CD Reviews

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Black Yaya - Self-Titled

Carefully crafted and ripe with promise, Black Yaya’s self-titled debut album is a warm throwback of a record, one that handily evokes a laid-back pop-rock past while instilling a keen anticipation for the artist’s future output. While there may be occasional moments of flatness or timidity, particularly towards the record’s latter half, the tunes nevertheless hum
 
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Seminal Artists Shine on New Releases

Daryl Hall and John Oates, Shania Twain, Ron Sexsmith and Anne McCue showcase their groundbreaking and influential artistry on new releases. Artist: Daryl Hall and John Oates. Title: Live in Dublin (Eagle Rock Entertainment). You might like if you enjoy: John Oates, Daryl...
 
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Laurence Jones - What's It Gonna Be

The latest, third, release from young, hot-shot British rock-bluesman, Laurence Jones is a true cracker. A wonderful album of searing guitar work coupled with some deft lyrics that have a stamp of confidence and maturity about them that simply belie his relatively tender years and must speak volumes of what might yet lie tantalisingly in store for the years ahead.
 
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Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I just Sit

The rise of Courtney Barnett is something that I’ve been keeping a close eye on. Call it a secret pleasure of mine. Not only because of the obscene amount of unique talent that she showed on her first releases, although that in itself was noteworthy, but more for how easily she was accepted and embraced by the international music community. She had achieved so...
 
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Jim Lawrie - Eons

Jim Lawrie, former drummer of indie band Eagle and the Worm, is an artist I’m adding to my list of musicians who I wish I’d heard of earlier. We’ve all had these moments: maybe it’s when your friends introduce you to Elliott Smith for the first time or when you somehow stumble on an underground band from the other side of the...
 
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Brian Kramer - Full Circle

This CD, from US-born, Sweden-based bluesman, Brian Kramer is already one of my personal favourites of the year. With all the material written by Kramer, and an excellent cast of supporting musicians providing back-up, it hits the spot for me with its soulful guitar-work and laid-back ragtimey-blues feel. Since its arrival, I’ve been listening to...
 
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Mickelson – Flickering

“This is the first time I wrote songs that were 100% personal and without any motivation but to make the most expressive record that I could with whomever I wanted and however I envisioned it. This is my first honest record,” says San Francisco Americana music artist Mickelson, referring to his debut solo effort “Flickering.” As longtime frontman and songwriter...
 
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Andy Fairweather Low & The Low Riders - Zone-O-Tone

Andy Fairweather Low is a Welsh superstar, without doubt. Think Wales and Tom Jones probably comes to mind. But think again: AFL is the guy who brought the 1960s hits 'Paradise', Bend Me, Shape Me' etc to the musical table as frontman of Amen Corner. In the 70s he again hit the UK charts with the wonderfully colourful and wittily emotional, 'Wide Eyed...
 
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Eagerly-Awaited Returns Highlight Crop of New Releases

Stellar returns from Toto and Ringo Starr, a breathtaking debut from Striking Matches and outstanding reissue from Game Theory have all been released in March 2015. Artist: Toto. Title: Toto XIV (Frontiers Records). You might like if you enjoy: Asia, Toto's classic '70s and '80s albums, Steve Lukather. Tell me more: With the possible exception...
 
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Surf City - Jekyll Island

You can tell just from looking at the album cover* of Jekyll Island that there is going to be an abundance of psychedelic elements to this record. A fine display of a ten year old mastering colouring in within the lines, the vivd imagery evokes a sense of a higher existence. Set to release their fourth album Jekyll Island on March 20, New Zealand’s Surf City...
 
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Jorma Kaukonen - Ain't In No Hurry

A new release from Jorma is always welcome and eagerly anticipated by his legion of fans worldwide. 'Ain't In No Hurry' is a typically laid-back bit of work with Kaukonen's trademark, spicy guitar-work and gripping gritty vocals both working full tilt. As usual these days, he's joined by his old buddy from Jefferson Airplane rock-star days, and Hot Tuna Bassman the...
 
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Shoutin' Red - Introducing

'Introducing' is exactly that, an intro to a new kid on the Scandinavian blues block. From Sweden, Felicia Nielsen, aka Shoutin' Red, is a new, young performer with a debut release that marries traditional 1930s acoustic blues with a few standard traditional folk songs to provide this 12-track album.
 
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Soak - Before We Forget How To Dream

When you’re in your teens there are plenty of things to deal with. The turmoil of school mixed with an influx of hormones, those damn pimples and the stress of getting your license – it’s a lot for one to juggle. Add to that a massive break in the British music scene with two EPs that were written and recorded within a year plus an album on the way and you’re living the life of SOAK.
 
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Telling - New Love

A lot of people are saying rock is dead, so it’s all good and well that there’s a load of new exciting electronic talent pouring out of Australia. It’s the sort of forward thinking about the future of Australia that 90% of our (mostly career) politicians fail to exhibit. Through the misty malaise that is a mining boom being pissed up the wall, has stepped Telling, a Melbourne-based duo...
 
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Elwood Myre - Self-Titled

Elwood Myre is a young singer songwriter duo from the central coast of New South Wales and have recently released their self-titled debut album. The soft and airy folk sound is great to listen and unwind with and delve into a relaxed state of mind. The impassioned vocals are great to tune into while driving along, whether it be...
 
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