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Rock of Asia: Asian Anthology

Rock of Asia: Asian Anthology

Commemorating the 10th anniversary of the band’s first release, we get thrown right into the wild mix with opener “Lal Dhagna,” built around a tribal beat, featuring high flute-like sounds and a desperate vocal attack.

Crossroad Saints: A Song Of Your Own

Crossroad Saints: A Song Of Your Own

A Song of Your Own is a robust collection of songs, with a good variety of styles in the mix yet all retaining the stamp of what Crossroad Saints are at their core.

Nikki Wozzo & The Bad Whiskey: Bad Whiskey

Nikki Wozzo & The Bad Whiskey: Bad Whiskey

“Lovers Song” is a bit slower and flange-y loose (again, in a good way) with Mike Mallais’ rimshots filling the big space; Wozzo bites his lyric for the broken-hearted over. While “Ain’t She Something,” with its single-string guitar lead, Mallais’ in-the-pocket playing, and some quite effective, yet subtle, Ray Miller backing vocals, is the first really sparkling gem early on from this ‘bad whiskey’ bottle. This one is, dare I say it, even sing-able.

Tenuous Threads: Mettle

Tenuous Threads: Mettle

A roiling picked electric and warbling vocal sweeps us into the sway shunk of opener, “Abduction.” There’s a subtle layering of keys, sliding bass, and heavy guitar riffing that creates a full brew for this infectious little beginning tune.

High Chair: Hey Mountain Hey

High Chair: Hey Mountain Hey

We get some of the most straight-ahead (as straight ahead as these guys are going to get) guitar riffing with a splashy beat on “The Door Of The Law,” then on the last tune, “The Pollen Path,” we are treated to an almost all-instrumental, mining almost an Allman Brother’s-vibe with some positive chanting to end the tune and this wonderful album.

Nancy Wenstrom: Inside Story

Nancy Wenstrom: Inside Story

We get a sweet AOR love song with “Lucky Me, Lucky You,” an almost 50’s jazz standard of a tune; unexpected though it is, I just loved it. Billy Truitt’s accordion leads the soundscape of “Arms to Hold You,” with Wenstrom warbling through the sweet lyric and, as always, playing a superb guitar and singing harmony and lead.

9 Horses: Omegah

9 Horses: Omegah

Scary roiling backing keys and slicing wild singular notes get us into the blurping and popping opening groove of first song and title track “Omegah,” from the new 8-song album from 9 Horses. A layered sweet string respite takes us from all the cutting and braying then, as things slow down to a change in mood, and later things get almost Kansas-like (the band not the state) as drums come in and we are sailing once again, but this time with more purpose and melody to the end of the tune.

Killed by The Architects 

Killed by The Architects 

Following pretty much in this production and soundscape things slow down slightly for the low down roil of ” Wherever You Go,” with some neat string bending from Berke and the real moody (and equally laconic) “Like a Quote You Once Saw.” About halfway in, this ladder tune is one of the best here, really expressing some loss.

Night Ranger: ATBPO

Night Ranger: ATBPO

The heavy stomp one-two punch opening of “Coming For You” into “Bring It All Home To Me” sets the stage for the usual in-your-face popping this band as been known to deliver. Guitarists Gillis and Kelli deliver that classic Night Ranger double guitar riffing while drummer/lead vocalist Keagy (bassist Jack Blades is the other lead singer) growls through “Breakout” and “Monkey.”

George Gritzbach: Full Circle

George Gritzbach: Full Circle

Blues-based songwriter/singer/guitarist George Gritzbach gives us his 6th studio album, Full Circle, with a full complement of sublime players lending their talents.

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