Terry Reid On Unknown Sundays 2024

TERRY REID ON UNKNOWN SUNDAYS [YOU TUBE VERSION]

Opportunity costs.  The fork in the road.  The choices we make, the reasons we make them, and then living on with them or in spite of them.  These are the heavy weights of living, not only for your dreams, but quite possibly for the dreams and lives of others.  None of us are strangers to this scenario, and all of us should have/could have that opportunity no matter what that goal/choice may be.  We live for the options of better, greater, and leaving our marks on this world, but sometimes when we get there (if we are indeed fortunate enough to put ourselves into that position by hard work and luck), the decision is not that easy.  According to the Headstones, on  their 1995 album Teeth and Tissue, “Clocking time slim chance is all you need, In living dying trying to find a life with guarantees, To know what it’s like to stand up and walk away, To know what it’s like to see someone else exhibit hindsight.  It still stings, it’s still ringing.” Hindsight, how we live with it, and what we do after the decision we made (regardless of the validity at that moment).  It’s happened to all of us, at certain age, and it’s going to happen to those coming forth in age.  Today, Terry Reid On Unknown Sundays 2024, and two forks in the road and the decisions he made, that for some reason, leaves him obscure to this day in the music multiverse.

“Superlungs,” Terry Reid, of St. Neots England, born in 1949.  A hard bluesy-rock with range to folk singer, and good songwriter messing around with a band called Peter Jay and the Jaywalkers.  Opening for the Yardbirds on some day in 1966, which caught the ear of a certain, legendary guitarist within that band.  “He had an impressive gutsy delivery for a 16 year old and he made a marked impression on me.”  That is the words of Jimmy Page, of course, and when the Yardbirds disbanded two years later, Terry Reid would be the first name he thought of to be in his next band, Led Zeppelin.  Terry Reid knows he is a blues rock singer, songwriter, guitarist and respected English vocalist at these times.  Hell, when Aretha Franklin makes a comment that the only things going on in England are The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Terry Reid, that’s kind of telling the score of things.  An astonishing comment, considering I am sure (besides those of a certain age and across the wonderful Atlantic Ocean to the right) most of you might be hearing his name for the first time?  No.  Let me get into why, and you’ll understand why it isn’t.

Mr. Reid was already promised to The Rolling Stones live tours, and considering their spotlight versus an unnamed band (well, The New Yardbirds maybe), Reid knew that guaranteed money and exposure was important.  I’m sure Page knew it, too.  Therefore, unless Page was ready to apologize to Keith Richards and give him an advance on the loss of revenue — there was not going to be an opportunity to hear that combination.  Reid, did however, mention another singer…for Page, which apparently worked out super-well for everyone.  So, opportunity cost at the time — a choice well made on both sides for Reid.  But, we do know where it went from there for Page and his bandmates.  Please be aware that Band of Joy, which is what Reid was referring to when talking about Robert Plant, was where he also mentioned their drummer, John Bohnam.  So, Terry Reid is truly an ear, which would serve him later, too.  Richie Blackmore would also try to get Terry Reid for Deep Purple before Ian Gillan in 1969.  I’m not sure if Terry Reid was responsible for leading Blackmore to Gillan (I assume not)., but considering the ear and scope of his reach, I guess it should not surprise anyone if that was the case.  So, Aretha was right, and then some.  He probably turned down Fiddler on the Roof and Pippin.’

Fast forward past several very good solo albums (no, I mean it, they are very very good), and Terry Reid hangs up his solo album nature for producing.  Remember, this also comes on the heals of having been one of the best opening acts of all time possibly!  He opened for The Rolling Stones, Cream, Jethro Tull, Fleetwood Mac, and a private gig at Jagger’s wedding!  His shout-blue-rock and folk could come at any moment in a song.  He had a range and register that truly could be called the male version of Aretha Franklin in some instances and uses.  He was also very keen to the changing landscape and sound around him decade after decade, which leads to the session works with everyone from Don Henley, Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt, but it doesn’t stop there.  His songs, (again you need to go back and listen to his catalog) wind up being licensed in too many movies to mention, but I’ll name drop a few here (and some are multiple songs on a soundtrack):

  1. Days of Thunder
  2. The Devil’s Rejects
  3. Wonderland
  4. Win It All
  5. Up In the Air
  6. The Greatest Game Ever Played

His songs have also been covered by:

  • Crosby Stills Nash & Young
  • The Hollies
  • Jack White
  • Cheap Trick
  • Joe Perry
  • Rumer
  • Chris Cornell

Now you have context.  I like Mr. Reid to another guy in another profession that passed up being Sonny Crockett on Miami Vice, Gary Cole.  While that’s a hell of story to tell, and I’m sure they both have to live to tell it more times than they care to, it doesn’t define them.  They made their career paths, took their opportunity costs on the chin, but continued on in their professions to their own legacy and pride (Gary Cole certainly has been a staple in network television with The Midnight Caller, American Gothic, The Family Guy and NCIS, as well as films like The Brady Bunch, Office Space, The Jones, Blockers…hell he even guest starred on Miami Vice).  Terry Reid has a vocal and command of his music that leads me to believe that his choices, his career path, and his entire life were close to exactly what his intentions were.  And, in hindsight, and hind-ear, he really has continued to have an incredible career that will live on with both sides — his choice and the opportunity costs that — in this case — is very cool to talk and hear about!

Mr. Terry Reid’s albums are hard to come by, my music multiverse friends (for the right price), so I do not have any of them in my catalog currently, but I will be searching and hoping to find them.  Good luck to you as well, that wish to fill that collection void, but rejoice that his catalog is just a click away.  Your choice (musical fork in the road – wink) go with River (1973), or go with Seed of Memory (1976).  You can’t go wrong.

Album Review Saturdays Episode 2024 Episode 16

The new albums are coming in fast and furious from all kinds of areas of the world, all kinds of genres!  From artists and bands known and unknown, and we decided this week we’d shake it all up with a very mixed bag of music.  We start off with the latest from one of the most familiar, long lasting grungers in the music multiverse.  Then we step off into musical virtuoso soloist that’s been building a four-banger album over the last six years, and the final installment drives home what a sensational ear for nearly all things he has!  Then we drop down into an hour plus of funkified jazzy spasticity from a Dallas based band that is having as much fun as that album cover exudes!  Let’s explore the musical matter we’ve selected this week on Album Review Saturdays 2024 Episode 16!

 

LINK TO OUR YOUTUBE VERSION
[Mark Kuligowski & Panelists The Grateful Dude discuss these (3) albums + adds three (3) more reviews!]

 

Pearl JamDark Matter

To say that they are the most notable grunge era band survivors is a complete understatement.  Not to go to far into Seattle’s most coveted possession in music over the last 34 years, but they have been delivering consistent album after album, as well as some of the longest, entertaining and encompassing live shows of any act coming from that era and genre.  They are a band in legendary status, and on this their twelfth album, the don’t spend much but a moment lingering in that legendary status.  Dark Matter is a full tilt continuation of their usual music pursuits, album production, and usual vocal-lyrical attention getting mojo of lead man, Eddie Vedder.  For Pearl Jam fans this album falls right on the heels of the prior record, Gigaton, which was really no slouch of a recording either.

What the problem then?  The same problem we had last week with The Black Keys, where do you put this against that which has come before!?  Iconic, memorable, and timeless classics that came from that fountain of Seattle angst-youth were just truly amazing.  They will be there for another thirty plus years for new music lovers to appreciate, for sure.  So, let’s stack Dark Matter against the past, because in all honesty, they have again managed to make several timeless pieces again!  The title track is driving, catchy, groove-riff, and has the guitar pungent solo you need, all with the Vedder driving you off the cliff with his voice that you would have thought couldn’t go there again as he screams ‘everyone pays for everyone else’s mistake!’  This is very reminiscent of Pearl Jam’s early presence in the 90s!  And, ‘Waiting for Stevie’ lyrics are heavy with reality truth and potential perseverance (the song title does not seem to represent anything other than the time in which it was written by they way, as from what I’ve read/heard it was written while Eddie Vedder was waiting for Stevie Wonder to arrive to record).

You can be loved by everyone
And still not feel, not feel love
You can relate, but still can’t stop
Or conquer the fear you are what you’re not
Would have to take an act of faith
To find relief and escape the blame

This is rare return to form that does not usually happen in the music multiverse.  I’ve been around and down the isles, and in and out of the ears of hundreds of albums of bands that have gone the distance of time.  Pearl Jam has crafted a recording here that seems to be them, returned, and nearly as fresh and new as there early days.  If you don’t think so, you have not listened intently and you are buried in your connection to a song.  I implore you to digress from that (it’s not easy), and you will suddenly hear the emotion, connection, and the wonderful production that give Dark Matter life in the top five albums the band has ever made (easily).  Whether you believe me or not, I’m going to lay down one more proof of this.  Ready?  Did you love that Rolling Stones record that came out recently?  Of course you did.  It just sounded better, it felt better, it had sound of them, but them — now, sparking relevancy and reconnection.  That’s not a fluke.  That’s the work of Andrew Wotman (I think they call him Andrew Watt in the industry)!  Don’t know him do you?  That’s okay, the band California Breed (which was ridiculously awesome and featured him with Jason Bohnam, Joey Castillo, and Glenn Hughes — damnit that should have been on our Panelists Favorites Show – One Album Wonders!) came and went quickly, but his knack for rock-relevance production has become astounding!  He’s recently batting 1000, with Ozzy’s Patient Number 9, Iggy Pop’s Every Loser, and The Rolling Stones’ Hackney Diamonds!

So put your headphones back on, check your nostalgia at the door, and get back into Dark MatterPearl Jam didn’t do this to make money.  It sound to me, like this did this because their wicked spirit returned, and they were compelled by Watt-age to do so for us all!

The Band

  • Eddie Vedder – lead and backing vocals, guitar, piano
  • Mike McCready – guitar, piano
  • Stone Gossard – guitar
  • Jeff Ament – bass guitar, guitar, baritone guitar
  • Matt Cameron – drums, percussion

Additional musician of note

Dark Matter Tracklisting

  1. Scared of Fear
  2. React, Respond
  3. Wreckage
  4. Dark Matter
  5. Won’t Tell
  6. Upper Hand
  7. Waiting For Stevie
  8. Running
  9. Something Special
  10. Got To Give
  11. Setting Sun

 

 

Jacob CollierDjesse Volume 4

Jacob Moriarty, current age is twenty-nine, and at this young age he is a music virtuoso, producer and a harmonious expert in blending his jazz concept into just about any and every music genre in the music multiverse!  Don’t believe me (I wouldn’t exactly say I gave him a fair shake either)!?  Let me start off by saying that I am not a virgin to Jacob’s music.  I do have and listen to the debut album, In My Room, which I find somewhat soothing in jazz-pop realm, and Jacob’s vocals immediately attached me to the idea of him as a new-world crooner.  So, that’s where I kept him — until listening to Djesse Vol 4.  I know, shame on me for not realizing the potential in that debut album.  Shame on me, for not getting past the mid-to-low range temp jazz pop.  I think I was right still on the vocal, but against this bombastic record, it certainly gives it more creedence and vivality.

The Djesse albums are the work he immediately started on after In My Room, attempting to conceptualize four albums for the times of the day (morning, afternoon, evening, and night).  While I am no study in the concept record, I do feel that the use of space and genre throughout this particular album of the four (being the last – I assume) captures that restless spirit of wanting to enjoy that which is beyond the midnight hour and wanting to dream through sleep in ostentatious ways.  Djesse Vol 4 is completely awe encompassing in nature and genres that it elevates and moderates either with his vocal or with the bridging of instruments within.  This happens beautifully again and again throughout the record, but the one that will stand out because of the international flavor through it is ‘A Rock Somewhere,’ as it bridges the sitar and the pop-crooner’s Dean Marin-like vocal drops and sways.

The technical expertise at hand here to the ear is sometimes subtle and other times definitive.  This is what was missing from In My Room.  This is bigger, broader, and the music and the producer (which is Jacob Collier) knows it, embraces it, and isn’t afraid to raise the roof or the orchestration.  Your ears are going to be struck by a lot in this recording.  From the orchestral to the metalcore (don’t worry it’s there to effectively drag you horrifically for a moment) to the Spanish-beat manifesto-ism with pop and hip/hop elementals, along with the ever-present vocals of Collier making the necessary runs, connections, and lyrical melodies that tie it all together.  The experience truly falls under a new category in free-harmony (like free jazz).  Jacob Collier is using Djesse Vol 4 to showcase the power, reach, and limitless use of harmonies.  It’s the backbone of each song, and in fairness to the composer, it does hold all of it together — even if the flow of it appears, in audio, to be outrageously all-over-the-musical-map.

Guest appearances do a lovely point to this as well, which is one of the staples of the volumes.  And, these are different harmonies melding within Jacob’s creation(s).  It’s all part of grande listening experience that leaves nearly no music stone unturned while holding fast to the harmonies and structure of jazz-pop and tight (all hands and ears on deck production).  Djesse Vol 4 and the previous three volumes share another strong common thread that is attached to Jacob, and that is the utmost respect for the past of music, the importance it has in creativity and inspiration, and the men, women and bands that have crafted such timeless, important pieces.  That’s so present in where I leave this article’s last sentence, ‘Like a bridge over troubled waterI will ease your mind.  I will ease your mind.’  Sail on with Jacob Collier and his catalog because you should and you will, just like the ending of the album.

The Band

  • Jacob Collier – vocals, instruments, arrangements, engineering, production, and mixing

Additional Musicians (are you ready – it’s really long?)

  • Moulay Abdekrim Alaalaoui – background vocals and krakebs (track 15)
  • Lydia Acquah – handclaps (track 14), gang vocals (track 15)
  • The Aeolians of Oakwood University 2018 – choir (tracks 3, 15, 16)
    Alaysia Bookal, Aleigha Durand, Allayna O’Quinn, Andre Smith, Asriel Davis, Asya Bookal, Briana Marshall, Carl Reed, Celine Sylvester, Chad Lupoe, Charles Wallington, Chesroleeysia Bobb, Cleavon Davis, Cole Henry, Dominique DeAbreu, Haley Flemons, Hector Jordan, Holland Sampson, JoPaul Scavella, Jonathan Mills, Jourdan Bardo, Kashea Whyte, Keviez Wilson, Kobe Brown, Kristin Hall, Leonard Brown, Lincoln Liburd, Louis Cleare, Maia Foster, Malia Ewen, Malik George, Malik Mchayle, Marc Simons, Marissa Wright, Matthew Cordner, Mykel Robinson-Collins, Naomi Parchment, Natrickie Louissant, Patricia Williams, Roddley Point Du Jour, Samara Bowden, Samella Carryl, Terell Francis-Clarke, Zarren Bennett
  • Maia Agnes – Filipino/Tagalog spoken word (track 15)
  • Arch Echo – guitar, keyboards, bass, and drums (track 1)
  • Adam Bentley, Adam Rafowitz, Joe Calderone, Joey Izzo, Richie Martinez
  • Aespa (Winter, Karina, Giselle, and Ning Ning) – vocals (track 13)
  • Audience Choirs from The Djesse World Tour 2022 – choir (tracks 1–3, 7, 8, 10, 13–15)
    Sydney, Paris, Vienna, Cologne, Amsterdam, Munich, Utrecht, Auckland, Santiago de Compostela, Barcelona, Madrid, Stockholm, Bristol, Berlin, Oslo, Luxembourg
  • Regina Averion – gang vocals (tracks 13, 14)
  • Awich – spoken word (track 1)
  • Prerana Balcham – Tamil spoken word (track 15)
  • Felipe Baldauf – handclaps (track 14), gang vocals (track 15)
  • Erin Bentlage – gang vocals (tracks 13, 14)
  • Charlotte Blaudeck – German spoken word (track 15)
  • Ben Bloomberg – handclaps (track 5), gang vocals (tracks 13, 14)
  • Wahid Boudjeltia – background vocals and krakebs (track 15)
  • Abdelhak Bounhar – background vocals and krakebs (track 15)
  • Camilo – lead and background vocals, frog guiro, mouth harp, tiple, and whistling (track 9)
  • Brandi Carlile – vocals (track 3)
  • Stian Carstensen – pedal steel (track 3)
  • Tereza Catarov – handclaps (track 14), gang vocals (track 15)
  • Li-Chin Chang (張立勤) – Traditional Chinese spoken word (track 15)
  • Tom Chichester-Clark – handclaps (track 14), gang vocals (track 15)
  • Jordan Cohen – tenor saxophone (tracks 6, 15), background vocals (track 13)
  • Sophie Collier – background vocals (track 2)
  • Suzie Collier – orchestra conductor (tracks 1, 5, 7, 14, 15)
  • Madison Cunningham – lead vocals (track 7)
  • Mario Daisson – handclaps (track 14), gang vocals (track 15)
  • Dapul – Filipino/Tagalog spoken word (track 15)
  • Pat Davey – handclaps (track 14), gang vocals (track 15)
  • Dhol Academy – Dhol drumming ensemble (tracks 1, 8, 14, 15)  Harjodh Singh Assi, Jasdeep Singh Bamrah, Taran Singh Bedi
  • The Diner – additional horn arrangements (track 6)
  • Shay Dyer-Harris – handclaps (track 14), gang vocals (track 15)
  • Emily Elbert – gang vocals (tracks 13, 14)
  • Adam Fell – gang vocals (tracks 13, 14)
  • Jason Max Ferdinand – choir conductor and piano (tracks 3, 15, 16)
  • Kirk Franklin – choir direction and additional vocal arrangements (track 10)  & Kirk Franklin Singers – background vocals (tracks 1, 10, 13, 14)
    Ariel Campbell, Billy Mitchell, Carla Williams, Connie Johnson, Demarcus Williams, Drea Randle, Eboni Ellerson-Williams, Emerald Campbell, Ja’Quoi Griffin, Josiah Martin, Minon Bolton, Rachel Clifton, Sanesia Tillman, Stephanie Archer, Trent Shelby, Zebulon Ellis
  • Sara Gazarek – gang vocals (tracks 13, 14)
  • Nathan Greer – Turkish spoken word (track 15)
  • Alex Guitierrez – gang vocals (tracks 13, 14)
  • Francesca Haincourt – background vocals and gang vocals (tracks 13, 14)
  • Ondrej Hanák – Czech spoken word (track 15)
  • Neda Imamverdi – Farsi spoken word (track 15)
  • Ben Jones – electric guitar (track 2)
  • Juliette Jouan – French spoken word (track 15)
  • JNY – spoken word (track 1)
  • Hamid El Kasri – guembri (track 15)
  • Katrin – spoken word (track 1)
  • Jay Kavanagh – Spanish spoken word (track 15)
  • Tori Kelly – lead vocals (track 12)
  • Jonny Koh – guitar (track 6)
  • Kont – spoken word (track 1)
  • Kpoobari Saana Kpoobari-Ereba – Gokana spoken word (track 15)
  • John Lampley – trumpet (tracks 6, 15)
  • Clyde Lawrence – lead vocals (track 6), background vocals (tracks 6, 13)
  • Gracie Lawrence – lead and background vocals (track 6)
  • Jim Le Mesurier – percussion (tracks 1, 15)
  • Yuri Lee – Korean spoken word (track 15)
  • John Legend – lead vocals (track 12)
  • Ryan Lerman – gang vocals (tracks 13, 14)
  • Jang Li (站起來) – Taiwanese spoken word (track 15)
  • Lindsey Lomis – lead and background vocals (track 5)
  • David Longstreth – gang vocals (tracks 13, 14)
  • Stevie Mackey – gang vocals (tracks 13, 14)
  • Francesco Marcheselli – Italian spoken word (track 15)
  • Feu Marinho – handclaps (track 14), gang vocals (track 15)
  • Chris Martin – lead and background vocals (track 13)
  • Kanyi Mavi – spoken word (track 1)
  • John Mayer – electric guitar solo (track 11)
  • Lizzy McAlpine – lead and background vocals (track 11)
  • Michael McDonald – lead and background vocals (track 6)
  • Magnus Mehta – percussion (tracks 1, 15)
  • Shawn Mendes – lead and background vocals (track 10)
  • Metropole Orkest – orchestra (tracks 1, 5, 7, 14, 15)
    David Peijnenborgh, Denis Koenders, Ewa Zbyszynska, Jasper van Rosmalen, Kilian van Rooij, Leonid Nikishin, Merel Jonker, Pauline Terlouw, Ruben Margarita, Sarah Koch, Thomas Gould, Vera Laporeva, Willem Kok, Xaquín Carro Cribeiro – violin, Alex Welch, Isabella Petersen, Julia Jowett, Mieke Honingh, Wouter Huizinga – viola, Annie Tangberg, Geneviève Verhage, Jascha Albracht, Joel Siepmann, Susanne Rosmolen – cello, Arend Liefkes, Erik Winkelmann – double bass, Janine Abbas, Mariël van den Bos – flute, piccolo, Maxime le Minter – oboe, David Kweksilber – clarinet, Leo Janssen, Marc Scholten, Paul van der Feen, Sjoerd Dijkhuizen – saxophone, Diechje Minne, Pieter Hunfeld – French horn
    Nico Schepers, Ray Bruinsma, Rik Mol – trumpet, Jan Bastiani, Maarten Combrink, Marc Godfroid – trombone, David Kutz, Ries Schellekens – tuba, Joke Schonewille – harp
  • Martina Mihulkova – handclaps (track 14), gang vocals (track 15)
  • Mopiano – spoken word (track 1)
  • Abderrazak Moustaqim – background vocals and krakebs (track 15)
  • Robin Mullarkey – electric bass (track 1)
  • Naezy – spoken word (track 1)
  • Barbara Obremska – Polish spoken word (track 15)
  • Adam Osmianski – handclaps (track 14), gang vocals (track 15)
  • Ivan Ormond – percussion (tracks 1, 15)
  • Chris Ott – trombone (tracks 6, 15)
  • David Pattman – percussion (tracks 1, 15)
  • Akrivi Pavlidou – Greek spoken word (track 15)
  • Robin Pecknold – gang vocals (tracks 13, 14)
  • Michael Peha – gang vocals (tracks 13, 14)
  • DáSa Pokorny – Slovak spoken word (track 15)
  • Na La Takadia Praminta Putri – Indonesian spoken word (track 15)
  • Emma Quaedvlieg – Serbian spoken word (track 15)
  • Jessie Reyez – spoken word (track 1), Spanish spoken word (track 15)
  • Jakub Rokosz – handclaps (track 14), gang vocals (track 15)
  • Jordan Rose – drums (track 3)
  • Daniel Rotem – gang vocals (tracks 13, 14)
  • John Ryan – drums (track 6)
  • Patricia S-Thomas – Swahili spoken word (track 15)
  • Oumou Sangaré – background vocals (track 15)
  • Barak Schmool – percussion (tracks 1, 15), handclaps (track 14), gang vocals (track 15)
  • Konstantin Selyansky – Russian spoken word (track 15)
  • Seema Seraj – gang vocals (tracks 13, 14)
  • Anoushka Shankar – sitar (track 8)
  • Noah Simon – gang vocals (tracks 13, 14)
  • Willow Smith – scream vocals (track 1)
  • Lennon Stella – background vocals (track 3)
  • Stormzy – lead vocals and spoken word (track 10)
  • Chris Thile – mandolin (track 7)
  • Utako Toyama – Japanese spoken word (track 15)
  • Steve Vai – electric guitar (tracks 1, 2, 15)
  • Valas – spoken word (track 1)
  • Sus Vasquez – electric guitar (track 1)
  • Varijashree Venugopal – featured vocals (track 8), background vocals (track 14)
  • Voces8 – choir (track 15)
  • Noah Wang – Mandarin spoken word (track 15)
  • Sam Wilkes – gang vocals (tracks 13, 14)
  • Remi Wolf – background vocals (track 4)
  • Yebba – vocals (track 12)
  • Zakwe – spoken word (track 1)
  • Kasia Zielinska – handclaps (track 14), gang vocals (track 15)

Djesse Vol 4 Tracklisting

  1. 100,000 Voices
  2. She Put Sunshine
  3. Little Blue (feat. Brandi Carlile)
  4. WELLL
  5. Cinnamon Crush (feat. Lindsey Lomis)
  6. Wherever I Go (feat. Lawrence & Michael McDonald)
  7. Summer Rain (feat. Madison Cunningham & Chris Thile)
  8. A Rock Somewhere (feat. Anoushka Shankar & Varijashree Venugopal)
  9. Mi Corazón (feat. Camilo)
  10. Witness Me (feat. Shawn Mendes, Stormzy, & Kirk Franklin)
  11. Never Gonna Be Alone (feat. John Mayer & Lizzy McAlpine)
  12. Bridge Over Troubled Water (feat. John Legend & Tori Kelly)
  13. Over You (feat. aespa & Chris Martin of Coldplay)
  14. Box of Stars Pt. 1 (feat. Kirk Franklin, CHIKA, D Smoke, Sho Madjozi, Yelle, & Kanyi Mavi)
  15. Box of Stars Pt. 2 (feat. Metropole Orkest, Suzie Collier, Steve Vai, & VOCES8)
  16. World O World (feat. The Aeolians of 2018, Jason Max Ferdinand)

 

Ghost-Note Mustard n’Onions

This would be my first Ghost-Note experience that I’m aware of, although I am completely in-tune to the brilliance of Snarky Puppy.  In fact, it was the mention of drummer, Searight and percussionist, Werth, that made me move my attention and this Album Review Saturdays to Ghost-Note‘s Mustard n’Onions.  So, I know I’m in an avant-garde like jazz setting for sure, as I assume the two were not suddenly going to sway into mainstream contemporary.  Mustard n’Onions might have a slight foundation in contemporary, but when the soul catches them just right, the funk, jazz and rhythm escape like a wild ghost in a musical china-shop.  However, they never lose the tightness and respect for where the song started and the composition of it.

All right, let’s address the cover.  Come on!  It’s a great attention getter, and it is remarkably fashionable to the compositions that astound this funkified, soul-filled one-hour and nineteen minute infectious groove.  While you probably shouldn’t judge it exactly, because it appears as some anime Buckethead album (oh wait a minute — that might be how I look at it), its depiction kind of prepares you for the funk ride of your life.  It’s the title that doesn’t truly connect for me.  Once that first song hits, ‘JB’s Out’ (eluding to the James Brown I assume) I’m expecting a clone James Brown to suddenly materialize (like that wild ghost I talked about in last paragraph), and I realize that Mustard n’Onion has it goin’ on like that of buffets served up by Galactic!  The church of soulful rhythm and blues has me shaking like Jake and Ellwood!  Y’know from The Blues Brothers (you saw the movie right — heaven help you if you have not).  But, this is not sweet home Chicago – this is Dallas Texas meets Steely Dan, Prince, and touches of old schoolin’ (Sly and the Family Stone/Earth Wind & Fire).  They take funk-jazz to an entirely unique place, not only with the guests on the album, but with tempo and attention shifts to jazz and blues within.  ‘Yellow Dan’ (featuring Marcus Miller) is an example of fusion expression featuring bass virtuosity within a familiar jazz-rock backing.  There’s a lot of this “unexpected” yet “nurtured” audio.  Thanks mostly to the accompaniment of keyboards, saxophone(s) and that specialized percussion.

Snarky Puppy fans will miss a bit of the edge of avant-garde and technical aspects in this, as it is definitively more playful, soulful.  However, when it comes right down to the condiments mentioned it is a damn saucy performance that will no doubt be festival groove/jam favorites, I’m sure.  Which is perfect, because the crowd will certainly lose track of time swaying and trippin’ out with Ghost-Note‘s set, where I did find some tracks were a little too long even in the nature of the album.  The great thing was, they seemed to know it, as the next track would always signal you back to attention!  They’re playing near us in Rochester, May 21st at the Lilac Festival, so we will probably head on over to see one of those shows, as it should be phat (Phatbacc)!

The Band

  • Robert Sput Searight – Drummer, Keyboards
  • Nate Worth – Percussions
  • MonoNeon (Prince) – Bass
  • Dominique Xavier Taplin – Keyboards (Toto) 
  • Sylvester Onyejiaka – Saxaphone and arranger
  • Jonathan Mones – saxophone, flute
  • Mike Jelani Brooks – saxophone, flute
  • Peter Knudsen – guitar
  • Mike Clowes – guitar
  • Daniel Wytannis – trombone

Special Guests

  • Bernard Wright
  • Eric Gales
  • Marcus Miller

Mustard n’Onions Tracklisting

  1. JB’s Out! (Do It Babay) [feat. MacKenzie]
  2. Move With a Purpose (feat. Karl Denson)
  3. Where’s Danny?
  4. Origins (feat. Keith Anderson)
  5. PoundCake (feat. Casey Benjamin)
  6. Phatbacc
  7. Grandma’s Curtains (feat. Eric Gales)
  8. Revival Island (feat. Travis Toy and Mark Lettieri)
  9. Yellow Dan (feat. Marcus Miller)
  10. Bad Knees
  11. Synesthesia
  12. Slim Goodie
  13. Mustard n’Onions (feat. Jay Jennings)
  14. Origins Reprise
  15. Nard’s Right (feat. Bernard Wright)

Ian Brown On Unknown Sundays 2024

As an album junkie, I’m always in the thick of thumbing individually, one by one, in a seemingly never ending alphabetical arrangement of either genres of music or in my local case — used bins A to Z.  The Stone Roses was one of those finds in the used been that I had seen many times in my flipping of CD(s).  I had an impression, without every hearing an album that they had a indie low-sonic sound that I wouldn’t be that into, and considering what I was into back in that time frame and forward for a decade there was just a lot of other music that was reaching my ears.  I wanted a vocalist that popped, music that reached out and slapped you within instrumentation, too.  So, their self-titled debut sat there for two years, and the price would eventually drop (but that didn’t engage me to buy it — even though I buy everything almost).  I come back to used bins about every week, and it wasn’t until probably around the near end of 1990s that a music discussion at the checkout made me rethink my misguided passing of the Stone Roses (notice I didn’t say I was wrong about categorizing them).

Underrated albums of the 1990s, was the discussion, which was refreshing, because most of the discussions of 1999 was more about the Y2K conversion and computer shutdown and potential end times (like that’s never been a possibility — solar eclipse)Second Coming was the album they discussed, so I was intrigued.  So, I made a note that I should give the band a shot.  Next week, when in the store I bought that debut for $6.99 used.  And, it was exactly what I thought it was, and I really was not engaged with it.  Remember, though, this was NOT the Second Coming album, so I took my disconnect with a grain of salt, and made (like I usually do) a physical note to be on the lookout for Second Coming when it came to the used bin, which of course it eventually did, not too long after.

What a difference four years makes!  The John Squire guitar work gets a heavier treatment, great exposure, and the vocalist is more pronounced and has the English swagger and delivery that is engaging me more on this record.  Again, this is not to say that the debut is not a good record, and doesn’t have those moment of guitar wickedness from John Squire (because going back it sure does), but somehow this one just had me at the get go — and by ear throat when it was done!  It had so much groove, and it was something different in the alternative genre that had wonderfully decimated the music scene.  It’s that guitar work of Squire that was sending me unique vibes.  Interesting riff concepts and bridge work.  So, boom, I agree with those at the checkout, as it is truly an underappreciated, missed gem in the albums of 1990, and that debut gets more respect from me that it did.

So, when I start looking for more Stone Roses, it’s not going to happen.  That’s when you start to go down that desperate rabbit hole to find where the musicians went, right?  Oh, that’s right, you’re probably not an obsessive like me.  So I found Ian Brown’s solo career with his debut Unfinished Monkey Business, and from there it was a satisfying rock groove and production reach that was somewhat close enough to feel cool and engaging.  In fact, that was probably as close to Stone Roses as there were ex-members helping. But this big miss is definitely Mr Squire, but that’s another Unknown Sundays.  And, as the albums move on Aziz Ibrahim begins to find his own signature within the Ian Brown solo albums to give the albums more and more each time. This was definitely the case when Solarized, the fourth solo album of Ian Brown emerged after the Music of the Spheres sort of cool, minimalisms.

Ian Brown is a technical, sound producer and style blender of vocal and groove.  The way he incorporates the two or sometimes bringing in a third conceptual sound like electronica or ambient/club/loop (like Unkle and Nightmares On Wax on the Music of the Spheres Remixes) is always to expand the sound and the reach of the album.  It’s wonderful alternative ear candy, and since there’s no Stone Roses, there’s no question that Ian Brown is as close to it as it will get.  His multi-instrumental connections are astounding to here whether sonic or alternative over-the-top produced.  The hiatus which somehow brought out the bongos of Ripples, is another dimension of Brown’s musical infectiousness.  The only sad part is the lack of promotion and attention to such an artist beyond the small pool that knows, and now I’m sharing this with you!  So go, dive down this groovy, alternative rabbit hole and hear what all my attention is about, as well as the fuss of having Stone Roses make another album.

Ian is an interesting personality.  He has had songs removed from streaming do to radical points of view during COVID (which seems extremely interesting in censorship), as well as having done some jail time for actions on a plane, but with all of that, he’s still that frontman from this incredibly sought out band in the late 80s and early 90s.  The impression of then, still leads to the tempo, creativity and groove rock musician and producer he is today, and an artist in the music multiverse that — if you haven’t heard much of — you definitely should.

Albums by Ian Brown in my collection
  • Unfinished Monkey Business (1998)
  • Golden Greats  (1999)
  • Music of the Spheres (2001)
  • Solarized (2004)
  • The World Is Yours (2007)
  • My Way  (2009)
Stone Roses albums in my collection
  • The Stone Roses (1989)
  • Second Coming (1994)

Album Review Saturdays 2024 Episode 15

Welcome to Album Review Saturdays 2024 Episode 15!  We find an artist that has a broad soundscape of folk-electronica meets low-sonic pop, and manages to swirl it around herself majestically!  Then, we go into a cleverly titled album from a Los Angeles garage blues band from 1965 that peaked so long ago it’s crazy to even think they have a 2024, new album!  But they freakin’ do, so we just had to give their final (Finyl) one a really good spin and review!  Then it’s on to an underscored guitar legend, who always serves up intriguing classic solo rock albums with a signature sound and artistic vocal delivery that entices the ear.   Time to get “deep” into these three Album Review Saturdays 2024 albums!

 

LINK TO OUR YOUTUBE VERSION
[Mark Kuligowski & Panelists DAHM and The Grateful Dude discuss these (3) albums + adds three (3) more reviews!]

 

Jane Weaver – Love In Constant Spectacle

When you first hear Weaver’s sound, you have this feeling that you’re into some young-ish low-fi indie personae.  Then, if you’re an investigator in the music multiverse, you find out that woman at the helm of this interesting folk-electronica, tempered pop album is a creator from 1993.  Do you remember, Kill Laura?  Probably not, as it was an obscure British grunge-pop band headed by Weaver.  And then, there was also Misty Dawn, which you probably didn’t hear either because her bandmate disappeared without a trace, and Iced To Mode (2003) never really saw the light of day either.  But, Jane Weaver, persevered into a solo career that’s been steady and underground (per se) since 2006’s Seven Day Smile.  So, this is a veteran in scope of the industry, and she actually is in charge of her own label, Bird Records, which is predominantly geared to folk female artists, like herself.  So, there you go!  A new rabbit hole to go down, as with her leading the way, there’s some great opportunity for true discovery, and that’s where Love In Constant Spectacle leads the way (today anyway).

Love In Constant Spectacle is an album immersed in subtle electronica that can come in contemporary format, like Hooverphonic, or it can have a subtle progressive natures like Portishead.  But, that is not the front of her albums.  Folk, in the alternative, pop or low-fi realm is truly the ingenious lead here, and in the past records that I got to prior to writing this.  The album is so very pleasant to the ear, that the first listen you don’t truly have the experience that the author and producer probably intended.  In the first listen, you’re trying to decipher where this lies in the music landscape, rather than embracing the sound, the pull and ebb within vocal and music accompaniments, and then of course — the electronica dimensions creeping, wisping and angling into the score and song-writing.  That’s the real spectacle of the recording, and Jane Weaver delivers it wonderfully within range and production.  It falls more into contemporary, but the places where it does escape to jazz and alternative folk-rock are welcomed earfuls that don’t mess hard with the flow and musicianship.  It also doesn’t hurt that John Parish (of PJ Harvey fame) is on the record!

If you do not know the multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter, this is a great starting off point.  In fact, it might be the most broad-range of albums that she has done (although please realize I didn’t get to all of them).  And no, she’s not Perisian or young.  She’s my age.  So nowhere near uncreative and/or incapable.  In fact, more capable than mos that have gloriously shitty sound careers that are being gobbled up by ear-challenged drones that seem to plague the record buying population (and I’m not talking about Taylor Swift).  Hey, Taylor Swift, might even list Jane Weaver as an influence, so you might want to check it out!  Albums like Evermore and blah blah blah under Ocean Boulevard don’t happen without folking independent road pavers!

The band

  • Jane Weaver – lead vocals, synthesizer, guitar, keyboards, handclaps, piano, drum machine
  • Joel Nicholson – guitar, shakers, twelve-string guitar, synthesizer, handclaps
  • Andrew Cheetham – drums, percussion
  • Matt Grayson – bass guitar
  • John Parish – tambourine, piano, handclaps
  • James Trevascus – drum programming

Love In Constant Spectacle Tracklisting

  1. Perfect Storm
  2. Emotional Components
  3. Love In Constant Spectacle
  4. Motif
  5. The Axis And The Seed
  6. Is Metal
  7. Happiness In Proximity
  8. Romantic Worlds
  9. Univers
  10. Family Of The Sun

 

 

Canned HeatFinyl Vinyl

Color me intrigued.  The band from 1965 with one surviving member (the drummer, Adolfo “Fito” de la Parra) gets a new album release after nearly 60 years in the business, and not truly having released a new album (not that Christmas thing) since maybe Friends in the Can (although I would prefer to drink by Coca-Cola here and not in the bathroom).  This blues lovin’ band, that deliberately draws attention to historic blues, covering them sincerely for the masses to appreciate, has made a lifelong musical career to be revered.  It’s perplexing, but when you get right down to it, it’s the blues baby, and that is the solid foundation of all kinds of genres!  They play it well, and the deliver it with a soulful intention that is ever-so-evident.  And, that hasn’t changed in fifty-eight years, so Finyl Vinyl will probably be no different!

This album, not only has the great Joe Bonamassa, but it has Dave Alvin and Jimmy Vivino writing on this album and delivering.  Jimmy, you might know from Conan O’Brien late night.  There is not going to be song that blows your blues mind.  But, what you do get, is signature, newer and well produced blues and boogie that is as close to mainstream ear-candy that you can get these days!  You can’t pitch this kind of material to a record label without a heavy scoff.  It’s hard to sell this vintage a sound in any market with the monotonous, displeasurable and often disgusting display of supposed musicianship or audiology of today’s trending streaming(s).  It’s true.  But, whomever it was that had the courage to make Finyl Vinyl a reality – kudos!  It’s a fun bluesy boogie filled recording that puts sound and past into context, and serves up a deservedly good farewell album.  And, this one, considering the title, should probably be purchased on vinyl, right?

The Band

  • Adolfo de la Parra – Drummer
  • Jimmy Vivino – Vocals, guitar, keyboard
  • Dave Alvin – Vocals, guitar
  • Dave Spalding – Vocals, Harp
  • Richard Reed – Bass

Finyl Vinyl Tracklisting

  1. One Last Boogie
  2. Blind Owl
  3. Goin’ To Heaven (In A Pontiac)
  4. So Sad (The World’s In A Tangle)
  5. East/West Boogie (Instrumental)
  6. Tease Me
  7. A Hot Ole Time
  8. You’re The One
  9. When You’re 69
  10. Independence Day
  11. There Goes That Train

 

 

Mark Knopfler – One Deep River

Ten albums, and a lifetime of signature guitar marksmanship, makes Mark Knopfler worthy of exploration.  The title, One Deep River, just harkens to the flow and delivery of one of the world’s most underappreciated classic rock guitarists still around today.  Think Jeff Beck in originality and you have a very good idea of the talent, creativity and complete uniqueness that streams from his fingers to the strings.  Not only that, it seems to have a deep connection to his vocal delivery and the song-writing that subtly bubbles storytelling to a greater surface.  Yes, this is the man from Dire Straits, but he has become so much beyond that wonderful rock band moment, and One Deep River is a continuation of the guitar man’s storytelling legacy.

The album is steeped in his childhood and memory of places and times.  He is, afterall, a journeyman of sorts, and the sounds and lyrics here echo that position against the marvelous riffs that encapsulate the record.  Knopfler describes, licks and embellishes with the greatest of ease.  Why?  Well, because he’s the daring man, storyteller flowing like the breeze (I tried).  Whether it’s a guitar strung to banjo, or a rock riff with production flares, he swings the delivery where it needs to be to enrich the characters or imagery within.  And, while it may not be your native experience, you find a place within it to identify, appreciate and connect with.  Whether it’s in the seediness of gambling, boxing, or, like in song ‘Janine,’ the roughnecks and truck drivers, pipeliners and engineers, the shifting musical choices are sculpted to bring each to life throughout the album.

Another triumph in the consistent catalog of Mark Knopfler, especially those that truly understand his greatness, and one for new followers to pick up on.  One Deep River showcases how a guitar can be used in rock to different degrees in skill and exquisite delivery.  With a hint of Celtic and soft jazz compliments within the smoothie whipped guitar and vocal, it’s not hard to fall deep and hard for this record against the barrage of heavier and tonal recordings buzzing throughout the years.

The Band

  • Mark Knopfler – lead vocals, electric guitar
  • Ian Thomas – drums
  • Danny Cummings – percussion
  • Guy Fletcher – synthesizer (tracks 1–4, 6, 7, 9–12), Mellotron (5), harmonium (6)
  • Richard Bennett – electric guitar (tracks 1, 2, 11), acoustic guitar (3–10, 12), bouzouki (9)
  • Glenn Worf – bass guitar (tracks 1, 3–9, 11, 12), upright bass (2, 10)
  • Greg Leisz – lap steel guitar (tracks 1, 4), acoustic guitar (2, 3), pedal steel (3, 5–12)
  • Jim Cox – digital piano (track 1), piano (2, 3, 5, 7–11), organ (4), Wurlitzer electric piano (6), Hammond organ (12)
  • Emma Topolski – background vocals (tracks 3, 5–8, 10–12)
  • Tamsin Topolski – background vocals (tracks 3, 5–8, 10–12)
  • John McCusker – fiddle (track 11)
  • Mike McGoldrick – uilleann pipes, whistle (track 11)

One Deep River Tracklisting

  1. Two Pairs Of Hands
  2. Ahead Of The Game
  3. Smart Money
  4. Scavengers Yard
  5. Black Tie Jobs
  6. Tunnel 13
  7. Janine
  8. Watch Me Gone
  9. Sweeter Than The Rain
  10. Before My Train Comes
  11. This One’s Not Going To End Well
  12. One Deep River

 

Skrape On Unknown Sundays 2024

SKRAPE ON UNKNOWN SUNDAYS [YOU TUBE VERSION]

Hey “Jojo!”  Not exactly an endearing title to call out for an alternative metal band forming in the late 1990s (1997 to be exactly).  The landscape of music in the genre was definitely going through some changes and re-inventions, so it would be easy to get lost or frustrated for niche airplay on radio stations (remember Sirius doesn’t come along until 2002).  With the likes of Live, Soundgarden, Prodigy, Foo Fighters, Our Lady Peace, Blur and Radiohead pushing sounds in all kinds of directions, where is nu-metal and alternative metal in this mix?  Don’t forget that sounds from Fiona Apple, Tonic, Counting Crows, Matchbox Twenty, Beck and Sarah McLachlan are pushing the radio pop charts.  So, who’s in this right now that’s going the nu-metal direction?  Well, Nine Inch Nails, Deftones, Pantera, Obituary and Incubus. and possibly argue Helmet?  So, the landscape is undulating, unpredictable and the bend for single that has pop-metal and grungy elements seems to maybe have the opportunity to shine brightest?  However, there’s absolutely no filter or rhyme or reason to sustainment beyond the live show and opening acts utilizing each other within the common goals of the broad metal scope.

So, they did the fist reasonable thing.  Drop that name.  I agree.  However, in hindsight of my music knowledge, it would be a few years before I would realize the connection to a very cool and worthy unknown, cast aside band called, Stuck Mojo, that some of these fine metalists (apparently not a word — needs to be) were involved in.  So, we can talk about that on another episode!  On to the band now called, Skrape!  Orlando, Florida, home of Mickey Mouse and that obnoxiously overpriced theme park that is a destination the world over.  So, how do you get your following there in the land of kiddies and families seeking that wholesome entertainment and teen pop?!  Well, in actuality, at the time, they were one of the only metal acts from Orlando, so that maybe made them unique enough.  Unique sort of helped in their native area because of what people were surrounded by.  Want to cut loose and here something heavy and metal — they were a cult following so to speak, and so that drew enough attention to get them signed (probably under the unique ‘give them a try’ label).  The music they were putting down, cultivated more to nu-metal than grunge or alternative rock, so when they did start to go to some shows to test it out, it was not well received.  So, probably a little unnerving, but you got your record deal and let’s see where you land.

Well, New Killer America, was released March 20th of 2021, and let’s just say that I don’t think anyone understood the power of that thumb, and what they were trying to state with it.  But now, it’s all about the power of these really smart kids that have power to basically torche conventionalism, and the album’s production and nu-metal pitch definitely drew a lot of attention.  When you open from Slayer, Pantera, Soil, Static-X (there’s one outside the realm of standard metal) and Morbid Angel, you’re going to add to your audience and get noticed as long as you’re good and different — and they were (and they were modestly accessible, too).  The vocals and passion for metal construct with reaches to alternative bands like Deftones were certainly a steady foot hold in both genres.  The riffing was pure and very much in the wheelhouse of getting the crowds into the mosh!

So, where do things go wrong?  Old establishment.  It’s hard for old people to accept new things.  It’s why we do this channel.  Clive Davis, while very much a mogul of the industry, and a man who influenced generations of listeners and musicians, he didn’t apparently like the scene or the conceptual design of the label after purchasing it, and firing people handling such bands that didn’t fit what was successful by his definition.  Somewhat understandable, but unreasonable (probably), considering there was never enough time to properly push the bands that had this kind of sound.  So, basically, pioneering, would not be something Clive Davis was willing to do.  So, Will Hunt, the drummer for Skrape and the guys would have not move on, and the second album, Up The Dose, would fall on it’s own, even though it was a very very good follow up recording, and it managed to gather some alternative steam.  Sam Hunt would go on to be in Dark New Day and with Evanescence, as well as touring and filling in for Static-X, Tommy Lee, Black Label Society to name a few.  So, I’m sure he’s not as upset as he previously was at the time.  And, he also had a stint with Dark New Day and a brief stint with Disturbed vocalist, David Dramian’s side project called Device, which I dug as well.  The rest of the band’s musicians went on to bands like Dope, Blessed in Black, Audiotopsy, and Slaughter just to name a few.

Nu-metal would make a deeper impression as years moved on from these two albums.  In fact, there’s now a new Skrape name in the music industry, which is not anywhere in the wheelhouse of alternative metal/nu-metal.  It is in fact an electronica band of sorts, so don’t fall into that bad streaming match trap that is happening across platforms.  So, if you were and are a Deftones fan, this band has the more metal side of that anchor, but has a lot of material you will dig.  Mudvayne, Slaves On Dope, Lifer, One Minute Silence and Darwin’s Waiting Room could be others to compare to, if you plan to give these two albums a go.  The record label and the band certainly gave up way to early on this, as they certainly were in the right frame of metal mind for what was there and coming.  It’s too bad they could not have Skrape(d) out another record somehow.

Albums in my collection by Skrape

Albums in my collection from members (most of them being Sam Hunt) of Skrape

  • Dark New Day – Twelve Year Silence (2005)
  • Dark New Day – New Tradition (2012)
  • Evanescence – Entire Catalog  (although Hunt didn’t join band until, 
  • Dope – Felons and Revolutionaries (1999)
  • Dope Life (2001)
  • DopeGroup Therapy (2003)
  • Dope American Apathy (2005)
  • DopeNo Regrets (2009)
  • Device – Self Titled (2013)  [Tom Morello, Lzzy Hale, Serj Tankian, and Glenn Hughes guest on that record]
  • Black Label Society – Order of the Black (2010)

Album Review Saturdays 2024 Episode 14

Here we are again!  Another Album Review Saturdays 2024 and on Episode 14 we’re taking on the biggest band in Ohio as they continue their rock duo conquest.  Then we travel to some remote desert location for a very convincing psychedelic seance that is equally entrancing as it is semi-beguiling.  Then we move over to Small Stone Records for a fuzz education with a band that somehow cultivated these songs to this 2024 release over a conceptual coma-like status that seems like two decades (because it is, I think).  Intrigued?  Of course you are!  So let’s drop in on the rock, some psychedelia, and a twenty year conceptual stoner record!

 

LINK TO OUR YOUTUBE VERSION
[Mark Kuligowski & Panelist DAHM discuss these (3) albums + adds three (3) more reviews!]

 

 

The Black KeysOhio Players

You know the band.  If you don’t, you’ve somehow managed to steer your listening ships into an extremely narrow waterway over the last 20 years, which isn’t easy to do considering the reach and scope of the band’s connection to genres of rock, but also production and assistance with all kinds of other artists in the music multiverse.  On Ohio Players, the band seems to have returned home in their song-writing connection and the groove-rock that seems to be native to their musical tongue(s).  Considering the absorption of their big records over the past ten years, and the amount of heavy radio play some of those tracks have and deserve, it is unfortunately (sometimes) hard to get right into the albums without thinking, “would I want to hear these songs live over the prior albums.”  I think that’s the mystique of great bands.  You really love the past, that was the hook, and now you’re just lovin’ the recent stuff (maybe to the point where you’re diggin’ it more).  Now here comes another album with familiarity, which sometimes isn’t that gripping to start.  There’s also oddities (like rap), and that’s not exactly what you had expected, so it sets you in an uncomfortable band-lovin’ position.

This is Ohio Players start to finish.  Another ride directed comfortably and uncomfortably — purposely — to push the sound, give you the groove and delivery your ears have been somewhat accustomed to, but to also challenge and surprise them in all the right places.  And, The Black Keys have done this again, and remarkably in another short amount of time, wasting no note and time signature in pushing out this polished, refurbished rock-n-roll record.  If you were looking for indie swagger, it is there, but it has been cleverly meshed and mashed in engrossing rhythms from bass, to drum, to guitars, to claps, to keyboard.  Not a solitary instrument escapes it, and your feet and mind have no choice but to follow them into this main street, untouched, bowling alley where everyone’s dressed to the nines in their times, and rolling that fucking ball like they mean it!

Strike.  Strike.  Strike.  Turkey!  How can you not be having a good time here?  We’ve got Beck like nature in ‘Paper Crown,’ as if the crowd suddenly shifted on the entrance of a cultured faction from across the curb.  No, fight.  No stand-off.  Just everyone turning their heads, taking it in, and the joining in with only a moment’s hesitation.  Then everyone’s back rockin’ with a fine lead in that comes from Neil Young meets Beck.  You think I’m crazy…but ‘Live Till I Die’ fees off the prior Beck-ian style and let’s a certain “cinnamon girl” permeate the background!

So, and album that starts out making a statement of how ‘This Is Nowhere’ must be coming from someone sitting on the outside driving by.  You can’t live and know if you’re just driving by.  Get out of your car, and step inside Ohio Players, and the wicked fun that’s going on in this bowling alley of apparently perfect asses (scientist use that woman’s ass to fine tune their instruments with it’s so spherical).  And of course, ‘Every Time You Leave’ (because you have to sleep) you’ll come back for more either tomorrow or the next day.

The Band

  • Dan Auerbach – lead vocals, bass, electric guitar, Moog, claps, drum machine, Mellotron, shaker, Hammond organ, vocoder
  • Patrick Carney – claps, drum machine, drums, electric guitar, tambourine, Moog, Mellotron, shaker, cowbell, synthesizer

Additional musicians

  • Andy Gabbard – backing vocals (tracks 1–6, 8, 10, 13), electric guitar (13)
  • Beck – backing vocals (tracks 1–3, 11, 13), celeste keyboards (3), organ (10, 12), electric guitar (10), synthesizer (12), acoustic guitar (13)
  • Sam Bacco – shaker (tracks 1–3, 7, 9–11, 13), tambourine (1, 2, 5–7, 9, 10, 13), cowbell (1, 2, 8, 11, 13), cymbals (1, 7, 8), congas (2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 11), additional percussion (2, 9), bongo drums (3, 9), bells (3), woodblock (5), chimes (6), wind chimes (7, 13), gongs (13)
  • Tom Bukovac – electric guitar (tracks 1–6, 8, 9, 11, 14), acoustic guitar (2)
  • Ray Jacildo – piano (tracks 1–3, 5, 11), Hammond organ (1, 2); glockenspiel, Moog, organ, vibraphone, Wurlitzer organ (2); Wurlitzer piano (3), harpsichord (6)
  • Mike Rojas – piano (tracks 1, 3–5, 7, 9, 11); Mellotron, Moog (1); strings (2); vibraphone, Wurlitzer (9)
  • Jake Botts – baritone saxophone, tenor saxophone (tracks 2, 3)
  • Ray Mason – trombone (tracks 2, 3), trumpet (2)
  • Ashley Wilcoxson – backing vocals (tracks 3–5, 10, 11, 13, 14)
  • Leisa Hans – backing vocals (tracks 3–5, 10, 11, 13, 14)
  • Zach Gabbard – backing vocals (tracks 3, 8, 12), claps (3)
  • Chris St. Hilaire – claps (track 3), backing vocals (8, 12)
  • Dan the Automator – samples (track 3)
  • Noel Gallagher – backing vocals (tracks 4, 5, 9), electric guitar (4)
  • Leon Michels – electric guitar (tracks 4, 5, 9), organ (4, 5, 12); baritone saxophone, tenor saxophone (5, 9, 12); glockenspiel, Mellotron (5); Hammond organ, marimba, piano (9)
  • Trey Keller – backing vocals (track 5)
  • Angelo Petraglia – electric guitar (track 6)
  • Kelly Finnegan – backing vocals, Hammond organ (track 7)
  • Tommy Brenneck – baritone guitar, electric guitar (track 7)
  • Matt Combs – strings (track 7)
  • Aaron Frazer – backing vocals (track 10)
  • Greg Kurstin – backing vocals, electric guitar, keyboards, percussion, synthesizer (track 14)

Ohio Players Tracklisting

  1. This Is Nowhere
  2. Don’t Let Me Go
  3. Beautiful People (Stay High)
  4. On the Game
  5. Only Love Matters
  6. Candy and Her Friends (feat. Lil Noid)
  7. I Forgot to Be Your Lover
  8. Please Me (Till I’m Satisfied)
  9. You’ll Pay
  10. Paper Crown (feat. Beck & Juicy J)
  11. Live Till I Die
  12. Read Em and Weep
  13. Fever Tree
  14. Every Time You Leave

 

 

Mario Lalli & The Rubber Snake Charmers – Folklore From Other Desert Cities

Life in Mojave courtesy of a desert super-band featuring the Godfather of Desert Rock bassist, Mario Lalli, the ultra guitar talents of Brant Bjork (Kyuss, Fu Manchu, Vista, Chino, Brant Bjork and the Bros, Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band, Ché, Mondo Generator, The Desert Sessions), the most well-known underground lead vocal you’ve never heard of (goddamn shame and then some), Sean Wheeler and stoner rock drummer, Ryan Güt!  This is a debut for the ages my music multiverse travelers!  Don’t go gently into this listen.  It is impossible.  This is an all entrancing, beguiling stroll, groove, and paranoid trip into the heart of the Southern California desert via the ears and eyes and vocals of a band completely enveloped in the desert rock psyche underground.

It’s epic psychedelic improvisation flow that’s heavy, explorative (like the desert), that before you realize it has completely engulfed your senses.  Even Sean Wheeler’s vocals have found their way from the spoken-punkish to a streaming storytelling blend of Rage Against the Machine and psychedelically enhanced Jon Waite.  All of which is predicated on the wollopping bass riff and lines of Mario Malli, even though the most well-known person in the band is Brant Bjork.  But, it’s Bjork’s continuing guitar intuitions in this Mojave methodology that sensitizes and entrances in an odd jazz construct followed tightly and heavily by the percussion of Ryan Güt who knows exactly how to work with Bjork.

Sean Wheeler’s poetic nature is captivating, and this is a testament to the entirely true concept that your vocal range has no bearing on how effective you can be.  You can sing like a songbird, and it will not matter if it sounds like your don’t connect.  He is waiting for the devil and you believe him.  You believe he is the desert preacher meeting you at the hazy, sleazy Los Angeles airport where he is beckoning you away from the fuckery, and apologizing for the journey all at the same time.  He sounds so pure.  The band unadulterated by studio, raw and completely at the command of sound and timing.  This is desert, heavy psychedelic rock in a live performance worthy of a debut release.

Let Folklore From Other Desert Cities rise into your stream of hearing consciousness.  Do not listen-away this experience, as it is one of those that comes around rarely, like an oasis in the desert.  There is not an inch wasted in bass line, guitar expressionism, and enrapturing poetic vocal storytelling.  The shamen of the Mojave have spoken, and they’ve awakened the spirits for everyone to take heed and possession of.  Get baptized in the sinister sounding sand and walk…into the burning unknown.  You might like it!

The Band

  • Mario Lalli – bass and vocal
  • Sean Wheeler- vocals and poetry
  • Brant Bjork- Guitar
  • Ryan Güt – Drums
  • Mathias Schneeberger- keyboards

Folklore From Other Desert Cities Tracklisting

  1. Creosote Breeze
  2. Swamp Cooler Reality
  3. Other Desert Cities
  4. The Devil Waits For Me

 

 

 

Iota – Pentasomnia

Well this one is easy on the title, so let’s go there first.  Five dreams in a state of something or other, right?  Cool.  I’m in!  Considering they are on the Small Stone Records label, we already know there’s going to be quality and stoner rock feel in there somewhere, so the mystery remains to the sum of all the parts.  And, considering how this is kind-of a concept record, it has an extra depth of intrigue now to it.  Oh, and let’s also add that they’ve been stewing on these five dreams longer than Sunny von Bülow was brain-dead in coma (don’t worry there’s no signs of Jeremy Irons roaming the studio at Small Stone Records).  Now let’s hear what this bluesy stoner rock group is serving up in these five songs of dreams, as they so put it.

First of all, you have 32 minutes to digest this doom, stoner behemoth, so be prepared to be taken on this doomy, space-blues rock dream-mission at an rapid-eye-movement climactic time frame.  Sorry – not sorry, says the band.  Awesome (I say to the band, you do you).  Awesome (says me, to Small Stone Records, for allowing them to sling this the way they wanted, and for being really fucking patient).  Now, you all remember that first time you heard Alice In Chains’ Facelift, and you took some notice.  You noticed the pace, lingering, yet still heavy and driving.  You noticed the dark harmonies, and you kind of well — you didn’t give enough credit to the blues that was really going on.  Well, Iota’s Pentasomnia is one of these kind of records!  Not only does the harmony sneak up on you, but the bluesy vocals here are elevating the listening experience in the same capacity as the riffing and driving passion of the music.

I will say, in defense of the prior album in 2008, that the production here seems to be drowned out for the effect of the dream, and I’m not sure if the overall passion and performance of the musicianship might have been served up better under the prior directive.  There was also a bit more added instrumentation and heavy force of blues rock over alternative grunge in this record.  The way the guitars hang in the prior album, Tales, are much more noticeable and lively.  They are two different records, I realize, but I wanted to point out this driven difference just so listeners understand should they wish to explore this band further, as well as understand the context of 16 years prior (and what it can do to sound and the time and outside influences).  That prior album also makes for a great listen as starter or rabbit hole, if you choose.

I would love to hear what comes next from Iota, but I’m afraid if their path to creation continues, I might have been put out to pasture, or forced into easy listening aides way too sensitive for next level stoner-doom in 2040.  There’s a mathematical projection you don’t get in music articles these days.  I oughta (you’re following me right with that wording there) know better than to get behind a band that apparently likes to give birth, nature and mature before sending an album on it’s way.  Oh, who am I kidding.  If I can wait for Boston, to put out the same record now every 8 years or so, or the slow pace of Cynic and Tool deliveries, I can certainly be ‘The Time Keeper’ here, waiting on the next Iota record.  In the meantime, Pentasomnia‘s five dreams are very worthy of several stoner rock years of listening until our ears meet again.

The Band

  • Joey Toscano: guitars, synths, vocals
  • Oz: bass
  • Andy Patterson: drums

Pentasomnia Tracklisting

  1. The Intruder
  2. The Witness
  3. The Returner
  4. The Timekeeper
  5. The Great Dissolver

Copeland On Unknown Sundays 2024

COPELAND ON UNKNOWN SUNDAYS [YOU TUBE VERSION]

The magic of the music being played in the record store. There’s a reason – y’know. That audio signature is there to entice the ear, but that’s not always how it works when the receiver in the store is not in the right frame of audio mind. Sure, I’ve heard it a few times, where a customer asks either to turn the music down, or why it’s at such a volume (as if this is library). The look on the store clerk or owner’s face is always priceless. It would be the same for me, too, if I ran a record store. Oh, if I ran a record store…but that’s a story of maybe another day (that would be the like the sun and moon aligning, oh wait, that’s happening tomorrow).

The CD Exchange in Orchard Park, run by Bill Boehm, was one of those record stores that was a hint more cognizant of his clientele, keeping the album selections in the soft-rock, indie, electronica, and soft R&B. Think of Sade, Portishead, Mazzy Star, Jack Johnson, and of course, he always slid in Dave Matthews Band, Train, and others. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure he would have loved to put on some Van Halen, Type O Negative, or Rush, but he stuck to the subtle underscoring music to leave the impression, and a lot of the time it worked on me. I guess that’s not a huge surprise, but just think how many times you may have been in a music store and heard a song, or a couple from a band as you browsed, thinking, I’m really digging this. Who is this?

This day, in the store, I was definitely struck that the soft rock of this band was leaking a bit into heavier sonic guitar work, which was dangling outside his usual signature music. It was in the wheelhouse mostly, having a familiarity of Ben Folds-ish, Five For Fighting meets Indie-Rock like Coldplay to some degree but more Mae or Relient K or Switchfoot maybe, but there were changes that showcased a different tone and reach toward emo and indie-rock, which at the time was a pretty big part of the listening culture of the music multiverse in the start to the 2000s (at least the first five years). It also had this jazz drum led song that was very much in the stream of what he would play in the store, so I’m really loving the range and changes. So, I did that other thing, that comes from having music being played in the store. I asked, “Hey, who is this, Bill?”

Copeland. Two friends from Lakeland, Florida. A guitar and piano playing singer-songwriter, Aaron Marsh, and bass guitarist, James Likeness. Bryan Laurenson on rhythm guitar, who basically seems to have been the only constant with Marsh, as Likeness would eventually leave the band to pursue a career in graphic design, which he had probably given up for Copeland. The two albums, Beneath the Medicine Tree and In Motion, were the albums I had heard at that moment, which is sort of an unusual thing in that day and age. The band released, In Motion (2005) but included Beneath the Medicine Tree within the record contract to engage the audience with more of the material, which included low-fi, alternative versions of songs, as well. A really great value, and with there being so much quality and good production, it proved to be an incredibly smart decision. Whether it’s the medical issue melancholy and hope of the debut, or the forward momentum and drive of their sophomore album, Copeland lyricism and delivery is extremely accessible in any class and situation (definitely a hint more in line with the female ear).

Why, Copeland? I mean you’re thinking this sounds like any other band. Well, here’s the important part. They had the element of indie-soft-rock, but they had this knack for brining in instruments, loop, and interesting and daring accompaniments to their tracks, like the xylophone of ‘Where’s My Head’ from the third album, Eat. Sleep. Repeat. which is interesting considering this was the first album they probably had the drummer slightly solidified over a studio musician (as I see not listing of a member in that capacity until this record’s timing). So, they were never afraid to go for it. That is not the only song that features that instrument on this album, either. It also had interesting drum work, feeling as if sometimes that drums actually feel like the “repeat” of the album’s title, feeling like sometimes they are going in reverse to the melodies. And, there are a lot more examples of cleverness in keyboard/piano that hints toward classical movement in the song, ‘The Last Time He Saw Dorie.’

While nothing about Copeland remains in a constant because of the reach of his vocal and high register attempts (mostly without the use of autotuning), as well the wispy choices and growing use of augmented production tricks for certain song moods, Marsh is almost always captivating. The song writing attention is grounded, often simple, but profound enough. He knows the power of a line, when to hang on it, and when to just let it be. He understands his own range and the importance of the music and production around him being able to effect the mood of a piece, and sometimes over the entire album. The lyrics, tons to appreciate and think about;

  • “You break your neck to keep your chin up.” – Chin Up, You Are My Sunshine.
  • “Or, the grace in your eyes overcomes any fall.” – Kite, In Motion.
  • “Perhaps when the day is new, We’ll find tomorrow is just ordinary, too.” Ordinary, Ixora
  • “Bright white puffs on the bluest pages” Skywriter, Blushing

They are a unique blend, and they were always reaching album by album for something slightly different, engaging, and true to their storylines of connection in love and loss of love, as well as common tribulations of life. I do love the fact that they loved to do a cover, holding it very close to the original, but putting it in the Copeland wheelhouse slightly:

Aaron Marsh’s voice shows up in other bands like Lydia, Anberlin, The Cinema, and Underoath to mention, which showcases the slight variety of genre he bounces between. He also was in The Lulls In Traffic’s, which utilizes loop and light hip-hop rap and piano arrangements (actually quite well done and a rabbit hole to go down). There was also the two 2021 EP(s) for Glaswing called Like Water On A Glass Table and I’m In the Checkout Line of My Life, which have a ambient texture in piano and rhythm with Marsh’s vocal (more close to Copeland in my opinion just more electronic in some parts).

No matter where you are in your listening habits, Copeland makes a good solid argument for the subtle influxes, emo-tive mixes, and background attention we pay to music. Whether it comes from the play choices of a fabulous records store in time, or from a silly website, YouTube channel from a music junkie. So, let’s do this again next week!? Eat. Sleep. Repeat.

Albums in my collection by Copeland

Album Review Saturdays 2024 Episode 13

This Album Review Saturdays 2024 Episode 13 we are going to stay completely in the United Kingdom for all three bands and albums!  You truly can’t go wrong when doing so, and it’s not that we intentionally did so, it’s just how the albums came to us, and the feeling of their importance in the music multiverse at this very moment.  We had a completely unique jazz-rock fusion band that are not going to be on radio, and only certain (smart enough) record stores are going to be carrying this album and/or cd.  The second band is probably one of the most well known bands in the United Kingdom, and arguably one of the truest English alternative, rock bands to their native tongue and country-people that’s been able to maintain a fairly attentive national audience.  For our final talented blokes, we go to Warrington to see how a post-Brit-pop band is handling their second resurrection from the greatness and fame from 2000.  There’s no question that the United Kingdom continues to be a nurturing, explosive melting pot of interesting and tasteful musicians, but they are also dedicated to the cause and effect of music as well as its history in instrumentation, approach, and obviously valuing it in their own music.  Would love to spend a month, a week, even a weekender soaking it all in over there, but for now — let’s settle in on lovely Saturday for some great album reviews with a spot of tea and our headphones fully engaged.

 

LINK TO OUR YOUTUBE VERSION
[Mark Kuligowski & Panelist DAHM discuss these (3) albums + adds three (3) more reviews!]

 

 

Nataraja – Spirit At Play

Oh dear God!  When I was told to seek this band and album out, I did not know a few things about it and the personnel.  So, let’s not go there right away.  Instead, let me just prepare you for the jazz-rock Middle-Eastern fusion sound that’s going to take progressive possession of your mind, body, and soul.  The album, Spirit At Play, is not only a wonderful title for the spirit of the types of instrumental works at play, but it is deeply rooted within the spirit of Indian Classical (which leans heavily on sitar and probably other instruments that surpass my worldly instrument knowledge).  I am also not a scholar of the Ragas.  So let’s just go to the simplest definition we can find;  A melodic framework for improvisation in Indian classical music akin to a melodic mode.[3] Rāga is central to classical Indian music and a unique feature of the tradition: no equivalent concept exists in Western classical music.   There you go!  Right there!  This is the hit to your audio senses ladies and gentlemen of the music multiverse.  When these instrumental musicians derived this album, Spirit At Play, this is the intention and the non-confinement — yet somehow playing within (some sort of elevated construct like the Matrix for Christ’s sake) they have brought out one of the early favorites for album of the year!  Oh, fuck off!  We haven’t even scratched the surface of this album yet!

Each rāga consists of an array of melodic structures with musical motifs (yeah yeah yeah, you are all really smart and calculating, but yet you’re going to improve this bitch aren’t you?); and, from the perspective of the Indian tradition, the resulting music has the ability to “colour you mind” as it engages the emotions of the audience.  Oh, yeah.  I got colours all right!  Some I didn’t even know existed, and I’m pretty damn sure — some of you in this band are coloring outside the lines!  Let’s start with the master at the helm of neck and body of the guitar, Jack Jennings.  Who?  How is it this common place simpleton is the ring leader?  Is that not some Jimi Hendrix legionary, or a child of John McLaughlin?  No, just a well educated, guitar lovin’, British bloke with an engaging passionate musical affection for any type of stringed guitar-like instrument. A disciple of sitar virtuoso’s Roopa Panesar and Shakir Parvez Khan (no relation to Genghis or any Wrath thereof).  He has worked with the legendary Pandit Sanju Sahai, Omar Peunte, Manish Pingle and Gurdain Rayatt and many others. His previous band Ashowka fused Indian Music with Rock/Jazz and was signed to Geoff Barrow’s (of Portishead) label in Bristol.  Wait until you hear the sounds this man is creating, respecting, and improvising!

The drummer, well well well, if it isn’t Mr. Andy Edwards!  The hardest working man in the music and YouTube business maybe?  I mean, how does he have time to make albums, do provocative, education YouTubing, and decide to sit in on this unbelievable project?  It’s absolutely crazy!  No wonder he hasn’t gotten back to us on an appearance on our show!!  Fiddlesticks!  We are always enthralled with his unrelenting attention to music, as well as his quick absorption and overall kindness we’ve been first hand to.  But the real gift here, is his playing.  I’m not professional musician or producer, but I do understand that something of this nature is not for just any drummer!  Incredible.  We didn’t forget about that bass!  John Jowitt, 17 times, best British Classic Rock Society’s bass player! Progressively with IQ and Frost, which we assume is where he and Andy conspired to take over the universe.  He also recorded and played live with Arena, Ark and Jadis, as well as playing bass live for John Wetton, Uriah Heep, Peter Banks (of Yes), Tim Bowness and John Young, to just name a few of note (apparently David Gilmour was busy–kidding he probably played with him, too).  Not to mention, the progressive keyboard/synthesizing going on, added wonderfully by Richard Charles Boxley (Wave Tenet), who takes inspiration from artists like Brian Eno and Aphex Twin. On the bandcamp page he definitely brings out some “Beautiful haunting sounds…” and has great ways of bringing about “Pure tonal and textural beauty.”

Now, are you ready for the shocker of all this!?  Did you listen to it yet?!  No.  No.  You go and listen to the entire album.  Download it or buy it.  Then, you come back for this next and final sentence that will allow the microphone to be dropped as to why this is an early favorite for album of the year.  You couldn’t have listened to it that fast!  There are two songs that are over 15 minute each themselves.

Okay, you’re finally ready!  This album was recorded live in one take.  [that sound you here is the microphone dropping, echoing as these marvelous musicians leave the stage].
This is a legendary fusion album that will probably not sell millions of copies, although, it should probably be in every music teacher’s, music offiando’s, and collector’s possession — not to mention at every respectable record store in the world.  Absolutely, incredible!

The Band

  • Jack Jennings – Electric Guitar
  • Andy Edwards – Drums
  • John Jowitt – Bass Guitar
  • Richard Charles Boxley – Analog Modular Synthesis

Spirit At Play Tracklisting

  1. Raag Sarang – Soul Shard
  2. Raag Jog – Ganges Delta
  3. Spirit At Play
  4. Raag Malkauns – Dark Sacred Night
  5. Raag Hansadhwani – Vinayaka

 

 

 

ElbowAudio Vertigo

There is just something very English authentic about Elbow and the creative process and song writing of Guy Garvey.  Despite the exclusivity of the lyrics to his native side of the world (most of the time), I still love the story telling, and the fact that I have to work at it like downloading a Thesaurus when reading Koontz.  There are always lovely anecdotes and pub-in-the-wall descriptive moments that make you, not only want to be there, but make you want to be British (like Gillian Anderson and Madonna — no offense, I get it).  This is higher education in the hands of laymen and his magical band of merry English alternative instrumental magicians.  The can bend a chord, flip a loop, or as is stated in there latest,  Audio Vertigo, “Give it fat wide wheels!”  Boom!  And then the song, ‘Balu’ is off and running!  This is Elbow, and this is another music-stopped in their catalog (one that very rarely ever disappoints).

We are now ten studio albums deep, and Elbow continues to come out of the studio still creating all kinds of audio textures, clever and cunning lyricism that is staggeringly catchy, groovy, and no doubt — all their own (even when it’s completely out of left field).  While ‘Lover’s Leap,’ a definite Elbow track has that signature of distortion, it’s the horn line that bleeds their signature, followed by the tale of lovers as only can be spun by Garvey.  There albums are always smart to worldly turmoil but even more intelligent to package it with slight-of-humor and mucho gusto in melody and vocal power-wit (which I reserve only for him as a song-writer-one-of-a-kind).  This is evident on the blistering ‘Knife Fight,’ which is pretty much the signature of this vocalist’s ability to capture a moment and make it everlasting, impactful and alternatively classy in a flabbergast of alliteration.

Audio Vertigo is near perfect.  A near perfect 10 on their 10th album!  Another feather in the musical cap of the United Kingdom this year, and an album for which the lyrical awareness and little Easter eggs will still be coming all year-long.  This is another prime contender as 2024 moves on.

The Band

  • Guy Garvey – vocals, horn arrangements
  • Craig Potter – keyboards, producer, mixing
  • Mark Potter – guitars
  • Pete Turner – bass
  • Alex Reeves – drums

Additional Musicians

  • Additional personnel
  • Sarah Field – trumpet, saxophones
  • Carol Jarvis – trombones
  • Victoria Rule – trumpet
  • Ella Hohnen-Ford, Kianja, Eliza Oakes – additional backing vocals
  • Jack Heyworth, Elvin Reeves, Otto Simpson, Jack Stirling Garvey, Martha Turner, Ted Turner – kids choir

Beyond Your Radio Album Review Saturdays 2024 - Elbow Audio VertigoAudio Vertigo Tracklisting

  1. Things I’ve Been Telling Myself for Years
  2. Lovers’ Leap
  3. (Where Is It?)
  4. Balu
  5. Very Heaven
  6. Her to the Earth
  7. The Picture
  8. Poker Face
  9. Knife Fight
  10. Embers of Day
  11. Good Blood Mexico City
  12. From the River

 

 

StarsailorWhere the Wild Things Grow

This post-British Pop band from 2000 really had a hold on me, with their debut, Love Is Here (2001), and their two follow-up albums, Silence Is Easy and On the Outside.  It was that kind of time in the music multiverse for me where the dynamic ballad and minimalistic pop-chord structure was king to my ears.  The vocal and song writing of James Walsh just made…silence easy.  The voice was distinctive, and beautifully woven into the musicianship, as well as being in the wheelhouse of the music scene which featured the likes of the very early Coldplay, Snow Patrol, and Keane.  So, it’s great music and lyrical company.  Where are we today, though, as the band moves in from a long hiatus in 2015, and now eight years later a new album, called Where the Wild Things Grow?

Well, when you’re a listener like me, that first track on an album better bring me back to that place I was and then some.  Well, “here come the laughing Hyenas,” and I know that this is not a contractual agreement fulfilling construct.  No, they are going for it, and ‘Into the Wild’ certainly showcases that, especially the incoming knock-out harmonica and background vocals and heavier blues guitar ending!  Kudos, boys!  This is what we love about long-standing bands in the music multiverse that come back from the depths of obscurity, having maybe a minimal audience overall, but the tenacity and musical guise to realise that you are almost, nearly starting over again!  So, Where the Wild Things Grow, is doing exactly that…putting their roots in the ground and letting it grow — organically and wildly (this time)!

I think the growth might have been a bit too much on my first listen!  I’m not kidding.  It’s like Walsh was sort of lost, but that second listen and a louder third listen just opened up the audio file on Starsailor 2024!  While I don’t think they’ve left the post-British Pop arena, I do think they added on to their house of musical experience, reaching into a heavier pop and even an alternative punch here and there.  The production is just as it has always been, very definitive to every inch, and put together track by track from start to finish with not a moment of quick cut or fall off.  There’s even some clever alt-country swagger in ‘After the Rain’ which again I took note of Walsh’s different vocal range.  But, ‘Where the Wild Things Grow’ brought me back to that familiarity just enough again and again for me to truly enjoy the record for the future Starsailor that it is.  This could be a catalyst record that will invite new listeners to the live venue, and  from there they can find the 2000 catalog, and enjoy the rabbit hole, like most of us have done discovering bands in the same fashion that go through times like these.

The Band

  • James Walsh – guitar and lead vocals
  • James Stelfox – bass
  • Barry Westhead – keyboards
  • Ben Byrne – drums

Where the Wild Things Grow Tracklisting

  1. Into The Wild
  2. Heavyweight
  3. After The Rain
  4. Where The Wild Things Grow
  5. Flowers
  6. Better Times
  7. Dead On The Money
  8. Enough
  9. Hard Love
  10. Last Shot
  11. Hanging In The Balance