Starting with track one, Turn Around you can hear the individuality of Tini Grey who has come into his own with this release Shades of Grey. Track two, Home Again, has a fun style that was popular many years ago. A bit of rock and soul music mix that soars and reminds one of music from many years ago. The third track Hold On delivers with its soulful vocals and harmonies. Tini Grey has a more soulful sound than most male artists heard today. It’s seems that he has listened to many soul records from the sixties and seventies and does an excellent job of creating a new sound that reminds one of the glory days gone by but yet soars to new heights with his rock solid groove and passionate vocals and excellent songwriting. Tini Grey is the most real soulful male vocalist heard in many years. Hold On gets your feet moving and urges your body to get up and move, much like the Style Council’s, My Ever Changing Moods and their great tribute to soul music.
Record Player is track five and its starts out with a slow bluesy acoustic guitar, with lyrics that ooze the soulful sounds of his vocals and push the song to its limit.
I Feel Lucky is a new classic track that really reminds one of songs like My Pledge of Love by the Joe Jeffery Group from 1969. Tini captures these old grooves and makes them sound brand new for audiences who most likely have never listened to the roots of soul music. With a bit of Tyrone Davis, some Bill Withers and some Gamble Huff style song writing, Tini makes music that is rich in history but not stuck in the past. Check out Just Smile, you can feel its groove taking you away. This is positive music, music that makes your smile, you might sing along, but you will want to get up and groove to the positive sounds of Just Smile
The track is smooth without being slick delivering heartfelt vocal which is not over processed so the truth and soul of the singer comes through. Record labels always seem to over process music these days. But Tini Gray has produced a solid rock and soul cd that offers plenty of soul with real emotions and honest music oozing from the grooves of the cd. Music is a magical thing and Tini Grey has captured one of the most magical music releases heard by a male singer in many years.
Weatherman lends its self to a more pop jazz sound which although well done, simply does not have the soulful sound of some other tracks but does show his versatility style, though this track has more in common with artist like Harry Connick, Jr. than soul artist of the sixties.
This is artist will bring smiles to the faces of many people who like the older styles and always say there is no good music anymore. Well here it is don’t waste any more time, don’t debate it, this is the real thing, go buy it today.
This is the best male vocal album of 2012 hands down. Not because Tini is the greatest singer but because he captures the soul of each song. Forget the Grammy awards, this is the real music you have all been missing.
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This blog has written about quite a few bands and a few other things, mobile apps to be specific. With each passing moment people find less value in music today than at any other time in my life. Gone are the days of flipping through albums to find new music to listen to. Now there are too many choices to be had. This goes back to the very reason I started this blog in the first place. With so many choices in music the general public does not have the time to find new music to listen to. Oh they hear what the radio plays but since most of the best music is never played on the radio. With the loss of value that was once placed on music now artist make more out of T-Shirt sales than cd sales and for indie artist, (which most are) that is especially true.
So the problems arise with so many artists to choose from, from so many sources to find music via the internet how does the public decide if they like something. Well believe it or night being told something is good by someone is a very powerful tool. If it comes from friends or acquaintances from work people tend to trust those opinions. Also music reviews are a very powerful tool for artist to promote their music. With over three hundred submissions for a review only twenty five or less is chosen for review by New Classic Music For Tomorrow, because there are too many artist who can’t meet the level of professionalism or they simply don’t appeal on a gut level.
How do mobile apps play into the every changing music scene? I asked the question a few weeks ago, do you think mobile apps will replace cds and mp3’s. Well the simple truth is they should. Web sites are great for hosting your music and making sales from places you might not have thought about. But now with smartphones and QR code technology you can add a mobile twist to the whole picture and though not free. They are much more effective at driving traffic and making sales than web sites with millions of bands to choose from. It’s simply too many bands for the average consumer to even consider searching anything below the top five pages since there is probably already more than enough music for them to listen to for six months at least on those top five pages.
Mobile apps are very important for indie bands future. I am convinced that independent bands can make a living using their own customized mobile app to promote, marketing and book their band. Assuming you are a working band and not just playing out once or twice a month. In essence the mobile app becomes your record label, your promoter, booking agent, PR, marketing and sales company all wrapped up into one bundle on your bands customized mobile app.
Seems cheaper than printing cds and covers, seems cheaper than paying internet sites to maintain fan signup list, seems cheaper than paying sites to sale your music, seems cheaper than printing flyers for shows and there is more. It also allows artist to market directly to opt in consumers who want to interact with artist and even companies. They want the latest news from their favorite band as soon as they can get it. When a band has a mobile app the information is sent directly to the fan who will have no need to log in, no need to remember as password, no they only need to opt in and download the app to their phones’ home page and they will receive all the latest news as soon as the artist either text blast it or simply updates the app itself.
From this point of view the mobile app simply becomes the new cd or mp3 from the band that has so much more for the fans to enjoy from the band, personal interaction, instant feedback what more could any band want. With fans basically carrying around your release on their phones they can share instantly with friends anywhere in the world. Fans become the word of might promotion with your app in hand building your network from a grass roots level. With so many millions of artist to choose from fans who are told how good you are by a friend and then they friend sends your app, this is a powerful word of mouth marketing that cuts through all the thousands of artist on web sites and in different web site charts and goes straight to potential fans mobile device.
Writing about artist is something I do for fun and to help artist get their music reviewed. I recently got involved with phone apps and being a long time vinyl record collector and CDs I feel a new trend is taking place in the music industry. With artist selling fewer and fewer hard copies of their music and more and more revenue is being generated by t-shirts and other merchandise sales and less and less by actual music sales. The ideal that a phone app could be the new music medium, focused more on the distributing the phone app for free with the music included and pushing for the sale of more merchandise to the artist fans, seems like a likely scenario to change the landscape of the music industry.
Music has lost its power of influence over the buying public. People use to hang on a new artist release and buy the album as soon as they could get a copy. Now even top artist like Lady Gaga who has sold millions copies but with the price reduced to $0.99 for downloads and most sales coming via downloads there is a paradigm shift taking place in the music industry that many have not grasped. Music has lost is value with the buying public.
Working with Stage Band Network and ShowBiz Apps has been an enlightening experience from not only a artist point of view, also from a music consumer point of view.
Why would people pay for music when they can get the app for free with all the music included and with the right app the artist can update the music or pics, videos, show dates at any time.
You can add merchandise when it becomes available. Unlike a vinyl lp or cd that cannot be changed the mobile phone app becomes and ever changing release.
The opt in format of mobile apps leaves the fan in charge, however it provides the artist with a great tool for marketing to the fans who want to receive marketing through this direct pipeline of exchange. More importantly fans want this kind of interaction with artist.
There are many options to choose from when it comes to mobile marketing and I would recommend that every artist who’s target audience is under thirty five look into getting a mobile app for your act. If you are a working band it is one of the most effective ways to market to your target audience.
There are a few things to consider. Price, you can get a mobile app for the price of a show. If you are a 5 piece band playing for $75 dollars a show each one show will pay for a mobile app. The ability to edit the app is also a major factor in buying an app. Many of the companies offering apps only allow content changes through the company, some even limit the changes, some even charge for the updates. There is no need for any of that. Many offer text blasting and that is very important to get unlimited text blasting. Or at least a very low rate for text blasting.
With the major shift in the music industry taking place over the last 10 years or so artist must now decide for themselves the best way to promote their career and with mobile marketing you are making the right decision.
Feedback would be greatly appreciated on this topic.
Karen Collins & the Backroads Band-No Yodeling on the Radio
When this cd started playing and the vocalist started singing it was a sound that brought back memories of artist from many years ago. With a voice that would have fit perfectly in the 50’s and 60’s era of country music. Karen Collins has a lot in common with artist like Loretta Lynn and specially Rose Maddox. With the sort of comic yodeling that is engaging and reminds one of artist from the days gone by. You can tell this lady loved Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers and probably both the Loretta and Rose. Here voice is a quirky mix of country charm and offbeat humor. A bit of Minnie Pearl echoes in the air when Karen sings. The song No Yodeling on the Radio is a pure delight. With a modern twist on the lyrics, with the vocals winding down the road of country music history, Karen Collins is an enigma in the music scene.
If you grew up on Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, Tammy Wynette, Rose Maddox and other such greats from country music then Karen Collins and the Backroads Band a wonderful modern take on an old style. There is some fine picking on this cd by band members Ira Gitlin and Geff King. The bands plays rock solid grooves though out the cd rocking when they need to and playing it nice and easy when it’s called for.
That There Boogie is a jaunt into the rockabilly boogie sound with excellent effect. Too Much Me, Not Enough You could easily have been recorded by Loretta and is an example of how Karen uses the throwback sound to excellent effect. Mama’s In A Honky Tonk Downtown is another track that could easily be a classic country track. Though I think it would have worked better with Karen doing the vocals.
Parallel Lines is an acoustic Americana style song that has nice duet by Karen and Geff King.
Salvation Saloon follows in the foot steps of classic country music and if you are a fan of the artist mentioned then you should enjoy this cd for years to come.
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The Well Pennies offer up a delightful mix of folk pop, much in the vein of Donovan and others. The simple approach works well for the band as their vocal harmonies intertwine on the tracks into an easy going relaxing style. The vocals blend wonderfully together and each making the other vocals stronger.
Though described as folk the Well Pennies are much deeper that a folk band with their rich tight pop vocal harmonies that blend the rich warmth of their vocals into a weave of happiness, joy, pain and fun.
The catchy sound of Nothing To Do could easily be used in many of the TV or movies made today and it would be an excellent track to use. This band is putting out some fine enjoyable easy listening folky pop music. All the Pretty Girls is another wonderful folky pop ditty that would also work well in TV or movies. There warm and inviting sound is light and airy like such modern artist as Lindi Ortega with her track Angels. As this band continues to grow, they will forge a place in the music world for themselves and will have many fans to follow along.
However I don’t’ believe the Well Pennies will have a hit record because their music does not fit the Top 40 of today. But they are producing excellent music that deserves to be on the charts and would have been in the sixties when there was no music formatting. I can imagine the song Nothing to Do following the Mamas & Papas, Or the aforementioned Donovan on the radio, maybe right before It’s a Beautiful Morning by The Rascals.
Pretty lofty company if you are a fan of that era of music, so don’t wait enjoy the new sounds of the Well Pennies and you can hear excellent music again.
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Melanie Rose Dyer-The Long Way Around
From the beginning of this cd one is struck by the power of Melanie’s vocal style, Rough with a sweet edge, powerful without being over bearing. The first track on the cd is the rocking. First Time in Forever with its roots in the style of Bonnie Raitt, it captures a timeless sound. She follows it us with a bluesy rock ballad with a bit of soul full sax added for good measure. Melanie fools the listener time and time again with her intros as one thinks they will be soft rock ballads but they flow into a powerful time honored tradition of rock n’ roll. Never heavy, not to sweet, Melanie’s deep and powerful vocals swell above the music and soar to a warm an inviting groove. Track three is I Don’t Wanna Walk it follows the formula laid down in the first track. Roots from the by gone years of the sixties and seventies with a feeling of warmth permeates the cd from start to finish.
Melanie is not an incredible singer; instead she proves she is rock solid with many years of experience that shine though out the cd on various tracks. Her style is a laid back easy flowing sound that has a warm, inviting sound to it. While her vocals may not be incredible, they pull you in with their powerful individual sound. She reminds me of a mix between Peggy Lee with her pop origins and Bonnie Raitt with her bluesy sound.
Melanie Rose Dyer delivers a fine cd that is a worth owning. click the pic to buy it.
As you all know I use Sonicbids for submissions as well as taking them via the site. However lately I have noticed that bands are reaching out but then never sending their music for review. So I have had a bit of a slow down. Please do contact me if you would like to be considered for a review.
The Vast Countenance is a very pop oriented band, with Beatlesque guitar melodies and light airy harmony vocals. Capturing sounds of music that carries the trouble of the world away as you listen to them. They mix a rock edge to pop sense, with harmonies you could hear on almost any 60’s release. The keyboard adds a rolling sound to the band that keeps the music uplifting and joyous. The band really hits its groove when Johan and Nico join vocals on At Your Feet. Johans voice is solid but shines more when duetting. Nico has a very solid vocal that soars and takes the song along with her. Working together they are pure magic.
Fans of more acoustic rock will be quite happy with this CD. Mixing their soft rock with a bit of folk and harmony vocals their music soars from out of the past into the present day. The sax softly blowing in the background on These Grey Skies adds interesting twist to a haunting familiar sound. If you could turn the tables on the pop charts today and get rid of the 50Cents/Lady Gaga factory music, you would discover the heart of music is not posturing and flamboyant stage acts. No its about the gentle piano sounds that echo in your mind for years and the melodies haunting your memories. Not music you forget about three months after it came out. Musically the band is talented and prove it song after song. Johans vocals are like a lot of singers you have to let your ears adjust to them. I have found that over the years I am drawn to voices that are not typical. He reminds me at different times of Jimmy Dale Gilmore without being over the top. As the group sound hints of artist like Delaney and Bonnie though there is little if any southern influence in this music. Folk influenced pop rock is what you get in pleasing three and four minute doses. Like little happy pills that you only have to hear to make you feel better.
When I listen to a CD and I only skip one song which I did on this disc I know that the band has staying power, not that they will become rich and famous selling music in todays music market. But if you want to spend your money and be listening to the music in ten years then buy The Vast Countenance-Elephant Child CD.
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Myrna Riquier Momma’s Flowers
I grew up in North Carolina which is steeped in the traditional sounds of bluegrass and country music. Having lived in New England for a number of years you don’t hear this style of music as often but it still has a faithful following. Myrna D. Riquier is a songwriter who has written some fine bluegrass songs that sound like they could have been written many years ago. Myrna has taken a different route than most songwriters by using Nashville Session musicians to perform her songs. With the nondescript artist playing the music that Myrna has written we hear solid roots bluegrass music that is steeped in the traditional sounds, no new grass here. You would expect to hear The Coon Creek Girls or The Stanley Brothers playing this music to their adoring followers. The use of the Nashville Session players gives the CD a high quality performance that you sometimes don’t get with songwriters who put out their own demos.
Myrna captures the hopes and joys of life and living in her songwriting. The music is more traditional than most artists write these days and reflects that in the overall sound. The music sounds old and has a hauntingly familiar sound of artists like Roy Acuff, Bill Monroe etc. The CD is steeped in traditional bluegrass from many years ago. Lonesome, winsome and fragile, the songs Myrna has written are a joy to listen to and I hope to hear some artist record her songs and make them their own, which is the goal of every songwriter.
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If you grew up in the hills of NC, SC, VA, TN and Kentucky you hears lots of bands that sound familiar to Cabinet but few can stand up to the quality of Cabinet. This is a top notch sounding band. Much in the vein of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band with their bluegrass infused brand of country rock. Using the traditional sounds of the genre Cabinet rocks it up just a little bit more and has less a country feel that perhaps lends itself to a more rock, new grass infused sound. But Cabinet knows it roots like the traditional sounds of bluegrass picking and they simply tear it up when they delve into the bluegrass sounds.
I hear baby boomer’s say all the time there is no good music anymore, which of course is an absurd comment since they never turn off their classic rock stations and search for anything new. Those who grew up on the likes of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Dave Bromberg, Doc & Merle Watson should have no problem relating to the sound of Cabinet. With their excellent musicianship this band can entertain the audience with rock and roll, country rock or straight bluegrass and they are not afraid to mix the three genres together.
There are deep roots in this band that stretch deep into the roots of music history and produce a sound that is old yet new. Some fine playing that equals any of the artist I have mentioned in this article. Cabinet makes the music their own by not following the rules as so many bands do. Thinking they can’t stretch a bluegrass number into a sort of psychedelic country rock hybrid and make it work. Cabinet has not such doubts as they pick there way through traditional bluegrass all the while turning and twisting the songs to the beat they walk to. Steeped in tradition, steeped in the roots of music, Cabinet leaves no doubt they can play with the best of them. The vocals have a touch of traditional country ala Johnny Horton, Merle Travis and the like, yet the infusion of up beat music keeps your feet moving no matter if it is a bluegrass number that is a classic jam or if it is a country rock infused number, Cabinet leaves the listener satisfied and wanting more.
After listening to This is Cabinet Set 1 their newest release, I went back into the past and listened to their 2009 release Cabinet. Just by listening one can hear how much this band has matured in last few years, the vocals and the songwriting are more mature, the playing as always is a pure delight. The 2009 release is more bluegrass tradition than the newest release with its country rock infused sound. Both releases are excellent and belong on your shelf or at least on your hard drive.
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