Monthly Archives: December 2011

Brother Magnum & the Razor Bumps Fire and Steel

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Brother Magnum and the Razor Bumps lay it down like the Stax/Volt Revue with their driving rocking rhythm and blues sound. Love Me Woman captures the rocking sound in all its glory. Fire and Steel keeps it rolling with its mix of a more rock sound with the rhythm and blues with some slide guitar and horns accenting the rocking groove of the music. The slide guitar takes center stage on the solo and keeps you foot moving to the beat. Brother Magnum voice is a typical vocal for this style that has a gritty edge to it. Brother Magnum is not afraid to challenge the listener with the power of Third Degree Love Burns and its rock blues sound, with its hints of SRV.
On track, five Thank You, Brother Magnum shows just how diverse he is. This track has much more in common with sixties soul and country, than the blues.
Feel Good will remind you of the aforementioned Stax/Volt sound with the horns, female back up harmony, and the rocking groove of the song. This is followed up by Damn Me with its Ska feel. Brother Magnum offers more variety on this CD than nearly any artist of this style does. With his jump beats, rocking grooves and his upbeat positive sound that keeps your feet moving song after song Brother Magnum and his Razor Bumps is the typical chitin band. Rocking the clubs night after night, anywhere and everywhere they play and delivering good times to anyone who cares to listen.
Brother Magnum and band deliver one of the best rocking records that should not be lost in obscurity. Like so many other Texas artist that never makes much noise outside their local area they stand above far above most other bands outside of Texas with their professional sound.
If you have a hole that was created when SRV was lost, then Brother Magnum can help fill that void. His sound is his own but has that rocking edge that so many of us love about SRV & DT. Brother Magnum carrying the banner high for modern rock blues music. Listen to the music yourself, and decide. My nomination for blues album of the year.

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The Rooted Wings

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The Rooted Wings

Samantha Hawkins- Vocals/Percussion and John Winters- Guitar/Base/Drums/ Vocals
Though out the history of music female vocalist capture some of the most evocative, emotional and passionate music in the industry. The Rooted Wings blessed with a female singer that has one of those voices that transform into the sound of the genre she is working in. Be it a soulful track or a country romp. With some solid blues, country riffs mixed with some rock and soul the Rooted Wings take flight on song after song. This is easygoing music, laid back with a solid groove moving the songs along like an easy flowing stream.
There is a nice feel to the simple guitar work and the vocal accompaniment, simple yet elegant. The two work very well together vocally, her strong and emotional vocals and his warm familiar sound.
The Rooted Wings are not a band you can place a tag on, know you have to hear them to understand. They have a myriad of influences floating through their music. However, none of those influences comes out as anything but the sound of The Rooted Wings. Tracks like Take On The World show the pure pop side of the band. Tracks like Cowboys and Couture, Skin and Blood show the depth of the band as song writers with subject matter that lyrically grabs your imagination as you listen to the story unfold.
There is never any doubt that The Rooted Wings are a band that you should listen to if you are a fan of easy flowing music with a solid groove, Shelby Lynne is a female purveyor of this style. The grooves reach out and pull you in and without any conscious effort, you find yourself humming along, tapping your foot and maybe singing along. Samantha Hawkins has an inviting tone than many of the popular singers simply do not have today. They may be able to hit note’s that says they are technically better singers but they cannot capture the warmth of emotion that connect most people with music.
We all know the radio/TV/label hype is what sells records, not talent. Rap and hip/hop would never be so popular if talent mattered. Many of the artists at the top of the charts would not sell any more records than the average top independent artist releases which is around twenty thousand units, if they did not have the hype behind them. So spread the word to help The Rooted Wings take flight.
Most importantly go buy the cd or the download. Do what you can do to support the artist.

Whitton-Rare Bird

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Whitton – Rare Bird

Sultry, poppy, sweet, elegant all descriptions of Jaime Whitton lead singer of Whitton. Jamie has a voice that has many different qualities, so she is easily able to shift from easy flowing folk into more sultry jazz influences, a bit of Billie Holiday mixed with Melanie, with a dash of Dusty Springfield or Shelby Lynne thrown in and a trek into pop standards. There in lies the appeal of Whitton, the band are able to reach broader audiences by dipping into many different pools of music and handling all of them well.
Beginning with Turn off the Light, Whitton delivers a happy sounding pop ditty with twist and turns engaging the listener with each change of the vocals melody. Not to be outdone Rare Bird take on the air of sixties psychedelic folk rock, with a pop feel.
Until the End the next track starts as one of those sultry, blues, jazz influenced tracks that quickly bounce into a fun filled Tin Pan Alley pop track with its bouncing piano and horn arrangement, with a banjo making a suggestive appearance to cement the roots of the song
Monster is probably the most Billie Holiday influenced song, though Jaime uses whispers of Holidays’ style in different songs though out the CD.
No matter if it is the stark beginning of B Sting with invokes the memory of Billie Holiday but quickly shifts into a fun swing number that would make Minnie the Moocher proud. Or the
Follow up, New York with its Tin Pan Alley feel with vocals that bring back memories of sixties female artist.
Whitton mixes and blends styles that take listeners on journeys of musical styles and variations on those styles with very subtle use of instruments in each song. Like the trumpet on the end of New York.
The Tin Pan Alley style songwriting is rich in each song, with memories of great songs written by Carole King or Laura Nyro come to mind. The jazz influence is never falls back into a dated sound, instead propels the songs with its combination of styles into the future creating a new sound that is unique to Whitton.