Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Initial Mass formed when high school friends Mark Baldwin and Kevin Robertson joined up with another longtime friend, Scott Smith. And when the Los Angeles-based band Initial Mass came together, the familiarity found within the trio helped solidify the band’s music. That familiarity with each other can truly be an added bonus. What resulted was a trio that shared a familiarity with each other and a love for the same type of music.

With Mark Baldwin on guitar, vocals as well as songwriting, Scott Smith on bass and Kevin Robertson on drums, the three musicians create a trio that draws from Heavy Metal and Punk Rock.  Together, the resulting music falls solidly into the Progressive Rock category. Add in a good amount of Pop feel to the length of each and every track created by the band has a very energetic feel to it but would be welcome on any Modern Rock and/or Classic Rock radio format. That rather commercial feel in the Progressive Rock music from Initial Mass can be found on the band’s newest album entitled Bending Light.

Bending Light from Initial Mass begins with the track “Killing Heroes”. The slow but steady beat from drummer Robertson gives a strong base for the bass from Smith and guitar from Baldwin as the trio creates a song that moves forward with plenty of energy, creating a track that features a musical influence from a band like Queens of the Stone Age. The slow and steady pace at the beginning gives the listener a lot of power and then the band picks up the pace. The quicker pace creates a tempo that draws the listener in closer to the music. The clear, strong vocals from Mark Baldwin would place him within any Classic Rock band. His vocals and the music from the entire band create a track that would be perfect for any Modern Rock format.

The new album from Initial Mass continues with the title track of the release. The track “Bending Light” features all three of the musicians as the track begins with the sound of the drums from Robertson and the bass from Smith. It is Smith’s bass that lays down the foundation of the music for this track as he plays the instrument in much the same way guitarist Mark Baldwin would if he was creating the basis for the track. The resulting music from Smith’s bass creates an almost Jazz-like approach to the track. Soon enough, guitarist Baldwin and drummer Robertson join in and the track takes on a much different feel to the music. The track combines a generous amount of Rock and Roll and some Jazz influence to create a sound that alternates between hard and easier passages. “Bending Light” is easily one of the standout tracks on the album.

With the track “Reason to Take,” the men of Initial Mass show off their musical abilities. This track contains a slightly stronger Progressive Rock feel to the music and the ever-changing rhythms give the song its Prog-Rock approach. The alternating between one rhythmic pattern and another also adds to the progressive feel to the music. The vocals from Mark Baldwin add a generous amount of Classic Rock flavor to the track. For those who are true fans of Prog-Rock, “Reason to Take” is one track from the band where you will find just what you’re looking for. However, the track also contains plenty for fans of straight-out Rock and Roll as well.   

Initial Mass picks up the pace of their music quite a bit on the song “Resolution”. The quicker pace to the music adds more energy to the album and much like with the track “Reason to Take,” the music of the song “Resolution” changes tempos several times throughout the four-minute playtime. But the changes in tempo come gradually during the song and seem near effortless. This is a sure sign of the talent of the trio. About halfway through the track, the band slows the pace of the track down while also lightening the intensity of the music. In short, the track now takes on the feel of a power ballad but without the emotional connection. After a minute or so, the energy level increases and it is that level that brings the song to a close.

“Silence No More” by Initial Mass is the type of track that feels as if it should have been a lot longer. The slow-paced track begins with a thirty second instrumental introduction. After that, the track takes on a musical approach that feels like a combination of Modern Rock and Classic Rock as the vocals from lead singer Mark Baldwin take on a slight resemblance to the vocals of legendary rocker Jim Morrison. In fact, with those vocals, the track itself feels like a mix between The Doors and Queens of the Stone Age. “Silence No More” is one of the tracks on the Bending Light album from Initial Mass that will grab the attention of the listener.

The Bending Light album from Initial Mass comes to a close with the track “Embers Within”. The track begins rather unassumingly as singer Mark Baldwin’s his guitar initially contain a laidback feel and his vocals add to that low-key approach. That is short-lived, however, as the rest of the band join in ten seconds later. Keeping a slow pace, the stronger musical approach finds the band creating a track that marches along slowly but with plenty of energy to the music. The hard, solid quality to the music brings to mind the Heavy Metal of the eighties. The slow pace, yet energetic feel to the music of the track allows for “Embers Within” to feel like the perfect track to bring the Bending Light from Initial Mass to a close.

On their latest album of Bending Light, Initial Mass keeps things interesting with a release that features songs that contain a good variety of music. While drawing mostly from Progressive Rock, the Bending Light release from the band is easily accessible as the band keeps the more progressive elements to a minimum. Because of that, the album appeals to both fans of Prog-Rock as well as those who want music that is a little more listener-friendly.

The Bending Light release from Initial Mass is being released on July 26th, 2019. Because of that, there are no singles to be promoted yet. Stay tuned to the band’s website for more information.

For more information, check out Initial Mass’ PR Firm, Whiplash Marketing & Whizkid Management. Click on the logo below to visit their site.

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Rockabilly is not one of those music genres you run into all the time. Aside from acts like Brian Setzer and/or the band he has been a part of for years, Stray Cats, you rarely run into Rockabilly. So when you find someone creating new music from the genre, it truly stands out in the music industry where Pop-Rock is mainly the norm. One band that has added to the Rockabilly genre with their music is the band The Teledynes.

The Teledynes is a three-piece ensemble much like the aforementioned Stray Cats who are creating their own Rockabilly music. The trio features the talents of Will Cooley, Eric Lepene and Mike Volatile, three men who have been performing for well over fifteen years. The difference between the two bands is that The Teledynes seem to draw from both the Stray Cats as well as the Brian Setzer Orchestra as the band combines elements of Rockabilly, Big Band and several similar styles together in order to create the music on the band’s new self-titled release.

“Crazy Train” is the first track of the self-titled release from The Teledynes. While the title of the track brings to mind the song from one Ozzy Osbourne, this is a much different song. The track begins with a musical passage that brings to mind the Jump Blues feel of the Brian Setzer Orchestra before the combination of the Rockabilly feel and the inclusion of the horns on the track come together. The bouncy feel to the music as well as the driving pace create a song that would easily have been right at home during the Big Band Revival during the nineties and early 2000s.

While the first track off of the self-titled release from The Teledynes brings to mind the Brian Setzer Orchestra, the second track takes the band’s music in a slightly different direction. The track “Callin’ On the Devil” calls up comparisons to a different band that had some success of their own during the nineties. “Callin’ On the Devil” is a track that draws upon the influences of Gangster Bop band Royal Crown Revue, a band who became known after its song “Hey Pachuco” was used in the movie The Mask with Jim Carey. The style and influence of Royal Crown Revue is very evident in several ways on the track, starting with the style of the music and the title of the track. Using some of the influence from Royal Crown Revue, the “Callin’ On the Devil” contains a fun feel to the music while still containing a bit of evilness to the lyrical content of the track.

Big band, Rockabilly and Gangster Bop are only three influences that help shape the music of The Teledynes. With the track called “Cohaagen,” the band calls upon the influence of Stratocaster king Dick Dale. The instrumental track contains a very similar style to the recently deceased musician who became known for songs including “Miserlou”. The Stratocaster-led track “Cohaagen” contains the same Surf Rock style that was around in the sixties. The Teledynes do a very good job of reviving the style while keeping the music fresh. For those who enjoy Surf Rock, this track is definitely for you.

Perhaps the most unique track on the self-titled release from The Teledynes is the song entitled “Way Out West”. Continuing to add more layers to their sound, the band combines the aforementioned influence of Brian Setzer and Stray Cats with a generous amount of Western influence. The result is a track that starts with a strong Rockabilly feel and the addition of the Western/Country flavor gives the track a different feel than any of the tracks that came before it. “Way Out West” with the twang in the guitar stands out as unusual when compared to the tracks that came before on the release. But that unusual delivery simply helps to keep the album moving along and staying fresh.

The self-titled release from The Teledynes continues with the track “47 Cadillac”. While the track easily contains a strong Stray Cats influence as that is the main influence that comes through, the track also brings to mind the sound and style of Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen. Of course, that should be rather evident with the title of the track bringing to mind that band’s classic track “Hot Rod Lincoln”. The track from The Teledynes contains the same loose, fun feel as the music of the older band.  

For the next track called “Shot of Whiskey,” The Teledynes create a track with a solid Rockabilly flavor to it. The fun, bouncy beat contained with this track allows the band to create a track that sounds very familiar. But unlike other tracks on this album that feel influenced by the Stray Cats, “Shot of Whiskey” simply draws upon the overall genre of Rockabilly and not a specific influence.

Like the song “Cohaagen” from earlier in the release, the track entitled “September” features the band creating a strictly instrumental track. But instead of the influence from the likes of Dick Dale, “September” feels more like something from the instrumental duo of Santo and Johnny who were known for songs such as “Sleep Walk”. In fact, the track will undoubtedly take the listener back to the early fifties as the song contains that sort of feel to the music.

As the listener makes their way through the self-titled release from The Teledynes, they encounter many different styles of music that help add shape to the band’s sound. The inclusion of styles like Jump Blues, Rockabilly, Instrumental Rock and other sounds create an ever-changing patchwork of sound. The release never stays in one spot, musically, for more than one song before it changes directions. The three members of the band have a lot of talent and the various styles of music contained within the release make it truly evident. 

For more information, check out The Teledynes’ PR Firm, Whiplash Marketing & Whizkid Management. Click on the logo below to visit their site. 


To discover the music of The Teledynes, check out the video to the band’s song “Crazy Train”.

The band Story Book Road is a Texas-based group that contains four musicians who have spent many years performing in the Texas area. The band consists of Mike Coker on lead guitar /vocals, Trevor Reifel guitar/lead vocals, Art Elder bass guitar/vocals and Bruce Randall drums/vocals. Having each gained plenty of experience on their own, the four members came together to play some straight-out Country music. Together, the band that was created draws from different eras of Country music and has started to create their own music. Just recently, the band created their first EP of music.

Story Book Road begins their self-titled release with the track “Cabin in the Woods”. The band’s influences come through as this track blends together some Rock and Roll flavor with some Country music. The track of “Cabin in the Woods” finds the band creating a track that brings to mind music from the likes of Chris LeDoux or early Garth Brooks. The track contains mainly a Country vibe, but the Rock and Roll feel of the electric guitars on the track is what makes the song. “Cabin in the Woods” from Story Book Road would fit well on today’s Country Music radio formats.

The self-titled release from Story Book Road continues with the track “Carmen Miranda”. With this track, the band takes their music back to the sixties or seventies as the song seems to have that sort of vibe to it. With the addition of the horns that are rather prevalent in the music, the track ends up having a nice Latin flavor to it. When combining the Latin influence with the retro feel of the music, what results is a track that sounds as if the band took equal parts of “El Paso” from Marty Robbins and “They Don’t Dance Like Carmen No More” from Jimmy Buffett and created a song around that mix. “Carmen Miranda” from Story Book Road would have felt right at home on AM radio back about forty years ago as the track’s musical blend is much closer to that era than today’s Contemporary Country music.

“Get Out Tonight” is the third track on the new self-titled release from Story Book Road. For this track, Mike Coker, Trevor Reifel, Art Elder and Bruce Randall create a song that contains a stronger Rock and Roll influence than the previous songs. In fact, the track is closer to Rock and Roll than Country. The music features a strong electric guitar approach and the organ in the background helps to add some Rock and Roll feeling. While the earlier songs on the release bring to mind nothing less than Country music, this track feels as if it would have been right at home on the radio being played alongside artists such as Bob Seger. In fact, you could easily imagine “Get Out Tonight” being played right after Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll”.

For the band’s next track, Story Book Road adds a little more Rock and Roll influence to their music. The track “It Don’t Mean Nothing” is a track that features a strong electric guitar presence. The presence of the electric guitar and the groove that is created by the band ends up making a sound that brings to mind the same type of musical delivery that came from the duo known as Loggins and Messina. The musical delivery on the track not only brings to mind that duo, it easily brings to mind the duo’s song called “Your Mama Don’t Dance” from back in 1972. To go along with the Rock and Roll approach on the track, the song contains lyrics about being in a relationship and knowing what you have. Just like the music of the track, the lyrics also feel like they would have come out of the seventies.

Story Book Road continues their new EP with the track “Sister Sally”. Just like the previous track, the band focuses more on the Rock and Roll side of their personality rather than the Country side. In fact, the track has a bit of an influence from The Beatles to it. While it doesn’t follow the song exactly, “Sister Sally” from Story Book Road has a sound that is rather reminiscent of the track “The Ballad of John and Yoko” from The Fab Four. Obviously, there are differences between the two tracks. However, the musical feel of the two tracks are very similar in nature.

For the final track of their six-track EP, Story Book Road brings back some of the Country flavor that was so prevalent in the first two tracks of the release. The track “Window of Your Soul” once again features a musical blend of Country and Rock and Roll to create a style like most modern-day Country music. With the dual vocal delivery on the track, the song brings to mind the feel of music from the likes of Brooks and Dunn. The more current feel of the track brings the new release from Story Book Road to a close on a more modern note.

As you listen to the tracks that make up the self-titled EP from Story Book Road, you get a very good indication of the various influences that flavor the band’s music. The inclusion of influences such as Garth Brooks, Bob Seger, Jimmy Buffett, Marty Robbins and makes Story Book Road’s music easily accessible. Whether you’re a fan of Country, Rock and Roll, classic sounds or more modern influences, this six-song release from this talented musical ensemble is truly worthy of being added to any musical library.


For a taste of the music from Story Book Road, check out the band’s video to the track “Carmen Miranda“.     
    


For more information, check out Story Book Road’s PR Firm, Whiplash Marketing & Whizkid Management. Click on the logo below to visit their site.

Sometimes an untapped potential needs time to mature. That was the situation with singer-songwriter Daniel Coloprisco who started writing songs in his early years and then turned to more pressing things like making a living. But after spending time in the Information Technology field for years, Coloprisco decided that it was time to see about returning to the music field where many songs he had composed were just waiting for the right time to be unleashed. So now, he is turning to his music and is beginning to allow the world to hear what was never available. Until now, that is.

Just recently, Daniel Coloprisco released a two-song EP entitled Winter Song. That new EP from the songwriter consists of two very different songs with very different musical approaches.

The new two-song EP from Daniel Coloprisco begins with the title track of the release. The track “Winter Song” finds Coloprisco creating a song that feels very much like a song that would have come from New Age artist Jim Brickman. The song has the same Classical/Jazz approach that Brickman features in his music. The song also features the vocal styling of singer Jes Hudak, a singer whose own music can be found under the moniker of Ponymane. She can also be found adding her voice to the musical project known as Neon Void. On this track, Jes Hudak’s vocals come clear and strong, which give the song a generous amount of additional beauty. This goes along with the beauty that was already there in Daniel Coloprisco’s piano playing. The two musicians combine to create a track that would fit alongside songs from the likes of Barbra Streisand, Harry Connick, Jr or anyone else that falls into the “pop” category of music. “Winter Song” would also easily find a place on any Smooth Jazz radio format, although the track has a slightly limited lifespan given the subject matter of winter.    

Daniel Coloprisco’s two-song EP of Winter Song also includes the track “A Touch of Feeling”. With this track, it is strictly just Coloprisco and his piano. And much like with the title track, the music on “A Touch of Feeling” finds Daniel Coloprisco creating a song that contains a certain amount of both Jazz and Classical feeling to the music. As a matter of fact, the feeling of the music, mixed with the simplistic and rather slow tempo with which Coloprisco chose to compose and perform the track creates a track that should easily remind the listener of something that would be playing through a music box. While the listener may not be familiar with Coloprisco and/or his music, the familiar feeling of listening to a music box does seem to add a bit of magic to the track.

The two-song EP of Winter Song from Daniel Coloprisco is short but sweet. The EP gives the listener just a taste of what may be coming in the near future. And if what is in store from Coloprisco is a sweet as the two tracks found on the Winter Song EP, it will be worth the wait. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait as long as the next time for new music from the songwriter.  

Click HERE to hear Daniel Coloprisco’s two-song EP of Winter Song

For more information, check out Daniel Coloprisco’s PR Firm, Whiplash Marketing & Whizkid Management. Click HERE to visit their site.

Singer-songwriter Caroline Ferrante started out on the South Side of Chicago where she gained her knowledge of theater and voice. With this added knowledge, she ended up in the Washington, D.C. music scene where she has been making music ever since.

As a solo musician, Caroline Ferrante is constantly adding to her collection of songs. She has several releases under her name at the moment. Having already released Live from the Belfry, and Sky, Ferrante returns with yet another release called Beyond.

Beyond from Caroline Ferrante sets itself apart from her earlier releases as Ferrante shifted her style to take on a religious feel to the music on the four-song EP. While Ferrante stays true to her Folk music background, the addition of religious themes and words gives the tracks a much different feel than what had come before from the singer-songwriter.

Caroline Ferrante begins her Beyond release with the track “River Flow”. The track begins with a strong beat that is the result of several people clapping their hands and stomping their feet to create a rhythm for the rest of the instrumentation to go on top of. The rather strong beat in the song is met with the sound of an acoustic guitar that helps to create the actual music for the song. What is created is a sound that is Folk-Rock at its best. The lyrical content of the spirit being a river that washes the singer clean helps to bring the religious meaning of the song to life. The inclusion of other female voices blending together with Ferrante’s voice helps to create a strong chorus in the track. “River Flow” contains a strong musical approach to start the EP off strong.

The Beyond release slows down a little on the track “Peace Be Still”. Where the previous track of “River Flow”contained a strong beat providing a powerful backdrop to the rest of the music on that song, “Peace Be Still” is much more relaxed in nature. And while the previous song also contained a strong, religious message, the EP’s second track is much more relaxing to listen to. The laid-back feel of the music once again comes from the acoustic guitar; but this time, the instrument is played with a gentler approach. The soft, laid-back approach on the music works well with the lyrics about seeking the chance to find inner peace when everything around you is not the way you want it. As Caroline Ferrante sings the lyrics, she produces a crescendo in his delivery near the end of the track that is very reminiscent of the same type of build up one would expect from the late entertainer Kate Smith who was known for her pinnacle version of the song “God Bless America”. While the previous song on the release may be a stronger track because of its energetic feeling, “Peace Be Still” has its own strength in its musical beauty.

The energy level goes way up on the next track of the four-song Beyond EP. The track “A Little More Faith” finds Caroline Ferrante joining forces with a Gospel choir to bring the song to life. And with the combination of Ferrante and the chorus, there is definitely a lot of life in the song. The music of the song contains a Folk-Rock approach with a stressing on the word Rock. The entire musical ensemble blends their various musical and vocal talents together to create a track that is one of the strongest points within the four songs included in the release. The music and the vocals come together to create a track that is sure to fill up your ears as you listen to the song.

Beyond from Carolina Ferrante comes to a close with the track “Hear Your Name”. This track is one of the more spiritual tracks of the EP as Ferrante sings to and about the one above. The guitar and piano found on the track blend together to create a musical sound that is beautiful and easy on the ears. The feel of the music, the lyrical content and the vocals delivery from Ferrante all combine to create a track that feels very reminiscent of a rather well-known singer within Gospel music circles- Amy Grant.

If you had to come up with a one-word description for Beyond, the latest release from Carolina Ferrante, “Energetic” is probably the word to use. Right from the start, the listener experiences the Folk-Rock of “River Flow”. Then, the pace decreases as it slows down on the song “Peace Be Still” but the intensity on the track does not decrease. As the release continues, the other tracks help to finish out the EP with both beauty and strength.

To check out the music of  Carolina Ferrante, check out her song “Peace Be Still“. 


It was back in 2014 that the organization known as Operation Encore was founded. Operation Encore is an organization that helps give former soldiers from all branches of the American military a new lease on life through the music that they are already creating on their own. And since the advent of the organization, two compilations have been created that feature music from those former soldiers.

Along with those compilations, several albums that were created by some of the artists are also being promoted by the organization. Artists such as Andrew Wiscombe, Steve Wilson, The Real Doug Lane, Steve Covell have put out albums that are being promoted with the help of Operation Encore. Rachel Harvey Hill, a wife of military personnel, has also released music that is being promoted by the organization. Now, former Coast Guard pilot Brian Boland has joined the “ranks” of former military personnel who are now a part of Operation Encore.

Brian Boland, the former Coast Guard pilot, joined the Operation Encore organization just recently and has just released his first EP entitled Rtb, a short-hand military term meaning “return to base”. On the Rtb EP, Boland has been joined by Ryan Johnson on guitar, Whit Wright on steel and piano, Kevin Mcclain on percussion, and Bill Corbin on Bass. Together,  Boland and these musicians combine their talents to bring Boland’s new release to life. 

For his music, Brian Boland performs under the moniker of Unknown Rider. It is with this moniker that he has just released his first album entitled Rtb, a short-hand military term meaning “return to base”. And to help shape his music, Boland has called upon the following musicians: Ryan Johnson on guitar, Whit Wright on steel and piano, Kevin Mcclain on percussion,and Bill Corbin on Bass. These men were also a part of the band known as American Aquarium. Together, Brian Boland and the four aforementioned men helped to bring the music of Unknown Rider to life.

As you make your way through the Rtb release, you notice a connecting theme between the tracks. That theme is movement. Many of the songs created by Unknown Rider deal with spending time in one specific place or another, and with the fact that Brian Boland spent much of his time in the military on the move,that really should not be that much of a surprise.

The Rtb release from Unknown Rider begins with the track “Hatteras”. This is the first of many songs on the album that deal with the theme of traveling. With this song, the lyrics find Brian Boland spending some time reflecting on a past relationship; a relationship that, apparently, took place on the beaches of North Carolina. The track features a Pop-Rock feel to the music. That Pop-Rock influence seems to take the listener back to the time of the nineties as the track’s musical approach brings to mind bands like Third Eye Blind or Goo Goo Dolls.

Unknown Rider’s new release continues with the track “Reykjavik”. With this track, the travelling theme continues. The lyrical content in the song deals with Brian Boland’s time as a pilot in the military as the song follows Boland on one of his many adventures with the men he served alongside. While the previous track of “Hatteras” contained a Pop-Rock feel to the music, “Reykjavik” has a strong Country vibe to it. That Country flavor comes courtesy of the inclusion of things like a slide guitar.

Just as fast as Unknown Rider’s sound changed with the track “Reykjavik,” the feel of the music changes again on the song “Mexico”. While you might expect a song with a title such as “Mexico” to have a Latin flavor, nothing could be further from the truth with this track. In fact, the music of “Mexico” actually brings to mind a combination of The White Stripes and Tom Petty. The sing-song style of the lyrics on the track actually brings to mind an influence of Tom Waits in both style and delivery. And once again, the lyrical content of “Mexico” deals with Brian Boland’s time on the road in the military.

Since many of the songs on the Rtb album from Unknown Rider deal with Brian Boland’s past, it should come as no surprise thata song or two would deal with the mental side of things. One song that deals with that side of things is “Searchin’”. And while the lyrics on the track do not go very deep into that, Boland does sing about considering what might have been, what has been and what happened to others who were around him as he goes in search of answers to questions he now has. As far as the music to the track is concerned, the five-plus minute song contains and Rock and Roll feel that features the sound of the organ Whit Wright as the main instrument.

The pace of the music slows way down on the song “The Shakes”. Just like with the earlier track son the album the lyrical content of this song deal with things that have taken place in past. On “The Shakes,” a combination of too much coffee and too many memories combine to create the shakes. The slow, steady pace to the music adds a bit of tension to the already tense feeling of the words to the track. It’s almost like you can feel the way Boland feels as he sings.

One of the most unique tracks the Rtb album from Unknown Rider has to be “Kerosene”. The slow pace that was featured on “The Shakes” returns on “Kerosene”. With this track, creates a song that combines several different elements into one track. The music of the track contains a musical combination of Rock and Roll and Soul. The result is something that is rather reminiscent of a track from The Band. Along with the Influence from The Band, the lyrics contain two distinct flavors at once. You can hear in Brian Boland’s voice a touch of Bob Dylan. That Dylan influence also appears in the lyrics.But the lyrics also seem to contain some Tom Waits influence to them.Altogether, the song of “Kerosene” is one of the standout tracks on the entire ten-song release.

After nine tracks that find Brian Boland writing about travelling from one place to another, he brings the album from Unknown Rider to a close with the title track. It is with the final track “RTB” that the term “return to base” seems to make sense as Boland sings of finally being able to go back to where he started off; or, being able to “return to base”. The final track of the release finds Boland and the rest of the musicians who helped him put the album together creating a track with one of the strongest musical directions on the release. The music of the track contains a strong guitar-driven Rock and Roll feel that would fit right with tracks from the seventies, early eighties. For a final track, the song “RTB” actually brings the album to a close with a strong feeling as opposed to most albums that feature a more laidback track for the final song.

Throughout the entire Rtb album from Unknown Rider, the listener is treated to songs that feature many different musical approaches. As a matter of fact, no two tracks feel the same. The album proves that, as a writer, Brian Boland has a lot of talent. The ever-changing feel of the debut release from The Unknown Rider offers some for nearly everyone. 


To hear some of the music from Unknown Rider, check out the live version of the track “Searchin‘” as performed by Brian Boland as part of the Sofar concept. 

You can find the rtb album from Unknown Rider on spotify. Also find him on Instagram under @unknownridermusic. 

In addition to recording under Unknown Rider, Brain Boland is a published author. You can find him under the penname Cole Williams


For more reading about Operation Encore, check out the review for the first album, the second release of Monuments,the review for Rachel Harvey Hill, the review for Andrew Wiscombe, the review of Steve D. Wilson, the review for The Real Doug Lane, and the review for Stephen Covell by clicking on the links that are highlighted.  

Wild Side

The very definition of the musical genre called Americana is: “a genre of American music having roots in early folk and country music”. But every so often, someone from outside of America comes along who adds their flavor to the music. That outside influence from the likes of someone like New Zealander Keith Urban helps to keep the music fresh as that artist helps to push the boundaries of the music. You can now add yet another outsider influence to the Americana music genre as the band Hometown Marie is currently ripping up the Country charts over in their country of Sweden.


Sweden’s Hometown Marie takes the Americana genre and makes it their own. In fact, if you were not aware of just where the band comes from, you would swear they were just your average American Country band. The Swedish band consists of: Oskar Östman, Singer, songwriter, guitarist; Gabriel Carlsson, Bass, vocals; Simon Peterson, Drummer; and Accel  Ramberg, Lead guitarist. Together, the quartet has released one four-song EP in 2016 entitled Wild Side and two new singles that were added to the band’s musical output in 2018. 


Hometown Marie’s Wild Side EP begins with the track “Like We Used To”. Right from the very beginning, the track screams Top 40 Country radio as the track features a strong current Country music feeling. In fact, the song feels as if it was recorded down in Nashville with some of the best professionals in that town. “Like We Used To” features strong mandolin playing and plenty of Country twang. The mid-tempo pace of the track gives it an easy feeling as the song plays out. That tempo works well for the song as the lyrics describe a couple in the middle of a dance that takes them back in time to when they met each other. Being the first track off of the Wild Side EP, “Like We Used To” lets the listener know that the band is serious about creating music in the Country vein. 


The band picks things up a bit with the track “Yours Tonight”. With“Yours Tonight,” the band ventures into a sound where the band combines elements of Folk music with Country. The result is a slightly lighter feel to the music. But that lighter feel comes with a quicker tempo to the music and a slightly heavier groove than what was present on “Like We Used To”. The inclusion of the mandolin at the very beginning of the track helps to set the song in motion. It is that mandolin that truly brings the Folk influence in the song to the forefront. The quicker pace and stronger groove to the song creates a moment on the EP that would fit right in with anything on today’s Country music radio formats.


Just as fast as Hometown Marie changed the pace of the music with a faster tempo on “Yours Tonight,” the band tones things down again on the next track of“Run to You”. The tempo for that song is much slower but the track also comes with a very steady, yet strong beat provided by drummer Simon Peterson. The slow pace and steady beat of the song carry the track throughout its four-minute playtime with no changing of the pace or delivery of that beat. Along with the slow, steady beat from Simon Peterson that is present on the track,the rest of Hometown Marie adds to the track with instrumental deliveries that are rather sparse in nature. The limited amount of playing from the band members on the song help to create a track that rather simple in nature yet somehow also seems full-bodied at the same time.


The Wild Side EP from Hometown Marie comes to an end with the album’s title track. “Wild Side” is easily the hardest rockin’ track of the four songs that make up the 2016 release. The harder guitars and stronger beat on the track blend together to create a track that is perfect for fans of today’s Country music. And the mention of a “Hollywood Smile”in the lyrics adds even more of an “American” feel to the music, which just helps to put the band further into the Americana music genre. For those fans of today’s Country music, “Wild Side” is one track that will fill your need for Contemporary Country music.


While the four tracks that make up the Wild Side EP from Hometown Marie are solid, there is more to the band than just that EP. The band has just recently added two more tracks to their musical library. Those new tracks are “Stay The Night” and “Take Me Back”.


Right from the beginning of the track, “Stay the Night” from Hometown Marie hits the listener with a sound that places the Rock and Roll influence of the band atop the band’s Country influence. While both genres are solidly present in the song, the track contains more of a Rock and Roll influence than Country twang. The track also seems to also contain other influences to the music as well. For instance, the entire track is rather reminiscent of a song from the Scottish rock band Big Country from 1988 called “King of Emotion”. Whether there is a connection between that song and Hometown Marie remains to be seen. However, the resulting track by Hometown Marie would have fit on American radio airwaves back in the eighties just as easily as it would on today’s radio.


The second track that the band just recently released is called “Take Me Back”. The introduction to the track finds the band slowly leading into the track as the track builds. As the song builds, what is revealed is a song that contains a strong influence from eighties-era Rock and Roll with just a little Country twang. The lyrical content about a man asking for forgiveness has a universal appeal to it and the musical approach of the track combine to create a track that fans of Rock and Roll of the eighties and fans of today’s Country music will both enjoy.


Swedish band Hometown Marie may not have an album of music available, but the Wild Side EP and the band’s two newest singles of “Take Me Back” and “Stay the Night” provide the listener with six tracks of strong music with plenty of crossover appeal for those who enjoy Rock and Roll from the eighties and/or fans of Country music. Whichever side of the aisle you find yourself on, Hometown Marie creates music that appeals to a lot of people. 



To hear the music of Hometown Marie, check out the music video to the band’s newest single, “Stay the Night“.

You can find Hometown Marie and their music over on the band’s Spotify account.