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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Stubborn Son “Birthright”

In a time when many recording artists are creating music that focuses on the pop side of things in order to appeal to the widest audience possible, there are others who still want to create the full-fledged sound and feel of real Rock and Roll. One such band that focuses their efforts on creating real Rock and Roll is the band Stubborn Son.

The Seattle-based Stubborn Son is a trio consisting of guitarist and vocalist Garrett Lamp; bassist and vocalist Andrew Knapp and drummer Blair Daly. Together, the three musicians create Rock and Roll sound that takes the listener back to earlier times as their style features a large amount of Blues influence. Stubborn Son’s Blues-influenced music is brought to life with the help if Martin Feveyear who seems to bring out the best in the band. The resulting collaboration can be found on Stubborn Son’s 2015 release entitled Birthright.

Birthright from Stubborn Son begins with the track “The Broken Heart Proof”. The track begins with Garrett Lamp and Blair Daly creating a Black Keys-inspired, guitar-and-drums approach to the song. The Blues-Rock sound created by the duo soon becomes even stronger once bassist Andrew Knapp adds the bass to the track. As the duo becomes the full trio, the track’s Blues-Rock sound gains a strong, driving feel to it. “The Broken Heart Proof” would feel at home with anything from the early Rock And Roll as it would with today’s bands.

Stubborn Son slows the pace of their music just a little bit with the track “Make Believe”. And while the track is slightly slower than “The Broken Heart Proof,” no energy is lost. The three members of the band add even more Blues influence to their playing and this sound brings to mind the musical approach of someone like Cream. “Make Believe” gives the listener the best of Classic Rock with just a little modern-day influence, proving that the sound of Stubborn Son is the perfect bridge between Classic Rock and modern-day Rock and Roll.

With the next track on their Birthright release, Stubborn Son creates a track with a very modern feel. While still containing plenty of Blues in its style, the track “Catch Me Runnin’” feels somehow modern. And just like The Black Keys or The White Stripes, this track would easily feel right at home on today’s Top 40 radio. “Catch Me Runnin’” ends up being one of the strongest tracks on the Birthright release.

Changing directions just a little bit, Stubborn Son adds a lot more Blues influence to their song “Thick As Blood”. The track has so much Blues influence that it feels like a Blues track. On this track, vocalist/guitarist Garrett Lamp plays his guitar with a slide which adds to that Blues feel. The Power Blues created by the trio allows the listener to hear the talent and abilities of each member of the band.

While many of the tracks on Birthright from Stubborn Son come close to Blues but still contain that Rock and Roll edge, the track “Vixen” finds the band coming very close to creating a straight-out Blues track. The slow pace of the music and guitar solo on the track from Garrett Lamp makes the song sound very Bluesy. To take the track over the edge into the Blues, the lyrics of the song contain just the right amount of pain.

Staying in the same Bluesy frame of mind as “Vixen,” the track “Voices” also finds Stubborn Son creating a very mournful track. The track’s musical feel seems as if it were influenced by the classic song “House of the Rising Sun”. Singer Garrett Lamp brings plenty of Blues influence to the song as he sings of the voices in his head slowly driving him crazy. Along with the Bluesy feel, the track also seems to contain a certain amount of influence from Classic Rock band Iron Butterfly. In fact, there are several moments in the song where some vocalizations on the track bring to mind Iron Butterfly’s Doug Ingle as he sang on the song “Iron Butterfly Theme”. At nearly six minutes long, “Voices” is yet another strong track on Birthright and one of the best tracks on the album.

Throughout the ten tracks that make up Birthright from Stubborn Son, the three musicians of Garrett Lamp, Andrew Knapp and Blair Daly prove that The Blues is far from dead. The resulting Blues-Rock from the band not only keeps the style alive, but it also pushes the style and keeps it fresh. Birthright from Stubborn Son is a great album that would be great for any lover of Rock and Roll or for those who enjoy the Blues. And with the blending of the two styles on the Stubborn Son album, the release could inspire people of the Blues musical mindset to explore more artists in the Rock genre and vice versa.

For more information, check out the band’s PR Firm, XO Publicity.

Click HERE to check out the video to “The Broken Heart Proof”.

Click the album cover below to purchase a copy of the release.

Birthright

Categories
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.

Categories
Live Rock and Roll Rock News

Ronnie Wood, Mick Taylor and Stephen Dale Petit are joining forces to save The 100 Club

Ronnie Wood, Mick Taylor and Stephen Dale Petit are joining forces to save The 100 Club.

Rolling Stones guitarists Ronnie Wood and Mick Taylor are rumoured to be amongst an increasing list of renowned musicians who will join New Blues guitar pioneer Stephen Dale Petit live onstage on December 1st at London’s famous, under threat, 100 Club.

The 100 Club has the an incredibly unique history and heritage, hosting history-changing appearances from stars like Glenn Miller and Louis Armstrong in the 40’s, Howlin’ Wolf and BB King in the 50’s, The Stones, The Who & The Kinks in the 60’s, The Clash & The Sex Pistols in the 70’s and Oasis and Travis in the 90s. More recently The White Stripes and The Kings Of Leon have used it as their venue of choice for intimate London gigs.

As widely reported here and in recent broadsheet and tabloid press, the 100 Club is threatened with closure. Guitarist Petit, who has strong connections with many of the Guitar World’s greats, is mounting the benefit gig to raise awareness and support for the club.

California-born Petit, who has headlined the prestigious club nearly a dozen times, says ‘The first gig I went to in the UK was Alexis Korner at The 100 Club. There is no other venue like it on earth ‘ when you walk downstairs it’s like entering a magic portal. I always feel honoured to perform there, and this show is going to be extra special’.

Organizers will not be drawn on an increasing list of stellar rock names, rumored to be making an appearance on the night, currently flooding the internet. They will only comment that more guests will be confirmed at www.stephendalepetit.com in the coming days.

Meanwhile Facebook page membership has rocketed from nothing to over 15,000 in a matter of days and a website www.savethe100club.co.uk features thousands of fans comments.

Tickets are £35 advance, £38 on the door.

Online at www.wegottickets.com/event/96517

All profits go to the Save The 100 Club campaign.

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Artists and Bands Record Labels

Alive and Rocking: Part 2

This is the second part of this round-up review/label profile so let me repeat:

Let me tell you, I get a decent bit of music in the mail thanks to this gig right here and although every day brings a package with a little bit of melodic lovin’ inside, there are days where the bounty is just so fucking cool it makes me glad I decided to become a music writer. The day I received this fat package of music from the Alive label was one of those great days. Alive is one of the few labels left which is dedicated to keeping rock and roll…ahem…alive in many ways, but most importantly in spirit. The label is a throwback to the days when substance meant more than anything else and sticking by your bands while they grew and matured was more important than milking them for one monster hit. I mean, while I am sure Alive would love to sell a ton of records and have a huge fat hit on their hands, they seem incredibly loyal to their bands and are nurturing their roster as each band builds their own reps and fanbases which will eventually help the label as a whole. As it is, the label has one of the best young rosters out there and will soon be able to compete with any other label out there is the discs contained in this package is any clue. Since they sent me so many wonderful releases, I am splitting this article into two parts so I don’t hit you with too much good stuff at one time. This is, of course, the second part!

Categories
Features Record Labels

Rock and Roll is Alive! Part 1 – An Alive Records Natural Sound’s Round-Up

Let me tell you, I get a decent bit of music in the mail thanks to this gig right here and although every day brings a package with a little bit of melodic lovin’ inside, there are days where the bounty is just so fucking cool it makes me glad I decided to become a music writer. The day I received this fat package of music from the Alive label was one of those great days.

Alive is one of the few labels left which is dedicated to keeping rock and roll…ahem…alive in many ways, but most importantly in spirit. The label is a throwback to the days when substance meant more than anything else and sticking by your bands while they grew and matured was more important than milking them for one monster hit. I mean, while I am sure Alive would love to sell a ton of records and have a huge fat hit on their hands, they seem incredibly loyal to their bands and are nurturing their roster as each band builds their own reps and fan-bases which will eventually help the label as a whole. As it is, the label has one of the best young rosters out there and will soon be able to compete with any other label out there is the discs contained in this package is any clue. Since they sent me so many wonderful releases, I am splitting this article into two parts so I don’t hit you with too much good stuff at one time.

Categories
Reviews and Suggestions

Hawk and Dove soar on this new EP release

Hawk and Dove – Self titled
Self-released

After opening the package containing this CD, I immediately flashed back to my youth. Besides being a music freak (and not just any sort of music freak – I was a blues snob. Didn’t listen to anything but blues music of the ’50’s and ’60’s for about five years) I also was a huge comic book fan. The various titles featuring the superhero Batman were my favorites. I think I was into Batman the most because he didn’t have any super-powers and seemed to accomplish everything by the use of his wits and the physical prowess he had honed himself. Later, I realized he was a lot like a musician in this way. Creating viable songs, intricate arrangements etc. takes an immense innate musical aptitude and becoming a master of your chosen instrument requires a physical prowess most people cannot achieve. Why I immediately thought of comic books upon checking out this CD is that Hawk and Dove was the title of a controversial comic book in the ’60’s featuring two characters that were the total opposite of each other. One a dominant, emotional hero who solved problems with physicality and one more passive, who sought to use his wits to solve problems. While I am not sure if the dynamic between Elijah Miller and John Kleber has any comparisons with their comic book namesakes, the two do have an interesting sound together and Miller‘s emotional lyrics and often-whispered vocals run counterpoint to Kleber‘s in-your-face guitar work.

Categories
Reviews and Suggestions

Imitation May Be The sincerest Form of Flattery, But To My Ears It’s Assault and Battery!

erickearnsEric Kearns – Voices of Legends: Love Songs
Self released

While listening to Eric Kearns’ new album, I was sort of reminded of Las Vegas, the city of glitz and glamour, and the places where fortunes are made and lost on an hourly basis. If you’ve ever been in a casino there, you know about those lounges off to the sides of the main gambling rooms where you can take a breather to count what’s left of your money or cry about the money you’ve lost. Every casino has one, and there’s always an entertainer there, singing the songs of yesteryear and trying to make people forget about how much money they’ve just lost. I was lucky enough to go to Vegas a few years ago when the Vegas power-brokers were just starting to abandon their ideas about Vegas being this great family destination. In fact, it was just about the time that “What Happens In Vegas Stays In Vegas” started to take hold as a catchphrase to commemorate the fact that sin was back in and family values had been told to go back to wherever they came from as they were no longer welcome in Vegas. Not sure why they wanted to become some sort of Disneyland anyway. Vegas is inherently designed for adults. The city’s casinos are open all night long, the entertainment can be okay for kids but is primarily focused on adults and Kearns is the perfect example. More an impersonator than an artist, Kearns’ act is to sing the songs of legendary singers while impersonating their voices and singing styles. Think Rich Little singing Frank Sinatra and you get the idea of what Kearns is doing. I mean, let’s face it, there ain’t gonna be any White Stripes or My Morning Jacket songs on this CD, okay?