CD Reviews


Audrey Auld – Hey Warden

The last time San Quentin Prison in California was used as an effective vehicle for a music record, it was 1969 and Johnny Cash was on the upswing as a result of a highly effective prison tour throughout the state. Singer songwriter Audrey Auld harnessed the power within the walls of that now-famous institution to bring audiences her new record, ‘Hey Warden.’

Diane Ward - Beautiful Ways

“…the recording process was a wonderful escape from what was happening at the time,” explains South Florida singer/songwriter Diane Ward, in a late 2014 “livewells latest” blog interview about her fifth and latest project “Beautiful Ways.” “It took a long time to finish the album, however, because I was simultaneously recovering from what my body was going through.” She’s...

Marlon Williams - Self-Titled

If you claim to be an avid reader of all music related news, then you’re bound to have heard the name Marlon Williams being thrown around like a whore*. Williams is a New Zealand native who made the fateful move to Melbourne back in 2013. And now after selling out tours in both Aus and NZ, his much anticipated self titled debut LP has hit us damn hard.

Miami Horror - All Possible Futures

As Australia begins its steady descent into winter, it’s heartening to remember there will be warmth and sunshine awaiting us at the end. In the meantime, Miami Horror have taken the reins with their new album delivering 15 songs of easy, breezy sunshiney vibes. Despite All Possible Futures being a break up album...

Shantell Ogden - Ghosts in the Field

“I actually get high off of writing songs…can I say that?” asks Shantell Ogden, looking straight in the camera lens, tilting her head and wincing a little -- an endearing, off-the-cuff moment captured in her website’s brief video bio. It’s a moment as honest as her song lyrics, as real as the vocals on her fourth album, “Ghosts in the Field.” Five of the seven songs here are co-written...

Totally Mild - Down Time

Winter is coming, which means it’s time to find some toasty tunes to keep you warm at night. Lucky for you, Melbourne four-piece Totally Mild have just released the perfect tracks for your lonely winter down time. Elizabeth Mitchell’s solo project turned four-piece have a cool new look to go with their warm new sound. Adding Full Ugly and The Great Outdoors’...

John & Judy Rodman - Here We Are

What’s left for a couple to pursue when the husband has had a long, colorful career as an in-demand drummer on tour and in the studio, and his wife has written #1 hit songs for others, has had her own #1 as an artist, and has been the recipient of the prestigious ACM Award for Top New Female Vocalist (not to mention wearing producer and vocal coach...

Top-Notch Returns Highlight Crop of New Releases

Stellar returns from Blur, Otis Taylor, and Steve Kilbey & Martin Kennedy, as well as several outstanding reissues from Queen drummer Roger Taylor provide fuel for discerning listeners. Artist: Blur. Title: The Magic Whip (Warner Bros./Parlophone). You might like if you enjoy: Blur, Damon Albarn, The Kinks. Tell me more: Blur's highly-anticipated full-length ...

Clint Bradley - Riding After Midnight

Clint A Bradley is an acoustic guitarist, singer-songwriter from the UK with his boots firmly rooted in the plains and hills of American country music. He could as easily be in Tennessee as the South of England. Riding After Midnight is an eleven-track album of mostly self-penned country music with howling honky tonk and heartache waiting round every...

GRRL PAL - Paradise

Last week the Happy offices received a package, the kind of package that you’d wait by the mailbox for, knowing that your best friend has made especially for you. Including stickers, a polaroid, a handwritten note (in colourful gel pens) and their latest EP Paradise, Perth duo GRRL PAL know how to make a blog feel spec! We wouldn’t...

John Cowan - Sixty

Bassman Cowan hits three score years and celebrates with this fine release from Compass Records. Jam packed with Nashville slick and Cowan's crystal, soaring vocals, the guy who virtually singlehandedly reinvented and reinvigorated Bluegrass with New Grass Revival in the early 1970s, is joined by most of his revered Nashville buddies here: Rodney...

Waxahatchee - Tripp

When you first encounter a record that sounds like it’s from a certain era you’re confronted with a horrible problem. Your first reaction is to compare the record to other records from that time which is pretty much a death sentence because if you’re talking about records from 20 years ago you’re only going to remember the ones that have lasted ...

Darrell & Dawn Ritchie - Backroads

When I met Darrell & Dawn Ritchie for the first time, I already knew their hearts were in the right place: focused on Christ. The husband and wife duo travel the country, sharing their musical ministry with churches and others who are in need of their services. They came to the Acworth Christian Church, where I'm a member, and performed for the congregation.

Chasm - Lose My Mind

Bedroom mixer turned brazen beatmaker, Sydney producer Chasm aka Chris Hamer-Smith is boldly going where no man has gone before. Fusing hip-hop with just about anything, his stockpile of funky beats, soulful samples and reggae artist collabs sees him push the boundaries album after album. Somewhere around the dawn...

Speedy Ortiz - Foil Deer

While remaining true to their scrappy underground roots, indie rock four pieceSpeedy Ortiz deliver a more polished and sophisticated sound with sophomore LPFoil Deer. Hailing from Northampton Massachusetts, the band was initially a solo project of frontwoman Sadie Dupuis who pulled...
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