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Artists and Bands Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Alert New London “Youth”

Columbus, Ohio’s Alert New London is a modern-day rock outfit. The quintet is made up of guitarist/vocalist Cory Nicol, guitarist/vocalist Dave Woodrow, bassist Sawyer Shepard, keyboardist Gavin McKenzie and drummer Jim Fowler. While the band’s music is heavily guitar-influenced, the additions of keyboards to the music helps give the band’s sound a feel and direction that is a lot richer and more creative than much of the music put out by many of the bands that are currently signed to record labels.

Alert New London’s current release, Youth, was released at the end of 2011. The album begins with the track “Alice,” a more-than-evident nod to the main character in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland book. Along with lyrics that have to do with certain references to the book, the song contains a Melodic Rock sound and the resulting track allows the guitars to create a harmonic approach that builds while including all five band members in the shaping of the song’s direction. When Cory Nicol and Dave Woodrow come together to harmonize on the lyrics late in the track, the two vocal parts blending together help make the track one of the most interesting songs on the 2011 release.

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Cotton Mather “Kontiki Deluxe Edition”

Prior to my becoming a music journalist and reviewer, I was still paying attention to the more unusual and unknown bands and artists; the ones that were being promoted by the record stores and not really being promoted by the mainstream radio. The self-titled release from the band Naked, the album Notwithstanding from Chalk Farm and the mostly ignored band The Family Cat and their Magic Happens release are three such albums that were better than the coverage they received. Each of these three releases was well done, enjoyable to listen to and were impossible to understand why they didn’t receive the attention and respect they deserved. Another band around during that time period that was all but ignored in the U.S. music industry (so much so, I never even heard of them at that time) was Austin, Texas-based Cotton Mather. It was in 1997 that they released a classic pop/rock album entitled Kontiki. At the time, this album was almost completely ignored here in the U.S.

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Boy + Kite “Go Fly”

Duality. This seems to be the perfect word to sum up the style of Austin-based band Boy + Kite. When Darvin Jones and Beth Puorro decided to take their love of music and create a band (a decision made in a hot tub, by the way), the decision was the easy part of the equation; the tougher part was how to combine Puorro’s commercially-leaning musical influences with Jones’ more experimental ones. But it is this seemingly odd combination of influences that helps to shape the sound of their band Boy + Kite (that’s “Boy plus Kite” for those unfamiliar with the band). And this unique style to their music helps to create a very enjoyable and solid debut release.
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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Red Wanting Blue “From the Vanishing Point”

Columbus, OH band Red Wanting Blue is finally realizing their dream of becoming a household name outside of the state of Ohio after more than a decade of existence. That success is thanks, in part, to the band’s last album, These Magnificent Miles. It was that album that captured the attention of New York-based record label, Fanatic Records. Fanatic Records re-released These Magnificent Miles and they have helped Red Wanting Blue gain a larger audience on a more national level.

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Dan Hubbard and the Humadors “The Love Show”

Dan Hubbard spent time on his own as a singer-songwriter, during which he created several albums of music that combined rock with elements of blues, folk, blues and country. When he hooked up with three talented musicians to play concert dates, a strong musical unit was created, forming the group Dan Hubbard and the Humadors.

Recently, Dan Hubbard and the Humadors released their newest album. 2011’s The Love Show is a strong release that captures Hubbard’s blend of Americana music, and the band (consisting of Scott McRae on bass and electric guitar; Kyle Yap on vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, piano and ½ whistle; and Kevin Yarger on drums) really help bring Hubbard’s musical vision to life.