Los Angeles based indie label Cleopatra Records and Hungarian-born songwriter/producer/musician Leslie Mandoki, the mastermind behind the living, breathing art-rock project Mandoki Soulmates, are proud to announce the release of the first full-length album since the two entities joined forces earlier this year. Living In The Gap + Hungarian Pictures which was released October 11, 2019, is actually a double album which along with Leslie Mandoki features performances by Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson, Supertramp’s John Helliwell & John Siebenberg, Toto’s Bobby Kimball Manfred Mann’s Chris Thompson, Cream’s Jack Bruce, Jazz-Rock giants Al Di Meola, Cory Henry, Mike Stern, Randy Brecker, Bill Evans, Richard Bona and many more! This nineteen track progressive rock album features such great tracks as the title track Living In The Gap, Old Rebels, Wake Up, Mother Europe, Utopia For Realists, Transylvanian Dances, Return To Budapest and so much more. I was quite moved with the performance on this collection as well as excellent songwriting and a superb recording. This amazing album is available on CD and digital download from Amazon, Discogs, Cleopatra Records, and all other retailers where music is sold. While you are at it be sure to check out Mandoki Soulmates and Ian Anderson’s special tribute to the heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic – hospital workers, grocery store clerks, food delivery drivers, and others – on the digital EP, We Say Thank You! Proceeds from the EP will be donated to The United Nations Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund in support of the WHO (World Health Organization) and The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. In closing, I want to thank Red Rock Productions for the very impressive promo pack with CD, several books with information and photos, and a flash drive with the song We Say Thank You. I hope to hear the earlier work from this amazing group as well as their future releases.
Observer is the upcoming album by Life On Mars scheduled for release on June 29, 2020. This album is the second review I have done for collaboration, consisting of Fernando Perdomo which I have reviewed fourteen times and is both producer, engineer and artist on vocals and most instruments, Earl Kayoss, who on my second review is the principal songwriter, producer, and artist on vocals, guitar, and piano. This album also features special guest appearances from Zak Nilsson on lead vocals, Salvador Navarra on piano, synthesizer, and the legendary Scarlet Rivera (Bob Dylan/Joni Mitchell) on violin. This seventeen track fourth album of new original songs are varied and range from ballads to some of the hardest rock you will ever hear and everything in between. I enjoyed this album from start to finish with such tracks as And One Day, The Ghost Of Elvin Hawkins, The Tall Man, The Hotel Underground, No Sky and so much more. In addition to an amazing performance, this release features great songwriting talent and a superb recording. I highly recommend this album to your music library which will be available in CD and digital download format on June 29th from Bandcamp and other music outlets.
Chepleeri Dream is the new album coming June 12, 2020, on the Cleopatra Records Records label by Indian violinist, vocalist, composer, and record producer L. Shankar which features Korn’s Jonathan Davis, world-renowned Vedic chanter P.N. Sivarama Krishnan, King Crimson’s Tony Levin, Chester Thompson (Phil Collins / Genesis / Frank Zappa), Scott Page of Supertramp & Pink Floyd, Jane’s Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins, Norwood Fisher of Fishbone, and others! This eleven-track album features such great songs as In My Heart, Can’t Wait, Oceans Waves, Patience, and much more. I enjoyed this album from start to finish with a powerful performance, amazing songwriting talent, and a superb recording. This is definitely an album you will want to add to your rock library which is will be available on June 22 from Cleopatra Records, Apple Music, and many other music retailers where CDs, Vinyl, and digital downloads are sold. To learn more about this amazing artist, his music and more go to his official website http://lshankar.com/
The other day I received the 20 September 2019 signed vinyl album by Ex Norwegian called Something Unreal: The Best Of on the Think Like A Key Records label. Ex Norwegian consists of Roger Houdaille playing most of the instruments on this album along with my good friend and talented musician Fernando Perdomo doing the drum work and more. This fifteen track vinyl and 48 track CD contains such great work as the title track Something Unreal, Unstoppable, Feelin’ It, Sudeki Lover, Love Is, I Like The Way, Hold Please, and much more. The two-CD set also contains a nice selection of live tracks. I was quite impressed with the performance on this album as well as Roger’s songwriting talent and a superb recording. In the upcoming weeks I will be sharing my review on the other vinyl he sent me called Hue Spotting and a CD called Spotting Hues. You can pick up your own copy of this vinyl, CD, or digital download from Amazon, https://shop.exnorwegian.com/music, and many other music outlets. To learn more about this amazing artist and his music, go to his official website https://www.exnorwegian.com/ where you can get your hands on his other recordings and much more.
Instantine is the May 15, 2020 release by DVR, a studio music project by singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Olav Christensen. Originally from Denmark, Christensen is now based in Brooklyn, NY, and writes, records, produces, and masters all his music. This is my fourth review for this artist, my last one was for the album All Good Things which he sent me as a Vinyl which I still listen to on my turntable. This eighteen track release which is only available as a digital download in which I am very impressed with the growth on this album both as a songwriter and an artist with such great tracks as Agonizing Rhythm Of Time, Anytime Now, Golden Hour, When I See, Weather and so much more and can be purchased as of today from his Bandcamp page https://dvrmusic.bandcamp.com/
Four Track Mind is a four-CD compilation of home studio recordings from the brilliantly creative and exhaustively produced Alan Davey, an English bassist, singer, keyboardist, and songwriter, best known as the former bassist with Hawkwind scheduled for release May 22, 2020, on the Purple Pyramid Records label and distributed by Cleopatra Records. This is also the fifth review I have done for this amazing artist. This sixty-seven track compilation features such tracks as R.E.M. Time, Slumber Head, Moody Nation, The Call, Simulator, Lost In The Smoke, Fear At The Night, Bird Nebula, In The Game and so much more. I was quite moved by the performance of this compilation as well as Alan’s brilliant songwriting talent and a superb recording. This is definitely a collection you will want to add to your music library which will be available soon from Cleopatra Records, Amazon, Bandcamp, and all music retailers where CDs and digital downloads are sold.
A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was getting close to my 1700th music review and wanted that slot to belong to a vinyl. A couple weeks ago the band Nektar came to the rescue with their album The Other Side released January 24, 2020, on the Cosmic Cowboy Records label. This psychedelic progressive rock band Nektar comprises of Randy Dembo on bass, 1 string guitar, bass pedals and vocals, Kendall Scott on keyboards and vocals, Ryche Chlanda on guitar and vocals, Ron Howden on drums, and Derek “Mo” Moore on bass. This double vinyl album on colored vinyl features such great tracks as I’m On Fire, Devil’s Door, the title track The Other Side, The Light Beyond and so much more. I was quite moved by the performance on this album as well as excellent songwriting talents and a superb recording. This is definitely an album you will want to add to your music library which is available on Vinyl, CD and digital download from Amazon, Cherry Red Records, Discogs and many other outlets where music is sold as well as the band’s official website https://nektarsmusic.com/ where you can also learn about this band, their music, and more. In closing, I want to give a major thank you to Derek Moore for sending a signed copy of this amazing album.
Invisible” is the second solo album by California born but Indiana based drummer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist Nick D’Virgilio (NDV) and comes almost two decades after his debut solo offering. The lineup on this release features Nick D’Virgilio on drums, loops, and vocals, Jonas Reingold on bass, Randy McStine on guitars, Jordan Rudess on piano & synths, and Nick D’Virgilio, Kat Bower, Beth Cohen, Nathan Heironimus, Sophia D’ Virgilio on background vocals. This fourteen track album scheduled for release on June 26, 2020 collection of songs that make up the story of a man who is unhappy with where his life has ended up. Listening to this album I hear a mixture of classical, progressive rock, jazz and with a little funk thrown in with such great tracks as Turn Your Life Around, Money (That’s What I Want), Mercy, Overcome, Wrong Place Wrong Time and so much more. This release features an amazing performance, great songwriting, and a superb recording. This is an album I would highly recommend to your music library which is available on Vinyl, CD, and digital download from his website https://www.nickdvirgilio.com/ and many other music outlets. This is definitely an album I would love to own on vinyl.
As I get closer to my 1700th review, I am proud to present as my 1696th review, the EP Destination Unknown by Baltimore, Maryland based progressive rock band Signal 13 which was released on April 17, 2020. This five-piece band led by front-woman, Vicky Starr and joined by guitarists Johnathan Lassiter and Chris Starr, bassist Patrick Jenkins, and drummer Johnny Sexx. This album with amazing vocals and a classic rock sound features the tracks Dirty, Karma, Make It Rain, Stay With Me, and All Fired Up. I was moved by the performance on this EP, as well as excellent songwriting and a superb recording. This excellent CD is available on CD and digital downloads from their website https://signal13band.com/, Apple Music, Spotify, and many other music retailers. On their website you will also learn more about this band, their music and more. In closing, I want to give a big thank you to Chip Ruggieri from Chipster PR & Consulting, Inc. for turning me on to this great band.
Visions is the November 16, 2019 album by Orpheus which is a beautiful, bewitching, viby brew of acoustic & electronic elements, featuring lush, soulful vocal textures and elegant melodies featuring the talents of Jarrod Lawson on all instruments and programming along with some guest artists on a few tracks. This twelve track album on orange colored vinyl features such great songs as Arrival, Follow Me, Phantasmagoria, the title track Visions, Sea of Serenity, Reflection and so much more. This release was well written, performed, and features a superb recording and production plus is available on Vinyl, CD, and digital download from Apple Music, Bandcamp, Izipho Soul Record, and many other retail outlets. I am looking forward to hearing more from this artist. To find out more about this artist go to his Bandcamp page https://jlawson.bandcamp.com/