Posts Tagged ‘reggae’

Mike Delledera is a singer-songwriter based in New York. Having studied jazz music, it was natural for him to include part of that knowledge into his writing style. And with Delledera also studying rock guitar, the two parts of his education came together to create a musical hybrid that also seems to include jazz influence, as well. That combination of rock, jazz and blues gives Delledera the freedom to create music with an ever-changing feel to it. To help bring the sound of his music to life, Mike Delledera calls upon many talented musicians with the ability to play as many styles as required to make up the body of his musical ensemble known as The Mike Delledera Band. Recently, The Mike Delledera Band created a new release called WakeUpSideDowntown.

WakeUpSideDowntown by The Mike Delledera Band begins with the song “Silver Ruby Diamonds Blues”. With that type of name, you would figure it would be a track that had a lot of blues feeling to it. In this case, “Silver Ruby Diamonds Blues” is a track that sounds like something that was influenced by Michael Nesmith and the First National Band. The pop-rock track has a light feel to the music and features a sound that contains steel guitar and piano that help add that Country flavor to the song. The resulting song has a jam band feel to it that would also end up making fans of The Grateful Dead happy.

The track “Sugar Face” finds The Mike Delledera Band taking their music back a few decades to the years after the time of Woodstock. The resulting rock song will instantly have you thinking of another song with “sugar” in the title- “Sugar Shack” from Jimmy Gilmer and The Fireballs. Like that song from years gone by, the track from Mike Delledera has an easy rock feel and has simple lyrics that are easy to sing along with.

The song “Gypsy Soul” is easily the first track on the album of WakeUpSideDowntown from The Mike Delledera Band that would fit on today’s radio airwaves. The majority of the music on the track feels like something that could have come from an artist such as Jack Johnson then adds a little Santana-inspired guitar playing and you have a track that is ready-made for today’s music listeners.

As you listen to the new release from The Mike Delledera Band, the music changes moods and sounds throughout the nine tracks. While the first three songs on WakeUpSideDowntown have rock feels to their bases, the track “Bounce” sends the music in a completely different direction as the track has a rock/reggae sound. As the title of “Bounce” might suggest, the track has an easy, bouncy pace to it. The track feels as authentic as much as the music that is being created by artists who make reggae music full time.

The jam band feeling from the song “Silver Ruby Diamonds Blues” returns in the song “Main Street USA” with a stronger rock base to it. The track allows for the guitar and keyboard to take center stage for majority of the song. The jam band feel of the music goes well with the lyrics that make people stop and think.

“Can’t Stop Rockin’,” like “Silver Ruby Diamonds Blues” before it, is a track that features a sound that you wouldn’t expect from the title of the track. This track features the band going for a jazzy feel to their music. The brasses help add a large amount of jazz sound to the track. The jazz sound mixed with the groove being created by the rest of the musicians gives the track yet another unique musical approach on an album that has already had so many different and exciting combinations.

The WakeUpSideDowntown album by The Mike Delledera Band comes to a close with the track “The Music Echoes On”. Falling somewhere between folk/rock and country music, the song has a sound and feeling that is very reminiscent of songs that were released by the band The Lovin’ Spoonful. The track brings the WakeUpSideDowntown album to a close on a gentle note.

Throughout the nine tracks that make up The WakeUpSideDowntown album by The Mike Delledera Band, the music continuously shifts and switches directions. The ever-shifting combination of rock, jazz, blues and country within the music of each track guarantees a new approach to each song. The talented musicians that helped Mike Delledera create this album are just as important to the overall feel of the release as Delledera is. Together, The Mike Delledera Band has created a release that could easily become a favorite album in your collection as it includes many different musical genres and covers almost any taste in music.

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

 

Click HERE for the live video to “Sugar Face” by The Mike Delledera Band.

 

Singer-songwriter Scott Smith left Charleston, South Carolina because of a personal reason and moved to the Cleveland area. That same reason made Scott leave a few months ago after spending 3 years as a resident in the area. During the time he was here, Scott played at several of the area’s smaller venues where he would perfect songs he was writing. As a result of Smith expanding his songbook to include his own compositions, he ended up with enough songs to create an album. It is this group of songs that make up his new 2007 album, Quicksand Remedies.

Quicksand Remedies was recorded by Scott while he was in transition between leaving Cleveland and relocating back to Charleston. The album was produced by another local musician, Joe Rohan. Along with Rohan and co-producer Curt Leonard adding their musical touches to the release, it also features some of Cleveland’s best musicians backing Scott up. The inclusion of these talented individuals in the recording process of Scott Smith’s new album ended up making the release full-bodied and varied from track-to-track.

Because Scott Smith incorporates many different musical genres into his writing including jazz,  funk and even hip hop, Quicksand Remedies provides the listener with just a snapshot of what Scott’s sound is like. For instance, on tracks like “Parking Lot” and “Lively,” Scott lets out his reggae side and shows you what he was known for down in Charleston before he started writing his own music. Other songs like “Comin’ Round” and “G Funk” show Scott’s funky side.

Most of the songs on Quicksand Remedies are fleshed-out versions of stuff that Scott has been playing solo for years in the Cleveland area. However, there are songs like “Quicksand” and “Pocket” that show off Scott by allowing the listener to hear what those of us who followed Scott here in Cleveland have known for years: He is just as talented and entertaining when he is alone with just his guitar.

One of the best examples of what Scott sounds like live is displayed on his song, “The Flight”. “The Flight” is a Michael Hedges-inspired song that features Scott performing on his guitar: no band, no singing, just the guitar. While playing this song live, Scott would turn up the reverb on his sound board and let the reverb create a layering effect. Scott recreated this live sound in the studio. The resulting track reminds me of seeing Scott playing this song in concert.

One of the most interesting, and commercial radio-friendly songs on Quicksand Remedies is Scott’s song, “Amazed”. With this song, think Santana w/Rob Thomas-meets-Marc Cohn. The song starts with the listener joining in on a Santana-style jam that becomes a piano-driven ballad. Changing paces several times during the 4-plus minutes, the song fades out way too fast.

Scott Smith has created an album that you must hear that features music of many styles, from rock to reggae; from funk to jazz and everything in between. Each track on this CD has a very distinct sound and the resulting songs that make up this album definitely give a small but powerful indication of the talent of this musician. While it would absolutely require seeing this musician in concert to truly appreciate all he can do with his guitar, Scott Smith has created a release with the help of Joe Rohan and Curt Leonard that shows off just a small amount of his musical ability. Pick up a copy of Quicksand Remedies from Scott Smith and experience this talented musician for yourself.

For more information, go to Scott Smith’s website. Also check out his Facebook account.

Click HERE for a live performance of “The Flight” by Scott Smith

There is a movement in the music industry to create fresh sounds by combining elements from different music genres. Illinois-based Midwest Hype is one particular band that has created a new style by taking rock and roll and mixing it with several other genres. The resulting style from the band takes music in a whole different direction while keeping lovers of rock and roll happy.

Midwest Hype contains seven musicians who all come together to create the band’s style. The band consists of George Matthew Prellwitz on lead vocals and guitar, Max Kepler on drums, Nathan Miller on bass, Kevin Krizmanich on keyboards, Ben Morrisey on sax and Scott Whitford on trumpet and Justin “Ideal” Diehl as the vocalist/emcee. Along with the rock base, the band’s sound also incorporates jazz, R&B and hip-hop together to make a style that everyone can get behind. The band took several of their songs and entered the studio, where they worked with producer Steven Gillis who took their music and created a very strong release entitled Dayglow. Dayglow from Midwest Hype is a six-song release. And while the release is rather short, the powerful music created by Midwest Hype will keep the listener hanging on to each note played by the talented seven-piece band.

Dayglow begins with the song “Behind Our Eyes”. Right from the very first note of this track, you get a very good indication of what the band is all about. The track contains a solid reggae base to the music. Along with the reggae, you hear plenty of jazz influence through the playing Ben Morrisey on sax and Scott Whitford on trumpet. And while the words from Justin “Ideal” Diehl are done in a hip hop rhythm, his words fit well with the rest of the track, without adding any unneeded attitude you usually get from hip hop emcees.

Diehl is the first member of Midwest Hype that takes the spotlight on “Elastic Booty Shorts,” the second track of Dayglow. He takes the lead on the vocals while the band really takes amount of jazz on the approach to the music of the track. The hip hop/jazz fusion on this rock hybrid song creates a strong and commercial radio-friendly song that many will find very entertaining.

While the song “All is Water” still contains the same mixture of jazz, rock, reggae that is found on the rest of the release, the smooth approach to the song is a little softer than the previous tracks, which makes it perfect to be played on today’s smooth jazz radio stations.

The beginning of the track “Runaway” brings back just enough of the memory of Bob Marley to give fans of straight reggae music a reason to smile with a sound that seems to be reminiscent of Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry”. George Matthew Prellwitz’s voice creates a strong focal point to draw the listener in. And when the band brings back the rest of their hybrid sound later in the track, they keep the energy up with Morrisey’s sax playing and Justin “Ideal” Diehl’s rapping.

The track “Do or Die” is probably the closest thing to a rock and roll feeling you’ll find on the release, as the band takes the song into a ska direction: The electric guitar from Prellwitz combined with the horns of Ben Morrisey and Scott Whitford make a strong rock/jazz combination that any ska lover will enjoy.

The Dayglow release from Midwest Hype comes to an end with the track “People of America”. Like a lot of the songs in reggae music, “People of America” has a strong message within the lyrics. The lyrics speak of enjoying the peace of our time.

Dayglow from Midwest Hype is a strong six-song release that incorporates many musical genres into one style that will make jazz fans, rock fans, and even hip hop fans happy. The songs created by Midwest Hype give the listener a clear view of the talent that each member of the band possesses, and the talent of the band as a whole. The only thing that may be a problem is the length of the CD: With only six songs, the release is over way too soon.

Click HERE to see the video to the band’s song “Do Or Die“.