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For Fans Want to make money from something that you already do? Keep sharing music! ListenChannel provides Music Fans with a financial incentive to share the music that they listen to and to discover new artists and watch as their careers take off! Connect with our Artists and Music Fans to earn money and receive exclusive offers on music, merchandise and tickets to concert series. For Recording Artists What ListenChannel offers Artists and Musicians is simple. We connect them to the Music Fans who are actually dedicated to supporting independent artists through purchasing their music. Stop giving away the music that you worked so hard to produce, and connect with Music Fans that crave your sound and will support your passion! For a limited time, Independent Musicians can sign up for free for membership between now and June 30th. Create your account here: http://www.listenchannel.com/philperetz or, if you would like more information, use the contact form below

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Phil Lewis – Age of Nothing (EP)

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Phil Lewis – Age of Nothing EP)

URL: http://www.phillewisuk.co.uk/

7/10 Stars

The Review This Wales based singer/songwriter just released their latest effort entitled ”Age of Nothing” in 2014. This is his fourth release to date. Age of Nothing presents a 80’s-style neo-singer/songwriter electronic pop-rock project with a wide range of influences, including like Crowded House but always go back to those Top 40 influences, from U2 and Tears for Fears to The Killers, Miles Kane and Florence and the Machine.. I concur with all of the above influences.

According to Phil – this release is a departure, lyrically, from my previous work. I have a reputation for being positive and upbeat – but this album picks through some of the things that happen after a relationship has ended. It’s about the ‘no-man’s-land’ between relationships, based on recent personal experience. We found the songs just flew out, with moments of sheer inspiration for both of us. With Devil Comes to Dance, I was away for the weekend in the Hague, walking by the side of a river when the chorus just ‘arrived’. I only had my camera and e-reader, and no way to write it down, so I ended up walking back to hotel, writing it on the hotel notepad, and then going all the way back again! We were really choosy about the songs we picked because we wanted it to be really focused. There’s no filler – and as a result, this is the most confident I’ve felt about any release. The songwriting on ”Age of Nothing”  aims to promote more positive messages than is common in rock these days while not holding back emotionally of spiritually thus reducing the songs to a sanitized version. Within these deep lyrics from Lewis I get the impression they will  reach out to multitudes with great meaning. The lyrics and music touched me and were written for that listener that may be going through a sort of soul’s journey. To the right and left of him evil – yet ho forges his path through the darkness. This is how I visualized the album. Every song also has a different dynamic, which helps it all from sounding repetitive. It’s also filled with powerful synergy and topics that are relatable. Track 1 “Imprisoned” is a real attention grabber and spiritual wake up call. Lewis is a rock solid vocalist, musician and arranger. While being emotional, Lewis pulls out all the stops backed up with the rock solid musicianship, impressive writing skills. Above all you can hear the strong emotion vocal front as he takes on these at times powerful messages head on. My top 3 tracks are “Ready”, “Age of Nothing “ and a toss-up between “Imprisoned” and “Calling Me.” I could be wrong but “Age of Nothing” is testament to character, string will power, strength, courage and having a strong resolve. Indeed many of these traits are possessed by many people over in Europe and many of these traits are needed by many people around the world.

Some listeners want to experience music that is quirky, angry, eccentric, thoughtful boastful, loud, reckless, destructive, shallow, indulgent whatever. To me this reflects the culture. The music of Phil Lewis takes music a step further. It’s obvious Lewis knows a lot about life. He no doubt has many life experiences good and bad to bring to the table as a songwriter, producer. He is backed up by Producer Ben Haynes. This greatly enhances the depth of listening experience for me. It’s a real breath of fresh air to hear messages that have more substance than what is presently on my radio.

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Phil-Lewis/36008838740

Leslie Pratt edited by J.J McCall

Review comments? johnmccall964@gmail.com

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Introducing The Great Socio

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The Great Socico are a hot running 4 piece band from Philadelphia and their latest EP release entitled “Find the Time”  was released in 2014. Formed in 2010, The Great SOCIO is a four-piece Alternative/Groove/Rock band from the Philadelphia region. Their socio-sound is built of crushing bass/ drum rhythms, poetic lyrics and a wide array of custom synth tones.

Band members:  Berto Muñoz: Singer, Trumpeter; Monty: Organ and Synths; Craig Stenger: Bass, Lyrics; Drew Bernier: Drums.

The Great Socio URL http://www.thegreatsocio.com/

Most band don’t want to sit around just waiting for someone to make our dreams come true, they are doing it themselves. The Great Socio is hitting the pavement hard. Since they began traveling they’ve given more than 160 live performances at venues through their region from NYC, Harrisburg, Baltimore, Ohio and the Carolinas. In the anticipation of Modern Grip, fans backed The Great SOCIO’s Kickstarter campaign to a generous total which stretched over $8,000. This latest 6 track set by the Great Socio is an extremely fun album that captures the pure essence of Indie Rock at its best. All 6 tracks provide what I would describe as an intensely exhilarating experience that tingle the senses into submission. In this aspect I think I get these guys. If you’re looking for a sappy love record this is not for you. If your looking for a rEP that will remind you of The Raconteurs, Faith No More, and MXPX this band is for you. The frontal attack by Munoz fits this style of music like a hand in glove. The Great Socio delivers middle ground material between raw honest blues-rock and straight forward alternative rock. Reading some of the other reviews I would concur that they have a funky flair like Red Hot Chili Peppers. The first 2 track (Topanga) and (Last Night) are like pouring gasoline on a fire. I guess the closest artist I would compare these guys to would be The White Stripes. But I can also hear The Dead Winter, and The Kills. The Great Socio also harmonize well together and the band grooves testament to hundreds of hours of rehearsal time no doubt. Some feel music is a way to buzz the senses during any activity i/e concerts, clubs, dancing, exercising, getting drunk, all of the above and more – you get it. Some want to hear about love while other listeners want to go deeper and darker. From one of their more jumpier tracks (Criminals) to more straight forward (The World’s Alive)  any music fan can find something they would enjoy in this mixture of superlative songs. The Great Socio offers an ample listening environment with a spirited, youthful sound that will appeal to many. It’s also modern enough where they don’t; sound stuck in the 80’s or 90’s like some rock bands along the East coast lately.

More about Munoz – Their dedicated front-man dons a top hat – mustache combo like no other. His passion for entertaining and wooing every crowd parallels their biggest influences like The Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Doors and Rage Against the Machine. With a growing reputation as one of the hardest working bands in the Philadelphia area, The Great SOCIO questions tradition and offers listeners a glimpse into the future of Rock ‘n’ Roll Music.

Find the Time EP by The Great Socio will encourage the listener to delve in life’s Circus ride, no matter what the circumstance. These cats deserve a lot of praise as this EP is a fascinating project definitely worth checking out. Their energetic, stimulating sound can be appreciated by anyone that enjoys music, even those who are stuck in the 80’s and 90.s  I enjoyed this album sitting on my couch on full blast, with eyes closed eager to see where the musical journey took me .To be honest I had a few beers as well. This sounds so simple but it’s in this setting The Great Socio will work its amazing magic on your mind, body and soul. Coincidence? I think not!

by Michael Yost Wells. Approved by J.J. McCall

Social Networking Links:

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/TheGreatSOCIO, TWITTER: https://twitter.com/TheGreatSOCIO

Review comments:  johnmccall964@gmail.com

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Michael Levy

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Media Type: Digital

GTIN: 682384760475

Description:
SRL Networks Early Music Compilation featuring ancient lyre compositions by Michael Levy.

Link: http://www.srlnetworks.com

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The Ambient Light

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Media Type: Digital

GTIN: 682384760482

Description:
SRL Networks Psychedelic Dream Rock compilation featuring instrumentals by The Ambient Light.

Link: http://www.srlnetworks.com

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Rainy And The Dust

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Media Type: Digital

GTIN: 682384760437

Description:
SRL Networks World Music compilation featuring songs by Rainy And The Dust.

Link: http://www.srlnetworks.com

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Various Artists

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Media Type: Digital

GTIN: 682384760697

Description:
The first Ritual Tapes compilation released in March of 2014. Limited to 125 copies on cassette.

TRACKLIST
Charlatan – Vanishing Act
EUC – Rising Tide
Cult Dive – Tears of Power
The Weeps – Did It To Myself
The Deathless – Between Bloody Sheets
Ghost Noise – Teen Veins
Double Echo – Sylvia
Warmline – Tested
Altis Vader – Hic Jacet
Ortrotasce – Forgetting
Screen Vinyl Image – Edge Of Forever
Nevermind Me – Like Rain In A Lake
Black Is Bright – Dust
Threading – Sleva
tangentbot – QUEEN-OV-MOTHS
Amulets – Eulogy

Thanks to all the bands who contributed, Alex Dunaway, Trevor Stafford, Randall Taylor, Tom Davis, Half-Gifts Music Blog, Shenley Studios, all the fans who purchased a copy, and everyone else who helped out directly and indirectly.

CONTACT
ritualtapes.com
hi at ritualtapes.com

Link: http://ritualtapes.bandcamp.com

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Artist: Goliath Paw – Canary in a Coal Mine (EP)

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Artist: Goliath Paw – Canary in a Coal Mine (EP)
Genera: Rap, Hip Hop, Dance Pop
Locale: Ottawa, Ontario (CAN)

SOUNDCLOUD: https://soundcloud.com/goliathpaw

So who is Goliath Paw anyway? Goliath PAW delivers an edgy and cool clean appeal that’s missing from a majority of rappers these days. Not since Will Smith has a rapper been able
to captivate listeners without being degrading or corny. Nick named “Mr.Rock Pop & Hip Hop” Goliath PAW combines his love of classic/alternative rock and mainstream pop, all while adding his own unique style of rapping to the mix. To further set himself apart from his contemporaries Goliath PAW fuses new age Hip Hop fashion with a punk/rock star look. Extremely confident on stage Goliath PAW applies his own Hip Hop swagger while also taking from the personas of great Rock & Roll icons such as Axl Rose and David Lee Roth to put on a show that is uaranteed to be unforgettable.

His latest release, “Canary in a Coal Mine” was recently released earlier this year. I’ve heard my share of rap this year, and most of it is trivial to say the least. Give me something fresh and new within this overly saturated genera please! on “Canary in a Coal Mine” there’s a real sense of cathartic musical independence here via this latest work from Canadian based Singer/Rapper Goliath Paw. While everything here is shall I say exceptionally entertaining, and it also manages to cover a pretty wide range of musical styles. A few moments notably stand out for me in particular. The Lead off track “Higher” – delivering pure grooved magic and an impressive writers touch. While each movement presents straight forward hooky beats the an ambient vocals presence from Goliath Paw – it hangs out stylistically. He’s sometimes playful, other times tenacious aggressive and bold – in your face. Despite his location this 8 track set also has a SOCAL feel to it as the EP hits solid stride. This EP is definitely a modern example of classic urban rap/hip hop and I can also hear acts like Akon, R.I.O, Chris Brown and Nelly between the lines. Ironically Goliath Paw’s style of music is as easy to pigeonhole as you think, however, I suspect many of the previously mentioned bands have had an influence. The Production work is how shall I say – off the chain. The vocal front from Goliath Paw deserves mention and is equally as clairvoyant and compelling. I can’t explain it but he really draws you in and is an exceptional talent overall. “Canary in a Coal Mine” EP has got plenty of cool Chill, Trance-Dance riffing, deep seeded bass that sits down in the pocket like on :Nine to 5” and “Drop It” . Above all it shows just how far Goliath Paw will masterfully navigate with sheer precision through this addictive writing style.

My favorite tracks are as follows; “Drop it”, “Nine to 5” and “Rain” “GetAway”

Criticism: The title of this EP is stupid and rather lame. You can do better than that – how about “Higher”, “Drop it” or “Numba1″ for title tracks?

I also get the impression Goliath Paw is a total riot to see in a live setting. So are you thinking what I’m thinking? Somehow all the above is not compatible with the superficial musical times we live in. Goliath Paw is well-suited and well-positioned for American rap audiences that enjoy world class Rap, Chill, Trance-Dance with roots up north. There are even elements of Ambient Pop and Power Dub here as well. Expect great things from Goliath Paw as his fanbase expands past Ontario  this Summer. I believe there’s a detached and
disgruntled audience just waiting for him to arrive. Bring on more music GP!

Rating: 8/10 Stars

YOU TUBE: http://www.youtube.com/user/GoliathPawOfficial

by Kelly Moran edited by Janne Zawa. Approved by Drew Blackwell (UK)
Review comments: jannezawa@gmail.com

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Hunter and the Dirty Jacks release EP

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Hunter and the Dirty Jacks

URL: http://www.hunterandthedirtyjacks.com/rock/

About the Artist: Hunter and The Dirty Jacks comprise a virtual all-star cast of Los Angeles and Orange County-area musicians that have been playing locally and regionally for over ten years apiece. Fronted by lead singer and multi-instrumentalist Hunter Ackerman, and anchored by Jon Siembieda and Carmelo Bonaventura on guitar, Aaron Barnes on bass, Moana Avvenenti on vocals, and Brian Lara on drums, the Dirty Jacks put forth an extremely high energy, emotionally compelling performance coupled with a rare combination of soulful originals and tasty covers. The sound is rock and roll with a bluesy edge, ala the Black Keys, Rolling Stones, Black Crowes, and Jet. The band is very seasoned for all players being in the late 20s and early 30s. The bandmates collectively have experience playing several casinos in and out of state, House of Blues Sunset, House of Blues Anaheim, Coach House, Harvelle's, Observatory, Detroit Bar, and many other venues. The bandmates have collectively shared bills with bands of the likes of Tommy Castro, Eric Sardinas, Dave Mason, Walter Trout, Cinderella, Led Zepagain, Wayward Sons, Wild Child, War, and many others.

Right from the start this band clearly stands out from other bands in a good way within this overly saturated market. Their answer to mundane music is to deliver something unique, and powerful full of mystery and soul. In this overly saturated market with a plethora of Do it Yourself artists coming out of the woodwork, armed with nothing more than a PC, Microphone, a guitar and a crappy sounding CD - it's nice to know there are a few artists out there that can still deliver music that will make your jaw hit the floor while plucking your heart strings at the same time. These new artists I speak of manage to push their music out to the world and much of it is, do I dare say, substandard in nature. So enter a band like Hunter and the Dirty Jacks who have clearly paid a few dues here and there. So what do artists like Tom Petty, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Black Country Communion, the mighty Lynyrd Skynyrd, Greg Allman and Little Feat have that these guys don't? Not much if you ask me save the multi million dollars promotional machines and major record label support. Hunter and the Dirty Jacks are a red hot band that break the mold with their classic retro sound and amazing movements that will mesmerize both the novice and advanced listeners alike. This 3 song release is shall I say top-flight singing from Ackerman, impressive picking and playing with songwriting that has deep seeded classic rock roots, It also possesses elements of Americana, saloon jazz, fusion and straight up rock n' roll many adore. Many of these tracks such as the uplifting and melodic "Jubilee" to hypnotically amazing "Salt Whiskey" have a sizzling feel to them while "Smoking Gun" makes your hair stand on end. The playing skills of all these guys are all over the map but manage to never cross into "freak show" territory. But getting back to Ackerman on vox - he is a premier talent that makes this whole experience special. His voice is intoxicating like a drug, and he is a multi-instrumentalist with a good rugged look and infectious feel. Right now after hearing the music of Hunter and the Dirty Jacks I must say they are the quintessential retro rock band the world needs right now. I don't say stuff like that often. They are a hardworking, touring band armed with the soul of a wise man and they perform songs the way they were meant to be performed - confidently avoiding any over the top vocal "showboating". All in all this band and this EP area great musical advent. Apparently there are still a few composers, arrangers, musicians, band and vocalists out there believe in playing music the way it is meant to be played.

Top Track: Jubilee

Rating: 4/5 Stars

by Julian Rice edited by Mindy McCall.

Purchase via CD BABY: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/hunterthedirtyjacks

Review Comments: indiemindymccall@gmail.com

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Deborah Bonham – Spirit

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Deborah Bonham – Spirit

Label: Spectra Records

Primary URL: http://www.deborahbonham.com/

Sometimes musicians get a lot of undue attention based on who their relatives are. It might be easy to think that could be case with Deborah Bonham. After all, her brother was John Bonham of Led Zeppelin fame. The truth is, though, she hasn’t gotten as much attention as she deserves. This lady can deliver the blues rock with the best of them.

The opener is a bluesy hard rocker called “Fly.” It seems close to some of the stuff Bonham’s brother did with Led Zeppelin, but perhaps with some more real blues in the mix. It’s a killer tune with some great musical moments. Bonham’s vocals really soar and sell this thing. Still, it’s got some twists and turns that do a good job of that even without the help. Although “Pain Birds” isn’t quite the rocker that the opener was, it’s got tons of style and charm. It’s a killer tune that’s more set in pure classic rock style, with even some progressive rock in the mix. I love this tune. It’s got plenty of twists and turns and is extremely strong. It just oozes style and charm. It’s downright magic. Imagine a supergroup made up of Led Zeppelin and Fleetwood Mac. It might sound a lot like Bonham does on “Feel So Alive.” It rocks out, but has a lot of mellower melody in the arrangement. The smoking hot slide guitar solo brings the blues back in style. Slide guitar also shines on “Spirit in Me.” It combines classic rock elements with blues and even some down-home country sound in a tune that’s very strong. The instrumental section that takes it out is stunning. Although there’s no huge change on “Killing Fields,” it’s more of a rocker. It’s got a bit of soulful element and the vocal hooks are among the best of the set. It’s another strong one, but really everything here is strong. If there’s a weak song here, it’s “Take Me Down.” The thing is, it’s got a good vocal hook and a solid arrangement. It’s just a little generic, feeling like a modern rocker based on singer songwriter sounds. It’s actually a good tune. It just happens to be surrounded by a bunch of great ones. “I Need Love” is a smoking hot blues rocker. It’s got a lot of Janis Joplin in the mix. The guitar solo is particularly tasty, but the whole arrangement is great. This is one of the best tunes here. Oddly enough, parts of this make me think of Radiohead’s “Creep” just a little for some reason. Bluesy rock with some hints of country music are heard on “What It Feels.” It’s another with a soulful arrangement The harmonica solo is a great touch. This is energetic and powerful. It makes me think a bit of the kind of music Bonnie Raitt does, but I like Bonham better. As folk, classic rock and blues are blended on “Stop Now,” violin adds a lot to the mix. The vocal performance really steals the show here, but the arrangement is powerful, too. It’s a slow moving song that loses no power or magic in the process. The guitar solo is particularly tasty. “I Won’t Let You Down” is another that kind of suffers from all the great music around it. On another album it would be a highlight. It has a solid vocal hook and the pop rock arrangement works pretty well. The trouble is, it’s just not as magical as the other stuff here. Although “Good Times” is a slow blues, it’s got some classic rock built into it, too. Bonham’s vocal performance is magical and the slide guitar really adds to the arrangement. This is another especially cool song. The closer is “Lay Me Down.” It starts with a folk rock style that’s set heavily in a classic rock vein. They work it out from there into more of a hard edged blues rock sound. It’s got a bit of a gospel vibe to it. It is especially strong. It’s a great choice to end the set in style.

By the end, it’s been a great ride. There are only two songs that don’t quite stand as tall as the rest. Those two pieces, really, would be highlights of a lot of albums. It’s just the fact that there is so much stellar music here that they seem a little ordinary. The short story is, if you like great bluesy rock music, you have to check this out.

9/10 Stars

by Steve Rafferty approved and Posted by Mindy McCall

Social Networking Links:

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Deborah-Bonham/106928079357640?ref=hl

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/deborahbonham

review Comments: indiemindymccall@gmail.com

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John Oszajca – Elephant Graveyard

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John Oszajca – Elephant Graveyard

REVERBNATION: http://www.reverbnation.com/johnoszajca

There was a time when it was all about good lyrics, well constructed songs and a competent delivery. There weren’t a lot of genre, just rock music. Well, this album seems tied to that kind of sound. It’s sort of the kind of thing Beck does, but then again it’s not. It’s hard to hear the first song, “The Day I Died” without giving in to the urge to get up and shake it. It’s a real inspiration driving the listener to dance. The whole song just really rocks. It’s hard edged rock that’s tied to country and more. That driving impetus for rhythmic movement is really the biggest story, but the melody is catchy, too. “Baby Bye Bye” feels more intimate and soulful. It makes me think of John Lennon and George Harrison at times. It feels like Oszajca’s soul is laid bare at times. The song just feels so genuine and real. The vocal arrangement stands out quite a bit. In some ways “Where’s Bob Dylan When You Need Him?” has a folk approach. The distorted guitar and more, though, lend a raw, powerful energy here. The vocal hook is catchy and the tune is a great one. Folk rock and singer/songwriter music combine on “No Turning Back.” It’s got a retro based arrangement. It’s an energetic song that tells a story. The organ brings a retro sound to it. A powered up old time rock and roll sound drives “Damn That Woman.” It’s another destined to get listeners on their feet. Harmonica is a nice touch. It’s a great slab of Americana. Bombastic percussion and a rather strange (but catchy) arrangement is the backdrop for “Blues for Susan.” There is a modern alternative rock feeling to it and the vocals are the real driving force to the song. It’s not one of my favorites, but it has its charms. “Sinkin’ In” is a ballad. It’s got a lot of classic rock to it. It’s catchy, but not one of the better songs here. Glam rock, alternative and punk all mix on “Big Time.” It’s raw and fun. “Ostrich Blues” seems a lot like T-Rex bringing back that glam rock comparison. It’s a fun tune. Piano soloing adds to that fun fever. Roots rock and Americana merge on “Angalyne.” It’s a glacially slow moving ballad. It’s got a lot of character and charm and is one of my favorite songs here. It really makes for a satisfying ending to the set.

John Oszajca has crated an album that’s very good. I’d like to hear something a little more creative or unique, but then again, this works very well. Sure, you’ve heard a lot of music very much like this. When it’s this potent and classic, though, that only matters so much.

LAST FM: http://www.last.fm/music/John+Oszajca

8 of 10 Stars

Review by Mary Angela Tobin, Approved by Heather Savage

Review Comments: heathersavage5@gmail.com

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Not Dead Yett!!

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Artist: Not Dead Yett!!

CD: Let Go, Let’s Go!!

URL: http://www.notdeadyett.com

Label: Miles High Productions

(Los Angeles): Grammy winning producer Don Mizell steps into the spotlight with an inspirational debut release of a collection of motivational and personal songs that aim to change the world. By combining synths, funky bass grooves and soulful singing, Not Dead Yett!! is an exciting new release that is filled with a colorful array of  songs for a musical movement of a debut album and lead single, “Let Go, Let’s Go”. Don Mizell also known as Dr. Don DJ has made a whole life in music from. With this debut release, he aims to showcases that it’s never to late to dream big because you’re not dead yet! Lead single “Let Go, Let’s Go” is the inspiration behind the album, “…a pop dance ditty geared to blending 1980s synth pop and some of today’s chart topping dance music stars,”  Mizell explains. The overall theme of Not Dead Yett!! is to never forget that short coming s that shouldn’t be a reason for letting go and living your life to the fullest. “It’s a dedication to awareness and practice of always moving —in your mind, in your heart, in your soul  and with your body — towards a goal, a dream, a North Star that will serve as a dream coming true, a hope that happens, a faith re confirmed, a way of loving that nourishes you in ways that heals your broken thoughts and feelings,“ Mizell explains.

These 2 are based in Florida. Florida is a colorful, sunny place and it has its fair share of artists trying to be rock and Rap stars. However this might just be the perfect locale to explore the upbeat, sunny, catchy realm of musical expression. This latest CD “Let Go, Let’s Go” delivers all of the above and will reveal all the a-typical conventions of today’s modern pop-music that so many adore. This creates a solid sonic space for the listener to bask in. The first track “Show U”  lifts off the ground smoothly  and is an impressive statement. It’s remarkably easy to listen, and gravities you right away like a magnet. All songs present a stunning collection of music that slowly runs the gamut and has much to offer insofar as impressive music and captivating vocals from both Dr. Don DJ and Hi-Hat Carter. This make the listener feel right at home laying on the sun without a care in the world. Musical comparables for me include R.I.O., Timbaland, Mohombi, T-Pain, Jay Sean and Kevin Rudolf. One cannot help but admire artists with strong songwriting skills and truthful conviction all the while demonstrating a strong a level of creativity. One senses a growing ambition as this CD advances – especially with respect to the message mentioned earlier. Mizell’s appealing vocals hit the mark and with intellectually stimulating lyrics providing a very real and powerful source of inspiration. The musicianship/sampling/production strokes is rock steady and the overall production value tows the line. All in all a great set of songs.

Speaking of which notable standouts for me include: the title track, Show U, Go Out Tonight, So Glad and I’ll Keep waiting.

If you want a pleasant mellow pop rocking staple there’s something on this record for you. Obviously many will fall head over heals with these 2. This is one band that’s set up rather well for mainstream success this year. Some of this plays into strong marketability potential world wide. Some pieces present more of a 70-80’s style funk, but despite all this the flavor possess traditional modern dance/pop textures. This is really what makes Jefferson so enticing to me personally. Not Dead Yett possesses an impressive and youthful look and sound. “Let Go, Let’s Go” grants you rare access to peer into the soul of 2 musicla masterminds with a fresh perspective that will do you nothing but good – from a sunny poppish perspective shall we say.

CD BABY: https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/notdeadyett

Final Rating: 9/10

Review by Reggie Lewis edited by J.J. McCall

Review comments: johnmccall964@gmail.com

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Michael Barry-rec – Continuum

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Michael Barry-rec – Continuum

URL: http://www.michaelbarry-rec.com

Score – 7.5/10

We’ve all watched musical trends and artists wind through their fair share of the nine lives that often accompany the personnel-shuffling, lo-fi garage-pop world. I find it interesting how pop from the 50’s when compared to pop from the 80’s and 90’s may sound different but it all has the same component. The artists at the focal point must be good all-around entertainers not relying too heavily on one skill-set. Paula Abdul is a perfect example, when in her prime was at best an average singer but had an above average look and an impeccable knowledge of choreography. Believe it or not some of this applies to Jazz and New Age. I think it all started in the early 80’s with guys like Earl Klugh. Take Kenny G for example. Millions love his intoxicating and melodic style of music and cutting edge look but let’s be honest for a second – he’s not the greatest Soprano Saxophonist in the world. Fortunately, so-called smooth jazz artists who are mindlessly predictable in the studio become a lot more spontaneous and risk-taking on-stage. Playing for themselves instead of pandering to radio, they’re much more inclined to let loose. 

There’s a Guitarist based out of Virginia who goes by the name of Michael Barry who has been quietly releasing good music for years now. Barry just released his third CD entitled “Continuum” and it features a guest appearance by Pianist George Winston on (Track 4 (Sanctum).   From its opening melodies of Rendezvous” to its resolved close “Buried in the Sea” this CD is a whirlwind of musical brilliance providing likeable and dynamic Acoustic Rock/Blues (no vocals) without the sticky-catchy poppy gimmicks. On “Continuum”  what you see is what you get. The musicianship is not a freak show or an over the top testimony, but a well executed, conservative staple that upholds entertaining New Age guitar music has to offer. Barry is comparable to Winston expect he plays guitar. Indeed Winston is not for everyone and he has his critics, but no one can deny his impact upon New Age music and Piano. Barry also reminds me of Tyrone Wells, Matt Nathanson, Grahma Colton, Ben Rector and Kris Allen. The more I listened to this CD the more it feels as if Barry is one of those modest “under the radar” gems the world has yet to discover and subsequently fall madly in love with. I remember the days where The Rippington’s took the edge off your elevator ride quite perfectly. A flashy piece of music may be is worth a thousand words, but an unforgettable New Age performance can say volumes more. Much of this is in stark contrast to traditional jazzy-pop or Smooth Jazz or Pop with the crisp spunky roughness around the edges and easy to follow 4/4 rhythms. It’s probably true that the “dumbed down” or “over the top” musical culture cannot appreciate a talent like Barry to the level he deserves. But it’s nice to see this truly amazing genre thriving out in Virginia. Like the sugar rush of any love pop song sometimes their dedication to the aesthetic loses its flavor. 

“Continuum” by Michael Barry-rec gets a bug thumbs up from me and has absolutely no weaknesses. Barry and his band present a favorable blend of New Age Guitar with elements of Blues, Folk and Alternative Americana. When one buys or listens to world class New Age they don’t necessarily want marketability, flashiness or even something necessarily cool.  They want a guy like Michael Barry-rec to play them a timeless piece of music in guitar to of course Inspire, entertain, and mesmerize.

Tony Rafferty (UK) edited by Janne Zawa.

Michael Barry-rec on YOU TUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZAyF7oSUuk

Review comments: jannezawa@gmail.com

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Terracotta Pigeons

TP3

Terracotta Pigeons

Venomous Candy (EP)

SOUNDCLOUD: https://soundcloud.com/terracottapigeons 

Terracotta Pigeons is a one man rock band and constantly evolving portfolio of an emerging Australian producer, experienced live performer, multi-instrumentalist and award winning songwriter. Steven Smith writes, performs, produces and releases all Terracotta Pigeons material under his own label, Mammoth Moth Productions.  Drawing on influences by artists such as Fishbone, Soundgarden, Faith No More, Muse and Alice In Chains, the music of Terracotta Pigeons has been described as strumming a chord at the core of what made 90′s rock so mesmerizing, fusing it with new frenetic style and creative exploration.

This is such a complex, amazing and dramatic EP what else can I say in the end? Venomous Candy by Terracotta Pigeons is more than amazing and dramatic, it’s also extremely suspenseful and somewhat comical. It has a very quirky-dark quality to it as well The intro track “Animal” gives you the impression as if you were in some kind of  motion picture with it’s guitar intro. The really vivid, yet emotional charged synth evolves into a great opener reminiscent of acts such as John Linneli, Lemon Demon and Jonathan Coulton. Terracotta Pigeons headed up by Stephen Smith  have a really strong tonal foundation coupled with heavy rhythms, hypnotic keyboards and synthesizers with spaced out goodness vocally. The vocals from Smith are well executed and the lyrics are to say the least interesting. If these tracks were more rocked out I could even hear Cake, Weezer and Blur. That’s how diverse it is. Without a doubt, it’s impossible to deny the superiority of this band consisting of just Smith (mainly in studio). I dod however notice other band members on the stage photos.  The drums and the bass lines just help push the EP/album forward, and the vibe, if you pay attention carefully, has a really odd, mysterious, X-File, spacey sort of vibe to it. As the EP evolves it showcases some dramatic combinations of rhythm guitar fused with Electonica overtones on tracks like “The Black Devine” and the title track. The drum/synth/vocal tandems have an important role on all pieces as well.  On many these tracks Smith is clearly in charge of giving the mood assigning to each song. The addition of the well partitioned segments gives many song a prog-rock touch.

My favorite track is by far “Pendulum”   

In conclusion, here’s an EP release I’ve been dying to get my hands on for a while. I was just unable to stumble across it  until today. It’s also very subliminal, and a grand concept that’s sure to get many peoples attention. From the production level, to the musicianship involved, “Venomous candy” by Terracotta Pigeons delivers in grand fashion.  With the advent of this band to mainstream rock, with their superlative signature sound and trademark moniker, everything here works terrifically well. It will keep you in a state of positive wonderment from start to finish.

Rating 8/10 Stars 

URL http://www.terracottapigeons.com/ 

by Marvin Hightower.  Edited by Janne Zawa

Review comments: jannezawa@gmail.com

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Matthew Nimegeers

MN2

Artist: Matthew Nimegeers
CD: Mystery Man Against The Tide

Genre: Blues-Rock, Pop, Singer-Songwriter 

From Canada comes Alternative Singer/Songwriter Matthew Nimehgeers who just released his latest CD (Mystery Man Against the Tide) in 2013. Many of you are already aware how fickle this industry is. Right from the start it might be easy to just categorize Latham as some straight ahead young and clueless folk rocker, and write him off as the newest trending thing around Canada. It wouldn’t be wise, though. Sure, if you listen to some of his more catchier tunes within this 10 song line-up that’s the impression one might get. However there is a method to his madness. There are some really good songs on “Mystery Man Against The Tide” that not only have substance but step outside the traditional “flash in the pan” modern-day pop musical boundaries. Listen to the title track and a few others (Now That You’re Here), (Coming Back to Me) and (To Be Loved) for example to you will see exactly what I’m talking about. First: Nimegeers can play, write and sing like nobody’s business. His voice has an amazing warm and likeability factor. Second he recruited some really good musicians and production folk for this project as well. Thirdly Nimegeers has other albums to his credit. All of the above sure go against the grain of modern “flash in the pan” pop and as a result really open up this classic album. This is not Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson of Maroon 5 either, it goes much deeper than that. It’s more like classic, Ash Grunwald, Xavier Rudd, Bob Iver, Fleet Foxes, Horse Feathers, The Decemnberists and Andrew Bird. There’s also a 70’s/80’s influence in there as well from Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, Crosby, Stills & Nash, America and even Bob Dylan. The CD goes full circle covering a wide range of emotional subject matter as well. This enhances the listening experience rather than limit it for me.

Nimegeers is obviously experienced at performing and writing powerful music, but it’s the combination of all of the above that makes him so deadly. I mean, there is nothing here that really seems all that original or fresh, or that’s already been done before. Perhaps that is why he’s on our players in the first place. Forgive me if I’m talking in circles – but some bands and artists can deliver music that’s pretty straight forward, conservative and painfully simple yet brilliant in scope. Bottom line: they make it look so easy. Furthermore in lieu of the amazing string of songs Nimegeers has delivered on “Mystery Man Against the Tide” it almost feels as if he’s on to something, well special. This latest release from Nimegeers is a one of a kind CD from a one of a kind artist that’s closely tied to classic pop, blues-rock-soul, but has a more modern light rock sound to it. Bravo to Nimegeers for being himself, going against the pop grain and releasing powerful music.

Mystery Man Against The Tide by Matthew Nimegeers will please a wide range of musical personalities in the process. When this album runs its course over one walks away felling Nimegeers is truly something special. After doing my research I highly recommend seeing this guy play live as well.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Matthew-Nimegeers/294031483968798

Review by Xavier Hicks edited by Joshua Beach. Approved by Michael Rand.

Review comments: joshuabeach9@gmail.com

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