Posts Tagged ‘Country’

Jesh Yancey is a singer-songwriter who makes his home in Denver, Colorado. Yancey spent the early years of his adult life in the Navy and the former military man is now spending his time in the music industry as a musician and songwriter. As that musician and songwriter, Jesh Yancey already has one album under his belt and is now creating more music with his band. Upright bassist Lizz Hough, drummer Ryan Van Dyke and harmonica player Jef Funk join the singer-songwriter to create the band known as Jesh Yancey and The High Hopes, a moniker that lends itself rather well to some of the songs that are currently being performed by the band and which are now available on the band’s second and current release entitled Maybe It’s the Drugs an EP which contains some Country vibes, some Folk vibes, some Rock and Roll vibes, and even some Cajun influence. The songwriter and his band refer to this style as PsycheDeltaFolk.

Maybe It’s the Drugs begins with the song “When in Rome”. The listener gets an immediate glimpse at just what the band means by PsycheDeltaFolk. The band’s music on the track blends together a stronger Country vibe with some Folk influence and some Cajun influence by way of the accordion. The slow-paced, easy feel to the track creates a song that brings to mind some of the Country music of the seventies while mixing in some influence from a musician like Doug Kershaw who has been known for his Cajun-influenced music. The lyrics to the track deal find Yancey explaining that his actions were a result of simply trying to fit in, even if it wasn’t the best idea.

After the Cajun-flavored “When in Rome,” the feel of the music changes dramatically. With the song “Ridin’ High,” the band abandons the Cajun feel of the music for a much stronger Blues approach. The main Blues influence on the track of “Ridin’ High” is matched up with some Folk-Rock to help fill out the track’s sound. This gives the song a nice easy groove that allows the song to flow along smoothly. On the track, Jesh Yancey and The High Hopes create a track that features a jamband feel: each of the members of the group take turns giving small solos on their various instruments and that helps to show off the talents of each musicians in the group.

The feel of the music changes once again on the very next song entitled “In a Pinch”. While the first song of the release called “When In Rome” contained a Country/Folk/Cajun blend, “In a Pinch” contains a much simpler musical approach as the track contains a straight Country music sound. The track reminds the listener of what Country music used to feel like in the late seventies and/or early eighties, before the Rock and Roll influence seemed to overtake the heart of the music. For those looking for a song with a classic Country music feel, “In a Pinch” is the track for you.

Jesh Yancey and The High Hopes continue their new EP with the song “My Little Soul and Me”. And like with the tracks that came before it, this song changes the feel of the EP yet again. With this track, Yancey and the rest of the group create a track that seems to draw a large amount of inspiration from singer-songwriter and Rock Hall Member Tom Waits. Like with much of Tom Waits’ material, “My Little Soul and Me” contains a lyrical approach where the lyrics create a story. The story unfolding is a man explaining that he has given away his soul. Lyrics like “I Gave It to a Black Haired Girl, Her Name Was Destiny. Said It Wasn’t Worth Too Much So She Gave It Back to Me” truly bring to mind the writing style of Waits. While the song contains some of the darkest lyrics on the release, “My Little Soul and Me” is one of the strongest moments on the EP.

Maybe It’s the Drugs from Jesh Yancey and The High Hopes comes to a close with the title track of the release. While the entire EP features the four musicians of Yancey, Hough, Van Dyke and Funk, “Maybe It’s the Drugs” truly brings out the ensemble feel to the band. The track not only features all of the members, but all of the members join in on the vocals of this track. The lyrics of the track deal with the political state of the country at the present time. While it is a rather political track, many will likely agree with the sentiment shared within the lyrics.   

Although only five tracks, Maybe It’s the Drugs from Jesh Yancey and The High Hopes shows a band that has plenty of musical ability and talent. Each track has a different sound, a different feel. Because of this, the release flies by, leaving the listener wanting for more. 


Maybe It’s the Drugs from Jesh Yancey and The High Hopes will be available shortly. When the release is live, you can find it here. Until the entire EP is available, you can check out the first single off of the release, “When In Rome”.

For more information, check out Jesh Yancey’s PR firm of Whiplash PR & Management by clicking on the logo for the company.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

Wild Side

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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



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

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

  

ProvidenceSinger-songwriter Gordon Thomas Ward splits his time between creating music that would fit into several different genres and writing books that cover just as many topics as his music seems to cover genres. That stretching of his talents means that Ward continues to add to his many different influences. And those influences, in turn, influence each other. As far as his music is concerned, Ward has already released one album with the title of Welcome to the Past. Soon, however, he will be adding to that album with another release. The newest release from Gordon Thomas Ward is titled Providence.

The Providence EP from Gordon Thomas Ward is a short, five-song release that begins with the track “Acadia Lament- Names Into Stone”. This beginning track makes it rather obvious that Ward has influences that stretch the gamut as the song begins with a Classical music influence that feels very medieval in nature. The lutes and guitars in that section of the track create a moment of about two minutes consisting of relaxing music before the song segues into something a lot more intense. The second part of the track turns up the heat as the Folk-Rock created features a strong electric guitar and a strong driving feel to the music. Near the end of the track, the music seems to combine the Classical flavor from the beginning with the later musical approach with the strong Folk-Rock feel.

Gordon Thomas Ward changes the direction of the music with the next track. While the previous track takes two different paths in its music with widely different sounds, the song of “Destiny” takes on yet another approach. With this song, the music seems to be rather influenced by the music of the band The Eagles as the track’s Folk-Rock music appears to have a touch of Country flavor to it, much like much of the aforementioned supergroup from the seventies. The lyrical content to “Destiny” finds the singer pondering life as he travels down the road. For those who enjoy some of the music from the seventies, this song will take you back to those days while still containing a fresh feel to the music.

Providence from Gordon Thomas Ward takes on a more emotional feel with the next track of “Just One More”. Like the track before it, “Just One More” finds Gordon Thomas Ward creating a track with Folk flavor to it. But with this track, the emphasis is squarely on the Folk genre as the track contains more Folk feeling than the rest of the tracks on this EP. To go along with the Folk sound that exists inside of the track, Ward writes lyrics that have a lot more of an emotional tug than the rest of the release. The lyrics to the track deal wanting only one more time with those you love, especially those who are now gone, the ones you will never have the chance to spend that time with again. “Just One More” will grab you by the heart and never let go throughout the four-an-a-half minutes of playtime.

As “Just One More” features the most Folk flavor of any of the tracks on the Providence release, the track “The Horseman” finds Gordon Thomas Ward creating a song with the most Country influence to it. It turns out that the Country/Folk combination on the track is a good base to go along with the lyrics to the track. The lyrics, it seems, revolve around the tale of The Headless Horseman. The use of the Country/Folk musical blend goes well with the setting of the story which takes place back in the late 1700’s. With “The Horseman” being a story set to music, the track puts both sides of Ward’s personality to good use, blending the storyteller and musician together on the track.

With the song “One Kiss,” Gordon Thomas Ward seems to be channeling the spirit of John Denver as his vocals, lyrical content and all-around sound to the music of the track bring to mind the style of the now-deceased Denver.  The final track of the EP brings back a lot of the emotions and mindset that had been found on the song “Just One More” as the lyrics deal with looking back at moments that have past too quickly, whether it’s a child growing up, or the loss of one’s mother. The emotional feeling of the track brings the 5-song release to a close in a way that will stay with you long after the last note ends.

Providence from Gordon Thomas Ward may be a short, five-song release, but the tracks that make it up give the listener several different musical approaches throughout those tracks. Because of that, the short but powerful EP gives the listener a good representation of what the music of Gordon Thomas Ward is like.

To check out the music of Gordon Thomas Ward, check out the track “One Kiss“. 

For more information, check out Gordon Thomas Ward’s PR firm of Whiplash PR & Management by clicking on the logo for the company. 

Whiplash

Moccasin BenderRandy Steele has spent time as part of the band Slim Pickens Bluegrass. But after a few years in that musical ensemble, he went out on his own while taking the style of music that the group had been known for with him. Now as a solo artist, Steele has begun making a name for himself taking that style of music and making it fit his own personality. That resulted in the 2017 album entitled Songs from the Suck, a title that had to do with the location where Steele was from, Suck Creek, Tennessee.

Having released one solo album and finding a fanbase that was positively receptive to his music, Randy Steele returns with a new EP of music. This release is entitled Moccasin Bender.  And just like his previous album, the title of this new collection of music comes with a reference to the area where Steele comes from. Moccasin Bend is both an archaeological site and national park located in Tennessee.

With a lot of Bluegrass/Country music being influenced by real life, it comes as no surprise that Randy Steele would create a song that came straight out of his life. The EP lead-off song “Mabbitt Springs” deals with Steele being thankful that his son beat cancer. For this track and its upbeat message, Steele creates a musical background that contains a completely full sound consisting of banjo, slide guitar, fiddle and drums. That full sound leads off the EP which switches to a much simpler feel on the very next track.

Moccasin Bender continues with the track “Adam and Rose”. The simple musical accompaniment of just the banjo creates a relatively simple Bluegrass track. Like the previous song, “Adam and Rose“ finds Randy Steele creating a track with a real-life feel to the lyrics of the song. “Adam and Rose” features lyrics about two young adults making their way in the world and coming upon life’s everyday difficulties. The music’s slow pace seems to be a perfect fit as the music acts like the perfect bed for the lyrics that spell out the story.

The new six-song EP from Randy Steele continues with the track “Big Talkin’ Woman”. With this track, Steele creates one of the most commercial moments on his release. The track features a full-bodied feel to the music including a slide-guitar solo in the body of the track. While the song easily has a throwback feel to the music, that retro feel would have fit in well with songs in the seventies/eighties. “Big Talkin’ Woman” from Randy Steele will give fans of Old-fashioned Country music something to truly enjoy.

With the next track, Randy Steele touches on a subject that is rather difficult: Drug Addiction. The track called “Age of Ben” features lyrics that act as a storyline as Steele tells the story of as boy who never really had a real chance at life. The main character in the song is born with a developmental problem that gets worse later in life. And having been given up for adoption, he never got to know his real mother. When all gets too difficult to deal with, “Ben” turns to opium which just makes things worse. Just like with the track “Adam and Rose” earlier in the release, “Age of Ben” comes complete with a rather simplistic feel to the music. But unlike the other track which featured the banjo, this track finds Steel creating the simple music of the track with the guitar. The guitar-only background to the track seems to add to the sadness contained within the lyrics.

While several of the tracks on this release find Randy Steele exploring his storytelling side, the track “Rummies” finds him creating a track that has a rather familiar feel to those who know artists such as Gordon Lightfoot. In fact, if it wasn’t for the fact that this song was written around To Have and Have Not, a novel written by Ernest Hemmingway, it would have been a good guess that Steele had used Lightfoot as an influence for the track; which he may have as far as the music of the song is concerned. “Rummies” shows off Steele’s ability to take a storyline and set it to music.

Randy Steele’s new six-song EP comes to a close with the track “Pretty Little Girl with a Blue Dress On”. The track closes the EP out with one of the simplest musical approaches. The lone banjo and Randy Steele’s vocals on the short track bring to mind something that could have come from someone like The Stanley Brothers or someone else that are easily just as well-known from the Bluegrass genre.

Randy Steele stepped out on his own with his first release entitled Songs from the Suck. Taking the next step with his second release, Steele proves that his songwriting skills are still just as sharp. With the track “Adam and Rose” which features a rather simple musical back ground, or “Rummies” that shows off his ability to take an idea and make it his own, the Moccasin Bender release proves to be a well-made second release from the Tennessee-based Randy Steele.

For more information, check out his PR firm, Whiplash PR

Moccasin Bender from Randy Steele is due to be released in the near future. Until then, check out Randy Steele’s live version of “Adam and Rose,” a track that will be on the Moccasin Bender release. 

 

CK and the TideNew York State-based singer-songwriter C.K. Flach continues to make a lot of noise, whether it’s playing drums for other people or it’s creating his own music. After releasing a solo album called Empty Mansions back about one year ago in 2017, the artist makes a return but this time, he brings along a few friends to help create the music. This time, Flach is joined by bassist Chris Brant, Danny Boudreau on violin and keys and his brother Wayne Flach on guitars. Together, the band known as C.K. and the Rising Tide are currently in the middle of creating their first album. However, the ensemble has released their first single off of the upcoming album as a way of promoting the release. The track is called “Friends”. Like the music that made up Flach’s 2017 album of Empty Mansions, “Friends” finds C.K. and the Rising Tide creating a track that falls into the Americana music genre. The track features a rather strong Country vibe to the music but also contains a strong Rock and Roll feel to go along with that Country approach. The Alt-Country feel of the track is matched up with a lyrical content with a rather strong political lean to it. The track’s lyrics deal with the fact that we humans, as a whole species, have different ways of looking at things. And while we may not agree with everything that everyone else has to say, we can, and should, find ways to survive with each other as we look for ways to live side-by-side instead of causing wars. With the current political climate of the nation being what it is, and with recent events in the country being cause for concern, the track’s message of unity through friendship is one we should all get behind. While the song “Friends” is only one track from C.K. and the Rising Tide, Flach’s 2017 solo release of Empty Mansions may be a good indicator of what is to come in the near future from the band.

To experience just a little of the new music from C.K. and the Rising Tide, check out the early release of the band’s song “Friends” by clicking on the link.   

For more information, check out the PR firm for C.K. and the Rising Tide, check out Whiplash PR

 

 

thegoodmorningnagsSix-piece NYC based ensemble The Good Morning Nags is currently in the middle of making a name for themselves. The band consists of founding members Tim Hassler (fiddle, vocals), Ben Quinn (mandolin, guitar, harmonium, vocals), Titus Tompkins (percussion, mandolin, vocals) and Britt Reagan (guitar, dulcimer, vocals) as well as Mark Spitznagel (banjo, vocals) and Pete O’Neill (bass, vocals). As a group, the band comes together to create music that bridges the gap between the sound of classic Bluegrass music and more recent music that falls into the category of Americana because of the blending of styles to create a new sound and feel to the music. The Americana style from The Good Morning Nags blends Bluegrass, Folk and some Country together to create a sound that will find its place among fans of early forms of music. Throw in a little Old Timey influence to the music and you have a recipe for musical success.

Having originally formed back in 2010, The Good Morning Nags spent some of their time busking in the subways in New York. Since that time, hundreds of performances were logged before the band even recorded their first EP. But now, the band is celebrating the release of their new self-titled EP. The new self-titled EP from The Good Morning Nags begins with the track “Sugar Baby”. The track features a strong Folk/Bluegrass blend with a slight hint of something more to it. The blend suggests that this version of the track is not quite what lovers of Folk or Bluegrass may come to expect. That firmly puts the track into the Americana genre. The vocals on the track find the vocalists blending their voices in harmony just like you’d find on many Bluegrass tracks. Blending everything together into one song, The Good Morning Nags have a strong track that leads off their self-titled release.

With the next track on their self-titled release, the band does what most Bluegrass bands do: They take a shot at performing a well-known tune to make it their own, just like they did with “Sugar Baby”. It is with the standard tune “Blackberry Bush” that the band truly shows off their roots. While the standard is usually a spotlight tune for the fiddle, The Good Morning Nags have created a version that revolves around the fiddle from Tim Hassler while still incorporating the entire band in on the tune. The ensemble feel of the track creates a completely different take on the tune while still allowing the original tune to shine through.

“Love Like No Other,” an original track on the release, ventures slightly away from the Bluegrass style of the group and takes on the styling of the Country Rock band of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. In fact, the tune recalls the early days of that band when they were creating music with a rather Old Timey feel to it. Specifically, “Love Like No Other” feels as if it would fit right alongside tracks from The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s self-titled debut where several of the tracks were arrangements of older songs. While there is a definite Old Timey feel to “Love Like No Other,” that sound is perfect for lovers of the style.

The Good Morning Nags return to a standard mindset on the next track. “Cripple Creek” finds the band in full Bluegrass mode as they perform the tune. The version of the song that the band chose dates back over one hundred years to 1905. The track features the mandolin of Ben Quinn as the focal point in the song and the band creates a version of the song that lives up to that old standard while adding a nice energetic delivery to the music. “Cripple Creek” as performed by The Good Morning Nags finds the band in fine form as they bring a rather old tune into the modern era.

The Good Morning Nags bring their new self-titled album to a close with a track that could easily be described as the band’s theme song. “Good Morning Girl” finds the band creating a track that takes the genre of Bluegrass and turns it on its head. The resulting track contains the feel of Bluegrass but with a very modern take on it. The music has a bit of an edge to it while the lyrics have a slightly wry feel to them while being upbeat at the same time. The lyrics find the singer (a Good Morning Nag) singing an ode to his girlfriend (a Good Morning Girl). And then, when he has his say, the girl in question sings her response. The duet-style track is basically a love song being sung by two much worn people looking for their perfect matches. While it has a rather modern feel to the lyrics and music, underneath it all, the track has a timeless appeal to it.

The new self-titled release from The Good Morning Nags is a release that has a lot going for it: There are the elements of classic Bluegrass, classic Folk music and fresh arrangements of classic Bluegrass tunes all mixed together. While the album may be a tad unusual for those looking for a straight-out classic Bluegrass release, those with an open mind and an appreciation for Bluegrass music, Folk music and even Country music will much to enjoy on this album.

To check out the music of The Good Morning Nags, check out the band’s tune called “Love Like No Other”.

To purchase a copy of the new self-titled EP from The Good Morning Nags, click HERE.  

For more information, check out the band’s PR firm, WHIPLASH PR.

Sour BruthersGrowing up together helps to add a certain amount of familiarity to the way members in a band relate to each other. One band that is truly creating music with a definite “family” feel to their music is the band called The Söur Bruthers. And even though the members of the band grew up around each other, they all went their separate ways when joining up with previous musical projects. But those previous projects are what have helped to shape the music of The Söur Bruthers.

Chicago-based band The Söur Bruthers consist of band members: Tim Dlaregztif – Guitar/Vocals, Mike Argyrakis – Guitar Vocals, Bill Lloyd – Bass/Vocals and Tony Alunni – Drums/Drums. Each member of the group (or Bruther) drops their own last name when performing in the band and uses Sour as the band identity. Together, Tim, Mike, Bill and Tony Sour blend their various musical influences to create a sound in their band that can only be described as Americana because of the Retro-Pop, Blues, Hard Rock and Country vibes that flow through the songs of the group. What the band calls “SOURLICIOUS ROCK WITH A COUNTRY TWANG!” flows through the band’s debut self-titled EP.

“Sinkin’ Down” is the first track on the self-titled release from The Söur Bruthers. With this track, the band begins their EP with one of the hardest-hitting tracks. The Rock and Roll track contains a slight Country twang in the music. Moreover, the music of the band seems to recall the style of Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band. While the music is closer to Rock and Roll, the lyrics recall Country music a little more. The energy contained within the playing of the band on “Sinkin’ Down” made the choice for leading off the EP with the song a good one as the track hits and hits hard, giving the listener a good indication of what is to come.

In the short time that The Söur Bruthers have been a band, the group has already seen some positive reactions to the music. The band’s song “Better Days” was entered in the 2017 18th Annual Great American Song Contest where it won the contest. “Better Days” contains a musical mix that actually closer to Southern Rock in the vein of a band like Molly Hatchet than it is to actual Country music. Because of the strong guitar-based foundation to the song, the track would belong more on an Album-Oriented Rock radio format rather than on a Country music format. The driving nature of the track’s music helps to create one of the more powerful moments on the release.

The six-song self-titled EP from The Söur Bruthers continues with the track “3A.M.” With this track, the band creates a sound that brings to mind another group, The Beat Farmers, as both bands have very similar blends of styles in their music, as well as the same sort of lyrical content in their words. The Country-Rock music in the song creates a track that would easily fit on any modern-day Country music format. “3A.M.” is easily one of the best tracks that make up the EP. The only thing is that the track should be a lot longer, as it currently doesn’t even hit the 3-minute mark.

The Söur Bruthers pick up the pace of the music on the next track of “Wash Me”. With this track, the band increases the energy level of their playing while stripping their sound of anything Country music-related. The resulting track finds the band creating a song that is straight-out Rock and Roll. Actually, the track would be easily categorized as being “Hard Rock”. That Hard Rock approach comes courtesy of powerful guitars that push the energy level of the song up a notch or two when compared to the band’s more Country-flavored tracks. “Wash Me” is one of the more energetic tracks on the band’s self-titled EP.

The self-titled EP from The Söur Bruthers comes to a close with the track “Release Me”. With the very first notes from the guitar and the piano on the track, it’s rather clear the track has an extremely commercial feel to the music. The track is mostly Rock and Roll with just a hint of Country to it. The song once again brings to mind acts like Bob Seger or other artists from the eighties as the song would easily fit in with the more rockin’ acts from the era. As the final track of the EP, “Release Me” hits hard from the first note and takes the release home on a very strong note.

With their new self-titled EP, Chicago’s The Söur Bruthers have created a release that makes good use of every musical influence that exists within the quartet. When the band wants to create a Country-flavored track, the result is a track that sounds very authentic and would be welcome on any Country radio format. And when the band goes in a more Rock and Roll direction, they create tracks that will satisfy any fan of the Rock and Roll genre. As you listen to the self-titled EP from this band of friends, it becomes very clear that long-time friends make the best bandmates as The Söur Bruthers are a very tight musical ensemble.

For a taste of the music from The Söur Bruthers, check out the band’s track “Better Days,” the song that helped the band win the 18th Annual Great American Song Contest.

For more information, check out the band’s PR firm, Whiplash PR.

DearJohn-LPCover copyRobert Ellis and Courtney Hartman are two singer-songwriters that have found a love for Folk music. By themselves, the two musicians have been creating their own styles of the musical genre. Ellis is currently promoting a Self-Titled Album released on Nine West Records that features eleven tracks of music. At the same time, Hartman is promoting her Nothing We Can Say EP that features six tracks of music. These two relative newcomers found themselves meeting backstage while performing at a music festival back in 2013. That meeting led to the two musicians discovering a mutual admiration for the music of John Hartford, the singer-songwriter who was known for his Bluegrass, Country and Folk-flavored songs that were created between the early fifties and 2001 when he passed away. Eventually, the two separate musicians joined up to create a ten-song tribute album that features ten songs from the career of John Hartford. The new album from Robert Ellis and Courtney Hartman is entitled Dear John – a Tribute to the Songs of John Hartford.

The new tribute release of John Hartford’s music from Robert Ellis and Courtney Hartman features the two musicians as they sing and play their guitars. The simplicity of the guitar/voice combination from the two singers gives the album a gentleness that matches up well with the style of Hartford’s original compositions. With the new recordings of Hartford’s music created by Ellis and Hartman using only guitars, the new versions not only give Hartford’s songs new life, they also make each song feel fresh.

Dear John – a Tribute to the Songs of John Hartford begins with the song “Old Time River Man”. Originally, the song (fully-titled “Where Does an Old Time River Man Go”) was recorded by Hartford as he played the tune on banjo. The new version by Ellis and Hartman was created using guitars. And that guitar approach breathes new life into the track, making the song by the duo feel unique. The song also features both musicians as they sing the lyrics together. The double-layered vocal add yet another element to the track as the voices from the two singers blend well together in the melody of the words.

With the track “Them Way Long Time Ago Times,” the wit of Hartford is brought out well with Ellis and Hartman’s version of the track. The song’s lyrics have a fun, light feel that mixes well with the acoustic guitars on the track. The music has the same light feel that is featured in the vocals from the duo. The track ends up seemingly flying by as the listener allows the track to play out.

The Dear John release continues with the song “Gentle On My Mind”. Perhaps one of the most well-known songs from Hartman, “Gentle On My Mind” became a hit for Glenn Campbell back in 1967 and again in 1968 to ultimately end up being a Top 10 song on the Easy Listening charts. The new version of the song finds Robert Ellis and Courtney Hartman creating a version of the song that pays homage to the original Campbell hit. The two voices from Ellis and Hartman blend well together on this track. Having been released as the first single off of Dear John – a Tribute to the Songs of John Hartford, the track “Gentle On My Mind” is easily one of the best songs on the release.

Robert Ellis and Courtney Hartman’s new release continues with the song “Right in the Middle of Falling for You”. With this track, the duo makes a choice of slowing the pace of the track down. The slower pace and easier feel of the music adds an even stronger Folk flavor to the track while also increasing the romantic feel to the lyrics of the song. While the previous tracks also feature both Ellis and Hartman singing the lyrics, “Right in the Middle of Falling for You” comes off as a duet. Like the duo’s version of “Gentle on My Mind,” this song ends up being a shining moment on the Dear John – a Tribute to the Songs of John Hartford release.

After four song that featured both of the artists combing their vocals on the lyrics to the songs, Robert Ellis finally takes the lead on vocals for one track. On “Here I Am in Love Again,” the unmistakable feel of Country music comes through in the picking on the guitars on the track. About halfway through the song, the vocals from Courtney Hartman help to add the dual vocal delivery feel that listeners have grown familiar with from the earlier tracks.

The track of “Delta Queen Waltz” shows off the playing abilities of Robert Ellis and Courtney Hartman on their guitars. Together, the two instruments intertwine nicely to create the melody of the track while the vocals from both Ellis and Hartman bring the lyrics to life. The easy pace of the track makes for a perfect song to dance to. The track is one of the best for showing off the talents of both of the singer-songwriters. Singer-songwriters Robert Ellis and Courtney Hartman have created one of the best tribute albums to be released in a long time.

The ten tracks that make up the Dear John – a Tribute to the Songs of John Hartford release combine to make a great tribute to one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th Century. If you are a fan of John Hartford, or you have become a fan of either Robert Ellis or Courtney Hartman, this release definitely deserves to be included in your music collection.

To hear a sample from the release, check out the song “Gentle On My Mind”.

For more information, check out the PR firm for the album, Grandstand Media & Management.

The Dear John – a Tribute to the Songs of John Hartford album is being released with the help of the Refuge Foundation for the Arts, a non-profit organization which provides sanctuary for the pursuit of creative expression through music and art. To check out the Refuge Foundation for the Arts, click on the link.