Tag Archives: John Mayer

Wrapped With Realness, Matt Epp’s Album Shadowlands Delivers Stand-Out Sound

9 Jul

With Matt Epp’s latest album Shadowlands, one can sense the tone of Americana and nostalgia all wrapped into one sound. Epp cited this collection of tracks as something very personal and different from his nine other albums that he’s released. When listening to the lyrics of this album, you can definitely sense the theme of being on a journey, self reflecting, and the inner challenges along the way. The unique and humbling aspect of the track Runaway is the rawness and realness that it has attached to it. Epp explains that it was written with his wife and in her perspective on witnessing the ups and downs that he has gone through. Having that unique approach, point of view, and twist on writing makes his music standout even more and allows listeners to connect even more to something that is so personal. Connecting on themes, important messages, and significant experiences, Epp effortlessly wins over audiences through the stories of his life.

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Keys Of Mine Brings The Sound of Luca Bash & Shines Musical Excellence

17 Mar

With Keys Of Mine, Luca Bash brings the elements of smooth jazz with an undertone of grit in his overall sound. Debuting after his CMYK project in 2015, Bash is back with an even more stylized sound. The Italian musician knows how to blend the varied sounds and exemplifies how a mixture of how the saxophone and keyboard hone in on the vibe of the album. It makes listeners awakened by the reflective and unique sound Bash brings. A wide range of content encompasses the track list of Keys Of Mine, with standout tracks of Your Tomorrow and Forever Like Asleep. Your Tomorrow brings out the musing side of Bash’s lyrics and sound and Forever Like Asleep carries heavy emphasis on pairing strong lyrics and standout musical arrangement with the wide variety of instruments highlighted in bursts on the album. Having a heavy musical background and not afraid to bare his emotions, Luca Bash gives Keys Of Mine his heart and soul.

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Bonomo Impresses With Evolved Folk Sound In Newest Album Phases

25 Feb

Take a step into serenity mixed with melancholic happiness when you take a listen to Bonomo. Phases characterizes an individual’s journey and meaning of home, memories, and self. Comparing to the lovely sounds of Copeland and Iron & Wine, Bonomo crafts an exemplary sound within his album that’s on the path of evolving, filled with humility and authenticity. The duo characterizes alternative folk with a new sound in the album Phases. Their lead single Water, really shows this unique sound by the effective uses of the variety of instruments in their sound. Think Devendra Banhart meets John Mayer and you have Bonomo. Although two different genres, a mix of such sounds proves auditory greatness.

Looking Forward to End-of-Summer Albums

12 Aug

End of Summer

Doesn’t it seem that summer passes by quicker than any other season? For those (like me) who live in a state that experiences distinct climates, it is easy to become ensconced in the warm weather just to have it ripped away from you quickly. I should stop complaining. Summer still has more than a month to bathe us in beach weather. As we continue to enjoy the fading rays of summer, let’s take a glimpse at some end-of-summer albums music lovers should be looking forward to.

August 20

John Mayer – Paradise Valley 

The crooning bluesman is fully recovered from his vocal surgery and has hit the ground running after the delayed (2012) release of his fifth studio album Born and RaisedParadise Valley abides by a similar formula as his last release: mixture of folk and country rock. The first single is evident of that.

Mayer’s airy croon does not disappoint and the song carries a relaxed rhythm. It’s a pleasant listen – and the embedded video is hilariously odd.

August 27

Franz Ferdinand – Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action

Franz Ferdinand

It has been almost a decade since “Take Me Out” hit #3 on the UK charts. Wow. The 2004 self-titled album sold more than three million copies and engendered worldwide popularity for the Scottish band. The band has always been able to stay relevant with its tunes, but the music has not been frequent. After a quick follow-up in 2005 it took the band four years to release its third LP and another four years to release the most recent album. The early reviews are proclaiming that it is well worth the wait.

September 17

Five For Fighting – Bookmarks 

Bookmarks

John Ondrasik – a.k.a. Five For Fighting – has penned some pretty substantial hits on his piano including: “Superman,” “100 Years,” and “The Riddle.” Slice, his last album, was released four years ago, and it is about time for the lifelong L.A. Kings fan to release a new album (I wonder if Bookmarks will celebrate the Kings 2012 Stanley Cup victory). One thing I can presume is that the new album will feature Ondrasik’s original, infectious piano pop that continues to impress.

MGMT – MGMT

MGMT

It is not usual for a band to have a self-titled third album, but, well, MGMT is not usual. This eccentric psychedelic rock band is on the cusp of the much awaited release of its unique third album, and fans of the band are in for a wacky treat. The band did tell Rolling Stone that they “are not trying to make music that everyone understands the first time they hear it.” It is refreshing to see two musicians carrying on the rich tradition of good psychedelic rock, and I have always been keen to the band. Just recently the band released its second single from the album, “Your Life is a Lie,” and…it’s…uhh…this:

A True Guitar Festival – Crossroads Night One (4/12/13)

21 Apr

Eric Clapton Crossroads (DAVID HANDSCHUH/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

Within the first ten minutes of the first night of Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival, I turned to my buddy and exclaimed, well, “that was better than an encore. Do we go home now?” Behind the attempted humor, I was serious in my sentiments.To open the show, Eric Clapton and guests greeted an enthusiastic full house at Madison Square Garden with a five-song acoustic set that drifted and jived through Clapton staples like “Lay Down Sally” and “Wonderful Tonight.” Clapton invited artists like Vince Gill and Andy Fairweather Low on stage, the latter of which sang tremendous lead vocals on his song “Spider Jivin” – the second song of the night. Clapton began the concert with “Driftin.” In the middle of his opening set, Clapton performed “Tears in Heaven,” which he has unearthed for his 50th Anniversary Tour. The song, written in response to the death of Clapton’s four-year-old son, is as potent as it is simple. Because of its subject, Clapton rarely plays it (last time before this tour was in 2003). Hearing him perform the song live was well worth the price of admission.

At the helm of the show was emcee and original Blues Brother, Dan Akroyd, who introduced artists and, prior to the concluding set by the Allman Brothers, performed a rousing version of “Got My Mojo Working” with Keb ‘Mo. In reviewing my notes from the show – and recalling my euphoric loquaciousness during/after the show, I realize now that despite my pre-show expectation to see a slew of revered guitar gods, I couldn’t quite grasp how overwhelming and ethereal the concert would be. Perhaps the “kid in a candy store” axiom might suffice in describing the crowd’s zeal, but I believe it may be a little weak. There was an infectious gregariousness to the crowd; this wonderful atmosphere of musical passion and friendship. It was as if the guitar community was coming together for a convention, a mind-blowing convention.

Let’s face it; the entire five-hour concert was a highlight. It was a virtual all-star game of guitarists. I intended on marking down some highlights of the night, but I ended up typing furiously on my cell phone (and then my friend’s cell phone after my battery depleted) just to keep up with the plethora of highlights. For your reading pleasure, I have narrowed down my thumb-tiring list of typed highlights to just three major performances during the show. Before I get to the top three of the night (not counting the Clapton solo set I mentioned above), let me commend Booker T and Steve Cropper for their set (the first after Clapton’s acoustic opener). Paired with Blake Mills, Matt “Guitar” Murphy, Keb Mo, Booker T and the NEW MG’s played a five-song set (concluding with “Green Onions) that featured a strong version of “Born Under a Bad Sign.”

Now on to the top 3…

3.) “Everyday I Have the Blues” with Robert Cray, B.B. King, Jimmie Vaughn & Eric Clapton

Blues royalty. Yeah, something like that. B.B. King, who is in possession of a personal fountain of youth, was electric for the few songs he sat in on. I particularly like this performance because it highlights the spirit of the festival. As these legends (King, Cray, Vaughn, and Clapton) playfully swapped and stole solos from each other, the crowd could almost smell the aroma of blues – which to me is a mixture of hard scotch and worn guitar strings. This jam is about as authentic as you can get. It is the blues. Strip away the stage, crowd, and allure, and there would still be four individuals playing the blues.

2.) “Don’t Let me Down” with John Mayer and Keith Urban

After a small set of original pieces, John Mayer summoned Keith Urban onto stage to complete a guitar duo for an electric performance of The Beatles’ “Don’t Let me Down.” There are so many things to like about this performance. A.) It’s an awesome cover of a Beatles’ song. B.) John Mayer and Keith Urban can flat-out kill it on the guitar. C.) They also can sing pretty damn well. D.) If you listen closely, the band adds several interesting influences into the song (country hints mixed with traditional blues). E.) Go to the 3:00 minute mark, refer back to B, and enjoy.

1.) “Whipping Post” with The Allman Brothers Band

12 minutes of pure, unadulterated, brilliance. Watching the Allman Brothers Band is always a treat, but they brought it to a completely different level for this concluding performance at Crossroads. The solos were that much more inspired, and the band played with some extra fire and oomph that propelled the song to the apex of awesome. Listening to the jam-packed crowd, five hours into the concert, belt out the familiar lyrics like it was the opening song was also spectacular.

Legendary show! And, all for a good cause.

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