Dik Banovich Hot Cookin’ Mama

Fri Aug 31, 2018

Banovich is an interesting guy, a guitar picker and songwriter with his feet firmly planted in both blues and Americana music traditions, a wealthy combination that often produces genuine pearls when least expected.

Following on from his 2016 release ‘Acoustic Roots and Blues,’ Banovich here serves up a cracking dish of modern classics peppered with his own writing in the genre, while always pushed along by his punchy and often fiery fretwork. Tracks range from classic standards like ‘Walkin’ the Dog’ and ‘Walking Blues’ to the folk-roots classic, ‘Black is the Color’ and the seldom heard ‘Blues Run the Game’ originally from the mostly long-forgotten and overlooked sixties US writer-picker, Jackson C Frank.

As a result, Banovich, a Scot who was partly raised in the blues hotbed of Chicago, brings a refreshingly delightful and innovative take to the blues music table with ‘Hot Cookin’ Mama,’ a twelve-track release that rocks and ripples with sensitivity, hooks and hotspots throughout. This is an acoustic-driven album to savor, a rare thing these days, and a thing of great beauty. Buy it while you can.

Jill Jackson Are We There Yet?

Fri Aug 24, 2018

This is hardly a blues release but, that said, it’s a truly wonderful album from a young(ish) Scottish singer-songwriter, who can sure put together a fine lyrical flourish with some equally fine melodies. All ten tracks are self-written and the package was produced by musician, Boo Hewardine, in Glasgow, at Rab Noakes’ Kyoti Recording studios. The result is a truly exceptional release, an irresistible offering that is both hauntingly aching and delightful in pretty much equal measure.

Canadian Roots and Blues Singer, Songwriter Judy Brown Releases 'Say It’

Fri Aug 24, 2018

British Columbia roots and blues singer, songwriter, guitarist Judy Brown celebrates the southern Ontario launch of her new full-length solo recording titled ‘Say It’ with two key concerts. The first show is in Hamilton at Mississippi Queen Foods Restaurant on Thursday, September 6, and the second is in Mississauga at the Southside Shuffle, 20th Anniversary Port Credit Blues and Jazz Festival on Friday, September 7, 2018. Note: See all concert details below.

Produced by Maple Blues and JUNO award-winners Gary Kendall (Downchild Blues Band) and Teddy Leonard (Fathead) – ‘Say It’ (released May 18, 2018) – represents Brown’s journey in roots and blues that began in Alberta, followed by 30 years in the Toronto music scene and now marks an exciting next chapter. After taking time to raise her two children, in 2017, Brown made a move west to Nelson, BC (to be near family and a supportive arts community) and returned to recording with long-time musical friends and collaborators Kendall and Leonard.

Mike Munson: Rose Hill

Fri Aug 17, 2018

This is a new artist and a new label both with strong connections to bluesman Jimmy ‘Duck’ Holmes and his family-run downtown café-bar-juke joint in Bentonia Mississippi. Munson has released a few self-produced indie efforts in recent years but ‘Rose Hill’ marks a change with a new US blues label and an optimistic purpose that shines through each successive track.

Munson favours acoustic guitar mostly, with some enjoyable and understated slide-work also thrown into the mix. His own approach is clearly influenced by the likes of Skip James and Jack Owens, both pioneers of the style now largely labeled, ‘Bentonia Blues,’ a type of picking that leans heavily on tradition but sparked-up by haunting, eerily redolent minor tunings. This is the style favored by Jimmy ‘Duck’ Holmes himself, who guests here on one track, and which pretty much owes its origins to Holmes’s family business, the renowned Blue Front Café in Bentonia where the album was recorded.

Ace Frehley Releases New Track Rockin’ With The Boys

Fri Aug 17, 2018

Founding KISS guitarist and Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame member, Ace Frehley, has released a new song called Rockin' With The Boys. This is the second song Frehley has released this year, from his forthcoming all-new Spaceman album, due October 19, 2018, via Entertainment One (eOne). Frehley previously released the track, Bronx Boy, in April.

Spaceman, Frehley’s eighth solo LP, features nine new original tracks including a cover of Eddie Money’s, I Wanna Go Back, a ripping power pop makeover of the original.

Wily Bo Walker: Almost Transparent Blues

Fri Aug 17, 2018

Wily Bo Walker is one of those guys who never seems to fail to deliver interesting, varied, finger-on-the-pulse blues music that rips and roars along pulling in a huge variety of influences and crossing genres at almost every twist or turn. Originally from Scotland, Walker is a London-based picker, singer-songwriter who is prepared to nail his colors and balls to the wall with a remarkable release bulging at the seams with sheer class and originality.

In recent years he has turned out albums that always surprise and delight in pretty much equal measure. His fretwork is gripping and driving while his voice scratches the paint from bar-room walls and clears the head with ease. With this latest offering, ‘Almost Transparent Blues,’ Walker again turns up the heat to produce an eleven-track album that holds echoes of Stevie Ray one moment followed by Lightnin’ Hopkins and Springsteen or Joe Cocker the next. Each successive cut draws the listener deeper into his revelatory riptide and rattles the roof with startling effect and essence.

That Summer Compilation featuring 0 hype, Ed Roman and Nina Amelio

Fri Aug 03, 2018

Some of the greatest artists in our modern lexicon have been introduced to us through the magic of mixtapes and compilation albums. A lot of the time, comps aren’t necessarily geared towards conveying a specific artistic narrative or theme and purely designed to get attention and commercial interest ignited in a record label, and other times they represent a change in the tide culturally and professionally throughout music and pop culture. BWH Music Group has become synonymous with hosting some of the biggest and brightest young stars on their roster, and the label’s epic new comp That Summer is nothing short of an eclectic, albeit insightful look into what the future of pop music in a variety of genres is going to look like in the next ten years.

Spayed Koolie - Ashtray Change

Fri Jul 27, 2018

Spayed Koolie is the name of a little band from Florida that, if you’re keen on country music, you should definitely start familiarizing yourself with over the next coming months, because they’re coming to take over. Their latest record Ashtray Change is indeed a garage rock record tailored specifically for fans of lumbering, white-hot southern stylizations and old-school outlaw country, and even though I didn’t know who these guys were a little more than a week ago, they’ve already made a handful of new fans out of myself and the people that I’ve shared this new album with recently. What makes Ashtray Change such a sexy choice for newcomers to the country music genre isn’t just its open accessibility that features shades from a variety of influences seeming to work together in this setting much better than they did on their own; it’s the fact that for perhaps the very first time in the history of country music, we’ve got some bright young stars who aren’t singing about the same old subject matter and pretending that it’s somehow different or revolutionary compared to those who came before them.

CKY Release Wiping Off The Dead Music Video

Fri Jul 20, 2018

CKY (Chad I Ginsburg, Jess Margera and Matt Deis) have released a brand new music video for their track, Wiping Off The Dead, from their most recent LP, The Phoenix. Directed by Dave Causa, this is the third music video we've seen from the band off their current release.

"Our good friend Dave Causa filmed us rehearsing for our UK tour last summer and the end result was us making a badass music video," says drummer Jess Margera. "It was filmed before we ever played a single show for the release of our album. Thank you, Dave, and thank you CKY alliance! Enjoy this great video from the archives."

Ruston Kelly Releases New Single Mockingbird

Fri Jul 20, 2018

The official music video for Ruston Kelly’s new single, Mockingbird, has premiered across Viacom platforms in an unprecedented partnership between CMT Music, MTVU and MTV Live. Watch/share here.

Of the song and video, Kelly shares, “I wrote Mockingbird in a Dominican hotel, on the edge of a bed, at like six in the morning. I needed a release from a cyclical pattern of a doomed relationship. The kind that leaves you with less than what you went in with. But, what directors Stephen Kinigopoulos and Alexa King reminded me with their proposed story about a single mother, is even though I write about my own personal situations, it’s also everyone’s story: the human condition, our connected plight in a mad world. Regardless of how it’s expressed, we all struggle through something with hope on the other side. That’s this song and that’s this video. That’s also why I fell in love working with them immediately.”

David Olney’s This Side or the Other

Fri Jul 13, 2018

Nashville, TN – One listen to the brand-new album, “This Side or The Other,” and you’ll know David Olney is a man familiar with the wandering life and yearning heart of a poet. After more than 30 years in music, he’s had as many incarnations as you can imagine. His resume has expanded to include acting, poetry and a popular weekly stream cast. All of this adds to Olney’s strength as a songwriter’s songwriter, and one of Nashville’s founding fathers of Americana music.

While “This Side or The Other” is not a concept album, there are some recurring themes. The frequent reference to walls in these songs – walls being built and tumbling down – will suggest that while Olney has encountered more than his own share of walls, he is still trying his best to understand them.

“I wanted to explore the idea of walls,” says Olney, “What does a wall mean? What does it mean to be an immigrant who comes upon that wall as a wanderer, someone lost and alone?”

Stephanie Ratcliff Land in Unknown Places

Fri Jul 13, 2018

Vancouver indie folk-pop artist Stephanie Ratcliff is excited to announce the release of her new EP Land In Unknown Places on Friday, July 27th and will celebrate with a show at Reality Vancouver on release day, followed by a string of Canadian Tour Dates throughout Ontario and Eastern Canada in August. See below for full tour schedule.

The first single from the EP, 'Come Alive', made its debut just over a week ago on June 29th when the video (Stephanie's first official music video!) premiered at Live in Limbo. Directed by Dan Loewen, the video tells a very simple kind of love story, even though the song isn't necessarily about romantic love.

Allen Stone Releases New Single “Warriors”

Fri Jul 06, 2018

Washington state R&B/soul singer-songwriter Allen Stone has released a new single, "Warriors", today via ATO Records - share the lyric video via YouTube - in advance of a performance of the track this Sunday, July 1 on ABC's broadcast of the Special Olympics opening ceremony in Seattle - Stone will be backed during the performance by a 2000 member choir. The single, produced by Jamie Lidell, will be featured on an as-yet-to-be-announced full-length album, which Stone has been putting the finishing touches on.

Discussing the song, Allen stated, "This song came in a period of struggle. Inspiration hadn't come through to visit for a while. I had felt like I was just pushing a big rock up a hill while wearing flip-flops. I was reminded at that moment that true success comes when you face adversity head on and push through those moments of hardship. Walk tall like Warriors even when terrified."

Rayland Baxter Unveils "79 Shiny Revolvers" From 'Wide Awake'

Fri Jul 06, 2018

Less than two weeks before the release of his album Wide Awake (July 13/ATO), Rayland Baxter has offered a new song from the Butch Walker-produced project. "79 Shiny Revolvers" was the first song Rayland wrote during his three-month-long isolation quest at Franklin, Kentucky's secluded Thunder Sound Studios. He composed fifty songs there, ten of which eventually became Wide Awake.

"79 Shiny Revolvers" is, in Rayland's own estimation, one of the most important songs he's ever written. Its lyrics burst with irony and cutting humor to interrogate our nation's fixation on guns: "You really wanna save the world, man / well, I wanna save it too / we can blow em away / the American way."

Says Rayland, "'79 Shiny Revolvers' is a satirical and sensitive song about the shortcomings of our human race. I watch and I write, not only as an onlooker but as a participant. As the world continues to swing around the sun, I cannot help but notice that we are good people. However, our shortcomings have been highlighted by a long line of imperfect decisions. Leonard Cohen died the day I wrote this song."

Scott Smith Band: I Will Love You

Fri Jul 06, 2018

San Francisco based singer/songwriter Scott Smith builds on the success of his EP release Igniting the Flame with a double-sided single featuring songs “I Will Love You” and “Spinning Round”. His country rock sound is shepherded by Igniting the Flame producer Julie Wolf and she invests two essentially romantic tunes with the sort of sonic atmospherics both songs require to realize their potential. Smith has sacrificed nothing from his memorable debut and, if anything, this new release, however brief, reveals another subtle shade in his songwriting color. His vocal chops elevate the package to another level and deliver every ounce of meaning he can to its lyrics without becoming overwrought. There’s a classic tilt to the way he attacks a song, it's phrasing, and relationship to the other instruments recalling icons of the past while still writing and recording songs that never sound like museum pieces.

That Summer (vol.1) Compilation “Packing My Bags” Luna Keller

Fri Jul 06, 2018

When I first sat down to write this review for Luna Keller’s new summer single “Packing My Bags,” I couldn’t really make up my mind whether or not Keller reminds me more of Dean Ween or Bob Dylan. Sure, she has all of the giddy eccentricity of Ween, along with his stylishly creative guitar licks, but there’s a distinctive hostility in her voice that is a lot like Dylan’s trademark irreverent rebelliousness. But then I came to the right conclusion; Keller takes a little bit from both and adds a uniquely 21st-century urban spin to this postmodern variety of indie stylized folk rock, and it’s better than anything I could have asked for as a music fan going into this summer.

Boris Garcia Releases Around Some Corner

Fri Jun 02, 2017

On July 14, 2017, Philadelphia’s own Boris Garcia will release Around Some Corner on Porchwerk Music label for fans everywhere. The band called on their secret weapon, Tim Carbone of Railroad Earth fame to take the role of producing the album. Carbone moves Boris Garcia’s songs of whimsy and emotion and molds them into complex compositions, making it look effortless.

Tim Carbone on Boris Garcia’s songwriters Jeff Otto and Bob Stirner – “As Lennon and McCartney did for The Beatles - they add just the right shadings to each other’s compositions to make the picture complete.”

Boris Garcia on Tim Carbone - “He visualized the music we had in our heads and made it appear on the disc. His experience and ridiculous musicality made it seem like we had George Martin in our midst, constantly pushing, screaming, laughing….stoking the embers and fluffing the froth. Boris Garcia’s journey to a great extent is about the relationship that we have maintained with Tim, both musically and in personal bond.”

Linda Carone - The Jazz Bistro Toronto - Live

Fri May 26, 2017

The chestnut haired jazz singer finished Kitty White's "So Many Beautiful Men" with a knowing grin and a vocal swagger and as the place erupted in applause murmured, "Story of my life in my younger days. Now I'm focused on my big bad handsome man," beaming at the lucky gent in a scrum of well wishers as she launched into Imelda Mays "Big Bad Handsome Man."

So yeah, Linda Carone is a damn fine singer but she also brings da show. Abetted by a stellar crew of George Koller ( upright bass) Johnny Johnson (saxes, bass clarinet) Michael Shand ( piano) and Mark Kelso( drums), LC did that thing where she sets up a time trip by telling a little bit about the origin of a tune, applies her own vocal interpretation, then hands it over to the personna who takes it all the way home to the Thirties or so with a sense she fits the period like a kidskin glove and with nary a break in character.