CD Review: jENNiNGS — Take It or Leave; Playing Smith’s Olde Bar, April 17

jENNiNGS Take It or Leave Emerging Artists Music By Al Kaufman Singer/songwriter/pianist Mary Jennings is pretentious. A singer cannot use such a capitally-challenged moniker and not be thought so. She only enhances that perception on her live album, Take It or Leave. She includes an intro on every song because, you know, it’s like, important […]

CD Review: Tumbledown House — Fables and Falsehoods; Play Twain’s, April 19

Tumbledown House Fables and Falsehoods Silent Coyote Music By Al Kaufman Welcome to the Roaring ’20s, in all its sexy, boozy, violent glory. Montana’s Tumbledown House are so fresh and exciting because they do old so well. Vocalist Gillian Howe and jazz guitarist Tyler Ryan Miller have surrounded themselves with all sorts of cool cats, […]

CD Review: Fanfarlo — Rooms Filled With Light; Playing Vinyl, March 10

Fanfarlo Rooms Filled with Light Atlantic Records By Al Kaufman The indie-pop world took notice when Fanfarlo released their debut, Reservoir, in 2009. Now, three years later, Fanfarlo has gone back about 30 years to create their new sound. In listening to Rooms Filled with Light, one would not be unreasonable to believe the band […]

CD Review: Heartless Bastards — Arrow; Playing The EARL, March 2

Heartless Bastards Arrow Partisan Records By Al Kaufman Heartless Bastards answer the all important question: What if Adele was backed by a Texas band? Erika Wennerstrom, the vocal storm behind the band, has penned 11 songs that show off all her abilities. The soulful “Marathon” is followed by the poppy “Parted Ways,” until the song […]

CD Review: Red Wanting Blue — From the Vanishing Point; Playing Smith’s Olde Bar, February 27

Red Wanting Blue From the Vanishing Point Fanatic Records By Al Kaufman Red Wanting Blue plays slick, mainstream pop-rock songs. That could be the whole review right there, but it would leave the layout for this review wanting. It’s like Train or Hootie and the Blowfish, or, to a lesser extent, Counting Crows. It’s that […]

CD Review: Dare Dukes — Thugs and China Dolls; Playing Highland Inn January 21 and Grocery on Home February 4

Dare Dukes and the Blackstock Collection Thugs and China Dolls Starland Records By Al Kaufman When Savannah’s Dare Dukes released his debut, Prettiest Transmitter of All, in 2008, he established himself as a gifted songwriter who could write a catchy (but not obvious) hook. But, most importantly, he demonstrated that he has a penchant for […]

CD Review: Sarah Siskind — Novel; Playing Eddie’s Attic, November 16

Sarah Siskind Novel Red Request Records By Al Kaufman It would be easy to write Sarah Siskind off as just another hippie chick. Just read some of the liner notes on Novel: “All drums and percussion were handmade or household objects.” Or how about, “Sarah makes unique jewelry made from beads, charms and the like […]

CD Review: Minus Ned — Are We Finally Fitting In?; Playing The Nest, November 10

Minus Ned Are We Finally Fitting In? Nedhead Records By Al Kaufman When guitarist Ned Bridges decided to form a band with fellow Connecticut friends Zach Guglin (vocals/drums) and Michael Martens (guitar), he probably thought the band would just break up when he took off for college. Instead, the two remaining members recruited guitarist Mark […]

CD Review: Memoryhouse — The Years; Playing 529, November 1

Memoryhouse The Years Sub-Pop By Al Kaufman The Toronto duo, Memoryhouse, released a four-song EP, The Years, on Arcade Sound a little over a year ago. On this version for Sub-Pop, they’re up to five songs (replacing “the Waves” with “Modern Normal” and “Quiet America”). They also re-recorded the remaining three songs. At this rate, […]

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