Tag Archives: cd reviews

NewTown – Harlan Road 

One of the best Bluegrass releases of the year so far is the new Harlan Road by the Lexington, Kentucky-based band NewTown. Solid vocal and instrumental work, combined with the songs of some great Southern writers, exemplify what this genre is all about on a collection of 11 wisely-chosen tunes.
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Genre-Spanning Titles That Rock

Live albums, reissues, an impressive debut and an inspired return from Garbage are among the field of highly-recommended titles that will satisfy music lovers from across the spectrum. Artist: Neil Young + Promise of the Real. Title: Earth (Reprise).You might like if you enjoy: Neil Young and Crazy Horse. Tell me more: Neil Young is truly rock’s most enduring explorer, challenging himself…
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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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Owen Stevenson – Right Here and Now

Chicago based singer-songwriter Owen Stevenson has had exuberant experiences, as far as musical careers go for many aspiring artists. Fulfilling the performer role more than the artist one in recent years, he has a number of well-known venues in Chicago already under his belt, not to mention a few stints in some other states and out on sea across the world (as a cruise ship performer).
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Joe Jackson Entertains Riverside, CA

In a career that spans nearly 40 years, Joe Jackson has taken several stylistic detours, encompassing everything from classical, jazz and reggae to new wave, jump blues and beyond. The excellent “Fast Forward,” which came out last October, is the British singer/pianist’s first album to contain all-original material since 2012’s “The Duke” (a tribute to jazz master Ellington).
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Leslie Cours Mather – We Are America

As we celebrate America’s 240th birthday, there are some people out there who don’t understand the meaning of, or the reason for, American patriotism. Leslie Cours Mather wants to make sure everybody knows this is still the greatest country on earth, and she gets the message across in a big way with her new single, “We Are America.”
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SoundPress.net Presents – Sights and Sounds of Note for June 2016

We’ve reached the halfway point of another year. But, we received so much product to preview this month that we haven’t been able get through even half of the stack. Here’s the best of the batch! Many rock bands have a back story where the famous product is really only the final evolution in a series of incarnations. Such is the case with Tom Petty and the…
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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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Sixties Sounds Celebrated in the 21st Century

A slew of the Sixties’ most enduring and celebrated rock artists are highlighted via outstanding recent releases, while singer-actress Doris Day’s wonderful 1967 collection “Love Album” has been reissued as a deluxe edition with bonus tracks. Artist: The Monkees. Title: Good Times! (Rhino) You might like if you enjoy: The Monkees, Weezer, Fountains of Wayne, XTC. Tell me more: The magic that…
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Trashcan Sinatras In Concert in San Juan Capistrano

Whenever Trashcan Sinatras unveil a new album and tour America, it’s a special treat. Formed in the late ‘80s, the Scottish band made its initial mark Stateside with the jangly guitar pop of magnificent 1990 debut CD Cake (a Desert Island Disc for this writer), which spawned modern rock hits (“Obscurity Knocks,” “Only Tongue Can Tell”) and was a mainstay at such influential Los Angeles FM…
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Artists Release New Music DVD’s

Shot last October at the ornate Teatro Sociale in Como, Italy, the 90-minute concert pairs Mika with a chorale and orchestra conducted by Simon Leclerc. Considering the European singer’s theatrical brand of pop, it ends up being a perfect match. During a 10-minute interview included in the DVD’s bonus features section, he says it took eight months…
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Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk

In 1977, John Doe co-founded the seminal Los Angeles punk rock band X. The bassist/singer’s new book Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk is more anthology that your average autobiography. It chronicles the early years of the frequently bleak and gritty scene through various contributors who were front and center. A brisk read, the 24 unflinchingly real chapters…
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Anni Piper – More Guitars Than Friends

Throughout her career Anni Piper has shown musical versatility that has included forays into jazz, country, and rockabilly yet she has never strayed far afield from her signature blues style. While she hasn’t abandoned Stevie Ray Vaughan’s legacy altogether, she has chosen to dive deeper into other genres resulting in a quirky, interesting record called More Guitars Than Friends. Piper’s…
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Preshias Harris’ June Music Column

VERSE OF THE MONTH: Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth; Break forth and sing for joy and sing praises. – Psalm 98:4. ARTIST NEWS: Members of Old Dominion recently reflected on what winning Breakthrough Group/Duo of the Year on the ACC Awards meant to them. “When we started this band, winning awards never crossed our minds,” said front man Matthew Ramsey who…
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A Few Beers and a Chat with Dune Rats

If there’s one thing Dune Rats love, it’s having a damn good time and what better place than on tour with your best mates, plenty of beers and copious debauchery. We were lucky enough to chat with the sufficiently cooked three piece ahead of their massive gig at the Enmore with their best buds, DZ Deathrays and Violent Soho. The boys let us in on some nuggets of narcotic…
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Four Ways to Get Better at Pitching Songs for Film and TV

Having had the good fortune of song placements in both films and television shows, I can safely say there is no magic bullet when it comes to making this happen. However, there are certainly things that you, as a songwriter, can do to improve your odds when you’re pitching songs for film and TV. I’ve listed a few of these below.
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Five of Our Favorite Unplugged Jams

When feedback is reduced to but a simmer and everything goes quiet, vocality becomes transparent, thoughts laid on the line and perceptive alterations take their course. This is what may occur when artists put their swords away, step back from all you’ve known and throw you, with all intention; in the direction they see fit. Unplug. Now unwind with these stunning editions…
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Various Artists – Nashville Season Four Soundtrack

After four seasons, ABC pulled the plug on its hit series, “Nashville.” The reaction from fans was swift and intense. It almost felt like their favorite band broke up and that is true in many ways. The triple Exes, The Avery Barkley Band and Maddie Conrad felt as real as actual country stars to millions of fans. That’s probably because the cast has legitimate talent and some have street…
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Big Gerry Rules on the Hammered Dulcimer

Is this a great country or what? There’s room for every type of music in America, from steampunk and Motown to bluegrass and avant-garde. And there’s even room for a guy like Legendary Big Gerry. Legendary Big Gerry is an artist who performs Irish, Celtic, Americana and Christmas music, and American classics like “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “Dixie,” with an occasional…
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