CD Reviews


Shock Radar - The Purist

For bands that still use traditional instruments and vintage recording modules, there aren’t many worth investigating in the city of New York anymore. But there is one band that’s consistent in their releases and never fails to impress- Shock Radar. Their newest: “The Purist” was recorded at various studios and is now up for digital download. Mixing an assortment of genres and above all, rocks as heavy as anything, “The Purist” goes in new directions sonically and lyrically. Without...

Shantell Ogden - Better At Goodbye

If you want to be a lawyer, Harvard University would be a great place to learn your craft. If medicine is more your line of thought, you could do a lot worse than John Hopkins or Stanford. From a musical standpoint, Berklee is about as renowned as it gets -and last we heard, they are just a little picky. You have to have a great bit of musical talent...

Louis London – The Big Deep

Louis London is made up of five beautiful young Sydney guys who really know how to make a sweet indie rock tune. They’ve just released their second EP The Big Deep and it is absolutely killer. If I were to list all of the separate parts of Louis London that work together to form their effortless magic then I would be here all day – they really are quite wonderful. It’s no surprise that these guys have packed out a multitude of local venues and have supported artists such as Rufus...

Richie Onori - In The Name Of Freedom

Too often today, Rock and Roll has gone the way of Pop music. While bubble-gum definitely sounds good on the radio, and blaring out our MP3 players, you sometimes wonder if music can still have a message. Enter into the picture one Richie Onori. A California native, Onori grew up in an era where the music and the lyrics mattered. Best remembered for his time spent with the group The Sweet, Onori showcases his...
Robert Kinsler & TJR

Music Worth Buying: Joan Jett Unvarnished and Toad The Wet Sprocket New Constellation

Orange County Register (CA) music critic Robert Kinsler and his co-host, TJR review new CDs.. This week we discuss Unvarnished by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts and New Constellation by Toad The West Sprocket.

Mike Zito & The Wheel – Gone To Texas

“I took off on a Greyhound bus and got off in Texas…Texas is where I confronted my problems and made a change that has saved my life…So, this is my Texas album. My story of Texas,” says roots singer/songwriter and guitarist Mike Zito. The Beaumont artist has honored this journey to his adopted homeland with his solo, label debut album “Gone To Texas,” which he has deftly produced, recorded in Louisiana (no apologies there) and released on Ruf Records. This founding...

The Greencards – Sweetheart Of The Sun

“Sonically, his ear is just second to none. But he made it all flow together,” says Carol Young, member of Americana band The Greencards, appropriately describing Grammy-winning producer Gary Paczosa as he worked on their water concept album, “Sweetheart Of The Sun.” This Darling Street Records project, the Australian natives’ (now living in Austin) sixth to date and nominated for a Grammy in the Best Folk Album category, was recorded in Nashville, and features eleven...

The Walking Who – Mansions

Every aspiring musician has written down a list of cool places to record albums, because fuck studios, right?* My personal top three from back when I dreamt of being a rock and roll star (after learning an Oasis song on my squier and 5 watt practice amp) were 1: A Submarine 2: Big Ass Castle 3: Spooky Haunted Mansion Psych trio The Walking Who have recorded a 5 track EP in the latter – a big old house in their hometown of Wollongong, whose final owner mysteriously ...,

Matthew Genovese - Chasing the Sun

This EP “Chasing the Sun” by Hollywood based Matthew Genovese is sure to one day be remembered as one of the classic good timing Americana CD’s of recent time. Its pure rocking Americana-Country magic the way it used to be, full of cautionary tales, and a passion for life and life on the road. All of this describes Genovese to a “T”, So who is Genovese anyway? He’s a songwriter who draws on life experiences from both the interior and exterior vantage point.” His narrative...

Robert Kinsler's Music-Minded Gift Guide Part 3

This year has been an especially good one in terms of exciting new DVD releases (most also available on Blu-ray) and album releases. Here is a last-minute roundup of new music-minded gift ideas for the most discerning family members and friends on your holiday list. Title: Psych: The Musical (Universal Studios). You might like if you enjoy: Psych (the popular USA Network comedy drama). Tell me more: Set to air on USA Network as a two-hour special...

Carmen Skyy - I Dream About You

Every day new music comes out onto the market. It can either blow our minds or get cast aside. The creative juices of Miami, Florida based singer/songwriter, Carmen Skyy will make you stop in your tracks as you listen to her latest single “I Dream About You.” Her fierceness and attitude bring a new dimension where artists like Ke$ha and Nicki Minaj left off. Going beneath the surface of the song, Carmen's songwriting talent is stylish and inventive. Pop superstars...

Tom Kazas – Sisyphus Happy

Tom Kazas has just released his 20th something release Sisyphus Happy. For those who are wondering Sisyphus was a tricky and rather nasty king from the land of the Greek Gods. He’s the gnarly dude that tricked death so that everyone stopped dying. I do remember this one. He pissed off Zeus and as a punishment he was made to roll a huge boulder up a hill. The boulder was enchanted and always rolled back to the start before Sisyphus could complete his task. Others...

Ruff Kutt Blues Band – That’s When The Blues Begins

It’s a Texas Blues band alright, but Ruff Kutt Blues Band has a sophisticated city sound that’s more downtown than dirt road on their sophomore recording “That’s When The Blues Begins.” This Vizztone label project offers fourteen tracks – all penned or co-penned by bassist James Goode, and he is joined by core members Zac Harmon on vocals and guitar, Finis Tasby on vocals and Anson Funderburgh on guitar, who produced the album as well. Supporting players Wes Starr...

Robert Kinsler's Music-Minded Gift Guide Part 2

With December's arrival it's time to get serious about picking up some outstanding collections for those special and discerning music fans in your life. Here is the second of two special Music-minded Gift Guides showcasing a wide-ranging number of new collections available now. Here are some highly-recommended albums. Artist: Mark Knopfler. Title: Privateering (Verve). You might like if you enjoy: Dire Straits, Nils Lofgren. Tell me more: Bound to rank on...

Tommy Emmanuel - Live and Solo in Pensacola, Florida

Acoustic phenom Tommy Emmanuel is literally a one man band. Inspired by guitar legend Chet Atkins, his “fingerstyle” picking technique enables him to play the bass, melody and drum parts all at once. He is one of only five recipients of Atkins’s coveted CGP (Certified Guitar Player) award. His highly anticipated CD/DVD combo “Tommy Emmanuel cgp: Live and solo in Pensacola, Florida” is an intimate showcase at the Jean & Paul Amos Performance Studio where the 58 year...