CD Reviews

Robert Kinsler & TJR

Music Worth Buying: Def Leppard and Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings

Orange County Register (CA) music critic Robert Kinsler and his co-host, TJR review new CDs. This week we look at "Give The People What They Want", the latest from Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings. And the re release of Def Leppard's lost album "Slang".

Daniel Grajew Trio – Manga

INTRO Jazz Pianist Daniel Grajew hails from Brazil and brings an inspirational approach to modern day Jazz concoctions with baião, samba, choro, and other Brazilian genres with jazz, tango and classical music. I especially like Jazz music from Brazil because unlike American Jazz It has that amazing side of Samba thrown in. “Manga” combines all of the above with above average vocal style and a solid look. All 11 arrangements offer much in the way of charged musical performances...

The Iveys - Jenna's Song

There's something special about family harmony, and that is nowhere more evident on the stunning new album from Arlen, Jessica, and Jillian Ivey. The term "synergy" might get used a lot, but in the context of these three, it definitely applies - and then some. They seem to know what each other is going to vocally seconds before...

Jacob Latham – Midnight Train

From Indiana comes a fresh male artist known as Jacob Latham who just released his latest effort “Midnight Train” (2013). I always listen to the opening track extremely carefully. It’s the opening track the artist has selected to hit your ears first and foremost. The opening track “Pay Attention to the Rain” sets the stage rather appropriately for a CD like this. It was a great intro piece that stuck in my head and had me eager for what lied ahead. All in all the whole CD is brilliantly...

Sara Evans - Slow Me Down

Power might be one of the best words sum up the new studio disc from Sara Evans. Her first album since 2011's Stronger, she and Mark Bright have assembled a strong collection of material that showcases the fact that she possesses one of the most powerful ranges in the format. That is proven immediately with the opening...
Elbow_the-take-off- and-landing-of-everything

Elbow, John Oates and Joe Louis Walker Shine Bright On New Releases

England's groundbreaking alternative rock band Elbow, singer-songwriter John Oates and blues great Joe Louis Walker shine bright and push their legacies forward on their latest releases. Artist: Elbow. Title: The Take Off and Landing of Everything (Concord Records). You might like if you enjoy: Peter Gabriel, Radiohead, U2. Tell me more: Lush and textured arrangements, flawless musicianship and palpable emotion are just the icing on the cake across...

Tinsley Ellis - Midnight Blue

Atlanta-born Tinsley Ellis comes by his Southern Blues sound honestly. He was playing the guitar before the age of ten, and found his initial exposure to the sound through British acts such as the Rolling Stones and Cream. However, that love became a passion when he discovered the music of B.B. King. It's an influence that can still be heard in Ellis's music some four decades later. Put in this CD, and you can tell...

Will Kimbrough - Sideshow Love

In the notes that accompany his latest disc, Will Kimbrough is referred to as the "Sherlock Holmes of Songwriting" due to his observant nature that he takes with his songs. For his latest disc, that streak is as much alive as always. But, just as evident on this album is Kimbrough's innate ability to shift from one style to another while keeping this album as cohesive as anything he's ever done. The album kicks off with...

Tower of Dudes - Make Your Own Culture

“…Velvet Rut Records has also promised to send it into space on a golden turntable so aliens have something great to listen to because space, although vast, can also be vastly dull (and quiet),” says Canadian band Tower Of Dudes, referring to their first release with the label, “Make Your Own Culture.” Recorded in British Columbia and produced by the band, along with Dave Hibbert and Myke Hall, this, their third full-length album of twelve self-penned tunes...


Heady, evocative bars of slightly caramelized candy. An infusion of music that melts into you, hmmm… that feels like Tincture to me. Luke Dalton, a Brisbane man, is Tincture’s sugar daddy. He’s another super-talented artist that belongs to the growing umbrella of fusion/experimental electronic music. His music is fun, upbeat with just the right smattering of surrealism. Luke kicked off his career as an electronic music producer in 2012, where he mixed a number of snazzy...

The Animation - Dance Into The Unknown

From Sweden comes alt-pop-rockers The Animation who just released his latest CD entitled “Dance into the Unknown” by Spectra Records. Right from the start it might be easy to just categorize The Animation as a straight ahead “dime a dozen” alt-pop-rockers and write them off as the newest trending band around that region. It wouldn’t be wise, though. Sure, if you listen to some of the more catchier moments within this 12 song line-up: (Sunset), (Dance Into the Unknown...

Young Hellions - Self-Titled

Everyone had that mischievous kid on their street growing up. Some are more mysterious than others, some are more rebellious, some dabble in badass femme fatale goth-punk. Eventually though, every Peter Pan and Maeve Munro has to grow up, and the latter’s aptly named solo project Young Hellions marks that moment in a very promising career. Auckland native and MUZAI Records favourite Munro ran amuck with earlier musical partnerships The Bengal Lights and Cat...

Rob Larkin and the Wayward Ones - Dogwood Roots

Los Angeles based singer-songwriter Rob Larkin has one of those voices that’s familiar but yet you can’t quite put your finger on him. The closest I could place it would a cross between Jason Mraz and Mumford and Sons without the rock n’ roll bombast. Indeed Larkin backed up by his band Wayward Ones is a surging artist right now. Rob Larkin recruited some of the best musicians in LA to help record his much anticipated album, Dogwood Roots...

Grant Peeples – Punishing The Myth

Singer / songwriter Grant Peeples has got a provocative, promotional bumper sticker that reads, “It’s hard to start a Revolution when your face is six feet from your television,” and an old VW gig van with half a million miles on it, emblazoned with painted primitive art symbols and the names of every single Kickstarter supporter of his new album “Punishing The Myth” – all 310 of them. “This is a record I think has got a lot of oomph, and these songs, I think...

David Nail - I'm A Fire

So, you think you know David Nail. The deep, introspective moody balladeer behind such hits like "Red Light" and "Let It Rain." If you have that opinion, you might have been a little bit surprised to see the singer with a (GASP!) uptempo release as the first single from this album, "Wbatever She's Got. That being said, listeners seemed to...
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