Archive for slide guitar

KEITH MORRIS & THE CROOKED NUMBERS-The Dirty Gospel

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2016 by TheManicBlogger

km2If the heavens opened and rained music down upon us, I am certain it would sound exactly like Keith Morris & The Crooked Numbers’ new album, The Dirty Gospel. The Charlottesville, Virginia band released 10 tracks of gritty, southern soul, dusted with gospel, southern rock, and blues.

The album incorporates some way cool harmonica, dynamite organ, and some beautifully played slide guitar. And let’s not overlook the divine choir that swoops down to touch your soul.

km1The songs are wonderfully melodic and moving, poignantly personal, yet they resonate across the universe. There is a prophetic sentiment throughout, and at times, I felt like shouting Hallelujah, grabbing a beer, and asking for forgiveness, as Keith Morris exposes parts of humanity we often wish we could forget about. Favorite tracks: ‘Psychopaths & Synchophants‘; ‘Pale Moon‘; ‘Are You Free Now?’. Incredible album! Without a doubt, one of the best albums I have heard in a long time. Check it out here, and then buy 2 or 3 copies. Play it often. Play it Loud. Let the heavens hear it.

 

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BONGO BOY RECORDS-The Singles

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 11, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

There seems to be a whack of incredibly cool music coming out of New Jersey, and Bongo Boy Records seem to have their hand on most of it. Aside from the 2013  Mark Lindsay release, Life Out Loud, and the Gar Francis EP, Shine On, this Indie label out of Belvidere, New Jersey has a truck load of singles that they are about to release on a “Singles” album. Being quite fond of Bongo Boy Monique and Garage Guru Gar-the coolest musician to come out of Jersey since Frank Sinatra– I agreed to listen and wax poetic about this soon to be released compilation.

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Jana Peri, the New York City rocker with power pop and punk influences, delivers a knock out tune with “Ballerina Of The Bowery“. Written by Gar Francis, the song has a great surf-pop groove, great harmonies and a wonderful bridge and chorus. The choppy guitar  rocks and the riff, subtly great. Terrific opening track on any album.

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I didn’t know who The Easy Outs were, but  the New Jersey rock-punk-garage band’s “Come On, Come On” is up there on my list of coolest songs I have heard lately. The track has a great 1960s feel, delivered through wonderful keys and an amazing melody. There are great horns, beautiful transitions, and a dynamite bass line. I can hear Gar Francis all over this song. The riff, clean and crisp, and the solo, as always, class, not flash. Consider this a hit.

 

gr2The wonderfully multi talented Genya Ravan contributes a Gar Francis song, “I Won’t Cry Anymore” with a powerful voice and a delivery that made me shiver.  This rock-blues tune reminds me of something that should be on Janis Joplin album, and hands out great choral harmonies in the bridge and a wonderfully R & B harmonized “whoo hoo hoo”. This woman can sing.  Powerful and pleasurable.

 

 

rk3I don’t know where he finds the time, but Rockids is another Gar Francis project. Originally formed in 1973 by Gar and Wayne Olivieri, this garage band recorded Eddie Cochran‘s “C’mon Everybody” in 2012. I love this song. I dig Rockids cover of it. The guitar layered underneath, the amazing Jerry Lee Lewis piano, and the great hook, deliver an incredible track. Might as well stand when you listen, ’cause it will get you dancing.

kcBorn Dainty“, a country-rock song, was written and produced by, you guessed it, Gar Francis. Recorded by New Jersey’s Kelly Caruso, daughter of The Doughboys bass player, Mike Caruso, this track offers some amazing banjo, cool drumming, and a great chorus. The transitions are wonderful and the guitar riff, great. Kelly delivers a wonderful vocal track. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear this song covered by Kelly Clarkson.

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The Swinging Iggies,  with one of the coolest band names around, offer up “Lady Gaga“. This New Jersey garage-rock band is another one of Gar Francis’ projects. The song,  humorous and up tempo, has a dynamite power start. There are great transitions and I dig the guitar riff. Great song. Still, what a wonderful name for a band.

gfrocketOne of the most meaningful songs I have ever heard, Gar Francis’ “Rocket” touches me. This heartfelt tribute to American soldiers, raises powerful emotions as an acoustic number. The vocals are something out of Bowie’s Hunky Dory, and this is not the first time I have made a Bowie reference about Gar. The beautifully played strings set the tone and mood amid the haunting melody. Wonderful lyric like, “rest my faith against my gun”, drive home the message. I like Gar Francis unplugged.

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New Jersey singer, songwriter Gigi, contributes one way cool tune. “Put Your Freakin’ Hands Up” a  pop-dance track, in the Carly Rae JepsenCall Me Maybe” style,  has a great guitar intro and some amazing double tracked vocals. The melody, pure pop and the guitar riff in the bridge/chorus, wonderfully cool. The minimized instrumentation during the verses highlights the vocals that come with some great effects. Wonderful song with an incredible hook.

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Plainfield Slim, Gar Francis’ alter ego, offers 2 blues tunes. “Dirty Girl” has wonderful southern blues-rock guitar and sweet, double time drumming. The slide guitar rocks within a cool vocal track and nice harmonies. I swear I hear a train in there. “Let Go My Hand“, delivers a wonderful blues riff and a great rock beat. I love the guitar solo and the muted effect to the entire track. Jersey blues are way cool.

mark-lindsay_life-out-loudMy choice for coolest song of the year, “Merry Go Round (Christian’s Song)” by Mark Lindsay is a definite bonus. What can I say about this song that I haven’t said in my review of the Life Out Loud album? Way cool 60s organ, great harmonies, exciting guitar, wonderful changes, and I really dig the “less is more” drumming style. The vocals rock, the melody, dynamite and well, this is my favorite Mark Lindsay song since “Kicks“. Coolest song of the year for sure.

Well, there you have it. The Bongo Boy Records singles compilation. The genres are varied, with something to please everyone.  11 tracks destined to amaze and entertain. This album will rock you, and  it will surprise you. An amazingly eclectic collection of songs by incredibly talented artists. I would liked to have seen Gar Francis’ “Back In 1985”  included on this record.  Check it out for yourself and see what’s really going on in New Jersey. Its not just Snooki and The Sopranos. A must have for every collection.

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ARMS OF THE GIRL-Versions Of Happiness

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 10, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

aotg1The Ottawa based Arms Of The Girl released their third EP in late 2012. As a follow up to Recipe For Living (2008) and Warning Signs (2010),, Versions Of Happiness emerges as a slightly heavier project than the earlier recordings.

The EP is filled with power chords and clean, crisp guitar riffs. The songs have great hooks and melodies. The vocals are strong and are the focus of each song. There are country elements, but they are not overpowering, and are held in check by the rock riffs and strategically placed drum shots. “Going Down” has a subtle country twang to it, but David Cutler’s guitar keeps it rocking. The resulting sound works. In “Falling“,  a folk melody is sung over rock music. In “Easiest Hangover” , slide guitar appears, and the vocals are melodic and  soothing, singing “The easiest hangover I ever cured was you.” Great line.

aotg2Versions Of Happiness is a wonderful listen. Cathy Cote can sing. The band can play. The songs are well written and fun. The lyrics are insightful and ironic.  These are talented musicians with a cool EP.  Entertaining and enjoyable.  Alternative folk-rock, with a subtle country influence. A sort of Blue Rodeo bumping into Poco. Pretty cool.

You can hear Arms Of The Girl here: http://armsofthegirl.bandcamp.com/

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ELLIOTT BROOD:Days Into Years

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 13, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

eb1 Since their inception in 2002, Elliott Brood has defined their style with Tin Type (2004), Ambassador (2005), and Mountain Meadows (2008).  Following their signing with Paper Bag Records in 2011, Days Into Years was released.

The album opens with “Lindsay“, a simple song that seems complex with the exceptional musicality of the band, a classic rock guitar riff and beautifully arranged pop harmonies. “Lines“, with its railroad sounds, blues/rock guitar and acoustic opening captures the theme of the song and has me wondering why wasn’t this on Mellancamp’s Scarecrow? “If I Get Old”  has a blues/rock feel, and a rock guitar riff all supporting Casey’s vocals with  Arlo Guthrie inflections. The banjo focus on “Hold You” coupled with Marc’s country styled vocals and the use of brushes on the drums, give this song a creative, rustic feel. The rock beat of  “Will They Bury Us” opens up this song for heavier vocals, repeating guitar riffs, harmonies, tempo changes and piano that seems to slow the song down briefly until it winds up again. An amazing piece of music.  “West End Sky” is a mellow song, played with acoustic guitar, banjo and brushes on a suitcase. “Northern Air” delivers great harmonies, an amazing bridge and harmonica to create the transitions. The harmonized vocals, ukulele and pedals used to create some amazing sounds, make “Owen Sound“. The eb3haunting intro of “Their Will“, which slowly builds into great melodic guitar sounds,almost  turns this  into a rock song. This is Elliott Brood rock; with great harmonies, distortion and special effects guitar. “My Mother’s Side” is a blues/rock song, utilizing slide guitar effects, guitar changes and drum shots, powerful vocals and the use of power chords throughout. The subtle guitar faintly playing in the background just puts this over the top. By far, the best track on the album.

With 10 solid tracks, Days Into Years is a must have album. The instrumentation is simple, yet the music is as creative as any I have heard. The songs are wonderful, personal narratives that invite you into the world of Elliott Brood. The music is addictive. It both soothes and excites at the same time. Not surprising that the album won the 2013 Juno for Roots and Traditional Album Of The Year.  Days Into Years is a classic piece of Canadianna that blows me away with every listen.

To listen to Elliott Brood, use the link below.

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