Album Reviews

Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams Contraband Love

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Submitted by Iain Patience

Modern musical partnerships are no new things. Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash; Duane and Gregg Allman; Doc and Merle Watson; Simon and Garfunkel; Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge – you get the picture, no doubt. With Nashville treasures and general US recording remarkables, Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams you again have the real deal, a pair of seemingly intuitive musicians, singer-songwriters and all round stellar performers who seem to have arrived on the scene already fully formed.

Grabbing the chance to speak with both Campbell and Williams at home in world-festival-famous Woodstock in upstate New York on the brink of the release of their latest album, ‘Contraband Love,’ on Red House Records, it becomes readily apparent that this pair do almost everything together, including interviews. Both are in relaxed mode though about to hit the road playing with Emmylou Harris before kicking off with two New York nights, on a gruelling US-wide tour that they both agree will be tiring at times.

Campbell confirms he used to enjoy the touring, has been all over – much of it with Bob Dylan’s band – and can still enjoy hitting new towns, people and places along the way: ‘Though I dig being at home, sometimes it’s still cool to see new places, people; and that’s a benefit,’ he sighs.

Declaime Connects With Blu For Cerebral New Single Internally Yours

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

The underground West Coast hip hop/funk pioneer, Declaime (aka Dudley Perkins), connects with West Coast hip hop heavyweight, Blu, for the cerebral new single, Internally Yours, which premiered via Mass Appeal. Serving as the lead single for Declaime's forthcoming album, Young Spirit, the song features production by Georgia Anne Muldrow.

"Internally Yours is about inner truth. I'm talking about all the cats running this world to see that they are just like us,” says Declaime. “Their heart beats just like us. The whole album is about how the media and government, food messing with the kid's heads and their young spirits. Blu's speaking on some truths he had locked inside of him."

Due out on August 18 via SomeOthaShip Connect/eOne Music, Young Spirit balances Declaime's unique rapping delivery over psychedelic funk and jazz-laden production by Georgia Anne Muldrow and Madlib. The album also includes guest features from Saul Williams, Aloe Blacc, and more.

Declaime and Georgia will be going on tour in September. Stay tuned for updates on the cities they’ll perform in this fall.

Cat Clyde Chimes in the Night

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

In anticipation of her debut album release,Ivory Castanets, due this Friday May 5th, Cat Clyde shares a new song, Chimes In The Night , which premiered on Zane Lowe's Beats 1 Radio Show, as well as online via The FADER . The song follows her track Mama Said , which was the first piece of music to quickly grow on streaming platforms, along with Like A Wave and The Meadow .

Cat Clyde, is a brand-new artist out of Stratford, ON. A fresh take on the classic sounds of yesteryear; breathing new life into the velvety vocal, tack-piano, slide-guitar-style that can instantly walk you through the swinging doors of a packed saloon. With influences ranging from Etta James to Janis Joplin to Lead Belly, hers is a mix that goes down smoother than a neat glass of mellow Kentucky bourbon. No longer do you need to reach for your trusty sifting pan and river boots to find gold. You just need to know one name.

Boris Garcia Releases Around Some Corner

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

On July 14, 2017, Philadelphia’s own Boris Garcia will release Around Some Corner on Porchwerk Music label for fans everywhere. The band called on their secret weapon, Tim Carbone of Railroad Earth fame to take the role of producing the album. Carbone moves Boris Garcia’s songs of whimsy and emotion and molds them into complex compositions, making it look effortless.

Tim Carbone on Boris Garcia’s songwriters Jeff Otto and Bob Stirner – “As Lennon and McCartney did for The Beatles - they add just the right shadings to each other’s compositions to make the picture complete.”

Boris Garcia on Tim Carbone - “He visualized the music we had in our heads and made it appear on the disc. His experience and ridiculous musicality made it seem like we had George Martin in our midst, constantly pushing, screaming, laughing….stoking the embers and fluffing the froth. Boris Garcia’s journey to a great extent is about the relationship that we have maintained with Tim, both musically and in personal bond.”

Boris Garcia is seven very talented musicians: Jeff Otto on vocals and ukulele, Bob Stirner on vocals and guitars, Tim Kelly drums, percussion, Bud Burroughs mandolin, bouzouki, and accordion, Tom Hampton lap steel, Chip Denoyers on pedal steel and EJ Simpson on bass. The group unknowingly created a new genre, which someone called “Outlaw Mystic – An Intoxicating Blend Of Americana, Bluegrass, and Pop.”

Monica Chapman Small World

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Submitted by Gary Richardson

Monica Chapman has a love for the classic movies but it was the musical selections that stole her heart. As a young girl, she watched the movies and Broadway songs captured her.

This is her third CD offering and this one covers a span of over five decades, from the 1930’s, adding jazz classics and For her third album, she has gathered a number of tunes from motion pictures and put her own spin on them. They cover nearly five decades and go as far back as the 1930’s and up to the 1960’s.

With the extremely talented hand of producer/arranger/pianist Bill King and some of the best jazz players on the scene and you have her new CD Small World.  The song choices are exquisite and the production is smooth and tasteful.

The opening track, ‘A Shine on Your Shoes’ takes your right back to the time of Broadway show tunes. The band really cooks on this one and Monica Chapman belts it out with all her heart.

‘Goldfinger’ at the best of times is a tough one to tackle, but the sultry vocal and breathy deliver does this James Bond classic justice. The title track ‘Small World’ encompasses the whole concept of this classic CD, and the production is clear and clean.

The Duke Ellington tune ‘Caravan’ has an interesting arrangement, with driving horns and drums, with a passionate vocal. The holiday classic ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ is a sweet duet featuring Mark Kelso and is always great to hear a new version of it.

The Inimitable Miz Linda Carone

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

"There are songs and lyrics that are timeless and that deserve to be heard. I think of music as timeless, an old song can sound new. If you haven't heard a song before, it's new to you. It's all about finding these songs I love and doing them my way. People who hear me sing say I seem to find just the right songs from an era that suit my voice, but that I don’t necessarily sound like any other singers in particular."

Introducing Linda Carone, vintage jazz and blues vocalist, a niche song stylist and interpreter of popular music from the 1930’s and beyond. A late bloomer currently making a name for herself around Toronto, an interpreter who goes way, way back and deep for her songs and then reimagines them. Delivers them with a voice that can do beautiful, rich, sultry and provocative, often in the same song. Ms. Carone’s natural and diverse approach to music has shaped her vocal style in a way that is playful, intimate, and unpretentious. An equal opportunity music appreciator, she's equally at home at a Jackie Richardson gig as at a concert by The Damned.

She played piano as a kid but but only started singing in her thirties. It took hold immediately.

Stony Plain Records and Duke Robillard Remember Jay Geils

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

When guitarist Jay Geils passed away at age 71, he left behind a legacy of wonderful music, not only for the blues-rock sounds he created within his namesake J. Geils Band, but also on several albums he recorded for Stony Plain Records that explored the music of his formative years – jazz and swing – instilled in him by his father.

“Stony Plain was honored to release several swing jazz recordings by Jay Geils including two projects by New Guitar Summit (Jay Geils, Duke Robillard and Gerry Beaudoin),” said Stony Plain Records founder Holger Petersen. “It was a joy to be in the studio with them and to witness Jay's ability to arrange big band songs for three great swing guitar players. Jazz and blues were his first love and he had a deep understanding of their roots. I admired him for turning his back on rock stardom to play the music he loved.”

“I am truly saddened by the loss of Jay Geils,” said Duke Robillard. “He was a wonderful human being; intelligent, talented, charming and a good friend. His in-depth knowledge of blues, jazz, guitars and Italian cars was remarkable and he was always enthusiastic and fun to be around. Jay was a down to earth guy in spite of his rock legend status. He will be missed by his legions of friends and fans.”

Blackjack Billy Team Up with Madeline Merlo on New Single, “How to Get the Girl”

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Blackjack Billy, good-time group, known for getting the party started, has a brand new single titled “How to Get the Girl” featuring Canadian country act, Madeline Merlo. The single, set for release to Country radio May 3 and available everywhere May 5, was written by Noll Billings, Jeff Coplan and Tim Hicks. It showcases the powerful vocals of both Blackjack Billy lead vocalist Noll Billings and Merlo, while playfully breaking down the right way to ‘read the signs’ and win over a girl in up-tempo, high-energy, Blackjack Billy style.

Born as a result of discussing failed attempts at winning the admiration of women as Billings, Hicks and Coplan were songwriting in Nashville, Coplan notes, “it became clear that some crazy things had been done and said to try to get girls. Tim said that maybe there’s actually some good advice from all our failures, and that’s how ‘How to Get the Girl’ was born. We thought it would be great to get the female perspective on it so we immediately thought of Madeline. We are all fans of her and not just for her killer voice. She’s a sweetheart and tons of fun,” said Jeff Coplan.

The group garnered international attention with the independent release of their party hit “Booze Cruise”, becoming an overnight success. With minimal promotion, the summertime anthem nonetheless won frequent rotation by SiriusXM’s “The Highway,” achieved Platinum certification in Canada, charted #1 in Australia, and became the hottest-selling iTunes song in America by any act without a label deal that year.

Eric Bibb Migration Blues

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Submitted by Iain Patience

There are some musicians who seem to achieve the near impossible by imprinting themselves in a memory with a flash of sheer individuality, a signature sound or something similar that makes them instantly recognisable. We can think of Dylan, The Beatles, The Stones – all musicians that have captured that remarkable essence over the years. I’m not trying to say that New York-born bluesman Eric Bibb is the new Lennon, McCartney or Dylan but he does have that extraordinary quality of a voice and musical style that renders him immediately recognisable, a rare familiarity bound up in his very being.

By my reckoning this is about his third release in the past twelve months, following hot on the heels of The Happiest Man In The World and Lead Belly’s Gold. Migration Blues takes as its theme the seldom more relevant subject of often necessary movement of the underprivileged and disadvantaged and the struggle for survival in a harsh world. Bibb has the evident ability to write songs with depth and meaning that also retain memorable melodic hooks and soulful purpose.

Anyone who has caught Bibb at his sound-check before a live gig will know just how much effort he puts into the search for aural perfection, a trait that he carries into the studio; he recently told me he loved touring but was comfortable and relaxed in the studio where he can hear what’s going down in an optimum setting.

Linda Carone – Black Moonlight

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

An early passion for jazz and blues developed upon first hearing the raw and emotive melancholy of Billie Holiday. This inspiration laid the foundation for growth as a vocalist and as an artist. Linda’s musical journey was further influenced by jazz and blues vocalists like Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen McRae, Mildred Bailey, Helen Humes, Valaida Snow and Lil Armstrong.

Linda’s eclectic repertoire includes rare and sometimes risque vintage songs of the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, classic jazz and swing standards, cocktail lounge and torch ballads, to boogie woogie & roots blues.

Most recently, Linda has been found thrilling audiences at venues such as 70Down in Yorkville, Relish Bar & Grill, SpiritHouse/Foundry GastroPub, RasaBar, 120 Diner, Salutè Piano Bar, Gate 403, White Elephant Restaurant & Bar and Rasputin Vodka Lounge, and as well as various other venues and private functions.

Linda Carone’s debut recording, “Black Moonlight” is a must for any vintage blues/jazz lover and a worthy purchase for anyone’s music library.

‘Guilty’ sets the stage for the sultry, romantic vocal offerings of this talented singer, with the standard torch song about love and lost. A classic horn solo rounds out with just the right sound, soft percussions and mellow piano – a perfect combo.

‘Big Bad Handsome Man’ is reminiscent of Keely Smith, lovin’ her man, ready to sing and tell the world about him.

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