Archive for mandolin

Bruce Tunkel

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2017 by TheManicBlogger

 

I started off with the intention of writing a review of Bruce Tunkel‘s latest release. Another New Jersey musician, I thought. I was sent several cds, and after listening to them, over and over again, I have discovered that Bruce Tunkel is not just another New Jersey musician.

The most recent release, 2017’s ‘Bittersweet‘, is a poignant look into the artist, filled with songs that deal with emotional upheaval, love, hope, and depression. There are wonderful melodies, accompanied by beautiful piano and powerfully soulful vocal tracks. The simplicity of using only piano and vocals, adds to the mood of the album, and touches the listener. The songs are well written, and to be honest, I really didn’t miss any additional instrumentation. The exception, “So Many Ways“, uses acoustic guitar and mandolin to exact the same emotions I felt in the other tracks. A brilliant release, one which you should get your hands on. You can check it out here.

We’ll Make It Up As We Go‘, a double cd released in 2015, is insanely good. A very different sound than that on ‘Bittersweet’, this album is filled with melodic Jersey rock songs, with influences as diverse as power-pop, country and blues infused throughout. I heard very cool guitar, organ, strings, and powerful vocals. The arrangements are dynamite, and I was unable to find a track I didn’t like. At times there is a familiarity to the album, and I can hear bits of Bon Jovi drifting in, only to become part of something bigger in the track. Wonderfully done. I only wish I had been aware of this album in 2015. Favorite tracks: ‘Losing Kind‘, ‘Drive Me Sane‘, ‘Dream Big‘,  and ‘Birthday Girl‘.Check it out here.

There was project I was able to listen to, the 2017 release of The Susan Rumors debut album. A pop-rock-blues album that would be a dynamite addition to any collection. You can check out The Susan Rumors here: https://thesusanrumors.bandcamp.com/.

After my weekend spinning Bruce Tunkel cds, I have realized just what a talented artist he is. Multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, producer, songwriter, and arranger, able to pull several genres and fuse them into one cohesive album. Wonderful stuff.

FRUITION-Labor Of Love

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2016 by TheManicBlogger

fruitionFruition, based in Portland, Oregon, released their latest album, Labor Of Love, in April, 2016. Filled with addictive melodies, insanely good 3 part harmonies, and catchy hooks, the songs are wonderfully inspiring, with infectious musical references to Reggae, and Louisiana Swamp Music.  I heard mandolin, 12 string acoustic guitar, dobro, banjo, violin, cello, and some way cool organ. The varied instrumentation is exciting, and allows for some wonderfully creative arrangements. 10 tracks of roots-soul music at its best. Favorite tracks: ‘Labor Of Love‘, ‘Early Morning Wake Up‘, and ‘Death Comes Knocking‘.

You can check it out for yourself on their bandcamp page, and then buy a few copies. Share it with friends & family. Definitely one to consider for I Can’t Believe My Earz Indie Album Of The Year, 2016.

 

icbme2support_independent_music

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/ICantBelieveMyEarz/

https//icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/review-archives/

https://twitter.com/cntblievemyearz

 

 

 

ANDREW WAITE & THE FIRM-Burning Through The Night

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

Andrew Waite & The Firm were, until recently, unknown to me. What I heard on “Burning Through The Night“,  released in Septemeber 2015, has made me a fan. A wonderful blend of Roots, Pop, and Prince Edward Island Folk music, this band has created a sound that is intoxicating and addictive.

AW & The Firm2The way cool organ, and saxophone on ‘Someone To Hold Me‘, is a wonderfully pleasant addition to a great melody, and sweet acoustic guitar. ‘Burning Through The Night‘ offers a killer vocal track with cool harmonies, and some great changes. The mandolin on ‘Immaterial World‘ is beautifully placed among the incredibly touching lyric, subtle horns, and dynamite keys. The cool effects during the intro don’t hurt! This is the song I will be dancing with my wife to as we sway around the house!! ‘Little Bird‘ gives us wonderful organ throughout, laying just under the melody. The guitar is wonderfully acoustic, and the harmonies,  perfect. ‘Alone Apart‘ offers more saxophone among cool guitar effects, a wonderful chorus, and exceptional harmonies & backing vocals. My favorite track, ‘There’s A Light On‘ has dynamite horns, a way cool riff, and great organ. The song is insanely melodic, with a wonderful chorus. Reminiscent of Mellancamp’s “Scarecrow” days.

AWand The FirmBurning Through The Night is wonderfully soothing & melodic. A return to the singer-songwriter days, with songs filled with heartfelt stories that resonate with me. The vocals are unique, and I dig the raspiness in Andrew Waite’s voice. The arrangements rock, and the horns & organ are a delightful. Andrew Waite & The Firm could very well be the next Blue Rodeo!! A band to watch. A band to listen to!! The album is a wonderfully satisfying journey that I plan on taking regularly. I suspect that I will have to make an endless loop as I can’t see myself getting tired of this. Check it out for yourself.

 

icbme2https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/review-archives/

https://www.facebook.com/ICantBelieveMyEarz

https://twitter.com/cntblievemyearz

 

OLIVIA & THE CREEPY CRAWLIES-Tongue Tied

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 5, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

occ1One year after the debut of their 2014 EP, ‘Charley‘, London, Ontario’s Olivia & The Creepy Crawlies have released the 5 track ‘Tongue Tied‘. While remaining true to the band’s Canadiana/folk sound, this latest album contains more pop sensibilities than I had anticipated. The melodies are wonderfully cool, with harmonies that seem to come out of nowhere, and vocal tracks that generally blew me away. Olivia Borkosky can sing!  The songs contain nice changes, and arrangements that include violin, electric mandolin, glockenspiel, autoharp, harmonica, and of course, ukulele. There is even hand clapping on “Supervillain“. The resulting sound is magical! There is so much going on here, you need to listen several times to get it all.

 

 

occ‘Tongue Tied’ is filled with wonderfully original songs, that demonstrate a unique approach to creating music as evident in the resulting sound. It is entertaining and uplifting, with wonderfully simple, yet cleverly meaningful lyrics. A wonderful album, that will make you smile. Buy it! Listen to it! Love it!

http://oliviaandthecreepycrawlies.bandcamp.com/album/tongue-tied

https://www.facebook.com/oliviaandthecreepycrawlies?fref=ts

 

icbme2https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/review-archives/

https://www.facebook.com/ICantBelieveMyEarz

twitterhttps://twitter.com/cntblievemyearz

 

 

THE BLANK TAPES-Geodesic Dome Piece

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 19, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

blanktapes1California’s The Blank Tapes released ‘Geodesic Dome Piece‘ in January 2015 with 12 tracks of 1960’s pop that sounds like it stepped out of another dimension. Sort of Paul Revere & The Raiders meet The Twilight Zone! The sound is infectious.  From the opening chords of “Way Too Stoned“, with its ethereal,  dream like vibe, I was taken away by 60’s pop melodies, great harmonies, cool effects, and insanely exciting riffs (check out “For Breakfast” and “Buff“). There are wonderful changes, particularly in “Brown Chicken Brown Cow“, and way cool mandolin on “To Your Dome Piece“. The album is filled with surprises, including wonderful guitar and saxophone solos on “Slippin’ Slide“, and a jangly surf-pop vibe to “Oh My Muzak“. Favorite track “Do You Wanna Get High“, with its dynamite pop chorus, an amazing change in key, and lyrics that include ‘do you wanna get high, just like Chucky and me, cause we’re likely to be all the time’.

 

 

 

bt1I could listen to this for days on end, and have spent the better part of 2 weeks digesting the entire The Blanks Tape catalog. The songs make me feel like I did in 1969. The album is wonderfully arranged and produced. The vocals are wonderful, and the lyrics, sardonic and witty. There is an acoustic demo version of “Do You Wanna Get High” as a bonus, and “To Your Dome Piece” is worth a few listens just for the lyrical phrasing.. This is one of those must have albums. The kind that you have to have in your collection, just because it was done. Bizarro-garage-psychedelic-stoner-surf-pop at its best.

 

Check out The Blank Tapes catalog at http://theblanktapes.bandcamp.com/ and visit and LIKE their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/blanktapes

 

 

icbme2https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ICantBelieveMyEarz

twitter@cntblievemyearz

THE SOLE PURSUIT

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 9, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

solepursuit2It seems that there are times when you just can’t catch everything. A great band often slips by whilst searching for great Indie Music. The Sole Pursuit, from right here in Toronto, are a band that I missed. It was my good fortune to have links to their albums forwarded to me, and so, I can breathe easy. Better late than never.

I started by listening to 4 track EP, ‘Ocean Floor’, released in May, 2014. “The Approaching Wavesolepursuit1offered great riffs, cool changes, and a dynamite bridge. I enjoyed the guitar solo, and the double guitar sound. and adored the harmonies. The sweet melody of “Ocean Floor” is accentuated by some way cool guitar effects, and a wonderful vocal track. The acoustic “Light Overhead” delivers incredible harmonies throughout a beautiful melody. A powerful song. The last track, a way cool cover of Springsteen‘s “Dancing In The Dark“, blew me away. They nailed it! The kick ass harmonies help make this a wonderfully original cover. These guys punched it up, and delivered a driving, heavier version, that is the best best cover of this song you will ever hear!

 

 

Moving on, I listened to the 7 track ‘Opposing Force’, released in 2013.  The opening track, “Unabashedly Unafraid”  begins with a wonderful military drum roll. The vocals and harmonies are great, and the melody is catchy as hell. And check out those piercing guitars! “Sedan” offers some cool solepursuit3effects, a great melody, and dynamite changes. The drumming rocks, the acoustic intro is sweet, and I really like the simple guitar solo. There is an almost Zydeco feel to “Tunnel Metaphysics“, and it works. The acoustic guitar & mandolin serve as a wonderful backdrop to an amazing melody, and I know I heard piano. “The Second Renaissance” has some amazing effects, which demonstrates the band’s willingness to play with sounds. This is so cool! The melody, and changes are amazing, and I really enjoyed the sound of strings. The funkified “It Waves” delivers amazing keys, and a dynamite bass line, wrapped up with sweet vocals, great changes, nice harmonies, and tambourine. There are 2 stand out tracks. “I Devised A Plan” has a wonderfully sweet melody, carried by acoustic guitar and mandolin. Paired with electronics and strings, the sound is simply beautiful. An Amazing track! My favorite track on the album is “A Post Modern Blue“. Cool drumming, a wonderful guitar solo, and great effects highlight this track. The harmonies are sweet, and the double guitar sound, rocks. An incredibly beautiful composition and arrangement.

 

 

solepursuit5

The Sole Pursuit deliver the goods with a wonderfully original and creative take on power-pop. There are shades of progressive rock, noticeable in the intricate changes that  fuse several musical themes together. The result is incredibly melodic and moving music. The songs are musical journeys, taking me places I did not expect to go, and then bringing me back to where I started. Like being on a road trip. They are well crafted, filled with honesty and depth. Listen carefully to the lyrics. Very clever. Very cool! I am a fan, patiently waiting for a 2015 release.

You can check out The Sole Pursuit here: http://thesolepursuit.bandcamp.com/album/ocean-floor

https://www.facebook.com/thesolepursuit

 

 

icbme2

im1

https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/review-archives/

https://www.facebook.com/ICantBelieveMyEarz

twitter@cntblievemyearz

 

guru Approved by A Music Guru

 

 

 

THE HOT SPROCKETS-Brother Nature

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

hs6I have been following The Hot Sprockets since their 2011 release of ‘Honey Skippin. I was fortunate enough to catch this Dublin, Ireland band at Canada Indie Week, part of a North American Tour to promote the June, 2014 release of their latest album, ‘Brother Nature‘.

The album opens with “Quarter Roam“, with its powerful vocals, great changes, and choral harmonies. The combination of acoustic and electric guitars is wonderfully melodic, and I think I heard some slide guitar in this track. The melody rocks, the effects are cool, and I dig the drumming. The early rock and roll influences on “Boogie Woogie“, are almost Rockabilly. This song delivers a high energy tempo, with dynamite and unexpected changes, some dynamite harmonica, and a great vocal track. “Shake Me Off” brings great harmonies, cool changes, and wonderful hs3instrumentation. The country-blues sound of “Comin’ On‘ offers some sweet guitar picking, a dynamite bass line, and a great melody. A wonderfully lively track. “Lay Me Down“, a beautifully sweet song, with acoustic guitar, nice harmonies, wonderful vocals, and, as an added bonus, some way cool banjo. The western style of “El Torro“, an instrumental, comes across like a cowboy tune, a great song to listen to on a cattle drive! It brings wonderful guitar, and great harmonica. The powerfully “Show Me The Weight” gives up dynamite guitar and great harmonies.  “Women & Chile”  delivers some R & B vibes, incorporating great guitar effects, wonderful drumming, a cool melody, and perfectly placed harmonica. One great track! The melody of “Someday” joins the acoustic guitar picking to create a simply serene track. “Soul Brother” just plain rocks. A wonderful tempo brings this blues-rock track to life. There are great guitar riffs and a way cool solo, wonderful harmonies, dynamite changes and insanely good vocal effects. The bluesy, acid hs2rock sentiment of “Heavy On My Mind“,  reminds me of Steppenwolf. With a cool guitar riff that drives the great melody, and incredible drumming, what else could I ask for? Well, The Hot Sprockets thought that flute would be a good idea. They were right. Amazing! The incredibly wonderful “Homeslice” offers a great melody, coupled with sweet harmonies, over what sounds like strings and a mandolin. My favorite track on the album, “The Worried Kind“, brings a great melody delivered by a wicked vocal track. The changes and harmonies are wonderful, and I hear strings! The song has a John Lennon thing going on, both in melody and vocals, and I like it. A beautifully written and performed song!

 

hs5

Well, there you have it. Brother Nature. 13 tracks, and not a bad one to be found. I have listened to this album for the 4th time, and it just keeps getting better. The songs are insanely good. The production, wonderful. These guys can write. These guys can play. The album has a ‘live off the floor’ feel to it. I haven’t heard this much energy in an album in a long time. The Hot Sprockets refer to their music as ‘country dirt”. I prefer to call it Irish Soul! Brother Nature is one of the most powerful albums I have heard in 2014, filled with the unusual, and the unexpected.  A definite must have for your collection, and a definite contender for I Can’t Believe My Earz’  Album Of The Year. Don’t just take my word for it, listen here: http://thehotsprockets.bandcamp.com/album/brother-nature

 

 

 

icbme2

 

https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/review-archives/

https://www.facebook.com/ICantBelieveMyEarz

@cntblievemyearz