2015 Music Reviews



Music Review Archives (since May 2010)




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Vangueety


I am a pop/alternative artist, I also do some instrumental work. I produce my own music in my own studio. I have Degrees in Music Performance and Music Production. I am originally from India and now I live in United States. I use Screen Reading Software to work in my Studio because I am Vision Impaired. You will find both Eastern and Western influances in my Music.

Listen to "Vangueety" on his website.



Troy Harris

He talked about growing up in DeLand, when parents talked to each other, and elders corrected children. He said, then, the village was close and raised its children together.
It's not the same town, Howell said. People turn away, and the elders have gotten older, and no new elders have stepped up to watch the village, he said. Children have less respect for adults, and even adults have less respect for other adults, he said.
"Where has the village gone?" Howell asked. "Now is the time. We need to be the village again. Hold your kids accountable; hold mine accountable."
He added, "Guns don't kill people; ignorant people with guns kill people."
Vonzelle Johnson, the DeLand city commissioner who helped organize the vigil, talked to the young men in the crowd, and called on the community to come together and be role models.
"In our city, we don't have a connected community," Johnson said. "Why are we not one community?"
He called for change, starting that night.
"DeLand has always been a segregated community," Johnson said. "Look around you. Look at who is standing next to you. This isn't a black thing. This isn't a white thing. This isn't a Hispanic thing. This is a DeLand thing. Ultimately we are one DeLand community."
As Troy Valenza Harris took the stage to play a moving saxophone solo, those in the crowd lighted candles. They held the flickering flames high. Under the leadership of Pastor Karl McNair, they prayed one last time together.
Then the vigil was over. The crowd dispersed, and they prayed the light would not go out.

Listen to Troy on his CD Baby Page.



Victor Ahlin



I'm Victor, I live in Sweden and turned twenty this summer. Musicproducing and songwriting is what I love to do!
I have played around with music close to every day the latest 4 years and I can't get enough of it. It is only recently though that I feel my music has reached a potential level, both musical and production-wise.
I like variation in style/genre and I play around with many different types of music. My strength lies in composing strongly characteristic and catchy melodies, and the way to recognize my stuff would be in personal melodical characteristics rather than a certain sound/style. I'd love to develop a very own "sound" and stick to it but still release stuff in a variety of genres.
I'm very inspired (not that influenced though) by artists from the 70s and 80s such as David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Queen etc.
I particularly adore how they don't stick to just one genre but no matter what they go for you can most of the time still tell it's THEM who made it.
I want to be like that too - this is one of my personal music goals.
Creativity is what I live for and aside from music I run a company working with movieproduction, mostly commercial/informative movies for other companies.
I hope to become a movie director, making big film releases and at the same time produce and release a lot of music!

Listen to some of Victor's music on his website.


P. Melody


Songwriter & Artist P. Melody, finds her voice!
The West Virginia born songwriter/ artist began writing songs at the age of 7. She recalls, as a kid, she would put on dancing and singing showcases to entertain the adults; with all original songs she had written. As she grew up, writing was the only thing she didn't "grow out of," and upon entering college, she found out why songwriting was the love that she could never shake. "When I took my college entrance exams, the professor approached me with my scores and I'm thinking, "OMG please let me into school (lol)." But she says "Wow, you'll succeed at anything that has to do with writing and English...you're a genius." I'm pretty much like huh??? So I'm in??" Undoubtedly, she was in and her confidence in her writing went up as a result. So what do you become when you're a "genius writer," literally? A super dope songwriter, of course!
Taking a leap of faith to pursue her industry dreams, P. Melody has been able to independently write songs for many artists, signed and unsigned, such as Gin & Tonic, Hunter O'Neal, Augustus Cole (G- Rize), and several artist signed to Arrow SOUL. She has also had the pleasure of co-writing with and featuring amazing artists such as Bertell Young, Cassius D. Kalb, Blesst, Nation, Mykko Montana, Honorable C- Note and more. She’s worked with many producers, supplying Atlanta with plenty of P. Melody records and extraordinary collaborations that she adds to her well tended catalog. A catalog that's reached well over 500 records.
So what's next for this hell of a catch? "Work as usual. Keep building my empire, IGC Global and PeiFunk Publishing, and be helpful in making those who believed in me, from day one, lots of money (smiles). Remain devoted and humble, no matter what. It's a blessing to do what you love, nothing less than that."

But Seriously folks this girl has something that makes her shine. Listen to a new "STAR" on her website.



Don Kesson


My name is Donald McAulay Kesson born 29th October 1962 in Tradeston Street Glasgow Scotland, from an early age I grew up with listening to country music, Pasty Cline, Tammy Wynette, Charlie Pride and Slim whitman to name but a few. I took to playing music quite late in life I was thirty when I first learned to play the guitar and start singing, I then began to venture out to local bars to join in the various jam sessions learning different styles from other musicians. After about five years doing this I got a covers band together three piece 2 semi acoustic guitars and drums calling ourselves the plank spankers (which means guitar player) playing all types music at different kinds of venues bars, clubs, festivals and weddings. My good friend Tony Wright had to give up the gigging to concentrate on his business and then I started on the solo career playing all over Scotland.
Three years ago I met Charlie Sharkey who gave me some of his song lyrics and said I could pick any of them to play. The weekend after me and my partner Liz were going to St Ives in Cornwall, England on holiday and there was a music festival taking place so I decided to try out some of Charlie's songs and they went down a really well the feedback from the people there at the festival was brilliant and that’s when I decided to record an album, I picked ten from the list of songs that Charlie had given me which I found myself to be very drawn to the lyrics and the emotion within them and here we are now. I really hope you enjoy listening to the album just as much as I’ve enjoyed making it happen on such an incredible journey.

Don Kesson is a true country star and you really should give him a listen on his website.


Blind Lemon Pledge


"Evangeline" is the latest release from singer/songwriter/producer/multi-instrumentalist Blind Lemon Pledge (aka James Byfield). This album explores a variety of Americana and blues musical directions, and it showcases the range of writing and producing skills that Blind Lemon Pledge has developed throughout his musical career.
James Byfield has been involved with music since childhood. At 14, he first picked up a guitar and began a life-long love of folk and blues music as well as the exciting developments in Rock that were happening at the time. In high school, he pursued his love of music by playing in rock bands and in coffee houses throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Another well received album followed in 2013 with the release of "Against the Grain", this time featuring all original tunes covering everything from Folk Rock to Swing to Southern Gospel. For this album, Byfield brought in a group of his musical associates, honing each individual tune to the needs of the song rather than relying on one set band sound.
For "Evangeline", Blind Lemon Pledge returned to the recording style of his first album and did all of the instruments, production and editing himself. He hopes this new album will reach across various musical genres and bring his songs to a whole new audience.

This is an amazing sound produced by a gifted artist! Check out "Blind Lemon Pledge" on his website.



Mark Bryce


"My mom was a huge Elvis fan," the native of Long Island, NY writes. "Some of my earliest memories are from watching classic live broadcasts of Elvis Presley. Seeing the innate coolness he had along with the overwhelming audience reaction just made me want to be a part of that energy and excitement. I got my first guitar at age seven and began to emulate Elvis. It wasn't long after until I started writing my first songs."
Some of the Elvis Presley swagger persists in Mark's music, giving it a direct and determined tone that is neither too aggressive nor arrogant. Another significant part of his musical chemistry is the folk-style narrative of his songs, each of which is based on the life of Mark Bryce,himself. Even his professional name, in fact, is part of his ongoing story.
"My best friend and I moved to Los Angeles in search of bigger and better things...He suddenly lost his life. His name was Bryce. That's where I got my last name. I use the stage name Mark Bryce as a way of honoring him and making him apart of this next chapter of my life in music."

Mark's music is something to behold. Listen to him on his Facebook Page..





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Rachelle & The Rising


Meet Rachelle and The Rising; a part Filipino/American, part Italian, and part Venezuelan rock band hailing from Los Angeles, California. Their "bad-ass" front woman Rachelle Adrian is joined by Tyler DeCastro, Tracy Lambertucci, Kevin Lambertucci, and Jonas Blomqvist, who provide drums, lead and rhythm guitar, and bass. If you're a fan ofHalestorm, Garbage, or maybe evenParamore, then they might be right up your street.
Having previously toured three times in Hawaii, and more recently in LA and surrounding areas, they're building a strong fan base online, with over 21,000 fans on ReverbNation already. Their most recent video for "Face The World Alone" - a mixture of hot leather clad ladies and preying zombies - was released on both YouTube and music channel Myx TV in the Philippines. They'll be performing in the upcoming sexy zombie horror film Fetish Factory, and are about to release a new single, "We Must Be One".
Music and songwriting is incredibly important to front woman Rachelle, and her dream is to make it in the music business. She's certainly going to give it all she and her bandmates have got.

Catch Rachel and the Rising on their website.



Brian Barnhouse


Long time musician Brian Barnhouse has released his first solo album: "clarified"...
Having played the small club circuits over 1200+ nights live...Brian wrote and released many songs with his various cover bands. After receiving a honorable mention in the Mid-Atlantic songwriting contest (rock category), brian decided to really focus on his songwriting.
"Clarified" sticks close to his songwriting influences: Rick Springfiend & Thin Lizzy. The hook filled songs of Rick Springfield, with the rawness of Thin Lizzy. It's an interesting combination that WORKS, and is refreshing to the ear.
New album "clarified" from solo artist Brian Barnhouse will be available on July 1st, 2014. Produced by Bobby Barth (Axe, Blackfoot), with a steller line up of musicians, including: Bob Harris - Keys, Background Vocals (Steve Vai, Warron Zevon), Jimmy Hunter - Drums (Veteran Hollywood Studio Musician), and Troy Johnson - Bass (Stephan Percey/Ratt & Frank Hannon/Tesla).
"Clarified" combines 80's power pop, big vocals, hooks, and occasional harmony guitar solos...Think Rick Springfield meet Thin Lizzy.

Listen to Brian and his new album "Clarified" on his website.


Matt Hines

Born in Texas and raised in Mississippi, Matt Hines' music reflects his life and environment. He is a new face in the industry, and his sound is anticipated to make some waves in the Country/Americana music scene. Matt credits his influences to everything from Country (Zac Brown Band, David Allen Coe, Darius Ruckers, etc.), to RandB (Varvin Gaye, The Temptatioins, Teddy Pendergrass, etc.), and Rock (The Eagles, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Queen, etc.) to Pop (Michael Jackson, Elton John, Hall and Oates, etc.
Being the son of a preacher, Matt Hines grew up leading his church in his favorite old hymns. This influence can be seen and heard throughout his songs, especially in "Base It on a Feelin'" where he sings about his family pew. He is not afraid to tackle life's darker side, and deals with subjects such as alcoholism and temptatioin in "As the Crow Flies" (somewhat playfully) and death in "When You're Gone." Whatever he writes on, Matt Hines will always remain true to himself and his fans.

Check out some of Matt's music on his website.


Lamar Smyly


The singer and songwriter of country music known as Lamar Smyly has released his latest LP record, titled "Budlight". The album is comprised of 16 original tracks for an approximate total listening time of 45 minutes, making it the most comprehensive collection of Smyly's songs to date. It is the most significant release by Smyly since his 1993 EP record, "silence", originally published on the Buckhead Records music label. An earnest revival of the classic country and western sound, "Budlight" by Lamar Smyly continues the journey begun by such early artists as Hank Williams and Roy Acuff, and is a genuine, modern example of the American country music tradition.
Lamar Smyly hails from South Carolina. The opening title track of his record is an ode to his beloved horse, Budlight.
"I was just a kid when I learned how to accompany myself on the guitar", Smyly writes. "I started writing country songs in the mid seventies."
He lives on the very same farm where he was raised, which has been in his family since the late 1700s (or shortly after the American Revolution). He cites as main musical influences the likes of Hank Williams Sr., Johnny Horton, Gene Watson, Jon Conley, Waylon Jennings, Don Williams, and Tom T. Hall, as well as "many other great country artists."
Audiophiles familiar with these songsmiths will note the common thread running from each to the others. These are country stars with deep roots in the original and most legitimate style of the genre. Some have even taken to calling it American folk music, and indeed, Smyly himself can be found pigeonholed as such from time to time.
"My songs are about real life", he explains "not just a song with a hookline. Most of my songs are about my experiences in life, or someone else's that I know or have known. Like old Hank (Williams) my songs have deep feelings in them. I've written a few that are comical but most are about things that folks have experienced or will experience sometime in their life."
As anyone who hears "Budlight" can tell you, Smyly is entirely aware of what qualities he has infused his musical style with. The beauty of this mode is that it is absolutely unfeigned, a frank and unadorned recording of a man opening his soul with the mere help of a guitar. He politely invites his neighbors of the world to listen with the following lines:
"I'd like for all persons who love truie country music to be able to hear and enjoy mine. The message in my music is true and real. Hope you'll enjoy it."

If ya don't enjoy Lamar's songs then just grab yourself a "Budlight"! Check him out on his website.




Chicken House Purple



Chicken House Purple is comprised of 3 distinct individuals. Two of whom have personalities. Joe is a singer who has been described as dynamic. Although this is his own description of himself, we admit it is fairly accurate. Joe writes with his fellow conspirator Brett, who has been described by others as "Who are you and what is it you do again? " Last and certainly least is Dale. Dale makes up the 1/3 of Chicken House Purple which makes Joe and Brett look talented.

Listen to "Chicken House Purple" and their laments and interesting lyrics on tunecore.




Zaena Morisho



Zaena Morisho, is an American Singer-songwriter, recording artist, and performer.She was born in DR Congo and raised in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and in America. She started performing at 8 years of age She got her break with her Community Choir and hasn't looked back, with a successful tour in Africa. She released her debut album "Break the Surface" which includes the hit song "Ur Love". the popular song has amassed over a million views on youtube in just under 4 months. Zaena sings in English, Swahili, Lingala, Nyaja, Shona and some of french. She is currently working on her new EP and a tour slated for the end of the year.

Give Zaena a listen on her website.



Stephanie Braganza

Stephanie Braganza has released her second international single, "When We Last Kissed" feat. Drega. The single was produced by a production team who collectively have had years of experience on the Toronto scene, having worked/performed with artists such as Drake, The Weeknd and more. The song was written by Stephanie, Colin Stewart, Peter Linseman and the production team.
Stephanie Braganza is a powerhouse vocalist who weaves a sonic tapestry neatly blending elements of pop, electro, and dance. V-MIX TV hosted the worldwide video premiere of her first international single "2 Good 2 Be". "2 Good 2 Be" is currently featured on the international compilation - Goa Chillout Zone Vol.5. available on iTunes and other download services. Her track “Fantasy” reached #5 on BeatsDigital.com charts, which led to a performance with rap artist Belly and Ginuwine at the Muchmusic Video Awards.
Stephanie's sexy style and playful performances helped her win the Toronto Independent Music Award (TIMA) for Best Live Artist. Stephanie's first performance of 2014 was for former President George W. Bush at a private event at the Art Gallery of Ontario. She has performed at top festivals which include Indie Music Week, DesiFest, Toronto Veggie Pride Parade; including prestigious the venues Casino Rama, The Mod Club, The Canadian National Exhibition Center, and Yonge & Dundas Square. Her TV appearances include CITY TV/OMNI’s "V-Mix", Rogers TV's "South Asian Focus", "TVOne Canada" "Daytime", and more. Stephanie was the cover story for Humber's College's "Et Cetera" publication.
Stephanie helped create the SIPO Foundation anthem "Time to Shine", with rapper Wali "Flo" Shah. The world video debut took place at the 2013 SIPO Conference at the Glen Gould Studios (CBC) in Toronto.
Stephanie has been performing and singing since the age of twelve. She was chosen for lead roles in the musicals Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat & Godspell. She has studied with great mentors such as Juno award winner Rik Emmett (Triumph), Pat LaBarbera, and Trish Colter. Her hard work earned her a Scholarship for the Vocal Program at Humber College where she graduated. Stephanie co-wrote her entire debut album, “Unexpected” with composer/guitarist Colin Stewart, focusing on creating music with a message.

Check her out at StephanieBraganza.com and be sure to download the free STEPHANIE B personal mobile app for iPhone!



Samantha Lai and Subculture

Samantha Lai (a.k.a Santha Tsang) was born and raised in Malaysia and moved to Canada at the age of 12. She is the eldest child of famous Malaysian singer Wong Chu Mai. Samantha has a powerful voice with a wide vocal range of 4.5 octaves, incredible breath control and vocal projection. She has a versatile repertoire that includes Country, R&B, Rock, Pop, Broadway, Jazz, Blues, Opera, and Reggae. She sings in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish, and French. In her formative years, she was a soloist in school choirs, and sang Soprano 1 in the Toronto Mendelssohn Youth Choir and in the Waterloo University Choir. She won the 1991 Graduate Music Award at Georges Vanier Secondary School in North York, Ontario and placed second in the 1992 Heart & Stroke Foundation’s Sing for Your Heart , Toronto, Ontario. She has been lead singer in numerous bands in the GTA since 1990, and is now with the band Subculture. She sings at galas and concerts, corporate functions, weddings as well as fundraising and cultural events.

Enjoy Samantha Lai and Subculture on ReverbNation.






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AKNU


AKNU is a phenomenal high-energy trio of brothers with astonishing moves and incredible vocal talent performing original material and popular hits.
They developed their unique talents from their lifelong involvement in music. With performances that showcase their extraordinary vocals and mesmerizing dance moves, AKNU brings their spectacular live performances of original material and popular hits to audiences of all ages around the globe.
Brothers Marquis, Rayne and Mark Scott were born in Boston and raised in the South-Central area of Los Angeles from when the brothers were young children. Despite a turbulent upbringing that included stints where the family lived in shelters, and the challenges of growing up in a neighborhood where extra-curricular learning opportunities were seldom available, the brothers found an escape in their love of music and dance. Their passion for creating and performing music has honed their incredible natural talent and turned them into dynamic and inspiring performers.
AKNU has been featured on MTV and in Vogue Italia, Ebony, and Vanity Fair, among many others. A recent performance on The X Factor earned accolades from all three judges, including the notoriously critical Simon Cowell.

You really must listen to these brothers put together some very great music on their YouTube.


Danny Allen


To Danny Allen, dirt roads, fishing holes, family, friends, good times and country music represent more than just a way to pass the time; they represent a way of life. A deep-rooted passion backed by years of country living and time on the stage has provided Danny a way to bridge the gap between real life and the music industry. Raised by his grandparents in Columbus, Georgia, Danny was instilled with moral values from a young age. His Grandfather was a mentor to young Danny taking him hunting and fishing and teaching him what it meant to be a man. His grandmother, a skilled pianist and singer graced the weekly church congregation with her angelic vocals. Admiring his grandmother’s passion and drive, Danny soon found himself immersed in learning the vocal craft. It wasn't long before he was singing at church, performing his first song in front of an audience at the age of seven. Earning applause for doing something he loved gave the youngster a new outlook on what life could hold for him. "If you can see yourself doing it, you can do it in real life. You just have to decide to put your mind to it."

Check Danny out on his website.








Atlantica Vox


Atlantica Vox is the working name of my solo music---I'm Kyle Fiske, a recording artist based in Rockport, Massachusetts. The music is just my personal take on life, and a lot of it is a reflection of the music I grew up with and really love, mostly in the vein of late '70's, early '80s postpunk and new wave music. I also delve a little into reggae, ska, folk and electronica, as well. I write and play all the instruments with the exception of the drums (which are sampled/programmed), and I arrange, record and produce it all myself. It's definitely a low budget, DIY setup, and while that has its own limitations, it also gives me a ton of creative freedom. I've been playing and writing for many years, and finally decided to focus my output under a band name: Atlantica Vox.
I put out my first full-length CD, "The Phantom Town Demos" in the summer of 2008, and my second CD, "Lights and Rare Things" in early 2013.

Sounds of inspiration and music that is capturing. Listen to "Atlantica Vox" on his website.



Kat Pace


Kat was raised outside of Philadelphia and fell in love with music and theatre at a very young age. When Kat was 4 she performed an incredible cover of BaBaBlack Sheep that brought the house down. In addition to doing inspiring covers she began writing her first songs at around 5 and, silly as they may have been, they lit the first real fire of passion for music for Kat.
Kat started studying voice and piano at 12, she began performing at 14 when she was in her first play: The Stingiest Man in Town. Her fascination with entertainment grew throughout high school as she continued to perform and study singing. Kat's thirst for creativity was not quenched by performance alone and she started composing music at the age of 15. She started a band with friends shortly afterward and even though they were just rocking out in a living room, Kat always treated it like a sold out rock concert. When the band won second place in a battle of the bands at 16 she knew she had to keep writing and performing music. She soon realized that this was more than just a hobby and decided to make it a career while attending the University of Maryland to study Theatre Performance.
After graduating from University of Maryland in 2012 Kat moved to New York to pursue her music career. Since her move, she began writing for her first EP, which she recorded in Nashville. Her Survivor EP was recently released on iTunes. Since her EP was released Kat has continued writing, performing and having the time of her life while getting ready to record a full album!

Find out why Kat is garnering a fan base of devoted listeners. Listen to some of her music on her website.



Atonomic

Atonomic - trio from New York City, specializing in Dance/Pop songs that are upbeat, high energy, and fun to dance to. Their first release, titled 1000 Days of Mystery, is a great combination of a song that is great to dance to and listen to.

Go to their website and listen to them!



Aaron Gallagher


Nashville recording artist Aaron Gallagher has toured the US and Puerto Rico as a guitar player and bass player, but just recently began performing his own original songs. In his short career as a solo artist, Gallagher has had songs licensed to national corporations and has had a song featured in Paste Magazine. Gallagher’s early 2014 release of his first EP titled Take My Hand passed 1000 digital downloads in it's first month and was featured by NoiseTrade.com as one of their New and Noteable EP's of early 2014.

Take a listen to Aaron on his website.












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