New York-based singer-songwriter John Brodeur has been creating music for around two decades. While he has spent time as part of bands like The Suggestions and Maggie Mayday, Brodeur is known mainly for his solo work. Currently, Brodeur’s musical library includes several EPs and the albums Get Through from 2009 and his 2000 album Tiger Pop which was given the reissue treatment when the album turned 10 years old. The Tiger Pop Ten release included one CD that included the original recordings from the album and another CD that included brand new interpretations of those same tunes. Later in 2011, Brodeur also released a compilation of early music under the title of Young Man, Volume One: Studio Recordings 1994-98.
With the exception of 2011’s Tiger Pop Ten where John Brodeur took his previously composed songs and rewrote them to give them a fresh feeling, he had not released a new album since 2009’s Get Through. That probably had to do with his one-man band way of creating music. And while other people who go the singular voice route of creating music end up making songs that turn out two-dimensional, Brodeur is one of the best when it comes to creating music on his own and the music he creates ends up being just as full and fleshed out as if it had been created by an entire band. Nonetheless, it has been four years since a completely new release had been put out by Brodeur. Recently, he remedied that by releasing a new collection of music entitled Little Hopes.
Like a rising amount of bands and artists out there today, Chicago’s Jackpot Donnie is a band that creates its sound by combining several genres of music together. It’s the combination of Reggae, Funk even Blues that helps give the band’s music its quality and sound. And because the band draws from these unique and varying styles at different times, the Rock and Roll produced by Jackpot Donnie changes from one tune to the next.
To help create their sound, the five members of Jackpot Donnie call upon their various musical influences. The five members of Jackpot Donnie are: Adam Campbell on drums, Dave Langley on bass, Matt Love on guitar and vocals, Peter Spero on keys and Brian Wise on guitar. The band is currently promoting their third release, 2013’s Mayday!
Back in 1997, guitarist Stuart Smith got together with a rather large group of musicians to record an album of Classic Rock music. Together, this group of musicians (which included the likes of Bon Jovi’s Richie Sambora, Deep Purple’s Glenn Hughes and even Steve Priest of the band Sweet) created several different musical formations of the same band which came to be known as Heaven & Earth. Some of the participating musicians in the recording project lent their talents to only one or two of the resulting tracks, while others (including bassist Chuck Wright, drummer Richie Onori and keyboard player Arlan Schierbaum) were a bigger part of the recording process as they lent their talents to several of those tracks.
After the self-titled album from Heaven and Earth was released, the band later added to that album and the resulting 2004 re-release easily stands as strong as any Classic Rock/Hard Rock release from The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin or even Steve Priest’s band Sweet. It’s the talent of the musicians and the strength of the music that you notice; you would never know the album took seven years to become a reality.
Now, almost a decade after that first album was released, Heaven & Earth have returned. While that first album had its unique circumstances with how it was created and by whom, this new release, entitled Dig, has been written and performed by five main musicians who finally feel like a band. The quintet that brought Dig to life consists of: Guitarist Stuart Smith, bassist Chuck Wright, drummer Richie Onori and keyboard player Arlan Schierbaum, all of whom participated in the recording process that led to that first album. The final piece is newcomer Joe Retta who adds both vocals and lyrics to the songs.
Johnny Beauford is a Dallas, Texas-based singer-songwriter who has been spending a lot of time creating music. When he is not making his own music, you can find Johnny Beauford in the Dallas-based bands Jack Kerowax and Bravo, Max! In his short time on the scene in the Dallas, Texas area, Beauford seems to be making a lot of noise as he has already been nominated for Best Alt-Country/Americana Act for his time as part of the band Bravo, Max! And after putting out his debut solo EP called Lo-Fi back in 2013, Beauford is back in 2014 with the next release in his musical catalog.
Johnny Beauford’s new release is called A Pig Eating Past Love. For this release, Beauford took the one-man army approach and created most of the album on his own with a few parts on the album being recorded by a few of Beauford’s friends. And while one-man bands can sound very one-dimensional, that is not the situation with the feel of the music on this release.
Multi-talented musician Danny McGaw came to the United States after being raised in Manchester, England. When he came to the United States, he brought with him a love for the Northern England form of Rock and Roll. It is that style of Rock and Roll that he combined with the American Folk music. With that musical combination, McGaw started creating music with the band Wells the Traveler. The rest of the band consists of guitarist/singer Chad Brothers, percussionist Jason Jones, bassist Dan Hines, and producer Mike West who helps complete the band’s sound. Together, the members of Wells the Traveler are currently promoting their new debut release entitled One for the Dreamers.
The new album from Wells the Traveler is a very strong Rock release. One thing that separates this album from many of the albums that are released each year is that Wells the Traveler created the album live in the studio. On this album, the band brings a bit of closeness to their music as the listener gets to experience what the band would most likely sound like live. It is that feel that makes the album that much more special.
It is now time for my 2013 “Best Of” list. This time around, the list will be slightly different for me: There will be the usual best albums of the year; however, some of the selections did not appear on the Rock And Roll Report. Greater Alexander and Cole Hermer and the Ravens were reviewed over on my blog. I also have made the list slightly longer as I have also included two artists (Alert New London and May Stands Still) who I wanted to include in the list, but Alert New London put out a new EP since I reviewed their Youth album and I did the review of May Stands Still’s When You Come Home back in 2012 but decided to include it on my Best Of list this year because the album has grown on me throughout the last 12 months. For those reasons, the list contains the top ten reviews from me in the last year plus two extra. Check out these talented artists and their solid releases.
A Great Big Pile of Leaves is an Indie Rock band from Brooklyn, New York. The band is composed of guitarist/ lead singer Peter Weiland, bassist Tucker Yaro, guitarist Matthew Fazzi & drummer Tyler Soucy. Together, the band creates a sound that brings together sounds of bands like Taking Back Sunday, Motion City Soundtrack, Saves The Day, The Appleseed Cast and Hellogoodbye. A Great Big Pile of Leaves also incorporates some earlier rock sounds into their style to help bridge the gap between the modern-day rock sound and the sound of the rock music from a little earlier on. The combination of Indie Rock and Alternative create a sound that will grab the attention of many music lovers.
There are very few albums that grab your attention so hard and so completely that you just let the album play out because you are really enjoying the music, but You’re Always on My Mindfrom A Great Big Pile of Leaves is one such release. From the first note, you know you’re listening to something that really has that type of energy to it.
Back in the late eighties, four musicians came together to form a rock band for the purposes of bringing a little life back into the somewhat stagnant rock scene in America at the time. The band that was intent on adding that energy back into Rock And Roll was called The Del-Lords. Made up of lead guitarist/vocalist Scott Kempner, guitarist Eric Ambel, bassist Manny Caiati and drummer Frank Funaro, The Del-Lords had a short but lasting effect on Rock And Roll. The band released several albums of music that did just what the band wanted- they put a little life back into the music.
And then, the band called it quits. Almost as fast as they appeared on the scene, the band quickly ceased to be. The Del-Lords only existed as a band for eight years before the four members of the group went their separate ways to further influence music as part of other groups. The only thing that remained of the group when they split up was the four studio releases and one live album that they put out during their time together.
Stone Diamond is a rock trio made up of Cy on vocals/bass, Josh on vocals/guitar and The Tongue on drums. Having come together several years ago as a garage band, today, the three musicians create a rock band that has a lot of energy. The band also calls upon keyboardist, Toby Philippen to help flesh out their music. The resulting sound can be found on the band’s debut album We Stole the Stars from the Black Night.
We Stole the Stars from the Black Night begins with the track “Love Stays”. “Love Stays” is one of those tracks that starts off strong and just keeps going. The track features a straight-out rock feel that could easily find its way onto a Classic Rock radio format. The lyrics to the song are simple enough that the listener will find that they are singing along. When the band stops playing their instruments late in the track to sing a’cappella, the listener gets to hear the band harmonize. The track is very strong and is a great way to start off the new release from Stone Diamond.
Portland, Oregon musician Dustin Hill is a busy guy: With the fact that he has not one, but two bands in which he plays, he hardly has time to stop and relax. Hill can be found creating music in the band Black Pussy where he took the time to create every sound heard on the band’s 2012 release On Blonde. After he put the finishing touches on the On Blonde release, he called upon guitarist Ryan McIntire, drummer Dean Carroll, & bassist Adam Pike to help him recreate the sound of the music on stage.
Because the three other musicians are now as much a part of Black Pussy as Dustin Hill is, the four musicians went about creating their own music as a complete band. The resulting band (which also includes Chief O’Dell on farfisa organ) is known as White Orange. White Orange has just recently released a new three-song release called Onawa.