2017 Music Reviews


Music Review Archives (since May 2010)

2016 - 2010 Music Reviews



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Zelena Hull

(Spartanburg, SC) – Today Platinum Z Records announced the addition of a new single released by emerging country singer/songwriter, Zelena Hull. "On November 12th we finished mastering the song in Nashville", said Edward Hull, president of Platinum Z Records. "We had just finished up our finalizing for Zelena's new EP titled ‘6 Feet Under’ when we decided we also needed to push for the release of her new Christmas song 'I Believe'. Once we heard the preliminary drafts we knew we had to move quickly. We called Kenny Lee, who is a good friend of ours in Nashville and I asked if he could immediately fit us in for a recording session” said Hull.
This song is about the Christmas Truce of 1914. In 1914 during World War 1 the Pope sought a truce on Christmas day but the waring nations refused to give in. Soldiers were trained that fraternization with the enemy was an act of treason. On Christmas Eve the British and Germans over heard one another singing "Silent Night." They started singing louder and louder which lead to a cease fire. The song is based on this true story of the German and British troops on the front lines in Europe. Afterward they began giving each other small gifts, sharing supplies, food, medical supplies, and even had a good will soccer game.
The backdrop is a beautiful haunting melody that sets the stage. As the song starts it describes the wars horrific conditions. Then it transforms into a mesmerizing song of hope as it describes "two arcs drawn in Deadman's land" symbolizing each solider telling the opposing forces I am a Christian, Merry Christmas. An early secret code of Christianity, the fish symbol was used as two people would greet each in ancient Rome by drawing the arc of the one side of the fish to be finished by the other so both would know they were Christian. They did this as Christians were heavily persecuted. This is symbolic of each other's faith that became the Christmas Truce of 1914 and ends in restored faith in humanity.
Zelena wrote the song because she remembered her father telling her of the Christmas story when she was young and it made an impression on her. One day when she wanted to start working on a new song and the memories of the Christmas Truce story was on her mind. Zelena said "why don't I write something about it and come back again later, if I get stuck." Two days later it was finished.
Edward said “When soldiers who are facing chemical weapons attacks, frostbite, starvation, and unimaginable horrors can stop fighting and respect each other it makes you wonder how different the world would be if we could follow their example."

I had heard this story before but for it to stike the heart of a young musician and inspire her to write an incredible song is amazing. This is a very talented artist that will soon find herself in the company of some of the best artists in the land. Hear her and see what we are talking about on her YouTube Channel.



CW & the Motormen

Started out playing the drums and moved on to guitar. But I'm a writer first. The lyrics have to tell a story. There are plenty of hits over the years where the melodies are so strong, the lyrics don't really matter much. The perfect song is where both are equal.
Mitch the Motorman is about a real guy I knew that worked in the oilpatch. There aren't many oilpatch songs, so it's a bit unique. Guys that worked in the oilpatch say it really does strike home based on their experience.
What I like most about the song is that it has a larger following among women than guys on RadioAirplay, even though it's from a guy's perspective. Feedback from women is they like the romance in the song. When she sings the Hot Damn chorus, she's saying everyone has a redeeming quality, and she just found it in Mitch.
That's why women are smarter than us guys! ; )

Obviously Mitch is a singer-songwriter as he knows what's important in a song. Lyrics that convey a message, a beat that holds the tempo and of course a chorus that has a "hook". Listen to CW on his YouTube Channel.






Bonnie Paul

Traditional Country music with modern day soul
I co wrote childhood sweethearts with Randy Travis
I have seven songs in the tv movie for Hallmark channel JLFamily ranch
I was a child actress and i still act today...
I'm a Grammy Voting member, I still think about you everyday Merle, FYC 59TH Grammy's

Bonnie's music is more than Country it's true "Country Soul". Listen to this artist with true feelings on her YouTube Channel.



Royal Kona Coffee



Nu Man

Chicago was his birthplace, and he also spent time on the West Coast, but Atlanta, Georgia was the place vibrant performer Nu-Man blossomed into a distinctive, compelling singer/songwriter. Once his family relocated to the locale known as "The ATL," where they still reside, Nu-Man's love affair with music blossomed. He mixes rap's verbal fluidity and improvisational fervor with tones and themes gleaned from pop, R&B, and soul. The result is an edgy, dynamic sound that offers insight into everything from relationships to topical issues. When asked what inspired him to become a performer, Nu-Man responds in decisive fashion, crediting Atlanta's fertile creative environment with being the catalyst towards a professional career. "I first gained interest in music as a sophomore in college," Nu-Man recalled. "I remember free styling for the fun of it around others and noticing how people dug the way I flowed." Family members have proven just as important to the development of his hybrid style as some major musical names. "On a personal note, I can say that my older brother, along with other artists in my family were my first major influences," he continues. "By witnessing their musical creativity and the high level of sound I interpreted it to be, I was like "wow", that is so cool to be able to create good music. On the other hand, Michael Jackson, Elvis, and rapper E-40 were my outside influences." As someone who mixes spoken word and song, Nu-Man's approach to songwriting reflects a careful balance between expressing ideas in oral or musical fashion."

This is hip-hop that we can "hop" to! Intelligent, stylish with a great beat. Listen to Nu Man's latest on his website.



Michael Lyon


Like marveling at the outgrowths of seeds falling from a flower, Michael Lyon, as an educator, has devoted a career to the human equivalent: implanting a thirst for knowledge in his students so they may blossom. As the Michael Lyonbest teachers are passionate students of their subjects, Michael's life is becoming the story of the teacher grounding himself as a student of his greatest love - music.Michael Lyon embraces his work as a classroom teacher. However, he is also emerging onto the world stage as a compelling singer-songwriter. His talents are flowering because of a musical seed planted in him long ago.
Michael Lyon's music is a mesmerizing amalgam of musings immersed in meaning. Michael's unique style of California pop, with its uncomplicated organic feel, stems from a combination of his instrumental talents, upbeat vocals, and the messages that sprout from his seasoned lyrical craft. His creative goal is to spread musical sunshine as bright as the California coast where he resides. For Michael, the sunlight makes even songs grow, and it seems the shining source of his style and songs.
Michael Lyon's love of music dates from early childhood in Arlington, Virginia, as his parents awakened him for school every morning with songs from The Great American Songbook. Michael was captivated by the vast Michael Lyonassortment of hummable melodies of Broadway show tunes. Michael vividly recalls the impact of rousing numbers such as; "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning," from Rodgers & Hammerstein's, Oklahoma. Michael gives more detail, "I also remember hearing the showstoppers like Irving Berlin's "There's No Business Like Show Business," and "On the Street Where You Live," from Lerner and Loewe's, My Fair Lady, and so much more." Participation in sports like baseball and tennis may have won out as competing interests at the time. But as the years went by, the musical seed planted with the help of his parents began to take root.
During his college years at Stanford University, Michael was influenced by the music of an array of pop artists, from Cat Stevens and Simon & Garfunkel to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and The Beatles. Inspired by their Michael Lyonmelodies and harmonies, he picked up the guitar, strumming along to their songs and sparking his imagination. Legends like these made him realize his innate gift of singing, playing instruments and songwriting.

Michael's music is an inspiration. From original lyrics that portray a child-like whimsey with stylized compositions simular to John Sebastian or Donovan. Hear Michael's musical wonderings on his YouTube Channel.







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Catherine Goldwyn & Phil Lewis


San Francisco - October 15, 2016 - Pianist Catherine Goldwyn and guitarist Phil Lewis met at a Los Angeles jam session in 2002 and -- according to this pair of accomplished composers and performers -- they immediately clicked. "It was love at first sound," says Phil. "I loved Catherine's touch on the piano and her beautiful chord voicings, the way she made the changes sing."
"I loved Phil's responsiveness," Catherine adds. "He listened and had a unique voice on the guitar. He also liked my sense of humor which was a mark of his superior intelligence and good taste."
A fruitful musical collaboration ensued as the two began performing and then composing together. Later, they discovered that their compatibility extended beyond the bandstand, and romance blossomed. They married in 2013.
When planning began for Shadow and Light, their first record together, a good deal of time was spent discussing the overall approach to the music. Both felt the record should be a departure from the traditional jazz they had mostly made in the past. "We really wanted this music to resonate with a wide range of listeners, not just a jazz audience," Catherine explains, "So we chose to put our focus on strong melodies."
"What's really important in music is emotion -- that's the currency of music. And we both felt that jazz has, in many cases, come to be defined too much by technical theories and virtuosic spectacle," Phil explains. "We wanted to bring the direct, emotive element back to the music."
"We wanted each song tell a story, to take the the listener on journey," adds Catherine.

What beautiful jazz sounds this duo presents to us. Hear them on their YouTube Channel.



Robin Gregory


Ms Gregory hails from the Eastern Seaboard, having grown up in Washington, DC, and Atlantic City, New Jersey, during a fertile period of musical innovation in the Jazz, Rhythm & Blues and Blues fields. As such, she was surrounded and influenced by these rhythms, from a very early age. She specializes in the "Great American Songbook", and her extensive repertoire of popular jazz standards bespeaks that upbringing. Her smooth and mellow timbre reflects an amalgam of influences that she attributes to the vocalists and instrumentalists who were the seminal innovators of jazzmusic, during its formative period. Some say her voice reminds them of warm honey. She considers some of her greatest influences to be Gloria Lynne, Dakota Staton, Billie Holiday, Jimmy Scott, Nat "King" Cole, Betty Carter, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Etta Jones, Carmen McRae, Dinah Washington, Johnny Mathis, Nancy Wilson, and Louis Jordan.

Really enjoy Ms Gregory's jazzy blues. She is one to inspire and enliven the soul. Hear her on her website.



NICK WHITE

Born and raised in San Diego, now living in Los Angeles, Nick spent years polishing his artistry. He began writing and producing music in Raleigh, North Carolina before moving back to California. His music comes in many different languages, connecting listeners from around the world. Call it Multilingual Pop Music, or MPM for short.

The Tubes revisited or David Bow_Wowy? No this is Nick (To The MAX) White establishing his MPM settings for a new generation. Hear him on his YouTube Channel.



Savannah Philyaw


Savannah Philyaw is a young singer, songwriter, and performer from San Diego. Writing a blend of indie pop, folk, americana, and country style songs, Savannah has recently written a collection of songs for Warner Bros TV Productions. After releasing 3 EPs over the past 4 years, Savannah is working on her first full length CD for release in the Fall of 2017. Since beginning her music career at age 15, she has shared the stage with many acts such as Howie Day, Tyler Hilton, Bethany Joy Lenz, Kate Voegele, Max Frost, Tronye Wells and Lee DeWyze. She has co-written with San Diego's Calman Hart and Multi-Platinum Songwriter Michael Natter. Savannah quotes, "Music is not what I do, it's who I am".

Savannah's original compilations on her recent album "Love Remains" is some of the finest new folk music that we have heard. Hear her for yourself on her YouTube Channel.



Yarley G and GiO


A computer scientist, music producing fellow, Yarley Geffrard was destined to bring positivity back into the world of music. A migrant from Haiti, who faced some of the dangers and hardships of his homeland from his youth, Yarley's passion for music has manifested from his youth 'til now. Holding degrees in audio engineering, music, and creative design, Yarley credits a large part of his passion [for music] to his upbringing. Starting out playing the saxophone in church bands and strategically holding his own in various school bands, Yarley has shaped and transformed his talent and is now ready to share it with the world.
When asked why he chose to engage in such a field, Yarley simply stated, "the soul and beauty that comes from music takes me to [Z-space]; a colorful universe within me, that I am only at the tip of exploring." Music for Yarley is more than just a field, it's more than just a talent; it's apart of who he is and that's what enables him to make his statement in this industry.
Over the course of several years, he has produced countless tracks and full songs, which have been featured on some of the top mainstream networks such as MTV, BET, Oxygen, and The Style Network. But it doesn't stop there, Yarley has also composed for several high-end commercials including theme song for Frosted Flakes, Chevy, and Smirnoff. He has also been awarded the best 'Mix and Master of a Song' by the Institute Of Audio Research.

Well Yarley's music takes us into "Z-Space" too! (especially when we put Smirnoff on our Frosted Flakes!) Listen to his grr-reat licks on his YouTube Channel.



Elaine A Small


A Star is reborn! With the release of her second album, after an absence from the music scene of close to five decades, Elaine offers us renditions of well established cover songs with a clarity of lyrics which honor the intent of the original writers of these wonderfull standards. She is supported throughout by what has been described as about the strongest group of award winning musicians which anyone might put together. The result is a throughback to the days when one took the time to relax, listen and enjoy the music offered by these Great American Songbook tunes. This collection is indeed a worthy addition to any music lover's collection.

Elaine's rich, crisp vocals play well with the sax evoking a smokey nightclub feeling. Hear her on her YouTube Channel.



















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Kenny Rials



Kenny Rials is global. He's a native from Louisiana, a New Yorker for ten years while studying acting and singing, and now a Brit living in London. He's performed and visited 52 countries, but has kept his southern twang and roots. "I still say y'all and have fried chicken and jambalaya at least once a month," he admits.
While living in New York, Kenny performed in Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, but longed to sing and perform his own music. He was given the chance after meeting a producer in London. Kenny's debut EP - Time Doesn't Stand Still was released in 2014 and the follow up album, Second Chances, is available now.
With Second Chances, this is the singer most personal work yet. In many ways, Kenny continues to do what he does best by keeping us on the dance floor. The tracks are soaked in throbbing drops, pulsing percussions, and electronic effects, but it is Kenny's rich voice and haunting lyrics that shine, especially in the title track, What's Enough and the anti bullying anthem - It Never Rains Forever.
The result is a buoyant pop and dance album that mixes professions of romantic agony, reflection on past relationships, new relationships, and empowerment. With two power house dance remixes on the album as well, Kenny will keep us dancing through the night.

Kenny's songs are vibrant and catchy with well thought out lyrics. Listen to him on his YouTube Channel.



Chris Glover

Chris Glover is an American singer, songwriter and producer that hails from Macon, Georgia. He also grew up in Miami, Florida and lived in Chicago, Illinois for a period of time.
Though predominantly pop-based, Chris's sound has evolved to incorporate elements of other musical genres that have influenced and inspired him. His new single Wrong is an atmospheric mix of electronica, dance, and trap music. "It is really a culmination of styles," he says.
Wrong is a bit of a departure from Chris Glover's last release, his 2013 debut EP No One Like Me. "The first EP I put out, No One Like Me was just a few songs that were close to my heart," he says. "I initially set out to be a songwriter but I was encouraged by my music mentor to release the songs as an artist."
Chris spent the next three years studying music production, following charts and music trends, and finding his own unique musical style.
"I feel like now I am completely prepared. This new music is a perfect representation of who I am and what I have learned as an artist."

Chris's latest song "Wrong" sounds pretty "Right" to us here at MA. Hear for yourself on his website.



The Street Music Band


The Street Music Band is made up of 4 musicians from Big Bear Lake Ca. They are a currently working bar band at the Big Bear Mountain Brewery in Big Bear Lake, Ca. USA. They are ll lead singers as well as song writers. They are also out of work comedians who enjoy dissing each other and in some cases, the audience while on stage and all in fun... The musicians are : Terry Copley ( bass/vocals/Hofner Beatle Bass 500/1) Tom Burton ( Rythym guitar/vocals/Epiphone Casino ) Rich Spalding ( Lead Guitar / vocals/ Fender Strat ) Steve Johnson ( Drums/vocals/some weird flea market drumset with no name on it).

Having lived there myself I must say that Big Bear Lake brings out the best in people and apparently musicians as well. Connect with these boys and download some great songs available on a link on their Facebook Page. -Marcus Walton, editor



Kevin Beadles

Kevin Beadles unites Beatlesque pop-rock with the back porch drawl of gospel, blues, and alt. county. What you get is roots music with plenty of branches. Grand Prize Winner of both Great American Song Contest & West Coast Songwriters Int'l Contest.
"Kevin Beadles is clearly a force to be reckoned with. His songs are emotionally complex, ingenuously crafted and instantly appealing. He is a gifted new artist who truly impresses on every level." -Steve Cahill, Executive Director, Great American Song Contest
"Beadles plays a sublime kind of music… In many respects, You Can't Argue With Water is cleansing… nurturing our thirst for pristine talent." -Bill Sullivan, Senior Music Writer, Rock and Roll Report

A year ago we featured Kevin's single "SHOULDN'" and we are glad to have him back again with his new offering "Forty Acres". Hear both of these and some of his other works on his YouTube Channel.






Kent Holmes


Kent Holmes(is a singer-songwriter who performs at different music venues around Los Angeles. Currently have 2 songs written by myself "Home" and "Fly Away" currently receiving airplay on Radio Airplay.
Kent grew up in Louisiana performing in Church, as well as various Jazz venues.
Soon to head to New York for the Independent Music Awards November 12th, and afterwards will perform at different entertainment venues around New York.

Kent's music is calm and reassuring and points to an inner harmony that is all his own. Listen to him on his YouTube Channel.




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