Brett Harris “Up In The Air”
North Carolina pop auteur Brett Harris was part of the touring band for both Big Star and the dB’s and now he’s released his newest solo effort. “End of the Rope” is an inspirational theme with great supporting guitar riff that does recall The Beatles and Big Star at times. “Don’t Look Back” is an easy going mid-tempo song with a hint of sadness within its rich strums. “Lies” is a good example of how a slow dirge takes a whimsical jazz turn in the break before it continues, it’s a delicate balance of old and new influences.
“Out of The Blue” is another signature song with strong blues flourishes and orchestral sweep – its both a catchy and satisfying melody. Both “High Times” and “Rumor” have folk blues and soul elements that are perfectly arranged into the rock format. The title track is another standout, it has a 70’s California country guitar melody that’s part Nilsson and part Mike Nesmith. The song has the feel of the open road with the lyric “Why should I care whatever which way the wind is blowing ‘cause we make our home wherever our feet hit the ground.” Overall no duds here as each song shines, and its highly recommended.
Kerosene Stars “Don’t Believe in Miracles” EP
Chicago band Kerosene Stars are Scott Schaafsma (bass, vocals), Andy Seagram (guitar, backing vocals), Yoo Soo Kim (viola, keyboards), Jim Adair (drums), and Tom Sorich (percussion). The band excels creating simple, catchy melodies on top of a solid backbeat, Burn The Evidence is the first of 3 EPs for 2016.
“Don’t Believe in Miracles” starts with a solid jangle and classic chord shifts is bolstered by Scott’s strong vocal. “Burn The Evidence” has a European styled vibe with some new wave accents, shifting around never settling in predictability. After the bossa nova lounge style of ”Alice,” it settles into late 70’s styled pop with “Talk Talk” and its sweet guitar solo. This is a band that makes you take notice with both its musicianship and songwriting, so keep an eye on them!