Posts Tagged ‘Americana’

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.

 

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.

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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)

Kally O’Mally is a California-based singer-songwriter who creates a style of music that is most easily categorized as Americana as she incorporates many different styles into her music. While she would probably be called “Pop,” she also has a generous amount of Country influence in her style as well. Having already created one release titled Easy Money, O’Mally has returned with yet another album entitled The Wild West Medicine Show.

The Wild West Medicine Show from Kally O’Mally begins with the track called “Fly”. The track is a moderately-paced song with a Pop-rock flavor that also contains just a touch of Country sound to it. While the song contains lyrics that bring to mind a slightly old-fashioned Country track, the song features plenty of pop-rock feel and the addition of the banjo on the track adds that Country flavor to the track. The Country/Pop-rock combination in the music creates a track that would fit as much on today’s Country formats as it would fit on any current Top 40 format; thus, creating the perfect crossover song for almost any format on today’s radio dial.

O’Mally’s most recent release continues with the song “Sweet Delta Breeze”. While the track still contains the same easy feel from the previous track, O’Mally eliminates the Country influence on this track while increasing the Pop-rock influence. The song allows the guitars to create an easy Rock feel that may fit with songs from back in the seventies. And while the track does feel slightly retro in its sound, it would be right at home on today’s radio as well.

The title track on The Wild West Medicine Show finds Kally O’Mally creating a track that is equal parts Folk-rock and Country. The combination of all of the genres creates music that seems very appropriate for the subject matter of the travelling medicine show. The Country setting almost makes you imagine being part of the crowd that is being drawn in by the not-so-honest band of misfits that make up the medicine show.

For the track “Kisses,” the feel of the music changes from everything that came before it. The song brings to mind songs from the early days of Rock and Roll. In fact, the listener can almost hear the influence of the Everly Brothers in the music and the melody of the lyrics sung by O’Mally. The music of the track brings out the Americana sound of Kally O’Mally on this track.

Kally O’Mally once again changes musical directions on the song “Miss Understood”. While the tracks that came before “Miss Understood” contain combinations of music styles, O’Mally decided to compose this track using one musical approach. “Miss Understood” feels much like a Country song that would have been played back in the seventies. The Lyrics even bring to mind that era of Country music. Had it been written back a few decades, “Miss Understood” feels like something that Loretta Lynn or Dolly Parton might have sung. The track feels like it should be included on playlists on radio formats that focus on Classic Country.

With the track “2 Days Gone,” Kally O’Mally adds a little more Blues feel to her new release. The track about being down on your luck has a feel that many can get behind as we can all relate to having experienced something that makes us depressed. The Blues feel of the music on the track sets the song apart from most of the album.

With the track of “I’m Gonna Run,” Kally O’Mally makes a statement about abuse. While the song makes a very serious point about a very serious subject matter, the four minutes of the song is well-played while also being entertaining. O’Mally wrote the song to help get some information out there for those who are actually going through an abusive situation.

The Wild West Medicine Show from Kally O’Mally comes to a close with the track “Bourbon On My Deathbed”. The bluegrass-inspired track brings back the simpler feel of Omally’s music. That simpler feel makes for a great way to bring her newest release to a close.

The newest release from Kally O’Mally brings out the Country flavor within the Americana genre that O’Mally calls home. The music on The Wild West Medicine Show changes directions from one track to another and Kally O’Mally is able to keep the music interesting from track-to-track. If you are a fan of Americana music, The Wild West Medicine Show from Kally O’Mally is a strong new release.

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.

Eugenia Elliot, Hannah Hill and Rob Newhouse are a Chicago-based trio of singers that came together after meeting at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Once they found they had more in common than just their love for the style of music, the three musicians created a group and called themselves Charming Axe. Recently, the group got together with several other musicians to bring the music of the group to life. In turn, they created and released their first album entitled Gathering Days.

The new release of Gathering Days from Charming Axe begins with the James Taylor-penned song “Close your Eyes”. The track begins with Eugenia Elliot, Hannah Hill and Rob Newhouse singing the opening lyrics to the song a’capella. The three-part harmony from the three singers brings to mind the two-part harmony of the James Taylor and Carly Simon arrangement of the song. The song transitions when the keyboards from Rich Rankin are brought in to add just a little accompaniment to the voices. The sparse feel to the song brings out the folk flavor to the music from Charming Axe.

Gathering Days continues with the Rob Newhouse track “Beyond the Blue”. The track exists somewhere between folk music and bluegrass as the track seems to really allow the Old Timey feel to the band’s music to come out. Along with Newhouse’s guitar, the track features mandolin from Rich Rankin, dobro from John Rice and bass from Ben Wright. While the song features mainly Rob Newhouse on vocals, both Hannah Hill and Eugenia Elliot add that signature sound that the listener discovered in the first track on the album. The track works well as the music on the track brings to mind songs from long ago. The original track fits in well with the other tracks on the release.

While many of the tracks that make up Gathering Days from Charming Axe are traditional songs or cover songs, one of the best tracks on the release is the band’s version of the song made famous by Cyndi Lauper called “All Through the Night”. In place of the rock instruments that made Lauper’s version of the song so appealing, mandolins and acoustic guitars bring the song to life in a completely different way. While the hit version from Lauper features a pop-rock feel, Charming Axe takes the song and makes it feel like a folk standard. The track is easily one of the shining moments on Gathering Days.

Another track on the Gathering Days release that is a cover tune is the Bruce Cockburn-penned “One Day I Walk”. With the Cockburn version of the track, the guitar and mandolin give the track a simple folk-based feel with a very gentle pace to it. When Charming Axe went about doing their version, they added a lot of energy to it. The first major different is the addition of a bowed double bass that adds a lot of substance to the track. What once was a simple folk tune in the hands of Bruce Cockburn becomes something more substantial in the hands of Eugenia Elliot, Hannah Hill, Rob Newhouse and their friends.

Gathering Days comes to an end with the song “One Bright Star”. Like the Rob Newhouse-penned “Beyond the Blue” at the beginning of the album, “One Bright Star” is an original composition that was written by Eugenia Elliot. The track features an easy pace with a sound that is part folk and part country. The music features a very strong mandolin and guitar base while the three-part harmony from Eugenia Elliot, Hannah Hill and Rob Newhouse adds a lot of beauty to the song. The track brings the album to a close on a strong note as track ends up being one of the best songs on the album.

Charming Axe has created a very strong release in Gathering Days. The album’s fifteen tracks are a nice mix of known and not-so-known folk tunes with a few originals thrown in. That mix creates an album of folk music that begs to be heard.

Check out Charming Axe’s PR firm, Novo Management and Publicity.