Release Date: May 28th

Label: Take This To Heart Records.

Woodford Way is a folk/jazz ensemble from Western MA, teamed up by guitarist/singer songwriter Kyle Mangini, and guitarist/ vocalist Jeff Lynch. For this record, There And Back, they enlisted the talents of producer/bass player Eric Arena, Riley Godleski on drums, and Tim Lynch on percussion. Recording their brand at Zing studios in Westfield, MA, Woodford Way is for the first time as a 5 piece folk act.

In the flow of new artists who are trying to force a statement or make a bold comment on today's (still yet to be defined) music, Woodford Way comes downstream with an organic take on what moves them naturally. Fans who enjoy singer-songwriters of the 1970's-80's, such as James Taylor or Paul Simon, will welcome Woodford Way's casualness, warm vocal tones, and easy going accessibility, while contemporary acoustic players such as, Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson will find them steeping cups in their coffee house. Listen closely though, as among the breezy quips and lullabies, there are some meaningful themes and a few note bending guitar sessions. This folk-jazz duo used a new production team for this record. The sounds are blended with some arrangement work that pushes the edges of what you'd expect to hear in such a collection.


Touring the USA in support of their debut album on Thermal/Megaforce, called BETTER DAYS,  released on 10-02-12 and featuring their first single "WAR ON THE INSIDE," Another Lost Year,  just released their second single off the album called WRITING ON THE WALL. This song went to #48 on Active Rock Mediabase charts and #34 on Active Rock Activator charts forthe weekend of May 11th.

The owner/editor of the Led Zeppelin Ultimate Fan Page joined the BBR team to review this record. She got a hold of it and did not let go. Well versed in classic rock and contemporary metal bands, read what she has to say about Another Lost Year and Better Days.

(Hey ... come back here with that record ... !)


EP Review:

Boston based string band, Joy Kills Sorrow, is releasing a new record on Northampton's Signature Sounds Recordings, (June 4th, 2013). The first thing that strikes you about this record is Emma Beaton's light as clouds vocals. Her voice has a modern, angelic quality, but when the deeper notes are needed and some guttural belts are called for, she digs in and delivers. The string layering is top notch quality and shows mastery, as this is the band's third album. Lauded as more 'indie' than the prior, This Unknown Science, Wide Awake  reflects the sound that they've been searching for, and has demonstrated that Joy Kills Sorrow continues to define their identity, which embraces a pioneer spirit. 

EP Review: The Tall Weeds

From Beacon, NY.

The first thing that grabs you about this band is its name. The Tall Weeds. Weeds are supposed to be a bad thing, a nuisance in your garden, something that people spend the entire summer pulling, spraying, hacking and cutting down. What happens after that? They grow back again. Why? Because the Earth's natural tendencies are stronger than the human efforts to put everything in a landscaped box. The Tall Weeds are an organic, naturally growing entity that won't be suppressed. Quietly rising without effort, but surprise, The Tall Weeds stand bold, proud, and finally, admired - in a state of natural curiosity. Their motto? Tap into the energy.

The band has been playing clubs in New York for several years now. The Chance in Poughkeepsie among others, has given them more than a local following. The Chance is a great venue. I remember seeing BB King there, as well as multiple sets of the Zeppelin tinged, Zebra and many a reggae band. Always a full house, it has historically accommodated the best bands in the Hudson Valley, including legendary rockers such as, Bob Dylan and David Bowie. Watch the landscape, and the rise of The Tall Weeds.

A Blues Album.

Released: April 30, 2013

Label: Ruf Records.

The Spin Doctors started out as a bar band, a bunch of twenty something jammers with nothing for money, but a wealth of songs in their heads. Forever keeping the party alive, they mixed rhythms of creative funk, classic rock and edgy pop. While many bar bands were cranking out covers, early Spin Doc performances were filled with original music that took risks.

In the 1990's, with the debut of their smash hit album, Pocket Full of Kryptonite, the Spin Docs were all over the radio.The impact of their songs carved out a self-defined sound. No one sat around analyzing a Spin Doctor song, you just danced, strutted and belted it out. "Jimmy Olsen's Blues" "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong" and "Two Princes" were the stand outs, selling millions of records and climbing the Billboard charts. They proliferated MTV, which created world wide success. And these songs will continue to define music genres of creative, artist original radio in our time.

The core Spin Doc fans know that, as a jam band, some of their lesser known songs were packed with dig-gable blues nuggets. If you explore deep into the Spin Doctors' catalog, you'll hear their more obscure songs have blues influenced roots. Guitarist Erik Schenkman wails on "Refrigerator Car" and there are many a solo on even their lesser known albums that feature some great blues jams from the whole band. The (2005) Nice Talking To Me album, turned out to be a return to the blues rock that got the Spin Docs started in the first place, but with more muscle to approach an equal footing to Kryptonite. The Spin Doctors are telling us now, that If The River Was Whiskey is the album they've always wanted to create.

People wait in line to hug Charles Bradley.  

My first witness of the "Screaming Eagle of Soul" was at the Newport Folk Festival, 2012. No lie, he had the hippie people struttin', and they needed it, after all of that poetic banjo playin'.  There are many witnesses to this fantastic, and now globe trotting, artist. BBR writer, Rachel Lange is a huge Buckethead fan. She caught Bradley by chance in DC and said it was the most fun she's ever had at a concert. Regardless of the music genre that you identify with, anyone who's experienced Charles Bradley's James Brown inspired performance, came back with his funky dance, soul pants, groovy love rants, burned into their brain - because he rearranged their neurology.


With the moves of James Brown, the deep vocals of Otis Redding, the smooth lyrical style of Marvin Gaye, and the energy of Barry White, Charles Bradley is sparking hope and enthusiasm for classic soul music to be forefront in the mainstream. I even heard some funkadelic deep cut Temptations, Curtis Mayfield, and Jimmy Castor. Right On! We need artists that can play like this today, outright, without being cast as revivalist 'throwbacks.' Perhaps that's how Charles Bradley started, but with his original work on the airwaves now, we can all move forward to see what's next. I want to hear artists who play soul music, not pop music that's a sprinkle of 'soulful.' And I want an artist who can deliver the all out range of soul. Don't hedge and add a hint of soul here and there, but know the sound so well that you own it. When a true artist owns his inner inspirations, then we get to own ours too. The "Screaming Eagle of Soul" has arrived. He doesn't ride the soul train - He drives it!


Album photography by Kevin Keating. to Quincy Jones: What aspects of your personality helped make you a successful producer?

Quincy Jones: I don't think it's about personality. It's about judgment.

So many artists self-produce their records these days and it is an exciting time for creativity. Given this vast landscape, what makes an original record stand out? The legendary Quincy Jones makes a point when he says, "It's about judgment." Choices.

During the era when rock and roll was at a peak of loud, and songs were first seen on MTV, as well as heard, Charlie Farren with the Joe Perry Project and later, Farrenheit, brought guitar soaring blues rock and 80's muses to the screens and big stages. Teaming up with long time friend and musician colleague, Jon Butcher, the vocal contrasts and traditions continued throughout the decades, packing live shows, releasing albums and continuing to record, while many artists from that era faded out. Charlie Farren is solo now and still going strong. Recording from his FMansion Studio, and Studio Bopnique, he has self-produced a new record called, Tuesday. The title track, "Tuesday," was co-produced by Farren and Anthony Resta. The CD was engineered by Karyadi Sutedja and Charlie Farren. How did they make this album reflect all that Mr. Farren has to offer? Judgment. Choices.

This ten track set covers the range of talents that Charlie Farren has seasoned in the decades playing rock, pop, jazz and blues music. Each song is fresh and eclectic, pure to the sounds that Farren values in his productions. Real music, real instruments, creative songwriting that is accessible to everyone, inspired by a true blue soul - that's the Farren ethic you will get every time.

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