2018 Music Reviews

Music Review Archives (since May 2010)

2017 Music Reviews

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Lena Rich

Having a real love for music from a young age, Lena Rich has been playing music since the age of 4 when she began learning violin. Piano, guitar, and mandolin followed in the years after. In her early teens she was already writing classical compositions and submitting them to competitions. It wasn't until she found artists like Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell that she fell in love with the folk genre that quickly took over her world musically. At 14 she began singing and writing in the genre she came to have such a passion for. Influenced by jazz, classical, rock, blues, folk, and more, the "Something In Between" album is a testament to where the songwriter is at with her sound right now.

Sounding a lot like Sara Petite this lady has a gift for songwriting and puting it all together. Listen to Lena on her website.

Nova Casanova

Irish American Nova Casanova has inherited a love of music and storytelling from his ancestors and puts it to good use in all his music. As a pioneer of "ultra rock", a multi genre based on futuristic guitar tuning, Nova presents a panorama of sound and words that bring to life a storied world of love, hate, joy and sadness.
Nova absorbs inspiration from Period Dramas and Crime shows by watching TV while holding a guitar in one hand and singing into a microphone connected to a mixing desk and a PC.

Lyrics and sound combine to produce a unique new sound. Listen to him on his website.

Minotto Christian

With a continuous love of researching new instruments and sounds himself, Minotto Christian is forever inspired by what Radioplay and Radiohead have done with their careers. He hopes to emulate what they've done with his instrumental take on sound with his own music including "The Horizon," "Star" and "The Cave." Fans have gotten to hear some of those and more live as Minotto Christian has performed in various locations in Italy including events and pubs.
For now, Minotto Christian is focused on creating more music with his partner Saccardo Sandro as long as they can.

Creative music hammered out on the piano We only can hope that Minotto continure to create his own style of music. Hear him on his YouTube channel.


Composed, performed and produced by PJ Wassermann. Mixed in Ibiza by Lasse Illinton. Additional drums on "In High Spirits" by Juan dell'Erba.
Long time underground legend and iconic electronic music pioneer PJ Wassermann's career still flourishes after four decades of producing, programming and performing under various artist aliases ranging from commercial successes such as "Matterhorn Project" to the experimental fringes of "Eternal Bliss" (Psy-Trance)
Best known for his recently revived, groundbreaking electro project Schaltkreis Wassermann (with late, beloved wife Stella) which - after its vinyl re-release of the landmark "Psychotron" (1982) album, remixes by the likes of cosmic-icon Daniele Baldelli and Deep-House-Toby Tobias and last year's "Early Works" compilation- enjoys an ever expanding worldwide cult following among seasoned krautrock- and cosmic-disco-peers as well as hip millenial generation blog-heads and contemporary fans of analogue retro synthscapes.

The name says it all. This is some really trippy music for the most etheral of us all. Hear what we mean on his https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRSOAbXKfRg.

Phaze II

Over the years, Washingtonians have been fortunate to witness with pride the extraordinary number of outstanding jazz groups that have sprung forth from our area. We have another bright star to get excited about, PHAZE II. Bob Jenkins, Smooth Jazz 105.9. Since 1997, PHAZE II has been providing Smooth and Funky Jazz sounds on the local music scene in the Washington, DC area, by honing its craft of delivering quality music to their listeners. PHAZE II has embarked on a journey to show the world the many talents that this jazz band has to offer. Determined to broaden their vision, PHAZE II entered the 13th Annual Capital Jazz Festival 2005 Capital Jazz Challenge Competition.

If you like jazz then you should love "Phaze II" cause this is it! Enjoy them on their website.

Jerry Jean

Jerry Jean's 2017 debut LP, Do We Reach Home, features 12 songs that explore the strains of modern living, human connection, and renewal. Cinematic and grand, the album contains honest vocals and an expansive piano-driven backdrop adorned with lush strings. Recorded with all live instruments for an organic, chamber pop sound, Do We Reach Home is an everyman's journey through longing, disillusionment, and hope.
Produced and arranged by Jerry Jean in NYC, mixed in Los Angeles by Bryan Cook (Train, One Republic), and mastered in Portland, Maine by Bob Ludwig. It is available on CD, vinyl, and in digital format.
Jerry draws from an eclectic mix of progressive pop, electronic, rock, and classical influences. Fighting for You, Jerry's self-produced and independently released EP broke into the iTunes Top Albums chart upon release. The title track of his second EP, Your Love, is a 2014 International Songwriting Competition winner, chosen from 18,000+ songs from 100+ countries. Enough, a song written in response to racial profiling, is a 2016 Global Peace Song Awards Finalist.
His 2017 debut LP, Do We Reach Home, features 12 songs that explore the strains of modern living, human connection, and renewal. Cinematic and grand, the album contains honest vocals and an expansive piano-driven backdrop adorned with lush strings. Recorded with all live instruments for an organic, chamber pop sound, Do We Reach Home is an everyman's journey through longing, disillusionment, and hope.
A multi-instrumentalist (piano, violin, laptop) and singer, Jerry has performed in venues as varied as Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, MTV Unplugged, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, the United Nations, and The Bitter End. Jerry has performed with artists spanning Florence + The Machine to Boyz II Men.

Great talent that blends his own style with an artistic interpretation that reflects wisdom set to poetry of a true master. Don't wait to hear his debut album "Do We Reach Home" on his YouTube Channel.

Anthony Baglino

Anthony Baglino was born in Miami Beach where he developed his colorful style of art amongst the Latin community and art deco architecture.
In Miami he attended the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale and spent much of his time in painting and exhibiting. Anthony received his B.F.A from Jacksonville University and an MFA from Full Sail University. He also traveled to Europe, where he began fusing the mediums of art and music through live street performances. Upon returning to the U.S., Anthony created a Jazz fusion band. Through live performance he presented his fine art, video and animation to new audiences.Today, Jazz clubs, concerts and art galleries are popular venues for his work. From his studios in Hollywood, Florida, Mr. Baglino continues to devolop new projects and languages in multiple mediums.

Anthony's sax brings a fresh jazz sound to his stylizations. Visit his website to hear more and check out his original artwork.

Bryan Motley

Bryan Motley is a seasoned songwriter, musician, and multi-instrumentalist from Fort Worth, TX that has played with various rock bands in the DFW area over the last decade. His first solo effort, Motley Untapped, showcases his diverse musical influences, mature songwriting skills, and ability to act as producer of a full-length album utilizing a vast array of instruments. Featuring lead vocalists John-Marc Stanley and Ashley Casey, Motley Untapped has broad appeal among new and old fans of rock, blues, and alternative genres.

With Ashley Casey's smooth vocals and the rhythm of Steve Pierce on drums and JohnMarc Stanley guitar work this group's "Untapped" album showcases Bryan Motley's skill in producing a sound that quenches the spirit. Listen to them on Motley's website.

Alex Fawcett

Continuing to make music a part of his daily life, in addition to working two jobs, Alex Fawcett began playing guitar at 14. It wasn't long after that he was writing his own original songs. As his passion for singing grew, he performed as front man in multiple groups over the years including the now defunct Toronto-based band Gladheart. Playing at some of the most notable venues Toronto has to offer, the band hit the stages and spread their music on a frequent basis. It was late 2017 when Fawcett realized he had several songs that didn't quite fit the rock band sound. He took that material and turned it into the "Crawl Upon A Time" release. The record is a testament to his versatility as an artist and where he's at with his sound presently.

Alex proves that they are doing more then making maple syrup in the north, they are creating some pretty good music as well. Listen to Alex on his soundcloud page.

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The Banisters

Saskatoon, SK, January 11, 2018- The release of their debut album by The Banisters - FEET ON THE GROUND, came with little attention. Their fans were eating it up, and many of the local haunts continued to keep them coming back to play. However, it wasn't until the album started to get played on many college radio stations across Canada and the U.S., that wider interest was shown. The band was contacted and asked to release the album onto a wider radio format, and have chosen to do so.
"The Banisters have one of the freshest sounds I have heard in a long time... I don't know why this band isn't bigger than they are?" - Carolyn (U.K.)
The Album FEET ON THE GROUND is a blend of Roots, Americana, Folk and straight-ahead Rock. The album, released on September 30, 2016 on most online distribution sights (iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play etc.) Starts off with the high-energy "Lucky Day", that will be sure to get you out of your seat.

A refreshing sound that combines present day rock with 60's music that is original and lasting. Hear them on their website.

Boo Fookin' Radley

Forming in Saratoga Springs NY in summer 2017, Boo Fookin' Radley's founding members Alex Savin and Scott Terwilliger met at a supermarket of all places. Recording their first demo entitled "Proprioception", they quickly set their focus on creating a set list for a full length album. Soon after, they decided to begin recording demos as they wrote. Once they had a solid set down, they booked recording time at Bunker Recordings with producer Mike Dwyer, better known for his work with The Lumineers, Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead, and The National. Recorded over a six day period, "Final Beginnings" is a testament to where the band is at with their sound right now.

Our new pop rock heros. Listen to Boo Fookin' Radley on their YouTube channel.


With the release of the "Thousand Watts" EP, Roomtone brings a new feel to some classic genres. Lush with addicting progressions, an almost 90's alternative style, and persistent pop undertones, the record boasts the aesthetic of indie rock anthems. Although the songs are diverse from one another, there is a glue that holds them all together much like a concept album would.
The first single, "Been Trying", is a pop rock classic with edge. Complete with guitar hooks, a slight southern feel, and a laid back vocal approach; the song seems to breathe as it plays on.
"The single is about trying to understand one another in a relationship and pulling each other up in times of need. It's a very upbeat single with a catchy guitar hook that immediately draws you in," explains songwriter Alex Yaker of his single.
Although the single does speak volumes for the EP, to get a real understanding for where Roomtone is coming from, it should be heard in its entirety.
"The overall theme of the album, as well as many of other Roomtone songs is the trial and tribulations of love and relationships. My sound now is quite a bit more upbeat with electric guitars driving the songs," says Yaker of the songwriting approach for the EP.
Born in Easter Europe, Alex Yaker spent a lot of his time in Birmingham, Alabama where his musical career began as a keyboard player. Having performed and/or collaborated with songwriters like Duquette Johnston (Verbena, Cutgrass), the Silos (NYC), as well as recorded and toured with John P. Strohm (Blake Babies, the Lemonheads, Antenna), his musical horizons grew quickly.

We listen to the albums of this musician over and over and still can't get enough. Listen to roomtone on the the YouTube channel and enjoy.


Look out - a new artist is on the scene with her debut album, Life is Unfair. In the words of Anastasija Ozueh, "Music is not just my life, it is the reason I live and the air I breathe". This view shines through in all of Anastasija's work, and is the reason she is rapidly gaining popularity across the globe. The album is a huge part of Anastasija's dreams and it takes her another step forward on the path to achieving them. After a 6 year break from songwriting, the Lithuanian native decided to write the album's songs herself rather than buy from other writers. She considers herself lucky to have gathered together a top-notch team, including Kristen Wilson on keys and Calvin Hsu on guitar. Anastasija is the sole songwriter, save for one bonus track - "Like A Dream", which was written by pianist Kristen Wilson. Life Is Unfair is filled with autobiographical songs, all inspired by Anastasija's life and experiences in one way or another. They encompass many different genres in one "flask", so to speak. Anastasija's work leans towards a pop/rock/dance style reminiscent of many successful pop artists of today. Anastasija gained fame on the online scene with demos of her songs "I Don’t Wanna Say Goodbye" and "Unforgivable". The album's heavier rock and electronic tones are balanced equally with soul-touching favourites such as "Big Black Hole" and "Daddy". Life is Unfair is a unique mixture of lyrical masterpieces which contain something for all tastes.

Bold strong vocals and clear lyrics we can see why this girls on her way to the top. Hear her yourself on her website.

Matthew Alexander

In his sixth full length album, independent artist Matthew Alexander offers his most accomplished work yet - Three Minute Movie – 14 songs that cover a broad scope of the human experience including themes such as betrayal, redemption, grief and love.
Raised in Manhattan by his classical composer father and poet mother, Alexander took lessons in acoustic style guitar from the late Artie Traum and Jack Baker. He was discovered at age 16 by Tin Pan Alley songwriter Lou Stallman who published his first twelve compositions. Early in his career, he opened for Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel and Tim Weissburg.
Alexander's songs have drawn comparisons to such acoustic pop artists as Jim Croce, Paul Simon and J.J. Cale. He is known for his unique finger picking style, expressive voice and powerful melodic sensibility.
Produced by Michael McGinnis, Three Minute Movie displays an array of acoustic and electric instruments that are tailored to the emotional heartbeat of each song. The title track bristles with country rock energy. Other songs, such as "Rainy Afternoon" and "Indigo and I", show a more laid-back jazz-folk style. Two folk-oriented cuts - "Lost in this World" and "If You Didn't Know Me" - tackle profound themes of alienation and caring for a mother with Alzheimer's Disease while two instrumentals - "Tagalong" and "Citizen Train" - showcase Alexander's mastery of Travis picking. Also included on the disc are two covers - "Beyond the Sea" and "Ramblin' Rose" - which demonstrate Alexander's talent for bringing a fresh approach to classic songs.

You will enjoy listening to Matthews' original songs and his covers as his style is unique and spot-on. Hear him on his website.


Two years after the release of Dead Love's Grave, Anilore returns with the Lull EP. The record features six songs recorded on 4 track cassette between 2002 - 2005. Taken from a couple of cassettes found while moving out of a practice space, the songs were treated with minimal overdubs and production. The resulting record has a more spacious, minimal, haunting, acoustic sound than its predecessors. Echoing the cover for Dead Love's Grave, Lull again features cover art by Anastasia Ugorskaya. The EP is available in a limited blue marble vinyl pressing of 200 copies and as a digital download.
Andy Cheng, Andrew Malenda, and Michael Worsa met at SUNY New Paltz in 1992. Their first album, Still Awake, was released in 1996. Recorded by Jacques Cohen, The album contained moments of epic shoegaze and darker post-punk.

Anilore keeps getting better with each new rendition of previous songs. Listen to hear vibrant new sounds on their YouTube Channel.

Ashlynne Vince

Ashlynne Vince is exploding on the Canadian Country Scene as an emerging Canadian Country Artist dividing her time between Nashville, TN and her hometown of Welland, ON. After several years, as a young artist working in the music industry, things are falling nicely into place with her first release, Stupid Love, to Canadian Country Radio, released in the Fall of 2016! And her second National Release, No Boys Allowed, was released in January of 2017. Ashlynne's third single, Take Cover, is currently on Canadian Country Radio stations all across Canada.
Her original written music first gained recognition from the 2011 Niagara Music Awards as Ashlynne Vince was awarded the winner for Rising Star of the Year at a young age of 13. In 2013 and 2014 Ashlynne made several trips to Nashville to record her debut self-written album Tidal Wave at the legendary CMT Studios. There she worked with studio engineer Rebekah Long (Cole Swindle, Stella Parton, Randy Houser) who went onto a position at The Tracking Room in the heart of Nashville's Music Row. Rebekah invited Ashlynne (who was still in high-school at the time) to complete an internship in 2015 with her, and learn the engineering side of music to further her knowledge in the music industry and as an artist.

Amazing voice from this rising star. She is a country phenom that you must listen to. Hear her on her YouTube channel.

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Jess Chizuk

Compelling, vivid stories from the heart told emphatically by graceful vocals, accompanied by little more than an acoustic guitar. These are the building blocks for most of Jess Chizuk’s songs. The young singer-songwriter has her musical roots firmly divided between both old folk tunes and new indie music, but the result of this combination is her truly captivating writing. It has been garnering the attention of audiences in her hometown of Buffalo NY and beyond. Drawing on life experiences, honest stories, and the city she calls home, her music is soulful and truly genuine. This award winning songwriter already has an impressive catalog of accomplishments at only 22 years old. Aside from supporting national artists like Howie Day, Davina and the Vagabonds, and Dylan Jakobsen, Jess was the recipient of the Best Original Solo Act award at the 2015 Buffalo Music Awards, the winner of the 2014 Yellen Foundation Songwriting Contest, winner of the Folk category at the Smoky Mountain Songwriting Festival Songwriting Contest, a semi-finalist in the 2015 Songwriter's Serenade Contest in Morovia TX, and a top five finalist in the singer/songwriter category of the Great American Song Contest - a contest receiving submissions from nearly 2000 songwriters worldwide.
With the release of the Lehigh Valley Line album, Jess Chizuk brings a new feel to a classic genre. Lush with addictive progressions, soulful vocals, and an alternative edge, the record boasts the aesthetic of indie folk anthems. Though the songs are diverse from one another, there is a glue that holds it all together much like a concept album would. Most importantly, the record never loses sight of the emotional platform great songs are built from.

This lady has composed some of the best new music that we have heard. A STAR is born. See why we think so on her YouTube channel.

Cabin 52

The Cabin 52 project began in fall of 2015 by brainchild Landon Grwinski and two of his friends shortly after their previous band fell apart. After a few years of writing together, the band decided to go their different ways and Grwinski decided it was a perfect excuse to take Cabin 52 into his own hands. Using it as a songwriting project, the multi-instrumentalist went on to write, perform, record, and produce the songs himself. Working towards writing songs that break boundaries and cross genres, the "Loser" EP is a testament to where he is at with his sound right now.
With the release of the "Loser" EP, Cabin 52 brings a new feel to some classic of genres. With plenty of addicting progressions, an edgy but soulful vocal approach, and persistent pop undertones, the record boasts the aesthetic of indie pop anthems. Although the songs are diverse from one another, there is a glue that holds them together almost like a concept album would.

Landon Grwinski might have set out on his own to create a new sound that he felt inspired to produce and he did just that. Hear his offerings on his bandcamp page.

King George

King George are back with their latest tune 'Who I Am'. The song was released in Decmeber 2017 and was the folowing up to their single 'Try' released in July 2017.
King George marries pop melancholy with rock rawness and has been described as 'The Killers meets Muse.' (Creative Control Mag Feb 2014)
The bands second album 'Love Song and Medications' was nominated for best hard/rock album at the 2016 Independent Music Awards in New York City. The album features the singles 'Hover' that won the Best Thematic Award at the Australian Independent Music Video Awards 2013 and 'Broken Hearted Whispers’ that was nominated at Australian Independent Music Video Awards 2014 and Hollywood in Music Media Awards 2014.
King George played Indie Week in Toronto 2013 and Canadian Music Week in 2015.

The band continues to write amazing stuff. King George come back to give some resurgent rock. Hear them on their YouTube channel.

Oliver Sean

Leicester United Kingdom - 24th Jan 2017 - His last single and music video 'New York' was released worldwide last October with an exclusive music video on Vh1 International and various other channels, achieving an unprecedented 150,000 downloads in less than a week. MTV EMA Nominee Oliver Sean now announces the launch of another single titled 'First Move' exclusively to radio and broadcast media before the official iTunes release date of the single.
"This is a song that will make you feel like it is Summer" says the Vh1 Top 10 Singer Songwriter Oliver Sean, "It has a very happy sound, which I guess is turning out to be my signature and might be a good way to forget about the cold winter we are having"
The single, reminiscent of today's Acoustic Pop Rock sounds like Jack Johnson and Jason Mraz is scheduled to be officially released on iTunes, Amazon and other major stores on the 18th of February, which is also the opening ceremony of the 9th Annual WOA International Music Festival in Goa, where Oliver Sean and Band will be headlining this year.
First Move is the second single from Oliver Sean's upcoming album 'Devil in Blue Jeans' scheduled to be released on 11th April 2017, just before the globe trotting artist kicks off his American Heartland Tour with his Band from Leicester, UK.

Oliver's music is bright, cheerful and fun to listen to. Hear him on his YouTube Channel.

Brutus Begins

Brutus Begins is a solo project by Ricardo Temporao, a Portuguese-Canadian musician writer, and director currently based in Toronto. Elements of indie-folk are resampled and synthesized, creating a sonic landscape that blurs the lines between the real and the reconstructed. The songwriting and storytelling remain the heart of a world that mirrors our own - commenting on our vices, ambitions and ultimately our evolution.
Ricardo has fronted bands for over a decade from the New Low, General Staff and Skinny Bitches (which was featured on Alan Cross's blog). In 2005, he released an album under the name “Rick Temporao & the New Low” which received radio airplay across Canada and earned critical acclaim. He's also composed music for short film and television. Ricardo has directed and edited music videos for award-winning musicians Lily Frost, Cedar Park, and Fast Romantics.
"Indie Folk-Rock joins electronic new wave in a modern version of Steve Miller" ... "a juggernaut of a debut". Canadian Music Blog

CMB nailed the discription of this ecclectic style of a somewhat dark driving musical creations. Hear what we mean on Ricardo's YouTube Channel.


Having a love for music from a very young age, Oliver Milmine relocated from Manchester England, to the states when he was 6 years old. By the time he was 14, he picked up his first guitar and everything changed from there. Having a want to play music his whole life, he took the basement, got himself a Mac book Pro, and taught himself not only the art of songwriting, but the recording process as well. "So Long And Thanks" is an album completely performed, written, recorded, and produced by Milmine himself. The record is a testament to where he is at with his sound right now.
With the release of the "So Long And Thanks" LP, Milmine brings a new feel to a clashing of genres. Lush with addicting musical hooks, an indie but soulful vocal style, and plenty of pop undertones, the record boasts the aesthetic of indie rock anthems. Although songs are diverse from on and other, there is a glue that holds them all together much like a concept album. Most importantly, the record never loses sight of the emotional platform great songs are built from.

Oliver's music does indeed "grab you" and also stirs emotion and is a remarkable testament to a musician who lays down all the tracks on each instrument after writing and producing a unique sound. Listen to this wunderkind on his YouTube channel.

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