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CD Review: Matt Zaddy “Be”

Singer-songwriter Matt Zaddy is a Canadian-born artist that comes from the town of Missisaugua, where he is part of the Missisaugua Art Council. Having spent time in the Canadian band called Starring Janet Leigh, Zaddy is now creating a much different sound with his own music that is created by blending together Blues, Soul, and some light Rock & Roll. Matt Zaddy also includes just a touch of Jazz in the music. With that musical blend, he also calls upon several of today’s hottest artists for inspiration. Artists like John Mayer, Neil Young, Jason Mraz, Passenger, Ed Sheeran, and plenty of others help shape the music of Zaddy. With these and other influences, Matt Zaddy’s music is just as fresh and inviting as anything currently found on the radio.

Within the last few years, Matt Zaddy has been focusing on refining his style and sound. But during that time, he has released a single here or there as well as the 2015 five-track EP called Perfect Moments. Since the time of that release, Zaddy has been writing new music and will shortly be releasing his first album.  And to bring the new album to life, Zaddy called upon a group of talented musicians to help flesh out his songs. Along with Matt Zaddy on vocals and guitar, the rest of the band consists of: Thomas Francis on keys; Heather Christine on backing vocals; Stacey Shopsowitz on bass; Adam Cannon on drums; as well as Joash Paul on drums; Ian MacKay on drums; Jeremy Tozero on backing vocals, bass; and Ross Citrullo who adds some slide guitar to the mix. 

Matt Zaddy’s first album entitled Be begins with the lead-off single of the album, “Busy”. On this track, the band takes Zaddy’s various musical influences, blends them together and creates a track that draws largely upon the Blues style of Johnny Lang while also adding some influence of someone like the afore-mentioned John Mayer. The single of “Busy” features a strong, powerful guitar base perfect for the Blues while also containing some light Rock and Roll flavor. It’s a perfect Mayer/Lang mashup. Zaddy’s guitar on the track is, of course, the focal point of the music. However, the keys from Thomas Francis add a definite Soul influence to the song and maybe a little Jazz feel, as well. Altogether, the Soul, Blues, Jazz and Rock and Roll influences combine to create a track that could be the ultimate crossover hit. The music for the single feels as if it could be included on any of several radio formats such as Smooth Jazz, Hot A/C and/or Top 40.

For the second track of the new release from Matt Zaddy, the music takes on a rather familiar feel to the music. It is on the song of “A Dear Friend” that the light feel to the Alt-Rock track brings to mind the musical stylings of the band Vertical Horizon. One of the main reasons for that musical reference is the light and easy blend of the music from the guitar from Zaddy and keyboards on the track from Thomas Francis. Together with the drums from Ian MacKay and bass from Stacey Shopsowitz, the song takes on a rather laidback, almost Smooth Jazz-like feel to the music. Because of that, the listener can almost imagine this song being included on the later albums from Vertical Horizon when Matt Scannell took complete control of the writing of the songs. “A Dear Friend” has a very commercial feel to it and would fit right in on any Adult Contemporary radio station.

The Be album continues with the track “The Truth”. On this song, Matt Zaddy creates a track that once again features an easy approach to the music. While containing a slight Jack Johnson vibe to the track, there is also a stronger influence in both music and lyrical content that brings to mind the music of Rob Thomas. In fact, the listener may be able to hear some reference to Thomas’ “Streetcorner Symphony” in the music of the track. The combination of those two contemporary influences in the music gives “The Truth” an unmistakably modern feel to the song that should guarantee that the song would feel right at home within any Adult Contemporary radio format.

Matt Zaddy’s new release of Be continues with the song “A Tiny Spark”. Much like the previous tracks, the song contains a light musical delivery right at the beginning. The lonesome sound of one guitar and vocals from Matt Zaddy create a quiet passage in the music before the track picks up the bass from Jeremy Tozer and drums from Joash Paul. Add in some organ from Thomas Francis in the background to complete the feel of the track. The light and easy feel of the music is mixed together with vocals from Zaddy that bring to mind the vocal delivery from Rob Hotchkiss. Together, the track features a sound and delivery very reminiscent of the band Train.

On the track “Brighter Days,” Matt Zaddy blends together some Rock and Roll influence with some Blues to create a track that keeps the release in a modern-day musical state of mind. In fact, the Rock/Blues blend with a light Latin musical delivery creates a track that feels like something that may have come off the 1999 Supernatural release from Santana. And with Zaddy having that slight Rob Thomas feel in his voice that returns for this song, the Santana reference is rather obvious on this track.

Matt Zaddy brings his new release called Be to a close with the final track called “Greater Things”. With this track, Zaddy creates a song with yet another Blues/Rock/Soul music blend. With the strong electric guitar on this track, the energy level is raised a little. The electric guitar and the organ from Thomas Francis on the track help to give the song one of the most energetic deliveries on the release. And with that energetic feeling, Matt Zaddy brings his new release to a close on a solid note.

The Soul, Blues, Jazz and Rock & Roll influences in Matt Zaddy’s music are well defined. And the various musicians he draws influence from are too. Together, those various influences help to give Zaddy’s music character and depth. While Be from Matt Zaddy is only seven tracks long, those tracks included in the mix combine to create a release with a very commercial feel to it that should appeal to a large audience. 


The newly-released album called Be from Matt Zaddy is currently being promoted with the single called “Busy”.

To check out Be from Matt Zaddy, you can find the release of spotify. Click on the album cover below to check it out.  

 

 

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CD Jerry Maniscalco “Bold Enough To Try”

Jerry Maniscalco is a singer-songwriter who lives in Jacksonville, Florida. His musical background comes from his time in musical theater in high school and then, later on, in the military where he a member of the United States Naval Academy Men’s Glee Club from 2003-2007. He also was a founding member of the group The Anchormen that came out of that larger outfit.   

After his time in the military, Jerry Maniscalaco would go on to pursue his musical dreams with the help of the organization known as Operation: Encore, an organization that helps former military personnel realize their full potential through training. Operation: Encore then helps those individuals (such as Maniscalco) with opportunities and networking to truly begin living their dreams as real musicians.

As a live performer, Jerry Maniscalaco covers a wide array of artists in the cover songs that he plays. Among the artists he plays are: Led Zeppelin, Matchbox 20, Dave Matthews, John Mayer, Oasis, Tom Petty, John Prine , Ed Sheeran, just to name a few. With this kind of musical blend, it should come as no surprise that Maniscalco’s music contains a lot of variety in the styles that are incorporated within it.

Through his time as a musician, Jerry Maniscalaco has created two releases. They include 2011’s Take What’s Left and Make it Right, 2014’s One (a four-song EP) and the newest four-song release from Maniscalaco called Bold Enough to Try.

2018’s Bold Enough to Try from Jerry Maniscalco begins with the singer-songwriter revisiting an older tune. The track “Gypsy Blood” came off of the artist’s 2011 release of Take What’s Left and Make it Right. With that album, Maniscalco created an entire album of acoustic tracks which included “Gypsy Blood”. So when the new release of Bold Enough to Try came around, it was the perfect opportunity to give the song the treatment it deserved. The new version of the track features a strong Rock and Roll feel to the track. The track finds Maniscalco creating a track that would easily have fit on any 1980s Rock and Roll station. This gives the new release from Maniscalco a strong track to begin the EP.

The newest release from Jerry Maniscalco continues with the track “Riverside”. This track features a Pop-Rock feel to the music as Maniscalco slows things down and lightens the mood. What results is a track that features a style very reminiscent of songs created by John Mayer. In fact, the vocals from Maniscalco on this track also seem to suggest Mayer. The doubling of Maniscalco’s vocals during the refrain of the song even suggests Mayer’s style. The Pop-Rock track contains a timeless feel to the music as it would have been right at home on Top 40 radio during the thirty-five to forty years.

Jerry Maniscalco has the perfect voice for doing Pop-Rock music as it has a rather commercial feel to it. And while his vocals on the previous track suggested Phil Collins, you can almost imagine Bruce Hornsby on the next track of “Don’t Kill the Messenger”.  While the previous track found  Maniscalco bringing the intensity of his music down quite a bit, this track brings the energy level back up if only just a bit. “Don’t Kill the Messenger” may very well be the most commercial track on the Bold Enough to Try release.

The final two tracks off of the Bold Enough to Try release are “Wake Up” and “We Are”. For those familiar with Operation: Encore, you should recognize those song titles. These two tracks were featured on the organization’s first release called Operation Encore: A Veteran Music Project. For this five-song EP, the tracks appear in their original recordings having just been remastered for the EP.

“Wake Up” is a track that features an Acoustic Rock feel to the music. While this is an original song, the track feels very much like something from the Live Stages era from the band Vertical Horizon. You can almost imagine this track playing alongside such Vertical Horizon’s songs such as “It’s Only Me” or “On the Sea”. “Wake Up” from Jerry Maniscalco has the same style and would be the perfect companion to the collection from a fan of Vertical Horizon.

Maniscalco once again takes some inspiration from Vertical Horizon on the music of the track “We Are”. Very much like “Wake Up,” the track features a laidback feel to the music. The track’s lyrics describe people going through their lives doing the same thing every day. As you listen, you can almost imagine yourself playing out one of the scenarios mentioned in the song. The song is so relatable, in fact that the organization Maniscalco belongs to, Operation: Encore has started using it as its theme song of sorts.

The Bold Enough to Try release from Jerry Maniscalco is short but sweet. And while the EP contains only five tracks, all five songs are strong.    

 

For a taste of the music from Jerry Maniscalco, check out the song “We Are,” which is also the theme song for Operation Encore.

To check out the music of Jerry Maniscalco, click on the album cover below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more reading about Operation Encore, check out the review for the first album, the second release of Monuments,the first review for Rachel Harvey Hill, the review for Andrew Wiscombe, the review of Steve D. Wilson, the review for The Real Doug Lane, the review for Stephen Covell, and the review for Unknown Rider by clicking on the links that are highlighted.  

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CD Review: Matty T. Wall “Sidewinder”

Australian musician and singer-songwriter Matty T. Wall became a fan of American Blues music at a young age. The style of music crossed over from America and found a market in Australia where Wall and others then picked it up. He, then, found a band to help bring his music to life. Along with Matty T. Wall, the musicians who help him form a band include Stephen Walker on bass guitar and Ric Whittle on drums. What results from this trio is a musical style that contains a strong Blues base with plenty of energy in the music. Together, that trio has recently put out the second album to be released from Matty T. Wall entitled Sidewinder.

Sidewinder from Matty T. Wall begins with the song “Slideride. “Slideride” is a track that seems to just explode into the air as the track begins. The song features a strong Rock and Roll feel to the music with a hint of Southern Rock to go along with a musical approach that recalls the playing of the guitarist Dick Dale. The energy that comes from the guitar on the instrumental track gives the listener a very strong track that acts like an intro for the rest of the music that is to come.

The album’s title track of the release follows the track “Slideride”. “Sidewinder” contains the same type of energy as the previous track and comes with a driving feel to the music. The energetic feel of the music recalls songs from bands like Aerosmith and other rocking bands in the eighties who would be described as Power Rock. The driving feel of the music is met with the energetic vocal delivery from Matty T. Wall who vocals also feel as if they would have been right at home in the eighties, but would also feel right at home in today’s more upbeat Rock and Roll bands.

The Sidewinder release from Matty T. Wall continues with the song “Something Beautiful”. This track slows the pace of the music down quite a bit. This track also features a stronger Blues-like feel to the music. The slower, more relaxed track allows for Wall’s vocals to shine through as those vocals show off his vocal range as he sings. While the track is quite a bit different than the two tracks that came before it, “Something Beautiful” allows a more Pop feel of the music from Matty T. Wall to come through.

While Matty T. Wall draws from the Blues when writing his music, the new track on the release proves that he also pays attention to other forms of music that also have been rather large influences on Rock and Roll. The track “Change is Gonna Come” takes the music of the album back several decades as the track was originally written by Soul singer Sam Cooke back in the mid-sixties. The Soul influence from the song is definitely felt on the new version from Wall as he and the band create the track with plenty of Soul feel. The use of strings on the track helps to add to that soulful feel. With all the political unrest in the world at the moment, it seems very fitting to revive the track right now. The new version by Matty T. Wall and his band does a good job of paying tribute to the original version from Sam Cooke.

With the track “Can’t Stop Thinkin’,” Matty T. Wall and band bring forth a real Bluesy feel to the music on this track. Paying tribute to both the early Blues musicians like Robert Johnson and the later musicians who had been influenced by them such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, the track “Can’t Stop Thinkin’” falls somewhere in the middle of both eras. The track’s lyrics feature a feel that brings to mind the early writing of the Blues legends while the music of the track contains enough energy that it brings to mind the newer artists who like Matty T. Wall, are creating new Blues tracks today.

For the track “Shake It,” Matty T. Wall and his band perform a track that features a Bluesy Rock and Roll feel to the music. The energetic track with the Blues/Rock feel to the music brings to mind the early days and the later days of the band Great White when that band created tracks that were heavy on the Blues influence. In fact, “Shake It,” much like Great White’s earlier track falls into the Classical Rock vein. If you’re a fan of Classic Rock, this is one track on the Sidewinder release from Matty T. Wall you must check out.

Another track on the new release from Matty T. Wall that features a strong Soul feel like the song “Change is Gonna Come” from earlier in the album is the track “Ain’t That the Truth” It is the guitar work on the track that stands out the most. The overall Soul feel of the music plus the Jazzy feel of the guitar brings to mind the playing style of the American singer-songwriter John Mayer. The way the overall feel of the track blends together with the guitar work on the track, listeners can hear influences from the like of Mayer as the track is slightly reminiscent of tracks from the early days of that musician. In fact, “Ain’t That the Truth” would not feel out of place on Mayer’s 2001 release of Room for Squares.   

While most of the release from Matty T. Wall would be considered fun and relatively easy to listen to, the Australian singer-songwriter brings his new release to a close with the most controversial track on the album- “Mississippi Kkkrossroads”. “Mississippi Kkkrossroads” is the one track on the release that Wall wrote that used the words from Chris Thomas King who tells the tale of a man who is being chased by an angry mob because they simply don’t like him because of who he is. Like the song “Strange Fruit” from Billie Holiday, “Mississippi Kkkrossroads” was written as a way to expose the bad things that were going on in the Deep South here in America. With his version of the song, Matty T. Wall performs his lyrics to his track using rap as the style to bring a lot of the anger out of the lyrics.

Throughout his new album of Sidewinder, Matty T. Wall creates songs that make use of the various musical influences he has acquired over the years. Classic Rock, Soul, Blues and more blends together to make a release that feels rather well-rounded. The inclusion of the various styles ensures that the listener will find something that they will connect with as they listen.

For more information, check out Matty T. Wall’s PR firm of Whiplash PR & Management by clicking on the logo for the company.

 

 

 

 

To check out the music from Matty T. Wall, check out his video to the song “Sidewinder“. 

To find Matty T. Wall on Spotify, click HERE

To check out the album of Sidewinder from Matty T. Wall, click on the album cover below: 

 

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CD Review: Joal Rush “Kaleidoscope Emotions”

It was back in 2004 that singer-songwriter Joal Rush released his first EP. That EP, entitled Delightful Things, introduced the world to a musician whose straight-out Rock and Roll sound was very reminiscent to that of Jack Johnson. And given that the two artists create their songs using several different genres of music as influences such as Folk, Pop, Rock and Soul, it is a safe comparison to be made when describing the sound of Joal Rush.

Almost fifteen years later, Joal Rush has been through a lot, including moving from Charleston, South Carolina to Music City, Nashville, Tennessee where he currently lives. And within that city, Rush created his latest album of music. The current release from Joal Rush is a twelve-song release entitled Kaleidoscope Emotions.

Kaleidoscope Emotions from Joal Rush begins with the track “Gotta Getaway”. Right from the beginning, the listener can hear the comparison between Joal Rush and Jack Johnson. But there is also a strong hint of John Mayer in the mix, as well, helping to create a Pop/Rock vibe in the song. The guitar/organ combination adds to that pop/rock approach. Plus, the lyrical content of the song is so infectious that the words are very easy to sing along with. “Gotta Getaway” has such a strong commercial feel to it that you can easily imagine the track getting heavy rotation on any pop/rock or Top 40 radio format.

“Miss Mel,” the second track on Kaleidoscope Emotions from Joal Rush, changes the direction of the music. Whereas “Gotta Getaway” would remind listeners of Jack Johnson, “Miss Mel” would easily remind them of the band Hootie and the Blowfish. In fact, the track actually feels more like something that would have come from singer-songwriter, guitarist and former “Blowfish” Mark Bryan from his post- Hootie and the Blowfish career. A lot like “Gotta Getaway,” “Miss Mel” sounds like it would fit right in on any Top 40 radio format. Plus, the song contains enough of a twang that it might even fit into the “crossover” category for Country music formats.

As you allow the newest album from Joal Rush to play out, you’ll notice that the songs all feel very familiar…in a good way. After listening to a track like “Lesson I’ll Never Learn” one time, you’ll find yourself singing right along with Rush the very next time you play the track. “Lesson I’ll Never Learn” is a track with a slow tempo that contains a rather soulful delivery to both the music and the vocal delivery from Rush. It’s a track like this that makes listening to albums fun: While the track may not make its way onto the radio because it’s not commercial enough, it will end up being one of the tracks you’ll  return to time and again.

While many of the tracks on the newest release from Joal Rush feel custom-made for today’s radio, the track “My Moonshine” finds him creating a more timeless musical approach to the track. The track’s sound takes the listener back to the seventies when songs that contain the same Folk-Rock approach were filling up the AM radio dial. “My Moonshine” contains a sound that brings to mind the music of artists such as John Denver, Neil Young, even B.W. Stevenson. While the track may not be right for today’s radio, “My Moonshine” could have been very popular a few decades ago.

To go along with the retro feel of “My Moonshine,” the track “Darlin’ Stay” contains a musical approach that would be right at home within the Americana genre of today. While most of the track contains a Folk-Rock sound, it’s the addition of the drum loops on the track that add a quality that sets the track apart from most of the Folk-Rock music out there today. “Darlin’ Stay” is yet another track on the Kaleidoscope Emotions album that will have the listener hitting the repeat button over and over again on their favorite listening device.

While there are many standout tracks on Kaleidoscope Emotions from Joal Rush, the listener has to wait until the very end of the album to find one of the best tracks on the release. The album’s final track (and the album’s “title track”), “Rose Colored Glasses,” is one of the shining moments of the release. With a musical approach that brings to mind artists like John Mayer, Jack Johnson and others, the track is just right for Top 40 radio. The optimism contained within the lyrics of the track makes “Rose Colored Glasses” a strong track to end the album with as the track brings the release to a close an a positive note.

While there are many people in the music industry being played on the radio today who deserved to be signed to a major label, there are just as many out there right now who are not signed to a major label and deserve to be. One such artist who deserves to be on a major label is Joal Rush. And his newest album entitled Kaleidoscope Emotions proves that point rather well.

 

To check out the music of Joal Rush, check out the “title track” to the Kaleidoscope Emotions album, “Rose Colored Glasses”. 

 

To purchase a copy of Kaleidoscope Emotions from Joal Rush, click on the album cover below:

 

 

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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