The Daily Ripple-News Music Ideas

Switch to desktop

Mobile Test - Top

Articles

Music Review - `Heart on Fire` by Abby Brown (HC)

Abby Brown -- Heart on Fire   (click on image to watch video)

 4 May 2020

 

Black

Abby Brown’s follow up to her critically-acclaimed debut EP, Gypsy Soul, kicks off with a winning, pop-inflected tune, “Every Day of My Life,” that features Brown’s soaring vocals. She has a knack for living in a song, inhabiting it and turning it inside out to deliver its emotional depth. On the chorus she declares, “you make my dark world bright,” and she makes our dark worlds brighter with her heartfelt vocals. “Every Day of My Life” contains the promise of bright, multi-hued musical gift, and Brown gracefully delivers that present to us in the rest of the album.

The title track, a gypsy rambler, dances and gallops along, celebrating the beauties and wonders of love. Brown’s vocals spiral higher and higher as they evoke the shivering and quivering moments of being drawn closer and closer to the heart of music and heart of love. The rhythmic tarantella of the song circles urgently toward the climactic embrace of lovers drawn together by the fiery heart of music. Brown delivers an affecting cover of Maren Morris’ “Sugar,” opening the tune with a two a cappella notes before elevating the song with her sure and steady vocal performance, with backing vocals by Sarah and Rachel Hambridge, and a wall of sound delivered by her band. The EP’s closing track—an acoustic version of “Love, Release Me”—features a sparser musical rendition of the same song featured on this EP with a swelling orchestral background. The acoustic version allows Brown’s vocals to shine over her guitar strums, capturing in a more heart-rending fashion Brown’s loving plea.

Heart on Fire illustrates Brown’s vocal breadth and depth and leaves us wanting a full-length album sooner than later. The songs possess a singular beauty that lovingly wraps around us and warms us in its glow.

Henry L. Carrigan, Jr.

 

Henry L. Carrigan, Jr.

 

 

Hits: 920

Music Review - `Get Together` by Henrietta Swan (HC)

Henrietta Swan -- Get Together   (click on image to watch video)

 1 May 2020

 

Black

The band Henrietta Swan takes its name from Henrietta Swan Leavitt, an America astronomer who discovered pulsating stars that vary regularly in brightness in periods ranging from a few days to several months. The virtual band, whose members live in different parts of the US, collaborate via the Internet and in person. Henrietta Swan is composed of Lauren Shera Levine on vocals; Paul Brown on B3, piano, and synths; Marc Davison on slide and rhythm guitars; Gary Gladson on lead and acoustic guitars; John Heithaus on bass; and, Pete Young on drums. Guests include Luke Bulla on fiddle, guitar and vocals; Ethan Ballinger on tenor guitar and mandolin; Billy Nobel on keyboards on “Unfold”; SaRachel on backing vocals on “Get Together.”

The four-song EP kicks off with propulsive cover of British blues rocker’s 1989 “Road to Hell.” The song rolls in on a fog of synth before Gladson’s stinging lead guitars lifts the veil and launches the song into the stratosphere. Dark and foreboding, the song rides along the screaming B3, prepares the way for Gladson’s soaring leads on the first instrumental bridge and Bulla’s spiraling fiddle on the second instrumental bridge. Raucous rock meets It’s a Beautiful Day on “Road to Hell.” Henrietta Swan’s languorous version of the Youngblood’s hit “Get Together” still captures the urgency of the song and its plea to bond in community. The band appropriately updates the song for our times changing the first line of the chorus to “Come on, people, smile on each other,” substituting “each other” for “brother.” “Odessa,” written by Gladson and Levine, soars sonically, creating a wall of sound that washes over us, while “Unfold” opens with a riff recalling “All Along the Watchtower” that weaves as a phrase through the entire song. “Unfold” showcases the band’s musical intimacy and its depth.

The band lives up to its namesake’s discovery, though it shines brightly and pulsates dynamically on every song. Get Together showcases the musical genius of Henrietta Swan, celebrating the promise of more music to come from the band.

 Henry L. Carrigan, Jr.

 

Henry L. Carrigan, Jr.

 

 

Hits: 664

Music Review - `Fantastico` by Mitch Webb and the Swindles (HC)

Artie Tobia -- Driven    (click on image to watch video)

 27 February 2020

 

Black

There’s not a better way to open this album than with a dancing, scampering Flamenco-inflected instrumental, complete with Dick Dale-like guitar riffs and lead phrases of the album’s title track. The skittering accordion meets the stately and tasty guitar runs as Riders in the Sky meets Los Texmaniacs. The robust opening track offers promise us that Webb and the Swindles will carry us on an energetic musical journey on this album, and they live up to that promise.

 

“Hold Me Down” rambles somewhere between the Pure Prairie League of Two-Lane Highway and Poco. It’s a joyous number that features pedal steel chasing violin and guitar in ever-widening streams as the song about coming home circles higher and higher, dancing off the grooves. A rockabilly stomper, “Jail in San Antone,” rumbles off the charts in an infectious blend of growling vocals, shimmering guitars, walking bass lines, and propulsive drumming. The sonic phrasing recalls Chuck Berry’s “Back in the USA,” and the lead guitars on the bridges dust off the frets with their canny speed and accuracy. “New Bordertown” features Augie Meyers of Texas Tornados on Farfisa and Josh Baca of Los Texmaniacs on a song that pays tribute to Sir Douglas Quintet and that shades off into the Souther, Hillman, Furay Band’s “Border Town.” The shuffling country weeper “Driftwood 4023” floats along in soaring steel guitar; it might be the most yearningly beautiful song about the promise of a night of anonymous sex secured through a phone number from a bathroom wall of a truck stop. The raucous rocker “Can’t Stop” closes the album with the same promise as the title track: the music on Fantastico grabs you and won’t let you go.

Mitch Webb the Swindles (Joe Reyes, Dave Wasson, Odie Wayne Cole, Chris Dodds) invite some special guests such as Baca and Meyers, among others, along for this ride. As the refrain from “Can’t Stop” has it—“can’t stop/gotta rock—which is exactly what this album has us doing, and it urges us to play it over and over.

 

 Henry L. Carrigan, Jr.

 

Henry L. Carrigan, Jr.

 

 

 


 

Hits: 878

Music Review - `Blood Red Moon` by Barbara Bergin (HC)

Barbara Bergin -- Blood Red Moon   (click on image to watch video)

 27 February 2020

 

Black

On her first album, Bergin confidently ranges over a number of musical styles as she tells stories of possums in the corn, life in the city, whistlin’ trains, and warm places. Bergin’s warm vocals draw us in immediately, and her consummate storytelling skills rivet us. Her voice recalls the songs of fellow Texan Nanci Griffith, but her music flows from lilting folk balladry and rambling bluegrass-style hoedowns to somber piano melodies and humorous and folksy fables.

The driving guitar strums of “My Life’s Good (Cuz I Don’t Live in the City)” opens with a phrase from Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “I Feel Lucky.” The tune celebrates a rural life of “feeding cattle, dogs, and horses, cleaning the barn,” where at night crickets come out and make an awesome sound and where a “starlit night is an amazing thing.” The hypnotically rhythmic ballad “She Danced with the Young Prince of Wales” tells the story of a young Union soldier off to fight against Robert E. Lee who meets up with a “young maiden” who tells a tale of her dancing with the Prince of Wales. The somber tale sings of lost love and lost chances and the power of memory to preserve the sheen of a momentary encounter with beauty. A rolling banjo kicks off the bluegrass romp “Possum in the Corn,” while concertina, octave mandolin, and guitar weave a magical spell in the jaunty folk ballad “Three Eggs in My Apron.” The stirring call and response harmonies of “Let’s Get on Up!” circle upward in a transporting gospel song, made more beautiful by the strains of the dulcimer running through the song. “Like Father Like, Son/Cluck Ol’ Hen” closes the album with a jaunty bluegrass tale about the love of good corn whiskey being passed down from one generation to another; the tune closes with the instrumental ramble “Cluck Ol’ Hen.”

Blood Red Moon showcases Bergin’s ingenious way with words, her riveting storytelling, and her musical virtuosity.

 

 Henry L. Carrigan, Jr.

 

Henry L. Carrigan, Jr.

 

 

 


Hits: 777

Music Review - `Driven` by Artie Tobia (HC)

Artie Tobia -- Driven    (click on image to watch video)

 20 March 2019

 

Black

The title of Artie Tobia’s fifth album, Driven, couldn’t be more perfect: the songs range from cars and his love of them (“Black Mustang”), and the love that drives him (“Phoenix”) to one of the musical influences that continues to drive him (“Shine on Baby”). Tobia’s gritty vocals growl on the rockers on the album but turn tender on the more reflective tunes. 

Driven opens with “Black Mustang,” a Springsteen-like rocker that looks back fondly on one of his favorite cars—a ’64 Mustang. The song celebrates the freedom of the road, even as it celebrates the happiness of watching his father drive the car and then eventually, many years later, watching his own children driving a Mustang. Maybe the most poignant song on the album is “Shine on Baby,” a tribute to the Allman Brothers. The aching guitars in the opening bars drench the song with mournful, yet celebratory, beauty. The singer recalls a night with his lover at an Allman Brothers concert; when she sings the words to every song with him, he knows for sure she will always be his lover, and he sings her praises with words from the Allman Brothers songs: “That’s when I knew she was my blue sky/I knew she would always be my one way out/We’re like two midnight riders on the road that goes on forever.” 

The straight-ahead rocker “Caller 102” features a Dick Dale-like lead on the first bridge and captures the frantic, jangly enthusiasm of a fan trying to get through to a disc jockey to be the right caller (number 102) to win tickets to meet and greet his favorite artist. “Phoenix” opens and closes with an a cappella chorus that sandwiches a sonic pop song driven by cascading guitars and Tobia’s playfully earnest lyrics to a lover: “I want to find a way to the get the impossible done/Like a phoenix from the ashes, I will rise, rise up to the sun.” 

Driven propels us down the backroads and scenic highways of our lives, flying down the straightaways with abandon and leaning into the curves with loving care.

 

 Henry L. Carrigan, Jr.

 

Henry L. Carrigan, Jr.

 

 

 


 

Hits: 3385

News aggregator updating headlines throughout the day to top news & Links to international news, social commentary and columnists creating a better world. External links are provided for reference purposes. The Daily Ripple is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites. tlr workshop 2015

Top Desktop version