Showing posts from April, 2019

Sean McConnell [Concert Review] - Secondhand Smoke [Album Review]

I am fresh out of stones so I'll throw one post at two birds. Or something like that. I've wanted to review this album for a while and since I had the privilege of catching Sean McConnell open for a band Called NeedToBreath the other night, I decided to tack on a concert review. I will admit I went specifically to see Sean and knew next to nothing about the headliner. My appreciation for Sean McConnell began in 2012 with the release of his album Midland . The Fox Theater in Riverside, California is a nice venue with comfortable seating and ample leg room. One of those places that doesn’t offer a bad seat. Capacity is 1600, but   the space feels much more intimate than that.  There is power in a talented singer/songwriter standing below the lights with only his guitar. McConnell wielded this power well. The emotion and history of every lyric floated straight from the stage into the listening crowd. Despite the sold out show, I suspect very few attendees had

Shut Up and Sing (Op Ed)

We listen to music that brings out our emotions and puts into words how we feel. And we do this at least partly, because we can't always express ourselves. We stare at art that inspires. We read words that teach, transport, and enlighten. We watch movies that make us laugh, cry, hope, and wonder. And the songwriters, artists, authors, actors, producers, screenwriters that give us these treasures are very all very gifted and talented when it comes to tapping into our emotions.They combine great intelligence, hard work, talent, and a heightened sense of em pathy to pour their souls out. And while taste is subjective, all of us have our favorite singers, songwriters, authors, painters, sculptors, poets, actors, etc ... that we believe speak for a generation or a culture. We pay money to feel alive, or included, or to simply feel we are not all alone in this crazy, screwed up world. We admire, love, and long to hear and see these artists because frankly, the

The Graylings -- (Band Review)

I first heard the single In The Night and it came with a vocal sound that immediately put me in mind of Emmylou and Ronstadt. The soft melody, especially the chorus, reminded me of stripped down Isbell tune and this combination gave the track a retro vibe that hooked me enough to dive in deeper. I dug into the album titled TELL ME HOW IT ENDS and was surprised by the varied sound of this band led my husband and wife Zachary and Bridget Galanis who take turns handling lead vocals. The first single, Golden Line carries that power ballad vibe of the 70s, but feels fresh just the same. However my favorite tracks are scattered throughout this 13 Track album. My favorite is titled Slayer on Cassette. All of the lyrics are published on the band website but here is the opening to Slayer on Cassette. She's a certain somethin’ at the caffeine dispensary. Pale and pretty, dressed for the 90’s. A transplant angeleno. If you want to go to college you’d better learn to accep

RAINNE -- Psycho Killer (Song Review)

My musical tastes lean Folk, American, and Country because these genres are easier for me to connect to emotionally. For those who do not know me, I am a writer by trade, with a comedic memoir of my youth, two novels, and numerous short stories to to my creative writing publishing credits. I have also wrote for several music outlets on the web and in print as well a a ton of freelance articles I tell y'all this only to highlight that I am a storyteller at heart so I prefer songs that either directly tell a story, or stir the emotions in my brain so that I am able to imagine a story based on those emotions. This blog is a labor of love for me because music is a passion that fuels my creativity and this is not bound by genre. Enthralling, thought-provoking, emotion-stirring music knows no genre. This brings me to a band I have just recently became aware of, Rainne. The track Psycho Killer is an ode to old school noir fiction with a modern base beat. The tune instan

Tom Russell -- October in the Railroad Earth

Tom Russell does not get the credit he deserves. One of the true pioneers of Americana, Russell can flat out write, and his latest album, October in the Railroad Earth , carries an emotional punch that most songwriters can only aspire to deliver. Released on March 15th, 2019, October in the Railroad Earth opens with a nod to Jack Kerouac in the title track. From there, the album takes you on a 45 minute journey that never jumps the rails. Tom Russell's gravel voice sounds more like Johnny Cash than it once did, but how much of that is time, and how much intentional for this album is hard to tell with a master like Russell. The genius of Russell's songwriting shines in Small Engine Repair as he turns what could be the mundane, into a truly emotional look at life. My personal favorite track off the album is T-Bone Steak and Spanish Wine. Time of course marches on for us all, but who among us doesn’t long to hit that rewind button now and again? Both Isadore Gon