Posts Tagged ‘Rhythm & Blues’

Ryan Joseph Anderson is a Nashville-by-way-of-Chicago singer-songwriter. Because of being a multi-instrumentalist, Anderson creates music that can easily be described as Americana as he incorporates many different styles of music into his sound. Earlier this year, Ryan Joseph Anderson released his new album entitled The Weaver’s Broom.

To help bring The Weaver’s Broom to life, Anderson is joined by a small but talented group of musicians who add just the right amount of talent and musicianship to help flesh out the tracks that make up the album. Along with Anderson on piano, organ, guitars and vocals, the rest of the musicians are: multi-instrumentalist Jon Estes on, among other things, upright bass, cello, pedal steel, piano, piano strings, Hammond organ, synthesizer;  Dave Racine on drums, percussion and  Jen Donahue on vocals.

The Weaver’s Broom from Ryan Joseph Anderson begins with the track “Crooked Heart”. The track features Anderson playing the piano and creating an easy-paced track. The piano on the track is easily the focal point of the music as the rest of the musicians help add musical flavor to the music. The pedal steel is one of the standout instruments on the track that gives the song both a slight rock feel while also making the track feel almost folk-like in nature. The easy pace of the music helps start the release on a low-key feel and allows the intensity of the music to build as the album proceeds.

While “Crooked Heart” contains an easy pace to its music, the next track of “When the Bees Went Mad” finds Ryan Joseph Anderson creating a track that is quite easily the hardest rockin’ track on the album. The track features straight-out rock sound with a little country twang to it. The track features a beat that is absolutely solid that will get the listener wanting to dance along with the music. At just over three minutes, the track is just the right length for a single while also being just a little short- the type of length for a song that leaves the listener hungry for more.

After the listener enjoys the energetic feel of “When the Bees Went Mad,” the next track finds Ryan Joseph Anderson taking the music in a more folk-like direction. While the song “Weep Caroline” has a very current sound to it, the folk-rock music on the track would also easily feel right at home on an “oldies” radio format that plays artists such as Dion, Lovin’ Spoonful, Donovan, even Arlo Guthrie. The track once again finds Anderson creating a song with an easy pace to it that would easily translate well live.

While most of the tracks on The Weaver’s Broom from Ryan Joseph Anderson have a very full, fleshed-out approach to them, the track “Jericho” is the track with most simplistic feel to it. The majority of the music is created by Anderson’s acoustic guitar. With the acoustic guitar as the base for the music, the track returns Anderson’s sound to a more folk-like feel. Along with the acoustic guitar from Anderson, the rest of the music is created by a light bass in the background along with cello and strings by Joe Estes plus some light percussion to add texture to the music. The light touch on the instruments other than Anderson’s acoustic guitar helps to keep the feel of the track light and airy. The track ends up being one of the most interesting on the album.

“Wandering Apparition” takes the music of Ryan Joseph Anderson on bumps it up a notch. Like the track “When the Bees Went Mad” earlier on the album, “Wandering Apparition” allows Anderson to show off the more rocking side of his personality. The track features a rock and roll approach that seems like it reverts back to the early days of the genre when the music was as much Country as it was Rhythm & Blues. The retro feel of the music on this track truly puts Anderson squarely into the Americana category.

“Before the War” is a folk track that puts Ryan Joseph Anderson in the same company as Donovan, Dion, Arlo Guthrie and many other singer-songwriters that were part of that era of music during the Vietnam War. With this track, Anderson chose to give the track a very minimal feel to the music. Aside from guitar, cello and a few other instruments, the track contains very little as far as instrumentation is concerned. But that lack of heavy instrumentation helps add to the song’s inner beauty. The track’s somewhat political lyrics as well as easy musical feel make it perfect for that time period and our time period as well. While Jen Donahue appears on several other tracks on the album, her vocals on “Before the War” really help add a lot of depth to the otherwise sparse track.

As the listener travels from one track to the next on Ryan Joseph Anderson’s release The Weaver’s Broom, they encounter many different musical directions. And while Anderson does seem to cover a lot of ground on the album, it’s ground that the listener is familiar with. That familiarity makes the album one of the strongest of the year.

Click HERE for a live performance of “Weep Caroline” from Ryan Joseph Anderson and Jen Donahue.
Check out Ryan Joseph Anderson’s PR Firm, NOVO Management and Publicity.

Bobby Stevens makes his home in the city of Oberlin, Ohio. The singer-songwriter has been making music for several years now. The first thing that becomes obvious when listening to Bobby Stevens are his coarse vocals that would remind you of Bruce Springsteen. That coarseness in his vocals makes Stevens sound like he was born to perform Rock And Roll music. And with his Roots Rock/Rhythm & Blues style of music, Stevens sounds like he should be from the early era of Rock & Roll. It is this roots rock style of that appears on Stevens’ newest release called Come One, Come All.

To bring Bobby Stevens’ music to life, Stevens brought together several musicians that helped shape that roots rock sound. Together with people like vocalist Haley Antell, guitarist/drummer Andy Cook, Guitarist Ben Ryant, bassist Garyn Jones, keys player Matt Umland and drummer Matt O’Conke, Bobby Stevens brings to life his rock and roll music.

Come One, Come All from Bobby Stevens begins with the song “Alive”. This song has a sound that might remind you of a combination of early Bruce Springsteen and The Lovin’ Spoonful. The combination comes with Springsteen- style lyrics and vocals and Lovin’ Spoonful music.

The roots rock sound really comes alive on the track “Rain on My Wheels”. The barely two-minute song brings back the early days of the “rock singles” that were created to allow more music to be played per hour. Take equal parts equal parts Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran, Jerry Lee Lewis and you get some idea of what this track sounds like.

With the track “Stone Cold Habits,” the sound of the music changes directions. While the preceding tracks have a more rockin’ feel, “Stone Cold Habits” bring to mind the country music that existed back at the time of the first roots rock singers. And while this track features Bobby Stevens on the lead vocals (with Haley Antell in the supporting singer role); the song sounds as if it would have been perfect for the likes of Patsy Cline.

The album slows down on the track “Uncle Walt”. Taking a simple approach to the song, Stevens performs the slow-paced song with just his guitar. The song has a very intimate feel as you get to hear Stevens and his guitar without any other instruments adding to the music of the track.

“State Route 58 (Revisited)” is a track that mixes Rock and Roll and Folk to create a track that is just as rockin’ as it is laidback in its style. This track features a full band that helps to bring a little bit of John Mellencamp to the music of Bobby Stevens’ music. The song also has a feel that brings to mind that of a hit single. “State Route 58 (Revisited)” is one of the strongest tracks on the Come One, Come All album.

“Circles” once again slows the Come One, Come All album down. The song feels as if it were the “lost track” from The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle from Bruce Springsteen; in fact, Stevens and the rest of the musicians on that track seem to emulate the E Street Band at that point in their careers.

Come One, Come All from Bobby Stevens comes to an end with the final track of “Travelin’ Show”. The final song of the album pairs Bobby Stevens with singer Haley Antell in a duet as they sing a song that seems like the continuation of Springsteen’s song “Wild Billy’s Circus Story” from The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle. The pairing of the two voices of Stevens and Antell with only a guitar creates a quiet and simple track that brings the album to a close on a soft note.

Bobby Stevens created an album that keeps the memory of roots rock alive with his new release Come One, Come All. The different styles that make up the release fit together well and show that Stevens is a talented singer-songwriter. This new album is just a glimpse at his talent.