Category Archives: CD Review

Haeley Vaughn – Hoot ‘n’ Holler

If one phrase could be used to describe the music of Haeley Vaughn, it would definitely have to be “High Energy.” This music is absolutely made for the dance floor. “Lasso,” which kicks off this disc loops you in and keeps your attention with all of its pyrotechnics. Of course, the song wouldn’t work if Vaughn didn’t have the vocal chops to keep your attention, and Vaughn assuredly does that. She also commands…
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Celebrated Veterans Return with Ace Efforts

Brian Setzer, Ruthie Foster, Justin Hayward and Dr. John celebrate and expand their legacies on masterful new releases. Artist: Brian Setzer. Title: Rockabilly Riot: All Original (Surfdog Records). You might like if you enjoy: The Stray Cats, Lee Rocker. Tell me more: What’s not to love about Brian Setzer’s blazing return-to-retro-form “Rockabilly Riot: All Original’? From the opening rockabilly blast on “Let’s Shake” to…
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Terry Gillespie – Bluesoul

“Bluesoul is in response to the many people who requested that I sit still and make a blues record,” writes Canadian artist Terry Gillespie in the liner notes of his latest album. Recorded live at Ontario’s 2012 Maxville Musicfest in St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church with studio overdubs, these 13 tracks feature Gillespie with bandmates Peter Measroch on keys, Lyndell Montgomery on bass and violin, and Wayne Stoute on drums. This is the first all-blues release …
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Leave The Planet – Unreleased Life

Who knows whether it’s from seeing so many cliché music videos or if it’s the fact that music has underlying teleporting powers, but there’s this distinctive imagery that comes into play when listening to certain songs that places you in the front seat of a car with the windows down, your right arm flailing in the wind as you drive along an isolated road with coastal views, not giving a flying fuck about anything or anyone.
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Angaleena Presley – American Middle Class

Angaleena Presley – best known (so far) for her being a part of the Pistol Annies – is from the same part of Kentucky that her heroes Loretta Lynn and Patty Loveless are. And, just like those two legendary ladies, she grew up a “Coal Miners’ Daughter.” That upbringing – and her being a part of the Country supertrio along with Miranda Lambert and Ashley Monroe – lends itself towards saying Presley is a very…
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Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper – On Down The Line

Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper have a certain flair that they perform with. If you need any proof of that statement, just take a listen to “Too Late For Goodbyes,” the lead-off cut from their new disc. Whether it be his lead vocals on the cut or the plucking banjo of one Glenn Gibson, there’s just a certain amount of pizazz that the band operates with. And, it only gets better from there. Cleveland’s fiddle work on “Fiddlin’ Joe” will leave…
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Steep Ravine – Trampin’ On

“We’re all uniquely inspired by different musical styles, but it’s safe to say that we all come together around the genre of “bluegrass,” and we all love it very much,” says Simon Linsteadt, speaking on behalf of his Steep Ravine bandmates, in an interview earlier this year with San Francisco Bay Guardian. This Bay area quartet has released “Trampin’ On” — their debut album of 11 original songs that blends their bluegrass with folk, jazz and some…
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She Keeps Bees – Eight Houses

We’d like to introduce you to killer Brooklyn band She Keeps Bees, and I’ll try to get through it without making any cheap bee-related puns. Bluesy rock from She Keeps Bees is utterly heartbreaking. It will move you, like you’ve never been moved before. The bluesy rock duo formed in 2006 with a rather unorthodox start. Singer-songwriter and guitarist Jessica Larrabee had dabbled in few bands before recording the …
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Radiator Hospital – Torch Song

You know that thing behind the grill of your car that keeps it from overheating? Yeah, your radiator. Radiator Hospital is a place where old, leaking radiators with their tubes falling out go to die. Radiator Hospital have produced some of the finest indie pop / punk / power pop tracks. Some of the best we’ve heard in a while and trust us when we say we listen to this genre a lot. No seriously, it’s an auto body shop in Grand Rapids, but also…
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Bloodhounds On My Trail – Keep On Calling

Shoegazing. I was under the misconception that it was an effective way of avoiding conversations with long lost cousins in law and my Uncle Albert. It still is, but it is also a subgenre of rock that emerged out of the UK in the late 1980s. Shoegaze music has recently made a resurgence in trendy back streets and graffitied suburbs amongst boys with dark rimmed glasses and facial hair… but don’t let that put you off! The music produced is …
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Codie Prevost – All Kinds of Crazy

“A lot of hard work goes into making an album, and when it’s finally finished you release it hoping people will like it and respond to it,” writes Canadian Country artist Codie Prevost on his website. This farm town Saskatchewian is referring to his fourth album “All Kinds Of Crazy,” and his hopes have become reality with another CCMA nomination — this time for 2014 Album of the Year. Produced by Tom McKillip, recorded in Vancouver, BC and released…
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The All Seeing Hand – Fog & Debris

You know, thongs, the things you put on your feet? Yeah? Well, New Zealanders call them jandals. We can add this fact to their outrageous accent as two pieces of evidence that all New Zealanders are maniacs. To make it certain, we just need one more piece – and I think I’ve found it. The All Seeing Hand are a three-piece band hailing from Wellington that combine turntablism, throat singing and performing in a giant pink blob. The trio …
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Danika Portz – Set This World On Fire

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Iowa native Danika Portz sounds like nobody you’ve heard of lately. And, to be honest with you, when I heard her debut single, “Greatest Show On Earth,” it did make me do a little bit of a double take. She is That different. So, I listened again, and again. And, by the forty-first listen, I was not only hooked – but also a fan. The single has a very different feel, and Portz’s vocal – while it might take a little getting used to – will absolutely
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Old Crow Medicine Show – Remedy

Earlier this year, I had a conversation with Ketch Secor. One of the subjects we discussed was their 2013 induction into the Grand Ole Opry. Citing that moment as the career highlight of the band, he said now that they were there – they felt even more of a need to prove their worthiness of the distinction. Well, on this – the band’s first set since Marty Stuart extended the olive branch of Opry membership, I would dare say OCMS is…
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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Announce Release of CSNY 1974

Legendary rockers Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young have released a pinnacle work titled CSNY 1974, a long-awaited compilation of 40 previously unreleased live tracks from their 1974 summer tour. Five years earlier, music fans learned of CSN&Y when they took to the stage at Woodstock in upstate New York, the day after performing together for the first time at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago. By the summer of 1974, their name was synonymous…
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Robert Kinsler Goes Back In Time with Nils Lofgren, CSN&Y and More

While few artists are truly worth celebrating via expansive collections, new titles taking a detailed look at Nils Lofgren and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young are well worth the wait and will definitely please hardcore fans of the influential artists. In addition, an ambitious blues-minded tribute to the music of Creedence Clearwater Revival provides an essential listen for fans of the blues and CCR.
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Jeffrey Halford & The Healers – Rainmaker

Sometimes, when you hear a Blues artist, you wonder if they really feel the lyrics of what they are singing – just how deep do the emotions run. Well, when you hear Jeffrey Halford on “Second Chance,’ you just….know. These are words that he has actually lived – and actually felt. On the latest project from this California resident – by way of the Lone Star State, you get a lot more songs just like it – all about the struggles that…
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Wunder Wunder – Everything Infinite

When it comes to music, I find it very difficult to concisely define what I like, but very very easy to recognise that which I don’t like. I can say with confidence that I don’t not like Wunder Wunder‘s latest danceadelica album Everything Infinite. And it’s not often I say that about an artist signed to a major label with such a mainstream pop focus. There’s something that makes me feel good somewhere in my body and my…
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Trophy Scars – Holy Vacants

I think the fellows from The Dillinger Escape Plan hit the nail on the head when they named their 2010 album Option Paralysis, citing their strongly held and consistently reiterated belief in artistic ambition and adventure as the reason behind the title. They feel that despite the advent of the internet and the immediate access to entirety of music that it offers, the modern music scene is stuck in imitation of dead styles and is filled by incompetent artists …
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Jen Chapin – Reckoning

Until I read the description of Jen Chapin’s bio of her music as “Urban Folk Soul,” I have to admit that I had never heard those words all strung together in that form before. However, the terminology definitely applies – as her musical style is all of those terms – and a whole lot more. Music is something that is entrenched deep into her soul – and she comes by it naturally as the daughter of the legendary singer-songwriter…
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