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CD Review: Greg Jacquin “Hudson River”

New York State-based singer-songwriter Greg Jacquin can trace his roots back to the Hudson Valley. His early childhood helped shape his taste in music as he grew up spending a lot of time with his Cuban grandparents while also being influenced by music from the likes of the Beatles and Cat Stevens. The three different influences meant a wide variety of sounds to choose from. Taking those influences, Greg Jacquin has just recently created a new album of music. That album is appropriately entitled Hudson River.

Hudson River from Greg Jacquin begins with the track “The Station”. The track features a solid Folk-Rock base to the music created by a light guitar and a strong piano part. That base comes alive with the addition of a strong string arrangement that adds plenty of orchestration to the track. The resulting combination takes the underlying Folk-Rock feel of the track and makes it seem more like an Indie Rock track than Folk-Rock. The track’s lyrics find Jacquin looking for a reconnection from his past. Altogether, the track of “The Station” comes complete with a sound that feels ready-made for the radio.

The pace of the music slows down on the track “Floating”. On a track that feels as if it would have fit rather nicely with much of the music from the seventies, “Floating” features a much more relaxed feel than that of the previous track. The acoustic guitar is much more prominent on this track, which adds to the Folk flavor of the song. That Folk feel adds a lot to the emotional feel of the lyrics about reliving the past by driving through the area today. The addition of the strings on the track takes the reminiscent feel of the lyrics and turns it into more of a dream-like state.

Greg Jacquin’s new release continues with the track “On the Moorings”. With this track, Jacquin brings the energy level up a few notches. While the first two tracks, the songs are created with the guitar as the main instrument. On this track, it is the piano that takes center stage and the piano gives the track more energy than the previous songs. The resulting sound brings to mind a song that could have come from someone like Billy Joel. 

The Hudson River release from Greg Jacquin changes directions nicely on the track “Scratches & Bridges”. While the earlier tracks contain a mainly laidback approach, the feel of this track sets itself apart from the rest of the release. The track finds a more energetic feel to the music as well as a horn section that replaces the string section that was so prevalent in the earlier songs. With the inclusion of the horns on the track as well as a stronger drive to the music itself, the “Scratches & Bridges” track feels like something that could have come from the band Chicago.

After one track of more upbeat music, Greg Jacquin brings the music back to a laidback approach with the next song on the release. With a rather appropriate title, “Yesterdaze” finds Greg Jacquin thinking back to earlier times, much like he did with the first track of “The Station”. But this time, the journey back in time is more of a personal one as he recollects things that happened in his life. 

The initial tracks on the release come to an end with the song “Hopeless Entrance”. This track has more of an edgy feel to the music when compared to the rest of the release.  The acoustic feel of the track is matched up with lyrics that have a rather familiar feel to them. As you listen to the lyrics and Jacquin’s delivery, you can almost imagine the song being done by Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins fame as the track has the progressive sound of the tracks contained within the Hudson River release. 

While the Hudson River release comes complete with six original tunes, it also features two additional tracks that takes two of the songs and gives them extra time on the release. The stronger of the two additional tracks is the song that began the album, “The Station”. Like the original track, the second version, entitled “The Station (String Mix),” takes the feel of the original version and strips away everything except Jacquin’s vocals, guitar and the strings in the background. The result is a track where the strings which used to be part of the background have now been moved more to the forefront. This allows the beauty of the strings to shine while giving the track an even more relaxed feel to it.

The Hudson River album from Greg Jacquin is a solid release that anyone who enjoys Folk-Rock and /or Indie Rock will thoroughly enjoy. The combination of the eight tracks create a release that is very easy to listen to and is the type of release that begs the listener to simply put the album on and just let it play out. And that is easy to do when there isn’t a weak track on the release.

 

To check out the music of Greg Jacquin, enjoy the video to the song “The Station”. 

 

 

For more information, check out Greg Jacquin’s PR firm, Whiplash PR

To purchase a copy of Hudson River album from Greg Jacquin, click on the album cover below:

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CD Review: The Sandboys “Glitches, Imperfections and Glorious Quirks”

If you take the sound of the ukulele and add it to the sound of the cello, you’d end up with a style that could be called cellele music. And in reality, that is just what the music of British duo The Sandboys (a pairing consisting of Mark Miller and Ben Harrison) calls their sound- cellele music. The combination of the two instruments created a style that could be interpreted as being influenced by Topical Island sounds, or as having a very retro quality to it. Add in instruments used for making more Pop-Rock-like music and you have a rather unique blend. That unique sound can be found on the new 6-song EP entitled Glitches, Imperfections and Glorious Quirks.

Glitches, Imperfections and Glorious Quirks from The Sandboys begins with the album’s first track. “Wish for the Best” begins with a simple trumpet and ukulele as the band creates a track that feels rather retro in nature. And while it is very retro, the simplistic feel of the first part of the track allows for the base instruments to shine through. With the inclusion of the cello, piano and light percussion a bit later, the fuller sound of the music still has a throwback approach but now feels as fresh as Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.

The release continues with the track “Drive You On”. While “Wish for the Best” could have been a track from the era of Vaudeville, “Drive You On” also contains a rather retro feel to it. But in this case, the resulting track would easily fit into the Skiffle category (a rather old style made famous by the likes of British musician Lonnie Donegan and others like him) as the song incorporates Jazz, Blues and a little Folk music influence. The fast-paced, bouncy feel on “Drive You On” makes for a track that would be perfect for fans of the Americana genre. Ultimately, the track would be perfect for fans of a band such as Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen. 

Going in a much different direction from the previous two tracks, the song “Count Me In” finds the duo creating track that features a strong Two-Tone feel. The Ska-influenced track takes the listener back a few decades when the British Two-Tone style was big over in Great Britain. The resulting track of “Count Me In” actually brings to mind the sound and feel of an earlier song from that era in the sixties; a song that had become a standard of sorts within the Ska genre during that time , “Rudy (A Message To You)”. This Ska track of “Count Me In” lives up to the style of Two-Tone and is just the thing for fans of the style.

For the track “Like I Used to Be,” The Sandboys create a track that contains probably the most current sound on the release. The track features a sound that could either be described as Indie Rock or Folk Rock. The gentle pace to the track adds to the Folk influence. The strong harmony to the vocals on the track brings to mind songs from the late fifties, early sixties as they are reminiscent of vocal groups from the era. Together, the vocal delivery and the Indie Rock feel to the music create a track that has plenty of depth to it. While The Sandboys hail from Of all the tracks on the newest EP from The Sandboys, “Like I Used to Be” would probably the most welcome on commercial radio formats. 

The track “Path Of Least Resistance” continues the band’s unique blending of styles. The track begins with a style features a strong Pop feel. The track’s music begins with a gentle feel to the electric guitar while an accordion is added to give the track a bit of exotic flavor. The Pop feel mixed with the accordion creates a style that is reminiscent of Dean Martin’s music. The gentle feel of the song continues for half the track before finally picking up a little energy. The song and its musical blend ends up being one of the more unusual moments on the Glitches, Imperfections and Glorious Quirks release from The Sandboys.

The Glitches, Imperfections and Glorious Quirks release from The Sandboys comes to an end with the track “More Than Enough”. The track begins simply enough with just vocals the ukulele. As it goes along, the track builds and builds until the song contains ukulele, cello, finger snaps and organ. The musical combination creates a track that contains a bouncy feel to the beat, just like with “Drive You On” earlier in the EP. That bouncy feel along with the rest of the elements creates one of the more memorable moments on the EP and brings the release to a close on a strong note.

For only six tracks, Glitches, Imperfections and Glorious Quirks from The Sandboys contains a lot of different elements all working together to make an EP that draws from many different genres and eras of music. Blended together, those various elements make for a release that seems to have something for almost everyone.  

The Glitches, Imperfections and Glorious Quirks release from The Sandboys is still rather new. Because of that, the only YouTube video featuring new music from this release is “Wish For the Best“. However, this is a “ukulele only” version. You can find the entire EP on the band’s Soundcloud profile. 

For more information, check out the band’s PR firm, Whiplash PR

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CD Review: Christian Heath “One”

Many times in the world of music, when one band comes to an end, the various members of said band go their separate ways, either to create another band or to continue on their own. It was after the band that shared his name came to a close that singer-songwriter Christian Heath decided to go it alone. While the music from his now-defunct band was group with a rather heavy musical delivery, Heath decided to go in a different direction with his new solo music. With his new music, Heath took a more Pop-Rock approach to the music. That new musical direction can be found on the musician’s new EP called One

The first track of the new EP from Christian Heath is the song “I’m Yours”. The track has a strong Pop-rock feel to the music. In fact, the song brings to mind the sound of bands like U2 or Coldplay. The song features a gentle pace as well as rather melodic quality to the music to create a song that would be perfect for any Adult Contemporary music format. “I’m Yours” also seems to have an uplifting quality to the lyrics that would make the track perfect for more “family-friendly” radio formats.

One from Christian Heath continues with the EP’s first single which also happens to be the title track of the release. “One” takes the music in a different direction than the style that was included on “I’m Yours”. With “One,” Heath creates a track with a strong R&B delivery. Into that sound, Christian Heath incorporates a light EDM feel to the music. To bring that style to life, Heath is joined on the track by Producer INFIDELIX. The combination creates song that would easily fit on today’s Top 40 radio formats. The song’s lyrical content is as listener-friendly as the EP’s first track. Except with “One,” Heath takes the opportunity to promote the idea of human unity as the lyrics suggest that we are all one on the same planet.

Christian Heath’s One EP continues with the song “Tonight”. Just like with the first two tracks, Heath changes directions once again. The Hispanic feel of the track is combined with the lyrical stylings of singer Nixi. Together, the duo create a duet of sorts that brings to mind a song like “Nobody Wants to be Lonely” by Ricky Martin or “Mouth to Mouth” by Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Lopez.

For the song “No Good For You,” the music takes on a more Rock and Roll feel as the track features a beat that is reminiscent of something from New Wave / Alternative band OMD. The synth-heavy track of “No Good For You” takes Christian Heath’s sound back to the mid-nineties. The track would have fit right in on the British band’s 1990 release called Sugar Tax. This track is probably the most commercial of the songs as it would easily have fit on Top 40 radio in the nineties, 2000’s, or even today.

With the next track, Christian Heath’s One EP slows down on the track “Paradise”. The song features lyrics about spending time with the one you love. For this song, Heath incorporates a strong piano base into the music of the track. The track was produced so that the piano stands out as the main instrument on the song. While the focus of the music is on Heath’s voice and the piano, the track also features guitars that help give the song depth. The easy pace of the track mixes well with the romantic feeling of the lyrics. Like the rest of the EP, “Paradise” has a sound that is very radio-friendly.

The One EP comes to an end with the track “Magic”. The track contains a Pop-Rock feel that brings to mind music from the eighties. The track would easily have fit on the radio on Pop-Rock during that time period. Just like the rest of the album, “Magic” contains a very listener-friendly feel and brings the EP to a close on a gentle, yet infectious sound.

While Christian Heath’s earlier music with the band that shared his name featured a sound that felt rather heavy, his new One EP features songs that never stay in one musical groove. The ever-changing feel of the music helps make a release that features six songs ready-made for radio airplay. Each track feels like a single on its own. And when combined together, those six tracks make for an EP that guarantees that you won’t be skipping any songs as the music plays out.  

 

Christian Heath’s One EP is currently available on Spotify. 

Click HERE for Christian Heath’s hit single, “One (A World Song)”

For more information, check out Christian Heath’s PR firm, WHIPLASH PR.

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CD Review: Lord Nelson “Through the Night”

Lord Nelson is a Rock and Roll band that calls the state of Virginia home. Specifically, the band hails from the city of Nelson, which is most likely where the band’s name comes from. The quintet consist of: lead singer and guitarist Kai Crowe-Getty, multi-instrumentalist Henry Jones, Calloway Jones on lead guitar, Andrew Hollifield on bass, and Johnny Stubblefield behind the sticks. Together, the ensemble creates a musical style that can only be described as Modern Rock.

The sound from the band Lord Nelson consists of a timeless blend of styles that incorporates both Soul and Americana into it. That musical approach would fit as much with music from the eighties as it would with today’s sounds. Taking that classic sound, the band has created two releases: 2015’s The Country and 2018’s Through the Night.

Through the Night from Lord Nelson begins with the track “Second Chances”. The track begins with a strong drumbeat from Johnny Stubblefield that is then joined by lead guitarist Calloway Jones. The two instruments combine to create the backbone for the straight-out Rock and Roll track. The track’s driving feel to the song mixed with that straight-out Rock and Roll sound makes for a strong tune that moves along rather easily, creating a song that ultimately becomes a jam. “Second Chances” sets the album off with a bang.

The new release from Lord Nelson continues with the album’s first single, “Tail Lights”. Just like the previous track, the band creates a track that has a solid Rock and Roll feel to it. The track also features a strong R&B backbone to the music. While the previous track feels rather timeless in nature, the musical blend on this track creates a style that put the song somewhere in the nineties. “Tail Lights” could easily have been played on Alternative playlists at that time.

With the next track of “Black Hills,” the band’s sound changes a little. The music of the track contains a slight twang to it while the overall feel puts the song somewhere the late eighties/early nineties. The track brings to mind music from the likes of Big Country or even Bruce Springsteen.  Like the earlier tracks, “Black Hills” contains a musical direction that makes the track feel as if it should have easily been a hit back in the eighties.

Speaking of the eighties, that’s where you can imagine the track “Fingertips”. In fact, the track features a guitar part that seems rather reminiscent of something from John Mellencamp from that era. The inclusion of the horns, the band adds a lot of Soul influence to the track. “Fingertips” has a strong groove to it and once again feels very commercial in its musical direction.

While most of the tracks on the new release from Lord Nelson have a quick delivery, the band slows things down on the track “Good Time”. Along with the slower pace, the band gives the track a lot more Soul direction than any of the previous tracks. To go along with the overall Soul feel of the track, the horn solo in the middle of the track adds a bit of New Orleans Jazz to the track. The lyrical content of the track reminds the listener that nothing is forever and that your life will eventually come to an end. So have fun while you can.

Lord Nelson continues their new release with the track “Safety Meeting”. The song begins with a strong organ riff created by multi-instrumentalist Henry Jones. That riff contains a certain amount of Soul flavor to it and that Soul flavor gets incorporated into the body of the track. As lead singer and guitarist Kai Crowe-Getty delivers the vocals that Soul feeling shows up in his delivery. Together, the band creates a track that features lyrics getting together in order to create change when change doesn’t come on its own. While the track’s light, soulful musical delivery makes the track feel, there is a slight fun feeling to the track. But the serious nature belonging to the lyrics makes the overall feel of the song rather somber.

In the same vein, the very next track of “Southern Discomfort” digs a little deeper into the serious sides of things. The track’s lyrics speak of the current mood of the country as people are looking to change the way certain areas of the South are perceived. The track’s serious nature is matched up with a strong beat and a melody that makes for an interesting mixture.

Through the Night from Lord Nelson comes to a close with the song “Running on Back”. With this track, the band brings a bit of the fun back to the release. Like several of the earlier tracks on the release, “Running on Back” features a musical delivery that brings to mind straight-out Rock and Roll from the eighties. And while there is that eighties feel to the song, it also has enough of a modern feel to it that the track would feel right at home on today’s Modern Rock formats.

Through the Night, the newest release from Virginia-based Lord Nelson features a mix of styles that blend together to create a strong album from beginning to end. If you are a fan of straight-out Rock and Roll, this is one release that will satisfy your desire for the style.

Through the Night from Lord Nelson has yet to be released. Lord Nelson will be celebrating the release of the album on May 18, 2018. Until then, the band has released the track “Tail Lights” as the album’s first single.  

For more information, check out the band’s PR firm, WHIPLASH PR.