Thursday, February 25, 2016

Rockwired Radio Profiles #624 - Anni Piper

When we first became acquainted with Aussie blues mama ANNI PIPER back in the summer of 2013 she had just cut an album that she had recorded alongside another female blues artist and was on the verge of going on a tour that would take her through much of the United States. Almost three years later PIPER is now a citizen of the United States and married and living a good life in the State of Florida but what's important to us is that she has released a brand new album MORE GUITARS THAN FRIENDS and this time the bassist and singer steps into the light as a true solo artist having written much of the material herself. With previous recordings PIPER has built an audience with some fine musical know who and a knack for a delivery but with MORE GUITARS THAN FRIENDS - a songwriter has emerged with a voice that is distinctive and soulful. The first single PAPER BAG is a playful blues romp and gives PIPER the chance to growl seductively and sink her teeth into the chorus aimed at empathizing with a guy who's got to screw an ugly chick. The title track of the album sums up the lonely life of a musician on the road and the countrified swing of BLACKBERRY BRANDY has PATSY CLINE written all over it. While she is a few albums into her career MORE GUITARS THAN FRIENDS  feels like a good first impression all over again. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Rockwired Radio Profiles #623 - L.A. Knights

We feel that that Akron, Ohio-based band L.A. KNIGHTS have something with their newest single and title track of their new EP PSYCHOANALYZE. Given the curious state of rock n roll in this day and age L.A. KNIGHTS get a whole new years started off with an infectious rock anthem and an instantly memorable chorus that could even win over a non-rock fan. Their EP as a whole is testament to a band that is putting it all on the line for rock n roll that is direct, punchy and spirited however guitarist JOZEY assures us that the EP is merely a taste of a larger work to come within the next couple of months but in the meantime there is plenty here at the moment for anyone who wants their rock n roll to be a non-stop party such as the stomping opener DEVIL ON MY HEELS and the strutting DANCE which given the the time and the exposure will become a poll dancers anthem. 

Rockwired Radio Profiles #622 - Small Town Sound

Just going by the name of the town, one can hear that Minco, Oklahoma is a million miles away from Nashville, Los Angeles or New York but that hasn't stopped a band like SMALL TOWN SOUND from grabbing the ears of music fans as far away as Europe and music industry professionals with the release of their brand new EP FOR MAMA. How do we begin to describe the band's sound? It's definitely American. It walks that fine line between old time rock n roll and some of the more celebratory, stomping country music that is all the rage these days. At the heart of all off this are songs that speak to the everyday joys and hardships that come with the territory of making a living and coming home to that loved one and being yourself. The band is a dedicated group of guys who know how to come at a song from the ground up while front man TUFFY CASTEEL gives the proceedings the warmth and personality that it deserves with that delivery of his that will bring back a memory or two of MATCHBOX TWENTY's ROB THOMAS. However there are two  ingredients that set SMALL TOWN SOUND apart from that seminal late-nineties/early-aughts pop rock band - playfulness and spunk. The opening track WHISKEY opens deceptively as a downbeat tale of drinking an old love out of one's mind but the songs turns into a rocker two thirds of the way and the sorrowful sentiment turns celebratory in tone. RACING TO YOU is amid tempo roots rocker driven but by a never ending, soulful harmonica and a chorus that reminds us that "There's a party going on tonight!" The track recalls the blue-collar bliss that JOHN MELLENCAMP was able to convey perfectly in his music. HARDER TIMES is country-tinged rock ballad about holding onto dreams of better days as work and romance are on shaky ground. We're catching a new talent at the very beginning. Not only can we say that we knew SMALL TOWN SOUND when, we can also say that we enjoyed the ride that is their debut EP. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Rockwired Radio Profiles #621 - Jillian Kohr

When we spoke with singer-songwriter JILLIAN KOHR regarding her new EP FREE she made it clear to us that she wanted people to appreciate real music written by real people. In a time when much of what is popular in music is dismissed as being digitized and lacking in substance we find something noble in KOHR's hope to connect with a listener on a deeper level. Of course she shouldn't have a problem finding an audience for the songs on FREE. The songs on her latest release are family affair with her husband and 12-year old son chipping into the songwriting process and the pay off here is that the songs not only deliver but transcend the genre of country music. The EP's opener is the bluesy LEAVE THE LIGHT ON which will bring back a memory or two of SAMMI SMITH'S "HELP ME MAKE IT THROUGH THE NIGHT". The verses for the title track are built around a soulful groove but the chorus simply soars and WRAPPED is a moody rocker about being a fool for love and is curiously sung from a guy's perspective. She maybe two EP's into her music career but it feels like this is only the beginning for a fine talent. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Rock Is Red #17 - Irv Lyons Jr.

In all of the write ups for Oneida singer-songwriter and guitarist IRV LYONS JR. his music is described as being "rooted in Latin influenced jazz" in the vein of  CARLOS SANTANA but after hearing his latest album WONDERLAND one can not dismiss a clear and present STEELY DAN influence as well. The CD WONDERLAND is a nonstop party and LYONS and company lay down one irresistible rocking R&B groove after another. The opening track STARLENE is a sexy little romp about a leggy looker - the kind that thousands upon thousands of guitar riffs have been inspired by and written for. In addition to his own serviceable vocal performance LYONS partners with a a couple of other talents on the album. While he gets the party started on the track FIRE WITHOUT A FLAME it is the vocal performance of KIM MONROE that gives the playful little number it's playfulness. On the bluesy title track LYONS shares the mic with JOE DRISCOLL and the two of them give the track a SAM AND DAVE-styled delivery . In our interview with him LYONS gave us his reasons why Native music has never quite hit the mainstream since REDBONE's COME AND GET YOUR LOVE. It was strange that he brought that band up because a lot of WONDERLAND's roots can be heard in that legendary minimalist approach to R&B. Yes, this album carries on a whole different kind of musical legacy in Indian Music outside of Traditional music. Pop chart success may not be int he cards for LYONS and WONDERLAND but a NAMMY or GRAMMY nomination doesn't seem like too much to hope for. 

Rockwired Radio Profiles #620 - The Morning Sea

Americana is a music form that we've never been able to shake off here at ROCKWIRED. There is something enticing about taking the raw and melodic approach to rock n roll which tends to go out of it's way to make Country and Folk music listeners feel right at home. THE MORNING SEA is a gloriously named New York City band which is the latest to take on this musical tradition and give it a whole new twist and name. Front man ADAM COHEN has dubbed his band's sound as "Gotham Americana" which perfectly sums up the bands rustic musical tendency with their oh-so New York City sensibility. And we love the description because it sounds like something out of THE DARK KNIGHT. THE MORNING SEA was a band formed accidentally when singer-songwriter ADAM COHEN went into the studio and formed alliances with some pretty savvy players and studio engineers. Eventually they came up with the name THE MORNING SEA and took their act on the road. Of course they had some stellar material to show off with their debut recording STRANGE CAPTIVE. Now the band have released MAL DE MER and the band and Mr. COHEN are able to deliver a collection of songs that navigate the entire spectrum of emotions much in the same vein as NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS have dome album after album. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Rockwired Radio Profiles #619 - Artifas

Over the years we have profiled many artists who have taken a myriad number of paths toward rock n roll glory but SCOTTIE SOMERVILLE of ARTIFAS is probably the first one to have been a drum line coach. The progression from doing drum line to being the front man of one of the most exciting active rock bands ion the scene is a curious one but we're glad that SOMMERVILLE landed were he did. ARTIFAS first marked their territory with their debut EP ENEMY INSIDE and now they are back to secure that territory and then some with the release of their new LP INHUMAN - a collection of first rate rockers that are bound to make a huge impression on active rock radio in what remains of 2016. If having a solid release in their corner wasn't enough ARTIFAS will be hitting the road with ROCKWIRED favorites BOBAFLEX and THE VEER UNION for the ROUND 2 LIVE AND LOUD U.S. TOUR. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Rockwired Radio Profiles #618 - Bad Mary

Toward the end of 2015 BAD MARY made a huge impression on us with the release of their EP KILLING DINOSAURS due to their embrace of the spirit and energy of the punk scene that had exploded in their hometown of New York City forty years ago.  In a time when you have young hipsters wearing CBGBs tee-shirts without even knowing what the fuck it means BAD MARY is issuing the very primal sound that was responsible for one of the last great music movements of this great U.S. of A and KILLING DINOSAURS captured the feverish, frenetic abandon that the band has created on live stages throughout New York City and beyond. Now the band has released their follow up EP WE COULD HAVE SAVED THE WORLD and the band positively cracks on such RAMONES inspired rockers such as CREEPER and MARZ ATTAQX with singer AMANDA MAC channeling DEBORAH HARRY of BLONDIE from the PLASTIC LETTERS days. Needless to say, the package is an intriguing one.  Hopefully it's the first sign that the lumberjack beard-sporting, skinny jean-wearing sensibility that has come to typify what we call "indie" is on it's way out.

Rockwired Radio Profiles #617 - David M'Ore

Never in my life did I think that the aggressive rock guitar styling of folks like RITCHIE BLACKMORE and JOHNNY WINTER would ever be considered music of a by-gone era but all one needs to do is scan the radio to hear that hard rock is no longer that music of the day. This makes DAVID M'ORE's musical ambitions seem like the story of DAVID AND GOLIATH. It's hard for any artist these days to to stand out among the crowd but but M'ORE manages to do just that with the release of his new, aptly titled album PASSION, SOUL AND FIRE. With his penchant for blues-drenched hard rock and a growling voice  M'ORE's FIRE, SOUL AND PASSION plays like a a slice of life set to music. M'ORE is an Argentinian-born Italian who's musical education stated with the nylon string classical guitar. The dexterity he gained from the instrument has gone on to inform his unique approach to playing rock music.  As a young man he ventured tot he States to form the band BLIND HOLE to great local stardom in Los Angeles in the early nineties. For the past few years he has built a reputation for his electrifying stage show that has left many in awe and FIRE, SOUL AND PASSION has succeeded in capturing the very drive and spirit that has kept this talent going strong all of these years.