Saturday, May 28, 2016

Rockwired Radio Profiles #642 - Candlebox

The polls have closed for ROCKWIRED.COM's recent ARTIST OF THE MONTH campaign. Voters from all over the U.S. and the world made their vote count and grunge rock legends CANDLEBOX   are ROCKWIRED.COM's newest ARTIST OF THE MONTH. When you're as old as I am 22 years feels like it goes in a flash and because of that the debut album from CANDLEBOX feels like it was a released just yesterday. Memories of it come back to me in the form of that album's singles CHANGE,  FAR BEHIND and YOU and for the fact that the band was signed to MADONNA's MAVERICK RECORDS - a proposition that probably helped the album attain multi-platinum status. I seem to remember a few grunge folks being puzzled by the signing and leery of the success. Ah fuck them and fuck the nineties. CANDLEBOX deserved every bit of their success.Two more albums would follow on the MAVERICK label (1995's LUCY and 1998's HAPPY PILLS). After a ten year hiatus CANDLEBOX reunited for the 2008 album INTO THE SUN (SILENT MAJORITY GROUP) and 2012's LOVE STORIES & OTHER MUSINGS (AUDIONEST). Now after four years CANDLEBOX has signed to PAVEMENT ENTERTAINMENT and has now released the curiously titled DISAPPEARING IN AIRPORTS. Having worked with producers CARSON SLOVAK and GRANT McFARLAND (AUGUST BURNS RED, EVERCLEAR) CANDLEBOX now embraces a modern sound that is more immediate and visceral than any they've issued in the past - a taste of which could be provided in the albums first single VEXATIOUS. 


Friday, May 27, 2016

Rockwired Radio Profiles #641 - Bruce Mountain Band

It's hard to dismiss rock n roll has being dead when you've got a band based out of Inland Empire issuing the fattest, most unapologetic rock n roll sound that we've heard in a while. The band is BRUCE MOUNTAIN BAND and their debut album ANOTHER LOST DAY is a big album with some pretty big ambitions in a time when five-song EPs and digital singles are all the rage. Comprised of Southern California music scene veterans, the band is releasing this 16-song opus on 2-disc vinyl - the kind of release that their big rock n roll sound deserves. The album is catalog of love and life gone wrong and right without a riff or a lyric wasted. The moments to remember here are the  blistering rock anthem SHINE ON, the slow-burning WOMAN and the closing acoustic ballad (more of a gentle headbanger) LONG WAY HOME. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Rockwired Radio Profiles #640 - The Rye Brothers

The unofficial rule here at ROCKWIRED is that country music doesn't figure into the sort of listening experience that we want folks to have when tuning into our podcast but when the "country music" is actually good it leaves us having to explain ourselves. This is the case with the fledgling band THE RYE BROTHERS. We first became acquainted with RYE BROTHERS co-founder JUSTIN FOUTZ fives years ago when he was a solo country rock artist with the kind of magnetism that should've made him a bigger and better deal than that goober BLAKE SHELTON but we're happy to see his resurface with this project along with friend and singer-songwriter PAUL JUSTIN. At the moment the band has a sturdy set of songs available through SOUNDCLOUD which can be accessed through their site. It's not exactly an official release but if you ask us these are top notch country rockers that are ready to roll thanks to so some rather fine production work by producer TIM HUTTON. In a time when rock has been largely country-fied and and country music has take on more pop and rock characteristics this should be an arrangement that should work out well for both FOUTZ and JUSTIN. 


Monday, May 9, 2016

Rockwired Radio Profiles #639 - Soles Of Passion

The pursuit of rock n roll is a precarious one with twists and turns with everybody from parents to society in general telling you that you need to get a real job. Well STEVEN WOLFE and MYLA SNOW both had real jobs in the mortgage industry and being based in Southern California who the hell could blame them? After years of climbing the corporate ladder things came to screeching halt with the stock market crash of 2008 where two found themselves with front row seats to witness the deadening of the American Dream with the foreclosures displacing and disenfranchising millions. If the mortgage industry was shaky, the need for playing music felt stronger than ever and the two set out to form SOLES OF PASSION. There was to be nothing escapist about this new musical endeavor. The duo set out to release music that spoke to life and the hopes and despairs  that come with it in a world full of classism and inequality. Displacement - an issue that hit close to home for both of them was a theme addressed in their 2012 album BUMP YOU UP and it's single GOT ME SURROUNDED . Now they are back with the single TAX SLAVES which precedes the forthcoming album ESCAPE FROM JURISDICATION B. The funky track combines elements of rock with rap and highlights the absurdity of a tax code that is designed to keep the poor struggling. Creating music that speaks to the struggles of people is the only business there is for SOLES OF PASSION and we are eternally grateful. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Rockwired Radio Profiles #638 - Athena

Los Angeles is city that gets a bad rap and a lot of times for good reason but for some it's a chance to pursue a better life and maybe even get your name in lights. That is certainly the case for singer-songwriter ATHENA ANDREADIS (who simply goes by ATHENA) but the Greek-born, London-raised artist has already known acclaim and chart success on her native continent with her three previous releases. A year ago, the rising star set up shop in Los Angeles and found herself  blessed with inspiration and under the tutelage of producer ETHAN ALLEN (BEN HARPER, SHERYL CROW, BETTER THAN EZRA). An expansive catalog of songs was filed down to thirteen tracks which will be released as a trilogy comprised of two EPs and on LP. Recorded at  THE VILLAGE the forthcoming EP READY FOR THE SUN is a five-song recording that showcases an artist ready to reach out to a broader audience. ATHENA and ALLEN have brought such rousing songs to life such as the plucky opening track YOU BRING ME LUCK and the soaring ballad AUTOPILOT. So far, the City of Angels agrees with this rising talent and it's only a matter of time before ATHENA's brand of heartfelt, soul-searing pop rock finds it's way into the consciousness of a public that wants something deeper to listen to. 


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Rockwired Radio Profiles #637 - Ray Goren

RAY GOREN has a musical talent that is beyond comprehension and beyond his sixteen years of life. At the age of three after tinkering away on an electronic keyboard he came to the realization that TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR and the ALPHABET SONG were the same bloody tune.  Almost immediately he was given the building blocks for playing and composing music. His early years (it sounds strange putting it that way) were marked by virtuosity on the piano but his love for the six string was stoked when he accidentally came upon a performance by the legendary BB KING on line. From there a love for blues, soul and rock n roll was cultivated as well an ear for whatever passes as new these days and all of it can be heard on his brand new EP SAVE MY SOUL. The guitar playing is seasoned, the vocal delivery is confidant and assured and the songwriting is brash but that can happen when one of your songwriting mentors is the legendary LEON RUSSELL. With songs such as the blistering title track, the irresistible pop rocker STOP and and pleading blues/gospel rocker RISE TOGETHER, GOREN proves that he is in this for the long haul and we are happy to be seeing this potentially legendary career unfold from the beginning.


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Rockwired Radio Profiles #636 - Sometimes Julie

You never think that anything good can come of doing karaoke but in the case of MONICA SORENSON the great American past time ended up changing her life. While singing what was more than likely an ALANIS MORRISETTE tune according to the press release, MONICA's voice and soulful phrasing caught the ear of guitarist RICK WALKER - a man whose musical past goes back to the halcyon days of the Chicago scene of the early nineties which was filled to the brim with artists such as LIZ PHAIR, SMASHING PUMPKINS, HUSKER DU and URGE OVERKILL. At this point int he story he was looking for words to put to his musical arrangements and it just turned out that the the woman singing karaoke not only had a voice but dabbled in a little bit of verse as well. Before long the two began swapping ideas and eventually songs were born and was the act they curiously dubbed SOMETIMES JULIE. By 2014 they made their presence known with their award-wining debut HEAD FIRST and now they're back with a brand new EP BRIGHT SIDE OF THE LINE. TO call a five song EP an emotional rollercoaster sounds like a bunch hyperbole but in this case it ain't hyperbole. SOMETIMES JULIE's songsmithing marries stomping grooves and funky, bluesy flourishes with dark and edgy subject matter that is given extra heft  thanks to SORENSON's  buoyant vocals and emotional delivery. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Rock Is Red #21 - JUQ

Much of the music coming out of Indian Country these day is marked by entrepreneurship as well as musicality and in these D.I.Y. times those two things are going hand in hand more than ever. For years ROCKWIRED has gotten to know Yankton Sioux hip hop artist and entrepreneur BRANDIS KNUDSEN for his own series releases and the promotion of his own label DAKOTA SOUTH RECORDS. Now, we're excited to get to know one of the artists on his fledgling label. Oglala Lakota pop artist JACOB SCREAMING EAGLE goes by the moniker JUQ (pronounced "juke") and finds himself at a rather exciting junction in his life. This is the very beginning of his career as a recording artist with the release of his debut EP OGP.  On it, JUQ has swagger and groove to spare on this collection of slow burning R&B numbers of which the lead single CALLING BULL stands out by a mile. There is no doubt here that JUQ loves the Indian ladies and the track's clever mix of modern slow burn with  the sort of unabashed, positive message that elevates the tune above everything else that's out there. It's my sincerest hope that the girl mentioned in the song who is "so in touch with what our people should be" will look this guy's way. OGP is just a slice of things to come. Apparently a full length album will be dropping in the Fall of 2016 and we're all too anxious to hear how JUQ's musical journey plays out.