Murphy's Ford Drops My Bar First (Video)

My Bar First - Murphy's Ford

In a time when country music almost never sounds like country music, it's refreshing to hear a song with rhythm, twang, and quintessential country feeling.

My Bar First from rising stars Murphy's Ford hits every not perfectly -- not just the musical ones, but the cultural ones as well. Sure, big city people can and do love country music, but it's the places with populations that don't exceed the triple digits that most often embody the heart and soul of country songs--towns with one grocery store, a single barber shop, a church with a steeple that makes it the tallest building in town, and, of course, the bar. Having grown up in such a place in southern Illinois, this song immediately struck a chord with this reviewer, and the video release is so real you can almost smell the cigarettes and spilled beer.


You Need Kendall Gary's "Your Love" (VIDEO)

Kendal Gary Your Love

We first introduced you to country music ingenue Kendall Gary a few months back with the release of her video, Head Held High.

Hot on the heels of that, and in advance of her summer album release, the Lewisville, Texas singer -- who began her training in opera before settling into country -- is ready to melt hearts with her new single, Your Love.


Reinventing Pink Floyd Packed with Enough Info to Leave You Comfortably Numb

Reinventing Pink Floyd

REINVENTING PINK FLOYD, published by Roman & Littlefield, is written by Bill Kopp, who, as the book denotes, is a lifelong music enthusiast, musician, collector and, since the 90s, a music journalist. The book covers the Pink Floyd's history from the time founding member Syd Barrett left the band in 1968 through the release of the album DARK SIDE OF THE MOON in 1973, detailing how the band members interacted, grew, and evolved along the way.

For those only familiar with Pink Floyd from DSotM, it may be hard to grasp why someone would write a book concerning such a narrow, though important, time frame, when everything they did since kind of went along the same path. But as you dig into early Floyd and listen to the music from that time period, you realize the music was indeed very different pre-DSotM, as with THE PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN, A SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS, ATOM HEART MOTHER, and others, highlighting the eccentricities of the group's leader, Syd Barrett.


Ace Frehley to join Gene Simmons for Australian Tour

From Ultimate Classic Rock:

They've certainly had their ups and downs, but it looks like Gene Simmons and his former Kiss bandmate Ace Frehley have enjoyed their recent reunions. In fact, Frehley will join Simmons for a series of upcoming tour dates in Australia.

Source: Ultimate Classic Rock


Dynavector P75 MKIV Opens a Window Allowing Music to Breathe Freely

Dynavector P75 MKIV

Dynavector of Australia, the acclaimed maker of many things phono from the land down-under (differing from Dynavector of Japan, who only make phono cartridges; Dynavector of Australia only makes electronics) and imported into the states by Dynavector USA, has just released its newest version of the wonderful P75 phono stage, of which I own the MKII version.

Now, to my knowledge, they are not ones to release new or updated things all that often, so when I was told about this new updated version, and urged by that proprietor of all things wonderfully stereo, Charlie Schnyder of Stereo Haven, I just had to audition it.

While my MKII, and all the the versions before the MKIV, were highly musical and engaging phono stages, not only for the money but regardless of cost, the new version here I am pleased to say takes music to the next level. But I will get that in a minute...


Kendall Gary Releases Empowerment Anthem on Heels of International Women's Day

Kendall Gary

Country music newcomer, Kendall Gary, drops her new single, Head Held High tomorrow, March 9, 2018. 

It's a natural anthem, empowering and encouraging, with a focus on forging ahead in the face of negativity from others. The beat is modern country that skews pop in the bridge, but the overall zeitgeist is true to country music ideals.

The video (embedded below) is done simply, using only two settings -- a two-lane highway and a grassy field, cutting from one to the other with minor costume changes. The video could have been made a little more impacting if the opening monologue lines had remained internal to the performer but done with the voices of others, male and female, as the song is directed more at ignoring outside influences than self doubts, but that doesn't impact the song itself.


Madonna: Rebel Heart Tour Proves She Still Has What It Takes To Be Modern Pop Standard

What can be said about Madonna Louise Ciccone, aka Madonna, that hasn’t been said, seen, or written dozens of times before? Nothing really, I suppose, so I’m just going to focus on this CD/DVD set what it is and what it does.

This set shows that despite the passage of time, Madonna at 59 is still the Queen of Pop she was in the eighties, able to put on a pop show unlike any other, still the consummate professional who knows what she is doing and what needs to be done to turn an already frenzied audience into a frenzied mob. What helps makes this possible is the technical advances enabling the “off the charts” stage show that they could only hint at back in those “dark ages.”


Wizard World 2018

Wizard World comic con returned to St. Louis this past weekend. It boasted big name celebrities such as John Barrowman and Sebastian Stan (note Stan Lee was supposed to attend but canceled after being rushed to the emergency room.) But despite some of the star power, Wizard World 2018 overall was rather lackluster.

The past couple of years the con has been shrinking, fewer vendors, fewer celebrity guests, and fewer panels, all of which contributed to lower attendance numbers. And the fact that it was Super Bowl weekend didn’t help either. (Hey Wizard World, comic con attendees like football too! Just saying.) While Wizard World brought in some guests that had never been to St. Louis before, the con itself lacked its usual excitement. Even the vendors seemed concerned about lack of attendance. That said, the cosplayers yet again came out in force and did not disappoint.


Jocko Marcellino: Rock and Roll (and Ugly Christmas Sweaters) are Here to Stay

Jocko Marcellino

I grew up watching SHA NA NA as a television variety show. And I was into it. Somewhere there exist blackmail photos of me with my (brown) leather jacket, my hair slicked back with Alberto VO5, and my oversized sunglasses. I was the most bad-ass 12-year-old you'd ever seen! So I was more than happy when the offer came to interview band frontman Jocko Marcellino. But it turned out there were things about SHA NA NA I did not know.

My first introduction to SHA NA NA was the television show, and I never looked back farther than that. But you guys actually played at Woodstock! What kind of tentpole was that in the band's history?

That was an extraordinary opportunity that was given to us by Jimi Hendrix. When we were starting out, we had stayed in school that summer. Then we decided to try and make it with the act. We had done eight professional gigs, and our eight professional gig was Woodstock.


The Message Driven Music of Kaylee Keller

Kaylee Keller

In 2003, I was reviewing a music reality series called NASHVILLE STAR. It was sort of the country music version of AMERICAN IDOL, before Carrie Underwood made AI go country itself. The winner of that first season was Buddy Jewell, but I was particularly drawn to the singer who didn't win the big prize, coming in third instead--a young lady named Miranda Lambert.

That particular quality I saw then is similar to what I see now in the music of Kaylee Keller, a twenty-year-old country music ingenue with a quickly growing discography and fanbase.

With her most recent music video, "Nowhere America," Keller garnered the attention of the folks at FOX, who put her on their airwaves and introduced her to a wider audience, who might be a bit surprised to find a millenial who's not quite into millenial things.


The FLUX HiFi Sonic Electronic Stylus Cleaner: You Only Thought You Were Cleaning Your Stylus Before

As a bonafide vinyl junkie and dyed in the wool stereophile, I have seen my fair share of gizmos, tricks, and gadgets come down the pike that promise to “remove veils from the listening experience” and “open up new windows in the recordings.” While some did work to a degree, many were a bunch of hooey. Some only delivered a minute portion of what they promised. So to say I have become jaded about such things would be a fair cop.

Now, as a vinylphile, I will be the first to stand on the soap box to state you have to keep your stylus clean if you want to maintain your records and continue to get the best out of your cartridge, which in turn will continue to give you listening enjoyment.


Black Sabbath: The End A Farewell Spectacular From Originators of Real Heavy Metal

Black Sabbath The End

BLACK SABBATH: THE END is a multi-format send-off from Eagle Rock Entertainment of Black Sabbath’s final concert, held in their hometown of Birmingham, England on February 4th, 2017, available in combinations of DVD+CD, /BluRay+CD, Double CD, Triple 180gram Vinyl and a Limited Edition Deluxe collector’s set.

Reviewed here is the 2-disc DVD+CD set, containing the DVD of the live concert and studio Angelic Sessions, and the single CD of the studio Angelic Sessions.


Brady Rymer and The Little Band That Could Deliver Holiday Fun That’s Fun for all Holidays

Revvin up the reindeer

What do you get when you mix The Brian Setzer Orchestra; Sharon, Lois & Bram and The Vince Guaraldi Trio? An album that brings together several styles of music in a holiday recording you will enjoy, regardless of which holiday you celebrate.

Starting with the first song “Revvin’ Up The Reindeer,” things get up and boogying with a 50’s big band sound reminiscent of The Brian Setzer Orchestra.


Mister G's Mundo Verde a Bilingual Rainforest for Your Ears

Mundo Verde

Latin Grammy winner Mister G brings forth a children’s album here that tells a story about nature and us all being one with the Earth—with the planet, with its animals, and with each other, bringing a message that we have ownership in this beautiful world we live in, be it adults or children.

Mister G does this by painting a pretty picture of a lush green Earth and the wonders in it. As he sings about it, he sings about how we must not only enjoy it, but do our part to keep it that way. Singing lyrics in both Spanish and English, he gives this sense of unity to children--that it’s not the languages that makes us different, but the music that binds us together. One does not need to understand all the words to hear the beauty in these songs. But whether you speak English or Spanish, you can enjoy it even more because he blends the two seamlessly throughout the album.


We Rave Over Laurie Berkner's Dance Remix Album

Laurie Berkner The Dance Remixes

Laurie Berkner’s latest, THE DANCE REMIXES, is one of those albums that took me by surprise, for a couple of reasons. I have been a long-time Berkner-holic, and as such thought I would know what to expect whenever she would put out a new album. Surprise number 1.

I also thought I knew what each of the songs on this album might sound like as a dance remix, based on the fact I knew the songs so well and also on the first fact above. Surprise number 2.

When I put the CD into the player and turned up the volume, it was instantly apparent that I was not in “Berkner-Kansas” any longer! I was in the midst of a rave! Wait, what did I just type? Laurie Berkner songs remixed into a modern day rave? Yes! And let me tell you, the remixes of these songs, while having vestiges of the originals intact, are in no way like the originals. But that is a good thing.


DeVore Fidelity's 3XL Speakers Artistic Achievement

Devore 3xl speakers

The DeVore 3XL speakers from DeVore Fidelity are a small 2-way monitor. The drive units are comprised of a .75 inch custom-made soft dome tweeter and 5 inch paper cone woofer from SEAS of Denmark. The cabinets are made out of real Bamboo (no Veneer here) and measure 15.25H X 7.3125W X 10.875D. They are 8 Ohm, 90db sensitivity rated speakers, which makes them very easy to drive by amplification of even modest wattage. The speakers are best suited to be placed on stands, and the matching bamboo stands are not only the perfect match for them aesthetically but sonically as well.

Although they are the smallest of the Gibbon line, they still incorporate the same tweeter that is used in their top-of-the-line Silverback speakers. They retail for $3,700.00 a pair, with an additional $595.00 for the stands, which should be considered prerequisite.

The speakers are made in the USA at John DeVore's facilities in the old Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York City.


Top 5 Halloween Songs of All-Time

Happy Halloween! Just for fun, I've compiled a short-list of Halloween songs, which could be considered the top songs of all-time for the spooktacular holiday. No Halloween party would be complete without hearing these 5 songs at one point or another. So without any further delay, let's get to the list!

5: Living Dead Girl - Rob Zombie

The closest thing to a modern age song you'll find on this list, released in 1999, almost anything by Rob Zombie is Halloween worthy. A super fan of horror films, Rob Zombie delivers a song with all the creepiness you need on Halloween. The opening line of dialogue: "Who is this irresistible creature who has an insatiable lust for the dead?" is the perfect intro for a song as creepy as it's title implies.


Great Rock with Real Purpose: Ricky Byrd's Clean Getaway

Ricky Byrd, Clean Getaway

Ricky Byrd, 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee (with Joan Jett and the Blackhearts) and reformed addict (over 30 years clean), has been writing songs and playing concerts at rehab and recovery clinics around the nation to bring hope to those in recovery to help give them the strength to carry on. As he puts it, he was blessed with the “gift of desperation” in 1987.

The collections of songs on his latest album, CLEAN GETAWAY, comes because of requests from people at these shows, and I can honestly say I have never heard anything else like this collection of songs before.


Absolutely Free a 50th Anniversary Remaster Actually Worth Listening To

Absolutely Free

2017 marks the 50th Anniversary of the release of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention’s iconic, off-the-beaten-path album ABSOLUTELY FREE. Unlike another, more famous album that got a 50th anniversary remastered and rereleased, this year, this one is actually worth owning and listening to!

Whereas the “other one” was played with far too much so that it hardly resembled the original at all, the marvelous mastering here seems to have sought out and achieved making the original sound better, but not different, on that magical 180-gram vinyl.



Jeff Beck Live at the Hollywood Bowl: You've Gotta See and Hear It to Believe It!

During the Summer of ’16, something monumental happened…

Jeff Beck, one of the greatest guitar players rock has ever known, celebrated his 50th anniversary in the business by having a concert at the celebrated Hollywood Bowl amphitheater, along with some very special guests he’s worked with over the years.

At 72 years of age at the time of the concert, you would think it more of just a tribute concert. Not so at all. This was no going-through-the-motions event. Jeff was in perfect form, and played as astonishingly as he ever had. Think about what I just said: one of the greatest (in anyone’s list of greatest guitar players ever) played as good as I have ever heard and seen him--at 72 years old!

Now, if (like me) you didn’t know about this, or couldn’t even go if you did, the music lovers at Eagle Rock Entertainment wove their magic and were smart enough to capture it for all of us to see and hear.


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