CD Reviews


J.T. Lauritsen & Friends - Play By The Rules

The seventh studio album from Blues great J.T. Lauritsen definitely qualifies as a collaborative effort. He surrounds himself with some of the finest Blues and Rock talent, with such names as Billy Gibson, Anson Funderburgh, and Victor Wainwright being among the artists represented on this disc on five of the tracks that were recorded in Memphis - a city that definitely knows something about the...
Robert Kinsler & TJR

Music Worth Buying - Elvis Costello and The Roots

Orange County Register (CA) music critic Robert Kinsler and his co-host, TJR review new CDs. This week we look at the new "genre bending" collaboration between Elvis Costello and The Roots: "Wise Up Ghost" and first new album in years by Mazzy Star, the ethereal "Seasons Of Your Day"

Joe Farren - Open Skies

His critically-celebrated debut album,‘Til the Day was released in 2007 and led to an extensive East-Coast tour, spins on national radio stations and a spot as a headliner on the Maine Songwriter’s Association’s annual Old Port Festival. Farren moved to Florida in 2011 and writes fresh material while maintaining a rigorous live performance schedule at venues up and down the East Coast. His latest release, Open Skies was recorded in collaboration with Nashville-based producer Jason ...

Russell Howard - City Heart +

North Carolina native Russell Howard sounds like nobody you have heard of - and that's a good thing. There's many different layers to his sound - a little pop, a little jazz, and even a dash of country. Yet, somehow, he makes it sound like a natural blend of all things, and also something very special. Howard received help in making this disc from the Kickstarter campaign, and those who made donations got their...

Skyfactor - Signal Strength

This 4 piece Alternative Rock band from New York call themselves Skyfactor. Their latest release: Signal Strength is sure to be remembered as one of the more remembered modern Alternative Rock-Pop releases of our time from New York. It’s pure College Rock the way it used to be via full-tilt of playing, hooky grooves and a top tiered sound. It’s the ultimate in musical intoxication. Before I get to the review let me first say Skyfactor will take you back to a simpler, happier more carefree...

Andrew Abaria - We are the Underdogs

How would one describe Andrew Abaria, a singer/songwriter who hails from California? Andrew’s first album, “No Man’s Land,” was released in September 2011 and was featured on AOL Music (alongside Jason DeRulo and the Glee cast). The album received airplay in the US and internationally. Two singles from the five-song EP were chosen as OutRadio’s top singles of 2011 and the lead track, “Dark Room,” was reviewed at the annual ASCAP Expo. Andrew has performed at venues all...

Brandy Clark - 12 Stories

Wow. Ok, I don't think I have ever started a review so simply in my decade-plus of writing them. But, sometimes, you can say a lot more with less than you can otherwise. I think you get the idea about where this review might be headed with that explanation. Brandy Clark has developed a reputation as one of Nashville's top songwriters, scoring a CMA Song of the Year nod for her contributions to "Mama's Broken...

Natasha Owens - I Made it Through

Let me start by saying Natasha Owens is an amazing artist / singer with a maturity and character that is commendable not often found in many young artists. With her latest release “I Made it Through” she is well on here way having received critical acclaim from many prominent music critics from around the globe. Reading though her bio let’s just say there’s a reason why she’s got so much character.On May 6, 2010, her dad died suddenly. Natasha remarked "I heard someone say one...

The Chris Weaver Band - American Dreamer

I will be the first to admit that this review might sound a little bit dramatic, but in the case of Chris Weaver, so be it. He earns every word and adjective - and then some. About a year ago, Regina Raleigh, one of my best friends in (or out) of this business brought this talented West Virginia native to my attention. The song was "So Damn Beautiful." It was one of those moments you don't forget. In this era of sound-alike and people lamenting the fact that true...

The Mailman’s Children - Supply and Demand

The Mailman’s Children” is a 4 piece band from Canada (Winnipeg, Manitoba.) Canada can at times be a very beautiful place and it has its fair share of unpredictable cold and snowy days as well. However this might just be the perfect locale to explore the unpredictable realm of musical expression. This latest CD from The Mailman’s Children “Supply and Demand” delivers all of the above and will reveal all the a-typical conventions of today’s modern alt-rock-music that so many...

John DeGrazio – Songs From The Warzone

“Man, we have it easy here in the Bible belt, but you live in the war zone,” says Contemporary Christian artist John DeGrazio, quoting his Tennessee friend in a recent interview. His lunch guest was referring to the singer living in such a “progressive and secular” place as New Jersey. Taking this as a message from God, he titled his next album – his fourth – “Songs From The Warzone,” writing each of its eleven tracks to the theme of spiritual warfare. Released on Watersound Records and ...

George Ducas - 4340

Back in the 1990s, George Ducas became quite the fan favorite and critical darling with the 1995 hit single "Lipstick Promises." Since then, he has devoted his time to raising a family, as well as penning hits for acts like Sara Evans, Josh Thompson, and the Eli Young Band. After a long absence from the microphone himself, Ducas returns with an album that is very much on the traditional end of the country...

Gino Matteo - Sweet Revival

Every now and then, you get a CD that is, well, tough to categorize. Gino Matteo is one such artist. He’s simply put, hard to classify. At the end of the day, the best thing you can say about him is that he’s just plain good. On this, his second full-length disc, he mixes a lot of different kinds of styles, but does so in a way that comes out all his own. There’s some blues to his music, there’s a tinge of Country at places, and there’s some...

The Steep Canyon Rangers - Tell The Ones I Love

The past few years have seen quite a bit of exposure for the Steep Canyon Rangers - largely due to their collaborative efforts with Steve Martin. But, with or without that "Wild And Crazy Guy," the Rangers make some very fine music - which is also some of the most diverse in the genre of Bluegrass Music today. Their latest Rounder Records collection offers ample proof of this. While each track works as a Bluegrass song, there are...

Adrianna Freeman – Either You Do Or You Don’t

“When a lot of people see me for the first time, they don’t know what to make of me. They expect me to sing R&B,” says African American country singer and songwriter Adrianna Freeman. The Tallahassee native, daughter and granddaughter of former sharecroppers sings music she was raised on - and that’s country. She hasn’t been shaken by the naysayers, and for the most part has stayed faithful to her country roots, which led her to be discovered and taken under the wing of Alabama ...
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