CD Reviews

Invisible Sky People

Human Like an Animal

Although the recording came out in 1970, when I was 11 years old, I don’t think I had a copy of MF Horn until I was 14 or 15. Maynard Ferguson, the trumpeter whose stratospheric playing had distinguished him since his days in the fifties as a star of the Kenton band, entered into the […]

Christopher Hoffee

As If Tomorrow and Afterimage

Atom Orr has released two new albums, As If Tomorrow and Afterimage. The band is the long established solo project by Christopher Hoffee that has released 17 albums of original music He has been a fixture on the local scene in this band and others for over 30 years, including Blacksmith Union, the Truckee Brothers, […]

Rick Shea

Love & Desperation

Rick Shea may be Southern California’s best kept secret on the Americana scene, but to those who have followed his 30-plus-year career, his poetic survey of the American songscape is something to shout about. His new release, Love & Desperation, is proof positive of a well-earned reputation, Shea gives us a glimpse of the inspiration […]

Luc Trahand

In Coherence

In Coherence is the debut album by Luc Trahand. He is a local multi-instrumental singer/songwriter, a young musician who made this a true solo project by writing the ten originals, playing all instruments (programming the drums and strings) and doing the recording and producing—as well as artwork—all at home. Trahand’s music is pop that draws […]

Charlie Marks

Honey Baby

Charlie Marks has a new CD, Honey Baby, a collection of 13 traditional country blues and one original played by Marks live in the studio, just him and his banjo. This is old time music, and Marks’ presentation counts as an attempt to frame it old-fashioned style—his banjo playing is simultaneously raw and rustic and […]

Chuck Charles


The new album by Chuck Charles is Hiya, and by way of background Charles is Charlie Recksieck, a multi-instrumentalist who has been playing keys and singing for local pop outfits that include the Bigfellas and Leaders in the Clubhouse, as well as composing music for TV and movies. Charles is the vocalist on several releases […]

Plexus Play


And now, for something completely different. Who, might you ask, is Plexus Play? Well, for the purpose of this album, Plexus Play is the brain-child of musician Matt DiBiase, and he’s basically doing that one-man band routine (although saxophonist Robert Dove makes an appearance). Local jazz fans will recognize DiBiase as a virtuoso vibraphonist who’s […]

Tony Taravella

Dedicated to Les Paul

Ex-San Diegan Tony Taravella now hails from Laughlin, where he has released several discs of instrumental jazz guitar CDs. These have included sets of American Songbook, Beatles, and surf classics, some with a backing band and others without. His latest is Dedicated to Les Paul, a dozen tracks that the guitar immortal recorded back in […]

Doug Schmude


Americana singer/songwriter Doug Schmude (pronounced like moody) is well traveled, starting in New Orleans, then other locations including Nashville before settling in Orange County. Part of the jack-of-all-instruments movement, Schmude has released several CDs, including 2018’s Burn These Pages, with original songs featuring his endearing vocals and own accompaniment on guitars, bass, dobro, mandolin, piano, […]