Monday, August 29, 2016

Jess Chizuk - Buffalo, NY

Lehigh Valley Line review
The title track, Lehigh Valley Line, has a great roots rock sound. The style can be compared to Americana or Country. Jess' voice sounds polished and has a mature quality that defies her young age. A lead acoustic guitar fills in the spaces between the verse lines perfectly.
Eyes On The Horizon continues in the same vein as the title track. The simple acoustic guitar track lets Jess' outstanding vocals shine through. The chorus has a strong hook and a catchy sound.
to be continued...

I'm excited to introduce you to award-winning indie/folk songwriter Jess Chizuk. Jess is a young female artist that is making big waves in the Buffalo music scene. The immensely gifted 22 year old, whose voice has been favorably compared to legends such as Joni Mitchell and Jewel, is set to release her first full-length album Lehigh Valley Line on September 16. Check out her popular single "China Plates" here

Aside from supporting national artists like Howie Day, Davina and the Vagabonds, and Dylan Jakobsen, Jess was the recipient of the Best Original Solo Act award at the 2015 Buffalo Music Awards, the winner of the 2014 Yellen Foundation Songwriting Contest, winner of the Folk category at the Smoky Mountain Songwriting Festival Songwriting Contest, a semi-finalist in the 2015 Songwriter's Serenade Contest in Morovia TX, and a top five finalist in the singer/songwriter category of the Great American Song Contest – a contest receiving submissions from nearly 2000 songwriters worldwide. For fans of: The Lumineers, Ed Sheeran and Joni Mitchell.

Jess Chizuk Bio: Compelling, vivid stories from the heart told emphatically by graceful vocals, accompanied by little more than an acoustic guitar. These are the building blocks for most of Jess Chizuk’s songs. The young singer-songwriter has her musical roots firmly divided between both old folk tunes and new indie music, but the result of this combination is her truly captivating writing. It has been garnering the attention of audiences in her hometown of Buffalo NY and beyond. Drawing on life experiences, honest stories, and the city she calls home, her music is soulful and truly genuine. This award winning songwriter already has an impressive catalog of accomplishments at only 22 years old.

Jess’ first release, Shine A Light On, came out mid-2012, produced in Los Angeles by serious and talented industry professionals. “I had a blast really working in the studio for the first time, and that’ s when I got serious about making music,” she says. “But I knew within that year I had a different direction I wanted to take my songwriting and sound.” This began several years of thoroughly exploring her songwriting abilities, working towards creating something 100% self-driven.

China Plates was the first song to emerge from this practice. Winning the Yellen Foundation/Buffalo Music Hall of Fame Songwriting Contest in 2014 made her an award-winning songwriter at just 20 years old. “To this day, getting that phone call was one of the happiest moments of my life. It’ s amazing to be recognized for what you love,” she says. Released in March of 2015, Jess took China Plates across the country, picking up awards, nominations, and recognitions as she went. This, along with an incredible local reception to her new sound, spurred the idea of a sophomore release.

Now, scheduled for release in September of this year, Lehigh Valley Line is a true singer-songwriter record. It’s not over-produced, it’s not flashy, and it’s not even backed by a full band. The focus is all on the songs themselves, with each telling a unique tale of its own. Themes of love and longing are present throughout the extremely thoughtful and well-developed lyrics, as are a few homages to the Buffalo backdrop in which the songs were created. And as always, Jess’ smooth and airy vocals tie things together and tell the stories she’s penned with strong emotion. “This is my most favorite project,” she says. “I listen back to the tracks and say, ‘ This is who I am right now, put down in words and turned into songs. This is me."

Official Website:

Press contact: Joe Ballard (

Music Is Art Festival - Buffalo, NY

2016 Music Is Art Flyers


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Blair Clark - Madison, WI

Blair Clark - Madison, WI

"The good mother the drunk old man the family the pets the doubters and believers. I sing songs from my broken heart and my broken head" from Blair's bandcamp page.

Do No Good is a sadness EP. It concerns the everyday sadness and special event sadness, last years tour difficulties. I added Shop! cause it just seemed to fit in, wrote for underculture years ago. The song Do No Good is my fav. The cheesy keyboard makes me smile. Enjoy.

Hello , I'm Blair Clark and I have a new EP called Do No Good. It is a darkish low. It's moody. A fine August listen. It will move you around. I'm a songwriter in Madison, my last band was an americana band called the Sills. I walked away from that band last year and now I'm recording EPs. This is my 6th EP this year, the goal is 10 by December. Hope you enjoy, thanks - Blair

The title song Do No Good has a minimalistic music track which seems to allow Blair's vocals to convey a feeling of sad regret.
The Road To Denver has a retro sound reminiscent of original 50's rock and roll. Blair's unique vocals add a new wave edge to punctuate the rock track.
Growing Up In Reverse features one of Blair's most ambitious musical tracks. The staccato rhythm is held together by a moving bass track and Blair's way cool vocal stylings.
Shop! seems to be a commentary on the materialistic based society we live in. The lyrics convey the message that shopping has become more important than taking care of real life issues.
Sad Days is a melancholy track that conveys the feeling of a all consuming sadness that seems to permeate our lives at times.

Blair Clark has released a new EP called Look Out!. This should be parked in your garage. It is rock and roll at its lowest. This is Blair Clark's 5th EP this year, the goal is 10 by December.
Hope you enjoy, thanks for listening - Blair.  

Blair Clark's new EP Look Out! starts out off with a bang! The title track, Look Out! is a uptempo punk rocker that is sure get your blood pumping. All the impressive performances are done by Blair himself. The guitar solos are exciting and the chorus jumps out of the mix proving that Blair knows how to craft a great sounding rock and roll song.
If You Loved Me continues in the same vein as Look Out! The multi-talented Blair kicks out another great jam that stops and starts with urgent rock energy.
Walking Alone sounds like the songs from Blair's previous EP Take Me Like You Found Me. Blair's vocals convey a lonely longing that is compelling and hard to ignore.
Blair delivers another lo-fi masterpiece with Can't Go On Without You. The sound is reminiscent of early Talking Heads.
Heartbeats is a uptempo garage rocker that sounds like it's going to fall apart any second. By the time the beat is established the song abruptly ends.
Blair Clark soundcloud page


Blair Clark is a low crooner and a late bloomer. He is a singer songwriter from Madison WI. In 2009 he formed the punk rock band underculture. Two years later he started the band The Sills. The music fused bluegrass and folk with punk rock and rockabilly. They put out two cd's and then Blair walked away in 2015. He is currently recording from his apartment on a smallish 8trk on a 10 EP run. He writes songs from his broken heart and broken head. The music is lean. His June release Take Me Like You Found Me is pop candy. In May he released Demolicious it is delicious lo-fi. You can check out all of his EPs at The Sills can also be found on bandcamp.

Take Me Like You Found Me is a authentic lo-fi experience the likes of which haven't been heard of since the late 60's. The throwback sound brings to mind all of the coolest bands who were influential in the development of punk and alternative rock. The song has a uplifting tempo which may very well inspire much dancing when played live. Blair's vocals are sweet and soulful, using accents and fluttering tremelo to create a unique singing style.
Come Away With Me would fit right in at any rock and roll dance party. A crowded dance hall full of swaying bodies comes to mind when I listen to this song. A guitar plays in the background and fills in all of the open spaces in the melody perfectly. The vocals convey the feeling of smoldering urgency.
See Saw is a melancholy, yet very melodic, rock and roll song which immediately drew me in. The song has a laid back feel yet still manages to sound strong with it's outstanding lead guitar hooks. Blair Clark's sad vocal tones convey the mood and set the tone for the song. See Saw is my newest, favorite song and the best song on Take Me Like You Found Me.
Silver Bells has the feel of late 50's rock and roll rave up. The descending guitar chords help create the mood with a fantastic, jingly jangly Fender sound. Pull out your old leather and slick your hair back before you listen is highly recommended. Bum a cigarette off your buddy to complete the picture.
Ithaca closes out Take Me Like You Found Me is style. Blair's influences can be heard on this track. Traces of Lou Reed, David Bowie and Iggy Pop can be heard in Blair's heartfelt vocal delivery.

Everybody has a sexy side. This is mine.
Demolicious released May 19, 2016
Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Drums, and Drum Machine -Blair Clark
Words and Music by Blair Clark

Songs for the Sills. When I walked away from the Sills, we had a songs that were never recorded. These are a few.
No Sills No Sale released April 21, 2016
Guitars, Bass, Drums, Xylophone and Vocals - Blair Clark
Recorded at Home on tiny 8 track recorder

Ring A Bell released February 15, 2016
Credits: Blair Clark - guitar, vocals
Leah Brooke - vocals
Todd Phipps - keyboard
Pete Olig - bass
Ken Koeppler - drums
Words and music by Blair Clark, all rights reserved
Recorded and mixed by Ken Koeppler
The Sound Garden studio

Blair Clark twitter

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Carina & The Six String Preacher - Why You So Wild Crocodile? CD review

Carina and the Six String Preacher will be performing at the Lewiston Jazz Festival on Saturday, August 27 at the Lewiston Peace Garden Courtyard from 7:15pm to 9:15pm. Complete schedule above. Newest youtube video below...

Carina & The Six String Preacher - Why You So Wild Crocodile? CD review by Joe Tell.

The first track, Forgot About Me, kicks off with a slow and sexy bossa nova/samba musical groove. A groove that's heavily infused with jazz. Carina's vocals send a strong message. She strongly suggest to forget about her, but her breathy delivery has the opposite effect, you are further drawn into her tender musical trappings. This song would fit in perfectly on any 50's B Movie soundtrack. The guitar lays back until the very end. A heavy guitar that sounds like a keyboard punctuates the music and takes the song out.
Youtube link
The guitar and drums of Cheap Perfume come in first and lay down a powerful groove. A perfect groove for Carina to sing along with and drop her unique vocal inflections on top of. Some perfectly timed stops really make the vocals pop as Carina delivers another standout performance.
Any Buffalonian who's been stuck in their house after a huge snow storm will relate to Cabin Fever. Cabin Fever delivers another jazz tour de force complete with a outstanding guitar solo by the Six String Preacher. Once again Carina's passionate and sensual vocal styling's really shine through on Cabin Fever.
A Man I Could Love combines rock, calypso and jazz styling's into a great and unique sounding song. This is my favorite song on Why You So Wild Crocodile? Drummer John Brady's performance on this song is outstanding. The opening lyric is haunting and it really has the tendency to stick inside your head. Once the opening line draws to a close the calypso beat kicks in and Carina displays her versatility by singing and scatting over the jumpy rhythm.
Cry Baby is a lesson in percussion. Carina's tick tock countdown and the Six String Preacher's percussive playing provide the rhythm. Carina's vocals glide over the music and provide the melody that flows through the song.
The enormous talents of Carina & The Six String Preacher come together to deliver a new and unique spin on traditional jazz stylings. Their take on jazz results in a sound that is very cool, sexy and hip.

Thank You Carina & The Six String Preacher!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Monday, August 8, 2016

Joe Tell Contact info

Update 8/12/16: For the local drama crew, you no longer have any power here, read it and weep

Update 7/25/16:
Once again I must state a lesson that I learned to live by a long time ago.
I learned that it's really easy to be blatantly disrespectful and overtly negative but it's a lot harder to stay positive and hold your tongue in an attempt to keep the peace. If more people thought this way this world would be a much better place.
I can write childish and immature posts' about things and people I don't agree with but I choose to spend my time writing positive things that help people in an attempt to build them up.

-Always seeking new local music to review on this music blog, if your band is interested in submitting a CD or 2 for review or submitting a show flyer please email: for more info.
-Currently accepting paid fill-in offers playing bass.
I am a experienced fill-in player, having recently filled in for the cover bands Under Arrest and 55 Main learning their rock and roll set-lists' on bass guitar for a performance.
If anyone needs to contact me directly I can be reached @, thank you.

Music is my passion and every time I go out to see a band the creative energy that builds up inside of me is undeniable and very hard to contain. A fellow musician may know this urgent feeling but anyone who doesn't love to play will never understand. My attitude would be very different if no one else got up to play and I didn't know the guys in the band. I choose to no longer play in cover bands but when I did play I never played it safe and always took chances. I always went into unexplored territory in an attempt to become a better player and performer. It's very easy to "play it safe", always playing the same chords and notes on the neck while standing still out of fear of failure. It's much harder to explore the notes on the neck in a creative way while trying to move around in an attempt to entertain fickle, disinterested crowds. If you don't have a desire to become a better player and/or performer you will never understand.
Thanks for providing further inspiration for me to write kid.

Joe Tell playing Bass with The Path 2010 Best New Group Nominee for the Buffalo Music Awards.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

How To Talk To Girls At Parties by Neil Gaiman graphic novel review

How To Talk To Girls At Parties by Neil Gaiman
Gabriel Ba, Fabio Moon (Artists') Dark Horse Comics (Publisher)
Review by Joe Tell 
Published by Artvoice Magazine in the Graphic Traffic column
Sponsored by Queen City Bookstore

Don’t be confused by the title of this graphic novel, it’s not a self-help book. How To Talk To Girls At Parties is based on a fantastic short story written by Neil Gaiman, one of the most celebrated authors of our time. The story won the prestigious Locus Award for Best Short Story in ’07. The watercolor illustrations by twin brothers Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba are brilliantly colored, full of energy and passion. The subtle, compelling, narrative follows a pair of teenage boys who are on their way to a house party. “Girls! Girls!, Girls!” Vic shouts as he leads the most reluctant of the pair, Enn, to their destination. To Enn, Vic seems to have the opposite sex all figured out but all is not as it seems at this particular party. Before they arrive, Vic tells the shy and quiet Enn “You just have to talk to them” after Enn admits to his inexperience with girls. Upon hearing the Tum, Tum, Tum of some exuberant music the pair arrive at the party. After Vic pairs off with a girl Enn finds himself walking around the house to find something to drink. Taking Vic’s advice Enn gets up the courage to talk to a couple of girls whose friendly banter is odd yet strangely beautiful at the same time. Enn seems content in their company as the girls speak to him in weird, poetic ways, each relating to him their own unique story. In the end the pair finds out that the girls at this party are different in ways they never expected, leaving them with an experience they will never forget. 

Next review is for Dejah Of Mars from Dynamite Comics

Current Events

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Prinze George - Maryland

Prinze George is touring in support of their debut LP Illiterate Synth Pop, out on Sounds Expensive. The two singles from the record have been praised by Stereogum and SPIN, with the latter calling their song "Wait Up" "a cinematic ballad from retro-pop heaven."

In February of 2015, Prinze George started traveling to Minneapolis, MN to record Illiterate Synth Pop with Evan Bakke (Prince, Fraea, Soul Asylum) at Sounds Expensive Studio. They kept coming back in between tours with Albert Hammond Jr., Little Boots, Walk the Moon and more, and finished recording in early 2016. 

Prinze George is Kenny Grimm (production/instrumental), Naomi Almquist (vocals) and Isabelle De Leon (drums), who are based in Maryland. Kenny and Naomi grew up together in PrinceGeorge's County, where they met Isabelle while she was in college. Formed in 2013, Prinze George has quickly exploded onto the Indie scene. Following the release of their breakthrough single, "Victor," The Wild Honey Pie declared, "[This band] could be destined for Indie Pop royalty status." Climbing to #1 on the Hype Machine charts, the single and the band have won the attention of music blogs, fans, and labels from all over the world. "Victor" was also selected for the movie soundtrack of Warner Bros.' biggest European release in 2014, "Honig Im Kopf," a film directed by Til Schweiger. 

"Illiterate Synth Pop is a panorama of the people we grew up with and the places we've travelled to with them; both inside and outside of our home. Coming of age, Love, loneliness, and feeling stuck are frequent themes. This collection of songs is a great reflection of who we are,” explains Naomi. "Making the album in Minneapolis was a tremendous experience because we were immersed in a beautiful creative space that allowed us the freedom to work and play at our own pace. We were also surrounded by people who are focused and professional but also playful and free, which is imperative for our creative process. If making a record is just business as usual, it affects the music; so we were lucky to have it all.”

8/12 - Eau Claire, WI - Eaux Claires
8/15 - Columbus, OH - The Basement
8/16 - Pittsburgh, PA - Club Cafe
8/17 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s
8/20 - Washington, DC - Rock&Roll Hotel
10/2 - Austin, TX - ACL Festival