Search Results for: "michael rampa"

Martina McBride in Concert – Chicago

Martina McBride was once dubbed the “Celine Dion of country music.” For those expecting to see the diminutive performer deliver her signature sweet ballads were likely surprised after “Wild Angels” only three songs in as the show morphed into a full throttle funk/rock hybrid. McBride is touring in support of “Everlasting,” an R&B/soul covers…
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Jeff Beck in Concert – Greensburg, PA

The Yardbirds spawned three of Rolling Stone’s top five guitarists of all time with seven Hall of Fame inductions among them. Oddly enough, Jeff Beck may be the X factor of the rock god trio that includes Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page. Led Zeppelin and Clapton don’t have to exactly clamor for recognition in music history among the tens of millions in the…
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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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Love and Theft – Whiskey On My Breath

Generally, independently releasing an album is viewed as entrepreneurial. For Love and Theft’s Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Gunderson, it was a necessity. The duo is proof that the chart summit is not all it’s cracked up to be. After hitting No. 1 with 2012’s “Angel Eyes,” they were dropped by RCA Nashville last year when their follow up singles flopped. With their final album for the label shelved and unable…
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Gretchen Peters – Blackbirds

Like many artists, Gretchen Peters turned to music in a time of pain for her eighth studio release, “Blackbirds.” The newly minted Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer penned Martina McBride’s iconic “Independence Day” and Faith Hill’s “The Secret Of Life.” The 11 track collection is a graceful, yet unsubtle take on aging and…
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Joe Bonamassa and Mahalia Barnes: Ooh Yea – The Betty Davis Songbook

When people hear the name “Bette Davis,” the iconic American actress comes immediately to mind. But there is also Betty with a “y”. Born Betty Mabry, she married legendary trumpeter Miles Davis in the late ‘60s. She became one of the sassiest, funkiest female vocalists of the era. ”Ooh Yea! – The Betty Davis Songbook” is another Joe Bonamassa…
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Annie Lou – Tried and True

As a musician staunchly steeped in string band, it seems somewhat unsurprising that Anne Louise Genest has only recently experienced the luxury of running water and indoor plumbing. Genest fronts Canadian roots band Annie Lou. After 20 years in the desolate Yukon drawing from one of the oldest genres in history, she…
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Barry Ollman in Concert

Barry Ollman epitomizes the concept of being under the radar. The accomplished singer-songwriter has been active on the music scene since the late 1960s. His first studio album, “What’ll It Be” is a diverse, folky 10-song collection. With a little help from Graham Nash, he sets the tone for a 40 minute effort worthy of a sit down listen with the gorgeously textured…
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Dale Watson In Concert

Even Dale Watson’s empty stage emits a hyper-masculine traditional country vibe. His custom Tompkins guitar is flanked by a single monitor atop a milk crate and a pedal steel. But the seemingly modest arsenal turns into a wall of sound behind the marvelous Lonestars band. Emerging in his signature all black garb, Watson looked like a hybrid of Elvis and the Fonz laced …
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Julie Jean White – A Perfectly Pure Songwriter

“Records, record stores, the way we made them, that’s all gone now and it’s up to the young musicians to figure it all out” – Joe Walsh. Indeed, the musical landscape has changed dramatically during the legend’s 40-year recording career. Now he and many others with roots in the analog era are looking for answers from one of the rarest commodities in the industry…
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David Shelby – Oh Yeah

Traditionalists have long sought a reprieve from bro country and the pop crossover movement. Enter David Shelby. On his new EP, “Oh Yeah”, the Michigan native simply bludgeons the current landscape with a complete 180 degree shift to what he calls “Rust Belt country.” The scorching opener, “Southern Drawl” sets the tone for a tight 18 minutes that runs the gamut from…
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Review: Girls With Guitars in Pittsburgh

With the official departure of Taylor Swift from the genre, country music is eager to find replacement star power. Pittsburgh’s annual Girls with Guitars show is proving to be a nebula. This year’s crop of artists featured former “The Voice” contestants (one winner), a television star and some local flair. Texas cutie Rae Lynn could replace Hayden Panettiere on…
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Dot Hacker – How’s Your Process

Dot Hacker front man Josh Klingerhoffer has taken the timeless phrase “don’t quit your day job” to another level. While maintaining his position as the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ guitarist he helms his own experimental rock project with RHCP keyboardist Clint Walsh. Jonathan Hischke (Broken Bells) and Gnarls Barkley alum Eric Gardner round out…
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Pipe Dream – The Oak

From the opening title track on Pipe Dream’s new EP, “The Oak,” it is clear that this Cleveland based quartet does not like to keep its feet on the ground. Whether perched atop a tree canopy or having it serve as a metaphoric haven for your thoughts, (“Carry Me Back Home”), the heavy handed lyrics belie the young ages of its members. The tight …
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Interview with French Guitar Virtuoso Stephan Forte

Every generation needs its guitar heroes. Whenever the topic of shredders comes up the list usually includes (and sometimes exclusively) Malmsteen, Vai and Satriani. While all are still going strong, their heyday was 30 years ago. Who are today’s fans to worship? Enter 36 year-old French virtuoso Stephan Forte. His rise to prominence is taking…
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Brandon Reeves – Secondhand EP

Music’s Mad Max is back. Tireless road warrior Brandon Reeves has released a five song EP of folk covers aptly titled “Secondhand.” As a bridge to his third full length album, it is his take on classics ranging from the jug band standard “Hesitation Blues” to the chain gang anthem, “Nine Pound Hammer.” His most pronounced influence is acoustic phenom Tommy Emmanuel. The Aussie…
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Joe Bonamassa – Different Shades of Blue

Okay, by now you know who Joe Bonamassa is. The blues titan has gone from “the greatest guitar player no one has ever heard of” to the #1 guitar player in the world thanks to PBS and a worldwide social media firestorm. The mainstream music press may have been slow to catch on (Rolling Stone did not mention him until they reviewed his 14th album, “Driving Towards The Daylight” last year). His newest release…
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Martina McBride in Concert in New York

It has been said that Martina McBride would draw well singing the phone book. Fans proved that on last year’s sold out “Joy Of Christmas” tour that featured 120 minutes of public domain songs. On this year’s “Everlasting” circuit, she takes on some of the best songs ever written. The album is a collection of R&B and soul covers originally performed by legends like Aretha Franklin, Etta James and…
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Toby Keith in Concert in Pittsburgh

Everything about Toby Keith is big, from his stature to the nickname Big Dog Daddy. Of course, his shows must follow suit. A sold out First Niagara Pavilion waited patiently on a perfect Saturday evening as the lawn filled under the full moon. After a five minute sketch comedy commercial featuring Carrot Top for tour sponsor Ford, the 6’3” Oklahoman opened amidst pyro and smoke clad in his signature button down and straw cowboy hat with…
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Katy Perry In Concert in Pittsburgh

For an artist with over 50 million Twitter followers, one may think Katy Perry’s arena show would be awash with fans donning her trademark neon wigs and elaborate garb. Perhaps reflecting the darker tone of the new album, the blue hairs (literally) were scattered sparingly amidst the 18,000 in attendance at Consol Energy Center Tuesday night. Regardless of their attire, fans were in for a two hour hyper-produced spectacle that was a combination broadway…
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