Before I begin the review of this album, I just want to take the time to talk a little bit about the two members of Sister Lucille whom I have come to know a bit, as well as admire and respect. That would be vocalist Kimberly “Sista Lucille” Dill and guitarist “Jammin'” Jamie Holdren.
They are husband and wife and they have been through life’s ups and downs, and have truly dealt with a lot over the years. From Kimberly’s illness which took its toll on her, and thankfully she has made a wonderful recovery from, to the passing of her father, Terry Simmons, who was an amazing man. To say that Kimberly and Jamie know the Blues would be a huge understatement.
Maybe this is why the bands new album, “Alive”, is so steeped in the Blues. But this is more than just any blues album. It’s a powerhouse of songs so full of heart and so driven, and I believe that drive is what makes “Alive” so special in more ways than one! And definitely an album that I know Terry, God rest his soul, is so very proud of.
The band is rounded out by drummer Kevin Lyons and bassist Eric Guinn. These two musically bring it on every level and make up the thunderous rhythm section of Sister Lucille. I also want to mention that this new album has some absolutely stellar backing vocals by Reba Russell, someone who is no stranger to the Memphis music scene, having fronted her own band, as well as bands like Portrait, and Visions.
I am going to deviate from the norm here with Sister Lucille “Alive”. I don’t usually review an album track by track, but this time I feel it’s necessary to do so. It’s just that amazing, and quite literally the album of 2019 for me. Everything, from the smoldering cover art featuring the beautiful Kimberly to all of the music contained on the CD, is just so perfect in every way! So, let’s begin, shall we?
“Won’t Give It” sets the tone for this amazing album with its infectious grooves and smoking guitar playing, along with the delicious, sultry soul of Kimberly’s sexy vocals. This is the way to begin an album of this magnitude! And it just gets better!
“Alive” is the title track of Sister Lucille’s stellar album release, and it’s truly a testament to the bands songwriting skills. This song is brimming with heart and soul, and if you’ve never heard of this band before, one listen to this song and they will be at the top of your playlist for years to come!
“See My Baby” kicks off with Southern Rock slide guitar at the beginning and just never let’s up! Jammin’ Jamie’s vocals and slide guitar work are a force to be reckoned with and the song is truly enhanced by the backing vocals of the incomparable Kimberly Dill. This is definitely a Rocker!
“Devil’s Eyes” is one of the best Flamenco laden songs ever written. It pulls you in with its Caribbean vibe and the steamy vocals will leave you breathless! Think sun, sand, margaritas, and a raven haired beauty with red lips. Her blues eyes sparkling with a devilish gleam. A sort of midnight mistress, if you will. That sets the brushstroke for this amazing song. The guitar solo on this one is freaking epic and Kimberly’s sexy vocals paint the portrait, pulling you in deep within the mystery. Absolutely awesome!
“Wanna Love You” has a vibe about it that just won’t let up! Some of the best funk wah-wah guitar ever recorded and a stellar bass line is behind the vibe while the vocals dominate throughout. It’s a steaming hot song with one hell of a climax!
“99 Pounds” of soul and 100% of one of the most awesome songs you’ll ever hear! This song has it all! Kick ass guitar, vocals, horns, a saxophone solo that reaches the stratosphere, keyboards that will take you to church, a rhythm section that thunders throughout and absolutely killer guitar solos! This is one song you will always remember!
“Respect Your Woman” is all about the Blues and Sister Lucille knows how to play the Blues and Memphis soul! The soulful harmonica wails on this song, and Jamie’s guitar is fully loaded and firing at will! This one takes you back to a smoky Blues Bar. Kimberly’s vocals truly bring this song home! One of the best Blues songs you’ll ever hear!
“Fussin’ And Fighting” is a song that everyone should hear, take the words to heart, and live by them! It’s about the world we live in today and Jamie brings it home with not only the lyrical content, but with his vocals and guitar playing. As a guitarist, he is one of the cream of the crop and it really shows on this song! Sister Lucille is a band to be reckoned with!
“Think About You” is an uptempo song that features one of the bands long time friends, the infamous Mark “Muleman” Massey on co-lead vocals with Kimberly. What an amazing performance and an absolutely beautiful song! This one will take you back to those fond memories of the people that you love with its R&B feel.
“Woman” is a grinding Blues song that should empower every W-O-M-A-N! Kimberly Dill proves why she is THE BEST female vocalist in the music business today! And behind this beautiful woman who harbors an angelic voice of sultry, sensual soul is a band that is one of the best around! This song is a powerful statement!
“Lost” is about making the world a better place. It is the last song on this masterpiece of an album, “Alive”, and it speaks volumes! In the world we live in today with all of the senseless violence and deaths, this is a song to hold onto! It’s a spiritually moving song that pulls at the heartstrings and leaves the listener with their fists in the air, impassioned to strive for a better world! Sister Lucille makes this world a better place with their existence in the world of music!
What more can I say? The music speaks for itself. The heart and soul of “Alive” soars and reaches to the Heavens. It’s Blues Rock at its absolute best and this album is a must have for everyone!
Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate “Ark” is nothing short of a brilliant masterpiece that depicts a truly remarkable piece of World War 2 history. I am in awe of its magnitude and of its glory. The epic splendor and tragedy of war is depicted here through the musicianship and the storytelling of Malcolm Galloway, Mark Gatland, and company. A lot has went into this 3 song EP. The story behind it is fact based and documented from the flight logs of Richard Galloway, the grandfather of Malcolm Galloway. The Ark Royal, a British ship, is the focal piece of this 3 song EP, and it was an aircraft carrier pivotal in its contributions to sinking the battleship Bismark, the most powerful ship in the German Navy on May 27, 1941.
The soundtrack is absolutely stunning and the 11 minute, 47 second track that kicks things off, “Ark”, has some of the best music I have ever heard. It takes you upon the journey of The Ark Royal from its first inception to its ill fated sinking. I have to say that the passion in the bands playing has never been more heartfelt. The second track, “Chasing Neon”, picks up where the first leaves off with some of the most eloquent and beautiful melodies.
The sheer musicianship of these extremely talented individuals shines on all three of the tracks on this sure to be masterpiece! “She Moved Through The Fairway” is a wonderfully fitting piece and concludes the EP. I was left feeling as if I had been to a powerful and thought provoking movie after finishing “Ark”. And I felt so close to this band whom I’ve reviewed twice before. Closer to them than I’ve felt before. After all, this was something near and dear to them, not just a part of history.
Immediately afterward, I watched the video for “Ark” and was touched even more as the music took to vision and the spirit to journey. In a word, “Ark” is breathtaking in every sense of the word. Once again, my hat is off to the band for creating something that is truly special and for sharing a part of history that will forever be remembered in this moving musical testament! God Bless Richard Galloway, his family, his memory, and the families and memories of all who served on The Ark Royal!
Whether you want to call Copenhagen’s REDWOLVES a Classic Rock band or Modern Rock band, it is definitely apparent that Rock music is their forte and they are damn good at it! After listening to their latest release, “Future Becomes Past”, I can say without a doubt that with all of the past influences that I hear in their music, they are solidifying their brand of Rock in both the present and upcoming future! This is what Rock music is all about!
Vocalist Rasmus Cundell , guitarist Simon Stenbæk, bassist Nicholas Randy Tesla , and drummer Kasper Rebien bring the Rock on “Future Becomes Past”. The first track on the album, “Plutocracy” has some of the best freaking vocals I have ever heard! Vocals that hit the stratosphere. Almost reminding me of a band back in the late 70’s early 80’s called April Wine.
That brings me to REDWOLVES songwriting. They have some of the best songs, both musically and lyrically, around, and after a couple of listens to this album, I am completely hooked on everything that they have brought to the table on this release!
The guitar riffs on “The Abyss” are awesome and the song kicks ass! Not to mention that the song before this one, “Rigid Generation”, has everything you’d want to hear in a killer Rock song! The guitar work throughout the album just smokes on every level! As well as the vocals, and pounding rhythm section!
The song “Fenris”, I believe, is derived from The Fenris Wolf, a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, based on Fenrir from Norse mythology. The Fenris was powerful and I believe that REDWOLVES are just as powerful as that Mythological character! There’s not one song on “Future Becomes Past” that isn’t strong, and masterpieces like “The Pioneer” and “Voyagers” abound!
In a world where there are a million or more Rock bands, REDWOLVES stand out from the pack, leaders in their own right. If you’re looking for an epic Rock album, get your hands on “Future Becomes Past”!
“Awake” begins Shadowfields’ absolutely amazing new release, “Festival For One”, an album full of the most brilliant songwriting and some of the best music, vocals, and vocal harmonies I have ever heard in my life! Heather Humphrey and Tom McKeown put their hearts and their talents into this awesome release and it truly shows, paying off in dividends!
And let’s not forget the rest of this incredible band! Jim Livas, Tony Meadors, and Gary Jacklin. All amazing and gifted musicians. I also need to mention the wonderful album artwork of Aeden Kurt Humphrey. Truly spectacular!
When I first listened to “Festival For One”, I found myself falling in love with each and every song that played! That’s a testament to just how truly epic this album is! The instruments, ranging from guitars, piano, mandolin, banjo, electric and acoustic bass, violin, flute, harmonica, keyboards and drums, all serve as a beautiful backdrop to a lyrical and vocal content that paints many portraits. You can close your eyes, listen, and immerse yourself in the world that is Shadowfields. A world that they alone own. Many bands strive to find themselves, but Shadowfields know who they are and with one listen, you will find yourself clinging to every note and to every word. That’s the definition of greatness! That’s the definition of Shadowfields!
“Odly Words” is the second song on “Festival For One”, and it’s about lost love. The music is both breathtaking and haunting. Heather and Tom’s vocals blend together beautifully and you can feel their emotion in every line they sing. You feel that in all ten of the songs included on this album. One of the pinnacle songs for me on this album is “Alice”. Both musically and lyrically you are taken into Alice’s world, a world of beauty and bliss, and longing. After all, it is Alice’s festival, and “Festival For One” never disappoints.
A lot of times I find myself likening bands or artists that I review to other artists, but Shadowfields are different. They are a band on a plane of existence in the musical world that truly is all their own, and they own it! Songs like “Never Again”, “The Deed Is Done”, and album closer “My Clues” prove that in so many ways!
I have fallen in love with this band and this album! I cannot thank them enough for sending this CD to me and inviting me into their Shadowfields world! Definitely some of the best songs I have ever heard! How awesome that this album was actually mastered on my birthday, April 26! I believe my reviewing it is definitely fate!
If you’ve never heard of Shadowfields, I urge you to get your hands on this absolutely amazing album! A “Festival For One” is definitely a festival for all who hear it!!!!!
I don’t know how many times I’ve tried to explain that over the past 5 years when talking to people about Bandwagon Network Radio.
I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s when we, as listeners, and purchasers of 45’s (and if we could make enough money, albums) decided what went over the air, on the charts and showed up on American Bandstand every week.
There are no playlists on BWNR. There are no 2 hour a week shows then done webcasting for the week or “whenever I feel like it Mixlr or Soundcloud” uploads. BWNR is here every minute of every day – just like the radio stations in the cities where you live.
There’s just music all the time – over 300 songs every day – just like a radio broadcaster.
And just like a radio broadcaster, BWNR is licensed to broadcast as an internet only radio; wait for it; station.
As a Technical Engineer for a company that designed software to run both over-the-air and internet stations automatically, I was there in the early 2000’s when streaming your local radio station was born.
I was there when Live365 was born and became the “go to” streaming host for broadcast radio and DIY internet radio. I was there when Sirius, then XM, started broadcasting and later, merged.
I left that company for 6 years and returned in late 2010 to a very different environment. Clear Channel had become IHeart Media with over 12,000 stations. Pandora and Spotify were getting bigger and of course, iTunes.
But…gone was the way radio was meant to be heard. Now it was the land of genre-based, swipe right, Big 3 Label driven radio where streams, not purchases, meant more to getting on charts and, in the era of direct licensing deals, on the air.
Even “swipe right” counted as a stream (“spin” for us old guys). Because that’s all it takes to be counted as 1 listener – 5 seconds of you deciding whether you like it or not. Don’t like it? Swiped right? Too late – you just moved that song up the chart..
So, am I a dinosaur to think that I, (not much more than a computer geek and someone who’s been submersed in music their whole life – thanks to my parents and family members that have music talent) could take the old time radio stations of my youth and bring it back? Or crazy?
Maybe a little of both. But I’ve tried. I’ve tried to recreate what I grew up with by playing a variety of music 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for over 5 years.
True, I am a webcaster. But why do I say “I Am Not A Podcaster”?
Because no matter where you are in the world, no matter what time of day, all you have to do is turn to BWNR and it’s there. 24/7-365 days a year.
The Iveys hail from a state where everything is considered to be bigger and believe me when I say that they are truly larger than life. Four of the five members of The Iveys are brothers and sisters; the fifth member, Sam, is married to co-lead vocalist Jessica.
And for this group of very talented artists and songwriters their brand of Americana and Indie Folk music is a much needed sound, and one that is hugely based upon their intricate songwriting and beautiful harmonies.
Songs that brim with melodies and hooks the likes of bands such as Matchbox Twenty and even Alison Kraus and UnionStation. And this reference of Matchbox Twenty brings me to the first track on their new CD, “Colors Of Honey”.
When I first heard “You’ve Got Something”, I was completely blown away! The twang of the lead guitar at the beginning of the song truly sets it up and speaking of Matchbox Twenty, lead vocalist Arlen sounds a bit like Rob Thomas on this song. Pair that amazing vocal with the beautiful harmony vocals that you find throughout every song on this album and soon you’ll be wanting to hear this song again and again.
This song quickly made me a huge fan of this group and its five members. Maybe five has a significance here. After all, five is the number for grace, and it seems as if the additional members on this new outing have led this group to something truly special and put them upon a spiritual plane of existence that not many bands or groups ever attain.
The second song, “Whatever Comes” is absolutely ethereal in the way that it melds the pedal steel guitar, acoustic guitars and swirling harmony vocals to a Heavenly destination. This song, to me, is all about what a parent would tell his or her child.
Believe in yourself, your dreams, and take “Whatever Comes” your way. I can’t say enough about this song, or any of the songs on this absolutely wonderful release. They are all truly stellar creations!
“Running Wild” paints a beautiful portrait of falling in love and how it can make even the oldest of souls feels like a child again. One of the most amazing vocals on the album and some of the best music you will ever hear!
Leading into the albums title track, “Colors Of Honey”. This song reminds me of the passing seasons and the many colors and facets of life as we grow older. It takes the listener upon a journey of epic proportions and is magnificent in its structure.
“Colors Of Honey” is an album that everyone can relate to. From start to finish an amazing album full of life, love, remembering, and even sadness. As detailed in the last two tracks, “King And Marie”, and the truly touching a capella song, “The Dream”, which ends somberly with a lone piano playing its outro.
The Iveys have something truly special here with their new album, “Colors Of Honey”. Breathtaking in every sense of the word and a journey that I feel so very blessed to have been given the opportunity to not only listen to, but be taken upon. They are a group that will be around for a long time and I hope to be fortunate enough to see where their bright future takes them!
As the June BWNR Featured Album of the Month,”Colors of Honey” will be aired in its entirety Sunday June 9th starting at 7PM CT USA on BWNR’s “Sunday CD Showcase” program.