#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"