Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: A.J. Croce “Just Like Medicine”

Singer-songwriter Adrian James Croce (from here on out to be referred to as A.J. Croce) has spent the last few years picking up where his father had left off. While only a toddler when Jim died, A.J. Croce grew to know his father through the music that Jim left behind. He has even spend time on stage creating concerts of Jim’s music under the concept name of Croce Plays Croce. And that music from A.J’s father plus the music of his father’s contemporaries have helped to shape A.J’s songwriting. Through the last few decades, A.J. Croce has released a total of ten albums of music, some of which contain a few tracks from Jim Croce. The latest album from A.J. Croce is entitled Just Like Medicine.  

The Just Like Medicine album from A.J. Croce begins with one of A.J’s original songs called “Gotta Get Outta My Head”. While Croce has followed in his father’s musical footsteps, he also has gone in his own direction as far as his writing style is concerned. Nowhere is that more apparent than on this first track of the album. The track feels more like a song that Dr. John would have composed. The track’s musical approach combines elements of Rock and Roll with some Funk to create a track with a rather strong groove to it.

For the title track of the release, A.J. Croce creates a track in “Cures Just Like Medicine” that brings to mind a style that seems to have been largely influenced by the like of Harry Connick Jr. “Cures Just Like Medicine” features a Jazzy, Connick-like musical approach. The somewhat raspy voice of A.J. Croce and the musical approach once again brings to mind the sound and feel of Dr. John but with more of a jazzy feel.

Staying in a jazzy state of mind, the next track entitled “Move On” features A.J. Croce continues with the Connick influence but with a stronger stressing of jazz to the music. On this track, what ends up coming across is an “American Songbook” era track that would have come from Rod Stewart. The easy feel to the music and the lyrical delivery that is unmistakably Stewart creates a track that transcends age as the track feels both timeless and retro at the same time.

While the Just Like Medicine album from A.J. Croce features A.J’s songs, the album is not completely about the singer-songwriter. The album features one song co-written by AJ and another musician, and one track that was actually written by Jim Croce himself.  

Just Like Medicine from A.J. Croce features the song “The Heart That Makes Me Whole,” a track that was written with the help of Steve Cropper of Booker T & the MG’s fame. With Cropper playing the guitar on the track, A.J. Croce creates a song with a strong groove that features a little Soul influence in the music. Because of Cropper’s musical background and with the various people he has played with over the years, the track “The Heart That Makes Me Whole” created by Cropper and Croce seems to draw inspiration from the artists of the past, giving the song a strong musical feel that would have felt right at home with the tracks that appeared on the albums produced by The Blues Brothers.

While “The Heart That Makes Me Whole,” is a track co-written by A.J. Croce, one track on Croce’s latest release of Just Like Medicine isn’t his. That track is the song “Name of the Game”. This song was written by Jim Croce but was never released. The reason for that was because Jim passed away before the release it was to be included on could be completed. Right from the beginning few notes of the track, it is absolutely clear that “Name of the Game” is Jim Croce’s song. The main reason why the track sounds like a Jim Croce tune is because of the way A.J. sings the song- he chose to sing the song in Jim’s “voice,” as A.J’s delivery on the track is a very strong impersonation. The guitar-driven track ends up being something that would have been right at home next to a song such as “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown”. In fact, the two tracks feel as if they could have been together on the same album.

Just Like Medicine, the latest album from A.J. Croce is brought to a close with the track called “The Roads”. With this track, Croce creates a track that seems to draw inspiration from the likes of singer-songwriter Chris Isaak as the song has a feel with a slight throwback feel to the music, much the same way Isaak’s songs do. “The Roads” is a track with an equal blend of guitar-based and keyboard-based music. The two main instruments both shine on their own and support the other instrument at the same time. This creates a track with a strong Rock and Roll approach. And with that Rock and Roll approach, the track brings the release to a close on a strong musical note.

The music on the latest release from A.J. Croce called Just Like Medicine features the spirit of Croce’s father as well as the many talents of Steve Cropper and the many other talented musicians who help to create an album of music with a straight-out Rock and Roll soul to it. The combination of the original compositions from A.J. Croce and the few tunes he chose to include on his latest album are all rather well-rounded, musically-speaking; especially given the fact that the tracks borrow from several different musical directions at once. While A.J. Croce may not gain the same notoriety that his father had when he was alive, that doesn’t mean that the he is any less talented. And Croce’s latest original album of Just Like Medicine is strong proof of that.

As the release of Just Like Medicine from A.J. Croce came out in 2017, Croce is currently creating new music. He recently released a new single. That new single is entitled “I Got a Name” which, of course, was one of Jim Croce’s more popular recordings when he was alive. As mentioned earlier, A.J. Croce has been touring under the concept of Croce Plays Croce for a while now. And with this tour concept, A.J. plays the music of his father Jim in concert the way Jim would be doing if he was still alive today. And that is exactly what you get with this new recording of “I Got a Name”. The arrangement of the track sounds like a note-for-note recreation of Jim Croce’s single, keeping the feel of the original intact. While not making any new strides in originality, A.J. keeps Jim’s memory fresh in people’s minds with this version of the old tune from his father.   

For a taste of the music from A.J. Croce, check out the album’s “title track” of “Cures Just Like Medicine”:

Also check out A.J. Croce’s latest recording of his father Jim’s song “I Got a Song”: 

To check out the entire Just Like Medicine release from A.J. Croce, click on the album cover below: 

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CD Review: David Gelman “Last Surviving Son”

David Gelman is a New York City-based singer-songwriter who has spent much of his life playing with the same group of people. And as a matter-of-fact, that group of people, known collectively as White Collar Crime, will shortly be celebrating their 30th anniversary as a band. During that time, the band has created several albums of original material, with the band’s latest release of Floor Aisle Room having been released back in 2016.

While being part of White Collar Crime, David Gelman has also spent time creating his own music. To date, David Gelman has created three albums of music. The latest album from Gelman is called Last Surviving Son.

To bring the music on Last Surviving Son to life, David Gelman is joined by a rather talented group of musicians which included: electric guitarist, slide guitarist and banjo player Ann Klein, drummer/percussionist Jerry Marotta, violinist Lorenza Ponce and bassist Sara Lee. Each of the musicians on this album have spent time playing with people like Ani DiFranco, Peter Gabriel, Hall & Oates and many others. Those various musical influences help to give plenty of depth and variety to the music of David Gelman.

Last Surviving Son from David Gelman begins with the track “Far Away”. The track features a Folk base to the music as the violin and banjo help set the track in motion. As the track continues, some Rock and Roll influence joins in. The resulting Folk-Rock blend to the music comes with a strong driving pace. Banjo player Ann Klein and violinist Lorenza Ponce are as much a part of the track as Gelman’s voice and together, they and the rest of the band create a song with a beautiful musical approach while the lyrics about getting tired of lifetime on the run makes the listener stop and think. “Far Away” is the perfect modern-day Folk tune with a powerful meaning to the lyrics. 

The album continues with the track “Set It Free”. Much like the previous track, this song features a Folk/Rock blend. But while the song “Far Away” contains much more of a Folk base to the song, it is the Rock side of the music that comes through here. In fact, the track has a musical style that feels as if it would fit perfectly well right next to music from either The Byrds or The Lovin’ Spoonful. The song features a slow, gentle feel to the music. And much like the aforementioned bands of The Byrds and The Lovin’ Spoonful, “Set it Free” feels like it would have been right at home in the sixties.

While the first two tracks of Last Surviving Son from David Gelman feature some Folk inspiration, Gelman and the rest of the musicians on the release take the music of the album in a much stronger Country-flavored direction with the next track. The song “Feel Alright” contains a strong Country influence to the music while Gelman’s vocals now come with a strong twang to them. The addition to the twang in Gelman’s voice is accompanied by a stronger Country vibe to the music. The track features a straight-out Country vibe to it and that vibe gives the song a rather timeless feel. You can imagine this song alongside some of today’s best Country artists as much as Country artists of the past like Charlie Pride, George Jones, Willie Nelson and others. If you are a fan of Country music, “Feel Alright” is a track that will fit well in your music collection.

Things on the new release from David Gelman slow down with the title track. The track of “Last Surviving Son” begins with a march-style drumbeat that soon becomes a track with a rather somber message of living with the guilt of outliving the rest of your siblings. The easiness of the Folk-flavored music creates a sad feel to the track. That sadness is courtesy of the violin from Lorenza Ponce. The track comes across as rather relatable as many people know this kind of feeling. “Last Surviving Son” ends up creating one of the quieter moments of the release.

The feeling of the music regains some energy with the next track. The song “Lonely Tonight” is a song that blends together Folk, Country, Blues and a little Rock and Roll influence. The Blues flavor comes in the form of the slide guitar on the track. What ends up being created is the perfect Americana track as the song has so much going on musically all at the same time. “Lonely Tonight” is one of the strongest tracks on the Last Surviving Son release.

With the next track, the music once again slows down. “The Roads We Didn’t Take” contains lyrics with a rather strong poetic feel to them as if they were written by poet Robert Frost. The reason for this is that Gelman is found thinking about choices in life and what could happen, in much the same way Frost’s narrator in the poem “The Road Less Traveled” had.  The Lite Rock music on the track from David Gelman takes the listener back to the days of the seventies when music began going in a much softer direction. That Lite Rock approach seems very appropriate for the lyrics of the track. 

The pace of the music stays in a slow groove with the next track called “Let It All Go”. The light touch of the acoustic guitar on the track creates a style that will transport the listener back in time to the days of AM radio in the seventies. In fact, the track feels as if it could have been created by someone like Mac Davis, the American songwriter who was popular back at that time. You could imagine “Let It All Go” from David Gelman playing alongside “I Believe in Music” from Mac Davis. 

David Gelman stays in a retro mood on the track “Soft Surrender”. The track contains the same seventies-inspired Rock and Roll as the previous track. And much like with “Let It All Go,” “Because You Love Me” would have felt right at home on AM radio formats back at that time. The track contains a gentle pace to the music and feels almost Folk-like in its sound. With the inclusion of the strings in the background of the track, the track adds a bit of beauty to the Last Surviving Son release.

With the final track of the album, David Gelman changes the feel of the music. The rest of the album that came before featured a guitar-driven approach. But with “The Presence of the Lord,” the guitar is replaced with the sound of the piano. With the piano (and organ) on the track, “The Presence of the Lord” feels like as if it had been inspired by the likes of Billy Joel. With the title of the track being what it is, one might assume that the track is rather religious in nature. And while there is some of that, it’s more spiritual than anything as Gelman sings of looking inward for answers. Like much of the album, “Presence of the Lord” contains a laid-back feel to the music, which goes along with the lyrical content of the track. As the song is much different from the other songs on the release because of the lyrical direction, it makes sense that the song would bring the Last Surviving Son release to a close.    

Last Surviving Son from David Gelman finds the singer-songwriter staying within a certain time-frame on his latest release. Whether using Folk, County or Lite Rock influences, each song on the album seems to stay contained within a seventies mindset. What results is a solid album with a laid-back feel to it. If you are a fan of lighter musical fare, this album is just what you’re looking for.  

For more information, check out David Gelman’s PR firm of Whiplash PR & Management by clicking on the logo for the company.





For a taste of the music Last Surviving Son release, check out the video to the title track of the album. 

To check out the entire Last Surviving Son release from David Gelman, click on the album cover below: 

Album Preview

CD Review: The Motels “The Last Few Beautiful Days”

The band known as The Motels has been creating music for almost fifty years. While the band has had a few hit singles over the years (which included “Only The Lonely,” “Suddenly Last Summer” and a few others), the band has been rather low-key. Between 1971 and today, the band has gone through several different versions, used several different names and has even gone through periods where there wasn’t a version of the band at all when lead singer Martha Davis was recording and touring under her own music.

After an extended period where The Motels were not a thing, Martha Davis and others formed a version of the band. This band created the album Clean Modern and Reasonable in September 2007, the first album from The Motels in 22 years. The current version of The Motels consists of: Martha Davis, Clint Walsh Guitar, Nic Johns Bass, Marty Jourard Keyboards and Sax and Eric Gardner Drums. This version of The Motels have created the newest album under the moniker of The Motels, 2018’s The Last Few Beautiful Days.

The Last Few Beautiful Days from The Motels begins with the song “Punchline”. The band has chosen the song as the first single off of the release. Although the band has been around for nearly forty years, it seems that Martha Davis has kept the feel of the band relatively close to what it had been all those years ago when they began. The feel of the track “Punchline” is very reminiscent to music that was played back in the early eighties. The Pop/Rock feel of this track actually brings to mind someone other than The Motels. In fact. “Punchline’s” musical direction seems rather similar to songs recorded by the likes of The Eurythmics as the track feels like something that duo would have done.

As the song called “Lucky Stars” begins, the listener is almost instantaneously transported back in time. Imagine going back to 1983 and putting on the radio. It was then that The Motels had their hit single “Suddenly Last Summer,” a track that peaked at #9 on the Hot 100. With the track of “Lucky Stars,” The Motels seem to have recaptured that very same magic that was present in that #9 single. While the two tracks don’t sound exactly the same (and they shouldn’t), they do feature much of the same magic in the music as if the two tracks were recorded during the same recording session and not thirty-six years apart. Needless-to-say, “Lucky Stars” could have been a smash hit back in ’83 and could be a smash today.

With the track “Look at Me,” the band changes the feel of the music. Where the previous songs contained a strong Pop/Rock feel to the music, “Look at Me” finds the band exploring a much stronger “Pop” feel as it is the keyboards that provide the music for the track. What ends up being created is a track with a soft, gentle delivery that blends some musical influence from the likes of English singer-songwriter and record producer Kate Bush. The lyrics to the track deal with going beyond the visual and seeing the real person inside. With the subject matter of the song being what it is, “Look at Me” feels very relevant in today’s turbulent times when people are trying to turn away from the concept of bullying.

Just as the song “Look at Me” with its message of “See me, I am an individual” comes to a close, The Motels follow that up with “Machine,” a track about the exact opposite. The lyrics of “Machine” deal with losing your identity as you blend in with everything and everyone around you until only One exists. The music of “Machine” contains strong keyboard sounds. It is the sound of the keyboards that mimic the feel of machinery. The track brings out the New Wave feel of The Motels’ music. As The Motels trace their roots back into the New Wave era, it is great to hear some of that New Wave feel in the band’s current sound.

Most of the songs on The Last Few Beautiful Days from The Motels feature an ensemble feel to the music, showing off the talents of each of the members of the band. However, with the track “Light Me Up,” the song is more like a solo track for Martha Davis. But as the track is one of four tracks on the release that was written solely by Davis, that’s not much of a surprise. The track features a slow pace and a light touch to the music, in a very Pop-like musical approach. The result is a track that feels and sounds like something that would either have come from a Broadway musical or from the soundtrack of a movie. Needless-to-say, this track has a very commercial feel to it.

Much like with the track “Lucky Stars” earlier in the album, the track “Tipping Point” takes the listener back in time to the days of New Wave. The keyboards on the track bring to mind a lot of the keyboard sound from that time period, giving the track a somewhat dated feel. You could imagine bands like OMD, Depeche Mode, Unltravox when listening to this track. In fact, the track feels most like something from OMD from around 1990. The track features original band member Marty Jourard as he adds some saxophone to the background of the track.

The Motels bring their latest album of The Last Few Beautiful Days to a close with the title track. Much like with the earlier track of “Light Me Up,” this song features a musical direction that puts Martha Davis front and center. And just like with “Light Me Up,” the reason is because “The Last Few Beautiful Days” is another of the songs written solely by Davis. Aside from the voice of Davis, the track also contains the piano, keyboards and strings to create one of the softer moments on the album. The lyrics about letting time slip away and the orchestral feel of the music combine to create a song that brings the release to a close on a rather emotional track.

For those who have enjoyed songs like “Suddenly Last Summer,” “Remember the Nights,” and “Only The Lonely” from The Motels over the last forty years, then the band’s newest release of The Last Few Beautiful Days should be an album you will enjoy. The reason for that is because the new release from The Motels feels like much of the band’s previous albums as the music of this album find Martha Davis and band drawing inspiration from the past.   

For a taste of the newest release of The Last Few Beautiful Days from The Motels, check out the band’s single called “Punchline”:

To check out The Motels’ latest album of The Last Few Beautiful Days, click on the album cover below: 

Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Erica Blinn “Better Than Gold”

Currently calling the city of Nashville, Tennessee home, Erica Blinn is a singer-songwriter from Columbus, Ohio. Performing for the musician started rather young as she was only a teenager when she started playing the harmonica which would lead to her exploration of other instruments which includes the guitar, the instrument that she plays on stage when in concert. As a songwriter, Erica Blinn has released three albums: 2011’s self-titled EP, 2014’s Lovers in the Dust, and her most current album, 2018’s Better than Gold. It is that last album on which Blinn is currently touring.

The album of Better than Gold from Erica Blinn begins with the current single off the album called “Softer Side”. Right from the beginning Erica Blinn seems to be inviting the listener in with the song. The track has a very Pop-like approach to the Rock and Roll on the track. There is a rather strong presence from the keyboards on the track that help to add a bit of funkiness to the music. Together, the Funk influence and the Pop-Rock approach to the music combine to create a rather listener (as well as radio) friendly feel to the track.

Blinn continues her newest album with the track “Dance with the One (Who Brought You Here)”. While “Softer Side” contained a bit of funkiness to the music, this track finds Blinn drawing inspiration from the Blues. The track features a strong Blues/Rock blend that is helped along by the harmonica playing of Blinn. The harmonica adds the Bluesy feel to the music while the track already has a strong, driving pace. What results is a track that picks you up and seems to carry you along throughout the length of the track. With the Blues/Rock blend on the track as well as the harmonica that gives the track that bluesy feel, the track brings to mind a different Ohio native, Stacie Collins who creates music in much the same vein.

With the track “Dreamer’s Heart,” Erica Blinn writes a song that has a clear message to follow your passion, do what you like and don’t worry so much about what others think. The upbeat message is timeless in nature as it works no matter what year it is. The music to the track seems to be based in the Classic Rock genre and draws inspiration from the likes of Creedence Clearwater Revival and other bands from the late seventies/early eighties. And much like the message in the track, the music has a very uplifting quality to it, as well.

Many different musical influences are drawn from when Erica Blinn writing her songs. For the track “A Little Rain,” you easily hear some Country influence in the music as well as a bit of a drawl in Blinn’s vocal delivery. The Country twang even shows up in the music of the track. Together, the musical blend of Rock and Roll and some twang to the music creates a track that would be right at home on any Contemporary Country radio format. Especially since the lyrical content about taking the bad with the good would definitely be right at home on those formats.

Things slow down quite a bit on the track “Suitcases and Truck Stops”. On this track, Erica Blinn brings back a little of the sentiment that appeared in the song “Dreamer’s Heart” a little earlier in the release. On this track, Blinn sings about getting out there and experiencing the world. Sure, it comes after the breakup of a relationship, but sometimes that’s the best way to get over the heartache. The track features a strong guitar-based feel to the music. The slow-paced track allows for the electric guitar to create a definite groove in the music and allow for the listening to simply fall into the music as the song moves slowly along. It also allows for Blinn to stretch her vocal cords as she delivers some of the strongest notes on the Better than Gold album.

On the title track of the release, Erica Blinn creates a track that feels like it came directly off of the radio back in the eighties. The straight-out Rock and Roll delivery of the music on the track “Better than Gold” feels like something that could have been produced by the likes of either Susanna Hoffs and/or the band she was famous for creating with sisters Vicki Peterson and Debbi Peterson which would go on to be rather famous- The Bangles. “Better than Gold” is guitar-driven Rock and Roll that would fit right at home on today’s Rock and Roll formats just as much as it would have felt at home back in the eighties. In fact, you could image this track being the next single off of the release.

Speaking of singles off of the release, along with the aforementioned track “Softer Side,” another track off of the Better than Gold album that has been made into a video is the track “When I’m With Suzie (I Do What I Want)”. The track features lyrics about two women who are best friends going out on the town and, basically, raising a little hell. This track once again brings a lot of Rock and Roll feel to the music. And with the subject matter being what it is, you could easily see this song having been influenced by the likes of Shania Twain, shades of “I Feel like a Woman”. In fact, you could imagine Twain making this song her own. For those ladies who have a very independent spirit, this could be the Rock anthem you’ve been looking for.

With a title such as “Loving You,” one might imagine a track with a soft, gentle musical delivery with a romantic side to the lyrics. And while the final track of the Better than Gold album from Erica Blinn does contain that romantic feel in the lyrics, the music is anything but soft and gentle. The strong guitars, heavy bass and pounding drums on the track create a straight-out Rock and Roll song that happens to have romantic lyrics. With this song, Blinn seems to have decided not to be subtle with her feelings as she comes right out and says how she’s feeling. “Loving You” brings the album to a close on an upbeat and strong note.

The Better than Gold album Erica Blinn finds her creating songs that contain many different styles of music. From straight-out Rock and Roll to Pop-Rock with some funkiness to it, the various tracks on the album help give the album depth. And with those various musical elements, Erica Blinn’s abilities as a singer-songwriter comes through rather well. The album ends up being strong from beginning to end.

For a taste of the music from Erica Blinn, check out the song “Softer Side”.


To check out the entire Better than Gold album from Erica Blinn, click on the album cover below:

Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Griffin House “Rising Star”

Griffin House is a musician and singer-songwriter who went in the direction of music when he could have taken a much different path in life. He was offered a golf scholarship to Ohio University but chose Miami University in Oxford, Ohio instead. While there, he focused his free time on learning to play guitar and write songs.

It was just after the turn of the new millennium that Griffin House would begin releasing his own music. Once he found his voice, Griffin House started creating his own albums. The first release from House was the 2002 album No More Crazy Love Songs. The album of Upland coming out in 2003 was a big stepping stone for House. It was that album would lead to House being signed to Nettwerk America. And with the album of Lost & Found being released on that label, Griffin House would finally reach a point where he was truly making a name for himself.

In the time that has passed since those days, Griffin House has released a number of albums and other releases that contain his version of Americana music, which contains a strong, underlying Rock and Roll flavor to the music as well as other musical influences. The most current album from the singer-songwriter, released earlier this year, is entitled Rising Star.

Griffin House’s new album of Rising Star is very much like a soundtrack album. The reason for that is because songs from the album are being used in a new documentary film that uses the same title. Both the documentary of Rising Star and the songs on the accompanying album deal with the life of House as he recalls his claim up the ladder within the music industry in the town of Nashville that he has been part of for years now.

Rising Star from Griffin House begins with the title track of the release. “Rising Star” is a track that features a rather sparse production quality to the music as the song contains only the acoustic guitar and the vocals from House himself. “Rising Star” is a singer-songwriter type of song that comes across as a story set to music. The lyrics focus on House as he sings about a man trying to make a name for himself, gaining momentum as he goes.

The new release from Griffin House continues with the song “15 Minutes of Fame,” a phrase that most artists are familiar with as it is used to describe the average length of the popularity of any actor, singer, athlete that never gets to “superstar” level. While “Rising Star” contained its sparse production feel, “15 Minutes of Fame” finds House and the musicians who helped bring the album to life creating a track with a straight-out Rock and Roll approach. The driving feel of the guitar on the track, mixed with the feel of the lyrics and the vocals from House all combine to create a track that sounds strongly inspired by the likes of Tom Petty. “15 Minutes of Fame” focuses on a person on the way up dealing with friends coming out of the woodwork now that he has some fame.

With the track “Mighty Good Friend,” Griffin House feels as if he is trying to create a song in the middle of family life. The track features background sounds of a child playing as House creates a track that blends together several different elements. With the inclusion of the banjo, you get some Country/Folk flavor. With the inclusion of the melody sung by House, you get some 4 Non Blondes influence. Ultimately, the song comes off sounding like something from early Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. The lyrics deal with House trying to write a song and just not being able to get around the voice in his head (the friend referred to in the title).

On the track “Hindsight,” Griffin House and company take the music back to the seventies as the track contains a rather easy pace to the music. The Folk/Rock blend on the track brings to mind the lighter artists from that era. More specifically, the music and the vocal delivery in the song bring to mind the style of Gordon Lightfoot as it sounds like from that musician’s material from the seventies. Even the lyrics seem rather reminiscent of Lightfoot’s style as those lyrics contain a slight sadness as House sings of becoming aware of what has happened only when he looks back.

Griffin House changes the feel of the music rather drastically with the song “Cup of Fulfillment”. The track begins with the sound of uilleann pipes before the track segues into a Lite Rock feel to the music. House sings lyrics that seem to have a rather spiritual feel to them, as he seems to be talking to a higher power. The spiritual lyrics and the Lite Rock feel to the music combine nicely to create a track that would fit easily within a current Christian Rock radio format.

The feel of the music on Rising Star changes once again with the song “Natural Man”. Griffin House and friends take the music back to an earlier time. The heavier Rock and Roll flavor on the track borrows influence from the eighties. The track features strong electric guitars and an all-over style that would have fit alongside Eddie Money, John Cougar Mellencamp, even Bruce Spingsteen.

With the track “Crash and Burn,” Griffin House stays within a timeless feel of the music. The lighter, easier feel to the music as well as an easier pace combine to create a track that feels like something from Pink Floyd. And while the title “Crash and Burn” feels like something that band might have written, the lyrics deal with someone dealing with the inevitable situation of falling apart and no longer being part of the mainstream, needing to step aside as the next Rising Star comes into the spotlight.

Like other albums in Griffin House’s discography, the ever-changing feel of the music within the Rising Star album keeps the album interesting. Much of the new release from Griffin House blends together, creating a loose story-line throughout the tracks. But since the album was created at the same time a documentary film starring House was being created, that’s understandable. And with the loose story-line running through the tracks, this ends up being one of the more interesting albums produced by the singer-songwriter.

For a taste of Rising Star from Griffin House, check out “Mighty Good Friend,” one of the tracks off of the album. 

To check out the entire Rising Star release from Griffin House, click on the album cover below:


Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: In The Next Life “4FriendsInARoomWithAGun”

In The Next Life is a four-piece band from New York City. Much like New York City, the four musicians that make up the band come from different backgrounds, both musically and personally. The different personal backgrounds and different musical backgrounds help to create music that borrows from many different styles. It is because of that borrowing from different styles that the band’s new album alternates between many different influences. The new release from In The Next Life is entitled 4FriendsInARoomWithAGun.

4FriendsInARoomWithAGun from In The Next Life features the track “Manica Satanica”. The track begins with the sound of evil laughter before the band joins in with chanting to go along with the sound of bongos. This helps to musically set the scene as the music of the track takes on a Heavy Metal feel. The screeching guitars and the powerful vocals from singer Caroleen Stewart combine with strong drums from drummer as well as engineer/producer for the release, Tamas Vajda to create a track that should satisfy those with the need for a heavier style of music, especially for those fans of Heavy Metal from the nineties.

With the track “Hope Dies (Acoustic/Vocal),” the feel of the music from In The Next Life changes. It is the Acoustic/Vocal mix of the track that is focused on here. The acoustic guitar from Charles A Cudd II and the vocals from Caroleen Stewart are the two elements in play as the two bandmates create perhaps the softest, most relaxing moment on the release. Well, when compared to the rest of the release, at least. Of course, the acoustic guitar from Cudd still has plenty of energy as this is an acoustic version of a much harder track. Together, the talents of Charles A Cudd II and Caroleen Stewart come through as no other instruments are featured on this track.

In The Next Life’s track called “Ashes and Dust” comes complete with an alternating musical feel as the music alternates between laidback and soft and a much harder, Heavy Metal-like approach. “Ashes and Dust” begins with the sound of the drums as well as the bass from John McD. Together, the two instruments create a Jazz-like feel to the music. When Caroleen Stewart joins them, the result is a moment that feels rather familiar, as if influenced by the Sixties band Jefferson Airplane; especially when Stewart’s vocals are very reminiscent of Grace Slick. After a few moments, the feel of the track changes as the band adds the guitar into the mix. The guitar adds a bit of Heavy Metal flavor to the track before the Jazz feel comes back. While the music of “Ashes and Dust” keeps the listener’s attention as it alternates between the hard and soft passages, Caroleen Stewart’s vocals are the main focal point of the track. On this track more than any other, you get to hear Stewart’s range as a singer as her vocals stretch from lower registers to higher ones.

The 4FriendsInARoomWithAGun release from In The Next Life finds the band creating one of the more interesting tracks with “Living in the Moment”. This track features strong, almost Heavy Metal-like guitars creating the melody of the track. But while the guitars are powerful, the rest of the track is much different. In fact, the Heavy Metal feel of those guitars mix with the easy feel of the drums and a slightly relaxed bassline. This creates a definite Prog-Rock feel to the track. While not really the norm, In The Next Life’s track of “Living in the Moment” shines the light on the bass guitar of John McD. In fact, much of the track feels like a bass solo for McD. And after an extended bass part, solo drums add some strong rhythm to the track.

One final track to focus on in the 4FriendsInARoomWithAGun release is the song “Hope Dies”. If that titles looks familiar (and it should), this is the actual song that the earlier track “Hope Dies (Acoustic/Vocal)” was inspired by. While the earlier track featured vocals and acoustic guitar, the entire band of In The Next Life creates this track. Just like with the earlier song, the track features a slow pace to the music. But this time, instead of an acoustic guitar, the track features an electric guitar. The first minute of the song feels much like the acoustic version of the song as the track is laidback. Soon after reaching the one-minute mark, however, the electric guitar truly makes its presence known as the band picks up the energy level. Much like the aforementioned “Ashes and Dust,” “Hope Dies” alternates between hard and softer passages in the music, bringing the track to a close during one of the harder points in the music.

4FriendsInARoomWithAGun from the band In The Next Life finds the band creating songs that are widely different from each other. The band’s use of different musical influences makes for a very interesting and entertaining release.

For more information, check out In the Next Life’s PR firm of Whiplash PR & Management by clicking on the logo for the company.





For a taste of the music from In the Next Life, check out the song “Manica Satanica”.

To hear the 4FriendsInARoomWithAGun release from In The Next Life, click on the album cover below: 

Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Emily Mure “Sad Songs & Waltzes” 

Having been classically-trained as an oboist, New York City’s singer-songwriter Emily Mure would later move to the guitar with which she would find her true calling as a Folk musician. Emily Mure has released three albums of original Contemporary Folk music. But now, the most current release from the singer-songwriter finds her exploring a much different idea. Mure’s newest release, entitled Sad Songs & Waltzes, is a short five-track release where Mure reinvents some of the songs that helped influence her, even if those songs don’t actually fall into the same musical category that she is classified under.  

Sad Songs & Waltzes from Emily Mure begins with the track “Gone for Good”. From the band The Shins, “Gone for Good” once appeared on that band’s Chutes Too Narrow album. With the version from The Shins, the band creates a track with a strong Alt-Country feel to the music. The track as recorded by the band comes complete with a strong twang to the song. When Mure created her version, the music comes with a softer feel as the Folk flavor of Mure’s style shines through. The electric guitar solo from Lyle Brewer helps add a lot of beauty to the lighter version of the track by Mure.

While the first track of Emily Mure’s Sad Songs & Waltzes was originally an Alt-Country song, the next track is a standard of sorts in the Country music genre. The album’s title track of “Sad Songs and Waltzes” is a song written by Willie Nelson from his Shotgun Willie album and covered by artists like Cake, Keith Whitley and Cowboy Junkies. As the original version from Nelson features a slow pace to the music, so too does the version from Emily Mure. With Mure’s version of the song, she strips the track down to a simple “guitar and vocals” arrangement. The simplicity of the track allows the sadness of the lyrics to come through.

When recorded by The Cranberries, the song “When You’re Gone” was an Alternative Rock track that had a generous amount of Doo Wop influence to it, especially in the beginning seconds of the track when it was simple the guitar and the vocals from Dolores O’Riordan. The beginning thirty seconds to the track on Emily Mure’s Sad Songs & Waltzes EP give the listener a hint at the original version by The Cranberries, but then the feeling of the track after that is much different. The track features the vocals from Emily Mure and her guitar for most of the track. Soon enough, the track also features the sound of a cello from Audrey Q. Snyder that helps to fill in a lot of the remaining sound. It’s when the upright bass from Brian Killeen appears that the track becomes complete. The Cranberries version of the song “When You’re Gone” was still a rather slow but had plenty of energy. The new version by Mure contains the same pace to the music while giving the track a much strong Folk feel.

“The Lonely 1” on the Sad Songs & Waltzes release from Emily Mure is one track where the singer-songwriter/musician gives a cover a stronger musical approach than the original version of a song. When the band Wilco recorded “The Lonely 1,” the band created a track that was a track perfect for slow dancing and the strings in the song added to that feeling. The version from Mure contains a simpler musical approach as the acoustic guitar is the focal point whereas the piano from Elizabeth Ziman is there mainly to be the replacement for the string arrangement from the Wilco version. Together, Emily Mure’s acoustic guitar and Elizabeth Ziman’s piano combine to create a musical direction that comes with a quicker pace to the music while still laid-back and low-key in its delivery. “The Lonely 1” ends up being one of the standout tracks on the Sad Songs & Waltzes release.

During the six tracks that make up the new EP from Emily Mure, the listener encounters songs that have been rearranged to fit the gentler feel of Folk music. With the song “No Surprises,” a song originally done by Radiohead, very little rearranging was done for Mure’s version. Aside from a stripped down feel, the track stays rather loyal to what had been created by the originators of the track. The song by Mure still contains a gentle, almost lullaby-like approach to the track, which goes along with the somber lyrics in the song. The difference is in the aforementioned stripped down approach. The track’s simpler feel truly brings out the sadness in the song.

Emily Mure brings her latest release to a close with the track “Yellow” which was a major hit for the British band Coldplay. Keeping with the feel of the original hit, Mure and her guitar set the track in motion with a nice stripped-down arrangement of the song. Having appeared earlier in the release, pianist Elizabeth Ziman and cellist Audrey Q. Snyder both return to help close out the Sad Songs & Waltzes release. Snyder’s cello adds a string arrangement that really brings back a lot of the spirit of Coldplay’s song. And Ziman’s piano adds depth to the track as the piano appears in the background of the song. Being a basically stripped-down version of what Coldplay had produced, Emily Mure produces a track that brings the release to a close on a soft note.

The Sad Songs & Waltzes release from Emily Mure is a well-named release as all of the tracks contain songs with rather sad lyrics to them. Together with the Folk-inspired arrangements, the six resulting cover tracks create a solid release that is familiar and intriguing at the same time. And although each track falls into the Folk category because of the arrangements of the songs, the release also belongs within the Rock and Roll music category because of the songs and the artists who created them originally being of the Rock and Roll style.

Here are links to the original songs included in the EP:
Gone for Good” from  The Shins
Sad Songs and Waltzes” from Willie Nelson
When You’re Gone” from The Cranberries
The Lonely 1” from Wilco
No Surprises,” from Radiohead
Yellow” from Coldplay

Check out Emily Mure’s PR firm, Michael J. Media by clicking on the picture below:




For a taste of the Sad Songs & Waltzes release from Emily Mure, check out her version of “Yellow” by Coldplay.

To check out the entire Sad Songs & Waltzes release from Emily Mure, click on the album cover below:





Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Dave Vargo “Spaces in Between”

New Jersey Singer-songwriter Dave Vargo began his career as a musician in the music industry after he graduated from Berklee College of Music. Since then he has shared the stage with notable artists such as Phoebe Snow, Vanda Sheppard and even the late Whitney Houston. As a singer-songwriter, Dave Vargo is creating a sound that feels rather timeless as it could fit any decade from the eighties forward and would fit right in on any Pop/Rock radio formats. With his own music, Vargo released one album of music called Burning Through back in 2016. Now, Vargo returns with an entirely new album. The 2019 release from Dave Vargo is entitled Spaces in Between

Spaces in Between from Dave Vargo begins with the track “This Moment On”. The track features a driving feel to the pace of the music and a strong drumbeat to add to that pace. On top of those drums, bass and acoustic guitar combine to create music that has an acoustic approach but also has a rather energetic delivery to it. Add in some electric guitar with a bit of a twang to it and you get a track that contains a Pop/Rock feel that would have been right at home on the radio in the eighties or could be right at home on modern-day Country music formats right now. “This Moment On” kicks off the Spaces in Between release with a very commercial to the music.

Dave Vargo continues his newest album with the track “Without a Fight”. Where the previous track featured the acoustic guitar, this track brings the electric guitar into the spotlight. The addition of that electric guitar gives the song a harder musical approach than the previous track, although it’s quite a bit slower. The song once again features a strong 80s vibe to the music. In fact, the guitars and Vargo’s vocal delivery bring to mind the musical stylings of Richard Marx from that time period. “Without a Fight” is perfect for those looking for strong Rock and Roll.

The acoustic feel of the music returns on the song “This Time Around”. In fact, there seems to be more than just a little familiarity to the music as that music sounds a lot like the first track of “This Moment On”. To be fair, the two tracks are not carbon copies of each other. However, the arrangements of the music mixed with the same basic instrument mixture makes the songs feel very similar. One thing that is different between the songs “This Moment On” and “This Time Around” is that “This Time Around” doesn’t come with the twang that is there in the earlier song. With similar styles, “This Time Around” and “This Moment On” help to solidify the Spaces in Between release to make it seem like one album.

As the new release from Dave Vargo continues, he returns to a stronger, harder feel to the music with the song entitled “Rewrites”. Right from the beginning of the track, the electric guitar creates a solo that sets the pace for the rest of the track. Just like with the earlier song of “Without a Fight,” Vargo adds some extra energy to the music. With this track, Vargo seems to be rather reflective as he sings about rewriting a few things. The lyrics seem to suggest trying to make things right by editing, much like in a story or a movie script.

After four songs that alternate between strong Rock and Roll with an eighties vibe and songs that contain a slightly easier feel to the music, Dave Vargo creates a track that features a much different sound. The track “Nowhere Else” contains a slower pace and an easier approach to the music. On this track, Vargo seems to be channeling Canadian songwriter Gordon Lightfoot as the song “Nowhere Else” blends together some Pop influence with a generous amount of Folk flavor. The inclusion of some female vocals helps give the song a little depth. All of the various elements, including a strong electric guitar solo in the middle, create a track that deserves to be included on any Pop/Rock, Lite Adult Contemporary radio format. This song is one of the shining moments on the album.

With the track “Someday,” Dave Vargo creates a moment of simplicity. While many of the songs on the Spaces in Between release come with complete arrangements and full instrumentation, “Someday” features mainly Vargo and his acoustic guitar. The track focuses on the singer-songwriter and his guitar, allowing the vocals from Vargo to shine. An electric guitar is added into the background as a way of adding depth to the song. The electric guitar is there for texture, not for power. Sometimes, it’s good to allow the singer-songwriter to shine on their own. “Someday” gives Vargo the chance to do just that.

Like with most of the Spaces in Between release, Dave Vargo returns to an eighties frame of mind on the “title track” of the album. “In Between” has a sound that is rather reminiscent of songs from the likes of Don Henley. In fact, you can hear a lot of Henley’s influence in the track. The track of “In Between” has a strong, driving pace to the music, much like the track of “This Moment On” at the very beginning of this album. “In Between” would have been right at home on the radio back in the eighties, but it still has a fresh approach to the music that would be welcome on any Hot Adult Contemporary station today.

Spaces in Between from Dave Vargo starts off strong and never lets up. Throughout the eleven tracks that make up the Spaces in Between album, Dave Vargo stays pretty much within a style that draws influence from music from the eighties. And while that does mean that the album is very retro in its sound, it’s also very timeless in its sound at the same time since music from the eighties always seems to be welcome.

For more information, check out Dave Vargo’s PR firm of Whiplash PR & Management by clicking on the logo for the company.




To discover the music of Dave Vargo, check out his song “This Time Around”.

To check out the Spaces in Between release from Dave Vargo, click on the album cover below:  

Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Marc Lee Shannon “Walk This Road”

Marc Lee Shannon has spent more than thirty years in the music industry. A large part of that time was spent outside of the Northern Ohio area as Shannon once lived out in Los Angeles having moved out there at the age of 19 to attend college.  And while out that way, Shannon began playing with some of the biggest names in the industry.

Time passed and Marc Lee Shannon has now been living back in the Northern Ohio area for years. And just like when he was out West, Shannon can be found performing with some of the biggest names in this area. You can find Shannon onstage helping to shape the music of artists such as The Midlife Chryslers, as well as being part of Michael Stanley & The Resonators, as well as many other artists from the region.

Marc Lee Shannon released his first release of Any Ordinary Man, back in 2006. That album was produced by Local Hero (as well as multi-talented musical artist) Michael Stanley and was released digitally on Line Level Music. And now, Shannon is back with his latest release. The 2018 album from Marc Lee Shannon is entitled Walk This Road. And much like with Shannon’s time as a musician, this album was created with the help of some of the biggest and most well-known names in the Northern Ohio region. Among those who helped bring the album to life is Ryan Humbert, a singer-songwriter in his own right. Along with adding guitars and vocals, Humbert helped to produce the album.

Walk This Road begins with the song “Carousel”. This track features a strong bassline and strong electric guitars that combine to create a track with a Classic Rock feel to the music, with a slight Native American vibe running through the music itself. The lyrics deal with living your life and dealing with the ups and downs of life as you go around the sun, which may very well explain the title of “Carousel”. The track starts slow and somewhat low-key, but soon picks up. The track continues with a strong Blues/Rock blend that is very energetic. This strong Blues-Rock track from Marc Lee Shannon and the rest of the musicians gives the listener something strong right from the start.

The Blues/Rock blend from “Carousel” is replaced with a straight-out Rock and Roll musical approach on the second track of the album. The title track of the release finds Marc Lee Shannon and band creating a track that would have been right at home on the radio during the late eighties/early nineties. The music of the song “Walk This Road” finds the band creating some of the best straight-out Rock and Roll that has been produced in a long time.  Fans of Rock and Roll from the late eighties/early nineties will enjoy this track.

Marc Lee Shannon’s Walk This Road continues with the song entitled “Back Door to My Heart”. The track features a slow pace to the music and influences like Jimi Hendrix-influenced guitars in the early moments of the track and Tom Petty-influenced music in the later moments. The two influences come in spurts as they alternate throughout the track. These influences help to create a track that feels somewhat timeless in its musical approach. And the lyrics of the track are given some extra body as Bri & Jon Bryant add background vocals to the song, giving a slight Gospel Choir influence to the lyrics.

As the first few track of Walk This Road come with guitar-based musical approaches that feeling changes with the track “Count Me In” as it is the piano from Russell Flanagan that help give the track a much different musical direction than the previous songs. As Russell Flanagan handles the piano, the track’s piano part will easily remind some of Billy Joel. And when the background vocals from Emily Bates and producer Ryan Humbert join in, the track ends up feeling like a 1980’s anthem in the style of “We Are The World”. The lyrics for “Count Me In” even give off positive vibes of being there for someone.

With the song “Since You Been Around,” Marc Lee Shannon and band create a track that once again changes the direction of the music. With this track, the musicians all join together to create a track that features music and vocals that bring to mind those of singer-songwriter Randy Newman. In fact, the way the band and Shannon combine their talents, what results is a track that feels rather reminiscent of “You’ve Got a Friend In Me” from Newman. The main reasons for this being the piano from Russell Flanagan and the rather smoky vocals from Shannon.

The sound of the electric guitar returns for the track “All I Want”. Along with the electric guitar, Marc Lee Shannon and the rest of the musicians bring back the feel of Eighties Rock and Roll.  The music of the track brings to mind the style of one Bryan Adams and other artists from that time. “All I Want” from Marc Lee Shannon is guitar-driven and will instantly remind the listener of music from Top 40 radio from the eighties. When the instruments on this track combine about halfway through the song, they create a sound that will remind some of the E. Street Band… minus the sax from Clarence Clemons.

For the last track of the release, Marc Lee Shannon draws upon several different artists to help flavor his music. It is the likes of Harry Nillson who influences the music of the track “So Long My Friend” while Shannon calls upon an artist who is rather close to his heart to help with the lyrics to this track. By the lyrics and the vocal delivery on this track all but scream Michael Stanley, a singer-songwriter who was best known for the songs “My Town,” “Lover” and “He Can’t Love You,” three tracks that made their way onto the music charts back in the eighties. In fact, you can almost hear this track appearing on one of Stanley’s twenty-plus studio albums.  

Having released his latest album of Walk This Road  back in 2108, Marc Lee Shannon has continued writing music. Currently, the singer-songwriter is celebrating the release of his most current single entitled “Friends Like You”. The track features a strong acoustic guitar and an equally strong organ setting the tone for the track. Once the rest of the instruments join in, the track takes on a Pop-Rock feel that would fit in alongside bands like Goo Goo Dolls and/or The Gin Blossoms while also containing a slight Bruce Springsteen influence to the music and especially in the vocals on the track. Like a lot of the music created by Marc Lee Shannon, “Friends Like You” contains a musical delivery that is rather timeless. While the track would feel right at home on the radio today, “Friends Like You” would have fit in on radio during the eighties and/or the nineties without any problems. 

Whether on his latest album of Walk This Road or his latest single of “Friends Like You,” Marc Lee Shannon shows off not only his ability as a singer-songwriter, but also his ability as a musician. And with the help of the various musicians who helped bring the album to life, Marc Lee Shannon has created a release that has a very timeless feel to it. For those longing for music that contains a strong timeless feel to it, Marc Lee Shannon’s Walk This Road is the album for you. 

To check out the music from Marc Lee Shannon, check out the latest single from the singer-songwriter, “Friends Like You”:

To hear the entire album of Walk This Road from Marc Lee Shannon, click on the album cover below: 

Reviews & Suggestions

CD Review: Greg Roensch “What’s in the Meaning of That Cloud in the Sky”

Greg Roensch is a multi-talented individual who splits his time between the written word, the spoken word and the recorded song. As a writer, you can find Greg Roensch’s written words in his 2017 collection called Breakfast with the Alien and Other Short, Short Stories. His words have also been used to write about subjects such as video games, consumer electronics, winemaking and others, as well as for non-profit organizations. As a singer-songwriter, Roensch has created what he called The Spiral Notebook Project, a project which included 10 songs created by Roensch and other talented individuals at Tiny Telephone Recording in San Francisco (including producer John Vanderslice who has been responsible for plenty of releases over the years from talented individuals). Years after the release of The Spiral Notebook Project, Greg Roensch returns with his latest album, a release once again created with the help of producer John Vanderslice. Greg Roensch’s latest musical release is called What’s in the Meaning of That Cloud in the Sky.  

To begin the What’s in the Meaning of That Cloud in the Sky album, Greg Roensch kicks off his release with the track “Come On Over”. This track brings forth the talents of keyboard player Robert Shelton as it is the organ that is the instrument that is focused on in this song. The organ and the rest of the instrumentation give the song a rather retro feel as the song sounds as if it would have come out of the seventies. Not only is there a seventies feel to the music, but the song itself brings to mind the musical stylings of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers as the tune has a sound with an undeniable resemblance to Petty’s song “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”.

The new release from Greg Roensch continues with the track “One More Shot”. This track features a Funk/Lite Rock blend to the music. The resulting blend creates a song with a laidback approach while also creating a strong groove that comes courtesy of the aforementioned organs and the bass. The synthesizers on the track add a strong groove of their own while also adding a slightly psychedelic vibe to the music. While the music of the track is rather upbeat, the lyrics are hopeful than anything else. The lyrics describe trying to reignite a relationship that seems to have come to an abrupt end at one point with Roensch cautiously dealing with the situation so things don’t get worse.

If one is familiar with some of the music that came out of the era of the eighties, you should be at least familiar with the title to the song “If I Had a Rocket Launcher,” the very political track from Bruce Cockburn from back in 1984 about his visit to Guatemalan refugee camps in Mexico following the counterinsurgency campaign of dictator Efraín Ríos Montt. On his new album, Greg Roensch takes a little influence from Cockburn as he created a track with a title that is just as striking and memorable. “Don’t Forget Your Hand Grenades” is a track from Roensch that, like Cockburn’s earlier track, was influenced by reality: a sign hanging in an airport in Europe that simply said- “No Hand Grenades”. Forming the music around the lyrics, the song contains a jazzy/funky feel to the laidback music. And with the sing-song feel to Roensch’s vocals, the song comes across as a Spoken Word/Beat Poetry track. But with the lyrical content of the words, that works rather well for the song “Don’t Forget Your Hand Grenades”.

What’s in the Meaning of That Cloud in the Sky album from Greg Roensch continues with the song “Grasshopper”. With this track, Roensch and the rest of the band slow things down quite a bit to create the slow-paced track. Singer Carly Bond joins Roensch as the two create a duet of sorts. While most duets feature lyrics of a mainly romantic nature, Bond and Roensch sing about taking it slow and easy. The track features simplicity at its best as the lyrics deal with the simple act of sitting and watching a grasshopper hopping along while the music contains a slow, steady and laidback pace.

The track “Celluloid Dream” changes the direction of the music. With this track the main focus is on the acoustic guitar of Greg Roensch as he creates a track that feels much like something from singer-songwriters in the mid-to-late sixties or earlier seventies. The slow-paced song features a storyteller approach to the lyrics, in much the same manner that Jimmy Buffett wrote the song “They Don’t Dance Like Carmen No More,” Buffet’s tribute to the multi-talented actress and singer Carmen Miranda. In this instance, Roensch writes about any one of the numerous actresses that graced the silver screen during the early Black & White days of cinema. And while the track easily contains the influence of Jimmy Buffett in the lyrics, the musical part of the track will remind fans of The Princess Bride of that movie’s Main Theme Song, “Storybook Love” from Willie DeVille and Mark Knopfler. Part of the reason for that comes from the inclusion of the cello on the track that is courtesy of Crystal Pascucci, which adds a touch of orchestration to the song.  

Like with the earlier track of “Don’t Forget Your Hand Grenades,” Greg Roensch takes the listener back to the sixties with “Remember the War to End All Wars,” a track that brings to mind songs like “Find the Cost of Freedom” from Crosby, Stills and Nash, or “Stop Children What’s That Sound” from Buffalo Springfield. “Remember the War to End All Wars” contains the same type of lyrical mindset as the aforementioned songs. The track is formed around the cello from Crystal Pascucci who creates a beautiful and touching intro to the track before the song changes to something that could have come from Buffalo Springfield, as the song falls into a style of Folk-Rock reminiscent of that band’s music. “Remember the War to End All Wars” is a powerful reminder to never forget the conflicts that came before as they can still teach us things.

Greg Roensch continues his new release with another poignant track as he stays in the same frame of mind of the previous track. But this time, instead of Folk-Rock, Roensch changes directions and creates a song with a much different feel to the music. It is with the song “Trigger, Trigger (Get Your Gun Out of My Face)” that Roensch explores a much more experimental feel to his music. In fact, the musical direction chosen by the singer-songwriter on this track brings to mind the more experimental side of the band Pere Ubu. The music being what it is and the Spoken Word feel to the words on the track create one of the most different tracks of the entire album.

Singer Carly Band returns as she and Greg Roensch once again join together on the “title track” of the release “Tell It Like It Is”. Just like the first time that Band made an appearance on this release, the song “Tell It Like It Is” contains a duet between Band and Roensch. And like the first track that featured both artists, this song is slow-paced and laidback as the song contains a light touch to the music which goes along with the lyrics about how things are going in the relationship that the song revolves around.  

As the listener goes through the thirteen tracks that make up the What’s in the Meaning of That Cloud in the Sky album from Greg Roensch, you get many different styles and flavors of music. Folk-Rock, Art Punk, Psychedelic Rock and much more make up the various tracks on the album. Strong writing, strong musicianship and nicely varied music combine to create a release that offers something for everyone.   

For more information, check out Greg Roensch’s PR firm of Whiplash PR & Management by clicking on the logo for the company.





For a taste of the music from Greg Roensch, check out the song “Come on Over”. 

To hear the entire What’s in the Meaning of That Cloud in the Sky album from Greg Roensch, click on the album cover below: