When you take two different artists from different backgrounds and put them together to create something new, the results can either be good or bad. In the case of solo artists Carla Lynn Hall and Curtis Bacraft (known together as Carla and Curtis), the results from their collaboration on their new release entitled Partake are obvious as the two artists combine their different backgrounds and musical tastes into one sound.
The reason that the sound continuously changes from song to song is because the two artists take turns as the head writer of the track. The tracks for the album come from albums already created by Curtis and Carla. When the two came together as one unit, the sound from each artist helped to create an interesting comparison to the other’s music. With two different sounds and feels going through the body of the release, Partake from Curtis and Carla continuously changes and that allows for a very fascinating and interesting release that will capture a lot of people’s attention.
Partake from Curtis and Carla begins with the album’s title track that was penned by Curtis Bacraft. “Partake” is a song that has many facets to it. The song features a large amount of rock essence to it while also incorporating some R&B influence into the music and even Country influence in the form of twang on the lead guitar on the track, as well. The track has a strong drive to it because of the strong bass and drums that help lead the listener into the track. The saxophone on the song even adds more depth to the track.
With the track of “Supernova” from Carla Lynn Hall, the album takes on a very “pop-ish” feel to it. The track has a great hook and feels like something that could have been created by Macy Gray. The vocals from Carla are clear and bright while the music on the track feels as if it had been produced by a major record label. Having been written by Carla Lynn Hall and performed and produced by Christian Cassan, the song could absolutely find its way onto Top 40 radio.
While the track “Supernova” sounds as if it would belong alongside with songs from Macy Gray, the song “Crosstown Bus” from Curtis Bacraft features a Lite Rock sound in the music that would have fit in with Top 40 songs that were on the radio back in the 70s. You can just imagine “Crosstown Bus” being played on the on an Adult Contemporary radio format before or after songs like “Tequila Sunrise” from The Eagles.
As the feel of Partake from Curtis and Carla changes from track to track, the song “Say Goodbye” from Carla features a very strong Funk vibe to it. The song helps to bring the two most important participants in the creation of Carla’s music to the forefront: Multi-instrumentalist and Producer Christian Cassan and Carla Lynn Hall herself. As the song was written by Lynn, you get to experience the writing and musical talent of Lynn as she performs the song with a lot of energy. While Christian Cassan helped bring out the best sound on the release as producer, he also added a lot to the music itself as he played many of the musical parts himself. With “Say Goodbye,” Cassan provided all of the music to the track and gave Carla Lynn the perfect musical backdrop on which to sing. Together, Christian Cassan and Carla Lynn create a song with a lot of style and power.
While the majority of Partake from Curtis and Carla finds the two personalities providing their own tracks for most of the release, they end up coming together near the end of the release and provide the listener with two live tracks (one original and one cover tune) of the two performing as one entity under the moniker of Curtis and Carla.
The first live track from Curtis and Carla is the original track of “It’s Good to Be Bad,” a song penned by Curtis Bacraft. “It’s Good to Be Bad” features the guitar of Curtis Bacraft and the duet vocals of Curtis and Carla. The song features a great sense of humor and is rather amusing.
The second live track from the duo on the album is Sheryl Crow’s “Strong Enough”. The track features Curtis on mandolin and Carla on lead vocals. The track allows to listener to hear the beautiful vocals from Carla without them being buried by a lot of other instruments. The single mandolin from Curtis Bracraft, as well as his backing vocals, provides just enough music to make the track interesting to listen to.
The Partake release from Curtis and Carla is a release that provides the listener with two different sounds from two different artists at the same time. And while that could be a bad thing sometimes, the combination of the two artists does create a very unique and enjoyable listening experience. Several of the songs on the release are strong enough on their own to make the release with the purchase price, but the whole album is worth listening to.
Reviewer: Matheson Kamin
Rating: ***** (five stars)
Canadian rocker Cole Hermer began his musical career early on when his mother bought him a guitar at the age of 10 years old. Since that point, the musician has taken off like a rocket and has started creating music that is just as hard-rockin’ as early rock bands such as Led Zeppelin or even The Yardbirds. And taking a listen to Hermer’s voice, one can hardly imagine that this is the voice of a teenager as it has the same strength of someone much older.
The music created by Cole Hermer and The Ravens seems a bit out of place with today’s music scene, and that’s a good thing because they are not following the same trends as most of the bands out there creating the same bland music. Cole Hermer and The Ravens have just released a new CD entitled Quoth the Raven.
The five songs that make up Quoth the Raven from Cole Hermer and The Ravens run between a modern sound of someone like The White Stripes and Classic Rock bands Led Zeppelin. That combination will attract both young music seekers and older ones as well.
Quoth the Raven from Cole Hermer and The Ravens begins with the track “California Breakdown”. The track is a great way to introduce the uninitiated to Hermer’s music as the track features a classic blues-rock sound that brings the listener back to the days of many of the bands that are now considered Classic Rock. The band comes together to create a song that seems to shed a little truth about the promises that come from one of the busiest and most popular places in the world where everyone goes to try to make it in the entertainment industry. Just listening to Hermer sing about that location may make you think twice about wanting to visit or become part of the “magic” that you find them.
The next song on the Quoth the Raven release from Cole Hermer and The Ravens, “Exploitable,” seems to follow in the same lyrical vein as “California Breakdown”. The song warns of people who only make money off of the young. A very ironic song coming from a musician as young as Cole Hermer, but at least he seems to know that he fits into the group. The track features a rock feel that is still very strong but has slightly less of an edge than the previous track. And as “California Breakdown” falls firmly into the Classic Rock vein, “Exploitable” seems to come from a much more recent time period in rock as you could easily hear the song played between bands like The Black Keys and Jet on today’s radio airwaves.
While “California Breakdown” and “Exploitable” have a lot of energy, the track of “Friends” seems to come out of nowhere as the track has a lot less energy than the previous tracks. The “anti-love song” from Cole Hermer and The Ravens stays away from the clichés of many other songs where the singer laments loudly about the loss of love; with this track, Cole Hermer focuses on the positive as he remembers the good days of the relationship. While not as powerful as the songs that came before it on the release, “Friends” still features good writing and also still features several guitar solos that have a lot of energy to them.
For the track of “Maybe,” Cole Hermer and the rest of the band stays in the same musical vein as on “Friends” as “Maybe” features an unplugged feel as the guitars featured on the track are all acoustic. The acoustic guitars used by Hermer helps to prove that, not only does he have chops when it come to the electric guitar, he also has chops when he plays the acoustic ones, as well.
For the final track on Quoth the Raven from Cole Hermer and The Ravens, the band takes a large amount of influence from Queens of the Stone Age for the song “Teenage Creed”. While it is not identical to the QOTSA song, Cole Hermer and The Ravens’ “Teenage Creed” will no doubt have you thinking about “No One Knows” from the California-based band.
Each of the songs on Quoth the Raven from Cole Hermer and The Ravens is strong and well-written and well-played. The tracks allow the listener the chance to hear the unquestionable talent from Hermer and his band. Here’s to a full-length release!
Click HERE for the video to “Teenage Creed” by Cole Hermer & The Ravens.
With today’s music industry more reliant on the digital side of things than it has ever been, there are more bands out there that are getting their names out there by releasing only one song at a time. One particular band that is taking this approach to their music is the Amsterdam-based group, New Renegades. New Renegades consists of Vocalist Ruben Seyferth, Guitarist Martijn Smit, Bassist Joav Richartz and Drummer Oskar Glasbergen. Together, the band is creating a sound that brings back the sound of classic rock and roll, the type that was created back in the seventies. As they claim, the band has been influenced by the likes of The Ramones and Herman Brood. For one of the band’s first songs to be released as part of their “One at a Time” approach, they have released the track “Outta Here”. The song starts off strong with a very strong guitar solo. The vocals from Seyferth add that definite rock feel as his vocal style will remind you of some of the best vocalists in rock. The music of the track effortlessly shifts from a punk-influenced feel and something that might have come from Van Morrison. “Outta Here” brings back a lot of rock flavor that seems to have been lost as bands go more for the commercial feel and leave the real rock and roll behind. While Guitarist Martijn Smit, Bassist Joav Richartz and Drummer Oskar Glasbergen give the song that strong rock and roll feel, the addition of Bas Grijmans on organ also adds some strength to the song. The music from the band and the vocals from Ruben Seyferth combine to create a track in “Outta Here” that gives the listener a nice preview of what is to come from the band as they continue to present their sound one song at a time.
Artist: New Renegades
Song: “Outta Here”
Reviewer: Matheson Kamin
Rating: ***** (five stars)
New Jersey-born Jodelle Boorady has started to make a name for herself as an Indie Rock musician. The singer-songwriter has created music that has a very commercial crossover appeal that will satisfy fans of pop and rock music alike. Along with her own CDs, Jodelle’s music can be found on several compilation releases. Currently, Jodelle is promoting her newest release entitled Better than Ok.
Better than Ok from Jodelle begins with the track “Queen of Crazy”. With this track, the music has been features a large amount of keyboard in it. The main instrument on the track is the piano while Jodelle also adds in a great deal of keyboard-based sounds that help to give the song even more commercial quality to it. The resulting track is a synth-heavy song that could easily find its way onto the radio airwaves on a station that features Top 40 or Adult Contemporary music. With the song “Queen of Crazy,” fans of piano-based music will find a track that will appeal to them in a large way. “Queen of Crazy” is one of those tracks that have a sound that will immediately connect with the listener and have them singing along with the song.
While “Queen of Crazy” has a very heavy piano-based sound, the next track of “Skirt” has a more balanced feel to it as the song features more than the piano that was such a big part of the previous song. On “Skirt,” the song begins with Jodelle playing the ukulele that helps give the song a light feel to it. The song then segues into a slightly heavier track that brings back the piano feel from the first track of the release. The inclusion of the trumpet from Taylor Mandel takes the song in a more orchestrated direction. That direction helps separate the two tracks and gives the release some variety to it.
On the song “Self Portrait,” the music once again has a different feel to it. The track begins with a strong guitar part. That guitar helps set up the song to end up going in a more rock and roll-like direction than the first tracks on the album. The guitar from Nick Pierro on this song is as strong as the piano from Jodelle and the two instruments blend well together to create a track that is one of the strongest moments on the release. “Self Portrait” could easily find its way onto commercial radio where it would fit alongside songs from the likes of Tori Amos, Five for Fighting, even Goo Goo Dolls.
The tempo of the music slows down on the title track of the release. “Better than Ok” once again finds Jodelle creating a song that has a strong piano-based feel to the music of the track. The track is one of the strongest songs on the EP as the music of the song comes complete with a background that features a strong orchestrated feel to it. The easy tempo of the song and the orchestrated background creates a track that, once again, feels as if the song could fit in with other songs on a Top 40 radio format. With the powerful message of getting on with your life and putting the past behind you also makes the track right for crossover possibilities on the radio.
With “The Other Shoe,” the final track of Better than Ok from Jodelle, the song has the same style and feeling as the title track of “Better than Ok”. But “The Other Shoe” is much more based around the piano of Jodelle and the guitar of Nick Pierro as the two instruments come together to create a simple musical background. The electric guitar and piano fill out the sound of the song but still contain a certain amount of simplicity to the music. The simple song brings the release to a close with an easy pace.
The new release from Jodelle of Better than Ok features several songs that are piano-based pop and some that are more rock oriented. The combination of the two styles on the release gives the EP an interesting contrast. Whichever style you like better, the release of Better than Ok from Jodelle leaves you wanting for more.
Review by Matheson Kamin
Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)
Heather Fay is a singer-songwriter that writes music that has a style that combines Country, Folk and even Bluegrass. The resulting Americana style that ends up being created is as strong as anything that has been created by people like Allison Kraus or Emmylou Harris. Heather Fay’s music is featured on her new album entitled Cherish the Broken.
The new album from Heather Fay begins with the track “Drive You out Of My Mind”. The song begins with a rather easy feel and then gradually adds more energy. The song features both fiddle and mandolin to help give the song that folk flavor while the later additions of bass and drums help to give the song its more energetic feel. The song will easily appeal to both Country fans as well as Folk fans. The track is both beautiful and entertaining at the same time.
With the song “Autumn’s Chill,” Heather Fay gives her new release a slightly more simple feel than the previous track. The simple guitar and fiddle coupling for nearly half the track makes for a beautiful yet easy musical backdrop for the lyrics from Fay about spending time in the autumn weather. When the rest of the instruments show up on the track, the easy feel of the song remains. The simple music on the track gives Heather Fay’s voice the chance to come through without her having to overpower the music.
“Breaking My Heart” changes the feel of the music on Cherish the Broken. While the first two tracks on the release have a Folk/Country feel, “Breaking My Heart” has a straight-forward Bluegrass feeling to it. The lyrics to the track bring to mind those writers and performers of Bluegrass music from back in the early days of the 20th Century. The lyrics and music for the song make this song feel very authentic. The track proves that there are still musical artists around today that care about making music that stays true to the roots of the music. Heather Fay definitely seems to be one of those artists.
One of the biggest things that you will notice with this new release from Heather Fay is the way that each song builds from simple songs at the beginning of each track to more complex songs by the end of each track. With the song of “Scraped Knee’d Girl”, Heather Fay creates yet another track that has a simple feel with just guitar and fiddle at the beginning. During the length of the track, more and more instruments combine to create a soft folk track. The lyrics of this track have a slightly heartbreaking feel to them as Fay sings about the hard road she has had to endure through her life.
To change the pace of the music on her album, Heather Fay creates the track “I Would for You”. This track features a lot more Country flavor to it than the previous tracks on the album. The song picks up the pace of the music and creates one of the strongest songs on the album. The song even includes a driving beat from the drum that reinforces the energy of the music.
Just as the listener gets used to the stronger feel of “I Would for You,” the musical landscape shifts once again. The song “Love Stay” is a simple song with a touching message of love. The easy feel of the song gives a nice contrast to the previous track. And the emotional feel to the lyrics may have you wiping a tear away.
One of the most interesting tracks on Cherish the Broken from Heather Fay is her version of the Michael Jackson smash hit “Thriller”. The folk music version of the song really takes the song in a completely different direction than the original version that millions of people know. The song begins with the bowing of the double bass that gives the song a strong eeriness to it. The folk arrangement of the song makes the song feel very fresh. And once the electric guitar and drumbeats enter the song, the track ends up being one of the strongest songs on the release.
Cherish the Broken from Heather Fay has many strong moments throughout the ten songs that make up the release. While the majority of the music on the album falls into Country/Folk, the music features elements of many different genres of music. That combination of genres makes the release very interesting. Whether you are a fan of folk music or you just haven’t found the right artist in that genre yet, Cherish the Broken from Heather Fay just may be the album you’ve been looking for to make you a fan of the style.
Review by: Matheson Kamin
Rating: ***** of out five
Click HERE for the video to “Thriller” from Heather Fay.
With the decision for Heather Stewart to make the entertainment industry her career of choice also came the decision for Stewart to create her own music. Stewart started writing her own songs and Stewart eventually created her first release from 2008 entitled Life of the Party. With the success of that release, Stewart decided to create a new album.
When creating her latest release of What It is, Heather Stewart took her songs into two different studios that had their own histories that made them ideal locations to record, first at the Sound Factory and the second at Sunset Sound, both in Los Angeles. With being in both of these studios, the recording process took on a special vibe that helped add magic to the music.
To help Heather Stewart bring her music to life, Stewart called upon guitarists Blake Mills, Marty Rifkin and Joshua Grange and drummer Aaron Sterling as well as bassist Sean Hurley who has spent time performing with the likes of John Mayer and Vertical Horizon. The resulting sound of Stewart’s music combines elements of musicians like Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow as well as others.
The latest album from Heather Stewart, What It Is, begins with the album’s title track. “What It Is” The track features a slow pace that adds to the blues-flavored music of song. While the song has a very relaxed feel to it, Stewart’s vocal delivery is still very strong. The results are very similar to something that you could easily expect from Bonnie Raitt, with a little less twang to the song.
The pace of the music on What It Is picks up with the next song of “Tell Me Who”. The resulting track has a vibe that could really remind you of something that would have been created by The Traveling Wilburys: the twang of the guitar on the track could easily have come from George Harrison while the lyrics of the song sound like something that would have come from that band’s first album. The opening seconds of the track would have fit with songs like “End of the Line” and “Handle with Care” from The Traveling Wilburys. The track has a very commercial quality to it and the simplicity to the lyrics makes them easy to sing along with. “Tell Me Who” would be an ideal candidate for a single off the album.
With the song “Stand Up,” Stewart lets more than a little of her independent spirit out as she writes a song about being who you want to be. Like other songs before it, “Stand Up” has the appeal and message that could make the track into a definite anthem for women’s rights. The folk-rock music for the track also has mass appeal for all music listeners.
After a track that features a very strong message about being strong, Stewart follows that song with one of the strongest tracks on the album. “Back and Blue” picks up a lot more rock and roll feeling than any of the tracks that came before it. The bass and drums create a very strong beat for the song that seems to take the listener back to a more creative time in the history of rock and roll as the song feels as if it would have fit in with songs from bands that helped would have been part of the British Invasion. The resulting track of “Black and Blue” could easily have been written by The Animals as it has the same type of strong feeling as the song “House of the Rising Sun” has.
Another track off of What It Is that could easily end up being a single is the song “A Little More”. The heartbreaking lyrics about the singer coming to the realization that a relationship is ending are very universal. The song features a very strong twang that comes from the lead guitar on the track. That twang gives the song enough of a Country music feel that the song could easily be a crossover track. It is that “crossover” appeal that makes “A Little More” one of the strongest tracks on What It Is from Heather Stewart.
The new release from Heather Stewart, What It Is, features many different styles in the tracks of the album. With each change in the feel of the album, the listener gets to experience a different side to Stewart’s personality. Those different sides to her personality help make the release very well-rounded and enjoyable to listen to.
Review by Matheson Kamin
Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)
To get just a glimpse of Heather Stewart’s new release “What It Is,” which will be released October 8, 2013, here is a video of Stewart performing the title track of the album with guitarist Keaton Simons. CLICK HERE.
Stone Diamond is a rock trio made up of Cy on vocals/bass, Josh on vocals/guitar and The Tongue on drums. Having come together several years ago as a garage band, today, the three musicians create a rock band that has a lot of energy. The band also calls upon keyboardist, Toby Philippen to help flesh out their music. The resulting sound can be found on the band’s debut album We Stole the Stars from the Black Night.
We Stole the Stars from the Black Night begins with the track “Love Stays”. “Love Stays” is one of those tracks that starts off strong and just keeps going. The track features a straight-out rock feel that could easily find its way onto a Classic Rock radio format. The lyrics to the song are simple enough that the listener will find that they are singing along. When the band stops playing their instruments late in the track to sing a’cappella, the listener gets to hear the band harmonize. The track is very strong and is a great way to start off the new release from Stone Diamond.
The new album from Stone Diamond continues with the track “Let it Roll” is another strong track. This time, the band creates a track that is definitely a blues/rock song. The guitar from Cy has a definite Blues feel to it while Toby Philippen helps add a strong keyboard feel to the track.
“Flavor of Tears” starts off slow with an easy tempo. It then becomes a track that features a vocal style that may remind you of Jim Morrison along with a lyrical style that could even have been something that Morrison himself may have written. The music itself contains a Classic Rock feel that could remind you of The Doors or any other band from around that time period in music. The track has enough style and power to satisfy any Classic Rock fan; it ends up being one of the strongest tracks of the entire album.
For the track “Tattoo,” Stone Diamond slows the pace of the music down to a very slow tempo. The song’s simple guitar work at the beginning of the track from Josh provides the perfect musical background for the emotional lyrics to the song. After a few seconds, the song builds to become a stronger track but still maintains the slow pace that it contained at the beginning. The band comes together to create music that features a mix of Classic Rock and Alternative Rock feelings at the same time.
“Dark Lover” is a song that really stays true to Classic Rock as the song sounds like a mix of Rock and Roll from a band like The Rolling Stones and a little Soul from someone like Bootsy Collins. “Dark Lover” is mainly a track that has a musical trio feel to the music with a little keyboard thrown in for a little flavor. The resulting track is an interesting song as the listener experiences a track that sounds as if it was it would have come out of the seventies.
To change the feel of their music just a little, Stone Diamond creates a “duet” of sorts with the track “U Know”. The slow-paced track features female vocals that help to add some emotional feeling to the lyrics of the song. When the band picks up the pace of the song, the song sounds something like a crossover between Jessica Simpson and maybe Deep Purple. “U Know” is one of the best and most commercial tracks on the album.
We Stole the Stars from the Black Night from Stone Diamond is the perfect release for those who are looking for the type of music that features a strong rock feeling to the music and also stays true to the style of the bands of the past that are now grouped into the Classic Rock genre. The eleven tracks of the album are nicely varied in their approach while staying in the Rock and Roll groove. The three musicians of Cy, Josh and The Tongue who make up the band Stone Diamond have created a rock and roll release that will fit in perfectly with those bands of the past while still making their music sound fresh for today’s music-buying public.
Click HERE to see the video to “Love Stays” from Stone Diamond’s We Stole the Stars from the Black Night release.
Elisa Korenne is a singer-songwriter from Minnesota who creates music that contains many different facets to it. With each song, Korenne seems to approach the music from a different angle. This helps to keep the music from this talented nicely varied. Elisa Korenne is currently promoting her album Concrete.
Concrete from Elisa Korenne begins with the track “Know Better”. The song is a track that contains a simple lyric about wanting better options in her relationship. The song contains a folk-rock feel to the music that gives the track a nice easy pace.
While “Know Better” has a folk-rock feel, the title track of the release, “Concrete,” also has a slightly easy feel to the music. But unlike “Know Better,” the feel of the title track is a lot jazzier. The inclusion of a trumpet to the music of the track helps to truly bring out its jazzy feel. The lyrics of the song are sung rather beautifully by Elisa Korenne, proving that she has the ability to sing many different styles of music.
With the track “Love to Love,” once again changes styles. The music for this track has a blues/rock feel to it. The track also seems to contain more attitude than the first tracks of the album as Elisa sings about different sexual ideas. The slight attitude in the lyrics and the harder approach in the music of the track give “Love to Love” more energy than the previous tracks.
“Keep it in My Heart” changes the feel of the music yet again. The track brings forward a bluesier feel than the album’s first track of “Know Better”. The slow tempo helps to add some intensity to the music of the track while the lyrics contain a slightly upbeat attitude.
The folk feel from the first track of the album returns on the song “Color Me In”. With this track, Elisa Korenne sings an emotional song about wanting to help complete her lover as long as they return the favor. The easy feel to the song help add some emotion to the lyrics to the song.
Almost as quickly as Korenne slows the pace down with “Color Me in,” music returns to a faster pace with the track “Lean into the Curve”. The track is one of the hardest rockin’ songs on the release. The song has one of the strongest electric guitar parts on the entire release. The electric guitar seems to add a bit of Jimi Hendrix–like flavor to the track. The inclusion of saxophone on the track also helps to give the song a bit of a retro feel. The various elements of the track add up to one strong song that could get the listener up and moving to the beat.
The stronger, faster feel to “Lean into the Curve” is short-lived as the next track on the album once again slows the pace of the release down. The song “Take Me Slowly” is a slow-paced song that features a very intense (and very slow) vocal delivery by Elisa Korenne that truly brings out the emotion and meaning to the lyrics to the track. “Take Me Slowly” is one of the most powerful songs on the Concrete album from Elisa Korenne.
While “Take Me Slowly” is one of the most intense tracks on the album, one of the most fun is “100 Miles to Nowhere”. This is one song that makes you smile with the lyrics that seem to have a bit of humor to them. The track has enough twang to please Country music fans while still pleasing rock fans at the same time.
Concrete from Elisa Korenne contains many songs that switch from one style of music to another. With the ever-changing feel of the album, there is something for everyone on the release. And while the style of music changes throughout the album, one thing that stays constant is Korenne’s ability to create a song that is strong and her vocal ability to sing any style as well. This release is strong on many levels and that is what makes it so good.
Review by Matheson Kamin
Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)
Click HERE for the track “Keep it in My Heart” from Elisa Korenne.
Sometimes a smash hit single gets a new life when someone new takes that hit and does their version of the tune but in a much different way. That’s the way it should be. Why do it exactly the way the original artist did it? If you want to do a version of the song, set yourself apart from the original artist with a version that says ‘this is my version, not yours’. The musician Kevin Pugh took this mindset when he went about doing his version of the Paula Abdul hit “Straight Up”. The original version of “Straight Up” by Paula Abdul was one of the most popular and most famous songs from 1988. When Kevin Pugh created his version of the tune, the song ended up going in a Country/Bluegrass direction. What sets Kevin Pugh’s version apart from Abdul’s version (aside from the obvious stylistic difference) is the fact that Pugh created the entire arrangement with his own hands, playing each instrument himself.The resulting track contains enough of the original substance and style of the Paula Abdul version that the listener has no problem imagining the original version. But with the inclusion of mandolin, slide guitar, honky tonk (or “tack”) piano and steel guitar, the song has a definite bluegrass feel to it. And with Rachel Pugh also adding her voice to the track, the song not only feels like a completely different song than the original version, it also seems to have a duet-like quality to it. While it may not be an original song, “Straight Up” by Kevin Pugh is one true original when it comes to “cover songs”. And while it is not original, the song does show off the definite talent that exists within Kevin Pugh as a musician and arranger.
Rating: ***** (five stars)
Reviewed by: Matheson Kamin
Click HERE to see the video to “Straight Up” from Kevin Pugh
Boston, Massachusetts is the home to the rock band Canary. The band has created their own sound by taking elements from Classic Rock bands. Having already released an EP by the title of Handsome Stranger, Canary has just put out a single entitled “Let down Your Guard”.
“Let down Your Guard” starts with a drumbeat before the rest of the band contributes to the Blues/Rock feel of the track that brings to mind the Peter Green days of Fleetwood Mac. The song is sung with a soulful approach to the lyrics. The bluesy feel of the music coupled with the soulful vocals create a song that feels as if it should have been created right around the beginning of the first British Invasion by the English bands that were just then discovering the music of the Blues players like B.B. King or John Lee Hooker.
The track has a definite quality that belongs to that particular time in music but also seems to carry with it a certain timeless feel to it so it doesn’t seem so dated. On “Let down Your Guard,” Boston’s Canary creates a strong track that gives their fans a slightly different take on the band’s more contemporary feel to their music. With this track, the band proves that there are still people out there who care about the music that influenced them. No matter whether you are a fan of the more modern rock music or a fan of Classic Rock, “Let down Your Guard” from Canary is a strong track that satisfies either musical mindset.
Single Review: “Let down Your Guard”
Review by Matheson Kamin
Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)
Click HERE for the live video of “Let down Your Guard” from Canary.