We Can Win by Royce

We Can Win is the upcoming release by the Wellington, New Zealand singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Royce scheduled for release on February 18, 2022, by the U.S record label Spectra Music Group.  Royce wrote all of the songs on his new album We Can Win as well as played most of the instruments (Drums, lead vocals, backing vocals, rhythm guitar, bass, and keyboards).  This eleven-track album features such great tracks as Keep Going On, The Crossroads, How Long, Seize The Moment, the title track We Can Win and so much more.  The song Mrs. Vain has been featured in the Hollywood movie Amateur Night & the song Life Worth Living has been featured in the U.S Netflix movie Beats.  I was quite moved by how one person can create such brilliant work and amazing performance with awesome songwriting skills and superb recording and production.  I am looking to hear more from this great artist and this release is available on digital download from Bandcamp, Amazon Music, and many other music retailers.  You can learn more about this artist by going to his website https://www.roycemusic.net/

Dark Fables by Clive Nolan and Oliver Wakeman

Clive Nolan & Oliver Wakeman’s “Dark Fables” was released on November 5, 2021, on the Cherry Red Records label. This standalone release was originally the third CD from Clive Nolan and Oliver Wakeman’s “Tales By Gaslight” box set released earlier this year which contains over 30 minutes of music conceived for the abandoned “Frankenstein” album which would have joined the duo’s “Jabberwocky” and “Hound Of The Baskervilles” collaborations. As with the previous albums, “Dark Fables” features the duo’s virtuosic keyboard playing with sublime performances from Gordon Giltrap, Paul Manzi (The Sweet, Arena, Oliver Wakeman Band). Andy Sears (Twelfth Night), Karl Groom (Threshold), David Mark Pearce (Oliver Wakeman Band, Munroe’s Thunder), and Charlotte Dickerson.  This twelve-track album features the tracks The Overture, Why Do You Hate Me, Time Passes, 221B, The Jabberwocky and so much more. I was moved by the performance on this release, as well as amazing songwriting talent and a superb recording and production.  If you are a progressive rock fan like I am, you will totally enjoy this album which is available on CD and digital download from Cherry Red Records, Spotify, Apple Music, and many other music outlets.  You can find out more about Oliver Wakeman and his work by going to his official website https://www.oliverwakeman.co.uk/ and Clive Nolan by going to his website http://www.clivenolan.net/

Deeper Than My Roots by The Davey Johnstone Band

When you are the lead guitarist and musical director for one of the biggest names in music and the covid pandemic hit, what do you do?  Deeper Than My Roots is the brand new solo album from long-term Elton John guitarist Davey Johnstone to be released February 4, 2022, on the Spirit of Unicorn Records label which was recorded during the pandemic hiatus that postponed Elton John’s Farewell Tour.  The project was a true family affair, as Johnstone’s youngest son, Elliott, sings lead vocals on most of the album, his son Charlie recorded many of the basic tracks at his home in California and contributed keyboard and backing vocals, and his son Jesse played drums on some of the songs and Davey’s longtime Elton John bandmate Nigel Olsson on drums on another plus former Paul McCartney and Wings drummer Denny Seiwell also lent his talents to three songs. This twelve track album features such great work as Go Easy On My Heart, Walt Disney, Melting Snow, You Lied To Me, a cover of The Beatles classic Here There And Everywhere, and much more.  This release showcases a brilliant performance, excellent songwriting, and a superb job of recording.  This is a great addition to one’s music library which will be available on CD and digital download from Cherry Red Records, Amazon, FYE, and many other music retailers.

Always Be There by Vast Conduit

For my 3882nd review, I had the opportunity to listen to the upcoming debut album released by Vast Conduit called Always Be There scheduled for release on February 16, 2022, featuring Bill Jenkins on keyboards, Will Jenkins on drums, Michael Harris on guitar, Jeff Plant on bass, Friel on vocals, and Jim Hurley on violin.  This eleven-song album showcases this band’s amazing musicianship and powerful vocals on such tracks as Soul Tuck, the title track Always Be There, Odessa, 500 Miles, Early Eclipse, and much more.  This release sounds more like a fifth of the sixth album than a debut album with the growth of sound that this band demonstrates which reminds me of such bands as King Crimson, Yes, Genesis, and many other major bands with its stellar performance, accomplished songwriting talents, and superb recording.  This is an album that would sound totally amazing on vinyl, which I hope they do in the future.  This is a band I hope to see perform live one day.  At the time being this album will be available soon as a digital download on Bandcamp, Itunes, and many other music retailers and as a CD down the line.  To learn more about this band, go to their official website https://www.vastconduit.com/

Music Is Our Friend (Live in Washington and Albany, 2021 by King Crimson

It is rare that a CD comes in the mail and you can’t wait till you get home to listen to it, so you immediately put it in the CD player in the car to listen to it.  That is the case of a new live album titled Music Is Our Friend (Live in Washington and Albany, 2021), through DGM on November 19, 2021, by the legendary band King Crimson.  This album features Robert Fripp on guitar and keyboards, Jakko Lakszyk on guitar and vocals, Tony Levin on bass, Mel Collins on saxophone and flute, Pat Mastelotto on drums, Jeremy Stacey on Drums and Keyboards, and Gavin Harrison on drums.   This two CD set features such great performances as Larks Tongues in Aspic, The Court Of The Crimson King, Red, Epitaph, 21st Century Schizoid Man, Level Five and so much more.   I enjoyed this album from start to finish with a brilliant performance, superb musicianship, and a great recording, especially for a live album.  This is a CD that I will keep in the car for when I am out running around.  This amazing release is available on CD and digital download from Amazon, Spotify and, many other retailers. To learn more and find out tour dates and more, go their official website https://www.dgmlive.com/

Paint The Town Red by Emily Lockett

This week I was turned on to an amazing Ep by Emily Lockett, a UK based independent music artist, writing and performing in the modern country/pop titled Paint The Town Red released November 2021.  This is Emily’s third EP and my first review for this artist.  The five track EP has a country sound that would be successful on American country radio which the tracks An Unwilling Heart, Do You Wanna Go Out, Front Porch, If I Live To 100, and That Girl.  I was quite moved by the performance on this album, as well as her amazing voice, creative songwriting skills, excellent musicianship and a superb recording.  I am quite excited to hear her earlier work and work in the future to see the growth of this artist over the years.  You can get your own copy of this great EP by going to Apple Music, Spotify, and many other music retail outlets.  To learn more about this artist, her music and her tour schedule, go to her office website https://www.emilylockett.co.uk/ .  In closing, I want to thank my friend Kim Carney with Virtuosity Magazine for turning me on to this artist.

The Birth Of Cactus 1970 by Cactus

The Birth Of Cactus 1970 is the debut album by the quartet dubbed The American Led Zeppelin called Cactus featuring vocalist Rusty Day, guitarist Jim McCarty, bassist Tim Bogert, and drummer Carmine Appice scheduled for release on January 21, 2022, on Cleopatra Records label.  Cactus made their auspicious debut in their very first public performance that night in 1970 that also featured the likes of The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Grateful Dead, and Steve Miller Band. Fortunately, this stunning and historic show was captured on tape and has now been unearthed from the archives and released in all formats.  This six-track album features such great songs as Parchman Farm, Feel So Good and No Need To Worry as well as the tracks One Way…Or Another, Sweet Sixteen, and the Medley: Let Me Swim / Big Mama Boogie / Oleo.  This release showcases a brilliant performance and a solid recording which will be available on digital download, digipak CD, and on PURPLE vinyl from Cleopatra Records and many other music retailers.

Back To Love by Amanda Abizaid

Back To Love is my fifth review for American Lebanese singer/songwriter Amanda Abizaid to be released on January 13, 2021, featuring seven tracks that show her growth as a performer and spawned three singles so far Take Me, When I Walk Away and the cover the Radiohead classic Creep.  Rounding off this amazing album is the tracks Please Don’t Forget Me, With Your Love, Follow Me Back To Love, and round out the album, Amanda finishes the album with an Arab version of With Your Love.  I was quite moved by the performance on this album with her amazing vocals and a brilliant job of recording. I highly recommend this album to everyone’s music library which will be available as a digital download from Spotify and Apple Music.  In closing, I want to thank Amanda for turning me on to this great piece of work.

400 Cigarettes by Handsome And The Humbles

After being away from our former home of Tennessee for the past year and a half, It is so nice to hear from a band close to where we used to live.  The Ep is called 400 Cigarettes scheduled for release on February 4, 2022, by the Knoxville, Tennessee band called Handsome and the Humbles featuring Josh Smith on vocals, and acoustic guitar, Tugboat Killingsworth and Chris Bratta on drums and percussion, J. Tom Hnatow on Pedal Steel, Tyler Huff on bass, and Josh Hutson and Jason Chambers on guitars.  This six-track EP which is a mixture of country, Americana, and country-rock features the tracks the title track 400 Cigarettes, All Those Pretty Things, Good Morning From Nashville, If I Could, Self Defense, and Wyoming which showcases  Josh’s amazing voice and musicianship as well as a stellar performance, creative songwriting talent, and a superb recording.  I am looking forward to hearing earlier work from this group as well as future releases.  This album will be available from Bandcamp, Apple Music, and many other outlets.  To learn more about this band, go to their official website http://www.handsomeandthehumbles.com/

One Night In Nashville by Poco

One Night In Nashville is a superb live album from country rock/Americana pioneers, Poco, performing the biggest, most well-known tracks of their illustrious career, featuring founding members Richie Furay (formerly of Buffalo Springfield), Rusty Young, and George Grantham plus longtime member Paul Cotton which was recorded at the Belcourt Theater in Nashville, Tennessee on May 20, 2004, and released November 11, 2021, on the Purple Pyramid Records label.  This sixteen-track album features fantastic renditions of Crazy Love, Heart Of The Night, Call It Love, Rose Of Cimarron, Let’s Dance Tonight, You Better Think Twice, and much more.   Listening to this great album, I was impressed with this amazing performance, as well as creative songwriting talent and a superb job of recording and production. This album brings memories of their earlier work back in the late ’60s and early 70’s and I highly recommend this album to your music library which is available on CD, digital download, and blue colored vinyl available from Amazon, Cleopatra Records, Merchbar, and many other music retailers.