Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Greg Smith and the Broken English - The Losing Hand

There has been a pretty good pile of releases in my ReviewShine inbox lately.  Greg Smith and the Broken English's newest e.p. "The Losing Hand" is a really good example of what is so great about music today.  So many artists now have the ability to get their music out with being beholden to a major.  Leave the pop music to the masses.  This is intelligent music that is both well written and performed.  Intelligent music for intelligent people.

Greg Smith is a singer-songwriter currently based in Brooklyn who writes songs of struggle and pain that could hardly be described as upbeat, but The Broken English move many of these songs along with strong playing that at times departs from the typical folk singer approach.

The title track is a stand out as is Spare Me Eliza.  Good stuff here.

The Belle Brigade

There seems to be a resurgence of the California sound of the 70's of late.  The Decemberists have channeled the Laurel Canyon sound on their latest and now The Belle Brigade have released this self-titled album.  This one is a little less Neil Young (circa Harvest) and a whole lot more Fleetwood Mac.

The Belle Brigade is a brother-sister duo and they have that whole late-70's vibe going strong.  Loads of crisp harmonies and some stellar production make this an enjoyable listen.  While Fleetwood Mac immediately springs to mind sound wise, the lyrics themselves lack the emotional weight of anything off of Rumours.  Even so I have to say I like this quite a bit.  "Where Not To Look for Freedom" in particular impresses me as does "Losers".

All told a solid release that has that wonderful, breezy sound that you don't get to hear too often anymore.


Where Not To Look For Freedom

Monday, April 18, 2011

Robyn Ludwick - Out of These Blues

This record is one of the reasons I so enjoy being on the ReviewShine website.  I get tons of new music submitted to me...some of it good, some of it not so good, but every once in a while there is a gem that appears in my inbox.  Robyn Ludwick's Out of These Blues is one of those gems.  This is simply a fantastic listen from beginning to end. 

Ms. Ludwick is the sister of Bruce and Charlie Robison so she is part of the Texas music scence, but Out of These Blues is not cut from the same Red Dirt.  Comparisons to Lucinda Williams are inevitable, but miss the mark.  Robyn Ludwick sounds at once familiar and at the same time strikingly different.  For whatever reason I tend to not gravitate towards female artists that often, but when I do I am usually hooked and that is the case with this album.

From the opening duo Hollywood and the title track Out of These Blues, straight through to the last this is a great album full of emotion and wonderful songwriting.  There is a great mix of styles here; one song is reflective singer-songwriter, the next is pure county bliss.  This is not only the best record I have heard on ReviewShine this year, it is one of my favorites so far.  For sure this gets the OldRockr1 Seal of Approval.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Axe - Rock & Roll Party in the Street

Way back when I was a younger rocker I really loved this song. It was the perfect top down, music turned up, drive around town song. No socially redeeming values, just some good time rock & roll. Loved it then...still do.

I miss those nights cruising around listing to KZOZ or 99X!

Ian Hunter - Central Park & West

The great Ian Hunter and a love song for NYC.  England's loss was our gain.

It's Playoff Hockey Time!

The Rangers' Brandon Prust reacts after scoring a

Let's Go Rangers!!!

Nothing more needs to be said.

CAPTAIN'S BACK! Chris Drury celebrates after scoring a goal in the first period of the Rangers' 5-2 victory over the Devils yesterday at the Garden.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

So what is your Led Zeppelin IV?

I was talking to some friends the other day down at the local indie record store about the new Foo Fighters.  I think the Foos have recorded some good tracks over the years but for the life of me I don't see how they are mega huge with the media and the fans.  They are good, not great, just a good working rock band.  There used to be so many acts that fit the bill and now...well the journeymen have become the stars.

Don't read this as a rant about the Foo Fighters, that's not my intention, what I am getting increasingly less optimistic about is the future of Rock music.  I think it may be dead, or at the very least in a coma.  There are so few acts over the past decade that get me excited in the rock arena.  I'm not talking indie rock or any of those sub genre's, I'm talking good old fashioned turn it up loud and enjoy rock music.  I know what I am talking about...I went to high school in the 70's!

You have 4 albums to me to get my attention and keep it.  You get 4 shots because Led Zep made IV and that is the standard bearer for the time it takes to make a classic (well they made 4 by that point but that's another story).  Springsteen made Born To Run and Darkness on the Edge of Town by the 4th lp.  That's more than enough chances to find your way.

I guess it is just that the newer acts are so...generic.  There really is nothing special about the Foo Fighters.  I want the next Jailbreak or Straight Shooter, The River or Every Picture Tells a Story, Rust Never Sleeps or Moondance.  No matter the genre of rock these were classics.  Americana is trendy and hip...listen to Workingman's Dead because it has been done before and done better.

I want records that are good from beginning to end.  All Killer...No Filler!  They exist, but with striking lack of frequency in my opinion.  The only thing that comes to mind of late was the Gaslight Anthem's American Slang.  Loved it last summer, still do.  I have heard lots of great music over the past couple of years, it's just that none of it can really be classified as rock music.  And deep down inside I am really a classic rock kind of guy.  Even now all these years along it still sounds good. 

I want more...

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Warren Haynes - Rivers Gonna Rise

Here's a track off of Warren Haynes soon to be released album "Man In Motion". This one is Rivers Gonna Rise. It's got that Warren sound but with a more funky, soulful twist. The record is great by the way and a break from Gov't Mule is a good thing in my opinion. More on the album to follow.