Busola Martins: “Pleasant Surprises” ft. Bukola Bekes – You can hear the passion and her intention

“He turns my life around”, with these words, Busola Martins whets our appetite as we are led with bated breath into her new release “Pleasant Surprises” ft. Bukola Bekes.  With her ingenious use of simple questions and quotable phrases, she challenges us on a mid-tempo cliff hanger to re-access our relationship with Jesus. Precisely because Gospel thrives on its spontaneity, it has often traded lyrical sophistication for its immediacy.  This is not so with this track. Saved without being sanctimonious, and heaven-aspiring while remaining down-to-earth, when it comes to conveying ministry within her music, Busola Martins handles the load with passion

Weston Simonis set to release “Yoga Pants” video on Thanksgiving

For those who’re still unfamiliar with Weston Simonis and his wide range of musical styles, this is a very special talent. A native of the Grande Ronde Valley, Weston is difficult to pin down to one or two genres. Some might say he’s all over the place. I say he has the special ability to play Blues, Rock, Funk, Metal, Punk and any progressive thinking crossover music at will. Listening to his award winning album “Moments Of Intoxication” has reminded me that there was a time when you could hear all types of artists on the same radio station. Now

Jay Felicite: “758 Stories 2” features killer hooks and irresistible melodies

When thinking of England as a musical landscape, Dancehall may not be the first genre that pops to mind for people not in the know, but it’s there, under the surface of the streets, the thump of the drum and pop of the bass reverberating into walls, and spilling out under the doorways from dub clubs and roots bars. One of the current underground stars of the UK’s indie circuit is probably Jay Felicite (pronounced; Fay-Lee-See-Tay) is a Saint Lucian born and raised singer, songwriter, sound engineer. The resilient firebrand is making a big noise with the release of his new

Cris Marshall’s music will ensure he hooks as wide an audience as possible

Cris Marshall is an American Country Music Artist raised in a musical home, the small town of Haslet, Texas. He received his first drum set from his father at the age of two and by 8 he was playing his first guitar. In his teens, and alongside his dad, Cris began performing at some of Dallas/Fort Worth’s most well-known music venues. A singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, Cris also launched his very own home studio when he was 18, recording artists and bands all over Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. However his passion for writing and performing never subsided during this time,

Midnight Watchman: “Liquid Universe” – an extremely focused record

A guitarist and keyboard player who began as a street musician in UK before touring the US and then returning home, Andy Jones AKA Midnight Watchman, is a composer and producer of ambient music. Influenced by an extremely wide spectrum of music and musicians, that go from Vangelis to Chopin, ad Ryan Adams to Tycho, Midnight Watchman has released his 12 track instrumental album, entitled “Liquid Universe”. In the hands of a lesser artist, the varying song structures of this album would likely become tiresome, but every one of the album’s twelve tracks is a testament to the Midnight Watchman’s

Joey Britton: “Edmonton Sessions” – fluorescent, acoustic-centric ambient atmospheres

Joey Britton started his journey in music at an early age. He joined the band ISO and played lead guitar helping to launch the Torn and Tethered Album. After ISO, Joey decided to move to California to expand his skills in the music industry while writing, recording, and producing his own records.  “I try to write songs that tell stories, relate to people, so that when you listen to them – you realize you’re not alone,” says Joey Britton. Exploring is an experience not easily replicated. Associated with it is equal parts thrill, anxiety, and apprehension. Exploring a new artist

Daryl Yahudy: “Soulful Life Within” – a perfect calling card

Indeed, you could say that Darrell McClover aka Daryl Yahudy, a former professional athlete, is a soul singer with a warm timbre and a penchant for sublime, emotional arrangements, defining what the neo-soul genre should sound like in 2017. He is a singer with a fine voice weaving a spell on songs which are full of distinctive takes on universal topics. The album “Soulful Life Within” is almost looking at how he was, how he is and how he will be in life. The warm, evocative, impeccable playing around Daryl here ensures a timeless listen. The album is overflowing with lush, lilting

John J: “Pain To Power 5 Love Letters” – strap yourself in and enjoy this vibrantly orchestrated roller coaster

I have always been eager to pick up every piece of music John J issues because of the lyrical expertise he demonstrates in every song, and the attention to the music production and features he provides. John J has just dropped a 5 track bonus EP, entitled “Pain To Power 5 Love Letters”, which comes hot on the heels of his latest release, “Pain To Power”. Like his previous recordings, each song on this EP carries a different succinct feel and hook while the flow stays swift and acrobatic. The beats, features and subject matter again excel well above average.

Chaz Hearne: “Rise of the Voluminous” – sneakily inventive and massively engaging

The very first thing I learned while listening to the album “Rise of the Voluminous” by eclectic folk artist, Chaz Hearne, is that the defining question regarding any Hearne song is which Chaz Hearne he’ll be. Will it be the introspective, contemplative Hearne of slow-burning masterpieces like “Falling For Reason” and “Hount The Jab”? Or will the party-starter behind “Fun In ‘82” poke his head out, armed with flash phrases and funky beats? Or maybe he will just activate his progressive art-rock mode, as on “Voluminous Man” and “Spicy In The Dim Halls” – catchy, complex, yet ultimately armed with a sort

The Gibb Collective: “Please Don’t Turn Out the Lights” – perfectly cut gems!

October marks the 45th anniversary of the Bee Gees song “Please Don’t Turn Out the Lights,” and fans of the musical super group of the 1970s, have reason to be excited. The Gibb Collective is a musical tribute, and a family legacy.  On the input of Maurice’s daughter, Samantha, the children of Andy, Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb have found a way to honor their fathers by infusing new lymph  into the more than memorable Bee Gee classics of the 60’s and 70’s. And what better title for the 10-track album, than “Please Don’t Turn Out The Lights”. Though I

Elmo Karjalainen: ‘Age Of Heroes’ is full of diversity

Elmo Karjalainen is a ‘guitarist’s guitarist’ who revels in a self-penned musical hybrid shot through with intensity and precision. His latest album ‘Age Of Heroes’ is a big sounding album with enough twists and turns to make Karjalainen’s solos sound both dynamic and interesting. This album represents a milestone, for Elmo, who is considered one of the best rock guitarists in his native Finland. On this album he realized his dream of playing alongside side some of his own ‘heroes’.

“This album saw me realize a dream. I have always wanted to have people I consider influences appear on an album of mine,” says Karjalainen, continuing, “I dreamt of playing with Steve Vai or Yngwie Malmsteen, and on this album I saw that happen. I got Derek Sherinian (ex-Dream Theater, Yngwie Malmsteen keyboard player who also toured with Billy Idol, Kiss and Alice Cooper) to play a killer solo on one of the tracks. The second artist to feature was none other than Viking guitar maestro Mattias IA Eklundh of Freak Kitchen. He’s a guy who has truly influenced my playing. In addition to those two I got the extremely talented Janne and Emil to feature on one song, where we did a three guitar battle. ”

Elmo Karjalainen

Elmo Karjalainen

There are plenty of incendiary guitar breaks and harmony guitar parts, shredding and the like, but Elmo Karjalainen also demonstrates a lightness of touch which is almost playful at times. This aspect is offset by several complex moments that explore rock, pop, metal, blues and even classical influences as he cleverly balances the obtuse with the accessible.

‘How Can Less Be More’ is full of diversity, a wide range of solos and an array of tone colors. He glues together all the elements on ‘The Colour of Greed’, which he tops with an incredible shred and then joins keyboardist Derek Sherinian (ex-Dream Theater, Yngwie Malmsteen) as they trade instrumental virtuosity before slipping into some beautiful slow-burning guitar ambience  on ‘Chikken Noodul’.

The lyrical duality of ‘A Fertile Discussion’ is exulted by the subtle dynamic tension between Mattias IA Eklundh’s exemplary playing and Karjalainen’s fusion ensemble sensibilities, laced with multiple harmonies. The restless live feel of ‘A Meeting of the Gods ( And This Guy)” is evidenced by the way Janne Nieminen and Emil Pohjalainen (winners of Yngwie Malmsteen’s Guitar Gods competition), together with Elmo Karjalainen trade electrifying riffs as if it  was an adrenaline pumping rollercoaster ride.

This is an intense high octane collaborative track. And it’s this constant search for that one lick to match the others that gives the tune such a captivating appeal which is exemplified by the booming ‘call and response’ riffs.

Karjalainen saves one of his biggest impacts for ‘Falling for Falafels’ on a collision of understated power, song craft and intense guitar playing. The big crescendo before the outro is effectively a musical sleight of hand, as it suggests a succinct resolution to a bulldozer of an album, but magnificently, ‘Age Of Heroes’ has even more depth than that.

It’s a frequently multi-layered and surprisingly diverse album full of magisterial guitar lines that constantly draws Elmo Karjalainen into new musical avenues.

He’s at his tasteful and poignant best on the meandering twist and turns of ‘Three Days of Peace’ and the bluesy ‘Limiting Rationality’, while the upbeat fusion groove of ‘The Grassy Gnoll’ is an example of an artist following his own musical path. ‘Age Of Heroes’ reveals new nuances with repeated plays.

Elmo Karjalainen’s musical knowledge, breathless guitar playing and imaginative musical arrangements shape the musical vision of a genius shredder with a penchant for real songs. Elmo personally feels that this is his best album to date, and on the evidence showcased across the 15 tracks here, it would be hard to disagree.

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