January 22, 2018

Surabhi: Surabhi

Chicago ensemble Surabhi present a true global take on their self-titled album, with elements of Indian, Middle Eastern, African, and Spanish classical and flamenco music. Buy mixing rhythms and tunings their music breaks down walls between various traditions and to create a intriguing tapestry of moods. This record can act as stepping stone into the world beyond the dominant Western outlook on music.

Novices should start with Rage Blues and Hanoi Pho, compositiosn using rhythms that sound more or less familiar. Consider Kalbelia/Tera Tali as the next stop and by then the rest of the of the album is open for further and closer inspection. So this is world music? No, that's a stupid name. It's music for anybody who care to listen, provided they have an open mind and are willing to really listen. That's what good music deserves and that is what Surabhi plays.

The Bull Brothers: "This Is What Happens" video

London folk duo The Bull Brothers have made a vidoe for their latest single This Is What Happens. The footage plays in reverse, as if they could turn back time to make amends.

Their new EP will be released later this year.

» The Bull Brothers on Facebook

HCTF review of This Is What Happens.

January 21, 2018

Michael Lee Firkins: new "Knock on Wood " EP, tour dates

Guitarist Michael Lee Firkins has been keep the swamp blues alive for longer than he cares to remember,. His tone miggth sound familiar to those who like Guthrie Govan, but he is more of a purist, inserting far less progressive elements into his music.

He will be on the road in Europe in March and April. Note: check the merch table for the tour exclusive new CD EP entitled Knock on Wood. You will have to be there to get one and it won'g be available on any of the streaming services.

Words about music (466): Steve "Lips" Kudlow

I never wanted the commercial success, it’s not something that I ever thought that metal should be or I would want to be a part of. I was never going to commercialize my music; I’m never going to sell out so why even talk about commercialized music? It’s fucking shit. Why would I want to fucking compete with Madonna, or BabyMetal or some shit.

Steve "Lips" Kudlow

January 20, 2018

Life in a Blender: Happy Enough

photo: David Barry

It's quite difficult to pin to the music of Life in a Blender, but smart, high-brow, jazzy cabaret rock comes close. They have been at it for 25 years and when main man Don Rauf assembles the troops for another album expectations are always high. Happy Enough lives up to the band's standard with two songs inspired by Kurt Vonnegut novels, as part of the sessions for the Bushwick Book Club, which requires its members to compose a song inspired by a book. Rocket to Love You is a powerpop anthem based on Galapagos and the vaudeville meet The Beatles' Revolver-era rock song What Did You Hide in the Potato Barn? came from Bluebeard.

Not all songs requires a degree in English,, but it surely helps to have a working knowledge of the canon of literature or the ability to appreciate the wordplay in a freak rocker like Submarine. A Celtic violin hoovers above guitar and bass channeling They Might Be Giant in Winner Takes All. O, and the title track is actually about trouble in the guts department. Happy Enough is a geeky indie cross-genre album that will put a smile on the face of those in the know.