Music Morsels

October 2006 

by Mark Waterbury
  Robert Allen Mycko Robert Allen Mycko - You’re My American Hero

There is no doubt that country folk singer/songwriter Robert Allen Mycko’s song “You’re My American Hero” is going to help put the Connecticut native on the map. The passionate song written in support of soldiers families left behind when they go to war should touch people beyond the bounds of politics. Beyond that, Robert proves throughout the CD that he is a stellar songwriter. From the snappy fun of “What’s Mine Is Mine,” and the oldies rock-edged “Dangerous Girl” to the foot stomping “When I Start Drinking I Get Drunk,” Robert’s lyrical and musical abilities shine brightly. If “...Hero” helps garner him attention, his overall music integrity proves that he deserves it.

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  Vicki Genfan Vicki Genfan - Up Close and Personal

Modern folk singer/songwriter/guitarist Vicki Genfan has prepared a delectable double CD feast. The first CD is instrumental, and showcases her immense talents in fingerstyle guitar picking, ranging from the new age “In A Mood” and the frenetic plucking of “Atomic Reshuffle” to the subtle blues of “Longest Night.” Vicki lets her vocal cords loose on the second CD, with songs that can be touching, scathing, passionate or introspective, augmented by folksy blues of various stylistic backdrops. Vicki proves to be a multi-pronged talent who deserves wider spread recognition.

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  Jeffrey Michael Jeffrey Michael - Awakening
Fireheart Music - JM12

One of new age’s brightest and most talented recording artists has created another gem. Jeffrey Michael’s seventh CD stuns and mesmerizes you with his piano expertise while caressing you with the ethereal vibe. A perfect waft of classical inspirations, and the right dose of dynamics evident from Jeffrey’s film scoring forays, the music is for listening and relishing as well as relaxing. Standout tracks include the uplifting pulse of “Ocean Dance,” the intricate dramatics of “Rebirth” and the subtly haunting “Phantom Of the Mind.” Jeffrey proves again that he should be included in the royalty of modern classical/new age pianists.

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  Neil Zaza Neil Zaza - When Gravity Falls
Melodik Records - 200601

If there is truth to the cliche that instrumental rock guitarists are a dime a dozen, you can pay a premium price for Neil Zaza. The Cleveland based Zaza’s prowess on the electric six string is obvious, but his songwriting talents are what really shine on this latest CD. “Something Anything” is a blistering prog-edged rock opus. “Cinematic” takes power blues to a new level. “My Dearest” shows a mellower but no less intense side. Neil’s own added bass work, and a host of guest appearances including Michael Anthony, Peter Frampton, Steve Smith and Jordan Rudess add to the flavor. Neil truly infuses emotion into his songs while flat out rocking you at the same time.

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  Antonio Montana and Nitro Dreey-C - self titled
Mercy Soldier Records

Youthful Brazil-born Orlando, FL based vocalist Dreey-C is sure to make an impact on the U.S. scene with his American debut. Firmly rooted in pop/R&B roots, Dreey-C’s dreamy but emotive voice is going to turn heads right from the opening croon of “It’s Fine.” “She’s Dangerous” also shows excellent vocal range while “Make Her Mine” adds a touch of Brazilian folk to spice up the track. Beyond his obvious talents, Dreey-C also performs all instruments and writes his own music, a welcome dimension in today's pop scene that should garner further notice.

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  Adam Rich Adam Rich - You Can’t Escape Life
Love Muffin Records - LM006

Adam Rich’s songwriting versatility has such a wide range that if it was not for his distinct personality weaving it together, you may get lost on the way. After the jammy instrumental “Frizzhead” you get full on punk with “Perfect,” edgy alt blues on the title track, and a folk tinged power ballad with “Glittery Eyes.” The common denominators include intelligent often sardonic lyrics and the lust for pushing the envelope in songwriting. There is a lot of pure talent here and a lot of great songs, too.

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  Seven Seven - Dirt 2 Diamonds
Mercy Soldiers Records

Seven is a rapper committed to returning the genre to its roots and the music on this CD exemplifies that. Obviously weaned on the old guard of hip hop, but with a modern vibe that has a dance club feel without being bombastic, Seven finds a nice mid-ground as a vehicle for his words. The raps are street smart and poignant, with just a touch of vulgarity that fits the emotional intensity of a song and are not gratuitous. If there is going to be a revolution in rap, Seven could lead the way.

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  Liberty N' Justice Liberty N’ Justice - Soundtrack Of a Soul
LNJ Records - LNJ2693

A brainchild of Justin Murr, this compilation CD features blistering rock with Christian and faith-based messages enhanced by top rock vocalists. Including efforts by Sebastian Bach, Stephen Pearcy, Mark Slaughter and even Leif Garrett among many others, Justin drives his points home with intense and passionate fashion. With excellent instrumental work seemingly inspired by Guns N Roses, Fuel, P.O.D. and others, rockers will love the music, and perhaps that will get them to pay attention to what is being said.

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  Needle Needle - Songs Your Mother Never Sang You
Online Rock Records - olr420

If you think of say Tori Amos meeting the Velvet Underground and both getting in an extraordinarily mellow mood, you will get the idea of what this California band creates. In spite of the very subdued vibe of the songs, they are quite intriguing from the perspective of Julie Cornett’s lush vocals and thought provoking lyrics. Don’t expect to rock out to this music, instead relax, put on the headphones and absorb the celestial ambiance their music provides.

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  Bodisartha - Find Yourself Getting Lost
Circleview Records - C0001

If you threw a liberal dose of Nirvana, a dash of Creed and a sprinkle of the Cramps into a blender, Bodisartha could be the result. With a definite nod towards Seattle from this Kansas City trio, there is something that is punkier, but with a gritty guitar howl that seems influenced by Mark Tremonti. All comparisons aside, you can tell these guys create music this way because this is what they feel, injecting a distinct personality and uniqueness.

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Adam Rich
Division of Serge Entertainment Group