Author Archives: Dan Harr

SoundPress.net Presents – Sights and Sounds of Note for June 2016

We’ve reached the halfway point of another year. But, we received so much product to preview this month that we haven’t been able get through even half of the stack. Here’s the best of the batch! Many rock bands have a back story where the famous product is really only the final evolution in a series of incarnations. Such is the case with Tom Petty and the…
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Jackson Browne in Concert

Surprise! Jackson Browne is 67 years old. Unsurprisingly, he looks and sounds much the same as when he was a pivotal figure in the 1970s California soft rock movement. His instantly recognizable tenor is both gentle and authoritative at once while the musicianship remains overly capable. The Pittsburgh show marked the return of the full band. Lead guitar ace Val McCallum played …
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Cassadee Pope – Summer EP

Cassadee Pope’s new release is officially called “Summer EP.” But upon a full listen, one wonders if the working title was “taking the road more Often Traveled” To say that the third season ”The Voice” winner played it safe is a bit of an understatement. She penned three of the songs, including the obvious title track and the autobiographical “Alien.” Elsewhere, the songs are about a summer…
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Sixties Sounds Celebrated in the 21st Century

A slew of the Sixties’ most enduring and celebrated rock artists are highlighted via outstanding recent releases, while singer-actress Doris Day’s wonderful 1967 collection “Love Album” has been reissued as a deluxe edition with bonus tracks. Artist: The Monkees. Title: Good Times! (Rhino) You might like if you enjoy: The Monkees, Weezer, Fountains of Wayne, XTC. Tell me more: The magic that…
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Trashcan Sinatras In Concert in San Juan Capistrano

Whenever Trashcan Sinatras unveil a new album and tour America, it’s a special treat. Formed in the late ‘80s, the Scottish band made its initial mark Stateside with the jangly guitar pop of magnificent 1990 debut CD Cake (a Desert Island Disc for this writer), which spawned modern rock hits (“Obscurity Knocks,” “Only Tongue Can Tell”) and was a mainstay at such influential Los Angeles FM…
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Artists Release New Music DVD’s

Shot last October at the ornate Teatro Sociale in Como, Italy, the 90-minute concert pairs Mika with a chorale and orchestra conducted by Simon Leclerc. Considering the European singer’s theatrical brand of pop, it ends up being a perfect match. During a 10-minute interview included in the DVD’s bonus features section, he says it took eight months…
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Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk

In 1977, John Doe co-founded the seminal Los Angeles punk rock band X. The bassist/singer’s new book Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk is more anthology that your average autobiography. It chronicles the early years of the frequently bleak and gritty scene through various contributors who were front and center. A brisk read, the 24 unflinchingly real chapters…
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Anni Piper – More Guitars Than Friends

Throughout her career Anni Piper has shown musical versatility that has included forays into jazz, country, and rockabilly yet she has never strayed far afield from her signature blues style. While she hasn’t abandoned Stevie Ray Vaughan’s legacy altogether, she has chosen to dive deeper into other genres resulting in a quirky, interesting record called More Guitars Than Friends. Piper’s…
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Preshias Harris’ June Music Column

VERSE OF THE MONTH: Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth; Break forth and sing for joy and sing praises. – Psalm 98:4. ARTIST NEWS: Members of Old Dominion recently reflected on what winning Breakthrough Group/Duo of the Year on the ACC Awards meant to them. “When we started this band, winning awards never crossed our minds,” said front man Matthew Ramsey who…
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A Few Beers and a Chat with Dune Rats

If there’s one thing Dune Rats love, it’s having a damn good time and what better place than on tour with your best mates, plenty of beers and copious debauchery. We were lucky enough to chat with the sufficiently cooked three piece ahead of their massive gig at the Enmore with their best buds, DZ Deathrays and Violent Soho. The boys let us in on some nuggets of narcotic…
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Four Ways to Get Better at Pitching Songs for Film and TV

Having had the good fortune of song placements in both films and television shows, I can safely say there is no magic bullet when it comes to making this happen. However, there are certainly things that you, as a songwriter, can do to improve your odds when you’re pitching songs for film and TV. I’ve listed a few of these below.
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Five of Our Favorite Unplugged Jams

When feedback is reduced to but a simmer and everything goes quiet, vocality becomes transparent, thoughts laid on the line and perceptive alterations take their course. This is what may occur when artists put their swords away, step back from all you’ve known and throw you, with all intention; in the direction they see fit. Unplug. Now unwind with these stunning editions…
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Various Artists – Nashville Season Four Soundtrack

After four seasons, ABC pulled the plug on its hit series, “Nashville.” The reaction from fans was swift and intense. It almost felt like their favorite band broke up and that is true in many ways. The triple Exes, The Avery Barkley Band and Maddie Conrad felt as real as actual country stars to millions of fans. That’s probably because the cast has legitimate talent and some have street…
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Big Gerry Rules on the Hammered Dulcimer

Is this a great country or what? There’s room for every type of music in America, from steampunk and Motown to bluegrass and avant-garde. And there’s even room for a guy like Legendary Big Gerry. Legendary Big Gerry is an artist who performs Irish, Celtic, Americana and Christmas music, and American classics like “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “Dixie,” with an occasional…
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Bob Dylan – Fallen Angels

Jeff Slate of Esquire magazine recently pronounced Bob Dylan The Greatest American Singer Of All Time. A subjective opinion, obviously, like asking who was the real Allman Brothers natural virtuoso, Duane or Dickey (Dickey of course). But no matter what you think of Dylan’s voice, it’s back again on his second album of Sinatra covers in as many years, Fallen Angels. And it’s wonderful.
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Nicholas Allbrook – Pure Gardiya

Pure Gardiya is the latest solo release from one of Australia’s greatest weirdos and psychedelia incarnate – Nicholas Allbrook. He is garnering quite a reputation – personally and professionally the trippy rocker has been turning heads all over the world for years now. Most well known as the bizarre front man of Aussie face-melters Pond, Allbrook was also part of Tame Impala…
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Halcyon Drive – Untethered

Halcyon Drive are back with their second EP Untethered and the Melbourne former duo – now trio – have taken their distinctive brand of alternative pop to a whole other level. The five tracks burst with echoing vocals and looping experimentations that form catchy melodies in a perfect pop mould. Taking the pop up a notch, Halcyon Drive deliver a bouncy, rhythmic, yet intensely…
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Mary Edwards and Murder on Music Row

One of the hardest-working, rising stars in the Nashville television, film and even literary world, is Mary Edwards. As of this writing, the Nashville-based entertainment impresario has no fewer than a half-dozen TV, film, and book projects in the works, with more new projects being added at a rapid clip. The project Mary is most proud of: “Murder On Music Row,” a fledgling TV…
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NewTown – Harlan Road

They’ve been around for the past seven years or so, but Bluegrass band NewTown, with some new members and a new producer (Union Station’s Barry Bales), is sounding tighter and better than ever on their new single, “Harlan Road.” NewTown features two principal singers, Kati Penn (also an award-winning fiddle player) and her banjo-wielding husband…
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‘Keeping It Honest’ Spans a Range of New Releases

A number of celebrated, groundbreaking artists are captured at the height of their powers via a slew of outstanding springtime releases. Artist: Santana. Title: Santana IV (Santana IV Records). You might like if you enjoy: Early Santana, War. Tell me more: For the first time since the early 1970s, the original members of Santana reformed to record, the …
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