Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Dizzy Box Nine

 
Dizzy Box Nine drops new album

BANDCAMP: https://dizzyboxnine.bandcamp.com/releases

So who is Dizzy Box Nine anyway? In my own words: Dizzy Box Nine composes richly-layered tunes about life, heartbreak, love, sacrifice, memories, joy, triumph, toil and other realities of humankind. Their cool lyrics and great performances reveal life’s extraordinary moments and via the band’s own vivid, personal adventures. The band is genuinely a diamond on the rough, a shout out to a specific era.
 
Their latest album “Electric Illusion” was recently released and without question delivers a mildly strong collection of music that really showcases all the powerful elements of Pop, punk with some early 60s Rock N' Roll throw in the midst. For guys like me, the more old school listener, “Good” will no doubt make a splash and prove to be very enjoyable. For the more mainstream crowd it will sound like it belongs in your personal or kids' college record collection. The song structures at times feel all over the place, but there's something to appreciate and get yourself lose to underneath. Vocals from Ludwig are pretty good considering the music playing on the background. This whole album starts in grand fashion with “Open Up To Me” and “Oh Yeah!” that pretty much sets the tone of what's to come next.
 
The rest of the tracks really helps making of this album a must-listen for those missing the days of Hot Topic and skat8boys (and girls) madness. Ludwig delivers raw melodic vocal emotions. He’s clearly a master at delivering vocal emotion (singer to listener). The music shows this is a band of substance and character.
 
All of the aforementioned culminate into a great album that has it’s share of  magical moments but it’s mostly a good decade-classic package to be enjoyed by anyone who wants to know what good vintage pop punk is really all about.

SPOTIFY: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3Lu9S7HW6zOfvI4iRaPtPf

Ryan Harper

 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

John Brownlow - The Summertime



John Brownlow - The Summertime
In my past few years writing reviews for a wide range of bands and artists, I have had the pleasure to meet and enjoy some really great and touching records by some phenomenal bands - on the other side of the spectrum I have encountered some plain down, simple and boring as hell materials. So say I was a bit worried for the next record, is to really say the least. 29 songs?! "Boy", I was praying, "I hope this would be fun ride".
Luckily for me, The Summertime by John Brownlow is an inspiring and great record that brings back some great memories for me and many of the audience that will likely listen to this record. The album echoes the sound of great iconic and pretty much staple names from the Britpop era (where Brownlow can be considered quite an underdog veteran) like Oasis, Blur and other older names as Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, The Clash, etc. However, calling Brownlow a rock musician wouldn't be correct, and this album shows he's one of those rare acts that aren't afraid of jumping into different wagons and the way, the ease how he does this is pretty remarkable. He goes from Powerpop (Burn Hollywood Burn) to Bossanova (Asteroids), old school Rock and Roll (Government Work) and Punk (Bullet To The Head) is very impressive. There's really something for everybody who's up to open their musical minds and explore a wide range of sounds. The production value also helps showcasing the greatest potential of everyone involved, especially Brownlow dynamic vocals, in a time where nothing hears or sounds real but rather way too perfect, the rawness in the tone and often missing notes instead of working against him it does serves on his advantage.
There isn't too much of a criticism for the record, perhaps the number of tracks might cause some listeners to not give it a shot. In a time where we are always in a hurry and would like to listen a bizzillion different songs in zero time, this big number seems like it wasn't a good idea, especially when you are a relative new artist trying to make it into the industry and get yourself heard.
In the end, John Brownlow's The Summertime is a fantastic journey through the mind of an artist that has compiled all of his influences into one magnum opus.
Rate: 8.5/10
by RJ Frometa  

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Barbara Jo Kammer - One Song at a Time

 
Barbara Jo Kammer - One Song at a Time 


There’s a lot of personal meaning in this collection and, certainly, anyone who has experienced the punishing lifestyle that defines the life of an addict will find much here to relate to. It isn’t the whole story about Barbara Jo Kammer’s solo debut, One Song at a Time, however. The vibrant musical tapestry she weaves with her collaborators makes this an entertaining listen from the first and that spark never dims over the course of the album’s ten songs. She maintains a level of energy ably matched by her band mates and they respond with on point performances that help these tunes reach their fullest potential. It’s all presented against the backdrop of a superbly rendered production job that doesn’t sound like the product of an independent operation whatsoever, but rather top flight professional and with a keen ear turned towards balancing her voice against the instruments. 
 
“I Can See Clearly” is an ideal example of what Kammer is capable of covering other artists. She recasts this iconic pop tune as a high-stepping bluegrass tilt and the definition the individual players achieve is quite impressive. Their unerring accuracy reveals itself in every minute of this tune and it results in one of the album’s most complete performances. “Choices” joins its company, as well, in that regard while coming from an entirely different place musically. This is a song pulled directly from the classic country tradition and its decidedly adult lyric about struggling with alcoholism is surely one that affected Kammer profoundly the first time she heard it. She delivers a wrenching performance here that goes beyond just hitting her marks and has a transformative quality all listeners will respond to in some way. “Hard Promises to Keep” is another deep nod to country music tradition as it sets itself up as a classic ballad and duet between Kammer and the fine vocalist Greg Blake. Blake’s lower register smoothness has its own emotive quality, but it’s different enough from Kammer’s that the juxtaposition of their voices takes on a compelling aura.   

“In a Cabin on the Mountain by the Pine” is written by Robert Backlund, a friend of Kammer’s, and this well honed invocation of rural life and its peaceful qualities comes across quite nicely thanks to the wealth of specific detail and Kammer’s expert reading of the song. “The Winning Side” embraces a more modern country vibe without surrendering any of the traditional instrumentation that gives the album such a vintage sound and Kammer’s singing for this particular performance ranks among her best outings on a great album. She wraps One Song at a Time up with an equally involving performance of the Jimmie Rodgers classic “Mule Skinner Blues” and, while it was written for a male voice, Kammer doesn’t let that get in her way of owning the song completely and making it sound like the tune was written with her in mind all along. This is one of the best traditional releases of 2017 and we can only hope that Kammer follows it up with an equally powerful sophomore effort or something even better. 

RELATED ARTICLE: https://newmusicweekly.com/one-song-time-barbara-jo-kammer-releases-debut-cd-62/ 


Scott Wigley
 

Friday, September 8, 2017

The Sighs – Wait On Another Day

 

The Sighs – Wait On Another Day  


The Review: Massachusetts bred The Sighs has one of those sounds that’s familiar but yet you can’t quite put your finger on him. The closest I could place it would a cross between The Beach Boys and The Beatles without the rock n’ roll bombast.  

The Sighs are finally back with their highly anticipated third album, Wait On Another Day which really took a decade or so to come to fruition. The result is a rich musical stew, with ingredients from righteous power pop rock to heavy riffs and everything in between.  

The CD starts off with “It's Real” an explosive opener painted with gloomy vocal harmonies, threatening lead guitars and likewise menacing drum and bass lines. Track 2 “Words of Love” follows through nicely, moving from the angsty roars from the first single with captivating guitar lines and psychedelic undertones. The first 4 tracks really show how well these cats can really play outside the a-typical Pop embellishment of today, bringing some of that magic that made this genre so amazing back in the days. Speaking of nostalgia, "Summertime Roses" smells like Oasis everywhere, bringing those layers that made Brit Pop so great. Slowly but surely you are introduced to inviting baritone voice via more great music. As you may realize by now, this is really an album that enjoys diving into different eras of Rock music. From time to time, the record also shows great depth on the writing, they aren't exactly very meaningful but catchy in the way other classics used to be by sounding familiar, commercial but never manufactured. You feel there's a life, a soul behind those lyrics. As I listened to these songs over and over again, I noticed how fluid all of the arrangements really were. The whole CD moves from one moment to the next, one transition /track to the next. And despite the lack of ‘jolting moments’ to catch you off guard, all of all the tracks manage to grab your attention with its often gentle, lighthearted style that changes when you less expected. 

Most good pop songs have what I call a “sweet” higher tonal registry within the melody. While LaRoche never hits those big notes, the vocal work never feels odd. Though I would have loved the band take some risks. It sometimes feels like they were playing it too safe.  

“Wait On Another Day” by The Sighs rounds out an exceptional 11 Track CD presentation delivered by a talented group of musicians and songwriters who has definitely honed their craft over the years.

RELATED ARTICLE: http://austintownhall.com/2017/07/10/the-sighs-return-for-third-album/  

Jamie Russell 

Bunny Sigler – Angel Eyes

 
Bunny Sigler – Angel Eyes 


Bunny Sigler dates back a long time as a producer and recording artist, from the Philly soul variety of R&B to all this time later crossing over to jazz with the release of Young At Heart. The first single is “Angel Eyes” which covers the Ella Fitzgerald song. His name should ring bells because he’s been working with artists like Curtis Mayfield and others since he started. This album combines R&B with jazz and the single is wisely chosen to show how well he pulls it off. There is no question the answer is yes. And that says everything about his effort to remake something with integrity. This isn’t something to turn your nose up at, it’s the real deal, so if you’re expecting a run of the mill rendition, think again. The video should be seen to further entice readers of what a beautiful version it is. The audio stands more important but sometimes a promo goes the distance too, with some great scenery to keep it interesting. But don’t let it distract you from the bigger picture. This is best experienced on headphones, so watching the video with them is recommended. Otherwise make sure to give it a listen without looking. You can hear the smoke with or without seeing it.


If you like his work this will come as no surprise, and it can turn anyone onto Bunny Sigler as well. You get everything with no added ingredients to muck it up. A male version she would be proud of, and that’s part of the magic of this whole experiment. I am a huge lover of songs with the mention of menu items, so I have always liked the track but he seriously takes it to another level. Not to say that is above the queen of jazz, but certainly no slouch himself, even if he is new to straightforward jazz. It sounds like he’s been doing it all his life though, so it’s in his blood already. 
 
 
The coolest part about his voice is the low register parts, it’s truly gifted how he goes just about everywhere on the map as well. The vocal performance itself is something to marvel at alone, and that should be the case when taking on someone so strong. Sometimes you want to go even higher or lower because the memory of the song is so powerful you overdue it on a cover, but he never overdoes it. When a song is mesmerizingly hypnotic in the first place it has a laid-back vibe that can take being in the mood to get used to. But not this, it’s on from his first breath. It never loses interest from there.


What more can you say about such a classy song and classy singer. It should be heard far and wide, and the album should get airplay if the rest of it is as extraordinary as this. Lovers of both jazz and R&B music can relate better than most, so the album should satisfy his fans and this single should whet plenty of appetites and lift every spirt that hears it. This is where two worldly legends meet, one of them alive or not. If it doesn’t pump your blood for more, the LP won’t be for you. But if-not you’ll get everything out of it that you put into listening. His grand signature is written all over it with jubilance. 
 

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Weatherboy

 
Weatherboy 


Employing guest musicians working alongside them like no less than Grass Harp’s iconic guitarist Phil Keaggy, multi-instrumentalist Ragnar Rosinkranz and artist John Walquist ten song debut collection as Weatherboy ranks among the most compelling debuts in a commercial genre over the last five years. Let’s be honest however – despite the melody, glossy surfaces, and vocal beauty exhibited here, there’s very little that you’ll hear on Top 40 radio. Weatherboy has musical muscle to bring to bear as well as a sense of personal mission not campaigning for any cause but that of communicating their inner most thoughts to the audience in all its forms. The lyrics are an underrated part of the overall package – they are rather personal in nature and, thus, retain a little obscurity, but they communicate through image in such an impactful way they enhance their musical landscapes. Everything here is framed for maximum effect. 
 
When you hear the vocals boasting about the good thing they’ve found in the opener song “Got a Good Thing”, it doesn’t come off as ham-fisted or insincere and listeners experience a similar effect with the second song “Great Great Life”. These two opening songs practically demand to be taken as a tandem and, having done so, they make a marvelous impact thanks to how well and unpredictably they weave brass, guitar, and rhythm section playing into a fluid and hard-hitting whole. “Riding on the Wind” is cut from a different cloth. Weatherboy temper their more pronounced pop inclinations in favor of something much more atmospheric and understated in comparison to earlier performances. The variety of colors at their disposal doesn’t sound readily exhaustible/ :Some more cynical listeners might be immediately suspicious of a song entitled “Good Morning LA”, but the duo’s aim is true as they pour out with a good natured song dedicated to the City of Angels. There’s more than a little melancholy coming out of this track belied by a friendly, good natured vocal. “Bennett” has a number of impressive musical ideas and some truly gut-wrenching and inspired vocal passages on an album brimming with such moments. 
 
“Eva” is nearly pure unadulterated folk given only a slight pop spin thanks to the vocal and its evocative modern production. It seems outright simple compared to “All Your Fault”, a raw yet expertly dispatched meditation on competing emotions that the duo gets over quite nicely with some memorable contributions from Phil Keaggy. It sets up the album’s final tracks in a decisive way. “Home Fire” and “Full Bloom” are, largely, low key affairs, but the latter tune is particularly effective as a closer and the marriage of piano and voice alone stands in sharp and remarkable contrast with the album’s earlier performances. Weatherboy is a remarkable project by any standard, but the fact they are coming out of the gates with such quality and intelligence to burn suggests they may have remarkably brilliant dawns ahead of them as a partnership. This is an exceptional debut.  


Wayne Toole

Monday, August 28, 2017

Sam Baker – Land of Doubts

 
Sam Baker – Land of Doubts


Following a European tour behind his new album, Land Of Doubt, Sam Baker is turning his attention to creative projects in 2017: Opening his first-ever exhibition as a visual artist, staging an original play and filming a documentary. As you may know, Sam has limited hearing after being on a bus that exploded during a 1986 terrorist attack in Peru, but he’s from Texas, now living in Austin. There’s a lot more bio to cover on him but the album has 15 songs and they’re all worth talking about on one level or another. This is his 5th album since launching his music career, and he’s now expanding his reach by writing a play called Broken Fingers, filming a documentary and staging an art exhibition (Dream Of The Snow Geese) in Santa Fe, NM. And this album which serves as a companion to 2013’s Say Grace, starts off with “Summer Wind” and it quickly passes with some nifty guitar parts into “Some Kind Of Blue” which kicks up into high gear in the songwriting department.

A serious war number with everything he’s got behind it to really pull off a top shelf song, and that is honestly what it is, nothing more to really explain except to recommend headphones. You won’t be sorry you listened, especially if you like a narrative approach to the army about Charlie fighting Charlie. It goes through all the gnarly mud to be held in the trenches. You’ll have to just hear the rest for yourself. The instrumental “The Silvered Moon” is up next and it’s a quick set up for what comes next in the form of “Margaret” which gets tagged the token love song. And this is where it gets a little soft but bounces back after you get through it.

“Love Is Patient” is an otherworldly thing worth waiting for, so anything could come before it and not have any worries. This is my favorite song by Sam Baker, and I wouldn’t have looked past this album if it were not for this amazing opus. Nothing on the album is composed quite like it, in fact nothing out there I’ve heard lately sounds so majestic and real. It’s a fake world of a little of everything, and music is no exception. It’s a breath of fresh air to hear something from so far out in left field. I’m glad I heard it and kept looking-into his work. It should hold up in my playlist for a long time coming. The track already feels like it has that much resonation quality.

“Leave” is almost a complete 180 in contrast, but not a complete loss as a song to enjoy after that. It just never quite picks up until it threatens to at the end, but he makes his message perfectly clear in the lyrics. “Pastures Fit For Thoroughbreds” and “Song Of Sunrise Birds” are two more instrumentals, the former being the longer and more enjoyable sounding of the two, and a lot more interesting as well. This isn’t your grand-daddy’s jazz, but it isn’t exactly modern either. It falls somewhere in between the two. And “Peace Out” gets the last word in edgewise, which is by far one of the most modern moments on what is an amazing collection of modern folk songs. 
 

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/sambakermusic

Randy Jones

bd Gottfried

 
bd Gottfried 


“Something You Weren’t” begins a show that if didn’t have a few turns could be the product of a progressive rock play of sorts. But I’m no expert on this artist, so, call it what you want but it has a storytelling feel about it. There is a looseness to some of it that veers off the beaten path sometimes, and that is why it goes both ways as an album. You’d have to know him enough to know these things, but anyone can get either impression just by listening to it. There is no question he is a crafty songwriter and excellent musician and singer. But the opening track doesn’t encapsulate everything he’s capable of. The second track “Crosshairs” doesn’t either, but it’s a bit more progressive and even has a more aggressive energy to it. And while not being new on the block, that is where it gets testy for any veteran solo artist. He’s done some heavy studio session work in his career, and a lot of his own albums, and while his maturity shows, his spirit remains youthful in this song, with a wise lyrical effort to round it off. This has both a modern and a retro sound and you can pin point where it might be coming from or not. I found it to be one of the more interesting tracks, whether-or not it holds any accessible interest. “Blame It On The Money” is somehow better in both departments, but perhaps a little on the mainstream side for this album. If there are a lot of familiar rings on this album, this has one of them wrapped around it. The problem is I can’t remember where I heard it, but that won’t be his problem. It works on that strength alone for me, but there are better instances to give on tracks like the following “Frequencies” which tones it down a lot. It could be the sleeper track of the album, as it bubbles along nicely enough for jazz to mark a turning point. It’s good enough to call it at least that vital of a point. 
 
“Eye Of Time” is my favorite, but that could change with time, as several of these tracks are growers. But the drums pick up here on what is-actually more like a ballad, than a rocker of any kind. That’s why the drums play such a great role on it and make it worth the whole price of admission. I also recommend “Breakaway” as my second pick, and I find it likely the most accessible track too. “Incarnation” doesn’t float my boat as well, but it helps pull off yet another big moment in the finale which is “SOS with an IOU.” It takes the album out more like it should’ve come in. And that can’t be bad. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

John Elderkin and ¡Moonbeams No Mas!

 
John Elderkin and ¡Moonbeams No Mas! - The Fall and Rise of John Elderkin and ¡Moonbeams No Mas! 


You won’t hear another release like this in 2017. John Elderkin has surrounded himself with a cadre of top shelf of North Carolina indie musicians, a virtual all-star roster of regional talent, in order to pull off this sprawling seventeen song collection entitled The Fall and Rise of John Elderkin and ¡Moonbeams No Mas! and they are more than capable of aiding him in realizing his wild ambitions. This is a tribute of sorts and testament to the effect David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust exerted over Elderkin’s imagination, but it is also a monumental riff on that classic album that finds Elderkin re-envisioning its impact on him with a distinctive individual artistic point of view that moves this far away from mere imitation. It’s a collection rich with characterizations, a love for the musician’s life coupled with some jaundiced humor at its pratfalls, and undeniably intelligent from first note to last. 
 
The first full song on the album, “We Waited Five Years”, is one of the album’s direct references to Ziggy Stardust and embodies the aforementioned wont of Elderkin’s songwriting to mix pathos with dashes of smirking humor. A truly singular voice comes from this recording – it bears some marks of modern influences, but everything is so seamlessly transmuted through Elderkin’s personality that it renders such observations mute or meaningless. “Song for David Bowie” might prompt some listeners to believe it’s another in a long line of heavy handed, but well meant, tributes to the Thin White Duke, but this song takes on a much larger scope beyond merely paying Bowie his due and patiently unfolds into something quite memorable. It confines itself to acoustic guitar and vocals for much of its duration before expanding in the second half to include electric guitars and forceful, slightly uptempo drumming. “Gather Your Strength” has some gritty electric guitar and a steady march tempo with Elderkin’s relatively sweet, clean vocals offsetting the dissonance from the instruments.  
 
“Don’t Look Straight Into the Sun” is, arguably, the most guitar heavy song on the album and features some particularly blazing axe work in the second half. It has an ambitious scope that finds Elderkin and his collaborators moving through an assortment of textures and tempos as well as including more of the evocative lyrical content that contributes to this being such a memorable release. “Get Back in the Van” is a band on the road song quite unlike you’ve likely heard before and has one of the best opening lines of any track on the album. Elderkin’s vocal gets over the storytelling aspects of the song in a gripping way that ensures even listeners who have never been in a band will relate to its sentiments. There are two instrumentals, “Teletar” and “A Trip to the Moon”, that set up the album’s climatic number “Give Me Your Hands”. It’s a surprisingly low-fi conclusion to a grandiose album and has the same hazy, dream-like ambiance defining many of the other tracks. It ends the release on a satisfying note and ties everything in quite nicely. This is, as the review began, a truly unique release unlike anything else you’ve heard in recent history and well worth your time and money.  


Joshua Stryde 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Suntrodden III – a Mood-Pop Experience


Suntrodden III – a Mood-Pop Experience  


Suntrodden III, the latest EP from Atlanta, Georgia based musician and songwriter Erik Stephansson, is a delightful experimental journey through mood and sensation using the vehicle of lo-fi recording and minimalistic composition. The collection opens with “There’s a Place,” which is a melodic and optimistic song, with a bit of a somber edge, reminiscent of some early R.E.M. tracks crossed with deep cuts from the latter years of the Monkees. The layering of instrumental movement and lyrical musing mesh beautifully to create a song that captures the very essence of a bittersweet attempt to exist encompassed with another person. It’s a truly beautiful tune that is inspiring while still being a bit sad.        

The next track in this collection, “Pure,” is musically reminiscent of Radiohead’s commercially successful, critically acclaimed, and some might argue, cornerstone hit, “Creep.” However, Stephansson takes a very similar series of notes and arrangement and drains it of all bile-self-loathing, and pain, instead infusing it with an infectious joy, which is guaranteed to bring a smile to any listener’s face. Where, “Creep,” is a declaration of degradation, “Pure,” seeks a brighter answer to similar existential doubt and fear. This is possibly the most radio-friendly tune in the entire collection, but still manages to communicate some interesting ideas above and beyond the basic pop formulae, despite its eminently familiar feel.          

“Moonflower,” the next track in this collection, takes a more somber turn. Though retaining the smooth and relentlessly airy melodic nature of the earlier tracks, “Moonflower,” seems to be the first track in the collection that dwells in the darker end of the emotional spectrum. The opening half of the song dwells in the darkness, relying on a deep piano melody to drive the song forward through a murky and reflective place. The vocal quality of this song remains in a more upbeat, poppy sort of register, but lyrically the song owns its reflective nature, making for a beautiful juxtaposition of sound and meaning. After the breakdown, the song evolves into a repeated, anthemic declaration.         

Track four, “Never Again,” brings the collection back to an upbeat place, and definitely owns a clear Beatles/Monkees trip-pop feel.  Musically, it is easily the most complex track thus far, but retains a memorable melody that will stay with you and keep your head bobbing.          

The final track, “The End (Haunt Me)” is an emotional and musical tour de force, revisiting the various instrumental, emotional, and lyrical destinations previously touched on in the album. Through the entirety of this track, Stephansson displays his unique prowess in acting as an emotional tour guide, bringing the listener on a brief, but enjoyable musical journey reminiscent of some of Lou Reed’s finest work.  

All told, Suntrodden III is a deft display of songwriting prowess from Erik Stephansson. The use of lo-fi recording techniques, extant, real-world instrumentation, and a limited number of takes per performance show through in the final product as a raw, emotional piece of art. The effort was well worth it, and the care taken in the crafting of this EP is clear in the final result. I give Suntrodden III an enthusiastic 8 out of 10 stars, and highly recommend it!  


Travis Legge 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Sam Green and the Time Machine


Sam Green and the Time Machine 


The Time Machine is Sam Green’s chosen way to get his music to the world, to be found at CD Baby and at his own web address. Which Way Left? is the new release and it gives a little hope to those looking to sooth their heels into some fresh streams of his words of wisdom, backed with some instrumentation that comes off clumsy at times, but serves his vocal prowess well enough to dismiss as a development wrinkle. The music isn’t produced with any gloss to speak of, so it shows a weakness in that respect, but everything else is in satisfactory order and on the level that he’s currently at.

“Dendeong Ranges” is more of a ditty than a song approach, but there are tracks of both structures throughout the CD. This is about the hills of his surroundings, but the music doesn’t pick up enough to show what’s to come. It falls short of good song but it tells a story his own can relate to, so it works for that purpose anyway. The following track “Eli” isn’t the shining point either, but it’s the opposite as far as a song goes. This is a very good piece that proves Sam Green is a good musician and songwriter. But that could already be evident to those who know and have consumed his work, of which there is much to be found. “Financial Year” doesn’t resonate as much as the first two, but that’s because of its obvious political and economic subject matters, but it keeps the personal side of his work in check. Anyone with a mission can understand where he’s coming from. On “Google Me” he makes some sense of humor pay off on relating to the cyberworld’s role in relationships. And the humor stays in-tact with his take on “Harry Ginagin” which also keeps the energy upright. Not that it’s all low energy, but even pop-folk, which he is tagged, can be dreadfully soft sometimes. Most get a little of both in to stay balanced, as he does.

On “Part Of The Corporate” it might get a little politically overboard, but he speaks anyway, and does get heard, but are the masses listening is always the question. If you’re into folk and looking for the usual stuff ragged upon by every folk singer/songwriter imaginable, then it suits you right down to the heels. “Round And Around” is high on the list of pleasers and so is “Mist Of The Desert” and “Lightning Never Strikes.” Both of which he turns in some of his finest musical offerings. In fact all three of these tracks are in the top of the whole 14 of them if I were to rate them that way. But I would also call the sound mix uneven in places. It also sounds like Sam Green improvises a lot, and that’s just about the best thing you can say about a piece of music, but there are some well thought out, superbly-crafted tracks on this CD. If anything, it makes you want to hear more from the artist, which keeps to outdoorsy vibes more than tackles every day issues. This is for rolling up your pant legs and wading your feet in the cold water, while listening to some relaxing music to end a long day, or just shooting the breeze on the headphones to. Life isn’t that serious, and Sam Green reminds of that and how to let it all hang out.


Elvin Graham

Paul Kloschinsky


Paul Kloschinsky


Paul Kloschinsky was born in Saskatchewan in 1963. He attended the University of British Columbia in the 1980’s and received a BSc in Computer Science and an MD. After living and working across Canada he has returned to his hometown of Delta, BC, Canada. He has played in a few rock bands in the Vancouver area since High School. He is now a Folk-Rock Singer Songwriter. He won the 2007 MusicAid Award for Best Canadian Songwriter for his original song Wearin’ Blue. He released his first album, Woodlands, February 24, 2009 on Prism/Universal in Canada. In addition to being a songwriter, he is also an avid poet and photographer. Paul has lived as he’s so desired and gets to tell all about it on Crime Of Passion. An album that comes with some excellent folk tracks to its credit, which verge on rock and country style as much as folk, if you hear it for what it really is. The 8 songs on the album go far in telling his stories to the world, but it might also help to start before this to get his point and not judge him only by his latest record. You can do that like everyone used to, or you can opine about it with a broader perspective in support of anyone in today’s musical landscape. The structure of these tracks are-rock based, but ultimately folk dominated.

“I’m Still Waiting” makes one of the most resonating musical statements as both the album content and Paul himself call for. This gets everything underway with the high standard any folk artist should approach their songwriting and studio performance qualities with. That being-said, it doesn’t mean it always works. This track somehow does make all the right moves to entice you henceforth with enough force to pull you right into “Crime Of Passion” with an ease like no other. And I like both songs with the same amount of relish. They go far in selling the whole title.

This rebel in the night comes out within the second track and you know he’s for real. You just have-to let it keep playing from there or you already have you mind made up in the polar-opposite direction. But the title track reminds of everyone from Roy Orbison to competing with Chris Isaak himself for some limelight in the vocal department. The same qualities come out in the next track “Sooth Me” but with more of a mid-tempo pace going for it. This is another shining moment on the album as the tracks consistently improve as they go. You can’t deny the groove of this one, it’s vibrant and infectious like most of the album.

It’s nice to hear him get his feeling out about what people say about him, it makes for some fun subject matter, the latter track is full of that and more. It also has an island presence about it, which changes up the attitude of the album. “A Poignant Point In Time” is where just about anyone can get lost if they don’t take it all in within a fast enough time frame, and that’s just one jeopardizing about albums as opposed to singles these days when people have much more time for singles. It’s a good thing this was not chosen as a single. I’d stay away from doing that. “Gates Of Heaven” would be my next choice, if that doesn’t hint enough. It should’ve been the first single. 
 


Todd Bauer

Kayzyak – 'Happy Camping''

 
Kayzyak – 'Happy Camping''
The Kazyak is one of those rare bands that overflow your soul with amazement once you open your doors to their stream of beautiful sounds and rhythm. The Minneapolis-based band’s new album ‘Happy Camping’ is set to be released on the 20th of July 2017, which is forecasted to be a beautiful sunny day in Minneapolis. As well as choosing a beautiful weather to release their second Ep, Kazyak presents us with warm string arrangements composed of soothing electric guitars, drums and violins that is guaranteed to lift you into the musical paradise. 
The band leader, Peter Frey is a creative indie rock Songwriter and Guitarist based in Northeast Minneapolis, the band also consist of Lana Bolin (Bass), Pat Hayes (synth, piano), Nick Grewe (drums). The previous Band Ep, “See the Forest, See the Trees” released in May 14, 2013 was well received by music critics. Mr Frey and the band succeeded in delivering a well-written and composed 6-track masterpiece.  
“See the Forest, See the Trees” was a beautifully written piece that displayed Peter Frey’s passion for fairy tales and fables. This musical group clearly does not have a problem connecting entirely to nature as evident from their beautiful melodies.  Frey’s new creation is not the kind of song you would want to rock your body to, I would say it is the perfect company for creative tasks like painting, drawing, when you want to go out with family, friends, loved ones or you are on a nature-driven soul-searching drive. 
Before I wrote this review, I was on an 8 hours’ drive to see mum and girlfriend back home in Indianapolis. I was quickly serenaded by the first track on the album, ‘Sacred Cow’. The song infused me with soft and heartfelt rhythms as I connected the lyrics of the song to my memories of finding myself in our world. I applaud the choice of this song as the opener to the album because it sets the mood for the rest of the album.  
Following Sacred cow is ‘Sundial’. Sundial channelled the energy I attained from Sacred cow into a more realistic dimension in which you would be able to connect to the story being told. Reassuring me of who I was and where I was coming from. Next was ‘Basin’, which I would describe as a voice telling me that "you are not superman, but that is ok".  
The roller-coaster of songs went on and on till the last track ‘Happy Camping’ which encouraged you to continue in that quest for happiness, I personally interpreted Frey’s last part of the song as you should always remember your success when you are thinking about all the time you have failed in life. So, I would like to thank Frey for accompanying me on that long trip and the romantic date I was inspired to take my girlfriend on later that night. 
The Happy Camping is heartfelt and soulful. The delivery is precise and each song transcends into the next so naturally. The narration is very expressive, as Frey’s famous fables takes the listener to a world of his or her own.  
We’re rating Kazyak - Happy camping a solid 5-star. It’s a beautiful continuation from their previous ‘See the Forest, See the Trees’. I am looking forward to seeing one of their shows whenever they are in town.
Tom Simpson

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Elle Casazza


Elle Casazza  

Do you want to transfer yourself to the period of an early 20th century? Do you like the track and vocals of that period? If yes then Elle Casazza’s new single “Too Bad” from the album “Proof” is something that would draw your attention immediately.
 
This flavorful song has a terrific and aesthetic feel of the late 80s and early 90s summertime. The song written by Elle Casazza herself has an amazing charm and a distinguished fascination attached to it. Appearing in the video, created by Bummer Camp Media, is the singer herself along with her girl squad that includes Alexandra Olsavsky and Sofia Porter-Castro. Xavier Galdon (Trombone), Caleb Mitchell (Trumpet) and Kyle Madsen (Saxophone) did a wonderful job with their instruments to touch your heart and soul.  
 
With a beach party vibe, the song is filled with an extraordinary energy, which will lead you to tap your foot and shake your head in its tune as it rings in your ear.  
 
Exploring the early 20th century’s music and sound, from its opening verse itself, the style presented in the accompanying video adds to the confidence of Elle Casazza’s voice, which gives an additional high-point for you to get hooked on the song. You can’t call her retro because of the livelihood and fresh touch that it provides you with. The playful nature and the bouncy element of the music will attract you tremendously.  
 
Together with the instrumentalists and musicians, the singer was able to create a familiar yet a unique piece of music to touch everyone’s heart and soul. The classic look and the energetic summertime feel of “Too Bad” add freshness to your playlist. The sweet and reminiscent style adopted by the singer will never miss a chance to blow your mind. 
 
The rhythm and the melody of the song replicate its simplicity and take you step by step in the world of addictive tunes. The artist’s voice excellently complements the music that sounds soothing to your ears and would attract positive vibes to you. 
 
Music has always served as the mind-booster for everybody. It has always helped people to fill themselves with positive energies and exotic feel. With “Too Bad”, you get to experience the same kind of freshness and vibrancy in your playlist that allures you always. The clean music and the explicit charm attached with the song is a splendid Proof of the artist’s marvel and excellence.
 
Creatively, the entire element of the song, be it the video, the effects, the voice or the music, everything combined together, presents an awesome piece of music, which stands tall in the music industry. Playing with all your senses, this piece of music is unadulterated and musically sounds an apt partner of you for every beach party. If you love to add vividness to your playlist, then you can never go wrong with the choice of Elle Casazza’s Too Bad! Enjoy a loving time with this piece of music and dive in the ocean of melodies with this one-of-its-kind artist’s musical creation.  

Meta Description: Elle Casazza's new single, Too Bad from the album Proof, reflects the vividness and class of the artist's voice and her poignant style. 


9/10 Stars 

Henry Robbins