Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Just Like MedicineA.J. Croce is a singer-songwriter that was born to another singer-songwriter that had his time on Earth cut short due to a plane crash. That singer-songwriter was, of course, Jim Croce. Jim Croce was known for such songs as “Time in a Bottle,” “Roller Derby Queen,” “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown,” and others. And although Jim Croce died in a plane crash when A.J. Croce was only two, A.J. was largely influenced by his father. In fact, A.J. was so influenced by his father that he started writing his own music. To date, Adrian James “A.J.” Croce has a musical discography that includes ten albums of music. The latest album from the younger Croce is 2017’s Just Like Medicine.

The Just Like Medicine album finds A.J. Croce creating an album that seems to have been influenced by many of the same people that would have been contemporaries to his father, Jim Croce. And while some of his father’s influence does come through, the other influences help to create an album that feels like it would be welcomed by them, the older crowd and the current market of music buyers all at the same time.

While the new album from A.J. Croce features A.J’s songs, it also comes complete with a few songs that had been written by other musicians. The combination of original compositions from Croce and the few cover tunes he chose to include create an album with a straight-out Rock and Roll soul to it; especially given the fact that the tracks borrow from several different musical directions at once. Here are just a few of the highlights to the Just Like Medicine album:

Just Like Medicine begins with one of A.J’s original songs called “Gotta Get Outta My Head”. While Croce has followed in his father’s musical footsteps, he also has gone in his own direction as far as his writing style is concerned. Nowhere is that more apparent than on this first track of the album. The track feels more like a song that Dr. John would have composed. The track’s musical approach combines elements of Rock and Roll with some Funk to create a track with a rather strong groove to it.

A.J. Croce’s latest release continues with a track that was written by Steve Cropper of Booker T & the MG’s fame. Because of Cropper’s musical background and with the various people he played with, the track “The Heart That Makes Me Whole” contains a strong musical feel that would have felt right at home with the tracks that appeared on the albums produced by The Blues Brothers.  A.J’s version of the track brings that Blues Brothers influence to life.

The other track on A.J. Croce’s latest release of Just Like Medicine that isn’t his is the track “Name of the Game”. This song was written by Jim Croce but was never released because Jim passed away before the release it was to be included on went unfinished. Right from the beginning few notes of the track, it is absolutely clear that “Name of the Game” is Jim Croce’s song. The guitar-driven track would have been right at home next to a song such as “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown”. In fact, the two tracks feel as if they could have been together on the same album.

For the title track of the release, A.J. Croce creates a track in “Cures Just Like Medicine” that brings to mind a style that seems to have been largely influenced by the like of Harry Connick Jr. “Cures Just Like Medicine” features a Jazzy, Connick-like musical approach. The somewhat raspy voice of A.J. Croce and the musical approach once again brings to mind the sound and feel of Dr. John but with more of a jazzy feel.

Staying in a jazzy state of mind, the next track entitled “Move On” features A.J. Croce continues with the Connick influence but with a stronger stressing of jazz to the music. On this track, what ends up coming across is an “American Songbook” era track that would have come from Rod Stewart. The easy feel to the music and the lyrical delivery that is unmistakably Stewart creates a track that transcends age as the track feels both timeless and retro at the same time.

With the song “The Other Side of Love,” A.J. Croce creates a track with a rather soulful feel to the music. That soulful approach comes from the laidback feel to the pace of the music as well as the quiet feel of the vocal delivery from Croce and the piano that is featured on the track. Together, the various elements in the music create a track that feels as if it belongs on the radio back a few decades. But as there are just as many people who are creating music with a retro feel to it, “The Other Side of Love” fits in with other artists today that also bring the older styles of music alive in their current music.

As the album of Just Like Medicine from A.J. Croce continues, the track “Full Up” finds Croce creating a track that features a piano part and vocal delivery that brings to mind the style of Randy Newman. But there’s more to the track than just that Randy Newman influence which proves that A.J. was influenced by the same people who created music at the same time that his father had been creating music. While the delivery and musical approach bring Newman to mind, the music also contains a little influence by a more contemporary artist- Jack Johnson. Together, the two influences blend to create a track with inter-generational appeal.

On the track “Hold You,” A.J. Croce seems to be channeling the musical approach of Van Morrison. Both the music of the track and Croce’s vocal approach to the track bring to mind the sound and style of Morrison. In fact, “Hold You” has such a strong Morrison feel to the music that it would fit right in with the likes of “The Mystic” or “Crazy Love”. “Hold You” is just another track on the album of Just Like Medicine from A.J. Croce that shows off the various influences that give A.J. Croce’s music its appeal.

As you make your way through the ten tracks that make up the Just Like Medicine album from A.J. Croce, it’s hard to ignore the various influences that wind their way through Croce’s music. But those influences aren’t a bad thing. The various influences that Croce draws upon help give his music depth. As a result, his 2017 album is an album that will satisfy any Rock and Roll lover’s desire for something new.

To hear the music from Just Like Medicine from A.J. Croce, check out the Spotify account for the album. 

Also check out the “title track” to the release, “Cures Just like Medicine“. 

To purchase a copy of Just Like Medicine from A.J. Croce, click HERE

Click HERE for A.J. Croce’s version of “Operator” from Jim Croce. 

 

 

 

 

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Pick Me UpShane Palko is a singer-songwriter who is also a world traveler. The reason for that is because of the time he has spent on the road traveling from one country to the next performing music from the many albums he has recorded over the years. With how many miles he has amassed while traveling on his own and with the band that helps back him up, it comes as no surprise that Palko’s music contains a great deal of songs that have to do with the idea of traveling.

For his new album entitled Pick Me Up, Shane Palko’s latest release comes complete with cover art (courtesy of artist Hannah Kelleher) that represents various modes of transportation used to get from one location to the next. The newest album from Palko even begins with a track that deals with that very topic.

Along with the ever-present idea of travel that exists within the lyrical content of many of Shane Palko’s songs, another thing that exists within much of Palko’s songs is the Folk/Folk-Rock approach to the music. This inclusion of a lighter approach to the music gives the songs from Shane Palko a rather strong laidback feel. That laidback feeling to the music gives Pick Me Up, the latest album from Shane Palko, a solid direction that lasts for the entire release.

Pick Me Up, the new album from Shane Palko, begins with the track “Traveling/Wandering”. The track contains a light, easy feel to the music. As a result of the light approach, the track would easily desacribe as being Indie Rock. The easy feel of the music on the track also seems to be perfect for using the song itself as a track in a roadtrip soundtrack. The easy musical approach of the Indie Rock music in “Traveling/Wandering” brings to mind the lighter music that had been produced back in the seventies. In fact, “Traveling/Wandering” would have been right at home being included in AM radio pop/rock formats in the seventies.

Shane Palko continues the traveling concept with the next track of “Circus Dog”. While the lyrics of the track deal with walking over to a neighbor’s hose instead of traveling halfway around the world, there is still the idea of moving. And much like with the previous track, “Circus Dog” also contains a light, easy quality to the music of the track. While the previous track would have felt at home in AM pop radio formats from the seventies, “Circus Dog” feels as if it would be right at home in a current radio format within the Pop/Rock genre.

As the listener makes their way through the tracks that make up the Pick Me Up album from Shane Palko, it becomes rather apparent that the album contains a certain theme of movement threading its way throughout the songs. And right along with the feeling of travel that winds its way through the lyrical content of Palko’s songs, the continuing feeling of Easy Listening music also winds its way through the tracks.

While many of the songs on Shane Palko’s release deal with travel, no matter how far that trip is, there is one track on Pick Me Up album that deals with a slightly different takes on travel.

With the track “Starship,” Palko gives the idea of travel a different spin. “Starship” is a track that features lyrics that deal with a person being seemingly all alone in the world and trying to survive as the rest of the universe goes on around you, whether you’re in a starship or you just think you are. The music of the track features a Light Rock feel that brings to mind the lighter fare created by the likes of Seals & Crofts.

While the vast majority of the tracks on Shane Palko’s latest album are songs that deal with some sort of travel, the album does contain a few tracks that do not deal with travel. One of those tracks is the third track of the release entitled “Better”. The track’s lyrics deal with the singer talking to a friend he has not seen for a while. Palko sings about being glad to catch up. The music of the track contains one of the strongest deliveries. The music even contains a driving feel to it; however much of a driving feel a Light Rock song can have, that is. “Better” ends up being perhaps the best track on the new album from Palko.

Shane Palko’s latest album contains one other track that does not deal with travel. In fact, the song “For Juniper” is a track that contains no lyrical content at all. Taking the Light Rock music that has filled up the rest of the album, Palko created one track that strictly dealt with the sound of the acoustic guitar and the rest of the instruments that were used to bring Palko’s Acoustic Rock to life. Like the rest of the album, the music “For Juniper” contains a smooth, easy feeling to the music. But without words to get in the way, what results is a track that comes across as a Jazz-like track with a laidback approach. The song of “For Juniper” would easily fit on any Smooth Jazz radio format.

With Shane Palko’s choice of subject matter on the album being traveling, the tracks blend together to create a release that feels more unified than most other albums. And for those who like their music on the softer side of things, the Pick Me Up album from Shane Palko is just what you’re looking for.

 

For the music of  Shane Palko, check out the track “Better” HERE

For more information, check out Shane Palko’s PR firm of Whiplash PR & Management by clicking on the logo for the company. 

Whiplash

 

Matt KjeldsenAustin-based singer-songwriter Matt Kjeldsen spent the year 2015 releasing two albums of original music. Released together at the same time, the albums Consequence and Renaissance plus Clouds and Cages contained a total of twenty-two tracks. But in reality, those twenty-two tracks were just a small sample of the songs that Kjeldsen had written at that time.

The reason why twenty-two songs is only a small amount for Kjeldsen is because he makes his living as a composer who works on supplying instrumental music for music libraries where those songs can and may well eventually be used for something or other. The resulting concept ended up being numerous song ideas that eventually lead him to create full-blown songs. And many of those ideas ended up being extended into songs that became the two albums entitled Consequence and Renaissance plus Clouds and Cages.

Now, three years later, Matt Kjeldsen returns with another release. This time, the singer-songwriter has produced a five-song EP called Last Days.

Matt Kjeldsen’s Last Days EP begins with the track called “Closer to Texas”. To start his new release off, Kjeldsen creates a track with a definite Americana feel to it. While the track features a strong Folk feel to the music in the form of a guitar and mandolin, there is also a Country background to the music if the form of the addition of the banjo that gives the track a feel that falls somewhere between the two styles. Because of the dual feel, “Closer to Texas” would fall firmly into the Americana genre. To go along with the feel of the music, the lyrical content finds Kjeldsen singing about finding his way back to the woman he once fell in love with.

With the song “I Should Know Me Better than That by Now,” Matt Kjeldsen creates a track that falls into the Folk-Rock category. The first thing the listener will notice is the lighter feel of the music. The more laidback feel to the music results in a track that feels as if it would have felt right at home back in the seventies. The acoustic guitar drives the feel of the music which contains a similarly easy feel that the previous track had. The difference between the two songs is that “I Should Know Me Better than That by Now” would have fit right in the middle of an MOR (Middle of the Road) radio format back in the seventies. While the track does have a laidback approach, the song feels as if it would have easily been a successful track at the time.

Last Days from Matt Kjeldsen continues with the title track of the EP. With this track, Kjeldsen creates another laidback tune with a Folk flavor to it. The title track of “Last Days” brings back some of the Americana feel that came from “Closer to Texas” as there is more to the feel of the music than just Folk influence. While the majority of the music falls into Folk, the addition of strings also gives the song a bit of Classical music influence. While the previous two tracks contain the aforementioned laidback feeling, the addition of the strings makes “Last Days” the most laidback of the tracks thus far. The track comes complete with a storytelling feel to the lyrics as Kjeldsen tells of a civilization that fell apart because of bad choices. It’s actually hard not to see some parallels between that time in history and what is currently going on. That may very well be what Kjeldsen is trying to get across with this track.

The first three tracks on Matt Kjeldsen’s newest release contain a certain amount of feeling that connects the tracks together in a similar fashion. But with the fourth song on the EP called “What Once Was,” Kjeldsen changes things up. Gone is the Folk feeling. What replaces it in this track is a much stronger Rock and Roll approach. And in particular, the feel of the music and the delivery of the lyrics on the track bring to mind the music of Tom Petty. As opposed to some tracks from Petty, the track of “What Once Was” has a very current feel to it, as if Petty himself would have recorded it not that long ago.

The latest EP from Matt Kjeldsen called Last Days comes to a close with the track “Ghosts and Shadows”. With this final track, Kjeldsen creates the strongest, hardest-rocking track of the five songs that appear on the EP. Gone away is the feeling of Folk…anything. Instead, what Kjeldsen creates is a Rock and Roll track that contains a strong, driving feel to the music. The track contains a feeling that feels like a combination of late sixties Psychedelic Rock and Rock and Roll from the late eighties. The track also contains lyrics that seem to suggest a time not unlike the days of Halloween. The track’s lyrical content also suggests something of a darker nature, like a haunting or something like that. With that combination, “Ghosts and Shadows” stands out as perhaps the most unusual of the five tracks that make up the Last Days release.

While only five songs long, Last Days from Matt Kjeldsen seems to present two different sides to the singer-songwriter. The first three tracks show off the more Folky side of his personality while the final two tracks help to bring out his more rocking’ side. That division creates an EP with a split feeling in its music. That isn’t a bad thing, however. It just means that there different influences that feed Kjeldsen’s writing. As it is, the five-song EP is a good place to start if you are unfamiliar with the music from Matt Kjeldsen.

For more on Matt Kjeldsen and his music, check out his website called Matt’s Music Box.

For a taste of Kjeldsen’s music, check out the title track off of the Last Days release. 

To hear the Last Days EP, click on the album cover below:
Kjeldsen

The Hills & The RiversThe Hills and The Rivers is a Folk-based band that makes its home in Pittsburgh. The band came together when two of the Hill siblings decided to put the songs of Isaac Hill to music. Eventually, the four Hills siblings and some friends came to form the band. Today, the band consists of: Isaac Hill – Vocals, Octave Mandolin; Heidi Hill – Vocals, Tambourine; Ian Hill – Vocals, Mandolin; Colin Hill – Vocals, Washboard, Melodica; Faith Hersey – Djembe; James Bristol – Upright Bass; Joey Schuller – Banjo and Chris Fazio – Violin, Trumpet, Piano. This ensemble named The Hills and The Rivers has just created a new release called The Fool &The Magician.

The Fool &The Magician album from The Hills and The Rivers begins with the track “Zero”. The lead-off track of barely over thirty seconds contains a simple octave mandolin/violin combination in the orchestration and a rather simplistic feel to the music itself as the musical phrases seem to repeat themselves several times before the tune fades out. The simple introductory track gives a little indication as to what is to follow.

With the “title track” of the release, The Hills and The Rivers prove just how talented they are. The beginning seconds to the track of “The Hills” feels like a riff from a Rock and Roll song and then the rest of the instrumentation joins in to create a much more Folk-oriented track. However, what is produced combines that Folk influence and a Jam band feel to create a track that takes the best of both worlds to make a track that feel right at home in either a Folk music festival or in a more jam band-oriented setting like opening for a band like Béla Fleck and the Flecktones.

Taking a generous amount of the feel from the previous track of “The Hills,” the band adds in a lot of Gypsy music influence. The result for the third track on the album entitled The Fool & The Magician is the song entitled “The Leap”. Just like the previous track’s song contains a sound that is rather reminiscent of tunes from the likes Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, “The Leap” also finds the band bringing to mind a band with their music. “The Hills” contains a musical style that may remind some of the style of the Atlanta-based band Little Tybee who has been known for their Folk-Rock/Indie sound. It is the quick pace and higher energy level to the music that really brings to mind that Indie feel. When the band launches into an all-out jam with members of the group taking solos within the track, the listener gets a more intimate feel of the musical abilities within the group.

The band The Hills and The Rivers continues their new album with the track “The Road”. The earlier tracks on the release had featured Isaac Hill on lead vocals. For “The Road,” Isaac steps aside and his sister, Heidi Hill, takes a turn at the vocals. Bringing the energy level of the music back down a little, Heidi and the band create a song in “The Road” that once again incorporates a large amount of Folk influence while also bringing a good amount of Rock and Roll mindset to both the music and the lyrical content in the track. The higher pitch of Heidi’s soprano vocals adds a bit of beauty to the track.

It is on the track of “Gotta Get My Thrill” that the band The Hills and The Rivers really steps away from the rest of the album. On this track, the band seems to combine the Folk influence that flows through the rest of the release and a large amount of Punk influence together. The resulting combination is a sound that is both quick-paced and rather intense. For those looking for something really different, “Gotta Get My Thrill” is just what you’re looking for as it would be rather difficult to find another Folk/Punk blend out there today. And while there may be others doing that Folk/Punk blend, The Hills and The Rivers’ track of “Gotta Get My Thrill” is almost too much fun to listen to because of the contrasting styles that combine to create this track.

Not to be confused with a very similarly titled track from another band of siblings called Hanson’s song, the track “Mmbop” has the band The Hills and The Rivers creating a track using only the vocals. The acapella track brings to mind groups like Lambert, Hendricks & Roth and The Manhattan Transfer who are known for vocal jazz similar to what is contained on this track. The track is instrumental in content and jazz-based as far as the style is concerned. While the rest of the material on the album contains lyrics, the different approach on this track shows that the ensemble has real depth when it comes to writing songs.

Getting back to music-based tracks, the next track on the The Fool & The Magician release is the song “Middle Garden”. Taking the Folk music the band has presented so far and adding a slight medieval feel to it, the track takes the music from the band back in time while the lyrics describe a man looking for direction in his life as he sits and ponders things in his world and his life. The gentle pace to the music adds to the overall feel of the track.

The Fool & The Magician release from The Hills and The Rivers is a solid Folk release. And with the various musical influences that the band throws in throughout the twelve tracks that make up the album, the listener gets to experience several different sides to the band’s music. If Folk music is something you enjoy listening to, The Fool & The Magician release from Isaac, Heidi, Ian and Colin Hill and the rest of The Hills and The Rivers is one release you need to search out.
To hear a little bit of the music from The Hills and The Rivers, check out their video to the song “The Fool.”

For more information, check out The Hills and The Rivers’ PR firm of Whiplash PR & Management by clicking on the logo for the company.

Whiplash

For even more The Hills and The Rivers, check out the band’s Tiny Desk contest entry with their song “The Fool“. 

 

ProvidenceSinger-songwriter Gordon Thomas Ward splits his time between creating music that would fit into several different genres and writing books that cover just as many topics as his music seems to cover genres. That stretching of his talents means that Ward continues to add to his many different influences. And those influences, in turn, influence each other. As far as his music is concerned, Ward has already released one album with the title of Welcome to the Past. Soon, however, he will be adding to that album with another release. The newest release from Gordon Thomas Ward is titled Providence.

The Providence EP from Gordon Thomas Ward is a short, five-song release that begins with the track “Acadia Lament- Names Into Stone”. This beginning track makes it rather obvious that Ward has influences that stretch the gamut as the song begins with a Classical music influence that feels very medieval in nature. The lutes and guitars in that section of the track create a moment of about two minutes consisting of relaxing music before the song segues into something a lot more intense. The second part of the track turns up the heat as the Folk-Rock created features a strong electric guitar and a strong driving feel to the music. Near the end of the track, the music seems to combine the Classical flavor from the beginning with the later musical approach with the strong Folk-Rock feel.

Gordon Thomas Ward changes the direction of the music with the next track. While the previous track takes two different paths in its music with widely different sounds, the song of “Destiny” takes on yet another approach. With this song, the music seems to be rather influenced by the music of the band The Eagles as the track’s Folk-Rock music appears to have a touch of Country flavor to it, much like much of the aforementioned supergroup from the seventies. The lyrical content to “Destiny” finds the singer pondering life as he travels down the road. For those who enjoy some of the music from the seventies, this song will take you back to those days while still containing a fresh feel to the music.

Providence from Gordon Thomas Ward takes on a more emotional feel with the next track of “Just One More”. Like the track before it, “Just One More” finds Gordon Thomas Ward creating a track with Folk flavor to it. But with this track, the emphasis is squarely on the Folk genre as the track contains more Folk feeling than the rest of the tracks on this EP. To go along with the Folk sound that exists inside of the track, Ward writes lyrics that have a lot more of an emotional tug than the rest of the release. The lyrics to the track deal wanting only one more time with those you love, especially those who are now gone, the ones you will never have the chance to spend that time with again. “Just One More” will grab you by the heart and never let go throughout the four-an-a-half minutes of playtime.

As “Just One More” features the most Folk flavor of any of the tracks on the Providence release, the track “The Horseman” finds Gordon Thomas Ward creating a song with the most Country influence to it. It turns out that the Country/Folk combination on the track is a good base to go along with the lyrics to the track. The lyrics, it seems, revolve around the tale of The Headless Horseman. The use of the Country/Folk musical blend goes well with the setting of the story which takes place back in the late 1700’s. With “The Horseman” being a story set to music, the track puts both sides of Ward’s personality to good use, blending the storyteller and musician together on the track.

With the song “One Kiss,” Gordon Thomas Ward seems to be channeling the spirit of John Denver as his vocals, lyrical content and all-around sound to the music of the track bring to mind the style of the now-deceased Denver.  The final track of the EP brings back a lot of the emotions and mindset that had been found on the song “Just One More” as the lyrics deal with looking back at moments that have past too quickly, whether it’s a child growing up, or the loss of one’s mother. The emotional feeling of the track brings the 5-song release to a close in a way that will stay with you long after the last note ends.

Providence from Gordon Thomas Ward may be a short, five-song release, but the tracks that make it up give the listener several different musical approaches throughout those tracks. Because of that, the short but powerful EP gives the listener a good representation of what the music of Gordon Thomas Ward is like.

To check out the music of Gordon Thomas Ward, check out the track “One Kiss“. 

For more information, check out Gordon Thomas Ward’s PR firm of Whiplash PR & Management by clicking on the logo for the company. 

Whiplash

The_Sweet_Potatoes_1If you are a fan of the American version of the improv show called Whose Line Is It Anyway, you most definitely know the program’s musical director, Laura Hall. What you may not know is that there is a lot more to her than just the ability to improvise behind those who constantly come up with the humor on the show. Coming as something that should be no surprise to anyone, Laura Hall makes use of her musical training in more than just the role of a musical director on an Improv show. On days when she is not found backing up people who make a living making things up off the top of their heads, Hall puts her musical background to use with the band called The Sweet Potatoes.

The Sweet Potatoes is a trio of musicians who blend together some classic musical styles in order to create their sound. Laura Hall makes up only one part of The Sweet Potatoes as she performs on piano, accordion, ukulele as well as mandolin and vocals. Hall’s husband Rick Hall, who has made a name for himself as music composer for the likes of shows such as NCIS and KC Undercover, joins the two ladies in the group as he performs on vocals, bass and harmonica. Kelly Macleod (the woman who formed The Sweet Potatoes with Laura Hall as a duo before Hall’s husband joined them) completes the outfit as she performs on vocals and guitar as well as being a writer with Laura Hall on the band’s songs. Together, the trio combines their various musical talents to create a musical ensemble that creates music that focuses on the style of Folk music.

As a duo, Laura Hall and Kelly Macleod had already released one self-titled album of music in 2010 before Rick Hall joined the ladies. As a trio, The Sweet Potatoes created one album of music, 2014’s Faith, Good Neighbors and a Telephone. Now, the trio formation of The Sweet Potatoes has released a second album, (third all-around for the band) 2017’s Headin’ Home.

Headin’ Home from The Sweet Potatoes begins with the track “Those Pines”. The track begins with two-part harmony coming from Laura Hall and Kelly Macleod to create a Bluegrass-style vocal before Macleod takes the lead on vocals as the group begins a track that is truly a Bluegrass fan’s dream. The track features a story-like feel to the lyrics. Macleod sings of remembering the pine trees where she grew up. As she sings of the place she called home, she describes the time when she came home to attend her mother’s funeral and then taking a walk within the trees so that she could find peace of mind. “Those Pines” is easily one track that will fulfill any Bluegrass fan’s dream of finding real bluegrass music.

With the next track of “By the Light of Day,” the song finds the trio creating a track that falls musically closer to Country music than it does Bluegrass. In fact, the track’s musical blend is about half and half Country and Folk. As Kelly Macleod took the lead on vocals with the previous track, it is Laura Hall’s turn to sing lead. While many of us already knew Hall was a talented musician, “By the Light of Day” proves that she can also sing rather well. Just like with the song before it, this track once again features strong harmonizing from the three band members.

On the third track entitled “Second Hand News,” The Sweet Potatoes create a track that revolves around two people spending quality time together. With this track, Kelly Macleod once again takes the lead on the vocal. Macleod sings about slowing things down while relaxing out in the grass and allowing things to happen as they will as she proves she is better than the woman who has taken her place in the now-defunct relationship. The lyrics to the song contain enough of a hint at what is being sought after without going overboard. “Second Hand News” contains a gentle feel with a moderate pace to the music.

The next song on the release is “Home”. And with this song, the trio brings a little more wholesomeness back to their music. The track “Home” finds Macleod once again singing lead on a track about looking back at the way life used to be. To go along with a gentle pace to the music, “Home” features a lyrical content that is sure to evoke memories of times gone by as Macleod sings about the good times that made her childhood so memorable. “Home” is one of the shining moments on the newest release of Headin’ Home from The Sweet Potatoes.

Many Folk albums venture from time-to-time into a more Gospel-oriented musical direction. Headin’ Home from The Sweet Potatoes is no exception. On the track “Down to the River,” Kelly Macleod sings lyrics about heading down to the water that will cleanse her soul. The music on the track picks up a little more Bluegrass feel than the previous tracks contained. The track contains enough of a religious overtone without getting too preachy. For those who enjoy Bluegrass music, especially old-time Bluegrass with that Gospel connection, “Down to the River” is a great modern-day addition to the genre.

On the next track on the album, The Sweet Potatoes create one of the most commercial songs on the entire album. The song “Without You” once again features Kelly Macleod on lead vocals as she sings about her romantic desires. Macleod’s vocals about not wanting to spend her life with that someone special join music that is closer to Old-fashioned Country music than Bluegrass. In fact, the feel of the music as well as the contents of the lyrics make the track perfect for inclusion on Country radio formats that deal with more of the Classic sound and style. While this track may being rather unusual when comparing it to today’s contemporary Country music, the formats that focus on the style that would include Dolly Parton, George Jones, Patsy Cline and Marty Robbins would welcome “Without You” from The Sweet Potatoes with open arms.

Just as “Without You” comes to an end, the trio of The Sweet Potatoes creates yet another track that features an Old-fashioned Country feel to the music. “Only Thing We Got” features Laura Hall once again on lead vocals as she sings about the one thing that binds us all together- love. While there is still a strong retro feel to the music on the track, “Only Thing We Got” seems like it would fit more with today’s style of Country than most of the tracks on the album. The track exists somewhere between “timeless” and modern.

As you make your way through the dozen tracks that make up the Headin’ Home album from The Sweet Potatoes, you encounter different musical elements that blend together easily to create an album that feels as if it should have been released several decades ago. And while there is the retro or throwback element to the band’s music, The Sweet Potatoes will appeal to fans of the older style of Country/Bluegrass music. For those who are already fans of that style, be sure to add this album to your collection. And to those who are just beginning to explore the older styles of music, Headin’ Home album from The Sweet Potatoes,  is a good place to start.

For more information, check out the Tiny Desk Contest of “Home” from The Sweet Potatoes.

Click on the album cover below to purchase a copy of Headin’ Home from The Sweet Potatoes. 

Sweet Potatoes Headin Home

Cat DailCat Dail is a singer-songwriter from New York City who has spent in access of twenty-five years creating music. Whether with the Indie Rock band distant cousins that she helped to form back in the nineties or with the Magnets, a band that helped bring her music to life, Dail has been busy. But now, she has taken her skills as a writer on her own for a new solo album of music.

The new seven-song EP from Cat Dali features not only Dail on vocals, guitar and percussion, but also album producer Teddy Kumpel on several instruments as well as Shawn Pelton on drums. Together, the trio creates seven tracks that incorporate Rock and Roll, Funk, Jazz, Soul, Blues and Folk into one style that fits into the Indie category. The new EP from Cat Dail is entitled Fight for Love.

Fight for Love from Cat Dail begins with the track “Can’t Buy Love”. The track begins with as slow, deliberately steady beat and a slightly dark feeling to the Blues influence in the music. Eventually, the track evolves to a Pop-rock feel to the music with a slow tempo.  The lyrics of the song deal with a relationship that is slowly falling apart. The sad lyrics to the track match up well with the slow pace to the music.

With the track “Player,” Cat Dail and friends create a track with a strong Funk feel to it. The beat that leads the track in gives the song a groove that adds to the Funk feel. The guitar at the beginning adds even more energy to the groove. The lyrical delivery by Cat Dail takes on a slightly jazzy feel that is reminiscent of something from Joni Mitchell. The Funk/Jazz combination of the music creates a track that comes across as something that would have been created back in the late sixties/early seventies. And while the track does seem rather retro in nature, the song would feel right at home on some of today’s more liberal jazz radio formats.

The track “Wonder Love” is easily one of the more unique tracks on the Fight for Love release from Cat Dail. The track features a strong Pop-rock base to the music, but also contains a strong Alternative feel because of some of the synth-pop elements of the song. In fact, some of those synth-pop elements bring to mind bands like Depeche Mode or OMD. And while there is a certain amount of synth-pop feel to the music, the track ultimately feels like something that would have come from “Wonder Love” and its Pop-rock/Alternative mixture create one of the more commercial moments of the seven-song EP.

One of the more unusual moments on the release belongs to the track “Flow Zone”. Much like the track “Player” from earlier in the release, “Flow Zone” is yet another song that features a retro approach to the music. The music of the song combines elements of 70’s era Disco with some elements of Funk. The strong danceable beat that “flows” through the music of the song brings the Disco flavor to the song while the horns that are included in the track help to bring the Funk feel. Plus, the rather simplistic feel to the lyrics of the song also seem reminiscent to songs from the Disco era. “Flow Zone” ends up being one of the more fun-filled tracks on the release.

After the high energy feel of “Flow Zone,” the music takes on a much softer tone on the track “She Can Fly”. The track combines elements of Blues, Jazz, and Folk together with a solid Rock and Roll backbone. The track’s musical blend create creates an Indie Rock feel. The song features the stylings of Andy Erin on Keys to help bring the Jazz flavor to the track. “She Can Fly” is one song that will satisfy the tastes of many different music lovers.

Cat Dail’s newest release comes to a close with the song “Molly & Matchbox”. For this track, Cat Dali and band combine elements of Folk and Rock to form a song with a rather easy feel to the music. The resulting track brings to mind a combination of Linda Ronstadt and Tori Amos. With the inclusion of coyote at the end of the track howling in the distance, the track even seems to add a little Country flavor to the rest of the music that exists on the seven-song release. The easy feel of the song makes for a perfect song for any Adult Contemporary radio format.

Fight for Love from Cat Dail is a release that makes good use of many different musical elements to help bring the songs to life. For those who like a little variety in the music while still having some sort of glue that holds everything together, the Fight for Love release from Cat Dail is one album you need to check out.

For a taste of the music from Cat Dail, check out the song “Molly & Matchbox“. 

For more information, check out Whiplash PR & Management by clicking on the logo for the company. 

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