Showing posts with label Music Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Music Reviews. Show all posts


New Age Ambient Instrumental Review: Stephen Peppos-Celestial

Release Date: February 20, 2023

Label: Independent


will be the fifth release from Stephen Peppos that I have enjoyed listening to. His new-age ambient journeys are the musical chicken soup for the soul we all need.

There are eighteen tracks on Celestial. You get the complete treatment of the new age ambiance he so expertly produces album after album.

Ce·les·tial-Positioned in or relating to the sky or outer space as observed in astronomy: "a celestial body"

That is the primary term and title of this album. And beautifully illustrated on the cover art with a giant bright moon behind a tree. It was likely the stone age when the moon was that close to the earth, and what a sight that must have been!

I had always had a fascination with astronomy going back to when I was a little boy. That interest has never waned. It has become stronger over the years. I always look to the stars to feel a sense of wonderment about what kind of life could be millions and billions of miles away. It makes you feel small in the big picture of the universe.

Music makes a person feel whole, and at times the sounds put you into a trance-like state or in the space of meditation. Whatever your choice, instrumental music filled with synths, color, the tinkling of bells, etc., presented on Celestial, will allow you to move on to a different level of freedom and existence. For my tastes, that is very important to find that release point where the thoughts of the day melt away, and the focus is on the music alone.

If you are looking for calm, serenity, and the magic healing powers of music, it's time to take a trip on the "Celestial Highway." That is how this recording starts with that track, and it is a beautiful introduction to what you will hear and experience along the way. Track by track, you can take the journey with Stephen and listen to (what I call) experiential music. You, the listener, decide how the door opens and closes on this recording.

There are stars and galaxies so far away that we will never discover them, even with the most powerful telescope. Here is your chance to create your universe with the sounds to soothe and penetrate your being. Your mind and body become one with the music, and you can discover new worlds within your mind's eye and realize you could not go during a typical day without the help of this music. That is the point of music such as this, to step away from the norm and experience something out of the ordinary, relax, and recharge those batteries for another day.

Celestial gave me pause to reflect. All the layers of ambient keyboards reminded me of some of my favorite artists, such as Jean-Michel Jarre, Tangerine Dream, and similar groups. 

As all artisans were appreciated thousands of years ago, they are still today. People like Stephen Peppos are an intrinsic part of our lives and help to enhance our world. So, please sit back, listen, and let the chaos of our planet and perhaps your day, disappear with music from Celestial.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
March 16, 2023

01. Celestial Highway
02. Night Sky Revealed
03. The Sun Sphere
04. Ambrosia
05. Celestial Interlude part 1
06. Look To The Quivering Sky
07. Celestial Longing
08. Fields Of Stars
09. The 4th Dimension
10. Celestial Interlude part 2
11. Heavenlies
12. Celestial Joy
13. Wonder
14. Beautiful Cry to the Universe
15. Celestial Interlude part 3
16. Celestial Dawning
17. Celestial Traveller
18. Celestial Dance



Rock Instrumental/Vocal Review: Lance Reegan-Diehl-Maniacal Cavern

Release Date: March 8, 2023

Label: Independent


It has been 15 years since I covered a Lance Reegan-Diehl album. That is a mighty long stretch. When the man decides to release an album, which has been since 2011’s Uploaded, he makes it count.


So now Maniacal Cavern has arrived with a determined-looking guitar player staring at you on the front cover. Lance’s Cavern is his home studio, which has served him well for decades.


So off we go into another instrumental rock album? Well, not quite. After the lengthy break-out lead-off track “Crying Nut,” clocking in at a hearty 9:19 of some fine guitar lines (what I always would expect), the next track, “Don’t Look Back,” features some AC/DC-like vocals for a quick change of pace. The shortest track is 4:11, so there is no skimping on content.


“Friction” is another rocking vocal track. The rhythm section hums right along, and the pace shifts back and forth with odd time signatures. It is a genuine progressive rocker with some tough-edged vocals to express the meaning entirely. The shift from pop-rock to hard-edged progressive rock is interesting. It was like listening to three different songs in one.


“Luna Glow” continues with the vocal tracks. I am not used to this on an LRD album. So far, it’s working. The guitar playing is so good that he can’t go wrong. 8:05 is some time to stretch things out; Lance and the band utilize the time wisely. 


“Made of Wood” is an absolute cracker. It’s Lance doing what he does best, making love to those six strings. The guitar is finite and precise, and as we rock along, little funky piano changes the pace briefly, albeit very briefly, then back to the flat-out rocking we love to hear.


“Praise An Upper Lip” is another progressive track, instrumentally speaking. The time shifts can be dramatic at times. I am impressed with how Lance plays in many places (or different paces and styles) within one track. It takes guts to take a chance, and you must rely on your raw talent to get to the other side and do so successfully. It is one of my favorites for the variety and the challenges he pushes himself to reach. It always reaches an incredible apex with his guitar screaming. Love it.


“Seven Of 4” is one Metallica fans would enjoy as the shredding begins immediately and then morphs into more tasteful muted licks. Then they return to harder-edged fat chords and shredding; if you like six-string pyrotechnics, you will love this track. I did. I like the ode to Rush with that short burst of echoing guitar a little after 3 minutes. So many influences are flowering here. Epic.


“Sleepy Wheel” is a superb instrumental track. There is nothing here not to like. This probably is one of the best I have ever heard from Lance. Everything great about his playing is on display in this. There are tastefully done moments, get-down dirty points, and a funky backbeat. It’s all here for guitar enthusiasts to suck in and discuss in depth the transitions this player goes through.


“Slow Jam To Mars” is what it says it is, well, with some fast playing. It’s more of the bottom end that is slow jamming while Lance holds nothing back. This album continues to get stronger as you progress through the tracks. At times you get reminded of the power of Black Sabbath and the smooth, precise playing of David Gilmour. So good and fun to listen to.


“Take Off The ‘G’ String” continues with Lance on fire and in a completely focused groove. The jaw-dropping command of his instrument is truly a wonder to hear. This is a man I would love to see play live. It mainly displays as you will listen to this track. He makes that guitar sing and cry with joy. He owns this one. Maybe some memories of Eddie Van Halen in his prime will come to mind. Guitar and man take flight into the stratosphere.


“The One (Album Version)” brings back the vocals with fine guitar. It is a big step away from the previous tracks focused on the artist’s technical abilities as a player. This opens the door to new ventures with vocal tracks at a slower pace. It is so different that it sounds out of place after rocking your ass off track after track for a while, anyway. It was well done, though; a very tasteful guitar worth waiting for, then an apex at the end that is very satisfying. You can see it as a respite from the relentless attack on your senses presented prior (well, somewhat), which I loved.


So here we are at the end of this fantastic aural journey I thoroughly enjoyed. “What A Rush” indeed. And an acceptable way to close this excellent recording. Per usual, Lance gives it his all and lets his fingers do all the talking. The music is so melodic and beautiful. Some of his most vital work firmly closes the curtain, reminding me why I always loved his music.


If you have yet to hear Lance Reegan-Diehl, you are cheating yourself on a fantastic journey through the abilities of the guitar and how eclectic it can be (depending on who is playing). Now that you know who he is, check out this album and past releases; you will not be disappointed.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-TFOV Founder

March 8, 2023


01. Crying Nut

02. Don’t Look Back

03. Friction

04. Luna Glow

05. Made Of Wood

06. Praise An Upper Lip

07. Seven Of 4

08. Sleepy Wheel

09. Slow Jam To Mars

10. Take Off The ‘G’ String

11. The One (Album version)

12. What A Rush


Cinematic Instrumental Review: Christopher Caouette-Tale of the Oakenwish

Label: Independent

Release Date: October 18, 2022


If you have an imagination that is an open door, and all you need is the right music to set it free, I have the correct medicine for you to take. Tale of the Oakenwish from Christopher Caouette is the creator of this magical journey of sound and color.

My introduction to Christopher was this Did you know you’d be going to a movie theater today? No? Yes, yes, you are. Get ready to feel like you’ve fallen into the middle of a movie like Lord of the Rings or a show like Vikings! 

Well, it could not have been more accurate; this is like a soundtrack for a movie, perhaps the one already in your mind, just waiting to be animated by the right sounds. Or is it for a film you saw that you could never forget? It could be either of those or something entirely different; whatever it may be that you have trapped inside your mind or deep in your soul, this music will draw it out.

There is only one vocal on this recording featuring Lindsay Schoolcraft; all the other tracks are epic instrumentals. Although the basic tenets of the new age mindset may have been a foundation, I would define it as cinematic instrumental. Nor is this meditation music; it is much too exciting to fall into that category. 

The first nine tracks bring you to another world, a time a place only found in ancient tales, deep in the forest where the sprites and fairies hide where nobody can see them or discover them. It is the excitement of a journey into a lost civilization where all the secrets of humanity are waiting, with all the keyboards and wordless vocals pushing the music to the highest heights imaginable. 

Christopher is the magical wizard that pulls you into his storybook set to music. The production values are very high; hence, the sound will immerse you into the world found in the music. If you feel you need a getaway of fantasy to a place far away, then a Tale of the Oakenwish will get you there in a matter of minutes. It was one of the most entertaining listens I have had this year. By the time it is released, the special Holidays will be underway in a matter of weeks, and it will get you in the right mindset to pull away from this world into another.

Keith “MuzikMan” Founder

October 3, 2022


01. Flight Of Cedarsong

02. Forest Of Wishes

03. Oakenwish

04. Forest Of Mist

05. The Fae's Gift

06. Kisyra's Dream

07. I May Be One (Album Version Feat. Lindsay Schoolcraft)

08. Valor

09. Lament Of Cedarsong

10. Tale Of The Oakenwish Continuous Mix


Pop Rock Review: Jeff Fowler-Live At The Mint

Release Date: April 29, 2022

Label:  Get It! Records, LLC


Any artist that has success has a solid core group behind them. Rick Wakeman said when he met David Bowie, the best advice he could have given him was that you get musicians that believe in what you are doing. I think in the case of Jeff he was able to do that on Live At The Mint.

The voice and music need to mesh and have excellent production values to be fully realized when recorded then released to the public. Ok so another box is ticked, the production is very good and and nice and clear.

Jeff has a very smooth delivery, perfect for covering pop-rock tunes of his own and some covers with a tasty encore medley with many fan favorites. His vocal approach is very comforting and it suits the tracks he performs.

Tracks like “Firefly” provide a good example of that particular sound. Think of the soft touch of a Christopher Cross at his peak or hints of Sinatra in his delivery. Frank was one of the greatest and his range was limited, he did not belt out a song, he was smooth and purposeful. That is how I would look at the way he makes a song come alive on stage. Even when he raises the bar towards the end of “Goldfish Girl” he gets to a certain point, lets it go, then moves to the next phrasing.

The audience interaction is always a key component in any live performance and then if it’s recorded to be released as a live album, even more so. You can tell without being there that Jeff has the attention of his audience and is really enjoying mixing it up with them.

I have to hand it to the supporting band with the way the music is behind Jeff when he sang, it did not drown him out nor did he have to compete with an instrument hitting the needle in the red on VU meter. That is very important for the singer and obviously the person running the mixing board for sound had their act together.

When “True” started it brought back memories of the 80s. What a great tune that is and album. Spandau Ballet was a unique name for a band. I remember I had that album on cassette. The background vocals on this were excellent by Sharon Youngblood. It is was very well done and the musicianship was spot on. So, kudos for covering a classic track with proper representation. It makes me wonder now what it would sound like on vinyl. It takes some wherewithal to cover Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.” I was surprised how well it was done.

My favorite track was “So Far,” the only rocker on the entire set. With such a fully capable band I think it would make sense to do more tracks like that. Just my thoughts and opinion of course.

Live At The Mint was team effort and that is why I felt it necessary to list all the contributors. Jeff Fowler is the not kind of artist that is going to rock the house but if you are in the mood for an evening of fun and some easy listening with pop and rock elements you will enjoy his music.

On a side note…Jeff since you are a lawyer how about doing a parody on a fictional court case with members of the circus as your jury and you sing your defense case to them? If anything, it would make a very entertaining video!

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
April 29, 2022

Jeff Fowler: vocals, keys
Wes Styles: guitars, music director
Eli Hludzik: drums, percussion
Jesse Stern: bass
Ryan Brown: percussion, glockenspiel
Brad Snow: additional keys, guitars
Dennis Clark, Kitten Kuroi,
Sharon Youngblood: background vocals
Kitten Kuroi: background vocals

01. The “Fowler Vibrations”
02. I’ll Try
03. Intro – Shout out to yogis!
04. Here’s to You
05. Intro – The Englebert-Humperdink jacket move
06. Firefly
07. Goldfish Girl
08. Intro –Mr. Mason Man
09. Mr. Mason Man
10. You Have a Way
11. True
12. Intro
13. 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
14. Intro
15. So Far
16. Encore Medley:
Turn It On Again
Is She Really Going Out with Him?
I’d Do Anything for Yo
Encore Medley Genesis, Joe Jackson, Rick Springfield (Live)


Concert Review: Lonestar At The Colonial Theater



Lonestar In Concert At The Colonial With Whiskey City
April 1, 2022
Pittsfield, MA.

After two years, it was nice to return to the Colonial Theater in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. It always feels like home there to me. That beautiful theater has hosted some great performances over the years; I have witnessed many.

Lonestar came for a visit, and it was not an April fools' joke.

Before we got to see those famous country artists, we were treated to an excellent local opening act. Whiskey City. Randy Cormier (Guitar / Lead Vocals), Beth Maturevich (Lead Vocal), Dale Zavatter (Bass), Abe Guthrie (Keyboards / Vocals), a new addition to the band, Darrin Todd (Lead Guitar / Vocals), and Frank Algerio (Drums) fill out their great sounds. They encompass a polished and exciting musical formula that includes some of their original tracks and covers.

The musicianship and some of the bands harmonizing throughout the evening were outstanding.

This band was the perfect opener for Lonestar, and there could not have been a better choice. Their originality for a local band is miles ahead of other acts in the area, and they have plenty of their material that stands up well. I have to say that I heard songs that could easily be a hit and something you would listen to on the radio. I am proud to say that Whiskey City is a product of the Berkshires.

Their performance was exemplary, and I got those good-feeling goosebumps a few times during their songs. Randy and Beth are quite a pair of powerful vocalists and animated performers, and I appreciated every moment they shared with us. Only two of the songs out of ten were covers; the rest were original material.

Set List:
01. Greatest Show on Dirt
02. Concrete Rodeo
03. Wasting Time
04. Hate Myself For Loving You (cover)
05. It's The Women
06. Who in The World
07. You're The Reason This Drinks In My Hand
08. Hell of a Lotta Friday Night Ago
09. When Will I Be Loved (cover)
10. Love You Like Crazy

After a great reception and opening show, the audience got a break to stretch their legs and get something to drink. I believe the venue was real close to being sold out. It was the first time they had drinks and food set up on both ends of the main floor to accommodate the audience (at least when I attended).

Now it was time for the legendary opening band to arrive. Lonestar is Dean Sams (keyboards, acoustic guitar, background vocals), Michael Britt (lead guitarist, background vocals), Keech Rainwater (drums), and Drew Womack (lead vocals, guitar).

Lonestar is one of the most successful country crossover bands of all time. They have sold 10 million records with 10 number 1 singles. For fans of the band's catalog, they will be doing a top ten redo of their hits in the studio with plans to release the album in the fall.

Lonestar is excellent live. They are seasoned musicians that can present their well-known catalog of hits with precision and accuracy. You could feel the excitement and anticipation before, during, and after every song. They never took a break; many songs segued into the next.

I took a moment to go to YouTube to watch the original track and video of "Amazed." To date, it has over 56.5+ Million views. I am "amazed" but not surprised. And that is the one song that I thought would be the encore; however, what we got was very good.

I have to be honest; country is not at the top of my list for my concert attendance, but this once again showed me what a great show I may have missed. I am glad I was there to see all the outstanding musicianship and lead vocals, and harmonies that were so outstanding. Gradually my interest in country-rock crossover has grabbed my attention. It takes an impressive group of musicians to change my mind about something, and it was easy to believe in Lone Star right from the start.

Some of my favorite songs were "I'm Already There," a real tear-jerker about a veteran away from their family. Any time there is a song about our heroes of the military, it touches my soul in ways I cannot explain. I am a vet, and my father was also in WWII, so I am sure that has a lot to do with my reactions.'

"Walking In Memphis" and "Amazed" were some of the highlights of the evening, to be sure. The encore was a lot of fun and presented impressively. A montage of songs from past hits and a tribute to the passed on artists like Tom Petty, Dusty Hill (ZZ Top), and several others got a few minutes to spotlight the audience was standing and singing along.

I am re-energized now about live events at The Colonial and hope that more acts like Lonestar will be visiting us in Pittsfield, MA, soon.

A shout goes out to all the staff there for providing excellent seating for my coverage and all the selfless volunteers who assists us with any questions or help with finding our seats.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
April 2, 2022

01. What About Now Intro
02. You Walked In
03. Tequila Talkin'
04. Runnin' Away
05. Smile/Tell Her
06. Coming Home
07. Mountains
08. Everything's Changed
09. Whatever Comes First
10. Fancy Like/Intros
11. Hope You Dance
12. Shes Got It All
13. Front Porch
14. Mr.Mom
15. Already There Intro
16. Already There
17. Walking In Memphis
18. Home Cryin' To Me
19. No News/Get Back
20. Amazed Intro
21. Amazed
22. Rock Medley 22


Blue Oyster Cult In Concert At The Egg In Albany NY

Blue Oyster Cult In Concert At The Egg In Albany, New York

March 4, 2022

Tonight was a night to remember for long-time fans and the newly indoctrinated for the legendary Blue Oyster Cult. The two remaining original members, Donald Roeser (Buck Dharma) on lead guitar and vocals and Eric Bloom (guitar and vocals), both well into their 70s now, show no signs of slowing down. They were terrific, and it looks as though they have not lost a step with their performances. It was over two hours of music with no breaks.

The remaining members and rock-solid contributors, Richie Castellano (keys, guitar, vocals), Danny Miranda (bass, vocals), and Jules Radino (drums), do an excellent job supporting the two core members. Most fans know of these great musicians on their last recording, The Symbol Remains. I took note of Richie's multitude of talents. He is a whirlwind of activity and energy and showcased his powerful vocals on "Tainted Blood." I would be looking at him to start a band once his time is through with B.O.C.
A significant part of this night was that to the date; it was the 50th anniversary of their self-titled first recording. After covering "Transmaniacon MC" and "Before the Kiss, a Redcap" Eric informed the audience of that historic moment in time and the story behind "Before the Kiss, a Redcap," which I found very interesting. You can go to a show and find out; you may be surprised.
B.O.C. covered much ground, including some choice tracks from the 2020 release The Symbol Remains , their first album in 20 years. I was delighted, and it was far too long to wait for many of the faithful, but they made it count.
One of the most satisfying moments was hearing "Harvest Moon," a tremendous melodic and hypnotic track similar to "Don't Fear The Reaper." One of the cuts from their underrated release Heaven Forbid. That was their curtain closer until the fantastic encore of "The Alchemist" and "Cities on Flame With Rock and Roll."
There were so many memorable moments, including Buck's shredding and getting down on the floor on his knees. He was bending those strings as if 50 years had not passed, making it look easy. Eric and Buck sounded good and were always perfectly matched on every song. When "The Alchemist" started, Eric came out in a brown hooded monk robe during the encore. With a book casting his spell on the band and the crowd, he sang the words and shouted, I am the alchemist, and I am the sorcerer!
Some of my other favorites were "Burnin' for You," "Train True (Lennie's Song)," and "E.T.I. (Extra Terrestrial Intelligence)." The entire set was great. However, those were some of the highlights of the evening.
It was the sixth time I had gone to a B.O.C. concert since the 70s (when they only had three studio albums out). I saw two shows in Albany at The Palace. One was when Bob Seger opened for them (before he got huge with his live album that year), and Tommy Bolin opened for them around a year later. Bolin died a few months later of an overdose. Then there was the legendary Black & Blue Concert with Black Sabbath in the early 80's at Lebanon Valley Racetrack and the subsequent riot, killing some people.
I have a history with this band, as I am sure many of the grey hairs can attest and tell a few stories. If you have not gone to a B.O.C. concert, make sure you do before they hang it up for good. You never know what tomorrow brings, and the band's elder statesman may not be around much longer. They may decide to retire, and how many great ones have we lost around the age of 70 over the last few years? It is something to think about music fans.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
March 5, 2022

Transmaniacon MC
Before the Kiss, a Redcap
Golden Age of Leather
That Was Me
Burnin' for You
Dancin' in the Ruins
Harvest Moon
E.T.I. (Extra Terrestrial Intelligence)
Buck's Boogie
Tainted Blood
Train True (Lennie's Song)
Then Came the Last Days of May
The Noodle
(Don't Fear) The Reaper
The Alchemist
Cities on Flame With Rock and Roll


Grafted Culture releases new single 'Ivory Stands

Dutch/American sisters Gabriëlle and Michaëlle, aka the minds behind phenomenal outfit Grafted Culture unveil striking new release titled ‘Ivory Stands’. Creating gentle folk music poised with poetic lyricism that stir the emotions, the duo are known for their incredible harmonies. What adds even more to their music is their amazingly humble and gentle natures that find joy in sharing their passion for life with others. The two sisters grew up travelling and experiencing different cultures and countries, and by doing this, led the siblings to find their music calling.

Speaking about the iconic new release, Grafted Culture share, “Ivory Stands is about turning your back to the history that formed and shaped you, and using that history to strengthen your journey to a new life of empowerment.”

Prompting reflection as perseverance, ‘Ivory Stands’ is a truly inspiring release that comes across as entirely innovative. Grafted Culture’s unique sound is influenced by the constant struggle with love and loss as they fall in love with the culture and people of a region and are forced to say goodbye as they are called to move on. The sisters were raised to be aware of the needs of others and to be a positive addition to their surroundings. They have camped in the remote jungle villages of Papua New Guinea, been on the streets of Sydney, Australia at 5AM feeding the homeless, walked through hospitals Christmas Caroling for the sick and volunteered at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital


Featured Track-Sample The Cat-The Weather

Sample The Cat is a 3-piece American band from Berkshire County, Massachusetts, featuring the powerful soul vocalist Kendrah Bellevue, melodic rock guitarist Steve Dalton at lead and the prodigious Bryan Brophy on keys. Their latest release is a hauntingly beautiful track titled "The Weather." 

The music is a step away from the fusion of jazz, funk, and soul that they perform so well. They are gradually getting enough tracks together, all original, to release a full album.

The timing of this release is perfect for those feeling "The Weather." Not everyone is jolly this time of year, and the last two years have been challenging. The music speaks the truth and lifts your soul.

"The Weather" is a beautiful tapestry of sound and voice to bring the message home with conviction. Sample The Cat wants those suffering to know they are not alone. Music like this soothes you and gives you inner peace and a reprieve from the crazy world around us. As Kendrah sings from her heart and feels the song, her voice's strength and emotion permeate the equally outstanding music accompanying her.

So stop for a few minutes, listen to the words and music, and give in the spirit of humanity to help others less fortunate.

The track speaks volumes for those suffering from depression and the "Winter Blues." They ask you to donate anything you can here in support of mental health.

Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck 

December 10, 2021

Visit the Sample The Cat Website now. 

Hyper Follow The Band!

Learn More About The Band



Featured Track: Samer Fanek-Endlessly Lost

Samer Fanek got my full attention with a new track release titled "Endlessly Lost." 

Like a lot of music, there is a story behind it. It is about Samer and the feelings he went through for some time. The music is not typical of what he creates; however, it reflects a darker period of life for the artist.

I thought the track was some of the best work I have heard from Samer. The elements of piano, guitar, and his experiment with brass are exciting, dramatic, and beautiful all at the same time.

The merging of one's feelings, their soul, into a composition makes for something unforgettable. And I, for one, would love to hear more of this direction when he releases a full-length album!

Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

Samer Fanek (Arabic: سامر الفانك, born December 11, 1986) is an award-winning pianist, keyboardist, composer and producer of piano instrumental music. He has a longtime dream to create instrumental songs that have an enduring emotional impact on people, hoping that his songs will travel from his small home studio to the world stage, where he aspires to perform them alongside talented musicians and orchestras for everyone to experience...READ MORE..


Iceberg Black reveals hard-hitting new offering

Iceberg Black – also known as "Ice” – has carved out a lane of his own in the industry, using self-produced beats, a prolific work rate, and a distinctively gritty sound, accentuated by production consisting of sparse melodies and booming 808s. He's received praise from outlets across the web, as the music video has earned more than 275,000 views on YouTube since its release on October 13th.

With the hopes of broadening his audience even more, Ice has now signed with Babygrande Records and makes his label debut with the captivating music video for “Spaceships & Hoodbitches”-- his sensational self-produced track that has climbed to 2.5 million streams on Spotify alone off word of mouth. Ice and Babygrande have also announced that his upcoming album, “The Mothership,” will be released on October 22.

Conceived by renowned director Shomi Patwary, the video takes viewers on a futuristic journey through Iceberg Black’s hometown, as he flexes in dapper attire and fancy cars. The video feels otherworldly and perfectly complements the track, which feels and sounds well ahead of its time. Patwary pairs a captivating storyline with VFX and quick cuts to engage viewers throughout the video. It’s a mesmerizing on-screen performance from Iceberg Black and sets a high bar for his visuals going forward.


Track Review: Richard Spasoff-Spirit of Truth

Richard Spasoff feels and intimates his own "Spirit of Truth." The track is different than any contemporary or easy listening that you would hear.

I would call it avant-garde; there is no other explanation other than undefinable.

From my view and my listening pleasure, undefinable is a welcome challenge. It is a fascinating piece that will require more than one listen.

Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck 

October 26, 2021 



About Richard Spasoff:


Richard Spasoff is an internationally renowned modern day psychic, medium,and Stand Up Comedian, motivational speaker, and radio/television personality for over 25 years. He has given accurate and insightful psychic readings to clients ranging from everyday citizens to celebrities, people in law enforcement, clergy, judges, attorneys and business CEOs... READ MORE


Contemporary Instrumental - Jazz Review: The Christopher James Project-Better Days

Release Date: September 17, 2021

Label: Val Gardena Music


Contemporary instrumental and jazz make for a great partnership on the first solo album for Christopher James. 

The Christopher James Project is titled for a good reason. Project-based recording usually entails many different artists, and Better Days is precisely that.

It makes for an excellent listen, featuring an All-Star lineup comprised of Ben Butler, Taylor Eigsti, John Patitucci, Nate Smith, David Torn, and Doug Yowell. Those listeners who enjoy instrumental works with a piano leading the way with plenty of rhythm and jazz flavors will find great joy in each track.

Some good examples of all the colors, textures, and melding of sounds are "Pear Blossom' and "Anna," which were consecutive tracks of absolute pleasure. The album's flow is perfect as one track introduces the next. The musicianship is exemplary, as one would expect with this lineup. I always notice an intrinsic rhythm in this type of music, and it is the core that everything else is built upon. This is from my listening perspective, and others will likely hear it differently.

That is the freedom and beauty of a great musical recording, and it allows your mind and spirit to take flight. In that context, "Bated Breath" is very progressive and goes through several changes over 4:03 minutes. I found it breathtaking and could feel the immense energy that went into that track. It provides the excitement and wonder of a great jazz improvisational number.

Christopher James is an accomplished classical pianist taking his skills to different and new heights with help from his friends. I have been listening to some tremendous smooth jazz lately from a station out of Istanbul, Turkey. That has engaged me and put me in the right mood and frame of mind for music like this.

Yes, indeed, let's all hang on to that though now, Better Days are ahead, and performing artists such as Christopher James are leading the way.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
September 23, 2021

01. Beyond the Sunrise
02. The Dunes
03. Better Days
04. Blue Mountains
05. Pear Blossom
06. Anna
07. Don't Let It Slip Away
08. Bated Breath
09. A Previous Thought
10. Beyond the Sunrise (alternate)


Contemporary Instrumental (Piano) Review: Robin Spielberg-Give My Regards To Broadway

Release Date: August, 20, 2021

Label: playMountain Music


How can one woman and one piano capture an audience? Ask Robin Spielberg she has been doing it for years. I think it is safe to say that the legacy of this fine artist is in place and will continue to grow with the passing years. Robin has been very busy over the last two years. It seems it was a short time ago I covered RE-INVENTIONS, which came out last November. Now we are more than halfway into this year.

With Give My Regards To Broadway, her 21st proper studio album, due out next month, Robin takes her Steinway to the land of dreams and legends. The music that you will hear is timeless and memorable. The best thing for every listener is the recognition you will receive while listening. You do not have to be a music expert to find commonality. So, for her twentieth album, you get 20 classic tracks done the only way Robin knows how, with respect, care, love, and just enough innovative twist to make each track her own. For my ears and senses, this is the main attraction of what Robin so seamlessly accomplishes on her recordings.

The anticipation I feel with each of her releases is always a jolt of energy before I even hear the first track. Not every artist can pull that off as consistently as Robin does. I count on it, and I am never disappointed. I can understand a potential listener looking at the track list feeling it may seem like a lot of music, and it is however they run 3 plus minutes to 4 plus minutes. Keeping each track within a reasonable time span like the originals, and offering her indelible mark with that magnificent Steinway is once again, and as always, is masterful.

Instrumental piano music as a standalone form of audible entertainment has every opportunity to be boring and uneventful. The selections Robin chooses never allow that kind of atmosphere to set in. It is all quite elegant, uplifting, and relaxing. And at the same time, it can energize, be meditative, and above all nostalgic. It will have some listeners reaching back into a time and place they may have forgotten. Moments of our lives can be good, bad, or indifferent, then go by in our mind’s eye like the flickering of the film from a projector at the movies. After all, it has been said, all the worlds a stage, and we are merely actors and portrayers. If that is the case, my music-loving friends, then there is nobody better than Robin Spielberg to set that camera in motion and tell the tales that all of these 20 tracks can aspire to hold for us all.

As Ms. Spielberg tips her cap to Broadway and to you the audience (whom she suggests to give yourself a hand in the inner sleeve of the CD), I give my regards to her and all the amazing talent she brings forth through her fingers to those ivory keys. I thank her for the music I have been gifted dating back to 2015. Keep it coming my friend, it is a blessing I will always treasure once it is received. There is a large audience out there that will appreciate Give My Regards To Broadway for many reasons, but mostly because it is Robin and her piano providing all of the interpretations of these legendary compositions.

Keith “MuzikMan” Founder
August 20, 2021

01. The Impossible Dream        
02. Maria        
03. I Don't Know How to Love Him        
04. Give My Regards to Broadway        
05. I'd Do Anything        
06.  Dulcinea        
07. Far From the Home I Love        
08. Where Is Love        
09. Happiness        
10. They Say It's Wonderful        
11. Ten Minutes Ago        
12. I'll Know        
13. I Have Dreamed        
14. If I Loved You        
15. Heart        
16. Can't Help Lovin Dat Man        
17. If I Were a Bell        
18. Tomorrow        
19. Somewhere        
20. My Best Girl  


World Review: Ciro Hurtado-Luna

Release Date: August 12, 2021

Label: Independent



A lot can happen when one man picks up an acoustic guitar with a world of creativity and ideas flowing through his mind. Ciro Hurtado is one of those talented individuals that make things happen intuitively with his instrument of choice. 

Ciro Hurtado has released nine albums under his name including In My Mind, Tales From Home, The Magic Hour, Guitarra, Echoes of the Andes, Guitarrista, Los Angeles Blues, Ayahuasca Dreams, Selva, and Altiplano. Now we have Luna.

Knowing this before the beginning of the first track, created a lot of expectations for me. This is the kind of energy and excitement that comes from knowing what you are about to hear is from a polished professional. I was not disappointed for one second while listening to my maiden voyage with Ciro.

“Luna,” the title track, is a magnificent track with exceptional instrumentation from the guitar and accentuated with the grace of the flute. Those two instruments are very complimentary in an acoustic setting such as this.

“Rimac” is a wonderful display of virtuosity. It is so awe-inspiring to hear, it sounds like more than one person playing. That kind of sound just blows me away in every instance. And with that, I become very aware I am hearing something very special, that is not an everyday occurrence. Although I have had the blessings of listening to such talent for many years, my wonder and appreciation continue to grow.

“Amor en Pandemia” is very special, translated to English it is “Love in Pandemic.” The vocals are provided by the lovely vocalist Milena Salamanca while Ciro keeps the steady flow and beat of the song. This is a river of emotion and a beautiful depiction of our times set to music. There are few albums I have heard this year that have not dedicated a track or two to what we have gone through. This is all about our healing globally and the one thing that has no borders or lines in the sand, is music! Without exception, it should be all-inclusive because essentially, we are all the same desiring the same things. Music such as this helps to open the door to a clearer view of the world. That of course is my belief and other listeners will hear and feel entirely different things. This is what makes the world go round, our diversity yet a universal need for love and acceptance.

“Andean Celtic” was yet another gorgeous track with flute as the guitar’s partner. The movement of the piece is energizing and inspiring. Ciro’s playing is exceptionally fluid and elegant. He has the knack of introducing his guitar to your senses in a very inviting way. He eases you into the song as he becomes one with his instrument and the overall presentation. It is a beautiful thing to hear, feel, and absorb.

With each passing track, you feel like you are taking a journey of exploration and “Amanecer” creates that atmosphere and as you become eager to hear more, the excitement of the track builds. It is a soundtrack to whatever trip your mind, body, and spirit decide to go on. Once again, the beauty of the song and your listening experience is your choice and the music leads the way seamlessly. Every track does just that for you.

For another vocal track “Luna Llena,” which is “Full Moon” translated, is like a sweet lullaby with some great picking, and the organ is introduced here for a nice effect and backdrop. Then of course the amazing vocalizations of Milena to make it all complete.

With Luna (or the moon) as the main subject depicted on the cover art, it gives a lot of meaning to everything you will hear on this marvelous, primarily world-new age instrumental recording. As the people of the earth see the moon from where we stand, the music can bring us new perceptions and closer together because we are so interconnected wi
th the realizations that we do orbit around each other’s lives.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
August 12, 2021


1. Camino (4:05)
2. Luna (4:58)
3. Rimac (4:58)
4. Amor en Pandemia (5:23)
5. Andean Celtic (4:07)
6. Amanecer (5:16)
7. Luna Llena (5:04)
8. Taruka (3:43)
9. Del Norte Soy (4:32)