CD Reviews

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The Shadowboxers - Red Room

“These songs started in a dorm room and ended in the musty sanctuary below our house of three years that we dubbed the Red Room; that’s where this music comes from and where it belongs,” writes Atlanta band The Shadowboxers in the liner notes of their first full-length album “Red Room.” Recorded in Shreveport, Louisiana, produced by Brady Blade and released on Rcam Records, this collection of 14 songs – all written and co-written by...
 
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Breelan Angel - Dirty Little Secrets

Listening to the music of Texas born and bred Breelan Angel, and you instantly realize she's one performer who has an undeniable passion for what she does - and she has a lot o fun doing so. That is evident on up-tempo cuts on this disc as the well-written "Double Standards" and "Workin' On It," which is about a late-night party that had tended to linger a little longer then originally expected. Angel particularly shines on...
 
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Brian Keane - Coming Home

Born in the heart and soul of Gamecocks country, Brian Keane lets his southern pride shine brightly all over his current release. When he talks about the town slowing down to a crawl during his youth on Football Friday nights - and the slow but sure death of the small-town America that he grew up with in the lyrics of the wistful "You Can't Go Home," he evokes a Springsteen-type Rock and Roll spirit that most people will be able to identify with.
 
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Hockey Dad- Dreamin’ EP

Late last year we introduced you to Hockey Dad, the surf-pop rocking, Simpsons-referencing best buds from Wollongong. The first signing to a great new local venture, the lads are now ready to release their debut EP, and we’ve had a sneak peek for you. Hockey Dad are a couple of teenagers – Zach Stevenson and Billy Fleming – who’ve been tearing up the surf together for most of their lives, and now they’re bringing those skills to the Gong’s indie pop...
 
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Vid O’ the Week – Billy Fox

Billy Fox is a Sydney based music, writer and producer. I had never heard of him until today when I collided head-on with his track and video to Mystery. Whoa. It had me at 7 seconds. He released his debut track Monuments late last year, and despite being on the other side of the planet, it caused quite a stir in the UK music blog scene. Appealing to those who are fans of stripped back writing with bundles of savvy production, Fox mixes...
 
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Charlsey Etheridge - Memories Of Mine

As a music fan, I have to tell you that the more old school the better - as far as I am concerned. That saying that, I know it's not always the easy way to get exposure for your art or airplay, but I love an artist that isn't afraid to show their twangier side - one that hearkens back to the traditional sounds. Georgia-born Charlsey Etheridge is one such artist. She has assembled a collection of songs that have been done time and again, but knows that a great song is always just that.....a great song. She doesn't try to reinvent the wheel on standards...
 
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Eric Bibb - Jericho Road

“The title…refers to the road between Jerusalem and Jericho where the Good Samaritan, a traveler of a despised race, stopped to help a stranger in need…Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King urged us to follow the example of the Good Samaritan…If this record has a theme, that’s it in a nutshell - Have a heart,” writes blues/folk artist Eric Bibb in the liner notes of his latest CD, “Jericho Road.” It’s his fourth effort on Stony Plain Records, his 35th...
 
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Terry Hanson - Escapade

“There’s never been a better time for independent artists to compete with the major labels or expose their music,” says Country artist Terry Hanson in a 2011 interview with I Am Entertainment. Isn’t that the truth? With a can-do spirit, this Beverly Hills singer/songwriter with a Bakersfield sound has released his second album, “Escapade” – ten songs all self-written, self-produced and recorded in Los Angeles. Looking like the be-leathered and weathered Marlboro...
 
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Walter Trout, Mindi Abair, Janiva Magness and Kenny Wayne Shepherd Celebrate The Blues

The blues continue to be relevant thanks to modern-day champions including Walter Trout, Mindi Abair, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Janiva Magness, all of whom have just issued some of the strongest discs of their careers. Artist: Walter Trout. Album: The Blues Came Callin' (Provogue). You might like if you enjoy: Joe Bonamassa, Albert King, John Mayall. Tell me more: No need to relegate blues to a museum. Not as long as proponents such...
 
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Nikki Lane - All Or Nothin'

There's a confidence that Nikki Lane tends to exude that makes you realize - not even midway through the opening "Right Time," that she has not only got the stage and vocal swagger to spare - but she's likely had it since she first performed in front of the public. Imagine what Wanda Jackson might have sounded like had she started her career today instead of the 1950s, and you've got it - almost. At times, like on the opening...
 
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Michael-Ann Azoulai - Heavy Load

There's a charm about the voice of Michael-Ann Azoulai that has a certain degree of an old school charm to it. Listen to the first couple of tracks, "Any Day," and the title track, and you hear quite a bit of folk quality about her voice. I mean that with all due respect, as she sounds like she could definitely fit in at different stops along the country way. There's a dramatic flair that Azoulai seems to specialize in - that she pulls off very...
 
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Mink Mussel Creek – They Dated Steadily

Dear old Perth. It’s not often much happens in the sleepy city, but recently it has given us more than enough to start drooling over. Meet Mink Mussel Creek – a small group of guitar shredding psychedelic legends that will get your blood pumping and your body aching for more. With a stellar lineup including Nick Allbrook and Kevin Parker (made famous through their involvement in bothPond and Tame Impala), Mink Mussel...
 
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Contrast – Less Than Zero EP

The first time I plugged my headphones in to listen to Contrast‘s single Pipe Dreams back in February of this year, I had to turn that shit all the way up. Today, I’m listening to it again as the opening track from their debut EP Less Than Zero and I’ve had to once again hit that Command-F12 to get my jams up to an acceptable drown-out volume. This is music made to induce tinnitus, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Following in the recent trend of...
 
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Parker Millsap - Self Titled

Recently nominated for "Emerging Act of the Year" by the Americana Music Association, it's easy to see why Parker Millsap is getting the rave reviews that he has of late. Listen to "The Villain," for example. It's so heartfelt and simple. Millsap's vocal approach brings to mind a little bit of Kristofferson - in that he's got that same rough quality. It goes to show you that this is not for the faint of heart. You've actually got to think...
 
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Vancouver Sleep Clinic – Winter EP

Vancouver Sleep Clinic is younger than you, more talented than you and probably has more girlfriends than you. Like 10 or 12 or something. Don’t worry, this isn’t some random recommendation to visit a centre for treating sleep disorders in a coastal Canadian city. If you haven’t heard of Vancouver Sleep Clinic yet, let me enlighten you. The adopted moniker of Brisbane’s Tim Bettinson, is an atmospheric pop project interweaving soaring falsetto vocals...
 
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