Archive for the ‘Ohio’ Category

My 2017 Grammy Picks

2016-12-06

So, the 2017 Grammy Nominations were released today. Couple of unexpected things, including Sturgill Simpson’s “Album of the Year” nomination and FIVE nominations for Twenty One Pilots, but most of it was expected. Well, other than Beyonce in a rock category, but hey, good on her. I don’t listen to a lot of music in the pop, rap, r&b, country, Latin, classical, or whatever all the rest of those categories are, but here’s a few picks for you.

Album of the Year
Who I’d Pick: Sturgill Simpson “A Sailor’s Guide To Earth” (Pro Tip: When Aaron Lee Tasjan says “Buy this album,” just shut up and hand over your money.)
Who Will Win: “25” – Adele. Adele wins everything.
Number of these I have heard: 1 – Sturgill Simpson
Number of these I really own: 1 – Sturgill Simpson

Record of the Year:
Who I’d Pick Stressed Out – Twenty One Pilots (Columbus, bitches!)
Who Will Win Hello – Adele (I wish they’d play it at the proper speed) Adele wins everything.
Number of these I have heard: 3 – Twenty One Pilots, Beyonce, Adele
Number of these I really own: 1 – Twenty One Pilots

Song of the Year:
Who I’d Pick None of them.
Who Will Win Hello – Adele (I wish they’d play it at the proper speed) Adele wins everything.
Number of these I have heard: 2 – Adele, Beyonce
Number of these I really own: 0

Best New Artist:
Who I’d Pick: Maren Morris
Who Will Win: Whoever’s gonna disappear the fastest, so probably the rapper or the DJs.
Number of these I have heard: 1 – Maren Morris
Number of these I really own: 1 – Maren Morris (“Rich” is a great song!)

Best Pop Vocal Album:
Who I’d Pick: “This Is Acting” – Sia (because Zero Seven was the bomb!)
Who Will Win: Ariana Grande or Adele. Adele wins everything.
Number of these I have heard: 2 – Sia, Adele
Number of these I really own: 1 – Sia

Best Pop Solo Performance:
Who I’d Pick: None of them.
Who Will Win: “Hello” – Adele. Adele wins everything
Number of these I have heard: 1 – Adele
Number of these I really own: 0

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance:
Who I’d Pick: “Stressed Out” – Twenty One Pilots (Columbus, bitches!)
Who Will Win: No idea.
Number of these I have heard: 3 – Twenty One Pilots (Columbus, bitches!), Lukas Graham, Sia
Number of these I really own: 1 – Twenty One Pilots (Columbus, bitches!)

Best Rock Performance:
Who I’d Pick: “Heathens” – Twenty One Pilots (Columbus, bitches!)
Who Will Win: “Blackstar” – David Bowie. Dead always wins.
Number of these I have heard: 4
Number of these I really own: 4

Best Rock Album:
Who I’d Pick: Weezer
Who Will Win: Blink-182
Number of these I have heard: 3
Number of these I really own: 2 – Cage The Elephant & Weezer

Best Alternaive Album:
Who I’d Pick: “The Hope Six Demolition Project” – PJ Harvey
Who Will Win: “Blackstar” – David Bowie. Dead always wins.
Number of these I have heard: 5
Number of these I really own: 3 – Bowie, PJ Harvey & Radiohead

Best American Roots Performance:
Who I’d Pick: “Ain’t No Man” – The Avett Brothers
Who Will Win: “Ain’t No Man” – The Avett Brothers
Number of these I have heard: 4
Number of these I really own: 2 – Avett Brothers, Sarah Jarosz. Both Aaron Lee Tasjan recommendations.

Best American Roots Song:
Who I’d Pick: “Wreck You” – Lori McKenna
Who Will Win: “City Lights” – Jack White
Number of these I have heard: 5
Number of these I really own: 2 – The Time Jumpers & Lori McKenna

Best Americana Album:
Who I’d Pick: “True Sadness” – The Avett Brothers
Who Will Win: “Kid Sister” – The Time Jumpers
Number of these I have heard: 5
Number of these I really own: 3 – The Avett Brothers, The Time Jumpers & Lori McKenna

 

grammy

CD Review – Demos Papadimas – “Waiting”

2016-11-04

demos-waitingLike many Midwest rust-belt former manufacturing hubs, the city of Warren, Ohio, doesn’t have much to hang it’s hat on these days, but it still is the home of the W.D. Packard Museum is also home to one of the most unique voices in music, Demos Papadimas, who’s unique take on Americana music is catching ears and making people pay attention.

His latest release and second full-length album “Waiting” is available for purchase on iTunes, and streaming on Spotify, as well as in physical form at The Record Connection in Niles, or his website; and it’s well worth your listen if you’re a fan of Americana and a man who knows his way around the bouzouki. This album has some great Greek-tinged Indie Rock with lots of harmonica, steel guitar, violin and solid drumming provided by violinist Sandi Quotson, Ralph Rich on drums, Nils Johnson on bass and pedal steel guitarist Al Moss, the 12 songs spanning 40 minutes leaves you wanting more and pressing the repeat button, much like his first release, “Wandering Through the Wilderness” did, which is why he was named one of Cleveland Scene Magazine’s 13 Bands to Watch in 2013.

“Waiting,” which was released on Record Store Day 2016, kicks off with “Just a Stranger,” followed by some slick pedal steel work by Moss on the tune “Second Street” which is one of my favorite songs on the album, along with “Little Sadie” and the closer “Who Would’ve Thought” that features some great finger-picking on the bouzouki. “Waiting,” the title track, features a lot of great finger=picking from Papadimas along with solid work from Quotson on violin. It’s a sound that’s hard to describe, or define, but it works.

“Restless Time” is the first single off the CD, and it has an video produced by Radio Lark‘s Chris Rutushin and Khaled Tabbara from The Zou.

Demos and the Band are playing in Youngstown on Saturday, Nov 5, 2016, at Suzie’s Dogs & Drafts Downtown with Hayden Brooke, Watching for Foxes and Joshua Powell & The Great Train Robbery; The Elbo Room in Chicago on Nov 9 & 10; Rambling House Soda with Hedbo in Columbus on Nov. 12, and has a series of dates in Kent, Youngstown & Pittsburgh to close out the year. Do yourself a favor and give Demos a listen, live or on record. You’ll thank me later!

CD Review: JD Eicher – “The Middle Distance”

2016-05-30

JDEicher

Yes, JD Eicher still has a band, and yes, they’re still top-notch, but with his forth solo album, “The Middle Distance,” released in May, the songs are so personal, so real, so individually focused, having it be a ‘band’ album wouldn’t have worked. At all.

This is an album about fear and failure; hope and belief; focus and finding what matters; and making it work.

The opening 53 instrumental seconds that start off the album build up to opening line, “There’s a song that’s still unsaid,” drawing you in to the world of someone who’s lost. Confused. Looking for the right path. It’s all internalized. These are issues we all have, conversations we’ve all had in our heads about romance, family, work, life. As the CD rolls on, the realization, the confrontations, the issues, and the reasons we’re on this journey all come clear (“Be Well” and “Lines In The Sky”).  So does taking time to focus on core beliefs (“The Middle Distance” & “Man of Faith”), finding what focus that energy on (in JD’s case, family, faith and his wife Cathi), realize it’s time to fight (“Not Everybody Runs”), pull it all together and realize what you have, and getting rid of those fears (“What We’re Not,” “This Love Is A Light” and “Not Afraid.”)

The album was recorded in JD’s home, using simple mixes, a great mix of falsetto vocals, layering and non-traditional song structures and it’s a solid ten-track, 40-minute album.  Favorite songs include “Be Well,” “Not Everybody Runs,” “What We’re Not” and “Not Afraid,” but the line of the album, for me, comes from “Man of Faith:”

“What if God were not one being doing good things
What if God were every good thing being done?”

I think it took me a good five or six listens to the entire CD to understand the concept of it, and when it all fell into place, for lack of a better term, it really blew me away how simple this CD was, how great a listen it is and how I think I could have written most album of this during many sleepless nights. Taken individually, the songs are very listenable, but in the album’s order, it’s a journey. And a pleasant one. If you’re looking for a new summer CD, JD Eicher’s “The Middle Distance” is my suggestion.

(“The Middle Distance” is available on iTunes or Amazon music, or from JD himself while he’s touring!)

Erica Blinn & The Handsome Machine

2013-04-07

Columbus, Ohio’s Erica Blinn and the Handsome Machine rocked Howlers Coyote Cafe in Pittsburgh on April 6, 2013.