Monday, March 27, 2017

RJ Podcast: Singer/Songwriter Ruthie Foster Chats With Us About Her New Album & Her Upcoming Tour

We got a chance to talk with Ruthie Foster about her upcoming tour and and what she does to prepare for the trek, as well as about her new album, "Joy Comes Back." She gives us some insight into why she decided to cover Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" and how much fun she had performing with guitar virtuoso Derek Trucks. Her new album was released on last Friday on March 24th and she will be making her way to the East Coast in mid-April, performing April 23rd at Infinity Hall in Norfolk, CT.

CD Review: New Music From Singer/Songwriters Myke Clements, Nick Nace, Frank Migliorelli & Brett Newski

Singer/songwriter Myke Clements was laid off from his day job late last year. For three months he was unsure what to do with his life, but the one thing that kept him sane was his music. The result of that time time of frustration and tension is heard on his new album "The Layover," which will be released on April 6th. The new ten song release begins with the up-tempo, call-to-arms rocker "The King Is Here" as this sets the stage for some of Myke's most meaningful tunes. The pop tones of "The Redwoods" and the punk-like energy of "Can't Stop Now," showcases his youthfulness as his music is very addictive. He slows down for the emotional ballad "Sting," then gets the energy flowing again in "Roots Run Deep, before finishing his new album with the simple, uplifting spirit that runs through "Going Home." To find out more about Myke Clements and his latest release "The Layover," please visit mykeclements.com.

Canadian singer/songwriter Nick Nace is preparing to release his new 5-song EP titled "Canadiana Americana." The album was recorded at The House of Miracles in Cambridge, ON and delivers a classic country/folk sound that transports you back to seventies when song's had stories that had a message. His new release begins with "Dead Ends" as Nick's voice has that deep, strong presence that demands your attention to every word. The stories continue with "The Pursuit Of Loneliness" as Nick's words are poetry amongst the backdrop of acoustic country. His new short release finishes with the guitar rumble of "Your Dad's Old Car" and the slow country blues of "The Gift OF Goodbye." To find out more about Nick Nace and his new release "Canadiana Americana," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/Nicknaceinyourface.

From New York comes the latest release from Frank Migliorelli and The Dirt Nappers titled "Bass, Drums, Guitars and Organs." They are a Roots/Americana band that injects elements of classic rock into their music to give it a pulse. Their new 10-song release begins with "When She's Walking By Your Side" as their sound has a nostalgic feel, like the early days of rock and roll. They deliver a flashback with the the swing of "It All Falls Down On Me" and "Baby Put A Dress On" as their sound follows the groundwork of days of AM radio rock. The album finishes with the west coast surf rock of "Wound Up Woman" and gentle, acoustic ballad "Former Femmes Fatales and Romeos." To find out more about Frank Migliorelli and The Dirt Nappers and their latest release "Bass, Drums, Guitars and Organs," please visit frankmigliorelli.com.

Singer/songwriter Brett Newski is preparing to release his new collection of songs titled "Brett Newski: Songs To Sink The American Dream." It features some of Newski's best writing that touch upon politics, the music industry and the state of the world today. Beginning with the up-tempo, acoustic strumming of "Dead To Me," his new 12-song release starts off with a bang, before continuing with the cowboy strumming of "Bro Country" as he displays his opinion on a number of topics. Then the tempo picks back up with the energetic garage rock of "I'm Paranoid" and the quick-hitting "Crusty Adventures," before he wraps things up with the folk storytelling of "Black Friday Totally Sucks" and a censored version of "Dead To Me." To find out more about Brett Newski and his latest release "Songs To Sink The American Dream," please visit brettnewski.com.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

CD Review: Universal Music Collects The Best Of Marc Almond For "Hits And Pieces"

English music artist Marc Almond celebrated 40 years in the music industry last year. To celebrate this accomplishment, Universal Music is releasing a 2CD set titled "Hits And Pieces," which covers Almond's work with the 80's electronic-pop band Soft Cell as well as his solo career. Almond was a founding member of Soft Cell, who are best known for their chart topping hit "Tainted Love," before going on his own in 1984, recording over 20 solo albums.

The new 2CD release begins with nine of Soft Cell's most well-known songs, including the original 12" mix of "Tainted Love," "Bedsitter" and "Say Hello, Wave Goodbye." The set also includes the rare single, "Black Heart" from Marc Almond's other 1980's output Marc & The Mambas. The disc wraps up with the chart topping U.K. single "Something's Gotten Hold Of My Heart," which Almond performs with the legendary Gene Pitney and "A Lover Spurned" from Almond's 1990 album "Enchanted."

The second disc kicks off right where disc one left off with "The Desperate Hours" the second single off the "Enchanted" album. He definitely delivers the energy with "Jacky" and "Adored And Explored," while also making his music sound large and epic with "The Days Of Pearly Spencer." Almond's last charting single "Tragedy (Take A Look And See)" showcases his talent for songwriting as he has always found a way to capture the listeners full attention. The set closes with Almond's Broadway rocker "Variety," the nostalgic pop gem "A Kind Of Love" and a jazzy, live version of "Tainted Love," when Marc Almond performed with Jools Holland and the Rhythm & Blues Orchestra. Check out Marc Almond's "Hits And Pieces - The Best Of Marc Almond and Soft Cell," which will be released on April 14th through UMe. To find out more, please visit marcalmond.co.uk.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

CD/DVD Review: Paul McCartney Digs Deep Into The Vaults For New "Flowers In The Dirt" Box Set

Universal Music, in association with Capitol Records, continue their roll-out of the "Paul McCartney Archive Collection" with their latest release "Flowers In The Dirt." It is the tenth archive release and it centers around the Grammy nominated album. Originally released in 1989, this album brought Paul McCartney back into the mainstream with the singles "My Brave Face" and "Figure of Eight." Also, this album was developed out of the writing and recording sessions that McCartney did with Elvis Costello, which becomes the main focus of the bonus material on this new deluxe special release.

The original "Flowers In The Dirt" album was remastered at Abbey Road Studios, supervised by McCartney himself, and features a new stellar sound. The harmonizing on "My Brave Face," sound smooth and the beats of "Rough Ride" are strong and will certainly make an impact on your speakers. David Gilmour's guitar solo on "We Got Married" is striking as he brings in elements of later-day Pink Floyd into the world of this Beatle. The strings on "Put It There" are beautiful and the McCartney/Costello collaboration is felt in the R&B tones of "That Day Is Done." The cassette-only bonus track "Ou est le Soleil?" is also featured here with its remastered, electronic sound.

The second and third discs in the special deluxe edition feature the original demos that McCartney and Costello worked on at Paul's home studio in 1987. The quality of these demos are the best they've ever been, since they were only available in bootleg form prior to this release. The songwriting is amazing in this pure form as the harmonizing between Costello and McCartney will remind you of the early days of The Beatles. Only a few of the tracks featured on these discs in demo form made the final album, with some of the songs sprinkled on Costello's next studio album "Mighty Like A Rose" and even McCartney's next album "Off The Ground." You will instantly fall in love with these raw, loose demo recordings.

The DVD included in the deluxe special edition version of "Flowers In The Dirt" features the memorable music videos for 7 of the albums 13 songs, plus a video for the non-album single "Party Party." The DVD also includes a wonderful hour-long documentary on the making of the album and tons of unreleased footage of McCartney in the studio with his band and Elvis Costello. McCartney always has an uncanny sense of humor around the camera and it certainly shows in the home video like footage. There is also a short documentary into the making of the music video for "This One," which was groundbreaking for its time.

The new box set also contains 4 books. One book details the making of the album with 112-pages of essays and new interviews with Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello and others. It includes quite of bit of unpublished photos from the sessions and also artwork from the album and singles. The second book features Paul McCartney's hand written notebook of lyrics and notes of songs from the album and demo sessions. The third showcases the amazing photography of Linda McCartney and her photo shoot for the cover of the album. The final book includes 64-pages of images used for the "This One" music video.

Every CD included in the set is included as a digital download along with exclusive B-sides, remixes and edited single versions. Fans will not mind spending the extra cash for all this material, which has been made available for the first time in this box set. To find out more about this new deluxe special edition of Paul McCartney's 1989 album "Flowers In The Dirt," please visit paulmccartney.com.

Friday, March 24, 2017

CD Review: Depeche Mode Show Some Political "Spirit" With New Album

It has been a long four years since Depeche Mode reached out with their last top 10 selling album "Delta Machine," but now they have returned with their most innovative album titled "Spirit." The album does have some large shoes to fill when it is released on March 17th, but critics are already calling it Depeche Mode's "most energized album in years." They are also following the release of their new album with a world tour.
 
The new 12-song release begins with the nearly six-minute build-up of "Going Backwards" as Depeche Mode touches upon the problems of today's society. The album continues with their latest single "Where's The Revolution" as the music's dark rock tones is a "call-to-arms" as they begin their trail to political freedom with the song's marching rhythm. Vocalist Dave Gahan delivers the perfect emotion for the ballad "The Worst Crime," before bringing back the electronic beats of "Scum" and "You Move." Depeche Mode experiment with their sound on the short sonic landscape of "Eternal," before returning with a bluesy delivery of "Poison Heart." The album finishes with the pulsating rhythm of "Poorman" as Gahan tells us a story, then "Fail" closes the album with the meaningful mellow tones that Depeche Mode are known for.
 
Their world tour kicks off  May 5th in Sweden, before making its way to the U.S. in August. For a complete list of dates and to find out more about their new album "Spirit," please visit depechemode.com.