Search Results for: "michael rampa"

Prasanna – All-Terrain Guitar

There are plenty of guitar gods that go by a single name moniker. Jimi, Eric and Eddie to name a few. But if you expand your search to the eastern hemisphere, an unfamiliar name will qualify. If you don’t know about Prasanna, prepare to be terrified,” says guitar icon Guthrie Govan of the visionary guitarist who “plays like nobody on the planet” (All About Jazz) The Indian Renaissance man is a pioneer of Indian Carnatic music. The style consists of 72 melodic cycles called ragas and seven rhythmic cycles (talas) Sound complicated?
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Jackson Browne in Concert

Surprise! Jackson Browne is 67 years old. Unsurprisingly, he looks and sounds much the same as when he was a pivotal figure in the 1970s California soft rock movement. His instantly recognizable tenor is both gentle and authoritative at once while the musicianship remains overly capable. The Pittsburgh show marked the return of the full band. Lead guitar ace Val McCallum played …
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Cassadee Pope – Summer EP

Cassadee Pope’s new release is officially called “Summer EP.” But upon a full listen, one wonders if the working title was “taking the road more Often Traveled” To say that the third season ”The Voice” winner played it safe is a bit of an understatement. She penned three of the songs, including the obvious title track and the autobiographical “Alien.” Elsewhere, the songs are about a summer…
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Joe Bonamassa – Blues of Desperation

It is now hard to believe that as recently as five years ago, guitarist Joe Bonamassa was largely unknown. But with his albums hitting No. 1 with such regularity, the top chart position seems to be an afterthought now. Such is the case with his 17th release, “Blues Of Desperation.” The project is once again helmed by producer Kevin Shirley. While some tracks have a little sheen on them…
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David Gilmour Live at Air Canada Centre

Upon first glance at any artist’s set list, that contains 14 covers one might think there is ample time to grab a refreshment, hit the restroom or buy merchandise. Unless it’s David Gilmour, when cover means 14 of the most iconic songs of all time; known to nearly four generations of Pink Floyd fans. Touring in support of fourth solo album, 2015’s “Rattle That …
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Kathy Sledge Talks About Solos and Sisters

The disco era. Some want to toss it out as a mulligan in music history. Children of the era defend it with a Dangerfield-esque “don’t get no respect” stance. Nonetheless it produced some of the most iconic music of all time and was not just a fad; it was a cultural phenomenon that defined a generation and paved the way for modern dance music. Kathy Sledge was at the forefront…
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The Moody Blues Are Ready To Fly Me High

There is an old saying, “Adapt or Die.” The Moody Blues did neither and are celebrating their 50th Anniversary. The group has stuck to its core principles when writing and recording music they felt driven to create and the industry seemed to adapt around them. They are radio format spoilers; The “Moody’s” can be heard at any time, on any frequency and not seem out of place. Best known…
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Charles Kelley – The Driver

Many artists find inspiration from pain or life changing events. Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley got his out of sheer boredom and it resulted in a Grammy nomination. The title track off of his first solo album “The Driver,” is up for Best Country Duo/Group Performance. With Lady A on hiatus, Kelley thought, “It’s winter,” “I’m bored and I want to make some music.” He contacted…
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Chris Carmack – Pieces Of You

For a guy who is one of the stars on a show called “Nashville” one might expect its first cast member’s solo record produced by Dan Fowler and recorded at Blackbird studio to be a country album. But on Chris Carmack’s debut EP, “Pieces Of You” there is disproportionately less Music City influence than might be expected. Upon deeper investigation of his career, Carmack’s wide range …
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Bruce Springsteen in Concert

Few artists can successfully tour behind nearly 40 year-old material But when it’s in support of arguably the best double album of all time, it’s not an issue. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s “The River” tour kicked off at an overstuffed Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh Saturday night to a sold out crowd of around 22,000. The show features the full album peppered…
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Billy Currington – Summer Forever

Billy Currington is a prototypical bro country specimen with his boyish good looks, infectious charm and smooth voice. However, he has avoided being thrust into the negative stereotypes of that group. This is largely because his songs avoid the harder edges of the sub-genre. Though Currington has been known to drink a beer or two and chase the …
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Nashville Season 4 Soundtrack Vol. 1

As if to reinforce the notion that the music is still the centerpiece of the show, the Nashville Season 4 soundtrack features a generous helping of 17 songs. As Hayden Panettiere’s character Juliette Barnes falls further into destructive post-partum psychosis, her character’s storyline takes a back seat. Mirroring the situation, she has only one solo number on the album.
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Tim McGraw – Damn Country Music

Tim McGraw’s said of his 14th studio album, “Damn Country Music” “It’s is all about passion, (taking him back to 1989) “when I came to Nashville to chase my dreams.” Country music has richly rewarded him over the past two decades and he honors the genre’s tradition here. The album gets off to a very traditional start with Celtic folk. The …
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Interview with Jane Lee Hooker

New York based Jane Lee Hooker released a debut album of blues covers and was then dubbed a blues band. It turns out that the album, No B! is really a cover story. ”At the end of the day, we’re really a rock band,” said guitarist Tracy “Hightop” Almazan. The all-female quintet is stacked with the face melting firepower of the dual lead guitars of High Top and Tina “TBone” Gorin. They are very keen on nicknames.
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Mark Knopfler in Concert

Mark Knopfler is best known as the former head and wristband clad front man of the iconic 80s arena rockers, Dire Straits. After the breakup of the group in the early Nineties, the Scottish ax ace embarked on an impressive solo career in 1996 with “Golden Heart.” His eight album solo discography employs styles from Celtic folk to country.
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Alabama – Southern Drawl

With all the belly aching about country music not staying true to its roots, maybe instead of a new entry into the landscape, it is time for a re-entry. Many hoped that Alabama’s latest, “Southern Drawl” would be the cure to what ails the traditionalists. But the iconic band tried to walk a very fine line on its first release since 2001’s “When It All Goes South.”
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Rock Candy Funk Party – Groove Is King

It’s nice to get what you want. In light of the meteoric rise of his solo career, Joe Bonamassa has said, “One of my greatest joys is being part of a band. I don’t have to sing, front it and be ‘the guy.’” He gets his wish as a member of the all-star lineup of Rock Candy Funk Party. The band’s sophomore release, “Groove Is King” is a 16-song genre blurring collection…
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Concert Review: Shania Twain in Pittsburgh

The Eagles tried to quit touring – twice. The Who, three times. They’re both still out there. Shania Twain is the latest icon who may be crying wolf about ditching the road. Now less than a month shy of her 50th birthday, she publicly declared this to be her last tour, “I want to go out with a bang,” she said. Thus the aptly titled, “Rock This Country” tour was booked in 48 cities.
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Beth Hart Burns Down the ‘Burgh

Beth Hart is one of those gifted singers that draws immediate comparisons to some of the greatest of all time like Janis Joplin and Aretha Franklin. She is a Grammy nominee. And you’ve probably never heard of her. Such is the peril of truly gifted artists in today’s musical landscape. The notoriety she has garnered is from a very specific…
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Laura Bell Bundy – Another Piece of Me

It’s been five years since Laura Bell Bundy’s last album. Her latest, “Another Piece of Me,” was finished two years ago. But after a spat with Universal, she signed with Big Machine to get this one out. LBB seems determined to make up for the lost time. She comes out swinging on the first two tracks with the rocking opener, “Love Me Like A Lady” followed by a sassy duet with Colt Ford. Bundy penned over half the tracks and elsewhere enlisted heavyweights like Kristian Bush, Ashley Monroe and Jerry Flowers…
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