2018 Music Reviews

Music Review Archives (since May 2010)

2017 Music Reviews

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Kathy Greenholdt

In 2002, at age 38, Chicago's Kathy learned to play guitar and wrote her first song. Since then, she has issued seven critically-praised CDs of original folk-rock music, playing sold-out shows for her last three album releases. Her music is darkly-bright, focusing on human desires, spiritual questions, and the natural world. Her latest collection, Halos Are History, was released on October 6, 2017, and was inspired by Kathy's European travels and historical research involving the lives of women who were named Catholic saints. Produced/arranged/engineered by Chicago's Steve Dawson (Funeral Bonsai Wedding, Dolly Varden), the album features a companion website, www.HalosAreHistory.com.

Listen to Kathy's sensuous music on her website or on the site listed above and see why she thinks "Halos are History".


After the ciritcal success of their debut album, Showdown in the summer of 2016, Thrillkiller was quickly back in the studio recording new material. Released in the Spring of 2017, The King of 1984 pushes the envelope of the band's musical crafting. Alongside the release of their new single, they have been hard at work filming their debut fan funded music video with acclaimed director Dewey Tron. After the success of their music video debut, Thrillkiller quickly began work on their follow up single SAN FRANCISCO MOTO working with acclaimed engineer, Tony Correlli. Exploring elements of old school funk, this is the most experimental and ambitious release of the band so far.
In 2017 the band released their debut music video for their single THE KING OF 1984 in July, followed by another single titled SAN FANCISCO MOTO which dropped in November. Performing on events such as MAGFEST, MAGSTOCK, Main Street Music festival, Thrillkiller has been seen on stages such as, Baltimore Soundstage, Merriweather Post Pavillion, and many others, the band has performed across the east coast keeping busy with an intense recording and touring schedule.

This band rocks! Hear all their stuff cause it's superb on thier YouTube channel.

Red Carpet Premiere
featuring Brent

Red Carpet Premiere is a dance and disco duo from Columbus, Ohio. Red Carpet Premiere is made up of songwriter and producer Michael "The Metropolitan Cowboy" Coleman and Club DJ, Matt Sphar. Together they combine the energy of New York, Los Angeles and Miami with the visual writing style of Nahsville. "Rug Burn" is the first collaboration and went to Number 1 on the CD Baby Dance and Disco Chart.

I think this "Rugburn" has some nasty lyrics but perhaps I should listen again? You can too on their YouTube channel.

Royal Kona Coffee

Barley Station

Somewhere deep in the heart of the Midwest United States, is a well-polished gem known to the Music Industry as Barley Station. From it first inception in mid 2011, the band has written, produced, and launched three albums 'After All' (2012), and 'Damaged Goods' (2013), and 'Back There Somewhere' (2017) along with dozens of other singles after and in between and has toured regions of the US (see full discography below). With the release of their third full-length album 'Back There Somewhere', the band continues to expand onto the music scene in bigger ways.
They have recently been picked up by Popular Spotify Playlist Curators and have positive press feedback from a myriad of credible publications, radio, and television media platforms (see media section below). Recently a song has hit the #1 spot on the European Independent Music Charts.
The mellifluous sounds of Barley Station can be detected not only in their intricately written lyrics, but also in their sound with layers of real, organic harmonies, driving rhythms, and contagious melodies. Although the band pulls a distinctive Alternative vibe, in terms of genre, most reviewers, fans, and radio claim that the Barley Station signature is a genre crossover blend of Americana, Country, Pop, Folk, and even Rock/Alternative which is authentic and original.
September 14th, 2017 - Barley Station has just announced the official release of their third studio album 'Back There Somewhere' via Barleyfields Records (ASCAP). The first new single off the album, 'Waiting', released on August 10th, 2017 and has already been well received by North American and European media and radio.
Barley Station consists of multi-instrumentalists Randy Wayne Belt and Brian (Hex Jin) Kious as its core vocal and songwriting team, and is often joined onstage by others. The album also guest features the exquisite backing vocals of Virginia Grey of Carolina Magnolia fame. (Tracks 3 and 4 on the album)

Sounds like what you get when a country boy marries a rock-n-roll star. This group perfectly blends sound and words to create their own style with a little Tom Petty thrown in to twang it out! You gotta listen to them on their YouTube channel then buy the music.

David Earl Lewis

Born in Texas City, Texas. Grew up in Monahans, Texas. Came to Tarzana, California in 1971 at the age of eighteen.
1st release 1975 "The Loneliest Cowboy" by David Lewis. Recorded at Gold Star Studios in Hollywood. Produced by: Ed Hansen for Edge Records in Hollywood. Hollywood Reporter article 1974: "Edge Inks Lewis"
Album released by Charles Koppelman through the Entertainment Company, New York City, on Tiger Lilly records: "Molly and Me" David Lewis, 1976 Produced by Charles Blocker (Eagles "On the Border") The Eagles' greatest hits were dedicated to Charles Blocker.
Graduate of Soundmasters Institute of Audio Engineering, Beverly Hills.
Stage manager for John Stewart ("Music Into Gold" tour RSO)
Vocals by: David Lewis, Roy Howell EP. Recorded at Ardent Studio, Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis Tribune article: David Lewis and David Lee Roth.
"Love is Coming Around" and "Working Man" with J.D. Souther band, produced by Josh Leo of th Jimmy Buffet band. Vocals by : David Lewis
Greatest moments of my life, working with Jim Guercio, producer of "Chicago", being in the studio with The Eagles, talking with Bobby Lamb, jamming with Neil Young at Wally Heider Studios in Hollywood, being stage manager and close with John Stewart and Chris Welan and working with David Geffen and The Eagles "Desperado" album.

David Earl Lewis has worked with some of the greats and continues to produce his own sound. Hear his work on his YouTube channel.

Mystic Posse

Mystic Posse is a rock band from the Los Angeles area. They have recently completed their first CD and have released their new video, " What Are You Gonna Do?" currently on You Tube. Michael O'Brien (lead singer & songwriter ) & Jackie O'Brien (vocals & percussion & songwriting ) have collectively & separately performed in all the top venues in LA. They have rocked The House of Blues Hollywood, BB Kings, The Whisky, The Roxy, The Viper Room, Toi On Sunset as well as large events such as The AV Fairgrounds & Thunder On The Lot. They have opened for numerous National acts. Players on the Mystic Posse CD are Mitch Quinn (lead guitar), Ken Johnson ( bass guitar) and Dave DiTommaso (drums).

Country rock band with a driving beat, great hooks and resonate harmonies. Hear them on their YouTube channel.

The Big Lyon at the
San Diego Wild Animal Park
reads Music Arts Monthly and Catagorically agrees; it's Roarin!

Attention Music Writers!
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contact: editor@musicartsmonthly.com

Erica Jennings

Timeless and direct, hauntingly beautiful and emotionally charged vocals, with lyrics that cover universal topics from the perspective of a modern woman. A love of different musical genres is a key part of her writing and performance and has become her signature style.
2016 she launched her solo career with her debut album "Leading me home". Sold out concerts, main stage slots in festivals such as "Granatos Live 2016" and "Summer In The City" and opening for both John Newman and Róisín Murphy made it quite a spectacular year for the singer. The album was released to great reviews by both fans and peers alike. Songs like "Old friends", "Hanging by a thread", "You always told me" and of course "Leading me home" - have had lots of international radio play all over Europe, The United States and Latin America too. All these songs appear on her solo album which was released in June. She went on to win "Best Female Artist 2016" at this year's Lithuanian Music Awards aka "M.A.M.A Awards".
This redheaded bombshell, based in Vilnius, initially established herself as part of the hugely popular trio SKAMP, aged 17. Since then she has won every possible award, many times over and played every kind of stage possible both as part of a collective with SKAMP, one half of the duo "The Ball & Chain" (2011-2013) and as a solo artist.

With a sultry voice straight out of the 1920's this girls has a vibrant style to make you smile. If you can't make it to Lithuania then at least check her out on her YouTube channel.

Clarence Daniels


Clarence gives us superb vocals and great sax for the holiday season. Hear him on his cdbaby page.


I'm a multi-instrumentalist composer, singer and improviser; mainly focusing on experimenting in music, aiming for expanding the borders of temporary conventions in music.
I've pioneered and been part of many well known projects in Istanbul's underground music scene as a drummer, singer and songwriter. Since 2015, I'm based in Utrecht and working mainly on my solo project Yank and making music in various ways, regardless of limitations.

This "Yank" is based in the Netherlands and has some lyrics and harmonies that cature you even if you don't understand the language. Give this Yank a listen to on their YouTube channel.

Hank Lykins

Hank Lykins has been a staple on the Indiana Indpeendent Music Scene for quite some time, being the front man for many cover bands. However, it was not until he teamed up with the songwriting duo of Michael "The Metropolitan Cowboy" Coleman and J. Richard Murray that he got the attention of Nashville. His heartfelt performance of the Coleman and Murray ballad, "Take it To Your Grave" received a standing ovation at the Nashville's BMI Songwriter's Festival and later a performance of the same song would be done on the local Nashville television show, Nashville On Stage. Wanting not only to be known as a balladeer, Hank again tapped the songwriting duo of Coleman and Murray. This time, the songwriting team came up with the hard rocking, feel good fight anthem, "Showdown". The song was originally written for country singer Andy Griggs, as his comeback recording, and was courted by Ronnie Van Zandt for one of his albums, but the duo of Coleman and Murray decided that the song was perfect for Hank Lykins as the song speaks to the underdog in all of us.

This song "Showdown" by Hank Lykins is definitely a hybrid country-rock tune with some of "grandpa's advice" thrown in. Hear it on Hank's YouTube channel.

Tom Raley

Tom was born in Jefferson City Tennessee and was exposed to music from an early age where every Friday night was time for all the neighbors and kin to gather at his parents house and share some good old time music. He got his first guitar wnen he was 5 for Christmas. He learned to play listneing to a small battery operated transistor radio and sitting in the corner while all the musicians were playing. Tom always wanted to sing his own songs. He wrote his first song at the age of 10 and hasn't stopped yet. Through the years he has played in several bands of all types and travelled the bluegrass circuit and the Blues circuit around Atlanta. He has done concerts, roadhouses, weddings, funerals, you name it. His favorite times are when he and his close friends get together and play their music.
Tom Raley a singer songwriter has just released his new SOLO album " A Gentle Wind". It is his first solo album since his retirement form the Nuclear business. He has had a lot of time to put his mood down for others to hear. Please take time to check out this amazing new collection.

Tom's release of "A Gentle Wind" shows the depth of his music and commitment to developing lyrics that tell a story and backing them with great guitar licks. Listen to some of this album and his other songs on his website.


Rhio is a singer, actress and author, as well as an investigative reporter in the area of health. Rhio is of Hungarian-Cuban descent, raised in the US, but completely fluent in Spanish. She has appeared on many radio and television shows as a singer, as well as nightclubs through out the US. She has a very individual sound, and enjoys singing a variety of musical styles. She has been featured as a singer on many Radio and Television jingles. Rhio's fan base is growing every day. Her new CD "A Rhio Good Thing" will be released early 2018.

Rhio also has a great voice! Hear her on her website.

Dizzy Box Nine

Dizzy Box Nine is a pop-rock band out of Southern California. They play melodic, radio-friendly pop songs that have nearly instant appeal. The lyrics are clever and tight, and the instrumentation is dynamic and full. Dizzy Box Nine has been influenced by a variety of musical styles, over a broad range of genres--from Blink 182 and MXPX, to the Cars, Train, and Tom Petty. Thier music is basic strightforward pop-rock with spashes of pop-punk sprinkled into the mix.
Singer-Guitarist, and band creator, Randy Ludwig, claims that this eclecticism is what helps give Dizzy Box Nine thier signature sound. "We have been inspired by all types of music, and this clearly shows in our songs." There are no fillers here. Randy's motto is "start fast". And, these songs seem to captivate, energize, and even, inspire--from the very first second of the record, to the very last one. One thing is clear: the debut CD from Dizzy Box Nine is a well-put together recrod with something for everyone.

They do have a feel of Tom Petty but music is all their own with fast paced licks and snappy vocals. Listen to them on their website.

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"Olio has a funk groove behind many of their songs but what's cool is that they inject a pop sensibility into their songwriting. Our first impression is that they were akin in musical style to Fishbone but with the smart storytelling ability of Fountains of Wayne. The result is an unbelievably unique sound combination that neither one of us had ever heard before. It almost seemed as if they created their own new genre of rock n roll." - Jody and Judy Timmerman - Long Beach Independent via their blog Live Rock Gig

"...The basslines are funky, with raging guitar solos layered overtop, and with the occasional drum circle percussion at time.. I would personally want to them rock out the Santa Monica Pier on a Thursday.." - albumdoctor.com

Olio has great new bones their jumpin jivin stands alone - Marcus Walton, Editor Music Arts Monthly Magazine
See what we mean and catch their groove on their YouTube channel.

Steve Oriet

Steve Oriet, friends call me Steve O. I was born and raised in River Canard/Lasalle Ontario, Canada and currently live in Windsor Ontario.
I grew up listening to all genres of music, everything from rock to pop to rap and country. In fact, my father is and has always been my biggest inspiration because he balanced an incredible business life with being a very talented guitar player and singer. I loved listening to him play at weddings, churches, family gatherings and he is why my deep appreciation and love of music grew.
When I hit 17 my buddy and I took a spontaneous road trip to Grandbend, Ontario and on the way he cranked up some music. It was all Tim McGraw and Kenney Chesney and from that point on I was in love with country music.
When I was 19 years old my Dad and I listened to CMT and Jason Aldean's new song "Why". I turned and said to my Dad "I gotta learn to play guitar so I can play this song". I learned on my father's 6 string Washburn and from that day on, I was hooked.
I started writing music and was recently blessed with having the opportunity to collaborate in Nashville with the Steve O'Brien on my song Stomp, soon to be released and Alex Seier on my song Diggin on You which is now released. The one and only Johnny Dwinell and his fabulous team at DareDevil Production gave life to my dream recording these songs in Nashville.

Steve is headed to Nashville to become a SuperStar but you can hear him now on his YouTube Channel and it's really worth the listen.

Andrew Cohn

Andrew Cohn is a 21 year old blues guitarist, singer, songwriter from Woodbury, Long Island. Andrew draws upon the guitar influences of Stevie Ray Vaugh, Jimi Hendrix, Derek Trucks, and John Mayer. Andrew has been playing guitar since age 12, after becoming an expert at Guitar Hero and asking for lessons. He quickly took to soloing and performing and was sitting in with various bands in his early teens. His style is deeply rooted in the Blues. Andrew was trained by Berklee guitarist Mat Godfrey, as well as Mark Newman (slide guitarist for John Oates), and Walter Finley.
His Freshman EP, "Rite of Passage," released in 2014 at just age 17, showcases his well-crafted, eclectic and highly personal guitar style and features Grammy nominated artists such as Bakithi Kumalo (Paul Simon), Mike Visceglia (Kinky Boots Broadway and Suzanne Vega), Joan Osborne (One of Us), and Bill Simms Jr.
Andrew has shared the stage with such luminaries as Bakithi Kumalo, Richie Cannata (sax for Billy Joel band), John Stamos (Beachboys), Mark Newman, and Mike Visceglia.
At age 19, Andrew decided to try his hand at singing, his first public performance was at a blues jam at the Bitter End in NYC, and he hasn’t stopped since. His singing influences include Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber and James Arthur. Andrew has been working with vocal coach Robbie Rosen (Season 10 American Idol). Andrew was introduced to producer, Joe Vulpis (Lady Gaga) by his mom who went to college with Joe. The pair immediately started writing their EP together. This EP features Andrew as a pop vocalist and combines his bluesy guitar playing skills as well.

Andrew's blues guitar and sweeping vocalizations flow in and out through the mind in his own reverberations. Hear him on his YouTube channel.

Belle Rousse

Belle Rousse is an American, Electro-Soul, Singer-Songwriter from the beautiful southern city of Atlanta, GA, who is captivating listeners from around the globe! Fans describe her as a lyrical storyteller with ethereal and passionate vocals.
Belle Rousse, which translates as "beautiful red head", was a name given to Belle as a young aspiring artists. The arts have always been a major driving force in her life. As a youth, Belle Rousse expressed through her paintings, singing in a gospel choir, playing in bands, drumline, writing songs, and dancing.
Belle Rousse has worked closely with producer Wes Green (formally of Zac Brown's Southern Ground Artists) to prepare for her now released Album entitled "Wild & Free". These very personal songs are a collection of her very best work to date. The songwriting in her new Album was inspired by her inner struggles and personal triumphs! A few artists who have influenced this project are Lana Del Rey, Erykah Badu, Halsey, Band of Horses, Alina Baraz, Sabrina Claudio, Zac Brown Band, Carlos Santana, Rhianna, Shakira & etc, but with her own progressive musical style and perspective.

Not just another "beautiful redhead" but one with a great dynamic vocal range and ethereal lyrics. Listen to her on her YouTube channel.


Becktoria is more than just a singer-songwriter and actress. Born in Burma and raised in England where a talent scout first introduced her to the modeling industry, she held a bevy of pageant titles from Miss Motors Formula-1 to Miss Monaco Grand Prix - all before pursuing an honors BSc. in Biomedical Sciences.
LA next, Becktoria got her Master's in Acting and jumped into commercial work with Beauty Blender, Expedia, Ui Culture, Headspace, Subway, and plenty more.
All the while, her primary pursuit remained music. Today you can find Becktoria's latest Remix EP, Panda Doll on Spotify, iTunes and Soundcloud.
Amid all of her projects (expect a new EP release this year), Becktoria took a few moments to speak with us about her start, her daily routine, and where's she's headed next (can't wait for that EP.
Becktoria - singer, songwriter and actress - born in Burma and educated in England. Having the ability to sing before she could walk she found herself on stage at her 1st birthday. This early interest turned into a passion and led to her classical training at the age of 11. From there, she went on to singing in the choir/school pop-band as a lead soprano.

Her vibrant smooth voice captures the soul with a rich tonal range and haunting melodies. Listen to Bectoria on her YouTube channel.

All the Seals lying at the Cove read
Music Arts Monthly They say.."It's Slick!"

By the Editor of Music Arts Magazine

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