CD Reviews

Restless Heart - A Restless Heart Christmas

When it comes to recording Christmas albums, artists sometimes get a little too adventurous in trying to make holiday standards their own - thereby forgetting the reason that we are drawn to them in the first place. There's something warm and homey about the classics you grew up on, and though we love seeing artists stretch their wings - Yuletide albums are not generally the place to do it. That being said, props need...
 

Bill Anderson - Life!

Bill Anderson is definitely one of Country Music's most enduring success stories. Beginning in the late 1950s with Ray Price's "City Lights," Anderson has long been a part of our culture as a songwriter, singer, radio personality, and even a game show host (Who, after all, didn't want to be a contestant on Fandango back in the 1980s?). And, that success story continues today - with two wins over the past decade for Song of the Year ("Whiskey Lullaby" and "Give It Away"). So, the artist continues...
 

Andrew Greer Angel Band – The Christmas Sessions

In the liner notes of his latest album, “The Christmas Sessions,” Dove Award-nominated Christian/Americana singer-songwriter Andrew Greer thanks a friend for “loving Christmas like I do.” This devotion to the celebration of Jesus’s birth is expressed throughout his sophomore Angel Band collection by offering new perspectives on old faithfuls, giving each a fresh folk-y arrangement. This eleven-track Ma’m Recordings project was recorded in Nashville over a six-month...
 

Robert Kinsler's Holiday CD / DVD Gift Guide

With Christmas and Hanukkah rapidly approaching, you've come to the right place if you are looking for interesting gift ideas for that favorite music fan. There are more than enough choice releases here to start filling your shopping cart. Let's kick off with some noteworthy albums and audio box sets. Artists: Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs. Title: Under the Covers, Vol. 3 (Shout! Factory) You might like if you enjoy: R.E.M., The Bangles, The English Beat.Tell me more...
 

Twisted Piglet - Eternity

Most would agree most popular artists out there have something truly special to give to their fans. This goes above the typical attributes like raw talent, amazing songs, nice voice, or even a very marketable look, sound and image. There's something truly infectious at the core of these artists that simply makes us feel good when we listen to them. Whatever "it" is - they all seem to have "it". Today I listened to the upcoming CD from Norwich England 4 piece Rock band Twisted Piglet ...
 

Arjun - Space

While many feel the music industry is in disarray right now it's always a breath of fresh air to hear a new and exciting band that's not afraid to take chances with their music. With their latest musical offering: Space (EP) from NY based 3 piece band that go by the name of Arjun, it’s clear to me they have surpassed what I could consider the a-typical musical release from a band in 2013.
 

Holly Elle - Leopardess EP

Holly Elle, a Canadian classically trained singer with a passion for pop, brings to the U.S. a unique twist on modern mainstream music. Her latest 5 song EP entitled “Leopardess” was released in 2013. Leopardess is a carefully crafted collection of catchy songs showcasing the best in modern day pop artisanship that creates a solid foundation for memorable and uplifting songs. There’s also clear-defined messages about love and life itself that will sure...
 

Meir Shitrit - Way

To be honest I expected Israeli based Jazz Guitarist Meir Shitrit to be a kind of flipped out Rock-Jazz guitarist with excessive showboating and a-typical musical meandering. To sharpen my skepticism over the years I’ve heard my share of tripped out fusion cross over music that recklessly ventures into the Jazz ream in a very overcompensating way. After all Jazz has some big shoes to fill and much of it is lacks a unique freshness or mass appeal to vintage Jazz lovers.
 

Layers and Frames - The Certainty of Being Found

I just listened to Frederic Brewer’s latest EP release called “Infinite Release” (2013). To say the least this music is as unique as the artist himself. This stunning collection of 5 mind blowing tracks presents a sensational, unique and superb space to bask in sonically. I like the way things kick off. Immediately after the slow introduction on Track 1 “Crossing” the song takes a rather unexpected turn as it advances providing some amazing Piano, Organ, Ambient...
 

Merrill Leffmann - New and Old Christmas Classics

Merrill Leffmann is a vocal teacher who gives singing lessons in Scottsdale, Arizona. She’s also an accomplished singer/songwriter recording artist who plays cabaret and specialty shows around the Phoenix area. Her latest release is a delightful Christmas CD entitled “New and Old Christmas Classics.” This 12-song Christmas CD contains 7 original and 5 cover songs. In her own words: So I selected 7 of my favorite originals...
 

Deana Carter - Southern Way Of Life

Much has changed in the life of Deana Carter since "Strawberry Wine" catapulted her to the fast lane in 1996. She has become a mother, and has endured the loss of her father - in addition to her own health worries. That has given her a lot to write about over the past couple of years - much of which can be heard in the material on this album. Kicking off with the 80s pop / rock groove of "You Can't Stay," Carter...
 

Mindy Smith - Snowed In

Mindy Smith’s publicist ships out her record enclosed in a shimmery, cranberry-red-foil padded envelope. This proves to be a notice-grabbing touch, as it glistens in the mailbox amidst the other packages – not unlike the music that awaits inside. “Snowed In” is this Americana singer/songwriter’s latest effort – a five-song holiday EP on Giant Leap/TVX Records. Once again joined by producer Steve Buckingham, who worked with her on her first...
 

Ettie Street Project – The Simplest Possible Setup

“The meeting of music and technology” is how San Francisco Bay area band Ettie Street Project describes their unique bold sound. They deftly blend jazz with funk, electronica and rock to blur the boundaries on their debut album, “The Simplest Possible Setup,” released on Jazzcubed Records. It’s a 12-track collaborative effort between founders and producers Tom Lattanand and Rob Gwin, and a stable of drummers, singers and brass players. As they point out on their...
 

Nikolitsa – Under The Moon

New York City multi-media artist Nikolitsa Boutieros’s powerful black and white photography draws in the on-looker and alienates at the same time – a quality that also is found in her music. Her explosive debut album “Under The Moon” is darkly intriguing punk grunge, frank and in-your-face rock ‘n’ roll. Produced by Brett Hestla, this album features eleven bristling songs penned by the artist. Backed by some fired-up musicianship, Nikolitsa’s distinctive, biting alto is thick and brooding...
 

JT Spangler – What’s A Little Heartbreak

“I got to the point where I was tired of sitting at my desk and I wasn’t sure I was cut out for it long term,” says Louisiana-born singer/songwriter JT Spangler about working as an engineer in the oil and gas industry. What must have been fossil fuel’s loss is most certainly music’s gain. With an established career forged in Los Angeles, the now Nashville-based artist has released his vibrant debut full-length album, “What’s A Little Heartbreak,” and from the very first measure it’s clear that this ...