CD Reviews


Flame – Royal Flush

“The metaphor for ‘Royal Flush’ is saying that God has given us the highest hand,” says St. Louis hip-hop artist Flame in his December 2013 interview with CCM Magazine about his seventh album “Royal Flush;” “He sets us up to win,” he writes in the liner notes of this Clear Sight Music label release. With contemporary beats and in-the-pocket raps, he delivers a strong Christian message that brings together the spiritual and the secular…the bible and the streets.

Brad Wilson – Hands On The Wheel

“I have always been a musician as far back as the 8th grade. It’s all I ever wanted to do, year in and year out,” says blues rock guitarist Brad Wilson in a recent interview with Colorado Serenity Magazine. This kind of knowing one’s self comes through on his latest album, “Hands On The Wheel.” The Blues Boulevard Records release features 14 tracks written by the California artist, recorded piecemeal in ten studios from Redondo Beach to Hollywood to ...

The Sea The Sea - Love We Are We Love

There's an old saying that "You Can't Judge A Book By It's Cover." Take a listen to this CD from Chuck e. Costa and Mira Stanley, and you will agree. With the cover art - and the unique name - I had this album pegged in my head as Alternative Pop. I have never been more wrong. Granted, the music isn't exactly easy to classify. There's some Bluegrass harmonies and instrumentation involved here, yet also some folk sensibilities...

Brigitte DeMeyer - Savannah Road

If you read many of my reviews, one name that I cross-reference from time to time is that of 60s roots music queen Bobbie Gentry. There was something so fresh, so sexual but at the same time something so Gothic about her recordings - such as "Ode To Billie Joe" that struck a chord with many female singer-songwriters of the time - as well as those that have come along since. Now, Brigitte DeMeyer is not a copy cat of Gentry, mind...

Christina Rubino - Alive From the Scrapheap

This CD (Alive From the Scrapheap) is the debut release from Christina Rubino. Brooklyn native and musician, Christina Rubino’s first full-length solo album Alive from the Scrapheap is set to release in early 2014. This powerful and eclectic album tells the story of a gifted artist who got lost trying to find herself and only found herself when she was lost. Her lyrics are intertwined with beautiful harmonies, rustic harmonicas, raw emotion and an acoustic twang.

Woodland – Seikatsu

Let’s face it, chill Sunday drives aren’t complete without chill Sunday tracks. You know, those tunes that have you drifting off to la-la land as autopilot kicks in. Well, newbie psychedelic Sydney five-piece, Woodland have you covered right there. Described as making ‘chill Sunday drive epics’, their first single serves up 100% pure psychedelic bliss and makes for, well, pretty chill Sunday driving. In 2013, mates Andrew, Nick, Peter, Tom and Jackson came together...

Darren Nicholson - Things Left Undone

If you study his resume, Darren Nicholson has enjoyed quite the career thus far. He has shared the stage with names like Vince Gill, George Jones, and Merle Haggard. He has won IBMA trophies and been nominated for a Grammy, and has played the stage of the legendary Grand Ole Opry. So, it's a safe bet that if you love Traditional Country or Bluegrass, you're going to love Darren Nicholson. The reason for that...

Mare Wakefield & Nomad - Poet on the Moon

“Gone without goodbye, Cindy clears his breakfast bowl/Shakes her head and lets her coffee grow ice cold/She’s staring at the door, thinks there should be more,” sings folk/pop artist Mare Wakefield on “One More Breaking Heart” - the opening track of her new CD “Poet On The Moon.” The sunny melody belies the lyric of disenchanted love – a Cinderella romance somehow gone domestically flat, and the duo of Wakefield and her husband Nomad Ovunc are off and...

Atlas B Salvesen – Smoke Signals

We recently rediscovered a classic from last year – Atlas B Salvesen‘s emotional debut EP Smoke Signals. It takes an honest musician to command a person’s attention with their beguiling voice, and it takes someone special to haunt you with their gift of story telling. No theatrics, no trickery, just a man with his heart and soul painted throughout his music. The talented Atlas B Salvesen has always been around, just politely waiting to be unearthed...
Robert Kinsler & TJR

Music Worth Buying - Coldplay and The Pretty Reckless

Orange County Register (CA) music critic Robert Kinsler and his co-host, TJR review new CDs. This week Robert and TJR discuss Ghost Stories by Coldplay and Going to Hell by The Pretty Reckless.

Miranda Lambert - Platinum

Miranda Lambert is on one serious hot streak - as far as award shows go. Her past three discs have taken the Album of the Year award from the ACM - and three of the past four winners in the Song of the Year category have been included on those albums. As she gears up for the release of her fifth album, one can only wonder if those trends will continue. After close listening and examination, I think that if Miranda...

Suit Ty Thurrsty - People In The Street

People in the Street certainly falls in nicely as a rocking blues record, with immaculate riffs and licks, an energetic, funky groove, and pointed, personal lyrics. Suit Ty Thurrsty is made up of singer / songwriter / guitarist Tom “The Suit” Forst, singer/bassist Tyree “Ty” Pope, and singer/percussionist Pedro “Bigg Thurrsty” Johnson. All three are experienced blues musicians with a touring history, come together to breathe some new life into the blues with...

Empat Lima - Satu Boom

Remember that band in the movie Kill Bill? When Beatrix Kiddo goes to have that gory face off with O-Ren, and there was that all girls band on the stage who were pumping up the crowd with the fabulous twisting and head banging… Well they were called Now since we are dealing with numbers name a another all girls band with numbers… Four Five, send any neurons firing? No? How about Empat Lima? Still no? Okay well Empat Lima is ‘four five’ in Malay.

The Tambourine Girls – The End Of Time EP

The Tambourine Girls‘ End Of Time might be the best psych-pop release of the 1990′s. Okay, yes, it was released last week, May 16th in the year 2014, but listening to the open, casual acoustic strumming, the nasal vocal delivery, the stadium-size choruses and the appropriated 60′s influences from both sides of the atlantic on Simon Relf’s debut solo work, I can’t help but feel that the EP is more 90′s than most albums actually released between the years 1989 and 2000.

Sandra Lynn - Self Titled

There's a great deal of buzz around Nashville as of late concerning newcomer Sandra Lynn, and after listening to this, her debut EP - she's worth every single word of hype. A native of California, you might expect somewhat of a contemporary and modern take on the format. She delivers that - and then some with the fresh and intoxicating 1, which has a definite pop sheen to it. It's a track that showcases her range - as well as...
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