Posts Tagged ‘Americana’

C.K. FlachWhen listening to the music of New York State-based singer-songwriter C.K. Flach’s music, you can definitely hear the inner poet in him come out in his songs. The songs he writes have a very strong poetic feel to them as if they were simply poems set to music. As a matter of fact, to prove just how much of a poetic feel his writing style truly has, the artist even recorded one actual spoken piece and included it on his newly released album.

Along with the poetic style of C.K. Flach’s lyrics, he also creates his songs performing the majority of the musical parts himself, with only a few instances where friends and family help to flesh out the sound of the songs. The resulting poetic Americana musical style of C.K. Flach’s songs has made its way onto the musician’s 2017 album entitled Empty Mansions.

Empty Mansions from C.K. Flach begins with the track “Lazarus”. Proving that Flach’s poetic lyrical style can encompass any subject matter, “Lazarus” finds Flach making reference to a biblical character. The song about the character Lazarus being called forward in a church setting is set to a musical style that mixes some Folk elements with a few Rock and Roll ones. These elements create a track that features a slow, yet steady pace to match up with the somber lyrics. The acoustic guitar-driven track shows off some of Flach’s ability as a guitar player. The song’s slightly laidback approach allows the listener to ease their way into the new release from Flach.

The new release from C.K. Flach continues with the song “Boxcar Dreaming”. While the previous track was guitar-based, C.K. Flach creates this track with keyboards. With this track, Flach slows things down as he lightens the feel of the music. While “Lazarus” was an equal amount of Rock and Roll as well as Folk, “Boxcar Dreaming” features a lot more Folk influence. The resulting track would be perfect for a Soft Rock radio format.

One of the strongest tracks on the Empty Mansions album from C.K. Flach is the song “Tranquilized”. Ironically, with this song, Flach increases the energy level of the music ever so slightly instead of bringing it down as you would expect with a title like that. Although the track is still pretty laidback to the music, “Tranquilized” contains a driving feel to the guitar on the track. About halfway through, the track picks up the energy of the music.

The poetic side of C.K. Flach comes out on the track “The Officer”. In a nation where those who are hired to protect are sometimes just as dangerous as the ones we want to be protected from, some people have an unfavorable opinion of the police. The song of “The Officer” is a track that deals with a scenario of a person being pulled over and not treated well by the officer doing the pulling over. The sing-song delivery of the lyrics and the slightly bluesy music make the song feel like a beatnik poem.

The album continues with the title track. Throughout the release, C.K. Flach creates tracks that have a definite spiritual overtones to them. Along with the earlier track of “Lazarus,” “Empty Mansions” is one that features that approach. “Empty Mansions” finds Flach contemplating many things in life that make him question which direction to take in life. The piano and the strings in the background of the track combine to create a beautiful melody. As he sings, C.K. Flach sings about some of the sadder things that are happening in the world today. With this track, the lyrics contain one of the most somber moments on the albums.

Much like “Empty Mansions” before it, the track “Machine Gun” finds Flach a very political track. The guitar and harmonica that appear on the track bring to mind the spirit of Bob Dylan, although the style of the music on the track is very much C.K. Flach. The track finds Flach speaking to those who carry guns and bring harm to men, women and children alike. Like many of the Folk songs from the sixties, “Machine Gun” is a song that speaks to those who want to bring an end to the senseless violence both here and abroad.

Like the track “The Officer” from earlier in the album, the track “Firmament” once again finds C.K. Flach bringing out the poet in him. But unlike “The Officer” that features both spoken poetry and music, “Firmament” is strictly Flach as he reads his written words. The simple “voice only” track finds Flach closing out his new release with a powerful poem with a very strong message against oppression.

Throughout the ten tracks that make up Empty Mansions from C.K. Flach, the listener gets to experience a poet at work as he creates song-length vignettes that deal with all sorts of things from religion to politics to everything in between. And since the album changes musical directions throughout those ten tracks, there is plenty of variety to help form a truly unique release that stands out against most of today’s commercial albums.

To hear a little bit of the music from C.K. Flach, check out the title track for Empty Mansions.

For more information, check out C.K. Flach’s PR firm, THE RMG Media GROUP.

 

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Peasant MoonAlt-Country duo Peasant Moon came together when two people from different continents joined forces. Singer-songwriter and Australia native Harvey Russell makes up one half of the combo while longtime collaborator Josie Rothwell originally came from the west coast of the United States. However, the duo is currently making their home in Russell’s native land of Australia.

Together, Harvey Russell and Josie Rothwell create music as Peasant Moon that contains a strong Country flavor with plenty of other elements that require their style of music to be categorized as Americana. To bring that Americana sound to life, the duo draws influence from the likes of the Civil Wars, Mandolin Orange, even Ryan Adams. Together, those influences make Peasant Moon’s musical approach very heavy on the folk/country sound. The duo is currently promoting their new 5-song release entitled Our Timing Was Wrong. To help bring their new album of Our Timing Was Wrong to life, Harvey Russell and Josie Rothwell are joined by Aaron Langman (pedal steel, electric guitar), Jonathan Kelly (bass) and Rich Burrows (drums). Together, the ensemble creates a very strong release.

The new release of Our Timing Was Wrong from Peasant Moon begins with the track “Back in Time”. The first track on the release contains a strong country/rock combination. “Back in Time’s” musical combination feels very commercial in its tone and the laidback pace of the music makes good use of the Country music that the band has as an influence. The duo also seems to add just a little bit of Folk music influence to the song, as well. “Back in Time” contains so many different musical elements together that combine effortlessly to create one solid track. The song feels very commercial and would fit well on any Country radio format as well as any Folk format, as well.

Peasant Moon’s new EP continues with the title track of the release. “Our Timing was Wrong” finds the duo adding a lot more of a Country feel to their music. With the inclusion of mandolin and steel guitar, Peasant Moon gives “Our Timing was Wrong” a real Country music flavor. Plus, the lyrics to the song also gives the track that authentic Country flavor. While Harvey Russell comes from Australia, he seems to be doing well in following in the footsteps of fellow Aussie Keith Urban in creating Country music that feels as authentic as anything created here in the U.S. “Our Timing was Wrong” would feel right at home on any Country music radio format.

Harvey Russell and Josie Rothwell take Peasant Moon’s music in a lighter direction for the next track of “Over Again”. With this track, the duo create a track that is much more in the vein of Folk-Rock music than Country music. The mandolin and acoustic guitar help to create most of the flavor to the song as the song proceeds with a light touch and a moderate pace to the music. While the song features Harvey Russell as main vocalist, the vocals from Josie Rothwell help to add a lot of harmony to the lyrics of the song. “Over Again” finds the duo creating a very strong track that would be right at home in the seventies following a band like The Eagles or during the later eighties following The Traveling Wilburys.

The feel of the album changes on the track of “Party”. While the other tracks on Our Timing Was Wrong are full-bodied and contain the entire band helping to back up Peasant Moon, “Party” features a much simpler feel to the music with Russell’s guitar and Aaron Langman’s steel guitar providing much of the track’s musical background. On the track, Harvey Russell and Josie Rothwell create a beautiful duet that would fit well on today’s Country music formats. “Party” is one of the standout tracks on the EP.

Peasant Moon’s Our Timing Was Wrong comes to an end with the track “Leaving Tonight”. The musical combination of the song brings to mind something that would have fit right in on the Every Picture Tells a Story album from Rod Stewart as it would have fit with those songs. The Folk-Rock track has the same sort of feel as several of the songs on that album as the music and vocals would both fit in with those songs.

Our Timing Was Wrong from Australia’s Peasant Moon is a solid five-song release. Harvey Russell and Josie Rothwell have created an Americana release that is as strong as anything released here in the U.S.

Peasant Moon’s Our Timing Was Wrong will be released on August 31, 2017. Before the band’s EP is out, check out “Our Timing Was Wrong,” the title track from their upcoming release.

For more information, check out the band’s PR firm, THE RMG Media GROUP.

 

Black Horse MotelBlack Horse Motel is a Philadelphia-based musical ensemble with a sound that is based in Traditional Folk music but with other musical influences that shape their sound so that they help take the band’s sound from that traditional label to more of an Americana label. Black Horse Motel consists of: Galen Fitzpatrick on guitar, vocals; Desiree Haney on cello, piano, vocals; Ryann Lynch on fiddle, viola, mandolin, vocals and Megan Manning drums, percussion, vocals. Together, the foursome is able to take their various musical talents to create a sound that blends Folk with other styles. This, along with their musical influences which include Fleetwood Mac, Bon Iver and U2 as well as others, is what helps to create the Americana label the band finds itself being classified under.

In the band’s history, they have released a self-titled EP, an album entitled Red Summer Spirit and a new EP entitled Parable. It is with the release of Parable that Black Horse Motel is currently touring.

Parable from Black Horse Motel begins with the track “Run, Rabbit, Run”. The track begins with banjo, fiddle and other Country instrumentation before a very noticeable bass part and drum playing that would have belonged in Rock and Roll join the other instrumentation. The track features a very driving pace to the music, a pace that belongs more in Rock and Roll than in Country music. The mixture of the styles and the lyrical content about growing up in a farmer state of mind create a track that mixes many different mindsets, musical and lyrical, that create a song that crosses many different lines all at the same time. With such a strong essence, “Run, Rabbit, Run” seems to make the listener pay attention to the music from the beginning note. This track alone easily shows the listener why the band falls into the Americana category as this track has too many different elements from too many musical genres for the band to be classified as anything else in particular.

With the next track of “Bones,” the band Black Horse Motel changes directions to choose one specific genre of music for the song. The Folk music created contains a light, easy pace to the track. That easy pace seems to be rather oddly placed with the words that feature a lyrical content about a childhood rocked with violence and the thankful feeling of having lived through it. When compared to the first track of “Run, Rabbit, Run,” “Bones” comes across as the more challenging of the two songs even though the music is lighter.

Changing directions, Black Horse Motel embraces their Bluegrass influences on the track “Where the Money Comes From”. On this track, the band abandons all electric sounds for an all-acoustic sound that contains acoustic guitar and fiddle. The Bluegrass track features a slight Gospel feel to the music and the beat as the band sings of needing some financial help no matter where it comes from. The lyrical content and the resulting clash with the Gospel influence once again creates an interesting moment on the Parable release.

One of the most commercial sounding tracks on the Parable release from Black Horse Motel is the song “Take It Back”. The Folk-based song brings both the piano and the fiddle to the forefront of the instruments as the band creates a track that contains a very beautiful melody. That melody transitions to a melody that works well as a Country song. The lyrics about avoiding the past by covering it with anything you can seems to cut a little too close for comfort as the listener may start to relive thoughts better left buried. The piano late in the track adds another element to the song that gives the song even more beauty. “Take It Back” is easily one of the strongest tracks on the five-song release.

Black Horse Motel’s newest release comes to an end with the track “Dear Mama”. The track begins with some a-Capella that brings back a little Gospel influence in the way the music feels. Once the music begins, the band creates some Rock music with some strings included that produces the strongest music on the entire CD. The lyrics about boys being abandoned by their mother adds a little sadness to the album. But the strength of the music in the track takes most of that sadness away. “Dear Mama” ends up sounding like a Country-flavored track that could have been created by Jeff Lynne and the rest of Electric Light Orchestra.

Parable from Black Horse Motel is an EP with lots to offer the listener. The five tracks that comprise the Parable release from Black Horse Motel find a band of four musicians creating songs that are quite different from one song to the next. And with each track, the band shows off their talent and musical flexibility as they change styles throughout the release.

Click HERE to hear the song “Take it Back” from Black Horse Motel.

For more information, check out the band’s PR firm, The RMG Media Group.

The ShrimpsBritish-born brothers Marcus and Simon Benjamin came to the music world after spending a good amount of their lives doing other things that were as far from music as you can get. Marcus in fashion and film industries while Simon was in publishing. But eventually, the brothers found themselves looking for something more. Teaming up, they started a duo of their own creating music with a straight-out Acoustic Rock feel to it. Together, the Benjamin Brothers perform as The Shrimps. Having already put out several other releases, the brothers are currently celebrating their most recent album entitled Abstracts and Keywords.

Abstracts and Keywords from The Shrimps begins with the track “Aim with the Arrow”. The track begins with a simple acoustic guitar approach that would work for just two musicians. However, with the addition of a bass part as well as the keyboards, the resulting track contains a lot more substance. While the track could have been a normal “unplugged” acoustic sound, Marcus and Simon Benjamin create a track with a lot of energy.

The new release from The Shrimps continues with the song “Make it Better”. While the previous track on the album was a track with an acoustic rock feel, “Make it Better” shows off a slightly different side to the duo’s music. The track moves from Acoustic Rock to a more folk-like approach to the music. The Folk-Rock approach finds the brothers adding mandolin to the guitars to achieve that Folk-Rock sound. With this sound, the duo of Marcus and Simon Benjamin create a track that contains a hefty amount of British Invasion style. Not surprising, since the New York City-based brothers used to call Great Britain home.

For the track “Life We Live,” Marcus and Simon Benjamin bring the music back to a more Acoustic Rock feel. In fact, with this song, the brothers once again seem to bring a little British Invasion feel to the music. The main guitar part of the track seems to have a bit of influence from the playing of one Pete Townsend in a playing style that brings to mind the acoustic guitar part to the song “Pinball Wizard”. “Life We Live” is one of the more energetic and upbeat tracks on the new album from The Shrimps.

One of the strongest tracks on the  album from The Shrimps is the song “Rebels”. The duo of Marcus and Simon Benjamin create a track with a rather strong groove in the Acoustic Rock that makes up the track. With the inclusion of a light organ and the flute in the background, “Rebels” ends up being one track that separates itself from the rest of the album. The track would feel right at home during the seventies as plenty of other bands at the times were creating songs just like.

As all of the tracks on the new release of Abstracts and Keywords from The Shrimps are acoustic in nature and are all rather similar in the quality of their sound, the best tracks on the album are the ones where the instrumentation seems to be layered, creating a richer, fuller sound to the music. One such track that stands out because of the instrumentation is the song “Top of the World”. The track begins as guitar, bass and mandolin all combine to create the music for the track. Then, the lyrics come in about thirty seconds in. The combination of the music and the lyrics create a beautiful song about being with the one you love. “Top of the World” is easily one of the strongest moments on the album.

Marcus and Simon Benjamin bring the newest album of Abstracts and Keywords from The Shrimps to an end with the track “In the Moon”. The track begins with just the guitar before the rest of the instrumentation slowly help to build the song. The song resulting track contains a musical feel that brings to mind songs from the sixties while not feeling dated.

Throughout Abstracts and Keywords from The Shrimps, the Benjamin Brothers have put together an album that is rather simple in its musical content as each of the tracks feature very few instruments. That simplistic way of making the songs actually help to create an album that allows the listener to truly enjoy both the musical and lyrical content of the songs and it also proves that something does not have to be overly complicated to be good.

For more information on the band and their music, check out the band’s Facebook profile.

For more information, check out the band’s PR firm THE RMG Media GROUP.

LORES_BlueHoney-AlbumArt_1.jpgAfter each moving to Nashville to pursue a career in music, Troy Brooks and Kassie Jordan-Brooks found each other while performing separately in that music scene. Eventually marrying, Troy and Kassie Brooks came to create a duo under the moniker of Blue Honey.

Back in 2015, Blue Honey created a six-track EP called “1”. The music on the release blends together the duo’s influences to create a style that is equal parts Country, Rock & Roll and Pop. Taking turns, the songs feature both of the Brooks as they share vocal duties while Troy plays the lead guitar and Kassie plays rhythm. The resulting style of the duo’s sound fits easily on Country music formats while also containing enough of a cross-over feel that certain tracks on the EP would easily fit on Top 40 radio.

The 2015 “1” EP from Blue Honey begins with the track “Wherever You Are Tonight (Downtown Dancin’)”. The leadoff track for the EP contains a strong Pop-rock feel with just a little Country flavor to it. With that musical blend, the track feels a lot like some of the music that had been created back in the eighties. Both Troy and Kassie take turns singing as they each tell their side of the story of a couple trying to move on. The resulting duet between Troy and Kassie creates a track that feels very commercial in today’s musical scene. “Wherever You Are Tonight (Downtown Dancin’)” will instantly grab you and refuse to let go.

Blue Honey’s 2015 release continues with the track “Back Home”. Like the track before it, “Back Home” contains a large amount of Pop feel to it. With this track, however, the duo takes their music in a very Irish direction. The music of the song contains a slight Celtic flavor while the lyrics are very reminiscent of traditional Irish songs. The upbeat feel of the music mixed with the lyrics about finding that feeling of family brings out the Celtic feel of the song. The audience reaction also adds to a bit of a party feel to the track.

The band’s “1” EP continues with the song “I Am the Rain”. Ironically, the EP begins with the song’s reprise instrumental that acts as an intro to the song itself. The reprise features the acoustic guitar, electric guitar, organ, bass and drums as each instrument is slowly added to the track, building the feel of the song from a simple acoustic track to a full-blown song that features a strong, driving feel to the music. Once the reprise fades, the actual track begins with an addition of a country twang to both the music and the lyrical delivery from Troy Brooks. While Troy handles the main vocal duty on the track, both Troy and Kassie blend their voices together during the song to create harmony during the chorus of the song. “I Am the Rain” contains enough of a twang to the music that it would easily fit on Contemporary Country radio formats.

Blue Honey brings their 2015 release “1” to a close with the track “Back Home”. Just like with “I Am the Rain,” Blue Honey adds plenty of Country influence to the track “Back Home”. As with many other Country artists over the years, Blue Honey creates a track that adds a little bit of Gospel influence to the track that deals with several different aspects of life including beginning a relationship, having a baby and bringing a life to an end. “Back Home” is a perfect track for today’s Country radio formats.

While Blue Honey released their “1” EP back in 2015, the duo of Troy Brooks and Kassie Jordan-Brooks just recently added to their available recordings with two new tracks. They are currently celebrating the release of the tracks “Angles Come Home” and “Hurts Just the Same”.

The first of the two new tracks from Blue Honey is entitled “Angels Come Home”. With this track, the duo takes their music in a much more Indie Rock direction. It is the keyboards on the track that stands out right from the start. The keys add a lot of reverb to the beginning of the track that lasts throughout the length of the song. Along with that reverb, the rest of the track features a strong Rock and Roll feel with a hint of Country flavor that helps to create the Indie Rock feel to the track. With the very noticeable religious flavor of the song, Blue Honey creates a track in “Angels Come Home” that is extremely multi-layered with many different elements to the track. “Angels Come Home” is a very strong track.

Along with “Angels Come Home,” Troy Brooks and Kassie Jordan-Brooks also release another track that brings their music back in a more Country/Rock direction. The first few seconds of “Hurts the Same” bring to mind the track of “Turn the Page” from Bob Seger and with the guitar solo that exists within the song, “Hurts the Same” seems to have more than just a little bit of Seger-quality influence to the music. Before long, Blue Honey takes the track in a more Country-like direction while keeping some of that Seger influence. The duet vocals from both Troy and Kassie help to create a story told through the two points of view of the singers and the painful feel of the lyrics creates a track that is very reminiscent of Garth Brooks’ song “Thunder Rolls”… without that track’s murderous conclusion.

With the ability to embrace many different styles to create their songs, Troy Brooks and Kassie Jordan-Brooks create songs that are full of variety that helps to keep their music fresh. And with the release of their EP called “1” and their two newest songs, Blue Honey shows off their abilities to write and perform songs that will catch the imagination of the listener.

Check out the music of Blue Honey and their new song “Hurts the Same” by clicking the link.

For more information, check out the band’s PR firm  The RMG Media Group

cd-1Bay Area based singer/songwriter Scott Smith creates music that consists of many different genres of music. Country, Blues and other styles all blend together to form Smith’s version of Americana. In order to help Scott Smith bring his musical vision to life, he called upon several talented people. Among them are: pianist Mitch Woods; drummer Vic Carberry; pianist and keyboardist Giovanni Imbesi; Smith’s vocal coach Gailene Elliot, sings backup; Bluegrass mandolinist David Grisman; virtuoso classical and rock violinist David LaFlamme and bassist Jeff Martin. These musicians bring Scott Smith’s The Sum of Life alive.

The Sum of Life album from Scott Smith begins with the instrumental title track of the release. The folk track “The Sum of Life” begins with a very soft acoustic guitar from Scott Smith that is quickly joined by violinist David LaFlamme who adds a gentle violin solo. The duo of Smith and LaFlamme are soon joined by lead guitarist Nina Gerber who adds the texture to the track. The trading off between guitarist Gerber and violinist LaFlamme create a gentle duet of sorts that helps to keep the track interesting for the short 3-minute playing time.

With the song “Eclipsing Moon,” The Sum of Life from Scott Smith picks up a lot of energy. Exchanging the folk feel of the previous track for a stronger Rock and Roll feel, Scott Smith and the rest of his musical ensemble add electric guitars, organ and a stronger bass part for a straight-out Rock and Roll track. The result is a rather unusual track that pairs up somewhat romantic lyrics about spending time together with a strong Rock approach in the music. Although it seems to be a slightly unusual combination, the track of “Eclipsing Moon” is strong and fun to listen to.

On “Blues Guitar Slinger,” Scott Smith creates the next chapter in the music book that already includes the likes of “Johnny B. Goode” from Chuck Berry and “Tupelo Mississippi Flash” from Jerry Reed. Like the previous two songs, “Blues Guitar Slinger” follows the exploits of a musician just making a living. Scott Smith’s song focuses on a slightly different instrument, a slightly different style of playing, yet the same way of storytelling about a legendary figure as he makes his rounds.

On the song “Payday,” Scott Smith takes the sound of his music back to the days of roots rock where people like Bill Hailey, Jerry Lee Lewis and Buddy Holly were creating a new style that separated itself from the Country music of the time. “Payday” features that early Rock and Roll style that centers around the sound of a Honky Tonk piano. The Honky Tonk piano playing on “Payday” comes from Mitch Woods who really adds that classic sound that makes the track sound as genuine as anything that would have come from the days of the early 1950s.

While musically in the past, Scott Smith and the rest of the musicians create a track that brings back the sound and feel of classic Country music. The song “Bad Dreams” contains an easy pace and classic lyrical content that would easily fit in on Country radio back in the sixties. The violin from David LaFlamme helps to add that classic flavor to the track while Gailene Elliott’s vocals help to add a little bit of a duet feel to the song.

The feel of the music on Scott Smith’s new album changes yet again on the track “The Best Gift”. While the previous track contained an old-fashioned Country approach, Smith gives “The Best Gift” a definite Folk flavor to the music. The lyrics about the births of his two children add an emotional touch to the release. “The Best Gift” is one of the most beautiful moments on the release.

After spending a few tracks in the Folk/Country frame of mind, Scott Smith changes directions. For the track “Determination,” the music takes on more of a Rock and Roll feel. The track has a timeless feel to the music as it could fit in with almost any time period within the Rock and Roll era. The track has a strong refrain that makes the song feel just right for commercial radio play.

Along with “Determination,” the song of “The World is Strange” is also a track that features a strong Rock and Roll feel. The track begins with a sound and musical feel that will remind some of something from Eddie Cochran; most specifically, “Summertime Blues”. And while there is that Eddie Cochran influence, the track is equal parts electric guitar and piano so that it also feels like a combination of Cochran and Jerry Lee Lewis.

Throughout the eleven tracks that make up Bay Area singer/songwriter Scott Smith’s new release of The Sum of Life, the listener gets plenty of noteworthy moments to enjoy. The ever-changing styles of music contained within the album feels very much like an entire collection of music on one release. Smith and the rest of the musicians who brought the album to life have created a very strong debut that only hints at the talent of a talented singer-songwriter.

For more information, check out the band’s PR firm of RMG Artist Development.

operationencoreYou never know where or when the desire to become a musician will hit. For some, the desire is always there but only is realized once one phase of their lives has come to an end. Many ex-military personnel have the same dreams of making a living as a musician. And that may mean waiting until leaving military service.

For those musicians currently serving or now discharged from service, there is an organization working with veterans and military alike who wish to make music. That organization is called Operation Encore.

Taking some of the musicians within the organization who create their own music, an album of original music was created that incorporates several styles and genres of music. The resulting release of Americana tunes is simply entitled Operation Encore: A Veteran Music Project.

Operation Encore: A Veteran Music Project contains music from several singer-songwriters with many contributing more than one track to the release. Because of whom the artists are (or had been), the subject matter for every track is mainly about dealing with life as a soldier. While some of the tracks are sadder than others, each track gives some insight into what the songwriter experiences in their daily life.

The Operation Encore: A Veteran Music Project release begins with USAF Pilot Rob Raymond’s song entitled “To the Air”. The track features a folk sound with just a little Irish influence to it. The subject matter of a soldier in the depths of battle longing for home is told from several different soldiers’ perspectives as they fight for all they are worth and for those they love. While the subject matter is what it is, the music for the track has a light, upbeat feel to it.

The album continues with one of the most emotional tracks. “Another Trip Around the Sun” from Rachel Harvey Hill is told from the perspective of someone who lives day-to-day to be with the one she loves. The easy feeling of the piano-based music and the emotional lyrics makes for a gentle song with a powerful message.

Stephen Covell seems to be on the same wavelength with Rachel Harvey Hill with his track “Sand Hills to Sandals”. But unlike Hill whose song is about spending time with the one she loves, Covell sings about being able to enjoy life away from the fight and just relax with those he calls friends. The visual of the empty chairs to represent those lost in combat helps to add just a little reminder of what the artists on this album go through every day. The acoustic guitar and light fiddle featured on the track blend together to create an easy folk sound. The track ends up being one of the best songs on the release.

While many of the tracks on The Operation Encore: A Veteran Music Project seem to have a folk-like sound, the pace changes a bit with Tom Abbott’s track “In Tent City”. The track features an electric guitar that adds some energy to the track. The folk-rock approach on the track goes well with the reflective lyrics about thinking back to the days of combat when the war was coming to an end. The listener can all but see the pictures that Tom Abbott paints with his words.

Some of the songs on the release find the songwriters recalling certain things. But some, like the song from Christopher Kurek, expose some of the pain soldiers feel. In a song that could remind some of the musical style of the Black Crowes, “Never Be the Same” is a track that finds Kurek singing about living with sights and sounds that he will never escape. The track feels very commercial in its sound and is probably the track that could get played on radio. In fact, it would fit right beside several of the songs from the likes of a band like Pink Floyd who delved into that type subject matter.

Another track that could be considered commercial is from Steve Wilson. “Cold Steel Rain” actually feels the most like a simple rock song. The lyrics of the song do contain a certain amount of anguish that could come from someone who was dealing with things like PTSD. But when taken out of the context of this album, the track simply feels like any of Wilson’s songs that he has written for his band of The Black Doves or for his solo material. Like Christopher Kurek’s song of “Never Be the Same,” the folk-rock of Steve Wilson also has a sound that will remind people of the music of The Black Crowes.

The ukulele that begins the track “Lullaby” from Theresa Denofre sets the song apart from any of the other tracks on the Operation Encore: A Veteran Music Project release. The song quickly becomes another track that could easily make its way onto radio. The track’s easy tempo and laidback feel would fit alongside songs like “Ordinary Day” from Vanessa Carlton. With this track, Denofre is one artist on this compilation that needs to be heard.

The Operation Encore: A Veteran Music Project album does a wonderful job of getting the word out about the hidden talent that lies within our military personnel and our veterans. With an album that contains 16 tracks, that are many shining moments. Throughout the tracks on the album, there are lyrics of pain, lyrics of joy, even lyrics about looking back. The various tracks on the album allow the listener to be exposed to plenty of new talent that they may never have heard of before. Give the artists on this album a listen and you might discover someone who catches your ear.

For just one example of the type of music found on the Operation Encore: A Veteran Music Project album, click on the link to hear the track “Another Trip Around the Sun” from Rachel Harvey Hill.