Posts Tagged ‘The Beatles’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mark RogersVirginia/DC-based singer-songwriter Mark Rogers finds himself in a situation that many others have experienced. Years ago, he has spent time creating music. The style of music that he created incorporated Folk, Folk-Rock, and even a little Bluegrass influence. Needless to say, the style of the music created by Rogers would have fit quite nicely with music from the sixties.

But then Mark Rogers found himself creating a family. Music would have to wait. And wait it has. Then, after an extended time away, Rogers has resumed his pursuit of music. In fact, Rogers has made it official as he just created a new EP of original music. The new EP from Mark Rogers is entitled Rearranged.

Rearranged from Mark Rogers begins with the “Right Here”. The track features a sound that would have been right at home during the seventies. In fact, the track’s Folk-Rock feel brings to mind the sound and feel of a band like The Eagles. That sound comes courtesy of guitars that bring to mind the various musicians from the band. The easy pace of the track and the rather familiar Eagles-inspired sound would have felt right at home on AM radio. Right from the start, the track “Right Here” makes Rearranged from Mark Rogers feel like a musical release that fans of Pop-Rock music would truly enjoy.

While the previous track brought to mind the styles of The Eagles, Mark Rogers changes his musical approach on the song “Slow Parade”. The second track of the release features a style that incorporates just a little Beatles flavor into the music. Although it is not overwhelming, the listener can hear just a little Lennon/McCartney influence in the lyrical content of the song. That Beatles-esque lyrical content and melody contained in the words of the song brings to mind that band’s style from back in the sixties when they were just making a name for themselves. Along with the Beatles influence in the lyrics, “Slow Parade” contains a musical approach that once again contains a definite Folk-Rock sound.

After Mark Rogers spent two songs creating music with a throwback feel, the next track of “I Can’t Say Why” features a timeless sound. The Folk-Rock style on the track contains a strong musical approach that could have been played in the seventies, eighties, nineties, or even on today’s Pop-Rock radio formats. Throughout the song, the acoustic approach of the music helps to create a track with a gentle feel to the music. With the inclusion of the electric guitar, Rogers adds a nice amount of energy to the song.

With the track “Waiting,” Mark Rogers once again conjures up the sound of the seventies. The slow pace and easy feel to the music brings to mind a song like “Harvest Moon” from Neil Young. Much like Young’s song that contains a throwback feel to the music, the feel of “Waiting” from Mark Rogers would fit in with older tracks but would also fit on modern-day Adult Contemporary radio formats. “Waiting” is one of the strongest tracks on the Rearranged release from Mark Rogers.

The new release from Mark Rogers continues with the track “Takes Me Back Again”. On this track, Rogers continues to create music with a strong Folk background, but changes things up a little as he incorporates a strong Jazz influence to the music. That Jazz influence comes in the form of the guitar on the track and the light vocal delivery from Rogers. The rather short track shows off Mark Roger’s playing ability.

Mark Rogers brings his new EP to a close with the track “The Blue of December”. As the song revolves around the sound of the piano and the acoustic guitar, the two instruments combine to create a track that contains a very laidback feel. The low-key track brings the Rearranged release from Mark Rogers to a close on a gentle note.

Rearranged from Mark Rogers is a short six-song EP that gives the listener a very strong Folk-inspired . But this is just a taste of what is to come!
For a taste of Mark Rogers’ new EP, check out the track “The Blue of December“.   

Check out Rearranged from Mark Rogers. The album is available on Bandcamp.  You can also find the album on GooglePlay and iTunes

For more information, check out Mark Rogers’ PR firm, Whiplash PR

A is for Atom A is for Atom is a New York-based Alternative Rock outfit formed by New York transplant Mike Cykoski when he decided that he had had enough playing behind other people. Once Cykoski decided to go in his own direction as far as music was concerned, he started creating songs that featured an Alternative Rock sound with a lot of orchestral feeling to it. To help promote his music, Mike Cykoski released two EPs worth of music. The latest of those releases is called Song for You.
The new release from A is for Atom begins with the track “Load up on Guns”. The track has a fun, light feel to the music as it contains a rather unusual mix of both acoustic guitars that help to build the main body of the song and electronic keyboards that add a slightly spacey feel to the track. In fact, the keyboards come in near the middle of the song and the resulting keyboard solo feels like something that might have come from a New Wave song from the 1980s. The song then changes directions near the end of the track when an electric guitar comes in and adds a little depth to the music. While the song’s title might sound like some kind of statement, the track is just a fun listening experience that happens to be very catchy.
Song for You from A is for Atom continues with the title track of the release. While “Load up on Guns” has a fun, easy feel to it, “Song for You” changes the emotional feel of the EP. As the song title was inspired by something Cykoski’s ex-girlfriend once said to him, the lyrics of this song play on the statement “you never wrote a song for me”. The track features a slow-paced, yet steady feel to it while the music itself falls somewhere between pop-rock and smooth jazz in a style that might remind some of music from a band like Steely Dan. If Elton John’s “Your Song” is the ultimate statement on love, maybe “Song for You” by A is for Atom can be seen as its antithesis.
While the first two tracks of Song for You from A is for Atom contain a style that could easily fit into today’s musical formats, Mike Cykoski takes the song “Bombs Away” in a completely different direction. The keyboard-driven track brings to mind many of the songs from the New Wave era of music. The track brings the listener back to a time when musicians were not only unafraid to try something new with their music; they wanted to push music as far as they could. The resulting track of “Bombs Away” from A is for Atom is one of those tracks that may feel a bit dated because of the use of drum loops and the particular keyboard sound produced on the track, but it can also feel just as fresh because it really doesn’t make you think of anyone else in the music industry today.
Mike Cykoski describes A is for Atom as a “melodic driven alt band”. Nowhere is that more evident than on the track “The White Dress”. In a track that may instrumentally bring to mind “The Fool on the Hill” by The Beatles, the piano-driven track builds as many different elements come together in such a manner that the track feels almost orchestrated. The track also features fine vocals that create a nice harmony to the lyrics of the song. Once the horns appear, the listener experiences a beauty in the song’s music that rarely appears in today’s music industry.
Song for You from A is for Atom comes to an end with the track “India”. The track is a strong pop-rock track that features a very strong keyboard-driven feel. While the song has a relatively timeless feel, the keyboard solo at the end of the track once again brings the music back to a more New Wave feel.
The new release from A is for Atom called Song for You is a pop-rock fan’s dream as Mike Cykoski creates music that can be very appealing to people who like a lot of different styles of rock and roll. The five songs contained within the release are a nice mix of sounds and there’s not a bad track on the release.
Reviewer: Matheson Kamin
Rating: **** (four stars)

Singer-songwriter Tim Morrow was born and raised in Michigan by a father who had a music collection that sounds like the format of any oldies radio station. Having grown up listening to Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, The Four Tops, The Supremes, The Who and many other artists who now grace The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, it is easy to see how Morrow’s writing style seems more like Classic Rock than Alternative.

Having already recorded and released several albums with several bands and on his own, TimMorrow had recently just released his newest album. The 2013 release from Tim Morrow is entitled As Long As it’s Not Me.

As Long As it’s Not Mebegins with the track “Sunny Day in Santa Monica”. The track has a strong groove while still processing a light feel to it. The song seems to bounce along as Morrow sings about just enjoying the day as it comes. The track features a very strong guitar solo from guitarist Dinos Lambropoulos that adds a lot of energy to the song.

While“Sunny Day in Santa Monica” has a fun, light feel to it, the track “That’s the Way Love Is” helps to add a very commercial feel to the album. The song features a chorus that has a strong hook to it that will almost definitely take hold of the listener and keep them from turning away.

With the next track of the album, the feel of the music changes: On the title track of the album, Tim Morrow gives “As Long As it’s Not Me” an acoustic feel as the track contains only vocals and acoustic guitars. The lyrics about allowing sadness to happen as long as it happens to someone else have a lot more an effect with the simple, light feeling of the track.

If there was one track off As Long As it’s Not Me that can be described as a straight-out rocker, that song would be “Deep in Her Heart”. On the track, Tim Morrow, guitarist Jerry Juden and drummer Perry Lopez create a track that has a traditional “rock song” feeling. While other songs on the album have stronger grooves or feel more radio-friendly, “Deep in Her Heart” is one track that allows Morrow, Juden and Lopez to feel like an actual rock band. The track also seems to give Tim Morrow the best chance to show off as not only a guitarist, but also a bass player as well, since he does provide the “bottom” to each song on his 2013 release.

Tim morrow brings a certain amount of “Classic Rock” feel to the track “I’ll Go Away”. The slow rocker has the same type of feel as music from bands from the late 60s, early 70s such as Led Zepplin, The Moody Blues and others who took the time to slow things down once-in-a-while. “I’ll Go Away” from Tim Morrow is a track for those listeners who like a lighter feel in their rock music.

The pace of the music picks up for the track “In 30 Years”. The track once again brings a strong rock sound to the album as Tim Morrow sings about wanting to know what the perfect woman will look like in later life. The track is once again strengthened by the guitar playing by guitarist Dinos Lambropoulos as he adds another guitar solo to Morrow’s music to give texture to the As Long As it’s Not Me from Tim Morrow.

The newest release from Tim Morrow comes to an end with the track “2 Day Holiday”.The track would fit well with the easy sounds of The Carpenters, Jim Croce or other 70s artists that fell into that “easy listening” era of music.

The ten tracks that make up As Long As it’s Not Me from Tim Morrow give the listener plenty of variety while still staying within the “Classic Rock” genre. And aside from just a few missed notes, the album is a solid release.

Review by Matheson Kamin
Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)

ImageThe Midtown Men is a band that used to be the ensemble featured in the Broadway Smash The Jersey Boys. The band consists of Tony-Award winner Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard and Tony-Award nominee J. Robert Spencer. Having made a large impression during their time on stage in The Jersey Boys, the four performers decided to reunite and keep the magic going. As a result, The Midtown Men have created an album of cover songs that came from the same era as the Four Seasons. The newly released album by The Midtown Men is entitled Sixties Hits.

The album begins with a track featuring two of the biggest and most associated songs of The Four Seasons, “Let’s Hang On/Working My Way”. Known for his role as Frankie Valli in The Jersey Boys, Michael Longoria does a wonderful job capturing Valli’s voice, and this track really makes that point. As they are cover versions of these hit singles, “Let’s Hang On” and “Working My Way Back to You” had to feel just as authentic as the originals and the vocals of Longoria have you imagining the original songs right from the beginning of the tracks.

Since this is an album of covers from more than just The Four Seasons, the quartet of Longoria, Hoff, Reichard, and Spencer prove that they tried to stay loyal to the original songs while adding their own spin to them. A perfect example of that idea appears on the song “Can’t Buy Me Love”. Although staying pretty close to The Beatles’ arrangement of that band’s song, the version by The Midtown Men comes with a little surprise as a horn section appears to give the song added depth. While major fans of The Fabulous Four may resent the band’s songs being messed with, the arrangement of this song should actually have Beatles fans applauding the new version.

Along with the horn addition, the song “Happy Together” from The Turtles finds The Midtown Men giving the song a slightly different treatment than the original version: While the music itself stays close to what was originally written, it is the vocals that have changed slightly. The new vocal arrangement to the song breathes new life into the song without going overboard.

The Midtown Men return to their “roots” once more as they perform The Four Seasons’ hit “Dawn”.  Like the earlier Four Seasons songs “Let’s Hang On” and “Working My Way Back to You,” the group stays as close to the original as possible. It is this authentic feel to the songs the band is covering that made The Jersey Boys such a smash hit when it was on Broadway.

Falling into line with a long list of artists that have created a cover of the song “California Dreamin’” from The Mamas and The Papas, The Midtown Men took a slightly different take on the song. While they didn’t change the arrangement of the original version of the tune written by John Phillips and Michele Gilliam, the performance by the band has a slightly more folk-like sound than the original. And since there are many others who came before to create different arrangements to the song, this new version fits right in.

The Midtown Men’s album Sixties Hits finishes with two more songs from The Four Seasons: “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Bye Bye Baby”.

If there was one song on this release that wasn’t really true to the original single, it would have to be “Big Girls Don’t Cry”. The arrangement of the song strays just a little too far from the version by The Four Seasons. Anyone familiar with the original tune may find themselves preferring the original and simply skipping over this track.

For the song “Bye Bye Baby,’ The Midtown Men return to a sound that is closer to their predecessors: With an arrangement and sound that will surely make fans of The Four Seasons happy, “Bye Bye Baby” brings this new release of covers from The Four Seasons and several others to a perfect close.

While starting out simply as a group of actors playing famous musicians on stage, The Midtown Men definitely prove they deserved all of the accolades they received while on Broadway as that group. This album of “Oldies” from this talented quartet will give the older music fans something to enjoy, and the younger crowd will find this album the perfect introduction to the older music.