CD Reviews

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Malcolm Holcomb - The RCA Sessions

With Holcombe you can always expect the unexpected. A true original, a singer-songwriter with a flair for the unconventional, searing, raw emotion and lyrics and a voice that could stop a bull-elephant in its tracks. With The RCA Sessions, he again pushes the boundaries, a man with an edge in his fretwork, voice and music at all times.
 
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Paul Brady - The Vicar St Sessions Vol. 1

Paul Brady is one of those guys, a man always guaranteeing quality in most everything he does or has done for the past 40 years or so. More than just another singer-songwriter, he's a revered Irish institution with an astonishing knack, an ability to put together cracking support bands, great albums and top dollar live performances.
 
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Jan Vytasek - Lost and Found

It was with some trepidation I opened this for cd review. The artist' credentials state him as an artist most recognized in Prague in the Czech Republic. But I sat at my task with as open mind as I could muster, and believe it or not I am really glad I picked it. Mr. Vytasek certainly surprises with his vocals. There is no country twang, yet he is...
 
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Tyler Farr - Redneck Crazy

Sometimes, you have to start at the top before you can get real. Tyler Farr’s 2013 debut, “Redneck Crazy” spawned two hits and landed in the Top 5. Colt Ford had him take “”Dirt Road Anthem” for a spin before Jason Aldean cut it. His sophomore effort, “Suffer in Silence,” is more introspective. The lead single, “A Guy Walks Into A Bar,” peaked at No. 9 on...
 
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Running Young - We Are The Sons

Near death experiences can be pretty revealing. Mortality seeks out the truth in a person, so an EP based on such an experience as you may imagine will be pretty damn honest. Such is the case for Running Young and their EP We Are The Sons, an EP inspired by frontman Joel Famularo’s near death experience whilst undergoing open heart...
 
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Jon Ben Berger - Life is Beautiful

This is a debut offering from a veteran singer-songwriter and guitarist of some note. An American, Berger has for many years been resident in Stockholm, Sweden, where this album was produced by another US_Swede and veteran musician, Brian Kramer. Berger penned all of the eleven tracks here, which are well-paced and reflect his personal philosophy...
 
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Telescopes - EP 001

Telescopes are usually used to see into the distance or further deep into space (or into the heavens if you’re a creationist). Telescopes the band focuses more within the world of singer/guitarist Arik Blum. He has recounted that he “wrote many of these songs during a particularly dark time”, which, yes is quite common, but it’s the mellow and brutal...
 
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The Malpass Brothers - Self-Titled

The Malpass Brothers, Chris and Taylor, are young North Carolina natives and multi-instrumentalist veterans from Merle Haggard's touring band. Their self-titled debut, is a time machine aiming to transport listeners to an earlier era when artists like Faron Young, Mel Street, and Hank Williams Sr. filled the airwaves instead of Taylor Swift or...
 
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White Lodge - Split EP

Look at the artwork. Absorb it, let it seep into your pores, this is all you need to know. The deep slabs of sludgy cosmic punk housed within the two new tracks from White Lodge are a perfect reflection of the munted imagery that graces the record’s cover. Just like the garish green pterodactyl that stares at us from beneath a B-movie font title, the record...
 
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Kyle Carey - North Star

This is truly beautiful album. Every track is serenely imagined, performed and pitched, leaving a lasting impression of tranquility, melody and beauty. A second release from a US singer-songwriter with strong Scottish influences at her heart, North Star is an album that merits discovery for anyone with an interest in traditional Scottish roots music and/or modern Americana.
 
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Waxhead - Home

Being commissioned to write music purely for surf films would have to be one of the coolest jobs to land (alongside what David Attenborough does), and this is precisely what Waxhead were born to do. These scrappy Byron-bred rock ‘n’ rollers make super fun tunes that, as we enter the gloom of winter, evoke memories of cracked lips and sandy sheets in all the...
 
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Dik Banovich - Acoustic Roots & Blues

Banovich is mostly a Scot with an unlikely name for a member of the tartan clan. Originally from Chicago, he moved to Scotland as a kid, living in the industrial heartland, and home of some of the most interesting music, in Glasgow before moving North to live in the Highlands where he was a notable figure in the burgeoning folk music world. Now based in France...
 
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Sam Shinazzi - Forever & For Now

Somewhere in Sydney, hidden deep beneath aspiring rappers spitting rhymes about their ex’s and every local DJ’s latest chill house mix, Sam Shinazzi picks up his acoustic guitar. Now I’m not saying these fine musicians aren’t creating something special for the future of our music industry, but I’d just like to take a moment to appreciate what feels like the...
 
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Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly

It has been a brutal three years, but the long awaited album is finally here. Yes the day has come, the hills are alive and Kendrick Lamar is back. Firstly, whether or not To Pimp a Butterfly is better than good kid, m.A.A.d city is a hard question to answer. Like good kid, m.A.A.d city, it showcases Kendrick’s masses of talent and personality. With 16 tracks it is...
 
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Five Fantastic New Albums Bolstered by Authentic Songcraft

Toro Y Moi, Mike Scott, Dwight Yoakam, Courtney Barnett and Built to Spill may come from diverse corners of the musical universe, but all have returned in early 2015 with superb new albums. Artist: Toro Y Moi. Title: What For? (Carpark Records). You might like if you enjoy: Big Star, Todd Rundgren, Three O'Clock, Weezer...
 
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