I've been professing the graces of Grace for a long time. She has been a pioneer in the craft of intense blues music with a female vocalist – not a crowded playing field.
The 2010 release of the band's self-titled album is produced with grit, a polarizing parameter for some listeners. Much of the vocals and guitars are processed with over-driving filters and lots of layering. Throughout the album, we hear guitars stacking on top of each other with dense incipient polyphony. Much of this polyphony is happening on both right and left channels, creating a very immersive, if not crowded, environment to the content.
The album opens with a remake of Paris, a song from their previous album (This is Somewhere – 2007, also on Hollywood Records). I enjoyed this song very much the first time I heard it on This is... Read More
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I’m sitting at the University Of Pittsburgh Greensburg’s coffee house with a handful of students that are hoping to find the most entertaining thing in Westmoreland County on a Tuesday evening – not an easy task.
John Farley approaches the microphone and says “I’m going to play a little song by the Reverend Gary Davis”. I see a few eyebrows rise amongst a majority who clearly were not familiar with the gospel-blues guitarist that died almost 40 years ago. A few fellow music elitists voice their support, making sure to display their superior, esoteric taste in music.
Before he performs, many of the students appraise him at face value. Farley, an acoustic guitar virtuoso is humble, just like his blues. His horned-rimmed glasses and beret do not make for a daunting presence in the room. But this is only before his... Read More
With of only a handful of bands playing the esoteric genre of Canadian Celtic Fusion, Enter The Haggis is fighting an honorable, uphill battle to keep Celtic music successful in the contemporary domain.
The formula of combining rock and punk with Celtic roots isn't exactly unique, as bands such as Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys, and The Real Mckenzies have gained modest popularity in the past two decades. But Enter the Haggis approaches the stage with considerably more contemporary elements in replace
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ment of the aforemention
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ed bands' (albeit entertaining) irreverenvce and mordant attitude. It would be false to equate Enter the Haggis to a softened version of more famous Celtic punk bands, but certainly they focus on refinement of the... Read More
David Ryan Harris is everything that John Mayer fan's think John Mayer is…
Harris is a cross-genre guitarist that sings soulful acoustic rhythm and blues. In a music environment where R&B is defined by synthesized bass riffs, digital drums and shallow 'booty-thumpin' lyrical themes, Harris throws a lasso around the genre and reels it back in to the domain of superior musicianship and honest song-writing.
David Ryan Harris is probably best known for his studio work as a guitarist and vocalist for many albums of more acclaimed artists: Alicia Keys, Mark Broussard, John Mayer (ironically), Mariah Carey (regrettably). He also has his name credited as a producer, recording engineer and keyboardist for a slew of other underground artists. However, I'm utterly impressed with his solo studio albums,... Read More
Despite being an up-and-coming underground band from the midwest, Roster McCabe takes the listener on a funk voyage.
Starting as an 'all-acoustic college bar band', the roots of Roster McCabes music grew in to a fusion of funk, rock, reggae and soul – a tongue-twisting list of genres that might remind you of Karmic Juggernaut, Roots of Creation or the Juggling Suns, but Roster McCabe voyages out in to some uncharted waters with their heavy emphasis on jazz roots.
Perhaps its quite a personal attraction to the sound palette, but for me it's almost impossible to expect anything but something groovy when you put piano, guitar, bass, sax and soulful
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vocals in to the blender. Roster's heavy use of syncopated bass riffs, vampy piano and punchy drums form... Read More