The Country music world produces some of the best performers in the world. Some of them fly under the radar and don’t always get the recognition they deserve. “Promised Land,” a new release by Russ Still and The Moonshiners (off their album “Still Cookin”) is a prime example of the excellence contemporary country music has to offer. Russ Still has been playing in bands for over 40 years, and his musiciansmanship and arrangements are clearly displayed in this release. In the lyrics of the song there’s a reference to him being “30 years past his prime.” There’s no indication that anybody on this recording has lost a step musically though. “Promised Land” is brimming with energy and enthusiasm, combined with the skill and professionalism of well worn country scene veterans. Great quality stuff here.
It’s obvious from listening to singer-songwriter Leah Capelle’s new track “Joshua” that she’s extremely talented. Her voice comes through with crystal clarity on the recording. Despite being extremely well produced, the song doesn’t utilize any needless overprocessing or “autotune.” Capelle is a pro singer with awards and high profile showcases under her belt, and I’d be willing to bet this jam sounds every bit as good live. The song itself is kind of a mix between “adult contemporary” and pop but with an organic feel to it. The free spirited outdoorsy ambiance of the video certainly accentuates this. Solid music video from a legit performer.
“And you, Brutus” is an impressive new song from the band Cranford Hollow’s album “Color/Sound/Renew/Revive.” Within the first few seconds of listening, you can immediately tell these guys are professionals. One can sense a lot of working class, mid 70′s classic southern rock influences, but the sound itself maintains a contemporary appeal rather than coming across novel or from some kind of retro tribute outfit. The vocalist is stellar, and his voice vaguely resembles that of early Bruce Springsteen on stuff like “Atlantic City.” The lyrics are imaginative and highly detailed, transcending all the cliches that are associated with this style of music. The recording itself is clean and polished, with excellent musiciansmanship all the way around. Just a solid band. Support them and buy their album.
“America” is a new track out from a talented 4 piece band from New York known as Quantum Split. The video has a somewhat late 80′s VHS-like glitch aesthetic which is clearly intentional and a good artistic fit for the music, which is a quality blend of classic rock, glam and soul. The guitar solos are reminiscent of bands like Guns and Roses, but Quantum Split clearly draws from a variety of styles and manages to create their own unique sound. The contagious energy and enthusiasm in “America” along with the charismatic female vocals provide the listener with a positive and mood uplifting experience.
For more info:
Sakis Gouzonis is a Greek, electronic music composer, and “Amazing Space” is his 10th studio album. The songs are all instrumental and would be suitable as both intelligent dance tracks, but I could see myself listening to this while on a long, late night drive out of town. It provides an energetic spacey ambiance, but one that you could “think” to as well as dance to. My favorite song on the album is “Into the Stars” which is reminiscent of some of the more epic tracks from classic video games like Final Fantasy VI.
New Orleans based rapper Nyko Bandz has a new video out for his jam, “Lift Off.” It unexpectedly features a cute little dog in the opening. The song itself showcases Nyko’s unique and somewhat unconventional delivery style helps to distinguish him from other similar rappers. The strategic repetition of certain lines such as “I feel like Rick Ross. I’m about to lift off” combined with the slow, deliberate and methodical beat give the song almost a hypnotic quality. Pretty solid video from a rapper with a memorable brand.
“Mildred Pierce / Millard Filmore” is a song from the DIVINATION album. It begins with a cover of Mildred Pierce by Sonic Youth and then continues into Millard Filmore which is an arrangement of the notes in Mildred Pierce in reverse order. The video is a variation on the Alice in Wonderland story with a twist on the relationship between the White Rabbit and Alice.
Big Chris is back with an album titled, “Bad Timing.” In addition to some smooth RnB vocals, these new tracks contain more of the quality synth work that has become a staple of his songs. The synth backing often creates the impression at first that you might be listening to a high energy, radical 80′s dance jam. Then the light hip hop / RnB singing kicks in and you get a sense of the eclectic mix. The combination of groovy, seemingly retro styled dance tracks with Big Chris’s smooth and assertive lyrical delivery give these songs an original style. Big Chris has carved out his own niche here and continues to develop himself as a true artist.
Hip hop artist Keveaux, from South Atlanta, has a new track out. A musician known as Future handled the instrumental and the video was shot & directed by ToadGod. Keveaux confidently delivers his lines with crystal clarity. His freestyle skills are pretty solid and the production quality on the song as well as the vid is top notch. The video is only shot in what appears to be 2 or 3 locations. However, it is instantly appreciable for the car that’s in the background, which appears to be a late 80s or early 90s vehicle that features an awesome menacing mouth with teeth, painted on the side. This was a brilliant creative choice and will be memorable to viewers, to go along with the clean and professional sound of Keveaux.