Posts Tagged ‘Celtic’

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.

 

Ashley Davis is an American-born singer-songwriter who has found her musical sound by blending together Irish, Scottish and American sounds and influences to create a style that is very much Celtic in feel while still containing a large amount of Appalachian quality, as well. The blending of the three folk styles gives Davis’ music a flavor that will appeal to many different fans of music.

The Night Travels release from Ashley Davis begins with the track “His Bride I’ll Be”. From the very first note of the song, the listener gets a real sense of the talent of Davis as the track truly sounds and feels as if it were a standard of Celtic music. The beauty in Davis’ voice has a genuine Celtic flavor that adds to the realistic feel of the song. On the track, Ashley gets a little help from a well-known musician by the name of Sara Watkins. Watkins has made a name for herself by being the singer/fiddle player for the band Nickel Creek and then on her own as a solo artist. It is the vocals from Watkins that helps turn the track into a duet and her fiddle playing gives the track an unmistakable Celtic music feel.

On the next track of “I Will Follow (Leanain Thu)”, the pace of the music slightly picks up but still gently flows as it contains a generous amount of the beauty found in Celtic music. The mandolin, fiddle and guitar found on the track all blend together to create another track that brings to mind a modern take on standard Celtic music. The blending of both female and male vocals on the track gives the song more depth while not quite falling into the category of a duet, as the male voice sings along with Davis on the refrain but never joins in to sing a verse on the track.

Night Travels from Ashley Davis continues with the title track of “Night Travels”. After a short jig, Davis sings a song of two lovers who want nothing more than to be together. The lyrics of the song contain a great deal of sadness and beauty at the same time. It is interesting how the jig from the beginning of the song continually shows up throughout the track. The two aspects of the track of the original jig portion to the track and the rest of the musical part of the song blend well together and create a track with a continuously shifting landscape.

Like on the track “His Bride I’ll Be” where Ashley Davis is joined by Sara Watkins who adds her talents as fiddle player to the track, Davis is also joined on the song “With You Tonight” by another fiddle player of Eileen Ivers, founding member of the band Cherish the Ladies and second fiddle player in the show Riverdance. Together, Davis and Ivers create one of the most modern sounding tracks on the release. The inclusion of the harp on the track along with Ivers’ fiddle adds a lot of depth to the song. When the fiddle and the harp get the chance to come to the forefront of the track that is when the song really shines. All of the various elements in the song of “With You Tonight” end up making the song one of the best tracks on Night Travels from Ashley Davis.

One of the most upbeat and up-tempo tracks on the Night Travels album from Ashley Davis is the song “Alone with Me”. The song features a quick tempo and is easily one of the most commercial tracks on the album. “Alone with Me” has enough “crossover” potential that the song could easily get played on any commercial Adult Contemporary radio station in the country. The Night Travels album from Ashley Davis is a well-made album that really brings out the talent and influences in Davis. Whether you are a fan of Country music, Folk music or Celtic music, there is plenty of variety in Night Travels, the new release from Ashley Davis to make you happy.

Click HERE for the live video of “With You Tonight” by Ashley Davis.

Reviewed by Matheson Kamin
Rating: **** (out of four)