Capsule Reviews by Mark E. Waterbury

The Furious Seasons – Now Residing Abroad
Veteran L.A. singer-songwriter David Steinhart has created another masterpiece with his trio The Furious Seasons. David can stand his own against many famous singer-songwriters of the past, and you can feel a bit of the likes of Cat Stevens, Paul SImon and Jim Croce when you listen to him. He has his own distinct personality though, with a voice that is both emotive and subtly intense with mesmerizing timbre, the perfect conveyance for his thought provoking often topical words. The musical backdrop is thoughtfully complimentary, showcasing a further depth of artful talent. Full of warmth and intelligence, this is truly enjoyable music.
FuriousSeasons
Marshall – Carnivals & Other Tragedies
Hey Man! Records
Chicago is, of course, known for blues, but I would hesitate to pigeon hole veteran Chi-Town songsmith Marshall (Hjertstedt) in that category. While there are blues influences, there is so much more depth to his music with heavy doses of folk and subtle doses of Taking Back Sunday-era indie rock. Perhaps why this music is so ear-opening is because he can weave together those various styles and create music with a delectable pulse and captivating vibe. The lyrics are cerebral without being pretentious and there is plenty of musical prowess tastefully laced throughout the tracks. Wonderful music with heart from the Heartland.
Marshall
Reverend Raven & The Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys – My Life
Nevermore Records
Almost as stoic a Milwaukee institution as beer and German food, Reverend Raven and his band celebrate their twentieth anniversary of creating blistering blues from the Cream City. The music treads mostly familiar territory which is not even close to being a bad thing as the Rev knows how to take traditional blues progressions and do special things with them. The CD is brimming with killer vocal work, snarling guitar solos, wicked harmonica chops, and lyrics that tell stories ranging from humorous to heartrending. These guys bust their butts to bring great music to the Midwest and beyond, and we can only hope they will be around another twenty years.
RevRaven
Hilary Scott – Don’t Call Me Angel
Belltown Records
Not to be confused with the two “L” Hillary Scott from Lady Antebellum, Hilary Scott has carved her own name into today’s Americana scene with a breathlessly intoxicating voice and a knack for creating catchy, emotional, and subtly edgy songs. Slipping in touches of country, blues and indie rock, Hilary’s stunning vocal work and soul bearing words will drive deep into your soul with their honest intensity and delectable musical backdrops also created by Hilary’s multi instrumental talents. Beautiful, lush and haunting, this music draws in the listener and holds their attention as you experience her stories and feelings.
HilaryScott

 

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