Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Luke Metzler releases album: “Portrait of the Young Man as an Artist”
Rochester, N.Y. – Luke Metzler is a breath of fresh pop music with catchy and captivating songwriting front and center on his debut album, Portrait of the Young Man as an Artist, and a deft melding of styles across every track. The album includes the recently released singles Disco Therapy, Something and Home.
Portrait’s tracks range from the contemporary funk throwbacks, Disco Therapy and Power, to the arrow-straight-to the-heart pop musings of Home, Something and Set It Free. The hard driving I Don’t Want to See You Cry channels The Black Keys while layers of uplifting vocals inform the storytelling in Reach and 12 Hours in Oxford. Strings resonate with poignancy in Phoenix, and Shake (Just a Little Bit) attacks with full force as a grimy dance number. A Pretty Good Year is a full-throated, bar-waltzing nod to Metzler’s Irish heritage, and the album closes with In the Springtime (Hannah’s Song), an emotional tribute to Luke’s late sister.
Triumphant vocals and memorable hooks abound in this debut effort, highlighting Metzler’s keen melding of the personal and the profound. It’s all deftly wrapped in an amalgam of styles with a unified pop sound.
BACKGROUND: Luke’s singing career began in elementary school talent shows back in Minnesota, singing the likes of The Middle by Jimmy Eat World and Guster’s Careful. By middle school, he was on to his first original, Girl with No Place in My Heart dripping with imagined angst. Aside from high school musicals, the creative juices truly began to flow with his basement band, Clearly From Negligence, which was named a Top Ten Teen Band by SchoolJam USA in 2011.
College beckoned, however, as did the a cappella bug with The Yellow Jackets of the University of Rochester. After a great college run, it was time to “light out for the territory,” as Huck Finn said. Luke has embarked on his indie music odyssey in support of Portrait of the Young Man as an Artist, and is in the process of setting the Guinness World Record for most friends’ couches slept on in one year.
Sunday, November 20, 2016
Michael Biddlecom - Then Came Silence CD art.
First before I write about this tribute CD I must thank Cheryl LaDuca for sending me a copy of Then Came Silence to review. Thank You for thinking of me Cheryl!
As I listen to the music Mike created and performed a flood of memories comes to mind of Mike and I when we wrote music and performed many times together. It makes me wish for those days when I was younger and lived for the music we created together. It also makes me wonder what would have happened if we would been able to get together to make music one more time. Once again I have to thank Cheryl and all the people who were involved in putting this CD together so that Mike's music can be heard after his untimely death. It's obvious that Mike was a enormously talented individual and a prolific songwriter.
Then Came Silence review by Joe Tell.
The first song, It's A Shame, really has a great melody with a harmonious hook. The sound initially reminded me of a 80's pop song because of the bright sounding keyboard track. Mike really rocks it up with a fantastic solo that takes the song out. I'm not sure if this song was chosen first because of the title but it describes how I feel about Mike's untimely death.
Everyone can relate to the lyrics of the next song, Doubt, in one way or another. The song has a melancholy feel with a strong chorus that hooked me in on the first listen. A melodic guitar solo reinforces the melody while it weaves in and out the rhythm track.
Testing 1-2 is a rocker that packs a punch. A strong rhythm track carries a melodic line with lyrics full of double entendre.
Mike shows a softer side with Tears In The Night. A clean lead guitar solo punctuates the music lifting the energy of the song a bit higher. Lifting the song up even higher Mike rips another heavy solo.
Every Buffalonian can relate to the lyrics of Frost On My Window. Once again Mike whips up a magnificent melody reinforcing it with a dual keyboard and guitar track. The song has a smooth flow and feel until it's rocked up with a blazing lead guitar solo. I can picture snow flying in the frosty air as I listen to this track.
One A Kind picks up the pace with a heavy intro that reminded me of the music of Michael Schenker. Mike plays a tasteful mid-tempo rhythm track filled with bass guitar fills that keep the energy flowing. Mike's vocals top off this rocker perfectly and keep it moving in the right direction.
Faces is driven by the clean sounds of a Stratocaster and the lyrical content of what can best be described as a living nightmare.
Gotta Stop Lovin You is a love ballad that slows the pace with a beautiful melody that is punctuated with more Stratocaster guitar solos and fills.
Destinations is a uptempo percussive track that delivers a different sound than the rest of the CD.
Empty Rooms is a slow and spooky track that would fit right in a horror movie soundtrack.
All the music on Then Came Silence was written and performed by Mike.
Special thanks goes out to Cheryl.
Post is dedicated to Mike's memory and his music.
Thursday, November 17, 2016
The Stray Birds are playing The Sportsmen's Tavern on 11/18.
The Stray Birds released their new album titled Magic Fire in August, which was produced by Larry Campbell. Magic Fire builds on the success of The Stray Birds' 2014 Yep Roc debut, Best Medicine, which was hailed by NPR's World Café for its "strong harmonies and sharp songwriting" and debuted at #2 on the Billboard Bluegrass chart. Wide Open Country called Magic Fire "captivating," while Elmore praised their sound "that is so well-crafted; so tightly knit and synergistic, that to imagine them missing a member is to imagine a jigsaw puzzle with a missing piece."
No Depression deems the trio "a delight," while Pop Matters commended their ability to "make beautiful bluegrass, a lush sound characterized by tight harmonies and all-encompassing instrumentation." It was that unique formula that first brought them national attention and fueled their breakout in 2012, when their self-titled/self-released debut landed amongst NPR's Top Ten Folk/Americana Albums of the Year and earned them major festival performances everywhere from MerleFest to Scotland's Celtic Connections.
They won best song @ Folk Alliance this year for the title track "Best Medicine"
NPR Announced the record with really nice things to say about the band & the way they play their instruments: http://www.npr.org/2016/06/06/480638472/songs-we-love-the-stray-birds-shining-in-the-distance
Some other recent press: