Just when you start thinking that no one is making good rock-n-roll music anymore, you find someone who amazes you with their style of straight-out rock music. One such musician that is currently making that style of straight-out rock that is sadly all-too-uncommon is Joal Rush.
In 2004, Joal Rush released his debut EP, Delightful Things. With that release, Joal started making a name for himself. The reason for that is the CD started receiving critical acclaim from those who reviewed the release. Along with praise from the critics, Joal started gaining a following from his fans.
Since releasing Delightful Things , Joal has enjoyed a bit of success as good things started happening. The Atlanta, GA musician has shared then stage with the likes of Edwin McCain, Will Hoge and Styx; Joal has had his music added to XM Radio’s Unsigned channel 52 where it has become a fixture of the station; and he has had his song Carry On put on the Awarestore.com Ear Snacks Vol. 6 compilation.
After having success with Delightful Things and receiving all of the accolades that have come with it, Joal Rush is back with his second release, Imagination. With this new EP, Joal has taken his writing style and improved upon it, giving the songs on Imagination more power than before.
The new EP contains 6 great songs. The best tracks on the release are, in my opinion, Imagination, Living a Lie, and Bleed. The CD even comes with a ballad, You Are, that helps to wrap up the release.
Joal has put out a great rock release. His style would belong with groups who were around before there were styles of rock called Alternative or Grunge. His music seems a little out of place with what is on the airwaves right now, but that is because the majority of the groups out there right now follow whatever trends are big at the time and refuse to veer away from the mainstream. It takes courageous musicians like Joal Rush to take a chance at releasing music that is not pigeon-holed by today’s radio formats.
If you like pre-Alternative rock music, Joal Rush is making music just for you. You can check out Joal Rush and his music at www.joalrush.com and at www.MySpace.com/joalrush.
Milwaukee, WI band Trance Halo is currently promoting their 2007 EP entitled Bender. Having only been together for about one year. the quartet is still young as a band goes. However, the new debut CD sounds like it was made by a band that has a lot more time under it’s belt. Part of the reason for the maturity in their sound comes from the songwriting of the band’s guitarist/vocalist London J.
The five well-crafted songs contained within the Bender EP hit hard and never let go. From the title track to the last song on the CD entitled Pool, this is a very solid effort. Take equal parts Foo Fighters, Radiohead, and Smashing Pumpkins while adding technology in the form of phase shifters, filters and fuzzes and you get some idea of what the band’s sound is like. The band promises to take modern rock music and launch it into another dimension. Take a listen and you can tell that they are serious about that.
Along with London J, the band is made of 3 talented musicians that help shape the sound of their music. The other members of the band are lead guitarist Johnny W, bassist Belle, and Jim B who played the drums on the CD though the band plays live with an ever-changing line-up of drummers.
Together as a unit, the four musicians create a sound with a noticeable difference. One of the main things that makes Trance Halo’s sound different from most of the acts there is London J’s large collection of effect pedals for his guitar. In fact, with London J, Belle AND Johnny W all using pedals, the band aspires to be known as “the band with the most pedals”.
If you are interested in finding something different from your everyday alternative rock band that you hear on the radio, then you need to check out the band Trance Halo and their CD, Bender.
Visit the band’s website at www.trancehalo.com for more information.
The Junos are the Canadian Grammys y'all.
Perennial Sugartune favs, Creature, will be strutting their stuff on the red carpet of the 2009 Juno Awards with their nomination in the Pop Album of the Year category. What no Best New Band nomination? Seems they bypassed this seemingly more appropriate nomination to go head to head with long established acts David Usher and Alanis Morrisette. Well deserved for the pop gem, No Sleep At All
. Good Luck, Creature!
2009 Juno Award Nominees
Safe Word Project & The Warped 45s Join Sugartune Roster
Big League Producers and Engineers Byron Wong and Annelise Noronha are the Safe Word Project. Together they meld a Postal Service meets Jon Brion meets Justice sound; music unbelievably earnest and passionate. The Warped 45s nourish their alt country soul from the same trough you’d find The Band, The Gourds and The Jayhawks. Dig in.
Creature’s Full Length No Sleep At All Available Now!
The reviews are all ready coming in for Creature’s debut CD No Sleep At All… “There are no lulls, and there is no lazy groove-riding. Creature is a pop band first – and this album pops! **** ” — T’Cha Dunlevy, The Montreal Gazette.
more on creature buy no sleep at all
The Warped 45s and Safe Word Project Join Sugartune
Susan Weber has been a part of the music scene here in the Cleveland area for several years. Susan got her start as a singer-songwriter after hearing material from people like John Prine and Joni Mitchell. And her start as a guitar player started with the help of Michele Temple of Cleveland noise-rock band, Pere Ubu. Susan took her influences and combined them in her style of songwriting that is present on Monet’s Orbit.
It’s been a decade since Susan released her last album. The time between the last album and this release was filled with several different projects, but no released material surfaced as a result of those projects.
Susan’s new album, Monet’s Orbit, features her band that is known by the same name. Along with Susan on Guitar and vocals, the band also includes Walt Campbell on bass and vocals, and Trees Mausser on drums. Along with the main members of the group, Susan is also joined on the album by lead guitarists John Grail and Jay Bentoff, Chris Solt on percussion and keyboards, and Spencer Kohan on saxophone.
The album features 11 tracks written by Susan. The sound of the album has been described as being influenced by the likes of Jefferson Airplane to Bob Dylan. Her vocal style is somewhere between Janis Joplin and Mick Jagger. The songs are Rock-N-Roll in its purist form. If you’ve been missing straight-out Rock-N-Roll, here is an album that should make you happy.
Susan has had her share of notoriety in the Cleveland area and beyond. She has been named Best Female Singer-Songwriter in the Free Times Music Awards. She has also received the honor of winning awards including the Great American Song Contest Honor Award.
After a decade of not releasing new material, Susan has made a very strong comeback with a rock album that is sure to please the hardest critics. If you like straight-out rock, add Susan Weber and Monet’s Orbit to your list of things that need to be heard.
You can learn more about Susan Weber and her music, plus find out about her bandmates, by going to www.susanweber.com. You can also check out Susan’s myspace account @ www.myspace.com/susanweber.
Named after possibly one of the coolest cats in rock and roll, Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, Watts is a very cool four-piece from Boston who manage to let their classic rock and roll influences like The Stones and the Cars mutate with the sounds of the Strokes and the Clash for a wonderfully rough but harmonic blast of rock and roll.
With 14 tracks on their 2007 release One Below The All Time Low they cover a lot of musical ground which makes it very difficult for me to decide what I want to play which is a true compliment (at least in my books!). Excellent stuff, modern with a nuanced nod to rock’s past and definitely a keeper. Have a listen to the tracks posted to their MySpace page at http://www.myspace.com/wattsrock
Jann Klose has seen more of the world before he was of voting age than most people will ever see in their entire lifetimes. From the time he was less than a year old, the songwriter/guitarist has lived in his native country of Germany, Kenya, South Africa, Cleveland, OH, and New York. Currently living in the Bronx, Jann has taken all of the musical influences of these lands and combined them all into his version of pop music. In his music, you’ll find large traces of jazz, blues, reggae, and of course, rock.
It’s these styles that are evident in Jann’s newest release, entitled Reverie. The new album stays fresh by changing direction throughout the CDs 12 tracks. From the opening track of “Beautiful Dream” to the final track of “The Beginning,” you’ll hear all sorts of combinations of styles that help make Jann’s music unique. The most interesting tracks on Jann’s Reverie are “Doing Time”; “Clouds”; “Mother Said, Father Said”; along with “Beautiful Dream” and “Hold Me Down”, the 2 tracks that were put on a single previous to the album being released.
Reverie is Jann Klose’s newest album in his long line of self releases and compilations that he has been featured on. This marks the fourth release by Jann, following up his Enough Said, The Strangest Thing and Black Box CDs. Jann’s music has also been featured in the DEAD BROKE movie from Warner Bros Home DVD, the PRAMBORS HITS 3 in Indonesia, and on car maker SAAB’s 60th Anniversay CD in France. He even had a song included on the SERENITY HOUSE CD, a compilation that was put together to benefit the building of the Serenity House Hospice in Doylestown, PA.
But it’s Jann Klose’s Reverie CD that is the focus of this review. Along with Klose and his bandmates (who play bass, keys, drums and violin on the CD), other musicians on the recording lend a hand on oboe, trumpet and flugelhorn, and percussion. With that blend of instumentation, Jann Klose has produced a solid pop effort that has a very worldy feel to it.
You can find Jann and his music at www.jannklose.com and www.myspace.com/jannklose.
Take equal parts hard rock and prog-metal and you get a feel for what Italy’s Twinspirits sounds like. This five-piece outfit came together when Daniele Liverani was looking for the next phase of his career as a musician.
Throughout his years of playing music, Daniele has become a virtuoso on both the guitar and the piano. With Twinspirits, he has taken his experience as a keyboard player and has written some of the best melodic metal to be released in a long time.
Although Daniele is the songwriter of the band, he is not the only piece to the puzzle. To fill the part of guitarist, Daniele called upon 20 year old Tommy Ermolli to be the behind the six-string. Tommy has made the most of the 8 years he’s been playing and has more than mastered the instrument. For bassist, Alberto Rigoni fills the part. While being the perfect choice to provide the bass part for the band, Alberto is also a composer in his own right. He has just released an album of his own music. Finding a drummer was a no-brainer. Dario Ciccioni has been playing with Daniele for a decade. When the idea of the band was thought up, Dario was the only choice. The role of vocalist was the one piece to the band that took the most time to fill. But when all was said and done, Danish vocalist Soren Adamsen was the final piece to the puzzle.
It is this group of musicians that have recorded the band’s 2007 release entitled The Music That Will Heal the World. Though it is not one, The Music That Will Heal The World can be interpreted as being a “concept album” as the songs seem to tell a story.
Some of the songs follow a common thread of war and battle. One of the songs that really follow this theme is ‘Fire,’ a song that has to do with an American soldier that died in battle. Other songs on the album seemed to be tied together with an almost similar theme.
Italy’s Twinspirits has created one of the best albums of hard rock/prog-metal. If you like that style of music, take the time to check out the band The Music That Will Heal The World.
To check out the bandâ€™s music, go to http://www.twinspirits.net/, or go to their MySpace page @ http://www.myspace.com/twinspiritsban
Copyright ©1968 and 2008 by Lee Conklin – All rights reserved.
Subject: Santana, a 1969 release (on Columbia Records) by Santana, with cover art & design by Lee Conklin
The cover of Santana’s debut record was adapted (at Santana’s request) from a poster design originally done for a concert performance at Bill Graham’s legendary San Francisco venue, the Fillmore West. This iconic image done in pen and ink was certainly one of the best examples of early psychedelic art.
Both guitarist Carlos Santana and artist/illustrator Lee Conklin hit their stride in San Francisco’s mid-60’s cultural scene, with Santana finding a wide variety of music being played in the clubs (Tito Puente’s salsa, folk, Gabor Szabo’s jazz and in 1966, a concert by the great blues guitarist B.B. King at the Fillmore West that would greatly influence the development of his own personal style) and Lee Conklin meeting a number of aspiring artists – Victor Moscoso, Alton Kelley, Stanley Mouse, and many others – who were producing the promotional posters and related graphics for events at the Fillmore and at Family Dog’s Avalon Ballroom and other venues.
Soon after his B.B. King-inspired epiphany, Santana formed The Santana Blues Band (later shortening it to simply “Santana”) and the band made its debut at the Fillmore in June, 1968 (playing a 4-nite stand that was released in 1997 by Columbia/Legacy in a set titled Live at the Fillmore 1968). Santana impressed Bill Graham so much that the band became a regular act at the Fillmore, packing the auditorium regularly.
And then came the Summer of Love, Woodstock, and the band’s legendary performance there on 8/15/69…
Fresh Pair of Eyes is the debut release by Brooke Waggoner, who was born in Houston, Texas, but was raised in the coastal town of Morgan City, Louisiana. While living in Louisiana, Brooke began taking piano lessons at the early age of 4 and didnâ€™t finish her training until she turned 21 during her senior year at Louisiana State University.
Although she made it into the Top 10 in MTVUâ€™s Best Music on Campus Competition as part of a Christian rock group, Brooke has since changed her musical direction. Her current style has only a few religious overtones, giving way to a more contemporary pop sound.
It is that style that was shaped while Brooke was in college. Brooke has received her degree in composition and orchestration. With that education, she has started writing music that has a style that is a cross between Tori Amos, Electric Light Orchestra, Rodgers + Hammerstein, and Chopin, among others. To say that Brookeâ€™s style of writing is complex would be an understatement; however, it is still very listener-friendly.
One of the most entertaining songs on the 6-song EP is â€œSo-So,â€ a fictional look at a moving day. Each line in the song ends in a word that has a long O sound. Some of the rhymes are a little far-fetched, but that just adds to the lightheartedness of the song.
Having been trained to be a composer and arranger has really given Brooke a leg up on her contemporaries. While most of the musicians out there today would have to ask someone to write arrangements for them, Brooke can simply write out the arrangements to fill out her sound.
Currently, Brooke Waggoner calls Nashville, Tennessee home as she is focused on the task at hand of promoting her new CD, Fresh Pair of Eyes. Download the entire EP straight from Brookeâ€™s website for absolutely NOTHING. This the time to check out one of Americaâ€™s most talented up-and-coming artists and see what you could have missed.
To check out Brooke Waggoner and her free music, go to www.brookewaggonermusic.com or www.myspace.com/brookewaggoner.
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