Tuesday, September 19, 2017

RJ Podcast: Patrick Mulock From Phear Talks With Us About The Band's Latest Release "The Curse Lives"

CD Review: New Music From Chris Barron, Chip Ratliff, Mike Blakely & Marcus Singletary

The American rock band, the Spin Doctors found success early with their debut album reaching the top 5 in many countries. Their music was iconic, led by the vocals of singer Chris Barron, who had a certain swagger in how he delivered the lyrics. The Spin Doctors released their last album over 4 years ago, but lead singer Barron returns with a new solo album titled "Angels And One-Armed Jugglers." It will be released on October 20th through Chrysanthemum Records and features 11-tracks that will remind you of the early days of the Spin Doctors as the music and vocals are able to breathe on their own. He begins with the grand sounding blues ballad "Angels And One-Armed Jugglers" as Barron's vocals fit perfectly into this musical setting. The tempo picks up with the steady rock rhythm of "April And May," before finding he finds his way into your heart with the acoustic ballad "Gonna (Need Someone)." He has fun with the zombie love story "In A Cold Kind Of Way" and turns on the classic folk charm of "Still A Beautiful World," before wrapping up with the slow, jazzy waltz of "Till The Cows Come Home" and the steady rock of "Too Young To Fade." To find out more about Chris Barron and his latest release "Angels And One-Armed Jugglers," please visit thechrisbarron.com.

From Chicago comes the return of Chip Ratliff (grandson of blues guitarist Herman Ratliff Sr.) with his first album in ten years titled "Resilient." This new funk-fueled 8-song album begins with the spoken-prayer of "Resilient," before Chip gets your body up and moving with the seventies funk of "Dance! Dance! Dance!" He continues with the horn-infused "Back When We Were Funky," then lays down the smooth R&B of "Somewhere Else Not Thinkin' (About You)." Chip Ratliff wraps up his new album with the blues/rock of "WhyDoYouDoWhatchaDo" and the spaced out jazz/funk of "DirtyBlu." To find out more about Chip Ratliff and his latest release "Resilient," please visit chipratliff.net.

Americana singer/songwriter Mike Blakely returns after a six year absence to release his new studio album titled "Keepsake." It will be his 12th album in 25 years and features ten beautifully delivered tunes of love, hope and redemption. He begins with the gentle acoustic love story of "A Town Called Paradise" and continues with the steady pace of the folk story of "My Same Old New Mexican Dream." Mike showcases his country side with the twang of "Easy Ramblin'," then brings in an island vibe with the acoustic strumming "I Am Nobody." He finishes up his new album with the country blues of "Miranda's Warning" and the heartfelt plea of "Don't Send Flowers." To find out more about Mike Blakely and his latest release "Keepsake," please visit mikeblakely.com.

Marcus Singletary, the musical chameleon, returns once again with a new album titled "Daydream Station."  This 14-song, 20 minute comedy album showcases Marcus' more comedic side was these short parodies of interviews ("The I.R.S." and "Attack Of The Record Men"), commercials ("S.P.I.T. 909") and public service announcements. While Marcus does not play any music on this new album, it is worth a listen for the tongue-in-cheek political comedy that we all have come to know in this day-in-age. His new release closes with a great 5-minute stand-up where nobody laughs or even notices his jokes. To find out more about Marcus Singletary and his latest release "Daydream Station," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/MarcusSingletaryMusic.

Monday, September 18, 2017

CD Review: New Live Album From John McLaughlin & The Best "Feeling" From Jack Tempchin

English musician, John McLaughlin has had an amazing 50-plus year career as a solo artists and as a founding member of the jazz-rock fusion band, Mahavishnu Orchestra. He released his last studio album in 2015 ("Black Light") and is preparing to release his new live album titled "Live @ Ronnie Scott's" on September 15th. The show was recorded back in March and McLaughlin brought along his latest band, The 4th Dimension.
 
The new 9-song release tries to cover McLaughlin's entire career as the set begins with "Meeting Of The Spirits," which originally appeared on the debut album from Mahavishnu Orchestra. McLaughlin's guitar work is amazing on this 8-minute opener as the members of The 4th Dimension take the spotlight on the follow-up track "Miles Ahead." One of the epic pieces appearing on this new live release is the spirited, rhythm-fueled, 10-plus minute rock fusion of "Here Come The Jiis" from his most recent solo album "Black Light." He sticks with that album for the swift pace of "El Hombre Que Sabia," before going back to Mahavishnu Orchestra's second album "Birds Of Prey" with the jazzier appeal of "Sanctuary." John McLaughlin wraps up his new live album with the 12-minute jam on his solo piece "Echoes Of Then."
 
John McLaughlin and The 4th Dimension will be hitting the road again on November 1st for a string of dates across the U.S. For a complete list of shows and to find out more about his new live album "Live @ Ronnie Scott's," please visit johnmclaughlin.com.
 
The name of one of the great American singer/songwriters may not be known to the common music fan, but Jack Tempchin wrote some of the best songs that country legends have turned into hits. Tempchin's biggest hit was The Eagles' "Peaceful Easy Feeling," which became a top 20 hit for the band. He would write a handful more songs for the band, as well as hits for Johnny Rivers, Glenn Frey, George Jones, Glen Campbell and Tanya Tucker. After over 40 years in the music business, Jack Tempchin is releasing his first greatest hits album titled "Peaceful Easy Feeling, The Songs Of Jack Tempchin."
 
This new 10-song set begins with Tempchin's version of "Peaceful Easy Feeling," which is identical to the version performed by The Eagles. He follows that with an acoustic version of "Part Of Me, Part Of You" and a beautiful duet with Rita Coolidge on "Slow Dancing." Country artists Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen lend a hand on another hit that Tempchin wrote for The Eagles, "Already Gone." Tempchin's new greatest hits release wraps up with him rocking out to "Privacy" and "Party Town," before slowing back down for the acoustic country/folk sounds of "It's Your World Now." To find out more about Jack Tempchin and his latest release "Peaceful Easy Feeling, The Songs Of Jack Tempchin," please visit jacktempchin.com.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

CD Review: Singer Linda Perhacs Feels A Resurgence With "Harmony"

American folk singer Linda Perhacs will be releasing only her third studio album in the last 47 years on September 22nd. The new album titled "I'm A Harmony" features a load of special guests including Pat Sansone, Glenn Kotche and Nels Cline from the band Wilco. The inspiration behind this new album came as her 2014 release "Parallelograms" brought a sense of joy back into Linda's life, after not performing for over 4 decades.

Her new 11-song release begins with Nels Cline helping out on guitar for the psychedelic folk-rock of "Winds Of Sky." She continues with the quiet, stirring vocals of "We Will Live" as fellow folk artists Julia Holter and Devendra Banhart help out on the song's vocals. She follows that up with the spacey, 8-minute folk trip, "I'm A Harmony," before returning with the nostalgic, seventies acoustic folk-rock of "Crazy Love" with The Autumn Defense backing up Linda's vocals. Julie Holter returns to lend her vocals to the gentle fray of "Beautiful Play" and the experimental psychedelic trip of "Visions," before finishing the album with "You Wash My Soul In Sound" as Linda delivers another sonic folk gem. To find out more about Linda Perhacs and her latest release on Omnivore Recordings titled "I'm A Harmony," please visit lindaperhacs.com/.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Concert Review: 2Cellos Bring More Than Just The Classics To The Oakdale Theatre

When you hear that the music duo, 2Cellos is coming in concert, you would probably expect a classical ensemble with strings, a horn section and brass. So, when 2Cellos made their way to the Toyota Presents The Oakdale Theatre, one would think that the crowd would consist of men in suits and women in dresses, but the eclectic crowd of both young and old had their rock concert attire flowing. Many of the evening's younger fans may have recognized 2Cellos from their appearance on the hit TV show "Glee," while others know them for their range of performing rock music in a classical setting. Although, Luka Sulic (one of the 2Cellos) made a comment that this was "not a classical concert."

2Cellos are currently on tour, promoting their latest album "The Score," which features popular scores from some of the biggest movies of all time. The duo walked out on stage to a roaring applause and immediately broke down the barrier between artists and the audience by inviting fans to scream and applaud for their favorite songs. The first half of the show consisted of themes from movies like "The Godfather" and "Rain Man," with the biggest applause arriving for "My Heart Will Go On" (from "Titanic).

As the evening slowly built up to the rock portion of the show, Stjepan Hauser (the other member of 2Cellos) mentioned that this first half of the show was "for the ladies" and that these songs from famous movies sound "better on cello than the originals." After the pulsating sonic rhythm of "Mombasa," 2Cellos and their orchestra dove right into the theme from "Game Of Thrones." Then quickly followed that up with a sped up version of their break-through cover of the Michael Jackson single "Smooth Criminal."

With the help of their drummer, Dusan Kranjc and his electrifying drum solo, 2Cellos entered the hard rock portion of their show, getting the audience up on their feet with AC/DC covers "Thunderstruck" and "You Shook Me All Night Long." Fans were encouraged to sing along to the Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," before closing their set with another AC/DC standout, "Back In Black."

The encore found the duo combining their love of classical music ("William Tell Overture") with their love of heavy metal (Iron Maiden's "The Trooper). The speed at which these two performers would play at was astonishing. They would also please the young fans in the audience with their covers of modern hits like "Wake Me Up" (Avicii) and "Despacito" (Luis Fonsi), before finishing the night with a lullabye of U2's "With Or Without You." A night with the 2Cellos duo will definitely change your mind about the musical instrument and about classical music in general as they continue their evolution of breaking the barriers between different music genres.

Setlist: Theme From Chariots Of Fire, Love Theme From The Godfather, Moon River, Theme From Rain Man, Love Story, My Heart Will Go On, Now We Are Free, Mombasa, Theme From Game Of Thrones, Smooth Criminal, Thunderstruck, Smells Like Teen Spirit, You Shook Me All Night Long, Highway To Hell, (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, Back In Black
Encore: The Trooper, Wake Me Up, Despacito, With Or Without You