Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Lehigh Valley Line review
The title track, Lehigh Valley Line, sets the mood for the rest of the music with 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 the spaces between the verses perfectly. The lyrics convey a feeling of melancholy and hope for a brighter future.
Eyes On The Horizon continues in the same vein as the title track. The acoustic guitar track lets Jess' outstanding and melodic vocals shine through. The chorus has a strong hook and a uplifting sound.
Steady As The Rain features a single, percussive acoustic guitar track that allows Jess' vocals to float above the music like a rainbow floats above stormy weather. One of the best songs on this release.
China Plates has that special, timeless quality that great songs always have. The musical melody is provided by a well played piano and the lyrics contain words and feelings that everyone can relate to. China Plates is the best song on Lehigh Valley Line.
The Distance has a new country sound. The song has a great sound and Jess' vocals have a ton of soulful feeling. The background vocals and electric guitar add much to the overall sound.
Somber Is The Night has a slower tempo with a keyboard backing track. Jess' voice sounds beautiful on this track.
Guilty Pleasure has a rock and roll sound. The lyrics tell of a questionable, all consuming love affair.
August Carnival closes out Lehigh Valley Line in style.
In closing, Lehigh Valley Line is a strong release, full of great songs. Jess Chizuk is a very talented singer and songwriter who is sure to go far in the music industry.
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 https://soundcloud.com/jess-chizuk/china-plates
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: http://www.jesschizukmusic.com/
Press contact: Joe Ballard (email@example.com)
Thank You Joe!
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Michael Biddlecom - Then Came Silience CD art. Thank You Cheryl!
Strange Therapy kicks off with "A Race Against The Sun". The sound of the track can be described as new wave hard rock. The feel of the intro is heavy and the verse music is keyboard driven. Mike's vocals sound like Geoff Tate on this track. The chorus music drives hard and the guitar solo is melodic, fitting in perfect within the melody of the song.
Youtube music video link http://youtu.be/7gLp0SRM8tM
"A Miracle Of Life" shows off more of Mike's musical and vocal versatility and his guitar and bass playing talent. The track starts off with a very melodic musical figure played simultaneously by a keyboard and guitar. The music has an 80's sound and the chorus has a haunting quality that drew my listening ear in right away. After the second chorus the song takes a heavy twist with a powerful guitar riff which leads into a ripping, guitar solo. This is my fave song on Strange Therapy.
Youtube music video link http://youtu.be/rxhfy7vJ5QM
The third song, "Electro Plated Man", is a heavy rock song with a new wave, 80's sounding verse. Mike uses alot of different guitar sounds on this song and they all sound great. The chorus is heavy with some sweet, pinch harmonics. The guitar solo is Mike at his best, with blistering runs and double tracked harmonies that remind me of George Lynch. The guitar lead morphs into a cool, spooky, bass and keyboard dominated ending...
Youtube music video link http://youtu.be/Qj9VW-y0CQM
"When Should I?" seems pensive in lyrical content and the guitar figure is fairly clean in sound. The vocals and guitar have alot of reverb and digital delay which creates the mood for the song. The keyboard fills add color into the fairly sparse, musical, landscape of the song. A hard driving, guitar riff kicks in which leads into another great, sharp, guitar solo.
Youtube music video link https://youtu.be/dk2otuvx97g
"Big Sky Fallin" reminded me of Queensryche. This song is Mike at his hard rockin' best, the guitar rhythm is hard and heavy and the song kicks ass. This song is sure to please any 80's hard rock fan.
"Passages In Time" highlights Mikes keyboard playing and song orchestration skills. The intro sounds like it would fit right in on any horror movie soundtrack.
"With Friends Like You (I Don't Need No Enemies)" has an 80's musical sound. The lead guitar on the intro is melodic and strong. I just figured out who's Mike's voice sounds similar to. Mike's voice can be compared to the vocalist from the Sisters Of Mercy. (great band, look them up on youtube) Mike sings in a higher range on this particular track. After listening to most of "Strange Therapy" it seems to me that one of Mike's main musical influences was the Sisters Of Mercy. The guitar solo on this track is one of the best on the "Strange Therapy".
The beginning of "Disconnected" is rather sparse and mellow, alot of the musical spaces are filled with percussion and clean guitar fills. This groove continues on for the first 3 and half minutes of the song then the music abruptly stops. A powerful, guitar dominated, groove kicks the song into high gear. The mood of the first few seconds of the song is shattered by the powerful, guitar part that follows and takes out the song.
"In The Clouds" has an 80's new wave feel and sound.
"Emeralds" is an instrumental track. The intro has a new age feel and sound. Once the multi-tracked, guitar melody kicks in the song takes on a rock/new age kind of sound. The guitar sound is similar to Gary Moore and Thin Lizzy. Once the guitar part is over the song switches into a new age sound only to switch into to a heavier type of rock sound with blistering, quick, guitar leads taking precedence. This is the Mike B sound that I enjoy the most.
Youtube music video link http://youtu.be/kO1XxZWKZYM
Strange Therapy is a very impressive effort as Mike wrote, performed and recorded all the music parts and wrote all the lyrics himself.
Michael Biddlecom, Buffalo Guitarist and Songwriter
Michael Biddlecom is a very talented, accomplished rock and roll guitar player and songwriter. I've witnessed Michael's unique and diverse talents firsthand and I recognize and appreciate Mike and his music. Mike is an excellent guitar player and he has demonstrated his abilities live and on recordings in and around Buffalo for many years.
My first contact with Mike was during my audition for the bass position to complete the original metal band called Bad Blood. This band was formed in the early 90's and the other members included Chris Barron (Ezekial) on vocals and Ric Proctor on drums, Ric was formerly with a band called Actor, which featured Buffalo favorite Jesse Galante on vocals. I was brought on as the new bassist. After learning Bad Blood's original material, we went on to change the name to Vicious Circle. Vicious Circle went on to record and release 8 original songs.
Mike's recent return to the Buffalo music scene was with a CD of his own instrumental music songs. Mystic Compass was released in 2010. Mystic Compass has Mike playing in a different style highlighting his diversity and talents on the electric guitar. Mystic Compass has elements of trance, acid jazz, jazz, techno and rock music. I was pleasantly surprised by this CD because I am used to hearing Mike play the guitar in a upfront, aggressive metal style. The music on Mystic Compass has an ethereal quality to it, spiritually soothing and great for daydreaming. If you want to relax and forget about your daily toils and troubles, playing the Mystic Compass CD will do it for you. Listen, Breathe and Relax. All of these songs are melodically driven by celestial sounding guitars, jazzy lead guitar solos ebb and flow seamlessly throughout these compositions. The title track Mystic Compass has a jazzy, bluesy feel to it, the melodic guitar lines feature some great bended notes.
Here's the YouTube link https://youtu.be/6jUAj7qc5fY
Sydonia contains some great bell-like tones throughout the song offsetting the guitar rhythm, a speedy guitar solo highlights Mike's skillful solo guitar playing.
Here's the YouTube link https://youtu.be/vwMIwyx7iNs
Track 3, After The Rain is an acid jazz, bluesy composition that features some great bended, melodic guitar lines along with some more somewhat speedy solo guitar playing. Here's the YouTube link http://youtu.be/rjolyrAval8. On What Does It Take Mike demonstrates his jazz guitar playing skills. Here's the YouTube link https://youtu.be/rjolyrAval8
The final track Sapphire Blues has a great, somewhat dissonant sounding guitar rhythm track but Mike somehow still manages to make it sound pleasant and soothing. This song also features some great guitar slides, harmonics and some more awesome bluesy, jazzy lead guitar playing. Add some volume and distortion to all the solos on Mystic Compass and you've got yourself some great rock guitar solos.
Here's the Youtube link to Sapphire Blues https://youtu.be/4nNaWNJEeaA
I highly recommend Mystic Compass to any fan of instrumental guitar based music.
Mystic Compass is a tour de force of some excellent, well composed instrumental guitar-based music. Mystic Compass was mixed by Kyle Wierzba and produced at Audio Magic in Buffalo NY.
Mike has posted a few brand new compositions on YouTube. Mike posted the song Into The Nebula in 7/10, Into The Nebula continues in the trance, acid jazz, meditation musical vein. Into The Nebula features some very unique, cool, buzzing, distorted guitar sounds, along with some feedback driven lead guitar lines.
Here's the YouTube link https://youtu.be/haoR7BKP0o4
Lost As Love, which Mike posted in 9/10, has a very melancholy feel to it, this song highlights some cool volume knob swells and a piano track that mirrors the rhythm guitar. At exactly 3:36 Mike unleashes the metal guitar sounds that I've known him for all these years, Mike rips out an excellent, distorted guitar solo on this track, the song closes with the piano track and a bell-tone at the very end. Very Cool! Here's the YouTube link https://youtu.be/Ly0w3q95ewA
Mike has most recently joined forces, once again, with Joe Cristofanilli of Ratt fame. Mike and Joe's debut song, The Enemy, was posted on YouTube in 12/10. The Enemy features a live action video of a blighted Buffalo landscape. This instrumental song is filled with some great musical sounds, the keys in the intro jump out of the mix, grabbing the listeners attention right away, a track that sounds like a helicopter keeps the listener interested and wondering what may come next. The Enemy starts out mellow but at 1:21 Mike lets loose with some metal chords and a killer, face melting solo. The songs continues on with a distorted, pulsing rhythm guitar and at 3:20 Joe lets loose on a sweet sounding electric bass solo. The songs closes with a jazzy wah-pedal driven guitar solo.
Here's the YouTube link https://youtu.be/sP_q11738j8
Mad Theater is Mike and Joe's most recent composition, this song has a distinct metal sound and feel, sounding like Judas Priest at times, the bass jumps out of the mix for a brief solo at 1:51. At about the halfway mark the song takes a twist as a bell-tone leads the listener into an acoustic guitar track. A thick, distorted guitar solo then takes over, after all that Mike once again shows his musical diversity taking a solo on the acoustic guitar which leads into another bass solo. Mad Theater closes out with the double tracked, melodic guitar line which was introduced earlier in the song.
Here's the YouTube link https://youtu.be/Q-PpzkHnzzk
Thank You Mike!
Monday, September 26, 2016
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.
Hello , I'm Blair Clark my current EP is called Is Love and Fuss Trouble and Cuss. Is Love Coming Back kinda reminds me of Burt Bacharach, not the music or the words just the feel. I'm certain if he would punch me if he heard this. I'm a songwriter currently without a home, on my way to California in Oct. 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 7th EP this year, the goal is 10 by December.
Thanks for listening - Blair Clark
Love and Fuss Trouble and Cuss review by Joe Tell.
First off, the title of Blair's latest release, Love and Trouble Trouble and Cuss is just great.
Is Love Coming Back has a rather sad and melancholy feel. The lyrics tell the story of the lonely feelings and the void that is created by a love that has gone away.
Long Way Around manages to sound even sadder than the last track. The slow tempo and the vocals convey a feeling of a love gone awry. Any song that makes you feel something inside is a great song and this song certainly has that quality.
to be continued...
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
Do No Good review by Joe Tell.
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.
Look Out! review by Joe Tell.
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 https://soundcloud.com/blair-clark-804478008
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 https://blairclarkbc.bandcamp.com/ The Sills can also be found on bandcamp.
Take Me Like You Found Me review by Joe Tell.
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. https://blairclarkbc.bandcamp.com/album/demolicious
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. https://blairclarkbc.bandcamp.com/album/no-sills-no-sale
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 https://blairclarkbc.bandcamp.com/album/ring-a-bell
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 reverbnation https://www.reverbnation.com/meetblairclark
Blair Clark Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Blair-Clark-204956279576743/
Blair Clark twitter https://twitter.com/keepbailing
Sunday, September 25, 2016
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Monday, September 19, 2016
The Brooklyn/Montreal based electro-acoustic trio Sontag Shogun is coming to Buffalo in a couple weeks with the Canadian kindred spirit of Christopher Bissonnette, whose landscape of tones is beautifully manifested on the modular synthesizer. Sontag Shogun's music is unlike a lot of the solo piano composition out there right now by the likes of Hauschka, Nils Frahm and Olafur Arnalds in that this trio is able to use live digital processing and field recordings alongside analog sonic treatments such as tapes and contact mics to create an entire evolving world of sound custom fit to the melodies popping off the piano's ivory keys.
Join me in this unique, engaging live experience on Saturday, October 15 at
387 Franklin St, Buffalo, New York 14202
8pm | $5
Sontag Shogun (Youngbloods) http://sontagshogun.bandcamp.com/
Christopher Bissonnette (Kranky) https://christopherbissonnette.ca/
Bean Friend http://beanfriend.com/
Facebook event https://www.facebook.com/events/1588613311444188/
Thank you Jeremy.