Tag Archives: Review


20 Jul

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Belgium review translated:
Of the six tracks on the EP “Things Are Looking Up” by the Australian-American acoustic rock band “The Walk-A-Bout” from Long Island, New York, there are two songs that we have heard before, especially ” Oasis “and” Drifting Tide “which was added as bonus tracks to this mini album.
This five-member band was formed around the Australian lead singer Darren ‘Sully’ Sullivan and is completed with Kevin Anderson on acoustic guitar, Dave Christian on electric guitar, Michael Perrotta on bass and Drew Bertrand on drums. The latter also took on the role of producer of this six-track EP.
Kevin Anderson and Darren Sullivan are the songwriters of service for all tracks on this album, which starts with the title track “Things Are Looking Up”, followed by the melodic single “That’s Just The Way It Goes”, a gently ripping rock ballad that we you have given to the accompanying video for an introduction.
“By My Side” we find a rather mediocre song, but the subsequent “Consequences” carries our full approval. As mentioned above, song number five “Oasis” and six “Drifting Tide” are previously recorded tracks from their debut album “The Walk-A Bout” released last year. We suspect therefore that this ep-tje forms a snack to a second full-fledged record, which is expected to come on the market early next year.


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5 Jul

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Translated from German:



The Walk-A-Bout / Things Are Looking Up – CD review


With an official drum intro “Things Are Looking Up” starts and without delay Kevin begins his acoustic play, which immediately shows what it’s all about: Straightforward rock with a slightly jazzy flair. Also Darren sets without much instrumental Vorbrimborium his voice and we are in the middle in a very pleasant and great music.

Seldom is acoustic guitar playing so full and dynamic, so virtuoso and groovy rocking, as it flows from Kevin Anderson’shands. Kevin was a guitar player for a long time, until he met the Australian singer / songwriter, harmonica and (well, Australia) didgeridoo Darren ‘Sully’ Sullivan . At the end of 2015, they started working together. Darren wrote the lyrics to Kevin’smusic, and drummer and producer Drew Bertrand becameaware of this collaboration . He recognized the potential of the two and worked with them, honing harmonies and sound sequences, and contacting his friend and partner, Michael Perrotta, a multi-instrumentalist as well as a studio partner. Michael adjusted the arrangements and teased the bass.

Their first album was released in 2017 and local radio stations played their music, which was absolutely well received. By Airplay was Drew’s friend, the guitarist and singer Dave Christian , the Walk-A-Boutsattentive, was enthusiastic and made representations. And that was a good thing, because now the band from Long Island, New York had found the final sound. The involvement of Christian , who now Kevin is an acoustic guitar, the electric counterpart to the site and also enhances the song, gave the troops a further Fanzuwachs and that the fan base will continue to grow, is for me beyond question, because the sound is perfect.

Relaxt cool, with slightly jazzy cadenzas, maybe with a hint Steely Dan or Fagen solo presents the new album, which is unfortunately only a 25-minute EP, at first and rough view. But the water-drenched musicians – the vicious circle of those with whom they’ve worked together, names such as Santana , Grateful Dead , David Murray or   Bob Marley – offer a lot more under that tunic of harmony. As the Harp shows musical images of the Blues Travelers , Phish and moe become rhythmically and technically .Nevertheless, the Walk-A-Bouts are clearly recognizable, as on the one hand the forced acoustic guitar playing and the pleasantly distinctive voice of Sully in connection with the precise songwriting are a striking fragrance brand. This is particularly audible in the last two tracks of the disc, because in contrast to the four other pieces are not new, but come from the debut and thus there is missing the electric guitar.

The fact that Dave Christian is on board with the first four numbers on “Things Are Looking Up” is the second reason why the Walk-A-Bouts are identifiable at any time. Because the combination of the unreinforced and amplified guitars is an extremely enthralling. Even though Kevin has a decent punch on the strings, Dave’s electric strings are more than just the icing on the cake. His playing nestles into the compositions and gives the band sound that certain something that turns very good music into brilliant music. Nice to hear on “Be My Side”, where he lays a – unfortunately only short – solo to kneel down. Also, the backings, which he gives to the best, make this piece for me the hit of the disc.

Although the EP only consists of six pieces, two of which are without electrical, it is a big tip. The silverling will accompany me through the summer. It fits on Saturday mornings while cooling drinks and building a grill. He fits later when grilling and cooling the drinks and he also fits the after-grill barbecue. Strong disc and, as already mentioned, far too short.

Line-up The Walk-A-Bout:

Kevin Anderson (acoustic guitar)
Darren ‘Sully’ Sullivan (lead vocals, harp)
Drew ‘Drumz’ Bertrand (drums)
Michael Perrotta (bass)
Dave Christian (electric guitar, backing vocals)

Tracklist “Things Are Looking Up”:

  1. Things Are Looking Up
  2. That’s Just The Way It Goes
  3. By My Side
  4. Consequences
  5. Oasis
  6. Drifting Tide

Total playing time: 25:22, year of publication: 2018





27 Jun

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The well-known American musician and producer Narada Michael Walden from San Rafael, California, most people probably know the best of his world hit “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme”, the duet that in 1985 together with Patti Austin to the top of the charts Has sung. This 66-year-old artist has had his own recording studio ‘Tarpan Studios’ for some time now, where he offers new talent a chance to record a record.

This often involves stunning women, because that is why this old confectioner has a lot of knowledge and expertise. In addition, they are talented singer-songwriters who mainly operate in the soul and R & B music scene. On our ‘Rootstime’ pages we have already reviewed a lot of those albums produced by Narada Michael Walden in recent years.

Now we received “Open Your Heart”, a four-song debut EP from the Bulgarian mother and Nigerian father born singer-songwriter Emily Johnson. Producer and co-composer of the four songs is Narada Michael Walden and on three of the four tracks he also provides all musical accompaniment as a multi-instrumentalist, while Emily Johnson naturally takes care of the vocals.

The title track “Open Your Heart” is also the single that was pulled out of this EP and also the song you can listen to on the accompanying video. It is an uptempo song with a positive message, for which Emily Johnson was inspired by, among others, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and the musicians Michael Jackson and John Lennon.

The three other songs that this ‘The Lady Of Heart’ named singer puts on her record are the epic opening track “The Light”, the rocking “I’m Blessed” and the poppy song “Baby Forever” floating on a nice beat. The experienced music lover will not be able to compare the comparison with Whitney Houston when listening to this minialbum in terms of vocal performance.

Her musical mentor is John McLaughlin, the 76-year-old English jazz guitarist and band leader of the ‘Mahavishnu Orchestra’, who also brought her to the attention of Narada Michael Walden, formerly also a drummer with his orchestra. This EP “Open Your Heart” is a first introduction to this future soul and R & B star, because we will be able to hear a lot more from Emily Johnson in the coming years, is beyond dispute.





For more information about OPEN YOUR HEART or live EMILY JOHNSON performances please visit her website: www.emilyjohnsonofficial.com


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To see the video for the title song “OPEN YOUR HEART” please visit:





12 Jun

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11 Jun

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8 Jun

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George St. Clair

Ballads of Captivity and Freedom

Review by Gary Hill
This set seems to be a concept album in some ways. At least, at lot of the songs are about Native American history. There are other things, though, that are about contemporary issues, but they seem related to the others, leading me to think that it’s more or less a concept set, but that the concept is a rather loose one. Musically this is the kind of thing that would have been quite at home on the radio in the 1970s. There is a lot of the soft rock of music like The Eagles and America built into this album.  Yet, it also has a lot of country in it. Then again, so did most of the soft rock of the early 70s. This is a timeless album that is very effective. As good as the music is, the stories woven into the lyrics really shine with an immediacy and honesty.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Coming in with a mellow, folky vibe, this gets some country elements added to the mix as it makes its way forward. It’s a classy tune with a classic sound at its heart. I suppose “soft rock with plenty of Southern twang” is pretty close to the description of this.
The Places Where They Prayed
A mellower, slower moving piece, this has a lot more country in the mix. There is a spoken movement further down the road.
Autumn 1889
This is an even mellower number. It has less country music built into it, though. It makes think of a cross between Jackson Browne and The Eagles.
Energized folk rock, this is another classy cut. It’s not a huge change, but has some solid hooks and a good groove.
Good Times
With a lot more country built into it, this has a real old-time music vibe. The piano solo bit is cool, as is the slide guitar.
With a lot of folk and soft rock in the mix, this one definitely makes me think of the acoustic side of The Eagles.
Up to Fail
One of the most rocking tunes here, this is definitely built on folk music, making it the definition of folk rock. Some of the guitar sounds on this make me think of Neil Young a bit. The lyrics to this tell a dark tale of the reality of life. This gets a minor parental advisory, but also has a powerhouse guitar solo.
Lie to Them
The guitar picking on this number brings a lot of country to the table. This is an effective number that does a good job of combining the country and rock elements.
This song has a good balance between mellower rock and more powered up, dreamy type stuff. It’s a powerful piece of music.
New Mexico
Energetic music, there is plenty of country in the slide guitar that dances around a lot of this. Still, overall it’s more in line with soft rock music.
Pedro Páramo
I dig the folk music vibe on this piece.
Talkin Mesquite
This reminds me of Johnny Cash’s “I’ve Been Everywhere.” The acoustic guitar sounds are intricate and the vocals are spoken.




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US Track-by-Track Review: KARNEY “NO MERCY”

7 Jun

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No Mercy

Review by Gary Hill
Karney consistently releases intriguing music. Her sound is typically hard to pin down, but lands closest to progressive rock. That said, there is music here that’s not prog. I have to say that I question the choice for opener because if there is a song that doesn’t work as well as the rest, that’s it. The closing section of the album is the strongest, too.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
No Mercy
This comes in with a classic hard edged progressive rock sound. It shifts down to a more stripped back arrangement for the vocals. The chorus powers up to some soaring material. The verse feels a bit awkward, but the chorus really redeems the track with plenty to spare. The guitar solo is hard rocking and particularly cool.
Wild Green
A fairly mellow movement opens this cut with some middle Eastern elements at play. It powers out to harder rocking sounds that lean toward metal. The balance between the hard-edged and less crunchy here works really well. There are male spoken vocals almost more as sound bites on this. The whole cut is a lot more effective than the opener was. Somehow the guitar soloing makes me think of Huw Lloyd Langton’s work in Hawkwind to a large degree.
Restless Wind
Starting with a mellower, intricate musical motif, there is a lot of folk in the mix here. This cut is not as proggy as the previous numbers were. It has more of a folk rock (with even some country in the mix) sound to it. It’s a solid number, though. It’s quite effective. The rocking guitar solo is noteworthy. When it starts rocking out more it’s along the lines of electric folk rock.
Same Song
While there is a lot of folk rock in the mix here, too, this works more into the prog end of the spectrum. When it soars out to the more powerful stuff, that prog aspect is clearer yet. Again the guitar solo is so strong.
I Got Mine
There is a real punky vibe to this stomper. It feels a lot like Blondie to me. The mid-track section still has that same element, but it does get a bit more prog-like. This is screaming hot and topical.
Speed of a Bullet
The basis of this is hard rocking, but there are these crazed prog sections built into it. I suppose that I’d consider the song proper to be sort of an AOR prog sound. The breaks are so cool. They remind me a bit of Frank Zappa. The second part of this is more based on that crazed section, but it drops to more melodic stuff at the end.
Not Lost
Coming in mellower and more folk music based, this works out gradually. It gets a bit more rocking and prog based as it does so.
Hold On
A faster paced rocker, this also makes me think of Blondie. It is definitely not the proggiest thing here, but there are some hints of prog in the mix at times.
Beautiful Day
I dig this tasty rocker. It has a lot of folk music in the mix along with some prog and other rocking elements. The closing section is really powerful.
I Got the Light
A fairly fast paced, but melodic, jam opens this. Horns come across as the song is moved into decidedly progressive rock (albeit jazz based) territory. The guitar soloing really dances all over the place in some killer patterns. I love the fact that there are still guitar fills underway during some of the vocal sections. The horn section gets control of a breakout movement, too. This might be my favorite piece here. It’s just so cool.
Manifest Destiny
A fast paced tune, this one has the progressive rock tendencies wrapped all around it. It’s another highlight of the disc. There is a short excursion into space rock mid track.
9 Lines – In the 21st Century
A hard edged tune, this slower than the previous cut. To some degree this cut makes me think of Nico and the Velvet Underground. A male vocal later in the piece brings hints of hip hop, but the piece is clearly hard rock based. There are definitely leanings toward space rock and psychedelia. This is another standout. Given the intensity of it, it’s a great choice for closing shot.





For more information please visit Karney’s website at www.karney.org


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