Music Morsels

November 2006 

by Mark Waterbury
  Rocket Scientists Rocket Scientists - Revolution Road
Think Tank Media - MICP 90023

With their first CD in eight years and fourth overall, Rocket Scientists weave classic prog stylings, ethereal passages and gritty, fat chorded rock into a phenomenal double disc. Diverse elements compliment each other; from Erik Norlander’s intricate keyboard wizardry to Mark McCrite’s guitar prowess. Mark also lends his sweetly emotive vocals to some songs, while others receive the sonic stamp of power vocalist David McBee. The rhythm tandem of NS/stick player Don Schiff and drummer Gregg Bissonette roars out of the gate like a tyrannosaur stomping around with a thunderstorm on his back on songs like “Sky Is Falling.” Created masterfully by the core writing team of Erik, Mark and Don, this disc proves there is no reason Rocket Scientists shouldn’t be one of the hottest acts in prog rock.

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  Zerby Zerby - Reggae’s First White Female Dancehall Artist
Dark Continent/Hotness Records

Although born and raised in the U.S. and currently an Atlanta resident, Zerby spent a lot of time in the Caribbean. It shows with the down home roots reggae base on this preview of her full fledged release. Weaving the traditional island influences with pulsing electronica, her dancehall reggae hybrid takes a further stride down the path the likes of Shaggy and Shabba Ranks have carved. Her music flows effortlessly from sultry laid back vibe to frenetic danceable romps, spicing the tasty stew with various world stylings. Her vocal stylings are intense, augmenting the lyrics that are from the heart and topical. Zerby is a fresh force for reggae in the 21st century.

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  Lindsey Buckingham Lindsey Buckingham - Under The Skin
Reprise Records - 44359-2

Lindsey Buckingham who honed Fleetwood Mac’s platinum gilded sound in the 70’s has not lost any of his songwriting inventiveness or musical capabilities. If anything he pushes the envelope further on this mostly acoustic CD. Brimming with emotive passion, stunning vocal work, intelligent lyrics and exceptional guitar picking, “Under The Skin” makes you hope that Lindsey graces us with solo works more frequently.

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  Robert Plant     Robert Plant and the Strange Sensation - Live Sound Stage DVD
HD Ready

Continuing his flirtation with tribal drums and world beat sounds while not losing his rock edge, this intimate concert from PBS’s Soundstage series with the legendary Zeppelin front man’s latest band is highly enjoyable. The percussive retooled treatments of classics like “No Quarter,” “Gallows Pole” and “Black Dog” are energized by that wonderfully recognizable voice that still retains its sultry power. The energy is evident in the visual experience as well, enhanced by slick production and camerawork. This work is proof that Plant is nowhere near through writing his iconic history.

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  Dominic Gaudious Dominic Gaudious - Life Worth Living

Acoustic instrumental guitar master Dominic Gaudious exemplifies the title of his sixth album immediately with the joyful “Acoustic Jubilee.” The title track itself is a bit sweeter and seems slightly influenced by The Edge. Other interesting forays include the jazzy vibe of “Steel String Sophistication,” stunning fingerstyle guitar licks on the laid back “Worthy of Love” and bluesy folk of “Encouragement.” Dominic flavors the songs with other instrumentation's including wonderful keyboard work from his wife Rebecca. Although his talents have never been in question and he has created a library of excellent music with his first five CDs, this disc rises above his previous efforts with highly innovative songwriting, layered complexities in composition, and deeper explorations of his musical prowess.

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  Sean Chambers Sean Chambers - Humble Spirits
Rockview Records - 00103

Veteran blues rock guitarist Sean Chambers has created another gem any lover of six string mastery will enjoy. Influenced by Steve Ray Vaughan and Johnny Winter, with a distinct personality particularly in his subtle use of effects and heavy rocking soul, songs like “Foolin,” “Tom Cat” and “I’m Ready Now” flat out burn. Sean’s smokey vocals and inventive songwriting add extra flavor to this excellent effort.

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  Lantana Lantana - Unbridled
BGM Records - BGM09062

Since Lantana is made up of three women playing country influenced music comparisons to the Dixie Chicks may be inevitable. This trio has their own distinct sound however, with a bluesy soul in the Bonnie Raitt direction melding with traditional country reminiscent of the grand old ladies. Their harmonies are lush, sweet and poignant, augmenting the honest lyrics. A fresh force to watch out for.

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  F-Units F-Units - Reject On Impact

Hailing from Manhattan's lower east side, the F-Units sounds like a bloody back alley brawl between East and West coast influences of punk rock. You can throw the Ramones, Dead Kennedys and Social D into the melee, creating totally in your face music that is far more brash than anything today’s punk posers are creating. These boys carry their roots like a leather clad, razor slashed, beer soaked badge of honor, and it works to great effect.

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  Frank Carillo Frank Carillo and the Bandoleros - Bad Out There
Jezebel Records - JR-5384

The new project from this veteran singer/songwriter/guitarist is like a tour of his roots. You feel Austin Americana in the title track, a touch of Bourbon Street blues in “Watcha Gonna Do,” heartfelt Motown rock in “Chapel Street” and Appalachian tinged folk in “Delilah.” This atlas of influences combined with his emotive, gritty voice and excellent musicianship creates a highly satisfying listen.

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  Phoenix Phoenix - Dying to Find Myself

Rap metal is pretty common these days, but the style that Phoenix creates is quite uncommon. Yes, there are recognizable influences from Kid Rock, System of a Down and early Shootyz Groove, but this just touches the edge of the mosaic. Vocals range from rapid fire raps to metal screeching, weaving with thought provoking lyrics and gutsy, cord heavy rock with intriguing keyboard embellishments.

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Adam Rich
Division of Serge Entertainment Group