Capsule Reviews by Mark Waterbury

AG Weinberger – Mighty Business
Bigfoot Records – BFCD0072015
Blues can come from a lot of geographical places, but would many think of Romania as one of those locales? AG Weinberger not only thinks that, he lives it, and definitely plays the living hell out of it. Recorded live in Bucharest, this is rocking blues at its wicked-licked best, augmented further by AG’s throaty vocals. A blend of American blues favorites and very well-written originals, AG proves that blues…like music itself knows no boundaries. He puts a blazing six-string stamp on that statement.
Aria Cortes – Chrysalis
World Conquest Records – WCD137013
New York-based Aria Cortes creates an intriguing blend of pop, Americana and folk styles on her sophomore effort. This dynamic-voiced young lady channels a diva style into more barebones atmospheres, although she likes to stretch the envelope of her musical backdrops from the cabaret feel of “Shut My Mouth” to the snappy folk vibe of “All Of The Above.” Some unique but also subtly comforting music here.
Crooked Eye Tommy – Butterflies and Snakes
Piano Road Records
Pretty stunning that this is the debut CD for brothers Tommy and Paddy Marsh. The NorCal siblings have been around music for a long time though, and you can tell with the incredible maturity and musical prowess on the CD. Melding power blues with touches of folk, funk and Americana styles you have some very well crafted songs overflowing with life and at times can knock you out with their emotive intensity. All I can say is don’t wait so long to do another one, guys!
Joel Zoss – Lila
Catalan Records
Veteran songwriter Joel Zoss releases another tasty collection of delectable music taking various paths on a virtual roadmap of blues styles. You can find him in the back streets of Chicago, the front porches of Mississippi, the parks of San Francisco, and even places like Laredo and Montego Bay. No matter where his journeys take you, you will immensely enjoy the trip as Joel’s wonderful voice, musical talents and words ranging from the painful to the humorous will enthrall you the entire way.
Lasers Lasers Birmingham – Royal Blue
This EP from the band created by singer-songwriter Alex Owen is another example that country music is breaking from the commercial mode and getting back to its roots. The title track has a Texas-swing bluesiness to it, followed by the honky-tonk toe-tapper “Hard Man To Please.” “Anyway You Slice It” is a heartfelt but darkly humorous ballad. Thoughtful lyrics and a stellar blend of classic influences and modern edginess will make you hunger for far more than the wonderful four tracks here.

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