CD Reviews


Symphony for a Million Mice

There were a lot of us back then, the ones who forked over the big bucks for AR speakers, Marantz amplifiers, and turntables that ensured that every sawtooth wave produced by those Moog synthesizers came through as clearly as they had been in the sacrosanct studios of the major recording labels. And after converting bedrooms, […]

John Batdorf

Last Summer

Soft rock specialist John Batdorf can only be described as prolific. Since 1970, he has released numerous albums as a solo (his website offers a deal on seven of them packaged together), and as part of musical partnerships with Mark Rodney, Michael McLean, and James Lee Stanley. He has done numerous studio appearances (when Adele […]

Jonny Tarr Quintet

The Jonny Tarr Quintet Live at Studio West

Jonny Tarr was awarded the San Diego Music Awards 2020 Best Pop and the new album by his band, The Jonny Tarr Quintet Live at Studio West, demonstrates why. The Wales native is a man of all musical trades—a singer-songwriter who plays multiple instruments, a DJ, and an accomplished arranger. On the new disc he […]

Zach Phillips has released a new album, and his bio indicates that The Wine of Youth represents a return to performing after a 13-year absence. While the web also shows that he has been involved in the business side of music, the new project shows that the pop singer/songwriter is all in on a 13-track […]

Country singer-songwriter Barbara Nesbitt has transplanted from SoCal to Austin, and follows up her 2017 release Right as Rain with a new album, Someday, Maybe Sooner. She is a strong vocalist whose sweet pipes can smoothly handle the plaintive ballads about betrayed love, then switch gears to fit comfortably in the pocket of more aggressive […]

Tom Csordas

Facing Trouble

Tom Csordas teaches anthropology at UCSD, and he writes protest songs. He has released a double album of songs about a variety of today’s issues, available only on the web, Facing Trouble and Facing Trouble Part 2. The first album is a four-track set, getting the listener familiar with Csordas, who sings and plays acoustic […]

Gary Seiler

Turn It Up

Gary Seiler plays what can only be called country beach music. His bio says he learned his craft “in smokey barrooms in the 1980s,” and during more than three decades of writing songs he has released four albums—and he has also sailed all over the world. His new release, Turn It Up, represents not just […]

Steph Johnson

So in Love

It was just about 10 years ago, at the now-defunct KSDS/ Ocean Beach Jazz Festival, when I first heard the soulful songbird Steph Johnson work her magic on a thoroughly rapt audience. Ms. Johnson clearly had something going on—and I was fascinated to see her start a new trio some months later with the stalwart […]

Lauren Leigh


Flare is the debut EP by Lauren Leigh Martin. This online download project features five original songs that feature Martin’s considerable pipes, performing pop ballads backed by her backing crew, the Low Keys, which includes Sam Hunt (guitars), Joshua Taylor (guitars), Josh Weinstein (keyboards), Haley Magsino (bass), and Tony Econom (drums, percussion); all contribute group […]

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