CD Review: Riki Michele, “Push”

Riki Michele had the cards stacked against her when she went solo in the very early 1990s, often unfairly. I enjoy her solo stuff, particularly 1993’s One Moment Please, but she was coming from the highly influential band Adam Again. Her ...

ALBUM REVIEW: Joe Pug, “Windfall”

This new album from Austin, Texas native Joe Pug has a lot going for it, considering its genesis was in a not-so-positive situation.  From imbibing too much alcohol to feeling disconnected, Pug almost walked away from music but instead, turned ...

ALBUM REVIEW: The Grip Weeds, “How I Won The War”

You can make the argument that “classic/’60’s style pop” is making an upward surge in a big way from the United States and leading the charge would be New Jersey veterans, The Grip Weeds.  Jangly, quasi-psychedelic, harmony rich and masterfully ...

CD Review: Toto, “Toto XIV”

It was the story that threatened to overshadow the album. As early as six years ago, famed guitarist Steve “Luke” Lukather said during promotions for his solo album that the prospects for new Toto music was slim, and probably non-existent. He was ...

ALBUM REVIEW: The Vagaband, “Medicine For The Soul”

A thoroughly enjoyable and tuneful collection of songs, Medicine For The Soul, the new release from the U.K.’s The Vagaband, is an exercise in melody.  For a sophomore release, this gathering of eleven songs sound like a group who’ve traveled ...

ALBUM REVIEW: Lyal Strickland, “Balanced On Barbed Wire”

An interesting story here – this album, from Buffalo, Missouri native Lyal Strickland, was originally recorded in 2013, but he decided to resuscitate it, re-release it and tour behind it.  And by doing so, he’s reaching out to bigger audiences, ...

ALBUM REVIEW: Vanilla Fudge, “Spirit Of ’67”

It’s not often that a “classic” band can come back together after disbanding and put out a new album that sounds fresh – but then add to that, this new album is filled with covers from their contemporaries (as well ...

CD Review: And How, “The Twisted Trees”

Envy, aside from being one of the Seven Deadly Sins, is also a pretty effective motivator. As illustration of this, one needs to look back to the friendly rivalry between The Beatles and the Beach Boys in the 1960’s. Upon hearing ...

ALBUM REVIEW: The Weeklings, “Monophonic”

You may as well give up any notions of resistance to The Weeklings, because this is quite simply, the good old fashioned rock and roll we ALL grew up with – built around the sound and style of The Fabs ...

CD Review: Steven Wilson, “Hand Cannot Erase”

It has been a while since I could be fully supportive of a Steven Wilson project. It’s not a residual issue with his apparent forsaking of Porcupine Tree. If we were to get into the weeds with that, PT was a ...

Vinyl Review: (The) Silos, “Cuba”

With much respect to Walter Salas-Humara, the leader of the band The Silos, everything you really need to know about them, you’ll learn from their first three albums. These are the records that also featured bandmember Bob Rupe who, in later ...

ALBUM REVIEW: Liz Longley, s/t

From the moment “Outta My Head” begins, I love this album.  Liz Longley’s self-titled debut on the legendary Sugar Hill label is a thing of beauty.  Her voice, filled with warmth and sultry-ness and her songs, which are lyric-smart and ...

ALBUM REVIEW: Sofia Talvik, “Big Sky Country”

From the opening strums of Big Sky Country, the newest album – 6th, overall – from Sweden’s Sofia Talvik, you know you’re in for an aural pleasure experience.  Her sweet, rich and enveloping voice immediately draws you in and the ...

CD REVIEW: The Staple Singers, “Freedom Highway Complete”

On April 9, 1965, shortly after the events that have been depicted in the movie Selma, the Staple Singers sang at a service at their home church, the New Nazareth Church on Chicago’s South Side. The album that they recorded that ...

ALBUM REVIEW: Young Buffalo, “House”

Coming from Oxford, Mississippi, Young Buffalo are about to make their mark on music with this fine debut album, House.  A five-piece, Young Buffalo are like a fresh breeze on a warm afternoon – their guitar and keyboard-based pop sound ...

ALBUM REVIEW: BP Fallon, “Live In Texas”

Here’s a guy with one of the most varied and impressive resumes in music – across the boards.  Journalist, publicist (starting at Apple Records), D.J., photographer and now singer/performer.  Irish native BP Fallon has basically seen it all and done ...

ALBUM REVIEW: Duke Garwood, “Heavy Love”

Moody, atmospheric and full of texture would be a fair assessment of Duke Garwood’s fifth album, Heavy Love.  The British singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist unleashes ten songs of a subdued yet near-sinister nature, by virtue of their stark arrangements and whispered vocals.  At ...

CD Review: No More Pain, “The Post-Human Condition”

This is a great time for music types other than pop, so far as the album format is concerned. As pop music continues its trudge toward becoming a totally separate entity, single-contained and no longer conjoined within the album’s puzzle work, the ...

ALBUM REVIEW: Asaf Avidan, “Gold Shadow”

Another masterpiece this early in the year.  And something completely new for me – an Israeli musician with such an American feel, it’s hard to make the distinction that he’s not a native of either the South or Detroit.  Asaf ...

CD REVIEW: Decker, “Patsy”

Sedona, Arizona native Brandon Decker comes up with some interesting sounds on this, his latest release, Patsy.  Issued under the simple moniker of “Decker”, he unleashes nine songs of varying styles and sounds – a mixture of neo-folk, inflections of ...

CD REVIEW: John Statz, “Tulsa”

This Wisconsin native is no stranger to creating interesting and introspective music.  Tulsa is John Statz’ seventh release and a fine, cohesive piece of work.  Masterfully produced by Jeffrey Foucault, the performances by Statz, Morphine’s Billy Conway on drums, Mark ...

CD Review: The Lone Bellow, “Then Came the Morning”

The Lone Bellow’s self-titled debut was one of the best-albums of 2013. A near-perfect blend of emotional folk-rock songs and gorgeous, soaring three-part harmonies, the group have returned with the follow-up, “Then Came the Morning,” which arrives on Jan. ...

Review: PAK – “NYJPN”

Listening to PAK, composer Ron Anderson’s vehicle driving through ears a frenetic pastiche of jazz, funk and math-rock, can be transcendent. Writing about them, though, is a whole other matter. It’s a little like unraveling a knot, ...

ALBUM REVIEW: Caitlin Canty, “Reckless Skyline”

Delightful; warm; embracing.  A few quick adjectives to describe Reckless Skyline, the new album from Caitlin Canty.  This Vermont native delivers twelve songs that feel highly personal and intimate and are produced in the same manner.  Tight and restrained, you ...