Franco Esteve: “The Hunt” – a backdrop to life itself

Three years in the making, the loosely tied together, classical crossover, concept album, “The Hunt”, represents a masterwork for Puerto Rican multi-disciplinary artist, Franco Esteve. The award-winning filmmaker and music composer, once again forges his intense-storytelling, and vivid imagery-driven compositional skills. Esteve’s music not only engages the ears but also intrigues the mind and feeds the soul. “With The Hunt, I wanted to do something different, expressing through classical, orchestral music, the images and feelings one gets from life itself,” explains Franco Esteve, continuing: “Whether it’s the drive of ‘The Hunt’, the insomnia of ‘The Wait’, or the sadness of

Plastic DJ: “Giving Up” – Truly euphoric, refreshing and atmospheric!

The album “Giving Up” by Barcelona-based producer and singer Plastic DJ, is the very best that the blended genres of Deep House, Downtempo and Electro have to offer. The thing that sets Plastic DJ so far above his contemporaries is that he’s genuinely talented as a musical composer, and stunningly enchanting as a singer. The music is of a baroque complexity, and here’s no overpowering bass or wailing synths. It’s like listening to a dream. You’ll play this in your car when you want to relax, at home when you’re at the beach or sitting on the porch, or as

One Step From Everywhere: “Somewhere in Between” – an insistent rhythmic thrust, adorned with fiery guitar work, and soaring vocals

One Step From Everywhere is a Seattle based band that does not limit themselves to genre or style. Primarily a rock band, with a passion for playing live, they are not afraid to add shades of any style that may strike a chord within them.  Their album, “Somewhere In Between”, is a full and complete artistic statement that can function equally well as an introduction to and summation of the varied strengths of this band. The production and engineering also aids immeasurably in this regard. The sumptuous mixes place the listener deep within the instrumental interplay of a band whose

Kingdom Atlas: “Severe Spheres” – ripping rock combined with lucid moments of intense and beautiful melody

Kingdom Atlas is a Georgia-based hard rock band that was originally launched as Rising Tide in 2013by, Grant Purvis with friends Nick Blake and Adam Chiarella while studying music with them at Georgia Southern University. The lineup of Purvis (vocals, guitars) and Blake (guitars, keyboards), along with Devin Ruiz (bass), Aaron Coburn (drums) and Cody Barber who replaced Chiarella as lead guitarist in 2015, was stable until the groups disbanded in 2017 due to schedule conflicts and some members graduating. In 2018, Purvis, Blake, Coburn, and Barber reformed with the new name Kingdom Atlas to record their debut album “Severe

Tiaday Ball drops two new singles – “Current” and “Good To You”

Tiaday Ball has released two follow up singles to her first release “Favors”. The songs “Current” and “Good To You”, are both now available anywhere you get digital music from. Tiaday stated: “R&B has been the foundation of my life in music since I can remember. Gospel, soul and R&B were always playing in the house or being sung by my father who was also a singer and he loved Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding, Donny Hathaway, etc. One of the first songs I ever learned how to REALLY train singing along to was “A Song For You” by Donny Hathaway.

DAV!D&CLARA: “Repair” – rugged and intense!

The man and machine duo of DAV!D (David Castillo) and his computer CLARA, better known as DAV!D&CLARA, are back with a new single in 2019, called “Repair”. The track is taken from the upcoming album, “CONFESSIONS OF THE MACHINE” to be released early 2020. Much of this latest single displays a minimalist, almost survivalist element, as if every movement, gesture, and note is conserved and used for maximum effect. DAV!D’s songwriting principle seems to be “less is more”, a sentiment CLARA seems to adhere to perfectly. Together they have an artistic sensibility that’s far from common. The song is based

Catch up with Boston based group Urban Lights Band

Boston, MA based Urban Lights Band is an eclectic group of musicians and artists who harness the power of all styles of music to create unforgettable experiences. They are seasoned professionals committed to providing quality musical showcases that bring various audiences together. Their global mission is simple; aspire to inspire! If you are in the Boston area you can find them at:  May 25th 2019 – Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen- Boston, MA June 20th, 2019 – The Milky Way – Jamaica Plain June 21st 2019 -The Middle East Night Club (Corner Room) – Cambridge, MA Hook up with Urban

Royal: “Letter To Cecil” narrates his hardships, his grind and his contributions

Royal is a hip hop artist who currently resides in Hockessin, Delaware. He understands the importance of giving back and he performs at dozens of middle schools and high schools. In the past, he has donated the proceeds from concerts and albums entirely to the community, spreading his generosity to the surrounding neighborhoods. Royal has performed alongside artists such as Waka Flocka, Meek Mill, Yo Gotti, YG, and Tory Lanez. His latest project is the single, “Letter To Cecil”. Here Royal seems to be hungrier than ever and is out to remind hip-hop of the abilities that should eventually bring

‘The World We Live In’ EP by ‘Redford’ is Out Now on Glasstone Records

Simon Ratcliffe (BASEMENT JAXX): “Redford have a unique fresh and lush sound with strong heartfelt songs, gorgeous melodies – not to mention superb musicianship.” Mastered by Greg Brooker (Dejstil feat Peter Hook – Joy Division / New Order, You Love Her Coz She’s Dead, Micky Diana) Polish indie-rockers Redford have announced their arrival with a brand new single, cinematic video clip and a new Ep on Glasstone Records. The new Ep The World We Live In is on streaming platforms now, and you can watch the video for the single To The Morning below on YouTube.  With a brand

Iskar D’Abrel: “Ruins of You” – a compelling musical depth

Perhaps Iskar D’Abrel’s only misfortune is releasing his music at the wrong time.  Had he dropped the track “Ruins of You” in the 70’s, 80’s or even early nineties, he surely would have been recognized universally along with other greats of those eras.  It was a time where artists were not defined by a specific genre and allowed to approach different styles of music with a creative freedom almost totally lost today. Iskar is a master of song construction.  No song in his catalog is just a repeat of parts.  Each song is its own story; each follows its own

The Applebutter Express: “Handguns and Hammocks” – strictly highly distinctive non-rock instrumentation!

Most people may have discovered The Applebutter Express through their song “Hey My Brotha,” which is featured in the Ron Howard film “The Good Lie” starring Reese Witherspoon. However, the band’s story began in 2004, when Kyle Biss met his future wife Shannon while working at a record store in Bradenton, Florida. Still a focused bass player, Kyle picked up a ukulele in 2010 and began to write songs, with the idea of singing with Shannon for fun on the couch. Pretty soon they became a duo doing open mic community, then got married and added Joe Trivette (fiddle) and Matt DeSear (bass) to the band.

Since then, The Applebutter Express has performed at such prestigious festivals as Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, Hulaween, Suwannee Springfest, and many others. Now the 4-piece outfit, who call their music ‘Ukelele Funk’, have released “Handguns and Hammocks”, which I believe is their 3rd album.

the album cover

the album cover

The album gets 5 stars because the music absolutely calls for it. The tunes are dynamic and interesting and they’re even dynamic and interesting in different ways from song to song. The lyrics are thought provoking, fun and deliver very memorable tales of everyday life. They are not just a vehicle for Shannon’s crystalline voice; along with the Kyle’s Ukulele, they carry the songs and are very nearly the 5th member of The Applebutter Express.

I haven’t heard any of the The Applebutter Express’ previous albums, so I’m not prepared to debate how “Handguns and Hammocks” stacks up to any of them. What I can say, though, is that this is one enjoyably bizarre and quirky listen. These guys (and a lady) didn’t leave anything on the field for their latest release – this is about as ambitious an album as you’ll hear from a band without any corporate backing. The Applebutter Express draws from an expansive range of seemingly disparate root influences and incorporate strictly non-rock instrumentation, and the result never fails to be highly distinctive or at the very least extremely interesting. I’ve heard very few modern bands that bring together simple acoustic elements and vocal harmonies, and make them all fit together into such catchy, highly accessible upbeat songs. The Applebutter Express’ eclectic approach is just the thing for those seeking something outside the indie-music norm.

The Applebutter Express

The Applebutter Express

For the most part, the album sees seemingly straightforward, foot-tapping tunes splitting time with more foot-tapping tunes, all of it highlighted by the band’s emotive brogue and intricate arrangements underlain by the rock-solid, funky Ukulele rhythms. The Applebutter Express totally avoids the triteness or sap that so frequently accompanies the various subgenres of acoustic root music. There are no tedious slow-burning ballads to be found here. Right from the opening title track, the album “Handguns and Hammocks” ignites a spark, fuels the flame and then jumps between the fire and a frying pan from track to track!

If your weary soul is searching for peaceful solace, try Iron & Wine instead. However if you need to uplift your laden heart and rekindle your spirits, The Applebutter Express is exactly what the musical doctor would prescribe. Clean-cut vocals and melodies, sharp harmonizing and sprightly instrumentation, make songs like “Just Add Water”, “Start A Fire”, “On The Run”, “Do You Wanna Know”, “Riley”, “Wha Da’ Ya Got?” and “Little Ol’ Drunken Me” awe-inspiring and utterly unforgettable, in that so little, production-wise, can deliver so much, both emotionally and musically.

It would be elementary to say, that being led by a husband and wife team, The Applebutter Express have easy access to complicity within their music, and partly that would be true – but only on an emotional level. There can be no substitute for quality musicianship when delivering a cohesive piece of musical art at this level.

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