CD Reviews

Sometimes Julie

Where Are You?

The newest album by Sometimes Julie is Where Are You? The band is built around the impressive vocals of Monica Sorenson and the songwriting of Sorenson and Rick Walker. The band’s sound has been evolving on the last several releases (including 2018’s Breaking) into a powerhouse rock outfit, with songs built to showcase her singing, […]

Be Mine Phantom Valentine

End State

End State is the debut by local alternative rockers Be Mine Phantom Valentine. The nine-track project was put together by Dean and Wes Primicias, who wrote the material with help on one song, play all the instruments, and recorded in a home studio. It is a collaboration with co-producer James Doviak (guitarist in British indie […]

Diego Baliardo

Este Ritmo

Those familiar with world music are likely familiar with the Gipsy Kings, cofounded by members of the Baliardo and Reyes families in France in the late ’80s playing a catchy hybrid of guitar-based Romani music. Fast forward 26 years and 20 million album sales, original founding member Diego Baliardo has struck out on his own […]

The American singer-songwriter can be a singularly isolated figure along the historical musical landscape. The songwriters who don’t achieve stardom or some measure of commercial success in their lifetime are often forgotten or over-identified with one period of their careers. Such was the life and gifted nature of Byrd co-founder Gene Clark. A lonely artist […]

Fast Heart Mart

Corona Coaster Blues

Martin Stamper performs as Fast Heart Mart, whose nickname comes from his history of heartbeat irregularities treated with an internal defibrillator (an experience shared by this author), and the bluegrass banjo player and vocalist’s latest album is the online Corona Coaster Blues. It was inspired by the first nine months of the Covid 19 pandemic, […]

Simeon Flick

Gung Ho Hum

Simeon Flick is a San Diego guitarist and multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire who comes to the world with his ninth studio album, Gung Ho Hum, a heady and sometimes overcrowded release of relentless eclecticism. There is a generous portion for whatever one’s tastes happen to be it seems, with the atmospheric tone poem of the opening track […]

Dave Preston

Lost and Found

Americana singer/songwriter Dave Preston calls Imperial Beach home, and since the advent of Coronavirus it is from that home he has been writing and producing his latest, while sequestered, Lost and Found. The six-track EP was written and recorded by Preston with backing vocal help on one track; the only track that isn’t new also […]

Mike Keneally

My Mom's Getting a Horse

Mike Keneally has played both solo and with a legion of other artists and bands over the course of several decades. The local guitar whiz has been associated with the cream of the prog and art rock crop, with stints in the bands of both Frank and Dweezil Zappa, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and others, […]

The Beat Farmers

Tales of the New West (Deluxe)

The Beat Farmers’ saga is pretty close to the quintessential American rock ‘n’ roll story: during a decade when most commercially successful pop music was being played by New Wave and hair metal bands, a group of scrappy but talented musicians from the suburbs find each other and start a band. What sets them apart […]