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Music Review - `Interrupted ` by Renele (bm)

Renele - Interrupted (click on image to watch video)

 2 Aug 2019



Twins Renee (guitar) and Michele (drums) DeSisto tell stories about women’s everyday lives as Americana duo Renele. For a taste of the sisters’ take on country-rock, check out Interrupted, a new six-song release crossing the blues-rock vision of Bonnie Raitt with the common-sense storytelling of The Judds.

Southern rock opener “Someone Else is Gonna Love You” proves this is no ramshackle band trying to catch a break. Instead, Renele sounds like a tight and focused unit on this stomper and two equally rocking songs with Miranda Lambert levels of sass: “If I Ain’t Broke, Don’t Try and Fix Me” and “Don’t Need to Take It Like a Man.”

Hard-hitting examples of the band’s country-rock roots make up just half of the album. There’s also the sunshiny country tune “He Loved Me with Those Eyes,” folky throwback “Would It Have Been So Bad,” and the slowed-down ballad “Why Come Home.” While the rock and blues-infused numbers put over the sisters as musicians, their lower tempo material magnifies those blood harmonies—That special bond between singing families heard on classic recordings of The Carter Family, The Everly Brothers, The Carpenters, and numerous others. It’s hard to describe beyond those sweeping terms, but there really is something special about family singing groups, whether you discover them on Saturday at a local bar or during a Sunday morning church service.

Renee’s husband Tom MacLear—a bandmate or songwriter for Rod Stewart, Concrete Blonde, and Annie Lennox—produced and performed on the album. Additional performers include Dave Pearlman (Fool’s Gold) Larry Zack (Jackson Browne), and Billy Watts (Carlene Carter). Supporting cast aside, this unquestionably is an album by women, for women.


Bobby Moore




Bobby Moore





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Music Review - `Reason To Try ` by Shaun Murphy (bm)

Shaun Murphy - Reason To Try  (click on image to watch video)

 31 July 2019



Shaun Murphy’s career spans the history of American classic rock. The former Broadway actress’ first musical break came in 1971 as Stoney, a young Meatloaf’s singing partner. She later joined Bob Seger’s Silver Bullet Band and collaborated with Eric Clapton on his 1985 album Behind the Sun and its world tour. From 1993 to 2009, she fronted the legendary Southern rock band Little Feat. You could seriously build a stacked vinyl collection just by playing three degrees of separation with Murphy’s career.

Since leaving Little Feat, Murphy has performed rootsy, bluesy rock ‘n’ roll as a solo artist. That decade-plus run of award-winning blues cuts and rock-reviving stompers continues with her latest album, Reason to Cry.

The album offers something for fans of every phase of Murphy’s career. Opening track “Hurt Me Good” builds off Southern rock’s relationship with organ-driven gospel music and the very secular vibes of funk. “Turn Me On,” a cover of brilliant Nashville outsider J Edwards, reflects her bluesy rock past. A little later in the album, “Can’t Blame Nobody But Me” crosses the sometimes interconnected worlds of jazz and the blues. Better yet, “Don’t Come Crying to Me” and “Welcome to Bluesville” bring no-frills blues—No hyphenated, arbitrary sub-genre qualifiers needed.

The term “vocal powerhouse” gets tossed around a lot, especially when a lady sings the blues or any of its rock offshoots. It’s hard not to apply it to Murphy after considering her past and digesting her current set of songs. As a matter of fact, if there’s ever a dictionary of rock clichés, Murphy’s picture belongs right next to the “vocal powerhouse” definition. Quite a few living legends, from Seger and Clapton to vocal Murphy supporter Bonnie Raitt, might just second that emotion if that project ever hits a crowdfunding site.



Bobby Moore




Bobby Moore





Hits: 168

Music Review - `Flying First Class ` by Pete Mancini (bm)

Pete Mancini - Flying First Class  (click on image to watch video)

 27 July 2019



New York rocker turned Americana singer-songwriter Pete Mancini paints a broad picture of our society while teaching a survey course on how folk and country music shaped the first 20 or so years of rock ‘n’ roll with his sophomore solo album Flying First Class.

His exploration of modern society begins with the cleverly titled “Pine Box Derby.” It’s a cross between the organization formerly known as the Boy Scouts’ pinewood derby and country and folk’s obsession with that last ride in a pine box. It’s a brilliant balance between remembering childhood innocence and grappling with mortality.

From there, listeners continue on this journey through the past with the Byrdsian country-rocker “My Hometown,” the West Coast country-inspired plea for responsible drinking “DUI Blues,” bluesy jam “SLA Check,” banjo tune “Back in Bakersfield” and the title track, a homage to the early years of foot-stomping rock ‘n’ roll. The obligatory comparisons to the before-mentioned Byrds and Gram Parsons make sense, but Mancini’s musical palette spans well beyond the psychedelic ‘60s.

A lot of punks and other rock outliers tend to go the Americana route when they chart a solo flight. No clue why that’s the case, but one thing’s for certain: When Mancini hit the road and the internet to promote his prior album and live E.P. bearing his name, those necessary D.I.Y. means were old hat. At the same time, these songs should resonate with others first exposed to music outside the mainstream through rock and later smartened up to country and folk’s own traditions of defiant storytelling by social outcasts.


Bobby Moore




Bobby Moore





Hits: 289

Music Review - `Weathervane` by Rob Splatt Appelblatt (bm)

Rob Splatt Appelblatt - Weathervane  (click on image to watch video)

 28 July 2019



With all due respect, Rob “Splatt” Appelblatt sounds more like the name and nickname of an old-time baseball player than one of the newest torchbearers for his songwriter heroes Bruce Springsteen, John Prine and Steve Earle.

After checking out the blend of folk storytelling, country honesty and Heartland rock realism on new album Weathervane, Appelblatt’s friends and family could call him “Snickerdoodle” and it wouldn’t take away from his potential as a fast-rising singer-songwriter.

Galloping country song “Caroline” casts Appelblatt as a student of Earle and a devotee of Bob Dylan. There’s also the character-driven narrative “Thunder Mountain,” country-rock confessional “Better Man” and “Leaving It All Behind,” a better homage to John Mellencamp than the usual country radio act’s Jack and Diane namedrops. Best of all, the title track could easily be likened to the whip-smart wordplay of Texas music icon Guy Clark. In short, Appelblatt sounds like the type of artist with great taste in songwriters and the patience to pick apart his favorite songs and reconstruct them in his own voice.

Per a press release, Appelblatt started playing guitar after college. A 2017 stay at Earle’s Camp Copperhead songwriting retreat sparked his current passion for performing and touring. Make sure the timeline sinks in—This album is by an artist who’s chased his dream for only two years. If these songs spread online, the average listener will probably assume they’re by a time-tested veteran. Seriously, if Appelblatt can write this strong a homage to his songwriter heroes now, imagine how he might sound in another five years or so. By then, he’ll have his already-present voice as an individual artist defined and refined, making him a potential guiding light for a different wave of second-year songwriters.



Bobby Moore




Bobby Moore





Hits: 440

Music Review - `Going Down to Meet The Devil ` by Barnyard Stompers (bm)

Barnyard Stompers - Goin Down To Meet The Devil (click on image to watch video)

 21 July 2019



As two-piece band Barnyard Stompers, married couple Casey Miller (vocals, guitar) and Megan Wise (drums) wield a heavier-hitting sound than the typical four or five-member group. A sound as big as the duo’s home state of Texas makes for an amazing live show that incorporates honky-tonk, blues-rock, early Sun Records rockabilly and even hints of Rob Zombie-style sleaze. Under the watch of executive producer and country traditionalist Dallas Moore, Barnyard Stompers recorded Goin’ Down to Meet the Devil. The no-frills studio album fully captures the pair’s on-stage abilities.

Some standout tracks represent the band’s knack for writing countrified rock tunes. For examples, consult the hard-nosed Southern rock swagger of “Same Old Song & Dance” and a two-part trip to the crossroads “On My Way to Meet the Devil.” Both songs help define Barnyard Stompers as sounding heavier and bolder than even the best two-piece outfits with Country and Rock leanings.

As for the group’s country chops, Miller shows what he’s learned from his honky-tonk heroes and home state friends when he belts out the Red Simpson-style trucker song “500 Miles from Home” and the would-be Travis Tritt deep cut “Cold Lonesome Memories.” These and other country-sounding selections add to the ever-growing playlist of great songs from Texas acts knowledgeable of their roots and driven enough to add their own creative touch to the music of Bob Wills, George Jones, Waylon Jennings, Lee Ann Womack, and numerous other Lone Star State legends.

Overall, the album celebrates a formidable live act’s wide reach into various offshoots of rock, country, and the blues. It’s the type of album that allows old souls into AC/DC, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Johnny Paycheck to find something new yet familiar. A younger crowd raised on punk or metal and slowly discovering country music’s rebellious bent will dig it, too.


Bobby Moore




Bobby Moore





Hits: 270

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