Friday, December 26, 2014

Graphic Novel reviews for Queen City Bookstore and Artvoice newspaper

My latest venture in creative writing is a further expression of my love for the classic art form that is the comic book. Emil from Queen City Bookstore was gracious and thoughtful enough to ask me to write for the weekly Graphic Traffic column published by the Artvoice newspaper. The Graphic Traffic column reviews the latest and greatest graphic novels in conjunction with Queen City Bookstore. All the graphic novels published in the column are available @ Queen City Bookstore at a deep discount. A BIG thank you is in order to Emil from Q.C.B. and Artvoice! THANK YOU!
Review for The Joker: The Clown Prince of Crime is currently in print.

Here is the first review Emil from Queen City accepted and Artvoice published in the 12/11 - 17/2014 issue

Buffalo Original Bands take note, Artvoice also publishes a "Battle of the Bands" which it calls BOOM. Artvoice's Battle Of Original Music is a weekly installment that highlights 2 local Buffalo bands. Artvoice hosts' online voting to determine weekly winners. Any local, original band who wants to further their music career Should enter this contest. Among the boatload of prizes is $5000! Pick up a copy of the latest Artvoice for all the details or goto to enter.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

associated content music CD reviews

In the past I have reviewed several CD's and published the reviews online to my account for the article page That page has since been taken down by Yahoo and I didn't get the chance to transfer all the reviews over to this blog before the site was taken down. I sincerely apologize to all the bands who I wrote reviews for and didn't transfer over to this blog. Unfortunately those reviews are lost forever in cyberspace, so again I apologize for this and any inconvenience it may have caused.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

High Horse - Buffalo NY

I recently caught High Horse at a corner bar in Tonawanda, NY and I was pleasantly surprised at the awesome sounds coming from the band. High Horse is a step above your average cover band. The band works very well together to create a great, cohesive, musical sound like a good band should. All the guys seemed to be enjoying themselves and it shined through in the music.
I sought out Pete and the High Horse band after a friend posted an old video of Pete singing live on Facebook. I believe the video has since been taken down.
My goal of going to see Pete was to politely ask him for a CD to post on this blog, never intending to review it.
As far as reviewing the High Horse CD goes I am somewhat biased having known Pete personally for quite a few years now. I agreed to give Pete a honest opinion of Escape From The Glue Factory upon Pete's polite request. 
Before I start the review I have to say that I was very impressed by the live guitar playing of Chuck DeRose. Clint Haycraft played keys, lead guitar and sang backup vocals all very well that night. The entire band sounded great and they closed out the night with a rip roarin' version of In The Light by Led Zeppelin.

OK here we go with the CD review. First up is "The Rider". The Rider is a great, upbeat opening track. The sound is classic rock all the way around, from the drums to the vocals. This song would fit right in on 97 Rock's playlist and nobody would bat an eye. I can picture a big pack of Harley's cruising down the road while I listen to "The Rider". Spectacular keyboard performance on this one.
   "Autumn Girl" is a pure classic rocker. High Horse have the 70's retro sound down pat. This song has a great guitar intro and an excellent farfisa organ track. The vocals provide the perfect, sweet icing on top of the great melodic track. "Clarissa" reminded me of a 70's pop nugget you might hear on AM radio back in the day. Great guitar slides... The vocals on Clarissa highlight Pete's talented, vocal stylings. "Sweet Baby Jane" features Chuck DeRose on guitar. The intro sounds like Stevie Ray and the melodic, lead guitar solo has some Duane Allman sounds sprinkled in. Eli Porter and Chuck crank out some nice, melodic, guitar lines on this rocker. The song tells of Jane and her drug problem. Best line of the song... "By nine'o'clock you're dragging your ass". Next up is "Remiss". I was immediately reminded of the 80's sound upon hearing the intro. Pete manages to change the sound of his voice and his lyrical phrasing to match an 80's style, highlighting his talented vocals. Chuck delivers some pure Fender strat guitar lines on this song trading up with the keyboard solos. "Four Winds" gives the rhythm section of Eli Porter and Sandy Belsky and chance to set a great tempo and really groove together. This song highlights Eli Porter, he is really popping and slapping the bass on this one. "Gone" is the love ballad of the CD. High Horse uses a secret songwriting trick to add even more melody to the song. The band moves up the musical key to give Pete a chance to stretch out on the outro. "Ballad of a Would Be Hero" shows just how well the band works together. Each member contributes a great performance to this "epic" mid-tempo rocker. "Stunner Rumbles" is a jazz fusion/progressive rocker that gives the musicians of High Horse a chance to let loose and "speak" through their instrument of choice. The intro is pure jazz fusion which leads into a melodic figure played by the keys and guitar. Great instrumental! "Earthshine" is a heavy rocker that starts off with some cool, guitar feedback. Pete's talent shows through on another great vocal performance, this High Horse CD is Pete's best recorded work to date. The final track, "The Emperor (Has No Clothes)" is a fun song proving that the High Horse band has a great sense of humor. Pete delivers some funny one liners on this track which also includes a hidden, bonus track. 
Great debut CD from an amazing band! 
Special thanks to Pete and the High Horse band.

The first person who comments on this review piece will recieve my review copy of Escape From The Glue Factory CD.

We're writing it as we go along...
-2010 Buffalo Night-Life Magazine Music Award Nominee (Best Niagara Falls Band)
-2011 Buffalo Night-Life Magazine Music Award Winner (Best Niagara Falls Band)
Classic covers & originals...

Genre: Good music
Members: Peter Vogt (lead vocals); Clint Haycraft (keyboards, guitar, vocals); Chuck DeRose (guitar, vocals); Eli Porter (bass, groove); Sandy Belsky (drums)

Check out High Horse on Facebook...

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Supergoner - Buffalo, NY

Supergoner is a quartet from Buffalo, New York made up of guitarists/vocalists Mike Fuller and Sean Wild, bassist/vocalist Lisa Yamagishi, and drummer Bill O'Connor. Together, they're creating raw, fast music with spirited harmonies evocative of Dinosaur Jr., Built To Spill, and Pavement.
Supergoner have been playing the Buffalo circuit for a few years now. Supergoner can best be described as a 90's indie-rock influence with a grunge and shoe-gaze sensibility. Supergoner have been featured on 107.7fm Alternative Buffalo radio. Supergoner is currently working on a debut CD to be released sometime this fall.

Supergoner have been touring a ton now with shows coming up at Buffalo Iron Works, Mr.Goodbar, and Nietzsche's.
Supergoner upcoming shows: October 16 Nietzches - w/ Bike Cops (Chicago, IL) and Soul Butcher
October 30 Milkie's on Elmwood - w/Kevin Sampson and the Jealous Unknowns

Supergoner can be found on Facebook and Soundcloud

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Yesterday Vs. Tomorrow - Buffalo NY

Onward and upward with the Aurora Borealis CD review!

Listened to "A Song For All My Friends" first thing today and I was drawn into the song by the mellow, spacy, guitar riff/vocal intro. The vocals, guitar and keyboard come together to create a great, atmospheric intro. The vocals come forward to bring the energy up and the drums follow suit slowly building and bringing in the rock and roll energy. The band uses elements of alternative/new wave and punk rock music to create a great rockin' sound. I can hear and feel the raw, energetic energy of the band in this song. This is my 2nd fave song on Aurora Borealis.
Song #16 proves that this band is creative enough and open minded when it comes to creating great, musical soundscapes together in the studio. With it's swirling sitar sounds #16 is a super neat intro for A Song For All My Friends.
"Steampunk Hero" as the song title would suggest, is a upbeat, high energy, alternative rock song. I was reminded of Jimmy Eat World when I listened to this song.
"Grey" sounds like a groovy, tropical vacation getaway song. Sweet percussive track coupled with a perfect guitar sound. Great background soundscape.
"Northern Lights" sounds like the soundtrack from a live, electrical generator. Electrifyingly great intro for "Pt. ii"...
"Pt. ii" sounds surprisingly like a song that could've come straight from the 80's. I grew up in the 80's so I like the new wave stuff that MTV used to play 24/7. Great atmospheric guitar track on "Pt. ii".
"Noise Color Excess" sounds like the intro for "Goodbye, Goodnight". The chaotic "Noise Color Excess" serves as the perfect intro for the melodic "Goodbye, Goodnight". The vocals of Jesse Kaufman remind me of Robert Smith from The Cure on this song. The saxophone is a great sounding addition to "Goodbye, Goodnight".
Who is this "Mark Rothko" guy anyway? He must be cool enough to inspire YVT to write a song, so he must be good people. Anyway "Mark Rothko" sounds like a perfectly mixed combo platter of U2 and Coldplay. This song must be killer when the band plays it live, with it's soaring vocals and powerful drum track.
"Sprawl Song Singalong" is a acoustic romp that is simply simple enough to get you to clapping and singing along.
"You Look Like Sunshine" sounds like a love song. The rhythm guitar is solid and the rhyming lyrics top of this song brilliantly.
"Local Millionares" sounds like a combination of 60's garage and surf rock. To be more specific Dick Dale with a splash of Devo and the B-52's. This is a cool rock track full of great guitar sounds.
"Astronomy" is up next, the intro is cool enough to me to be considered pink floydish. The guitar figure that comes in reminded me of U2. Once the entire band kicks in the song proves to be a good, mid-tempo, alternative rock song.
"Just Wait" is a slow one so you can get mellowed out. The vocals of Jesse and a acoustic guitar dominate this song.
"Coffee Shop Theme Song" features a mandolin and an up-front bass track. The tempo quickens as the song progresses' much like a coffee buzz. The more you drink the faster you function. A cool U2 guitar like riff kicks in about 3/4 of the way in, topping off the song much like chocolate flakes on a caffe' mocha.
The intro of "Renaissance Man' is just great. The keyboard and guitar sound great together. The sound is melancholy and rather retrospective. Obvious references to the 80's can be made but the band still manages to sound unique and really rocks out on this song. "Renaissance Man" is my fave song on Aurora Borealis.

"Aurora Borealis" is definitely of the most innovative albums I've reviewed so far.
I'm impressed by the many unique and different sounds Yesterday Vs Tomorrow creates on the CD.
"Aurora Borealis" is sure to please 80's new wave and alternative rock fans alike.

Yesterday Vs. Tomorrow Aurora Borealis album cover.

Basic YVT Info
Founded 2011
Genre: Pretentious Indie Rock
Jesse Kaufman
Joshua Keller
Preston Cofta
John DeJac
Hometown Buffalo, NY
Record Label Independent
Influences:Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, Andy Kaufman, Pavement, Christopher Lloyd
Press Contact

Special thanks to Jesse and YVT.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ian McFeron

Ian McFeron live @ Merge
Friday, October 3rd, 2014 – 7:00pm-10:00pm / FREE

Merge, 439 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY 14202 - (716) 842-0600

Ian McFeron tours in support of his album "Time Will Take You", recorded in Nashville and produced by Grammy nominated Doug Lancio.  McFeron is joined on stage by longtime friend and musical accompanist Alisa Milner on fiddle, cello, and harmony vocals.  In the Spring and Fall of the last five years, McFeron has scheduled a ten-week tour performing over sixty shows across the nation.  This will be McFeron's ninth national tour.

Seattle-based Ian McFeron released his 7th studio record Time Will Take You on April 2, 2013. Produced by Doug Lancio (Grammy nominated producer for Patty Griffin), the folk-rock album also includes two of Ryan Adams’ Cardinals - drummer Brad Pemberton and pedal steel player Jon Graboff - as well as Nashville-based piano and organ player Micah Hulscher and two from McFeron’s road band -  fiddler and harmony vocalist Alisa Milner, and bassist and harmony vocalist Norman Baker.

Themes for "Time Will Take You" were taken directly from McFeron's own touring experiences performing up to 170 shows per year across the United States.  The album maintains stout-hearted positivity while exploring themes of troubled times, hard traveling, and a thin pocketbook.  Fans of John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, and Jackson Browne will feel at home in his music.

More recently, in March of 2014, McFeron released a ten track acoustic album (titled "Acoustic") recorded in just two days at Studio Litho in Seattle, WA with the help of recording engineer and producer Chad Brown of Nashville, TN.  The album features previously released songs as well as four unrecorded songs presented in a stripped down acoustic format with accompaniment from fiddler, cellist, and harmony vocalist Alisa Milner.

Praise for Time Will Take You

“With a jingle of tambourine we get a likely candidate for album of the year – simple as… Soaked in California sunshine one minute, then deep in the dustbowl the next, it’s like a greatest hits of everyone you like.”
- Rudie Humphrey, Americana UK, May 2013

"By diligently listening to Ian McFeron's 7th album, it is a mystery that he is not signed to a major label, although he is mentioned in the same breath as both Bob Dylan and John Lennon....."
-Hans Bloom, Dalademokraten

"McFeron is a wordsmith of quality who seems at ease with acoustic guitar or piano..."
- Blues Matters, August 2011

'Ain't Dead Yet' could easily be a great lost Dylan song from the mid 1960s or more likely a brand new Justin Townes Earl Song - it really is that good."- Maverick Magazine, July 2011

"...You don't have to know about Ian McFeron's background to know that these songs were all probably written in cheap hotels in the middle of the night, and history tells us that's where the best ones come from..."
- Alan Harrison, Maverick Magazine, UK

"Seattle duo pays frequent calls to S.A. That's a good thing because McFeron is a fine singer and songwriter, an alt-folk/rock/Americana performer who strikes a cool balance between the mellow and the edgy."
- Jim Beal, San Antonio Express, 11/25/10

 "Singer-songwriter Ian McFeron has a surprisingly diverse musical palate, shifting from alternative country to acoustic rock and blues."
- Gene Stout, Seattle PI, September 2005

Ian McFeron NEW ALBUM "Acoustic"

Big News!  The Acoustic Album is now available - and for a limited time (until May 1st), we are offering the album at a discount price, free shipping, AND Alisa and I will sign and personalize the album to you (or someone special).  The album, recorded at Studio Litho in Seattle by Chad Brown, features fresh new acoustic arrangement of six previously recorded favorites along with intimate performances of four never-released songs.  You can listen to the album here:

2013 Time Will Take You release

Ian McFeron broke into the Seattle music scene when discovered by “The Mountain” in Seattle (AAA-formatted KMTT at 103.7 FM) shortly after releasing his debut album, Don’t Look Back (2003). Within months, the first single “Love Me Twice” edged out songs by Modest Mouse, Bob Schneider, The Bo Deans, and Ray LaMontagne in The Mountain’s “New Music Throwdown,” a weekly competition where listeners vote for their favorite of two new songs. Ian has shared the spotlight with international and national artists such as Patty Griffin, Nanci Griffith, Shawn Mullins, Brandi Carlile, Amos Lee, Sister Hazel, Mike Doughty, Hayes Carll, Missy Higgins, Julia Fordham, The Hothouse Flowers, and Jars of Clay.

A prolific songwriter whose lyrical prose and fervent work ethic has drawn comparison to Bob Dylan and Ryan Adams, Ian McFeron has released a steady stream of albums: Don’t Look Back (2003), A Long Way To Freedom (2005), Fistfight With Father Time (2006), Let It Ride (2007), Love Me Blue (2009), and Summer Nights (2011). His seventh, full-length album Time Will Take You (released April 2, 2013) was recorded and mixed in just two weeks at Studio G! in East Nashville, TN. Produced by Doug Lancio (Grammy nominated producer for Patty Griffin), the album features musical performances by Lancio as well as Ryan Adams and the Cardinals’ drummer Brad Pemberton and pedal steel player Jon Graboff - as well as Nashville-based piano and organ player Micah Hulscher and fiddler and harmony vocalist Alisa Milner, and bassist and harmony vocalist Norman Baker, (both from McFeron’s road band).

From the beginning, McFeron dedicated himself to building audiences the old fashioned way: on the road. Traveling from city to city, state to state, nation to nation, McFeron performs an average of 200 shows a year spread throughout the United States and Europe, inspiring listeners with his beautifully crafted songs and honest narratives. On the road, McFeron is often joined by Alisa Milner, a Texas-style fiddler, cellist, and harmony vocalist and long-time friends Norman Baker and Mark Bateman on bass and drums.

I'd like to thank Ian and Alisa for taking an interest in my music blog, Thank You!

Check out Ian's great music/videos/pics on his website...
Ian's FB page...

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Widow Maker - Buffalo NY


Complete CD art for Widow Maker's all original CD "Tattoo". Thank You Michael and Widow Maker!

Goto to find when and where Widow Maker will be playing next, when you go to see the band perform ask the band how you can pick up a copy of "Tattoo".

Friday, September 5, 2014

RULE! - Buffalo NY

Old skool pic of Angst from Late At Night Magazine.

The Real Rulers RULE! cassette insert from 92. I just picked this up @ The Record Baron (the only place that still sells cassette tapes, as far as I know...) because my new (used) Van doesnt play CD's only tapes...darn it. Anyway I had the pleasure to play and record with these guys back in '91 when they were called The Real Rulers.

Before The Real Rulers was Mylan Sheath. Classic flyer and pic from '86.
Courtesy of Bill's Facebook page.
Special thanks to the Professor.

Frozen Metal Thunder II - Buffalo NY

Define Devine

Define Devine 
"Offering eternal liberation
Eye survive to peel away
Uncovering your tunnel vision
God is alive
Define Devine"

Define Devine was another Metal project from '04 that was fronted by "Angst". This is great heavy stuff! Hopefully I'll get around to doing a CD review soon.
"Angst" aka Bill Gurgol recieves writing credits on all of these songs.
Mixed by James Peter Labonte.
All songs copyright 2004 RULE! Entertainment

CD art by David Skonberg

Thank You Bill!