1. Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color
  2. Guster - Evermotion
  3. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats - Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
  4. Dawes - All Your Favorite Bands
  5. Trey Anastasio - Paper Wheels
  6. My Morning Jacket - The Waterfall
  7. Mumford & Sons - Wilder Mind
  8. Leon Bridges - Coming Home
  9. Death Cab For Cutie - Kintsugi
  10. Chadwick Stokes - The Horse Comanche
  11. Matt Nathanson - Show Me Your Fangs
  12. Allen Stone - Radius
  13. G. Love & Special Sauce - Love Saves The Day
  14. The Chemical Brothers - Born In The Echoes
  15. Rayland Baxter - Imaginary Man
  16. Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit
  17. The Revivalists - Men Amongst Mountains
  18. James Bay - Chaos And The Calm
  19. JJ Grey & Mofro - Ol' Glory
  20. Brandi Carlile - The Firewatcher's Daughter
  21. Jarryd James - Thirty One
  22. Gary Clark Jr. - The Story Of Sonny Boy Slim
  23. Trevor Hall - Kala
  24. Disclosure - Caracal
  25. Anderson East - Delilah
  26. ALO - Tangle Of Time
  27. Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers - Loved Wild Lost
  28. Tame Impala - Currents
  29. Galactic - Into The Deep
  30. JD McPherson - Let The Good Times Roll


#reviewoftheweek / Chadwick Stokes - The Horse Comanche B-Sides: The Story Of Bobby And Maeve

Chronicling a story of a soldier who died in Afghanistan and his love, this 4 song collection is an extension of Stokes' excellent last album. The roots rock mastery of this music is in the forefront and these songs tell a story like only Chadwick can tell. It leads off with a cover of the classic song "You're The One That I Want" from the movie Grease, a favorite of the couple that the EP showcases. "Indiana Fall" closes out the short collection, and instantly becomes one of the best compositions of Chadwick's solo career. He is one of the best storytellers of his generation, and being a member of 2 roots rock bands (Dispatch and State Radio), separating his delivery as a front man and his ability as a solo singer/songwriter has been challenging. This EP showcases that his solo work is where he shows off his best abilities and his best stories.


#reviewoftheweek / Joshua Hyslop - In Deepest Blue

Folk music has been a prominent force in the music world lately, but Joshua Hyslop is not following a trend. He's the real deal, and has been for some time, now releasing his newest album "In Deepest Blue." The album is defined by it's subtlety mixed with powerful lyrics. Hyslop is an excellent storyteller and does not need flash and innovation to showcase his talents. Songs such as "The Flood," "Living & Dying," and "Gone" are the defining moments on the album. Joshua Hyslop may not be a household name like some other folkies, but he can hold his own, and shows just why all music fans should take notice on his latest album.


#reviewoftheweek / Circles Around The Sun - Interludes For The Dead

When the Grateful Dead decided that they were going to have some 50th anniversary shows, their fans went nuts, and quickly these shows became some of the biggest events in the band's history. But who would have guessed that the music that would play over the loudspeakers in between sets would become such a big deal. This album consists of that such music, a jazzy mix of jam rock created specifically for these events. This is the type of music you listen to in the background, but if you listen closely, it holds up as foreground music as well. Comprised of some jam band all star musicians, Circles Around The Sun is a band that, if desired, could record and tour as an entity on its own. For now, enjoy what the fans enjoyed between jamming out with the Dead during the summer of 2015.


#reviewoftheweek / Marc Broussard - Magnolias & Mistletoe

Marc Broussard's new Christmas collection is a roots rock holiday masterpiece. The thing about the collection is that it's not hard hitting soulful rock like we're used to from Broussard. Rather, it's a poignant collection of mostly traditional Christmas classics, sung by one of the most soulful voices in rock music. It's not about partying and having a good time. The collection is more about reflection and celebration. There are a few originals thrown in for good measure including the excellent "Almost Christmas." Broussard is a true musical talent, and sometimes it's just great to listen to him sing. This is a great way to do that as well as celebrate the season.


#reviewoftheweek / Train - Christmas In Tahoe

Christmas is one of the best times of the year to get into music. Usually it's year end "best of" lists and holiday tunes all over the radio and the internet, and this year Train has thrown their hat into the ring. Previously, they had released the single "Shake Up Christmas" which can be found on this album, but now they have put together a full collection! Featured on the album you will find a mix of originals and classics, both traditional and contemporary. The best of the collection are "This Christmas" and "What Christmas Means To Me." They've also included great renditions of greats like "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," "O Holy Night," and "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)." It's the next logical progression in a career that has been fruitful and lengthy, and Train's Christmas collection is a great addition to every holiday playlist.


BURN THIS / December 2015

  1. The Cat Empire "Wolves"
  2. G. Love & Special Sauce (featuring Ozomatli) "Let's Have A Good Time"
  3. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats "Trying So Hard Not To Know"
  4. Josh Ritter "Birds Of The Meadow"
  5. Alabama Shakes "Shoegaze"
  6. Bronze Radio Return "Light Me Up"
  7. The Wild Feathers "Overnight"
  8. Lissie "Hero"
  9. My Morning Jacket "In Its Infancy (The Waterfall)"
  10. Moon Taxi "Always"
  11. Trey Anastasio "The Song"
  12. Koa "What Now"
  13. Trevor Hall (featuring Luka Lesson) "Forgive"
  14. Newton Faulkner "Get Free"
  15. Sawyer Fredricks "Take It All"
  16. Andrew Ripp "Animal"
  17. Escondido "Heart Is Black"
  18. Mike Dunn "Faith Healer"
  19. Chris Trapper "Everything Was Possible"
  20. Aaron Espe "Beyond The Sun"


#reviewoftheweek / Lettuce - Crush

This album is quite possibly the best instrumental album released in 2015 (despite having a few tracks featuring vocals). That being said, Lettuce has never been better. What is essentially a fun side project for the members of the band that have other gigs, this band knows how to blow it up. The horn driver album features a fun party vibe that doesn't stop from end to end. Killer tracks like "The Force" and "The Lobbyist" and just fun and funky and danceable. "Sounds Like A Party" and "He Made A Woman Out Of Me" are the two vocal tracks on that album, but the band doesn't take a back seat to the guest at all. Songs like "Chief" and "Get Greasy" mimic 70's funk and have a kind of cop show feel to the music. "The New Reel" sounds like it came straight from a spy thriller soundtrack. The album doesn't quit from beginning to end, and these guys show how much fun it is to play this music, and it's the next best thing to seeing them do their thing live on stage.


#reviewoftheweek / Jon And Roy - Riverside

Hailing from the great white north (Canada), this duo has just released their sixth album (Jon released 3 solo albums as well), and this one is just as good as all the rest. The secret is not messing with a tried and true formula. Sure, when you are a duo and you stamp your names across the front of all your albums, you've got to be able to back it up with some killer music. That has always been the case for these guys, and their latest is no different. Hitting the acoustic folk (that at times sounds like it should come from the coast of California or shores of some island paradise), songs that stand out from this release are "Come Again" and "Light Me Up." The title track is another beauty, and the duo show they can go the distance on the 7+ minute "Quatro." All in all, its the consistency that counts, and with Jon And Roy, you can never go wrong.


#reviewoftheweek / Trey Anastasio - Paper Wheels

This album has been a long time come, with Trey busy with his day job (Phish) and his side job (playing guitar with the Grateful Dead during their Fair Thee Well concert run). But, despite the album having been percolating for almost a year, it was well worth the wait. It is quite possibly Trey's best solo release, and highlights the best of the sound of the solo career combined with his experience from filling the Jerry Garcia void in the first have of 2015. He hit us with 3 songs early on to hold the fans over ("Bounce," "Speak To Me," and "Never") which are 3 of the best on the album. But the gems are the jammy lead track "Sometime After Sunset," the radio-friendly single "The Song," and the mellow psychedelic groove "Lever Boy." All the tracks are sure to wow during Trey's live set. And the album doesn't sound like a Phish disc, due to the fact that Trey's band has a funky horn section that really rounds out the loose feel-good vibe of the album. Trey just keeps getting better with age and experience, and it all has paid off in the form of one of the year's best recordings.


#reviewoftheweek / Silversun Pickups - Better Nature

It seems like every generation has the artists, bands, musicians, etc. that play a specific role and fit into a specific spot in the musical spectrum. Silversun Pickups are one of those bands that occupy the space once held prominently by the Smashing Pumpkins. Fuzzy and ethereal at the same time, Silversun Pickups' music defines alternative rock. The coolest part about their music, and especially this album, is that it doesn't pigeonhole the band in one era of alternative music. There are songs in this collection that could stand up during each of the last 3 decades of rock music, but also sound as fresh and new as they need to be. The lead single "Nightlight" may be the catchiest, but not since their debut album has the band put out compositions like "Latchkey Kid" and "Friendly Fires," both of which are destined to become fan favorites. On their fourth album, it's awesome that Silversun Pickups can still be inventive and relevant in a time when the one-hit-wonder is making a comeback.


BURN THIS / November 2015

  1. Stephen Kellogg "Last Man Standing"
  2. Chadwick Stokes "Indiana Fall"
  3. Jon And Roy "Come Again"
  4. Trevor Hall "You Can't Rush Your Healing"
  5. Koa "So Many Times"
  6. Trey Anastasio "Lever Boy"
  7. ALO "Strange Days"
  8. The Revivalists "Amber"
  9. Gary Clark Jr. "Church"
  10. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats "Howling At Nothing"
  11. Jay Nash "Where To Start"
  12. Matt Corby "Monday"
  13. Jarryd James "Sure Love"
  14. Jose Gonzalez "Let It Carry You"
  15. Matt Costa "Seven Sins"
  16. Joshua Hyslop "Gone"
  17. The Lone Bellow "To The Woods"
  18. Dawes "All Your Favorite Bands"
  19. Matt Nathanson "Bill Murray"
  20. Greg Holden "Boys In The Street"


#reviewoftheweek / Moon Taxi - Daybreaker

This band's latest album has them transitioning from jam rockers to more of an alternative sounding band, while still retaining their core identity. Never ones to conform to any specific sound, their uniqueness comes in their crafting of original tunes that hit on several levels from their signature instrumentation to their singer's instantly identifiable voice to the stunning lyrical composition of their songs. The album is spearheaded by the two lead singles "All Day All Night" and "Year Zero" both of which could find themselves on the top of the charts at alt-rock radio alongside bands like Incubus and Death Cab For Cutie. However, the sound is night quite centered, and that makes them equally able to perform with the likes of bands like Galactic, The Revivalists, and Trey Anastasio. Other songs showcasing their ability to harness live energy in an alt-jam rock studio session are "Savannah," "Domino," and "Make Your Mind Up." You can even hear elements and influences of 80's and 90's rock music throughout the disc, showing off a variety of probable influences. The magic of this band has always been their live sets, and they manage to deliver a great arrangement of new tunes showcasing just how great these guys can perform, even inside the studio.


#reviewoftheweek / Matt Nathanson - Show Me Your Fangs

The latest album from Matt Nathanson is too short! Only ten songs long, at the end it leaves you wanting more. That's because Nathanson has crafted a new collection of excellent pop songs, that from end to end, showcases his incredible songwriting abilities. "Gold In The Summertime" is the most fun song on the album, making you feel the sunshine sonically. On the other end of the spectrum, one of the most cleverly written on the album is "Bill Murray," which explains a dream that Nathanson had in which he and the actor were friends. It's one of the few slow songs on the album, making is stand out, not just for it's incredible lyrics. Other standout tracks are "Adrenaline," "Giants," and "Headphones." For die hard Matt Nathanson fans, this album is a welcome addition to his songbook and for listeners just being introduced to this underrated singer/songwriter, the album offers a good jumping off point to dive into his back catalogue.


#reviewoftheweek / Collective Soul - See What You Started By Continuing

Collective Soul have been on a bit of a break in recent years, with the members of the band doing their own things, both musical and not. Now they've returned with a new album that picks up right where they left off. The music is both familiar and refreshingly new. They know how to make new songs sound new, yet stick to the formulas that made their previous releases so great. You could close your eyes and imagine yourself listening to this music in the mid-90's just as much as in the past decade or now. Songs that stand out on the album and "AYTA," "This," and "Hurricane." Sure, there's no gimmicks and no innovation, but that's what makes it great. It's on of the best straight-forward rock records in the past few years. Collective Soul are one of the most consistent bands to have released music in the last 20 years, and their latest doesn't disappoint.


#reviewoftheweek / Chris Trapper - Symphonies Of Dirt & Dust

Chris Trapper has got to be the most underappreciated songwriter in music today. He is probably one of the best storytelling songwriters of his generation, and with mild success dating all the way back to the late 90's, it's a wonder that Trapper hasn't earned more recognition for his incredible abilities. That being said, he continues to churn out incredible compositions and collections of music that are introspective, accessible, and poignant. His natural ability to paint pictures through song and transport listeners into his world through his lyrics is a gift that many could only dream of possessing. On his latest he does just that through songs like "Everything Was Possible" and "Not The End Of The World." One of the most striking and beautiful songs on the album is the closer, "Boston Strong." It's a lush instrumental that, through sound along, invokes emotion and connection to a city that is at the heart of Trapper's musical life and one that has been tested and shown resolve for hundreds of years. His tongue-in-cheek lyricism is ever present in songs like "F#*t It" and reminds us that Trapper, although serious and creative, loves to have fun with his music. Despite going at it for a few decades and having success at varying levels, Trapper still deserves to be recognized for his songwriting at a higher level (like the Grammys). Let's hope his latest has his peers lining up to write songs with and for them, taking him to newer, more deserving, heights.


#reviewoftheweek / The White Buffalo - Love And The Death Of Damnation

Folk, country, and rock all combine to define the White Buffalo's sound, and for years, he's been delivering his Johnny Cash-esque music to us. His latest showcases more of just that. He's a storyteller, and his gritty vocals connect with the listener, providing a truth that many musicians cannot deliver. His subject matter ca"n live in dark places, and his voice and delivery match each of his lyrics. "Modern Times" is the album's first single, and it is an upbeat rocker that echoes several of his previous releases, bringing the listener into familiar territory. "I Got You" features guest vocals from Audra Mae, and showcases his ability to blur genre lines, attaching himself to a variety of musical styles. At the core, the White Buffalo is a folk singer, and what he can do with his voice, clever and poignant lyrics, and an acoustic guitar is a thing of beauty, and virtually unmatched in music today. He's an old soul and a throwback to when music was pure and raw, and this album showcases that incredibly well.

BURN THIS / October 2015

  1. The White Buffalo "Modern Times"
  2. Bobby Long "I'm Not Going Out Tonight"
  3. Rayland Baxter "Oh My Captain"
  4. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats "Howling At Nothing"
  5. Gary Clark Jr. "Cold Blooded"
  6. The Revivalists "Move On"
  7. Houndmouth "Say It"
  8. Judah & The Lion "Kickin' Da Leaves"
  9. Matt Nathanson "Giants"
  10. Eric Hutchinson "Good Rhythm"
  11. Allen Stone "Symmetrical"
  12. Kopecky "Talk To Me"
  13. Madi Diaz "Control"
  14. Jarryd James (featuring Julia Stone) "Regardless"
  15. Vance Joy "Straight Into Your Arms"
  16. Trevor Hall "Back To You"
  17. Rebelution "Count Me In (Acoustic)"
  18. ALO "Not Old Yet"
  19. Trey Anastasio "Sometime After Sunset"
  20. Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers "Mr. Saturday Night"


#reviewoftheweek / Aer - One Of A Kind

Quietly making a name for themselves, Aer has released a handful of albums in recent years showcasing their mix of fun loving pop, hip hop, reggae, and acoustic folk. It's a combination that has been around for years and perfected by many bands before them. What's great about Aer, is that they don't let this stand in their way. Their obvious influences shine through in every song and you can tell that artists like 311, Bob Marley, Sublime, and Jack Johnson have all, at some point, helped to shape the band's sound. The fact that they've chosen to name their album "One Of A Kind" proves that the band is a very unique combination of styles and, right now, the only one of it's kind making this style of music. Songs like the title track, "Keep You Here," and "The Rain" bridge the gap between the indie world where Aer has lived for so long and the pop world where they are going to be breakout stars. This could, and should, be the album that helps Aer break out and makes them a household name.


#reviewoftheweek / Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats - Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

Coming from a folk background, you'd never expect a musician to stray too far from his roots. However, Nathaniel Rateliff has always had a layer of grit coating all of his previous releases, making for a much deeper style of folk. That being said, at first listen you can hear the folksiness throughout the entire self titled album by him and his band the Night Sweats. It's a songwriter's album, with emphasis on lyrics. Two tracks on the album surfaced on the Internet in other forms years ago, "Look It Here" and "Trying So Hard Not To Know." That was right around the time Rateliff formed this band and started performing shows. "S.O.B." is the song that has put Nathaniel and his counterparts on the musical map. While he's had success as a folk singer, this song showcased his old school soul and blues rock chops, and has become one of the party anthems of the summer. Other standouts on the album are "Howling At Nothing" and "I Need Never Get Old." It's a different kid of fun, from a different kind of band, that is sure to have him getting awards buzz by year's end. It wouldn't be a surprise if this album is up for "Album Of The Year" awards.


#reviewoftheweek / Trevor Hall - Kala

Trevor Hall has always been a prolific storyteller and songwriter, and on this latest release, he continues to deliver. He has not released a more complete album since released of his self titled major label debut in 2009. The album kicks off with a classic song, which we first got to hear when he released his live album "Chasing The Flame" in 2010. "To Zion" is an instant classic that showcases his laid back beachy and spiritual vibe, which is on visual display on the album's cover. The album is full of poignant lyrical compositions with a message, much like much of his catalogue. This time he's peppered in some great guest appearances, including Xavier Rudd and Nahko. Fans will surely fall in love with tracks like "Back To You," "You Can't Rush Your Healing," and "Mother." "Forgive" is one of the album's standouts, featuring some spoken word from Luka Lesson. This is the finale of a trilogy of released which started with "Chapter Of The Forest" and "Unpack Your Memories," but it certainly is not the end of anything. Trevor Hall is a special talent that doesn't come around often, following in the footsteps of others like Bob Marley, Jack Johnson, and John Butler. "Kala" is an album that surely will stand the test of time.


#reviewoftheweek / Bobby Long - Ode To Thinking

Bobby Long is one of those raw talents that doesn't come around often. It's amazing he hasn't made a larger splash in the music world, but it may be for the best. Since his debut album, he's been able to explore his range of talents and influences, creating vastly different and familiar sounding songs, all hinged on his bluesy and folky vibe. He's got one of those deep voices you'd expect from a hard rock singer, yet he uses it to display subtlety through his lyrics, while still being able to deliver pop-esque music. This album features a handful of songs that bridge his short, three album career, both reminding the listener who he is at his roots, and developing a trust with the listener to allow him to visit new sonic places. At the core, Bobby Long is a songwriter and a storyteller, and his lyrics never disappoint. Songs like "I'm Not Going Out Tonight" and the title track are proof positive of that. Really, if you judge the songs just by their titles, you pretty much know what you're going to get lyrically from each. Long's latest album doesn't let down in any way, and is a refreshing addition to his growing catalogue.


BURN THIS / September 2015

  1. ALO "The Ticket"
  2. Moon Taxi "Year Zero"
  3. The Revivalists "Wish I Knew You"
  4. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats "Look It Here"
  5. Anderson East "Devil In Me"
  6. JJ Grey & Mofro "Everything Is A Song"
  7. Gary Clark Jr. "Grinder"
  8. Grace Potter "Empty Heart"
  9. Charlie Mars "Things You Don't Wanna Know"
  10. Trevor Hall (featuring Xavier Rudd & Tubby Love) "Mother"
  11. Donavon Frankenreiter "Big Wave"
  12. Jamie Lawson "Wasn't Expecting That"
  13. Avalanche City "Inside Out"
  14. Jarryd James "Give Me Something"
  15. Vance Joy "Fire And The Flood"
  16. Josh Ritter "Where The Night Goes"
  17. Rayland Baxter "Mr. Rodriguez"
  18. Andrew Combs "Part Time Lovers (Full Time Fools)"
  19. The Lone Bellow "Fake Roses"
  20. Carbon Leaf "Love Loss Hope Repeat"


#reviewoftheweek / Charlie Mars - The Money

Charlie Mars has been at it for quite some time, but recently he has become a more prominent figure in the Americana music scene, blending his alternative pop with organic instrumentation to deliver some killer music. This album, the third in a collection known as the Texas trilogy, is a testament to Mars as both a musician and a songwriter. The title track, as well as the lead track "Hell Yeah" are the album's cornerstones, and the ones that fans will gravitate towards as their intro to this album. However, it's songs like the remake of his original "Silver Buttons" and "Danger Danger" that bring his musicianship into perspective. Both songs are driven by their lyrics, but show vastly different facets of Mars' musical delivery. It also helps that he's got a talented backing band. One of the most fun tracks on the album is the reggae-infused "Things You Don't Wanna Know" which also showcases some of Mars lyrics in a more playful way. Despite having been released almost a year ago, "The Money" holds up as a highly listenable and accessible musical collection, and is one of those albums that you crave listening to over and over again.


#reviewoftheweek / Donavon Frankenreiter - The Heart

Donavon Frankenreiter is always reliable when releasing new music. You always get a collection of sunshine acoustic pop songs that transport you directly to the beach, by the campfire, or out on the waves. His latest does not disappoint, and while most of his releases are similar in nature, this release showcases his songwriting at the forefront. "Big Wave" is the first single from the album, and is as fresh as his first songs released over 10 years ago. The title of the album reflects the theme that this entire collection circles around love. It's simple and accessible where it needs to be, yet refreshing and familiar. For his old school fans, it's a welcome addition to the catalogue. For the newbies, it's a great introduction that will have you craving his earlier releases.


#reviewoftheweek / Anderson East - Delilah

Making a splash as a new artist these days takes a lot, especially if you're not in the cookie-cutter-pop-vein that you hear all over radio and television. But when you've got something special like a sound not heard in decades, you're bound to make a name for yourself. That's just what Anderson East has done with his debut album, showcasing his soulful vocals and throwback sound in a top notch way. Just as artists like Allen Stone and Leon Bridges have been able to do, East has tapped into a sound that is both new and familiar, bridging Americana-style folk and classic southern soul, for a sound that is both refreshingly different and nostalgic at the same time. "Satisfy Me" is the album's cornerstone and surely going to be the song keeping Anderson in the running for accolades like "Best New Artist" by year's end. "Find 'Em, Fool 'Em, and Forget 'Em" is piano driven and molds high energy rock and bar room soul into a fun and catchy song. Other highlights include the acoustic "Devil In Me" and rock driven "Keep The Fire Burning." If this album is any indication, we are in for a long and fruitful ride with Anderson East for years to come.


#reviewoftheweek / The Revivalists - Men Amongst Mountains

Roots rockers The Revivalists are the real deal. This New Orleans band has embraced what it meant to be from that city, and their album is like a party in musical form. Each song is creatively crafted to sound accessible and familiar, without sounding like every other band performing these days. It is full of radio-friendly tracks, that with the right exposure, will have The Revivalists being a household name by the end of the year. "Keep Going," "Stand Up," and "Wish I Knew You" are sure to become fan favorites, and the songs that will surely solidify the band's legacy for years to come. Other tracks on the album that have the vibe of a live show are "Move On" and "Gold To Glass," both of which are sure to impress fans both old and new. Vocalist/lyricist David Shaw and company have shown on this album what it means to be a band who loves what they do and has fun doing it. It is evident through each and ever song on the album.


BURN THIS / August 2015

  1. Dispatch "Bound By Love"
  2. Trevor Hall "To Zion"
  3. Michael Franti & Spearhead "Once A Day"
  4. Slightly Stoopid "Rolling Stone (Alt Version)"
  5. G. Love & Special Sauce "I Ain't Finished Yet"
  6. The Revivalists "Stand Up"
  7. Galactic (featuring Ryan Montbleau) "Domino"
  8. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats "S.O.B."
  9. JJ Grey & Mofro "Light A Candle"
  10. Anderson East "Fine 'Em, Fool 'Em, And Forget 'Em"
  11. Leon Bridges "Smooth Sailin'"
  12. Gary Clark Jr. "The Healing"
  13. Alabama Shakes "Gemini"
  14. Rayland Baxter "Young Man"
  15. Josh Ritter "Getting Ready To Get Down"
  16. Good Old War "Broken Record"
  17. Brandi Carlile "The Things I Regret"
  18. Will Hoge "Desperate Times"
  19. Lowell Thompson "Bradley Street"
  20. Pat McGee (featuring Pat Monahan) "Overboard"


#reviewoftheweek / Of Monsters And Men - Beneath The Skin

Of Monsters And Men came out of nowhere with their debut album and were a massive hit both in the pop and alternative worlds. That put an incredible amount of pressure to repeat that success on their second album. With that, it looks as though they have created one of the year's best album. The thing is, this album is more artistic than pop-friendly and may not translate incredibly well on pop radio. This album feels more like something that Death Cab For Cutie or even TV On The Radio would record. "Crystals" is by far the album's most accessible and leads the album off well, with other tracks like "Empire" and "Orphans" showing off the band's song craftsmanship. Other standout tracks, showing off the band's less folk and more alternative side, are "I Of The Storm" and "Black Water," both of which receive a remix on the deluxe version of this release. It's nice to see that OMAM have not tried to remake their success throughout this new album, but rather showcase their talents with excellent alternative rock songs that should have them winning critical praise and awards by the year's end.


#reviewoftheweek / Slightly Stoopid - Meanwhile... Back At The Lab

Almost 20 years ago, Sublime was all the rage on the So Cal music scene. Slightly Stoopid has been just that for the past decade or so, and this album bridges the two bands' sound better than ever before. Slightly Stoopid has been know for their reggae and punk driven songs, but as the band has matured over the years, their artistry has become more prominent. This album could possibly be their most defining collection of songs. Highlighted mostly by reggae and mellow acoustic tracks, they'd pulled together their party vibe and live show energy and harnessed it in the studio. One of the biggest surprises on the album is the lead track "Dabbington" which is a funky instrumental that gets you in the mood to listen to the rest of the songs. Other highlights include "This Version" and "Rolling Stone." There are probably more radio friendly songs on this album than Slightly Stoopid have ever recorded and they are driven by "Life Rolls On" and "The Prophet" which has a major connection to a song previously recorded by Sublime. Slightly Stoopid are the current crown holders for the best of So Cal, once owned by Sublime, and it doesn't look like they're ready to pass it on any time soon.


#reviewoftheweek / Matt Costa - Eucalyptus EP & Cat Mosta EP

Matt Costa's plan is to release a handful of EPs by the end of the year. His first two are folk masterpieces. Costa has dabbled in a lot of different styles throughout his short career, but has shined the brightest when he presents his music in stripped down folk format. "Eucalyptus EP" is primarily instrumental, and as it was released first, eases you into the classic folk sounds of Matt Costa. "Cat Mosta EP" was mostly recorded with the intent of becoming demos, but Matt felt that his fans needed to hear his music in this way and decided to release it. Costa's music is defined by the lyrics on these two EPs, and rather than make the listener wait for an entire collection, he's hitting us up with snippets of what he's working on. It's a great insight into how a musician works, and the intimate and short collections are miniature works of art.


#reviewoftheweek / Amos Lee - Live At Red Rocks With The Colorado Symphony

Live shows don't always translate well into live albums. This is not one of those cases. Amos Lee's collaboration with the Colorado Symphony is one of the best live albums to come out in years, by any artist. You might think it's just Amos with his guitar and a backing orchestra, but that's not the case. In fact, Amos has his full band, and the music is only supplemented by the incredible instrumentation of the "backing band." It's not a Amos-plays-all-the-hits album either, making it excellent for both die hard fans and the casual listener. Some of his bests are included, though, such as his first ever single "Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight" and popular "Sweet Pea." The album is bookended by two of his best ever, leading off with a spirited rendition of "Windows Are Rolled Down" which kicks the whole show off into high gear. He closes the set with an encore capped off by "Arms Of A Woman" which is one of his most poignant, showing off the songs subtleties and really showcasing his talents as a songwriter live on stage. Amos is as good a live musician as he is in the studio, and this should turn on even the most casual of listeners to wanting to see him live.


#reviewoftheweek / Bag Of Toys - Eating Monsters

Bag Of Toys are severely underrated. Sure, their blend of acoustic pop is the kind of music that seemingly only a certain type of music fan can love. You hear elements of Jack Johnson and Bob Marley and Sublime all throughout, however, these guys are blending acoustic pop and lyricism with the same ease and intensity as was going on in the 60's. They've, of course, put an updated modern twist on that style, and on this album, they'd surprised us with a large collection of new tracks that are fun and bouncy without seeming like a continuation of previous releases. Their west coast vibe is evident, and on songs like "Hold On Me" and "Callin' All Friends" you are reminded as to why this band puts you in a good mood all the time. Their light hearted and subtle comedic side is always present, and this time is no different on songs like "Stinky Gorilla" and "Boner In My Baggies." "Love" is another standout track, showing off a bit of simple reggae influence, which is absolutely present on several other tracks. Bag Of Toys can be an unfamiliar band, but they have a familiar sound that makes their newest album excellent.

BURN THIS / July 2015

  1. Matt Nathanson "Gold In The Summertime"
  2. Family Of The Year "Make You Mine"
  3. Moon Taxi "All Day, All Night"
  4. The Revivalists "Keep Going"
  5. Anderson East "Satisfy Me"
  6. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats "I Need Never Get Old"
  7. Tim Rogers & The Bamboos "Easy"
  8. Allen Stone "Freedom"
  9. Leon Bridges "Better Man"
  10. Alabama Shakes "Sound & Color"
  11. Dawes "Right On Time"
  12. Rayland Baxter "Yellow Eyes"
  13. Angus & Julia Stone "From The Stalls"
  14. The Staves "Make It Holy"
  15. William Fitzsimmons "Pittsburgh"
  16. Chadwick Stokes (featuring Lucius) "New Haven"
  17. Xavier Rudd & The United Nations "Flag"
  18. Slightly Stoopid "The Prophet"
  19. Blues Traveler (featuring The Dirty Heads & Rome) "Vagabond Blues"
  20. JJ Grey & Mofro "Ol' Glory"


#reviewoftheweek / Dawes - All Your Favorite Bands

This is a jam band album! Don't let that fool or scare you. It's just that the music on this album is vast and expansive when it needs to be. There are a ton of guitar solos, that despite their seemingly never ending length on the album, are sure to turn into 6+ minute endeavors when the songs are played live on stage. That all being said, it's still a Dawes record, and Taylor Goldsmith's imprint is everywhere on the album, and the music is just as familiar and inviting as all their previous releases. His storytelling lyrics are present in each of the 9 songs, and both subtlety and obviousness are prevalent. The title track is probably the albums quietest and most poignant, with songs like "Things Happen" and "Right On Time" playing the roles of the most radio-friendly. Some of those masterful guitar solos can be found on "Don't Send Me Away" and "I Can't Think About It Now." The closing track clocks in at over 9 minutes long, further showcasing the band's venture into the jam scene. They are still and indie rock band, but have embraced their instruments just as much as they have embraced Goldsmith's songwriting, making for a killer, yet small, collection of awesome new songs. This album has opened a whole new set of doors for Dawes, and up is pretty much the only way from here.


#reviewoftheweek / Ethan Tucker - Misunderstood

This album was one of those albums that took forever to get out to the world, but when you have such great talent, it needs to be right and it needs to be the right time. Ethan Tucker's newest release is the kind of album that you hope for when discovering a new artist. Sure, he's been on the scene for a little while, making guest appearance and opening for some pretty well known acts, but until you hear the album, you don't realize what class Tucker is really in. He's a singer/songwriter with a flair for funk and reggae, which is evident in his music. But it's the guitar playing that is the bread and butter on this release. Ethan uses his instrument as a sidekick, a backup singer, and a driving force through each song. It's a little more than just an accompanying piece, as is evidenced on tracks like "Crazy" and "Cool Kids." His rework of his original "All I Need" is the song that is sure to hook new fans. The album's standout is "Crazy Tonight" which features guest vocals by Michael Franti, repaying the favor Tucker provided to Franti in the past. Tucker young and ambitious and this album proves he's the real deal.


#reviewoftheweek / Kopecky - Drug For The Modern Age

Alternative rock seems to go in all different directions lately, and many artists are embracing innovation over history when telling their stories through music. In this case, Kopecky has brought us a new collection of music that is the type of stuff you'd probably have listened to at various times over the course of the last 30 years, without sounding copycat, repetitive, or even nostalgic. Their new take on sounds congruent with new wave, grunge, and pop has created an album that feels fresh and bright, without sounding forced. The first single, "Quarterback," is the song that hooks you and brings you to discover the album. It's the familiar alternative pop song that you can't help but sing along to, allowing you to rediscover Kopecky, even though you may have been familiar with their previous work. It's "Talk To Me" that broadens the spectrum and opens your ears and mind to the album on a larger scale, and the song that will be stuck in your head long after you've finished the entire 12 tracks. With their dual singer approach, Kopecky is doing things a bit different from their radio wave counterparts, and that's just fine. In fact, it's one of the things that make this album stand out as one of the year's best.


#reviewoftheweek / Joshua Radin - Onward And Sideways

Joshua Radin's latest is an excellent collection of left-of-center pop music that showcases his skills as a singer and a songwriter rather well. The surprise of the album is the new rendition of his previous hit "Beautiful Day" which, this time, featured guest vocals by Sheryl Crow. Radin is both underestimated and celebrated at the same time, and his music goes largely unnoticed as background filler in many instances. But, if you stop to take the time to listen to this album straight through, you will find yourself reinvigorated to rekindle your love for his entire array of previous releases. "We'll Keep Running Forever" is a great way to begin the album and also Radin's best display of his natural ability to take familiar and turn it on it's head. Driven by his lyrics and distinctive subtle voice, this album is as adventurous as it is safe and familiar. Joshua Radin keeps making music because there are still too many ways he can express his talents.


BURN THIS / June 2015

  1. Bob Schneider "The Stars Over Your House"
  2. Ethan Tucker "All I Need"
  3. Blues Traveler (featuring The Dirty Heads & Rome) "Castaway"
  4. Slightly Stoopid "Life Rolls On"
  5. The Movement "Rescue"
  6. Passafire "Wheels Of Steel"
  7. Current Swell "Desire"
  8. Rhett Miller "Most In The Summertime"
  9. Alabama Shakes "Dunes"
  10. My Morning Jacket "Compound Fracture"
  11. Sugar & The Hi Lows "High Roller"
  12. The Alternate Routes "Nobody Else"
  13. Pat McGee "When Did Everything Go Wrong"
  14. Derek James "Take You Out Dancing"
  15. Graham Colton "Little One"
  16. Taylor Berrett "Hypnotize Me"
  17. Ryan Montbleau Band "Never Gonna Be"
  18. Matt Costa "Ark Song"
  19. The Milk Carton Kids "Monterey"
  20. Leon Bridges "Lisa Sawyer"


#reviewoftheweek / Derek James - Take You Out Dancing

He's not a name you are probably familiar with, but you should be. On his latest, independently released album, Derek James blends together pop and rock to create a sound unlike many other artists out there. Sure, it's not instantly accessible or maybe the tunes don't make for high requests or heavy rotation on your local radio stations. But what the album does have is heart and soul, and that's really all you can ask of any musician. The standouts on the album are the title track and "Lovely Fool" which both feature a very lighthearted vibe, which you will surely find yourself singing along to on a sunny day. Derek doesn't only want to get you to dance, but he wants you to become a believer in his music, and this album makes it very hard not to do just that.


#reviewoftheweek / Bob Schneider - King Kong, Vol. I

Bob Schneider has always been an ambitious musician. This time, he's releasing his latest collection is 3 sets of 5 songs. The "King Kong" series begins with volume one, and is a great kickoff to the series. It showcases Bob's great songwriting and the lyrics are the star of each and every song. The best of the set is the closing track "The Fools" which has a tropical feel to it. His acoustic guitar is all over the collection as the partner to his amazing poetic words. Schneider is proving to be a tease, however, by only releasing 5 tracks at a time. But, this is a great set of songs to whet the appetite for what is to come. It will be very interesting to see how each of the 3 volumes differ, and which parts of his repertoire he showcases on each.


#reviewoftheweek / My Morning Jacket - The Waterfall

Somehow you never know what to expect from My Morning Jacket, but at the same time you end up getting exactly what is expected. Their latest album is a masterpiece of dreamy, ethereal, and other-worldly indie jam rock. They are walking the tightrope between hippie and hipster so well, that you never know exactly who their target audience is. And that is exactly why MMJ are awesome. The album's centerpiece has to be "Compound Fracture" which is also probably the hardest rocker of the bunch. "Big Decisions" which was the album's first single and "Spring (Among The Living)" are two of the more accessible tracks on the album, which will probably see the most radio play. But the mastery of this album won't truly be understood until these songs are let loose live on stage. You can hear the nuances in each and every track and know just when the band will break out into a jam session or change it up or be sporadic within each song. The best part about it all is that the sound is complete organic, and it doesn't sound overly produced or manipulated. It's going to garner lots of praise and most likely get nominated for a bunch of awards, because it truly is one of the year's best releases.


#reviewoftheweek / Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers - Loved Wild Lost

Finally getting recognized for the incredible music that they put out, Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers have really connected with their listeners on their latest release. With this being Nicki's 3rd album you'd expect a departure or even something innovative. You don't get that. What you do get is a collection of songs that showcase the band's ability to both connect with the listener and display a sonic connection to their roots. They come from northern California and on this album, more than ever before, you can feel that through their music. They are a fun jam band type group, but in actually they are more of a folk act. You can tell throughout each song that having fun is just as important as being thoughtful and introspective. Standouts include the radio-ready "Waiting On Love" and sweet "High Neck Lace." Aside from those, the tracks where the band shines the brightest are "Only Always," "Mr. Saturday Night," and "Love Your Loved Ones." You're not going to hear them on top 40 radio or see them on the cover of Rolling Stone, but with the surging popularity of rootsy, organic, and folk music, Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers are poised to become a household name on the heels of this record.


BURN THIS / May 2015

  1. Ryan Montbleau Band "Pacing Like Prince"
  2. Bhi Bhiman "Moving To Brussels"
  3. Allen Stone "Upside"
  4. Leon Bridges "Coming Home"
  5. Tom Freund (featuring Ben Harper) "Angel Eyes"
  6. Jose Gonzalez "Open Book"
  7. The Lone Bellow "Watch Over Us"
  8. Good Old War "Tell Me What You Want From Me"
  9. Rhett Miller "Kiss Me On The Fire Escape"
  10. Bob Schneider "Han Solo"
  11. Hollis Brown "3 Shots"
  12. Elenowen "Desert Days"
  13. JD McPherson "Head Over Heels"
  14. Grace Potter "Alive Tonight"
  15. Keller Williams "Mantra"
  16. Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers "Waiting On Love"
  17. Dawes "Things Happen"
  18. Alabama Shakes "Future People"
  19. My Morning Jacket "Spring (Among The Living)"
  20. Sam Roberts Band "Counting The Days"


#reviewoftheweek / Keller Williams - Vape

Keller Williams has released his 20th album and it still sound like he's having just as much fun as the first one. His blend of jamming and pop rock, clever lyrics, and innovative delivery style is both impressive and cutting edge. Still, even though he's been doing it for so long, it sounds new and fresh. Songs like "Mantra" and "Donuts" display some excellent vocal delivery and showcase how much Williams doesn't take himself too seriously. He solicits the help of a few friends for the albums instrumentation, but mostly he takes on the responsibilities himself (as usual). For good measure he throws in a few instrumental tracks, showing off his mastery with an acoustic guitar. These songs are a welcome addition to the catalogue, and this album is a perfect way to mark the next chapter in Keller Williams' career. For starters, we can probably expect another 20 albums.


#reviewoftheweek / Will Hoge - Small Town Dreams

Will Hoge has recently been embraced by the country music scene, but that still doesn't mean that he's country. His music just connects well on so many different levels and with both country and rock music fans. Sure, some of his songs have been sung and popularized by country artists, but he's still a rocker from Tennessee. His latest album takes us into his life even more so than previous releases, with a full collection of story songs that bring vivid imagery, memorable characters, and Hoge's history to life. The first single "Middle Of America" is a song that remind you that most of the USA is rural small town America, and not big city lights and fancy dreams. It's the type of song that most of his fans (and for that matter any American) can connect to. "Guitar Or A Gun" is a poignant and relevant rocker that showcases the tough choices that the youth have to make through a simple story about a pawn shop purchase. "Growing Up Around Here" and "Little Bitty Dreams" are two more tracks, that like many of the songs on the album, are really just about home. Within each song you are instantly transported to the small town Hoge speaks of the in the title and are able to connect with the stories and characters and emotions that each lyric delivers.


#reviewoftheweek / Josh Rouse - The Embers Of Time

As time goes on, musicians change, and this latest album is a testament to the growth and evolution of a musician. Rouse began his career as an a singer/songwriter who embraced the alt-country movement, helping to bring college radio musicians to the mainstream. As his subsequent albums moved along, he got a bit more pop driven and much of his music became a bit more upbeat. Later on his music took on a bit more of a beachy, light-hearted folk feel, and now he's come full circle, taking all of his past and molding it into his excellent new collection of songs. The album's first single "Some Days I'm Golden All Night" embraces his pop side, showing off the breezy folk sounds he's know for and clever lyricism. "New Young" showcases his alt-country roots and harnesses the power of the true folk singer inside him, drawing on influences that must include everyone from Bob Dylan to Willie Nelson. All in all, he's a true storyteller, and much of the album takes you along on a journey with Rouse. It's not an accident that it's 17 years since his first release and he's still churning out relevant, complete, and impressive albums.


#reviewoftheweek / Tom Freund - Two Moons

Tom Freund is one of those musicians that, every time you hear his music, you are amazed that he not more famous or popular. But, the music suits the type of musician he is. Freund is a true west coast folk singer/songwriter and transports you on his journey through every lyric. On the first track, "Angel Eyes," he reteams with friend and collaborator Ben Harper, for one of the album's best songs. The album also features appearances by Serena Ryder on "Lemme Be Who I Wanna Be" and Brett Dennen on "Weekend Guy." The album is like listening to an old soul or a friend you've know for years. His music is personal, yet allows the listener to be inside each story, and essentially a part of Freund's life. "Happy Days Lunch Box" is a clever lyrically, and "Same Old Shit Different Day" is both comedic and poignant. Tom Freund is a diamond in the rough, but that's one of the reasons all his music, especially this album, is so awesome.


#reviewoftheweek / Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad - Steady

GPGDS is back with their newest album, and best to date. This album is full on reggae glory. The band has brought their live performing jam friendly attitude to the studio, and developed a great collection of reggae jams. The album leads off with "Whatever Cost" which hooks you right away for the journey that you are about to take. You feel like you've just stepped off an airplane in Jamaica at times, especially on tracks like "Take Your Place" and the title track. There's no way you'd ever know these guys were from upstate NY. "Mr. Cop" and "Not The Fool" are both fun old school style reggae songs. Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad have come into their own on this album, and are poised to become one of the powerhouses on the jam and reggae scene.

BURN THIS / April 2015

  1. Trey Anastasio Band "Never"
  2. Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers "High Neck Lace"
  3. Andrew Combs "Pearl"
  4. Brandi Carlile "Murder In The City"
  5. Joe Pug "If Still It Can't Be Found"
  6. Josh Rouse "New Young"
  7. Taylor Berrett "Those Days"
  8. Mat Kearney "Billion"
  9. SOJA "Shadow"
  10. Xavier Rudd & The United Nations "Come People"
  11. Trevor Hall "Unpack Your Memories"
  12. Chadwick Stokes "I Want You Like A Seatbelt"
  13. My Morning Jacket "Big Decisions"
  14. Alabama Shakes "Gimme All Your Love"
  15. Kopecky "Quarterback"
  16. Milo Greene "Lonely Eyes"
  17. Death Cab For Cutie "No Room In Frame"
  18. Lord Huron "The World Ender"
  19. Jose Gonzalez "Leaf Off/The Cave"
  20. Jarryd James "Do You Remember"