Archive for violin

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.

 

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CLARA ENGEL-Visitors Are Allowed One Kiss

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2016 by TheManicBlogger

The 5 track album, Visitors Are Allowed One Kiss, released by Clara Engel in April 2016, has captivated and fascinated me. The Toronto cesinger/songwriter/musician has delivered an exciting, and yes, eccentric, collection of songs that I have not been able to stop listening to. There are hauntingly beautiful melodies, enhanced by a minimalist approach, that is  both soothing and exciting, and serene, yet intoxicating. The simplistic complexity of the avant-garde folk-blues, creates powerful emotions and images. There are wonderfully cool instruments being played; bowed baritone guitar, auto harp, vibes, theremin, as well as  violin, saxophone, and xylophone. The vocals tracks are exceptional, while the sound is uniquely original, fusing Delta Blues, Folk, and Alternative. There is so much going on in here, that it requires numerous listens to integrate the essence of what has been created. I could listen to this all day. Could very well contend for I Can’t Believe My Earz Indie Album Of The Year for 2016. Highly recommended that you check out this, and all of Clara Engel’s other releases out on her bandcamp page.

 

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ERIK SITBON-Taking Care Of Elvis

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 21, 2016 by TheManicBlogger

erik sitbon1I generally don’t review tribute albums, but Erik Sitbon And The Ghost Band‘s “Taking Care Of Elvis” is an exception. The album contains an assortment of songs, some lesser known than others, that never try to emulate Elvis, but rather honor him. Sitbon gives us a wonderfully Roots/Americana flavor, with dynamite arrangements, cool vocals, great harmonies, and a unique sound that includes steel guitar and violin. Even if you are not an Elvis fan, this album will capture your heart, and your mind. Favorite tracks: ‘Moody Blue‘, ‘Early Morning Rain‘, and ‘Burning Love‘. Without a doubt, the best damn Elvis tribute album I have heard. Check it out here., and head over to the band’s facebook page to see what else they have going on.

 

 

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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!

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THE 286

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

the2861Another U.K. band, introduced to me by former The Toniks drummer Colin Marshall, The 286 released a self-titled EP in April, 2014. I confess. I missed it then. The 4 tracks resound with shades of ELO, and George Harrison. “Miracle On 286th Street“, an instrumental track, offers cool piano and bass, with some wonderful tremolo guitar. “Little Louisa” delivers a nice vocal track within a 1950’s Rock ‘N’ Roll vibe. There are 2 versions of “Let The Rain Fall Down“, a shorter radio edit, and the extended play. The track is amazingly infectious. The bittersweet melody fuels the wonderful vocals. There are incredible changes, a cool bridge, and a great hook. An incredibly beautiful song.

the2863This ep delivers. A wonderful fusion of classical themes and pop melodies. The arrangements are exciting. Orchestral-pop is back. The 286 are simply a lot of fun. I am looking forward to the next release. Check them out for yourselves at https://the286.bandcamp.com/ and LIKE them on facebook…https://www.facebook.com/the286?fref=ts

 

 

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STAN SIMON AND THE HOTEL BIBLE/JJ AND THE PILLARS-Toronto Roots Music

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

So, I have discovered two  Toronto area bands who play an interesting blend of folk, pop, rock, and western. I suppose it is as close to Toronto folk/roots music as one could get. Both of these bands were on my “must see” list at Canada Indie Week, however  I was unable to catch either due to scheduling issues.Pretty excited by the sound, though.

sshbHailing from Toronto, Stan Simon and The Hotel Bible released an album in July 2013. ‘Escaping The Madhouse‘ shines with 10 wonderfully written songs with wonderful melodies. There are some cool guitar riffs, wonderful harmonica, clarinet, and violin thrown in with incredibly satisfying results. The vocals are soothing, coupled with sweet harmonies. The album comes off with a singer/songwriter focus, which Stan Simon clearly is. A very cool album, with great songs and creative instrumentation. A sort of alternative folk-pop-rock with a western bite. Check out the way cool guitar on “Into Nowhere“, and the clarinet on “My Drunk Heart“. Definitely one for the collection. You can have a listen here: http://stansimon.bandcamp.com/album/escaping-the-madhouse

 

 

jj1Another Toronto based band,  JJ & The Pillars are originally from Peterborough, Ontario. Winners of The Edge’s Next Big Thing competition, the band released their 7 track album, ‘Wolves“, in August 2014.  Each song is filled with wonderfully soothing acoustic guitar, exciting melodies, and exceptional harmonies. There are dynamic changes, some great drumming, and cool harmonica. The vocals are insanely good as they deliver poignant lyrics.   The songs are hypnotic, offering great melodies, wonderful harmonies, and way cool changes and transitions. Pay particular attention to “Ship Away“, “Gone With Me“, and “I’m On Fire“. A wonderful folk-pop sound, highlighted by amazing harmonies. A must have for your collection. Beautiful. Check it out here: http://jjandthepillars.bandcamp.com/album/wolves-2

 

 

 

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SOCIAL STRIFE

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

ss1Toronto’s Social Strife has just released their self titled 5 track EP.  Born out of their discouragement with typical radio fare, singer Sean Farro and guitarist Terry Doucette formed Social Strife to bring relevant social issues back to music.

The album opens with ‘You Were Nothing“, a classic punk-rock tune with guitar solos that rock, powerful drumming, and a great Ramones feeling. “Reign, with power chords and the customary guitar solo is a good hard rock song with great transitions and changes. The reggae influence of “MDMA”, merged with the power rock transitions create a unique sound for this band. The cool melody and tempo changes enhance the angst in the vocals. “Social Strife” is another hard rock-punk number. My favorite track, “Aliens And Freaks“, is more melodic than the others allowing Farro’s voice to stand out. The song incorporates strings and I swear I heard pizzicato violins! Steady drums, quieter guitar and great rock transitions make this a wonderful song.

ss2Social Strife have made good on their vow to bring the strife back to rock and roll. Lyrics entrenched in socio-political commentary and classic punk melodies combined with power chords and heavy drums, has created what can only be described as punk and roll. The songs are well crafted and the music is powerful. A solid debut effort and well worth a listen or two.

To listen to Social Strife, click the link:   http://www.reverbnation.com/socialstrife

You can see Social Strife live at Lee’s Palace in Toronto,on August 31, 2013

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