Album Review: Outerfield - Pleasant Grove Hotel

Matt Hutson and Gary Schrader's patience pays off with a strong set of songs.
  |   Comments
Matt Hutson and Gary Schrader had been veterans of the Indiana music scene for some time when they met playing in a local church band. The pair realized they had something together and decided to combine forces as Outerfield. The duo enlisted the help of Posies and latter-day Big Star Member Jon Auer, who produced some of the group's sessions, but they were not initially happy with the results. Undeterred, they revisited the material and managed to cobble out a strong album, Pleasant Grove Hotel, in the process. Unsurprisingly, given the Auer connection, the album is rooted in strong song

Marvin Gaye - "Where Are We Going?"

In the series' final salute to the posthumous Marvin Gaye release "You're the Man," DeepSoul examines a buried gem from those 1972 sessions.
  |   Comments
Jazz fans may be familiar with "Where Are We Going?" from Donald Byrd's 1973 album Black Byrd. The first of his albums for the Blue Note label, it became a pioneering work in the jazz funk genre and one of Blue Note Records' bestselling releases. However, Marvin Gaye also recorded the Larry Mizell/Larry Gordon composition for a planned album entitled You're the Man. The project was ultimately shelved, but a compilation of songs intended for that album as well as other outtakes were recently released to celebrate Gaye's 80th birthday. Lyrically, the track fits perfectly with What's Going On, retaining
Pop singer-songwriter Juliette Reilly has teamed up with pop/dance/EDM artist INViDA (David Schoenwetter) and international music duo Muza (Muza and G'Anomaly) for an interesting new single, "Chameleon". The song mixes modern pop touches with a bit of gospel and EDM for good measure. Opening with a dreamy, gospel-like feel and distant, ethereal backing vocals, the song builds in intensity throughout. Reilly delivers a soulful vocal where she unapologetically touts how she is "always turning into someone new, "likening herself to that of a chameleon. The track showcases modern pop production values with a nod to classic sounds while including a

Album Review: The General Maynyrd Band

A strong side project filled with grooves and killer vocals.
  |   Comments
When Crooked Flower guitarist Dan Ingberman began writing otherwise strong songs that just didn't fit his group's direction, his band mates, Daniel Erik (bass) and Pat Shields (drums) suggested forming a side project. They called upon many of their Bay Area music friends, including powerhouse vocalist Dave Combs, and the General Maynyrd Band was born. The band's music offers up heavy doses of funk and soul with a healthy slice of Lynyrd Skynyrd-style southern rock (The band's name itself has a stylized spelling not unlike Skynyrd's). One would not think this is a side project given the musical chemistry the

EP Review: Seneko - Soul Numbers

A killer mix of country, rock, folk and gospel.
  |   Comments
On Soul Numbers, Seneko's third EP release in the last four years, Stan Olshefski has conjured up an exciting mix that is equal parts country, rock and roll, folk, and gospel -- all with an indie edge. The songs showcase a crack band, as well as some killer singing and playing. With lyrics both serious and humorous, Olshefski's songs are bound to provoke. Soulful backing vocals and honky-tonk piano dominate the opening track "The Devil You Don't Know." Olshefski does a great job of playing the jilted ex in this country-tinged rocker. "Calling Of The Cause" is a gritty, riff-based

Single Review: Saint Mars - Loveghost

Saint Mars offers a surrealistic look at life and love with "Loveghost".
  |   Comments
Saint Mars released their debut EP in 2017 to much fanfare. Now the group, which is based in the UK and Switzerland and includes several notable musicians such as Angelo Bruschini from Massive Attack, has a new single, "Loveghost". The song is from their forthcoming LP Boys Never Cry, a concept album about bullying that features 14-year-old Internet sensation Tryzdin Grubbs on vocals on most of the tracks. The song is a trippy dance number, with rapped verses courtesy of Jethro "Alonestar" Sheeran (cousin of Ed) and a powerful, sung chorus from Grubbs, whose voice sounds much more mature than

Album Review: Annamay - F*ck You

a strong debut record from this Swedish singer-songwriter.
  |   Comments
From Sweden comes Annamay, a singer-songwriter that is equal parts pop, folk, country, rock, and 80s new wave. Her voice is strong and she crosses genres effortlessly. Her debut album, the somewhat surprisingly titled F*ck You, is proof positive of her eclectic influences and wide-ranging talent. The album opens with "I'm Gonna Wake Up," a track that features famed songwriter Tom Kimmel. The song is pleasant enough, folk-influenced pop rock about finding better things in life and showcases some tasteful, country-influenced slide guitar. Annamay gives a strong vocal performance both here and throughout the album. "See Me Now" mixes tribal

Single Review: Eddy Yang - On Our Way (Into The Night)

Eddy Yang mixes old and new genres in an exciting debut single.
  |   Comments
New from Eddy Yang comes "On Our Way (Into The Night)", the lead single from his debut album American Glory, the first-ever new release to be available in 5.1 Surround Sound, 24-bit/96Khz. That distinction is usually reserved for legendary, classic albums, not a first release. The song is a pleasant mix of jangly, power pop guitars over an electronic drumbeat. Yang likes to combine old sounds with new and has created something exciting here. The song's lyrics deal with being young and searching for one's path in life - something most people can relate to. Yang also mixes in some

Review: Joshua Redman Quartet - Come What May

Joshua Redman Quartet in top form on enjoyable, efficient "Come What May" LP
  |   Comments
The Joshua Redman has been my favorite contemporary tenor saxophonist even before I knew I had one, back when I didn't think I liked jazz because I couldn't understand it. It pains me a little to say it but credit must be given to the Rolling Stone magazine for their review of his Freedom In The Groove LP. That review and, well, if I'm completely honest, his name and the fact I attempted saxophone as a kid made me curious enough to gamble on a jazz record back when I didn't do that. It didn't immediately make me a jazz

DeepSoul: Marvin Gaye - "The World Is Rated X"

Complete with funky guitar riffs and tinkling piano, the song creates tension in the listener yet offers glimpses of hope.
  |   Comments
In 1972, Marvin Gaye reached a creative and commercial peak with his groundbreaking work What's Going On. Feeling pressure to record an equally successful followup, he began work on a planned album entitled You're the Man. After releasing the title track as a single--which failed to significantly impact the pop charts--he elected to shelve the project in favor of scoring the film Trouble Man. Now parts of the project have surfaced in a 2019 compilation entitled You're the Man, with one track eliciting a response just from its title: "The World is Rated X." The song embodies the cliché "don't

Single Review: Galapaghost - Jellyfish

Galapaghost goes for a more electronic sound on his latest single.
  |   Comments
On Galapaghost's latest single, "Jellyfish," the solo artist/producer takes a deliberate turn away from his indie/folk routes, adding a healthy dose of electronica to the mix. The result is a dreamy track, with a hypnotic drumbeat and an intentionally monotone vocal, droning on about drifting through life. The jellyfish serves as a metaphor about how we often float about aimlessly in this world. The video is equally trippy. We see scenes of a man running, screaming, lying down staring at a glass of milk and a woman doing much of the same. At one point the glass of milk starts

DeepSoul: Marvin Gaye - "You're the Man" (single version)

The 1972 single provides a snapshot of the turbulent early 1970 and its disillusionment with government--topics that still resonate today.
  |   Comments
The recent release of the posthumous collection You're the Man presents Marvin Gaye at a career crossroads. Coming off the massive critical and commercial success of What's Going On, he again incorporated political commentary on the planned followup to the classic album. The first inkling of the project was "You're the Man," the 1972 single cowritten with frequent collaborator Kenneth Stover. While the song failed to chart as high as previous singles, the track paints a fascinating picture of 1970s political and social turmoil and offers an emotional lead vocal from Gaye. "You're the Man" exudes a 70s sound from

Single Review: Best Intentions - At The Ocean

Best Intentions delivers hooky pop punk in the vein of blink-182.
  |   Comments
Best Intentions is the latest band to come from the Nashville music scene, but don't think country music here. Best Intentions' sound is decidedly pop punk, with some elements of hard rock for good measure. Formed in 2016 in Philadelphia by guitarist Matthew Kleinman, the group was reborn a year later with a new lineup after Kleinman's move to Nashville. They are currently working on their debut album and, in the meantime, have dropped a catchy single "At The Ocean." The song mixes crunchy guitars with a melodic lead vocal courtesy of Tony Pietrafesa and a big, memorable chorus (think

CD Review: Wes Montgomery - Back on Indiana Avenue: The Carroll DeCamp Recordings

A must-own compilation of previously unheard Wes Montgomery recordings.
  |   Comments
In 2012, the Resonance label issued a collection of previously unheard Wes Montgomery recordings. That release, titled Echoes of Indiana Avenue, featured recordings made in Montgomery's home state of Indiana in the late 1950s. The tapes used on Echoes contained some three hours of music, a treasure trove for Montgomery fans, of pre-Riverside, pre-fame recordings. With precious little documentation, session recorder Carroll DeCamp went uncredited on the original release. A Montgomery disciple, Brook Reindollar and fellow pianist Lewis Porter, contacted Resonance Records' Zev Feldman, informing him it was DeCamp who made those recordings. Feldman made a promise to release the

CD Review: Bill Evans - Evans In England

The newly surfaced recording of the Bill Evans trio at Ronnie Scott's is a revelation.
  |   Comments
In December 1969, Bill Evans played a series of shows at London's famed Ronnie Scott's jazz club with his then relatively new trio of Eddie Gomez on bass and Marty Morell on drums. The group would become his longest-running trio, playing with him until 1974. The group was on fire, feeding off each other's energy and playing at a very high level. Fortunately for fans, a recording exists of these remarkable shows. First released on vinyl for Record Store Day and now available on CD, Evans In England feels like a classic album, one that has been with us through

Album Review: Rose Ann Dimalanta Trio - It's Time

The Rose Ann Dimalanta Trio delivers a strong, versatile new album
  |   Comments
Rose Ann Dimalanta has been a prolific and in-demand musician, releasing eight solo albums under the name of "rad" between 1992 and 2009, all while touring the world, both on her own and as a member of Prince's band for his Musicology tour. It's no surprise then that her latest release with the Rose Ann Dimalanta Trio, It's Time, boats world class musicianship and just a bit of that latter day jazzy soul sound Prince used to chase. It's also no surprise that other two members of the trio -- Raymond McKinley on bass and Massimo Buonanno on drums --

Album Review - Ivan Beecroft - Liars, Freaks & Fools

Ivan Beecroft gives rock a shot in the arm with Liars, Freaks & Fools
  |   Comments
On his latest album, Liars, Freaks & Fools, Ivan Beecroft wanted to get back to the guitar-oriented rock he heard in the pubs in his native Australia in the 1980s and 1990s. In his own words, he wanted to "turn people back on to this music". If the guitar gods are just, Liars, Freaks & Fools will accomplish just that. The music offers a fresh take on a classic rock sound, with Beecroft wearing his influences on his sleeve, channeling the likes of AC/DC, Cheap Trick, and Nirvana, without sounding derivative. The album opens with the driving hard rock of

DeepSoul: Marvin Gaye's Posthumous Album You're the Man

The planned followup to What's Going On was shelved in 1972; 47 years later, it finally sees an official release.
  |   Comments
After a slew of successful singles in the 1950s, Marvin Gaye started the next decade with a staggering work: What's Going On, a socially conscious album commenting on topics of the day. He continued his exploration of topics including sexuality and divorce in works such as Let's Get It On, I Want You, and Here My Dear. But in 1972 Gaye recorded the followup to Let's Get It On: You're the Man, an album that further examined political issues. However, when the lead single "You're the Man" failed to cross over to the pop charts, he decided to shelve the

Album Review - Joan Torres's All Is Fused - Revolution

Joan Torres issues a killer final album in a four-album story.
  |   Comments
Joan Torres has certainly kept busy with his fusion band All Is Fused. Over the last seven years, the group has released three albums -- Before, The Beginning, Of The Musical and his latest, Revolution. The albums share similar artwork and musical themes and their titles, when combined, seem to make a statement about where All Is Fused is headed musically. On Revolution, the band mixes Latin elements with funk, rock, jazz, and prog rock to form an exciting sound. With a title such as "Before the Musical Revolution," the players had better be able to back it up and

Single Review: Erich Mrak - Fake It

Erich Mrak blends pop, hip hop and electronic music in a strong new single.
  |   Comments
Toronto native Erich Mrak has been on quite the creative role, releasing a single each month this year through June in a planned six-song rollout. His latest, "Fake It," is a pop tune that straddles the line between electronic and hip hop and showcases excellent production from Bento. The song opens with a jittery keyboard over sparse piano before the song fully kicks in, with lush keyboards, drenched in reverb over a more traditional hip hop beat. Mrak's monotone vocal delivery works here, given the subject matter of a person afraid to show his true feelings of a relationship gone

Follow Us