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.

Janey

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.

guitars

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”

Photo-2013-04-06-Janey-Street

 

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 !!

5 gold guitars

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

Trumpeter Whistling, “Lonely Bull”

“The magic of my jukebox-like brain is that when a tune from the past enters it and presses “play” automatically, I can usually find it and/or name it, with the help of YouTube, in seconds! “

Yesterday,  I’m sitting at my boring work desk and haven’t thought about this tune in decades, when suddenly it is in my mind all of the time and I whistled it aloud perfectly as when it was on the radio daily back in the 1960s. The magic of my “jukebox brain” is that when a tune from the past enters it and presses “play” automatically, I can usually find it and/or name it with the help of YouTube, in seconds! So I “google” Herb Alpert and as soon as the “Greatest Hits” album comes up first and I see that familiar A&M Records olive-green label and the first cut, “Lonely Bull”, I was confident that I had my tune du jour.

I believe that simple familiarity is part of the alluring beauty of the music of this bygone era. Suddenly, I could have been in a scene at a Riviera resort in a James Bond (Sean Connery) movie or something! lol  Doesn’t it sound like the background music for one of those scenes?

Herb played a Chicago Benge in the TJBrass days, later a Yamaha, and then a Sima trumpet. I’ve read where he said that the trumpet is not as important as practicing. Practicing scales on the trumpet is boring.   I wish I could interview Mr. Alpert.  I feel like I grew up with him or  maybe he helped me grow up because I used to play the trumpet. My dad, a stiff of the military’s World War II bands wanted me to just practice scales, but Herb Alpert, Al Hirt and Miles Davis shaped my interpretation of the horny horn through the years and I wanted to play words like they did!

Herb Alpert is the man who played the contemporary disco dance classic, “Rise”! I betcha didn’t know that.  More on it later because this post is about Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass’ “The Lonely Bull” as penned by me, “The Lonely Cheetah“.

Now lets jump to his many performances of it over fifty years beginning in 1962! I especially enjoy the one from 1969 where he wore the Star Trek-like “Captain Kirk” shirt and leaned a bit more to the right and waay back from the microphone! lol  I think it one of his signature stances.

Measure several of those performances of this against the slower and more tempered original studio version on the video below, please.  Pour yourself a class of Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon and check out this first one, the whole “Lonely Bull” album.

Wow! What a run! I am glad he is still with us in the physical world to possibly blow more magical notes, if he so desires. I wanted to get in-touch with him for this post, but didn’t know how.  Googling A&M Records went nowhere and I gleaned that the label is a casualty of the corporatization of the music industry that we used to know. However, my interview of Herb Alpert research lead me to this insightful video, where we get a flavor of the cool of Mr. Alpert and his philosophies on life and his approach to playing.

Geez, we all age and grey to some extent, but I will always remember the suave, energetic and excitable band leader seen in the above videos – not that he is finished as I write this, by any extent.

And oh, about “Rise” my classic dance 12″ I mentioned above?  From “My Vinyl”collection, here you go:

Any similarities between “Rise” and “The Lonely Bull” that you’d like to discuss?  Just blow some comments at me below!

 

 

 

 

 

Irenka, “Wait 4 It” Revu

“I don’t Need No Lover (except to hold me through the night from time-to-time)…”

Welcome to thee (you) who have read my first all-inclusive blog, https://achilliad.wordpress.com/ , since November of 2009.  You are now at my new, long-thought-about and sometimes discussed, via my initial blogging motivator (my amigo and Alum, Grady from Adelphi University), offshoot and narrowly focused effort in the blogosphere which will only present via one one of my strengths: writing reviews that comment and critique music, past, present and future!  My long-standing main problem was creating a name for this one, oddly enough, which finally came to me and allowed me to move forward with it so, “Come on over!”

My first review for this new blog station is for an EP I received from a beautiful LinkedIn connection named Irenka.

It is against the backdrop of the cowardly and horrific Islamist bombing of the Brussels airport that I pen this review of music by a native daughter of that country which bothers no other and I cannot understand why those scum continue to slaughter and maim innocents instead of fighting a nation’s armed forces face-to-face; sissies!

Well, on to her important music EP, “Wait 4 It”.

Iren

I must have met Belgium’s hot foxy female vocalist, Irenka, during my twelve years living in Nashville, Tennessee, right? Or Nyet.  I would have remembered such a creative presence, energy and figure as hers!  The first sound that I hear on track one “Comme Si” is Irenka clearing her throat. I said, “What??” Listened again; however, quickly those sounds turn into her spittin’ like a Euro human beat-box meeting Soft Cell’s 1981 “Tainted Love” – at least in musical key – as she then croons in French, the lingo most speak in Belgium. The last time I listened to this much lyrical love language was on Dimitri From Paris’ 1998 “Sacre` Francaise” or when I reviewed the various artist Playboy Club remix back in 2009. Scare Bleu!

“Dreamland”, track two, is an introspective, somnambulistic ballad where she displays her vocal range for the first time. This and the next selection where she lets her fingers do the singing on track three are perfect for a cloudy day. Irenka is really playing a beautiful classic-style piano solo instrumental! I know because I asked her. Next up and showing an inner versatile similarity to the late Amy Winehouse but with a better voice, or Billy Holiday, she styles on, “I don’t Need No Lover (except to hold me through the night from time-to-time)”  This reminds me of New Orleans blues-jazz in the street especially because of the brass accents. At one point I was unsure whether Irenka would hit the climbing high-note – but she did.  You will know it when you listen.  It is a song that harkens me back to the days of, “Hubba-hubba!”  Finally, she rocks out with the last track, “A Reason To Hate Me”.

The video, “Comme Si”, takes us on a musical personal journey and is full of familiar scenes from my twelve years living there in Nashville/

Athletic…insn’t she?

Upon learning of the repulsive, pusillanimous Brussels airport attack, act we communicated and her reply, in great musician style was, Luckily all family is safe, but it is nonetheless terrible, and it is our duty, we the artists, to bring peace and love to this crazy world!”

The world is not as crazy as some of these recent lunatics who inhabit it and I might have been at first on the fence in limbo about Irenka, but now that I have listened copiously and seen her video, there is no “reason to hate” on Irenka with three-and-a-half introductory and hopefully motivating musical stars. 3-and-one-half-star-rating