Posts Tagged ‘acoustic rock’

Sam Levin is a New York City-based singer-songwriter. And what separates him from most of the music industry is his age: Levin is barely old enough to drive. And while he is rather young, that hasn’t stopped him from already making a name for himself as a singer and musician. The singer/guitarist started young as a guitarist and then began writing his own music when he was only ten years old. Now, Sam Levin has used his limited time in the music industry and has put it to good use. To this point, Levin has released three albums: 2017’s Frame of Mind, 2018’s I Am, and the most recent album, 2019’s A General Air of Regret. And although A General Air of Regret was only released half a year ago, Sam Levin has wasted no time as he continues to write and release new music. The most recent single from Sam Levin was released this month in early September. The new single from Sam Levin being “Dairy Queen Queen”. “Dairy Queen Queen” from Sam Levin begins with the sound of the guitar. It is right from the very beginning of the track that the listener gets to experience the talents of this musician as the guitar playing on the track is reminiscent of a studio musician many times older than Levin at this point in his life. The blending of the guitars at the beginning of the track creates a style of Folk music that brings to mind the style of the now-defunct Contemporary Instrumental band Wind Machine as the track from Levin blends together Jazz and Folk in a manner that is reminiscent of that talented band.  The Jazz/Folk blend performed on the guitar by Sam Levin is mixed with the other instrumentation from Levin to complete the musical feel of the track. With lyrics about admiring a woman from afar but not approaching her, the song “Dairy Queen Queen”  finds multi-instrumentalist Levin creating music that sounds as good as anything that easily could have been made by studio musicians. Although Sam Levin just released a full album of music called A General Air of Regret earlier this year, “Dairy Queen Queen” would be the perfect starting point for the next album from the singer-songwriter.

Check out the new single from Sam Levin being “Dairy Queen Queen”.

For more information, check out Sam Levin’s PR firm, Whiplash Management by clicking on the logo below:

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

 

Singer-songwriter Steve Nick is an up-and-coming artist that is currently gaining speed as he releases his music to the world. Having already written over one hundred songs, Nick is currently promoting a new acoustic release that will be entitled “Unplugged”. As a way of promoting the new release, Nick has released the first single off of the release entitled “The Shadow of Your Eyes”. The track comes with a very simple acoustic rock approach to its sound. With the track being acoustic, “The Shadow of Your Eyes” consists simply of Steve Nick and his guitar and no other instruments. With only vocals and guitar, the simple track allows the song from Steve Nick to come through. The clear delivery in the vocals from Steve Nick may remind some of rock and roll singers from the eighties. Because of the simple nature of the music on the track, the music for the track finds Nick borrowing from any number of musical eras for the song. It is the strong guitar work on the song that shows off the talent of Nick as a musician. His guitar work for the song feels very timeless. As a result, the music for “The Shadow of Your Eyes” could have come from the eighties, nineties or today and could fit onto any number of radio formats. Together, the guitar work from Steve Nick, his vocal ability and the feel of the song itself all come together to create a track that is simplistic in nature and yet also gives the listener a really nice indication of what the entire “Unplugged” release sounds like.

Reviewer: Matheson Kamin

Rating: ***** (five stars)

Well-Known Strangers is a pop-rock band that makes its home in Racine, Wisconsin. The band came together in 2014 when founder, chief songwriter, and guitarist Joe Adamek decided he wanted to create a band that contained female vocals and cello. The result of Adamek’s vision is a band that features some of the strongest musicians from that area’s music scene. Along with Adamek, the rest of the band consists of: Betsy Ade (vocals/songwriting), Roger Gower (drums), Sacia Jerome (cello), Jon Wolf (guitars), and John Kulas (bass guitar, guitars). Together, the band of Well-Known Strangers has just released a new EP entitled Found.

The new release from Well-Known Strangers begins with the track “Aligned”. The track has a strong folk-rock feel to the music and also contains a driving feel to the music. The vocals from Betsy Ade bring to mind a cross between Sinead O’Connor and Enya. The music’s folk-rock sound falls more over to the rock side of things but still has a light touch that comes from a folk influence. That folk influence also comes from the inclusion of the cello from Sacia Jerome as it sounds like a fiddle in the track. The track ends up having a crossover feel that would be very welcome on today’s Top 40 radio formats as the song feels very commercial and very listener-friendly.

Found continues with the track “Take You There”. The song kicks the energy of the music up as the band creates a quicker pace to the track. When the track begins, the band creates a strong musical feel that is built around the acoustic guitar, but the feel of the music changes for the refrain when the acoustic guitar is replaced with the electric guitar. The track alternates between the acoustic and electric directions throughout the three-minute play time. Like the first track of “Aligned,” “Take You There” feels very commercial and the listener will find much to like within the song.

With the song “Release Me,” Well-Known Strangers slows things down. The easier feel at the beginning of the track comes from the keyboards and the cello. The track’s easy feeing helps to reinforce the lyrics about a restless mind that refuses to quiet down. As the listener allows the song to play out, they begin to identify with Betsy Ade as she sings. The song picks up halfway through the track and when it does, the more energetic feel of the song gives the lyrics a completely different meaning.

Well-Known Strangers’ new release of Found comes to a close with the album’s title track, the song “Another Sun”. The track is probably the most commercial track and the closest thing to straight-out Rock And Roll of the four tracks on the release. The slow introduction at the beginning of the track builds until it “launches” into a strong folk-rock track that seems to combine elements of artists like The Indigo Girls and maybe even 10,000 Maniacs to create its musical feel. The song is very strong and could easily be the track of the four that make up the EP.

The Found EP from Well- Known Strangers is the type of release I love coming across. As the release plays out, the songs draw the listener further and further into the musical world of the band. With each note, you find yourself jamming along with the group and before you know it, the album comes to an end. The four tracks on Found are really strong and refreshing when compared to the rest of the current music that is being played on the radio. When the all-too-short release of Found from Well-known Strangers comes to an end, you will most certainly want more.

To find the music of Well-Known Strangers, check out the band’s Soundcloud profile.

Check out the band’s video to their song “Another Sun“.

The Culver City-based band The Alpine Camp came together as an experiment to see if a band could be created using only roots instruments, instruments that include banjos, steel guitars and others that are more often used to create Country or Bluegrass music. Once band founders and main songwriters Chris Bell and Charles Etienne settled on their style, others were brought in to fill out the band’s sound. Along with Bell on guitar and vocals and Etienne on piano and vocals, the rest of the band consists of bassist Jeff Stella, drummer Shad Wilhelm, Bob Hamilton on banjo and Jamison Hollister on pedal steel. Together, The Alpine Camp creates a sound that brings to mind artists like Mumford and Sons, Old Crow Medicine Show, even The Grateful Dead. This musical blend of Americana can be found on The Alpine Camp’s newly-released two-song EP called Adventure.

The first track on the two-song release from The Alpine Camp is the song entitled “Regrets of a Mountaineer”. The track leads off the two tracks with a sound that features a quick-tempo feel to the music. On this track, the band takes a strong beat and combines it with a country-flavored sound. The combination brings to mind a style that will remind some of something from The Doobie Brothers but with a lot more twang to it. The track is one of the rare instances where a song features the entire ensemble as each of the musicians adds an equal amount of influence to the music. As strong as the main part of the song is, once the band hits the refrain of the song, the track picks up a lot of energy. The resulting feel of the music during the refrain of the song will make the listener pay close attention. The track is definitely a song that could get the band a lot of exposure.

The second track to be included on the Adventure EP from The Alpine Camp is “Seven Miles”. Where the song “Regrets of a Mountaineer” finds the band creating a fast-paced track with a lot of energy, the band slows things down quite a bit with the song “Seven Miles”.  The country/rock feel of the piece brings to mind the playing and writing style of a certain Rock And Roll Hall of Famer. As The Alpine Camp and their music would fall into the same musical category of singer-songwriter Leon Russell, it should not come as much of a surprise that the track of “Seven Miles” appears to contain more than just a little influence from Russell in the songwriting and the instrumentation on the track. Aside from the writing of the track itself, the biggest indications of the Russell influence is in the use of banjo on the track, as well as the way the guitar sounds within the track.

The Adventure EP, the newest release to come from The Alpine Camp, ends up being a quick two-song release that will give the listener the opportunity to hear two different styles of writing from the band in a very short amount of time. And while the two tracks that appear on the release have very different styles and sounds to the music, it is the quality of the music produced by the band on those two tracks still indicates the talent of all involved. If you are a fan of bands like Old Crow Medicine Show, Mumford and Sons, even Leon Russell, The Alpine Camp is one band that should be added to your musical library. And good place to start is with their EP called Adventure.

Reviewer: Matheson Kamin

Rating: ***** (five stars)

Antigone Rising is a Country Rock band from New York. Having been founded by sisters Cathy Henderson and Kristen Ellis-Henderson, the band has had their share of time in the spotlight for their music and other causes that are close to their hearts. The band is known mainly for their 2005 release From the Ground Up. Having had other members come and go through the band, Antigone Rising now consists of: Nini Camps – lead vocals, rhythm guitar; Kristen Ellis-Henderson – bass guitar, vocals; Cathy Henderson – lead guitar, vocals and Dena Tauriello-drums. With an ever-increasing library of musical releases, the band is currently promoting their newest release; a five-song EP entitled Whiskey and Wine Vol. II.

Whiskey and Wine Vol. II from Antigone Rising begins with the hard-rocking track called “Game Changer”. The track begins with a beat that will instantly draw you into the band’s music. The call-and-respond vocals from Nini Camps and the rest of the band at the beginning of the track will remind the listener of something from the Girl Groups like The Supremes or The Ronettes before Antigone Rising takes the track in a more rock and roll-inspired direction that makes the song feel like a true anthem for today’s people who want something more in the world.

The newest release from Antigone Rising continues with the track “I See You”. The track features a folk-rock feel as the band takes their music in a slightly more gentle direction. While “Game Changer’s” energy draws the listener in, “I See You” has its own brand of beauty in both the romantic lyrics and the easy feel of the music. Like “Game Changer” before it, “I See You” feels like it could easily become a single off of the release.

With the track “Weed & Wine,” the quartet brings the energy of the music up as they incorporate a little Rock and Roll into their style. The inclusion of the banjo on the track and the twang in the electric guitar makes the song feel as much like Country music as much as Rock and Roll. The track finds the singer invited her special someone to a special night. The track’s lighthearted lyrics and the fun musical approach on the track keeps the energy level up and makes “Weed & Wine” a song to listen to if you’re in the mood to have fun.

Perhaps the most listener-friendly track on Whiskey and Wine Vol. II from Antigone Rising is the song “My Town”. Right from the very beginning of the song, the band creates a track that pulls upon the emotional feeling of the listener as the lyrics of the song bring to mind everything that makes your hometown so special. The Country feeling blended with the light Rock feeling in the music makes the track perfect for a crossover hit as fan of both genres of music will be drawn to the track. The inclusion of the strings helps to add a lot of emotional feeling to both the lyrics and music of the song. “My Town” is easily the most additive of the songs on the newest release from Antigone Rising.

The newest release from Antigone Rising comes to an end with the track “The Last Time”. The song features one of the strongest energy levels of the songs on Whiskey and Wine Vol. II. Like the track “Game Changer” that began the release, “The Last Time” features lyrics that seem to make a statement. And since “Game Changer” started the album off with a bang, “The Last Time” seems to be the perfect track to bring to an end as it features the same type of energy in the music.

Having already released Whiskey and Wine Vol. I in 2014, Antigone Rising released Whiskey and Wine Vol. II in 2015 to finish the concept. The 2015 five-song EP contains plenty of highs within the limited amount of tracks. Flowing from Country to Folk to Rock and Roll, the five songs in the EP contain plenty of variety and that variety makes the release a jot to listen to from start to finish.

Click HERE to check out the video to the Antigone Rising’s song “Game Changer”.

Click HERE to check out the entire Whiskey and Wine Vol. II release.

Click HERE to check out Antigone Rising’s PR firm Cyber PR.

Stolen Season cover artS.J. Tucker is a multi-talented Perry, Arkansas-based artist who lends her creativity to many different media. Sometimes poet, sometimes musician, Tucker has won praise for her work as a poet and songwriter. And that is only part of her personality. Over the years, S.J. Tucker has created many different songs and has put those songs out on many different releases, including contributing to the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to the movie Ember Days. The latest release of original compositions from S. J. Tucker is called Stolen Season.

For the release of Stolen Season, S. J. Tucker blends several different genres of music to create her sound. For this album, Tucker creates a unique blend of what she calls “fairytale folk and jazz”.

Stolen Season from S.J. Tucker begins with the track “Black Swan Blues”. The crackling of the music at the beginning of the track suggests something older than it is as the music on the track consists of a blues/rock blend with a stronger hint of blues. The vocals from Tucker contain a nice amount of soul as she sings the lyrics with gentleness. The easy feel of the track in the first ninety seconds transitions to a harder feel as the musicians on the track create a groove to go along with the lyrics that repeat throughout the song.

The newest release from S.J. Tucker continues with the track “Dream of Mississippi”. While “Black Swan Blues” contains a bluesy feel to the music, “Dream of Mississippi” takes on a more folk-like feel. The track begins with music created by a bowed bass and an acoustic guitar that suggests a mystical feel to the atmosphere surrounding the subject matter of the song. The story revolves around a woman who is being drawn back into the world she left behind. The subject matter in the song makes use of some of Tucker’s spiritual background.

For the song “Sultry Summer Night,” the jazzy side of S.J. Tucker’s writing personality comes out. The piano and electric guitar on the track create an easy, light almost folk-like musical approach to the music. The lightness of the music matches up well with the jazzy vocals from Tucker as she sings about the night. The piano on the track takes the lead and creates the flow on the track without overwhelming the vocals from Tucker.

S.J. Tucker stays in the jazz side of her music with the song “Believe in Lullabies”. With this track, Tucker’s vocal delivery will remind many of jazz vocalists from days gone by. The clear, beautiful sound of Tucker’s voice is the focal point on this track. The lyrical content will also remind listeners of songs from yesterday as the track truly sounds like something that belongs in the Great American Songbook. The track “Believe in Lullabies” ends up being one of the strongest tracks on Stolen Season from S.J. Tucker.

With the track “Girl into Devil (I Belong to Me),” S.J. Tucker lets out her inner storyteller. The lyrics of the song revolve around a little girl who encounters someone who wants to know who she belongs to. Within the lyrics of the song come gems such as “It all comes down to choices, but you’ve only the hard ones left.” With passages like that, the song feels very much like a story set to music.

The album’s title track is one of the strongest moments on the release. “Stolen Season” is a folk-rock track that features acoustic guitar, cello and percussion. The song’s lyrics revolve around a relationship of not-so-perfect love set within a fairy tale setting. The music of the track creates the perfect background for the story that plays out in Tucker’s lyrics. The addition of the cello to the music gives the track a nice orchestral feeling, especially near the end of the track where the music builds. The final seconds of the track and the lyrics contained within will leave the listener smiling.

The newest release from S.J. Tucker comes to a close with the track “Little Bird”. The track comes with an acoustic rock approach with a very upbeat feel to it. The uplifting lyrics will give anyone hope. The track brings Stolen Season to a close on a very upbeat note. The CD finishes comes complete with another version of the track “Believe in Lullabies”. While the first version feels very jazzy, the second version of the song has a deeper, darker feel to it with electric guitar, electric bass and cello. The second version feels more like a blues song while the first version was closer to jazz.

With the inclusion of the fairy tales and other references in her writing, S.J. Tucker’s songs are unique in their style. Stolen Season from S.J. Tucker is a wonderful find as the release has many different influences in it and that makes the album fun.

Reviewer: Matheson Kamin Rating: ***** (five stars)

(Click HERE to hear the track “Stolen Season” from S.J. Tucker)