CD Reviews

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Greta Gaines - Lighthouse & The Impossible Love

There are thousands of artists in this world who deserve to be heard, deserve to make the massive amounts of money that creations of the pop machine make for churning out crap for 14-year-olds and weekend alcoholics in trucks. Greta Gaines is one of them. On her fifth studio album, Lighthouse & The Impossible Love, Gaines writes and sings - for lack of a better pigeonhole - smart, driving rock/pop for the thinking woman; guys might enjoy the music but the lyrics, well, maybe not always so much. But ...
 
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Walter Trout - Luther’s Blues – A Tribute to Luther Allison

Walter Trout is one of the blues greats who hasn't really gotten his due, and he shows why once again on Luther’s Blues – A Tribute to Luther Allison. On this album, Trout covers songs by one of his heroes, a Chicago legend who was a little different than most of the straight-ahead legends like Muddy or Wolf. Allison infused other styles of music into his blues playing, making both styles better, and Trout approaches the material with a reverent abandon that would probably have made Allison, who died 16...
 
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Darius Rucker - True Believers

Looking at the career of Darius Rucker, it's easy to lose track of just how successful he has been in the five years that he has been recording Country Music. Whether it be the pain he shared with audiences in his first hit "Don't Think I Don't Think About It," or the tenderness expressed in "It Won't Be Like This For Long," the South Carolina native has given listeners some of the format's top moments over the past half-decade. He looks to...
 
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Tom Shed – Mama’s Goin’ Out

“Music with purpose, or if you like, songs about something,” is how North Florida folk artist Tom Shed describes his latest album, “Mama’s Goin’ Out,” a mixed-bag collection of musical styles. This singer and multi-instrumentalist also has a hand in penning eight of the twelve tracks offered here, and his choices go way beyond mere love songs, bringing to light sociological and ecological injustices, as well as reveling in the wonders of his home state. Shed’s clear, earth-warm vocals are supported by his...
 
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New Releases Celebrate Returns From Musical Legends by Robert Kinsler

First ever Blu-ray release featuring Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark and a new film looking at the history of The Rolling Stones highlight a roundup of new releases and reissues. Artist: Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark (OMD). Title: Live - Architecture & Morality & More (Eagle Rock Entertainment). You might like if you enjoy: Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode, Thomas Dolby. Tell me more...
 
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Rod Clemmons – What’s Up? It’s Me

“I guess there are some built-in challenges, but I’m a pretty independent guy. I just kind of do my thing. The only thing I don’t do is drive (laugh),” jokes contemporary R&B artist Rod Clemmons. The Arkansas native has been blind since birth from congenital glaucoma, but that hasn’t kept him from releasing his debut album on his own New York City label, Verdict Records. “What’s Up? It’s Me” offers eleven tracks produced and arranged by Clemmons, ten of which are self-penned. A seasoned...
 
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The Dutch Woodstock – Various Artists

In August 1970, a three-day pop festival was held in the Netherlands with about 100,000 showing up to hear Santana, Jefferson Airplane, Country Joe and other acts that had played at Woodstock a year earlier, as well as some acts that hadn’t. Now a DVD and a 2-CD set of the event is available, and for anyone born before 1955 or so who was into the culture of peace, love and dope, The Dutch Woodstock deserves a look and a listen. The 97-minute DVD is a badly-filmed (though probably...
 
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Infinite Design - Fragments

Let me start by saying that I'm an avid listener of any and all kinds of music. I have a soft spot for metal, and a weakness for strong guitar and powerful vocals in just about every genre. I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of this album and I was very impressed. The title track has an incredible intro, with aggressive vocals and and what I can only call an authoritarian beat. I listened to it while working and caught myself banging my head at my desk. I had the urge to fist-pump in the middle...
 
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Robin Meade - Count On Me

I'm going to start this review off with full disclosure: Robin Meade is a friend or mine. This would make you think I'm biased, and I guess I am. However, I'm also going to be brutally honest about her new CD, Count On Me... It is simply phenomenal. As you may well know, Meade is the morning show host on HLN's Morning Express with Robin Meade. Too often in this industry, movie and TV stars make attempts at becoming singers and performers when, in all honesty, they should stick with their day jobs (William Shatner and his numerous record releases
 
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John Fogerty - Wrote A Song For Everyone

Whatever the definition for Americana music is, I wouldn't be too surprised if there wasn't a illustration of John Fogerty on the page. His songs have helped to define and influence so many different artists ad genres - all over the musical map. Nowhere is that fact more apparent than on this enticing new disc that pairs him with many of today's top stars as well as a few legends thrown in for good measure - helping to remind...
 
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Flash - Featuring Ray Bennett and Colin Carter

After a four-decade hiatus, British prog-rock band Flash is back with some new musicians and new music. Led by original frontman Colin Carter and guitarist (formerly bassist) Ray Bennett, the band really delivers here, with pieces that are expertly arranged and executed, as one would expect from these veterans of the genre, and that also highlight the exceptional work of keyboard player Rick Daugherty. Cuts include one remake (of "Manhattan Morning," from the band's 1973 album Out...
 
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Trinity River Band - Today Don't Look Like Rain

Callahan, Florida is located in the extreme northeast part of the Sunshine State - less than a hour from Jacksonville. It was in that town that the Harris family - Mike, Lisa, Sarah, and Josh began to hone their musical skills - with the first results being this bouncy and fun debut album that is sure to make them more than a few fans. This album is a strong collection of vocal and instrumental performances - headlined by daughter Sarah on...
 
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Tim Mahoney Band – Shine Through

Season I of reality TV show “The Voice” put a spotlight on – albeit for an all-too-brief period of time – Minneapolis singer/songwriter Tim Mahoney. His vocal chops advanced him all the way to the dreaded battle rounds, and he’s once again one more break away from making impact at radio with the release of his first studio album in five years, “Shine Through.” This twelve-track project was recorded live to tape by Mahoney and his band, showcasing the artist’s clear tenor that could be described as smoky...
 
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The Music Of Nashville: Season 1, Volume 2

What I am about to say is going to be not liked by everyone. But, the second half of the inaugural season of “Nashville” kind of lost me a little bit. Maybe, it’s because I sometimes lose sight of the fact that it is a drama and not a documentary. Then again, maybe I just got too caught up in my other TV pleasure, TNT’s “Dallas,” this winter and spring. But, for some reason, I just kind of lost interest – that is, until the past couple of...
 
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Popa Chubby - Universal Breakdown Blues

On his latest album Universal Breakdown Blues, Popa Chubby blends influences from numerous electric blues/rock greats to create a mostly solid album. As is the case with most blues guitarists, Chubby is no great vocalist, with well-intentioned vocals and lyrics usually serving as a break between guitar solos. But those solos are usually pretty blistering, and fans of Bluesbreakers-era Clapton, Gary Moore, Johnny Winter, Danny Gatton, or maybe the great Stevie Ray Vaughan without the angst, will like this ...