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Music Review - `TRUE IS BEAUTIFUL' by RAVEIS KOLE (jm)

Raveis Kole- True is Beautiful (click on image to watch video)

 29 July 2021

 

Black

True to their previous efforts, the latest single from Raveis Kole, “True Is Beautiful,” is a wildly eclectic take on folk and Americana with a heavy emphasis on solid, smart lyrics. Digging in on classic metaphors, Laurie Raveis sings earnestly about a snake sneaking out of the garden and spitting out rotten apple seeds.

In one of the most compelling lyrics, she sings, “Flick fork tongue/pulls back your hair, whispers sweetly in your ear/Eat the young.” With a soulfully deep voice that evokes Carly Simon and Stevie Nicks at times, she sings of planting something beautiful instead, based on truth. The timeless message being that truth is beautiful. The vocals are backed by a brilliant mix of synth and piano, electric and acoustic guitar, accompanied by steady bass and drums. The music builds ands and crashes and builds back up again throughout, thanks to Raveis’s musical partner Dennis Kole and skilled session players who have worked with everyone from Brandi Carlile to Tori Amos and Tracy Chapman.

Since first coming together nearly a decade ago, Raveis Kole have released two albums and several singles. “True is Beautiful” is a product of the global pandemic with the duo recording the demo at home before finishing it up in studios in Nashville and Los Angeles a few months ago.   

 

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 - `Then and One More Day` by Wesley Dennis (jm)

Wesley Dennis – Then and One More Day  (click on image to watch video)

 30 June 2019

 

Black

Alabama native Wesley Dennis made a dent on the country music charts in the mid-90s, but a slew of label troubles since then have kept him mostly under the radar for thew past decade or so. But with his latest LP, Then And One More Day, Dennis shows despite a little time away from the public he clearly didn’t allow any rust to settle in.

Across a baker’s dozen of traditional country tracks, Dennis reminds why that initial debut caused so much attention. And while a lot of the major label flash is gone (not to mention that whole 1990s neon Nashville vibe), his voice has grown into a satisfying, more relaxed delivery and his writing has grown immensely as well. While songs like the “This Hat Ain’t No Act,” were catchy and stand outs at the time, a song like “(I’m So) Afraid of Losing You,” the opening track off the new record or the driving “Halo and Horns” are far more impressive and have a much longer shelf-life. Curiously, crime plays into a couple of tracks here, like “Alabama Dreams” and “All My Friends Are Behind Bars,” with a great cameo by Chris Keefe (the latter being one of the strongest tracks on the record).

Dennis isn’t exactly treading new ground on his latest, but he doesn’t really need to. Across 13 tracks, he pulls together a deeply satisfying collection of traditional country music stripped of any pretention or any of the modern cliched bro country trademarks; just solid songwriting and an impressive delivery.      

 

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 - `AIN’T YOUR MOMMA ` by RHONDA FUNK (jm)

RHONDA FUNK – AIN’T YOUR MOMMA  (click on image to watch video)

 2 June 2019

 

Black

On her latest EP, and fourth album to date, Nashville’s Rhonda Funk offers the best entry point yet to discovering just how compelling a singer/writer she is in the world of Americana.

On Ain’t Your Momma, Funk pulled together five of the best tracks she’s written or co-written (out of more than 100 she’s worked on to date) and hit the studio. She also included an inspired cover Jon Bon Jovi’s “Whole Lot of Leavin’” (from cowboy era Bon Jovi, not Hair Metal era Bon Jovi). The title track, which opens the collection, is a solid anti-sexism tune perfectly showcasing her knack for writing smart, witty songs. “I Could Get Use To This” is more in the vein of a modern Country, “life is good” track; certainly a fun song, bad not nearly as creative as the album opener. The bar burner, “Liar Liar,” is a perfect, know almost traditional lover scorned song, with blazing guitars and fiddles.

The only really stumble here is on “More Than A Table,” a slow tempo track that seems a little too precious with its symbolism. In an attempt to be earnest, it just comes off as clumsy and overwrought. The EP closes on “Cumberland Falls,” another stand out track and one that beautifully shows offs Funk’s voice and songwriting prowess. This six-song collection is a fantastic calling card to those who have yet to listen to her music and solid follow up to her recent Silver Award win for US Female Single of the Year from the International Singer-Songwriters Association.         

 

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 - `Overdue` by Severin Browne (jm)

Severin Browne – Overdue  (click on image to watch video)

 30 June 2019

 

Black

Severin Browne may best be know for his songwriting – first as a staff writer for Motown and later writing for everyone from Twiggy and Thelma Houston, to Pamela Stanley. But as his latest solo effort shows he’s just as comfortable moving into the spotlight himself.  

The global pandemic put a temporary halt to the recording of Overdue, but the 10 tracks that make up the record prove to be a solid addition to his growing cannon. The opening track, “Young and Free” is a hint to the themes that follow, songs about looking back on a life well lived. Even on a break-up song like “Leaving You is the Hardest Thing I’ve Known,” Browne strips out all bitterness, keeping love at the center of the songs. His vocal delivery throughout the record is clear and purposeful. There are the occasional weak spots throughout, like on the slow tempo “My Friends are All Around Me,” told from the perspective of a ghost witnessing his own wake, the lyrics come off a little too earnest. But there more than enough good songs here - like the introspective “Sparkling River” or “Miguel and Maria,” about a young family escaping violence in their country and fleeing to American - to make up for the few missteps along the way.  

Browne’s deft melding of jazz, folk, pop and country serves as a solid foundation for his lyrics. The themes and music behind Overdue aren’t necessarily experimental or overly complicated, making for a satisfyingly comfortable listen.       

 

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 - `Rope the Wind` by Nick Justice (jm)

Nick Justice- Rope the Wind (click on image to watch video)

 5 March 2021

 

Black

Since 2014, when Nick Justice re-directed his focus back to music after a nearly two decades long sabbatical, the Southern California troubadour – by way of Long Island - has been consistently churning out one solid, lyrically-strong Americana/folk record after another. His latest, Rope The Wind is certainly no different. 

His whiskey vocals - delivered in an unrushed manner similar to Willie Nelson and John Prine - sounds the same as it ever was, whether he’s singing about Billy The Kid (“Billy The Kid”), a newly married couple on a killing spree (“Run Away”) or the title track, about running away from a problemed life. And while he covers a myriad of disparate topics in less than 40 minutes, thanks to his voice, as consistently placid as it’s always been, it makes for a satisfyingly familiar listen.

The album kicks off with a strummed chord and the steady drum beat of “Traveling Man,” one of the strongest tracks here and a throwback of sorts to Roger Miller. Lyrically one of the best songs from Justice’s catalogue, is the love definitely gone track “No Reason To Stay”. In a similar vein, “Love is on the Run,” is another great heartache song, a solid barroom jukebox tear in my beer number. 

The only song on this 11-track album that doesn’t really click on first listen is “Rhymes and Reason,” with Justice reeling through lines from childhood nursery rhymes. But it’s not enough to drag down an otherwise satisfyingly breezy record. Justice has been consistently reliable in the second version of his career and Rope The Wind is a brilliant starting point for anyone looking to dig into his catalogue.             

 

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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