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Greg And The Granules' Answer To Influence

Apparently there is, or was, a Southern Californian Psych/Surf band called Particle Wave and now its frontman, Greg Maeching, has recorded a six song EP titled Answer To Influence under the band name Greg And The Granules. I don't know if this is a side project or if he's moved on and his old band is history. This new EP was recorded in New Monkey Studios in Van Nuys with the help of Tyler Shields on the board and Maeching, who plays guitar and sings, and guitarist-keyboardist Nick Luca sharing the production duties. Joe Westerfield rounds out the band on drums and they give a credit to Amanda Brauer for design (CD cover?). I don't really understand the designer credit since their press kit was particularly void of design.

These guys are local to me if they're anywhere near Van Nuys, a suburb of Los Angeles, and where I used to go to cruise Van Nuys Boulevard on Wednesday nights back in High School and where I'll still go to get a Tommy's Burger if I'm anywhere in the neighborhood. My point is that I would like to have been informed if Greg And The Granules are going to be performing live in town any time soon.

https://gregandthegranules.bandcamp.com

Their press kit states: "Answer To Influence floats with ease through myriad layers of resonating expression to create a transporting experience of calmness and comfort for the listener." Somnolent is another term that might apply. Laid back also fits with the soft and vibrato vocals and overall vibe reminding me of early Barry Gibb. Vaguely Countryish guitar work with some Flyod Cramer piano gives this CD an ALT-Country sound and the in your face vocal mix but very soft, whispery vocals ala Elliot Smith, never really let loose but are atmospheric. 

Although recorded in stereo it has a very restricted range of depth that almost approaches mono and even though the vocals are upfront and clear I completely mix the “concept EP” element since I have a very difficult time understanding the lyrics. To be fair I have a hard time understanding sung lyrics in general and would have liked to have had access to a lyrics sheet. 

https://gregandthegranules.bandcamp.com

The songs are all pretty similar until you get half way through then there is a “Paxton’s Back Street Carnival” feel that brings back some of the sounds of the Psychedelic era of the 1960s, but for only one minute and forty-three seconds. The remaining two numbers pick it up a bit and the feel gets more rock.

According to Greg And The Granules; "The album brings forth an elegantly emotional concept EP centered on exploring the nature of reality. Through a lens of incredulous optimism, Answer to Influence offers a personal story of transition from the burdensome yoke of cynicism to the freedom of unwavering gratitude." They say it a lot better than I'd say, mostly because I wouldn't say it. Again, it may be my fault I couldn't follow their song lyrics since the vocal mix is a bit on the low end, EQ wise, and I may have lost some of those frequencies in my hearing over time (I did play guitar in a Hard Rock band for decades). 

Overall the EP is a mellow, soothing, atmospheric sonic massage of the ears that if you can follow the story of the lyrics might actually take you somewhere other than Dreamland. Which, if that's where it does take you, is a pleasant way to go.

The New York City Dreams Of Marty McKay

Last night I got in bed, put on my headphones and listened to the new CD from Marty McKay called "New York City Dreams". It was very nice. "Nice" almost sounds like damning with faint praise but it was soothing without being dulling, textured without being complex and dreamy without being sleepy. It was a good CD to listen to in bed with headphones because along with its layers of synths came some hard metal guitars. 

I tried to think of a good comparison for the lead vocals which were clean, clear and although double tracked and with some background vocals were definitely that of the male frontman as opposed to a multi-vocalist harmony group. A rich and masculine baritone fronting what might be called a Metal band with power drums and crashing power cords over staccato repeating riffs but, as is common these days, without any substantial lead guitar solos. Marty's voice (I assume he's the vocalist since the only other credit I can find is for his co-producer Alberto Pistolera), reminds me of shades of Peter Gabriel and with a slight texture of Elvis Costello but maybe closer to the vocals of the band Toy Matinee. Intimate on the soft sections and soaring rather than screaming on the powerful parts. According to Marty himself (according to his press kit) he is actually most similar to Linkin Park (from my old neighborhood), Incubus and 3 Doors Down, so there's that too.

https://goo.gl/2j7ZjX - http://www.martymckay.com

What kills me is that there are songs on the New York City Dreams CD that if released in a bygone era would have been Top Forty Radio hits (like Linkin Park, Incubus and 3 Doors Down) but now are gems left to be dug up from the mine of the Internet which is one gigantic hole in the ground. Music like this was once believed to eventually rise above the noise and gain the attraction of the masses by constant live shows and touring. Playing these songs to people standing in front of you, looking at you and forming a personal bond with you as you share a special moment in both of your lives. However, although Marty McKay played with Vanilla Ice in Berlin in front of a crowd of sixty thousand, there is no mention of an upcoming tour schedule, booked local shows or even any indication that there is an actual performing band behind these songs. 

https://soundcloud.com/martymckay/empire-town

Maybe what we have today is an evolution of music that is in fact in sync with technology in that the "solo" artist that records on his laptop in his bedroom is creating music specifically for a "crowd" that exists one by one, also sitting alone in their rooms with a laptop, on the Internet. A fan base floating disembodied in Cyber-Space, communicating perhaps even more closely with their idols then the fans of past decades, through Facebook or the Comments section of Youtube.

www.martymckay.com

This "International" aspect ("Inter dimensional" really) of Cyber-Space may also be the reason why so many of  modern music's musicians claim to be come, physically, from all over the world. Case in fact; Marty McKay, although sounding either English or American since so many American acts try to sound English and ever since The Beatles it has been traditional for English Rock bands to sing with American accents, claims that he's from, or is at least now based, in Zurich Switzerland. I don't think he's Swiss, although I probably wouldn't recognize a Swiss accent, but if he is I am disappointed he wrote a CD called "New York City Dreams". As an American New York City is not exactly exotic and I'd rather his music take me to some Alpine village than NYC. Maybe it's another case of being a big fish in a small pond that is making American and English musicians relocate to other, less musically competitive parts of the world.

Marty, if you happen to read this please tell us your own story in the Comments Section below.








Saul Losada's "Energy"

Although billed as an "International touring guitarist..." Saul Losada's bio says he's from Hollywood. So that means he's a local guy, to me. Of course, most people "from Hollywood" originated someplace other than Hollywood (except me) but that's what he said and he's sticking to it. He certainly has been part of the Hollywood music scene having performed at the Hollywood House Of Blues, the Catalina Jazz Club and at Eastwest Studios. The "International" part includes Cafe Latino Jazz Festival in Spain and Carnaval On The Mile Festival in Miami (I know, that's still America but just about as far away from Hollywood as you can get and not get wet).

Saul Losado's Energy CD.

Losada is another Blues-Rock guitar God named Saul (Slash to you) and his years spent listening, and I assume jamming, to Classic Rock has payed off in his mastery of the styles of Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck as well as the more Trad Blues styles of B.B. (Blues Boy) King and jazz/pop king Les Paul.

Bold As Love (live).

Of the eight tracks on his Energy CD half are covers (maybe more but I only recognized four). Bold As Love, People Get Ready, Maybellene and The Thrill Is Gone are all excellent versions of songs written or made famous by the guitar legends of the past and it takes some guts to challenge comparison to the likes of Hendrix, Beck, Berry and King but Losada does hold his own and the gusty vocals from a very lovely but anonymous (according to his press release) female vocalist puts a new spin on the formerly all male material.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/energy/id1097587058?app=music&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

In fact, I've read his press release and went to his website (www.saullosada.com) and I can't find any musician credits anywhere. He obviously plays with other musicians but except for his producer and engineer, Don Blanck of Hollywood's Blanck Records, there's nothing listed. This is a pet peeve of mine being a sideman myself, but I suppose being an accomplished studio session musician Saul's used to the background players being invisible. Although you'd think that would make him sensitive to it when the time came for him to be the star. As an animator I never got to sign my name to any of the work I did for the studios and one day I realized I never signed any of my own artwork so I got up at 3am, pulled out my old portfolios and signed everything I'd done. I also feel a little cheated not being told what the beautiful singer's name is. Leave your comments about what a sexist pig I am in the COMMENTS section below and then you know what you can do.

Michael Van & The Movers' "A Little More Country"

One of the toughest things you can do in life is admit and own up to your prejudices and bigotries. One prejudice of mine that I've had for decades (besides Asians can't drive) and that I actually resent being given, for our prejudices are taught to us, is the believe that Country Music represents racist, uneducated, uncouth, ill-mannered, alcoholic, ill-tempered, even violent, rural white people (i.e., Trump voters). This is, of course, wrong both factually as well as morally but even when you know, intellectually, something is wrong it still makes you feel a certain way. And if you accept that you are wrong in your believe and attitude it still doesn't prevent you from feeling those bigoted feelings, it just adds guilt and shame on top of them.

When I was a kid I actually used to like Country Music. "Your Cheatin' Heart" (1964),The Hank Williams biopic starring George Hamilton (Crispy Col. Sanders) turned me on to the original Country star, Hank Williams, and on late weekend nights I'd watch "Cal's Corral", a live Country Music show hosted by local used car dealer Cal Worthington. The Beatles played Country songs on their early albums and "Beatles For Sale" is considered the Beatles' Country record with "No Reply", "I'm A Loser", "Baby's In Black", "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby", "Honey Don't" and "I Don't Want To Spoil The Party" being very Country oriented. But over the years, especially in the 60s, the divide between the "cowboys and the Indians (Straights vs Freaks) became wider and wider and Country music came to represent the "other side's" music of choice. I found having to take sides this way sad but it was hard to not reject Country music when songs like Merle Haggard's "Okie From Muskogee" drew the line. Up till then John Cash had been a staple on AM Top Forty Radio alongside The British Invasion and Motown. To make matters worse, "New Country" sounded more like Rock & Roll than Rock & Roll ever sounded like Country and there was a lot about Country Music I really liked such as;

1. The Instrumentation. I'm a guitar player and Country Music is predominately a guitar driven sound. Unlike some rock and pop styles that will go unnamed (Punk), musicianship has always been of very high importance in Country. I also like most string instruments and Country also utilizes banjo, mandolin and sometimes in lieu of the string sections found in Pop and sometimes Rock, Country uses pedal steel guitar.

2. The Clothes. I'm a westerner and what red blooded American boy doesn't love Cowboys? I love Cowboy hats, bluejeans, boots, vests and other western clothes. Unfortunately largely because of the lyrics of a lot of Country songs, unless you actually work on a ranch, dressing like a cowboy makes you look like a huge tool.

3. The Women. I'm a Rocker but I have to admit that for my taste Rock & Roll women can't hold a candle to Country women. I'm not talking about the fans, necessarily, but the performers. There are more, MUCH MORE, strikingly beautiful woman performing Country Music than there are in Rock & Roll. Have you seen Britney Spears' Country video? OMG! I just love that style, on women... but not in music.

So now let us take a listen at the newest of New Country, Michael Van & The Movers' new full length CD, "A Little More Country".

Michael Van & The Movers' "A Little More Country" video.

As you can see by the video "A Little More Country", Michael Van is pretty traditional Country with a predominately acoustic sound, the soulful steel guitar backing and, this being a ballad, sad lyrics coming from a simple man. Certainly nothing offense here but with the mandatory "southern" accent from an act from the San Francisco Bay Area (even a guy from New Hampshire like Garth Brooks sings like he's from Texas), hearing this style of singing just makes me think a night out where this is playing isn't going to end well (i.e., bar fight, DUI, cross burning, etc.).

https://soundcloud.com/michaelvanandthemovers/sets/a-little-more-country

Okay, I apologize. Let me say I'm just kidding. But really, I'm not someone qualified to review a record like this. I simply don't like Country Music. Again, it's not for the music itself and this CD has first rate production, great (which is standard for most Country I hear) performances and songs I would probably like if done in a different style.

https://michaelvanandthemovers.bandcamp.com/releases
 
Michael Van & The Movers are Michael Van on acoustic guitar and lead vocals, Pete Ahonen on electric guitar, banjo and vocals, Alan Bond on mandolin, fiddle and vocals, Larry Lawson on bass, Bob Skye on drums and harmonica and special guests Mark Bernard Stevenson on pedal steel and Noah Duvernell and Paul Ohnemus on drums. The production, arrangements, mixing and mastering is credited to Michael Van and his band at Flying Monkey Studio.

https://soundcloud.com/michaelvanandthemovers/sets/dreaming-myself-awake

This is one of those cases where I have to apologize to the band, they're a good band and made a fine record, but it's not what I do here at Rock & Roll Rehab (ROCK & ROLL Rehab). Please check them out for yourself if you like what they refer to themselves as,"Alt-Country". I don't know what makes this "Alt", it seems pretty trad to me although admittedly I didn't listen (because of technical reasons I don't understand) to all their tracks. Check them out here at Soundcloud. If you can't hear anything you had the same problem I did. I think my Flash must be outdated or something,. I don't know (what a pro!). 





The Blue Poets

Before this recent presidential election I said that if the country elects a President Trump it will be a huge indicator of having crossed over into a parallel dimension, one of the infinite worlds that look like ours but have sometimes subtle, sometimes blatant, signs that we're not in Kansas anymore. These times are always a changin' but occasionally we make the jump between worlds in the multi-verse and times get absolutely bizarre.

Some of these signposts in the past may have been the JFK assassination, the John Lennon murder, the deaths of John Kennedy Jr. and Princess Diana and the marriage of Michael Jackson to Lisa Marie Presley. Not all the signs are ones of death. President Trump is certainly one. One way to tell if an event is a sign that you've crossed worlds is if the event was something that the National Enquirer should have predicted, but didn't.

Recognizing that the election symbolized my entering into a new reality I was optimistic that this new world would offer me personal opportunities the previous ones seemed to deny me. In a world where there is a President Donald J. Trump, I could be a rich and famous celebrity. Really, why not? ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE NOW.


One of the more subtler signs is that the new music I've been hearing lately seems to be a return to "my style". That is, guitar driven blues-prog-rock and the latest and among the greatest example of this return to Seventies Blues Rock ala Clapton, Gary Moore and Jimi Hendrix is the German band The Blue Poets. Once again (see previous review posts) good old American Rock & Roll is being imported from overseas. They've just released their first full length CD, 'The Blue Poets' on Triple Coil Music.


Led by blues-rock guitar master Marcus Deml, formerly of Errorhead and winner of American Guitar Player Magazine's Guitar Hero award, this quartet is fronted by lead singer Gordon Grey. Grey being Australian, is a native English speaker who sings with an authentic sounding American accent (a requirement for a truly Blues sounding band) while drummer Felix Dehmel and bass player Phil Steen I assume are German like Deml.


Marcus Deml has played with drummer Carmine Appice who I once asked to join my band not realizing his bona fides, Kingdom Come, which I believed included German singer Lenny Wolf who was in the band Stone Fury with my old friend Bruce Gowdy on guitar and Bruce's Grant High School classmates Steve Porcaro and Steve Lukather's bandmate from TOTO, singer Bobby Kimball. Small world.
 
Band-20164734-web.jpg

Some online examples of The Blue Poets' music are 'WithYour Eyes', a slow blues with Hendrix ‘Little Wing’ style guitar flourishes and a bluesy, white boy lead vocal that is the extended intro into a full band instrumental hard blues/rock jam and 'Goodbye', another great example of The Blue Poets’ stab at being the successors to the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughn.

Deml has contributed to 300 studio productions and is the producer of The Blue Poets' first full length album where he wrote all the tracks except the cover of the Cream classic Sunshine Of Your Love.

Marcus Deml and The Blue Poets are endorsed by: Fender Guitars, Kloppmann pickups, D’Addario, Klotz cables, Glockenklang, Deeflexx High-end sound-deflection system, Rheingold, Stetson, Ruokangas and Harvest Fine Leather.

Saint Blasphemer & Simon Templar

Saint Blasphemer is the name of an Alternative Metal band from Santa Ana, CA. Cool name. Simon Templar, if memory serves, was the name of the character played by Roger Moore on the TV series, The Saint, before he became James Bond. It is also the title of Saint Blasphemer's new CD.

https://saintblasphemer.bandcamp.com/releases

In their press kit they state; "The first songs were written and the band formed as a reaction to a heroin epidemic sweeping Orange County." I'm a little farther north in L.A. County and I can attest to the heroin epidemic that hit my community hard and way too close to home. A close family member managed to pull through it and actually found a career as a certified addiction counselor but a kid I used to drive to school with my sons was not so lucky and is no longer with us. 

Saint Blasphemer's video for 'Nullify'.

The first song on Saint Blasphemer's five song EP, 'Nullify' is a Stone Temple Pilots style Grunge Metal with somewhat Geddy Lee sounding vocals and was directly about the drug problem as was the last song on the EP, 'Breaking Just to Bend'. The songs between them include
'Simon Templar', the title track which I would call Ozzy style. It’s nice to hear a good, screaming wah wah pedal lead solo once in a while. Next 'Scarecrow' is a bit more Thrash Metal than the previous tunes and this may be where the comparisons to Tool and Jane’s addiction come into play. 'A Perfect Rose' is more of the same including the wah wah solo. Cool.

http://www.saintblasphemer.com

Saint Blasphemer consists of Thomas Monroe on lead vocals, John Castellon on guitar, Steve Shell on bass and Steve Ybarra on drums. 'Simon Templar' was recorded and engineered by Elliot Koenig at Hear No Evil Studio in Orange, CA. They've been playing shows since February 2016 and their local community has praised Saint Blasphemer for the power of their live performance and the lyrical writing of Thomas Monroe, head of the Orange County Poetry Club.

http://www.saintblasphemer.com
 
Saint Blasphemer's Simon Templar EP is yet another example of new music by young bands which makes me think music is coming back around to my kind of taste (that's not an insult). Lately I've been hearing some pretty knarley lead guitar solos which have been all but extinct. Metal has always been around although not on the radio but underground and I don't know if there is a new breed of Hard Rock / Heavy Metal clubs in Southern California anymore. I suppose the Troubadour and the Whiskey are still open although they may still be Pay To Play which sucks so much it actually kills new music scenes. If there are new local clubs and if anyone ever reads my reviews I would hope I would have been sent some comps to shows to it but it may just be my invisibility that intensifies as I get older. I suppose the new 'underground' is now in Cyberspace and that's where these new bands can be found; Youtube and their various websites are the new rock clubs. Clubs used to be where we would go to meet girls but it seems online is where young guys meet girls now too so I guess getting sent these press releases and song downloads to review is like getting free comps to clubs. I'm hip after all!

Phil Gammage From The Honkey Tonks Of New York City

 Phil Gammage is a singer, harmonica player and guitarist and although he currently hails from New York, he seems a bit too rural for the Big City. Although in a similar vein as Tom Waits, his voice seems to come from a throat less wracked with alcohol and cigarettes but with a soulful and somewhat angry (or perhaps spiteful) baritone fueled more by the booze down deeper, in his belly. A more marinaded and less shellacked texture. Perhaps this is because he is originally from Houston, Texas. This is definitely 'right to carry' music. Kevin Tooley on drums, Frank DiNunzio on bass and backing vocals, Johnny Young on keyboards and Michele Butler on backing vocals are his band on this outing and their styles fit perfectly with his vocals as does the production by Kevin Tooley.

Phil Gammage - Arms Of A Kind Woman VIDEO.
The ten song CD 'Used Man For Sale' follows eight solo CDs and songs featured in TV shows and commercials so we know Phil's been around a while. And it shows in his world weary stories of a life lived hard and mean. Predominantly a white man's barroom blues record for listening to while you're crying in your beer and right before you decide to get your gun and go settle the score. If you're not in jail or dead the next day it won't be because the songs on this CD talked you out of doing something stupid. It will be in spite of it. This is the kind of sound that if you're a stranger in town and this is playing over the jukebox when you walk into the gin joint you'd be wise to turn around and walk back out. Trouble's ahead for sure.

https://philgammage.bandcamp.com/

A sampling of the tunes on 'Used Man For Sale' include;

Arms Of A Kind Woman - A slow, bluesy, boozy lament with sad, soulful harmonica and tinkling keys barroom piano.

Maybe Tomorrow - Floyd Cramer country piano and Hank Williams style tune with crooner vocals over a relaxed (boozy again) tempo and lyrics about making "the good times last". If this is what his good times sound like I'd hate to hear his down side.

I Beg Of You - Stand up bass into a "love and lost" ballad with a down and out Elvis sounding vocal. 

Used Man For Sale - A rousing "life is hard but it's my life" style up tempo still fighting song along the lines of Sinatra's 'That's Life'. 

Ride With Railroad Bill - Slow blues about the man who stole his wife, drinking hard and fantasies of shooting 'everyone's who ever done me harm'. A swampy tune with a bit of a 'Poke Salad Annie' vibe.

http://philgammagemusic.com

Although 'Americana' through and through, Phil isn't a bumpkin who's never been beyond the city limits. He toured Europe last spring (2016), had his previous album, 'Adventures In Bluesland' make the 'Best Of 2014' list at Rock NYC and NBT Music (Germany). He's performed live at the CBGB Music Festival in 2013 and 2014, opened up for Mississippi Blues great Robert Kimbrough SR., Little Joe Ayers and Leo "Bud" Welch in 2015 and 2016, and was interviewed in Blues Magazine (UK). Even intercontinental, he released two acclaimed solo albums, Night Train and Kneel To The Rising Sun in the 90s on France's New Rose Records. His commercial soundtrack work has been for A&E, MTV, Biography, Women's Entertainment, Centric and others.

Kivanc Kilicer's Devil's Thought

I woke up this morning, watched the new video to Kivanc Kilicer's 'Devil's Thought', and thought I was still asleep and dreaming. Specifically, I felt I was dreaming that I was back in the Eighties. "Ouch", you say, "that's harsh". No, I meant it as a compliment. 'Devil's Thought' (from the EP 'Dew On Roses') is thoroughly Heavy Metal and I don't mean Pop Metal like Bon Jovi or Bubblegum Hair Spray Metal like Twisted Sister and the other Metal acts that spring to mind when the Eighties are mentioned, but the kind of Metal that was poised to become 'The Next Big Thing', right before Grunge blew it out of the water and off the charts. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDJ9LOFFo1c
 Remember all the videos in the 80s had fire and/or water?

Bands like Metallica and even Def Leopard that ranged from danceable to head banging, that had a big drum sound, big guitar solos and 'Wall Of Sound' production along with aggressive but still listenable lead vocals and most of all a very dark, almost approaching evil (if I was the religious type) vibe.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDJ9LOFFo1c
 Burning down the house, literally.

Back when this type of Metal was at its peak in America 'Devil's Thought' would have been a hit. It's right up along side Dio, Sabbath, Deep Purple, Slayer, Queensryche and the aforementioned Def Leopard and just south of Anthrax, Mega Death and some of the more hard core metal acts. Oddly enough, it's not from America as Kivanc Kilicer is from Turkey (the country not the TV dinner). Once again I'm getting turned on to good old fashion ('80s) American Rock & Roll that's not American or old. This new music is originating in a foreign land yet it seems so familiar (in a good way). 

Is this Element or does Kivanc have a live band?

I always thought that if we (America) wanted to conquer another country we didn't have to use weapons, just send in sugar (Coca Cola), Levi's jeans and Rock records. Our parents were right; Rock & Roll is a disease that spreads and once caught changes its victim forever. Rock and Roll fever and the Boogie Woogie flu indeed. Getting back to Kivanc who claims he's Turkish but nothing in his press kit would indicate that he's actually in Turkey. He might be as American as apple pie but was born in Turkey because there's nothing in his sound that sounds remotely exotic, unless English Metal can be considered exotic. He claims his main interest has always been a blend of progressive rock and symphony and I can hear it in his level of musicianship but not in the style of music he's chosen to play which he claims was influenced by his record label. In other words I guess he was told to put out a Metal album. I prefer Prog myself so I would have liked to hear what he would have done if left to his own devices but he certainly did a great job on a very dark Metal record. 

http://www.kivanckilicer.com/ 

According to his press kit he started as the frontman of the band Element in 2007 but it doesn't say if that was in Turkey or elsewhere. If he fronted a Heavy Metal band in Turkey he's got some balls. He recorded two studio albums with the band but in 2010 he built himself a home recording studio (again, in Turkey or in the San Fernando Valley? I don't know) and recorded his solo project titled 'Gravity'. Although he claims all the production duties for himself he doesn't list any other musicians so I have to assume there is no live band around to go out and play this stuff. That's a pity.

A lot of the backing tracks on 'Devil's Thought' brings to mind Evanescence (a fav of mine) and the pulsating bass line reminds me of 'Smooth Criminal' but you can hear the song on the video and make up your own mind. What I'm saying is that this record isn't anything really new, but as Retro goes, it should satisfy and is yet another example of the triumphant return of the heavy lead guitar solo. Yea!

You can check out 'Dew On Roses', 'Devil's Thought' and Element on his website HERE.

Rahm 'Between The Lines'

I received some music from an Israeli artist who goes by the name of Rahm and except for the name of the producer of his five song EP titled 'Between The Lines', Ofer Yair, the fact he's also a professional computer programmer, is married and has a son, I know nothing about him. There is no mention in his press materials of who plays the instruments or even who the female vocalist is who shares some lead vocals with him on a couple of duets (unless it's actually him using a falsetto voice. These days you never know, do you?).


https://soundcloud.com/rahm-music/between-the-lines

He says, "This album has progressive and psychedelic roots, with influences that reminds you of the 90's and ambitions which climb towards iconic creators such as Pink Floyd, King Crimson, and Genesis."

https://soundcloud.com/rahm-music/you-are-not-alone

No, it doesn't.

Two of my all time favorite music genres are Psychedelic and Prog Rock and 'Between The Lines' has none of those elements. What it is, and I firmly believe any radio promotion man would agree with me, is Easy Listening. That's not a put down, there's nothing wrong with Easy Listening, it's a very successful radio format. Rahm's songs (except for the title tune which is more aggressive and dramatic), are gentle, lyrical, and arranged with acoustic guitars, grand pianos, flutes, french horns, string sections and Jazz flavored sax and electric guitar solos. 

https://soundcloud.com/rahm-music/always-onthe-run

 His singing is a very soft, breathy style that is reminiscent of Herb Alpert's vocals in the 60s and with a hint of what I assume is an Israeli accent. His subject matter includes his family life on tunes like 'Coming Home', complete with a sound effect intro of feet walking down a gravel road with birds singing, and 'Always On The Run', a sweet ode to his son, which is also about being home since that's where family is.


https://soundcloud.com/rahm-music/coming-home

 'You Are Not Alone' is a pretty acoustic guitar song with an electric guitar solo and with a duet with the unnamed female singer who also joins him on the track, 'Fool For You'.

There are no extended solos if you're looking for Prog and no backwards guitar if you're looking for Psychedelic but if you're looking for well produced, well arranged, very mellow Easy Listening pop with some Jazz touches than Rahm might fill the bill.