Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: The Morning Bird “Lonesome Leaving Sound”

The Morning Bird is a band that is still rather new when compared to other bands in their situation. The reason I say that is because very few bands come together and create as much original material in such a short amount of time as this band seems to have.

Fronted by singer-songwriter Jeremy Taylor, The Morning Bird is a band that combines Rock and Roll, Country, Folk and other genres of music together to create a style of Americana that centers on the softer side of Rock and Roll. Because of that musical blend, the band could easily be grouped together with acts such as Mumford & Sons, Wilco, as well as Jason Isbell. You could even place them alongside Johnny Cash. Along with singer, songwriter and guitarist Jeremy Taylor, the rest of the band consists of: Daniel Rice, guitar and backing vocals; Mark Mazak, bass guitar and vocals; and David Shullenberger on drums.  

Jeremy Taylor and the rest of The Morning Bird have just created a five-song EP to give those who have yet to hear them a glimpse into their musical style. The band’s new EP is entitled Lonesome Leaving Sound.

Lonesome Leaving Sound from The Morning Bird begins with the track “Sober”. Right from the very first note, the Country/Rock blend of the band comes through with the twang from the lead guitar from Daniel Rice. The track features a slow, steady pace to the track and that seems to allow for Jeremy Taylor’s vocals to come through strong. The track features vocals about a person who’s trying to take control of their life…for the umpteenth time. The vocals feature a slightly sad, yet humorous approach as the story plays out. “Sober” ends up reaching over the five-minute mark, but that just comes from the fact that the album version of the track feels much like the track when played live in concert.

With the next track, the Country side to the band’s music that comes through is a little stronger than what was there on the previous track. The song entitled “Tomorrow” contains a musical mix that is still part Rock and Roll and part Country, but the Country influence wins out this time. What results is a slow, driving pace to the easy feeling of the music. The track’s lyrics are about heading out on one’s own in search of wide open spaces where you can stretch out and relax. The song takes the band’s music back in time to the seventies or thereabouts. “Tomorrow” from Morning Bird would have fit right in with Conway Twitty, Glenn Campbell, John Denver and would have been right at home among songs like “Falling In and Out of Love” from Pure Prairie League or “Take it Easy” from The Eagles.

The Morning Bird pick up the energy level on the next track called “Sweet Wine”. While the first two tracks on the EP feature a blend of music that contained a good deal of Country influence, the track of “Sweet Wine” finds Jeremy Taylor, Daniel Rice, Mark Mazak and David Shullenberger creating a track with a much stronger Rock and Roll influence. The Rock and Roll influence on the track is also accompanied by a good amount of Folk influence. The Folk influence on “Sweet Wine” keeps the feel of the song on the soft side. However, no matter how much Folk influence there is in the song, this track is easily the strongest song on the release and perhaps the most commercial as well. You could easily imagine this track on any Top 40 or Adult Contemporary radio format.

For the next track, The Morning Bird takes their music back in time yet again. But with this track, the music style goes back to the nineties. It is on the track “Underneath” that the band embraces the style of the music from that decade. The easy feel to the music, mixed with strong electric guitars, brings to mind the music of bands like The Counting Crows, Sister Hazel, and most specifically, Toad the Wet Sprocket. In fact, you can hear quite a bit of influence from Toad the Wet Sprocket on this track. “Underneath,” much like “Sweet Wine” before it, features a style that would be perfect for radio play; especially if the track was played among the previously-mentioned bands. And as the lyrics deal with seeing only what you want to see and not what needs to be seen, those lyrics create a track that feels very personal and relatable.

The final track to the Lonesome Leaving Sound EP is the song “Swinging”. Much like the track “Sober,” The Morning Bird creates a track with a definite Country twang to it. In fact, with the lyrics about being betrayed by a woman easily puts the song squarely into the Country genre, especially if you place the song among the hit singles of the late seventies, early eighties when much of the genre’s music dealt with pain and hardship. This track would have fit right in with music from that time.   

The adage of “Leave them wanting more” is true. And many people take those words to heart. The Morning Bird is one band that truly believes in that saying. The band has been known to be able to perform about ninety minutes of original music at one time without repeating themselves. So they could easily have created an entire album of music. Instead, they provide the listener with only a small segment of sounds they have created on their five-song release entitled Lonesome Leaving Sound. There is plenty more to come from The Morning Bird, as they have not included tracks like “Maryanne” and “Suitcase,” two of the band’s strongest songs, on this EP. However, the Lonesome Leaving Sound EP is definitely a good place to start if you have yet to be introduced to the band. 


Check out a live performance of “Sweet Wine” from The Morning Bird’s Jeremy Taylor and Daniel Rice live at The Brothers Lounge in Cleveland, Ohio.


To check out entire Lonesome Leaving Sound EP from The Morning Bird on spotify, click on the album cover below:

Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Joal Rush “Kaleidoscope Emotions”

It was back in 2004 that singer-songwriter Joal Rush released his first EP. That EP, entitled Delightful Things, introduced the world to a musician whose straight-out Rock and Roll sound was very reminiscent to that of Jack Johnson. And given that the two artists create their songs using several different genres of music as influences such as Folk, Pop, Rock and Soul, it is a safe comparison to be made when describing the sound of Joal Rush.

Almost fifteen years later, Joal Rush has been through a lot, including moving from Charleston, South Carolina to Music City, Nashville, Tennessee where he currently lives. And within that city, Rush created his latest album of music. The current release from Joal Rush is a twelve-song release entitled Kaleidoscope Emotions.

Kaleidoscope Emotions from Joal Rush begins with the track “Gotta Getaway”. Right from the beginning, the listener can hear the comparison between Joal Rush and Jack Johnson. But there is also a strong hint of John Mayer in the mix, as well, helping to create a Pop/Rock vibe in the song. The guitar/organ combination adds to that pop/rock approach. Plus, the lyrical content of the song is so infectious that the words are very easy to sing along with. “Gotta Getaway” has such a strong commercial feel to it that you can easily imagine the track getting heavy rotation on any pop/rock or Top 40 radio format.

“Miss Mel,” the second track on Kaleidoscope Emotions from Joal Rush, changes the direction of the music. Whereas “Gotta Getaway” would remind listeners of Jack Johnson, “Miss Mel” would easily remind them of the band Hootie and the Blowfish. In fact, the track actually feels more like something that would have come from singer-songwriter, guitarist and former “Blowfish” Mark Bryan from his post- Hootie and the Blowfish career. A lot like “Gotta Getaway,” “Miss Mel” sounds like it would fit right in on any Top 40 radio format. Plus, the song contains enough of a twang that it might even fit into the “crossover” category for Country music formats.

As you allow the newest album from Joal Rush to play out, you’ll notice that the songs all feel very familiar…in a good way. After listening to a track like “Lesson I’ll Never Learn” one time, you’ll find yourself singing right along with Rush the very next time you play the track. “Lesson I’ll Never Learn” is a track with a slow tempo that contains a rather soulful delivery to both the music and the vocal delivery from Rush. It’s a track like this that makes listening to albums fun: While the track may not make its way onto the radio because it’s not commercial enough, it will end up being one of the tracks you’ll  return to time and again.

While many of the tracks on the newest release from Joal Rush feel custom-made for today’s radio, the track “My Moonshine” finds him creating a more timeless musical approach to the track. The track’s sound takes the listener back to the seventies when songs that contain the same Folk-Rock approach were filling up the AM radio dial. “My Moonshine” contains a sound that brings to mind the music of artists such as John Denver, Neil Young, even B.W. Stevenson. While the track may not be right for today’s radio, “My Moonshine” could have been very popular a few decades ago.

To go along with the retro feel of “My Moonshine,” the track “Darlin’ Stay” contains a musical approach that would be right at home within the Americana genre of today. While most of the track contains a Folk-Rock sound, it’s the addition of the drum loops on the track that add a quality that sets the track apart from most of the Folk-Rock music out there today. “Darlin’ Stay” is yet another track on the Kaleidoscope Emotions album that will have the listener hitting the repeat button over and over again on their favorite listening device.

While there are many standout tracks on Kaleidoscope Emotions from Joal Rush, the listener has to wait until the very end of the album to find one of the best tracks on the release. The album’s final track (and the album’s “title track”), “Rose Colored Glasses,” is one of the shining moments of the release. With a musical approach that brings to mind artists like John Mayer, Jack Johnson and others, the track is just right for Top 40 radio. The optimism contained within the lyrics of the track makes “Rose Colored Glasses” a strong track to end the album with as the track brings the release to a close an a positive note.

While there are many people in the music industry being played on the radio today who deserved to be signed to a major label, there are just as many out there right now who are not signed to a major label and deserve to be. One such artist who deserves to be on a major label is Joal Rush. And his newest album entitled Kaleidoscope Emotions proves that point rather well.


To check out the music of Joal Rush, check out the “title track” to the Kaleidoscope Emotions album, “Rose Colored Glasses”. 


To purchase a copy of Kaleidoscope Emotions from Joal Rush, click on the album cover below: