Already having won Best Americana album in 2015 from the Independent Music Awards for their previous album, Diner in the Sky, NYC’s Silver City Bound return March 4th with a brand new EP, Take My Picture.
Take My Picture showcases the quartet’s - Sam Reider (accordion and vocals), Justin Poindexter (guitar and vocals), Noah Garabedian (bass), and Will Clark (drums) - diverse influences as they smoothly blend folk, country, zydeco, blues and more on a five-song collection that includes four originals and a righteous rendition of "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man.”
Opening with an influx of horns, "Take My Picture" is a rootsy rocker featuring lush melodies, smooth vocals and a foot stomping, hand clap filled bridge that you'll find irresistible. “Take It Slow” is a bit of a bluesy jam, “Peacocking”, about strutting your stuff and getting your groove on with the aim to impress, will light a fire under your feet while the dynamic “I Wanna Get Drunk”, an anthem focusing on rediscovering life’s simple pleasures, rounds out the project.
Take My Picture is a downright fun listen, putting a contemporary spin on roots music with songs (highlighted by the oft-forgotten accordion) that have heart and heft.
Take My Picture can be pre-ordered via Silver City Bound’s website. The group will be celebrating the release of their EP at Barbes in Brooklyn the same day as the release.
Currently in the Songwriting Program at Belmont University, Taylor Veino, recently released her debut EP, rebound, on February 19th. The three song project, all penned by Veino, is a heartfelt and honest look into relationships with Veino’s vocals both sweetly warm and assured.
The melancholy and banjo driven opener, “Dust,” smartly compares items in her home waiting to be handled again (candle, book, dress) to a relationship distant and stale. “Oh they’re just things waiting to be picked up where they left off, just like us collecting dust.” The country pop “Rebound” (with an infectious hand clap filled bridge) asks a guy to be her rebound even though it may sound “kinda weird leaving my lips,” while the emotional ballad “Nametag” closes a lovely EP that leaves you anticipating more music - and a bright future - from Veino.
Known to his over 225,000 followers on Facebook and 46K subscribers on his YouTube channel, singer-songwriter Buddy Brown recently released his sixth EP, Hurricane Stomp. Produced by Dave Bechtel and recorded at Ocean Way Studios, Hurricane Stomp is a five-song collection, all penned by Brown, that kicks off with the catchy melody of “The Beer Truck,” an amusing tune that any beer lover will appreciate. That’s followed by the sure to get your feet on the ground country rocker “Hurricane Stomp” and “Tore Up,” a radio ready song about heading out for a night of fun (a theme that’s been done before, but here feels fresh).
Brown gets serious on the 90’s country flavored “Girl You Shouldn’t Be Here,” a song about the consequences of potentially crossing that line with a good female friend. (“It’s just a matter of time before we cross that line.”) and the closing track “Set In My Ways” which describes how while the PC machine may be in overdrive, he remains “An old school traditional shotgun and Sunday school don’t really care what you think/Cause I’ve been asking around and you know what I’ve found is most of us believe the same things/And I won’t conform….I’m just like concrete I’m all mixed up and set in my ways.” Hurricane Stomp has a nice balance of well-written tunes with humor and heart delivered by Brown’s instantly likeable voice. Give it a listen.
At the age of twelve Noah Smith picked up his friend's hand-me-down 1970s telecaster and began to find his path. Ever since, Noah's musical career has become a labor of love. In advance of his new record due later this year, Smith is releasing his new single, "Kissing Through The Green Light." on March 11th.
Written by Smith and Michael Moeller, "Kissing Through The Green Light" is a contemporary country rocker, propelled by electric guitars and percussion (with a hint of banjo), about driving around with your girl and being unaware of anything and everything....but her. If you're a fan of Jason Aldean or Dustin Lynch, then you'll definitely enjoy "Kissing Through The Green Light."
Recently, Smith has been writing out of Nashville, TN. His current record was tracked at the House of Blues (Nashville), through the same walls as such artists as Alan Jackson, Gary Allan, and Eric Church. His music centers around childhood faith, ambition, a little bit of love, God's word, and the uphill climb to living an American boys dream.
After sharpening his skills performing with The dB’s, whom he accompanied as a guitarist during the band’s 2012 reunion tour, as well as trekking the globe as a member of Big Star’s Third ensemble, Brett Harris truly comes into his own with a release that showcases an artist who has a firm grasp on song craft; blending melodies with purposeful, clever and impactful lyrics delivered by his ethereal, serene vocals.
Due March 4th, Up In The Air takes flight with the bright, infectious guitar riffs and perceptive lyrics of “End of The Rope” “The end of the rope is the perfect place to find/The difference between what you take and leave behind” which is followed by nine more lovingly detailed tunes that recall The Beatles, The Byrds and Nilsson. Beautiful and bittersweet, “Don’t Look Back” responds to heartache with hurt and honesty (“Baby just once grant me this one last request/Don’t look back when you go”), while harmonies, horns and piano make the perfect triad in “Lies” (easily a favorite track) a story of self-discovery strewn with insight (“Seems my minds made up but my heart it feels so hollow the unintended consequence of bitter pills I’ve had to swallow…….I’ve got miles left to go before I get to where I’m going but that grass keeps getting greener and I hear that rooster crowing.”) and a gloriously jazzy interlude that may catch you off guard, but you’ll soon find a welcome, exciting and interesting detour.
With its breezy, soulful summer feel, “Summer Night” deals not with summer love, but with knowing that it’s time to move on while the strings in “Out of The Blue” give the song, about realizing the person you have been looking for is right in front of you, a fairy tale air. Harris employs a hint of bluesy piano on the introspective “High Times” and Spanish like horns on “Rumor,” while the delightfully blissful and folky “Up In The Air” extols the joys of being a free spirit. “Why should I care whatever which way the wind is blowing ‘cause we make our home wherever our feet hit the ground.”
The sound of a storm in “Spanish Moss” sets the scene for a sweeping ending to an album that, as the title and cover art suggest, lifts you with its purposeful stories of journey, love and positivity. It's a glorious disc of celestial pop.
Texas Crossing_, the husband and wife duo comprised of Colt Buckelew and Tiffany Valentine recently released their latest album, Heaven, Hell, and Mexico. One of the songs from the project is the emotional “Cry.” The song, a mid-tempo ballad that mixes country with a prominent electric guitar edge, is a (relatable) sorrowful, hurting tale about reeling from the end of a relationship; unsure of why the other person left, wanting and needing to be left alone to go somewhere to sort out one’s feelings and just let it all out. While Buckelew sings lead, Valentine provides the soulful harmonies on the aching number where one can sense the hurt in their heartfelt vocals.
“And the tears are falling down like rain
And only I, only I can feel the pain
And I need somewhere to run and hide
To a place where no one can hear me cry”
Oklahoma native, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Brennin, known for his guest role as Sullivan Fitzgerald on ABC’s hit series “Nashville,” recently released his self-titled (and self-produced) EP which contains six tracks that center on the varied aspects of love and relationships.
Opening track “Light It Up” has that perfect modern country radio ready melody with lyrics that describe how a certain woman brightens wherever she may be. With its irresistible rhythm, “Lose My Cool” tells of a guy who becomes flustered every time he sees “her” while the hip “Top Shelf Heartbreak,” about a guy drowning his sorrows at the bar, will be the song that you can’t get out of your head. “That girl’s long gone and it hurts like hell/Just sell it to me don’t tell me the price just pull it down and pour it on ice.” The EP also includes the oh so funky “Strut,” the sensual mid-tempo “Slow Rise” and closing track “Sane” with, which it’s great bass line, tells of a love that drives him crazy, but he’d want it no other way.
Brennin’s debut blurs contemporary country, pop and R&B into something utterly his own; it’s a fresh listen destined to usher you out of those winter doldrums and carry you well into the warm carefree days of summer.
Long admired for his flatpicking abilities, Larry Keel shines on his fifteenth self-released album, Experienced, due February 26th. The album features seven original tunes written by Keel and Will Lee that highlight keen songwriting and out of this world instrumental performances. Accompanied by Keel’s wife Jenny on upright bass and harmony vocals, Experienced was recorded at Wally Cleaver Studio with engineer (and guest drummer) Jeff Covert and mastered by Bill Wolf (Willie Nelson, Tony Rice, Doc Watson) and features an impressive list of guest musicians including Peter Rowan, Keller Williams, and Anders Beck (Greensky Bluegrass), among others.
Featuring the iconic Sam Bush, the let loose instrumental “Ripchord” opens the record in a raw and impassioned manner. That’s followed by the bluesy rocker “Lil Miss” where Keel’s gravelly, worn vocals take on certain modern day women. Things slow down (but not too much) on the affecting "Memories" which touchingly focuses on the emotions that certain reflections, whether experiences or people, bring forth while “Miles and Miles” reminds one of the importance of staying true to one’s heart.
The convivial "‘Fill ‘Em Up Again" features a trio of stellar guests: Del McCoury, Jason Carter (fiddle) and Mike Guggino (mandolin) while "The Warrior", loosely based on the Carlos Castaneda book The Teachings of Don Juan and the search for knowledge by an old Yaqui Indian brujo, adds weight and mysticism.
Experienced closes with the graceful "Another Summer Day." Anchored by Will Lee’s warm vocals and calming melody (featuring Anders Beck on dobro), it’s a song that immediately puts you at ease perfectly closing a collection that carries one on a ride through Keel’s experiences: rollicking and reflective, sensitive and sincere.
Enjoy the experience.
Hailing from the Garden State, newcomer Nikki Briar aims to get your boots stomping and hands clapping with her new single, “Ain’t Just For the Boys.” The rockin’ tune, from her upcoming EP Free From The Demon, promises that girls aren’t here to simply let the guys have all the fun; women can raise hell, make noise and enjoy the same things the guys do. Alongside crunchy electric guitars and a heavy drum beat, Briar sings with an assured attitude: “We ain’t afraid to get dirty/We ain’t afraid to fight/We ain’t afraid of workin’ hard and playing harder all night/We ain’t gonna let the guys have all the fun/Cause you’ll be surprised when the day is done.” If you like your country with a hefty dose of rock and sass, then check out Nikki Briar.
Briar performs all over New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, as well as Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Massachusetts. She has opened for BlackBerry Smoke, Tim McGraw, Billy Currington, Steven Lee Olson, Meghan Linsey, Cassadee Pope, and Big Country among others. In addition, she is a proud army wife who sings the national anthem professionally for various military and charity events, and cohosts a popular veteran based radio show called PROJECT LIPS, created by HEART SONGS FOR VETERANS founder, Jill Pavel.
Andrew Adkins' songs have been hailed by critics from No Depression and Maverick UK as "one of the most original styles in the last decade" and "a breath of fresh air" because of their unique sound and blend of influences. Those truly unique sounds can be heard on his latest release, December’s Glass Castles. Written and produced by Adkins, the thirteen insightful, well-crafted songs are steeped in Americana, Blues, Country, Folk and Rock. Adkins melodies draw you in, with his meaningful lyrics and ethereal, yet soulful delivery keeping you engaged throughout stories of the varied aspects of life, love, and self-doubt.
Kicking things off is the harmonica laced, plucky - and quite irresistible - “Freeborn Heart” which finds him in a spot many of us have been: lonely and needing a friend, longing for one person you wish wouldn’t cast you away. Uplifting and positive, “May The Stars Fall at Your Door” casts well wishes on another while the Brit pop flavored, optimistic “Like a Stone” focuses on working out issues, and being there for the “lady of mine” as he sings “May your dreams be a picture perfect moment in time.”
Tambourine and a bluegrass feel flow through the astute “The River In All Of Us” where he notes “The only thing that’s for certain is the flood of uncertainties.” while “Consisting of Love” is simply a touching, positive song reminding us that everyone deserves trust, patience and to be heard.
The folk rock melodies of “Flicker Out and Fade” and the somber “As Above As So Below” deal with the realization that life isn’t always joyous, a theme that carries over into “Old Coal Town” with its retro jumping flair tells of searching for a better life after a stint in jail. “Did my time in county jail/My ex girlfriend’s mother had to post my bail.”
The album also includes the horn soaked “The Ballad of Wayne WV,” the story of that town that might not be much, but it’s most importantly, home as well as the emotional cautionary tale of a “rambling rose,” “The Song That Made The World Cry” and “Two Steps From Heaven” in which he asks a former love to spend the night until “these memories fade.”
The fiddle laced, hand clap filled “Jubilee (Land of The Free)” about the end of our journey here on earth, concludes the album on a perfectly exuberant note, summing up a collection that clearly puts forth life’s ups and downs, knowing at the end true happiness awaits.
Glass Castles cannot be boxed into any one particular genre, it’s a wide ranging, yet unified mix that just works. Give it a listen.