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Trond Kallevåg , Fengselsfugl

 

"Trond Kallevåg’s Fengselsfugl  (prison bird in english) might well be the soundtrack
of the prison-movie that director Wim Wenders never made, closely related to the
musical landscapes of Ry Cooder and Bill Frisell. Once again joined by fellow Hubroartist, the great Geir Sundstøl.

“Fengselsfugl” is the long-awaited follow-up to his critically acclaimed album and Hubro
debut Bedehus & Hawaii (Prayer house and Hawaii) from 2019 which was inspired by
his deeply religious grandparents and their strange prayer house music that according to
Trond sounded a bit like Hawaiian guitar-music or slack key. Both albums follow an
artistic concept that is based upon his encounters with environments that stand next to the
established. Bedehus & Hawaii was highlighted as one of the 15 best jazz albums in
2019 by Bandcamp - one of the world's largest websites for selling music: 'Kallevåg has
created one of the most gorgeous recordings to hit the shelves in 2019!"…' The
contemplative release from Trond Kallevåg is a deep dive into serenity, where melodic
improvisations melt into indistinguishable shapes and take on the logic of dreams.' He has
also by numerous reviewers been compared to guitarists like Ry Cooder and Bill Frisell.
Bedehus & Hawaii locates Trond Kallevag Hansen at the right height on the heels of Ry
Cooder and Bill Frisell"...Jazzaroundmag.

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"A fresh and open music, delicate and space-conscious, is shaped as drummer Thomas Strønen and Ayumi Tanaka, previously heard in the ensemble Time Is A Blind Guide on Lucus, resurface in a new trio with clarinettist/singer/percussionist Marthe Lea. The group first came together at Oslo’s Royal Academy of Music, where for two years the players would meet each week for exploratory music making. Strønen: 'We always played freely- drifting between elements of contemporary classical music, folk music, jazz, whatever we were inspired by. Sometimes the music was very quiet and minimalistic: playing together generated some special experiences.' The spontaneous spirit of the music is reflected in the trio’s debut recording, which was made at the Lugano radio studio and produced by Manfred Eicher. With the exception of the title piece, based on a traditional Norwegian tune, the music on Bayou was collectively created in the moment."

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Touch, Tomorrow Never Comes was released on April 30, 2021.

 

"Touch was the first band to play at the inaugural Monsters Of Rock Festival at Castle Donington in 1980, along with Rainbow, Scorpions, Judas Priest and Saxon. A live version of their hit, "Don't You Know What Love Is", appeared on the compilation LP Monsters Of Rock, documenting the performances at the festival.

 

...

 

The original band have now reformed after almost 40 years to create the new album, Tomorrow Never Comes, which is already being hailed as their best work to date."

 

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

 

 

 

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Joe Bonamassa, Time Clocks was released on October 29, 2021.

 

"The new album is a collection that sheds new light on Joe's life as a journeyman, constantly creating and always on the run. As "Notches" and "The Heart That Never Waits" would suggest, this album shows that even though Joe chose the road less travelled, it's led him to success in the end. And he's not backing down any time soon. A bit older in years but wiser in knowledge earned, his new sound has a raw and vital flavor, combined with a resolute skill that can only be gained through years of perseverance and unyielding dedication. "Time Clocks" follows Joe on his never-ceasing evolution as he continues to forge ahead, bending genres, breaking down walls and defying the odds of the music industry."

 

You can read the rest of the review here.

 

My take: Joe just keeps getting better as a guitarist, as a vocalist, and as a musician.

 

 

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Ringo Starr, Change the World (EP) was released on September 24, 2021.

 

"The uplifting four-song set features compositions penned by the likes of Linda Perry, Steve Lukather and Joseph Williams of Toto and Starr himself (“Just the Way,” co-written by longtime engineer Bruce Sugar), with a special EP-closing cover of Bill Haley & the Comets’ classic “Rock Around the Clock.”"

 

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

 

 

 

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"Wolf Rune, a solo album, casts a new light on the highly personal idiom of Sinikka Langeland, kantele player and folk singer from Finnskogen, Norway’s “Finnish forest”.  Sinikka integrates her own songs among folk hymns, shamanistic rune songs and traditional dance pieces, draws texts from multiple poetic sources, and expands the expressive range of her instruments. Few artists embody the spirit of place as comprehensively as Langeland, and her music ruminates upon the wildness of the natural world and the interrelationships of its inhabitants. Wolf Rune, recorded in December 2019 in Oslo’s Rainbow Studio, [Release date: 09.04.2021] is an absorbing addition to Sinikka’s ECM discography, which has featured critically acclaimed projects including Starflowers, The Land That Is Not, Maria’s Song, The Half-Finished Heaven and The Magical Forest.

 

 

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Beth Hart, A Tribute to Led Zeppelin was released on Feb 25, 2022.

 

"With A Tribute To Led Zeppelin, Beth Hart and her team of producers and musicians set out to do what few artists would dare do. On paper, Hart, with her rangy voice and perfectly-aged howl, appears to be as close to a Robert Plant stand-in among modern singers as anyone, but capturing the heft and mystique of Zep while imparting one’s own style onto rock canons requires another level of artistic talent and vision."

 

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

 

 

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Bernard Allison, Highs & Lows was released on Feb 25, 2022.

 

"Highs & Lows is a joyous blast of funky blues with Bernard Allison at his absolute best. A six-string guitar master, Allison’s vocals have never been better and the 11 songs are pure blues bliss. This might just be Allison’s best album yet. “Just to be able to create music again after the pandemic,” Bernard says, “was incredible.” And that enthusiasm permeates each of the tracks."

 

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

 

 

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Pink Floyd, Hey Hey Rise Up was released today, April 8, 2022.

 

"It's the first new music from the band since 1994, and all proceeds will go to Ukrainian humanitarian relief, the statement added.
The song is performed by guitarist David Gilmour and drummer Nick Mason, with bass player Guy Pratt and Nitin Sawhney on keyboard, according to the statement.
The song features vocals by Andriy Khlyvnyuk from the Ukrainian band Boombox. "

 

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

 

 

 

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Envy Of None - this is a new project including Alex Lifeson (of Rush) as a member.


If you are looking for a Rush album, this is not it.  If you are looking for something fantastic in the Rock / Prog-ish realm, it's fantastic.  I'd heard one sample song before getting the album, and was somewhat uncertain about it.  It turns out that was by FAR the weakest piece on the album.  This one is going to live in my CD player and car for the next while.  :)  Easily the best new music I've come across in quite a while.

 

BTW, if anyone thinks Alex is no longer on his game, you'd be extremely wrong.  Amazing musicianship from all members of the group, and incredible sound - very well, and properly produced - just watch out for your subs!!!

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Joe Satriani, The Elephants of Mars was released on April 8, 2022.

 

"The Elephants of Mars is Satriani’s 19th studio effort to date and definitively reinforces why he has remained perhaps the most popular instrumental rock/shred guitarist out there since the 1980s. His music has always been as much about songwriting as it was high-velocity guitar slinging and Satch has continued to refine that internal balance with each new release. He’s so good at it now that he can hold back at will to create moods and emotions that mesmerize listeners before clobbering them with his prodigious chops that are always just below the surface. He sees the big picture of his music better than anyone in his genre and that, friends and neighbors, is why he rules."

 

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

 

 

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Semblant, Vermilion Eclipse was released on April 15, 2022.

 

"There’s a thin line in metal music when using clean and gruff vocals. This seems to be particularly important in bands who employ female singers with male musicians who add the growls. It doesn’t always work and can overpower and distract from the overall delivery. Thankfully, this isn’t the case for Brazilian outfit SEMBLANT, whose album “Vermilion Eclipse” is their second release for Frontiers Music srl. It’s their fourth album overall for a band who have been together for over 15 years."

 

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

 

While I'm usually not a goth metal fan, Mizuho Lin has the voice of an angel. Her voice reminds me of Pat Benatar. She also has a youtube channel where she sings a variety of music including Disney movie tracks and a Jon Bon Jovi cover.

 

https://www.youtube.com/c/MizuhoLin

 

 

 

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Khruangbin & Leon Bridges , Texas Moon was released on February 18, 2022.

 

"On the face of it, Grammy-winning R&B singer Leon Bridges and left-field alt-rock Khruangbin, led by guitar wizard Mark Speer, seem a very unlikely combination.

 

...

 

The first results, 2020’s “Texas Sun” EP, sounded like both acts, but added up to much more than the sum of the parts — it sounded like a new band, with Bridges’ warm voice and melodies meshing beautifully with the band’s intricate yet smooth rhythms.

Naturally, they teamed up again, and even more naturally, the new release is an EP titled “Texas Moon.” Calmer and a bit moodier than the debut, it finds the two bringing out things in their sounds that hadn’t really been there before — a slow neo-‘70s funk sound from Speer on the opening track “Doris,” and a faster one from the group on the following track “B-Side.” But the high point is the cheerfully upbeat “Chocolate Hills.” The group almost immediately brings it back down with the low-key “Father Father” and the easy groove of the closer “Mariella.”

Combined, the two EPs make a warm and well-rounded album with two distinct sides. And both Bridges and the band say they played to continue the collaboration — hopefully the next move is a full album soon."

 

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

 

I discovered Khruangbin and Leon Bridges on PBS Austin City Limits.

 

 

 

 

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"The Danish String Quartet’s Grammy-nominated Prism project, linking Bach fugues, Beethoven quartets and works by later masters, receives its fourth installment..." More here.

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