Pupon The Don: “Fuel 2 My Fire” Cuts The Mustard

…“You say its love/But you keep throwing stones/You keep on throwing stones…”

 

Pupon The Don

[Los Angeles, March 16, 2016]

Even an “ole skool Gee” like me, from the Frankie Crocker-fueled, 107.5 WBLS FM days, can groove to the Brotha, Pupon The Don and his lament, on “Fuel 2 My Fire” [All Natural Records], which I would like to listen to, one day, on CD!

The bed is a spicy gourmet blend of Trap, Teardrop, synthesized metallic bracelet, strumming Mexican guitar and Reggae sounds with a splash of the dry desert heat of a “High Plains Drifter” riff-feeling musical hook.  Pupon touches all bases with “Fuel 2 My Fire”.  It is part of yet another morph of the sound of Hip Hop in the twenty-first century.

“Fuel 2 My Fire” is about a relationship where one significant other’s constant accusations aggravate the other to the point that he will not take it anymore, yet turns it on its “muthaf**in” head into poetic motivation; “You say its love/But you keep throwing stones/You keep on throwing stones…”

I like the dope way it fades in and then, using slowdown feature, pauses before riding into the fire of independence.

Last year, “…The Don” established his own record label, “All Natural Records”.  There he is connecting with fellow rappers like Swavy Mac and No Cence.  What remains to be seen is whether Pupon The Don will impact the world as not only a recording artist, writer and producer, but as a successful Activist upon his utopian goal of “creating music the whole world can build their future on”.

I have heard that same utopian ideal from several Millennials in the past week, alone – even from my own generation. I pray music can be an offensive weapon that helps to smite the negative barbarians who try to upset our peaceful world these daze.

There is no grey (Pupon) area! The Don cuts the mustard on this single and I look forward to the album and video (which I will add below in the future) soon.  Since it is now my latest mental “tune wedgie”, I rate this track with‘four dropped mics’ out of five.

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Please feel free to leave your comments.

(if you are not familiar with the idiom “Cut the Mustard”, click here) http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Doesn%27t+Cut+the+Mustard

Hellooo, Southern Halo!

“…The more I listened to their close-with-a-modern-edge storylines and harmonies, the more I realized that they are poised to become the latest legendary singing sister trio! The Andrew Sisters and my friends The Pointer Sisters immediately came to mind…”

Halo

 

I received a CD in the mail with a little handwritten note on the back of an invitation flier asking me to please enjoy and review their album after I listened.  It was from Natalia, Christina and Hannah, the ladies of Southern Halo, who hail from Cleveland, Mississippi.  I am thinking that maybe they were named after the famous thoroughbred race horse, since the sister’s bio mentions horses a part of the pets they love and care for.

The more I listened to their close-with-a-modern-edge storylines and harmonies, the more I realized that they are poised to become the latest legendary singing sister trio!  The Andrew Sisters and my friends, The Pointer Sisters, immediately came to mind.  The album features a family affair of catchy song concepts and lyrics which reflect their regional realities and grow on your ears with each listen.

You will really hear and feel the church bells “ring-in’” the album as the trio are cantillating “Little White Dress” which is a wedding day song.  I imagine all three marring simultaneously, but then again, they are not “triplets”, so that might not work. A great lyric here is, “My Daddy says I’m a handful, I’m just a little bit wild and free…” Every time I heard them sing, “fun, fun, fun” I had a Beach Boys moment. I kept waiting for “’til her daddy takes the T-bird away” lol

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As they move into the intro of “Rewind”, you’ll hear a soulful organ in the background.  I love the ballad”, I don’t Wanna Move On”, which I would subtitle, “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight”. It climaxes sweetly with a nice instrumental interlude.

“Over You” has a unique hook and it took many listens to try to figure-out what I was hearing in-order to describe it for you and the best I can glean is, ‘Ohh-ver you.” (maybe a lyric sheet needed on their website?).  Is it, “I’m now, ow, ow, ow, ooo-ver you for the last time…”  I’ll look for your translation in the “Comments” section below. There is good background guitar and instrumentation work on this selection especially.

“Moonshine”, cut number six, is my first favorite upon initial listens in my car one sunny day. A standout lyric is, “And he’s kissin’ on me and I’m lovin’ it.” Aww.

Remember that little note I received?  It mentioned that the “latest single is “Living Like That”.  Well, it too is a rocker, not as energetic; might grow on the fans and they can do better – like the very next song, the amusing and descriptive poetry of “Cowboys”, featuring more, crisp percussion from Nick Buda per the CD liner notes! I’m a little more confused as their press release denotes Christina on drums.

Finally, I like the last hard rocking good Southern USA Country rock of cut of track ten, “I Ain’t Crazy (But My Daddy Is)”, which is another take on the shotgun wedding tradition, in my opinion.

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There is not much that hasn’t been said or written about Southern Halo, whose sound is full of feel-good fun and charming southern comfort.  Compromise will continue to be the straw which stirs the showbiz togetherness drink with the group going forward.

I give them Three Acoustic guitars out of five for this 2015 release, while praying for more big things to come for these growing siblings, who are on their way to perform in London U.K. as I compose this review.

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“Bon Voyage” Ladies!!, “knock ‘em dead” and “Y’all come back now real soon, to do more new music, ya hear?”

Be sure to check out my original blog for more older “My Vinyl” posts at www.achilliad.wordpress.com 

Both Sides of Rick Monroe Music – “This Side Of You” – Recorded and “Live!” Nu Music Revu!

” I think that “This Side Of You” could be used as background theme during the love-making scenes of the recent movie, “Deepwater Horizon”!’

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It took a few days, but now this song is officially another “tune-wedgie” that plays as added to my mental jukebox rotation of hits.

“Gypsy Soul” is the forthcoming new album by the amazingly well-traveled for such a youngster, Rick Monroe, who should be a diplomatic Ambassador, having just read a lot of his biography. Maybe it is a future career move, but for now he happily calls Nashville, Tennessee his home.

I saw Rick Monroe for the first time, when he arrived from the behind the stage entrance of the club and when he recognized me, I saw in the smile that broadened his face a very engaging, friendly and approachable rising star.  It was as if we were old acquaintances. I instantly got the feeling that he and I could have kicked it about music and radio for hours, but he had only moments before he had to take the stage; maybe next time, for that conversation and a more in-depth interview; so we had one of his band mates take a couple photos!

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When I mentioned reading about the new album, he talked glowingly about his co-producers, Jason Duke and Ryan Griffin, and the genesis of the current hit single, “This Side of You”, which he played early during his first set and some of which I caught on video (below).  I think that “This Side Of You” could be used as background theme during the love-making scenes of the recent movie, “Deepwater Horizon”!

Rick Monroe has a good, self-deprecating stage-presence and he kept the songs moving without a whole lot of endless “blah-blah-blah” between selections.  The venue’s sound was not the best sometimes.  I could not understand some of his segue way between songs comments often and maybe that was due to whoever was mixing his sound from the DJ booth or maybe it was more tuned for the line dancing warm-up hour’s clientele?

While Rick commands the center-stage, his three other men support the sound without upstaging him.  They seemed in-sync and well rehearsed without sounding stilted. As a former drummer, I found his a very solid and tight percussionist. They displayed good stage action and choreography spontaneously.

Suddenly, my own audience interaction is interrrupted as apparently some radio station promotion prize winners invade the VIP with me. I leave the area to shoot more Rick Monroe video.  He leaves stage at one point to briefly mingle and orchestrate amongst the crowd without missing a beat.  I almost missed it, having glanced away to the radio contest winners.  Speaking of “radio”, “This Side of You” is His set featured an assorted a mix of southern rock and folksy blues-style Country Pop, which really impressed me when they surprised my ears by covering one of my all time Allman Brothers favorites from 1970, “Midnight Rider”. Well done!

Rick plays a Framus acoustic guitar, whose design feature makes its body look bigger than most I used to see in Nashville!  Is this true or just my vision?

As an aside, from being in the din of the Saloon that night, I must reiterate that sometimes we speak the same language, yet have to slow-down to really listen to each other (especially with loud music playing in the background),  in order to understand across regional spoken colloquialisms and accents.

Thank you again and major props to Martha Moore, who set me up with this opportunity and also praise God for placing me in the area at this time.

Major Props to his Manger, Andrea and Bob who managed the Saloon that night and to the whole din of Honky Tonk Saloon (that is really the name of the place!), in Ladson, South Carolina, at the end of February in 2017. Who knew, a year ago, I would be in Charleston, just twenty minutes from one of SoMuchMooremedia’s artists in order to cover this event??!  I saw everything from Line Dancing, a “Billy Jack” lookalike to guys in Hells Angels jackets representing states all over the USA while I waited meeting the positive and country-cool Rick Monroe.  I would love to add the physical CD of this album to my collection when it drops.

Here is a studio preview that runs about the same length as my live shot, lol

I rate “This Side Of You” with four, slow-dancin’ “geetars”.  four-electric-guitars-t-shirt-men-s-premium-t-shirt

 

(Please check out my other, random about anything blog, http://www.achilliad.wordpress.com)

Janey Streets Side Of Paradise

And now the album my previous EP revu teased has dropped!

Janey Street’s “My Side of Paradise” [BER 1020 Blu Elan Records]

If you would talk to Janey Street, you would never know that she is a singer because she is just a natural, typically loquacious chick with a regular speaking voice that has a slight New York City treatment. What I think it allows for is a variety of pitch within this collection, which ranges from rock to funk along her blues street in paradise. The concept of this album measures today’s social mores.

The album begins like I thought it would with initial drummer rim shots.

We listen to a collection of very well written songs.  I emphasize “well-written” lyrics and performed by Janey Street who has apparently paid enough blues dues to earn a shot to fulfill her dreams, proving that we must keep on keeping on (to borrow a title from the late, great Curtis Mayfield) because it is never too late as long as we have breath in our bodies and a strong pulse to actualize them. Many of these heartfelt songs will end up rambling through your mind as soothing tune wedgies, long after your first listen to the album.

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What I love about the first two tracks, which are my favorites, is their Motown-esq funky band feel that even features one of my favorite instruments, the baritone saxophone which made so many hits of the 1960s and 1970s so ballsy and timeless! It kicks in about midway into “Among The Missing” and staples it until the end. They keep that horny horn into “Good Side” and even lead with the baritone which becomes integral from the outset and throughout! The next tune and ballad, “Bring it On”, brings in the orchestral strings and I think I heard a cello at one point!  It is a bit strident at times as occasional vocal overreach stretches Janey’s vocal range. What I found curious is how she pronounced the word, “stubborn” during this song. It sounded more like “stubbren”. No phonics?

“House Of Mirrors” is a storytelling funhouse rocker that is reminiscent of many 1980s Top 40 hits.  The next tune, “Situation” you already know how I feel about its succinct relevance from my prior writings. Events are oft not as hideous as we worry about them being at the end of the day.

I have another line for song number six, “Tears Taste the Same”, ‘they taste like whatever you been drinking, they taste like Beer…’  Nice, cold ending, by the way.

The advanced EP single, “I’m Not The Girl I Used To Know”, cut number seven, has actually grown on me since I reviewed it in June of this year. Maybe it is because of its context position midway through this album and because I can see how it speaks to some inner truth many people might feel even though I am the boy I used to know – and then some!   The next rock’em socke’em “End” seems like a family feud of funk. I hear a wedding gone awry amongst rollikin organ notes, shouts and harmonica riffs.

“Grand Delusion” takes on the perceived illusion that the internet and social media creates in this, the future that is now, if you do not know how to use it correctly. “Rose-colored glasses made for the masses…” Her treatment makes this global technology dysfunction seem almost pleasing – but as good as it is for song, they are off the mark in-reality, which is a debate for another post.

“Radar” mellows it out like a Joni Mitchell song from the seventies.  “Scat Like Ella” is the best possibility for a “tune wedgie” as it is catchy and will linger in your music mind for all times. It is a really good concept song that Ms. Street performs to the max and conveys the message succinctly.  Again, the lyrics carry part of the day as she mentions so many of the giants of legendary Jazz music.  I left it believing that she really does want to “scat like” Ella Fitzgerald after hearing her give us a sample. Now I think I want to scat like Cab Calloway!

At the “End of the Day” is a finale, mostly acapella and well-positioned wrap song for the album, which, maybe, with the exception of “I’m Not The Girl…”, tells a kind of revolutionary story about the times within we reside in toto.  I like Blue`lan’s packaging of the CD, which includes a lyric booklet. My final question is how to get  a ticket onto that train to Janey’s Side of Paradise – or is it an island?  As a songstress/storyteller, Janey Streets consistently paints a beautiful word-picture throughout the effort that defies any one music genre catagorie, in my opinion.  I bless it with Four out of a possible Five Guitars.

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Please add your comments or revu of this music, khorosho? OK?

Tune wedgie: “Hey Western Union Man, Send a Moneegram…”

“…still my favorite Jerry Butler jam. From the old Mercury Records label, circa 1988, it mysteriously returns to my musical mind from time-to-time. Maybe because I am still lonely and without a soulmate at my ripe old age…”

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This is still my favorite Jerry Butler jam. It is a powerful hit record. Powerful. Did you know that he and the late Curtis Mayfield were together as part of the dynamic 1960s- early 1970s group, “The Impressions”?  From the old Mercury Records label, it mysteriously returns to my musical mind from time-to-time. Maybe because I am still lonely and without a soulmate at my ripe, old age.  A wealth of music in the mind is a tortorous thing sometime. I remember practicing my drum kit to its funky beat. I am going to estimate that this song came out in 1968.  Please correct me in your comments. Two minutes and forty-five seconds of powerful, masculine vocal, soulful funk. The way it SHOULD always be.  Can you bend your knees and lift this kind of music today?  If not, get back to the damn gym!  I like when early at :46 in the tune he sings, “Send a telegram, send a telegram, HURRY UP, to my baby-bay…”

Now, I made a slight modification to the title due long-distance relationship experience and a dream I had after a recent surgery.  Must have been the pain meds, but the epihinany was that why doesn’t WU use the fact that most ppeople who use their services now wire money as a marketing campaign and change the NAME and use “The Iceman”, Mr. Butler’s fame?  Instead of “send a TELEGRAM, why not, “Send a monegram, to my Baby…”  Notice I changed the spelling of “moneygram” because I think that American Express uses that for,. However, I am sure that Western Union’s legal team can find a way to market “monEgram” without infringement and make it happen.

Heck, I will even do the voice-over for FREE!  All in ALL, a classic and timeless soul song lives on and is still relevant, no matter the purpose.

There is a “live” version of this from 2012 that I wanted to post with these semtiments, until I watched it go way too long. Jerry Butler was never one to do an active, dancing around flamboyant stage act, but now in his Senior years, that version went on for about three minutes too long, which turned it into an agonizing display like, “just let the man leave the stage already!”

“Oh, Western Union man send a telegram to my baby
Send a telegram, send a telegram, oh
Send a telegram to my baby
This is what I want you to say

I want you to tell her that I’m all alone
I tried to call her on the phone
Tell her I’m in misery and think she’s avoiding me
And if the telegram don’t do
Send a box of candy too an maybe some flowers

Tell her that I miss her for hours and hours
Send a telegram, send a telegram
Hurry up, send a telegram, man, to my baby
Do you hear what I say?

Oh, Western Union man, send a telegram
Oh, send a telegram to my baby
Western Union man, hey, send a telegram, oh
Send a telegram, send a telegram, oh
Send a telegram, man, to my baby
This is what I want you to do

Listen, tell me, have you got a boy you can send?
This is what I want him to do
Put him on his bike right away
See if he can get my message through
Maybe tomorrow but mail it right away

I want the girl to know that I missed her
Something like yesterday
Send a telegram, send a telegram, oh
Send a telegram, man, to my baby
Do you hear what I say?

Oh Western Union man why don’t you send a telegram?
Well send a telegram to my baby
Western Union man, send a telegram
Oh send a, send a telegram, send it
Send it, send it, send it, right on to my baby
Do you hear what I say?

Hey Western Union man, send a moneegram, oh
Send a moneegram to my baby, hey”

Songwriters
BUTLER, JERRY / GAMBLE, KENNETH / HUFF, LEON

New Revu! Janey Street – “I’m Not The Girl I used To Know”

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Janey Street, “I’m Not The Girl I used To Know” [BER 1016  Blue Elan Records]

Envision a young girl with her coloring book, singing and humming original nursery rhymes and songs her mama taught her and you will feel what I feel about listening to Janey Streets’ “I’m Not The Girl I used To Know” advance EP CD. It is a musical coloring storybook.

I took the disc on a road trip recently in order to get out of the negative, big city element, and received a whole new perspective and inspiration from these four songs. The autobiographical title song is the least of the five on this sampler that I like.  Not sure what she and her writers were going for there.  I would have lead with “Tears Taste The Same” which has a Fleetwood Mac-ish introduction from the very first notes. It is upbeat and the lyrics full of vivid analogies.

“Situation” is my favorite because of the social statement it makes that is very relatable to all of modern humanity and the advice therein.  “It’s just a sit-u-ation transformation ain’t nothing new/so when you freak out, its probably nothing and it happens to ev-rey-one…”

“Paradise” is another change of pace and syncopation. I channel a Joni Mitchell spirit was in the studio with Janey on this one!  Last, but certainly not least, is my second fave on this short scrapbook, “Bring It On”.  I heard some notes that conjure Cher to my mind.  “If you think you’re gonna prove me wrong, bring it on…” Confrontation is cool!

All in all, this is a nice teaser for a forthcoming full album that is due for a June 24, 2016 release, that is sure to be a pleaser across several radio formats and for a performer who has worked and prayed for the success she is due.

I can bless this memory book with two-and-a-half stars.  2_and_a_half_stars_copy.jpg

Please ad your impressions of Janey’s music in “comments”.

 

 

 

 

New Music Revu: Pete Scobell Band

Now, just to reaffirm to you, I only qualify as a Country music critic by dint of my living in good ole Nashville, Tennessee for twelve years through the 2000s until 2012 and because I covered three CRS conventions for Michelle Jasko’s, Nashville Radio Syndication which required me to hang out with copious Country music artists front as well as back stage and reacquaint myself with similar Music Industry types who I knew from my Top 40 radio DJ days, circa, 1979, et al, thereby gleaning that “Country Music peeps are just like everybody else in “the biz” – often quite nicer to interact with.  Our country, America the Beautiful, needs more of that kind of cross-cultural interaction!

I preface this thusly because of the incredible man and protector of our American way of life this recording artist, Pete Scobell, is!!  How does a Navy Seal become a Country music performer? Well, one reason is because it was always in his nature! Music is not just a hobby nor something else he wants to try to conquer.

Even though the folks who wanted me to review Pete advanced the first single, “Walkin’ A Wire”, which is a catchy song, I quickly passed on that to dig into the whole CD album which they also sent. My ears quickly latched upon cut two, “Guns & Roses”.  This is a hit music song with many attributes around relatable lyrics in the “now” plus an equivalence to another world-famous band.

In this great album are many songs with relatable and vivid lyrics borne of struggles all of us have experienced. Take, for example, the very tame “WILD”, which is about when your best friend is buried in the ground before your eyes. On the other hand, a few tunes sound like just another country song like “The Fight”.  My other favorites are the Country-funky “Dive Bar” (“…where they still play Hank and crank that ole Country with a steel guitar…”) and the very relatable, introspective “Disappear” which caused me to become sad the first time I listened to it when I heard him sing “seems like everything I love slips through my hands….” I took some weeks away – maybe it was the juxtaposition of my personal struggles and Martha sending me this music?  So I eventually dove back into the album and found a kind of musical salvation. “Feels Like You Know Me” rocks out with great drum work and a stand-out hook, “…Jesus on Sunday!”  For those of us who question whether our prayers are ever heard, let alone answered there is “There’s Gotta Be A God” ~ Amen.  I cried real tears at the end of the first time I listened to it.  You will want to hear it and again I emphasize the relatable lyrics on this incredible album!

The next-to-last track, “Hearts I Leave Behind”, first struck me due to the military-style drum marching band ending-to-fade which caused me to revisit the song, re-read the liner notes and learn that this was originally a song he recorded with Wynonna Judd!  “I Live in the hearts of those I leave behind” is strong stuff with the classic Country American instrumentation. As a drummer, I love the rolling drums to fade!! It is my second-place favorite!

“What ever happened to just seeing what happens” got me off my lazy bed to write more about this music!

Last, but surely not least is “Friends With Money” with a very different, conversational on-location intro.  Again, more very clever lyrics that denote how Pete is helping us process our lives today. “I got God and I got church/I got a gun if that don’t work…” lol Love it.

Thanks to a team of songwriters and Pete’s personality, we get to listen to a production of today’s life and frustrations which just might, with appropriate airplay, help cure many of the negative afflictions we hear about here in today – the future which is now.

Hey, I am about a rare thing here! Five Gold Guitars!!!  I never DO this.  I learned to feel this whole album.  Maybe it was the South Carolina trip that put Pete over the mediocre threshold, lol !!

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Pickhitt: Major Props to Ms. Martha Moore for staying on me to listen and review this album.