CD Reviews


Title Fight – Hyperview

Just like a well-loved solid body guitar the Pennsylvania four piece Title Fight’s sound just gets better with age. Their new album Hyperview demonstrates their creative direction as of late and is a far cry from their original sound. The band while only recently establishing themselves as modern emo kings have churned out music since 2003. Back then...

Donald Ray Johnson – These Blues – The Best of Donald Ray Johnson

I have to admit that I didn’t even know who this guy was when I received this CD. I also have to admit I’m very pleasantly surprised. Donald Ray Johnson was the drummer for A Taste of Honey (remember “Boogie Oogie Oogie”?), the Grammy-winning band that beat Toto and Elvis Costello for the “Best New Artist” award in 1979. Pretty unfair, actually, but that’s how...

Famed Singer-Songwriters and Bands Showcased on New Collections  

New releases from top-tier artists James McMurtry, Blackberry Smoke, as well as an essential tribute to '70s soul singer Betty Davis and an inspired tribute to English tunesmith Elvis Costello are worth discovering. James McMurtry. Title: Complicated Game (INGrooves/Fontana). You might like if you enjoy: Warren Zevon, Leonard Cohen, John Mellencamp.

Mike Osborn – In the Dog House

Guitarist / vocalist Mike Osborn tears it up on In the Dog House, a blues-rock guitar fest that channels Billy Gibbons, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Bonamassa and everyone in between, with an occasional country touch thrown in. Osborn is a decent singer as well, and helps dispel the notion that the only reason that blues-rock lyrics exist is simply to give the guitar player...

Joe Bonamassa and Mahalia Barnes: Ooh Yea - The Betty Davis Songbook

When people hear the name “Bette Davis,” the iconic American actress comes immediately to mind. But there is also Betty with a “y”. Born Betty Mabry, she married legendary trumpeter Miles Davis in the late ‘60s. She became one of the sassiest, funkiest female vocalists of the era. ”Ooh Yea! – The Betty Davis Songbook” is another Joe Bonamassa...

Jesse Jones - Shadow In My Mind

This sophomore 12-track outing for veteran songster Jesse Jones is nothing less than country to the core. On the heels of his debut album “One Memory For The Road” in 2013, Jones hits a homerun with his latest release on TEJ Entertainment. “Shadow In My Mind” boasts never released songs penned by the likes of country hit writers Hal Bynum, Don Wayne...

Bill Maier & The Campfire All Stars – Self-Titled

“Twenty years after our last record, and almost ten years since I moved south, this project was a long overdue excuse to spend some time with ya’ll. (And eat some real pizza),” writes Nashville singer/songwriter Bill Maier, addressing his bandmates in the liner notes of their new album, “Bill Maier & The Campfire All Stars.” Produced by Maier and...

Sleater-Kinney – No Cities to Love

The indie rock group hailing from Washington State have already had a huge 2015. After releasing their first album in just under a decade, No Cities to Love on January 2 has garnered huge amounts of positive response and really the ladies know no different as Sleater-Kinney has become one of the most critically acclaimed groups in history throughout their colourful...

Sea Change – Breakage

For me there’s always been something magical about Scandinavia. Such scenery as mountains with their peaks dusted in innocent and untouched snow, the deep green fields which stretch as far as the eye can see and the plunging valley that encapsulate the flowing pure crystal water below. This landscape creates a mystical and majestic feeling that connect...

Belle and Sebastian – Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance

Could there be anything sweeter than a story about a six-year-old French boy named Sébastien and his best dog friend Belle? Well, you guys, there is. Glasgow-based seven-piece Belle and Sebastian and their sweet indie pop music. Named after the children’s book, their music definitely leans on the “twee” side*. But, saying...

Sarah Lou Richards - The Woman Behind the Curtain

On her third album, The Woman Behind the Curtain, Sarah Lou Richards moves into territory that’s a little different from her first two recordings. It’s not that her songwriting or vocal approach have changed all that much, but with a full band and a new producer in SteelDrivers vocalist Gary Nichols, Richards seems...

Viet Cong - Self-Titled

Departing from the neo-psychedelia of their 2014 EP Cassette, Canadian post-punk quartet Viet Cong’s self-titled LP infuses bleak post-punk with experimental guitar licks to create an uncompromisingly dark and compelling sonic experience. Since the release of the 2014 EP the band, comprising of Matt Flegel and Mike Wallace (formerly of the Art Rock group...

New Albums Celebrate Original Song Craft

The Mavericks, Les Stroud, and Chris Spedding return with masterworks, while newcomer Erik Neff impresses on his full-length debut. Elsewhere, an outstanding collection from Shout! Factory celebrates the role of folk music. Artist: The Mavericks. Titles: Mono (Valory). You might like if you enjoy: Roy Orbison, Chris Issak, The Mavericks...

Columbus – Home Remedy

n 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue. In 2015, Brisbane trio Columbus set forth and with a full wind in their sails, set out to conquer the demanding world of pop-punk and goddamn, they have bloody well succeeded! 4 track ep Home Remedy is a corker that has been on high rotation on my car’s Bose 300 watt stereo system for...

Annie Lou - Tried and True

As a musician staunchly steeped in string band, it seems somewhat unsurprising that Anne Louise Genest has only recently experienced the luxury of running water and indoor plumbing. Genest fronts Canadian roots band Annie Lou. After 20 years in the desolate Yukon drawing from one of the oldest genres in history, she...
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