Friday, May 27, 2016

Album Spotlight: Bonnie Bishop: Ain't Who I Was

It's takes some time to figure out who you are. Most of the time it ain't who you were. That is the sentiment in not only the title track, but also real life for Bonnie Bishop on her latest album Ain't Who I Was.

Bonnie Bishop did the Texas Country scene and didn't fit in. She tried the contemporary country songwriter gig in Nashville. She almost walked away from music. Then this album happened. And all lovers of good music are better off because of it. You can read her own words on this at Saving Country Music, and it's worth your time.

Ain't Who I Was was produced by Dave Cobb. Anything produced by Dave Cobb gets my attention. Not only because he brings out the best in the artists he produces, but he only seems to produce the best artists. Look it up.

Ain't Who I Was ain't country, blues, jazz, soul, pop or rock. It's all of those, only not. It's just a 10 song collection of greatness.

Here is a live version of "Too Late" from the album:

Monday, May 23, 2016

Album Spotlight: Diana Rein: The Long Road

Diana Rein, the self-proclaimed Six String Siren, has a new album, The Long Road. As Rein was responsible for all of the songs and all of the instrumentation on the record, this 18 month long "labor of love" is unashamedly and unabashedly all Diana Rein all the time.

And that's a good thing.

It's blues. It's rock. It's sultry. It's sweaty. It's good music.

While honing her craft by watching videos of her favorite artists, Rein, through many hours of practice, has carved out her own sound.

If you're a blues purist, this won't be for you, but if you're like me and like a little rock and pop and country in you blues, your can't go wrong with this album.

Check out "Rebel With A Cause" from the album.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Ace and Paul Together Again

Get the old band back together. Well not really, but founding members of KISS Ace Frehley and Paul Stanley did record a song together, "Fire and Water" for Ace's latest album Origins Vol. 1. Happy to say that Paul sounds really good and Ace is Ace. Have a listen.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

New Single: Diana Rein: Down Down Down

Diana Rein, Los Angeles-based blues guitarist/vocalist/songwriter has released a single in advance of her forthcoming album Long Road, due out May 18.

The single, "Down Down Down" can be heard below. Enjoy.

Also check out her YouTube page.

You'll be reading more about this talented woman in this space in the future.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Useless Ranking Featuring Cartoon Theme Songs

Here are the best covers of cartoon theme songs, according to me.

5. Josie and the Pussycats - Juliana Hatfield and Tanya Donelly
Sure they made a movie or something out of this cartoon. But the theme song from that is not available. But this is. Great song.

4. Scooby Doo, Where Are You? - Matthew Sweet
I honestly thought this would end up higher, but there are too many good candidates.

3. Sugar Sugar (The Archies) - Mary Lou Lord w/ Semisonic
Had to find a cover of this to include it. The original was great. This might be better.

2. Hong Kong Phooey - Sublime
This was actually a really cool original with Scatman Crothers as the original Henry. Sublime took it to another level.

1. The Tra La La Song (Banana Splits) - Liz Phair
This may be the best cartoon theme song of all time. Liz Phair just made it cooler.
Although, this one may not be fair since the Banana Splits wasn't totally a cartoon. But it's my list.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Album Spotlight: Lita Ford: Time Capsule

So Lita Ford dug up some old songs from the 80's  that featured Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen, Gene
Simmons, Dave Navarro, Billy Sheehan, Bruce Kulick and Jeff Scott Soto.

Then Lita went and put them all together and released an album.

The results are magical. At least for those of us that love 80's hard rock.

Time Capsule is raw. It's unadulterated. It rocks. And above all, it's good.

While Lita has never had the pipes to create awe-inspiring vocals like Ann Wilson or Lzzy Hale, or the shredding ability of Eddie Van Halen or Randy Rhoads, her combination as a singer/guitarist/songwriter puts her in the realm of hard rock royalty.

It's just a shame these songs never saw the light when it might have mattered.

Here are couple of tracks from Time Capsule.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Aria to Hell

So "Got Talent Espana" apparently really does have talent. This is Cristina Ramos who goes from an Aria to "Highway to Hell" seamlessly.


Saturday, March 5, 2016

Album Spotlight: The Struts: Everybody Wants

At it's core, music is supposed to make you feel something. Anything. That doesn't mean it has to make some great, profound statement that makes you introspective. Sometimes music can just be fun and make you feel happy. Such is the music on The Struts new album Everybody Wants.

It's fun. It's poppy. It's real instruments. It's catchy. It's campy at times. And did I mention, it's fun?

Everybody Wants is an amalgam of 70's glam and late 80's/early 90's guitar driven pop. For a more specific reference, think The Sweet meets INXS.

Here is "Kiss This" from Everybody Wants:

Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Struts: New Single: Dirty Sexy Money


That's what The Struts are. And unapologetically so. Think Queen meets the Sweet. And yeah, they're British.

Here's the audio for the new single "Dirty Sexy Money".

Monday, February 22, 2016

Album Spotlight: Wynonna and The Big Noise

Forget everything you know about Wynonna Judd. The Judds. Her subsequent solo albums. This is Wynonna & The Big Noise.

In my opinion this is the best record Wynonna has put out, ever.

Is it country? Not really, but there are country undertones throughout.

Is it rock? Not much. But it does, in the "This rocks" way.

Is it blues? Somewhat. If you expand your definition of blues.

Is it Americana? I guess. Mostly because this term lends itself to interpretation.

Is it good? Most definitely.

Kudos to Wynonna for making this record. I guess knowing that whatever she put out would not make a dent in country radio, given its current state, she put out an unabashedly Wynonna album. Wynonna & The Big Noise is raw, bluesy, country, rockin', and real.

Wynonna has always had a powerful voice. On Wynonna & The Big Noise, the full range of her vocal ability can be heard. And felt.

If you are nostalgic for the Judds, this is no the record for you. It's a new Wynonna, back and better than ever.