Review: Jesse Brewster "Wrecking Ball At The Concert Hall"

Jesse Brewster has a unique Red Dirt voice that defies his California roots, and Brewster's new project "Wrecking Ball At The Concert Hall" sounds more like an album from a Texas or Oklahoma country rocker than a singer songwriter who makes his home in Berkeley, California.

The album begins with the anthemic "All Those Things I Said," which offers a melodic chorus and a passionate performance from Brewster. The next cut "Fuel For The Fire" has a retro-80s feel, but it is the third track, "All She Deserves," where Brewster is allowed to showcase his rich and passionate vocals the best. Likewise, the dark "Dive To Drown In" illustrates Brewster's Americana potential more than any other song.

The hard-edged "God Fearin' Man" is a triumph that will have live audiences rockin' the night away. The most interesting song on the album is "My Great Escape" which manages to successfully merge a Nirvana-esque grunge sound combined with Texas country elements reminiscent of melodic groups such as The Randy Rogers Band.

The best song on the album is the understated "Sometime." While the song would not be a particularly strong radio cut, it showcases Brewster's musical artistry more than any other song on the album. "Consider This" has much of the same charm, and listeners will get lost in the haunting vocal performance.

The best chance for a major radio hit is probably the upbeat "I'm Not Broken" which fires on all cylinders, including superb instrumentation. The album ends with "Sorry Ain't Enough," and the nuanced vocal performance helps make it a success.

"Wrecking Ball At The Concert Hall" is a truly unique album that is not easy to place in a specific genre. With elements of rock, folk, Americana and country, Jesse Brewster is an artist that will appeal to a wide variety of music lovers. He has everything he needs to succeed in the future, and here's hoping that Jesse Brewster survives the wrecking ball that is the rough-and-tumble music industry of the 2010s. Indeed, "Wrecking Ball At The Concert Hall" only whets the appetite for more.

Review: The Piedmont Boys "Walking Pneumonia"

Hailing from the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains lends country authenticity to the Greenville, South Carolina-based Piedmont Boys. And these country boys are one unsigned band that should be grabbed up faster than shrimp and grits at a Charleston church picnic.
The Piedmont Boys begin the 8-song album with the retro-cool track "Ain't Got No Hot Water. Even without hot water, thankfully, the Piedmont Boys proclaim that they have cold beer. This is a memorable cut that would be welcome on both country and Americana radio, and the hummable melody and enthusiastic vocal performance could make it a radio chart hit.

The Wade Bowen-esque love song "Josephine" works on all levels and proves that The Piedmont Boys could also find a large female fan base. It is followed by the sparse Americana cut "Pickens County." The next track "The Buckeroos" is a honky-tonk/outlaw country music lover's dream and should prove to be a favorite for Piedmont Boys concertgoers. Indeed, the band has already built a loyal fan base. The superb instrumentation on "The Buckeroos" also deserves special mention.

The gospel-tinged "She Prays to God" has a Hayes Carll meets Waylon Jennings vibe that succeeds, but it is the Red Dirt cut "Sweetwater" that might have the best chance for radio chart success. This cut (complete with a Jason Boland shout-out) should immediately be released to Red Dirt/Texas country radio. The dark "Tangled" is a spartan triumph that blends elements of Johnny Cash and Chris Knight to create a potent musical moment. "If my heart don't fail me, I know my liver will," proclaims The Piedmont Boys on the album's last song. Again, the instrumentation deserves special mention, and the restrained vocal performance is pitch-perfect for the lyrics of the song "Heart Don't Fail Me."

"Walking Pneumonia" is an interesting title for an album with such diversity. However, the title probably should have been a geographic one - such as "Pickens County." You see, it is clearly evident that The Piedmont Boys have been heavily influenced by their native South Carolina, and the authenticity of the music is derived from the band's local and familial roots. Record company executives should run - not walk - to Greenville to sign a group which has as much potential in crossover music markets as the band Mumford and Sons. Folk-tinged Americana with a country beat is hot in the music market right now, but The Piedmont Boys have every chance of surviving the fad and creating a long and successful music career.

Review: Danielle Car "Danielle Car: The EP"

Mix a little Shania Twain with some Motown attitude and you have Danielle Car - a Detroit native with style and talent. In her new project "Danielle Car: The EP," the songstress showcases the talent that has taken her through more than 900 shows in the Motor City.
The EP begins with the brilliant cut "Walk Of Shame," which deserves to be a country chart hit. The first cut, which is also the EP's first single, illustrates the potential of Car as a country vocalist. Radio program managers should take notice of "Walk Of Shame."

The next track, "Drive My Car," has a cool Alannah Myles meets Lee Ann Womack vibe, and "Biggest Mistake" highlights the softer side of Car. However, the last two cuts on the EP are actually the most authentic of the entire project. "Hazard To My Health" offers a confident vocal performance, and "Pretty Please" is the best song on the EP. "Pretty Please" has a Texas country/Red Dirt edge that could find a comfortable spot on the Texas country charts, and the song is the EP's best chance for a breakout country chart hit. Indeed, the chorus is memorable and hits the musical "sweet spot."

Danielle Car definitely deserves a long music career, but she is in a unique position because her talent could take her in many directions. With a little luck, it could land her on the top of the country chart if "Walk Of Shame" and "Pretty Please" are any indication of what an entire Danielle Car album would be like. OK, Danielle, how about a whole CD in the near future... pretty please?

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