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

American Pioneer Singers: “The Candidates from New York” – campaign songs reloaded!

The American Pioneer Singers jumped to the forefront in 2013, creating a concept album on the bitter Election campaign of 1864 between George McClellan and Abraham Lincoln. Their narration through American roots music, and its derivatives, of a slice of USA history, was nothing short of revolutionary. Now the American Pioneer Singers combine their collective, tongue-in-cheek lyrical savvy, as well as their vast knowledge of the American musical heritage, to turn out the album The Candidates from New York, a collection of songs inspired by one of the most important moments in American history, the 2016 Presidential Campaign between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

The album pays respect to campaign songs of yesteryear by applying old tunes and themes to the current 2016 Presidential Election. It contains 5 songs pro-Hillary Clinton and 5 songs pro-Donald Trump, as well as one neutral track that takes a sneak at the political system.

It really couldn’t get much fairer than that. The album kicks off with the title track “The Candidates from New York”, which is based on “The Sidewalks of New York” a tune used prominently during Al Smith’s presidential campaign in 1928, and often associated with fairs and carnivals as it is heard on merry-go-rounds across the nation.

Here is a quick synopsis of what’s happening on the tracks to whet your appetite, but you really need to grab the album and page through the accompanying booklet which has a wealth of information on each song and its origins. “Oh that Donald” is to the tune of the Stephen Foster classic “Oh Susanna,” as it goes: “Oh that Donald / what a goofy guy / He won’t be the first business man / to poke out his own eye.” Daniel Emmett’s monumental song, “Dixie’s Land,” is the basis for the subsequent “Hillary’s Land”.

candidates-from-ny-cover“Kingdom Coming”, used in numerous campaign songs, including for George McClellan in 1864 and Ulysses S. Grant in 1868, covers for “Clinton’s Coming”.  In 1844, Whig presidential candidate’s songbook contained a song called “The Clay Girl’s Song” to the tune of the old Irish drinking song “Rosin the Beau,” now the American Pioneer Singers switch it into “The Clinton Girl’s Song”.

“We’ll Give Em Billy” is to the tune of the early 1850’s popular song called “Wait for the Wagon.” And Dan Emmett pops up again with “Jordan is a Hard Road to Travel”, which becomes “Washington is a Hard Road to Travel”“Hillary will do her best in order to deceive / Washington is a hard road to travel / She’s lied before, and now this is her reprieve / Washington is a hard road to travel, I believe.”

Continuing, the album moves on to “Oh, I’m a Good Old Worker” which is based on the post-Civil war song “Oh I’m a Good Old Rebel”. Then the tune, “John Anderson, My Jo”, a well-known Scottish tune from the 18th century, back’s up “When This Old Hat Was New”. The pro-Trump song, “Trump Trump Trump” finds its inspiration in the George F. Root tune, “Tramp, Tramp, Tramp.” The album closes with “Trump’s Hymn” to the tune of “Marines’ Hymn”, the official song of the United States Marine Corp.

This compilation, like any other collection of election-type songs contains lots of humor and criticism, taking a lampooning swipe at the deep seated American political urge toward nostalgia. With sweet melodies, rich harmonies and historically beloved tunes, in support of lyrics that rip away the facade and expose the foundation of often far-fetched promises and sometimes, blatant lies, the American Pioneer Singers forces a confrontation between blind nostalgia and harsh reality, but they do it oh so melodically.

Their songs are a comfort, in that they remind us that the election struggle is not new, that people in every generation face a choice between rhetorical haze and honest clarity. They don’t promise to be the bearers of absolute truths like our cherished candidates often do. They just deliver their messages in full song, which we’re all allowed to decipher with our own thinking caps on.

All songs considered, what we get from the American Pioneer Singers, on “The Candidates from New York”, besides the political satire, is a delicious reworking of some historical American tunes – arranged, recorded and performed with their usual earnest passion. You may rightfully be divided on election-day, but my advice is to unite in grabbing a copy of this savvily done album…before the walls go up and the roofs come down!

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