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Matheson Kamin’s Best of 2017 List

BEST OF THE ROCK AND ROLL REPORT FOR 2017

1 CD Review: Count’s 77 “Soul Transfusion”

Sometimes, you have to go far out of your way to find real Rock and Roll music these days. Thankfully, there are still those musicians out there that are keeping the feeling of real Rock and roll alive. You just have to know where to look for it. One band that is keeping the spirit of real Rock and Roll alive is Las Vegas-based band Count’s 77. Like the band’s name suggests, Count’s 77 is a Hard Rock band that focuses their musical energy on creating real Rock and Roll. Throughout their album of Soul Transfusion, Count’s 77 makes good use of musical influences that are both modern and a little bit older. The album contains plenty of songs that will end up satisfying and Rock and Roll lover’s need for Good Ole Rock and Roll.   

Read the entire review HERE

2 CD Review: Satellite Gods “Marker 7-58”

Australian singer-songwriter Brendan McMahon found his calling in his early teenage years as he started to listen to bands like Led Zeppelin, KISS and Black Sabbath and discovered he wanted to make music just like those bands and others. After taking time to develop his craft as a musician while being part of several cover bands, McMahon found his own voice and started creating his own songs. Most recently, McMahon has put together a band of his own called the Satellite Gods. Together with this group of musicians, McMahon has released the band’s second album entitled Marker 7-58. Throughout the thirteen tracks that make up the newest release from Satellite Gods called Marker 7-58, Brendan McMahon and the rest of the band creates song after song that make for a very strong and solid album. This is the type of release that should simply be experienced from beginning to end without skipping tracks.

Read the entire review HERE

2B CD Review: Brendan McMahonUniversalist

Brendan McMahon put out his last release entitled Marker 7-58 under the moniker of his band Satellite Gods. One year later, McMahon has included a track by that title in his new release that was put out under his name. Brendan McMahon’s new 5-song release is entitled Universalist. When comparing Marker 7-58 (Brendan McMahon’s last release while he was using the moniker Satellite Gods) to his new EP of Universalist, the biggest difference that you can see is that the new release seems to make use of McMahon’s singer-songwriter side much more than the last album. The last release felt more like an album while the new release seems more like a collection of tunes each deserving to be heard. While not altogether sporadic, Universalist feels a lot looser with its musical variety in the styles contained within each of the songs than Marker 7-58 did. While not as solidified as that last release, Universalist is still a solid release as the five songs that are present show off many sided of Brendan McMahon’s songwriter personality.

Read the entire review HERE 

3 CD Review: Remember Jones “Tranquilizer!

New Jersey-based singer-songwriter Anthony D’Amato spent a lot of time on stage. Some of that time on stage was included in the Asbury Park production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch where D’Mato portrayed Hedwig himself. Taking that theatrical experience, which also includes recreating an album from Amy Winehouse live in concert as well as other projects, D’Mato took his experience and created a new persona: Remember Jones. Remember Jones started creating a style that was reminiscent of Las Vegas-type concert experiences. That included an orchestra containing 25 pieces. In fact, the entire experience worked so well that the first album from Remember Jones entitled “Ladies and Gentlemen, Remember Jones!” was created live in concert. And with that album being as big as it was, a new EP was created. The newly-released 5-song EP is entitled Tranquilizer! Tranquilizer! from Anthony D’Mato’s Remember Jones is a short but solid release of five tracks that focus on Soul music while the different styles of the musical genre helps to keep the release fresh throughout the twenty minutes of music. Though rather short, the five tracks on Tranquilizer! make the EP very strong.

Read the entire review HERE

4 CD Review: Mark Bryan “Songs of the Fortnight”

Singer-songwriter Mark Bryan may never be as famous on his own as he had been when he had been part of a band. You see, Bryan was a founding member of a small band called…Hootie and the Blowfish. When the band went its separate ways and Darius Rucker changed directions and goals to enter the world of Country music, Mark Bryan also went for a solo career. But he chose to stay within the Pop-Rock genre that earned his former band its following. Since the band separated Bryan has released three solo albums, having just released the third just recently. The new release from Mark Bryan is entitled Songs of the Fortnight. While it’s been quite a while since Hootie and the Blowfish had been a band, it’s great to know that lead singer Darius Rucker is not the only one from the band that has kept busy since that band ceased to be. The new release of Songs of the Fortnight from Rucker’s ex-bandmate Mark Bryan shows off the talent of the lead guitarist/singer-songwriter. And the various different directions that Bryan takes the music on the release show off the versatility of Bryan.    

Read the entire review HERE

 

5 CD Review: Roadcase Royale “First Things First”

One member of the late, great Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Prince’s band the New Power Generation, Liv Warfield has joined up with former Heart founder Nancy Wilson to create the base for a new musical project. The new project the two women are part of is called Roadcase Royale. In every genre of music, you will end up losing talented musicians or bands or both. The thing is to find other talented individuals to fill that void. And while both Prince and the band known as Heart are no longer around, the void left behind from the loss of those entities has been filled rather nicely by the very same people who had a hand in creating the songs made famous by those artists. Nancy Wilson, Liv Warfield and their bandmates have created a new band in Roadcase Royale that is easily as solid as what the two musicians had come out of. Having already made musical history once, Wilson and Warfield are doing it again with Roadcase Royale. It should come as no surprise that this new ensemble truly ROCKS! The band’s new First Things First release that will immediately catch your attention.

Read the entire review HERE

6 CD Review: Stratospheerius “Guilty of Innocence”

When looking for musicians that have the talent to put on a good show, you don’t have to look any further than seven-string violinist Joe Deninzon. Guilt of Innocence from Joe Deninzon and Stratospheerius finds the band in fine form as they create a new album of music. While the album comes with plenty of Progressive Rock tracks, it’s the other songs containing other styles that help to make the release even more entertaining. If you happen to be a fan of Progressive Rock, the new album of Guilty of Innocence album from Joe Deninzon and the band Stratospheerius is one album you need to check out.   

Read the entire review HERE

7 CD Review: Granicus “Better Days”

It was in the city of Cleveland that Granicus founder and drummer Joe Battaglia brought together a band of four other individual musicians in order to create a Hard Rock band to rival the likes of Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, Blue Cheer and other bands that were around at the same time. While the bandmembers of Granicus may have changed over the years, this new version of the band is still out there to burn the place down, musically speaking. Better Days from Granicus is a very solid release from a band that has had an extremely interesting history as a group. While it was not created by the same exact group that ended up getting signed to RCA back in the seventies, this version of the band has done a nice job creating a solid group of songs that create an album that live up to what had come before. Drummer and founder of the band Joe Battaglia should be proud of what has been accomplished on Better Days.

Read the entire review HERE 

8 CD Review: Mickey Hart “RAMU”

For his 2017 album of RAMU (which stands for The Random Access Musical Universe), Mickey Hart created each of the tracks on the album using, as he put it, Pythagorean mono-chord, a series of chords tuned in order to create healing. Each track has the same basic flow and therefore the tracks segue into each other rather well. That helps to make the RAMU album one of the most solid and unified albums released within the year 2017. Throughout the twelve tracks that make up Mickey Hart’s new release of RAMU, he and his band of musicians blend a lot of different musical elements to create a release that changes directions from one track to the next. As the songs change so do the influences used to help shape the music. And while the tracks all have a style of their own, Mickey Hart’s use of his Pythagorean mono-chord gives the album a solid foundation that makes the album feel unified in its musical direction.

Read the entire review HERE

9 CD Review: Daniel Welsh “Extra Stout”

Extra Stout from Daniel Welsh is a solid release from beginning to end. Throughout the six tracks that make up the EP, not one song is a disappointment. In fact, each of the tracks on the release have a very commercial feel to them. While this is an independent release, the EP from Welsh feels as strong as anything a major label could put out. And with Welsh’s former affiliation with Warner Brothers Records, there may be a very good reason for that. If you are a fan of Rock and Roll music that has a timeless feel to it, Extra Stout from Daniel Welsh is a release you need to check out. 

Read the entire review HERE

10 CD Review: Electric Guest “Plural”

Released earlier in 2017, Plural from Electric Guest is an album of music that fits nicely into the Indie Rock category. The duo of Taccone and Compton combine elements of Rock and Roll, Soul, even a little Hip Hop and Reggae together to create the band’s style that is rather laidback in its delivery. But that laidback delivery creates a sound that would fit easily on most Top 40, Adult Contemporary and Hot A/C radio formats. That nearly universal appeal translates into a wide potential audience for the band’s music. The Plural release from Electric Guest is one of those rare albums that features such strong tracks that you simply put the album on and let the release play out. There isn’t one song on the album that brings down the quality of the release. My only complaint is that I had not discovered this album much sooner in the year.

Read the entire review HERE

Top 10 Songs from 2017
1. Andrew Wiscombe “Holding a Ghost”

2. Remember Jones “Tranquilizer”

3. Count’s 77 “Summer of 77”

4. Stephen Covell “Monuments”

5. Mutts “I’ll Be Around”

6. Mark Bryan “If You Saw Her”

7. Brendan McMahon “Saturday Night in Riga”

8. Robbing Johnny “Sylvia”

9. Mickey Hart “Wayward Son”

10. Electric Guest “Dear to Me“

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Roadcase Royale “First Things First”

Nancy Wilson & Liv WarfieldOne member of the late, great Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Prince’s band the New Power Generation, Liv Warfield has joined up with former Heart founder (and Rock Hall member herself) Nancy Wilson to create the base for a new musical project. The new project the two women are part of is called Roadcase Royale. What happens when you take singers from two of the most popular Rock and Roll bands from the past and create a band around them? You end up with nothing less than a powerhouse band that will give today’s musicians a run for their money.

Along with Warfield and Wilson, various members of both the New Power Generation and Heart help to bring this new Supergroup of Roadcase Royale to life. The complete list of musicians that make up Roadcase Royale includes: Ryan Waters (lead guitarist) along with Heart members Chris Joyner (keys), Dan Rothchild (bass), and Ben Smith (drums). With both of the former bands being as strong as they had been, it should come as no surprise that this new ensemble truly ROCKS!

Roadcase Royale is currently promoting their new album released on September 22, 2017. The new album from Roadcase Royale is entitled First Things First.

First Things First from Roadcase Royale begins with one of the strongest tracks, “Get Loud”. The track begins with a very strong guitar riff from Ryan Waters that leads into a Rock and Roll track that contains a Soul influence. Liv Warfield adds her vocals to the track and gives the song even more of a Soul feel. The track’s lyrics take the listener back in time as they contain a definite message about standing up and making your voice heard. The track has a driving feel to the music that is both retro with a seventies feel and modern at the same time. That strong musical combination will have the listener bopping along to the song. “Get Loud” is nothing less than an anthem waiting to be heard.

With today’s political scene being what it is and with the way many people are unhappy about the situation in the country, it should come as no surprise that the band Roadcase Royale included one song on their release that is more than just a little politically charged. On the track “Not Giving Up,” Liv Warfield, Nancy Wilson and the rest of the band create a song about the current sitting president and having to deal with decisions made by him and his regime. The Blues-influenced track once again finds the band creating a song with an unrelenting feel to the music. The strength in the driving music created by the band adds plenty of energy to the lyrics of the song.

Even though much of the album contains its own sound, the track “Hold On To My Hand” brings back the feel of the music from the band Heart. In fact, the Heart-inspired track feels as if it would have been right at home with any of the tracks that had made up the discography of the group. Of course, that would have a lot to do with the fact that most of Roadcase Royale is made up of members of that band. “Hold On To My Hand” begins with a keyboard sound that brings to mind something that could have come from the band Steppenwolf. Before long, the band launches into the Rock and Roll track that contains a gentle pace to the music but with a strong, rockin’ delivery. Like “Get Loud” earlier on, “Hold On To My Hand” is one track on First Things First that needs to be heard.

Most of the songs on First Things First have a modern feel to their music, the track of “The Dragon” sort of stands out when compared to the rest of the songs. The music on the track seems slightly dated as the song’s music contains a slightly psychedelic feel to the music. In fact, that psychedelic feel brings to mind the music of the band Jefferson Airplane; especially music of Jefferson Airplane from back in the seventies. Although there is that psychedelic flavor, the track would still feel right at home on today’s radio stations.

The new album from Roadcase Royale contains mainly original material. However, the band did include one cover on the album: “These Dreams”. But since most of the musicians in Roadcase Royale came from Heart and “These Dreams” was and still is a song from Heart, maybe it’s more of a reimagining than a cover. And while it is a reimagining of the song, one thing that does remain the same is that Nancy Wilson handles the vocals. And with this track, the listener can tell that she has not lost any magic in her vocal abilities. The track’s new arrangement stays true to the original recording, yet still feels very fresh. These Dreams is yet another track on the new First Things First release that will immediately catch your attention.

In every genre of music, you will end up losing talented musicians or bands or both. The thing is to find other talented individuals to fill that void. And while both Prince and the band known as Heart are no longer around, the void left behind from the loss of those entities has been filled rather nicely by the very same people who had a hand in creating the songs made famous by those artists. Nancy Wilson, Liv Warfield and their bandmates have created a new band in Roadcase Royale that is easily as solid as what the two musicians had come out of. Having already made musical history once, Wilson and Warfield are doing it again with Roadcase Royale and their new release entitled First Things First.

Check out the powerhouse band Roadcase Royale and their single “Get Loud” by clicking on the link.

For more information, check out band’s record label, Loud and Proud Records and their PR firm, 37-Media. A “Shout Out” also goes to Dreamscape Records who also suggested this particular release for review.

To purchase a copy of First Things First from Roadcase Royale, click on the album cover below:

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