2018 Music Reviews

Music Review Archives (since May 2010)

2017 Music Reviews

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Black Eye Affair

Black Eye Affair is the music project of singer-songwriter, Jimmy Long from Lancaster CA. It is a mix of pop, folk, Americana, and alternative music; driven by acoustic guitar and lyrics. Jimmy grew up surrounded by music, church choir and singing songs with family members helped him find his voice early. When he picked up the guitar at the age of 17, it took on a new dimension. He immediately began writing songs, and has not stopped since.

We at MA hopes he continues to write and sing. Great stuff! Hear him on his website.

Bobby Joe Owens & Retro Deluxe

Bobby Joe Owens is a new age Renaissance Man. Best known as a Singer/Songwriter and Band Leader/Front Man for the band Retro Deluxe, Bobby Joe is also a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, a father, inventor, artist, entrepreneur, restaurateur, philanthropist, producer, innovator and so much more. Bobby Joe didn't start singing until 2006 and since 2008, he has written over 70 songs under his alter ego Robert J. Thompson and has recorded five (5) albums with local, regional, national and internationally recognized musicians including Jimbo Mathus (Squirrel Nut Zippers, Buddy Guy, Tri-State Coalition, etc.), Grammy Award Winner Billy Earheart (The Amazing Rythym Aces, Hank Williams, Jr., etc), Marty MacMillan (Blue Plate Special, Retro Deluxe, MacMillan Guitars) and Guitarist Zach Sweeney (Wayne "The Train" Hancock, Lucky Tubb, Retro Deluxe, etc.)!
Bobby Joe Owens has been called garrulous, pugnacious, legendary, boozy, seductive and whatnot. Call him what you want, but his songs are infectious, his vocal stylings are unique and his passion, energy and love for his music are ever-present.
Hippy Holiday is a fun and uplifting tune that will add some diversity to your Holiday Music Collection!

Well folks here is a great tune to kick off the holidays! Listen to "Happy Holiday" on Bobby Joe's website.

Ulysses Salett

Ulysses Salett AKA UL has been a lover of music for over twenty five years. His style of music is many. born and raised in Cleveland Ohio Ulysses got his talents from his mother Geraldine Salett who studied at Universities and played in churches.
Number 2 on the Reverbnation Charts and on the top 10 charts on Number One Music for 24 weeks. Ulysses was Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio by two parents fully active in the church and community, he learned to play paino from watching his mother play hylms for the local congragation. Later Ulysses was put in school for classical theory at the age of eleven years of age but immediately kicked out for showing more interest in eating the instructors lunch.
Ulysses writes music such as Contemporary Christian, Gospel, Pop, Soul, Jazz, and folk. Producing and engineering for the past twenty years he sings,writes, play the keys, and guitar. His stlye of music is remarkable, soulful, riveting and he loves what he does if i can encourage one person with the music created it would mean a great deal to him.

More then Gospel or Soul Ulysses' music reaches new depths and demensions of creativity. Hear him on "The Artist's Show".

Royal Kona Coffee

King George

Australian band King George return to the kingdom with a new single 'Try' featuring American artist Casii Stephen. Lead singer George Zois met Casii at the 2016 Independent Music awards in NYC. King George were nominated for best rock album (Love Songs and Medications). Casii Stephan won the love song category for her song 'I Like The Way'. George had already written Try as a duet but was waiting for the perfect voice to fill the spot. George says 'I wasn't actively searching for the voice at the time as I had parked the song for a while but once I heard her sing it just hit me and I knew I had to ask, luckily she accepted.'
King George marries pop melancholy with rock rawness and has been described as 'The Killers meets Muse.' (Creative Control Mag Feb 2014)
The bands second album 'Love Song and Medications' was nominated for best hard/rock album at the 2016 Independent Music Awards in New York City.
The album features the singles 'Hover' that won the Best Thematic Award at the Australian Independent Music Video Awards 2013 and 'Broken Hearted Whispers' that was nominated at Australian Independent Music Video Awards 2014 and Hollywood in Music Media Awards 2014.
King George played Indie Week in Toronto 2013 and Canadian Music Week in 2015.

Glad That George "unparked" the song with Casii and gave the song a chance to come together.

Hear the band with and without Casii on their YouTube channel.

Lese Majesty

Something very special happened when a collective of imaginative musicians got together to complete a batch of demos. As the ramshackle posse morphed into a polished band intriguingly dubbed Lese Majesty, and finished music began to waft out into the surrounding music scene, people began to talk about this alt-rock quartet bursting with edgy hooks and provocative ideals.
An air of mystique surrounded the band as the promising EP was quietly released, but no shows were on the docket. Now, the Sydney, Australia-based four-piece band pulls back the curtains to reveal a calendar of performance dates and a new dark and dignified EP, Cold Reason For Change produced by Dead Letter Circus's Luke Palmer.
Lese Majesty is a world-class alt-rock band with an incisive and incendiary perspective. "There is a theme running through what we do that is exemplified by the band's name," bassist Joel Henderson details. "And that's self-sovereignty. Freedom of choice, freedom to put what you want into your body, and freedom to travel unrestricted." Adds vocalist Jodie Lee Gibson: "When we sit down at dinner, or for a few beers, that is what we talk about, it gets real-we write about our beliefs and empowerment."

We like their philosophy and their sound. This group is dangerously good. Listen to them on their YouTube channel.

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Galissa Liebeskind 4tet

Marc Liebeskind's early training in music was at the Music Conservatory of Geneva, followed later by more advanced lessons at the Swiss Jazz School in Bern and finally more intense 'one-on-ones' in New York with such masters of contemporary guitar as John Scofield, John Abercrombie and Bill Frisell.
On returning to Switzerland in 1985, he put together the 'Marc Liebeskind Quartet'. With this musical constellation, which was his namesake, Marc explored contrasts within less conventional musical forms whether they had a certain Brazilian character for instance or a über urban vibe. He was playing with topical themes and iconic idioms to produce a solid 'Jazz' sound that the quartet presented at scores of festivals in countries across Europe, Africa and Brazil. During these years he also collaborated via several projects in duos as well as with big bands to further his interest in teaching and workshopping music, notably with AMR. He sought also to teach himself, in doing so - the art of absorbing and assimilating sound.
Around 1997 his musical walkabouts took him to Africa, the extraordinary rhythms of Mandingo and Wassoulou and some of the foremost maestros of these traditions Toumani Diabaté, Bassekou Kouaiyté and Kélétigui Diabaté. These encounters resulted in the formation of the group 'Taffetas' which quickly went international with performances in the UK, France, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, North Korea, Zanzibar and Tanzania.
Roughly around the time since the turn of the century Marc embarked on a journey of musical discovery of the classical tradition of the Northern India. In India too, as he had in his previous journeys, Marc sought out and studied under some of grand masters of the tradition. This time however he did something he had not done before. To adequately assimilate and express the intricacies of this genre Marc modified and enhanced his guitar to create a unique instrument and sound. He named this creation the 'Sit Guitar' - an amalgamation of the Guitar and Sitar. With his beloved 'Sit Guitar' Marc has since played not just traditional Hindustani compositions but also a repertoire that he has created. He has in the process collaborated with such greats as Pandit Anindo Chatterjee, Rakesh Chaurasia, Rupak Kulkarni, to name a few. In the year 2006, he created the group 'GendeRevolution' with the Kolkata table virtuoso Nabankur Bhattacharia and the very talented Banarasi Violinist Sukhhdev Mishra. More recently in 2009 Marc conceptualised the 'Atman Project', in part to relive his jazz roots within the Hindustani canvas, with the jazz Flautist Guillaume Barraud and the tablist Prabhu Edouard.

This is jazz that you can listen to all day long. A wonder to behold. Come get your fix on Marc's YouTube channel.

Dan Knight

Dan Knight is a musician and also a writer; he plays 80, 70 rock and new country music. Dan has performed all over North America due to his talented voice; he is well loved by people. He mostly does casino from Vegas to Ontario Canada.
Dan has been playing for over 35 years, people all over North America and suburb loves his style of play. He does singles, singing with his custom backing tracks. As a professional and well-experienced writer, he wrote all of his songs himself and signed with Steam Whistle Records, Canada. He has produced many notable albums.
He is currently a demo singer in Nashville and also plays in many big Country bands. Dan is blessed with lovely kids, he loves singing and writing.

And we are blessed to hear some good ol' country music. Hear Dan's latest works on his https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUGFKrhrpwJX8C9vaBKfAGQ?view_as=subscriber.

Kristaps Bakis

It all started on a pretty ordinary day when I first saw the artwork of this monkey with sunglasses by artist Zane Karklina. First pop-up in my head was - now, that would be a great album cover! And Zane told me - go on, take it! (That's what happens when people start having fun with their life). And I am so grateful for that.
Later, I spent a lot of time just staring at the monkey. For a very simple reason. I had no idea what to do with it. At that time I was playing guitar in a band named "Inqognito". All of my musical efforts were devoted to the band. But this monkey behind the leaves didn't really fit within the concept of the band.
And I thought - but why not? I could record an album of my own. I had some songs, some of them more than 15 years old. I could write some new stuff. For sure, there's no problem with the material.
Kristaps Bakis ir born in Riga, Latvia (21.09.1982). During his career played in several bands, including Apple Machine and Inqognito.

So you might think Kristaps records in a "Doll Studio" (which he does) and he started his own record company so someone would publish him (which he did) and you might think you can listen to him on his Soundcloud page (which you can). But be prepared for some very interesting music.

Peter Lloyd

International recording artist Peter Lloyd is one of Jamaica's finest entertainers. He entered the creative industry as an actor and has achieved a highly successful career in film and television. Now, one of Jamaica's most diverse and multi-faceted personalities, Peter Lloyd is a highly respected singer, songwriter, actor and broadcaster. His music catalogue includes four number one singles – Tonight in Japan; Searching in the United States, UK and Jamaica, Oh My Darling in Jamaica and Blood On Your Hands worldwide. In recent years the acclaimed singer has had several Top10 singles, Wake Dem Up, Dance Hall Queen, Pose, and Gold Digga to name a few. Peter Lloyd also penned and performed the title track for the movie Trois called Menage A Trois. Peter Lloyd's 2016 single Pure Love has created a new wave across the reggae markets worldwide with it's R&B infused sound, giving it great crossover appeal. On the heels of Pure Love comes 'Woman', a reggae remake of the classic John Lennon single, produced by legendary reggae producer Dean Fraser.
Lloyd's sophomore album Stories From I Father's Country, garnered rave reviews worldwide and features a number of his hit singles. This followed the critically acclaimed debut album Transitions released in 1999. Peter Lloyd is one of the finest live performers in the Reggae genre and has headlined major festivals and shows across Europe, United States of America and Jamaica. Among the singer's notable achievements is a feature on CNN's ROOTS: Our Journeys Home, becoming one of an exclusive group of reggae artiste to appear on CNN.

Peter does a great cover of Jon Lenon's "Woman" along with other hits and his reggae stylings on his YouTube channel.

Papa Satch

Papa Satch is a Singer/Songwriter/Producer.He started his music career as a founding member of the bands "Black Horizon,"Blank Stare" and "Mercy Hit".He was a integral member of the seminal rock band "Spoof".As producer he wrote sang on and organized the critically acclaimed "Actress, Doggin It" Album.In recent years he toured many of the top clubs in the N.Y.C. Metropolitan Area . Steve Ronsen is a versatile singer, songwriter, and musician who clearly defines his own unique brand of guitar-driven pop/rock. He is also an award-winning musical director and a member of the wildly popular band Quikdraw.

Very cool album from "Papa Satch". Listen to them on their YouTube channel.

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The Brothers Figaro Orchestra

The 1990s brought a renewed interest in the swing bands of the first half of the twentieth century. Somewhat in that vein, though unearthed from someplace more deeply buried, the Brothers Figaro have mined Rudy Vallee and early radio to produce a set of Christmas music that pretty nearly captures the style of that musical era. The Brothers succeed admirably at using this oddly stylized method to produce a very listenable set of Christmas songs. I am unfamiliar with these styles and with the nomenclature necessary to classify the musical genres included on the CD. However, most of it I would characterize as early jazz and pop styles prevalent in the twenties and thirties, and all of it music you just don't hear being revived in the same way as some of the other, later jazz styles.
I particularly liked the almost shocking realism of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and the plaintive pathos of O Come O Come Emanuel. Also, there's the title track, Old Time Christmas, an original composition by the Brothers Figaro about a lover lamenting another Christmas alone, elegantly performed in an early big band style.
The orchestrations captured a strong sense of the styles they sought to mimic; nevertheless, it was still possible for me to detect a little of the post-modern irony inherent in the reading. But, I didn't mind this. In fact, it was the sense that I was listening to an impression--not unlike a Nixon impression by Rich Little, or somebody--that gave the music its endearing quality.- Richard Banks
These two guys look familiar because you've seen them before. On records, on tour, and on screen, Bill Bonk and Phil Parlapiano -- aka The Brothers Figaro -- have worked with many of the foremost musical artists of our day.

A great start to this Christmas season by listening to The Brothers Figaro on their YouTube channel.

Jake McRawlings

A singer and writer of longstanding, Jake McRawlings' music comes from the heart; "Children's Christmas Wish" represents that approach, and the positive response to it is a great way to reach people this holiday season; work continues on the full album it will be a part of, and plans are for early Spring release, but Jake is pleased to be sharing Children's Christmas Wish with listeners this holiday season, hopeful programmers will share it with their listeners, and gratified so many are responding. Love and peace for Christmas and the New Year.

From Bluegrass and country to holiday songs Jake brings it all home. Listen to him on his website.

Tony Clarke

Re-mixed version of "Little old Christmas tree" this is one of my favorites from my album "Snowing in New York"

Great vocals singing some old favorite Holiday and traditional country on his website.

Celine Schmink

The new album, which is her second studio album and fifth release, debuted in America and France in late June 2017. The songs are predominantly of the Roots Rock and folk genre. She called the new LP "Faded Wanderings" and this new release comprises of twelve (12) different tracks. The LP features a professional singer and some of Céline's friends, which makes the album very cool and airy reaching parts of the mind a listener will never expect.
Most of the songs on the LP were initially pre-produced and arranged alongside musician and French DJ, Eric Miller before their release this year. The apparent professionalism in the album arrangement makes one eager to listen to the album several times. Frenchman, Mitch Bontemps did the Mix and Mastering of the album.
The album is embedded with a positive message in each song and that message is; 'to love and love even when all fails.' The album speaks about several things in life that are beginning to or that have faded away, touching the metaphoric aspects of life. These fading elements could be memories, dreams, love, passion. However, Céline urges listeners through the song to love and continue to love no matter the circumstance.
Céline Schmink is a French singer-songwriter, auto harpist. Her music is associated with folk scene centered in Paris. She gradually achieved recognition through performances with her first album La ballade d'Anissa (songs about Parisian cabarets). She has continued to find more success working with Californian studio Studio PROS. Paris-Memphis LP shows how individual Céline is, very regardless of her influences: bluesy compositions, pop-folk ballads, nostalgic and haunting, bass and emotional unique voiceprint.

Céline has a unique style that will capture the imagination of many a poet and balladeer. Listen to her 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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