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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Lee Gallagher and the Hallelujah S/T

Lee Gallagher and the Hallelujah is a San Francisco-based musical ensemble made up of members who made their way to that area from all over the United States. The organ/guitar-drive band creates a Rock and Roll sound that contains a rather generous amount of psychedelic flavor to it. While the band’s music feels rather retro because of the nature of the band’s musical influences, they still have a style that would fit in with many of the bands out there in today’s music scene. Because their music is both fresh and new while still containing that retro feel to it, Lee Gallagher and the Hallelujah has had the opportunity to expand their fanbase after performing with the likes of Leon Russell, Heartless Bastards, Living Colour and even The Doobie Brothers.

As leader of the band, Lee Gallagher has a voice that brings to mind earlier vocalists such as Robert Plant from Led Zepplin, Syd Barrett from Pink Floyd and Neil Young. That vocal style proves that Gallagher’s voice contains a rather timeless sound to it.

Along with Lee Gallagher, the rest of the band consists of Kirby Hammel, Jacob Landry, Joe Miller, Jimmy Dewald. Together, the musicians create a Rock and Roll sound that is multi-layered and rather varied. The band Lee Gallagher and the Hallelujah is currently promoting their 2015 self-titled release.

The self-titled release from Lee Gallagher and the Hallelujah begins with the band’s theme song of sorts. The music for “The Hallelujah Prelude” seems to draw influence from the likes of Pink Floyd as the track has the same laidback feel as a song like “Comfortably Numb”. The use of things like the rainstick at the beginning of the song added that psychedelic feeling. The ninety seconds that make up “The Hallelujah Prelude” only hint at those musical influences before the track comes to an end.

With the second that, the self-titled release from Lee Gallagher and the Hallelujah really picks up steam. The track “Sugartown” finds the ensemble creating a straight-out Rock and Roll track that feels very timeless. The six-plus minute track indicates that the band has a style that makes use of a jamband style. And the guitar solos included in the track truly show off that jamband style. “Sugartown” gives the listener of a very good indication of just what the band can do while it also indicates what is to come during the rest of the release. Lee Gallagher and the rest of the band continue the album with the track “Empty Stars”. With this track, the organ stands out a lot more among the rest of the instrumentation. The keyboards add to the laid-back feel of the music. “Empty Stars” is one track on the album that truly feels as if it should have come from the late sixties/early seventies era.

The energy of the music picks up on the track “Gloryland”. With this track, the band creates a track that feels like a hybrid of something from Led Zeppelin mixed with something from Bob Seger. The resulting track has a strong piano feel and a few strong electric guitar solos that add that unmistakable Rock and Roll feel to the track. “Gloryland” is one track that feels as if it should be played on Classic Rock radio formats.

One particular track that stands out the most is “Night Trip”. The music of the song mixed with the lyrics combine to create a very trippy song that easily takes the listener back into the late sixties/early seventies. Like many tracks from that period, “Night Trip’s” easy pace, somewhat psychedelic production and musical arrangement all combine to create a track that begs the listener to turn the lights down low and just enjoy the song in the darkness, no pun intended. “Night Trip” ends up being one of the strongest tracks on the album.

Lee Gallagher and the Hallelujah’s album comes to a close with the track “1935”. With this track, the band creates a track with a slow pace but plenty of energy. The band all join in to create a track with a very strong ensemble feel to the music. While all of the band contributes a lot to the track, it’s the electric guitar and the organ that seem to share the spotlight throughout the three-and-a-half minutes. With how strong the music of the track is, “1935” feels like the perfect track to bring the 2014 album to a close.

The songs on the self-titled release from Lee Gallagher and the Hallelujah are all strong and enjoyable to listen to. With the band using other bands like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin This is the type of release that begs the listener to listen through a pair of headphones. As you put on the self-titled release from Lee Gallagher and the Hallelujah and just allow the album to play out, the time and album seem to slip away rather quickly. Before you know it, you end up wanting even more than the eleven tracks that make up the album. This is the type of album that is rarely found in today’s music industry. If you are a fan of Classic Rock, the self-titled release from Lee Gallagher and the Hallelujah is something you must check out.

To check out the music from Lee Gallagher and the Hallelujah, check out their song “1935“.

Click on the album cover below to check out the self-titled release from Lee Gallagher and the Hallelujah.

cover

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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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Reviews and Suggestions

Where Tom Petty’s Concerned, There’s No Backing Down!

Tom Petty – Live Anthology
Reprise Records

tom-petty-live-anthologyTo me, Tom Petty will always be the quintessential every-day guy who ended up making it big. But not because of his possession of exemplary songwriting talent but because of his irrepressible spirit and pure rock and roll heart, the true power of which may never be known but which will always be felt, which has always guided him throughout his career. Whether it was involving members of his old band Mudcrutch in his original record deal instead of simply going solo, riding out a record company buyout and the personal bankruptcy it caused to rally his band and create Damn The Torpedoes (ie – one of the best rock and roll albums ever), fighting his new record company to lower the list price on his album Hard Promises, punching a wall and breaking his hand just because he hated the producer’s mix of his album Southern Accents and on and on, Petty has consistently done whatever it took and made the right choices, not just for personal economic/monetary reasons but personally and for his fans. This is a man who lives and breathes rock and roll, but seems to love his fans even more and is a genuinely nice guy to boot. A life lived in the spotlight with very few scandals to speak of and nothing but admiration from your peers is a very rare thing indeed in the rock and roll business. If he didn’t bring the rock like a sonofabitch he would be this generation’s answer to Pat Boone for chrissakes. But he does, and people know it. Like AC/DC, Petty’s albums are not going to lead to the next big thing or make waves with any musical innovations but people who love true rock and roll know he is the real deal and bands looking to capture the spirit of what makes rock and roll great will no doubt be listening to and studying his albums until the end of time…at least.