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Blues Traveler - hurry up & hang around [2018]
Sie sind noch immer, bzw. wieder, in einer fantastischen Verfassung. Die großartigen Root-/Jamrock-Veteranen um Mastermind und Harp-Wizard John Popper präsentieren mit ihrem neuen, nunmehr 13. Studioalbum, ein absolutes Prachtteil ab, das die große Blues Traveler-Fanbase vollstens überzeugen wird. Tolles Songmaterial, große Spielfreude, hervorragend hängen bleibendes Material, Abwechslungsreichtum - einfach stark!

Hier noch ein Original U.S.-Review:

Blues Traveler has always been a band that lets their sound, travel, if you will. Along the winding path of their career, the one constant has been change. "Save His Soul" sounded nothing like "Four", which sounded nothing like "Truth Be Told", which sounded nothing like "Blow Up The Moon". They have always been chasing something, but what exactly that is has always been nebulous. In the beginning, the strove for respect. Then they strove for the status they deserved. Then they strove to regain their place. And finally, they strove to make themselves happy. That leaves us with a string of records that hold together, but form a patchwork that draws your attention to a different area each time. And even when they are taking a detour that might not be your choice, there are always interesting twists that make it worth your while to take the ride with them.
With the band having reached a milestone of longevity, the question of how to commemorate that brings them back (nearly) full circle. While their last couple records have seen Blues Traveler injecting their sound with pop songwriters in the search for the perfect collaboration, "Hurry Up & Hang Around" finds them stripping back to the garage band they started out as. This is the most classically Blues Traveler album they have made, in approach, in many a year.
Our first taste of this chapter came from the opening track, "Accelerated Nation", which came out of the gates in traditional Blues Traveler form. Sounding like a mix of all their eras, the song fused their classic sound with the polished writing of their modern work, giving us a song that fits the same mold "Most Precarious" did (and sadly never got credit for - that was a better single than it is remembered as).
Longtime fans will recognize bits and pieces that should evoke a smile, like how John Popper's melody in the verses of "She Becomes My Way" stretches a syllable or two longer than anyone else would write it. Those are the details that I have always appreciated, both as a fan and as a songwriter. Every writer and every band has idiosyncrasies that pop up, which I think got too smoothed out with the amount of collaboration they had been doing lately. Even when they were writing great songs, like "Matador" was, they didn't have those trademark elements. Hearing them again is a treat.
Another one pops up on "Daddy Went A Giggin'", where Popper's melody in the verses, and some of the feel of the instrumental, is somewhat pulled from his solo album, "Zygote" (the song "His Own Hands" in particular). The songwriting on this record is a throwback to the "Four" and "Straight On Til Morning" period, but more concise than they were back then. The band has been constantly trimming away the excess from their old tendencies, which leaves us with a lean record. Old fans might think there's a looseness missing from the recordings, but it shows how their focus has shifted over the years towards sharp songwriting.
The thing about being a Blues Traveler fan is that we can argue over which of their experiments are our favorites. Some of us will love how gritty and heavy they got on "Bastardos!", while others will appreciate the slickness of "Truth Be Told". This one, though, feels like the right record for an anniversary period, because it is the one record since "Four" that best captures every side of the band.
Given how much the world has changed since "Run Around" and "Hook" were near the top of the charts, it's a good decision that the band is no longer trying to chase a hit, and is instead writing music that is befitting of their status. There are clover hooks and strong melodies, but they integrate into the core of the band's sound, rather than sounding like the token attempt to appeal to a demographic that no longer exists. Look, I love "Girl Inside My Head" and "Amber Awaits" too, but even then there no longer existed the proper outlet for them to become mainstream hits.
"Hurry Up & Hang Around" is a record made for Blues Traveler fans by the biggest fans of them all, the band. At this stage of their career, that's exactly what most people want to hear. And listening to the results, I can't argue. This record will make any Blues Traveler fan happy, and it will reset things so the next experiment is more welcome. (Bloody Good Music / Chris C)

Das komplette Tracklisting:

1. Accelerated Nation - 3:04
2. She Becomes My Way - 3:51
3. The Touch She Has - 4:22
4. When You Fall Down - 3:32
5. The Wolf Is Bumpin - 3:48
6. Daddy Went a Giggin - 3:43
7. Tangle Of Our Dreaming - 3:36
8. More Than Truth - 3:02
9. Prayer Upon The Wind - 2:20
10. Miss Olympus - 4:02
11. Phone Call From Leavenworth - 4:35
12. Ode From The Aspect - 4:55

Art-Nr.: 9717
Gruppe: Musik || Sparte: Rock
Status: Neuheit || Typ: CD || Preis: € 15,90

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Roberts, Julie - alive [2011]
Sie hat sich eine lange Auszeit genommen, doch jetzt ist sie wieder da. Die genauso bezaubernde wie talentierte Julie Roberts (viele werden sich noch an ihr tolles Debut von 2004 und das ebeso starke "Men & Mascara" aus dem Jahre 2006 erinnern) hat zwar inzwischen keinen Major-Deal mehr, aber das schadet ihr überhaupt nicht. Im Gegnteil! Frei von allen Zwängen, aufgenommen mit jeder Menge großartiger Begleitmusiker aus der 1A-Garde Nashville's, geliingt Julie mit "Alive" ein ganz hervorragendes, kraftvolles, frisches, neues Album, von dem sie sagt, dass es genau das beeinhaltet, was sie auch machen wollte. Niemand hat ihr in irgendeiner Weise dazwischen gefunkt. "This is the real Julie Roberts"! Die Musik, mit der sie ihre immer noch zahlreichen Fans und die, die es noch werden wollen, beglückt, ist absolut zeitgemässer, ungemein lebendiger New Country mit einer sehr ausgewogenen Balance zwischen knackigen, powernden Uptempo-Stücken, gepflegtem Midtempo-Country und ein paar feinen Balladen. Jawohl, dem Titel ihres großartigen, neuen Albums folgend, kann man ohne jeden Zewifel bestätigen: Julie Roberts ist "alive" - und zwar in vollster Blüte!

Hier im Original-Wortland Julie's Statements zu jedem einzelnen Song des Albums:

“Mama Said Don’t”
I always put at least one song on my albums for my Mama. This song is a fun one I wrote with Rachel Proctor & Victoria Banks. It has that rootsy, bluesy, down-home feel to it that I love to perform live! I think everyone can relate to these lyrics!!

“Stronger”
I wrote this one with Don Schlitz just a few months before my album was finished. This song is the centerpiece for my entire record. It describes the road I have been on and the emotions I have felt during the 5 years since my last album was released. This is definitely a reflection into my life and into my faith of knowing that no matter how tough the road might appear to be, God never leaves my side and He makes me “Stronger”.

“Alive”
I heard this song about a year ago and I immediately thought “this sounds like part two to ‘Break Down Here’”. I knew I wanted to record it because I could see the story unfolding in my head of this visual lyric. I also knew I loved the title, “Alive”. I want my fans to know that I am still here! I am ‘alive’ and still making music. I’ve had a few stumbling blocks and a few years have gone by, but I’m back!

“You Got Me”
I heard and loved this song years ago and just held on to it like I do so many songs. I love that you really don’t have to think about these lyrics. It’s just a fun, happy, love song!!

“Yesterday’s Blue”
When I got together with Chris Roberts & Greg Biek to write this song, I told them I wanted to write a classic sounding song with attitude. I love the very last verse the most in this song because I almost sing what I’m sure so many people think sometimes when the one that they love leaves them. You’ll know what I’m talking about when you hear it!

“Aint No Thing”
This is another one of those songs I’ve held onto since the last record. I just LOVE the track and the lyrics in this one. I love to sing about real life stuff and I sing things I am not always so brave to say. I wish I could’ve told some of he guys that have left me “you know what, it aint no thang.” But, since I can’t say it, I’ll sing it!! ☺

“One For the Road”
Here’s another one that I probably wouldn’t say to someone in real life but have definitely lived. I love how blunt & straight-forward the lyric is. I like looking for and recording songs that I think would scare some people to sing…I AINT SKEERD, especially if it’s REAL to me!

“Let’s Fight”
I wrote this one with Jason Collum & Caitlin Smith. This one was the most fun to record because it was SO simple and just cool to me. I would actually love to make a record where all the tracks sound very similar to this one. I was inspired to write this one from a scene in one of my favorite movies, “Sweet Dreams” (the story of Patsy Cline).

“Whiskey and You”
I can see the video for this one in my head. I have loved this song for a really long time. I have known some people similar to the character singing in this song and I’ve seen how alcoholism can tear up a family/relationship. This song and lyric are so real to me. It’s such a sad song and the steel guitar makes it that much more sad. The sadder, the better for me!!

“Somebody Does”
I wrote this one long before the Nashville Flood in May 2010, but pulled it back out after we lost our home and I saw all of the people coming from everywhere to help my family. It took on an entirely different meaning for me when I listened to it then. I dedicate this one to everyone that reached out to help rebuild Nashville.

“Carolina From My Soul”
Marcus Hummon wrote and produced this track for my album. I’m from Lancaster, SC & this is a song about the feeling of comfort I get when I think about my life back there. When I sing this song, I see myself as I young girl in SC dreaming of singing country music. I always know that no matter where my music takes me in this world, Carolina will always be my home and in my soul.

“NASCAR Party”
I grew up watching NASCAR racing on television and going to dirt-track races so this is my tribute to the sport. When I wrote this song, I pictured myself and other NASCAR fans at the track and tried to put into words (in 2.5 minutes), how much fun it is to be there at the races. I had a blast writing, recording, and filming the video for it!

Das komplette Tracklisting:

1. Mama Said Don't - 3:09
2. Stronger - 4:24
3. Alive - 3:51
4. You Got Me - 2:29
5. Yesterday's Blue - 2:53
6. Ain't No Thing - 3:41
7. One For the Road - 3:29
8. Let's Fight - 3:23
9. Whiskey and You - 3:50
10. Somebody Does - 3:25
11. Carolina From My Soul - 3:41
12. Nascar Party - 2:43

Art-Nr.: 7799
Gruppe: Musik || Sparte: Country
Status: Programm || Typ: CD || Preis: € 16,90

In folgende Titel können Sie reinhören:
Mama said don't
Stronger
You got me
Ain't no thing
One for the road
Whiskey and you
Nascar party

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Stanley, Michael - and then... [2015]
Was soll man zu Michael Stanley noch sagen? Er macht einfach immer weiter. Grandios! Jahr für Jahr kommt der legendäre, charismatische Frontmann und Namensgeber der unvergessenen, in den Siebzigern mit ihrem unwiderstehlichen Heartland-Rock zu regelrechtem Kultstatus gelangten Michael Stanley Band über sein eigenes "Line Level"-Label mit einem neuen Album - und jedesmal ist es wieder ein kleines, neues Meisterwerk. So auch diesmal, mit seinem hinreissenden 2015er-Juwel "And then..."! Was hat der Mann nur für einzigartiges Songmaterial im Köcher. Nciht die Spur eines schwachen Songs ist zu finden - im Gegenteil. Ein fantastisches Stück reiht sich an das nächste - alle in typischer Stanley-Manier. Sie klingen mit ihren herausragenden Melodien und Arrangements sofort vertraut, gleichzeitig aber auch so frisch, so neu und so "jungfräulich", dass man sie regelreucht aufsaugt. “I guess it springs from growing up in the same timeframe as rock n’ roll and being knocked out by all the different styles that led to that musical melting pot,” sagt Stanley über das Material. “Because of that I rarely sit down to write a certain ‘type’ of song…whatever happens happens…and although that can be a marketing man’s nightmare, it keeps me interested and, hopefully, growing as a writer”, führt er weiter aus. Neben 12 prächtigen Eigenkompositionen enthält das Werk eine famose Coverversion der von David Grissom komponierten, wundervollen Storyville-Nummer "Good day for the blues". Eingespielt wurde das Album wieder mit seiner vorzüglichen Touring-Band, den Resonators, denen u. a. die alten MSB-Recken Bob Pelander an den Keyboards und Tom Dobeck am Schlagzeug, sowie der großartige Lead Gitarrist Danny Powers angehören. Wie schon die Vorgänger, wurde auch das neue Album wieder vom legendären Westcoast-/Southern Rock-Starproduzent Bill Szymczyk (u.a. The James Gang, The Outlaws, Bob Seger, Joe Walsh, The Eagles u.v.m.), der bereits für die frühen Werke der MSB verantwortlich zeichnete, abgemischt. Das ist brillanter Cleveland-/Heartland-Rock in seiner vollsten Blüte. "No way to slow down"! Michael Stanley mit dem nächsten Highlight in einer schier endlosen Reihe von unwiderstehlichen Veröffentlichungen. Herrlich!

Das komplette Tracklisting:

1. All Together Now - 4:21
2. Radio Waves - 4:33
3. Sound Of a Train - 5:09
4. Shifting Gears - 5:18
5. And Then - 5:31
6. Snakes - 4:34
7. Sweet Spot - 3:54
8. Long Ohio Winter - 3:48
9. Hang On To This Heart - 3:47
10. Don't Say Nothing - 4:01
11. A Good Day For The Blues - 4:24
12. In Your Kiss - 3:20
13. Circadian Rhythm - 4:38

Art-Nr.: 9010
Gruppe: Musik || Sparte: Rock
Status: Programm || Typ: CD || Preis: € 16,90

In folgende Titel können Sie reinhören:
All together now
Radio waves
Shifting gears
And then
Long Ohio winter
Hang on to this heart
Good day for the blues
Circadian rhythm

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