Pittsburgh-based musician Bill Toms has been making a name for himself for a few years now. Once he went solo after spending a few years as guitarist with the band Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers, Toms created several albums with his own band called Hard Rain. Recently, Bill Toms and Hard Rain celebrated the release of their newest album, 2015’s Deep in the Shadows.
Deep in the Shadows from Bill Toms begins with a slow pace to the music as “I’ve Got No Use (For What You’re Selling Me)” finds Bill and Hard Rain creating a Soul music track with plenty of feeling. The song is the perfect tune to start off the newest release from Toms as the tune features the entire band, including the newly-added Soulville Horns. While the song includes the familiar Bill Toms sound that was present on the previous album of Memphis, it also features a feeling that will remind listeners of something that might have been on the radio back in the sixties. With the different musical flavors to it, the music of the track definitely has a timeless feel to it.
There are many ways in which the internet has changed the shape of the music industry. Small bands and artists are able to self promote through social media and websites. It is also possible for anybody to download the appropriate software to create a music studio on a suitable pc. The list goes on and is almost limitless. Another facet of this is that music enthusiasts like myself can easily set up a website or a social media page and publish articles or blogs online in order to help promote or undermine anything that they so wish to. I am sure that you are fully aware of all of this, the point which I am leading to is crowd funding. This allows fans to pre order albums before their production in order to help cover the costs involved enabling many artists to record, produce and release material which would not have been financially feasible without any crowd funding.
A shining example of this is the double album Flowers and Dirt which was released by Irish Blues Rock Psychedelic Shredmeister/ Glam Punk Sleaze Rock Frontman Bernie Tormé in September 2014.
My review pile is a wonderfully chaotic place, a real juxtaposition of styles that tumble at random from the “to do” list onto the stereo for further consideration. So after a morning of trying to find new ways of making melancholic and pastoral singer song-writers minor key creations sound like more than the sum of their ponderous parts, it was with a squeal of delight that I was greeted by the latest Nasty Little Lonely e.p. of Bad Jack and Other Stories that had finally made its way to the top.
Nasty Little Lonely are an awesome live experience and thankfully a lot of the energy and attitude that they bring to the stage is evident in this four-track collection. To experience their music is to meander between hard and jagged genres, cold metallic industrial noise and dark gothic, reverb drenched, post punk grit. The often affected vocals add to the demonic-dream dimension that the band seem to spring from, sounding more like a band that Clive Barker had imagined than a collection of actual human musicians. And surprisingly enough for all the extreme musical measures resorted to when creating this unique sound; they still end up with something rather, well, tuneful. If a slice of howling, squalling, insane and possessed industrial noise is the sort of thing that floats your boat, if warped horror soundtracks and spikey, uncomfortable musical salvos are your thing, then Nasty Little Lonely are your very own one-stop shop of horrors.
You can listen to, as well as purchase, Bad Jack and Other Stories HERE. You may also like to view the latest video of a new Nasty Little Lonely track right HERE.
Lindsay Mac is a classically-trained cellist. After her training on that instrument, she took that ability and started creating her own music. And while it would have logical to imagine Mac creating albums based in classical music, she went in a different direction. The music Mac created was folk-rock based. With that folk-rock sound, Mac created a library of two releases that included 2008’s Stop Thinking. On that album, Lindsay Mac created such tracks as “Barbies & Broncos” that featured a very rocking musical approach while still incorporating a little of the folk flavor that she was known for. On the track, Mac’s cello added a lot of texture to the energy of the music. The album also contained a more laidback musical approach as Mac covered the Beatles tune “Blackbird” which featured more folk flavor to the music than the original version. While going from the rocking sound of “Barbies & Broncos” to the more folk-like “Blackbird,” other styles are also included on the release and Stop Thinking ended up being a very eclectic release.
That was back in 2008. Since then, Lindsay Mac had not put out an album. In-between that album and today, Lindsay Mac has been incorporating a new style into her sound; that sound falls into the category of Electronic Dance Music. To help bring the EDM sound to life, Mac called upon fellow Berklee College of Music grad J Declan. Together, the two musicians created Mac's newest release entitled Animal Again.
Chris Bevington is a blues artist based in the Midlands of the UK who released the album Chris Bevington And Friends in 2014. This album quite rightfully gained a lot of critical acclaim and charted in the top ten blues albums within the UK. Chris is currently working on a studio album full of new original material to be released this summer.
This album Chris Bevington And Friends is a masterclass in how to play blues with an all star guest list including George Glover (Climax Blues Band), Paul Burgess (10cc), Scott Ralph (Song writer for Michael Buble and Robbie Williams), Jim Kirkpatrick (FM, Heavy Weather. Jim has also performed with legendary rockers Whitesnake), Sarah Miller (Nearly Dan) and Kate Robinson. As you might expect, a line up of this quality and calibre does not fail to please at any stage in the playlist.
Formed in the Bay Area of San Francisco, the band called The Love Dimension seems to encompass the whole spirit of the 1960s and their music definitely shows that. The band creates a sound that includes many different genres of rock and roll including straight-out rock, psychedelic rock, surf rock, even a little garage rock. The band’s many different influences create a solid sound that borrows from many different sounds but still sounds very cohesive…and just a little dated as the band’s sound feels like it could have fit in with the bands that were around at the time of Woodstock and just a little bit after that, as well.
The Love Dimension is a band that consists of Jimmy Dias – vocals, guitar; Celeste Obomsawin – vocals, percussion; Devin Farney – vocals, keys; Sonny Pearce – drums, percussion; Tommy Anderson – bass as well as Kyle DeMartini. Having already released several albums worth of music and several standalone singles as well, The Love Dimension is currently promoting their newest release. The 2014 album from The Love Dimension is called Create and Consume.
It has been just over two years since I last featured Whitesnake here on the Rock and Roll Report and I now need to do this again after hearing the forthcoming Purple album. I freely confess that there are a few ‘chapters’ in the history of Whitesnake which did not appeal to me, even though they were technically outstanding and hugely popular. Each ‘chapter’ helped cement Whitesnake's foothold in the rock world as the Snake, David Coverdale, shaped and steered his band through various formations as he continued to rock the world.
In this next chapter, David and the band pay homage to the late Jon Lord and his former colleagues from Deep Purple in Whitesnake's twelfth album titled The Purple Album. This will be released in Europe on May 15th 2015 and on May 19th in North America through Frontiers Music. You can get an pre release download of 'Stormbringer' by pre ordering the album through iTunes.
You can see the official video promo for this HERE
I am listening to The Purple Album as I write this article and it is truly outstanding. Yes it has the trademark Whitesnake sound to it. It is a supremely magnificent homage to his former colleagues who he began working with while in his early twenties. Personally, I am looking forwards to the release of The Purple Album because Deep Purple began to shape my musical taste from an early age along with Whitesnake soon after this. More importantly, another reason is due to the fact that The Purple Album is a fantastic piece of work, to use a widely known cliché, The Purple Album will be a joy to behold let alone to hear. 10/10
If 2012’s Voyage of Oblivion from Bristol, England-based Jim Johnston mapped out a strange, detached and unsettling musical landscape, even that didn’t quite suggest the twisted grandeur and off kilter meanderings that the follow up album delivers. Generic labels are largely useless here as all contemporary styles are put to new uses but the ever-shifting nature of the album means that it doesn’t sit in any one genre for too long. Yes, alt-rock, psychedelia and post-punk may provide the more visible backdrop but the sound of Bristol’s recent musical past (and indeed Johnston’s own with Monk and Canatella) are also on show.
Tribal dance beats and trippy electronica flavours blends with the straighter rock drives and angular indie influences, there is even an often-schizophrenic saxophone wandering through like a crazed jazz pied piper. If Voyage… was the sound of blues and psychedelia meeting in a cold, clinical embrace in a disused dockside somewhere along the Severn Estuary, this is the sound of David Bowie scoring the bleak worlds of Bret Easton Ellis’ novels and Damien Moran’s hypnotic narrative that threads it’s way between, around and through the songs immediately puts you in mind of Diamond Dogs spoken opening salvo. I’m not saying that I fully understand the overall concept of the narrative, I’m sure it is an album that reveals its secrets through multiple re-visits, but it is not easy to ignore the fleeting references to backstreet horrors, gratuitous violence and the brooding undercurrents that pour from this open wound of an album. After All The Wishing really sees Jim Johnston up his game and even after the strange beauty of his previous solo outing he has again delivered something both weird and intoxicating, dangerously attractive and unlike anything you have heard before. In the right light it would be easy to convince yourself that this is actually a long lost album from Bowie’s Berlin years and there are not many albums that you can say that about.
Find Jim Johnston's release of After All The Wishing on Bandcamp.
Micah Olsan is a Milwaukee-based singer-songwriter who creates music that has many different musical influences to it. And while that may be the case, those influences help to create a sound that is very solid and very listener-friendly. To bring his music to life, Micah Olsan is joined by four other musicians that seem to have the same creative drive to their playing ability. The resulting band creates a sound that is equal parts Folk, Blues, Soul and Rock. The band of Micah Olsan and the Many consists of: Micah Olsan- Vocals, Guitar; Cody Calderon- Drums; Adam Dosemagen- Bass; Dan Alexander- Keyboard; Eric Lemieux- Guitar. Together, this band has created a five-song EP called All Around.
Charlton Lane is an artist based in South West UK and is set to release the ten track album Get Off The Good Foot on the 23rd March 2015 through Weiner/Burger Records, iTunes and also Bandcamp. There are only one hundred copies available on a high bias, high quality cassette which comes with unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp App plus high quality downloads in various formats.
This great release is a highly enjoyable listen as it combines an electro pop style back beat overlaid with traditional rock’n’roll style guitar and vox. Charlton describes his style as electro kraut blues so this combination of descriptions should give you a fair idea of what to expect.
During 2014 Charlton Lane released the singles "Butcher Man Blues" and "Good Stuff". Both of these superb tracks are in the album Get Off The Good Foot, which is a highly enjoyable and addictive listen. "Good Stuff" starts the album and hooks you in as it gets your feet tapping sweetly before you slip into "Tight Pants". This leads onto ‘Crazy’ which adds a sweet fever to the Tracklist. "Butcher Man Blues' slows the pace slightly while adding more of a blues element to this album. I can assure you that this track, just like all of the tracks but especially this one is a very passionate track which comes straight from the heart.
"Work It Out" is another very bluesy number which leads to "Yeah Yeah C’mon" which is far more electro kraut rock’n’roll. "No More" is a slightly melancholic number which leads into "Burn The Rubber". As the title implies this track picks up the pace very nicely once again and leads onto "Charlton Lane Blues". This bluesy number slows the pace whilst adding some harmonica into the mix just before the final track "Get Your Kicks (On The A46)" starts up. This tune is a smoulderingly good track which, in a respectful ‘tongue in cheek’ fashion is very reminiscent of the Stones track.