Archive for the ‘2018’ Category

Whether you’re a fan of Bruce Springsteen or not, I highly recommend SPRINGSTEEN ON BROADWAY (available on CD and Netflix) which captures his recently completed concert residency at the Walter Kerr Theatre in NYC. The string of 236 intimate live performances featured The Boss with just an acoustic guitar, piano, and harmonica. Bruce’s abilities as a master wordsmith and storyteller create an incredibly engaging experience. Personal stories behind his life and songs, which are both sung and shared as spoken-word, are so skillfully descriptive that you feel as though you were there for every step of his journey. “The Rising” is the musical highlight for me. Without the instrumentation of his E. Street Band, the stripped-back song shines with only Bruce’s voice and emotionally-stunning guitar melody – which makes me wish I never quit the guitar after only one lesson in 3rd grade.

Sounds more like Journey than Journey: Best track off singer Steve Perry’s new solo record TRACES and could have appeared on any classic Journey album. Co-written with and featuring the incredible guitar playing of former Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie guitarist John 5. And when your song needs the best ‘hard driving’ rock-n-roll back beat in the business you hire former Replacements drummer and studio session extraordinaire, Joeh Freese, to lay it down. Well done Mr. Perry thinking outside the box and enlisting a couple of very talented alternative / industrial rock vets.

Country singer/songwriter A.C. Jones, a native of Canfield, Ohio, began making a name for herself fronting Amanda Jones and the Family Band. The hard-working Youngstown-area band has performed live consistently throughout NE Ohio, Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia for several years and has opened for acts including Kentucky Headhunters, Branch and Dean, Marty Stuart, and The Oak Ridge Boys. In May 2017, Jones, a classically-trained vocalist, signed a record deal with SSM Nashville. Her new single “Mr. Moon” was released last month and has been receiving increased radio airplay across the country — appearing on the COUNTRY BREAKOUT “Most Added” chart in MusicRow, Nashville’s leading music industry trade publication. Check her out . . .

Singer/songwriter Diana Chittester, who resides in NE Ohio, is one of the finer ‘finger-pickers’ around. She has performed her “percussive-playing style” all over the U.S and Canada, usually alone onstage surrounded by her arsenal of guitars. The new featured track “Freedom”, off her upcoming release PARADOX due out May 11th, was written on a ukulele. She decided to try something new and record with additional instrumentation and full production. She absolutely nails it with great feel on this song and as a bonus I hear a little Ani DiFranco influence built in (Ani is one of my all-time favorite indie artists.) In addition to her 5/11 record release party at Beachland Ballroom, Diana will be opening for Joan Osborne (“What if God Was One of Us”) and Lisa Loeb (“Stay (I Missed You”)) at Cain Park on August 10th. Check her out . .