For my 878th review, I am giving my take on the album Roots In The Blues, Crown Far Ahead by Italian band RoughMax And The Steamrollers. This band consists of Rough Max Peiri on bass and vocals, Luciano Lucky Pesce on piano, keyboards, and backing vocals, and Corrado D’Amato on drums and backing vocals. Among the tracks that were most tolerable was Junk, Guilty, The Second Bite and Betrayal. Listening to this album, I was a bit disappointed. The vocals on most of the songs are distorted and the mixing on the recording was horrible. There was no balance between vocals and instrumentation. The songs were well written but that was about it. I feel with a better producer and recording studio, this might be an album I would want to buy.
When you take the singing sustain of multiple razor edged electric guitars, the monster rock backbeat of Jethro Tull drummer Doane Perry, and The Moonlight Sonata, you get the great album Amp L’Etude by Tone Masseve. This album is influenced by Tone’s love for rock, blues and classical music and wanted to play their classical pieces with a rock sound and attitude. The recording on this album started in 1995 and took more than 20 years to complete. The guitar parts alone took more than two years to record. In 1997, while still working on Amp L’étude, tragically, Tone got pneumonia and died. In 2016 a wonderful and talented group of musicians came together to finish his long lost album. The first was Doane Perry who was drummer for Jethro Tull for twenty seven years. Next was Garry Kvistad who is a Grammy award winning master percussionist. He is a member of the four man percussion group Nexus and to top it off with members of the vocal group Prana added their voices to several tracks. The end result is a very impressive album with such tracks as Aire On A G String (A Whiter Shade), The Moonlight Sonata (On The Hill Of The Skull), Seranade for Strings (For Her Majesty), Maria (She’s So) Ave, as so much more. This great album was well recorded, performed and produced and is a great final tribute to a awesome guitarist. This release will be available for purchase September 12, 2018 from Amazon, CD Baby and other outlets.
For my 875th review, I present the debut self titled album by The Brutalists, an trans-Atlantic rock group led by industry veterans and former bandmates Ex L.A. Guns Mick Cripps on guitar, keyboards and vocals, Nigel Mogg on vocals, Kent Holmes on guitars and vocals, Robert Cripps on bass and Charlie Nice on drums. This twelve track album due for release on August 31st, 2018 on the Cleopatra Records label is a mix of their influences — the dirty, leering blues of pub rock and R&B, the urgency of street punk and the synthesized dance ennui of post-punk, seasoned with bits of mod with such tracks as Wishing I Was Far Away, Jungle Nasty, Look Whatcha Gone And Done, Nutter, Enough Of Me and much more. This album has great guitar riffs and vocals and I was impressed with how well it was written, recorded, produced and performed. This album will be available for purchase from Bandcamp, Cleopatra Records and other outlets on August 31st.
Today I received a preview of an upcoming album called So Happy by Rick Vines All-Stars to be officially released on about August 1, 2018. I was impressed with the various styles on this album such as Blues, Rock, Country and more. I enjoyed this album from start to finish with such great tracks as the title track So Happy, D’Lila, I Can’t Breathe, Woodstock, Making Our Way In The World and so much more. I am thrilled with the great voice, soothing piano, and more. I am also impressed with his songwriting style, the recording of this album and performance. You are able to listen to the title track now and more after the first of August.
Phil Circle is by no means your ordinary songster picking away quietly on his acoustic guitar. He manages to blend elements of rock, jazz, blues, folk, and even classical on his 2009 album Minutes To Circle featuring a full band backing 10 of the eleven tracks such as Surreal Life, Lipstick And Whiskey, There’s A River, Letter To A Friend, Afterlife and much more. I was impressed with his songwriting and vocal style as well as his guitar riffs and licks plus how well this album was recorded and performed. He also had written a 2017 book called The Outback Musician’s Survival Guide. The CD is available on CD Baby and his website philcirclemusic.com.
For my 840th music review, I present the latest album by The Record Company which continues with their signature gritty, rock & roll, blues sound on All Of This Life, their second album following up a Grammy-nominated and hit-filled debut Give it Back. This album released on June 22, 2018, on the Snakefarm Records and Concord Records label and is comprised of stories about moving through difficult times in life and coming through the other side as shared by their fan base over the last two years of non-stop touring. This ten track album features such great songs as Life To Fix, Make It Happen, You And Me Now, Coming Home, Roll Bones and so much more. This album features great vocals and instrumentation and also was well written, recorded, produced and performed. Check out this album on Spotify and then you will want to get your own copy from Amazon, Itunes and everywhere that CD’s and digital downloads are sold.
The long-time member of the New Jersey band, the Voodudes, singer Andy B. (Bernstein) has put together a collection that highlights the broad range of his musical influence on an all-original program with the great album My Roots Are Showing. released September 29, 2016. This album is a mixture of many genres such as blues, zydeco, soul, country and more as shown in such tracks as Great Time Comin’, One More River, Mary Ellis, Break Someone Else’s Heart, My Baby’s Gone and so much more. I was impressed by how well this album was recorded and as well it was written and produced. This album is available on Amazon, CD Baby and everywhere that CD’s and digital downloads are sold.
For my 829th music review, here is a great blues album called Blues Enough, released January 31, 2013 and performed by the New York based Hitman Blues Band which contains eleven new original songs which is a mixture of modern blues, which can be high energy, slow and soulful, or happy boogie with horns, great guitar riffs and great vocals as seen with such tracks as the title track Blues Enough, Sam The Bluzman, Backhand Drive, Every Piece Of Me, Streets of Downtown and much more. This release was well recorded, written, performed and produced. This is a great addition to one’s blues collection and is available for purchase from CD Baby, Amazon, and everywhere that CD’s and digital downloads are sold and don’t forget to sign up for their mailing list will get you a free five-song sampler: http://www.hitmanbluesband.net
Skyscraper is the October 15, 2013 release by former Ravelers vocalist and guitarist Mike Brown (aka The Man from RavCon) and my second review by this artist. This album is a mixture of psych, funk, prog and other genres with is a nice mix of keyboards, synthesizer, mellotron and guitar as shown in such tracks as the title track Skyscraper, the music box waltz Secret Passage, the blue guitar track Higher, the funky sound of Veni Vidi Vici and much more. I am very impressed with how well this album was written, recorded and performed. With strong melodies and excellent musicianship, this is an album you really need to check out on Spotify and then purchase from Amazon, CD Baby and so many other places where CD’s and digital downloads are sold.
With myself being a major blues fan, I am proud to present to you The World Moves On, a May 14, 2016 release by New York based Hitman Blues Band which features such luminaries as Kevin Bents (Spin Doctors, Boz Scaggs, Phoebe Snow), Bernard “Pretty” Purdie (Aretha Franklin, Steely Dan, B.B. King, Joe Cocker), Bobby Forrester (Ruth Brown, Lena Horne), Ray Alexander (George Shearing, Stan Getz, Mel Torme), and Richard Crooks (Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen) . This great album contains seven new original songs, one cover (done in the Hitman Blues Band style) Hoochie Coochie Man and five reworked original songs. I was very impressed with the heavy blues guitar riffs and powerful vocals on such tracks as Bad Bad Man, That’s What It’s Like To Be A Man, Two Minute Warning, Hammer Down, Catch-22 Blues and so much more. This great album was well written, recorded, produced and performed. I am looking forward to hearing more from this band and hope to collect their complete library. If you are a blues fan like I am, you will definitely want to have this album in your library. This release is available from Amazon, CD Baby, Itunes and everywhere that CD’s and digital downloads are sold. And don’t forget signup for their mailing list will get you a free five-song sampler: