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Reviews & Suggestions

CD Review: Ale Torriggino “Blue Light”

The city of Rosario, Argentina is home to singer-songwriter Ale Torriggino. Within the town of Rosario, Torriggino and other musicians seem to be very influenced by music that would be considered oldies here in the United States. Because of that, the original music created by Ale has a definite retro feel to it. The feel of Ale Torriggino has been influenced by the likes of B.B. King, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, along with more modern artists such as John Mayer. Together, these influences shine through in the music produced by Torriggino as his music features Rock, Blues and Jazz influences.

Ale Torriggino has already released one album of music. The 2016 album from Torriggino called Sureste features songs written and performed in Spanish. The musician has just recently followed that album up with another album of music. This time, however, Torriggino has created a release performed in English. The 2017 release from Ale Torriggino is entitled Blue Light. To help bring the release to life, Torriggino’s drums and guitar were joined by bass from Marcos Benítez and keyboard from Natalia Nardiello. The album was helped along by Gonzalo Esteybar who contributed production, arrangements, additional guitar.

Blue Light from Ale Torriggino begins with the track “The Healer”. As the song begins, the listener experiences the guitar playing of Torriggino that adds a definite Blues element to the song. Along with that Blues influence, the track also features a strong acoustic approach. The acoustic/electric combination on the track gives the track a timeless musical approach. The track ultimately feels as if it had been influenced by the playing of Eric Clapton. The guitar solo on the track is proof of that.

Ale Torriggino turns up the energy level on the next track called “When the Tide begins to Turn”. The song still contains a strong Blues influence to both the music and the lyrics, but the music is a lot stronger as Torriggino chooses to incorporate the electric guitar to the music. The song’s lyrical content sounds very much like something from B.B. King while the electrified nature of the music makes the song feel more like something from Stevie Ray Vaughn.

The release continues with the song “Grey Sky Blues”. With this song, Ale Torriggino slows things down. The softer musical approach that is contained within the music of the track seems to contain a Folk flavor to it. Plus, the organ that comes courtesy of Natalia Nardiello adds a certain amount of Soul feeling to the track. The lyrics of the song contain a slightly sad feel to them adding to the concept of the grey sky.

After one track with a slower pace, Ale Torriggino picks the pace back up with the song “Catherine”. The music of the track contains elements from musicians such as Elvis Presley or Roy Orbison when they were first starting out, helping to shape the history of Rock and Roll music. The older Rock and Roll influences on the track give the song a definite Rockabilly flavor. That Rockabilly influence does a lot to set “Catherine” apart from the rest of the album.

One of the strongest tracks on the Blue Light release from Ale Torriggino is the song “Waiting for the War to Come”. The track features a strong, driving feel to the music that comes for the inclusion of an electric guitar. The track brings the listener back to the days of the late sixties as the music has a slight Neil Young feel to it. The track would have easily fit in with other anti-war tracks that existed back during the Vietnam War era.

Ale Torriggino keeps the energy level of the music up with the song “Hostage”. The Blues-Rock track brings to mind someone like the band Cream while the song also contains a slight Prog-Rock influence to it. The powerful guitar part is matched up well with a bassline that combine to form a track that has a strong groove to it. “Hostage” is one of the strongest, and shortest, tracks on the Blue Light release from Ale Torriggino.

The track “Shelter” features music that seems to combine elements from both “Let it Ride” from Bachman-Turner Overdrive and “Waiting on the World to Change” from John Mayer; although, as the song progresses, the slow pace of the music would side more with Mayer’s song than with BTO’s track. Throughout the track, the John Mayer influence is evident in both the music and the style of the lyrics. “Shelter” finds Ale Torriggino writing a song about sharing the same roof with that special someone. “Shelter” is easily one of the more commercial tracks on the Blue Light album.

The Blue Light release from Ale Torriggino comes to an end with the song “The Color Life”. The track begins with a simple man-and-his-guitar approach as Torriggino creates a track that feels very much like something from James Taylor, in both music and lyrical content. As the track proceeds, the music continues to build. Eventually, the one lonely guitar is joined by an entire symphony of strings to add an orchestral feel to the track. “The Color Life” and its orchestral feel helps to bring the album to a close in a rather laidback manner.

Blue Light from Ale Torriggino is a strong musical release. The many different musical elements used by Torriggino to create his music ultimately combine to form an album that feels retro in some places and rather modern in others. The ten tracks of music make for an album that will appeal to a lot of music lovers at the same time.

 

To hear some of the music from Ale Torriggino, check out the song “Hostage“.

For more information, check out Ale Torriggino’s record label, River Flow Records.

To purchase a copy of Blue Light from Ale Torriggino, click on the album cover below:

Blue Light

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: The Celebration Army S/T

The Celebration Army is a Toronto-based Rock and Roll quartet who is “taking back the night and breathing new life into the roots of the most inspiring genre of our generation”. Comprised of Oliver Pigott on vocals, Nelson Sobral on guitar & backup vocals, Leandro Motta on bass & backup vocals and Troy Larabie on drums, the band has created a style of the genre that takes the group’s sound back to the Classic Rock era of the music. Combining Rock, Soul, and Blues, The Celebration Army’s Rock and Roll style helps to bring back a little strength to the music that has been losing a lot of energy over the last few years. To help bring back that energy to the style of Rock and Roll, The Celebration Army has put out a few releases. Along with two EPs, the band has just recently put out a new self-titled album.

The Celebration Army went into the studio and spent two days recording tracks that would become their self-titled debut album. That “live in the studio” feel can definitely be felt within the twelve tracks that make up the band’s self-titled release.

The 2017 self-titled album from The Celebration Army begins with the track “When Your Love is on the Loose”. A straight-out Rock and Roll track, the sound of the track brings to mind underground bands from the eighties like Junk Monkeys who created straight-out Rock and Roll. The track also seems to suggest a little influence from the band The Del Lords. The song “When Your Love is on the Loose” brings the listener back to the days of the late eighties/early nineties in a good way. While the track feels very reminiscent of that time period, the underground feel of the track would have easily fit on college radio at the time.

With the next track of “Hang it Up,” The Celebration Army slows the pace of the music down a little. And even with that slower pace, the band doesn’t give any less energy to their music. While “When Your Love is on the Loose” feels like straight-out Rock and Roll, the band adds a little Soul influence into the music of the track. The resulting song brings to mind something from Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. And unlike the previous track, “Hang it Up” would have fit well on commercial radio in the eighties.

An unmistakable Funk groove hits the listener in the first seconds of the track “In the Henhouse”. That groove created by Nelson Sobral on guitar, Leandro Motta on bass and Troy Larabie on drums help to create one of the most powerful moments on the entire release. And with the vocals from Oliver Pigott that add some Soul to the track, “In the Henhouse” is the most listener-friendly track up to that point.

On the next track, The Celebration Army adds a lot of Alternative Rock influence to their new album. The slightly orchestral nature of the music on the track and the operatic vocals from Oliver Pigott on “Don’t Hold Me Now” combine to create one track that stands out when compared to the rest of the music.

“Motorbike” is one track that shows off The Celebration Army’s Blues influence. With this track, the band adds that Blues influence with slightly stronger guitars, harmonica and stronger basslines to create a track that all but screams “Canned Heat”. “Motorbike” is another track that stands out as the band creates a moment unlike anything else up to that point.

Like the track “In the Henhouse” a little earlier in the album, the song “Risky Business” contains a strong groove to the music. The strong bassline adds that Funky feel to the song while the guitar helps to add the melody to the track. The lyrics to the refrain of the track are very easy and seem to just flow, creating very easy lines that feel very infectious that lend themselves to singalongs. “Risky Business” was released by the band previous to the actual album coming out. That helped to promote the album with a very strong track that deserves multiple listenings.

On the track “Dust My Dirt,” The Celebration Army creates a song that feels as if it should have come out of the seventies. The band calls upon their influences from groups from that era as they create a slow-paced jam that brings to Eric Clapton. The track contains that feel before the band picks up the energy for a few seconds. The softer/rockier approaches alternate throughout the track until the final few seconds when the band sends the track off with a very strong guitar solo that contains a Jimi Hendrix-like sound.

The 2017 self-titled album from The Celebration Army focuses on musical styles that fit into the Classic Rock genre. The twelve tracks on the release make good use of the band’s influences. Whether using straight-out Rock and Roll sounds or more underground influences, each track from The Celebration Army is very strong and the twelve tracks combined together make for one solid album.

To check out the music from The Celebration Army, click HERE for the band’s song “Risky Business”.

To check out the self-titled release from The Celebration Army, click on the album cover below:
Celebration Army CD

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Tim Kirker “Shallow End of a Deep River”

It was in the city of Cleveland, Ohio that Tim Kirker got his start as a musician. Among other things, Kirker shared the stage with lead Nine Inch Nails member Trent Reznor. Reznor and Kirker were part of the same group called Slam Bamboo who had a Top 40 hit song in the Cleveland area called “House on Fire”. Reznor would later go on with NIN and Kirker would go in his own direction, forming other bands.

Years later, the now New York-based Tim Kirker has returned to music after taking some time off and has since released two solo albums after returning to music with the help of several friends from his musical past. After releasing his first solo album of Like Distant Sounds in 2003, Kirker would take some time off. Having returned last year with Worms for Early Birds, his newest album in over a decade, Kirker returned once again in 2015 with yet another new release. This new album is entitled Shallow End of a Deep River.

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Features

16-year-old soul, forty-five years later

Most of us first met this latest in a long line of Fifth Beatles on or soon after April 11, 1969 with the release of a self-described little “song to roller-coast by” called “Get Back.” Never before, you see, had the Fab Four shared sacred label credit with anyone other than themselves. But there it was, printed right atop that bright green revolving Granny Smith: “The Beatles… with Billy Preston.”

However, much prior to his musical roller-coasting, William Everett Preston already enjoyed a proud and prodigious career, launched from his mother’s lap where, at age three, he began playing the family piano. Soon he was performing with James Cleveland, Andraé Crouch and Mahalia Jackson, and in 1958 portrayed W.C. Handy (alongside Nat “King” Cole) in the film St. Louis Blues. Barely into his teens, Billy was on the road with Little Richard (first running into the Beatles in Hamburg, Germany) and Ray Charles when he was hired in 1963 to perform on the Sam Cooke album Night Beat. His organ work throughout those sessions – on the version of “Little Red Rooster” therein especially – lead to his immediately being signed, on the spot, to Cooke’s fledgling SAR label.

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Features

PIGSHIT – God: The Early Years. Eric Clapton in the 1960s.

Here’s the thing:

A previously quiet and unassuming young lad, being raised by his grandmother in the equally sedate Southeast English county of Surrey suddenly hears, at the ultra-impressionable age of nine, that rippin’ roar of Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee’s “Whooping And Hollering” broadcast – as a joke, it seems – one morning during his favorite BBC Radio children’s show.

As his peers enter their teens playing rugby (or the even more intriguing “kiss-chasing in the Fuzzies”), this particular young man remains locked instead within his bedroom alongside a Grundig tape recorder, struggling upon a second-hand guitar to replicate the exotic sounds of all the whooping, hollering American bluesmen he has since sought to learn more about …and who now possess his every waking hour.

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Jeff Beck – Emotion and Commotion

Jeff Beck – Emotion and Commotion
Atco

Legendary British guitarist Jeff Beck returns with his latest album! Full of the same rock and roll bombast of his past solo albums but with added participation from several up and coming vocalists to balance out the shredding, it is nonetheless Beck’s album. With his mastery of the guitar, how could it not be? While Beck is respected and well-known among musos for his guitar work, his relatively low public profile has long puzzled many fans, who recognize Beck’s vast accomplishments and innovative techniques but puzzle over his career choices.

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Features Record Labels

Rock and Roll is Alive! Part 1 – An Alive Records Natural Sound’s Round-Up

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 fan-bases 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.