CD Reviews


Meghan Shanley – Ready for Love

With her genuine warmth and dynamic stage presence, Meghan Shanley blends beloved standards with a delightful taste of jazz and soul to deliver a compelling performance every time she steps up to the microphone. Meghan also shares unique that harken back to a classic area, as well on her debut release. This is a sleek and groovy effort that sounds like she’s been recording all ...

Sounds Inspire On New Releases

An eagerly-awaited return, two serendipitous reissues and several titles available on DVD and Blu-ray are among the first notable music releases of 2015. Jim Ed Brown. Titles: In Style Again (Plowboy Records). You might like if you enjoy: The Browns, Ray Price. Tell me more: On the title track of his eagerly-awaited return, country music legend Jim Ed...
Robert Kinsler & TJR

Music Worth Buying - Hoozier and the Legacy of Big Star

Orange County Register (CA) music critic Robert Kinsler and his co-host, TJR review new CDs. This week TJ and Robert look at the debut release by Hoozier and the legacy of Big Star.

Jim Ed Brown – In Style Again

There aren’t many of them left, country artists who ruled the airwaves from the 1950s through the 1970s, singers who may have changed horses as the decades passed but who never really left the corral. Singers like Ray Price, Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins…they’re mostly gone now. But Jim Ed Brown is still around, and he continues to carry the traditional country torch...

The Grates – Dream Team

In November, The Grates once again graced the Australian music scene with Dream Team. The Grates have evolved and changed shapes and sounds over the years of being together. Two of their founding members, John and Patience still continue to make music together and recently welcomed a newcomer, Ritchie Daniell to join in making catchy...

Kacey Jones - Amen for Old Friends

“I have several friends represented on this album who have either left or are facing serious challenges. This is my chance to honor them,” says singer/songwriter Kacey Jones, discussing the motivation for her first album in five years: “Amen for Old Friends.” Produced by the artist and Duane Sciacqua on her IGO Records label, it’s not a typical record for...

Winchester Revival – eyes in the canopy

“The more you look out / The less you can see/Blue trees are flaming,” sings David Rosenheim, frontman of alt-rock band Winchester Revival on “Chemical Yellow.” The hooky and equally melodic psychedelic opening track on this Oakland-area band’s four-song debut EP sets the tone for what this reviewer imagines as a concept...

Americana Champions Shone Bright in 2014

Before fully moving on into the new year, it seems essential to celebrate several overlooked masterworks from 2014. Artist: Sturgill Simpson. Title: Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (High Top Mountain Records). You might like if you enjoy: Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard. Tell me more: There is a reason that Sturgill Simpson is set to play...

Low Fly Incline – Silver Cadillac

I’ve been sent to do Melbourne band Low Fly Incline. These two lads –yeah that’s right, there’s two of ‘em – play such rockin’ roll that they got to record with Scott Reeder (the bass player from stoner rock legends Kyuss) two years ago. Yeah! Low Fly Incline have a new EP out, and it’s called Silver Cadillac. The cover...

Sagamore – Longer

There’s no surprise Australia is bursting at the seams with talented bands and artists – we all see it every day on Happy! But what’s even more incredible is when up and coming musicians have the ability to not only write and perform quality music, but have the technical sensibilities to produce music too; Victorian five-piece Sagamore fall into this category...

Flight Facilities – Down To Earth

Welcome aboard ladies and gentleman. Today’s flight will be a little over one hour. Just a few safety precautions before we head off – we ask that you move about the cabin as much as possible, be sure to loosen those belts, and remember, all our flights are fitted with smoke detectors so do try not to get caught. We’ll be dimming...

Ipso Factopus – Trouble

Ipso Factopus… sounds like the name of a new indie pop-rock band, or a bizarre creature of the future – part machine, part space monster. Clearly a name you won’t forget, whether you’re asking yourself time and time again: “What does it mean!” or “Why have I not heard of them before!”. Either way they will be on your mind as they keep...

Machine Translations – The Bright Door

I’m bound to lose a lot of my cool muso journo cred with this following statement: I’ve never listened to vinyl before*. That is until today. With a vinyl player casually hanging out in the Happy office I was able to take the plunge and pop my vinyl cherry. And there is no better LP to do so than The Bright Door, the latest from...

Dark Waves – Self-Titled EP

Dark Waves are a welcome addition to the ever current genre of indie-pop. Basking in their own L.A. drenched stylings, they draw notable comparisons to bands such as The Neighbourhood and Bad Suns. However, that’s not to say that they aren’t without originality. Their latest self titled offering brings much to the somewhat overstocked indie table and they...

Collarbones – Return

When the cover art and the nine songs that follow the album are equally brilliant, you know that the third Collarbones album is truly better than sliced bread…and possibly any of this year’s Aria award winners. My favorite bone band, the long distance interweb duo, Marcus Whale and Travis Cook welcome their...
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