Monday, March 25, 2019

Blues guitarist/songwriter Randy Casey 8th album release "I Got Lucky"...rooted in tradition

Randy Casey’s 8th album, I Got Lucky, was inspired by a guitar that Casey beat out Rick Neilsen of Cheap Trick to get. In fact, Casey was getting it back; the 1969 Gibson Les Paul Custom was the first guitar Casey had ever played as a kid. When decades later, the neighbor who had let him play the guitar back then got an offer from Neilsen to buy it, he offered it to Casey first. Casey dug deep, and the neighbor let him make payments, but at last, his first love was his. Immediately, songs began to flow from the guitar, Casey said. It’s that guitar that produces the swampy slide of “Bed Bug Blues,” “Broken Arm Blues,” and That Train,” the Stonesy rock of “One Step Ahead,” and the moody overdrive of “Strange.”

Casey is a consummate guitarist; as Shannon Curfman’s first music director, he has played the largest of stages with the biggest of stars. He’s also gotten his instrumental work placed on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and other national shows. I Got Lucky reveals Casey’s other prodigious talents as well, including creative and clever songwriting that captures the essence of classic blues while contributing tasteful innovations to the genre. The result is a collection of songs that is at once impressively eclectic and firmly rooted in tradition.

official website:

Marty's review: Randy Casey is back with an album of pure electric-blues roots that come at you with no holds barred and a confidence and passion that is ever present in his songwriting and guitar playing. There is a rollicking and accomplished feel to the album that is endlessly-playable and will certainly deserve endless spins.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Syracuse-based CLOUTIER release THUNDER ‘N’ LIGHTNING...high-energy blues-rock

Syracuse(NY)-based brothers Mark and Myke Cloutier are an inspired sound rock team on their first album as the band CLOUTIER. Released at the end of 2018, Thunder ‘N’ Lightning features ten tracks of pure, high-energy blues and rock magic. This first ever CLOUTIER band CD came together in between Mark Cloutier’s live concerts with his band The Double Barrel Blues Band.

Combining rock-based and blues-flavored originals, Thunder ‘N’ Lightning is a powerful experience not to be missed by fans of blues-rock giants, from Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix to blues guitar masters like Freddy King, Johnny Winter & Buddy Guy. All original, all rock, Cloutier make blues-rock magic with their powerful, rocking sound.

The album features ten originals featuring the vocals and lyrics of Myke Cloutier and the guitars, music and arrangements of Mark Cloutier. They are also joined by Jose Varona on drums and two bass players Mike Spadaro and Joel Kane.
The music has a taste of garage-rock mixed with rock ‘n’ roll from the height of blues-rock boom of the mid to late 1960's.

official website:

stream and download the album:

Marty's review: Cloutier's aptly titled "Thunder'n'Lightining" comes at you straight from the hip with some kick-ass blues-rock that is full of energy and originality. Taking their cues from past masters of blues guitar, these guys have produced an album that is a tour-de-force of electric blues roots with some garage and rock'n'roll thrown in the mix. Passionate vocals and bold guitar licks with a tight rhythm section all combine to make this an impressive and stunning debut.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Swedish songstress Marlene Oak releases new EP Silver Moon...enchanting folk-rock melodies

Swedish songstress, Marlene Oak recently released her new EP, Silver Moon. Oak has already received rave reviews from EARMILK, PopDust, Pancakes and Whiskey, Celebmix, and more. After releasing a couple of songs, she has gone all in as a live artist and built her following on the pub and festival stages around the country. Marlene has enchanted audiences with her folk-rock melodies as the opening act for Miss Li, Whitney Rose, Susto, and she has been a part of the lineup at festivals such as Way Out West, STHLM Americana and Irisfestivalen.  

"Marlene Oak is an exciting, fast rising Stockholm, singer/songwriter who listeners will be mesmerized by..." (Celebmix)

"We can’t help, but smile and listen intently to the richness of the tune. " (Pancakes and Whiskey)

About Marlene Oak:

Growing up on a small island outside Stockholm, singer-songwriter Marlene Oak turned to music as her escape. After spending her teenage years busking on the streets of the Swedish capital’s Old Town, she first got discovered by someone who simply happened to pass by. After releasing a couple of songs, she has gone all in as a live artist, and built her following on the pub and festival stages around the country. Marlene Oak has enchanted audiences with her folk-rock melodies as the opening act for Miss Li, Whitney Rose, Susto, and she has been a part of the lineup at festivals such as Way Out West, STHLM Americana and Irisfestivalen.

My favourite part about being a music creator is playing live. When you play live, there’s something magical happening. Music in itself is magic, and when you stand there and sing your self-written songs, an invisible bond between me and the audience sort of forms. There’s some sort of connection that’s like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. It’s truly amazing” says Marlene Oak.

With a soothing voice that expresses raw emotions, Marlene Oak manages to move her audiences like few other artists can. Influenced by her idols Bob Dylan, Jeff Buckley, Joni Mitchell, Nina Simone and Janis Joplin - one can sense a timeless spirit in her songs.

facebook page:

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Finnish singer/songwriter/guitarist Dave Forestfield new release Footsteps In The fine form

Recently released is Dave Forestfield's 8th album Footsteps In The Snow on Propaganda Records . Forestfield has won awards in both USA (2016) and his home country Finland (2018, 2015). This is the first time Dave is including cover songs on an album.

"I was having fun with my updated Pro Tools recording studio and played some of my old favorite songs more or less newly arranged as well as some unreleased stuff of mine. The spirit of my session was very lighthearted, I had no plan, I was just having fun. Then I thought why not cut some of the songs with a band? Things went real fast and all of sudden I realized I had an album made. My previous album Nobody's World was pretty much just me doing everything and the drummer doing what drummers do. This time I wanted more people getting involved. Members of my current touring band are there plus a bunch of other fellow musicians too."

Dave Forestfield is a singer / songwriter, guitarist and a record producer from Finland, Northern Europe, with musical roots deep in American soil. Blues, soul, country, old rock’n’roll, folk and jazz ballads are where it all comes from.

Among Dave’s merits there’s a Best Film Score award from Nashville, TN, U.S.A. in 2016 and two Song of The Year awards in 2018 and 2015, granted by Finnish Blues Awards.

Forestfield has released seven solo albums, written songs for other artists, produced albums and composed music for theaters. In 2015 there was also a duet album of traditional afro-american gospel songs with the guitar great Jarkka Rissanen.

official website:

Marty's review: "Footsteps In the Snow" sees Dave Forestfield in fine form with a collection of 6 originals and 7 covers highlighting his all-round talents as a singer/songwriter/musician/producer. With a passion for roots-based music his delivery is top-flight and effortless as he comfortably travels from blues to folk to country and everything in between. His newly written tunes are clever and poignant and he does a fine job with covers from the likes of Jerry Jeff Walker, Brian Hyland, Hank Williams and Lennon/McCartney. An endlessly-playable album that is upbeat and highly-listenable. 

Friday, March 15, 2019

Coastal Virginia Bluesman Bobby BlackHat album release Put On Your Red Shoes...a multi-blues experience

Bobby BlackHat blends the influences of Chicago, Memphis, Piedmont, and Delta style blues into a toe tappin’, finger poppin’, hip shakin’ blues experience. This project includes: Something Old (updated versions of previously released songs), Something New (brand spankin’ new songs), Something Borrowed (unique covers of classic songs), and of course Something Blues.

Bobby BlackHat, Coastal Virginia Bluesman, recording artist, producer, harmonica player, vocalist, songwriter, comedian, and actor hails from Cleveland, Ohio and currently resides in Newport News, VA. Bobby is a retired U.S. Coast Guard Commander with 27 years of distinguished service which included serving as Military Aide to the President and being awarded the Coast Guard Medal for Heroism.

What Others Are Saying…

Hallelujah - Bobby BlackHat and his band sound as sharp as ever, on an
album that paints in every shade of the Blues.” Mike Holtzclaw, The Daily Press

Bobby BlackHat Walters is Virginia's Ambassador to the Blues and there
is no better person to hold that title. Every release is a reason to celebrate, and
this one fires on all cylinders. It's just like one of his live shows - entertainment and excitement all at the same time!” John Porter, WCVE Music



Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Wallin-Jison return with new acoustic rootsy album "Definitely Blue"..feel-good back to basics

With their unique mix of blues and country influences Wallin-Jison are back with a new acoustic album "Definitely Blue" and the moving leading track "Move Around The Room".

For Wallin-Jison two things are the most important: keeping all songs down to three chords and maintaining a steady output. They're not trying to reinvent the wheel, but instead creating interesting and engaging songs within somewhat traditional formulas - and keeping them coming! ​

-" You might think that limiting yourself to basic twelve bar blues formats could be restrictive to your songwriting, but it's actually the other way around! Surrendering yourself to those timeless and beautiful patterns frees you up to really focus on the lyrical and musical content of a song, instead of cramming a thousand distracting chords and changes into everythingsays songwriter/vocalist/guitarist Christian Wallin . ​

Together with bassist and musical mastermind Lasse Jison Johansson and with six albums made during the last three years...the journey for Wallin-Jison has only just begun!​

Stream the album on SPOTIFY

Facebook page

Marty's reviewWallin-Jison is the duo of Christian Wallin and Lasse Jison Johansson and their new release "Definitely Blue" is a healthy serving of back to basics acoustic roots music that is a mix of blues, country and a little bit folky. The pair work well together with some well-rounded instrumentation, clever and feel-good songwriting, and a satisfying vocal range that is easy on the ear and is delivered with unification and playfulness. The album isn't quite 100% acoustic as there is also some excellent scratchy electric guitar in the mix too. An accomplished effort that is worth several spins.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Award winning blues performer Dan Dinnen....deep roots in old style blues

Australia based Dan Dinnen is a blues singer/songwriter, harmonica player and guitar finger-picker who delivers a swag of original tunes that run the gamut from smoking ballads to juke-joint boogies and grooves. An award winning artist, he is a dynamic and energetic performer who combines originality with an old-time blues feel and style.

Dan has performed alongside some of Australia's leading blues artists including luminaries such as Fiona Boyes, Geoff Achison, Jimi Hocking and Lloyd Spiegel. As a solo artist, Dan has played at some of Australia’s premiere blues festivals including: Blues On Broadbeach QLD; Thredbo Blues NSW; Australian Blues Music Festival, Goulburn NSW.

DAN DINNEN & SHORTY is Dan’s other main musical focus and sees Dan team up with one of the Australian blues scene’s most exciting, unique and best loved drummer/percussionists Anthony “Shorty” Shortte. DAN DINNEN & SHORTY dish out a bluesy gumbo of rootsy goodness. A little bit delta swamp, a little bit hill country, and a lot its own unique flavour. Shorty is best known for his work with ARIA award winning Australian blues legends Collard Greens & Gravy.

In 2016, Dan won the MBAS Blues Performer of the Year award in the Solo/Duo category. This earned him a place competing in the 33rd International Blues Challenge on Beale St., Memphis TN in 2017 where Dan made it to the Semifinals. 

official website:

music available on iTunes

Marty's review: Dan Dinnen's approach to playing the blues is the way it should be, rootsy, raw and raucous. He knows where the blues came from and his delivery and interpretation is with heartfelt passion and conviction. His multiple talents as songwriter, guitarist, harpist and vocalist are a testament to his hard work and creativity that have earned him well deserved accolades. He has released three albums to date, "Back Home" (2010), "Last Thing On My Mind" (2013) and "Keep On Stirrin' the Pot" (2017). Take some time out and discover this exceptional artist, it will be time well spent.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Popa Chubby "Prime Cuts" The Very Best Of The Beast From The East..punchy blues that delivers

With a career spanning nearly 30 years, New York City based guitarist, songwriter and singer Popa Chubby unleashes an offering of "Prime Cuts." In this handpicked anthology, Popa brings us 15 tracks from his prolific and ever expanding catalogue. "Prime Cuts" reflects Popa's choice of the best of his best, tracks that keep the Chubby legacy fresh and perfectly grilled.

From classics such as "Sweet Goddess of Love and Beer" and "Stoop Down Baby" to fan favorites such as "Life Is a Beatdown" and "San Catri," along with his stylized and defining versions of "Hey Joe" and "Hallelujah," the collection satisfies like a fine filet mignon. And Popa serves up social commentary on the current state of affairs from the viewpoint of a true New Yorker on the aptly titled, previously unreleased "Go Fuck Yourself," featuring the violin stylings of his daughter, Theodora Horowitz. The record finishes with an unreleased holiday treasure, "There on Christmas," a Popa composition that celebrates the holiday with a big Phil Spector beat.

Singer, songwriter, guitar stylist, his passions run deep and shine bright. With a performance style he describes as “the Stooges meets Buddy Guy, Motörhead meets Muddy Waters, and Jimi Hendrix meets Robert Johnson”, Popa Chubby is an endearing character who is one of the genre’s most popular and innovative figures.” —Blues Magazine

official website:

Marty's review: If you haven't discovered Popa Chubby yet then this is the perfect place to start, 15 of his best from his long spanning career. With songwriting that pulls no punches and guitar playing that's bold and stratospheric it's no wonder that Popa is popular wherever he goes and has stood the test of time as he delivers the music HE wants to play!

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

New York City based Americana-roots duo Sunshine Nights upcoming release "If We Stick Around"

Sunshine Nights is a New York City based Americana-roots songwriting partnership between Amy Priya and Stephen Sunshine. Their songs evoke a charming union of styles, a dichotomy of the old and new, indie-folk sentiment blended with old time blues, bluegrass and a tinge of traditional jazz.

The world will holler back if we stick around,” sings Stephen Sunshine on the song MTA, ushering in the main theme and title on Sunshine Nights's latest full length release. They have independently produced If We Stick Around on their label, Wake Up Records. On this new record, performances are in quartet format. They enlist the talent of drummer Pitti Andrade, who has performed on two of their previous records, as well as numerous live shows. They also worked for the first time on record with banjo, organ, piano player and vocalist Kayla Radomski.

In creating this record, songwriting duo Amy Priya and Stephen Sunshine took major influence from musical greats like Leonard Cohen, Lou Reed, David Bowie, Townes Van Zandt and Mississippi John Hurt, as well as classical Indian and Tibetan texts such as Patanjali Yoga Sutras, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Bardo Thodol. Stephen recalls, “We basically started writing this record in a bar on November 8th 2016. There was such a heavy feeling of sorrow across our entire city, and the world as a whole. We are both naturally empathetic people, and we took on that weight. Friendship, civil disobedience, and making this record have kept us afloat in this trying time. The world has recently been thrown into a constant state of paranoia, so much so that making a concept album about the end of the world miraculously became a source of healing.”

Marty's review: I'm ecstatic about Sunshine Nights' new album release "If We Stick Around". It sees them in a very creative mood and expanding their musical horizons to places beyond their native New York. They take their indie-folk roots style and stretch the sound further by adding elements of world music, jazz, roots blues and "city" bluegrass. Also in the mix are two new members that enhance the overall production by incorporating extra instrumentation that adds to the folk duo's acoustic style and makes it much more of a "band" effort. The sublime harmonies are exquisite and their songwriting has matured dramatically as they express their feelings about our current troubled times and how we envision the delicate state of our future. There are also some very "tongue in cheek" moments that bring you back to earth and open your eyes again with a more encouraging outlook. Emotionally-rich, accomplished and very satisfying, this is a major step forward for Amy and Stephen.


Official release date is March 29th with a release party the same day at New York City's The Bitter End.

Venue: The Bitter End 147 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012
Time: 8:30pm

Cover Charge:$10

Monday, March 4, 2019

Alt-Country pioneer Pete Berwick 6th album release "Island"....pure dose of ethereal Americana

Cowpunk / alt-country pioneer Pete Berwick has been touring, recording and hammering out hundreds of shows a year, as a solo artist and with his bands, for over four decades. Along with releasing six albums, he is also an author and actor, and has written and published four novels, as well as having appeared in film and television.

He is also an amateur boxer. "Can't kill a man born to hang" is Berwick's motto, as he fearlessly travels from town to town and roadhouse bar to roadhouse bar with a lifetime of critically acclaimed songs and his battered six string. 

Over a dozen of his songs have been featured in movies and television, several of his albums have been placed in the year's top ten by various media sources, and his "Ain't No Train Outta Nashville" album, recorded and shelved on Music Row in 1992 and eventually released in 2007, peaked at #5 on XCOUNTRY RADIO, now OUTLAW RADIO.

"Island" is Pete Berwick's sixth studio album, with backing band The Mugshot Saints delivering the musical firepower, produced by Jason Botka at Skye Bleu Studios in Villa Park, Illinois, and according to his critics, his finest work and masterpiece, scraped from the trenches and ruins of the long, hard miles and highs and lows of his hard-fought battles in the music industry. 

Marty's review: Pete Berwick serves up a pure dose of ethereal and stylish Americana on this 6th album release "Island". Pete's songwriting will pull you in and open your heart as he tells his seductive and sensitive stories of life, love and travels. Once you've heard Pete you will certainly want more and as they say "put the needle back to start". The album is produced with a rawness and sincerity that you don't find in many releases today and full credit to Pete and his team for their exceptional efforts.

official website:


"Pete Berwick's new album "Island" contains songs written with the grit of John Wayne and the soul of mainland America." -- 'The Music God' CJ Christopher Plain, Host of 6 Ways 2 Sunday Radio Show on Firebrand Radio 

"Each song is written straight from the heart and delivered like a punch to the stomach. If you like country, blues or just good ass kicking rock and roll, “Island” will fit perfectly in your playlist." --Rob Weingarten, Radio-Television Personality

"This is undoubtedly the finest album release to date from this inspirational songwriter and performer. Pete Berwick captures his own essence in every song. As you feel his emotions run down your spine you unwittingly connect them with one’s own lifetime experiences and you’re hooked, right to the very last song. Essential modern day Americana with an organic ‘live’ feel. Ever so highly recommended!!" --Lucas Campbell, “The Rock of Ages Radio Show” U.K.

"There is a 'tenseness' in the subdued emotions in the songs, a longing that's palpable. I feel 'Island' is the album we always knew he had in him. I can't wait to share it with my audience." --Eddie White - The Cosmic Cowboy Cafe - 2RRR - Sydney, Australia 

“No good music collection is complete without a copy of the upcoming album 'Island,' by Pete Berwick. It’s a heartfelt slice of Americana that may never truly receive the accolades it so deserves. The album is solid, and is reminiscent of the many great Americana / singer-songwriters of my youth, such as The BoDeans, John Prine, Steve Earle, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, even Johnny Cash. It’s an album filled with angst, love, hope and urgency. This album will reach out and tug at your heart and soul.” --Nick Katona, Radio Host, Concert Promoter, and President of Melodic Revolution Records, Orlando, Florida 

"When it comes to Pete Berwick the songwriting is always top notch, and I've always liked that gravelly growl. The vocals on this one sounds like Pete has laid off the PBR and Cigs, and has been drinking honey and smokin' catfish. That turns out to be a sweet combination." --Billy Rose, Radio DJ at KMCN, Clinton, Iowa 

"A coat of polish can't wash away the grit of a Pete Berwick album. And that's a good thing. The enhanced production and beautiful harmonies on his latest release only serve to highlight the heartache and joy." --Mike Preston, Television Host, Music & Entertainment Journalist, Professional Comedian 

"There is only one Pete Berwick, unsung sword slinging Troubadour of outlaw finery." --Chris Gantry, legendary Country Hall of Fame songwriter

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Joel Harper picture book "Frankie Finds the Blues" with forward by Taj Mahal

Joel Harper's "Frankie Finds the Blues" is a delightful and warm hearted story about a young boy who discovers not only the roots of the blues but also its influence on contemporary music. He does this with the help of his grandmother and an elderly gentleman he meets in a local park who teaches him how to play guitar.

With expressive illustrations by Gary Kelley the book is also visually compelling as it is a story of innocence, maturity and a sense of belonging. The reader is immediately captivated by Joel's excitement to learn something new and placing his trust in a complete stranger. His love and respect for his grandmother is honest and inspirational and will captivate not only young readers but also adults along the way.

A well-conceived and unique piece of original literature that is sure to win over many hearts.

The book is available on Amazon HERE , and direct from Joel's website for signed copies:

About the Author:

Growing up in an artistic household, Joel Harper was encouraged by his family to express himself through music and writing. Joel's first book, All the Way to the Ocean (2006) is in its 4th edition and has been adapted into an animated movie. His second book, Sea Change, debuted in 2015. He supports his love of self-expression and discovery by managing his publishing house, Freedom Three Publishing, and working with various local, national, and international environmental organizations and initiatives advocating for marine conservation. When he is not writing and publishing books, he plays and teaches lap slide guitar and Native American Flute.


"Frankie Finds the Blues, what a lovely story of a child learning from his grandmother about this great music and the intergenerational communication and exchange of culture. Frankie is written with love, beauty, great care, and respect. A story like this would have meant so much to my young soul back in the early 50 s when blues music first struck a chord deep within me. Readers who share this book with their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren are passing on a priceless gift to future generations." (Taj Mahal Grammy Award-winner, blues, blues-rock, R&B, reggae, jazz, country blues, musician)

"Joel Harper's book, Frankie Finds the Blues, with Gary Kelley's artwork, is the ideal vehicle to open new minds and ears to such a vital music form. The roots of all of the American popular music can be found in the blues, and this story illustrates the value in understanding and respecting the history of American music in general. I'm so hopeful that children who do read this book, and their parents and grandparents who read it with them, will continue to enjoy all music trends while finding a new love for the blues, as well." (Barbara Newman, President & CEO of The Blues Foundation)

"The blues is such an important part of American music and Joel's book does an amazing job in introducing the music to the next generation. The blues has been with me since my childhood. While we were largely known for singing gospel, Pop's guitar laid the foundation for our music, and he was playing the blues. I hope every child gets to read this book and falls in love with the blues the way that I did." (Mavis Staples Grammy Award-winner, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee)

“I absolutely love this book! I wish every kid who loves music could get a chance to read this and discover not only how fantastic the blues is, but understand why it is the living root of so much of the music we love today—from hip hop and rap, to classic and new R&B—even pop, rock, and dance. Joel and Gary make the music come alive as something as much fun to play, as it is inspiring to learn about.” (Bonnie Raitt, Ten-Time Grammy Award-winner, American blues singer-songwriter, musician, and activist)