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The Michael Schenker Group, Immortal was released on January 29, 2021.

 

"Michael Schenker has been in the business of making amazing rock music for 50 years – The Scorpions, UFO, The Michael Schenker Group, Temple of Rock, and Michael Schenker Fest to name but a few incarnations of the great man and his music.

 

Michael has gathered together an amazing team of musicians and singers for this album, and it gives him possibly the strongest group yet. Bass player Barry Sparks (Dokken), keyboard player Steve Mann as well as the three drummers Bodo Schopf, Simon Phillips (ex-Toto) and Brian Tichy (ex-Whitesnake), and keyboard wizard extraordinaire Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater, Black Country Communion) alongside the man with the axe make for a great sound. Then add in a multitude of vocalists including Ronnie Romero, Ralf Scheepers, Joe Lynn Turner, Michael Voss, Robin McAuley and old favourite Doogie White and you have some amazing singers to belt out the songs.

 

The album has a great mix of tracks on there – some at breakneck speed, some more mellow, and some a mix of both! Opener and initial single, “Drilled To Kill”, throws you in at the deep end with a thumping, rapid, drum beat and some amazing vocals from Ronnie Romero. Schenker’s guitar licks sew it together as always, and there is some great playing here."

 

You can read the rest of the review here...

 

 

 

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Backbone Slip...    

I’m at the point in my audio journey (and I’m sure a few of you are too) where I really don’t need more gear, are at least gear that is significantly better than what I already have is beyond my means

John Wheeler, from Debussy And Satie: Debussy and Satie: Intimate Upright Piano Series, Vol. 1  

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Black Pistol Fire, Look Alive was released on January 29, 2021.

 

"Revved-up blues/rock/punk duo Black Pistol Fire roars mightily on their new album Look Alive. The set is scheduled to meet the world January 29th, 2021 on Black Hill Records and shows Black Pistol Fire evolving their uncommon genre blend into a more atmospheric and dramatic sound that embraces cinematic greatness as well as garage rock grit."

 

You can read the rest of the review here...

 

 

 

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The Peter Frampton Band, Peter Frampton Forgets The Words was released on April 23, 2021.

 

"Certified rock and roll all-timer Peter Frampton sounds as mighty and timeless as ever on his new all-instrumental album Frampton Forgets the Words."

 

You can read the rest of the review here...

 

 

 

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The latest (2020) release from Daniel Lanois.

"Dear friends,
I’m writing this memo from my studio in ole Toronto. All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey, and the creative arena is fabulously alive. I’ve decided to release a wave of music under the banner «The Maker Series». This is is the banner I will be operating under for the next 4 years. On studying the creative waves that have come to me before, I understand that that what I do happens in blocks of time, roughly 4 years. I like to reference the ambient music chapter with my friend Brian Eno as an example of a concentrated time of music making. It took us through roughly 4 years and we had the best time. Good work came from that devotion. Thank you, Brian. This first «Maker Series» release is titled «Under The Heavy Sun».
I’m very proud to be associated with my mates on this, Johnny Shepherd, Rocco DeLuca and Jim Wilson. «Under The Heavy Sun» imagines a place where spirit rises from the ground, from hurt to glory, an open road to a joy untold, a club somewhere in outer space where you leave your ego at the door to enter a new dimension of freedom."
 
~Daniel Lanois

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Dorothy, Thrive in the Darkness was released on June 6, 2021.  

 

I couldn't find any reviews of this, so here goes. Dorothy's voice reminds me of Beth Hart, but she's more of a rocker than bluesy. That said, Dorothy can belt out the blues. The track, After Midnight showcases her blues ability. This EP gets a solid 8 on the Sk1Bum 10 scale.

 

This if from the artist's biography on TIDAL"

 

"Dorothy, an alternative LA-based rock band, was built around Dorothy Martin, a singer who was born in Budapest but raised in San Diego. As a child, she started singing early and eventually made her way to Los Angeles. Rolling Stone named Dorothy one of the best 50 Best New Artists of 2014 and soon after, Dorothy was signed by Jay-Z's Roc Nation.

 

The band’s first album ROCKISDEAD, received much critical acclaim, hitting No. 1 on Billboard's Heatseekers Chart, No. 5 on Top Hard Rock Albums, and featured two songs ("Raise Hell" and "Dark Nights") in the Top 40 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart.

 

Martin recently put together a new, high level, and powerful band including guitarist Nick Maybury, guitarist Leroy Wulfmeier, bassist Eliot Lorango, and drummer Jason Ganberg. Dorothy is releasing their second full-length album 28 Days in the Valley on March 16th.

“This was a spiritual journey and very healing, and because of that it's an unapologetically honest record,” says Martin of the new album. “Somehow Linda [Perry] knew I had more to give as a singer and writer. I used to hide behind the tough girl sound, but she taught me that there is power in my vulnerability and that's what you get on this record."

 

28 Days in the Valley still has the in-your-face bluesy, gritty rock and roll fans loved on 2016's ROCKISDEAD, and their recent standalone single, "Down To the Bottom," which hit No. 35 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart and which Rolling Stone called the "perfect mix of blues thunder and alt-rock guitar crunch." But, added to that thunder this time around are more layers of emotion fueled by less metal, more California desert rock vibes. The lead single “Flawless”, a fearless yet vulnerable anthem, was released in January.

 

Critics have compared Martin to some of the greatest female artists of our time, such as Amy Winehouse, Patti Smith, and Grace Slick, even calling her "a revved up Adele teetering on the brink of chaos." The band is managed by We Are Hear and represented by Roc Nation. Dorothy is currently on tour. For more information, visit dorothytheband.com"

 

 

 

I would definitely add Beth Hart to that comparison list, but I could be wrong. :D 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, Dance Songs For Hard Times was released on April 9, 2021.

 

"Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band roars into 2021 with Dance Songs for Hard Times, a new record that throws it all the way back yet is still 100% up to date. Scheduled to be released April 9th, 2021 via Thirty Tigers, it was written by candlelight, tracked on Eisenhower-era gear, and is packed to the rafters with hip-shaking country blues/rock songs that tell tales of hope, fear, and pandemic living. The album was recorded in Nashville with producer Vance Powell (Chris Stapleton, Jack White). At Powell’s request, Reverend Peyton took a fully old-school approach to the sessions by using only eight tracks, doing few overdubs, and capturing his voice and guitar live in the studio at the same time. The resulting album crackles like a live power line while also dealing with topics including bleak financial situations, missing the presence of loved ones, and asking for God’s mercy."

 

You can read the rest of the review here...

 

 

 

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Blackberry Smoke, You Hear Georgia was released on May 28, 2021.

 

"You Hear Georgia honors the people, places, and sounds that are the roots of the band as a unit and of its members. Band personnel Charlie Starr (vocals, guitar), Richard Turner (bass, vocals), Brit Turner (drums), Paul Jackson (guitar, vocals), and Brandon Still (keyboards) turn in a slew of hot takes on these tracks. The album also features special guests Jamey Johnson and Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers, Gov’t Mule) as well as background vocals from The Black Bettys."

 

You can read the rest of the review here...

 

 

 

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Elina Duni & Rob Luft (2020)

“An out of the ordinary recording, yes by all means, but lyrical, melodic music and thought provoking all the same.” UK Vibe

“The sparse, fragile, barely consonant chords of her piano style beautifully complement the rawness of her voice.” Songlines

“Continues to haunt long after the final notes have faded” RnR

“Delivers hope and optimism in the way she can reach out with her ability to communicate directely and intimately with her audience” Jazz Views

London Jazz News interview with Eleni here (2019).

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The Struts, Strange Days was released on October 16, 2020.

 

"On Strange Days, the band’s third studio album, The Struts return to their glam rock roots with indomitable energy and ambition. In addition to featuring rock legends like Tom Morello, Def Leppard and more, the entire album was recorded in merely 10 days in quarantine. And despite its extremely short incubation period, it’s exactly what the doctor ordered. Strange Days is a much-needed hit of endorphins that showcases not only The Struts’ ever-improving brand of modernized, glitzy alt-rock, but also their sky-high growth potential."

 

You can read the rest of the review here...

 

My 2¢: 

 

These guys are great, until I saw the lead singer. The Freddie Mercury comparisons are valid even without seeing him. Once I did see the video, I was reaching for the eye bleach. Luke Stiller, the lead singer, makes me thing that Lou Reed, Danny Elfman, and Freddy Mercury had a 3 way, and Luke was the love child. Damn I wish I hadn't watched that video, because I'd enjoy them a lot more.

 

Glam rock is alive and well!  :D 

 

 

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