Nick Piunti and Look Park

Nick Piunti

Nick Piunti “Trust Your Instincts”

Nick Piunti has reliably delivered another amazing album. “Trust Your Instincts” is everything exemplary about power pop, the title track layers fantastic guitar melody with a great message to “trust your gut.” The next track “One Hit Wonder” pokes fun at the rush of fleeting music success, with a nice key change in the final verse. Great harmonies and melodies are all over the songs, with Nick’s throaty vocals leading the charge, which I’ve previously compared to Bryan Adams. Back in the studio assisting is Ryan Allen (guitar,backing vocals) Andy Reed (bass, synth) and Donny Brown (drums, backing vocals).

Every song here is a gem, but some favorites stick out like “Dumb It Down” with its a magical chorus and “As Far As I Throw” has the catchiest riffs you’ll ever hear in modern rock music. You’ll also hear multiple influences, but unlike past albums its better integrated into Nick’s overall unique sound. Even without a slow ballad, this easily gets on my top ten album list for 2016. Was there any doubt?



Look Park “Look Park”

Chris Collingwood (Fountains of Wayne) goes out of his way to make Look Park feel different from his old band, and it does (to a point.) It’s much more of a “grown-up” softer sound without those guitar hooks thanks to producer Mitchell Froom. Starting out boldly “Shout Part 1” has a shimmering guitar rhythm with Collingwood’s distinct vocals. “Stars of New York” is more laid back ’70s yacht rock with its synth piano and strings.

There are gems to be found, like “You Can Come Round If You Want To” with its simple acoustic strums and “Aeroplane” with its catchy melody. Lots of pastoral sounds are found on “I’m Gonna Haunt This Place” and “Minor is the Lonely Key” where he seems to be channeling Sting. Not everything here works, but its worth exploration. Highly Recommended.


Power Popaholic Interview: Stewart Lindsey

Dave Stewart has long been a legendary pro in rock and pop music. First teaming up with Annie Lennox to form the synth-pop duo Eurythmics, and then going on to be a top notch producer (Aretha Franklin, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, Jon Bon Jovi, etc.). He still performs music too — with The Spiritual Cowboys, Super Heavy and his solo work.

Now he’s found another golden voice to go along with his new blues pop project, Thomas Lindsey is a Louisiana singer with powerful pipes. Together they formed Stewart Lindsey and a new album “Spitballin” is the result of their collaboration.  We talked to them both about the new LP.

NOTE: See the band perform LIVE on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Friday  9/9/16.

Below is the video for the single “Another Lie”



Concert Connection: September

Just a small sampling of upcoming concerts

Links included for more details on venue and tickets.




Paul Collins

Mon, Sep 12

Berlin @ New York, NY

Chris Stamey’s
Occasional Shivers

Fri., Sept. 23

Kenan Music Building, UNC-Chapel Hill

(Musicians Without Borders)

Fri., Sept. 23

Hillwood Recital Hall
Greenvale, NY


Sat, Oct 29

Marlin Room,
New York, NY

The Legal Matters almost here!

Here is a video for “I’m Sorry Love” from the new LP “Conrad”, coming out 10-28 on Ominvore Recordings.

Butch Walker and Mild High Club

Butch Walker

Butch Walker “Stay Gold”

Butch Walker has come a very long way from his days as part of the Marvelous 3. He’s produced many of the biggest artists in modern pop (Avirl Lavigne, Taylor Swift, Fall Out Boy) while managing a impressive solo career. “Stay Gold” moves him towards anthemic rockers with country overtones alongside guys like Ryan Adams or Rhett Miller.

“Stay Gold” directly references the novel (and film) The Outsiders, by S.E.Hinton. It reflects both Ponyboy’s innocence and looking back at happier times, as Walker winks at his own “wild” experiences. Its a catchy guitar gem with a chorus that begs a sing along. “East Coast Girl” is a very Springsteen-like story about a broken life trying at re-invention, wonderfully fleshed out with harmonies and spoken passages. Other songs get more atmospheric, but remain stylistically close to “The Boss” musically (“Ludlow Expectations” is a good example.) The rousing “Irish Exit” is a great bar room rocker with nice fiddle and rhythm guitar flourishes, about staying at a party too long. The most moving story here is a gorgeous duet with Ashley Monroe on “Record Store,” about a shattered relationship trying to reminisce on better days. A stellar studio cast assists Butch here, even fan favorite Roger Manning Jr. (Jellyfish) does keyboards. A solid effort with excellent musicianship and worthy of many repeat listens. Check it out.

Amazon | Kool Kat Musik

Mild High Club

Mild High Club “Skiptracing”

With its mix of soft ’70s pop sounds and swirling synths, its takes a bit to unwind the storyline in multi-instrumentalist Alex Brettin’s second album as Mile High Club. The title track is a slow tempo’ed gem with gentle background vocals and descending tropical notes, like a musical sunset. “Homage” and “Cary Me Back” are a stoned out masterworks, with its detuned lead and string synths. Another standout is “Tessellation,” sounding like Steely Dan slowed to half speed with a catchy psyche pop chorus.

There are jazz stylings and rhythms dripping from each distorted melody as we learn about the gumshoe protagonist tripping out to “Whodunit?” Even though midway through the songs begin to blend into each other and lose its distinctiveness, it’s still compelling. Tune in and trip out to this on headphones.


EP Reviews: Colorworks, Todd Wicks, Bracket

Colorworks “Dream of Mangoes”

Seattle quartet featuring the vocal duo Bret Dylan (guitar) and Nick Myette (bass) alongside percussionist Andrew Ginn and guitarist/keyboardist David Easton. The sound is very sunny pop with a great melodic sense, after the psychedelic “Daydreams” it veers into the bouncy pop of “Pears & Mangoes” with its sweet harmonies and minor chords. “She Said No” is my fave here; part Zombies, part Rundgren – all catchy goodness. These guys recently finished playing IPO Seattle. Highly Recommended.


Todd Wicks Dream Cruise “Todd Wicks Dream Cruise”

More traditional rock release from Todd Wicks (Prime Ministers) and the songs focus on universal emotions (obsession, grief, love, resignation) found living in suburban Detroit. Nicely produced, with steady guitar on my favorite track here “Rock Yourself.” Best of all, it’s a FREE download on Bandcamp.

Bracket “The Last Page”

Forestville, California band that gave us the wonderful Hold Your Applause a few years ago, tries an experimental album that is one single track at over an hour and 10 minutes long. It zips through melodies at a quick pace, buzzsaw riffs one minute, Zappa-like instrumentals and multi-tracked harmonies the next. The lyrics say “its a work in progress” at 4 minutes in and it feels like a collection of demos strung together. However some brilliant stuff is buried in here, so be patient. Worth the trip.