CD Reviews

Robert Kinsler & TJR

Music Worth Buying - Ted Nugent and The Empty Hearts

Orange County Register (CA) music critic Robert Kinsler and his co-host, TJR review new CDs. This week we are looking at Shut Up & Jam by Ted Nugent and Super Group comprise of members of Blondie, The Cars, The Romantics and The Chesterfield Kings, called The Empty Hearts.
 
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Justin Jarvis - Atmospheres (Live)

Life can be so ordinary. Yet, when normal, everyday people make the choice to live for something greater than themselves, the extraordinary happens. Things begin to change. Hearts begin to shift. This is the very paradigm that propelled worship leader Justin Jarvis to pen the songs for his latest full-length project, Atmospheres (Live), a live album...
 
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Wish – Self-Titled

From a dank* Toronto basement comes some pretty stoned out psychedelic dream pop by newbie foursome WISH. Brainchild of musical whiz kid Kyle Connolly, he pulled together a few mates from wicked local bands like Milk Lines, Breeze, Beliefs, Decades and Lobby (starting to see the pattern there?) and made himself a supergroup.
 
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Richard In Your Mind – Ponderosa

There’s not too much contemporary music that my mum enjoys. This isn’t an indictment on her; it’s a fact that a lot of today’s music contains sounds, instruments and vocals that a whole generation has probably never experienced before, and many of them would like to keep things that way. However, on my first listen to Richard in Your Mind’s latest effort, Ponderosa, I got the feeling ...
 
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Leather & Lace - Family Tree

In the coal-mining Allegheny foothills of northwestern Pennsylvania lay the musical roots of country rock band Leather & Lace. Not to be confused with the southern rock duo of the same name, the Weckerly siblings Darla, David and Andrew joined forces with Darla’s husband Bill Warren to release “Family Tree” -- an EP of six outside originals produced by Kim Copeland and recorded in Nashville.
 
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Unsung Heroes Shine on New Albums

New collections featuring the Jeff Healey Band, The Mastersons, the Harlis Sweetwater Band and The Budrows, as well as an outstanding tribute to Chris Smither will hopefully help shed a well-deserved spotlight on a handful of artists who deserve much more attention from discerning music fans. Artist: The Jeff Healey Band. Title: Live at the...
 
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Flying Colors - Second Nature

Prog-pop supergroup Flying Colors is back with their second album, which is just as good as the first in some ways and maybe not quite so much in others. While the album maybe doesn't have the adrenalin of the group's first effort - which marked the first time that Alpha Rev vocalist Casey McPherson, legendary guitarist Steve Morse, Spock's Beard keyboardist Neal Morse, Dream Theater...
 
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Mark T. Small - Smokin' Blues

“My main objective for this CD was to produce a recording that sounds and feels like I am playing in a small room with the listener…I am a ‘live’ player, not a studio guy,” says blues guitarist Mark T. Small about his latest album “Smokin’ Blues,” released on the Lead Foot Music label. The Massachusetts artist chose 12 songs for his fourth CD –- mostly blues standards –- but thoughtfully...
 
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An Eclectic Mix of Voices Stir on New LPs

Johnny Marr, John Mellencamp and Nikki Lane thrill on their highly-anticipated returns, while a new tribute to Bruce Springsteen's epic "Born in the U.S.A." is essential listening for Americana and roots music lovers. Artist: Johnny Marr. Title: Playland (New Voodoo). You might like if you enjoy: The Church, The Cure, The Smiths. Tell me more: The breakaway modern...
 
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Echo and the Empress – Altitude

The pop-folk, sister-duo from South Australia provided us with a sneak of what was to come with their new album that was released in May 2014, with their single One more Tear. Coming out in February and the song that won them the Fowlers Live Music award, One more Tear tantalised the ears of listeners and built the anticipation for their album release. The entire album is...
 
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Lower Spectrum – Traces

It’s no secret that we have been blessed with a resurgence of unique electronic music acts. Those who aren’t fortunate enough to enjoy a VB tinnie and Karl Stefanovic in the morning (i.e. those up-over) have come to realise that us Aussies are onto something. Our homegrown produce is increasing in value as an export – take a look at Flume and RUFUS, who are both doing solo tours of the Americas this year.
 
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July Talk - Self-Titled

Explosive July Talk are officially crashing through the music scene, with Peter Dreimanis’ growling undertones and the femininely coy Leah Fay tearing up the stage together- this five member band are all about some good old fashion, family fun. ESPECIALLY seeing as their songs are all about the Fay versus the Dreimanis. Usually the lyrics are a battle of the voices...
 
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Pioneering Artists Showcased Anew

New releases featuring British alt rockers New Model Army, college radio faves Scruffy the Cat, English band Status Quo and new supergroup Trigger Hippy shed a welcome light on musical greats. Artist: New Model Army. Title: Between Wine and Blood (Eagle Rock Entertainment). You might like if you enjoy: Queens of the Stone Age, The Almighty.
 
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Hits – Hikikomori

They literally sound like nothing I have ever listened to before, so there goes my usual opening sentence about what kind of a combination they are. In any case its definitely rock and roll, and not the kind us Gen X kids are used to, with song names to prove it like, Bitter And Twisted and Jesus F Christ. Hits are from Brisbane and in April this year released their second album Hikikomori (which...
 
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Brandon Reeves - Secondhand EP

Music’s Mad Max is back. Tireless road warrior Brandon Reeves has released a five song EP of folk covers aptly titled “Secondhand.” As a bridge to his third full length album, it is his take on classics ranging from the jug band standard “Hesitation Blues” to the chain gang anthem, “Nine Pound Hammer.” His most pronounced influence is acoustic phenom Tommy Emmanuel. The Aussie...
 
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