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Music Review - `INTERRUPTED ` by RENELE (jm)

RENELE- INTERRUPTED (click on image to watch video)

 16 November 2020

 

Black

Sisters Renee and Michele DiSisto separately are each pretty compelling musicians. Both attended Berklee College of Music and have each played in a slew of bands since, but it’s their debut together, going under the moniker Renele, where they prove just how strong they are combined.

Interrupted, their six-song first effort, is a solid mix of contemporary country, with elements of Bluegrass, Pop, Blues and plenty of solid rock. It’s the genre-be-damned approach that makes this record so enjoyable. From the fiddle on a track like “Why Come Home” and the telecaster twang on the closing track “Don’t Need To Take It Like A Man” give solid nods to Nashville, while the Eagles/Jackson Browne vibe on “He Loved Me With Those Eyes” keep this from being a run of the mill country record. Interrupted dips in and out of musical categories with ease.

Much like Sheryl Crow and The Dixie Chicks have managed to defy categories throughout their respective career, Renele offers that same fresh take on musical norms. They aren’t completely rewriting the rules but taking influences from enough disparate sources to make for a satisfying debut that manages to be both comfortably familiar yet refreshingly original..    

 

Music Reviewer - John Moore  

John B. Moore has been covering the seemingly disparate, but surprisingly complimentary genres of Americana and punk rock for the past 20 years.

Blurt/New Noise Magazine/InSite Atlanta/NeuFutur Magazine

twitter @jbmoore00

To Read All of John's Reviews, Click Here

 

 


 

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Music Review - `THE GODS AND GHOSTS OF BLEAKER STREET` by Tom MacLear (jm)

Tom MacLear- THE GODS AND GHOSTS OF BLEAKER STREET (click on image to watch video)

 9 November 2020

 

Black

There’s no escaping the fact that the phrase “Spoke Word Album” reeks of pretentiousness. It’s right up there with “Rock Opera”. But surprisingly, composer, poet and filmmaker Tom MacLear manages to turn in a 10-track spoken word record that is remarkably (almost) entirely stripped of self-importance.

The Gods And Ghosts Of Bleaker Street, featured in MacLear’s in development musical screen play, comes across as a modern interpretation of one of Tom Waits’ records for the 1970s, complete with the echoing stand-up bass and the lonely sax competing with subtle piano. Lyrically, the tracks here owe just as much to beat poets like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg as they do to Waits and former Bleecker Street regular Bob Dylan, all via MacLear’s powerfully soothing delivery. 

The Gods And Ghosts Of Bleaker Street likely comes as a surprise to fans of MacLear who announced his retirement from touring after appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live in 2018. Apparently, that break gave him the time he needed to resurrect this long in the making album. The record closes out with the strongest track, “Gods And Ghosts,” and the one song here that departs from the standard spoken word format in favor of a more traditional musical set up. With just 10 songs, MacLear has managed to make spoken word albums interesting again. 

 

Music Reviewer - John Moore  

John B. Moore has been covering the seemingly disparate, but surprisingly complimentary genres of Americana and punk rock for the past 20 years.

Blurt/New Noise Magazine/InSite Atlanta/NeuFutur Magazine

twitter @jbmoore00

To Read All of John's Reviews, Click Here

 

 


 

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Music Review - `Treasure Map` by Shoebox Letters (jm)

Shoebox Letter- Treasure Map (click on image to watch video)

 5 October 2020

 

Black

Say what you will about 2020 (and there’s a lot to say about 2020), it’s been a prolific time for songwriters. The Dennis Winslow-led Pacific Northwest-based Americana/folk band have just released their second record of the year.

Their latest, the six-song EP Treasure Map, is an even more focused, consistently solid effort than I’m Into Now (which was hardly a mediocre record). The opening track, “Drinking More Without You,” easily the best song on the album is a pretty straight forward post-break up song complete with honky tonk guitars and driving drumbeat. Think, Hank Williams in 2020. The title track is also up there as one of the band’s best committed to tape with its organ/synth and backing vocals, sounding like a long-lost Tom Petty song. “First Step,” the slowest number on this EP seems little out of place here but quickly grows on you after a few listens.  

While I’m Into Now, had a more experimental, even cinematic feel, Treasure Map is more straight forward rock, occasionally swerving into other genres, but for the most part keeping it simple, putting the vocals front and center. Like their last album, most of the tracks here were all written by Winslow, with Susan Lowery sharing a writing credit on “Treasure Map.” 

The album was written and recorded during the COVID lockdowns and it should come as little surprise that themes of heartache, being apart and an unknown of what comes next can all be found weaved throughout the six songs here. Say what you will about 2020 - and god know there’s no shortage of things to say about this clusterfuck of a year – the forced global pandemic has given musicians plenty of time to write some impressive songs

 

Music Reviewer - John Moore  

John B. Moore has been covering the seemingly disparate, but surprisingly complimentary genres of Americana and punk rock for the past 20 years.

Blurt/New Noise Magazine/InSite Atlanta/NeuFutur Magazine

twitter @jbmoore00

To Read All of John's Reviews, Click Here

 

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Music Review - `Beautiful Country's Burning, Brother (Bucket Brigade)` by Jimmy Baldwin (jm)

Jimmy Baldwin - `Beautiful Country's Burning, Brother (Bucket Brigade)` (click on image to watch video)

 12 October 2020

 

Black

The message behind the latest single from Americana’s Jimmy Baldwin, “Beautiful Country’s Burning, Brother” is not exactly subtle. 

But, then again, in the fall of 2020 – living under the most overtly racist presidential administration in generations; when simply saying “Black Lives Matter” due to the wildly disproportionate amount of violence minorities face by police is usually countered with the knee jerk nonsensical “All Lives Matter!” mantra – subtlety is pretty useless. 

This three-and-a-half-minute long track is a clarion call for this country to pay attention to the racial injustice that a segment of our society simply thinks does not exist. The president and vice president have both recently gone on the record stating that systemic racism is not real. Pretty bold pronouncement from two privileged white guys. 

The immediacy of this song is evident with Baldwin’s oft-repeated chorus, “Beautiful Country’s burning, brother/Lord we need a bucket brigade,” sung over a quickly building guitar swirl, backed by fiddle and a slew of other strings. The track, the latest in folk tradition of unwavering protest songs, is that much more impactful when paired with Baldwin’s music video for the song, showing pictures from across the country at this summer’s Black Lives Matter protests juxtaposed with various people wrapped in the American flag.     

 

Music Reviewer - John Moore  

John B. Moore has been covering the seemingly disparate, but surprisingly complimentary genres of Americana and punk rock for the past 20 years.

Blurt/New Noise Magazine/InSite Atlanta/NeuFutur Magazine

twitter @jbmoore00

To Read All of John's Reviews, Click Here

 

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Music Review - `Same Shirt, Different Day` by Rodney Rice (jm)

Rodney Rice- Same Shirt, Different Day (click on image to watch video)

 20 August 2020

 

Black

There seems to be an unspoken rule among up and coming folk/Americana musicians that they need to name check John Prine in bios, interviews and pretty much to anyone who will listen even if it’s clear from their music that they likely have never heard a Prine song before. And understandably so, Prine carved out his own category in a well-trodden genre thanks to his knack for writing witty, relatable and remarkably touching lyrics. 

Rodney Price is one of those who clearly has listened to his share of Prine record as the influence can be heard all over his latest, Same Shirt, Different Day. The opening track, “Ain’t Got A Dollar,” is a brilliant take on the struggling poor taking their chances on Trump and not seeing any improvements to their life. “It’s a Hard Life,” revisits similar themes; while the quirky “Free At Last” is a divorce celebration song that highlights the lyrical charm of Rice’s writing style; and “Pillage and Plunder” is another impressive feet of slyly inserting deep political sentiments into a seemingly classic country song. 

Meanwhile, “Can’t Get Over Here” is a decent enough song and could be a standout moment on anyone else’s record but comes off a bit uninspired lyrically in comparison to some of the songs that come before it and after it. Regardless, Same Shirt, Different Day is a stellar album from someone who clearly take’s his inspiration form one of the greats, while managing to forge his own path.    

 

Music Reviewer - John Moore  

John B. Moore has been covering the seemingly disparate, but surprisingly complimentary genres of Americana and punk rock for the past 20 years.

Blurt/New Noise Magazine/InSite Atlanta/NeuFutur Magazine

twitter @jbmoore00

To Read All of John's Reviews, Click Here

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