Monday, May 13, 2013
Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder put on a show to remember before a packed house at the Sellersville Theatre, Saturday night, They played material from all over the place, including their most recent CD. The Crowd was definitely into the show, Skaggs is a real icon in the Bluegrass scene. But, I like how he has experimented with different styles over the years, like the CD that He did with Bruce Hornsby years ago, unlikely ,yet a great listen. He mixed some slow ballads with a lot of uptempo pickers, with the help of Andy Leftwich on fiddle, Cody Kilby on lead guitar, and Justin Moses on banjo. His band is filled with sessions musicians, plus an excellent bassist in Scott Mulvahill, who was playing all over the place, plus you could hear his upright bass in the mix. He also had a couple of excellent backup singers who also played rhythm guitar in Paul Brewster and Eddie Faris.
This band plays like a well oiled machine, they are tight, the mix is just right and the sound is lush, Skaggs uses studio quality condenser mikes for his mandolin and guitar, Leftwich's fiddle has a real musical tone, not scratchy, Moses gets great tone from his banjo, mandolin and dobro using the same type mike as Ricky, and Mulvahill gets a nice punchy tone from his standup bass.
They played a lot of songs from their latest CD, "Music To My Ears", which came out at the end of last year, a really well done CD with excellent material. Most of the musicians in the band had done solo CDs. Ricky let them do a song from their new material, which usually was done with the help of the rest of the band. Then they also did some material from Skaggs earlier albums ,a couple from "Mosaic". The show lasted a little over 2 hours with a brief intermission. This bluegrass band puts on a show which will leave you with a song in your heart and a smile on your face.
Monday, April 29, 2013
The Roys new single from their upcoming CD is the title track "Gypsy Runaway Train". This is actually a song about their fans and their relationship with them. It is an upbeat song with Lee singing the lead vocals and Elaine wrapping her wonderful harmonies around Lee's vocals. There is some excellent pickin' by members of Ricky Skaggs Kentucky Thunder, who play on about half of the songs on the new CD, Cody Kilby plays some lightning fast guitar runs, Randy Kohrs plays some hot Dobro and there is Mark Fain on bass, plus Andy Leftwich,who is a great fiddle player. There will be some interesting twists on the new CD, which I think will be the best CD yet by the Roys.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
This Americana/acoustic sounding CD has some real nice material on it that will put a song in your heart. Most material is written by Aiken himself or with help. This CD is the first CD that Aiken has put some real top professional people in the help and it is an excellent sounding CD. This recording was two years in the making, but is scheduled for release on April 22,2013. It is produced by Aiken, Dan Baird, and Ben Strand. The sound ranges from country, roots and a bit of island sound.
It is a twelve song CD recorded at Sound Emporium Studio in Nashville, one of the best. Mastered at Yes Master in Nashville, a company with a great reputation that I have heard many fine CDs mastered by them. This recording has a very warm mix where everything is heard at a good volume. Vocals were recorded at Hot factory six and recording was mixed at Hot Factory six.
Aiken sings lead vocals, plays guitars, and slide guitar. Mike Grando plays drums. Michael Webb plays bass. Dan Baird plays electric guitar, and one of the best in the industry Dan Dugmore plays pedal steel.
I really do not think there is a bad song on this CD. My favorites are the melodic, catchy "Virginia", the workingman's song , "Coal Train" , One of Mike's best for me is the slow "Your Memory Wins", written with the help of Austin Cunningham.
I like "Save The Whales" upbeat, country song written by Joe Mcdonald. Tammy Rodgers plays some excellent fiddle here. "Summertime Song" has some real good country blues guitar. Good background vocals on this upbeat song. Mike also plays some great slide guitar on this song. This might be the best song on the CD. "Captains and Cowboys" is another upbeat song with a real good vibe going. This has been a real joy for me. Enjoy!!
Sunday, March 17, 2013
There is a band that plays music as sweet as the Dead ever did. The same songs,having Bob Weir and Phil Lesh as members truly helps, they were afraid to get a guitarist that sounded anything like Garcia in the Band they called the Dead, they had Warren Haynes, but it just didn't sound quite right, but with John Kadlecik from DSO in between Bobby and Phil, things are as good or better than ever ,so the band "Furthur" has taken the concept of the Dead Furthur down the Road. There are times when this band makes you smile like in times past, they are tighter than ever, the communication between players is eery, after I watched their 4 night run at Sweetwater Music Hall in Marin County, I was blown away , especially at the playing of Kadlecik who's guitar playing is so melodic, with a tone and phrasings very similar to his mentor Garcia. On 1/18/13 at Sweetwater Music Hall they start out with "Jack Straw" done to perfection, with ace keyboard player Jeff Chimenti playing some honky tonk piano on his keyboard. They also have a male and female back up vocal unit that makes the harmonies as good as ever. They do songs that the Dead themselves never did while on the road. The second song on the eighteenth, Kadlecik sang "Reuben and Cherise" from Garcia's favorite solo album "Cats Down Under The Stars" which then goes into "Me and My Uncle" and then "Big River", where Kadlecik plays an incredible solo, sounding like a pedal steel at times. Than they do "Pride Of Cucamonga" where Kadlecik does some more mastery. Jeff Chimenti is a super talented keyboard player as Joe Russo is also a great drummer, both with a heavy jazz background. Kadlecik counts off "Built to Last" and they go into a version that sounds very much like the original Grateful Dead. Just an update on what this growing group has been up to, and it looks like a pretty full year of touring for them. Enjoy!!! www.Furthur.net
Monday, March 11, 2013
This is one of the top CDs that I have heard this year. Before this couple got married, they both had successful solo careers and still do. This is the first CD that they have done together and I think they sound very well singing together, though I'll take Willis singing by herself anyday. I like Bruce's brother Charlie better than Bruce, just a stylistic, talent thing. Bruce is very talented himself. This is produced by Brad Jones and it is a very well done CD with a Texas Country sound. Only problem I have with recording is that it is way too loud, don't know if it was mastered too loud or recorded too loud originally, but there is no Distortion, unless you turned it up real loud which I did not try. A combination of songs written by different writers. It is a real good recording though ,mastered by Yes Master, who are a very well known outfit. Robison and Willis sing very well together. It is a collection of catchy songs which work well. As for the material, I like just about every song on the disc. Favorites are "Border Radio" by Dave Alvin, "We're All the Way" by Don Williams. "Long Way Home" by Hayes Carl has Kelly singing lead which is a delight. Nice mid-tempo ballad in a sad mood, but it is a delight. "9,999,999 Tears" by Razzy Bailey is another great song with Willis singing lead, her vocals are so beautiful. Eamon Mclaughlin (former Greencard) plays cello,mando and fiddle on most songs. Bruce Robison has a good voice, but I like the songs Kelly sings better, They do sing very well together. The artwork for the CD is very creative, a bit offbeat, but fun. When you open up the Cardboard case it looks like a pinball game. Interesting booklet with lyrics. Bruce Robison wrote about half the songs on the thirteen song disc. He is a good songwriter. As a solo artist, I like his brother Charles Robison better. My favorite song on the whole disc is a slow heartbreak song called "Waterfall" sang by Kelly. www.KellyWillis.com www.BruceRobison.com
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Sorry that I have not been able to do much in the way of reviews recently, have had alot of health issues recently, and a big increase in requests for reviews since I started my facebook page, which I started for my family and you guys, but somehow, I have been getting a lot more requests, which I really appreciate, rather than just sending me something. I love music, but I don't have Health insurance and it is hard to get care without it, I am thankful for the clinics I go to. Seems like it is always something since I went on SS disability. This has really been a good year for music in my opinion. May I take this chance to wish you all a very Happy Christmas or Hannachuk Season.
Lynyrd Skynyrd is one of the most iconic of the Southern Rock Bands from the 70's era still performing today. Not many of the original members still left, I saw the original lineup in June of '77 at RFK stadium in Philly, they were opening for Peter Frampton, but they seemed to be the main attraction. Before them, Dickey Betts and Great Southern and The J Geils Band started the Show. Betts played a short set as he was having trouble with the sound system. It was a real hot day, and it took a while to get everyone in the 100,00 seat facility, J Geils was playing when I got there with a few friends. They were like a blues rock type band. They were pretty good, but got a couple of requests for free bird.This was the only time I saw the original lineup of Lynyrd Skynyrd. They really were a great live band, the band really came out cooking, I never had seen a band with three lead guitar players and they were excellent. They had their traditional 70's Backdrop, a huge Confederate flag. They already had alot of hits, "Gimme Three Steps", "The Breeze", and the incredible "Free Bird". Their live show was incredible.They were on Discovery Channel's Bikers Build Off Tonight and the present configuration of Lynyrd Skynyrd played "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Last Of a Dying Breed", the title track for their latest CD. They nailed both songs and the performance was really good considering they have only a couple of original members.Personally, I do not believe that Lynyrd Skynyrd would be able to have gone on after the plane crash if it had notbeen for Johnny Van Zant, who sounds alot like his brother Ronnie and even looks like him and took over the Lead vocal slot.