Dana Countryman and more

Dana Countryman

Dana Countryman “The Joy Of Pop”

Dana Countryman is a treasured talent that has devotes himself to the lost art of 70’s styled AM pop, his songwriting and compositions are a perfect amalgam of Richard Carpenter and Neil Sedaka on his latest Joy of Pop. The opener “Perfect Sunny Day” is a excellent example of Beach Boys styled sunshine pop, full of bubblegum and rainbows. “No Other Guy” is a great follow up, a sugary mid-tempo love song with great rhythms and criss-crossing harmonies. Dana gets help from Dee Long (Klaatu), Matt Tyson, Chad Quist, Mike Marinig and his wife, Tricia Countryman.

Most of the songs are romantic yearnings, like the near-obsessive “Can’t Stop Thinking ‘Bout You” and “Oh, Roxanne” about crushing shyness. Dana goes doo-wop “With All My Heart” and “Hang On Little Girl,” so you’ll hear some Four Seasons influences too. A harmony duet with Tyson “Tell Me That You Love Me” is a very Everly styled gem. Unfortunately, with 14 tracks Dana loses steam towards the album’s end as the songs get more saccharine, and overly sentimental. Like gorging on cotton candy, you can only take so much. However, a majority of the music is pure magic. Get it!


Video Album Previews

Canadian music icon and former Barenaked Ladies frontman Steven Page will be touring again, here is the video from his recent solo LP “Surprise, Surprise”
They Might Be Giants are back with “I Like Fun” and they sound better than ever. Album drops on January 19, 2018.

Singles and Previews: Spirit Kid, Nicole Atkins, Chris Merritt, Lisa Mychols and more.

Some of my long time favorite artists are coming out with new material, so I figured I’d break protocol and share some singles and videos:

It’s been too long, but Spirit Kid is back with a kick-ass single “To My Romeo,” and hopefully a new album cannot be far behind.

Nicole Atkins has been touring a lot lately and after some notable collaborations, she’s started a funding effort for a new album Goodnight Rhonda Lee.

Chris Merritt is a classically trained pop wunderkind and after a series of innovative albums, he took a career break. But now he’s working on”Be Minor” from the upcoming album Time Is Real. Give a listen.

The lovely and talented Lisa Mychols always seems to have something cooking. Her great vocals are featured on the new single “He’s Got Me Dreaming” and it’s available on CD Baby.

I predicted it and it came true! R. Stevie Moore and Jason Falkner backed by the British indie band Happyness at SxSW 2017

Friday Night Vids: Amiee Mann, Peter Holsapple and The Campbell Apartment

Aimee Mann’s Mental Illness shows off her rich, incisive and wry melancholia in an almost all-acoustic format, with a “finger-picky” style inspired by some of her favorite ‘60s and ‘70s folk-rock records, augmented by haunting strings arranged by her longtime producer, Paul Bryan. Aimee remains a student of human behavior, drawing not just on her own experiences to form the characters in the songs but tales told by friends.

Beloved power-pop songwriter Peter Holsapple (The dB’s and Continental Drifters) is self-releasing a new vinyl 45 record, “Don’t Mention the War” b/w “Cinderella Style” on his own Hawthorne Curve Records. “Don’t Mention the War” is a poignant look at one man’s post-traumatic stress syndrome and how it affects his adoring nephew. With low, somber brass (Mark Daumann on tuba) and echoes of battles past, this is another engaging Holsapple story-song, steeped in dark emotions and vivid character assessment.

A new video from The Campbell Apartment is cause for celebration. “Something In The Way” is a refreshing and upbeat tune starring Dana Mandolesi and filmed by fantastic filmmaker Shahrzade Ehya. It was part of the band’s EP “Sundogs” which you can get on Amazon. Great stuff!

Friday Vids and stuff: Brent Cash, The Kickstand Band, Public Access TV, Genuine Fakes

Brent Cash returns with a new album called “The New High” and its a rich melodic piece of pop. Album review coming Monday!

The Kickstand Band “Stay Inside” Music Video is here, one of my favorite summer tunes, just in time for winter.

Public Access TV‘s “Evil Disco” shows one of the younger power pop bands that debuted last year.

The Genuine Fakes really love Guns N’ Roses, Can’t you tell?

ELP Christmas tribute

With the passing of Keith Emerson (71)  last March and Greg Lake (69) last week, it punctuates the end of legendary prog band Emerson Lake and Palmer. Emerson was one of the greatest keyboardists of his generation, and Carl Palmer wrote in a recent statement; “Greg’s soaring voice and skill as a musician will be remembered by all who knew his music and recordings he made with ELP and King Crimson. I have fond memories of those great years we had in the 1970s and many memorable shows we performed together. Having lost Keith this year as well has made this particularly hard for all of us. As Greg sang at the end of Pictures at an Exhibition, ‘death is life.’ His music can now live forever in the hearts of all who loved him.”

Below is the timeless holiday song “I Believe in Father Christmas” by Greg Lake