CD Reviews

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Danika Portz - Set This World On Fire

Iowa native Danika Portz sounds like nobody you've heard of lately. And, to be honest with you, when I heard her debut single, "Greatest Show On Earth," it did make me do a little bit of a double take. She is That different. So, I listened again, and again. And, by the forty-first listen, I was not only hooked - but also a fan. The single has a very different feel, and Portz's vocal - while it might take a little getting used to - will absolutely
 
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Old Crow Medicine Show - Remedy

Earlier this year, I had a conversation with Ketch Secor. One of the subjects we discussed was their 2013 induction into the Grand Ole Opry. Citing that moment as the career highlight of the band, he said now that they were there - they felt even more of a need to prove their worthiness of the distinction. Well, on this - the band's first set since Marty Stuart extended the olive branch of Opry membership, I would dare say OCMS is...
 
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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Announce Release of CSNY 1974

Legendary rockers Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young have released a pinnacle work titled CSNY 1974, a long-awaited compilation of 40 previously unreleased live tracks from their 1974 summer tour. Five years earlier, music fans learned of CSN&Y when they took to the stage at Woodstock in upstate New York, the day after performing together for the first time at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago. By the summer of 1974, their name was synonymous...
 
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Robert Kinsler Goes Back In Time with Nils Lofgren, CSN&Y and More

While few artists are truly worth celebrating via expansive collections, new titles taking a detailed look at Nils Lofgren and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young are well worth the wait and will definitely please hardcore fans of the influential artists. In addition, an ambitious blues-minded tribute to the music of Creedence Clearwater Revival provides an essential listen for fans of the blues and CCR.
 
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Jeffrey Halford & The Healers - Rainmaker

Sometimes, when you hear a Blues artist, you wonder if they really feel the lyrics of what they are singing - just how deep do the emotions run. Well, when you hear Jeffrey Halford on "Second Chance,' you just....know. These are words that he has actually lived - and actually felt. On the latest project from this California resident - by way of the Lone Star State, you get a lot more songs just like it - all about the struggles that...
 
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Wunder Wunder – Everything Infinite

When it comes to music, I find it very difficult to concisely define what I like, but very very easy to recognise that which I don’t like. I can say with confidence that I don’t not like Wunder Wunder‘s latest danceadelica album Everything Infinite. And it’s not often I say that about an artist signed to a major label with such a mainstream pop focus. There’s something that makes me feel good somewhere in my body and my...
 
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Trophy Scars – Holy Vacants

I think the fellows from The Dillinger Escape Plan hit the nail on the head when they named their 2010 album Option Paralysis, citing their strongly held and consistently reiterated belief in artistic ambition and adventure as the reason behind the title. They feel that despite the advent of the internet and the immediate access to entirety of music that it offers, the modern music scene is stuck in imitation of dead styles and is filled by incompetent artists ...
 
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Jen Chapin - Reckoning

Until I read the description of Jen Chapin's bio of her music as "Urban Folk Soul," I have to admit that I had never heard those words all strung together in that form before. However, the terminology definitely applies - as her musical style is all of those terms - and a whole lot more. Music is something that is entrenched deep into her soul - and she comes by it naturally as the daughter of the legendary singer-songwriter...
 
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Faint Waves – Ultra Wave

Wanna know what it feels like to be in an arcade game? I’m talking about actually jumping into one, Tron-style. Debut LP Ultra Wave from Florida-based amateur production Faint Waves rewinds to the 1980s to take you there in the future. Hardcore revivalist, the engineer behind it all, lives by the motto ‘the future is retro’. Hit play on his 11-track album and you’ll see what he means. Retro synthwave blurs with futuristic electronica to the point where Pac-Man lives again...
 
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Austra-Hulluu

If you’re checking out Austra’s videos for the first time, you may feel like you have stumbled upon a taboo world of desire. Their polished hypnotic beats won’t ever let you leave. Honestly, I’ve never heard anything like Austra. At first my mind was quietened by what I saw as confusing artistic motives and weird unearthly sounds which I found hard to comprehend. Like a river of ambiguity, the sound was both flowing and...
 
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Eddie Cotton - Here I Come

“You’ll get ran over if you stay on the ground/Get yourself up and fight another round,” sings blues artist Eddie Cotton on “Get Your Own,” a fast-paced soul song about not giving up. It’s one of a collection of tunes on his third and latest album, “Here I Come,” released on DeChamp Records. Listen to this son of a Mississippi preacher and you will hear that distinctive gospel background in his blend of electric blues. Produced by Sam Brady along with the artist...
 
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Cory Branan - The No-Hit Wonder

Trying to figure out a place where Cory Branan belongs musically is kind of tough. At times, he's a little bit on the Country side, but then again, he also has a definite rock and roll swagger that is mixed somewhat with a little bit of Punk sounds. His music doesn't stay in one style long enough to be labeled any one specific genre, so there lies the challenge. Just how do you label the Mississippi native? The answer,,,
 
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Jacob Thomas, Jr - Original Sin

Louisiana native Jacob Thomas, Jr. had a musical upbringing not too much unlike a lot of artists growing up in the heart of Cajun country. There was a lot of playing - musical and otherwise - at the clubs around home, as well as performing at Church on Sunday morning. However, for his debut album, the singer-songwriter takes more of a laid back and intimate approach, as evidenced as his performance on such sparse...
 
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Dirty Projectors - Gun Has No Trigger

Dirty Projectors are something else. They’re a little bit quirky but don’t underestimate the power of their killer harmonises. I immediately thought Robbie Williams when switching on the Dirty Projectors’, Gun Has No Trigger, and not in the preposterously large scale way you’d expect. It’s similar in it’s tone but super understated, very lovely indeed. It’s been a long time since I heard a voice like that, and you can find them on Spotify...
 
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Shooter Jennings - Don't Wait Up (For George)

One thing that is very much apparent whenever you talk to Shooter Jennings - he is definitely a "Music Man." And, it truly doesn't matter if the genre is Country, Rock, Folk, or Pop. He appreciates and loves it all. At the same time, his latest release is more than just a musical offering - it's a way to remember someone who was very much family - George Jones. Of course, Jones and Shooter's parents - Waylon and Jessi...
 
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