Monthly Archives: November 2012

Dinah Thorpe & the Five White Guys 12


My friends Jennifer Thorington and Samual Markus sent this cd in hopes of a review for its release. Well upon listening to the first two songs one can’t help but laugh and smilie and enjoy the irrelevant humour of Miss Thorpe, this may be her biggest strength. This quirkness is charming and funny. She is a unique blend of Laurie Anderson and Woody Guthrie, with a bit of Nilson if that is even possible, thrown in for good luck. But yet of course she has to surprise you with her Every Bit Hurts with with its soul feel. Not every track is filled with humour, songs like G20 are a political comment that is brazen and in your face.
Dinah is best when she applies her talent when singing little folky ditties or a bit of electro pop feel. To the masses this will not be that appealing but to the underground culture in the world this will be as eye opeing as O Superman was by Laurie Anderson and on Tradesmen you can hear a direct influence.
The Slits are another artist that comes to mind when I listen to the minimialist approach of Dinah Thorpe. In the late seventies with the explosion of punk and as few years later as New Wave exploded onto the world scene Dinah Thorpe would have fit right in. So every college student today should call their station and demand to hear Dinah Thorpe and the Five White Guys. For those fearless and proudly independent personalities here is a artist for your generation; That you will find yourself tapping your foot, laughing and singing along to.
When boundaries are broken the masses cannot follow because they don’t have the capacity to understand that as musicians really anything goes. There is no formula to follow and there fore they have trouble understanding that when artist basically reject the accepted norm and forge their own path this is what makes the music such a success. Dinah Thorpe has forged her own way, albeit with some outside influences from the world around her.
Click the pic to hear samples or purchase.

Natalie Royal Savor


Natalie Royal-Savor is a CD by a young lady that has a soaring voice that is full of emotion, emotions of love, of pain, of bad decisions we all make. Bonnie & Clyde starts the CD with a bit of pop edge to it, which is easily a hit if given a chance. The next track Neon Sign is has more in common with say The Roaches or maybe Sandy Denny and of course Alison Krauss, with its a winsome and lonely feel. Neon Sign is a sure sign of maturity as the song could easily dip in to boredom by many other artist, however Natalie Royal turns it into a folk baroque sound that takes the listener on a journey of new sounds. Slow Down follows this formula showing the real power of this young lady. Her voice is crystal clear with a gently easy feeling.
The music has English Folk Rock feel with hints of Pentangle, Fotheringay or early Fairport Convention. Perhaps a bit of Emmy Lou Harris Poncho and Lefty era or again Alison Krauss. The next track Black Swan follows this style but adds a bit more rock edge to the baroque folk mix.
However Miss Royal is not a artist to follow only one formula and with track six, Regret. She proves just how dynamic she can be with a simple arrangement of string, tambourine and her soaring vocals.
The Borrowers turns the formula of folk baroque into a pop rock sound that transcends any genre and is simply a excellent musical composition. 3:12 seconds of music that should be heard by a generation.
When female singers want to measure themselves against the best singers of the time, then Natalie Royal will come to mind. Coming Clean returns to the folk sound that permeates this CD. Adult Contemporary music that is more than just fluff for the masses. Deluge has the haunting winsome and lonely sound of the Roaches with the vocals ringing into sweet harmonies of a old time feel, yet never does one really think of the music as old.
From Joni Mitchell, to Laura Nyro, The Pentangle, Fotheringay, The Roaches, The Fairport Convention that list of fine artist. Artist that are natural born musicians, singers or songwriters with real chops add this young lady to the list. Natalie Royal is a wonderful singer and songwriter pushing time down the highway without looking back.
Let’s Meet Again will fit perfect for USA Country Radio
The Borrowers is great forFM Radio, College Radio it will remind you of the vintage years but will delight with its freshness.
UK Audiences will love it as well.

Click the Pic to purchase or hear samples.

Skii Bound By History


When listening to Skii she reminds me of the elegant vocals of jazz singers in the past like Ella Fitzgerald but she mixes in a deep soul sound of the sixties and seventies as well, so her sound is not jazzy but more soulful with a r&b edge. Amy Winehouse had a similar sound on some of her songs. With tight solid arrangements and a cast of pros backing her Skii is knocking on the door of with a fine mesh of soulful songs that are powerful, all the while being sensuous and sexy drawing the listener into her web of emotion. If you listen to Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughn and other such jazz singers, Skii pushes the boundaries of their styles by combining different elements into her jazz/r&b sound. Track three has more of pop feel much in the vein of Herb Alpert or Sergio Mendes and Brazil ’66. Soft gentle flowing melodies that are a hail back to the by gone years of musical history. Track four is a slow ballad which is not my cup of tea. She however follows it up with RedFern a r&b rocker. Skii does fall into a groove with this track which has more in common with Stax/Volt sound that anything jazz. With solid guitar work taking the spotlight to great effect and with a solid horn arrangement backing the groove, this track will get your feet moving.
The next track, Small Talk proves to be a heartfelt r&b ballad. Somewhere in the dark recess of musical memory there seems to be a mix of George Benson guitar with Benny Johnson Visions of Paradise playing though this song. Track seven Angels is another slow ballad that really does not work on these ears.
However once again Skii proves she has plenty of ammo left with the next track, Lost on which she again proves she can handle mid and up tempo songs with excellent effect. Lost is similar to Small Talk with its r&b feel. Skii should have excellent success in the UK/European soul scene. America is like a desert for this style of music. Skii could play the tens of thousands of clubs in America and never move beyond a footnote in America. However as mentioned before fans of the UK/European soul scene can probably dig Skii and welcome her fine LP Bound By History with open arms. So if you live in America and you dig the old sounds of 60’s and 70’s soul and jazz, then here is a fine new release for your listening pleasure. Oh yea its New Classic Music For Tomorrow so turn off your oldies radio station and dig Skii and be Bound By History.
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