Burnside & Hooker is a band that epitomizes the term “Americana”. First, take a large amount of the style of the Squirrel Nut Zippers for a strong beginning reference. Then, add a generous amount of Folk Rock, some Blues, some Rhythm & Blues and a little Country and Jazz and you have a good idea of the sound of the band Burnside & Hooker. The band is comprised of Rachel Bonacquisti – lead vocals & ukulele; Diana Mayne – viola, piano, & backing vocals; Ted Graham – cello; Michael Vogus – guitar & backing vocals; Ken Fuller – upright bass & backing vocals and Vuck – drums, percussion, & backing vocals. The six members of the band bring many different influences to the music of the group and that makes for a very interesting sound. That sound can be found on the band’s new release entitled All The Way to the Devil.
Austin, Texas-based Lazy J and the Dirty Shuffle is a band that is headed by JK Grover on Guitar and Vocals. The rest of the band currently consists of Greg Birmingham on Bass and Mike Prosser on Drums and Percussion. Together, their sound merges the style of the Blues with the energy of Rock And Roll. The band’s Blues-Rock would fit alongside artists like Stevie ray Vaughn, ZZ Top and other artists that take the Blues to the next level by adding that Rock feel to it. Having already released a CD entitled Bone to Pick in 2008; Lazy J and the Dirty Shuffle are back in 2015 with a new four-song self-titled release.
The four-song self-titled release from Lazy J and the Dirty Shuffle begins with the track “Let Me Come Home”. The lyrics of the song find the singer trying to come to grips with being thrown out of the house after a fight. The sadness in the lyrics brings the Blues to life. The music of the track begins with a very strong drum and bass beat. When the guitar from JK Grover adds to the mix, the song really comes together. The resulting track feels a lot more upbeat than the lyrics would suggest, but that just makes the song that much more enjoyable to listen to. The song and its lyrics will easily have the listener joining in as the band sings the refrain to the song. For having such a depressing concept as being thrown out of the house, “Let Me Come Home” is a rather fun way to begin the band’s new release.
Singer/guitarist Scott Rath and drummer Seth Pappas are two musicians that have very similar histories as far as their time in the music industry is concerned. After years of playing behind some of the biggest names in the business, both musicians figured they should create their own music. After finding each other, the two created the band Skunky Rooster. With the help of several other musicians to help flesh out the band’s sound (especially on bass), an album was created. That album is entitled Buskers’ Blusterade.
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.
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.
In early 2014 the wonderful Firebrand Rock Radio and its crew took me under their wing to work as a ‘rookie’ radio host. This is why I have had a slight hiatus from the rock and roll report. Firebrand Rock Radio has recently closed, leaving Firebrand Magazine to operate as usual and giving myself a little time to try and catch up here on the rock and roll report. I have got many reccomendations to bring to your attention along with the ever expanding contents of my inbox. In no particular order I need to tell you a little about Crowsaw from the UK.
Life is a funny old thing, when at its best it usually throws some stunning surprises at you. I have been awaiting news of the next release by Doris Brendel and Lee Dunham for some time now. This incredibly creative pair has already made a strong mark in the music world. Once again, Doris is collaborating with producer and multi-instrumentalist Lee Dunham, guitarist of rock/metal band Primary Slave, this time using an array of musicians to contribute to the progressive sound. Doris is the daughter of famed classical pianist Alfred Brendel, her distinctive vocals were the driving force behind 1990s alt-rockers The Violet Hour, who were signed to Sony when they released their now revered, classic album ‘The Fire Sermon’ in 1991. Combine all of this with the delightfully driven husky vocals delivered with true inimitable style and then you may get an inkling of what to expect. Do not be fooled and expect the unexpected as Upside Down World will take you on a sumptuous journey through a musical kaleidoscope lasting about 48 minutes. This album both explores and showcases a plethora of musical facets, Upside Down World is a thrilling ride.
From the start of this album, beginning with the outstanding cover art by surrealist Igor Morski, this album nails you down and spins you around. Upside Down World kicks off with a deliciously raunchy track, The Devil Closed The Door On Me which pushes Doz’s incredible vocals to a variety of limits and is a hard hitting dynamically delightful tongue in cheek rock track. Every time that I hit the play button this album stops me in my tracks, it is beyond belief and utterly irresistible. The Devil Closed The Door On Me is a magnificent introduction to Upside Down World. Release date April 20th.
Martin Van Ruin is a Chicago-based Rock band that came together from different bands from that area to create something new and different. Consisting of Pete Falknor: drums; Sarah Jane Goldstein: vocals, percussion, melodica; Derek Nelson: vocals, guitars; Brian Sharpe: lead guitars, piano; Cathy Starr: violin; Philip Vickers: lap steel, guitars, trumpet; Alex Winter: bass, the various members of the band add several different musical influences into the band’s sound. Within the band’s sound you’ll find Rock, Folk, Country and other sounds that all blends together to make a style that is as much about Rock and Roll as it is about Folk and Country music. That style can be found on Martin Van Ruin’s current release called Every Man a King.
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!
Nick – What is the best way for people to check your music?