2014 Music Reviews



Music Review Archives (since May 2010)




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Matt James

Matt James grew up in the small town of Upperco, Maryland on a sixty acre farm just outside of Baltimore. He credits the small town feeling and country life as having greatly influenced his musical style. "Growing up on a farm gave me that southern country rock feel in my music and laid the foundation for the artist I have become today."
After going to his first concert of Aerosmith at age 12, he was inspired to start playing guitar, and got a Gibson USA Nighthawk. Some of his main influences over the years include artists such as Zac Brown Band, Jason Aldean, Brantley Gilbert, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Church, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Luke Bryan, Zakk Wylde, The Doors, Blake Shelton, David Allan Coe, Dimebag Darrell, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hank Williams, Kid Rock, and many others.
His debut single, Little Bit Of Country, mixed and produced by Tony Correlli (The Deep End Recording Studio) and mastered by Randy LeRoy (Airshow Takoma Park), is for music fans around the world. It features national recording artists Jason Heiser on drums (Charm City Devils) and Dave DeMarco on bass (Crack the Sky, Dave DeMarco Band). He says, "I want people to listen to my music and feel it. I want the listener to be moved in some way. The fans are what drive me. It doesn't matter how many people you are playing for, the key is that you play your heart out every time."




Septimius
The Great



Septimius the Great is a Dance, Pop, and Hip Hop music artist, songwriter and entertainer with an amazing stage show. He derived at his name by discovering the actual First African Roman Emperor in 193AD – Septimius Severus. In 2011, he was nominated by the Grammy Association for the Top 100 Music Artist on the Verge and attended and walked the red carpet in Los Angeles, CA during Grammy week. In 2010, he launched his new music EP project called "The New Rome". The first EP single "Iam Fashion" was then released digitally all over world and is creating a huge buzz. In January 2013, he released his latest single "Exotic Pleasure" globally and is successfully growing by leaps and bounds. He is currently been featured on several TV, Radio and Magazines worldwide. He began as a performing artist in 1997, as well as being a Runway Model, Choreographer, Fashion Show Producer, Talent Promoter, Entertainer, International Male pageant titleholder, and CEO of his own business ventures. He soon started his recording career as a featured artist with the X9 records recording label which led to a debut group CD single with a local group under the label which topped the dance music charts worldwide.
He has shared the stage with such artists as: Chrisette Michele, Pat Benatar, Patti Labelle, Jennifer Holiday, Deborah Cox, Dru Hill, Musiq Soulchild, Wale', Martha Wash, CeCe Penniston, Crystal Waters, Pepper Mashay, Ultra Nate', Rupaul, Tiffany, Colonel Abrahms, and more. Septimius is inspired by ancient European style as well as eccentric artists as Michael Jackson, Prince, Madonna and Lady Gaga. He also states that Fashion and History are a source of inspiration for his songwriting and performances.




Keyless


Keyless, pop solo artist from Memphis, TN, hits the scene with a roller coaster ride that takes you from pop to rock to those warm, catchy electronic club feeling vibes. In early 2011 Keyless teamed up with producer extraordinaire, Dave Cowell aka DJ Unlock at The Noise Factory Studios to start laying the ground work for what would become the debut album for Keyless. (HOT SHOT, 2013) The album is filled with commercial hit after hit and "oozes radio" as said by Kevin Nix of L. Nix Mastering from historic Ardent Studios. The album also features songs "Deep End" and "Hot Shot" mixed and mastered by Chuck Alkazian (Christina Aguilera, Elton John). In 2012, the song "Deep End" was licensed to several TV shows and was picked up by music supervisor Shauna O’Donnell to be featured in the Matt Dean Film “The Devil Within: Rise of Evil” starring Grey Damon (Friday Night Lights, True Blood) and Bill Oberst Jr.(The Secret Life of Bees) *** The debut single "Everything" (mastered by Grammy award winner Brad Blackwood) is set to release to radio and online retailers February 2013.




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Plunky & Oneness


Saxophonist J. Plunky Branch's latest single release is a neo-jazz adaptation of the John Legend hit song, "Tonight (Best You Ever Had)." Plunky spices the ballad with some smooth sax, sensual female vocals and well-placed funky go-go beats for a danceable adaptation that is reminiscent of the saxophone-led hit of yester-year, "Mr. Magic."
Throughout his career Plunky has pushed boundaries and redefined musical genres with his signature jazz, world beat, funk, hip-hop, gospel and African amalgamations. His experience and versatility keeps him at the top of booking agents' and presenters' lists for club engagements, balls and galas and concerts. The funky grooves and mellow tones of Plunky's new single, places it squarely within the smooth jazz category, just in time for the summer festival season.
N.A.M.E Brand Records has announced that Plunky will release a series of singles over the next few months, showcasing the legendary artist's depth, eclecticism and broad musical interests. In the coming weeks, "Tonight" will be followed by more go-go, some funk, some message music and Plunky's unique brand of saxy, smooth jazz; all leading up to his next CD album. But "Tonight" is gonna be the (Best You Ever Had).











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Kathy Yolanda Rice


Kathy Yolanda Rice was born and raised in the cosmopolitan city of Huntsville, Alabama, where her passion for music and art was recognized at an early age. Kathy writes her own lyrics and musical compositions. Most of her original tunes are based on real life experiences and emotions, from childhood throughout her adult years.
Kathy began piano lessons at age 6, but knew that she always wanted to focus on singing. She took formal voice training at age 12 and continued throughout college, graduating from Alabama A & M University with a major in Music. Kathy embarked on a recording project with Hit Record Producer, Kelvin Wooten, formerly of Toni! Tony! Tone! Kelvin and Kathy created the magic that made her music so classy and unique. Wooten has produced hit songs for Anthony Hamilton, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu and Kelly Price, to name a few.
Kathy is a gifted vocalist with a style of her own while she captures the hearts of many with her precious voice and original compositions. Kathy's latest 2013 release is a collaborative smooth jazz project with songwriter Gary Swann. The tune, Love is Like a Sunny Day, features Kelley O'Neal on Saxophone.
Kathy Yolanda Rice's latest release, entitled, "Love is Like a Sunny Day" is the first collaboration written with her associate, Gary Swann. There is a theme that resonates with the listener and it is that love can be very disappointing, yet it's worth the wait when the right person comes along. Rice believes that our love experiences have value, even when the outcomes don't meet our expectations. In the end...we let it flow…because love is like a sunny day...don't let a cloud chase it away... and it's a great vibration to heal everyone it touches.




Joe Calderone


Joe Calderone, award winning singer-songwriter-guitarist, offers a diverse blend of rock, soft rock and adult contemporary in his collection of songs.
Joe Calderone, a native New Yorker presently living in Connecticut, has been writing and performing music for over thirty years.
As a self-schooled singer-songwriter Joe has had the opportunity to perform at various clubs and venues including four shows at the legendary CBGB's in New York City.
Joe won an Honor Award in the Great American Song Contest for his song, The Days of Loving You, and is a 5-time winner in the American Song Festival. In addition, THE BANG SONG was awarded INDIE TRACK OF THE YEAR and Joe was voted MOST REQUESTED INDIE ARTIST OF THE YEAR on The Starliners Internet Radio - Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Award winning singer-songwriter-guitarist, Joe Calderone, has released his self-written and self-produced CD, IT TOOK A WHILE. This album offers a diverse mix of pop rock, folk rock and pop mainstream filled with strong vocals and solid musicianship triggering universal appeal. Anyone who's ever been in love, seeking love or has ever lost love should easily relate.
Joe Calderone has been writing and performing music for over twenty five years. A self-schooled singer-songwriter-guitarist, Joe has performed in various clubs and venues in the New York Metropolitan area. He is a member of both the Songwriters Guild of America and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Among his many accomplishments, Joe is a 5-time winner in the American Song Festival.
It Took A While, Joe's first CD, has been a long time coming. It features songs heavily focused on love relationships that offer straightforward lyrics, catchy melodies and some fine solid bottom. Together, these components achieve in expressing the emotions that Joe is attempting to convey - emotions of joy, sadness, gratitude and optimism that practically all of us have experienced.




Peter Healy

From raw, acoustic folk with voice and acoustic guitar, to delicious electric blues and swampy soul grooves that evoke a myriad of feelings and emotion, this music is deserving of your attention.
Sensational. Entertaining. Sizzling grooves, poignant lyrics and haunting melody with a bright, joyful vibe that transfers immediately to the audience.
Earthy, stimulating music Peter Healy, award winning songwriter, poet and actor has shared the stage with some of Australia’s finest blues & roots musicians, including Bill Chambers, Phil Emmanuel, Matt Corcoran and Phil Manning. Check the NEW ALBUM 'Mr Quint . . .' available iTunes, Amazon and other on-line retailers.
"Great songs. Well constructed and performed" (Australian Society of Songwriters).
"Highly Commended" (SCALA Festival of Original Music).
Too funky for a white guy!!! (PRIMAL ENTERTAINMENT)




Dave Power

Brisbane, Australia's Dave Power found his mother's old acoustic guitar at the age of 16 and found a creative world opening for him like none he'd ever imagined. His need to play helped Power develop a latent talent as a lyricist and songwriter that dovetails nicely with his strong, clear singing voice.
Power has begun to grab a lot of attention in Australia, winning or placing as a finalist in songwriter/performing competitions sponsored by 4BC and Chartsong Studios. Internet and terrestrial airplay has been strong for the artist whose primary influences include Bob Dylan, John Mayer, Dave Matthews, James Taylor and Chris Isaak. Power's latest EP, Addiction, offers up six original tunes that have the potential to make Power a breakout artist both in Australia and in other markets around the world.
Power plies a highly personal story-telling style in song on Addiction, opening with the sweet reverence of Angel Girl. Angel Girl is pure mix tape magic that could be a true hit for Power. American Adult Contemporary Radio would eat this up, particularly if a show like Delilah got hold of it. Power launches next into the soulful Lovestruck, crafting a smooth and sultry jam that has major commercial potential. Addiction tells the story of being so enthralled with a relationship that all other responsibilities fall out of focus. The dark elements of the arrangement foretell the realization that all is not right in a wonderfully written and arranged tune. Power gets in an upbeat love song certain to fill up dedication lines on Here Tonight. What's most impressive about Power is the clear, prescient Pop sensibility he displays in his songs. Power writes melodies you want to sing along to and lyrics that are memorable, all wrapped up in ribbons of subtlety and grace. The Old Man reflects on the wisdom of elders in a wonderfully crafted story-song that will serve as a pep talk for anyone chasing a dream when doubts creep in. Power closes out with The Grand Plan, a meandering love.
Dave Power is the real deal as a songwriter, reminding me strongly of Dan Fogelberg for his lyrical acuity and sense of melody. Addiction is worthy of its name; I suspect that folks who get Power will have these songs on repeat for some time to come. This is not the last we'll hear of Dave Power. Someone this talented won't be just a regional talent for long.







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Warp-X


Warp-X (pronounced Warp-Ten) is Ameri-Euro Dance group with a combination of seductive vocals, euphoric melodies and pulsating tempos that has an infectious energy.
Warp-X Releases their new hit single "She's On Fire" (Produced by Rusky Rusk) It is their debut single.
Warp-X has given new definition to the word transcending with their new Ameri-Euro Dance sound. Their combination of seductive vocals, euphoric melodies and pulsating tempo has an infectious energy. Combine light, electricity and great vibes and you have Warp-X.
Warp-X is comprised of two brothers, Zaid and Hector Velez. While they currently reside in Florida, the two were born in Malaga, Spain one of the oldest cities in the world and often referred to as "the capital of the Costa Del Sol". Due to their eclectic tastes, the group's musical influences span from the R&B, Pop and Electronic Dance music genres. It's because of group's talent, that collaboration with music veterans and game players such as Ralph Roundtree who's worked with LL Cool J and Warner Bros Records, Rusky Rusk, from Russia who worked with DJ Carnage and The Cataracs and Michael Brown from Universal Music Group who are excited to see Warp-X explode the music scene.
"It's sexy, free spirited and feel good music" says the group as they prepare for their spring break tour and album release. The electricity building around the recently released single "She's On Fire" is already making heads bob in Russia, Australia, France and State side with a rapidly growing worldwide fan base. "She's On Fire" is currently available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon.com
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Brad Howard


Brad grew up in a little town near the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina called North Wilkesboro. It was originally a town known for bootleggers making moonshine up in the hills. It is mostly famous for the beginnings of stock car racing which is known today as NASCAR. With the hills of North Carolina being rooted deep in the bible belt Brad's parents took him to church on a regular basis and he started singing at the age of six. He recalls members of the church picking him up and placing him on the podium so he could be seen. While in high school, he became part of a gospel trio that would perform in the local area until he graduated. Even though he was doing gospel material, he had a stronger passion for country music. He recalls sitting in his room after school and singing along to George Strait, George Jones, Vern Gosdin, and other country artists during that time. After Brad graduated from high school, he joined the Air Force full-time, and later transferred into the Reserves. He started making plans to move to Nashville to pursue a music career, but until that time he would perform at local venues in the southeastern area doing country material. With Brad being a veteran of the military; one of the highlights of his music career before moving to Nashville was being able to perform the National Anthem for several minor league baseball games in the local area. Eventually Brad got tired of just doing previously recorded material, and started writing and performing his own songs. He really found his niche once he starting writing, and being able to express himself through his own music. He now performs in several different venues doing original and cover material. He has performed in several well-known venues in the Nashville area like Bootleggers, Music City Bar, Nashville Palace, Silver Dollar, Bluebird Cafe. He also has recently finished an album of songs he penned called "Country All the Time."









JN John Nickoloff


John Nickoloff first emerged on the music scene in 1995. As frontman for the successful Daytona Beach rock band RainLord, followed by Naked Rachel and most recently NICKOLOFF, John has honed his unique and unforgettable entertaining craft through countless hours in the recording studio as well as live performances. He’s played at venues from clubs to major concert halls up and down the U.S. east coast opening for acts such as Skid Row, Slaughter, Gregg Allman, Bo Bice, Dierks Bentley and many more.
Now John Nickoloff steps out on his own as a solo artist with a renewed enthusiasm and an immeasurable motivation. The first step in this transformation is the 5 song EP "Get Out Of My Way". John joined forces with industry heavyweights to make his debut solo recording. He enlisted Producer/Songwriter Billy Chapin (Edwin McCain, Sister Hazel, Backstreet Boys), and Co-Producer/Songwriter Matt McKeown (Sister Hazel, The Black Rabbits, NFL Sunday Ticket) to write and record the 5 song EP. Multi- Platinum Producer John Kurzweg (Creed, Puddle Of Mudd, Godsmack) handled the mixing of this record.




WORLD5


WORLD5 Play A Sophisticated Brand Of AC Orientated Pop/Rock, Both Nostalgic And Fresh Sounding. Two Grammy Award Winning Musicians And Musical Influences From Around The World.
WORLD5 a unique Pop-Rock band formed with musicians from the United States, New Zealand,Germany and Sweden.
The band is comprised of five talented musicians who not only come from different countries and cultures but compose the band’s songs from the comfort of their own residences. International based homes are not a barrier for them to create what they do best: music.
WORLD5 are:
Pat Hunt: Lead vocals, piano & keyboards
Randy Miller: Bass & vocals
Steffen Goeres: Lead & acoustic guitars, trumpet & flugelhorn
Stephan Goessl: Saxophone & keys
Raimund Breitfeld: Drums & percussion
Steffen, Stephan and Raimund played together many live concerts since their teenage years while experiencing different bands and projects together.
Pat and Randy, both Grammy Award winning artists, are World5 newest members, and also played and worked together, before joining World5.

They all know each other well enough musically and also as friends. Although life and personal projects made them set in different locations around the globethey kept alive the desires of making music together over the years.
WORLD5 members took advantage of digital technology to compose and record music and put the internet at their service to communicate. Very long distances separate them physically but not musically This decision has also freed them from dealing with long-established recording sessions in a studio. They just enjoy discussing the vision of each song by Skype chatting, e-mails and midnight phone calls.
WORLD5 final tracks are then shipped to Randy Miller, not only a band member of World5, but also a sixteen-time nominated and four-time Grammy Winning Music Producer based in Austin,Texas, where he tweaks and assembles all the individual recordings together including lead vocals and backing vocals, giving birth to each song of the band.















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