Melinda Lavenau Creates A Great Album With It’s Own Peaceful Universe

Album Cover

Melinda Lavenau

“Be All There” from the “Waiting Wild” album

 

From Kansas City, Missouri comes the first album of Melinda Lavenau, a songwriter who writes song to help you remember quiet things. That’s quite a program and this album is faithful to this goal, with a wide range of beautiful songs and field recordings that weave a peaceful tapestry.

With the intro of this “Be All There”, there is an unrest in from the cello/piano that nicely resolves in Melinda’s vocals, urging everyone with her plea of “Wherever you are, be all there”, an effective Carpe Diem… The piano and cello counterpoint each other beautifully, and the bass and electronic percussion are not overwhelming in this primarily acoustic soundscape but effectively driving the track forward, leaving Melinda’s fragile voice plenty of room to charm. Nice background/double vocals are sparkled here and there to accentuate the melodic attraction of this beautiful song.

The rest of the album is full of surprise, with a production that leaves plenty of space to field recordings (birds, water, people walking/talking) fulfilling Melinda’s promise to make us remember the “quiet things”. The result is a great album that creates its own peaceful universe.

Verdict: 5/5 beards

5 Beards Rating

 

 

 

Get the song and album on Bandcamp: https://melindalavenau.bandcamp.com/releases

Moses Guest Serves Their Music With A Taste Of Bravado

Single cover

Moses Guest

“Light” from the “Light” album

For more than 20 years, Moses Guest has been rocking the US scene with their energetic blend of southern rock, jazz-rock and Americana. Here again with this album, they serve their music with a taste and bravado that will satisfy every picky music lover.

Starting strong with this “Light” song which rocks right away with a great swinging rhythm section, harmonizing guitars, B3 and doubled vocals. You can hear multiple influences in here, from the All man Brothers to Grateful Dead, Steve Miller or The Doobie Brothers, but the band manages to show a strong original voice, at times channeling jazz fusion, most notably during an extended middle-eight, starting with a tasty guitar solo, jazzy at first then Santana-esque, and the rhythm section is here extremely successful, accumulating poly-rhythms while still managing to groove!

The production is on point, everything sounds natural and has a “live” quality which serves the band, since their style is really geared towards extended live solo antics, as their newly released live single (Juke / Right Down) can attest.

Verdict: 5/5 beards – A band to discover if you like your music groovy!

5 Beards Rating

Get the song, album and more on Bandcamp: https://mosesguest.bandcamp.com/album/light-2

 

Love & Light appeals to anyone with an ecologic conscience and a taste for melodic songwriting

Single Cover

Amistat

“Love & Light”

 

Following their latest EP “Nostalgia”, Josef and Jan Prasil, the twin brothers from Amistat deliver here a beautiful new single that speaks of our relationship with the oceans and how we should be more conscious of all the damage we are doing around the planet. It’s all about love & light.

The song is weaving delicate guitar arpeggios and beautiful harmonies, and in contrast with the serious theme, there is an aethereal quality to the music that aspires to our better self. In the vein of a Cat Stevens or a James Taylor, the duo’s melodic abilities are particularly well displayed in this new song, with a production that brings the softness of their vocals on a tasty bed of light drums and percussion, sparse piano, acoustic guitars and that bed of vocal harmonies which is their trademark sound.

Adding a new direction to a worthy discography, this great single will appeal to anyone with an ecologic conscience and a taste for melodic song writing, folk and soft rock and generally good music.

Time to give these guys a follow and a listen?

Verdict: 5/5 beards

5 Beards Rating

 

 

 

Get the song on iTunes: https://music.apple.com/us/album/love-light-single/1471564429 

 

Who said Americana needed to come from the US?

 

Americana Band EP

The king Heat Ensemble

“Ten Years” from the ‘Songs’ EP

 

Who said Americana needed to come from the US? The King Heat Ensemble, a duo from the UK is here to prove that it’s not the case with this beautiful first EP, simply entitled “Songs”.

And indeed, it’s all about songs, and good ones at that. A thoughtful collection where acoustic guitar and instruments shines and vocals are raw and heartfelt, with often beautiful choir-like background vocals.

On this “Ten Years” song the opening slide guitar accentuates that longing which the song is telling about. With minimal drums and a subtle organ pad, a laid-back rhythm leaves opened a lot of room for the vocals to sing its tale, about how hard it can be to wait for inspiration to come back… something any songwriter will relate with!

The EP’s sound is served well by a beautiful production with lots of space and none of that over-compression nonsense that is plaguing too much of today’s releases. If you’re looking for music that breathes, look no further than this band and EP!

Verdict: 5/5 beards

5 Beards Rating

 

 

 

Get the song and EP on Bandcamp at: https://thekingheatensemble.bandcamp.com/

 

a half-ton truckload of foot stomping folk rock From union Duke

Single Cover

Union Duke

“Ladidadida”

 

From Toronto, Ontario, comes a cool band of “five guys, twenty-four beers and a half-ton truckload of foot stomping folk rock”. And this new song of theirs is in line with their motto and will not fail to put a big smile on your face.

With an enthusiasm and youthful energy that is highly communicative, this song cleverly alternates between a swing beat and a ternary slow waltz. It’s simple but efficient in how it helps propelling the song’s upbeat parts especially the “ladidadida” extended gang vocals, which concludes the song in orgasmic fashion.

The instrumentation here is stripped back to one acoustic, one electric guitar, bass / drums, and a banjo, in line with their goal of reviving Canadian’s folk music, yet it works really well, leaving room for the vocals telling its tale of hitting the road, making it back in one piece, the desperate high/lows in between when you’re back to your true love. If you’re not sure about what folk-rock is about and feel that a modern indie take could do the trick then this song, and this band, is for you.

Verdict: 5/5 beards

5 Beards Rating

 

 

 

Get the song on Bandcamp at: https://unionduke.bandcamp.com/

 

A ‘Miracle Man’ Gives True Meaning To ‘Free To Grow’

Miracle Man Single Cover

Free to grow

“Miracle Man” from the “Miracle” EP

 

From Fredericton, NB, Canada, with Free to Grow, comes a new EP dedicated to Bruce Hughes (the actual “Miracle Man”) and the health care professionals who take care of him during his fight for recovery after a massive stroke.

This extraordinary tale is opening the new Free to Grow 3 songs EP and it’s a rocking and uplifting tune that should put a big smile on your face…

Starting with tasty acoustic and electric guitars the song doesn’t waste a minute to rock you out, especially with that great horns section (trademark of the Free to Grow sound) and fun female background vocals. Great performances all over, from the soaring lead vocals to the scorching guitar solo.

Major points to the production, which is rich and full and doesn’t stop pounding, with a great sound thanks also to mixing/mastering by Adrian Jenkinson. This true for all the songs of this rocking EP that will go well in your collection if you’re into tasty rock with an uplifting message and sound. Get it today while it’s hot!

Also don’t miss the video for this song, which was done with the help of the healthcare workers who took care of Bruce “Miracle Man” Hughes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rmu4MIr-FEE (Video Below)

Verdict: 5/5 beards

5 Beards Rating

 

 

 

Get the song and EP at: https://www.freetogrowband.com/music

 

Dandelion charm strike again with ‘afraid of the silence’

 

Dandelion Charm Single Cover

Dandelion Charm

“Afraid of the Silence”

The dandies strike again! After a great first album, followed by a fantastic EP and single, here’s the new Dandelion Charm offering, ahead of a new album to be released this autumn.

If, like me, you are a big fan of the dynamic duo, John and Clare Fowler, with their instantly recognizable style, lush production, rich arrangements, inimitable harmonies and deep lyrics, you’ll be delighted by this new song!

This one is starting with a bass/drums combo that looks into jazz territory, the bass in particular is tastefully walking, while a wah guitar is punctuating the groove, and the background vocals really evokes the best of Yes, especially during the chorus reprises. The sophisticated arrangement, with the usual 12 Strings and numerous warm guitars, here well supported by a B3 organ, doesn’t detract from a groove that highlights the catchy vocals. A great combination for this rocking tune, which is also a comment on our society’s reliance on media and social media as a soul sustenance that doesn’t deliver…

Another killer tune that makes us anticipate even more the upcoming new album, which I’m sure will be of the greatest caliber.

 

Verdict: 5/5 beards – if you’re afraid of the silence, all the more reason to listen to that tune!

5 Beards Rating

 

 

 

Get the song ahead of its July 14th release on Bandcamp at: https://dandelioncharm.bandcamp.com/track/afraid-of-the-silence

Website: http://www.dandelioncharm.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dandelioncharmmusic

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dandelion_Charm

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dandelion__charm/

James B. ‘Butterfly’ Soulful indie rock Blues

James Bacon Musician

James B

‘Butterfly’

 

James B aka James Bacon is a British indie/rock/pop artist who writes, performs and produces all music from his London studio.

In 2017 he released his debut album ‘Living the Dream’ – full of catchy tunes and big on guitar.  The second album, title TBA will be released at the end of 2019. The first single ‘Reality TV Star’ was released in May 2019. 

James B  brand new single,  ‘Butterfly’ with soulful indie rock and blues harmonies that is surrounded with catchy guitar riffs that are as soulful and solid as it gets. 

The beautiful journey in which James seems to be able to create so successfully is one in which needs to be applauded.

Butterfly sounds effortless and relaxed with the real sounds of music, genuine musicianship and ever so tasteful arrangement in which reflects in a similar way of the beauty of the successful masterpieces created by the legends of others before him. 

The way in which Bacon incorporates the mix between ‘Hendrix’, ‘Beatles’ and ‘Lenny Kravitz’ is rather of genius level in which his production skills are placed on show blending a mix of Beatles drums, Hendrix sounding guitar and Kravitz guitar solo’s, vocal and harmonies that come out of that middle eight is super nice and delicious sounding, breathing life back into the music. Hoorah! 

Bloody brilliant James B…. LOVE IT! 

Tracey Gives 4/5 Hearts! 

 

 

Get in on DistroKid

https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/jamesb/butterfly

JUAN’S EXCEPTIONAL JAZZ GUITAR chops; simply outstanding

 

Juan Dhas Album Cover

Juan Dhas

“Deeper Spirit” from the “Catharsis” Album

If you love jazz and instrumental music, have a particular fondness for ECM catalog, are always on the lookout for emerging artists with new and original voices, look no further than this new album from Juan Dhas!

Juan is a guitarist and composer from Bogotà, Colombia, who studied in Berklee, and has since produced two outstanding albums. The “Catharsis” here, being his second opus, showcases not only Juan’s exceptional guitar chops but his adventurous compositional abilities. With a style that evokes early Pat Metheny at times, but also Alan Holdsworth at others, his intricate playing never sacrifices musicality for technique displays, and it’s a joy to discover such a talent whose ego is not overwhelming the musical quality of his output.

Accompanied here by a solid rhythm section of seasoned musicians (Kike Harker on bass, and Ramón Berrocal on Drums), the album leaves space for everyone to shine, like on this “Deeper Spirit” with a cool drums solo over a great ostinato theme. But of course, the guitar leads the way on all these tunes, and with such a flair and panache that you cannot help but keep being captivated by the sophisticated landscape Juan is painting all along this album.

Verdict: 5/5 beards 

5 Beards Rating

 

 

Get the album from Bandcamp at: https://juandhas.bandcamp.com/

GG Fearn Does It Again With Catchy New Dark Pop EP

Music Reviews of Indie Music Artists
MUSIC REVIEW

GG Fearn

“Black Mirror” from the “Black Mirror” EP

After a first album that generated a lot of buzz, with its wide range of genres and moods, GG Fearn, the young singer-songwriter from the UK, is back at it with a new EP that is quirky and fun, and what’s for sure is that you don’t want to miss it!

This time in a vein of dark pop and groovy alternative sounds, the EP has a lot for it, and you don’t have to look any farther than the title track “Black Mirror” to get hooked by Georgia’s knack for catchy chorus, snappy arrangements and modern sound.

The song starts with funky guitar, groovy drums/bass combo and soon you are drawn into that Black Mirror reality by Georgia’s commanding vocal. Great production serves the song well, it’s full of nice little ear candies, and even features a short but rocking guitar solo, which in the pop vein of this song is quite unusual and very welcome to my old ears The vocal treatment works like a charm and background vocals add some real soul to this catchy song.

A really cool song that is one of the highlights of this new EP, so make sure you go to the artist’s website and get your own copy asap!

Verdict: 5/5 beards – Give it a try asap!

5 Beards Rating

 

 

 

Get the EP from the artist website at:  https://www.georgiafearnmusic.co.uk/

If You Can’t get Enough of Lord of the Rings, Swear by Game of Thrones, You’ll Love “Ye Banks and Braes”

ED Harris Celtic Album

W Ed Harris

“Otzi Man” from the “Ye Banks and Braes” Album

There’s something strangely addictive about Celtic music. It evokes a simpler life, tales of knights and maidens and old gods, to a point where you can close your eyes and be transported in another time and space, better than a dream.
If you’re a fan of fantasy, can’t get enough of Lord of the Rings, swear by Game of Thrones, you will love the Ed Harris’s new album “Ye Banks and Braes”, a compilation of traditional and original Celtic instrumentals and ballads. A simple look at the beautiful cover and you’ll understand that this album is the real deal.
Ed is a veteran multi-instrumentalist with a wide range of experience who has focused on Celtic music for over 30 years now, and it’s pretty obvious from the songs and performances on this album that he’s a reference in the genre, and the rich collection of albums on his website is further proof.
With a sound that sparks with lush acoustic instruments, guitars, mandolin, fiddle, percussion, recorders, and in some case Ed’s vocals, from jigs to ballads, this album is a colorful journey. On that “Otzi Man” song, which is an original composition, Ed’s roots are in full display and tell the tale of the Iceman, “5300-year-old tribesman who was found in the mountain range between Austria and Italy”, starting with pounding percussion, fiddle, acoustic guitar and recorder, and Ed’s subdued vocal works a charm, an award winning combination.
asap!

Verdict: 5/5 beards – Jump on a dragon and listen to this album 

Get this album (and more) from the artist’s website at:  https://wedharris.com/music

Duffy and Bird Do It Again with Trademark Sound of Americana Goodness

 

Duffy and Bird EP

Duffy & Bird

“Avenue of Luck”

They did it again! Following their acclaimed first EP “5 Lines”, the dynamic UK duo is back with a new single that continues in the vein of folk/Americana acoustic goodness that is their trademark sound.
With a stripped down to the bone production, acoustic guitar, minimal percussion (kick, tambourine, shaker), there’s nothing to distract you from Tricia Duffy’s lovely voice, and the cool harmonies of Al Bird, something the duo is famous for.
The song is a strong one, it’s catchy and it works well even with this limited instrumentation, thanks to the great melodic sensibility and the soulful vocal performances. It’s all about luck, you see, and how some people have more than others, and how in the end, we all should be grateful of what we have. A positive message for a positive song that shines with its genial simplicity and heartfelt delivery.
Recommended to everyone who likes their songs raw and true.
Verdict: 5/5 beards Get it now!

5 Beards Rating

 

 

 

Get the song on Bandcamp at:

https://duffyandbird.bandcamp.com/track/avenue-of-luck

 

Katey Brooks Singing Is Effortless & Production Immaculate

Singer Katey Brooks

Katey Brooks

“All Of Me”

From a long tradition of songwriters drawing their inspiration from blues and soul and ready to pour their heart out in a song, comes Katey Brooks and this new single from upcoming album “Revolute”.
With a stark instrumentation that leaves room to her heartfelt vocals, and breathes around her heart-wrenching plea, the song is a winner. The background vocals lay out a bed of female harmonies that make it sound like a gospel, and it works like a charm over the bluesy guitar, B3 and laid-back rhythm section.
The singing is effortless, and the production immaculate in its simplicity, a great choice to highlight Katey’s powerful voice, which is hard to resist. It’s the kind of song you could sway on with your lover at the end of a party when most have gone, all the drinks have been spilled and there’s only one pair of eyes looking at you, exchanging tender vows. But be warned, says Katey, because if you want “all of me”, you will need more than words to prove it!
In the meantime, you will be rewarded by a great song, delivered with conviction and power and that should be more than a lot of songs will ever do.
Verdict: 5/5 beards – Grab it while it’s hot and watch out for the upcoming album!

5 Beards Rating

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come and Get It From Verity White

Singer Verity White

 

“come and get it” from the ‘reclaim’; Set fire album

From the heart of the Cotswold, in Cheltenham, UK, acclaimed rock ‘n’ roll diva, proclaimed cat lovers and new wave of rock leader comes this long awaited second album. All you have to do is look at the cover to see that Verity is not joking and that there will be fire!
From the first riff of that first song, you’re invited to “Come and Get It” and you know you’re in for savage guitars, pounding drums, growling bass and Verity’s angry vocals pouring her heart out right into your ears.
The style of the songs ranges from alternative rock, direct and groovy, to classic rock, in some of the more sophisticated riffs, all served with a dash of punk rock angriness for good measure. From mid-tempo to pure ro
ckers, to a surprise “Feel This” piano ballad concluding the album as a welcome respite and fire extinguisher.
You can hear that Verity, along with her band members, and served by a great production, opened her soul and shared her life in this album and reaffirms, if needed be, her place as a leading lady with the potential to storm the new wave of indie rock. It starts right now, ladies and gentlemen, and you will be able to say: “I was here when it all started”.
Verdict: 5/5 beards Grab this album while it’s hot!

Get the song and EP from Bandcamp:

https://veritywhite.bandcamp.com/album/reclaim-set-fire-2 

Emma Dean is a F*%king Unicorn

Emma Dean EP Cover

“I Am a F*%king Unicorn”

from the

“Broken Romantics: A Vicious Song Cycle” EP

Coming from Brisbane, Australia, with a style that could easily be transposed on stage off Broadway and that she pens herself as “Pop Cabaret” (from a previous album), Emma Dean is not your ordinary pop singer-songwriter, and a simple listen to this new EP and that song in particular will make it obvious to everyone.

Starting with a great piano driven groove which is as infectious as it is original, Emma goes all the way with a display of female empowerment that could well be the next feminist anthem, while her humorous delivery shows vocal chops definitely out of the ordinary. Where on the rest of the EP, which is a bit more restraint, you could hear shades of Tori Amos, with a knack for improbably catchy melodies coming from outer space, romantic lyrics (the broken kind), and piano driven tunes, the songstress is out for a kill with this song, and if you cannot really see the “glitter and sparkles coming out of her bum”, without a doubt you can hear them coming out of her voice.

What’s not to like on that tune that grooves with wah guitar, rhythmic piano, heavy bass, hypnotic percussion and a dancing flute? Hard to resist Emma Dean flamboyant style and vocals in any case, and you will tend to agree that she is indeed a “F*%king Unicorn”!

Verdict: 5/5 beards

Get the song and EP from Bandcamp:

https://emmadean.bandcamp.com/album/broken-romantics-a-vicious-song-cycle

Ghostly beard; behind the scenes

 

 

EP by Ghostly Beard

There is an enigmatic bigfoot-like character that just came out of the woods after 15 years of being lost. He goes by the handle Ghostly Beard, and he’s a visionary artistic entity with a boundlessly creative sweep that encompasses soft rock, jazz, prog-rock, fusion, pop, classic rock, and more. 

Ghostly Beard’s kaleidoscopic creativity has garnered him comparisons to such diverse artists as Steely Dan, Pink Floyd, James Taylor, Genesis, XTC, Cat Stevens, Weather Report, Michael Franks and Chicago.

He crafts immersive dreamy sonic landscapes that emotionally blur the line between dark catharsis and subtle rays of hope 

‘The Love In Your Eyes’ is the first release from his forth coming album and we take a look at behind the scenes of the Ghostly Beard.

What better way to introduce an independent artist on the first day of his official release; ask a plethora of questions ranging from musical, production, where he grew up to his current place of residence and so much more…..including the musical toaster. 

Ghostly Beard talks about the meaning behind ‘The Love In Your Eyes’, the first single from his forthcoming album, ‘Inward’, due for release May 4th. 

To find out more, take a listen to our fun and very informative 1hr & 15 minute podcast; don’t forget to set yourself up with a drink and nibbles to sit back and enjoy the ride. 

‘The Love In Your Eyes’ is OUT NOW! https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/the-love-in-your-eyes-single/1339395108

All Proceeds from the ‘Inward’ album go towards

MusicCounts  https://www.musicounts.ca/

 

Podcast with Ghostly Beard

 

LINKS TO GHOSTLY BEARD

WEBSITE: https://www.ghostlybeard.com/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/ghostlybeard

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/aghostlybeard

YOUTUBE:  https://www.youtube.com/c/ghostlybeard