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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Stubborn Son “Birthright”

In a time when many recording artists are creating music that focuses on the pop side of things in order to appeal to the widest audience possible, there are others who still want to create the full-fledged sound and feel of real Rock and Roll. One such band that focuses their efforts on creating real Rock and Roll is the band Stubborn Son.

The Seattle-based Stubborn Son is a trio consisting of guitarist and vocalist Garrett Lamp; bassist and vocalist Andrew Knapp and drummer Blair Daly. Together, the three musicians create Rock and Roll sound that takes the listener back to earlier times as their style features a large amount of Blues influence. Stubborn Son’s Blues-influenced music is brought to life with the help if Martin Feveyear who seems to bring out the best in the band. The resulting collaboration can be found on Stubborn Son’s 2015 release entitled Birthright.

Birthright from Stubborn Son begins with the track “The Broken Heart Proof”. The track begins with Garrett Lamp and Blair Daly creating a Black Keys-inspired, guitar-and-drums approach to the song. The Blues-Rock sound created by the duo soon becomes even stronger once bassist Andrew Knapp adds the bass to the track. As the duo becomes the full trio, the track’s Blues-Rock sound gains a strong, driving feel to it. “The Broken Heart Proof” would feel at home with anything from the early Rock And Roll as it would with today’s bands.

Stubborn Son slows the pace of their music just a little bit with the track “Make Believe”. And while the track is slightly slower than “The Broken Heart Proof,” no energy is lost. The three members of the band add even more Blues influence to their playing and this sound brings to mind the musical approach of someone like Cream. “Make Believe” gives the listener the best of Classic Rock with just a little modern-day influence, proving that the sound of Stubborn Son is the perfect bridge between Classic Rock and modern-day Rock and Roll.

With the next track on their Birthright release, Stubborn Son creates a track with a very modern feel. While still containing plenty of Blues in its style, the track “Catch Me Runnin’” feels somehow modern. And just like The Black Keys or The White Stripes, this track would easily feel right at home on today’s Top 40 radio. “Catch Me Runnin’” ends up being one of the strongest tracks on the Birthright release.

Changing directions just a little bit, Stubborn Son adds a lot more Blues influence to their song “Thick As Blood”. The track has so much Blues influence that it feels like a Blues track. On this track, vocalist/guitarist Garrett Lamp plays his guitar with a slide which adds to that Blues feel. The Power Blues created by the trio allows the listener to hear the talent and abilities of each member of the band.

While many of the tracks on Birthright from Stubborn Son come close to Blues but still contain that Rock and Roll edge, the track “Vixen” finds the band coming very close to creating a straight-out Blues track. The slow pace of the music and guitar solo on the track from Garrett Lamp makes the song sound very Bluesy. To take the track over the edge into the Blues, the lyrics of the song contain just the right amount of pain.

Staying in the same Bluesy frame of mind as “Vixen,” the track “Voices” also finds Stubborn Son creating a very mournful track. The track’s musical feel seems as if it were influenced by the classic song “House of the Rising Sun”. Singer Garrett Lamp brings plenty of Blues influence to the song as he sings of the voices in his head slowly driving him crazy. Along with the Bluesy feel, the track also seems to contain a certain amount of influence from Classic Rock band Iron Butterfly. In fact, there are several moments in the song where some vocalizations on the track bring to mind Iron Butterfly’s Doug Ingle as he sang on the song “Iron Butterfly Theme”. At nearly six minutes long, “Voices” is yet another strong track on Birthright and one of the best tracks on the album.

Throughout the ten tracks that make up Birthright from Stubborn Son, the three musicians of Garrett Lamp, Andrew Knapp and Blair Daly prove that The Blues is far from dead. The resulting Blues-Rock from the band not only keeps the style alive, but it also pushes the style and keeps it fresh. Birthright from Stubborn Son is a great album that would be great for any lover of Rock and Roll or for those who enjoy the Blues. And with the blending of the two styles on the Stubborn Son album, the release could inspire people of the Blues musical mindset to explore more artists in the Rock genre and vice versa.

For more information, check out the band’s PR Firm, XO Publicity.

Click HERE to check out the video to “The Broken Heart Proof”.

Click the album cover below to purchase a copy of the release.

Birthright

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Welshly Arms S/T

In the short amount of time that Welshly Arms has been together, the Cleveland-based band has made a lot of noise in the music scene.  Comprised of Sam Getz (vocals/guitar), Brett Lindemann (keys/vocals), Jimmy Weaver (bass/vocals), and Mikey Gould (drums), Welshly Arms is a band that has been shaking the music world off its foundation.

Since coming together, the band has created one EP called Welcome; a 3-song release that simply features the band creating new versions of well-known tracks from the likes of Deep Purple, The Chamber Brothers and Roy Orbison; and the band’s newest release: a full-length self-titled album. The band is currently promoting that 2015 self-titled album.

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Features

The music, the sweat, the rain, all documented in RRR’s Osheaga photo essay!

If there is anything to say for Montreal’s summer weather, it is certainly unpredictable. Not necessarily what you want when heading into a music-filled festival weekend, but hey, what can you do? Bracing the elements, from scorching heat on Friday and Saturday to torrential downpour on Sunday, yours truly and photographer Andrej Ivanov set out to take in all Osheaga had to offer. A full review will be coming later this week, but to satisfy your curiosity in the mean time, here is Mr. Ivanov’s photo essay, encapsulating the good, better and greatest of the weekend.

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Artists and Bands

Nicole Atkins on her new album, band and recent wardrobe malfunction (yes!)

Nicole Atkins’ latest album, Mondo Amore, won’t be released until February 8, but it’s already garnering rave reviews left, right and center. This talented singer-songwriter from New Jersey has drawn comparisons to the likes of Janis Joplin and Etta James, and she recently took time to talk with our very own Aaron Kupferberg about her new album, band and recent wardrobe malfunction (yes!). Be sure to catch Nicole and her band, The Black Sea, on their 19-city tour in February. Dates and more info here.

Q: Mondo Amore has some great tracks on it. Tell me a little bit about the process of bringing this album together…

A: Well, after I left Columbia [Records], I went with my friend Phil Paulozolo, who co-produced the record and recorded it. We decided to to do this record without a label during the process of making it, so we just kinda hunkered down from January ’till June at the Seaside Lounge in Brooklyn and I just called on a bunch of my friends; the old members of my band The Sea and the new members that are currently with me [now called The Black Sea], and a bunch of friends from other Brooklyn bands.

We sat in the studio for a few months and made the record, and after it was all done, we took it to a few labels and showed it to them and Razor and Tie seemed like the best bet.

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Artists and Bands

Gaslight Anthem guitarist Alex Rosamilia offers a glimpse into the explosive band and explains why “The Gaslight Anthem is – it just is”

Sure, it’s only August, and 2010 still has four whole months to deliver musically, but The Gaslight Anthem’s latest release, American Slang, is already looking, or I suppose sounding, like the best album of the year. The New Jersey natives’ third album, which was released this past June, is easily the best punk/rock offering to have come my way in a very, very long time. The sense of truth which the record emanates is hauntingly beautiful, and there’s no arguing with the band’s musical abilities either. And turns out the guys put on a wicked live show as well, so what more can one really ask for?

Following the band’s set at Montreal’s Osheaga Music Festival – where Brian Fallon (vocals/guitar), Alex Rosamilia (guitar), Alex Levine (bass), and Ben Horowitz (drums) played to a crowd filled with devoted fans and entranced, soon to become devoted fans – Rosamilia took time to offer The Rock and Roll Report a glimpse into the explosive band, define his odd man out status, and even explain floccinaucinihilipilification. Yes, that’s a real word. And it all began with a bench by the water, a sigh of relief, and the declaration that, “It’s hard to have that much energy at like, three in the afternoon!”

Q: That’s what I was just going to ask – when you’re stuck with an early set time like today’s 3 p.m., is it hard to get on stage and be full force?

A: It is if you, you know, sometimes I’ve woken up and we’re on in like twenty minutes, but because of the border cross I got up pretty early today … But before we go on I listen to the same five/eight songs every day to try to get myself in the same mindset no matter where I am, or what time it is.

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Features

The good, the bad, and the unfortunate: A look at Osheaga 2010

July 31 and August 1 saw the fifth annual Osheaga music festival in Montreal. Usually a pretty modest affair, most of what Osheaga does, it does right. Beer, for instance. Osheaga does beer really well: the lines are short and the price isn’t too steep. And they’ve done away with beer tents, allowing Canadians the freedom to roam with their brew – just as God intended. There isn’t an overwhelming sense of corporate sponsorship, and the free metro ride home is very much appreciated. Oh, and the music is pretty good too.

In past years, Osheaga hadn’t attracted as many big performers as Coachella, Lollapalooza, or Bonnaroo, but this year it joined the ranks of the heavy hitters. Weezer and Snoop Dogg were some of the high profile names, but the band that made Osheaga truly transcendent was Montreal’s own Arcade Fire.

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Artists and Bands Record Labels

Alive and Rocking: Part 2

This is the second part of this round-up review/label profile so let me repeat:

Let me tell you, I get a decent bit of music in the mail thanks to this gig right here and although every day brings a package with a little bit of melodic lovin’ inside, there are days where the bounty is just so fucking cool it makes me glad I decided to become a music writer. The day I received this fat package of music from the Alive label was one of those great days. Alive is one of the few labels left which is dedicated to keeping rock and roll…ahem…alive in many ways, but most importantly in spirit. The label is a throwback to the days when substance meant more than anything else and sticking by your bands while they grew and matured was more important than milking them for one monster hit. I mean, while I am sure Alive would love to sell a ton of records and have a huge fat hit on their hands, they seem incredibly loyal to their bands and are nurturing their roster as each band builds their own reps and fanbases which will eventually help the label as a whole. As it is, the label has one of the best young rosters out there and will soon be able to compete with any other label out there is the discs contained in this package is any clue. Since they sent me so many wonderful releases, I am splitting this article into two parts so I don’t hit you with too much good stuff at one time. This is, of course, the second part!

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Rock and Roll Report TV

Rock and Roll Report TV – Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys Performs Trouble Weighs A Ton