Capsule Reviews by Mark E. Waterbury

Debbie Bond – Enjoy The Ride: Shoal Sessions
Blues Root Productions – BRP1601
Debbie Bond’s deep Alabama roots shines through in her robust, soulful vocal work. Like Ann Wilson on a Bonnie Raitt trip, Debbie belts it out with the best, but also shows deft vocal and emotive control and an excellent range. The music co-written by partner Rick Asherson is non-pretentious feel good blues, rock and soul, the perfect compliment to Debbie’s vocal prowess. If you love ladies who sing the blues, don’t miss out on this one! 

Callenberg – Lost In The Mail
Bend Records – BENDCD002
Swedish alt rockers Callenberg producing music that is refreshing, intriguing and in many ways intoxicating. Pulsing ambient soundscapes with folksy subtleties and the right wafts of rock sensibility create songs that are both catchy and edgy. Emotively mesmerizing vocals and provocative stories are afloat on a sea of wondrous musical eccentricities. This group continues to show further maturity in their songwriting capabilities. 

Mark Cameron – Playing Rough
COP Records
From the wilds of southern Minnesota, Mark Cameron plays both rough and smooth. That is always the proper recipe for great blues; rough edges but a smooth delivery, and Mark’s vocals run their own balance of smoothness and emotive timbre. Comforting grooves and stoic rhythms are punctuated by searing guitar and harp licks. With both deep roots and edgy modern sensibilities, Mark channels his feelings through some very enjoyable tunes. 

Mary Ann Casale – Restless Heart
Subcat Music Records
Long Island born Mary Ann Casale has one of those husky, folksy voices that is infectious and works well with whatever music is augmenting it. You have a tasty feast here ranging from coffee-house folk to burlesque blues, from Americana rock to country boogie. Whatever the styles, Mary Ann’s vocals will snare you with their honest emotion and the intriguing stories conveyed. 

Trey Forbes – Restless Freedom
The music by this indie singer-songwriter is a bit on the raw side, but he makes no apologies for doing things a bit different, and that in itself makes this an intriguing CD. Wide ranging influences from West Coast punk to country folk, there is often an haunting ambience to the songs, giving them a nice edge and enticing you to hear more. Lyrically dark but also provocative, this music is interesting in all the right ways. 

Walter Forbes – Bull-Bat Time/Just For Fun
Veteran Georgia based song-smith and actor Walter Forbes seemingly has fueled a lifetime of musical and life influences into this highly enjoyable duo of CDs. Twisting and turning down the back roads of folk, country, Americana and Appalachian, this is story telling music at it’s purest and finest. From humorous to heartbreaking, life experiences to introspective views, this is music where you can hang on every word but also savor the musical and vocal talents that swirl around them like a cool Southern breeze. 

Mike Jacoby – NorthEastSouthWest
Born on one coast and now living on the other, Mike Jacoby draws influences more from the heartland and the south. Organic and folksy at times, and in your face rocking at others, this is a delectable blend of various tendrils of Americana. From the rocking “Nevermind Me” to the rollicking country blues of “Explaining To Do” and the sweet folk ballad “Lie In Bed,” Mike is quite talented in creating comfortingly intriguing music. 

Peter Karp – The Arson’s Match
KarpFoley Music
There are live albums and then there are live albums, and this one you can almost feel the sweat coming off Peter Karp and his cohorts as he unleashes his fiery blues/Americana rock gospel on the audience. Joined by legendary Stones guitarist Mick Taylor, Peter, Mick and the boys sizzle through a ten song set with crisp but lively production that transports you to the front row. You may end up sweating after listening to this, too. Also, 100% of the sales of this CD go to ovarian cancer research. 

R.B. Stone – Some Call It Freedom (Some Call It The Blues)
Middle Mountain Music
Actually you can call music from this stoic Ohio born blues master a lot of things. You can call it rock, you can call it country, you can call it roots and, yes, you can call it blues. You can also call it smoking as it is that type of blues that will just about literally cause smoke to waft from your CD players. Even the mellower songs have a potency to them, with snarling guitars, thick rhythms and R.B.’s robust vocals. I call it a killer CD! 

Von Zimmer – Freddie’s Extra Teeth
Tasty Treat Records
South Dakota does not sound like a state where you would expect edgy, punk influenced music to come from. Von Zimmer is changing that in a loud and distorted but clear voice. There is a depth of punk influences, from the early NY glammers to the L.A. hard core scene, with the added subtleties of folk, pop and Americana. It’s raw, it’s noisy, it spits in your face lyrically, but wasn’t that what punk was about? Von gets it and unleashes it with serious fervor. 



Callenberg – The Bailout Shop

Callenberg – The Bailout Shop
Bend Records
Eclectic Swedish musician/songwriter Anders Callenberg has found intriguing ways to make the bizarre refreshing with his sophomore effort. “Curtain” is raised with an atmospheric slightly somber pulse as if Bowie and Bono were kicking back and relaxing with…well, whatever the prefer relaxing with. “Sitting Duck” pulses with a groove that is both subtly hypnotic and hooky with a mesmerizing vocal warble. “You Might As Well Know” busts out a R&B tinged synth pop groove with an ethereal flowing undercurrent, while “Mad Machine” harkens to the days of electronica pioneers such as Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream. Anders is definitely not afraid to take chances with his songwriting, as the songs seem to flow from him like a rock strewn stream winding through past and present electronic and ambient soundscapes. There is easily enough innovation intertwined with the more obvious influences to catch the ears of any electronic music fan.  – MW