CD Reviews

Doug Schmude

Burn These Pages

Doug Schmude (pronounced like moody) is from Irvine, a string whiz/singer/songwriter who when last heard on Ghosts of the Main Drag, was sketching pictures of small-town working class. It was a minor triumph, and he is back with more of the same on Burn These Pages. A veteran performer who has his own studio, Schmude […]

Lexington Field

Dreamers/Modern Times

Lexington Field are San Diego originals, starting as a seven-person Celtic folk outfit to evolve into a group that brands itself a fiddle rock band–while having the ability to play punk, folk, Celtic rock, bluegrass, and politically charged anthems (like 2016’s “Fu_k Donald Trump”) and songs that fit comfortably only in the Lexington Field music […]

Various Artists

Everybody's Talking: A Tribute to Fred Neil

Tribute albums are often a mixed bag of unfocused and routine interpretations of the songs of great artists. Too often it’s not a gift worth giving and the songs are better left to the creator. Everybody’s Talking: A Tribute to Fred Neil manages to leap past any potential pitfalls common to these kinds of projects. […]

Dennis Roger Reed

Before It Was Before

Local singer-songwriter hero, Dennis Roger Reed, has built a four-album series of American roots songs that covers the landscape of a varied genre that is hard to pin down in a way that is cohesive. Since 1998, he has taken us on a road trip through history, crossing the borders among folk, rock, jazz, country, […]

Jessica Lerner

After (H)Ours

San Diego’s Jessica Lerner has a new EP, After (H) Ours, a self-produced disc of five originals that fit snugly in the piano-based relationship ballad mold. She is a capable singer and pianist, and despite the mix, which tends to swamp her vocal in spots, Lerner steps out effectively; the overall somber feel of the […]

Red Fox Tails

Abuelos

Carlsbad’s Red Fox Tails are a veteran instrumental quartet that has built a sound upon influences that has included surf guitar, brass band, jazz, and funk. Their latest EP is Abeuelos, and it gives listeners a broad sampling of the group’s versatility. The six songs are all group originals, played by J.P. Balmat (sax, clarinet), […]

Evan Diamond

Intersections

Intersections is the debut EP by San Diegan Evan Diamond, a young indie singer/songwriter who plays with a pair of accompanists known as the Library (Scott Sigler on bass, John Coreano guitar). She wrote the five songs, her music in most respects fitting into the burgeoning category of Wronged Woman Pop, bemoaning the psychological abuse […]

Tori Roze and the Hot Mess

Baggage Claim

Local fans of soulful jazz vocals are likely familiar with Tori Roze, who with her band Hot Mess have carved a niche in the local scene for nearly a decade, recording four CDs. The most recent, Baggage Claim, is a ten-song collection of band-written originals (with one cover) that are a great sampler of a […]

Frankie T. & the Triple B

Matters of the Heart

Matters of the Heart is a new EP by Frankie T & the Triple B, a local funk/blues combo fronted by guitar/vocalist/ songwriter Frank Tranfaglia, and noteworthy for commitments to organ and a horn section. Tranfaglia has some fiery guitar licks in his holster, and works them into the tracks. The opener and highlight, “Hurricane […]

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