Hyson Green have just released their much anticipated debut album. Aptly titled ‘Lost in the World’, the 10 track project really does pull you from the lockdown blues into a carefully crafted world of horns and harmonies.
‘Lost in the World’ is best described as the music we know and love, but rarely hear on radio anymore. Hyson Green have produced a perfect collection of contemporary sounds shaped on experience and the love of good music, bringing us those nostalgic vibes we’ve been longing for.
The project combines the musicianship of two brothers David and Roy Osbourne, and was devised across both sides of the pond from Nottingham and London all the way to Los Angeles. ‘Lost in the World’s’ first track ‘Clear Blue Sky’ is the perfect song to listen to on this sunny Friday afternoon.
Taking precedent from the likes of Big Mama Thornton and Sister Rosetta Tharpe before her, Rasha Jay is an artist who’s not afraid to stride beyond convention and make music that’s true to herself. This is music that harks back to a previous time where blues and rock bounced in tandem, and women wailed with no apology. Her raw soul vocals and songwriting ability combined with blues based alt-rock – as seen in her forthcoming EP ‘High Dive‘, she has managed to take rock back its roots while also managing to keep her sound simultaneously fresh and urgent.
Thinking figuratively about how a person protects themselves from love, the underlying themes emanating through lead track ‘Red Coat‘ have been meticulously crafted to bring out elements that show just how dark, murky and conflicted love can be. Speaking about the record as a whole, she explains: “The EP ‘High Dive’, is a continuation of that exploration, the tangled mess of relating to each other, if and when to dive in, jump out, and the audience that’s always waiting to see what happens.”
Rasha’s mantra stems from one of looking to encourage all artists who are unsure of their own writing ability, or those who are lacking the confidence to write anything at all. From her own heart comes a raw, thunderous love for performing. To her, singing is like another language where you use the same words differently – it’s like learning to speak all over again, and once learnt there’s no turning back.
In order to typify the feeling Rasha is endeavouring to portray, everything is enveloped in a raw state. Her voice, the music – all the elements are kept as simple as possible with the sole aim of getting the message across. Furthering this, Rasha offers some insight on her lyrics: “I am in love with words, how they sound, nerdy things like syllable counts, inflection and assonance. But that adoration comes through in my songs, I hope.”
Away from the limelight, Rasha Jay has also been an active member of her community – volunteering for various non-profit organisations as either a mentor or helping homeless young adults. Her passion for words also extends to reading. Coupled with her love for using her voice, she’s also spent time reading to children at story time and in various other settings and has also notably stepped neatly into a voice-over role having narrated Talk Show Wendy Williams‘ audiobook ‘Hold me in Contempt‘, back in 2014.
Rasha Jay typifies a very niche selective of African-American alt-rock artists. She has not gone on record to say that she is looking to break down walls or to change anyone’s perceptions of the genre, this is merely the style that feels most appropriate and true to herself, and from that foundation she will endeavour to sing her heart out.
With male and female vocalists intertwined in haunting melodies, Son of William deliver acoustic brilliance within a folk framework. It’s the twinges of soul that bleed though in tracks like ‘Colour of Love’ that really set this duo apart. Elements of Cattle & Cane matched with flecks of Iron & Wine create a rough landscape for the pair to draw you into their world, capturing you with hypnotic harmonies and brooding melancholy.
Reminiscent of traditional Celtic music, ‘Colour of Love’ sees the duo harmonise throughout as the chords are arpeggiated to provide subtle melodies under the vocals. Here we see that the due use their small arsenal effectively in order to create their rich sound.
‘Dear Old Acquaintance’ see the duo employ their soul side as the vocals seamlessly switch between sparing and cohesively existing. This time with short, percussive chords built the tension of the verses before we find ourselves entranced in the chorus. We are once again invited into their world and before we know it, we never want to leave.
An artist’s ability to transform personal pain into sonic pleasure is often their greatest asset. A band that know a lot about that process is Slim Loris. Formed in Sweden around 2009, the band comprises of singer/bass-player Mattias Cederstam, guitarist Robert Barrefelt, drummer Jonas Ellenberg and singer/guitarist Leon Lindström. Their earliest releases veered towards to the darker side of life, both lyrically and musically- and that doesn’t even account for the darkness that was manifesting off the record.
This article was originally published on Lightning Nation, continue reading here.
This track sticks up a middle finger to oppressors, making it a much loved installment from Hunter, who has us all wondering, whats next?
Yes, the song ‘So Gay’ is a fantastically honest and refreshing idea that states you must accept people for who they are. The song tells the story of the narrator(Hunter)who is declaring that he is gay to another man or men, and there’s nothing that anyone can do about it. The song is not just for this particular subject, but could be a deceleration of anything, proving that there is power in pride.
With backing from well-respected producer Niraj Chag, and an array of fans ready to take a stand, ‘So Gay’ is surely bound to be making its way to your sound system any day now.
Music and satire have always gone hand in hand, and ‘Satan’s In Heaven’ by Cholesterol Jones is no exception to this rule. In this video for the times, our favourite US president Donald Trump is shown sporting a lovely set of goats legs, devil horns and trident, a look that suits him a little too much…
Check out the video here: Watch the video to “Satan’s in Heaven” here: https://vimeo.com/237889231
Jones’s track is a great blues number decorated with catchy, authentic guitar licks that weave in and out of a beautiful blues organ. The focus here is the lyrics and the message though so get your best political activist boots on and join Jones in his quest for a true democracy!
It’s refreshing to see someone say exactly what they think in these times of over the top political correctness and molly coddling of peoples precious opinions, especially when they’re doing it through music so keep up with Cholesterol Jone’s and his revolution here!
Three time Grammy award winner and seasoned Rockabilly veteran Brian Setzer marked his return to London for the first time in six years last Tuesday (11/07/17), playing the only U.K show in his European tour at the O2 Kentish Town Forum.
London is a significant place for Brian Setzer, being the city that the Stray Cats, the Rockabilly revival band made it’s inception in 1981 after travelling from Long Island, New York to join in with the Rocker revival happening in Britain at the time.
“Hello London!” Setzer at his first London flat. / Source: @briansetzerofficial (Facebook)
With a crowd both young and old the streets of Kentish Town were lined up with rockers clad in leather and pomp’s up high. With a career spanning over 40 years and indulging in not just Rockabilly but Jazz too, London welcomed him with open arms.
Setzer’s presence was known as he walked on stage in a classy pinstripe suit donning his orange Gretsch as his musical hero Eddie Cochran would have done. His Rockabilly Riot included the regular, orthodox line up of an upright bassist and drummer, with the inclusion of a pianist (rhythm guitarist for numerous songs) and went straight into a cover of Carl Perkins ‘Put Your Cat Clothes On’, which emanated a certain suaveness.
Setzer; in his pinstripe suit donning his orange Gretsch, during the opening song. / Source: Christina Vigh (Youtube)
The show was what you would expect from Setzer and his entourage to this date, a humble showcase of Setzer’s career spanning from the Stray Cats, with a welcoming performance of Cry Baby, from the cats revival era album Choo Choo Hot Fish to his Orchestra which included a delightful performance of his Louis Prima cover of ‘Jump, Jive an’ Wail’.
Setzer continued to play a collection of songs throughout his career, including ‘Slow Down’, which lead into a cover of ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ with a career with as much longevity as Setzer, he worked his charm and the entire crowd joined in.
Inbetween songs, Setzer would work that charm and converse in stories of rock and roll and the occasional memoir, one of which talking about Dave Edmunds and the original recording of Runaway Boys, leading into a dual guitar rendition “the way it was recorded”.
But of course, many of the audience were most likely there for the love they share for Setzer’s primary band The Stray Cats, and fans walked away content hearing the bands popular tracks, including ‘Stray Cat Strut’ and ‘Rumble In Brighton’, the latter being fitting of the Cats inception in the U.K.
Whilst the performance itself was a spectacle, I felt the sound of the venue could have been better; notably the pianist, who was playing Jerry Lee Lewis “staccato” styled licks adding to the authenticity of the performance, whilst a welcoming feature, the live mix would boost the solo’s to an uncomfortable rate, often being muddled in the mix, this was also the case with a couple of the guitar solos, mayhap my position in the venue did not help being front & center.
It’s hard to talk about a performance like this and not mention the virtuosity of the bands playing, from the incredible speeds and textures of the upright bassist, to the Jazz influenced Rockabilly style that Setzer has crafted in the latter part of his career, the subtlety of showing off technique and skill in a humble way, Setzer gives off a vibe of enjoying his craft, from the instrumental version of the 1950’s classic ‘Blue Moon of Kentucky’, all the way to the encore of his version of Santo & Johnny’s ‘Sleepwalk’, a bittersweet conclusion to the show before blasting into the final song ‘Rock This Town’.
Brian Setzer, and his Rockabilly Riot are currently in the middle of their European tour. With the upcoming 40th anniversary of the Stray Cats debut album coming up next year, we may (or may not) be seeing more of him very soon.
Source: Christina Vigh (Youtube)
Put Your Cat Clothes On (Carl Perkins cover)
Rumble In Brighton
Stray Cat Strut
Nothing Is A Sure Thing, Baby
’49 Mercury Blues
Drive Light Lightning
Slow Down (Folsom Prison Blues, Johnny Cash cover)
Gene & Eddie
Blue Moon Of Kentucky (Bill Monroe & The Bluegrass Boys cover)