CD Reviews


Rock, Americana, Memphis Soul Are Accented On New Titles

If variety is truly the spice of life, look no further than a wide range of recent releases that seemingly mine every corner of the music universe. Artist: Marillion. Title: A Sunday Night Above the Rain (earMUSIC / Eagle Rock Entertainment). You might like if you enjoy: Peter Gabriel, Porcupine Tree, Radiohead. Tell me more: While British rock artists such as The Beatles and Rolling Stones have achieved widespread acclaim...

JJ Thames - Tell You What I Know

“Over to New York City, in a subway singin’ my song/Y’all might think I’m only worth quarters now, but I know, I know it won’t be long,” sings blues artist JJ Thames on the final and title track of her new CD “Tell You What I Know.” The Detroit native has a hand in writing seven of the eleven tracks here –- her debut on DeChamp Records. She’s produced by Sam Brady, with Grady Champion as executive producer, and they successfully capture this colorful soul...

New DVD / Blu-Rays Deliver Superb Sights and Sounds

An essential collector's edition of the seminal 1974 rock horror classic "Phantom of the Paradise," as well as recent concert films featuring ZZ Top and Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson are among the most notable DVD/Blu-ray music titles of summer 2014. Title: Phantom of the Paradise [Collector's Edition] (Shout Factory). You might like if you enjoy: Rocky Horror Picture Show, Paul Williams, Jessica Harper...

Deana Martin - Destination Moon

With a name like Deana Martin, I know you're wondering. That sounds very close to....Dean Martin! You would be correct in that assumption, as Deana is Dean's very talented daughter - who has carved out a very successful career in her own right. At the same time, the songstress isn't running from her heritage. Rather, she stands as the keeper of the flame when it comes to the music and legacy of one of entertainment's true...

Dual Drive - The Memphis Project

Guitarist Garry Goin and Saxophonist Pat Register are two of the most well-known and respected musicians in Memphis these days, so you would think that the two combining their talents would be nothing short of an amazing listening experience. You would think exactly right. Kicking off with the urban groove of "Take Me To The River," you can almost smell the barbecue and the tamales cooking down on Beale. It's got that...

Sarah Borges - Radio Sweetheart

Every now and then, you hear an album that just makes you want to stand up, fist pump in the air, and say "Hell Yeah" to the rafters. This is how I am feeling about now. Sarah Borges has developed quite the following over the past few years, and for good reason. Along with Grace Potter, she's as close as we've got right now to the ultimate female rock and roll bad ass. She's got talent, swagger, and charisma - and isn't...

Lowtide – Self-Titled

The film clip ends. David gives his review and other thoughts, and then turns to the person to his left. “Thoughts, Margaret?” Margaret looks at David, then at the camera, and back at David again, searching for help. Grimace consumes her face, her teeth are clenched and her heart groans. Margaret Pomeranz is about to review a shit Australian movie. The review will be prefaced by a statement like “I don’t really want to have to do this, David” or “I want to ...

Luke’s Anger – Show Me Some Lazer

If your label name is Bonus Round Recordings, and your album art shows a TB-303 in a swathe of fairy lights, chances are people will have certain expectations of how your music is going to sound. These expectations are well reached in Show Me Some Lazer, the new album from producer Luke’s Anger. Indeed the album art is an elegant way of describing the sound of Show Me Some Lazer, an affair which combines the sound of legendary...


When looking at new music on Soundcloud, it’s often possible to guess the style using only the album art. Whether it’s a brooding self-portrait for a brooding indie folk artist, or a tripped-out sunset for some equally tripped-out chillwave, it’s usually easy to get an idea of what you’re in for before pressing play. Perth beatsmith ANCRIP (Jonus de Aguiar) doesn’t offer this kind of transparency...

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver - Open Carefully Message Inside

Some things are - and always will be timeless. The music of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver is one such thing. He has done his kind of music for so long that one moght think that is is effortless - but thank God that Lawson is still out there putting forth the effort. This set kicks off with the time-honored chestnut "Coming Soon," on which the band gives a spirited performance. But, what would you expect from a Doyle Lawson...

Don Campbell - The Dust Never Settles

Vince Gill. Celtic Music. Stephen King. Those are three diverse entities that you don't typically think of together. But, in the case of Don Campbell, somehow it all comes together. This disc has the phrase sheer musicianship written all over it. These songs just have a way of flowing off of the speakers, making you tap your feet - to just make you feel good in the process. Songs like "Honeymoon Strong" just....

Various Artists - Classic African American Songsters from Smithsonian Folkways

Smithsonian Folkways has demonstrated a love and respect for the deep musical traditions that have been created in America over the years. So much, in fact, that they have released 22 volumes in their successful "Classic" series. For the 23rd installment, they shine the spotlight on the "Songster." What, you ask, is a songster? According to album co-producer Barry Lee Pearson, a songster is "both a keeper of tradition, disseminating...

Shaky Handz – Sick Later

Last night (early this morning, realistically) I was on eBay looking at musical equipment and after like two hours of mindlessly browsing gumtree and hunting down a teardrop of some sort, I found myself looking at harmonica microphones. I don’t play harmonica, and from what I can remember, I wanted to start a band with super fluffed out distorted vocals. After listening to Shaky Handz latest EP Sick Later, I’ve got a feeling that we should have a chat about vocal gear.

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...

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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