Posts Tagged ‘rock’

Some people say that music runs in the family. Since five of five members of my family have or had some sort of connection to music in some way, I can attest to that. And the same can be said for Alzara Getz, the woman behind the San Francisco-based Chamber Pop band known as Brother Spellbinder. Alzara’s music connection came by way of her father, Dave Getz, a drummer who played in the band Big Brother & The Holding Company, the same band that would back Janis Joplin up back when she was still alive. And while Dave Getz has been a drummer, his daughter Alzara Getz is the bandleader of the San Francisco ensemble known as Brother Spellbinder.

Brother Spellbinder is a musical collective made up of Alzara Getz on Uke, vocals, harmonica; Jamie Wilson on guitar, vocals; Steve La Porta on drums, percussion; Sean Griffin on Electric Guitar; Helena Tietze on Cello & Vocals; Steve Bollhoefer on violin, mandolin, vocals, tap dancing; Gabriel Beistline on Cello; and Dale Carlson on saxophone, flute, harmonica, pennywhistle. This band blends together so many different genres and musical influences that it’s slightly difficult to narrow down the band’s sound. However, you can find sounds such as Americana, Classical, Swing and some Eastern European influences. It is this musical blend that can be found on the band’s new seven-song EP can We Were Children Yesterday.  

We Were Children Yesterday from Brother Spellbinder begins with the track “Birds of a Feather”. The track begins with the sound of handclaps as they set up a beat for the track. It is the sound of Alzara Getz on Ukulele that begins the music. Soon, the song “Birds of a Feather” begins as it contains a slow, easy feel to the music with Folk influences, Rock influences and some Classical influences. The result is a track that mainly feels like a Folk-Rock track but with a dated feel to the music, taking it back in time to another time. The Classical feel from the strings truly brings out that Other-timely feel to the music. With the unique quality in the vocals from Getz, that Other-timely feel is even further reinforced.

As the next track of “Mandalay” begins, there is the sound of the mandolin and the aforementioned strings. With those instruments, the song feels very much orchestrated. The track is arranged in such a way to provoke a vision of a scene in a Hollywood movie. The vocals from Alzara Getz adds to that vision. The rather short track that lasts for less than two minutes could easily have found its way into a movie in the late forties/early fifties.

The first few moments of the track “Aching Eyes” once again provoke the vision of a movie soundtrack as the harmonica and acoustic guitar play out a tune very reminiscent of scores from Ennio Morricone of Spaghetti Western music fame. Soon, that music changes directions and what it is replaced with is a musical blend that features a strong Folk feel to the music with a light beat to it. The track features the violin from Steve Bollhoefer. That violin and Folk music mix creates a track with a strong Gypsy feel to the track. The track is also rather reminiscent of the Lounge music revival that took place back in the nineties where bands like Novelle Vague and Combustible Edison were creating music outside of the normal spectrum of Pop music at that time. “Aching Eyes” from Brother Spellbinder is a track that would have fit right in with music at that time.

With the next track, Brother Spellbinder creates a track that takes some of the flavor from “Aching Eyes” and mixes it with some influences from a band such as the Squirrel Nut Zippers. It is on the track called “Woman” that the music consists of a blend of Jazz, Folk and some Rock and Roll influence in the form of the electric guitar courtesy of Sean Griffin. The track features a strong Jazz backbone but also has a strong Rock and Roll feel to it at the same time. There even seems to be a slight hint of “Hell” from the Squirrel Nut Zippers in the track. The strong male and female vocals on the track add even more flavor to the track. “Woman” has perhaps the most unique feel to its music of any track on the We Were Children Yesterday release. The track changes directions many times during its playtime of less than three minutes.

While most of the We Were Children Yesterday release from Brother Spellbinder consists of original tunes, the band changes directions for one song. Brother Spellbinder slows thing down on the track “Red River Valley”. For those familiar with that title, this is the same song made popular by many different artists such as The Mills Brothers, Woody Guthrie, and many others. Brother Spellbinder takes their turn at the song. With the Old Timey feel that exists within the music of the band, “Red River Valley” seems ready-made for Brother Spellbinder. The band takes some Old-time Blues influence, adds some Swing influence and some Folk influence to create their version. The band’s version feels both dated and fresh at the same time. This version of the well-known song fits well with those versions that have already come before.

Brother Spellbinder brings their new EP of We Were Children Yesterday to a close with the track “20 Years Ago – The Full Version”. With this track, the band strips things down to just a simple guitar and Alzara Getz’s vocals. This creates a very personal moment on the EP as the listener gets rather up close because of the simplicity of the track. And while there is only the guitar and vocals on the track, the song does is far from dull. While Getz sings the verses of the track, the band joins in as they add just their vocals to the track. The addition of the band’s vocals adds depth to a track that would otherwise be rather sparse in nature. The easy feel and uncomplicated approach to the music makes “20 Years Ago – The Full Version” the perfect track to bring the album to a close.

As you make your way through the We Were Children Yesterday EP from Brother Spellbinder, you encounter many different musical approaches within the EP’s seven tracks. Some of the tracks have Folky approaches, some have stronger Rock-flavored approaches, and some are simply different. This is the type of release that is nice to find from time-to-time as it feels different from anything else out there. We Were Children Yesterday EP from Brother Spellbinder is strong from the very first song and needs to be heard straight through.   


For more information, check out Brother Spellbinder’s PR firm, Whiplash/ Whizkid Management by clicking on the logo.

To hear some of We Were Children Yesterday EP from Brother Spellbinder, check out the band’s current single of “Birds of a Feather“.

To check out the entire album, click on the link below.

Matt KjeldsenAustin-based singer-songwriter Matt Kjeldsen spent the year 2015 releasing two albums of original music. Released together at the same time, the albums Consequence and Renaissance plus Clouds and Cages contained a total of twenty-two tracks. But in reality, those twenty-two tracks were just a small sample of the songs that Kjeldsen had written at that time.

The reason why twenty-two songs is only a small amount for Kjeldsen is because he makes his living as a composer who works on supplying instrumental music for music libraries where those songs can and may well eventually be used for something or other. The resulting concept ended up being numerous song ideas that eventually lead him to create full-blown songs. And many of those ideas ended up being extended into songs that became the two albums entitled Consequence and Renaissance plus Clouds and Cages.

Now, three years later, Matt Kjeldsen returns with another release. This time, the singer-songwriter has produced a five-song EP called Last Days.

Matt Kjeldsen’s Last Days EP begins with the track called “Closer to Texas”. To start his new release off, Kjeldsen creates a track with a definite Americana feel to it. While the track features a strong Folk feel to the music in the form of a guitar and mandolin, there is also a Country background to the music if the form of the addition of the banjo that gives the track a feel that falls somewhere between the two styles. Because of the dual feel, “Closer to Texas” would fall firmly into the Americana genre. To go along with the feel of the music, the lyrical content finds Kjeldsen singing about finding his way back to the woman he once fell in love with.

With the song “I Should Know Me Better than That by Now,” Matt Kjeldsen creates a track that falls into the Folk-Rock category. The first thing the listener will notice is the lighter feel of the music. The more laidback feel to the music results in a track that feels as if it would have felt right at home back in the seventies. The acoustic guitar drives the feel of the music which contains a similarly easy feel that the previous track had. The difference between the two songs is that “I Should Know Me Better than That by Now” would have fit right in the middle of an MOR (Middle of the Road) radio format back in the seventies. While the track does have a laidback approach, the song feels as if it would have easily been a successful track at the time.

Last Days from Matt Kjeldsen continues with the title track of the EP. With this track, Kjeldsen creates another laidback tune with a Folk flavor to it. The title track of “Last Days” brings back some of the Americana feel that came from “Closer to Texas” as there is more to the feel of the music than just Folk influence. While the majority of the music falls into Folk, the addition of strings also gives the song a bit of Classical music influence. While the previous two tracks contain the aforementioned laidback feeling, the addition of the strings makes “Last Days” the most laidback of the tracks thus far. The track comes complete with a storytelling feel to the lyrics as Kjeldsen tells of a civilization that fell apart because of bad choices. It’s actually hard not to see some parallels between that time in history and what is currently going on. That may very well be what Kjeldsen is trying to get across with this track.

The first three tracks on Matt Kjeldsen’s newest release contain a certain amount of feeling that connects the tracks together in a similar fashion. But with the fourth song on the EP called “What Once Was,” Kjeldsen changes things up. Gone is the Folk feeling. What replaces it in this track is a much stronger Rock and Roll approach. And in particular, the feel of the music and the delivery of the lyrics on the track bring to mind the music of Tom Petty. As opposed to some tracks from Petty, the track of “What Once Was” has a very current feel to it, as if Petty himself would have recorded it not that long ago.

The latest EP from Matt Kjeldsen called Last Days comes to a close with the track “Ghosts and Shadows”. With this final track, Kjeldsen creates the strongest, hardest-rocking track of the five songs that appear on the EP. Gone away is the feeling of Folk…anything. Instead, what Kjeldsen creates is a Rock and Roll track that contains a strong, driving feel to the music. The track contains a feeling that feels like a combination of late sixties Psychedelic Rock and Rock and Roll from the late eighties. The track also contains lyrics that seem to suggest a time not unlike the days of Halloween. The track’s lyrical content also suggests something of a darker nature, like a haunting or something like that. With that combination, “Ghosts and Shadows” stands out as perhaps the most unusual of the five tracks that make up the Last Days release.

While only five songs long, Last Days from Matt Kjeldsen seems to present two different sides to the singer-songwriter. The first three tracks show off the more Folky side of his personality while the final two tracks help to bring out his more rocking’ side. That division creates an EP with a split feeling in its music. That isn’t a bad thing, however. It just means that there different influences that feed Kjeldsen’s writing. As it is, the five-song EP is a good place to start if you are unfamiliar with the music from Matt Kjeldsen.

For more on Matt Kjeldsen and his music, check out his website called Matt’s Music Box.

For a taste of Kjeldsen’s music, check out the title track off of the Last Days release. 

To hear the Last Days EP, click on the album cover below:
Kjeldsen

Scott Smith picThe Bay Area is where singer/songwriter Scott Smith creates his music. Smith’s music consists of many different elements of found in different genres of music. Smith takes Country, Blues and other genres and blends them together to form his version of Americana. With this style of music, Smith has already released one album entitled Sum of Life. That album was released back in 2016. Now, Smith returns with a two-song single to follow that release. The new music from Scott Smith consists of the tracks “I Will Love You” followed by the track “Spinning Around”. Scott Smith’s song of “I Will Love You” begins the two-song release. With this song, Smith blends together some Folk and a touch of Rock and Roll to create the song. The mostly Folk-flavored song contains a driving feel to the pace of the music that is courtesy of the banjo that helps to shape the Folk part of the track. And it is the Folk flavor of the music that stands the most when listening to the song. There is also a strong beat that accompanies the banjo on the track. That beat gives the song more of a Rock and Roll feel than Bluegrass feel. The combination of the different genres of music on the song once again re-enforces the reason as to why the music of Scott Smith would it is that his music falls into the Americana genre.  Sometimes when a single is released with two tracks, it is rather easy to tell which of the two songs the single is and which of the tracks was chosen to back the single up. This is clearly the case with the new single from Scott Smith. Between the two songs of “I Will Love You” and “Spinning Around,” it is sadly obvious as to which is which as “Spinning Around” fails to live up to the magic contained within “I Will Love You”. Going from one track to the next, is seems as if the lyrics for the track of “Spinning Around” were written with less effort on Smith’s part. The magic fades from one track to the next. That being said, while the lyrical content on the track is not as strong as on “I Will Love You,” “Spinning Around” does contain a stronger musical approach as Smith focuses on more Rock and Roll flavor and less Folk influence on the track. The “I Will Love You”/“Spinning Around” single from the Bay Area’s Scott Smith finds the singer-songwriter continuing to make use of many different musical elements to form his songs. And while the two tracks may not be as collectively strong as Smith’s Sum of Life release, the track of “I Will Love You”  is a song that finds the writer continuing to create music with an overall appealing feel to it.

To check out the music of Scott Smith, click HERE for the track of “I Will Love You”. 

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

Whiplash

 

 

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

 

 

Reina Mora picPuerto Rico native Leeane Melendez (here on out to be referred to by her stage name of Reina Mora) has spent time in the music industry as part of many bands. But after spending time in other people’s groups, the L.A.-based singer-songwriter has taken on a new role as a solo artist. Having written her own songs, Reina Mora is about to release her first solo album. While Mora is an artist that is proud of the Latin part of her background, the singer-songwriter has just created a release that is largely influenced by the same type of music that she has been singing as part of other bands. That pop/rock-based album is entitled Bird’s Eye View. Before she releases the entire album, however, she is releasing one track as a lead-off single. That song is entitled “Trouble”. The music of “Trouble” focuses on the electric guitar that help to create a very strong Rock and Roll feel to the track. The electric guitar provides a moderate pace to the music. On “Trouble,” Reina Mora’s vocals are strong and focused as she plays out the character she created for the song. To go along with the Rock and Roll music, the lyrics of the song find Reina Mora creating a scene based around an Adam and Eve-type setting where Mora is portraying an Eve-like character who knows the power she possesses over “Adam” and is taking advantage of him as she plays out the forbidden apple scene from the Bible. As the title of the track suggests, Reina Mora declares that she is nothing but bad news. But as it turns out, Adam is no fool and he has a few tricks of his own. While only one song, “Trouble” shows off at least some of the writing style contained within the album as it comes across as a vignette set to music.

The album Bird’s Eye View from Reina Mora is scheduled to be released in the near future. Until then, enjoy the album’s first single entitled “Trouble”.   

For more information, check out Reina Mora’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.

Caroline Ferrante Washington DC-based singer-songwriter Caroline Ferrante spent part of her youth learning how to sing opera. But after a few Open Mic Nights, that musical direction was changed for the singer as she started to drift over to more commercial styles of music. Soon, she was developing her own style and she started writing her own music. And today, Christine Ferrante has amassed a musical library of her own songs that have been collected on three CDs of original music. The latest release from Ferrante was released earlier this year. The 2017 five-song EP from Christine Ferrante is entitled Sky.

Sky from Caroline Ferrante begins with the track “Feels Like a Holiday”. The track begins with a whistle and a ukulele. Soon, the voice of Ferrante fills up the track, soon to be joined with a full chorus of background singers. The track’s music soon becomes full and complete as the track takes on a Pop-Rock direction. The track takes on an eighties feel to the music. In fact, the music and the call-and-response chorus on the track combine to create a track that would easily be right at home being played right after Tears for Fears.

The new EP from Ferrante continues with the track “Better Angels”. The pace slows down on this track as Ferrante adds a generous amount of Blues influence to the music of this track. While the track contains that Blues direction, the track also seems to contain a strong Rock and Roll feel. The two musical genres blend together on the track in order to form a song that emphasize the pain in the words as Caroline Ferrante sings about several things in her life that have left behind some pain and emotional scarring. The music for “Better Angels” is a blend of both the acoustic guitar that makes up the majority of the musical direction and the electric guitar that adds a strong backbone to the song. Together, the two instruments create a track that is rather light and bouncy but still contains a powerful delivery.

Caroline Ferrante’s new release continues with the track “Great Big Beautiful World”. A song about seeing the world with her family, the track has a strong, upbeat and bouncy feel to the Rock and Roll that shapes the music. The music is kept light and simple to add to the Pop direction of the track. The lyrics are rather easy to sing along to. Altogether, “Great Big Beautiful World” is one of the tracks on Sky that will be running through your head long after the five-song release has come to an end.

While several of the tracks on the Sky release from Caroline Ferrante have a rather personal connection in the lyrics, perhaps the most personal of these tracks is “Symphony”. With this track, Ferrante sings of the emotions to she feels when she thinks about her. The track begins with a moderately-paced tempo created with the help of a piano that acts as the focal point of the music. Along with the piano, the track also contains an electric guitar, bass and drums that help to enhance the music while still allowing the piano to shine. The gentle pace of the track as well as the easy playing of the instrumentation help to add to the emotional feeling within the lyrics.

Along with being a singer-songwriter, Caroline Ferrante is also an outspoken advocate for Women’s rights. Having formed the Songwriters Against Sexual Assault group, Ferrante sings and performs to help raise awareness. Ferrante’s Sky release comes to an end with the track “Brighter Day,” a song she wrote as part of that group. Along with lyrics about standing up for yourself and making your voice heard, the track contains a musical direction that allows for the words to be heard while still being strong enough to entertain.

The five-song release of Sky from Caroline Ferrante is a short, yet strong EP that contains many different musical directions. With the changing of the styles from one track to the next, the listener gets to experience many sides to Ferrante’s personality in a short amount of time. Plus, the relatively short playtime guarantees you’ll want even more once the release is over.

To hear the music of Caroline Ferrante, check out her song “Great Big Beautiful World“.

Check out the Sky release from Caroline Ferrante on her Reverbnation profile.

For more information, check out Caroline Ferrante’s PR Firm, Whiplash PR.