– Rock Formats Music Reviews (6.6.11)

By: Michael D. Vogel  

 © June 6, 2011. Michael D. Vogel.  All Rights Reserved.

Published in:

Free Gotham June 8, 2011

Examiner.com – June 7, 2011  


Evans Blue

Song: “Say It”

From the release: Evans Blue 

Label: Sounds+Sights

Members: Dan Chandler – vocals, Parker Lauzon – guitars, V – guitars, Joe Pitter – bass, H-Bomb Davis – drums

Producer: Trevor Kustiak

Origin: Evans Blue hail from diverse locales such as Toronto, Ontario, Canada, St. Louis, MO. and Houston, TX.

Website: http://evansblue.com/

VideoEvans Blue Tube – “Say It”

What you should know: – Rock radio already knows the power and magnitude of Evans Blue’s music through their Top 5 Active Rock radio debut Cold (But I’m Still Here).” The first single alone helped propel the bands debut album to #1 on Billboard’s Heatseeker chart in 2006, followed by the lead single, The Pursuit,” from their sophomore release, which debuted at #44 on Billboard’s Hot 200! Before the release of the band’s self-titled third album though, original singer Kevin Matisyn left the band, making way for Dan Chandler and the next chapter of Evans Blue.

A change in singers has only intensified the already strong chemistry that exists within the band, as is evidenced by the first song from their self-titled third album. Originally released as a digital single to iTunes in 2009, “Sick Of It” has since gone on to sell in excess of 30,000 copies alone as well as reaching the lofty spot of #2 on the year-end chart for Sirius/XM’s Octane channel as well as KUPD/Phoenix’s Top 98 of 2009. Capitalizing on this success, a physical release followed in mid 2010. The current single, Say It (which debuted at #40* on the Billboard Active Rock chart), from their eponymous titled album, shows that this 5-piece mass of kinetic energy can unleash the hellfire in all its rock & roll glory! The Say It video is just as unique as the band, utilizing a compilation of fan submissions. The follow-up to Billboard’s Top 25 track Erase My Scars” sees the band putting guitars out front while showcasing Chandler’s big league vocal delivery. An electrified song with so much energy, you’ll be instantly devoured by its power and passion. Throughout the albums 12 tracks, one thing is clear; Evans Blue brings the hard rock for people who know it when they hear it. Case in point, “Erase My Scars” has sold nearly 50,000 digital tracks while their self-titled release has sold just under 30,000 albums to date plus another 160,000+ digital tracks overall, not bad for an independent release!

Make no mistake about it – Evans Blue writes heavy reaction songs; but more importantly, Evans Blue IS definitely a heavy reaction band! ^m^

 Kings Of Leon

Song: “Back Down South”

From the release: Come Around Sundown

Label: RCA/RMG

Members: Caleb Followill – guitar & vocals, Nathan Followill – drums, Jared Followill – bass, Matthew Followill – guitar

Producer: Angelo Petraglia and Jacquire King

Origin: Nashville, Tennessee

Website: http://www.kingsofleon.com/

Video: Kings Of Leon – “Pyro”

What you should know: – Kings Of Leon are a group of young men hailing from the Music City – Nashville, TN., who quickly gained a reputation for delivering a brand of rock & roll that speaks to the soul and excites the senses. But Kings Of Leon are no overnight sensations though, having five studio albums under their belt that have reached gold or platinum status, plus a well established touring career, long before the multi-format #1 smashes “Use Somebody” and Sex On Fire” were heard rockin’ the radio’s across the land.  Their rocket-ride to stardom isn’t too surprising though when you consider the quality and substance of their music. Plain and simple, the juggernaut that is Kings Of Leon continues with their new aggressively emotional studio album Come Around Sundown. Darker and grungier than albums past, Come Around Sundown embraces these rock roots as evidenced by the use of dark and light imagery as well as hard and soft sounds throughout the album.   

Following on the heels of the  #1 Adult Alternative hit “Radioactive” and the top 10 track “Pyro”, the first two singles from Come Around Sundown, is the highly melodic and musically engaging “Back Down South”, an unpretentious song that rocks with spirit and a high degree of energy. This nice little nugget of ear-candy has depth and polish, accentuating the band’s signature sounds while creating an immense musical landscape. A triple threat, “Back Down South”, will light up request lines with pure mainstream harmonies, straight ahead guitar work combined with Caleb’s trademark vocals and a sleek image that will satisfy everyone from the hipster indie crowd to the die-hard rock fan. A sure – fire crowd pleaser that will definitely resonate with fans both old and new, “Back Down South” is only one of 13 tracks that illustrate why  Come Around Sundown has already surpassed Gold certification with sales of over 500,000 and growing. ^m^

 Egypt Central

Song: “White Rabbit”

From the release: White Rabbit

Label: Fat Lady Music/ILG

Members: John Falls– vocals, Jeff James – guitar, Joey Chicago – bass, Blake Allison – drums & percussion

Producer: Skidd Mills

Origin: Memphis, Tennessee

Website: http://www.egyptcentral.net/

Video: Egypt Central – White Rabbit

What you should know: – Egypt Central is one of the toughest roads in Memphis. No name more appropriate for these four hard-hitting boys from the American south, an area that brought us many renowned musicians like Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Muddy Waters, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Robert Johnson. Forming in 2002 Egypt Central’s hardcore groove caught the attention of former Lava CEO Jason Flom, who offered them a record deal. Ultimately, the record saw many delays and wasn’t released until 2008. With a refreshed and renewed intensity and determination, the band headed back into the studio to record their sophomore release. The title track, “White Rabbit,” doesn’t hold anything back, showcasing the heavy guitars that are spread throughout the full album. “White Rabbit” is groove central without sacrificing one bit of its’ pulverizing guitar and bass combination. Heavy riffs, lyrics from the soul and strong melodic hooks make this a track that will turn heads and volume knobs at rock radio. The track is an intricately woven story of the trials and tribulations and ultimately the dark consequences that occur when one follows the White Rabbit. A band the embodies everything that rock radio is about, Egypt Central brings the rock and personality that will segue well with everything from your tried and true Classic Rock staple to your new found Active Rock favorite. Give it a listen – it will instantly have you reaching for greater decibels while your head rocks to the steady sonic beat. ^m^


 Bob Dylan

From the release: Bob Dylan Bootleg Series Volume 9: The Witmark Demos: 1962-1964

Label: Columbia/Legacy

Members: Bob Dylan – accompanied only by his guitar, harmonica and occasionally piano

Producer: Jeff Rosen and Steve Berkowitz

Origin: New York NY via Duluth, Minnesota

Website: http://www.bobdylan.com/

Video: The Witmark Demos Trailer

What you should know: – Bob Dylan is a legend of rock music, so it goes without saying that he is part of the very fiber that helped construct the rock genre as well as a fixture  in its more classic  and adult-alternative off-shoots. He has been doing his thing for so long you’d think he was the fore-father of the acoustic movement. He has built a career out of writing and recording music that always defies the norm, the epitome of a tireless grass-roots effort. Having played all over the world, Dylan has written songs about socioeconomic, political, introspective, and intelligent songs that stand up to any modern contemporary singer/songwriter. He is New York, Los Angeles, Nashville and Chicago all rolled into one.

Continuing in that tradition is the latest installment from the Columbia/Legacy Dylan Bootleg Series – The Witmark Demos. Energized on making royalties on his music, Dylan vigorously pursued a publishing deal and ultimately found two. Those early classics were written and recorded between 1962 and 1964, for Dylan’s first and second publishers, (Leeds Music and M. Witmark & Sons), a few years before he hit the quarter century mark. Even at such an early age, his effortless ability to blend styles, cross genres and intoxicate people with his passionate sonic poetry rings through on these early recordings. The double CD features many remarkable performances where Bob showcases his true affinity for tracks rich in lyrical depth and passionate vocals. Never actually intended for public utilization, these songs were written with the intent on selling them to other artists to record. But it is easy to see why, on some of these early gems like “Blowin’ In The Wind”, “The Time They Are a-Changing”, “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” and “Mr. Tambourine Man”, which showcase why Dylan’s music has been a mainstay at Rock oriented radio since the 60’s. In addition to early renditions, rarities and outtakes that have appeared on various other Bootleg editions, Volume 9 contains 15 tracks that have never been officially released. The tracks are the epitome of some of the best in 60’s folk rock. It has that special indefinable ‘thing’ that calls you over to tell a quiet story, daring you not to turn away for fear of missing a word or note. This double CD package is well worth your time, over and over again!

Favorite Tracks: “Blowin’ In The Wind”, “The Time They Are a-Changing”, “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall”, “Mr. Tambourine Man”,Hard Times In New York Town”, “Rambling, Gambling Willie”, “Talking Bear Mountain Picnic”, “Seven Curses”, “Whatcha Gonna Do?” “When The Ship Comes In”, “Guess I’m Doing Fine” “Bound To Lose, Bound To Win”, “ All Over You” and “I’d Hate to Be You On That Dreadful Day.”  ^m^

 Grateful Dead

From the release: Crimson, White & Indigo – Philadelphia, PA, July 7, 1989

Label: Grateful Dead/Rhino

Members: Jerry Garcia – guitar & vocals, Bob Weir – guitar & vocals, Brent Mydland – keyboards & vocals, Phil Lesh – bass & vocals, Bill Kreutzmann – drums, Mickey Hart – drums

Producer: David Lemieux

Origin: San Francisco, California

Website: http://www.gratefuldead.com/

Video: Grateful Dead – Crimson White & Indigo Online Trailer

What you should know: – The Grateful Dead have always had a long standing policy of allowing their fans to record live shows. (Ask any Dead-head and they’ll show you boxes of tapes and spin wild stories of those concerts to make you think you were back in the 60’s.) A Dead show was equally about the music as it was about the experience. The live performance was always memorable, forever etched in your mind where time stood still and nothing mattered but peace, love and hippiness, with the steady groove of the Jerry, Bobby and company providing the soundtrack. Attend one and you would be forever changed, looking forward to the next. With so many recordings of live shows, what makes this CD special is the clarity of the sound, while the DVD, shot from multiple camera angles, adds a visual to the soundtrack helping to reproduce the Dead-head’s original experience. So clearly recorded, you hear every note of every song, from every set of the entire show as if you were right there at the concert plugged into the sound board with your own personal headphones.  Collectively, the band gives the music a face and body, an almost tangible quality where one could merely breach out and touch the music swirling in the air.

This live recording from the Dead’s concert in the city of brotherly love, capture the bands heavy psychedelic jazz and bluegrass-meets-rock sound, showcasing their obvious complex musical influences. Recorded on a hot summer night – July 7th, 1989, as the final concert of Philadelphia’s famed John F. Kennedy stadium. Patriotically titled, Crimson, White & Indigo is truly a must hear. The triple CD/DVD set captures the band at the peak of their renascence. The interplay between Jerry Garcia, who was in prime vocal and guitar form, Bob Weir and Brent Mydland is top-notch, while Phil Lesh’s fingers were flying at sonic speed in perfect rhythm with Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart. Some of the highlights of the show include a nice “Scarlet Begonia”/”Fire On The Mountain” combination, “Box Of Rain” and “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” to name just a few. Collectively, Crimson, White & Indigo really gives that big stadium ‘wall-of-sound’ experience, punctuated by a massive 5:1 mix, which should excite old and new fans alike.

The CD/DVD package captures all the excitement of a live dead experience, taking you on a magic journey of rock & roll intensity through sounds and colors. Whether you are a longtime Dead-head or just a fan of this genre of music, Crimson, White & Indigo is a must have for your music and video collection. At bare minimum, make sure you have plenty of room to dance around the room as you listen to Crimson, White & Indigo.

Favorite Tracks: “Scarlet Begonia”/”Fire On The Mountain”, “Box Of Rain”, “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”, “Little Red Rooster”, “Wharf Rat”/”Turn On Your Lovelight”, “Iko Iko”  and “Hell In A Bucket” ^m^

© June 6, 2011. Michael D. Vogel.  All Rights Reserved. This originally appeared on the Vogelism blog at https://www.vogelism.com, authored by Michael D. Vogel. This article may be shared or reprinted as long as the entire copyright message, including the source location of this article, accompanies it.

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