Thursday, May 28, 2015

Audio Fidelity To Release B.B. King & Eric Clapton “Riding With The King” On Limited Edition Numbered Hybrid SACD


Two Masters Produce a Contemporary Blues Gem!

Camarillo, CA - In honor of the recent passing of blues guitar legend B.B. King, Marshall Blonstein's Audio Fidelity will be releasing B.B. King & Eric Clapton “Riding With The King” on Limited Hybrid SACD. This SACD should satisfy fans of King, Clapton and blues purists alike. “Riding With The King” was Eric Clapton's and B.B. King's first collaborative recording and it went on to win the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album. The album reached #1 on Billboard's Top Blues Albums.

They first performed together in 1967 when Clapton was 22 and a member of Cream. Clapton looked up to King and had always wanted to make an album with him. At the time of recording Clapton was 55 and King 74. Clapton arranged the session using many of his regular musicians, picked the songs, and co-produced with his partner Simon Climie. While this would appear to be a Clapton album recorded with King, Clapton gave King center-stage.

The set list includes lots of vintage King specialties, “Ten Long Years,” “Three O'Clock Blues,” “Days of Old,” “When My Heart Beats Like a Hammer,” as well as standards like “Hold On I'm Coming” and “Come Rain or Come Shine,” with some specially written and appropriate new material. King takes Clapton deeper into blues territory than he has ever gone alone and these two artists play the blues with conviction. There may never be another album that links the Delta Blues to modern rock with such style, grace, enthusiasm, and honesty.

Tracks
1 Riding With the King
2 Ten Long Years
3 Key to the Highway
4 Marry You
5 Three O'Clock Blues
6 Help the Poor
7 I Wanna Be
8 Worried Life Blues
9 Days of Old
10 When My Heart Beats Like a Hammer
11 Hold On, I'm Coming
12 Come Rain or Come Shine

Produced by Eric Clapton, Simon Climie
Mastered by Steve Hoffman at Stephen Marsh Mastering

For more information: https://audiofidelity.net/product/bb-king-eric-clapton-riding-king

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

New Age Instrumental Review: David Franklin-Playing With Shadows

Release Date: March 1, 2015
Label: Indie

David Franklin is a musician and therapist that spent close to three years recording his most recent effort Playing With Shadows. This is his seventh recording.

The instrumental new age album has 18 tracks of acoustic piano and guitar pieces that include some special guests that include Michael Manring (fretless bass on 10 tracks), Rick Corrigen (accordion) and Alex Franklin (electric guitar). It was mixed and mastered by Warren Kahn

One of the main ingredients that take a part of the success on this album for Franklin is the addition of Michael Manring on bass. Michael's basses are custom made to his specs  He plays a 4-string fretless Zon bass and he often plays with an ebow. He creates a unique sound that compliments Franklin’s guitar and piano playing. A note of interest is that Franklin plays in about 25 different tunings on his guitar. Certainly these attributes are one of the main reasons the album has such a large palette of sounds and textures.

18 tracks is a lot of music and Franklin uses the space well throughout the recording. I was impressed with the overall diversity that I heard. Between the acoustic guitar, piano and Manring’s amazing fretless bass, each track held its own very well. For a listener that wants to take the time to hear it all fall into place within each track, I would recommend taking the time to do so. It not only soothes and relaxes; it brings to mind pleasant images that give a very spiritual atmosphere. Textured like a billowing cloud sitting in the middle of a clear blue sky, this music awaits you.

The opening track “Living in Interesting Times,” certainly is an understatement in a literal sense however the music does set you at ease and does a nice job creating the proper mood and atmosphere of what to expect in the forthcoming tracks. There were a lot of good reasons to find this track one of the most key presentations on the album.

“Song For The Dreaming” is another pick of the 18 tracks that really stayed with me and will prompt you to listen more than once. I featured it on our Rate The Tracks site as well. It is simplistic and that is the beauty of it. The guitar playing is smooth and flowing, it invites you in, and then you want to stay. So as a listener that means mission accomplished!

“Shifting Landscapes: Dawn” and “Shifting Landscapes: Dusk (feat. Rick Corrigan)” are two very strong tracks. As dawn segues into dusk you will find out it serves as a logical progression in two parts that make total sense. The music is anticipatory and holds beauty and elegance all at the same time. I found the changes and clarity refreshing and interesting much like Mother Nature can be when you observe it from a spiritual healing place.

Playing With Shadows has a lot to offer a listener and it can give more than just aural pleasure if you seek solitude and need to look within and or meditate, this wonderful music can be a useful companion where you will find joy and peace.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Living in Interesting Times, Song For The Dreaming, Shifting Landscapes: Dawn, Shifting Landscapes: Dusk (feat. Rick Corrigan)

Tracks: 
01. Living in Interesting Times
02. There Used to Be Songbirds   
03. Giza (feat. Michael Manring)
04. Shifting Landscapes: Dawn
05. Shifting Landscapes: Dusk (feat. Rick Corrigan)
06. Song for the Dreaming (feat. Michael Manring)
07. Falling Slowly (feat. Michael Manring)   
08. Falling Fast (feat. Michael Manring)   
09. Sunlit Mornings (feat. Michael Manring)
10. Not Just a Walk in the Park (feat. Michael Manring)   
11. The Rabbit Hole   
12. Rolling (feat. Michael Manring)
13. First Day of Autumn
14. Autumn Memories (feat. Michael Manring)   
15. Forgotten Memory (feat. Michael Manring)   
16. Goodbyes (feat. Michael Manring & Alex Franklin)
17. Playing With Shadows
18. A Final Song
 

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
May 27, 2015
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews



Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Legendary Narada Michael Walden Produces Third Release by Lauded Bay Area Songstress Jordan Hurwitz Titled “Here I’ll Stand” on Tarpan Records


Redwood City, CA - Jordan Hurwitz, an American singer/songwriter born and raised in Redwood City, California, is announcing the release of her new EP, Here I’ll Stand, digitally and physically worldwide on June 23rd, 2015. This brand new release features six original songs written by Jordan and produced and arranged by the legendary Narada Michael Walden on his label, Tarpan Records.

Here I’ll Stand is Jordan’s third release, and her first with Narada. “Working with Narada is an incomparable and invaluable experience,” she says. “His talent and artistry take my music to a whole new dimension and continue to be nothing less than amazing.” 

When asked about working with Jordan, Narada says: “If you love Billy Joel, his chord changes and his melodies, if you love Broadway, if you love Lady Gaga and her dramatic sense of theatrics in music, Jordan brings a lot of that to her music. She is a wonderful keyboard player and singer, who is humble and has a lot of heart and care, and she is very powerful…”

Jordan released her first album of original songs, Infinity, at age 16, and hasn't stopped writing or performing since. Her songs are an outlet that speaks to the challenges people face in their everyday lives, providing an opportunity to empower everyone to rise above.

Jordan uses her lyrics as a way to work through the trials and tribulations of growing up. “A finished song always brings resolution to my internal conflicts,” she notes. “The problems themselves sometimes never change, but my actions and perspectives do. Every song I’ve ever written carries the motif of being broken and finding the strength to rise above. Often, before I create the song I don’t have this strength, but the empowering lyrics play on repeat in my head until they become reality.”

“I would be nothing without my lyrics. My songwriting is who I am.”

Infinity, which debuted in 2013, was followed with her EP, The New Me, produced by Marcus Barone in 2014. Jordan’s musical expertise began with piano lessons at age six, and has evolved to include drums, voice training, and guitar, all of which she now uses to accompany her songwriting. “Empowering myself with song was life-changing in itself, but that doesn’t even compare to the feeling deriving from other people relating to my songs. It gives me comfort to know that the issues I face are faced by other people, and it gives me a sense of pride realizing that with my music, I can help them feel better about themselves as well.”

She appreciates and is influenced by artists from many genres of music, including Billy Joel, Sara Bareilles, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, and Kelly Clarkson.

Jordan will be attending University of Miami’s Frost School of Music beginning in the Fall of 2015. “I am so excited to go to Frost. It’s my dream school: the perfect place to continue my music education and work towards my long-term goals of being a professional singer/songwriter.”

Her Here I’ll Stand EP will be available in stores and online June 23rd, 2015. Jordan plans to showcase her talents in assorted venues across the US over the next few months to support the new release.

For more information on EP release parties, new music samples, or to join the mailing list visit Jordan’s website http://www.jordansmusic.com. To pre-order the EP visit https://jordanhurwitz.bandcamp.com/

For Physical Distribution Inquiries please contact Steffen Franz or Ben Lang at Independent Distribution Collective at 415-292-7007 or via e-mail sales@independentdistro.com

For Digital Distribution Inquiries contact Jerome Forney at IDCDigital at 415-292-7007 or via e-mail jerome@independentdistro.com

For Press and Radio Inquiries contact Billy James at Glass Onyon PR at 828-350-8158 glassonyonpr@gmail.com

For more information on booking Jordan for live performances please e-mail jormusic@yahoo.com

Monday, May 25, 2015

Rock Review: Von Hertzen Brothers-New Day Rising

Release Date: March 24, 2015
Label: Spinefarm
If you are looking for a band with a fresh and exciting sound, then look no further than Finland’s Von Hertzen Brothers or VHB.  Based out of the country’s capital of Helsinki, Von Hertzen Brothers consist of Mikko Von Hertzen (vocals, guitar), Kie Von Hertzen (guitar, vocals), Jonne Von Hertzen (bass, vocals), Juha Kuoppala (keyboards), and Mikko Kaakkuriniemi (drums).  More than your average rock group, they showed plenty of progressive and psychedelic influences on their previous album, Nine Lives, and they have turned up their game for their latest release, New Day Rising.

New Day Rising goes above and beyond what you would expect from a typical rock album.  They are not afraid to mix things up and veer off the established trail, which plays to their advantage.  The turns and surprises along the way are fantastic and enriching.  If there is a band that you take chance on, then let it be Von Hertzen Brothers, and if there is an album to take a chance on, then let be New Day Rising.

“New Day Rising” is a tone setter, for sure, with its alluring opening rift.  The drums and the keyboards roll in at just the right point to spice things up. The vocals are clean, smooth, and passionate.  The energy from this song could light up a city and makes for a smashing opener.  It is the type of song that you will have you hitting the replay button.  “You Don’t Know My Name” grabs you with its crazy, manic opening that never really lets up, and, gets faster in some places.  The multiple vocals sound fantastic. There are a couple twists and turns during this song that make it quite interesting and hard to forget.  It is not your average sounding rock song and that is a very good thing.  “Trouble” starts out nice and light before the heaviness drops in with a magnificent crash. Overall, the song has a cool melodic tone to it and the vocals carry much emotional weight for my favorite performance on the album.  The music falls and rises are just the right spots for maximum effect. 

Taking the sound of the album in a different direction, “Black Rain” pleases with its light and breezy sound.  The sound is toned down and less heavy, but the quality of the music is still the same.  “Hold Me Up” is more of a soft rock song than anything else. The music is melodic, catchy, hopeful, and might just bring a smile to your face.  “Dreams” is great rock song with some pop influences that makes for easy listening.  It is catchy, harmonious, and snappy, making for a great sing-along song.  This is a good song if you need a little pep in your step and makes for a great springtime tune. 

“Sunday Child” begins with two minutes of slow build-up to a brilliant climax.  It continues to charm with its soothing chorus and positive energy that exudes from the music.  This is the type of song that can brighten up any rainy day.  “The Destitute” opens up fast and funky before slowly morphing into a more heart wrenching and emotional sound.  “Hibernating Heart” is a mellow conclusion that is pleasant sounding, yet bittersweet.

Von Hertzen Brothers’ New Day Rising is an absolute gem of an album.  It definitely surpasses their pervious album, Nine Lives, a solid production in its own right, in every way possible.  New Day Rising is not just for rock fans, but also for people who love high quality music. This album is a finely crafted piece of work that is a prime example of the beauty that can be found in music.  

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: New Day Rising, You Don’t Know My Name, Dreams 

Tracks:

01.New Day Rising
02.You Don’t Know My Name
03.Trouble
04.Black Rain
05.Hold Me Up
06.Love Burns
07.Dreams
08.Sunday Child
09.The Destitute
10.Hibernating Heart


Brian McKinnon - Write A Music Review Sr. Staff
May 25, 2015
Review Provided By Write A Music Review



Saturday, May 23, 2015

Progressive Metal Review: Native Construct-Quiet World

Release Date: 21st April 2015
Label: Metal Blade Records

This is another release by a band that this reviewer hadn’t heard of, and consequently would not have come across. The band is called Native Construct and the title of their debut album is Quiet World.

The band is a collaboration between students started in 2011 at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, where I’m informed, a certain Dream Theater, also originated. The album, Quiet World, is a concept album dealing with the tale of Archon and The Silence, the inhabitants of the Quiet World. The style of the band hints at Dream Theater, Pain of Salvation, Queen, Between The Buried and Me, and should suggest what is to be found on Quiet World. There is a musical amalgamation of classical with musical theater via prog metal.

Native Construct is made up of three members, Myles Yang (guitar, programming), Robert Edens (vocals) and Max Harchik (bass).

The album, Quiet World, clocks in at around 48 minutes, with 7 tracks in total. The longest track on offer is the final track, track 7, “Chromatic Aberration” which plays for 12:28 minutes with the previous track, track 6, “Chromatic Lights,” the shortest at only 2:14 minutes.

The opening track on Quiet World, “Mute” (6:34); I have listened to many times because of the range of styles present in such a short time. Starting atmospherically, it soon explodes into action with a full band blast, including a vocal that just about holds its own against the instrumentation. A twist soon sees the track head into jazz territory before 2 minutes have elapsed, with some very nice harmonies and a little show of guitar work from Myles. A further shift around 3 minutes brings in a sublime little passage of gentle instrumentation and harmonized singing. This is then a cue for the “strings” to enter the fray and add a symphonic tinge with some very subtle piano away in the background. This is an excellent little section which slowly builds, but then jumps into growled vocals and metronomic drumming, which unfortunately happen to be two of my pet dislikes, but also features some amazing guitar. Despite several listens, the music loses me at the, and lets not pull any punches, death metal growls. Call it by any other name, extreme metal, whatever, but I find that growling vocals are a total turn-off. This opening track encompasses, for me, the highs and lows of what Native Construct have to offer.

There is a very jazzy start to “The Spark of Archon” (9:09) which edges into the metal style very quickly with some great guitar. The vocals are more like a narrative to start but become “normal” by the 2 minute mark. There are several tempo changes early on, which serve to impede the flow of the track, as it seems to veer from place to place. The jazzy moments are very good, but at around 3:30 minutes, there is a switch to full on metronomic drumming and I start to drift. A moment or two later and we have entered a superb atmospheric melodic passage. Just after 6 minutes we again hit the metal guitar with “double pedal” drumming then the track dives back into the realms of jazz again. There is some superb guitar from the 7:30ish minute which drives the track along, with some low, and fairly indistinct, vocals. The track moves to a finale with simple instrumentation and a crystal clear vocal.

“Passage” (8:23), has atmospheric passages, superb “string” themes, variable time changes, great saxophone, and then the growling starts, this time in front of some superb symphonic sounds.

The final, and longest, track, “Chromatic Aberration” (12:54), has some scintillating guitar work at the outset with excellent vocals and it isn’t long before the time changes start to appear and the vocals shift towards the growl, leaving the track desperately searching for a direction to go in. Instruments vie for attention and the overall effect is, unfortunately, disappointing. As the track continues to veer from one passage to another, it simply starts to blur the track. Around the 4:30 minute mark, there is an oasis of calm, with very atmospheric music and superb vocals, giving a majestic snapshot of what Native Conflict can achieve. The track then moves off in another direction but maintains the listeners’ interest. The mid part of this track is by far the most amazing passage contained within the album. The staccato style which heralds the tracks’ exit seems to jar and the growls also reappear around 12 minutes. 

This listener is certainly not leaping up to put the album on again. Quiet World is a very complex album to get into as it is seems to be trying to be all things to all people, sampling jazz, rock, metal, prog, folk, classical and more. Whereas there are great examples of skilled musicianship on show throughout this album, I found the speed at which shifts from style to style happen, didn’t work and although some passages were superb, the album seems to lack coherence and seemed unfocused.

I will stress again, however, that this is a very personal opinion on Native Construct and admit freely that the sound of growled vocals do absolutely nothing for me, apart from reach for the off button.

Having made that comment however, I will be very interested to see (or should it be hear) the direction that the band take with any follow-up release. I enjoyed many passages on this album, Quiet World, but the chasm between extremes was simply too great.

3.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Mute, Spark of Archon, Passage

Tracks:
 

Mute
The Spark Of Archon
Passage
Your Familiar Face
Come Hell or High Water
Chromatic Lights
Chromatic Aberration
 
Jim “The Ancient One” Lawson-Sr. Reviewer Prog Rock Music Talk

May 23, 2015

Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk

R&B Guitar Legend Shuggie Otis Hits The Road For An Extended Summer Tour!


Los Angeles, CA - After the recent release of his first-ever live album, Live In Williamsburg (available on CD, vinyl and DVD), R&B legend Shuggie Otis is once again bringing his talents to the stage for a 20+ date, coast-to-coast tour starting July 5th. Nobody brings as much soul, style, and swagger to a live performance as Shug with his signature red Gibson SG, and fans who have followed this multi-talented performer’s tumultuous career know that a Shuggie Otis concert is not an event to be missed. Whether it be the fabulous grooves of “Inspiration Information” or the funkdafied rhythm of the all-time classic “Strawberry Letter 23,” Shuggie’s songs have a magical sway over audiences, both young and old, guaranteed to get them on their feet and dancing in the aisles!

The son of renowned bandleader and musician Johnny Otis, Shuggie Otis began his incredible career at the tender age of 15, playing as a session guitarist alongside Al Kooper before releasing his first solo album Here Comes Shuggie Otis in 1970. Already being hailed as a uniquely skillful guitarist, Shuggie proved his mettle as a songwriter the following year with the hit single “Strawberry Letter 23” from his second solo album. Now one of the most sampled songs in all of modern music, “Strawberry Letter 23” became an even bigger smash when The Brothers Johnson recorded their version in 1977 (produced by Quincy Jones). After the release of his third album Inspiration Information failed to meet outsized expectations, Shuggie seemed to retire permanently from music. But, thankfully, he reemerged in 2013 with a deluxe reissue of Inspiration Information that included a new album of previously unreleased recordings called Wings Of Love. Since then, Shuggie has returned to the stage and been re-embraced by an adoring public who have waited a long time and never lost faith!

07/05/15 Napa, CA City Winery
07/16/15 Nashville, TN City Winery
07/17/15 Chicago, IL City Winery
07/19/15 Ottawa Ottawa Bluesfest
07/20/15 Toronto, ONT Lee's Palace
07/23/15 North Hampton, MA Iron Horse
07/24/15 Brooklyn, NY Brooklyn Bowl
07/25/15 New York, NY B.B. King Blues Club
07/28/15 Allston, MA Brighton Music Hall
07/30/15 Lancaster, PA Ardmore Music Hall
07/31/15 Washington, DC Howard Theater
08/01/15 Raleigh, NC Lincoln Theatre
08/03/15 Atlanta Georgia Terminal West

Visit http://www.shuggieotismusic.com for up to date tour information

Press inquiries:
Glass Onyon PR
Billy James
PH: 828-350-8158
glassonyonpr@gmail.com

CLEOPATRA RECORDS, Inc.
11041 Santa Monica Blvd #703
Los Angeles CA 90025
www.CleopatraRecords.com

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sharon Hendrix, Talented Back-Up Singer for Bob Dylan, Elton John, Tom Jones, Barry Manilow, Grace Slick & Starship, Olivia Newton-John and Others, Steps to Center Stage with Her Solo Debut


Sharon Hendrix has performed in over 8,000 shows and it’s only the beginning!

Los Angeles - After years of working just 20 feet from stardom Sharon “Muffy” Hendrix is stepping into the spotlight. Throughout her successful career Sharon has been singing backup on recording sessions and performing on stages across the world with top names including Bob Dylan, Elton John, Tom Jones, Grace Slick & Starship, Olivia Newton-John, George Duke, Dusty Springfield, Freddie Hubbard, Natalie Cole, Harry Chapin, Jermaine Stewart, Mac Davis, Billy Cobham, Michael White, Shirley Bassey and so many other notable musical talents.

Sharon Hendrix began her career as "Muffy" Hendrix singing in the church and school choirs and by the time she reached her teens she became part of The Young Americans, an international touring company of 30 singers from all across the country. Over the next two years Sharon toured the Far East twice, performed on the Ed Sullivan Show and the Kraft Music Hall and worked on various TV specials and commercials. Sharon earned a music scholarship to Chapman University and received her show business education on Las Vegas stages at the side of superstar entertainers including Debbie Reynolds and Sammy Davis, Jr.

Sharon formed a lifetime friendship and working relationship with Barry Manilow from the moment the beloved superstar called her to replace one of the singers in his back-up band. In 1985 Sharon recorded the popular, "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" duet with Barry that appeared on his "Manilow" album as well as the Billboard charts. Currently Sharon is performing with Manilow on his worldwide "One Last Time!" farewell tour which brings us to now!

Sharon's completing her solo debut album which will be available in the fall from Voss Records and has just released the title track, “Nowhere Fast” as the lead single. Sharon co-wrote the song with her producer, Dan Voss Jr. and trumpet virtuoso Steve Madaio. Sharon’s smooth vocal style sits over a contemporary urban Latin beat spiced with exciting percussion, a classic horn solo and an infectious rap by William “June Bug” Lee.

Between breaks in the Manilow tour the industrious Ms. Hendrix is finishing the new album as well as planning her solo career launch. Sharon’s been tirelessly rehearsing with her band working out arrangements on old and new tunes. When the tour ends this summer the Sharon Hendrix Nowhere Fast show will hit the road running and Sharon will be front and center exactly where she’s always been destined to be.

When she’s not on the road Sharon lives in southern California and is the proud mother of three lovely daughters.

To purchase: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/sharonmuffyhendrix

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR Phone: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

Sharon “Muffy” Hendrix records exclusively for:
Voss Records
4254 Harbour Island Lane
Oxnard, CA 93035
Phone: 805 469-4074 / eMail: danvossjr@gmail.com

CONTACT: Management:
Harold Childs & Ernie Campagna
Soundboard Marketing
8491 Sunset Blvd, # 174
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Phone: 323-692-1097 / eMail: soundboardMKT@aol.com

Visit Sharon at: www.sharonhendrix.net and follow her on tour on Facebook at Sharon Hendrix Music