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

2/29/2024

Blues-Rock-Country Review: Dion-Girl Friends

Release Date: March 8, 2024

Label: INGROOVES

Website

Dion has been making music for a mighty long time. He is one of the few who recorded music in the 50s and 60s that is still alive and relevant. That point alone should tell you something about the man's resilience and determination. It tells me a lot.

 

Girl Friends is another winner, his most recent release with an all-star cast. As you can see by the CD cover, all his guests are the ladies accompanying him on twelve tracks of blues, rock, and country-flavored tunes. I enjoyed it from start to finish, and Dion is in fine form musically and vocally.

 

Track one begins "Soul Force," an excellent way to kick off things with the fiery Susan Tedeschi. They both rock the house as Dion sings, "Superpower stronger by the hour."

 

"I Aim to Please" with Danielle Nicole is a country-inflected mover! This one has a great call answer from the duo and is a real toe-tapper. 

 

"Stop Drop and Roll" with Valerie Tyson features a strumming acoustic guitar with lots of rhythm and harmonizing. It is a country pop tune with banjo and excellent electric six-string licks. Some foot-stompin' country, y'all!

 

"Do Ladies Get the Blues" with Christine Ohlman & Debbie Davies asks the question. By all accounts, it is true. The ladies and Dion bring it home to make you a believer as some stinging electric guitar heats things to a boil and the bottom end cooks right along with it.

 

"An American Hero" with Carlene Carter is my favorite track because of its meaning. Dion sings, "We need an American hero to stand up for everyone." Never was there a time in our history was that truer. Carlene Carter was a great choice with her voice, and they punctuated every word, which gave me chills.

 

"Don't You Want a Man Like Me" with the soulful Rory Block and some acoustic slide guitar to get those embers of passion burning. The rhythm section is rock solid; hard rockin' blues burn the fuel as they sing "Some Like It Hot."

 

"Sugar Daddy" with Christine Ohlman's breathy vocals and steady rhythms merge for another rockin' blues workout. Acoustic and electric guitars soar!

 

"Endless Highway" with Randi Fishenfeld features exceptional bass, with the track deep in Americana roots and country twang. Dion is in great form.

 

"I Got Wise," with Maggie Rose starting the vocals, is the first on the album without Dion leading off. Dion comes in to answer her at a slow and emotional pace—a very atmospheric track.

 

"Hey, Suzy" with Sue Foley is a kind of old-fashioned love song. The duo combination is perfect, with Dion showing that he still has some range in his vocals. The country and blues-varied guitar lines hit the bullseye.

 

"Mama Said" with Shemekia Copeland is soulful, with Shemekia singing "Listen boy"…as Dion responds. It was another strong and well-rounded effort by the duo.

 

"Just Like That" with Joanne Shaw Taylor is a great closer with smokin' hot guitar lines as they cross the finishing line with conviction.

 

Girl Friends is an eclectic range of artists providing music and vocals that keep it a satisfying listen from beginning to end. The booklet accompanying the CD has an excellent write-up from Dion about the "feminine genius" and how it has surrounded his life. Also, he adds comments about each artist.

 

Dion proves once again that age has nothing to do with a great musician and a singer's capabilities as long as you have the experience, confidence, and belief in your craft. It is a solid release, and everyone involved should be proud.

 

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-MuzikMan.net Founder

February 27, 2024

Tracks:

01. Soul Force with Susan Tedeschi

02. I Aim to Please with Danielle Nicole

03. Stop Drop and Roll with Valerie Tyson

04. Do Ladies Get the Blues with Christine Ohlman & Debbie Davies

05. An American Hero with Carlene Carter

06. Don't You Want a Man Like Me with Rory Block

07. Sugar Daddy with Christine Ohlman

08. Endless Highway with Randi Fishenfeld

09. I Got Wise with Maggie Rose

10. Hey Suzy with Sue Foley

11. Mama Said with Shemekia Copeland

12. Just Like That with Joanne Shaw Taylor


12/07/2023

Rock-Progressive Review: 6 Turning 4 Burning-6T4B

Release Date: August 26, 2023

Label: Bomber Records

Website

Those Hellraisers From Cleveland, Ohio, 6 Turning 4 Burning, have released a rock album for all true music lovers to give a spin or to blare from your vehicle while cruising down the roads of America. Listen to 6T4B, and I will tell you why track by track.

Indicative of the cover art, they will appeal to those who believe in the freedom of the U.S. and the open roads to travel anywhere. Their music is very eclectic, bordering or launching into full-on progressive.

"Crazy Peace" is an instant satisfying rocker, and the lyrics are a riot! It is about the lady friend or wife, as it may, having their crazy "time of the month." It is a great way to kick off the album. Also, you will hear some exemplary musicianship on the recording. It is bound to click when you assemble a group of seasoned players. The second track, which clocks in at 7:02, is a tribute to their all-around talents and a tight band exhibiting all their skills within one track. It is a killer track featuring all aspects of the band at each position. Notably, the vocals are outstanding.

"So Deep" was a famous track that got thousands of views. It is a rocking love song, a slow cooker, and a tremendous vocal performance. It serves as another dimension of the band to be admired and appreciated.

"Help Me Through This" differs significantly from the previous tracks for 8:29. The guitar playing is bluesy, which fits the lyrics nicely. I am getting more impressed the further I get into the album. The diversification is quite impressive. And because of that, it keeps things interesting. Also, with extensive songs, it is essential not to lose the listener. That never happens because of all the changes. This one is a progressive rocker.

"Something's Wrong" keeps up with the pattern of change. The track starts with a soft acoustic guitar as the bass and drums come in. The vocals are heartfelt and expressing the lyrics beautifully. If you like blues-country tracks, this one is a nice change from the previous track. They sound like a different band on this one.

"It's Over" starts with a funky bass line accompanied by a driving guitar line, then it changes into a slower pace to emphasize the lyrics about the abuse of drugs and all the struggles it can bring. It doesn't sound like any fun, and it should discourage those wanting to take drugs. I think that was the point. As the song lumbers along, the words hit you like a brick wall at 90 mph, saying, "Cocaine's got me down, rest in peace." About halfway through, the song turns into the fast line as the bottom end pushes it along. The guitar plays some fat chords and nice cutting lines to show off their chops. It is another excellent track with 8:44 of fantastic changes and music to keep you wondering what is coming next. Then, at the end, you can hear someone snorting coke.

"Karma" is another long one coming in at 9:34, so I am amazed at how they can keep pumping out all these impressive tracks with such length and complexities. It starts with some definitive chicken pickin', rapid drumming, and a big bass sound. It all changes as it goes back and forth with different paces and styles of playing. It's like a country-fried rocker with hints of the blues for extra color. You may wonder when the vocals will come in, but they finally arrive well into 3+ minutes. And in this case, that is a good thing, as I enjoyed the long instrumental intro. The vocals add their sentiments with lines like "Karma speaks to you all alone." Those words change how we can relate to and experience karma. Which, of course, works if you believe in it. I believe in it without question, so I found the lyrics relatable.

"Take a Hike" is their magnum opus, dialing in at 11:24. I did not know what to expect with a track this long; it had to be progressive. At least, that was my first thought. It starts epically with a hard-driving metallic power; then they start reciting lines from the bible to help save them from the dark master himself, the Devil. It is an incredible track with magnificent music. It is reflective, opaque, and anticipatory. This one convinced me what a superior group of players this band is. Fans of Black Sabbath would love this one for sure. It is most certainly a hike to the darker side of life. In typical fashion, at 4+ minutes, it completes changes in pace and sound. This bass is prolific here. The vocals reminded me of Ian Gillan of Deep Purple. It is so soulful and passionate, and if anyone wants to know how good this band can play, it should be your first track. It's a must! And remember what they say in the song "Don't listen to Devil!" "Take a hike, Devil, disappear!" All instruments are superb throughout the run of the song.

So, if all of that wasn't enough, they test their abilities by covering the ELP classic 'Lucky Man" within 10:07. Could they once again prove themselves as a legitimate force in music? It starts differently than the original, then changes to the more familiar melody you are used to hearing in 2+ minutes. The vocals are excellent, and the music from start to finish is outstanding. It was risky to close out such a superior recording like that, but they pulled it off like the five-star band they are.

6T4B is a title that may give people a different idea of what this band is all about, including the cover art. Trust me on this one; you are in for a treat for the senses with 6 Turning 4 Burning. Every track is entertaining and well-played, and you will be sorry it all ends, so play it again.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-MuzikMan.net Founder

December 6, 2023

Tracks:

1. Crazy Peace 5:26

2. Release Me 7:02

3. So Deep 5:28

4. Help Me Through This 8:29

5. Something's Wrong 4:25

6. It's Over 8:44

7. Karma 9:34

8. Take a Hike 11:24

9. Lucky Man 10:07


12/06/2023

Rock Review: Dreamstreet-2.0

Release Date: September 23, 2023

Label: Red Fields Entertainment LLC

Website

Dreamstreet version 2.0 harkens back to the '70s and the popularity of AOR (album-oriented rock). I was one of those people who would tune into a radio station out of Boston or Hartford to hear this type of music. Sometimes, they would play an entire album. It's an early version of streaming, just over the radio waves. History can repeat itself and look different while using the same concepts.

The track "You Got Me Rockin" says it all for content, a simple message with great vocals and musicianship to drive it down that road of the excitement of days gone by or, if you are new to the genre, a discovery worth experiencing. I am sure this band is a blast in a live setting.

 

Tracks like "Heartzone" are classic rock ballads, and the longest track clocks in at 5:21. The bass and drums are critical to making this rock clock tick along. Three-quarters in the lead guitar takes off to give you a taste of what they can do within one song. They change the pace and intensity, and the vocals are perfect. It reminded me of the powerful vocals of Kansas at their height.

 

A surprise is the cover of Gary Wright's "Love Is Alive." It is one of my favorites of the time, so this was a big test of how good this band could be. Musically, it is a sound cover, and the vocals would be the most challenging thing to emulate. The vocals were average compared to the music provided. But you expect a vocalist to sound like the original, so I am being critical; however, I liked the way they ended it.

 

"On The Edge" is another excellent example of the AOR genre and how to present it. The keys, bass, drums, and supporting guitar leads that bite and make the song powerful and expressive. 


If you are a guitar enthusiast and like hook-filled songs, Dreamstreet will be the band for you. Find out for yourself and stream the album with the Spotify player provided. If you're a rocker, you will find value and enjoy listening to Dreamstreet.

 

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-MuzikMan.net Founder

December 5, 2023


Tracks:

1. Money 

2. Power of Love 

3. Forever Yours 

4. Head Troubles 

5. Love Is Alive 

6. Heartzone 

7. On The Edge 

8. Time To Go Home 

9. You Got Me Rockin




12/04/2023

Instrumental Holiday Jazz Review: Mads Tolling - Featuring The Mads Men & Sonny Fredie-Pedersen-Cool Yule

Release Date: December 8, 2023

Label: Madsman Records

Website

Mads Tolling grew up in Denmark with a strong tradition of the Christmas season as an essential part of his upbringing. His heartfelt tribute to that time and the meaning it holds for him is preserved forever in his heart. With all that emotion and memory, he decided to record some of his family's favorite songs on Cool Yule.

Remember that the songs selected were from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Iceland. So, some tracks may only seem traditional if you have never been exposed to that country's holiday music. 

It's cool because the tracks are performed in the style of holiday music via the jazz idiom and are all instrumental, except for the title track with special guest Sonny Fredie-Pederson. Jazz music always works well with traditional and nontraditional wintertime holiday music. However, I don't recall covering a recording with the violin as the lead instrument in this type of music. 


The first question that will likely come up in your mind is, will it sound close enough to the originals? How will the violin sound as a lead instrument? Well, Jean-Luc Ponty proved it could work in the complicated music of progressive rock and beyond, so why can't Mads Tolling do the same within jazz? It is not an easy task, but I am here to tell you it works out wonderfully. One is because they keep it fresh, and the second is because the improvisation is brilliant while maintaining the true spirit of the music and its original concept and base sound. 

I, for one, have had a love for jazz for over thirty years now. That love and appreciation have grown more robust with each passing year. So, with that thought in mind and my passion for the ability of jazz to stretch out, this is an entirely enjoyable listen. 

A few good examples of the tracks taking things down a different improvisational path because of the violin are "My Favorite Things," of course, Coltrane comes to mind right away when you mention that if you are a jazz enthusiast. "Pa Loftet Sidder Nissen (The Gnome's Attic)" was extraordinary, with superb violin, bass lines, and piano. Then, there is a complete switch when you will immediately recognize "Santa Baby." One of my most unique favorites was "Jolakotturinn (The Christmas Cat)," which sounded very Celtic-influenced or something one may have heard during medieval times.

There are many reasons to appreciate and enjoy a recording like Cool Yule. Mainly because the violin takes the lead and factors like the jazz interpretations and how much ground the band covers worldwide regarding countries. All of that adds up to a unique holiday album that is suitable for listening any time of the year, and that is because eclecticism overrides all the other factors and can keep a listener engaged from start to finish. After all, isn't that what drives a musician to create in the first place? And then, to produce something so unique and significant is another surprise to find in your Christmas stocking this year.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-MuzikMan.net Founder

December 2, 2023


Tracks:

01. The Christmas Song 5:29

02. My Favorite Things 6:10

03. Pa Loftet Sidder Nissen (The Gnome's Attic) 5:04

04. Santa Baby 3:18

05. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus 3:16

06. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town 3:28

07. Jolakotturinn (The Christmas Cat) 5:00

08. Let It Go 5:25

09. Cool Yule 3:56

10. Sankta Lucia 5:32

11. The Little Mermaid/Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen 4:46

12. I Am So Glad Each Christmas Eve 5:22


11/07/2023

Featured Track Review: Paul Adams-Moon Over Prairie

"Moon Over Prairie" is an acoustic guitar track from Paul Adams. He describes it as a painting of the prairie. It is an organic spacial fingerstyle piece in the mood of John Fahey, Leo Kottke, or Will Ackerman.

After listening to the track and watching the video, I agree with that assessment. The spatial reference applies to the track and the beautiful video accompanying it.

Paul is a challenging artist to pin down. He is too eclectic to do so. His acoustic guitar playing is outstanding, with flavorings from blues (albeit some excellent slide playing) to country. And he does it all to make it sound rooted in Americana, along with a touch of ethereal.

Paul Adams's track and video of "Moon Over Prairie" is picturesque enough without the video. However, the images presented help to complete the painting, and the moments he creates in the music tell the story. It is over 5 minutes of instrumental acoustic guitar that any music lover can appreciate.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-MuzikMan.net Founder

November 6, 2023



I wonder what it is that Paul Adams doesn't do? Working in multiple genres, his 13 critically acclaimed albums have over 128 million streams on Pandora and can be heard on Spotify, Sirius Radio The Spa, Music Choice, Amazon Radio, Echoes, Apple Radio, Tidal and other worldwide platforms...READ MORE...

6/21/2023

Concert Review: Martin Barre At The Worthington Country Club

                     Martin Barre Concert-A Brief History of Jethro Tull

The Worthington Country Club, Massachusetts

June 18, 2023

https://martinbarre.com/martin-barre-tour/

Nestled in the country along Route 143 off Worthington Road in Massachusetts is the beautiful Golf Links, owned by David and Helen Pollard. It was my distinct pleasure to attend the concert being held there with Martin Barre. For a few reasons: I knew the Pollards very well and had worked for them for five years in the early 2000s. And I had not seen them in 14 years! Secondly, I am very familiar with Martin’s guitar playing with Jethro Tull, covering several of the reissues of their group’s studio recordings over the years, seeing them play live with the band, and providing coverage before he departed on his solo career. With that in mind and being able to see some old friends, I had been anticipating this event for months.

 

We had a beautiful clear blue sky with the sun shining to usher in this rock legend; however, as the night rolled on, it got a bit nippy, and Martin was warming his fingers to keep them agile.

Martin Barre is one of the finest guitar players in the world and has been for many decades. Now in his 70s, he has not lost a step in showcasing his six-string virtuosity. I was to realize this fully last night as he made his way through two lengthy sets. His band consists of Dan Crisp (lead vocals/keyboards), Alan Thomson (bass), and Darby Todd on Drums. The lead singer bares a remarkable resemblance to a younger Phil Collins. That is what I recognized in short order. And besides that, after belting out the first number with authority, he did a complete turnaround. He sang like a young Ian Anderson, including all the facial expressions and mannerisms of the Jethro Tull mastermind and leader, writer, singer, and musician.

 

Another surprise may have been Martin being an accomplished flute player. I had known this, but many in attendance were surprised. The crowd expressed their delight as Martin handled his second instrument quite well. Quite honestly, and even though I still enjoy Jethro Tull to this day, Ian has lost his voice due to age and wear and tear, and nobody ever could replace Martin on guitar. It has not been the same since he left the band.

 

This night I relived the good old days with Martin wailing away and rocking the crowd and Dan Crisp doing a splendid job with each song from the Tull catalog. There are so many outstanding Tull albums and much ground to cover. Martin and his band are tight and did a marvelous job recreating all the music. Even Ian Anderson would be impressed.

 

The first Tull album I got was Warchild back in the day when there were record and CD clubs that no longer exists. It still stands as my favorite album. Now there are many different choices if you are a vinyl enthusiast to choose from. Hearing them play “Warchild,” “Back Door Angels,” and “Sea Lion” was a treat for the ears and senses. And of course, there are many of the favorites that the audience recognized immediately, such as “Bouree,” “My God,” “Thick As A Brick,” and many more, including the all-out rocking encore numbers “Locomotive Breath” and “Teacher.” Martin and the band ended the show on fire, cranking out those two prog rock classics. Fitting, it ended with plenty of fireworks from Martin’s guitar.

 

It was another night for me to remember, and an honor to be able to see the show and report on it. Thank you, David and Helen, for the night that will forever be in my consciousness and for giving this old rocker a smile from the inside out.

 

If you like the beauty of nature and outdoor music, visiting the Worthington Golf Club this summer is a must. Look at what is on tap for the rest of the season and get your tickets here: https://worthingtongolfclub.com/music-concerts-and-events.

 

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck

June 19, 2023

First Set:

Look Into The Sun

Someday The Sun

Cat’s Squirrel

We Used To Know

Serenade To A Cuckoo

Bouree

Sossity

Bass Solo

Back To The Family

Nothing To Say

My God

(chat) Thick As A Brick

Passion Play

Whistler

Black Satin Dancer

Back Door Angels

(chat) Warchild

Sea Lion

 

Set Two:

Acres Wild

Jack Frost

(chat) Under Wraps Acoustic

Under Wraps Electric

Protect And Survive

Watching Me

Fallen On Hard Times

Too Old To Rock & Roll

Slow Marching Band

(chat)
Locomotive Breath

Teacher

6/14/2023

Acoustic Instrumental Review: New Latitude-Nature of Things

Release Date: May 17, 2023

Label: Independent

Website

New Latitude’s most recent release Nature of Things, is an acoustic instrumental five-track EP.

The Musicians are Dave Erickson (acoustic guitar), Jim Carr (acoustic guitar), Bob Strickland, Kim Stone (upright bass), and Steven Schumann (cello). 

 

Led to Believe” starts, and the sounds are like a warm summer breeze gently caressing your face. It is instrumental jazz, like the quiet storm of smooth jazz. 

 

“Invisible Frame” follows in the same manner. However, it is a more straight-ahead acoustic track with a soft rock touch. Some nice acoustic guitar and picking is the feature here. It ends with the sound of a cymbal closing it out elegantly as possible. 

 

“Tribute” continues to show the magnificent guitar duo of Dave Erickson and Jim Carr. The two gents form an irresistible groove like a breeze over the ocean as it cools the hot sun on the beach. I understand that the track’s title does not translate to my interpretation. However, that is what I felt and envisioned while listening. It’s my “Tribute” to their work.

 

“Circumstances Have Changed” reaches back to the jazz roots with a Latin flavor that is very pleasant to hear. These two men know how to create a beautiful and satisfying sound with their acoustic guitars. And I must say I enjoyed the diversity and changes within all the tracks. That is how you can showcase your talents appropriately and in good measure. They do it with such class and precision; this track exemplifies that.

 

“Softer Than Silence” closes out this gorgeous EP of instrumental mastery. It is simply acoustic guitars doing their dance with each other. I think that was a great choice; keep it straightforward to end it all with a gentleness you will remember. 

 

Their rhythm is exceptional and leaves you with a smile, knowing you can revisit it all and feel the same way. That is all any artist could ask for, an attentive and appreciative audience that knows their music will brighten and soothe their souls. 

 

Nature of Things delivers on all the most critical points, excellent musicianship, production, sound, and tastefulness for anyone to enjoy. It is diverse enough to catch the ear of any serious music listener, and it certainly has a crossover appeal that will serve them well.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-MuzikMan.net Founder

June 12, 2023

Track Listing:
1. Led to Believe (3:53)
2. Invisible Frame (3:38)
3. Tribute (4:19)
4. Circumstances Have Changed (3:45)
5. Softer Than Silence (3:11)

6/07/2023

Instrumental Jazz Review: Manuel Muzzu-From T(h)ree To Four

Release Date: March 12, 2023

Label: Independent

Website


From T(h)ree To Four is Manuel Muzzu's fourth studio album. It has been five years since I covered New Stories-Old Hands.

 

For those of you who may not be familiar with Manuel's story, he lost the use of his fingers on his right very early in life. His love for the bass and overcoming his disability is one of the miracles of his life. He endeavored to play as anyone else would typically and somehow adapt a style that worked for him.

 

You only record four albums if you can create palatable music and sound professional. For that matter, Manuel's talent is above average. Using the bass as a lead instrument is not uncommon but infrequent. With that fact in mind, it makes what he has accomplished more remarkable.

 

I have heard my share of the greats over the years and enjoyed the privilege of covering their music. Manuel's sense of rhythm and fluidity gives his instrument room to breathe and adjust to the music behind him. He has a host of additional musicians contributing, including synth, piano, trumpet, saxophone, flugelhorn, guitar, and drums. A complete ensemble to fill in the missing spaces to make each composition complete and allow his bass to lead the way.

 

What you will hear are various shades and colors of the jazz spectrum. "Punky Funky," my favorite track, is jazz-funk, while "Jeff's Style" is smooth jazz. Jumping from one style to another is impressive, and most importantly, you can keep your audience tuned in and waiting in anticipation for the next track. I like a wide range of jazz and subgenres. It holds many aspects that keep me engrossed in what I listen to. It creates a sense of wonderment about the talent you are hearing and how eclectic one genre can be. Jazz is a complex type of music that draws from many sources, including the blues. The ability to shape and mold those resources requires talent and patience to give birth to the varied tracks you will hear on this recording.

 

"Salsamba" is another instance of a complete change in direction to the energetic salsa and samba sound. Two different jazz styles merged, which is more challenging to create with a good flow. Manuel is exceptionally talented at diverting to any kind he desires. He does it all with a successful blend of his supporting instruments and an excellent bass command.

 

From T(h)ree To Four is an album that any jazz lover will appreciate because it crosses into many different styles. If you genuinely love jazz, you will understand this consummate representation of the genre. Anyone seeking exceptional instrumental jazz will find their way to this recording, not to mention those seeking a hero and an example of overcoming all the odds to do what he loved and shine brightly. Manuel Muzzu presents the miracle of a man's courage and persistence through twelve tracks you will thoroughly enjoy.

 

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-MuzikMan.net Founder

June 6, 2023


Tracks:

01. LAST ONE (6:19)

02. ON MY SIDE (4:40)

03. PUNKY FUNKY (5:09)

04. LOST IN (8:25)

05. JEFF's STYLE (4:14)

06. SALSAMBA  (5:49)

07. RIGHT NOW (6:36)

08. URBANOISES  (4:56)

09. SPARKLE PURPLE (6:20)

10. M'I ?  (4:15)

4/20/2023

Americana Review: PD Adams-This Curious Wonder

Release Date: April 7, 2022

Label: Independent

Website

PD Adams (AKA Paul Adams) released the album, Curious Wonder. Forty years is a long stretch to put the unknown side of your music out to your admiring public. With many genres explored successfully over the years, PD still needed to prove one thing to himself, that he could release an Americana album with a good response.

From the start, I noticed that his voice reminded me of a combination of Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits. He is very seasoned as a musician and singer, which becomes readily apparent when “Sometimes I Feel” starts.

Besides PD Adams (Paul Adams) on guitar, harmonica, mandolin, dobro, and voice, Elizabeth Geyer provides flugelhorn and vocals that add and echo Paul’s vocals. Andy Hatfield plays some fine mandolin to give the tracks a roots bluegrass element, and Bradley Harper makes more country and blues with his steel guitar. The combination of these instruments and musicians makes for a perfect blend.

If you look at all the pictures provided by the artwork, it tells a story that connects to the tracks and their stories. This is a kind of Americana with truth and soul. You know the words sung mean something, and it relates to a real human being and his experiences. One man’s curiosity and wonderment made this music and lyrics come alive.

“Winter’s Year” is one of the most touching songs. It brings the season of winter and the Holiday some of us celebrate on the 25th of December back to life. The feeling and the grace with which it is presented will touch you. And, of course, it emphasizes the words effectively, as it does throughout this release.

“Freaks” is a protest to those who need awareness to watch out that they will “become just like them.” Those freaks of heavy burden need to release the chains that hold them down. The rhythm of the track is one of the best on the album. Regardless of the profound lyrics, it is toe-tapping and enjoyable.

I also loved the slide guitar on “Western Wind,” it is a fine country and Americana number that will stay with you long after the last note is played.

Those are a few highlights of a recording that provides great heartfelt lyrics and superb musicianship. An acoustic strumming on nearly every track lays the groundwork for all the other instruments to build upon. That constant rhythm is simplistic, but the most crucial point is how the music takes off from that point.

The other intrinsic element is PD’s vocals. The way he delivers the lyrics is so passionate and authentic. The rough edges of his style are perfect for the music and ensure a listener feels every word. Yes, this all works beautifully. You can relate to this recording if you have ever felt Curious Wonder before. And more importantly, if you enjoy the country, Americana, blues, and sing/talk style of vocals, you will be fully engaged on this album.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-MuzikMan.net Founder

April 18, 2023

Tracks:

01.Sometimes I Feel 04:12 

02.Man At 4th & Vine 04:51 

03.Spark 03:57 

04.You Are Not That 03:59

05.I'm Alone 04:12

06.Winters Year 04:17

07.Freaks 04:17

08.Western Wind 04:26

09.Old Faded Photo 04:26

10.Songbird 04:04

11.Somewhere In Time 04:19

12.The Picnic 02:01


4/07/2023

Featured Artist: Todd Mosby-Georgia's World Track Review

Artist: Todd Mosby

Title: Georgia's World Track Review

Genre: Jazz

Todd Mosby's "Georgia's World" is an excellent instrumental jazz tune. It brings me back to why I love this genre so much. And then the wordless female vocals reminded me of a few Al DiMeola recordings I was into back in the 80s—sweet memories of opening a new door of fascinating music.

 

The picturesque "Georgia's World" is a tribute to Georgia O' Keefe's life and times in New Mexico. This beautiful musical painting will speak to those with the soul of the artist making his interpretation of another legendary figure that put her thoughts and heart on canvas.

 

Now we have a musical canvas created by a talented guitar player with a vision and flair for creating colorful notes that you can float on like a billowing cloud.

 

"Georgia's World" takes you into another space in time, a different world or mindset that only music can deliver. That circle completes from one artist to another, and we, as listeners, enjoy the collaborations.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-MuzikMan.net Founder

April 6, 2023


More About Todd Mosby:

 Website

Instrumental composer, songwriter, and Imrat guitar innovator Todd Mosby is a storyteller and a landscape artist. He uses the guitar to whisk listeners away to a borderless realm where jazz, jazz fusion, North Indian classical, classical composition, bluegrass, bossa-nova, and folk-rock create transporting and transformative experiences...READ MORE...

3/20/2023

New Age Ambient Instrumental Review: Stephen Peppos-Celestial

Release Date: February 20, 2023

Label: Independent

Website

Celestial
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

Tracks:
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