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Music Review - `DELUGE OF HURT` by Tornado Sky (jm)

Tornado Sky - Heart On Fire  (click on image to watch video)

 27 October 2022

 

Black

Husband and wife Jerry Careaga and Stephanie Gladhart have been writing songs together for two decades now, but Deluge of Hurt marks their debut as Tornado Sky, a project that came to be in part thanks to the Covid pandemic that shut down the world.

Careaga’s songwriting credits go back to the early 1980s having written for a slew of artists across different genres over time, while Gladhart focused more on longform writing, while still collaborating with her husband from time to time. But the global pandemic forced just about everyone into a two- year isolation that led to the duo combining efforts and finally collaborating on their own project, christened Tornado Sky. The result of their efforts is a deeply personal album that dips in and out of genres, like Americana, folk and snatches of light pop here and there. Aptly titled, there are some dark sentiments throughout, with “Walking Next to Me” being a prime example with Gladhart singing about losing her brother to cancer and her father dealing with dementia. But it’s not all loss and heartache. Careaga sings about that feeling of pure love for someone on “Damn You.” Regardless of the subject, deep, relatable emotions are at the core of every song the duo writes.

Their band is fleshed out by a collection of stellar musicians for hire including drummer Aaron Sterling (Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Harry Styles), guitarist Dave Levita (Alanis Morissette, Katy Perry, Tim McGraw) Death cab For Cutie’s keyboardist Zac Rae, among others.

 

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 - `Gratitude` by Dan Imhoff (jm)

Dan Imhoff- Gratitude  (click on image to watch video)

 27 September 2022

 

Black

On his fifth and latest solo effort, Dan Imhoff once again weaves in elements of folk, jazz, pop, roots and Americana for a satisfying record that is tied together perfectly with charming, literate lyrics.

Recorded last fall in Valencia and Gerona, Spain – working with Spanish musicians – the California native wrote a bulk of the 12 songs here during the global pandemic. As Imhoff writes in the liner notes, “I left Spain in March of 2020 with plans to quickly return. Things Didn’t exactly work out that way. Most of these songs were written in Northern California over the intervening 18 months, which included isolation of the Covid pandemic and the evacuation of the Walbridge wildfire.” 

But don’t expect another Covid album filled with songs about loneliness and fear. Surprisingly, Gratitude is aptly titled with hits of promise throughout. The title song which opens the record, is a beautiful, soul-drenched track that perfectly sets up what’s to follow. Imhoff’s voice evokes a warmness that carries throughout the album. Songs like “There There” and “Factory Of Tangled Dreams,” are among some of his strongest solo offerings yet. The album closes on the wistful “Angel Touching Down,” a slow tempo track that unravels like a dream.     

Coming together after more than a year of worldwide societal isolation, Gratitude is the definition of a global effort - written in California, recorded in Spain and mastered in Berlin.      

 

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 - `BY THE RISIN’ OF THE SEA' :` by James Kahn (jm)

James Kahn- BY THE RISIN’ OF THE SEA (click on image to watch video)

 28 April 2022

 

Black

The tradition of sea shanties dates back centuries but for some odd reason the genre made a surprise reappearance in pop culture recently thanks to Tik Tok, a not entirely unwelcome resurgence for what it’s worth. It makes a little sense then that novelist and TV writer/producer James Kahn, known more for his folk and Americana style of music, would use that once obscure genre to highlight his latest collection of songs about the environment.

Across a dozen tracks, Kahn backed by a remarkable group of fellow singers and musicians, pens modern lyrics to traditional shanties focusing on current environmental crises in the making. A native of California, ground zero for the Earth Day movement in 1970, Kahn was raised to be environmentally minded and even a cursory glance at the dramatic climate disasters that are occurring across the globe at much more frequent interval is a clear inspiration for this record.

“In The Covid Times,” is the shortest, but most impactful track here with the most poignant and direct lyrics yet taking on the global pandemic (“I remember 2020 so well/When the fucking world ran out of luck/And the hinges broke on the gates of hell/It’s the year that Covid ran amuck”). The album closes on the sadly beautiful “Sundown,” another standout track. Deeper into the album he tackles pollution and the refugee crises. The album vacillates between taking a more serious tone and at times a humorous vibe, all delivered via Kahn’s remarkably strong vocals and a music style that seemingly manages to be both nostalgic and timeless at the same time.            

 

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 - `FLIGHT RISK ` by Shoebox Letters (jm)

Shoebox Letters- FLIGHT RISK  (click on image to watch video)

 04 May 2022

 

Black

As many of us are still trying to crawl back to a post-pandemic normal, the Pacific Northwest-based Americana/folk band Shoebox Letters have entered a Willie Nelson-level period of prolific songwriting.  Flight Risk, their latest 6-track EP, marks their third release since 2020’s inaugural album Treasure Map. It’s filled with the same satisfying, recognizable jangle of acoustic guitar folk and steel Americana as their previous efforts.

Lyrically there is a theme of desperation and angst to several of the songs here that bely the catchiness of the music itself, like on the infectious “I Drink Too Much,” (with some classic rock electric guitar added in for extra measure). “I Drink Too Much” is the only song here not written by frontman Dennis Winslow. 

Elsewhere on the slow burn “Up And Down,” Winslow sings about looking back on his life and hoping he was good enough. “Red Handed Lover” is a blues-tinged steady roots rocker that would make Delbert McClinton proud. The record ends on the sweet, somber “A World Out There,” a decent track but one that feels a bit removed from the rest of the songs here; but one that grows on you after repeated listens.  

Recorded in Portland, OR and Nashville, Winslow is joined by Dave Stricker, Stephanie Cox, Greg Paul and Brian David Willis on this one. And if history is any indicator, they’ll be out with a new record as soon as you learn all the words to this one.

 

 

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 - `Midnight Rain & Roses` by Luanne Hunt (jm)

Luanne Hunt- Midnight Rain & Roses (click on image to watch video)

 13 March 2022

 

Black

From the opening piano chords – with shades of Christi McVie and Fleetwood Mac - Luanne Hunt’s single “Midnight Rain & Roses” offers up an emotionally deep and affecting song about losing a partner to death. Lyrically, Hunt’s sings about a flawed 39-year-old man who died of cancer just days before Valentine’s Day, and his grieving partner who is brought right back to confronting his absence as flowers he ordered before his death arrive for the narrator. The track, with a clean, powerful electric guitar line snaking throughout, is a solid mix of classic rock with hints of Americana. It’s a remarkably touching song from Florida-based Hunt’s latest record, Portraits in Song, her 21st studio album.

Hunt, a 2016 inductee to the Independent Superstars Hall of Fame, has six American Songwriting Awards and three CD of the Year awards from the National Traditional Country Music Association.

“Midnight Rain & Roses” is just the latest example of Hunt’s deft knack for writing about very specific characters and plots that still manage to have universal familiarity. While musically the Fleetwood Mac influence is strong throughout the song, lyrically there are traces of everyone from Willie Nelson to Kris Kristofferson.

 

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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