Graveyards is the 2019 album by Donnie & The Dry Heavers, an Indie-Rock/Jam/Blues Rock from Kingsport, Tennessee consisting of Chance Lawson on guitar and vocals, Andrew Kramer on guitar and vocals, Niko Graham on bass and Cameron Hite on drums. I saw this band last night at The Hideaway, a small club in Johnson City, Tennessee and they gave a great live performance. This ten-track album features such songs as Falling Asleep, the title track Graveyards, When I Leave Here, Troubled Son, Life Understood and much more. This album was well written, performed and recorded. The only suggestion I can make on this album does not include the drummer count off at the beginning of the songs, oh course that is my opinion. I could not find anything showing where this album is available but it is available when you go to one of their shows. This is a band you must see if they are playing near you.
Last night after an invitation by Spencer Otey of the band The Kindest People who I saw a couple nights before at Capone’s in Johnson City, Tennessee to see them perform at a venue I have not been to before called The Hideaway. As I walked in, I notice that the venue was a lot smaller than Capone’s but a nice venue to go to. The band that was on the stage was Donnie And The Dry Heavers, an Indie-Rock/Jam/Blues Rock from Kingsport, Tennessee consisting of Chance Lawson on guitar and vocals, Andrew Kramer on guitar and vocals, Niko Graham on bass and Cameron Hite on drums. They gave a great performance with a mixture of sounds such as blues, rock, country and even a little bit of reggae thrown in. After the performance, I had the opportunity to have a nice chat with Chance Lawson about their music and he gave me a copy of their CD called Grave Yards to listen and review later. After a short break, I experienced the sound of The Styrofoam Turtles, a garage rock-infused grunge band from Asheville, North Carolina featuring Josh Davis on drums and Tristen Colby on guitar and vocals. I was unable to find out who was playing bass. This three-piece band gave an amazing performance for great guitar work and driving drum beats. I got the opportunity to speak to Tristen after the show and he plans to send me some of his work to listen to and review. After another short break, the band I was invited to see again went on the stage The Kindest People an Indie/Garage/Punk band from Johnson City, Tennessee featuring Matthew Sykes on guitar, keyboards and vocals, Spencer Otey on guitar and backing vocals, Evan Rice on Bass and backing vocals and Matthew Dougherty on drums. Their high energy show featured original music from their album Observations From The Alternate and others, plus a great performance. It was great to see these guys again and they remembered me from the other night and we had a chance to talk for a while before they went on. The venue The Hideaway is a great venue that features local bands and was surprised that they only sell canned beer, no cocktails or draft beer, but when I saw that the owner was working as a bartender, sound man and doorman, I could understand why. In addition to plenty of seating, there was plenty of room that want to stand in front of the stage to see the bands. It is still a venue I want to visit again.
On Thursday, December 26, 2019, I experienced the great sounds of local and national bands at Capone’s in Johnson City, Tennessee with The Kindest People, In The Whale and 10 Years. This sold-out show started with The Kindest People an Indie/Garage/Punk band from Johnson City, Tennessee featuring Matthew Sykes on guitar, keyboards and vocals, Spencer Otey on guitar and backing vocals, Evan Rice on Bass and backing vocals and Matthew Dougherty on drums. Their high energy show featured original music from their album Observations From The Alternate and others, plus a great performance. I got the opportunity to talk to this band for a long time after their show and planned to see them again which I did a couple days later. After a short break for set up it was time for the next band In The Whale, an American alternative rock band from Greeley, Colorado composed of Nathaniel Valdez on lead vocals and guitar and Eric Riley on drums and vocals. As I was coming back into the club, I was hearing a great sound and when I looked, I was shocked to see this great sound coming from only two people as they played tracks from their album Dopamine and previous work. Their performance was definitely high energy and got the crowd ready for the final performance of the night which was the Knoxville, Tennessee American alternative metal band called 10 Years featuring Jesse Hasek on lead vocals, Brian Vodinh on lead and rhythm guitar and backing vocals, Matt Wantland on rhythm guitar, Luke Narey on drums and Chad Grennor on bass. I have been waiting to see this band again since 98Rockfest that took place in Ladson, South Carolina on April 22, 2018, but I missed the opportunity to get my vinyl album (How To Live) As Ghost signed during their autograph session. I finally got my album signed just before they went on stage. Thanks to a new friend that I made with one of the opening acts band I could see this performance from the sound area in which I could see the band from above as they performed tracks from their album (How To Live) As Ghost and other albums. This band gave a great performance As always I enjoyed this venue with a great and friendly staff.
Dopamine is the August 3, 2018 album by In The Whale, an American alternative rock band from Greeley, Colorado composed of Nathaniel Valdez on lead vocals and guitar and Eric Riley on drums and vocals. In fact, I watched their performance last night at Capone’s in Johnson City, Tennessee and I was amazed how a two-person band can deliver such a great sound. This six-track album features the tracks Deep End, Teeth, Slowdrive, Highways, Fire, and an acoustic version of Highways. I was quite impressed with their songwriting style, as well as their performance and the recording on this album. If you ever get a chance to see this band perform live, I highly recommend that you do. This album is available on Vinyl, CD and digital download from Amazon and if you get the chance to see them live, you will be able to pick up on there too and even get it signed.
For my 1549th review overall and my 507th review for the year 2109, I am proud to present the album Observations From The Alternate from the Indie/Garage/Punk band from Johnson City, Tennessee called The Kindest People featuring Matthew Sykes on guitar, keyboards and vocals, Spencer Otey on guitar and backing vocals, Evan Rice on Bass and backing vocals and Matthew Dougherty on drums. I had the privilege to see this band this past Thursday as they opened for 10 Years at Capone’s in Johnson City. After their amazing show, I had the opportunity to talk to the members of this band and learn a lot about their music and how it was recorded. Listening to this eleven-track album, I enjoyed the acoustic as well as heavy guitar work, amazing vocals and driving drum beats on such tracks as Told You, Fake It, Style, Almost Done and so much more as I enjoyed this album from start to finish. This album features great songwriting from Matthew Sykes with the last track Observations written by Spencer Otey. When I listened to this album, I thought it was recorded at some major recording studio, but I found it was recorded in a garage which impressed me even more. This album is available on CD and digital download from Bandcamp and other outlets as well at their live shows. I am looking forward to listening to their earlier work to see their growth as performers and songwriters, as well as seeing them perform again in the future.
Greatest Hits Volumes 1 & 2 are compilation albums by the American rock band Journey. Volume One was released November 15, 1988, on the Columbia/Sony Records label features hit tracks from the 1978 album Infinity through to 1986 album Raised On Radio plus from the soundtracks of Vision Quest and Two Of A Kind such as Don’t Stop Believin, Separate Ways, Faithfully, Open Arms, Anyway You Want It, Girl Can’t Have It and so much more. Volume Two released November 1, 2011, on the Sony/Legacy Records label features tracks which include the remaining radio hits that were left off the first greatest hits package and fan favorites. This includes Stone in Love, Feeling That Way, Anytime, Just the Same Way, Still They Ride, Walks Like a Lady, Mother Father, After the Fall and much more. Both compilations feature Steve Perry on lead vocals, Neal Schon on guitars and vocals, Jonathan Cain and Gregg Rolie on keyboards, Ross Valory and Randy Jackson on bass, and Steve Smith, Aynsley Dunbar, and Larrie Londin on drums. Both of these compilation albums were well written, performed and recorded and are the perfect additions to one’s Journey record library which is available on Double Vinyl, CD and digital download from every music is sold. Journey is still recording, performing and touring with some personnel changes namely Arnel Pineda who is taking over the lead vocals reigns and you can learn more about what the band is doing, their recordings and their tour schedule by going to their official website https://www.journeymusic.com
Maria Muldaur revisits the music of her youth here with the help of John Sebastian (Lovin’ Spoonful), progressive bluegrass pioneer David Grisman, creator of Dawg Music, Dan Hicks, Taj Mahal and a youthful jug band she recently discovered, The Crow Quill Night Owls, featuring Kit Stovepipe on National guitar, jug, and washboard. The end result is the album Good Times Music For Hard Times by Maria Muldaur And Her Garden Of Joy released October 7, 2009, on the Stony Plains Music Records label. This twelve track album features some 1930’s Jug Band tunes along with a couple of new tunes. Maria showcases her bluesy and sexy voice to such tracks as The Diplomat, Shout You Cats, The Ghost Of The St. Louis Blues, Bank Failure Blues, Garden Of Joy and much more. This release was well performed, written and recorded and is a different style of blues for your library. This album is available on CD and digital download from Amazon, Discogs, and other music outlets. You can learn more about this artist, her tour schedule, her music and much more by going to her official website http://www.mariamuldaur.com
Everyone knows Canadian guitar legend Jeff Healey can play the blues like nobody’s business, but not many know the other side of Jeff: the musicologist with an encyclopedic knowledge of both jazz and blues artists from the early 20th century as well as being an accomplished trumpet player. It’s Tight Like That is the 25 April 2006 album by Jeff Healey & The Jazz Wizards, a Canadian blues-rock guitarist, who felt the significance of this traditional jazz and released it on the Stoney Plain Music Records. Chris Barber, an established British jazz trombonist, guest stars on the album and Healey, who has been blind since infancy, plays the trumpet vivaciously as well as guitar and vocals. These two great musicians are joined by Christopher Plock on clarinet, and soprano and alto saxophone, Drew Jurecka on violin, Jerry Barksdale on guitar, Brian Graville on piano, Colin Bray on bass, and Gary Scriven on drums. This twelve track album features the songs Bugle Call Rag, Basin Street Blues, Darktown Strutters Ball, Confessin, Sheik Of Araby, Wipe ‘Em Off and much more. They gave a great performance on this album as well as a superb recording. This is definitely an album you need to check out and add to your jazz library as is available from Amazon, Itunes, and other music outlets. Jeff left this world on March 2, 2008, but his music will still live on.
Pinecastle Records released A Very Acoustic Christmas, featuring several of the label’s talented artists on November 7, 2018. Several of these artists I have reviewed some of their great music this past year. This nine-track album features classic and original Christmas tunes with a bluegrass feel such as Angels We Have Heard On High by Ray Cardwell, Oh The Joy Of Christmas by Merle Monroe, the Jim Reeves classic An Old Christmas Card by Sister Sadie bandmates Dale Ann Bradley & Tina Adair, You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch by Tony Wray and so much more. This compilation was well written, performed and recorded. This is the perfect album to add to your Christmas music library. Whether you want this album on CD or digital download, you can find this release from Amazon, Bandcamp, and my other music outlets.
A great way to spend Christmas Eve is to get a nice package from Canada and in it was a seamless and heartwarming mix of Classical and Contemporary Christmas favorites called The Christmas Collection by a classically trained singer/songwriter/pianist from Toronto, Ontario Canada Charles Di Raimondo. Charles gives us his unique style and powerful voice on such tracks on this twelve track album that was released November 14, 2103, on the CD Productions Records label such as O Holy Night, What Child Is This, Panis Angelicus, The Lords Prayer, and much more. I enjoyed this CD from start to finish as was quite impressed with how he made these Christmas classics his own with an amazing performance and a superb recording. This is definitely an album you will want to add to your Christmas music library which you can get your copy from Amazon, CD Baby, Itunes and many other outlets where CDs and digital downloads are sold.