DJ for Bluegrass and Beyond
Palisade, Colorado, United States
My earliest recollection with music is a little green record I had as a very young child. I shared a room with my older sister who shared her music with me (like it or not). But she and my older brother wanted to make sure I was listening to the popular music of the day. My parents listened to classical and took me to the symphony regularly.
As a teen I liked it all...folk (Peter, Paul, and Mary; Bob Dylan; Pete Seeger), soul (Otis Redding; Carla Thomas), Motown, ... Read More
Latest Album Reviews
Review of I Wanna Go With You
Album Info: I Wanna Go With You
Wide Mouth Mason Album: I Wanna Go With You Label: We Are Busy Bodies Genre(s): Roots Rock
Posted By: Duane Verh
Feb 23, 2020
Scary-good pop instincts and deep blues mojo are cross-woven then packaged as a 21st century streetcorner duo on the current offering of this Canadian guitar/percussion tandem. Shaun Verresault’s almost Bolan-esque vocals enhance the charm of the lyrically fetching “Every Red Light” and “Anywhere”. Other tracks of note include the leadoff blues “Bodies In Motion” and an airplay-beckoning cover of David Bowie’s “Modern Love”.
Jonathan NG Album: The Sphynx Label: Self-Release Genre(s): Jazz
Posted By: Joe Ross
Feb 22, 2020
Seattle-based violinist/vocalist/bandleader Jonathan Ng follows up his debut EP “Dreaming on My Feet” with his second EP entitled “The Sphynx.” Opening with the upbeat and original title cut “The Sphynx,” Ng and his bandmates establish a solid Gypsy jazz groove. The album’s other five offerings (Maelstrom, Rockhouse Pt. 1 & 2, Gin Mill Special, Embryo, Stardust) then recreate a pleasant, cohesive repertoire similar to one might hear from a small swing group in the 1930s or 40s. Ng chose these songs to pay tribute to the swing music and bandleaders of the past. A classically trained violinist, Ng demonstrates considerable tone, technique and intonation in his playing. Besides Jonathan Ng on violin, we’re treated to the lyrical playing of Albert Alva (tenor sax), Luca Pino (guitar), Chris Dawson (piano), Seth Ford-Young (bass) and
Heartlanders though they may be, the Mary Jo Curry band deliver a tight, crisp sound certifiably urban and downright “uptown” in character and an ideal complement to the leader’s stylish but rock-solid vocals. Ms. Curry’s power is undeniable but she picks her high-voltage moments wisely, frequently opting instead to keep a gentle grip on that power, making for some very pleasing lyric readings. Cases-in-point include “The Man” and “Explaining The Blues”. Good stuff here.
Review of Survival Instinct: The Evilution of the Pack
Album Info: Survival Instinct: The Evilution of the Pack
Justin Varnes Album: Survival Instinct: The Evilution of the Pack Label: Self-Release Genre(s): Jazz
Posted By: Joe Ross
Feb 15, 2020
Drummer Justin Varnes raises awareness for violence prevention with his new release that recognizes our instinctual need to gather in packs, as well as find ways to bridge the divide between packs. The top-flight musicians he’s assembled to bring his optimistic music to life include Mark Rapp (trumpet), Luke Weathington (alto sax), John Sandfort (tenor sax), Nick Rosen (piano) and Kevin Smith (bass). A kind of spiritual chemistry takes place among these guys. While the liner notes for Varnes’ original songs reference certain acts of violence or other impacts of pack mentality, he arranges and presents the music with considerable hope, buoyancy, and positive outlook. As a musical journey, the album flows seamlessly from the opening “Prelude” that introduces the themes, to a short patriotic “Interlude” at the mid-point, and anthemic closing
One could expect a group of road- and studio-seasoned players- a group of long tenure together and a couple of Grammy snatches to boot- to turn out a set of rock-solid tracks as a matter of course. The Phantom Blues Band raise the ante with cut-above song selection including some very respectable in-house contributions. Keyboardist Mike Finnigan drops the airplay-worthy “Better But Not Good” as well as a standout vocal and piano performance on the late Louisiana roots artist David Egan’s “Blues How They Linger”. Saxophonist Joe Sublett’s “Wingin’ My Way” is an ear-catcher as well.