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Reviews and Suggestions

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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Reviews and Suggestions

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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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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Features

PIGSHIT: GARY’S 2012 TOP 12 (In no particular order, by the way)

2012PigBOB DYLAN  Tempest
www.bobdylan.com

Well, it certainly provides the Perfect soundtrack to the Man/the Legend's latest Rolling Stone interview, for starters. Neat "Duquesne Whistle" video, too.

NEIL YOUNG  Psychedelic Pill
www.neilyoung.com

2012 was an admittedly slow year for forever-young Neil: only two albums, one film, one autobiography, one death scare (this one c/o NBC News!) and one ear-boggling audio format. Still.

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Features

PIGSHIT: A WORLD WITHOUT GEORGE

“Music is at the core of our being. Can you imagine a woman rearing a child and not humming to it? It's as natural as breathing.”

Just in case you haven’t already been listening over the past sixty-some-odd years, Eagle Rock Entertainment’s grand new Produced By George Martin documentary demonstrates once again, via a wealth of vintage clips and contemporary interviews with clients past (Paul McCartney, Cilla Black, Jeff Beck, Bernard Cribbins even) and protégés present-day (Rick Rubin, T-Bone Burnett) the sheer magnitude of the man’s sonic innovations on, and indelible contributions to, the music industry. Or what remains of it, I should say.

All of which got this Rock and Roll Reporter thinking, for not the first time mind you, what exactly our aural lives would have, could have been like in, dare I even imagine it…

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Dan Hubbard and the Humadors “The Love Show”

Dan Hubbard spent time on his own as a singer-songwriter, during which he created several albums of music that combined rock with elements of blues, folk, blues and country. When he hooked up with three talented musicians to play concert dates, a strong musical unit was created, forming the group Dan Hubbard and the Humadors.

Recently, Dan Hubbard and the Humadors released their newest album. 2011’s The Love Show is a strong release that captures Hubbard’s blend of Americana music, and the band (consisting of Scott McRae on bass and electric guitar; Kyle Yap on vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, piano and ½ whistle; and Kevin Yarger on drums) really help bring Hubbard’s musical vision to life.

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Features

Pigshit: OPENING NEIL YOUNG’S MUSIC BOX

Although it’s already spent a good two years here in the ol’ sty, I’m hardly surprised to find I’m still discovering, hearing, and even seeing fresh goodies galore buried within that great big Neil Young Archives box of mine. But, seeing as yet another O Canada Day is now upon us, I sought to find another way to commemorate the greatest living Canucklehead this side of Dr. Stompin’ Tom Connors.

Now, while some may take offense a mere three-minutes-twelve into the show at the comment Toronto, Canada is, and I quote, “a city not noted for its musical invention” (plus, if you look real close, note photos of Buddy Holly and Sonny & Cher appearing later are actually of impersonators, NOT the real deals), Sexy Intellectual’s Here We Are In The Years: Neil Young’s Music Box does present quite the journey through the past. And, as The Man himself would approve, this is one documentary which seldom finds itself in the middle of the cinematic road; it does indeed prefer a somewhat rougher ride, and we sure do see more interesting people there as a result.

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog “Dyddiau Du, Dyddiau Gwyn”

So what do I know about a North Wales-based band called Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog?

Well, they play a soothing mix of country, folk and rock influenced by classic rock archetypes like Dylan, Neil Young and Gram Parsons. But what will throw you off is the entire thing is done in native Welsh. So I have no idea what those lyrics mean, but the title track here, “Dyddiau Du, Dyddiau Gwyn,” has a great melodic bridge and nice steel pedal guitar work. The slow ballad “Malu’r Ffenestri” doesn’t need a lyric, as you can tell right away from its slow piano that it’s a drinkin’ tune. The song “Nansi” is a bouncey country tune that raises the spirit a bit more. The style of “Celwydd Golau Ydi Cariad” is a bit like early era Eagles with a catchy overdubbed chorus.

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Features

Sandman Viper Command bring the greasy!

I have to be honest and say that the first time I listened to Sandman Viper Command, I was not impressed. It was once I heard them live at Le Divan Orange in Montreal that my appreciation for them grew. Their gig convinced me that this band is worth paying attention to. What made me change my mind about them was their great enthusiasm and their ability to create a rich sound for their audience. During their performance, the four boys (Rob Janson, Daniel Reardon, Matt Meyer and Aaron Harvey) proved that they are pretty good at what they do: their instruments were always in harmony with one another, and I could tell that there was an honest collaboration between each member of the band.  By the end of their show, I could even see some similarities between their sound and that of The Rolling Stones. Overall, this is a talented band that delivers songs that are a good mix of garage rock inspired by the 1960s and indie pop.

Q) What is the main message your music tries to convey?

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Artists and Bands Reviews and Suggestions

Montreal’s Subject-Object hybridize styles and offer their EP for free!

Jay Vidyarthi, lead singer of Subject-Object, sees his musical endeavor as paralleling his “academic journey from the physics and neurology of human hearing to the design of new technology.”

The Montreal band’s self-titled EP offers a diverse variety of rock sounds. A particular strength of this release is how it manages to convey a sense of live, uninhibited sound in a truly rare way. While Vidyarthi refers to Subject-Object as “digital blues,” drummer Stefan Jovanovich describes the sound as “deceptively heavy.” This label is particularly fitting for the first track, ‘Watergun,’ which features a driving blues energy, rough vocals akin to The White Stripes and heavy yet catchy riffs and jams. At times Subject-Object reminds me of Trail of Dead, but the album also features jazz and funk grooves, alt rock energy, skilled solos and solid drumming.