2014 Music Reviews

Music Review Archives (since May 2010)

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Andy Northrup

Singer/Songwriter Andy Northrup music is a compelling unique sound we call "New Folk" - a combination consisting of Folk, Americana, Folk-Rock, Country and acoustic.
Andy Northrup is primarily a songwriter who has written for the stage, screen and for his own singer/songwriter CD efforts namely "Slow Burn Avenue" in 2001, 2005's "Cardboard Logic" and 2012's "Making My Way". All three discs were produced independently on the "R New House Up North" label and both "Slow Burn" and "Logic" have been well received by critics and public/private radio in America, Europe, Australia and Northrup's native Canada. The USA's Stonewall Society further honoured Northrup by eventually announcing him as their "Musical Artist of the Year" for 2005 along with giving him two other awards for individual songs.

D.B. Rielly

D.B. Rielly is an award-winning singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who conjures up the various textures of the American landscape. It's American Roots Music.
"American Roots Music artist, D.B. Rielly was only six months old when, upon hearing David Hasselhoff sing, he immediately soiled his diaper and vowed to bring good music back to a starving generation. Since then, he has tirelessly pursued his quest, all the while narrowly avoiding work, debt collectors, and liver failure."
D.B. Rielly is a singer/songwriter/composer and multi-instrumentalist (accordion/banjo/guitar player) who can be heard on over 40 independent recordings and films. D.B. Rielly revels in and reinterprets the powerful music that built this country and takes his listeners on a nostalgic journey into a previous era. On this journey, D.B. and his trio conjure up the varying textures of the American sonic landscape — past and present.


Skeeter … Sweet. Hefty. Hummable. Powerpop.
New York City (MAY 1, 2012) — Eight years after the UK release of the full-length "Possibly The Only…" (Boss Tuneage), "Bullets for Manatees" shows Skeeter is ready, willing and able to stake their claim as one of the most sophisticated voices in powerpop.
Shortly after the 2004 release of "Possibly The Only…" garnered praise and airplay, from homegrown podcasts to Q104.3, New York’s biggest rock station, both the band and their former label very nearly imploded, taking with it, any chance for the group to support their release with proper European and US tours. After a protracted, multi-year personnel search, and the forging of a strong independent distribution channel, Skeeter’s renewed confidence is apparent in every meaty chord and succulent hook on their new release.

Zac Fresh

Born and raised in Columbus OH, Zachary Muhumad a.k.a. Zac Fresh didn’t necessarily have an easy childhood. Born June 30, to an African-American mother and a Somalian (in which he speaks fluently) father, this young, talented, and "fresh" 16 year-old had to learn and defend for himself at an early age. At just the tender age of 7, Zac lost his mother. He found this time to be very difficult for him because he believed that was an age where a child needed his mother the most. Without the love and support of his mother, Zac found comfort and developed a passion for something that began to matter the most to him…music. At the ripe age of 13, Zac accomplished something that most kids his age can only dream about. Zac met and recorded a song with one of today’s biggest rap hit makers, Soulja Boy Tell Em. They recorded a song entitled "Ride Real Low" together and soon after, Zac found himself touring and traveling the country with Soulja Boy.

Andrew Moses

Andrew Moses releases 4th CD "Mosely" to rave reviews! Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Andrew’s love for music was evident at the age of 2. At 13 years old, he began playing piano with a little help from his father Eric. Eric, an old time self-proclaimed hippie who jammed with the likes of Joey Walsh from The Eagles, knew exactly what direction he wanted his son to bend towards. Music from artists such Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd and Hendrix was his forte'. Andrew on the other hand at that time listened to artists like Pearl Jam and Nirvana. That gentle nudge from his father seemed to have done the trick. Andrew began to study 6 and 7-string classical guitar as well as piano in which Chopin and Bach were the main forces. In fact, Andrew so took to Chopin’s music that he composed 6 Nocturnes for Solo Guitar. Andrew was always acutely enamored with the great masters even to this day. Andrew Moses had released 3 CD’s along with the way, "Complete Classical Guitar Solos 2000-2005", "Remnants" and "When Pigs Fly" A Tribute to the mark of Pink Floyd". Andrew Moses’ latest release "Mosely" continues down the path where the last CD left him. His single "Love and War" is a raw and introspective piece written as a self-portrait describing his life and experiences at that particular time. It is a raw acoustic based piece, which has all the makings of a movie such as excitements, drama, darkness and hope.

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Lady PJ

Lady PJ is a rising star in the making. This Artist, Singer, Songwriter, and Poet lets her light shine through her music; which is graceful, elegant, poetic, and soothing to the listening ear. Allow this R&B/Neo-soul Artist to captivate you.
Lady PJ was born Philessa Nicole Hooks in Mobile, Alabama to Mr. Dewitte and Mrs. Lucy Hooks. She is the middle child of eight children. She stands tall through out the pain and manages to pick herself up every time she falls down. Her story is both inspiring and encouraging.
Her music is inspired by singers like Billie Holiday, Nora Jones, Tina Turner, and Jill Scott. Her lyrics are usually stories that are written from the heart. Her stories stem from her life lessons and her over-active imagination. She really feels that life is a puzzle that needs to be put together and no matter what, as long as you are alive, it can be fixed. I think this jazzy, sultry singer will be around for a very long time.
Clennis High

Clennis High's music is an ecclectic mixing of several genres. His singing is diffinitely 60s chicago, but his guitaring is hard to place...some label it smooth jazz; what it actually sounds like is stinging R&B...thats it!!
Clennis is the original guitar man for Houston's Archie Bell and the Drells. He was one of three individuals that helped start this Philly based group. Because of his high tenor voice he sometimes sang the top on many of their songs while performing. Because of his love for Curtis Mayfield's smooth licks...he similated them, but with a touch of 5th ward sting...back in the early days around Houston, no one could capture the Chicago sound like "Flint" (his nick name). Clennis traveled world-wide with his Drell guys, but also shared the stage with many others over his career: The Impressions, Roy Head, Stevie Wonder, Jerry Butler, Billy Butler and the Enchanters...and more. This current CD is entitled "Flint is Back in Town". It was recorded at Archie Bell's studio 58 in West Houston, TX. Clennis is playing most of the instruments, but on several cuts the old drells are present. Dobie Malone (the original bass player for the Drells) is playing some hot guitar on "Just a walk in the Park" Little is it known, but Archie Bell plays bass guitar...listen carefully to the bass lines on some of these songs...close your eyes and think back to several of Mr. Bell's songs...you can here the connection. Clennis rejects the idea that he is a jazz guitarist, though that is widely said...he calls what he plays "soft R&B". He indicates he is simply playing the songs, chords, and licks he has heard all his life. I think he put it in a nutshell when he told one person: "I play what I feel...and Feel what I play....call it what you please" And the music continues...

Misz The Groove Producer

Contemporary Music Variety:Dance Pop, Soulful RnB, Contemporary Smooth Jazz, Nu Jazz, Hip Hop, House.
My new CD titled 'Lovin' What I Do (Musical Perspectives) has been released.
I'm very glad to say that the project is getting great reviews. When you have a moment, please check out the songs at Cd Baby, Amazon and iTunes.

Maynard and the Musties
Maynard moved to New York City from Nashville in 1981 to attend art school. He quickly adjusted into the freaky surroundings of the then delapidated and vibrant New York art scene, and was a painter for well over a decade. Gradually his art became full of words and he found himself simply writing fiction and publishing a couple of xeroxed "zines." He then found himself working at Christies Auction House, and finally in the book department of that glitzy establishment, where he no longer had time to finish his increasingly lengthy fiction pieces. He had always played guitar, if poorly, and songs were generally quicker to write. The guitar was also a comfort zone, reminding him, in a fuzzy, romanticized way, of his childhood in Nashville. Ah, the memories...His first aesthetic discussion was with Kris Kristofferson at 6 years old. His babysitter's parents were out of town, she threw a party. The next morning, after Kristofferson apparently spent the night with the baby-sitter, Maynard found himself at the breakfast nook discussing with the legendary songwriter the merits of Super Sugar Crisps versus Sugar Pops.
The Musties are a nexus of friends, largely in the book or publishing or printing trade... and one used to be a librarian. Most are also southern transplants (one being from the south of France). Naa Koshie Mills, ex-librarian, New Orleans ex-pat, walked into Maynard's book shop that he once had in the Chelsea section of Manhattan. They instantly hit it off, and have been friends and musical collaborators for about 8 years, once calling themselves The Millerite-Redeemers. Maynard and Mo Jepson have known each other since the 1990s. Maynard watched Mo's progressive musical ventures, No No Bun Bun, singing solo at open mics, and later the band Mr. MacGregor. At one point Mo asked Maynard if he wanted to come to a Mr. MacGregor rehersal and play songs with them. Together with Naa Koshie, and the late, great Drew Glackin, Maynard and the Musties were born.
Maynard and the Musties is a band of mostly southern transplants—including one from the south of France—living in New York City. They are a loose network of friends that have been getting together for around six years and playing gigs at the Rodeo Bar, Lakeside Lounge, Hank’s Saloon, and othersimpatico venues. Joe Maynard, the singer-songwriter in the band, originally moved from Tennessee to New York to attend art school. Maynard had admired the work of Eric "Roscoe" Ambel for some time and, upon hearing excerpts from Chip Robinson’s album Mylow, decided to ask Ambel if he’d produce a Musties album. The 12 musical gems that comprises Cheap Cigar is the result of their collaboration.

ESQUILLE feat. Kay

Esquille has been active as a DJ, artist and producer for over 2 decades. His hits are numerous. He got his first record deal with Warner back in -87. The first single "Just 4 U" is a rarity and sought after among collectors. His biggest success was no doubt the song writing for and production of euro/dance act Dreamland. Two of their singles were worldwide released back in the mid-90's. The video of the 2nd single "Can't get enough" was put on high rotation on MTV.
Karin Strömfelt aka Kay is one of Sweden’s most talented vocalists. She has sung on numerous productions: Boney M, Dreamland, Harpo, Miisa, Magic Key to mention a few. She has just recently performed on Swedish TV with thousands of fan letters as a result.
"Miisa" was a Finnish dance music act in the mid 90's. The alleged front person/singer Miisa, didn't in fact sing at all. Original vocals were provided under cover by Swedish singer Karin Strömfelt. With a few catchy tunes, Miisa enjoyed success and 3 of her singles climbed on the US Billboard Top Ten Charts.
Dreamland was a huge dance act with releases worldwide. The songs "Anything for 4" and "Can’t get enough" are still two incredibly popular euro tracks featuring vocals by Karin.

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Arianne Lee

Arianne Lee is a songwriter worth noticing. With her own blend of humour, sadness and hopefulness, her songs have the ability to make you stop, smile, breath and remain for a moment, outside of everything else.
My album is finished’, she calls out, long after the punters have gone home. The lights shut out. 'My album is finished', she whispers to herself, in the dark. It’s been quite a journey.
Originally this album was going to be called 'shades of blue'. I lost my heart (and mind, as is often the case) and I thought I would impress this chap with my music. Make an album for him. No matter that I had known him for all of two days, no matter at all. So I trotted off to the nearest studio, love songs in hand. Once there, I played them, awfully.
My observing self was terribly embarrassed for my actual self. I stood up to go, abruptly, 'sorry, I’m sorry, I’m wasting your time', I said. 'Wait', the producer said. And my life changed. Soon it wasn’t about the chap anymore, lovely as he was. It was about the recording process, which I found to be an intricate world within itself. So things continued.... The session guys came, we recorded most of it and I went mad trying to promote it. Like that little bird in the children’s story: Are you my mother? Are you my mother? But instead it was: Will you join my mailing list? Will you join my mailing list? And then I had a flash of brilliance. Why not join a dating website to promote my music?
Okay, in retrospect it wasn’t at all brilliant, but it worked. Soon I was playing to crowds rather than just my family and 2 sleeping drunks at the bar. My album will be ready in 2 weeks, I announced confidently to the crowd. Meanwhile a handsome music producer found my dating profile and edited his own to suit.
Naturally, being a producer, my new fiancé took over the nearly finished album ....and at that point things screamed to a halt. Months ticked by as we discovered our drastically different tastes in music and in, well, everything. We were both gearing up to have the ‘um, I think we should just be friends’ talk, but we wound up having the ‘um, I think I missed my period’ talk instead. We are lucky enough to be best of friends to this day; and parents to a delightful little girl.
My album was shelved, and I took a break from music entirely while she was in her infancy. But now, as she tells me daily in exasperated tones, she’s a big girl.... so on her daddy days, I can be found busking and drinking coffee somewhere in Melbourne. Be sure to say hi if you see me. Or, better yet buy an album.
We did get around to finishing it.

Alan Jarvis

Alan is Canadian but was born in London, England. Like a million other teenagers, he started playing acoustic guitar and singing Beatles songs when he was sixteen. He began writing songs around the same time and he has now written more than 300. He started performing at solo gigs with just an acoustic guitar, then for many years was a member of a folk trio, called "Breakaway", tackling 3-part harmonies on songs by the Eagles, America, Poco and Simon & Garfunkel.
In May 2012, Alan released his fifth CD, Forever. There are 12 original songs and independent reviewers agree this is a very commercial album. It's a mix of catchy pop, dance and country with Alan playing all the instruments and singing all the vocals. The CD clearly showcases Alan as a talented songwriter and arranger. "It takes me about a year to write, record and mix a CD," says Alan. "I have a full-time job so I only get into my studio at weekends and over holidays. I'm continually learning new things about songwriting, arranging and recording and my personal target is to make each new CD better than the last one. I’m hoping these 12 new songs attract the attention of established recording artists and music publishers." As with his previous albums, Alan engaged industry veteran Jon Astley to master the "Forever" CD. Jon is based in London, England and his clients include Pete Townsend, The Who, George Harrison, Tears For Fears and Led Zeppelin.

ryan michalski

Ryan Michalski is a singer, songwriter and guitarist who comes from a small town in New Jersey called Ringwood where he lived for 25 years. He started playing guitar at the age of 14. Ryan always worked on his playing technique and writing skills. He grew up in the 80’s hair-metal generation developing a taste for indie-pop and alternative music. He moved to Tampa, Florida in 1996 and went to art school. He also dabbled in public access television and other projects. For the last 20 years he’s been writing, recording and releasing CD’s under alias’ such as Ryan Cosmonaught, Dead Dark Slide and Space King. His music is a fusion of pop, rock, metal, gothic rock and everything else in between. However, the style of music is all his own, creating an authentic, delightful out-of-the-box sound I haven’t heard in years.
Ryan Michalski released his newest single "Ninth Moon", which is an upbeat indie-rock alternative song. The song is about daydreaming, but instead of being on 'cloud 9' you are really in your own world. The storyline is easy on this one; it’s about daydreaming being a happy place. It has a great pop rock 80’s rhythm with plenty of nostalgic appeal to it. It brings you back to those glory days. It just makes you smile from one ear to the other. This single is a fine representation as to the talents of Ryan Michalski. Ryan has collaborated with many musicians from all genres and with vast musical backgrounds. Working with talent like that allows Ryan to hone in on a unique sound that is instantly identifiable by audiences worldwide. It has also created a well rounded and versed musician.
Under the alias Ryan Cosmonaught project "The Ryan Cosmonaught Project" was nominated for a German Grammy (the song was titled "Rock Star") in 2005. This is one artist that audiences would benefit to experience live. I hear he puts on a hell of a show!


NARIA is a female operatic/pop quartet that began in the fall of 2010 with opera singer Katya Tchoubar. It did not take long for other opera talents to join forces with Katya which include Anna Bateman, Michelle Danese and Annaliese Jelilian. The world has embraced this female force with gusto fusing traditional opera with a modern pop sound creating exciting and refreshing music along with a provocative stage presence. This fusion of styles became a phenomena and audiences from all over the world has fallen in love with this hot and hip style. This is a recipe for success and they have taken this notoriety and are running full speed ahead!
In October 2011, "NARIA Opera Pop Supernova" was released to a worldwide audience to rave reviews. Their single "Canadian Girl" became an instant hit with its very energetic dance/pop sound. It features NARIA in harmony and highlights each individual member with fun solo lines. What began as a simple theme for a new song, turned into an energetic pop sensation with choreography to match its upbeat, fun nature.

Paige Lewis

PAIGE LEWIS It’s not about the fame, fortune and glittery lifestyle of becoming a well-known artist that keeps 27 year-old Paige Lewis interested in continuing to create a career in music. This young woman wants to make a difference in the lives of those who listen to her songs.
"I want my music to be heard by as many people as possible," says Paige. "I believe my music is melodic, honest and heartfelt and I feel it will make an impact to those who hear it." In other words, she would like to give her fans what her favorite artists, John Mayer, The Beatles, Imogen Heap, and American alternative rock band Guster have given to her, which is great music. "I am less influenced by specific artists and more influenced by specific songs. There is nothing better than a well-written song and I can appreciate any style of music if it jumps out of the speakers," she explains.
Her newest CD, One Good Day, was recorded with acclaimed multi-instrumentalist, Matt Hammon who co-produced her debut album. One listen to this album and you may hear a comparison to Sheryl Crow and Alanis Morrissette, but she has her own unique style and the songs she sings were written from a place of great hope and optimism. "I believe this is the best record I’ve recorded and I’m ready to show everyone what I have and what I’m made of!"

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