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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Hadley Kennary “Habits”

Chicago, Illinois native Hadley Kennary is a singer-songwriter who, like many trying to make it in the music industry, has moved to Nashville to be part of the vibrant music scene in that town. And being in Nashville, Kennary is starting to get noticed. That has to do with her strong vocals and her writing ability. Both of those qualities have led to many accolades such as winning second place in the Telluride Bluegrass Festival Troubadour Songwriting Competition, as well as being included in several other contests.  

To date, Hadley Kennary released a self-titled release in 2011, the In Fall album in 2013 and the Momentum EP in 2016. Just recently, Kennary released her newest EP of music. The 2019 release from the singer-songwriter is titled Habits. And to help Hadley bring her music to life on that release, she’s joined by Collin Pastore on pedal steel, Austin Webb on guitar, Andrew Brown on Bass, and Jake Finch on drums and background vocals. While Hadley Kennary won that Second Place finish in the aforementioned Bluegrass Songwriting contest, together, Kennary and company create a release that blends together a generous amount of Pop and Rock influences.

Habits from Hadley Kennary begins with the track “First Love”. The track begins with the sound of the guitar and some light percussion as Kennary adds soft vocals to the provided music. Before long, the song changes from the light musical approach to a track with a full-on Pop-Rock musical feel. In fact, the track feels like something from Shania Twain except with a much stronger Rock and Roll influence to the music as Hadley and band create a track that would feel right at home alongside Twain’s “I’m Gonna Getcha Good,” especially since both tracks contain an upbeat delivery on the music as well as containing lyrics about pursing your love interest. The commercial feel of the track ensures a strong showing on the charts if the song gets a chance.

With the next track, Hadley Kennary takes her music in a much different direction. The track “Right by You” is a track that contains a sound that will remind the listener of something from the mid-eighties. In fact, the musical Pop-Rock approach of “Right by You” contains a sound that places the track next to songs from artists like Kim Wilde, Sheena Easton and/or Kim Carnes. The musical vibe of the track comes courtesy of the bassline from Andrew Brown as well as the guitar playing from Austin Webb. As the track continues, the addition of the drums just helps to reinforce that approach. Together, the musicians help create that musical vibe that places the song musically into the eighties. For those who enjoy the sound of that era, “Right by You” will satisfy the craving for music from that decade.

Hadley Kennary and band slow things down on the next track of the EP. The song “Accountability” once again features a Pop-Rock feel to the music as the song begins with the sound of the acoustic guitar and Kennary’s vocals. The simplicity of that combination creates the basis of the track and that simplicity lasts throughout the three minutes of the song, creating a track with a gentle feeling to the music. The inclusion of electric guitar, slide guitar and other instrumentation in the background adds depth to the track. However, that added instrumentation stays rather low-key throughout, allowing the vocals of Kennery to shine as harmonies add even more to the track. Altogether, the soft gentle music of the song brings to mind the musical stylings of someone like Sarah McLaughlin, Tori Amos or other singer-songwriters who stay on the softer side of Pop-Rock.

The harder side of Hadley Kennary and her music returns on the track called “Casual”. The beginning of the track starts with the light sound of the bass before the electric guitar joins in to create a Rock and Roll feel to the music. In fact, it is the electric guitar that stands out on this song, adding power to the music while creating a sound that would fit squarely on the today’s radio airwaves. The full sound of the guitar and the strength of the music creates an Alternative Rock feel to the track. At the beginning of the song, the electric guitar and Alternative Rock feel of the music brings to mind someone like Alanis Morrissett. However, the track changes slightly as some Pop influence is added to the music. The track ultimately feels like a blend of Alanis Morrissett and the more Rock and Roll side of No Doubt. “Casual” ends up being one of the strongest tracks on the release, as well as one of the most commercial. And with that in mind, it’s easy to see why the track is one of the singles on the EP.

It is with the track “Potential” that Hadley Kennary brings her new Habits EP to a close. Much like with the previous track of “Casual,” Kennary creates a track with a strong Rock and Roll backbone to it. But the song also contains a Pop feel to the music at the same time. The track is one of the more energetic of the songs on the release as it contains a driving feel to the music. As far as style is concerned, the music falls somewhere between the nineties and today, creating a very modern feel to the song. You can imagine the track fitting on any Alternative Rock, Modern Rock or even Top 40/Hot A/C radio formats. The energetic feel to the music as well as its commercial vibe makes “Potential” a very listener-friendly track. It also makes the inclusion of the track at the very end of the release a good move as it brings Habits from Hadley Kennary to a close on a strong note.

Habits from Hadley Kennary is a strong five–song release. And with the Pop-Rock, Alternative Rock, even Top 40 influences in the songs, the album gives the listener a short, but accurate indication of the talents of Kennary. Whether you are a fan of Pop-Rock, Alternative Rock, even Top 40 music, there’s something here for any lover of Rock and Roll music.  

For a taste of the music from Hadley Kennary, check out the single “Casual”.

To check out the Habits release from Hadley Kennary, click on the album cover below: 

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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: The Morning Bird “Lonesome Leaving Sound”

The Morning Bird is a band that is still rather new when compared to other bands in their situation. The reason I say that is because very few bands come together and create as much original material in such a short amount of time as this band seems to have.

Fronted by singer-songwriter Jeremy Taylor, The Morning Bird is a band that combines Rock and Roll, Country, Folk and other genres of music together to create a style of Americana that centers on the softer side of Rock and Roll. Because of that musical blend, the band could easily be grouped together with acts such as Mumford & Sons, Wilco, as well as Jason Isbell. You could even place them alongside Johnny Cash. Along with singer, songwriter and guitarist Jeremy Taylor, the rest of the band consists of: Daniel Rice, guitar and backing vocals; Mark Mazak, bass guitar and vocals; and David Shullenberger on drums.  

Jeremy Taylor and the rest of The Morning Bird have just created a five-song EP to give those who have yet to hear them a glimpse into their musical style. The band’s new EP is entitled Lonesome Leaving Sound.

Lonesome Leaving Sound from The Morning Bird begins with the track “Sober”. Right from the very first note, the Country/Rock blend of the band comes through with the twang from the lead guitar from Daniel Rice. The track features a slow, steady pace to the track and that seems to allow for Jeremy Taylor’s vocals to come through strong. The track features vocals about a person who’s trying to take control of their life…for the umpteenth time. The vocals feature a slightly sad, yet humorous approach as the story plays out. “Sober” ends up reaching over the five-minute mark, but that just comes from the fact that the album version of the track feels much like the track when played live in concert.

With the next track, the Country side to the band’s music that comes through is a little stronger than what was there on the previous track. The song entitled “Tomorrow” contains a musical mix that is still part Rock and Roll and part Country, but the Country influence wins out this time. What results is a slow, driving pace to the easy feeling of the music. The track’s lyrics are about heading out on one’s own in search of wide open spaces where you can stretch out and relax. The song takes the band’s music back in time to the seventies or thereabouts. “Tomorrow” from Morning Bird would have fit right in with Conway Twitty, Glenn Campbell, John Denver and would have been right at home among songs like “Falling In and Out of Love” from Pure Prairie League or “Take it Easy” from The Eagles.

The Morning Bird pick up the energy level on the next track called “Sweet Wine”. While the first two tracks on the EP feature a blend of music that contained a good deal of Country influence, the track of “Sweet Wine” finds Jeremy Taylor, Daniel Rice, Mark Mazak and David Shullenberger creating a track with a much stronger Rock and Roll influence. The Rock and Roll influence on the track is also accompanied by a good amount of Folk influence. The Folk influence on “Sweet Wine” keeps the feel of the song on the soft side. However, no matter how much Folk influence there is in the song, this track is easily the strongest song on the release and perhaps the most commercial as well. You could easily imagine this track on any Top 40 or Adult Contemporary radio format.

For the next track, The Morning Bird takes their music back in time yet again. But with this track, the music style goes back to the nineties. It is on the track “Underneath” that the band embraces the style of the music from that decade. The easy feel to the music, mixed with strong electric guitars, brings to mind the music of bands like The Counting Crows, Sister Hazel, and most specifically, Toad the Wet Sprocket. In fact, you can hear quite a bit of influence from Toad the Wet Sprocket on this track. “Underneath,” much like “Sweet Wine” before it, features a style that would be perfect for radio play; especially if the track was played among the previously-mentioned bands. And as the lyrics deal with seeing only what you want to see and not what needs to be seen, those lyrics create a track that feels very personal and relatable.

The final track to the Lonesome Leaving Sound EP is the song “Swinging”. Much like the track “Sober,” The Morning Bird creates a track with a definite Country twang to it. In fact, with the lyrics about being betrayed by a woman easily puts the song squarely into the Country genre, especially if you place the song among the hit singles of the late seventies, early eighties when much of the genre’s music dealt with pain and hardship. This track would have fit right in with music from that time.   

The adage of “Leave them wanting more” is true. And many people take those words to heart. The Morning Bird is one band that truly believes in that saying. The band has been known to be able to perform about ninety minutes of original music at one time without repeating themselves. So they could easily have created an entire album of music. Instead, they provide the listener with only a small segment of sounds they have created on their five-song release entitled Lonesome Leaving Sound. There is plenty more to come from The Morning Bird, as they have not included tracks like “Maryanne” and “Suitcase,” two of the band’s strongest songs, on this EP. However, the Lonesome Leaving Sound EP is definitely a good place to start if you have yet to be introduced to the band. 

 

Check out a live performance of “Sweet Wine” from The Morning Bird’s Jeremy Taylor and Daniel Rice live at The Brothers Lounge in Cleveland, Ohio.

 

To check out entire Lonesome Leaving Sound EP from The Morning Bird on spotify, click on the album cover below:

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Reviews and Suggestions

Multi-talented Charley Young Celebrates Release of Remix of “Hold the Moon”

Charley Young is a young individual who has set her sights on several different career paths at the same time. From time to time, you can find Young performing on-stage in theatrical plays and in musical theater. You can also find her in many on-screen roles. She has spent countless hours honing her skills as an actor.

Going along with the actor side of her, Charley Young has been increasing her presence as a singer, a role she puts to use when onstage performing in musical theatre.  As a singer, Young’s vocals are rather reminiscent of Amy Lee of the band Evanescence. As a matter of fact, some of her music contains a slight influence from the Alternative Rock group itself. As of late, Young has been rather busy recently as she has released three singles of her music since the beginning of 2019. Currently, Charley Young is celebrating the release of the Remix version of her track “Hold the Moon”.

As far as the initial track of “Hold the Moon” is concerned, the track features a sound that makes use of EDM (Electronic Dance Music) as the main feel of the music. The track also features a relaxed pace to that music. The track’s music takes some influence from 80’s New Wave and adds a strong beat to it. And while there is a relaxed feel to the music, there is still plenty of energy to the music of the song. What results is a low-key track that would be right at home in any Club settings.

Having already mentioned the fact that Young is celebrating the release of a remix of the track, “Hold the Moon (Retro Mix)” takes that initial track and bumps up the energy level to the beats of the song. While the original version of the song would be right at home within the setting of a dance club, the slightly harder mix creates a track that could be used by the deejays to transition the music from a slow track to much quicker songs. Whether you take the original version of “Hold the Moon” or the Retro Mix of the song, the song is sure to get you dancing along to the music.

Right now, Charley Young is celebrating the release of “Hold the Moon” as her latest single. However, “Hold the Moon” is far from being the only track from Charley Young. To go along with the current track of “Hold the Moon,” Young has also release two other tracks within the 2019 year. Joining the aforementioned track, Young has also released the tracks “Greedy” and “Fiery Storm” since the beginning of the year.

The track “Greedy” from Charley Young finds the musician changing musical directions as the track leaves behind the EDM that had been part of the track “Hold the Moon”. Instead of EDM, “Greedy” contains a rather strong Alternative influence to the track. But just like with the track “Hold the Moon” the song “Greedy” contains a slightly relaxed feel to the music. The combination of the music on the track and Young’s vocals creates a track that brings to mind a lighter version of the style of the band Evanescence. And where the track “Hold the Moon” feels as if it would be right at home within a Club scene, the “Greedy” single would be right at home on any Hot Adult Contemporary and/or Top 40 radio format.

Just like with the current single of “Hold the Moon,” Charlie Young has also put out a remix to the track “Greedy”. The “Jimmy Greco Remix” of the track completely changes the feel of the track. The laidback feel of the initial track is completely done away with. The “Jimmy Greco Remix” contains a quicker pace as well as a strong EDM approach to the music. The result is a track that, once again, would send the music of Charley Young out onto the dance floor. Every so often, you find a remix of a song that not only changes the feel of the original track; it actually makes the song stronger. This is one of those times when the remix is better than the original.        

The final of the three tracks that have been released by Charley Young during 2019 is the track “Fiery Storm”. With this track, Young brings back the feel of EDM that was evident in the song “Hold the Moon”. With this track, Young slows things down quite considerably. This is easily the slowest track of the three released this year. Along with the EDM direction, the track also contains an additional element of R&B flavor. That blend creates the most unique of the three tracks that Charley Young has produced thus far this year.

Charley Young keeps herself busy with the actor side of her personality as well as the musician side of her. The three songs released this year from the musician side of Young are just the beginning. If you count the remixes that go along with the singles of “Hold the Moon” and “Greedy,” you change the number to five tracks. While Charley Young has yet to put out an album, you can find the three songs mentioned and plenty of other earlier tracks from the artist online.

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

 

 

 

 

To check out Charley Young’s most recent single, “Hold the Moon (Retro Mix),” click on the cover below: 

 

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Artists & Bands

CD Review: The Aces “When My Heart Felt Volcanic”

All-girl bands have been around for several decades and have included the likes of Bananarama, The Bangles, even the band Fanny who most recently released a new album under the moniker Fanny Walked the Earth. One of the most recent all-girl bands is called The Aces.

The Aces (a name that was shortened from the original name of The Blue Aces) is a Utah-based pop-rock quartet composed of Singer and guitarist Cristal Ramirez, guitarist Katie Henderson, bass player McKenna Petty, and drummer Alisa Ramirez (Cristal’s sister); the members of the group came together to create the band after having known each other for most of their lives. Together, the resulting band creates Alternative Rock music with a strong Pop-Rock edge. That musical combination is featured on the band’s 2018 release entitled When My Heart Felt Volcanic. The album was released under the record label of Red Bull Records, one part of the energy drink company Red Bull GmbH.

When My Heart Felt Volcanic from The Aces begins with the “title track” of the release, “Volcanic Love”. The first thing that the listener will notice is that the feel of the track. The guitar-driven Pop/R&B blend of the song takes the listener back to the decade of the eighties as the music as well as the instrumentation itself has a rather retro feel to it. The next thing that you will notice is the vocals from Cristal Ramirez bring to mind artists like Kim Wilde or Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles. Take all of that and blend it together, you end up with a track that has a strong Pop-Rock feel that is ready-made for radio airplay.

The next track on the release is the song “Stuck”. Having been released on the band’s 2017 EP entitled I Don’t Like Being Honest, the band includes it here on their newest album. While the previous track featured a musical direction that felt rather familiar because of earlier musical influences, this track takes a more modern approach to the music. The track’s much stronger Alternative Rock direction makes the song “Stuck” feel like it fits into the Indie Rock category. And while there is an Indie feel to the track, the song still feels like it would fit on any Top 40/Hot Adult Contemporary radio format.

With the next track of the album, the quartet continues their blending of the old and the new with the track “Fake Nice”. The band creates a track with a very current feel to the lyrical content while the music of the track finds the band once again drawing inspiration from music of the eighties with a little of the seventies thrown in for good measure. The lyrical content on “Fake Nice” finds the band creating a track that is very current. Having to do with being someone you’re not, the track should register well with today’s music fans.

As the band continues their release, they create a track called “Lovin’ is Bible”. The track features a strong musical feel that is equal parts R&B and Rock and Roll. The blend creates a sound that is rather reminiscent of the Scottish band Wet Wet Wet, the band that made a name for themselves back in the eighties when they created their sound blending together equal parts R&B and Rock and Roll. “Lovin’ is Bible” from The Aces feels as modern as it does retro because of the musical blend contained within the track. At the same time, it’s easy to imagine the track being featured on today’s Hot Adult Contemporary radio formats.

One of the songs off of the When My Heart Felt Volcanic release from The Aces that is getting the band some positive attention is the song “Last One”. Like the track “Lovin’ is Bible,” the track blends together equal parts R&B and Rock and Roll. Along with the strong groove created by the four members of the band, the call-and-response that happens throughout the track adds an interesting element to the song, as does the inclusion of gang vocals on the refrain where the band mates all lend their vocals to the track. The strong groove on the track, as well as the other previously mentioned elements in the song, help to create one of the strongest moments on the release. “Last One” is easily the standout track on the album.

The Aces return to the eighties on the track “Strong Enough”. The guitars and the keyboards as well as the production on the drums on the track transport the listener back in time with a style that screams eighties. Add on the vocals from singer and guitarist Cristal Ramirez, and you get a track that will make you reminisce about that period in music.  

Most of the new album from The Aces comes with a strong Pop-Rock feel to the music with plenty of energy to the music. All of that changes, however, on the track “Hurricane”. A track that comes rather late in the album, “Hurricane” features a much slower pace to the music as well as a piano comes in to create a completely different feel to the track. That piano mixes well with vocals from singer Cristal Ramirez as well as Katie Henderson who adds plenty of harmony to the track. The song about a relationship that keeps the singer spinning as she tries to figure things out adds plenty of beauty and emotion to the release.

As you make your way through the dozen or so tracks on the When My Heart Felt Volcanic release from the all-girl band The Aces, one of the main things you notice is the quick pace at which the songs go by. With the majority of the tracks being under three and-a-half minutes, the resulting album is one that is very listener-friendly. That quick playtime on the tracks goes along well with the pop-rock music that is produced by the quartet that is The Aces. With the help of Red Bull Records, this album has already begun to garner some well-deserved praise for the band. Keep an eye out for The Aces as they make their way through the music industry. 

For more information, check out the band’s record label, Red Bull Records

For a taste of the music from The Aces, check out their video to the track “The Last One”. 

To check out the When My Heart Felt Volcanic release from the all-girl band The Aces, click on the album cover below:

 

 

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Divining Rod “Return to Crystal Cove”

Miyuki Furtado and Patrick Harmon are two musicians with rather different backgrounds. Miyuki Furtado had spent time creating some Alternative Rock with the band called The Rogers Sisters, while Patrick Harmon had a background in music that included a Rock and Roll band that created a style referred to as Psych-pop. Together, the duo took their similar styles of music and started creating music under the moniker of Divining Rod.

As Divining Rod, the duo of Miyuki Furtado and Patrick Harmon splits up the musical responsibilities. As the main singer-songwriter, Miyuki Furtado sings and plays the guitar, bass and drums for the duo. At the same time, Patrick Harmon helps to flesh out the music for the duo as he provides the lead guitar/acoustic guitar for each of the tracks that Divining Rod creates. The duo has currently been joined by Mike Malone, John Malone and Eric Kaye as well as others. While Divining Rod has released several singles since they came together as a unit, they are currently celebrating the release of a full length album that album is entitled Return to Crystal Cove   

The new album of Return to Crystal Cove from Divining Rod begins with the track “Hemlock Blues”. The track features a sound that is based around both the acoustic guitar and the electric guitar at the same time. The combination of the two different guitars creates a full sound that seems equally balanced right from the start. The resulting musical combination gives the listener a track that would have been right at home back in the seventies and ends up feeling like something that would have come from some of the more Folk-like musicians from that era. The track also contains a slightly psychedelic feel to that same musical combination while at the same time, containing a very driving feel to the music. Ultimately, because of the folk feel of the song along with the style of the lyrics in the song, the track of “Hemlock Blues” sounds like something from the supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young if they would have added a lot more energy to their music.

Divining Rod continues their album with the track “The Deepest Sun”. With this track, Miyuki Furtado and Patrick Harmon change the pace of the album by slowing the music down just a little. The track begins with the sound of picking on guitar strings that produce no music but do produce a strange percussive effect. That percussive effect feels very much like the ticking of the clock. Soon, a simple guitar part adds to that ticking effect to start the building of the music of the track. Eventually, what is produced is a track that feels much like something from the late sixties/early seventies. The Classic Rock feel to the music is mixed together with lyrics about seeing clearly.

The third song of the Return to Crystal Cove album is entitled “Love Come Tumbling”. Much like the track before it, “Love Come Tumbling” contains a slower pace than “Hemlock Blues”. In fact, the two tracks have much the same pacing to the music.  “Love Come Tumbling” features a style that is slightly retro in its nature as the duo creates a track that combines some elements of early Rock and Roll with more recent Indie Rock. The track begins with a rather simple guitar riff and an easy beat of the bass drum. The inclusion of the bass drum and the rest of the drum kit help to give the track that retro feel. The song moves along and includes an instrumental break that brings to mind songs from jam bands like The Grateful Dead. After a while, the vocals from Miyuki Furtado return to help bring the song to a close. The song of “Love Come Tumbling” feels both fresh and retro at the same time. 

With the track “Darling Down the Row,” Miyuki Furtado and Patrick Harmon create a track that contains a sound that feels right at home in today’s musical scene. The track’s Rock and Roll approach takes a generous amount of Rock and Roll flavor, adds some Country twang and some Folk flavor to create a song that is as much Rock and Roll as it is Americana. With its Americana feel, you can still imagine the track being played on today’s Top 40 or Modern Rock stations while also feeling as if it would have been right at home on radio formats in the seventies. Of course, the track has enough of a twang that it would also feel right at home on current Country formats.

The band returns to a more retro feel to their music on the song “Master/Servant Blues”. Much like the earlier track of “Hemlock Blues,” the duo brings back the feel of the music from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The track’s music brings to mind the seventies flavor of the quartet. It also contains a lyrical content that screams the band’s style. Plus, when Furtado and Harmon harmonize on the track, the influence from the quartet is almost undeniable. “Master/Servant Blues” ends up being one of the strongest tracks on the Return to Crystal Cove album from Divining Rod.

The Return to Crystal Cove album continues with the track “The Silver Ship”. Like much of the album, this track has a very retro feel to it. The Lite Rock feel to the music takes the listener back in time to the seventies when lighter Rock and Roll fare was being produced. The easy pace and lighter style to the music on this track would have been perfect for the AM dial back then. The track would have been right at home in the midst of artists such as Steely Dan, Harry Chapin, or Loggins & Messina. In fact this track feels like it was influenced by the band America, putting the track right in the middle of the decade of the seventies, musically.

On the “title track” of the release, Divining Rod picks up the pace and the energy level to create one of the more energetic tracks of the release. “Crystal Cove” is one of the hardest rockin’ tracks of the release. The song contains a strong Rock and Roll guitar feel and a rather unusual time signature that brings to mind the style of the band Devo. With that type of influence, the track contains a sound that would have been right at home on Rock and Roll stations in the eighties.

Return to Crystal Cove, the full-length album from Divining Rod, finds Miyuki Furtado and Patrick Harmon creating tracks that contain many different styles and influences. The twelve-track release puts to good use the various influences the two musicians have picked up over the years. The resulting album changes from track to the next and never lets up.  

To check out the music from Divining Rod, check out the video to the song “The Silver Ship“. 

To find the band’s music on spotify, click on the record cover below:

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CD Review: Finding September “History”

Finding September is a San Antonio, Texas-based band that features Emily Bayardo (vocals), Jayden Mermella (drums), Josh Gomez (guitar) and Graham Butler (bass). Together, the quartet creates a group Pop/Alternative Rock band that also contains some Heavy Metal influences in their music. That blend of musical influences creates a style that recalls bands like Green Day, My Chemical Romance and other bands. That is what helps to create the sound of the music from Finding September. And that musical blend is what can be found on the debut EP from Finding September called History.

The five-song EP of History from Finding September starts off with the title track of the release. “History” starts off with a strong drum break from drummer Jayden Mermella. That fast, strong and quick solo gives the listener an indication as to why Mermella has been named Best Drummer in Texas in 2018. Following that fast solo, the track finds the band taking its inspiration from the likes of Blink 182 but with the sound that is much more intense in its nature. The strength of the Punk Pop created by Finding September puts the band directly in the center of the style with plenty of other bands. And yet, the track also proves the band has plenty of their own style as they create a song with its own unique sound.

History from Finding September continues with the track called “Inhibitions”. While the previous track featured a straight Punk Pop feel to the music, the band adds some Alternative Rock inspiration to this track. The track features the same intense beating drive that was present in the title track of the EP but with a stronger pace to the song. While the band is rather strong on the track, the focal point seems to be vocalist Emily Bayardo who adds vocals that feel like a combination between Gwen Stefani and Avril Lavigne. The combination of Bayardo’s lyrical delivery and the feel of the band on this track create a track that contains a stronger Pop influence than the previous track.

For the next track of “Summer Club,” the band releases the most produced track of the EP. Of course, as it is the lead-off single of the EP, that sort goes without saying. The track begins with yet another strong drumbeat from drummer Jayden Mermella which is quickly joined by some simply percussive effects. That helps to create a backbeat that gives the song a commercial feel. That commercial backbeat is quickly joined by the rest of the instrumentation that creates a track with perhaps the most commercial Pop direction of the release. Add to that the lead guitar of Josh Gomez that alternates between the right and left channels. Blending all of that together with a sound that places the band squarely in the Pop Punk genre, “Summer Club” features a musical direction that puts the band squarely in Top 40 radio formats.

Perhaps the track with the most unique feel to the music is the track “Darkest Greys”. Aside from the piano that leads off this track, the production quality on this track is slightly different from the rest of the release. That production quality takes the various instruments on the track and blends them together in a way as to make the instruments feel as if they are one band and not individual instruments. It unifies the band’s sound and yet, does not allow for one instrument to stand out from the others. This is not, in any way, a bad thing. It simply gives this track a much different approach than what had come before.

The final track off of History from Finding September is yet another track that separates itself from the earlier songs on the EP. The track “Let it Burn” begins with some Industrial Rock and Roll, giving the song the darkest atmosphere of any of the songs on the release. That Industrial atmosphere places the song squarely into the Alternative Rock genre instead of the Punk Pop that most of the EP fell into. This is one track that easily shows of the talents and abilities of each of the musicians in the band as well as singer Emily Bayardo as she proves that she has a knack for singing different styles of music. The energetic feel to the music of the track helps to finish off the History release from Finding September on a very strong note.

While it is only five songs deep, the debut EP of History from the San Antonio, Texas-based Finding September contains plenty of variety. Staying within a certain energy level allows for the release to be strong, yet not overpowering.

 

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

 

 

 

 

For a taste of the music from Finding September, check out the band’s single “Summer Club“. 

To hear the History from Finding September, check out the release on Spotify by clicking on the album cover below:

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CD Review: Troy Baker & Window to the Abbey “Moving Around Bias”

Troy Baker is a multi-layered individual. Many people know Baker from his acting roles as he adds his voice to many different projects of both cartoons and Japanese Anime. Known best for his role as The Joker from various Batman projects as well as many other characters from other animated projects, Baker’s ability as a voice actor keeps him busy with plenty of work. Adding to that already busy schedule, Troy Baker also helps in the production of video games where his voice is used to bring those video game worlds to life.  

You can also find the ever-busy Troy Baker spending time with actor Nolan North as the two men create a video-based blog on YouTube called Retro Replay where the two actors and friends spend time discussing many different topics.  

When not adding his voice to the various projects that take up much of his time, Troy Baker can be found strapping on a guitar. In fact, it was back in 2014 that Baker produced his first album of Alternative Rock. That 2014 album was entitled Sitting in the Fire.

Along with Troy Baker, the rest of the musicians who took part in the project were: Wayne Miller, Jon Titterington, Christopher Wray, AJ Novak, and James Bowen. Consequently, these musicians also helped Baker bring his last release called Sitting in the Fire to life. Together this group of friends creates the project known as Window to the Abbey.  It is this project that helped to produce the newest album from Baker known as Moving Around Bias.

Moving Around Bias from Window to the Abbey begins with the track called “Heads Out”. The keyboard-based track is simply a keyboard intro into the rest of the release. The twenty-four seconds of music lead the listener from the beginning of the album into the second track called “Water Into Wine”.

The second track of “Water Into Wine” begins with the sound of the organ creating a steady pulsing rhythm, When the rest of the instrumentation joins in, the track takes on a musical feel that contains an Alternative/Pop-Rock hybrid feel. As Troy Baker’s vocals show up, the track feels like a blend of Bruno Mars and Prince. The music itself also contains a little Mars flavor because of the R&B influence to go along with the Pop-rock feel. The easy-going feel of the song helps to create a track that would feel right at home on Pop-Rock/Top 40 radio.

After a few tracks of rather laidback musical approaches, Troy Baker and the rest of the musicians pick up the pace and the energy level with the tune “Breakup Song”. The track finds Baker delivering lyrics about where to go after a relationship comes to an end with both energy and conviction. As he sings, the pace of the music picks up as does the energy of the track. To go along with a slightly energetic musical approach, the track also features a section near the end of the track where an entire group of voices form a solid vocals chorus. The resulting Pop-Rock track would easily fit right in on any Top 40 radio format.

The energy level of the music gets a large rise in intensity on the track “Common Ground”. This track seems like the next logical step after the previous track of “Breakup Song” as Baker sings of finding something to build on. With the serious nature of the lyrics on the track, the music also comes with a stronger musical foundation. “Common Ground” contains one of the strongest Rock and Roll approaches of the release. That approach comes from the infectious drumbeat that stretches from the beginning of the track to the end. The guitars in the song are also a lot stronger on this track. In short, “Common Ground” is a strong track that comes with a positive message about finding things you agree on.

Troy Baker and the rest Window to the Abbey keep the energy level up on the next track of “Part Time” while bringing a little Pop-Rock influences back into the music. The track features a musical feel that features a balance of guitar and organ while the lyrics continue the theme of “relationships” which has already appeared on several tracks before this song. With this song, Baker sings about trying to make a relationship work when the couple is only together some of the time. While the subject matter is somewhat of a downer, the track is still one of the best songs on the release.

Much like the lead-off track of “Heads Out” that began the Moving Around Bias release, the song “Unknown Caller” is a strictly instrumental track. The piano-based song contains a light, jazzy feel. Before you know it though, the track is over. The piano helps to separate the song from the previous songs on the release.  

With the song “Something New Under the Sun,” the music returns to a combination of both piano and guitar as the track takes on a sound that brings to mind a lighter version of something that singer-songwriter Bruce Hornsby might have created. “Something New Under the Sun” is a track featuring a slow, easy feel to the music. The lyrics find Troy Baker singing about a man who finds the perfect woman to fill the void in his life and then turns to many years down the road as he looks back at what had been as he remembers what they had before she passed away. The track is perhaps the most beautiful, and easily the most heartbreaking track of the album.

While Moving Around Bias from Window to the Abbey is not a concept album, it’s hard to ignore the theme of relationships that run through many of the songs that make up the fourteen tracks on the release. And through the tracks on the album, you get a wide array of emotions as the songs focus on different aspects of life. Moving Around Bias from Troy Baker and the rest of Window to the Abbey is a release that is solid from the first moment until the last note.

 

For a taste of the music of Troy Baker and the band of Window to the Abbey, check out their song “Breakup Song“. 

To hear the Moving Around Bias release, check out the SPOTIFY account for the album. 

Click on the album cover below to purchase a digital copy of the album: 

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CD Review: Spade Mcquade “An Ocean Between Us”

It was nearly thirty years ago that Irish rock band Energy Orchard released their self-titled album. Energy Orchard may never have had a very large following here in the United States, but they did end up releasing their self-titled album on MCA. That band and their self-titled album featured a sound that blended a style reminiscent of U2 with a stronger Irish vibe than the more well-known band ever had. And from that album, the band released one of their strongest singles, a song called “Sailor Town“. That resulting style was featured in several albums before the band would go their separate ways. And for the band’s rhythm guitarist, Spade Mcquade, that meant making his way over to the United States.  

Spade Mcquade now makes his home in the United States. And because of that, his musical style has taken on a definite American flare to it. So much so, that Mcquade refers to his style as Irish Americana. And it is that style that can be found on his latest release entitled An Ocean Between Us

An Ocean Between Us from Spade Mcquade finds the singer-songwriter creating an album in a Live In The Studio setting. What ends up being created is an album that sounds as if the tracks have the same warmth that they would have if the listener was experiencing the tracks in a concert setting.

Spade Mcquade’s An Ocean Between Us album begins with the track “Humble”. The track takes some influence from the early days of Hootie and the Blowfish and combines it with elements of Deep Blue Something’s song “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. What results is a track that feels as if it would have been right at home on the radio back in the early to mid-nineties. The track finds Mcquade declaring that he has always been and will always be the same person.

It is on the track “London Again” that the listener gets to understand just what is meant by the term Irish Americana.  The track features a strong Country/Rock blend to the base of the music. But it also includes a little Celtic influence from the inclusion of the tin whistle on the track. What results is a sound that is rather reminiscent of the type of music that the band The Pogues would have created, minus the Punk influence to track.

With the next track, Irish musician Spade Mcquade takes the listener back in time a bit on the song “Stupid”. The musical direction on the track finds Mcquade creating a track that seems to contain a strong Folk vibe. But the feel to the music of the song is not just any Folk vibe. The song contains a vibe that was very much present in American music during the sixties. As a matter-of-fact, what comes across is a song that was largely influenced by the likes of Bob Dylan back at the time period of the sixties.

One of the strongest tracks on the An Ocean Between Us album from Spade Mcquade is the song “Human After All”. The track features a sound that feels like a combination between a Michael Nesmith & the First National Band song and a more Countrified song from The Eagles. The combination that is produced creates a track that feels as if it would have been right at home on AM radio back during the seventies. In fact, the song would have been right at home on the Top 40 charts back then.

It is with the next track on the release that the listener gets to experience a bit of Spade Mcquade’s humor. It is with the song “Gaybar” that Mcquade adds a few chuckles to the album, although the track is more light-hearted than humorous. The track finds Spade and some friends leaving a bar as they were looking for something fun. When other places failed to live up to their expectations, they tried a gay bar and found some fun. The track proves that keeping an open mind is very important or else you might miss out on something you might regret later. As far as the music to the track is concerned, Mcquade creates a track that, like with the song “London Again” from earlier on in the release, features a style rather reminiscent of The Pogues. The fun, bouncy feel of the music adds to the overall lightheartedness of the track.

As Spade Mcquade is living in the United States having been born over in Ireland, it should come as no surprise that he would write a song about that very topic. The song called “Bangor Town” finds Mcquade feeling nostalgic as he sings about thinking back to his time back in Ireland and how, no matter where you may go in your life, your hometown will always be where you come from. To go along with the gentle feeling of reminiscing that is found in the lyrics, the music of the track also contains a gentleness that lends itself to the feeling of reminiscing about the past. Together, the music and the lyrics on the release combine to create a moment that most of us can relate to in some way.  

The final track of the An Ocean Between Us album from Spade Mcquade is more of a story than anything else. The song “Just a Cat” contains a light, easy pace to the music as the song features a Folk approach to both the music and lyrical content. “Just a Cat” is the tale of a man who is relaxing in his backyard when a strange cat makes its way over to him. However, there is something different about the animal: He is the reincarnated soul of a friend who is now pondering what to do. The track is a cautionary tale of what might happen if you don’t treat people (or in this case, animals) the way you would to be treated.

While many of the track that are contained in Spade Mcquade’s new album have a Rock and Roll base to them,  An Ocean Between Us album is a release that features different styles of music to nearly every song. The Americana (or Irish Americana, as Spade himself describes it) music contained within the release creates moments on the album that are unique from one track to the next. This ensures that the album is rather varied throughout the ten or so tracks that make up the album.  

To discover the music of Spade Mcquade, check out the song “Pucker Up“. 

You can find An Ocean Between Us album from Spade Mcquade on Spotify HERE

To check out the An Ocean Between Us album from Spade Mcquade, click on the album cover below:  

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CD Review: Mimi Arden S/T

Michelle Gaw is a Cleveland-based singer-songwriter who has been creating her style of music for a while now. And she has been performing her music all over town. But when she performs, it is either as a solo act or as part of a band. The name of the band that Gaw performs with is called Mimi Arden, a name that derives from her own name. So when she was looking for a name for the band that helps bring her music to life, she used a nickname for Michelle (Mimi) and her middle name (Arden) to create the moniker for the band she fronts.

The band of Mimi Arden is made of three musicians. Along with Michelle Gaw, the rest of the band called Mimi Arden consists of Michelle Gaw on Vocals and Guitar, Lee Kolarik on Drums and Joe Botta on Bass. As Mimi Arden, Gaw, Kolarik and Botta are keeping busy. The trio can be found performing at many of the music festivals in the Greater Cleveland. And when they are not performing live, they are creating music. Just recently, the band went about recording some of their song. Together with some other friends that helped to create the music of the band, this trio created a new self-titled ten-song release.

The new self-titled album from Mimi Arden begins with the track “Wits”. The track about going slightly crazy begins with the sound of Michelle’s acoustic guitar and her voice which creates a Folk-rock track. And after about forty seconds, the acoustic rock created by Gaw is made fuller as she is joined the electric guitar from Raymond Flanagan. That electric guitar helps to add some flavor to the track but doesn’t really give the track any true energy as the track remains rather low-key throughout its three-and-a-half minutes of playtime. Lee Kolarik’s drums and Joe Botta’s bass join in and created a track with a laidback approach with a little bit of a Soul music feel. The easy-going track starts the album off rather easily, but that easy feeling simply ensures that there is enough room to increase the energy level as the release goes on.

The first track features a light feel to its music as does the second track. The difference in the two musical directions comes in when the second track of “Soul Pocket” contains more of Soul-like feel to the music. The musical approach on the track combines elements of Soul and Jazz. This combination brings to mind the playing of Jack Johnson while Gaw’s vocals also bring to mind vocalists from the seventies. The resulting feel of the track produces one of the most commercial tracks of the album and would feel right at home on today’s Top 40 radio formats.

”Returning to Ash,” the third track from the self-titled release from Mimi Arden, begins with drummer Lee Kolarik creating a drumbeat with a slightly jazzy feel to it before the light playing from electric guitarist Raymond Flanagan gives the track an Indie Rock feel. The entire ensemble of Flanagan, Michelle Gaw, drummer Lee Kolarik and bassist Joe Botta create a track that contains a light approach to the driving music. ”Returning to Ash” not only features Michelle Gaw, but it also contains the backing vocals of Elizabeth Bullock who helps to add some harmony to the track. The resulting track would fit on today’s radio formats but also contains enough of a retro feel that it would have felt right at home on AM radio back in the seventies.

As some of the music from Michelle Gaw contains a generous amount of Jazz influence, there seems to be a slight crossover possibility to some of the tracks on the self-titled release from Mimi Arden. “Vines” is one track that would feel right at home on an Adult Contemporary radio format just as easily as it would fit on a Smooth Jazz format. The laidback approach to the music and the jazzy feel to Gaw’s vocals are the main reasons for that. The musical approach seems to bring to mind the lighter songs from the band The Lovin Spoonful, which also means that there is a slight retro feel to the track.

With the track “Love All the Time,” Michelle Gaw and the rest of Mimi Arden once again create a track that features a strong Soul feel to the music. And with the track’s lyrical content about trying to find a way to live together, the track brings to mind something from the late sixties/early seventies. In fact, the track’s lyrics seem to contain the spirit of Marvin Gaye as they have the same type of message that would have been present in Gaye’s music. In fact, the title itself is rather reminiscent of something from the late singer-songwriter.

One of the tracks on the self-titled album from Mimi Arden that stands out because of its unique feel is the track “Rabbit Hole”. Just like the song “Love All the Time,” “Rabbit Hole” feels as if it would have come from an earlier time. The lyrical content of the track feels more like poetry than simple song lyrics. And with the guitar playing from Raymond Flanagan, the track’s music seems to contain a slightly psychedelic feel to it. The track would once again feel right at home on radio back in the seventies.

Before actually putting out the band’s self-titled album, Mimi Arden gave their fanbase a taste of what was to come. The track “Dandelions” once again finds the ensemble creating a track that combines a light Rock and Roll feel with a slight Jazz background to it. The track contains a lyrical content that finds Michelle Gaw singing about finding the right person to help her see the bright side of life instead of the darker side. Having released the song “Dandelions” before the rest of the release, the lead-off track now feels right at home in the midst of the other tracks that make up the album.

The self-titled album from Mimi Arden is a release that stays in a rather laidback and relaxed mood throughout the ten tracks that make up the album. Michelle Gaw and the rest of the band seem to work well together to create a track that would be perfect for those times when you simply want to put on some music an relax.

 

To listen to the music from Mimi Arden, check out the first single from the band’s self-titled album entitled “Dandelions“. 

To check out the self-titled release from Mimi Arden, click on the album cover below: