Category Archives: CD Review

NewTown – Harlan Road 

One of the best Bluegrass releases of the year so far is the new Harlan Road by the Lexington, Kentucky-based band NewTown. Solid vocal and instrumental work, combined with the songs of some great Southern writers, exemplify what this genre is all about on a collection of 11 wisely-chosen tunes.
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Genre-Spanning Titles That Rock

Live albums, reissues, an impressive debut and an inspired return from Garbage are among the field of highly-recommended titles that will satisfy music lovers from across the spectrum. Artist: Neil Young + Promise of the Real. Title: Earth (Reprise).You might like if you enjoy: Neil Young and Crazy Horse. Tell me more: Neil Young is truly rock’s most enduring explorer, challenging himself…
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Prasanna – All-Terrain Guitar

There are plenty of guitar gods that go by a single name moniker. Jimi, Eric and Eddie to name a few. But if you expand your search to the eastern hemisphere, an unfamiliar name will qualify. If you don’t know about Prasanna, prepare to be terrified,” says guitar icon Guthrie Govan of the visionary guitarist who “plays like nobody on the planet” (All About Jazz) The Indian Renaissance man is a pioneer of Indian Carnatic music. The style consists of 72 melodic cycles called ragas and seven rhythmic cycles (talas) Sound complicated?
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Owen Stevenson – Right Here and Now

Chicago based singer-songwriter Owen Stevenson has had exuberant experiences, as far as musical careers go for many aspiring artists. Fulfilling the performer role more than the artist one in recent years, he has a number of well-known venues in Chicago already under his belt, not to mention a few stints in some other states and out on sea across the world (as a cruise ship performer).
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Leslie Cours Mather – We Are America

As we celebrate America’s 240th birthday, there are some people out there who don’t understand the meaning of, or the reason for, American patriotism. Leslie Cours Mather wants to make sure everybody knows this is still the greatest country on earth, and she gets the message across in a big way with her new single, “We Are America.”
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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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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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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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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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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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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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MoeDeLL – Local

In an era where a professionally made song, which needed an experience engineer to produce fully, can be concocted in the ones and zeroes of computerised programs like GarageBand or ProTools, it is easy to get swayed by such convenient tools and forget about organic analog instruments that built the roots of modern music.
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Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

Radiohead fall into the pseudo-deified class of bands hailed as musical geniuses. Famous for their eclectic, ground-breaking musical arrangements and stunning vocal talent, the beacons for the misunderstood headed by Thom Yorke have decades of success, industry respect and strangeness associated with their image. Unfortunately for bands with such stellar credentials, the curse of astronomical expectation hangs heavy. Two weeks ago the band flew off the grid, erasing their social media presence online and…
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Jamie Suttle – This is My Story

The American country music scene never ceases to produce top-end music deeply rooted in the country’s roots and the artists always have the challenge presented to them to bring new life to the genre that always sounds the same, but still sounds like home for Americans. Kentucky-based artist Jamie Suttle doesn’t try to be above it all and step out of her comfort zone as I have observed …
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Pat Metheny Returns with Two New Projects

If there’s one thing that jazz guitar legend Pat Metheny can always be expected to do, it’s the unexpected. On two new excellent (as always) releases, Metheny continues to never be satisfied with what he did last year or the year before, always stretching the boundaries of recorded art in general and jazz in particular. On The Unity Sessions, Metheny and his Unity Band play…
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Japam – How’s my EP

What is it about chaos and sonic violence that keeps us coming back for more? Perhaps the cathartic release of ten-tonne riffs and hailstorm drums are sending us down a path of emotional freedom; even some scientific studies agree. Regardless of the why, Japam have the how down pat in their new EP How’s My EP?
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