Tag Archives: Review

Americana Rock Mix Review: “Holyoke” by Mat D & The Profane Saints

coverI’ll be honest, and I’ll keep this short and sweet. Obviously, if I find it worth my time and effort to write a review, you should be picking this up before you read any further. That being said, here’s my short review:

If you’ve been paying attention, prior to it’s release, Mat D has been sprinkling some of Holyoke‘s songs around for a little while. A couple acoustic tracks of “Roadhouse Shrine”, “Carry Me To Canaan” and the title track “Holyoke” (then titled “Hellbound In Holyoke”) can be found on Mat D’s solo EP, Broken Hymns And Ballads Of The Roadhouse Shrine, and the debut of “Gambling, Girls, & Guns” appeared at CXCW in 2013 (found HERE).

So, I’ve been eagerly waiting to hear the finished and refined studio versions of these songs. It’s amazing to hear a song for the first time in it’s primitive stage, and then watch it evolve into a powerful ensemble of twang and gruff. The “gruff” of course is coming from Mat D’s voice.

Admittedly, on Mat D’s solo efforts, his voice can be a little overbearing. That’s not a slight against Mat, because if you’re really listening to the songs, you can tell that it’s because of the passion that he puts into his music.

Holyoke found a way to evenly mix Mat’s voice. You still hear the passion, you still hear the gruff, except this time it’s evenly blended within the context of the music.

As far as the quality of the songs, Mat D & The Profane Saints have always been top notch in their songwriting and craftsmanship of instrumental work. Kurt Mullins and Jeff Deignan (long time Profane Saints) and new bassist Shawn Blomberg know exactly how to compliment Mat’s ideas and then expound upon them. This is indeed their best effort to date. Things do improve with time and effort, and this album is a shining example of that.

For more info on Mat D & The Profane Saints, check out:

Official Website

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Americana Rock Mix Review: Rosie Flores – Working Girl’s Guitar

Rosie Flores has been rocking the music scene for over 25 years, but you wouldn’t know it by hearing her voice. She sings like a fresh young woman early in her career. And she still rocks like one, too. Her new album, Working Girl’s Guitar, is full of a honky tonk, rockabilly, Tex Mex sensibility that a lot of artists, as seasoned as her, have lost at this point in their career.

While there isn’t really anything new or original about the sound Rosie and her crew provides, there is a vitality that keeps your interest.

For more info on Rosie Flores, Check out:

Website – www.RosieFlores.com
Twitter – Twitter.com/RosieFloresTwee
Facebook – www.Facebook.com/DurangoRose

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Americana Rock Mix Review: American Aquarium – Burn.Flicker.Die

I don’t know if this is really a review. I don’t get all technical and verbose about things to make them seem more important than they should be. I’m not a writer.

So, I’m just going to lay it out for you.

About once or twice a week, while sitting at my desk at my day job, I work my way through an ever-growing playlist of new music that I receive on a regular basis. Most of the time I click through entire sets of songs before something catches my ear. Other times I use the “back” button because I want to compare a few songs that might work out on the show, and then again other times I just completely unplug my headphones and shake my fist angrily at my iPod for being such a huge disappointment.

To my enjoyment on last Thursday, none of this happened. Because I got completely hooked on the album that just happened to be at the top of the playlist.

“Cape Fear River” started playing, and I started paying attention. It carried on from there. Song after song kept me entertained by the musicianship alone, but then on second and even third play through I started paying more attention to lyrics. Once I started doing that, it turned to whole album on its head. It just goes to show you that the most uptempo and energetic of songs also has the ability to be the most self-deprecating.

So finally I’ll just say that this is their strongest album yet. The band has never seemed so tuned in with themselves as they do on this album. It’s replay value is of the highest caliber and I’m quite positive that this is going to be a staple in many local bar jukeboxes.

Also BJ Barham has to be one of the most relatable people I have never had the pleasure of meeting.

I’ll be playing a couple of tracks from this album on the newest ARM episode, which will be up Thursday morning.

For more on American Aquarium check out.

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