2.18.2015

#reviewoftheweek / Chadwick Stokes - The Horse Comanche

Solo albums are hard to separate from the body of work done by a musicians other bands, but Chadwick Stokes does an excellent job when breaking away from Dispatch and State Radio. This album is a folk masterpiece, and surprisingly, it is produced by Iron And Wine's Sam Beam. Making for an interesting partnership, Stokes takes his protest-style lyrics and delivery and combines them with some 60's era folk sounds, while also giving them a modern twist. Born from a series of living rooms shows, this album features some of Chad's best lyrics and interesting songs, and the furthest departure from Dispatch and State Radio to date. Songs like "I Want You Like A Seatbelt" and "Mother Maple" rock a little heavier than others, and the cornerstone of the album is the first single, "Our Lives Our Time," which is the most familiar sounding song on the album. Highlights include the folky "Prison Blue Eyes" and "New Haven" which featuring collaborative vocals by the girls from the indie rock band Lucius, which is another welcome twist on the album. All in all, Chadwick Stokes is one of this generations best road warrior type singer/songwriters, and this album is a great new collection of unique songs. Although he's not all over the airwaves like other musicians, his almost 20 year history on the indie roots rock scene has allowed him to prove his worth through music like this.

2.11.2015

#reviewoftheweek / Benjamin Booker - Live At Third Man Records

Jack White's Third Man Records has become an institution. Now, one of 2014's best new artists has released a live performance he gave at that very place. He doesn't have a back catalogue of music, so the setlist is mostly taken from his debut album, but because that album was so awesome, it makes for a great live show. The highlights of the set are the first 2 and the last 2 tracks. The end of the album features gritty live performances of his critically acclaimed single "Violent Shiver" and the hard rocking album standout "Have You Seen My Son?" Benjamin Booker is a stunning young talent harnessing sounds from way beyond his years, showing that there are certain timeless eras of music. Benjamin Booker takes his old school blues rock and mixes in a whole lot of rock and punk live on stage. The only thing better than this recording would have been to be there in person. This album is a great way to reinforce just how pure Booker's music is.

2.04.2015

#reviewoftheweek / The Lone Bellow - Then Came The Morning

After having wowed critics and fans alike with their debut album, The Lone Bellow have returned with the second chapter in their story. Seemingly quick after the release and subsequent popularity of their first album, a second collection of songs might seem like just a bunch of throwaways from the first album's recording sessions. However, this album doesn't quite begin where the last left off, and, in fact, it has a quite different sound while still remaining familiar. The title track, which is the first single, is a defining moment for the album, kicking it off by opening the listeners ears to the rootsier, rockier sound of the new album. However, despite a few tracks that show of the southern rock elements of the band's sound like "Fake Roses" and "Cold As It Is," the band still showcases that their are rooted in folk music. The album as a whole has a fuller and bigger sound than the first, while still maintaining the intimacy of their music. Sometimes it takes a second album as good as the first to prove that a band is the real deal, and the Lone Bellow have crated just that.

2.01.2015

BURN THIS / February 2015









  1. Mat Kearney "Heartbeat"
  2. Jessie Baylin "Creepers (Young Love)"
  3. Joshua Radin "We'll keep Running Forever"
  4. Will Dailey "Higher Education"
  5. Greg Holden "Hold On Tight"
  6. Needtobreathe "Multiplied"
  7. Judah & The Lion "Rich Kids"
  8. Elenowen "Half A Mile"
  9. JD McPherson "Let The Good Times Roll"
  10. JJ Grey & Mofro "Every Minute"
  11. Gill Landry "Just Like You"
  12. Brandi Carlile "Wherever Is Your Heart"
  13. Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors "Shine Like Lightning"
  14. The Lone Bellow "Cold As It Is"
  15. Joe Pug "Stay And Dance"
  16. Luke Reynolds "No Way To Know What's Coming"
  17. Chadwick Stokes "Prison Blue Eyes"
  18. Benjamin Booker "Wicked Waters"
  19. Jessica Lea Mayfield "Standing In The Sun"
  20. The Barr Brothers "Love Ain't Enough"

1.28.2015

#reviewoftheweek / Elenowen - For The Taking

Going underappreciated can be a thing of beauty if utilized in the right way. Elenowen, while briefly coming close to superstardom, have allowed themselves to use their brief recognition to foster their success and creativity. This album is their defining moment, and it is every bit of excellent as you'd expect. The title track is one of the album's best, but it on songs like "Half A Mile" and "Losing The Lonely" where to duo shines. Showing off many facets of their musical influences, the album contains traces of blues, folk, and even a bit of southern rock, while still remaining true to their original sound. The music's greatness is compounded by their excellent lyricism, and now Elenowen is poised to make a name for themselves on their own terms. Sometimes all you need is a platform to let the world know you exist. For Elenowen, now there won't be an opportunity to be overlooked.

1.21.2015

#reviewoftheweek / Jukebox The Ghost - Jukebox The Ghost

Even though these guys have been around for a while, it seems as though this album is the one that's going to put them on the map for a lot of music fans. Maybe it's because it's self titled and maybe its because its possibly their most musically accessible to date, but either way the recognition and discovery is long overdue. The lead single, "The Great Unknown," shows off the piano driven indie pop that JTG has been know for throughout their career, while bridging the gap from indie and experimental to a bit more mainstream of a sound. The song has been featured on TV and is sure to gain airplay on radio from top 40 to AAA to alternative as soon as the masses grab hold. The music on the entire album is incredibly heartfelt and lyrically driven, while showing off a simpler side of indie rock. These guys would have been right at home in the 90's on radio alongside acts like Ben Folds Five and Semisonic, and could quite possible turn on a new generation to this style of pop alternative rock music. Jukebox The Ghost are soulful and energetic at the same time, making for their latest album to fit right into the mainstream music world.

1.14.2015

#reviewoftheweek / Luke Reynolds - After The Flood

After having fronted indie roots rock band Blue Merle and released a few albums on his own, Luke Reynolds became the fourth member of the indie rock band Guster. That doesn't mean that the music stops flowing from his head through the pen to paper and eventually on tape. Reynolds has released one of his best collections of music to date, which encompasses his entire musical career, as a frontman, as a solo artist, and even as a session musician. He is a talented multi-instrumentalist with the ability to lyricize, making him the total package. Songs like "No Way To Know What's Coming" and "A Million Miles Away" are instantly catchy in the way that radio friendly pop songs are, but yet still stand far enough away from center to be unique and different. It is always amazing when musicians can crank out music in different incarnations simultaneously, and Luke Reynolds has proven to be one of the best at it. While he may stand at the side at times, he has proven that the reason he is an asset to so many bands and musicians is because of his immense talent and ability to take on any musical role.

1.07.2015

#reviewoftheweek / Guster - Evermotion

Almost 5 years since the release of their previous album, Guster has returned with a new chapter in their story. The cool thing about it is that this album, like all the others, doesn't really sound like a repeat performance. Partnering with producer Richard Swift (The Shins) has allowed them to venture on some different tangents on this record, most notably the addition and utilization of the keyboard in all its forms (piano, synth, etc.). The first single has been on the airwaves for a few months and is a showcase of the band's ability to deliver a 3 minute pop song that doesn't sound like other stuff on the radio. They have already previewed half of the album online including the songs "Endlessly," "Never Coming Down," "Long Night," and "Gangway." These four are sure to become setlist staples on their upcoming tour with the ambient "Long Night" and the synth driven "Endlessly" possibly popping up as the band's lead song. "Never Coming Down" is a tropical summery sounding song showing off the band's simplicity and acoustic roots and "Gangway" is the track where the album's title is lifted from and also a truly well crafted lyrical number. The two tracks that bring the band full circle bridging their past with their present are possibly two of the best on the album, and are sure to become standouts and fan favorites instantly. They are "Doin' It By Myself" and "Kid Dreams" and they feature the band showing off their acoustic instruments, including a bit of hand drumming percussion thrown in for good measure. They've been busy in recent years revisiting past albums on anniversary tours but with the recording and release of "Evermotion," Guster has maintained that 20 years in existence is a result of their love for music, fans, and the journey. Their past has produced their present and staying power comes from reinventing themselves without alienating their roots.  "Evermotion" is a colorful representation of just that concept and a cohesive and superb album that could only come from this band at this time. As with all their previous releases, this album is going to wow and impress the die hard lifelong fans as well as turn on a whole new generation to one of the best bands around that are doing it their own way.

1.01.2015

BURN THIS / January 2015









  1. Ben Howard "Rivers In Your Mouth"
  2. Vance Joy "First Time"
  3. Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors "Here We Go"
  4. Shakey Graves "Dearly Departed"
  5. JD McPherson "Bossy"
  6. Benjamin Booker "Happy Homes"
  7. The Revivalists "When I'm Able"
  8. O.A.R. "Favorite Song"
  9. SOJA "Tear It Down"
  10. Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad "Whatever Cost"
  11. Rebelution "Fade Away"
  12. Blue King Brown "All Nations"
  13. The Beautiful Girls "Until My Kingdom Comes"
  14. Tristan Prettyman "Waves"
  15. Guster "Never Coming Down"
  16. Ray LaMontagne "Ojai"
  17. Piers Faccini & Vincent Segal "Cradle To The Grave"
  18. The Mattson 2 "Dif Juz"
  19. Tommy Guerrero "The Lone Pistolero"
  20. Adam Topol "Bumping At The Breakwater"

12.31.2014

THE BEST ALBUMS OF 2014

  1. Phish - Fuego
  2. G. Love & Special Sauce - Sugar
  3. John Butler Trio - Flesh & Blood
  4. Angus & Julia Stone - Angus & Julia Stone
  5. moe. - No Guts, No Glory
  6. SOJA - Amid The Noise And Haste
  7. Ray LaMontagne - Supernova
  8. Conor Oberst - Upside Down Mountain
  9. Broken Bells - After The Disco
  10. Beck - Morning Phase
  11. Vance Joy - Dream Your Life Away
  12. Maroon 5 - V
  13. Bahamas - Bahamas Is Afie
  14. Ben Howard - I Forgot Where We Were
  15. Counting Crows - Somewhere Under Wonderland
  16. Coldplay - Ghost Stories
  17. The Black Keys - Turn Blue
  18. Benjamin Booker - Benjamin Booker
  19. Ryan Adams - Ryan Adams
  20. O.A.R. - The Rockville LP
  21. Rebelution - Count Me In
  22. Trevor Hall - Chapter Of The Forest
  23. St. Paul & The Broken Bones - Half The City
  24. Jack White - Lazaretto
  25. Hozier - Hozier
  26. Tweedy - Sukierae
  27. The War On Drugs - Lost In The Dream
  28. Foo Fighters - Sonic Highways
  29. The Belle Brigade - Just Because
  30. Royal Blood - Royal Blood