Sir Ivan

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Artist: Sir Ivan

Single & Remixes: Kiss All The Bullies Goodbye

URL: http://sirivan.com/kiss-all-the-bullies-goodbye/

You might well think that synth-led euro-pop has little to do with anti-bullying charities. However, Sir Ivan is committed to proving this wrong. New single ‘Kiss All The Bullies Goodbye’ and the various remixes are designed to not only raise funds but to raise awareness of the worrying trend of exclusionary and violent behaviour by young people. In order to reach the largest audience possible, Sir Ivan has recruited many big name producers to remix the main single, providing listeners with a myriad different styles built around the same thematic core. For those dreaming of Ibiza summers, the main single itself offers soaring synth lines backed by an arsenal of large billowing drums. Taking this as a starting point, the remixes deconstruct and rebuild the track in a variety of images. Ali Dee offers an electro-house alternative, while Ralphi Rosario’s version brings Italian disco influences to the forefront. There are ten remixes in all, providing listeners with the chance to select their favourite and dip in and out of the others. While most charity singles are simply a product to be bought, the care and attention poured into this project speaks of the passion the producers have for the cause. With all of the proceeds going to various anti-bullying charities, listeners certainly get their money’s worth when donating to this cause.

The main vocal line of the song remains one of the only constants throughout the different versions. A male vocal lead with lyrics directly addressing the bullying theme of the project, the sentiments could be considered a little on the nose. The core idea – that the time has arrived to ‘Kiss All the Bullies Goodbye’ – provides a strong hook that could work well in a club environment, but the various verses offer little in the way of memorable lyrical content.

Perhaps the key issue with the track is that the lyrics and the charitable intent of the track loom over the project and dictate all interpretation. Despite the success of the various remixes, it remains at its heart an ideological statement. As praise-worthy as this – and as beneficial as the raised money can be – the track stands or falls on the success of the music. Taken in an objective sense, certain of the remixes – the Bobby Puma track version, for example – offer little in the way of digestible dance music. However, with so much variety among the remixes and a morally praise-worthy goal, listeners are sure to find something they love among the various intricacies of Sir Ivan’s latest project.

Social Networking:

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/sirivanofficial
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/sirivan

Review by Huw T.

Shayne Leighton – Invincible

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Shayne Leighton – Invincible
Label: Spectra Music Group

URL: http://shayneleighton.com/

Shayne Leighton, author of a popular vampire series and young actress, has turned her creativity and energy to her first love, music. Leighton started singing when she was six and it’s nothing short of astonishing that her five star voice has stayed under wraps for so long. No matter now. Her debut EP, Invincible, is a full throated musical coming of age that shows an artist equally concerned entertaining the audience and making personal statements.

Unfortunately, the songwriting often lets her down. “This Time” promises to be a rousing, tone-setting opener, but it never really catches fire. The lack of any satisfying climaxes turns problematic as the song progresses – it’s easy to find your attention growing restless waiting for some unifying moment to come and, as a result, feel like the song is much longer. The production sounds flat and this drawback is another problem hampering its potential. The improved production on “Dream of You” is immediately noticeable, but the best improvement comes with the song’s agile balancing between traditional elements and a darker, more individual edge cutting through.

Her cover of Pat Benatar’s “Invincible” is an ideal fit for Leighton’s voice. She lets it rip with, if anything, more conviction than even Benatar summoned up for the original. The band plays with whip-snap intensity that helps put the performance over as something more than pure tribute. “Midnight Man”, however, feels like a fully developed lyric and vocal searching for a better song. On a track like this, the songwriting should have moved as far as possible away from the expected, but instead tries to maintain an uneasy balance between formula and creativity that doesn’t work.

“Foolin'” is the album’s least thought-out moment. This is a positive because the song never pretends to be anything else but a full-on rocker. Leighton lets it all out with an angsty, tough-minded vocal that is perhaps her best singing performance on the album. The album ends with “Wolf at the Door”, one of Invincible’s truly successful moment fusing pop sensibilities with a rock edge. Inventive rhythm section work further helps the track avoid any of the cookie cutter atmospherics and dynamics of earlier songs.

Invincible proves Leighton has the voice to go far, but the songwriting remains unresolved. Much of the hard rock here lacks groove and relies on tropes that date the music. There are moments of genuine promise scattered among the debris and, without question, Leighton’s writing talents translate well into her new medium, but she doesn’t have everything together quite yet.

YOU TUBE: https://www.youtube.com/user/ShayneLeightonVEVO

Wayne Toole

Billy Grima – Sugar & Cream

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Billy Grima – Sugar & Cream

URL: http://www.billygrima.com/

Billy Grima, originally from Blacktown, Australia, is an exceptional singer/songwriter who currently hails from the Caledon Hills of Ontario, Canada. Billy started writing music when he was quite young, and his songwriting is inspired by the daily events in the same vein as classic singer/songwriters such as Bob Dylan and James Taylor. For his latest album, “Sugar & Cream,” Billy teamed up with producer & engineer Pete Swan of Attitude Productions Studio in Ontario to create a top-notch collection of music. “Sugar & Cream” is an exciting album to listen to. Billy grabs your attention right away and keeps you transfixed for the duration with a rich voice that seems to soar.

The album starts off strong with “Pleasure to Have Met You,” which has a classic John Cafferty sort of feel almost reminiscent of “Eddie & the Cruisers.” Some amazing vocal work on the second song, “Calendar Girl,” sounds a bit like a hybrid between Billy Joel and Queen; not a pairing I would have thought quite possible. Some of my favorite songs on the album such as “Miss You Baby,” “Picture of You and Me,” and “There With You” are slower, mellower numbers featuring some tasteful piano with nice touches of guitar. Billy’s vocal performances on these tunes remind me quite a bit of Jack Johnson stylistically.

Billy’s musical range is quite extensive. From hints of Jim Croce on “You Mean the World to Me” to some very nice horn section work on the title track “Sugar & Cream,” and even some Boston-esque harmony guitars on “Living the Dream,” Billy Grima offers up a veritable exhibition of classic-inspired music that will stand the test of time.

My only critique would be that while there are some occasional mellow valleys on the album, for the most part Billy performs with a pretty high peak intensity. A bit more dynamic variety on some of his harder hitting songs would go a long way to make his already exceptional musical style a stellar one.

Social Networking:

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/bill.grima?fref=ts
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/grima_billy

Score: 9/10

– Bob Lien

Leah Capelle

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Leah Capelle

URL: http://www.leahcapelle.com/

There’s a reason why love is a common theme in music. At some point everyone experiences the ecstasy, elation, struggle, and heartbreak that can come with being in a relationship. Love is a common denominator in the human experience and songs about love often have the power to make us perk up and say “Hey, I know how that feels!”

Leah Capelle’s new self-titled EP certainly uses love as the main theme and her songs are almost exclusively about her personal struggles with it. While her voice is lovely and excludes confidence, Capelle’s music too often drifts into generic soft ballad territory. She sounds a lot like her influences – Sara Bareilles, Regina Spektor, and Joni Mitchell – but that’s not to say the EP isn’t worth listening to.

First single “Would You Know” presents a cheerful beat over an acoustic lead guitar. Capelle’s voice is clean and professional. Combine that with a tight arrangement and this song is ready to be licensed to your favorite TV drama. In the chorus, she charmingly sings: “I’m not asking for charity/I just wish you’d notice me.” She’s going for the good-girl persona; not entirely original but effective nonetheless.

“In a Boat” shows the best variation and imagery on the EP. It’s a piano centered song with strong key changes and lyrics about escapism: “Take me to the sea where no one can find me/That’s where I wanna be”. Chimes help to fill in the background and make the song feel complete. The vocals are more drawn out and Capelle’s ability to carry a tune is undeniable on this one.

The rest of the EP plays out in a similar fashion, continuously playing the back-and-forth, in-and-out of love game. “Natural Disaster” works in some sweet electric guitar tones and slightly harder drums in the chorus. “My Love Has Dried Up” use similar acoustic strumming as “Would You Know”, but integrates lyrics about Capelle taking her heart back and being in control of the relationship. “My Confession” is another narrative about love, this time considering her own moods and flaws and trying to turn them around. You get the picture.

Overall Capelle’s EP is a good first step for a new songwriter. Her voice is powerful and captivating, and she certainly has the foundation for success laid down. Unfortunately the songs themselves are a bit generic and you’ll feel like you’ve heard them a thousand times before. You could literally put on a Colbie Callait CD and not know the difference. Leah Capelle is a talented artist so it’ll be interesting to see if she takes it to the next level on her next outing.

YOU TUBE: https://www.youtube.com/user/mooseljs

Review by Trevor Morelli

Mark Newman – Brussels

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Mark Newman – Brussels

Primary URL: http://marknewman.us/

Mark Newman, a longtime presence on stages with Sam the Sham and Willy Deville, has traveled some distance with his solo career. His latest release, a live EP entitled Brussels, should serve a twofold purpose. It can provide a strong introduction for newcomers to his artistry or serve as a brief reaffirmation for his admirers. Either way, this is a strong recording with strong songs and his voice and playing anchor it all with a signature touch often absent from modern music.

He begins things with “Mean Season”, a mid-tempo blues that makes use of well-worn imagery but never follows a purist line musically. His vocals are a curious part of his presentation in one important way. When you first hear Newman’s singing, the initial reaction may be an eye roll. His impassioned baritone isn’t exactly a startling new development in the genre and seems to lack emotion. However, with each new line, Newman’s strengths reveal themselves. He has clarity and conviction in equal measure – there are no half-sung lines or loose focus on his job as vocalist. “Goin’ Underground” benefits from the same take. His unrelenting singing does a great deal to take an otherwise pedestrian song and make it an authoritative statement.

“New York Mining Disaster, 1941” shows Newman exercising his imagination by re-imagining this early bit of pop-tinged Bee Gees folk as a full-throated lament for the death of innocents. It’s notable how Newman manages this without once dragging the track into the sort of overwrought pop stylings that the original embraced. “Dead Man’s Shoes” has lyrical complexity and sharp rhymes setting it apart from the album’s other songs, but the real highlight here is the guitar playing. Once again, the instruments help with the heavy work of leaving a memorable impression through their unpredictability and control. It’s nice that Newman can still realize each song’s potential despite not having a band behind him.

“So, So Cynical” will likely be a great crowd pleaser. It’s a relationship song with a humorously bitter edge, but it’s difficult to escape the feeling that the sarcasm is a mask to hide Newman’s deeper sorrow. It’s a shrewd, if minor, bit of songwriting with relative modest aims, but never kid yourself that writing a song with the hopes as many people relate to it as possible isn’t ambitious. Newman pulls it off well. The release testifies to the enduring power of American music and gives hope to those who fear such music is on an eternal fadeout.

REVERBNATION: http://www.reverbnation.com/marknewman/song/13921084-mean-season-solo-live-at-ab-brussels

8/10 Stars

Michael Saulman

Audrey Auld Releases New Album “Hey Warden”

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Audrey Auld Releases New Album Hey Warden

Co-written with actual San Quentin Inmates

Primary URL: http://www.audreyauld.com/

Tasmania native, singer-songwriter Audrey Auld who has enjoyed success in the United States since 2003 has released a new album called ‘Hey Warden.’

On the surface it would appear to be just another CD release from a quality artist and a great group of serious musicians for support. Peel back the layers and it will reveal a CD with a collection of eight very different songs covering a number of genre’s.Country, Blues, Rock, Acoustic Folk, Reggae and Pop are all melted together on this release. It was said the “music was as diverse as the population in the prison.”

The CD is about life in prison with five songs co-written with inmates from San Quentin Prison. As the inmates begin sharing their thoughts story began to develop. It grew more important to Audrey to share these stories and what better way to share these thoughts then through the universal language of music. Johnny Cash made a live album from San Quentin. Other performers have been Bread and Roses, Metallica, Country Joe and the Fish have been a few names of artist’s who have played San Quentin.

This idea of talking with inmates, listening to their stories and helping them write songs about their experience’s is not all together unique. This idea has been done before.  I was intrigued because of the choice of prisons. San Quentin is no Holiday Inn, it’s home to over 4,000 prisoners, of which over 700 are on death row.  Charles Manson has called San Quentin home before. You don’t go to SQ for writing bad checks or stealing lamb chops from the local grocery store. This place is the final destination for some people who have done some pretty bad things.

This would hardly be the place to expect to find inspiration for 8 well blended songs. “This album means a lot to me. Incarcerated men shared their stories, feelings, remorse and dreams with me and allowed me to create songs from their words,” Audrey says.

Audrey calls on the support of musician’s to work with this project. She finds Kenny Vaughan, one of Nashville’s secret weapon and top session guitarist. Dennis Wage, a Nashville session keyboard/piano player. Bass player Ralph Friedrichsen  who has worked with artists such as Keith Anderson,  JoDee Messina, Suzy Bogguss, Collin Raye and Paul Thorn. Rounding out the session with Eamon McLaughlin on violin, and Mez Mezera on vocals.

With song titles like, Hey Warden, Poor Joe, Walls, I Am Not What I Have Done, Oh Love, Naked and Nameless, Bread and Roses and Sunshine gives a hint to the life one leads when confined to 4 walls. To my surprise, the music was very upbeat. You have to appreciate the human condition when you are forced to live in such a poor environment and still find it inside yourself to write music with such a promising message (or sense of humor).

Musically, I do not see any Grammy in this CD’s future but you have to give Audrey an A+ for a fine effort. I don’t think performance nirvana was the intended idea to begin with.The recording was above average with excellent attention to mic placement and getting the studio mix right. This was a well crafted set of songs and the studio played a supporting role in making each song hold it’s own.

Audrey will return to San Quentin this spring for a show in the chapel where she’ll share the video for ‘I Am Not What I Have Done‘ (linked below) as well  as a performance in the yard as part of their Day of Peace. Johnny Cash would have been proud.

Rate: 3.5 stars out of 5

YOU TUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRg7189bT8E

by Charlie Harrelson

Jay Vonada Quartet

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Artist: Jay Vonada Quartet

CD: Expressions

Label: Independent Artist

Website: http://www.jayvonada.net/

Genre: Jazz

Sounds Like: J.J Johnson, Urbie Green, Tommy Dorsey, Wycliffe Gordon, Bill Watrous, Joseph Alessi, Carl Fontana

Technical Grade: 10/10

Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10

Commercial Value: 9/10

Overall Talent Level: 10/10

Songwriting Skills: 9/10

Performance Skill: 8/10

Best Songs: Early Morning Chill, Stupifonic, The Unknown, Joy

Weakness: None

CD REVIEW:

Jay Vonada, from Aaronsburg PA, is a trombonist in the central region of Pennsylvania. He has played with such notables as Russ Kassoff, Dennis Mackrel , Catherine Dupuis, Steve Rudolph, Phil Haynes, Jay Anderson, Eddie Severn, Mark Lusk, Dan Yoder and Rick Hirsch. Some have called jazz America’s classical music. Unfortunately, many have also treated jazz as though it were some stuffy, snooty style, which it was never meant to be. Thankfully, Vonada and friends know it “don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing, because they swing this baby to the hilt. His current quartet of trombone, guitar, bass and drums has played at The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, at Fairs and other venues in central Pennsylvania. He also has a trio of trombone, organ, and drums that has played at Zola New World Bistro in State College, Lewisburg Live, South Hills Business School Summer Concert Series, and the Butler Fall Festival. His trio of trombone, guitar and bass has played at The Tavern Restaurant in State College and Bella Sicilia in Centre Hall. He also has a duo of trombone and guitar or trombone and keyboard (swing-nova) that has played throughout the center region, including Bella Sicilia in Centre Hall and Kaarma Indian Cuisine in State College and many nursing homes in the center region and beyond.

Band member include : Jay Vonada (Trombone), Mac Himes (Guitar), Bob Hart (Bass) and Kevin Lowe (Drums). This latest 8 Track effort from Jay Vonada is called “Expressions” and was released in 2015. A CD release party is scheduled for Saturday June 6th at The Green Drake Gallery and Arts Center in Millheim Pennsylvania from 7-830PM.

The CD gently takes flight with “Early Morning Chill” a dynamic yet smooth intro groove that serves inviting yet dynamic Trombone, full-tilt rhythm section meshed against well placed Jazz Guitar and intoxication bass lines set against a mesmerizing melody. Track 2 “Stupifonic” presents an uplifting follow-up piece that serves up slamming rhythm, methodical musical build, and rich melody served up against a grand slam chorus. I especially like the finale of this piece as it flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition making for an impressive follow-up statement.  Track 3 “Agitated” serves up an impressive smooth as silk groove painted against impressive yet dynamic Jazz Ambience, inviting horn section and hypnotic Trombone solo. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear the musicianship from everyone involved is clearly above the bar with impressive bass lines, slamming solos, well placed Jazz Guitar, impressive Trombone all built upon a smooth as silk rhythm section. Kudos goes out to the amazing drumming from Kevin Lowe on all pieces. Song for song the effective combination of Vonada’s masterful Trombone playing and world class songwriting and top flight musical syncopation from all other members is never once called into question. Now turning our attention over to Vonada, as for his playing abilities – he is quite impressive and clearly feels comfortable in his own skin by letting it all hang out musically behind the Trombone. As an artist he is quite inspirational because he is being true to himself musically. This is the vibe I get from him. He’s not trying to hard in an overcompensating way to win you over. His musical/vocal style is cut from the cloth of J.J Johnson, Urbie Green, Tommy Dorsey, Wycliffe Gordon, Bill Watrous, Joseph Alessi, and Carl Fontana. Vonada clearly showcases an infectious and appealing mezzo-soprano persona with a unique appeal makes her a bit magical. All of this makes for a strong and confident playing ability across the board. Vonada makes it all look and sound too easy. I especially like how his Trombone playing just sort of flutters melodically with the music. In many ways he is comparable to Curtis Fuller with a songwriting style cut from the same cloth as Frank Rosolino, and Slide Hampton. All engineering aspects check out nicely. CD possess think low end frequency and crystal clear high end clarity. This latest CD from Jay Vonada delivers 8 invigorating tracks all providing an interesting snapshot of a clairvoyant, wise and experienced artist. All songs deliver thought provoking lyrical wisdom with messages that are positive, passionate and extremely captivating and full of powerful wisdom. From heartfelt Robin’s Song” to dynamic “The Unknown” to jumping “Sweet and Lowe” to grooving “Joy” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with track 8 “What Tomorrow May Bring” the perfect wrap for a catalogue like this.

I typically dedicate this paragraph to any weaknesses found on the CD, as you can see I have nothing worth mentioning.

From start to finish this latest release from Jay Vonada entitled “Expressions” is a fully loaded, powerful, inspirational, uplifting and impressive catalogue of music any way you slice it. The music is very consistent, well-crafted and extremely entertaining. Note for note, song for song there isn’t really weak piece on this entire catalogue. The production strokes: writing and playing abilities of this production are world class. The enticing melodies and harmonies are well crafted and the lyrical content is packed to the hilt with rich conventional wisdom and a strong spiritual connection many will gravitate to. Perhaps a guy like Vonada is a bit beyond all this at his point in his amazing musical career. Whatever the case Jay Vonada is truly a great artist in a world full of soulless musical clutter.

Cyrus Rhodes

CRAYMO – 2 singles

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CRAYMO – 2 singles

Love You More – https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/love-you-more-lym-single/id875416106

Be Myself – https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/be-myself-single/id924345397

Stocked full of hooks and a jovial playing style that never lets it’s guard down, to melodies which linger long after the playing has passed, these 2 singles “Be Myself”, and ”Love You More” linked above by Craymo provides 2 buoyant and inventive tracks which play like new adventures, yet approaches them like old friends you feel you’ve known for a long time. This latest release pleasantly embraces the ears and is in a league all by itself with an elite spirit of eagerness and vibrancy. The unique melodies soak every accomplished note from both singles. To me they offer many musical familiarities, wearing those inspirations proudly on its sleeve showcasing eclectic musical influences hinged on impressive musicianship and a unique signature sound.  Case in point: This is one of the most original sounding artists I’ve heard in quite some time. I can hear traces of Broken Bells, Kaiser Chiefs, Todd Rundgren, Utopia, Tim Reynolds, Connells, and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. Mostly they sound like a 70’s English style rock to me. It’s fair to say that I did not come down from the high of “Love You More and keeps you in a good, light hearted mood throughout.

Though it certainly provides a consistent balance of genres listed above. As the both songs slowly advance the melodies, addictive hooks return sporadically from time to time with a beckoning potency far away from the mediocre mainstream. Bottom line: there’s something much more tangible about these two songs compared to most of the music that’s slid across my desk this year – seems very pure, very genuine and honest. Both tracks emerge from a modest sonic web producing much in the way of thick bass lines, jumpy vocals, rock solid rhythm guitar, thick rhythms and consistent Bass. The instruments, and subsequent meticulous movements provided by this experienced composer will leave their mark on you instinctually and inspire the imagination.  Craymo’s voice does not jump out but has a modest quality which defines itself and work well within the setting of each piece. His mesmerizing baritone coupled with the acoustical exuberance paints you an impressive picture upon a virulent musical canvas.

My favorite track is probably “Love You More” Both offer a waning poetic ambience and sure musical direction. Though maybe this is one song which fails to linger and return like the others, but is a stark, riveting tidbit nonetheless.  It’s safe to say both sounds don’t even sound like the same artists to me though.

These two singles “Love You More” and “Be Myself” by Craymo are a good listen any way you slice it. It’s a ripe musical invitation into the world of a red hot songwriter down in Florida. At the least it will satisfy many, thus filling the void left by millions of band who cannot dive this deep – not even close. This outlier style of music is not only mastered by Craymo. It also deserves a much wider and attentive audience to say the least because it is so diverse.

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/craymo.music

– Martin Eighmy

Andrew Fox

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Andrew Fox

https://soundcloud.com/andrew-fox-39

Andrew Fox is a Christian musician with beautiful songs of love and faith that are not your typical gospel music. He has a wide range of styles from soft and serene ballads with gorgeous piano instrumentals to fun and faster paced songs with fun and catchy electric guitar. He seems to have a song for every mood and they all have exceptional instrumentals. A few of my favorite tunes were “Door to My Heart”, “Gospel Armor”, and “Wasted Time”.

There are a few songs that have some pitch issues. It seems as though when he tried to hold a high note for too long, there is some audible cracking in his voice. There are also moments when he seems to go too low for his range of vocals, almost as if he is trying too hard. If he changed certain pitches or octaves then the quality of his voice would be much more pronounced and smooth. There are a couple of songs where the lyrics could use some work because they just seem to drag on a bit too long with the same phrase over and over and you begin to lose interest in the beauty of the song itself.

With all of that being said, I would give Mr. Andrew Fox a 7 out of 10 stars. His music is beautiful and the instrumentals are extremely sophisticated and well written. All of his songs send a wonderful message about God and Jesus, and he has a beautiful voice when he stays within the pitch that complements his voice. A couple of the songs could use more lyrics and have pitch adjustments, but overall it was a pleasure to listen to his music.

– Amber Lien

Casey Weston – Young Heart

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Casey Weston – Young Heart

URL: http://caseyweston.com/

The Review: Enter Naples Florida vocalist Casey Weston who just released her latest eight track CD entitled “Young Heart” in 2014. On the upside, you can expect eight semi-experimental folk-pop pieces that champion high intensity and souls stirring topics canvassed against and pure yet hooky pop-rock backdrop. Some songs have an almost earthy sound to them while others deliver “catchy” folk-pop.

With “Young Heart” I discovered eight passionate clips of spot-on pop style that are sure to inspire and gravitate many listeners. CD Cover a lot of ground and all arrangements are dynamic, ethereal, cathartic, yet vintage in their own right. Ninety seconds into the first track “Play It All Again” two of the first things crossing your mind were: 1) How undeniably truthful and honest the music sounds, and 2) why the heck haven’t I heard of Casey Weston yet? But let’s not get to ahead of ourselves here. Track 1 “Play it All Again” is a great lead off track offering almost wolf in sheep’s clothing prelude leading you head first into Track 2 “waking up” and Track 3 the grooving “Graveyard.” All songs are intriguing anthems, while “Little Bit of Everything” and “Before the Sun Came Up” really capture a writer’s touch. “Never Come Back” is an intellectual affirmation that just seems to go stay with you long after the piece has run its course – because it is very powerful. The CD as a whole does a nice job at offering a wide variety of playing styles; some slow, some jumpy, some sad some really, really, really sad. All tracks are a welcomed return of good folk-pop-rock. Think of the music from Miranda Lambert that is more poppy in nature. Also present: powerful elements of today’s singer-songwriter genera. My favorite tracks are the ones that are up-beat but have a ring of raw truth to them. Weston brings a good vocal and visual appeal to the table. There are a few pics I Found of her that are quite stunning –but mostly she looks like the girl next door in a faded pair of blue jeans. Why does she keep reminding me of Scout Niblett? Bring in the combination of good playing, solid heartfelt vocals, amazing production value, and you come to understand why many are talking about Weston down in Florida. The best pieces flow and ebb so nicely with surging intensity only to quickly withdraw again into seclusion. I found this to be a very cool trait of her music. The lyrical content provides inspirational subject matter, and potent topics for today’s thinking fan. Whereas most musical production these days are like an Energy Drink. “Young Heart” is quite different in fact the music of Casey Weston is music that is good for your mind, body and soul.

Buy CD: http://www.amazon.com/Young-Heart-Casey-Weston/dp/B00RZW0SXK

Criticism: The CD itself does not appear to be made of high quality Silk Screen material as you would expect from a pro-caliber musical production. To go with this last comment I don’t get the graphic design on the actual disk either. Overall it looks very amateurish.

The Bottom Line: Taking all of this into consideration you begin to understand why Casey Weston is moving upward and making waves internationally with her music. In the end she along with all the behind the scenes folks deserve a lot of credit for bring this amazing debut release together. “Young Heart” does a marvelous job of extolling positive life energy (the good, bad and the ugly) via a strong eight track masterpiece.

Score: 4/5 Stars

PUSHPAGE: http://www.pushpage.me/CaseyWeston

Mindy Gilbert