Monday, January 14, 2019

Australian singer-songwriter / guitarist Gus McKay releases "Talisman" album..a blues-rock stunner

Australian singer-songwriter/guitarist Gus McKay is making blues-rock fans very happy with his latest album, Talisman. Blues and roots-rock influences  abound, including  J.J.Cale, mixed in with Gus' Peter Green meets ZZ Top inspired vocals. Essential for blues and rock fans, Talisman is a fascinating spin start to finish. Songs about purpose and dignity are at the core of Talisman, which also has a deep connection to rural life in Australia. A sense of sparseness permeates Talisman, which is very much centered on Gus’ own ideas of life, while his lyrics are underscored by the excellent sound that Gus receives from his band, including Ronan Charles (drums, keyboards, and tenor sax) and Phil Waldron (bass, double bass, bouzouki, fiddle, trumpet,  cello, banjo, pedal steel and tin whistle). The first thing that grabs you about Talisman is the sonic depth of these songs, while guitar fans will be amazed at the sound that Gus coaxes from his many fine guitars, including Teles and Strats as well as a 1940's Dobro and an Australian “Galvo” tricone resonator made from 100 year old galvanized roof tin/iron.The art of modern electric blues is alive and well on Gus McKay's Talisman

official website:

Gus McKay is a successful songwriter and musician with 20 years as a seasoned recording artist, performer and producer. A farmer and stockman most of his life, but now a full-time musician, Gus McKay sings and writes all his own material, plays guitar, blues harmonica and tenor sax. Gus also performs in a number of bands and as solo artist in his hometown, Fremantle in Western Australia, Gus McKay's earthy style of music features roots and blues infused music but with a new alt/jazz flavor, building a future style for upcoming releases on his self-funded and self-produced RPM (Rollin’ Plains Media) label.

Marty's review: this most stunning release shows the diversity in Gus McKay's talents and professionalism. The album is a musical introspective that creates a  landscape of sounds and lyrics that Gus has threaded together from his experiences and visions of everyday life. The lyrics are sometimes dark but also honest and poignant. His guitar playing is sprawling and skillful and the production on the whole album is expansive and at times breathtaking. This is one release that will certainly be noticed and roots music fans and the like will wrap it around themselves and enjoy the warmth and textures that are created.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Laurie Jane and The 45's new release "Late Last Night...Elixir of Sara Martin"

Louisville, Kentucky's Laurie Jane and The 45's find themselves walking new paths that are at the same time as familiar as turning down the street to home on "Late Last Night," their new release on Down in the Alley Records.

The goal of Laurie Jane and The 45's is to revive the work of Louisville's prohibition-era blues singer Sara Martin. But they're not doing it in a purist way: Instead of trying to capture every nuance of music that's nearly a century old, the group reaches out to deliver Sara's music in the same way the great British rock bands introduced most of us to the blues. Sara's words ring true through the careful, thoughtful delivery of Laurie Jane's vocals, while the band's Southern soul shines with layers of rich horns, cascading guitars and their trademark raucous rhythms.

1. LATE LAST NIGHT (Sara Martin) 2:55
(Clarence Williams, Spencer Williams, Clarence Johnson) 3:12
3. BLIND MAN BLUES (Eddie Green and Billie McLauren) 4:18
4. STRANGE LOVIN' BLUES (Sara Martin) 2:34
5. SUGAR BLUES (Clarence Williams) 2:47
6. MY MAN BLUES (Sara Martin) 4:31
7. JOE TURNER BLUES (W.C. Handy) 3:45
DADDY DO (Sylvester Weaver) 3:02
9. PLEADING BLUES (Sara Martin) 2:49
10. ATLANTA BLUES (W.C. Handy and Dave Elman) 2:31
(Sara Martin and Clifford Hayes) 4:43
(Everett Robbins and Porter Granger) 4:23

Laurie has a lovely classic, clear voice that comes across the airwaves strong and true to the style of music she sings. Her sweet voice, her easy style, and her graceful presence could easily fit into the era where vocalists really sang, conscious of tone and feel.” - Susan O'Neil, Louisville Music News

Damn decent blues & soul & rock, sometimes pounding, honed by the everyday world, without hocus-pocus, sometimes tenderly.” - Jens Sienknecht, Lebensfreundschaft Rock N Roll

An interesting band who meld the sounds of big-city blues from the ‘50s with jazz and high-energy rockabilly and soul into a package that’s totally their own.”
- Marty Gunther, Blues Blast Magazine

Cort Duggins – Guitars, piano
Scott Dugdale – Drums
Jason Embry – Bass
Laurie Jane Duggins – Vocals
Brian “Boss” Hogg – Saxophone
Special Guests: Screamin' John Hawkins – Guitar
Eric Snyder - Trumpet

Marty's review: Laurie Jane and the 45's have delivered in a big way with this tribute to Louisville's blues original Sara Martin. Combining traditional blues with contemporary soul and raunch this outstanding release comes together seamlessly and shines throughout. With dynamic and flawless vocals from Laurie Jane backed by the upbeat and rollicking 45's, each track is expertly played and will have you up and dancing with ease.

official website:


Monday, January 7, 2019

Bert Wray Blues second album release Hometown Hostage..tales of hometown relationships

Bert Wray Blues recently released their sophomore album Hometown Hostage on the local Charlotte NC indie label Third Lock Records (established 1986). The album is a concept record about the relationship with one’s hometown and features artwork by Knoxville TN comic/rock’n'roll artist Tommy Smith. The music takes you on a tour of hometown living whether you stayed, escaped, ran away, or came back. The record is full of the band’s unique brand of alternative blues rock that is grounded in a fusion of the long underground music history of its members and their love of swampy blues boogie. 

Bert Wray Blues is an alternative blues-rock band from Charlotte NC. The band has released two albums Gut Bucket Radio (2017) and Hometown Hostage (2018). Slide guitarist-singer Bert Wray leads the band on a high energy ride of all-original juke joint rockers. Bert is joined by drummer Mitch Cooper and bassist Dave Wall. The band has played festivals, music halls, and dive bars across North Carolina while the Gut Bucket Radio album has received airplay on Charlotte's 99.7 FM The Fox and many internet radio stations. 

official website:

Marty's review: This 2nd album release by Bert Wray Blues combines clever lyrics with a poetic story-telling vibe about the trials and tribulations of hometown life. The 8-tracker invites you in and takes you by the hand on a tour of what sounds like a small town but could be anywhere you wish to be. The sound is a very rootsy Americana/alternative-blues rock with some excellent slide guitar by Bert Wray and a well-rounded rhythm section that drives along with an upbeat and positive tempo. Take some time out and have a listen to this outstanding release and enjoy the visit.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Singer/guitarist Johnny Ramos debut album Johnny and Jaalene... blues and roots/rockabilly

19-year-old singer/guitarist Johnny Ramos is making the scene all over Orange County, L.A. and beach cities alike, even hitting Viva Las Vegas this year and making quite a splash. As son of blues guitarist Kid Ramos, Johnny has been surrounded by music all his life. From blues to rock, jazz, rockabilly, punk, disco, even classical and Broadway, he has been living a musical life since he was in the womb. When he was young, Johnny started out with the piano. When he was old enough, his dad handed him his very ­first guitar, never to be put down again.

The handsome 19-year-old actor/choirboy musician is tearing up the music scene with his blues and roots/rockabilly band, Johnny and Jaalene. His super talented co-front girl Jaalene DeLeon is a 16-year-old beauty from East L.A. who sings like a bird and looks like a doll. Jaalene is a theater girl and choir student turned rockabilly diva, given the moniker “The Queen of the Teens.” Jaalene played many a lead role in musical theater before joining Johnny with her timeless voice. She has won ­first place in many singing competitions and performed the national anthem for a variety of prestigious events.

Their debut album, “Johnny & Jaalene,” on Rip Cat Records, features Kid Ramos, Tommy Harkenrider, Brent Harding and Kip Dabbs, the best of the best of the SoCal music scene. This album has 12 songs featuring roots, rockabilly, Chicano rock ’n’ roll and Americana. The future holds many great things for these two rising Mexican-American teen idols.

official website:

Marty's review: this debut release from Johnny Ramos and Jaalene DeLeon is a most upbeat and "feel-good" delight that will have you singing along and tapping your toes from the first notes. These talented young artists have taken the roots music of rock and roll, rockabilly, doo-wop and Americana to create a vibrant and ecstatic mix of tunes that not only pay tribute to the original performers but also allow them to be heard by a whole new audience. Their simply rousing version of Eddie Cochran's "Teenage Cutie", Wanda Jackson's "Let's Have A Party" and the classic Everly Brothers ballad "Let It Be Me" are definite highlights and they deliver each track with an excitement and passion that is refreshing to hear.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Blues singer/songwriter Tommy Palumbo seasonal release Hollerin' a Christmas Blues

Tommy Palumbo is a London-based, British-Italian musician. Tommy's music is about honouring traditional acoustic and electric blues. However, he also likes to push blues boundaries further on up the road and he has created Metropolitan Blues, a style which fuses hard drum sections with blues vocals and guitars.

Better Be On My Own is Tommy's tribute to the delta blues, while January Blues is his homage to Chicago blues.

An example of Metropolitan Blues is the song Nothing But the Blues from his new album Tones of Blues.

He recently released his seasonal offering "Hollerin' a Christmas Blues".

official website:

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Blues/soul/roots original Randy McAllister new release Triggers Be Trippin'...scorches and resonates

Randy McAllister is one of America's true blues/soul/roots originals and one of Texas' most revered and critically acclaimed artists. He has been flying in the face of convention his whole career ...  no smoke, no mirrors, no choreography or industry machines. Randy plays driving drums and world-class harmonica, writes incredible songs, and sings like no one else. His new album, "Triggers Be Trippin," is available now.

Raised in the small Texas town of Novice, McAllister is a sixth generation Texan. Following in his father's footsteps, Randy started on drums at age 9. McAllister found the harmonica in his early 20s while stationed in Massachusetts as a member of the USAF, taking cues from blues legend "Earring George" Mayweather, a Boston resident and harmonica master. McAllister moved to Alaska in 1989, where he spent the next three years playing in various bands. By the time he returned to Texas in 1992, he was a strong, skillful harp player establishing a reputation as a vocalist and songwriter. In 1997, McAllister signed with JSP Records, releasing three highly acclaimed CD's before going on to issue recordings on Severn Records (with Mike Morgan) and Reaction Records. "Roustabout, maverick, spiritual, gritty, amazing, genius, wild, bad-ass, soulful" ... those are some of the words used to describe this Texas bona-fide blue blood. A true ambassador of East Texas music with a career spanning more than 30 years and 15 albums to his credit.

official website:

Marty's review: On his latest release Randy McAllister serves up a dose of no-nonsense, down to earth soulful roots blues that is scorches and resonates with every note. With nine original compositions plus the bluesiest cover of "Since I Met You Baby" I've ever heard, this release shows the multiple talents of this exceptional artist and will further his career in no uncertain way.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Australian-born blues-rock artist Hamish Anderson LIVE video of high energy single "Breaking Down"

Australian-born, blues-rock artist Hamish Anderson and his live video and first performance ever of his new track, "Breaking Down."  It was filmed live at Belly Up in Solana Beach, CA.   Already praised by NPR, Billboard, American Songwriter, KCRW, Relix Magazine, among other taste-makers, Glide Magazine raves about Hamish, “The young guitarist is a true talent ...we can expect big things from him in the coming years.”

All Things Go, premiered the song and declared, “From soulful strums of a thick bass to near-rockabilly breakdowns, the young artist clearly knows the path from nostalgia to the future.” 

“Breaking Down” dials up straight ahead, high energy rock and roll reminiscent of early Kings of Leon -with the swagger of 60's bands like The Kinks and The Who. Produced by 7x Grammy winner Jim Scott (whose credits include Red Hot Chili Peppers and Tom Petty), this new single is an unabashed rocker from start to finish, with a driving bass line and a breakneck drum beat backing up his rhythmic guitar styling.

Stream and download HERE

official website:

Thursday, December 13, 2018

New Orleans guitar legend Bryan Lee "Sanctuary" album release...sharing a gift and a dream come true

"Sanctuary" first came to Bryan Lee in a dream. The night before a festival performance in a church in Spitsbergen, Norway, the blind New Orleans guitar legend heard an entire musical arrangement for the Lord’s Prayer in his sleep. The next day, he performed it just as he heard it. So inspired were he and the band they recorded it while still in Norway. But it would be seven years, and a chance meeting with producer Steve Hamilton who offered his studio and skills, before the rest of the album became a reality. The result is an 11-song master work expressing Lee’s attitude toward life, love for the Lord, and gratitude for his talent and career.

There is a lot to be grateful for, but it did not come easily. Lee lost his sight at 8 years old, but by 15, he was playing music for crowds in the Midwest. A love of blues led him to spend nearly 20 years in Chicago, and Muddy Waters accurately predicted that if Lee stayed the course, he would become a legend. Time and hard work brought 14 albums, multiple world tours, an appearance on Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s “Blues From the Backroads, 10 Days Out" documentary, performances on national shows, and the freedom to finally make "Sanctuary." “Gratefully, I am now able to share this gift, this dream come true, with you all,” Lee said.

official website:

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Atlanta roots rockers Collins Drive release "This Town of Mine"...rootsy, Americana rock'n'roll

Atlanta roots-rock trio Collins Drive recently released their latest album, This Town of Mine. The album is 7 songs and 30 minutes of rootsy, Americana Rock and Roll. It is a melting pot of influences from Whiskeytown, The Band, Tony Joe White to Van Morrison and Gregg Allman. Collins Drive left no stone unturned on this album. 

To help round out the sound of the album, Collins Drive recruited top shelf musicians such as Atlanta saxophonist Will Scruggs (“Another Day Away” and “Shall We Dance”), Michelle Schrotz of Virginia band Brave on organ and harmony vocals (“Another Rainy Night in GA”), and Suvo Sur, also of Brave, on violin (The Bidding’s Closed).  They were even honored to be graced with the presence of legendary Whiskeytown fiddler/vocalist Caitlin Cary who joined Don on a duet for the song “Another Day Away.”

Collins Drive is so lucky to have so many talented friends lend their talents to our songs.  Without them, they wouldn’t have turned out nearly as magical and moving as they turned out.  As for having Caitlin Cary do a duet with me, that seemed like nothing more than a pipe dream to me.”, says de Leaumont.  “I reached out to her and she said she’d give it a listen.  About a week later she messaged me and told me how much she loved the song and she delivered a performance that brought me to tears.”   

This Town of Mine shows just how much a band can grow and mature in just a year’s time.  After countless shows, writing sessions, and rehearsals, Collins Drive’s hard work really shows on This Town of Mine.  If you’re a fan of just good ol’ rootsy rock and roll with a Southern twist, this is definitely an album that will be right at home in your ears, heart, and soul.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Austin, Texas Americana artist Danny Golden album release Old Love...honesty and integrity

Danny Golden is a singer/songwriter, a rock and roller and a lifelong searcher for truth and people to share it with. He says the artist’s job is to investigate the depths of our world and bring some meaning back to the surface. His music is an antidote to the status quo; the trendy internet fads we inhale like a fruity pebble flavored vape pen until the flavor runs out and we need a new fix. In a world of artists selling you their projected images of hip, Golden’s music invites you to real connection on a human level.

His latest album, Old Love, is his exploration of relationships, of the situations we all find ourselves in when we let somebody into our life. It’s an investigation of the ancient binding force that has both inspired and confused us since the world began. It’s about clear cut signs and gray areas. It’s about facing the daunting power of love and taking it head on. It’s about the potential to be overwhelmed by that same love and walk away. It’s about figuring out your path and interacting with the temptations and distractions that get more fun and better looking every day.

His amazing backing band are Spencer Garland (Black Pumas, Matthew Logan Vasquez, PR Newman), Jeff Olson (White Denim, Balmorhea) and Brendan Bond (Glorietta, Matthew Logan Vasquez, Golden Dawn Arkestra). Insert lifelong best friend and collaborator Ben Brown on lead guitar. Add producer John Michael Landon and help from a few friends including Mary Bryce (SMiiLE) and Evan Kaspar (Mother Falcon) and you have the full roster for the album.

Danny Golden’s music is an invitation to look at life through the artist’s eyes, to see more, and to see more clearly.

official website:

Marty's review: Danny Golden's approach to his music is delivered with an honesty and integrity that is often rare in many contemporary artists. His lyrics are introspective, heartfelt and offer the listener a window into his views and experiences of his life. The instrumentation is tight and masterful without being over-produced which makes the album essential listening and a feel-good experience.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Mick Kolassa and the Taylor Made Blues Band "149 Delta Avenue" ... free range blues

After releasing two critically acclaimed albums of other people’s music, Mick Kolassa is back to what he loves most: recording and releasing what he calls his own “free range blues.” His new album, "149 Delta Avenue," covers a multitude of blues styles and sub-genres. Mick has assembled a collection of fine new original songs and three of his favorites written by others. To bring this body of work to life, he has brought together a stellar group of musicians that include the Taylor Made Blues Band and some great guests.

For this album Mick teamed with Grammy® Award and BMA winning producer Michael Freeman. The Taylor Made Blues Band for this album consists of David Dunavent on guitar and backing vocals, Leo Goff on bass, Lee Williams on drums and Chris Stephenson on keyboards, with Susan Marshall and Daunielle “Pie” Hill on backing vocals. Stepping up to add their magic are special guests Jeff Jensen, Eric Hughes, J.D. Taylor, Toronzo Cannon, Marc Franklin, Kirk Smothers, Alice Hasen, Suavo Jones, and Marty Sammon, with engineer Mike Wilson offering his whistling skills. Taking full advantage of his tastes and experience and the talents of the amazing musicians who helped him put this together, Mick has once again delivered a real treat for his listeners.

The album opens with Mick’s song “I Can’t Slow Down," which is his confessional about how he lives, followed by “US 12 to Highway 49," which traces his lifelong blues odyssey. “Alternative Man” is a sexy blues tune in the classic “macho” sense, treated two different ways on this album. “Cotton Road” is a powerhouse song that Mick wrote after a conversation with the curator of Memphis’ Cotton Museum and driving on the road on which he lives (Cotton Road). “I Don’t Need No Doctor," a song introduced by Ray Charles but also delivered by Humble Pie and others, has a special place in Mick’s heart, as does Larry Garner’s great composition “Miss Boss," which has been a mainstay in his live shows for years. Then there’s “The Viper," which is just a fun song.

Taken as a whole, this album represents Mick’s love of all styles of blues, as well as his continuing drive to improve as an artist and as a songwriter.

official website:

Monday, December 3, 2018

Americana Singer-Songwriter Amilia K Spicer releases "Harlan" music emotional journey

Amilia K Spicer’s latest album is the triumph Wow and Flutter, which is Spicer’s third release.It has enjoyed acclaim for its captivating, personal lyricism, haunting melodies, and powerful rustic tone. American Songwriter Magazine described the album as “a timeless, brand-new Americana classic.” Now, Spicer is releasing the LP's third single, “Harlan,” which sees Spicer make the emotional journey to the birthplace of her father.

The album landed on many year-end best-of lists for 2017. Despite the acclaim, Spicer retains an underground mystique to her, perhaps due to her “don’t fence me in” attitude (also the name of her record label).  In addition to performing, Spicer spends time traveling (recently to Tibet and Bhutan), showcasing her photography, and directing/producing indie films. Throughout 2018, Spicer performed frequently in the Americana festival circuit. She wowed fans with a full band set at the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas, as well as the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival in Oklahoma. Furthermore, she’s performed more intimately at venues across the US, including 30A Songwriters Festival in January.

With the single, Spicer proudly debuts the self-directed music video for “Harlan.” As ever, the video is an excellent example of what makes Amilia K Spicer such a captivating performer – after all, she’s a frequent face on the Americana music festival circuit!

Explore Amilia K Spicer’s Social Media:

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Texas singer/songwriter/guitarist Hadden Sayers releases "Dopamine Machine" & "Acoustic Dopamine"

Veteran Texas singer, songwriter and guitar slinger Hadden Sayers has a unique style all his own, a style that pairs taste and soul with blues-rock firepower. With the "Dopamine Machine" project, his ninth studio recording, the amps are cranked and the guitars set on blistering, ranging from the swaggering “Peppermint Patty” to the longing “Waiting Wanting” and the explosive “Backbreaker.” His blues rocks and he doesn't sound like anyone else on the scene.

When he's not performing his own music, he plays guitar for Ruthie Foster, who contributed vocals to this unique double-disc project which includes "Acoustic Dopamine," featuring acoustic versions of the album’s tracks. Sayers says "Dopamine Machine" is "more from-the-heart than any of my other releases. It was written and recorded without any concern for what genre it may fit into. That lack of concern for how I fit into the music world made recording even more inspiring than it already is for me, and it shows.”

"Dopamine Machine" lands squarely back in the hard-rocking blues sound that has been his biggest calling card.

"Acoustic Dopamine," is a rare treat, a companion album that offers a different take on the songs from his concurrent release "Dopamine Machine."

With "Dopamine Machine" each song had so much to say that Sayers sat on his bed with a 1954 Gibson acoustic and rearranged the whole album as a solo acoustic set, then took it into the studio to make a raw, pure version of "Dopamine Machine."

Assisted only by Ruthie Foster, who lent her voice to the gorgeous duet “Waiting Wanting,” and a friend who played percussion, the album is a stripped-down set that captures the emotional intensity of each song. While "Dopamine Machine" is for driving down the freeway with the band, windows down and stereo cranked, "Acoustic Dopamine" is for traveling alone down a deserted highway all night long.

official website:

Monday, November 26, 2018

Iowa City Americana/Rock Singer-Songwriter Kelly Pardekooper 9th album release "50-Weight"

Kelly Pardekooper recently released his ninth album, 50-Weight, marking a 20-year bookend to his lo-fi debut release 30-Weight. Going back to his home state roots, 50-Weight was recorded in a rural Iowa barn studio June 1-4, 2018. Producer and guitar wizard hats are again worn by Iowa City friend Bo Ramsey (best known for producing and playing guitar on Grammy nominated Lucinda Williams and Greg Brown albums). Kelly’s authentic songs and voice have been featured in TV/FILM under the radar for the past decade thanks to Los Angeles based music publisher Black Toast Music. His new album 50-Weight is pure Americana-Iowa roots music that moves from pretty to pissed on a dime. Enjoy the ride!

Iowa City native Kelly Pardekooper is an Americana/Rock Singer-Songwriter. He put down roots in Indianapolis in 2012 after stints in Nashville, Madison and Los Angeles. He has released nine albums and toured all over the US and Europe, showcasing his songs everywhere from SXSW in Austin to the Take Root Festival in Holland. Television song credits include True Blood, Justified, Blue Bloods, Sons of Anarchy, Cold Case, Chicago Fire, Longmire, Speechless etc. Film credits include Vengeance (Nicolas Cage), April Moon and Sex in the USA. Kelly Pardekooper writes songs and tries to treat people well!

official website:

Marty's review: Kelly Pardekooper's 9th album is a treat for Alt-Country/Americana fans with insightful lyrics, roots-based instrumentation and a production from Bo Ramsey that is all about rawness and mood. Kelly has created and emotionally-rich and textured sound-scape that takes the listener on a journey of discovery with unexpected treasures to be found.

A moody alt-country original - Nashville Scene

A roots musician who writes some of the sweetest blues-infused, country-fied, American rock music of our time- No Depression

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Gina Sicilia releases "Heard The Lie"...stunning eighth album by blues/soul songstress

"Heard the Lie," Gina Sicilia’s eighth album in 10 years, is so loaded with gems that it’s hard to believe that the material was written in a single month. But the prolific young songwriter said the 10 originals on the album are actually her favorites out of more than 20 songs she wrote—all in the month of December 2017. The eclectic and inspired album includes an uplifting ballad co-written and performed with Grammy-nominated label mate Janiva Magness and a smoky cover of Bad Company’s “Ready for Love”.

The album was the culmination of a long tour and then two months of listening to music nearly around the clock. “Back in September I got back from nine weeks on the road, took a break, and listened to music 24-7,” Sicilia says. “By the time December came I had taken enough time listening to music, and in December I had written 20-25 songs.”

The final collection of songs continues Sicilia’s tradition of writing music across a wide array of genres and moods, ranging from the R'n'B show stopper “How Many Times” to the playful Elvis-tinged “Sugar” and the bluesified “Angels Watching.” Sicilia’s duet with Janiva Magness, “Brighter Day,” is a soul treasure, and “Heard the Lie,” the title track, is a catchy Americana number with a heart-wrenching storyline.

I’ve been making a transition to music that’s obviously influenced by blues and soul but has more of a pop sensibility,” Sicilia says. “If there is an intention, it’s to write songs that make it very apparent what my influences are but that have a hook.” That mission has been accomplished on this album, Sicilia says. She is very excited to deliver this set of songs to her fans worldwide. “I’m so proud of every song on this album,” Sicilia says. “Every song is a little bit different, the production is great, and the hooks are great. I can’t wait for everyone to hear them.

official websites: /

Marty's review: Gina Sicilia is in fine form once more on this, her eighth album release. Crossing several genres from blues to soul to Americana, the collection of 11 accomplished tracks show a maturity and musical sensibility that highlights the passion and tenderness of Gina's dedication to her music.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Toronto-based vocalist, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sugar Brown album "It's A Blues World"

It’s a blues world, and Sugar Brown is living in it and “calling all blues” with real grace and style. The Toronto-based vocalist, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has found his full creative voice on It’s A Blues World (Calling All Blues!), his third album release.

Following on from his 2014 debut Sugar Brown’s Sad Day and 2015’s acclaimed Poor Lazarus, the new record mines the various strata of the blues genre, digging deep and unearthing dazzling new gems. Brown possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of the form, but his songs are passionate, singular, and soulful, constantly resisting generic, mainstream formulations.

He explains his free-wheeling and idiosyncratic style this way: “Each song here is a blues world. They go from country to urban, from the ’30s to ’70s, but they are little worlds within the blues. “My last name, Kawashima, means river-island in Japanese.  You can think of each song as an island in a river. You can flow down the river, stopping and listening to one, then moving onto the next.” The voyage is a richly compelling and entertaining one.

It’s A Blues World was recorded at Toronto studio Marquee Sound, with engineer Braden Sauder. Situated in an old movie theatre, the studio focuses on analog recording, Sugar Brown’s preferred form. “We recorded on two tracks, to quarter inch tape,” he explains. “I brought in one piece of recording gear, a 1936 Collins mike pre-amp, and plugged in my vocal microphone through that.” “By using the technologies of older recording, I want to give the listener a different sonic listening experience than what we have come to blindly accept in digital recording. That is part of the experience of a Sugar Brown album.”

It’s A Blues World has a rich, warm and intimate sound that is the perfect setting for Brown’s original compositions. The mastering work of Grammy-winner Peter J. Moore (Cowboy Junkies, Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes) is the icing on the cake of the recording.       

Marty's review: On this latest release Sugar Brown takes the essence of blues roots and adds his own "flavorsome" touch that results in an album which embodies the blues with passion and honesty. At times sounding like pure vintage blues from an original master, the analog process of the recording brings out a uniqueness and poignancy that is rare in contemporary blues recordings. A very generous 13 tracks that are all original with a combination of acoustic and electric instrumentation that is well-rounded, tight and solid

Saturday, November 17, 2018

The Guitar 1929-1969 - The Players You Need to Know.....excellent video highlighting top guitarists

In this episode Rick Beato discusses the guitar players that every serious guitarist should know between 1929-1969. A comprehensive guide of styles covering Classical, Blues, Jazz, Country and Rock & Roll. 

YouTube channel:

Friday, November 16, 2018

Keith Stone with Red Gravy new album release...blues with a taste of New Orleans

Keith Stone is back with his highly anticipated second release, and this time he’s teamed up with Red Gravy, made up of three of the most well-respected musicians to call New Orleans home.

This band delivers ten songs of original, tasteful blues, all run through the New Orleans cookbook of funk and R'n'B to create an exotic and spicy musical dish, but here in the Crescent City, it’s all home cookin’.

Keith Stone with Red Gravy come by the name the same way Keith’s Sicilian mama cooked up her beloved sauce: by carefully simmering New Orleans spices and spirit. The new album works the same way. Drawing from the sounds of the city that gave us Earl King, Guitar Slim, Professor Longhair and Dr. John, the band pays homage to these pioneers of New Orleans Blues while carving out an identity all its own. Longtime friends Jimmy Carpenter and Brent Johnson dropped in to lend their talents and love for all things New Orleans.

There are cities, regions, and neighborhoods all over the country that can lay some claim to “the blues.” That’s all fine and good, but Keith Stone with Red Gravy is damned certain that the blues that comes out of New Orleans is the best, most unique and funkiest there’s ever been. Listen to the album and you’ll agree.

“It started as a front-man with a band, but now we’re a band with a front-man”

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Boston’s Southern-flavored blues/roots rock quartet Sunshine Riot release "Interstate"...raucous Americana

Boston’s Southern-flavored blues/roots rock quartet Sunshine Riot recently released "Interstate" from their album Lonely Hotel, the band’s 3rd full length studio album. It was produced by 19-time grammy nominated producer, George Dussault, at Galilee Studios in Cumberland RI, who calls Sunshine Riot a, “"great, soulful band. . . a favorite of mine.”

Already featured on  Sounds of Boston, Diffuser FM, Alternate Root, Glide Magazine and Elmore Magazine, among others, the "4-piece band from Boston, Massachusetts takes elements of country, blues and punk and twist them into their own rock Southern sound.” (Pure Grain Audio) 

The album reflects the perspective of a band that has been writing, touring, performing and generally "doing the thing" for about 10 years. Still maintaining their focus on writing the best, most honest rock and roll songs they can, Sunshine Riot also are not just business, as they deliver twelve songs, including one about Applebee's. The name of the record (which half the band hates), is a reference not only to time spent on the road but  to the fundamental feeling which seems to find its way into most of the songs: a kind of restlessness and yearning. 

With “grit and the most raucous Americana sound that combines the angst of Nirvana with the temperament of Wilco" (, Jonny Orton (vocals/guitar), Jeff Sullivan (bass),  Mark Tetreault (lead guitar) and Chris Alvarado (drums) produce a freewheeling mix of country, rock, blues and punk. Coming together in 2011, the band has made swift headway, releasing their debut album A Fresh Bottle and a Brand New Day in 2012 and Black Coffee Sigh in 2015.  Between playing 80-100 shows per year, Sunshine Riot are ramping up to release Lonely Hotel, which features  vocal work from Carl Smitty Smooth and Malyssa Bellarossa and soulful horn work from Collin C. Larkin. 

The band have toured extensively, opening for national acts like Deer Tick, and  will continue spilling drinks and making impressions throughout the fall. Keep an eye out for more from Sunshine Riot, “one of the most remarkable live acts Boston has produced in a long, long time" (The Nashville Observer).

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Monday, November 12, 2018

Blues guitarist/songwriter Billy Hector album release "Someday Baby"..true soul on a Stratocaster

Billy Hector recently released his new album, "Someday Baby." Whether Hector is teasing you with his sultry slide work, picking through Delta blues or flat-out cranking it up and crunching out electric blues-rock on his beloved vintage Fender Stratocaster, his music reflects the true soul and origins of the blues, always passionate, engaging and dedicated to making the audience move and sweat. Having honed his chops and style through three decades of performances, Hector is critically recognized as one of the hottest and most interesting guitarists/songwriters on the original circuit and has even been called “a New Jersey state treasure” by music writers.

Billy Hector has served as touring guitarist for Hubert Sumlin and Joe Louis Walker. He has been named “Best Guitarist,” “Best Blues Band” and “Living Legend” at the Asbury Park Music Awards, is a two-time winner of the East Coast Rocker’s “Best Guitarist” award and has received the Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Foundation’s “Lifetime Achievement” award.

Billy Hector is veteran guitarist with roots in the Asbury Park and Jersey Shore music scenes. This oft-awarded, self described workingman's musician, has released sixteen albums to date and is a revered icon in New Jersey and beyond. Hector's voice is strong, confident and convicted. It augments his playing in a similar way that Jimi Hendrix's vocals complimented his playing”. Bluesblast Magazine

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