2017 Music Reviews

Music Review Archives (since May 2010)

2016 - 2010 Music Reviews

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Rod Brown

The distinctive southern accent in Rod Brown's music is a product of his family roots and upbringing in the Carolinas. Inspired by the landscapes around him, Rod's music evokes a sense of place—a red-tailed hawk soaring over the Blue Ridge Mountains—northern lights in a prairie sky.
Rod's music has been published by Vital Body Marketing ("The Art of Relaxation" Company)
His albums, "Where Feathered Spirits Greet the Sun," and "New Morning" are available through CD Baby.

Pure finger-likin pickin fun! Hear Rod on his website.

Chris Nauman

Chris Nauman is an award winning singer/songwriter who pumps passion into his performance with his dynamic guitar work and expressive vocals. He commands the stage with a keen sense of honesty and freshness. Drawing inspiration from Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Jeff Tweedy, Colin Meloy and many others, Nauman channels his mid Western sensibilities into a spirited blend of Americana/folk rock. Sometimes caressing, sometimes kinetic, his music is always sure to please.
Growing up in Cleveland, OH. Nauman would sit at his father’s feet listening to him play the accordion. Pumped to play music himself, Nauman first picked up the accordion and then the guitar. He cut his teeth playing the local music scene in Dayton, OH during college. He was at the center of political activism in the 1980s while living in the San Francisco Bay Area. One would find him frequently playing at local rallies and antiwar protests with local activist and folk artist, Francisco Herrera. Medical school and training derailed Nauman's musical ambitions for more than a decade as he embraced a career as a medical oncologist. Ever a Renaissance man, he now embraces his artistic impulses as the singer/songwriter he was born to be.
Living in Massachusetts with his main squeeze, Suzy, Chris Nauman can be found frequently at venues in the Northeast. Look for him at coffeehouses, pubs or even busking in Harvard Square. He has shared the stage with notable musicians such as Vance Gilbert, and Si Kahn.
Menotomy Rocks Records is pleased to announce the release of "Better Angels", Nauman's second studio album. "Better Angels" is packed with 14 original songs infused with a fierce vision of living each moment deeply and deliberately.

Chris has innovative lyrics that come across well with his superb guitar work. Hear him on his website.


Flavio Ferri and Fabrizio Rossetti, both italians based in Spain, define themselves VISUAL MUSICIANS because their music always create images inside their head.
On 13th May 2016 they released their first album, GRETA QUIT IRONING, where 8 female singers share the 13 song and the 13 music videos the two artist created.
Flavio Ferri reached his popularity at the begin of the 21st century with his italian band DELTA V while Fabrizio Rossetti was always divided between music and filmmaking.
3 out of the 13 songs are not in english. There is a chinese song, one russian and another one in spanish.
They are also collaborating with Younes Bachir, former member of Fura dels Baus, one of the most important alternative theatre Company of the world, working on the live show, an artistic portable installation.

Music you can taste. We felt a little voyueristic listening but couldn't get enough. Sample "GIRLS BITE DOGS" on their YouTube Channel.

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Robert Hunter

Robert Hunter is an American singer-songwriter, poet and reluctant live acoustic performer, who first gained popularity and critical acclaim, performing his original songs including "Nights Like This" and "Wasted and Sober," for audiences across the Northeast. Now currently in production in Nashville, "Nights Like This," will be Roberts debut studio EP, scheduled for release in the fall of 2016. His first single, "365" is set for release on May 19, 2016.
Known for his eccentric personality, deeply personal lyrics, and emotive vocals, Robert grew up in a small town in Central Pennsylvania, and began writing "songs to communicate with the opposite sex," at age 14. According to Robert, "There is simply no other legitimate reason for writing songs to this day." He writes at least a song each evening. And when necessary, he drinks "good beer," and reads "good books," for inspiration. "And this is very often necessary," he says. And he admits most songs are "made to be forgotten." What's the point? "Its therapy," he'll say with a smile, "and any serious writer who convinces themselves otherwise, is most likely a fraud, or a fool."

Robert's voice captures quality that seems craggy yet pure and delightfull, his lyrics captures the essence of storytelling. Listen to Robert on his website.

John Denney

Pistols at Dawn is the debut solo album by John Denney. It delivers a powerful mix of deep lyrics and addictive rock tunes. His experimentation with various instruments collected on his travels of the world include grungy biting guitar with fast paced riffs, huge drum rolls, haunting strings, uplifting keys, slide guitar, the occasional harmonica, sitar and dual harp interludes but most of all that unforgettable voice. Pistols at Dawn is a chance for John to show off his many talents in the solo arena. He loves nothing more than sitting down with an acoustic guitar and laying downs some stunning tracks which once layered with his various skills has produced his "Masterpiece". You should hear him play live!

Good first album with catchy lyrics and daring country sound. Hear John on his website.

Federico Carro

Born in La Spezia on 15 June 1991, Federico Carro grew up in Vernazza surrounded by the radiant nature of those places, spending his time in the panorama of the sea and hills, drawing and painting these landscapes, being inspired from them for his subsequent works. Later on he enrolled in the Cardarelli art school in La Spezia, where his artistic side emerged even more, discovering interest in the world of writing and shortly after he wrote the rough draft of his book "Il segreto del verziere". Towards the beginning of his last year in high school a childhood friend had an accident making the artist change his direction, concentrating mainly on the music world. He wrote a poem dedicated to her, which he then made into a song. Once he finished school he went to work for his uncle who managed a bar - restaurant in Vernazza. He started to save money to take private piano and singing lessons, managing to finish the song he had written for his friend's passing, giving it the title: "Come un lampo". Not long after he created a music video on the song and then other videos for his unreleased work, until he completed his album, giving the cd the name of the song dedicated to his friend: Come un lampo. After writing and completing his book "il segreto del verziere" Federico concentrated onthe promotion of both the book and cd that followed with the creation of a promotional video using the views and mysterious places that Vernazza is set in. At the same time, he got to know a girl from Turin who he decided to go to meet one day. Going around the city togheter he got the inspiration for his second novel: "il re della luce l'ordine degli dei oscuri".

In Italian or English this musician commands poetic harmonies and strong distict vocals. Each song a pleasure to listen to. See what we mean on Federico's YouTube Channel.

Jackie Venson

March 1, 2016 – Singer/songwriter and guitar virtuoso Jackie Venson has released her latest single "Smile", on iTunes, and most other major digital music distribution platforms, as well as music streaming services such as Spotify. "Smile" is the result of a collaboration with San Diego singer/songwriter Christopher Dale, ultimately inspired by Venson's undeniable and ever present, trademark facial expression. A smooth blend of R&B, soul-infused Pop/Rock, "Smile" resonates with a universal message that embodies the positive kinetic energy of a friendly gesture, "Smile and get one back..."

That's what I'm talking about. A song that really makes a change in you. It makes you "Smile"! Smile for yourself go listen to Jackie on her YouTube Channel.

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

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Little Riddles

Formed in November of 2015, Little Riddles has been exploring the genre Americana from their home base of Minneapolis, MN. Little Riddles's music is characterized by a focus on lyrical content, driving rhythmic tempos, and pleasing melodic lines. The band's music summons much of the American imagery found in the roots rock and country genres. The artwork of their debut EP parallels the scenery and mythos conjured by the tracks found on it.
Minneapolis folk rock quartet Little Riddles proudly released their debut eponymous five-track EP in Minneapolis, on April 30th, 2016.
Recorded and mixed by Joe Mabbott at The Hideaway Studio where hometown heroes Atmosphere and Dessa are produced, the EP represents the core attributes of Little Riddles's music - driving rhythms, simple melodies, and a strong focus on lyrical content
Having completed a small tour through Wisconsin, the band will remain in Minneapolis for the spring and perform at various Twin Cities venues.

Quick and catchy these guys are superb in laying down the sweet flowing lyrics. They make you want to jump up and dance! Don't belive us? Then check out Little Riddles on their YouTube Channel.

G a t

I was born in Marseille, at the beginning of the autumn, 1996. Very fast fascinated by music, I learnt to appreciate the classic music when my mother vocalized in the kitchen but also the Corsican singings, during summer, at my grandmother's house.
The electric guitar was the first instrument to which I turned, not the easiest, certainly, but it allowed me to express myself by singing. I then adopted the acoustic guitar, my most faithful ally in my knocks of blues...Then my side " touch everything " led me towards the piano. It is especially by intuition and pure pleasure that I sing, occasionally on small stages, with these instruments with a certain shyness but always a huge happiness. Singing represents my most beautiful adventure and it is with a lot of emotion that I share these simple moments with my family and my friends, who are my main source of motivation.
An album? I dreamed about it secretly without daring to hope for it, today it is a reality that I begin to realize.

We hope that an album is not long in the making as we at Music Arts would love to hear more! Listen to her vocal wonderings on her website.

Kathy Greenholdt

Chicago songwriter Kathy Greenholdt will officially release her sixth album, The Pilgrim, on June 11. The new recordings come on the heels of Kathy's recent life-changing pilgrimages to Spain, Rome, and Paris. The seven songs ponder spiritual themes and honor the memory of Kathy's sister, Lynn, who traveled extensively before losing her battle to breast cancer in 2014. One track was written high up in the mystical mountains of Montserrat, Spain.
For her new project, Kathy wrote each song and, as with her last album, collaborated with musician/arranger/producer Steve Dawson. Kathy provides lead vocals, while Steve plays nearly all instruments, including drums. Kathy and Steve are the sole performers on the recordings.

A new approach to spiritual music diffenately not "Lady Madona" Kathy has her very own style. Hear her on her website.

Meredith Rounsley

With a warm, soulful voice and easygoing stage presence, Meredith Rounsleyhas been captivating audiences near and far for years. The Weapon EP, her newest release, came together over several years and across two continents as she travelled between the USA and Australia. During that time she developed her voice as a storyteller - crafting songs that explore love, heartbreak, and distance with an unflinching honesty. From the rhythmic pop-soul of Weapon to sweeter ballads Falling Easy and Trying, the songs on this new project resonate with sincerity. That's probably why it has already gained both local and national attention, filling hometown clubs and making her a "New and Notable" artist on Noisetrade. Meredith will hit the road this summer on a Northeast U.S. tour, gathering stories and songs along the way.

We love her sound and only wish we could here more of this really talented artist. listen to Meredith on her website.

Jerry Breiner

Jerry Breiner (guitar, vocals) is a Midwest native, though he has called California home since 1980 and has been a mainstay of the local Ventura, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara club and concert scenes since. Performing professionally since the age of 8, Jerry is a multi-instrumentalist on guitar, piano, organ, marimba/vibes, mandolin, banjo, dobro and percussion instruments, and he has performed and recorded as both a singer-songwriter and multi-tasking session musician and producer in St Louis, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boulder, Nashville and Orlando, FL. Jerry was signed as a staff writer to Sony-Tree Publishing in Nashville for a number of years before moving to California, and he has played with or opened for acts as diverse as Al Stewart, Karla Bonoff, Mama’s Pride, Heartsfield, Emmylou Harris, Billie and the Beaters, John Batdorf (Batdorf and Rodney) and many others. Jerry received a Bachelor of Music Degree in Theory/Composition from Webster University and was also valedictorian in his graduating class from the prestigious Full Sail Center for the Recording Arts, a professional trade university specializing in live and studio engineering. He prefers walks on the sand and the color green - and getting caught in the rain..

A rock and roll superstar! Jerry has played beside some great artists and shows he holds his own. Hear him on his YouTube Channel.

Rich Lowe

Rich Lowe is a singer, song writer, dancer and producer; making sure not to disappoint. Rich Lowe started singing at the age of 14 as he attended the Brooklyn High School of The Arts. His music teacher Mrs. Charlene Corbett-Thomas discovered his talent and from then on Rich dedicated his life to music, sharing his phenomenal singing and songwriting talent with the world. In 2015 Rich obtained a publishing deal with BMG/Chrysalis. He is currently promoting his singles "Get Enough" and "Ain't No Sorries" which are getting much attention at the moment. Rich Lowe is a phenomenal singer and performer that does not disappoint.

We agree, Rich does not disapoint. He is spirited and his words are sung with a vibrancy that others wish they had. Hear Rich on his YouTube Channel.

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Mell Ritter

This song Shiny Red Shoes is a cross over country/pop song about a woman finding her strength when she tries on a pair of magical red shoes. Shiny Red shoes written by Melissa "Mell" Ritter And Deborah Savage produced,arranged by Byron Fry.

Not big on self-promotion we hope we hear more from this lovely lady.

On See Me With Your Heart (her 9th studio album), produced by GRAMMY-winner Kenny Greenberg (Allison Moorer, The Mavericks, Joan Baez), Eve Selis delivers 11 songs forged in the fires of physical, emotional and spiritual healing.
A rollerblading accident in the summer of 2014 left this 7-time San Diego Music Award winner with a torn hamstring and 6 long months of rehabilitation. What would have been "down" time for some became a time of cleaning up, growing up and stepping up for Selis. This period of quiet introspection led her on a journey of honest self-discovery and planted the seeds of a new artistic vision in her fertile heart. She set out to write from a place of vulnerability and even more openness than ever before. "One positive thing that my injury did for me," says Selis,"was to force me to slow down and be more present in my life. Unconditional love is a concept that runs throughout the songs on this CD, with unconditional love of myself being the hardest to accept."
"These songs look deep into the truth of my life as I am today. I had to face the wounds without flinching and learn to celebrate the scars. We all have them and they make up who we are. Instead of being ashamed of the scars we should rejoice. It means we've healed, and that ultimately, 'Love Has The Final Say.'"
The title track "See Me With Your Heart" was the first song written, and set the tone conceptually for the entire project. It was written as a submission for the animated film The Little Prince and captures the simple wisdom of that classic book-seeing past the external to the essential. And beyond that, letting love rule the day.
She enlisted her musical partner of 25 years, songwriter/guitarist Marc "Twang" Intravaia, to help finish the writing as well as her long-time Nashville collaborator Kim McLean and award-winning San Diego songwriter Calman Hart. When the songs were ready she knew she had something special and contacted Nashville producer/guitarist Kenny Greenberg to help her realize her vision. Greenberg and his team of Nashville's finest added a new dimension to Selis' music, creating at once a vast sonic soundscape for her powerhouse vocals and a lush intimate backdrop for the most personal songs of her career. See Me With Your Heart redefines who Eve Selis is as a singer, a songwriter and as an artist.

What good things can we say about Eve's music that hasn't been said before? As a singer-songwriter Eve is incomparable. We can't get enough! Hear hear live if you can if not check out her website.

Dennis Filaofsoul Crocker

Dennis Crocker's musical experience has its start in Pennsauken. Growing up in town, he learned violin and trombone in elementary school, moving on to acoustic and electric bass in high school. The member of Pennsauken High School's Class of 1968 took his show "on the road," joining the Army and playing in a variety of bands on the bases where he was stationed. After a 21-year career in the military, Crocker became the audio/video technician for the Pennsauken School District, a position he's held for the past two decades. And while he doesn't play as frequently anymore, the music never left him, as evident by the release of his first album of music, "Homemade," which features "highly rhythmic, grooving, swinging, smooth jazz and funk." What's even more impressive is how Crocker develops his songs. Surprisingly, he only plays bass on one track in the album and doesn't sing. Dennis Crocker, a Pennsauken native and audio/visual technician for the Pennsauken School District, is debuting his first album, "Homemade." Proceeds from the sales of his album in April will go to scholarships for students graduating from Phifer Middle School.

A grand collection of jazzy instrumentals that will keep you swinging in the beat. Hear Dennis' spicy music on his YouTube Channel.

Stuart Hollinger

My name is Stuart Hollinger and I was raised in Hawaii on the island of Oahu. I come from a musical family that plays Hawaiian music. I've been the "black" sheep and don't play Hawaiian music and they still love me ! At the age of 13 I wanted to join a Rock-N-Roll band but could not afford to buy an instrument so became the lead singer for the band. At the age of 18 got my first guitar and a few years later I was playing clubs in Honolulu. I learned the bass along the way and did top 40 stuff around town. I moved to Kaua'i in 1984 and continued to play music for a couple more years. I then stopped playing for 20 years and had a "real" job. 5 years ago I had the feeling that I wanted to record an album. I didn't want any regrets and wake one day and say to myself that I could have , should have. So I recoreded and released my first album in 2013 called "Dangerous Crossing". It won an award for Rock album of the year in 2014 at the Na Hoku Hanohano awards (the Hawaiian version of the Grammys). I've released this current album December 2015 called "Endanged Species" to which I am donating a portion of my sales proceeds to wildlife organizations here in Hawaii and in the mainland. I'm also promoting awareness of the plight of our Wild life organizations. Please donate and promote and be the one to make a difference!

After a 20 year hiatus we are personally glad that Robert found his way back to the music! He has a lot to offer. Hear what we mean on his website.

Robin Baugh

Throughout the ages, music has always been an integral part of stirring the soul; no matter how it is born. In her debut album, Robin Baugh wanted to explore the harmony of creation and the energy that rises from it.
Robin is a coffee lover, an armchair sailor, an author and an iPad artist. She is married, loves a good book, cherishes the beauty of the ocean and loves to spend time creating music and other works that will inspire.

Celtic harmonies that put to rest the spirit and flow with an abiding sense of peace. Listen to Robin on her YouTube Channel.


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

By the Editor of Music Arts Magazine

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