Friday, March 15, 2019

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: REIGNWOLF/HEAR ME OUT


REIGNWOLF
HEAR ME OUT

Available NOW


Thanks to American Idol, The Voice and other like-minded TV shows plus the influence of YouTube, it is perfectly understandable that kids today think that the path to a successful musical career is easy and that nearly anyone can be a star overnight. However, reality paints a darker picture. It is often overlooked that nearly 90% of all TV talent show winners end up without a hit record to their name and they fade away into obscurity almost as quickly as they rose to fame. On the other hand, there are still plenty of modern artists who have toiled in relative obscurity for years before becoming ‘overnight sensations’. While not exactly obscure, indie Blues/Rock outfit Reignwolf has taken the long road and is finally releasing their debut album seven years after the band first formed.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: DAVID GRAY/GOLD IN A BRASS AGE


DAVID GRAY
GOLD IN A BRASS AGE

3.8.19

In the music industry, fame can be fleeting but true success is measured by the lasting impact the musician’s art has on the listener/consumer. For example, let’s look back at the year 2000. There were a lot of big worldwide hits that year by well-known artists (U2, Bon Jovi, Madonna, Britney Spears, etc.) and some long-forgotten artists as well (Darude, BBMak, Wheatus, MxPx). While many of the hits from that year are still fondly remembered, an equal amount of chart-climbers have been tossed aside like an old stick of bubble gum – chewed up and spit out once they were out of flavor. However, there are singles released in ’00 that were not only lovingly embraced by music fans but also inspired a new generation of musicians. A few of those – including “Babylon” - were released by British singer/songwriter David Gray. The success of his WHITE LADDER album took many by surprise yet it was far from an overnight success…

Friday, March 1, 2019

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: STEVE POLTZ/SHINE ON

STEVE POLTZ
SHINE ON

3.1.19

Nova Scotia, Canada has given us some fine musical talent over the years. Anne Murray, Denny Doherty (The Mamas & The Papas), Sarah McLachlan, Feist, members of April Wine and Sloan, Holly Cole, and Hank Snow are just a few of the native Nova Scotians that have made their mark in Rock history. There are many others, of course, and there will be many in the years to come. Singer/songwriter Steve Poltz hails from Nova Scotia as well. However, he kickstarted his musical career as a member of San Diego legends The Rugburns. For over two decades – and releases on Priority and Bizarre/Planet Records – The Rugburns has remained a sorely underappreciated outfit. Alongside The Rugburns’ trio of releases (two albums and an EP) and a dozen solo albums, Poltz is also known as the co-writer of his former girlfriend Jewel’s multi-platinum hit “You Were Meant For Me,” which reached #2 on Billboard. In short, Poltz has achieved quite a bit in a career that, by and large, has been under the radar. Perhaps it is time for more listeners to get to know Steve a bit more intimately with his 2019 album SHINE ON

Friday, February 22, 2019

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: KEIKO MATSUI/ECHO



KEIKO MATSUI
ECHO

2.22.19

Smooth Jazz and New Age music are genres that have always received the short end of the stick. Jazz purists and Rock critics have continually written the music off as ‘lifeless’ and/or ‘boring.’ However, both Smooth Jazz and New Age have survived decades of critical neglect thanks to a large – and continually growing – audience. And why has this music survived and prospered for so long? Because the music connects with the listener in a way that most musical styles don’t. These are not genres that have continually gone after the big bucks. This is music created from emotion – sadness, joy, desire, etc. – and because it comes from an honest place, listeners can easily absorb those feelings that went into creating the art. In turn, they bond with the music because of those emotions. It becomes a very personal experience. And isn’t that what helps us get through life?  All of those very personal experiences, good or bad? Thankfully, music will always fall on the side of good.

Monday, February 18, 2019

THE CACTUS BLOSSOMS: An EXCLUSIVE Q&A


PLEASE DON’T CALL US CRAZY:

An EXCLUSIVE Q&A 
with
THE CACTUS BLOSSOMS’ 
Page Burkum and Jack Torrey


STEPHEN SPAZ SCHNEE: EASY WAY is now ready for release. How are you feeling about the project and the reaction you’ve had to it so far?
PAGE BURKUM: Getting a new record out in to the world is a great feeling. People are playing “Please Don’t Call Me Crazy” on the radio and our new songs seem to get a good reaction at our live shows, so hopefully that’s a good sign!

Friday, February 15, 2019

TEENSVILLE RECORDS: Excursions into Sunshine Pop!




If you aren’t familiar with the term Sunshine Pop, chances are you’ve experienced a dose of it without being aware you were listening to it. The genre itself is carefree, breezy, and upbeat – feel-good music that would most certainly brighten up your day. While the name may conjure up images of The Beach Boys or itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dot bikinis, Sunshine Pop is something different. With lush harmony vocals (inspired by Brian Wilson & Co.) and light musical arrangements akin to Folk Rock, Sunshine Pop has also been referred to as Soft Pop but shouldn’t be confused with the sillier (but equally delicious) Bubblegum Pop.

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: DALE WATSON/CALL ME LUCKY


DALE WATSON
CALL ME LUCKY
(Red House Records)

2.15.19


The term ‘Honky-Tonk’ means different things to different people. For some, Honky-Tonk is raw and raucous sub-genre of Country Music. For others, it is a smoky bar with beer-stained floorboards, rowdy patrons, and the constant flow of Country Music. From juke boxes to live music performed by local and traveling musicians, Honky-Tonk bars gave birth to a distinctive style of Country Music. Then again, one can say that Honky-Tonk music helped establish the spirit of a Honky-Tonk bar. So, in this case, it doesn’t matter which came first – both the music and the drinking establishments are now intrinsically linked to each other. However, a bar cannot easily hitch itself to a truck and move from town to town like a Honky-Tonk musician can. This means that the spirit of Honky-Tonk must exist within the music and it is up to the many traveling minstrels to spread its ‘gospel’.  And this brings us to a man who preaches that gospel better than anyone out there: Dale Watson.