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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Remember Jones “Tranquilizer!”

New Jersey-based singer-songwriter Anthony D’Amato spent a lot of time on stage. Some of that time on stage was included in the Asbury Park production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch where D’Mato portrayed Hedwig himself. Taking that theatrical experience, which also includes recreating an album from Amy Winehouse live in concert as well as other projects, D’Mato took his experience and created a new persona: Remember Jones.

Remember Jones started creating a style that was reminiscent of Las Vegas-type concert experiences. That included an orchestra containing 25 pieces. In fact, the entire experience worked so well that the first album from Remember Jones entitled “Ladies and Gentlemen, Remember Jones!” was created live in concert. And with that album being as big as it was, a new EP was created. The newly-released 5-song EP is entitled Tranquilizer!

Tranquilizer! from Remember Jones begins with the title track of the release. As the song starts off the EP, the track itself feels very much like the first track of a concert or stage show. The upbeat Soul music that fills the track to overflowing brings to mind such Soul artists such as James Brown or Wayne Cochran. The energetic music is perfect for getting people out of the seats and dancing in the aisles. “Tranquilizer” feels as much retro as it does current with today’s artists that are keeping the spirit of Soul music alive.

The next song on the EP from Remember Jones is the song “The Stormy Suite”. The track begins with a rather strong introduction before the band slows the music down features a musical approach that will remind many listeners of the sixties/seventies era of the band Blood, Sweat and Tears. My initial reaction to the track was how much the track reminds me of the version of “God Bless the Child” by Blood, Sweat and Tears from back in 1969 as it contains that type of vibe, but the track has many more to offer as Remember Jones and the orchestra change things up for one second to the next. “The Stormy Suite” has to be one of the strongest tracks on the album because of the various directions the orchestra takes throughout the track.

With the next track, the band changes things up just a little bit. The track “You’ve Got that Something” is pure seventies fun as Remember Jones and the orchestra create music that is part Soul music, part Disco. In fact, the track feels so much like something from the seventies, you can almost imagine Disco goddess herself Donna Summer being the one singing the female lead to the track. “You Got that Something” has such a strong Disco vibe that it would have been completely right at home during the seventies or even during the late nineties Disco revival. And while the band creates a Disco feel to the track, the inclusion of the horns gives the track even more depth. “You Got that Something” could easily be a radio hit today as it’s the most radio-friendly track on the release.

Remember Jones takes the music back into a more Rock ‘n’ Roll/Soul direction with the song “Don’t Put Me on Hold”. In a song that really wraps up the feel of the ear of the cell phone, the track “Don’t Put Me on Hold” is a track that has the singer wondering just why it is he hasn’t heard from his special someone. The Rock and Roll feel of the song comes with a driving beat that keeps the listener tapping along to track.

The new EP of Tranquilizer! from Remember Jones comes to a close with the track “Why Don’t They Cry?” The track slows down the pace of the music of the release for the final track. The song about why people don’t seem to react to the sadness that surrounds them features music with a very strong Soul influence to it. The track seems to bring the listener back in time to the sixties or seventies when Soul music was at its height. “Why Don’t They Cry?” is as solid a Soul track as you can get.

Tranquilizer! from Anthony D’Mato’s Remember Jones is a short but solid release of five tracks that focus on Soul music while the different styles of the musical genre helps to keep the release fresh throughout the twenty minutes of music. Though rather short, the five tracks on Tranquilizer! make the EP very strong.

Tranquilizer Album Art.cdr

The new release of Tranquilizer! from Anthony D’Mato’s Remember Jones will be released July 21, 2017. Keep an eye on the band’s website for more news on the release.

 

 

 

As the EP has yet to be released, no songs have been released as singles as of yet. Check out the band Remember Jones’ debut single called “Let ’em Look“.

For more information, check out the band’s PR firm, The RMG Media Group.

 

Categories
Features

PIGSHIT: “The greatest rock movie you’ve never seen,” according to Steven Van Zandt

Attention music fans and pop culture connoisseurs everywhere!

Your assignment for today is to gather one dozen of the world’s most popular entertainers into a medium-sized concert facility, for one evening only. Age, style, size, corporate affiliation and musical pigeonhole is to be strictly of no concern whatsoever. Each act just has to have had a heck of a lot of their songs downloaded, perhaps maybe even sold, over the past calendar year or so.

Then, with a bare minimum of rehearsal or directorial guidelines of any sort – and an equally bare-boned budget to boot – a two-hour concert has to sequenced, scored, choreographed, and executed upon a single stage utilizing all these chosen singers, dancers and accompanists. AND, the entire proceedings have to be filmed live, music and vocals, without re-takes. Finally, the resulting  miles of tape then have to be edited, printed, promoted, and distributed for public viewing to theaters.

Oh! And there’s one more catch: This all has to be completed within a mere fourteen days, from show-date to release-date.

Categories
Reviews and Suggestions

Wonderful-Lee Done!

Michael Lee – Face Forward
Self-released

Rarely do artists come along with fully-formed personalities, having boundless talent, their own sound and a complete vision of who they are, what they want to do, and how to present their talent to whoever they think is their target audience. An artist like Prince comes to mind in this respect, and though there has to be others, his is the obvious name one would recall as embodying this type of artist. While Lee does not have the hard funk sound Prince has long since settled into, Lee does compare to Prince in many ways. For one, Lee seems to have a vision for his sound. Mixing jazz, prog, and rock the same way Prince mixes soul and rock, Lee has fashioned a hybrid that no one could call totally original, but one Lee is able to use and manipulate to fashion his own sound. As Prince is able to take the R&B of James Brown and the guitar stylings of Jimi Hendrix and add a little of his own personality and come up with something new yet familiar, Lee is able to take his influences, throw a little of his own sensibilities in there and come up with something unique yet still recognizable. While not groundbreaking, Lee’s talents are quite formidable and his mastery of stringed instruments of all types and well as keyboards and percussion show Lee to be a musical prodigy capable of doing anything he wants in the music world. Also like Prince, Lee has found his own sound. Most likely due to Lee being a self-taught musician (also like Prince) Lee has his own idiosyncrasies and his own way of achieving his sound which makes it his own. He is also able to own it, not in the same way Prince flamboyantly owns his persona, but one can sense Lee’s comfort within himself as his confidence permeates the CD but doesn’t engulf it. This is a musician who labored over this album until everything was right, and once you listen, you’ll know that Lee knew it.

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Reviews and Suggestions

You may have the goldmine – But you really need the ‘Shaft’

shaftIsaac Hayes – Shaft Soundtrack
Stax

Concord Record Group, the relatively new owners of Stax Records, continue to rebuild and revitalize the classic Memphis soul label by not only uncovering and (even better) sharing rare sessions which have never seen the light of day but also re-releasing the best of the label’s voluminous catalog of classic soul albums. One of their most recent re-releases resurrects what many feel is the pinnacle of soul albums, Isaac Hayes’ gloriously funky soundtrack to the movie Shaft.

While a big hit in the early ’70’s and Hayes’ breakthrough disc after first hitting it big with his sophomore release Hot Buttered Soul, a mere decade or so later it was relegated to a mere musical milestone of the brief but influential blaxplotation film era. Subsequent generations, no doubt encouraged by the late Hayes’ comeback as Chef on the hilarious Comedy Central South Park television series, thankfully have recognized Hayes’ soundtrack as one of the biggest developments in black popular music.