Vinyl Soup – The Beacon Within

Vinyl Soup – The Beacon Within
Creek Slide Records – CSR 1003
If anyone thinks psychedelic rock is passé, they have not experienced Vinyl Soup. The Nashville-based foursome has been around for about ten years and recently went through some personnel changes, but have come out on fire with their third release “The Beacon Within”. You can compare them somewhat to Phish in their heyday, as they have that sort of wide open jam feel backed by true musical prowess. Vinyl Soup has their own indelible style, however, with an often even-handed juxtaposition of rock, jazz and soul that creates an exuberant vibe. Everyone in the band has serious chops but they don’t flaunt them merely for flaunting’s sake. Everything is in place for a reason while still keeping an organic vibe. Check out the unbridled rocker “The World Stood Still”, the Caribbeanesque “The Roof” and the jazzy folk of “Corner Cafe”, and you will get a good broad spectrum of what these guys are capable of. The words have meaning, too, as they can make you think, laugh or cry with their honest and frank emotions. Vinyl Soup has proven to be a delicious musical stew that you will no doubt have you coming back for seconds. OK, I know that sounds cliché, but it is true, and one listen to “The Beacon Within” and I am sure you will agree. – MW


Dave Armo – Poets On The Wall

Dave Armo – Poets On The Wall
“Singer-Songwriter” has become such a generic term these days, usually conjuring an aural vision of someone plucking an acoustic guitar and channeling James Taylor. If you want a different definition, check out this third release from SoCal residing Dave Armo. He is a singer, and a damn good one, with a sort of ethereal sweetness to his voice without being too sugary, and subtle emotion that seems to carry more power than those who over-emote when they sing. And he is a songwriter, with a quirky versatility adding elements ranging from alt and traditional folk to bits of rock, jazz and American that enthralls you throughout the twelve tracks. There are acoustic guitar fueled songs such as “This Time May Never End” and “Lovers On The Beach” that are anything but typified. “Every Night I Call Your Name” and the title track bring in delectable keyboard backdrops that add incredible flavor to the music. “It Has Been So Cold In California” turns up a crunchy alt rock vibe, the only somewhat “loud” song on the CD, but by no means the only powerful track. With the third element being the lyrics, Dave has proven to be an adept storyteller, with honest words emanating from several reaches of his soul, enticing you to take the journey with him. This will be a journey you will enjoy if you love music that is created with talent, passion and the right doses of innovation and eclectic influences. – MW