CD Reviews

Stacy Antonel

Always the Outsider

Always the Outsider is the latest release from singer/songwriter Stacy Antonel, a native San Diegan who splits her time between here and Nashville, where she moved in 2017. Beautifully recorded and mixed by Ben Moore, it’s a showcase for Antonel’s vocal versatility throughout 12 tracks of original tunes backed aptly on most tracks by veteran […]

John Batdorf

Side II

On November 18, 1972 I reviewed the Loggins and Messina concert for my college newspaper at the Orrie de Noyer Auditorium in Hackensack, New Jersey. The opening act was an impressive guitar/vocal duo, Batdorf and Rodney, whom I gave a glowing review. So here I am a half century later coming full circle with a […]

Peter Sprague

Blue Kind of Miles

It would seem strange that a record giving tribute to the most important jazz trumpeter in history lacks in its ensemble of estimable musicians a trumpet player. Strange perhaps, but in guitarist Peter Sprague’s recent offering, Blue Kind of Miles, the absence of a trumpeter is strategic artistry. A reinterpretation of Davis’ music from his […]

I Had a Dream: Songs of an Immigrant

I Had a Dream: Songs of an Immigrant is a ten-track compilation that puts to music the poems authored by Betty Karon Hertz, documenting her impoverished childhood in Russia, her daring escape during the Bolshevik Revolutions and her life as an immigrant in the United States during the early 20th Century. The project became a […]

Sue Palmer and her Motel Swing Orchestra

Movin Along

Anyone who hasn’t yet familiarized themselves with the rumbling rhythm and sway of pianist Sue Palmer and her Motel Swing Orchestra, you need to do two things. First, kick yourselves for not yet getting in the groove with his keyboard mistress’ magistral sense of the galvanizing groove. Seriously, the music is that good. Second, get […]

Chris Del Priore

I'm Alive

Yes, guitarist/vocalist Christian Del Priore is alive and well as documented on his debut self-produced and home recorded CD, I’m Alive. With the aid of the digital audio workstation GarageBand, and the smooth mastering work of John Volanski, Del Priore breezes through eight original tracks and one cover, an overall pleasing mix of pop-flavored tunes, […]

Ron Franklin

Mysterious Deep

Since the time of the Beatles, the guitar has become the choice instrument for the Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, Gen Zers, and all the other Gens in between or thereafter. From Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix to St. Vincent and Josh Turner, the guitar has been constantly reconsidered and reimagined and enjoyed an unusually long […]

Nena Anderson

Beyond the Lights

Pianists hammer away at their keyboards, and guitarists strum away on their six strings. Other musicians blow their horns; beat out rhythms on drums; or bow their violins, violas, and celli. For each of them, no matter the chosen instrument, the notes coming out of the horn, xylophone, or bagpipe have to convey the meaning […]

Jake Kershaw

Jake Kershaw, remember the name. The self-titled debut album from this 21-year-old guitarist and singer/songwriter will knock your socks off. Kershaw, who hails from Albion, Michigan, is not only a dynamic electric guitarist, but also a super soulful singer, a combination that usually elevates a musical artist to top billing. Three years in the making, […]