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  • Review: Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn find a beautiful 'Echo in the Valley'

    Review: Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn find a beautiful 'Echo in the Valley'

    Legendary Warner Brothers animator Chuck Jones famously created nine “unbreakable rules” for his iconic Roadrunner and Coyote cartoons. Much of the humor in those shorts stemmed from the writers' attempts to find as many creative ways to do new things without ever breaking those rules. For their new...
  • Buffalo Killers are 'Alive and Well in Ohio'

    Buffalo Killers are 'Alive and Well in Ohio'

    With some bands, it seems like they have a new album at least once a year. Buffalo Killers is one of those prolific bands, and every new album is something to anticipate. The new album Alive and Well in Ohio is no different. Buffalo Killers has always had a retro psychedelic sound that is steeped in...
  • Find your groove with the self-titled album by Ozone Squeeze

    Find your groove with the self-titled album by Ozone Squeeze

    If you turn on the radio - no matter the genre - you're likely to hear a lot of music that sounds very similar. That being the case, it's nice to hear some music that doesn't fit nicely into any category. On its self-titled album, Ozone Squeeze shows that it is one of those bands who wants to create...
  • Pigeons Playing Ping Pong puts the fun in funk on 'Pizazz'

    Pigeons Playing Ping Pong puts the fun in funk on 'Pizazz'

    You have to give credit to those bands that come up with a unique and memorable name. Pigeons Playing Ping Pong is a band that has certainly done that. On the new album Pizazz, the band shows that its music is as memorable as its name. The album begins with "Fun in Funk", a party song that...
  • Review: Margo Price takes inspiration from troubled times on 'All American Made'

    Review: Margo Price takes inspiration from troubled times on 'All American Made'

    Throughout America's history, some of the best music has been born out of troubled times. So it's no surprise that 2017, with its constant drumbeat of international and domestic strife, has been a banner year for Americana. With her new album, All American Made, Margo Price adds another outstanding...
  • Jesse Royal makes you think and move on 'Lily of Da Valley'

    Jesse Royal makes you think and move on 'Lily of Da Valley'

    Reggae has long been about the message of the lyrics as much as a catchy melody. On the new album Lily of Da Valley, Jesse Royal shows that he can give healthy doses of both catchy melodies and thought-provoking lyrics.  In the first song "400 Years", you quickly get a sense for how important the...
  • Banda Magda plays hopeful, cinematic songs on 'Tigre'

    Banda Magda plays hopeful, cinematic songs on 'Tigre'

    Some music is impossible to classify except in the broadest category. Tigre by Banda Magda is one of those albums. You can call it world music, and you wouldn't be wrong. That, however, doesn't provide a sufficient explanation of this album in which each song is kind of a world of its own. The album...
  • 'Hindu Flying Machine' by Mean Motor Scooter: great garage rock

    'Hindu Flying Machine' by Mean Motor Scooter: great garage rock

    Some albums catch your attention before you ever hear a note. Hindu Flying Machine by Mean Motor Scooter is definitely one of those. First of all, the name Mean Motor Scooter is enough to grab the attention. Then you take a look at the photo where you see the face of only one band member. The others...
  • Nashville rockers Every Mother's Nightmare make their comeback with 'Grind'

    Nashville rockers Every Mother's Nightmare make their comeback with 'Grind'

    Nashville may be known primarily for its country music, but in recent years it has also become more and more of a rock and roll factory, producing successful acts like Kings of Leon, Paramore, and Moon Taxi. But that hasn't always been the case. In the late '80s, a successful rock act out of...
  • Hope Dunbar tells starkly vivid stories on 'Three Black Crows'

    Hope Dunbar tells starkly vivid stories on 'Three Black Crows'

    When you listen to some singers, you can't help but be amazed at how they can tell a story that makes you feel like you're experiencing what's being described. Hope Dunbar shows that ability on her new album Three Black Crows. The album begins with "Charlottetown." This is a great introduction to...
  • The White Buffalo tells stories with urgency on 'Darkest Darks, Lightest Lights'

    The White Buffalo tells stories with urgency on 'Darkest Darks, Lightest Lights'

    When you encounter an artist described as a singer-songwriter, you probably get a certain image in your head. You probably also get the idea of someone who sings mellow song while strumming a guitar. On his new album Darkest Darks, Lightest Lights, The White Buffalo shows that a singer-songwriter...
  • Albert Castiglia provides good-time blues on 'Up All Night'

    Albert Castiglia provides good-time blues on 'Up All Night'

    The blues started as a way for singers to express their sorrow and hardships. While that element still remains, a lot of blues is now good-time music. On the new album Up All Night Albert Castiglia is a good example of some good-time blues. If you like slide guitar, "95 South" is a song you'll enjoy...
  • Review: Whitney Rose invokes 'Rule 62' on new album

    Review: Whitney Rose invokes 'Rule 62' on new album

    Whitney Rose is an artist who has always worn her influences openly. Earlier this year, the Canadian singer paid homage to her adopted home with the EP South Texas Suite. Now she's reunited with The Mavericks' Raul Malo, who produced her debut LP Heartbreaker of the Year, along with co-producer Niko...
  • The Simpkin Project release new album 'Beam of Light'

    The Simpkin Project release new album 'Beam of Light'

    The Simpkin Project is a band from Orange County that has always prided itself in producing traditional-reggae sounds. While the new album Beam of Light is steeped in traditional sounds, it also incorporates some other influences that blend really well with the band's sound.  The opening track...
  • 'Me.Ow' by The Darts: music for doing naughty things

    'Me.Ow' by The Darts: music for doing naughty things

    If someone asked you to describe The Darts in one word, you would have an array of words available to you. Prolific is certainly one word that describes this band. The band just released its debut album earlier this year, and now it is back with another full album entitled Me.Ow. Some songs are...
  • The Expanders deliver traditional reggae sounds on 'Old Time Something...'

    The Expanders deliver traditional reggae sounds on 'Old Time Something...'

    When you see that the title of the new album by The Expanders is Old Time Something Come Back Again Vol. 2, you can't help but think that it's quite a mouthful. It's also a very fitting name for a couple reasons. First, the album contains 14 classic reggae tunes originally by artists like Burning...
  • Chandrika Tandon's 'Shivoham - The Quest' is a musical journey

    Chandrika Tandon's 'Shivoham - The Quest' is a musical journey

    If you've ever listened to the music of Grammy-nominated artist Chandrika Tandon, you know that every album is something of a musical journey. That is the case with her latest entitled Shivoham - The Quest, which is an album in three movements. In the liner notes, Tandon describes this as "the...
  • Review: Willie Watson revisits centuries of tradition on 'Folk Singer Vol. 2'

    Review: Willie Watson revisits centuries of tradition on 'Folk Singer Vol. 2'

    It's hard to think of a more no-frills album title than Folk Singer Vol. 2, the follow-up to the aptly titled Folk Singer, Vol. 1 from Willie Watson, releasing Sept. 15 on Acony Records. But anyone familiar with Watson's stripped down style won't be surprised by the lack of flash from Watson, or...
  • Chopteeth Afrofunk Big Band grooves with a message on 'Bone Reader'

    Chopteeth Afrofunk Big Band grooves with a message on 'Bone Reader'

    Funk takes a variety of forms. A lot of it is pure party music. Some funk however, is much more socially-conscious and outspoken. Chopteeth Afrofunk Big Band is a 12-piece band from Washington DC that belongs to the latter category. On the new album Bone Reader, the band shows that it can get you...
  • The Urban Renewal Project blends hip-hop and jazz on '21st Century Ghost'

    The Urban Renewal Project blends hip-hop and jazz on '21st Century Ghost'

    It is technically true that musicians can't really do anything new. After all, there are a limited amount of notes - although they can be arranged in countless ways. That being said, plenty of bands make music that is distinctive even if it's not technically something new. The Urban Renewal Project...
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