Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Miles Maxwell “Red Ghost”

Miles Baltrusaitis had, at one time, a desire for creating music. But that desire had been put on hold. But after not writing anything for almost a decade, he called upon a few college roommates to help create a band that would bring his songs to life. Soon enough, Miles Baltrusaitis began working on an album but chose to use a different moniker. The name chosen by Baltrusaitis was a result of his first name and his middle name. The resulting name is Miles Maxwell and the resulting album under the Miles Maxwell moniker is entitled Red Ghost. Along with writing the songs that appear on the album Red Ghost, Miles Baltrusaitis provides Vocals and Guitars to the release.  

Of course, Miles Baltrusaitis is not alone on his new album. Together with Miles Maxwell Baltrusaitis, the rest of the ensemble consists of: Steve Kingwell on the Bass along with Dan Stankiewicz on Keys as well as Dan’s brother Matt Stankiewicz on the Drums. Baltrusaitis brought the Stankiewicz Brothers into his ensemble because of the fact that both of the brothers had already been veterans of the Chicago Music Scene as they had spent time in the band My Blue Valentine. The result is an ensemble that helps to bring the Red Ghost release from Miles Maxwell to life.

Red Ghost from Miles Maxwell begins with the song “Snapdragon”. The track features a Rock and Roll feel that revolves around the piano and acoustic guitar that blend together to create a track that would have been right at home in the seventies. With the piano and acoustic guitar blend, there are hints at influences such as Elton John or Billy Joel, but mostly, the track feels like something from Todd Rundgren. And while the track does feel a tad dated in its musical delivery, fans of music from the seventies will much to enjoy with this track.

The new album from Miles Maxwell continues with the song “I Can’t Be Myself,” a definite anti-love song. The lyrics about hiding one’s true feelings so the one you’re with doesn’t know what you’re actually thinking are matched up with music that contains a Folk-Rock feel to it. Because of the light feel of the track, it matches up well with the previous song on the album as “Snapdragon” comes across as laidback, just like “I Can’t Be Myself” does.

For the next track, Miles Baltrusaitis and the rest of the band changes musical directions and creates a song that contains a funky feel to the keys on the track. The slightly funky feel to the song “She Says (Whiskey Down at 4AM)” gives the music a Pop-Rock style that works well with the lyrics to the track. When listening to the lyrics of the track, you can hear a hint of Barenaked Ladies influence that would have come from that band’s song of “Hello City” in the vocal delivery from Miles Baltrusaitis while at the same, there is also a slight hint of an influence from The Band in the actual music of the song.

The band changes the direction their music is taking with the next track entitled “Something New,” a title that seems to describe that change of direction. With “Something New,” the band shifts gears and takes on a rather strong Country influence to the music. The definite twang in the music and the energetic pace to the music brings to mind something that would have been created back in the seventies or eighties when the age of Classic Country was in full swing. The timeless feel of the Country music on the track will surely please fans of the Classic Country style of music.

In a real change of pace, the quartet creates an instrumental track on the song “Jenever (In Acquia)”. The track that barely lasts longer than two minutes is a Bluegrass/Folk-Rock hybrid that brings to mind the style of the song “Jessica” from the Allman Brothers. As this track contains no lyrics, the listener gets to experience the true talent of the quartet of musicians since there are no lyrics to get in the way of the music on the track.

On the song entitled “Terrible Song,” the band once again changes directions, this time to create a song with a straight-out Rock and Roll approach. And while the track solidly into the Rock and Roll genre; it contains a gentle feeling to the music, creating a song that would be more than welcome on an Adult Contemporary radio format. “Terrible Song’s” lyrics seem to add a hint of humor to the album as the lyrics describe the way the song has turned out since it supposedly was written (according to the lyrics) after some bad things had taken place, creating a situation for which the lyrics help to describe.

The album of Red Ghost from Miles Maxwell comes to a close with the title track of the release. “Red Ghost” finds Miles and the rest of the band creating a song based around the idea of what is left behind when a relationship comes to an end. The slow-paced Folk-Rock infused track deals with a man who is looking back at what has come to pass as the memories in his head seem to create visions of a woman who once was in his life. The sad lyrics and slow pace of the music combine to create a track that brings the album to a close on a soft note.

Red Ghost from Miles Maxwell is a solid Americana release. The nine tracks that make up the album all combine to create an album that changes directions multiple times. With the various tracks, the listener gets to hear many different sides to the band’s personality as a whole. For those who like variety in the music, you won’t do better than with the Red Ghost album from Miles Maxwell.

For a taste of the new album from Miles Maxwell, check out a “live” performance of the title track of “Red Ghost” 

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






To purchase a copy of Red Ghost from Miles Maxwell, click on the album cover below: 

Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Chapell “Soul Man”

Singer-songwriter Alan Chapell started out learning how to become a musician by spending some time in New York. And then he took off for international lands. While in place like Mumbai and India, Chapell allowed many different things to influence his writing. While overseas, Chapell started writing commercials and jingles as a way of making money. And while that wasn’t the same as making his own music, that did help Chapell stretch as a writer.

Eventually, Alan Chapell moved back to the United States. Soon, Alan Chapell was creating his own music and recording his own music. The resulting singer-songwriter’s music combines elements of Rock and Roll with some elements of Pop music. Eventually, Chapell would create his first release entitled The Redhead’s Allegations. That eleven-song album has been followed up by Chapell’s newest release, a four-song EP called Soul Man.

Alan Chapell (who simply goes by his last name of Chapell) begins his Soul Man release with the titled track of the EP. “Soul Man” begins with slow pace to the music and a rather laidback delivery in the track. The song features a combination of both the keyboard and guitar blending together to create a track that contains a definite Pop feel to the music of the track. The easy pace of the tempo adds to the Pop quality of the track. Along with the easy feel of the tempo, the lyrics to the track about a man who decides to live from one moment to the next instead of trying to live up to a woman’s expectations. The lyrics to the track are delivered with a certain amount of gentleness that goes along with the gentle pace of the music.

The release of Soul Man continues with the song “My Baby Loves Me Now”. Where the previous track contained a Pop feel to the music, “My Baby Loves Me Now” takes the feel of the music back into the eighties. The inclusion of the keyboards on the track give the song a musical approach that would have fit in well with the likes of Spandau Ballet, Simply Red and maybe even early OMD. The track contains a certain amount of Pop quality to the music with some New Wave elements, as well. The track begins with a low-key delivery and slowly builds over the course of the four minute-playtime. By the end of the track, the song is filled up with a full orchestration and a choir that helps to add fullness to the chorus of the song. The track has a definite commercial radio potential to it and could easily be single off the release.

Soul Man from Chapell continues with the track “Watercolors”. With this track, the singer-songwriter steps it up a notch and adds a lot more energy to the music. The first two tracks of the release contained a Pop quality with a gentleness to it. With “Watercolors,” the feel of the music takes on a much stronger pace and sound. While still containing a definite Pop-like quality in the music, the track now contains a sound that feels like a combination between Elton John and Phil Collins’ solo material. Where the previous songs contained an eighties feel to the music, “Watercolors” would easily have fit in on Adult Contemporary radio formats in the nineties. And just like “My Baby Loves Me Now” before it, “Watercolors” has a definite “single” potential.

Chapell’s Soul Man release comes to a close with the track “She’s On Fire”. With this track, the music is pumped up a little bit more. The track contains a strong Pop sound with an equally strong Soul influence to it that comes from the inclusion of things like horns. The Pop/Soul combination in the music ends up creating a track that feels both retro and fresh at the same time. “She’s On Fire” is yet another track within the short four-song EP from Chapell that could find its way onto the radio.

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how many tracks a release has or how short the release’s playtime. What is important is the strength of the music that is included on that release. Throughout the four songs by Chapell on his Soul Man release, there is at least two, maybe even three tracks that should be played on the radio. There is most definitely a commercial potential for this EP. With this four-song EP being as solid as it is, the listener definitely gets their money’s worth.

Soul Man from Alan Chapell is not yet available. The EP will officially be released sometime early in 2018. As such, very little is available to promote the EP. However, there is a live version of the song “The Soul Man,” the title track of the upcoming release. For more information and to keep up to date with the release of the EP, check out Chapell’s Facebook profile

For more information, check out Chapell’s PR Firm, Whiplash PR.



Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: No More Kings “III”

No More Kings is a Los Angeles-based rock outfit. The duo consists of Pete Mitchell on vocals and Neil DeGraide on almost everything else with a little help from some friends to help solidify the band’s sound. The duo formed while they were still in high school and they started writing songs around certain themes. When listening to an album from No More Kings, the band will cover concepts like zombies, karate and other ideas that will bring about a certain amount of nostalgia for the listener.

Having already released their self-titled album in 2007 plus And the Flying Boombox in 2009, No More Kings has returned in 2014 with their newest collection of songs. Having already released most of these tracks under the album title of 1973, No More Kings took the majority of the songs, added two unreleased tracks to the tracks from the previous version of the album that made the cut and created the new release called III.

Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Jukebox the Ghost “Everything Under the Sun”

Jukebox The Ghost is a band that is heavy on sunshine and nostalgic influences. Produced by Peter Katis (Interpol, The National) the trio is made up of guitarist/vocalist Tommy Siegel, pianist/vocalist Ben Thornewill and drummer Jesse Kristin. The group has a solid upbeat piano sound that makes an impression on the opener, “Schizophrenia,” with quick beats, playful synths and the contrasting lyrics “No I can’t, Yes I Can…” The album is tons of fun with expertly executed hooks in the bouncy “Half Crazy” and quirky lyrics of “Empire,” which sounds like a brilliant combination of Billy Joel and Field Music. The latter tune is a special highlight as the chorus just rings in your head and won’t let you go.

Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Luke Wesley “Because We Never Talk About It”

It is not all that easy finding piano songs that rock out these days. Luke Wesley is poised to change all that with his remarkably enjoyable debut, “Because We Never Talk About It”. Born and raised in Shelby, Ohio, Wesley is now heating up the singer/songwriter scene in New York.

“Because We Never Talk About It” is an infectious pop rock record, plain and simple. Wesley knows how to draw the listener in with catchy piano beats and witty lyrics. He has great instincts for pop and strives to place a tantalizing hook in each song he puts to tape. It is easy to compare him to legends like Billy Joel or Elton John, but there is an air about Wesley that will draw comparisons to Ben Folds as well. His vocals are clear and warm, somewhere between Marc Cohn and Will Hoge.


The Shadows know and, thanks to Gary Pig Gold, now you can too

For those still old enough to peg the launch of British rock to the evening of February 9, 1964, when four young Liverpudlians appeared, as if from nowhere, on the stage of The Ed Sullivan Show, think of this: last year a different U.K. band celebrated its fiftieth anniversary with a series of sold-out concerts at London’s mammoth O2 Arena. At the height of their success, this band placed an astounding twenty-eight hits atop the British charts, have released over one hundred albums worldwide and their lead singer was knighted by the Queen before Elton John, Tom Jones, Mick Jagger or even Paul McCartney. That singer’s name? Cliff Richard. His band? The Shadows.

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s grand new release, Cliff And The Shadows: The Final Reunion DVD, documents the band’s landmark 2009 O2 Arena performances and constitutes the perfect two-hour primer of and for pre-Beatles British rock. Accordingly, barely a minute into the proceedings and legendary Shadows guitarist Hank B. Marvin claims Cliff’s 1959 chart-topper “Living Doll” as, and I shall quote,”The first real British rock and roll record.” That classic is duly performed herein, along with forty-one! other songs and it’s all in just under 137 minutes. Every song comes fast and furious, short and sweet, and at a near assembly-line pace. All the excitement is captured in sight and especially in sound, which is clean, bright and sharp from the very beginning until the final encore.


Stuart Epps Toured America with Elton John, Produced and Engineered Records for Led Zeppelin and Paul Rodgers and is Now Focusing on the Next Generation – Part 2 of 2

staurt… Continued from Thursday, November 5th

Q: Over the years has there been one artist that’s particularly stood out as the best or most interesting to work with?

A: Definitely the main one is Elton: the most amazing songwriter and singer and all around artist and performer that I’ve ever met. But I’ve been very lucky; I’ve worked with lots of great bands. Jimmy Page was another one I learnt a lot from and Paul Rodgers is probably the best singer I’ve ever worked with […] he made an album with Kenney Jones, the drummer from The Who, and they had a band called The Law and he’s definitely one of the best artists I’ve ever worked with. Not the easiest [but] usually the best artists aren’t the easiest to work with. Chris Rea who I worked with and sang with, I sang on backing vocals on his album […] I’ve been very lucky. I have worked with Oasis, and I worked with Robbie Williams and, you know, I worked with some pretty big artists and it’s always, even if you’re not into their music, it’s always interesting to see what makes them the way they are.

My big hope now is to be able to […] come across an artist for myself who’s in the early stages of their career that I can then use all my experience to help fulfill and hopefully make into a similarly big recording artist, which is what we’re trying to do with Kendal Sant at the moment. […] You know I still love making music with people, still love making records, still good fun. Which is a bit surprising really because you think it’s something you might grow out of, but it’s still good fun.


Stuart Epps Toured America with Elton John, Produced and Engineered Records for Led Zeppelin and Paul Rodgers and is Now Focusing on the Next Generation – Part 1 of 2

staurtWhat do Elton John, Led Zeppelin, Oasis, Twisted Sister, Kiki Dee and Chris Rea all have in common? Yes, this wide array of superstars do share one thing in common: they’ve all, at one point in their careers, worked with Stuart Epps.

Since 1967 Epps has immersed himself in the music industry, stating out as an office boy at Dick James Music at the age of fifteen and going on to become a praised producer and engineer. He even toured America with Elton John in the early 70s as his personal assistant.

Mr. Epps was kind enough to call in to The Rock and Roll Report from his UK home for a retrospective chat about his marvelous 40+ year career.

Q: Going back to the very beginning, how did you get involved in the music industry?

A: I was in bands from about the age of eight or nine and one guy who I was in a band with, and I also went to school with, […] got this job working for Dick James as an office boy. That was probably about 1965 or ‘66 and he use to come home with all these stories […] that he just went to Paul McCartney’s house, he got the new Beatles album […] all these stories were just magnificent about him and the music business and how exciting it was.
A year passed and he said that he was looking for his replacement so that he could be promoted and I was just starting school, I was only 14 back then […] but I just thought, “Wow, this could be an opportunity.” So, I mentioned it to my parents who I just thought would say, “You must be joking, you’ve got to start school,” and my dad said “Well, you know, if you want to do it then go and do it.” I just didn’t need any more encouragement than that.

I went for an interview and got the job as office boy. It was an amazing time. It was 1967 in London, it was flower power and hippie time, and I was earning $10 a week, which was about $9 more than I’d been getting, so I was like a millionaire and getting these incredible jobs: go to Paul McCartney’s house, go to Abbey Road Studios. It was a great way to find out about the music business really. Even though it was the lowest of the lowest jobs, to me it was absolutely brilliant. Everyday was great and I could probably talk about that period for about six hours and we can’t really do that! [laughs]