Tuesday, December 9, 2014

THE MOST INFLUENTIAL ALBUMS OF 2014

R360 spent many hours turning the tables on what has been an exciting year of-heartbreaking songs, psychedelic blues, blunt pop, electro soundscapes, country/folk, to the more encompassing lyrics and sounds of rock 'n' roll. These polls always vote the top 10 or 50 albums for the year. We admit, there were arguments as emotions were raised and music opinions exchanged. But after much debate, we decided to go for an odd (even) number of 16 most influential albums of 2014.


Luke Elliot - Provisions
Justin Dzuban - Shakedown
Bill Madden - New Religion


Boroko - BOROKO
The Cherry Drops -Everything Groovy


Keeton Coffman - The Ghost
Kai  Altair - Shadow Dance
Polaris Rose - Ocean Songs 


Kent Odessa - Physical Genius
Chase Coy  - SUN CULTURE
Rae DiLeo - Meridian Dream 
Kenny Scott/Kate Lynne Logan - Back Bar Angel 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Victoria Blythe

Victoria Blythe's Silver Flyer soars, glides and settles softly in your mind.
Review: I have known Victoria Blythe for a number of years, but mostly in the context of her band, Calaveras, which she and her husband Greg Beattie founded in 1992. A few years have passed since then - Calaveras has released three album, a number of singles and played many, many concerts. Vickie moved in and out of the bio-tech industry. Greg went to Harvard Law school and became a nonprofit lawyer.

But they never stopped playing music and Victoria never stopped singing. Calaveras remained active and vital and kept getting better and better. And so did Victoria, so much so that, at long last, she has released a solo album and it is a stunning compilation of the experience of years since began singing as a child and writing songs as a teen. Victoria's stratospherically-pitched, classically trained voice brings a lightness and urgency to blues, jazz and American music. Every song she touches in Silver Flyer, whether it is hers, Beattie's, a joint effort or a cover, is a soaring flight of shimmering sound. Each song is an iridescent gift, ingeniously arranged by Sam Bevan, lovingly produced by Blythe with John Jacob and presented in exquisite CD package with a whimsical lyric booklet and artwork by Olivia Bythe.

"Silver Flyer" leads off the collection, co-written with husband Greg. Blythe carries you up to touch the sky and then gently circles you down closer to earth, modulating her warm honey voice so you feel and see every note. She was a silver flyer/over a sea of darkness in his heart... Down in a lover's spiral/pulled to the ground by his desire. You don't know whether to cry or just submerge into her voice or both.

And while you are submerged, she heats you to a glowing ether with a smoky jazz take on James Brown's I've Got You (I feel Good) arranged by Bevan and sung by Blythe in way that is reminiscent of Peggy Lee's iconic Fever. Shifting back to original material, Blythe croons an aching tale of weakness and heartbreak, "Blind". Late nights, short trips, phones calls  that quickly end/But a woman goes on lovin what she can't defend sums up the story of mistracked relationships since time began. Husband Beattie's lyrics are supported perfectly by Mike Sult's blues guitar and Art Khu's moving piano. She ends it on a strong note, moving her voice slightly down its register and injecting a weary firmness into the last line, But now I can't see a reason to try forgiving you. 


Blythe continues the need-to-be-strong theme in "Good Enough", and then shifts to love and longing in "Dancing with You all By By Myself" and "Coming Home", summoning up phantasmagorias of herself swirling around in her room alone or fighting rush hour traffic to an empty, but comfortable house. As ever, in both songs her voice caresses you while she conjures pointillist images that are so real you can find them in your own memories.

Melancholy moves to loss in the dreamy "The Deep Blue of Midnight" as Blythe steps into an gauzy acoustic painting crated by Walter Strauss's haunting guitar and falls into trance of hope and longing. Streaking stars on indigo/Leave me in a reverie?sleepless, sightless, restless hours. Then she picks up the pace in "Veterans Day", a pop number with tempting hooks, up tempo jazz drums and backup vocals... and very painted lyrics, There's a hole in my heart where the arrow went through/On it's way to another woman?There's a ring on my finger where I have been branded?And stranded with empty hands. They are delivered with Blythe's signature tightly controlled voice that just skates at the limit of her highs, but never crosses it.

Blythe and her arranger Bevan deliberately spread this album over blues, jazz, pop and a trace of folk to show off the range not only of her vice, but of her emotional delivery. from the late-night, empty jazz-cub ambience's of "Feel You in My Bones" to the ethereal high pitched dreaminess of "The Depp", to the down and dirty rhythmic "The Way You Look at Me" Blythe puts her her vocal stamp on each as if it was written precisely for her. That precision is personified in the final song, the shimmering and sophisticated "Waiting for the Sun".

The secret is that each song was written exactly for her voice. Whether the lyrics and bars were fashioned by her husband alone or together with Blythe, each song is crafted unerringly to her pitch, style and emotional range. The result is a collection not so much of songs, but of pictures at an exhibition that flow through your ears into your your mind and then seep into your tear ducts. in Silver Flyer, Victoria Blythe has created a musical Seurat for lovers - past, present, and future - painted with all emotions of love from joy to loss. It soars, glides, and settles softy in your mind and will be there for along, long time.

Silver Flyer is out now and available Here


To hear and learn more about Victoria Blythe go to:
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Silver Flyer

LA. Correspondent
Patrick O'Heffernan
@Music FridayLive!


New York Funk Exchange

New York Funk Exchange is pleased to to announce the release of This Is Your Brain on Funk, their lead single from their upcoming LP, "Get On The Floor." The nine-piece funk band is fronted by powerhouse female vocalist, Serena Fortier, who has shared the stage with acts such as Eddie Money, Galactic, Damian Marley, Nas, Martha and the Vandellas and Fred Wesley the New JB's - just to name a few. Their second full-length album draws inspiration from acts such as James brown, Michael Jackson, Lettuce, Jill Scott, and De la Soul. The 14 tracks contain a healthy mixture of old school funk, jazz, soul and R&B creating a sound undoubtedly attributed to New York Funk Exchange. This Is Your Brain on Funk was recorded at both the legendary Avatar Studios and newly renovated Chung King Studios.

Formed in 2007, the members include bombshell Serena Fortier (vocals), Ray Holman (drums/vocals), Matt Fox (bass/guitar), Jamey Zebrack (keyboard/vocals), Matty G. (guitar), R. J Avallone (trumpet), Matt Maley (baritone and soprano saxophones), Mike Farrell (tenor saxophone) and Nick Martino (trumpet). Since their frontman, the nine piece has played hundreds of shows throughout the United States. From packed house shows to headlining festivals, to playing live on the radio on SirusXM's "Ron and Fez" show and obtaining a residency at Club Grooves NYC in Manhattan's East village, this band's energy is abundant and more importantly - contagious!

This Is Your Brain on Funk is out now and available Here.


To hear and learn more about New York Funk Exchange go to:
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NYFE
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The Dirty Jacks

Following up on recent buzz generated in the live arena, Maryland-based alt/prog outfit The Dirty Jacks are gearing up to release their latest studio EP, All Part of the Plan.

The technically skilled quintet of Colin Ball (lead vocals, guitar) Billy Rommal (lead guitar) Bobby Scott (bass, vocals) Erik Hildebrant (drum) Ian Hildebrant (keys, vocals) came together after various jam sessions inspired by acts like Mute Math, Tool, and Minus the Bear. Tirelessly touring and working on their sound, The Dirty Jacks have evolved towards more dynamic song compositions including three part harmonies and complex rhythms.


Along with their internal build, the band has grown out on the road playing some of Maryland's largest venues including The Fillmore, Jammin' Java, The Reacher Theatre and Rams Head Live. Their success on tour includes winning the 2012 Washington Auto Show's Battle of the Bands and  Jammin' Java's Mid-Atlantc Band Battle 6 leading to The Dirty Jacks  being voted band of the month, April 2012, on the Deli Magazine.  Their latest music video, 'Mr. Derailer' was just released, blending alternative and progressive rock showcasing their signature style.


To hear and learn more about The Dirty Jacks go to:
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The Dirty Jacks
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facebook.com/thedirtyjacks

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Cindy Alexander

Review: Within moments of hearing the artists Cindy Alexander I was enticed. I was mesmerized by her musicality from the push of the play button. Throughout the course of her music Cindy controls the listener's mood with her dynamic course of each song. She does not set you on a single set trajectory within a single song but varies her chord, melody and pace to create fitting and memorable songs within themselves. For example: Cindy can set her audience up for for n acoustic ballad with the introduction and verse, which changes into a Pop/Rock bridge, moving into a country chorus and a soul based middle 8. Although it seems on paper as if her formula of song writing is of a regular method with a simple changing of genre... the fact is that if you actually break-down her tracks and play each part on its own, it becomes a unique and memorable song to itself.

She is a songsmith with an "I'm gonna go it my way" rock chick attitude. Sometimes you need to be in a certain mood for some artists but if you give Cindy Alexander four bars of her her voice and wordplay she will put you in any mood she desires through her methods of writing and performance.


Back in 2013 Cindy was diagnosed with breast cancer and under-went a double mastectomy, Cindy has handled the situation in ways she knows best - by openly sharing the journey with humor and blunt honesty, and of course, through song.

Cindy recently released her new album. "Curve" (via Blue Elan Records). There's no doubt about it that you'll be loving the sound of this spunky survivor, as she's back stronger than ever with a "new set, and a her latest video "Heels Over Head".


Cindy has toured and shared the stage with America., the Bacon Brothers (Kevin and Michael Bacon), Rick Springfield, John Hiatt, Joe Bonamassa, Suzanne Vega, Joan Osborne, Edwin McCain, Marc Cohn, Dishwalla, Art Alexakis (Everclear), Gin Blossoms, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Karla Bonoff, Howard Jones, and the list goes on."

Cindy's new album CURVE  is out now and available HERE.


To hear and learn more about Cindy Alexander go to:
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Cindy Alexander
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facebook.com/cindyalexander

UK. Correspondent
James Peter Kirby 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Mike Gallagher & High Order


Blending a mixture of genres including rock, gospel, funk and a litany of others, Mike Gallagher & High Order step forward with their new LP The Edge of A Dream.

As a triple threat, Gallagher plays guitar, keyboards and sings, while leading his electric group of fellow veteran musicians from expertise gained as a producer for Trackforce Productions. Gallagher's natural role as bandleader comes from learning during a variety of high profile sideman opportunities including performing for Barack Obama's inaugural brunch, where he joined Carole King, Yolanda and Bebe Winans.


The multi-talented, well traveled musician has been in demand throughout his career touring with acts like George Clinton and Lupe Fiasco, additionally Gallagher has contributed music for Oprah Winfrey show, Dr. Oz and MTV's '16 & Pregnant." All of these experiences and influences inform The Edge Of A Dream.



Mike Gallagher & Higher Order have released their new video for the single "All Falls Down." Their single, and LP can be heard HERE.


To hear and learn more about Mike Gallagher go to:
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Gabby Gordon

Gabby Gordon is a Danish American, singer/songwriter living and performing in Los Angeles, California. Growing up, Gabby lived and traveled between Denmark, Switzerland, Czech Republic, UK, Germany and the US. Her unique life experience has inspired her love for music.

Faced with constant state of change, music was a way for Gabby to express her individuality and to bong with people from all walks of life. since then, Gabby has built her artists career on countless stages in the US and Europe, creating opportunities to perform with world-class musicians including a recent performance with legendary Mick Fleetwood.

In 2004 Gabby and her family relocated to California. Los Angeles became Gabby's new home, where she has been able to take her career to the next level and make a name for herself as a powerhouse soulful singer, and a songwriter with a unique and personal style.

Gordon has released her new video "Underground" from her self-titled debut EP available HERE.


Currently Gabby is promoting the release of her fully-produced self-titled EP, which was recorded with the renowned producer Marshall Altman (Ingrid Michaelson), Marc Broussard) and drummer/music collaborator Ronen Gordon in Nashville, TN. 

To hear and learn more about Gabby Gordon go to:
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