Showing posts with label Roots. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Roots. Show all posts


Pop-Rock-Roots Rock Review: Elvis Presley-A Boy From Tupelo-The Complete 1953-1955 Recordings (3 CDs/Book)

Release Date: July 28, 2017
Label: Legacy / RCA / Sony Music

The recordings of Elvis Presley remain as pertinent today as they always have. In fact, it is likely with each passing year that their importance goes up one more notch. His position in rock music goes without saying and there are still many new fans to gain. The release of these informative box sets has shed new light on one of our greatest performers.

This rootsy original music is the second version of a A Boy From Tupelo-The Complete 1953-1955 Recordings.  The three CDs and booklet capitalizes on his never-ending popularity.

This set puts together all the known existing Elvis Presley recordings from 1953 through 1955. A massive total of 53 studio takes and 32 live performances are included. These were the Sun Years and there is even cuts the man paid for himself. At this point that sounds ludicrous but we must remember he had humble beginnings as most artists did when they first started. The priceless masters released for Sam Phillips on his iconic Memphis label feature a treasure trove of outtakes and acetates. This set can claim rights to the “complete” set of that period. It was a monumental achievement to get all this music together and remaster it. Some parts are snippets put together piece by piece.

Something needs to be said for the generous book that is included with many rare pictures. It is the story behind the music. If you enjoy reading about the history of this legend then this will be a big plus while you are listening. The 119 pages come packed with notes on the beginnings of Elvis and his early career.

The most enjoyable thing for my ears was listening to the influence of country and blues intersecting with his quickly developing style and voice. It is simplistic music at times, yet his full-bodied vocals served as a separate instrument. His contributions were just enough to really appreciate all the instrumentation as well. You have to keep in mind that recording was in its infancy in comparison to today’s high-tech tools and enhancements. His voice was very mature so early on and you could hear how and why he was a shooting star once his music hit the streets. He went from a little boy watching the choir at church and trying to sing with them to an international super star in matter of years. Stories like Elvis are not something you hear these days and honestly there are not performers like him around anymore nor anyone to challenge his continuing popularity and legacy. I am still waiting for that day to arrive although realistically I am not very confident it will.

There is a lot of music and information to absorb in A Boy From Tupelo-The Complete 1953-1955 Recordings.  It is well worth the price tag if you are Elvis fan or a general music fan curious about the early career of such a legendary performer. If you listen to the popular genre of Roots Music you will hear how some of that music started on this set. He laid down the foundation for so much as so many artists that came after him. Elvis set many precedents and this music was a real treat when I first heard it. It can be very special if you are already familiar with his catalog and diverse career path in recording. Either way, there is a lot to enjoy here for any music fan or history buff.

5/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
August 6, 2017
Founder of:

Review Provided By Write A Music Review


Concert Review: The Weight

The Weight Turn On The Colonial Theater
Pittsfield Massachusetts
December 3, 2015

With old man winter quickly approaching, the Colonial Theater in Pittsfield, Massachusetts was warmed up by the sounds of The Weight. Featuring former members of The Band, Levon Helm Band and Rick Danko Group, the legendary sounds of that fondly remembered band called “The Band” come shining through with this all-star cast of players. Their namesake is after one of their more famous tracks and they represent this classic music most appropriately.

I will give the abbreviated rundown of the lineup provided right from the band’s website.

Jim Weider is a former member of the legendary group, The Band. From 1985 to 2000, Jim replaced Robbie Robertson as their lead guitarist. 

Randy Ciarlante was a member of the second incarnation of The Band. Up until Levon's passing, he double-drummed in Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble Band.

Brian Mitchell is a current member of Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble Band and is well-known within the circles of the music industry and beyond for his solo career and his high-profile collaborations.

Byron Isaacs is a current member of Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble Band, The Dirt Farmer Band and Ollabelle.

Marty Grebb played with The Rick Danko Band, The Garth Hudson Band, wrote songs with Richard Manuel, and also wrote for and recorded with Eric Clapton, Leon Russell, Etta James, Marty also wrote songs, and played for The Band appearing on the Jericho CD.

Now you have to admit that each member of The Weight has an impressive resume. They would prove throughout the night their fine musical pedigree would be consistent. I would classify their music as eclectic at the very least, an enticing mixture of rock, blues, Americana, roots, honky tonk and ragtime. That is a literal musical stew to be sure. There are also hints of a New Orleans spicy flavor to their sound as well particularly when Brain Mitchell picked up the accordion (otherwise known as the organ from hell).

This is one talent laden band. Every member can sing and plays like the polished professionals I anticipated seeing. A highlight of the night was the multitude of instruments Marty Greeb played which included keyboards, guitar and saxophones. They are all very talented however it was not hard to recognize how many different things this man did.

The night started at 8pm sharp, as all shows do at the Colonial and there was no warm up band. As we found out very quickly we did not any other lineup to warm our souls. Some songs just speak for themselves and their history carries a heavy responsibility in presenting them as originally intended. I assure you this was accomplished…just like laying down a royal flush on the card table.

Some of the songs that really spoke to the audience in attendance were “Across The Great Divide” and Springsteen’s “Atlantic City.” You knew instantly it was Springsteen’s song even though this music is quite different from the catalog of “The Boss.” “Cripple Creek” got some hoots and hollers of course as did “The Weight,” as both are signature tunes. For these ears the highlight of the entire evening was “Life’s A Carnival.” Everything about that song featured this band at their best and it bleeds and sweats The Band. They also mentioned former members of The Band during the course of the night paying respect to their legacy and importance to the music they were playing.

It does not get much better than this. Sometimes you have to go see a cover band to enjoy music you loved because the band has long since dissolved or members have passed away. You need not worry, every one of these members is connected with The Band and now they bring this original and unique blend of music to the stage. I am grateful for the opportunity to have witnessed it and would not hesitate to do it again. If you are looking for a great evening of music that will spice up your life and put a smile in your soul make sure you check out The Weight.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Founder of Write A Music Review, Prog Rock Music Talk,, MuzikMan Reviews, New Age Music Reviews, Rate The Tracks

Set List:
1.     We Can Talk
2.     Stage Fright
3.     Across The Great Divide
4.     Atlantic City
5.     King Harvest
6.     Master Piece
7.     Look Out Cleveland
8.     Tears of Rage
9.     Cripple Creek
10.  Ophelia
11.  Caledonia Mission
12.  Down in the Flood
13.  Life’s A Carnival
14.  Makes No Difference
15.  Walcott Medicine
16.  The Weight
17.  Shape I’m In
18.  Chest Fever

19. Remedy
20. Rock & Roll Shoes


Concert Review: BoDeans

BoDeans Visit Pittsfield and Entertain At The Colonial Theater
April 16, 2015

Roots rockers BoDeans arrived in the Berkshires last night and played a non-stop rousing set of numbers for the pleased audience at the Colonial Theater.  

Band members are Stockbridge native Kenny Aronoff (drums), Sam Hawksley (backing vocals/acoustic and electric guitar), Eric Holden (bass), who is another Berkshires native, Stefano Intelisano (keyboard/accordion), Eamon McLoughlin (fiddle, lap steel, mandolin, acoustic guitar) and Kurt Neumann (lead vocals/electric guitar).

The band is well-known for their performances since the 80s when they first formed and we found out why. The combination of Rock, Americana, Blues and Roots makes for what I would call a tasteful plate of appetizing rock music. They can flat out rock and then pull it back and bring forward instruments into the mix such as violin, mandolin, and the accordion.

This is the kind of band that is appreciated by folks that sincerely appreciate good musicianship and a wide variety of genres all mixed together. It is eclectic and wonderful to hear and the BoDeans  know exactly how to present it all in one nice package.

With Aronoff’s  return as their drummer his family was in the audience, including his dead ringer twin brother, who we first thought was the musician sibling walking around shaking everyone’s hand. I knew Aronoff was one of the greatest drummers in the world and I could not stop watching him perform. He is a perpetual motion machine and does amazing things with an average size drum kit, which is a credit to his expertise and all around talent.

Previous to the concert I purchased a  BoDeans two CD live release from 2008 titled Homebrewed: Live From The Pabst. I would highly recommend grabbing a copy of this release as it served as the perfect introduction to their shows and set a high level of anticipation for me. I must add I was not disappointed in fact I was quite impressed how much talent at every position this band has.  

The only drawback I could recognize all evening was that the organ was buried in the mix, very seldom could you hear it come to the front. I am not sure why this was but it certainly did not hurt their presentation that is for sure. For all I know it was the way they intended to present their music.

What I found most impressive was their energy, they never stopped to take a short break then resume like most sets do. There was no opening act, which was fine with me. At times they would segue from one song to another but it gave us a moment to applaud in appreciation of the previous number. The audience was most appreciative for every song they performed and sang along to a few. Kurt Neumann is a fine front man that is relaxed and in control. His vocal style fits the music with perfection.

Highlights of the night were “Get Much,”  “Fadeaway,” “Amercian,” and “Good Work.” Each of these performances showed a tight band enjoying what they were doing and that translated in each song to the audience with an impact.

The set list was full and broad based and any music fan could appreciate how this band can jam. Their professionalism and abilities are on a very high level and I would see them again in a minute. This band called BoDeans is an American treasure and if you have not discovered their music yet I suggest you do, only then will you realize the enjoyment you have been missing, just as I did last night.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Founder Write A Music Reviews 

Set List:
Texas Ride Song
I Can’t Stop
Get Much
All The World/Slave
Good Things
Good Work
Closer To Free
Stay On
I’m On Fire
Tied Down Chained
Only Love


Instrumental Americana/Blues Review: Eric Tingstad-Mississippi

Release Date: 2015
Label: Indie
Eric Tingstad is a Grammy Award winning composer, producer, singer and songwriter primarily known for his finger style guitar work. Tingstad has crafted works in the Americana, Bluegrass, Alternative Country, Jazz, Blues and New Age genres. In his newest album Mississippi he indulges in all of them. This album takes a look at the cradle of music where much of the style of music Tingstad is known for originated from.

“Mississippi” is the title track to the album. It takes us on a walk alongside of one of our nation’s greatest rivers. The rambling guitar picking paired with light percussive elements blends together like water and river silt to make that muddy river flow. Jazzy at times with elements of Americana roots, this piece teems with life.

“Swamped” comes to life picking and grinning and reminds me of what it feels like to be hip deep in deadlines and hardly able to come up for air. Stop, start, and plod along all the while trying to keep your head above water with an upbeat attitude and a gallon of coffee. Textured and plucky, “Swamped” should be the song of my life and as soon as I heard it, I smiled. Bouncing, happy with the whirlwind and the myriad of theoretical plates spinning in the air, it says it all. It’s all in the hips and if you dance while life keeps going, you’ll get there.

“Chester” reminded me of a dog. Yep, a floppy eared overeager retriever bounding along at his master’s heels. Happy and alert, this piece encapsulates all that is good in the world. Guitar picking in a smooth roots rock style, Tingstad illustrates life with sound and paints a picture of happy carefree moments that should never be taken for granted. This was one of my favorite pieces on the album.

The care and precision that has gone into this album is quite evident. Mississippi is a tribute to a great river and a place in music’s history that helped to form much of music today as we know it. As a listener, I find the album also speaks to life in general. We all cry tears, feel swamped, miss a loved one and at the end of the day hopefully have a furry four legged friend to go home to. The one thing that drew it all together for me was Tingstad’s style of guitar work, stellar composition and musical imagery. Each bridge and transition was seamless and kept me wanting more. In fact, I haven’t stopped playing the album since I started. It’s good company on an afternoon when a little spring in my step is just what’s needed. I highly recommend this blues album for anyone who wants a taste of instrumental Americana at its best.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Mississippi, Swamped, Chester

 01. Long Boats
02. Shakin' in the Cradle
03. Mississippi
04. Trail of Tears
05. Swamped
06. Tennessee Rain
07. Danny Boy
08. Skamania
09. Highway One
10. Durango
11. Chester

Dana Wright, Sr. Staff Writer
April 16, 2015
Review Provided By Write A Music Review


Auburn’s New Album ‘Nashville’ Released On The Heels Of Recent UK Tour With Legendary Jefferson Starship

“Fronted by a tremendous vocalist in Liz Lenten… the group create mature heartfelt melodies for a new generation” Morning Star Online

London, UK - 2014 is already proving to be a hugely exciting year for acoustic ensemble Auburn, who reformed in 2011 after almost a decade apart. With a new album and a major UK tour supporting the legendary Jefferson Starship as they celebrated their 40th anniversary, Auburn have been captivating audiences around the country with their unique blend of Americana, blues and roots music.

The new album, ‘Nashville’, features 12 newly-penned songs from singer-songwriter and Auburn lynchpin Liz Lenten, and establishes Auburn’s place as a compelling force in contemporary Americana. Showcasing Liz’s versatility as both a writer and vocalist, Nashville’s sonic world fuses elements of blues, country and roots music, with soulful lyrics and catchy pop rhythms.

Recorded in Nashville, Tennessee with award-winning producer Thomm Jutz (Nanci Griffiths, Mary Gauthier) ‘Nashville’ features musicians who have played with everyone from Roy Orbison to Garth Brooks and Dolly Parton. Three tracks from the album were made available on ReverbNation prior to its release and within a few weeks had reached No.1 in the UK Americana charts and No.7 in the Global Americana charts.

Auburn were delighted to be asked to support the legendary rock band Jefferson Starship on the band’s 40th anniversary tour during January and February 2014. The 11-date tour gave them the opportunity to showcase new material from the Nashville album to large audiences across the UK, where the feedback was unanimously positive. Liz was invited on stage at the end of each night to perform with Jefferson Starship on their closing number ‘The Volunteers’.

Following this success, Auburn are now lining up dates for festivals and gigs throughout 2014 and beyond, and are already working on new material, as well as a new video from the tour.

To purchase Auburn's 'Nashville' CD:
Amazon US:
Amazon UK:

For more information:

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158 (USA),


Amelia-A Long, Lovely List of Repairs Review

Artist: Amelia
Title: A Long, Lovely List of Repairs
Genre: Folk-Roots
Label: Adrenaline
iTunes Link
Source Link

Amelia the band, not the girl, has been making a name for themselves in the Pacific Northwest and seem positioned perfectly with their new release A Long, Lovely List of Repairs to solidify their foundation and expand upon it. In spite of the confusion that the name of the band creates, they decided that they would stick with it and it has not hindered their growth or success....READ MORE...


Amelia Releases Atmospheric Folk Roots Album A Long, Lovely List of Repairs

Los Angeles, CA-July 1, 2008- Hailing from the great Northwest, Amelia, the band, not a person, is ready to fill your head with a rich pageant of musical tapestries and atmospheres on their new release A Long, Lovely List of Repairs, on the Adrenaline imprint...READ MORE...

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