Matt Pryor: May Day  thumb mattpryormayday

Released January 24, 2012 (NightShoes Syndicate)

I have a theory, that indie punk rockers intuitively write great folk music. I've followed The Replacements to Paul Westerberg, had Grandpa Boy sneak up on me and then took in Folker among his other, more recent works. Langhorne Slim's drummer, Malachi  Delorenzo is the son of the drummer from the Violent Femmes. The punk rockers have the advantage in creating folk music because they still have raw lyrics in their heads and the phrasing that they do changes things up because that is just how they hear music. So when Matt Pryor, from the Kansas City band, The Get Up Kids, gave his catalog a turn for the acoustic and the harp. I was curious to review it and test my hypothesis.

Lenny Kravitz: Black and White America

Released 2011

Roadrunner/Atlantic Records

Produced by Lenny Kravitz

Album Cover Photograph: Sy Kravitz

Art Direction, Design and Photography for Lenny Kravitz: Mathieu Bitton thumb lennykravitzbwa

The Vision. The Message. Equality. Freedom.  Life can be enjoyed passionately at its core. Lenny Kravitz transmits it through this album. He has put together a 16 track record which was designed as an LP.  It is almost autobiographical, and ties together his personal history, legendary political movements and real time body moving deep cuts of unstoppable energy. There is a clear soul message to this album, songs of spiritual connection and gratitude. There is some pop to be had, radio tracks stand out against the old school vibes. Each song reflects a genre in and of itself because they are often different from each other. Yet this album melds  into a funk so hot, if you play it in your car, the wheels will catch fire.

Released September 8, 2011

Gentlemen Hall's six track EP "When We All Disappear," is filled with enough music to complete a double album in your mind. Each song is different and complex in its arrangements, harmonies and themes. When I first heard this band, I immediately thought of TV on the Radio, because of the depth of the vocals, the creativity that keeps pop on edge and ethereal connotations of the lyrics.

BackNBloom: Music For The Modern Monkey (Album Review) thumb backnbloomalbum

Released September 13, 2011

I received this album directly from Lori Steele, vocalist and electric violinist of BackNBloom, the techno-fusion duo she shares with Alberto Beka.

They are from Los Angeles. We have an unspoken rule around here, real music, real instruments. So how does an electro-pop rock album fit into our set?

bethandjoewebBeth Hart and Joe Bonamassa

Record Label: J & R Adventures (Joe Bonamassa and Roy Weisman)

Release Date: September 26th UK and Europe; September 27th US.

Beth Hart (vocals)
Joe Bonamassa (guitar, vocals on "Well, Well")
Blondie Chaplin (guitar)
Carmine Rosas (bass)
Arlan Scheirbaum (keyboards)
Anton Fig (drums, percussion)

This is the band that was assembled for Joe Bonamassa's (2009) number one blues album, The Ballad of John Henry.




thumb johnnywinterroots

Unlike most aging blues artists who bring in special musical guests to revitalize their old songs, Johnny Winter took a different approach. He brought in an A-list of musicians to collaborate on a project that's near and dear to his heart.

olgacoverwebNew Orleans blues singer Olga Wilhelmine Munding and Cody Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars and Hill Country Revue have teamed up to write and perform a contemporary pop album with an 80's feel. Olga's voice is a smooth blues vocal which has been compared to Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Nicks and the alter ego of Paul Westerberg, Grandpa Boy. She was classicly trained and later heavily influenced by Jessie Mae Hemphill. Olga has a long history of music recording as well as acting, and involvement with cultural celebrations in New Orleans, through the Krewe of Muses. She is a founding member of the Jessie Mae Hemphill foundation in New Orleans.

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