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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.

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Hawk and Dove soar on this new EP release

Hawk and Dove – Self titled
Self-released

After opening the package containing this CD, I immediately flashed back to my youth. Besides being a music freak (and not just any sort of music freak – I was a blues snob. Didn’t listen to anything but blues music of the ’50’s and ’60’s for about five years) I also was a huge comic book fan. The various titles featuring the superhero Batman were my favorites. I think I was into Batman the most because he didn’t have any super-powers and seemed to accomplish everything by the use of his wits and the physical prowess he had honed himself. Later, I realized he was a lot like a musician in this way. Creating viable songs, intricate arrangements etc. takes an immense innate musical aptitude and becoming a master of your chosen instrument requires a physical prowess most people cannot achieve. Why I immediately thought of comic books upon checking out this CD is that Hawk and Dove was the title of a controversial comic book in the ’60’s featuring two characters that were the total opposite of each other. One a dominant, emotional hero who solved problems with physicality and one more passive, who sought to use his wits to solve problems. While I am not sure if the dynamic between Elijah Miller and John Kleber has any comparisons with their comic book namesakes, the two do have an interesting sound together and Miller‘s emotional lyrics and often-whispered vocals run counterpoint to Kleber‘s in-your-face guitar work.