Chicano Music has gone through a lot of transformations and highs and lows, in the last half a century, sometimes in a good way, some other time not really up to the standards that the genre's Kingpin, Lalo Guerrero, reached in the late 40's.

It is therefore refreshing that a record that sticks to the traditions and the foundations of Chicano Music, with a little contemporary twist, like Johnny & Jaalene sees the light of the day right now, in 2018.

One of the secrets behind the success of a great album is the ability to keep the sound fresh and vibrant throughout the record, at the same time entertaining the listeners and jiggling different musical layers that magically fits inside one another, like a perfectly shaped sonic Matrioska.

This is something that the Leicester-born and London-based troubadour Jack J Hutchinson and his band of brothers Boom Boom Brotherhood fully manage to achieve in their debut album called Set Your Heart For The Sun.

If there is an Award for best name for an artist or for a band, North Jersey-born artist John Mosloskie should certainly win one for his artistic alias, Gutter Sparrow.

The American artist had previously released his debut back in 2017, with an album called The Fear Of Forgottenness that attracted the curiosity of the American Music press for the unique musical approach that Mosloskie/Gutter Sparrow loves to apply to his compositions.

Often artists are able to express their best works when put in a familiar environment, where knowing who they are working with make them feel even more at ease and capable to release their talent in full stretch.

It is, in some way, what happened on the brand new record of the American veteran saxophonist, guitarist and singer/songwriter Jimmy Carpenter, called Soul Doctor, a record where Carpenter, more than in any of his previous solo albums, was able to display his many abilities as a musician in a truly outstanding high standard.

Too often, in his career, Pedal Steel Guitar Maestro Robert Randolph and his Family Band has been unjustifiably labelled only either as a Blues or a Blues/Rock artist, certainly diminutives to the stature of the American guitarist's artistic skills. The New Jersey-born guitarist, singer and songwriter has, instead and undoubtedly vastly showcased, throughout the years and his discography, that he is able to play and sing, thanks to his great artistic skills and his enormous talent, an incredible variety of genres at a very high level, from Soul to Funk, from R&B to Blues and the list keeps ongoing.

The way that Randolph's musical ability has vastly increased and expanded, especially in later years and, in particular, on a key album like the 2013's studio album Lickety Split, is quite remarkable. Lickety Split was, in a way, the peak of the American guitarist's musical journey through mastering his already rich R&B and Funk background, a journey that saw him and his band forging a distinctive and powerful trademark sound that confirmed Randolph & The Family Band as one of the hottest bands worldwide in those genres. 

There is an old saying about the fact that it is never too late for great things to come and this is no exception for music too. After a year from its release date in the United States, finally Europe gets to hear too the new self-titled record of one of the most exciting bands around, Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin' Stones.

Despite the average young age of all the band members, (front-woman Hannah Wicklund, 21, has started performing live age 8 and this record is the band's third release), what has been achieved on the band's new album is highly impressive, not just in terms of the collective's strong musical cohesion and unity but also for the remarkable quality of the songs present on the record.

One of the many secrets about being a skilled songwriter, for a musician, it has always been that capacity to maintain, through the artist's lyrics, contact with the reality that surrounds our everyday's life in the most truthful and honest way.

In that respect, British Troubadour Sean Taylor, one of the most versatile, refined and interesting singer/songwriters of the current English music scene, has certainly hit the spot on his brand new album, called The Path Into Blue.

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