2017 Music Reviews


Music Review Archives (since May 2010)

2016 - 2010 Music Reviews



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Mike Wilson

Wilson says he is a Solo artist that grabs musicians that move him to explore the ideas and sounds that buzz in his head. Hooks and lyrical life lessons motivate in a rock pop sound that is dying out in the world of hit music.
"I love ambient sounds with dry rhythmic lines in front, also harmonies that have surreal spacing. Strong vocals with simple melodies over deep lyrical life lessons. Lovely polyrhythms or chants when needed. Play all instruments or original samples."

Mike has some great new sounds to listen to. Hear him on his YouTube Channel.


GPS Project

After 30 years some well known faces of the music scene are back but this time they are playing together. Peter Godai (aka. Lempacher- the bassist from "Powerhouse"), Edgar Patrik (the drummer from "Bonfire") and Peter Paul Skrepek (the guitarist from "Falco") featuring the singer Stella Jones are releasing their new single "Dance Baby Dance" and "oh baby you really want to dance". They are also getting great support from the singers Betty Semper and Ina Siber.
The song seems charmingly antiquated these days but is a brilliant and energetic song that brings you back in time - a quality tune that is simultaneously rocking and rolling. These guys have been friends for a long time and are lucky enough to have a vast history of music to draw upon. It is important for them not to let time stand still and to challenge happiness once more.
"Dance Baby Dance" was recorded at RPM Studio Vienna, mixed in Twickenham Sound Studios London by Adrian Bradley and then mastered by Arpad Hadnagy back in Vienna.

Featuring Stella Jones this is rock and roll as it should sound. Hear what we mean on their YouTube Channel. The song was composed by Peter Godai, former bassist and guitarrist from "Powerhouse", and is dedicated to Jessie Bradley.






Howie Newman

This new collection of tunes by Boston singer-songwriter Howie Newman explores the various facets of everyday life — marriage, parallel parking, old cars, parenthood and money — with a mostly whimsical twist.
Except for the electric guitar on one track, it's pretty much an acoustic album, utilizing piano, drums, bass, fiddle, guitars, mandolin, flute, clarinet and saxophone to augment Newman's upbeat rhythms.
But it's definitely not traditional folk music.
The CD is equal parts country-rock, jazz, pop, swing, blues and Americana, with tight arrangements and pleasing vocal harmonies.
Six songs are humorous and the others provide poignant moments that will resonate with people of all ages. The clever lyrics and catchy music keep you tuned in.

Mostly a lot of fun but with true insight that makes you see life a little differently. Enjoy Howie's music on his website.



Royal Kona Coffee



Glancy Kelly

Glancy Kelly began laying the foundations for his music career as a young child bouncing around foster care homes. Without a stable family and, oftentimes, food and power, Glancy would fill his days by writing songs. His introspective early years are evident in his powerful, profound lyrics. His music stands out for its lack of fluff - Glancy's goal is not to put out song after song, but to shape worthy messages and reflections into songs.
Glancy didn't grow up listening to Marvin Gaye and Luther Vandross and the conventional godfathers of R&B. As a foster kid relying on himself for many aspects of his upbringing, his love for R&B and hip-hop was sparked by the radio hits of his contemporaries. His up-tempo, evocative beats and flows are reminiscent of Trey Songz, Omarion, Mario Barrett, and other hit-makers of the 1990s and 2000s. In drawing inspiration from them, Glancy is creating songs in the language that his generation naturally relates to.
As he honed his voice and nurtured his songwriting career, Glancy cut his teeth by auditioning for American Idol. While he consistently received praise from the producers, he never moved past the non-televised portion of the contest. It was a wake-up call for singer-songwriter: with ideas and content that break the conventional mold of "filler" lyrics, he would have to make his own dreams come true. Two years ago, he released his first single, "Hold On To Me" via digital platforms. The positive response was overwhelming. For an unsigned artist, Glancy's plays and followers on websites such as Soundcloud exploded. Heavy-hitters in the music industry began to take notice. Glancy is currently working on his first EP, aptly titled "Now or Never", to be released in the fall. With the stamina and following he's built around his career, he's excited and ready to pour all of his efforts and talents into creating a product that truly represents his artistry.

Glancy's songs have a depth that portrays images in your mind and evokes a spirit that resonates with your soul. What a joy this new artist is. Listen to him on his YouTube Channel.



Uncle Ben's Remedy


Uncle Ben's Remedy is a hometown band that doesn't fit into a single musical slot. Their unique sound is rooted in the small town of Versailles where community still matters and music is a part of every event. Three of the five band members learned to play and sing in this small town atmosphere, giving their music the honest, back porch feel of the country music they love.
Uncle Ben's Remedy is Ben Westlund, singer and guitarist; Harmony Griffin, guitar, banjo and mandolin; Shawn Huestis, piano, accordion, fife, vocals and more; Brendan O'Connor, upright bass; and Jimmy Royce, drums and vocals.
Ben, Harmony and Jimmy grew up hanging out at family band practices, soaking in the sounds of the Allman Brothers, Johnny Cash, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Merle Hagard. Even today, every family party ends in a big traditional sing along, often with Ben and Harmony's grandmother taking the lead.
"We sort of took the long way home" laughs Westlund when talking about UBR. "We all paid our dues in rock bands while coming up", he adds. This rock and roll background is quite evident in Uncle Ben's live show and the audience reaction. "It's sort of like the old time country, says Jimmy; "that rock and roll energy kind of gets in your blood and it ain't easy getting out."
"We knew what we needed to put some honky tonk and get this band moving", says Harmony. "We knew Shawn was the best piano player around. The fact that he played 27 other instruments was a nice surprise. There was no way we could do this without an upright bass player. I knew Brendan from a punk band we used to play in and I knew he could sort of hold his liquor." Shawn later admits "to be honest, after one practice, we knew he was the guy and basically kidnapped him"
The recently released their debut record, "Yesterday's Clothes recorded at Robbie Goo's GRC Studios. The first single; "Little Devils" has been featured on 107.7 Alternative Buffalo and gained airplay on several other Western New York radio stations. It is available on iTunes and Google Play and is available for streaming on RDIO, Spotify and other outlets. "Yesterday's Clothes" themes include leaving home (with a nod to Dr. Seuss), the evils of moonshine and the refrain, "the grass is always greener when you fertilize."
UBR won the summer 2014 Battle of the Bands at the Canalside Concert Series in Buffalo that earned them an opening slot for Lake Street Dive. The guys also opened for Artimus Pyle and have played extensively throughout the bars and around the bonfires of the great north east.
In the summer of 2015, Uncle Ben's Remedy brought home the grand prize, winning 1st place in the Artvoice sponsored Battle of Original Music contest. The finale included a raucous performance at packed house at Buffalo's famed Tralf, where UBR notoriously filled 3 buses full of fans to cheer on their boys.

Pickin and grinin these boys are winnin with licks that rock. Their song "Money" ("she likes money more than me") well hell boys they all do! Hear them on their YouTube Channel.



Keida

I started singing by the age of 8 when I moved to Europe and been singing in professional stages and Tv shows where I got prizes . Last prize I got was in Orlando Fl (where I went for vacation) got the overall adult prize over 750 talents from USA Canada & England and wanted from 12 Talent agency's from Los Angeles & New York . And thank God that was the time when my parents decided to take me seriously and move to Los Angeles after 6 months and let me pursue my dream. So now I live in Los Angeles and I am a freshman in high school.
By the age of 12 I wrote my first song named "Thinking you where mine" and by the end of 2016 I finished my first album "Pretty Girls".

You go girl! Quite a story and we know we will hear more from this up and coming star! Hear Keida's songs and follow her on her YouTube Channel.







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Daniel Chia


Soulful, funky, and energetic, saxophonist Daniel Chia serves up his signature brand of Disco Jazz as the hottest fresh act on the scene.
After getting in the studio with 2-time Grammy Award winning producer and guitarist, Paul Brown, Daniel's debut full-length album of original songs features the finest international smooth jazz artists. With his top-notch band of established musicians based in Los Angeles, "In The Moment" will take the listener on an unprecedented sonic adventure.
Daniel is no stranger to delivering his brand of music to the world, thrilling audiences at the MIDEM Festival in France and the Sunburst International Festival in Malaysia. He has also performed at ZoukOut, Music Matters Festival, Mosaic Music Festival, Audi Fashion Festival and Earth Hour, amongst many others.
Prepare for some uncontrollable foot-tapping, body-grooving, and soul-rocking - Daniel has made it his mission to make every show an unforgettable experience for his audience. Daniel Chia is a Yamaha Artist and Silverstein Pro Artist.

Daniel surely plays a mean saz. Listen to his soulful persuations on his YouTube Channel.



Mack Meadows


Playing guitar is a challenging and rewarding skill that can bring a lifetime of enjoyment...whether you strum in your living room or on a stage, music is a wonderful gift.
Based in the Upper Keys, Mack Meadows is a diverse guitarist in genres across the spectrum. Mack has always loved sharing the gift of music and has built his career performing before audiences and teaching guitar professionally. In addition to his command of contemporary music, he has studied with acclaimed classical guitarist, Dr. Stephen Robinson.
Prior to managing music stores across the Southeast for several years, Mack appeared as a solo recitalist and chamber musician. He played three seasons at Seaside Music Theater in the pit orchestra as a guitarist, in such shows as Evita,Anything Goes, and Little Me, as well as flamenco guitarist in Man of La Mancha. He has also worked as a studio session musician in Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee.
Mack earned a Bachelor of Music Degree from Stetson University, where he was an original founder of the Stetson Guitar Quartet. He is a current member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP).

Mack has a style of country music that is true to it's roots. If you visit his YouTube Channel you will not only be able to hear Mack play but get a free music lesson to boot!



Gypsy Bed

Gypsy Bed was formed by Godfrey Nelson to record material he had been working on with various writers. Their first release was the 2012 album "Secret City." This new recording is a continuation of that work with the same musicians and a few new writers. The title track, "Dazed and Confused" is based on the original 1963 recording by Jake Holmes. A new urban feel section has been added, written by Godfrey Nelson and Michael Wilde. Jake also contributed to two other tracks on the album, "I'm Doin' Time" and "I'm a Dog." Michael Wilde is a new collaborator with Godfrey and also contributed lyric for "We Gotta Change" and "The City." Godfrey's old partner and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle collaborator, Bob Bejan, helped pen the song "Take Me Back." The band consists of musicians that Godfrey has been working with over many years. Coming from various parts of the country, they join together to bring you a fresh and new musical experience.

A lot like the sultry musings of Tom Waits these mostly spoken songs are unique in there style and presentation. Listen to them on their website.



The Como Brothers


THE COMO BROTHERS are singer/songwriters from New York known for their heartfelt lyrics and harmonies. Their style of songwriting draws from pop and blues originating from a love for acts such as The Beatles. The Como Brothers have gained recognition for their energetic performances, fun personalities and original songs. Matt and Andrew are now touring promoting their 2016 EP Jam Theory and currently recording a new album. Their song "Magic" will be the first single from the new album.
They have had the opportunity to work with Grammy winner drummer Steve Jordan, Grammy winner Graham Marsh, Grammy Nominated Stan Lynch, drummer Aaron Sterling, bassist Sean Hurley and keyboardist Andy Burton.
Performance experience ranges from opening for PJ Morton of Maroon 5, The Wallflowers, American Idol David Cook, American Idol Lee Dewyze, Howie Day, Ryan Beatty, Sam Woolf (American Idol contestant), Tyler Ward, Jillian Jensen (X-Factor and American Idol contestant) to name a few.

The Como Brothers return to Music Arts with a new song "Magic" which will be featured on their new album. Hear them and find out more about the brothers on their YouTube Channel.



Nicholas and The Pessimistics


The beginning of Nicholas & The Pessimistics came from the end of Sirens on Sunday circa 2011. The former project was a genre hopping collaboration that put out a 5-song EP recorded at New Fidelity studios. The Band could be heard regularly on WNKU and was a featured headliner at the 2009 MidPoint Music Festival as guests of bass legend, Cincinnati icon, and former employer Bootsy Collins. Although the band received a noteworthy amount of support, their success was precarious and the band imploded under the infamous pretext of creative differences.
The ember that remained smoldering off the Sirens on Sunday EP was a track that singer-songwriter Nicholas Baker wrote in a hotel room in Chattanooga, TN called "The Feel"—a melancholy, acoustically-driven track that in some respects was out of place among the rest of the songs on the aforementioned studio effort. "I knew things were heading in a different direction when I sold my telecaster," said Baker. "I had notebooks of things I really wanted to say. Things I had learned. Things I'm still learning."
Nicholas & The Pessimistics are a concentrated effort with honesty at their foundation. They are the definitive of what was once ambivalent. Members Nicholas Baker (vocals/guitar), Shawn Steele (lead guitar), and BJ Schweinlin (drums) played as a trio for a short while, traveling to Nashville and being featured at venues such as the Exit/In and the Rutledge before adding bassist Alex Fraser to head into the studio with them. Their debut, self-titled, 10-song LP was released in February 2016 and features a mix of folky, alt-country songs with sprinklings of bluegrass that serve as testament to where they've been, what they've learned, and where they're going. When it comes to songwriting and musicianship, these guys are the real deal.

Upbeat and driving hard we wouldn't say these guys are at all "pessimistic"! Listen to them on their YouTube Channel.



Paul The Trombonist


Noel Gallagher and Aretha Franklin sideman, Paul The Trombonist, releases revolutionary jazz and Electronic/hip-hop album, Journey To The World
Paul Nowell, also known as "Paul The Trombonist," has worked with a diverse array of icons, including Aretha Franklin, Noel Gallagher, Frankie Vallie, 10-time Grammy award-winning trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, and Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan. Paul is a child prodigy who has made good on his talents and has had an extraordinary career.
Now, he shares his panoramic musicality with his debut album, Journey To The World, out March 7 th , 2017. The 10-track record is a visionary mix of chill electrosoul, hip-hop, jazz, and sublime melodic pop.
"This is an album I feel very passionate about," says the Los Angeles-based artist. "It draws from all the musical influences I have had in my life. It is really exciting to me that I can finally fuse together these sounds I love so much and incorporate the trombone into a context the world has never heard before. There is something for everyone on this album."

Jazz trombone Paul lights up the world with soulfull inspiration. Listen to his his really great licks on his YouTube Channel.



Dan Weintraub


Dan's been playing, performing and recording music since the mid-1980s. In his younger days he warmed up for Tracy Chapman on the college folk curcuit in Boston. Dan played solo acoustic and in a country/rockabilly two man band (with Graham Cassano, currently of Blue Pontiac) at coffeehouses and bars around the Boston area. He also sang and strummed in a couple of bands, including an uncharacteristically rowdy and punk influenced Grateful Dead cover band. Dan spent some time in Malibu, California recording his first EP with ex-punk rockers Geza X and Paul Roessler. Dan's most recent EP was recorded in Los Angeles (2016) at Kitten Robot Studios. Dan's primary life gig inclues teaching history and coaching soccer at a super cool high school near Dartmouth College.
This folk rock EP is dedicated to the memory of two young women who died in a tragic car accident this past October: Janie Chase Cozzi and Mary Harris. The SONGS FOR BEAUTFIUL SOULS TOUR kicks off in July, running 5 weeks and stretching from Montreal to Vancouver.

God bless you Dan for keeping the spirit and love alive. Listen to his music on his YouTube Channel.



















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Rob W's "Endless Summer"



Robert Windisch born March 27 1970 in Vienna, A DJ,soundegineer,producer,musician and mathematician Robert has been working as DJ and soundengineer for years and Producing music since 2003
Playing violoin since 1978, also playing guitar he has now decided to release some of his years of recordings.

Sample a few of his best, his "Glory Tunes", on his YouTube Channel.



Kerry Wallace

Kerry Wallace's latest album, If We Knew, was born out of one tiny, remote place where Western, country and folk music are served fresh with an honest, artistic authenticity. That place is Wallace's back porch. Through Kerry Wallaceher songwriting and storytelling, Kerry has the rare gift of teleporting her listeners through time and space on a genuine journey through her inimitable brand of artistry. Now, with her third full-length release since 2013, Kerry Wallace fans are getting to know If We Knew.
If We Knew, is a thirteen-track trek through originals penned by Wallace, several cover songs and also two gorgeous duets. The project had already earned numerous award nominations before it began production. Wallace was nominated a second straight year for multiple awards from the Academy of Western Artists, and she is fresh off of a trip to Nashville in September to attend the Josie Music Awards. She explains the project's evolution, "I started singing my latest material at live shows and was surprised when the singles gleaned nominations before their release. The fans wanted a new album earlier than I had planned."
The first single due for release off If We Knew is "The Ballad of Bertie Brown." The song is a ditty with deep meaning intertwined with an inherent "Old West Wisdom." "The Ballad of Bertie Brown" stands as a perfect example of what Wallace "cooks up" musically on her rural Wyoming homestead. "So much of life happens here right on my back porch! Smelling the rain, the sunshine, watching stars, or cleaning my work boots." In the folk/country title track, “If We Knew” Kerry displays her masterful ability to pen mood into melody. The song emanates a soothing simplicity and her trademark potpourri of genres.
Several other singles are planned to release from If We Knew, such as the gorgeous Johnny Cash cover, "There You Go" - a duet she performed with talented country vocalist, Richard Lynch. The authenticity of Wallace's style, melody and musings are alive in well in her latest offering. She is a country artist that has lived the life, a rarity in musicians and songs and songwriters coming out of Music City, U.S.A. Over the past three years, Kerry has made quite a mark for herself. If you've never heard of Kerry Wallace, it's time you got to know If We Knew.

Some jof the best most original country music to come out of the North we have ever heard. Listen to Kerry for yourself on her YouTube Channel.



N-Side, the healer


DECEMBER 20th, 2016 – Award-winning songwriter, poet, and filmmaker Norman A. Woods performs as "N-Side, the healer." Utilizing his inimitable N-Side, the healerabilities, he extends a non aggressive invitation for his live audiences to look within themselves. N-Side has recently released his sixth project entitled, No LIVE Recording Will Be Wasted!. The seven-track LIVE EP was recorded at The West Coast Arts Foundation Center in San Rafael, CA.. It is an amazing amalgamation of poignant poetry and jazz improv. N-Side's use of instrumentation and verbal introspection allows him to share his deeply personal experiences from a life based on trial and error decision making. And the results were not always pleasurable by any means.
Before "Norman A. Woods" evolved into "N-Side, the healer," he rose and met the challenge to facilitate change in his life. This theme of metamorphosis is a vital element throughout the poetry and music found on No LIVE Recording Will Be Wasted!. He offers that, "Every moment has the potential for a life-change in everyone's life."
N-Side is no stranger to artistic success; his talents are a product of being influenced by the early free speech movement in Berkeley, CA. and his musicianship has been well rooted in jazz for decades". N-Side's acquired creativity has become a tool of reflection, a cathartic change aimed at strengthening a positive healing process. After the success of his previous CD: N-Side LIVE @ The Milk Bar, The organic essence of LIVE performance continues to be found on No LIVE Recording Will Be Wasted! “For me, the live performances provide that desired intimacy between the artist and the audience.” For the production, N-Side, is backed by a talented trio of Bay Area musicians, which include his steadfast talented pianist, Keith Saunders. Most recently N-Side received a nomination from the 2016 Independent Music Awards for Best Spoken Word with Music Accompaniment.."

Poetry that speaks to the inner soul Norman captures your emotions and makes you think "Am I the problem or the solution?" Enjoy his work on his YouTube Channel.



Ralph Pezzullo

Born in New York City, lived and traveled all over the world, including Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico, Vietnam, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. Have played in bands my entire life. Also author of New York Times bestselling books, plays produced in New York City and London, and published poet.
I was born in New York City. When I was five years old my father joined the Foreign Service of the State Department. His job took us to Washington, DC, Mexico, South Vietnam, Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala, Uruguay and Nicaragua. We lived in Saigon during the Tonkin Gulf Incident, the overthrow of Diem, a number of other coup d'etats and almost daily Vietcong terrorist attacks against Americans. After that, we survived three years gasping for air at 13,000 feet in La Paz, Bolivia during the time that Che Guevarra was trying to build a guerrilla base in that country. By 1980 my father was the US Ambassador to Nicaragua, and I was there witnessing the first days of the Sandinista Revolution.
These experiences molded me. I saw how political instability could throw peoples’ lives in chaos and test their character. In my teenage years I became a sounding board for my father’s opinions on how to best formulate and carry out US foreign policy. Many of his friends were other diplomats, CIA agents, and military attaches. Through observing them, I developed an appreciation of the unique kinds of challenges US representatives faced in nations where our interests and cultural perspective often sharply differed from theirs.

All that and some really good licks to boot! Read and listen to more of Ralph on his Facebook page and find the link to "Jango.com".






Jeremy Laura


Jeremy has a lifelong passion for music that was evident from his earliest experiences. His mother had him enrolled in piano lessons beginning in the first grade, as well as school and church choirs. His true passion sparked when acquiring a songbook that had pieces by Elton John and Billy Joel around 6th grade. The desire to be a singer/songwriter was established firmly and fueled his ambitions to take advantage of each opportunity he was given. That same year was Jeremy's first stay at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Big Rapids, MI. This deeper exploration and dedicated time to vocal improvement gave way to participation in regional and state Honors Choirs, Solo and Ensemble appearances, and a trip to Interlochen Music Camp in Interlochen, MI in the summer before his senior year.
While the draw of choral music was strong, the singer/songwriter style was stronger still. In his Junior year, Jeremy began playing weekly for tips at a small cafe in Milan, MI. He also began performing with a church worship team, an experience that would greatly influence his direction for the next two decades. It was on the church platform that Jeremy felt a great interaction, musically and spiritually, with the people of the congregation. In 2000, he was named Director of Music for New Hope Church in Canton, MI. This was a post he would maintain for 15 years. In that time, he wrote more than 20 worship and 30 CCM songs. At the end of this tenure, it would be a year before Jeremy would enter the studio to begin the current phase of his journey. It was at Pearl Sound Studios in Canton, MI that he recorded his two most formidable singles, "Lay it all Down" and "Turn Around". Both are a culmination of the talent and abilities gained over a 30+ year musical journey and are the beginning of the exciting new chapter in his musical journey. In all of this, the greatest joy he has is sharing this with his wife of 18 years, Jennifer. Their love is a continued inspiration as "Thank You", "As long as we have Tonight" and Future were all written for and about Jen.

Just pure songwriting and composing at it's best. Listen to Jeremy on his YouTube Channel.




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By the Editor of Music Arts Magazine










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