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

4/29/2022

Pop Rock Review: Jeff Fowler-Live At The Mint

Release Date: April 29, 2022

Label:  Get It! Records, LLC

Website

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

Credits:
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

Tracks:
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)


4/05/2022

Concert Review: Lonestar At The Colonial Theater

 

 

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

https://www.lonestarnow.com/music.html

 
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

Setlist:
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


3/08/2022

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

http://www.blueoystercult.com

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

Setlist:
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
Godzilla
The Noodle
(Don't Fear) The Reaper
Encore:
The Alchemist
Cities on Flame With Rock and Roll

12/14/2021

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


12/10/2021

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

 



11/30/2021

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




https://samerfanek.com

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..

10/31/2021

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.


10/25/2021

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:

Website: https://richardspasoff.com

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

9/28/2021

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

Release Date: September 17, 2021

Label: Val Gardena Music

Website

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

Tracks:
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)

8/20/2021

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

Release Date: August, 20, 2021

Label: playMountain Music

Website

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” Hannaleck-MuzikMan.net Founder
August 20, 2021

Tracks:
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  
    


8/12/2021

World Review: Ciro Hurtado-Luna

Release Date: August 12, 2021

Label: Independent

Website

 

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

 

Tracks:
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)

 



6/21/2021

Track Feature: The Song Gardeners-Harmony of Contrast

"Harmony of Contrast" is the latest musical seed flowering and blooming to perfection for The Song Gardeners.

Their music and positive vibes picks up where the last single track release left off. 

All of the beautiful lead and backing vocals of Mary Gospe and the backing vocals of Corrie Dunn (piano) give their sound a warm invitation to any listener. David Scheibner steps in to provide the guitars on this outing.

The words this group provides are always thought provoking and enlightening. 

They get their point across with impactful lyrics like:
Wouldn't life be dull and gray, if we all looked the same way?
Wouldn't life be dull and gray, if we all thought the same way?
Wouldn't life be dull and gray, if we all lived the same way?

The message does not get any clearer and more concise than that. And with the truth flowing through the music and words, you end the listen with a new perspective. Where would we be without "Harmony and Contrast?"

Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck




Buy/Streaming Link: https://dashgo.co/debndvb

Harmony of Contrast (Official Lyric Video) - https://vimeo.com/565052884

Visit The Song Gardener's Website: https://www.thesonggardeners.com

The Song Gardeners is a musical duo from the San Francisco Bay Area featuring singer/songwriter Corrie Dunn (vocals, piano, guitar), singer/songwriter and Mary Gospe (vocals, guitar, percussion).

Their original songs are filled with positive, empowering messages and beautiful harmonies.

5/16/2021

Rock Review: Arielle-Analog Girl In a Digital World

Release Date: May 7, 2021

Label: Independent

Website

A New Jersey native woman (even if only briefly), gone West Coast, takes listeners through a time-traveling experience. Arielle found herself a spot to shine in the indie-rock. Discovered in 2010, the singer spent the next ten years building up her reputation as a guitar ‘prodigy’ in her own right…even if she didn’t feel affection for the title and prestige the term held. Unfortunately, her rapid ascent amongst the best of best came with early on challenges due to sexism. From not being allowed to sell guitars (instead, watering the plants in the store at 16) to giving all of her-SELF away for what she believed she had to do to get further ahead…due to a dark side to the music and entertainment industry; Arielle spent many years suffering personally and physically because of it.

Finally leaving her label behind, she was free to be an independent artist. Her debut album The Whale washed up onto music platforms in 2015. Arielle then followed it with two EPs in 2017 and 2018 respectively. Here, she is at the height of her career, she is now free to create as she pleases. And with her new Analog Girl In a Digital World fresh out into the airwaves, the world is at her fingertips.

Analog Girl In a Digital World is a call-out to the “good old days.” Frankly, I’ve never heard an album say exactly what I have been thinking for years. It tells of someone living in a modern world such as ours, and they just want to go back to simpler times because simpler times meant less stress and more human interaction. The initial track “Dialup” is a cool old-fashioned set of dial tones and a signal of all systems crashing.


“Digital World” is that single song that cries out for a way of life before we became too focused on the newest upgrade of a device or phone, digitizing every aspect of our daily lives, and how many ‘likes’ or ‘reactions’ we got on our latest social media post. The singer remembers a not-too-distant past of manual operation, physically interactive lifestyle, rather than everything being at the click or touch of a button.

“Peace of Mind” is acknowledging a roaming desire for internal peace and contentment from within. But, in this modern world, there’s always something to be done nowadays. Our minds are never truly settled with every option at our fingertips. With a “tight noose around you,” the person feels stuck in a routine, struggling to get out. “This is Our Intervention” is a short declaration song in which two individuals deem today, they will be taking their lives back and taking control of their surroundings instead of being told they will not reach what they wish and hope to achieve.

“Still A Man” pokes fun at a man in a partnership/relationship aspect, speaking of his best efforts to keep to what he says he will do for his significant other. Being “Still a Man,” he falls short of his promises and the singer looks to be understanding in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way. “Inside & Outside” is a mellow, classic-rock-sounding tune. The song basks in the glow of a newfound realization that the relationship she is in is ideal for her. She loves everything “inside and out” about her partner and further recognizes what many fail to inside ourselves. We all “have a dark side, searching for the light” yet, we blame the darkness many times solely on bad intentions or character; when sometimes, the darkness is just a battle route to get to a better place.

“I’d Rather Be In England” is just a fun simple tune where the singer longs to be with her friend or partner across the seas. She loves the culture and nature of England and so she daydreams of being there. It combines some rock with the singer-songwriter/indie personal style she conveys through the album. “Living In a Fortress” speaks of the singer’s mind being a bunker to keep out other’s opinions and decisions. She views the world and the people amongst her everyday public life as too involved in one another’s business. She would rather do things the way she sees fit and the rest of us can move on.

Finally, “Reimagine” is more along the lines of an ending piece to settle the listener’s ear. With angelic echoing to begin, then drifting into a rocker’s lullaby. The song is bright and enjoyable, and as such, the album looks to have touched upon an array of emotion and topics for such a young and still-developing artist. Arielle’s vocals, her guitar prowess, and her willingness to keep on pushing for her personal artistry to be known and heard are what make her a triple threat and an upcoming indie-rock sensation.

Gregg Keniston - MuzikMan.net Staff
May 12, 2021

Track Listing:
1. Dialup
2. Digital World
3. Peace of Mind
4. This Is Our Intervention
5. Still a Man
6. Inside & Outside
7. I’d Rather Be in England
8. Living in a Fortress
9. Reimagine


5/14/2021

Amazonian Rock Band Pentral Keep the Groove but Turn it up to 11 on New Single!


Pentral are to release their new single, Aiming for the Sun, from their forthcoming album, adding even more ferocity to their sound but retaining the groove and rhythms which made the likes of Prog and New Noise hail them as ones to watch. Their first single, Silent Trees, received glowing praise from both Prog and New Noise and All My Wounds raised the bar yet further, a colossal burst of energy and riffs, continuing the story of a young family lost in a world filled with anger and hate, set against the backdrop of the Amazon jungle. Aiming for the Sun picks up the story of the couple ousted from their rainforest home and battling against a tyrannical regime. 

“Aiming For The Sun” is a heavier song without leaving groove behind. It’s the second chapter of the couple's saga, when the Amazon land-grabbers show their real face and what they are up to. Through its dark vibe and pulsating lines, this song tries to express a feeling of urgency, a claim for help, showcasing the agony of the people in the woods.”


Passionate about environmental protection, equality and the fight against racism, their music and lyrics reflect their beliefs, with the band seeing music as a powerful and positive way of changing the world for the better and their album, What Lies Ahead of Us is a concept album exploring the fractious relationships between people from different backgrounds and cultures and ultimately Mankind’s war against nature itself.






4/29/2021

Instrumental Rock Review: Marty Freidman-Tokyo Jukebox 3

Release Date: April 16, 2021
Label: 2021 Mascot Label Group / The Players Club  
Website

Hot off the presses of his latest installment, now a trilogy of his Tokyo Jukebox collection, Marty Freidman kicks it into high gear with Tokyo Jukebox 3. The album is Friedman’s take on many J-Pop hits that burst at the seams with his guitar shredding skills emboldening with his traditional techniques. Marty even went as far as to go all-out traditional stylings for the album artwork. Dressed in a kimono and kabuki make-up, the guitarist finds himself exploring every possible facet of Japanese culture in the making and styling of this record.
 
Now to the music. As the lead guitarist for one of rock and metal’s most notable and revolutionary band, Megadeath, Marty Friedman contributed to much of the success of the group at the height of their career for 10 years; until eventually leaving the band in 2000. To this day, Friedman resides in Tokyo, Japan where he has become a household name, and dabbled in Japanese government affairs, all while maintaining several album releases and touring multiple times since his move overseas.

Tokyo Jukebox 3
stands alone from traditional heavy metal music. Oftentimes, at least from my experience, thrash-metal/speed-metal bands and their albums tend to have a feature of identical sound where, if there is no lengthy pause between tracks, it remains unknown to the listener that a new song has begun. Friedman, being the aficionado that he is with his guitar, combines his skill and precision of thrash-metal with J-Pop melodies to create something truly unique. His capability not only to make every track sound different and leave a little wonder in each track is stunning.

“Makenaide” starts mainly as traditional Friedman’s work would show, with a consistent powerhouse guitar playing just with some J-Pop melody thrown in. On “Senbonzakura,” you get your first dose of change-ups and nuances. As the song plays, it feels like a crescendo with a sudden brief lull, only to pick right back up again and burst around the four-minute mark. The short and mystifying release of a lighter guitar-playing shocks the listener to engage in amazement. “Gurenge” while not a personal stand-out track, plays well to keep the listener’s interest and sensation going, especially as Freidman goes full-on beast-mode throughout.


“Kaze Ga Fuiteiru” sounds like a combination of a sing-song poem, rock concert, and cartoon series theme song all blended into one. Marty told of one of one of his near and dear friend’s opinions of the track, calling it…rightly, ‘grand and elegant.’ It’s almost as if the piece is written into three different stages. “Echo” is a breakaway from the chaotic thrashing in the beginning, with an intriguing static radio-play. As it plays through, it’s a cool back-and-forth between traditional thrashing and easier mellow strumming; once again, built back up to powerful chords to end out the song.

“The Perfect World, featuring Alfakyun” is the only vocal track but very captivating in dreaming of one day finding the perfection they are longing for. It’s a piece that could strike at the heart of any listener not only for the purpose of love but, perfection overall; particularly in the times that we had been facing this past year with the pandemic. “U.S.A.,” rightly titled, is an epic story-teller piece that hits every high note imaginable along with the 4-minute tune while engaging the listener for more.

“Shukumei” pairs well with “Gurenge” while it offers quite a few different opportunities for more somber or dramatic moments. “Shukumei” has several different tones to it whereas, “Gurenge” is more neutral sounding. ”Ikuze Kaitou-Shoujo” is possibly the heaviest-loaded track on the album. Not only would it appeal to the J-Pop fan base and thrash-metal crew alike, but it strikes a chord with the heaviest of rockers and metal-enthusiasts too.

Things begin winding down on “Sazanka,” or at least as the song begins. It has a little aggressiveness to its sound but, not nearly what the rest of the album entails. It is a very soothing record on the album with the keyboard as its supporter to the guitar match-up. “Time Goes By” keeps with the more steady and mellowed tonality. However, it seems to be more somber with points of crescendos and climaxes to build up intensity and excitement for the track. All the while, the ending becomes a surprise fade-out which separates the song from the rest of the record. The last song, “Japan Heritage Official Theme Song,” is a lighter, airy, and free-sounding lead-out track. The strings to this record give it a balanced and unique twist that actually compliments the rest of the record quite nicely.

Tokyo Jukebox 3 is one of those records where initially you may not think there is a spot in YOUR ear for this album, yet there is truly something for a wide variety of listeners. Marty Freidman remains on top of his game when completing this trio of ‘jukebox’ jams.

Gregg Keniston - MuzikMan.net Staff
April 26, 2021

Track Listing:
01. Makenaide
02. Senbonzakura
03. Gurenge
04. Kaze Ga Fuiteiru
05. Echo
06. The Perfect World (feat. ALfakyun)
07. U.S.A.
08. Shukumei
09. Ikuze Kaitou-Shoujo
10. Sazanka
11. Time Goes By
12. Japan Heritage Official Theme Song