2016 Music Reviews

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Music Review Archives (since May 2010)




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Debbie Hennessey


The long awaited third full-length cd No Longer Broken from Award Winning singer and songwriter Debbie Hennessey contains nine brand new songs of contemporary country, rock and blues all in Debbie’s distinctive and soulful voice and was produced and mixed by highly regarded guitarist Jeffery "Big Red" Marshall at Red Rover Productions.
It all starts with the songs and Hennessey co-wrote 8 of the nine songs with Marshall as co-writer on 6 of those, together they wrote Every Song Is You, Whiskey Charm, No Longer Broken, Sugar and Rain, You Can't Unpull A Trigger and Right For Right Now. Other co-writers include: Courtney Leigh Heins - Sugar and Rain, Every Song Is You; Lexie Hofer - No Longer Broken; Athena Marie - I'm Leaving the Fairytale Behind; and Tracee Perrin - Let Me Go; Lexie Hofer also wrote the one cover song on the cd a duet she sings with Debbie called Women.

Debbie returns with "No Longer Broken". Sample her album on her YouTube Channel.



Karolyn Marie

Born in Northridge, CA and raised in Valencia, home of Six Flags Magic Mountain, Karolyn's earliest memory of writing songs was when she was nine and would rewrite lyrics to songs on the radio. By the time she turned thirteen, songwriting had become her passion, addiction and her calling.
Growing up in the suburbs of Los Angeles in the 80's, the radio dial was permanently stuck on the Top 40 station: 102.7 KIIS FM. Madonna, Cyndi Lauper and The Bangles were early childhood influences and though she dreamt of being the next Madonna, she was inspired by the females who were writing their own songs. First it was Debbie Gibson, a few years later it was Mariah Carey and Wilson Phillips. Seeing successful young women writing their own songs, inspired a young Karolyn that she could too.
Everything changed in 1994 with the release of two albums; Sheryl Crow's Tuesday Night Music Club and Tom Petty's Wildflowers. Wildflowers remains Karolyn's favorite album of all time to this day. Many of the songs on that album deeply resonated with a teenage Karolyn. The lyrics "You belong among the Wildflowers, you belong somewhere you feel free" are Karolyn's favorite lyrics of all time. Ten years later in 2005, Karolyn met her hero Tom Petty and got to thank him for making the Wildflowers album because it "saved her life."

Karolyn's "Laughter" is a beautiful album and evokes a feeling that she has a good musical career ahead of her. Listen to her on her if you can find her as none of her links got us anywhere. Karolyn write and help us out! Marcus Walton, Editor Music Arts Monthly.






Brandon DaCapo


American singer/songwriter Brandon DaCapo was born on October 18, 1988 in Houston Texas United States of America to Terry Washington and his wife Pam Washington. He started singing publicly when he was 4 years old on a radio broadcast at his grandparents church in Corsicana, Texas. Four year old Brandon would stand on a chair so that the entire church congregation could see him. At the age of 15, Brandon excelled in music, being able to write music, while also play piano by ear. Brandon is now Worship leader at Word of Faith Community Church in Houston Texas, where his father Terry Washington is founder and pastor.
Brandon has recently shared the stage with Gospel Recording artist Kierra "KiKi" Sheard. His new single "Fly High" was released in 2014 and was #1 on the Indie Music Channel.

A joy to listen to Brandon will surely capture your heart with his song "Fly High". Listen to him on his website.



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VERONIKA


I was born in the Ukraine but have lived abroad since I was 16. I dipped my feet into the music scene in 2012 after a tiring period of soul searching. I have tried modeling, acting, hosting television in the Ukraine, Italy, and the United States. At some point, I focused on the real things that matter in life and found my inner balance. Songwriting came first which is what I felt very strongly about. Singing was next along with ballet dancing and pole art. It became obvious to me that all of my past experiences were just a warm-up for what I really wanted to do. To me, music art is having lyrics with a clear message, music that is a universal language, and dance as a visual message and a way to deliver it. Music does not care about color, race, your place of birth or your social or economic situation. The only thing that is important is what you are made of and what kind of message your deliver.
I was so tired of the intolerance and prejudice from people who think they have a right to call any blonde Slavic girl a bitch because of where she was born, judging someone just because of their place of birth. It does not matter where you were born or where you came from or even you education level. People would stigmatize me because I was born in a former Soviet Republic. It makes me sick when people outwardly express their anger against people because of their nationality, abusing others and discriminating against them because of where they are from.

We are very interested in hearing Veronika's voice without all the reverb. Give it to us baby we can handle it! One thing we know for certain is that this sexy musician has a very provacative video! Hear and see her on her YouTube Channel.



Nu Man


Chicago was his birthplace, and he also spent time on the West Coast, but Atlanta, Georgia was the place vibrant performer Nu-Man blossomed into a distinctive, compelling singer/songwriter. Once his family relocated to the locale known as "The ATL," where they still reside, Nu-Man's love affair with music blossomed. He mixes rap's verbal fluidity and improvisational fervor with tones and themes gleaned from pop, R&B, and soul. The result is an edgy, dynamic sound that offers insight into everything from relationships to topical issues. When asked what inspired him to become a performer, Nu-Man responds in decisive fashion, crediting Atlanta's fertile creative environment with being the catalyst towards a professional career. "I first gained interest in music as a sophomore in college," Nu-Man recalled. "I remember free styling for the fun of it around others and noticing how people dug the way I flowed."
My compositions are created both by lyrics first along with the melodies I hear with it, and also by listening to a beat and feeling the direction the beat takes me lyrically," Nu-Man explains. "Interspersing multiple genres into a tune comes naturally," he adds in response to an inquiry about the multiple strains that converge in his music. "I'm naturally a more literal writer as opposed to a more figurative approach. So as I write, I tend to write about real life experiences and the emotions and feelings they generate. Being a pop artist I like more up tempo songs, while being soulful, I naturally put feelings into it. That makes up my recipe for a good tune." The sources of his songs are as varied as the genres and artists he enjoys. "My ideas for songs come in different ways," he adds. "Sometimes when I hear a track, I will be reminded of a moment. I then ponder on the cause and effects of that moment while I vibe to the rhythm of the track and write. Other times I will find myself feeling some kind of way, and I then put into a song whatever I am feeling at that time. Also, I will hear a song in my sleep, wake up and write it."
"I have a strong desire to create songs that will last a lifetime or two and stand the test of time. I am also really looking forward to my very own first Grammy Party." With his enticing, original sensibility and approach, Nu-Man can look forward to a long career and hopefully several other Grammy events in the future.

This "Nu Man" is headed to stardom. You hear it in his songs, his confidance and his ability to create something worth listening too! Hear him on his YouTube Channel.



Don Whitaker



The team of Don Whitaker, with his country music background, and Ward Kelley, with his award winning poetry, created a unique combination of both worlds to create a Folk Rock music poetry. One music reviewer, commenting on a recent release, "Variations on Emily" (a song about Emily Dickinson) said "Lovely guitar intro. Not sure if this is considered folk or country, but I'm loving it. The male voice is unique and the female voice blends with his effortlessly. Great words which remind me of some old REM songs from my college days. Enjoy!"
With Don's distinctive sound, his music video audience quickly grew to 25,000 viewers in a matter of weeks. At the same time he picked up 800+ fans from all sites. The music reviewers at ReverbNation (a group representing all music genres -- rap to hard rock to country to folk) gave "Death Does Not Come Humble" a 70% approval rating and a 66% combined approval of five other Don Whitaker reviewed songs.
Don's most recent release, "Jesus & the Buddha" bears the description: A man dreams he participates in the Crucifixion, and interacts with Christ. Then Jesus abruptly transforms into the Buddha. The man receives two epiphanies from the Buddha, which he reveals in the song, one of them oddly when the Buddha quotes the Blackfoot tribe. All in all, a once in a lifetime dream which changes the singer's perception of his own life.

I really want to investigate this man's music as his ideas about Jesus and Budda coming from the same source has been my old reflection for a long time. Listen to him (I know I will) on his YouTube Channel.











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Wonky Tonk


With a closet full of boots, a heart full of wander and a soul full of songs, the charming and multi-talented Kentucky "Wonky Tonk" woman releases her debut album Stuff We Leave Behind in hopes of continuing her Wonky ways with a lighter heart in lieu of finding the Neverland in all of us.
Jasmine Lorraine "Wonky Tonk" Poole grew up in the hard scrabble portion of the American heartland. Kentucky, to be precise. Her world of loss and longing is familiar terrain for lovers of country, bluegrass and folk music but, just as Kentucky can be viewed as a bridge between north and south, Wonk’s music blends elements of Indie/Alternative rock with old school country. It's hard to separate the wonk from the tonk. Nor should you try.
Wonk's influences, John Prine, Guy Clark, Modest Mouse and Loretta Lynn among them (especially Loretta), are apparent but her music is not derivative. Loretta, Skeeter Davis, Iris Dement and Jenny Lewis come to mind but none of her comparables quite pin her down. Wonk is her own cowgirl. "Cowgirls get up in the morning, decide what to do and do it", she was told as a child. Fiercely independent but naturally shy Jasmine uses her alter ego and blue cowgirl boots to deal with the notion of impossibly cruel but equally exhilarating existence.

This girl is exhilarating for sure. See what we mean and listen to her on her website. g



Royal Holland


Royal Holland is a singer-songwriter from Newport, KY playing dreamy folk rock songs about love and loss since early 2014. He is desperate to create elaborate, visceral, truthful musical stories in every new song. He stands upon the shoulders of his heroes of the art form; Leonard Cohen, Elliot Smith and Jeff Mangum among many others, and draws inspiration from the terribly beautiful and wonderfully horrible events of daily mundane life. He wants us all to feel beautiful and free.
Growing up in a small farm town, Royal started piano lessons at age 7 during which he begged his instructor to teach him how to write a song. Since then, Royal has always taken solace in writing songs. It got him through being an outcast in his formative years, becoming a single dad at a young age and two failed marriages. He continues to write songs that will connect with those of us who can't quite seem to find their place in this life.
Royal has led two bands over the past 14 years, but has recenty branched out as a solo artist. In his first year he has been featured on CMJ.com, shared the stage with Reggie and the Full Effect, released an initial 4 song E.P. titled "Volume One - The Maze" (recorded and produced by Grammy winning producer Brian Olive), begun work on a second E.P., cut a Nashville demo on Music Row , logged over 5000 touring miles and won The 2014 Ohio Music Award for "Best Folk Album".

High energy and music that is all his own. As he decribes it as "Electronic Appalachian". Whatever it is bold and electric. Listen to him on his YouTube Channel.


Davina-Carolin & Gundy

One can never tell where great music will spring forth from. It shouldn't come as a surprise that sometimes the recourse is a musical family. In this case, Davina-Carolin is the daughter of Richard Hecks and his wife Gundy.
Richard Hecks is the leader and lead guitar player of the famous Nouveau Flamenco Band Luna Blanca. This instrumental group was presented the "Best World Album 2012" award at ZMR in New Orleans for the CD El Dorado.
Richard's wife Gundy was featured on the Goa Chill out Zone Vol. 5 singing her song "Freedom in Your Soul."
For her first release, Davina-Carolin appeared with a new cover version of the song "Comptine d'Un Autre Ètè, L'après-Midi – Amèlie from Montmartre [Large Version 2010]". She plays it in a much laid back style giving the music time to connect straight to the heart of the listeners.
Her latest release "Dusk Till Dawn" is a vocal album, singing together with Gundy and having Luna Blanca - Richard Hecks and His Nouveau Flamenco Band - as companion volume.

Inspiring and poetic. A joy to listen to. Hear for yourself on their YouTube Channel.



Jeffrey


Born in New Jersey and now calling New York home, singer songwriter Jeffrey is equally at home writing music or on stage performing. This acoustic style of music is new to this former cabaret performer who has performed at most of the New York cabaret venues. "I have always been drawn to this acoustic style of music and it wasn't until I studied to play guitar that I started to write my own music."
Jeffrey will release his songs as they are completed versus waiting for the entire project to be finished. "Feelings and emotions are changing, as are my songs. I want them to be genuine. I don't want a final date to dictate when the music is ready".

Jeffrey returns to Music Arts with some great new sounds. Check him out on his website.


Rob Hegel



Rob's broad range of musical influences include an homage to Goffin and King, Lennon and McCartney, and Nilsson, a bow to Broadway’s Lerner and Lowe, and a nod to Arlen, Dylan, and Newman. This mixed bag of inspirations is reflected in Rob's diverse and unique writing style, so evident in the songs on MAKE IT MAGICAL and throughout his Rob Hegel career.
Whether it's a disco smash for Sarah Dash, "SINNER MAN," his own cult classic RCA recording of "TOMMY, JUDY & ME," the witty "DO IT FOR OUR COUNTRY" featured in the movie GREASE 2, or the top twenty Air Supply hit, "JUST AS I AM," Rob has never written the same song twice. As a staff songwriter for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legend, Don Kirshner, Rob wrote songs for several television projects including Norman Lear's "A Year At The Top" starring Mickey Rooney and Paul Shaffer, Alan Landsburg's "The Kids From C.A.P.E.R." starring John Lansing and Steve Bonino, and the theme songs for "Don Kirshner's Rock Concert" and "Stick Around" starring Andy Kaufman.
In his first novel, TUXEDO BOB, co-authored with his wife Susan, Rob combines his songwriting abilities with his quick wit and love for the English language to weave a tale of whimsy about a uniquely talented, impeccably dressed, and compulsively honest young songwriter’s adventures in the music business. In addition to TUXEDO BOB, Rob has written a musical thriller, "The Mirror Of Mister Moore," an action/detective screenplay, "All That Glitter," and a stage play, "and then what?".
Rob Hegel - Make It Magical
He has released 3 CDs of his original songs; HEGEL 2 - displays, ROAD SIGNS, and his latest, MAKE IT MAGICAL. MAKE IT MAGICAL, co-produced by Robby Krieger (The Doors) and Harper Hug, is an 11-song CD showcasing Rob’s songwriting and vocal abilities, and features some of the finest musicians on the planet.

We like what we hear and Rob's song "Love Is A Song" it so Beatlesque we want more! He hangs with some pretty impressive folk too. Listen to Rob on his YouTube Channel.





JOHN LEWIS


Born in Norwalk, Connecticut, John's overwhelming musical drive stems from his late father, John W. Lewis Jr., a talented jazz musician who played piano and xylophone. Jazz would fill the air and John knew all the jazz standards at an early age. His late father mentored jazz pianist Horace Silver and bassist the late Keter Betts. The family later relocated to Washington, D.C. While attending school in the District of Columbia, John was a part of the All-City Junior High School Choir and The D.C. Youth Chorale, under the direction of Edward Jackson. A Voice Major classically trained at the University of the District of Columbia and also ministered with the Howard University Gospel Choir and recorded two albums "Take The Savior With You" and "Hymns For A Soulful People".
Later, in 1979, John relocated to Brooklyn, New York where he worked for the federal government and attended the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. He performed throughout the N.Y. area often performing with his late father and abroad in London, England.
"Just Chillin' (MTR 3500) is Johns' Fourth Album Release!. This CD is dedicated to his lovely wife Michele! This CD is all about the love we have for each other and embracing our faith and celebrating each new day of life! His Third Album "Back To The Beginning Again"(MTR 3400) was released in the fall of 2013. This album features 2 cover songs. "Going In Circles" originally recorded by The Friends of Distinction and "You Were Meant For Me" recorded by the late Donny Hathaway. Johns' Second Album "In Motion" (MTR3300) was released in fall of 2012 and was dedicated to his previous wife Rosemary Thompson-Lewis who died of breast cancer in April 2012. His First Album "Rhythms Of The Rainbow"(MTR3200) was released in the Summer of 1997. Johns' soothing and smooth vocals combined with Awesome Tracks by Big Bos, is the "Place You Want To Be!"

John keep's us "Chilling" with his new sounds and we appreciate it! Hear John on his website.



Starflight



Starflight is a studio band from Sydney Australia, lead by singer, songwriter, multi instrumentalist, and producer Jib Khan.
Originally formed earlier this century as a duo act comprising of Jib along with keyboardist/backing vocalist Damien Spanjer, their mission statement was to bring back the vintage sounds of the 60s, 70s, and 80s for a new age.
They released their debut album 'Adventure Beyond' and first single 'Phasers On Stun' in 2013. The year was rounded out with Starflight nominated in no less than four categories at the Australian Indie Music Awards. In September 2014 Damien announced his departure from the band, leaving Jib firmly at the helm.
Created in Sydney, Los Angeles, Reykjavik, Islamabad & New York, Jib has just released Starflight's second album 'World Premiere' with lead single 'Wicked Woods'.

Techno bullshit this is good synth. Roll us some more! Groove for yourself on their YouTube Channel.

























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Adouce



Adouce plays accordeon since she is 3 years old. She has a classical singing education and collaborates with a German producer Gena Wernik, who remixes old French chansons in a modern style with electronic beats.
Adouce performs live her music on the accordeon and half playbacks.
She remixes with a German producer, Gena Wernik, French chansons in a pop style.

Oui and wow! Adouce really tickles those keys! Listen to her on website.



Joseph Cannavo


Joseph Cannavo - 21 years old - Singer/songwriter from New York and currently studying in Miami, Florida. Extremely hard-working, determined and readily available. Joseph is now spending time in the studio with renowned producer James Sanger, who has worked with Dido, Phil Collins and more. Willing to work with other songwriters and producers to see what can be crafted together. Check out "This Love," and look out for more from this young artist coming soon.

This is a very promising new artist that is sure to capture the attention of the world. Hear him on his YouTube Channel.
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Gina Cutillo


With song placements on Oprah, Nickelodeon, Mean Girls 2, Barbara Walters, MLB, Food Network, Degrassi, E! Network, VH1 and more Gina Cutillo's music is placed & heard all over the world. Her recent single "The Inside" was co-written with Pete Nappi (Arthouse Entertainment- Kara Dioguardi's production house). Pete recently wrote tracks with Meghan Trainor, Ke$ha & Shinedown. Gina's track "The Inside" is rapidly becoming a viral hit with social media fans & major industry execs.
Gina has also toured with Katy Perry, Paramore, Gym Class Heroes and more on Warped Tour. Her stage presence and catchy songs won over many crowds, cities and other major artists on the tour. She's performed on stage with Prince and has played SXSW a few times with her last performance landed her as the opener for Neon Trees. Gina has also performed at CMJ, Launch, Dewey and many other major festivals.
In between her critically acclaimed 3rd album "The Lover" & her newly released singles "The Inside", "Fly (Feel Love Tonight)", "In Another" and "In Time" that will comprise of her upcoming album Gina released 2 EP's "Monolovers" and "Love, Faith, Soul", both accepted and put in the forefront of the APM library with a review stating: "New Yorker Gina Cutillo delivers Pop/Rock/Dance at its best with a fresh batch of incredibly catchy memorable songs."
Gina Cutillo's mission has always been worldwide success by reaching fans through her music. She has been quoted "The best feeling in the world is when someone tells you they had a better day because of your song, it's truly what all the success comes down to.. my fans."

Fun and novel new songs from an amazing new artist. Listen to Gina on her Youtube Channel.







SWAGU'


The group Swagu was formed in Atlanta, GA made up of three musical talents. Greg Edmonds better known as STRANGER, Darron Price better known as DEEP, and Kingston Callaway better known as Medulla, grew up together and were influenced by a lot of the same music. Anything from groups like Death, Cameo, Souls of Mischief, Talking Heads, Nina Simon, Systems Of A Downs and many more. Influenced by these organic sounds Stranger, Deep, and Medulla of Swagu started playing the electric guitar and incorporating live music with there many songs. Working with producer Anthony Smith(Jo Kane) founder of Vizer Entertainment inside of Kolab Studio with one goal in mind, make music that has an immortal, positive, universal effect.

SWAGU' is quite original and has a beat that keeps kickin'. Check them out on their YouTube Channel.



Blaise James Turbett


Faith in the Storm album for sale by Blaise James Turbett was released Jul 25, 2015 on the Blaise James Turbett label. This album began as a series of country influenced balladswith one or two spiritual tracks. Faith in the Storm buy CD music It has evolved into a collection ofsongs with spiritual themes in country,jazz,gospel and other moods. Faith in the Storm songs.
Songs of love, hope, and above all faith ... in the surrounding storm. Faith in the Storm album for sale.
Songs that speak of change,forgiveness, love. Faith in the Storm CD music.
Without God above,humility,prayer,meditation and faith, we are lost. Faith in the Storm buy CD music.
There is a calm before a storm, before the winds gather. Faith in the Storm songs This album was createdin that window, with an eye on the gathering clouds. In our increasingly uncertain worldtime is precious, but we can change before it gets too late.

This is what John says about himself; "Singer Songwriter Sinner Teacher Preacher Dreamer". We don't think humility is a problem with him! His songs are gosple from the back of a pickup truck. Listen to him on his CD Baby page.










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