. The intensity picks back up during the rise of the title track "Solar Flash," before closing out the album with part 3 of the "Polish Suite," which adds more of Wingfield's guitar to the song's ambient backdrop. To find out more about Asaf Sirkis and his latest release "Solar Flash," please visit asafsirkis-moonjune.bandcamp.com.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Discover The Progressive Sounds Of Trifecta and Giancarlo Erra

Progressive rock trio, Trifecta recently released their new album titled "Fragments," back on August 20th, through Kscope Music. The group consists of Nick Beggs on bass, Adam Holzman on keyboards and Craig Blundell on drums. They performed together as part of Steve Wilson's backing band and they would jam together at soundchecks, in which these recordings were born. Trifecta's new fifteen-song album begins with the grand, high-energy opener "Clean Up On Aisle Five," as you instantly notice the chemistry between these musicians. The sound shifts slightly to a more jazz fusion based melody on "Check Engine Light," while "Photo Molecule" gets down and funky with its rhythm section. Trifecta return to the rock side of the their music with the swift drum rolls and spaced-out keyboards of "Venn Diagram," before settling down into the more laid-back, smooth, jazzy groove of "Sally Doo-Dally." I feel that they could have extended the jam of "Have You Seen What My Neighbors Are Doing?," as the rhythm and overall feel of the song just vibes on all cylinders. Nick Beggs adds some vocals to "Pavlov's Dog Killed Schrodinger's Cat," which feels very calming and mellow, a great tune to just sit back and relax to. Trifecta finish their new album with more calming sounds in the form of "Dry Martini" and the all-out jazz fusion of "Hold It Like That." To find out more about Trifecta and their latest release "Fragments," please visit facebook.com/trifectahq.

Italian composer and multi-instrumentalist Giancarlo Erra recently released his latest project titled "Departure Tapes." The album consists of only six tracks, which as Giancarlo puts it are more "experimental," as he wrote these songs on a trip between the UK and Italy and then improvised the music in the studio, in order to make each track unique. These songs revolve around the subject of loss, as Giancarlo was dealing with the death of his father from cancer while writing and performing these songs. The album begins with "Dawn Tape," as the music is the perfect soundtrack to the morning sunrise at the beginning of a new day of adventures. The music get slightly darker in tone during the short 3-minute "169 Tape," before takin you on the mellow, ambient soundscapes of "Unwound Tape." The album closes with a nearly seventeen-minute adventure in the form of "Departure Tape," which continues to grow and expand with each new layer of sound, along with the subtle shifts of "A Blues For My Father." This set of new music from Giancarlo Erra is available on vinyl and as a CD/DVD, which includes a 5.1 surround sound mix of the album. To find out more about the "Departure Tapes," please visit facebook.com/giancarloerramusic.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

New Jazz Music From Guitarist Gaetano Letizia and Trumpeter Kerry Moffit

Jazz guitarist/composer Gaetano Letizia recently released his new studio jazz quintet album "Chartreuse." This is Gaetano's 11th album as a band leader and this new set of songs (which were recorded in March 2021), allows you to full appreciate his talents, both as a leader and as a performer. The album begins with the title track "Chartreause" which is a perfect nine-minute introduction to the quintet, as Gaetano takes the first solo piece, before the rest of the band follows suit. The mood of the music shifts slightly to a samba, as the rhythmic pace allows for the elegant strumming of Gaetano's acoustic guitar. The energy picks right back up with the swinging tempo of "Black & Blue," before the graceful ballad "Paradise Found" comes swooping in to take all your troubles away. Gaetano's finger-picking skills are on point with the positive island vibes of "Blue Ionosphere." He and his quintet finish off the album with the funk-infused sounds of "Punch Drunk" and the smoky jazz club feel of the album closer "Orange Sunset," which is filled to the brim with great solos. To find out more about Gaetano Letizia and his new quintet led album "Chartreuse," please visit gaetanoletizia.com.

After more than 40 years in the music industry, jazz trumpeter/composer Kerry Moffit thought it was about time to release his own solo album titled "What Goes Around Comes Around." Kerry has been featured on over 70 albums as a sideman and was also a member of the US Air Force Band for nearly 25 years. Now with his own band, Turning Circles behind him, Kerry lets his talents fly on this new eight-track release. The album introduces you to Kerry's stellar work on the trumpet with the upbeat, opening number "This I Dig Of You." He keeps the energy flowing with "Free For All," which allows his bandmates to showcase their stuff, including drummer Ian LeVine. The music extends past the nine-minute mark on the steady waltz of "Katrina Ballerina," before slowing everything down for the fragile, vulnerable sounds of the ballad "Life, Love, Loss." Kerry Moffit and Turning Circles wrap up the album with the loose performance of "10-4 Jam" and the graceful touch of "But Beautiful." To find out more about Kerry Moffit and his band, Turning Circles, and their new album "What Goes Around Comes Around," please visit facebook.com/kerrymoffit.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

I See Hawks In LA Are On Their Way To Your Musical Hearts With New Music

Arriving August 27th is the tenth studio album from the country/Americana band, I See Hawks In LA. Their new release titled "On Our Way" was recorded during the pandemic in the safest way possible, by sending drum tracks, vocals, guitar tracks and everything else through phones and using ProTools to bring all the music together. This recording was also a "life raft" for everyone in the band, who needed an outlet from the craziness of the lockdown and to be able to record new music was a saving grace for I See Hawks In LA.

The album begins with the swift acoustic strumming and violins of "Might've Been Me," which starts things off on a positive note. The warming harmonies of "On My Way" feels like a warm blanket of comfort to help soothe you during these trouble times. There are a couple of songs ("Know Just What To Do" & "How You Gonna Know") that showcase the depths of their performance, as I See Hawks In LA felt no restraints during this recording process to just let the music lead the direction of the album. The classic country feel of "Kentucky Jesus" will have you thinking that this band has been around much longer than two decades. I See Hawks In LA pick the tempo back up with the storied lyric of "Geronimo," before finishing their new album with the country blues of "Radio Keeps Me On The Ground (Slight Return)" and the experimental, epic, eight-minute closer "How You Gonna Know?." To find out more about I See Hawks In LA and their latest release "On Our Way," please visit iseehawks.com.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Gary Meek Finds His "Monterey Groove" & Lyle Mays Releases His "Eberhard" Opus

Saxophonist Gary Meek is very well-known throughout the jazz community, having performed on over 200 albums, including six of his own. The pandemic allowed Meek to put together a new quartet for his latest project "Monterey Groove," which will be released August 27th, through Autumn Hill Records. It features eleven tracks, beginning with the up-tempo, positive energy of "For A Long Time," which is how Gary and his group must have felt like, getting back to playing music together. The keyboards and rhythm get a little funkier with the dance floor vibes of "Power Station," while "Midnight Sky" simply glides along with a relaxed, calming tone. The energy quickly picks back up with the swift scales of "Bosphorus Blues," which allows the entire band to shine. Vocalist Flora Purim is featured on the mellow ballad "The Hope," before Gary quickens your pulse once more with the quick-moving notes of "Move Out." He finishes his new album with a return to the funky beats of "Cannery Row" and the beautifully elegant notes of "Jenna's Song." To find out more about Gary Meek and his latest release "Monterey Groove," please visit garymeek.net.

Also arriving August 27th, is one of the final recordings from jazz pianist Lyle Mays, who was a member of the multi-Grammy award-winning outfit, The Pat Metheny Group. This new release features Mays' 13-minute opus titled "Eberhard," which was recorded in the months before his passing in February 2020. The song is a dedication to the German bass player Eberhard Weber, who was a huge influence on Lyle Mays, as well as his collaborator Pat Metheny. The song begins with the subtle hints of a melody played out on the keys, before more musical layers are added, which also increases the volume of the music. During the middle of the composition, Mays' piano work gets more intense with the support of bass, synthesizers, shakers and the angelic vocals of Aubrey Johnson, Rosana Eckert and Gary Eckert. The musical journey comes to a climax with the entire band in support and reaching its crest at the 11-minute mark, before a hint of piano closes out the composition in the same way it started. To find out more about Lyle Mays' "Eberhard" release, please visit lylemays.com.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Doug "Cosmo" Clifford & Steve Wright Team-up For The First Release From Cosmo's Vault

Drummer Doug "Cosmo" Clifford was a founding member of one of the biggest bands in rock history, Creedence Clearwater Revival. From 1968 to 1972, the band produced seven hit albums and performed at Woodstock and the Atlanta Pop Festival in 1969. As CCR's reign was coming to a close in the early seventies, Doug Clifford would still perform with fellow band mate Stu Cook and produce albums for other bands. Also during this time Clifford would write whole albums worth of new music to be recorded by an all-star line-up of performers, but the albums would be tucked-away in the vault, to be released another day.

Fast-forward to 2021 and the first release from Cosmo's Vault will be released on August 28th. This new album titled "For All The Money In The World," finds Doug teaming up with his long-time friend Steve Wright (Greg Kihn Band) for a solid rhythm section that would support a line-up that included guitarists Joe Satriani, Greg Douglass (Steve Miller Band), Jimmy Lyon (Eddie Money) just to name a few. The lead vocals of the album would be handled by new comer Keith England, along with keyboardists Tim Gorman (The Who) and Pat Mosca (Greg Kihn Band) to round-out the group.

This new eleven song release begins with the swinging, contemporary pop of "For All The Money In The World," which carries a nostalgic feel to the music. England's vocals lead the way on the up-tempo rocker "I Need Your Love" and the follow-up track "She Told Me So," as your pulse will surely quicken. The power of "Real Love" feels like it would have climbed up the charts a few decades ago with its addictive chorus and stellar all-star line-up of musicians. The album wraps up with the fun, up-beats sounds of "Weekends," along with the searing guitar riffs of "Lonesome Boy" and the full-throttle energy of "You're Gonna Love Again." To find out more about the new Clifford/Wright release "For All The Money In The World," please visit dougcosmoclifford.com/for-all-the-money-in-the-world.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

New Music From Bernardo Lanzetti, The Livesays and TectonicBeats

Italian musician/vocalist Bernardo Lanzetti returns after ten years with his new solo album titled "Horizontal Rain." This album has been a few years in the making, with Lanzetti inviting some special guests to help with the recordings of his new set of songs. He begins his new album with the progressive rock assault of "Walk Away," which features legendary rock violinist David Cross (King Crimson) and bassist Tony Franklin (Blue Murder). The album continues with the distinct bass work of Tony Levin (King Crimson) on "Heck Jack," as the song explodes with a stellar guitar solo. The rhythm of "Genial" makes the album more funky, along with some great guitar work provided by Marco Colombo and Andrea Cervetto. The album finishes with the emotional ballad "Conventional," as well as the only Italian sung track "Ero un num Ero," along with the operatic choir highlight of "Different." To find out more about Bernardo Lanzetti and his latest release "Horizontal Rain," please visit facebook.com/BernardoLanzetti.

Guitarist and vocalist Billy Livesay, formally of the Clarence Clemons Band, is ready to release a new album titled "Not What I Bargained For" with his band, The Livesays. This new album was part of the writing sessions that also produced their 2020 album "The Rhythm Of Love And Disfunction." This new set of twelve tracks, begins with the up-tempo, straight-up rocker "Two Sides," which draws upon the news of the day. The return of pianist Timothy Murphy is highlighted with a solo in the song "What I Bargained For," while new drummer Howard Goldberg keeps the music on pace during "Hold Me" and "Better Angels." Billy's songwriting shines on the storytelling acoustic ballad "In A Small Town" and the burning slow blues of "In Troubled Times." The Livesays wrap up their new album with the stellar harmonies of "Can't Stop The Talkin'" and the reflection of "Crazy Isn't It." To find out more about The Livesays and their latest release "Not What I Bargained For," please visit thelivesaysmusic.com.

Let's shift gears for the latest release from American composer Will Carney, who recently released a series of singles as the artist, TectonicBeats. These singles will be collected and released as a new six track EP titled "Nightingale." Just prior to the pandemic, TectonicBeats relocated from Los Angeles to Arizona and begin working with Australian singer BrookInn. These sessions created three songs, "Nightingale," "Rosemary" and "Exemplar," which have their finger on the pulse of today's pop music. The other three tracks featured on this release are the instrumental versions of those songs, which highlights the talents of composer/producer TectonicBeates. To find out more about this latest set of music from TectonicBeats, please visit tectonicbeats.com.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Discover A New "Sound Of Music" With The New Double-Album From Zero Times Everything

The progressive/experimental band, Zero Times Everything is preparing to release their new double album "Sound Of Music" on August 28th. The band will also be performing a private concert to co-inside with the release of the album. The trio of Zero Times Everything did not put any limitations on any of the new music for this release. They decided to invite some of New York's elite avant garde musicians to help with the recordings, by giving another dimension to the music.

This new double album begins with "You Are Here," which is seven-minutes of a repetitive melody and rhythm with searing musical notes that change the landscape ever so slightly. Zero Times Everything take on a more progressive rock form with "Razorblade Keychain," while "Ice Report" feels like a modern soundtrack to a psychedelic rock trip to the furthest reaches of earth and space. One of the more concise tracks on this new album is the hard rock assault of "Blisterine," with the flipside being a nearly twenty-minute chaotic "blitzkrieg" of instruments and sound, as you try to expand your musical palette with what is happening. The first disc closes with the gentle, ambient tone of "Coda," which is a good remedy to the previous sound experiment.

Disc two starts out with the cool rhythm sounds of "You Are Hearer," as you feel like you've made it to the next level of this musical adventure. Zero Times Everything return to their hard rock roots with "Third Uncle," before reaching the Pink Floydian utopia of "Oculus." The album finishes with the twenty-six minute "Lux Aeterna," which the band describes as their "Supper's Ready," as the song shifts emotions and moods about the lifespan of planet Earth, along with the closing thunderous backdrop and spoken word of "The Sound." To find out more about Zero Times Everything and their latest release "Sound Of Music," please visit zerotimeseverything.com.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Grab A Hold Of New Music From Artists Ben Bostick and Brinsley Schwarz

Singer, songwriter Ben Bostick returns with a brand new studio album titled "Grown Up Love." It features ten tracks dealing with the challenges of love and family, beginning with the jazzy acoustic shuffle of "Different Woman." Things turn emotional right away with the gentle touch of "Shades Of Night" and the seriousness of "The Diagnosis," as Ben wears his heart on on sleeve during these intimate songs. You can't help but get lost in the beautiful lyrics and melody of "Under The Palmetto Moon," while the stripped-down acoustics of "If We Only Had Tonight" is a fragile message hope and love. Ben finishes his new album with the quiet whisper of the poetic lyrics of "Like Old People Do" and the perfect ballad of how quickly time flies with the loving words of "It Seems Like Only Yesterday." To find out more about Ben Bostick and his latest release "Grown Up Love," please visit benbostick.com.

Also on the horizon is the new album from Brinsley Schwarz titled "Tangled." It will be released on September 3rd through Fretsore Records and comes four years after his debut solo album "Unexpected." Schwarz has been in the music industry since the late sixties, as a member of the British pop group, Kippington Lodge and also working with fellow school mate Nick Lowe, along with Graham Parker and his band, The Rumour. This new set of songs has been in the works for years, and begins with the steady pace of "He Takes Your Breath Away" and the rising contemporary pop melody of "You Drive Me To Drink." Brinsley includes a version of his favorite Graham Parker song "Love Gets You Twisted," which fits perfectly along side these other songs about relationships. The album's lead single is a sweet, bluesy rocker titled "Storm In The Hills," which echoes the chaos of what is happening in today's climate, along with the pandemic tale of "Crazy World." Brinsley Schwarz finishes his new album with the samba-style rhythm of "You Can't Take It Back" and the sweet loving, feel good lyrics of "All Day." To find out more about Brinsley Schwarz and his latest release "Tangled," please visit facebook.com/BrinsleySchwarzMusic.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Discover New Music From Independent Artists Andy Peake and the Avey Grouws Band

Arriving August 20th, from Big Little Records is the debut solo album from songwriter, drummer, percussionist Andy Peake. The new album is titled "Mood Swings" and includes some of Peake's special friends to help him out on this new set of eleven tracks. Peake begins with the silky smooth opener "Make Peace With The Blues" and the samba-style rhythm of "Hip Replacement," as the lyrics are aimed toward an older audience with Andy's rough, experienced vocals leading the charge. The title-track "Mood Swings" carries a jazzy vibe that swings with energy, along with the addictive rhythm of "Do It While You Can." Andy takes on Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released" with grace and respect, delivering The Band's version of the song from "Music From Big Pink." The blues come shining through once again with "My Baby's Got A Light On," which simply gleams with nostalgia. Andy Peake finishes his new album with another flash of rhythmic talent on "Untangle The Line," which includes an inspiring message of hope, along with a loose, New Orleans flavored rock and roll cover of Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode." To find out more about Andy Peake and his latest release "Mood Swings," please visit andypeake.com.

Fast forward a month and we have the new album from the Avey Grouws Band, which will be released on September 24th, through Navy House Records. The band's latest effort titled "Tell Tale Heart" features ten tracks, beginning with the electrifying blues rocker "Love Raining Down," which just simmers until the explosion of energy during Chris Avey's guitar solo. The Avey Grouws Band get locked into a great southern-rock groove with "There For Me," which only sweetens up with some stellar harmonies. The raw, edgy blues-rock approach of "Bad, Bad Year" and the spacy, Pink Floydian progressive rock of "Mariana," display two different sides to the band's amazing sound, as they continue to deliver emotion-fueled musical numbers. The Avey Groews Band wrap up their new album with the gentle acoustics of "Daylight," the funky beats and searing guitar riffs of "We're Gonna Roll," along with the country rock closer "Eye To Eye," which is the only duet on the album between Jeni Grouws and Chris Avey. To find out more about the Avey Grouws Band and their latest release "Tell Tale Heart," please visit aveygrouwsband.com.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

The Divine Horsemen Return With An "Ice Cream Phoenix," While Noah Kite Delivers His "Drunk Lil Guy"

The underground '80s group, Divine Horsemen had found some minor success throughout the decade with the release of three albums on SST Records. Lead singers Chris Desjardins (aka Chris D.) and Julie Christensen became partners both within and outside the group, but when their marriage dissolved, so did the band. The two kept in touch over the years and with everything going well, Chris D. decided to reunite the band for a new album "Hot Rise Of An Ice Cream Phoenix," which will be released on August 20th, through In The Red Records.

This is the band's first set of new music in over three decades and showcases glimpses of their youthful days with the post-punk feel of "Mystery Writers" and "Handful Of Sand." The rawness of "Ice Cream Phoenix" delivers that underground rock sound that the Divine Horsemen were known for during the over-polished, electronic sound of the slick eighties pop scene. Chris D and Julie's vocals compliment each other on the slow-moving "Any Day Now," which carries a nostalgic "grunge" feel to the song's mellow sound. The energy of "Can't You See" is very addictive, before the band bring everything to a halt with the acoustic ballad "No Evil Star." The Divine Horsemen wrap up their new album with the up-beat rhythm of "Stoney Path" and the perfect duet of "Love Cannot Die." To find out more about Divine Horsemen and their latest release "Hot Rise Of An Ice Cream Phoenix," please visit facebook.com/divinehorsemen.

Also on the horizon is the new album from chamber-folk artist Noah Kite titled "Drunk Lil Guy." His new ten-song release kicks off with the soft, mellow opening of "Carrion Birds," as you are gently introduced to Noah's musical world of experimenting with tempos and melodies. He continues with the soft, comfort of "Hair Ties," as Noah keeps the volume of his vocals at minimum, even when the song builds with intensity. He combines lyrical pop element with classical strings to create the uniqueness with the sound of "Despite All This," which spills into the titled track "Drunk Lil Guy." The most mainstream alternative-pop track on the album is the addictive chorus of "Take Me To You Room" which kicks in with a boost of energy. Noah finishes his new album off with the quiet, floating melody of "This Body" and the wonderful harmonies within the ballad "Shoreline." To find out more about Noah Kite and his latest release "Drunk Lil Guy," please visit noahkite.com.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Kool & The Gang Return To Form A "Perfect Union" For Humanity

Legendary funk band, Kool & The Gang are returning August 20th with "Perfect Union," their first pop album in over a decade. It will be released on the iconic R&B label Ru-Jac Records, in association with Omnivore Recordings and was produced by co-founder Ronald Bell (brother of Robert "Kool" Bell), who passed away in September 2020. With a career that spans over five decades, Kool & The Gang are still creating music that is not only relevant, but also tackling the uneasy political struggle of being black in America with the opening track "Pursuit Of Happiness." The funk-R&B party begins with "The Weekend," as the positive beats and smooth harmonies are what Kool & The Gang are known for. They keep the energy flowing with the undeniable sounds of "Leave It On The Dance Floor" and the album's lead single "Sexy (Where'd You Get Yours)," which is already burning up the Adult R&B charts.

Kool & The Gang deliver a nostalgic seventies sound, combined with a modern vibe with their own mix of the song "R.O.Y.A.L.I.T.Y.," along with the dancefloor, funky groove of "Good Time," which is exactly what the bands wants you to have when listening to their new album. They finish with a "rap version" of "Pursuit Of Happiness," which is essentially the single version of this positive vibration that Kool & The Gang want to spread to everyone. Kool & The Gang also recently lost another founding member, Dennis Thomas, who passed away earlier this month and his alto sax was a key element in their sound on this album and many of their past hits. To find out more about Kool & The Gang and their new album "Perfect Union," please visit koolandthegang.com.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Eric Clapton's Debut Solo Album Gets A New "Anniversary Deluxe Edition" Release

On August 20th, UMe/Polydor will unveil the "Anniversary Deluxe Edition" of Eric Clapton's debut solo album, which was originally released in August 1970. After the success of his former bands like The Yardbirds, Cream and Blind Faith, Clapton decided that it was time to put together his own band of all-stars and create his first solo album. This new deluxe edition of the "Eric Clapton" album features three different mixes of the album spread across three-discs, with an additional fourth disc of outtakes and alternate versions.

The original album mix by Tom Dowd is presented on the first disc and will also be available on standard black vinyl in its latest remastered form. The album featured the hit singles "After Midnight," "Blues Power" and "Let It Rain," which turned Eric Clapton into a pop star. The second disc in this set features Clapton's own mix of the album, which was done in 1970 and includes some never before released versions of eight of the album's eleven tracks. As you listen, you will notice subtle differences, like the piano being more prominent on the opening track "Slunky" and adding a longer introduction and louder guitar to "Blues Power." Clapton even turns "I've Told You For The Last Time" into a more southern, gospel-like track, than the country feel of the original.

There is also a third mix of the album done by Clapton's former bandmate Delaney Bramlett, which was previously released as part of the 2005 deluxe edition release, which has since gone out of print. The Bramlett mix re-arranges the order of the songs, moving the acoustic strumming "Easy Now" up to the third track and putting the blues giants "After Midnight" and "Blues Power" right in the center of the track-listing. The gospel highlight "Lonesome And A Long Way From Home" is also moved to the rear of the album, adding a bit more energy to the closing tracks "I Don't Know Why" and "Let It Rain."

The fourth disc of the set includes eight session outtakes, alternate mixes and B-sides. Many of these tracks have also been previously released on the 2005 deluxe edition, but are included once again in this box, making this the ultimate complete set of Eric Clapton's debut album. One of the previously unreleased tracks is an alternate mix of the Delaney & Bonnie & Friends song "Comin' Home," which features some amazing guitar work by Clapton. The B-side to that single "Groupie (Superstar)" is also featured on this disc. The highlight of the disc is the ten-minute blues jam "Blues In A," which is just pure magic in the studio, as all of the musicians are just simply following the master at the top of his game. To find out more about this new "Anniversary Deluxe Edition" of Eric Clapton's debut solo album, please visit whereseric.com.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Tony Kaye Delivers 9/11 Inspired Album "End Of Innocence" & The Far Cry Ask "If Only" On New Album

Legendary keyboardist Tony Kaye is one of the founding members of the progressive rock band, YES and he is preparing to release his new solo album "End Of Innocence" on September 10 via Spirit Of Unicorn Music through Cherry Red Records. This is Kaye's debut solo release (since retiring from music in 1996) and will co-inside with the 20th anniversary of 9/11, in which many Americans lost their innocence in this world. The new sixteen-song release begins with the angelic vocals of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," which gets interrupted by the crash of thunder. Kaye creates the "911 Overture" out of the moving images that he witnessed and the emotion he felt immediately following the horrific event. The energy and tempo pick up with the electronic beats of "Battle Cry," along with the progressive nature of "285 Fulton Street." The hectic drum solo by Jay Schellen (YES) sets the stage of the struggle and chaos that must have gone on during "Flight 11." Tony Kaye's keyboard work during "Towers Fall" lay down the perfect soundtrack for the frightful wonder and awe of what was happening on that fateful day. Singer Dani Torchia lends her vocals talents to the gentle ballad "Sweetest Dreams," before Kaye finishes his new album with the inspirational sounds of "Heroes" and the look toward a better future with the uplifting notes of "Ground Zero." To find out more about Tony Kaye's latest release "End Of Innocence," please visit cherryred.co.uk.

Another band that also recently released their debut album is progressive rock newcomers, The Far Cry. Their album "If Only" is also inspired by the progressive rock giants of the seventies, like YES, King Crimson and Genesis. The band members musical pasts date back to the late seventies and early-eighties, as part of some cover bands, along with the Connecticut progressive rock band, Holding Pattern. Now, new seeds have been planted for The Far Cry to succeed with this new eight-song release, which begins with the eleven-plus minute epic opener "The Mask Of Deception," as the band's intense musical intuition takes charge of the song. The band's sound gets even funkier with the keyboards and up-tempo rhythm of "Programophone," before settling back into the more graceful delivery of the thirteen-minute sonic adventure of "Simple Pleasures." The Far Cry close out their new album with the full display of musical talents and songwriting during the amazing title-track "If Only," along with the closing instrumental ballad "Dream Dancer." To find out more about The Far Cry and their latest release "If Only," please visit thefarcrygroup.com.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Experiment With Your Musical Tastes With New Albums From Nuclear Bird and City Weezle

Back in the early 1970's, there was a British rock band that went by the name, Atomic Rooster. The band was made up of former member of The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, who were known for the cult classic "Fire." Atomic Rooster ended up have some minor success on the U.K. charts with the singles "Tomorrow Night" and "Devil's Answer." This music inspired drummer/songwriter Mark Murdock to put together a band of his own (Nuclear Bird) as a tribute to Atomic Rooster and other British progressive rock bands from the seventies. Nuclear Bird recently released their debut album titled "Tyrannical Megalomaniac," which happened to be the nickname of Atomic Rooster keyboardist Vincent Crane. The new eight song release by Nuclear Bird begins with the wild keyboard intro of "Exposition Of Fools," which shifts sounds from eighties electronics to early-Genesis prog-rock. Their sound gets even more aggressive and passionate on the title-track "Tyrannical Megalomaniac" and its follow-up "Addicted To The Water." Nuclear Bird dive back into the more progressive time changes of "The Revolving Door," before finishing their new album with the nostalgic rock approach of "Haunted Chords" and the keyboard driving closer "Locked In A Graveyard." To find out more about Nuclear Bird and their latest release "Tyrannical Megalomaniac," please visit nuclearbird.bandcamp.com.

The multinational rock-fusion band, City Weezle return after a ten year hiatus with a new studio album titled simply "No. 2." The new eight-song release is "less chaotic" than their debut release "Taboo," but quickly jumps into the intensity of the opening track "Captain Introspective," which feels inspired by the work of fellow rock-fusion band, Mr Bungle. They combine elements of heavy metal, progressive rock and musical theater within their delivery of "The Underground In Europe," which showcases the diversity in the band's sound. City Weezle go totally "weird" with the experimental nature of the nearly eight-minute "Maestro Mafioso," while "Crimson Jig" is a wondrously addictive music collage that takes you down the rabbit hole of rock-fusion. They wrap up their new album with the storied lyrics and swampy blues of "Even Weezle Gets The Blues," along with the jazzy introduction of the nearly ten-minute closer "Cluedo," which sound straight from the book of Primus. To find out more about City Weezle and their latest release "No. 2," please visit facebook.com/cityweezle.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Nina Simone's Debut Album Gets Remastered For New Vinyl & CD Release

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and jazz legend Nina Simone was in her early twenties when she recorded her debut album in one day back in 1957. Simone's debut album "Little Girl Blue" was eventually released in February 1959 and found her covering such classics as "Mood Indigo," "My Baby Just Cares For Me" and "I Love You, Porgy." Nina Simone was also an aspiring pianist, as shown during the instrumental tracks "Good Bait," "You'll Never Walk Alone" and "Central Park Blues." As a testament to this beautiful debut album, BMG has recently released a newly remastered version of this timeless classic on CD and will be releasing it on 180-gram vinyl for September 3rd.

The vinyl was newly mastered by Kevin Gray and it features a newly written essay by Yale professor and author, Daphne A. Brooks. Right from the opening musical notes of the album, you get fully engulfed in the talents of Nina Simone. Her iconic vocals and sweeping skills on the keys of "Mood Indigo" are a "must hear" for any music fan. Next, she shows off her bluesy side with the emotional ballads "Don't Smoke In Bed" and "Little Girl Bed," as her voice is so smooth and inviting. Nina picks the tempo back up with her skills on the piano during "Love Me Or Leave Me," but it is her rendition of the Gershwin classic "I Love You, Porgy" that steals the show. This newly remastered version will allow you to hear every note in pure, studio quality. To find out more about this newly remastered version of Nina Simone's debut album "Little Girl Blue," please visit ninasimone.com.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Iconic Music Artists Come Together For A New Compilation "Legends Play The Beatles"

Cleopatra Records has recently released a new compilation titled "Legends Play The Beatles" on CD and limited edition color vinyl. This new set features some very well-known artists paying tribute to their idols with own version of some The Beatles' timeless classics. The twelve-song set kicks off with Richard Page (Mr. Mister) and Steve Morse (Deep Purple) teaming up for the smooth, easy-going acoustics of "Here Comes The Sun," which sounds like an invitation to enjoy all the great music on this new release. Ann Wilson (Heart) lends her iconic vocals to the mellow, bluesy tone of "Across The Universe," while a recording of the late John Wetton (King Crimson, Asia) performing "Penny Lane" is certainly a highlight of this album, as Wetton's vocals give the song a progressive touch.

Classic southern rockers Molly Hatchet turn "Back In The USSR" into an all-out, aggressive assault, which is sure to make you wake-up and rock out. On the flipside, you have the gentle, elegant touch of Air Supply's "Long And Winding Road," which just floats on by with its relaxed nature. One of the more modern artists on this new release is Electric Moon, as they take "Tomorrow Never Knows" and turns on the full psychedelics for their own version of this cult classic. This new compilation wraps up with pop artist Howard Jones delivering his smooth vocals to the Beatles' ballad "And I Love Her," the angelic voice of the legendary Judy Collins on "Yesterday" and the rocker Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath) showing his range on the spiritual ballad "Let It Be." To find out more about this new compilation "Legends Play The Beatles," please visit cleorecs.com.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Get Lost In The Words And Music Of James McMurtry and The Furious Seasons Latest Albums

Acclaimed singer, songwriter James McMurtry will be releasing his new album "The Horses And The Hounds" on August 20th, through Nine West Records. It is his first collection of new music in seven years and finds McMurtry getting personal with his story-telling tales or reflection and revelation. His new ten-song release begins with the surging melody of "Canola Fields," as James paints the perfect picture in your mind, as he gives us personal insight into his life. He heads down to the country with the guitar-strutting rhythm of "If It Don't Bleed," while "Operation Never Mind" is a modern day, politically-charged anthem about what happens when the cameras are off. You hang on his every word during the stories of "Decent Man" and the folk, blues of "Vaquero," while the title-track "The Horses And The Hounds" is a raw, passionate country rocker that shows that James McMurtry has much more in his tank to offer. He wraps up his new album with the addictive, up-tempo number "What's The Matter" and the strutting blues of "Blackberry Winter." To find out more about James McMurtry and his latest release "The Horses And The Hounds," please visit jamesmcmurtry.com.

Also arriving August 20th via Stonegarden Records is the latest release titled "Home All Day, Home All Night" from the acoustic folk trio, The Furious Seasons. It is the band's second album in less than a year and was recorded during the sessions for their last album "La Fonda," which was released at the height of the pandemic last year. This twelve song release deals with the subjects of living life, love and hope, beginning with the moderate tempo of "Is This Happening," which is aimed directly at dealing with the pandemic shutdown. The trio's harmonies on this opening track are amazing and will have you only wanting more from The Furious Seasons. The new album continues with the loving, graceful ballad "Down For Me" and the soft, fragile delivery of "We Finally Get Fall." They take more inspiration from the pandemic with the comfort of being home with "Lovely Backyard," while "Birthday Song" is about hope for a better future for our children. The Furious Seasons finish their new album with the up-tempo melody of "Puff Of Smoke," a slowed-down bluesy re-imagined version of David Bowie's "Changes" and the politically motivated tale of "7420." To find out more about The Furious Seasons and their latest release "Home All Day, Home All Night," please visit thefuriousseasons.com.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Rockers Enuff Z'Nuff Have More Music To Give With Their Latest Set Of Rarities & Demos

The late-eighties/early-nineties glam rock band, Enuff Z'Nuff have dug through their vault to bring us their latest release "Never Enuff: Rarities & Demos." This new multi-disc box set contains 40-tracks that have never been officially released before in any form. The songs were written by bassist Chip Z'Nuff and vocalist Donnie Vie, leading up to their gold-selling, self-titled debut album, which included the hit singles "Fly High Michelle" and "New Thing."

This new set begins with the addictive rock chorus of "Bye Bye Love," which has the band strutting their stuff with a more raw, seventies rock vibe, which eventually gets slicked down and over-produced later on. Enuff Z'Nuff's signature sound is definitely present on songs like "Say It Ain't So" and "Girl Crazy," while "Tears Away" has a more new wave, modern alternative feel for what the early eighties had to offer. Just keep in mind that some of these songs do not reach the high standards of their officially released albums, as the historical value of songs like "Just What You Want" and "Soldier's Story" is more important than the quality of the recording. As you listen to each disc, its amazing to hear some of these tracks that were buried gems, like the bluesy, glam riff of "Never Let You Go" and the pulsating, addictive chorus of "Number One," along with the energetic blast of "Higher."

During the "hair metal" days of the eighties and nineties, the power ballad was the song that would eventually sell albums for these bands and some of the songs on this set, burn with that passion, like "Valentine," "Will You Remember" and "Help." Enuff Z'Nuff's music was also filled with great, positive energy, undeniable guitar riffs and lyrics that would just stay locked in your brain, as this set validates that the band was more than just a one-hit wonder. This new set wraps up with the Sunset Strip glam rock appeal of "Cupid's Laughing" and "Look What You Do," as Enuff Z'Nuff continue to give fans the music they desire to hear again from their youth.

Enuff Z'nuff are currently on tour in the U.S. with dates running into October. For a complete list of shows, please visit enuffznuff.com. To find out more about their latest release "Never Enuff: Rarities & Demos," please visit cleorecs.com.

Monday, August 9, 2021

Jack Russell's Great White Pay Tribute To Their Idols Led Zeppelin With New Album

Back in 1998, the hard rock band Great White paid tribute to their idols, Led Zeppelin with an entire album of cover songs titled "Great Zeppelin: A Tribute To Led Zeppelin." It was recorded live at the Galaxy Theatre in Santa Ana, CA in 1996 and gave a slight resurgence to the band's waning popularity during the close of the nineties. Now, nearly 25 years later, Jack Russell's Great White pay their idols another honor with "Great Zeppelin II: A Tribute To Led Zeppelin," which will be released on August 13th through Dead Line Music in association with Cleopatra Records.

These new studio recordings of some fourteen Led Zeppelin favorites, finds the current line-up of the band motoring through the opening numbers "Whole Lotta Love" and "Good Times, Bad Times." Russell's vocals sound amazing, as he pulls off Robert Plant's difficult vocal deliveries on tracks like "Misty Mountain Hop" and "Kashmir." Jack Russell's Great White take you on a sonic trip with the mystical, ten-minute delivery of "No Quarter," as the band simply explode with passion and power. They also tackle some of the less popular Led Zeppelin tracks like "Trampled Underfoot," which comes off a bit gritter than the original, along with "The Rover," in which the band add a more blues strut to the song's overall sound. The new album closes with a beautiful rendition of the classic rock ballad "Stairway To Heaven" and a final hard rock blast in the form of "Communication Breakdown."

Jack Russell's Great White are currently on road, touring the U.S. For a complete list of tour dates, please check out jackrussellsgreatwhiteband.com. To find out more about the CD and vinyl versions of their latest release "Great Zeppelin II: A Tribute To Led Zeppelin," please visit cleorecs.com.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Open Yourself Up To New Music From Independent Artists The Poppermost and The Mangoes

At the end of July, Think Like A Key Music unveiled the debut album from the one-man "Beat Group," The Poppermost. The new album titled "Hits To Spare" features fourteen tracks that sound straight from the sixties British-invasion, beginning with the swinging, up-beat melodies of "Egg And Chips" and "Yes Its True." There is definite inspiration from The Beatles and Herman's Hermits, as Joe Kane (The Poppermost) delivers an undeniable flashback with his iconic sixties sound. Songs like "Can't Take That Away" and "Goodnight Georgia Peach" is filled to the brim with energy, as you are transported to a simpler era in rock and roll. The only time he slow down is for the beautifully sweet ballad "Get It Down," while "Park And Ride" sounds straight from the vein of The Beatles' "Ticket To Ride." The Poppermost finishes his new album with the masterful harmonies of "What A Wonderful Love" and the addictive pop energy of "Well I Will." To find out more about The Poppermost and their latest release "Hits To Spare," please visit thepoppermost.com.

Pop-rock duo The Mangoes recently released a new eight-song EP titled "Pale Blue Dot." After forming in 2014 and rushing into the studio to record their self-titled debut album, band members Tim Morse and Bret Bingham went on a short break to record solo albums. Well, fast-forward nearly five years and the two have reformed for some new music beginning with the upbeat, fun of the title track "Pale Blue Dot" and the more meaningful alternative rock approach of "Mystery." The Mangoes take a step toward the blues with "When The Sky Fell Down," while they work out the perfect melody for the raw buzzing guitars of "Hypnotize!." The duo finish off their short new EP with a modernized, psychedelic version of The Beatles' "Free As A Bird." To find out more about The Mangoes and their latest release "Pale Blue Dot," please visit themangoesband.com.

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Discover The Blues With New Music From Blues Traveler and Chantel McGregor

During the nineties, alternative rock band Blues Traveler dominated the airwaves with their hit singles "Run Around" and "Hook" from their multi-platinum selling album "four." Their last studio effort "Hurry Up & Hang Around," celebrated the band's 30th anniversary, while their brand new album "Traveler's Blues" find the band diving back into their blues roots. They rework some Great American Songbook classics like "You Got Me Runnin'," "Crazy" and "Sittin' On Top Of The World." Blues Traveler also invited some special guests along to help out, including Warren Haynes, Rita Wilson and John Scofield just to name a few.

The new eleven track release begins with the swinging rhythm of "Funky Bitch," which feels right at home in the hands of Blues Traveler. Singer Crystal Bowersox joins John Popper on the vocal duet of "You Got Me Runnin'," but the star on this song is pianist/keyboardist Ben Wilson with his stellar solo. Rising blues guitarist Kingfish Ingram makes his presence known on the slow blues of "Ball And Chain," while the more legendary guitarist Warren Haynes pours his heart and soul into his collaboration with Blues Traveler on the Mississippi Sheiks classic "Sittin' On Top Of The World." The album wraps up with Mickey Raphael lending his harmonica skills to The Doors' "Roadhouse Blues," before closing with the the nostalgic tone of "Trouble In Mind" with support from the great Keb' Mo'. Blues Traveler are currently on the road, supporting their new blues album. For a complete list of tour dates and to find out more about their new release "Traveler's Blues," please visit bluestraveler.com.

Blues-rock guitarist Chantel McGregor recently released the second volume of her latest two-album set titled "The Shed Sessions." Volume 1 was released back in July and features Chantel's acoustic side with the gentle touch of songs like James Taylor's "Fire And Rain," along with Neil Young's "Harvest Moon." She delivers a truthful, emotional version of Blind Faith's "Can't Find My Way Home," before delivering a more blues-oriented groove with Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Chile." Chantel finishes off her acoustic album with a stark, honest rendition of Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters."

The electric side of "The Shed Sessions" is featured in volume 2, which begins with some quieter reworkings of tunes like Radiohead's "Creep" and Jewel's "Foolish Games." Chantel finally plugs in and turns the volume up for the emotion-fueled guitar solo of "Walk On Land" and then allows her angelic vocals to float above the buzz of Alanis Morissette's  "Uninvited." She closes with the powerful guitar-work of "April" and the seven-minute blues of "The Raven That Refused To Sing." To find out more about Chantel McGregor and his latest releases "The Shed Sessions," please visit chantelmcgregor.com.

Friday, August 6, 2021

Explorer Tapes Finally Release Their Debut Album With Help From Omnivore Recordings

After waiting nearly six years, Omnivore Recordings is ready to release the long-awaited debut album from Texas country-pop band, Explorer Tapes. The new self-titled album was produced by Mike Elizondo (Carrie Underwood, 50 Cent, Fiona Apple) and features fourteen tracks (12 from the original planned album and 2 bonus tracks). The story behind the album plays out like a movie, with two friends (Max Townsley and Drew Erickson) wanting to start a band. They move to LA, sell-out the clubs, get signed to a major label, have a hot producer to work with and even get their song recorded by a huge country artist. Everything is in place for the Explorer Tapes to hit it big, when the label shifts interests and the album sits in limbo for six years, until Omnivore Recordings, in conjunction with Warner Records, resurrects it to be released on August 13th.

Now, lets get to the music. The album begins with the steady rhythm of "All Depends On You," which features an undeniable chorus that is just demanding to become a hit single. Their song "Texas Time" may sound slightly familiar, because it was recorded by Keith Urban for his 2018 album "Graffiti U." The song has a modern, pop melody that still harks back to its country roots with a beat that is sure to move you. Explorer Tapes new album are filled with great songs, like the classic country vibe of "A Good Friend Is Hard To Find" and the smooth sounds of "Change Looks Good On You," which finds the band crossing the line into R&B territory. They find their way into you heart with the beautiful ballad "Everybody's Crazy" and the stripped-down acoustics of "More Than A Song Can Say," before closing with the stellar harmonies and summer-time feel of "Wouldn't Change A Thing."

The two bonus tracks are as good as anything else on the album, with the low-key, poetic touch of "Sunset Strip," which describes their early days in LA, along with the more pop-oriented beats of "Still Love Lindsay." To find out more about the new Explorer Tapes release, please visit omnivorerecordings.com.

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Willie Nile Sings About His Time During The Pandemic On His New Album "The Day The Earth Stood Still"

Arriving August 13th via River House Records is the brand-new studio album "The Day The Earth Stood Still," from one of the hardest working artists today, Willie Nile. He has released ten studio albums over the course of the last 15 years and his most recent effort was inspired by the pandemic lockdown. Nile recorded his new album in January 2021 with his live, touring band by his side, under the precaution of wearing masks and social distancing in the studio.

This new eleven track release begins with the high-energy rocking titled track "The Day The Earth Stood Still," which was directly written about New York City being shutdown and the streets being empty of life. Nile is arguable one of the best songwriters of our generation and this album only proves that statement with great memorable tracks like "Sanctuary" and "The Justice Bell (For John Lewis)." He switches up his straight-up rock and roll vibe with the funky blues-infused "Expect Change," which sounds like it belongs on a classic Rolling Stones album. Willie Nile takes the energy up another notch with the post-punk attitude of "Off My Medication," before wrapping up his new album with the inspirational words and acoustic strumming of "I Will Stand," along with the poetic lyrics of "Way Of The Heart."

Willie Nile and his band are ready to hit the road again with shows lined-up, beginning August 11th. For a complete list of dates and to find out more about his new album "The Day The Earth Stood Still," please visit willienile.com.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

The Watershed Band Bring In Their Own "Sunshine" To Their Debut Album

Brothers Tom and Leon Kafafian have been come to be known at The Watershed Band and they recently released their debut album "Sunshine" on July 30th via No Reverse Records. It features a full, fifteen tracks, beginning with the steady, up-beat rhythms and sweet, unblemished harmonies of "Someday." The Watershed Band continue with the honest, yet fragile, poetic touch of "Bluebird" and the darker, simmering melody of "Did It Again," which keeps the song on pace without veering off its musical path. The duo finally explode with a moment of emotion-fueled rock during "Marcie," before returning to the safe, alternative-pop of "Fire Catcher." Tom and Leon's voices are the true stars of this album, with the wonderful harmonies of "Float Tank" and "True," as they sing from the heart, pouring their love into their music. The Watershed Band finish up their new album with the graceful touch of "King Of Spades" and the cute, quick acoustics of "Sugar In My Tea," which I wish there was more "sugar" spread throughout the album. To find out more about The Watershed Band and their latest release "Sunshine," please visit thewatershedband.com.