Reviews

Jill Jackson Are We There Yet?

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Submitted by Iain Patience

This is hardly a blues release but, that said, it’s a truly wonderful album from a young(ish) Scottish singer-songwriter, who can sure put together a fine lyrical flourish with some equally fine melodies. All ten tracks are self-written and the package was produced by musician, Boo Hewardine, in Glasgow, at Rab Noakes’ Kyoti Recording studios. The result is a truly exceptional release, an irresistible offering that is both hauntingly aching and delightful in pretty much equal measure.

Jackson has delivered an album that takes you back to an era of naivety and undiluted beauty, simpering schooldays and the birth of rock-n-roll, with edges of Buddy Holly and a nostalgic nod to a time when life was just so much simpler. Her writing is purposeful and prose-like, with a strong sense of imagery and an impact that pulls the entire package together with an unexpected power and purpose. Anyone of a certain age, especially those who recall Holly, Haley, Elvis and the birth of modern pop music with the Beatles and the like, will recognise the themes Jackson presents and the warmth of her vocal delivery, coupled with very fine support from a range of diverse UK musical talents, ensure that this offering is never boring, trite or easily forgotten.

Canadian Roots and Blues Singer, Songwriter Judy Brown Releases 'Say It’

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

British Columbia roots and blues singer, songwriter, guitarist Judy Brown celebrates the southern Ontario launch of her new full-length solo recording titled ‘Say It’ with two key concerts. The first show is in Hamilton at Mississippi Queen Foods Restaurant on Thursday, September 6, and the second is in Mississauga at the Southside Shuffle, 20th Anniversary Port Credit Blues and Jazz Festival on Friday, September 7, 2018. Note: See all concert details below.

Produced by Maple Blues and JUNO award-winners Gary Kendall (Downchild Blues Band) and Teddy Leonard (Fathead) – ‘Say It’ (released May 18, 2018) – represents Brown’s journey in roots and blues that began in Alberta, followed by 30 years in the Toronto music scene and now marks an exciting next chapter. After taking time to raise her two children, in 2017, Brown made a move west to Nelson, BC (to be near family and a supportive arts community) and returned to recording with long-time musical friends and collaborators Kendall and Leonard.

Ace Frehley Releases New Track Rockin’ With The Boys

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada
Photo Credit Jay Gilbert

Founding KISS guitarist and Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame member, Ace Frehley, has released a new song called Rockin' With The Boys. This is the second song Frehley has released this year, from his forthcoming all-new Spaceman album, due October 19, 2018, via Entertainment One (eOne). Frehley previously released the track, Bronx Boy, in April.

Spaceman, Frehley’s eighth solo LP, features nine new original tracks including a cover of Eddie Money’s, I Wanna Go Back, a ripping power pop makeover of the original.

“No need to worry, I’ll be home soon, ’cause I’m rockin’ with the boys,” Frehley sings on Rockin’ With the Boys, which tells the tales of life on the road. Ace says he wrote the original version of the song back in KISS’s heyday in the ’70s. Both Rockin With The Boys and Bronx Boys are available on all streaming platforms today and are iTunes instant grat tracks for fans who pre-order the album.

Wily Bo Walker: Almost Transparent Blues

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Submitted by Iain Patience

Wily Bo Walker is one of those guys who never seems to fail to deliver interesting, varied, finger-on-the-pulse blues music that rips and roars along pulling in a huge variety of influences and crossing genres at almost every twist or turn. Originally from Scotland, Walker is a London-based picker, singer-songwriter who is prepared to nail his colors and balls to the wall with a remarkable release bulging at the seams with sheer class and originality.

In recent years he has turned out albums that always surprise and delight in pretty much equal measure. His fretwork is gripping and driving while his voice scratches the paint from bar-room walls and clears the head with ease. With this latest offering, ‘Almost Transparent Blues,’ Walker again turns up the heat to produce an eleven-track album that holds echoes of Stevie Ray one moment followed by Lightnin’ Hopkins and Springsteen or Joe Cocker the next. Each successive cut draws the listener deeper into his revelatory riptide and rattles the roof with startling effect and essence.

Joined, as usual, by two of his oldest buddies here, ED Brayshaw and Karena K, Walker kicks-off with some smouldering Memphis horns before moving on to cover Americana, soul, blues, roots and almost everything in between before throwing in a down-south, swampy voodoo vibe and a touch of Tom Waits to the mix.

Mike Munson: Rose Hill

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Submitted by Iain Patience

This is a new artist and a new label both with strong connections to bluesman Jimmy ‘Duck’ Holmes and his family-run downtown café-bar-juke joint in Bentonia Mississippi. Munson has released a few self-produced indie efforts in recent years but ‘Rose Hill’ marks a change with a new US blues label and an optimistic purpose that shines through each successive track.

Munson favours acoustic guitar mostly, with some enjoyable and understated slide-work also thrown into the mix. His own approach is clearly influenced by the likes of Skip James and Jack Owens, both pioneers of the style now largely labeled, ‘Bentonia Blues,’ a type of picking that leans heavily on tradition but sparked-up by haunting, eerily redolent minor tunings. This is the style favored by Jimmy ‘Duck’ Holmes himself, who guests here on one track, and which pretty much owes its origins to Holmes’s family business, the renowned Blue Front Café in Bentonia where the album was recorded.

Munson includes covers of a few blues standards including ‘Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning,’ Bukka White’s ‘Shake ‘Em On Down’ and perhaps most fittingly Jack Owens’ ‘Jack Ain’t Had No Water,’ a song and late player-writer who also helped create the Bentonia sound way back. At other times, Munson hits an instrumental note with picking that holds clear echoes of Charlie Parr, an evident influence with his strikingly original fretwork and always the near-unique style of attack.

That Summer Compilation featuring 0 hype, Ed Roman and Nina Amelio

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Submitted By BWH MUSIC GROUP

Some of the greatest artists in our modern lexicon have been introduced to us through the magic of mixtapes and compilation albums. A lot of the time, comps aren’t necessarily geared towards conveying a specific artistic narrative or theme and purely designed to get attention and commercial interest ignited in a record label, and other times they represent a change in the tide culturally and professionally throughout music and pop culture. BWH Music Group has become synonymous with hosting some of the biggest and brightest young stars on their roster, and the label’s epic new comp That Summer is nothing short of an eclectic, albeit insightful look into what the future of pop music in a variety of genres is going to look like in the next ten years.

That Summer particularly highlights some of the incredible Canadian talent that BWH is boasting right now, chief among the hip-hop community rapper 0 hype, who contributes “Ease My Mind” to this disc alongside the brilliant Chris Chand. 0 hype is building quite the reputation as one of the most innovative voices in the presently emerging new generation of rap thanks to his unique flow style and sonically provocative beats that push the limits of the genre to the very brink. “Ease My Mind” is a perfect fit on That Summer, immaculately appointed with a stylish melody that speaks to the core of our summer passions and evokes chill vibes from the very start of the track.

Spayed Koolie - Ashtray Change

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Submitted by Thomas Patton, III

Spayed Koolie is the name of a little band from Florida that, if you’re keen on country music, you should definitely start familiarizing yourself with over the next coming months, because they’re coming to take over. Their latest record Ashtray Change is indeed a garage rock record tailored specifically for fans of lumbering, white-hot southern stylizations and old-school outlaw country, and even though I didn’t know who these guys were a little more than a week ago, they’ve already made a handful of new fans out of myself and the people that I’ve shared this new album with recently. What makes Ashtray Change such a sexy choice for newcomers to the country music genre isn’t just its open accessibility that features shades from a variety of influences seeming to work together in this setting much better than they did on their own; it’s the fact that for perhaps the very first time in the history of country music, we’ve got some bright young stars who aren’t singing about the same old subject matter and pretending that it’s somehow different or revolutionary compared to those who came before them. In other words, Spayed Koolie are creatives who don’t want to reproduce the past because they are pretty preoccupied with forging ahead into the future. To put it even simpler; among a sea of phonies and artistic cheapskates, this is a solid, damn good record.

Oddnote “Mystified”

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Submitted by Thomas Patton III

CKY Release Wiping Off The Dead Music Video

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

CKY (Chad I Ginsburg, Jess Margera and Matt Deis) have released a brand new music video for their track, Wiping Off The Dead, from their most recent LP, The Phoenix. Directed by Dave Causa, this is the third music video we've seen from the band off their current release.

"Our good friend Dave Causa filmed us rehearsing for our UK tour last summer and the end result was us making a badass music video," says drummer Jess Margera. "It was filmed before we ever played a single show for the release of our album. Thank you, Dave, and thank you CKY alliance! Enjoy this great video from the archives."

CKY is headed back out on the road this summer on a co-headlining run with SLAVES, and additional support coming from Royal Thunder and Awaken I Am. Tickets and a limited number of VIP meet and greet packages are available now. VIP packages will include meet and greets, exclusive merch items, autographs and more. The band will also be doing highlighted performances on select festival dates such as Lollapalooza, Sturgis bike rally, Psycho Las Vegas, and Blue Ridge Rockfest!

CKY released The Phoenix last summer via Entertainment One (eOne). The all-new LP is the first release since the band put out Carver City in 2009. The album was engineered and mixed at Rancho De La Luna, the highly-regarded recording studio in Joshua Tree, CA.

Ruston Kelly Releases New Single Mockingbird

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

The official music video for Ruston Kelly’s new single, Mockingbird, has premiered across Viacom platforms in an unprecedented partnership between CMT Music, MTVU and MTV Live. Watch/share here.

Of the song and video, Kelly shares, “I wrote Mockingbird in a Dominican hotel, on the edge of a bed, at like six in the morning. I needed a release from a cyclical pattern of a doomed relationship. The kind that leaves you with less than what you went in with. But, what directors Stephen Kinigopoulos and Alexa King reminded me with their proposed story about a single mother, is even though I write about my own personal situations, it’s also everyone’s story: the human condition, our connected plight in a mad world. Regardless of how it’s expressed, we all struggle through something with hope on the other side. That’s this song and that’s this video. That’s also why I fell in love working with them immediately.”

Mockingbird is from Kelly’s highly anticipated full-length debut album, Dying Star, which will be released September 7 on Rounder Records and is now available for pre-order.

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