Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: The Amplifier Heads “Loudah”

The Amplifier Heads is a Boston-based band consisting mainly of Sal Baglio. Sal Baglio is a singer-songwriter and guitarist who has spent over thirty years in the music industry creating straight-out Rock and Roll music. Most of that time has been spent with one band- The Stompers, a band that came together in the East Boston, Massachusetts area back in 1977. That band, strangely enough, is still out there performing the music that made them so popular all those years ago.

However, as far as The Stompers are concerned, the band mainly exists today as a tribute to the very music that they created way back when. What that means is that every so often, the band will get together to perform their music live onstage in a concert setting. But as far as new material is concerned, The Stompers have not created anything new, musically speaking, since their last release, 2009’s Stompilation, which combines music from every era of the band and puts it all in one place as a 21-track Best Of album.

While The Stompers have not produced any new music for an extended amount of time, the same, happily, cannot be said for singer-songwriter Sal Baglio. Even though The Stompers aren’t creating anything new, Baglio has created several solo albums of his own over the years. And then, there’s the new musical venture for Baglio; a band that takes Baglio’s style of songwriting and puts it out there in the form of a new project. That new project being called The Amplifier Heads.

The Amplifier Heads is a band consisting mainly of Sal Baglio as he provides vocals, guitar and bass to the tracks that make up the debut release called Loudah. Along with Baglio, producer Ducky Carlisle provides the drums for the project, and Jeff Keithline appears on bass for three of the tracks. For the rest of the instrumentation on the album, the music comes from several other musicians who add their talents to one or two tracks on the release each. Together as a whole, Sal Baglio and Company create an album under the moniker of The Amplifier Heads that makes use of different forms of Rock and Roll, staying solidly within a Classic Rock format.

The debut release of Loudah from The Amplifier Heads begins with the track “The Boy with the Amplifier Head”. In a time where we are trying to steer the youth of today away from bullying, “The Boy with the Amplifier Head” tells the tale of a kid who was picked on by everyone in his age group for being different. The track features a Rock and Roll sound that blends together some seventies-era music with just a little British Invasion influence thrown in. What results is a song that would fit right alongside music from the likes of Badfinger or maybe The Raspberries.

With the next track called “Beat Club,” Sal Baglio and Ducky Carlisle are joined on bass by Jeff Keithline. Together, the trio creates a Rock and Roll sound that sets the music in the middle of the seventies. The track feels like something that would have existed at the same time as Glam Rock. In fact, the main musical influence that seems to come through on the track is the influence of Marc Bolan and his band T. Rex. You could easily imagine “Beat Club” from The Amplifier Heads alongside a track like “20th Century Boy” from that band.

While the previous song of “Beat Club” brings to mind music from the likes of Marc Bolan and T. Rex, the next track called “Jaw Teaser” screams The Rolling Stones. One reason in particular for that is because Sal Baglio sings the words “Jaw Teaser” with the exact same delivery Mick Jagger uses when singing the words “Brown Sugar”. The track also seems to have a similar feel to the music that “Brown Sugar” has. Musically, there is some musical influence from the Stones as well, but that’s just because the track features a sound that keeps it squarely within the Rock and Roll music of the seventies. That Rolling Stones feel to the music even continues on the next track called “Starleen”. The song contains a straight-forward Rock and Roll feel to the music, with a bit of The Stones influence thrown in.

The Amplifier Heads featuring Sal Baglio is not just a band with a Classic Rock feel to the music. The band also seems to have a slight sense of humor when it comes to writing the lyrics to the songs; at least, that’s the way it seems with the track “Two-Headed Girl”. Because of the Glam Rock feel to the music once again, the track falls into the same basic musical time period as “Beat Club”. It is with the slightly humorous lyrics to the song that the listener finds Baglio describing a date with a woman with two heads (maybe a way of saying “split personality” without actually coming out and saying it?). The track once again would be perfectly fine being included within music from the seventies. And with the addition of a slight sense of humor, the track of “Two-Headed Girl” stands out from the rest of the album.

Loudah from The Amplifier Heads continues with the track “Big Wax Lips”. Just as “Two-Headed Girl” comes to an end, Sal Baglio and Duck Carlisle create yet another track with a sense of humor. Where the lyrics to “Two-Headed Girl” may suggest a split personality, the lyrics to “Big Wax Lips” contain many plays on words. While many may think the track is about different forms of candy, Baglio is not referring to that. Much of the Loudah release from The Amplifier Heads finds the music to be rather reminiscent of styles and bands from days gone by, mostly from around the time of the seventies. This places the music in the retro category. “Big Wax Lips” is also retro in feel; but for this track, Baglio and Carlisle create music reminiscent of the Akron, Ohio band The Black Keys.

Where most of the album features the playing and singing of Sal Baglio, the final track of the release called “Rock Candy” features the playing of drummer Paul Armstrong of the Syracuse band The Flashcubes, a band much like Baglio’s group The Stompers as they date back to the seventies like The Stompers do. In fact, the track “Rock Candy” is mainly Paul Armstrong hammering away rather impressively on the drumkit with musical accompaniment from Baglio. And much like the previous track, the song contains much than a slight reference to bands like The Black Keys. “Rock Candy” is very energetic as it brings the albums to a close and leaves the listener who is looking for real Rock and Roll rather satisfied.

In a musical world where much of the current bands and musicians today are creating music based within the Pop-Rock style of music heavy on the “pop,” it’s always refreshing to find a musician like Sal Baglio who takes his band The Amplifier Heads and creates real, honest Rock and Roll. Loudah from Boston’s The Amplifier Heads may just be the debut release for this outfit, but it’s a rather impressive debut. And with each track on the release being mainly below the three-minute mark, the album is very listener-friendly, as well as radio-friendly. For those looking for straight-out Rock and Roll with plenty of energy, look no further than Loudah from The Amplifier Heads.  


For a taste of the Rock and Roll music from Sal Baglio and his band called The Amplifier Heads, check out the first track from the Loudah release called “The Boy With the Amplifier Head”.

To check out the entire release of Loudah from The Amplifier Heads, click on the album cover below:  

Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: The Lost Millions “Novellas Dantes”

While there are plenty of bands out there that follow the current trends in Rock/Alternative music, there are still those bands that draw inspiration from older musical genres. Austin, Texas is home to one of the bands that are creating new music that is inspired by Classic Rock as well as other older styles. The band in question is The Lost Millions.

The Lost Millions is a band that consists of: Matt Westfield on Vocals/Guitar, David Lines on Guitar, Scott Bettersworth on Drums, as well as Heath McBurnett on Bass. Together, this quartet of musicians combines elements of Classic Rock, Stoner Rock, Alternative Rock and other sounds to help shape the music that can be found on their two releases: 2017’s 101, along with the band’s recently recorded EP called Novellas Dantes.

Novellas Dantes from The Lost Millions begins with the track called “See the Light”. The track starts off with a strong bassline from Heath McBunett before the drums and guitars join in to create a track with a Classic Rock sound from the seventies. The track also seems to blend in some Stoner Rock influence into the music. The heavy nature of the track brings out that Stoner Rock influence. As the track begins, the band creates a minute-long jam that combines the Classic Rock and Stoner Rock approaches together. For those who like their Rock and Roll heavy, this is the perfect example of that. And while the track is heavy, it is also melodic as guitarists Matt Westfield and David Lines create a harmonic feel to the music. With the various musical elements that are contained within the track, “See the Light” kicks off the new release from The Lost Millions with lots of energy.

After the energetic feel of the song “See the Light,” The Lost Millions lightens things up with a track that features a slower, less intense feel with the track “My Street”. On this track, the band brings out a stronger Classic Rock approach to the music. The Classic Rock feel on the song brings to mind The Rolling Stones.  As a matter of fact, the song “My Street” could easily remind the listener of The Rolling Stones during the same time in which they produced the song “Miss You”. While the track “See the Light” from The Lost Millions is not a carbon copy of the track from The Rolling Stones, you can hear the inspiration from the legendary band’s influence in the music of The Lost Millions. The track features a playtime of over five minutes, giving the band the chance to jam out a bit. This gives the listener a good chance to hear the talent of the musicians who make up the group.

“Wisdom of the Mad Priest,” the third track off of the Novellas Dantes EP from The Lost Millions, starts with a strong guitar riff that could remind some of the playing of legendary guitar player Duane Eddy as it brings to mind the feel of Classic Rock/Oldies music. The Classic Rock riff is soon joined with a rather Bluesy feel to the music. The Classic Rock/Blues blend creates a base to the track that soon segues into a straight-out Rock and Roll track that feels as if it could have been created during the 1980s. While “Wisdom of the Mad Priest” does feel as if it came right out of the eighties, it is still one of the strongest and most listener-friendly songs of the five that make up the EP.

The Novellas Dantes EP continues with the track “Mad at the Sun”. With the song, The Lost Millions create a track that contains a sound that falls somewhere between the late eighties Rock and Roll and early Alternative Rock. There is elements of both of those styles of music in the song. The track starts off slow and light with an easy pace to the music as only the guitars create the moment. The harmonic playing of the guitars creates one of the prettier passages on the release before the rest of the band joins in to create that Rock and Roll/Alternative Rock blend. After the easy beginning to the track, the music builds and what results is a track that would fall into the Modern Rock genre. “Mad at the Sun” is one of the strongest tracks on the release.  

The Lost Millions slow things down on the final track of the EP entitled “Complicated”. And just like with the first song “See the Light,” the band starts things off with an instrumental passage that lasts for around one minute before the vocals from singer/guitarist Matt Westfield join the song. This track features a slight psychedelic feel to the music as well as a jam band like quality to it that comes from the easy, slow pace of the music. “Complicated” brings the EP to a close on an easy note.

Novellas Dantes from The Lost Millions is a five-track release that makes the listener wish for more. The five tracks show off the band’s different musical influences while creating a very entertaining release that goes by too quickly.

For more information, check out Microcosms’ PR Firm, Whiplash Marketing & Whizkid Management. Click on the logo below to visit their site.







For a taste of the Novellas Dantes release from The Lost Millions check out the band’s single “See the Light”. 

To hear the entire Novellas Dantes release from The Lost Millions, check out the band’s spotify account by clicking on the album cover below:

Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: The Borstal Boys S/T

It is said that many local music scenes, no matter where you live, are made up of about twenty-five musicians or so who make up about seventy-five percent of the music scene. Meaning, if you go out to see a cover band, you are most likely going to run into one of these omnipresent musicians. Even some of the Original Music bands contained within a scene will contain some of these musicians. This is very much the case for the band called The Borstal Boys.

The Borstal Boys is an Original Rock and Roll band that has roots within the Pittsburgh area. Each of the musicians that help to make up the group has a long history within the Pittsburgh music scene. Consisting of: Rocky Lamonde (Bass), Patrick Norman (Electric and Acoustic Guitar), Joe Pelesky (Organ and Vocal), Darryl Thumm (Guitar), Scott Wilson (Drums), Vinny Q (Guitar) and Mark Ponsonby (Lead Vocal), The Borstal Boys have stood on stages with the likes of Bill Toms and Hard Rain, Rusted Root and many other bands. Together, the musicians take the years of experience to create a new band that draws from that long history.

Taking all of their various musical influences such as The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, The Faces and more The Borstal Boys created their first album. The band’s self-titled album was released in 2018.

The first track on the self-titled release from The Borstal Boys is the track “My Everything”. With this track, the band breaks into some good, old-fashioned Rock and Roll. In fact, what the sound will most likely remind the listener of is something from Bruce Springsteen. Moreover, the song has more than a little bit of influence from The Boss’ music from around the time of the Born to Run era. “My Everything” from The Borstal Boys has more than just a little influence from Springsteen’s song called “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out”.  The track also has some Bob Seger influence to it, as well.

For the next track, the band seems to add some newer influences to the mixture. The track “Marlene Jane” features Rock and Roll that feels as if it came from the eighties. While there is still a good amount of Classic Rock influence to the track, the song also features a little New Wave and/or Alternative influence to the track. The majority of the track seems to contain some influence from John Mellencamp as the guitar-driven track is reminiscent of Mellencamp’s stuff from the eighties. The keyboards in the background of the song, however, seem to contain a much more modern influence to them. Because of the combination of the two directions at one time, “Marlene Jane” is a track that would easily fit well next to songs from the like of the Goo Goo Dolls or Gin Blossoms. The track would be right at home on any Modern Rock or Hot A/C radio format.

With the track “Head Full of Ghosts,” The Borstal Boys take their music back in time once again. The track is firmly placed in the middle of Classic Rock. As you listen to the track, you can easily imagine Power Trios like Cream adding some influence to the music of the band. But there also feels as if there is some Frank Zappa and the Mother of Invention influence present in the music, especially in the guitar playing on the track. For fans of straight-out Rock and Roll looking for that style today, you can’t do better than “Head Full of Ghosts” from The Borstal Boys.

Bringing their music back to a more modern sound, The Borstal Boys create the track “Green Light”. The slower-paced track features a strong guitar feel to the music. The music on the track brings to mind the feel of the music that came from The Black Crowes back in the nineties. This track by The Borstal Boys would feel right at home being played right after a track like “She Talks to Angels”. And with a playtime that exceeds the four-minute mark, “Green Light” ends up being one of the longer tracks on the album, although you really wouldn’t notice as the track flows rather smoothly during that playtime.

And speaking of angels, the very next track on the seven-song release is actually called “Fallen Angel”. And just like with “Green Light,” “Fallen Angel” has a slower pace to the music. While the previous tracks on the self-titled release from The Borstal Boys do not contain any religious meanings, the song “Fallen Angel” is full of heavenly imagery in the lyrics. Plus, the inclusion of the organ on the track also adds a bit of flavor to the track as well.

The Borstal Boys bring their 2018 self-titled release to a close with the track “G-Spot Blues”. The final track on the release finds the band creating an all-instrumental track. And with the fact that the song contains the title it does and the music is quite Progressive in its style of Rock and Roll, the Frank Zappa references are sort of difficult to miss. The completely instrumental feel to the music on this track gives the listener a clear glimpse at the talent of each of the members of the band.

Where many bands and recording artists pay attention to only the newest rends in music, it is great to find those bands that still incorporate real Rock and Roll feeling into their sound. The Borstal Boys have created a strong seven-song release that stays fresh throughout as they create songs that make use of that Classic Rock style.  


For more information, check out the band’s record label The Vault Records

To hear the music of The Borstal Boys, check out their song “Head Full of Ghosts” 

To hear the entire self-titled album from The Borstal Boys, find the band on Spotify

To purchase a copy of the self-titled album of the The Borstal Boys, click on the album cover below: 


Artists and Bands Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Diane Coffee “Everybody’s a Good Dog”

Shaun Fleming has spent time in the entertainment world as part of shows like Kim Possible. In fact, when looking through his IMDb, Fleming’s acting credentials are quite impressive. And with those acting credentials come Fleming’s musical credentials, as well. You might know his name as part of the band Foxygen where he played drums. Now, Shaun Fleming has taken his musical experience and put it to good use as part of a relatively new project called Diane Coffee.

Diane Coffee is a band that features Fleming on vocals with musicians Joey Lefitz, Jared Walker, Alex “Prince Thomas” Arnold, Sam France, Glenn Myers, Steve Okonski, Kyle “Hoopty” Houpt and Emily Panic adding numerous different elements and influences to create a musical concept that has more substance than the vast majority of the music industry at the present time. The music of Diane Coffee has been described as “Psychedelic Motown”. That seems to be a relatively good description as that is very close to what the band sounds like on some of their songs. However, that is just the beginning of what the band sounds like. With elements of Funk, Blues, Melodic Rock and other sounds, Diane Coffee has a lot more substance to their music than much of today’s Top 10 musical acts. And that musical blend has made its way onto a couple CDs from the band- 2013’s My Friend Fish and 2015’s Everybody’s a Good Dog.

Diane Coffee’s Everybody’s a Good Dog begins with the multi-layered track “Spring Breathes”. The track begins with a mostly a’capella passage that brings to mind something from The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds album. After that initial a’capella passage, the track switches from Alternative Rock to Melodic Rock and several other styles all within the track’s 5-minute playing time.

While the first track of the Everybody’s a Good Dog album feels slightly sporadic because of the numerous changes in style, the songs on the rest of the album calm down considerably. However, there are still plenty of changes within the album as each track has its own style and musical direction.

The new release from Diane Coffee continues with the track “Mayflower”. The track begins with a strong amount of Soul influence. The horns on the track also give the song plenty of energy. Eventually, the song evolves into something that resembles something that could have easily come from The Rolling Stones. In fact, the music will remind you of songs from that band while Fleming’s vocal delivery on the track brings to mind the delivery of Mick Jagger. “Mayflower” is a quick song with plenty of energy that feels ready-made for the radio.

Everybody’s a Good Dog continues with the song “Soon To Be, Won’t To Be”. The track takes the band’s music in an English Reggae direction with a definite Pop flavor to it. The song makes use of the Reggae influence and also contains plenty of rock reverb. The song contains enough Reggae flavor to satisfy fans of the style while still being very accessible to fans of other styles.

Diane Coffee changes the style of their music once again with the track “Down with the Current”. It is with this track that the band creates a track that feels undeniably like something from Motown and the artists that existed on the label back in the 1960s. The harmonies that exist on the track feel as genuine as anything that came out during the Motown era. Listening to the track brings to mind groups like The Four Tops and The Temptations with a modern twist.

While “Down with the Current” feels very genuine as far as the “Motown Sound” is concerned, the track “Tams Up” makes use of the Soul feel of music more than the Motown Sound. “Tams Up” feels much more like an Otis Redding track than a Four Tops song, but the similarity between the two tracks keeps the listener in the same relative time period.

“GovT” is a track that also keeps the listener in that same relative time frame. However, with this track, Diane Coffee takes their music in a much more psychedelic direction. The music of the song sounds like something from the time of the Summer of Love. In fact, the feel of the guitar at the beginning of the track mixed with certain musical effects on the song and other influences on the music all combine to create a track that could have been part of AM radio at the end of the 60s into the early seventies. All of those influences and the lyrics within the song about the government all make for a song that has a definite dated feel.

“Duet (featuring Felicia Douglass)” keeps the retro feeling of the music on the new release from Diane Coffee going. Like the three last tracks, the band does a great job in creating a very genuine pop/rock feel from years gone by. The vocals from Shaun Fleming and Felicia Douglass make for a strong track that, once again, takes the listener back to the days of the sixties and the feel of AM radio at that time.

One of the more unique tracks on Everybody’s a Good Dog is “Too Much SpaceMan”. While the track still remains very retro feeling, the band takes the opportunity to create a track that goes beyond the usual musical influences. “Too Much SpaceMan” brings the songs of Diane Coffee back to the days of Glam Rock. On this track, both the music and the lyrical delivery bring to mind songs from Marc Bolan’s band T-Rex. The Glam influence penetrates the entire feel of the track, making the song one of the more unique on the album.

Everybody’s a Good Dog from Diane Coffee is one of the more unique releases of the last year. It brings lots of different influences to life at one time and those influences combine to create a style that seems to incorporate nearly something from every different era within the age of Rock and Roll. That combination of styles makes for a solid album that’s worth checking out.

Click HERE to check the video to “Soon To Be, Won’t To Be” from Diane Coffee.  Click the links to check out the band’s label Western Vinyl as well as Secretly Canadian. Click on the album cover below to purchase a copy of Everybody’s a Good Dog from Diane Coffee.

Diane Coffee


Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club “Veva, Hold On!”

The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club is a band that makes their home in Chicago, Illinois. Made up of: Billy Giricz – vocals, guitar, keyboards; Paulette Bertrand – vocals, keyboards, guitar; Dan Passarelli – bass, vocals; Luke Smith – drums and Darin Gregg – guitar, trumpet, the band creates music that is equal parts rock and roll and pop-rock. That combination helps to create a sound that is very infectious and very radio-friendly at the same time. The style of the band’s songs alternates between modern-day rock and roll and rock and roll from years gone by. The band calls upon influences such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Norah Jones and Wilco and those influences creates a nice mixture of styles to draw from, making the band’s music very different from one track to the next. Having already adding to their musical library by releasing an 11-song self-titled release in August 2014, the band returned the very next month with another EP, the 7-track release entitled Veva, Hold On!

Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: The 71s “We Are The Seventy Ones”

The 71sGiving you songs that bring back the sound and feel of Glam and running through the style of today’s bands like Jet, The 71s have a sound that features a lot of energy and make you wish more bands from today still cared about making “real” rock and roll. Taking the listener through many different feelings in their music, The 71s have created a very solid release with We Are The Seventy Ones.

The 71s are a four-piece rock band from Houston, Texas made up of singer/guitarist Keeton Coffman, guitarist/vocalist Ryan Cecil, bassist/vocalist Jacob Lisenbe and drummer Tank Lisenbe. The band’s music is described as “anthem-sized songs”. That really is a good way of putting a feel to what the band is about. The four musicians in the band really do seem to care about making rock and roll that has both energy and real talent in the music that makes up each song that the band creates.

Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Chris Allen “Acetate”

Every city has their version of the singer-songwriter that should be bigger than they are. In Cleveland, we call this singer-songwriter Chris Allen. This musician who has made a lot of music history in the city of Cleveland, whether he is backing up some of Cleveland’s other talented musicians or playing his own library of music with his band The Guilty Hearts. In 2010, Chris Allen added to his catalog of albums with his newest release, Acetate.


A sit-down with the always on the move Dre of (for right now) Mount Rushmore Safari

Most or even all you reading this will know that one of the great things about getting to follow a band or musician online is that you are able to follow their progress closely while also getting to know them a little. This applies more to independent and unsigned bands as they generally run their own pages online and working as a journo/reviewer/interviewer for various online sites has given me the opportunity to capitalize on this, which has created some excellent friendships.

Some while ago now I organized a charity event in the UK to raise funds for Cancer Research UK. This proved to be a brilliant experience, although mostly due to my enthusiasm and naivety it only managed to raise about £70 after costs. I have no regrets though, I am glad to have learned from this and have every intention of running a similar event some time in the future once I get the chance to do so. The point which I am getting to is that one of the bands whom I staged was Le Cul from Denmark. I got to know Andreas (Dre) from Le Cul in my early networking days and we soon built up a good rapport. Not long after becoming hooked on the style, ethos and attitude of Le Cul, I found that this band was just a rock ’n’ roll outlet for the band’s two founding members, Dre and Maxim.

Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Carly Jamison “Everything Happens for a Reason”

Carly Jamison hails from New York City where she started grabbing people’s attention a few years ago posting her songs on the Internet using the moniker A Girl and A Guitar. The first thing that grabs your attention is Carly’s deep alto voice. That deep register gives her voice a sultry, even sexy quality to it. When you take that alto voice and combine it with Jamison’s guitar playing, it’s hard to ignore her ability as a musician.

Reviews and Suggestions

New Artist Beall Releases So-So Rockabilly Effort

Laurence Beall – The Huntsville Sessions

About fifteen years ago, while most of the music-loving fans in the world had discarded the poodle perms, black leather pants and the gaudy turquoise and silver baubles associated with hair metal to embrace the slackerisms and flannel workshirts associated with grunge, a different sort were looking at huge belt buckles, cowboy boots, and pedal steel guitars. These folks were encountering, then hopping aboard the trend, a musical sub-genre championed by the likes of Uncle Tupelo, Jayhawks, Eric Ambel, Blue Rodeo and many other lesser-known acts. While grunge was known as bare-bones, meat-and-potatoes rock with no frills, the purveyors of the trend took “bare bones” a bit further, with most adopting a sound best described as Johnny Cash on meth as performers and devotees yearned for the perfect blend between traditional country circa 1958-1965 and rock and roll derived from the days of Sun records revved up with a post-punk modern feel. Though grunge also had a primitive feel, it had it’s own sound. In contrast, while the best and roots bands filtered their music through the prisms of punk and post-punk, an equal amount were enamored with simply striving to emulate their ’50’s and ’60’s heroes down to the bent notes on their paisley Telecasters. Though bands of this nature were found mostly on the second-tier, even the edgiest bands such as Uncle Tupelo showed their indebtedness to their heroes from Nashville on their sleeves and were careful not to stray too far from their country inspirations. It was the same catch-22 which modern blues players find themselves. How much do they honor their past and provide a touchstone to fans, while still blazing a trail and progressing their music so new generations will find elements to enjoy?