The Red Planet is a studio album by English keyboardist and former member of Yes, Rick Wakeman, released on 19 June 2020 on the R&D Media and Madfish Music Records label and featuring an alternative line-up of his backing band, The English Rock Ensemble which features Dave Colquhoun on guitars, Lee Pomeroy on bass and Ash Soan on drums. Wakeman revealed that it will take form as an instrumental progressive rock album that is “keyboard-heavy” in a similar style to his 1973 debut, The Six Wives of Henry VIII. This eight-song album with connections to space features such tracks as Ascraeus Mons, Arsia Mons, Olympus Mons, Pavonis Mons. This great release features an amazing performance, excellent songwriting talent, and a superb recording. I have been a big fan of Rick Wakeman since his days this yes and his earlier solo work. If you are a big Rick Wakeman fan like I am, you will definitely want to add this album to your music library. This awesome release is available on Vinyl, CD, and digital download from Amazon and many other music retailers.
Billy Livesay, best known for his work with E Street Band legend Clarence Clemons as his Guitarist & Vocalist, is releasing a new album with his group The Livesays called The Rhythm Of Love And Dysfunction on Sept 20th, 2020. This amazing album was recorded in 2018 and was set to be released early in 2019. Tragically, on November 2nd, 2018, the band experienced unimaginable sorrow when their drummer, Eddie Zyne, passed away from a heart attack. With the replacement drummer Howard Goldberg, they were able to finish the album. This thirteen track album features Billy Livesay on guitar and lead vocals, Jorge Laplume on bass and vocals, Victor “Cuqui” Berrios on organ and vocals, Tim Murphy on piano and vocals and Howard Goldberg on drums on such tracks as When I Dream which has a Bruce Springsteen sound, a great cover of Crosby Stills Nash and Young classic Woodstock, an amazing cover of Don Henley’s hit Heart Of The Matter, Book Of Rules, Rhythm Of Love and so much more. I enjoyed this album from start to finish with great vocals and amazing rhythm and blues sound as well as brilliant songwriting and a superb recording. I hope I will get the opportunity to hear this band’s earlier work in order to see the growth of them as performers and as songwriters. To learn more about this band, their music, and their tour schedule when this pandemic is over, go to their official website https://www.thelivesaysmusic.com/
As He Now Appears is the instrumental debut album by Elliot Nelson, a British born instrumental solo artist, composer, and producer from the north of England released on August 7, 2020. Elliot is the son of Be-box Deluxe frontman Bill Nelson and on this album, he brings to this album a mixture of various music genres from electronic, jazz, ambient classical, and experimental rock. This eleven-song album features such great tracks as the title track As He Now Appears, The Ethereal Balloon, God’s Pythons, From The Blonde To The Beast and so much more. I was impressed with the performance on this album as well as the brilliant songwriting talent and a superb recording. This is an artist I am looking forward to hearing more from in the future. This amazing release is available on digital download from Bandcamp and other music outlets.
The New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Rockers originated back in January 2008 when musician brothers Luther & Cody Dickinson sat down for a guitar jam with ex-Squirrel Nut Zippers leader Jimbo Mathus along with Blues Greats Charlie Musselwhite, Alvin Youngblood Hart and the late Memphis pianist, producer and all-around musical stylist Jim Dickinson (who passed away in the summer of 2009) gathered for a self-described ”hardcore blues” recording under the group name of the New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Rockers. This compilation is volume one of a two-volume collection with the first 10 tracks will be available finally on September 4, 2020, on Stony Plain Records, with the next 11 songs coming in spring 2021 on Volume 2. Volume One features such great tracks as Blues, Why You Worry Me, Night Time, K.C. Moan, Shake It And Break It, Stop And Listen and so much more. I was quite moved by the performance on this album as well as the great songwriting talent and a superb recording. This is an exceptional addition to your blues music library which will be available from Amazon, Walmart, Spotify, and all other outlets where CDs and digital downloads are sold. In closing, I want to thank Mark Pucci of Mark Pucci Media for turning me on to this fine album.
Rise Up is the upcoming release by Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters set for release on September 11, 2020, on Stony Plain Records. Ronnie Earl, a four-time Blues Music Award winner as “Guitar Player of the Year,” is joined by Dave Limina on keys, Diane Blue on vocals, Paul Kochanski on bass and Forrest Padgett on drums on this 15 track album which is his 13th album on Stony Plain Records and the 27th album of his career. I enjoyed this album from start to finish with such great tracks as Higher Love, Albert’s Stomp, In The Dark, Navaho Blues, and much more. Also on this album, he felt the need to respond urgently to coronavirus and racial strife, therefore in response, Ronnie christened one instrumental Blues for George Floyd and named a unique talking blues Black Lives Matter. The band covered Bob Dylan’s Lord Protect My Child, sung brilliantly by Diane Blue. This release was brilliantly performed as well as showcasing great songwriting and a superb recording. This album will be available on CD and digital download from Amazon, Walmart, and many other outlets. To find out more about his artist, his previous work and much more, go to his official website http://www.ronnieearl.com/
Gigaton is the eleventh studio album by the American rock band Pearl Jam, released on March 27, 2020, on the Monkeywrench/Republic Record label. This is the band’s first studio album in seven years with the last one being Lightning Bolt released in 2013. Pearl Jam comprises of Eddie Vedder on lead vocals and guitar, Jeff Ament on bass, Matt Cameron on drums, and Stone Gossard and Mike McCready on guitar. This album so far has spawned four singles Dance Of The Clairvoyants, Superblood Wolfmoon, Quick Escape, and Retrograde. Other notable tracks are Who Ever Said, Never Destination, and several others. In each album I hear by this great band, I can hear the growth of them as songwriters and musicians. This release was well written with all members of the band taking songwriting credits plus a great performance and superb recording and production. If you are a Pearl Jam fan like me, you will want to add this one to your Pearl Jam library which is available in Vinyl, CD, and digital download format from all music outlets.
Love is the second album by Southern California based progressive rock band Staring Into Nothing released March 13, 2020, featuring founders Steve Rogers (keyboards and vocals) and Kurt Barabas (bass, vocals, and guitars) who take a Steely Dan-esque approach to music creation, using the studio and a revolving cast of world-class collaborators to create music that observes and scrutinizes the human experience. Joining Rogers and Barabas on this album are Gregg Bissonette (David Lee Roth, Santana, Ringo Starr) on drums, Victor Bisetti (Los Lobos) on percussion, Mike Keneally (Zappa, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani) on guitars, Trey Gunn (King Crimson, John Paul Jones) on Warr Guitar, Dave Nachmanoff (Al Stewart) on background vocals/acoustic guitar and Danny T. Levin (Iggy Pop, Twenty One Pilots, Vampire Weekend) on horns. This twelve track album starts off with songs titled after the four seasons Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn, then moves into such tracks as Beautiful Delusion, Only Love, Amazing Grace, and much more. I enjoyed this album from start to finish with that great soft rock sound, excellent vocals, and great instrumentation. I was quite impressed with the performance on this album as well as superb songwriting and recording. This is a perfect album to listen to in the morning while you are working up to listen to something heavier later in the day. I hope to get the opportunity to hear their first album to see the growth from the first album to the present. This album is one I would highly recommend that you add to your music library and is available from Bandcamp, Amazon and other music outlets where CD’s and digital downloads are sold. To learn more about this band and their music, go to their official website https://www.staringintonothing.com/
Transitory is the fourth album I have reviewed by the award-winning aeronautical engineer, music producer, and songwriter Dr. Chrispy (AKA Dr. Chris Boshulzen), released on August 7, 2020, on the Interplanetary Records label. This seven-track EP is a collection of short stories woven over old school beats and instrumentation, with a mixture of live, sampled, and electronic instruments to create a nostalgic feeling with each song describing a certain time of day whether it is morning afternoon or evening. I was quite impressed with the performance as well as how it was written, recorded, and produced. I am always looking forward to seeing what this amazing artist does next. You can find this EP at Bandcamp, Spotify and other outlets where music is sold. You can learn more about this artist and his other releases by going to https://drchrispy.bandcamp.com/
It is not very often that I will review a single due to time restraints, but when I heard the single Jesus Of New Orleans by Jack Spann, I was motivated to write this. This is my fourth review for this amazing artist and I was totally honored for the opportunity to take an advance to listen to this song which was released on August 15, 2020 (my birthday) through Big Boo Records and Daystorm Music. Both dance mix and radio edits are included on the CD. Jack Spann is again providing lead vocals, piano, keyboards, guitar, and bass with Cecil Robbington on drums and percussion. A supporting cast of guest musicians includes long time friend and St. Louis native John Covelli on trombone. I was quite impressed with this song as well as the video that was done for this song with a great dance track and a bit of humor on how it was done. I feel that this song should do well in the dance clubs. This song has a great mixture of disco and jazz. Check out the video on https://youtu.be/-ltcUi90DuQ and get both CD and Digital formats of this awesome song through Big Boo Records and Daystorm Music.
For my 1721st review, I am proud to present the debut album by the band OGD called The Big Game, scheduled for release on August 24, 2020. The band features Derek Olivero (Guitar, Lead Vocals), Bobby Gavin (Drums, Vocals), and Dave De Ranieri (Bass, Vocals). This ten-track album features original compositions with the modern rock sound with shades of earlier great legends such as Rush, Kiss, Nirvana, and others with such tracks as Young Love, The Word, Innocence Ran, Dreamland, Outland and much more with great vocals and impressive guitar work. I was quite impressed with the songwriting talents on this album as well as an amazing performance, superb recording, and great production. This is an album I highly recommend that you take a listen to and will be available on CD, Vinyl (which I hope to add a signed copy to my library) and digital download from Bandcamp and other music outlets on August 24th. To learn more about this band, their music and more, go to their official website https://ogdband.com/