Posts Tagged ‘rock’

Jason Gisser BandUpstate New York-based rockers the Jason Gisser Band are a group that formed in 2015.The four-piece band consists of: Jason Gisser (lead vocals, acoustic guitar), Tom “The Suit” Forst (lead guitar), Big Thurrsty (drums) and Andrew Fennell (bass).  Together, the Jason Gisser Band released a full-length album of Soul-influenced music entitled In The Garden of Crows.

Having already received positive feedback from that debut album, the band has gone back into the studio to work on their follow-up album. But in the meantime, two tracks (“The River” and “Monster”) have started creating good feedback for the band. So much so, that the Jason Gisser Band has taken those two tracks and created a standalone EP featuring only those two tracks. The two-song release featuring those two tracks has been released by the band in order to give the upcoming full-length album called Monster some strong exposure.

The two-song EP from the Jason Gisser Band called The River begins with the title track. “The River” begins with a rather slow pace to the music. The song features a strong Soul flavor to the music and that flavor helps to form the direction that the band takes with the track. The easy feel to the music comes courtesy of the acoustic guitar from Gisser and the laidback performance from Tom Forst on the electric guitar. The acoustic guitar leads the way in the music while the electric guitar adds just a little texture as well as a little energy to the track. The soulful feel of the track is added to by the background singers who add a little hint of Gospel Choir feel to the track. “The River” is a quiet track that still has plenty of energy in its laidback delivery.

The second of two songs on the new EP called The River from the Jason Gisser Band is called “Monster”. Of the two tracks, “Monster” is by far the heavier of the two. The track begins with an easy moment as the band creates a quiet moment with a subtle hint of a monster in the background. As the music starts to build, the band adds more and more energy to the track. Eventually, the track contains a strong Soul feel to the music and eventually, the four musicians blend their instruments together to create a Soul-based jam. The track of “Monster” throws the idea of something harsh and frightening together with rather soothing music to create a track that has already become a favorite among fans of the Jason Gisser Band.

The new EP called The River from the Jason Gisser Band only contains two tracks. However, the two tracks that are included show off just a little of the band’s musical versatility. Going from a rather laidback song to one that contains a bit more of a groove gives you two sides of the same band gives you a hint at what else the band cane do. The two-song EP also gives you a hint at what else the band cane do. Check out The River from the Jason Gisser Band and stay tuned to see just what else the band has planned for the upcoming release that will be titled Monster.

For more information, check out the Jason Gisser Band’s promo for their upcoming release. The promo features the title track from the album Monster.

 

C.K. FlachWhen listening to the music of New York State-based singer-songwriter C.K. Flach’s music, you can definitely hear the inner poet in him come out in his songs. The songs he writes have a very strong poetic feel to them as if they were simply poems set to music. As a matter of fact, to prove just how much of a poetic feel his writing style truly has, the artist even recorded one actual spoken piece and included it on his newly released album.

Along with the poetic style of C.K. Flach’s lyrics, he also creates his songs performing the majority of the musical parts himself, with only a few instances where friends and family help to flesh out the sound of the songs. The resulting poetic Americana musical style of C.K. Flach’s songs has made its way onto the musician’s 2017 album entitled Empty Mansions.

Empty Mansions from C.K. Flach begins with the track “Lazarus”. Proving that Flach’s poetic lyrical style can encompass any subject matter, “Lazarus” finds Flach making reference to a biblical character. The song about the character Lazarus being called forward in a church setting is set to a musical style that mixes some Folk elements with a few Rock and Roll ones. These elements create a track that features a slow, yet steady pace to match up with the somber lyrics. The acoustic guitar-driven track shows off some of Flach’s ability as a guitar player. The song’s slightly laidback approach allows the listener to ease their way into the new release from Flach.

The new release from C.K. Flach continues with the song “Boxcar Dreaming”. While the previous track was guitar-based, C.K. Flach creates this track with keyboards. With this track, Flach slows things down as he lightens the feel of the music. While “Lazarus” was an equal amount of Rock and Roll as well as Folk, “Boxcar Dreaming” features a lot more Folk influence. The resulting track would be perfect for a Soft Rock radio format.

One of the strongest tracks on the Empty Mansions album from C.K. Flach is the song “Tranquilized”. Ironically, with this song, Flach increases the energy level of the music ever so slightly instead of bringing it down as you would expect with a title like that. Although the track is still pretty laidback to the music, “Tranquilized” contains a driving feel to the guitar on the track. About halfway through, the track picks up the energy of the music.

The poetic side of C.K. Flach comes out on the track “The Officer”. In a nation where those who are hired to protect are sometimes just as dangerous as the ones we want to be protected from, some people have an unfavorable opinion of the police. The song of “The Officer” is a track that deals with a scenario of a person being pulled over and not treated well by the officer doing the pulling over. The sing-song delivery of the lyrics and the slightly bluesy music make the song feel like a beatnik poem.

The album continues with the title track. Throughout the release, C.K. Flach creates tracks that have a definite spiritual overtones to them. Along with the earlier track of “Lazarus,” “Empty Mansions” is one that features that approach. “Empty Mansions” finds Flach contemplating many things in life that make him question which direction to take in life. The piano and the strings in the background of the track combine to create a beautiful melody. As he sings, C.K. Flach sings about some of the sadder things that are happening in the world today. With this track, the lyrics contain one of the most somber moments on the albums.

Much like “Empty Mansions” before it, the track “Machine Gun” finds Flach a very political track. The guitar and harmonica that appear on the track bring to mind the spirit of Bob Dylan, although the style of the music on the track is very much C.K. Flach. The track finds Flach speaking to those who carry guns and bring harm to men, women and children alike. Like many of the Folk songs from the sixties, “Machine Gun” is a song that speaks to those who want to bring an end to the senseless violence both here and abroad.

Like the track “The Officer” from earlier in the album, the track “Firmament” once again finds C.K. Flach bringing out the poet in him. But unlike “The Officer” that features both spoken poetry and music, “Firmament” is strictly Flach as he reads his written words. The simple “voice only” track finds Flach closing out his new release with a powerful poem with a very strong message against oppression.

Throughout the ten tracks that make up Empty Mansions from C.K. Flach, the listener gets to experience a poet at work as he creates song-length vignettes that deal with all sorts of things from religion to politics to everything in between. And since the album changes musical directions throughout those ten tracks, there is plenty of variety to help form a truly unique release that stands out against most of today’s commercial albums.

To hear a little bit of the music from C.K. Flach, check out the title track for Empty Mansions.

 

 

Danny EverittHouston-based singer-songwriter Danny Everitt has several decades of writing experience under his belt. In his time as a singer-songwriter, Everitt has developed a style of music that has since become known known as Americana. The music that he creates is heavy on the Country influence but also has plenty of other styles that help to influence the sound. The resulting music from Everitt has been released on a wide variety of releases, some of which were his own albums while others were released under Everitt’s own name. The latest solo album from Danny Everitt is 2017’s Dream Big.

On his newest release of Dream Big, Danny begins with the title track of the release. The track “Dream Big” contains a straight-out Rock and Roll approach while also containing upbeat vocals about going for the most you can get. The track features a strong electric guitar sound that helps add to the Rock and Roll sound. With the Rock and Roll approach it contains, the track sounds as if it would have been right at home on Rock and Roll radio formats back in the eighties.

The song “My Son” slows the pace of the music down. The song takes a Folk/Rock blend and adds a little Jazz to the music in the form of trumpet and strings. The Folk/Jazz sound creates a mellow and laidback to the track and that adds to the emotional feeling of the lyrics about a son who must carry on when his father passes on. The track adds a lot of feeling to the beginning of the Dream Big release.

The album continues with the song “Get the Hook,” a song about a man who wins the lottery and then finds out that money will change your life, but maybe not in the way you may want. The track’s Blues/Rock sound picks up the energy of the music on the release. “Get the Hook” is one track on the release that finds Everitt creating a song with a message.

One of the most beautiful moments on the new release from Danny Everitt belongs to the song “Rosalie”. The track features lyrics about a woman who lives her life as a lie. The slow pace of the song is matched up well with the laidback feel of the music and helps to add to the feeling of the words. The acoustic guitar and accordion help to add to the beauty of the music. While one of the most laidback songs on Dream Big, “Rosalie” ends up being one of shining moments of the album.

As the release continues, Danny Everitt and the rest of the musicians who helped to create the album once again turn out one of the strongest moments on the album with the track “The Tables Have Turned.” The song features a sound that would bring the listener back into the seventies. The music and lyrics for “The Tables Have Turned” both contain a quality that are reminiscent of the era when much of the music played on the radio during that time period was more than just a little laidback. Not only would “The Tables Have Turned” have fit well with other songs from that era, the track feels as if it would have climbed rather high up the music charts at that time.

As the Dream Big album continues, the listener gets to experience a track that seems a little out of place on today’s Country music formats. The song “One Good Chance” is the type of song that would surely have been a hit single in another time period. “One Good Chance” has an energetic quality in its music that would have been perfect for the late seventies, early eighties.

The song “Is There Anymore Gold” once again seems rather retro in its sound. As the track begins, the song contains a Country-Rock sound that seems almost familiar. That’s because the music and the lyrics of the tune incorporate a style that brings to mind the spirit of Rick Nelson; more specifically, Nelson while he was performing with the Shadow Canyon Band. “Is There Anymore Gold” is yet another moment on the Dream Big album from Danny Everitt that the listener will enjoy a radio-friendly track that seems almost destined to become a “hit” single.

The Dream Big album from Danny Everitt showcases the musician’s abilities as both a singer and a songwriter. Throughout the eleven songs that make up the release, the listener will discover many songs that will please their taste in music. And with songs that are strong enough to be singles, Dream Big is one album that not only deserves to be in your album collection, it deserves multiple plays on your favorite music device.

To check out the music of Danny Everitt, click HERE for the song “Dream Big”.

Moe Green's Eye CoverMoe Green’s Eye is a straight-out Rock and Roll band from New York City that is comprised of front man Anthony Galati, guitarist and chief songwriter Steve Siegel, bassist Jeff Mackey and drummer Bob Gallagher. The band used a reference to a character from The Godfather movie series and an unfortunate situation that happened to that character in the series as the name of their band. That seems to prove that the band has a strange sense of humor to go along with their ability to play Rock and Roll.

The band of Moe Green’s Eye is currently creating music consists of musical influences such as New Wave music, as well as a lot of Classic Rock. They include bands like R.E.M, The Smithereens, as well as Tom Petty as major influences on their style. The band just did something that many bands won’t try these days. They recorded their four-song live in the studio. With this recording style, they captured the pure feel of their sound. The four-song release that was just put out is called Fast Radio Bursts Live EP.

Fast Radio Bursts Live from Moe Green’s Eye begins with the track “Fixed,” the first single off of the release. With a sound that has just a little bit of a New Wave influence from the British band Modern English, and more specifically, their song “Melt with You,” “Fixed” definitely has a very clear New Wave influence to the music. “Fixed” features a driving feel to the music and a very strong delivery in the vocals of the track. As the first track of the album, “Fixed” is a strong lead-off track.

Fast Radio Bursts Live continues with the track “Stay”. Like the previous track, the band of Moe Green’s Eye keeps the music in an eighties’ frame of mind. However, with this track, the band also seems to include a little influence from the early Alternative bands. “Stay” keeps the energy level of the music up with a driving beat to the music. Like “Fixed” before it, “Stay” has the type of style that would be welcome on the radio. “Stay,” however, is a lot closer to straight-out Rock and Roll and could have easily been played on modern Rock stations back in the eighties.

The Fast Radio Bursts Live EP continues with the track “It’s Over Now”. With this track, Moe Green’s Eye takes their music into a slightly different direction than with the first two tracks. While the tracks that started the release were more in the realm of New Wave/Rock and Roll from the eighties, “It’s Over Now” seems to bring to mind the stylings of the J. Geils Band as the track contains that band’s style of Rock and Roll to it. That specific feel keeps the band’s style in the era of the eighties but also shows that Moe Green’s Eye seems to wear their influences on their sleeves.

New York City-based Moe Green’s Eye brings their Fast Radio Bursts Live EP to a close with the track “What about Time”. This is probably the most unique of the tracks on the release as the three musicians of guitarist Steve Siegel, bassist Jeff Mackey and drummer Bob Gallagher combine their talents in the track to create a style that recalls Progressive Rock bands, most specifically, Rush. “What About Time” is a song that contains a Commercial Rock sound and a Prog-Rock sound at the same time. The combination of the two musical styles together makes for a song that has plenty of depth to it and would be a welcome addition to any Modern Rock radio formats.

Moe Green’s Eye’s new EP called Fast Radio Bursts Live shows off the talents of the three musicians and the lead singer who come together to create a band that uses slightly older musical influences to help make a sound that sounds generally timeless. The four tracks on the band’s EP come together to create a solid release. And the fact that the band had put together the release with songs created live in the studio shows even more talent from this talented group of musicians.

To find Moe Green’s Eye and their Fast Radio Bursts Live release, check out the band’s Soundcloud profile. 

Welsh AvenueAustin, Texas-based singer-songwriter Mark DiLillo was once on his way to having a degree as a biology major. That was before his college roommate showed him the ways of Ableton computer software. With the help of that software, DiLillo’s path changed. Soon, instead of helping animals in need, DiLillo was creating music on the computer.

Earlier in life, Mark DiLillo had taken music lessons that helped to instill a love for Classical music. When he started creating his own music with the help of the Ableton computer software, it was only natural that he began creating music with that Classical influence to it. Soon, however, a shift in his musical direction meant incorporating more pop-based influences. The resulting musical style created by DiLillo finds him creating a hybrid style that is part Classical and part Electronica.

Mark DiLillo’s part Classical/part Electronica music is matched up with lyrics that have a realistic feel to them as DiLillo incorporates elements from life into them. The “natural” side of life is included on songs like “Germ Theory” and “Time to Fly”. These and other tracks have been assembled to create Mark DiLillo’s debut release entitled The Great Exchange, and album released under the moniker of Welsh Avenue, the name of the street where DiLillo grew up.

The Great Exchange from Welsh Avenue begins with the aforementioned track “Germ Theory”. The track begins the unmistakable sounds of a scratchy record that helps to add to the ambiance of the music. The song itself features a sound that is part Indie Rock, part New Age because of the easy nature of the music. The light, easy pace of the song matches up well with the very infectious sound of the piano. With the piano comes a gentle quality that makes up the majority of the music. The lyrics about a man who claims to know what’s best for someone else feel very familiar as most of us know that type of person. “Germ Theory” is an easy track that helps get the listener in the mood for the rest of the release.

The second track off of The Great Exchange from Welsh Avenue is called “Blue Eyes”. The first verse to the song consists of just DiLillo and a piano as he sings about being in love. The music of the track then segues to a much fuller sound as the track takes on a more Indie Rock feel. Like the first track of “Germ Theory,” “Blue Eyes” has a gentle feel to the music but contains a slightly heavier feel to the music as DiLillo adds many levels of complexity to the music. Those musical levels create a track that features a strong pop/rock beat while still remaining rather light in nature. Of the first two tracks from the EP, “Blue Eyes” seems to be the more commercial track.

The third track off of the new EP from Welsh Avenue is the title track. Unlike the first two tracks, “The Great Exchange” finds Mark DiLillo creating a track with some real backbone to it. The track features a sound that combines New Wave elements with a few Techno elements to create a song that picks up the energy level quite a bit. The resulting track would easily have been welcome on college radio stations back in the late seventies/early eighties when New Wave was at its peak. At the same time, the track would also have been just as welcome on those same college radio stations about ten years later during the early days of Alternative Rock. “The Great Exchange” from Welsh Avenue is easily the strongest, and best, track on the EP.

Mark DiLillo brings his debut EP to a close with the track “Time to Fly”. As with the track “Germ Theory” from earlier in the release, DiLillo uses real life as a basis for the lyrics to this track about knowing when to let go and say goodbye. The heartbreaking lyrics contained within the song and the rather somber music that goes along with them add an element of sorrow to the otherwise upbeat EP.

While only four songs long, The Great Exchange EP features songs that are rather different from one song to the next. The variety in the tracks showcases the talents of a singer-songwriter Mark DiLillo. The EP also suggests that there is much more to the singer-songwriter than what is found on the release. Future releases should be just as interesting. Keep your eyes and ears open for Mark DiLillo and his musical project called Welsh Avenue.

To hear music from Mark DiLillo, check out The Great Exchange from Welsh Avenue HERE on Bandcamp.

Check out the video to the song “The Great Exchange” HERE.

 

Black Horse MotelBlack Horse Motel is a Philadelphia-based musical ensemble with a sound that is based in Traditional Folk music but with other musical influences that shape their sound so that they help take the band’s sound from that traditional label to more of an Americana label. Black Horse Motel consists of: Galen Fitzpatrick on guitar, vocals; Desiree Haney on cello, piano, vocals; Ryann Lynch on fiddle, viola, mandolin, vocals and Megan Manning drums, percussion, vocals. Together, the foursome is able to take their various musical talents to create a sound that blends Folk with other styles. This, along with their musical influences which include Fleetwood Mac, Bon Iver and U2 as well as others, is what helps to create the Americana label the band finds itself being classified under.

In the band’s history, they have released a self-titled EP, an album entitled Red Summer Spirit and a new EP entitled Parable. It is with the release of Parable that Black Horse Motel is currently touring.

Parable from Black Horse Motel begins with the track “Run, Rabbit, Run”. The track begins with banjo, fiddle and other Country instrumentation before a very noticeable bass part and drum playing that would have belonged in Rock and Roll join the other instrumentation. The track features a very driving pace to the music, a pace that belongs more in Rock and Roll than in Country music. The mixture of the styles and the lyrical content about growing up in a farmer state of mind create a track that mixes many different mindsets, musical and lyrical, that create a song that crosses many different lines all at the same time. With such a strong essence, “Run, Rabbit, Run” seems to make the listener pay attention to the music from the beginning note. This track alone easily shows the listener why the band falls into the Americana category as this track has too many different elements from too many musical genres for the band to be classified as anything else in particular.

With the next track of “Bones,” the band Black Horse Motel changes directions to choose one specific genre of music for the song. The Folk music created contains a light, easy pace to the track. That easy pace seems to be rather oddly placed with the words that feature a lyrical content about a childhood rocked with violence and the thankful feeling of having lived through it. When compared to the first track of “Run, Rabbit, Run,” “Bones” comes across as the more challenging of the two songs even though the music is lighter.

Changing directions, Black Horse Motel embraces their Bluegrass influences on the track “Where the Money Comes From”. On this track, the band abandons all electric sounds for an all-acoustic sound that contains acoustic guitar and fiddle. The Bluegrass track features a slight Gospel feel to the music and the beat as the band sings of needing some financial help no matter where it comes from. The lyrical content and the resulting clash with the Gospel influence once again creates an interesting moment on the Parable release.

One of the most commercial sounding tracks on the Parable release from Black Horse Motel is the song “Take It Back”. The Folk-based song brings both the piano and the fiddle to the forefront of the instruments as the band creates a track that contains a very beautiful melody. That melody transitions to a melody that works well as a Country song. The lyrics about avoiding the past by covering it with anything you can seems to cut a little too close for comfort as the listener may start to relive thoughts better left buried. The piano late in the track adds another element to the song that gives the song even more beauty. “Take It Back” is easily one of the strongest tracks on the five-song release.

Black Horse Motel’s newest release comes to an end with the track “Dear Mama”. The track begins with some a-Capella that brings back a little Gospel influence in the way the music feels. Once the music begins, the band creates some Rock music with some strings included that produces the strongest music on the entire CD. The lyrics about boys being abandoned by their mother adds a little sadness to the album. But the strength of the music in the track takes most of that sadness away. “Dear Mama” ends up sounding like a Country-flavored track that could have been created by Jeff Lynne and the rest of Electric Light Orchestra.

Parable from Black Horse Motel is an EP with lots to offer the listener. The five tracks that comprise the Parable release from Black Horse Motel find a band of four musicians creating songs that are quite different from one song to the next. And with each track, the band shows off their talent and musical flexibility as they change styles throughout the release.

Click HERE to hear the song “Take it Back” from Black Horse Motel.

Every Other SundaySometimes when forming a band, the easiest thing is to look to those closest to you. John C. Corrado had been playing drums for a long time and his son John R. had been playing guitar for many years after learning to play drums from his father. Because of their musical connection and their bond as father and son, and having already joined up for an opportunity to play a party together, the Corrados decided they worked well as bandmates and combined their talents into one band. That band is called Every Other Sunday. Pretty soon, their band began to solidify. Combining players of John C’s generation along with younger musicians from John R’s generation, the resulting band is able to combine musical elements from many different stages of Rock and Roll. Every Other Sunday is currently exploring their ability to create a sound and style that makes use of those multi-generational influences. As a result, Every Other Sunday is currently promoting their first single titled “Ghost”. “Ghost” is an Alternative Rock track that brings John R’s musical tastes to the forefront while also adding a little bit of the older Rock and Roll influence to the music of the track. The rather laidback track brings to mind Alternative Rock bands like Green Day and Weezer. Ultimately, it is the Weezer influence that seems to stand out in the song’s music. “Ghost” from Every Other Sunday could easily have been found on the Blue album from Weezer as the track would have fit easily alongside tracks like “The Sweater Song” or “Buddy Holly”. While “Ghost” is only the first real single to be produced by Every Other Sunday, the track is rather strong and shows that there is real potential for more from this multi-generational band as they continue to solidify their style and sound.

Click HERE to discover the song “Ghost” from Every Other Sunday.

 

The ShrimpsBritish-born brothers Marcus and Simon Benjamin came to the music world after spending a good amount of their lives doing other things that were as far from music as you can get. Marcus in fashion and film industries while Simon was in publishing. But eventually, the brothers found themselves looking for something more. Teaming up, they started a duo of their own creating music with a straight-out Acoustic Rock feel to it. Together, the Benjamin Brothers perform as The Shrimps. Having already put out several other releases, the brothers are currently celebrating their most recent album entitled Abstracts and Keywords.

Abstracts and Keywords from The Shrimps begins with the track “Aim with the Arrow”. The track begins with a simple acoustic guitar approach that would work for just two musicians. However, with the addition of a bass part as well as the keyboards, the resulting track contains a lot more substance. While the track could have been a normal “unplugged” acoustic sound, Marcus and Simon Benjamin create a track with a lot of energy.

The new release from The Shrimps continues with the song “Make it Better”. While the previous track on the album was a track with an acoustic rock feel, “Make it Better” shows off a slightly different side to the duo’s music. The track moves from Acoustic Rock to a more folk-like approach to the music. The Folk-Rock approach finds the brothers adding mandolin to the guitars to achieve that Folk-Rock sound. With this sound, the duo of Marcus and Simon Benjamin create a track that contains a hefty amount of British Invasion style. Not surprising, since the New York City-based brothers used to call Great Britain home.

For the track “Life We Live,” Marcus and Simon Benjamin bring the music back to a more Acoustic Rock feel. In fact, with this song, the brothers once again seem to bring a little British Invasion feel to the music. The main guitar part of the track seems to have a bit of influence from the playing of one Pete Townsend in a playing style that brings to mind the acoustic guitar part to the song “Pinball Wizard”. “Life We Live” is one of the more energetic and upbeat tracks on the new album from The Shrimps.

One of the strongest tracks on the  album from The Shrimps is the song “Rebels”. The duo of Marcus and Simon Benjamin create a track with a rather strong groove in the Acoustic Rock that makes up the track. With the inclusion of a light organ and the flute in the background, “Rebels” ends up being one track that separates itself from the rest of the album. The track would feel right at home during the seventies as plenty of other bands at the times were creating songs just like.

As all of the tracks on the new release of Abstracts and Keywords from The Shrimps are acoustic in nature and are all rather similar in the quality of their sound, the best tracks on the album are the ones where the instrumentation seems to be layered, creating a richer, fuller sound to the music. One such track that stands out because of the instrumentation is the song “Top of the World”. The track begins as guitar, bass and mandolin all combine to create the music for the track. Then, the lyrics come in about thirty seconds in. The combination of the music and the lyrics create a beautiful song about being with the one you love. “Top of the World” is easily one of the strongest moments on the album.

Marcus and Simon Benjamin bring the newest album of Abstracts and Keywords from The Shrimps to an end with the track “In the Moon”. The track begins with just the guitar before the rest of the instrumentation slowly help to build the song. The song resulting track contains a musical feel that brings to mind songs from the sixties while not feeling dated.

Throughout Abstracts and Keywords from The Shrimps, the Benjamin Brothers have put together an album that is rather simple in its musical content as each of the tracks feature very few instruments. That simplistic way of making the songs actually help to create an album that allows the listener to truly enjoy both the musical and lyrical content of the songs and it also proves that something does not have to be overly complicated to be good.

For more information on the band and their music, check out the band’s Facebook profile.

 

Two Cities One WorldSometimes to find true love, one must do a little traveling. And sometimes, it takes going to a location half a world away.

This happened with Anna Yanova, a Bulgarian-born singer-songwriter. When she was attending the Musicians Institute in Hollywood to refine her talents, she met up with Jared Cattoor, a St. Louis-bred guitarist who, in his own way, was also there to refine his talents. Together, they met and fell in love, only to end up getting married.

With Anna Yanova already creating and releasing a solo release, her music caught the ear of Cattoor and the two soon started creating music together. Because of whom they were before they ended up meeting, and since they had a shared interest in music, the duo created one musical project with a very apropos moniker. Together, Cattoor and Yanova are known by the name of Two Cities, One World.

With Jared Cattoor being American and Anna Yanova being Bulgarian, the music of Two Cities, One World incorporates several different styles of music to create a very multi-faceted sound that is truly international. Having already released one EP entitled Together back in 2014, the duo is currently celebrating their new album of original material. The newest release from Two Cities, One World is entitled Let the Whole World Disappear.

Let the Whole World Disappear from Two Cities, One World begins with the track “I See the Sun”. The track features a lyrical content that seems to suggest a very biographical approach as the words reflect the view of two people from different worlds being connected by just looking at the same sun in the sky. The musical approach has a very “pop-like” approach with some pop-rock flavor and plenty of jazz influence. The vocals from Anna Yanova also add to the jazzy feel of the music. The gentle feel of the smooth jazz-like music will be very accessible to a lot of people whose musical tastes vary widely.

The new release from Two Cities, One World continues with the track “Suga Daddy”. Bringing back some of the jazzy influence from the last track, “Suga Daddy” takes that jazz style and blends it with plenty of Funk flavor. While the last track contains an easy feel to the music, this track has a lot more energy. One element that helps to differentiate the first two tracks from each other is the inclusion of the electric guitar in “Suga Daddy”. That guitar playing shows off the talent of Jared Cattoor who adds a Carlos Santana-like feel to the music.

With the inclusion of many styles of music, Two Cities, One World creates music that could easily be categorized as “World Music”. To prove that categorization, the duo of Yanova and Cattoor include a bit of Yanova’s ethnic background in the album. The track “Footprints (Sledi)” contains a somewhat Hispanic approach to the music as well as the use of the Bulgarian language for the lyrics. The combination of the two different nationalities creates a very unique track that contains a very strong danceable feel to the music. “Footprints (Sledi)” could easily be a crossover candidate that would feel right at home in dance clubs in the U.S. and all over the world.

The duo creates one of the strongest moments on the Let the Whole World Disappear album with the track “Love Blues”. Although the track contains a certain amount of Blues influence, the song is as upbeat as anything else that came before. And just like “I See the Sun” that helped kick the release off, “Love Blues” is yet another track that feels like a love letter set to music. With the inclusion of horns on the track, the song is one track with a very wide amount of influences to its music.

As the Let the Whole World Disappear album continues, Yanova and Cattoor and the rest of Two Cities, One World changes the feel of the music from track-to-track. And while the previous tracks contained many different styles, the “title track” “Disappear” takes the music in yet another completely different direction. Keeping with the jazz influence that has weaved its way through most of the beginning of the album, the song “Disappear” combines the jazz with some light R&B to create a track that would feel just as welcome on a Smooth Jazz radio format as it would on a “Hip Hop and R&B” radio format.

Throughout the twelve tracks that make up the Let the Whole World Disappear album from Two Cities, One World, the music changes many times. Just when you get used to one feel or approach to the music, the duo of Anna Yanova and Jared Cattoor switches things up. From one track to the next, the release sounds like an entire radio dial on one release. This is truly an album for anyone and everyone.

For a taste of Two Cities, One World and their music, check out the video for the song “Suga Daddy“.

 

Operation Encore MonumentsSometimes you can never really know what’s inside you until you are faced with something that challenges you. At that point, a hidden talent may shine through that sets you off in a different direction than the one you were heading in before the challenge rose up. With the help of Operation Encore, many soldiers and their spouses are living new lives having turned to the inner musician that was once hidden within. Thanks to Operation Encore, many soldiers end up turning to music as a form of therapy and/or as a new way of making a living.

Having amassed a nice amount of artists who joined the organization, Operation Encore released its first compilation of original music back in 2014. Operation Encore: A Veteran Music Project featured 16 tracks that consisted of music that ranged from Country to Folk to Acoustic Rock. Having had a nice showing with that release, Operation Encore recently compiled a second volume of tracks from many of the same artists from the first album as well as a few new artists that have since joined up. The 2016 version of the project called Operation Encore: Monuments consists of 12 new songs.

Operation Encore: Monuments begins with the newest track from Stephen Covell. Covell kicks off the new album with the title track to the release. “Monuments” is a very strong acoustic rock track that has a bit of influence from The Eagles in the music with a little influence from Simon and Garfunkle in the poetic lyrics of the track. The very commercial sounding track from Stephen Covell is a great track to begin the new edition of the Operation Encore releases.

The second track on the release belongs to one of the new additions to the musicians who brought the last release to life. Logan Vath contributes the song “Once Was” to the album. The track from Vath feels like a combination of something from Tom Waits and Dave Matthews Band. The jazz-rock feel from DMB mixes well with the lyrical style that is very reminiscent of Waits. “Once Was” is a track that is ready-made for radio play.

Another new artist to the Operation Encore series is Andrew Wiscombe. His contribution to the 2016 release is the title track to his album The River, The Lark, The Pine. The Alt/Country track about not fearing others’ opinions is a great song about being true to yourself. The music of the song has a strong Country backbone with a little bit of Rock and Roll thrown in for energy. “The River, The Lark, The Pine” is one track that would fit right in with music found on today’s Country music formats.

Unlike most of the artists on the Operation Encore releases, Rachel Harvey Hill is one artist that belongs to the Operation Encore organization because of her marriage to a soldier. In fact, her track on the Operation Encore: Monuments release was written about her experience of returning home to the United States after being on assignment in the Middle East with her husband. The track “I’m Going Home” would feel right at home with other Country songs from the eighties when the Country music genre had more of a pure Country feel as opposed to the Country/Rock style of today.

Singer-songwriter Steve Wilson is perhaps the artist on the Operation Encore release that has the deepest musical library. Having already written songs for his band The Black Doves, Wilson’s current songs still contain a certain amount of the Black Doves’ Rock and Roll feel while still gaining a style of their own. Steve Wilson’s latest composition of “The Words” seems to have brought him back to the style he had with the Black Doves. In fact, “The Words” would have felt right at home on the band’s 2007 album of Moments of Clarity. The lyrics about a girl losing herself on stage while singing her songs is the perfect addition to an album created by people who all need that release from time-to-time because of dark memories of war.

One of the founders of Operation Encore, Chris Kurek, is the next artist on the Operation Encore: Monuments release. “Last Goodbye” is a song that blends some Folk influences and some light Rock influences together. The track also shows off the real ensemble feel of the organization as Rachel Harvey Hill helps Kurek by adding her vocals to the track. The results are a song that contains an easy duet feel to the lyrics.

Another founding member of Operation Encore, Robert Raymond, adds his track to the album. Much like Stephen Covell earlier in the album, Raymond creates a track in “Pleased to Meet You” that is more than a little bit influenced by the likes of Simon and Garfunkle as the music feels like something from the duo. The track also seems to seem to be influenced by Jim Croce as the lyrics to “Pleased to Meet You” have the same lyrical approach as those of Croce.

Throughout the twelve tracks that make up the newest release from the Operation Encore collective called Monuments, the various artists on the release have come up songs that create an entire album of music that feels solid from the first track until the last note plays out. And just like the original album, the listener encounters plenty of variety in the tracks. The twelve tracks that make up the album show off the talent of each of the singer-songwriters who have found a new calling in life: to be a musician.

For more information on the artists that make up the latest release from Operation Encore as well as more information on the organization itself, check out their website.

For more reading about Operation Encore, check out the review for the first album, the review for Rachel Harvey Hill, the review for Andrew Wiscombe and the review of Steve D. Wilson.